Canadian amateur bodybuilder Matthew Roberts is no stranger to success. One look at his collection of trophies, his successful business endeavours or his supportive family will tell you Matt definetly knows how to win. This year he is looking to change his amateur status to that of professional by setting his sights on one of the most prestigious competitions in the world; The Amateur Mr. Olympia. With his pleasing shape, mounds of striated muscle and perfect conditioning Matt is a force to be reckoned with on any stage he steps on. TheGymLifestyle.com proudly presents top amateur bodybuilder Matthew Roberts.
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Height: 5‘10“ (178cm)
Weight: Off Season 245lbs.; Pre Contest 224lbs. (2014)
Bodybuilding Competition History:
2004 OPA London Regionals Junior Men 1st Place
2006 OPA London Level II Heavyweight Men 1st Place
2006 OPA London Level II Junior Men 1st Place
2006 OPA Brantford Western Ontario’s Junior Men 1st Place
2007 OPA Ontario Provincials Junior Men 1st Place “Jr. Mr. Ontario”
2007 CBBF Canadian Nationals Junior Men 2nd Place
2008 OPA London Western Ontario’s Heavyweight Men 1st Place, 1st Place Overall
2010 OPA Ontario Provincials Heavyweight Men 2nd Place
2013 OPA Ontario Provincials “Toronto Pro Show” Super Heavyweight Men 2nd Place
2013 CBBF Canadian Nationals Heavyweight Men 2nd Place
2014 CBBF Canadian Nationals Heavyweight Men
2015 June 6-7th; OPA Provincials at the Toronto Pro Supershow
2015 June 26-28th; Mr Olympia Amateur (pending the results of June 6/7)
2015 July 10-11th; CBBF Canadian Bodybuilding Championships (pending the results of the first two events)
Boss Supplements – Local supplement retailer
I first began lifting when I was 13 years old. I have said it before in interviews, but it is true that I owe much of that initial introduction to my father and my parents. It took a nudge in what proved to be the right direction for me to get away from many of the temptations young teenagers faced and continue to face today. The gym for me was an outlet, a distraction, a way to channel efforts into something that made me feel would make a difference in my life regardless of which direction I took. From the thought of professional sports, to success in business and entrepreneurship, the dedication required, and the satisfaction of hard work showing real results is an asset transferrable to any profession.
For me motivation comes from different places today vs when I started. When I say started I mean both in bodybuilding and fitness as well as in my professional and business life. In the beginning bodybuilding for me was something I could invest my time into that elicited a tangible result. Getting responses from people that otherwise don‘t know you at all, or that do know you and that see your transformation, was very motivating. It wasn‘t like getting straight A‘s (which I did later accomplish through grades 11 and 12; you know the two most important years of high school), or learning a second laguage, those are both fantastic attributes, but yield little if any value to teenagers unless verbally communicated. They say communication with people is as much as 90% non verbal; bodybuilding was a very effective way to immediately establish yourself as a person of ability or power in a way that other acedemic endeavours simply couldn‘t provide.
That said, as I gridned my way through my first couple of shows – from 17 years of age to my early twenties – my motivation became much more intrinsic. I had nothing further to prove to my family or friends because to them the thought of even entering a competition was a fantastic accomplishment. For me it became an opportunity for me to prove to myself that I could be the best at something that has shaped so much of my life. As my family began to grow, my wife and I have two handsome boys together, 3 and 6 years of age, they too shaped a new found need to succeed for me. Not simply because of the desire to make them proud of me, but to prove to them that with enough dedication, motivation, and intelligent sacrifice, you truly can become the best in your craft. Coming up on 9 years now, my wife has been there through all of my competition successes and failures, through all of my business successes and failures, through mentally and emotionally tough, to emotional euphoric experiences. To succeed in what truly has been a massive mutual sacrifice, would only be fitting to someone that has been there for me through absolutely everything. I simply couldn’t confidently go to bed at night knowing she had to go through all of this for something I couldn‘t manage to materialize. At the end of the day, your success and your failures in bodybuilding are completely your fault; but you have to remember there are many people other then yourself that take that fall with you.
The body works as a single unit; There is nothing stopping you from training only the bodyparts you love and ignoring the ones you dont like; adhere to this bent and lazy way of training however and you will never, ever achieve physical greatness. Take that same logic and apply it to any other professional situation; take someone great at personal training, but terrible with sales, there‘s a great trainer with no business; a Realtor great at lead generation but with no communication skills, a pretty face with no converted leads and no business. I am a firm believer that learning is progressive, cumulative, and developmental. I am also a firm believer that learning best occurs through gaining exposure to and experiencing multiple sources of knowledge and information; both of which are plentiful in the fitness industry.
I have stuck to the same basic training split for the past 5 years now; the only changes being addition of secondary muscle groups throughout the week to build up weaker or comparably under developped areas of my physique. Here is my current training split heading into my 2015 competitive season: Day 1: Chest – Extra shoulders and triceps Day 2: Quads Day 3: Back – Extra rear delts and biceps Day 4: Hams and Glutes Day 5: Arms (high volume) Day 6: Shoulders Day 7: No training Abs and Calves I typically do three times per week after my AM Cardio; otherwise they don‘t get done as they should!
I don‘t fluctuate massively from my early precontest regimen to my off season regimen. The primary difference is I honestly don‘t eat as much off season as I do precontest. I know it seems counter intuitive, off seasons are for never missing a growth opportunity and eating the wonderful junk that you aren‘t allowed to eat while preparing for a contest. I wouldn‘t say it is a lack of motivation that leads to me not eating as much or as frequently, I think it is more the lack of intrinsic pressure you place on yourself when you have a contest 16 or 20 weeks away. It is far easier to hit your daily caloric needs when you know you have an event on the horrizon.
Typical day for me (as I give away my secrets to my competition;) Meal 1: 16 egg whites, ½ cup oats Meal 2: 10 oz chicken breast, 8 oz sweet potato Meal 3: 10 oz ground turkey, 6 oz potato, 1 cup broccoli Meal 4: 10 oz chicken breast, 2 cups broccoli Meal 5: 10 oz cod or tilapia, salad with olive oil and vinegar Meal 6: 10 oz ground turkey, 2 cups broccoli Does mustard count as a food? Because I put it on everything.
As my coach will tell you, I tend to stay lean pretty well all year. Not talking pre contest lean but I never lose my abs off season, my weight stays at a steady 240-245lbs. The stress on the body of doing a massive bulk every off season like you see a lot of competitors and pros do to me is not worth the effort. I do see a need to be on point all year, and the more you compete the more you can appreciate how much can change in a matter of weeks or months when you come off of a strict regimen. If I could maintain a relatively consistent weight all year round and have a positive gain of 5-10lbs per year on stage I would feel accomplished. I will not to use the scale as a measurement of my success though.
As I mentioned above, I am not currently sponsored or contracted to any particular supplement brand or manufacturer, so I will list my honest list of products I use on a daily basis.
Glycofuse from Gaspari
Allmax BCAA unflavored
Allmax Citrulina Malate 2:1
Allmax Agmatine Sulfate
MAP Amino Acid capsules
Pro Supps Isolate
Interactive Mammoth Mass (when I need to feel full!)
Controlled Labs Glycer Grow
I cycle through some of these products interchangably. I don‘t always take all of the above products all of the time however each of them play a crucial role at some point of my training regimen throughout the year.
Bench Press, Deadlift, Squat. In fact, I have done entire workout splits that focused on these three lifts only, and with great success! The strongest I have ever been in my life was when these three exercises were the core of my workouts. I would essentially giant set the three of them at 80% of my 1RM for 6 repetitions for 5 or 6 sets two to three days per week. I would come in on off days and train smaller muscle groups just to keep them active, but the big three above would be my choice if that was the only three I could perform.
1.: Despite the vast amount of fitness gurus, training principles, supplementation guidelines and all the rest that are out there, stick to one source or training method at a time; otherwise it will be impossible to assess what theory or concept is responsible for what result or set back when it comes to challenges like defeating plateus, or assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your program.
2.: Find an intrinsic source of motivation. I say this because if your motivation to get in shape is something non permanent (like a girlfriend or boyfriend), if and when that source leaves you, you will be at a stalemate.
3.:Be motivated towards the positivity of reaching your goals and what that will feel like for you, not away from the fear of what will happen if you don‘t achieve them. Positive push, negative pull. You know the phrase.
Well aside from bodybuilding, I am going to have to geek out on you. When I actually get the time to play them, video games for me are a great distraction. On a good night I have my brothers and a couple of friends over and we‘ll set up multiple TV‘s and just have fun for a few hours. You could go to a club, or sports bar for a good game but to be honest I personally, and my brothers and most of my friends don‘t watch much if any sports, and aside from a few of them, we don‘t fancy the club scene. I also promote The Barrie Natural Classic which is a qualifying event for the Ontario Natural Provincials which will be held at the Geogian Theatre on July 25th this year. For more details on this event you can visit the OPA website.
Well I have a lot of quotes that I like, I will give you a couple:
“The worst thing I can be is the same as everybody else. I’d hate that.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
“What makes mastery is not the absence of failure but the absence of giving up.” – Robin Sharma
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