At 17, the weight training began. I purchased an Exercise For Men Only magazine and wanted to get the six pack abs that almost every model displayed in exquisite detail. Not totally realizing that to achieve that look an entire lifestyle change was needed, I did get a little bigger and a little leaner over the next year, but since I was not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices my physique changed very little. By the time I graduated RHAM High School in 1999, I was still a scrawny 145lbs at 5'10''. And still didn't have the elusive six pack! I want to also mention that I tried the body for life routine, and that did work fairly well...with the exception that having a whole day to cheat will ruin a weeks’ worth of the diet. However, The Body For Life and Body of Work documentaries inspired me very much. I cried when reading some of the stories of what some of these amazing people had to go through. Even though I never officially competed in the challenge, I gained priceless information and inspiration from it. So then I started my college career at Southern Connecticut State University, and eating the "see food" diet, I gained about 30lbs in 6 weeks, most of it fat and water. I did fortunately get much bigger and stronger, but now my abs went from decent to barely visible, and I wanted to do something about it. By the end of the summer after freshman year, I was running 5 miles 5 days a week, and sometimes 7 or 8 miles on the weekend, on top of lifting 3 times a week. I had gotten leaner than ever before, but was now at my smallest and weakest, 135lbs. Ouch! Happy that my abs were starting to finally show but unhappy with my loss of muscle mass, the mission continued. I tried too many routines and diets to even discuss here, but needless to say, I finally nailed it at the end of my college career, getting ripped enough to stand on a national level stage. There are a few people I would like to mention who were pivotal to my success. Vin Lindsley, Tom Wilson, Jared Cross, Kevin Herrholtz, Jeff Matthews, Seth Spaner, and my brother, Rob Whitehill. Without their great physiques to look up to and/or continued support of my goals and dreams, I would not be where I am today. If anyone thinks that they can get through life on their own, they are crazy! You have to have friends, family, or people that are there to support you, in one way or another. Even though bodybuilding is a very selfish and individual sport, you still need that backbone of supporters.
After college I backed off the serious training and dieting, and stayed in good shape for the next few years, just basically having the beach body look. I started working night warehouse work in 2006, and did that until I lost my job with them in 2009. Near the end of that phase, I got serious again in 2008 and 2009, dieting to very near contest condition both summers. People would ask me why I would do such a thing if I was not competing, and the answer would always be the same: "Too many Stallone and Van Damme movies as a kid!” But in all seriousness, those movies did and still do influence me. I don't think I will ever get tired of the Rocky or Rambo films or any of the others by those great actors.
And now, 2010. At the start of the year I decided I am going to compete in 3 bodybuilding shows, all NPC. The Chamberlain Cup September 18th, The Eastern USA on October 9th, and the New England on October 23. As I write this I am exactly 9 weeks out from the first show. And kind of inadvertently, I got a stab at some fitness modeling and male physique modeling. I did my first professional photo shoot ever with Michael Alago of Roughgods.com. Then about a week later I did a test shoot with John Mitchell, and a real shoot with John Mitchell, Pete Grimm, and DC Bennett. John plans on shooting me again in about a month or so when I am closer to the show and in much better condition. I have to say that Facebook has been a huge blessing for me, as it has allowed me to come in contact with John Mitchell, Michael Alago, and many other fitness minded people. It has been a great networking tool and having people giving you support for your goals is a tremendous help.
I have to say that John Mitchell is very professional when it comes to his work. He wastes no time in getting right to it, but at the same time, made it extremely comfortable for me to work with him. He would let us take breaks as needed to eat, towel off, or rehydrate. John's eye for catching the male physique is the best I have ever seen in real life, by far. I have nothing but great things to say about him. He is not afraid to let you know what your weaknesses are either, which is a definite plus in an industry where people will tell you only what you want to hear. At the same time though, he knows how to point out the strengths as well, which is also good. Pete Grimm and DC Bennett are also 2 very cool guys and it was a blast meeting and working with them, as it was my first ever fitness shoot. That combined with John's talent, sense of humor, kindness and support made the day one that I will not soon forget.
So right now I am focusing on getting ready for my bodybuilding shows and my career as a male fitness model. I also plan on getting into personal training again. In my free time I try to help as many people as I can reach their goals because I love to see people get great results from their efforts. Having spent many years doing the wrong things, I can use my experience to help others avoid repeating the same pitfalls that I did. As
far as myself goes, I love bodybuilding, going to the beach, going for hikes at state parks, going out to eat or for a few drinks (when I am not dieting of course!!), spending time with friends and family, reading, watching movies, etc....There is always something fun to do!
I want to mention that I have also become a much more spiritual person over the past few years. I know now that we all have a purpose here on this planet, and that everything happens for a reason. I know that sounds totally cliché' but it’s true. I have become much more appreciative of the people in my life, and I have learned that many people in life, me included, have had to go through and will have to face some challenging situations. But giving up or giving in does not make you stronger. Fighting back does. We all have to beat the odds. We all have a purpose. It may take some time to find your purpose, but rest assured, no one is exempt from that rule. I try to live each day as it comes, and to enjoy the moment now, because you never know what will happen. Our next day is not guaranteed, so why act like it is? Get out there and go for your dreams! Take what is yours and what you deserve! Never settle for anything less than the best, because you will only be cheating yourself.
I would also like to thank several people that are in my life at the moment who without their help, I would not be where I am today! Marc Andrade, PJ Braun, Rachael Mcquarrie, Rolf Ervick, Eric Boguslawski, Greg Cruz, Jeff Matthews, Joe Spearin, John Mitchell, and Rob Whitehill. Thank you all so much!!