Congrats on a great showing and getting back on stage! What made you decide to compete in the Men’s Physique Division?
After having three open heart surgeries, I knew I couldn’t carry the size I did as a bodybuilder, so men’s physique seemed like a perfect fit. My interest increased when I learned that the two top competitors in each height class receive pro cards at the Master’s National. At age 41, this was great news.
Can you tell us a little about the show in which you most recently competed?
After a 17 year hiatus from the stage, I just competed in my first Men’s Physique Competition on May 4th at the 2013 NPC Pittsburgh Championships. This is Jim Manion’s show, and it is always a top notch competition. This year there were 391 competitors and it included an IFBB Pro Men’s Physique Competition.
How did you feel after pre-judging?
I felt great about my showing in the Master’s Division, but was a little disappointed that I didn’t do better in the open competition. It was a great experience and I found out what areas I need to improve on.
How did you feel about the final results of the show?
Winning the overall Master’s Competition was an exhilarating experience. After everything I’ve been through from a health standpoint, just being able to compete again was a great accomplishment, but to win a show far exceeded my expectations.
What are your thoughts on the Men's Physique Division and what it may be able to do for your career?
Men’s Physique is so much more attractive to mainstream America than bodybuilding is. I feel it can open many doors for me. I have aspirations to share my story with people and inspire them to make healthy choices in their own lives. I am currently working on a book chronicling my struggles with addiction and recovering from three open heart surgeries. As a champion Men’s Physique competitor, I look forward to potential endorsements, modelling, and advanced success with personal training clients.
Hometown: Kent, OH
Current city: Akron, OH
Years training: 27
Education: Bachelor of General Studies, Kent State University
Assorted Business classes at Ashland University
Occupation: Bell Construction, Lead Salesman and Training Coordinator
Big Mike Incorporated/Big House Bodies, CEO
Favorite type of training: I’m old school and believe the basics can’t be beat. Free weights, bodyweight exercises, and a few machines for variety.
Favorite body part to train: My favorite body part to train is shoulders. I’ve always been strong on overhead pressing exercises, but currently I’m working on defining my shape more than building size.
Favorite exercise: Dumbbell shoulder presses.
Rep range: Generally I train in the 8-12 rep range, but I’m increasing my rep range to 15-20 on a lot of exercises because I need to downsize 5-10 pounds of muscle.
Number of sets: It varies depending on the exercise. I need a lot of warm up sets because I’ve had many injuries over the years. It might take 4 or 5 sets just to get to my working weights on heavy pressing exercises. Then I’ll do 2 or 3 working sets to failure. In general though, I do around 15-20 sets total for all big body parts (back, chest, legs, and shoulders) and 9-12 total on arms, calves, and abs.
Typical workout duration: My weight workouts generally last about an hour and a half. I also like to do a half hour of cardio 5 days a week to keep my heart strong.
Training split: Monday – Legs (upper & calves), Tuesday – Abs, Wednesday – Chest & Triceps, Thursday – Back & Abs, Saturday – Shoulders & Biceps
Typical daily eating plan: This is a high carb day
1 ½ cups of Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 1 cup of blueberries, 1 scoop of Whey Protein, 6 XL Egg whites/
2 XL Eggs, Supplements (4 Ultra 40, 4 Mass Amino, 4 fish oil caps, 4 flax seed caps)
8 OZ Chicken Breast, 1 ½ cups Jasmine Rice, Supplements (4 U40, 4 MA)
Meal Three: (Shake)
1 Scoop Whey Protein, 1 Scoop UMP (Ultimate Muscle Protein), ¼ Packet of Original Met-Rx, 2/3 cup Oats, Supplements (½ MCT, 3 U40, 3 MA)
8 OZ Chicken Breast, 8 OZ yam, 1 cup Broccoli, Supplements (4 U40, 4 MA)
Meal Five: (Shake)
I Scoop Whey Protein, I Scoop UMP, ¼ packet of Original Met-Rx, 2/3 cup Oats,
Supplements (4 U40, 4 MA)
12 OZ Fish (Usually Swai or Cod), 1 cup Jasmine Rice, 2 cups Broccoli, Supplements (4 U40, 4 MA)
2 scoops UMP (make as pudding), or 8 OZ Extra Lean Beef
Supplements (4 U40, 4 MA)
Favorite supplement: Muscle Provider by Beverly Nutrition. It’s an extremely high quality whey protein hydrolysate and isolate blend. It’s perfect for post workout recovery, and I love to mix it with oatmeal and frozen blueberries for breakfast.
What peaked your interest in training? I started lifting weights when I was fourteen years old to increase my strength for wrestling. I ended up gaining over 25 pounds of muscle in one summer. I fell in love with training and it’s been part of my life ever since.
Who influences/influenced your training? Early on, it was definitely Arnold, and in the nineties it was Dorian Yates.
Sports: I started wresting in grade school and didn’t stop until my third year of college. When I started bulking up in high school, the football coach recruited me for the team and I played football my junior and senior year. I’m not a great athlete, I’m a good athlete, but I worked a lot harder than others did, and consequently enjoyed a lot of success.
Special interests: Working with people in recovery and mentoring men reintegrating into society after being released from the corrections system has been very rewarding for me. I love to read and I am a history buff with emphasis on World War II and organized crime.
Physique, fitness, bodybuilding competition history:
1995 NPC Youngstown Championships – 1st place Heavyweight & Overall
1995 NPC Ohio Gran Prix – 2nd place Heavyweight
1996 Jan Tana Classic – Heavyweight Competitor (6th place)
1996 Collegiate Nationals – Heavyweight Competitor (6th place)
2013 NPC Pittsburgh Championships – 1st place Men’s Physique Masters over 35 & Overall
Awards and/or accomplishments:
3 year Varsity wrestler in high school, Team Captain and State Qualifier
3 year Varsity wrestler at KSU
#1 Salesman at Bell Construction 2012
Next planned competition: 2013 Masters Nationals, Pittsburgh PA
What keeps you on track towards reaching your goals? Right now, the thing that drives me the most is knowing that I have a limited window of opportunity to keep competing. Currently I have a porcine mitral valve, and the hard truth is that at some point, I will have to have another heart surgery. Men’s Physique has given me the opportunity to be a top competitor again, something I didn’t think was possible. Outside of the Men’s Physique arena, I want to be of service to others, but I also want to adequately prepare for my future and ultimately my retirement.
Interesting fact or something you would like our readers to know about you: While researching my family’s genealogy, I discovered that my Great-great Uncles were big players in the Cleveland/Akron Mafia and their activities spread all the way to California.
Contact information: [email protected]