Bodybuilding and training catchphrases come and go. You’ve probably heard them all at some point in your lifting career. “No pain, no gain!” was the mantra frequently used by our ‘80s fanny-pack-wearing brethren while they smashed the iron at Gold’s Gym. The ‘90s and new millennium got a little more cerebral: “If the bar ain’t bendin’ you just pretendin’,” “Go heavy or go home,” “If you ain’t squattin’ you’ll be forgotten,” and of course, the immortal “Everybody want to be a bodybuilder but don’t nobody want to lift no heavy-ass weight,” were all thrown around by bodybuilders looking for that extra motivation to succeed in a subculture where very few rise above the rest and achieve their dreams.
Today, in the age of social media, if you had a dollar for every time “rise and grind” shows up on your feed as part of someone’s motivational mantra, you’d be reading this from a large home with a few nice cars parked outside. However, for many, “rise and grind” is merely a trendy meme they post in between sets of arm curls down at the local Planet Fitness. It’s lip service. They never actually “grind” because their lifestyle is too easy. In fact, the closest some lifters get to “grinding” is having to dig a little to find the scooper in their protein.
Not so for Jase Stevens.
Jase was a late starter in the iron game – and was already 21 when he joined his first gym outside of his high school gym. It was the local rec center, and he spent one year there before he decided to move to a local, more “hardcore” gym. Like many, that’s where his passion for bodybuilding really started to take flight. Being around other powerlifters and bodybuilders ignited the flame – he started training every day, eating like a mad man and studying everything he could about the sport. Then he decided it was time to compete.
The problem Jase had was, like many of us, he needed money to fuel his obsession – and of course, that meant getting a job.
“At the time I had decided to prepare for my first competition, I was employed by CN, the Canadian National Railway,” says Jase. “I worked as a signals and communications technician, and part of the job was traveling non-stop for work. I’ve worked in every corner of the province and even outside the province. During this time, I was living out of hotel rooms. I would search up local gyms every week where ever I was and go train at these random gyms just to get my workouts in.”
Finding a place to train was just the beginning of the obstacles Jase had to overcome. Every bodybuilder knows that diet is a massive part of getting results – but finding time to eat is easily one of the toughest challenges any bodybuilder faces. Imagine trying to get your meals in while being responsible for the maintenance of railway signal and communications equipment that handles millions of dollars of freight every day. There’s no downtime during a work day. “I would bring around cooking supplies with me wherever we were, which included hot plates, portable BBQs and Tupperware. I would either buy food, put it in a cooler and bring it to the city we were working in that week, or go shopping after work at the local grocery store,” says Jase. “Once I had my food, I would meal prep all my food for the week in my hotel room using the microwave and hotplate/portable BBQ. Every week I would have to pack up my life, drive to a new city, unpack, find local gyms, meal prep and train – all on top of working 10- to 16-hour shifts days and nights!”
A lot of readers are probably rolling their eyes a little bit right now – because sure, meal prep and living out of a hotel room are something many of us have endured at some point. Maybe even for a month or two. Jase lived this lifestyle for four years. Let that sink in. If you’re reading this today in 2016, you’d have been grinding like this during the 2012 London Olympics or when #Linsanity took over social media. That’s four long years of grinding through 16-hour work days, not knowing what the gym in the next city has in store, or whether you’re going to be enjoying a half-decent meal or another container of cold chicken and rice. And yet it was during this daily rise-and-grind lifestyle that Jase honed his amazing physique. The payoff came in 2013, when he entered his first show, the WBFF Montreal Pro/Am. “I got into the best shape of my life living like this,” says Jase. “And I placed a very close second behind my friend and fellow MuscleTech® athlete Dylan Thomas.”
Through all of the stories you see and hear about great successes, it’s always the men and women who found their motivation and consistently used it as their main drive to reach success. Jase’s unrelenting desire to succeed gave him the ability to do what others can, but won’t do. Like Jase, you too can go out and take what would normally be impossible and make it happen. You’ve got the motivation, the ambition, the knowledge and the passion; so make it a reality. Rise and grind.
|Chest & shoulders, abs|
|Rest (cardio, abs)|
|First meal of the day is always a shake consisting of Platinum 100% Whey, liquid egg whites, almond butter and oats.|
|Either chicken, beef, turkey or fish, with either rice or potato and green beans or asparagus.|
|1 post-workout shake 2 scoops of Platinum 100% Iso-whey.|
|Whole eggs is usually the final meal of the day.|
Jase is a national level physique athlete in Canada and a published fitness model. He is also a lifestyle and fitness coach, helping others achieve their fitness goals, and he also works full-time in the railway industry.
|“You can’t climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger|