Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Fábio Veras, 42 and from Brazil. I’ve been working in the fitness industry for more than 25 years now.
I started as a competition bodybuilder and as a personal trainer and now I’m the CEO of Center of Physical Excellence where I manage a team of professionals including medical doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and personal trainers.
I’m also an owner of a supplement store in Brazil and I have a very good knowledge about sports nutrition and supplement. I’ve also had the opportunity to become a university teacher in Sports Nutrition and Weightlifting Methodology.
I’m still competing as a bodybuilder and I still manage lots of clients on my online personal trainer service where I use a Smartphone App to create training programs and give online support to clients all over the world.
As a bodybuilder, I keep daily training sessions and I’m proud of being one of the most consistent athletes over here. I have competed in junior, senior and master classes at IFBB.
Describe a typical day of training
I usually train five to six days a week, at least for one hour and depending on the goal, I’ll be doing some extra aerobic work.
In my 25 years of training, I had the opportunity to experiment almost every work schedule you can think of. I’ve learned a lot from experimentation with me and my clients. I am proud of my mastery in weightlifting. I also had a great opportunity to do strength coaching with the great Charles Poliquin.
I like variety in my training so I usually add some advanced techniques like supersets, dropsets, SST, peak contraction, rest pause. I vary a lot the angles, machines, free weights and I feel like the gym is a big playground where you can learn something new almost everyday.
I still find myself sometimes thinking: “I’ve never done this before” even after more than 25.000 hours spent inside gym training myself and others in those last 25 years.
One of the game changers for me was to have a few training partners all the time, so I’ve almost never trained alone. Some of them where my clients so I feel it’s good for them to train with their teacher and it’s good for me to keep motivation at a high level.
How do you keep going and push harder?
Motivation is a daily thing.
I think the most important factor for me nowadays is to always have someone to train with me. It’s good because I can keep teaching and giving my knowledge and my training partners keep pushing me.
I also think the competitions at the amateur level are good way to reach the peak level of my performance and body composition, and when I don’t have this goal, I feel I’m still consistent but I never go to 100%.
I always encourage my clients to compete at their sports.
I think at an amateur level, the competition is a way to motivate ourselves to give 110% on the preparation. It’s possible to reach a level of commitment that you just don’t achieve by training and dieting just to “get better” or “healthier”.
As I use to say, people who love triathlon dream of one day completing an Ironman, but most people never train the full Ironman on their training routine. It’s that extra edge that competition bring to us that let us achieve our maximum effort and commitment.
I’ve trained athletes from lots of different sports, including runners, MMA fighters, bodybuilders, triathletes, rowers, soccer players, judo and jiujitsu and some of them are world level athletes.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
My main focus at this time is at our Physical Center and growing this business and at the same time I’m preparing to celebrate my 25 years as a bodybuilder competitor next year.
We have two sons now, they are both 18 years old so me and my wife plan to enjoy life and travel more. I think we deserve it since we’ve been working for 12-14 hours a day for the last few years, you know, our family life was very demanding.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
I use lots of supplements, vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, phytonutrients, proteins, amino acids and think they are part of what made it possible for me to have this long career without injuring myself.
With a few exceptions, most of my supplements are Brazilian brands so you won’t find these in United States or other countries. Some of the best Brazilian supplement brands that I use are Essential Nutrition, Black Skull, Performance Nutrition, G2L Nutrition and Nutrata.
Whenever I feel some pain on my joints, I just take it easy on my training and give it enough time to get better. I do some sauna a few times a week and like to have some work with my physiotherapist over here to relax the muscles and take off accumulated tension.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I’ve tried almost every kind of diet you can think of. From ketogenic diet to intermittent fasting, I’ve tried it all. I found all diets are too restrictive or radical and not sustainable in the long run. I try to show people that diet is a marathon and not a 100 m sprint.
Most people think suffering is part of the process to become fit. I also thought this way in the beginning, eating just chicken breast and potatoes with no salt and restricting carbs too much in my early days.
Nowadays with all the science we have behind dieting, supplements and training, I think a more balanced approach is the way to go for consistent results.
Most of the time I keep it simple and try to calibrate my macros over 40-50% protein, 30-50% carbs and fats around 20% most of the time.
I use supplements year round and most of the time I take multivitamins, minerals, glutamine, BCAA, whey protein, pre-workout and I used to take lots of termogenic compounds but find nowadays that I do better using only the pre-workout so it won’t affect my sleep quality.
I do think we all need some kind of free meal since social life is important to keep your family and friends around.
I do body-composition analysis frequently so I’m able to keep year round below 10% bodyfat and that’s a good strategy if you plan to compete because it makes the cutting phase much more easy.
What has inspired and motivated you?
I was first inspired by Arnold Schwarzenegger and all the guys from Pumping Iron movie, which I know all the speech by heart.
I begun lifting weights at the age of 15. At age 18, I entered my first bodybuilding show.
I also became a personal trainer and an owner of a supplement store. At the early years of my career, I found the incredible work of Charles Poliquin who became my first strength coach.
After thousands of hours working as a personal trainer and sports nutrition specialist, I found that I became an inspiration for others and this was a changing point for my motivation since I felt I needed to be an example for all my clients, students, friends, and family.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
When I began 25 years ago, everything was very much empirical. We didn’t have as much knowledge in training and nutrition back in the day. We didn’t have as much supplements as we have know.
I sometimes think the excessive amount of information is confusing people more than helping than so my advice is to find your team, your master or mentor and follow his/her advice to the letter.
Be patient and give that person the chance to give you the results you want. If you find you’re not evolving, try another master just as you would do if you wanted to become a black belt in any martial arts.
Are you taking on clients right now?
Yes, I have my online training and nutrition program where I use smartphone apps to link myself to clients all over the world. With those apps, I can manage their training and nutrition on a daily basis and help them become better for much less than it would cost to have a one-on-one consultation.