Brandi Galindo plays with a quiet confidence, but her physique cuts a loud impression.
Endless hours in the gym, where each workout is scripted by a fitness coach, combined with an air-tight diet have positioned this Sierra High graduate in the national spotlight.
By now, it’s been published: Galindo was the darling of the San Jose Championships on July 12, winning both her figure division and the overall trophy.
She emerged from a rigorous competition schedule, one that saw her compete in two events in a three-week span, with a fistful of gold and a new objective.
“I’ve been off stage now for two weeks and it still hasn’t set in,” she said of her victories at the San Jose Convention Center. “It was a stepping stone that I was trying to get to this year. Now that I have it, I have a bigger picture in mind.”
Galindo draws her inspiration from her 11-year-old daughter, Muriah Galindo, and the disappointment of yesteryear. She missed most of the 2011 and 2012 seasons recovering from knee surgery and failed to place at last year’s San Jose Championships in the bikini competition.
“It made me hungry for more,” she said. “I sat and talked to my coach and we decided bikini wasn’t right for me. I had too much muscle for bikini.”
Now she’s in figures, and by all accounts, figures to do really, really well.
“When we first got together, I saw this potential in her. She stood out in the gym and that’s pretty rare,” said fitness coach Charles Paz. “A year ago, she was competing in bikini competitions. With dieting and training, we bumped her up to figures.
“As for her potential, I see bigger and better things for her.”
Galindo turned that sting of disappointment in 2013 into muscle burn. She rededicated herself to the sport and pushed through her “offseason.” Though she didn’t compete, Galindo says she trained with Paz as though she were.
She continued to prep her meals and adhere to a “fish and asparagus, chicken and asparagus” nutrition plan. She grinded through two-a-day workouts, exhaustive cardio sessions and body-specific lifts, while maintaining a full-time job at Applied Aerospace Structures Corporation in Stockton.
In March, she competed at the Governor’s Cup in Sacramento and finished fifth in her figure division. Two weeks later, Galindo stepped on stage at the Fresno Classic and placed second.
Back-to-back shows took a toll on her, though.
“You wouldn’t think it would be a big deal to maintain for two weeks, but no,” she said. “I wouldn’t do it again. I don’t recommend it. Mentally, when you step off stage, your mind frame is ‘I can breath and relax. I don’t have to train. I’m not in prep mode.’
“As soon as you step off stage, you get that night but the next day you’re back at it again.”
The grind was worth it.
The San Jose Championships would be her pay off.
“My mind was set that I was coming home with two trophies,” she said. “I didn’t want anything less, because I felt the need to redeem myself from last year.”
The life of a figure competitor can be cruel and unforgiving. You are scored on everything, Galindo says, from your body composition and poses to your hair and makeup. Judges move competitors about the stage, presumably to get a better look at their total package.
“I hate to say this, but it’s almost like a glorified beauty pageant with muscle,” she said.
No one in San Jose had a better physique. She’s got the trophies to prove it. Galindo won her division – Open Class C – and then, standing among the other class winners, seized the overall title.
“Everyone keeps telling me it’s the best of the best,” she said.
That distinction will be decided in Pittsburgh later next month.
Galindo has set her sights on the IFBB North American Championships in the Steel City. There, Galindo will vie for her pro card against a field of about 30 others.
“Am I confident? Yes, because I know her work ethic. She’s a machine,” Paz said. “I think she will do really great. I’m excited for her and crossing my fingers she gets her pro card. She has a different body type than most, so I think she will stand out to the judges.”
Only one will come home with a pro card, Galindo said, “and that’s going to be me.”
She’s speaks unabashed, without hesitation about her wants and desires in the sport. The pro card means more to her than future endorsements or sponsorships. Galindo wants to be a teacher and healthy example for her family and friends.
“It’s another credential, yes, but it’s also about giving back what was given to you,” she said. “That’s my ultimate goal. That’s what I’ve been trying to since I got serious about this sport. I’ve been trying my best to help others out. I’m not a certified trainer. I’ve got a full-time job and work nine hours a day. But it’s something that I would like to use to give back to my community.”