About-Muscle talk With IFBB Pro Mens Physique Ken Rawlins. In this interview we talk about his training, diet plan, what keeps him motivated and his lifestyle.
Could You Tell Us A Bit About Yourself And How You Got Involved In Fitness?
For those who don’t know me, my name is Ken C. Rawlins, but my close family and friends call me K.C. Very passionate about fitness and exercise, I was first introduced to weight training my sophomore year of high school. Extremely skinny growing up, I was short, small and would always get injured.
Although always very athletic, I broke and dislocated my shoulder playing freshman football the second game of the season. Determined to not let this stop me, I wanted to do all I could to prevent this from happening again. Once healed and healthy, I hit the weights to better prepare and protect myself on the playing field. Seeing results, witnessing my own body transform into a bigger, faster, and stronger player, this is when my love for health and fitness first began.
What Helps You Stay Motivated?
For me, I like to surround myself with positive people with positive attitudes! Great inspirations I have always looked up to are Greg Plitt and Rob Riches. Well educated, they are both very intelligent and have kept me motivated along my journey.
What Does Your Workout Look Like?
In brief, my current workout routine is continuously changing to prevent plateaus. I usually do my cardio and abs early AM both in and off season. To maximize efficiency, I typically jump from one exercise to the next (to keep my heart rate up) when lifting weights and do my best to eliminate all distractions.
PM – Back/Triceps
PM – Chest/Biceps
PM – Legs/Abdominals
PM – Shoulders
PM – Arms/Calves
PM – Concentrate on body parts that need improvements
What Sort Of Rep Range Do You Use?
My rep range can be high as 20 or low as 2. Always shocking my muscles with different rep ranges and exercises, it has helped with my progression.
Free Weights Vs Machines What Do You Feel Are The Pros & Cons and Which Do You Prefer?
There are pros and cons for both free weights and machines. Although harder, I prefer free weights when training myself to help with my stability and core strength. With beginners, I typically recommend most machines to help them stimulate and contract their working muscles. Machines are great for drop sets when quick and efficient weight adjustments are necessary.
What Mistakes Did You Make When You First Started As A Newbie?
Still making this mistake on occasions, I would always overtrain. It wasn’t until I finally better understood the importance of recovery that has helped break this horrible habit. As a newbie, I really underestimated muscle repair and recovery. With appropriate rest and the proper nutrients from my diet and supplementation, it has really helped me grow and develop the lean body mass I have today.
How Often Do You Perform Cardio?
I perform cardio up to as many as 6 to 7 days a week when training for a competition. In the offseason, it varies, but I will never eliminate.
Which Do You Prefer and Why… Steady State Cardio Or HITT Cardio?
HIIT, although proven very effective, it is not something I continuously do for cardio. Very conservative to prevent muscle catabolism, HIIT is not a personal preference. However, I will still incorporate HIIT to my workouts every once in a while for a little change of pace in the offseason. To prevent boredom, HIIT has been a great variation to my cardio, in addition to the step mill I still do on occasion at a moderate steady state (I would much rather prefer).
What Are Your Personal Thoughts On Fasted Cardio?
Well aware that everyone has a different opinion on fasted cardio, I typically prefer a moderate heart rate early AM when walking the treadmill. A slow pace at an incline on an empty is usually completed no less than 3 times a week. It has worked best for me in the past when preparing for my competitions.
What Does Your Diet Look Like?
The following includes my diet. Weekly adjustments will be made (if necessary) when training for a competition.
Do You Bulk and Cut Or Do You Stay Lean For The Whole Year Round?
Living a very active lifestyle, I continuously stay lean year round. My hobbies outside of the gym include surfing and snowboarding. Eating clean and training hard year round prevents me from fluctuating in weight.
What Do You Find Gives The Best Results When You Are Cutting?
Dieting has always given me the best results when cutting. My training intensity (for the most part) always remains the same.
How Do You Deal With Cravings?
When training for a competition, my cravings for sugar has always been difficult. My favorite, fruit! I refuse to eat any sugar at least 2 months out. A helpful alternative is Truvia or Stevia (natural sweeteners).
What Supplements Do You Use?
As a sponsored athlete with British Nutritions (www.BritishNutritions.in), I take their Power Protein and X-TRA Whey in the morning and post-workout. Unlike most comparable products, British Nutritions does not include fillers and has helped contribute to my lean body mass, strength, repair and growth.
In addition to that, I will cycle on and off British Nutritions Pure Creatine Monohydrate. Helping with size, strength and energy levels throughout the day, I highly recommend this product to others!
I also take Recovery by British Nutritions. It is a glutamine formula that is enriched who bio-regenerative micronutrients. It promotes muscle tissue rebuilding and recycling, improves performance, endurance, enhances your immune function and helps overcome overtraining syndrome (OTS).
What Activities and Hobbies Do You Enjoy When You Are Away From The Gym?
When away from the gym, you will usually find me on my bike, in the ocean or along the beach. Born and raised in Southern California I am so grateful to still live in such a beautiful place. Just minutes from the water, I like to run the beach, bike the boardwalk, ride my skateboard and spend quality time with close family and friends.
What Are Your Favourite Supplements?
My favorite supplement is one of British Nutrition’s latest products called Power Protein. Continuously working out for countless hours in the gym, Power Protein has helped me exceed the fitness goals I once thought was nearly impossible. Without products such as Power Protein, I wouldn’t be an IFBB (International Federation of BodyBuilders) ‘Men’s Physique’ fitness competitor today!
What 3 Exercises Have Contributed The Most To Building Your Physique?
One the many exercises I really enjoy is a superset between skull crushers with your traditional preacher bar with a standing bicep curl (narrow grip). It has contributed to my the size and strength of my arms. Working on my shoulders to help broaden, single arm dumbbell upright rows has definately improved my look. Reverse flies are continuously completed in my workouts. This is one of my favorites exercises! I prefer heavy weight on the machines and typically end with a drop set to help with muscle development.
What Is The Most Common Training Question People Ask You The Gym?
Pointing to their stomach, I am commonly asked, “Which exercises will get rid of this?” I get it ALL the time! Explaining to them it doesn’t matter how many crunches you do or how many sit-ups you complete, if your diet isn’t in check (based upon your fitness goals), you aren’t going to see those 6 pack abs you always wanted. Your abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!
What Is Your Favorite Workout Music?
From house to rock to rap, I like it all! Some of my favorite songs include the following:
– Linkin Park: Burn It Down
– Flo Rida: Good Feeling
– Coldplay: Fix you
– Foo Fighters: Times Like These
What Is Your Greatest Achievement?
Up against nearly 200 total ‘Men’s Physique’ competitors from all around the United States, I was awarded my IFBB Pro status after my competition at Nationals in Atlanta, GA on November 10th, 2012. I was one of twelve athletes in my devision that turned professional.
What Do You Love About Competing?
Always very competitive growing up, fitness competitions have always kept me focused, driven and very discipline. Competing has contributed to my handwork and dedication both in and outside of the gym. Since doing, I have learned A LOT about my body and my imitations. The adrenaline rush I continuously get before I step on stage, there’s nothing better! I want to thank all of my family and friends for all of your support.
What Are Your Plans For The Future?
My short term goal was to turn professional in 2012 to help with my credibility and exposure. My long term goal is to build my brand with the products I will soon be launching. From clothes, to fitness equipment, to my online personal training services (that I now currently offer at: www.KenRawlins.com/Online-Coaching), sky’s the limit!
Who Are Your Favorite Athletes, Bodybuilders and Fitness Models?
An athlete that I still admire and have always looked up to is Greg Plitt. I call him the “Michael Jordan of fitness.” Very inspirational and motivating, Greg’s drive and dedication fuels my passion for health, fitness and exercise. After attending a fitness expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center in 2008, I met greg in person for the first time. He is the reason for me doing all I can to pursue my hopes and dreams to really make a name for myself in the fitness industry.
If Someone Wants To Connect With You How Can You Be Contacted?
If interested, my personal training services can be scheduled at a local independent gym or at your own home at reasonable rates (within 30 miles of Newport Beach, CA). Other options listed below are now made available online at: www.KenRawlins.com
– Nutrition Meal Plans
– Cardio Programs
– Supplementation Advice
– Training Routines
– Body Part Plans
– Competition Prep
– Consultations and Follow-up
Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.