Unfinished Business for Monique Ricardo

Monique Ricardo, formerly Minton, took the fitness modeling world by storm when she starting competing in the NPC. She’s been on the covers of FLEX and Muscle & Fitness HERS and seen inside a number of other fitness magazines. Monique achieved IFBB Pro status in the Figure division but transitioned into the bikini division. Rewind to a year ago, she was preparing for the inaugural Bikini International but had to withdraw. It was mid-way through her prep that Monique found out she was pregnant with her first child. I caught up with Monique as she prepares to take care of some unfinished business.



Do you still go by Momo?

Momo Ricardo then?
Yes Sir.

How about Momma Momo?
Well, I am a momma now! lol

So take us back…you were accepted and invited to the 2011 Bikini International but you found out you were pregnant – right?
Yes! I was a few weeks into my 2011 Arnold training when I found out I was pregnant!

Congratulations! How old is the little guy?
Baby Maxwell is now five months.

Was there lots of kicking and punching during birth?
Yes! He was upside down my whole pregnancy and kicked my ribs the whole time!

As a new mom what’s been the biggest challenge?
I think the biggest challenge of being a new mom in the beginning is trying to find time to workout or really do anything! A newborn needs a lot of attention!


Momma and Maxwell

Did you workout during your pregnancy?
I did some cardio and rolled in my gi until 6 months, after that I had no stomach muscles to sit up and my hips didn’t move correctly. I lifted weights in the beginning but my doctor told me not to lift so heavy to protect the baby. I couldn’t lift light weight. I guess a mental thing. So I stopped after a few months.

How much weight did you gain?
I gained 20 pounds of total pregnancy. Five pounds of actually weight, after baby, fluids, etc.

What tips would you give moms out there about staying healthy and exercising?
Eat healthy!!! It helps so much with total pregnancy and post pregnancy! Being fit and then becoming pregnant makes your birth experience much easier and faster. I was only in labor for 23 minutes!

Wow that’s crazy. I’m sure a number of women wish they were in labor that long. LOL.

What’s one thing you wished someone would have told you or you knew before giving birth?
I got so much advice from many people about giving birth! A lot of women shared negative experiences, which just scared me! I had such a pleasant experience giving birth and was so surprised how easy and enjoyable it was! I wish someone told me to bring more snacks though. HA! hospital food sounds good on paper but doesn’t taste like they describe it! lol

Is it harder to get the bikini body back or no problems?
I worked super hard after having the baby! I had a Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ) tourney 3 months later, so I needed to catch up fast! I was in the gym lifting heavy and on the mat rolling hard! I probably should have slowed it down a bit but sometimes you gotta go big or go home! haha

Are you still practicing MMA – what level are you at in your BJJ?
Yes! its part of my life! I am now a brown belt under Eddie Ricardo


All she does is Win! Win! Win!

What did you think of Brock getting knocked out?
I don’t think he was ready to come back to the fight…the guy guy had 12 inches of intestines taken from his belly and then he goes and fights Overeem who punches him in the stomach!

Are you glad he retired?
You can’t be the champion forever.

Can Overeem beat Junior?
No. Junior is more hungry, younger… in my opinion better on the ground, standup and boxing!

What about Chael Sonen – what’s your take on him?
He is very smart intelligent person who trains and works out really hard, he is talking a lot of crap trying to get a fight with the champion, and that’s the only way with his record that he is going to be able to do it. Some girls would take their clothes off to get attention… Chael Sonnen talks for attention.

Will he be able to beat Munos?
Munos is a better fighter but Chael is stronger mentally… which can win fights!

You trained with the Nogueiras – how hard was it to watch Minotauro get broken by Frank Mir?
I realized that night what a warrior he was! He didn’t even make a face or sound. I admire when a man acts like man and not run to his momma and stays home playing video games!

Monotauro and Monique

Did you see The Warrior that you made an appearance in?

What did you think of it?
It was very good! had a great storyline and one of the better MMA movies out there!

People may not know but how long were you there filming?
Almost 3 months!

Are you still with Team MuscleTech?
I am Team MuscleTech! 🙂

Will you be at their booth during the Arnold?
I will be at there booth!

What’s your favorite product?
They have a new fatburner out called Hydroxystim! It’s awesome. I’m using this product for my Arnold training.

Any issues with taking any supplements and breast feeding?
I didn’t take any supplements while breastfeeding, So it wasn’t an issue for me.

Who is a better model you or your sister?
Well it depends…I have three sisters and they are always competing to see who is gonna sit at the head of the table. haha

Anything else happen while away from the stage?
Not that I can think of. I had a lot of time to enjoy my pregnancy, my family and new baby!

What made you decide to compete again after having a baby?
I have never competed in the Arnold and I have always dreamed of competing there one day! I got the chance and I took it. I love setting goals and competing is fun process, so why not?! I’m also part of Team Bombshell and I appreciate all the help I am getting from them.

Good Luck in Columbus! If you want to keep up with what’s happening with Monique, “Like” her facebook page. Check back as Monique updates us here on Hardbody.com with her Arnold prep.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.