Posted on 02 May 2014
7 min read
We recently caught up with distinguished personal trainer, martial artist, author, cover model and all round fitness expert Justin Woltering for an exclusive interview.
Justin shared with us some top insights on training, nutrition, keeping motivated, and life in the fitness industry.
Hi Justin, thanks for chatting with us today, it’s great to have you with us!
To kick things off, can you tell us a little bit more about when you first start working out – and why?
As a youth, I admired bodybuilding and fitness legends Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Lee.
These figures became an inspiration and played role in my dedication to training and the fitness lifestyle.
I was your typical 150lb hardgainer and have had to work my ass off to find success.
I was also very fortunate to receive the wisdom of professional bodybuilders, and learn the technique of nationally ranked powerlifters at a very young age in New Jersey.
This paired with a thirst for knowledge left me with the tools necessary for success.
Martials Arts has also always been a constant in my training regimen.
This combination of Martial Arts and resistance training helped me to transform from a hardgainer to a fitness cover model, bringing in a complete physique that is also fully functional.
I am also as passionate about business as I am fitness.
I believe in setting a goal, working your ass off, and giving back until that goal becomes a reality.
When did you decide to take fitness more seriously?
At age 19 I was kicked out of college.
After taking the time to do some serious soul searching, I found that training made me happy.
I began to follow my bliss, and without realising it, forces were set in motion to lead me on a journey towards the people I needed to meet and the places I needed to go.
Tell us a little bit more about your current approach/philosophy to training.
I am finishing a new brochure book titled ‘The Spirit of Bodybuilding’.
To me this is all about the mental strength and clarity that comes from proper training.
I am constantly working to increase mind-muscle connection, while simultaneously working on strength and flexibility goals.
Let’s talk a little about your workout routine.
What does a typical week look like for you?
Day 1: Squat
– Squats: 5 sets of 5 with the heaviest weight you can handle.
– Leg Press: 3 sets of 15, using as full a range of motion as possible – no ego lifting!
– Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 3 sets of 20, keeping your back perfectly arched. Switch to a barbell if your gym’s dumbbells are too light.
– Weight Decline Sit-ups: 3 sets of 10, as heavy as you can handle. Hold the weight behind your head, not in front!
– Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15, squeezing and holding every rep at the top. This should hurt!
Day 2: Bench Press
– Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 with the heaviest weight you can handle.
– Incline Fly-to-Press: Using dumbbells on an incline bench, descend into fly position but press the weight back up while squeezing your pecs. 4 sets of 15, and don’t be afraid to go heavy if your form is good.
– Wide-grip Pull-ups: 4 sets of 10, adding additional weight as needed. Each set should be to near failure!
– Incline Dumbbell Curl: Lie back on an incline bench and strictly curl from top to bottom. 5 sets of 15 here, and don’t go so heavy you have to cheat!
– Incline Skull Crusher: Superset these with the incline curls, 5 sets of 15.
Day 3: Deadlift
– Conventional Deadlifts: Work up to 1 top set of 4 with as much weight as you can handle. Rest, decrease the weight by 40-50 pounds, and do as many reps as you can. Rest, and once more decrease the weight by 40-50 pounds and do as many reps as you can.
– Front Squats: 4 sets of 6 with as much weight as you can handle. This exercise is hard, but don’t puss out! The low reps will keep you from seeing stars as the bar is pressed close to your neck.
– Barbell Rows: 4 sets of 10. Go heavy, and cheat a little bit if you need to, but make sure your lats and traps are doing the work.
– Ab Wheel: These are cheap and incredibly useful, so buy one if your gym doesn’t have one. Do 3 sets of 15-20 rolls, and have someone add a plate to your back if that gets too easy.
– Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 20, again squeezing and holding every rep at the top. When it comes to calves, it’s no pain, no gain!
Day 4: Military Press
– Standing Military Press: 5 sets of 5 with the heaviest weight you can handle. It’s okay to cheat the first rep from a dead stop, but stay strict on every rep after.
– Machine Incline Bench: Pick your favorite upper chest-focused pressing machine, and pump out 4 sets of 15 reps. Stretch your pecs between every set for maximum blood volume and growth.
– Parallel-grip Pull-ups: 4 sets of 12, adding weight as necessary.
– Side dumbbell raises: 5 sets of 20, and don’t go light! It’s okay to start the set with a decent range of motion, but to finish it with some partial reps and cheat reps. Side delts grow best from a combo of heavy weights AND high reps!
– Reverse Pec-dec: 5 sets of 25. This time, be as strict as possible, and make every set burn! The rear delts grow well from a lot of volume and pain.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your approach to nutrition.
I mostly use these 10 foods:
What does a typical daily meal plan look like for you?
This could be an article all to itself, so without getting into micro or even macro specifics here is what daily nutritional intake roughly looks like:
What’s in your supplement cupboard at the moment?
I am a proud Dymatize Sponsored Athlete, and I love taking the Iso100 Chocolate Protein Powder, Dymatize MASS, XPAND 2x preworkout, and Recoup BCAAs .
In addition I take liquid fish oils, whole food multivitamins, and glutamine.
What do you typically prescribe for someone who comes to you looking to pile on size and strength?
Check out my FREE Ebook Bigger Better Faster.
This is the same programme that transformed me from a 150lb hardgainer to a 220 top fitness cover model!
Have you tried any workout and /or nutrition plans and later thought, “What the f**k was I thinking!?”
I honestly feel there is a lot of value in most traditional training styles.
The real problem comes when people don’t know what they want or try to accomplish too many goals at once.
Choose the goals that are your top priority and create the plan to make these goals into a reality.
What kind of myths/broscience do you hear banded around the gym on a daily basis that really make you cringe?
I have heard so much bad shit over the years, but the one that I think is absolute bullshit, is that high reps are better for cutting a lower reps are better for bulking.
You must do BOTH if you want that constantly pumped for bodybuilder/fitness model look.
If you could go back in time and give your 16 year old self three pieces of advice, what would they be?
Well I could try, but I don’t think my 16 year old self would listen to ANYBODY, Including me right now haha.
But assuming I would listen, I would say:
1. Do what makes you happy, and break social norms.
2. It’s cool to learn, do art, and be healthy.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
Ok, I’m going to geek out on this one…
Either a Barbarian King to feel their raw power, or a samurai warrior to know their mastery and peace of mind.
What achievement are you most proud of?
My beautiful wife Adena and sweet baby girl Aria Grace.
What are your goals – fitness and otherwise – for 2014 any beyond?
I really excited to see how far I can push it!
After a lot of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, I have really found my voice and success in the fitness industry and look forward to continually putting out top of the line content.
As business continues grow, I am eager to continue working with my sponsor Dymatize Nutrition as well as working creatively on photography and film projects.
Thanks again for chatting with us today Justin. If our readers want to connect with you further, how can they find you?
Bigger Better Faster 2.0: http://www.biggerbetterfasternow.com/buy/