Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Russ Niewiarowski

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Russ Niewiarowski! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Russ Niewiarowski
  • E-mail: RussDesign@adelphia.net
  • Age: 44
  • Where: Santa Ana Heights, California
  • Height: 5' 11"
  • Weight: 230 Lbs., Contest: 206 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :2
  • Favorite Bodypart: Calves
  • Favorite Exercise: Deadlifts And Chins
  • Favorite Supplements: MaxMuscle High5 chocolate protein mixed with diet Coke, VPX CEX creatine and Isoflex protein for post workout.

How Did You Get Started?

I was around 14 when I realized I was the skinniest kid around. My legs and arms were sticks. I saw the ads for Charles Atlas and such and ended up purchasing a 12-week exercise program from the mail which consisted of mostly freehand exercises. I talked my older brother Ray into joining but he wasn't interested in bodybuilding like I was. I later met Ray Metzer in person and was amazed by his mass and knew I wanted to look like that.

When the movie Pumping Iron came out I was around 15 or 16 and saw the movie like 15 times. I bought the book Pumping Iron and was hooked. I submerged myself in everything Arnold and took the whole mass training and eating serious when I was 17. I gained 50 pounds that summer, going from 130 pounds to 180.

The whole bodybuilding thing didn't really click with me when I was young. I filled out but never really gained the muscle mass and strength. I faded in and out of weight training all through my 20's and when I hit 30 the bodybuilding bug bit me again. This time I gave up the Weider Crash Gain 77 or whatever the sugary substance was called and supplemented my fairly clean diet with Designer Protein, glutamine, creatine and vitamins.

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I trained consistently for at least 4 years and took a lot of notes in a journal. I recorded all the exercises, sets and weights used. This allowed me to set weekly goals and add 5 pounds on the bar for deadlifts every week until I was deadlifting 4 and half plates on each side. Then I took 4 years off from training to pursue local politics. The cause I was fighting took all of my time day and night. In those 4 years I gained a lot of fat until I reach nearly 240 pounds with a 39" waist. I gave up the political fight and got back into the gym to fight a new fight: loosing all the newly accumulated fat. I have been training hard ever since.

Two years ago I met Milos Sarcev, an IFBB pro and owner of Gold's Gym Fullerton. We became close friends and I helped him with his gym marketing designing his tee shirts, marketing, branding and promotions for his now renamed gym: Koloseum Gym Fullerton (koloseumgym.com). In exchange, Milos looked after my diet and supplement plans and even taught me his training techniques.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Every one. Every workout plan has served a purpose at the time it was used. When I was first gaining my size and strength in my 30's, I rode my bike to work and to the gym. During the day on back day I would do over a 100 chins and challenge my co-workers to join me. Then at the gym I would do deadlifts and more back work. Some would say it is foolish to train a body part twice in one day but back then I did it instinctively.

My back is my strongest, most developed body part. I've done Milos' intense nightmare workouts until I would throw up or go home crying due to feeling like a failure. I would follow my friend Jay Cutler's training program for 6 weeks and I tried double split training for 1 and a half years while working full-time and operating a part time business on the side.

I no longer train double splits and I no longer train with Milos. I since started a new job further away from Milos' gym and had to join a gym closer to work so I could continue to do my training mid-day at lunch. And for 16 weeks I've been training with my training partner Michael, Monday through Friday doing 2 body parts per session along with either calves or abs. On Saturday I commute to Koloseum Gym and train with Hans. Hans and I are both getting ready for our first show: the Orange County Muscle Classic in Anaheim, California on April 22. Hans is half my age.

Currently, every workout is different. I am always thinking about the muscles I am training and explore new ways to hit them in a different way. I developed the 1 and a half rep and try it for a few exercises like calves, hamstrings and pectorals. If doing lunges, take your first lunge and drop to your knee. Come up half way then drop back down to your knee then thrust back up as quick as possible then repeat for reps. That would be the 1 and a half rep method. It really burns. Against Milos' advice I trained calves at the beginning of each session. Yet in a training video he asked me to model my calves for the video. So I know my instincts are correct at times.

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Low protein, high carb diets (like Jay Cutler) work the best for gaining mass and strength. I would try every diet plan that Milos would devise for me but would always fail and go back to a higher carb diet. It's what works best for me. I have never been a high protein eater. I can adapt to a 500g + diet and have followed at times. Since committing to competing in my first show I have followed Milos' high-protein cutting diet plan for me and it has delivered great results so far.

It would take up too much space to list all the modified diet plans that I have used for the past 2 years, but nearly everyone has served a purpose. When training for mass I lower the protein and raise up the carbs and fats. When dieting down, I reverse the process and increase cardio to two sessions per day. I always listen to my body and give it more calories when it needs more and hold back when it isn't asking. Yes, I cheat and even eat fast food on occasion. Even while preparing for this show, I will have 1 carb load day per week.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

MaxMuscle High5 protein blend, chocolate. I use their glutamine and creatine but find that their glutamine is too clumpy. The creatine by VPX is my favorite - it gives me freaky pumps post workout.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love to break personal records and constantly improve. I love teaching "newbies" the ropes and giving them a boost. Something I didn't have when I started out. For me it seems I had to learn everything the hard way and I guess it made me stronger. At times I want to quit because it is hard, but I can't. Milos has a lot of faith in me and his passion for bodybuilding and helping others has had a strong impact on me.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

To compete in the range of 225-235 in the next 2 years. This first show I may be lucky to compete at 200 or above but it may be in the 190+ range. When Milos retires from competing I would like to partner with him to produce training videos and books so the world can benefit from his vast knowledge. My profession is in creative design, marketing, advertising, photography and copy and would like to use this talent to assist Milos and help other bodybuilders.

magnifying glass Picture at 11 weeks and 3 weeks out (left to right)
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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Place and keep yourself in a place of positive influence. I have doubted myself much and never thought I could actually get where I am. It doesn't happen overnight, nor are there any miracle pills. There is only "you," your will, your persistence, your determination and your dedication. If you can want it, you can will it to be through faith and belief. Your training partner can sometimes kick your @ss out of slumber, but you must get yourself out of bed everyday and hold to your goals and desires.

Nobody can do that for you. Learn to accept and love yourself. For me, I will be honest and say that I am never satisfied. I want more. In never being satisfied it forces me to continue climbing upward and onward, to push harder. Due you really need to prove anything? No. But you do it because you know deep down inside that if you really tried, you can do even better, and it's a great feeling to see stars after pushing or pulling more weight then you thought possible.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

There are so many. Like my love for automobiles, each have distinct qualities. Milos Sarcev has the perfect symmetry and quads. Frank Zane and Steve Reeves are the ideal for sculpted perfection. Jay Cutler for brute size. Arnold for the classic small waist and brute size (my ideal). Armin Scholz, the closest one to being a modern day Arnold, Lee Priest, the guy's got the mass and arms, and so many, many more.

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