Matt Rains is pumped, both physically and emotionally, after claiming first- and second-place finishes earlier this month at a body building competition.
Rains finished first in the novice division and second in true novice during the Nashville Night of Champions, which was held in Chattanooga.
“It was my first competition so I was pretty nervous my first time out during pre-judging in the morning,” said Rains. “When you’re up on stage, you don’t really see anything because the lights are so bright. Adrenaline takes over and you go through your motions. It was something entirely different for me. I’ve been working out hard for about 10 years, but it was the first time for this.”
Rains, 42, weighed in at 179 pounds the day of the show, which was Saturday, Oct. 2. That was down from 210 pounds before he started his rigorous routine and diet.
“They call it a body building competition, but I call it a diet competition,” said Rains. “Anyone can do the workout. It’s the diet that’s so difficult. I never really got hungry, but I got tired of eating the same things.”
Eating bread was off limits during his training, as were any sugary treats. Staples of his diet were fish, chicken, asparagus, rice cakes, and sweet potatoes.
“Everything was weighed out to the exact portions I needed,” said Rains, who ate six meals a day during training. “It was all calculated as to how much I ate and when. A big thing was also to drink a gallon and a half of water a day.”
In addition to his weight training at USA Gym, Rains did 50 minutes of cardiovascular work every morning and 30 more cardio minutes at night. He didn’t go super heavy with his weight workout and said he actually did less weight with some of his exercises because he got to be so much lighter.
Rains said to capture a first-place finish after 11 months of dedication was gratifying.
“Growing up, I wasn’t all that athletic or successful at sports,” said Rains. “I’ve never earned a first-place finish, at least individually, so this was really nice for me. This is a competition against yourself. Anyone can do it, but you’ve got to get your head in the game and work to be a better you.”
After his strong finish, Rains celebrated with a meal at Mellow Mushroom where he admitted he indulged in a “huge pizza.”
The celebration didn’t last long. Rains says he and training partner Daniel Hullett are going to compete again this coming Saturday in the Kentucky Muscle event in Louisville.
“We decided to do another one together while we’re still lean,” said Rains.
He noted he can no longer compete in the true novice division because that is reserved for body builders in their first event. He said he would like to get slightly heavier because his weight class allows him to reach 197 pounds, a weight where he can have more muscle mass than at 179 pounds.