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Cook comes up with his training menu

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-17 08:09

Steve Cook has rolled out a lot of fitness videos, training schedules and diet plans.

One of the leading bodybuilders in the United States, he visited Beijing last month for the China Fit Expo, where he was the global ambassador for the Optimum Nutrition brand of sports products from Glanbia Performance Nutrition.

Based in Los Angeles, California, Cook, 31, went to Dixie State University, also known as St. George State University, in Utah, where he took up bodybuilding.

Here, he talks about training programs, his personal diet and looking good:

What prompted you to pursue a career in fitness?

As one of seven children from a big family, I was attracted to sports such as basketball, athletics, football and baseball. I needed to work out to become a better athlete, so I started going to the gym.

After I finished playing college football, I decided to do weight training.

I then went on to compete in a bodybuilding show, which I ended up winning. At that point, I decided to go back to college and finish my Bachelor's degree. But I continued to compete as a bodybuilder and fitness model.

What are the secrets to keeping fit?

That is a difficult question to answer.

My best advice is read as much as you can about fitness training.

Start off by doing the basics and go on from there. Just try to improve each day and you will eventually achieve your goals.

During my China visit, I have been amazed by the number of fit people here. They are so hungry to stay in trim, and they want to know more about sports training and nutrition.

Health and fitness are very important to Chinese people, and it's just matter of time before the industry grows here.

How do you define fitness?

I believe it's a combination of different things. People want to look good and feel good. But it is different for everyone. It's a very individual concept.

Most people like to take part in activities they enjoy and love. That could be playing with your children or hiking. Being fit helps you enjoy these activities. I believe you have to be fit mentally and spiritually. You must strike the right balance.

How do you overcome a lack of motivation to workout?

Everyone goes through that. The biggest thing to remember is that you are improving your life. By being fit, you can play with your children without getting tired or go on that long hike.

So, you should constantly remind yourself why you are doing fitness training and that will help you find the motivation to carry on. Keeping a journal about your program can also help when you are feeling low.

What is your opinion about the fitness culture in China?

I really like it. People tend to look healthy and trim. They care about their health. In the United States, people concentrate solely on how they look. You can look good but still smoke. How can that be healthy? In China, people really have an excellent grasp on health and fitness, and how to strike the right balance. Hopefully, that philosophy will continue to grow.

Tell me about your personal workout schedule and diet plan?

Well, I don't recommend it for beginners. My diet consist of five to six meals a day.

In the morning, I eat six egg whites, two whole eggs, oatmeal and half a banana.

During the rest of the day, I eat broccoli, chicken and brown rice. I don't eat gluten, bread or sugar.

As for carbohydrates, I eat rice, vegetables, strawberries and low-fat yogurt. In the afternoon, I do weights-intense sessions of 45 minutes, five days a week.

Steve Cook, is a leading bodybuilder based in the United States.

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