Nick Paniagua Interview
Nick Paniagua was born in Newport Beach, California. Raised by his mother and father who were both athletic and active, it were only a matter of time before Nick started playing many different sports. As an active child with an extremely high metabolism, Nick had a hard time gaining weight and was always the smallest kid in the bunch, causing him to be teased quite often. Weighing just 115 lbs. in high school, Nick’s father came home with a bench press and weights one Summer afternoon.. this was the start of it all for Nick, a passion, a lifestyle and the fulfillment of a few childhood dreams.
MP: What sparked your interest in health and fitness?
NP: Change, I needed change. I lived a reckless lifestyle when I was younger and also got teased for being so skinny and little, that was something that really hurt me. I had always looked up to the bigger guys at school, the hero’s in the movies and the bodybuilders in the muscle magazines. I started reading about bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition and one Summer afternoon my father came home with a bench and some weights. We set it up right in the middle of my bedroom and every morning I’d wake up and hit a workout, in no time it became my favorite thing to do, my friends at the time would want to go out and get into trouble but I decided to stay home, train and read bodybuilding magazines.
MP: In 2006, you decided you wanted to really start to take training and nutrition seriously and you started to do a lot of reading on the subjects. What were some of the most important things you learned during that time?
NP: In 2006, I decided to really buckle things down and do my research on how to gain muscle while staying as lean as possible. I quickly learned that it had almost everything to do with nutrition. Nutrition is key, without the proper nutrition, you’re just wasting your time, I learned that it really is about 80-85% of it all. I also learned that in order to get to where you’d like to be requires much discipline and responsibility. Saying no to certain foods, nights out and certain activities in order to stay on track are a few things I knew I had to do to avoid setbacks.. and as far as training goes, I learned that there is no 1 universal training method for everyone to follow, every single person is different therefore having different goals. What might work for someone, might not work for me so it was basically trial and error. It’s about monitoring your body and it’s reactions to certain training movements, routines and your diet.
MP: Describe your first photoshoot with IronMan Magazine. Were you nervous? How did you prep your body for this?
NP: I got an email one day from a photographer named Ian L. Sitren, who shot for Bodybuilding.com, IronMan Magazine and many other magazines. He had seen my profile on Bodybuilding.com’s “Bodyspace”, which was an online community for people who enjoyed bodybuilding, fitness, health and nutrition. He had asked if I wanted to do a shoot for Bodybuilding.com’s “Bodyspace’s Profile of the Month” in IronMan Magazine and I took a deep breath and quickly replied “YES”. I believe I only had around 30 days to prep for this shoot. My diet was in check for the most part but I really wanted to be as cut and dry for the shoot as possible. It was strictly business in the gym and in the kitchen. I also read some threads online regarding photoshoot prep and learned quite a bit. The last few days I really limited my fluid take in, I did not want to be bloated. When the big day came, I headed out to Palm Springs, CA and was very nervous, I couldn’t believe I had been given such an awesome opportunity. After a few hours of driving, I reached my destination which was Ian’s beautiful home. He invited me in and both him and his wife were very welcoming. He showed me around his home and I got to see some of his amazing photos that he had taken over the years. We then headed out to the desert where we did an outdoor shoot, it was around 50 something degrees with a slight wind chill and cloud cover, I was freezing. So what we’d do was take a few shots at a certain location, get in the car and blast the heater than move to the next spot, the shoot took a little over an hour. It was such an amazing experience and I had so much fun. After the shoot was done I was ready to pig out, so we headed over to Ihop and I just about ordered everything on the menu.
MP: What did it mean for you to land your first sponsorship from Controlled Labs?
NP: After I had done the shoot with IronMan Magazine, I decided I would email my favorite supplemental company, letting them know how much I loved their supplements. I also included a link to my BodySpace. The next morning I got an email back asking if I would like to join the team as a sponsored natural athlete and my jaw dropped, I couldn’t believe what I was reading, I never thought I was going to be asked to do a photo shoot for a bodybuilding\fitness magazine let alone get asked to be a part of a reputable supplemental company as a sponsored athlete, these were just dreams of mine. I replied back and they soon made the announcement. I’ve been with Controlled Labs ever since 2008 and they’ve always been there for me, an amazing company with amazing products and a group of people who genuinely care about their customers, employees and sponsored athletes.
MP: You were featured in over 15 magazines and a few ads. Which was the most memorable and why?
NP: I would have to say that first shoot with IronMan Magazine, it was just something I’ll never forget. Ever since my father came home with those weights after he knew how much the teasing hurt, I had dreams of being in a muscle magazine. It was the teasing and doubt that fueled me and when I got that email from Ian asking if I wanted to do a shoot, I knew I had reached one of my goals and it was a huge goal, an amazing experience I will never forget.
MP: What’s your typical training regimen like?
NP: After trying so many different types of training routines and methods, I learned that every single one of our bodies are made up differently. That guy you see hitting 20 reps at a lighter weight for each set, that method may work for him but it might not work for that other guy that is hitting 6-10 reps.. we each have to see what works for us, since genetically, we are all made up differently. My current training routine consists of 2 days on, 1 day off with no cardio and looks like this:
Monday: Delts/Traps – 4 Sets – 6-12 Reps – DB Presses, Lateral Raise Machine, DB Lateral Raises, DB Front Raises, Rear Delt Machine, Reverse BB Shrugs, DB Shrugs.
Tuesday: Arms/Abs – 4 Sets – 6-12 Reps – Tri Shortbar Pressdown, Pressdown Machine, Skullcrushers, Seated Preacher Curl Machine, EZ Bar Curls, Hammer Curls, Decline Crunches, Knee Lifts, Leg Lifts. (For abs I hit around 20-30 reps for each set.)
Thursday: Back – 4 Sets – 6-12 Reps – Lat Pulldowns, Close Grip Pulldowns, Seated Row Hammer Strength, Wide Grip Rows, Close Grip Rows, Deadlifts.
Friday: Chest/Abs – 4 Sets – 6-12 Reps – Flat DB Presses, Hammer Strength, Seated Cable Fly’s, Incline Hammer Strength, Incline DB Fly’s, Cable Crunches, Knee Lifts, Leg Lifts. (Again, abs are in a rep range of 20-30 reps).
Sunday: Legs – 4 Sets – 6-12 Reps – Leg Press, Leg Extensions, Lying Down Hamstring Curls, Seated Calv Raises, Standing Calv Raises.
MP: What’s your typical diet like?
NP: I try to eat clean every day, keeping my diet pretty strict. My diet consists of the same things every day. I will allow myself a cheat meal once a week, usually splurging on chicken and pasta with a little sauce, it’s a treat for me. I try to eat every 2 hours as it is crucial for me to eat, if I don’t eat I’ll start to lose weight, I have an extremely high metabolism. Here is a look at what my daily diet will consist of everyday..
7:30am – 1 cup of oatmeal in water with a tablespoon of almond butter and a packet of Stevia with 1.5 scoops of ON Whey in 20oz’s of water.
9:30am – 5 egg whites/1 whole egg and 20 almonds with a cup of coffee.
11:30-12:00pm – 1 pound of boneless/skinless chicken breast with a cup of brown rice and a banana.
2:30pm – 8oz’s of steak with about 15 more almonds.
5:00pm – 1\2 cup of oatmeal in water with 1 packet of Stevia and scoop of ON Whey in about 16oz’s of water.
5:30pm – 5 Controlled Labs Green Bulge Pills, 5 Controlled Labs Blue Gene Pills, 2 scoops of Controlled Labs White Flood in about 10oz’s of water and 1 scoop of Controlled Labs Purple Wraath.
6:00-8:00pm – Workout.
8:15pm – 2 scoops of Controlled Labs Golden Gains in about 16oz’s of water.
8:45pm – 12-14oz’s of boneless/skinless chicken breast with a medium sweet potato.
11:30 – Bed.
MP: What are your preferred supplements and why?
NP: A few I prefer are Controlled Labs White Flood, this is hands down the best pre-workout/NO supplement I’ve ever tried, it’s in powder form so you can just mix it with water about 30 minutes pre-workout and you’re good to go, it gets me through every workout. I also like Controlled labs Green Bulge and Blue Gene, Green Bulge is a creatine pill, used to help increase strength over time and Blue Gene is a tablet used to help with your endurance and recovery levels as well as help with your joints. Controlled Labs Purple Wraath is also something I take intra-workout which comes in powder form and is my main go to source for EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids), a major building block when it comes to muscle. Last but not least, Controlled Labs Golden Gains is what I drink immediately after I train. It’s a recovery complex shake that I mix with water and tastes great, this gives my body exactly what I need right after I hit an intense session, protein, carbs and just enough calories.
MP: Your apparel line “Sacrifice & Honor” is a big priority of yours. What makes this brand unique and what does it represent?
NP: Sacrifice & Honor is a clothing line my best friend and I started in 2010. We had always talked about starting up a clothing line and since we both loved bodybuilding and fitness so much we decided to create an athletic clothing line. What makes the brand unique are a few things, the quality of the clothing which was one of our top priorities, we wanted to make sure we provided the best of the best when it came to material. Our designs are also a unique quality, a lot of the athletic based clothing lines aimed at more of the bodybuilding and fitness lifestyles still carry the dated or over the top images. We wanted to make sure we stood out without being too over the top, brainstorm after brainstorm my business partner, Nathan Powers, our designer and myself came up with exactly how we wanted our apparel to look.. a clothing line inspired by bodybuilding, fitness, music, and an overall passion for the lifestyle. The brand represents what this lifestyle is all about. The sacrifices we make to reach those ultimate goals and doing whatever it takes to get there.. it’s a lifestyle lived with honor. This was something my best friend and I thought would be fun, we didn’t expect it to do as well as it has been doing and I’d like to thank everyone who has supported Sacrifice & Honor over the years. You can check out Sacrifice & Honor here: http://www.sacrificeandhonor.com
MP: What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
NP: I’d like to step on stage in the near future at an all natural show and also write a book, this has been something I’ve been thinking about for a long time now. The book would focus on training, nutrition and other misc. things along with some personal experiences. I’d also like to start a family in the near future, got the love of my life by my side now. Right now I’m going to continue to focus on Sacrifice & Honor, and training. A quick thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without you.
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