I know I usually introduce powerlifters to help support powerlifting, but I decided to take the time this time to introduce one of my personal favorites in the natural bodybuilding arena. Jeff Willet has been a personal friend of mine for two years now and I email him every now and again giving him support as he does me. On a daily basis, I view his training journal at AST Sports Science website. Jeff is a hard-worker and represents what "tanking it out" means. Jeff's physique has also came a long way from back in 2000 to now. I'm definitely a fan of Jeff and I'm sure you will be too. Read the interview below and if you have any questions for Jeff Willet, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy!
CD: Thanks for a chance to interview you, Jeff. Please give the readers a description of yourself?
JW: It's my pleasure, Curtis. Thank you for the opportunity.
I am 29 years old. I am originally from Michigan and moved to Colorado to work for AST Sports Science in August of 2000.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Adrian College in 1996 with a double major in Exercise Science and Business Administration.
It was always my hope that I could find a position that combined my education along with my bodybuilding experience and working with AST Sports Science has given me the perfect forum to do that. I am very grateful to work with such a great company that I believe in so much.
CD: How long have you been into bodybuilding?
JW: I started bodybuilding when I was 16 years old and did my first contest at 17.
I had a successful competitive teenage career including winning the Teen Mr. Michigan title and I've been at it ever since.
CD: Have you always been strong?
JW: Early on in my training I didn't realize the importance of overload and training heavy for building maximum muscle. It wasn't until my early 20's that I started to focus more on heavy training.
I would not say that I was exceptionally strong when I started bodybuilding but I had good development for my age, especially my arms and legs.
CD: Tell us about your childhood and how you got into bodybuilding?
JW: I was first encouraged to start bodybuilding by my oldest brother, Joe Adams. Joe was in college and had started training. He came home on break and I was impressed with the improvements he made to his physique. He suggested that I start bodybuilding because he thought I had good genetic potential. My dad also encouraged me to start training as well.
I liked the superhero look like many kids do and always admired bodybuilder physiques. So, I started going to the gym with my brother and began to see results fast. Then it all snowballed from there.
A few months after I started training I went to a local bodybuilding show with my dad to watch a couple friends and from the moment I saw the first competitor walk onstage I knew that is what I wanted to do.
CD: How did it feel winning your latest contest?
JW: My latest contest win was the 2001 Team Universe. I won the heavyweight class and that was a huge victory for me.
I had come off a disappointing finish in 2000 and winning the show in 2001 felt like I had answered a lot of questions to myself about my abilities as a national level competitor.
I worked very hard all year and it felt great when it all came together onstage. I was extremely proud and very happy of that accomplishment. It will always be a very special moment for me.
CD: What is your favorite lift?
JW: I am not sure I have an absolute favorite lift. It's hard for me to narrow it down to just one exercise I like the best but I'd say I probably enjoy training arms the most.
CD: How do you think you stack up against other bodybuilders at your level?
JW: I respect the quality of the physiques bodybuilders have at top national level contests and because I respect their talents I am motivated to work harder, knowing the standards I have to rise to in order to be competitive at this level.
As all competitors, I have my strengths and weaknesses. I strive to make my strong points stronger and bring up my weak areas in order to present the most complete package I can.
I feel I stack up well against the competition but also know I need to keep improving in order to climb the ranks.
CD: Have you ever done powerlifting?
JW: I have never competed in powerlifting.
I am impressed by the strength exhibited by powerlifters but never had an interest in competing in any powerlifting contests.
CD: I've always preached about having training partners. Do you have any training partners?
JW: I have always preferred to train with a partner and still do today.
CD: Who did you look up to when you were coming up as a bodybuilder?
JW: Like many people, I looked up to Arnold when I was starting out and still admire his attitude and respect how he has been successful at every avenue of his life.
Outside of bodybuilding I admire my parents and appreciate what they have done for me and my brothers as well as the examples they have set by being kind, hardworking, good people. I hope to set as good of an example for others as they have set for me.
I also have great respect for Paul Delia, founder of AST Sports Science. Paul has been such a huge contributor to my success over the last few years. I admire his knowledge, ethics and the fact that he puts his heart and soul into his work. He is an inspiration to me in and out of the gym.
CD: What was one of the challenges of coming up as a bodybuilder?
JW: When I was in my late teens and early 20's I had my share of people telling me that I could not remain natural any longer if I wanted to go further in the sport. Deep down I felt I could but it was hard to keep that belief strong while getting bombarded with such negativity.
I searched for examples of other natural champions to help solidify my beliefs. That's when I found inspiration from people like Skip La Cour, Chris Faildo, Ron Coleman and other Team Universe Champions. Seeing their success and the level they achieved helped strengthen my convictions and they have not wavered since.
CD: What would you say to a novice lifter or to a lifter who's just starting out in powerlifting and/or bodybuilding?
JW: Great things are possible with the right amount of hard work, dedication and perseverance.
When you are striving to build muscle and strength you need to be consistent and persistent. Great results happen through the continual execution of an intelligent plan, in and out of the gym. The longer and more consistent you are with your training and nutrition, the better you gains will be.
It is important that you learn as much as you can about training and nutrition in order to maximize your results. I am proud to contribute to the information on the AST Sports Science web site (www.ast-ss.com) and think it is an invaluable resource for beginner and advanced alike.
CD: Do you believe in combining powerlifting and bodybuilding?
JW: I believe it is important to train heavy with basic compound lifts for maximum muscle and strength development. That is one reason why the Max-OT program that I follow is so effective, it is based on the fact that overload creates the best stimulation for muscle growth.
CD: What are your workouts like? How are they setup?
JW: As I mentioned, I train with the Max-OT principles. The Max-OT course is offered on the AST Sports Science web site free of charge and explains all the principles in great detail. Click here to check it out!
I post my workouts weekly on my training journal which is part of the AST Sports Science web site. You can see exactly how my workouts are structured as well as the sets, reps and weights I use. Click here to check it out!
CD: Do you train equally as hard on every bodypart?
JW: I try to give all body parts the same focus and attention.
Everything counts from head to toe and it is important to try and channel the same type of intensity towards everything you train.
CD: What's next for you?
JW: The next contest I know I am doing for sure is the NPC USA Championships in July of 2003.
CD: Is there anything else you like to mention to our readers here at Bodybuilding.com?
JW: I appreciate the opportunity to share some of my story with you and if you are interested in following along with my progress now and up to my next contest you can check out my training Journal on www.ast-ss.com.
I also have a personal web site that contains extra photos and information about my past, current and future endeavors. www.jeffwillet.com.
CD: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. You are one of my favorite bodybuilders and doing this interview shows people here at Bodybuilding.com why.
JW: Thank you Curtis and thanks for all your support and encouragement. I really appreciate it.
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