Posted 04 April 2011 by Interview:

Damion Yates


How and when did you start training?

Been in the gym my whole life. In junior high I ran track and played football and same thing throughout High School and when I first joined the Military I kind of got serious about working out though I still would not have called myself a bodybuilder. I got into serious hardcore bodybuilding about 2-3 years ago when I started learning more and more about proper diet and such.

How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent?

There are many things that keep me motivated. Part of me is addicted to the progression; gaining weight, moving more weight, a new vein or striation here or there, you know just watching my body change before my eyes with nothing more than a little hard work and dedication.
Another thing is I do want to get into fitness modeling and I will compete soon. So that in itself, knowing I will soon be on stage with those who have put in work just like me makes me push harder. I want to step on stage and blow people away.
Lastly, you know, just turning heads in general. In your local mall, at the grocery store people look in my basket and say "Just checking out what a guy like you eats" The way little kids just kind of stare in amazement. It feels good to know I can leave people amazed simply by doing something I love to do.

How long do you usually spend in the gym?

Depends, normally about an hour or so. If its leg day it can take up to 90 minutes. I don’t like to spend a lot to time between sets or BS'ing around making jokes with friends. I’m there to put in work, plain and simple.

What is your training routine like?

My routine is interesting and always changing. I've done tons of routines throughout the years and these days I’m running a 6 days split that targets my weak areas. I also train twice a day (weights, cardio), sometimes 3 if I throw in yoga at the end of the night and need a good stretch. With me having the hobby of sprinter, most of my cardio is revolved around that.

What is your diet when trying to get in peak condition?

I have a really fast metabolism. So even when dieting I can consume close to 3,000 calories and still lose weight. Depending on my goals I adjust my diet, for example; if I’m just trying to cut a bit of weight, I will drop my carb intake a bit, down to about 100-150 grams per day. Protein will stay around 200-220 grams and good fats (peanut butter, nuts, and whole eggs) will make up the rest.
If I really want to lean out, I will put myself into ketosis. I begin cycling my carbs with a massive carb up day, (usually Saturday or Sunday) consuming close to 800 grams of crabs. Then the following day is an insanely hard leg day, something like 3 sets of 20 rep squats (lower than my max 20 rep but still heavy) to deplete myself. I then go the entire week with no more than 20 grams of carbs a day to help drop water and force the body to use fat instead of carbs as energy. When I get this strict on my diet, I start preparing all my meals for the day at about 4:00am. Tired and exhausted? I'll get over it.
Honestly I get really weak and tired on Keto so I only do it about 2 weeks out from something really important. In the weeks prior to that I just run my standard diet for cutting weight.

Do you count calories or weight your food?

Yes I count calories and weigh food. Funny thing with counting calories is I no longer have to jot things down or use some random phone app to do it for me. I pretty much know the calories and macro's of everything I’m eating so these days I just keep it in my head. I still measure things out and I do weigh some steaks or chicken that looks a little bigger than your normal cut, but generally I don’t weigh too much stuff.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods,
sweets and salty food?

By not letting what I want right now take away from what I want to achieve. Also, I think part of it is I know what a detrimental effect junk food will have on your body. Having a great body is 100 times greater and more rewarding than a candy bar, just saying.

What is your greatest bodybuilding/fitness
achievement so far?

Just being noticed and complimented by those whom I think look better than me. It’s a big motivation for me. Sure I will be competing soon, these interviews are great and my first photo shoot was way better than expected. But I really enjoy being noticed by those whom have builds that amaze me. No matter where this industry takes me, I don’t think I will ever get past that. Just a good feeling.

What are your future goals?

Obviously I am going to compete so I want to do well. My first show is this summer so I’m preparing for that. I want to step on stage with a build that looks like something out of one of the comic books I own. I want to blow the judges minds away.
Competing wasn’t my original intention however; I want to really get into fitness modeling. I also want to grace the covers of fitness magazines someday. I figure though, competing will only help me in this goal.
So I will do it all.

If you could have one superpower what
would it be and why?

Chrono-kinesis (The mental manipulation of time). There is never enough of it. Time is so precious. Plus, I could think of some pretty amazing things to do having the ability to control a concept such as time. *Joker Smile*

What is the number one philosophy you live by?

I pretty much said it in the interview "I want to amaze those that amaze me" Got to put in work to do that.

What top 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting to get CutAndJacked?

  1. Diet: Everyone asks what I am doing in the gym, how many reps, how many sets, what sups are you taking? I tell them my diet is everything. It will make or break your build. It’s what separates "All right" from "Unreal". You could spend hours a day in the gym busting your ass, if your diet isn’t in check, you aren’t going to get what you want, then you’re going to get mad and give up. If you have questions for me, don’t ask me to give you a workout plan, I don’t do anything different than most everyone else; ask me what you should be eating.
  2. Change your lifestyle: You really want to look amazing? Change the way you live, change your habits, your routine. "FITNESS" is not just working out; it is a way of living. Any time you change how you live, there are hardships and headaches, it won’t be easy at first but it will become better to the point where you won’t understand why you didn’t do it sooner. To change the way you live you have to inform yourself. Become knowledgeable on what a complex carb vs. a simple carb is. The internet can be your best friend or your biggest waste of time. Instead of searching the stats on last night’s game or what some overpaid, overhyped celebrity is up to, why aren’t you googling "Better workouts for legs" "How important is fat in your diet?" or "What does a multi-vitamin do”. It’s like people just go to the gym and expect results and have no clue what they are doing or why they are doing it. I will tell you like this, if a carpenter showed up at a site to build a house, and didn’t have blueprints, a plan and a proper survey of the area, how do you think that house would look? How far, no matter the effort put forth, would he get?
  3. Let nothing ruin your focus: If you really want this then you are going to cut certain things out of your life. You may even find your cutting some of the people you once thought friends, but if there not there to support you and your goals then you didn’t need them in the first place. People just get side tracked so easily. Best friends having a party, sisters having a going away? I mean enjoy these times with friends and family but it doesn’t mean you have to down 30 beers and have 6 serving of cake and ice cream. Remember your goals, like I said if they are really supporting you and your goals, they will understand.

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