I started training after I finished high school. I have to give my cousin a lot of credit; he was the one that introduced me to the gym. He taught me that proper form came before lifting excessive amounts of weight. Learning form before weights was beneficial to my muscle development. I owe him a lot for starting me up. I also owe my friend, and industry photographer Jason Breeze much thanks for always pushing me to do better and bring my best every time we shoot.
I am very grateful to be sponsored with Optimum Nutrition as well as Monsta Clothing. The best advice I could give to someone seeking sponsorship opportunities would be to get yourself out there. There are so many other fitness athletes, bodybuilders, and competitors out there. This causes a slim chance of being discovered by a company. Reach out to companies, find the proper contacts, and provide them with images that best represent yourself and your story. We are all unique and have different journeys in this life. Your journey is what makes you unique and that’s what companies are looking for. Once you have established a relationship with the company, keep them updated (every month or so). From there, provide them with updated images as well as future goals you have set out and achieved (competing, etc).
The biggest mistake I made as a newbie was overtraining. The gym was always a release for me; it allowed me to disconnect for an hour and devote some time to myself. At the same time, the gym can become an addiction. I enjoyed training so much that I would not listen to my body when it was in need of rest. The body needs rest to recover. The recovery process is often neglected. I strongly believe that to achieve your ideal physique, nutrition, training, and rest/recovery all need to be consistent. I have now put my ego aside and listen to my body when it is sore. Training a broken down body is like working backwards.
I believe that consistency is the key factor that brings you to the next level. Being consistent with your diet, training and sleep is crucial in achieving your goals. If you can keep a positive mindset and look towards the final destination, you will realize it is not worth losing that consistency and retracing your steps. I like to tell others my goals because it encourages me to complete them. If don’t complete my goals, I feel like I’ve let them down. Therefore, the obligation to others helps me stay consistent throughout the year.
Music is a driving force behind my training. There are a lot of days were I am physically or emotionally drained, but once I hit the gym and get the beats going I become focused and zoned in. I like to listen to trance, rap, hip-hop, R&B and classic motivational music. I am currently listening to:
• Sun & Moon - Above & Beyond
• Man on the Run - Dash Berlin
• She Doesn’t Mind Remix – Sean Paul ft Pitbull
• FAME - Young Jeezy ft TI
• The Game - The City
• Concrete Angel - Gareth Emery ft Christina Novelli
• Sanctuary - Gareth Emery
• Now We Are Free - Enya/Lisa Gerrard
To get through those last few tough reps, I think to myself that someone else out there is getting through it and I cannot fall behind. I am always pushing myself to achieve better. I strongly believe that training until failure makes you mentally stronger.
I am most proud of the platform I have created for myself in the industry via my online social networks. I am very honored of the fact that people from all over the world ask for advice or critiquing. I am always glad to help others. I believe giving back to others and helping them succeed is the foundation of the fitness industry.
I prefer to stay lean all year round. It is more beneficial for me this way to get ready for shoots and projects. I prefer to add lean muscle throughout the course of the year with minimal fat gain. I find it easier to judge the physique when it is lean, and then add muscle from there.
I do not do traditional cardio. My cardio is incorporated with my weight training. I train heavy sets with minimal rest periods. This gives me a high heart rate throughout the workout. I find it beneficial because I am building muscle and burning fat at the same time. I try to train at a consistent high pace for about an hour.
My routine is based off of training one body part per day—I leave one day per week for weak point training. I am always changing my workouts—some days I’ll do 6 exercises with 4 sets each while other days I will go for 10 exercises of 3 sets per exercise. My cardio is all within the routine; I train for 60mins at a high pace while lifting heavy weight until failure. This allows me to continue to build muscle and stay in that fat burning zone. Here is a look at my current routine:
Chest & Weighted ABS session
Legs & Calves
Shoulders & Light ABS session
Back & Calves
Weak Point Training & Weighted ABS session
1 scoop Casein+ ½ cup oats + ½ banana + ½ cup egg whites
1 cup egg whites + 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
1 Protein Source (chicken/fish/extra lean ground turkey)+ vegetables mixture
1 Apple + ¾ Scoop Protein Mix
1 Scoop Protein+ 1 Scoop Waxy Maize
1 Cup Brown Rice Pasta + 1 Protein Source (chicken/fish/extra lean ground turkey)
1 Scoop Casein + ½ egg whites + 2 tbsp. Almond Butter
Athletes - Peter Forsberg, Gianluigi Buffon, Michael Jordan (These are all top level athletes who displayed tremendous amount of devotion to their sport)
Bodybuilders - WNBF Pro Fernando Cirpriani (His inspiration and dedication illustrate what it takes to succeed. I am grateful to him for his help thus far in the industry.)
Fitness Model - TJ Hoban (Great cover model, carries a positive mindset)
All my supplements are with Optimum Nutrition/ABB. I use the following: HydroWhey, Natural Casein, Opti-Men Vitamins, Flax/Fish Oils, L-Carnitine and CLA, Amino Energy, Creatine Monohydrate as well as BCAAs and Glutamine.
Height: 6’1 Weight: 215lbs
Facebook Page: facebook.com/MikeRasoFitness
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