I first got started in bodybuilding by a fellow friend who was really successful in the competitions he competed in. I always wanted to compete, but didn't have nearly enough knowledge to be a top-notch competitor by myself.
I received help from my friend for my first show (placed 2nd) and after that I wanted to learn everything myself so I didn't have to rely on others. I found out who Layne Norton was and read everything he has published and obtained a lot of knowledge. From there I continuously researched subjects myself and the rest is history!
I love Bodybuilding because it's a true test of how determined you really are to be your best. It's an individual showing and there's no other teammates you may blame for your performance other than yourself, maybe your coach. It's a great feeling to be at your best condition on stage and letting everybody in the crowd see how hard you've worked. The determination to diet for weeks on end without cheating takes a lot of effort, not to mention the endless amount of hours you put in the gym. I truly believe it's a test of how hard you are willing to work in order to achieve that #1 spot. Your friends may socialize by going out and having some drinks or getting something to eat, but not you, not if you want to win. You have to be strict with your diet and training regimen to really see the results it takes to win a competition. Certain people may get neglected out of your life for the time being because it's simply two different lifestyles. The good friends will stick around and support you, the others ... who cares?
I most definitely motivate myself. I have fallen in love with the results I've seen. Waking up every day I have an incredible amount of energy. It's great knowing that I'm healthy based upon my eating and training habits and knowing I didn't have to use any drugs to obtain my physique. I'm still really young and have always put myself in a caloric deficit even since I was 16; I definitely have yet to see the potential I possess. Now I've been blessed to be sponsored by Kiyoshi Moody, 3 time Mr. Natural Olympia, and let me just tell everybody, the results I've seen with him in the past few months far excel the years of work I did on my own! I'm really excited that all the hard work and dedication is finally paying off and that I'm receiving something back and I really appreciate it. I'd also like to thank Fusion Bodybuilding for its great supplements every month, I couldn't be half the athlete I am without you guys, thanks for believing in me!
The main reason I wanted to achieve my goals was because I never wanted to leave the thought of something I should've done in my life that I didn't do. I consistently challenge myself whether it be setting a personal record or beating my previous show conditioning. It's always been a challenge I make to myself and really see how mentally strong I am. I firmly believe that you're not going to be successful at something if you're not passionate about it, this is my passion and this is what I want to do.
My future bodybuilding plans are to be the biggest and best that my body is capable of doing naturally. I want to eventually be on the biggest natural stage competing with the best in the world at the Mr. Natural Olympia in the Pro Division. I would like to win this show at some point in my life, but I know it won't be easy, not at all. Seeing the size, conditioning and symmetry all the competitors bring is unbelievable for being natural. It truly is the best competition in the world. I don't see myself being even close to ready to compete with these guys, maybe in another 5-6 years that will change with the work ethic I bring.
To any other fitness competitors and bodybuilders the best advice I can give you is to listen to your heart and follow your dreams. Live your life the way you want to and have no regrets don't let anyone tell you what you can and can't do, you run the show! Test yourself and see what you're really capable of doing, be confident in your own abilities and never give up. Whether it is a muscle that won't grow or some body fat you just can't seem to lose, the mindset to never give up will make you a true champion and take you further than any other person. Listen to your body, if you have injuries make sure you take care of them and don't let your ego take control of you. I was dieting down for one of my shows when my shoulder injury was so bad I was unable to work shoulders or work the incline part of my chest. Also 4 weeks prior to this show I was unable to work legs because of a knee injury, what was I thinking? Pick your battles wisely!
Ben Pakulski: Love the intensity he brings when he squats or deadlifts.
Kiyoshi Moody: 3 time Mr. Natural Olympia—very humble guy and always willing to help others.
Ronnie Coleman: It's obvious why he's one of my favorites.
Layne Norton: His passion for the sport is like no other, I admire it.
Bodybuilding.com has a lot of great tools to use for anybody. The forums are great for finding any recipes or getting advice on your diet from others. Pretty much anything you want to learn about is on this website. A lot of knowledgeable people use this site and are helpful to more inexperienced people. I like to read any articles that any trustworthy bodybuilding guru writes. It has been a huge contribution to the knowledge I've obtained and I love it for that reason! I also like to help other individuals out that were in my shoes a few years ago and get them on the right track; it feels good paying it forward! There are a lot of myths out there that have been debunked, the public just doesn't know about it yet.