Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Shawn Myszka

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Shawn Myszka! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I got started at the age of 12 and haven't really looked back since. My brother, who has been a Nationally Ranked bench presser for the last five to six years, is the one who got me into it. I competed as a power-lifter from age 14-17 and then decided I needed the new challenge of competing as a bodybuilder.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I have experimented through the years with many workout plans. However, when I was 17, I started to read more and more articles by then-current Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates and his approach to training. I decided to give his workout plans a try and my body grew like a weed. As proof, I was 18 and 155lbs when I started using his approaches-by looking at my current stats I guess one could say his Blood and Guts approach has worked well for me. Therefore, I need to give some of his products a quick plug-if you have not seen Blood and Guts-The Video or read Dorian Yates-A Warrior's Story, buy both of them immediately.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My nutrition plan is very meticulous year round. I always know exactly where my nutrient levels are. My off-season diet is currently at 6800 calories, 540 grams of protein (2 grams/pound of BW) and 945 grams of carbohydrates (3.5 grams/pound of BW). When pre-contest rolls around the only food change I make is dropping the weight gainer and then just lowering the serving sizes of each item I eat throughout the day.

I realized when I competed at the 2002 NPC Junior Nationals that the competitors at the National-level are absolutely insane and that if I wanted to be there I would have to be willing to do whatever it took to get there. That's when I decided that I would no longer cheat on my diet-EVER (off-season or pre-contest). It was a bit hard at first to get through this but it has now been over two years of not taking in any cheat meals and I can easily sit and watch people eat anything-no matter what the occasion is. Just make sure you carry your meals everywhere!

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

All of the supplements I use have their purpose and place in my supplementation plan. However, I started using Optimum Serious Mass last year to help increase my calories and it seems to have paid off. One can use any quality manufacturer's low-fat weight gainer to get the same types of gains (i.e. I am sure there are many here on

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I am someone who strives to do more than anyone else and to do things that no one else is willing to do. Bodybuilding is an avenue that allows me to do this. It appeals to me because it is a "you versus the world" sport. I love the discipline that the sport requires in order to be successful and this is exactly what I thrive on.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My short-term plan is to qualify and compete at the 2005 NPC Nationals. When that day in November comes next year, I want to make an immediate impact and show the judges that I belong there. I also hope to finally get rid of the word potential used with my name. My whole bodybuilding career, even at contests that I have won, people have always told me that I have tremendous potential if I could just dial it in. Well, I plan to make good on their prediction and finally completely give everyone a true taste of what I can be.

My ultimate plan down the road is to obtain an IFBB Pro Card and to compete with the best in the world. I know in order to do this I have to get much better and push myself much further than I have ever been close to. I know however, that I can do this and my body has a lot farther to go.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

If I can only give one I guess it would be to GET MENTAL! What I mean by this is that in order to get the most out of yourself you have to make your self mentally stronger before you can achieve your physical potential. To quote Dorian, "inner mental strength is often the determining factor for success." Therefore, I feel as though one should do as much mental training per day as they do physical training.

If you are mentally stronger you will much less likely to give in when adversity shows its ugly head. For example, when I was preparing for my last contest, I tore my right lateral quadriceps at eight weeks out from the contest. It would have been very easy for me to give in but when you don't you are able to come back much stronger. It showed because then when at two weeks out from the same contest I dislocated my knee cap on the other leg (doing cardio nonetheless), it was easy for me to keep going and not give in because I had already went through so much to be there.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Dorian Yates is still the man in my mind. His approaches have made the most difference in my bodybuilding career and determining how far my body can go in the future. His character and willpower (though it has often been defined as superhuman) is what I strive to emulate each and everyday of my life.

My body shape and structure has often been compared to Mike Francois and Branch Warren. I guess this is very good being that both of them are absolute freaks and have what I want, pro status. I know my body is nowhere close to being able to compare with their level but with more years of consistent training and dieting under my belt I feel as though I can be at that level and hopefully beyond.