Craig Titus. One of the bad boys of bodybuilding. Currently training for the 2003 Night of Champions, in eight weeks. Always has something to say. A businessman, and so much more. Probably one of the most talked about, for good or bad, bodybuilders in discussion boards. Here are a few questions with Craig, in his first interview after leaving the Weider organization for a new start.
Ron Avidan: So I hear that you and Weider parted ways?
Craig Titus: Yup. I wrote a letter and faxed it over to them requesting a release of my contract about three weeks ago, for a few reasons. Mainly because I felt that I was not getting enough exposure in the magazines. Once every five or six months just didn't cut it, and a quote now and then just to ask me about Kamali or Chick was not the kind of press I was looking for. I was looking for training spreads. I want to now get back into the magazines, as I used to be in various magazines in the stands every month and that is exactly what I intend to do again. Before I signed with Weider, I had 92 covers to be exact, and after I signed with Weider, I only had one cover in two years. So I wrote them my request to be released from my contract, and after a few days of going back and forth, they decided to go ahead a let me go, so I can pursue other avenues with no hard feelings. I still have a very good working relationship with them, everything is okay. But I am free to do whatever I want now.
I know I probably won't be near Mr. Olympia, but I would like to be Mr. Magazine. That is the way I make my money. I have been doing it for years. I make as much money being a businessman as some of the top athletes in the sport. I want to keep it that way. If I am not getting exposure, I can't make any money.
Ron Avidan: I also hear you immediately signed with a company? Who did you sign with officially?
Craig Titus: I just signed a 2 year deal with Pinnacle Nutrition. An excellent contract. I am very excited, it is the best I ever had. I am really looking forward to this next year working with them. I also just signed a column contract with Muscular Development, which is right there worth it's weight in gold, as now I have a monthly column where thousands of reader's will read my Q&A's. So right there, I just increased my magazine coverage from once every six months to every month with just one move, plus I am getting paid for it, which is really cool.
Ron Avidan: Melvin Anthony is also with Pinnacle, and I know you two have had differences in the past.
Craig Titus: Since we both are signed with Pinnacle now, I imagine we will be working in the booths together. They are pretty smart. I see what Pinnacle is doing. Melvin's really started to come into what he knows works for his body, and he has been looking really good in the last few shows, and they wanted to scoop him up before anyone else did. They are smart for doing that. In regards to the past, any problems that me and Melvin had were squashed days after it happened. It was a mistake, I apologized to him immediately, we are fine. Besides, Melvin is a really nice guy. He's changed a bit, I've changed a bit. We are going to have a really good working relationship together. I don't see any problems, contrary to what a lot of people want to think.
Ron Avidan: So how does it feel to be one of the bad boys of bodybuilding?
Craig Titus: I have always had that title, and will probably keep it until I retire. You know, all these guys, they talk a big game, they talk a lot of shit, but I don't see any of them ever being an old school man, and smacking anybody involved. I think I am the only one whose ever done it. I guess, until someone else does it, I will be considered one of the bad boys in bodybuilding.
Ron Avidan: What are your contest plans this year?
Craig Titus: I plan to compete at the Night of Champions. I plan on winning the Night of Champions, and making it my first pro win. I am really, really hoping that it happens, because, basically, it is my show to win or lose. There are common opponents, I am coming back from last year's great showings, it is my show to win. If I am on the money, I should have my first pro win. Everybody who is competing there, I have beaten, and I hope I can pull this off.
Then after that, I am going to do the Olympia, and also the Pinnacle Southwest Pro Cup on September 27th, if that is in the works. Also, the GNC Show of Strength, and I am going to go do Dorian Yates show in England in November. And that's my plans. Nice and spaced out.
I have searched out and seeked knowledge from many people in the sport. I have worked with Chad Nicholls this offseason. He showed me some things that really put on some good size. I also met David Palumbo in Wisconsin at a guest posing, and he also gave me some advice.
Ron Avidan: How is your training going for the Night of Champions?
Craig Titus: Oh, it's excellent. The Night of Champions training is the best my training as ever been. Of course, I have made many, many improvements like you are supposed to. A good pro is going to make improvements every year, but I made a considerable leap this year. It's going to be pretty noticeable, and I am really happy the way everything is going right now.
Ron Avidan: How long have you been training for the NOC?
Craig Titus: Honestly, I started training for the Night of Champions right after the Olympia, but I truly start dieting 12 weeks out. I am doing the same thing that I always do. I do high protein, high fats for X amount of days, and then I load one day, and then I go back to it. Three days of protein and fat, and one day of high carbs and loading, and I do that continuously all the way to the show.
My training does not change, just the intensity level changes. I do blood volume training, high intensity, not max weights, medium weights, lots of reps, lots of sets, really, really intense. I train twice a day. Day one is chest and biceps. Day two is back and traps. Day three is off day. Day four is shoulders and tris. Day five is quads, hams, calves. Day six is off, and then I rotate again.
Ron Avidan: What kind of diet is it? Protein, carbs, etc?
Craig Titus: Right now I am on salmon, cod, shrimp, chicken, and tuna. I won't use any red meat until I get closer to the show when I got all of the body fat off. I also take in a lot of nuts (almonds and cashews), peanut butter for my fats, and on the loading day, I use simple sugar and complex carbs, raisins, bananas, bagels, honey, rice, apple sauce, jam. What I am doing is putting my body in
ketosis for three or four days and then you load. You don't have to cheat because every three or fours days you are loading with the simple sugars.
Ron Avidan: How are you going to compete against Kamali at the NOC?
Craig Titus: You know what. I am going to have Kamali beat before we even walk on stage. I will have him so upset backstage verbally that he will need to get a box of tissues before he even walks onstage. The same thing I did to him at the GNC
Show of Strength; the guy was beat before he even walked on stage. The chances of him being ready are going to be slim anyway.
Ron Avidan: Why do you and Kamali always get at each other's nerves?
Craig Titus: Because Kamali, he says things. And I guess he expects no one to retaliate, or make comments about what he is saying. I am just really surprised that I am one of the few bodybuilders that had enough balls to say anything. I mean, he basically called every bodybuilder that didn't show up to that meeting 'spineless punks'. I wasn't at the meeting, and I was one of the athletes sitting at the table that was in direct walkway to the meeting. So I mean that the guy is referring to people who were not there, so I just basically said 'Look, I am not going to keep my mouth shut. I am going to tell them exactly what I think. I don't give a f*#@ if you think that I am a punk. You are calling us all 'spineless punks' that were not there.
I did not want anything to do with that meeting. It was a joke. The people who organized the meeting are people that don't know how to make money, don't know how to market themselves, and all they did was go in there and complain. It is just a bunch of bullshit. But the reason that me and Kamali always have problems is because I am the only one that ever says anything when he runs his mouth. So everybody that did not go to the meeting is a spineless punk. Well, I don't know about you, but I am not a spineless punk. He is a punk.
Ron Avidan: So are you two going to behave yourselves at the NOC?
Craig Titus: No, no, no. All that behavior between us hating ourselves is finished. I am going to do the show, and I am not going to let him effect my water levels, my stress levels at all whatsoever. I am going to wax his ass onstage, and then after the show, we are going to talk. We are going to go, man to man, face to face, and we are going to talk. I am putting an end to this. The guy is a big mouth piece of crap, and that's it. I have had enough. My patience is over with. Enough talk. That is it. When I see him at the Night of Champions, we are going to talk.
Ron Avidan: Hey, we have a plan. Let's set up a boxing ring on Sunday after the show, and put you and Kamali in it? That will be interesting.
Craig Titus: Yes, but I am not going to wear any gloves. I mean, I will do the Ultimate Fighting thing if he wants to that, but I am not going to wear any gloves. The guy is a coward, he is big mouth, and he says stupid things like I am riding is coattails. I was in the sport many years before he ever hit the scene. That's a joke.
Ron Avidan: But your supplement contract prevents you from fighting?
Craig Titus: I don't think any supplement company would appreciate their athletes getting into physical altercations, but there comes a time when either a man will be a man, or let somebody say things about his family, and I am not going to. But I am not saying I am going to smack him in the teeth, I am saying enough is enough. We are going to talk, and whatever he is going to say, he is going to say it to my face instead of behind a computer. And if anything happens, no one is going to see it anyway.
Ron Avidan: Give me more on King?
Craig Titus: Wow... I am pretty sick and tired of hearing from King's mouth his comments like, "If Chris Cormier only got serious". Chris is like, "What does he know what it's like to get serious?". Chris is the one who is winning shows, and getting second at the shows, not King. Chris wants him to shut his mouth too.
Ron Avidan: So King's has his own group like you do in bodybuilding?
Craig Titus: Yes, I guess. I don't have any cliques, I just have friends. I mean, I don't have anything against Tom Prince or Bob Cicherillo. I know they don't particularly care for me, but it does not bother me. They don't continually run their mouths all the time, at least they have enough sense to be gentleman in the sports.
Ron Avidan: What about the After Parties?
Craig Titus: Everything is going great there. Everything is now set for the Night of Champions party. Regarding the people promoting with me at the Night of Champions party, they all live in the East Coast. Bethany Howlett, Rob Lopez, Bob Bonham, Victor Martinez. These people live there, they have friends, they know all the promoters, they have all of their bodybuilding fans, and it would be ridiculous for me to go out there and throw a party and not include them. Why cause any competition with other parties when we can have one huge one and have all their people come to my party. I did not want to go to New York and step on anyone's toes so I involved everybody in it.
Ron Avidan: Rob Lopez? Is he not King Kamali's good friend?
Craig Titus: Yes, he is, but even Rob is a businessman and wants to make money. He is not going to let the fact that he is a friend with an idiot who does not like me, to stop Rob from making money. And if King wasn't such a jackass, I could of used him as one of the hosts. And have him bring in more money, but the guy just does not know when to shut up, he just does not know how to make money. As I explained to Rob, it's about making money. I don't have anything against you, you have nothing against me, let's go ahead and throw a big party. Rob's brother Nick Lopez is also helping with the party. This one is going to turn out to be huge.
Ron Avidan: Do you have a good relationship with the IFBB on these parties?
Craig Titus: Yes, I do. Wayne DeMilia and myself are together on these parties. I now have the 'Official' Night of Champions After Party, and the 'Official' Olympia After Party that should become part of all of the advertisements. And next year, the Olympia party should become part of the Olympia ticket sales. I plan on promoting these parties long after I am done competing, it is a good business.
Ron Avidan: So why did you move to Las Vegas?
Craig Titus: We moved to Vegas because we bought a big beautiful home, and we love living here. The cost of living is low, the house is beautiful, and there are not too many pro bodybuilders living out here. There are a few, like Jay Cutler, which we are friends with, him and his wife Kerry. And we just wanted to get out of the scene, out of the public eye, and out of all the scrutiny, and the backstabbing two faced idiots that live in Venice. Venice is not a good place to live. It is full of jealousy, and envy, and people who would love to see you fail.
Ron Avidan: So how are you and Kelly doing?
Craig Titus: We are doing fantastic. She is my best friend. She's the best thing that ever has happened to me.
Ron Avidan: Is she doing okay with her new company, Pure Form?
Craig Titus: She is doing fine with them. The company is building. I can tell you that she is a little upset with her placings from the
Fitness International. I never saw that coming. I can see Susie Curry as competition, I can see Jenny Worth as competition, but I can't see any other girl to be in competition with Kelly. She took third at the show, she learned a few lessons, and now we are going to bring her with a much softer look, much smaller, and a lot less weight training, and a lot less muscle, and go ahead and let her finish her career like that. I really wish the judges would see what I see and give her the title of Fitness Olympia, because I think she would really be a great representative for the sport.
The Fitness Olympia should be about Kelly, and one or two other girls, but it won't be. They will make it into a spectacular show. I try to judge my wife totally unbiased, and I gotta tell you, I think she dominates the sport. It's a shame that they don't recognize that, it really is.
Check Out Kelly Ryan's Corner On Bodybuilding.com! Click Here!
Ron Avidan: Do you two still like to party a lot?
Craig Titus: Well, we throw these parties, but that's business. We do like to cut it loose once in a while, but at our parties, you need to be sober and coherent, as you've got to run these things. There is a lot of money changing hands, a lot of responsibility. There's definitely no party right now. We are eight weeks away from the Night of Champions, and we are in full focus right now.
Ron Avidan: No more wild and crazy days lately?
Craig Titus: Nope, nope, definitely not right now. Every time somebody sees us with a new person, everybody wants to think that it is some kind of sexual escapade. I wish, but it is not. It used to bother us when he heard or read that, but now we laugh at it. We think it's funny.
Ron Avidan: Do you feel you have changed from 3-4 years ago?
Craig Titus: Oh yeah. I have a lot more muscle now. I am still learning how to bring my shit together. The best I have ever looked was the San Francisco Pro show in 2001. I did not get much coverage, but it was the best I looked. That is what I am going to try and bring to the Night of Champions. A full, hard, separated - key words being on full and hard.
Ron Avidan: What about your maturity level?
Craig Titus: Well, I am in my 30's now, so maturity is coming as my age is coming. We don't have to worry about that.
Ron Avidan: So what's with your temper?
Craig Titus: It takes a lot to get me mad. Many people think I am short tempered, that I fly off the handle all the time. That's not the way I am. Me and my wife try to be good to people, period. I just am not going to let people talk shit to me. The difference between me and other people is that I am not afraid of confrontation. That's all. I am not afraid of confronting someone. I have no problem with going up to someone.
Ron Avidan: What's up with your fans?
Craig Titus: I love my fans. My fans are cool. If they come up to me when I am training, I just ask them to give me a few minutes, and catch me after I finish training. Without your fans, you ain't shit.
Ron Avidan: Don't you have a daughter?
Craig Titus: Yes, she is 14 now, going to be 15 in June, living in Houston, Texas with my mom. I took her away from my ex-wife, and I have total custody of her now, but she wants to finish her high school years out in Houston. I was just back there a couple of weeks ago for a week with her, shopping, and stuff like that. Her name is Ashley Marie, and she is my pride and joy. I am going to have Ashley come out for my guest posing in Texas and then she is going to come out to the Olympia. She loves that I am a bodybuilder, she brags about it to all her friends.
Ron Avidan: What do you tell a newbie bodybuilder who wants to start competing?
Craig Titus: Find someone who knows what they are doing. Let someone who has been competing, and has done well show you what to do, pay them the money to get you ready, and learn from the best. I myself learned from Lee Labrada years ago in Houston, Texas. I aspired to Lee's posing style.
Ron Avidan: What do you tell an NPC competitor or an upcoming pro how to market themselves?
Craig Titus: Absolutely, when you are done with a show, make sure you shoot with absolutely every photographer that you can. Stay in shape, do your photo shoots with as many magazines as possible. Do not restrict yourself from any publications because the more magazines that you are in, the more demand you have, and the more fan base you have, which generates a lot of money. You don't get paid for the photo shoots, but you are shooting as much as you can for the publicity. Keep shooting, and one day, years down the road, when you are in demand, you can request money for your shoots.
Now that Weider Publications is giving out contracts, it is going to be a different ballgame because what they did was they opened the doors to the athletes who can now say I am not going to shoot until you give me a contract, or pay them per photo shoot. I for one am going to shoot with Weider Publications coming up while getting ready for the Night of Champions, and then my wife and I will be doing some thinking here, and if Weider Publications is giving out contracts, I might be inclined to ask for one.
Ron Avidan: What do you tell to an NPC competitors who is about to or just turned pro?
Craig Titus: I want to tell them that being a pro is a whole different ballgame. Go ahead, put any expectations you have of yourself in the closet, and just train as hard as you can, be the best that you can be, and get on stage, and see where your physique lands against the pros. You have got guys that just turned pro, like
Toney Freeman, who says that 'He is not impressed with any pros out there that will give him a run for his money'. I mean, come on. It's ridiculous. Any new guy coming up to the pros, I would tell him, "Don't sit there and say you are going to beat this guy or that guy". Just wait until you get on stage with these pros and see how you do, and weigh everything out. I am really welcoming Toney Freeman to the Night of Champions. I just can't wait.
Ron Avidan: What about Idrise Ward-El?
Craig Titus: Idrise is a nice humble guy. He is competing in the Night of Champions, and Idrise has a nice physique. He is a smart pro. Idrise is not saying that other pros are not good, that I am going to come in at 275, you know. If Toney Freeman is going to come to the Night of Champions at 275, I am wondering how he put 40 pounds of muscles since the Nationals. Toney's my buddy, he is a good guy, but I think he is going to get a rude awakening at the NOC.
Ron Avidan: What about Troy Alves?
Craig Titus: Troy fared well at the Ironman, but I had Quincy Taylor in the top five. Troy had a good physique, but he is very small. He strategically placed himself in a few shows that were not really heavy in names, and did very well. I just thought Quincy should of placed better at the Ironman.
Ron Avidan: What about bodybuilder's who just don't pose correctly? What up with that?
Craig Titus: I don't know, like Paul Dillett, he is absolutely horrendous. As long as they keep getting scored good, then they just don't think that they should change their posing. But I got to tell you. A lot of people made a big hoopla about Kamali's posing routine, and I saw his routine at the last Olympia, and I thought it was really corny. It was good at first, but it is getting a little stupid now. He does a lot of moving, jumping, waving his hands side to side, but not a lot of posing.
Ron Avidan: So should Round 3 be a posing routine or an entertainment round?
Craig Titus: I think the
posing routine at night is strictly for the audience. I don't think that has anything to do with your physique. I don't think that it should be scored. It should be more for the audience. I think that competitors should have to learn their mandatory poses in the comparison rounds. I, for one, have a pretty decent routine, so I am not saying it because I have a bad routine. My routine is not the best, it is not the worst. I call it power posing. But I still don't think it should be judged, because it is never judged correctly anyway.
Regarding the music, I have guys out here in Vegas, a deejay, who mixes it up for me, so I am going to do some basic stuff at the Night of Champions, kind of powerful New York style, maybe some AC/DC. I've got a good feeling about this Night of Champions, the 25th anniversary. Everybody is going to be there! And they will feel my wrath on stage.
Craig Titus: The last six weeks before the contest, I practice like an hour, maybe three or four times a week. You can tell on stage if an athlete is a free former or if he has put his heart and soul into it. The one thing Kamali did good for the sport is that he forced the competitors to practice their posing routines. At the 2001 Olympia, it seemed like everybody had posing routines, because they knew that Kamali was coming to the Olympia with a practiced routine.
Note: The 2003 Night Of Champions is May 31st. Bodybuilding.com will have the full results online as soon as they are announced! Check back soon.
Reprinted with permission from GetBig.com.