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👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Chris Santamaria. I am from Oakdale, Minnesota. For the past 16 years, I have had my own personal online training business Crushinglimits LLC. During the day I do phone sales. I am married to my wife, Stephanie Santamaria and together we both coach clients as well.
I have been training for 22 years non stop. I began running track and field sprints in high school and that spurred my love for weight training.
I used to weigh 113 lb in high school and the coaches told me in order to do well I would have to add some serious size to be a power sprinter. So I dedicated my whole summer to weights and started my career from there. From there, I transitioned into wanting to be a competitive bodybuilder and build up my client base.
The biggest thing I enjoy about bodybuilding is the challenge and the reward you feel when you win a show or complete a tough workout. However, the biggest reward for me is being able to change a clients’ life through my coaching.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My training philosophy is maximum effort in the gym and keeping lifts short and intense. For example, I like enough volume 15-20 sets per muscle group and completing the lift in about an hour tops. I train five days a week. My split is legs, chest triceps, back biceps (off,repeat).
I train at Midwest Health and Fitness in Hudson Wi. I train with my wife Stephanie. We take our own preworkout brand Crushinglimits Gold Rush and we blast Metallica on the way to the gym!
I would say favorite exercise would lunges because I can always feel the muscles working. I don’t do any cardio during off-season.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
For me motivation is easy. I still have goals to achieve I always want to do better!
When I feel a lack in motivation, I look back to past photos and see where I can improve. Then I set realistic goals and a time frame on achieving them. I would like to improve on my size the next time I step onstage. I am giving myself at least a year to gain the size I need.
The biggest challenge I have faced is battling Ulcerative Colitis on a daily basis for the last seven years. I was admitted to the hospital for eight days in 2013. In those 8 days, I lost a total of 30lb, yes 30lb! In two weeks time I had lost a total of 50lb.
Colitis is a terrible disease where your colon has ulcers so it strips the body of any nutrients coming in. To this day I still deal with it.
Music has always helped push me in the gym as well.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My training has been ok for the last couple weeks. My main focus now is my clients, their success is more important to me. If I could change something when I started, it would be to eat better, hire a reputable coach in the area, and meal prep more effectively.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I’ve had a lot of severe setbacks. The biggest thing for me is to have more good days than bad. Mentally keeping strong is more important when you become injured.
For example if you hurt your shoulder, take it as an opportunity to focus on your legs for the next couple of weeks. Use every setback as a way to get better.
Handling injuries is never fun, however I take any negative and make it into a positive. If I hurt my shoulder for example, then I use the time to focus on legs for example. I sleep seven to eight hours every night.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is relatively the same pre-contest as opposed to off-season. The only differences are the portions, I eat a highly fat diet — I love Ribeye steak — and the carbs depend on what I am training that day or if I am trying to add weight.
I never count calories, I simply go by macros and how I feel that particular day.
The protein is about 300g per day over 6-7 meals. As I start to cut, I will reduce carbs on certain days but keep enough in there to fuel the lifts. I don’t really take supplements I just rely on whole foods for the most part.
As for cheat days, I leave Saturday as a free day.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
I like most rock for lifting. My favourites are Saliva, Rise Against, and Metallica.
I believe that the moment you’re about to quit is the moment right before a miracle happens.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
The biggest thing is getting your mind right. You have to believe in what you are planning and trying to achieve. Once you have the belief, set the plan in motion and do not stop until the job is done!
Start out first by getting your five to six meals on track. Definitely just spending too much time in the gym is probably the biggest mistake.
It can be difficult to combine bodybuilding/fitness with other sports so recovery has to be adequate.
Lastly, never let anyone tell you what you can or can not do.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I certainly do.
I take on both live and online clients. I am with clients every step of the way from start to finish. I include everything in my plans from meal plans, 24/7 access, posing, training, supplement advice, cardio, and Skype sessions.
“How do i lose fat?” is the most common question I get from my clients. Well, losing fat will be fairly easy, it all depends on how well you can follow a meal plan and a routine.