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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Neil Tkatchuk

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Neil Tkatchuk! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

It all began about 2 years ago when oddly enough my younger brother started hitting the gym before me and encouragement from both him and my mother finally made me start training. At first I had absolutely no knowledge about weight training, nutrition, or even a clue about bodybuilding.

As I slowly began to pack on more and more muscle I realized that I wanted to fully dedicate myself to this sport and enter a competition. From that point on, help from people around me, my trainer,, and other web sites have helped me get the best results and achieve my goals. As well, I entered my first contest a month ago and ended up winning the junior (under 21) division.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

My workout changes every week, but here is a sample week during off-season training:

arrow Sample Training Week:

Monday: Chest
Incline Barbell

      : 3x4

Flat DB Press

      : 4x6-8

Flat Flyes

      : 3x8-10

Pec Dec

    : 3x10-12

Tuesday: Back
Bent Rows: 5x6-8
Seated Rows: 4x8-15
Rev. Grip Pulldowns: 4x8-10
Pulldowns Behind: 3x10-12

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Shoulders
2 Arm DB Press: 6x8-10
Seated Side Laterals: 3x8-12
Upright Rows: 3x8-12
Rear Delt Machine: 3x12-15

Friday: Arms
Lying Tricep Ext: 5x8-10
Close-grip Bench: 4x8-10
One Arm DB Ext: 2x6-10
Alternate DB Curls: 4x6
Preacher Curls: 4x8-10
DB Hammer Curls: 2x10-12

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Legs
Squats: 5x5
Lunges: 5x6-10
Leg Extensions: 3x12-15
Lying Leg Curls: 5x8-12
SLDL: 3x12

*Calves and abs are trained 2-3 times a week usually on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

During contest prep, more exercises are added in with fewer sets of each exercise being done. The reps are also slightly higher, while still keeping some heavy sets at the beginning of the workout.

magnifying glass Click Image To Enlarge.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My current diet consists of 6 meals a day:

arrow Sample Meal Plan:

Meal 1:
8oz. glass of orange juice
3oz. oatmeal, protein powder sprinkled on top
1 can of tuna
2 fish oil capsules
1 tbsp. flaxseed

Meal 2(Post-workout):
2.5 scoops of ON Whey
6 rice cakes

Meal 3:
5.5 oz chicken breast
6.5 oz. rice, or 6 oz. potato, or 2.5 oz. oatmeal
1 tbsp. flaxseed

Meal 4:
5.5 oz. chicken breast, or 9 egg whites
6.5 oz. rice, or 6 oz. potato, or 2.5 oz. oatmeal

Meal 5:
5.5 oz. chicken breast
4 oz. rice
3 oz. broccoli

Meal 6:
9 egg whites
2.5 oz. oatmeal
1 scoop ON Whey

This is generally my starting diet for contest prep and I will decrease calories as I go along. During the off-season I eat mainly these foods, but increase the calories depending on what my weight is doing.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?


My number one supplement is definitely ON Whey Protein. I believe this is a must for anyone that wants to build muscle. I consume it immediately after my workout to ensure immediate muscle growth and recovery. Other beneficial supplements I use are Pro-Lab Creatine Monohydrate during off-season and Pro-Lab Glutamine during pre-contest. I also take NOW fish oil pills to make sure I am getting my healthy fats as well as a Glucosamine supplement to make sure my joints stay healthy. Finally, I take a multivitamin, calcium, and vitamin C pills to ensure my body is functioning properly.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilders are often misunderstood and judged by others, but once you become one, it changes your life. I love the feeling of going to the gym and getting an awesome pump as well as the feeling once you complete a workout knowing that muscle growth is being promoted.

At first I did not enjoy the diet, but once you get it down you begin to actually enjoy it knowing that you are eating for growth and health, instead of just for pleasure. Finally, I love bodybuilding for the self-confidence that it has given me. Whether it be getting bigger and stronger, or stepping on stage in front of hundreds of people in a tiny posing suit, I feel both of these things improve one's self-confidence.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I would like to continue bodybuilding for as long as I can. I have another competition fast approaching on June 10th, 2006 and then it will be a year of trying to pack on some new muscle. I plan to continue competing because I love the feeling of cutting down to very low body fat percentages and being able to show-off the muscle that I have worked extremely hard to build.

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What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

I believe the main thing in bodybuilding is dedication. You must be a very dedicated person to succeed in this sport and set goals that you must work extremely hard to achieve, but are still realistic. I have learned that many sacrifices must be made, but it all pays off in the end. Finally, one thing I always try to convey to people is how important proper nutrition is. You can go to the gym and lift for hours on end, but if you are not replenishing your body properly, it will not grow.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

I look up to many of the pro bodybuilders such as Dexter Jackson, Johnnie Jackson, Branch Warren for his awesome leg development, and of course Arnold, but the one person who really inspires me is Layne Norton. What he has achieved training naturally truly makes me want to continue training naturally and work toward reaching my genetic potential. His advice on the forums has helped me so much.