What is your athletic background, and how did you get involved with weight training and physique?
I started curling dumbbells at 12, I began picking numbers in the 100's, 200's up to 400 with a little 12 pounder. From then it was another sport for me to do. I've always had an athletic look, just really skinny. It wasn't until I started working with my trainer Von Ray Johnson at 16 my physique and mind state changed forever. I learned about consistency and nutrition and I became more obsessed with pushing my own potential to new heights.
At 19 I became a fitness model, making the way my physique looked more important and the way I presented it even more. Looking through fitness magazines had a different appeal to me as modeling became more of a priority. I started thinking I could do that, the same with modeling, I procrastinated for years.
At 21 I became a certified personal trainer in downtown Portland, OR. My trainer has encouraged everyone of my career moves and we've always talked about me getting my stage to compete. My only hesitation was getting too big and not being able to model, then out of no where this Men's Physique category presents a great opportunity.
April 2nd, 2011 I entered my first contest placing 3rd (Vancouver, USA). Later that year in September, I placed 2nd at The Ironman. The following month I'd capture my first Overall 1st place title at The Northern Classic. I'd end my first year of competition with a 2nd place finish at The Northwest Championships.
I'm currently about 9 weeks from this years Vancouver, USA, and I also plan on competing in this years Emerald Cup. I missed last year. I'm also planning my first trip to Nationals this year.
What do you love most about physique?
You have the opportunity to present all your hard work in a very artistic way. Overall it's just a pleasure.
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
Knowing if I keep at it I WILL get what I want. When I heard National winners get a pro card, that really motivated me. It's on the checklist, and it's not at the bottom.
What keeps you motivated?
What I imagine my future would be like. I've really come to accept that this doesn't come over night. I can't just wish, I can't just train, it's a lifestyle like they say. I love watching Kai Greene, Bruce Lee, of course Arnold, pumping iron, all of those movies make it easy to relate and push you mentally.
What are your future goals, dreams and plans?
I want to win a National overall title and my pro card. I've always had the dream of a fitness cover. Being involved, more importantly recognized in the fitness industry.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
I'm always changing my routine mostly going 2-3 days on, 1-2 off, depending on how I feel. I go on how I feel more than anything. If I feel like 15 reps and 4 sets of everything then that's it. I base my workout on exactly what needs to change on how I look or to maintain.
How often do you perform cardio?
Sometimes stair stepper, 20-40 minutes, moderate to light intensity. Biking is my major cardio, lots of sprints, hill climbs, outdoor and indoor. 30 minutes spin bike after night workouts.
Do you supplement your weight training and cardio with any other physical activities?
Always at least 30 minutes on spin bike, resistance goes up and down throughout the session. Highest resistance standing timed at 2-3 splits. Stretching, hiking, skateboarding, snowboarding, cliff diving.
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
I base my training off of weak points and whether a contest is coming soon. Every few weeks certain exercises are swapped. I like to focus on detail, getting different types of separation, will take systematic/meticulous training.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who wants to get ripped?
Quit eating whatever it is your eating. No it's not helping. They're most likely the wrong type of calories. Stop drinking soda, eating cheese, heck most dairy on a regular basis. I love pizza, but I also work out 4 hours burning it off. Noticed how all I talking about is food? Working out is the easy part, its the drinks, fries and... well you know the rest, that kills it.
What are some of the most common mistakes made when trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
Diet. They train with too much weight. Bad form.
What are your favorite 5 muscle building exercises and why?
- Squats - Just plain power.
- Weighted Pull Ups - Not only cause it builds my lats, but it has its only type of progression in itself. I remember when I could only do 12, now I can do 145+ attached to my waist, and I weigh 173.
- Straight Bar Curl - You really feel it through the arms.
- Windshield Wipers - You gotta have some strength, really helps keep the abs tight.
- Deadlift - This is pretty much the move of all moves.
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
Burger and a shake.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
Egg whites, protein pancakes.
Which athletes do you admire any why?
Frank Zane, he beat Arnold.
Workout music – What's on your MP3 player?
Lupe Fiasco, The Killers, Jimi Hendrix.
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
- "All types of knowledge, ultimately leads to self knowledge."
- "Avoid strength, attack weakness."
- "He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know."
- “Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.”
- “I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine.”
- "Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality."
- "Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
- "Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there."
- "I always learn something, and that is: to always be yourself. And to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him."
- "It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."
Jim Golden, April Greer, Erik Isakson