Former college athlete Sean Harley knows how to take on challenges. As a fitness model, Sean has been featured in many workout magazines and has graced the covers of international publications. He's also counseled many people on supplementation and nutrition for weight loss and muscle growth, as well as overall health.
Now Sean is here to share all of his insights, advice and secrets with you!
[ DY ] First of all, congratulations on winning the IRON MAN/Bodybuilding.com BodySpace Model Search. How do you feel?
[ SH ] The entire weekend competition was a thrill, and when I heard my name called for the trophy, I was on top of the world! All my hard work has really paid off, and I'm excited to work with Bodybuilding.com and represent the ever-growing population on BodySpace.
[ DY ] I know it took a lot of discipline and hard work to accomplish that goal. Is this the best condition you've achieved to date?
[ SH ] It's probably the most muscle mass that I've displayed publicly as a fitness model, but I was far from my leanest. The contest was in January, which for me was in the middle of my winter mass-building stage. That means allowing a little extra junk in the trunk caused by a calorie excess (or you could say holiday eating) that lets me put on some new muscle.
When I found out that I was in the top five, I had eight days to cut up and be onstage! I managed to drop about nine pounds, probably sacrificing a little muscle, but I came in with decent cuts. Another week or two of prep and I could have been a lot leaner.
[ DY ] So you might say that the real competition was with yourself more than onstage with the other competitors.
[ SH ] My main competition was with myself to see how lean I could get in that short amount of time without sacrificing too much hard-earned muscle. I knew that the other competitors were in the same boat and would be handling their business and that I had no control over that. What I could control was my own effort and discipline in getting my body ready for a show.
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[ DY ] What were the mental challenges you faced leading up to the competition, and how did you overcome them to achieve your condition?
[ SH ] My main mental challenge came from switching from a mass-building diet to a strict pre-competition diet over the course of a day. My body was used to the calorie surplus, and it's tough to go right into depletion after that. Getting over those carb cravings can be a bit agitating.
[ DY ] So what's next for your fitness career?
[ SH ] There are many people trying to convince me otherwise, but right now I have no plans for stepping onstage for a bodybuilding show. I will be spokes-modeling for Bodybuilding.com and representing my company, www.ithinkfit.com, as well as Sensei Nutrition, throughout the year.
I'm currently in talks with a few well-known photographers for some upcoming projects and doing a few guest spots for fitness topics on a couple of talk shows.
[ DY ] How did you design the nutrition program that you followed for the competition?
[ SH ] I used a diet that I learned from my old trainer, IFBB pro Derik Farnsworth, when I used to train at World Gym in San Diego. When you're all natural, you need every advantage you can get from your diet, and Derik is a master at carb manipulation to change your body on demand.
For the complete interview, sample meal plan and a look at his training program get the latest issue of Iron Man Magazine, on newsstands now!
Editor's Note: Visit Sean at www.IThinkFit.com. IM