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Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Garrett Graham

Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Garrett Graham! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

Ever since the first time I picked up a dumbbell, I've been hooked. Like many bodybuilders, I developed an interest in bodybuilding through weight training for football. I started getting serious about training during the summer before my senior football season. Seeing the way I look now compared to how I looked before I started training hard makes me realize that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

I had never really even considered bodybuilding until after high school football was over. At this point, I had the opportunity to walk on to the football team at a smaller school, but I had always had plans of going to the University of Arkansas. I gave myself the choice to go to a smaller school and play football or go to the school I had always dreamed of and give bodybuilding a shot. I decided that I was ready to take on a new challenge. I used to always look at the bodybuilders in the magazines when I was younger with awe; never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would become one.

A few guys at my gym had told me I should compete in the Arkansas State Bodybuilding Championship. The first thing that came to mind was after football practice when I would sometimes go to Smoothie King, I would see the 2006 Mr. Arkansas champion Brent Scroggin's picture at the counter. Every time I saw this picture, I would catch myself thinking "man what I wouldn't give to look like that." I decided kind of last minute in May that I was going to do the show. I searched for weeks for someone to help train me.

I was extremely relieved when my trainer, Chet Gordon, decided to take me on. If I had not found such a great trainer, I know for a fact that I would not be where I am in the sport of bodybuilding. I am truly blessed to have had him work with me. He walked me through basically everything I needed to know to be a successful bodybuilder. One of the most valuable things that I was able to bring away from working with Chet was his style of training. It brought "go hard or go home" to a whole new level. He worked with me for the first few weeks to instill this madman style of training in me. He would never let me quit. Eventually, I was able to push myself just as hard when training solo.

My mom helped me prepare my food throughout the entire contest prep, as well as doing countless other things to help support me in my preparation. Thanks to the help and support of not only these two people, but many others, I was able to walk off the stage at the 2008 Arkansas State Bodybuilding Show with the title of Mr. Teen Arkansas. This was only my first show, but I am really looking forward to doing more in the future.

Garrett Graham.
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Garrett Graham.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

After doing countless hours of research and trying several different workout routines, I have realized that one workout regimen that works great for someone might not be the best fit method for another person. As far as offseason training goes, this is what I have found out works best for me:

Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Monday: Chest/Calves/Triceps

Tuesday: Back/Traps/Biceps

Thursday: Legs

Friday: Shoulders/Arms

The first 2-4 sets are warm-up sets, and then I do 1-2 heavy, actual sets per exercise


After each workout.

30 minutes light cardio after every workout

I change it up usually every 5-7 weeks, for example switch from barbells to dumbbells on presses, but this is currently what my workout routine looks like. It's all about changing it up right when the muscle starts to get used to an exercise, also known as muscle confusion. I try keeping the rest between one minute and a minute and a half. When I start prepping for a show, I make a few changes to my routine. I will gradually up the cardio to two segments of 30 minutes every day.

Instead of doing three sets of 25 for three ab exercises, I will do three to four sets of 25 for 6 ab exercises, supersetting two exercises at a time, and involve more oblique exercises. I shorten the rest period between sets to a maximum of 30 seconds. Lastly, I remove some exercises and replace them with machine exercises; for example replace Dumbbell Flyes with Cable Crossovers.

Garrett Graham.
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Garrett Graham.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

My ideal offseason diet looks like this:

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:

Meal 7:

When I transition to a contest prep diet, I cut out fats, drop carbs, and up protein when necessary.

Garrett Graham.
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Garrett Graham.

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

After I decided that I wasn't going to pursue football after high school, I knew that I still wanted to weight train, but I needed a goal to strive for to keep me on top of my diet and training. Bodybuilding was the answer for me. I am able to set goals for myself, and that makes me work harder. When I know I have a competition coming up, I realize that I must train harder and diet better than any other opponent might be. When I would start to give out at the end of a strenuous workout, my trainer would encourage me by making me think about how my opponent would not be giving up like I wanted to. This made me push myself harder.

One quote that I feel perfectly describes my training is: "When I want to quit, I think about my next opponent training harder. When I think about him quitting, I train harder." Bodybuilding is not simply staying in the gym for countless hours every day as most people think; it is about hitting the gym hard when you are there, and staying on top of everything else such as diet when you aren't there. For me, bodybuilding is not just something that I do for a couple of hours a day; it is a lifestyle.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

Push myself as hard as possible, and create "a bigger me." I want to make a name for myself in the bodybuilding world. I would like to possibly acquire a sponsor somewhere along the way. My short term goal is to compete in and win the Teen Nationals - Update: I will be competing in the 2009 Teen Nationals on July 17, and if anyone would like to sponsor me for this show feel free to shoot me an email.

Garrett Graham.
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Garrett Graham.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

If you are serious about bodybuilding, it is not simply a sport; it is a lifestyle. Many young bodybuilders fall victim to the lie that supplements will make you look like a pro. While supplements do help, the only way that you are going to see good results is if you do work. This website is great for helping people gain the knowledge needed to see the results they want to see.

Do your homework, train like an animal and create a nutrition plan to help you accomplish your desired goals. Do not fall victim to the myth that you have to do an insane number of sets and stay in the gym for hours. I try to limit my training sessions to an hour and 15 minutes max. Find out what works for YOU. Decide what your goal is and write it down. Put it in a place that you will see it every day to remind yourself of what you are trying to accomplish. And never give up.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay Cutler, Dexter Jackson, and Trey Brewer.