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Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Ben Nussbaum

Teen Bodybuilder of the Week: Ben Nussbaum! - Pics and info and more!

How Did You Get Started?

First off, I'd like to thank everyone at for selecting me.

My freshman year of high school at Skyview High school, I signed up for a weight training class with Coach Zobeck. Every year there is a Mr./Ms. Skyview Competition. The winners had their pictures blown up and hung in the weight room where everyone could see them. These were usually the people that held the school records as well.

Between the contest and admiring Arnold's size, I decided I was going to dedicate the rest of my high school career to breaking as many records as I could, and finish in the top 3 of the contest. I didn't actually compete in the contest until my Junior year. I placed second in both my Junior and Senior years. My workout partner and good friend, Paul, took first place those two years.

None of this would have been humanly possible, if it hadn't been for my Coach Zobeck. Throughout the years, he instilled in me the scientific know-how, the knowledge of the body as a savage animal, and the fire to burn up any doubt in myself. Not a day went by when he wouldn't give us the faith, the support, and a reason to be the best.

Paul, Coach, and I were the first ones into the weight room and the last ones to leave. By the time I graduated I had a couple of records. A 515 single rep squat max, a 550 conversion, a Clean conversion of 342, and both Paul and I tied the clean record at a 290 single. Ever since, I've loved the sport of bodybuilding. Thanks Paul. And a special thanks to you Coach, and everything you did for me. Not a day goes by when I don't hear the clanging of the weights and the smell of the iron and sweat.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

For the bench and incline press, we used a very specific program. We would bench and incline on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Our programs had seven workouts for our specific strength. The first workout was 5 sets of 10. The first set always being one half of our single rep max. Then progressively heavier. The second workout is 1 set of 10 and 5 sets of 8. Then a set of 10, 8, and 4 sets of 6. Then a set of 10, 8, 6, and 3 sets of 4. Next, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2 sets of 2. Then a set of 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, and a practice single rep max. The last program at 3 and a half weeks, was a set of 10, 5, 3, and 3 sets of 1, the last being a new max.

We did Squat on Mondays, and Clean and Deadlift on Wednesdays. We would calculate a new workout every week based on last week's max. We used conversion charts which, for those of you who don't know how they work, take the weight on the bar multiplied by 3%. Like, 200 on the bar times 3% = 6 pounds. So 200 x 9 reps (9 reps times 6 pounds/rep) would be 200+54, 254pounds. Every rep you add 3%. We would see what our last max would be on an 8 rep conversion. A 200 max would be roughly 165 x 8 reps (actually 205, but close enough). This is the last set. The first set is half of the last weight used. The first set would be 80 x 8 reps. Then take one third of the first set and add it to itself.80 + 25 pounds = 105. Add the same amount to the second and third sets as well. You end up with:
First Set-80 x 8 reps
Sec. Set-105 x 8 reps
Third Set-130 x 8 reps
Max Set-165 x at least 8 reps.
If you are able to get more than 8 reps (a new max), you can move up to the next weight.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

The very first time I tried Creatine Monohydrate, my sophomore year, I took the clean conversion record at 312. Ever since, I have sworn by it. I like Met-Rx Micronized Creatine because it works fast, but the EAS Phosphagen HP with dextrose works well also. I just make sure to drink a lot of water, because too much creatine and protein is hard on the kidneys. I finally found a protein shake that tastes halfway decent. Meso-Tech by Muscletech has 52 grams of whey protein per serving! I'm hooked!

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

I love the sport of bodybuilding because muscle is something that can't be bought no matter how much money you have. The rich kids can buy anything they want, but when it comes to building a great body, there is no substitute for hard work. There is no way around it. When I see someone with a nice car, it's "He's rich" , when I see bulging biceps, it's "He put in some hard work" Coach Z. told me once that "What you put in is what you get out." On Thanksgiving Day, I would just like to say, "I'm thankful for the dedication of my Coach!"

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I entered some numbers in an Excel spreadsheet, that I would like to be lifting by the time I am 28 years old. Bench, Squat, Curl, Bicep size, body weight, etc. If I only go up 50 pounds a year on bench, I would be at like 700 pounds. My plan is to train for a couple more years, and then start competing in some real contests. Basically, give it all I've got from here on out.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Visualize. When you start getting tired, see yourself electrified or on fire, get mad, channel that lightning into the weights!

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay Cutler, and Gunter Schlierkamp.

And if I ever get a chance to work out with you guys, I know my bench would gain at least 50 pounds instantly!

Thanks, Ben Nussbaum