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Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Theodore Atkins Jr.

Amateur Bodybuilder of the Week: Theodore Atkins Jr.! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

I got started at my local Boys and Girls Club gym (Located in North Lauderdale Florida), with a female bodybuilder by the name of Ann Mary-Cook. This was the first time I started lifting weights for any kind of competition. This occurred in 1995.

I started lifting weights for the sake of bodybuilding my freshman year in college (that was in 1998). Mr. Bob Carroll the director of Florida A & M University (FAMU) fitness center then took an interest in me and began coaching me for my first bodybuilding show (The Mr. FAMU Bodybuilding Show).Which I won bye the way. I went on winning the next three Mr. FAMU Bodybuilding Shows. I not only won those shows I also trained all the competitors enrolled in those shows.

Theodore Atkins Jr.
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Theodore Atkins Jr.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I like to stick to the basics. I enjoy 3 sets of 10 reps for 3 to 4 exercises with an added drop set or two.

For example: on a quad day I would start with a crazy burn out set of leg extensions. I would then follow that set up with 3 sets of ten reps at moderate to heavy weight. I find that doing leg extensions before moving on to compound leg movements allows for a better pump and an increased range of motion (Meaning I can get deeper into my squats).

Then I enjoy using the 45 degree leg press machine. This exercise only hits three of the four muscle groups which make up the quadriceps, but I enjoy stacking on tons of plates, so I do it anyway. Again, I do three sets of 10 reps to ensure I maintain even quad development I often perform this exercise one leg at a time.

Lunges the mother of all alternating leg exercises is the next movement on deck. I enjoy stationary lunges as it is easier to focus on contracting the glute of my trailing leg. I still do three sets of ten reps but I do not rest in between sets. I simply rotate back and forth between legs until I have completed all three sets. Not resting adds a cardiovascular element to the exercise.

My favorite and last movement is good old fashion squats. I like placing squats at the end of my workout because my legs are already fatigued so doing an insane amount of weight is not necessary. This saves my joints, as I plan on making bodybuilding my career, therefore I have to train smarter not harder. I start of with another warm-up set of 15 to 20 reps (this ensures muscle fatigue). I then follow it up with 3 sets of ten super deep reps.

The finishing touch is another crazy drop set of leg extensions. I start off with my ending weight from the last set of leg extensions, which I completed at the beginning of my workout. I then drop the weight in ten pound increments at least 6 times. I try to complete ten reps per set, totaling 60 reps within minutes. The burn is almost unbearable.

Theodore Atkins Jr.
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Theodore Atkins Jr.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

This is a sample pre-contest diet day that Paul Yi, my nutritionist, developed for the NPC 2008 National Bodybuilding Show (Which I placed 4th in the welter weight class). I took in 265 grams of protein and 2 gallons of water per day. That works out to be a gram and a half of protein per body pound (assuming I weighed 175lbs). I ate every two hours which worked out to six or seven times a day.

My routine would start the day before. I would cook my meals after work for the next day. 6 am wake up first meal: 2 pieces of tilapia (each piece of tilapia has 21 grams of protein, 15mg of sodium, 0 grams of carbs), and 1/3 can of green beans (0.9 grams of protein, 5 mg of sodium, 3 grams of carbs per serving)

I would repeat this meal every two hours. I tried to drink 42 oz of water per meal, which works out to 2 gallons of water per day.

Theodore Atkins Jr.
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Theodore Atkins Jr.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I took Ultimate Nutrition's Arginine/Ornithine/Lysine at night and in the morning to increase my natural human growth hormone levels. I found that this supplement aided in burning fat and developing lean muscle mass.

I used Flax Seed Oil to supplement the fats I cut out of my pre contest diet. The body will only burn so much of its own fat before it will require fats from an outside source. I found that flax seed oils also lubricated my joints as well.

Although Ultimate Nutrition's Glucosamine Sulfate did not have a fat burning effect, it sure does assist in joint mobility.

During my carb depilation phase it was very hard to get a good night sleep. This is because the body needs a certain amount of carbs to reach REM sleep. I used Melatonin 100% Premium and ZMA to help remedy this little problem.

I used Ultimate Nutrition's Tribulus Terrestris to keep my testosterone levels high enough to ensure added muscle growth. I found that it also increased my energy levels slightly. I felt that it also allowed me to workout harder and longer.

I noticed that not only my physical body but also my immune system grew weaker and weaker as I lost more and more weight. To ensure I remained as healthy as possible, I took Opti-Men by Optimum Nutrition twice a day for the duration of my pre contest diet.

To get the most pump from my workouts I introduced BSN's NO-Xplode. The harder I could train the more muscle I could develop. This also gave me a mental boost in the sense that I thought I looked bigger after my workouts. We all know that in the bodybuilding world bigger means better.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love manipulating my body. I like to see how I can make myself look and feel however I want. I also like the attention I get from having bulging muscles. All these things coupled with the fact that it is super healthy for me. How can you not love bodybuilding?

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

My immediate plans entail Lee Banks and I training for The USA'S in Las Vegas, Nevada this summer (2009). If I can not take my pro card there then I will compete at Nationals (which is being held in Miami, right near my home town of Fort Lauderdale). Hopefully, home field advantage will come into play and I will be able to take my class, thereby earning my pro card at that point.

My long term plans are that I want to be a bodybuilder until I need to start using Viagra.

Theodore Atkins Jr.
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Theodore Atkins Jr.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

To anyone seeking to take their bodybuilding career to the next level my advice to you is two fold. First go hard and heavy or go home. The more resistance you put on your muscles the more the body will try to adapt. The increased weight forces the muscles to grow more to compensate for the added resistance. If you are attempting to gain defection, I believe that that will come from your diet not how many light weight reps you put on the muscle.

Secondly, stick to the basic compound movements, the free weight kind. I am not a super big fan of performing my whole workout using machines. They restrict your natural range of motion and provide additional assistance that can not be found when using free weights. The object of working out is to put as much stress on the muscle as possible, while putting the least amount of resistance on your joints as possible. Just like the saying goes "if it ain't broke don't try to fix it". Bodybuilders for years have been building hard grainy muscle by performing hard core lifts using hard core techniques.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

My favorite bodybuilder of all time is Ronnie Coleman. Not only is he the biggest Mr. Olympia of all time but he is also one of the most conditioned bodybuilders as well. It is very hard to combine both size and definition. I am also inspired by his will and drive. I have never seen anyone push themselves as hard as he pushed himself. He is truly a phenomenal athlete.

Realistically, I will never be able to reach the weight of a Mr. Coleman. Therefore, I compare myself to David Henry, someone whom I greatly admire. He and I are the same height and I want to also compete in the 202 and under class. I am aiming to one day not only stand on the same stage as him but also out muscle him. Looking at him gives me an idea of how I would look when I add another 35 stage pounds to my frame.

I also hold in great regard Mr. Flex Wheeler, The Arnold, Franco Columbu, Flex Lewis and Frank Zane. Each one of these fantastic athletes has unique and different body structures, yet each one should, in my book at least, should be in The Bodybuilding Hall of Fame.