J. Scott Davis Interview
J. Scott Davis has been active in fitness since he was a child and has earned athletic letters in high school and college. Davis also has coaching experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y. Davis is a native Californian, veteran of the United States Navy and Persian Gulf War.
MP: How did you get started in bodybuilding?
JSD: I started lifting to increase muscle mass and to supplement my athletic participation- primarily for high school and college basketball.
MP: How do you stay motivated to train to your full potential each and every day?
JSD: I'm motivated to train from a variety of factors. I've exercised on a regular basis for so long that I'm addicted to it. I mentally and physically need to workout and that's a beneficial thing to be addicted to.
The essential benefits of lifting and exercise is one primary motivation.
Another tremendous motivator to be in excellent physical condition is that I never know when I may need it again. That could fall in athletics, public safety, and recreation or in a variety of occupations. As you can see, I want to be ready.
Oh, and of course, another motivator is appearance. It is important to me to make an impression with my physique.
MP: As a Veteran of the U.S. Navy and Persian Gulf War, describe the physical and mental challenges that go into being in the Navy?
JSD: Serving in the U.S. Navy requires one to be sound of mind and body. I was a Navy Surface Rescue Swimmer while holding the Gunner's Mate- Guns Petty Officer Rating. Possessing dedication and courage are prerequisites for the opportunity to perform military service. The service member must be prepared to face extremely dangerous circumstances. As is reflected on military recruiting material, an emphasis is placed on physical fitness requirements. As is depicted in the movies, one must be prepared intensive physical training.
A physically conditioned body more effectively withstands stress and pressure of which you can receive much of in the military.
MP: How did you train yourself for this?
JSD: I trained for my military service the same way an athlete trains for competition. On the job, I didn't stop when I met the minimum requirement. For me, I had to be #1 for physical fitness testing. You've heard the military slogan "be the best that you can be." Well, this slogan reflects me!
My training included interval swim training, distance swimming, jogging, calisthenics, bike riding, and lifting weights. I was often seen in the weight room at bases where I was on and participating in these above mentioned exercises.
MP: You earned various honors while in the military, mostly pertaining to your athletics and physicality. Describe these accomplishments?
JSD: I was proud to earn Navy "Iron-Man" status for each athletic fitness exam that I performed. In addition, I set the command record for the fastest 500 yard swim. In December of 1994, I was the "Swimmer of the Month" for the Navy base in San Diego, CA.
While completing my Bachelor of Science degree, I participated on the University of Nevada Army ROTC Ranger Challenge squad. At the regional Ranger Challenge competition against universities in the western U.S., I was the only member from my team to be acknowledged at the awards banquet (this was for scoring perfectly on the athletic testing).
MP: As a swimming expert, what advice do you have for people trying to improve their swimming ability?
JSD: You can do this by improving your stroke technique while also building up endurance. When you fatigue while swimming such as in a race, your stroke becomes sloppy and much less effective. Thus, you can see how your endurance comes into play here. Much of the power you utilize in swimming comes from your back muscles and lats. Weightlifting exercises to build more power in your back and lats could be pull-overs, pull-downs and pull-ups. For the legs, leg-extensors are beneficial for your thighs and kick. There is additional work that can be done with surgical tubing.
Some swimmers may have access to a swim-bench. An exercise on this equipment could include simulating going through your pull stroke while the particular weight you set it at causes the resistance.
MP: What’s your daily training and dieting regimen like?
JSD: I currently perform 6 workouts per week. This includes weightlifting, push-ups, triceps push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, leg raises and cardio (jogging). My jogging routine is not your average jogging session. During the run, I go up a very steep hill and come back down it. I also do wind-sprints just after the hill climb.
Diet? I like to drink a good shot of skim milk after a workout. At meals, I eat a stable diet of meats and vegetables and try to stay away from junk food. I like to eat a generous helping of food in the morning. I also supplement my meals with a moderate amount of vitamins and minerals.
MP: Over the years, you have competed in several 10K runs. How do you train for these runs?
JSD: It appears I answered this in the previous question. Again, I jog which includes a steep hill climb and dissension, as well as, wind sprints.
One could also use interval training to increase their speed for middle distance run competition.
MP: Who has served as your biggest role model to date?
JSD: Al Fiedler! I was a lifeguard with the Ocean City Beach Patrol (OCBP) in Maryland for 6 years. This included the last 3 years there as a crew chief (an immediate supervisor on the beach). Fiedler was a lifeguard and Sergeant with the OCBP for some 15 years. When I was first promoted to crew chief, he was the supervisor for the crew chief's in the chain-of-command.
Fiedler also lifeguarded with the Hollywood Beach Patrol in Florida. Although, that's not all. He also spent 2 tours of duty in the Vietnam War with the United States Marine Corps. Fiedler experience some of the fiercest fighting in the war and injuries included a broken back. During the height of the war, He was also displayed on the cover of Life Magazine in a photo taken during live action.
Fiedler refused to return home from the war when his deployment was up because he didn't want to leave his brothers in the battlefield without him.
Al Fiedler feared nothing! He would go for a swim workout in the ocean! But instead of along the beach, Fiedler would swim straight out so far into the ocean we could not see him (not recommended). Other times, Fiedler would surprise us by coming in from far out in the ocean which would suddenly catch our eye. It was like, where did he come from?
MP: What has this person done for your life and career?
JSD: Al Fiedler mentored me on management of my OCBP crew, supervision and handling of the issues. He helped instill within me the concept of "if you talk the talk - then walk the walk" (as in "put up or shut-up"). Fiedler was a positive influence on me in respecting the value of life. His philosophy was that when those beach patrons return home from the beach, he wanted them to return the same way that they came down- unharmed!
MP: What’s your favorite thing about fitness?
JSD: Well, I have 2 favorites. I welcome the strength it gives you and the appearance.
MP: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
JSD: In 10 years, I will be in great physical condition for a man of any age. I will appear many years younger than I actually am.
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