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Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Louis The Great

Louis is a testament to South Africa's growing bodybuilding scene. The former rugby player believes his massive physique is IFBB material. And it's hard to doubt him!

Name: Louis Bessinger
E-Mail: louis@bessinger.co.za
BodySpace: kinglouis89
Website: bessinger.co.za
Location: East London, South Africa
Age: 23  Height: 5'10"  Weight: 209 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 9

Q
How Did Your Bodybuilding Journey Begin?

I was a good rugby player and received scholarships for rugby and athletics since I was in fifth grade. My parents never had to pay school fees. I made sure I gave it my best when I stepped onto the field for practice and matches.

During my first rugby game in high school, my ankle was tapped and I landed on my shoulder, which broke on impact. I didn't realize it straight away. When I ran to the try line and scored I saw my shoulder hanging and the pain shot across my whole body. I knew something bad had happened. I couldn't play anymore that year and got fat from not training. I decided on my own to slowly start rehabbing and made my own weights in the backyard using a broomstick and building blocks.

I fell in love with the changes my body went through. I had no knowledge of training or nutrition and I didn't have the Internet at the time, so I went to the nearest bookstore and bought a local bodybuilding magazine. I read it over and over and studied every sentence. I was just hooked on muscle and knowledge. There was a calendar in the magazine that showed dates of the local shows. I decided to enter the first show.

I knew nothing about bodybuilding and neither did my parents— how to pose, tan, dieting—I even rolled up at the show with hair all over my body. I took that magazine with me; it featured all of the mandatory poses I practiced just before pre-judging. My parents supported me so much. They didn't know what to expect, but we all enjoyed it. I was hooked on the feeling of being onstage and flexing. I didn't diet for that show and my Dad had to go and buy razor blades at the nearest pharmacy to shave my body backstage—memories I'll never forget. I came in third at my first show. When I got home, I received awesome help from a guy named Jacques Pretorius who trained me and sorted my nutrition. Three weeks after my first show, I won the Teenage WABBA Nationals. I went back to playing rugby, but it wasn't the same. My parents gave me the choice to be a bodybuilder full time and give up the scholarship that paid my school fees. I chose to be a bodybuilder.

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?

On-season and off-season training is the same for me. I always incorporate supersets into my training because I prefer my workouts to be intense. In the off-season, I go heavier each set and and have longer rest periods between sets with no cardio. On-season, I do about 30 minutes of intense cardio every day depending on my condition and how far out I am.

On-season, pre-contest training routine:

Day 1: Calves/Quads/Hamstrings

Superset



Day 2: Chest/Shoulders


Day 3: Back/Rear Delts/Traps


Day 4: Biceps/Triceps

Superset



Day 5: Cardio/Calves


Day 6: Repeat

I do extra cardio whenever I need to get leaner. I train abs every day with rope crunches, leg raises with weight, and regular crunches. I like to superset these three exercises together. I train calves twice per week.

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

Roy Butterton is my mentor and nutritionist. His knowledge brought me to where I am today. He creates my diets and tweaks my program as I get closer to a show.

Bulking Phase ///
(up to and until 10 weeks from a show)

I start by drinking four liters of water daily. I take weekends off completely; I don't train or follow my regular diet. I drink at least five protein shakes per day during the weekend to make sure I get my daily protein in. Otherwise, I try to eat as many carbohydrates as possible. My favorite carb sources during this phase are sushi rice, low GI pasta, rolled oats, oven baked potato with olive oil, Weetabix, and rice cakes. I don't count calories, but I make sure my body fat stays below 12 percent during my bulking phase.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6

Smoothie

Pre-Contest Meal Plan ///
Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6
Meal 7
  • Salt And Sugar-Free Weetabix

    Salt And Sugar-Free Weetabix

    2 weetabix

  • Whey Protein

    Whey Protein

    40 grams


What Supplements Gave You The Greatest Gains?
Pre-Workout
Intra-Workout
Post-Workout
With Meal 1, 2, 5, And 7
With Meal 1
With Every Solid Meal

How Did Your Passion For Bodybuilding Emerge?

Bodybuilding turned me into the man I am today. I have so much more self-respect. It taught me to have more patience. I love challenging myself every day and setting new goals. Doing research on training and nutrition is one of my hobbies and using that in my own preparation makes me appreciate everything even more. I don't compare myself to anyone; I just compete against myself and make sure I beat my personal best every time.

What/Who Motivated You To Be A Bodybuilder?

My father had and still has the greatest, biggest natural build that I admire. When I was young, I told my older brother I wanted to be as big as him one day. In my high school days, I walked to the bookstore every day after rugby training to read the latest fitness and bodybuilding magazines. That was my biggest motivation. After that, I started buying magazines, took the posters out of them, and taped them on my bedroom wall. I was in heaven.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

A friend helped me start as a teenager. I would go to his house every Thursday night so he could check on my improvements. He educated me about bodybuilding and I could listen to him for hours. He had so much knowledge that inspired me. As long as I see results every day, there's nothing that can stop me. When I hit a plateau, I change a few things around because I know my body well.

It's easy to have off days, especially when I get closer to a show. I just take a drive to the beach before training and clear my head of all negativity.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I just won the overall junior title at the IFBB SA Championships. Right now, I'm planning on making the top three at the IFBB World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, this December where I can then apply for my IFBB pro card. My training is intense at the moment even with my slipped disc injury—I just work around it and do more machines these days.

I just started a gym wear clothing line called Phat Boy that I'm really excited about. It's causing a lot of interest here in South Africa.

With Paul Winn, my manager from the UK, my future plans are to visit other countries and train with the pros I looked up to as a teenager. My biggest goal is to open my own state-of-the-art hardcore gym and to be one of the best personal trainers out there.

What Is The Most Important Bodybuilding Tip?

Never stop reading to educate yourself. Remember, knowledge is power. There are no limits. Break the rules, but also remember that your body is your temple and health always comes first.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder?

My favorite professional bodybuilder is Phil Heath—he's just on another level. I could stare at his physique for hours, and even after everything he has accomplished, he still stays humble.

I also admire Hennie Kotze. He's from South Africa and we are both sponsored by the same supplement companies (SSn, Sps, Muscle Junkie and Supashape). He's a great guy and shares his knowledge with everyone. He's well known here and has accomplished a lot in South African bodybuilding.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

I recently started a BodySpace and I'm busy learning the ins and outs of my page. I always go onto the forums for research and I've learned so much from it. The exercise and training links are great for learning and putting workouts together for my clients. For example, when an online training client asks me about stretching, I send him the direct link to Bodybuilding.com and it explains everything step by step. It's the best and biggest training and nutrition site in the world. The site makes everyone's life so much easier. It's great to meet new people on BodySpace who have the same drive as you.

Start Your Own Program Today

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Our Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week has the extraordinary qualities to endure the pain and discipline of bodybuilding. Of course, he/she also...

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Jfern689

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Jfern689

Looks good

Jan 8, 2013 3:57pm | report
 
singhmandeep

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singhmandeep

What is the significance of doing 20 reps. I generally go for 6-8 reps when training heavy and 10-12 reps, otherwise.

Jan 8, 2013 6:23pm | report
 
qksc2

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qksc2

Heavy weight and high reps can be beneficial for strength and endurance.

Jan 8, 2013 9:27pm | report
KaseyWotten

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KaseyWotten

You're better to go and read about it on a different article than to get a response here. Reps and everything vary for different parts of the body and can give different advantages and disadvantages.

Jan 9, 2013 7:23am | report
sticky_wicket

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sticky_wicket

Hey singhman,

There was an article posted a couple of days ago on here called "Strong in 8 Weeks", it has a good section on the basics of reps...go check it out.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/strong-in-8-weeks-lift-to-maximize-results.html?welcome=true

Like Kasey said, it is partially dependent on which body part you are training. But I would say an even greater factor is your goals and the type of muscle fibers you most need to recruit.

Jan 9, 2013 8:23am | report
singhmandeep

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singhmandeep

Thanks, for the link. Exactly, what I was looking for.

Jan 11, 2013 12:51pm | report
Cris0rtiz

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Cris0rtiz

Great article. But see, this is the confusion I get, there is a big debate whether train abs everyday or not. There is so many people on the forums telling different stories. I guess that is relative to the person, maybe some people don't need to train it as hard, and other have to!

Jan 8, 2013 6:36pm | report
 
YasiTheE

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YasiTheE

what i think brah,its not good to over-do abs just like any other muscle in the body....atleast a days rest between "ab Days" MINIMUM!!!

Jan 9, 2013 4:00am | report
TonedJordan

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TonedJordan

@Yasithee, look at his abs and tell me it's not good to do abs everyday? His abs are like bricks!

Jan 9, 2013 7:20am | report
JABE00

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JABE00

ABS ... One of few muscles that you can't never overtrain.

Jan 9, 2013 10:10am | report
Sethybond420

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Sethybond420

Good story! its crazy how bodybuilding.com gets these good stories!

Jan 8, 2013 6:56pm | report
 
srgess

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srgess

wow this guy is a machine, really, 6 rep of 60-50-40-30-20-20 leg extension and still going on !!!

Jan 8, 2013 7:15pm | report
 
qksc2

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qksc2

Dude is a beast. Though I, and much scientific research, does not support the 10 grams a day of creatine. 3g-5g per day max.

Jan 8, 2013 9:28pm | report
 
TryHard34

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TryHard34

I agree with you on the 3-5 grams of creatine a day, but he is not taking 10 grams a day. It says in the supplement section that he takes 10 grams pre workout and 10 grams post workout. That's 20 grams of creatine!! That's a lot of creatine.

Jan 9, 2013 10:48am | report
JLM89

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JLM89

inspiring

Jan 8, 2013 9:53pm | report
 
transformerchad

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transformerchad

representing SA!!!! im from johannesburg . well done louis u look beastly!

Jan 9, 2013 12:09am | report
 
a3ian

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a3ian

awsome body,one day i wana look u,Great inspiration as im also from south africa

Jan 9, 2013 12:11am | report
 
luavieira

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luavieira

young lee priest is u?

Jan 9, 2013 5:15am | report
 
poodlemaster

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poodlemaster

Congrads Louis on your achievements, wishing you all the best for the future. Awesome to see a local SA athlete being recognized :)

Jan 9, 2013 6:05am | report
 
deefieh

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deefieh

Looks good, but how can you possibly be sure to not go above 12%bf if you are not counting calories?

Jan 9, 2013 6:45am | report
 
sticky_wicket

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sticky_wicket

I like these workout, very similar to how I train.

Great story as well.

Jan 9, 2013 8:20am | report
 
dajunglebrotha

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dajunglebrotha

dudes got cool hair! lol!

Jan 9, 2013 8:41am | report
 
Shifisu

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Shifisu

Awesome physique! I was surprised you were 23 though. You look alot older xD

Jan 9, 2013 2:07pm | report
 
killa_svet

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killa_svet

and this is how ppl get the wrong advice about dieting smh...

Jan 10, 2013 5:45pm | report
 
robertgillmer

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robertgillmer

Goeoe artiekel Louis :-) baie geluk! Lekker funky fotos

Jan 11, 2013 4:02am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 29 Comments

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