For how many years have you been working out and why?
“20 years – Started working out with my brother’s basketball team the summer before my freshman year of high school. I fell in love with the feeling of complete fatigue from intense workouts. I continued after high school to stay in shape and stay strong for the military, then to be strong and in shape when I worked underground in coal mines. Now, I constantly look for new methods, for new exercises… Always looking to push myself harder than the last time. I know I’ll never be the best, but I definitely train with the intensity of the best. I try to instill that same mentality and intensity in all of my clients and their workouts.”
Which kind of workout do you practice?
“I try to incorporate a little bit of everything. I typically begin my workouts with traditional bodybuilding or powerlifting movements, but by the end of my workouts I incorporate functional training and even some CrossFit movements to complete the full-muscle fatigue I’m aiming for. TONS OF VOLUME is what I’ve found works best for me.”
What’s your favorite workout and why?
“I love training back, but I think legs are equal. They are two of the largest muscle groups, and when I start training either of them, I just completely lose myself in those workouts – nothing else matters. 1-hour training sessions are easy; 2-hour training sessions, I barely bat an eye – I think if Gretta didn’t remind me about the whole overtraining thing, I would push 3 hours working legs and/or back on a normal basis.”
What’s the worst workout and why?
“Shoulders for sure. They aren’t that far behind everything else, but like most serious weightlifters and bodybuilders, I’ve developed some serious shoulder pain over the years. Now it comes and goes, so when there’s no pain I make the most of it; but when my shoulder is in pain I have to completely change up my training style to accommodate, and just don’t feel like I’m able to get the same intensity.”
Which body part are you proud of the most and why?
“I don’t know that I actually consider myself proud of it, but if there has to be one it’s my back. I feel like it is the most developed, although I’m constantly looking and finding areas that need additional work. We are our own worst critics, right?”
Which body part are you not satisfied with and why?
“Shoulders – same as my worst workout. We all look at other athletes and compare ourselves to them. I see these massive “boulder” shoulders, then look at mine and pick them apart. As I said above, we are our own worst critics – it only makes me push harder, work harder, and want it more.”
Have you ever competed and what position did you get? Would you do it (again)?
“I have not yet competed. I am extremely competitive. I constantly pick myself apart and say, “Ok, I need to bring this up – let’s focus on that… Ok, I’m lagging behind here – time to bring them up…” But the truth of it is that I will never know if I don’t step on that stage. Be looking for my first stage appearance in 2018 – Gretta and I have decided my first appearance is going to go hand-in-hand with her return to the stage. Our goal is to step up and give it all we’ve got.”
Are you getting any help with your workout or dietplans?
“Gretta handles the diets and I handle the training. Why? Why not? We live, eat, sleep, train together… Who would know my body better when it comes to diet? She can tweak my diet day-to-day if needed based on how she sees me respond to different foods. I’ve been tweaking my training plans for years, so I continue to do so. When we start into show-prep mode though, we’ll more than likely enlist a coach to help us with final contest prep.”
What kind of diet plan are you on and for how many weeks?
“I run a bodybuilder’s diet: 7-9 meals per day; 5,000-6,000 calories per day; High protein/high carb/high fat. I’ve been running essentially the same diet with small variations here and there for a year now. In that time I’ve gained 10-13 pounds lean and am able to maintain between 5- 6% bodyfat.”
Are you taking any supplements?
“We use the 5% Nutrition supplement line – literally everything they carry. As far as additional vitamins: multi-vitamin, vitamin C, vitamin D, Glutamine, digestive enzymes, fish oils, DIM, 5% Liver & Organ Defender, L-Tyrosine, Yohimbine, and some others. And don’t forget the All Day You May BCAA’s!”
Do you have any favorite products? Workout clothes, shakers, protein bars or so? Why and where do you buy them?
- Shoes: Ryder Wear – Most comfortable training shoes we’ve found
- Shorts: Warrior X Gear - Small Veteran-Owned Company from Orlando, FL. We support our Vets, and he supports us
- Shirts: 5% Nutrition by Rich Piana
Also Fragout Clothing Company from the USA supports us with additional clothing and accessories. We buy all our products online”
Where do you work out and why?
“We train at LA Fitness most of the time. I travel a lot for work, and my LA Fitness membership travels with me wherever I go, so it makes sense. They have great facilities and equipment. We also like to check out other gyms when we travel, whether they are other LA Fitness or just a local gym. It’s great to see how others do it, and we love to network with other athletes with similar passions.”
When are you satisfied? Or will you ever be?
“I’m always hungry. Every day when I wake up I look in the mirror and start picking myself apart. This is a part of who I am. The day I am satisfied with where I’m at will be my last day in the gym – it will mean that I’ve lost the spark that keeps me pushing on.”
How much does your workout mean for you and why?
“My workouts mean so much to me… I’ve carried things back from my tours overseas with the military; those long and stressful days where you feel like banging your head off the wall… The gym is where I have my chance to pour it all out and leave it all behind. When I walk out of the gym, I feel like the burden of the day has been lifted off my shoulders. “
How tall are you and how much do you weigh at the moment?
“6’0” and I currently weigh between 230-235 depending on the day; I fluctuate 5 lbs day-to-day.”
How much time do you use on fitness?
“We have our business, so I guess you could say I spend all day on fitness, but my own fitness… I spend about 30-45 minutes each morning for cardio and abs, and about 2 hours each afternoon or evening to train hard.”
Do you have an idol - if yes; who?
“Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Who wouldn’t look up to this man? Everything he has accomplished and what he stands for – yet he’s so humble and kind, and kicks it in the a$$ every single session in the gym. He is the one man I hope to have a chance to meet and shake his hand one day. My father is also my idol. He’s taught me so much in life – about being a man, work ethic, discipline, integrity… I’ll be his #1 fan for life.”
Of all the things you have accomplished, during your 'fitness life' - what are you proud of the most?
“I’m so proud to have an amazing training partner and diet coach, and that very same person be the one who believed in me enough to venture into a training business together. This might be more of a “together” accomplishment, but it means the world to me.”