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10255288_10152150443850749_8523957570690511220_nThe journey to a physique competition is probably the toughest you’ll ever endure, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. We sat down with up and coming fitness model and men’s physique competitor Ryan Knobovitch to ask him some questions in regards to how he prepares before hitting the stage.

STATISTICS

Name: Ryan Knobovitch Age: 20 Height: 5’11 Weight: 205 lbs Style: Bodybuilding

FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHAT’S THE BIGGEST STRUGGLE THAT YOU FACE WHEN PREPARING TO COMPETE?

Without a doubt, Mental toughness: Your mental state will act as your best friend as well as your worst enemy, the whole way until you pose before the judges. You need to start off with the right pre-contest mindset and mentally prepare yourself for what’s to come. You can ask anyone that has competed, your mind starts playing games with you. You’ll start to tell yourself that you are too skinny or too fat, that you need to eat more or less, that you need to do more cardio and so on. You will become more worn down as your prep evolves. You may experience physical and mental fatigue. You can also become moody and start taking your frustrations out on those around you. Always try to keep calm and remember you decided to do this, nobody is making you. Try to always look at the positives and what you can do to improve, don’t focus on the negatives or they will eventually bring you down and bring your progress to a crashing halt. Small steps add up over time, so even small victories are still progress.

IS DIETING FOR A COMPETITION AS DRAMATIC AS PEOPLE MAKE IT SEEM?

I always find it funny when people ask me about my diet, because in my eyes I don’t diet I just eat healthy. I wouldn’t call it dramatic, but I would definitely admit that following a proper diet on a regular basis can be one of the hardest challenges you will face on a fitness journey. 80% of a good body starts in the kitchen and it took me a few years to learn this. If you don’t diet properly you will never get your physique the way you want it. I always try my best to have more than 6 meals a day and at least 3 shakes, but it always varies depending on where I am or what my schedule looks like on that given day.

WHATS ONE OF THE BIGGEST THINGS TO FOCUS ON WHEN PREPARING TO COMPETE?

Posing is above and beyond the most important thing to consider. You can have a solid body with perfect abs and a massive chest, but if you don’t understand the symmetry and angles of your body you won’t know what positions will show off your best features. A lot of people think just because they have a perfect body they will steal the show. Ever wonder why certain athletes who might look better then the top contenders will end up coming in 3rd, 4th or 5th? Knowing how to pose properly is just as important as how much energy you put into dieting and training. A competitor who is serious about taking 1st can put anywhere from a minimum of 6-8 hours a week just in practicing their posing routines. Once again, that’s just a minimum, as some people practice for hours a day.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DIET LOOK LIKE WHEN PREPARING FOR A COMPETITION?

•Meal 1: 3 whole eggs, 10 egg whites, 1/3 cup oatmeal
•Meal 2: 6oz Tilapia or Salmon, 1 cup greens, 2/3 cup oatmeal, 2 tbsp nut butter
•Meal 3: 50g Cyclic Dextrin with PeptoPro Hydrolized Caseinate (intra-workout)
•Meal 4: Protein Shake (immediately post-workout)
•Meal 5: 8oz Chicken, 1 1/2 cups white rice, 1/2 avocado
•Meal 6: Protein shake, 1/2 cup Natural 0% Greek yogurt, 1 apple, 15g Almonds
•Meal 7: 8oz Chicken with 1 cup spinach, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 rice cake
•Meal 8: 1 cup Natural 0% Greek yogurt, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 scoop Whey

This my overall year-round diet, which keeps me competition ready on a yearly basis. However, when I’m 8 weeks out from a competition and really need to lean out as much as possible, I will drop my carbs to below 20% and replace the missing calories with healthy fats leaving me on somewhat of a ketogenic diet.

HOW IMPORTANT IS CARDIO AND WHAT DO YOUR ROUTINES LOOK LIKE?

Cardio will be your best friend. With a good diet that contains the right foods consumed at the right times, great cardio routines will shred you down, burn the fat, and bring out the abs and aesthetics every competitor spends months building on in the gym.

My problem with cardio is that I find it boring, which means I lose motivation pretty quickly. To keep things interesting, I was alternate machines every cardio session; Treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, stair-master, etc. My routines have always been under the form of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) because I find thats what works best for me.

WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORKOUT LOOK LIKE?

Monday: Chest/Calves
•Flat Bench 4×12 (heavy)
•Incline Dumbbell Press 4×12 (heavy)
•Incline Fly’s 4×12 (heavy)
•Cable Fly’s 4×10 (heavy)
•Pec-Deck 4×15 (heavy)
•Seated Calve Raises 4×30 (superset)
•Standing Calve Raises 4×30 (superset)

Tuesday: Biceps/Triceps
•Standing Dumbbell Curls 4×12
•Seated Incline Dumbbell Curls 4×12
•Hammer Curls 4×12
•Cable Curls 4×12
•Preacher Curls 4×12
•Cable Pushdowns 4×12
•Cable Rope Pushdowns 4×12
•Incline Skull Crushers 4×12
•Reverse-Grip Pushdowns 4×12
•Dips 4×12

Wednesday: Shoulders/Abs
•Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4×12
•Seated Lateral Side Raises 4×12
•Standing Barbell Lateral Raises 4×12
•Military Presses 4×12
•Cable Crunches 4×15
•Sit-ups 4×20
•Leg Raises 4×20

Thursday Quads/Calves
•Leg Extensions 7×30 (low weight)
•Squats 4×10 (heavy)
•Leg Press 4×10 (heavy)
•Seated Calve Raises 4×30 (superset)
•Standing Calve Raises 4×30 (superset)

Friday: Chest /Abs
•Flat Bench 4×25 (light)
•Incline dumbbell press 4×25 (light)
•Incline Fly’s 4×25 (light)
•Cable Fly’s 4×25 (light)
•Pec-Deck 4×25 (light)
•Cable Crunches 4×15
•Sit-ups 4×20
•Leg Raises 4×20

Saturday: Back/Hamstrings
•Lat Pulldowns Wide Grip 4×12
•Lat Pulldowns Close Grip 4×12
•Wide Grip Row 4×12
•Romanian Deadlifts 4×12
•Lying Leg Curls 4×10 (superset1)
•Standing Leg Curls 4×10 (superset1)
•Stiff Legged Deadlift 4×10 (superset2)
•Hamstring Curls 4×10 (superset2)

Sunday: Rest Day
•Recovery

WHERE DOES YOUR MOTIVATION COME FROM?

I followed a lot of athletes over the years, and there are few very successful athletes that helped me to get where I am today. I also read a lot about bodybuilding and nutrition and one thing I know is that there is so much to learn in this sport, you will learn something new every day. It’s all about results, the more improvements you see the more motivated you get to work even harder to achieve your ultimate goal physique. I believe hard work, perseverance and finding passion will guide you to achieving the things that you dream of. Allow your dreams to become reality by developing a plan of action and tackle it with enthusiasm.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CRAVINGS FOR JUNK FOODS, SALTY FOODS AND SWEETS?

I normally don’t usually crave junk food, but if I want a cheat meal I usually just eat one lol..

THE PREPARATION MUST BE RIGOROUS. WHAT REALLY GETS YOU THROUGH IT?

Knowing that normal sucks, and you do whatever it takes to accomplish your goals.

FINAL WORDS?

If you’re not willing to do whatever it takes to get where you want to be, then don’t even bother starting cause you’re just going to look for excuses to quit.

HOW TO REACH RYAN KNOBOVITCH:

https://www.facebook.com/ryanknobovitch

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