Interview With Top Natural Trainer Victor Costa

Natural bodybuilder Victor Costa is one of the top trainers on the Internet. His Youtube channel is wildly popular, and currently has over 11,000 subscribers.
Victor Costa

Quick Stats

  • Victor Costa
  • Bodybuilding
  • 18.5"
  • 48"

Natural bodybuilder Victor Costa is one of the top trainers on the Internet. His Youtube channel, vicsnatural, is wildly popular, and currently has over 11,000 subscribers. Victor Costa also runs a personal web space, www.vicsnatural.com, where he provides some of the best natural training advice on the web.

Muscle and Strength: You're one of the leading natural trainers on the Internet. Tell us about your website and the services you provide.

Victor Costa InterviewVictor Costa: www.vicsnatural.com is a site I created to help people feel like they are getting a top level personal training session without having to pay 250 dollars per hour. I offer a dvd which serves as a visual tutorial of my specific techniques. However, I also offer audios and MP3's which are actual training sessions that a customer can take to the gym and listen on their IPOD or mp3 player and feel like they are getting an actual training session from me. Trainers from all over the world have told me that they are using my techniques to train their clients with incredible results. You don't need a personal trainer charging you thousands of dollars when I am willing to train you with my audios. I share bodybuilding secrets I have learned for the past 20 years that aren't available in books. I also offer weight loss consulting services via phone, but it usually turns into a life coaching session.

Muscle and Strength: Let's talk about your Youtube channel. You have quite a following. Tell us about your Youtube videos...what can expect to find and learn?

Victor Costa: Well, I wanted to give folks a sense of my training principles. I wanted my following to get a sense that I am a competent trainer and that bodybuilding is about the specifics, the subtleties. Anyone can throw weights around, but not everyone can build a complete physique, this is what I teach, a taste of what the videos and audios offer. Essentially, an introduction to my methods.

Muscle and Strength: What training methods do you believe in? What are your primary training and diet philosophies?

Victor Costa: My primary principle is to help help clients create a mind - body connection. Connect to the muscles we are interested in training while relaxing other areas of the body. Example, how do you train your back while taking the taking your biceps out of the equation? Hand positioning, proper posture, and certain breathing and visual processes. Of course, some secrets that I share in the audios available on the site, all combined make my training effective and insure complete training and stimulus of a specific bodypart. As far as diet is concerned, the whole world is afraid of carbs. In my opinion this is insane. Energy people, energy. The basic philosophy is to eat to live. Moderate sums of different foods, a bit of this a bit of that. Very little - if no - granulated sugar, and very little white flour. No fried foods, and whole grain breads, veggies and fruits, a bit of olive oil, a bit of butter, a bit of milk, whole eggs. Nothing in excess. In my opinion, we really complicate good common sense eating.

Muscle and Strength: When did you start lifting, and what were some of your early training mistakes? And what factors influenced the evolution of how you train?

Victor Costa: I started at about 15, lifting makeshift weights made from bricks. I must admit, that I made many mistakes. Sometime the mind is ready for things but the body isn't ready. I was so eager to get started that I was over training from the get go. I did biceps every day - never a chance to recover. Over training is the most common mistake I made for quite some time. Also, I restricted calories, insane, with all of the work I was doing I needed more food. One other early mistake, too heavy weights. I forgot I was going to be doing this for a long time. The human body has joints you know.

The factors that influenced my training was observational. Watching people in the gym training so hard, yet some would make very little gains. I asked why all this effort for such small gains, there must be a better way. So I developed a better way.

Victor Costa Training

Muscle and Strength: You bring up a good topic...caloric intake. Do you believe the average hardgainer may be under-eating?

Victor Costa: The hardgainer has to address several issues to deal with. Caloric intake can be one issue, rest another, effectiveness and efficiency of training and also, something that is rarely if never discussed, patience and intuition. Hardgainers may ponder this question,"Am I ready to grow"? Have you noticed that sometimes the body is not cooperating with our wishes, and what do we do? We try to force it. You can't force your body, but you can communicate with it, finesse it. Ask your body, intuit, what is standing between you and your goal, sometimes it is patience, other times, it is just not ready.

Muscle and Strength: You mentioned joint health and longevity. This is an issue not often thought about by younger lifters. How does a beginning and intermediate lifter balance the need for using heavier weights/progression with training for longevity? Simply put, do you believe progression of heavy weight is the Holy Grail of lifting, or can a natural lifter train with lighter weights and still make gains?

Victor Costa: It takes a bit to determine what is an appropriate weight for training and when to move up. Yes, one can use light weights and progress, but something has to be increased to make gains, efficiency of movement, more reps, greater concentration, more intensity, or a greater mind-body connection. All of this creates mastery, once a weight is mastered, I would move up in weight slowly and then incorporate all of the elements of mastery again. Then the cycle repeats, isn't this wonderful.

Muscle and Strength: Why did you decide to remain natural?

Victor Costa: I was under the impression that I could actually compete with the drugged bodybuilders. I thought I was different, special because I was willing to sacrifice and work harder. I almost didn't want to believe that I was limited in any way. I got a chance to see first hand the ill effects of drugs from a friend who was competing. He seemed to handle his issues quite well, several surgeries for gynecomastia, etc. As for me, I am afraid to give blood. In many ways it was an easy decision, but I had a lot of people behind me who had high hopes for me and were disappointed. Some thought I could be the next great one. But, I must say I am a worrier by nature, and I didn't want to worry about what was going on inside of me. I do want to be the next great one, but I'll settle for the next great trainer.

Muscle and Strength: Can you tell me about some of your personal training success stories?

Victor Costa PosingVictor Costa: My training extends beyond the physical. I have had personal training clients tell me that I stopped them from committing suicide, that they were hopeless until they found me. I have a tremendous responsibility. I train people, not body parts. I can help shift someone's perspective about their body, about their life. I can help people get on the road to weight loss with one phone call. I have done it many times. I begin by asking someone about their concept of self, who they think they are. Then they list things like, I'm a professional, I live in LA, I train 5 times a week. I say, you still haven't told me anything about yourself. Those things aren't you, those are the things you do. Believe it or not, this is where I have to begin to help heavy people lose weight. From there we can see very easily where some of the eating patterns and behavior stem from. As far as bodybuilding, MMA fighters, Bodybuilders (drugged and non drugged) seek my advice. There are so many, but when I can save someone frustration and time by helping them with their workout, these are success stories that happen daily. Let's say I have helped people lose millions of pounds of fat and gain millions of pounds of muscle through my videos, audios and phone consulting.

Muscle and Strength: What are some of your favorite training exercises, and why?

Victor Costa: I love training all bodyparts, because I have overcome the idea of a favorite body part, or favorite exercise. A lot of people have the idea of a favorite body part or exercise. We usually say this because it hurts more than other body parts, so we are reluctant to train that body part. The very reason it hurts is because either you have been avoiding that body part and aren't in the practice of training it. Or, there is some other mental block. When you embrace the idea that this is the body, your body, the concept of favorite body parts and favorite exercises begins to fade. That being said I enjoy making a breakthrough, a new sensation. Lately, I have been making a breakthrough with my shoulders and upper chest by really connecting with those parts mentally, focusing my attention there. Believe it or not I am using a new technique I devised using fitness bands and push ups, but it works. I actually offer the band workout, it's called the Darn Good Band workout - it's not on the site for sale yet, but I do offer it for special order, especially for those folks who train at home. If someone wants it, they should email. [email protected] for details.

Muscle and Strength: Who are some of your bodybuilding role models and why?

Victor Costa: Body building role models are the average guy in the gym, the guy who is always trying to figure it out, the guy who takes off his Ipod to say "Hello", the guy who has a 9 to 5 but comes in every day, because he has to, he's just bit, he's a bodybuilder at heart. We all are. That's what inspires me. The guy who tries to move forward, those are my role models.

Muscle and Strength: Tell me about your weight loss coaching service, and give us some info on your dieting philosophies.

Victor Costa: Weight loss - many of us eat unconsciously. It's like something takes over us and eats while we are not paying attention. Some of us have been programmed to eat in a certain manner, we develop rhythms and patterns that don't serve us. It is a complicated issue, but one that deserves more attention than we give to it. Your body knows what it needs and it will tell you, just have to listen. I remember hearing a story about 20 years ago about how young children used to lick their fingers after erasing the chalkboard, it turned out, they were calcium deficient. Fascinating story. Is it truthful? I'm not sure. But I believe we are all looking for what is missing or what we think is missing and sometimes we find it. I teach people how to listen. I try anyway.

Muscle and Strength: Are you available for phone consultation?

Victor Costa: I am available for phone consultations, but via email appointment only.

Victor Costa Natural Bodybuilder

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17 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 01/09/2015 - 23:35
Jon

Anyone know how old Vic Costa is? If you ask him on facebook, he just ignores the question. He says he started bodybuildingi in 1980 when he was 16, so I am thinking he is on the back side of 50. Many of his early videos on Youtube were made in 2004, and although he still looks great , he really has aged in ten years

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Posted Thu, 11/27/2014 - 16:11
Robert Cuellar Jr.

Mr. Costa, I am very impressed with your dedication and advice.
I am 45 yrs old and I'm frustrated because I havent built my legs or abs. I also eat help with grocery list of food items to buy.
Others recommend ed Lee Hayward bodybuilder consultant but I prefer to contact you for help. Please help me. I hope changes can be made in 3 months. Thx! Rob
Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Posted Sat, 07/26/2014 - 02:22
Faisal siddique

Very fantastic body of Victor costa, my favourite bodybuilder

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Posted Mon, 03/26/2012 - 23:41
Katya grene

Hello Vic, I work out 5 to 6 times per week exercising each muscle group 2 times per week but I don't see the results I want..I would like to have more definition on my upper body and increase the size of my legs. I thought that I needed to go heavier for the muscle to grow, my diet is very clean and consistent..high in protein and I get my carbs from vegetables. Do you think your video will help me get the results I want?

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 12:47
endii

Hey Katya Grene.

The reason why you don't see the results you want, is that you train each muscle group to often. As you were saying, you train each muscle group 2 times per week, out of 5 to 6 days a week. What I would recommend; Train each muscle group 1 time per week. Let your body get more rest. "2days on & 2 days off" As Victor stated in one of his videos on youtube. And don't forget, eating is just as important as the training!

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Posted Fri, 12/16/2011 - 07:32
Mark

Hi Vic

I am 22 and have been working out since I was 16. I am tall and skinny with long legs and arms. I tone up very quickly but I struggle to put on any mass! I have been advised by the guys in the gym to concentrate on 3 sessions of full body compound workouts a week. I am looking at buying your package however I am concerned that its seems you advice isolated movements that I have been trying for 7 years! Is this package the right one for me? Does it talk about hard gainers? ( I am built for cross country! and trust me this body shape does not impress anyone or help create a male confident body posture)

Do you offer a package for impossible gainers?

Mark

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Posted Sun, 03/27/2011 - 00:52
Louie

Hi Victor;

Came accross your videos on the internet about 4 or 5 weeks ago and I have to admit I was impressed with your comments and how to's. You came across as "sincere" and "real" and not trying to hard sell your ideas or products! I respect that. Action speaks louder than words..

I can not believe the results I have accomplished in just 4 weeks of following your advice. My triceps are finally showing for the first time ever!!. I'm really estatic because it's making my arms look twice as big...By biceps are starting to really grow and now im pushing for them to start peaking. I alway wanted that V shape back but was just not getting there. I started doing the lat pull downs just like in your video and will continue faithfully.
I'm impressed with the slow, isolated and concentrated exercise form that you use. That seems to be working really well for me. It took me a while to accept and fully understand!!! I guess I was exercising wrong. I always thought the trick was to get up into the heavy weights fast, then everything would grow.
I can see, that at least in my case, I was totally wrong. I was also very frustrated that I was not progressing and most times even felt like I was wasting my time.
I really do believe in the "connecting" with your body and feeling the muscle as you exercise. I do that religiously now!!

I would have never believed that using lighter weights and isolating musceles until exhaustion would work. Wrong again!

I remember you said "If you want these (triceps) you have to do these. Honestly, I never did tricep extentions with dumbells. What a crazy difference!!!!

This is probably going to sound familiar but I was bench pressing with 225, arm curls with 50 and preacher curle with 100 lbs and all I was doing was frustrating and hurting my myself and my joints. I have seen more results in the last month with the deliberate and carefull form type workout you suggested then with the old way I had been using for the last years.

While I consider myself to be in good health and strong for my age, I can do 40 pull ups, 45 pushups, and 15 one hand push ups. Swimm laps at the pool 2 or 3 times a week and do core exercises (My favorite exercise are the pull ups!)

But now it's different because I'm heading towards what I really wanted. To look trim and fit with "definition". I never wanted the excessively muscular type shape. But rather, Symetry, Proportion and definition which is what you display.

Thank you because for the very first time I feel that what I'm doing is really "working" (I'm seeing it) and also that I am on the right path.

God Bless you my friend,

GrandPa Louie is 63 going on 64.

I'm glad I found your video.

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Posted Sun, 11/28/2010 - 10:03
hari

hi i want to gain height . i am 21 and my height 5'2 feet i want grow 6 feet. help me. some tips and workout

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Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 15:46
johnnhy navarro

im glad vic dident drug up for body building, his workouts changed my body, i used to workout so wrong. but then one day i stumbuled on to his youtube video about biceps tranning, i tried that, it worked! so after i bought the dvd and man, its insane how his workouts work i not only look bigger but im stronger! great job vic keep it up!

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Posted Thu, 07/29/2010 - 20:53
Fonseca

hello vic you are awsome, my workout routine is mon-bicep n tricep ,tues-chest n back , wends-legs, thurs-REST, friday-bicep,tricep, back and chest again is that a good routin?
or can you please tell me one more efficient. have a nice day, thank you.

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Posted Sat, 06/18/2011 - 10:03
Burak

Monday- chest and triceps
Tuesday- bicep and back
Wednesday-rest
Thursday-legs
Friday-shoulder and abs

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Posted Sat, 03/16/2013 - 20:34
Joe

That routine is Crap, dude. Arms before chest and back??? No shoulder exercises??? First of all you do arms AFTER chest and back or your chest and back exercises will suffer because your arms are already tired out. Secondly, you are training your upper body twice as much as your lower EVEN THOUGH your lower body is almost two-thirds the mass of your upper body. You need help, so here's a basic routine to start with:

MONDAY (Chest-Shoulders-Biceps)
Flat Dumbbell Press: 3-4 x 8-12
Overhead Barbell Press: 3-4 x 8-12
Dumbbell Curls: 3-4 x 8-12

WEDNESDAY (Legs)
Squats /or/ Leg Press: 3-14 x 10-15
Stiff-Legged Deadlift: 3-4 x 10-15
Standing Calf Raises: body weight only 4-5 x failure (do one leg, then the other, then without resting begin again with the first leg, and so on . . .)

FRIDAY (Back & Triceps)
Barbell Rows: 3-4 x 8-12
Chin-ups/Pull-ups: body weight only 3-4 x failure
Parallel Bar Dips: body weight only 3-4 x failure

***All other days are off, though you can do a few sets of Ab work on an off day or two if you want. After a few months on this simply substitute a few exercises (like Incline Dumbbell Press instead of flat bench press, or upright rows over overhead press or close-grip bench press over dips, and so on . . .) for continued growth.

Instead of having monday as an all push day and friday as an all pull day you change up the arm exercises so you stimulate your arm muscles twice per week instead of just one time per week, once directly and once indirectly. But you can easily switch out dumbbell curls and dips to make it a pure push/legs/pull routine.

Weightlifting isn't hard, dude. All you do is pick up something and move it in a controlled manner. Can't get much more simple than that ;-P

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Posted Sat, 03/30/2013 - 04:45
Bright Polyglot

What about shoulders?

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Posted Sun, 06/06/2010 - 15:00
Ryan murphy

You mentioned you started at 15,
i began doing weights at 13,but it didnt make a change,i used to do it every night and push myself way to far,so improvement was slow.
now im 14 and begining to show signs of muscles
i use weights everynight for about 30 mins
then go inside and do 50 crunches x2 during the night
i dont know if im over working still
i was thinking of going on shakes
would just like abit of advice
thanks,

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Posted Tue, 05/18/2010 - 08:30
Marc

Praveen, how much cardio do you do per week? ideally you should be looking at 3 times per week for 25 mins. It doesn't have to be running, it can be walking at about 4mph on the treadmill, maybe swimming. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

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Posted Sun, 02/28/2010 - 10:49
praveen

hi iam praveen. my age is 20 and iam up to 87kgm. i have too much of fat in my body i need to become thin and fitness. and i have been requesting that give me some tips to reduce my weight.

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Posted Sat, 12/26/2009 - 18:26
Abram (Abe) Wi...

Dear Mr. Costa,
I just turned 80 and I feel great. I used to run every day and worked out faithfully 3 times/week. Never used muscle/strength enhancing drugs/suplements, but maintained a strong healthy physique until age 60.
At that time I retired (from work) and stopped running and working out (just lazy).

What kind of workout program should I start now to improve my strength and maintain a healthy body?

Warm Regards,
Abe Williams