Fitness Model/Bodybuilder Joseph Sergo Talks With

How did you get started?

I started in Bodybuilding when I first went away to college, not as a competitor, but instead as an avid lifter.  I was very small, probably about 140 lbs as a frosh in college but playing football.  My first semester away was very hard on me mentally and emotionally having never been away from home.  I was not rich like most kids at this school and I didnt have much more than my grades and football there.  I didn’t make alot of friends but instead was always being bullied a little by upper classmen and I was furious inside.   I didn’t wanna go home because I didn’t wanna seem like a failure to my mom.  So second semester I started living in the weight room and cafeteria.  I fell in love.  I started to get compliments on my physique and my strength.  I loved it.  But more than anything it helped me deal with the stress and anger inside I had for the people around me lacking compassion or respect.  Any problem I had I could always take it out on the steel of the weight room.  No matter how upset, depressed, sad, or just plain stressed out I was, I always left the weight room feeling free.  I left it all in there.  Pushing my body to its limits was a way for me to balance myself physically, emotionally, and mentally.  It was a match I will never lose…

Where does your motivation come from?

As mentioned above my motivation comes from those around me who are naysayers, who want to bring you down.  And those are dime a dozen anywhere you look.  Ultimately this sport is a blessing.  Not everyone can do fitness or bodybuilding and I don’t mean because they just don’t have the will power I mean because they actually can’t.  When I wanna give up or quit I always try and think of how many people out there can’t walk, can’t breathe on their own, have no food, have no access to any physical activity.  I think how theyd give anything just to be able to stand and walk let alone workout.  If i don’t go hard, if i quit, If I don’t push myself as hard as my body lets me, I am disrepecting those people.  I don’t wanna be someone who takes things for granted.

What is your training like?

My training philosophy has changed over the years.  Currently I have been focusing more on not overtraining.  Everyone always wants to be in the gym for hours and completely exhaust themselves as I once did.  However, that is not the best way to grow. Hard, intense, focused training in an hour or so followed by the right nutrition and rest is the best way to grow and advance.

What are the 3 best exercises and why?

3 exercises… hmmm.

1.) Flat Bench Cable Flies (chest)

I love how this hits my chest and allows me to really squeeze my chest and get a good stretch in as well.

2.) Front Squats Barbell

I really love how this exercise works my teardrop and overall quad.  I can sit deep on it and because of the placement of the barbell it allows my back to stay safe and aligned.

3.) Pull Ups

I love pull ups.  They are old school and always test your body.  I do them very slowly and let the lat stretch before exploding back up and sometimes add weight depending on the workout.

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

When cutting down, I dont actually do much cardio.  I never get very heavy in the offseason.  I hit 230-235 but i still have a six pack.  I am a hard gainer and lose weight and fat quickly.  So just changing my diet up and eating a little cleaner will help me start to really cut up.  I will do some post workout cardio, very low intensity cardio on the treadmill.  I will do incline walking and focus on squeezing the glutes to bring out striations.  HIIT is very good I admit but everyones body is different and responds differently to different training.  I advise it to some clients but for me its not as needed at this point in my career.

What is your philosophy on nutrition?

My philosophy on nutrition is pretty basic.  I never drop my carbs or do a keto even just before a show.  I agree some people respond better to this kind of diet but not me.  I stay away from sugars year round and  keep my carbs low glycemic throughout the day except for post workout when I  need a quick digesting carb to help recovery, growth, and a spike in my bodies’ natural insulin.  I also always keep healthy fats in my diet (Peanut butter, almond butter, nuts, etc…)

What are your favorite meals and foods?

My favorite meal is my morning meal!  I make a protein pancake covered in low fat natural peanut butter and sugar free maple syrup.  MMMMMMM so good!  I also love sweet potatoes, the most nutritious vegetable you can eat!

Favorite cheat food?

Favorite cheat food is definitely coldstone cake batter ice cream and also reeses peanut butter cups!   And Cocoa Pebbles!  I can eat all of those all day!

What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?

I use basic supplements.  I take a muilti-minera, coral calcium, fish oils, and preworkout I take arginine and caffeine.  I feel this is a safe healthy combination allowing me to get the rest of my needed nutrition from the best source: FOOD!!!!

Favourite Bodybuilders?

I am a fan of old school bodybuilders, the guys who were not so freakishly big, but more attractive and Greek God like, the true essence of this sport.  I respect and appreciate the athletes of today and know they work harder than anyone, I just like the older guys better.  Arnold of course, Sergio, and one of my all time favorites was Steeve Reeves.  Steve Reeves is the kind of guy where if he walked into a room everyone stared in awe, both men and women.  I strive to be a well balanced fitness model, and bodybuilder.  I dont want to pick a side I want to be able to do it all like he did.

Favorite quotes?

“Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog”

“Never, Ever, ever Give up”