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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Chris Mackenzie

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Chris Mackenzie! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Chris Mackenzie
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 37
  • Where: New Jersey
  • Height: 5'6.5"
  • Weight: 176-205 Lbs
  • Years Bodybuilding :20
  • Favorite Bodypart: Back
  • Favorite Exercise: Deadlifts
  • Favorite Supplements: BPI Sports

How Did You Get Started?

My start was two-fold and probably very similar to most bodybuilders. First, as a teenager I wanted to be better in high school sports so I lifted weights. More than that, I always wanted big muscles and the enjoyment of weightlifting lead to bodybuilding.

Gains were slow as I was kind of a small kid, but I was happy with any progress I made. After college I first competed as a bodybuilder (in 1995) at a local show here in Jerz and took 4th out of 14 guys in the novice middleweight class. I viewed this as a great success, and although I did not make it back to the bodybuilding stage for a few years, knew that bodybuilding was something I wanted to take part in.

Chris MacKenzie. Chris MacKenzie.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Chris MacKenzie.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I am a volume trainer and I do not really follow a "Plan." Even as I am getting older, I still feel the more you train and the harder you train the better you get.

When I am not getting ready for a show, I basically train every body part once every 5 days in this rotation:

If I am forced to miss a day in the gym (which rarely happens) I just pick up where I left off.

I generally go as heavy as I can all the time and most training sessions have at least one or two max rep sets. I also do see value in longer sets of like 15 - 25 reps where you just rep-out for the heck of it. To this end, I have benched 225 for 24 reps, squatted 315 for 20 and deadlifted 315 for 28 reps.

Finally, I like to keep the pace pretty fast while I train. My workouts are really a workout!

Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Day 1 - Chest/Triceps:

Day 2 - Back/Biceps:

Day 5 - Legs:

Chris MacKenzie. Chris MacKenzie.
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Chris MacKenzie.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

General rules of eating healthy are the basics of my nutrition plan most of the year.

For contests, I gradually start lowering carbs week-to-week but keep calories the same, about 2800 - 3100 a day. Towards the end things get pretty tight. This is my pre show diet for the last 5 weeks into a show. My whole diet is not very logical and I would feel like a fool sharing it with this many quality bodybuilders.

Breakfast 5:30 AM:

Morning Workout

Post Workout Meal:

Morning Snack 10:15 AM:

Lunch 12:45 PM:

Afternoon Snack 3:30 PM:

Dinner 5:45 PM:

Before Gym:

Evening Workout

Late Night Dinner:

Totals: About 2900 Calories

When I am not in "Show Mode" I try to eat clean, never fast food or fried food. I do cheat and eat pizza on occasion.

Chris MacKenzie. Chris MacKenzie.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Chris MacKenzie.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I first started getting into bodybuilding in the early 1990's. It does not seem like that long ago, but in the supplement world, this was the dark ages.

Then, in like 1995, 2 things happened:

And for the first time we had supplements that actually had great effects on out bodies, and if anyone remembers protein from those days, MetRx was like the best tasting thing ever invented.

To this day, Protein and Creatine are the 2 major components of my supplement strategy, and I still use the MetRx MRP shakes as well as Whey Protein (from any brand).

Recently I was fortunate enough to hook up with a friend who was starting a new supplement company, BPI Sports. I was lucky enough to use the BPI products before they came to market, and am particularly fond of the RX6 Fat Burner and M80 Pills. The M80 is like nothing I have ever used in terms of building strength. Even while dieting I was able to keep getting stronger and stronger in the gym.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I think the daily ritual of working out is something I really was attracted to in the beginning. Knowing that the time you put into lifting weights will pay out is a great feeling.

At this point in my life I do not know what I would do without bodybuilding. Going to the gym every day keeps me grounded and is a mental, physical and emotional outlet to the grind of daily life.

I also love the sport of bodybuilding and, as an athlete, am grateful that there is an opportunity for me to compete. Despite being a little chaotic, the sport is structured well with local shows that qualify you for national shows, and a shot to compete professionally. I have spent years competing in the NPC and love the organization and feel this is the big league for amateur bodybuilding. Because I am a "natural" bodybuilder, I also am lucky enough to compete in the IFPA and FAME organizations as well, both of which are great natural organizations.

I also love training. Lifting heavy weight is a lot of fun. I train "heavy" all year round and have been doing so forever. I am sure that there are plenty of guys out there a lot stronger than me, but for someone under 200lbs I can move some good weights.

I also should add that I workout with IFBB Pro Tim Martin a lot since we live close to one another and he is another guy that trains everything heavy always, so we have a lot of fun in the gym.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

I am a smaller guy for a bodybuilder (about 195 - 200 lbs most of the year), so I need to have my eating and lifestyle in check to hang with the big boys. Also, I want to be somewhat youthful as I am getting older.

Chris MacKenzie. Chris MacKenzie.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Chris MacKenzie.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Well, I am just coming off a really good run in 2009. My goal of making the top 5 at an NPC National Level show was reached since I took 5th at the NPC Team Universe. Along the way I also won the middleweight class at the NPC Atlantic City show and the Overall at the FAME Atlantic City show.

My focus for 2010 is on the Team Universe one more time, and I am going there to win the weight class! I also hope to do the IFBB North American or NPC USA depending on the 2010 schedule. And, if possible, I would like to compete in an IFPA show again. I did one show in that organization and felt overlooked, so I need to go back and redeem myself.

Beyond competition, I would like to start some sort of a sports nutrition company and hope to someday have some products here on I wish I was the guy that started, but that chance has passed so I will just have to keep looking for the next opportunity.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Be patient and stick with it. This is a slow game, and you've got to just keep plugging away. Also, stay natural, especially in the early years of your career. Bright lights burn out the fastest so just keep hitting the gym and eating/supplementing right and the progress will come.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

In terms of physique, I like the small waist broad shoulders guys like Lee Haney or (if you can remember this one) Brian Buchanan. On a personal level, I am lucky enough to train with an IFBB Pro, Tim Martin who (along with his wife) has become a great friend to my family and me.

In terms of bodybuilders I admire, Gerard Dente and Rich Gaspari come right to mind since they are among the short list of competitive bodybuilders that have managed to get some big-time money out of this sport.

What Features Do You Use On

I really do love and am on here daily. I have a Bodyspace account that I put pics on and enjoy the feedback from people. I like the Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week and the Over 40 (since I am getting close) and I use to price shop any supplement I buy.

I think bodybuilding creates a great community. It is so great when you meet another competitive bodybuilder and you feel a sense of friendship. New Jersey is really a great state for bodybuilding, our NPC organization has like 10 or 12 shows in the year and looking across organizations, there are probably like 20 shows. I have made a lot of friends in the sport and at the gym, and I even kind of met my wife at a show. I hope the sport can keep moving forward, and keep improving.