How did you get started with bodybuilding?
My initial experience with bodybuilding began when I was a Senior in college. I was a running back and in the final quarter of my final game, I blew out my right ACL in my right knee. The rehab that followed was the beginning into the understanding of bio mechanics of the knee and surrounding musculature. I did the rehab and really isolated the muscles of the quadriceps working to make the joint become more stable and stronger. The goal of my diet was working to try to feed the knee and leg to make the connective tissue and the muscles grow. I began to eat rice and potatoes daily, this action was influenced by a nutrition course to help me to understand and learn. Long after the rehab I continued to workout and with the discipline of football behind me, I began to exercise more on my own. Fast forward to May 2007, I went to watch a good friend of mine Jeff Klug compete at the Illinois State Bodybuilding Contest. This event is held at the Gateway Theater in Chicago, and I began to think that if I trained as hard as possible how would I go? It got the fire started and I began to train for the next contest in Illinois.
I changed my training, read as much as possible and locked in. After putting a lot of things together and understanding the concepts of training and posing for bodybuilding I competed in the Illinois Ironman 2007.
Where does your motivation come from?
We all have an inner reservoir of strength, you just have to tap into it. This can be accomplished by pushing one’s self beyond barriers and limits. My motivation is a culmination of time, pressure and mental focus.
Strength in mind transmits to strength in body.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
Monday – Chest/Back (1 exercise)
- Incline Press (1×20) (1×15) (4×12)
- Pullovers (1×15) (1×10) (2×8)
- Incline Flyes (1×15) (1×12) (2×10)
- Cable Flyes (1×15) (3×12)
- Dumbbell Press (1×15) (3×10)
Tuesday – Legs
- Sissy Squats (4×20) or Squats (1×15) (1×12) (4×10)
- Lunges and Leg Curl Super Set (2×15) each and (2×10)
- Leg Extension and Stiff Legged Deadlift – drop set at the end (3×15) each (2×10) followed by 1 drop set
- Calves (3×15)
Wednesday – Biceps and Triceps
- Tricep Pushdown (1×20) (2×1) (1×10)
- Skull Crushers (2×15) (2×10)
- Behind Neck Dumbbell Extension (1×15) (3×12)
- Tricep Pushdown “V” Handle (1×15) (2×12) (2×8)
- Barbell Bicep Curls (4×12)
- Dumbbell Preacher Curls (1×15) (1×12) (1×10) (1×6)
- Hammer Curls (3×15)
- FST – 7 Standing Bicep Curls total 7 sets
Thursday – Cardio
- Treadmill, cycling or jogging
Friday – Back/Chest (1 exercise)
- Barbell Bent Over Rows or Bent Over T-Bar Rows (1×15) (3×12)
- Seated Low Rows (1×15) (4×12)
- Dumbbell Incline Press (1×12) (3×10)
- Dumbbell Pullovers (1×12) (1×10) (2×8)
- Wide Grip Pulldown (1×15) (3×12)
Saturday – Shoulders/Traps
- Shoulder Press (1×20) (1×16) (2×10) burn out (1x fail)
- Dumbbell Shrugs (4×20)
- Lateral Deltoid (1×15) (1×12) (1×10) (1×8) (1x static hold)
- Cable Reverse Traps (1×20) (1×15) (1×12) (1×10)
- Rear Deltoid (3×12)
Sunday – Cardio
- Treadmill, cycling or jogging
This program is what I call a 3/1, 2/1. Three days of weights one day cardio, followed by two days of weights and one day cardio.
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Bent Over T-Bar Rows – This is my first choice because the body has to be stabilized with the lower legs. The action of the exercise in the pulling fashion works the entire back and a squeeze at the top can cause the upper traps to fire. I have found great success with this move as a mass builder, and for sculpting the Christmas Tree in the lower back.
- Squats – The overall leg worker. Depending on how you tend to stand in the rack, or in a Smith machine, the isolation is incredible. From quads to glutes and forceful hamstring contraction, this one gets it all. Fantastic for a complete leg exercise, and a favorite of mine.
- Incline Dumbbell Press – This exercise can really work that upper portion of the pectorals major. The angle of the bench can be changed with each set.
I prefer to start at a low incline, 25-30 degrees and with each set increase to the finishing point is up near a 45-60 degree angle.
What is your diet like?
As I work closer to a pre-contest diet or a diet that is in the initial weeks, it looks like this.
- Meal 1 – 12 Lana’s egg whites, 4 oz. cream of wheat, 3 oz. banana, and 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
- Meal 2 – 2 scoops ON 100% Whey Gold Standard, 4.5 oz. red potato
- Meal 3 – 7 ounces of broiled chicken breast, 1 cup asparagus, 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
- Meal 4 – 2 scoops ON Hydrowhey, 4 oz. sweet potato
- Meal 5 – 7 oz. broiled chicken breast, 4.5 oz. red potato
- Meal 6 – 2 scoops ON 100% Whey Gold Standard, 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil, and 1 small apple.
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
I prefer a variety of cardio, this may consist of walking on a treadmill, or cycling, walking outside or light jogging. The key is the heart rate and the length of time the cardio lasts for.
What is your supplementation like?
My daily routine has a wide variety of supplements. It is based upon ON L-Glutamine and ON BCAA’s, these are the most essential components of my daily intake. I also take ON Fish Oils and ON Salmon Oils, ON Opti-Mens, and ON Glucosamine Super Strength.
I will begin to take higher amounts of ON CLA as I get closer to contest and ON Thermocuts to help to boost my metabolism.
I have always been a fan of Tom Platz, the leg development was absolutely incredible. His work ethic was like an unstoppable freight train. Branch Warren has been a favorite of mine and he continues to improve with size and definition. My coach Michael Liberatore, who will be entering his second year on the IFBB Pro Tour. He has incredible genetics and is constantly finding ways to push himself.
This quote has both meaning and perspective, and keeps me going!
“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”- Bertie C. Forbes