I’m often asked why I’m so passionate about my goal of creating the highest quality and most effective supplements on the market.
My passion comes from a lifetime of study, experience, and experimentation. I accomplished my goal by learning everything I could about how the body performs and how supplements can enhance that performance.
I’ve realized my dream. I love what I’ve built and I want you to be a part of it.
My Body Building Career
While attending college at the State University of New York College at Brockport I joined the swimming team. I was a skinny 140 pounds.
Over the Winter break of 1991 I set up a bench and a set of Weider Weights in a spare bedroom. All I did was lift and eat. I gained nearly 40 pounds. My strength improved and I was making progress. Still, I was watching my friends get bigger and I wanted the same results.
I finally saved up enough money to join Samsons Powerhouse Gym in Rochester, New York. It was there where I learned to love bodybuilding and training. I was lifting alongside Bob Chicherillo, Danny Pailla, and lots of other top-level amateur bodybuilders who worked out there every day.
Soon I was ready for the big stage. I competed in the 1993 and 1995 New York State Bodybuilding Championships, winning the Novice Heavyweight title in 1995. Then I went on to take 5th in the heavyweight division at the 1997 Border States competition in California.
My Start as a Master Chemist
After graduating from SUNY Brockport in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Science with a concentration in chemistry, I set my sights on being a master chemist. Wanting to leave New York for the West Coast, I bought a San Diego newspaper and began my job search.
When I came across a job listed as “Chemists Needed at Nutritional Company” I called and asked them to hold the job open until I could get there for an interview. To my surprise they agreed. So I sold everything I owned and used the $400 I raised to drive across the country for the interview. My early display of dedication earned me the job.
Over the next two years I learned the basics of supplement manufacturing. I had also formulated hundreds of products. Soon, I was looking for more. In 1997 I formed a consulting company and started making prototype formulas in my kitchen with a high-speed blender. That was the beginning. Today, my manufacturing and distribution company makes many of the most cutting-edge liquid supplements on the market.
My Real Learning Begins
After turning 40 and having not competed in bodybuilding since 1997, I was borderline obese. I was determined to take control of my body and my life. Over the next two years I transformed myself and took my body fat down from 25% to 4%. With my new body and renewed confidence I won the Light Heavyweight class at the 2012 NPC Mile High Natural Body Show competition in Colorado.
Shortly after my win in Colorado I suffered a severe rupture in my L4-L5, and L5-S1 disks. During my recovery I read as much as I could about my condition. That’s when I read a book that would change my life. It was Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance by Dr. Stuart McGill. I was doing it all wrong. I had the wrong motor patterns.
After four months of decompression and rehab I started training again but I had no balance or strength. Without a proper functioning nervous system the rest just does not work properly. So I started reading about the nervous system and muscle recruitment. I learned that I needed explosive exercises to improve my full-body neuromuscular response.
Knowledge is power. After discovering CrossFit Fortius I was transformed from someone who just believed in bodybuilding into someone who believes in training and using everything I can to get fit. I earned my USAW Olympic Weight Lifting certification and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Certification, and by early 2014 I’ll be a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
My Training Philosophy
So here is the training philosophy I’ve developed based on what I’ve learned throughout my career.
Bodybuilding movements that isolate specific muscles do cause significant hypertrophy, but they don’t lead to long-term overall mobility and health. I’m sure you’ve seen the bodybuilder who can lift enormous weight but struggles to bend down and tie their shoes.
The body is not engineered for us to “train a muscle.” The body is engineered for us to train “movement.” That’s why I believe that a training session should begin with full-body movements. The session can then progress to stationary strength training that incorporates multiple joints before moving on to isolation, or “bodybuilding” movements.
You are holding yourself back if you aren’t open to assimilate a variety of training methods. Try spinning, Bikram Yoga, Jujitsu, swimming, a track workout, Olympic lifting, or CrossFit. Keep doing the things that work for you and put aside what doesn’t. At least give them a try. Challenge yourself.
And finally: Learn, Learn, Learn. Broaden your horizons. Seek out new skills and certifications in areas that interest you. Because I believe in continuous learning, I’m sharing lots of helpful information and resources right here on the Pharmagenx website.