PROMiXX® caught up with IFBB Athletic Physique Champion, Robert Smith, to find out what it takes to compete at the very top.
What are your current health and fitness achievements to date?
I have the following fitness achievements:
- 1st Place IFBB SSN Cape Classic Mens physique 2014
- 2nd Place IFBB Battle of the Titans Mens physique
- Top 10 Wbff Muscle model South Africa 2015
- 4th Place WBFF Muscle Model South Africa 2016
- 1st Place & Overall Winner PCA Battle of the Titans Muscle Model Plus 2017
Which of your health and fitness achievements has been your most favorite and why?
Stepping on stage at the WBFF in 2016 and placing 4th against 35 athletes is by far my favorite achievement. I had never prepped that hard for any show. The experience I had on stage and level of competition was the best I have ever stood against.
What got you inspired and into the fitness industry?
After having reached my weight loss goal, I was invited to watch a very good friend of mine compete at a local Fitness Show in South Africa. I had never been to watch a show before so thought "what the hell, let's go". Having seen how my friend prepped and how hard he worked to get ready for this show I really wasn't sure what to expect. Needless to say, after watching my friend on stage I decided to give this Fitness thing a bash. Seeing the athletes on stage, the dedication and hard work that went into their prep I want to challenge myself in the same way. Challenge accepted!
What is the most rewarding aspect of competing for you?
The most rewarding aspect of the fitness industry for me is that fact that I get the opportunity to motivate and inspire others in the same way I was before I decided to make changes in my life. Not necessarily to compete but rather just to make better, healthier decisions in life and showing people that anything is possible if they set their mind to it.
Can you tell us about your experience with your physique competitions and any tips for a first-time competitor?
Stepping on stage has not only taught me a lot about fitness and competing but about myself. There is a lot of hard work and dedication that goes into your prep and people around you don't understand the commitment. For anyone doing their first comp, the only advise i can give you is to trust the process. You will question yourself or your coach. DONT. Just follow the process.
What has been the biggest challenge you have had to overcome to get to where you are today?
The biggest challenge I have had to overcome to not being afraid to be different. This lifestyle is not for everything and not everyone understands it. in the beginning, i used to get questions continuously about not wanting to eat certain foods or go out drinking. Standing firm to your commitment to achieving your goals and saying NO to others is extremely difficult. It was only after I started to progress in the fitness industry that people stopped questioning me.
What is the number one lesson you have learned about health and fitness through your training?
Consistency is the biggest element of success in the fitness industry. Having a plan and sticking to it is the only way. Through this discipline and dedication that more lessons will be learned and challenges overcome.
Do you remember your first training session? How different is your training today?
My first training session was ridiculous. I had no idea what I was doing. I wafted around from bench to bench and machine to machine. Eventually, I just ended up leaving. Now, I kill it in the gym! Over the years I have educated myself through asking advice from coaches, friends, other athletes and social media. I now have direction in the gym. I know what I need to do when I get there and I get it done.
Who inspires you? Why?
I get inspiration from many people but one person, in particular, is AJ Ellison. He is the current WBFF Muscle Model World Champ, for the second time!
What advice would you give to our PROMiXX® followers who want to get into the best shape of their life?
The best advice I can give anyone wanting to get in great shape is to seek professional advice. At least if it is only a starting point. Often people don't know where to start and how to achieve these goals, so having someone to give them direction and educate them if extremely important. Also, keep that person accountable to someone.
What is the most important thing guys need to remember when training?
Leave your ego at the door! Focus on form first and foremost. Once you have the technique then gradually add weight. Cant tell you how many people i see throwing weights around at gym but cant do a proper rep.
What is your career highlight?
One of the highlights of my career is featuring on the cover of the Fitness Magazine here in South Africa. It was a tremendous honor and privileged. This was a goal I had set myself and a dream come true.
How do you conquer nerves on the stage either when you are competing, modeling or your video work?
By drinking a lot of brandy - kidding. I always tell myself that no one in the audience will know if I made a mistake, only I will. So I take things deliberately slower and really try and enjoy what little time you have on stage or in front of a camera.
What is your favorite body part to train and what are your favorite moves to train it?
My favorite body part to train is shoulders. I keep things simple and like the basic movements. An old faithful for me is standing and seated lateral raises. I try to add these exercises in as supersets to other as much as I can throughout my workout and in doing so keep the blood in the shoulder. I love that swole feeling.
Can you give us a sample of your weekly workout regime?
My workout regime for the week is as follows:
- Monday - Legs (strength work)
- Tuesday - Chest & Tri's
- Wednesday - Back & Bi's
- Thursday - Shoulders
- Friday - Legs (volume work)
- Sat - Bi's & Tri's
- Sun - REST
Every morning I rotate between doing fasted cardio one day and then calves and abs another. The above weight regime is done in the evening after work.
What kind of music do you listen to when you are working out?
I listen to all types of music depending on my mood. Hip Hop, Dub step, Trance, Commercial, Rock, etc.
What does your diet look like when you are trying to get lean?
When i am trying to get lean i still have a balanced meal plan which fits my allocated macros. As i will be eating fewer calories then that of an off season bulk i will try plan the meal plan that majority of the food is eaten around time i know i might struggle with hunger. a typical day might look something like this:
1 serving Gaspari Myofusion protein
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Mixed green salad
What kind of cardio do you like best and why?
My preference is to do steady state fasted cardio. This is the time i get to put my music on and cut the world out. It's my own personal motivation/psychology session. I used this time to refocus, gather my thoughts and keep my eyes on the prize.
Do you take any supplements and how do they help you perform?
I use a wide range of supplements from Gaspari Nutrition. Due to the intense training regime it is vital i make sure i supplement correctly in order to speed up recovery. Below is list of supplements i used daily:
- Super Pump Pre-workout
- Myofusion Advanced Protein
- AminoLast BCAA
What do you have in store for the future?
I am currently prepping for WBFF SOUTH AFRICA in March 2018. I came close to getting my PRO card in 2016 and am now more determined than ever to achieve this. I am excited to step on stage with best of the best.