A. The main thing for me is stress relief. I notice that if I don't train, I'm much more irritable and stress gets to me.
Q. Can you name some physical benefits you have noticed from weight training?
A. I've gained about 40 lbs. of muscle in the last 20 years through weight training. At age 43 I'm much stronger, and have a much better physique than I had when I was in my early 20's. I've noticed with other avid weight trainers, that they all look much younger than their actual age.
Q. What keeps you motivated through all these years?
A. Competition really keeps me motivated. I love competing in bodybuilding and powerlifting, and the goal of my next competition keeps me highly motivated. I started lifting weights to look better and that's still a big motivation for me. The other thing is, I just love lifting weights!
Q. Why did you decide to be a pro bodybuilder?
A. I started competing in bodybuilding after only 8 months of serious weight training (I was an athlete before that, so I wasn't starting from scratch). I was very successful in my first few shows and realized that I had a lot of potential. It was after that first year of competition that I set a goal for myself of being the best in the World. In order to be the best, I had to compete against the best. That meant turning pro. I reached my goal at the 1998 Pro Natural World Championships when I beat a field of 42 Pro Natural Bodybuilders from all over the world to become the WNBF World Champion.
Q. What does your workout routine look like?
A. I'm attaching a file with my off-season workout, and my pre-contest workout.
Q. Why have you decided to stay natural?
A. Early in my career I stayed natural because I didn't want to risk getting any of the side effects from steroids. There was a time, after I'd been competing for about 5 years, that I seriously considered taking them, but a good friend talked me out of it. I'm glad he did! Now, I'm so proud that everything I've built, I've built without any drug use. A lot of people don't believe it's possible. I take that as a great compliment to what I've done.
Q. What are some accomplishments that you're proud of?
A. There are several things that I've accomplished in BB that I'm very proud of. First, becoming the first person to win the overall title at the NPC Texas Championships twice was a great feat. And, doing it totally drug free made it even more satisfying. Then, winning the WNBF Pro Natural World title, just eleven months after having bicep reattachment surgery, was unbelievable. Winning the lightweight class at the 2000 WNBF Worlds, to become the first man to win two WNBF World Championships, was also a great feeling. However, I think the thing that I'm most proud of is my consistency since I turned pro in the WNBF. I have a string of 9 consecutive top-3 placing in WNBF Pro contests (which is still intact). The next closest competitors to me have 5 consecutive, and some of those streaks have already ended.
Q. How did you come to own your own gym? How have things been at the HydeParkGym?
A. I wound up owning Hyde Park Gym just because I was in the right place at the right time, and I had just enough money put away to take the offer that was presented to me. Things have been a little slower at the gym since the economy took its downward turn, but the drop-off has been very small compared to most local business.
Q. Any tips you could give for bodybuilders who might be looking to turn pro?
A. Yes, BE PATIENT! I competed for 11 years before I turned pro. Enjoy your experience as an amateur bodybuilder while you can. Try to compete in several contests a year while you're in top condition (preferably shows that are close together). Keep in mind that when you turn pro in the WNBF, there are only 4 contests (at this time) a year that you are allowed to compete in. And, the competition in the pros is fierce! Keep in mind that just about every pro has won an overall title at a Pro-qualifier.