OFFSEASON WEIGHT: 222lbs
CONTEST WEIGHT: 192lbs
DIVISION: men’s physique division
2015 NPC Philadelphia Championship: 5th place MPD C; 3rd place MPD novice
2015 NPC Max Muscle Virginia: 4th place MPD C
Even though I’ve been lifting weights since I was twelve years old, never did I imagine I would be doing so for a competitive reason. I was initially inspired to prep for a competition when my wife, Jazzmon, wanted to challenge herself to see exactly what she’d be able to do in a show. I didn’t want our future children to see only photos of their mother doing something awesome and then wonder what I was doing in the meantime.
My coach and nutritionist is Cesar Barreto. I had seen him in our gym for over a year before actually having a conversation with him and it was rather strange to have a level of dialogue with him other than, “How many sets do you have left?” From the very start, Cesar informed me of the support system that TEAM Warrior Within was made of. From the free posing clinics to the open door policy to the well of knowledge from all of the other competitors under the banner. Every workout with Cesar was a lesson in humility, perseverance and personal triumph. Every day was tough… every step on the Stairmaster was dreaded… yet…. it was not difficult to want to do it again the next day.
The meal plans were something that I had never really imagined myself doing at ANY point in my life, but every Sunday at the TWW posing clinic…. you were inspired to maintain the integrity of the plan. Everyone under the umbrella of TWW was showing VISIBLE improvements in their physique week-to-week and there was no way that you would want to be left behind simply because you craved a slice of meat lover’s pizza from Sam’s Club (oddly specific, wouldn’t you say?). That was the HARDEST part of the process—fighting my inner voice of, “You can work it off with fifteen minutes extra of cardio, go ahead and have it.”
At the same time, my wife and I were both prepping for the Gladiator 2015. I’m not sure if you all have heard the horror stories about two people living in close quarters while on very different meal plans and the potential for violence being very high…. but they’re not true. We were each other’s accountability sponsors and it was awesome. We were newlyweds, within the first seven months of our marriage, and it really helped keep us on a path of truly being there for one another. I was really surprised at how close this process brought us together.
I’ll wrap up this up by saying, competing in bodybuilding is one of the hardest things someone can do. Though I felt like I looked better than most of the guys in my class, it was a very HUMBLING experience to have others not only tell you that you’re not as hot shit as you think you are, BUT to have that be materialized in the form of trophies given to those who were better looking than you. The self-analysis is maddening, but if you’re able to come out on the other side and realize that you’re not competing against other people… that the opinions of the judges are ancillary at best… that you’re really doing this to push yourself to limits you didn’t know you have… you will be able to use this experience to elevate your body, mind and soul. That being said, I took the following two weeks to reset my perspective, train through the mental barrier that I put up myself, and hit the Philly Classic and attain 5th place in my class and 3rd place in the novice division for Men’s Physique. Following that, two weeks later I competed in the Max Muscle in Virginia and walked away with 4th place in my class.
This year, I’m looking to not only repeat but do better in these and other competitions. As far as my personal journey and take on this whole situation, it has changed from not wanting to be left behind to being one who leads the way. My wife and I get so many stories of how we’ve changed folks’ perspective on living and eating healthily from friends and co-workers that we feel like if we can change one life by challenging ourselves, what more of a difference can we make by pushing ourselves that much further? So to my all of my TEAM Warrior Within family, know that you are inspiring someone out there by putting yourself to the test, and let’s make 2016 one for the record books!
This WARRIOR was trained by Cesar Barretto. Cesar creates each client’s training program with their personal goals in mind. He teaches them the proper technique to ensure long term results. Being a bodybuilding competitor himself he can create custom diet plans and workouts geared towards those that compete or are planning on competing, as well as those who just want to get in shape for health reasons. Whatever your goals are, Cesar can get you there.