The 2012 NPC Jr.Nationals always has quality competition and this year was no exception. Many bodybuilders over the U.S. gathered this past weekend to do show their best to the judges and heavyweight competitor Matt Burzacott went from a dismal showing in 2011 to second in the heavyweight class this year.
The Des Moines, IA native started bodybuilding like others within the sport. He was exposed to a weight room through having to lift for football. He said he had a subscription to Flex which happened to have the Feldman brothers, Brett and Kraig, who were flown out to Venice Beach, California for a photo shoot for Flex after winning the NPC Teen Nationals in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Burzacott saw how where the Feldman’s were given the five star treatment and he wanted to be apart of what is now an annual tradition for the winner of the NPC Teenage Nationals.
“I said I could do that when I was 19, so I entered the Teen Nationals in 2004 and 2005,” he said. In 2004 Burzacott went up against heavyweight winner and eventual IFBB Pro Jason Huh and in 2005 went against Heavyweight winner and current IFBB Pro Steve Kuclo and lost by one point.
“I was hooked after those two shows,” he said.
While doing some offseason training, Burzacott tore his pectoral. He said he was set back a little bit but remained undaunted in his bodybuilding training and thought that he wouldn’t do well at the national level
“I couldn’t let go and it’s hard for me to train with no purpose. I didn’t want to regret at least trying to do well at the national level,” he said. The turning point came in 2010 when he started working with Don Long.
“He’s the person who changed my outlook on the whole thing. Why should I half ass when I can put my all into it?” he said.
He also talked with super trainer Chad Nicholls and he helped put Burzacott back on the path to progress. Burzacott thought Nicholls would have him doing some of the exotice training and diet that has seemed to permeate modern bodybuilding, but Burzacott was surprised when Nicholls was the proto-typical “old school” trainer
“Chad said I needed to focus on conditioning and be a heavyweight so that’s what I did this year,” he said noting that Nicholls approach to prep is very basic.
The advice paid off as Burzacott won the 2012 rendition of the NPC Muscle Mayhem show and placed second in the heavyweights at this years Jr.Nationals. He said that he decided to do the show 11 weeks out and really didn’t have an offseason to work with so he enlisted the help of his friend Tony Friedrich for this years prep. He gives Tony a lot of credit for the improvements he’s made.
“I prefer working with someone and it doesn’t have to be a big name guy. You just need someone that knows what you need to do to do well at the national level,” he said. Burzacott’s diet consisted of fish, egg whites and chicken with little to no fat. He did less cardio than he has in the past and came in better condition than in previous showings. In addition to a revamped diet, Burazcott’s training has constantly evolved and he feels it was instrumental in his improved physique.
“I have a “Jay Cutler” type routine with lots of volume. If I tear something else, I’m done,” he said.
With a top five placing at the jr’s he is setting his sights to the big time in amateur bodybuilding, the pro qualifiers.
“I’ll go into the USA’s and come in as a heavyweight again.” he said.