What sparked your interest in fitness and bodybuilding?
AS: From an early age I became fascinated with my ability to develop my body through proper nutrition and training. This was also a result of being an elite athlete throughout high school and university. When I was younger my interest was more sparked by seeking sports performance benefits, these days it is to simply live longer and prevent disease.
In college, you were a decorated athlete, winning a national silver medal in men’s university volleyball while maintaining academic all-Canadian performance in the classroom. How were you able to be so disciplined?
AS: You have probably seen a common trend in successful fitness personalities in who are successful in other aspects of life. The drive, dedication, and time management I have acquired through years of building my body have paid dividends academically. As the old saying goes, “you always have time for things you want badly enough.” For me, high grades were just as important as winning championships.
What accomplishments earned you the 2011 Canadian Fitness Professional of the Year?
AS: Good question, it is tough to identify one particular achievement. I was extremely busy that year! (Hosted two radio shows, published writing in Canada/USA, travelled to volunteer at Peruvian orphanages, co-founded a medically integrated training program in Ontario) Being recognized by my peers and my governing body was humbling and a moment I will never forget.
Over the span of three years, you hosted over 150 episodes of your weekly radio show. What was this experience like?
AS: Radio is awesome! It is an efficient way to get health messages to masses of people, especially the 50-65 “Babyboomer” population I am interested in. I have also had the pleasure of airing with two very experienced radio personalities in Ontario, Al Coombs and Mike Stubbs. They have taught me many valuable lessons over the years. I am still regularly airing health commentary on local stations.
You have been published in hundreds of magazine issues as a fitness model and health writer in the US and Canada. What were some of the most memorable publications you wrote for or modeled for?
AS: Being a pro fitness model has been an incredible experience. Hearing from people who follow the exercises I have demonstrated and aspire to have a fit, drug-free physique is incredibly rewarding. It is difficult to mention one particular feature as there have been many reputable magazines that have hired my services. The best experiences have been articles that I have personally written and modeled. I take pride in being “more than muscle” and enjoy publishing researched health advice in addition to showing my conditioning. If I had to pick one experience modeling, my most memorable would actually be video work – co-producing and hosting my own fitness DVD “Optimum Fitness & Nutrition” in 2008. It taught me that being a model meant far more than posing for photos. These days video work is becoming just as common as print and requires a very different skill-set. The most memorable writing experiences have been serving as an advisor to magazines. It is an honour when an editor-in-chief contacts me asking to write a piece clarifying nutrition or training questions. It means a lot for a publication to trust my knowledge and writing ability.
Have you competed in any fitness competitions? If not, do you have any plans to?
AS: I have competed a few times in Canadian drug-free fitness contests and won my last show. Competing is a great experience and serves as a strong motivator for many people, especially young models looking to make their mark in the industry. Will I compete again? Never say never!
What type of diet has worked best for you?
AS: Balanced! There are so many myths with nutrition in the fitness industry. The key is to simply eat healthy: lots of lean proteins (chicken/fish/plant/low-fat dairy) mixed with fibrous carbs and veggies….never forgetting fruit. To some competitors this sounds foreign, but the reality is you can stay in fantastic shape and maintain lean mass easily following a balanced diet. Again, the priority for me is not only staying muscular, but LIVING LONGER and preventing disease. Protein alone isn’t going to cut it! The key to growing my mass has been multiple smaller meals per day to consume enough calories. The same goes with fat-loss, to preserve myself I snack on protein sources constantly to keep amino-acids trickling into my blood steam.
What are some of your favorite exercises to do?
AS: Compound moves! I almost never isolate these days and choose to focus on multi-joint moves like squats, deadlifts, rows, and various presses. This is also an efficient way for me to keep my core strong and muscular-looking. The last time I performed a “crunch” was in 2008.
Who have been your biggest role models to date?
AS: I have always looked up to the older guys in the industry because of my interest and respect for those who can “self preserve” (especially without drugs). Mike O’hearn comes to mind and also Max Wettstein.
What do you like to do in your free time?
AS: Getting outside, especially here in beautiful Alberta is a great way to spend free time. A trip to the Rocky Mountains is a great way to clear my mind and de-stress after a long week of medical school. I am also a fanatical sports fan! Most weeks I will find time to catch up on sports news and catch a game.
What are your future goals both personally and professionally?
AS: With respect to fitness, my personal goals have changed dramatically since the start of my career. I am far more focused on LIVING LONGER than having paper thin skin 365 days/yr. Ironically, this approach has allowed me to grow far more quality muscle into my late 20’s (most likely from consuming more calories and integrating more heavy, compound moves into my routine). Everything I eat, every exercise I perform has the goal of preserving my body and aging gracefully. Professionally, I have a strong passion for prevention. After med school I can see myself continuing to work in the media and with local governments to create positive change at a population level. I cannot wait to help the 1500-3000 patients in my future practice, but I am equally excited to work with local policy-makers to help people improve their health nation-wide. I am also interested in helping other doctors feel better equipped to speak with patients about lifestyle changes (nutrition, exercise, stress management and more).
continue to next page for Aric Sudicky’s workout routine