Building A Great Physique, The Joys Of Fatherhood, and How To Get Results
Abel Albonetti is a fitness model, trainer, and a proud MuscleTech Athlete. He began his fitness journey at the age of 13 and hasn’t looked back since. MuscleTech.com had the opportunity to speak with Abel about how to build a great physique, the joys of fatherhood, and the importance of sticking with your fitness journey, even if you’re not getting the exact results that you hoped for right away.
Q: Congratulations to you and your wife on the birth of your second child! Now you have a boy and a girl. What does being a father mean to you?
A: “I’ve always wanted to be a family man. I grew up in a big family. I’m one of 12 brothers and sisters. So, having a family to me was such a big deal because I wanted someone that I could grow old with and cherish and take care of, and then they can do the same for me when I get older. (Laughing) The last thing I want to do is get old and not have someone there.
Being a dad is so important to me in order to have someone that I can pass things on to – either sports, or things that I love that I’m hoping they’ll love too. But just seeing my kids grow up, that’s going to be the major thing. I’m already seeing my little son grow up and it’s just so amazing to see. It’s just awesome.”
Q: Are you planning on being very hands on when it comes to your children’s health and fitness journeys?
A: “Oh, for sure. That’s going to be a thing that I’m really looking forward to. I’m excited to watch them grow up and I’m hoping that my son will enjoy fitness as much as I do. I think it’s going to be one of those things where I can go and work out with him and have father and son time in the gym. And even my daughter, I’m hoping that she’ll enjoy fitness because fitness is more than just looking good. It’s being healthy and being athletic. I think a big part of having a good life is being healthy.”
Q: Now, take us through your fitness journey. When did you really start working out and what was the reason behind it for you?
A: “I started working out when I was about 13. My dad had a weight bench at the house and it was nothing serious at first. I was just working out with my friends to see who could get stronger. But then when I turned 17, I had a part-time job and I worked at a place that was right next to a YMCA. So after work, I’d go straight to the gym and workout because I was home-schooled.
Since I was home-schooled, I was not able to play high school sports. So, when all my other friends were at practice, I was at the gym working out. That’s kind of where the journey began for me. I didn’t know where I wanted to go with it. I just knew that I loved it, and I loved that feeling of pushing myself.”
Q: We saw one of your #TransformationTuesday posts. The comparison photos showed you at 18 years old when you were 155 pounds and then at 28 years old when you were 186 pounds. You’ve said that it wasn’t a fast or easy process. So, what is it that keeps you going?
A: “It’s not really physical to me. You know, like looking in a mirror. It was never like that for me. Yeah, it helped with me seeing results and pushing myself, but that was never the main factor for me working out that hard. For me, it was just enjoying it. It was going into the gym and pushing myself. Knowing that I was getting better as far as stronger, or whatever my goals were at that time.
Then later on down the line when I started getting bigger, when I started seeing physical results from it after going day after day, year after year, then I kind of got hooked on building my body up. So, it kind of switched over in time. But at first, that was not the main goal. Of course, when you’re a teenager you want to look good. But I really enjoyed working out.
Working out is one of those things where you will look back on and a lot of the times you won’t get the results that you think you should have. So, you have to have a mentality to keep going even though you don’t think you see the results you should. I think that’s where I’ve gotten to where I’m at today. Because no matter what I’ve always gone to the gym day after day. I didn’t look back and think, ‘Well, I did all this work, but I really think I should be ten pounds heavier at this point.’ And then get depressed and stop going to the gym.
I see a lot of people, especially new people, who go to the gym for six months or even a year, and they look back and are like, ‘I’ve done all this work and I don’t think I’m at where I should be, or where someone else is at.’ So, they get depressed, and then don’t go back to the gym. For me, I’ve just always kept going and I think that’s how I’ve gotten to where I’m at today. I think that is a major point that I want to get across to people – that eventually you will get there. Then when you look back in let’s say five or six years, you’ll be blown away by how much progress you’ve made. As long as you don’t look back at a week, or two weeks, or even six months to a year, and get depressed and stop going, then you will see the results. It might not be as fast as you want it to be, but you will see them.”
Q: When you were younger did you ever think you’d become a fitness model and be on the cover of fitness magazines?
A: “Absolutely not, absolutely not. When I first was getting into it, no one was really doing it. The only people that I knew in the fitness industry were big, huge bodybuilders who were 300 pounds and winning the Mr. Olympia competition. There were not really fitness models out there, who were smaller guys, making a career out of it. So, I didn’t think that was anything I could do in terms of making a living out of it.
Later on, when I was working out and hit around 22-years-old, that’s when social media really started to explode. Social media turned the fitness industry into something different where people who looked like me started making a career out of it, and that’s kind of when I got started.
So, I started off on Facebook. Then when I started blowing up on Facebook, I was like, ‘Man, this could be something.’ So, at first, No. Absolutely not. I did not think I’d be sitting where I’m at today.”
Q: Do you feel a lot more pressure on you now that you are a published fitness model with a massive following than when you were originally starting out and just doing it for fun?
A: “I’ve always wanted to put out really good content from day one. It was never something that I just put on the backburner. I want to put out quality content to help people as far as working out to get stronger, healthier, or even to look better. And that was my content from day one. It was really to help people.
I started a website way back then showing people what I did personally so they could see how I got to where I’m at. I’ve kept that same mentality throughout my career really focusing on trying to help other people out. I think that’s where I get the most joy out of it, as well. I really try to focus on other people more than just myself, and that’s what gives me joy.”
Q: You’ve said, ‘Working out is only a piece to the puzzle when it comes to building a great physique.’ So, what are the other key pieces to the puzzle?
A: “The other pieces would be your nutrition, your supplements, and your recovery. All those things have to be almost as perfect as you can get them. There are little things that you can to do here and there to adjust that, but all those things are pieces to the puzzle if you want a great physique. You can’t really have one without the other.
When you’re young, when you’re let’s say 16 to 22, you can get away with having a bad diet for the most part. You’re just at the stage where your metabolism, most of the time, you can handle eating poorly. But at a certain point it will catch up to you. So, you need to have a good diet, good supplements, and you need to have a good workout in order for you to see the results you’re looking for. Because if one is not there, you’re not going to see the results that you think you should. And then you’re going to get depressed and think, ‘Why in the world am I not seeing the results?’”
Q: Why is it so important for you to share what you’ve learned on your fitness journey with other people?
A: “When I was younger going to the gym, I’d see the same people go over and over again to the gym. They would workout hard, but never do anything different and they looked the same years down the road. So, I wanted to be someone who could show people a better way in order to see results year after year instead of going to the gym all the time, but never seeing those results. And I think, back then, I was like, ‘Well, I can show people how to do that because I’ve done that.’”
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a MuscleTech Athlete?
A: “It was always a dream for me to become a MuscleTech athlete because when I got my first supplements ever, I was 17 and my dad took me to a GNC, and MuscleTech was the very first product that I’ve ever taken in my life. So, for me to be sponsored by that company, it’s absolutely insane. I was blown away by the thought of even of being a MuscleTech Athlete.
I’ve always put their products on a high pedestal. They have the top supplements and you want to take the best quality supplements that you can because if you’re going to be going to the gym and working out that hard, and you’re going to be watching what you eat, you need to have quality supplements in order to see the results you want.
MuscleTech is a company that I truly believe in. So, when I talk to people about MuscleTech products, I can tell them firsthand how well they work.”
Q: What are your favorite MuscleTech products?
A: “Right now, Amino Build Elite is the supplement that I take during my workouts. It helps with recovery and endurance so I take that throughout every single workout no matter what workout I’m doing. Post-workout, I always take Hyper-Build for creatine, about five grams of creatine post-workout.
Then Iso Whey Clear is my favorite protein right now because it doesn’t really taste like the average protein powder. It mixes like a BCAA and it has that fruity flavor that I’ve never had in a protein powder. A lot of products out there have fruity flavors, but it doesn’t necessarily taste great to me. The Iso Whey Clear is absolutely amazing so that’s probably my favorite protein powder on the market right now.
I take different supplements at different times of the year. If I’m trying to lean down before a contest or photo shoot, then of course I’ll get on Hydroxycut. But right now I’m trying to build muscle since I’m in kind of in my off-season with not being able to travel and everything.”