Why did you started Bodybuilding and what does it mean to you?
I used to get teased a lot when I was younger for being so small and skinny. It affected me quite a bit. I was very active as a child into my teens whether it be soccer, baseball, or skateboarding. With an extremely high metabolism, being so active wasn’t helping me add any weight. As a freshman at the age of 16, I weighed about 115 pounds, I was a runt. My father took notice of how the teasing was effecting me and came home one day with a bench and some weights, he helped me set it up right in the middle of my bedroom. I picked up some muscle magazines from the local grocery store, began to read them and soon my walls were plastered with pictures that I looked at for motivation. I began to lift everyday.. morning, night, whenever I was in my room. I wanted to put on muscle and shut everyone up who had been teasing me for years. I began to read more and more and soon what had began as a hobby became a passion and a lifestyle.
How does it feel being the #3 Most Inspirational Bodybuilder on Bodybuilding.com?
It’s an amazing feeling, an honor. I joined bodybuilding.com in 2006, this is where it all started for me, the photo shoot opportunities, interviews and sponsorships.. I owe so much to Bodybuilding.com, however I owe more to my family, friends and fans who have stuck by my side all these years and supported me, there is no doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am at today without all of you. Some of it still feels like a dream because that’s what it was when I was in my room looking up at the pictures on my wall, I wanted to be in a magazine, I wanted to be sponsored. When you put 110% into anything you are trying to achieve you will achieve it.
As a 100% Drug Free Bodybuilder, what are your opinions on Image / Performance enhancing drugs?
First off I’d like to say that I am proud to be drug free. I made a promise to myself that I would never go the route of image/performance enhancing drugs. Drug use is most definitely a touchy subject in the industry but well known that they exist and are being taken by many. It’s a choice that many will need to decide upon in this industry. Will I reach my personal goals faster with them, maybe.. Will I come across bigger and better opportunities, maybe.. However, I only have 1 body and I choose not to use.
What are your opinions on IFBB Pro Bodybuilders who uses high doses of Anabolic Steroids? Aren’t they risking their health?
As a kid, I looked up to every single bodybuilder, I had no idea what steroids were.. I simply thought that if you trained hard every day and ate right you would look like the guy on the cover, muscle, veins and more muscle. I soon learned about steroids. I wondered what I’d look like if I were to take them and how much bigger I could get, fast! However I decided at a young age that I would never touch any of that stuff, no matter what. I do still look up to those same bodybuilders, I just have a better understanding of drugs and the industry. Arnold made a decision, Dorian made a decision, Ronnie made a decision.. without that decision would they have achieved what they did? Maybe, maybe not.
I’ve personally chosen not to simply because I don’t want to put my health at risk or break the promise I have made to myself and those I love.
What advice would you give to beginners who’re looking to achieve your Aesthetic Physique?
Get to understand your body, you are your own body’s architect. We are all made up differently therefore will respond differently to certain training methods and food. What might work for someone might not work for you so get to know your body. Read, books and magazines were a huge source of information when it came to bodybuilding and health. Listen to those with experience, a lot of what I know today is thanks to the older guys in the gym who have been there done that, learn from their experiences and mistakes.. soak up all the information you can like a sponge. Also, diet is everything, I’d like to think that 80% of it all has to do with what foods you put into your body. Always eat clean and monitor your body over time to see what it is you might need more or less of and last but not least, always keep your form in check. It isn’t all about the weight, it’s about the movement and making sure your form is on point.
Have you ever experienced any muscle / bone injuries in your Bodybuilding journey?
A few years ago I injured my lower back squatting, it was terrible. I’ve never felt so awful, I could barely walk, let alone sit. I was out of commission for awhile and fell into a mild depression. I wanted nothing more than to get back into that gym and train but I couldn’t, I needed to rest and recover. After some time, I finally got back into the gym and worked my strength back up, there were certain movements I had to avoid but I didn’t let it get me down. I pressed on and eventually gained all my strength back and was able to eventually hit those certain movements again that I had to avoid. Injuries come with the lifestyle, it’s inevitable, you just have to know that after rest and recovery, you will be back to where you were and you will continue to progress.
In your opinion, how important is Dieting and Supplementation?
In my opinion it is 80% of it all when it comes to reaching those goals. You can train all you want but without diet and supplementation in check, you won’t be reaching those goals anytime soon. I eat pretty strict and have been for the past 6 years. I do enjoy a cheat meal here and there and think that anyone who eats clean throughout the week deserves it, the amount of discipline it takes to say no to going out to eat, pizza, a cheeseburger and a coke that would be paid for by a friend is rough at first.. but gets much easier as time goes on. People often ask how I do it, how I eat the same things everyday and not give in. I tell them that I have goals and eating like this is what I have to do in order to reach those goals.
Do you plan on Bodybuilding for the rest of your life?
Yes, without a doubt. I will be that old man you see in there at 68 still pushin weight. I have such a strong love for the lifestyle and it’s become such a huge part of me. I really don’t think that there is anything that could ever take it’s place. The feeling I get after that first set is indescribable it’s almost like all that you have thought about all day whether it be negative or positive just disappears and it’s just you and the weight, it’s an awarding challenge and I love it.
What kind of music do you listen to in the gym?
I listen to heavy fast paced hardcore music or rap, as long as it’s heavy. It’s got to get the blood going. Here are some bands/groups that I listen to: Buried Alive, Since The Flood, XBishopX, Thick As Blood, Skare Tactic, Remembering Never, Terror, Mobb Deep, Nas, Alchemist etc.. I could go on and on. I have to have my music when training, I like to consider it one of my intra-workout supplements.
What are your long term goals?
I’d like to step on stage someday in the near future along with maybe writing a book on training and nutrition along with some personal experiences. For now I’m going to continue to focus on my clothing line Sacrifice & Honor http://www.sacrificeandhonor.com ,train and spend time with my beautiful girlfriend Veronica.
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