Posted 01 March 2011 by Interview:

Steve Chen

How and when did you start training?

I started weight training when I joined the football team during my freshmen year in high school. Our coach assigned weight training to everyone on the team. Our weight room had very old and limited equipment. I didn’t like working out there. Plus, I was skinny and got hurt a lot so I left the team after the first season. After then, I was teased in school and had low self-esteem. I thought if I get bigger, they would stop harassing me. I decided that I better join a gym and try to gain some muscle and get bigger. I found a gym that was clean and had lots of equipment. I didn’t see much results at first but, somehow, I fell in love with the feeling after an intense workout. I was hooked.

How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent?

There are three things that help me to stay motivated and consistent. Each of them helps to keep me focused on my resistance training and diet.

  • First, I stay motivated by doing modeling work for fun. I love seeing the improvements on my physique with each photoshoot.
  • Second, people who tell me that I am an inspiration to them and motivate them to push themselves harder keep me from giving up.
  • Third, setting small goals and keeping records of my progress really help me to stay consistent. The act of reaching goals makes me feel awesome. It makes me hungrier to achieve my next goal. Without goals and records, I wouldn’t have any direction and measurement of my success.

How long do you usually spend in the gym?

When I was in high school and college, I used to spend at least 2-3 hours at the gym and five days a week. I was so eager to grow without realizing that I was over-training. I wasn’t seeing the gains I wanted to. Currently, I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours at the gym and try to make it at least 5 times a week. I am gaining more muscle by not working out as long. It’s a win-win situation.

What is your training routine like?

Click image below to downlad a free PDF of Steve Chen's max-strength routine!

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

When I am trying to lean down and get to my peak condition, I eat a very clean and low carbohydrate diet. Here is a sample of my diet plan:

First thing when I wake up: 2 scoops of whey protein shake and coffee

Breakfast: Six egg whites mixed with a quarter pound of ground turkey
and mixed vegetables

Lunch: chicken salad or seafood salad, nuts, and a spoonful of peanut butter

Afternoon snack: 2 scoops of whey protein shake, an apple and a hand full of almonds

Pre-workout: A quarter pound of ground turkey mixed with mix vegetables

Dinner: chicken salad or fish with mixed vegetables and a spoonful of peanut butter

Do you count calories or weight your food?

No, I don’t count my calories and weigh my food. “Calories in equals calories out” is not a good model for me. I don’t want to be skinny and flabby. I need to eat to grow. I enjoy working out and eating, I think counting calories and weighing my food will take the fun out of them. The only thing I make sure is to get about 40 grams of protein with each meal.

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

I eat really healthy so I don’t often get cravings for junk food. I cook most of my food for the week on Sundays. It keeps me from eating out and grabbing junk food from the vending machine. But when I have a strong urge for sweets, I will go for it and have one. Life is short; I have to live a little.

What is your greatest bodybuilding/fitness
achievement so far?

My greatest fitness achievement so far is when an older guy in the gym came up to me and told me that I’ve inspired him to push himself harder to reach his goal. To me, it beats winning bodybuilding competitions. I felt really really good that day to be his role model.

What are your future goals?

My main goal is to continue to inspire others. I want to be more involved in the fitness community to help people. I would like to become a spokesperson for a fitness company.

I also want to gain 10 more pounds of muscle and compete again. I want to push myself to that next level.

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

If I could have one superpower, it would be time travel. I want to travel back in time to correct all my mistakes and educate myself to the knowledge I’ve gained.

What is the number one philosophy you live by?

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." - Mark Twain

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

  1. Set Goals - Setting goals that you can reach helps you stay focused.
  2. Stay Motivated - Keep your training fun and find some inspirational people to help you improve.
  3. Consistency - Your hard work WILL pay off.


For more of Steve checkout:


Photographer credits:
Christian Del Rosario,
Ian L. Sitren and Ron Reyes.

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