Full name: Zinjun Croon
Nickname: Zin—my name is a Buddhist word that means “the light that shines on others.”
Date of birth: February 8, 1985
Off-season weight: 280
Contest weight: 225
Current residence: Las Vegas
Years training: Weights since age 12; bodybuilding since college
Occupation: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino staffer and nutrition store sales associate
Marital status: Single
Hobbies: I like to take my pit bull running out in the mountains, but my real passion is restoring, building and modifying cars—domestic and import, but mostly sports cars.
How did you get into bodybuilding? I was interested in bodybuilding from an early age because my father, Larry Croon, managed and owned gyms in San Jose and San Mateo, California, while I was growing up. I used to watch him and his friends work out, but he wouldn’t let me touch a weight until I was 12. I didn’t really get into bodybuilding until after I hurt my ankle and was unable to play football at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where I was a running back. I’d lost my love for the game by then anyway. Then I happened to walk into a nutrition store owned by national-level middleweight competitor Garret Allin, who immediately noticed my potential. Garret really showed me how to train and eat like a bodybuilder, and he told me I could be very good at it if I wanted to.
Who inspired you when you were starting out? The physiques that motivated me in the early days were Flex Wheeler, Kevin Levrone, Shawn Ray and Jay Cutler. I met Jay in the gym out here in Las Vegas a few years ago, and he made me see that he had the same goals and dreams that I had when I was younger. That gave me a huge jolt of encouragement. Jay became a mentor and a friend, and he’s still very much a role model for me.
Top titles: ’09 NPC Nationals, heavyweight, sixth; ’09 NPC Junior Nationals, heavyweight, 1st; ’09 NPC USA Championships, heavyweight, fifth
Favorite bodypart to train: Legs or arms
Favorite exercise: Jefferson lift
Least favorite exercise: Don’t have one.
Best bodypart: Legs and overall thickness
Most challenging bodypart: Back width and upper chest
Obstacles overcome: As an only child, I got very used to doing things on my own and never asking for help. I’m also an overachiever and tend to put too many things on my plate. I left home for good at age 17, and it’s been difficult opening up and not being so much of a loner.
What kinds of ideas get you through the day—or, let’s say, get you through life itself? Everything happens for a reason. God has a plan for you. No matter what happens, you have to roll with the punches. Always stay positive, and look for the positive in even what seem like the worst situations.
How do you stay motivated? For one thing, I hate to lose. Now, I also have family, friends and fans who all expect to see me do well in the sport. I appear in Jay Cutler’s new DVD, too, and now I’m getting more encouragement for having such a good physique at such a young age. All that feeds my motivation.
How would you describe your training style? It’s intense, with a lot of emphasis on stretching and squeezing the muscles. I train as heavy as possible with good form. My reps are mainly eight to 10 in the off-season, 12 to 20 precontest.
Wednesday: Chest and triceps
Saturday: Back and biceps
Note that every workout starts with calves. Also, he does cardio and ab work every day.
Favorite clean meal: Steak and a sweet potato
Favorite cheat meal: Pizza; burgers a close second
What is your favorite MuscleTech Hardcore supplement, and why? I love NitroTech Hardcore, and I use it every day. It’s so versatile! In the off-season I can add fruit and skim milk to it and use it for mass gaining, or during a precontest phase I just mix it with water. Year-round, I have two NitroTech shakes a day as a way to help get all the quality protein I need. I also like the new Vitakic product. It’s a multivitamin with cool extras like amino acids and antioxidants.
Goals in the sport: We all dream of being on the Mr. Olympia stage and making the top five—or better yet, winning the title. For now I’m taking it one show at a time as I work toward getting my pro card. I’m working with Hany Rambod, and that increases my confidence level dramatically. I want to bring something to bodybuilding that’s been missing since the days of Shawn, Kevin and a young Jay, so stay tuned.
Full Training Routine
Standing calf raises 3-4 x 10
Leg press calf raises 3-4 x 10
Seated calf raises 3-4 x 10
Barbell militarypresses 3-4 x 10-12
Dumbbell laterals 3-4 x 10-12
Cable rear laterals 3-4 x 10-12
Reverse pec deck 3-4 x 10-12
Machine laterals 3-4 x 10-12
Dumbbell front raises 3-4 x 10-12
Leg extensions 4–5 x 15
Squats 4–5 x 12–15
Leg presses 4–5 x 12–15
Abductor machine 5 x 12
Adductor machine 5 x 12
Reverse hack squats 5 x 12
Lying leg curls 4-5 x 12-15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 4-5 x 12-15
Lunges 4 x up and down gym floor
Leg presses (feet high) 4 x 15
Bench stepups 4 x 15
Chest and triceps
Hammer Strength incline presses 4 x 10-12
Incline dumbbell flyes 4 x 10-12
Pec deck flyes 4 x 10-12
Cable crossovers High pulley 2 x 12
Cable crossovers Low pulley 2 x 12
Flat-bench dumbbell presses 4 x 10-12
Decline dumbbell presses 4 x 10-12
Rope cable pushdown* 3 x 30
Hammer Strength dips 4 x 10-12
Overhead dumbbell extensions 4 x 12
Back and biceps
Pullups 4-5 x 10-12
Reverse-grip pulldowns 4-5 x 10-12
Dumbbell rows 4-5 x 10-12
Cable rows 4–5 x 10–12
Hammer Strength rows 4-5 x 10-12
Hammer Strength pulldowns 4-5 x 10-12
Dumbbell curls 4 x 10
Cable curls* 3 x 30
Hammer Strength curls 4 x 10-12
*On these he does 10 reps, adds weight, does 10 more and adds more weight for a final 10.
Daily Diet and Supplements
Upon waking: Vitakic, Cryotest, Hydroxycut Hardcore
Cardio: 45 minutes
Postcardio: Amino Prototype
Meal 1: 10 egg whites, 3 whole eggs, 50 grams oatmeal
Meal 2: 12 ounces ground turkey, 50 grams brown rice
Meal 3: 12 ounces steak, asparagus
Preworkout: Nano Vapor RTD
Meal 4: NitroTech Hardcore shake
Meal 5: 12 ounces tilapia, 50 grams brown rice
Meal 6: 12 ounces tilapia, green salad
Meal 7: NitroTech Hardcore shake
Web site: www.ZinjunCroon.com IM