Valeriy Pak – Interview with Competitive Russian Bodybuilder

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Valeriy Pak – Bodybuilder Statistics

  • Name: Valeriy Pak
  • Date of Birth: November 10, 1990
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Contest Weight: 187-190 pounds
  • Off-Season Weight: 220-224 pounds
  • Size of Arms: 18.3″
  • Size of Chest: 48.4″
  • Size of Thighs: 27.5″
  • Size of Waist: 37.9″
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Dark Brown
  • Location: Moscow, Russia

Valeriy Pak – Bodybuilder Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I was born in Tashkent City, Uzbekistan Republic. I finished high school and business college there. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in law in Moscow at the All-Russian State University of Justice.

How and why did you get started in bodybuilding?
When I was a child my dream was to perform on stage. After military service in 2010, I decided to make my dream come true and took part in a bodybuilding competition. I did not place high there because I was still learning and needed more experience. However, I didn’t give up and took part in a fitness project called “Now You Are Hip!” in 2015. The main objective for the participants of this project was to show good progress in training, not only with this project, but also at bodybuilding competitions. I won the project and also the Moscow Regional Bodybuilding Championship! It is at that time I realized that what I was doing was the right thing and that bodybuilding was my mission in life.

What is the best thing about being fit and living a bodybuilding lifestyle?
The best thing about being fit and being a bodybuilder is that I can lead by personal example and motivate people by showing them the world of fitness from the most fascinating side. They can see results which can be achieved by comparing before and after photos to see the condition of their physiques. I try to be an ambassador of bodybuilding, as well as living a healthy lifestyle.

Who is your biggest influence or role model in the world of bodybuilding?
Of course, it is Arnold Schwarzenegger! He was my role model from early childhood. I wanted to become a bodybuilder after watching his movies, but I was too young at the time to start training. So, I had to wait several years before I could grow up and start lifting weights 🙂

What is your greatest achievement in bodybuilding so far?
I have won several bodybuilding championships and I consider that to be a significant step in my athletic career. Each time I stand on the pedestal to receive a trophy, I consider it to be the victory over myself, not over my competitors. But I also believe the recognition I get from my fans is very important. I appreciate the support I receive from them even when I finish 2nd or 3rd because it shows their genuine attitude and sincerity.

What is your favorite body part on yourself and on the opposite sex?
I like my back and legs. To be more specific, I like the proportion of these group of muscles. On women, I really like hips and a slim waist.

What muscle group do you consider your weakest and what changes in training have you made to help it?
I’ve always considered my legs to be the weakest group of muscles, and that is why I have completely changed my training approach lately. I have divided my training routine for the front and back part of the legs and I do them on different days. As the result, I have added around 1.57 inches onto my legs in the last 10-12 weeks.

What kind of cardio do you like best and why?
I like to do cardio outside in the fresh air. For example, I like jogging or fast walking because I like to move and not stand in one place. Sometimes I use the racetrack, but only when the music I’m listening to is really good 🙂

What type of nutritional supplements do you use?
I take BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), whey isolate and a vitamin complex.

How important is diet for building overall size and strength?
I consider diet to be of great importance because 50-60% of bodybuilding success is based on finding the right type of nutritional plan that works best with your own body. And that goes for both building overall size and staying lean.

Do you bulk and cut, or try to stay lean all year?
I am bulking now because I plan to compete in the 198 pound category in my upcoming bodybuilding championship. But, lately I have been thinking about staying lean throughout the year and have not decided yet which option to choose.

What type of food or supplements do you consume pre-workout and post-workout?
I prefer to eat a whole food meal consisting of a fish steak or chicken breast and a small cup of rice or vegetables as a side dish before training. In addition to this meal, I also take BCAAs and a small amount of arginine for my nutritional supplements. For post-workout, I take more BCAAs and a protein cocktail with some steak.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food?
When I am adjusting my diet to prepare for a competition, I can feel the cravings for junk food which I allow myself to eat during the off-season period. But, I still allow myself to eat sweets and fast food once every 7-10 days. I usually eat a lot during my first cheat meal because my body is not used to the new low-fat diet and really wants fast and simple carbohydrates. However, when I get closer to eating 3-4 cheat meals, my body readjusts and I can follow the diet plan more closely.

What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to stay on a clean diet?

  • Read the ingredients of the meal you want to order.
  • Try to eat as balanced as possible (macronutrients).
  • When ordering, ask to have all the sauces on the side.

What are the contents of your refrigerator?
Eggs, vegetables, veal, chicken, protein cake, milk.

What is your general training philosophy or style?
I like to focus on having full concentration on the training process. Working on a group of muscles to the fullest potential is the key. I try to avoid being distracted by conversations and phone calls during the training process. Make sure to finish training only after you are completely satisfied with the results.

What are your maximum lifts for bench press and squat?
My bench press is 363 pounds and my squat 418 pounds.

What are your top 3 favorite exercises and why?

  1. Barbell squats because I like the way my legs get flushed with blood and become hard and engorged. Those people who like doing squats will understand what I mean 🙂
  2. I love doing chin-ups. My back responds very well to training and I can dedicate 20 minutes to just chin-ups before doing other back exercises.
  3. I like training arms and my triceps in particular. My favorite exercise is the French bench press because I can feel the long head of the triceps really get worked with that exercise.

What does your gym playlist look like and what’s your favorite song to listen to when training?
I have different music in my playlist depending on my mood. Right now, I am listening to Metallica, Rammstein and Nirvana.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
The most challenging thing for me is getting the right amount of sleep. I work as a personal trainer and I must adjust to the different schedules of my clients even if they come to the gym late at night. Therefore, I sometimes only get 6 hours of sleep.

Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day (off-season and pre-contest)?

Off-Season:

  • Meal #1: oatmeal, banana, 4-5 eggs.
  • Meal #2: vegetable salad with tuna fish.
  • Meal #3: chicken breast, rice or pasta.
  • Meal #4: fish, protein cocktail.
  • Meal #5: fresh vegetable salad.

Pre-Contest:

  • Meal #1: 5-6 egg whites, cup of black coffee.
  • Meal #2: fish steak.
  • Meal #3: chicken breast with rice.
  • Meal #4: meat with vegetables.
  • Meal #5: chicken breast, 1/2 grapefruit.
  • Meal #6: 1-2 packs of farmer cheese.

If you could share only one bodybuilding tip that has really helped you succeed, what would it be?
Listen to the advice people give you and then draw your own conclusions, but always make your own decision and always move forward.

How does your family, friends and significant other react to and deal with your strict bodybuilding lifestyle?
My parents still do not completely understand what I am doing 🙂 My wife is always supportive and she monitors what kind of food is in our refrigerator.

What are your top 5 tips for losing body fat and getting shredded?

  1. Create a calorie deficit.
  2. Calculate correct proportion of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
  3. Increase the number of meals and include sport nutrition supplements.
  4. Add cardio to your training routine.
  5. Always track and monitor your results.

What are your top 5 tips for building muscle and packing on size?

  1. Increase your calorie intake.
  2. Revise your training routine to include 8-10 sets per muscle group.
  3. Add the right nutritional supplements.
  4. Rest and recover so you can grow.
  5. Get enough sleep.

What is your training routine like?

Monday: Quadriceps

  • Leg extensions – 25, 20, 15, 12 reps plus a drop set
  • Barbell squats – 20, 20, 15, 10, 20 reps
  • Hack squats – 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Leg press – 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Calf exercise – 5 sets of 10-15 reps plus a drop set

Tuesday: Back and Rear Deltoids

  • Chin-ups with neutral grip – 15, 12, 10, 8 reps and finish with 20 reps
  • Bent over rows – 15, 12, 10, 8 reps plus a drop set
  • Horizontal hammer simulator – 3 sets of 10-12 reps plus a finisher with 20 reps
  • Seated cable rows – 7 sets of 12 reps (30 seconds of rest in between sets)
  • Back delta swings – 4 sets of 12-15 reps plus a finisher with 20 reps
  • Normal shoulder press – 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Wednesday: Shoulders (front and middle deltoids) and Triceps

  • Side swings – 4 sets of 15 reps plus a drop set
  • Barbell rows to chin – 7 sets of 12 reps (30 second of rest in between sets)
  • Dumbbell press – 15, 12, 10, 8 reps
  • A few different triceps exercises
  • A few different calf exercises – 5 sets of 20-30 reps plus a drop set

Thursday: Hamstrings

  • Lying leg curls – 25, 20, 15, 12 reps plus a drop set
  • Standing leg curls – 20, 15, 12, 10 reps plus a drop set
  • Deadlifts with dumbbell or barbell – 4 sets of 12-20 reps
  • Lunges with dumbbell or barbell – 4 sets of 15 reps on each leg or 30 steps
  • Seated leg split or seated leg roll-up – 4 sets of 20 reps
  • Any calve exercise – 4 sets of 20 reps

Friday: Back and Biceps

  • Wide grip pull-ups – 15, 12, 10, 8 reps plus a finisher of 20 reps
  • Shrugs – 4 sets of 12-15 reps plus a finisher of 20 reps
  • Lat pulldowns – 4 sets of 12-15 reps plus a finisher of 20 reps
  • Dumbbell pullovers – 7 sets of 15 reps (30 second of rest in between sets)
  • Standing curls with a barbell or dumbbells – 15, 12, 10, 8 reps plus a drop set
  • Hammers curls – 4 sets of 15 reps

Saturday – Rest!

Sunday: Chest and Middle Deltoids

  • Flat dumbbell press – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Incline barbell bench – 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Lateral dumbbell raises – 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Front dumbbell raises – 4 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Side dumbbell raises – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Any exercise for calves – 5 sets of 15-20 reps plus a drop set

What is your favorite healthy food and your favorite cheat food?
My favorite healthy food is fish and steak. My favorite cheat meal is burgers and pancakes.

How do you stay motivated to keep improving your physique each year?
My fans keep me motivated along with competing in different contests and being financially independent.

What does the future hold for you?
To become famous and well-known in the bodybuilding and fitness world!

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