Born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador, Rafael’s journey into fitness began on the soccer field, where he honed his athletic skills and developed a love for competitive sports. After moving to Houston, TX, for high school, Rafael played both high school soccer and competitive club soccer, showcasing his determination, teamwork abilities, and commitment to the sport.
Rafael’s passion for fitness and strength training flourished during his time at Saint John’s University in Minnesota. While studying for his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Health Science, Rafael discovered a new love for bodybuilding. As he transitioned away from competitive soccer, he embraced the challenges and rewards of the bodybuilding style of training, focusing on building muscle, strength, and sculpting his physique.
During his college years, Rafael had the privilege of serving as the Strength and Conditioning intern at the College of Saint Benedict for an impactful year. In this role, he designed and implemented comprehensive strength and conditioning programs for a diverse range of athletes, including those involved in soccer, hockey, tennis, basketball, and volleyball. This experience further deepened his knowledge and practical understanding of effective training methods.
Beyond the gym, Rafael’s passion extends to the kitchen, where he embraces the joy of cooking and discovering new, healthy recipes. One of his favorite recipes is his protein pancakes, inspired by renowned bodybuilder Chris Bumstead. These pancakes exemplify Rafael’s belief that nutritious meals can be both delicious and exciting. He understands that sustainable fitness goals go hand in hand with a varied and enjoyable diet.
Fluent in both Spanish and English, Rafael excels as a bilingual communicator. This allows him to connect with individuals from different backgrounds and provide personalized guidance to help them achieve their fitness goals. Whether you prefer English or Spanish, Rafael is here to support and guide you on your fitness journey.
While Rafael thrives on working with athletes, he also has a passion for helping individuals with busy schedules achieve weight loss and develop a healthier lifestyle. He empathizes with the challenges people face when balancing work, family, and personal wellness and aims to provide simple yet effective strategies to help them achieve their fitness goals. Rafael firmly believes that exercise and proper nutrition can transform one’s life, and he is dedicated to guiding others in developing a healthier relationship with food and physical activity.