Andres Soler came to Australia from Columbia in 2012 for work, not to become Superman. The latter became the outcome.
Andres was an IT engineer back home, and came here as he saw taking in the culture while learning English would become valuable to his flourishing career. After inevitably falling in love with the people and culture, along with his ability to pick up English quickly, Andres decided to call Australia home.
Andres became friends with Michael Mischefski who was in the process of opening up one of Melbourne’s newest gym franchises: F45 Training South Melbourne.
F45 focuses on functional training as opposed to your normal fitness clubs where you often see dudes split training; Leg day, chest day etc.
I sat down with Andres at his home training ground, F45 South Melbourne, to discuss his ambition to compete in, and win, bodybuilding competitions. The difference being: Andres is preparing for these competitions by performing functional training, which is unorthodox in Generation Swole.
Andres has his eyes set on winning the ANB Victoria State Bodybuilding Figure Competition title, and then the prize is taking out the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness competition.
So what is functional training? “It’s when you train by performing movements that your body is designed to perform” Andres explains “Compound movements where you’re using several joints at once is an example”. I asked Andres to describe a functionally trained individual in two words “an athlete, and a machine” he answered.
Make sense. Thinking in primal terms our bodies are designed to perform certain movements and functions biomechanically so why not train them this way.
But what about hypertrophy training (lifting heavy/split training)? I hear you ask.
Andres trains six days a week. He alternates between circuit training and functional resistance training, ending the training week on the Saturday with a one-hour circuit/resistance combination work out. Nutrition is any bodybuilder’s secondary if not primary focus and for Andres there is no exception. He uses science to manipulate his metabolism resulting in lean muscle gains. I walked in on a photo shoot before this interview so I can vouch that what he is doing is working.
His idols include local Damien Rider who paddle boarded 800km for charity; and to call him a functional beast/machine hybrid would be an understatement.
Andres can be described as a smiling bundle of energy. I asked him what his life philosophy is. “Whenever life knocks me down I get back up. This fuels my inner strength. I’m always on the search for more. As long as I am alive I will strive to turn my dreams into realities”.
Andres’s idealism is infectious. I truly believe there are great things in store for this man. Taking on these competitions from a functional training angle will take any victories beyond aesthetic validation. It will take him to greatness.
We will be following Andres at the competitions. Stay tuned.