What made you first get into fitness?
I wasn't always an athlete. At least I wouldn't have considered myself one. However, my family was always health-conscious and athletic. My mother, back in her day, was a nationally-qualified swimmer for Britain and my father was an old-school golden-era bodybuilder who trained with the Mentzer brothers. I was involved in martial arts from the age of 6 until my mid-teen years and I played some sports when I hit middle school. I was involved with soccer, basketball and wrestling. Wrestling became my main focus throughout high school, but to be honest, I didn't really like it. What I did like was the intense conditioning involved. After high school I joined the U.S. Navy — and everything fitness-wise just kind of exploded. I became a command fitness leader, got collateral duties that made fitness important to my survival and became a certified personal trainer. I also got involved in the bodybuilding scene and fell in love with it my last few years in the military.
What motivates you to show up every day?
My motivation happens through the process of dedication, day in and day out — whether I feel like it or not — I go in and grind it out. I would like to be bigger in the industry, so that in itself is a driving factor. Who doesn't love seeing what their body can become?
What are your health and fitness goals for the future?
As far as my future is concerned, it could probably be summed up becoming bigger, stronger and leaner. I want to make it further in the industry and help others along the way.
What is your favorite exercise?
To be completely honest, my all time favorite exercise is pull-ups. I just love pull ups — the pump they give, the muscles hit and the general feeling of being strong while you're doing them.
What made you choose Dissident Gym Wear and how do you relate to the DISSIDENT brand's message?
The general brand image of being “you” and going against the status quo is attractive to me. 66% or more or the U.S. population is considered overweight, more than half that percentage is considered obese. It's statistically "normal" in the U.S. to be overweight, and personally that's something I can't be a part of. Walking through that imposing current is a good feeling. Being able to push more, do more and be more is the biggest thing this company and I share.
What is your favorite Dissident piece?
I love the “Tune Out” hoodie — it’s warm, lightweight and the hood is huge, which definitely helps me personally with keeping my head down and focusing. A close second would have to be the "Earned NOT Given" tank. The fabric is unbelievably soft and lightweight — it's almost like wearing nothing.
What is your proudest fitness achievement?
I've gone through so many different phases in the fitness world and it is hard to pick just one. Back in my endurance days, I'd saying running 4 miles in under 28 minutes. I think the proudest I've been recently though, is when I hit 315 on incline bench for reps. I felt unstoppable after that set.
What is your advice to anyone seeking to improve their health and fitness lifestyle?
This is where I could sound a little mean, but this is almost how I almost always give out advice: You need to work, you need to work your ass off. It isn't a two-month, three-month or six-month journey and then you're through. It's a rest of your life thing. You can't just change a few aspects of your life and expect to succeed. You need to eat, breathe and sleep your goal. I'm not saying throw away your entire life for it, but understand that in order to improve and make changes, you'll need to sacrifice and make the changes. No one ever said it was easy. If not, it's like that kid who didn't study for the test and wondered why he failed.
What is your favorite quote?
I think it's a tie between, "Victory loves preparation" and, "If you’re failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail.” Both involve preparation which I personally believe is paramount to any sort of success.
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As leaders around the world deal with the COVID-19 crisis, these difficult time are valuable reminder that, in times of heightened anxiety and stress, we must remain calm, adapt and overcome!
To adapt, and overcome is a powerful way of thinking for any person who is faced with an obstacle in life. Adaptable people flourish amidst chaos while inflexible ones fall apart.