Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Pat Banya

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Pat Banya! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Pat Banya
  • E-mail: lift4fun@gmail.com
  • Age: 28
  • Where: Springfield, Virginia
  • Height: 5'9"
  • Weight: 198 Lbs Contest 210 Lbs Off
  • Years Bodybuilding :11
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Deadlift
  • Favorite Supplements: Multi-Vitamins, Whey Protein

How Did You Get Started?

I was originally a sprinter, and competed in track and field events, and specialized in short distances. Although I thoroughly enjoyed running, internally I desired more. I wanted to have physical strength that could also match my speed. After watching movies and looking through comic books, I resolved to develop a well rounded and symmetrical physique. I quickly became enamored with bodybuilding because it closely mimicked my lifestyle. I had been exposed to nutrition and exercise at an early age, by my family.

Pat Banya. Pat Banya.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Pat Banya.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I find that my body responds best when I train each body part approximately once a week. My current program looks something like this:

Day 1: Quads

Day 2: Hamstrings And Lower Back

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Chest And Triceps

Day 5: Back And Biceps

Day 6: Shoulders And Traps

Day 7: Abs And Calves

I perform 3 to 4 sets on every exercise, and I have a tendency to keep my reps around 10 - 12, on pretty much every body part. Abs are the only exception, where I keep at around 20 - 30 reps per set.

When it comes to specific exercises I like to keep it very simple and basic. I use compound movements that require the use of barbells for all the major large body parts. But, I realize that machines can be invaluable because, for certain exercises, they provide a greater range of motion and can minimize the stress on supporting muscle groups. I also incorporate machines for the purpose variety.

Pat Banya.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Pat Banya.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I follow a very basic diet that places emphasis on two aspects, energy and muscle growth / maintenance. I don't really keep track of simple sugars and fats because I eat so little of them; but, when I do, they are usually from fruits and nuts. With that in mind, I pay particular attention to the amount of complete protein and complex carbohydrates that I consume.

Through trial and error, over the course of 11 years, I have found that I can stay within several weeks of contest condition year round if I consume: 1.5 - 2 grams of protein / pound of body weight, and 1 - 1.5 grams of complex carbohydrates / pound of body weight. My primary protein sources are: tuna and chicken. I will, however, use protein shakes, MRP, and protein bars when I lack the time or the resources to prepare and eat a whole meal.

My carbohydrate sources are: sweet potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, and whole grain bread. Usually, in the evening I will taper my carbs and consume fibrous vegetables with my protein; this minor adjustment is very important because it promotes regularity and prevents me from gaining body fat. When I cook my meals, I do not like to use condiments, seasonings, sweeteners, or add extra flavor to my food. But when I go to restaurants or order food I'm usually not as strict.


Sample Diet 1:

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:


Sample Diet 2:

Meal 1:

  • Meal replacement powder with at least 50grams of protein. I'll add an extra scoop of protein to meet that requirement, if needed. Also, because different MRPs vary in carb content, I don't always use the full serving. For example, if two heaping scoops contain 300 grams of carbs, I will only use one.

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

Pat Banya. Pat Banya.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Pat Banya.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I find that whey supplements provide the most real world benefit, since protein is a nutrient that we as bodybuilders consume in abundance. Because you can take the powder with you, stored dry in a shaker bottle, it can be used in almost any setting or at any time. Additionally whey protein is great because, when used as recommended, it has absolutely zero negative side effects.

I would also give multi-vitamins an honorable mention, because when you're dieting it can be extremely difficult to get the RDA of all the essential micro nutrients and antioxidants that the body needs.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

With the proper mind-set and the correct approach, being fit becomes a lifestyle. It is a process that helps us to determine our priorities, and make more prudent decisions. Personally, I find weight lifting provides me with a sense of well-being and peace of mind that I cannot live without. I feel blessed to start each and every day with a feeling of purpose. I also take solace in the fact that success is governed by adherence to a strict routine. Therefore, if I do things right, failure is rarely an option.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

Vanity aside, I really like the way it makes me feel on the inside. It improves my feeling of self worth and body image. It is very gratifying to know that I'm in control of my own body. When I look around me, and I see people who don't like to exercise or lack the discipline to eat well balanced meals, I also feel motivated.

I don't want to join the status quo and contribute to the rising obesity problem that is taking over this nation. Internally, I value my health because I know that it grants me independence. Living a healthy lifestyle helps me appreciate the aging process because I can continue living an active life.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I don't want to look back on my life and wonder, "What If?" I want to be able to say, I found something I genuinely liked, was able to gave it my all, and completely saw it through to the end. I take inspiration from people who excel at what they do, and they do it because they love it.

Outside of bodybuilding, I've taken inspiration from family members, historical figures, and modern day athletes and celebrities. The one thing that they all have in common is their passion for what they do, and it shows through their effort and determination. I want to be a part of that elite group; people who not only have dreams, but actually get to live their dreams because they fight for them.

Pat Banya.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Pat Banya.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

In the not too distant future, I would like to compete at the national level. My overall victory at the 2009 Lenda Murray Classic has now made that a possibility; I just have to decide which contest I would like to compete in. I would also like to do more networking on the business side of things. I really want to get involved in the fitness industry and work with supplement companies, major bodybuilding publications, and photographers.

But, in the long term, I would like to remain healthy and continue competing for as long as possible. I really enjoy what I do; therefore, longevity is my number one priority.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Don't be in a hurry to get "big". You have your entire life ahead of you. Just focus on getting the basics down and being consistent. Proper training, nutrition, and sleep are the keys to success. Stay positive by surrounding yourself with good people, and never limit yourself.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Ronnie Coleman and Lenda Murray. In my mind, they are undoubtedly the greatest male and female competitors of all-time! And, I had the honor of meeting them at the Lenda Murray Championships, on August 22nd 2009.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

Bodybuilding.com is an important resource for all things related to competitive bodybuilding. When I was preparing to enter my first contest I came to rely on this website to learn more about posing and stage presentation. I was able to look at photos and videos that demonstrated the correct way to hold and transition into poses. I also found great deals on posing trunks and tanning products.

Additionally, I found the numerous articles on pre-contest prep and tanning to be most informative. Using Bodybuilding.com to get ready for a contest is like having a paid consultant available 24/7.

Pat Banya.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Pat Banya.