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Whitney Reid

Whitney Reid went from playing football in high school and college to powerlifting. After attending the NPC Nationals to watch a friend compete, he changed course to become a competitive bodybuilder—but that desire morphed into a move toward fitness modeling. A good choice, as his very first photo shoot was for a cover.

Let’s catch up with Whitney and learn the secrets of his success.

DY: Congratulations on your first IRON MAN cover. How do you feel?

WR: It feels great. I also got to shoot with Figure Olympia winner Jennifer Gates, and it was such an honor. I was amazed to be chosen for that.

DY: Jennifer is gorgeous. I know it took a lot of discipline and hard work to achieve your condition for the cover. Is it your best condition to date?

WR: Yes. Over the past two years I’ve been slowly transitioning my body from a powerlifter’s build to a leaner fitness physique. My goals have drastically changed. They used to be to pack on mass and lift as heavy as possible. Now I stay lean all year long, not only for photo shoots but as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

DY: What is the primary challenge that you face getting ready for a photo shoot?

WR: Staying lean all year is a huge challenge for me because I love to eat. I’m from the South, so fried foods and homemade baked goods are always nearby, but nowadays I stick with a clean diet seven days a week and try to keep my bodyfat as low as possible. My training style has also changed.

DY: How did you overcome the mental challenges that it took to achieve your condition?

WR: To keep your body at a certain level of conditioning is a never-ending task. I work hard daily to make improvements. I like to do certain things to stay focused mentally—that applies to my health, finances, career or any other aspect of my life. You can apply them to any aspect of your life as well:

1) Have a written plan.

2) Review that plan daily and make changes as needed.

3) Say the plan out loud, discuss it with a training partner, trainer, friend, someone close to you.

4) have a vivid mental picture of the outcome you want. If it’s to be in the best shape of my life, I will plan for that and see how I look; if it’s to make a certain amount of money, I set that goal and imagine what it will be like once I’m there.

It’s critical to know your eventual result. If not, how do you know you have achieved your goal?

DY: I love that approach and use a similar strategy daily. How did the changes in your diet and training come about?

WR: Two years ago I started working with the “Pro Creator,” Hany Rambod, and he introduced me to his training system, FST-7—Fascia Stretch Training. At the end of each bodypart routine you perform an exercise for seven sets of 15 reps with only a 30-second rest between sets. That program is designed to stretch the fascia tissue that surrounds muscle fibers. The stretching will enable maximum muscle growth. It also brings vitamins, minerals, amino acids and oxygen into the muscle. Plus, I’ve incorporated cardio into my training at least five days per week.

DY: I’ve seen similar mass-building approaches, such as Eric Broser’s FD/FS and Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson’s Power-Density. How did you and Hany design your nutrition program?

WR: When preparing for a photo shoot, it’s a combination of my meal plan, training, cardio and supplements. Hany has been the key to my success when it comes to being razor sharp for my photo shoots. He designs my entire plan and makes adjustments weekly to keep me on track.

DY: How about giving us a sample day of eating meal by meal.

WR: My meal plan stays consistent throughout the year. I stick with a moderate-carb, lowfat and high-protein diet with an occasional cheat meal—but if my obliques begin to vanish, I get rid of the cheat meal. When I diet for a photo shoot, I drop carbs, raise protein and keep fat intake the same. Here’s an example of my diet four weeks out from a photo shoot:

Meal 1
12 egg whites
1/2 cup oatmeal

Meal 2
8 ounces ground turkey
3 ounces sweet potato

Meal 3
Protein shake

Meal 4
8 ounces tilapia
1/2 cup rice
1 cup broccoli

Meal 5
8 ounces tilapia
1/2 cup broccoli

Meal 6
12 egg whites

For my final week before a shoot every meal consists of ground turkey or tilapia; I remove all egg whites and protein shakes—I like to stick with all whole foods the week before my shoot.

DY: Do you work with a training partner?

WR: Absolutely. Having a workout partner is crucial to the success of my training. I think it’s important to have someone training with you who has similar goals so you keep each other on track. It’s great to have someone there to push you through your workouts and keep the intensity high in the gym. It can be tough to train alone and stay focused when dealing with dieting, especially when you’re extremely low on carbs.

DY: Is your training partner an important part of the preparation process?

WR: My training partner is also my business partner, Ron Stack. He’s a former personal-training client of mine and has had tremendous success in the gym over the past two years. He is a former college athlete and approached me to help get him back into shape. To date he’s lost nearly 30 pounds and is in excellent shape.

DY: That’s awesome. So is personal training your main source of income?

WR: I work only with a select few clients now. My business is East Coast Fitness. We sell new and used fitness equipment, and we’re certified to service all major gym equipment brands. For new equipment we deal with Matrix, and for used equipment we deal with every major brand. We completely refurbish all used pieces to make them look and feel new, and our prices are anywhere from 30 to 40 percent off retail. We help start-up gyms, small personal-training facilities, hotels, apartment complexes and corporate clients fully equip their facilities at a great value.

DY: That sounds like a great business. [Editor’s note: Find contact info for East Coast Fitness Equipment at the end of the interview.]

WR: Well, I’m also actively pursuing fitness modeling and acting work with the help of my agent, Silver Model Management. I was just cast as the Trojan condom man. We shot the first commercial three weeks ago. I’m the first real person to play the Trojan man.

DY: I’ve never interviewed a real superhero before. Tell me more about your training. Did you start out bodybuilding?

WR: Before I started working with Hany, my training focused mostly around the bench, squat and deadlift—all heavy. I originally started working out to be more competitive in athletics, concentrating on gaining size for football. Now I train more like a bodybuilder, focusing on building quality muscle rather than just putting on mass.

DY: Which body­parts respond easily for you, and which have been more challenging?

WR: Chest and tri’s have always been the most responsive muscle groups for me. I’ve always been naturally strong with all pushing exercises—bench, inclines, pushdowns. Hany has me focusing mostly on my upper chest now, doing heavy incline dumbbell presses, incline flyes and incline cable crossovers.

The most difficult muscle group for me to develop has been my quads. I’m 6’3” at 220 with long legs, so it seems no matter how hard I train them, I see very little growth. I actually enjoy training legs. In fact, squats—ass to calves—are one of my favorite exercises, but it’s been a slow process bringing my quads up to match my upper body.

DY: What are your favorite exercises? Are there any exercises you’re unusually strong on?

WR: My favorite exercises are incline dumbbell presses for chest and deadlifts for back and lower body. I’ve had a big bench from the day I started weight training. I usually work up to the 160-pound dumbbells for sets of 10 incline presses. My best deadlift to date is 595 pounds.

DY: Those are impressive numbers. How do you break out your training week?

WR: My training days rotate each week. I usually decide the day before I train what bodypart I’m going to work on. A typical week might break out like this:

Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 5: Arms

DY: Give me a week of your typical training program body­part by body­part.

WR: I’ll list a sample workout for a week [at right], but as I stated before, which days I train a body­part may actually be different depending on travel, work schedule or my energy level.

DY: You said you’re 6’3” at 220. What was your weight for the IRON MAN cover?

WR: I weighed 212 pounds when I shot the cover. I’m currently 220 and about the same body­fat percentage.

DY: What improvements did you make during your preparation for the cover?

WR: While training for this shoot, I noticed the best gains in my back and bi’s. I trained my back harder than ever, doing dumbbell rows, barbell rows and deadlifts every back workout. My favorite exercise for putting the finishing touches on a back workout is wide-grip cable pullovers.

DY: Who inspired you in your fitness career?

WR: I’m inspired by guys like Frank Sepe, Greg Plitt, Sebastian Siegal. Those guys have done great things with their careers, magazine covers, TV movies. I hope to one day be on the same level.

DY: Which nutritional products do you find useful?

WR: Supplements are a huge part of my training program. When you train as hard as possible every time you walk in the gym, supplements are key to helping recovery and muscle growth. I stick with the basics, like Cytosport whey protein, Met-Rx meal replacements, Eggwhites International and EVO, a supplement created by Hany that his pro and NPC athletes have been using over the past year.

DY: What kinds of mistakes did you make early on with your training and nutrition, and how did you end up with the program you use today?

WR: When I began weight training, I had no clue what I was doing. My main focus in the gym was to lift as heavy as possible. I didn’t realize the importance of correct form and actually working the muscle and not just moving the weight. My diet was horrendous as well. I was a hardgainer and thought that eating fast food every day would be a great way to get extra calories and put on the size that I wanted. Needless to say, it didn’t work, and before I knew it, I was fat and didn’t get any stronger. Lesson learned.

The crossover point in my training and nutrition came after I finished playing college ball. I became fascinated by bodybuilding. My competitive days on the field were over, and I discovered a way to channel that energy into the fitness world. At that point I realized how important proper diet and nutrition were to building quality muscle and keeping my bodyfat low.

DY: That’s an important lesson. At what point did you realize that fitness was what you wanted to do?

WR: As a youth I played sports all year round, and as I became more competitive and moved on to college ball, my fitness level and sport-specific training were a major part of my success. After college I focused my competitive nature on training and improving my physique. In 2004 I went to my first major bodybuilding show with [now IFBB pro] Curtis Bryant to watch him compete in the NPC Nationals. After the show I knew that I had to be involved in the industry, but I wasn’t sure where I could fit in.

When I first started training with Hany, our goal was to prep me for a state-level bodybuilding show. After training for several months, he suggested that I change my approach and move toward fitness modeling. At first I resisted the idea, but he knew what he was talking about, and my first photo shoot was for a cover. I love the exposure and feeling of accomplishment after training for weeks for the shoot. I hope the exposure I receive from the magazine covers becomes a platform for me to write, train and teach others interested in the fitness industry.

DY: That’s a great goal. So what’s next for you?

WR: With the fitness industry I see so many opportunities—commercial, print, video and all media outlets. The fitness industry continues to grow each year. As a personal trainer I’ve seen a huge increase in the baby boomer generation’s becoming more concerned with health and fitness. Given such a large demographic, I believe that the industry will continue to change, adapting to baby-boomer needs.

I also stay close to the bodybuilding world, helping local competitors prep for contests. I go to all major bodybuilding shows, and I just recently started judging NPC shows. I’m a huge fan of the sport, and it’s my way of connecting with the fitness world. I aspire to write and be more involved in the fitness industry. I hope that this is only the beginning for me.

DY: Let’s switch subjects. Who of the past and present exemplify the type of physique you consider to be ideal?

WR: My favorite bodybuilder of all time is Shawn Ray. As for today’s bodybuilders, I think Phil Heath is hands down the best.

DY: Good choices. What have been your biggest challenges in life and in your bodybuilding career? How did you overcome them?

WR: To be honest, I am challenged on a daily basis to train as hard as possible and to stay consistent with my meal plan. Sometimes I feel as if I alienate myself from friends and family because I stay so focused on my goals. Choosing a lifestyle with fitness being the center point is difficult. I can’t go out for my favorite Mexican food and beer with my friends on a weekly basis, visit the local Krispy Kreme or skip out on my training because I had a long day at work, but that’s the choice I make to achieve the outcome I want.

Editor’s note: To contact Whitney for fitness equipment, send e-mail to [email protected], join the East Coast Fitness Equipment Facebook fan page, or call (804) 612-9561 and get a full list of inventory. To contact Whitney for modeling or trade shows, go to IM

Day 1: Chest
Incline dumbbell presses 5 x 10
Incline dumbbell flyes 4 x 12
Hammer Strength incline presses 3 x 12
Cable flyes 7 x 15

Day 2: Back
Pulldowns 3 x 12
Top-end partial lat
pulldowns 2 x max
Deadlifts 4 x 10
Dumbbell rows 4 x 12
Barbell rows 3 x 10
Cable pullovers 7 x 15

Day 3: Legs
Leg extensions 5 x 12
Leg curls 5 x 12
Squats 4 x 12
Leg presses 4 x 10
Leg extensions 7 x 15

Day 4: Shoulders
Dumbbell presses 4 x 10
Plate front raises 3 x 12
Machine rear-delt flyes 5 x 12
Upright rows 3 x 12
Dumbbell shrugs 4 x 12
Lateral raises 7 x 15

Day 5: Arms
Close-grip bench presses 3 x 10
Overhead dumbbell extensions 4 x 12
Pushdowns 7 x 15
Straight-bar curls 3 x 12
Alternate dumbbell curls 4 x 10
Hammer curls 3 x 12
Hammer Strength
preacher curls 7 x 15

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