Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week was...
How Did You Get Started?
My decision to start lifting weights began the summer after my sophomore year of high school. I signed up for a weight lifting class that began my junior year. My best friend and I started using a weight set he had at home and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Modern Bodybuilding Encyclopedia to forge ourselves as best we could. We spent countless hours that summer using every exercise and making more mistakes than I care to recall. The experience however was one that laid the foundation for a lifelong passion.
During my college years I played baseball and continued to train with more focus on athletic performance. The focus during this time was conditioning and sport specific strength. The lessons I learned during college taught me an even greater appreciation for the gym. Soon after college I joined the Gold's in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Seeing some of the great physiques walking around, I was more motivated than ever and put on muscle. Still I was missing something. I would often become frustrated with the gym.
During a great stretch of training a few years back I discovered a series on Bodybuilding.com dedicated to the natural bodybuilder. After watching Layne's videos I soon found myself having the desire to compete. Having always been tall and lanky I never thought I would be able to compete on the bodybuilding stage. This series changed my outlook as I had never heard of natural bodybuilding. Soon I contacted Layne and began my journey to stepping on the stage. I won the Novice division at my first show, the 2008 NPC Mid Florida Muscle Classic in Orlando, FL. This set the stage for me to find a new goal, to win my Pro Card with a natural organization.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
The workout plan which has been my best asset is the Power\Hypertrophy Split which was created by Layne Norton. The basic idea of the plan is to hit each muscle group twice. The first time the muscle is worked using a power lifting style approach. This high weight, low rep workout get progressively heavier each week until finally pushing for a personal best with a given lift.
The second workout of the week for each muscle is typical hypertrophy work although muscle groups are paired together. During these workouts the rep ranges vary from 8-15 using a quick pace and perfect form. A typical week of lifting would look like this for me.
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
I have found that my diet works best when I eat every 3.5 to 4 hours with BCAAs between meals. A typical day of eating looks like this for me.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
As a competitive bodybuilder I have found Scivation's Xtend to be instrumental in adding and keeping lean body mass. I take 1 scoop of Xtend between meals and 5 scoops during my workouts. Scivation's Quake 10.0 is also a staple which I take 30 minutes prior to working out. I began with a half serving and now take a full serving.
Scivation's Whey Protein is the best tasting, most cost effective whey available and mixes easily. I use Whey protein two servings at a time and find the protein is a quality product which meets label claim and is not full of fillers. The fact that is tastes great is just a bonus.
Another proven supplement which I keep in my diet year round is creatine monohydrate. I take 5 grams of creatine a day. I take is 30 minutes prior to workouts on gym days or in the morning if it's an off day. In my mind supplements are not effective unless your diet, training and rest are where they need to be. If you do have everything acting synergistically it can create an environment for amazing results.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
For as long as I can remember powerful physiques have always impressed me, that is where I would say my love for the sport began. When I first saw pictures of bodybuilders like Arnold, Franco, Zane and others I was mesmerized by the shape and size of their muscle and how they looked both posing and in street clothes. To this day I still enjoy seeing the reactions of others to bodybuilders. As I have ventured into the sport myself I have taken a deeper appreciation for all the hard work that goes into adding muscle, losing fat and taking the body further than I ever thought possible.
What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?
Currently the most motivating factor is competition. As someone who competed in athletics at a high level through college I have always had something in my life that allowed me to channel that energy. A few years ago when I began preparing for my first bodybuilding competition I found that the competitive spirit filled me and fueled my time in the gym and my diet. Now with each workout and meal I can visualize the stage and those who would oppose me, which is plenty of motivation.
What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?
My fitness goals have always been centered on athletic endeavors. From the time I can remember I used lifting weights as a way to improve my performance on the field, court or track. Being fit is just a part of my life. I don't feel at peace when I am out of tune with my body. Becoming a competitive bodybuilder has allowed me to take that focus to an even higher level. All of my goals have basically been manifested out of my love of the gym and sports. I just surpassed my goal of getting 1100lb total in my first power lifting meet with a 2200 total. My next goal is to get on the Pro Natural Stage and place top 3, and eventually become a Pro Natural Champion.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I am currently in mode which really means more hard work. I plan on staying fairly lean and adding some serious size over the next 18 months before I diet again for the stage in 2011. I have earned an NGA Pro Card and plan to compete as a Natural Pro as well as taking a shot on the NPC stage. As my competition season approaches I will pick several shows and decide from there. I just completed my first power lifting competition which was an excellent way for me to add size and remain competitive without getting on the bodybuilding stage.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
If I could tell all bodybuilders one thing it would be to work as hard in the kitchen as you do the gym. What I mean by this is make sure your nutrition is doing you justice. If you are killing it in the gym and missing meals you will end up spinning your wheels and getting burnt out. To make progress you must have your diet, sleep, and supplementation in order.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
My favorite bodybuilders would have to begin with Arnold. From the first time I read his encyclopedia I was enamored with his size, shape and symmetry. For me Arnold was bodybuilding. My list would also include Natural Pro's Layne Norton and Tommy Jeffers. When I first discovered Layne's video series I was inspired by Tommy and Layne to pursue and ultimately attain my Natural Pro status. My full list would be too long to write but would include Brian Whitacre, Doug Miller, Rob Moran, Alberto Nunez, and Jeff Rodriguez.
What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?
I use all of the features of BodySpace. I post in the forums in several sections. I also purchase products from the store. I have uploaded updates pictures, videos and BodyBlogs. Bodybuilding.com is basically my one stop location for bodybuilding.
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