I started training from a very young age (5-6 y.o.) with gymnastics that contoured my athletic physique from an early stage in my life. I did gymnastics until around 13yrs old as I was becoming too injurious and was missing school. I kept active with other sport activities such as tennis, volleyball, basketball whilst in school and the beginning of University. Then I started fitness when I was around 20-21, which quickly became an addiction.
I’m a pretty good self-motivator and I try to inspire this into others as much as I can. I very rarely have a lack of motivation ‘issue’ – I love and enjoy way too much what I do and when I put something in my mind I must make it happen. There will always be ups and downs, lots of challenges, but I feel people give up on themselves too easily sometimes. You have to understand that you need to get knocked down, the real challenge of growth, mentally, emotionally and spiritually comes when you get knocked down. It takes courage to act, to start over again, to keep moving forward, to succeed!
I’m not a cardio bunny to be honest, you’ll never see me for hours on a treadmill (I experimented with this once in my life and it's just pure metabolic damage). I do like HIIT & metcon, it works for me, boxing or kickboxing and long relaxing walks as LISS. Fasted cardio works pretty well too (15min bodyweight tabata training) but I try to keep this for the mornings when I have a good uninterrupted 8-9h sleep.
I have lots of favourite healthy recipes and one of them would be Home-made Turkey Burgers.
For 8 burgers:
Mix everything together, prepare the burgers and oven bake at 200 degrees for 12 min each side.
My diet is balanced and flexible. Intelligent flexible dieting is the way forward – talking from a sustainability and health perspective.
I have a certain amount of protein, fats and carbs on a daily basis depending on my training regime. Breakfast will always be protein + fats and other than intra and postworkout carbs I quite like to backload my carbs. I’m always quite looking forward to my before bed bowl of gluten free porridge or my mash sweet potatoes with coconut milk, cinnamon and 1 scoop of fiber.
Honestly, I never crave junk, as a matter of fact I have never had McDonalds in the UK. When your diet is made of fresh wholesome organic foods with all their nutrient value you rarely get nasty cravings. I’m not restricting myself, I just eat healthy and as long as I’m timing my carbs the way it works for me best, no sweet tooth either. However when in prep mode (and cravings inevitable sometimes) dark chocolate is the answer – planned in my macros all the way through the prep.
Squats – No point to enumerate their million benefits; but make sure you master the technique of a correct squat.
GHR (glute-ham raise) – Probably the most underrated exercise, I love it, it hits your entire posterior chain, from gastrocs to hamstrings, glutes and lower back; getting stronger on your GHR will increase your squat, deadlift and clean, make you run faster and jump higher.
Pull-ups with all their variations – The most effective exercise for your upper body. They are fantastic for building strength, endurance and most importantly, CONFIDENCE; once you’ve mastered to lift your own bodyweight any other exercise can be done with ease. The quickest way to strengthen and tone your upper body, arms and abs, love them!
I am not often with my headphones on - as normally the gyms where I train have pretty good music and most of the time I'm training with my team. But yes I have a favourite playlist that is a mixture of old school hip-hop and house music.
My training goes in phases so I kind of change my structure every 4-6 weeks, when I say structure I am referring to exercise selection, intensity, volume, sets, reps, tempo, split, frequency. The body is constantly changing and you need to know when and how to challenge it to optimize the results. At the moment I am in a maintenance phase and trying to reduce size a bit - so doing mainly yoga, gymnastics and only training legs once a week and lots of glutes isolation work - there’s never enough booty :).
I always set goals and everyone should do. Setting up goals and having an action plan gives your life direction, boosts your confidence, motivation and you will ultimately feel fulfilled. This is what I call happiness – feeling fulfilled with your achievements on a personal and professional level. On a short term I am happy with the way my online business grows, looking to increase the number of health retreats per year I do in Europe and hopefully soon all over the world. People are more receptive to change when you take them out of their environment and show them how simple it is to re-set their body, health and make them realize the endless tools they have to do so. So that’s why I love my retreats, it’s a huge satisfaction for me when I say: ‘one more transformation’ or ‘converted one more to health’ – and then I get all those emails with “thank you for changing my life” – I read, I smile and I feel grateful and blessed. So on a long term I would like to open a Fitness&Health Centre somewhere on the beach (won’t mention location yet) and also dedicate more to charitable work (helping people with disabilities) and addressing more to ‘childhood obesity” society problem. The numbers in UK and US are growing every year and it becomes a main concern for the future. Everyone in fitness and health should do their little bit to help.
I am proud for being able to change people’s bodies and health every day. I am proud with my personal physique achievements. I feel extremely proud with the great team of people I have around me, my DREAMTEAM - they are my colleagues and my friends (and they know who they are) – together we always achieve more! We help each other, we inspire each other and I’m grateful and proud to have them in my life. I am proud for the many messages I get on social media from people who found me their inspiration and motivation and acknowledging that simple things in my life (as a workout or my dinner recipe) actually changed someone else’s life, with no modesty, yes, I’m proud :)
Obstacles were and for sure will be in the future too. But this can’t stop me - and can only make me just stronger to achieve my goal. I am perfectionist and initially I was my own setback as I was never happy – either I wanted bigger legs or more shoulders definition etc. Now I got to a point where I can say I am happy with all the hard work and I only need to maintain. I've heard different opinions that I am too muscular or I've got too big haha, you can’t please everyone unfortunately.
I obviously do not believe in scales, when you have a certain amount of muscle mass scales have absolutely no relevance. The mirror is my best judge; and yes, I like to keep track of my performance level, I pay attention to my energy and hydration levels on each workout, I write down my progression since my last workout, everything is tracked down, results have to be measurable.
I respect a lot of people from health and fitness world, I like a few athletes and fitness models.
I use quite a lot of supplements, as I need them with my training and lifestyle regime. However I only use very good quality brands otherwise it’s a waste of money trust me. I like Poliquin supplements the most, my favourites that I recommend are Gluco Reg, Carnitine Synergy and Ultra Brain Force and as Protein Powder I recommend IsoRapid from Absorb Nutrition.
Gluco Reg makes the cells more sensitive to insulin and up regulates the mitochondria so that you can eat more carbs and make more energy faster.
Carnitine Synergy 2.0 is thermogenic and shuttles the fat into the mitochondria.
Ultra Brain Force is a nootropic that increases focus and drive.
IsoRapid is a premium quality isolate whey protein, lactose free, aspartame free, no harm on digestion whatsoever (as I’m not a big fan of whey powders) and speeds up lean definition.
Born: 1984 Weight: 58kg(stage) 62kg off season Height: 170cm
Andreea Tina's Facebook page: Facebook.com/AndreeaTinaWBFFDivaFitnessModel
Since my British, European and World title run with musclemania I focused myself completely on building up some mass on my weakpoints, which were shoulders traps and lower chest at the time.
This meant I very rarely dipped under 6-8% body fat and the results have been great gaining around 3-4 kg of solid lean mass on my upper body.
Not much has changed from two years ago in terms of training. But here is the schedule I used to bring up my shoulders and traps the past 1.5 years.
Day 1 – Legs
Day 2 – Back thickness, Traps, HIIT
Day 3 – Chest, Biceps
Day 4 – Shoulders, Triceps, Abs
Day 5 – Back width, Traps
Day 6 -Shoulders, Calves, HIIT
Since that contest in Britain I went on to win Musclemania Junior European title in Paris 2012 and then the Musclemania World Model title in Las Vegas 2012. After that I focused on my school and Body Engineers Business. Till now my proudest moments have been winning the world overall title and launching body-engineers.com
Changes depending on the phase but my usual day looks like this
Pre Bedtime Meal
Pre Workout Meal
Post Workout Meal
Currently I’m busy with a good friend and rising dutch DJ Dani L Mebius. He makes the Dream Chaser Radio mixes, which you can find on soundcloud.
Currently working through expanding BE into fashion and shoes.
Pre bed time Supps 15-30mins
Pre workout supps 15-30mins
Post workout supps 15-30mins
Learn to enjoy the process and keep your ego out. Be open and willing to learn, test, and fail. Before you know it, everyone will ask you how you did it.
I’m thankful for my friends, family, and followers who have been there with me and helped me bring my vision to life. But most importantly for my health.
Current Weight: 91kg
Facebook: Tavi Castro On Facebook
2012 interview: Tavi Castro Interview Part 1
I started training when I was 13 years old. I begged my parents for a bench press for years and they finally let me have one on my 13th birthday. I couldn’t even press the standard bar (45lbs) no extra weight on it. I did pushups, crunches and bench press every night trying to “Get Big”. My mom and I joined a gym one year later and I haven’t stopped training since!
I made all the common beginner mistakes when I was a noob. I lifted weight unreasonably heavy for my age/size/experience; doing half reps with terrible form thinking that heavy weight + low reps = mass gain. Knowing nothing about mind-muscle connection or controlled movements. I ate as much as possible trying to grow and get big. If it was protein I would eat it! Not knowing anything about portion control or nutrition timing. I took all kinds of over-the-counter muscle supplements thinking that was the key to muscle growth; not understanding that it all depended on my diet!!
To anyone struggling to stay consistent I would say, “Any Workout is better than No Workout”. So try to do something towards your goals, even if it’s a quick 30-minute training session. Get it done; you’ll be happy when it’s over.
Yes, I listen to music while training. Mostly Gangster rap.
Those last reps are the most important!! I usually focus on the muscle being trained and try to press or pull as hard as possible with the isolated muscle. I usually tell myself that if I get this last rep I’ll def grow a little or if I get it up I’ll be done with that exercise, if not I’ve, got to do it again! That works pretty well most of the time because I usually want to be done, lol.
For competitions, I usually plan about 12-16 weeks in advance, where I’ll have strict nutrition and training protocols. But during my every day life, my nutrition is generally consistent and my training varies from week to week depending on my personal schedule and work.
I’m the most proud of my accomplishments thus far in my life as a 25 year old. I’m a homeowner, with a college degree in finance from the University of Central Florida, work a full time job all while competing in the NPC and maintaining my ideal physique.
I try to stay lean all year round. I’ve learned the hard way that the fatter you get during the off-season the harder you have to work to get back in shape when it comes time again. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely go through my big “fluffy” phases at times but I don’t let it get too sloppy, just in case I need to get in shape for something. I like to stay 5 weeks out from a show all year.
If I'm trying to cut down I will do fasted cardio in the mornings and if needed, post workout cardio as well. But just to maintain, I do about 2-3 light cardio sessions per week. I always do light intensity cardio such as an incline walk on the treadmill. I believe that with proper diet, excessive cardio isn’t necessary.
Don’t get me wrong here, I TRAIN HARD, but my workout routine is quite basic; I am a firm believer in training one body part a day just to give that 100% attention to a specific muscle. I try to switch up exercises every week to surprise my body and keep getting gains. I always try to go my heaviest with each set without sacrificing perfect form. The weight doesn't matter to me! I like to go through the movements slow and be sure to focus on squeezing the muscle being trained. Mind-muscle connection is key to getting huge pumps! Forget about the weight, focus on your form and mind-muscle connection and you will get stronger along the way.
•Seated Calve Raises
•Standing Calve Raises
•Lat Pulldowns Wide Grip
•Lat Pulldowns Close Grip
•Standing Dumbbell Curls
•Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls
•Cable Rope Pushdowns
•Incline Skull Crushers
•Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
•Seated Lateral Side Raises
•Standing Barbell Lateral Raises
•Seated Calve Raises
•Standing Calve Raises
•Lying Leg Curls
•Standing Leg Curls
•Stiff Legged Deadlift
- Chest /Abs
- Rest Day
My diet varies a lot when getting in peak condition, depending on how far away from a show or photo shoot I am. I find that carb cycling works best for me. For example, eating 3 days low carbs and 1 day high carb. Believe it or not, my body reacts better on lower carbs than higher carbs. I still get great pumps while maintaining size and cutting fat.
My favorite bodybuilders are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Levrone, and Dorian Yates; however, you can’t deny the physique of Phil Heath, Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman!
•Isolated Whey Protein
•Animal Pak Multivitamin
1. Change your diet, change your lifestyle!
2. Stay consistent, work everyday toward your goals.
3. Stay educated; don’t just believe everything you hear in the gyms.
Year of birth: 1989
Height: 6’ 1”
Competition Weight: 200-205
Everyday Weight: 220-225
Jason Blank on facebook: www.facebook.com/holdupswolledup
Check out our apparel fan photos and for spreadshirt
custom tees be sure to visit:
People are always asking me, whether it is on social media, at expos or in the gym, how did you build your physique? Well here are my top 10 tips that helped me and could possibly help you to reach the physique of your dreams.
A solid diet should be the staple part of anyone's fitness lifestyle as, although the physique you have will be the result of the hard work that you've put in at the gym, that hard work will be lacking if your body isn't getting fuelled properly. So try to implement these changes:
1-1.2g of protein per pound of body weight.
1.5-2.5g of carbohydrates per pound of body weight.
0.35-0.4g of fats per pound of body weight.
Now granted, some guys are genetically blessed with the ability to build muscle fast or to stay shredded all year round, however their genetics bear no relevance to your training. A pal of mine once said to me "you know that you're not blessed with good genetics, but there's no reason that you can't get to where you want to be, you've just got to outwork everyone else". So never stop grinding, no-ones going to give you the physique of your dreams and it's not going to happen overnight but if you keep on the grind, and I mean really grind, you will get there.
There's the old saying, "don't be mad at the results you didn't get from the work that you didn't put in". And it's true, if you skip sessions, go out binge eating and partying, then don't be shocked by what you see in the mirror. Don't get me wrong, you've got to have a life and life is about living, but life is compiled of priorities, and you've just got to find out where yours lie.
From working in gyms and training people for many years, I see people oh too often training without a water bottle or sports drink, which isn't going to make for a productive workout. As little as 2% hydration can affect sports performance, and the body's muscles are made up of between 65-70% of water, so don't deny them what they need.
I get asked all the time "what are the best supplements on the market?” well this depends heavily on you and your goals (for instance, you're not going to do so well on a cutting plan if you're taking 2-3 weight gainer shakes a day). My advice always has and always will be optimum nutrition products. They are the premium brand on the market and have won more awards for their products than any other supplement brand, so if you want to perform the best, you've got to use the best.
However, the staples to getting that fitness model physique as far as supplementation goes are as follows:
Whey isolate/whey hydrosolate - It's a great cost effective way and easy to consume to hit your daily macro targets
Bcaas - They make up 35% of the essential amino acids in muscle protein. This will aid with recovery, sports performance and help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Multi-vitamins - Sometimes through dieting you might not always be getting the right minerals, vitamins and micro nutrients that you require, so always be sure to include a strong multi-vitamin to help with all round health and to keep immunities high.
Joint care supplement - This can be a fixture of oils or glucosimine supplement, but never neglect your joints as they take a massive strain too during those heavy lifts, so for longevity in your training, be sure to look after those joints.
Training without a goal is like driving a car with no destination. You will eventually tire of the journey and give up, so be sure to set yourself short term, medium term and long term goals to help you stay focused and on track. When I'm prepping for a competition, it's normally a 12-16 week process, which can be a daunting concept, but broken down into daily, weekly, quarterly and monthly targets makes the process a hell of a lot easier and makes the process enjoyable because you keep striving and you always make sure to give your best.
The body makes it greatest gains while at rest, so never neglect your downtime with friends and family, this will help to reduce stress levels, as heightened levels of stress can inhibit gains. But most important is your sleep. Your body is like a machine running on a charged battery, if you run that battery down, it's going to need to reserve it's energy for the most important of functions, just as your body does. So be sure to get a solid 7-8 hours of good sleep each night to give your body a chance to relax and recover from the hours of hard work and strain you're putting your body under.
We all want to make gains and progressions in the gym, and sometimes our eyes can be bigger than our bellies when it comes to some of the major lifts, and we've all done it at some stage, pushed a little further than we should have. But being able to achieve that ideal physique means staying consistent in your attempts, so make sure to do everything you can to keep injuries to a minimum, because you're not going to do well in developing your body if you can't train due to injuries and set backs. So always be sure to warm up and cool down properly as this will help with performance and recovery.
Building the physique you've always wanted can be one of the most satisfying feelings ever, knowing that what you have achieved was every ounce of your hard work and determination, no-one gave it to you, you earned it. But if you don't enjoy what you're doing then the outcome won't be quite as fulfilling. I wake up early some days and struggle to sleep from time to time because my passion and love for what I do gives me such an energy that keeps me buzzing and motivated, but that's mainly because I know what I am capable of, and that's why I love it because the outcome lies with me. So love what you do - you'll put more into it that way and as a result, you'll get more back.
I have seen so many people in this industry achieve a certain status and success and all of a sudden forget where they came from. This can, as a result, knock you down from where you have risen to and the fall can be quite a reality check to some. So no matter of the success I have achieved or have yet to achieve, I always remember who I am, why I started, where I came from, and the people who supported me along the way. Every follower/supporter I get, every nice comment, every ounce of support still means as much to me now as it always has done because I wanted to make my mark on the industry by inspiring others to pursue their dreams, and I know that I wouldn't have been able to pursue my own dreams without the strong support and encouragement from family and friends.
Written by Dave Cunningham
I started in 2009 while I was in the United states Marine Corps. I went through a bad relationship, and separation. I started to go to the gym as my outlet, and a friend gave me a protein tub for free since he saw I had started working out. After a month and finishing my first tub of protein I had gained about 7 pounds of muscle, and looked like a new person. I was Hooked!
As a newbie my biggest mistakes were my form. I was careless, and most of the workouts were not as concentrated on the body part due to form. I suffered slight injuries due to my form. Luckily I have been able to recover 100%, and now one of my priorities is form.
I always look a few days ahead. I think to myself " In a few days if I don't go to the gym and train, or if I don't follow my diet what will I think...Will I regret it?" My answer is always YES!! I know that if I don't do what others are not willing to do I will be like everyone else. I just always make myself remember that eventually I will regret not following through. So I just stay consistent in the moment.
YES!!! Music is what drives me to train. Just like I need Pre-Workout, I need Music!!
Everyday I switch up my playlist. I range from House, Trance, Dubstep, Hip-Hop, Rap, Reggaeton, and Motivational Speeches. My favorite on a day I am feeling weak is definitely a motivational speech playlist.
I think about all the people who think they are better than me. This is in a competitive way of course. I will never let anyone out train me.
I usually take it day by day. I have the luxury of being able to do that versus planning several days at a time.
I am most proud to have served my country at such a young age and having had a successful military career that has helped me become a better individual for the rest of my life.
I stay lean year around. I am about four weeks away at any given time to step on stage and compete.
I mainly prefer basketball as my form of cardio. My other option is treadmill or elliptical at a heartrate between 125-135 for 15-30 minutes during this time which I take this time to read, or handle social media.
I train six days a week as Follows:
My rep range is always between 10-15. I really try to focus to be exhausted by the 12th rep and squeeze out those extra 3 reps. I don't have a specific number other than that except to just go until I am BEAT, and mentally know I have given it my all.
I like to make things simple for me. I will keep my protein at around 2g per pound. My Carbs around 1.5-2g per pound, and fats 80g/day. I typically go for Tilapia and Chicken for protein. White rice or sweet potato for carbs, and avacado and almonds for fats. I find that if I keep it simple it’s just easier to prep.
My favorite fitness model is Gerardo Gabriel, I cheer myself on everyday lol ;)
My favorite Bodybuilders are between Kevin Levrone, Jay Cutler, and Phil Heath.
I use whey protein, creatine monohydrate, BCAA, and a pre-workout.
1. Have a passion for training.
2. Train like a BEAST.
3. Take it one training session at a time.
Age: 24 Years Old