About Alex Silva
I was born in Burtonsville, Maryland to the most supportive family anyone could ask for, and raised in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. I played basketball and soccer in local youth leagues, and only excelled until competition increased at the high school level. In high school, my athletics shifted to sports including wrestling and lacrosse, where I was not especially skilled either.
By the time college rolled around, I knew it was time for me to make a change as far as athletics went, so I joined the University of Maryland Crew Team. Through working harder than I ever had at any sport, I became a decent rower, and got in fantastic cardiovascular condition. As a supplement to rowing, I began lifting weights to improve for rowing and because it was the “cool” thing for freshmen to do.
Eventually, around September 2007, I began seeing growth beyond a rower’s physique, and liked what I saw. Though I didn’t have the best athletic genetics, I soon decided to put a hold on rowing and pursue bodybuilding.
I began researching methodologies and philosophies of the lifestyle. Soon, I had become engrossed in a subculture I never knew existed. Over the next year, I used a variety of training programs in an attempt to bring my physique to the levels I saw in the magazines, not yet truly realizing the importance of diet. I still saw noticeable gains, the first “preset” program I used being the weightlifting aspect of Hugo Rivera’s Body Re-Engineering program. In fact, my transformation during this time period earned me “Transformation of the Week”. However, I still was not as dedicated as I should have been.
Then, just before summer of 2008, I became familiar with Derek Charlebois, Mark Lobliner, and the Team Scivation program. To make a long story short, I ended up being accused of steroids at the gym and at school because of the muscle I had put on while getting noticeably leaner. Summer of 2008 is, in my mind, the time period that truly marks the beginning of my dedicated bodybuilding journey (especially because I’ll never forget eating raw green beans until they were practically coming out my ears!).
In August 2008, I was introduced to Universal Nutrition and its Animal Pak brand, which turned me to the more “hardcore “ view of bodybuilding, and really helped me to go beyond “gaining size,” toward really embracing crushing some heavy weights and going until I couldn’t go anymore.
Since then, a number of experiences have moved my bodybuilding journey down its own path, including attending three Arnold Sports Festival weekends, attaining my ACSM Certified Personal Trainer certification, and moving to Arlington, Virginia, to a gym where there are a lot of serious weightlifters and bodybuilders, and the energy I get from the gym is great. I have found my own bodybuilder-friendly balance between hardcore and reasonable, and look to pursue a lifetime of bodybuilding and fitness.
As for my day-to-day life, I work a 9-5 job in membership communications for a non-profit. Between that and the gym, weekends are really the only time I get to breathe a little—which makes them so much more worth it!
A summary of my philosophies:
- Diet is essential. Because of my food intolerance issues, I can’t take any protein powders, and many other supplements, so I rely heavily on good old fashioned whole food to get me through.
- Vary training techniques. Especially when I train a body part twice a week, I use different training styles on each respective day to ensure maximal output for both workouts.
- Pay attention to weak points and muscle imbalances. When I start paying attention, I often notice that I’ll always lean one way when doing a press, or one foot is always pointed outward more than the other. I feel it’s important for me to correct these imbalances in order to ensure symmetrical development of every muscle.