Chris Kakouras – Interview With A Bodybuilding Champion

chris kakouras bodybuilderChris Kakouras – Interview With A Bodybuilding Champion & IFBB Men’s Physique Pro

2015 Jr USA Overall Winner

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

I have been into lifting weight for about 10 years now, but only the past 3 years have I really got into bodybuilding/physique seriously. I always looked at bodybuilding magazines and wanted to get big like that, but when the physique category came out I thought that was more of my body type I wanted to attain. So, thats when I decided to start prepping for my first show in 2013.

What made you decide it was time to take your bodybuilding to the next level?

My first year competing I did it just to challenge myself in something different. I did 3 National qualifying shows and I placed 2nd in all of them…but I figured I was doing well so why not push it to a national level. I did my first national show in 2014 and didn’t place well…I knew my conditioning was not as tight as the guys that were placing in the top 5. I took a year off to build some more size and in 2015 I decided to higher a coach for the first time who happens to be the Mr Olympia Physique Champion Jeremy Buendia. I was privileged to have him as a coach and thankful as I ended up turning into a IFBB Pro at NPC Jr USAs by winning first in my class and taking the Overall title! Now I want to push further to the Mr. O stage!

What sets you apart from the majority – Why have you made it so far but many struggle?

The biggest key for me is the passion I have for training and watching my physique change. In this sport if you don’t truly love what you do, it can become very difficult to stick with the diet and training regimen as I was going to the gym twice a day. In 2015 I was working 2 jobs and I was finishing my last year in college. My plate was full with not much down time and my down time was going to the gym. I knew what I wanted to accomplish and I was willing to do whatever it takes. Thankfully I graduated and made my dream of become a IFBB Pro a reality. I’ve learned in life that nothing will ever be handed to you and that you have to work for everything you want in life. I truly believe that and I pushed myself harder than ever this year.
chris kakouras

What type of music do you listen during training?

I listen to Trap Music, House Mixtapes, or Rap. Really anything that can get me pumped up!

Favorite Life Motivational Quote (Life)?

“Experience is worth more than education alone”

Favorite Gym Motivational Quote?

“Don’t go looking for success, do what you love and success will find you”

Who is your greatest sporting inspiration?

I can’t really say I have 1 specifically. I think anyone who has more to them then just a great body inspires me. The one who also have a strong mind. You can only be at the top of your game for so many year until things start to slow down, but how individuals handle themselves after that is what inspires me. The ones who can build a strong business to support themselves after the glory days. Life is short and you have to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way to make a good living.
chris kakouras

Greatest Bodybuilding / Fitness Inspiration?

Lee Haney of course, but also because we come from the same area so I see him every time we have local events in the Carolina’s. Also, Jeremy Buendia as he is the 2X Mr O Physqie Champ now and he has one of the best stage presence.

What would you say to someone who is possibly following your progress, and looking to reach the same level as you?

Study the game! In this sport I feel like it is forever evolving and you have to keep up with whats going on. Dedication and consistency will be the key elements to achieving anything in life. It takes time to get where you want to be, but once your there it is very much worth all the hard work.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

This was a typical split getting ready for a show. Higher volumes but still moderate weight.

Monday: Chest/Triceps

Incline Barbell Press 5 x 8-12
Flat Dumbbell Press 5 x 8-12
Decline Hammer-Strength Machine 4 x 8-12
Cable Crossovers or Dumbbell Flies 4 x 10-15
Dips 4 x 10-15

Tuesday: Shoulders

Standing Shoulder Press 5 x 10
Seated Arnold Press 5 x 8-12
Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises 6 x 12
Reverse Peck Deck Machine 4 x 10-15
Upright Rows 3 x 8-12 super-set with
‘Front’ Single Plate (30-45 lbs.) Raises 3 x 8-12
Dumbbell Shrugs 4 x 12

Wednesday: Back/Biceps

Hyper Extensions 3 x 15-20
Pull Ups 4 x 10-15
Single Arm Dumbbell Rows 4 x 10
Seated Cable Row 4 x 10
Barbell Deadlifts 4 x 10
EZ-Bar Barbell Curls 7 x 10

Thursday: Legs

Double Leg Extensions 4 x 10-15
Squats 6 x 8-12
Leg Press 4 x 15
Lying Leg Curls 4 x 15
Walking Lunges 2 x 30 huge steps
Lying Leg Curls 5 x 10
(Calves) Straight Leg Toe Press on Leg Press Machine 6 x 15

Friday: Chest

Incline Dumbbell Press 5 x 8-12
Flat Barbell Press 5 x 8-12
Decline Hammer-Strength Machine 4 x 8-12
Cable Crossovers 4 x 10-15
Dips 4 x 10-15

Saturday: Shoulders

Standing Shoulder Press 5 x 10
Seated Arnold Press 5 x 8-12
Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises 6 x 12
Reverse Pec Deck Machine 4 x 10-15)
Upright Rows 3 x 8-12 super-set with
‘Front’ Single Plate (30-45 lbs.) Raises 3 x 8-12
Dumbbell Shrugs 4 x 12

Sunday: Cardio/Abs
30 mins Low Intense Cardio
Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 10-15
Machine Crunches 3 x 10-15
chris kakouras

What is your favourite muscle to train?

My favorite muscle to train are the ones that need the most attention. For me my shoulders are always a struggle point so I look forward to going into the gym on those days and killing it!

What do you believe has been the biggest challenge in reaching your current levelin bodybuilding?

Balance in life. Sounds strange, but when in contest prep you are so disciplined and focused that it is easy to forget of aspects in life. You need to have time for work, school, friends, significant others, family, and any other activities you may be involved in.

What is your diet like?

Daily Diet (show prep)
Meal 1: 1 Cup Egg Whites and ¾ Cup Oatmeal
Meal 2: 7 Ounces Tilapia, 6 Ounces Sweet Potato and Vegetables
Meal 3: 7 Ounces Chicken, ¾ Cup Brown Rice and Vegetables
Meal 4: 7 Ounces Chicken, ¾ Cup Brown Rice and Vegetables
Meal 5: 7 Ounces Tilapia and 6 Ounces Sweet Potato
Meal 6: 7 Ounces Chicken and Vegetables

What does your best CHEAT DAY look like?

I don’t really have cheat days, I do a cheat meal. Typically I would do a Cheeseburger and fries or sushi! Those are my to “GO TO” meals

Do you maintain a fairly lean physique year round, or do you really peak and cut for competition?

I like having a offseason to enjoy some foods but also to add some quality size. It would be very difficult to grow while in a caloric deficit. Although, even in my off season I don’t let my body fat go higher than maybe 12% max.

What is your supplementation like?

Gold Standard Whey, A regular multi Vitamin and fish oil. During my show prep this past year I used Evogen products (EVP Plus, Glycoject, Cell Kem, Lipocide) which obviously worked in my favor, but these all aid in a well built diet and exercise program.

Something Interesting your followers might not know about you?

Prior to getting into fitness, I was really big into skateboarding and still enjoy watching it. I actually got sponsored through a few local shops and skate parks. As life changed, my visions changed and I got out of skateboarding competitively.

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