Teen Amateur Of The Week: Barbell Barbaretta

High school football coaches didn't play Alex because of his size. He used it as motivation, built a big body, and founded the Baylor Powerlifting Team.

How Did Your Fitness Journey Begin?

I was never a big kid. As you can see from my stats, I'm still not that big. I was picked on in school for being too small. When I got older and matured physically, I became a good athlete. I played baseball (third base), football (defensive tackle), and wrestled. When I got into high school, I joined the powerlifting team with my football teammates.

My football team went to state my first year and took 10th place. I was a great athlete with a good work ethic, but size held me back. Coaches didn't play me and it was very discouraging. I didn't play any sports my senior year, except bowling.

I started working out, researching nutrition and supplementation, and made massive gains after high school. My strength went through the roof and I packed on lean muscle in massive amounts. I always read magazines like Muscle & Fitness and Flex to gain more knowledge and insight on bodybuilding. I started using great products from Bodybuilding.com and made unreal gains.

After moving to Waco, Texas, from Linden, Michigan, for college, I started training with more intensity, obtained my personal training certificate, and decided to compete in the summer of 2012. I chose a competition, set up a diet and training regimen, and started.

During competition prep, my friend and I founded the Baylor Powerlifting Team. In our first season, we took four people to state and three of them placed first, including me. I found a great supplement company called ViSalus, which tied in with other supplements during competition prep. I make money by promoting them through my personal training.

Two-and-a-half months later, I took third place in the Natural Michigan Bodybuilding Championships. It wasn't what I wanted, but I'm happy with the learning experience. I know what I need to work on for my next competition. Keep an eye out for me in the Musclemania pro ranks. That's where I'll be soon.

How Did Your Passion For Fitness Emerge?

Competing gives me drive. I put high expectations on myself to reach and surpass goals. I love individual sports. There are lots of people who help and support me, and I thank them, but at the end of the day it's all about you. They can't hold your hand and keep on you about diet and training. You have to go to the gym, cook your meals, and make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep.

What/Who Motivated You To Be A Fitness Guru?

Kai Greene is my biggest motivator. I look up to guys like Jim Stoppani and Layne Norton. They use science to explain their advice instead of personal preference. Kai's background is inspiring and his outlook on life and bodybuilding is fascinating. I could listen to him all day. His posing is unbelievable. I used many of his poses and turns in my routine. I like to think I have a similar work ethic to Kai.

Where Did You Go For Inspiration?

There was never a day when I didn't want to go to the gym. It was summer vacation during the final weeks of prep and I got to sleep in, go to the gym, and stay at my grandparent's house with a nice open kitchen without three little rascals running around (I have three siblings at my house). I always watched bodybuilding motivation videos on YouTube and Overkill and Redemption on Bodybuilding.com.

What Are Your Future Fitness Plans?

I'm a personal trainer and go to Baylor University. I'm studying athletic training and minoring in nutrition science. I hope to open an athletic training/post-rehab facility one day and go pro in Musclemania.

What Is The Most Important Fitness Tip?

You may not know everything about nutrition and training, but do your research and find out on your own. Tons of trial and error goes into this sport. You have to be patient. There's no easy way out. Put in the work and you'll reap the benefits.

Who Is Your Favorite Competitor?

Kai Greene is the best. He's a mass monster and the best on the Olympia stage. I also like Franco Columbu. He's Italian, 5-foot-5, and shares the same birthday as me (August 17). Coincidence? I don't think so. I was made for this sport.

How Did Bodybuilding.com Help You Reach Your Goals?

Bodybuilding.com is so helpful. I get my Peak Week guide by Layne Norton from Bodybuilding.com. I bought my posing trunks, tanner, and many supplements from the Store.