Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Rob Barnett

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Rob Barnett! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

After many years of living a typical unhealthy lifestyle and suffering through many health problems, I grew to a soft, out of shape 245 pounds. I was lulled into a state of mind that it was normal for people to gain weight as they age and the many health issues I faced made me focus on them rather than my overall health. I was tired of fighting the physical battles in healing from my medical problems and in a sense was angry at my body for causing so much discomfort.

After mounting dissatisfaction with the way I saw my life progressing, I decided one night before I went to sleep that the following day would be the beginning of my new future. I decided to make dramatic lifestyle changes which included exercising regularly, eating healthful foods and discarding those vices that hindered my new goals. Acting on my own without coaching, I began lifting weights and performing cardio while eating what I believed to be healthy with determination and naivety. Within five months I lost 50 pounds, yet appeared to be only a smaller version of my previous self. Although I had gained strength and some mass, I knew I could obtain better results with more knowledge.

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While at the grocery store, I decided to purchase a Muscle and Fitness magazine that was in the bookstand. I looked through the pages and saw models and professionals in various stages of development, from light and lean to massive and freakish. I saw one model in an ad that was right about in the middle, having a lean, muscular and symmetrical physique but not over the top. I made a pact with myself at that time that I would do whatever it took to reach a level of fitness comparable to the man I saw in the magazine. My main goal was overall health, but I knew that it would take extra effort and determination to reach the superior physical state of the fitness model. Over time, my efforts brought results as well as new goals to replace those accomplished.

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I had people close to me die unexpectedly, and watched grandparents spend their final days in nursing homes. I came to realize that our bodies are our vehicles in this world and keeping them maintained is critical to our quality of life. I also realized that our days are numbered and each one should be cherished and lived to its fullest. These are fundamentals that still drive me today.

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My fitness journey continues and has served me well as I no longer experience any nagging health problems and feel better than I did 20 years ago.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I have tried (and continue to try) many different workout splits along with various amounts of cardio depending on my goals at any given time. Regardless of the workout chosen, I ALWAYS try to better my performance from the previous workout, whether that is handling more weight or performing more reps. I keep journals of every workout so that I can easily track my progress and push myself, especially in times of low motivation.

I have found that what works for one person, does little for another. This is an important fact that should be considered when reading any workout plan or split. I have found great results with the following program:

Arrow Sample Training Program:

Three days on, one off (cardio, abs), two on, one off (cardio, abs)

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I find that eating smaller, balanced and measured meals every 2.5 hours is key to reaching your goals. I read all labels and find that simplicity is more often than not king when it comes to choosing what to eat. Protein sources such as chicken breast, salmon, tuna, low fat dairy and whey are all easily prepared. I take in mostly low glycemic carbs such as yams, vegetables, brown rice, oatmeal as well as bananas and apples. The exception is for my post workout meals when I will consume around 70-100 high glycemic carbs to spike insulin levels and promote recovery. My fats come from good sources of olive oil, fish oil, almonds and the like.

I am currently on a mass gaining phase of my diet and am consuming about 20 times my body weight in calories with a ratio of about 45% carbs, 40% protein and 15% fat.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

My favorites listed above. For fat burners, I have found that Biotest Hot Rox was the most effective for me, however if you are planning to compete in an INBF competition, you will be banned for prohibited substances.

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Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I enjoy the thought of taking control of my health and body. There is no amount of money that can buy what you can achieve by living a healthful, bodybuilding lifestyle.

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I enjoy the process of striving toward a goal, even one that is never ending. There is nothing more satisfying than working hard every day, pushing past the pain and living a determined lifestyle that rewards you both physically and spiritually. Overcoming obstacles and reigning over weaknesses allows one to really grow and understand themselves.

I love the way I feel compared to days gone past. I never realized how much different I would actually feel and now can truly appreciate the road I have traveled thus far. Bodybuilding inspires a never ending cycle of hope in its participants, as we all are planning to get bigger, better, leaner or stronger and with a little effort will always succeed. Now, if only that philosophy worked in Vegas!!

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am currently planning on adding mass (aren't we all) and look forward to the 2008 competition season. I am in the process of opening a gym and personal trainer services.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Don't focus on numbers (weight lifted, weight on scale etc). While gains in strength are always sought, the feel of the muscle contraction should not routinely be sacrificed. Pump your working muscle as if you are trying to fill a constantly leaking bicycle tire, constant tension is the only way to keep it inflated. The mind-muscle connection will serve you well in your future progress.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My wife (figure competitor) is #1. Dennis Wolf, Chris Cook and Big Jay Cutler are close seconds.

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