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IFBB Physique Pro, Chad Abner Interview

IFBB Physique Pro, Chad Abner Interview

Tell us who you are and a bit about where you come from.
My name is Chad Abner. I’m an IFBB Pro. I achieved my pro status as a men’s physique competitor. I’ve lived in Lexington KY for several years. I’m a full-time trainer, coach, and nutrition specialist with multiple certifications and degrees in exercise science and dietetics.

How did you get started in fitness and competing?
I played sports all my life, baseball in college, and got my degree in exercise science. I followed bodybuilding from the time I was a teenager and getting out into the gym full time it was just a natural transition. As an athlete, you need that competitive spark to push you to be your best, so it was the perfect fit. I trained to compete for a few years trying to build slowly the amount of lean mass it required being on the tall side; then, when physique emerged, it was a good option being 6’2. I could walk around at a healthy weight and feel good without having to carry so much weight that made me tired/struggle to bend and tie my shoes. I walk around at 235 or so now. Once I’m over 245, I don’t feel good. My body resists the extra weight.

Explain to us what your process is when you are getting ready for a competition.
I typically train four days per week offseason or leading into starting prep. Once I start prep, I start increasing my volume, eventually training 7-12 times per week. Off season, I only do cardio once or twice per week for health and just, so it isn’t terrible when I have to increase it as my prep moves forward. I try to do more weight training and conditioning then cardio, but cardio becomes necessary as calories get low, and the higher intensity conditioning takes too much of a toll.
Although I love pushing myself with battle ropes, sleds, kettlebells, and speed work as opposed to grinding out on the steps or treadmill.

Chad Abner_Kentucky_Mens Physique

Can you talk a little bit about competing in your first show? What was that like and how did it affect you heading to compete at the national level?
My first show was very different than it is now. I was involved in the very early stages of physique; posing was non existent. It was a front relaxed that was relaxed and a back pose those was relaxed. I won the overall, and that gave me confidence moving forward that I was on the right track for things to come. My first national show was a real eye opening experience. Posing had emerged, and guys were doing transitions. I was overwhelmed, but that experience led me to go back and build on my physique and posing skills.

After placing where you did at the national level and earning your IFBB Pro status, can you explain a little bit about the sacrifices an athlete of your caliber has to make to get to this level?
To compete against the top guys in the world it requires a very well thought out plan, some sacrifices, and a lot of grinding through tough times. I’m a big guy with a wide structure, so I have to suffer to bring in a small tight waist while not losing too much of my fullness through the delts and arms. Another case of being tall making it hard, but when it comes together perfectly it’s a very nice look.
I don’t go out at all during prep, and I carry all my prepared meals, and my water, as well as my arsenal of Genone supplements everywhere I go. Typically I have an isobag, and backpack for my meals my and supplements. Everyone knows I’m prepping and these days they don’t even take a second take when I walk in looking like I’m moving in.

Let’s talk a little bit about pro shows. How do you feel that you stack up against some of the more seasoned IFBB Physique Pros?
The guys that place best are typically guys with an amazing structure. It’s hard to compete against that, but I’ve managed to do my best by bringing razor sharp conditioning. The best placings I’ve had were when I’d been my most conditioned and didn’t leave anything on the table. For me to compete against the younger guys with a better structure, I have to be willing to out work and suffer more. It takes a toll, and I have to be smart about which shows I choose to compete. I can’t get carried away and do six shows over the course of a season anymore, or my body starts breaking down and not responding.

Chad Abner_MPD_IFBB Pro

Explain to us a little bit about your nutrition process. How do you go about your diet?
I used just to pull carbs and eat more fish like everyone. Over the last few years, I’ve learned that I do better on moderate to higher carbs and keeping my fats low. My body doesn’t do well with fats, so I use coconut oil, and real omega three butter. Other than that a touch of a mind butter here or there but it’s mostly lean proteins, good carbs, some vegetables and my supplements. Utilizing an Intra workout drink has been the key for me to make progress and recovering from the intense training I do.

Give us a few examples of things you have learned as an amateur athlete that has made you a better pro.
Don’t take things personally. I heard so many different opinions from judges that contradicted one another or feedback saying I couldn’t compete against guys that were younger or had better structure. Nothing is ever personal, it’s an opinion, often it’s not even an informed opinion. Improve your weak areas and highlight your strengths. At the end of the day, it’s you against you.

Obviously, the road to IFBB Pro status is a journey, is there anyone that you would like to thank or shout out that has helped you along the way?
My beautiful daughter Mattie, my family, my sponsors Genone Nutrition, Atp Extreme, and half moon designs, and John Meadows for my programming and answering so many questions, I’ve had.

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