Eric Carlson – Male Fitness Model Interview and Photos


Originally born in Chicago, IL, Eric grew up in Round Rock Texas where he excelled at sports. Although his early years were complicated by tragedy in the form of domestic violence, Eric was determined to rise above the suffering. He attended college in Arkansas and Iowa where he played football. Illness sidelined the young athlete when he was diagnosed with dangerously high toxicity levels. The doctors eventually had to perform surgery and his life began to transform. After his recovery, Eric was determined to learn the proper way to maintain perfect health and fitness.

Eric Carlson – Fitness Model Statistics

  • Name: Eric Carlson
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 200-208 lbs.
  • Hair: Brown
  • Eyes: Brown
  • Location: Hermosa Beach, CA

Eric Carlson – Fitness Model Interview

How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I have been an athlete since I was a kid. Always playing sports, playing in the dirt, or climbing trees. Until I was sidelined as a college football player after a severe illness that almost took my life, I was a pretty fit person. After the emergency surgery to save my life, I fell into a slump of years of depression that included heavy alcohol & drug abuse to ease the pain of not being strong and fit anymore. After a surgeon told me later that my condition would repeat itself in about ten years, I knew I had to prove them wrong so I decided to research more and more about the human body to improve my overall body strength. You see, the surgeries, I had two major ones in less than 30 days on my kidney, were so painful I knew I couldn’t face that pain again.

This helped propel me to the level I am at now. I then decided to enter my first fitness competition in 2004-The Model America by Muscle Mania to gain exposure for my seminar training company Leading Edge Power. I train/speak about empowered living and how to achieve the life you desire. I thought that if I won this contest I would be able to prove that what I teach really works. I ended up winning Model America contest and then went on to win two more National Titles-World & Universe all back to back wins. This has not been done by anyone as of today and I sit here the only fitness model to win three national titles. I even have a trophy for the Worlds Best Abs, all following the principles I teach. Now the publicity is beyond my earlier expectations and I am speaking all over the world. I love it!

What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
What I love about the fitness industry is that it is an industry driven by highly motivated, committed athletes who are always giving more than 100%. The finely sculpted athletes I get to work with are always achieving or reaching for higher levels of success. That’s awesome to me. Nothing is more attractive to me than a driven individual who has sculpted their body to their personal perfection. And yes, I think the women in this industry are absolutely amazing! Yum!

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment would have to be the fact that I am the only fitness model in the world to be holding three national fitness-modeling titles. I became aware of this at my last big win in Vegas, NV at the Mr. Olympia competition when the group of press came up to me and asked how it felt to be the only guy with two national titles, and now I had an opportunity to win a third. I felt excited and honored because every time I step on that stage I am always amazed at the level of competition I am up against. These are some seriously awesome physiques!

What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
Read my book, “The Fitness Model Bible”!! This book has a complete lay out of how to break in to this highly competitive industry, but until you get the book, contact the photographers. These are the people you want to make friends with. Agencies can be help, but I find that I am my own best agent. I get more than 85% of my jobs through my own efforts. Be a master of self-publicity!

Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
First thing I do is wake up, drink a glass of Meta Greens and head out the door for a walk. I like to walk for 30-45 minutes just to get the blood flowing and my head ready for the day. I live at the beach so sometimes I walk the strand and sometime I walk the shore line watching the dolphins playing in the surf, yeah nice I know. I then usually come in an begin 15-20 minute meditation followed by a 10-15 minute visualization process. I visualize daily my goals, dreams, desires, etc. so my spirit and my mind are in alignment for what I want to create. I have them on 3×5 card to keep track.

Then it’s off to the office which is about 10 feet from my kitchen in the back of my 1930’s beach house. I sit here working till about 2-3 pm daily only getting up every two hours to eat. Then around 3pm I head to Gold’s Gym, Redondo for my afternoon workout. If I don’t go to the gym I will go for a bike ride or a job on the sand. Then I clean up my day like email, phone calls, etc and end around 6 pm when I like to have a nice glass of red wine, cook and watch the sunset out of my front living room. A couple of nights out of the week I like to play Xbox 360 online with some friends of mine. We play EA Sports NCAA Football 07′ & Test Drive Unlimited while chatting with each other via headsets, it’s so fun!

I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
If you are looking to just burn a high amount of calories fast then I recommend a spin class, stair stepper machine., or aerobics class. Getting the heart rate up quickly helps burn those calorie faster.

How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
The golden rule has been 1-2 pounds a week at a steady pace will help your bodies metabolism run more efficiently. Losing weight any faster will cause your body to rubber band back after you have taken it off so quickly.

What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
Ingesting a protein shake with say maybe a banana, or some oatmeal 30-minutes to an hour before your workout will ensure that your body has supplies on hand to begin repairing itself along with providing you with added energy supply.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
I practiced myself into a place where I really don’t enjoy these items so much in my diet. When I eat some sugar, or junk food I would feel pretty crappy. So after years of practicing to say no when I was strong enough help me become the disciplined eater I am today. If you have cravings try to fill those cravings with natural foods such as fruit, or berries.

I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store where you can load up on veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, & lean meats. Avoid the middle of the store where you will find most foods are all processed. Brown rice, yams, sweet potatoes, fish, almonds, spinach, broccoli, chicken, egg whites, water are the basic essentials.

I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
Consult your physician and a personal trainer is your first steps. You would try to drive your car for the first time without an instructor so get a professional to help show you how to drive this awesome body. Tell the fitness professional your goals and have them create a map for success. Then stick to it!

I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
It’s EASY to eat out! Look for grilled meats, fish and avoid all fried foods. Ask to be cooked without butter. Your side dishes should be veggies, salad, and maybe a small potato-plain. Avoid the bread & butter, don’t even have it on the table. Use balsamic vinegar or a lemon to dress your salad.

What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
Squats two ways legs wide toes out and toes straight. Lunges, butt blaster machines, dumbbell dead lifts, pile squats.

What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Staying injury free is the most challenging thing I have to deal with. I surf, lift weights, mountain bike, climb rocks & trees, skateboard, etc.

Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?

  • Breakfast: Protein Shake with 1 ½ cup oats, 1 tbs. peanut butter, and 1 banana.
  • Mid-Morning Snack: 4-6 oz tofu, Tempeh, or tuna with 1 ½ cups brown rice and 1 cup spinach
  • Lunch: : 4-6 oz tofu, Tempeh, or tuna with 1 ½ cups brown rice and 1 cup spinach
  • Mid-Afternoon Snack: Protein Shake with 1 ½ cup oats, 1 tbs. peanut butter, and 1 banana.
  • Dinner: 4-6 oz tofu, Tempeh, or tuna with 1 ½ cups brown rice and 1 cup spinach
  • Note: I eat 6-8 meals a day all pretty much the same thing.

What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?

  • Strength Training Exercises: heavy weight training
  • Cardio Exercises: Stair stepper, bikes, treadmill, sprints, walks
  • Additional Training: surfing, mountain biking, rock climbing

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?

1. Eat foods in their natural state
2. Avoid heavy condiments that have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and salt.
3. Drink 80-100oz+ of water daily
4. Rotating hammer curls
5. Overhead tricep extension with a rope

What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?

1. Eat foods in their natural state
2. Eat 4-8 small balanced meals all day
3. Avoid heavy condiments that have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and salt.
4. Treadmill at “fat burning zone” heart rate for 45-60 minutes 5+ days a week
5. Sprints!!

What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?

1. Eat to grow!
2. Eat 6-8 balanced meals a day (not snacks-meals)
3. Eat at the body weight you WANT to BE, not as you are now.
4. 1.5-2.0 grams of protein per pound of DESIRED body weight
5. 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of DESIRED body weight

What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?

1. Cut out images of desired body and put your face on this picture so your mind knows where you are going all the time.
2. Find an outfit you want to wear and look GREAT in! Buy it and hang it where you can see it daily.
3. Be around other motivated individuals
4. Read, listen, or watch information that helps increase self-confidence.
5. Know that you CAN get to where ever you want to be from where you are at.

What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)

  • Monday: Chest & Triceps heavy 10, 8, 8, 6, 4-6
  • Tuesday: Cross training mountain bike, sprints, hike
  • Wednesday: Leg day (10, 8, 8, 6, 4-6)
  • Thursday: Cross training mountain bike, sprints, hiking
  • Friday: Shoulder & traps (10, 8, 8, 6, 4-6)
  • Saturday: REST
  • Sunday: Back & biceps (10, 8, 8, 6, 4-6)

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?

1. Eat foods in their natural state
2. Avoid heavy condiments that have sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and salt.
3. Drink 80-100 oz of water daily
4. Crunch’s, leg lifts, 4-5 days a week
5. Treadmill 45-60 minutes daily

What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?

1. Step class women always seem to have the best bodies!
2. Squats 20, 15, 15, 10, 10, 8
3. Walking Lunges with barbell 4-5 sets of twenty steps
4. Leg extension, hamstring curl, calf raises
5. Slow jogging on treadmill backed by stairs stepper!

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