Muscle & Strength Talks To Shredded Men's Physique Champion Alex Carneiro

Alex Carneiro
Quick Stats
  • Alex Carniero
  • Denver, CO
  • 1987
  • 5’11”
  • NPC Men’s Physique
  • NPC 2011 Muscle Contest Championships Overall Winner – 1st
  • 6
  • 185 lbs
  • 195 lbs
  • Optimum Nutrition & American Bodybuilding
  • Click Here
In this interview top Men's NPC Physique competitor and Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete Alex Carniero shares his secrets to building a shredded body.

What do you love most about Men's Physique?

The recently new introduced NPC Men’s Physique is new kid on the block compared to the other sports that have been in the NPC Organization. Bikini was the last sport introduced three years ago in the NPC and IFBB and it blew up like no one expected. This is what is to be expected from this new sport as well.

What I love so far about the sport is that it’s new and we the athletes get to mold the type of bodies that will be awarded for the future. Now is the time to be one of the few to show others what kind of training and body structures will be changing history for ever. So far everything about the sport is outstanding, training, posing and competing. It gives male competitors also a new way to express themselves with the type of board shorts that they wear. With bodybuilding unfortunately one cannot really get creative when it comes down to trunks but with the new Men’s Physique division tons of colors and patterns will be seen on stage at every show.

Alex Carniero

Secondly what’s fun about the sport is it also provides men with a new alternative to competing. Before it used to be either you went all the way with bodybuilding in order to compete or not compete at all. This gives new opportunities for athletes who want to compete but don’t want the size of an IFBB Pro bodybuilder.

What keeps you motivated?

Motivation derives differently for everyone. What motivates one person might not even spark interest for the other person so truly finding what inspires you to keep motivated is extremely important. Since I was a teen back home in South America I knew I wanted to be big in the fitness industry, then again that dream is not uncommon. I knew that if I wanted to be different than others I would need to push myself harder than anyone else and go against all odds.

When I began my journey to training I did not really have a lot of incentive from family and peers, they just thought it was a fad or hobby for the moment and that in a couple of months I would have moved on to the next thing but really that was what motivated me to push myself harder; what others told me I could never do I used as motivation to prove them wrong. Step by step, month by month I kept my fire behind my head and always kept the original reason going on no matter what others believed in.

Supplements To Grow

Every time someone would say ‘you’re not good enough for that’ I’d work harder to prove them wrong. Today I stand where I stand having never talked to so many people in my past because I don’t want to have anything to do with people who were not supportive of my beginning.

What are your future goals, dreams and plans?

I could probably write a book about this subject since like many say “the sky is the limit” and I am true believer of that. In the beginning of 2011 I accomplished one of my lifetime goals which was to become a pro fitness model. The next step in the modeling world is to become a cover model for one of the big fitness magazines out there.

In the competitive world my current goal is to become one of the first IFBB Pro Physique athletes. I want to represent and expand the Physique sport as much as I can and compete at a pro level in 2012; so I am going to work as hard as I can to achieve that. From there no one knows the future but I will keep doing my best to be the best every day.

Alex CarnieroWhat are your thoughts on fasted cardio?

Using this approach is actually very important for me when I am trying to get ready for a photo shoot or competition. It has worked great for me in the past and still use it daily. Sometimes I even use this approach in my off-season as I try and stay as lean as possible and never surpass the 8-9% body fat range.

One thing that’s important about this approach is not burning muscle and only stored glycogen and/or fat. In order to do this I consume 4-6 scoops of AmiNO Energy by Optimum, 5g of BCAAs and 5g of glutamine. This ensures that my muscle is not going to be used as much for energy.

What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?

That is the most common mistake right there; trying to build muscle and get ripped at the same time. EVERYONE wants to build lean bodies and get ripped however it is very difficult unless you know your own body really well to accomplish that goal. When I say knowing your body that well I mean knowing the exact macronutrient consumption needed to build lean muscle tissue and still be able to lose a little bit of fat.

Even when you know your body, it will be hard to accomplish both goals since building muscle requires you to consume slightly more and losing body fat to look ripped requires you to consume less calories overall. It’s like a balance scale, you can put in the same amount of calories and stay the same, add some weight and tilt the scale to one side or the other but most of the time it’ll be hard to hit the perfect calorie range.

I always advice to try and build lean muscle tissue with a clean diet; by clean diet I mean high quality protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. By perfuming this approach you will be less likely to put on unwanted body fat and will still be able to put on good quality lean muscle tissue.

What are your best tips for getting ripped and shredded abs?

I am really glad this question did not contain the word ‘fast’ included in it because like they say “Rome was not built in one day” and so isn’t your body. Getting ripped basically means you have enough muscle to be seen with a low bodyfat percent. So the best tips I can give people to lose unwanted bodyfat are the following:

  • Consume minimum 1g of protein per lbs of bodyweight. If you are active then consume 1.0g-1.5g of protein.
  • Carbs are essential, but time them right. Consume them when needed and not in all meals. Try and not consume carbs in the last meal of the night were your body does not need it anymore yet make sure you are consuming the right carbs post training.
  • Consume fats; healthy fats that is of course. Avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon…these are all great sources of natural fats that our body needs to produce hormones and control satiety feelings.
  • Keep your weightlifting/training apart from cardiovascular work. I would recommend at least 6 hours apart. If you MUST do cardio with your training because of your schedule then perform your cardio after you are done with your training.
  • As in regards to abs, once your body-fat is low enough your abs will be there. However it is really important you already have a good abdominal training regimen to induce muscle growth and make them ‘pop’ out of your abdominal wall. Training your abs from ALL angles (lower abs, upper abs, obliques) is essential for a eye catching mid-section.

What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?

My post-workout nutrition is my most important meal of the day following breakfast. The reason I believe this is because you need to provide the body with the building materials it needs to grow after training. I consume 1 scoop of Hydrobuilder by Optimum Nutrition with 1 scoop of Hydrowhey. This combo provides me with 60g of fast, intermediate and slow digesting protein for perfect protein re-synthesis.

I also add 10g of glutamine and 10g of BCAAs to my shake. I am a BIG BIG believer in BCAAs. After consuming my post training shake about 50 min later I have a solid meal consisting of complex carbs like sweet potatoes and a high quality protein source such as turkey or beef.

What does your off-season bulking (eating) plan look like?

I do not believe in the off-season bulking plans. Especially because I am a Physique Athlete there is no need for my body to have to go up and down in weight throughout the year. I like staying as lean as possible like mentioned above so the only difference I have between getting ready for a show/or shoot compared to when I’m not getting ready is that I eat a lot more red meat and consume more carbs in the morning for more energy for my training.

Alex CarnieroCarbs provide me with energy and it is really hard for me to train without them; the right amount of carbs will give me the best training intensity. Secondly I’m only human and I do have 1 or 2 cheat meals a week when I am not getting ready to compete. I LOVE pizza and sushi and those will definitely hit the spot when I’m feeling a bit down.

What does your current supplementation plan look like?

I’m a firm believer that having the right nutrition regimen and training protocol will provide people with outstanding progress towards their goals of reaching their bodies. Without the right training and nutritional protocol and consistency there won’t be a foundation to build upon but once that foundation is there then I highly recommend supplements as they make a huge difference in several aspects. My current supplementation plan looks as of the following:




Alex Carniero

Post Training:


Alex CarnieroWhat are some of your favorite supplements and why?

The ONLY supplements I consume are from Optimum Nutrition. As far as I know they are only GMP certified company out there; meaning what they state is in the product is really what you get and that’s really important to me. My favorite all time product lately has been their newest addition which is Platinum Hydrobuilder, not only is it the first in the market Hydrolyzed Egg Albumin with a blend of Hydrowhey and Casein but it has 13g of EEA, 5g of creatine, glutamine, argentine and tons more.

More importantly it tastes AMAZING! The other product I take daily form them is their AmiNO Energy. I drink that thing like there’s no tomorrow. I am HUGE believer in keeping amino acid levels in the blood constant and that’s the beauty of this product, it’s got micronized aminos so everything reaches the system pretty quick and once again the taste is outstanding.

How important is nutrient timing for performance and/or building muscle?

In my opinion that is one of the most important factors in building muscle and or losing body fat. I believe the most two important meals of the day are breakfast and post training. When we go to bed and sleep our body goes from 6-8+ hours without food so it is very important to get a quick sources of protein and carbohydrate to stop the catabolic (muscle wasting) process. I always consume one scoop of Hydrowhey when I wake up and then 20 min have 8 egg whites with oatmeal and if I am not dieting for a show some orange juice.

Post training it is essential to replenish the body with glycogen and provide it with amino acids for the muscle tissue to start recovering and rebuilding. I consume 1 scoop of HydroBuilder in order to start the recovery process. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps the metabolism going and feeds your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and re-building.

Which athletes do you admire any why?

I used to admire a group of athletes; Brandon Curry and Stan McQuay are bodybuilders I always like to see how they look as their proportion and symmetry is one of the best in the bodybuilding world. However…with the introduction of the NPC Men’s Physique, I only admire myself; I am my best friend and worst enemy right now and I hope that in the future people will know me for my Professional status in the Physique sport.

Alex Carniero

What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?

  • "A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." (Walter Gagehot)
  • "Nutrition and training are similar to the two wheels on a bicycle. If both are in working condition you can go anywhere, but if one is out of commission - if you have a flat tire - you're not going to go anywhere." (Lee Labrada)
  • "There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won't anymore and who always will. So don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future!"

If someone wants to connect with you, where can you be found?

Alex CarnieroVideos Links:

Do you have any tips for someone who is looking to compete in your sport?

The Men’s Physique division is brand new, but from already doing two shows and winning them my best personal advice are the following:

  • SMILE !
  • Be comfortable with the shorts that you are wearing.
  • It’s not bodybuilding so do not hit any bodybuilding poses.
  • Enjoy the journey!
Jamar Landrom
Posted on: Thu, 01/17/2013 - 22:04

Coming for you buddy and I know you on steroids

jordan russell
Posted on: Sun, 02/05/2012 - 09:32

I have no clue where to start and need some help

Phillip Schlueter
Posted on: Tue, 05/10/2011 - 11:22

This man's body is certainly a work of ART! Awesome. The structure of my core is very much like that of Alex, but OMG I got more work to do!

Posted on: Thu, 05/05/2011 - 01:00

I think physique building is a lot more admirable and fun to look at than professional body building (not in a gay way lol). One big walking block of muscle doesnt seem healthy or efficient IMO. Good tips and man does this guy preach supps =)

Posted on: Sat, 02/04/2012 - 19:56

Completely agree. I admire the dedication of bodybuilding, but aesthetically physique building looks better and more natural.

Matthey Harries
Posted on: Fri, 04/29/2011 - 20:16

This guy is the future of Men's Physique! or at least i would hope so cause this is what i want my look to be. great interveiw!