Matus Valent Interview
MP: What sparked your interest in health and fitness?
MV: I was an athletic boy since my childhood. I played soccer and than later I switched to volleyball, which I played on a high level for 9 years. I started to workout thanks to my dad (a former bodybuilder) when I was around 14 years old in his basement where he had his own, private hardcore gym. During my first years of weight lifting, I was focused to get in better shape, get some strength and it was also to perform better in my sport. When I was 24 years old I started to treat my workouts the way I do now, as a fitness model, competitor and athlete. I don’t play many other sports these days; I just focus on improving my physique. I also have a Master’s degree in physical education and athletics, so all my University time I spent in school doing all kinds of sports and being very active every day.
MP: Describe your life growing up in Bratislava, Slovak Republic.
MV: Life in Slovakia when I grew up was really good for me. I had amazing parents, great friends, was playing outside every day, running around on my bike, playing in the forest, soccer and hockey with my buddies. Lot’s of fun time. I was very active. My main focus was to get a degree at school and play a sport on a high level. Once I finished all of it, I moved to USA where I stayed since. Bratislava, the Capital city of Slovakia, is beautiful. i believe it's the nicest city in Central Europe. It’s hard to describe it in few sentences so I recommend everyone to Youtube or Google to see it.
MP: As a Junior Slovakian volleyball champion, describe the types of training you did to prep yourself?
MV: For volleyball, the most important element is quickness, so lots of our training was aerobic intended to increase our speed, jump, and spike. We did lighter weight gym workouts so we wouldn’t lose our mobility and flexibility. Our summer camps were the most difficult, every day for about 1 and ½ month we jump hurdles, stairs, did our sprints but also long distance runs to increase our lung endurance. It was a brutal time of the year, but the most important and beneficial for our physiques. The rest of the year we worked on our volleyball technique for the most part. Volleyball in general helped me to be as good athlete as I was, years of hard training gave me the basics for the next step I chose 7 years ago when I switched to fitness.
MP: Why did you decide to move to America?
MV: One week after I graduated from the University, I decided to fly to California and explore the life here. I had no specific reason, didn’t know any people here, just brought one bag of clothes and couple hundred dollars. Over 8 years later and I am still here, loving it the most.
MP: You have appeared in numerous magazines (over 100 in the past 6 years) including Muscle & Fitness, Fitness RX, Flex, Muscle & Performance and many others with over dozen covers here in USA and international. If you had to pick one, which was the most memorable and why?
MV: Every magazine and every cover is very special for me, but if I have to pick one it would have to be my first cover, FITNESS RX magazine. It’s only 6 issues a year for men; that’s why to land a cover of that great publication is a big honor.
MP: You have participated in numerous fitness and sport modeling competitions, winning 1st place at the Model America event in 2006, 1st place at the Model California in 2005 & 2006 and 3rd place at the Model Universe in Miami 2006. Any other big competitions you have won since then?
MV: No, after my Model America 2006 victory I decided to stop competing since that was the biggest contest in fitness modeling one could win. 3 years later I missed being on stage with my friends so I tried the Model America competition one more time (in Las Vegas) and in a very awesome lineup I placed fourth. This year the IFBB came with the Male Physique so maybe one day in the future I will step on stage again.
MP: Your modeling career has led to numerous other opportunities. Describe some of these opportunities.
MV: I got to party at Playboy Mansion nine times, which was amazing. I also attended a party at Paris Hilton’s house, met a lot of celebrities. I worked at several fitness expos, where I got to meet my fans and lots of great people with the same interest as me. Did a lot of traveling. I still feel there is a lot more opportunities ahead of me in the future. Dedication and hard work is the path I am choosing.
MP: What is your typical training philosophy? Do you believe in high intensity training, train for the muscular pump, etc.?
MV: I believe in high volume, high intensity workouts. My training is always 2+ hrs, I do high amount of sets for each muscle group . For example for chest I do 31-35 sets in one training session, and that is followed by my biceps and abs workout. I don’t change up my training, my routine stays pretty much the same all the time.
MP: What's your favorite muscle group to train in the gym and why?
MV: My favorite muscle group to train is chest. I train chest 2x a week (every Monday & Thursday) and as I mentioned in my previous answer I do about 31- 35 sets in one training session. I believe a strong, well developed chest is a must in fitness modeling, plus it was always my favorite body part to train.
MP: What's your favorite exercise to do and why?
MV: Bench-press, who’s isn’t ?
MP: Do you take any supplements? What are some of the benefits you get from these supplements?
MV: I use a wide scale of supplements in my training regiment. Key for me is a high quality protein, aminos, creatines ( monohydrate, kre-alkalyne ), pre-workout drink, nitric oxide, testosterone booster, beta-alanine, glutamine, the whole scale of vitamins & minerals. Currently I am taking a bunch of stuff from QNT nutrition company ( www.qntusa.com ), especially the RIPTEK fat-burner while preparing for my photo-shoots and other projects.
MP: Have you admired any bodybuilders growing up? How have they inspired you?
MV: From the past my favorite bodybuilders were Arnold & Frank Zane, both with amazing physiques. I was really a big fan of Ronnie Coleman when he competed. These days I don’t have anyone I really cheer for, probably Dennis Wolf & Phil Heath are the ones I like the most.
MP: What do you enjoy doing on your free time?
MV: Going to movies, playing volleyball & beach-volleyball, being in the sun and getting a nice California tan, listening to music, going out with friends, and traveling.
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
MV: Just to stay on the right track, keep improving my body, working on better projects, networking with magazines, photographers, people in the fitness and entertainment industry. Hopefully everything while maintaining good health, which is always the number one important thing.
For more info and recent projects please visit Matus Valent's website
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