What got you started in bodybuilding?
Well, when I first started becoming active as far as wanting to turn my life around and start getting into better shape was when I was 15 years old. If I can remember correctly, I was around 165 and fluffy as hell. That may not sound like a lot for a person who stands 5’9″ tall, but believe me I was. I had always been a short and skinny kid, so all of that fast-food and other garbage that I used to eat really softened me up big time!!!
I remember it like it was yesterday…
One day I just decided out of nowhere to turn my life around and start eating better and getting rid of the grossness that was sticking to my body. I began with doing 500 push-ups and sit-ups every night in my bedroom, and it didn’t take long to start seeing results. Time went on and I began running as well. Then one day (my junior year of high-school) I had a buddy who wanted me to workout with him after school. That right there was the moment that I picked up the barbells and dumbbells, and never put them down again. So I was doing the typical chest/arms, running kind of workouts like most do when they first start. Then I started to get into buying a magazine or two here and there, mainly MD. I remember telling myself that “I’m gonna look like these guys some day, and do it without ever taking steroids.” This train of thought still remains in my brain, and will forever be in there as long as I keep on with being a bodybuilder.
I painted a picture in my mind of what I want to look like, and that picture is still there 10 years later (now).
What is your training philosophy?
If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. It takes a very tunnel-vision/one-track mind approach to really put forth your absolute 100% best effort in any major goal that you have set in life Whether it’s bodybuilding, being a great parent to your children, being a remarkable athlete in baseball, basketball, etc. The only way that you’re ever going to reach a specific goal is to give it your undivided attention and not stray from it at all. The question that I ask myself every time that I step into the gym or I go to do a working set of an exercise is: “How bad do you want it?” With bodybuilding I keep things simple, short, and intense as all hell!!!
Max-OT Training Pinwheel Curls 125×6 Reps 2nd Set
If you had to pick 3 exercises, what would they be?
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Presses
Nothing makes you feel more powerful than deadlifting some serious weight from the floor! It’s pure satisfaction. The adrenaline rush, hearing your heart pounding right before you begin the set, and the thunderous sound of 45′s clanging together/hitting the floor as you pound out the set. Just awesome!
Squatting is another one of those exercises that makes me feel this way. Taking the weight off of the rack, watching that bar bend across your back, and burying that weight rep after rep is an incredible feeling.
Shoulder pressing with heavy dumbbells puts me in a state of aggression that I can’t even explain, but would not trade for anything! I lose sleep over it just because I cannot wait to get to train shoulders and grab a big set of Ivanko’s and pound out those reps.
495×3 Squats Heavy!
When you cut down, do you prefer HIIT or just normal cardio?
Wow, this is a tough question for me because I don’t know much about cardio at all!!! I used to do cardio such as running, jogging, and what not back during my high school days when I was disgusted with the way that I looked. I did cardio off and on a little bit last year and maybe some the year before, but it was very irregular. I’ve never actually did it on a regular basis and stuck with it. It comes and goes…like right now I’m doing a few sessions a week on the treadmill…I just do 15 minutes or so and switch between walking at the steepest incline at 3.0+ mph and then backing off slightly on the incline and jogging 5.0+ mph. I have no idea what’s the “optimal” approach to cardio though. I guess I never really followed through with cardio because I always stay lean year round. My metabolism is crazy! When I finally get to the point in my life when I’m ready to step on stage, then yeah I’ll be doing it consistently.
What is your philosophy on nutrition?
Keep it simple. I eat chicken breast, round steak, egg whites, 96/4 lean beef, protein powder, brown rice, potatoes, oatmeal, broccoli, almonds, and I use olive oil. That’s it. I try to hit my mark with the amount of calories that I need to gain muscle mass using those foods.
Have you ever suffered an injury?
Many!!! That’s just part of the game. You try to be as cautious as you can while still pushing the envelope to keep gaining size but really when you think about it, you can get injured doing just about anything.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
Steak and rice, I could eat that for the rest of my life day in and day out. Like I said above, I really don’t like to eat…but that combination is a number one for me.
Favorite “cheat” meal?
PIZZA, and lots of it!!! To be honest, I eat a large pizza in one sitting once or even twice a week. I never gain any new bodyfat from it either, but that could be because of my age, metabolism, body composition, etc. I’ve been trying very hard lately to stay away from pizza, and so far I’ve been doing alright. That is my only junk food that I ever eat.
What supplements do you use?
Again, I keep that very simple too.
- Fish Oil
- BCAA’s (when I can afford them)
- Waxy Maize
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Protein Powder
That’s it. Nothing fancy. I don’t even use pre-workout supplements.
Goals for 2010?
Well my number one goal is to ultimately land a full-time job with benefits again. It’s been a very tough past few years for me, and I’m sure that everyone who lives in Michigan can understand just how tough it is here. I’m anxiously waiting to land a job getting into the union as a drywall taper. I love mudding drywall! It was another one of those things (like bodybuilding) that just stuck with me like glue and I got good at. If you enjoy it, why not make it your career? Other goals would be to deadlift 635 for 4-6 reps, get up to a lean 230 lbs. possibly this year, and accomplish other personal goals that I have in the works…
Deadlifts 600×5 Max-OT Training
What routines have you used, and which ones gave the best results?
I used to do the old-school typical high-volume/higher rep type of stuff back when I was younger(17-23). I’ve also tried DC Training as well. But by far, the number one routine that changed my entire approach to bodybuilding forever is Max-OT!!! My gains didn’t really take off until I started training that way. My best gains were from this program, no joke! I was stuck at 190 lbs. for a good 2+ years at one point. Then I ordered Skip Lacour’s Packing On Muscle Max-OT Style DVD in the summer of 2006, and that changed everything!!! That DVD was a real eye-opener to me. It made me realize just what I was capable of (that I wasn’t even applying to my training). I didn’t really follow the program to the “T” like you’re supposed to, until January 2007. When that 10 weeks program was over, I could not believe what I had done to my physique! I gained 17 lbs and got ridiculously strong!!! At that point, I really took notice and realized just what kind of genetics I had. All of the frustration was finally over. I can’t thank Skip enough for what he has done for me!!!
Since then, I still have been making steady progress in both mass and strength with Max-OT. Last year in June marked the time period where I had gotten up to 227 lbs…so in 2 and a half years I gained 37 lbs. Max-OT is the real deal!!!
Max-OT Training Hybrid Dumbbell Flyes 110
Skip Lacour, my training partners (past and present, couldn’t have made it this far without you guys), Tommy Jeffers, Jeff Willet, Layne Norton, Jeff Rodriguez, Tim Martin