Fitness 360: Raynor Whitcombe, Samoan Strength

BodySpace spokesmodel Raynor Whitcombe wants to inspire his fellow Samoans—and the world—to live fit. Read his story and get his full fitness plan!

Raynor Whitcombe didn't get into fitness because he wanted to change the world, but winning the 2015 BodySpace Spokesmodel Search may provide him with the opportunity to do just that.

Whitcombe started lifting to build size and strength growing up in Samoa, but he now hopes to inspire his fellow Samoans—and everyone around the world—to reap the benefits of a fit and active life.

Watch the video below to learn more about Whitcombe's upbringing, message, and fitness mission, and read on to get his full training, nutrition, and supplement plan!

Fitness 360 2015 BodySpace Spokesmodel Raynor Whitcombe
Watch the video - 5:43



Island-Made Dreams

Every bodybuilder's physique tells a story, but there's always more than hard work and consistency behind the body. As a child in New Zealand and Samoa, Whitcombe played baseball, soccer, basketball, and football.

A shift to heavy weightlifting as a high school senior got him ready for the field. But Whitcombe's sports dreams were not meant to be. He was destined for a different sort of championship.

The Whitcombe brothers—Tulaga, Terrence, and Raynor—moved to Samoa with their mother, Ruta Peleti Thompson, from New Zealand following their parents' divorce. Their grandparents were pastors in Samoa, an island nation in the South Pacific of about 200,000 people. It was there that Whitcombe really became immersed in sports and, later, bodybuilding.

"I grew up on the islands, learning the language and culture," Whitcombe says. "The obesity rate has skyrocketed in American Samoa. I want to be an example, a role model to my people. It doesn't have to be this way. My people must become aware of what's good for their diet, for them to be around longer for their children and their grandchildren."

The obesity rate in Samoa is terrifying. Since World War II brought Western culture to the Pacific Rim with its high-fat, processed diet, the island nations have seen dramatic rises in obesity and diabetes. The World Health Organization estimates that a staggering 80 percent of women in American Samoa are overweight, and 47 percent of its citizens are diabetic.1,2 Cardiovascular disease, anemia, and hypertension are among the highest levels on Earth.

"It comes down to diet and exercise," Whitcombe says. "[My people] are aware, but choose not to eat better or exercise. It's really sad, but I hope to make a change in someone's life back home and create that chain reaction."

Whitcombe began working with his brothers, as well as personal trainer Eliu Paopao, who motivated him by breaking him down and instructing him in proper form. "Almost every day, Eliu would call me 'skinny bitch,'" Whitcombe says. "I hated to be called that in the gym. It started getting to me. I wanted to prove them wrong, and that motivated me to be better, to change, to make them realize I had potential to grow.

Raynor Whitcombe was destined for a different sort of championship.

The group trained heavy, with high reps and constant variation of exercises and angles. "I knew nothing," Whitcombe says. "I had no form. The training with Eliu was brutal. He was the type of trainer who had you lift until you had to go throw up."

To reach his target audience, Whitcombe also educated himself formally. He earned a degree in liberal arts in Samoa, then attended the Wellington Institute of Technology in New Zealand to study exercise science. He landed a position as a personal trainer at Les Mills gym. For the first time, he was truly living his dream of helping people.

Giving Back

Raynor's aims are lofty. Not only does he want to reverse the obesity epidemic plaguing Samoa and help Samoans become fit, he wants to help the entire world become a fitter place as well. Reaching a larger audience with his message of healthy living inspired Whitcombe to sign up for the BodySpace Spokesmodel contest.

Not only does Raynor want to reverse the obesity epidemic plaguing Samoa and help Samoans become fit, he wants to help the entire world become a fitter place as well.

"I want people to know it's not about me, why I am here," Whitcombe says. "It's about giving to others. Whatever I learn, I want people to know I am willing to offer that knowledge to them, to guide them to stepping stones, to get them in the right direction.

As a Bodybuilding.com spokesmodel, Whitcombe is excited travel the world, speaking at expos and representing not just Samoa, but the entire fitness culture. "I want to help people around the world make a change. It's not just about looks; it's about feeling good about yourself. It's about feeling healthy and taking care of your body, because we only have one body on this earth. If you don't take care of it, you're not going to be around very much longer."

Unfortunately, life expectancy on the islands has dropped as the health crisis has overtaken the people. "The food in my diet is not so great back home," Whitcombe explains. "Maybe back in the day it was, before all the fast foods arrived. The people back home are dying at such a young age. They are having heart attacks and wondering what's happening."

That's exactly what Whitcombe is here to change.

Nutrition Plan

Whitcombe's nutrition program is pretty basic. He follows this specific diet because it works for his body. He eats nutrient-dense foods to perform at his best when he trains.

"This is a great starting diet for the Samoan people," Whitcombe says. "It gives them an idea of what type of foods they should be eating for overall health and weight-loss goals."

Meal 1: 6 a.m.

Quaker old-fashioned oats: 1 cup


Banana: 1



Meal 2: 8:30 a.m.

Whole eggs: 2 large


Egg whites: 4


Avocado: 100 g


Mixed nuts: 1 oz.


Meal 3: Noon

Swordfish: 200 g


Red bell pepper: 100 g


Mixed nuts: 1 oz.


Avocado: 70 g


Meal 4: 1:30 p.m.
Meal 5: 4:30 p.m.

Whole-wheat toast: 2 slices


Banana: 1


Peanut butter: 2 tbsp


Meal 6: 7 p.m.

Mixed veggies (peas, carrots, corn): 1-1/2 cups


Swordfish: 200 g


Sweet potato: 200 g



Training Philosophy

Whitcombe has superb symmetry, but that took a lot of work. He stopped training legs and back when he finished high school football, and only did upper-body work—hest, shoulders, and arms—for several years. Once he started doing full-body training again, Whitcombe grew into the balanced bodybuilder he is today. "I like to feel strong from the ground up; it helps keep me explosive in my agility drills when I train," he says.




Weight training comes first, followed by HIIT cardio. Whitcombe keeps his rest periods short, and he incorporates plyometrics—plyo lunges, box jumps, squat jumps, and other explosive exercises— into his split. Those plyos come in circuits of 3 exercises, 20 seconds each, with 10-second rest periods.

He'll also cycle in two-a-days, doubling up his workouts three days each week. "I focus on my weak points, and increase the training sessions to help build and strengthen that muscle group. I don't have any specific on/off times. I like to just train and push my body until it gets tired," he says.

Training Regimen

Day 1: Legs
1

Bodyweight squat

1-2 warm-up sets
Bodyweight squat Bodyweight squat

2

Leg extension

Wide 4-5 sets of 15-20 reps, rest 40-45 sec.
Close 4-5 sets of 15-20 reps, rest 40-45 sec.
Alternate legs 2-3 sets of 40 reps, rest 40-45 sec.
Leg extension Leg extension

3

Wide-stance barbell squat (barefoot)

10-15 warm-up reps
6 sets of 15, 10-12, 10-12, 10-12, 10-2, 10-12, rest 40-50 sec.
Wide Stance Barbell Squat Wide Stance Barbell Squat

4

Close-stance barbell squat (barefoot)

1 warm-up set of 15 reps
5 sets of 12-15 reps
Close-stance barbell squat (barefoot) Close-stance barbell squat (barefoot)

5

Bodyweight lunge

4 sets of 20 reps;
Set 1: walking lunge
Set 2: 1 pulse lunge at the bottom, then full single lunge
Set 3: 2 pulse lunges at the bottom, then full single lunge
Set 4: 3 pulse lunges at the bottom, then full single lunge
Bodyweight lunge Bodyweight lunge

6

Bodyweight squat jump

4 sets of 10 reps
Bodyweight squat jump Bodyweight squat jump

Day 2: Back
Warm-up
1

Pull-up

1 set to failure
Pull-up Pull-up
2
Dumbbell reverse fly in row position Dumbbell reverse fly in row position

3

Dumbbell row

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Dumbbell row Dumbbell row

4

Dumbbell single-arm reverse-grip row

4-5 sets of 15-20 reps
Dumbbell single-arm reverse-grip row Dumbbell single-arm reverse-grip row

5

Underhand lat pull-down

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Underhand Cable Pulldowns Underhand Cable Pulldowns

6

Wide-grip lat pull-down

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Wide-grip lat pull-down Wide-grip lat pull-down

7

Bent-over barbell row

4 sets of 12-15 reps
Bent-over barbell row Bent-over barbell row

8

Seated close-grip cable row

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Seated close-grip cable row Seated close-grip cable row

Day 3: Arms
1

EZ-Bar Curl

2 warm-up sets of 12-15 reps
EZ-Bar Curl EZ-Bar Curl

2

Hammer curl

4-5 sets of 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls Hammer Curls

3

Single-arm dumbbell curl

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Single-arm dumbbell curl Single-arm dumbbell curl

4

EZ-bar reverse curl

3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
EZ-bar reverse curl EZ-bar reverse curl

5

Concentration curl

3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

6

Triceps cable pull-down (no attachment)

2-3 sets of 40 reps;
Perform 10 reps
Take 1 step forward, 10 reps
Take 1 step forward, 10 reps
Turn around, overhead triceps extension, 10 reps
Triceps cable pull-down (no attachment) Triceps cable pull-down (no attachment)

7
Standing overhead dumbbell triceps press Standing overhead dumbbell triceps press

8
Overhead triceps extension (rope attachment) Overhead triceps extension (rope attachment)

Day 4: Shoulders
Warm-up superset
1
Machine shoulder press Machine shoulder press
Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press

2

Barbell military press

Warm up 15 reps
4 sets of 15 reps
Barbell military press Barbell military press
I like to come just under the chin and then back up. No pause at the top. Resist on the eccentric part of the lift.

3

Close-grip barbell military press

Warm up 15 reps
4 sets of 15 reps
Barbell military press Barbell military press

4

Dumbbell lateral raises

4-6 sets of 10-15 reps
Dumbbell lateral raises Dumbbell lateral raises

5

Seated rear-delt dumbbell raise

3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Seated rear-delt dumbbell raise Seated rear-delt dumbbell raise
Use light weight for this exercise to keep the rear delt isolated.

6
Barbell single-arm landmine shoulder press Barbell single-arm landmine shoulder press

7

Cable rear-delt extension

4-5 sets of 10-12 reps
Cable rear-delt extension Cable rear-delt extension

8

Seated single-arm dumbbell press

3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
Seated single-arm dumbbell press Seated single-arm dumbbell press

Day 5: Chest
1

Incline dumbbell press

1 warm-up set
4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

2

Incline dumbbell fly

3-4 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes

3

Smith machine incline press

4-5 sets of 10-15 reps
Smith Machine Incline Bench Press Smith Machine Incline Bench Press

4

Cable crossover

6-8 sets of 12-15 reps
Cable crossover Cable crossover

5

Seated chest press

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Seated chest press Seated chest press

Day 6: Legs and abs
Warm-up
1

Explosive jump

1 warm-up set
Explosive jump Explosive jump
2

Leg extension

1 warm-up set
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

3

Leg press (wide)

Warm-up set of 20 reps, 4 sets of 20-25 reps
Leg press (wide) Leg press (wide)

4

Leg press (close)

4 sets of 15-20 reps
Leg press (close) Leg press (close)

5

Leg press single-leg

3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
Leg press single-leg Leg press single-leg

6

Seated hamstring curl

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Seated hamstring curl Seated hamstring curl

7

Lying leg curl

4-5 sets of 12-15 reps
Lying leg curl Lying leg curl

8

Ab crunch on bench

4 sets of 20 reps
Ab crunch on bench Ab crunch on bench

9

Oblique crunch on bench

3-4 sets of 15-20 reps
Oblique crunch on bench Oblique crunch on bench

10

Slow bear crawl with mountain climber

3-4 sets of 20 seconds
Slow bear crawl with mountain climber Slow bear crawl with mountain climber
When I get to the halfway point, I do mountain climbers.

11

Reverse crunch

3 sets of 10-12 reps
Reverse Crunch Reverse Crunch

12

Flutter kick

3 sets of 20 reps
Flutter Kicks Flutter Kicks

Day 7: HIIT Trisets
Triset: 2-3 sets
1

Burpee

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Burpee Burpee

Freehand Jump Squat

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Freehand Jump Squat Freehand Jump Squat

Lateral step jump

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Lateral step jump Lateral step jump

Triset: 2-3 sets
2

Plyo lunge

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Plyo lunge Plyo lunge

Bear crawl

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Bear crawl Bear crawl

Frog leap

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Frog leap Frog leap

Triset: 2-3 sets
3

Sprint

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Sprint Sprint

Plyometric push-up

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Plyometric push-up Plyometric push-up

Tuck jump

20 sec. on, 10 sec. off
Tuck jump Tuck jump


Supplement Regimen

Upon waking
Pre-workout

Pre-workout: 2 servings


Intra-workout

Intra-workout: 2 scoops


Post-workout

Post-workout: 2 scoops


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References
  1. Seiden, A., Hawley, N. L., Schulz, D., Raifman, S., & McGarvey, S. T. (2012). Long?term trends in food availability, food prices, and obesity in Samoa. American Journal of Human Biology, 24(3), 286-295.
  2. Waqanivalu, T. K. (2010). Pacific islanders pay heavy price for abandoning traditional diet. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 88(7), 484-5.