Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week was...
How Did You Get Started?
I was a very late starter in bodybuilding. As a kid I was never into sports - I was a hippie and in the sixties, it wasn't cool to be muscular. I never even went to a gym until I was in my forties. I was a corporate guy doing corporate stuff, and part of the scene was to go to the corporate gym. So I started going to the corporate gym, and had no idea what to do there. I did nothing but arm exercises for the first year, until I blew my elbow tendons. I didn't know anything about taking a day off. I was too intimidated to ask anyone anything. But what got me going was seeing my arms develop, and I began to become fascinated with how I could change my body. Then I started with personal trainers, and that changed everything. I learned about bodybuilding.
What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
I find that older bodybuilders like me have to have a different routine, given our different set of limitations. Our joints are more apt to become inflamed, and our hormonal makeup is different from the younger guys. For myself, I like the four day split routine, because I feel I can really get at each body part. I work out five days out of seven, staggering the two off days during the week. My current split is as follows: Day 1: Back and Triceps, Day 2: Legs, Day 3: Chest, Biceps and Forearms, Day 4: Shoulders. In fact, I have added a couple of back exercises to the shoulder day, just because the back is a weak point for me and I want to hit it twice per week. The exercises are a combination of the basics with some isolation exercises for those areas that need it. I always vary the routines and the off-on days enough so that the body never gets used to things.
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
I take a lot of different supplements, but there are a few that stand out as having had very noticeable effects. 1. Whey protein powder. In my early days when I knew nothing, I worked hard and didn't grow. When I added a pouch of MetRx after my workout and again later in the day, I began to grow dramatically. It was awesome. 2. Creatine. Particularly for a vegetarian bodybuilder like myself, creatine supplementation is important. When I first began taking creatine, I was blown away by the added power in my workouts. I found myself checking and re-checking the dumbbells because they seemed too light. 3. Sublingual Nor-AndroDiol. For older bodybuilders, hormone replacement or enhancement seems necessary, as our natural levels decline with age. I like the NorAndro products because I don't have to worry about aromatization or undesirable androgenic side-effects. And I noticed a dramatic increase in power when I began to take Kaizen's sublingual Cyclo-NorDiol. I use Kaizen's Tribulus Terrestris in my off-cycle and find it also to be remarkably potent. I notice that other brands do not seem to have the same effect.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is more than a hobby for me. It's a passion, a way I celebrate life. I love training. It's not just the results, but it's the "getting there" that I love. Bodybuilding is essentially a solitary sport, yet I feel a part of a tradition. There is a feeling of deep satisfaction in pushing my body and then feeding it. I feel the body's pleasure in being strong and healthy. I also like being a spokesperson for vegetarianism. Many people think vegetarians are weak and frail, or at least thin and wirey. When people see me and I tell them that I've had no meat or fish for twenty years, they become willing to have another look at vegetarianism. !
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I want to rebuild my back. The next time I walk out on to a competition stage, I want my lats to look like bat wings! And I want to have the big thick and deep contours of a fully developed back. I intend to compete again next spring, and especially look forward to doing the ANBC shows in the Pennsylvania area again, as I thoroughly enjoyed myself there this past spring.
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
Find a good trainer. I could never have gotten to where I am without my trainer, Mike Demeter. Now that I know a bit about the sport, I notice that many on-site trainers are not well equipped to work with aspiring bodybuilders. Many are downright terrible. Find a good trainer who has the experience and the knowledge. Such people are usually found by referral.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
Arnold is one of my big favorites, not just because of his incredible physique, but because he's a performer. He always seems joyful and playful, and exudes the essence of a champion. Frank Zane is another of my favorites. In fact, I just finished a three day one-on-one training with Frank at his home in La Mesa, California. Frank's champion physique is a model for me, as he was not huge or freakish, but more like a fine piece of sculpture. Lee Haney is also one of my favorites. And, Bob Paris, whose posing I particularly liked.
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