- Name: Matt Lowden
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Age: 34
- Where: Seattle, WA
- Height: 5'10''
- Weight: 250 offseason, 220 competition
- Years Bodybuilding :9
- Favorite Bodypart: Quads
- Favorite Exercise: Front squats
- Favorite Supplements: Muscle Milk, EvoPro, Kre-Alkalyn creatine
How Did You Get Started?
I started weightlifting as a means to quit smoking. If I was out of breath from exercise I had less temptation to light up. After spending some time at the gym I developed an admiration for many of the more extreme physiques around me. I had never planned to become a competitive bodybuilder and my first competition was one of those things in life I just wanted to say I did.
After spending the months getting ready and learning all of the intricacies of the sport I became in love with the whole process. I was very surprised that this was much more complicating then just lifting weights and eating chicken.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
Because of my work schedule, I don't take days off unless I have to. I may workout out 8 days in a row, but something will keep me at work and away from the gym for 3-4 days. That's how I justify my overtraining anyway.
I'll typically start my workouts with a warm up set of a compound exercise, like bench or squat. I'll quickly pyramid up and do at least two lifts with my max weight and slowly lighten up as I can't lift any more.
My weekly rotation looks like:
During my pre-competition training, I start with 20 min of cardio after lifting and gradually increase throughout a 12 week period until I reach 40 min sessions up to twice a day. I do no cardio offseason.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
What I find most useful is to figure out what I'm taking in for calories first so I know how much to cut. I do this by writing down everything I eat for about 3-5 days. During this time I don't binge and I don't skimp on my foods either. I just try to eat as close to normal as I can with the exception that I measure and weigh everything so I know exactly how many calories I've consumed at the end of the day.
After I've nailed down my daily calorie intake, I make a daily goal of eating exactly 500 calories less than that everyday. I don't hit the cardio equipment yet and I don't go nuts eating all the diet foods I can find. I simply drop 500 calories from my diet. If for some reason I am not losing fat I need to be able to look back on my records to see how I've been eating and fix the problem.
Periodically, I check my body fat. This way I can tell if I need to make any adjustments in my program. If I am losing fat at an acceptable rate I just continue to do as I'm doing. Eventually, my body will adjust to my new way of eating and my metabolism will slow down and my progress will cease. This is when I implement my cardio sessions. I keep the same caloric intake, but add 3-4 20 min cardio sessions a week.
This not only gives my metabolism a little boost but it also helps burn additional calories. Throughout the remainder of my cutting program all I have to do is make adjustments to my original game plan. When my metabolism adjusts I change something. Add more cardio, split my cardio sessions, or alter some aspect of my diet plan. Altering my diet is almost always the most effective tool for me.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
My main purpose for most supplements I take is in meal replacement. I take creatine throughout the year and multi vitamins, but making sure I get enough protein and calories in my diet is where I find supplements most useful.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
I love learning more about the way my body works. The way it responds to different stimulus. Watching my body make changes and the knowledge and control to make those changes occur is the greatest thing about this lifestyle.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
At least for this year, I will compete at the Oregon State championships to prequalify for nationals and then will compete in the USAs two weeks later.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Stay consistent. Never believe you know it all.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
I think Kai Greene has by far, the most entertaining routines to watch. Skip Lacour is a great resource and wealth of information for any bodybuilder. Mark Dugdale brings a quality to the sport in that it is a family endeavor, not simply his accomplishments. I have a lot of respect for him.