The past few weeks have been amazing, to say the least, for our NUTRISHOP-sponsored athletes. Team NUTRISHOP brought home hardware or competed in the Empire Classic in Spokane, Wash., and some even did double-duty, competing in the Big Sky Classic in Montana the week before.
We’re extremely proud of our sponsored athletes’ performances and realize the work and dedication that it takes to get to where they’ve gotten. So begins our Team NUTRISHOP series!
Alan, 40, competed in the Masters class at the Big Sky Classic. With the help of NUTRISHOP, he placed third in just his second year of competing.
“I’ve loved bodybuilding my whole life and spent most of my life in the gym, but I didn’t think about competing until last year,” Alan says. “I didn’t do as well as I had hoped my first time. Then I ran into Matt and Toby, and it got my fire lit to try again. Matt coached me up, did my diet plan and got me involved. NUTRISHOP is a great team.”
In the past, Alan did the Big Sky and the Empire just to show himself he could do it; this time around, he wanted to fare better. He succeeded with his third-place finish. Although he expected to place higher, Alan says he felt there was nothing more he could have done, and that feeling is gratifying.
“I didn’t place as high as I thought I would, but I wanted to come in better-conditioned and I did that,” he says. “I brought a good, conditioned package to the stage and don’t feel there was anything I could have done better. My first time I took some shortcuts. This year, I gave it everything I had.”
With an individually personalized diet plan and prep program put in place by Matt Maiwald, who took note of how Alan’s body responded to carbs, Alan did more cardio work on top of his regular training.
“Matt helped me make the adjustments I needed,” Alan says. “It all started coming together. It was all about Matt knowing how my body responded and adjusting my diet plan specifically to me. It was awesome to have someone respond to me as an individual — way better than any cookie-cutter diet program you could ask for.”
As a part of TEAM NUTRISHOP, Alan says he has new friends in Matt and Toby and continues to learn more about nutrition, fitness and the sport of bodybuilding that he loves.
“Nutrition’s always changing, and these guys have kept me up to speed,” he says. “I learn a ton every time I have a conversation with them.”
Hammond Bradford took home third at the Empire Classic.
Hammond, 21, took home third place in the Open Men’s Physique “C” class in the Empire Classic! His turnaround and motivation are extremely impressive — “I was an alcoholic,” Hammond explains. “For me, working out was the only way I could stay sober.”
Last fall, Hammond wanted to take his training to the next level, and NUTRISHOP’s Matt Maiwald encouraged and supported him as prep coach to see what he was capable of.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life, so I’m a very competitive person in general,” Hammond says. “I wanted to win, but also I wanted to see what I could manipulate my body to do. The whole nutrition and different styles of training, and how they affect your body and the look they give you, fascinates me.”
Hammond put on tons of lean mass — in fact, he was shocked to hear the judges at the Empire critique that he was too lean and big for the physique class.
“Even though I was frustrated with it, I’m happy with the way I looked,” he says. “I feel that the package I brought to the stage was a huge accomplishment and I’m happy of that.”
Matt started off Hammond on a high-protein, high-carb diet, catered to Hammond’s low carb sensitivity, and gradually tapered down as the show neared. His arsenal included PRO7, BCAAs, N’FUZE, HEMOVEX and NO-XP3.
“I originally went into NUTRISHOP just to check it out, and Matt blew me away with service,” Hammond says. “He was so helpful in every way possible and gave me so much information. I started seeing him everywhere and he would ask about the things he had told me to do.
“I could tell he genuinely did want to help,” Hammond continues. “He encouraged me to compete and when it came to it, he was the clear choice for coaching. He built up my trust for him and once I got to know him, I truly respected him as a person, fellow competitor and coach.”
NUTRISHOP’s expertise and genuine care for its clients transcends into its help for its sponsored athletes, and Hammond says he could tell the difference right away.
“At first I expected them to be more like used car salespeople, and just want to take your money, but it was nothing like that,” he says. “They ask you what your goals are, and tell you exactly how you can achieve those. There’s nowhere else I’ll shop, nor would I recommend anyone else to do that. … They’re very genuine in everything they do.”
TEAM NUTRISHOP’s Luke Williamson
Luke, 33, competed in the Men’s Physique C Division (5’9”-5’11”) at the Empire Classic in Spokane, and placed eighth of 15 competitors. Luke had been lifting weights most of his life, and he believed he had the ability to perform well in a show — permitting he got his diet dialed in.
“My goal was to look better than anyone else on stage and win,” Luke says.
With the help of NUTRISHOP CDA’s Matt Maiwald, Luke put together a stage-worthy diet: 11 weeks of cutting to shred 30 pounds of fat, spearheaded by whole, healthy foods like chicken, eggs and green vegetables. On top of that, Luke averaged six days a week in the gym, doing both compound and isolated movements, plus he incorporated cardio on his lifting days.
He kept the supplementation fairly basic: NUTRISHOP whey protein, casein protein, preworkouts, BCAAs, vitamins and KARBOLYN.
“I consider everyone (at NUTRISHOP) friends,” Luke says “They are very knowledgeable of their supplements and helpful. Most of my interaction is with Matt about training and dieting plans.”
Next up for Luke is the NOC competition in the fall, where he’ll represent NUTRISHOP CDA as a bodybuilder rather than a physique athlete. His sponsorship came on just a week before the Empire this spring, so that means he’ll have more than half the year to prepare with even more solid guidance under his belt this time around.
“Matt is my guy for nutrition,” Luke says. “I will be in there often!”
Chris Mahana placed first at the Empire Classic in Spokane, Wash.
Chris, 23, took home first place in the Open Men’s Physique (5’11″ to 6’1″) class, in the Empire Classic! His road to the trophy platform started three years ago, when he first began competing. With a long-running interest in the human anatomy and nutrition since middle school, Chris wanted to push his body to the next level and step on stage.
“My goals coming into this show were to come in the most conditioned that I possibly could with the time given, and make the top five in my class,” Chris says. “When I got first place it was the most amazing feeling, knowing that all that hard work and dedication shined through.”
Chris’ consistent, disciplined diet was a huge asset to his march to the top from Day 1. With subtle carb and fat intake changes as the show neared, he was able to fine-tune his macronutrient levels to get him into the best shape possible, and his workouts were always fast-paced with short rest periods. He also had an interesting technique for making sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him.
“I stayed covered up as much as possible so I could stay warm and focus more on how my body felt,” he says, “as opposed to how it looked in the gym.”
With a fairly basic NUTRISHOP supplement plan that included glutamine, creatine, protein and a preworkout, Chris had a perfect storm of training, diet, supplementation and motivation to succeed. He also had some help from NUTRISHOP as a sponsored athlete.
“My relationship with NUTRISHOP has been fantastic. I consider Matt Maiwald as a close friend as well,” Chris says. “They helped me choose all the best products for my competition goals. Being a sponsored athlete was great — it made me part of a team of awesome people that shared my fitness goals.
“I will most likely always go through NUTRISHOP for my supplements,” Chris continued. “The products taste superior to anything out there and they actually work!”
Talon, 26, competed in the Mens’ Open Middleweight Bodybuilding class to claim a pair of fourth-place finishes in the 2014 Empire Classic and Big Sky Championships. His motivation and recent success has been a long time coming — back in 2009, Talon suffered a very serious back injury while serving in the U.S. Navy. After six months of physical therapy, he was able to perform daily functions and walk normally once again. During this time of recovery, his doctor, a longtime national bodybuilder, began to teach him how to help his recovery through bodybuilding.
“Two years of isolation and development training and 50 pounds of lean mass later,” Talon says, “I did my first squat and deadlift without pain. Eight months later I walked on stage for the first time at the Emerald Cup in 2012.”
He placed ninth, and since then won the Empire Classic and Night of the Champions in 2012. With plenty of motivation coming from a special source — “My girlfriend Lindsey Martin has had a huge part in my success,” Talon says. “She is always keeping me focused and on track for the future” — he is thriving.
Recently, his goals have shifted. Once just training daily to be able to walk normally and without pain, Talon entered the Empire and Big Sky contests with specific goals.
“My goal was to come to the stage fuller, harder, dryer and with more size and symmetry than I had int he past,” he says. “I brought the best me to the stage I ever had. My future goal is to continue to develop and eventually compete in the Olympia 212.”
While Talon has been involved with fitness, training and nutrition for years, he found that his background in injury correction and prevention, as well as strength and volume, were different from typical trainers’ — but he also saw that many of the philosophies of training go hand in hand. He was able to use several different training theories to create muscle size, fullness, strength and definition. And, working with his prep coach Jacques Pitcher and NUTRISHOP CDA, his sponsor, he had correct diet and supplementation to complement his training.
“I left my former sponsors to represent NUTRISHOP because of the outstanding quality of the supplements and the fact I respect the owner,” Talon says. “I will not be affiliated with a company otherwise. … I will continue to represent NUTRISHOP in the future and I am very grateful to be associated with Toby and NUTRISHOP.”
Brittany Fluet before her NUTRISHOP-sponsored training…
…and after. Way to go Brittany!
Brittany, 21, competed in the Bikini Class A at both the Big Sky Championships and at the Empire Classic, finishing in second place at the Big Sky and then, in Spokane, in fourth place out of 14 competitors. She decided to compete because it was a new challenge — she’d always wanted a six-pack, but more importantly wanted to see what she was capable of.
“My motivation came from within,” she says. “The fact that I was doing something beneficial for my health and well-being, along with looking great, kept me motivated. Ever since I was about 12, I’ve been interested in health and fitness. It’s something I enjoy learning about and applying what I learn to my life.”
Brittany didn’t have any numeric or specific goals — she just wanted to look the best she possible could on stage for herself.
“Overall, I could not be more happy with the outcome of the shows,” she says. “All I wanted was to be the best I could be and feel confident and good about myself on stage. It was never about getting first or second place to me — although I didn’t complain when I placed in the top five at both shows!”
The fitness regimen Brittany was on to get in shape was a big-time departure for her. In the past, she would have a bowl of ice cream every night of the week if she wanted. She says she never has been the type to really monitor what she eats, so the diet was definitely the hard part in the beginning.
“I didn’t have any discipline and it was very repetitive, but once I became more disciplined, things got a lot easier,” Brittany says. “But it was a LOT of work! My day revolved around food. If I wasn’t eating it, I was preparing it; if I wasn’t preparing it, I was at the grocery store buying more.”
Consistency was key for her. Every day was oatmeal, chicken, and vegetables. She trained twice a day six days a week and had one rest day, with a full, complex cabinet of NUTRISHOP supplements.
“The staff at NUTRISHOP is the best in all of the Northwest, hands down,” she says. “The staff just doesn’t feed customers a line of crap; they have knowledge behind all of the products and they truly know what they are talking about. Whether it had to do with training, health concerns or questions regarding the shows, they had an answer. They are genuine and honest and want what’s best for their customers and athletes.”
Brittany continues to learn new things every day at NUTRISHOP, and will continue to get her supplements there in the future because of her experiences with the store and its staff.
“I learn so much it’s hard to grasp it all, so I have to keep going back,” Brittany says. “I will continue to shop at NUTRISHOP because I will only put the best of the best in my body and that’s what they provide.”
Christina Thompson at her show last year (left) and at the Empire Classic (right). Great work!
Christina Thompson, 31, competed in the Bikini Class at Empire Classic. It was her second competition (she also was in the Night of Champions in September, finishing 10th out of 14). At that first show, she says, she felt she could compete again and fare better with more guidance and better supplementation a second time around. Indeed, at the Empire, she finished seventh out of 18 in the Open Bikini (5’6″-5’7″) class.
“Toby had helped me with basic supplements for the first show while I had a different coach,” Christina says, “and in January offered me a sponsorship and set me up with an even more robust stack of supplements as well as a nutrition plan.”
Christina’s goals for the Empire were simple: to look better than the first. She’d learned a lot the first time around, but also wanted to know more about the nutritional process and what worked best for her body, especially under the extreme workouts she was going through.
“I feel like I did learn so much more about how to fuel my body and what it needs to get me through this process. I still have so much more to learn, but knowing what to put in your body to get what you expect out of it is powerful.”
As with many bikini, figure or bodybuilder competitors, Christina found the eating to be a challenge — but she decided to get creative. Not someone who normally eats bland foods anyway, she put it upon herself to use the approved foods and macronutrients in her NUTRISHOP-crafted meal plan to create food that was healthy but still enjoyable. She’d learned in her first competition that meal prep was key, and in the second, truly took it to heart.
“It’s almost therapeutic for me — I love feeling prepared and knowing that I don’t need to panic if I don’t have chicken, veggies, etc. ready on and hand,” she says. “I would prep on Sunday and Wednesday to accommodate my Monday through Friday work week, and my IsoBag was a lifesaver in hauling all of that food!”
And Christina’s training, as you might expect, was tough, too. She found the discipline needed to do her cardio at 9 p.m., after her last meal, even though it was hard to get motivated so late in the day. But with some supplemental help — NUTRISHOP products based on L-Carnitine and Yohimbine for her pre-cardio; she liked NO-XP3 for her pre-lifting product. But more important than what she bought from NUTRISHOP was the support and help she got from it.
“I love the NUTRISHOP staff. Everyone is welcoming and knowledgeable and really listened to my questions or concerns,” Christina says. “There are times when I called the shop to ask a question about supplements or nutrition, and anyone that answers is more than prepared and willing to help.
“I have felt very comfortable sending my friends and family to them for anything,” she continues. “As a sponsored athlete, being able to text Toby with questions was super convenient and helpful —his timely responses were much appreciated!”
Brandon, 20, was a major success in the Big Sky Championships in Missoula, Montana, finishing fourth in the Junior Physique category, and then at the Empire Classic in Spokane, Wash., he took home third-place hardware in the same division!
A longtime NUTRISHOP CDA client even before he was a sponsored member of TEAM NUTRISHOP, Brandon’s great results came with plenty of hard work and motivation.
“My motive to do this was my girlfriend in the beginning, because she wanted to do it,” he explains. “I just decided, ‘Why not do it myself to help motivate her?’ So that’s when it began. I officially started training with Matt Maiwald in mid-October. And it has become one of the best decisions I have ever made.”
Brandon’s goals during his competition training were tough — he put it on himself to get 1 percent better every day. There was a bit of “feeling out,” considering they were his first two shows, but his hard work definitely paid off, and he says he is motivated to improve the next time he competes.
“Now, is that what happens? No. But you work toward something and keep doing it, regardless of the past or yesterday. You can only focus on today and plan for tomorrow,” he says. “I felt very accomplished that I placed top-5 for both of my first shows. But I feel like if I would have put in the work, I could’ve done much better. Now it’s time to work towards the future.”
Brandon Hughes’ transformation into show shape was phenomenal!
Brandon’s fitness regimen is daunting and impressive, with the keys being those famously tough giant sets to build muscle — “man, it will get you the results you want,” he says — and fasted cardio to help chisel away body fat and show off the hard work he’d been doing. With an on-point diet, Brandon maximizes his gains with a supplement plan that includes HEMOVEX, NO-XP3, BCAAs, ERRATIC, PRO5/PRO7, L-Carnitine, Yohimbine, KARBOLYN and C4, all from NUTRISHOP, of course. And that relationship plays an important role in how Brandon approaches his goals.
“It’s the best relationship you could ask for. … Every supplement store should be this way,” Brandon says. “Even before being a sponsored athlete, they treated me like family. I wouldn’t want anything else from them. They know how to make someone feel good and keep the great customer service pushing. They are a 5-star shop, no doubt, in my mind. And the support is unbelievable. They push you to be better every single day, come to the shows and root you on, and always congratulate you on your smallest or biggest achievements.”
Lindsey, 22, placed third in novice figure and fifth in open figure at the Big Sky Championships 2014 in Missoula, Montana, then placed seventh in open figure and second in couples/mixed pairs bodybuilding at the Empire Classic 2014.
Her great success came from a place of self-improvement: she first competed in the bikini class at the Night of Champions in September, placing 11th, and didn’t feel that division was for her.
“I set a goal to move up to figure class and compete in the spring,” Lindsey says. “In less than eight months.”
After her first competition, she was at the gym every day for hours with her boyfriend and trainer, fellow NUTRISHOP CDA sponsored athlete Talon Sullens, putting on big muscle and shaping her physique as fast as possible with her limited time. She also had a contest prep coach in Jacques Pitcher.
“(He) was encouraging and ensured I would bring the best Lindsey to the stage, which I absolutely did,” she says. “Placement aside, I brought the best package of ‘me’ as I could, and that is the heart of competing.”
Lindsey brought some added motivation to her competition — she felt that some people discouraged her, or scoffed at her goals.
“It was a huge personal success to compete on the figure stage,” she says. “You can either dwell on negative attention, or you can use it as fuel to persevere. I chose the latter and I look forward to an even better competition season next year.”
Now a fully integral part to the NUTRISHOP CDA family, Lindsey recognizes that it’s a special group unlike any other — it’s a system that’s simultaneously a support group, spotters at the gym, friends and family.
“We put pressure on each other in a constructive way,” she says, “and always keep each other accountable.”
NUTRISHOP is proud to have such dedicated athletes representing the CDA store, and, Martin says, the feeling from these great athletes is mutual.
“I will continue to refer people with all types and levels of fitness goals to NUTRISHOP CDA,” she says. “What I accomplished in seven months with the appropriate supplementation from NUTRISHOP should serve as a testimony of the product quality and knowledge of the staff.”
Kiley, 33, was in the Empire Classic and competed in the Open Bikini F (5’6″-5’7″) Division, claiming eighth place out of 16.
“I wanted to try and achieve higher results, with a better body, than the first time I competed,” Kiley said. “I feel good about my accomplishment in this. I’m satisfied overall.”
With a tried-and-true trifecta of weight training, cardio and clean diet, Kiley was able to make strides with her physique and her fitness. And having NUTRISHOP alongside never hurts, either.
“NUTRISHOP is always helpful with my supplement purchases,”she says. “I have obtained a wealth of knowledge working with NUTRISHOP over the last year. Their guidance is unmatched.”
As we try to preach whenever we can, fitness isn’t just an “in-the-moment” thing — it can and should last a lifetime. To that end, Kiley has a new “go-to” shop for her supplement purchases, and says she will pass on the word that NUTRISHOP is the place to go.
“I will continue to refer people, clients and friends for dietary and supplement advice!”