My wife teases me about being a “scrapbooker,” or liking to make collages. I used to do this shit all the time in high school on my notepads. What exactly was I doing? I was bringing in those things that I found inspiring. Things that would help me keep going. I believe there’s a lot of truth in the statement, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
If it's not right in front of you, then it's much harder to push yourself. I think you need a constant reminder of where you want to go, where you've been, and what it takes to succeed. All are highly important. I’m going to take you through some of the items that I have on my office wall that I find inspiring.
Starting from the top, we have a Rolls-Royce, the car I’ve always wanted to own. It started as a Bentley, then evolved to Rolls-Royce. Ever heard of Brach’s Candy company? If you haven’t, just know that it’s an old school candy company that’s been around forever. Back in the day, a lady married one of the higher ups at Brach’s, and I remember that she drove a Rolls-Royce. Coming from the trailer and struggling to pay bills, then having the Rolls-Royce level to aspire to, was huge. A lofty goal.
I have the second cover of Inside Fitness on my wall. I’ve always wanted to be on Men’s Health, but it just never worked out. It is what it is. My boy, Terry Frendo is the one who made Inside Fitness happen for me. I knew I was never going to be some 220, shredded up dude, but I could be 175, 180, or 190. Fit with no drugs. That look is what I saw in my head.
The Fitness RX cover with my kids marks one of the best days of my career up to this point. Eight-hour photo shoot. I spent so much time getting ready for it. It was very, very difficult. My kids just showed up at the end and took a picture with me. He took 8-10 shots. I get a call a month later saying, "We took a lot of great photos, but I think we're going to use the one with your kids for the cover.” I literally almost started crying. To walk into Kroger with my 8-year-old son and see us on the front was surreal. Definitely one of the coolest moments of my life.
Muscle & Body
If you read The Mindset Manual, you’ll know that this was the magazine I completely messed up with on my first outing. This was when Greg Plitt was there killing it, and I look as soft as a marshmallow. I messed up and wasn’t ready. I literally quit during my session because I knew it wasn’t good enough. I was wasting the photographer’s time. I totally squandered my first opportunity. Knowing what happened the first time, I came back fucking shredded to the bone. Every GNC had that magazine on the counter. Not only that, but I was also able to secure an entire wall of product.
What would have happened if I quit the first time around? What happens if I would've said, "You know what? This ain't for me." I didn’t quit. I saw what these things represented. I manufactured them in my mind, then got to experience them because I pushed harder than everyone else. I was willing to wear everybody out until I got my shot. I wasn't the biggest. I wasn’t the leanest. But it didn’t matter.
You guys know I love golf too. I'm a weird mix. Powerlifting, bodybuilding, and golf. It’s just the way it is. Augusta National is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. When you walk into Augusta National, you are in. You can’t even take your cell phone. You’re there for the experience completely. I will play this golf course within my lifetime. If you understand golf, you understand just how hard it is to play there. Damn near impossible to even get tickets. My goal is to play this course every year. That's my plan. When will that happen? I don't know, but I think about it all the time. That's inspiration.
Back in 2015, I was sponsoring Tiger Woods. I walked up to the first tee box to watch Tiger tee off at seven or eight the morning. The caddy sets down his bag, and bam! There’s my current company’s logo. I’m standing at the Masters, sponsoring one of the best golfers of all time. Shit is real. Even though I was able to achieve that, I still, had no shot at playing there yet. Still can't get tickets. That’s why this flag is on my wall.
Every dad that has a little girl understands just how important they are. Obviously, my boys are important too, but you understand there's a different kind of connection when having a daughter, right? I always tell her, "You're a two-time cover model" because we got Natural Muscle with the same photo shoot. Having just her with me is something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
Pumping Iron, signed by Ed Corney. Arnold told me stories about training with Ed. Not as good of a bodybuilder, but an amazing poser. If you want to see textbook posing, watch Ed Corney. He’s dramatic, artistic, and just super fucking awesome. He pushed Arnold as a partner, like no one else. I've always respected Ed Corny because of his work ethic.
He'd sign autographs every year at the Arnold Classic for $20 a pop. I have so many autographs because I love supporting him. He motivated me to push hard in the gym, no matter what age.
Many of you discovered me during the MusclePharm days. Remember The Blueprint? I’m talking about the training program I wrote with Arnold. Blueprint to Mass and Blueprint to Cut. I was fortunate enough to go through all of Arnold’s training archives to put together a program. One of the times he approved them on a plane ride to Europe, and the other time I was able to physically sit down with him.
Together, we masterminded the entire process. I am proud that I was able to create something with the GOAT, Arnold Schwarzenegger. My Blueprint poster is signed by Arnold too. Only a couple of these are in existence. It reminds me of what’s attainable and what’s possible. I know because I lived it.
This are my dudes Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin is the most famous person where I’m from. There’s a Dean Martin festival. Back where I’m from there’s no one really to look up to. He was that person.
He drank like a maniac, but the level he ascended to helped me understand that even a guy from Steubenville, OH could achieve something great. It was super inspiring to me. That’s why I have a Rat Pack poster on my office wall.
The Arnold poster from Flex Magazine. I actually only have half of this poster. When I was a kid, my best friend Todd, had this in his room. I thought this was the coolest magazine pullout of all time. I tried to recreate it when I worked with Arnold, with either Muscular Development or Fitness RX. It was just too expensive. Luckily, I was able to find one on the internet, get it framed, and finally have Arnold sign it.
I've always been a visual person. I need things in front of me. This is me explaining to you how they happen, why they happen, and how I continue to use them as motivation going forward.