NRG-X: Hey John, tell us a little about yourself and TEAM GORMAN.
John: Sure. I am 33 years old, have 2 WONDERFUL boys named Gavin (3 years old) and Jay (10 years old). I just got done managing and opening 2 new Anytime Fitness locations here in the Springfield, Missouri area for the past 4 years. I just finished up my work with them, and though leaving Anytime is bittersweet, I am truly fortunate and blessed with my time spent working for the owners Monte and Shawn Pearce. Right now my full time job is the owner of TEAM GORMAN, a personal training/physique transformation business where I have clients nationwide getting online workout and nutrition plans customized by me for them. I have clients that range from bodybuilding and figure/bikini competitors, to MMA fighters, wrestlers, power-lifters (making weight), etc etc, but the bulk of my clients are the normal average folks who want to get into shape and look their best be it losing a lot of weight or adding muscle, the list seems endless. :)
NRG-X: How did you get into weight lifting and nutrition?
John: I've always been into weightlifting, even back in high school. In 1999 I did the Body For Life Challenge and was hooked. Over the years things went back and forth, I would get out of shape, then get back into shape. It was a mess as I am sure a LOT of people can relate. In 2007 I decided to become a personal trainer for Anytime Fitness in Nixa, Missouri and applied a lot of the Body For Life principles I had learned on my clients and started getting them good results. THAT is truly the starting point of when I decided this industry is what I wanted to become part of, though as I am sure you'll see later in the questions I am not a 1 on 1 trainer anymore, probably never will be. Leslie Franklin does all our 1 on 1 training for TEAM GORMAN.
One other note though, it was also in 2007 that I went to my first bodybuilding competition with my good friend Richard Plank (2002 Mr. Missouri and NPC National Level Bodybuilder). THAT show was what got me thinking about bodybuilding, and Richard would show me a whole new world over the course of 6 months, basically eating/living/breathing bodybuilding.
NRG-X: Why bodybuilding?
John: Honestly, everything I do for ALL my clients revolves around bodybuilding in some sort of fashion. I know most people who think of bodybuilding think of mass monsters they see the cover of Muscular Development magazine, but bodybuilding to me is the process of applying sound nutrition and workouts to alter your physique. I have 60 year old women who are bodybuilders in a way if you think about it, though that may not be the case to most people. But to answer the question, bodybuilding to me is the ULTIMATE challenge. I eat up the idea of dieting my clients for shows, there's so many variables to play with such as supplementation, diets (carb cycling, high low days, keto, etc etc), different workout plans and cardio plans, making them fit the individual to me is my passion. And getting them super lean to step on stage is a rush. I also compete as well.
NRG-X: When and why did you first decide to compete?
John: My first show was in 2009, though I helped others diet for shows before then, I finally made the commitment to do a show and went with the Muscle Mayhem and Mo State championships that summer, I finished 2nd in the lightweights at the Mayhem and won my class in the lightweights at the Mo State in front of my friends and family in my home town of Springfield, Mo. That was truly an experience. Last year in 2010 I did the Mayhem again, brought an all time best package, but had to bump up to the Middleweights as I didn't make weight by 1.5 lbs. I got my ass handed to me and rightfully so, but that lit a fire. I am now in the middle of taking 2 years off to come back and put a whole new, thicker, denser middleweight package to win my class there. That's my goal for my next show in 2012.
NRG-X: Tell us about who you have learned from and where a lot of your nutrition knowledge came from.
John: as most know, I am a nutrition and supplementation super geek. Nutrition is really where I specialize my work. Workouts and different training protocols are okay, I just don't get super excited about them like I do nutrition and the science of the body. Sure I enjoy putting workout plans together and learning new stuff don't get me wrong.
I have some people that I owe a lot of credit to. First back to Richard Plank, he showed me the importance way back when of just eating like a bodybuilder, 6 meals a day for example, supplementation, etc. From there I really invested a lot of time reading into Dan Duchaines Body Opus book and all Lyle Mcdonalds Keto books. I still have them all, and they really set the foundation of the Refeeds I use on all my clients now.
The person who probably impacted me the most early on is Mark Rosmini (Tipsta on the MD Message boards). He offered to do my contest prep for me for free, and what he showed me with carbs, saturation, supplementation, everything, GDA's like Slintrol (chromium and vanadyl sulfate), I owe Mark BIG TIME. He's not a fan of the way I diet people down now, but it's all good. Next thing I did was hire a couple of bigger names in the prep industry in 2009 to learn the way they prepped people online (like what I do now). First I hired Layne Norton, and while Layne has a great track record, I have to say I didn't get the results I was after with him in my corner. Even though I didn't get as lean as I wanted for my show in 2009, I did learn a great deal about BCAA's and HIIT cardio from Layne.
So, with the next show coming up 7 weeks later I hired Jason Theobold, owner of Natty Nutrition. I will say this without any doubt whatsoever, that was the best move I have ever made in this business. Jason taught me so much about how to use different protocols, but at the same time I was learning how he ran his business and clients through working with me. Jason is a damn good National Level NPC competitor, but of all the people I have worked with, and others I know who have worked with him (Leslie included), he runs the best damn prep business out there IMO. I cant find a person more passionate about this biz than Jason, and his wife Stephany. They are good friends of ours, anytime they need something anything I hope they know we'd be there for them for all they have done for us.
After working with Jason a couple of times I decided it was time to try who I thought would be the perfect match for the lower carb/refeed process I liked to use on most my people, so I hired Skip Hill (TEAM SKIP). All of you that know about my refeeds, I dont know jack compared to what he knows about his refeed method called the Skipload. I hired him for my offseason to show me how to have a lower carb offseason, with Skiploads once a week. DAMN good decision on my part, the 8 weeks I spent with SKIP was very good for me, and I owe that man a lot for what he taught me about the Offseason and Skipload process. When I diet for another show, Skips probably going to be at the top of my list right along with Jason Theobold as my second set of eyes to get me on stage. Skip and Jason both give me something to try and shoot for as far as having a successful business.
NRG-X: How has your diet style developed over the years?
John: this is the interesting part to me, the diets I use and have used. First, I want everyone to know I have NEVER ran a diet on a client I have not first done myself. I'm an anal geek about that. At any given time I could be running a High carb/Low fat diet, High/Low carb diet, Carb Cycling, Saturation diet, Portion diet, Heart Healthy ketogenic and all other forms of keto be it Timed (TKD), Cyclical (CKD) etc etc. Most clients that come to me usually are put on a lower (not zero!) carb diet through the week with carbs based around their workouts, with pro/fat meals making up the remainder of the cals for that day. Every client, no matter what gets either a cheat meal or a refeed, 99% of clients get a refeed.
We also have clients who are type 1 and type 2 diabetics, so those are different when it comes to the refeeds obviously depending on the condition itself, but there is still a refeed.
NRG-X: Tell us how you got started in the contest prep/nutrition prep business and what that’s like:
John: As a trainer from 2007 until early 2010, my business was called “John Gorman Personal Training”. Yeah lot of pizzazz there lol! I had done my own prep and had coaches for my prep, and had also helped Leslie Franklin win her class in a huge NANBF show and get a 3rd two weeks later in this time frame, that's really when I started doing prep just on a really small scale. Now, my personal training business was going well and I was getting people nice before/after pics and such, but I didn't get into the contest prep business because quite frankly, I wasn't ready. That's hard for people to admit, and I HATE when I see people prepping people for shows who have NO business doing it, it can really screw their clients metabolisms up trust me, I have quite a few now I am trying to fix for them. But my point is, I wasn't ready.
So, fast forward to Feb of 2010, I started getting clients together to do the NPC Mo State Championships in Springfield, it was my first run at putting a team together to do a show. The first person who got with me was Jessie Wells, and let me be very clear about this, without Jessie, this whole thing may not be what it is today. Yeah I would be doing this, but she had faith to trust me to do her prep for her, and people started to notice what I was doing with her, and she brought others to me. Also to join us for that show in July where her boyfriend and owner of Strong Gym Jared Dale, John Sappington and Shela Roles. I had one other gal who was doing bikini but life got in the way and she had to pull out, though I was sad for her cuz she was looking AMAZING. So we had a team of 4.
The name TEAM GORMAN actually came from Jessie Wells, who one day said something about all of us and just called us TEAM GORMAN. And it stuck. Now trust me, I've gotten some shit from a few other contest prep guys who use “TEAM” in their names, but I never modeled myself after anyone, Jessie gets the credit here.
I have to point out a very clear moment while prepping these folks that made me know that I wanted to do this for a living, as my only job. I was vacationing in Arkansas 2 weeks out from the Mo State with my girlfriend at the time Amy, we were staying in the Arlington Hotel. She was there on business I remember, but I had my clients so close to a show I had to have my laptop and phone ready at all times. The thing I remember clearly to this day, is getting up and waiting in the lobby while she went to her places to work, I sat there with my laptop all morning doing my updates and making peak week plans for all clients, drinking Starbucks coffee, and just LOVING every single minute of it. To be able to have that passion, that thrill, I KNEW that's what I would be doing. I owe Amy a lot of credit, that whole weekend she could see the excitement in me, and we talked quite a bit about it and she may not know it, but she helped instill quite a bit of confidence in me. THAT weekend is when I knew without a shadow of a doubt, I would be doing this. And it blew up from there.
NRG-X: Tell us about Team Gorman on Facebook what that’s like.
John: Thank GOD for Facebook! Seriously, I guess Leslie and I do things different than most trainers and nutritionists, because we not only post before/afters and success stories like others, but we also post all our clients who are dieting down for a show, weekly pics to show people the changes. Now if they don't want their pics up, that's fine as we have a couple now that we don't put pics up of. But we don't even have to advertise, FB is far reaching, and our clients do all the talking for us by sending people our way. FB is amazing, our clients are amazing, what else do you need? :) Leslie thinks we need a website, but I'm pretty stubborn when something is working so well I don't like to change, but she may be right.
NRG-X: What NRG-X supplements and other supplements do you use regularly?
John: First, I want to thank you Josh for sponsoring Leslie and I as athletes and reps. We know a lot of big supp companies that hand out sponsorships like candy, we are not interested in that. Your story is AMAZING, and your supps reflect YOU we noticed. That's what made us want to go with NRG-X, and we and our clients are LOVING the supps. When I put my name on recommending a supplement to my clients, it had better damn well be good or I look like a fool, and I am more than confident in the quality of NRG-X.
Sport Supplements I use right now:
Vital Core Multi, BETA MAXX, MAXX DIGESTION, CEE (creatine ethyl ester), OVERDOSE pre-workout, XTREME GREENS (better than Juice Plus and WAY CHEAPER), Sublime Whey Cappuccino flavor. Those are an every day staple in my nutrition and supplementation. More info about these items @ www.nrgxlabs.com
NRG-X: What do you think of family and a bodybuilding lifestyle?
John: I will be brief here, but very important to say this: Do NOT let bodybuilding come before your family. Trust me, I let it consume me something fierce and lost my relationship with an amazing girl and mother of my 3 year old Gavin. Everything we do has to have balance, which I have now thank God, but it can be all consuming and is also something that cannot be pushed on another person. So yes, make sure no matter what you do IMO, family is always first.
NRG-X: If you could change one thing about dieting as MOST people know it, what would it be?
John: oh boy this could be a long response but I will keep it short. The one thing I would change is how people diet down and kill their metabolisms, there are BETTER ways to diet folks! CRASH diets are not the answer for anything but short term weight loss, then you are left with a wrecked metabolism and the ability to gain weight AFTER SCREWING up your metabolism is much much more profound I promise you. Sorry I get a little heated up here, but folks, losing body fat is a marathon, not a sprint. It didn't come on over night, it's not going to come off fast. Matter of fact, it's going to come off a lot slower than it went on.
NRG-X: Favorite thing to do, not related to your business/bodybuilding?
John: I love my two sons with all my heart, every weekend I get them we do something. One of our favorite things to do is watch Marvel Comics movies, it's been that way for years now, we get excited anytime one comes out. When we aren't vegging at my place, we are running around Springfield going to Barnes and Noble, or going to Vintage Stock to look at toys and such.
NRG-X: What words of wisdom would you give people new to dieting, or even doing a show?
John: number one thing in all dieting to me is, don't start dieting if your calories are already low. Why? Because your metab will not hold on very long and you will stall, and if you keep trying to force it, you will wreck your metab. I have most my clients get with me early, I set up there diets and get their calories UP for a while, maybe 1 month maybe 3, then I start creating a deficit in cals from a higher base metabolic rate. That will enable them to lose the weigh much easier over time. The hardest people to diet are the ones who come to me eating 1200 cals a day, or less sometimes. I have to pull all kinds of tricks out of my.....yeah just to keep their body off guard. It's not fun for them most of the time, but we still have an answer to get them what they need it's just harder.
NRG-X: If someone wanted to get in touch with you for TEAM GORMAN services, what would be the best way to reach you?
John: There are a number of ways, easiest is my personal email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org , or Fbook message either myself or Leslie Franklin. Leslie's personal email is email@example.com . We both use the teamgorman email, but we welcome anyone to contact us whatever way they want.
NRG-X: Any closing comments?
John: Just the fact I am blessed, and I owe a lot of thanks to a lot of people that I hope I didn't leave out here. First thing I need to say is that everything I have is possible through God, I am a big believer in tithing and reaping what you sow, TEAM GORMAN operates that way, and as we both know so does NRG-X. And I also want to say I could not do this completely without Leslie. I trust NO ONE else in this area to do what we do. Not only is she damn good, we compliment each other very well. We have big things in store for TEAM GORMAN as we go full time in Feb 2011 with this as our sole income and jobs. WE ARE BLESSED!