The human body is a marvelous and fascinating vessel that comes in different sizes, shapes and colors. Everyone is uniquely made and yet many strive to have the perfect body. Thinking of the perfect body we would think of a person that is a body builder. A body builder is known to have a sculpted chest, chiseled biceps and washboard abs. Body builder must train dirty and eat clean to create the perfect body.
Ear Hustle 411 had the opportunity to interview one of Chicago’s own body builder Andre Johnson. He gives us the exclusive on how he began his body building career, eating healthy and the goals he wants to achieve as a body builder. Check out the interview below.
Ear Hustle 411 is excited to be interviewing our first professional body builder? Can you share with our reader who you are and where you are from?
I’m Andre Johnson from Chicago, IL, born and raised on the Westside of Chicago. I’m 6’2 and Male Physique IFBB Pro.
When thinking of body building one would think of diet and nutrition. How important is nutrition and did you have to make any major adjustment to your diet?
Nutrition is very important part of body building. It is about 80% of what is needed to obtain the perfect physique. I have competed in five different competitions. I turned Pro after competing in my fifth show in Pittsburg, PA, August 29, 2014. Every show is a challenge. Based on my body composition my diet is changed and adjusted to enhance and reflect what my body needs in order to display my best Physique. For instance when I am a few weeks away from competing, my diet mainly consists of fish, green veggies, and eggs. Carbs are completely eliminated from my diet.
Who are the person/ people that inspired you to start your bodybuilding journey? Why?
All my life I have been very active in sports, and I have always worked out to maintain a fit and healthy body. One of my good friends, of whom is my coach, trainer, and nutritionist, Mandus Buckus, is actually the person that introduced me to the sport of Body Building. For years I would see Mandus at XSport Fitness preparing to compete. I must admit it mesmerized me to see how he was able to completely change his body weekly. I remember we would talk and he would always say how he thought I would do well and after about 2 years back and forth, he convinced me to compete. I hired him as my trainer and I am so thankful that I did.
Congratulations on being accepted into the International Federation of Body Building (IFBB) Professional League. What are some goals that you want to complete as a professional body builder?
Thank you, I appreciate that. My number 1 goal was to turn Pro. I did that, now my goal is to become an Olympian. I want the opportunity to go to Las Vegas, NV and compete in Mr. Olympia.
Body Building is known as more of a male sport; however more women are starting to participate in the sport as well. What are your thoughts on female body builders and do you think it makes them unfeminine?
It’s funny because I think some people have a misconception about Body Building. Some people may think it’s a male sport, however women do compete. There are different classes that women compete in, Bikini, Physique, and Figure. We live in a different society where everyone is accepted and has the option to do what makes them happy. I personally have no problem when a woman wants to be just as big as a Male Body Builder. However, I’m more of a fan of Women’s Bikini, Physique and Figure. I just think that is just another hurdle that a woman has to get across. Some may say it’s not feminine or that they don’t find it enjoyable to watch. I know the hard work that goes into it so I enjoy watching the women compete.
One would think that a body builder will spend all their time is the gym. How often are you in the gym and how did you learn the type of exercises to do for your body to compete on a professional level?
Well, no. As I mentioned before, most of what a Body Builder does is in the diet. You shouldn’t be in the gym no longer than 2 hours a day, 5-6 times a week. And that still too long (ha) (ha). As far as different exercises, there’s nothing special about them. You just have to focus on the parts that are lacking and work harder on them. Anyone can work-out it’s the diet that most people can’t deal with.
Besides change in diet and gym regimen, what would you say that is the hardest thing about being a professorial body builder?
The hardest thing for people to accept is the diet. The body is special and there is a science to it. You have to know everything that goes into your body, from carbs, protein, veggies, and water. Everything has to be accounted for. There will be times when competing you won’t see who the other competitors are until the day of the competition. Then there are times that you will see another competitor and think that they may look better than you, and you feel like you’ve let yourself down. But we all know it’s up to the judges.
We are brought into this world to grow and leave our legacy for others. What advice would you give to someone that wants to be a bodybuilder?
The best advice that I can give is to get a trainer that can relate to you. You should be able to discuss with this person anything. This person should advocate diet and nutrition as the first and major building blocks to building that perfect body. Conditioning is crucial and it’s not an easy thing to accomplish, but no work is. But remember when you are dieting and conditioning your body for twelve weeks and you see the drastic transformation you have achieved. You will be amazed and will appreciate the sacrifices that were made to achieve your goal.
Ear Hustle 411 wants to wish you much success in your body building career. How can our readers stay up to date on your journey?
I want to thank Ear Hustle for this wonderful interview and can’t wait to interview with you again once I make it to Olympia. You can follow me on our team page Underground Athletes on Facebook, and Instagram, Andre Johnson on Facebook, and Shariq58_IFBB_Pro on Instagram. Thank you again and much love and success to Ear Hustle.
Photos provided by Andre Johnson