Big Cat

Background

Everybody makes mistakes, but only if they try. You'll never get it right the first time around, but if I can teach you anything, it is to think for yourself. You may not always be right, but at least you thought for yourself, instead of being told what to think.

I'm Peter Van Mol, but am more commonly known as the Big Cat. Its an old nickname my friends gave me in college, on account of the fact that every time they came by, I was either eating or sleeping. Like a big cat. I started using it as my internet nickname as well, and now apart from my family and one or two close friends, people just call me Big Cat.

I have been with Bodybuilding.com for a long time now, almost from the very beginning when I was just a kid with a mind of my own who wanted to help others on some starting internet message board. I was asked by the owner of Bodybuilding.com, Ryan Deluca, if I was interested in writing a few articles for the site and that's how it all started. Since then I have written over 80 articles for this site and continue to do so today. In that same time Bodybuilding.com has grown to become the number 1 internet resource for bodybuilders, with a wealth of information and a superstore that offers most available supplements at the most competitive prizes.

And me? I'm still doing my thing. I've grown considerably, not so much physically as mentally. I started out as a psychology student only to end up being a physiology enthusiast with a background in molecular biology, who is currently studying medical lab technology and physical therapy. Along with my unchanged zest for helping others, I now possess an exponentially increased amount of knowledge about almost everything.


(Left to right) Jay Cutler and I at the ISS booth at FIBO 2002, Me with Ed van Amsterdam at FIBO 2003, Me with two of my most talented athletes: Estelle Moreau, world champion figure fitness in the medium height class, and Philiep Van Nuffel, three time Belgian and European champion.

As readers will note when reading my pieces, the earlier work isn't entirely devoid of error and I did seem to have more of a passion for adjectives in the past than I do now, but they are all still valid as rough guides and introductions to the matter discussed. As one progresses through my reading, especially towards the steroid profiles, the articles on vitamins, and my most recent work you will also notice that I have a high standard of writing and attach a lot of attention to both common sense and scientific proof. Two things that are utterly useless without each other. In essence I'm still that kid that just wanted to help people though...

Who is the Big Cat as a bodybuilder? Three times nobody. I have made remarkable changes to my body, starting out at a mere 153 lbs at 6'1 to a top weight of 225 lean pounds an 6'2 when I still thought I could be a competitor. But I simply don't have the heart of a competitor. I currently maintain a weight between 210 and 220 lbs at 8-10% body-fat without too much difficulty. I am well aware that with what I know I should be able to compete at a much, much higher weight, but I will be honest with you all: I lack the work ethic and the will-power to compete. I also don't generally call myself a bodybuilder, but rather a bodybuilding enthusiast.

That's why I am a trainer. I love to work with athletes of all kind, to help them achieve a higher level, better performance and appearance. A lot of these athletes are active on an international level and do very well in their sports. As far as bodybuilding is concerned, I work with, among others, Philiep Van Nuffel, 3 time Belgian and European champion bodybuilding, who will hopefully make a throw at the world championship this year, and Estelle Moreau, world champion figure fitness in the medium height class.

Make no mistake, these athletes are the best of the best and to work with me requires more work ethic and stamina than you can imagine, I demand a lot physically and psychologically of them all. My assistance may be very valuable in achieving the level they must achieve to excel year after year, but don't let that fool you for one second, I don't know many people who work harder than they do. They can't do what I do, and trust me, I couldn't do what they do.

So who influenced me so much that I still strive to be better, still strive to help others to the best of my ability? Well not many people. If you ask me who I admire, I will gladly say my parents and the few good friends that stuck around, I admire them all for sticking it out with me. I seem difficult sometimes, the truth is, I'm much worse in reality. But other than that I don't admire anyone. And that's a tip I give to you all: Don't aspire to be like anyone. Rather than that, look towards their positive traits and adopt them, make them your own.

Because when you merely aspire to be like someone, you only aspire to be as good as them. And if you want to have the heart of a bodybuilder, then you must aspire to be the best. To be better than those you admire. You can't do that focusing on the other people, only by focusing on yourself, beating yourself. Every day waking up realizing what has to be done, and going to sleep knowing you've done all you can do. Because if you try your hardest, it will always be better than the next guy. And eventually that pays off.

So why should you read my articles, or listen to what I have to say? Well honestly, you don't. My only aim is to educate and inform consumers of how to maximize their training, nutrition and supplementation and to invest wisely in what they seek to accomplishments, both time-wise and finance-wise. I work very hard for this, while I work with several supplement companies I never accept a percentage of sales as payment, because having a vested interest corrupts my ideals.

I want people to be able to speak freely about the things I work on, and not have to give a damn when their comments are not to my liking. I speak my mind about everything, and in the process I don't pull punches. That makes me an easy target for some less than scrupulous people in the supplement industry, and not having a vested interest keeps me honest. That will ALWAYS put me one step ahead of the pack.

I currently reside in Oostende, Belgium and continue to study. I have studied in Brussels, Brugge, Edinburgh (Scotland) and Gent. I have lived in Ohio for a while and finished High school both here and there, and have travelled extensively across the United States (Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York and Illinois) and Europe (Germany, Holland, France, Scotland, England). I have had the pleasure to work and train with many a talented athlete. I have taught them a great deal, and they in turn have taught me a great deal as well. More than trainees, they are above all my friends. Training and nutrition are my life, but apart from that I enjoy playing snooker, basketball, American Football, I'm a big movie buff and enjoy pretty much all kinds of music (except that techno crap).

As I write this (early 2004) I am coming off a 10-month absence here at Bodybuilding.com. I have had an extremely difficult year that left me single after my girlfriend of 3 years left me for someone else, in poor shape after a motor-cycle accident, and relatively broke since most of my savings were in that motor-cycle and I going to college is not a cheap experience. I've lost friends, and stand to lose more to terrible illnesses, and got stabbed in the back a few times by people pretending to be friends. And some more personal stuff I would rather not discuss publicly.

Things looked pretty dire for a while, including three suicide attempts. But don't feel too bad for me. I made it through, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and believe me I'm stronger. And while my situation hasn't improved much, I feel lucky because I do have some friends that are true friends, and not many people can say that (thank you D-man, briny, Dr J, Philiep). I have a loving family that always gave me a second chance and I'm thankful for the success my athletes have enjoyed and will hopefully continue to enjoy in the years to come. And of course I always had a home in Bodybuilding.com.

This just goes to show you that bodybuilding is more than a sport, more than a lifestyle. It's a community, and the bodybuilders, a breed of their own. It gives you incredible mental strength, so much support from all you brothers and sisters and it is so rewarding to be healthier and look better than 95% of the people around you. I guess that makes it so much easier to do what I do, to continue to spread knowledge and help others, without having to ask insane amounts of money in return. I may be broke as hell at the time of writing this, what bodybuilding has given me is a debt I can never repay, and it is my honor to help others in that regard.


(Left to right) Jeremy Freeman and I, with superstar Monica Brant, with Jeff Long.

So as of this year, I'm proud to announce I am back as a Bodybuilding.com writer, starting with a weekly column called Big Cat's Corner, which brings you unique editorials and cutting edge information, and as time allows hopefully more feature articles. Feedback is always welcomed. And keep sending your questions. I get an immense amount of them, in excess of 100 emails per day, still. And I am lucky if I can answer even ten of those per day. So the odds are against you, but don't let that keep your from asking. You may get an answer, and if the question is interesting enough, you may see it end up in my column and then it will help so many more people.

With a health to all my brothers and sisters in the bodybuilding community, may we prosper and grow in the years to come, together. And may they be better than the past years.

Articles

  • Top 10 Supplements For Bulking!

    If you estimate what is left of actual bio-active nutrients in today's series of processed foods you can also figure out that you'd need to eat a massive amount of calories to get the necessary building blocks for growth.

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 8!

    Big Cat touches base and gives us a little information on some new discoveries to ties between obesity and GLP-1...

  • Big Cat Meets Ernie Taylor: The Ernie Taylor Interview!

    Find out what is next for bodybuilding superstar Ernie Taylor. Learn about his amazing triceps, what contests are next, if he will fight Guy Grundy, tips for beginners and more...

  • The Physiology Of Fat Loss Part Five!

    We have arrived at part 5, the last of the purely theoretical parts. This time around we are discussing the various sex hormones like DHEA, testosterone and estrogen.

  • The Physiology Of Fat Loss Part Four!

    Ok, we are nearing the end of our theoretical ordeal. Today we are going to be covering, briefly, Growth Hormone, appetite regulation, cortisol and TNF-alpha and how they may relate to our fat loss efforts.

  • The Physiology Of Fat Loss Part Three!

    In part three of this article I will try to tackle fatty acid oxidation, the whole body beneficial effects of alpha2 adrenoreceptor stimulation and the effects of thyroid hormone.

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 6!

    Read an interesting take on the Ironman, learn all about vitamin A supplementation and much more!

  • The Physiology Of Fat Loss!

    The first article is related to lipolysis and non-shivering thermogenisis. To not complicate things too much, I will stick to discussing only the local effects on fat cells and their adjacent nerves in this first instalment.

  • The Physiology Of Fat Loss Part 2!

    I hope you have had the time to reread the first article and comprehend it fully before starting here. This time around we will discuss insulin resistance and how it works to our advantage.

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 5!

    Read an interesting take on the dedication of a bodybuilder, learn all about vitamin D supplementation and much more!

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 4!

    Find out what makes a champion, learn all about branched chain amino acids and much more!

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 3!

    Find out what the latest supplement bandwagon is and all about Leptin and what it can do for you!

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 2!

    Find more about the way supplement companies hype up products, all about topical fat loss, essential fatty acids and all about vitamin D supplementation!

  • Big Cat's Corner! Latest Research.

    Read more to find more about the ephedra ban, all about fibrates and their benefits and the advantages and disadvantages of estrogen control!

  • Big Cat's Corner: Issue 1!

    Read more to find more about the ephedra ban, all about fibrates and their benefits and the advantages and disadvantages of estrogen control!

  • Big Cat's Building A Pro Series - Part Two!

    This time I would like to take the time to tell you the story of our first mutual endeavour. This will give you some background on how we started working together and how we decided that he had the ability to become a pro.

  • Getting To Know Philiep!

    In this new series I will be detailing the training of a promising athlete, as I guide him to getting his pro card. It's a daring experience, because it's not about getting a fat guy in shape...

  • In Depth Winstrol Profile!

    TThis is another one of the popular ones. Next to Deca and D-bol the third most abused substance among athletes is stanozolol, as documented by the many positive drug tests.

  • In Depth Testosterone Enanthate Profile!

    Testosterone is the prime male androgen in the body

  • Building A Professional!

    Over the next 14 months, following my advice and that of his coach Pierre De Bont, we will turn Philiep into a Pro!