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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Matt Carey

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Matt Carey! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Matt Carey
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 27
  • Where: Orange County, NY
  • Height: 5' 7"
  • Weight: 190 Lbs., Contest: 170 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :10
  • Favorite Bodypart: Shoulder and Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: Barbell Walking Lunges
  • Favorite Supplements: Universal Animal Pak, BSN CellMass, ON Whey Protein

How Did You Get Started?

I started recreational weight training in middle school. I was heavily influenced by my oldest brother Michael who was very dedicated in the gym and was exceptionally strong. To this day, I rarely meet anyone who can perform the lifts he did (500lb bench, 210lb dumbbell bench, 400lb overhead triceps extension). I got more serious about training in high school through football and wrestling.

Our football team's coaching staff put together one of the premier high school programs in NY state with an 8-month strength training regimen (Monoe-Woodbury High School). I continued to train through college where I played Rugby at the SUNY Oswego. I competed in my first show the year I graduated college and had no idea what I was doing but managed to place 5th in a competitive open middle weight class.

I did not compete again for the next five years, and then entered a show last October where I placed 2nd in the men's open middle weight. I won my first show this past April in a men's open class 2 division, which was comparable to a welter weight division.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

In the off season I use a 5-day split with two days off per week. Pre-contest I use the same 5 day split with only one day off per week and add cardio first thing in the morning, starting at 20 minutes 12 weeks out from a show and working up to 50 minutes by 3 weeks out. I stop training 3 days before a show. My pre-contest routine looks something like this:

arrow Pre-contest Training Week:

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What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

For my last show I dieted for 15 weeks and stayed on pretty much the same nutrition plan the whole time. Although I am still learning the sport and how to dial myself in (and I have much to learn still), this seemed to work fairly well. I consumed between 280-310 grams of protein and 160-190 grams of carbohydrates per day.

I stuck with the basics: boiled chicken, sweet potatoes, oat meal, rice cakes, broccoli, protein shakes and some lean red meat once per week (except the last two weeks before the show). Also, because I travel frequently for my profession as a Sales Director, I allowed myself to eat protein bars for some meals while on the road (up until 4 weeks before the show). Anyone who travels and is dieting for a show knows it can be tough to keep on schedule, so this helped.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

The CellMass product from BSN. I took this during my entire pre-contest diet up until 3 weeks before my show and it helped me keep muscle and stay hard while cutting body fat.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

To me, bodybuilding is not a sport or hobby, it's a lifestyle. I enjoy dedicating myself 110% and seeing the results from the hard work. Also, I enjoy the camaraderie that's involved with bodybuilding. I have only competed in 3 shows, but all the people I have met at each event have been great people. Bodybuilding has even begun to rub off on my wife (who is my biggest fan and supporter) who has been with me for each show. She is now talking about competing in a figure competition after we have our first child.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I really would like to become a natural Pro. After winning my class at the last show, I was able to compete with the winners of the other 4 classes for the overall and the Pro card. I lost to the heavyweight winner who had a great physique; my hat went off to him. So now I have set a goal to win the overall at a pro qualifier.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Remember to have fun and enjoy training. Putting forth all the effort needed to have a winning physique is tough but worth it when you step onstage. Whenever I feel like complaining because I am eating boiled chicken at a family party while everyone is eating cake and ice cream, I think of our US troops dodging bullets overseas for our freedom and makes me realize how lucky I am to live in this great country and have the opportunity to compete for fun. That thought process tends to put things in perspective and I eat my chicken with a smile.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold of course. I can remember watching Conan The Barbarian and Pumping Iron when I was 7 or 8 years old. He is truly the American dream. Ronnie Coleman also - arguably the best bodybuilder ever. But beyond that, Ronnie has managed to stay humble. Case in point, I sent him an e-mail to congratulate him on winning his 8th Mr. Olympia. He wrote me back saying thank you. The guy probably gets hundreds of e-mails per day, yet he took the time to reply to my email. I also think Branch Warren, Darrem Charles, and Dexter Jackson have amazing physiques.