|NGA Natural Pro & Judge - Eric Broser |
AAEFX Internet Marketing Mgr/"Team Natural Freak"
Monthly Columnist for Ironman Magazine & Planet Muscle Magazine
Interview by Eric Helms
3DMJ: Eric, you have an impressive resume in the world of fitness and bodybuilding as both an athlete and a contributor of information. Where did it all start for you? What lead you down this path in your life?
EB: As a child I was always fascinated by muscles. I admired anyone I saw who appeared to be strong and powerful. The physiques of the characters in most comic books caught my eye the most and I fantasized about looking just like them. My father recognized this in me and brought home a basic weight training set so that I could start lifting at about age 12 or 13. I dabbled here and there but not enough to have any lasting effects on my physique. At age 16 my best friend Mitchell and I started watching bodybuilding competitions on ESPN and purchasing Muscle and Fitness magazine and reading it cover to cover. Together we made a pact…an actual written pact…that we would start training hard and eating right and would not stop until we attained the muscular physiques we envisioned for ourselves. We began working out together daily in my basement, and decided to call our little gym “The Lion’s Den.” I was 5’11.5” tall and weighed a paltry 125 lbs soaking wet. After four years of consistent training, Mitch and I entered our first (for him his last) bodybuilding competition and I was hooked. Just two months later, after making some adjustments to my diet and cardio regimen, I entered and won my class at the Natural Eastern USA at just 168 lbs. I was on top of the world and my career in the world of fitness was born.
3DMJ: You're an NGA Professional Natural bodybuilder. How long did you try to attain pro status before achieving that accomplishment? What difficulties did you face along the way, and what did it take for you to achieve it?
EB: I actually turned pro at age 22, just about 5 years after I first started lifting. At the time I was involved with a now defunct organization called the ANPPC, which was where the best naturals competed. They held a big pro qualifying competition in Las Vegas open to winners of past ANPPC shows and I decided to throw my hat into the ring. While I certainly was not one of the biggest, I was one of the hardest and most symmetrical athletes onstage allowing me to become one of the first five ever ANPPC pros.
The only real difficulties I could point to were my lack of genetics for adding size and muscle, as I believe that I am a pure ectomorph with a true propensity for being very skinny. And in addition, nobody really believed in me but me and my friend Mitch. Most everyone felt that I was wasting my time trying to become a bodybuilder and that I should have been putting my focus and energy into some other endeavor.
I overcame these difficulties because I was absolutely relentless in my pursuit of what I desired. Nothing and nobody was going to stop me, and to this day I still feel the same way.
3DMJ: How did you get to the position you have now as a columnist for Iron Man and Planet Muscle? And how did you get to the position to be where you are with AAEFX?
EB: Around the year 2000 I decided to try my hand at writing an article on bodybuilding as I always had a decent talent for writing in school. My goal at the time was to write something that blended solid information with a little bit of humor so as to set myself apart from other writers. My first article was called “Leg Day—To Be Or Not To Be?” and once it was finished I decided to send it off to the editors of both Iron Man and Musclemag International. After a few months of waiting and hearing nothing I went to the mailbox one day and saw a letter from MMI. I figured it was just for a subscription renewal, but when I opened it up a check fell onto the floor. At first it did not register what was going on, as I had pretty much forgotten about the article I sent in. However, there was a letter inside written to me directly by the editor, telling me just how much he enjoyed my article, and congratulating me for making it into the pages of MMI! I looked at the check again and it was for $275…then it hit me that I just got paid for my first ever article! This was the beginning of my “writing career” and I went on to get several more articles published in Musclemag. One of these articles was on my POWER/REP RANGE/SHOCK training system, which was one I decided to also send into Iron Man as well (even though I never heard from them after the first article). After several months I figured IM was simply not interested in my work, but then I received an email from the editor, Steve Holeman, asking me if he could buy and publish my P/RR/S article. I was thrilled, but had to explain that MMI already claimed it, and thus he could not use it. However, Steve told me he really liked my style and told me to send him anything else I decided to write. After writing a couple more articles, both of which Iron Man published, Steve asked me to pen a series of body part training articles to be published each month until I ran through each muscle group. Once I completed this series I was then offered my column and have been writing it ever since.
As far as Planet Muscle goes, this was much more recent, as I was offered this column after losing my spot in Muscular Development late in 2009. This came about when the owner of AAEFX, Brian Andrews, told the publisher of PM, Jeff Everson, that I was no longer with MD, and that he should consider me for a column in PM. AAEFX does a lot of advertising and promotion with Planet Muscle and he figured that I column written by me, an AAEFX athlete, would be an excellent fit. After some talks and emails back and forth, Jeff decided to add me to the team, and as of this interview I have now written two installments of my column, “Naturally Freaky.”
Now, to take a step backward, you wanted to know how I became involved with AAEFX…so, here it goes! After a short period of time working with a company called Goliath Labs in early 2009 I left and was without a supplement company behind me for the first time in several years. Robbie Durand, the senior science editor at MD magazine, who is a great guy by the way, told me that Flex Wheeler over at AAEFX was looking to bring aboard a new athlete for the team, and especially someone with my type of background. He talked to Flex about me and to my surprise I found out that he knew exactly who I was and had even done some research into me. After Flex and I exchanged some emails back and forth we made a plan to meet up at the Arnold Classic which was only a couple of weeks away. So, it was there that I got to sit down with Flex, and Brian Andrews (who was also familiar with me, my writing and my training philosophies) and tell them more about me and what I had to offer AAEFX. Within a few weeks I was offered a position as a sponsored athlete with teamNatural Freak and as their Director of Internet Marketing.I have been with them almost a year now and it is the most incredible supplement company I have ever worked with…just a wonderful bunch of people.
3DMJ: Eric there is a continually changing environment in the world of natural bodybuilding as to which federations are dominant in certain regions, what substances are banned, whose pros are allowed to compete elsewhere and which federation has the most talent. Why did you choose to be a Judge for the NGA and to compete there as a Professional Natural Bodybuilder?
EB: Actually the NGA came to me back in 2006 and asked me to compete in their Mr. Universe that year. A very good friend of mine, natural pro Troy Johnson, told the president of the NGA, Andy Bostinto, about me and he ended up giving me a call. We spoke for a few hours and hit it off very well, cultivating an instant friendship. At the time I had been retired from competition since 2001 and was also recovering from a severe lower back injury, which according to doctors should have led to the end of my serious bodybuilding days and certainly my competitive career. Of course this just added fuel to my fire to prove them wrong and with Andy’s added encouragement I decided to prepare for the Universe held just about six weeks later. Since that time I simply have remained loyal to the NGA and also have become involved with some of the promoters and chairpersons with the organization, who have had me help promote, organize, judge and even guest pose at some of their shows. That said, I do not have anything against any other natural organization and might even compete in some other shows in the future.
3DMJ: 3DMJ and AAEFX share the mutual pleasure of sponsoring the up and coming athlete Jason Bosak. We saw in him a potential that went beyond his muscular physique, so much so that we decided to sponsor him despite being a first time competitor. What influenced you guys over at AAEFX to offer him a sponsorship?
EB: One of the things I have done since becoming AAEFX’s Director of Internet Marketing is put together a team of “board reps” to help represent, promote and create good will for the company on all of the major bodybuilding discussion forums on the net. However, I refuse to “hire” just anyone, but look for guys/gals that have not only quality drug-free physiques, but also the experience, knowledge, passion and most importantly, the integrity to represent such a unique company as AAEFX. I want the members of my team to be good ambassadors and to represent me and EFX with the utmost respect and professionalism at all times. Jason is someone that fits this bill perfectly…and is thus far doing a wonderful job!
3DMJ: Eric, you used to write a column about natural bodybuilding alongside Layne Norton for Muscular Development magazine. How was it working with Layne? Also, what sequence of events lead to you no longer writing for MD?
EB: Yes, for a little over a year I wrote a column for MD called “No Juice Bodybuilding.” For the first eight months or so I wrote the column on my own, but then MD decided to bring Layne on board and have us write the column together. However, we never actually “worked together,” as he just wrote his half and I wrote mine without any communication. It worked out pretty well for a while as we both offered different perspectives and unique styles of writing. Layne is a very bright and highly educated guy and certainly made a great addition to MD as I saw it. Personally, I thought things were going quite well, but out of the blue I received and email from MD owner Steve Blechman thanking me for my work with MD and explaining that he was dropping my half of the column due to the fact that he needed to “keep things fresh.” To be honest, I was shocked, as I received emails and messages almost on a daily basis from readers giving me props for my writing and telling me that they loved my column. In fact, many told me that my column was the first thing they turned to when they received their new magazine in the mail! However, I am not one to worry too much about things like that as I am a believer in the thought process that “when one door closes, several bigger and better doors are about to open!” And that is exactly what happened when Planet Muscle brought me onboard! I love writing for PM and they offer me more space and more leeway to talk about what I want. As for Layne…I wish him the best and think he is doing a wonderful job continuing on with the column on his own.
3DMJ: Lastly, what methodologies for training and eating have you used to build your physique to its current level?
EB: I think the easiest way for me to answer this question would be with a basic outline of my training and dieting philosophies…
1-Train with high intensity and moderate volume.
2-Work harder, not longer.
3-Always use fairly strict form, but discover your own “groove” for each movement.
4-Make free weights your foundation but also utilize machines and cables as well because each offers a unique stimulus.
5-Do not get stuck doing the same things all the time. The body is an adaptive machine and needs variation in exercises, rep ranges, tempos, intensity techniques, etc.
6-Be consistent. Missing training days too often will get you nowhere.
7-Do not train more than 5 days per week…and 4 is likely better.
8-Do not overdo warm-up sets as this is unnecessary and robs your body of precious energy.
9-Use visualization to overcome plateaus and reach higher levels.
10-Go into the gym with a positive attitude and the total belief that each workout will make you grow bigger and stronger. Do not bother to train while thinking negatively.
11-Try my POWER-REP RANGE-SHOCK and FIBER DAMAGE-FIBER SATURATIONtraining methods if you are truly serious about reaching your genetic potential!
1-Eat clean all year long with scheduled cheat meals.
2-Eat 6-7 meals per day.
3-Try to limit yourself to no more than 2-3 protein shakes per day if possible. Whole foods are better for both building muscle and burning fat.
4-Use whey protein both pre and post workout.
5-Take in the majority of your carbohydrates for the day with breakfast and your post workout meal.
6-Make sure to eat right before going to bed so that you are not in a fasted state for too long while sleeping (if you wake up to use the rest room in the middle of the night you may even want to drink a quick protein shake).
7-Include plenty of green vegetables in your diet. This is more important than most bodybuilders realize.
8-Include a fair amount of essential fats in your diet from things like fish oil, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, and natural peanut butter.
9-Use supplements for what they are meant for…”to supplement a proper diet!”
10-As a general philosophy I recommend a high protein, medium fat, low to medium carbohydrate diet for most that are looking to build muscle and stay lean at the same time. Of course, there are many variables that go into formulating a specific plan for each individual.
I want to say thank you to everyone at 3dmusclejourney.com for asking me to do this interview and be a featured athlete. I consider this both an honor and a privilege.