A:Yes sir, born and bred in the Garden State. I was born in Newark, lived in Elizabeth for a little while until my mother decided to move me and my 3 older brothers into Carteret, which was a safer area with a quality educational system.
Q:Do you remember your first time in the gym?
A:Actually I do and it was way before I even considered working out or knew anything about fitness. My second oldest brother (Shaheed) who's about 13 years older than me, played football in high school and one day after school he took me with him to watch the team workout and practice. I can still visualize the entire weight room from entrance to exit when I think about it. It opened a whole new world me, it was early 90's so everything was pretty gritty, messy, not much of the equipment matched- nothing like most gyms nowadays, but it was all so awesome to me. I was enamored. I ended up going to the very same high school so I had an idea about the gym but I wasn’t familiar with doing the movements. I just knew I wanted abs, chest and to be stronger than Shah. I didn’t have any of the size that I do now. I was a short, skinny, chubby kid growing up- so it was always an uphill battle to get bigger and stronger. It was a bit nerve wrecking at first because I saw kids who had been working out tossing weight round and I’m sitting here struggling with some light weights. Since I was a 3 sport athlete throughout my school years I never really got the chance to add much size to my frame. I just spent countless hours in gym putting in the work required. So every time I’d workout my goal was to just get better, get one more rep, to finish one more set.
Q:How do you go from amateur bodybuilder to IFBB pro?
A:To go from amateur bodybuilder to IFBB Pro takes a great deal of work, dedication and sweat equity. First, you have to readily decide that you want to compete, pick a competition date and commit to it. That’s when the process starts, some people do tons of research on it and others just go. You have to compete in an amateur level competition and make first call outs (top 5) for physique to qualify for a national level competition. I do believe the qualifications for other categories are different but still top 5 or 1st overall. After you become nationally qualified you have to compete in a national level show and place 1st or 2nd in your respective height class to earn your Pro Card and become an IFBB Pro. It’s tough because some athletes have been training and competing for years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience under their belts, many pins on their boardshorts.
Q:Describe being on stage...
A:The stage is the fun part, that’s show time. I’ve done all the workouts, ate all the meals, skipped all the others and now it’s time to shine and show the world the work that I have put in, it’s a high to the least. I think of it as the matrix, before entering the stage I’m thinking about poses, and if I look flat, trying to get prepped, pumped and lined up waiting to hear my number called and walk out into the lights. When I’m up there I can’t see too much because the brightest of spotlights on me but I can hear everything, the spectators chanting, whistling, calling my tag number, throwing me advice, clapping. I remember at my first contest ever while I was on stage hitting my poses out of nowhere I hear “Smile ROGERS!”. It was awesome, I thought I was smiling but apparently wasn’t smiling hard enough. The guys I compete against during comparisons are pretty unruly at times, they’ll flex big and wide so now everybody is pressing arms/elbows against each other which will make it hard to pose properly. Everybody wants the center stage and the win when it comes down to it. It gives me quite the rush and feeling of accomplishment because I stuck with the whole process and made it though.
Q:Can you break down your pre contest workout routine and diet?
A:My pre contest workout routine and diet varies as I get closer to my stage day, so to name them all would be quite a scripture. My diet cleans up to pretty much tons of fish, lean ground turkey, asparagus, spinach and a pancake here and there when the time calls for it. I lean out very quickly so my workout routine is pretty up-tempo with a pretty good load/volume to get me to grow lean muscle as I cut body fat. I have a vast sports background so I tend to use a lot of my football and track training to condition myself without sacrificing muscle gains because they feel most natural to me. My go to exercises would be hill sprints, wind sprints, weighted burpees and barbell complex which are very intense and physically demanding movements.
Q:Tell us about Team Jersey Muscle...
A:Team Jersey Muscle is something I created with a few of my training partners and guys that I competed with. There are numerous teams in the bodybuilding & physique competition industry that coach and train athletes looking for help and guidance with getting stage ready. Jersey has a huge talent pool and potential of people whom want to compete but don’t how or where to turn so they look outward to the Cali guys and such. What we’re trying to do is what Greg Schiano did with Rutgers Football; create a great program with our local athletes whom share our same passion, work ethic and integrity to build our presence.
Q:What's next for you and your career?
A:I am currently in contest prep mode for my IFBB Pro debut on May 2nd in Pittsburgh, I’m about 6 weeks out at this point and I’ll be following that up with the NY Pro contest on May 10th. I’m still fairly new to IFBB and competition circuit as a whole, so I’m in still learning as much as I can and networking as much as I can to increase my presence. These shows will be major for me to gain exposure and meet some of the greats whom have been around for some time. I’ll be running outdoor bootcamp and conditioning class once the weather start to break out here in Jersey!
Q:Can you give us all of your social media handles?
A:Sure let’s get chummy. My twitter is @IFBB_Creddy, you can find me @IFBB_Pro_Creddy on INSTAGRAM and follow me on Snapchat. J.Creddy.
Interview done by Elliot Rivera for healtHaven.com