Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Is The Most Inspiring Dominican Trainer That We Could All Use
You know how Latinas are just tearing up the world we live in and making it more just, more empowering and stronger than ever for the rest of us? Well, this is a story about that. More specifically, about the person who has trained Kim Kardashian for the last year every single day.
Even more on point, this story isn’t about Kim Kardashian. It’s about Mel Alcantara and her story of how she uprooted her life from the Bronx to Los Angeles to follow a dream. Her transformation story is just…well…see for yourself.
We all have Kim Kardasian’s body seared into our brains.
It’s iconic. You can’t escape it, and Latinas everywhere are thanking Goddess that curves are finally being appreciated.
Let’s be honest, though: those curves take mad work. That’s where trainer Mel Alcantara comes in.
But we know next to nothing about the woman behind her A-list client.
Meet Mel Alcantara. She’s a proud Dominican from the Bronx, with a transformation story worth celebrating. She told HipLatina, “My mom worked two jobs in order to support all of my siblings, and we had the stereotypical drug addict and alcoholic father who wasn’t there or was there to make everyone’s life more difficult.”
“I spent most of my youth afraid. Fear is now my driver, I seek it, it is what propels me forward.”
“Growing up I was never athletic, never joined a sport in school, never had a support system to lead me in the right direction,” Alcantara told HipLatina. “Let me tell you, life tried to break me so many times but it [messed] up and made me stronger. I chose a different path for myself, you live the life you lead. Sometimes you have to make decisions that will break you because with change comes growth. Get uncomfortable!”
It wasn’t until she was depressed, binge-eating, smoking and 70 pounds heavier post-baby that she decided to make a change.
The lifestyle she grew up with wasn’t enhancing her life. One day, she just decided to do a fitness challenge. Three Mondays later, she woke up at 5 a.m. and starting trying. Eight weeks later, she had lost 40 pounds.
Alcantara quit her successful careers in marketing and production to get a waitressing job and focus on her fitness.
At that point, she realized she wanted to give this feeling to other people. So she quit her $60,000-a-year job and started to waitress at night and work out in the day.
Alcantara is proof that it is never too late to start getting yourself into shape.
Caption: “After so many years of zero self esteem I’ve spent these last years filling my bucket with self confidence. I worked my [butt] ON and this [butt] is not gonna look like this forever, ain’t nobody gonna tell me I can’t show it off. If you got it flaunt it ????????♀️ ”
Then, in December 2015, she signed up for her first body building competition.
She decided she wanted to be more than just skinny. She prepped for 17 weeks and won in the Miss Figure and Miss Best Physique categories.
People started asking her if she could train them so she became a certified professional trainer.
Alcantara isn’t the kind of trainer that you grow to resent. She lifts you up. She helps you lift yourself up, until one day, you don’t need her any more. Alcantara maintains that you’re not training the body: you’re training the mind.
One day in May 2016, she got an email from one of Kim Kardashian’s producers.
Then, things got crazy for Alcantara. She told NBC that she told them, “Let me check my schedule,” but immediately moved from Brooklyn to California to start her new job.
Today, she trains Kardashian 5-6 days a week and a select few other clients.
Here’s a sample of what she has Kim do:
Lat Pull-Down Wide Grip: 3 x 15 reps
Superset High Knees: 60 reps each leg (120 total)
Straight bar Shoulder Press (also known as military press): 3 x 15 reps
Superset dumbbell upright rows: 20 reps
E-Z Bar Bicep Curls: 3 x 20 reps (use a 20lb bar)
Superset dumbbell tricep extension: 3 x 15 reps
200 Jumping Jacks
60 kettlebell swings (use 15 or 20lbs)
As a woman of color, she’s smashing all the stereotypes and lifting other women up.
In an interview with HipLatina, Alcantara said, “Women think that if they pick up a dumbbell they’ll turn into men; this is utterly ridiculous, the human body doesn’t work that way.” Exasperated because of her own experience, she also explained that women who try to do low-carb, high-cardio, detox diets is “hormonally taxing to our bodies, unsustainable and quite unhealthy.”
Alcantara is a proud “reverse dieter” and we’re here for it.
“I used to think being fit was being lean, being ‘toned’, losing weight. I thought constantly being in a caloric deficit was just the way of this ‘fit life’. BUT it’s NOT,” Alcantara told HipLatina. “My goal is not to spend my life counting calories, weighing my food, feeling shitty about having a ‘bad day’ of food vs a a good day. There’s enough guilt and suffering just living our every day lives.”
Alcantara advocates for the tried and true natural road to fitness: fitness.
Alcantara is also out there giving new mothers the motivation and inspiration they need to tackle that post-pregnancy weight. It’s not easy when you work a full-time job but Alcantara proves that it is possible and she wants to help mothers achieve their goals.
Sometimes, Alcantara’s posts look like torture, though, tbh.
My point being that while she looks fabulous, it takes real, painful work to get to where she’s at. It took a major lifestyle change, but one that Alcantara says anyone could do.
But she doesn’t forget the fear and confusion she felt before she became a fitness star.
Alcantara admits that she was once confused and defeated when seeing the fitness gurus on social media. She constantly questioned whether or not she was even capable of the same physique and success. Fortunately, she pushed through and is now inspiring thousands of people every day.
Alcantara went through a phase of jiu jitsu.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Sometimes, it is the luck of the draw as to what you are going to be able to use to meet your fitness goals. There is also no direct path. Some times people diverge and change goals in the middle of their journey and it’s fine. Just be who you want to be and strive for the best version of that person.
Her message to beginners, especially women? DGAF.
In an interview with PopSugar, she shared, “I remember the days of feeling intimidated by the gym and especially the weights in the gym. I always walked in and thought to myself, “Let me go straight to the treadmill or elliptical where I belong! Women don’t have confidence in the gym because they were told all their life they’re not good enough, they’re not pretty enough, they’re not strong enough! Constantly being judged by men and more so by other women.”
To this day, she has to deal gender inequality at the gym.
The air of feeling like the weights zone is a male zone isn’t make believe. She told PopSugar, “Ultimately, I bring the fire, dedication and skill to the gym, so the other trainers respect and appreciate it and recognize me as such. The best way to overcome any sort of inequality in the gym or otherwise is to outwork and out-talent those who honestly waste too much time worrying about and looking at other people.”
Beyond the fitness, Alcantara inspires us to go after our dreams, whatever they are.
Basically, don’t waste your life thinking about what you want to be. Start a plan and chase after the person you are meant to be.
Oh, and her secret to her relationship with her husband?
Intimacy is one of the greatest things that keeps a relationship going. Some well done PDA can go a long way.
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