Carmel Rodriguez Workout Routine and Diet Plan

Fitness Master Trainer Carmel Rodriguez is the founder and creator of the YG12 & YG20 series. She is known for perfecting acrobat-level handstands and inversions that have landed her one of the top spots on Instagram’s top 10 fitness trainers and specifically as Top 10 New Female Fitness Gurus (New York Observer).

Her secret? She believes that every outrageous move is achievable with consistent practice and a will to master it. As she says, “at some point you just have to stop thinking about it and do it”. She has been into fitness for over two decades and uses it as a tool to heal herself and grow. She says, “After having kids and facing some traumatic events in my life, I developed severe anxiety and depression.” She further adds, “Without knowing what else to do, I turned to movement. When I challenged my body, it challenged my mind and that enabled me to overcome my depression.”
She is a strict believer in the fact that constant dedication and strong will power would help you achieve whatever you have dreamed of, no matter how outrageous it may sound. Before she became a fitness instructor, she did a lot of odd jobs. She says, “I have been a janitor, a telephone sales girl, I’ve worked at Ikea, I worked at a bakery, I ran a chiropractic studio health office.”

Her unique barefoot workouts, amazing forms, and her signature handstands have taken the internet by storm. Her Instagram account boasts of more than 5 million followers mainly because of her great transformation to look great and losing weight. However, her personal journey to fitness is beyond losing weight. It is linked to anxiety and depression. She confesses, “Postpartum, I had no direction, a lot of difficulties, and had a vision of needing to do something with my body to make myself better.” She started running, and because having babies couldn’t afford her going to a gym, Carmel created her own exercises and worked out on the driveway outside her home. Carmel put in the work and overcame her challenges.

But now, she has realized her goal and that is to stay fit and inspire people and especially women around her to remain fit too. Finding her physical and mental empowerment, her dedication and hard work led to commercial acting and being a fitness certified trainer. She continues to share her work with her fans on Instagram and Youtube despite a busy schedule and travels a lot to shoot commercials for brands.

She says, “My style of training gives me life and direction. I’m working doing what I love.”

Before we move onto her diet schedule and workout routine, let’s have a look at her statistics.

Carmel Rodriguez Statistics

Full Name: Carmel Rodriguez

Weight: 125 – 135lbs (56.7 – 61.2kg)

Height: 5’2″ (157.5cm)

Nationality: Canadian

Profession: Actor, Model, Fitness Instructor

About her profession, she says, “I am a trainer, fitness influencer, and creator of the YG12 Series: a series of workouts that anyone can do in 12 minutes using their own body weight.”

Carmel Rodriguez Accomplishments

Carmel is a social media star, entrepreneur, actor, and fitness trainer. She’s also a vice president of a fitness company based in Canada.

Carmel Rodriguez Awards

Fitness Trainer of the Year 2011
Fitness Manager of the Year 2012

Carmel Rodriguez Workout Routine

HIIT Workouts
Carmel often trains using HIIT in order to strengthen “all the little stabilizing muscles”. This way she protects herself from injury when training with weights in the gym. For her, it is also important to have adequate nutrition and rest too before starting another fitness schedule.

She does HIIT exercises 4 times a week along with her weight training exercises. However, she does not advise the newcomers to try and aim for the same intensity. When she feels her body is tired or not rested, she swaps HIIT with polymetric exercises. She says,

“I don’t know that I’ll be successful at everything I work so hard for. But I damn sure I won’t stop trying. This is my ability, my way and my effort, and if there’s a will, then things will happen. And if it doesn’t.. Well then, it’s on to the next thing.” – Carmel Rodriguez

Training Style
Most of the time, Carmel likes to train without weights even at her home or in the gym, as she prefers functionality over strength. However, she will occasionally “throw in” a couple of heavier sets which involves weights while in the gym in order to strengthen up lacking body parts.

After every training session, Carmel makes sure to cool down by stretching each muscle properly, paying special attention to the muscle group she trained that day. One of her favorite stretches is hanging on the pull-up bar with her legs.

According to her, standing upright all the time compresses the spine, and stretching alleviates the compression and “elongates the spine again”. She does about 3-4 sets of this particular stretch, 3 minutes per set.

Favorite Exercises
One of Carmel’s favorite exercises is the lunges. She mostly starts her leg training days by doing lunges. According to her, it’s one of the main reasons for her great leg development. Another one of her favorites is smith machine squats. She finds it is a great way to incorporate weight and as an alternative to normal squats. It also helps to keep the stress off the lower back.

Carmela’s thoughts about lunges and squats:

“These exercises are simple in execution, but you need to execute to the fullest. Your body knows how to get tired, but it’s what you do when you are tired and spent that makes all the difference in your outcome.” – Carmel Rodriguez.

Carmel Rodriguez loves boxing and Muy Thai.

Carmel also likes to do mixed martial arts which involves boxing and Muy Thai. states:

“It’s no secret that Carmel loves boxing and Muay Thai. Her father was a boxing referee and taught her how to box at an early age. Her high-intensity training is what helps her stay in shape.”

And in an interview with we get more of an insight on Carmel Rodriguez’s diet and training for specific roles:

“Over the years, she started taking her treatments seriously, changing her diet, and working out for health instead of weight loss. Though weight comes off naturally as a result of all her efforts combined, it’s also complicated by what roles she’s working on at a given time.”

So Rodriguez has jumped around a bit when it comes to dieting and training, but mainly she opts for body positivity and sustainability.

But don’t think that means she half-asses her training in any way.

It is in the news that:

“When she took up Muay Thai boxing as a hobby, Rodriguez didn’t just hire a Hollywood trainer to teach her; she spent a month in Thailand learning from the pros.”

Training Volume:

3-6 days per week


She explains her workouts saying, “I’m going to program you 3 days of lifting (push, pull, legs), and also give you plenty of mixed martial arts programming to choose from.  You can choose to add this in throughout the week (maybe push, then MMA, then pull, then MMA, then legs, then MMA, then rest), or on top of your training.”

When she is stressed out, she likes to work out a bit. She also makes herself busy by running some errands. She says, “I will make myself busy. I will run around, I am an energizer bunny, I just keep going, and I keep talking until my husband is like, slow down, take a second, breathe.” But no matter what, she keeps reminding herself that it is ok not to feel ok every time. And this is something which her fitness routine has taught her. She says, “Taking every day moment by moment and remembering that I’m not always in control, and that’s okay. That’s a daily reminder so it’s in my head. It is a practice for me.”

What is YG12?

YG12 is an initiative launched by Carmel Rodriguez which is super easy because all it requires are 12 minutes and with minimum equipment. She writes on her website,

“YG12 stands for You’ve got 12 minutes. That’s right, everyone’s got 12 minutes a day to focus on their fitness.

My series of 12-minute, Tabata-like calisthenic workouts are designed to get you strong and lean without equipment or machines. I’ll take you through each workout step by step, so you can focus on your form and get the results you’re looking for.

I designed YG12 to suit all fitness levels, from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Work out with me six days a week for 12 weeks, and you’ll see amazing results.”

Goal: Burn calories, tone up, get a Lean strong body.
Length: 12-week workout program (3 months).
Fitness level: Beginner to intermediate and advanced.

Who is YG12 for?

She says that YG12 is for anyone and everyone. People who are pro can join this and so can the newcomers. She writes, “This program is for anyone who’s committed to improving their fitness. Men, women, CEOs, stay-at-home parents, recreational sports enthusiasts, professional athletes —YG12 is the perfect training program for anyone looking to make a change.

My signature training style, combined with nutrition tips and these 12-minute workouts will shape your body into a leaner, stronger, faster, and more positive version of you.”

By Joining My YG12 Program, You Will:

Master Your Body

  • Gain functionality and mobility.
  • Practice balance, flexibility, agility, and power.
  • Master my unique bodyweight calisthenic exercises.
  • Control the power of your breath.

Get Strong and Leaner

  • Strengthen your core.
  • Build muscle.
  • Burn calories.
  • Melt away fat.

Improve Overall Strength and Confidence

  • Increase your energy.
  • Gain confidence in body and mind.
  • Challenge your limits.
  • Feel empowered.

Carmel Rodriguez Workout: Push Day


Carmel Rodriguez makes sure she is having a proper warm-up before she begins her workout. She warms herself up by stretching all the major parts of the body, and especially focusing on the muscle group she has to work on that day.

10-15 min incline walk or elliptical


Circuit One:

A. Arnold Press


B. Upright Rows


C. DB Shoulder Front Raises


Circuit Two:

A. Incline DB Press


B. Standing DB Chest Fly


C. Push-Ups


Circuit Three:

A. Cable Pushdowns


B. Cable Overhead Extension


C. Cable Kickbacks


Carmel Rodriguez Workout: Pull Day


Carmel Rodriguez makes sure she is having a proper warm-up before she begins her workout. She warms herself up by stretching all the major parts of the body, and especially focusing on the muscle group she has to work on that day.

10-15 min incline walk or elliptical


Circuit One:

A. Lateral Pulldowns


B. Cable Rows


C. Push-Ups


Circuit Two:

A. Bodyweight Rows


B. Dumbbell Curls


C. Hammer Curls


Circuit Three:

A. Chin-Ups (assisted is fine)


B. DB Deadlift


Carmel Rodriguez Workout: Leg Day


Carmel Rodriguez makes sure she is having a proper warm-up before she begins her workout. She warms herself up by stretching all the major parts of the body, and especially focusing on the muscle group she has to work on that day.

10-15 min incline walk or elliptical


Circuit One:

A. Goblet Squat


B. Weighted Lunges


C. Cable Pull-through


Circuit Two:

A. Leg Extension


B. Hamstring Curls


C. Step-Ups


Circuit Three:

A. Leg Press


B. Calf Raises on Leg Press Machine


C. Unweighted Standing Calf Raises


Rodriguez aims for an overall strengthening of the body in a controlled manner. She explains her style, saying,

“My unique workouts will guide this amazing tool we call our body to move purposefully in all directions, over, under and around things, light-footed and agile but strong and controlled like a ninja.

Much of my workouts are done barefoot as I believe that every single little piece of our body has a function, every finger and every toe has a job and connects to all the little stabilizing muscles in our limbs.  The stronger those little pieces are, the stronger we are as a whole.  This is the basis of my training – from the tips of the toes to the fingertips.”

And it is great for everyone under the sun. She comments, “These movements and exercises are set up to take an advanced athlete to an elite one, but also turn the housewife, office worker or CEO into athletes in their own right.”

“Many of these exercises are actually simple in execution, but you need to execute to the fullest. Your body knows how to get tired, but it’s what you do when you are tired and spent that makes all the difference in your outcome.”

– Carmel Rodriguez

Injury Prevention

She claims that her fit body and agile mind helps her save from injuries. She even recalls an event that saved her from getting severely injured. She says, “When I was in Mexico two years ago, I was riding a bike in the dark and my bike wheel hit a gap in the sidewalk and I went flying.  I would have surely landed on my face the way I was falling but avoided it because I landed like a cat on all fours and was able to catch myself before my face hit the ground.  All that fingertip training, cat tucks, and core work saved me from a very painful and scarring situation.”

Carmel Rodriguez Diet Plan

Gina Rodriguez believes in a sustainable diet.

She says that there are many ways to make a diet sustainable, which each actually depends on the approach of the person.

For her, it’s celebrating the successes.

She tells

“It’s important to celebrate my successes with the people around me,” she says. “Eating, drinking, and toasting are big parts of my family gatherings.”

She continues to talk about some of the things she includes in her diet to fight fatigue (while also mentioning how she does not like to restrict herself or eliminate certain foods from her diet to stay lean:

“Fatigue is already an issue with Hashimoto’s, and some scenes can really take a lot out of you,” she says. [Fans will no doubt recall the heartbreaking crying scene last season—don’t worry, newcomers, we won’t spoil it for you.] “That’s a by-product of the job, so I keep my energy up by being conscientious about the food I put in my body—eating more fiber and vegetable protein.” That’s not to say she follows a restrictive eating plan though. “I eat healthily and work out, so I don’t worry about having a red velvet cupcake or slice of pizza.”

For her, food is nothing but fuel to do all her chores throughout the day. She says, “How do I eat?? I eat for fuel, I eat to jump rope, do handstands, run 5 miles, do burpees, be a mom, a trainer, an entrepreneur and a student – and to be able to repeat it every day.”


Carmel keeps her diet rather simple. She eats only organic foods and stays away from any kind of artificial sugar or flavoring. She doesn’t believe in cheat meals, but rather listens to her body. This means she will eat something a little less healthy from time to time, which will help her stop from a binge.

Carmel also mentioned that she includes fresh vegetables with every meal. Besides improving physical health, having a lot of vegetables in her diet also helps her body to fill up on fiber which is great for gut health, and which in turn is responsible for mental health, according to Carmel.

The things that always find their place in her fridge: “Frozen blueberries up to my yin yang, packaged chicken, a bag of edamame that’s been there for I don’t know how long, lots of ice. I may have a couple of pizza pops in there for the kids,” she says.

She also tells her favorite snack is popcorn. She calls it her vice. In her words, “Popcorn. You can catch me on any given day: I will have an entire bowl of popcorn in front of me, and I will finish it.”

Post-Workout Meal

Her postworkout meals are full of healthy proteins that help her muscles recover from the intense workouts. She likes to have:

Chicken Breast
Two Free Range Eggs
Chopped Tomatoes
Red Peppers
100% Natural Fire-Belly Sauce (tomato, ground pepper, and garlic)

She says, “Athletes eat and train, they don’t diet and exercise.”

What is Carmel Rodriguez’s favorite kind of breakfast? Well, it’s a healthy protein smoothie. She explains, “I’m a shake kind of girl: chocolate vegan protein, a lot of greens, half an avocado, coconut milk, ice, and some frozen blueberries.”

Carmel Rodriguez Fitness Tips

It shouldn’t be a shocker that with great abs come great responsibility. If you’re looking to sculpt your abs and reveal a flatter, tighter tummy, it’s time to take a good hard look at your daily routine. Carmel Rodriguez, the fitness model, and workout guru have some envy-worthy abs and some important advice for fit girls who want to really tone their stomachs. Here are their 10 tips to optimize your abs!

#1 Mix It Up – Try HIIT, Planks, Stability Ball Training Etc.  “Our bodies are so amazing and they adapt super quick, so we need to change up the routine. It’s why I rarely do the same workout more than twice,” says Carmel.

#2 Focus On Form, No Reps It doesn’t matter if you do 100 push-ups, because if your form isn’t proper then you won’t see any results. Don’t overexert yourself and push your body to its breaking point. Instead, focus on doing each movement correctly and safely, and slowly you will see your desired abs start to pop.

#3 Eat  Abs are muscles, and muscles require nutrition to grow and remain strong. Carmel has no concern for portion size or getting in a certain number of meals per day. She eats when she’s hungry and stops when she’s full. As long as you’re making healthy choices, that is all that matters. She eats intuitively and does not restrict herself from anything. However, she makes sure she is training har dint the gym.

#4 Cheat  Every once and a while, a cheat meal is acceptable. The secret is not to get hung up on guilt, and really enjoy your meal. “As a mom with two kids (three if you include my husband), I can’t always eat perfectly.” With her blueberries and kale in the refrigerator, you will also find some pizza pops or icecream lying for her kids. It is definitely all about balance and managing your temptations.

Carmel explains, “I believe in eating everything in moderation — even pizza, which is a family favorite — and that the body needs a bit of ‘bad’ food for it to truly make use of the ‘good’ food.”

#5 Stick To Lean Meats And Smart Carbs Carmel recommends consuming lots of starchy carbs, like sweet potatoes and rice. She even eats bread but makes sure it’s ‘smart’ by choosing whole grains. She only allows herself lean protein sources, like chicken and fish.

#6 Overload On Water  Staying hydrated is essential whether you are building killer abs or not. She likes to get 3 to 4 liters of water into her system each day. She also ‘eats her water’ by incorporating healthy, lush veggies and fruits into her diet that have high H2O content (think cucumbers and watermelons).

#7 Swap Sit-Ups For Planks “Planks are my favorite abs exercise because they’re way more effective for targeting your core than a classic sit-up and are proven to engage more of your abdominal muscles.” Carmel says. For more exercise ideas and routines that will build your core in creative ways. With over 120 hours of workouts, you always find something to challenge and inspire!

#8 Plan Mobile Workouts  Before heading off on a trip or starting a busy day, plan out workouts that you can do from virtually anywhere. Easy, fast and effective workouts that are available online (such as BodyRock workouts) can be done on your phone, tablet, or laptop wherever you may be. No excuses!

#9 Use Gym Time Wisely  Because Carmel is a mother, she needs to get the most out of every second at the gym because she doesn’t have a lot of time to work out in a day. It’s important to make each exercise count get the ripped abs you crave. Your goal at the gym is to torch calories, or else your abs will never pop.

#10 Set Goals You Know You Can Achieve  “Instead of going to the gym thinking about my abs, I go to the gym thinking about getting an extra 10 seconds in my plank or lasting an extra five minutes in my run.” Carmel says. Get a journal and start documenting each time you increase your fitness level, increase your workout time, or even just feel good about your progress. This will encourage you to keep going! What are your tips for getting shredded abs? Share them with us

Carmel Rodriguez Lifestyle Interview

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||HIIT CIRCUIT WITH TWO JUGS || ? “BackYard Badass”? CARMEL’S NOTES: ❓You can fill some old jugs with water or sand – vary the weight by filling the jugs at desired amount! #carmelsnotes . ✏️What other types of workouts would you like to see? ✏️ ?????? . . LIKE?TAG FRIENDS?SAVE . . ? EQUIPMENT NEEDED: ✔️ Old juice, milk or water carton ✔️Functional space ⏰3 ROUNDS of each Exercise At 40 sec on/20 sec off . 1️⃣ Curtsy Lunge with an overhead press 2️⃣ Reverse Burpee 3️⃣ SA Overhead Squat to Tiptoe 4️⃣ Overhead Press Lunge Hops 5️⃣ Overhead Hold Low Step overs 6️⃣ Single or Double Arm KB Swings 7️⃣ High Plank Row to Overhead Hold Tiptoe Squat 8️⃣ Agile Lateral High knee to Hold 9️⃣ Reverse Sprawl to Pistol Start ? Later SL Hop-overs ?Can also do without any weight or use two pillows! . ?These exercises are great for jumprope ability and for Performance-type exercises like Running and Sprinting etc. . . . ??‍♂️Available!!! My #YG12 ? ▪️WORKOUT PROGRAM▪️ ?No equipment needed Click the Link in my Bio ??? #bodyma #plyos #carmelrodriguez

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Carmel Rodriguez speaks about her general likes and dislikes and what she does and thinks of life when it comes beyond her time spent in the gym. This is what she has to say to some of the questions.

What keeps you up at night?
My brain, programming workouts, business strategies, and my first major lecture at the canfitpro expo this weekend.

What would your 16-year old self think of you now?
It definitely would be a shock because my 16-year old self was a bit of a little brat. I think I’d probably be pretty proud of myself for what I’m doing.

When were you happiest?
I keep going to a happy place. Happiness never lasts, neither does being angry. In anything, I feel like it keeps recycling itself, so I keep having my happy moments.

What brings you comfort?
My husband and seeing my kids at home. And eating. I don’t know why, but when my fridge is full and my kids can go in there and get the food that they want and need, I feel super happy.

How would you like to die?
Knowing that all is okay. That everything will run okay without me.

What is your power song?
Anything Sade.

When was the last time you cried?
For real? When I heard about Vegas.

Who is your mentor?
My dad is still my mentor to this day. But in the physical sense, Bruce Lee. Hands down.

What are you most insecure about?
My ability to help others. It’s scary to me to make sure that I am helping than just doing it for the sake of doing it.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I do love a cold beer and a glass of wine every once in a while. And I like to go out and just dance my butt off.

What’s your favorite swear word.
Shit! I always say, shit!

What is your favorite movie?
Natural Born Killers. I don’t know why, but I love that movie so much, it’s so bad.

What is your motto?
At some point, you have to stop thinking about it and just do it.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
Let go of my control. That’s super hard for me.

Do you love what you do?
Oh, yeah. Hundred percent.

What is your true calling?
I think that I am here for more than just to be the obvious: a woman, a wife, a mother. I think I’m here to help people in the best way that I know-how. And that’s by doing my fitness and teaching people that you can achieve the things you want to achieve if you just put everything you’ve got into it.

Carmel Rodriguez always believes in “Being Yourself” when it comes to any aspect of life. This is one message that she constantly spreads to her fans and attitudes to the success of her career. She thinks that her honestly and personality is what brings her closer to her fans and thus a great number of following on her social media.

She also believes in having a ton of self-confidence. She often asks her clients not to be afraid of standing out in the crowd. Even her own training program was different from those around her but it turned out to be something like people liked and appreciated. And now, she is more successful than ever!

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#tbt – I got into tv and commercial television work after conquering some (yes, only some) of what was pretty brutal anxiety – running and fitness made that possible ??. It was the perfect combo because now I had a job to do.. I had to train to look and be the part of anything that came my way.. rock climber, crossfitter, sprinter, soccer player, runner. It made becoming a ninja mom (my story link in bio) that much more attainable because I had to be an all round athlete. . . So I say again, Perseverance, determination and a purpose will get you there.. whatever the goal or dream ??. DON’T GIVE UP! . . Here is a commercial shot for @garmin with some #bts 😉 . . #believeinyourself #dontquit #dowhatyoulove

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If you have a goal in mind but are afraid of failing or standing out too much, just remember Carmel’s story. “You never know until you try it”.

This is all about Carmel Rodriguez’s diet, workout and lifestyle tips to always stay in shape and perform better in life.

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