MW: How did you get the nickname "Muscle Nerd"?
Believe me, it wasn't MY doing. I gained kind of a reputation at my local gym for being, well…a little "bookworm" when it came to my lifting program. I would sit there with a pad of paper and write extensive notes after each and every set. The local guys at the gym started teasing me that I was a "muscle nerd" and the name kind of stuck.
MW: Can you give the Critical Bench readers a little bit of background information about yourself?
Sure…I'm 37 years old with a wife and three kids (so believe me…I know how hard it can be to take time out of a busy schedule to workout!). I got into bodybuilding just after I had joined the army. You see, I was in a "rapid deployment" light-infantry team and really into combat martial arts at the time so I realized that strength training was going to be necessary to take my scrawny 6' 2", 148 lb. body to a level where I could excel in both areas. The problem was, I went about it all the wrong way! I listened to tips from all of the "big guys" in the gym; I read ALL the muscle mags; and I spent TONS of money on every advertised supplement I could find. After a couple of years, I topped out at about 155. That's when I began conducting some serious research on my own!
MW: Tell us a little bit about your current training routine. Are you more of a bodybuilder or a powerlifter?
That's a great question Mike. I've found that a lot of guys don't know which role they fit into and end up training incorrectly for the body or goal they want to achieve. For me, I've always been more of a bodybuilder. Call it ego…but I grew up as the "skinny kid" in school and I had always dreamed of having the body the cheerleading squad would swoon over! Now I just want a body that my WIFE will swoon over!
MW: What does your diet consist of?
I follow the exact diet I structure in my Optimum Anabolics program which consists of 40% protein, 30% carbs, and 30% fat. This is the perfect ratio to help support the other principles I uncovered in my research for my anabolic hormone "programming" technique and it's the best combination to maximize testosterone production for muscle gains.
MW: What's your stance on the use of steroids and supplements?
Steroids are a necessity if you're looking to make it to the front cover of a muscle magazine or to the stage of Mr. Olympia. Otherwise, for the average Joe out there, it's just a VERY expensive way to screw around with your body. Most of the guys I've know who have dabbled in steroids just got kind of "puffy" and bloated. They didn't realize just how involved the whole process is! It IS possible to get fast growth without steroids, but for most guys it means years of trial and error and a LOT of money spent on finding what works. Most of the guys who resort to steroids simply never learned the correct way to lift to begin with and opted for an "easy" way out, only to find the drawbacks were never worth it.
As far as supplements are concerned, I'm a firm believer that there are a FEW supplements that offer some advantage in the gym. However, most guys are out there looking for the "magic pill" and they can't even get the basics of proper weightlifting down. Too much reliance on supplements is what keeps most guys from truly making the gains they're capable of in the gym.
MW: Jeff, what keeps you motivated to train hard and stay intense all year long?
This used to be a big problem for me. Then I took a business class on Goal Setting and learned some valuable tips out how to stay motivated. Here's one of the ways I keep MYSELF on track:
First, I set a goal for the next 6 months.
Second, I tell everyone I know about my goal! This really puts the pressure on me to avoid the embarrassment of not meeting my objective.
Third, I break my long term goal down into smaller, more manageable short-term goals. Here's an example…
My current goal, since I'm already at the weight I wanted to achieve, is to get down to 6% bodyfat for the summer while maintaining muscle mass. Since I started at 17%, which seems like a hefty goal. But I then break my long-term goal down into smaller, more manageable goals. For me, I need to lose 11% over 6 months which only equates to about 24 lbs, or about a pound a week.
Now THAT I can do! I take my bodyfat measurements every 3 weeks and the gains I see (as well as the mistakes I've made) keep me going.
MW: As the author of one of the Internet's top selling muscle building routines, what advice would you offer to beginners?
First, I would challenge the word "beginner". For those guys out there who have just started bodybuilding and look around the gym at guys who have been lifting for years, don't jump to conclusions that these are "experienced" bodybuilders". Oh, THEY may think they are, but let me tell you…I just joined a new gym and after about 2 weeks there, I can tell you that there isn't ONE guy who has any clue as to what he's doing! Sloppy form…improper exercises…incorrect muscle group schedule…you name it. Which brings me to my advice…
Get the BASICS down first! I know most beginners don't want to hear that since all of the marketing campaigns in muscle magazines promise you can look like the guy on the cover by popping a "magic pill". It's just not true!
And following their lame-brain workout routines will only lead to frustration and possible injury. If you don't get your lifting form and diet right, you won't even come CLOSE to the muscle you're truly capable of no matter WHAT supplement you're taking!
Also, SET REALISTIC GOALS. Although most of the guys on my Optimum Anabolics program report back to me with lean muscle gains of about 1-2 pounds a week (one guy in Texas just averaged 3 POUNDS OF MUSCLE per week in his first "programming" cycle!), I tell them that the average person can only build about 1-2 pounds of lean muscle mass per MONTH. Beginners often get frustrated with lack of gains and eventually give up. Find a good program and stick with it!
MW: I was at the gym the other day and saw somebody following your Optimum Anabolics Program. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Gladly! Optimum Anabolics is a combination of "tactical" lessons I learned in over 14 years of trial and error that finally set the record straight on the "how's" and "why's" of bodybuilding.
But the real secret behind the program is an amazing "programming" technique I discovered by accident along the way. I'm sure there isn't enough room in your newsletter to explain it all, but basically my program takes a natural defense mechanism that the body uses to limit the amount of muscle you can build (some call it "genetic limitation") and turns it back on itself to actually FORCE it to do the exact opposite…build MORE muscle than it was meant to. I fine tuned the process over 2 years and broke it down step-by-step so that anyone from beginner to pro could follow it with ease.
MW: Is there any chance you could give an extra bonus to Critical Bench readers who are interested in your course?
Sure Mike. I've just finished another book entitled "UNLEASHED! How To Naturally Skyrocket Your Testosterone Levels For Massive Muscle Gains…FAST!"
I've been test marketing the program with a few people and the feedback has been AMAZING to say the least. I've been told I should definitely charge for the program but I'm not quite ready to do this quite yet. I kind of see it as my "gift" back to the "average guys" out in the gyms that have helped spread the word on the power of the Optimum Anabolics program. I even put some of their testimonials in the book to give them some well-deserved credit.
Anyway, I'd love to offer it to your readers in hopes of getting some additional feedback for my advertising campaign. I'll even throw in a preview of the Optimum Anabolics program intro for good measure. All free of charge of course.
They can pick up their copies with my compliments by clicking here.
MW: Thanks for your time Jeff, it was fun getting inside your head.
My pleasure Mike! We may even want to try holding a live conference next time where your readers can ask specific questions. Maybe you could put your "feelers" out for some interest? Take care!
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