- How are you feeling?
This morning I was pretty tired, as I did legs. Squatting is hard work on low carbs, and it ain't really easy. Afterwards, I did my cardio. Sometimes I am so tired when I am doing cardio that I almost fall asleep, but everything is going good in my training.
- Have you been online checking out the competitors pictures?
Yes, I have been looking at everybody's picture. I am taking the bullets and ammonization from those pics and I am going to use it against them. Some of them look really good, and they look like they are trying to come in, but that will make my win much more sweeter. I am not going to the show to lose. Last May, I beat 46 guys at the Night of Champions to win the show. I have entered this show for one reason - to win.
Some people are underestimating Marvelous. I have had some ups and down with my physique in the past, but now I am starting to nail it. My body is starting to respond very well, I am in better conditioning than I was before.
It's great that some of the competitors are showing the precontest pictures. It gives me something to get fired about. Every time I see them, I feel the need to do more training, to do more sets. It's all good, before the contest, we are all cordial, but on that day, it's all war.
- Who is your biggest competition threat?
All of them are my main competition. I treat them all the same. I am going to fight them like it is do or die. Regarding the boards, I have seen a lot of people say good things about, and I appreciate even they guys that don't say good about me, everybody has their opinion, I just want to prove to everyone that I am somebody to reckon with, and that will have to be done on stage. It all boils down to what happens on Saturday, because anything can happen. Anyone can get beat, so I will have all my ammunition ready for battle, hopefully everybody is doing the same.
- How is your physique and training?
Chad and I have been working extensively so it is going to be something to see. My condition will be better than the when I was on stage at the NOC. Better fullness. I am fluctuating between 240 to 237 pounds with no carbs, so it will be nice to see where I will end up when I put back some carbs soon. I look good now with my conditioning, the separation is better than ever, my waist is probably the smallest it has ever been. It has not been this small since the 1999 USA. If the competition is taking me lightly, they are going to be surprised. Very surprised
I would like to come into the show around 235 - 236 pounds. I might be 240, because it is hard to gage on how I look now, because of my diet. I started my diet at 252 pounds. I have been eating a lot more protein on this diet. Sometimes, I might go 4 days on a low carb diet, then a few days high carbs, then back to low carbs, depends on how I look. I had some good pictures taken, but the pictures are not going up, because I want them to see me on contest day. I will be ready. Then all the pictures can go up on the boards.
- What is your training schedule?
Twice a day, six days a week. On Monday morning, I do quads, calves, then cardio. In the evening, I go to school. On Tuesday mornings, I do back, all my rows, rear delts, traps, and cardio; in the evening, I do pecs, front delts, biceps. On Wednesday, in the morning, I do hams & calves, in the evening I do triceps, pulling movements for my back, two different back workouts, side delts, abs. On Thursday morning, I do biceps, forearms, and more abs; in the evening, I do rear delts, cardio and then go to school. On Friday morning, I do quads and calves, front squats instead of the regular ones, and in the evening, chest and cardio. On Saturday, its back to hams & calves, and in the evening, front delts and triceps. On Sunday, I don't do nothing, I lay around and eat and go to church.
- School? Did you say school?
Yes, I am going to the Living Waters Bible Collage, getting my B.A in physical counseling, which means I will be able to counsel youth, either in the Department of Education - schools, among various stuff. I intend to graduate in July 2005. I already had 96 units from Cal State Fullerton (my original major was political science). I am going be walking down, getting my diploma and my degree. When I am done with bodybuilding, and my window closes, I will be able to fall on something else. Competing is fun and great and lucrative, but I have to branch off into other things for the future. I will be in bodybuilding for as long as I can, the best competitor that I can.
- Are you staying in Pasadena or driving to the contest from your home in San Bernardino?
I am staying at the hotel. I don't want nothing to stop me from getting what I want. And that is first place at the Ironman. They are going to have to fight me for it. The way I looked last week is better than they way I looked before the Night of Champions. The judges want me to improve, and I will continue to improve every time. I have never seen myself at my best yet, so I work hard to improve my body, to make me unbeatable, it is a big step to come into the Ironman better. I took second to Chris Cormier in 2001, took second to Jay Cutler in 2002, I have beaten Flex Wheeler, and this victory it isn't going to come easy.
I will do the Ironman, the Arnold, and the San Francisco Pro Shows. I am putting so much into these three contests, it is hard to hold your peak after that. I have been training by myself, pushing my own self, and I have my new video coming out in May from getting ready for this show, including some posing stuff on there. It's from Mitsuru Okabe. This will be my second video. My first video I made in 1999, to this day, people still buy it.
It's going to be fun. The pressure is pretty much on me to beat the physique that I had at the NOC. The pictures I see on Getbig just feed me more and more. I feel it now. Some parts of the day I am cool, others parts of the day I just want to lay down somewhere. Sometimes I try to take a nap but I can't sleep, but I need my body to sleep.
- How are the last few weeks going for you?
The last three weeks are the hardest for me. Chad calls it the rollercoaster. I go up and down on my carbs, changing things, definitely a wild ride. I just fight through it, and there is no need to elaborate on it; there's no negotiation on it, you just do it. Last week, I was on low carbs for 5 days, and that was tough, very tough. Then I got to have some carbs for only 2 days and that I went right back down, and that was very hard. Sometimes I get the pump, and then with low carbs, I feel like a walking zombie. But it is definitely working, and you will see the results on the stage. Chad is a master at filling me out. This year, I am not touching nothing. I had a sugar free popsicle two weeks ago. Pineapple flavor. That popsicle was so good. I tried to eat it slow, but that didn't work
- Chad Nicholls - the nutritionist and advisor?
People tend to give Chad a hard time about things. People forget that Chad helped me get my pro card in 1999. People should stop blaming Chad for everything. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink it. The athletes know exactly what they are doing with Chad. You are aware of everything. He can tell you what to do, but if you don't want to do it, then don't complain and blame Chad for things later on. If he tells you to just take Vitamin C, and you decide to take Vitamin C, B, E and A, then go and blame him if something is wrong later, is not cool. If he says eat a cup of rice, and you eat two cups, don't blame the guy that is helping you when your diet doesn't work later on. Sometimes you have to look within before you blame. I know some athletes that never follow what their 'nutritionist' tells them. I actually saw an athlete go to McDonalds a few days before the contest, and then expected his advisor to help him out and dry him up. Come on. Even I have done that in the past. One time, a couple years ago, I went to the store and got some sweets two weeks before the show, and wound up eating 4 Krispy Kreme donuts, and then blamed it on my wife because I was mad. I made that excuse in order to go buy them. In truth, it had nothing to do with her. I just wanted them. So stop blaming someone else.
- What do you think of Shawn Ray's arguments on the forums regarding contest prize money?
Shawn makes a lot of good points. I think the athletes should be paid and it should be lucrative. I know there is a lot of overhead when putting on a show, but people come to see the bodybuilding pros compete. Regarding the prize money, I think they should cut through the red tape, and get it done. If someone is offering to make it better for the athletes, then we should look into it, no matter who is the sponsor. If he is asking to put up more money for the athletes, there is nothing wrong with that. But I also see the other side, expenses for the expo, the hall. But if someone is offering you money for the athletes, lets just cut through the red tape, and give it to them. Someone has to compromise on this - meet them halfway - for the athletes sake. We have to get onstage and perform, so why not reward us, especially if someone comes and offers some more money.
Here is something, when I win the $1,000 posing award at the ironman, I will give it to the 6th place winner (I think that is the first placing that doesn't get any money).