An interview with 2016 Special Award -Superbods Challenge Winner Andrew Aurellano

by Oliver Carnay

Twenty-three years old New Yorker ANDREW AURELLANO was getting ready to leave before the main Century Tuna’s Superbod Challenge in Manila when this writer caught up with him:

Hollywoodflip: Can you tell us more about your background?

AA: I currently reside in Yonkers, NY. I graduated back in May 2015 from CUNY Queens College with a Bachelors in Nutrition & Exercise Science. I am a part time physical therapist aide and currently finishing the prerequisites to get into a Doctorate in Physical Therapy Program. I am also a NPC Men's Physique competitor (2x Nationally Qualified), I love to snowboard,  played varsity tennis back in high school for 4 years, I ballroom dance, and I played the trumpet in the orchestral and marching band.   

Hollywoodflip: Can you tell me about your parents?  How are you growing up?  Were you skinny or a little heavyset?  What motivated you to have this this perfect body now?  How long did it take you to have this body?  When did you start really working out heavily?

AA: Both my parents were born and raised in the Philippines. My father is one of eleven children and my mother is one of four. My father grew up in Quezon City, while my mother grew up in Valenzuela City.

I am one of three children. We are 1 year apart and I am the middle child. Growing up, I have always been very skinny and experienced a lot of verbal  criticism from my fellow peers at school, and sometimes even from my family members saying that I looked “weak” and “sickly.” Finally during my junior year at Archbishop Stepinac High School, I started to think of a solution to my problem, and I began to lift weights and perform calisthenics. I started to do a lot of research about exercising and lifting movements so that I can teach myself the proper forms and movement patterns through a mirror. I have been lifting and exercising for 6 years now. It took a lot of hard work and patience to get to where I am today. 

Hollywoodflip: How and when did you hear about Century Tuna's Superbods competition?

AA: I heard about the Century Tuna's Superbod competition through my father, who was watching TFC and saw the commercial, which was about 2 weeks before the competition in LA.

Hollywoodflip: Why did you enter the contest?

AA: I entered the contest because I aspire to inspire and educate other about the benefits of healthy living. 

Hollywoodflip: What does Superbods mean to you?

AA: A Superbod is an individual who aspires to have a healthy image of themselves that could inspire others. By not only portraying the physicality of being "healthy," but also having the eagerness to learn and grow more intellectually. With more knowledge, a Superbod can educate other about the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

Hollywoodflip: How often do you go to the gym?  What is your usual regimen?  Which do you prefer -- Muscled or toned body?  Why?  Which parts of your body you always want to work on when working out?

AA: I go to the gym pretty much everyday. Lifting and working out has been my passion for the past 6 years, and it will continue to be. I do a 5 day split workout routine dividing each muscle group for different days. My split workout routine consists of legs, chest, back, shoulders and then arms/core in that respective order. After the cycle ends, I would repeat the cycle again. 
I prefer having a strong and "healthy" body, because being healthy is not just having a fit body, but also having a great and healthy mind. I believe the physicality of the body is a personal preference to each individual. My favorite muscle groups that I enjoy working out on are my legs and chest. 

Hollywoodflip: Which part or parts of your body do you like best?  What part of your body you are not happy and would want to improve more?

AA: I appreciate every part of my body, but one thing I would like to have is a little more mass on my legs. I am very proud of the strength in my legs, but I would like to improve the mass in them. Overall, I like my body the way it is.

Hollywoodflip: If you are given a chance to change some parts of your body, what would they be?

AA: Honestly, there's nothing I would change about my body. I've learned how to appreciate myself for who I am and what I was given. I am grateful for the gift we are all given, which is the gift of life.

Hollywoodflip: How do you encourage other people to be athletic and improve their lifestyle?

AA: I encourage other people to be athletic and improve their lifestyle by educating them about the benefits that comes along with it. I try to have them understand the quality of life and how we should not take our lives for granted.

Hollywoodflip: After looking at all the contestants, did you think you have a big chance to take the title?

AA: I honestly do not like to think highly of myself and that I am better than others. I like to see myself as another guy in the world doing the best he can in life. Everyone has their own story and has a chance to everything. It depends on the hard work and determination of each individual. I came into this competitions with no expectations and to just have fun.

Hollywoodflip: What sort of advice you would give to people who are starting to go to the gym?

AA: The advice I would give to people who are starting to go to the gym is to never compare yourself to others. Love yourself for who and how you are, and set goals. The only person you should really compete against is the person staring back at you in the mirror. Strive for progression and not perfection.

Hollywoodflip: How do you see yourself after five years?

AA: I see myself continuing to inspire and educate others through my passion of lifting. I would like to share my experiences and knowledge to so that they can optimize the gift of life by building a stronger and healthier body. I also plan on opening my own gym that provides different services to accommodate each individuals' goal.

Hollywoodflip: Good luck with all your endeavors!