Weight: 192 lbs.
Chest size: 48″
Waist size: 30″
Bicep size: 18.5″
Calves size: 17″
Thighs size: 26″
People are surprised just how infrequently I lift weights. They assume I live if the gym, but couldn’t be further from the truth. Before I tell you just how infrequent my lifting is, I want you to understand that as years have passed, and as I’ve become stronger, and able to lift heavier weights, that the increase in muscular stress has cut a deeper inroad into my muscles recovery ability, which I have had to compensate for by decreasing the volume, and frequency of my training, in order to allow for complete recovery to occur so that I’m still able to make progress. This has been a very gradual process, and it has progressed for 2 decades in order to come to the point I’m at now. I want to make it perfectly clear that high volume, frequent weight training sessions are not ideal for a natural bodybuilder to build muscle. In many cases, this sort of training can actually be counter-productive. Training to a point of momentary muscle failure, at which completion of another repetition on any given set is impossible despite your greatest effort, is the only way to force the body to resort to its biochemical resources sufficiently in order to stimulate real growth!
Week 1. I train biceps, and triceps on Tuesday, then quadriceps, and calves on Saturday.
Week 2. I train shoulders on Tuesday, then hamstrings, and calves on Saturday.
Week 3. I train back, and chest on Tuesday, then quadriceps, and calves again on Saturday.
Week 4. I begin the 3-week rotation all over again, but only on Saturday I switch to hamstrings, and calves again. On 3 of my non-lifting days each week, I perform just cardio, and a brief abdominal workout.
Currently I follow a ketogenic diet. In other words, my diet is very low in carbohydrates, but I consume a high level of protein, and moderate amount of fat. For those who aren’t familiar with ketogenic diets, they involve restricting carbohydrate in the diet to such an extent, that body is forced to convert fats in chemicals called ketone bodies. The body will use ketone bodies in the place of glucose for energy. Testing kits can be purchased at pharmacies that allow you to test your urine to see if you have reached a state of ketosis. The test kits include thin strips, with a small sponge on the end. You simply place the small sponge on the strip, in the flow of your urine, and wait 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, the sponge will change to a purple color if there are significant levels of ketone bodies in the urine. The deeper shade of purple the sponge turns to, the greater the level of ketosis that has been reached. This type of diet forces the body to rely on more on fat as an energy source, thus helping reduce body fat levels.
Are ketogenic diets necessary to get lean? No, absolutely not. I have been able to get my body very lean, and shredded without following a ketogenic diet. The reason why I like to follow a ketogenic diet is because my appetite is much easier to control on this type of diet. Consuming dietary fats cause the lining of the small intestine to release a hormone called CCK, or Cholecystokinin. CCK is a natural appetite suppressant. Carbohydrates on the other hand, seem to induce hunger for me personally. I go through periods where I will incorporate more carbohydrates into my diet here, and there, but for the most part I like to keep them on the low end.
My diet is pretty simple. I try to get about 5 servings of quality protein each day in the form of cage free eggs, steak, chicken, wild salmon, cod, and hydrolyzed whey protein. In addition to the protein, I try to get in at least 2 large serving of green vegetables each day, along with some essential fats such as flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, fish oil, and sometimes extra virgin coconut oil. When my main objective isn’t getting as lean as possible I will add a couple tablespoons of heavy whipping cream to my protein shakes. Many body builders advocate low fat diets, however, low fat diets aren’t ideal for a natural body builder. The reason is simple. Your body requires fat,, and cholesterol in order to produce every single hormone in your body. That means testosterone and human growth hormone as well. It has been clinically proven that low fat diets are associated with low testosterone levels in men. One other secret about fats I will share with you is that they are vital to your immune system. Your body cannot destroy viruses without them!
When and why did you get started?
I began some limited weight training at age 11. Beginning from the time I was a young child, I badly desired to participate in various sports, however, I wasn’t able to have much of an athletic background due to numerous health problems I was plagued by. My battle for my life began even before I was born. I had a severe heart arrhythmia that doctors said would cause my heart to fail, and make me a miscarriage. I ended being born an emergency C-section. I wasn’t a healthy baby. I had various heart complications, as well as an enlargement of all my limbs and organs on 1 side of my body. Doctors said I was sure to die within days. Something extraordinary happened! Within 1 day, by some miracle, everything changed! My heart transformed to a normal rhythm, and my body equalized so that both halves of my body were equal in size. Doctors were blown away! They said there no explanation for this other than the fact that it was a miracle! Glory was short lived, as by age 2, I was diagnosed with severe asthma. That was the beginning of a long journey through hell. The asthma was devastating. All through grade school, I spent more time in the hospital, and in doctors’ offices than I did at home and in school combined. On so many occasions, I remember lying there, hooked up to all these machines, unable to breath, fighting for my life as I could feel it being squeezed from me. Time and time again, by the grace of God, and the skin of my teeth, I managed to cheat death.
It was over a decade of pure hell! By the time the worst of my asthma was over, more darkness loomed. Medical specialists discovered that I had a whole host of additional health problems including: A 4 inch leg length difference between my right, and left leg; spinal scoliosis; 4 torn spinal disks; 2 bulged disks; A missing anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee; Missing medial meniscus in the right knee; Osteoarthritis in the right knee; Torn ulnar nerve in the right arm; Detached proximal bicep tendon in right arm; hormonal imbalances due to parathyroid disease (tumors on the parathyroid glands.) I don’t ever recall having perfect health at any 1 point in my life. I was always being plagued by something.
Beginning bodybuilding was the best thing I ever did for myself! Although doctors told me I could never physically be able to lift weights, I ignored their prognosis and did it anyway. I was fascinated how by body responded! My ill, broken body was little by little becoming bigger, healthier, and more powerful. I could see myself changing month after month. This became my passion, and there was no way I was going stop! Health problems or not, nobody was going to take this away from me!
Will you always strive to get stronger or at some point just try to maintain?
I will always strive to do better. Of course it’s inevitable that there will be a point that nature doesn’t allow me to go any further. When I reach that point I will strive to be nothing less than the best that I can be.
Have you done any competitions or plan to?
I’ve competed in 8 natural bodybuilding competitions, and the last one I competed in I was 1 placing away from a pro card. I lost to a guy with less muscle size, and wasn’t as conditioned, or as balanced as I was. That wasn’t the first time I lost out in a competition because of politics. That particular loss just really left a bad taste in my mouth for competing. I love going through the process of reaching peak condition, and I especially love training, but the whole idea of winning titles, and trophies just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I body build because I love doing it, plain and simple. I feel that writing articles to help others reach their goals is a much more rewarding way for me to spend my free time than what competing ever was.
What would be your biggest dream to be able to achieve?
I would say my biggest dream would be to have enough impact on the body building industry that people will be reading my articles, and studying my methods for many decades long after my life on earth is over. It would be amazing to have a legacy that powerful!
Do you ever struggle to stick to your diet and eat lots of junk food?
You bet! I know I’m not alone when say that diet is the hardest aspect of bodybuilding, and also attributes to at least 75% of your success in bodybuilding! I do allow myself 1 cheat meal each week in which I eat whatever I have been craving that week. I usually have my cheat meal on Friday nights so I can hit a Friday night fish fry, then afterwards, come home and have some ice cream. Outside of that, I keep my diet very strict and don’t cheat very often. As long as I know that I can look forward to going off my diet once per week, I can tolerate staying true to my diet plan.
Allot of us out there love a good drink of alcohol from time to time, do you ever drink, if so how often?
I know drinking alcohol is considered taboo among most body builders but I like to have a couple glasses of Cabernet (red wine) each night while I’m preparing dinner. I never drink excessively, or go out and get wasted or anything like that. Drinking high amounts of alcohol increase cortisol levels in the body, thus work against muscle growth, and fat loss.
If you could pick only one supplement what would it be? (Not protein as you can get that from foods easily)
I have to admit, I can’t live without my Jack3d! I’ve never had a bad workout when I’ve used it!
Your favourite food?
If you could pick only 3 different body parts to put on your body from 3 famous people, what would they be and why?
I would love to have Frank Zane’s abs, Larry Scott’s biceps, and Serge Nubret’s deltoids/traps. In my opinion that would be the best of the best to have.
Who do you look up to these days and why?
I really look up to natural bodybuilder’s Eric Broser, Kelchi Opara, and Michelle Beck. All 3 three of these individuals are perfect role models in the bodybuilding industry. I feel that they all represent particular values that make them extraordinary , and not to mention they have built amazing natural physiques! They have all achieved amazing levels of success in the body building world, and yet their values remain in tact, and they are very humble, and caring people who really go above and beyond when it comes to sharing their knowledge, and helping other people become successful!
Your favourite quote?
“It’s never that you cant, it’s just that you haven’t.”
Your top 3 tips to someone that might be just starting out bodybuilding?
1. Make sure to get a clear vision of the goals you desire to accomplish. The more clearly defined your goals are, the better your chances are of achieving them. Visualize your ultimate goal, day in a day out. Focus on that goal with every set you perform in the gym.
2. Too many people expect to get the body of their dreams overnight, and get discouraged when it doesn’t happen. Building muscle naturally takes allot a long time so be patient, and remain consistent with your training, nutrition, and supplements. It took me 26 years to put on 40 pounds of muscle. That averages to be about 1.5 pounds of muscle gained each year!
3. Set realistic goals for yourself. Don’t set a goal of gaining 50 pounds of muscle in 3 months. That isn’t a realistic goal, and it will never happen. If you can bench press 250 pounds for 5 repetitions, and you want to be able to bench press 250 pounds for 8 repetitions within 6 weeks, that would be an example of a realistic goal. Every small goal is a step, and your ultimate goal is a series of multiple steps. Every single step counts as it brings you closer to your ultimate goal.
What is your favourite motivation picture online and why?
To me this photo of Larry Scott represents my ideal physique.