An Interview With NGA Pro Fitzroy Bramble.

Fitzroy is also FRA, AFFA, NFPT, NABF, and CPR certified as a trainer, and today enjoys helping others (rather than himself, as he is ?semi-retired?) to reach their fitness goals.
Fitzroy Bramble believes in patience, consistency and discipline and his physique reflects this. A natural bodybuilder for 22-years, Fitzroy, 51, has got physical development down to a fine art, so much so, he has placed highly in every contest he has entered. At 5'9 and 190lbs, Fitzroy, although supremely ripped, is no slouch in the mass department.

Fitzroy is also FRA, AFFA, NFPT, NABF, and CPR certified as a trainer, and today enjoys helping others (rather than himself, as he is 'semi-retired") to reach their fitness goals.

In addition to training others, Fitzroy judges and promotes bodybuilding contests. It was a pleasure to interview one of the worlds best (natural) professional bodybuilders.


[ Q ] Hi Fitzroy. What are you up to these days? What are you competition plans?

    Hi David, these days I have been spending more time helping to promote and being the Head Judge for the NGA and the USBF bodybuilding shows in the New England area. The last time I was on stage was back in 2002.


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[ Q ] Provide some background on yourself. Was there any particular person or event that inspired you to become a top bodybuilder?

    I am originally from Montserrat, a small British colony in the Caribbean. I moved to the United States in the winter of 1980 and I started weight training at home in 1982. I was mostly inspired to start lifting weights from watching professional wrestling more so than from any particular bodybuilder.

    I trained at home for about 4 years and after out growing my home gym, I joined a Gold's Gym that opened up not too far from where I lived.

    The owner of the gym saw me and told me that he thought I had a great physique for bodybuilding. He worked with me a few times showing me how to pose, and he also shared with me some training and dieting techniques, and the rest is history.

Making The Choice To Start Competing!
Have you thought about competing? Do you want to spend 12 grueling weeks working your ass off while taking in fewer calories than you burn? If you answered yes, this article is for you...
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[ Q ] Describe your current training program. How does this differ from off-season to pre-contest?

    I train 3 days on, 1 day off: 2 days on, 1 day off. It breaks down like this:

    My weight training does not change much during pre-contest. I just manipulate my diet accordingly and add more cardio sessions.


[ Q ] What nutritional program do you have at the moment? How does this differ from off-season to pre-contest?

    I consume about 3000 to 3500 calories daily in the off season. That's just a rough estimate because I really don't count my calories unless I am preparing for something. About 40% of calories from protein and 20% from fats and the rest from carbs.

    Pre-contest I increase my protein gradually over several weeks, while I reduce my carbs, but I will never go to zero carbs at any point.


[ Q ] What would you consider to be your strengths and weaknesses?

    My strong points are my back and shoulders, and my weak points are my calves and quads.


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[ Q ] What is your current weight and height and age? What do you weigh pre-contest?

    My current weight is 195 lbs, pre-contest I am usually between 180 - 185 lbs. height is 5' 9" and I am 51 years old.


[ Q ] You are a natural bodybuilder. Has this always been the case? What are your thoughts on drug use in sport today?

    I have always been a natural bodybuilder from the very beginning. Drug use is rampant in bodybuilding today. Even kids who have no desire of ever competing are using drugs just to look good.


[ Q ] In the photos I have seen of you, your conditioning is superb. Exactly how do you attain this? What is your view on aerobic training? Is this one of the keys for you?

    I maintain my conditioning mostly by following a good nutrition program all year around. I don't do that much aerobic training unless I'm preparing for a contest or photo shoot. I usually do about 15 minutes of cardio warm-up before I weight train.

Preparing For A Photo Shoot.
Here is a forecast of some of the areas that should have special attention paid to before you go to your photo shoot...
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[ Q ] What is your view on supplementation? In your opinion, what works and what doesn't?


[ Q ] Where are you living, and what is the bodybuilding culture like there?

    I live in Malden, Massachusetts and as far as bodybuilding goes, I don't see a lot of bodybuilders walking around here or the gyms I train at. I will have to go to a bodybuilding show in order to see any bodybuilders.


[ Q ] Which gym do you train at? Do you have a training partner? What is your view on training partners as a way to enhance quality of training?

    I train my clients at World Gym, Somerville Massachusetts and I train myself mostly at Super Fitness, Malden Massachusetts. I have not had a training partner in the last 15 years, because it's not easy to find someone who will fit into my schedule. I find that I can focus a lot better when I train alone.

    If you can find a good partner who shares the same philosophy, then I think it can enhance your training in a positive way.


[ Q ] You have a training business. In your view, what credentials does a successful trainer need? How does one maintain a steady client base?

    A successful trainer needs to be able to think on his or her feet. You cannot always follow a set plan because every individual is so different.

    In my opinion, you need to have at least 5 solid years of training yourself before you think of training other people. Besides having a good certification (I recommend the NFPT), you also need to have a great personality and people skills in order to maintain a steady client base. I also recommend investing in a good website.


[ Q ] Who do you think has the greatest physique on the planet currently (natural or otherwise)?

    This is a tough question. There are so many great physiques out there, I don't know where to begin. I'm nominating my physique.


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[ Q ] You say your last contest was in 2002. Do you plan on competing again? Also, do you have any plans for your post-bodybuilding life?

    My last contest was the NGA Pro Universe in Florida, USA in 2002. I have not competed since, so I guess you can say I'm semi-retired. I plan to stay involved in judging, promoting and training people for bodybuilding contests.

    Fitzroy's Competition History:

    • 1988 AAU EAST COAST CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      5th place (Men's Open Medium Class)

    • 1988 AAU NORTH EAST CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      2nd place (Men's Open Medium Class)

    • 1988 ANBC MASSACHUSETTS NATURAL:
      1st place (Masters Division)

    • 1988 ANBC NEW ENGLAND NATURAL:
      3rd place (Masters Division)

    • 1989 ANBC RHODE ISLAND NATURAL:
      3rd place (Masters Division)

    • 1989 AAU BAY STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      3rd place (Masters Division)

    • 1989 NPC NORTH EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      2nd place (Masters Division)

    • 1990 ANBC NATURAL YANKEE CLASSIC:
      1st place (Masters Division)

    • 1991 ANBC NEW ENGLAND NATURAL:
      1st place & Best Poser (Masters Division)

    • 1991 ANBC USA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      2nd place; Tall Class (Masters Division)

    • 1993 ANBC USA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      3rd place; Tall Class (Masters Division)

    • 1994 ANBC USA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      3rd place; Tall Class (Masters Champion)

    • 1996 NABF SOUTH EASTERN NATURAL:
      1st place (Masters Division)
      1st place (Men's Open Middleweight)

    • 1996 NABF NORTH AMERICAN NATIONALS:
      Overall Champion (Masters Division)
      "Qualified for NABF Pro Card"

    • 1997 NABF PRO-AM AMERICA NATURAL:
      3rd place & Best Poser (Pro Division)

    • 1998 NABF TRI-STATE PRO-AM NATURAL:
      4th place & Best Poser (Pro Division)

    • 1998 NABF PRO-AM AMERICA NATURAL:
      6th place (Pro Division)

    • 1999 NABF RHODE ISLAND PRO-AM NATURAL:
      3rd place (Pro Division)

    • 1999 NABF NORTH EAST Jr NATIONALS PRO-AM:
      5th place (Pro Division)

    • 2000 NGA PRO GALAXY:
      5th place (Pro Division)

    • 2001 INTERNET BODYBUILDING CHAMPIONSHIPS:
      2nd place (Pro Division)

    • 2002 NGA PRO UNIVERSE:
      5th place (Pro Division)


[ Q ] What other hobbies and interests do you have?

    I design and maintain a few fitness related web sites for friends of mine. Everything I do seems to revolve around fitness in some way.


[ Q ] If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring bodybuilder, what would it be?

    Take time to learn about how your body responds to training and nutrition. Learn as much as you can and don't go the drug route, because in the end it's not worth the trouble.


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[ Q ] What has been you greatest bodybuilding achievement? Any disappointing moments?

    My greatest bodybuilding achievement was qualifying for NABF Pro status in 1996. I can't say that I have had any big disappointing moments in bodybuilding so far. Everything has been a great learning experience.


[ David: ] Thank you very much for your time Fitzroy.

    My pleasure David.