Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeffrey McCray

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeffrey McCray! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Jeffrey McCray
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 32
  • Where: Lansing, Michigan
  • Height: 5' 7"
  • Weight: 220 Lbs., Contest: 190 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :9
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: Squats
  • Favorite Supplements: Glutamine, BCAA's

How Did You Get Started?

I used to be a wrestler, but when I stopped wrestling I still wanted to do something to stay in shape. I'd always enjoyed lifting weights, and it became a good stress reliever for me while I was in college.

When I started my master's degree, I joined the Gold's Gym in Wilmington, DE, and there were a few competitive bodybuilders there who recognized that I had some potential for bodybuilding. I soon developed an interest in competitive bodybuilding, and I finally did my first competition in 2001.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I like to train 5 days per week with a 4-way split. This way each week you train a body part twice, but it's a different one each week. There are numerous splits that work for this, but when getting ready for my most recent competition, I used this one:

Abs and calves, which need a greater training frequency, are split evenly throughout, with abs being trained on chest day and shoulder day and calves are trained on leg day and back day.

This past year, I started working with Mike Francois, and even though I had a pretty good handle on how to train, he made a small adjustment to my training strategy that I believe made a huge difference. Mike likes to keep a pretty quick training pace, meaning that the pace of repetitions within a set is fairly quick and there is very little rest between sets.

As a result, I often employ supersets with 2 or 3 different exercises. Especially at this point in my life, when my schedule is pretty rigorous (I am a full time graduate student), I like to get in the gym and get out as quickly as possible. My weight training sessions rarely last for more than 45-50 minutes, though I still do 20-25 sets with most workouts.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

David Pulcinella, one of the past "bodybuilder of the week" winners, taught me a great deal of what I know about nutrition. I was a client of his before I started competing, and I rented a room from him for a while and saw how he ate on a daily basis.

Basically, 6-7 meals a day are essential, and each meal must contain quality proteins and complex carbohydrates. Dave does not believe in a low carb approach, and I haven't found it to work for me either. There is also a fairly large quantity of food that must be eaten, but it takes time to be able to eat as much food as a bodybuilder must eat. Consistency over time is really the key.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Glutamine is great because it boosts the immune system. With my busy schedule, I need all the help I can get.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love the physical and mental challenge that bodybuilding offers me. I believe mental discipline is the most important thing both in bodybuilding and in performing music, which is what I do for a living.

Both music and bodybuilding have prepared me for many of the challenges I face in life, and I wouldn't trade the experiences each field has given me for anything. Of course, there's also the added benefit of looking great!

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Well, I recently had hernia surgery and haven't been able to train at all for the past 2 months, so my immediate plans are to get back in somewhat decent shape. Also, I made myself a promise that I would not compete again until I had finished my degree (I am currently pursuing a Doctorate of Music at Michigan State University).

I've competed in 4 of the past 5 years, so it will be interesting to see what happens without the direct pressures of getting ready for a competition.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Strive very hard to remember that bodybuilding is something you do, it's not who you are. It's great to be excellent at what you do, but don't let it consume your entire life. There are so many things that should define a person other than your sport.

That being said, I really believe that nutrition is the key for success in bodybuilding (well, there's genetics, but you don't have any control over your genetics...). Proper nutrition requires knowledge, discipline, and planning - strive to gain a handle over all three.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

There are physiques I really admire, and there are personalities I really admire. I have been fortunate to receive a lot of help from other bodybuilders over the past few years. Mike Francois, David Pulcinella, Hans VanderGronden, and Al Krakowiak have all been very influential in my training and nutrition, and they have also been very good friends.

Mike Francois, in his competitive years, is one of the physiques I have always admired. Two of my favorite current competitors are Mark Dugdale and Dexter Jackson.