What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with bodybuilding?
I was always an active kid. I swam, played soccer, and I even wrestled in high school. When I stated college I wanted to do something to keep in shape and was fed up with getting injured while playing team sports. So I started competing in natural bodybuilding. I love being able to control my body’s appearance and make improvements over the years.
When the NPC Announced it would open a Men’s Physique Division I was all for it. I always wanted to be fit but never aspired to be a big bodybuilder. I am now a national level competitor and have made many friends in the industry.
Erick Ruiz Salgado
What do you love most about fitness?
I love being able to inspire others and help them reach their goals. I created my website, TheAbPro.com, to help other get the abs they always desired. As much as I would love to personally train everyone, I simply do not have the time, so the website lets me reach more people.
What keeps you motivated?
Every time someone complements me on my body or asks me for advice I feel motivated. I also use competitions and photo shoots as a way to set a specific deadline to reach my fitness goals.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with lifting?
I looked up to guys like Steve Reeves. He had a very balanced physique and lived a balanced life. I did not have any aspirations to be the next Arnold but I knew I wanted to compete because it would force me to get in the best shape of my life.
As I continued to compete I had the great opportunity to work with Dr. Sam Bakhtiar. He was a champion bodybuilder and continues to mentor me. I am very grateful for all of the guidance he has provided me.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
I would love to continue to compete in the Men’s Physique Division as well as inspire and help others. I also plan on using my site, TheAbPro.com, to provide people with professional fitness coaching so they can learn from my experiences.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
I alternate my routine between volume and strength training. For example: One month I will focus on adding sets to each exercise (Volume). The next month I will focus on adding more weights and cutting down on the reps per set (Strength). This training style allows me to continuously improve my physique without become complacent. I always try to use free weights when possible and strict form is a must.
How often do you perform cardio?
If I am preparing for a show or photo shoot I may do cardio up to two times a day. I like to perform High Intensity Interval Training style cardio, so the intensity is constantly changing. Stairmaster is my first choice but if it is not available I will use another cardio machine.
Which do you prefer, and why…steady state cardio or HIIT?
I prefer HIIT. I get bored very easily and HIIT keeps things interesting. I can set small goals for myself and get myself through cardio without dreading it. It also helps me stimulate my fast twitch muscle fiber so I don’t end up with skinny legs.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
The first tip I would give is to always use proper form because you should always be focusing on stimulating the muscle and not just the weight or amount of reps. Secondly, I would recommend that they learn from the pros, because professional advice is always a good investment. Thirdly, I would recommend that they stay consistent, because fitness is a lifestyle and it takes time for the body to transform.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
Most people think they can transform their bodies over night or in a couple weeks. The body does not want to change, so you have to constantly push it and feed it properly. It may take you years to get the body you really want but in a few years you will look back and feel proud of what you accomplished.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
What does your cutting (eating) plan look like?
I carb cycle when getting ready for a show or competition. I will restrict my starchy carb intake to the morning and allow myself to eat fibrous vegetables throughout the day. Lean protein is eaten throughout the day and fats are kept to a minimum. Once a week I will carb up. All meals consist of whole foods.
How important is carb cycling when trying to cut fat and retain muscle?
Carb cycling is extremely important. Your body will adapt to your restricted diet, so carbing up is a great way to keep your metabolism from slowing down.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
"The difficulties and struggles of today are but the price we must pay for the accomplishments and victories of tomorrow." William J. H. Boetcker.
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
- Website: TheAbPro.com
- Facebook: Facebook.com/TheAbPro
- Twitter: Twitter.com/TheAbPro
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?
Stay focused. No one said it was going to be easy, they said it would be worth it.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
Relaxing. I am a bit of a home body. After a hard week of work, working out and strict dieting, I love to hang out with friends and family.