Amateur Superstar Peter Putnam Discusses Preparation For The 2008 Nationals!

Peter Putnam was the brides-maid at last year's NPC Nationals. He's taken the entire year off from competing to focus on one thing - leaving Atlanta with a pro card. Learn how he's preparing for the 2008 NPC Nationals right here!

Presented By: Flexonline.com

Article Summary:
  • Peter first got into lifting while preparing for spring football in school.
  • He placed first at the 2007 NPC National Championships.
  • Peter bagan training with IFBB Pro George Farah in 2005.
  • Peter Putnam was the brides-maid at last year's NPC Nationals. He's taken the entire year off from competing to focus on one thing. Leaving Atlanta, the place where his bodybuilding career began, with a pro card.

    Peter shares some of his favorite supplements, tips to staying focused and more. One week out from Nationals, Peter tells me he is focused and ready to do his best.

    Peter Putnam Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.
    View More Pics Of Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.

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    [ Q ] How many years have you been training?
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      [ A ] This year marks ten years since I first stood on stage. I have roughly averaged a show a year, minus a two year break from competing to go back to school. The break allowed me to compete at the NPC Collegiate Nationals, winning the overall there in 2004.

      I didn't really start any lifting program until I was in High School for football. Even then it was on and off. I was the only senior on my football team who didn't take weight training. I received a lot of flack from my coaches for that as weight training was mandatory for football players.

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      Even not taking weight training my senior year I was still the strongest player on my team pound for pound during the strength and conditioning testing. I believe that is why the coaches let me opt out of taking the class.

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    [ Q ] How did you get into bodybuilding?
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      [ A ] I was heavily preparing for spring football practice at UTC (University of Chattanooga, Tennessee) when the manager at the gym where I was training approached me one day and asked what I was training for.

      At the time I was running five miles a day and biking to and from the gym. I would resistance train for an hour followed by running intervals on the treadmill for 30 minutes.

      I was also running football drills and going to the track to work on my sprinting. I used an assortment of bands and parachutes. I mention all of this to give you an idea of my training background prior to bodybuilding.

    Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC USA's.
    View More Pics Of Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC USA's.

      Long story short, the manager asked me if I knew anything about bodybuilding. I maybe had glanced at a bodybuilding magazine on the newsstand but I had never looked at one or watched an event on TV. To me Arnold Schwarzenegger was just some big action hero.

      So my reply was not really. He went on to complement my physique and tell me he thought I may have the build to do really well in competitive bodybuilding and that I should consider doing a show.

      I guess my curiosity was tweaked because a few days later I was passing down a magazine aisle at a store and noticed the bodybuilding magazines. I decided to take one down and skim through it. When I opened it up the first image I saw was Dorian Yates hitting his signature shot what has become known as the "Dorian Shot".

    DORIAN YATES
      Vital Stats:
    • Name: Dorian Yates
    • Location: England
    • Born: April 19, 1962
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Favorite Exercise: Bent Over Barbell Row

    Dorian, nicknamed "Shadow", is a 6 time Mr. Olympia champion. He is the owner of Temple Gym in Birmingham, United Kingdom where he trains such professionals as Ernie Taylor.

    [ Click here to learn more about Dorian Yates ]

      I was extremely impressed. I had never seen a human being look so powerful. He looked like something out of a comic book and I had always been a big comic book fan. If you are curious, Captain America and Spiderman were my favorites.

      So I bought that issue and took it home. I remember reading every article. I couldn't get over how impressive Dorian was. I realized after reading the article he was the best in bodybuilding.

      A few days after buying the magazine I walked into GNC to buy some protein and saw Dorian's book, "Blood and Guts". I immediately bought it and engrossed myself into reading it from front to back. I found myself buying all the magazines and really getting into this thing called bodybuilding.

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    [ Q ] You and James "Flex" Lewis were pegged as being the next generation of pro bodybuilders. Do you train with Flex at all and has seeing his success as an IFBB pro helped motivate you to compete against him?
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      [ A ] We have trained together a few times. I'm sure we both wish we could afford more time to train together, but even though we are both living in Tennessee, as he has relocated here, we are still 2 1/2 hours apart.

      He lives in Brentwood, TN which is south of Nashville and I am over in Knoxville, TN. Appearances have picked up a lot for both of us so we mainly just try to text when we can. We always have a blast when were together. I think the girls are trying to make New Year's Eve plans for us already!

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      I am very happy for Flex's solid performances in his rookie year in the IFBB. He works extremely hard and he's living his dream just like me. Of course we both desire to have longevity and continue to rise up the ranks.

      To be honest, I haven't really put much thought into us competing against each other one day. The only way we would compete against each other was if I was to compete in the 202 class; however, we'll cross that bridge once I earn a pro card!

    James 'Flex' Lewis James 'Flex' Lewis
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    James 'Flex' Lewis At The 2008 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of James 'Flex' Lewis At The 2008 Olympia.

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    [ Q ] What do you think of the 202 and under class in the IFBB?
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      [ A ] I like the idea of a lighter class and I think it encourages many more IFBB pros to compete. It's another draw and definitely adds another element of excitement to shows. I have to get a pro card before I even begin to contemplate my next move.

      With that said I still would like to take the time to allow my body to accumulate to carry more size. Having to remain in the light-heavies has kept me from letting my weight pick up. I weighed in at 198.25 last November at the Nationals in Dallas.

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    Like It
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    No Preference

      I think the improvements I could make would be indicative of building muscle and adding a few pounds. I have had to hold back. But I can't talk like a man who is looking past the Nationals. Winning my card at the Nationals is the only thing I should be focusing on!

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    [ Q ] Going into 2006 you had little hype and now you're one of the most popular and recognized amateurs in bodybuilding. Does this add pressure to your prep?
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      [ A ] Yes, but I would rather have the pressure that comes from expectations. That means your one of the guys in the mix and people see something in you that they like or relate to. I feel like it's no accident that I am where I am today in the sport.

      I believe God is answering my prayers. I have worked so hard and it hasn't been easy but my attitude was to never give up. Passion and perseverance are the two most important attributes a person can have. But I also realize I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for other people believing in me and giving me opportunities.

    Peter Putnam Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.
    View More Pics Of Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.

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    [ Q ] Did doing the show for MTV distract you at all from your training?
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      [ A ] It definitely presented some challenges but thankfully I was able to manage it. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity. It has been a good experience already in such a short time.

      My hope was that I could be in a position to help take bodybuilding out to a broader audience. And I think it already has. I have had many non-bodybuilding fans who watched the episode contact me saying they were inspired.

    FORUM THREAD
    Peter Putnam On MTV.
    [ Click To Join The Thread. ]
    Peter Putnam On MTV.
    Does everyone know that show "MADE" on MTV? Well there's a guy on there that wants to be made into a bodybuilder and Peter Putnam is the coach.
    Started By:
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    arrow Check Out Peter Putnam On MTV's Show "MADE" Here.

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    [ Q ] How do you deal with the expectations placed on you by many in the industry?
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      [ A ] I don't mind it. You just have to remain centered and focused. Expectations mean that people believe in you! I realize I can't win every time but I strive to! I hate to lose but if I lose I never quit!

      It wouldn't feel right if I didn't have the pressure. Pressure generally centers around opportunities and my desire is to establish myself and be a solid, legitimate influence in the sport of bodybuilding. At this point it's about establishing credibility. Pressure is good; it brings out the best in champions!

    Peter Putnam
    Peter Putnam
    Top NPC Bodybuilder.
    Photo By Isaac Hinds.
    Week #86 - 11/06/2007
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    [ Q ] Do you feel like the hype helps motivate you going into a show like this one?
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      [ A ] Honestly, I don't think I have received any bias hyping heading into this show. I realize there are more people who may know who I am.

      I am receiving a lot of support from people who really want to see me win this year. I have been nose to the grind for this show and just focused on getting the job done!

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    [ Q ] Many have criticized your poses from the rear shots. What do you have to say to the critics who think you're conditioning is lacking in those poses?
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      [ A ] I think people saw me as being "hyped" and were looking for any reason to expose me at the USA's, but I still won. I think that was a good call from the judges.

      It's bodybuilding and it should be the person with the overall best physique. My glutes were striated in Dallas last year at the Nationals so that discussion should have been put to rest.

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    [ Q ] What types of cardio have you done to help improve your glute-ham tie-ins?
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      [ A ] I like to do the treadmill in the morning with a step incline. I later do moderate cardio in the evening on stair climber squeezing my glutes. I do step up alternating lunges with 135 lbs on my back.

      I keep the reps high. This is a great exercise that I don't see many other guys do. I am also doing a lot of cable kickbacks to stress the glutes. I'm hitting my glute-hams about every three days. Occasionally, I do stiff-leg deadlifts but these aren't as effective for me.

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    [ Q ] What differences will we see in your physique this year?
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      [ A ] I think every off-season since my first USA's in '06 I have been able to carry heavier weight in the off-season while staying leaner.

      I'm hoping to bring the hardest and most polished look I've ever had. I think you will see more detail in the back with more pronounced roundness in the shoulders. My legs should have the most complete, detailed look on stage.

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    [ Q ] How is your training different this year from year's past and if so what did you change?
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      [ A ] Having to learn how to train while traveling and making more appearances is challenging, but it's a part of this lifestyle. Other than that not much has changed. I'm learning to reevaluate certain exercises and training splits.

      I recently starting using Flexsolate Straps around the onset of my contest prep. They really fry the muscle fibers. I can't wait to have another off-season where I can use them to grow. I realize now that my focus should be on upper back and detail.

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      I have to start training for my own body's needs with unique exercises. If I can continue to improve in that area I feel I will have a very complete physique. I feel the best is yet to come and that every year I'll continue to see progress.

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    [ Q ] What prompted you to start working with IFBB Pro George Farah?
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      [ A ] I actually started working with George in 2005. George approached me after the Collegiates and told me he thought I had the tools to turn pro but I needed some guidance. George is great at dialing someone in.

      He really understands nutrition and that everyone is an individual. He doesn't give people a one ticket diet to Rome, meaning there is more than one way to get in the best shape of your life! George believed in me before many people knew who I was.

    George Farah George Farah
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    George Farah At The 2008 Olympia.
    View More Pics Of George Farah At The 2008 Olympia.

      He's been the one who constantly reminds me that I can be a really good pro. His faith in me is sincere and it means a lot. I really appreciate all he has done for me.

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    [ Q ] What did your weight get up to in the off-season?
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      [ A ] At my heaviest I was around 232 lbs this off-season. This is solid weight for me.

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    [ Q ] You'll be meeting up with Al Auguste again this year at Nationals. You've beat him the last two times you've faced him. Does knowing he's looking to upset you help motivate you coming into this show?
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      [ A ] I haven't spent any time worrying about anyone. I can't control who shows up or what they look like. I know everyone wants to win but the reality is only one person can. I am training to be that person.

      I wish all the competitors the very best. My mentality is that no one wants this more than me. It's in my home state, where I first stood on stage.

    Al Auguste Al Auguste
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Al Auguste At The 2007 NPC Nationals.
    View More Pics Of Al Auguste At The 2007 NPC Nationals.

      Atlanta is where my bodybuilding journey began and I'm not planning on letting anyone take away something from me in my backyard! I am more prepared then ever! If I am the most poised, polished, and professional guy on that stage then I will be extremely tough to beat!

    arrow Check Out Al Auguste's Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week Profile Here.

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    [ Q ] You're one of the few guys to have a supplement and publication contract. What do you feel has helped you get these contracts?
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      [ A ] I am no longer with Met-Rx. I had a good experience for two years while working with them and was grateful for the opportunity. There were some great people involved but at the end of the day it was a business decision.

      I'm hoping that a win at the Nationals will spark some more interest as I am unsigned now, but I am making that known. I have already spoken to a few companies and things have been discussed but I think it's in my best interest to focus on the Nationals first.

      I would say first and foremost a company will take notice of you if you have placed very high, like runner-up or earned your card. It's just the nature of the industry. Above that, I feel it's important for the athlete to be willing to work.

    Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam At The Met-Rx Booth
    At The 2008 Arnold Classic.

      You have to enjoy and feel comfortable meeting and speaking with people constantly. You have to represent yourself well. It's not all about training and building the most incredible body. It's about relating to people.

      One must understand that companies are trying to generate sells. How does a bodybuilder help them generate sells? If I owned a company I would hire the most out going person, who I know will work hard. Even more importantly I would want someone who thinks outside the box to promote the company along with promoting themselves.

      Having an athlete who appreciates his fans and loves interacting with them is more important then how they place because people appreciate being appreciated.

    Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam On The Cover Of FLEX Magazine.

      Opportunities don't always fall into your lap. Too many guys think they are going to build an amazing physique and just smoke people on stage and someone is going to pay them just to be big. Or they think someone is going to discover them in the gym and hand them an opportunity. It doesn't work that way.

      You have to put your time in and do well on a national stage. If you're then fortunate enough to be given an opportunity you'd better capitalize on it! No one is owed anything and you can be replaced. You have to make yourself valuable.

    Pro Bodybuilding Weekly
    Bodybuilding.com Audio Player
    Guests:
    Milos Sarcev &
    Peter Putnam


    Click Play To Start The Show.

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    [ Q ] What advice do you have for young bodybuilders who are looking to get in the iron game?
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      [ A ] I think my answer to the previous question is good advice. On top of that, make sure you are working towards securing financial security in other areas of your life outside bodybuilding. Don't quit your day job!

      It's one thing to be passionate about something, but just be cautious to evaluate your goals and dreams. Don't be delusional. By all means, chase after your dreams. I am living my bodybuilding dream and I trust and pray it continues for years.

      But I also have to work to secure that. It hasn't always been easy but hard work can pay off. Just be patient and don't rush your progress. More importantly, cherish your family and friends. Realize it's not all about you.

    Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.
    View More Pics Of Peter Putnam At The 2007 NPC Nationals.

      Don't become so consumed with bodybuilding that it wrecks your closest relationships. If you have pushed away the people who matter the most to you just to win a trophy it means nothing when you walk off the stage by yourself not to be greeted by anyone. Bodybuilding is a wonderful lifestyle that builds discipline and character.

      It has brought me much joy and satisfaction. It's one of the few activities that can increase your self confidence and if you apply your work ethic from bodybuilding to other areas of your life you can achieve greatness there as well. You can be a bodybuilder but use your greatest muscle, your heart, on a daily basis to build up others!

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    [ Q ] What's supplements do you recommend?
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      [ A ] I basic Whey Protein is a must. I also like protein blends with Casein at night or Meal Replacements mixed with oats. I think Glutamine and Waxy Maize are two important supplements as well.

      One thing that most bodybuilders don't consume enough of is whole greens and vegetables. There are many powder products along with whole foods and green multivitamins that can benefit a bodybuilders overall health.

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    [ Q ] Do you have any Putnam special recipes for the readers to try?
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      [ A ] One dish that Jessica and I like to make is Salmon Quesadillas.

      We used Ezekiel brown rice tortillas and add grilled salmon seasoned with Mrs. Dash, chipotle and cilantro. Add some feta cheese, avocados, some cucumber salsa, and a dash of lime and you got a great tasting meal.

    Peter Putnam
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Peter Putnam & His Wife Jessica At The 2007 NPC USA's.

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    [ Q ] Any last thing you would like to add?
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      [ A ] I want to thank everyone at Weider for believing in me and supporting me! When I first starting reading FLEX, I could only dream about one day making it in bodybuilding and being able to live out my dream.

      I used to read about Dorian, Levrone and other Weider athletes and think about how cool it must be! I thought these guys are living the dream!

      I wondered if I could ever make it. I'll never forget going to the Weider offices for the very first time, thinking about all the bodybuilding elite who have walked through these doors over the years. I'll never forget meeting Joe in his offices.

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      He was so enthusiastic to meet myself and Flex Lewis. And I'll never forget Peter phoning me with the amazing news last year following the Nationals asking me to come on board. I am honored to be a part of such a long legacy of champions!

      And it's with that tradition of champions that I will work hard to be my very best! I like to know when it's all said and done I carved out a place in history and represented the name Weider with pride!

    Ben Weider
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Ben Weider Receiving The Lifetime
    Achievement Award At The 2008 Arnold Classic.

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    [ Q ] Thanks for taking the time one week out from your show to do this interview.
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      [ A ] Thanks for interviewing me Isaac. See ya in Atlanta!

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    George Farah Interview
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    I also caught up with Peter's trainer - IFBB Pro George Farah and asked him a few questions regarding Peter.

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    [ Q ] How did you start working together?
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      [ A ] Peter and I competed against each other in 1999 at Jr. Nationals, a year later I turned pro and we never saw one another until like 2004 and we talked and I told him that I would like to give him a hand with his prep. We started right after and we been friends since.

    George Farah George Farah
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    George Farah At The 2008 Europa Super Show.
    View More Pics Of George Farah At The 2008 Europa Super Show.

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    [ Q ] What changes did you implement to Peter's prep this year?
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      [ A ] We made a lot of changes to the way he is training to his diet, cardio, etc.

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    [ Q ] His biggest criticism is being a bit soft from the rear poses, something which people criticize you for at times. How have you been able to help Peter in this area?
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      [ A ] The only thing we did is kept a tab on his weight and fat in the off season.

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    Or Download Here:
    Windows Media (3.11 MB)
    [ 2007 NPC USA Championship Videos Main Page ]

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    [ Q ] What does Peter have that Darrell Terrell or Al Auguste don't and will lead to him winning the Light-Heavy?
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      [ A ] A more complete physique and people need to remember that it is a complete body competition, not just whose butt is harder.