Posted 15 March 2011 by Interview:

Chad Shaw

How and when did you start training?

I began training at the age of 11, as a way to help strengthen my body which was always under attack by certain health maladies. For those who aren't familiar with my background, I was born with many vicious health problems. Here is a quick run-down on the health issues I've dealt with, and still dealing with a few of them: Severe, chronic, asthma and allergies; a 4 inch leg length difference between my right, and left leg; spinal scoliosis; 4 torn spinal disks; 2 bulged disks; missing anterior cruciate ligament in right knee; missing medial meniscus in right knee; osteoarthritis in right knee; torn ulnar nerve in right arm; detached proximal bicep tendon in right arm; and parathyroid disease. I Grew up weak, unhealthy, and vulnerable, and I wanted to be the opposite of all those things! I felt bodybuilding could do this for me and it did!

How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent?

Staying motivated isn't a problem. I love bodybuilding, it's what defines me. I could never see living my life without doing it. It gives me a tremendous feeling of accomplishment, and self-satisfaction like nothing else I've ever done!

How long do you usually spend in the gym?

Usually, 30-45 minutes per day, 6 days per week.

What is your training routine like?

Before I tell my workout routine I want everyone to understand that over the years as I’ve gotten progressively stronger, I’ve had to add additional recovery time between my workouts little by little in order to be able to keep making progress and avoid over training. I haven’t always needed this much recovery time between workouts, but the more weight you handle, and the more intense your training is, then the more recovery time you include between workouts in order to compensate for increase of stress that the muscle were subjected to. Failing to add in extra recovery time as you become progressively stronger will result in overtraining and you will reach a plateau. I lift as heavy as I can without sacrificing my form. I like to work in the 6-10 rep range on most exercises. My workouts are brief, usually around 30 minutes. That may not sound like much that the intensity level of my workouts is very brutal! I like to use rest/pauses, drop sets, and partial reps, to ensure that I've drawn every last drop of blood on each, and every set that I possibly can.

Week 1

I will train chest and back on Wednesday, then quadriceps and calves on Saturday.

Week 2

I will train biceps and triceps on Wednesday and then hamstrings and calves on Saturday.

Week 3

I will train shoulders on Wednesday and then quadriceps and calves again on Saturday. After that I will begin that 3- week rotation all over again but only I will train hamstrings on the Saturday workout. So I train quadriceps and hamstrings every other week and back, chest, arms, and shoulders get trained just once every 3 weeks. On alternate days I will do HIIT style cardio alternating high and low intensity intervals, 1 minute each for about 20 minutes. After that, I will do some core and abdominal training.

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

In terms of nutrition, I follow a high protein, moderate fat, but lower carb diet to keep myself fairly lean year round. If I want to get really ripped for photos, or a contest, then I will drop my carbs to almost nothing so that my body is forced to burn as much fat as possible. I will keep my carbs this low for 4-5 days straight, then include 1 high carb meal to replenish glycogen levels and prevent myself from smoothing out too much. I eat about 6 cage free eggs per day, that means yolks included. I use whey protein to bridge the gaps between my meals to keep my in an anabolic state. I also consume quality meats such as steak, chicken, wild salmon, and turkey. Since low carb diets tend to be lower in fiber because you're not consuming breads, or grains, I make sure to eat plenty of spinach salads, broccoli, green beans, and asparagus, to keep the digestive system healthy and provide important phytochemicals and antioxidants for good health. I drink lots of water throughout the day, and I always drink a glass of red wine at night when I'm preparing dinner. I keep Quest protein bars on hand for when I have sweet cravings. They are the only true low carb protein bars, and they are high in fiber, and taste amazing!

Do you count calories or weight your food?

Nah, I don't have time for that. I eat enough to feel satisfied, but not full.
That works good enough.

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

Quest protein bars! They taste like home-made cookies to me! If I want something salty then I might grab a little beef jerky, or a hand full of lightly salted almonds. I admit though, I will allow myself to have 1 cheat meal per week. Usually that ends up being a fish fry, or some pizza.

What is your greatest bodybuilding/
fitness achievement so far?

I would have to say being voted one of the most inspirational members on BodySpace. With over 800,000 members now, it is truly an honor to be considered among the most inspirational members by so many wonderful people. Next to that, I would say being published in Planet Muscle twice now has also been among my best bodybuilding achievements.

What are your future goals?

I would like to take my writing to a higher level. Right now I write articles for, and World Physique magazine which I love doing, however, I hope some - day I can land a monthly column in a larger publication that will help me pay my bills. I have also considered doing some personal training when I reach a point where I have more free time in my schedule. As far as bodybuilding competitions go, hmmm...I guess never say never.

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

I guess it would be a power that I've already been blessed with, and that super power is having drive to keep pushing forward and never give up no matter how heavily the odds are stacked against me. This the greatest power of all because it will determine whether you realize your dreams, or whether you just settle for mediocrity like most people. The funny thing is that this power is obtainable by anybody just by changing their thought process. It isn't anything special that I possess, it is only a decision that I have made.

What is the number one philosophy you live by?

Successful people aren't always the individuals that are richer, smarter, luckier, faster, stronger, or more talented. Often times winners are just people who don't know how to give up.

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

  1. Keep workouts very intense, but brief. Never let a workout run over 45 minutes long! Over training is the #1 reason why natural bodybuilders fail!
  2. Take little time between sets, never more than 1 minute. Shorter rest periods between sets will maximize the release of natural growth hormones in your body.
  3. When you go grocery shopping, buy foods from the isles on the outsides of the store, not in the middle. In other words, purchase mainly whole unprocessed foods for maximum nourishment. The old saying is true, you really are what you eat. So if you eat crap, then guess what?

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