Name: Matt Ferro
Height: 1.91m / 6’3
Competition weight: 87.5kg / 193lbs
Current weight: 91kg / 200lbs
Current city: Toronto, Canada
Where do you train: Goodlife Fitness
Occupation: Personal Trainer / Online Coach / Fitness Model
When did you get drawn into this fitness lifestyle and what made you get into it?
I’ve always been a pretty athletic kid growing up and participated in many sports such as football, hockey, baseball, and basketball. However, being almost 6’3 and 155lbs at 16 years old, it took a long time for me to finally put on some quality muscle. Regardless, I still loved every aspect of training and nutrition. Results are addicting and I loved pushing myself. Being from a fairly large city, my gym housed a big population of fitness and bodybuilding competitors.
“I always took notice of these individuals and admired their physiques, dedication, and overall outlook on living healthy lifestyles. I continued to talk with them and gathered as much knowledge as I possibly could on dieting and routines. Even with my degree in Kinesiology, as anyone else can tell you, the more knowledge the better.”
It was these individuals who were serving as the perfect role models of health and fitness that ultimately sparked this intense passion of mine. I wanted to push myself beyond my limits and encourage others to do the same.
What do you love about it and what keeps you motivated?
One of the great things about this industry, is that it constantly tests you to push yourself beyond your limits. Nothing comes easy. I love feeling healthy and generating results each and every day.
“It’s that drive to be better than we were yesterday that keeps us motivated. One of the most rewarding parts of doing what I do is serving as a role model and inspiring others to live a healthier lifestyle.”
It’s a great feeling getting messages from others asking to help them make a change for the better or to inform me that I am motivating them to become healthy. It’s all about helping others and it’s the most rewarding job out there.
What competitions have you competed in and your placings?
So far I have competed twice with the WBFF and they were both incredible experiences.
“The first time I competed was at the 2012 WBFF Quebec Championships where I placed 3rd in the fitness model category.”
Not only was it a huge accomplishment to place top 3 in my first ever competition, but I also made some lifelong friends and learned a ton about this industry.
“From there, I got right back on stage at the 2012 WBFF World Championships and placed 11th in a class of about 40 amazing competitors!”
What are your future plans?
I am currently training for my biggest show yet, the 2013 WBFF Montreal Pro-Am and ultimately the 2013 WBFF World Championships in Las Vegas! Competing is a great experience and truly tests your mental, physical, and emotional toughness day in and day out and is something I plan on doing for years to come. Along with competitions, I have been partaking in many more photo shoots in hopes of landing my first ever cover shoot along with expanding my online transformation coaching business.
Free weights versus machines?
Both are excellent to incorporate into your regular routines.
- Free weights are great for the raw weight and are excellent at building solid muscle and working your stabilizers.
- Machines and cables, which often get a bad rep, provide resistance throughout the entire range of motion and are great finishing exercises.
Do you believe in the methodology of going on a “bulking cycle” or do you prefer to stay lean year round?
Personally, I have never been a big fan of the “bulking cycle” and prefer to stay lean year round. Now, this does not mean I don’t bulk up but rather I don’t eat crap food to put on as muscle size as possible.
“Instead, I choose to follow a lean bulk in which I can still add some quality muscle but never let my body fat percentage increase above 9-10% so that I am always photo shoot ready!”
Take us through an average day of yours:
- Once I wake up, I immediately take my Greens and head to the gym for some fasted cardio for 45 minutes followed by my first meal of the day.
- The next few hours are taken up creating programs for online clients based on their current progress and goals. This takes up the majority of my day.
- After a few meals, I tend to hit the gym after dinner which is followed by another quick cardio session (steady state). To ensure I am always prepared, I will usually take this free time after the gym to prepare all my meals for the following day before hitting the sheets for some well needed sleep.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet, pre contest and during the off season.
I am a strong believer in lean bulking and carb cycling. I use carb cycling year round for the most part and add/remove carbs per meal depending on my goals and how far out from a show I am. Using carb cycling is a great way to teach your body to burn fat and utilize your carbs to build solid muscle.
“I ensure to keep a good amount of healthy fats in my diet as well, when my carbs are lower such as when I am cutting down for a show.”
The use of a carb cycle year round ensures that I am always lean while putting on muscle and ultimately makes cutting down for a show that much easier!
What’s your view on adding supplementation to your diet, compared to a diet full of whole foods only.
I definitely believe in supplementing correctly based on your needs. Along with a solid diet of whole food, I always incorporate:
- a multi
- fish oils
- vitamins (c,d)
These will ensure your body is getting everything it needs on top of a healthy diet to maintain your health, increase recovery time, and build quality muscle.
What would you say to someone if you were asked simply, “How can I get bigger without gaining much fat?”
“Eat healthy and train hard. I don’t believe you need to eat a ton of junk food to gain size quickly. Simply eat healthy, put in the hard work, and the results will come!”
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training and on average how long do you workout for?
The common misconception is that you need to train for hours upon hours to get results. Wrong. This isn’t smart training. By training for hours on end, you will ultimately dip into your muscle stores for energy and put your body into a catabolic state and lose muscle mass. I train, on average, for 45 minutes a day. The key is not how long you spend in the gym, but rather, how effective was your time in the gym. If you don’t spend your time chatting and taking long breaks then you can get an incredible workout in within a 45 minute time frame.
What’s your favorite form of cardio?
Lately, I have been a big fan of fasted cardio in the morning and HIIT training. On top of these, my go-to is always the stair master as it works your legs, glutes, calves, and core all at the same time.
What would you say are the three best exercises, that you believe, that really work and target the abs?
If looking beyond compound movements and strictly focusing on an abdominal exercise, I am a big fan of:
- Hanging leg raises
- Cable crunches
- TRX knee tucks
All three of these will absolutely shred your abs and help build the muscle.
And what’s the key to great abs?
The biggest factor when trying to get those defined abs and a shredded six pack all comes down to one thing…diet.
As the saying goes, “abs are made in the kitchen.”
You can train abs all you want but if your nutrition isn’t up to par then it will be very difficult to shed those layers of fat that are holding you back from seeing your abs.
Favorite bodybuilders OR Fitness models:
My favourite bodybuilders would include Arnold, Phil Heath, Jay Cutler, Ben Pakulski, and Antoine Valliant, while my favourite fitness models would definitely be James Ellis, Greg Plitt, Rob Riches, and Amer Kamra.
Which do you prefer and why. Today’s bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Phil Heath, or the smaller physiques like Frank Zane.
That’s a tough question. I love seeing the insane mass of todays bodybuilders however I find that the Zanes and Arnolds were much more aesthetic than todays bodybuilders. Shawn Rhoden is one of the few bodybuilders today who still holds that aesthetic look I find.
“It’s a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness”
Advice for someone wanting to change their lifestyle and achieve their ideal physique?
The biggest thing is to believe in yourself. I was one of those skinny guys who thought it would be near impossible to gain that fitness model look. It’s all about being patient, not cheating yourself, and sticking to your goals. Only you can prevent yourself from reaching them. Create your short and long term goals and take that first step forward. Know that there is no obstacle you cannot overcome and if you believe in yourself then there is nothing you can’t conquer!
Where can people get hold of you?
I can be reached at any of these at any time!