How did you get started in fitness?
I’m Eric Leto, a sponsored fitness model, a certified Diet consultant and a secondary school teacher. I am living healthy since 4 years now, it completely changed my life and I wanted to be part of the fitness industry to be inspiring people as well as it would be a huge challenge for myself. My first photo shooting was in 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. I started to enjoy the time in front of the camera and was willing to continue, so I accessed the industry through model agencies and photographers.
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
I stay motivated by setting myself goals, short term and long term goals; I always try to improve myself, to get stronger mentally and sharper physically. Even Fitness Models have idols and athletes who inspire them, so I get often pushed by other Fitness Models.
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
I usually change every week, I try to switch training methods and machines as well as overall sets. There are different periods, such as lean muscle gain or cut periods, which occur during 8 weeks in general.
The best workouts are the ones who are very intense and high on repetitions with little rest between the sets. I like to feel the pump and the congestion after each set.
Here is a sample of what my week looks like.
Do you prefer free weights or machines?
I personally prefer using machines, because you can change the weight faster, especially if you are doing supersets or giant sets, as you need to decrease your rest time between those sets.
On the other hand, using free weights, gives you the possibility to change the range motion in every movement, in a way that you can train your muscles from different angles and require more fibres to work.
What mistakes did you make as a newbie?
As a newbie, I didn’t give much importance to nutrition; I knew that it was important to consume enough protein, but not the whole Diet concept and the role of the different micro- and macronutrients in the body function. It took me about 4 years to understand that I had to follow a strict Diet to see great results and see significant changes.
What are your thoughts on fasted cardio?
I simply love fasted cardio; first of all it makes you feel alive right in the morning, you start out the day with full of energy and you just feel awesome. Secondly, it’s really efficient; you are able to burn significantly calories and start the fat burning process right from the morning on.
Do you prefer HITT or Steady State Cardio?
I use both of them. Usually on non-training days I apply HIIT sessions and on the days I’m weightlifting, I do LISS training. I think both are great principles and deliver huge advantages.
Do you bulk and cut or stay lean?
I always stay lean all year around because of my model jobs, I get all the time great opportunities to work with people in the fitness industry and the only condition is by maintaining my shape all year long. Although, when I try to add some volume during winter, I do some lean bulking, where I maintain my body fat fewer than 10%.
How often do you perform cardio?
For the moment, I am doing cardio training every single day, even though some days I only perform 20 minutes. I think it’s important to maintain cardio training into one’s routine to keep your body balanced.
What does your diet look like?
I am currently doing a carb cycle Diet:
HIGH CARB DAYS
LOW CARB DAYS
How do you deal with cravings?
In the beginning, I had often cravings, but nowadays it doesn’t happen anymore, because I know my body so far and how to handle calorie deficits. Back in the day, I used to eat a lot of chewing gums when I started to feel cravings for some special foods; it helped me to forget about the sugar/fat need.
What supplement do you use?
I use the classic supplements on my daily basis, such as Amino Acids, Protein Isolate, Glutamine, Omega 3 and Multivitamins.
What are your favourite activities and hobbies away from the gym?
I love to travel and to explore new cultures and landscapes. Being with my family and having a great dinner with friends and of course with my half who supports me no matter what I’m going through are part of my favorite moments in life. I used to skateboard a lot, as well as play guitar in my free time. I love any kind of sports; swimming, bicycling, kickboxing, and basketball are my favorite picks. I used to play this sports a lot during summer.
What are your favorite supplements
In my opinion, the most important supplements are Amino Acids, they are essential for muscle recovery and muscle gains. Pre- workouts are also a favourite supplement, I don’t use it often, but when I do, I just love the extra pump that I get from it.
What 3 exercise would you say have contribted most to your physique?
Definitely free squats, deadlifts and bench-press. Essentially compound movements help you build those extra round and hard muscles.
What is the most common training question you get asked?
What are the best exercises for Abs? That is the most common question that I get from every kind of person. I think it’s almost everyone’s favourite body part, the ABS.
Do you listen to music when you train?
Yes, I usually listen to music when it happens to train alone. I like to listen to chill out music during workouts; it eases my mind and distresses me from the actual pressure of the weights.
What do you love most about competing?
It is always a new challenge; you compete against yourself most of the time, you try to beat yourself, your condition, your overall look and your shape. The people that you meet during the competitions, they have the same mind-set and determination as you, it’s really inspiring and motivating to be among those athletes. On every show, you learn something new and you improve yourself in every kind of way.
What are your plans for the future?
I try to be the best I can, as a person and as an athlete. I’m going to do a few competitions and I hope to be placing well on them. And I will never give up on my dream as well, to be on the cover of Muscle & Fitness Magazine.
Who are your favorite athletes and role models?
My idols are definitely Greg Plitt, David Morin and of course the legend Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What is you favorite quote?
‘Pain is temporary, Pride is forever’