German IFBB Pro Dan Hill is one of the youngest pros competing today. He's also one of the most active athletes on the self-promotion bandwagon. Very few people work harder than Big Dan Hill. Continue reading to find out how Dan got into bodybuilding, why he moved to the United States, and what his future goals are.
As the competition season creeps out from the shadows of its winter hibernation it seems like an appropriate time to look at some of the athletes who are about to make a major impact on the 2011 contest circuit. Kicking off this series, we’ll be featuring up-and-comer Juan “Diesel” Morel. Juan has been working under the guidance of our very own Dave Palumbo for many years and his physique has evolved from well-formed and ripped to downright freaky. Last year saw him finishing in the runner-up spot at both the IFBB North America (behind Lee Banks) and NPC Nationals (behind Fred Smalls). Many people in attendance thought he should have gotten the winning nod, but let’s not get all solemn here. That was last year; 2011 is a whole new ballgame. Juan is hungrier than ever and he insists that this year his physique will be exactly what the judges are asking for.
That being said…let’s take a closer look at Juan the Man, his discipline, his diet, and how he gets those chiseled pecs!
In this series of articles we are going to go ‘one on one’ with your favorite bodybuilders and learn a bit more about them personally as well as explore their approach to diet and training.
First up is PJ Braun who has chalked up quite a reputation for himself over the years and has become a highly sought after training and nutrition consultant.
Sponsored by Species Nutrition and with a popular Q & A thread here on RX, the time has come to take a closer look at the man behind that amazing physique as we go ‘one on one’ with the man himself….
Rx: What do you feel your calling in this sport is?
VR: My calling in this sport was NOT to win titles and compete; it was to mentor people and give a voice to people that didn't feel they could speak up. I don't think I would have been able to do that and compete at the same time. I wouldn't have been able to be an advocate and voice for the athletes and the fans if I had been competing. As your life experiences goes on your calling becomes more and more clear to you. Sometimes you don't know where they are leading you and then once you arrive it all makes sense. The life experiences I have had have made me even more passionate to pursue my calling. So now I am committing all of my time and all of my energy to being that voice and that advocate. Over the years many have tried to silence my voice and discredit me. I am not a dog - I am a wolverine and if you back me in a corner I am going to fight!
“I came to the United States with my father in 1999. That same week I started working with my uncle in Manhattan. Around that time I saw the first Flex magazine and I saw this guy with HUGE arms, and his triceps were amazing. I couldn’t get that out of my head and from that moment on I decided I wanted to look like that.” LEO PACHECO
Yes, I can’t deny it; it’s another story of one man with a dream in his heart pursuing it with
determination until it becomes a reality. However, when I first laid eyes on Leo Pacheco in New York’s new bodybuilding haven, ‘Complete Body & Spa’ (formerly 19st gym and Better Bodies) he gave me no clues that I was in the presence of a future Pro. Sure, he had an amazing physique but he wasn’t the type who strutted around the gym with a ‘look at me I am a bodybuilder’ sign on his back (c’mon we all know the type!). He was quiet, unassuming and just kept his head down and did his job – whether it was training himself or one of his many clients.
Once in a while, during periods of flipping through the pages of our favorite magazines or websites where we see the incredible muscular imagery and catchy article titles, we need be reminded that perhaps less thought should be given to esoteric things like bench pressing and well-shaped calves and more be focused on what we as individuals are truly capable of. Upon initial examination of pictures of IFBB Pros Ben White and Nicole Ball, one cannot help but be captivated by Nicole and her piercing blue eyes or amazing contoured delts and thighs. . . or Ben's Oak Tree-like arms, replete with their own network of snaking veins and capillaries. When you look at the sum of their parts, what's more impressive than their titles, celebrity, and humungous musculature is their accomplishments that have nothing to do with bodybuilding.
On stage, Jeff Black looks just like another bodybuilder. If you saw him at Jr. Nationals last year, you might even say he needs to improve his posing because he doesn't look stable in his side poses.... Yeah, everyone is a critic. But, you know, you should never judge a book by its cover. Imagine having bones so brittle they just break. Imagine being an 11 year-old kid walking through a store with your family and your leg breaks. For no reason, it just breaks. Imagine that kid growing up to be a bodybuilder? You're kidding right?