Starting off at about 10 years old I was always outside playing sports. I would play basketball for 4-5 hours a day, working on all of my skills to become well rounded. My determination to get better grew daily, and I played in multiple town and school leagues until high school.
In high school my time was consumed by riding— four wheelers, dirt bikes, and everything in between. This is when I shifted from basketball to lifting.
I was always known as the “skinny kid” and would joke that I had visible abs since I was born. I would read health and fitness magazines, workout in my parent’s basement using a bow flex, and eat as much as I could trying to get “big”.
Working for my father’s tree service from 14-22 years old kept me conditioned, but I always wanted to gain more mass. I started the fire academy at 22 and this is when my fitness journey really took off. For two hours each day we would have to do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, run 3-8 miles, and swim laps in the pool for a half hour. I started eating a lot more, and during the 18-week academy, I put on about 18 lbs. I was in the best shape of my life, but I still wanted more.
As my career as a firefighter began, I made a point to workout daily. My metabolism has always been fast, so I never really stuck to a diet. I “dirty bulked” for a few years and consistently added muscle year by year. A lot of my free time was spent researching ways to add more muscle, new supplements in the industry, and different exercise variations to implement to my regiment.
People started to notice my success in the gym, and I spread knowledge and worked out with anyone who was interested. I would host outdoor calisthenics sessions at a local park for free with one of my sisters— just because we enjoyed it.
After years of working out and learning about nutrition and body mechanics, I decided it was time to put my skills and physique to the test. I started dieting down for the first time, and pushed towards a bodybuilding competition in the beginning of summer 2018. In just two months I was able to drop my bodyfat % from 12 down to 5.5-6%. I lost 20+ lbs. and was the leanest I had ever been.
On June 16, 2018 I competed in my first ever competition: 2018 NPC CT Grand Prix. I competed in men’s physique (novice and open) as well as bodybuilding (novice and open). As a natural— drug free competitor, I placed 5th in 3 out of 4 categories I competed in.
Shortly after this competition is when I had a shoot with John, who was great to work with! His knowledge of the fitness industry was appreciated and he was very respectable and informative throughout the whole process.
My meals during contest prep included:
Meal 1- 1 cup oatmeal, and 1 scoop protein
Meal 2- 2 scoops protein
Meal 3,4, and 5- 5 oz chicken breast, 6 oz broccoli, and 8oz of brown rice or sweet potatoes.
My workouts during contest prep included a 3-day split (push, pull, legs) with 20 minutes of cardio to finish. Rest days were taken once a week or more if needed depending on volume. All workouts began with compound exercises (squats, bench, deadlift, or overhead press) and finished with isolation movements. Compound exercises worked up to 1RM once every other week. Most exercises were kept around 4 sets of 6-10 reps, finishing with a drop set or focusing on negatives.
John was a pleasure to work with start to finish! I originally met with him in CT to go over details and set up a plan for our shoot. While meeting with him he took some sample pictures and even helped me with some poses for my upcoming physique/bodybuilding competition. After my competition we made plans to shoot at a beach located in Cape Cod. John was great with communication, and it made making plans and getting together very easy. He met me at a local coffee shop and I followed him to the shoot location just a few minutes away. Throughout the shoot he was very professional and helped me ease into it (being my first shoot.) He was very thorough I’m making sure to have me pose in certain ways that accentuated my muscle and definition. The shoot lasted for a few hours covering various styles and clothing. After the shoot we grabbed some food, and John explained to me the process of selecting the photos I wanted, talked with me about my future in fitness and modeling, and was very genuine in his guidance. I would highly suggest John from BBPics to anyone who is looking to get into fashion/fitness modeling as he is great to deal with, thorough from start to finish, and genuinely a nice person all the way around!