Jeff Seid takes us through his life, fitness, nutrition, and how to win in business.
Making it to the top of any industry can amount to a man’s life work. It’s what drives us through the years to get to the goal and revel in our success. Call it whatever you like, but maybe the best way to say it is the pursuit of the American dream. For this month’s cover star, Jeff Seid, reaching the top and achieving his dream actually didn’t take all that long. At only 22, Seid has already been on magazine covers, has well over six million social media followers, won fitness contests, launched successful businesses, and is even eyeing what the future holds for him and his growing empire. There’s no rest for Seid, in the gym or in business. Intensity is the name of the game for this young man and it’s how he’s achieving his American dream. Here’s his take on fitness, nutrition, business, and life so you can follow yours!
WEIGHT: 210 pounds
LIVES: Los Angeles, CA
IRONMAN: What made you want to get into bodybuilding?
JEFF SEID: I started lifting weights when I was 11 years old to gain strength and [for] a competitive edge for sports. After noticing dramatic results in my physique early on, it turned into an addiction. It wasn’t until about six years of lifting weights that I discovered the world of bodybuilding. By then I had built a pretty impressive physique and was ready to make a name for myself in this new world I had discovered.
IM: Take us through the torn ACL injury and how that impacted on your life.
JS: The ACL tear was a pretty rough time in my life. After entering my senior year of high school, I was pretty confident in my future. My entire life leading up to that moment had been based around earning a full ride scholarship to play sports in college in order to help pay for schooling. After entering my senior year, everything had gone according to plan until I ended up tearing my ACL in my first football game of the season. It actually had been my teammate jumping in on a tackle with his head down that inevitably ended up with him taking out my extended knee while I was bringing down the ball carrier. After tearing my ACL, I was diagnosed and went into surgery immediately with hopes of being able to wrestle at the end of wrestling season. Unfortunately, I ended up tearing the new ACL again within a couple months and my dreams of playing in the next level of sports was crushed. I try to look at it like a blessing in disguise because if I had gone on to play football or wrestle in college I may have never gotten involved in the fitness world. Instead of dwelling on my misfortune, I picked myself up and kept moving forward.
IM: What was your first show like for you?
JS: My first bodybuilding show was the beginning of a new chapter in my life. After just discovering this new world a couple months prior, I had already found a show and was prepping for it. I ended up winning my class and the overall at the age of 17. Beating men twice my age and tenfold my experience. It was a good start to my career.
IM: What does being on a fitness and bodybuilding magazine cover mean to you?
JS: Being on a magazine cover is like a dream come true. It is amazing that I can be living my dreams at a young age. It may sound cliché but I have to say it: Hard work pays off.
IM: What do you do beyond fitness as an entrepreneur?
JS: Well currently I am the owner of different companies [including] a clothing company, teeth whitening company, online personal training services, member website, YouTube platform, FitPlan app partner, and a couple more projects in the works. I also travel the world attending expos with my companies and doing appearances. Luckily, I realized young that it is one thing to be sponsored and a whole other ball game to own your own company. Plus, utilizing residual income has been a very profitable area in my online businesses.
IM: You're also an author. Please tell us about your book, Guide to Aesthetics.
JS: This is a huge achievement and something I am very proud of! After about a year in writing, I finally released my first book. It’s over 160 pages of my bodybuilding secrets, including an autobiography and my journey to aesthetics. There are 30 pages of my top training tips including my personal routine and two 12-week workout plans. I also give a flexible dieting guide, supplementation advice, and finish the book off with how to live the aesthetic lifestyle. The book is available at jeffseid.com
IM: What are your workouts really like?
JS: The biggest thing about my workouts is intensity! Every single workout of my life is always high intensity. Whenever I walk into the gym, a switch turns on and [I] go into beast mode. I always focus on a strong mind-muscle connection throughout the workout and go to failure every set. I incorporate a lot of drop sets, supersets, progressive overload, etc in my training.
IM: What's your cheat meal of choice? Is it a cheat day or meal?
JS: My favorite cheat meal would definitely have to be ice cream! I won’t lie, I do have my occasional cheat meal or cheat day during a contest prep to keep me sane and to keep my muscles full, but only when my body needs one. Since I do all my competition prep myself I’ve been able to learn what works best for me. Now if I am in my off-season it is [a] completely different story. Bring on the cheat meals!
IM: You've got a closed Facebook group about fitness. Tell us what people can expect if they were to join.
JS: Recently I’ve been trying to think of a way to stay more engaged with my following and to keep that personal connection with them. I figured what better way than to create a Facebook group to invite anyone in who wants to join! This group is all about motivating each other and building a community. We post giveaway contests, daily updates, training advice, sample workouts, diets, etc. If you’re interested, just type ‘Team Seid’ in Facebook and join the group!
IM: What's the most important thing people don't realize about your success?
JS: I think the most important thing people don’t realize about my success is the struggle and dedication that goes into success. Everyone always sees the success aspect, but they don’t see the years and years of struggle. Success can only come through continuous effort and struggle. Just remember that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
IM: What is one thing people don't know about you that they'd never be able to guess?
JS: The biggest secret that I’ve never talked much about is how much of a nerd I am! I’ve read over 100 fantasy novels and was involved in honor classes and AP classes throughout my entire schooling career. Some of my favorite authors include: Terry Brooks, Steven Erikson, R.A. Salvatore, J.R.R. Tolkien, [and] Piers Anthony.
IM: Who do you look up to?
JS: One person I have always looked up to is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not just his bodybuilding success, but also his success as a human being has always inspired me.
IM: What does your everyday routine look like now?
JS: Currently I am following a six-day split. I train each muscle group twice a week. I run at the beach by my house every morning and follow a proper bodybuilding diet to stay in shape. I’ve always been a firm believer in staying athletic so I stretch frequently and live an active, healthy lifestyle.
IM: What does your life after fitness look like (or will you always be involved in fitness in some way or another)?
JS: Since recently moving to Los Angeles, my biggest goal is to keep growing as a person and building my success. This can come in many different ways but the one main goal of mine is to make [it] to the big screen. I’ve enrolled in acting school and [I'm] currently working on taking my life to the next level. I will always be involved in fitness, but there’s one thing about me: I am always striving to improve.
IM: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make it in fitness and/or fitness competing?
JS: If you want to make fitness your job, there are many steps you need to take to make it to the top. One of the biggest things is not letting others cloud your judgment. You want to be true to yourself because at the end of the day what makes you happy is ultimately what will lead you in living an enjoyable life. My advice would be [to] start a YouTube channel and release unique entertaining content to stand apart from the crowd. Set up a local photo shoot to build up a portfolio and of course take advantage of all the social media platforms available to you. At the end of the day, be you because nobody else can.