Aesthetic Overload: Matt Christianer IFBB Pro talks with TheGymLifestyle.com

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Matt Christianer IFBB Pro
Matt Christianer

Quick stats

  • Age:  30
  • Location: West Hollywood, CA
  • Height: 5′ 9
  • Weight: 170

How did you get started with fitness, training and living the gym lifestyle?

At the age of 15, when I lived in Ohio, I started training to prepare for basketball season. My entire life changed when my parents moved to Payson, AZ. My neighbor, Bill, had an incredible physique and helped me get a job at a local gym. At only 95 lbs., I was determined to build my physique.  I learned a great deal those early years, working at Payson Athletic Club, being mentored by Bill, and taking advice from experienced trainers.

At 17, I was involved in a near fatal car accident. My friends and I rolled a 79’ Chevy three and a half times. I wasn’t wearing a seat belt and after being bounced around, came away with a broken hip, femur and head trauma. It was one of those moments in your life where you don’t just remember the event, but you remember how it felt.

After several days in the hospital, the nurses allowed me to get up and I saw myself in the mirror shocked at my appearance, but grateful to be alive.
   A few weeks later, I wheeled myself into the gym. My friends, which included club members and trainers, would help me by setting up my weights, racking and unracking them. Without their support, I could have never trained like I did being in a wheelchair. I was young and angry. Angry to be starting high school in a new town and livid that I had lost a year and a half of work that I had put into the gym due to the accident. Because of this, I took it all out on the weights. After a 2nd surgery a year later, I was cleared to train legs again. However, I did not dare step on stage yet, feeling that my lower body was out of balance from my upper body. It took me nine grueling years to get my legs to catch up to my upper body.  At 26, I went on to compete and win my first ever bodybuilding show.

In 2011, I became the 1st ever Pro in the IFBB for Men’s Physique.

Within the next two years, I achieved three Pro wins; 2012 IFBB O.C. Muscle Classic, 2012 IFBB Governor’s Cup and 2013 IFBB LA Grand Prix. In September, I competed as a contender in the 1st ever Men’s Physique Olympia in Las Vegas and most recently, in October, I took 2nd place at the Titans Grand Prix in Culver City.

Matt Christianer Fitness

Where does your motivation come from?

It comes from different places. My motivation came from within at an early age. Getting bullied and also coming back from my near fatal car accident is where it all started. As years went on my motivation changed, I started seeing a future career in this industry. I started seeing I could make an impact a  difference in someones life both inside the gym and out. I began using anything as motivation, if something good in my life would happen I would focus on that positive energy, and I became so good at this that as more time went on I began using negative things in my life as motivation to make positive changes in my life. My motivation is now to give back to everyone who helped me get this far..Number 1 on my list is my parents, I will not rest until I can retire them!

I also get motivation from surrounding myself with likeminded people. I live with another fitness competitor, Shaka Smith and being on the same page when it comes to diet and training helps. I have so many friends in the fitness industry and even supporters on social media, that continually drive me to improve daily.

However, one of my biggest motivations is others peoples doubt, when someone says, you can’t do that, no one has done that….This is what excites me the most, proving the naysayers wrong, but doing it on my terms, for the right reasons!

Matt Christianer Fitness

What’s your current training philosophy?

I am very instinctive in my training and my workouts are based on how I feel that day. Did I sleep enough? Did I get all my meals in that day? Am I feeling weak or strong? Did I have a stressful day? Is any part of my body injured?

My workouts are based in the moment and on the spot. If something feels good, I’ll do 4-8 sets of it. Typically, if I do a set or two and it doesn’t feel right I’ll move onto the next exercise.

I usually train everyday but Sunday. I use the Priority Principle. My legs have always been my main focus to build and keep up since my accident 12 years ago. I always form my workouts around my leg days, always focusing on them a minimum of twice per week. I work my abs and calves five days a week, to various degrees. My training split is hard to duplicate because its set-up for my body with my goals in mind. I hit my weakest points first and hardest. For my areas that don’t need much work (like my arms and shoulders) I do them last, when I am at my weakest. My level of cardio depends on my percent of body fat. I stay between 4-6%, 365 days a year. I enjoy testing out different techniques to prep for a show or shoot.

After 15 years of experience, I believe your workouts (just like your diet) should be designed specifically for YOUR body. Symmetry is number one in my book so I train accordingly.

Matt Christianer

What would you eat on a typical day?

  • 5 egg whites 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup steel cut oats and 1/2 cup berries or 1/2 grapefruit
  • 4 oz lean meat, 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup greens
  • 4 oz white fish, 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 greens
  • 4 oz white fish, 1.5 cups greens, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz white fish, 1.5 cups greens, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz white fish, 1.5 cup greens, 1/2 avocado

Matt Christianer Fitness

Do you stay lean all year round or do you bulk and cut?

My diet stays pretty close to this year round since I never go above 6-7 % body fat and like to come into shows and photo shoots anywheres from 3.5%-5% I have become known in this industry for never coming out of shape! Like Clark Bartram taught me, always be in shoot shape, doing so you will never miss an opportunity! Boy was he right!

Its a lifestyle for me, I shouldn’t need to drastically cut anything or add anything, its my profession, its my health and I take it very seriously !

Matt Christianer Fitness

Supplements?

Anything and Everything by Pro Supps ! I have used there DNPXII for my last two shows! They have a full line of everything you could possibly need to be successful in changing your physique! Whether your male or female, bulking or cutting, they’ve got you covered A-Z ! Check out there DR. Jekyll and Mr Hyde pre workout!

If you had to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

Squat, Deadlift, and Chest Press

Because with just these three I can hit the most amount of muscle groups!

Matt Christianer

Three tips you’d give to someone who’s trying to reach their goal physique?

  1. Put in the hard work and be consistent.  You WILL see results
  2. Make fitness a top priority (weights, cardio, nutrition, sleep)
  3. Surround yourself by positive people whose lifestyle matches yours.

Matt Christianer Fitness

Favourite Quote?

“It is only after we have lost everything, we are free to do anything”

Fight Club

Website: www.mattchristianer.com
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mattchristianer
Twitter & Instagram: @mattchristianer
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/mattswoll13

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