By Chris & Eric Martinez (DDT)
Ladies and gents, bodybuilders and figure competitors, active and sedentary peeps, get ready for an epic interview with the one and only Isabel “The Latin Assassin” Norton!
DDT: Could you give us a little background info on who Isabel Norton is?
Isabel: I was born and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. I moved to Tampa in 2000 to attend University of South Florida, where I pursued my bachelorette degree in Biomedical Sciences. In early 2004, I met and fell head over heels for none other than Dr. Layne Norton. Granted he wasn’t a Dr. then, but he was and still is the kind of man who I want to spend every waking moment with. I have been described by my close friends as a very loyal, passionate and no nonsense kind of person. If I have something to say, I don’t hold back.
“Layne calls me his “pit bull” because I tend to be very protective of my loved ones.”
DDT: That’s awesome that he calls you his “pit bull.” Being Latin American and from Puerto Rico do you ever see yourself doing a figure competition where you are representing Puerto Rico or doing something to give back to the Puerto Rican community?
Isabel: I had never really thought about that, but it would be pretty neat. I am extremely proud of my heritage and I truly wish more people in Puerto Rico took care of their health. It’s so hard to find healthier options there without spending an arm and a leg. So if I could give anything back it would be to help guide those who are interested in health and fitness through the process of choosing healthier and tasty options. We are all about comfort food in Puerto Rico, so trying to combine that with a healthier lifestyle would be ideal.
DDT: What got you started or inspired to get into the (Health, Fit, Athletic, Bodybuilding) Lifestyle?
Isabel: I was always interested in sports and lifting. But it wasn’t until I met Layne that I was introduced to natural bodybuilding. I got more and more interested in the sport and decided to become a judge. I believe the first show I judged was the OCB Midwest States in 2007. From there I began to look at the sport in whole different way, I thought to myself, how can I judge something that I have never done myself? So I decided to compete in figure and in 2009 I did three shows, I was hooked! From there the Latin Assasin was born. Last year I competed in two more shows, where I ended up winning my pro-card with the NGA.
This year I did my first powerlifting meet in March and I have to admit, I like lifting heavy! Nothing better to make the muscles grow, it’s been a completely different training approach and I like the challenge. I’d love to do another meet sometime in late summer.
“I like lifting heavy!”
DDT: We’re definitely with you on the lifting heavy for bigger muscles and would love to see more women doing it. Do you see yourself doing more figure competitions in the future and possibly becoming one of the best in the sport?
Isabel: I would love to compete in more figure competitions in the future. There are some pretty incredible physiques in natural bodybuilding, so to be able to stand on stage with those ladies and look like I belong up there would be a dream come true. I have a lot of improvements to make in order to get there so for the time being I am truly enjoying lifting heavy.
DDT: How did you stumble upon the nickname “The Latin Assassin?”
Isabel: That’s a very good question!! LOL!! Well it was a play in words on what Layne and I consider are my best bodyparts: LATin ASSasin. My lats and my derriere. LOL!
DDT: Lol. Thanks for clarifying that. How did you and Layne meet?
Isabel: Layne and I met in April 16th, 2004 via match.com. Yes this is true and online dating does work! When we met in person, it was an instant connection. We were both completely and undeniably head over heels for each other within a few days. It’s funny, because I never took it seriously when people said: “When you meet the right person, you just know”. Well we did! We’ve been together ever since. He moved to Illinois in the summer of 2004 and as soon as I was done with my degree I moved as well. We got married in Puerto Rico on May 24th, 2008. Signing on to match.com was definitely one of the best decisions of my life.
DDT: Well after hearing how you guys met, we think a lot of people are going to be considering online dating. You and Layne live a pretty busy life (Competitions, Trade Shows, Conventions, Training Clients, Training your own physiques), how do you balance it all out at the end of the day without getting burnt out?
Isabel: We are fortunate enough to be able to work from the comfort of our own home, so that does help immensely. We have found a pretty good balance in life and in business by communicating with each other. I mean Layne is extremely passionate about his work, so much he doesn’t consider it work half the time. So we try our best to delegate as much as we can to each other so neither of us gets “burned out”. With that said, we are home bodies and love spending time with our pups at home. So we make sure to make time for ourselves whenever we can. Training is part of our daily routine so it just makes it that much easier, we both enjoy it so that also helps.
DDT: That is awesome! With that said, at times life throws curve balls at you to test your mental toughness and heart as a person. How do you deal with overcoming these obstacles?
Isabel: Truthfully, I turn to my best friend, my husband. He truly is my rock in every way. Whenever I’ve had any reason to cry, he is the first person there to catch them and ease my heavy heart. The same goes for mental or physical toughness, we’ve all doubted ourselves at some point or another, so having him there to reassure and encourage me makes the world of difference. Having that kind of support and knowing that I will always have him there by my side makes me the luckiest girl in the world.
DDT: You’re very blessed to have your significant other by your side when facing adverse situations. Being the “Latin Assassin,” what do you like to do with your free time and of course for fun? We have seen some of Layne’s salsa moves at the Olympia, so we assume salsa dancing is in on the list. Lol
Isabel: Free time, what is that? I’m kidding, I love spending time with my friends and family. Layne would probably say I like to go shopping; I’m a sucker for a killer pair of heels. LOL! I have also gotten to enjoy the world of interior decorating. I’ve had fun decorating our home, so it’s become sort of a side project for me, which I would love to see formulate into a more serious business venture.
Layne, dancing? Oh I need to see this!! We really enjoy going to the beach, a good movie, dinner with friends, I mean we’re pretty boring all in all.
DDT: LOL. We will have to post the salsa video on You Tube! Jk. What kind of advice can you give to an aspiring female figure competitor who’s barely beginning their journey?
Isabel: The best advice that I can give any female who wants to compete in any sport, figure, bikini, powerlifting, etc. is do their homework. Figure out what you are passionate about and educate yourself as to what will work for your body. Figure out what type of training you’re going to have to do and the proper nutrition, it depends on what your individual goals are. Also if they decide to seek the help of a professional, make sure they are the right fit for you. I see so many girls choose a coach because that’s the one everyone else uses; well make sure you do your homework. Make sure they can make an individualized plan for you, because there is nothing cookie cutter about our bodies. We are all different and what worked for me, won’t necessarily work for everyone. Take the time to study the organization you choose to compete in and learn their posing requirements. Posing is key when stepping on stage; it’s basically the only way possible you can show off all your hard work. So take your time, make sure you give yourself a realistic time frame to diet so that your metabolism and overall health don’t suffer. It’s a heck of an experience and one of the most rewarding ones of my life to date. I got to push myself harder and farther than I ever thought possible.
DDT: That’s what it’s all about…Challenging yourself and pushing yourself to greatness! With this interview closing, any secret Puerto Rican dishes/recipes that The Latin Assassin can share with us?
Isabel: Well as for Puerto Rican recipes, Layne is a big fan of mofongo. Here is a quick recipe that I use:
- 3 cups extra virgin oil for frying
- 3 cloves of garlic, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin oil
- 2 green plantains, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
- salt to taste
- Heat extra virgin oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Mash the garlic with the olive oil in a mortar and pestle. Combine garlic mixture in a large bowl; set aside.
- Fry the plantain chunks until golden and crispy, but not brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the fried plantains into the bowl with the garlic mixture. Toss to coat. Mash the coated plantains with the mortar and pestle until smooth. Season with salt. Roll the plantain mixture into two large balls or several small balls before serving.
You can add any sort of meat or seafood that you want to this. I make the mofongo in the mortar and pestle and keep the shape of it, so it looks like a bowl of plantains. Inside I add the protein (chicken, shrimp, lobster, etc). It’s absolutely delicious. We save it for special occasions as it is higher in carbs and fat. I also used this to stuff my turkey for Thanksgiving and it was so yummy! It was a crowd pleaser!
DDT: Sounds delicious! We would like to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with us. You’re a true inspiration!
Isabel: Thank you again for the interview I really appreciate it!
Watch Isabel Squat 225 SQUAT DEEP OR GO HOME STYLE!
Isabel does posing consultations locally (Tampa Bay Area) or via Skype. For more information please feel free to contact her at [email protected]. Also coming soon is her and Layne’s new web-site: www.biolayne.com so be on the lookout for a new and improved web-site full of great information.
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