Fouad Abiad is one of Canada's 'golden boys' of bodybuilding. He is one of, if not the most, well-known Canadian on the IFBB pro circuit right now. And it's no wonder why; his competitive record speaks for itself. He has competed in 4 IFBB pro shows, and placed no lower than 8th.
Most recently, Mr. Abiad placed 5th at the Tampa Bay Pro, and 7th at the Houston Pro. Though it should be noted that his favorite competition to date has been the Canadian National Championships, where he placed 1st in the heavyweight class in 2007. Fouad started training when he was 21 (he's now 30). He competes at a height of 5'10", and a bodyweight of 245 lbs.
His next competition will be the Europa Super Show where he hopes to bring a better package than in Tampa.
[ Q ] Do you feel that, as a Canadian bodybuilder, you get the same opportunities, endorsements, attention from the media, etc. as your American counterparts?
As a Canadian the opportunities are far fewer than if I were American but that shouldn't discourage any athlete. It's the same premise as having a lagging body part, sometimes you just have to keep attacking it until it responds.
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That is the philosophy I have used in breaking into the US market.
[ Q ] How come you decided to do 2 shows so close to one another (the Tampa Bay Pro + the Europa)
It made sense financially to do them that way. If you are ready to do a show why not do two, you are already in shape and spent all the money dieting so why not get double the career chance. I actually did Houston as well making it three in just over a month. I entered Houston thinking it would be an easier show to qualify at only to learn the hard way that there are no easy shows.
[ Q ] What made you choose the shows you did this year?
Competing in August would give me enough time to add the mass that I thought I needed to compete with the top dogs. I also thought it would be close enough to the Olympia that if I did qualify I wouldn't have to stay in shape for too much longer.
[ Q ] If you had gotten your Olympia qualification at the Houston Pro or the Tampa Bay Pro, would you still do the Europa?
Originally I thought so, but since I entered the Houston I have changed my mind for a couple different reasons. First I feel that even if I did qualify by chance I am not ready physique-wise to step on the Olympia stage. I think my physique needs another year or two to break into the top ten. Secondly, since I ended up doing the Houston I just feel I am too burned out from dieting and photo shoots to really come in 100%.
[ Q ] What is difference in the package you brought this year as opposed to last year? What (if anything) did you do differently in terms of your training regimen, supplement protocol or diet?
This year I really took advantage of the supplements given to me. In the past I was always just a protein, creatine kind of bodybuilder. This year I signed on with MuscleTech full time and a full line of MuscleTech supplements were made available to me. So I took advantage: I used the NaNOX9, Gakic and Creakic like there was no tomorrow and I really think it gave me the extra push that I needed.
Along with adding new supplements to my regimen I increased the volume during workouts but actually scaled back the number of workout days to four weekly. That equation and the addition of much needed carbs to my off season diet created the right mechanism for growth.
[ Q ] How do you feel about your 5th place finish at the Tampa Bay, and 7th place at the Houston Pro?
I am very happy with my 5th place in Tampa and actually am not too disappointed with my 7th in Houston. The part that was disappointing to me in Houston was the fact that I wasn't compared to any of the bodybuilders close to me in placing.
I don't necessarily think I could have been 6th or 5th but it would have been nice to at least be compared to those bodybuilders close to me. It's okay though, these things come and go and as I get better they won't even be an issue.
[ Q ] Why do you think there was a discrepancy regarding your placings in the shows? Did you change your training/diet/supplementation?
I was a little off in Houston. I weighed in at 249 lbs on stage and that I think was about 5 lbs too high from the sharp conditioning I normally present. For Tampa, I really brought it down, maybe even too low. I weighed in around 240 on stage, I think somewhere in the middle will be perfect for the Europa.
[ Q ] Dave Palumbo referred to you as "the most overlooked competitor of the night" - in regards to your Houston show. How does a statement like that make you feel? Frustrated, flattered...
It makes me feel very flattered that he said that about me in Houston. I consider Dave Palumbo to be one of the veterans of the sport who really knows how to dissect a physique. For him to notice me in that way means I am doing my job and it's only a matter of time.
[ Q ] What are your predictions for the Europa?
I don't like to make predictions, we all know what happens to bodybuilders that make predictions and don't follow through, it's career suicide. What I can say is I predict I will bust my @ss as hard as I always do to bring an even better package than Tampa and hope that it keeps me in the top five or even moves me up a spot or two.
[ Q ] Can you please tell us a little bit about your sponsorship with GASP clothing, and how it came about?
I contacted GASP a long time ago to ask for sponsorship because I liked their clothing so much. Originally they were hesitant to take a chance on a new guy, especially a Canadian. I kept at it and kept contacting them, they eventually sent me some clothing to wear, from there we met at the Arnold Classic where I was able to really tell them what I had to offer.
I think after hearing my dedication and speaking to other bodybuilders in the industry they decided that I had what it took to be a GASP athlete. I signed on with them finally in April of this year.
[ Q ] What words of advice/motivation would you offer other up-and-coming bodybuilders/weight trainers?
Never take any opportunities lightly, when given a photo shoot, interview, article or any other bodybuilding opportunity take it very seriously because word gets around about your work ethic or lack there of.
I also want new athletes to know that trial and error is not an acceptable method of learning for someone who is serious about being a champion. Just like you spend money on food supplements and tanning you should be hiring a knowledgeable nutritionist/trainer to really help you become great.