- 1993 Tangier Championship 2nd
- 1994 Tangier Championship 1st
- 1994 Moroccan North League 2nd
- 1994 Moroccan Cup 4th
- 1995 Moroccan North League 1st
- 1995 Moroccan Championship 2nd
- 1996 Tangier Gran Prix 2nd
- 2003 Moroccan Championship 2nd
- 2003 Moroccan Team Selection 1st
- 2003 Arab Championship 5th
- 2004 Moroccan Championship 2nd
- 2005 Tetouan Gran Prix 1st
- 2005 Moroccan Championship 2nd
- 2006 Moroccan Championship 2nd
- 2006 Andalucia Province Championship 2nd
- 2006 Andalucia Province Cup 3rd
- 2006 Spanish Championship 4th
- 2007 Huelva Province Natural Open 1st and Best Poser
- 2008 Spanish Fitness Championship 1st
- 2009 Gatorz Fitness 7th
- 2009 Naturalmania Nationals 1st
- 2009 World Professional Championship 8th
What is your background and how did you get started in bodybuilding?
When I was a little boy I used to play soccer, but this sport missed the most important thing to me which is physical beauty. At that time I did not know that bodybuilding existed. I just knew that in order to look like some boxers and Olympic runners one has to do pump ups and crunches. So I started doing these regularly and got excited about how I looked after the hundreds of crunches, pump ups and whatever other movement I invented.
Then I thought about making some concrete weights and I trained with them at home for a year or so. In 1989 at the age of 15, a boy at school, attracted by the shape of my back, asked me about what I was doing and showed me a gym that has bodybuilding equipment. I joined that gym and since then I started training regularly and reading an imported French magazine which was basically the only material available about this sport at that time in Morocco.
Why do you love bodybuilding?
Bodybuilding is the combination of anaerobic, aerobic exercise and diet. This is why it is the only sport that makes the human body look and live at its best. No other sport works each and every body part and does it with the necessary intensity to induce the required muscle growth that makes the human body aesthetically appealing. Bodybuilding also relies on regular cardiovascular activity and healthy diet. The end result is a balanced, beautiful and healthy physique unique to natural bodybuilders and fitness players alone.
I think the majority of sports are healthy. But all of them need bodybuilding to add their practitioners more strength and beauty. An athlete will be stronger and his or her physique will be more attractive if he or she includes weight training in his or her program. These added benefits, namely strength and beauty, are elements that make any athlete more complete. Having said this, bodybuilding becomes necessary to all sports proving its superiority. This is the reason I’ve always seen it as the father of all sports.
What is your training philosophy?
To me bodybuilding is a means to achieve balance. In my opinion balance starts with the regular quest of inner beauty, namely health, and outer beauty, namely aesthetics.
Is there anything out there in nature that is not in balance? In my point of view everything is in balance except human beings. I think we have reached such a deteriorated state because we have been ignoring the concept of beauty generation after generation. The role of humans on earth is not to consume it but to fuse with it in perfect harmony. People nowadays plunge into their egoistic roles of consumption and forget their roles as living species in a world that is not their private property. When you take you have to give and the first thing you have to give is a good image because the physical aspect is the first thing you share with the external world. In other words, our body in not only ours, we are the ones that look at it the least. So it is our responsibility to make it pleasant to those with the most contact with it.
I do not have an on and off season training program. My training is intense, short, and varied throughout the year. However, I divide my training into two phases which I call Lead and Fellow. During the lead phase, I workout all my body parts with equal high intensity. When the genetically privileged parts start to visibly outbalance the less privileged ones, I switch to the fellow phase which consists of dropping the workout intensity of the lead muscles (sometimes omitting it completely for some body parts). I start the next lead phase when the fellow muscles have improved noticeably.
What's a good workout routine that has given you results?
|Deadlift||5||20 to 6 (Rest Pause, Same Weight)|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||5||12 to 5 (Rest Pause)|
|Dumbbell Bench Press||5||12 to 5 (Rest Pause)|
|Decline Dumbbell Bench Press||5||12 to 5 (Rest Pause)|
|Donkey Calf Raise||7||70 to 40 (Rest Pause)|
|Squat||1 to 3||20 to 25/12 to 6|
Friday - OFF
|Rear Shoulder Machine||5||15 to 6 (Black Sets)|
|Seated Calf Machine||5||40 to 20 (Pyramid)|
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
Here I am going to talk about my lower body parts. I think it will be more interesting to talk about the exercises that had the best impact on one’s less genetically privileged muscles because for the lead muscles anything will do.
The reason is the same for all which is basically the sensation I get… but it is not as simple as it sounds. Along my career in bodybuilding, I’ve made many experiments especially regarding my lower body. To give you an example, I have trained my quads for several years using almost only leg press, then for another couple of years using hack squat, and finally for a few more years using squats. The results were good and similar for all these exercises.
My genetic on quads is average because I have to train them very intensely in order to push them to grow. So the conclusion I made was all the exercises are effective provided we push to the LIMIT (I even proved that significant mass could be gained through hack squat which you will find written nowhere!). But there was something else that could not go unnoticed which is the price I had to pay in order to reach this LIMIT, namely effective muscle stimulation. When using leg press I had a lot of trouble to reach a satisfactory intensity, with the hack squat I got the desired stimulus with less strain then the leg press, and with the squats I got the job done with the least trouble of them all. So there was another conclusion to be made here, which is if all exercises were effective if used appropriately, why stick to those that give you an annoying feeling before you reach your goal?
Better base your program upon those that get you to the point with a better pleasant sensation. We are natural people and we have no steroids in our veins that can back us up from catabolism attacks. So the least the cost to get to the right intensity and optimum stimuli the better, and the more time and effort we spend trying to get to the point, the more psychological and physical overstress we pass and the more we are exposed to muscle breakdown. To make this even clearer, let's say that you are trying to burn fat and your objective is a 120 bpm. If you sit on a bike you will have to bear the aching in your knees and the burn in your thighs both of which have nothing to do with fat burning in order to reach your desired bpm. On the other hand, if you opt for jogging you can reach your objective without even noticing it. Thus, though both exercises are effective burning fat, one will do it with much less trouble than the other.
I am not saying that these exercises will work the same for everybody or that you have to use them exclusively; experimentation and variety are key to muscle development. So what you have to do is concentrate, listen to your body and find out which exercises stimulate your muscles easily and rapidly and arrange your routine to include more of these exercises and keep the others that do not give you these sensation to surprise your muscles from time to time.
Favorite Body Part
My favorite muscle is the triceps. But this does not mean that I work it more than the other muscle groups. It just means that I have good genetics on that particular spot and it gives me a great pleasure seeing it pump when I have to train it. Sometimes I feel the need to stop training it directly to achieve overall balance because genetically privileged muscles stay in impressive shape anyway so I save the energy for the other parts.
Pullover. At the gym, this exercise puts more blood in my veins than any other movement and I just love this sensation. Backstage, a few sets and I am ready to rock. I think you need to give this a try. It’ll save you countless energy and you will leave all that rubber and towel work and the subsequent on stage sweating to your rivals.
What's the best training tip you could give to others?
Your training has to be headed toward regularity not toward perfection. Regular training will slowly lead you to perfection; seeking perfection right from the start will set you off track regularly.
What is your philosophy on nutrition?
My philosophy about nutrition is the same about training; that is to say, both are tools that help us achieve balance through a general state of beauty. This philosophy is fully explained at the training section. So In order not to repeat myself, I am going to use this section to explain further my philosophy about training and nutrition but this time not from a mainly physical perspective as I did earlier but from a psychological standpoint.
What I learned through the years is that in bodybuilding, theory is one thing and practice is another. Sticking to theory may lead to failure unless this theory is 100% practical. I believe that all advanced bodybuilders are perfectionists otherwise they would have never reached this advanced state. We have to believe in perfection because it is the only way we can come close; however, it should not be set as the first objective; rather, this should be regularity. What I am trying to say is that success in bodybuilding depends on the regularity of the program rather than its perfection. The love of bodybuilding implies perfection hence the multiple breaks that people take while into this sport. Every single impediment becomes an excuse to stop dieting and lifting waiting the next perfect situation to start over again.
Amateurs need to know that in natural bodybuilding, even when they are ripping and riding and doing everything to perfection, they’ll advance two steps and will move back one due to the natural catabolic state that may arise abruptly due to stress, illness, sleep...so they need to imagine the devastating effect when they stop at all. The effect is so negatively tremendous that I advice people not to take even a straight week off. Instead when they feel tired or sick I urge them to lower workout intensity and/or time, change they routine, and increase rest outside the gym. In addition to the advanced catabolic effect, complete rest skyrockets the risk of injury when getting back to the gym.
In order to grasp all this and be able to develop an efficient diet and exercise plan, amateur athletes can follow what I call The Regular Diet and Exercise Framework which is a framework meant at eliminating physiological barriers to training and dieting.
The basis of this framework is regularity. Meaning that for any plan to be efficient it has to be able to keep you on track FOREVER. To be able to accomplish this, the plan has to take into account three key elements:
Practicality: Meaning the plans have to be flexible and adapt to the athlete’s lifestyle, personality and overall environment. For example, if someone is working 9 to 17 he or she needs to identify which session is psychologically more relaxing; an early morning one or an evening one? If choosing a morning session, but there is a time problem, know that a consistent 20 minutes workout at the right time is better than a sporadic longer workout at any other time. Know also that a steady workout at a close by, cheap, normal gym is better than an intermittent workout at a far more expensive, fancy facility. From the diet perspective know that you will be 8 hours out and you need to be eating several times, so bring your food with you and make sure the content is something you will be able to make and eat in no time, especially if your job applies a clean desk policy. Preparing your meals of the day shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. If your plan includes a long preparing period you will get fed up with the process and end up improvising your at-the-job meals which will be less adequate for bodybuilding.
Pleasance: Meaning the plans have to be enjoyable. Bodybuilding is tough and surely there no gain with no pain, but what I am trying to say here is make your training concise and intense enough to reach muscle stimuli but not psychological strain (as explained above). Don’t take successful bodybuilders’ workouts as rituals. If you feel more than 2 sets of some exercise puts too much psychological stress on you, then it is more likely to be true on the physical aspect too, which means that you will be on the road to overtraining. So rather than forcing yourself to make more sets like your favorite bodybuilder, try to do your psychologically friendly two sets with more quality little by little. This will not only work better for the short run but most importantly it will make you never quit the gym because it will make you loose the fear of facing your workouts as they‘ll become more enjoyable.
Same is true for the diet. If you force yourself to eat only raw vegetables and other tasteless food claiming it is healthier, well know that sooner or later you will be nibbling on the unhealthiest foods on earth. You have to use your imagination and come up with a plan that you can enjoy. The concept of diet aids is very important here; if you like cookies than do not hesitate to include sugar free cookies on your diet plan. Ice cream, chocolate, soda, dairy product all of these have healthy alternatives; you just need to know how to use them adequately in your diet. Don’t be afraid to experiment with food ...soon you will be able to make your own diet pizza and muffins which will make your dieting for a contest a piece of cake!
Balance: Meaning that the plans have to contain the elements, all the elements and no more than the elements that an athlete needs. Three things you have to keep in mind in order to design a balanced plan: Quantity, Quality and Genetics. From the training perspective this means your plan has to be aware of your weaknesses and work around them. If you listen to your body and concentrate you will notice that some of your muscles need only two or even one correctly executed exercises in order to grow, so save the energy for the lagging muscles. Going further than what you really need will put you at risk for catabolism and make you fed up with the gym, and set you off track.
We are not robots, we are beings with different genetics, and there are no rules of thumb in training. You listen, concentrate and make your own rules. From the diet perspective, quantity, quality, and genetics also have a meaning. Obviously you have to be aware of your metabolism rate or type and set the macro and micro nutrients, the calories, and the quality of food accordingly. But that is not all folks! A diet plan may have all the physical elements but still lack balance due to two psychological phenomena: hunger and craving. The first one can be fought by a concept I call Bulk Management. Let say you need 50g of carbohydrates for a meal, that is 50g of rice sweetened up with 30g of raisins. This is fine in terms of quantity and quality, and to some extent delicious. But still for some people this will not do.
Now think about 60g of oatmeal or porridge, 150g fresh strawberries and a nonfat flavored and sweetened yogurt which contain about the same carbohydrates as the other recipe. When you will cook this small quantity of oats it will yield about four bowls of creamy soup if kept in a fridge for a while. When you dice the strawberries in and add the yogurt, you will end up with a ton of ice cream tasting desert that is, though mouthwatering, very hard to finish. So people with satiation problems should consider using more bulky foods, especially salads, soups, and puddings, provided all of these are diet engineered.
The second phenomenon, cravings, can be avoided by what I call Break Management. This holds that every plan MUST include, in addition to diet aids as I explained above, SCHEDULED cheat meals or breaks. The nature and the frequency of these will again depend on the subject. The point is, unless you make a holiday of these breaks, the negative effects will be negligible as your body will have no time to adjust to the transient changes. The positive effects will be a great moment of pleasure and a ticket back to your diet train.
People used to think that diet is synonymous to hunger and suffering. But it is exactly the opposite; when you are hungry your body refuses to burn fat and when you are craving for something you are more likely to surrender in the long run if not in the short. So be smarter than your stomach…FILL IT UP!
Give us a typical day in your off season diet:
- Meal 1 - 1 cup of coffee, 2 boiled eggs, 200 g whole wheat bread, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 yogurt.
- Meal 2 - 30g protein shake, 1 apple, 50g peanuts.
- Meal 3 - 1 banana, 200 g whole wheat bread, 50g protein shake.
- Meal 4 - 200g turkey breast, 100g brown rice with sauce (green peppers, tomato, cumin, onions, parsley, cilantro).
- Meal 5 - 150g turkey breast, 100g spaghetti, salad (tomato, onion, parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil).
- Meal 6 - 30g protein shake, fiber cookies, 50g walnuts.
Give us a typical day in your diet (contest prep):
- Meal 1 - 40g protein shake, 30g Fiber One (57% fiber) cereals, 1 kiwi, 1 Fiber One yogurt.
- Meal 2 - 50g protein shake, 50g raisins, 50g spaghetti, 2 pieces toast.
- Meal 3 - Tuna sandwich (200g tuna chunks, 100g whole wheat bread, tomato, lettuce, onion).
- Meal 4 - Turkey chunks, 50g spaghetti with cinnamon powder and flax seeds, 50g peanuts.
- Meal 5 - 200 liver, 150g yams or 80g lentils or chickpeas with veggies, soup.
- Meal 6 - 50g protein shake, 25g walnuts.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
Dairy foods and derivatives.
Favorite cheat food?
What's the best nutrition tip you could give to others?
Hormone management. I believe the success of a bodybuilder will depend on how good he or she is at manipulating his or her hormones through the diet. Thus I urge athletes to learn as much as they can about this subject to be able to eat the right amount of the right thing at the right time. A good start is to learn about the glycemic index and glycemic load.
What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?
- Muscletech Nanovapor: This supplement does what it claims; it gives you an incredible pump with the energy that goes with it. The only drawback is that you have to increase the dose as you use the product. As a nitric oxide amplifier it is best used right before training. The dose I used is one scoop during the first 20 days and then two scoops during the next 10 days then I switch to another supplement for a month or two.
- Creatine/Glutamine based supplements: I believe creatine and glutamine are the most effective and affordable supplements in the market. Creatine gets you to the next intensity level. Glutamine protects your muscle and gives you a bunch of functional benefits. These two supplements can be used before and after training. Glutamine can be used also on an empty stomach in the morning and before bed or when you wake up in the middle of the night. What I do is take 5 grams of each at the corresponding times for two months then I switch to something else.
- Protein Powders: I list this supplement because I believe no plan can be suited for bodybuilding unless it contains this supplement. It is very hard for a bodybuilder to get all the protein he or she needs just from the regular sources. Even so, it will take too much time for the buying, preparing, cooking and eating. The end result is an unpractical plan that will be quit sooner or later. Moreover, liquid protein will always be a better option right after workout and it can be used first thing in the morning and at bed time when you are too sleepy to chew solid proteins.
What brands do you think are offering the best products at the moment?
What do you think is a good off season muscle building stack?
What do you think is a good pre-contest/fat loss stack?
Vitamins and minerals, whey protein, nitric oxide amplifier, creatine and glutamine based supplements, natural anabolic activator.
What are the 3 best tips you'd give to someone thinking about competing in natural bodybuilding?
- Natural bodybuilding is about regularity: there is no room for anabolic steroids that can save you time (always at the detriment of your health of course). Time is natural bodybuilding’s steroid, when used wisely it becomes your best ally, when misused it converts to your worst enemy.
- Natural bodybuilding is about avoiding catabolism: here it is really not a matter of trying to be on an anabolic state at a certain time as much it is about trying to avoid catabolism at all times. A natural bodybuilder in an anabolic state gains only a fraction of the tissue that looses when in catabolic state. So be at guard and never think that your next anabolic state will compensate for the past catabolic one.
- Natural bodybuilding is about active learning: we are not using drugs that will give us results no matter what so don’t be passive and swallow whatever you have been told. Your body is unique. Listen, read, watch but then experiment, analyze and screen. Nothing has to be taken for granted unless it has been put to the test by YOU in YOUR body.
What is your best advice for looking your best on competition day?
Anticipation! Plan in advance every single detail from your tanning to your routine and especially have your 10 days plan leading up to the contest clear in mind. If you do this you will first avoid abrupt unplanned changes that usually spoil all the preparation efforts. Second, you will keep stress away which is the number one factor that makes the final desired effects namely full, vascular, dry appearing muscles never happen.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I’ll advise him or her to rearrange his or her diet and exercise plan according to the Regular Diet and Exercise Framework I explained above.
What shows have you got coming up, where can we see you compete?
I am planning to be on the WNBF California Nationals on July 10th in La Jolla, California, and on the Mid-America on the 31st of July in Evansville, Indiana.
What would you like to achieve in your natural bodybuilding career?
Win the worlds, start a fitness center through which I intend to fight childhood obesity and promote natural bodybuilding and fitness In Morocco, and write some books to make my experience more accessible.
Who are your favorite bodybuilders and idols?
Francis Benfatto, Bob Paris, Frank Zane, Lee Labrada, Flex Wheeler.
Within the WNBF: Clement Yearwood and Brian Whitacre.
How can people contact you?
People can contact me at: the-sculptor@Hotmail.com