Gym Regular Ariana Speziale

A Love Affair With Fitness

Carlos Villamayor, Editor in Chief

A little over a year ago before she came to Pace, Ariana Speziale was invited by a friend to start working out at the gym. Following her workout that day, she couldn’t walk. Yet, she showed up at the gym again the next day; her love affair had begun.

“You become obsessed with the soreness that comes after working out,” Speziale said. “It is the feeling that you got something out of your activity.”

And that’s some activity indeed.

Speziale’s fitness regime includes a 45 to 90 minutes workout six days a week—she leaves Wednesdays off due to her class schedule—: legs on Monday; shoulders and arms on Tuesday; cardio and abdomen on Thursday; legs on Friday; shoulders, chest, and triceps on Saturday; and back and biceps on Sunday. In addition to this, she maintains a careful and regulated diet, focusing on high amounts of proteins, moderate carbs, and low fats. However, this sometimes conflicts with her fascination for chocolate chip cookies.

At the beginning, Speziale was concerned that her new obsession with bodybuilding would lead her to become a bulky, stereotypical female bodybuilder; however, she realized that this doesn’t have to be the case. The bodybuilding she has in mind preserves a feminine shape.

Speziale wants to take her bodybuilding to the next level and eventually compete, although she thinks this won’t happen until her junior year. She looks forward to getting involved with the National Physique Committee (NPC), particularly in the bikini division, and hopefully winning a trophy.

What keeps the eighteen-year-old going is the progress she sees in herself; a progress that she’s conscious does not happen right away. However, Speziale admits that every once in a while there are times she feels tempted to give up.

“There are people who just try to bring you down; but what matters is what I think, not what they think,” Speziale said. “This is my choice, I am not doing it for anyone else but me.”

Back at home, when Speziale started, her parents thought bodybuilding was something weird for her to do. Now, however, she considers them her biggest supporters; she even has influenced them into making healthier choices and staying physically active.

She thinks it funny that, while at home others saw her bodybuilding as somewhat odd, here at Pace people think it’s something cool. Indeed, people approach her at the gym and ask her advice—if they’re doing the exercise right or what food may be best for them— advice she is happy to give. In fact, assisting others is something Speziale sees in her future, as she hopes to become a certified personal trainer this summer and start working as one.

But the gym is not Speziale’s only love. For the Long Island native, there is also the beach and the ocean she grew up surrounded by. In fact, this partly contributed to her choice of becoming a licensed lifeguard after taking a special course at her high school.

When you see her doing perfect leg-raises at Goldstein gym, Speziale may seem all about discipline and strength. And though she is, she also strikes a balance with what her friends refer to as a motherly instinct, which may transcend to her major, nursing.

“I constantly try to put others before me, she said. “I want to make sure everybody is alright.”

A subject of Speziale’s nursing major that she has thoroughly enjoyed is anatomy, which she connects to bodybuilding.

“Something great about studying anatomy is that I began to understand why my body felt a certain way during a workout,” she said. “I started to see how things work in my body, why this muscle moves this way and why such exercise causes such reaction.”

Among the people she admires are Bella Falconi, a fitness model whom she describes as her “biggest motivation,” and Greg Plitt, also a fitness model.

For now, Speziale wants to stay in shape year-round and be happy, as she works toward her goal of winning a competition during her junior year.