You are referred to by everyone as the World’s Most Ripped Fitness Model. Obviously this process of what your body looks like now didn’t occur overnight. How were you introduced to bringing your body’s musculature and athleticism up and how did it occur? Tell us how you got started in fitness and training.
OO: I got involved fitness and training at 16 years old because I wanted to get stronger for the sports I played in high school which were track and basketball. And also I was a skinny kid growing up and I wanted to build my body.
I got motivated from reading the bodybuilding magazines back in high school. Who would have known many years later I would be gracing the cover of these magazines. Every day I am still in disbelief of what is going on in my fitness career.
I really got serious into weight-training when I was in college as a sprinter and I could tell the stronger I was the more it helped me in my sprinting. I felt more explosive coming out the starting blocks the more muscle I had.
Tell us about your college sprinting days. What were the advantages and pitfalls of being a college athlete? What was fun, what was disappointing? How did you get started? Do you still sprint?
OO:My sprinting career had highs and a lot of low’s. I broke every major school record at the Division I university I attended at Cal State Fullerton. Unfortunately through the highs there were a lot of low’s and the lows were the injuries I had during half of my career.
I was the athlete that never really hit his full potential and I totally believe if it wasn’t for the injuries I would have been a college all-American as a sprinter and I would have been a world class sprinter. I had the talent but the injuries prevented me from attaining those goals. I was blessed to have competed against some of the fastest athletes in the world while I was in college.
The fun part of being a college athlete was the way people looked up to you because of that I always felt I had to conduct myself in positive way. The pitfalls of being an athlete at that high level was that when you didn’t do well it, affected you emotionally and affected your personal life. This whole competing thing, it is so hard to turn it off and on sometimes.
Injuries are very painful mentally and could cause many athletes to go into a depression. Do you think the injuries occurred because you pushed too hard and overtrained, a lack of education, or is the sport just too physically demanding on the body? And explain how used the injuries as motivation to fuel your career?
OO: The injuries occurred because I was a very stubborn athlete who didn’t stretch and who trained his quads all the time but didn’t train hamstrings enough.
Due to the way I trained, I had an imbalance to my quad to hamstring ratio which caused me to pull my hamstrings often. With the knowledge I know now, I don’t think I would have had half the injuries I had in college.
I also didn’t take the time to stretch as often as I should have before and if you do this often you are going to have leg injuries.
Many people play sports, even at the Division I level, but few have your kind of body. Obviously it’s more than just training, even at a high level like world-class sprinting. So what kind of principles did you instill to get such muscular definition and low body-fat levels?
OO: I am very blessed with some good genetics so I am a naturally lean person but I still train very hard in the gym. I always say that getting ripped is 80 percent diet and 20 percent training.
I follow the simple principle of super-setting all of my weight-training exercises which allows me to burn an infinite amount of calories while training anaerobically. To me that is one of the best ways of staying lean while weight-training.
I also follow the diet principle of high protein and a low carb diet. I’ve never needed much carbs to function so low carbs doesn’t bother me.
Explain to us why nutrition is so important and what should the structure of one’s nutritional regimen look like? A lot of people follow these fad diets like no/very low carbs, liquid diets, vegan diets, etc. to lose weight, but what nutritional macronutrients need to be in place to build muscle and burn fat?
OO: Nutrition is the cornerstone to getting lean and ripped. The macronutrient ratio I follow ranges from 45 percent protein, 40 percent carbs and 15 percent fat or 55 percent protein, 35 percent carbs and 10 percent fat. These ranges have helped me tremendously as well as the clients I’ve trained.
What did you feel about competing for the 2009 WBFF Male fitness model title? We heard it was the closest margin in the history of the organization. Are you competing in 2010 for the title?
OO: There was one guy who I felt was deserving to win the 2009 WBFF male fitness model title and was the most marketable guy on stage in my honest opinion. Honestly, if somebody is better than or me or just as marketable, I will be the first person to say that publicly and my man Kyle was just that.
The guy’s name was Kyle Clarke and he had the great face and a ripped marketable look and physique. He so deserved to win and if he would have won I would have come to him and said you deserved to win bro. You can’t hate on somebody that looks incredible and has all of the marketability in the world you can only give the guy his proper respect and due.
I saw him on stage and I said to myself “who is that guy” and “he could easily win this thing.” I dissected that male fitness model division on video many times and he was the most marketable guy on that stage in my unbiased opinion in terms of fitness modeling.
I think people need to understand it is fitness modeling not bodybuilding. You have to have a great face and ripped physique as a top cover model. He embodied all of those facets and I felt so bad for Kyle because he should have been in the top two hands down or won. You can’t have a questionable looking face and win a fitness modeling competition. At the end of the day it is modeling.
The top five male fitness models in the fitness modeling industry such as Greg Plitt, TJ Hoban, James Ellis, Sebastian Sigel, and Matus Valent (among others) don’t compete because they don’t have to because they’ve been on so many covers already.
Besides maybe two or three competitors in the male fitness model division, the majority of those guys haven’t done that much in the industry but have aspirations to do so by competing on a WBFF stage.
I think there is some good potential young fitness model talent that have really bright futures. 2010 should be a great male fitness model pro show and I am looking forward to stepping on stage.
You seem to have a lot of fans that look up to you and admire you all over the world. Do you have any people that hate on your or don’t like you?
OO: I truly appreciate people all my fans that say so many nice things and support me, but with some popularity you are always going to get haters and I have them that’s for sure.
I’ve helped out a lot of people in the industry and even the ones that I’ve helped seem to want to hate on you which is kind of sad if you actually think about it. Haters hate typically because they are either jealous of your success or they feel the only way they can get exposure or recognition is to talk negative about you.
In fact, I will give you an example: Just today I saw something on Facebook and saw a comment by some wannabe fitness model that hasn’t really done anything in the industry. This idiot made it a point to put on his Facebook status publicly about there is no such thing as half wins or half points and if I compete and I lose there are no excuses. He said people should stop complaining or whining and that he if loses the WBFF competition he loses with no regrets or complaints.
Obviously he was talking about me because for the last 11 months I thought I lost by a half point in last years competition and I’ve made that known publicly via Facebook. This guy doesn’t know anything what happened behind the scenes in regards to that competition nor did he compete in that show.
When you see stuff like this from some wannabe fitness model nobody has ever heard of and he hasn’t done anything in the industry, all you can do is laugh at this act because he is dying for attention and exposure. The only way for him to get attention is to talk about somebody who has that exposure already.
This is the type of stuff I deal with all the time. You get these wannabe non-working fitness models that will talk about you publicly via social networking Facebook but never mention your name. If you honestly have the balls and guts to talk about somebody then tell that to the person’s face.
The top elite fitness successful fitness models don’t really do stuff like that. We all have mutual respect for one another.
Because there are so many haters in this industry, I tend to keep my personal life very guarded and I think it should be a mystery to people honestly. I keep a very short circle of people in the industry that I completely trust and that I would go out of my and do anything for.
The industry is filled with a lot of opportunists and haters that will do anything to get exposure.
You’re a highly educated man with several degrees. Why is education so important in terms of attaining the physique you want, but more importantly, in being the person you want to become? How has education helped you achieve what you want to achieve?
OO: I was taught at an early age that you are nothing without your education. My education has allowed me to make good business decisions when signing some of my endorsement contracts. The way I negotiate comes from some of the business classes I took in college. My education has truly given me the knowledge to know how to sell myself in front of a CEO of a company or inventor of a product in a face to face business meeting or over the phone. And also it is important to know what your worth when negotiating your value. If you have no idea your worth, then how can someone want to invest money in you?
I don’t mean this in a negative or insulting way, but there a lot of fitness models out there that don’t understand the business side of this industry and so they continue to have their likeness, brand, and name exploited for exposure purposes for money as opposed to financially benefiting from their value and marketability.
If you don’t understand the business side of the fitness industry, you will continue to get used and exploited.
I truly thank my parents for inspiring me to pursue my education to its fullest and making me understand the importance of it. They are truly my role models and always have been.
So our readers definitely see the ripple effect now. Your hard work to acquire the knowledge and awareness of health and fitness allowed you to be so successful at what you do. You became a world class model and have been featured in over 15 national print ad campaigns and over 15 national commercials. Explain what the modeling industry has offered you that you chose to go this route instead of the many other professions that could use your marketable skills.
OO: I was in the telecommunications industry for many years before I decide to pursue the fitness industry full-time. I decided 2 years ago when I entered the fitness industry that I was going to work tirelessly to make an impact in this industry.
My accolades in the fitness industry have truly given me a platform to help and inspire people to get in shape. That is what I love about the industry is I have the ability to help so many people through my many fitness articles in all of the magazines I write for globally.
You have appeared in so many commercials and advertisements like Gatorade, Dymatize, etc. Your face is everywhere. How were you able to market yourself so well to be able to land huge jobs like that?
OO: Surprisingly, that Gatorade commercial I was in is still considered one of the greatest Gatorade commercials ever so it was an honor to be a part of it. I landed that through my agent but most of the campaigns I’ve landed in the fitness industry have come through my own efforts and self- marketing methods.
If you take somebody that has talent and their work ethic is second-to-none, that individual will achieve greatness. Jerry Rice and Michael Jordan were very talented athletes but the reason why they were the best was nobody worked harder than them at practice. They overachieved during games day because of that work ethic they had.
There will always be better looking and better physique models but you won’t work harder than me. That is my personal philosophy I follow in the industry.
In regard to self-promotion, I just promote everything I am doing in the industry via social networking.
Can you explain to us what your weekly workout schedule is like. What is so effective about your methodology?
OO: My weekly workout schedule is I work chest and biceps on Monday, back and shoulders on Tuesday, legs and triceps on Wednesday, Thursday I do chest and biceps, and Friday I do back and shoulders. I superset my weight-training routine which allows me to sweat more and burn more calories.
How long are your workouts in time? Do you think it is too stressful on the body to work out for longer than an hour as some studies have suggested? How important is rest and how many days off should one take off from the gym in a week?
OO: Rest is very important as that is the only way your body can grow. It doesn’t grow while training; it grows while resting so it can recuperate from the tearing down of the muscles.
I take off 2 to 3 days off in a week and training more than 5 days a week is honestly counterproductive and I do believe it is overtraining. I used to train 6 days a week for years and I realized I was doing too much.
How do you incorporate aerobic activity into something anaerobic like weightlifting?
OO: I implement about 3 days a week cardio and I typically will do a 3 mile run for about 24 to 25 minutes. And once a week I do 10 100-meter sprints.
How does training hard like an athlete, with very few breaks in between sets, help you develop the body you want?
OO: I think it is important to take a break from time to time between sets especially if you are super-setting your weight training routine. But yes, gauge how fatigued you are while training and that should determine when to take a break.
Which supplements do you take, if any at all?
OO: Just a basic whey protein drink and that’s it. My supplementation is very simple. I try to get the rest of my vitamin sources through whole foods. When I was younger I used to take a lot of supplements but I don’t anymore as I am happy with the lean muscle mass I have.
Why are certain supplements or training assistance tools necessary and on the flip side, why shouldn’t supplements be relied on as a crutch?
OO: Your supplementation is all based on your fitness goals. If you want to bulk up, you will probably take more supplements. If you want to get leaner you will probably take less supplements. Supplements are supposed to assist you, not be the end all in helping you get in shape.
What are the 5 most important tips you recommend for staying lean all year round like you?
OO: Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, follow a high protein/low carb diet, avoid high sugar and high sodium foods, stay consistent on aerobic and anaerobic training, and get 8 hours of sleep.
You have an online personal training business and write numerous articles. You have a passion for teaching others kind of like Muscle Prodigy does. That doesn’t go unnoticed and we need more people like you in this world. Explain your business and what is your motivation for being so active in helping others lead healthy lives?
OO: My online personal training business is designed to help people all over the world get in great shape. I prepare customized diet and training plans that will help you attain your fitness goals.
You’re constantly looking for new ventures and to be an active figure and role model. Describe what your future goals are?
OO: My future goal is to hopefully host my own fitness show on TV and another big goal is to make history and be the first male fitness model to be a spokesmodel for a mainstream product on a national level.
Typically, the opportunities of being a spokesmodel for a mainstream product go to actors, musicians, and high fashion models. I want to break that stereotypical spokesmodel fitness model mold.
I am working on something right now that I pray will happen that I believe will allow me to attain this goal of mine and I feel so blessed about this opportunity.
You have an incessant vigor to be the best. Will you ever be satisfied and when will self fulfillment ever be attained (according to you)?
OO: I don’t think I will ever be satisfied as I believe once you are satisfied that is when boredom sets in. You should never be complacent with what you are doing and should always continue to strive for more and set new goals for yourself.