Troy Alves is one of the best IFBB pros that have yet to win a show. He is known for his balanced and symmetrical physique. I recently got a chance to catch up with him and chat with him about his training and preparation for the 2008 shows, as well as other issues in bodybuilding.
[ Q ] Troy, for our readers who may not know as much about your background, can you quickly tell us how you first got into bodybuilding?
[ A ] Honestly it was sort of by accident. I had been working out for a while and people kept coming up to me and saying that I should try competing. I always sort of thought bodybuilding was kind of funny looking with guys getting oiled up and flexing onstage in Speedos. But after I finished playing sports, I really wanted something to satisfy my competitive hunger, bodybuilding just ended up fitting.
I ended up loving bodybuilding not so much for the actual posing and everything that goes into competing, but just for the competition itself. I love competing against the best and bodybuilding allows me to do that.
[ Q ] What sports did you play?
[ Q ] Was there anyone you looked up to when you were just getting into the sport?
[ A ] The guys I looked up to physique-wise were Shawn Ray, Kevin Levrone, & Flex Wheeler. I really feel they maxed out how big a person could be while still keeping their symmetry. You see guys these days that look like they are just a bunch of bodyparts thrown together with no flow to the overall physique. I don't just want to win shows, I want my physique to look good, and I want to keep a streamlined waist.
[ Q ] You are still looking for your first IFBB pro win. What do you feel is the most important thing for you to improve on in order to take that next step?
[ Q ] In a sport where some of the top guys routinely step onstage at around 270; you compete at 215-220 lbs. However, you look bigger due to your symmetry and small waist. Do you feel the IFBB has stuck to their mandate of placing guys down who have distended bellies?
[ A ] I think they have to a certain extent. Things have gotten better and you see guys now who are consciously trying to control their guts onstage. Before you'd see guys who would totally relax and let the whole thing hang out. That said, they still are not punishing some guys for it, I would like to see them hold EVERYONE to the same high standard when it comes to waistlines.
[ Q ] What do you feel your biggest strengths are?
[ A ] I think my biggest strength is my aesthetics and overall balance of my physique. I think my mental approach to the game is also a big strength. I work as hard as I can at bodybuilding and I love it, but I don't let it control my life.
I have a family and they come first. I think a lot of guys shut everyone out of their life and totally focus on bodybuilding and end up burning themselves out. If bodybuilding is all your life is, eventually you may grow to lament it. I believe that having balance in my life allows me to take more pleasure in bodybuilding and look forward more to each workout.
Click To Enlarge.
I Believe That Having Balance In My Life Allows Me To Take More
Pleasure In Bodybuilding And Look Forward More To Each Workout.
[ Q ] I have heard you have been training with Milos recently, is that accurate?
[ A ] No, actually I've been training with Dennis James, since he moved to Phoenix.
[ Q ] What if anything has changed in your training and diet in order to improve for this year?
[ A ] Since working with Dennis he really has shown me many different angles to work my lower body with, angles I've never used before. Even though I'm a pro I still think I can learn a lot from another fellow pro. I try to make sure my ego never gets in the way of progress; I really think there's a lot we can all learn from each other.
As far as diet goes, not too much has changed. One thing that is different this year is I am starting my prep much leaner than ever before. I think that dieting long and hard depletes you so much that it makes it difficult to fill out come show time.
This time I'm actually starting so lean that I'm gaining weight up to the show. I'm about 215 right now and I anticipate I'll be onstage around 220-225. So by starting leaner I'm able to eat more food and fill out as the show approaches, rather than rushing to get in shape.
[ Q ] It seems that getting your hamstrings and glutes lean enough has always been somewhat of a stumbling block for you, is there anything you plan to do differently this year in order to try and rectify that?
[ A ] Yeah, mostly just training with different angles on a lot of exercises like I said before. Different exercises with different angles to target the glutes and hamstrings. I also do 5 minutes of walking lunges on a 15 degree incline treadmill at the end of my leg workout when I'm already toasted to really hit the glutes and hammies.
[ Q ] What shows are you planning to do this year?
[ A ] I'm definitely going to do the Iron Man, Australia Pro, and New Zealand Pro. If I do well enough at the Iron Man, I will also do the Arnold Classic and then if I qualify for the Olympia, I will also do that as well.
[ Q ] What are your goals for this year?
[ A ] WIN A SHOW! Hopefully I can take the Iron Man. That show seems to reward more symmetrical physiques so I think I have a good shot. Plus there will be many great competitors at that show like Phil Heath, Toney Freeman, and David Henry.
[ Q ] Favorite Supplements?
[ A ] I really like the whole Nutrex line. My favorites are Vitargo, Vitrix, Lipo-6 and Niox. I am actually opening up my own supplement store in Peoria, AZ called Troy Alves Pro Nutrition. We will be opening in February and will carry the best supplement lines available today!
The Focus And Direction Of Nutrex Is To Always Bring Cutting Edge Products To The Industry.
[ Q ] Favorite physique of all time?
[ Q ] Any advice you would give to our younger readers about being successful in bodybuilding?
[ A ] Take it SLOW! It is not a race. Have patience because it takes time to build a quality physique. You see so many guys at shows today who try to get huge overnight and they end up either ruining their physiques, their health, or they get really bad injuries. I worry about these guys who are young and carrying so much weight around. Quality muscle takes time to build, there is no reason to blow yourself up too quickly.
Related Injury Prevention Articles:
[ Q ] Thank you Troy for your time and candid responses and best of luck to you at your shows this year!
[ A ] You are welcome Layne, my pleasure.
Troy Alves Video
Troy Alves Guest Posing At The 2006 Emerald Cup.