Originally from the Dominican Republic, Mqassiel ‘Massy’ Arias moved to Los Angeles when she was 13 along with her father and 2 of her 5 brothers. She did not speak English and struggled with hunger, poverty and severe depression. Arias went to nursing school but eventually dropped out due to family concerns. Although she was never particularly sporty, a friend convinced her to try a gym class, which became her a-ha moment. Arias created an Instagram account, got her personal training certificate and began offering her personal training services online under the name of Mankofit. She has millions of followers on Instagram alone, including celebrities like Chris Hemsworth. Arias has also appeared on many magazine covers including Women’s Health and Parents. She has a supplement brand called Tru and is a CoverGirl model. She is married and has a daughter. Arias is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 150 lbs.
Massy Arias’s Diet
Arias takes especial care with her diet. She eats a lot of raw vegetables, egg whites, complex carbs and healthy fats. Like many bodybuilders, she eats every few hours to keep her metabolism high, adding up to 5-6 meals per day. She has some kind of protein and a vegetable at virtually every meal, and almost always eats clean, except if she’s treating herself for a job well-done. She likes to juice, but keeps the fruit to a minimum and mainly uses vegetables in her mix.
- Medium Carb 25% 25%
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
- High Protein 50% 50%
For her first meal of the day, Arias often fuels up with oatmeal mixed with chia seeds and coconut flakes. Oatmeal is chocked full of fiber while chia seeds contain protein and coconut is a healthy fat powerhouse.
The Queen of Green
Arias eats her veggies every day. She’ll have them both cooked and raw, in salads and in green smoothies. Most of her meals contain some kind of vegetable.
Keen on Lean Protein
Besides her veggies, Arias eats plenty of lean protein in the form of egg whites, legumes such as lentils, and fish.
Go Easy on the Juice
Arias says to beware of juices, particularly ones made with a lot of fruit. They contain a ton of sugar, and aren’t especially healthy. She makes her juices primarily from veggies.
Arias doesn’t call eating a treat a ‘cheat.’ Instead she considers it a reward for all her hard work. Her fave: donuts.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Arias on Cheat Foods
‘Cheat is such a negative word. I say I reward myself.’
Arias on Juicing
‘I juice, but it’s mostly vegetables…If you’re going to juice, do it as a snack.’
Arias on Mental Health
‘I got rid of bad habits and people that were contributing to my feeling that way.’
Massy Arias’s Fitness Routine
Variety Is the Spice
Arias used a combination of weight training, cardio, calisthenics and sports to get ripped.
Arias wants her clients and all women to focus more on progress, such as being able to do another pushup, rather than just looking a certain way.
The Power of Positivity
Arias has the goal of helping women feel good about themselves, and overcome feeling inadequate and unhappy because they don’t measure up to ideals they see in magazines.
Arias works out every day for hours. It’s what makes her happy, so she has no complaints about being sweaty most of the time.
Mix It Up
Arias says she’ll try anything: from acrobatic yoga to bootcamp. She says trying something new can help prevent boredom, and that signing up for classes can help with accountability.
Arias wants people to become healthy so that they can be truly happy, the way she did.
A Massy Arias Full-Body Routine
Walk outside: 10 min.
Wall Squats: Back flat against wall, knees bent as if sitting in a chair. Hold for 30 sec.
Half-Kneeling Thoracic Rotation: Kneel with 1 leg up as you rotate torso toward raised knee while extending arms. Do 8/side.
Isometric Goblet Hold: Hold kettlebell by handle with both hands & squat for 30 sec.
Bridge Hold: Lie on back, knees bent at 90-degrees, feet on ground. Lift hips & flex glutes. Hold for 30 sec.
Dumbbell low lunge liftoff: With a dumbbell in each hand, lunge with back knee touching floor. Lift knee off floor, hold, then lower. 5×5 sec/side.
Down dog hold: 1 min.
Single-leg reach: Feet shoulder-width apart, touch 1 foot to the ground in front of you, then to the side, then behind. Do 5/side.
Forearm plank: Hold core tight for 30 sec.
Wall angels: Sitting with back against wall, arms bent at 90-degrees, press arms up, keeping them against wall. Stretch up until they lock out. Do 8 total.
Floor pec stretch: Lie face down, arms out at sides. Press torso to 1 side to stretch opposite side of chest. 1 min/side
Supine single leg hug: Lie on back, legs extended. Bring 1 knee to chest & hug with both arms. 1 min/side
Bench half-knee hold: Place 1 knee about 1 foot in front of a bench & place top of foot on bench. Lean back to stretch the quad. 1 min/side
Arias on Her Workout Regimen
‘I work out so hard all day, every day. I’m always sweating. But exercise continues to make me happy, which is why I do the happy dance.’
Arias on Fitness
‘There’s more to fitness than just a body and a six-pack.’
Arias on the Many Components of Health
‘It’s about being healthy mentally, emotionally, physically, being strong, being powerful, and independent.’
Arias on Owning Your Body
‘We all come in different shapes and we’re all attracted to different things.’ Martial arts are a vehicle for developing your human potential.
Massy Arias’s Supplements
Arias has her own line of supplements called Tru. She makes sure to have protein at every single meal, sometimes in the form of a shake. Her protein formula is plant-based, made from peas and brown rice. It contains 27 vitamins and minerals, and BCAAs; it has no dairy, soy artificial flavors or sweeteners; and is only 100 calories.
Massy Arias’s Lifestyle
Really Rough Start
Moving the US wasn’t quite living the dream for Arias. She had very little money and often went hungry. After enrolling in nursing school, her brother got sick with cancer and she had to juggle caring for him with doing school work and paid work. She was also in an abusive relationship. She eventually dropped out of school and also lost her job, leaving her buried in debt.
Arias says she gets her motivation from her millions of fans who share her vision of becoming the best version of themselves.
Arias has a fine singing voice and was part of her high school choir.
On Beating Depression
Arias suffered from serious depression and tried all sorts of natural remedies including herbs and hypnotherapy to treat it (the one thing she didn’t try was prescription drugs because her mother was opposed). Fitness was the prescription that worked out best for her.
It’s Okay to Ask
Arias says she got a lot of support from her family when her daughter was born in 2017, and that people shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.
Because exercise has done so much for her, Arias wants to help others to feel good on the inside, as well as look good on the outside.
Arias on Self-respect
‘I had a lot of self-image issues. I feel that’s a way of disrespecting yourself, because you should be your own person, you should love yourself…because you want to do them, not because a magazine is telling you how to look.’
Arias on Depression
‘A lot of people misuse the word “depression” to describe when they’re sad, but depression almost took my life.’
Arias on Goals
‘There’s nothing wrong with big goals, but you’re more likely to succeed if you break them down into increments that work for your lifestyle, age, and ability level.’
Arias on Getting Help
‘You don’t have to do it all on your own.’
Arias on Perseverance
‘Know that what seems really hard today, with good practice and consistency, will be a piece of cake later.’