Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Tawfiq Ghadban

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Tawfiq Ghadban! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Tawfiq Ghadban
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 20
  • Where: Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  • Height: 6'
  • Weight: 210 Lbs., Competition: 190 Lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :4
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs, Back, Abs
  • Favorite Exercise: Wide grip chinups, Hanging Leg raises
  • Favorite Supplements: Whey Protein, Creatine, Glutamine, NO2

How Did You Get Started?

At the age of 14, I was a skinny 145 lb teenager. The only sport I ever played was Basketball. I always admired the big guys in the sport like Shaquille O'Neal. I knew that Basketball wouldn't help me achieve an outstanding physique, so I left the court and bought myself a set of 12 lb dumbbells. Two months later, I asked my mother to buy me a gym membership for my birthday. That day, my friends, is when my journey started.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I tried a wide variety of workouts. For the pre-competition period, intense high volume training is what worked best for me. I average 45- 60 sets per workout all in form of supersets (two exercises back to back), trisets (three exercises back to back), giant sets (five exercises back to back) and drop sets (decreasing weight in one exercise).

I also try to lift as heavy as possible for every single exercise so I don't sacrifice muscle size for muscle definition. As an engineering student at RMC (Royal military college of Canada), I don't have a lot of time on my hands so when I go the gym, I have to make every second count. If you have competed in the past, you have probably noticed that your legs take longer to define than the rest of your body. It's normal. You have a big slab of meat in which you try to attain muscle separation and striations in less than 12 weeks.

I know, it's not easy at all. What I found worked best is super setting leg extension and leg curl for 50-100 reps each set. It also helps if you do lunges (with weights) for a couple of kilometers around the track every week.

I also get a lot of people asking me how to get washboard abs. First off, following a medium to low carbohydrate and high protein nutrition plan is essential to get rid of any "extra skin". Once that's taken care of, do your cardio at least 4-5 times a week depending on your current level of body fat. Now for the workout, it should never take more than 5 min. Here is an abdominal workout that works well for me:

    Triset X 2:
    Hanging leg raises 15 reps
    Crunches on decline bench 30 reps
    Reverse leg raises on decline bench 45 reps+

I do abs every workout because they are a fast-twitch muscle fiber (i.e. they recuperate fast). Try to avoid training your obliques with weights as it will only make your waist look bigger (you don't want that!!!).

This is how I split up my body parts:

    Monday: Chest, Back, Quads, Calves, Abs
    Tuesday: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Hamstrings, Abs
    Wednesday: Chest, Back, Quads, Calves, Abs
    Thursday: Rest
    Friday: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Hamstrings, Abs
    Saturday Chest, Back, Quads, Calves, Abs
    Sunday: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Hamstrings, Abs

I know that this is a heavy-duty workout, but I only do it 4-6 weeks before a competition. Personally, I find that training each muscle at least twice a week is essential in order to get maximum muscle striations while keeping the muscles hard.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

I usually eat a 1:2 Protein-Carbohydrate ratio during the whole year to stay lean and gain muscle but I change that to 2:1 Protein- Carbohydrate ratio before competition so I can shed as much body fat as possible. The important thing to remember when going on a low carbohydrate diet is to do it gradually. If you do it too fast, your body will be shocked and will crave for carbohydrates and if you do it too slow, the summer will probably be over before you get that beach body.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Many people replace their basics meals by supplements and I find that unfortunate. Solid food should be the foundation of your nutrition plan and supplements are only there to complete your diet. I usually use Whey Protein, Creatine and Glutamine in the off-season but switch to Multivitamin's, Whey Protein Isolate, and NO2 twelve weeks before a competition.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I first competed when I was 17 years old winning my category and beating men with years of experience in the sport. It was a thrill. I found that there is nothing more satisfying than stepping on stage and having the whole crowd cheer for you.

Most importantly, you feel that you've achieved something great due to your hard work and dedication, and not as a result of muscle enhancing drugs. That's why, in my opinion, natural bodybuilding is the greatest sport ever. What you put in is what you get out.

When I compete I have 2 main objectives: first is to have no regrets by knowing that I trained and dieted as hard as I could, and second is to look better than the last show.

Two years ago, I won first place in the Junior, Novice and male fitness model search categories in the Musclemania east, and last year I was awarded second place at Fame (nationals) and top five at the world's in the junior bodybuilding category.

Both competitions were organized by the WNSO, an organization that is devoted to all natural bodybuilders and fitness models. You can check them out at

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My future plans are to continue to strive in my chosen sport. For the short term, I hope to be the best junior bodybuilder in the world and in the long term, the best natural bodybuilder in the world.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Stick to your plan: "Winners never quit, Quitters never win."

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

In the big leagues, I would say Ronnie Coleman and Lee Labrada while in my league, I would say Greg Doucette, Larry Vinette and Cleve Als (my trainer).