NPC Men's Physique competitor Nic Troupe has a history many of us can relate to. After an injury forced him to retire from his college football team, Nic was a little lost. But, unlike many ex-collegiate athletes, he didn't spend his extra time feeling sorry for himself. Instead, Nic dove into the academic side of athletics and found his way into a lifetime of fitness, which eventually led him into competition. Check out Nic's story and get his full fitness program!
Nic grabbed an undergraduate degree in fitness management, which led him to Wartburg College and Northern Iowa University, where he worked on the strength staff as a graduate assistant. "I got really involved in athletic training, and coaching strength and conditioning," Nic says.
With an M.A. in physical education and a CSCS certification in hand, Nic then spent six years as a strength coach at a high school. Nic took pride in helping young athletes better themselves, but he also wanted to improve his own fitness. "I've trained for 5k and 10k road races and warrior dashes, and I've done competitive bench press competitions," says Nic.
Clearly an athlete, Nic's latest challenge has been competing in physique. He placed 2nd at the 2012 NPC Denver Novice and Masters Championships, and 4th as a novice at the Max Muscle Mile High Natural Championships.
His competitive future was looking bright when calamity struck. As he and his fiancee were waking across the street, they were hit by a taxi. Nic suffered severe neuromuscular damage which inhibited his speech and made even basic movements like walking up and down stairs very painful. His physical issues lasted for three months, and he had to back out of a show 8 weeks before he was scheduled to compete.
Undaunted by his setback, Nic recovered and continued to compete. In 2013, he placed 9th in the open division of the Colorado State Championships. For his future fitness endeavors, Nic is prepared to bring his best-ever self to the stage. "I may make the switch to bodybuilding in the future, but we will have to wait and see," he says.
Nic's Nutrition Program
Nic's nutrition philosophy is based upon the "If It Fits Your Macros" approach. His greatest success has come from not over-complicating his diet. He focuses on eating healthy foods every day, but doesn't deprive himself, especially during the off season. "If I want to have a Pop-Tart, I'll have one," says Nic. "I know that my approach doesn't look like all of the other guys, but it works for me and I am happy with the results I get."
Using this approach, Nic has been able to stay leaner in the off season without losing any muscle mass.
As stage day draws nearer, the indulgences are far less frequent. Other than cutting some indulgences near a competition, Nic's diet stays pretty much the same in and out of season.
Nic's Training Program
The guiding principle behind Nic's training program is constant change. He rarely does the same workouts twice, so his body never knows what's coming and he stays excited about his training.
When aiming to build mass in the off-season, Nic does heavy lifts in straight sets. As contest season nears, he changes his regimen to include more supersets, trisets, and dropsets to keep his heart rate up and burn more fat.
Below is a sample training week that Nic might follow. After doing this workout routine, he may not repeat the same sessions for another 4 or 5 weeks. All rest periods are kept to around 60 seconds, with the exception of legs and shoulders, which is taken to 90 seconds rest between sets.
Nic's Supplement Program
When selecting a supplement to use, Nic looks for two primary factors: cost and taste.
Because of his previous results and enthusiasm for iSatori, when he reached out to iSatori, he was quickly invited to become a brand rep on the Bodybuilding.com forums, and now he gets all the great-tasting supplements he enjoys.
His stack isn't huge, though. "I base my diet on lean gains rather than going for an all-out "dirty bulk," so I don't need much beyond my diet and training," says Nic. "I'm really liking how Bio-Gro is helping me with adding lean mass without additional calories."