By Dave Sturchio
There is truly nothing better than a story of success. A story based on overcoming the odds and proving wrong everyone who ever told you “you can’t do it.” The story I’m about to share is about a young man who had a fitness goal and achieved it with hard work and determination. I introduce to you a bodybuilding superstar… Scott Simpson.
Simpson had been an athlete his entire life. Since about 8th grade, he was actively competing in the world of amateur wrestling and football. Hitting the gym and conditioning was a lifestyle he had always had. But to Simpson, something was missing. He always wanted to challenge himself. And what better way to challenge oneself than to get involved with one of the most competitive avenues in America: bodybuilding.
The world of bodybuilding is one of the most underrated sports in the world.For obvious reasons, it requires more dedication towards building one’s physique. In every contact sport, athletes have to lift, be strong, be fast, and be athletic. But in bodybuilding, athletes not only have to lift and be strong, but they have to look so aesthetically pleasing to people that are literally judging them based on the definition of their physique.
When Simpson decided he wanted to pursue this sport, he knew he had a lot of work to do. Simpson looked in the mirror on the first day of his bodybuilding training at a stocky 5’4”, weighing in at 230 pounds. He had muscle, sure, but he knew that if he was going to get serious, many changes needed to be made.
Simpson didn’t do your average training and dieting.
“I never counted calories, I just knew what I needed to eat and not eat,” Simpson told me.
While counting (and cutting) calories is arguably the easiest way to lose weight, Simpson never liked the “easy” way and decided instead to increase his protein intake, decrease the fatty foods, and go on something called “Carb Cycling.”In order to do this successfully, he literally had three different kinds of meals: one meal loaded with carbohydrates, one meal with minimal carbs, and some meals with ZERO carbs. Simpson challenged himself to stick with this program, and it worked. He immediately started to see the fat melt off his body and started to lean out quickly. Besides his daily protein intake, Simpson’s gym sessions lasted sometimes up to two hours a day, and he only took ONE day off during the week. It was rigorous weight lifting 5 days a week, and one day dedicated just to cardio. And every weight lifting session was followed with 30-45 minutes of cardio.
When Simpson felt he was good and ready, he decided to take the leap and sign up for a bodybuilding competition. The contest was labeled as the “Lehigh Valley Championship” and was a part of the National Physique Committee (NPC). Heading into this event, his training was increased and his diet was even stricter.
Simpson went from weighing 230 lbs to 155 lbs in a span of a few months! On the day of the event – this past Memorial Day weekend – he realized it was a lot bigger than he was expecting. The competition consisted of over 190 athletes with the same goals at Simpson. He entered into the middleweight division and in his class were about 20 guys that he knew he could outshine. Simpson did his pose routine and right then and there, he realized that he was succeeding in the goal he set out for a year before. Competing on that stage made him recognize that his hard work and dedication to the gym and dieting was paying off.
Simpson drank a half-gallon of water the day prior to the event and didn’t have a sip of water the day of. He also filled me in on a fitness secret: if you consume a tablespoon of jelly, your body reacts quickly and looks its leanest. Yes, I found that odd too, but these guys have to find every single way to look their best, so they know what they’re talking about!The day of the contest, Simpson said he only consumed a rice cake every few hours. It’s pretty mind blowing how much goes into all this training even on the day of.
When the show was over, Simpsonfelt victorious just for making it far enough to compete on this day. But when the judges called his name, it went to a whole other level. Simpson placed 7th– an impressive finish for his very FIRST competition.
This is only the beginning for Simpson. His transition isn’t complete until he’s standing on the podium with the first place prize. Scott Simpson is the personification of hard work. Look for him in 2015 in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania, going after the gold. Go get ‘em Scott!