After high school I was in a serious car accident as a passenger and went through 6 long years of operations and barely moving. Losing the chance to play college football, and being told I would never walk correctly, or run, or lift weights, the depression set in and my metabolism shut down. I became morbidly obese with a waist well over 54". After friends of mine dying from similar accidents or pain killer addictions, I decided to take my life into my own hands. Stopped all painkillers, went through hypnotherapy to block pain, and started training against doctors orders. I lost 130lbs and then began to rebuild myself. My first competition was in 2001 where I won the heavyweight title at the Mr. Buffalo, and after a successful competitive amateur career, I turned pro in the WBFF 3 years ago.
When I first started I made the huge mistake of reading magazines for advice. I now see that the industry can tend to be focused on confusing the consumer and forcing them to believe they need so much help. Nutrition, training, magazines etc. If you think about it, how many personal trainers in the gym ever get their clients to where they want to be? That’s because if they achieve their goals? Then they no longer have a client. I do NOT believe in that at all. As a coach, when I work with clients, I WANT them to learn to do things on their own and definitely reach their goals. If I lose one client? 5 more will be waiting for a spot to open.
My advice? Take it for what it is worth? Take down the pictures and the posters. Put the supplements in the cupboard. Stop watching Pumping Iron 10x per day. LIVE your life! Don't diet, but eat better. Have cheat days! Go see movies! Go out with your friends! Wear actual clothing and not sweats all the time. When it's time to go to the gym? Be focused. Train, and get out. Do not make it all you do every second of every day! Because I promise you that you will get discouraged! You will get burned out and you will quit. Or think you aren't changing quick enough and constantly keep changing things. Make training just like brushing your teeth. Don't think about it... just do it! I promise before you know it you will notice a change. And MY GOD stop staring at the pros in the IFBB magazines because you will NOT look like that! Be the best that YOU can be! And you will be much happier!
During my training I will listen to anything hard and heavy from ACDC to White Zombie and everything in-between. However, most people who know me will tell you I am a screwball. I love to laugh and joke around. So I will have songs that would have you ready to put your head through a wall, and then out of nowhere, a Partridge Family song! haha Or maybe ABBA! That just makes me laugh and lightens things up for me.
What do I think about when reaching for that last rep? Being laughed at. Being made fun of when I was obese and telling people I wanted to step onstage! People joking about my dreams. Even my own family! Well... now they have a professional athlete in the family, and I was able to accomplish what everyone said I couldn't. AND... if I don't feel like thinking about that? Lol Sometimes a guy has a way of thinking about things to get the natural testosterone flowing! Lol
Free weights VS machines? MY opinion? No difference if you ask me! Muscles grow by tearing them down and then rebuilding with nutrition. Your muscle does NOT know whether you are pushing a bar or a car. All it knows is getting activated and fatigued. My advice? Do not follow any one plan. Everytime you train a bodypart? Change it up. What you do, how you do it, sets, reps, etc. Keep the muscle guessing. Otherwise it WILL adapt to a certain workload! Size does NOT correlate with strength. The body can adapt to anything! Keep it guessing and you will keep it growing!
What am I most proud of? First would be that I am the best father that I can possibly be to two sets of miracle twins who are my world. Second would be that God gave me the strength to go through what I have in life so that I could inspire others!
I used to bulk and I have learned that is the absolute worst thing you can do! I am known for making insane transformations. 80 to 100lb drops in precontest! NO MORE! When you have to lose that much? You absolutely will lose muscle! You do sacrifice a certain amount of muscle for every pound of fat you lose. Stay lean and add lean muscle. When it’s diet time you will keep alot more of your muscle!
If I am doing cardio at home, usually at 5am I do the stairmaster. If I am doing cardio after my workouts then I am walking on the treadmill. I will also mess around a bit with MMA but I do that more for fun and training for my job as an officer than count it as actual cardio.
My workouts are never the same. And I mean NEVER! I will do anywhere between 12 and 16 sets per bodypart. I will train a bodypart per day. Usually chest, back, legs, off, shoulders, arms, off. But the routine itself? Always changing. High reps, low reps, drop sets, super sets, etc. The only thing I will NOT do is assisted reps or past failure. It is how people get hurt and that is ego lifting and I do not do that! If the bar stops or goes in reverse? I am done! AND if someone asks me to spot them and they say just help me with the last few? I say no. I will not risk them or myself getting hurt.
My contest diet, and I have tried many... is equal protein, equal carbs, zero fat. Every week I monitor myself and if fat burning stops, then I either take carbs from my diet, or increase cardio. That simple. I do not believe in the carb loading, depleting every so many days blah blah. When you do that, you make it impossible to gauge exactly where you are and what needs to be adjusted. I also never use fat callipers. They don't pinch you onstage. It is all how you look. If you see that you need to lose, then do so! I also always have a cheat meal once per week. All the way to the week before the show! In that cheat meal I will have whatever I want! Anything and everything! And those meals are legendary! haha!
My favorite athletes are Georges St. Pierre, Alistair Overeem, Kevin Levrone, Paul Dillett, Batista, Dwayne Johnson (since our resemblance has opened doors for me lol), Craig Bonnett, Ignacio Torres, Micah LaCerte, and many others. MMA and bodybuilding are my two favorite sports, SO I am a fan of anyone who isn't necessarily naturally gifted, but had to work to be where they are!
My supplements are simple. I take BCAAs, multivitamin and mineral, coral calcium, whey protein, and I will use creatine and glutamine at times. I don't believe in loading creatine, and glutamine I believe you have to take much more than directed since it gets absorbed in the intestines and not the stomach so you have to take enough to bypass the digestive process. Also you cannot take it with food.
Frank Budelewski (Big Frank B, WBFF Pro)
My monthly column is at fitandfirmmag.com and I also have a biography and contributing writer at wbffshows.com. I am an online coach and own BIG FX Transformations. My facebook page is www.facebook.com/AskBigFrank