Natural bodybuilding & strength training
"Strive for greatness." Matt Ogus
I took a Weight Training class in my Sophomore year of high school. I was lucky to have a great teacher/coach who laid a solid foundation for my weight training career. He taught us good form, programmed our training, and pushed us to work hard every single workout. Making progress on each individual major lift was a key element of the class. I was a really skinny kid and the instant results I was achieving in the weight room and in the mirror got me hooked. I gained twenty lbs school year, and after that, another twenty lbs within 12 months. Lifting weights was and still is incredibly fun for me. The physical results are just a side effect of doing something I love.
My personal mantra- "Strive for Greatness".
A person who inspires me- Way too many to list! There have been so many people who I’ve drawn inspiration as well as knowledge from. One key person who helped shape, educate, and influence me from the start of what has become my “career” was Eric Helms.
My favourite meal- Japanese Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts, a HUGE SALAD (romaine lettuce, spinach, spring mix, petite carrots, mushrooms, cherub tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, feta cheese, Trader Joe’s Champagne Pear Vinegrete w/ gargonzola salad dressing), chicken breast with Beaver Brand sweet honey mustard, Diet Mountain Dew or Diet Root Beer .
In my bag you will find- A Tupperware container full of chalk, Squat and Deadlift shoes and a 13 mm weightlifting belt (on leg days) a custom made ribbed foam roller, a lacrosse ball, thick gray band(s), an orange moderate band(s), orange and red microbands, Voodoo bands, BFR bands for occlusion training, versa grips, therabands, and more.
On my rest day- I like to do cardio on my rest days, typically year-round, not necessarily just for cardio’s sake but I tend to read really well while on the elliptical or ark trainer.
My motivation comes from- The fulfilment that I get from making a positive change or influence in someone else’s life. I don’t necessarily look for or need external motivation to do what I do. That said, seeing those around me succeed in business and life definitely gives me motivation.
For those wondering what motivates me to go to the gym, I’d have to say I’m fortunate that I require no motivation to lift weights because it’s such an engrained habit - one that I’m lucky to truly enjoy.
I often get asked “What motivates you to stay on your diet!?” because people assume I stay super lean year-round, based on pictures I post on social media. In response to that, I must say that there’s a few misconceptions - I’m not super lean year-round, I have lucky/great ab and bodyfat distribution genetics, and just because I’ve educated a large audience on the science and art of flexible dieting, doesn’t mean that I’m constantly tracking macros/calories myself. I put insane amounts of work into lifting weights, but it doesn’t necessarily take massive effort (in an uncomfortable sort of way) to stay in the shape I’m in.
I’m about as flexible with the foods I eat as the average American who eats whatever they want, when they want (I just try limit the quantities of certain foods).
The reality is that the more years that I lift weights, the more muscle I have, and the better I look at any given body fat percentage. The longer I lift, the better I look regardless of whether I’m strict on what I’m eating or not.
I did my time in the trenches; in 2011 and 2013 I tracked my food intake extremely meticulously leading up to my natural bodybuilding competitions. What this did was create and strengthen my understanding of food and the macronutrients in different foods and different quantities of food. In 2016, while barely even physically tracking my diet (it was mostly mental), I got into my best, leanest, and most aesthetic physical shape ever.
Every year, I actually get more relaxed and flexible with my eating habits despite my physique improving, as I accumulate more experience and self awareness. Therefore, each year requires less effort and motivation to “stay in shape.”I think the same story applies to many of my followers and peers, and it can one day apply to you too.