Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Steve Bush

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Steve Bush! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

Like most people, I started lifting early in my teens to improve my athletic performance in high school. My older brother had lifted weights in our school weight room for football and I started tagging along with him when I was 14.

Steve Bush
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Steve Bush.

By the time I was 16, I was training consistently 4-5 days a week. After a lot of encouragement from close friends, I started training for my first show when I was 18 and it snowballed from there. I competed in a smaller regional show and took the Teen Overall and placed 2nd in the Men's Open Light Heavyweight. Now that I'm 22, I'm still competing and hungry to learn and make improvements.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Generally when I'm in my Off-Season, I focus on heavy compound movements to pack on mass. A lot of deadlifts, bench presses, push presses, and squats. I keep my rep range between 4-12 reps per set and usually hit 4-6 exercises for each body part. I run a 5-day split focusing on all of the major muscle groups: Chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. Abs and calves are trained twice a week. I also make sure that I vary the exercises I do along with the rep range in order to keep my body from adapting. It's kind of a relaxed type of periodization; when I feel stagnant, I change the movements and reps I perform. As long as my body is fatigued and my muscles are pumped at the end of a training session, I am satisfied.

Steve Bush
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Steve Bush.

Pre-Contest I focus more on isolation movements and on finely sculpting my body as opposed to just making it bigger. I still run a 5-day split concentrating on all of the major muscle groups, training abs and calves twice a week. I begin to do 5-7 exercises per body part with a rep range between 8-15. I incorporate more breakdown sets along with limiting my rest periods between each set and exercise. To me, listening to your body during this time is pretty pivotal. During my contest prep, I choose my exercises and sets based on how I feel that day. Again, I am looking to maximize my pump and make sure that I am fatigued when I leave the gym.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Natural Bodybuilding Pro Curt Fischer does an amazing job with my nutrition and knows how to get me in good shape and condition. My current Off-Season nutrition looks like this:

Steve Bush
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Steve Bush.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I can't say enough about Gaspari's SuperPump 250. It tastes great and gives me the pumps that I need and want during and after my workouts. Universal's Animal Pak has been with me since I started and I think it's the most complete multivitamin out on the market right now. ZMA, creatine, whey protein, and glutamine are all supplements I would recommend to anyone who wants to get serious about bodybuilding.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

The ultimate payoff: Being on stage and looking your best after a productive Off-Season and 22 weeks of intense contest preparation. When I look at photos from my shows, I don't see a "jacked up dude" or a "pleasing physique." I see the culmination of all of my hard work. There is no better feeling than working hard, coming into a show in shape, and then winning or placing high. Its cliché, but the ends truly justify the means when it comes to the lifestyle you chose to live when competing as a bodybuilder.

Steve Bush
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Steve Bush.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Right now I am focusing on bringing up my weak points and having a successful Off-Season by building quality muscle. I plan to compete in the Spring of 2009 and want to hit stage in the same condition but bigger this time. As I mature, I hope to eventually make an impact on the NPC National scene. For now though, like I said, I need to fix the imperfections in my physique and look towards winning my weight class the next time I compete.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be consistent!! You can't expect to build a competitive physique by having an erratic training and nutritional program. From what I've seen, there's nothing worse than playing damage control 2 weeks out from a show because you cheated on your diet or didn't train hard. If you're serious, you need to commit to a lifestyle that will enable you to compete seriously and confidently against others.

Steve Bush
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Steve Bush.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I've always been a big fan of Mark Dugdale. He's put together well and has great size for his frame along with good aesthetics. Bob Cicherillo is the epitome of hard work and persistence and I probably admire those qualities about him more than his freakish size and muscularity. Evan Centopani has always impressed me ever since I saw him win Junior Nationals in Chicago a few years back.