What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with bodybuilding?
I was athletic growing up and fell in love with weight training at age 27. The next thing I realize, I was addicted, and still am to this day. I’m still training 5 days a week at age 51.
I would have to give all my props to a good friend name Fred Loving that I met in 1987 (and to this day, he is still my DOG). He basically took me under his wing and showed me how to train to with intensity, and train the muscles to failure to get maximum results.
From then on, I was hooked. We would eat sweet potatoes during our training routines. Now I see peeps I haven't seen in years, the first question they ask me, Reynolds, are you still eating sweet potatoes during your training? I can’t help but to laugh.
What do you love most about bodybuilding?
It’s the challenge day in and day out to improve your overall physique. Because there are days when you don’t have the mindset to go in and get it done. I would be the first to admit that it is like a drug, you can get addictive if you put in the time and effort to get results.
It also gives me an opportunity to meet new people, and the comradery with your friends after 8/10 days in the office. It also gives me an opportunity to share some of my knowledge with individuals that are serious about changing their lifestyle and appearance to get maximum results.
Because it’s defintely not easy, and more than likely doesn’t happen overnight. That is the reason must people give up and get frustrated, because of the work and dedication it takes.
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" boost?
I guess that’s why I’m still hungry, because I haven't reached my milestone, so I can’t be content.
What keeps you motivated?
Seeing the results from my work ethic and dedication keeps me motivated. Also, the positive feedback from the public also keeps me hungry.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with bodybuilding?
I was a Shawn Ray fan because of his condition, symmetry and balance. Shawn was an intelligent guy who gave his honest (and accurate) judging. The outspokenness cost him the Sandow for sure, but he did place in the top 5 for 12 straight years. It was an unmatched accomplishment.
The Weiders didn’t want intelligent articulate “pretty boys” representing the Mr. Olympia. Not the image they wanted then. Shawn considered himself a “diamond in the rough” because at 5’6” and 212 lbs, he wasn’t a freak of nature.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
To inspire and motivate middle age guys that it is never too late. With the right nutrition, cardio, and training smart, they can meet their fitness goals.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
I train 5 days a week.
- Monday - Quads
- Tuesday – Chest
- Wednesday – Hamstrings & Calves
- Thursday – Back & Shoulders
- Friday – Biceps & Triceps
I like this routine because it gives my muscles sufficient time to recover and grow before I train that muscle group again. This allows me to give that particular muscle group 120% of my time and focus.
My formula is Form x Execution = Intensity. Form - It’s all about controlling the weight and not let the weight control you. The negative is as important as the positive. Executing the exercise – Staying in touch with the muscle, and let the muscle do all the work by squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement. Blast through the set when lactic acid builds up.
Intensity – Training the muscle to failure and not quitting until the muscle is fatigue. Blast through the set when lactic acid builds up. The common goal is to get as much blood in the muscle to get maximum results. It’s all about trial and error, and finding out what exercises work best for you, because everyone’s body is different, and everyone’s body response differently.
What works for me might not work for you. Very important to have a partner that understands the principle of how to spot you when your muscles reach failure. The extra reps is where you get your growth, but your partner must realize not to take the weight from you, but assist as needed to get the positive reps.
Stay focused and hungry! Someone somewhere is training harder and smarter. Never be content and satisfied with yourself. Always strive to improve.
How often do you perform cardio?
I limit my cardio until it is time to compete. I usually start my cardio about 5 weeks from my contest. (30 minutes in the AM/PM, speed at 2.5, and incline at 2.5) Just trying to keep my body in a fat burning state and not burn all my muscle. My reps are 15 and above.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
What are some of your best training tips for someone who just wants to look good and ripped, but doesn’t want to compete?
I would advise them to keep their reps 15 or higher with a low carbs, high protein diet. Eat small meals every 2 or 3 hours. To take it to the next level, I go as far as measuring each meal. Add AM/PM cardio for 30 minutes.
How important is progression of weight in some form, in the muscle building process?
Progression of weight is goods as long as you use good form and techniques. However, you need to ensure that you control the weight and not let the weight control you. The negative is as important as the positive. Keep your reps 6 to 10 with maybe a drop set at the end of each exercise to get more blood in the muscle.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
The most common mistake made when trying to gain muscle is trying to do too much weight and not using the correct form and technique and staying in touch with the muscle group throughout the exercise. Control the weight, don’t let the weight control you. Form x Execution = Intensity.
Most individuals don’t have the discipline and dedication to get lean. Therefore, many can’t make the sacrifice to say no to certain foods, and take their body to the next level. I am a firm believer in you are what you eat.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
- Barbell squats – works the total body - full range of motion. Balance.
- Lunges (stationary or walking) – works the total body – full range of motion. Balance.
- Pull ups – execution of the exercise, the entire body weight.
- Standing straight bar shoulder presses – works all 3 heads of the shoulder.
- Lying dumbbell hamstring curls – execution of the exercise and squeezing the muscle, keeping the dumbbell balanced between your feet. Full range of motion and not cutting off the movement of the exercise.
What are the most underrated and overrated muscle building exercises?
Which workout has worked best for you?
My body responds to high rep routines and high volume. Once a month I pick one exercise, whether it’s straight bar squats, hack squats, leg extensions, leg press - 3 sets of 40 reps. (That will get your heart pumping) I pick an exercise and do the same for hamstrings.
Once a month, I will do 10 sets of 10 reps of barbell squats with 185 lbs. (That’s with a full range of motion and not cutting off the movement of the exercise)
Bi’s, Tri’s, Calves - I limited to 10 to 20 since it is a small muscle group.
Chest, Back, Shoulders – I keep it around 10 to 15 reps. No less than 8 reps.
I’m a firm believe in full range of motion – makes the muscle bigger and fuller. No cheating. Don’t believe in partial reps. Too much is never enough. Form x Execution = Intensity.
Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?
People who let their egos get in the way and not train with the right form and technique, and get injured.
What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?
A low carb, high protein diet, 30 minutes of cardio, first thing in the AM (empty stomach), PM - 1 hour after your last meal to let your food digest.
What advanced training techniques work well for you?
High reps and high volume. It’s trail and error – find out what exercises work best for you. Because each individual body responds to different exercises. What works for me, might not work for you.
Slow negatives - Controlling the weight, don’t let the weight control you. Execution of the exercise, stay in touch with the muscle, and squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement. Intensity – training the muscle to failure and giving up. Always remember, one rep means two to get your maximum results. Form x Execution = Intensity.
Never be content, because once you become content, everything else suffers.
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
It’s important to eat or drink protein within 30 minutes of your workout. To replenish what you lost during your workout, and your body does not take protein from the muscle for fuel and energy.
What does your off-season eating plan look like?
My eating habits are generally the same year round.
What does your cutting plan look like?
Low carb/high protein diet. Eating every 2 or 3 hours. 30 minutes in the AM on an empty stomach. PM - 1 hour after your last meal before bedtime.
How do you prepare meals? Do you cook daily or cook for the week?
I cook twice a week.
Do you believe recomping is possible (gaining muscle while losing fat), and if so, is it as difficult as most people think it is?
It’s virtually impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. Either you can gain muscle and have some excess fat or you can be lean and lose muscle. There is no in between. It’s your decision on how you look and what you are satisfied with.
What are thoughts cycles of bulking and cutting for non-competitors who just want to look good?
It is almost impossible to gain muscle and stay lean. You have to make a choice, do you want to gain muscle or get lean? Can not have both.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
Pizza and burgers are great.
What are your thoughts of niche diet approaches like the Paleo Diet, Adkins Diet, Keto Runs, the Warrior Diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc.?
I think they are inappropriate ways to lose weight. It’s not the right way.
How important is carb cycling when trying to cut fat and retain muscle?
It depends on the individual's body as everyone responds differently when carb cycling.
What does your current supplementation look like?
How important is nutrient timing for performance and/or building muscle?
It’s very important as you have to fuel the body to get results. Eat good quality foods 2 to 3 hours. Protein builds muscle and carbs are used for energy.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
- Performance creates opportunity.
- Winning is not everything it’s the only thing.
- Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.
- You can always become better.
- It’s not about the color of your skin but the content of your character.
- Life is 10% is the decision you make, and 90% of how you handle it.
- Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
If you could be one athlete or person for a day, who would it be and why?
MJ. Doing the NBA season, to see what a day would consist of being a NBA owner.
If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?
Facebook or email address.
Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?
It’s all about dedication and discipline, and making sacrifices.
What attracts you to the natural side of sports and competition?
It puts everyone on the same playing field.
Which college or professional sports teams do you root for?
College Football - University of Southern Cal and The U. College Basketball - UNC Tar heels. NFL - Pittsburgh Steelers.