BB.com: What inspired you to compete?
DH: I was inspired to compete following my father's death. He often asked about my "bodybuilding" and if I ever thought about competing. I never considered it at all until then. I didn't believe that I had what was needed (size, knowledge etc?).
BB.com: What drives you to continue competing?
DH: To me, bodybuilding is much more than just lifting weights and getting bigger. I have found so much more in it. I have always thrived on learning and bodybuilding fills that need. I also enjoy the healthy aspects. My lifestyle has changed. My energy-levels are higher than they've ever been. I'm stronger than I've ever been. Most of all, I'm injury-free.
BB.com: What is your favorite body part to train and why?
DH: I love to train legs! The barbell squat is my most favorite exercise. No belt, no wraps! I do it bare. I like the feeling I get from moving nearly 600 lbs. The leg press is as much my favorite. I get as high as 12-13 45 lb plates on each side and that shoots my confidence through the roof.
BB.com: What is your least favorite body part to train and why?
DH: I hate to train biceps. I think my hate originated when I was preparing for a vacation in Cancun Mexico. Before I ever competed I remember going to the gym and being as young and naï¶¥ I was then, I went one day before leaving on vacation and blasted out a full body workout.
I hit biceps like crazy. The problem was I hadn't worked out in months. Two days later, while in Cancun, my arms were so sore I couldn't straighten my arms out. It was the worst pain I had ever felt. I've never forgot the pain.
Learn your biceps exercises,
BB.com: When you are at the last rep, what pushes you do another?
DH: I always keep in my mind that those that I will compete with didn't do that extra rep. That is a way of thinking that I feel describes me in many areas of my life. Going that extra inch or mile will reap the benefits that I seek to gain. It has.
BB.com: I know a lot of people have given you advice, what has been the best piece of advice you've been given?
DH: Focus on being the best that "I" can be. It has stayed with me and has helped me keep things in perspective.
BB.com: If you were limited to give one piece of advice to a novice bodybuilder, what would it be?
DH: Know thyself. Learn thyself. Teach thyself. Push thyself. Sounds good huh? What I mean by "Know thyself" is that you must know what works for you to succeed. To "Learn thyself" you must learn why and what to eat, how to train, how to rest, and how to balance your daily routines and schedule. "Teach thyself" how to learn and "Push thyself" to new and greater heights each day.
BB.com: I know you've learned a great deal since you began bodybuilding, has you training philosophy changed and if so how?
DH: Yes! I have learned that growth only occurs outside of the gym. I used to believe that my muscles were growing in the gym. Little did I know that all it was only the blood pooling in my muscles. I would sometimes train the same body part for 2 hours or more! Now days, I rest much more and train in shorter more intense bursts.
BB.com: You're a software developer, what kind of reaction do you get from the gym rats when they found out you're a "computer geek"?
DH: They have a hard time believing it. Most people still think that muscles mean "no intellect". To me, someone who realizes the importance of health and fitness and pursues it with a passion, is an extremely smart person.
BB.com: It is known that performance enhancers are used in the sport of bodybuilding. What has deterred you from using steroids?
DH: Why? What is the value gained? None. It's not a lucrative sport. Financial success is more dependent on looks and not musculature. Most successful fitness models have a more realistic appearance. So, why sacrifice my longevity. I'm in it to live a healthier and longer life. Illegal substances have never been a consideration.
BB.com: So far, what has been you best experience competing? You're worst?
DH: My best experience was earning my WNBF pro status. My worst was my first show. I went in weighing 196 lbs and feeling large. When I got there and really saw what a successful competitor looked like, I felt like going home and giving up. Boy, I'm glad I didn't.
BB.com: What makes bodybuilding worthwhile?
DH: More than anything is that no matter how you place, you always realize there is always tomorrow. Also, I have gotten better each time. I always find ways to improve and enjoy the competition experience.
BB.com: What has been you biggest obstacle competing?
DH: Learning how to eat! It took a long time to learn how to EAT to COMPETE. I'm still learning.
Learn how I recently fixed by diet,
BB.com: Competition dieting can be a mind game, how do you equip yourself to win that game?
DH: Consistency. No other equipment works. I've adapted a consistent way to eat and have avoided the pre-contest "blues" when it comes to dieting. I usually feel the effects in the final 2 or 3 weeks but that's better that feeling it 10-12!
DH: Frank Zane. I thought his level of conditioning was phenomenal in his day. Please don't mistake though, Arnold was still the man.
BB.com: Do you like Pro Tan, Dream Tan or Jan Tana better?
DH: Dream Tan Baby!
List all tanner products,
BB.com: What is your ultimate goal and when if ever, do you plan to retire?
DH: Retire? Never. I will body build as long as I can drive to a gym. I may not compete nearly as long. My near-term goal is to find some level of success competing in the WNBF and maybe try fitness modeling at some point. Who knows what will happen. I had no idea I'd be a pro in this sport when I started!
Well here it is, my interview with Delbert. As always, he's motivated me to continue my quest for a better me. While I may not purse my goals with his amount of enthusiasm, living with him keeps me from forgetting my goals.
I end this article by sharing with you my mantra for the New Year,
Happy New Year,
LaDawn T. Hickman