I started to seriously train my freshman year of college. My best friend literally forced me to go to the gym everyday even when I didn’t want to go. Honestly, I didn’t really enjoy it at first. I’ve always been athletic, but I’ve also always been well-rounded. Even my studies in college reflected my ambition to be the ultimate “Renaissance Man,” as I was a Communications major with minors in Marketing, Music, and Biology. I never took my academics lightly either. I graduated at the top of my class in high school and college. However, I was always skinny. So, when I put on a few pounds of muscle, and a few people took notice, it was an insatiable fuel that has kept me going to this day.
I still have trouble putting on weight due to my ectomorphic genetics, but I have always been natural. I never stopped training since my college freshman year, and I went from 155 lbs. to 225 lbs eventually. Since I spent so much time in the gym, I decided it was time to compete. In the summer of ’07, I competed in The Missouri, an NPC show. I got 4th in the middle weight division. A few weeks later, I competed in the Missouri Classic, an NANBF natural competition. I got 2nd in the Open Men’s Tall division. In April of ’08, I decided to try to compete in the Southern States Classic, a pro-qualifier. I got 5th in the Natural Missouri Physique Open Men’s Tall.
I’d say the only bad thing that has come from all of this training and weightlifting, is the fact that I have to constantly eat now. If I go over two hours without eating anything, I’m generally not in a great mood. At one point when I finally hit 225 lbs., I was consuming well over 7,000 calories a day. I now have to balance my life between lifting, my sales job, and playing music at my church. There’s so much to do in L.A! Now, I usually wake up and have a protein shake first thing, then have 2 cups of oatmeal and protein a little bit later. Then, I’ll eat a banana. For lunch, I’ll usually go to Subway and have a 6 inch turkey or chicken sandwich with double meat and all the veggies I can pack on. A couple hours later, I’ll eat a Big 100 replacement bar. Before I workouts, I’ll usually have a protein shake, and then afterwards I’ll consume about 50-60 grams of carbs with a whey isolate protein. Then I’ll do two to three nights of low carb (usually 12 egg whites) and then a high carb night with whole wheat pasta and 90% lean ground beef.
After the ’07 competitions, I was approached to do some modeling for Stamina Fitness equipment. I also worked a little with a photographer, Doug Jantz, but my fitness modeling experience was limited. I’ve done some commercial and print, but it’s a cakewalk compared to fitness modeling.
I’m extremely grateful I had the opportunity to work with John Mitchell. He provided the direction I needed to get rolling. I had a great time, and I even came up with a nick name for John. I call him “Mother Hen” because he wants things lined up so precisely; it made me think of a hen trying to gather all her little chickadees. I even came away with a new nickname: “Freak Obliques.” I really thought I was eating pretty crappy, but John will be the first photographer who encouraged me to keep the cheese and mayo on my burger when we shot in Oklahoma. By the end of the first time I shot with John, I had learned a lot. I would definitely recommend working with John if you are thinking about fitness modeling.