amateur of the week
Name: David Ziegler
Location: North Carolina, Raleigh
Age: 23 Height: 5'11"
Weight: 235 lbs contest, 265 lbs off
Years Bodybuilding: 9
How Did Your Bodybuilding Journey Begin?
My father was big into fitness. He spent countless hours running, training, and playing sports. As I grew older, fitness was all I knew. My first experience was baseball, and I played for 11 years. I also played hockey, basketball, football, track, and rode motocross.
My sister drove me to high school and was involved in the production of the school yearbook. Five days per week after school I had to entertain myself until she was finished. During that time, I was in the gym playing basketball and listening to music. Then I entered the school weight room constantly, which was small (no more than 50 feet corner to corner), but effective. A security officer finally locked the gym during school to keep me from skipping class.
Going into my sophomore year of high school, my physique spoke for itself and nicknames like "muscles," "macho," and "tough guy" rolled in. The change wasn't all good. The people I associated with were lost and had no direction, which wore off on me. Eventually, the school staff decided I wasn't a good fit for their high school and sent me to an alternate high school in a strip mall. The good part was that I finished every day by 1 p.m., which allowed me to hit the gym and work a new job.
Weights became a huge part of my life again and the passion returned. I was 17 years old and started over away from distraction and bad influences. To symbolize the effort I put in, I went to a tattoo parlor and had my right arm inked as a visual reminder to never give up. I wanted to be the biggest, strongest guy alive.
Every possible moment went into eating, sleeping, training, learning, and trying. I forged on with everything I had and willed my muscles to grow. People at the gym provided huge words of encouragement and the idea of competing came up. I liked the concept and researched how to become a bodybuilder. I bought books by the dozens, subscribed to magazines, and watched countless YouTube videos all night. I was filled with life, energy, and had a destination.
At age 19, I moved into my first apartment, worked nights in bars and clubs, and trained twice per day at the apartment gym. I spent days upon days lifting just a barbell, but still grew. I imagined myself on stage and stayed patient. I knew I would get there.
I competed in my first show at the 2010 NABBA North American Championships. I entered the grand prix novice division, men's open, and junior division. I swept the field and came in a close second in the men's open. I built serious confidence and secured a local sponsorship to compete in the 2010 NABBA Nationals where I swept the junior class and came in a close second in the men's open again. I won the NABBA Nationals on November 17, 2010, and received a letter from Bob Gruskin, president of NABBA, who invited me to represent the USA at the NABBA UNIVERSE. The letter said, "We've never had a junior as good as you to represent the USA!"
In 2011, I competed in the NABBA Key-Stone Classic and the Mid-Atlantic Championships. I won the junior division easily and came in second and third in the men's open. At the end of 2011, I was ready for more serious competition and entered the 2011 NPC Garden State as a heavyweight at 200 pounds. The competition was much harder and I took ninth in the men's open and fourth in the novice division. I left without victory, but gained an understanding of what I needed to do. I took 2012 off to move to North Carolina and started on my goals.
After a year of huge improvements, I became a completely different bodybuilder. I gained major muscle and weighed 235 pounds. I took fifth place at the NPC NC State Championship and fourth at the NC NPC Charlotte Cup. Five weeks later, I won the men's open heavyweight class at the NC NPC Gold's Classic to qualify for nationals at 225 pounds. My next goal is the 2014 NPC USA's.
How Did Your Passion for Bodybuilding Emerge?
Bodybuilding is my life. I started going hard and turned into a bodybuilder at age 14. I can't imagine life another way and don't want to. This is who I am.
What/Who Motivated You to Be a Bodybuilder?
The drive to be the very best version of myself motivated me daily. I want to be remembered and appreciated.
Where Did You Go for Inspiration?
I love motivational speeches on YouTube and in person.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
I'm competing at the NPC USA's in July 2014. I'm coming with an attitude and need my team behind me 100 percent.
What Is the Most Important Bodybuilding Tip?
Learn, practice, and most importantly, don't stop trying!
Who Is Your Favorite Bodybuilder?
This might sound cocky, but I'm my favorite bodybuilder.
How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?
Bodybuilding.com put me in touch with many important people. I talk with others, inspire, and get inspired. Bodybuilding.com is full of people who try, and that's what it's all about.
David's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Voices" by Disturbed
- "Chop Suey" by System Of A Down
- "Sonne" by Rammstein
- "Augen Auf" by Oomph
- "Bombshell" by Powerman 5000
- 2013 NPC Gold's Classic - 1st Place Men's Open Heavyweight
- 2013 NPC Charlotte Cup - 4th Place Men's Open Heavyweight
- 2013 NPC BSN North Carolina Championships - 5th Place Men's Open Heavyweight
- 2011 NABBA Mid-Atlantic Championships - 1st Place Juniors, 3rd Place Men's Open
- 2011 Key Stone Classic - 1st Place Juniors, 2nd Place Men's Open
- 2010 NABBA North American Championships - Grand Prix Champion, 1st Place Juniors, 2nd Place Men's Open
- 2010 NABBA Nationals - 1st Place Juniors, 2ns Place Men's Open