I am a former college football player at the University of Cincinnati turned personal trainer. I began a new body building regiment in 2007, and in early 2008 when I received my personal training certification, I took my body building to another level. As a personal trainer, the number one thing I like best about being into fitness is seeing the smiles on my client’s faces when I update their weight and measurements. It’s almost and emotional experience! As a personal trainer, the number one thing I like best about being into fitness is seeing the smiles on my client’s faces when I update their weight and measurements. It’s almost and emotional experience! I care about all of my clients and I care about them reaching their fitness goals, so when they are extra excited after seeing their results it makes me feel good as well.
Marvin Allen – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Marvin Allen
- Height: 5′ 10″
- Weight: 202
- Date of Birth: 10-13-1981
- Hair Color: Bald
- Eye Color: Brown
- Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
- Website: myspace.com/xfactortraining
Marvin Allen – Fitness Model Interview
What’s your background? How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I am a former college football player at the University of Cincinnati turned personal trainer. I got started doing commercial print and runway modeling in 2005 and was working out to stay in shape for football and the runway. I began a new body building regiment in 2007, and in early 2008 when I received my personal training certification, I took my body building to another level. That’s when my interest turned from regular fashion and commercial print to fitness modeling, swimwear and underwear.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
As a personal trainer, the number one thing I like best about being into fitness is seeing the smiles on my client’s faces when I update their weight and measurements. It’s almost and emotional experience! I care about all of my clients and I care about them reaching their fitness goals, so when they are extra excited after seeing their results it makes me feel good as well.
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment so far would have to be getting my company off the ground and making a name for myself in the metro Detroit area as being one of the best personal trainers in the area. I still have many things I’d like to accomplish with my company though when I branch further off into speed, agility, and football technique training.
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?
I think the best way to get started, and the way I got started is to build from the ground up. First of all get in great shape!! Then if you can’t get with or afford a photographer, do like I did and have a friend or sibling take a digital camera and do a “test” photo shoot at home or outside, just to give photographers an idea of what you have to offer as a model. Then get on the fashion networking sites, modelmayhem.com, onemodelplace.com, and set up a profile listing everything you’re interested and not interested in shooting. Network!! Use the sites to contact photographers for TFP (time for print), or TFCD (time for CD) opportunities. This is a great and inexpensive way to start building your modeling portfolio. After you have a large number of shots, pick 6 to 8 of the best ones and have a graphic designer put together your comp card. The comp card should show variety of shots, outfits or lack there of if you’re getting into fitness or swimwear. Take these comps to local modeling agencies when they have open calls or send them off to the agencies and try to get a taker!!
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
Oh wow, are you ready for this one? I juggle several different things during the day. My day may start at 5:30 or 7:00 depending on how early of a client I have. I have a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal, an apple, and a glass of apple juice then I’m off to the gym. I may get to come home between clients and take a nap, but if not, I come home for lunch and watch NFL network, or play NCAA 2008 until its time to go back to the gym. I get my workout in from 1:30 to 3:30 pm so I can maintain my body. Then I train more clients. I’m usually home from the gym in the evenings between 9:00 and 10:00 PM That’s me time. I shave and shower, then grab dinner and watch a movie or one of my favorite Japanese Animations, Mobile Suite Gundam Seed or Gundam Seed Destiny, or Dragon Ball Z. On Monday and Wednesday I teach a Cardio and Agility class at the Powerhouse where I train my clients from 6:00 to 7:00 PM, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I have football practice from 7:00 PM to 9:00. I’m also a Wide Receiver and Punt and Kick Return specialist for the Michigan Gators (michgators.net). On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I’m usually at the gym for about 10 to 11 hours with my client’s workouts and my workout. Saturdays are kind of light due to football games, and I train a couple of clients on Sundays.
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?
I would suggest anything with high intensity. If you only have lets say 45 minutes a day to train, make it a killer 45 minutes. I would suggest doing upper body one day with abs, then lower body the next day with abs. But the time between sets should be no longer than 30 seconds. If you have an hour to train, at the end of that 45 minute training period, get 15 minutes of cardio at a good pace to further burn calories.
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I believe that all depends on your height, how you want your weight to be proportioned, and how much you weigh at the start of your training program. I wouldn’t lose more than one pound per week. I also believe in building lean muscle while burning fat, so you may not see changes in the number on the scale, but you will see changes in the image in the mirror.
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?
Supplement usage all depends on the type of training you are engaging in. You should do your research on your supplements, but I have found through my own usage that a good protein shake during the day between meals is good, a pre-workout energy drink, if you’re body building, some form of Creatine, and a supplement that will speed up your metabolic rate. I’ve been taking Met-Rx products for the last couple years and have seen great results. My protein shake is Chocolate Protein Plus, CEE akg (Creatine Ethyl Ester), Test Sterol 1650 stacked with Tribulus Terrestris 250 with breakfast and dinner. My pre-workout drink is Amped.
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.
Honestly you just have to develop tunnel vision and be mentally tough. I know it’s hard when junk food is plastered everywhere you look. I mean, it’s a Mc Donald’s in walking distance from my gym!! But one thing I’ve done is replaced a lot of thing I used to love. I used to love candy. Skittles, Snickers, you name it, I ate it. But now I snack on gummy worms, graham crackers, and fruit. You’ll also find that as the weeks pass and you’ve been eating healthy for a long time, your body will begin to reject those things that are bad for you. I’m not going to lie, I’m not perfect, but my little sister came home from college the other day and she and I are very close. We watched some Dragon Ball Z and popped a bag of microwave pop corn. I hadn’t eaten popcorn in over 6 months. Lets just say the next day; my body kicked my butt for it. My stomach was a disaster zone, without getting graphic. So eventually as you train yourself to not eat certain things, your body will adjust, and if you slip, your body will discipline you for it!!
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?
I would shop for skinless chicken breasts, fish, lean beef and tuna for your protein, fruits and vegetables like Broccoli, Tomatoes, Lettuce for your fibrous carbs, and whole grain bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes for your complex carbs. Stay away from fast food, fried food, refined sugar, soda, and alcohol.
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?
I would suggest either hiring a personal trainer or researching training techniques because if you’ve never trained before, 9.7 times out of 10 you don’t know what you’re doing. The best workout is the one with structure, not getting in the gym and doing any and everything just to say you’ve worked out. A workout should have a focus. You don’t go to college to get an education, but study a little bit of everything the college has to offer you so when you get in the gym, put a workout plan together that focuses on the goal you have in mind.
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?
The best thing to do is ask about the nutritional content of the foods you’re thinking about ordering and how they’re prepared, and stay away from the foods you know are obviously unhealthy for you!!
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
I would suggest squatting, leg press, and the straight leg dead-lift. Those exercises will definitely help make the butt more firm and round. That actually the request of many of my female clients!!
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
The most challenging thing I deal with is fatigue. My day is very physically demanding, and I am a very high energy person. I have to be, for my workouts, training my clients and keeping their intensity levels up, and being captain of my football team, leading stretches and producing on the field. Sometimes I sleep 11 hours at night!!
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Unsweetened oatmeal, 1 cup of apple juice, 1 piece of fruit
- Mid-Morning Snack: Protein shake
- Lunch: Turkey sandwich, Capri Sun, crackers
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: Post workout protein shake
- Dinner: 1 8 oz. chicken breast, broccoli and carrots, whole grain rice
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: Monday- Chest/Abs, Tuesday- Back/Biceps/football practice, Wednesday- Legs/Abs, Thursday- Shoulders/Triceps, Friday- Light Chest/Abs
- Cardio Exercises: Football practice
- Additional Training: Extra stretching and sleep!
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Never work the entire arm in one day
2. Never work each arm heavy twice in one week
3. Do sets of 10-12 starting out, then 12-15 once strength increases
4. When sets of 12-15 becomes easier, increase weight
5. Do 4 to 5 movements each part of the arm
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eat light, eat right!!
2. Make sure to include cardio in your workout
3. Train at a steady pace without too much rest between exercises
4. Do not eat until you feel stuffed
5. Train at least 2 to 3 times per week
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Eat right on a controlled diet
2. Following a controlled weight lifting program
3. Take supplements to enhance your workout
4. Isolate muscle groups on specific days
5. Stay consistent and tracking your progress week by week
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Keep track of progress and seeing the progress is a big motivator
2. Keep in mind that being fit will not only help you look good, but also live longer
3. Realize that not many people have the drive and commitment to themselves to train the way you do
4. Fall in love with weight training
5. Developing a strong mind to be able to fight through mental fatigue
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: Chest/Abs: Bench, sets of 8,6,4,2, Incline dumbbell press, 2 x 10, Standing cable crossovers, 2 x 10-12, pec deck 3-4 x 10-12, paramount machine press high/low 2 x 20, oblique twist (35 lbs), super heroes, super decline weighted sit up (45 lbs), weighted side bends (35 lbs), decline leg lifts, seated crunch
- Tuesday: Back/Biceps: Lat pull down dual sets (wide, close), 3 x 10, Seated cable row, 3 x 10, Bent over jerks, 2 x 10, seated paramount machine pulls, 2 x 15, dumbbell shrugs, 1 x 20, standing straight bar curls, 3 x 10, negatives, 2 x 10, concentration curls, 2 x 10 each way, standing preacher curls, 2 x 10
- Wednesday: Legs/Abs: Squat, sets of 8, 6, 4, 2, leg press, 3 x 12, leg extensions, sets of 15, 12, 10, 10, leg curls, 2 x 12, inner thigh, 2 x 20, outer thigh, 2 x 20, calf raises, 2 x 80-100, oblique twist (35 lbs), super heroes, super decline weighted sit up (45 lbs), weighted side bends (35 lbs), decline leg lifts, seated crunch
- Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps, one arm front cable raises, 4 x 10 each side, side lateral raises 4 x 10, bent over lateral raises 3 x 10, smith machine shoulder press, 2 x 10, shrugs, 3 x 20, standing cable push downs, 4-5 x 10-12, skull crushers, 2 x 10 (145 lbs!!), triceps blowout machine, 2 x 20
- Friday: Trilogy: Bench press 135 lbs, 3 x 50, straight bar curl, 135 lbs, 3 x 10, skull crushers, 135 lbs, 3 x 10, oblique twist 1 x 60 w/ 35 lbs, super decline sit ups w/ 45 lbs, seated crunch
- Saturday: Football games
- Sunday: Absolutely nothing!
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 light and eat right
2. Follow a strong abdominal routine
3. Be consistent with training
4. Train abs 2 to 3 times per week
5. Use a good combination of supplements
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. Eating light and right
2. Coming up with a good leg workout routine
3. Do not over train
4. Train legs 2 to 3 times per week depending on level of training
5. Use a good combination supplements