First off, Thank You Ian! It’s an honor to be one of two to win the first IFBB pro cards for men’s physique and to take the overall was just the icing on the cake! I had competed as a middle weight at the USA’s last July. I felt that I looked quite well as a middle weight but at my height I was almost 3 inches taller than most other middle weights at that level. So even though I’m only 5 7 ¾ I looked like shaq onstage compared to the rest of my class! Ha ha Once I heard men’s physique was coming out I knew it was for me. I had been doing a lot of fitness modeling already and they just go hand in hand .Plus it allows me to really show off my personality onstage and really ham it up for the crowd, unlike bodybuilding. I also love the fact that it’s a more natural look, a look I can keep all year round instead of bulking and cutting over and over, this also always me to be photo ready 365.
Can you tell us a little about the Jr. National Competition itself?
I would first like to thank the promoters Tres Bennet for such a great, professional, fun and smooth running show, both onstage and off. I love that it was held in Charleston, SC. It’s a very lovely city and was so nice how close the coliseum was located to the host hotel for check-ins. The competition was just amazing. I had lunch with Bobby Ashhurst and we both said the same thing. Lol We were both looking around during line ups thinking, wow! So many really great physiques, with faces to match. Just to be in the same group with guys such as Eddie Baird and Ryan Hughes and Steve Cook was amazing. Everyone just looked so polished and could tell were very hungry for that first Pro Card!
How did you feel after pre-judging?
After Prejudging I felt amazing! Just to make first call outs at this level was humbling and an honor! I knew I was on the right track. I figured ok, I must have the Physique and personality they are looking for so even if I don’t get the card here I’m still on the right track and was just going to continue throughout the year until I got it. I had so many people none of whom I knew come up and tell me they had me picked, that I was there favorite to win it. Though this doesn’t really affect my placing, it definitely made me feel very confident going into the night show.
How did you feel when you found out that you were one of the very first PRO’S in this new division?
Well, if you watch the video you will see it took a few moments to set in! lol I literally ran up onstage to get my first place trophy. Im still in shock , it really hasn’t sunk in yet, but I felt like a 1000lbs just got lifted off my chest. I have been lifting and dieting for 12 years now and to reach a dream like this and accomplish this goal is unbelievable , there are just no words. I just cant get this smile off my face. I just keep saying I’m an IFBB pro! Just lil o’le me! Haha I had so many people come up after the show, competitors, expiditors, other pros, fans in the audience tell me..You just made history..you just made history!
What are your thoughts on the Men's Physique Division and what it may be able to do for your career?
First off I think it’s great! I think it’s more than great! I think it will evolve just like every other division does. I love the fact that they actually put your personality and showmanship into consideration as well as your face and smile. I think they will probably come up with more mandatory poses and turns and walks then we have currently in the division. I think getting my Pro card as well as taking the overall is really going to boost my career in all areas, training, modeling, competing . Really is going to give me the exposure I need to land a big sponsorship to do as many Pro shows as I can. Also I feel this will really help me with fitness modeling as I will get much more exposure.
Age: I am 27 years old.
Hometown: Warren, Ohio! “The heart of it all”
Current city: Scottsdale AZ!!!!
Years training: I have been training for 12 years now. I was just telling someone at the Jr. USA’s I have been carrying around a cooler full of food since I was a sophomore in High School! lol
Education: I attended NPTI in Florida, the National Personal Training Institute. I have been training people since High School. It’s amazing how much knowledge one can attain just by being around the gym and studio for years. There’s no education like real life experience!
Occupation: I am a personal trainer for Scott’s Training Systems (STS) in Tempe, AZ. Scottstrainingsystems.com. Focusing mainly on competitors, and contest Prep.
Favorite type of training: Strength training of course but I love keeping my workouts efficient and fast paced. I just started boxing and mma with trainer Cameron Bradford as a way to learn a new set of skills as well as a way to have more fun for cardio!
Favorite body part to train: Legs! At first it was a love hate, haha but now I enjoy the pain and challenge and sense of accomplishment on the days I literally hobble out of the gym. Nothing like feeling that power in your lower half squatting or pressing or doing heavy walking lunges.
Favorite exercise: Elevated one legged squat with dumbbells
Rep range: My training seems to always be evolving, very instinctual. I seem to always be changing my goals physically, which in turn changes my rep , set, and exercises.
Number of sets: Once again, I don’t hold myself or limit my training by numbers, if I’m doing an exercise and it feels really good that day I may do 5 6 7 sets, and just hold back on another exercise.
Typical workout duration:1 to 1 ½ hours strength training, 30-60 min cardio
Training split: I use the Priority Principle , legs should always come first in my book, so I start my week with them, and end up hitting them 2 to 3 times per week. I also do calves and abs 6 days a week. I’ve had to cut back on arms a little, they seem to explode when I touch them. My other body parts I just play by ear, I listen to my body.
Typical daily eating plan: I get in 6 to 8 meals a day depending on how many hours I must be up on any given day. Protein with every meal of course. I do two meals of complex carbs for meals 1 and 2 and the rest of the day I do all Fats with my protein
Favorite supplement: I actually stopped doing Protein Powders for the time being as I feel actual food is assimilated much better, I do however drink a post workout shake. For pre work outs , I’m old school, I just do a small coffee. I do from time to time do either Super Pump 250, 1 M R or Jacked if I need just a little extra dose of intensity.
What peaked your interest in training? I actually had my neighbor take me under my wing when I was 15. He also got me my first job at the gym at 15, he started to mentor me and really shave a lot of time of learning about strength training. But I really got into it after a near fatal car accident at 17, I was in a 75 mph rollover with no seat belt, I broke my femur and hip, concussion, face and scalp lacerations. It was a long road to recovery from Hospital to wheel chair , to crutches, a cane, to finally walking again. When I was in a wheel chair my friends would take me to the gym and help me set up and rack everything. I could only do upper for about 1 to 1 ½ years but it really helped me. After that I dedicated the last 10 years doing the priority principle to bring my wheels up to match, took a long time but I have finally done it. I just hit them every day they weren’t sore, which forces me to have a good workout, because if I didn’t get them sore, I be doing them again very soon!
Who influences/influenced your training?
FRANK ZANE I have followed every theory and concept he has ever had, just incredibly motivating mind and body connection.
Sports: I love basketball and football, you can usually find me in between clients throwing the football around with other trainers.
Special interests: Hunting and Archery, I hunt with a recurve bow, this is a bow made out of wood, it is the hardest way you can legally hunt. It takes much years of wisdom and much patience as well as skill to harvest an animal this way. My dad, brother in law , best friend and I make it out every year for elk hunting. It’s not easy getting 20 yards from something that has better hearing, smelling and in some cases sight. So when we do have successful hunts its very thrilling!
Physique, fitness, bodybuilding competition history: I took 1st place in November of 2009 as a middle weight in my first show! I won 1st in the novice and open for my weight. It was the Arizona AZ 2009 Western Regionals, For My second show I did the USA’s as a middle weight, though I trained for 6 months for that show I got a DNP. I took 2nd in my first men’s Physique show in March of 2011 and of course you know I just took 1st in class A and the won the overall at the 2011 Jr. USA’s to receive my Pro card!
Awards and/or accomplishments: All I have to say to that is Men’s Physique IFBB Pro Card and Overall winner at the 2011 Jr. USA’s!!!!!!!!!! Ryan Hughes and I made History!
Next planned competition: I plan on doing the first Men’s Physique Pro show that is available. I hope to get the chance and honor of stepping on the Olympia stage at the Pro level for Men’s Physique.
What keeps you on track towards reaching your goals?
I have come from very humble beginnings, I will not stop until I am in a position to help and give back to the many friends and family who have helped me achieve my dreams and goals. I have always had this burning desire to follow my heart and go after my dreams! You only get one chance at life and I will not be the type to sit back in regret one day! You have to go out and get it! Open doors, and if there shut , you grab an axe and chop em down! I write down my goals and post them in places I see them daily. I just crossed off a big one with this Pro Card win that was on my visor of my car.
Interesting fact or something you would like our readers to know about you:
I competed as a middle weight at the 2010 USA’s, I plan on being the face of this new division. I plan on being to Men’s Physique what Cutler is to bodybuilding!
Contact Information: [email protected] or FB at Matt “Swoll” Christianer, also can be found on scottstrainingsystems.com and coming soon mattswoll.com!