Jenna & Jose: Muscle Building Machines

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South Padre Parade

cover models2This writer can’t recall exactly what Jose Rodriguez was eating that evening, and while it wasn’t the worst thing he could ingest, it wasn’t part of his usual diet – maybe a few more calories here, maybe a few “too many” carbs there; it may have even involved a tortilla or two. So as I questioned Jose on his dietary choices, he politely leaned over and quietly said, “Don’t worry, my body is a calorie burning machine.”

That phrase stuck with me because it was obviously true. After years of discipline, which entailed hard training at the gym, willpower at the table, and sheer focus, Jose had honed his body into a calorie/fat burning machine boasting a metabolism that, unlike most of the sedentary public, could easily burn an extra calorie here or an added carb there.

In fact, Jose and our other featured subject, Jenna Grado, don’t count calories; they’re way, way beyond that. The keys are diet and education, and especially learning what foods are good for the body (what foods burn fat). Greens, Jose explained, help burn fat. Another suggestion: stay away, far away, from dairy.

So why should you listen to Jose and Jenna? Well, look at the pictures. If that’s not convincing enough, note that it was not that long ago that Jenna graced our covers, but we had to call her back for another shoot because she’s gone through,what can only be deemed as a total body transformation. Of course, it’s not like there was something wrong with her body before; but as Jenna put it, she wanted to take it to the next level, to fulfill her goal and a dream. Now she’s training hard to compete in the 8th Annual NPC Rock Extravaganza to be held on July 28 in Laredo, where she will be competing in the bikini, figure and fitness categories.

cover models3A swim coach and personal fitness trainer, her own training regime consists of three one-hour sessions spread throughout the day, seven days a week. “I’ve always told my kids (students), ‘Hey, if you love something, go for it. Don’t limit yourself because you’ll never know what you can achieve.’ Well, I was limiting myself because I wasn’t pursuing my dream, which is essentially to be a fitness model.”

Jose, meanwhile, is no stranger to competition. In fact he’s one show away from obtaining his professional card, at which time he hopes to use prize money to finish his schooling and earn his degree in psychology. Originally from Laredo, he relocated to the Valley when he was hired to work at Lean Nutrition, a nutritional supplement store, and he’s also a personal trainer.

cover models4Throughout his life, Jose has been exposed to a healthier lifestyle. As he puts it, one of his role models is his dad, who also body builds. In fact his familial influences extend to his mother and grandmother.

Since he first began competing in 2007, he’s finished first in his division nine of 14 times. Jose is currently training for four shows he’s scheduled to compete in throughout the year, his next show being in Houston. To inquire about personal training services, Jose can be reached at

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