Even as a small child, Antonio Wright had issues with his weight. He was referred to as stocky and big-boned, and with each passing year, he gained a little more. In 2007 Antonio's life changed. He stepped on the scale and realized he weighed nearly 300 pounds. Ashamed, he made the commitment to change, and vowed to never be overweight again. In this Interview, Antonio Wright talks about where he has been, and the new life he lives now.
Muscle & Strength: Between 2007 and 2008 you completely changed your physique, dropping fat and packing on muscle. Can you tell us exactly what you did to make these changes?
Antonio Wright: I started eating right and going to the gym on a consistent basis. When I first started in 2007, I was doing the traditional 40/40/20 split. Later on in October of 2008, that's when I switched to the anabolic diet. I can't really tell which nutrition plan made the most difference, but I will say both work. Since, I am a true endomorph I would do cardio 5-6 times a week for 40-50 minutes each. While lifting weights was a top priority, so was dropping the bodyfat. What I didn't understand at the time was that too much cardio will hurt your gains regarding muscle mass.
I would like to note that when I say cardio, I mean treadmill, etc. The term should be changed to AEROBICS, because an intense weight lifting session provides all the benefits of cardio.
Muscle & Strength: How did you structure the amount of calories you ate per day? Did you eat at maintenance levels, below or above?
Antonio Wright: In the beginning I knew nothing about resting metabolic rate or maintenance calories. I thought that eating less meant I was going to lose weight. I sure did lose weight and muscle too. It wasn't until a few months later, that I read about the cutting below my maintenance levels. At that time my levels were around 3000 calories, so I dropped down to 2500 calories and went from there. I believe in that three month period I lost 30 pounds.
Muscle & Strength: How has changing your body help improve other aspects of your life like your confidence and the feeling that you can achieve anything?
Antonio Wright: My transformation has made a drastic impact on the way I view things. Before I use to have a I don't care type of attitude. Now, I know that I am in complete control of my life. I know that I can do anything I set my mind too. Being physically fit has moved over to other areas of my life. For example, I am more financially responsible. So, it's true being healthy does affect all areas of your life.
Muscle & Strength: Can you tell us how your training has changed over the last several years? How were you training back when you started bodybuilding, what did you learn about training, and how do you train now?
Antonio Wright: I used any workout that was in the current issue of Muscle and Fitness at that time. I briefly did the 5x5 program. I learned that my body responds well to moderate volume 3 sets of 8-12 reps. That gives me some strength gains and hypertrophy.
As, I stated before I learned that my body prefers 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. Currently, I have been doing what is called fasted training. I wake up, drink some coffee and immediately head to the gym. After working out, I head home and eat my first meal. There is no post-workout shake.
This was a major step for me, because I am scared that I may lose what has taken so long to build. However, my body is telling me differently. I am leaner and my strength is increasing.
Muscle & Strength: Can you tell us a bit more about fasted training...where did you learn about it, how long have you been training in this way, and do you take any supplements before or during training like BCAAs, etc?
Antonio Wright: No problem. I wake up around 5:30am-6am and immediately take my pre-workout product (Controlled Labs White Flood). About 20 minutes later, I am on my way to the gym. When I am working out, I take Controlled Labs Purple Wraath.
I learned about it from Maun (PBATEMAN2). I was intrigued and I started incorporating the style of training into my routine.
How long have I been using fasted training? It's been close to a month.
Muscle & Strength: You tell a story about a woman telling you..."You can't be serious. You're way too (colorful metaphor) fat to be even seen out in public with me."
Antonio Wright: I remember that day like it was yesterday.
Initially, I was devastated. I took a step back and I examined my situation. That is when I decided I had to make a change. Since the incident was an extrinsic motivation, I knew it wasn’t going to last long. After a few months, I had to dig deep and find internal motivation. By that time I had found my passion for fitness and I was hooked!
They (women) are looking (now). :)
Muscle & Strength: What exercises give you the most bang for the buck? Which are your favorites for building muscle and why?
Antonio Wright: Everyone talks about doing deadlifts and squats. However, for me it is the shoulder press. This exercise has made my shoulders pop!
Recently I started doing a lot of core work. You are only as strong as your weakest body parts.
Muscle & Strength: So what's up for you now Antonio? Any goals for the next year, and any long term goals?
Antonio Wright: A few months, I became AFAA certified. I figured it was time to do what I love. People say I inspire and I want to perfect my craft. Current goals for the coming year is to possibly compete. Long term is to become a master trainer and owning my own gym.