Aesthetically Pleasing: Zyzz Shreddedshian Talks With [Updated 2011]

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

Throughout high school, I was always an extreme ectomorph. I could eat anything and not put on fat, muscle, or weight, or so I thought. I was always fascinated with bodybuilding but lacked the motivation to start training hard until after I was done with my final year of school and exams were completed – it was time for a lifestyle change. I was ridiculously thin, I’m talking the skinniest guy in my grade in school; people always commented on how skinny I was and I hated it. I was always known as the skinny kid. I remember feeling like a little bitch when I was out with girls, walking next to them and feeling the same size as them. After My HSC, it was holidays, and I started going clubbing every weekend and always noticed whenever a jacked dude walked by, they had a presence a lot greater than that of a ‘normal’ person. The guys respect them, and the girls are all over them, and really, who wouldn’t want that?

At the time, my brother was training for a year and I was very impressed by his progress, and joined up at my local gym. I had absolutely no idea about anything gym-related, and it took months and months of research to know exactly what to do and how to go about my training and eating.

Where does your motivation come from?

If you asked me this question when I started training, my response would’ve been completely different. Originally, it started out innocently enough, I wanted to get bigger so I wasn’t so skinny, and have a bit of a build on me to impress girls. I’d look at pictures of shredded guys and tell myself, that’s going to be me. 4 years into my training, I can safely say that my motivation to train goes far beyond that of merely impressing people, it is derived from the feeling of having set goals and achieving them and outdoing myself in the gym.

I absolutely love it, the feeling of pushing out that last rep, and getting skin tearing pumps is something I don’t see myself without.

I wouldn’t even use the word motivation, I don’t need motivation now, as training is a necessity in my life. It’s all a part of my lifestyle, and I couldn’t imagine any other life than the gym/training/dieting lifestyle, as it is rewarding physically and mentally in ways beyond measure, you would have to experience it yourself.

My end goal is not to be some massed up freak, but rather to have a physique that can be looked as art; streamlined, tapered, and universally appealing.

What is your training philosophy?

My philosophy is – in a nutshell – don’t follow what a piece of paper says. Go with how your body feels. If you have written down that you want to do 8-10 reps, but you feel you can push out more, then you do exactly that.

If you’re counting every single rep like its nothing, you aren’t training hard enough. When I deadlift, I don’t think “hey I’ll stop at 5 reps” I think, I’ll stop when my wrists won’t let me hold the damn bar. It’s all about pushing yourself. The human body wants to stay idle and does not want to change unless you force it to. The more uncomfortable and the more pain you feel in your workouts, the greater the end result of your physique.

Pump your favorite music, visualize your goals in your head, and eliminate all negativity in your mind and get into the zone.

Honestly I count down the hours, take a pre-workout shake, and make it an epic event to go to the gym so even right before my first set I have a ‘mind-pump’ as it were. Sometimes when I go normally and go through the motions it feels like I’m not working out at all. When you train like this, the time goes like nothing, rather than the norm of people having chats, chilling out, doing a set, waiting for ages, talking, etc. Trust me, when your mind is in it, you will get more effective workouts and better results. Stop with the “I hate leg day, not looking forward to it” etc remarks. You ****ing love leg day. You can’t wait to ****ing squat

Here’s a little trick I use in my training, it may be of use to you.

Pretend there is a crowd of thousands watching you, and if you pull out as many reps or pull the weight that you hope (say 200kg deadlift 3 reps) you win a million dollars, and actually believe in your mind that it is true. Watch yourself push harder for reasons that I cannot explain. Try it in your sets tonight. When you think you can’t even push a single more rep out, picture this in your mind and you will push out 3. Or even up the stakes, pretend a gunman is pointing a gun at someone you love and you MUST complete the reps or push the weight to let them live. That’s seriously the lengths I go to in my workouts, sets, and reps, to push myself as hard as possible.

It’s as much of a mind game as a physical one. You are battling against your body with every single rep, and in the end it’s your willpower and determination that are the ultimate deciders in whether or not you will achieve your goals, or fail and give up. I take it if you have read this far, you don’t want the result to be the latter.

So that’s your training philosophy, what about your philosophy of life?

Definitely. Personally I’m a very friendly and happy person, and believe that people need to lighten up and enjoy life more. Even though I put on a lot of size and to some look intimidating, I’m one of the friendliest people you can meet.

I love playing up my perceived stereotype, and at the end of the day, never take myself seriously, which is one of the reasons I have accrued the fan base that I have.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

Sample Routine:

Monday: Chest/Biceps

  • 4 sets of Incline Dumbbell Press, 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Bench Press, 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Incline Flies, 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Chest Dips until failure
  • 3 sets of Barbell Curls, 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Preacher Curls, 8-10 reps, then drop the weight to half, and push out another 8

Tuesday: Legs/Calves

  • 4 sets of Squats 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Lunges 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Leg Press 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Leg Extensions till failure
  • 3 sets of Leg Curls 8-10 reps

Calves are self explanatory, just use some of the machines till failure, a lot of reps, feel the burn.

Wednesday: Back

  • 3 sets of Lat Pulldowns 8-10 reps
  • 4 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Bent Over Rows 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Dumbell Rows 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Hyperextensions 8-10 reps

Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps

  • 4 sets of Shoulder Press, alternate with Barbell & Dumbell every week 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Upright Rows supersetted with Lateral Raises 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of front raises 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Lying Rear Delt Raises 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Close-Grip Bench Press 8-10 reps
  • 4 sets of Pulldowns 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Skullcrushers 8-10 reps

Saturday: Full Body

  • 3 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Squats 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Clean and Jerk 8-10 reps
  • 3 sets of Weighted Pull ups 8-10 reps

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Deadlifts – This exercise will transform you body if done every week, correctly. Go hard and have fun with them. Notice how you rarely see people deadlift heavy at the gym? Do you also notice how all these people have average physiques? Put 2 and 2 together.
  2. Lateral Raises – This is an isolation exercise that I love. Pushing yourself through the pain barrier is a mental game, and the pump it gives yields a quite aesthetically pleasing touch to the physique
  3. Incline Dumbell Chest Press – I have always started my chest workouts with Incline dumbbells. This allows for a far greater stretch, burn, and overall hypertrophy of the chest then a barbell, as well as targeting the upper chest from the get-go.

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

  • No fast food.
  • No soft drinks
  • No sweets or sugar
  • Only fluid you shall drink is water, and green tea

I have never counted calories, I just make sure I get a good amount of protein in every meal, and have around seven or eight separate meals a day as this ignites the metabolism. Basically, to put on meat, you have to eat meat. Try have some sort of meat product in most of your meals. Chicken Breast, Steak, Lamb, Kangaroo and if you don’t love these already, you will have to learn to.

Sample Daily Diet:

  • Meal 1 – 6 boiled Eggs, 2 cups of Oatmeal and a Protein Shake
  • Meal 2 – 300g Chicken Breast (boiled) Broccoli and Brown Rice
  • Meal 3 – 200g Tuna chunks in spring water, mixed with Spinach Leaves, and Wholemeal Pasta

Have your workout. Immediately post workout, consume your Whey Protein

  • Meal 4 – Stir fry Beef/Kangaroo Mince with some vegetables
  • Meal 5 – Steak or Kangaroo and Brussels Sprouts
  • Meal 6 – 4 scrambled Eggs and some Salmon
  • Meal 7 – One cup of no fat Cottage Cheese 10m before bed

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

Neither. If you have your diet 100%, you don’t even have to look at the treadmill. It’s a simple case of calories in vs. calories out. If you consume more calories than you burn, you put on weight. If you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight.

What cardio does is help accelerate burning those calories, but if you are already under your caloric maintenance, there’s no real need to do any cardio, although it can bring about fat losses much faster, you may also find it to be catabolic (muscle-wasting).

What is your supplementation like?

My supplementation consists of:

  • Hydrolyzed whey protein
  • Fish oil caps (6 a day)
  • Animal pack multivitamin
  • Xtend for BCAA’s
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Green Tea
  • Mesomorph or Jack3d preworkout energy
  • Phenadrine and Inferno fat burners

Favorite Bodybuilders?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane. I love the classic bodybuilder look, with lean, tapered waists, rather than the blocky physiques of today. More examples of admirable and ideal physiques would include fitness models like Marco Pietrowski, Pham Woodbridge, and Tyler Mcpeak.

Most of these individuals have done interviews with Simplyshredded before and I highly recommend you check them out.

Favorite Quote?

“Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated.”

Personal Training: Zyzz also offers paid personalized training and diet routines that are tailored towards your specific goals. He can be contacted @ [email protected]