Ever wondered what it takes to reach the summit of men’s physique? A personal trainer who has competed at the sport’s premier event, the Olympia, gives the lowdown.
Did you compete in many sports before men's physique?
Jojo Gonzalez: When I was in high school, I played football and baseball and enjoyed it very much.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
I had experienced some rough and very challenging times as well as issues in my life, so luckily the gym was my escape and solace for getting through those times. In 2012 I found out about the men’s physique category of bodybuilding and decided to train and participate in competing.
What was it like competing at the Olympia?
It’s the pinnacle of our sport and to be considered one of the best in the world is very humbling as well as a dream come true in relation to all the hard work it takes to make it to that point, so in a word, euphoric!
Describe a favorite workout?
That’s challenging because every workout is a favorite in its own unique way but if I had to choose then it would be drop sets while training shoulders. I start with high weight for lateral raises and work my way down the rack until failure.
What's your training split?
TUESDAY Chest and biceps
WEDNESDAY Back and calves
THURSDAY Shoulders and triceps
SATURDAY Calves and abs
SUNDAY Biceps and triceps
What do you eat in a typical day?
As muscle growth and muscle recovery are the most important aspects of my nutrition, I have to be sure to get a large amount of protein per meal, per day. Consuming frequent meals high in protein is only the start. Besides my daily diet of beef or chicken, jasmine rice and one cup of greens, convenient products like shakes and bars help me to save time and meet my daily requirements. My nutrition partner not only helps me here with a very good protein breakdown per gram: in my opinion they do the best job in terms of perfect nutritional values and taste. This is so important because when I am training and need to get in a postworkout protein drink, I can rest easy knowing that I am getting the highest quality of essential protein and BCAAs. If you want to reach the summit in this sport, you need a nutrition partner like Dymatize behind you who is working as hard on perfect products as I do for my body.
What do you do for cardio?
For cardio training I usually switch it up between the stair climber or treadmill. Depending where we are on prep I typically perform moderate and steady work for 20 to 30 minutes when I’m off contest prep and during contest prep it increases up to 50 minutes.
Where do most guys go wrong in the gym?
I feel that where most go wrong is with form, that is the biggest problem. If many would just let go of the ego and lighten the weight for better control and contractions, then consistent and safe strength/muscle gains would be better guaranteed.
What are your upcoming highlights?
I’ll be attending Fibo in Cologne, Germany from April 6-9 with my nutrition partner Dymatize so come and meet me at the company’s booth.
Author: John Plummer, published in Muscle & Fitness, issue: March 2017