An Interview With Bob Cicherillo!

See when Bob got started, the best and worst things in his life and what he thinks of the 2002 Olympia!
BB.com: Bob, let me start of by thanking you for your time to answer these questions! Let's begin.

BB.com: How exactly do you pronounce your last name? I have heard about 5 different ways!

BC: My last name is spelled CICHERILLO and pronounced CHICK-ER-ELLO.

BB.com: How old are you?

BC: Just turned 37 (12/1/65).

BB.com: Where were you brought up?

BC: Born and raised in Rochester, NY. (Upstate NY).

BB.com: Do you have any brothers/sisters?

BC: I have 1 brother, Joe and 1 sister, Sandra Lynn.

BB.com: What kind of sports did you participate in during your teenage years?

BC: I played competitive baseball, football, track...also bowling, golf.

BB.com: What got you started in bodybuilding?

BC: I got started bodybuilding at 12-13 years old. I actually competed in first show in 1979 at 13. A combo of things got me into BB; Always into superhero's / comics...watched Arnold's Pumping Iron in 1978, and Incredible Hulk which was also during the same time period....

BB.com: What kind of routine did you follow?

BC: I followed routines I read about in Muscle Builder/Power (which later became Muscle and Fitness). The idols were Lou Ferrigno, Arnold, Steve Reeves... basic stuff, WAY overtrained given what we know now....

BB.com: Tell us more about your first bodybuilding show?

BC: My first show was in 1979... I remember a lot of things from that show, but most of all that this was something I loved from that moment on... I placed 3rd and won trophies for best arms, legs, and best poser. (YES, they gave out body part trophies back then!)

BB.com: What else can you remember about that show?

BC: From almost the first day I started bodybuilding, I wanted to be a pro and compete in the Mr. Olympia!

BB.com: When did you realize/decide you wanted to turn pro?

BC: I finally realized my dream of turning pro at the 2000 USA Championships in Las Vegas NV. I won the super heavyweight division and the overall after an "extended" amateur career of 13 years at the national level. I made my national debut after winning the Jr. Nationals 1987, at the 1987 National Championships in Atlantic City NJ after taking 5th in the Heavyweights.

NOTE - There was no Super-heavyweight division then!

BB.com: How did it feel to turn pro?

BC: That's a good question...I would say it was a feeling of "thank GOD", it's finally over... talk about getting a monkey off your back!

BB.com: What was your weight when you turned pro compared to what you compete at these days?

BC: I weighed in at 235 lbs. at the 2000 USA. I competed at the Olympia at 250 lbs.

BB.com: What is it like being pro? What is better than you expected? What is worse?

BC: Being a pro is a lot less stressful (believe it or not)! The best way I can describe it is that whether you win, lose, or draw at a pro show... you're still a pro at the end of the day. As an amateur, it's do or die. If you don't win the whole thing, its "SEE YOU NEXT YEAR..." and the years click by, the stress level is incredible.

BB.com: Ok, so what is the best thing about being a pro?

BC: Yes, I very much enjoy being an IFBB pro, especially getting to talk to the many fans of mine (as well as bodybuilding) in general across the US.... it's nice to know that you may be a huge influence to a young up and coming bodybuilders, much like a Lou Ferrigno or Arnold was to us years ago.

BB.com: And the worst thing?

BC: What I dislike most is the way the athletes are treated when it comes to compensation, etc. The "powers that be" seem to think that they're the show for some reason and that the athletes are just going to sit around and get stepped on while everyone makes money on US. They believe this because this has been the case for many years... until now.

I promise you this....things will be changing in the very near future and the bodybuilders are ready willing and able to take a stand for our sakes as well as those to come after us. I personally will do everything in my power to insure that a change is made!

BB.com: How do you feel about your placings so far in your pro career? Do you feel you will someday be Mr. Olympia? If so, how long until then?

BC: Overall, I would say I have been pleased with my placings to date, of course, it's hard to complain with 2 runner-ups and an Olympia showing!

My only two complaints are that the prize money is VERY inadequate for the amount of effort we put in and the fact that I wasn't compared to guys I've either already beaten or been runner-up to at the Olympia, was very disrespectful to me in my opinion. As for being Mr. Olympia someday... I think it would be great and I will certainly train and prepare to try and win EVERY show I enter, BUT, I'm not sure that it's in the cards for me.

BB.com: You competed at your first Olympia this year. How did it feel to be standing amongst the best in the world?

BC: Aside from the judging, The 2002 Olympia experience was FANTASTIC! Standing with the best in the world is a great honor and something I will cherish forever

BB.com: Do you think Gunter should have won the Mr. Olympia over Ronnie Coleman? Did he deserve to win the 2002 Show Of Strength? Why or why not?

BC: I believe Gunter COULD have won the Olympia if he was compared earlier in the rounds in the pre-judging, the fans certainly would have loved it. Yes, Gunter deserved to BEAT Ronnie at the GNC show... Overall, he was better. I would have had Kevin Levrone as the 2002 Mr. Olympia, again; Overall, he was a better bodybuilder on that day.

BB.com: What contests are you planning to do next? What do you plan to do differently, if anything, to get ready for those shows?

BC: I'll most likely do the May shows and possibly the Italian Grand Prix... I'll continue to work on muscle thickness, hams/glutes... I believe if I can come in at 260 lbs. and DRY (10 lbs. heavier)... I'll be tough to beat. I don't think I can go any heavier than that without sacrificing the small waist and aesthetic look.

BB.com: What is your basic training plan like? How many days per week? Do you train with anybody or do you prefer training by yourself?

BC: I train with Tom Prince at Gold's Gym Venice. We train on a simple program of single body parts per day on a 6-day / week.

BB.com: What is your favorite body part to train?

BC: My favorite body parts to train would have to be Chest and Bi's... great pump!

BB.com: What is your current supplementation like? What supplements have worked best for you? Favorite supplements?

BC: That's an easy one, Pro Performance supplements of course!

BB.com: What is your favorite food? Favorite diet and/or off-season food?

BC: My favorite food is Italian, of course.

BB.com: What car do you drive?

BC: I have two cars, a 1986 Buick Grand National turbo and a 2001 Pontiac Trans-Am. Both are limited edition models!

BB.com: What is your favorite body part?

BC: My favorite body part would have to belong to my Girlfriend, Tiffany!

BB.com: What has been your best overall condition, with no relation to where you placed ever? Best condition to date?

BC: I would say pure condition wise... the 2000 USA. As for overall appearance, I would say the 2002 NOC, 2002 Olympia was about equal.

BB.com: When not preparing for a contest, do you stay away from bodybuilding related foods or do you diet all year around?

BC: I eat like an animal in the off-season. Life's too short!

BB.com: How many weeks does it take you to prepare for a contest?

BC: I do 12 weeks of preparation going into every contest.

BB.com: What is the heaviest weight you have ever been?

BC: The heaviest weight has been about 275.

BB.com: What is your current weight?

BC: I'm about 265 right now.

BB.com: Is there any other advice you would like to give to teenage bodybuilders reading this in regards to eating, training or whatever?

BC: As for advice to the young guns coming up, I say this: Extremes don't work, it's usually somewhere in the middle. If you think the more drugs you take the bigger you'll get... you're WRONG! The amount of noise you make while training does not mean you're training "intense". Pros do not "live the bodybuilding lifestyle" 24/7/365. Don't let life pass you by as your climbing the ladder of success, it won't mean much if there's no one there to share it with.

Be patient, if immediate satisfaction is what you're looking for, you're in the wrong sport. It's not how much weight you can LIFT; it's how much weight you LOOK like you can lift! Just a few pearls of wisdom from the Book of Bob!

BB.com: Bob, I would like to say thank you for taking time in doing this interview. You are a credit to yourself and a credit to the sport, on behalf of all the Bodybuilding.com readers, Good Luck next year and in the future.

For more information on Bob Cicherillo, check out his website by clicking here or go to: http://www.musclebob.com.

Until Next Time,