I was born on January 9th, 1979 in Houston Texas. 2 years later my brother Andy was born. My mom divorced my dad when I was 4 and she moved us to Ohio. Being a single mother, my mom struggled to keep a roof over our head during our childhood years. However, she was so determined, and such a hard-worker, and she did very well with so little. She was the greatest! My mom died when I was 9 years old of cancer. She is where I learned how to be driven, hard-working, and to set goals.
My dad then regained custody of me and my brother. He was very abusive to me growing up. All I remember about him is how he would yell at me and beat me all the time. My dad always told me that I should give up on my stupid dreams because I was just living in a fantasy world. I went out for the high school wrestling team when I was freshman. By the time I got to my sophomore year, I had become a very good wrestler. I came home from school one day when I was 16 years old, and my dad came after me like he had done so many times before. Something inside of me took control and I stood up for myself for the first time in my life that day. I defended myself and put my dad in a wrestling move and I threw him to the ground. I ended up popping both of his shoulders out of their sockets and he had someone rush him to the hospital. That was pretty much the turning point in my life when I became a true man. He never laid hands on me again after that.
I then began lifting weights in my junior year of high school. I responded quickly, gaining 45 pounds of muscle my first year. Everyone in my school started calling me names like: roid boy, steroids, Arnold, etc. I learned quickly the side effects of steroids and decided to stay natural my entire life.
2) Critical Bench: Why do you say no to steroids?
I say no to steroids for many reasons: One, the endless amount of side effects. Two, they are illegal. Three, they are for people with weak minds. Four, they make you become lazy and you end up training like a little girl. That is just a few reasons why I say no to steroids.
3) Critical Bench: What is your advice for all the beginners around the World?
My advice for all of the young people out there just getting starting in a workout regimen would be to: set goals, believe in yourself, have patience, and learn to feed your brain nutritious thoughts, the same way you would feed your body nutritious food, and finally never give up on your dreams.
4) Critical Bench: Tell us about the "say no to steroids" website that you have created?
I have been bodybuilding since February of 1996. Ever since then, I have had this vision to become the World's leading promoter of living a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. I have always wanted to help, educate, and inspire people by my positive attitude and drive without steroids. With the help of my business partner Andrew Francis, we decided to create a brand new website that would educate the world about the danger of steroids. It is out goal to have saynotosteroids.com become the biggest website on the planet. This website let's people know that you do not need steroids to be successful in life.
5) Critical Bench: Give us some information about the stories, the athlete of the month section http://saynotosteroids.com/feature.htm section, etc? I was the athlete of the month for October 2005 and I think it's great that you give everyone around the world a chance to show case themselves.
The stories that we have written on our website on the "stories" page are about real people. We wanted to show the world real stories of what people have gone through who have not taken steroids. The stories are 100% true. We decided to create and athlete of the month page to show the world that you can achieve success without steroids. Every month we feature a new athlete from somewhere around the world who has not only decided to train without steroids, but who has become extremely successful without them as well. It proves that if our athlete of the month can achieve success in life without steroids, anyone can.
6) Critical Bench: Out of every accomplishment that you have made, which 5
accomplishments are you the most proud of?
I'll be very honest with you. I am extremely hard on myself. I am never satisfied with my accomplishments. I have always had the attitude that I can be better, stronger, faster, smarter etc. I'm not even sure if I would say that I have had 5 accomplishments, but I will say a few things that I am proud of myself for: I am proud that I live a healthy lifestyle- I don't smoke, drink, or do any drugs. I am proud of my first bodybuilding competition when I competed in a non drug tested event, and still got second place among all of those steroid users. I am proud of being able to out lift 9 out of every 10 steroid users in any gym around the world and I guess mostly, I am proud of myself for following my dreams and making a difference in this corrupted world.
7) Critical Bench: I read your biography and your life is a real story about adversity,
overcoming adversity and achieving greatness. Tell us about some of the
adversities that you had to face and tell us how all of the adversities that you have had to face have made you as strong as you are today?
Well, I try not to complain because I am truly blessed. Of course I have gone through adversity. Everyone has at some point in their lives. However, I am not blind, or deaf, or missing any limbs. Nor I have ever been burned in a fire. The people that have gone through those types of circumstances in life really know what adversity is. Considering people who have gone through those types of circumstances in life really know what adversity is. Considering people who have gone through things like that, makes my life seem easy. But I guess there were two very hard times in my life that I had to overcome 1. The death of my mother at such an early age, she was the greatest person in the world, kind of like an angel.
Then my dad regains custody over me and my brother, and it's like going from living with an angel, to a devil. My dad abused me all my life until I was 16 years old. When the day finally came when I put him in the hospital, it was if I had just moved a mountain, as if I just won the World Series and as if I just defeated an army. That was a huge day for me. My confidence began to soar from that day on. I thought to myself, if I can finally protect myself from my dad, I can achieve anything. I December of 2001, I loaded up the trunk of my car and moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. This was a huge/scary risk for me. I didn't even tell my girlfriend that I was leaving. (She wouldn't have let me.) That was one of the hardest things I ever did was moving to L.A. by myself and not even saying goodbye to my girlfriend. I couldn't. I had to just get up and go, otherwise, I never would have. And then when I finally got to California, true depression sat in. I had absolutely no friends, no family, no money, no money, and I didn't even have a clue where anything was, or how to get there. I prayed to God all the time. I feel empty and lost, like I was in the world (California) all by myself, so many problems but no one to talk to. Tammy (my girlfriend at the time) was there for me though. She did the best she could to be supportive of my dream of moving to L.A.
She and God are the only people that helped me survive in L.A. Without them I wouldn't have made it. Overcoming those two scenarios were probably the hardest things I've ever dealt with.
8) Critical Bench: If you took steroids when you were younger, how do you think your
life would have turned out?
Being abused by my father all my life had left me with a bad attitude for many years. Steroids give many people the well known "roid rage". If I took steroids at any time in my life, I know that I probably would have killed someone because of my bad attitude.
9) Critical Bench: If the world listened to your message "say no to steroids", how do
you think the world of sports and lifting would be different than it currently is?
If the world listened to my message, a lot of athlete's careers would last longer because they wouldn't get injured as much. It would also make sports more enjoyable to watch, knowing that all of the athletes have really, truly busted their butts to get there. And when someone's record got broken that stood for 50 years, it would make it special: For all the athletes who broke the record, and for the fans who got to witness it.
10) Critical Bench: Tell us about your 5 funniest experiences to date?
My 5 funniest experiences, wow, I don't know if I have 5. This one wasn't about me, but about someone I know. (I won't say his name.) One day while training in the gym, my friend and I were training arms. I was wearing a pair of shorts with a tank top, and he was wearing a pair of break-away pants and a tank top. Well, I did my first set of D.B. Curls and then he went while he was doing his D.B. Curls. He caught one of the dumbbells between the snaps on his pants. The pants flew right off oh him right in the middle of the gym. The funny part was, he wasn't wearing any underwear that day. Right in the middle of the gym he was butt naked for about 5 seconds. To this day I still make fun of him because he didn't even finish his set. That's the funniest experience that I can tell you.
11) Critical Bench: Chris, you are one of the most shredded bodybuilders that I have ever
seen and I've seen a lot. You clearly present a physique of inspiration. Tell us about your 1) Diet 2) Weight training routine and 3) Cardio routine
My diet is straight up from Beverly International. They taught me everything I know about diets. I eat a very high fat/ high protein diet, with little carbs. My body is carb intolerant, meaning that I get fat really easily if I consume a lot of carbs. Eating a high fat diet keeps my energy up without the carbs and I don't know anyone who eats more protein than I do. I weigh 190 pounds, and I eat over 50 grams of protein everyday!
My weight training is simple: I'm very old school. I only train 4 days a week and I only do one or two exercises per body part. I do the best exercise for each body part, such as: squats, deadlifts, dips, curls, pull-ups, calf raises, and shoulder presses. That's pretty much all I ever do. I just change my sets and reps each workout to keep my muscles confused.
As for cardio, this is going to make a lot of people mad: My diet is so strict year round that I do not do cardio. My diet/supplement regimen keeps me lean without having to do any.
12) Critical Bench: If steroids aren't the best secret to getting shredded, then tell us
what is! What are your secrets?
My secrets are this: a very strict diet is what will get you shredded more than anything else. I also use only Beverly international supplements. Their products are formulated with higher grade pharmaceutical grade ingredients than any other brand out there. My diet and supplements are how I get shredded.
13) Critical Bench: Chris, you are also very strong. What's it like out lifting guys far
bigger than you when you are wearing your "say no to steroids" t-shirt?
The greatest thing for me is when I'm wearing my "say no to steroids" tank top in the gym. People see me and assume I'm using steroids because of my body, and then they see the shirt I'm wearing and they do a double take. And then when people see me deadlifting 550lbs without any straps, or belt, and I'm wearing my "say no to steroids" tank top, they look at me like I'm the World's biggest liar. It cracks me up!
14) Critical Bench: What was it like competing in bodybuilding shows and placing in the top 3 every time?
When I compete against steroid users and actually place higher than 95% of them, it is a huge achievement for not only me, but for all the natural bodybuilders all around that world. That is the whole point of my campaign; it's that you just don't need to use steroids to build size and strength. You just need to use your mind, and that's what steroids can't build. I find that natural athletes have much stronger minds than people who use steroids.
15) Critical Bench: With all of your greatest accomplishments, what are your future goals?
My future goals are so big, that most people will not be able to even fathom what I'm about to say. Here are just a few of my future goals: 1. Become the most known drug free bodybuilder on the planet! 2. Create the World's first real bodybuilding competition. This competition will be a true competition, not just some beauty pageants where some judge decides who looks better. This competition will be in three different parts: a running portion where every bodybuilder runs a 40 yard dash- speed, a weight lifting portion where everyone does his max deadlift- strength and finally, the judging portion to see who has the most perfectly balanced physique. Of course this contest will be 100% drug tested. 3. Star in moves in movie theaters all over the world. The movie that I am going to star in will help, educate and inspire the world. I just want people everywhere to know that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it.
16) Critical Bench: Tell us about some of the great people that you have met in the sport of bodybuilding and weight training.
Some of the greatest people that I have met in bodybuilding are: The entire team of experts at Beverly International Nutrition. Beverly is the greatest group of people that I have ever met. I have also met many drug free champions in my life that have greatly inspired me such as: Skip LaCour, Chris Faildo, Moji Oluwa and Dave Candy to name a few. I also got to train at the World Famous Westside Barbell in Columbus, Ohio with the great Louie Simmons and team. That was an experience I will never forget.
Critical Bench: What are your final words for everyone reading your interview?
My final words are this: Don't ever set limits for yourself. Anyone in this world can achieve anything they set their minds to. When I began bodybuilding, I was 5'6 and I weighed 125 pounds. Now I weigh 190 pounds, and I'm stronger than 99.9% of all the people on the planet-without steroids. If you train your mind and believe in yourself, you can achieve things the world never thought was possible. I would like to say thanks to Ben Tatar of www.criticalbench.com for taking the time to do this interview with me. I wish you all the best!!