Filmmaker Stuart MacDonald Discusses Success In Bodybuilding!

I started out as a magician, touring the country with my wife Lori. When we got tired of that I started video production that led to my bodybuilding... Learn more.

[ Matt Weik ] Stuart, I want to start by thanking you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. The movie "I Want To Look Like That Guy" looks amazing! There are so many different topics to touch on in this interview so let's waste no time and jump right in.

For those readers who aren't familiar with you can you give us a quick background and bio on yourself?

    [ Stuart MacDonald ] There is no easy way to describe myself, unfortunately. I started out as a magician, touring the country in the college market with my wife Lori for 15 years. When we got tired of that lifestyle I started a video production company.

    I'd been producing my own videos for years. I didn't pull it out of a hat; it's what I studied in college. My filmmaking started on a project I did for a local solid waste department. I produced and edited a short movie, about 30 minutes, called "A World at Waste." It won 9 international awards and is still being sold all over the globe.

Front Cover Art Of Stuart's Movie 'I Want To Look Like That Guy'. Back Cover Art Of Stuart's Movie 'I Want To Look Like That Guy'.
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Front And Back Cover Art Of Stuart's
Movie 'I Want To Look Like That Guy'.

[ MW ] Before the movie were you exercising at all or were you starting from scratch in this movie?

    [ SM ] I have always been involved in physical fitness. Both my parents were educators in the subject. My mother was a middle school teacher and my father a college professor in sports science. I was a cross country runner and had the lanky build to prove it. Lifting weights didn't start until I was into my thirties. Like everyone else, it was off and on.

[ MW ] This movie looks intense from your perspective. What made you want to do this movie? You obviously wanted to look like a fitness model, but what made you want to film it?

    [ SM ] Good question. Yes it was intense, more than I expected. I made this movie because nothing like it had been done on an average guy. Recently there has been a flood of fat burning pills flooding the market place and still we are the fattest nation. So, if loosing fat was as easy as taking a pill why aren't we all thin? That was the question that got me thinking.

    I knew Jeff was all natural and had a heck of a physique so I asked for his help. While we were talking Jeff told me how intense the experience was for him when he competed.

Jeff Told Me How Intense The Experience Was For Him When He Competed.
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Jeff Told Me How Intense The Experience
Was For Him When He Competed.

    The isolation, deprivation and living such a regimented life left little room for family and friends. I pressed on and asked about ads with wild claims and guys with ripped bodies saying, "This product made me look like this in 60 days." Jeff said, "they were selling an illusion and not the entire picture."

    At that moment the lights went on. If we actually showed what it takes to look like the guy in the ad it would be a huge deal and filled with drama. But it wasn't enough, we needed more, so Jeff suggested I enter a bodybuilding contest to put a cap on the project. That is when the project took off.

    Filming it would bring out the truth. People need to know that only certain people are gifted to look like that guy or that you need to take steroids to look your best. There is way too much confusion on the topic.


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    I think the worst part is the fact that marketing has made the average looking body taboo and the 6-pack look the only way to "get the attention of the opposite sex." Long story short, people need to know and want to know what the heck it takes to have a washboard stomach. This film answers it.

[ MW ] What motivated you to not give up even though there were some moments where you were frustrated and emotional?

    [ SM ] Jeff. If he could do it for 15 years, so could I for 6 months. Besides, if I needed him for advice he was at my beck and call 24 / 7, at least that's was he said. I never called him late but it was comforting to know he was that on board to help.


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    The biggest motivating factor was the weekly photos. We took hundreds. Every ounce of fat I dropped came off visually in the photos. It was fun to compare my starting look to the current one. Near the 4th month it was unreal how much I had changed.

The Biggest Motivating Factor Was The Photos. It Was Unreal How Much I Had Changed.
+ Click To Enlarge.
The Biggest Motivating Factor Was The Photos.
It Was Unreal How Much I Had Changed.

    The frustration and emotional parts were the worst. There I was alone. No one could deal with it nor did they want to be filmed dealing with me getting upset. I was hungry all the time the last 2 months. Brutally hungry at times. That caused me to want to be alone so I wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings.

    I broke down driving the truck back to the office because I was just a hair overweight and still not looking right. I knew I had cheated a few meals here and there and was in a panic that I was going to let Jeff down. The feeling of tossing all that work down the drain was overwhelming.

    When I was down to the last 2 weeks I was at 6% body fat. Everyone thought I looked great but I felt like crap. My body was struggling to put a layer of protective fat on my tummy. My mind was battling hunger, not by the day during this period but by the minute. Intense, yes. Emotional, without a doubt.

[ MW ] What was the hardest part of this journey?

    [ SM ] The hardest part was starting. Like watching a pot of water boil at low temperature and can't wait for it to boil. The other hard part was depriving myself of the good things in life for the duration. 6 months is a long time to dedicate oneself to the purpose of looking better than great. I had to look unbelievable!


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[ MW ] How often did you cheat on a meal or workout and how did you compensate and eventually overcome?

    [ SM ] I cheated on meals when I was about 4 months in. Good thing too. My metabolism was on fire so one meal here and there wasn't hurting progress. All it hurt was my pride, I gave in. Working out was actually not too bad. The Max-OT system is intense but short. If I had to do marathon workouts I wouldn't have survived. Jeff really helped me overcome my shortcomings with encouragement. He's a great motivator.

[ MW ] How did you control getting off track by social circumstances such as parties, driving past fast food chains, work schedule, family, etc.?

    [ SM ] That's easy. I just didn't go to many. If I did I was there to show my face then leave. If I would stay longer I would have eaten something bad. So I kept my visits close to home and around my eating schedule.

[ MW ] What was the most rewarding part of this journey for you? Was it looking like the fitness model or was there something else?

    [ SM ] The most rewarding thing was accomplishing what we set out to do. I did end up looking like a fitness model and I won 2nd place and 3rd in masters at a bodybuilding contest.

RELATED VIDEO: I Want To Look Like That Guy
Movie Trailer!

"I Want To Look Like That Guy" was the hardest movie I've ever had to make. I lived like a bodybuilder / fitness model for half a year and discovered the ugly truth to looking lean and cut. The truth hurts and this documentary will change the way you view fitness ads forever.

[ MW ] What advice would you give to others who also strive to look like a fitness model?

    [ SM ] If you want to look like a bodybuilder or fitness model be prepared for the struggle of a lifetime. If you are naturally thin then you are halfway there. If not, you have to get your head on straight and never look back.

    This type of conditioning is extreme. Bodybuilders look better, physically, than Olympic athletes. But that's where it stops. Bodybuilders at the peak of perfection feel like crap and are at their weakest. Olympians for the most part don't have 6 packs and can kick anybodies butt anytime anywhere. I'd rather be an Olympian if you ask me.

    Functionality is the key here. If you really want that lean look you have to ask yourself is it going to fit your lifestyle. I say that because you have to have access to food, the right food, at the right time to make it work. On the other hand, this movie also gives people the whole picture.


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    Looking 6-pack lean is an extreme lifestyle, period. People who have seen this movie are having the "ah ha" moment. "That's why I don't look like that." Hopefully the film will give people who just want to get into shape a real idea what they will end up looking like.

    They may not have fitness model looks but who cares? Are you happy? Can you play with your kids? Can you jog around the block? Can you function at work? Okay then get on with life and work out! Forget about looking like Arnold, it's not going to happen unless you live exactly like I did in the film.

[ MW ] If you had to do it all over again, is there anything you would change?

    [ SM ] I wish more people would have wanted to get on camera. I filmed everything out of my own pocket. I had no budget. Jeff had no budget. I wish I would have had a budget.

[ MW ] Is there anyone you would like to give a shout-out to or thank to helping you along your journeys?

    [ SM ] Hey Jeff! Thanks. You know I have to say he is a great motivator. I look at the guy and he is a general. He knows how to rally you to fight for yourself because he's been in the very battle you are in.

Jeff Knows How To Rally You To Fight For Yourself Because He's Been In The Very Battle You Are In.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Jeff Knows How To Rally You To Fight For Yourself
Because He's Been In The Very Battle You Are In.

    I would also like to thank Jeff's wife Anna. She was very encouraging. Sarah Carrico, my assistant videographer did much of the filming. I don't know how she put up with it but thank you.

    Here's a big shout out to my wife Lori for saying yes to the project and allowing me to be alone most of the time. Who couldn't thank Arnold Schwarzenegger for getting everyone in my generation interested in building muscle.

[ MW ] Is there anything you would like to add to this interview that we didn't cover that you feel the readers would like to know?

    [ SM ] Read the advertisements. When I was doing research I found an underlying theme in marketing. Say it's easier with this project and people will buy it.

    Get out a magnifying glass and read the disclaimer. Most of them discount any possibility of you achieving any success with their product unless you combine it with a healthy diet and exercise program. Okay what diet and what program. If it's too good to be true it is. Anything that is worth having can't be gotten without hard work.

[ MW ] Again, thank you Stuart, for taking time out of your schedule for this interview. Congrats on the movie and I wish you continued success in everything you do.

    Check Out Jeff Willet's Personal Website Here.

    You Can Order A Copy Of The DVD Here.