BY MICHAEL BERG
These days, bikini competitor Elisa Pecini represents vibrant health and strength whenever she takes the IFBB Pro League stage. It’s a testament to the battle the 24-year-old phenom fought and won against a debilitating and often deadly disease a few short years ago.
From age 13 to 15, Pecini suffered from anorexia nervosa, starving herself while her body weight fell to dangerous levels. She resisted a first round of treatment that lasted a year—“I did not see how much it made me ill, and I wanted to lose weight once more, so I went against all the instructions of the doctors who helped me,” Pecini admits of her regression. She dropped to 81 pounds at 5’4″.
At 15, it was decided during a weekly doctor’s visit that Pecini should be hospitalized immediately. After a month of intensive in-patient treatment, she finally had an important breakthrough. “I wanted to get back to a healthy weight in a safe, gradual way that wasn’t harmful,” she says.
She’s also sharing her hard-learned lessons from that prep experience, coaching aspiring athletes via her website, isapecini.com, while always keeping her focus on what’s important: her health. “To keep my perspective,” she says, “I try to remember every day the dreams that I’ve conquered and those that I still want to achieve.”
PECINI’S SHOULDER WORKOUT
- Standing Shoulder Abduction: Sets: 7, Reps: 12
- Seated Unilateral Shoulder Abduction: Sets: 3, Reps: 12
- Arnold Press: Sets: 3, Reps: 12
- Dumbbell Front Raise: Sets: 3, Reps: 12
- Upright Row: Sets: 3, Reps: 12
- Dumbbell Crucifix Hold: Sets: 3, Reps: To failure
Note: This is just a sample, as Pecini constantly changes up her routines. She’ll hit delts twice per week in two different ways.
ATHLETE SNAPSHOT: ELISA PECINI
- Birth Date: Jan. 20, 1997
- Height: 5’5″
- Contest Weight: 120 lbs
- Residence: São Paulo, Brazil
- Instagram: @isapecini