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Q&A: Allen Sizemore

There is an old saying in bodybuilding made famous by a Ronnie Coleman quote on a much watched video clip. “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but no one wants to lift no heavy ass weight” – Coleman. This is true with the lifting, it’s true with the diet, and it’s true with everything that goes into bodybuilding. Everybody does want to be a bodybuilder, but none of them want to live like a one. Bodybuilders are athletes that make tremendous sacrifices in order to achieve greatness. It takes good advice, genetics, dedication, and perseverance just to make it to the show with a chance of winning. When you’re three weeks out from a show, mentally and physically drained from working out, and starring at a bowl of the same crap you have been forcing down for the past three months, the word dedication means something.

Bodybuilding made its start in the early 1900’s with the promotion of Prussia’s Eugen Sandow, who we now refer to as “The Father of Modern Bodybuilding.” Sandow, who the statue given to the Mr. Olympia winner was named for, would allow audiences of people to view his muscular posing and show routine that included posing and the lifting of weight. Bodybuilding has come a long way since those days. The sport of bodybuilding has gone from a hobby for show to a lifestyle of passion and determination. Bodybuilders really don’t have an off season. They may have a time of the year they diet less than others, but no such thing as off season as in many sports. If you are a successful bodybuilder, then you eat sleep and breathe the sport.

One thing that makes the sport that much more challenging is the lack of money to be made, until you are at the pinnacle of the sport, it is very unlikely endorsement deals will come along. This makes it tough to train and eat right due to the responsibilities of holding down a regular job to pay for your food, supplements, and not to mention your family’s needs as well. All of these hurdles are just a start of what bodybuilders have to overcome to be a professional.

Bodybuilders are a rare breed. How many people do you know that can workout pushing themselves so hard they throw up on occasion, eat the same bland diet day in and day out, and all the while not receive much or any monetary value for their struggles. They weigh there food for the next day while most are lying on the couch eating potato chips. They try to get one more set in before the gyms closes while most drive by the gym on there way their favorite the local restaurant. They get up early to hit that morning cardio before work; while most just hit the snooze button. It is not a very fun lifestyle; but ask any bodybuilder and they will tell you they wouldn’t trade it for the world.

One of those bodybuilders is Allen Sizemore. Sizemore, an amateur light weight competitor, with only two competitions under his belt has been lifting seriously for four years. He has only been competing for the past year and his dedication and devotion to the sport has already yielded him two first place finishes. This is the exception, not the rule. Most bodybuilders lift for years spinning their wheels with new lifting routines and different diets on their way to a winning physique. What is different about Sizemore’s journey so far? If you ask him it is being humble and not being afraid to ask for advice from the right people. Although Sizemore has no real desire to become a pro, he still pushes forward with the same type of dedication. The dedication it takes to win; not simply to compete. This is mind boggling to the average person who may not have the motivation to take a walk after dinner. What pushes someone so hard that they give up everything for a particular lifestyle? Money again is not the answer. I sat down with Sizemore just to ask him that sort of question along with other things an amateur goes through in the bodybuilding life style.

BC -- Hey Allen it's great to see you, let’s get down to business. First off, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day.
AS -- Thank you for giving me an opportunity like this. Publicity is everything.
BC-- If anybody deserve it, you do. You are relatively new to bodybuilding scene. What was that first thing that brought you to the level of involvement you are in with the sport up until this point? Was it a light bulb going off saying I want to compete, nudge from fellow lifters?
AS --Sacrifice and dedication to the sport, after 4 years of working out I decided to go to the next level and compete. It was a challenge and I love challenges.
BC --With two first place finishes in just two shows, it is safe to say you have been a quick study of the sport. Many people train years to get a win, but you were able to do it relatively quickly. What do you attribute your success to?
AS – A Good hard work ethic and a GREAT trainer with years of contest prep and a proven track record. My training and nutrition coach is Brian Wallace of Body By Beano.

BC -- Speaking of success and winning, tell me about your first win in the Knoxville Classic Show? Were you nervous? What is the one thing about that day that stands out in your mind?
AS -- Being nervous about not knowing what was going on back stage, when to carb up, color, posing and mandatory calls. But with good people on your side you can make it through it. I remember that the novice light-weight class was STACKED with 10 good competitors.

BC -- Since we are on a roll talking about these wins, what was the second win at the Tennessee State Show like? It was the open class in a qualifier and you didn’t just qualify with a second place, you won. That had to be special.
AS -- That was the icing on the cake going in not knowing the outcome of an OPEN Qualifier. I was overwhelmed with the win especially since I was competing against a well respected National Level light-weight guy. I beat him out in conditioning and the hard work paid off.

BC -- Where is your trophy right now? I am putting you on the spot.
AS -- My trophy used to be in my wife's china cabinet, now it has become my trophy case. I have a few bench press trophies in my case also.
BC -- Any shows you are interested in competing at in the immediate future?
AS -- I would like to try a National Show. I do have a wife in the military and have to weigh things out. When I do compete I will be competing as a welter-weight more than likely.

BC -- Do you have any long term goals in the world of bodybuilding?
AS -- Of course I would like to be a Top Level Amateur competitor. A job in the industry would not be bad either, maybe in personal training or sales rep for a Supplement Company.

BC -- I know your legs are considered your best body part. Do you have any rational behind them? I know you raced motorcycles and bicycles in the past, any coincidence?

AS – I can thank my mother as she is gifted in the leg department. Racing bikes over the years had to help some as well.

BC -- If legs are your strong point. What do you consider you weak point?
AS -- Serratus and waist, even in the good condition I was in it made my waist looked thicker.  I guess I will have to get my delts bigger to cover this up. (laughing)

BC -- I know most if not all of your working out is in your own home gym. What is the atmosphere like there? Do you think it has advantage or disadvantages?
AS -- I never have to wait on ANYTHING, I can workout WHENEVER I want, no distractions.  The only disadvantage lack of variety and becomes stagnant. Sometimes I have to go to another gym to break out some new focus.

BC -- What would you consider your training style?
AS -- Old school, straight sets, drop sets, forced reps, supersets...HIGH VOLUME. Arnold did it the best!

BC -- I know you live in a smaller town in Tennessee. What is life like for a body builder in a small town? There must be a smaller group of people with common bodybuilding interests.
AS -- Besides myself there are 2 other SERIOUS guys, my training partner Mike Crowell, and Jason Akers. There are a few that talk about competing in the area but you know how that goes...
BC -- I am sure you get some weird looks at the local grocery store buying 100 eggs and sack of oats like we all do. Does the stereotype of bodybuilders bother you or affect you everyday life?
AS -- No that does not bother me, in the town I am in most people don't understand nutrition or training for that matter.  So when asked I just say "I like eggs" (laughing)
BC -- Do you use trainer or diet coach?
AS – Yes and I think it is VERY important to have both. Sometimes, you need to be told WHAT to do by one person that you trust. I have seen a few people try to listen to NUMEROUS people’s advice at the same time with very poor results. If you find a person you are comfortable with, like I am with Beano, it makes it much easier to just do what they say and not over think it yourself.

BC -- What do you think the hardest thing about dieting is? Are there any foods that make you want to blow the diet?
AS -- No variety same foods EVERYDAY, 7 times a day, over and over again...after 15 weeks this SUCKS. I have a big problem with cheesecake!
BC -- Speaking of diet, what school of thought does your diet fall under? Are you a high carb guy, low fat, what’s the secret?
AS -- Medium carb, medium fat guy. Ketosis (low carb) diets do not work well for me.

BC
-- How much have you leaned about what is in the food you eat in the past year?
AS -- I read labels more often. I actually read articles about FOOD not just lifting weights.  80% of bodybuilding is the diet. A good saying in my opinion “YOU DONT GROW IN THE GYM"

BC -- If there were words of encouragement you could say to prospective bodybuilders looking to continue in the sport or get into the sport, what would they be?

AS – I would tell them that it is a rough road and it feels like the world is against you, but standing on stage holding that first place trophy beside guys that sweated and worked just like you did makes it all worth it. Discipline is the key, and nothing else.

BC – Wow! Good stuff there! Allen, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to our readers here at probodybuilding.com.

AS – Again, thanks for the opportunity to do this. I will be reading the site just like everyone else. Don’t hesitate to give me a call any time you need help in the future.


Bio                Allen Sizemore
Age:                 38
Height:             5'4"
Off Season Weight:         190-195
Contest Weight:         155-160
Home Town:            Morristown, TN
Favorite Body Part:         Deltoids
Favorite Exercise:         Incline Barbell Press
Contest history:     2008 Knox Classic 1st Novice Lightweight, 2008 Tennessee State 1st OPEN Lightweight, competing in 2009-2010 National Shows
Favorite Supplements:     ON Whey Protein, Super Pump 250 that stuff is great!
Years Bodybuilding:        4 (1 year competing)
Hobbies:            Duck Hunting, Hiking with my wife, general outdoor stuff
Favorite Bodybuilder:     Lee Priest, Dave Henry.

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