Photography by Sarah Orbanic
Name: Massiel ‘Massy’ Arias
City: Marina Del Rey, California, USA
Job: Personal trainer
Before I started training I lived a very sedentary and unhealthy life. I never watched what I ate, I hardly ever exercised, and if I did it would only be a few minutes of slow-pace cardio, as I suffer from exercise-induced asthma. Activity for me was restricted; I saw my asthma as a stop sign for most things sports- or athletics-related.
One day I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. I saw my life slipping away from my hands as my depression put me down to 51 kilos; I started losing my hair, and even my gums were starting to recede as I was not eating. I knew I had to turn my life around.
My first training session was brutal and it had to do with my lack of confidence. I realised I was so deep in the hole I had dug for myself. It was very shocking for me to feel how out of shape I was.
Today my training has become as advanced as it can get. The woman I am today is a completely different one – from squatting men on my shoulders to doing high-intensity training, my cardiovascular and muscular endurance are 100 times better than before. I consider myself an athlete now and I would not change it for anything.
Every month my body is able to do something it wasn’t able to do before and, to me, that is such a thrill. I love training! Sometimes while training I ask why I put myself through all this pain, but then when I am done, I feel like a brand-new person. I feel driven, happy, and confident.
To get to where I am today I had to overcome a lot of fear. I was afraid of putting myself out there the way I am. I am not the norm when it comes to how a woman looks, and I had to overcome barriers as I’m judged for my looks and tattoos. However, it has changed me positively because I have worked hard to let people see me for who I am and what I bring to the table. I have learnt to love myself even more and appreciate my uniqueness.
Something we all must remember is that we are all different and have different body types. Our bodies respond differently to training and nutrition based on our genetics. For example, what works for me may not work for you. When I was younger I was very insecure about my body and did not like the way I looked because I was so skinny. I didn’t feel feminine at all and that brought a lack of confidence, which I carried with me for the longest time. I have learnt to listen to my body now and see what works for me and my body type.
Never compare yourself to anyone because you will start creating expectations that can demotivate you when you don’t see the results you have in your head. This is especially the case when comparing your physique to someone with a different body type. You should strive to be a better version of yourself and not a copy of another person.
Fitness is so important to me because it saved my life and taught me things about myself I never knew before. I want to give people a piece of how I feel, and I believe exercise and proper nutrition is the answer for a lot of health issues that can potentially be reversed and prevented, including depression.
I live by the quote ‘strive for progress, not perfection’, because my journey hasn’t been easy. We live in a society where we are fed with the idea of instant gratification. This doesn’t help us at all. If every day we focus on making small, positive changes, the results will be huge in the long run.
Stay up-to-date with Massy
Facebook: ‘Manko Fit’
By Massy Arias
Photography by Sarah Orbanic
The legs and glutes are my favourite body parts to train. I’ve designed this glute workout for you as a superset series. You will see the workout breakdown in the table below. Do two to three sets with 10-12 repetitions using a very controlled tempo. Between each superset, rest for 45-60 seconds. While completing this workout, you should be experiencing a full contraction of the muscles.