Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
Originally from Pennsylvania, I grew up in a very athletic family. My father played football in college and my mother was a competitive bodybuilder. Myself and my two older brothers were all multi-sport athletes throughout school. Basketball and track were my life growing up until I moved to California at the age of 17. Shortly after, I discovered bodybuilding and immediately fell in love with it.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
For me, fitness has always been something I naturally work into each day of my life. A lot of people view it as a chore, but for me, I truly enjoy it. It allows me an escape from the days problems, a sort of therapy. My favorite aspect of fitness, bodybuilding specifically for me, would be that when I see the changes happening before my eyes, I know that my hard work is coming to fruition. For me, each show day, making it to that point is always the proudest I will ever be of myself due to the long mental battles for months that led up to that moment.
How long have you been into fitness?
I have been actively playing sports since I was 5 years old. I started lifting with my dad in the gym when I was 14 years old. I have been competing since I was 20 years old.
How did you get into fitness?
Growing up with two brothers left me no other options. Also, when I was 14 and my dad began teaching me form and muscle groups, I immediately fell in love with watching myself grow from what he was teaching me. I also grew up going to watch my mother’s competitions.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
When I moved to California I had about 3 years of lifting under my belt, but I knew nothing about the bodybuilding industry. Shortly after I moved to San Diego, I joined World Gym and knew I was home. I started meeting other bodybuilders and Pro bodybuilders. I hired a coach and drove right into a prep for a show.
How has fitness impacted your life?
Greatly. The importance of competing for me is much more of how it affects my life outside of the stage and the gym. Competition prep is entirely a mental game, the physical aspect of it is easy. But the mental battles you go through, especially in the last few weeks, prepare you for any tough situation you could endure the rest of your life. Right before I started my first prep, in the back of my mind I kept thinking, “no way, I can’t do this, this will never happen.” But on show day, I knew I could accomplish anything because I made it, I did do it.
I, myself, was never a confident person. Bodybuilding has also helped me completely outgrow that fear.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
I have heard many times that people are afraid of the gym or embarrassed to go because they don’t want to look like a fool or they don’t know how to use equipment. My best advice is to say that, “No one is looking at you! No one cares what you are doing.” “Everyone started in your position.” I, too, started out having no idea what I was doing. You must go in there, with your head down, and focus on yourself, no one else. Also, if you have a plan for your workout before you enter the gym, you will feel much more confident about knowing what you are doing. Create a little workout routine or copy one that your favorite Instagram fitness account posted. Once you gain some experience in the gym, you will feel much more comfortable and be able to walk in with confidence. Or ask a friend to come with you. People ask my all the time to work out with them or show them how to work out, I almost always say yes!