Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week was...
How Did You Get Started?
At the age of 18 I weighed 145lbs, at my height I was very thin and my metabolism was constantly burning like a blazing furnace. When I started training, initially it was difficult to gain weight, but what I didn't realize is that the small gains I did experience were quality lean muscle. In about 6 years I was up to 180lbs. It was at that point in 1997 that I tried the EAS Physique Transformation Contest.
While preparing for my after photos, I was approached by a few guys in my gym that were getting ready for a bodybuilding contest. Not thinking I had what it took to compete as a bodybuilder, I changed my mind three or four times before I committed 100%. When it was all said and done, I won the middle weight class and the Overall Novice Championship in my first contest.
From then on the furnace has been burning. I love training with all my heart. I'm extremely passionate about it, I thank god for guiding me in this direction.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
Sample Exercise Plan:
My workout consist of moderate to heavy lifting. Normally I do 4 sets per exercise with a rep count of 12, 10, 8, 12. Occasionally I'll do heavy workouts where each set has a rep count of about 8 reps. I listen to my body as for as taking days off. Normally it's 2 or 3 days on, 1 day off. There have been occasions where I've trained 4 or 5 days straight. I really just listen to my body.
My pre-contest training is basically the same but I incorporate some isolated exercises for each body part. I have to keep my cardio to a minimum. In the off season I do maybe 20 - 30 minutes in the morning twice a week. My pre-contest cardio is normally 30 - 40 minutes in the morning 3 - 4 times per week.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Due to my high metabolism I have to keep my fats and carbs up. My protein is the same year round. Most of my fats come from natural peanut butter, almonds, flaxseed oil. Off season I consume 3 meals a day with one MRP in between breakfast and lunch.
Sample Pre-Contest Meal Plan:
For pre-contest I'll consume 6 meals a day:
Breakfast - 8 Egg whites and one yolk with 2 cups of cooked oats and a banana
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
I'm a firm believer in the synergistic effect when it comes to my supplements. I've received my best gains by taking a whey protein shake mid morning, another one about 2 hours before my 5pm workout and another one immediately after my workout.
After my workout I also take a simple carb drink to aid in replenishing glycogen depleted during my workout. I also take 3 serving of L-Glutamine and Creatine per day. Depending on my budget, I like using Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs). I'm also a big fan of using Casein protein prior to going to sleep at night.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is a passion of mines. It's invigorating, therapeutic, it's automatic for me. In 1995 I had a motor cycle accident, where I broke three bones in my lower back. The doctors were amazed that I didn't sever my spinal cord from the impact. They stated that the thing that saved me was the amount of muscle I had in my back. I wasn't competing then, but I was in the gym on a regular basis.
I was living proof and a testament of the benefits of staying physically fit, so once I recovered form the accident I was determined to take care of the body/muscle that saved me from being paralyzed. I feel absolutely blessed every time I step foot in the gym!!!
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
Short term - If my work schedule permits I would like to compete at Nationals sometime in 2007. Long term - Once I retire from the military in three years I plan to continue competing as a bodybuilder and open a gym/pro shop combined with a personal training business. I plan to continue educating myself about all the aspects of bodybuilding as I pass along everything I've learned to anyone seriously interested.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Patience, Commitment and Discipline!!! Those three items are not only good for bodybuilding, but are essential in life success also. What ever your goal is do not expect results over night - anything worth having doesn't come easy and it rarely comes quick!!! Set realistic goals or milestones. Treat your body as a temple - it's the only thing you own that's guaranteed to be with you until the day you die.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
Ronnie Coleman - his physique, discipline and drive is unbelievable!!! Jay Cutler, Darrem Charles, Dexter Jackson, Branch Warren and Victor Martinez. They all have top notch physiques - they set the standard.
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