Interview With Rob Maraby
Q: Can you give us some background about yourself?
A: I was born in Ghana, West Africa, lived there for 17 years...I fell in love with bodybuilding at 14, my buddy and I used to read muscle and fitness magazines and we would spend all our free time at the gym!
We were so into bodybuilding and we had this lust for training intensely, we earned the nick name Gym Rats, we would go all out and do silly things like performing 100 sets of squats until we vomited! For two 14 year olds this was insane.
Q: What got you started with bodybuilding?
A: It was the Lou Ferrigno aka the HULK that inspired me and got me started
I thought he and I shared many similarities and body type! I just wanted to look like him.
However growing up in Africa- we had very limited gym equipment and virtually no good food to consume! There were no drugs, no supplements and even food was either too expensive or inaccessible!
I remember at times, not having the income to have meat with my meals or even having any variety in my diet! I used to buy a loaf of “sugar sweet white bread” and cut it into 3 and have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, because that is all I could afford... Despite all that, I still made some gains; it made me realize back then that intensity and ample rest was the key to muscle growth and not nutrition! And that having the Will is key to success! It was not until I came to Canada did I discover the science behind muscle building. I did tons of research using medical journals and dissertations to discover what really made muscle grow!
Q: What is it about bodybuilding that you love so much?
A: I did it to boost my self-esteem, for confidence after that I simply loved the way it made me feel inside! There is something good about taking care of your body! I have always believed that a healthy body promotes a healthy mind! Apart from that, I love the abnormal strength, power and the self-confidence it gives me!
Q: What adversities have you had to overcome?
A: Having a deep passion for bodybuilding but not having the equipment or the nutrition to progress! However this turned into a positive as it made me inquire into what it really takes to build muscle mass! I also spent many years frustrated with my lack of progress! No matter what I did , I just could not grow!.
Q: What are your favorite exercises?
A: Decline bench press and squats are my favorites...I can squat close to 700lbs without spotters....although I don’t do that these days! If I were stuck on an island, I would pick the squat! I know it is tough, but if you stick with it, your body will change dramatically!
Q: What has been your favorite bodybuilding moment so far?
A: I have two- when I hit 270 lbs naturally and when I get positive feedback from my programs-knowing that I have helped people in someway makes me very happy and is the greatest gift!
Q: What are your tips for the beginner, intermediate and advanced bodybuilders?
A: Beginner--learn proper form and follow a basic full body program to build the neuromuscular pathways. Stick to only basic compound movements. I would not recommend anymore than 4 workouts a week. The beginner can get away with more sets and workouts, but eventually their bodies adapt and they will hit a plateau! Train hard and take sets to positive failure!
Intermediate ...you need far less workouts- emphasis should be on intensity and very little sets and workouts- stick to only compound movements. Intensity should be very high and workouts sporadic, 2-3 times a week is sufficient! Take sets to full positive failure as well!
Advanced—they need even more rest periods between workouts, the stronger you get the more rest you need, a natural advanced bodybuilder would make optimal gains training once a week and even far less! I advice the advanced bodybuilder to spend the rest of the time he is not at the gym doing some cardio...or simply just enjoying life..
I know it is hard to turn your back against the norm in bodybuilding but it is necessary if you want to grow as fast as possible! Remember just because a million bodybuilders are doing something does not make it right.
Q: Where do you stand on the use of steroids and supplements?
A: I don’t believe in supplements- good food is far better and cheaper
A supplement should be just that –“a supplement to good food”...not as a meal replacement. Stick to basic clean food. Each meal should have a balanced proportion of Carbodrdrates, Fiber, and Protein. Once that is done and you would like to add some more size, then taking supplements make sense.
Steroids - I personally have no experience with this, but I do know that the side effects from using it, simply do not measure up to the initial benefits you will get! People should be educated to what is realistic in terms of gaining muscle weight naturally, when the novice looks at the muscle magazines and sees all these pros who are on steroids and who don’t confess to it, it misleads the novice bodybuilder-who wants to look like the pros!
Q: What are your future goals?
A: Right now to stay at 230lbs and perform more cardio-I have no more size or strength goals! I hit 270 pounds before at 11% body fat and I did not like the weight or size! A trim and light 230 pounds is perfect for me at this moment! I will just refine and maintain what I have!
Q: What is the toughest part about bodybuilding for you?
A: Staying away from the gym! But without rest no growth is possible and as you get stronger, the more rest you need! I Love the gym, so staying away is hard but essential for me!
Q: Tell us about your massive growth program?
A: This is an intense 18 week program, it is brutally intense and uses what I like to called "controlled" overtraining, in which the body is subjected to the maximum amount of stress- a 20 week all intense routine is the maximum I would recommend, after which a lay off is needed! I personally like to use the massive growth program every 8-10 months-in between my fast muscles program (which is a year long program) which has me training once every 2-3 weeks.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say?
A: I want everyone to know that they can accomplish any thing they want too- as far as building muscle and losing fat is concerned! You just need the will and the belief you can do it! You don’t need drugs or excessive supplements, you need a good science based weight training program, however a weight training program means nothing unless you have the will to follow through with it!
Understand that not everyone will grow with a particular weight training routine but everyone can make massive gains with the right scientific based muscle routine!
I have been in the game long enough to know that without intensity you won’t stimulate enough muscle mass and without rest (ample) rest you can’t grow. It is only when these two conditions are fulfilled will you see any muscle growth! Nutrition in my opinion comes third in importance -I know other experts say otherwise but once has to understand that taking in the right amount of calories and nutrients will do nothing for you, if you are overtarined and are not stimulating enough muscle growth! I like to think of it like putting rocket fuel (nutrition) into a sedan (poor weight training routine)--it is all pointless!
My message to building muscle mass is very different and my approach is very unique-many will say I am crazy! But I stand by my ways! It might not be for everyone in the short term but if you don’t take drugs and if you would like consistent life muscle mass gains without plateaus you need to follow the science behind building muscle-not the fads!
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