A:I was born in Englewood, New Jersey and raised in Hackensack, New Jersey.
Q:How did your fitness journey begin?
A:My journey to the stage began in 2005, where at the time I was a Division 1 wrestler for Rider University. I was always involved with weight training since I was young but it wasn't until college that I got much more serious with it. It was there that I met a former Mr. Trenton bodybuilder whom taught me all that it took become a bodybuilder. Hesitant at first, I agreed to let him train me for a local show. After only three months of specialized weight training, proper nutrition and posing, I competed at the NPC Mid-Atlantic Championships, where I placed 3rd out of 5 in the Novice Lightweight Division and it was then that I was instantly bit by the bug. I quit wrestling and focused solely on bodybuilding from that day forward. Unsure at the time about how far I was going to take this, I decided that this was a new challenge for me and it was something I like enough to continue doing.
Q:When did you know you were ready for the IFBB?
A:Becoming an IFBB Professional was something that had popped into my head early in my career. Once I learned more and more about the sport, I began to admire and follow the shorter bodybuilders such as; Jose Raymond, David Henry, Lee Priest, etc. I told myself that if I really put 100% into this that I could maybe be at the level these guys are at. Still unsure of things and knowing I had to steadily make improvements to my physique, I waited until 2011 to make a run for an IFBB Pro Card. My first qualifier was the 2011 NPC Team Universe. There I was able to win the bantamweight class but fell short of winning the overall, which would have awarded me pro status. I continued in the journey and found myself competing at the 2011 NPC Nationals. To earn my pro card, I simply had to win my weight class. I had just come off three class wins at local shows and was confident that I could make it four wins and earn my card. However, the competition here was fierce, so fierce that I didn't even make the top 15. Disappointed at first, I went back home and mapped out a game plan for the 2012 season and immediately got back to work. With a new hunger and much improved physique, I found myself back on the stage 1 year later at the 2012 NPC Nationals, where I was able to win my class and earn my IFBB Pro Card.
Q:What is your pre contest diet like?
A:My contest diet is very similar to most; high protein and moderate carbs. However, it changes weekly based on how my physique is looking. My prep for the 2012 Nationals was the toughest of my career, simply because this was the first time I ever had to make weight, (143lbs). Toward the end of prep, I running on high protein and very low carbs and a ton of cardio to get my weight down. 20 hours prior to weigh-ins, I went without food and water. I had to dig deep back into my wrestling day and found what worked in order to get the weight off and it worked.
Q:What workout routine do you feel works best for you?
A:I've tried various training programs over the years but found that a typical bodybuilding split, which consists of a single body part per day, works best for me. I like putting a lot of stress and tension on the muscle and giving it a week of rest before hitting it again. I like to train 5x per week and take 2 days rest during my off-season. Once I begin prep, I kick it up to 6x per week and 1 day as a rest day. That 6th day is usually small body parts, such as calves, abs and forearms.
Q:Describe what the term "Giant Killer" means to you. ..
A:The Giant Killer nickname was given to me by my good friend Clarence McGill in 2006. That year I had claimed four overall wins. Doing that as a Bantamweight was unheard of, so from that day forward, everyone knew me as “The Giant Killer.”
I've always been the “little” guy growing up but I never let that discourage me from doing what I wanted to do. Shorter bodybuilders feel that just because of their height, they can't win an overall or they can't do this or that. I always tell them that height means nothing in this sport. It's all about what you look like and the type of physique and attitude you bring to the stage is most important. Be thankful for what you've been blessed with and take full advantage of it!
Q:How did you hook up with Ronnie Coleman?
A:I reached out to Ronnie Coleman Signature Series last year in hopes of joining the team as a sponsored athlete. His brand was fairly new and at the time, only had one athlete signed to my knowledge. So I emailed him letting him know who I was, what my competitive history was, what my plans were and what I could do for his brand. The Team at RCSS and I kept in contact for several weeks and they would send me tons of samples to try out, all of which I loved! After a few weeks, they reached out to me offering me the opportunity to join their VIP Athlete team. I was very excited to not just join a team but to represent a legend with great products.
Q:What other ventures are you currently involved in?
A:Right now I work as a trainer at my gym and I'm also growing my contest prep business, “Giant Killer Family.” I've learned a lot over the years and know what it takes to be a successful athlete, so I'm taking what I've learned and instilling it into the athletes that I train.
In addition, I am extremely focused on making my IFBB Professional Debut at the 2014 NY Pro. I'm working hard toward making solid improvements to my physique so that I can bring a whole new package come next year. I will not be the biggest guy on stage but I plan to bring something that will really shock a lot of people.
Q:Anyone you want to shout out?
A:This journey is not easy and I couldn't of gotten to where I am without a strong support team. I first thank God for allowing me do what I now love. My family for always believing and supporting me. My amazing girlfriend Michele and her family for their constant love and support. My Giant Killer Family athletes for being amazing supporters of my career. My friends, fans and supporters for the years of continuous supports. I'm extremely thankful to my sponsors for taking a chance on me and believing in me; Ronnie Coleman Signature Series, Natural Vitamins NY, ProTan Competition Color, Jagware Posing Suits, Sidemeat Fitness Apparel, King Kong Apparel and Schiek Sports.
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
Interview done by Elliot RIvera for HealtHaven.com