My story can be divided pretty squarely into two parts. Part one is the time it took for me to become a bodybuilder. Those early years when I was growing, learning, failing, and learning some more. Part two is the time period where I turned my hobby into a career. Without one phase, I wouldn’t have the other! At 15, 16 years old I had no idea I was building a foundation for my future self.
IT STARTED WITH A DREAM
I didn’t start out wanting to be an IFBB pro, and I had no idea what it meant to have a million followers on social media, all I wanted in the world was to be on the cover of a fitness magazine. Back before Instagram existed, I got my motivation from Flex Magazine or Muscular Development. Being on the cover of either magazine meant you had a physique people dreamed of. I wanted to be that guy!
For my 15th birthday I asked my parents for a bench press. I was playing football and wanted to start lifting weights more seriously at home. My dad threw me for a loop and bought me a squat rack. As a former collegiate athlete, he knew the key to a powerful physique was powerful legs. So my journey began! In the early years I paid no attention to diet, but had no problem packing in food. I didn’t know anything about macros, but I knew I needed to eat to grow.
At 19 I decided to enter my first bodybuilding show and I got rocked! My prep diet was less than ideal and I wasn’t even close to being in condition by the time I stepped on stage. The last 6 weeks before the show, my buddy recommended I try a pro-hormone from GNC. He had seen good results from it, and by that point I figured anything could help my situation. After a couple weeks I noticed some serious changes. Not only was it not helping my physique at all, my sex drive plummeted, and I started to notice gynecomastia in my right nipple. I panicked and stopped taking the pro-hormone cold-turkey, which sent my hormones into a tail spin. After that experience I swore I would never touch another outside substance in bodybuilding. No trophy was worth what I had gone through even in that short period of time. I never had the gynecomastia removed and it still shows as a reminder of that experience and the decision I made.
In my early 20’s I became fascinated with Natural Bodybuilding. I made it my goal to hit the stage again and I wanted to someday compete in a drug-tested Natural show.
In 2013 I had just won the overall at the NPC Washington Ironman. I landed my first sponsorship with Optimum Nutrition, and my athlete manager asked if I had an Instagram. “It would be a great way to promote ON supplements and your local demos!” I signed up that day and started posting old competition pics and ads for my demos at the local Vitamin Shoppe. My following grew like grass – hardly noticeable – but I kept posting! I watched closely to see what pictures got the most engagement and tried different types of content to see what stuck. Eventually I got the idea to post a workout routine every Wednesday. These caught on like crazy! I learned quickly that people enjoyed the workout content and wanted more. At the end of the first year I had just over 10k followers. My following was picking up, I felt like I had found my groove. Still working for my family’s trucking business, I was posting my workout clips on my breaks! I was starting to see that I could make a name for myself on social media and it was opening doors with Optimum as well.
THE QUAD GUY
Midway through 2015 I met a girl. We shared a common interest in bodybuilding and she had a passion for graphic design. She told me right away my demo posts sucked (in a sweet way). She helped me make them better and became my go-to girl for design work! When I decided to pursue online training to make a little money on the side, I asked if she could help build a website so people could contact me. By the end of the day she had it done. THEQUADGUY.com was born. Along with training inquiries, we decided to showcase all of the Workout Wednesdays on the site embedded from Instagram. Instead of having to scroll through my whole page, people could now access them all in one place. This sparked an idea to create a space where people could access my workout tips, videos of exercises, and general training advice that wasn’t available on Instagram. By December 31st of that same year were ready to launch the subscription site! That first day we had 33 people sign up. We watched each new subscriber pop up on our phones with excitement. We were both ecstatic and slightly disappointed. The site worked flawlessly but we were definitely worried - what would ever come of our handful of $6 transactions?!
Three years, one key idea (The Daily Pump), and just a few subscribers later, we’ve managed to build a business that allowed us both to quit our day jobs and pursue full time! My story, and the story of the business, is a reminder that nothing good comes easy. I still remember the days when I had 2 new followers, or when I had notifications turned on for each new subscriber. Would it have been awesome to have 50,000 sign ups that first day? Hell yeah. But I’m glad we didn’t. We learned the value of our talent and our content by working at it every single day.
I know eventually I’ll be an old guy who won’t be as relevant in the fitness world anymore, but I’ve already accomplished something far greater than my original dream. I get to workout and do what I love every single day. I put out content that my 15 year old self would’ve killed for, and the people who find value in that information give me purpose! I appreciate every single direct message, email, and handshake from people all over the world. I don’t care if you follow me for the training, for the dogs, or for the scare-tactics shenanigans. You might be a pro athlete or it’s your very first day. Natural, unnatural, or extra-terrestrial - all are welcome and I’m glad you’re here.
HEIGHT: 6 FEET