Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hey wasup I’m Victor Egonu from the US living in Baltimore, MD where I am a manager at an Adult Medical Day Care and Physical Therapy center for elderly as well as run my side business personal training studio coaching healthcare professionals who want to lose fat and build muscle.
Being on the path to med school was great but I decided to switch paths after earning a master’s in biomedical sciences and pursue my passion for running businesses in the health and fitness industries. My goal is to scale the company even more. I have a beautiful girlfriend who I enjoy spending quality time with.
Most of my major accomplishments have come in my sport of drug-free bodybuilding where I currently compete as a pro and have qualified and placed 2nd (in 2015 to Brian Whitacre) and 3rd (in 2018 to Meshack Ochieng) in the OCB Yorton Cup World Championships.
I have been training for 12yrs after high school track and field where I used to sprint and do the long and triple jump. The coach would always ask where I was, when I was supposed to be doing running drills, and of course I was sneaking into the weight room.
I just really enjoyed the fact I could change my strength and how I felt by working out and pursued that after high school and beyond. My goal was to get stronger and add size to my, at the time, 138lb frame.
Surprisingly the weight training improved my track performance as I had developed stronger legs so I was able to run faster and jump further.
My sponsors of USPlabs are rebranding under a different name currently but after signing me back in 2014 I am thankful for their support via supplements such as Modern BCAA+ etc.
The thing I like the most about bodybuilding and fitness is the ability to push one’s limits and share what I learn with others helping them do the same!
Describe a typical day of training
My training methods are rather simple… heavy as possible with good form all while focusing on areas that will create a symmetrical physique. I split up my training by day so Mon: Back, Tues: Chest, Wed: off, Thurs: legs, Fri: shoulders, Sat: arms.
I usually hit the gym 5-6x per week for about 1 to 1.5hrs. I focus on compound exercises and follow-up with isolation exercises to fill in the gaps via multiple angles.
My favorite gym is Exile Fitness, a great bodybuilding gym in Baltimore, MD where Kevin Levrone (the Maryland Muscle Machine) occasionally trains. It also has tons of bodybuilding and powerlifting equipment and space. Serious gym.
I don’t have the most consistent schedule, so I usually have to train alone not to mention I enjoy “me time” during the 1.5hrs per day. I keep my focus via wireless earbuds with a good playlist on shuffle.
Before hitting the gym, I’ll be sure to get in a meal or 2, then take some pre-workout or make my own (creatine, citrulline, beta-alanine, BCAAs, and my favorite…Agmatine Sulfate). Or take a product that has all of them.
As far as the brands, I take creatine monohydrate from BodyTech. The citrulline, agmatine and beta-alanine I get for really cheap from PureBulk. The BCAA’s is from my sponsors Modern BCAA+ but I also like AminoCore by Allmax Nutrition.
I train with equipment that keeps my joints safe (elbow sleeves for presses, straps for heavy pulls and rows, belt for squats and so on. I try to keep my rest periods between 1-2min and use my Fitbit to monitor that time as well as total workout duration to make sure I’m not wasting time.
I will jot down my lifts for the day in my workout log books (I have a huge stack of years of these things) so I know when progress is happening.
How do you keep going and push harder?
Running a business can definitely make going to the gym hard but I take the perspective as it being a perfect outlet for stress relief and to reach my goals of becoming a drug-free bodybuilding world champion.
When it comes to making gains and maintaining longevity in this sport I have a little saying that goes “Work hard in a smart direction” which means I figure out which lifts, foods, etc. will give me the best results and then work ultra-hard at it.
I think the best secret to gains after you get your training down is WPS: water, protein and sleep. You master enough hydration, protein and recovery and you’ll make great gains.
Back in 2012 I had to undergo a leg lengthening surgery to correct a height imbalance between my right and left legs which was causing scoliosis and back problems.
I considered the fact I was fortunate enough to get back to training was a God-sent and second chance. So, every time I step in the gym I go all out.
I train smart but hard, heavy and intense. In fact, a good powerlifting and strongman buddy of mine gave me the nickname “Cyborg” because of how I train like a machine, fast, efficient and focused on the task… (and I guess because I had metallic reconstruction during surgery…and I also have the name Victor like Victor Stone the Cyborg lol).
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Now I’m in my 2019-2020 offseason to improve my physique before I compete next. I really have found a good stride in lifting right now focusing on heavy lifts to build better size while following it up with enough isolation for good shape and separation.
My goals in bodybuilding is simple…to win a world championship title (or two) and move on to another hobby/sport afterwards. I love bodybuilding and will always do it but not always competitively.
I plan to win this world title during my next season (possibly 2021). The reason I want to move on is because like I was little, when I beat a game I was always after the next challenge.
Also, competing as a drug-free pro bodybuilder having to train the way I do, as great as it is, it takes a serious toll. My CNS (central nervous system), joints and overall energy takes hits from the level of training I have to do to reach my goals.
Now even though I say I won’t compete again, many have come out of retirement so never say never.
I plan to start a family and scale my business to be as major a success as my bodybuilding career. High performers excel in multiple areas of life and I like to think I am one.
If I could start all over, I would have started squatting and deadlifting sooner. They are priceless for bodybuilding and life!
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Safety is the name of the game in bodybuilding. Recently, (Aug 2019) I strained my left hamstring during a deadlift. It didn’t require surgery thank goodness but what I did was simply train around the injury and plan my 2-week vacation with no training whatsoever.
While down, I reduced inflammation, rested, ate plenty of protein and drank tons of water and took appropriate joint supplements (Animal Flex, Superior Cissus, Protein shake and a special muscle rub called T-relief Extra Strength…I love this stuff!). This helped me get better so now I’m back to training hard again.
I don’t sleep much (5.5-6hrs per night) probably because of the businesses but it seems to do okay by me because I enjoy what I do. Regardless, I plan to get more sleep this offseason to better amplify gains.
I also try to work out in the morning/mid-morning so my schedule is more consistent but even so it isn’t always. I just get in training when I can.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
My diet is pretty basic. I plan out how many calories I need to build size and then divvy it up into carbs, protein and fats. I stress protein, use ample carbs for energy and fill the rest in with fats.
I use supplements to gain an edge in my training. I stick to whey protein, pre-workout, BCAA, joint supplement and basic vitamins (multi, C, etc.).
The Pre-workout is usually the one I make myself or Muscle Pharm Assault Black. The BCAA is Modern BCAA+ and the Joint Supplements is Animal Flex by Universal Nutrition. Vitamins are usually random brands.
My nutrition is the key for my longevity and success in the sport. Without it I wouldn’t have gotten nearly as far. I love eating protein pancakes/waffles for breakfast, and other cheat meals as I see fit without ruining my diet.
When I go out with the girlfriend or at a family holiday party, I just eat protein before leaving, and enjoy myself if I am able. If dieting, I just tell people and they usually get it.
I’m not one to care what others think about if I am being “social-enough” or not, especially for the major goals I’m after. They can eat with me during my celebration party if they can keep up lol!
I split my training season into an offseason and contest season. Which is basically bulking and cutting respectively. When I cut I am way more strict on my calorie control and make sure I get in my protein etc. Usually lean proteins, lower carbs and moderate fats with tons of water (up to 3 gallons some days) to help with keeping my hunger at bay.
I usually chew gum between meals to prevent snacking. I also have to rely on fat burners such as Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite Next Gen from Muscle Tech and pre-workouts like Muscle Pharm Assault Black when energy is abysmally low.
I’m not a big alcohol drinker, never have been so I usually cut it out when cutting maybe a glass of wine as I am half-Italian.
What has inspired and motivated you?
Motivation is important but consistency is so much more. My favorite books are Grit by Angela Duckworth as it’s about the ability to essentially get knocked down and get back up time and time again.
I’ll also listen to business podcasts as well as Ask Dave by Dave Palumbo of RX muscle as he has great bodybuilding tips etc. In the gym however, I usually listen to rap or some sort of rock to get me amped up.
The best advice I’ve ever received is to not let other’s opinion of you affect what you want to do. No one has the right to judge you and if they do, ignore them and or prove them wrong and yourself right!
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
If you are new to bodybuilding my advice is to focus on eating whole foods of protein, carbs and healthy fats. Things like lean red meat, eggs, chicken, salmon are great choices. Then carbs like oatmeal, potatoes, rice and fruits. Finally, the fats from the protein in addition to peanut butter and healthy oils will ensure optimal hormone levels.
I would say nail your nutrition first and then approach a sustainable training program. If you don’t know how, ask a coach or research a reliable source for assistance. I suggest plan out 3 days per week you can work out with weights training each major muscle group (legs, chest, back, shoulders, arms).
Then try to eat about 1g of protein per lb. per body weight which varies for each individual. Then add in some supplements that will give you an edge or make things more convenient such as protein shakes, pre workouts etc.
Focus on safe and quality (best bang for your buck) lifts, eat and rest! That’s the secret to the best gains.
For the advanced trainees, just focus on weaknesses. Eliminating wasteful junk food or drinks, training with exercises to fill in your physique gaps and use intensity techniques like drop sets, rest pauses and negatives to make more progress.
The dumbest things I’ve seen in the gym is when people don’t put their weights away. I forgot to mention the most important secret to gains is that of putting the weights away. It works your “not-being-inconsiderate” muscle which allows you to grow waaaay faster lol.
When I was in track and field, training with weights helped me secure a spot on the varsity team much faster if I hadn’t. So, train enough to improve, not so much to over train and hinder your sports performance.
Also, when it comes to finding balance in life, I say don’t stress out. If you can’t make the gym at a specific time, get it in when you can. And if you have a competition coming up, hanging out with friends or family may take a temporary hit.
Balance is more long term than short term so enjoy your current activities and don’t worry to keep cortisol and blood pressure low.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I do coach clients online but with a busy schedule I ask that the person applying have a good work ethic and goals to make a dramatic transformation. Losing 10 lbs isn’t significant enough as 30-50 lbs is.
Where can we learn more about you?
Ready to get really fit and inspired?
I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.
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