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Interview w/ Turner Riddle, NPC Bodybuilder / Coach

Interview w/ Turner Riddle, NPC Bodybuilder / Coach

Bodybuilding at the core is fundamentally a sport about growth, both on and off the stage. As with all growth, the sport itself has undergone an abundance of change – not all of which have been welcomed with opened arms. When we survey the cultural landscape of modern bodybuilding, it’s hard not to notice a few glaring changes that have developed in recent years, starting first and foremost with the explosion of contest prep coaches that seem to have appeared overnight. However, given that the number of competitors entering local and regional shows are as high as they’ve ever been, and the National level is still churning out future stars on a regular basis, so on the surface things still appear to be heading in the right direction.

While some of the original ‘gurus’ are still roaming the earth, like remnants from the cretaceous period; a new crop of young, innovative thinkers are blazing a trail for the next generation, and though he may not be a household name just yet, NPC National level competitor, Turner Riddle is slowly making a name for himself as one of up and coming elite coaches in the sport. Recently I had a chance to catch up with Turner to talk about life, bodybuilding, and what the future holds; you can read it all right here, on Bodybuilding.News 

Q.) Tell us about what first attracted you to bodybuilding.

A.) I started working out around 7th or 8th grade, as a smaller guy just trying to get my weight up for sports. Over the years of lifting, enjoying the gym, and getting bigger, that evolved into eventually deciding to compete. As a young kid, watching videos of Ronnie Colman deadlifting 800 lbs. and screaming “Yeah buddy!” was definitely motivating.

Turner, Competing as a Teen ’10

Q.) What was it that sparked your decision to step onstage for the first time?

A.) The owner of my gym, Steve Roten, was going compete in the final bodybuilding show of his career, and told me he thought it was a good idea for me to do a show, and if I was interested he would mentor me through the prep and diet. I took advantage of his offer, and competed at 19 years old in the Hub City Fitness Quest & The Southern Classic in 2010.

Q.) Bodybuilding is a sport of continuous evolution both inside and outside of the gym.  What would you say has been the key element to your evolution in the sport?

A.) Being stubborn as hell! Relentlessly working towards improving my physique and becoming more consistent in the process every single year, regardless of the obstacles.

Q.) Perhaps the biggest change that we’ve seen in the sport over the past few years has been infusion of prep coaches and self-proclaimed gurus. In your opinion, what’s been the reason for the change, do you feel that as a whole it’s led to an improvement in the quality of the athletes we see onstage?

A.) I feel like there’s a lot of interest for new people to compete, and they don’t want to take the time or have the knowledge to learn the process on their own. So, they hire a Chris Aceto, Chad Nichols, or Fak, but not everyone can afford these guys, which is where all the 10,000 new prep coaches come from; guys that have done two shows and feel like they can write a diet. Honestly, when it comes to quality, I’d say no because majority of the people trying to compete at a National or Junior National level have barely competed at a local level.

Q.) You’ve carved out a reputation for yourself as one of the up and coming young minds in the sport recently. What would you say makes your particular approach so unique? What factor(s) do you attribute to the success you’ve had thus far?

A.) I’m old school in my methods, I’m not trying to recreate the wheel. I’ve done a lot of things wrong, plain out experience through trial and error, which goes back to being very stubborn. One thing I would attribute to my success would be my mentality and work-ethic. I don’t believe in one rest day per week, overtraining, the need for one cheat meal per week, etc. I believe in being comfortable outside your comfort zone.

Turner Riddle_NPC_Bodybuilding_2014Q.) In addition to being a top level contest prep coach, you’re also a National level athlete yourself. Do you believe that going through the grind of contest prep helps you develop a closer connection to the mindset of your clients given you spend so much time in the trenches yourself?

A.) Yes, absolutely! I’ve been there, I know what they’re feeling, and what they’re going through. I know what training on no carbs and doing cardio two hours a day feels like. I don’t ever tell my clients to do something I haven’t already done before.

Q.) The internet can be both a blessing and a curse for the young bodybuilder. Do you believe that we have an over-saturation of opinions and information in the sport right now? What advice would you give someone that’s attempting to mine a few gems from the deep well of information we see today?

A.) Yes, I do. First of all, you get what you pay for, so don’t take the cheap way out. Most of the respectable people in the sport that have a wealth of knowledge are going to charge you for any that they bestow on you. Second, the proof is in the pudding, their records should speak for themselves. Make sure you choose someone who has experience in the direction you think you’re headed.

Q.) As some may already know, you have a unique relationship with one of the hottest commodities in the sport right now – someone people may have heard of – Dallas McCarver. What’s it been like watching a friend evolve from being totally unknown just a few years ago, to growing into someone people now call a future Olympia contender?

A.) Dallas and I have a unique relationship, we share the same mentality when it comes to work ethic. We are always bouncing ideas off each other and sharing knowledge; he has worked with a lot of top people in the industry, so when he gives me pointers, I’m always listening. It’s been fun, interesting, and motivating watching him progress. I have a great deal of confidence in him, sometimes more so than he does himself, and I know he will be an Olympia contender.

Q.) As of right now, what’s up next for Turner Riddle in the world of bodybuilding?

A.) Just in the gym every day, chipping away at the rock pile, and a National show soon.

Q.) If someone is looking to learn more about you, or potentially contact you for services, where can they find you? What’s the best way to contact you?

A.) Facebook, Instagram (@turner_riddle), or email (

Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed, I appreciate the support.

NPC News_Bodybuilding

Turner Riddle_NPC Bodybuilder_Interview

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