Brad Rowe IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Interview

Brad Rowe IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Interview
  • Age:

  • Height:

  • Chosen Sport:

  • Off-Season Weight:

  • Competition Weight:

  • Competition Records:

    • 2010 NPC Excalibur 1st Place Men's Bodybuilding
    • 2011 NPC Nationals 3rd Place Men's Bodybuilding
    • 2013 IFBB North America 2nd Place Men's Bodybuilding
    • 2013 NPC Nationals 2nd Place Men's Bodybuilding
  • Training Information:

    What Is Your General Training Philosophy/Style?

    I used to train heavy, mostly compound movements from my background as an American Football player. But once I moved to LA I started training with Chris Cormier and he changed things to focus on isolating not only muscle groups but different areas of each muscle. The weight got lighter, reps higher but intensity was still all out. Then I began training with Charles Glass and it was a similar style as Chris with focus on a particular part of a muscle for each set. I still love to go heavy but finding the older I get the more stress it has put on my joints which sets me back. Intensity is still balls to the wall but reps are 12-15 sometimes in the 20 range.  

    What Is Your Current Training Split?

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    Quads Chest Shoulders Back Hamstrings Arms
    Leg Extensions 4 x 12-15
    Horizontal Leg Press 

    4 x 12-15

    Inverted Leg Press

    4 x 12-15

    Hack Squat

    4 x 12-15

    Leg Extensions

    4 x 12-15

    Incline Smith Machine

    4 x 12-15

    Incline DB Press

    4 x 12-15

    Decline Hammer Press

    4 x 12-15

    DB Fly

    4 x 12-15

    Pec Fly

    4 x 12-15


    DB Lateral Raises

    6 x 12-15
    EZ Curl Bar Front Raises

    4 x 12-15

    EZ Curl Bar Upright Row

    4 x 12-15

    Hammer Strength Shoulder Press 4 x 12-15
    Reverse Pec Deck Superset With DB Shrugs 4 x 12-15
    Cable Lateral Raises

    4 x 12-15

    Wide Grip Lat Pull Down

    4 x 12-15

    Hammer Strength Lat Pull Down 4 x 12-15
    Hammer Strength Lat Row 4 x 12-15
    Rack Dead Lifts

    4 x 12-15

    Bent Over DB Rows

    4 x 12-15

    Seated Ham Curls 4 x 12-15
    Laying Leg Curls 4 x 12-15
    Standing One Leg Curls 4 x 12-15
    Reverse Hack Squat RDL

    4 x 12-15

    Rope Extensions / EZ Curl Bar Curls

    4 x 12-15

    Preacher Curl Machine

    4 x 12-15

    Spider Curls

    4 x 12-15

    Drag Curls

    4 x 12-15

    Close Grip Bench

    4 x 12-15

    Wide Grip Press Downs

    4 x 12-15

    Rope Extensions

    4 x 12-15

    What Does Your Cardio Regime Look Like?

    It really depends on what my dietician suggests at a particular point in time. It varies drastically from fasted low intensity steady state (LISS), to fasted HIIT, to post-workout LISS, post workout HIIT, and LISS or HIIT before bed. 

    What Are Your Maximum Bench, Deadlift and Squat Weights?

    • Bench Press: 220kg (485lb) in college was the best max, I’ve hit 184kg (405lb) for reps of 15 a couple years ago. 
    • Squats: I have never actually maxed out on squat. In college I would wait for everyone to get their max in and then just do 20lbs or so more and beat it LOL! I have repped out 265kg (585lb) for 12 reps last year.
    • Deadlifts: 284kg (625lb) in college, I hit 306kg (675lb) for a triple 4 weeks out from Nationals in 2013.

    What Type of Cardio Do You Find Most Effective When Trying To Lose Body Fat? 

    I like fasted cardio best because it gets me up and going for the day. As for the best type for fat loss, HIIT is great because you can get more work done in less time. But moderate paced cardio is best for me because I can write emails, do diets, and do the menu/shopping list for my food at the same time. 

    What Are Your Favourite Exercise And Why? 

    Squats: I don’t do them as much as I used to and as painful as they are, there is something fun about strapping 500+lbs on your back and busting out reps. There are not that many people in the world that can do it so it's a great feeling.

    Bench Press: It is probably one of the first things we do when we start training so it's always nostalgic to get under the bar.

    Spider Curls: Painful to do but give an amazing isolation and pump of the biceps.

    Can You Describe What Intensifying Techniques You Find Effective In Your Training?

    Drop sets are used often in my pre-contest phase. Not only are they great at helping volumize the muscles but also add a great level of density to the muscle. A great giant drop set is when doing DB laterals, start with a high weight that you can get 10-12 reps with, hit your reps then drop 10lbs and go to failure, then drop 10lbs and go to failure, and drop another 10lbs for a final set of failure. 

    Forced negatives are incorporated at times as well. My trainer or training partner will add resistance to whatever movement I'm performing during the negative portion (eccentric) phase of each rep and I must control the movement slowly back to the starting point. 

    What Muscle Group Do You Consider A Weakness? How Have You Adjusted Your Training To Compensate For This?

    Biceps and chest for me go hand in hand. If I had the right answer then they wouldn’t be a weakness anymore LOL! I am trying everything, high reps, low reps, angles galore, hitting them hard twice a week, hitting them once every 10 days (for optimal recovery) hitting them once hard then another time just a good pump. I refuse to quit but they are still lagging!

  • Dieting/Supplementation Information:

    Do You Bulk and Cut Or Stay Lean All Year?

    This is my first real off season in 2014! Every other year I have competed I have tried to stay in a certain weight class so I never tried packing on size. I have always stayed under 7% body fat. Right now I am 260lbs and about 8-9%. I certainly want to stay under 10% body fat! 

    What Does Your Typical Meal Plan Look Like?

    Meal 1: 1 cup egg whites, 25g whey protein, 75g carbs from cream of rice, 5 slices ezekiel bread

    Meal 2: 280g chicken, 1.5 cups rice

    Pre-Workout Shake: 50g whey protein, 50g karbolyn 

    Post-Workout Shake: 50g whey protein, 50g karbolyn 

    Meal 3:  280g chicken, 1.5 cups rice

    Meal 4:  340g beef, 75g carbs from bread

    Meal 5:  280g chicken, 280g potato & greens

    Meal 6:  2 Quest bars, 25g whey protein

    When You Diet, How Do You Deal With Hunger And Lack Of Energy? Do You Use Any Specific Foods To Help You Stay "Full" And Feel Less Hungry?

    I am not really a stimulant guy, I don’t need that crazy rush with pre workout drinks. A lot of them make me gassy and bloated which effects my training so I typically stay away from any pre- workouts. I used to chew a ton of gum to hold off cravings but due to an on going teeth grinding issue that started in college my poor teeth have taken a beating so I needed to quit the gum. Now I just chug water and deal with the hunger and cravings (I brush my teeth after every meal too so I get rid of food and have mint fresh breath LOL!)

    What Is Your Favourite Cheat Meal?

    That's a loaded question! I am known for my epic cheats. My fiance and I will go separate ways and pick up things from 3-4 places each and meet at home and go nuts. Pizza, burgers, subs, sushi, nachos, chinese food, cake, cookies, pie, ice cream (that's all in 1 meal!)

    What Are Your 3 Favourite Supplements And Why?

    Whey Isolate/Hydrolysate: these types of protein are fast digesting and light so I don’t feel bloated or full drinking it.

    BCAA: I drink 5g pre and 10g intra cardio, I drink 10g while training, and also add to my water during prep for flavor. They really assist in keeping my body from chewing up too much muscle during prep.

    Multivitamin: One downfall of being a bodybuilder is that we do not get to eat many fruits and really not a large array of vegetables so a good multivitamin helps give us the vitamins and minerals needed to function efficiently.

  • Personal Information:

    What Led You To Pursue The Life Of A Professional Bodybuilder? What Steps Do You See Yourself Taking In The Future To Increase Your Status As A Professional Bodybuilder?

    Funnily, bodybuilding sort of fell into my lap. I did one small show in 2006, I prepped for 8 weeks and had no clue what I was doing and had no real interest in it. My best friend had competed the year before and told me I didn't have the willpower to diet. I was a junk food junkie but still a gym rat because I was a collegiate athlete. So I picked a show and did it to prove him wrong. After the show I had no desire to compete ever again and wanted to get back into being more athletic. 

    Fast forward to 2010, I was contacted via MySpace by a fitness agent who saw my picture as the Ultimate Warrior for Halloween and asked me if I would be interested in fitness modeling. I said I had no desire but if he booked me anything I would follow through with it. Within 2 weeks I had booked my first Muscle & Fitness shoot and a GNC advertisement campaign. 

    After a few months and some decent success booking shoots for different magazines he suggested I hit the stage to gain more publicity. I was reluctant but he promised it would pay off so I began a 12 week prep for my first “REAL” show. One week before hitting the stage I was signed by Universal Nutrition and was being PAID to be a bodybuilder. I did 3 shows in 3 consecutive weekends and became hooked. In 2010 I did 5 shows between June and December finishing the year off with an overall victory at the 2010 NPC Excalibur. 

    One thing that I need to do to increase my status is to become more active on social media. After a rough start in 2012 I turned my back on posting and doing videos to try to become the best bodybuilder I could be. The extra focus helped slightly with competing but I fell out of touch and got left in the dust with the surge of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for athletes. This year I would like to put a little more attention to those things as long as it doesn’t distract me too much from my training and my businesses. 

    Congratulations On Recently Being Awarded Your IFBB Pro Card! When Do You Plan On Stepping On The IFBB Stage? How Do You Plan On Making It To The Olympia Stage?

    Thank you! I still can’t believe that it's real! I have not chosen exactly which shows I will do this year if any at all. If I do compete (which is about a 90% probability) it will be in the fall after the Olympia. I want to step on stage and have people notice significant changes but also do not want to take so long to hit the stage that people completely forget about me. 

    Some of the overseas shows after the Olympia are intriguing but right now I do not have a sponsor so those are some huge expenses to accrue especially since I am paying for our wedding in December. I would say realistically I will shoot for the Europa Phoenix and then Ferrigno Legacy show then fly to Costa Rica and get married 2 days later!

    Right now the Olympia is not really on my mind. I just want to be a respectable competitor first, then see where I stand in the field and decide if that's something that I ever think will happen. I never thought I would be a bodybuilder and never wanted to even turn pro when I started so just have to see where the journey takes me.

    Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years? How Do You Plan On Achieving This?

    In 5 years, I plan on having a couple of kids and enjoying my time as a bodybuilder and fitness personality. I truly love competing so I do not see myself giving that up anytime soon even if the Olympia qualification never comes. I hope that I have a business set up that can provide for my family and that I can retire on.

    I think my drive and unwillingness to accept failure will help me achieve everything in life I want. It's what has got me this far in life. I know that I don’t have the best physique out there but I have some crazy body parts like my legs and I have a look that can and has set me apart from many other athletes. I also great at communicating so I think I could do well doing interviews and other publicity work. All those attributes I think can keep me relevant in the industry and able to find some success. 

    Who Are Your Role Models and Why?

    My Mom is my biggest role model! Single parent with little education and no career working her butt off to provide for her child. She never showed weakness, never asked for help, never haunted my father for child support (which almost never came anyway). She always put me and my needs above hers and made sure I had everything I needed in life to be successful. 

    What Are The 3 Words That Best Describe You?

    Relentless, Loyal and Caring.

    How Do You Manage The Balance In Your Life And Find Time For Everything?

    I guess a good/bad thing is all of my family and friends are 3000 miles away. My life is work, training, my fiance, and my dogs. I have been in California for almost 3 years now and I have made a couple real friends but I don’t go out to dinner with, or go to a club with them. They know that my life is all about getting things done and making the most out of every moment.

    I live my life sort of like a robot. I like routines and schedules and the more I have on my plate the more I accomplish. I think it's something I learned at a young age. I had responsibilities at home, always had a job, was a 3 sport athlete through high school, and played football in college all while performing very well in school.

    We Understand You Have Recently Been Working On Your Personal Training Business, Your Meal Company "Pro-Formance Food", As Well As Your Clothing Label "Front Rowe Athletics". How Do You Orgainse Your Day To Fit In All Of Your Commitments? What Does Your Daily Schedule Look Like?

    It has been a crazy year with everything I had going on. I actually just downsized Pro-Formance Food. We grew quickly, which was great, but with employees and more time needed in the commercial kitchen the overhead got a little high and profits where not where they needed to be to justify the work and stress myself and my partner were going through. So I am buying my business partner out and reducing back to a size where I will work less and make twice as much! Eventually I will dive back in, but next time with investors and a good sales team set up. 

    I prepped for 36 weeks last year so here is a typical day when cooking or delivering meals. 

    • 2:45am - Wake up and in kitchen or doing deliveries by 315am.

    Deliveries would take close to 2 hours. Cooking in the kitchen I would be in there for 3 hours until the crew was settled and had no issues finishing. I would do this while not eating and just drinking a ton of BCAA. I would then head to the gym to do my fasted cardio and pose.

    • 10:00am-Train clients
    • 11:00am- Workout
    • 12:30pm-Train clients
    • 4:30pm-Train clients
    • 5:30pm- Train clients
    • 8:00pm- Bed time

    Do You Have A Quote That You Live By?

    I don’t really do the whole quote thing. I live my life how I think it should be lived and that's as a hard working, virtuous individual. Do that and you're bound to be on the right path.

    Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Leave Us With?

    I would like to thank you for allowing me the opportunity to do this interview with I hope that my journey takes me to Australia sooner than later as from everything I have heard and seen it's truly an amazing country with a HUGE passion for fitness.

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