Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Chris Zaino

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Chris Zaino! - Pics and info and more!
  • Name: Chris Zaino
  • E-mail: cz2000@aol.com
  • Age: 26
  • Where: Dallas, TX
  • Height: 5'7"
  • Weight: 200 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :12
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: none
  • Favorite Supplements: Glutamine and a Multi-Vitamin

How Did You Get Started?

Unlike most bodybuilders who got their inspiration from the magazines and "Arnold", my inspiration came from my dad. My dad had a great build, and as far back as I can remember I was flexing my triceps. So, at the age of 13, I moved from Long Island, NY to Sarasota, FL. My parents bribed me with a universal weight machine in my room. Well, that was the beginning of a monster. In a short amount of time I was able to see progress. This in turn got the motivational ball rolling for me to continue training harder and harder. I entered high school at 98 pounds and I graduated at 205?not bad. From there, I entered college and competed in my first show at 18 years old. I received 2nd in the men's open at the 1995 Jr. FL. I was originally doing the teen division, but they dropped it, so I had to compete in the open. That was the beginning of a slew of shows and victories. Some of my best shows were the 1997 NPC Mid FL, overall; 1998 NPV Jr. FLorida, overall; 1998 Mr. America, 2nd; and 1999 NPC South Eastern USA, 1st. Since then I have been blessed to have written for Natural Muscle Magazine for 3 years and had the chance to appear on TV and magazines. Like I said, total blessing, total bonus.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?


I use a high intensity, low rep, low set approach. I am all about progressive overload and stimulating the maximum amount of muscle hypertrophy in the least amount of time. So, pre-contest or off-season, my training stays the same. The "Max-OT" style of training allows me to hold on to all my mass and fullness come show time.

Here is an example of the one week split:

  • SUNDAY: Quads
  • MON: Chest
  • TUE: Back
  • WED: Off
  • THURS.: Hamstrings/Deadlifts
  • FRI: Shoulders
  • SAT: Arms
Again, I will do 2-3 main exercises for each body part and 2 main sets per exercise for an all out 4-6 reps. I also do cardio 6 days a week, first thing in the morning, for about 40-50 minutes.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Well, like most people I tried them all. I even remember carrying around a duffle back filled with the latest, newest muscle builders. Well, over time I realized what worked for me and what I really did not need. So here is the list of my current supplement list:

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love a challenge. Bodybuilding has instilled in me a mentality and discipline that I can use in every aspect in my life. God has blessed me with the ability and I am to use it for the best. Remember, "success breeds success." So, every workout, every goal accomplished, gives you the confidence that the next goal can be tackled. So, when I entered Parker Chiropractic College, the mentality was there. I realized if I put in as little as 10% of the effort and focus I use for a show, there would be nothing I could not do. So, that mentality and journey of accomplishment is what I enjoy. I am blessed and I thank God every day for allowing me to share that with others.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I am presently attending Parker Chiropractic College in Dallas, Texas. Well, I was dabbling in a little fitness modeling here and there. I am definitely going to get the ball rolling on that again in 2003. My last show was in 1999, so am I going to hit the stage again? Can't lie guys, the bug is back, and even though I have 30 hours of classes per week that actually gives me the structure I need to do a contest. So, I will be hitting the stage starting April 2003 and hopefully onto the Team Universe, USA, and would like to do one of the Musclemania shows. But again, God and school are first priorities in my life. If school is demanding too much of me, then I need to put that energy into my career and studies. I feel becoming a doctor of chiropractic will be the ultimate "contest" of all. It is a 3 year, straight through, intense journey...at the end of it I will have the greatest trophy and reward of all, the ability to help peoples' lives.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Okay guys, the key to it all is CONSISTENCY! You've got to eat right for YEARS. Then you've got to train hard for YEARS. There are no secrets to replace hard work. Mind set is very important. Set goals for yourself and before those goals are met, create new ones. Keep it simple. Pick up any magazine, there are 1000 routines and 1000 ways that are better than others. Again, it all works. The only thing that fails a routine is you not putting in the hard work. Find a plan that sounds good to you and stick with it for a long enough period of time that you can give it a chance. Too many people I know are bouncing from one diet to another, from one routine to another. Make your life simple, train to stimulate the muscle, eat to support protein synthesis and recovery and get your sleep...SOLUTE!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Shawn Ray, Amier Haidar, Skip Lacour