Christina Comparato: Multiple Natural Pro Titleholder

By: Christina Comparato and Barry Gordon
Magazine 22 #1

2 February 2018

Working out has been a way of life for me for nearly twenty years. But, it’s not the only thing in my life. I started teaching high school math the same year that I started working out. This fall I’ll be starting my 20th year in teaching. Along with teaching and competing, I’m also co-owner, with Barry Gordon of Total Nutrition in Toledo, OH where I help others with their nutrition, supplements, and training. In the remainder of this article I’m going to touch on:

Christina Comparato Most Muscular pose during her individual routine
Christina regained her IFBA natural Pro status
Photo Credit: Fabian Koder

How I Got Started Competing

I’d been working out a couple of years when I moved to the Toledo, OH area in 2000. One of the first things I did was join a gym. After a short time the gym regulars started encouraging me and commented on my workout ethic and favorable genetics. They suggested that I give competition a try, “What the heck, at least try an 8-week diet, get tanned up, step on stage, and see how you do.” Barry Gordon was already a competitor and offered to go through my first contest prep with me. We dieted together, trained together, and two months later competed and won our mixed pairs competition. And of course I was hooked.

How My Students Relate to Me

My kids Google me a lot and I am known as the bodybuilder teacher. We don’t really talk about it but I feel that they respect me because of it. They seem to know when it is competition time, especially if I am gone on a Friday and Monday. When I come back, they somehow know where I’ve been and say congratulations. Throughout the year, I have numerous students ask me about healthy food plans, workouts, sport specific advice, etc. I also keep in touch with quite a few of my past students over the years. For example, just last week, one student inquired about me training him and his family, another asked for competition advice. One had a big hockey tryout coming up and asked me for training advice. It is very rewarding to say the least and I love it!

How I Got Started with Beverly International

About 15 years ago Barry and I opened Total Nutrition. We carried Beverly supplements right from the start. I used several of them during my first contest preps, was hooked, and have stuck with them ever since. I’ve always been impressed with their integrity and the incredible high quality of their supplements. Another plus is the ease of placing orders and that I am able to get any questions answered by a live person. I also like the information in their No Nonsense magazine both for me and our clients.
I was actually featured in the magazine ten years ago (NNM 11 #3) From High School Math Teacher to Pro Bodybuilder.

Recent Accomplishments

Barry Gordon here to give you a brief rundown on Christina’s latest accomplishments. After a 5-year hiatus from competition, Christina got the bug to step back on stage in 2014. Her Pro status had expired so the first order of business was to work her way back up the ladder. That summer she competed in 2 INBA shows earning her Pro status in the PNBA. That fall she competed in a NANBF show and regained her IFBA natural Pro status. She was also awarded Pro status in a newer natural organization, the DFAC. Christina closed out the year by taking 1st in bodybuilding at the PNBA Natural Universe and placing top 3 in DFAC Miami World’s Finals, and the PNBA Natural Olympia. She said how surreal it was to experience those 2 big World shows with athletes representing several countries. Yes, she was still working this entire time as a HS math teacher and running our nutrition/personal training studio (Total Nutrition) by herself in the evenings and weekends.

In 2015, Christina was back on the Natural Olympia stage and won first place and the Gold Medal for bodybuilding. In 2016, she was once again going for the Gold at the PNBA Natural Olympia. Not only would she defend her pro title in women’s bodybuilding, but she also entered Pro Master’s Physique and Mixed Pairs. It would be quite a feat to pull off 3 wins in 3 different categories. But with a fire under her that I had never seen before, Christina walked away with 3 first place wins, earning her 3 more Gold medals. Now, I am proud to say she is a 4x Olympia World Champion. And I couldn’t be more proud of her. ˜Barry Gordon


How I Did It – My Cardio, Training, Nutrition, and Supplement Plans

Cardio

Two months out from the Olympia in 2016, I knew it was crunch time. My body was not dropping fat and I had a title to defend. That’s when I decided to hit cardio 7 days a week. 4 days I did 30 minutes of MISS (Moderate Intense Steady State) cardio keeping my heart rate at 130 BPM or higher. I mixed it up with the elliptical, stair stepper, incline fast walk, & P90X-3 workouts. On the other 3 days I did both HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and MISS cardio: ten minutes of HIIT, consisting of 20 seconds full out as fast as I could, with 40 seconds of recovery. HIIT was usually on a stationary bike standing & pedaling as fast as I could or incline sprints on a treadmill or sprints outside my business in the parking lot. Immediately following HIIT I did 10 minutes of MISS, again keeping my heart rate at about 130 BPM.

Pull-Up with belt chain with plates

Training

I train each body part twice a week. I use heavy rep ranges for one of the workouts (6-8 reps) and hypertrophy ranges for the other (8-12 or 15-20).

Here’s how a typical week looks.
Monday (Heavy – Pull)
Back: Pull-Ups 3x8, BB Rows, 3x8, Hyperextensions 3x8
Biceps: Preacher Curls 3x8, Incline DB Curls 3x8, Wide Rope Curls 3x8
Abs: Leg Raise with DB 3x8, Machine crunches 3x8, Decline Crunches with plate 3x8
Cardio: 30 minutes Medium Intensity Sustained State done before workout (medium day diet)
Tuesday (Hypertrophy – Push)
Chest: Cable Crossovers 3x20, Decline DB Flyes 3x12, Smith Bench Press 3x20
Shoulders: Smith Press 3x20, Standing Wide Rope Raises 3x12, Rope Face Pulls 3x20
Triceps: DB Extensions 3x20 each side, Incline BB Skull crushers 3x12, Straight Bar Pushdown 3x20
Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)
Wednesday (Heavy – Legs)
Quads: Smith Squats 3x8, Leg Press 3x8, Single Leg Extensions 3x8 each side
Hamstrings: Leg Curls 3x8, BB Stiff Leg Deadlift 3x8, Reverse Leg Curls 3x8
Calves: Seated Raises 5x8, DB Standing Raises 5x8
Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (medium day diet)
Thursday (Hypertrophy – Pull)
Back: Close Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 3x20, Single Arm Pulldowns 3x12 each side, T Bar Row 3x20
Biceps: BB Curls 3x20, Spider Curls 3x12, DB Hammer Curls 3x20
Abs: TRX Knee-Ins 3x20, Single Cable Crunch 3x12 each side, Roman Chair Plate Twist 3x20 each side
Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)
Saturday (Heavy – Push)
Chest: Bench Press 3x8, Incline Cable Flye 3x8, Decline Smith Press 3x8
Shoulders: Arnold Press 3x8, Reverse Pec Deck 3x8, Single Cable Side Lateral Raises 3x8 each side Triceps: Skull crushers 3x8, Rope Pushdown 3x8, Cable Kickbacks 3x8 each side
Cardio: 30 minutes MISS cardio done before workout (medium day diet)
Sunday (Hypertrophy – Legs)
Quads: Hack Squats 3x20, BB Lunges 3x12 each side, DB Single Leg Squats 3x20 each side
Hamstrings: DB Lying Leg Curls 3x20, Standing Leg Curls (with Cable) 3x12 each side, Good Mornings 3x20
Calves: Calf Raise on Leg Press 4x20, Calf Raise on Smith Machine 4x12
Cardio: 10 HIIT intervals after workout, followed by 10 minutes MISS cardio directly after (high day diet)
Christina next to her trophy collection

Nutrition

My diet consists of 4 Medium days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday), 2 High days (Thursday and Sunday), and one Low day (Friday).
Meal 1: Omelet made with spinach, egg whites, and walnuts Meal 2: UMP protein shake and almonds Meal 3: Fish, 1 cup of veggies (broccoli, green beans,or Brussel sprouts), almonds.
Meal 4: Chicken, sweet potato, almonds
Meal 5: (Pre-workout): Oatmeal pancake: oatmeal, UMP, egg whites
Meal 6: (Post-workout): Muscle Provider protein shake and a sweet potato
Meal 7: Salad with turkey, spinach, veggies, and almonds
  • My High day is approximately 1779 calories, Medium day is 1689 calories, and Low day about 1455 calories.
  • Sample diet above is my medium day.
  • On high days, I increase the carbs. For example, instead of an 8 oz. sweet potato at meal 4, I would increase it to 12 oz., and instead of ½ cup oatmeal in meal 5, I’d increase it to ½ cup.
  • On low days, leave out the carbs (oatmeal and sweet potatoes) from meals 4, 5, and 6.
  • Water: The last 2 years my body seems like it is always asking me for water. So my water intake has increased to a consistent 2 gallons a day.

Meal prep tips:

Make it as easy as possible on yourself. Personally, like everyone else when in contest prep mode and with multiple jobs, I need to have everything cooked on the weekends because my Monday-Fridays are super busy from 6 am to 8 pm. (That’s also the only time I have to clean my entire house.) I even cut up my pancake in pieces so it is ready to take with me each morning. And trust me, the pancakes taste the same on Monday as they do on Friday. I cook one or two meats for the week, usually chicken, ground turkey, or tilapia. Numerous sweet potatoes are thrown in the oven for about 90 minutes at 400 degrees. Not even I can mess them up. I just stick them in the oven while prepping everything else. I also throw in a few sliced white potatoes for a post workout carb a few days a week. I like fresh veggies and bulk shop once a week at Sam’s club. My usual veggies are green beans, Brussels sprouts, or asparagus.

Supplements

I consider my supplements essential to my success and longevity in the sport. Here is the supplement schedule I used en route to my Natural Olympia victories.

FitTabs – 2 in am & 2 in pm for all my essential vitamins and minerals Lean Out – 2 with each meal helps ensure that fat is constantly being mobilized for energy.

Ultra 40 – 3 with each meal to maintain my size Density – 3 with each meal helps me get LEAN & HARD – love it! Quadracarn – 3 twice a day, helps me lean out and maintain muscle Muscle Mass – 5 pre & post workout, a great BCAA for recovery Advanced Antioxidant – 2 post workout to recover from a busy lifestyle Multiple Enzyme Complex – 1 a day helps me maintain optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients (very important for a natural athlete).

Glutamine Select – 1 scoop near the end of my workout lets me finish strong, & recover fast ZMA 2000 – 2 before bed, helps me recover from my workout and rest better.

Tips I’ve Learned Along the Way

  1. Always, always, stretch & warm-up before your workout. Get on the bike for 5 minutes and do some light DB exercises for the body parts you are going to be working. Also do some leg extensions on leg days to warm up your knees. Trust me; it helps as you get older.
  2. Focus on a goal and stick with ONE plan. If you ask 5 people their opinion about a workout program or meal plan, you will get 5 different answers. Consistency is one of the key ingredients.
  3. I know everyone says it, but if you are competing you need to practice your posing. Start off with a 10-minute session practicing your quarter turns and/or poses. Then increase your time each week by 5 minutes. The easiest time for me to practice my posing was after my workout while I ate/drank my post workout meal. Have someone who knows critique you so you can make changes. You may not realize that you are irritating the judges by bobbing your head or running your hand up and down your obliques (I have seen both).
  4. Be confident. Don’t have self-doubt and constantly compare yourself to others. Believe in yourself and focus on the hard work you have put into your weight loss or competition journey.
  5. To gauge progress in your weight loss journey, use 3 numbers – yes the scale, but also buy a caliper & test your body fat, and use a tape measure for a few hip & stomach measurements. Once a week or every other week is sufficient. When you see the changes in your body and/or your numbers, it is very rewarding.
  6. If you are a competitor, thinking about competing, unsure of a certain method, need a workout program, not sure which organization to compete with, or wondering which bodybuilding show to compete at, please please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I can be reached at thetototalnutrition[at]yahoo.com.
Related
› Michelle Brown Year in Figure nutrition training comprehensive program
› Rebecca Powell From competitive boxer to Women’s Physique Natural Ohio Overall.