Name: Justin Rossouw
Height: 1.74 m
Competition weight: 83 Kg
Current weight: 89 Kg
Current city: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Occupation: Personal Trainer
Your transformation is truly phenomenal! Tell us a bit about how you were before, and what made you take the plunge and change your life?
Well, I’ve always been into weight training since high school but never thought about doing competitions. In 2008, a friend of mine took part in a bodybuilding show, and I went to support him. I was way out of shape.
“After seeing the show for the first time, I was very motivated to get into that condition. So I told myself, I think I should enter a show because I never saw my abs lol.”
From there on after winning my first show, my whole lifestyle changed. I continued seriously with my training and watched my eating habits.
What do you love about it and what keeps you motivated?
As a personal trainer, I love doing the things I do and that is to inspire and change people’s lives.
“I think my passion for the things I enjoy doing keeps me motivated. Seeing client’s smiling and having fun, telling me how great the feel or even helping a random member in the gym makes me become a better trainer and athlete.”
What competitions have you competed in and your placings?
- IFBB Eastern Province Novice | Welterweight U 75 Kg | 1st
- IFBB SA Novice | U 75 Kg | Top 6
- Shameen Classic | Senior Men | U 90 Kg | Top 5
- IFBB Eastern Province Champs | Middleweight U 85 Kg | 1st
- Friendly City Classic | U 90 Kg | 1st
- WBFF | Muscle Model
Advice for someone wanting to start competing?
Go watch a few shows and see what it’s all about. Look at the condition of the athletes so that you get an idea of how your competition would be. Decide which show you are going to enter and plan accordingly. And remember you are your own competition.
Free weights versus machines?
I enjoy doing both but I prefer free weights over machines.
“Free weights help with strengthening the core and stabilization muscles that’s why you won’t find me on the floor doing isolated core exercises. Machines allow you to isolate the muscle group you are working and bring out detail.”
What are your future plans?
On a competitive level, I want to compete at the worlds and represent my country. I also want to open a lifestyle center which will have different divisions such as fitness, food, and therapy.
Do you follow periods of bulking and cutting down or manage to stay lean year round?
In the past I use to, but since the beginning of 2012 when I started prepping the Shameen Classic, I basically tried to keep 70 percent of condition throughout the off season. That way it makes my prep so much easier and also allows me to see my lean muscle gains.
Dirty bulking is out; I try to eat clean in the off season and do cardio. My body fat in the off season stays between 7-9 percent.
What’s the longest break you ever took from training? Do you think you need to take a break, or can you manage to train year round?
Longest time off I would say was a week; rest is good. I believe rest is important for recovery especially from doing weight training. Elbow and knee joints work overtime with most movements which take a lot of strain. I go for my regular massage every month which helps with muscle stiffness, circulation and relaxation.
Take us through an average day of yours:
- I wake up 4 am Mondays to Fridays
- My first client is at 5 am and my last client for the day is 7 pm
- I will make time for myself to train between clients or some days I train with them because they like to challenge me, which is a lot of fun and motivation for them
- It’s a very long day so most of my day is spent at the “office”…the gym lol
- When I get home I need to prepare food for the next day
- So I will be in bed at around 10 pm
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet, pre contest and during the off season:
My off season I keep my diet pretty clean, except for weekends, I do have a cheat meal, but I try to stay away from too many fast food places.
“So 70% of what I do during pre-contest, I do during the off season.”
I don’t do the whole “I’m bulking” thing. I want to see my gains in the right areas of my body especially where you need to make improvements, by maintaining a low body fat percentage.
I keep things very simple during pre-contest, I’m not very scientific, you have to figure out a formula that works best for you.
What supplements do you use if any? Does the timing of supplements play a crucial role in their success?
I’m sponsored by Supplements SA, so I only use their products.
Timing does play an important role if you want optimum results.
- A clean protein with no carbs like 100% Whey Isolate
- BCAA’s for recovery
- Vitamins and minerals
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training and on average how long do you workout for?
My training in the off season is the same as during contest prep. Only change during contest prep would be to up the intensity, like shorter rest periods, more reps, drop sets, etc.
I do cardio both off season and during prep.
Weight training sessions would normally take me 45 minutes to complete, then I will do 20 – 30 minutes cardio afterwards, or I will split my session into morning cardio and weights in the evening, vice versa.
What’s your favorite form of cardio?
I don’t do high intensity cardio. I enjoy doing the stair climber or walking on an incline at a moderate pace. I do enjoy functional training as well.
What would you say are the three best exercises you can do to really focus on and build your quads?
“Barbell squats should never be excluded from your quad workout, that’s a gym rule I live by.”
After my squats I like to blast my quads at the leg press machine doing high reps ranging between 20 – 40 reps per set using a moderate weight like 240 – 300 kg for 5 sets. Walking lunges to add detail and separation between your hamstrings and quads.
Jay Cutler, Kai Greene and Victor Martinez.
Which do you prefer and why. Today’s bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath, or the smaller physiques like Frank Zane.
Much respect to the new age bodybuilders like Jay and Phil, but I like the more aesthetic physique like Frank and our local hero Jaco De Bruyn.
“Don’t be afraid of failure for it is a necessary step on the path to success.”
Advice for someone wanting to change their lifestyle and achieve their ideal physique?
Create a mental picture of how you want your physique. Thinking is already an action and believing you can, takes you already halfway there.
Start setting short term goals, like cleaning up your diet (cut out junk food, instant meals, sodas etc.) and track your progress weekly. Patience is very important, I tell that to my clients. It didn’t take you overnight to get fat, so does dropping a dress size.
So it’s a continuous process, just keep going, you will get there.
Where can people get hold of you?
- Facebook: Justin Cuts Rossouw