Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Mass-tered Commitment

He tasted victory at his first competition and thirsts for more podium finishes. Winning has that effect on hardcore competitors. Tyler has no plans to change his attitude!

Name: Tyler Herz
BodySpace: therz229
Location: Birdsboro, PA
Age: 20  Height: 6'2"  Weight: 220-230 contest; 260-270 off
Years Bodybuilding: 3

How Did Your Bodybuilding Journey Begin?

I got started in bodybuilding as I lifted through high school to get better at baseball. I was immediately drawn to the weights, the progression, results, and the feeling of breaking down the muscle for a pump. I continued lifting weights through my high school baseball career and loved it. I would even lift weights before games to get a pump and look big in my jersey!

I was definitely one of the bigger kids in high school; usually around 10 percent body fat at about 205 pounds. Like most young bodybuilders, I looked into routines created by pros like Schwarzenegger, Columbu, and all of the old time greats. In doing so, I completely overtrained and under-ate, on top of my baseball practicing and games.

During my first year of college, at age 18, I decided that bodybuilding was my true passion. From there, I began my quest to gain muscle before I started competing. I did my first show in May at the NPC Lehigh Valley. I placed first in the junior class, and fifth in the heavyweight novice!

What Workout Regimen Delivered The Best Results?

Example: bench press: 4 sets of 15-8 reps. I pyramid up in weight, so my first set is 15 reps, the last set is 8 reps, and the sets in between are 15-8 reps. This program is my current offseason routine. I do light warm-up sets before every training session to get my blood flowing.

I'll do cardio as needed during the offseason. If I lose my appetite or gain too much body fat, I will increase the amount. Abs are done usually once a week using various exercises around 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

I begin daily cardio pre-contest; gradually increasing each week. Eventually, I will do two 40-minute sessions a day towards the mid/end of my prep. Abs get hit as much as possible, while allowing recovery time, typically every other day.

Cardio is always performed on the stepmill, with the exception of the last few weeks leading up to a contest when I switch to an elliptical or bike to preserve my leg muscles.

Day 1: Legs

Day 2: Chest/Triceps

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Back

Day 5: Delts/Biceps

Day 6 & 7: Off

What Nutrition Plan Fueled Your Body?

I often use hot sauce and some ketchup in offseason. During pre-contest I continue to use hot sauce or soy sauce until the last few weeks leading up to the show.

My diet during the competition phase is relatively the same with the exception of less carbs, fats, red meat, and more fish. Carb sources will change from fruit, white potatoes, and basmati rice, to strictly brown rice, oats, yams, and rice cakes.

Meal 1: Pre-Workout/Breakfast
Meal 2
Snack 1
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Snack 2

What Supplements Gave You The Greatest Gains?

My supplementation is rather simple. I'm in love with Universal products: Animal Pak, Lava, Ultra Whey Pro, Rage, and Pump. Hands down, Animal Nitro is by far my favorite product. I love using amino acids around my training. I believe amino acids can give you an amazing pump when used before and during training, and to further recovery when used post-workout.

After a grueling leg or back workout, I may use an amino acid product throughout the day along with my meals to ensure maximum recovery and take two multivitamin products I replace depleted nutrients.

With Meal 1: Pre-Workout/Breakfast
With Snack 1
With Meal 3
With Snack 2

How Did Your Passion For Bodybuilding Emerge?

This sport is truly unique. For the most part, it's an independent journey. I grew up without much social interaction being an only child without kids living near me. I learned to take responsibility for my actions. I was drawn to bodybuilding because mistakes are on me. There are no teammates to screw something up or to blame. In this sport, although you may have support teams around you, only you can make it happen.

What/Who Motivated You To Be A Bodybuilder?

I started looking at the great physiques as I got more detailed in my training/nutrition. Schwarzenegger, Ferrigno, Columbu were among the first who inspired me to build the totality of my physique. Of course, my spectrum emerged from the lines of the 70s to the mass of the 90s.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

On days when I feel like I can't go on, I think about the sacrifices I made for this journey. That what's going to take me higher in this sport. I have a sense of urgency because I truly want this as my life.

It's good to have people around you with the same mindset. My friend and trainer Mike Pence helped me thru my first prep. He handled my nutrition and occasionally was my training partner. Without him, I wouldn't have had the condition or knowledge. Thanks, Mike.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I plan to put on a good amount of mass during the offseason. My goal is to reach a solid 270-280-pound frame. From there, I'll decide on a competition and go for it full force. In the future, I plan to continue the process of gaining mass and refining it for stage presence, and to one day become an IFBB pro! Until then, I'll continue making improvements and gaining size.

What Is The Most Important Bodybuilding Tip?

All bodybuilders must accept this fact: nutrition is key. Training styles vary all the time, yet the principles of dieting remain the same.

Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder?

Antoine Vaillant. I feel like I can relate to his physique. His lines are amazing, he always brings crazy condition, and he continues to pack on size. He'll be getting his pro card for sure.

How Did Help You Reach Your Goals?'s Store made it a little easier on the wallet. As most bodybuilders can attest to, this sport isn't cheap! BodySpace and the articles provide good advice, especially regarding contest preparation.

Thanks: To my best friend and girlfriend, Emily. She pushed me to be better day in and day out. She reminded me of the reasons I was going through a difficult journey. To my friends Jeff, Chris, Kev, and Mike for always being supportive and helping any way I needed.

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