When a guy has built arms like his, sleeves would only be in the way. Nick Poulin comes to AllAmericanGuys from Connecticut. He dreams to become a pro bodybuilder one day and to also pursue acting and the entertainment business in general. Right now he is working part-time as a fitness and physique model, while establishing his fan base. Nick currently works for his family business and he is grateful for all their support while he pursues his modeling endeavors.
Exclusive interview: AAG talks to Nick Poulin
NICK, HOW DID YOU GET INTO MODELING AND HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT AAG?
I started modeling as a kid cause I had the dream of being the next Abercrombie and Fitch model. Seeing the big posters in the store made me want a great physique, something that people could be inspired by. I heard about AAG from a good friend of mine who has been following them for a while and I saw the shots of other models and thought it would be a great opportunity to work with a website that has achieved so much.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH AS A FITNESS MODEL OR PHYSIQUE COMPETITOR?
My dream is to become an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder.
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO IN THE BUSINESS?
Amongst the IFBB Pro, I look up to Jeff Seid. He’s an accomplished fitness model who’s the same age as me. In the bodybuilding class, I admire Kai Greene.
WHAT’S YOUR FITNESS REGIMEN LIKE?
My fitness regimen is 3-4 sets each exercise with 8-10 reps at a time. Below are the body parts I work on throughout the week.
Monday – Chest
Wednesday – Shoulders
Friday – Legs
Weekend – I take a brake
AAG Debut: September 2013
Age at date of Debut on AAG: 19 years
Favorite food: Steak
Favorite sport: Bodybuilding
Favorite singer: Loves Country and Hip-Hop
Favorite color: Green
Most admired body part: Biceps
You find many high quality photos and videos of Nick Poulin here on AllAmericanGuys.
Labels: Nick Poulin
Whenever Steve Cook is training arms, his t-shirt sleeves have a hard time. They cannot cover his stunning 19 inch arms any longer which are popping out from them. It is his final set of preacher curls. Steve is performing it with the last of his strength, and is groaning with pain. He smiles and enjoys it anyway, knowing that these last repetitions lead to the desired muscle growth. Total dedication with a winning smile – this is typical for Steve’s workout.
Steve Cook (born in 1984, height 6’1“, weight 215 lbs) radiates joy no matter whether he is lifting, posing or speaking about fitness. He loves sports and the gym. There he has built and sculpted his imposing physique which is characterized by considerable muscle mass, great definition, and harmonious proportions. He has established his reputation as an IFBB Physique Pro, a BodySpace 2011 Spokes Model Winner, an Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete, and a fitness model, and has been on the cover of several big fitness magazines.
Steve’s passion for fitness was aroused at a very early age. Being the son of a coach and athletic director, as well as the middle child in a family of seven children, all of whom excelled sports, he strove for excellence. Pushups were a must before being allowed to watch tv or hang out with friends. It was through daily pushups that his initial „mind-muscle“ connection was formed.
The first time Steve ever picked up a set of weights was when he first entered middle school. He tells: „I vividly remember being in middle school touching actual weights. It was instant electricity that I felt as I used my muscles to move the weight.“ In Highschool he continued to lift. „For me it wasn’t just for sports like it was for most athletes. I truly loved the weight room and what it was doing to my body. It also transferred onto the playing field. I earned a college scholarship to play football due largely to my work in the weight room.“ Through his collegiate years he kept on getting stronger and putting on size. But unlike other football players who only cared about doing „football lifts“, he was equally concerned with shaping his muscles. „I read and re-read Arnold’s Bodybuilding Encyclopedia and became very interested in bodybuilding. After getting done with football I decided to start training more like a bodybuilder.“
Steve’s physical achievements were overshadowed by a private crisis. He and his wife of four years decided to divorce. At the time it was a devastating blow. „I was at my lowest point. That forced me to look at my life. I didn’t like who I was when I looked in the mirror“, he admits. Unsure of how to move forward, he turned back to the only thing that has never let him down – the gym. He focused on regaining balance in life, and continued to heal emotionally nurturing himself in the gym. „The only thing I had was my love for weights, and I decided to compete in a local bodybuilding show. The competition gave me something to look forward to and work at every day. It took my mind off the divorce by making me focus on the weight. It was the turning point of my life that I decided to take control of my life in the weight room and in the kitchen.“ Steve finally won the contest. „Going through a contest preparation and winning my first competition gave me confidence that I could handle anything. I went back to school and finished my Bachelor’s degree, and continued to compete as a bodybuilder and fitness model.“ Shortly afterwards he placed 1st in the ABFF Show/Boise Golds Gym Classic and earned his Pro Card.
Now Steve wants to help other people achieve their fitness and health goals. There is one advice which is near and dear to him. "Don't compare yourself to other people", he says. "Whether it's in competition or just in the gym, there is always going to be someone out there with better calves or a better chest, but the minute you start comparing yourself physically to other people is the minute you're not going to be happy with your training. If you concentrate on your progress and getting better from month to month then you will be satisfied. The best advice I can offer is to focus on yourself, focus on your goals and achievements, and don't allow anybody else's progress scupper your fitness plans."
More motivation can be found on his Facebook page. There he updates the visitors on his shape, announces his activities, as for instance photoshoots and journeys, and informs about new videos on his YouTube channel. His videos cover all aspects of his life in the fitness industry. He demonstrates how effective posing and how photoshoots work, prepares meals for fitness enthusiasts, comments on supplements, and reports from the big fitness expositions. Steve has a knack of talking to the viewer. His explanations are a mixture of profound knowledge, personal experience, and fun. This holds true for his training videos which are the jewels of his channel. Whether treadmill or bench press or preacher curls - the videos abound with Steve’s insider tips for the exercises. He explains them in detail and extends himself when performing them. The training videos are longer and more comprehensive than most other workout videos on the internet. The viewer gets the impression that he actually attends Steve’s workout.
Longer versions of the videos can be watched on Steve’s website SwoldierNation.com. „Swoldier“ is a combination of the words „soldier“ and „swoll“, and „swoll“ - instead of "muscular" - refers to the pump you get in the gym, he explains. „A swoldier is about reaching goals without short cuts. It’s about sacrifice, self control, character and integrity. It’s about standing up for what is right even if it isn’t cool, having courage to face your fears and getting up when life has knocked you down.“ On SwoldierNation.com he sells his products, such as shirts and his „Fitbook“. He beams with joy when presenting his new product „Cook Effect“, a nutrition guide which is designed to make transforming your body as easy as possible. He promises: „Each recipe is custom tailored to transform your body, whether your goal is fat-loss or muscle gain.“
Steve Cook shows that working out can mean far more than building a ripped physique. He says: „I love working out because it prepares one for the challenges in life. Everyday I go to the gym and put myself through hell, I know that mentally I am to handle anything life throws at me. The hours of training and dieting have strengthened not only my body but my mind as well.“ Steve’s love for working out has changed his life by getting him through his toughest times. No wonder that more and more people follow his philosophy and get bitten by the bug.
You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/swoldiernation
Swoldier Nation: http://www.swoldiernation.com
Steve Cook Health: http://www.stevecookhealth.com
Cook Effect: http://www.cookeffect.com
All images are screenshots from videos of https://www.youtube.com/user/swoldiernation and https://www.facebook.com/SteveCookFitness.
Labels: Steve Cook
The power of lean muscle: Rising fitness model Jared C. flaunts the highly impressive effect of his comprehensive and intense training on AllAmericanGuys.
AAG Debut: September 2013
Age at date of Debut on AAG: 19 years
Most admired body part: Biceps
You find many high quality photos and videos of Jared C. here on AllAmericanGuys.
Labels: Jared C
It was a highly thrilling moment at the big fitness exhibition FIBO 2013 in Cologne. In an aisle of the bodybuilding section an 18-year-old well-toned guy took off his black tank top, and began to flex and pose for a photographer from Athletic-Star.com. Soon more and more people gathered to watch the guy as they were amazed at his ripped physique and lean size. He seemed reserved but cool, and evidently enjoyed showing off his imposing body for the camera and the enthusiastic crowd. This young fitness man is Nick Gomez from Valenciennes in France. He stands 5' 9 at 185 lbs. Nick loves fitness. He started working out at 16 doing push-ups and sit-ups. Now he studies sport, and aspires to a career in fitness modeling. This seems very promising in view of his sculpted physique, his handsome, expressive face, and his winning charisma. Nick remembers: "My first meeting with Athletic-Star at the FIBO was rewarding, because I was a novice in the field of fitness modeling." Now he is totally determined. Nick: "I try to work each muscle twice a week. My favorite muscles are biceps and shoulders." He has a balanced and healthy diet, apart from some exceptions on the weekend. "I eat meals with many carbs like pasta and a lot of meat like steaks. In the evening I eat vegetables with turkey or tuna, and between the meals cheese, fruits, and rice cake." Sometimes he drinks a protein shake, but he is not one for supplements. Nick is convinced: "Being natural is a mental strength for me." At the moment he does not much cardio training, because he intends to gain muscle mass and to get at 200 lbs. He wants to develop an aesthetic, well-proportioned physique, improve in every respect as he strives for perfection, and is inspired most by the popular fitness models Jeff Seid and Lazar Angelov. Nick: "I would like to go to America and be a role model for all young people who want to change their shape. Moreover I want to enter contests, because I love competition." And he is successful. In automn he took first place at a big fitness modeling contest of www.arnold24.com and became Mister Athletic 2013. Now Nick is training to get in top shape for the FIBO 2014 in April.
Nick Gomez on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nickgomezfitnessmodel
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Everything fits together perfectly: muscle mass, proportions, definition. Justin DeRoy hails from Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada. He is an avid weight lifter and enjoys all sports. His favorite hobbies are lifting weights, playing baseball, gaming, and partying with friends. He works out 5 days a week and maintains a healthy diet regimen. Justin recently began competing in men's physique shows and shows a lot of promise-- having placed top 3 at a recent show in Canada. He is a part time model and hopes to make a career out of it.
AAG Debut: August 2013
Age at date of Debut on AAG: 19 years
Most admired body part: Abdominals
You find many high quality photos and videos of Justin DeRoy here on AllAmericanGuys.
Labels: Justin DeRoy
Testosterone: The Science of Building Lean Muscle
by Justin Woltering
If you've been bodybuilding for long, you probably understand how important genetics are for gaining mass and getting lean. But have you ever thought what that specifically means? What genes make it so easy (or so hard) to get big? Are some people just genetically doomed to stay small and weak? What it is about the biggest guys that helps them get so strong? Testosterone!
While we certainly can't attribute every bit of muscle-building success to a single hormone, testosterone is THE key to unlocking your true potential. Those gifted mesomorphs you see in the gym – the ones who can eat whatever they want, train half-assed, and still grow – they're like that because they naturally have super-high testosterone!
Fortunately, your own testosterone-producing abilities aren't set in stone. Even if you look and feel like a low-T guy right now, there are plenty of tweaks you can make to your diet, training, and lifestyle to boost your natural production. Here a few of my favorites.
Far too many bodybuilders focus only on macronutrients – proteins, carbs, and fats. This is why bland, colorless meals like chicken and rice are so common, and why some lifters don't bother to ever eat vegetables. The truth is, though, that vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients are absolutely crucial in the production of testosterone and other hormones. Your body needs specific materials to produce them, and you can't cover your bases if all you eat is meat.
Some of the most important micronutrients include iodine, selenium, sodium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D-3 – and we're barely scratching the surface! To up your intake of all these vital nutrients, start eating tons of fresh vegetables with every meal. Most veggies contain hardly any sugar or starch, so more is almost always better.
Another way to boost your micronutrient intake is to spend some extra money on grass-fed, pasture-raised animal products. Beef and eggs can be fantastic sources of B-vitamins and healthy fats, but only if they're fed their proper diets!
Eat your Fats!
Low-fat diets are truly terrible for the natural bodybuilder. Study after study has shown a positive correlation between fat intake and testosterone production, so get your grub on with steaks, eggs, and fatty fish! Contrary to popular belief, saturated fat is actually good for if it comes from quality sources, so don't be afraid of butter or coconut oil, either. It's the hydrogenated trans fats you've really got to avoid.
Carbs: Do you Really Need Them?
If you're going to be eating more fat, do you really need all those carbs? Carb needs and tolerance vary wildly among individuals, so you're really just going to have to test things for yourself. In general, I find it best to limit carb intake to the pre, intra, and post-workout periods – the times when you know your body can put them to good use. Don't gorge on potatoes and rice all day, but don't go too low on carbs, either – at least not for days on end. Ketogenic diets can be useful for fat loss, but in the long run they will lower your production of thyroid hormone – one of the primary controllers of testosterone.
Getting Lean and Mean
You might not want to hear this if you're already on the chubby side, but body fat is a testosterone killer. More specifically, high levels of body fat will cause you to CONVERT testosterone into estrogen. You'll end up with low T and high E – a double-whammy for BURNING muscle and BUILDING fat. If you want that next mass gaining phase to really go well, focus first on getting lean.
The Cycle of Stress
There's a good reason why high-T, confident guys don't stress much. Both chronic and acute stress raise your cortisol levels, which in turn leads to less testosterone production. Low T and high cortisol make it easier to get upset, and you end up in a stressful cycle that'll kill your gains. Stress really is a killer, so try to chill out! Minimize the negative influences in your life, and practice meditation and other calming exercises.
Lift like Natural
There's a lot to be learned from professional bodybuilders, but you'd do well NOT to model your training after theirs. Doing endless sets and reps with hardly ever a day off is a great way to overtrain and wreck your hormone levels. Most people won't cross that threshold, but there is a point where you'll see diminishing returns from hard, heavy training.
More importantly, you need to focus on the heavy, compound lifts quite a bit more than most pros. Squats, deadlifts, and presses in the 4-6 rep range – that's the stuff that'll really boost your natural T! In fact, a full body routine or powerlifting split will probably be best for optimizing your hormones. These workouts may not seem as glamorous as body part splits, but they definitely deliver results.
Justin Woltering is a distinguished fitness expert, author, sponsored athlete, and top cover model. With five certifications and a life long commitment to fitness, Justin is guaranteed to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. He is an experienced fitness consultant who has helped thousands of workout enthusiasts transform their physiques with his exclusive books, videos, articles, and training tips.
Labels: Justin Woltering