Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Jim Walker

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Jim Walker! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I grew up a fat kid. Mom fed me anything and everything I wanted. As a result, by the time I was in junior high, I was pretty good size. By high school, I was 5'10 and well over 230lbs of pure fat. In gym class, not only was I the last to get picked, but the other guys would slap my legs leaving handprints or grab my love handles till it hurt.

I started cutting classes to avoid being teased. My GPA dropped so low that I eventually got the boot over to the continuation high school for problem kids. While there, a teacher suggested I take my GED and go on to college. I did just that and finished two years before my class. While in college, I decided to do something about my weight. I start just running 20 minutes, 3 days a week. Then I changed my eating habits to simply consuming better foods.

Five years later following college, I looked in the mirror and knew I'd lost my weight but my overall shape was still the same (as the fat boy). It occurred to me, lifting some weight might change that. Indeed I did change but never thought about stepping onto a stage.

After working out alone for about seven years, I decided to get a trainer. Doug Murphy made a tremendous difference. The biggest thing I discovered was the importance of variety and intensity. I had been doing the same workouts day after day, in exactly the same order for all those years. He changed everything and consequently, I began to change dramatically.

After working with Doug for two years, he looked at me one day and said "why do you compete?" I pretty much laughed at him at first but then got to thinking about it... and decided I need a new goal.

I took 2nd place in novice heavyweight in my first show "Heart of Texas" in 2003. Last year, the competition was more intense (23 contestants) and I took a disappointing 6th place. Over the course of the off-season this time around, I was determined to gain some serious weight and come fall, place in the top three.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

The program I've followed has focused on a lot of basic compound exercises like the bench press, squat and deadlift. I do a four day split chest/bis, back, shoulders/tris and legs. No workout ever lasts more than 90 minutes. Each workout is a mix of freeweights and machines. Every workout is different. I never do the same exercises in the same order.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Off-season I eat six meals per day. Breakfast is one serving of oatmeal mixed with Labrada or EAS Protein Powder and 1 1/3 cups of egg beaters. The next four meals are 10 ounces of protein, 12 ounces of carb. My protein selections are chicken breast or extra lean ground beef. Carb choices are yams, potatoes, or brown rice. The last meal of the day is the same as the first.

Contest diet is similar. Breakfast is Cream of Wheat without any supplement plus 1 cup of egg beaters. The next four meals are 8 ounces of protein and 10 ounces of carb. Protein this time is always chicken. Last meal at 8pm is egg beaters and vegetables. Nothing to eat after that.

Given my job, as a TV news reporter, eating all my meals and eating them on time is a challenge. I cook twice a week, usually 2 hours each time. I pack all my meals in a large lunch bag and keep them cold with Blue Ice. Eating cold potatoes or yams is sometimes nasty but food is critical fuel and you do whatever you have to in order to get it down.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I find EAS Myoplex and LaBrada Protein to be very good for adding extra quality calories. Myogenix Aftershock gives me a post workout recovery vehicle with plenty of Creatine and Glutamine. Beyond supplements, I believe that good high quality food eaten at regular intervals is the best way to be a good, high-quality body.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I have always loved a challenge and there is nothing more challenging than hard training and a strict diet. I also love the results and love attracting attention. Any bodybuilder who denies he likes attention is lying. Nothing makes you feel better than walking into a room and being noticed whether that's by women or men. Bodybuilding is also the ultimate mood adjuster. I know that no matter how I'm feeling... once I get into my workout... everything levels out and I come out of the gym feeling better and ready to take on the world's challenges.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I would like to win 1st place in my division and win an overall at a state contest. Beyond that, I eventually would like to get certified as a personal trainer so I can share bodybuilding with others and all the benefits that come from it.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

At many of the contests I've watched and/or taken part in, guys seem to be obsessed with how they measure up against each other. While a competition is just that, in my mind, I've already won by just being there. You know that you look better than 99% of the population. If I know I look the best I possibly can at this point in my life, I'm thrilled. A trophy or anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Being a tall guy, it's hard to find role models because there aren't many tall bodybuilders. The man who comes closest is Gunter. I especially admire his legs. Again... being tall, legs have always been a challenge for me and seeing his size leaves me inspired. Based on that, I have made a really focused effort to bring up my legs in the last year to where they should be.