Ronny Camacho
September 21, 2003

Ronny Camacho is a friend of mine. I have know him for a few years now, and he works hard in both familiy life, work life, and bodybuilding. He is a positive role model in bodybuilding, always friends, always talking to people, and a caring person. On on Saturday night, Ronny worked hard and won the Overall at the 2003 NPC Tournament of Champions here in Los Angeles (Culver City). It could not have happened to a nicer guy. Here is some information on Ronny.

Ronny Camacho, interviewed by Ron Avidan.

  • So has the NPC overall win set in yet?

      No, it has not yet. I am still overwhelmed by everything. It was very exciting. I am 'Is that my trophy there?'

  • How did you feel about the win?

      I felt good. I was surprised, because it was a good show, with good competitors, and it could of went either way. I was there to fight, and may the best man win. I guess it was my day. I went into the show to do my best, with no intentions of winning, but when I actually worked, it was like the hard work paid off. The training, eating, preparing paid off. I did the 2002 NPC Ironman last year, and placed 5th in the Heavyweights. This year, I also did the Heavyweights and won.

  • What made the difference between this year and last year?

      Conditioning was the number one thing. Conditioning period. And just the right training technique and diet. Those are the top three things. As far as diet goes, I has a lot of variations in food, not just chicken and broccilo, but a lot of different items. I had a high caloric diet, 4,000 calories a day, and I weighed 198 pounds for the show.

  • What is your next show?

      The next show is the Border States on September 27th in San Diego. After that, I probably will do the 2004 California.

  • How is your wife Elise doing?

      She is my number one supporter. She is the rock. Without her, I could not have done this show, period. She painted and prepped me for the show.

  • So tell me about yourself?

      I was born on November 8, 1971 in Frankfurt, Germany. I was raised by my mother, my original dad was never the picture. My mother, Sylvia married an American soldier, Raymond when I was 12, and we came to America. We came first to Atlanta, Georgia for one year, and then to Honolulu, Hawaii. I call Raymond my dad, he is retired now from the Army.

  • What high school did you go to? Did you play any sports?

      Moanalua High School in Honolulu. I played football (receiver and strong safety), basketball (guard), and soccer (center forward). When I was a junior in high school, I lived on my own, as my parents were transferred off island to North Carolina, and I did not want to go because I loved Hawaii, and I had all my friends there. I rented a room in an apartment with some roommates.

  • And after high school?

      I had to work and survive. I worked for Office Depot, and Dollar Rent A Car. I eventually started going to the University of Hawaii, majoring in Sociology. I graduated in 1998.

    Ronny, Elise, and Ronny Jr.

  • How did you meet Elise?

      I met my wife, Elise at college, the University of Hawaii, at a college get together. It was like love at first site. I went over to my friends who were hanging out with here, then conveniently talked to her, and then I started to hang around with her, the dated her, and progressed from that.

  • How did you ask her to marry you?

      First I asked her father and her mother for permission. I wanted to do it the traditional way, with their blessing. It was their only daughter, and I wanted to reassure them that she would be in good hands. I am glad they said yes. Then, my mom and her mom busted out in tears, as they were both there. Elise was at work when I did that. Then I made reservations at Aaron's Restaurant in Hawaii, and then I had the ring come out on a platter of strawberries, and that was my cue to propose to her. I had the whole family there, hidden by the bar, when I proposed. She was very surprised. I was sweating. And she said yes. We got married on October 3rd, 1999.

  • You have a son.

      Yes, Ronny Junior. He was born, July 12th, 1993. He was from a previous girlfriend. I just got full custody of Ronny in August of 2002. Things happened in your life early, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

  • How did you get started in bodybuilding?

      I got involved in bodybuilding via martial arts. I wanted to get stronger on the ground for grappling purposed so I started lifting weights, and then I just caught the bug. This was around 1996. My dad was a Tae Kwon Do instructor, so I learned various martial arts. I also amateur boxed for five years. It was to build my hand skills, because Tae Kwon Do was all legs. My dad taught it was a good idea to mix it up so I would be versatile.

  • So when did you move to California?

      I moved to California in September of 1999. I moved to California because of my job. I was working with American Airlines as a flight attendant (I started in 1998 with them), and I am still with American Airlines today. They are good to me. They did not have a base in Honolulu, but they did in Los Angeles. Elise was ok with it too, and she was behind me 100%.

  • What was your first bodybuilding show?

      I saw a show, called the Hawaiian Islands Bodybuilding Championships, and Shawn Ray was guest posing there. I actually got to meet him, and he was very nice to me. I also got to meet Ronnie Coleman before he was big time, as he was there too. Shawn Ray inspired me, because he was not one of the biggest bodybuilders, but he had a complete physique. He was very pleasing to look at, and the way he presented himself onstage was cool. Then I started reading every single bodybuilding magazine out there, and tried to get the most information out there that I could, the exercises, the nutrition. Then I started training myself, and in 2000, I decided to do my first show, which was the Paradise Cup in Honolulu. I did the novice light heavyweight, and got first, and also they awarded me best poser. That made me open my eyes, and I said 'Maybe I do have a chance in the sport'.

  • What do you like best about the sport?

      That you pretty much depend on yourself. In this sport, you only have yourself to blame, you are the only one that eats your food, does your training. It is all on your shoulders.

  • What don't you like about the sport?

      All the negative haters, sometimes there is too much negativity in the sport. Everybody is all out for themselves. It would be more beneficial to the sport if everybody would treat everyone better. Everyone should just promote the sport in a positive manner. With bodybuilding, there is a stereotype of aggression. A lot of people seem to forget that we all started from the ground up, we were not always in shape. Some people, once they get some success, let it go to their head. You need to stay real.

  • So how did you meet Pano Fragoulis, your trainer?

      He was a mutual friend of some of my friends, but his wife approached me, and said that he was looking for a training partner, and she thought I was perfect to work out together. We worked out together, and we decided to get ready for this show (Tournament of Champions). Pano has helped me mentally in showing me that there is a balance in bodybuilding and family life. Also, he helped me in understanding the sport, and pretty much, guiding me through all of the steps in training, diet and walking me through it. I followed what he said, and I got the overall win.

    Melvin Anthony, with Pano Fragoulis, and Ronny