How did you get started in fitness?
Growing up as a kid, I was always very active and got involved in as many sports as I possibly could, and did very well in them. Unfortunately, my muscle tone was much less than impressive to say the least. I was always the tall, skinny kid all the way up until my second last year of high school when I finally decided it was time for me to hit the gym and change my physique. It wasn’t until then that my passion for fitness and personal training really began to take hold. I quickly became a regular at our local gym and before I knew it I was finally beginning to see some results and receiving compliments from friends and family. My love for fitness carried me into McMaster University where I recently graduated with honours with a bachelor’s degree of Science in Kinesiology. It wasn’t until I graduated that I realized what I wanted to do with my future. My passion for this industry was too strong to ignore and so it was time for me to make my mark and start training for my first competition and begin my career in fitness modelling. Knowing I couldn’t do this myself, I began working with a coach. Through working with him, strict dieting, and intense training over the next 5 months, I far exceeded my expectations and was able to completely transform my physique. Since then, I have joined the Total Body Advantage team and couldn’t be happier. My amazing coaches and teammates have allowed me to become the best I possibly can and begin to make my mark in this industry.
What is your favorite body part to train?
As much as we all love those international chest days on Monday, my favorite workout is by far leg day. I absolutely love the pump and muscle soreness you get from training legs, that feeling of complete exhaustion as you crawl your way out of the gym. Beyond the fact that leg day incorporates almost every muscle in your body, an intense leg workout truly tests your physical and mental strength and pushes you beyond your limits. It is on leg days that you find out how bad you really want it, how far you are willing to go to reach your goals.
Can you give us a sample of your routine?
During my prep, we included a ton of circuit style training with heavy weight and drop sets/pyramid sets to keep my heart rate and metabolic rate up during the entire training time. I found that this method helped by lean down and put on solid quality muscle at the same time.
2. Power Upright Row
3. Pull Ups
4. Flat Bench
2. Leg Extension
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working out?
I definitely have quite an assortment of music while I train but the genres I listen to most would for sure be house music and some heavy metal, pretty much anything that has some crazy beats and will keep me pumped up the entire workout!
We all have at least one, what is the most embarrassing song on your iPod?
Oh wow, I don’t think I have anything too too crazy on my iPod luckily but scrolling through I saw that I had that “Just Give Me A Reason” song by Pink on there.
What does your diet look like when you are trying to get lean?
For leaning out, I always found that carb cycling works amazing for me in allowing me to cut down quick while still adding some solid muscle. My main carb sources are mostly sweet potato and oatmeal with my fats coming almost solely from liquid fish oil. I keep my proteins to chicken and egg whites as well as I try to stay away from the fats and sodium in red meats during those final weeks of a contest prep. Carb cycling usually consists of a high day, moderate, and two low days and then repeating the cycle over and over. This allows you burn fat on those ultra low days and then refuel your muscle on high carb day to help add some solid muscle. It is vital to keep your water intake high here (I try to stay around 5-6litres a day) as it will help keep your metabolism high and ensure you are digesting and absorbing everything correctly.
List the top 10 foods we would find in your kitchen:
I think it’s safe to say many competitors will be carrying around those bare essentials. In my kitchen you will definitely always see mounds of pre-cooked chicken, mixed veggies, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, oatmeal, steak, egg whites, and then the fun stuff like cookies, ice cream, and mixed nuts. Although it doesn’t count as a food, I think I can speak for many of us when I say you would most definitely find multiple bottles of Franks Red Hot in my kitchen at all times!
What kind of cardio do you like best and why?
It’s important to switch up your cardio between steady state and interval training depending on your goals and available time to train. On those days where I am time consumed and need to be in and out of the gym I always go for HIIT training either on the bike or step mill as they shred fat and keep your metabolism at a high level long after you leave the gym. In terms of steady state (such as morning fasted cardio), I have become a big fan of the elliptical lately as it is low impact on your knees and, if you’re wearing sweats while you do it, even at a low steady state you will burn calories and sweat like crazy. Morning fasted cardio has quickly become a staple in my regimen as it immediately targets your fat stores as its form of energy and will help you lean down in no time.
[youtube width=”615″ height=”500″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib6xiBIOtkc[/youtube]
If you could give somebody only one bodybuilding tip what would it be?
Be patient and only compete against yourself. Too often individuals expect to see results within days or wonder why they haven’t achieved their fitness goals after only training for a few weeks. Be patient. Results take time and nothing ever comes quickly. Stick to your game plan and try to be better each and every day and you will reach your goals in due time. As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Another important tip is to only compete against the person in the mirror. Don’t be discouraged when you look at others and what they have achieved or what their physiques look like. Focus on you and being better than you were the day before. It is impossible to ever be disappointed when you wake up each day feeling better than the day before.
Tell us about your biggest fitness influence?
There has been a vast amount of individuals who have dramatically influenced me along my fitness journey. Some of the major ones would definitely be my coach Doug Casebier, Jean-Jacques Barrett, David Kimmerle, and James Ellis to name a few. Jean-Jacques has been very supportive and encouraging to me since day 1 and his positive attitude and outlook on fitness and life are something I definitely look up to. He is an amazing representative of the sport and serves as an incredible role model for aspiring fitness models. My coach, Doug Casebier, has played an absolutely massive role in how far I have come. As part of the TBA team, I have never learned so much about myself, my body, this industry, and life in general. Coach, along with my teammates, have been instrumental in my progress as a fitness model and every single day I am learning something new about how to improve myself and becoming a more complete fitness model.
Favorite cheat food?
Now that’s a tough question! As big of a sweet tooth as I have, I would probably still have to say that my favourite cheat would have to be sushi. It is still relatively clean and tastes amazing which is very important as a semi-clean cheat ensures your body will still absorb and utilize those calories appropriately for muscle growth.
Do you take any supplements?
I try to get most of my nutrition through my diet however I definitely do that some of the essential supplements. My daily supplementation would include multivitamins along with other vitamins and minerals, fish oils, digestive enzymes, whey protein, BCAAs+Glutamine, and occasionally creatine.
What does the future hold for you?
With an already amazing start to the year, the next big challenge in front of me will be competing at the WBFF World Championships this coming August in Las Vegas. Stepping on stage with the top pro male fitness models in the world will be an amazing experience and I am very excited to get back into prep mode. On top of competing, I hope to build my brand and my name and work towards being a more recognized and published fitness model as I strive to help as many people as I possibly can reach their own health and fitness goals.