In terms of titles, I was the first person to ever win the NPC Texas Overall Bodybuilding Championship twice. I have five world championships in bodybuilding, three Mr. Universe titles, and Pro Mr. International. My most recent win was at the 2009 IFBB Masters World Championship.
I've had a really good run in my own competition bodybuilding, but along the way, over the last 20 years, I've trained many, many people for competition, very successful.
Dave: The Texas Shredder Classic I started it up in 1998 and we've had it every year since then. It's been bigger every year. Coming up here on April 11th will be the Texas Shredder Classic Sanction with the WNBF. We also have the Texas State Naturals which will be October 24th, 2015, and that will be our sixth year for the Texas State Naturals.
Alissa: I've been working with you for the last year. I'm a diabetic, and you've really helped me as a diabetic in training and getting into shape so that I'm allowed to compete. How do you train clients with diabetes differently?
Dave: In terms of the training, the training is really not different with diabetics. One thing that I do have to do when training a diabetic is to be more cognizant of warning if they're starting to get shaky, if their blood sugar gets too low, and I then handle that appropriately at the time.
Where the difference lies is with the diet. Working with the diabetic who wants to get into contest shape to compete, the important thing is to be very mindful of the types of carbohydrates and the amounts of carbohydrates that they're taking in.
They're taking in relatively small amounts of carbohydrates at a time, and carbohydrates that are lower glycemic so that they're releasing more slowly into the system.
Alissa: How much cardio should you do in addition to training?
Dave: The thing I tell all my clients if they want to compete is that you want to do as little cardio as you can while still losing the body fat that you want to lose. Now, for the general fitness client that just wants to be healthier, then I would recommend 30 to 60 minutes of cardio four or five days a week but for our clients who want to compete in bodybuilding, figure physique, bikini, those types of things, the amount of muscle that you carry is extremely important.
The cardio can have an effect of tapping into muscle protein for energy. We want to keep the cardio to a minimum. Generally, I've never had any women that didn't have to do any cardio to get ready for a show. Generally, women have to do more than men. It's just a fact of life.
I've had some men that I was able to train for shows that didn't do any cardio at all and got their body fat down fewer than three percent and were just completely shredded and muscular. Again, like I said, the thing I stress to my clients, do as little as you can get away with while still losing the body fat that you want to lose.
Alissa: Post season when for somebody like myself who stops competing goes into a transition diet, and then maintenance. What are your thoughts and how do you advise other people who aren't training to compete but want to go onto a healthy eating regimen or maintain what they look like post season to stay fit and healthy?
Dave: I would say that your normal person who is not competing, generally, they want to look better during the summertime when they might be going out to the lake or they might be going to the pool. Basically, what I would do for them is basically a bodybuilding or figure competition style diet to bring them down leaner than normal so that they look good at whatever, if it's going to the lake during the summer, going to the pool, or sometimes people will, like I've had ladies that are getting ready for their wedding and they want to look good in the wedding dress.
I'll diet them down pretty much like I do a body builder or figure competitor but it's not as extreme as someone who wants to compete. Their body fat levels don't have to get to unnaturally low levels like competitors do. After the event, after the summer is over or after the wedding is over, the smart way to approach it is to gradually add calories back into the diet very systematically over a period of time, and allow your metabolism to speed back up so that you can increase your calories without dramatically increasing your body fat.
Alissa: Are some people better at certain types of competitions or is it important to find one's niche?
Dave: Absolutely, yeah, people have different things that they're good at. Even in the bodybuilding world and I’ll say that encompassing bodybuilding competition, fitness, figure, bikini, men's physique, and women's fit body, that's all those things, come under bodybuilding competition. They require different types of structures.
Someone who is naturally much more muscular would fit better into bodybuilding. For a woman who is smaller and has a harder time putting on muscle but she's shapely, she would do better in bikini. Yeah, you want to take your structure and find if you're going to do that type of competition which division fits you better.
Not everyone is cut out for bodybuilding competitions. Some people are great runners. They could never look good in a bodybuilding competition but they're good at running or tennis players. What I encourage people to do is find something they like in an athletic endeavor, and stick to that and go all out for that.
In any type of athletic endeavor, no matter what you do, weight training, dieting, and cardio are an integral part of any athletic endeavor and can help you do better.
Alissa: What is your opinion on supplements?
Dave: Supplements definitely have a great place, particularly for competitors or any kind of competitive athlete to fill in the gaps in your diet. I've had people who say, “I eat really healthy. I eat vegetables, I eat fruit. I eat chicken and beef. I mix it up and try to cover all the bases,” but still, depending on how long something has been on the shelf, it loses vitamins and minerals so by taking supplements, you can fill in gaps in your diet to make sure that you're optimizing the results of the efforts that you're putting in the gym or out on the track, or whatever kind of training you're doing.
Alissa: I am an all natural body builder, as I know that that's what your career has been. I don't believe in steroids and I’d never put them into my body. With all my hard effort and training, and diet, I do it completely natural with my supplements being just vitamins. Your show is a WNBF show. Tell everybody what that stands for.
Dave: The WNBF is the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation which means that every show that is sanctioned by the WNBF is drug tested. Every single athlete has to be drug tested for each show.
Alissa: What is your opinion on the use of steroids?
Dave: I advise people not to use them. I think that number one, they're illegal without a doctor's prescription and anabolic steroids, unless you have some sort of muscle wasting disease, no doctor is going to give you a prescription for anabolic steroids. It's risking your health because your endocrine system is so intricately balanced.
If you’re taking anabolic steroids which mimic the male hormone testosterone, your endocrine system is going to adjust your other hormones to try to reach homeostasis.
Alissa: Dave, thank you so much for this interview. You have been such an inspiration to me. I really admire you and I can't thank you enough for how you've worked with me so patiently through my diabetes and my fitness training to get me to a place where I wanted to be and all of my accomplishments. You've given me drive and motivation to continue going. I owe it all to you, my accomplishments and how far I've come.
Dave: It's been quite a pleasure working with you for the past year, and I'm certainly very proud of how far you've come, what you've done in terms of figure but one of the things that I would like to express to your followers who are following your diabetes blog is that not only have you gotten in tremendous shape, but the really cool thing is that through the weight training and the attention to diet, you were able to dramatically decrease the amount of insulin that you were having to take.
For diabetics, it's cool if somebody looks good. That's great but when you can reduce the amount of insulin you have to take, it's much better for your system and that's I think to me the point I would like to drive home with diabetics is that this bodybuilding lifestyle with the weight training, the cardio, and the attention to diet, that it's so good for your health.
There's really nothing better you can do. You have been a prime example that being a diabetic doesn't have to limit you. That doesn't have to limit what you do. Maybe you can't eat desserts all the time and things like that but in terms of what you can accomplish athletically, it doesn't have to limit you.
Living the healthy bodybuilding lifestyle, it can definitely not only improve the way you look but improve your overall health and your dependence on insulin, be able to reduce the amount of insulin that you have to take. I think that's really cool because when you first came in here, you were on the insulin pump.
I don't remember how long it was. Was it like two months that you were able to get off the pump?
Dave: I know that was a really, really big deal for you because that was such an imposition to what you were doing, and you're always having to move the pump around. I thought that was a really awesome deal when you were able to reduce your insulin dependence and get off the pump.
Alissa: Thank you so much, Dave. I really appreciate this interview and everything you've done to help me. You have given me such motivation and drive to succeed. I look forward to our next training session.
Dave: Of course.