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Q: Hi Tim, thanks for taking time to sit down and chat with us today! For those that don’t know you, please share a little background about yourself…
TN: I have just recently retired from 30 years in education. Many of those years were as a strength and conditioning teacher/coach. I finished my career as an Athletic Director. I am currently a personal trainer at several gyms in St. Joseph, MO. I had competed in strongman and powerlifting for a number of years, until injuries wouldn’t allow me to continue to compete at high level. Since then I have tried my hand at bodybuilding and have enjoyed the different challenges it brings. Life has blessed me far more then I deserve.
Q: At the age of 41 what made you decide to actually compete in Strongman?
TN: I attended a Pro/Am Strongman contest that was held at the Expo Center in Kansas City. At that point in time I did not know there were light-weight and heavy-weight divisions. I only knew what I watched on World’s Strongest Man and assumed one needed to be 6’3” and weigh 300+ lbs. to be a competitive strongman athlete. During this show I was talking to Scott Brengal, a Pro Light Weight representing “The Freak Factory” out of California, and he explained the light-weight/heavy-weight divisions and directed me to a local competitor, Eric Todd. I reached out to Eric soon after and started training for my first contest.
Q: What do you think made you so successful in Strongman?
TN: I think the two things that helped make me successful were my ability to commit and focus when it came to training and competing. And I always tried to represent our sport in a manner that the people I trained with would and could be proud of. I always tried to give my best effort, come in prepared, be a good sport, care about sport and how others perceived it.
Q: I know you had some injuries from Strongman that led you to retiring from the sport, but what made you decide to try Bodybuilding?
TN: I had always trained with a purpose and a goal. Training without those two things hindered my training results. Once I recognized this, I quickly set my sights on something that I could compete in. With strongman and powerlifting no longer being viable options, bodybuilding seemed like a logical direction.
Q: What was the process like switching over from a strength sport to a physique sport? What do you think was the hardest part for you?
TN: Contrary to what many believe about bodybuilding my training continued to be heavy, mid to high volume and fairly low reps with most of my training sets being done in the 2-8 rep range. The week before NPC Mr. Missouri I was hitting heavy doubles and four reps still. I incorporated what I knew and loved from strongman and powerlifting and made it fit into my bodybuilding training.
The diet, however, was completely different. I used a Keto approach, which is high protein, high fat, and very low carbs. HMB was a tremendous help in maintaining muscle mass during this low carb process. HMB also had a tremendous effect on my muscles ability to recover quickly from workout to workout. There is no way that my frequency could have been near what it was without HMB.
Q: Since you never had to “diet” so to speak for Strongman competitions, what was it like following a strict nutrition plan?
TN: From the beginning I simply looked at the diet as part of the workout. A part I wasn’t always crazy about, but a part nonetheless. There are always parts of every workout that I like less than other parts, but I have always had the discipline to complete even the parts I didn’t prefer. For me the diet part fell into that category, something that had to be done to be successful, a necessary evil of sorts.
Q: How did HMB contribute to your contest prep and training?
TN: HMB was essential in allowing me to hold on to as much muscle mass as I did , especially during the last 4-6 weeks of diet and cardio. HMB allowed my body to recover more quickly, even with very limited carbs and heavy workouts. I know that I never could have maintained as much muscle as I did going into a show without it.
Q: Do you plan to continue to compete in Bodybuilding? Any future competitions that you already have on your schedule?
TN: I had a great experience at NPC Mr. Missouri. The competitors, judges, and people running the event were outstanding. At this point in time I am planning, training for and dieting for the “NPC All Star Championships” on November 7th in Olathe, KS.
Q: Any other shout outs you want to share with everyone?
TN: A huge thanks to everyone at MTI (developers/licensers of HMB) for making such an outstanding product. Special thanks also goes out to Eric Todd and all of the “old” KC Strongman group. It was a wonderful time in all of our lives. To all the people at Any Time Fitness and Club Fit in St. Joseph…quality gyms with quality people, I’m lucky to have places like these to train at. To all of my personal training clients, you inspire me to achieve more! Last but never least, thanks to my wife and daughters who supported me through this entire process!
Thanks again Tim for taking the time to chat with us today and we wish you the best in your best for the NPC All Star Championships in November!