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Episode 39: Kyler Jackson - The Larger Calling of Muscle Building. Over the last 9 years, Kyler Jackson hasn't missed a workout. When he started the journey, he was a depressed teen looking to bulk up to protect himself. Today, he's an up-and-coming coach, YouTuber, and the newly crowned Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel Contest Winner. He shares his story with us.
Ep. isode 39 Highlights & Transcript ▼
- How he found his place in fitness, and found refuge in the gym
- On his first few workouts: "I remember an empowering feeling, a feeling of having control of my own life or an aspect of my life."
- "Once you actually get into it and you start, it becomes very clear very quickly that you have control over this thing, and you can become who you want to if you really put the effort in."
- On the loneliness of his early days in the gym, and how he found community there
- The most popular T-shirt in his clothing line? "Leave me alone."
- The struggle and thrill of being an introvert onstage in bodybuilding
- "The first time I [set foot on stage, I] definitely blacked out, and then kind of glimpses of it came back to me over time."
- On how fitness helped him control his depression and "balance out extremes"--and how he became a little too extreme with his own fitness
- What he would tell his teen self now: "That he could enjoy his life a whole lot more."
- Why he feels like pre-show water depletion is a ritual that needs to end
- On his experience with an early version of the Super League training competition
- Post-Super League: "It felt like stepping off a football field, like you just gave something your absolute all, and your brain is gone, your adrenaline is pumping like no other. It was just a different feeling, but it was really cool."
Nick Collias: What’s going on here? Come on now.
Hey everyone, welcome to The Bodybuilding.com Podcast. Camera one, camera two. I'm Nick Collias, your host, and to my left here we have Heather Eastman back from traipsing around the globe for a bit.
Heather: That's right, yeah.
Nick: And across the way we have one of the newest members of Team Bodybuilding.com, Kyler Jackson. Thank you for coming and talking with us.
Kyler Jackson: Thanks for having me.
Nick: He is most recently the men's winner of the 2018 Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel Search, also an NPC Classic Physique competitor, yes?
Kyler Jackson: Yes.
Nick: Online coach, YouTuber, and even has his own clothing line, DedFit Apparel. Not to be confused with DadFit or something.
Kyler Jackson: That's my dad's favorite joke right there.
Nick: Is it?
Heather: Oh, you just told a dad joke.
Nick: A friend of mine and I have started doing deadlifts on Saturday and we call it dad lifts.
Kyler Jackson: That's the best. I think we should come out with a special line specifically for dads.
Nick: I actually searched for the domain yesterday.
Kyler Jackson: Did you?
Nick: Some jackass has already bought it.
Kyler Jackson: That's the worst.
Nick: That was going to be my hundred-dollar idea to finally buy a trap bar of my very own.
Kyler Jackson: Your hundred-dollar idea. I love it!
Heather: Don't worry, he's got a million of them.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. Hey, I actually did buy two domains yesterday.
Heather: I know, you were so excited, you ran in telling us what they were.
Nick: I'm not gonna tell you what they are.
Kyler Jackson: Oh, I’m excited to find out though.
Nick: Alright, I'll tell you what one of them was. Wokeglutes.com.
Kyler Jackson: There you go.
Nick: Woke glutes. I own that domain now.
Kyler Jackson: Oh, my god. That's hilarious!
Nick: And anyways, congratulations on joining the team here.
Heather: Yep. Oh yes, that was exciting.
Kyler Jackson: Thank you.
Nick: Have you been able to traipse around the globe at all and represent Bodybuilding.com yet?
Kyler Jackson: I got to come back here. That's the best.
Nick: Boise is really … That’s the center of the world.
Heather: It is the mecca of fitness, is it not?
Kyler Jackson: Honestly though, like these trips here have been my favorites, and I got to bring my girlfriend Stacy here this time. She's getting to enjoy it, she has family here, so it's been really cool. The only other thing we've done so far is the L.A. Fit Expo, but I'm from Orange County, so we just drove right up there.
Nick: Oh, okay. Cool. I've been watching a bunch of your videos, sort of immersing myself in your world recently. You have a whole bunch of stuff out there, you have a lot of YouTube videos and you're a pretty prolific Instagram guy it seems like, as well.
Kyler Jackson: There’s too much of my face out there.
Nick: It's an interesting blend of messages though, because you have a lot of straight up work-out content, moves for chest, moves for arms, but you're a guy who's obviously not afraid to go deep and like talk vulnerably, even in a post on Instagram that's about arms. It all seems like they're two sides of the same coin for you. There's a larger calling even in the sets and reps here that seems pretty interesting.
And one thing that you said that was really interesting recently was you said basically that you've trained for nine years straight, without missing more than a couple days.
Kyler Jackson: Three days.
Nick: Right. Which is kind of a distinct block of time, it really made me want to talk to you about, like, where were you at the start of that? Where are you now? It's easy to look at that like, who were you in those first couple of workouts? Do you remember those first few workouts?
Kyler Jackson: Kind of. I was a teenager, I was 15 years old. I was just a kid, and I fell in love with it right away. As far as I can remember, it's all the same, it's all just been weightlifting throughout the years, and I can't really distinctly remember the differences back then as opposed to now.
Nick: What drove you in there? What were you looking for when you went in?
Kyler Jackson: To protect myself. To just get bigger and stronger and be able to stand up for myself at school, and all that sort of stuff.
Heather: In your bio, you were described as scrawny.
Kyler Jackson: Yes. I was.
Heather: And bullied?
Kyler Jackson: I was bullied, yeah. Got picked on a lot by ... I actually played sports, I played football, basketball, and baseball, but it was the older athletes, the older jocks, that would pick on the younger ones. It got pretty serious at times, people in my area took things very ... A lot of it was just overdramatic, and a lot of what they see on T.V. and movies they would try and make real life, because I came from a very suburban, very privileged area. It was kind of just the cool thing to act out the stuff they see in T.V. and movies, and cruelty. Teenagers are just mean.
Nick: What were you like back then when you started this? Were you a pretty quiet guy, as well?
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, I was very quiet. I kept to myself. I mean, I was a teenager, so I didn't know who I was. You have all these hormones going around and fluctuating, and you're trying to figure out, "What is all this crap going on in my mind? What's happening right now?" And so I was always very introverted, and I was always thinking deeply, trying to figure that stuff out.
Nick: Did you go into the weight room with a plan? Like, "Here's my print off." Or was it just like, "I'm in here, now what do I do?"
Kyler Jackson: I actually used Bodybuilding.com programs from the beginning.
Nick: This has all been a feed just to get you to say that.
Kyler Jackson: Exactly, you were waiting for it.
Nick: Yeah, exactly. Okay, do you remember what you started off with?
Kyler Jackson: I don't remember the first one I ever did, but I did every Kris Gethin one that came out, every Steve Cook one that came out. All the stuff from mid to late 2000s, I was doing all those. That's how I got started.
Heather: Do you remember those first couple weeks in the gym, and what that felt like? That story's going to hit close to home for a lot of people out there that are looking to get stronger and overcome some of ... Might not necessarily be bullying, but can you kind of think back to what that felt like?
Kyler Jackson: I remember an empowering feeling, a feeling of having control of my own life or an aspect of my life. Having something that you don't necessarily know it when you're originally intending on going to the gym and working out and things like that, but once you actually get into it and you start, it becomes very clear very quickly that you have control over this thing, and you can become who you want to if you really put the effort in. That's all I remember from then.
Heather: None of the pain, none of the soreness.
Nick: What was the gym that you were in?
Kyler Jackson: It was a 24-hour Fitness Agassi, which actually one of the girls here just let me know when I was here for the Spokesmodel search that she remembered me from when I was 15 or 16, back at my home gym. She works here now, so that's cool.
Nick: Even for a 15-year-old who goes and does a serious Kris Gethin/Steve Cook plan, it's still hard to see progress sometimes. At what point did you start to feel like, I might actually be on to something here. Or were you just so committed to the process from the start that you just loved that and that was good enough?
Kyler Jackson: Well you know how you just mentioned pain and soreness and things like that? To me, trained through sports, those were the things that my brain correlated to progress. When I would get that soreness and I would walk out of the gym, or barely walk out of the gym ...
Heather: Stumble out.
Kyler Jackson: Just stumble out, waddle out like a penguin, those were the moments where I would feel like I had just made so much progress, and I would take pride in that. Obviously, it took months or even years sometimes to see the true progress that I had made. Nine years later, I can determine that a little bit better.
Nick: Sure, yeah. I love ... There's an old Arnold story, I think in The Education of a Bodybuilder, where, the first time he really trained hard with somebody, he rode his bike to the gym, he's riding his bike home, falls over on the side of the highway and can't walk, and gets home and is convinced he's dying, basically. His parents are like, "You're dying." He just trained legs, which is going to what you did downstairs here.
Kyler Jackson: Absolutely, it's the best.
Nick: At 24-Hour Fitness, that sort of place, it can be a place where you find a lot of community. It can also be a pretty lonely place. Was the gym a community for you, or at what point did it start to be? You seem very at home there, you obviously have a training community in your life now.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah. I jump around a lot now, I have all the local corporate gym passes and things like that, and then we work with a couple of other local gyms like the Y and also this new one that's opening up, a private personal training gym. But back then, I can specifically remember it feeling very lonely in the beginning, until you reach a point where other people acknowledge your progress. Once that starts happening, the community starts forming, and everyone starts talking to each other, and you have developed that confidence to actually go out of your comfort zone and start talking to those other people and building relationships and friendships. Now, some of the deepest friendships and best friends I've made over the last nine years have been in the gym and through training.
Nick: Up until that point, were you kind of putting the “don't fuck with me face” on in the gym, and you'd pretend to be Kris Gethin in there?
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, pretty much. Our clothing company, our actual most popular shirt that we've sold for years that went viral is the ‘Leave Me Alone’ shirt. That is where it stems from, the headphones in, hood on, leave me alone. Go in there and work.
Nick: When you grow up watching videos of bodybuilders, that's ... Who are your other favorites that you looked at like, "This guy, clearly this is what bodybuilding is to me"?
Kyler Jackson: Now, Chris Bumstead and Arash [Rahbar]. I'm much more into the classic physiques now, but for years and years it was the Kai Greenes, the Jay Cutlers, Phil Heath, Evan Centopani, Ben Pakulski. All of the ...
Nick: Saw you mentioned Dorian Yates once as well ...
Kyler Jackson: Oh my gosh, yeah. The more hardcore they were, the more extreme they were, the more I loved watching that and feeding off that for motivation. My mindset has changed a lot since then. Just a lot of things have changed since then, including that I don't even wear my own “Leave Me Alone” stuff anymore because I don't really want to be left alone. I like talking to people. But that was the stuff that I thrived off of, and really gained that inspiration and motivation from.
Heather: Right. So, going from kind of scrawny to all of a sudden you're on stage. How did that happen? Tell us how you got to Classic Physique. Was Classic Physique your first choice? Because that’s a newer division, so ...
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, so I had already been training for seven or eight years by that time, by the time they announced the new division, but I had always wanted to compete. I didn't necessarily want to compete in physique, I didn't feel like that was my calling, I didn't feel like that was my division. I wanted to go for bodybuilding, but I also never really felt like I was going to be capable of reaching that mass, that size, the extremes like that. So when they announced Classic Physique, it was just kind of perfect, because it seemed so much more attainable to me, while still being that physical appearance that I had been striving for and trying to build over the years.
Nick: Sure. We've heard that from a number of different competitors, it's just a sweet spot for your frame.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, exactly, and being six foot it's hard to attain that mass monster appearance, so Classic is much more attainable.
Heather: Do you find being an introvert that it's difficult to step on stage, or do you find ... I know a lot of people who are introverted but love the stage because it's like a weird thing that they get to do that's so unlike their personality.
Kyler Jackson: I would say I was terrified, but once I actually experienced it, it was like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. Just like the Spokesmodel Search, making YouTube videos, and doing the live stream and these podcasts and all that stuff. I'd say the introversion is my natural tendency and the natural side of me, but doing stuff like this pulls you out of that, and it helps you get comfortable. For me personally, I really enjoy it now, actually experiencing it and feeling the feelings and the adrenaline that you get from it just feels incredible.
So… stepping on that stage was ... First off, I blacked out. The first time I definitely blacked out, and then kind of glimpses of it came back to me over time, and the second show I can fully remember. You feel like you just are presenting this thing you've worked for forever. It's just such a rewarding feeling, no matter how you place.
Nick: And the process of getting ready for all of that, it seems like it's kind of an extension of the training you've been doing, and the lifestyle that you've been leading. But it's also its own unique little test of your will, and its own little ... I mean, I say this having never done it, of course.
Heather: One of these days, Nick.
Nick: But you've looked up to all of these guys who have done this before. How did that live up to your expectations, just that experience of actually preparing for it?
Kyler Jackson: I think it went better than I expected, actually. I was expecting almost like a torturous feeling. I had so many friends who had competed in the past, and everyone's different in how they react to it, and how they respond to everything. A lot of people really did not enjoy their time. They would tell me how miserable it was, so that's what I was expecting. For me personally, I went into it and I loved every second of it, all the way up to stepping on stage. It felt natural, it felt right for both shows. The only thing was that I was the definition of ‘hangry’ in that peak week, and my girlfriend tolerated me and helped me through that. Very grateful for that.
Nick: She's been part of the story from the very start here too, right?
Kyler Jackson: Ten years, yeah. We've been together since we were 14.
Nick: She also is a gym rat, as you can see her in all of your videos and things like that. She has her own brand out there as well. Have you guys been doing this together since the start?
Kyler Jackson: Um, she got into it much later as far as the actual fitness side goes. It was kind of just my therapeutic thing for the first few years, and then it turned into something that her and I started doing together, and she became my consistent training partner. She started the clothing company with me, we've run that business together for five years. We kind of just ... We started making videos together and all that stuff.
Nick: Training partner as well, though.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, legitimate training partner.
Nick: Was that a change? Because you've been hanging out with nobody but Kris Gethin up until that point.
Kyler Jackson: I had other training partners that were all other like-minded people, other people who really liked training that way and training intensely and things like that. When her and I started training together, things just kind of ... Everything just ran really smoothly, and it felt very right. She's always done the exact same stuff I do, she doesn't necessarily go off and do her girl bikini workouts or things like that. She goes through the hardcore stuff with me, and we just go back and forth and swap the weights out. It works well for us.
Nick: That's great. Another thing I've seen you make reference to in some videos and posts is basically talking about the first six years versus the last three years. The first six years seemed like it was much more of a work in progress a little bit. You said in an Instagram post the other day, I thought it was really interesting, "If you knew me in those first six years, I thought the only way to do things was to go to extremes," basically. Lead us through the change that happened to you in that part of your life.
Kyler Jackson: I think a lot of it was mental health related, and a lot of it was like I referenced, it was my therapy. I was diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 13, and I didn't really know what that even meant. No one really told me, or taught me, or helped me through it really. I just knew I had this, I didn't want to take drugs for it, and I just wanted to try and figure it out on my own. It took me a very long time to figure that out, and so that would kind of be those first six years.
When I refer to doing everything to the extremes or thinking that was the only way of doing it, as far as bodybuilding and weightlifting and dieting and things like that go, it's like those people you talk to who tell you there's no other way to diet down and get lean other than eating your chicken breast and your broccoli every single day, and that's it. What I learned eventually was that there's so much more to it, and so many other options that can allow your hormones and your neuro chemicals to balance out more properly, and it has kept me much happier than those extremes.
Nick: Talking more about diet than actual training.
Kyler Jackson: Exactly, yes. Diet-wise specifically, that's more what I was referring to. It was kind of like I was judgmental of other people, like, "I can't believe you think you can go have this little treat here, and just track it into your macros and that's gonna magically work for you." I thought it was all just bogus or whatever else. Eventually, I tried it for myself and I had an awesome coach who led me through it and taught me all the stuff about flexible dieting and macro tracking, and it changed my life. I'm much happier now, that's for sure.
Nick: Okay. What did you have to do to find that balance? Do you feel like ... And still hold on to the best of what bodybuilding as a lifestyle has to offer. It sounds like ... Did you have a point where you just had a good conversation with somebody and it pushed you into the right channel there?
Kyler Jackson: I think I just opened up to realize that I don't know everything, and that anyone who thinks they do is ... It's one of the most ignorant things you can believe, is that you do know everything. I just stayed open-minded, and I realized that you always have more to learn.
Kyler Jackson: So once I did that, I've kind of just been open to everyone's opinions and views, and I just take it in and do my own research, and make sure I test different methods for myself, and see what works and what doesn't. It's just what has worked best for me.
Nick: If you could go back to that person who was going into the gym, into 24-Hour Fitness on that first day, and just shake him, what would you say to that guy now?
Kyler Jackson: Well, it depends. Because I don't necessarily regret anything from the past. I think that all of that led to who I am now, and I think that all of that extreme was necessary for myself as a person to develop. But, I would definitely tell them that they could enjoy their life a whole lot more over that six-year period.
Heather: It’s easier than you think. It's funny cause we do get a lot of the first time competition stories that are horrific. One of our athletes was even hospitalized. It sounds like you didn't have that horrific first time experience, but you did still go through ... And we were even talking about that one time, where it's almost a blessing to have an early injury or an early set of mistakes, because it teaches you so much.
Kyler Jackson: Absolutely.
Heather: You almost don't want to rob yourself of that experience of going through the extremes and just being miserable.
Kyler Jackson: It's so much better early on than later when it could be so much more severe.
Heather: Right, rather than to learn it when you're in your 40s or 50s. You've studied sports medicine?
Kyler Jackson: Yes.
Heather: One of the things as I was kind of creeping through your Instagram profile, too, is that you do kind of start to get scientific on some things, and some of the myths and bad practices that surround bodybuilding. One of the things was water depleting, you did a little post on that, and I loved it because to me, that's one of the most dangerous things in this sport today that still is socially acceptable.
Kyler Jackson: Most people still do it.
Heather: Share some ... And you don't have to stick with just that, but some of your taking sports medicine and bringing that to the masses in a way that's understandable. You outlined it perfectly.
Kyler Jackson: Hey, thank you. Just generally ... So first off, I'll say I've backed off a lot on that, because people didn't quite understand a lot of my captions or things. When you go too scientific, it doesn't necessarily get received the best. Things like that, so a lot of the common competition practices, I think they're just ...
It goes back to those extremes. People love extremes because they think in order to achieve anything really significant like that, you have to be extreme and you have to do the crazy stuff and you have to push your body to its absolute limits. To a certain extent, that's true, but with things like water depletion or the supplements you're taking or with sodium loading and all that stuff, as you lead into a show, I personally think ... And what I've proven for myself, is that whatever has worked all the way through my prep, there's no point in changing it in those last two weeks, because I'm just going to mess up what my body's used to, and if I'm continually progressing, why change it?
In that peak week, both shows that I did I literally just kept things exactly the same, didn't change a single thing, didn't touch a diuretic, and just went all the way through. It worked out perfectly.
Nick: Probably felt a little bit better.
Kyler Jackson: Oh, I felt so much better. Friends that I've watched go the other route and their coaches will have them go to those extremes and deplete the water or go play around with diuretics and things like that, they were miserable and a lot of times, more often than not, they actually came into the show looking way worse than they looked a week out. They were really disappointed that they listened when it came to that practice.
Nick: Makes sense. Speaking of pushing yourself to your limits, though, you did do a Super League event.
Kyler Jackson: That is the ultimate ...
Nick: Do you know what Super League is?
Kyler Jackson: Oh, my gosh.
Heather: What is this?
Nick: Okay, so it was one of the first ones, right? This is a new sport that ...
Kyler Jackson: Super League One.
Heather: It has nothing to do with comic books?
Kyler Jackson: I wish.
Nick: It has to do with superhuman individuals, and we've streamed a number of them through our site. Dorian Yates and Mike O'Hearn and Kai Greene and all these ... Iris Kyle, and all these people are involved with it. It's got some unique machines, but it's pushing the maximum weight for sets of 12. You've experienced it, so you tell Heather what exactly it is.
Kyler Jackson: 12. Oh gosh.
Nick: It's a fascinating spectacle.
Kyler Jackson: It is, it really is. Hey, if it survives and it succeeds, I would definitely do it again. It was a very cool experience. Basically, it's a combination of bodybuilding and powerlifting. In their minds, they're trying to find the super humans of the world. They're trying to find people who can lift the maximum amount of weight for 12 reps on eight different machines. You go in a circle, they start a timer, and you go in a circle, and you go through this whole circuit of these eight machines, pushing as hard as you can. You're pushing your ultimate limits. I'm not going to go into detail about a lot of the things that were going on ...
Heather: Did they do that here?
Nick: I don't think they've done one here. There have been a few events, but they're unique machines, some of them. And other ones, there's like a leg extension, right?
Kyler Jackson: Custom-built machines.
Heather: Custom built machines, just for this?
Kyler Jackson: Yeah. Things like a Viking press, which is like a shoulder press, but a custom-built standing one. Things like the arsenal squat, stuff like that. So it's more like functional hypertrophic machines that they're trying to use. I think they're changing it up a little bit more now, I haven't kept up on it in the last month or so.
Nick: Not the sort of things that you could just train for in 24-Hour Fitness.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, no.
Nick: So you've had to go in a little bit fresh.
Kyler Jackson: It was pretty crazy. I was part of Super League One, the very first one they ever did. They didn't even have it fully figured out. Like, I went there ...
Heather: [inaudible 00:24:25] the plane as they're flying it?
Kyler Jackson: Pretty much, and the week that I got there, it was a week away from the actual event. They started kind of walking us through it, and then you could tell, they hadn't actually finalized things yet, and they didn't fully know for sure that this was how it was going to be. Overall, it was just one of the most unique experiences of my life.
Nick: So you got to play with the machines before the actual event?
Kyler Jackson: I did. I specifically, me and a few friends who were also doing it, we reached out to them, asked if we could come by and see the machines. At City Athletic Club, which is where it was based out of for that event, in Las Vegas, they actually have all of those machines upstairs. So you can use them in the actual gym itself, and practice there. As far as back home training for it, I was just using variations, whatever I could come up with.
Nick: So did you apply to them to be an athlete? The thing that is my mind, maybe because Mike O'Hearn is involved, it sounds a little bit like American Gladiators.
Kyler Jackson: It's similar.
Nick: But in a weight room setting, basically. You're not competing against them, you're competing against other people who have applied? How did that work exactly?
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, I got an email one day, and it was just outlining what this event was, and I wasn't quite sure. Should I take this seriously or not? Then they slapped the Bodybuilding.com and Nike sponsorship on it and said, "These are who are backing us," and I was like, "Alright, I'll take it seriously then." I kind of did more research, and told them, might as well. I like new experiences, and I like just trying out whatever sorts of events or sports or competitive things I can. Turned out to be a really cool one that I would definitely do again if they can…
Nick: How did the feeling walking off the stage there feel versus walking off the stage in a bodybuilding competition where you beyond destroyed?
Kyler Jackson: Entirely different. It's like stepping off of a stage felt incredible from the long-term achievement aspect of things. That felt like stepping off a football field, like you just gave something your absolute all, and your brain is gone, your adrenaline is pumping like no other. It was just a different feeling, but it was really cool.
Nick: Just the little bit that I saw of you doing that, it's easy to look at that and go, "It's just a bunch of people exercising, what's the big deal?" But when you actually see it, it's pretty freaking cool looking.
Heather: But 12 reps, that's a hard rep range.
Nick: Yeah, exactly.
Kyler Jackson: They had some absolute monsters there. One of the guys was 350 pounds, and he was just ... By the end, most of the machines had broken and all sorts of other stuff.
Nick: They’re welding while he's on them.
Kyler Jackson: Pretty much.
Nick: But there's a whole other second component, right? They use laser imaging to get your delta score and all that stuff.
Kyler Jackson: I'm so sorry I left that out. The way they ...
Nick: Yeah, so there's a bodybuilding element to it.
Kyler Jackson: Yes.
Heather: Otherwise I was like, this sounds just like a souped-up version of CrossFit, almost.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, very similar actually. So the way that they combine it and make it a hybrid sport is they do a 3-D scan of your body. They take in your body composition, they take in your actual proportions, and they compare those and give you a calculated score. They're trying to take the bias out of physique competition, and then combine it with performance. If that makes sense.
Heather: Okay. I like that.
Nick: And then it's head to head on the seated calf raise to death, that's how every single competition gets settled.
Kyler Jackson: I would love that.
Heather: You basically just described my worst nightmare.
Nick: Just Freddy Kruger exploding.
Heather: It sounds like a blast but I have no desire to participate.
Kyler Jackson: It was crazy.
Nick: You seem busy enough with everything else. Why did you decide to do this Spokesmodel Search in the middle of all this, too? Don't you have enough going on?
Heather: ‘Cause he knew he could win.
Nick: I guess so.
Kyler Jackson: A bunch of my friends and people who I've worked with over the past few years were affiliated with Bodybuilding.com, like Amanda Bucci, Karen Paolini, Brian DeCosta. And they had all encouraged me from their past experience, like this was incredible. Like I mentioned, just living life and experiencing everything I can is kind of what I'm trying to do, and what Stacy and I try to do with all of our time. This was just something else that we could just ... It's like, why not try? Why not just go for it and see what happens. That's why it was so shocking to me every single round, was because I literally did this for just an experience, having no expectation. I had no idea what was coming out of this, and so every time the new round was announced, top 20, top 10, whatever else, I was completely blown away.
Nick: You kept sneaking through.
Kyler Jackson: Yeah, so that was one of the coolest feelings ever, going into something with zero expectation and then coming out winning it. It was very cool.
Nick: Great. What do you hope to use it for, what do you hope to do with this?
Kyler Jackson: Primarily, as just a larger platform to spread our mission, which is just to pursue passions as deeply as you can, be dedicated to your passions, dedicated to your life. It doesn't matter what that passion is, what that aspect is that you are dedicated to. It can be your family, your friends, your spirituality, your sport, your craft, whatever it is. We just whole-heartedly believe in experiencing life and pursuing your passions to the fullest.
Nick: And not taking too many days off from them either.
Kyler Jackson: Exactly.
Heather: Yeah, not taking more than three consecutive days off.
Kyler Jackson: I can't. There's something about staying committed to things and staying dedicated to things. That's just how I like to live my life.
Nick: That's great. Thanks for coming and talking with us.
Kyler Jackson: Thanks for having me guys.
Nick: You can find Kyler ... Well, tell us where you are in the world, where can they find you?
Kyler Jackson: Primarily on Instagram and YouTube. Instagram would be @kylerjacksonfitness, and YouTube would be either search my name, Kyler Jackson, or youtube.com/kylerjackson.
Nick Collias: Alright, thanks again.
Heather Eastman: Perfect.
Kyler Jackson: Thanks guys.
Protein plays an important part in everyone's diet, and even more so if you are a bodybuilder or do strength training. But is going heavy on the protein too much of a good thing?
Downloadable PDF Transcript
Over the last 9 years, Kyler Jackson hasn't missed a workout. When he started the journey, he was a depressed teen looking to bulk up to protect himself. Today, he's an up-and-coming coach, YouTuber, and the newly crowned Bodybuilding.com Spokesmodel Contest Winner. He shares his story with us.
The CEO and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition stopped by Bodybuilding.com to talk about his research into high-protein diets, and share the current state of the research on protein dosage, creatine, glutamine, and plenty more.
IFBB physique pro Jason Poston is busier than ever, representing the sport around the world and sharing the details of his training and life with his fans. He gives an in-depth look into his 17-year lifting history, how he broke into the fitness industry, his wild experience with becoming a type-1 diabetic at age 28, and how everyone could benefit from "eating like a healthy diabetic."
IFBB pro Branch Warren has been a world-class bodybuilder for so long, it's easy to forget he's still just 42 years old–and still as huge and shredded as ever. "The Texas Rattlesnake" opens up about his history, his favorite game meats, and how he trains today–including his personal "strongman biathlon."
Team Bodybuilding.com athlete and IFBB Bikini Pro Taylor Chamberlain shares her fascinating story of finding her way in fitness, watching her parents take the stage when she was a teenager, and figuring out how to thrive with flexible dieting.
Strength icon KC Mitchell, aka "That 1-Leg Monster," shares his incredible story of struggle and redemption in this wide-ranging discussion. He lost a leg and nearly lost his life to an IED in Afghanistan, then battled back to become a competitive powerlifter with help from legends like Ed Coan, Mark Bell, Rich Piana and many others. Now he may be eyeballing… bodybuilding?
Researcher and "Physique Scientist" Dr. Bill Campbell, the head of the Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida, talks about two groundbreaking studies he's worked on regarding protein intake for women and flexible dieting, as well as the incredible science of strength training for fat-loss.
Podcast Episode 32: Cassandra Martin - Physique-Building by Old-School Lifting and... Construction Work?
Cassandra Martin is known for serious muscles and heavy lifting on Instagram, but doesn't share much else in her posts. She and her husband Hunter stopped by to discuss how they train, how their work makes her stronger, and why she feels lifters should eat their way through a plateau.
Longtime Bodybuilding.com athlete Brandan Fokken shares his fascinating story and talks Hulkamania, corporate wellness, the ultimate disastrous show prep, and far more.
IFBB Bikini Pro and fitness model Amy Updike talks tats, nursing, implants, and how CrossFit inspired her to take up bikini competitions.
Just days after the dramatic climax of his six-month Man of Iron video series and training protocol, Kris stops by to share the amazing story, and the wisdom he earned along the way. If you haven't watched Episode 25, watch that first, and then listen to this!
He's a highly popular trainer and bodybuilder who also happens to have one of the most impressive sets of wheels out there. But Julian Smith doesn't keep his training secret! He shares plenty that you can use right away in this in-depth conversation.
In his second visit to the podcast, the weight-loss icon Pat Brocco tells us about his first time competing onstage after losing over 300 pounds. He's also helping lead a unique new weightloss challenge for Bodybuilding.com that his fans need to know about!
One of the world's great bodybuilders stop by to talk competition, the perfect muscle-building sleep schedule, and protein doughnuts.
Dr. Jim Stoppani brings plenty of energy—and plenty of gummy bears—to the recording studio. He's been espousing the virtues of full-body, near-daily workouts in recent months, and says it could just be the best training technique out there—if you do it right. He also goes deep into the science and practice of intermittent fasting, which allows him to stay lean and energetic well into his fifties!
Longtime Bodybuilding.com athlete Kizzito Ejam stops by to discuss his unique rest-day-free approach to training. He's been both lifting and doing cardio daily--sometimes twice a day-- for years, and he tells us how he's made it work, while also sharing plenty of laughs along the way.
Strength coach Charles Staley offers up his hard-earned wisdom about how to balance strength, body composition, and overall health as the years go by. From programming to choosing movements to flexible dieting, he touches on everything you need to know to plan out your lifting life!
WBFF pro bodybuilder Lee Constantinou went from lean martial artist to competitive bodybuilder in a matter of months, and has never looked back. He's taken to the stage 10 times in the past six years, and he shared his plan for how to get there, feel good doing it, and develop your crucial plan for afterward.
Pat had been big forever—so big that he could gain 100 pounds in a little over a year and not even notice a difference. But then he turned his life around, one literal step at a time. On the verge of his first-ever competition, the star of Bodybuilding.com's popular YouTube series joins us to get real about life-changing transformations.
Heather Eastman, a former NPC competitor, coach, and judge, as well as a content editor for Bodybuilding.com, joins the show as co-host and digs deep into show prep. Are you thinking about aiming for the stage and wondering if it's the right for you? Start here, and then decide.
In this info-packed episode, strength coach and doctor of physical therapy John Rusin, Ph.D., gives his step-by-step guide to earning your right to kneel before the throne of the so-called King of Lifts. Do these squat variations in this order, and do your back squat this way, and you'll never regret it!
The clown princes of online fitness, aka Brandon and Hudson White, stop by to talk about their incredibly popular YouTube channel, their evolving approach to fitness education and satire, and their upcoming program and video series with Bodybuilding.com.
You may know Kris Gethin the bodybuilder, but Kris Gethin the ultra-endurance athlete? That's a new one. But not only is the master of pain training to do an Ironman triathlon, he's doing it in a fraction of the time that athletes usually take. In this episode, Kris talks with us about what will surely be a wild ride.
Fill up the cup and listen to Krissy Kendall, Ph.D. tell us everything we should know about the world's most popular drug. Are you trying to match your caffeine intake to your physique or training goals? Here's what you need to know!
Welcome back to part 2 of our keto podcast with EAS athlete Jason Wittrock and Chief Science Officer for EAS Dr. Steve Hertzler. Today we dive into all things keto-adaptation!
EAS athlete Jason Wittrock and Chief Science Officer for EAS Dr. Steve Hertzler sit down with us and explain the ins and outs of nutritional ketosis for athletes!
Chef Robert Irvine makes time in his insanely busy schedule to stop by and chat about lifting, eating, working with soldiers and veterans, and plenty else!
Fitness model and IFBB Men's Physique Pro Craig Capurso braves the elements to talk with Nick and Krissy about his new passion for performance-focused training, his breaking point with physique competition, and why he sometimes feels like "the fitness dad."
Special guest Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., expert in women's fitness and body fat measurements, answers our wide-ranging questions about training, cellulite, and health for women. Wondering how accurate that number on the calipers is? How low you should strive to go? Whether you should do cardio fasted? Listen up before you cut down!
Two-time WBFF world champion Shaun Stafford stops by to talk about buffets, injuries, and coming back from the shoulder cyst he thought at first was just gains.
The world's strongest coach, Mark Bell, discusses powerlifting, CrossFit, and his vague recollections of his first meet. If you know these guys from their YouTube channel or podcast, Mark Bell's PowerCast, you know that nothing is off limits!
Krissy Kendall, PhD, reacts to recent headlines raising concerns about teen usage of the popular supplement creatine. If you've been wondering if creatine is safe for you or your student athlete, here's what you need to know!
NYC-based coach and Performix athlete Andy Speer talks about his unique approach to training and coaching, and why he likes to compete in sports ranging from Olympic lifting to martial arts into his 30s.
Can you be a fitness model without leading an obsessive, calorie-fixated life? Lais DeLeon says you can, and over a million people watch her make it happen daily on Instagram and other social platforms. Here's how she does it.
Want to know how to tackle the holidays? How about the best way to use blood flow restriction training or nutrient timing? Get the straight dope from muscle-building scientist Dr. Layne Norton!
Researcher Dr. Dominic D'Agostino explains the significance and best approaches to the ketogenic diet, troubleshooting common problems, and looking at the next frontier of ketogenic and fasting-related research.
Fresh off the release of his new training program Iron Intelligence, we spend an hour with one of the world's top bodybuilders. How did he get there? How healthy is he? Why does he eat so much freaking kale? Listen to find out.
Deep talk and serious goofing off with one of the fittest couples in the industry. Chassidy and Antonio Smothers talk with hosts Nick Collias and Dr. Krissy Kendall about lifting, love, beer, bacon, and Instagram.
Hosts Nick Collias and Dr. Krissy Kendall chat with special guest Bill Geiger about his robust history of training (and injuries) from the ‘80s onward. Learn from this fitness industry veteran’s triumphs and tragedies so you can stay in the game as long as he has!
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Skip the eardrum-busting tunes next time you hit the gym. Instead, listen and learn from the masters on a wide range of motivational, technique, and nutritional issues.
About Your Hosts
Nick Collias is the Deputy Editor at Bodybuilding.com. He spends his work days typing in primitive sandals at a desk surrounded by full-fat, no-measure supertreats. Lunch time is for blood-occluded core training and Danish presses. Dinner is a terrifying spectacle to behold, so let's leave it at that. His shaker bottle has a kettlebell inside, so swing it at your own risk.
Nick is a certified Russian Kettlebell (RKC) instructor, but can also be found wandering the high desert trails of Idaho at odd hours in odder attire.
A native of Santa Cruz, California, Heather Eastman happened upon a life-changing opportunity while earning her bachelor's degree from UCLA. Though her course work prepared her for a life in the medical field, Heather left it behind to pursue her love of exercise and fitness, earning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise. She finished her degree while working for the university at the renowned John Wooden Center as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor.
In her 12 years' experience training clients and teaching classes, Heather went on to work with health and fitness professionals from around the country and mastered everything from competitive bodybuilding to CrossFit to aerial silks. She enjoys art and travel, having already visited 28 countries on 5 continents, and when she's not exploring the world or attempting new challenges she loves to be home where she can cook healthy meals, spend time with her pets, and watch movies.
Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. She previously served as Bodybuilding.com's science editor, and spent 2½ years as an assistant professor in the School of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Kendall also served as the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at GSU, where her research interests focused on the effects of training and nutritional interventions on body composition and performance. Dr. Kendall has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and abstracts on sports nutrition, supplementation, and training adaptations.
Dr. Kendall received her master's and PhD from the University of Oklahoma, studying exercise physiology. She holds certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS*D), International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN), and American College of Sports Medicine (HFS).