How and why did you get into Bodybuilding?
I was always involved in sports from a young age. I started swimming and playing water polo(very physical sport) when I was 8 and it has been a long ride since then. I have always dreamed of achieving USA Swimming Division 1 Collegiate level and was able to do so. I competed both for USC South Carolina and St. Francis College in NY, and still hold an NEC NCAA Division 1 school Record that is now 12 years old. We used to train with weights in order to increase strength for these sports and this is when I fell in love with lifting weights.
Once I figured out Fitness was my true passion, I became a Personal Trainer shortly after college and started my one on one personal training business with my wife Ashley. After building the foundations of our business, I started getting into the competition aspect of the sport and chose to compete in a new Division called Men’s Physique and won the over all in March 2011, Natural Eastern USA’s and looking to enter a WBFF show within a year.
What is your diet and workout routine like?
I do follow a bulking and cutting routine however my bulking cycles are a lot shorter than they used to be. I find the shorter (maximum of 15 week) bulking cycles to be a lot easier on my body. I also can cut back so much quicker and maintain my strength. There has been times that I have done bulking cycles as little as 8-10 weeks and still got great results from them.
My calories goes up as high as 5500 calories during bulking which consists of a lot of peanut butter and white meat! During cutting I just reduce my peanut butter intake and up my cardio which does the job as far as cutting, and there are other details that I found my body responds well to and I am known to figure this out for my clients and help many athletes break their plateaus.
What advice would you give to people looking to achieve your Aesthetic Physique?
I would strongly recommend anyone who is trying to achieve their ideal physiques to figure out what works the best for them by leaving no stones unturned. Keep in mind, what works for one person might not work for another. But no matter what body type you are, you should eat well, train hard and get proper sleep along with the correct supplementation to achieve your best physique.
As a Natural Bodybuilder, what are your opinions on image / performance enhancing drugs?
I personally have been a big believer of natural bodybuilding. I think people have A LOT MORE genetic potential then they give themselves credit for. You would be surprised what you can achieve when you give it all you got in nutrition, training and supplementation aspect of this sport. I hear many people put numbers and limitations of what a natural athlete can do within a given year, and my response to this is “You are only as limited as your thoughts and efforts”.
What are your thoughts on young teenagers who abuses anabolic steroids?
Teenagers are the worst candidate for anabolic steroids, when you are a teenager you have more than enough supply of growth hormone as well as testosterone. With the right diet and exercise regimen you are a NATURAL ANABOLIC MACHINE as it is, so it is useless to abuse your body with something synthetic that you did not need to take to begin with.
Do you enjoy being in the fitness industry?
I have competed many times in both Collegiate sports and bodybuilding events and have done well, and these memories were really exciting. But I must admit, some of the adventures, boot camps and expos that I have done with my Sponsor Grenade Thermo Detonator has been at the top of my charts when it comes to the highlights in my career. I was very honored to be the Cover model for Muscle and Body Magazine January 2012 (My first Cover) and following that with the cover of Muscle&Fitness Magazine Turkey edition February 2012.
Have you ever experienced any muscle / bone injuries in your Bodybuilding journey?
I have been fortunate enough not to have any major injuries so far. I have had some minor tendinitis on my elbow and some small shoulder problems that didn’t really slow me down.
What kind of music do you listen to in the gym?
I listen to a lot of the music from bodybuilding videos on youtube!!
What is your pre-contest diet like?
My Pre-contest diet consists of white meats, egg whites, some peanut butter, salads and protein shakes.. I like sweet potatoes or brown rice for my carbs, and love rice cakes.. And I gradually drop my calories to 2400-2700 calories for my pre-contest diet within a 12 week period..
How important is supplementation to you?
Supplementation and supplementation timing is extremely important. Once in a while there is always a company that resets the bar really high in different industries. And I have been fortunate enough to be a sponsored athlete by the Top Thriving Supplement Company in the industry right now that is changing the game..
What are your long term goals?
I am planning on being published on a regular basis and also have my eye on competing in WBFF division.. Many people suggested that I do WBFF so I am going to give it a shot.. I would also want to be a role model and inspiration to many and encourage them to achieve goals NATURALLY because “IT IS POSSIBLE”.
I am actually living my goals and dreams right now, which is to be the “JACK of ALL TRADES”. I compete, I write for top fitness publications/sites and I train competitors!
For more on NPC Natural Eastern USA Men’s Physique Champion, Melih F. Cologlu, Check Out These Links!