KW: At 35 years old my body has taken a beating from playing hockey my entire life and then with all the hard training. I have had to learn to train smarter. The approach of doing extremely high reps with a moderate weight has given me better results than when I was going extremely heavy. To avoid back injuries I prefer to stay with a more moderate load and keep the reps exceedingly high. I actually feel I got more growth and received more muscle stimulation from that than going really heavy. The heavier stuff just causes the joints to hurt more and compromises the body a bit more.
MC: How old were when you felt this?
KW: I would say at age 30 things definitely started to change. Recovery between workouts started to slow down. Work-capacity and strength-wise I am definitely still capable of what I have always been doing, and I am close to the best shape of my life. Last year I did a fitness challenge to raise money for the Humane Society. My goal was to squat 405 pounds for as many reps as I could get, and I got 32. But in terms of what the joints can handle and how quickly I can recover from one heavy workout and get ready for the next, that has definitely changed over the last five years. That is one reason I went to a 4-day split. I found the three days of recovery to be very beneficial. When I was younger I could get away with training up to six days. Since I turned 30 things have definitely changed and I have had to adapt my methods.
MC: What is something that you’ve tried in your training but discarded because it didn’t produce results?
KW: I have played around with trying to go heavier at times. At one point I was deadlifting 585 pounds for 8 reps, and 675 pounds for two. I used lower rep schemes and took more rest between sets. It was more of a powerlfiting style, but I never got much out of it. For me, it doesn’t make much sense because bodybuilding is not about how much weight you can lift, it’s about what you look like on stage. The end goal is hypertrophy, and the only real reason to incorporate some heavier lifts is to enable you to move more weight for more reps.
MC: Have you ever considered bodybuilding that is not drug-tested?
KW: That is a path I have no interest in going down. First of all, I hate drugs. I can’t stand them. I have never touched a drug in my life. I don’t drink and I hate drugs. There is no appeal there for me. For me, the challenge is in doing it naturally. I want to see what I can do without using performance-enhancing drugs.
MC: What is the hardest part about being a pro bodybuilder?
KW: My life has evolved to incorporate bodybuilding as its defining feature. It is something I choose to do so I don’t complain about it. I will say that it makes you very different from everyone else. Most people can’t understand me and what I am about, but I don’t really think that has to do with bodybuilding. I think that is my personality and that is why I enjoy bodybuilding. I like doing things that are hard and that carries over to a lot of the things in my life. For instance, I do a lot of yard work and landscaping. Awhile back, I carried numerous rocks that weighed several hundred pounds and put them in my truck and brought them into my driveway. I dug out an area by hand with a pick, set in the stones one at a time and built a patio entrance to my lawn. It was 90 degrees outside and it was hard work. But in the end, I take pride in the fact that I did it myself. The journey towards the finished product is very difficult but when you step back and look at what you created, it is awesome. So I see other things in my life that parallel bodybuilding.