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Giving Back
It's 6:45am in South Florida and Liza Hughes, her busy day already in full swing, is negotiating--or dictating, depending on who is telling the story--the number of pony tails her 8-year-old daughter Sophia is NOT going to wear to school today. Sophia is adamant it's going to be five and Liza is adamant it's not. As the two hot blooded Latinas passionately yet respectfully volley back and forth, Hughes' tall and handsome 10-year-old son Dillon calmly listens to every word. Despite the fervor, everyone is perfectly happy, very much loved, and deeply respected.

Liza smiles from ear to ear telling the story, shaking her head at her daughter's determination, yet proud that she stands up for what she believes in. Sophia is just like her mother. It's the reason they are so close and it's the reason they lock horns when they do. Yet Liza doesn't see it as a negative. Her daughter has chosen her as a role model, the greatest responsibility and honor a mother could have. At home and in every other aspect of her life, Liza Hughes is a leader by the example she sets because she expects nothing short of the best from herself. Her Puerto Rican feistiness makes her determined, and having to work harder than most for everything she has ever gotten in life has made her very strong and proud.

Those same character traits drove Hughes to change her life forever after she saw herself in a picture taken 5 months after her daughter was born. "I flipped out when I saw how chunky I was. I thought I was eating good and exercising, but it clearly wasn't working."

Hughes joined a personal training gym and progressed so quickly they encouraged her to compete in a figure contest. Just 7 and a half months after her daughter was born and only 12 weeks after she walked into the gym for the first time, Hughes placed 5th in her first NPC figure show and that was it. "I was hooked," she says proudly.

Hughes likes figure, but loves dance and choreography, something she says comes from her Latin bloodlines. She felt she needed some time before she could be ready to compete in a fitness contest. "I really wanted to do fitness. It looked like so much fun, but I wasn't strong enough and had no flexibility." She embraced the challenge and in 2003 she competed in her first fitness show, the NPC Debbie Kruck Classic, winning both her class and the overall title.

In 2005 she suffered a serious neck injury that her doctors said would end her fitness career. She refused to give up competing, however, and she switched to figure. With regular therapy, some changes to her training and the moves in her routine, she was safely back in action and poised to make her fitness comeback in 2006. In November of that year, Liza Hughes, mother of two, a drug-free athlete supposedly washed up as a fitness competitor, dominated her height class at the NPC Nationals and earned her IFBB Pro card.

It seemed an unthinkable goal just a couple years before, a ridiculous thought a couple years before that. It was the stuff that dreams are made of and Hughes has spent her life making dreams come true. Yet despite the enormity of her personal achievement, she found her greatest fulfillment helping others.

In 2004 Hughes decided to follow her heart and left her nursing job to become a personal trainer. While she loves competing, she gets a tremendous amount of satisfaction passing along the gifts that come with the fitness lifestyle to others and seeing their lives change for the better.

At home she is mom, in her community she is that beautiful and sexy Puerto Rican girl that models and competes, has two kids and is really fit. For those that have taken the opportunity to get closer and be trained by her or have taken one of her nutrition workshops, she is so much more than what you see on the surface. She is a deeply revered lifesaver and life-giver, even if Sophia challenges her fashion sense every now and then.

Liza Hughes offers online training as well as fitness and nutrition counseling. You can contact her through her website,

Liza Leg Training Workout

Liza's favorite workout is leg day where she trains her entire lower body. As she says, and we have to agree, †�"I love to train legs & glutes because in my opinion, there is nothing sexier than strong sculpted legs and a nice shapely bootie!†

Liza trains her legs with this workout once a week

Exercise Sets Reps
Smith machine wide stance squats 3 20-15-12
Smith machine reverse lunges 3 15-12-10
     Warm up on stationary bike for 10 minutes
Laying leg curls 4 10-15-12-10
Bench step ups 1 15 each leg
Treadmill sprints
incline 12 degrees, run for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds
level 6 x 3
level 7 x 3
level 8 x 3
level 7 x 3
level 6 x 3