Brandon Curry’s muscles have muscles. He recently paid a visit to USA Gym to “pump you up” and share some tricks of the trade.
The Nashville native recently won the Arnold Classic in Brazil and is preparing for the Mr. Olympia competition in Las Vegas in just under three months.
“Body building is about illusions,” Curry admitted while speaking with a room full of avid body builders at USA Gym recently.
Curry pointed out he is generally shorter - standing 5-foot-7 - than his competition, but is able to present a physique which judges often choose over much larger competitors.
It all boils down to the total package and how the competitor displays his or her body when on stage, he said.
The professional trainer admitted one of the hardest things about body building is diet.
“I don’t step on a scale leading up to competitions,” Curry admitted, estimating his weight is presently around 230 pounds.
“I take a picture of my body about twice a week and send it to my nutritionist and he sends back an eating plan. He can tell from the picture where I need work on my diet.”
Curry said he eats seven meals a day, all carefully planned ahead of time in case he needs to take it with him on the road to avoid “cheating” when it comes to his diet. The last meal, Curry added, is taken just before bed.
“Eating is really one of the biggest challenges,” Curry declared, adding he will allow himself one “cheat meal” a week if he is not in the home stretch of training for an event. “I prefer fish because it thins out the skin.”
As for weight lifting itself, the MTSU graduate said many lifters use a flawed strategy when it comes to pumping iron.
“Work the weight, don’t let the weight work you,” Curry encouraged while noting some lifters try to lift to exhaustion every set. “You don’t want to reach failure too quickly because that limits your workout.”
What some lifters believe to be muscle exhaustion is actually their nervous system shutting down. When the nervous system shuts down, Curry noted, the workout becomes limited.
“Once the nervous system reaches a point it shuts down,” Curry said. “It’s there to protect your body.”
Curry said he normally limits his cardio workout to about 20 minutes since high-intensity cardio such as running and biking can eat into the energy needed for body building. Curry also pointed out those doing high-intensity cardio workouts are building muscle, but it is not the same muscle needed for competition.
“It charges the profile of muscle,” Curry said noting advanced running creates a longer muscle designed for running.
Curry added that bodies are different and what may work for one person may not help another. As such he said it is important to find a routine that is designed for you.
“There’s some folks who can do a few squats and their legs blow right up,” Curry said with a wry grin. “Then there’s others who can do squats all day and all it gives them is a big butt.”
Curry has been winning body building contests since 2003. He placed eighth in the Mr. Olympia contest in 2011. He became interested in body building when he was just 6 after he was given a set of Hulk Hogan dumbbells for his birthday.