An Interview With Teenage Bodybuilding Phenomenon And NPC Competitor Dave Hawk Jr.

In this exclusive interview he provides the exact training, nutrition and supplement plans he used to add close to 15 pounds of solid muscle... Learn more about this great amateur as he makes bold moves in the bodybuilding world!

As he prepares for the biggest contest of his career, the NPC North American championships, top teen bodybuilder, David Hawk Jnr, 20, enjoys the advantages of professional training and nutrition instruction from one of the industries best, his father, IFBB Pro bodybuilder Dave Hawk, 45.

By age14, David was already training with his father, but at that stage his goal was amateur wrestling success, not top-level bodybuilder status as it is now. As a wrestler and now a bodybuilder, inspiration is something the young champion has never lacked.

Dave senior's extensive work in the bodybuilding/fitness industry as a fitness-marketing specialist, supplement company agent, athlete manager and world-renowned personal trainer has put David into contact with many of the world's top bodybuilding and strength athletes, so much so that he considers wrestling legend, Kurt Angle, family and cites a host of others as good friends.

As a teen bodybuilder, David has gone as far as he can and now aims to compete at the highest level. His first obstacle? The 2007 North America championships, held on August 31, where he feels his 190-pound, ripped physique - up from 176 at his last show, the 2006 NPC Teen Nationals, where he won the middleweight class and placed 2nd overall - will make a definite impact.

In a sport where pinpoint accuracy in training and nutrition often separates the winners from the losers, David has his bases well covered. From his first big show, the 2004 NPC Teenage Tri State, which he won, to the present day, David has followed the advice of his father and has made the kind of progress teen bodybuilders dream of.

In this exclusive interview he provides the exact training, nutrition and supplement plans he used to add close to 15 pounds of solid muscle to his physique in the short space of one year, since his last show to the present day. As the accompanying photos suggest, David Jr. is poised for great things. Just don't call him little Dave.

[ Q ] For those who don't know who you are, please provide some background. How did you get started in bodybuilding?

    Throughout my entire life I have grown up around the sport of bodybuilding, as my father was a former NPC Mr. USA, Mr. World and then IFBB pro bodybuilder from 85 to 90. He retired until 2002 when he returned and competed and placed 4th in the IFBB Masters Mr. Olympia.

An Interview With Dave Hawk. An Interview With Dave Hawk.
In the following interview, Dave gives an excellent overview of his life in bodybuilding and provides valuable commentary on the finer points of muscle-building.
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    In 2001 I was 14 going on 15 and training with my dad, which was a great experience. I was most impacted seeing him compete and said to myself I want to be a bodybuilder just like him.

    Growing up where your dad is recognized for his bodybuilding career, muscularity and being in the fitness industry, it has to have an impact. I recall always being referred to as little Dave, and he was BIG Dave. I hated that as a kid. This is where I decided to change my perception and have people call me Dave Jr.

    I'm not really a Junior at all. I'm David Forest Hawk (Forest is my grandfathers middle name) and my dad is David Glenn Hawk. Training and hanging with my dad I never planned on being little Dave so this was the first step I took in changing my overall perception about who I was and getting my mind set for the future.

    However at this time and at age 14/15 I was deeply involved in athletics, primarily amateur wrestling for seven years and to my benefit, one of my coaches was Kurt Angle who I consider family now.

Hawk Hawk
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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] What is your height and what are your off-season/pre-contest weights?

    I'm five feet, eight inches and 214lbs at my most recent off-season. This September I plan to compete around 190lbs at the 2007 NPC North America. Last July I sucked down to compete at 176 when I won the NPC Teen Nationals Middleweights and took 2nd overall.

[ Q ] Did you respond well to weight training right from the beginning or did you have to work extra hard for your results?

    I believe I respond very well but I also know I have to work extremely hard for my results. My results came from my young years of dedication and determination but I also know I'm fortunate that I grew up in the most ideal home environment where I have a fitness and strength coach - my dad.

    From the very beginning when I started really working out at age 14, my sister Ashley was training also. My dad made sure we both always used good form and the proper weights, sets, reps and exercises and ate the right nutrition for our age.

    Growing up in a fitness/bodybuilding family you naturally learn - even without trying - how your body works and how to take care of it. In the beginning I learned a lot without even trying.

    One of the first things my father taught me was about my genetics and body structure. I remember at a very young age posing with him in at the gym or at our house in front of my mother, sister and grandparents. It was fun and like a game.

    I kinda knew back then I wanted to be big and become a bodybuilder like my dad or at least look like one. I found out, though, that my genetics were very similar to my dads in structure but I do carry a good bit of my mothers as well which I believe maybe makes it a little harder for me to grow as easily as my dad.

    This is no discredit to him only that I train my @ss off and for some reason when I compare our stats he seems naturally thicker My dad has more of a straight mesomorph body type (this is a person who gains muscle naturally much easier, holds limited body fat - your natural, typical muscleman).

Hawk Hawk Hawk
Hawk Hawk Hawk
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Father (above) & Son (below).

    I'm more of a mid range ecto-mesomorph body type (this means I naturally responded to weight training well and grow, but it takes me a bit more to manage my diet -calorie consumption protein, carbs and fats - in order to gain weight).

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    I gain but I don't gain as fast as I would like. I still train intense and dedicate myself to my regiment daily but to gain good quality muscle I realize it takes time and a strong work ethic to make it all come together.

[ Q ] You say your father Dave inspired you when you were starting out. Were there any others who had a similar impact?

    My dad started my inspiration, however I traveled with my parents to many pro and amateur events where I had the opportunity to meet many great people like Arnold, Rich Gaspari, Lee Haney, Tony Person, Mike Christian, Dorian Yates, Gary Strydom, Lee Labrada, Gerard Dente and Milos Sarcev.

    I remember Milos signing a dollar bill for both my sister and me, and this kind of thing is great when you are a kid. I still have it to this day. As I grew and began weight training and my dad moved off the stage and into the business sector for the fitness industry for almost 15 years (give or take a couple I missed) more opportunities presented themselves.

    Wait? Isn't Defacing Currency Illegal?
    Is Milos Going To Jail?

    Don't worry. Milos isn't in any danger.

    Defacement of US currency is only illegal in the case where it is done with the intent of fraud. So if Milos took a one dollar bill and drew zeroes all over it to make it look like a ten dollar bill, it would be considered fraudulent defacement, or counterfeiting. That would be illegal.

    The prison term for adults convicted of counterfeiting is typically around 15 years.

    I was at the Arnold Classic and here and at the GNC Show of Strength I got to meet and was inspired by Gunther's, Kevin Levrone's, Darrem Charles', and Jay Cutler's physiques.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] What did it feel like to win your class and ultimately place second at the 2006 Teen Nationals?

    It felt fantastic to win my class. Though I would have enjoyed winning the overall like anyone else there. It was exciting for me that my family and my friends were there to see that my hard work paid off and I accomplished an incredible dream. Even with all the knowledge I have from watching my father compete and going to shows over the years, I'm still trying to learn the sport as far as what the judges are looking for.

    What affected me a little in terms of the outcome and as a new competitor in the sport of bodybuilding trying to be my own man or person, was after the show some people came up to me and said they thought I should have won but believed my last name worked against me. But to be honest, I really don't know. I was in the best condition I could be in for that day, however some judges scoring picked size over condition.

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Left - Jazmany Castellanos - 4th Overall - Welter Weight Class Winner.
Center - James Seymour - Overall Champ - Heavy Weight Class Winner.
Right - Dave Hawk Jr. - 2nd Overall - Middle Weight Class Winner.
Photo Credit: Dave Palumbo.

    The Teen Overall Scores came out as listed below. The bold scores, 2 highs and 2 lows, were thrown out.

    Total Place

    Heavyweight 4 2 1 1 1 4 1 2 1 7 1st James Seymour
    Light-Heavy 3 4 3 2 2 2 2 3 4 13 3rd
    Middleweight 1 1 2 3 3 1 3 1 3 10 2nd Dave Hawk
    Welterweight 2 3 4 4 4 3 4 4 2 18 4th Jazmany Castellanos

[ Q ] As you say, many feel you could have won. Why did they go with the eventual winner do you think? What is your view on the final result?

    To be honest I think they picked size over symmetry and condition. Though James was a great competitor and I wish him well, I felt the top two placing's were going to be between the lightweight competitor and me.

    I came in my best overall contest shape and had the best prep to win, and numerous people thought I should have, but the one thing I've learned through watching my dad compete for years is that it is what it is. You have to go back to the gym and start day one and just focus on improving for the next show.

    This is a lifetime hobby, which is also a sport. I believe as my dad does that we do it because we love it and enjoy it for what it is. At the end of the day it isn't how many shows you won but how you have improved yourself and how this then impacts and improves your life for the better.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] You are now gunning for the 2007 North America. What improvements have you made to your physique since the 2006 Teen Nationals?

    I have added a good bit of solid muscle since last year. I believe I will compete close to15 pounds heaver this year. I feel way more balanced as I've worked extremely hard to bring up my legs, as they are bigger and tighter. My chest and shoulders have also come up a bit too.

[ Q ] I have seen your recent pics. You have made tremendous progress since you competed in 2006. Exactly how did you come so far?

    I take my training and diet seriously. Also, thanks to the great supplement/product information and inspirational stories provides, I've been able to enjoy reading and learning more about nutrition and nutritional supplements. I also feel I have pushed myself harder for this show than any other. This isn't the teens anymore, its time to step it up with the BIG BOYS.

    David's competition history (past three years)

    • 2004 NPC Over All Teen Tri State
    • 2004 NPC Over All Teen Pennsylvania
    • 2004 NPC 1st Men's Middle Weight Mr. Pennsylvania
    • 2005 NPC Over All Teen Mr. Pittsburgh
    • 2005 NPC 2nd Men's Middle Weight Mr. Pittsburgh
    • 2006 NPC Teen Nationals Middle Weight 1st Place

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] Describe in detail the training program you are using in the build-up to the North America's.

    Here is an idea of my mass diet and training regiment I did this year.

    I'm not one to go crazy and just eat anything and everything to grow. I use my best-calculated approach to gain lean quality muscle while trying to limit excess calories or spillover that could eventually turn into fat. It's hard to be exact when you want to grow but the closer you track your numbers like when you train, the better you can judge your results.

    I try and keep within 10% either way, give or take, with my calories per pound that helps me to get the best results from a quality mass building diet. For me and with my body type I found in order to add lean muscle (mass) my body needs approximately 18-19 calories per pound.

    Here I take my body weight 214 X 18 = approx. (3900) calories per day. Then break that down into 500-700 plus calories per meals which I eat six to eight times a day.


    I take my total daily calories 3900 and break it down in the following order:

    • Protein: 1.5 grams per pound X 214 = 320 total grams per day x 4 cal = 1284 total cals
    • Healthy Fat's: .65 grams per pound x 214 = 139 total grams per day x 9 cal = 1251 total cals.
    • Low Glycemic Or Complex Carbs: 1.6 grams per pound x 214 = 350 grams per day x 4 cal = 1400 total cals

    Approx - give 10% give or take.

    • Protein - 1284 cals or 320 grams a day
    • Fats - 1251 cals or 139 grams a day
    • Carbs - 1400 cals or 350 grams a day
    • Total cals 3935


-> Diet:

    Here is an average day's eating:

  • 7:00 am - Start with powdered BCAA's in Ice tea then 20-30 minutes of brisk walking for Cardio
  • 7:40 am - blended 50% Whey and 50% Soy protein shake mixed with 3/4 cup of ground Oatmeal with morning Supplements - Multi vitamin & minerals, C, E, CoQ10, tsp fish oil, Aminogen, Glutamine
  • 9:30 am - large portion of egg whites wrapped in a couple wheat tortillas
  • 12:00 pm - blend Whey & Soy protein with oats, Aminogen
  • 2:30 pm - flank steak; large salad, rice with olive oil
  • 5:00 pm - chicken breast; brown rice with olive oil, natural peanut butter; fruit, Aminogen, tsp fish oil
  • 5:30 pm - Supplements - creatine, NO, BCAA's, 0 carb energy drink
  • 6:30-8:00 pm - Strength Training
  • 8:00 pm - Supplements - creatine, glutamine and RTD shake (immediately after workout)
  • 8:45 pm - chicken breast, steamed broccoli or veggies with olive oil; yams, Aminogen, tsp fish oil
  • 10:30 pm - (snack) almonds or natural peanut butter with fat-free beef jerky and fruit
  • 11:00 pm - ZMA, glutamine
  • * Note - I drink at least two gallons of water a day

-> Supplements:

    Key strength and building supplements I use:

  • Creatine - five grams and five grams (2 x a day) to maximize strength and energy.
  • NO - 10 grams one time - promote blood flow while significantly improving your muscle pump.
  • Aminogen - one gram four x a day (1 gram. per 100 grams of protein intake for best results). Increase your protein update up to 400%.
  • Glutamine - five/10 grams three x a day. - supports greater recovery.
  • BCAA's - 2.5 grams (two x a day) - Increase muscle energy ad support protein metabolism.
  • ZMA - 1 x before bed. Naturally increases strength, improves muscularity and definition, speeds recovery, boosts workout capacity and supports testosterone levels already in normal range.
  • Other Essential Supplements: Multiple vitamin/mineral, vitamin C, E, CoQ10, Fish oil.

-> Training:

    I do each body-part once per week, with three days off for proper recovery. I use a lot of compound movements and do emphasize some isolation exercises. For cardio I do it in the morning but only three to four times per week, and limit ab training.

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[ Q ] What are some training techniques that have helped you over the years?

    There are many techniques that have helped me over the past couple years as I have prepared myself for each show. It seems each year as I mature I naturally have the desire to push myself harder and harder.

    From kicking the cardio up, cutting out certain things (tasty filler foods) a little earlier than I usually do in my diet and making sure I get the most recovery time (sleep), as through this I can to allow my body to heal better from the intense training.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] You gave quite an extensive list of supplements that you use to get into your best shape. In your experience, what are some of the better brands on the market?

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Dave Jr. Working The Triarco Booth
At The 2007 MHP Kurt Angle Teen Challenge.
Starting To Do The Deal!

[ Q ] You mentioned your father Dave helping you with the training and nutrition side of your preparation. In what other ways has he helped you to succeed in this tough sport?

    I know he loves me unconditionally, to a degree maybe with frustration as he puts up with my growing pains as a teen and young adult. My dad 100% looks after my best interests and he is my net. I'm extremely lucky to have a solid family foundation where he and my mother keep me grounded to understand how I can benefit from anything I choose to excel at in life.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] Are there any special training requirements that the teenage competitor should consider when preparing for a show?

    Most teenagers with the drive and determination in the gym and good goal-setting skills when they are getting ready for a show, can most likely figure out their training regiment and diet to begin looking better and more like a competitor. Where most fail is when they don't take the time to practice posing.

    Learning how to hold their mandatory poses and developing a routine to best display their physique is often a problem. All the training at the gym and dieting cannot really prep you to do your best onstage. I've seen some great teen and men athletes I've competed against that I thought might beat me but when we were on stage I out-shined them due to my many hours of posing and presentation practice.

[ Q ] What advice would you give to a teenage bodybuilder who wants to compete for the first time?

[ Q ] What have been the main benefits you have derived from bodybuilding since you began?

    As kid growing up I was very timid and not outgoing at all. Due to the personal satisfaction of training that turned into bodybuilding, I have become more secure in myself in other life situations. My confidence level is much greater than it was, which allows me to excel at my job and in all other aspects of my life.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] What are your main strengths as a competitor?

    I believe my symmetry, abs, biceps, and chest - in that order.

[ Q ] What are your long-term bodybuilding goals?

    I love the sport of bodybuilding and would like to do well and possibly one day win the NPC nationals or the USA as my father did. However, it's not the same game, look or platform as when he competed in the mid 80s.

    The look and structure of the athletes is much different and symmetry does not seem to be as important as overall size and thickness. Again, I love the sport but will be realistic and will take each day as it comes to determine how far I will actually go with it.

[ Q ] What other goals do you have besides bodybuilding success?

    Being a former amateur wrestler of 10 years and national competitor I would enjoy expanding my skills into mixed martial arts and giving the Ultimate Fighting a try. I'm also currently in a professional wrestling program and practicing. You never know I just may become the next Kurt Angle or John Cena.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] Who would you like to thank for helping you to get this far?

    First my parents: my father, who is the base to my foundation and is still my mentor and my mother who has been there for me through thick and thin. Not only has she made my life comfortable (from simply preparing my meals to washing my training stuff daily) she has been my emotional support and cheering squad.

    Basic Media Group, and all the many great sponsors who participated in a kind of starting program called the Ultimate Teen Challenge, which educated me and supported a transformation program that helped me set my goals to get ready for my first bodybuilding contest.

    Jim Manion and his son JM were and are still great supporters to me and my dreams. Big Jim and JM (not to be called little Jim either) both took their time in many ways to help me, from posing to photography to encouraging humility.

    A big thanks goes out to Triarco industries (an ingredient company) and Rodger Rodey Jr. for believing in me and providing me with support.

    Since the age of 14 I've been using Triacro's Aminogen a 100% safe and natural digestive enzyme supplement that allows you to impact your results by absorbing 400x greater protein uptake. Aminogen allows you to use less (or more precise protein) with greater amino-acid uptake, which equals results.

    For example if a 100 pound person (lean mass building) was using 1.5 grams or a 150 grams of protein per day to get results. The same individual could use one gram or 100 grams per day with one gram of Aminogen and get the same protein usage and results. Now with protein costs sky rocketing, now is a perfect time for guys to start using Aminogen as part of their natural supplement regiment.

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Dave Hawk Jr.

[ Q ] Thank you so much for this interview David. The information you have provided will benefit many.