December 2013 – Erika Otero – Coach O

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This fall we were able to bring figure competitor and coach Erika Otero in for a photo shoot. Erika was amazing on set, with goddess hair, flawless skin, big beautiful eyes, and a great body. But that is NOTHING compared to her professional, but fun and sweet personality. Erika has drive and we believe she is going places. We KNOW she is someone we ALL need to be cheering for! – kaw

Were you athletic as a child?
I was! I did cheerleading and dance since I was 6 years old. When I was 13 years old, I began running cross country and track in high school and participated in the Junior Olympics, as well as being part of the cheerleading and JROTC teams. Went on to run cross country and track and field for St. John’s University and later joined the cheerleading team at Florida International University.

How did you get into figure competitions?
After having gone away for college to run for St. John’s University in Queens, I got in a car accident on one of my vacations back home winter break 2006. Due to 7 herniated discs in my spine, I was no longer able to run competitively as I used to. I was getting out of shape and my boyfriend at the time was a bodybuilder. He taught me everything about lifting and between him and my amazing posing coach, I prepped for my first teenage figure show!

What do you like most? Competing on stage? Training in the gym? Or rocking photo shoots?
This is a tough question because I have quite a dual personality. All I can say is I am quite shy about doing photo shoots so that definitely wouldn’t count as my favorite! Yet between the two choices of competing on stage and working out, I think working out wins. While I love being in heels, all made up, and tanned, ready to show off my “cat walk” on stage, I am most comfortable being zoned out, not caring who is looking, or what they think. I can put on my tennis shoes, and old ripped up t-shirt and just rock out to the vibes of my headphones and close my eyes while I lift. You can ask anyone that has ever trained with me and they will say I go intense but enjoy it as if I was meditating.

You are also a coach. How did you get started into that?
After high school I had always thought I wanted to be a coach, I just had never imagined coaching anything other than distance running. After having won the 2010 Southern States at the age of 21, people began approaching me to coach them and I realized I had finally found my niche.

20131025-_MG_6896_ppWhat type of clients do you work with? 
I am a Nutritionist and have three jobs. I work with overweight and obese weight loss clients, outpatient weight loss, contest prep, and volunteer to counseling Veterans.

Who do you look up to in the fitness world?
Candice Keene. I love to see her progress from show to show, and her modesty stands out to me amongst other pros. I did extensive research on Candice and luckily her contest prep coach lives in Florida. I am now working with Jamie Ibone, one of the top figure coaches in the industry!

What is it like being FIT and BEAUTIFUL? When you walk into a room does everyone stop and look?
It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. At first all the attention was hard getting used to specially because I am a very modest person. Everyone has a different opinion and whether it is verbally or with their eyes, they make sure to let you know it! Sure some people can admire the hard work that having a fit physique requires and even find beauty in it, while others dislike the muscle mass that I hold, and that’s okay! After having been competing for seven years now, I am finally comfortable enough with knowing that this is exactly what I want to look like, so that I no longer care who does not like it.

What are your fitness goals?
First and foremost is health! I want to be able to eat well, often, and enough to train hard and maintain a healthy weight. I want to always be as healthy as possible to furthermore be able to lead by example to all clients & friends around me, and in the future be able to pass that on to my family as well.

Secondly, I want to be on the Olympia stage. I know I have the drive, dedication, and focus required to compete at that caliber.

How did you like shooting with KickAss Women?
I truly loved it. The staff at the shot was great and made me feel comfortable and most importantly gorgeous! The support was tremendous as the atmosphere was laid back and playful. Thank you again!

Where will we see you in 2014?
I am currently preparing to compete in the NPC Sunshine Classic March 16th in Fort Lauderdale, FL. After this I plan to compete at the NPC Team Universe in New Jersey on July 5th.

Follow Erika on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

You can also check her team’s Instagram and her Facebook athletic page.

Watch her YouTube videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1VPyKqvjx8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YYZdRnugBE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11XSjzp_xgs

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