Mens Physique Contributors

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THE LIFE (Inspiration & Real Fitness Life Stories)

Is Fitness Your Religion?

bibleAs strange as it may sound, there are a lot of similarities between fitness and religion. Think I’m joking? Here are 12 signs to determine if fitness is YOUR religion:

1.  Annual pilgrimage – Have you ever made an annual trip to either the Arnold in Columbus or the Olympia in Las Vegas? If not, I’m sure that it’s on your bucket list. 

The Average Male Gym Goer Vs. The Active Competing Male Physique Competitor

rich tuma​Hitting the treadmill in the morning for an hour of cardio is great. Any activity that supplements your daily routine is never going to hurt. However, being in the fitness industry, and being able to boast an IFBB Pro Card takes much more than what the average “gym rat” may be willing to give when it comes to commitment, time, and overall focus.


​The ordinary guy who may go to the gym five times a week is doing his body a favor. He is bound to live a longer and happier life. When he returns home from the gym, he may indulge in a sweet or savory meal. This is where the major differences come in between the average gym goer and someone who is entering competition season.

Becoming an IFBB Pro: The process, cost, and challenges!

Attendingcash an IFBB competition you'll only see the final results of the years of dedication, determination, hard work, and conquering of all challenges it took to progress and sculpt these phenomenal physiques and earn their IFBB Pro status. It's not as easy as throwing on some boardshorts, posing trunks, or a bikini and stepping onstage with a big smile and some swagger. There's a chain of events that has to take place in order to earn your IFBB Pro card.

Make Fitness Work for YOU!

HavingIMG 5938 been a part of the Fitness Industry Professionally for over 15 years now I have seen a lot of people and trends come and go and in fact it is very uncommon that someone stays a part of the Fitness Industry for even more than 5 years, but it doesn’t have to be that way!

First off, let’s take a look at one of the number one reasons people get out of the Fitness Industry…

Are you mentally prepared to compete?

You'veJake phippen been to a couple shows and know a few competitors from the gym and you tell yourself, "I could do that! Plus, I look way better than those guys! How did they even win? I would kill it in one of these shows!"


You start telling everyone you're going to compete. You start criticizing everyone’s physique. You're positing selfies all over social media claiming you're a future IFBB Pro and fitness model. You strut around the gym with your shmedium shirt showing off your self-proclaimed AMAZING physique. The throwing of the dumbbells along with excessive grunting increases to attract attention to yourself. You hire a coach to prep for the show...

What To Do After You Have Slayed The Dragon

The Pro Cardenticing waters of the competition world can truly rule a competitor’s life, especially when a national qualification is won at local and regional shows and the national stage beckons.  In fact, most of you probably already have your national contest strategy in place and are prepared to hit contest after contest to maximize your chances of getting a Pro Card...

'Tis the Season!

Heresanta buff we are once again approaching the end of another year as well as the Off-Season for many! The Off-Season if used properly is one of the very best ways to improve your physique for the upcoming year, however far too many waste this valuable time. How can you have a successful Off-Season? Well, read on…

Tips for Surviving the Holidays

Theholiday food holidays are a time to appreciate the things we have, spend time with the family, and take a break from our everyday stresses. For most it is also a time of multiple holiday dinners, eating out, and weight gain. Here are some tips that help me survive the holidays without gaining any weight...

Fit For Stage…There Is A Difference

WeNY Pro Stage shot all know that the general population is pretty resistant to the idea of packing on the massive amounts of muscle which are seen in men’s and women’s bodybuilding.  This has made the men’s physique and bikini divisions incredibly enticing since these divisions are represented by a lesser degree of muscularity.  However, it drives me nuts when I hear people proclaim that they are going to jump onstage and compete simply because they are reasonably fit...

We Are ALL Meant for Greatness!

HaveThe Present you ever taken a moment to stop, to just stop and think about what you think about most? As contradictory as that may sound, it could be one of the most important things that you do. You see, we truly do become what we think about. We do become what we surround ourselves with. We do become what we create!

Know You "Why"

I sawJB5 2742 DMXSJIIWHC[1] a great shirt today at the gym that said "know your why."  The statement really stood out to me because the second most popular question that I get asked (behind “Is Brickhouse really your last name?”) is "Why do you work out so much?" 

I'm happy to share my reasons with anyone that wants to listen, and sometimes even those that don't.  However, knowing my "why" may not be your answer. Whether it’s why you work at a particular job, why you have a particular habit, or even why you are with a certain person, knowing your reasons are what's important...

Are You Hardcore?

YouDWt24 hear it a lot in bodybuilding and fitness industry, "I'm hardcore.” So what makes someone hardcore? The answer will of course vary depending on who you talk to. Is it working out three hours a day? Maybe it’s doing two hours of fasted cardio a day. Or is it going no-carb, no-fat, and drastically cutting your calories? Is it giving up your entire social life, family, and any hobbies? Maybe it’s spending every last dollar you have on supplements and competing. Is it the combination of all the above things? I mean that all sounds "hardcore," right?

The POWER of “2”

Whether2013-04-05 22.04.45 you are training hard as a bodybuilder or physique competitor, our sport is largely an individual sport where one is often left to figure it all out on their own and, compared to other pursuits, a greater number of things can, and will go wrong along the path to success.

For example, the pre-competition phase demands a number of critical steps to be followed before one steps onstage: diet, training, supplementation, posing and mindset all need to be worked on and perfected before competitive success can be realized...

Find Your Why!

ItIt's Not Enough... happens to all of us, no matter who we are; the feeling as if we are going through the motions. Those times when we’re not quite sure why we are doing what we are doing, and instead of acknowledging just how far we have come, we dwell on how far we have to go. During these times one of the most important things we can do is to find our Why!

Our Why is one of the most important things that we all have. It is the deep-seeded reason for what we do in our lives and what keeps us going when things get tough! However if we do not have a strong enough Why, we will lack the motivation to keep us moving forward. Our Why must be something that we are highly attached to and willing to protect at all costs!

Differences and Resulting Drama in The Fitness Industry

The Derek Chaincyclical nature of things is very real and no different within the fitness community. One thing that seems to come to the forefront every so often is drama, but it certainly doesn’t have to! It seems anytime there is a mass of people doing one thing that spreads rather fast, many are waiting to combat it without even really looking into it. We must remember that there really aren’t a lot of absolutely brand new things being done; they just may have not been done in great numbers previously or in a while. We must also remember that for something to catch momentum there really must be something to it and that is where we should focus our efforts!

That Ever Elusive Pro Card

TherePro Card have been many occasions in which I have heard a freshly nationally ranked NPC competitor declare that he or she will hit the national stage and easily snap up an IFBB Pro Card.  While I applaud the competitor’s enthusiasm and drive, I cannot help but snicker to myself when I hear such a statement.  Honestly, if it were that easy to earn a Pro Card, there would be Pros populating the country in droves.  Alas, there are only a finite number of Pro Cards given out each year, and the competition for them is fierce.

Interested in Men’s Physique Division competition?

I’vephoto (5) been involved in athletics and competition ever since high school, so I wanted to continue that athletic mindset after I graduated from college.  I ran track in high school and in collegiate competitions, but there was no way I'd ever be fast enough to line up against Usain Bolt! Fortunately, I graduated into being a full-time gym-rat and personal trainer.  And after being surrounded by various Men’s Physique Division competitors and bodybuilders it was only a matter of time before I made the choice to compete.

Be aware, if you're seriously intrigued with the idea of competing in Men’s Physique then you should give it serious consideration.  Personal relationships can suffer.  Your friends might not understand why you can't join them for pizza and beer.  Unless your significant other is vested in the fitness lifestyle as well, you could very well come to blows when carbs are cut and cardio is high...

Learn to Live YOUR Lifestyle!

OneIMG 5938 common occurrence that seems to accompany the competitive lifestyle is the yo-yo effect, or that of experiencing extreme highs followed by extreme lows! Anyone who has been around this realm for even a small amount of time witnesses this and honestly, it does not have to be this way!

Extreme swings not only hurt your physical gains, but also your mental outlook, health, career, relationships, etc. So why do these extreme swings occur?

Breaking Mental Inertia to Achieve New Success!

Aresuccess-begins-with-your-mindset you Ready to achieve a New Level of Success? – “Breaking the Mental Inertia”

What do Olympic athletes and other pro athletes know or do that normal athletes don't? They know as much or perhaps a bit more than most athletes with regards to training regimen, nutrition, and mechanics; however, they behave much differently. They do what they know, and master each aspect of training. The aspect that Olympic and other pro athletes master is their mindset. 

Are you ready to achieve a new level of success in some aspect of your life?

Everything You’ve Been Told Is Wrong: Part III

I DWt24would like to thank everyone again. The response I have received since I started this 3-part series has been incredible. I appreciate you guys telling me your stories and letting me know how powerful this has been for you. I've had quite a few of you tell me how a light bulb went off after reading the first two parts. The realization that it wasn't your fault, but your coaches fault that you weren't in shape in time for stage or for looking better the week before. Here are some more bodybuilding myths: 

Eat every 2 1/2 hours or your metabolism will slow down...

When Are You Ready For The Stage?

When chris Hess 3 month 1.11.13 - 4.3.13do you know you’re ready? How do I even get started on my journey? If you’re like me, you probably asked this question to yourself time and time again . Every competitor has to start somewhere, but how do you know where to start? Where do you go?   When do you know it’s your time to take the stage?

I’m here to share my “in progress” journey; my trials and tribulations, successes and failures and everything along the way...