Posted 06 May 2012 by Interview:

Mike Raso

How and when did you start training?

I started training after I finished high school. I have to give my cousin a lot of credit; he was the one that introduced me to the gym. He taught me that proper form came before lifting excessive amounts of weight. Learning form before weights was beneficial to my muscle development. I owe him a lot for starting me up. I also owe my friend, and industry photographer Jason Breeze much thanks for always pushing me to do better and bring my best every time we shoot.

You are an ‘Optimum Nutrition’ and 'Monsta Clothing' sponsored athlete... what advice would you give to anyone trying to get a sponsor?

I am very grateful to be sponsored with Optimum Nutrition as well as Monsta Clothing. The best advice I could give to someone seeking sponsorship opportunities would be to get yourself out there. There are so many other fitness athletes, bodybuilders, and competitors out there. This causes a slim chance of being discovered by a company. Reach out to companies, find the proper contacts, and provide them with images that best represent yourself and your story. We are all unique and have different journeys in this life. Your journey is what makes you unique and that’s what companies are looking for. Once you have established a relationship with the company, keep them updated (every month or so). From there, provide them with updated images as well as future goals you have set out and achieved (competing, etc).

What mistakes did you make as a newbie?

The biggest mistake I made as a newbie was overtraining. The gym was always a release for me; it allowed me to disconnect for an hour and devote some time to myself. At the same time, the gym can become an addiction. I enjoyed training so much that I would not listen to my body when it was in need of rest. The body needs rest to recover. The recovery process is often neglected. I strongly believe that to achieve your ideal physique, nutrition, training, and rest/recovery all need to be consistent. I have now put my ego aside and listen to my body when it is sore. Training a broken down body is like working backwards.

We know consistency is key, what tips would you give to anyone struggling to stay consistent?

I believe that consistency is the key factor that brings you to the next level. Being consistent with your diet, training and sleep is crucial in achieving your goals. If you can keep a positive mindset and look towards the final destination, you will realize it is not worth losing that consistency and retracing your steps. I like to tell others my goals because it encourages me to complete them. If don’t complete my goals, I feel like I’ve let them down. Therefore, the obligation to others helps me stay consistent throughout the year.

Do you listen to music whilst training?

Music is a driving force behind my training. There are a lot of days were I am physically or emotionally drained, but once I hit the gym and get the beats going I become focused and zoned in. I like to listen to trance, rap, hip-hop, R&B and classic motivational music. I am currently listening to:

• Sun & Moon - Above & Beyond
• Man on the Run - Dash Berlin
• She Doesn’t Mind Remix – Sean Paul ft Pitbull
• FAME - Young Jeezy ft TI
• The Game - The City
• Concrete Angel - Gareth Emery ft Christina Novelli
• Sanctuary - Gareth Emery
• Now We Are Free - Enya/Lisa Gerrard

What do you think about when you have to
dig deep and push out that last rep?

To get through those last few tough reps, I think to myself that someone else out there is getting through it and I cannot fall behind. I am always pushing myself to achieve better. I strongly believe that training until failure makes you mentally stronger.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the platform I have created for myself in the industry via my online social networks. I am very honored of the fact that people from all over the world ask for advice or critiquing. I am always glad to help others. I believe giving back to others and helping them succeed is the foundation of the fitness industry.

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

I prefer to stay lean all year round. It is more beneficial for me this way to get ready for shoots and projects. I prefer to add lean muscle throughout the course of the year with minimal fat gain. I find it easier to judge the physique when it is lean, and then add muscle from there.

What types of cardio do you do?

I do not do traditional cardio. My cardio is incorporated with my weight training. I train heavy sets with minimal rest periods. This gives me a high heart rate throughout the workout. I find it beneficial because I am building muscle and burning fat at the same time. I try to train at a consistent high pace for about an hour.

What is your training routine like?

My routine is based off of training one body part per day—I leave one day per week for weak point training. I am always changing my workouts—some days I’ll do 6 exercises with 4 sets each while other days I will go for 10 exercises of 3 sets per exercise. My cardio is all within the routine; I train for 60mins at a high pace while lifting heavy weight until failure. This allows me to continue to build muscle and stay in that fat burning zone. Here is a look at my current routine:

Chest & Weighted ABS session

Legs & Calves

Shoulders & Light ABS session

Back & Calves

Weak Point Training & Weighted ABS session



Check out Mike Raso's detailed workouts here.

What is your diet when trying to get in peak condition?

Meal 1
1 scoop Casein+ ½ cup oats + ½ banana + ½ cup egg whites

Meal 2
1 cup egg whites + 2 tbsp. Almond Butter

Meal 3
1 Protein Source (chicken/fish/extra lean ground turkey)+ vegetables mixture

Meal 4
1 Apple + ¾ Scoop Protein Mix

Meal 5
1 Scoop Protein+ 1 Scoop Waxy Maize

Meal 6
1 Cup Brown Rice Pasta + 1 Protein Source (chicken/fish/extra lean ground turkey)

Meal 7
1 Scoop Casein + ½ egg whites + 2 tbsp. Almond Butter

Who are your favourite athletes, bodybuilders
or fitness models?

Athletes - Peter Forsberg, Gianluigi Buffon, Michael Jordan (These are all top level athletes who displayed tremendous amount of devotion to their sport)

Bodybuilders - WNBF Pro Fernando Cirpriani (His inspiration and dedication illustrate what it takes to succeed. I am grateful to him for his help thus far in the industry.)

Fitness Model - TJ Hoban (Great cover model, carries a positive mindset)

What supplements do you use if any?

All my supplements are with Optimum Nutrition/ABB. I use the following: HydroWhey, Natural Casein, Opti-Men Vitamins, Flax/Fish Oils, L-Carnitine and CLA, Amino Energy, Creatine Monohydrate as well as BCAAs and Glutamine.

What top 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting
to get CutAndJacked?

  1. Make it a lifestyle.
  2. Be consistent with your training, diet and sleep because they all play equal parts into the equation.
  3. Take your training seriously, but don’t let it take over other aspects of your life.
    Enjoy life.

Mike Raso

Height: 6’1 Weight: 215lbs


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Twitter: @MikeRasoFitness

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