Amateur Bodybuilder Of The Week: Tony Butler

After a few injuries, Tony turned to golf to fill his need for athletics. It wasn't a perfect, hole-in-one fit. Tony turned to the gym and found exactly what he'd been missing!

Name: Tony Butler
Age: 36  Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 230 off season, 195 competition
Location: Charlotte, NC
Years Competing: 6

How Did You Get Started?

I got started back in 1997 with bodybuilding. I always played sports in high school and then men's league sports such as basketball. As I got older, I started having certain injuries that didn't allow me to play like I was when I was 17. I stopped playing, then tried to play golf. That's not for me at all! So with not being active I started to get a little soft and fluffy looking - and miserable with myself. I was basically just allowing myself to accept that I was getting older. I decided to join the gym and I picked up a bodybuilding magazine and I was hooked. It's an everyday staple in my life. It's a lifestyle.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

Currently I'm in competition prep training for the 2012 North Carolina State. When prepping for a show, it works best for me to train one major body part per day and if I'm feeling good then I may throw in a few lighter sets with a smaller body part.

Why dress to impress when you can side-chest to impress?
Why Do You Love Fitness/Bodybuilding?

I enjoy it because I always enjoyed competitive sports. As I got older, I found the gym and I fell in love with it because it's actually a sport you don't have to rely on others. It allows me to push myself and utilize the drive and discipline I have to be dedicated on a day-to-day basis.

What Motivates You To Follow A Healthy Lifestyle?

The list on this can go a long way. My girlfriend Ashleigh is actually a huge motivation for me. She and I both live the same lifestyle and we realize how much it improves our relationship and quality of life to have goals and feel better about ourselves. I also get motivation from bodybuilders such as Jay Cutler, Phil Heath, Arnold and many National Level Competitors that have some much drive.

What Made You Want To Achieve Your Goals?

I felt a need to change my body and appearance when I began bodybuilding. I set out small goals at first and the motivation of hitting those smaller goals wanted to make me achieve larger goals. Dieting for a bodybuilding is an amazing thing. It is up to 20 weeks of totally dedicating yourself to a goal, with so many obstacles that can get in your way. However, I strive every time to achieve these goals because to watch the body change thru this process is truly amazing and every time you do this ... your body gets better and better.

What Are Your Future Fitness/Bodybuilding Plans?

I am shooting for the North Carolina State Bodybuilding Championships in April. I am qualified nationally and I would like to do the Jr. USA's in Charleston, SC in May. I use Kevin DeHaven with BPI Sports for my diet guru and we plan shows along the way as he knows my body and what I will look like for a given date. Kevin is a mastermind when it comes to diets for bodybuilders and really takes a great approach to "dieting down" phase. So when he says I'm ready for a show, we get one in-line!

What One Tip Would You Give Other Fitness Competitors?

I would say never give up. If you truly want to be good at this sport or even be better than your previous show you just have to be concerned with your own progress. Don't ever let the sport get you frustrated and give up. Also, I would tell each and every person that competed to get a diet guru to guide you thru the process. I see so many athletes out there that have the great genetics to take them a long way, but will not listen to people and want to do it themselves. In every sport people have coaches and mentors, bodybuilding is no different. I have dieted with a few good people, but Kevin Dehaven is by far the best.

Who Are Your Favorite Fitness Competitors/Bodybuilders?

This list could also run long. I think it would have to be Jay Cutler at the top of the list. I've had the privileged to meet Jay and he is a really down to earth guy. Also for the success he has had, he doesn't come across with a cocky attitude and is really just a normal guy. I like Phil Heath also as he has an amazing stage shape and probably the most appealing to the eye in the history of bodybuilding. I also like some other competitors like Fouad Abiad and I enjoy keeping up with lots of National Level competitors because those are tomorrow's stars.

What Features Do You Use On

I read the forums a ton on; I do research on supplements and also purchase many of my supplements from here. It is a very informative website and is truly a one stop shop.