Athlete Profile: John Quinlan
1. Name: John Quinlan
2. Date of Birth: 10/30/1974
3. Location: Boston, Massachusetts
4. Height: 5'10"
5. Off Season Weight: 220lbs.
6. Competition Weight: 190lbs.
7. Years Training: Many
8. Years Competing: 1
9. Favorite Body Part: Biceps
10. Favorite Exercise: Dumbell Concentration Curls
1. Have you always been in shape?
From an early age I was health conscious and this always kept me in shape. As a boy I was always active playing organized baseball and basketball. When I became a teenager I discovered weight training to become stronger and excel as an athlete in school sports. It was something I enjoyed doing and it just progressed to a higher level as I got older.
2. How did you get started in physique competitions?
I got started in physique competitions mainly because most of my friends at Saint Leo University and Springfield College were into fitness. They were competitive fitness models and bodybuilders who practiced living a healthy lifestyle. I began living my life in the same fashion especially since I was around these guys quite a bit. in 1998 they encouraged me to take my diet and exercise regimen to a higher level and participate in some natural bodybuilding physique competitions.
3. Describe your training philosophy:
My training philosophy is one that I learned during my time at Springfield College. It is a holistic approach to training. Springfield College fitness stressed spirit, mind and body. I learned that the best training involves a healthy level of all three. As I physically train my body, I also want to properly strengthen myself mentally and spiritually. This has been my training philosophy ever since and it has helped me become a better person.
4. What are your favorite exercises?
My favorite type of exercises were always focused on body parts that needed work which lacked strength and size when compared to all the rest. After a good workout when I really trained a weaker body part hard it would always give me a sense of accomplishment because it is now closer to being in symmetry with the other muscle groups.
5. What is your diet like in the off season?
My diet in the off-season doesn't vary to much from the one I would be on when getting ready for a physique competition of a photo shoot. The only real differences are my level of calories and carbohydrates gradually decrease as I et closer to my target date. It consists of a good when protein powder, lean meat, tuna, fish and ground turkey for my protein. I consume sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, pasta and German Dark wheat bread to get my quality carbohydrates. I always keep my fat intake level fairly low all year long and usually drink nothing but water. I do have a cheat day each week in the "off-season" as a reward for eating right.
6. Describe your diet during contest prep:
My diet during contest preparation is very clean. It gradually gets more strict as I get closer to my target date. I would start about 12 weeks out eliminating ALL junk food, fast food and anything fried while only consuming water as my only fluid during that time. I would consume quality carbohydrates until 7:00pm, after which is only lean protein. I stay clear of ALL sugar and keep my sodium level low as well. As I get closer to my show, my carbohydrate intake level gradually begins to decrease. The last week before my target date I begin to drink as much water as I can which can be 1-2 gallons per day on average. With 2 days to go I will stop drinking water that night at 7:00pm and only sip water when necessary on the day before my competition. I WILL NOT consume ANY sodium at this time. The morning of my contest I start ingesting small amounts of quality carbohydrates every 2 hours to fill out a bit. That's really about it along with the consistent mental and physical discipline needed to complete the 12 week journey successfully.
7. What supplements have worked for you?
Supplements that have worked well for me are pretty basic. I never believed in taking to many supplements because I feel that my body begins to rely on them to much. With that being said, I use a good whey protein powder. This, in my opinion, is the best form of protein out there. Ideally 1.5 - 2.0 grams per pound of body weight. Pure creatine monohydrate also works well for me. I always stay away from any form of creatine that was accompanied by a high level of sugar. Vanadyl Sulfate worked very well for me as well during my pre-contest diet to get my muscles harder. Lastly, a good multi vitamin taken in the morning and another one taken at night. I will take a Men's One A Day multi at night to ensure I am getting all the essential minerals I need when I am training hard on a strict diet and because it has no Iron in it.
8. What advice would you give to aspiring athletes?
Advice I would give to aspiring athletes is success doesn't happen overnight, especially in the fitness world. It takes time to achieve a sculpted muscular physique you can be proud of. It takes hard work, a great deal of determination and sacrifice. I would also say consistency is another key component to focus on. If you are consistent with your training and diet the success you are looking for will come. Set your goals and work hard everyday to attain them. Day by day gradually getting closer while maintaining a positive attitude along the way.
9. What have you learned about yourself as a physique competitor?
As a physique competitor I learned how to be focused and disciplined in order to attain a personal goal set for myself. I also learned to never give up and quit the challenge that faced me no matter how tough it seemed. I apply this same attitude in my life everyday and I am a better person as a result of it.
10. What are your plans for the future?My plans for the future are to be a positive role model for others, especially my children. Use everything I have learned in the fitness world and as a competitive natural athlete to enhance my quality of life and extend it as long as possible.