I have been following you online for the past few years and have been amazed with your progress. I noticed you maintain a pretty healthy diet even in the off-season. Have you always been this disciplined as a bodybuilder?
Thanks for the kind words. I have been bodybuilding only since 2005 and have seen constant progression since then, but in all honesty, my nutrition was always a weakness until I started working with Dante Trudel. Before that, I would hide behind the term off-season and eat like sh—t claiming to be “bulking.” I was bulking all right, but all that came from that was a ton of extra fat. I walked around the majority of the year looking more like a competitive eater than a competitive bodybuilder. As soon as Dante altered my eating habits and had me start to eat clean, whole foods, I began growing faster than ever. Seeing the results made it easy to commit to eating a clean diet, and now that I have been following this lifestyle for so long, I rarely even have cravings for things like fast food.
Bottom line is, if you want to see the best results possible, I suggest you try eating high-quality nutrients that will not only help you grow but will also keep your body healthy.
As a big fan of yours, I was really disappointed that your prep for the 2011 NPC Nationals did not go as planned. Where do you think you went wrong, and will you be able to adjust for this year?
Thanks for your support, and believe me when I say that you are not the only one who was disappointed with what I brought to the stage in miami last year. I went wrong the moment I started my prep, because I mentally decided that I wanted to be shredded to the bone. I know that doesn’t sound like a problem, but when you are prepping for a show you want to remember that what matters is how the entire physique looks. You cannot focus on being big and coming in too soft, nor do you want to focus on being shredded and coming in stringy. I fell into the trap and all I focused on was getting more and more peeled, and I didn’t even notice how small I was getting. By the time I weighed in, I was 18 pounds lighter than I had been at the 2010 USA, where I landed in fifth place. Looking back, I have no regrets, because this is a lesson I would much rather learn as an amateur than a professional, but that doesn’t stop me from using that embarrassing showing as fuel for each and every workout this year.
I follow you on Facebook, and you are constantly mentioning that you love to track other bodybuilders’ careers. Whom do you follow?
I am as much a fan of the sport as I am an athlete, so the list of athletes I follow is a long one. Rather than bore you with a long list I will tell you a few of my favorites. First I would have to say Fouad Abiad because I started following him and reading his blogs as I was prepping for the 2008 npC Border States (where I won my first-ever overall title). Following Fouad, I learned that no matter what level you are at in the sport you are dealing with, there are a lot of the same challenges as you get closer to show time. Beyond sharing a lot of the same battles, I also could not help but admire the fact that Fouad was able to show me his genuine character even before I ever had the opportunity to meet him
Another guy I have always followed is Branch Warren. I think I am drawn to Branch because he is the definition of a blue-collar bodybuilder, and he proves that anything is possible if you are willing to bust your ass to succeed.
Your videos and Facebook updates have drawn me to trying supplements from your sponsor, iForce Nutrition. Obviously, I do not have to tell you that the products I tried (Maximize V2, Hemavol, and Tropinol) were all amazing, but I was wondering if iForce has any new products you suggest I try?
First off, thanks for taking my advice and trying the great products from iForce nutrition. As you have now seen, there is a reason I speak so highly of the brand and the products, and unlike a lot of athletes, it is not due to contractual obligation— iForce nutrition products truly are the best. The company has a ton of new products that either just hit the market or will soon. The first product I suggest is its new protein called protean. Not only is it a great protein quality, but it also has a taste that is unmatched by any other company. I personally am hooked on the vanilla Cupcake Batter, but you cannot go wrong with any flavor.
Another product that I have recently started using and love is the new Maximize Intense. I know you already love Maximize V2, but I suggest you try the new Maximize Intense soon. The name says it all, and to give you an idea of how potent this stuff is, I am using only 3⁄4 of a scoop, and even that is pretty strong for me. I rotate between Maximize V2 and Maximize Intense as my pre-workout choice depending on what body part I am training that day. The more grueling workouts get paired with Maximize Intense and the smaller body parts get Maximize v2.