After years of lifting and extreme fitness (CrossFit and HIIT Training), my passion for the sport began to truly show signs of becoming my "calling."
In the waning months of my junior year of college (May 2011), I was 20 years of age and weighed a whopping 221 pounds. Standing between 5'8'' and 5'9'' at the time I could only imagine that my body fat percentage was off the charts and immeasurable in my book.
Throughout my senior year in college, the fitness center and "gym rat" mentality/lifestyle became my daily routine. Every morning I was in the gym at eight performing the CrossFit workout of the Day, followed by a body conditioning class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, along with still performing my regular strength training program/routine.
My body fat percentage and weight was tested again at the end of the semester (December 2011) by my professor who reported that I had slimmed down to 184 pounds at 19.64 percent body fat. Although this was not an amazing number or percentile, it was 40 pounds lighter than only a few shorts prior.
The CrossFit sessions had continued throughout the next semester of college, but the conditioning class had ended, which meant cardio and conditioning was on my plate now.
I began to train for a local 15k road race in which I limited myself to run a minimum of six miles every day or 21 miles per week. Again, as the end of the semester approached, I knew I had to take another step to reach my fitness goals. I reached out to a high school friend who had great knowledge in the sport of bodybuilding, Mike Albigese. Mike and I worked through a diet plan and new lifting routine to mold my body into a stage-worthy competitor.
On April 16, 2012, I began my preparation for a bodybuilding competition that took place in Amherst, MA on June 23. At this point, my body fat was measured (via BodPod) at 8.2 percent and 166.16 pounds. Over the next two months, I trained from sunup to sundown for this competition, hoping to achieve my overall goal of weighing 157 pounds at 4 percent body fat.
June 22 came and my body fat and weight was tested one last time before the competition; 154 pounds at 2.7 percent body fat, I had reached my goal in preparation for the competition the next day.
My passion for Bodybuilding truly emerges from the sheer aspect that there is no limit in bodybuilding/fitness and that your body is your "instrument" or "equipment". You must fine tune everything about your body and your being to become the "god-like" alpha-being on stage.
There is no bat to swing or lightest shoe to wear on stage; it's your body and only your body in front of those judges, which I find captivating. Unlike every other sport, bodybuilders are their own competition. By this I mean: there is no one person specifically "better" than you. By scorecard, yes, possibly, but with what you are given genetically, physiologically, and anatomically, you are the best at what you do.
The ability to finally say I find my niche in life. Exercise, fitness, and sport as a whole have become the blood that runs through the veins of my daily routine. Bodybuilding is my way to take my life aspiration or passion and turn it into an achievable goal.
You have to take a step back from life and understand that you only have once chance, You Only Live Once as many cry out nowadays. My given talent or ability has been in the world of sport and exercise. I look in the mirror and remind myself that "everything" can be taken away in a split second, or I could dig deep and go get "everything."
Bodybuilding has become a way of life for me now; the diet, the training routine and the mindset is riddled throughout my daily routine and aspirations for my future. My plan is compete as long as I safely can and as much as I safely can. I'm in this game now for the long-haul.
Never give up. The end result is far more worth it than any pain or suffering you are enduring at the time. The countless hours of cardio and training in the gym, miserable days with little to zero food, and the dying urge to give up is far less rewarding than stepping off that stage knowing what you have accomplished.
I don't see myself as having a favorite bodybuilder yet to be honest. The truth being, I wish I could be any of those professional bodybuilders that have transformed themselves into sculpted alpha-beings (men and women).