What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with lifting and men's physique?
My athletic background isn’t all too extensive. During middle school and high school I played football, but ended up quitting my freshman year and decided to take up riding dirt bikes and 4 wheelers instead.
It wasn’t until the age of 20 that I started to train and made friends with several guys who lifted at the gym I trained at. They were training for a few years already and that’s when I turned into a gym rat.
What do you love most about lifting?
I love traveling to different places and meeting new people and training at different facilities. The bodybuilding culture can be so different from state to state. Growing up in Wisconsin you don’t see too many dedicated people in the gym that are competing maybe a few here and there.
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
Sadly, my story doesn’t begin with a lot of support from the one person at the time who I “thought” meant the most to me. I was engaged to a woman who I let change me and I started a downward spiral. I found myself sitting at 212lbs and 26% body fat.
My time in the gym turned scarce and I started to eat unhealthy. This left me with a high percent of fat and virtually no muscle definition.
I slowly worked my way back in the gym and started to hang with those same guys again and one day I told my fiancé “at the time” that I wanted to train to compete in a Men’s physique show May 19, 2012. She told me I’d never have the drive and discipline to compete.
That crushed me. I broke off our engagement, moved her out and started dieting.
This eventually lead me to 172lbs and 4.8% body fat. I placed 5th at my first show and that’s what started it all.
What keeps you motivated?
Honestly, I still use that doubt from my past to motivate me. Nothing can change the feeling you get when someone so close tries to crush your dreams.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with bodybuilding?
Incredible Hulk because of his massiveness and the fact that nothing stopped him from doing what he wanted; people respected his power that came from his physique.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
My goal I’m chasing right now is to win my class and overall at my next show: 6/22/13 the Minnesota State Championship. I want to make it to the national stage and we’ll see what happens from there.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
- Day 1 - AM 30 minutes HIIT cardio, PM chest, 12 sets of hamstrings.
- Day 2 - AM REST No cardio, PM legs.
- Day 3 - AM 30 minutes HIIT stairs, PM back, 20 sets calves (15-20 reps).
- Day 4 - AM 30 minutes HIIT cardio, PM shoulders, 10 sets glutes.
- Day 5 - AM 25 minutes HIIT stairs, PM arms.
I take every 4th day off and the split just keeps going.
How often do you perform cardio?
I’m currently in contest prep, so cardio is 4x a week: 30 minutes fasted A.M. and 30 minutes post training. HIIT style either using step mill at a 1-1 ratio, or treadmill run 1 walk 2 starting at 7mph, slowly increasing to 10mph at a 0 incline.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
I have just recently started to incorporate some TRX training with Kari Merrill. She was awarded Group Fitness Instructor of the year in 2012 from EAS, so I’ve been working with her.
It’s been a slow start fitting the time for it with our schedules. I love the way it works your core and stabilizer muscles that aren’t used in my everyday heavy training.
Which do you prefer, and why…stead state cardio or HIIT?
HIIT style constantly keeps the heart rate going and leaves me feeling exhausted.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
Diet, diet, diet. You can’t look like a million bucks eating off the dollar menu.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
I see a lot of people using poor form and not even challenging themselves when it comes to the amount of weight they are using for their exercises.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
Lunges/Squats/Hack Squat – I had my left knee scoped twice and stopped training legs for quite a while since I started back up again, these exercises brought my strength back immensely.
Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?
Haha, curling in the squat rack, not putting your weights back, trying to talk to me when I’m in the middle of a set. Sitting on a machine and not using it.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
Diet, abs are made in the kitchen not in the gym.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I usually prep enough food to last me for a few days then on my day off of training I’ll do the rest of the week. Grilling chicken AND top sirloin are my favorites.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
FroYo, deep fried cheese curds, deep dish pizza and OREOS. My candy weakness is Skittles.
What does your current supplementation plan look like?
- Pre cardio I take Ripped Juice and Deprogen ARS and L Carnitine
- FullDose, Test HP, Vitamin C, and CLA in the morning with meal 1
- CLA – R ALA rotate with meals
- L Carnitine with meal 3
- Test HP is added to meal 4
- Between meals 5 and 6: Ripped Juice
- Pre-workout – 2 scoops Bullnox Androrush orange
- Intra-workout - 1 scoop Phosflex, 1 scoop Pure Amino
- Post-workout - 2 scoops Big Blend
What are some of your favorite supplements and why?
Bullbox – tastes amazing and the focus and vascularity it creates are insane.
Ripped Juice – shortly after taking it I can always count on starting to sweat. This product is like no other burner I've used.
Which athletes do you admire any why?
Sadik Hadzovic - One word: humble.
Workout music which groups/music styles are on your playlist?
Rock and rap during training – techno and dubstep for cardio.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
“Success in life can never be an accident. It is the result of right decisions at the right time. Champions are not the people who never fail, but the people who never quit.”
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
- Instagram - JMAN686
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/JMAN686
- Twitter - @FITJAKE
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?
This sport is very subjective; it is not for the thin skinned.
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
The equal playing field.
Favorite activities and hobbies you enjoy when away from the gym?
Hunting, riding motorcycles, playing with my pitbull “Rage” and spending time with my girlfriend JT.
Movies and TV shows you’ve enjoyed recently?
Anything with Jason Statham in it for movies. Seinfeld is my favorite sitcom.
Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?
Pittsburgh Steelers is my favorite NFL team. Virginia Tech is my favorite college.