I have a bunch of questions about your off-season plans. Do you have an off-season diet? Do you do any cardio then? Do you take many weeks off from the gym?
I’m going to have a very short off-season this year because I plan on doing the Arnold Classic so I can qualify for the 2014 Mr. Olympia. If and when I qualify for the Olympia, I want to improve upon my seventh place I got this year by coming in bigger and tighter. I said last year I’d improve for 2013, and I did. I know I surprised a lot of people with how I looked. In the past year that I’ve done my own diet and training, I’ve learned a lot about how my body works and what food is best for me. I’m going to take what I learned and apply that in my short off- season to get bigger. In terms of nutrition, I don’t count calories in the off-season or weigh my food, because I need to grow properly and to do that you need a lot of calories. However, I keep my diet very clean and don’t eat a lot of junk food because it makes it that much harder to get back on a strict diet. I do zero cardio off- season and one reason I can get away with it is that I don’t indulge in a lot of junk.
I will never take time of from the gym, even during the holiday time between the Arnold Classic Europe and the Arnold in Ohio. I feel if I stay away I won’t want to hit it as hard when I get back into the swing of things. But instead of going twice a day, I’ll usually go only once per day. Occasionally, I skip a day but never a week at a time. Even if I’m sick, I try to go to the gym and do a light workout. There is only so much time in the off-season—I need to use it all to my advantage.
I enjoyed watching you in Generation Iron. What did you think of the movie? Will you try to do any film roles once bodybuilding is over for you?
I thought the film was very good, and I very much enjoyed it. It gives a different picture of bodybuilding and shows fans what really happens behind the scenes. I was lucky enough to go to the premiere in Los Angeles, and that was a really cool experience. The reaction from my fans has been very positive. What I liked about the movie is that it showed how us bodybuilders tease one another onstage during the posedown, but afterward we’re still friends. I haven’t really thought about what I will do after my bodybuilding career, but films are a possibility. - FLEX