Name: RJ Perkins
Location: Raleigh, NC – Raised in Bridgeport, CT
Height: 5′ 8″
Weight: Currently 195 – Stage Weight 170
Occupation: CEO Aesthetics Training and Nutriton
2008 OCB North Atlantic States
Men’s Bodybuilding 101: 1st Place
Men’s Bodybuilding Short Novice: 1st Place
Awards: Best Posing Award Men’s Bodybuilding
When did you get started with fitness?
Before I began my journey and my quest in natural bodybuilding I played numerous sports growing up as a kid beginning with baseball at the age of 5, I also picked up and played basketball and football. As I got older into my teenage years I was more passionate and focused towards football that I made it my priority sport when I got to high-school. I achieved great heights and achieved many awards that I got picked up and played at Springfield College. During my four years there I played varsity for all four of those years, I rotated my freshman and sophomore year and was a full time starter my junior and senior year. I was an all conference linebacker my senior year and during my time in college is where my love and passion for lifting came about. Post graduation from college I tried out for a few arena football teams and leagues and never made the cut, I was picked up by my home states semi-pro football team and played for one season.
I began bodybuilding in January of 2008 being I felt I was not progressing with football. I was always constantly in the gym and found myself becoming a regular and needed a new challenge, so after much research, reading, experimenting, and so forth I began my quest into bodybuilding at the beginning of a new year to start fresh.
I told myself that year I wanted to compete in my first show, I was a bit lost as I was doing everything on my own and truly knew nothing much about the sport besides I wanted to be the best at it. I continued to research competitive organizations for natural athletes and came across one with nationwide shows and was highly reputable which was the OCB. I saw that there was a show in a town an hour away from my hometown and was in September 2008 which gave me 8 months to prep and get ready for. I had a very short offseason and jumped right into prep. I dieted for 20 weeks using a diet I found online which basically had everything from A-Z laid out.
I went back to school during this time as well to obtain my personal training certification is where I met a guy who is now a close friend by the name of Tony. After talking with him in and out of class we realized we shared a common interest, I was getting ready for a show and he was a competitor himself, I asked him for his help and assistance and could not have ran into a greater person. He taught me everything I needed to know about posing along with other diet tips and lifting techniques. When the show came around I was truly afraid but in the end was a phenomenal experience especially being I had won both of my divisions I had competed in and won the best posing award. Ever since that show I was bit by the big and knew this is what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
After that show I relocated and moved down to Raleigh, NC in November 2008 where I began my new personal life. I landed a job as a personal trainer and truly loved it, unfortunately the gym was shut down but landed another job working in a corporate setting doing what I did prior in CT. I took a good year and a half off focusing on becoming a better and smarter athlete. I did a lot of experimenting with training and dieting until I discovered what works best for me and my body. As I made my gains and made my improvements I began to get that itch to compete again, I knew that I wanted to achieve great heights in this sport and after speaking with my girlfriend and family I decided the next show I competed in I was going to go for my natural pro-card. One of my favorite things to say is “Go Big or Go Home” and I stuck to my guns and told myself that is what I was going to do.
I researched a show which was in Pittsburgh, PA which is truly one of the closest and most local pro-qualifiers to Raleigh, NC and knew it was the show for me and began prep in April 2010. This would leave and give me 25 weeks of pure punishment and training to get my body in the best condition and form to present the best physique that day and win. The days and weeks past and finally the show had arrived, it was a long and grueling day the competition was very steep, but in the end I pulled it out and won, I had officially become a Natural Professional Bodybuilder. Ever since obtaining my pro-card I have been making sure that I do everything necessary to be an elite athlete amongst the best in the world.
How do you stay so motivated? What drives you?
I say motivated by keeping my personal goal of being the best “ME” I can be. This lifestyle has its continued ups and downs and can truly take a beating on you if you let it. I have truly learned balance in this sport over the years so now have comfort in my day to day function. Overall I stay motivated by being a better family member, significant other, friend, athlete, person, coach, teacher, innovator, motivator, and inspiration to all those around me and in my life.
I am driven by the things I have learned in my 28 years on this planet.
Nothing will prepare you more for life than life itself.
I feel I do not live in a sugar coated fairytale world, being not only that is how I was raised but how I live my life. So I stay driven by the road blocks and obstacles that I face in my life learn from them and use them to motivate me to do and be better in all I do
What has been the hardest obstacle for you to overcome?
The hardest obstacle actually happened to me this past August of 2012. I was 6 weeks out from my making my professional debut at the Gaspari Classic in Cape Cod, MA. I started my preparation for my debut on January 1st 2012. I was 34 weeks into my prep and was ready to step on stage at 12 weeks out. Unfortunately I had to back out from competing as I had a personal emergency that had come about in my family that needed my full attention.
People ask if I regret it and I do not, there is nothing I would not do and level I would not go to for my family. I will always put my family first above every and anything. Though I am happy and proud of my decision it was definitely a obstacle to get over. You put in so much time, energy, emotion, effort, money, and more into something that has always been your dream and it quickly evaporates as fast as a rain drop on hot concrete.
Now that I look back this was not truly a obstacle but more of a learning lesson, I took so much away from the experience and lesson that it has now made me even more of a better athlete and member of my family. I am grateful everyday for my chance and opportunity to do what I do but am even more grateful and thankful for my family.
What does your current training schedule/program look like?
Well for those who do or do not know I created the PHD-4 regimen (Power Hyper Deload every 4 weeks) regimen. It was a regimen that was formulated and created based off of practices and ideas from West Side Barbell, Wendler’s 5/3/1, and Layne Norton’s P.H.A.T regimen. I created and ran PHD-4 for 2 years and utilized it throughout my whole prep process. Though I love my PHD-4 regimen and it is truly optimal and effective for those that have used it including my clients my current focus in the gym is learning and developing overall as an athlete.
With that said I am getting married this year 2013 and will be putting a lot of time and attention into that. One of my goals is to compete in my first powerlifting meet in 2014, I recently found a very solid training method called Juggernaut Training. I ran the regimen for 15 weeks and absolutely loved it. The results I got were phenomenal. To give you a quick capture. Post show prep my 1RM (1 Rep max) on Bench Press = 245 lbs, Deadlift = 425 lbs, and Squats 365 lbs. After running Juggernaut Training for 15 weeks my new 1RM were Bench Press = 275 lbs, Deadlift = 495 lbs. All massive gains just 16 weeks post prep.
I had found the perfect regimen that will help me be at the top of my game when I compete in my first power meet in 2014. After running Juggernaut I really got the itch to get back in touch with training like I did when I played football in college. I formulated a regimen compromised of some Olympic and powerlifts with a focus on power, explosiveness, and speed. That is what and how I am currently training and looks something like this:
Compound Quad Movement
Compound Hamstring Movement
Compound Row Movement
Cardiovascular work with focus on form run, speed, and conditioning.
Incline Bench press
Iso Shoulder Press
Cardiovascular work with focus on form run, plyometrics, and explosiveness.
Compound Quad Movement
Compound Hamstring Movement
Isolated Row Movement
Give us a breakdown of your daily diet.
My diet is pretty basic and simple, it is what I preach to my clients as well as practice myself on a day to day basis. “BALANCE” with emphasis on lean proteins, good fats, and solid carb sources while eating micro nutrient dense and high fiber foods. Now with that said I did mention balance, I will be the first to admit I love burgers, pizza, ice cream, chips, cookies, cakes, pop-tarts, and other * finger quote* dirty foods. My practice is that of health, safety, sanity, and again balance. You can call me a IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) teacher, but that is the small picture of this whole lifestyle. I teach with emphasis on what will make your nutrition/diet more optimal for your results in and out the gym, and that includes with family and friends.
So now with focus on me I pretty much eat the same stuff every day. On one of my most recent days it was as follows:
8 egg white + 2 whole eggs
100 grams of raw spinach
80 grams of old fashioned oats
140 grams of frozen blueberries
1 tspn cinnamon
4 oz’s of chicken breast
255 grams of raw broccoli
255 grams of raw celery
Meal 3 (Pre-Wo)
4 oz’s of chicken breast
255 grams of raw baby carrots
15 oz’s of white potato
Meal 4 (Post-Wo)
30 grams Scivation Whey
8 egg white + 2 whole eggs
540 grams of frozen old fashioned hash browns
180 grams of green beans
60 grams of Heinz ketchup
210 protein 400 carbs 60 fat
Do you take any supplements to reach your fitness goals?
Yes I do but they are primarily basic, simple, optimal, and effective as well. I have really learned over the past year that more supplements does not equal better. People mistakenly use supplements as a crutch instead of diet/nutrition as there primary focus and starting point. That is a whole other subject, but for me my supplements switch up based on if I am getting ready for a show or not, and where I am at with my diet and training. It does not change much but there are small subtle differences, primarily here are the supplements I take and would recommend on a day to day basis.
2.) Glucosamine Supplement
3.) Fish Oils
4.) Creatine Monohydrate
7.) Cirtulline Malate
What is your single biggest “Fitness” related accomplishment?
Honestly it is starting my own coaching and consulting business Aesthetics Training and Nutrition. Over the past couple years I have always shad people asking me for nutrition, training, and diet tips so I decided to make it a passion and goal of mine to help educate people. I take great satisfaction with helping people change their LIFEstyle, physiques, minds, attitudes, and outlook on this sport and more. I know it has nothing to do with me personally and my personal body but it really stimulates me mentally to know I am able to do this with and for people around the world!
Is there anyone in the fitness industry you look up to?
There are too many to mention and name and for those who I do they know as I have expressed it to them directly and have reached out to them personally. There are a lot of great and people out there to look up so really makes it hard to directly narrow it down to specific people.
Name a fitness “Myth” that just isn’t true no matter how many times you hear it?
Well I could write a book on this but here is a quick and basic list:
1.) You do not have to generally eat every 2 hours to lose weight or gain lean muscle tissue. Every 3, 4, or 5 have yielded optimal effects in both men and women.
2.) Salt is not bad for you, overconsumption of salt is bad for you like all other things but a well balanced diet with salt is very beneficial.
3.) Carbs before bed do not make you fat unless you over eat your daily need/requirement of carbs before bed. That just goes for the overall day though as well.
4.) Eating after 6 PM or 8 PM does not make you fat again that is over eating and under eating throughout the day that does.
5.) You do not have to eat 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight or lean muscle tissue to grow muscle. At bare and I mean bare minimal .8 grams per pound of lean tissue is the bare bottom but 1g per lb of lean tissue would be best.
Tips for our readers to achieve their fitness dreams?
Keep it simple and basic and do not be fooled and hyped by a lot of things you read. I know it can be hard and confusing in the beginning but overall best thing that I can truly say is do what makes sense and is not overboard. Ask questions, read books, and set goals. Goals are the key to our life and success in whatever we do, so if you want to change the way you look you need to set a goal and change your mind set. Believe in yourself confidence is what really sets the elite from the obsolete, be confident in what you do but remain humble, being humble is truly an admirable aspect. Finally DREAM and dream big do not let anyone and I mean anyone not even your parents tell you that you cannot do or achieve something. Misery loves company and there is a lot of it around us in this world, so surround yourself with a positive support system and DREAM and there is nothing you cannot achieve.
“I Go HAM”
IFPA Pro RJ Perkins Virtual Pages
Scivation- I want to thank Rob Moran and the team of Scivation for truly showing faith and belief in me over the past 2 years to represent the company and be part of such of a phenomenal team.
Schiek – Thank you to the bosses at Schiek for providing me with high quality USA made products that have helped keep my training at a elite level!
JackedPack.com – For allowing me to represent such a site that offers the bodybuilding community what they truly want and that is “ choice”.