For this weeks interview we got to speak to Regie Simmons a competitive athlete about what it takes to get to where he is now.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Regie Simmons, but I go by the name FitNupe1911 online. I’m 37-years-old and I’m from Detroit, Michigan. I have an MBA in Pharmaceutical Marketing and I’ve been in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 10 years. I am also a Men’s Physique competitor and a health and fitness writer.
How long have you been training for?
I have been training off and on for my entire life, but consistently for the last 4 years.
How did you get started in training?
My first experience with weight training started with a plastic, sand-filled weight set in my grandmother’s basement when I was a kid. The weight set, which belonged to my uncles, had been left in a corner to collect dust for years until I came along.
I dabbled in training off and on for years. I lifted a little while running track in high school, and took a weight training class in college. But, it wasn’t until my 30s that I really started working out seriously. It was around that time that I got hooked on running and racing.
I was running 20-25 miles per week and actually saw abs muscles for the first time in my adult life. As silly as it seems, seeing my abs muscles actually inspired me to start training harder. I cut back on the cardio and focused on gaining lean mass.
Who got you motivated to start training?
No one. My desire to get into shape was an internal decision.
What are your short and long term fitness goals?
In the short-term, I am very focused on launching my new fitness brand called FitBodiez in early 2014. FitBodiez isn’t a diet, an exercise plan or a piece of gym equipment, but it is a program that is designed to help people achieve the proper mindset, set goals and reach those goals through diet and exercise.
In the second half of the year I will be competing again in the NPC’s Men’s Physique division. If all goes according to plan, I will turn pro in 2014.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
In-season, I perform fasting cardio in the morning before work, then train in the evenings. In the off-season, I typically perform cardio after my training session.
I begin each workout the same, with a light stretching routine and a few warm-up exercises. I believe that stretching and warming up reduce my risk of injury.
Here is my current off-season training split:
- Monday: Chest / Abs
- Tuesday: Back
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Biceps/Triceps
- Friday: Shoulders
- Saturday: Off
- Sunday: Legs
Could you outline your basic daily diet?
My diet is very basic and clean. Like most competitors, I prepare my foods on a weekly basis in bulk. Once the food is prepared it is weighed/measured and placed in Ziploc bags. This weekly ritual allows me to “grab-and-go” during the week when I have less time because of work and other obligations.
In general my diet consists of lean meats (beef, turkey, salmon/cod), carbs (white/sweet potatoes, jasmine rice) and veggies (broccoli, salad). I basically eat the same foods daily because it’s easy for me.
Do you use supplements? If so, what do you recommend?
Over the years I’ve continued to education myself and as a result, I have made and will continue to make changes to my diet, supplements and workout program. Each year, I find myself wondering why I didn’t know this or that beforehand, but I think this is one of the great things about bodybuilding—there is always room for improvement.
In the beginning I took too many supplements thinking that supplements would transform me into a super hero. I believe that supplements are just that…supplemental to your diet. I try to get what I need from “whole foods” and use supplements to support my healthy diet.
I work the medical field, so I’m a big fan of clinical data. The supplements that I use are supported by numerous clinical trials, which demonstrate measurable outcomes on performance, recovery, and muscle building.
Here is a short list of my current supplements:
- Whey protein: Iso-Fuse (BodyFuseUSA.com)
- Multi-vitamin: Natural Selection (BodyFuseUSA.com)
- Glutamine: Recovery AKG (BodyFuseUSA.com)
- Fish oil
Do you have post/pre-workout meals? What’s your favourite?
My diet is roughly the same each day, but my training time changes from day-to-day depending upon my schedule and how I’m feeling. I basically eat my scheduled meals every 2-3 hours and train whenever I feel like hitting the gym.
How do you deal with things such as hunger and cravings?
I have been eating clean for so long that I don’t really have food cravings. I am currently in my off-season, so I’m taking in over 5,000 calories per day, so hunger really isn’t an issue either.
Do you have any cheat meals?
When I started on my fitness journey years ago, I had a weekly cheat meal of sushi / sashimi. Eventually, that weekly ritual became a monthly thing, and then I eliminated it entirely two years ago.
At this point in my fitness career, the benefit does not outweigh the upset stomach that a cheat meal causes. With that said, I love healthy burgers minus the fries.
I believe that chat meals can be important for people just starting out. Changing your diet is difficult and so a cheat meal is a nice mental reprieve.
What is your biggest motivation to get you back in the gym?
I love this lifestyle. I have developed a mental picture of how I want my body to look, and I hit the gym daily to transform that mental picture into a reality. I find it fascinating that I can shape my body through diet and exercise.
I am also motivated by the wonderful people that I chat with via social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Daily I have discussions with people from across the country and from around the world about fitness. Social media is a powerful tool that allows me to interact with people that are as passionate about fitness as I am. I leverage these various platforms to help people that I otherwise would never have an opportunity to meet face-to-face.
If you could go back in time, what would you change in your training?
If I could go back in time, I’d hire a diet coach sooner. I didn’t hire my coach until my second year of competing and in so many ways my first year was a waste. I know a fair bit about training and diet, but nothing beats an expert with a subjective eye.
Any advice for beginners or anyone looking to get back into fitness?
First, I recommend that everyone pickup my eBook FitBodiez Fundamentalz when it becomes available in 2014 at fitbodiez.com. Here is some of the advice that is contained in the eBook:
I think people have to define success in concrete terms that can be measured. It kills me when people say that they want to “get in shape” because that’s a nebulous goal that is non-specific. Fitness goals should be specific, actionable and measurable.
Nothing breeds success like success, so by setting goals that are broken down into milestones, you have an ability to have “wins.” And, who isn’t motivated by winning?
People should also track their progress. This can be done in a number of ways but I’ve found that progress pictures work best.
What advice do you give to anyone looking to bulk up over winter?
Eat a lot of clean whole foods. And, buy sweats with elastic because you’ll need them.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Don’t underestimate the importance of diet. Keep a food journal or use MyFitnessPal to track your caloric intake.
Pay attention to your form. Lifting heavy weight is great but only if you do it with proper form.
Never stop learning. I spend a lot of time talking with other athletes, watching videos online and reading fitness magazines / websites. I also experiment in the gym to figure out what works best for my body.
How can people get in touch with you?