Jerry “Bubba” Wise and Erick Hargrove, who both recently competed in their first bodybuilding show, are two of our most dedicated members here at Spring Hill Fitness. It’s not uncommon to find them in the gym 6 days a week, working out for 2+ hours at a time. For those of you who’ve seen them training but don’t know them personally, all the muscle might be a bit intimidating, but they are actually two of the nicest and most down to earth individuals you’ll ever meet. We took a moment to find out more about their fitness journey and how it eventually lead to the competition stage.
SHF: First off, congrats on competing in your first bodybuilding show in Indiana! You guys looked great! How did you enjoy the contest itself? Was it any different than you expected, and were you happy with the results?
Bubba: I enjoyed myself a lot. It was something I’ve always wanted to do. And the people were very friendly so it was different than I thought. I thought people would treat us like rookies, but they were all very respectful. And being my first show I was content with the results. I’m a bit of a perfectionist! lol
Erick: I was happy with the results but like anyone competing you find areas that you need to work on.
SHF: When did you guys start lifting weights, and what got you started? Were you involved in sports/athletics growing up?
Bubba: I’ve always been involved in sports. As kids we were playing some sort of sport year round. But as I got older I got lazy. And it wasn’t until about 4 yrs ago that decided to start lifting again.
Erick: I started lifting 4 years ago but got serious in April when I joined Spring Hill Fitness. I played baseball, football, basketball and ran cross country. What got me started lifting was I had gotten out of shape and wanted to be more healthy.
SHF: At what point did you decide to try your hand at bodybuilding competition? What inspired that decision?
Bubba: I’ve been saying I was gonna try to do one for the last 2 years. But it seemed life always gave me excuses not to. But this year after losing my mom to cancer I decided life was too short to let anything stand in your way of your dreams.
Erick: I decided in July of this year. Bubba asked me to do a show as a team of Spring Hill Fitness.
SHF: Sorry for your loss Bubba. I have a question just for you… You have the structure to move heavy weights, and I’ve seen you do things in the gym that would put many powerlifters to shame. I’ve also seen the look on your face when you walk over to the cardio side of the gym lol. What made you choose bodybuilding over powerlifting?
Bubba: Well I’ve always been I guess you could say strong. And lifting heavy is all I’ve ever known. But to me the power lifting seemed to be, not to sound conceited, but it seemed easy. Bodybuilding pushes me and challenges me mentally and physically. But I still want to lift heavy. I like the Ronnie Coleman of the bodybuilding world. Look like you can move a house, and actually you could if you wanted to! And yes I do very much dread cardio!
SHF: Wow, I love that you took the more challenging road, and I give you major props for doing so! I know you guys train together. Who designs your training programs? Can you describe the type of training that you do (body part split, typical number of sets and reps done in a workout, heavy or light)? Does training differ a lot between off-season and pre-contest?
Bubba: We kinda shoot from the hip on training. On bulking I try to do no more than 4 sets of each exercise. And not to exceed 7 exercises per body part. Sets consist of reps of 15,12,10 and usually 5-8 on the last set. Cutting, the weight goes down considerably and the sets go up to 5 and there are no set reps. We go to failure!
Erick: Yes, it would be safe to say we shoot from the hip when we’re bulking. We work one body part a day and like Bubba said we do four sets of each exercise at around 8 to 10 reps as heavy as we can go. Then as we prep for the competition we do 4-5 sets but we don’t set a number on reps, we burn them out.
SHF: Wow, 7 exercises per body part, that’s what I call training! Have you had any help designing your diet? For getting cut, is your diet low carb or low fat or both? How strict is your diet in the off-season?
Bubba: Casey Kliebert helped with designing our diet. He is awesome if anyone needs a coach. And the fat and carbs pretty much are nonexistent during cutting. Lol We do get enough to keep us through our day though. Off season, is there a such thing! We take about 2 weeks to eat whatever we want, and then it’s back to clean bulking. But the weekends are pretty much free reign within limits.
Erick: Yes, we have had help from Casey Kliebert, and I would recommend anyone trying to compete to try and get Casey as their coach.
SHF: Do you have any advice for people just starting out in the gym who might want to become a competitive bodybuilder or look like one?
Bubba: Really think it through. It takes a lot of dedication and mental willpower. But if you’re serious about it find someone who is very reliable and knowledgeable. Plus make sure you are doing it for yourself not just an image you’re wanting.
Erick: I personally say you can’t beat hard work but it helps to have a coach and most of all a great workout partner.
SHF: Great advice! What’s next for you guys? Is there another competition calling your name?
Bubba: We will be doing our next competition in May of 2017 in Jackson TN.
Erick: Yes, we are both planning on doing the Hub in May.
SHF: Thank you both for taking the time for the interview, and best of luck training for the Hub! We want you guys to know what a pleasure it is to have you as members of the gym and how much we appreciate that you haven’t let the size of your muscles diminish the size of your heart or the class with which you conduct yourselves. Roll Tide!