Instagram, @matt_karstetter - photo by Doug Jantz
Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello and thanks for reading. My name is Matt Karstetter, I am 36 years old and I currently live in Kansas City, MO USA.
I am married to my favorite person on the planet, my wife Alexis, and we have a 3-year-old English Bulldog named Gus. Both Alexis and Gus work for the family businesses and make it all worthwhile.
I love business and bodybuilding and I have true, unrelenting passion for both. In addition to being a competitive bodybuilder, for the past 12 years I have made my living as a ICC nationally licensed general contractor, land developer, and multi business owner.
I have been blessed with the ability to pair my skill set in the fitness industry by building multiple gyms, “The Foundation Sports Training Facility” as well as making gym-related products “Gym Hemp” and “Call Sign Fitness”.
Describe a typical day of training
In the sport of bodybuilding consistency wins the race. Sometimes being a business professional can make this difficult at times, so I have done my best to align my business focus with my training and eating schedule so I can still live the bodybuilding dream.
Often this is easier said than done, as both require complete focus to be successful at the highest level, but it is possible.
I generally train three days in a row for approximately an hour each day and then take a rest day. I structure my meals to support my training schedule and current physique goals.
Being a bit of both endomorph and ectomorph, I have an extremely high metabolism so in the off-season I just and take down about as many calories as possible, generally clean with a cheat meal every other day.
Doing so I am still able to remain fairly lean compared to most, even when operating in a caloric surplus, so cardio is kept to a minimum and is more for heart health rather than fat loss.
It is difficult to coordinate schedules, but I do prefer training with a partner especially in the off-season. My current training partner is Jason May, who just placed 5th in the super heavy class at NPC Nationals in Miami. He should have won, but hey I’m not on the judging panel lol.
I don’t like being out worked so training with someone who is bigger and stronger like Jason forces me to take things to another level.
How do you keep going and push harder?
I don’t require a lot of external motivation to get things done but having someone to keep you accountable is always helpful. That can be your training partner, personal trainer, coach and yourself.
For me, I am always trying to get better and I set goals to ensure this happens. I pride myself on doing what I say I am going to do. This is not only in regards to friends, family and business partners but also equally important to honor commitments to yourself.
I respect myself and if I make a personal, internal commitment to myself you better believe I keep it. I don’t live for this world and others’ opinions of me. I live for my faith, my eternity and the legacy I want to leave.
Of course, I like most everyone wants to be liked but what others think of me isn’t of much concern to me. I do my best to live a moral life and I make a point to face problems head on.
My aim is to be able to look every person I interact with directly in the eyes. “All men count, but none too much.” “Walk with kings, nor lose the common touch.”
When motivation is low, I like to read or listen to motivational poetry like the one I quoted above by Rudyard Kipling. It keeps me sane and reminds me others have been where I am now and made it through.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today is 12/17/2019. I am doing well and training for the past month has been great. I just opened a new gym in the heart of Kansas City, The Foundation Westport 24 hr Gym on 11/15/2019 and I am up 18 lbs. Currently sitting at 230 lbs.
While the off-season goal is 255 lbs., I first must recover from the 8-months of blood, sweat and tears it took to build this gym I am writing you from now.
It was worth every bit of the sacrifice but working 80 hour weeks, eating one to two meals a day and hardly sleeping to accomplish this task caused me to lose 30 lbs. of mostly muscle. That being said, my goal is to win the heavyweight class at North Americans in 2020.
This year, next year and every year for that matter is a business and bodybuilding balancing act for me and is something that I plan to dominate. I also plan to continue opening gyms across the mid-west when and where it makes sense, and I also have plans to offer my brand, “Call Sign Fitness” to the public and US military.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
In bodybuilding, the chances of getting hurt is 100%, especially after your 20s. You just do your best to train around the injuries and heal as quickly as possible. Deep tissue massage work, yoga/stretching and mediation work the best for me.
I keep it pretty quiet but I have a very high anxiety at times. This just comes with the territory when doing the type of work I do. Quality sleep is one of the most important parts of my being.
I am not one that does well on low sleep, and I have trouble shutting my mind off when it’s time to go to bed. My body can be totally spent but my mind reels and it can be extremely frustrating.
I am a light sleeper so I do my best to limit sleep interruption, primarily sound and light. I also try and go to sleep and wake around the same time each day, be it a weekday or weekend.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My current diet is five to six meals per day and I shoot for around 5k calories per day. While I eat a lot of chicken and beef, lately I have been adding more and more plant-based protein options and my digestion has been much much better.
I don’t drink alcohol much at all and I limit my coffee intake to one cup in the morning. Food is the best supplement you can buy. I eat to grow and to lean out. It’s just a matter of what you eat and when to accomplish the current goal.
When I am on a diet it’s all on me. I can be around pizza and burgers and it doesn’t really phase me. Bodybuilding and contest prep is a personal decision so don’t act like other people have to do as you do.
Don’t be the drama queen that has to make everyone else feel bad for you. Yeah, you’re on a diet, big deal. It’s not super strict forever, just for now and you chose this. Stop complaining. That’s a rookie move.
My go-to for protein powder, glutamine, creatine, etc. is 1st Phorm. It is high quality; my body digest their products well and I also respect how the company operates as a whole.
What has inspired and motivated you?
I really enjoy listening to podcasts and motivational speakers like Joe Rogan, Jocko Willink, Jordan Peterson, Charles Bukowski, Jim Rohn.
There are two rules for success:
1. Never reveal everything you know
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Just get started. Make movement toward your goal every day. Formulate a plan and then implement it. Talk less, do more and don’t expect anyone else to care.
Foolish thing I saw inside the gym is ego lifting and ¼ rep squats. Also, one thing that most people in the gym do wrong is when they assume other people are watching them or care.
Are you taking on clients right now?
Not currently but I will be ready for clients next month. For coaching contact me at [email protected]