What is your athletic background, how did you get involved with lifting?
I went to a small school growing up so I was able to really play and try any sport. I excelled in basketball and I went on to play division II college basketball where I became a 2 time honorable mention All-American. After college I started hitting the weights and still had that passion and competitive spirit.
I started modeling and then fitness modeling. I was featured in my first national fitness magazine Exercise for Men and then landed on the cover of Healthy & Fit magazine. During my modeling career I decided I needed and I wanted to fuel my competitive edge. For me I set some goals to step on stage and compete for the very first time.
In 2011, I won the MuscleMania Model America Great North and Fitness New England on ESPN 3. I was selected to compete in the bodybuilding.com Fitbody contest where I took 3rd place. I then competed in the WBFF Boston show and won and earned my pro card. I also competed in the Model Universe and WBFF pro show.
What I love is feeding my appetite for competition, the feeling of hard work, accomplishment from settings goals and the occasional rewards that go with it. What I dislike is the sacrifice. It seems like what ever competition you pick they overlap the holidays and for me that means giving up all the fun food!
What were the major milestones that gave you that "extra" motivation boost?
Being featured in Fitness magazines, walking in stores and seeing yourself on products or advertisements, earning my pro card.
What keeps you motivated?
Most of all, I do it because it’s who I am. I enjoy being fit. But another motivation factor is being a positive role model for my kids. Hard works pays off there is no doubt about it. Showing them to do it the right way and not cut corners breeds success in no matter what you’re doing.
Who were your heroes growing up and how did they help inspire you to get involved with?
LOL, people laugh but it was Hulk Hogan and also Rocky Balboa in Rocky 4. I can’t explain it really but it would give me motivation and energy. I would watch wrestling in my room as a kid and fake like I was actually Hulk Hogan coming down the ring or I would jump rope like as if I was Rocky himself.
What does your current training and split look like, and what do you like most about it?
Nothing fancy here. I do 4 days of weight training, 3 days of cardio, and 3 of the days I add stretching. 2 body parts per day, one major muscle group and one minor, 4 exercises per group, 4 sets of 10-12 reps. Cardio days I rotate between riding my bike, running and now swimming. The best thing is variety and hitting all the little forgotten muscles.
How often do you change your training routine, and do you periodize your training?
I change mine every 5 weeks, or if I feel bored or stagnant. I change the order of exercises, speed count of exercise, hand grips, bars, dumbbells, even time of the day. I also change my workout based on what I’m eating.
Which do you prefer, and why…steady state cardio or HIIT?
I do both but I prefer steady state cardio because I recover quicker after my workout, and for me sometimes I need to unwind my stress for the day. It’s hard to unwind in 25 -30 minutes on HIIT because it so intense and demanding.
What are some of your best training tips for someone who wants to look good and get ripped?
Simple, layout goal, develop plan on getting there. Your plan should include time tables for preparing meals, eating, training, resting and most important stick with it. It’s really that simple!
What are some of the most common mistakes made when someone is trying to build muscle and/or get ripped?
Overtraining. I made this mistake and learned the hard way. Sometimes I was working out twice a day. If I missed a day I would try to double up. The lack of rest and pushing it to the limit, my body developed tendonitis.
It seemed like when I got tendonitis out of my shoulder it went to my elbow, when it left there it when to my knee. Mentally it really messed with me because it took so long to heal, rest, and slowly start back up. I learned from my mistake and I now rest properly.
Do you have any gym, muscle building or fitness pet peeves?
My pet peeve is when you're training and someone comes over and tries to give you advice on the exercise - how to do it. My response is, why would you give me advice when you don’t have any knowledge of what I’m training for? Was training for speed for sports, strength, rehabilitation, stretching?
What does your post-workout nutrition and supplementation look like?
What are your favorite cheat meals and foods?
If I see it and I’m craving it’s on the menu! Usually Mountain Dew and Hostess Cherry Pie! When I go bad I go bad.
What are your favorite meals and foods?
Salmon, spinach and asparagus!
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
- "The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do." - Walter Bagehot
- "Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work." - H.L. Hunt
Isaac Hinds, Empyrean Photography, Steve Mchugh, Jason Ellis Photography, Luis Rafeal, David B. Smith