MuscleTech Athlete & Fitness Model Marc Megna Talks With

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

As a child, I wasn’t very athletic, let’s face it I was never picked to play on any teams. I was lazy, very out of shape and had the self-esteem of a wallflower. One summer my grandfather took me to the local boys and girls club to teach me how to weight train. It was strange but I felt better after each training session and I was hooked on the feeling. The next summer I begged my mother for 1 thing as my birthday gift, a 1 year membership at the local gym. Until this day I will tell you that decision changed my whole life (way to go mom!). Fitness and health became a priority, it was my ultimate escape. My freshman year in high school something happened and my body caught up to my work ethic and the rest is history. With my new found confidence and athletic ability, I wanted to play every sport I could including Football, Ice-hockey and Baseball etc. I loved to move and be active. Eventually I focused on just one, Football. I was offered a full scholarship to play ball at a great school and became a two-time All-American athlete. I ended up getting drafted by the New York Jets and played in the league for a few years. I was coached by NFL greats like Bill Parcels, Bill Belichick, Pete Carroll and Dick Lebeau. Toward the end of my pro career I was training with a group of teammates based on programs I had designed. One of my teammates turned to me and said you should be getting paid to do this. It was like the light bulb turned on. I can continue to do something I love and get paid to do it! SWEET!

I went on to get certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and have evolved into the foremost strength and conditioning coach based in Miami. I have been fortunate to have trained and studied under some of the top strength coaches in the world like Mike Woicik, John Lott, and Pete Bommarito.

Where does your motivation come from?

When I was young a lot of people didn’t take me very serious because I lacked motivation, athletic skill, and confidence. Lots of kids picked on me and gave me a really tough time. I hated being treated like an outsider. My mother told me that someday I would be a great athlete and play pro sports so I had to get involved. Turns out moms know best. I started participating in youth sports and enjoyed them very much. I wasn’t the best by any means to the contrary I was probably the worst. However I always put forth my very best effort and wanted to be better. As it turns out I enjoyed practicing and this benefited me greatly. When the other kids would leave practice I would stay extra time and keep working on my skills. Sometimes I ended up staying 1 or 2 hours. There were times my mother would have to come find me at the practice fields. This helped me improve at a rapid pace. My skills began to catch up to my work ethic and then I started to have a great time playing all the sports I participated in. I enjoyed Baseball and also liked the fast pace and checking in Hockey. But when it came to Football I thought it was the greatest thing going.

I finally had an outlet for all my frustrations and extra energy. I loved the fact that I could find the guy with the ball and hit him as hard as I could. The feeling was simply amazing!

What workout routine has worked best for you?

It depends what my goals are. For photo shoot based work I like to hit 1 body part per day doing up to 15-20 sets for each body part, sometimes more. I do lots of reps with the heaviest weight I can find but always making sure I maintain proper form. I’ll mix steady state with High Intensity Intervals for morning cardio sessions. When not prepping for a shoot I do more sprints, swimming, and basketball.

Sample Routine:

Day 1: Chest/Back/Abs

  • Flat Bench 2×12, 2×10, and 2×8
  • DB Floor Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Standing Cable Flyes 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Elevated TRX Pushup Feet on Swiss ball
  • Towel Pull-ups 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Lat Pulldowns 4 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Hammer Row 4 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Reverse Hypers 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raises 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Hanging Windshield Wipers 3 sets x 20 reps

Day 2: Legs/Shoulders

  • Front Squats 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Overhead Snatch Grip Lunges 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Reverse or Forward Lunges 4×10
  • Single Leg Deadlift 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Glute and Hamstring Raise 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Military Press 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Plate Front Raise 3 sets x 20 reps
  • Lateral Raises 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Upright Rows 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Rear Delt Flyes 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs 4 sets x 15 reps

Day 3: Biceps/Triceps

  • Straight Bar Curls 4 sets x 12 reps (rest pause, 10 to 15 more)
  • Close Grip Curl Bar 4×10-12
  • Dumbell Hammer Curls3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Towel Kettle Bell Curls 3 sets x 8-12 reps
  • Weighted dips (I try to go as heavy as possible) 4×10-12 reps
  • Close-grip Bench Press 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Dumbell Tricep Extensions 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Bodyweight Tricep Press
  • Band Tricep Pushdowns 100 reps in 3 sets or less

Day 4: Sprint Work/Conditioning

  • Sprint warm up
  • Sprint mechanics (I learned this stuff at the performance center where I work. Great stuff)
  • Build ups (Using each phase of sprint mechanics to increase speeds)
  • Gears (Alternating speeds at 15 yard increments)

Day 5: TRX Suspension Training Circuit & Abs

Perform as many sets of 10 reps you can in 10 minutes.

  • TRX Single Leg Squat (perform on each leg)
  • TRX Inverted Row
  • TRX Chest Press

TRX Circuit 2: Perform as many sets of 10 reps you can in 10 minutes.

  • TRX Suspended Lunge (perform on each leg)
  • TRX Atomic Push-Up
  • TRX Power Pull

Perform as many sets of 10 reps you can in 10 minutes.

  • TRX Rear delt T
  • TRX Rear Y, Face Pull, W
  • TRX Body Weight Tricep Press
  • TRX Bicep Curl

Perform 4 rounds or 15 reps each.

  • TRX Ab Pike
  • TRX Alternating Knee Tuck
  • TRX Overhead Hip Tilt
  • TRX Side Plank Lift (R and L)
  • TRX Ab Pike Alternating Knee Swing
  • TRX Side Plank Lifts Right and Left
  • TRX Overhead Hip Tilt Right and Left
  • Reverse Decline Sit-ups 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Straight Bar Roll-outs 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Weighted Sit-ups

Day 6: Rest

Hard to do but I do place a great deal of significance in proper recovery. After all you don’t get your best results in the gym you get them with proper recovery.

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

Wow it’s tough to only pick 3 exercises but here goes:

  1. Squats – Because it is such a full body activity and there are so many variations. You can do front, back, single leg etc. and it’s the ultimate training activity.
  2. Pull ups – You can perform them either with your body weight or weighted and are also a powerful exercise in sculpting the back.
  3. Push-ups – They are fantastic because they are so easy to modify. Weighted or body weight, narrow or wide hand placement, feet elevated, with TRX or hands on Kettlebell, the possibilities are endless. I like exercises that give us the ability to be creative and diverse.

What is your diet like?

My diet is pretty intense and it’s come a long way. I have some great people in my corner. Adele Fridman gives me a very detailed and structured plan tailored to my needs and goals. She has helped step my game up and provided me with so much knowledge in regards to achieving optimal body composition. Will Latif at measures, preps, and delivers my food daily. Our fitness community understands how much time this saves me, it is a fantastic service.

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: 7oz turkey breast, 1 cup collards steamed, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 cup oatmeal cooked, 1/2 tsp fish oil mixed with water and grated ginger
  • Meal 2: 8oz AAA beef, lemon, ground or chilli pepper, 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 cups steamed rapini and 1/2 tbsp. olive oil, and peppermint tea, 1/2 tsp
  • Meal 3: 7oz chicken breast, 1 sweet potato cinnamon, 1 cup cucumbers mixed with vinegar, 1 B complex 75 and 1 serving ALA
  • Meal 4: 7oz halibut, 1 cup cucumbers mixed with vinegar, peppermint tea and 1/2 tsp fish oil mixed w/water
  • Meal 5: 8oz salmon, lemon dill, 1 cup steamed collards w/vinegar
  • Meal 6: 8-10 egg whites, basil 1 cup steamed celery mixed with vinegar, chamomile and lavender tea, 1 serving GABA, BCAA, Creatine, Vit C or antioxidant blend, 1 serving omega 3 and 1 serving probiotic

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

I usually get 2 HIIT sessions per week. My HIIT sessions are pretty brutal but they only last 20 minutes after a solid dynamic warm-up. I am usually ready to fall out, 1 HIIT with the Versa-Climber (this thing is a beast when done properly) and 1 Kettlebell Circuit.

The other 4 days are steady state on the treadmill or stair stepper maintaining a low heart rate.

What is your supplementation like?

Pre workout I use NaNovapor (fruit punch) and Post workout I use Post-NitroTech (fruit punch) with coconut water and freshly squeezed grapefruit. I also use Muscletech Proto-type Branch Chained Amino Acids.

Favorite Bodybuilders?

ARNOLD!!! He is just the ultimate worker and icon. I have been watching his movies since I was a kid and have always tried to work like he did. We are also born on the same day, must be a sign :D

Favorite Quote?

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it”