MICHAEL A. CASTERLINE
OFFSEASON WEIGHT: 187lbs
CONTEST WEIGHT: 148lbs
- 2015 OCB Charm City Classic, 1st place debut bodybuilding, 3rd place open lightheavyweight
I always worked out in the gym and tried to stay in decent shape. Even as a child I’ve always been a competitive person. One day I thought to myself, why do I put time and effort into the gym and eat healthy? What motive, what brings me here, what is my purpose? I thought there had to be more. I saw a few people I know doing shows and just asked myself, “If they can do it, why not me?” I wanted to elevate my life physically and mentally and compete in something that would challenge me in both aspects of disciple and in life.
When I got interested in doing a show I started talking to people in my gym, networking and looking for reliable people to work with. Rebecca Mitchell’s name kept coming up. I contacted her, she did my prep and guided me through the process and introduced me to TWW.
First and foremost I have to say I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Rebecca. The rumors were true—she’s very knowledgeable and helpful in the process. I came to her knowing nothing about show prep, what direction to go or where to begin, and I wanted to do it right. She was very understanding and I could ask her anything. She was more than willing to meet and assist me if I needed anything and if she wasn’t available she always referred me to someone who was. I met a lot of people working with her and she really made sure I was surrounded by like-minded people and had a good support network.
To me the hardest part I think was the last three weeks or so. I’d be lying to you if I said I never looked in the mirror and asked myself why do you continue to do this? Then the competitive side came out. In every one there’s a part of us that desires accomplishment and feeds for excellence. We as people want and need discipline. To me the mental aspect of it all was the hardest.
My life experiences growing up really motivate me—things through my childhood, friends and family especially, even my military experiences. As warped and harsh as it may sound in Afghanistan we did MEDEVAC support and coming home from that you have a different outlook on life. When I would do leg days or get to my last set and get tired in my mind I would tell myself there are guys who can’t walk, people who will never see their families again, now here I am merely tired. Make the most of every opportunity and seize it while you can. I also strived to be a role model. I don’t currently have kids, but if I did, what kind of example would I want to set for them. My sister had a baby about three months before I started training for his show. I really used that for motivation too. Just thinking as he gets older he’s going look for me to be there and to guide him and if you can quit on yourself you’ll quit on anyone. Quitting is not an option.
For those interested in getting involved with competition, I would tell them to really make sure it’s what you want and go in from day one focused and take it serious. Listen to one trainer you know and trust and stay consistent. Ask questions. As crude as it may sound, eliminate people in your life that either don’t agree with or support your goals. From day one just ensure that you have all positive influences in your life and expect to make friends and to lose friends along the way. It’s a different lifestyle and different level of discipline, and not everyone is going to understand and support your mindset. Just keep pushing and when you step on stage you’re going to feel on top of the world, as all that hard work will have paid off.
Looking back I see how disciplined I really was, and that physically and mentally I can push myself through a lot. At the same time, as paradoxical as it sounds, you also look back and tell yourself you can be better and make fewer mistakes. I have things to work on physically and mentally to be a better competitor and a better person. It really challenges your body mind and soul.
I have to thank my friends and family for all of their support. I really am blessed to have such a supportive and understanding group of people around me. A huge thank you to Rebecca Mitchell for her assistance and Nate Orr for all of his help and guidance. David Johnson at TWW for the posing clinics, assistance and dedication. A huge thank you to everyone at Exile Fitness for their support. The Arellano and Alverez families, thank you for your strong words of encouragement, help, and support. The MDARNG, Jay, Matt, Austin, Brian, Ken and to Nichole, my sister Theresa, girlfriend Natalia, and my nephew Landon, you guys are true inspirations. I love you and thank you for everything.
My plans moving forward are definitely to compete again. I would like to go up a weight class and put on more size over this offseason. Depending on how things shake out, maybe even go from OCB to NPC. My goal even before my first show was to do one every year and get better every year, which should everybody’s overall goal in this sport.
Instead of just giving up and giving in, I challenged myself to learn more about proper body mechanics and proper nutrition in regards to living inflammatory free! As a nationally ranked NPC figure competitor. I have a relentless passion for health, wellness and nutrition. I take great pride in working with all types of clients from all walks of life, from those just aspiring for general weight loss to those hunting to take the journey to the competition stage.