Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Tony Neal

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Tony Neal! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

The summer after I graduated high school I moved down to Florida and joined a Gold's Gym there and really started getting into weight training consistently and paying more attention to what I was eating. When I started I was 160 lbs. and not much muscle at all. I was like most typical young men, wanting to build some muscle and burn the fat to achieve that "model" like condition.

I never really had competing in mind at that point being 19 years old. After about 6 months I had put on about 15-20 pounds and built my physique up better. My friend Danny had told me he was doing a bodybuilding competition and told me I should do it with him. So I did and took 2nd in the Teen division and I was hooked from there. I realized right then and there, this was going to become a huge part of my life.

Tony Neal
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Tony Neal

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I've found the most benefits for me both mentally and physically, have come from doing high volume, heavy training. I say both mentally and physically because I have personally seen great results from my workout program with my physique improving, but also I have developed a better mind to muscle connection and standard that I hold myself too.

This insures me that I will not have a lagging workout and that it will always be intense and beneficial trying to mentally achieve that standard I've set for myself. My training split is 5 days a week, 6 days pre-contest. I incorporate all methods (drop sets, supersets, FST-7, death sets*).

I usually pyramid up in weight and I'll rest 30-60 seconds between sets unless it is more of a power lift like squat or deadlift. Usually 2 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on, 1 day off or vice versa.

*Death sets: Pick a weight and do as many as you can until you literally feel like you might die, and then do a few more to build character/confidence. These are only done when the mood is right.

Day 1: Shoulders
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Abs/Calves
Day 4: Chest
Day 5: Back
Day 6: Arms
Day 7: Off


Cardio: Offseason

3-4 times per week for 25 min, heart rate 130-135 BPM

Cardio: Pre Contest

7 times per week for 45 min, heart rate 130-135 BPM on empty stomach upon waking

*Will add in second session of cardio at night before last meal at around 7 weeks out.

Tony Neal
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Tony Neal

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

This is the most important aspect of achieving any fitness goal you have. I do not care what anyone says, your physique is built in the kitchen, not the gym. You can lift weights all day long, but you will never see results you want unless you are willing to put the time in cooking and eating.

It took me a long time to figure this concept out, but once I realized this simple fact the gains and improvements were tremendous. I've listed my pre-contest diet below that I used. The thing to remember is your body is constantly changing so you may need different intake on different days, more carbs or fats one day, and less on another. A lot of it is trial and error to see what works best for you.

Meal 1:
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:
Meal 7:
Tony Neal
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Tony Neal

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Here are the supplements I've used that I feel work the best for me. Keep in mind that supplements are exactly what they are, supplements to an already proper nutritional program. Nothing is ever better for you than real foods.

Post Workout:
With Meal 1:
Pre-Workout:
Pre & Post Workout:
Intra Workout:
Post Workout:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Ever since I got into bodybuilding, it has changed the way I look at life. It has taught me so many different life lessons and experiences. Doing a bodybuilding competition I often tell people is the hardest thing you will ever do, but the most rewarding thing, no matter what you place. I am currently a Senior at Miami University (Oxford) and will be getting my degree in Health Promotions, so I plan on taking my experiences with bodybuilding into my career in Health and Wellness.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

Lots of people motivate me, but nobody forces me to work out or eat or live the lifestyle I do, so lots of motivation comes from within. I feel though certain people motivate me to want to be the best I can, and I do that by working hard at doing something I love to do. My family, friends, girlfriend, training partner, coach, and many others all play a huge role in helping me achieve my goals.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I developed a desire to want to be the best I can. I realize from education how important physical activity and nutrition is in overall health, plus the competitive side I have inside and taking up the sport of bodybuilding fills all those requirements.

Tony Neal
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Tony Neal

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My future plans right now are set for making improvements and trying to get bigger this off season. I plan to compete in the 2012 Colligate Nationals next summer. The big goal of course, is to one day get an IFBB pro card, but one step at a time. I'm graduating college this year so I would like to continue using my passion for bodybuilding and healthy living in my career job.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

This whole thing of improving your physique and developing your 'ideal' body, takes time. You have to be consistent with everything, meals, training, and cardio. It is a lifestyle choice that not everyone is set out for. Everyone can eat healthy and work out, but to train for a contest and be competitive is a totally different level.

But regardless of your goals or aspirations, with a will there is a way. You get out what you put in, and there is never a shortcut for hard work. Once you realize the power you have to change your body, you will never become satisfied, but that is a good thing because satisfaction is the death of desire!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Kai Greene, Oksana Grishina, and Nicole Wilkins.

What Features Do You Use On Bodybuilding.com?

I use BodySpace, forums, and various articles about training and nutrition.