Fernando Sardinha
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Who is Fernando Sardinha?

Fernando Sardinha understands what it takes to succeed after enduring taunts for his diminutive size and rising to become one of the most well-known personalities in Brazilian bodybuilding.

Fernando Sardinha has competed for over three decades and is still going strong with over 135 competitions and 128 medals to his name. This is his life narrative, and it has inspired countless people through the years:

Body Measurements of Fernando Sardinha

Full Name: Fernando Sardinha
HEIGHT: 5’5″ (165cm)
WEIGHT: 245 – 255lbs (111.1 – 115.7kg)
PROFESSION: Bodybuilder, Fitness Personality
ERA: 2010, 2000, 1980, 1990


  • Champion Bodybuilder
  • Artist (Singer, Piano Player, Dancer)
  • Fitness Personality

Outstanding Results

  • 3rd place at the 61st Mr. Universe
  • World Bodybuilding Championships runner-up
  • Brazilian NABBA Champion
  • 3-time Champion of São Paulo
  • 2-time Champion of “Paulista do Interior”
  • 7-time “Best Posador do Brasil”


From Bodybuilding To Martial Arts

Fernando Sardinha

Brazilian bodybuilder Fernando was born in So Paulo in 1969.

At the age of 15, he started working out in the gym to get stronger and more skilled in martial arts.

“I began working out at the former Olympic Center when I was 15 to improve my judo conditioning. I’ve been doing judo since I was five years old.

Fernando’s interests shifted, though, after he went to the gym for the first time and got the lifting bug. He didn’t stick with martial arts for long before switching to bodybuilding.

The Origin Of The Name “Sardinha”

Fernando had a premonition that he would eventually compete on the bodybuilding stage even before he stepped foot in the gym. Fernando had to first face certain challenges, however, to get there.

At first, Fernando received harsh criticism from his family since they disapproved of his desire to pursue a career in bodybuilding.

Fernando was also made fun of by other bodybuilders in the gym. Every member of the community where he trained was required to go by the moniker of a certain fish.

Fernando was known as “Sardinha” after sardines because he was one of the smallest gym members. Although Fernando initially took offense to this, he eventually warmed to the moniker.

First Competition, First Success

Fernando accepted the criticism and teasing that he received from others for his “thin” appearance and desire to compete in bodybuilding.

He persisted in working out hard every day, finally developing a remarkable physique. Thereafter, the criticism ceased.

Fernando even entered his first bodybuilding competition, the 1989 Paulista Championships, because he felt so confident.

Fernando won the competition that day by outperforming everyone else while weighing 70kg of ripped muscle.

An Ongoing Career

Fernando put a lot of effort into turning bodybuilding into a full-time profession after winning his first competition.

He went on tcompeted135 shows over the following 30 years, taking home 132 prizes and 128 medals.

In the process, Fernando Sardinha rose to prominence in Brazil’s bodybuilding culture.

Fernando doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, even though he is already in his fifties. He continues to compete in bodybuilding, and he also helps followers all over the world construct their greatest bodies through his expanding online presence.


Old-School Instruction

Long exercises with heavy weights are something Fernando Sardinha appreciates. In a sense, he adheres to the classic gym adage, “go hard or go home,” and favors an old-school approach to training.

Having said that, Fernando always maintains a strict form. He will adjust the weight if necessary to complete a perfect rep.

Seasons Of Training

Fernando’s training is divided into two distinct phases: “off-season” and “pre-contest.”

Fernando trains six times a week, focusing on a different muscle group each time when there are no upcoming performances.

He will begin training less frequently but more intensely as the competition date approaches. During the contest phase, his workouts last roughly 45 minutes.

Fernando works for different muscle groups throughout each workout, reduces the time between sets, and does supersets to enhance the intensity even further.

Contest Exercise

Fernando Sardinha

Fernando trains 3-5 times a week in preparation for competitions. Here is how his split appears;

  • Monday: Chest, Front and Middle Delts, and Calves
  • Tuesday: Back, Rear Delts, Abs
  • Thursday: Quads, Adductors, Glutes, and Abs
  • Saturday: Hamstrings and Calves

For The Intensity Music

Fernando enjoys using music to increase the intensity of his workouts.

This is especially true of his “in-season” training, during which he must work out quite hard in preparation for competitions.



Fernando maintains a straightforward diet, packing his meals with healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to encourage fat reduction and muscle development.

Pasta, brown bread, and oats are some of Fernando’s preferred carbohydrate foods.

He may also add a few scoops of maltodextrin powder as an additional carbohydrate source if his workouts call for it.

Fernando enjoys chicken breast, egg whites, and plant-based proteins. To reach his daily protein goal faster, he additionally adds whey protein.

Supplements Taken By Fernando Sardinha

Fernando also consumes a couple of other dietary supplements in addition to whey and maltodextrin. They consist of;

  • BCAAs
  • 40g of glutamine each day
  • Vitamins B Complex
  • C vitamin
  • 14g of creatine each day

Fernando uses high doses of glutamine because it speeds up muscle recovery and heals the lining of his gut to improve digestion.

Influences And Idols

It’s difficult, in Fernando’s opinion, to single out just one or two bodybuilders as his role models.

The whole list of those he admires is as follows:

  • Kai Greene
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Bill Pear
  • Steve Reeves
  • Dorian Yates
  • Lee Haney
  • Lee Labrada
  • Shawn Ray
  • Flex Wheeler
  • Ronnie Coleman
  • Jay Cutler
  • Milos Sarcev
  • Rich Gaspari
  • Phil Heath
  • Marius Dohne
  • Dennis James
  • Toney Freeman

What Fernando Sardinha Can Teach Us?

What we can take away from Fernando Sardinha is that anything is possible with effort.

Growing up, Fernando was a “skinny” child. His family disapproved of his desire to pursue a career in bodybuilding, and other gym members dubbed him “sardine” due to his diminutive build.

But Fernando was driven by desire. He succeeded as a bodybuilder by using weightlifting to channel his enthusiasm and changing the odds in his favor.

One thing his experience teaches us is that if you want to succeed, you need be prepared to face any obstacles that come your way, including other people’s criticism and misgivings.