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The Grind

Anyone can see the physique but only some can see the sacrifice

It’s September 18, 2012 and I am just under 8 weeks out from the 2012 NPC Nationals in Atlanta Georgia. Over the last week I have finally started feeling the pain involved as I push my body to be it’s all time best through diet, training, cardio, and supplementation. In bodybuilding a common saying goes: “The worse you feel, the better you look” and to those on the outside that may sound funny but to anyone who has ever pushed their body fat down below 4%  it makes perfect sense. To recap I am starting to feel the exhaustion of dieting with over seven weeks to go which means I still have body fat to lose and this is just the beginning of the pain and exhaustion because as I continue to look better these feelings of hunger and exhaustion will continue to get worse.  True bodybuilders live for the process, strive on the sacrifice, and are filled with a great sense of accomplishment each and everyday that the pain increases. Anyone can look at the finished product on stage of a physique athlete and say “I want to look like that” but very few would actually be willing to go through the process to achieve that look. Seeing the finished product and “wanting” it is one thing but how many of us actually know what someone went through to reach that point? The years of sacrifice that was all done behind the scenes. The countless meals, training hours, sacrificed social events, etc…These are the things people never see and it is these things that make the finished product possible. It is what is done when nobody can see you that decides what everyone sees the moment you walk out from behind the curtain and onto the stage.

When I got into this sport all I saw was the pictures in the magazines of athletes who were so big and shredded they looked more like comic book hero’s than humans and not knowing what it took them to achieve that look I said to myself “I want to be like that someday.” I spent the first years of my bodybuilding life eating McDonalds for my meals, training with little to no intensity, and buying the coolest tank tops to show off my not so awesome physique. I literally toyed with the sport for years before finally sucking it up and understanding what sacrifices were going to need to be made if I truly wanted to see myself in the magazines, have the sponsors, and of course have the physique that I had envisioned in my head. It was at this point in late 2007 that I devoted myself to my goals and proved that not only did I want to achieve these goals but I was willing to sacrifice whatever it took to achieve them. Day in and out never missing meals, training, or sleep for well over a year until finally stepping on stage in October of 2008 and winning my first overall title. The win was great but it was the journey that I fell in love with at that point and I knew my finished product was nowhere near the level of the top level national bodybuilders. Once again I disappeared into the shadows and got to work. I did not miss a meal from January 2009 and July of 2010 and during that time I only had a “cheat meal” when it was given to me by my nutritionist. To give you an idea on how disciplined I was, when I was asked in August of 2010 when I started my diet for the 2010 NPC USA’s in July I sat there and though and though about a start date. After a few minutes I realized that I had no idea when I had started but I did know that I did not have a cheat meal on my birthday in May of 2009, nor did I eat on Thanksgiving in November of 2009, Christmas of 2009, or anytime after that prior to winning the 2010 NPC Jr National Super Heavy Weight division in June.

The point of this blog is not to show how “hardcore” I am but rather to remind people to try and look into the process of success and not be blinded by the finished product. When you see someone pull into their multi-million dollar house driving their exotic car don’t just say to yourself how awesome it would be to have those toys, instead try and learn of the sacrifice that was made to achieve those milestones. When I talk to bodybuilder who has achieved more than I have up until this point I do not ask them how much money they make or how many contracts they have but rather I ask what they feel they did that allowed them to experience the success that they are currently enjoying and what advice they would be willing to offer a guy like myself who has come a long way in the last five years but who also wants to go a lot further in the next five.

In closing I ask that you take a look at the picture attached to this blog but rather than just seeing a lean athlete who has come a long way think about what it must have taken for someone with average genetics at best, to go from complete unknown to someone you are reading about today. Look at the eyes…you will see a combination of focus and exhaustion that is unmistakable. Now think about what you “want” in your life. The end result is easy to see but I challenge you to ponder what it will truly take you to achieve that end result because only if you are willing to go through the struggles of the journey can you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Anything is possible if you are not willing to relent on your dreams.

Whatever it takes…


  • Graeme

    Looking insane dude. Try flexing your oblique abdominals as well not just your abs for a “relaxed” front pose.

  • Livinlrg6

    Looking Beastly Bro! Must have been those Blueberry muffin Pop tarts.

  • Marc Dunlap

    WTF…. issues w/Twitter !

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