Meet Our Athlete of the Month: Luis Montoya
Meet our IAMFAM Athlete of the Month, Luis Montoya!
Tell us about yourself?
Three years ago, in March of 2019, I almost lost my mother to an aortic dissection. That day changed me forever. I was 308 pounds, and knew it was time to make a permanent change if I wanted to live a long healthy life. I was on a work trip shortly after my mom was discharged from the hospital. While abroad in China, I decided to start working out on the elliptical for 20 minutes a day. Little did I know, this would be the beginning to the journey I am on today. I lost over 125 pounds since then, and began to run 5K’s, 10Ks, half marathons, and have now completed 2 full marathons. This journey has led me into today where I am now bodybuilding.
How and when did you come to be a member of the Bodybuilding community?
After my second marathon in January of this year, I decided I wanted to challenge myself in something I was completely uncomfortable with. Throughout my weightless journey, I learned a ton about nutrition, losing weight, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There was something missing for me still; early on in my journey, I ran into Nick Bare on youtube one day, and I was so intrigued by his training style. Nick Bare is the textbook definition on being a Hybrid Athlete. He inspired me to run distance, and now bodybuilding. I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. Learning how to build muscle is an entirely different beast, and I have been enjoying it so much. I feel challenged in a way that running does not. I run for clarity, and I lift for longevity and strength. I am looking to compete in a bodybuilding/physique show this fall or sometime next year.
What advice would you give anyone starting Bodybuilding and a healthy lifestyle?
My advice to anyone new to running, bodybuilding, or trying to live a healthier lifestyle is to eliminate distractions, temptations, and work on building small daily habits that will compound overtime. If you goal is to loose weight, start with implementing small changes in your diet. If you typically eat out 4-5 times a week or more, try swapping out some of those fast food meals for a healthier option like Ice Age Meals, or cook at home using wholesome ingredients. If your goals is to improve your fitness, and you have never worked out a day in your life, challenge yourself to go on a 25-30 minute walk 2-3 times a week. Eventually, you will build the habit of going on your walks, and from there you can increase the time you walk for, or begin to introduce different workouts like running, or even lifting 1-2 times a week. Building habits takes time, consistency, and discipline. Start small, and progressively overload overtime. This goes for bodybuilding as well. Surround yourself with individuals, or groups of people who have achieved what you want to achieve. You will find most people are willing and super excited to help others out in the gym. I personally have hired a coach for both marathons and bodybuilding. This helps me stay accountable, and learn things from professionals.
Have you noticed any change in your performance at the gym since using Ice Age Meals?
I absolutely have noticed a huge change in my performance. The quality of these meals fit into my macros perfectly. Ice Age Meals uses clean ingredients that fuel me to perform at my peak. The convenience of being able to warm up a meal in 4-5 minutes is a game changer for me. Working 10 hour days, and training early in the mornings, my time is very limited throughout the work week. Ice Age meals fuels me to perform 100 percent at the gym. I can eat quick meals without having to compromise my health when I am in a time crunch. Instead of stopping by a fast-food chain or ordering in food, I have the convenience of a full healthy meal in my freezer whenever I am ready to eat.
What is your favorite Ice Age Meal and what do you enjoy most about the products?
My all time favorite Ice Age Meal is the Smoked Brisket with rice. I eat these on weeks where I am bulking and need those extra calories.
While I am cutting or maintaining weight, my absolute go-to is the Grass-Fed Barbacoa with Tomatillo Salsa and Rice. It is a perfectly balanced meal high in protein, carbs, and fats.
The thing I enjoy the most about Ice Age Meals is that there is a wide variety of options for me to choose from depending on where I am at in bodybuilding. If I am bulking, I go fo the higher carb foods, and when I am cutting I go for the lower fat meals like the Chipotle Chicken Tinga and Rice. There are meals for everyone depending on their health and fitness goals. I also love to cook my own meals, and let me tell you… The Spices from Ice Age Meals are DELICIOUS. My go-to spice is the Ga-Ga-Garlic Spice. It goes so well with any protein. When I make tacos, I love to use the Cheechako Tako Spice, it makes Taco Tuesday nights a fiesta! I also like to drizzle some Peachy Paleo-Q BBQ sauce on my meals for a nice sweet and tangy kick.
When you aren’t working out or enjoying Ice Age Meals, how do you like to spend your time?
Outside of working out and enjoying Ice Age Meals, I like to spend my time outdoors. I love to hike, backpack, camp, go to the lake, and take pictures. I love photography and capturing images that tell a story. I also love to cook and learn about different cuisines from around the world. I’ve learned how to cook Vietnamese, Italian, Korean, and Mexican foods. I am a huge foodie. I love trying out new restaurants and traveling. I have been to Colombia (where I was born), China, Mexico, and have a huge bucket list of places I want to go-to in the future.