I started lifting weights in 2006, I was a basketball player, hoping to get a scholarship for college. I am not very tall, so I always thought in different ways to compensate. Looking at my idols in the nba, having some muscle seemed to help become a better player. At the end, my passion for fitness just took over and it became my life.
I guess you could say I always have been obsessed with accomplishing new and more difficult goals all the time. But reading the messages of support I get from my social media friends, particularly from Mexico, motivates me to try to be better than I was. Just because I want to be a good role model, and not let anybody down.
My best advice for a beginner would be to start with a generic training program, lets say 5 days a week, 1 or 2 muscles a day, work every muscle once a week and just get used to being disciplined and consistent with a program. After a few months, when they learn what their strengths and weaknesses are, they can make adjustments and go into detail, in order to improve and have the best all round body they can have.
I have tried all of these methods, and depending of my schedule, intermittent fasting can be very helpful when I have a busy schedule and don’t have a lot of time to be cooking many meals a day. Carb Cycling can be useful when I’m in a maintenance period, but for competition I usually do the traditional 6 meals a day, eating every 3 hrs.
My favorite protein sources: Egg whites, tilapia, chicken breast and steak.
My favorite carb sources: Sweet potato, oatmeal, brown rice.
My fats usually are from almonds/nuts.
When dieting I eat lots of green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and asparagus too.
I try to eat the least sugar possible, and the least sodium possible. I drink at least a gallon of water daily. I have a cheat meal once a week. No matter what, I still have a high protein, low carb, good amount of healthy fats kinda diet.
Music gives me more adrenaline to train! So I love listening to music, particularly deep house and reggaeton while training.
I am proud to say that I always strive to leave my mark in this world, and make it a better place than it was before. Whether it is inspiring people, giving advice, or helping whenever I can.
My goal is to one day represent the idea of being able to accomplish anything you want in life, no matter what circumstances or obstacles. In my case, I come from a 3rd world country, born in a family with not a lot of money. My dad left when I was little so growing up was tough. But as a teenager I decided to come to America and follow my dreams. I don’t really have the best genetics but with hardwork and dedication I believe you can accomplish great things.
For the most part I stay within 10 lbs of photoshoot/contest shape most of the time, but I do take about a month off twice a year and then come back full force, trying to improve my last performance.
My workout is designed to improve my weak bodyparts. It can change in the future, but for now it looks like this. I do it for a period of 2 weeks and then I start over: Also I like to work in supersets, 2 muscles involved in every superset. Usually I do 5 different exercises per muscle, and 3 sets per exercise, for a total of about 30 sets (15 per muscle). For cardio, I usually do 30 min after working out off-season, and 1 hr when getting ready for something specific like a competition or photoshoot. Combining stairmaster, hiit in the elliptical, jogging at the treadmill and walking in the treadmill with maximum inclination. I work out my abs 4 times a week too.
Tuesday: Legs(quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes)
Tuesday: Legs(quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes)
Friday: Legs(quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes)
My favorite bodybuilder of all time is Arnold, not only because he had a great physique, but he was the ultimate success in everything he did, from action films, to politics, to real state, etc. A fitness model that inspired me was Greg Plitt, he had an awesome and aesthetic body, and he managed to be the most published fitness model with hundreds of magazine covers. My favorite athlete of all time is Allen Iverson, I loved the fact that despite being short, he was an all time great in the sport, got to the top in the NBA and did it with style. Also Muhammad Ali, who made an impact not only in boxing, but in society as well and will never be forgotten.
My favorite supplements are whey protein, creatine, glutamine, bcaas and vitamins.
1. Eat right
2. Train Hard
3. Rest enough
Born: March 1988
Contest weight: 195 lbs, Offseason: 210 lbs
Height: 5ft 11in
Location: Miami, FL
Competitions and titles:
Musclemania Fitness Model World Champion
Former WBFF Pro Athlete
Former NPC National Level competitor
2014 Muscle Model America Champion
2012 Model Universe Champion
3x Sonora Mexico Fitness Model Champion('08, '10, '12)
2012 WBFF World Championships 3rd Place
2011 NPC Southern States Mens physique 2nd place
Social Media and Website:
I remember being 13 or 14 and looking at a Men’s Health cover and wanting to be that guy. At that age, we’re still trying to find an identity and know who we are. This was definitely a calling for me, especially because I had no older brother to look up to or play sports with. Fortunately, the window cleaner who would come to wash all the windows on our house was a world-class powerlifter, and it wasn’t long before he took me to the local weight lifting club – an old scouts hut in Farnborough (Hampshire, UK), called ‘Bob’s Weightlifting Club’. I remember seeing this old, worn up, messy gym and just falling in love with it. Paint was flaking off the walls, parts of carpet had been missing, and just a radio was all there was for music. It was raw and it was real, and everyone in there was there for one thing – building their bodies. It was here that I learnt about weight lifting and body building, and was spending hours there every night after school lifting weights and watching my body change. By the time I was 17 I already had a pretty impressive physique, and although lacking the muscle density and size – I had everything there in proportion.
After just a couple of years of lifting weights, and countless hours of reading and studying everything I could about the body, I wanted to do a competition and put everything I had worked so hard for to the test. It was hardly surprising considering almost everyone at that gym had stepped on stage at some point in their life. My ambition was to win a bodybuilding show, which I did at my first competition – the BNBF Central Championships. I continued competing in (drug tested) bodybuilding shows over the next few years, but in order to keep climbing higher I would need to have put a lot more muscle on for my frame, and even though I tried gaining more weight, I always found myself chasing conditioning more than size. This is when my interest changed from bodybuilding to fitness (modeling), and I transitioned into competing within fitness shows and gaining momentum with exposure in magazines. My previous years of training and heavy lifting had allowed me to grow some quality lean muscle but without looking too bulky. As for my knowledge in diet and nutrition, I was able to keep much of my size when dieting, resulting in a denser, hard lean look.
I’ve been fortunate enough to do well in most of my shows I’ve competed in (over 25 shows in total), including several big wins. I’ve also been featured in many magazines (both as a writer and a model), and appeared on more than 7 covers. Looking back to where I started from where I am now, I would definitely say that I’ve realized my ambition as a kid. It didn’t come quickly or easy, and it took many years to get to where I am now, but the journey was definitely worth it as it opened up opportunities that I would've never had.
Ever since I first became interested in the gym and with training, I wanted to learn and understand as much as I could about what I should be doing, why I should be doing it, and how I should be doing it. This was back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, so way before social media first started. By the time the likes of YouTube and Myspace were first becoming popular I had already competed in several shows and learned a lot about how to diet and prep for a show. With my background in Media Technology (I graduated from London University with a degree in Media Technology) I became interested in documenting everything I was doing, from videos, blogs and image gallery’s.
I guess it was my willingness to want to put it all out there to show others how I did things and how they could follow in my footsteps as well.
Video format has been the best platform for me, as I would also take a video camera to my competitions with me to film what it was like backstage and how I prepped for it. These quickly gained views as fitness competitions became more popular, and so I continued to film my workouts and explain my methods behind them.
This wasn’t something I ever set out to do or become when I first began training. I just wanted to have a killer physique and could say I was on the cover of a magazine. Realizing that people soon began following me to find out information and ask questions really put it into perspective and it showed me that I could start to have a positive impact on people of all ages on how to eat, train and generally live a healthier lifestyle. This really actually motivated me and gave me pride in what I was doing, knowing that I could be helping people like I was once helped.
I first came to Hollywood back in 2006 for a competition I had qualified for back in England. I only visited for 5 days and fell in love with the mindset people had here towards training. I was working at a private training center in London at the time and after returning from the U.S. I couldn’t stop thinking about when I could next return. I was fortunate enough to have made a few contacts during my competition and received a few emails ranging from photo shoots to questions about training and my website. In the late spring of 2007 I came back to Los Angeles for 2 weeks and did a lot of networking and made many new contacts. For the best part of a year, I would fly back and forth from the UK to the U.S. and once my Visa had been processed I remained in Los Angeles from 2008 onwards.
For the next few years I worked mostly with video production for a cable channel back in the UK. This opened up a lot of new doors and allowed me to travel more, in which I met many new people and visited different states and saw how different the fitness lifestyle was from back home in England.
The model/physique category had already begun to grow here in the U.S. but back in 2007/8 I remember there only being a handful of small fitness competitions in the UK, nestled in amongst the already established, larger bodybuilding shows. There was definitely a progression happening in the U.S. that England seemed to be lacking in. I remember visiting the UK around the end of 2009 and seeing that people there didn’t know what the TRX or Kettlebells were (certainly not as well known as they are now), whereas the U.S. had been using them for at least a year or two.
I think the real change came around 2010, when social media platforms were all in full swing and the transparency of what everyone was doing closed the gap considerably between the two countries. I began seeing a greater variety of fitness competitions, expos, supplement and clothing brands all start to pop up out of nowhere, and it didn’t take long until it almost seamed seamless between the two countries.
In a word – yes. You have to be if you really want to progress and see results. I see the best changes/results when I train for a competition and have to plan everything out ahead of time otherwise I know I wouldn’t end up where I need to be on show day.
Goals keep us all motivated and hungry. There’s been months when I’ve gone into the gym and had good workouts but because I wasn’t working towards a particular goal found that after just a short time, I was no longer enjoying my workouts like I was when I was training for something. The same goes for my diet. Without a goal, I wasn’t eating bad as my diet was still fairly clean, but I sure as heck wasn’t keeping my conditioning and muscle fullness. At best I can describe it as ‘just floating’. I wasn’t making any progression, yet I was still spending all the time going to the gym and money on food and supplements.
Even when I’m not planning on any upcoming shows, I still like to set goals, and keep myself motivated. It isn’t always to get into the best possible condition that I can, but rather smaller things like – Can I add some more thickness to my lower back, or fill out my arms a little more. Having smaller goals like this always keeps me working towards something, and in doing so keeps me focused on what I need to be doing.
The biggest motivation recently has been in seeing the amount of new talent coming on to the scene in recent years. When I first got a taste of fitness and first being published, there were a handful of top guys (many of whom are still around today, and some who are sadly no longer), but now, with the rise of social media and growing interest in physique competitions, I see so many guys (and girls) in amazing shape, and many of them are literally 10 years or so younger than me. This pushes me to step up my training and pull together everything I know to be able to continue to grow and get better as an athlete/competitor amidst a sea of fresh new young talent.
Now more than ever, I also want to build a legacy where people years/decades from now can look to what I’ve done/am doing and be inspired and get motivated by it, and to do that I need to be putting out as much useful, valuable information as I can, across blogs, videos, interviews and appearances. I’m also at the age where it won’t be too long before I start thinking about a family and having children, and not only do I want to be the best father I can possibly be (who doesn’t?), but I also want to create something that my little boy or girl can be proud of me for what I’ve done. Whether that means dressing up as superman and flying them around the room, or taking them out on little adventures, it means I not only want to look in great shape but I also want to be healthy and feel healthy, and I believe the lifestyle I’m following and sharing with others is something that I can keep up for many many, more years. If that’s not motivating then I don’t know what is.
For the past couple of years I’ve actually followed a Paleo type diet, and found I could pretty much get to the same level of conditioning as when I included carbs but without the hassle of needing to weigh out foods. My body seems to crave meats and fats, which I loved eating – although it soon became expensive always buying meats and I’m pretty sure my desire for almond butter was becoming a bit to unhealthy.
Earlier this year I switched back to including carbs into my diet, following a standard ratio of 40:40:20 for proteins, carbs and fats. I did this for a couple of reasons, mostly because I found I could get my conditioning just a little more tighter when including carbs, and secondly because it opened my diet to a little more variety.
I’m a sucker for the old-school approach of bodybuilding. Free weights, go heavy, deep and use a full range of motion. When I was younger I used to try to lift as much weight as I could, but as the years went past and the more I learned (both from studying and from my own trial and adjustments), I learned to scale back on the maximum amount of weight and focus more on ‘feeling the muscle’ work. I’ve seen much better results from training this way, and have been able to see greater muscle density and size than when I was training a few years back with as much weight as I could lift. Sometimes you need to take a step back in order to continue to move forward.
Below is a basic run through of my weekly workout:
I often train around 5.30pm (after I’ve eaten most of my daily meals), as this is when I feel the strongest, plus I’ve finished work for the day and have nothing left on my mind except the lift ahead.
I also perform some type of cardio most mornings (ranging from 20 – 45 minutes) as well as an Ab circuit for 15 minutes.
I launched my own supplement company in 2013 called Performance Nutrition after formulating my own fat burner (Ripped) after not being able to find anything that worked as well as I wanted that didn’t leave me feeling jittery or on edge after using it.
There for my top 5 supplements would be:
1. Being consist has to be one of the biggest tips I can give. When you’ve got a good workout program in which you feel like you’ve given it your all each session, and a diet and supplement plan that you’re able to stick with and stay regular on, then you can really start to lay down some foundations. Once you’ve got several solid months of regular training and diet under your belt, you can begin to make just a few changes to your training and diet and see much more of a difference than just randomly changing things.
2. Have a plan and stick to it. Only this way you can see if things are working or not. By remaining consistent and staying motivated (by setting smaller, more achievable goals), you can make small progress in your training that will soon add up to be a big difference. These things take time, so be prepared for that. Don’t expect big results in just a few weeks or months.
3. One final tip I can give that really helped me is to find something that you love and enjoy doing and become the best at that, not matter how small it is. I love training arms, and feeling the pump in my biceps and as a result have grown some pretty decent peaks on my arms. If you feel as though you have strong legs, or back, or even forearms and calves, then focus on making those outstanding and you’ll soon start to see how you can make a name for yourself in the industry!
Stay focused, stay committed and be the inspiration for others to follow in your footsteps.
Working out with your significant other can be a double edged sword. On one hand you have a support system to encourage you and hold you accountable to your goals. They can help motivate you, and keep you on track. On the other hand you are actively participating with someone who can hinder your success or you theirs, and you can end up resenting each other altogether. This can be the best thing you ever do as a couple, or the worst. Let’s delve into the Pros and Cons of working out with your significant other.
My wife Amber and I are very active in fitness and the fitness industry. You would think that we would fit perfectly together in the realm of training and nutrition- WE DON’T. We are both competitive and both set in our ways. We both train for different purposes. We have found formulas that work for ourselves so it’s hard to take what someone else is doing, especially the opposite sex and apply it to your own training.
Commenting on eachothers habits, or weak points and how to improve them has been a struggle between us. We are both trainers and share somewhat similar philosophies, but we differ in many things. Being honest is one thing, but we have learned to NOT try and take over the others program or make too many suggestions on what to change as it brings out our competitive nature and hurts our pride. This causes us to rebel against what the other is trying to promote. Giving a critique can make the one receiving the criticism feel insecure and inferior, in turn causing conflict.
When we first attempted a couple’s workout, I believe we both became frustrated with one another giving each other direction and putting together a workout that neither of us really liked. From that point we stuck to walking outside. We would still go to the gym together, but always kept our workouts separate. One day on vacation we went to a local gym. We warmed up by playing basketball, something both of us hadn’t done in years, and had a blast. From there we did a full body circuit workout and we really enjoyed that too. After that we went outside and found some stairs and decided to take turns running up and down them. We finally found a formula that worked for us and had a lot of fun doing it, not to mention we got in a great workout.
With our new found success we decided that we would set some workout parameters. We do our own workouts during the week, yet we are still active and spend time together. On Saturdays we do a touch up workout together. It can consist of a full body circuit, a body part workout, or whatever we mutually decide that day. We take turns guiding the workout. Like it or not, one follows the other without complaint. Sundays we do what we call a “fun day”. We pick something active and what we deem to be “fun” and go do it. It could be a walk through downtown followed by taking our dog to the park or we may go to the zoo and spend the day walking around. We could play putt putt golf, or even do yard work. We just stay active and make it fun and are creative in the process.
It took a long time (over a year) for Amber and I to find our way into a workable routine that didn’t cause conflict in our relationship. Take the time necessary to let the part of your fitness journey spent together grow. If you rush it and don’t respect what the other brings to the table you may cause far more harm than good.
We utilize good communication as a key factor, give and receive feedback and ACTUALLY listen when it’s given. We agree on set parameters, and do not push our own methodology on the other person over their own. This has enabled us to find balance and a common ground; not to mention it has been great for us in our workouts and has helped us grow as a couple.
We understand what motivates each other and we “get it” when it comes to the lifestyle we both live and the demands set upon us from sponsors, contests, and even ourselves. We do what we can to be supportive, understanding, and help the other as much as we can. We eliminate any negatives from the equation as they appear. Patience, love, and communication is key.
Follow these guidelines and you too will have a healthy and fit relationship with your significant other.
Written By Brandan Fokken
Born: June 16, 1936 (age 79)
(In no particular order)
Melissa Le Man
Jay Cutler talks about his childhood.
Kevin Levrone talks about the Olympia he feels he should have won.
Are you a picky eater? Does the thought of eating chicken and brown rice for the rest of your life make you want to say “forget it all” and settle for the body that you are ashamed of? You are not alone. Luckily, IIFYM is here to save the day.
IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros”. Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way, it is NOT a “diet”. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word. What I mean is, with traditional diets, you are told WHAT to eat.
For example, a typical diet would look something like this:
Meal 1 – Chicken and Broccoli.
If you’re lucky, they may say:
Meal 1 – 6 oz of Chicken with 1 Broccoli
If they’re cute about it, you might get:
Meal 1 – Eat chicken the size of your fist or a deck of cards with all the greens you want.
While this is probably a huge improvement for someone used to stuffing 15 cheeseburgers and a case of beer back on the daily, pretty soon, you may just get tired of it. Bland food with no “cheating” can lead to binges, which can destroy whatever progress you’ve made up to this point.
Now, if you’re reading this article here on CutandJacked.com – IIFYM isn’t new to you. So, I won’t go into details of how to calculate your macros, etc.
So, are you destined to fail on your journey because you like some variety in your diet? No way.
No food is off limits.
If you’ve ever followed a traditional diet, there is usually an approved foods list. If you deviate from this, you will gain 50 lbs of fat and be forever alone. At least that’s how they make you feel. With IIFYM, there isn’t any specific foods that are off limit. You have your protein, carbs, fat, and fiber goals to meet. How you get there is up to you.
So, that means if you don’t like fish, you don’t have to eat fish. Do you have Celiac’s? No problem. If you can hit your macros, you can hit your goals. The internet is littered with IIFYMers posting pictures of Pop-tarts, pizza, and other items that you would not find in a traditional “diet”. If you have the capacity in your macros, there’s no reason you couldn’t have those foods too. Not only that, you will develop a much healthier relationship with food.
If you’re a picky eater, I hope this article helped you realize that you are not doomed. You can avoid the foods you don’t like, and still make progress if you are able to track your macros and hit those numbers.
Written by Tony Huynh www.goodguyhealth.com
If you count the calorie-free carbs of the erythritol here, it'll add about 4g carbs per serving, but will not change the calories.
Be sure to measure your cacao butter in grams before melting. I have found that 15g of (solid) cacao butter measures to more than 1 tablespoon of liquid.
A note about substitutions: Other than using your choice of natural sweetener, I would not recommend substitutions in this recipe. Without cacao butter, your result won't taste like chocolate. (Coconut oil would give a similar texture, but wouldn't have the chocolate taste and would melt if left at room temperature.) A whey/casein blend would probably need a larger cacao butter to protein powder ratio, as casein absorbs more than whey.
Makes 1 large bar (4 servings).
Recipe created by Andréa's Protein Cakery!
Recipe blog: www.proteincakery.com