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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Rod Solomon

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Rod Solomon! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Rod Solomon
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 32
  • Where: New Jersey
  • Height: 5' 8"
  • Weight: 285 Lbs., Contest: 225 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :17
  • Favorite Bodypart: Legs
  • Favorite Exercise: Incline Bench
  • Favorite Supplements: CytoSport Muscle Milk, Evopro, and Elite-zyme pro.

How Did You Get Started?

I started lifting weights as a sophomore in high school to increase my strength for wrestling. I began buying bodybuilding magazines where I found this world of various products on each page, each one better than the next. I was sure taking some of the supplements that would make me superhuman. I also noticed the muscular physiques in the magazines and started picturing myself like that. Could I be that big? Hmmm... maybe with my new supplements and weight lifting it would be possible.

So, this is how I began being very delusional about everything and not knowing any better. A strange thing happened though. Once I didn't see any results from the supplements I was using I turned to buying books on weightlifting, diet, and anything that would educate me in this arena.

What I found was a lot of what I was reading in the magazines was not for the average guy like myself and if I was going to grow it would have to be done using a more realistic approach. The down side about educating yourself about something is that when those around you who pretend to know what they are doing start talking. You no longer can tolerate their ignorance because you are saying to yourself, "Dude, the books I read aren't expensive, why don't you get one, read it and get a clue." So I had to distance myself from the "hardcore" guys who followed the "no pain no gain" anthem right into the ground.

I took my knowledge to the gym and applied what I learned. In doing so the distance between myself and everyone else became greater. By that I mean I was making gains every year and everyone else looked the same year after year after year. I never thought I would ever step on stage to compete - I was just enjoying my new size and not looking like everyone else. Ok so I was bigger now but I still felt like everyone else around me. I wanted to be different. Everyone around me talked about competing, talked about the pro's, talked about looking a certain way by "next year." Well, I said if I was going to be different than these guys I was going to have to be the guy that dieted down and stepped on stage.

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In 1999, after graduating from the police academy, I picked a bodybuilding show and began training for it. Although I did not place high enough to win a trophy at my first show, I saw the kind of physique I would need to be a competitive bodybuilder. I immediately began to mold my physique accordingly.

I realized very quickly without good genetics, everything else - done perfectly - would only result in a mediocre physique. Although I did not know if I had the genetics for competitive bodybuilding I continued to train. Today, seventeen years later, I am able to get my body weight up to a lean 285 pounds and my goal is to become a professional bodybuilder. The hardest part about this journey has been the question: am I good enough to compete with the best physiques in the world? It is not until this year, 2006, after winning my first overall title - I actually believe I may be able to compete at a professional level if I continue to make progress.

You can learn more about me by visiting my web site:

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I feel I've been extremely lucky in that whatever I've done over the years has worked. However as you progress, gains do slow and you have to make changes. What I've been using the last few years is simple plan where I do one exercise per body part for 3-4 sets (2-3 body parts each session). I'm in the gym 5-6 days a week depending on how good I feel. From my various readings I've found that taking long rest periods between workouts can actually be counter productive.

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Getting into the gym and working a particular body part on day 1 doesn't mean you give that body part 5, 6, 7 days rest before hitting it again because all the work you did day 1 starts to fade so to speak. It's like going to 100% muscle activation on day 1 and as the days pass that muscle is not being stimulated again so the activation diminishes so by the time you hit it again days later you are starting at maybe 30 or 40% activation instead of closer to 100% if you had not rested so long. So in fact, what you would do is hit each muscle after 1 or 2 days rest to capitalize on the activation of muscle growth. This is not my philosophy of course because I don't want to take credit for this information that I've learned over the years, but I've embraced this new way of thinking and it has paid off big time.

Wow, not resting 5-7 days before hitting a body part again? Won't I lose muscle? Won't I be too sore to train that body part that soon? All these questions were answered as I gained size, gained strength and was able to just add muscle at will following this training protocol. In two words - it works.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Milk By far hands down the best tasting and most result producing protein product is Muscle Milk by CytoSport. I also use their Evopro during competition prep because every ounce of muscle counts when you are getting ready for a show and I can't afford to lose any during sleep hours. I also use Elite-zyme pro by Thropps Nutrition. Everyone thinks they will get big by eating tons of good protein and carbs, but what they don't know is that by the time you are an adult your gut can break down and process half the food you eat in a day. That means most of it is going to waste. Elite-zyme pro is the best digestive enzyme product in the universe for the growing bodybuilder because you are what you absorb, not what you eat!

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love bodybuilding because it has allowed me to express myself in a way I never thought possible. I'm a shy person and have always been that way but there is a part of me that just wants to bust out and say, "Hey world, check this out." That's how I felt when I did my last show in New York, the Atlantic States. I couldn't wait to get on stage to show the judges all the changes I've made the past two years and how happy I was with the package I had that day.

I was busting out of my skin. In no other forum do I feel that way. So for me contest day is more than looking forward to eating all the things I've missed the past few months. It's a day where I'm not shy, I'm not nervous, I just can't contain myself because I'm anxious for the judges and the audience to see what I've done with my 16 weeks of contest prep.

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What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My plans at this point are to turn pro and try to continue having fun competing. Do I want to win pro shows, yes, do I want to be Mr. Olympia, yes, do I want nice endorsement contracts, yes, but who cares about all that if you are miserable and not having any fun. Life isn't about winning whether it's the Daytona 500 or Mr. Olympia. For me, life is about enjoying each day and doing something positive while I'm here so that one day when I'm gone those around me will be able to say here is a guy who enjoyed competing and helping others along the way.

My wife keeps telling me stop preparing diets and training programs for anyone who asks, for free, you should charge them. I just seem to have a hard time doing that. I like money, don't get me wrong, but the people who come up to me and ask for help, are doing that, just asking for help. They aren't asking for my celebrity status and what that may cost them, just some help.

Competition History:

    June 3, 2006 - Bev Francis Atlantic States, Overall Winner.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

I would say don't let bodybuilding cause you to be delusional about life. Don't think that bodybuilding is going to make you rich and famous and happy. If you wrap your happiness and wealth and future around something as uncertain as bodybuilding you are being delusional and unrealistic. Remind yourself that happiness and wealth isn't winning the next big show whether it is for prize money or a trophy.

Happiness and wealth can be attained through helping others attain their fitness goals, taking care of your family, being a good example for others and giving instead of taking. It may sound corny but as I've gotten older I've realized that walking around at 285lbs and being the nicest most respectful guy wherever I go gets me way more attention than being a rude prick who thinks because I'm big I'm special.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My favorite bodybuilders are Johnny Jackson, Victor Martinez, Troy Alves, Kevin Levrone, and Flex Wheeler.