“You’re the one who has to self-create a lifestyle of discipline, sacrifice, strength, and knowledge. Don’t be afraid of pain. Don’t be afraid of failure.”
Big User Profile: Alex Frescatroe
BBG: Where do you work out?
ALEX: I work out in my haven – Gold’s Gym in Niskayuna, NY. I work out there every day, and have met a lot of great people. If I never stumbled upon that gym one cold snowy December, I would have never became the person I am today. I will continue to train there for as long as I’m in this county. Like I said that is my haven….my second home
BBG: Tell us a little about yourself: your name, background, where you grew up, where you went to school and for what. What’s going in your life right now… a mini-bio, if you will.
ALEX: Well, my full life story is still being written every day, but ask away and I’ll tell you. My name is Alex Frescatore. I have lived my entire life in the capital region of New York State. I just recently turned 18 years old on November 24th (Thanksgiving!). And I am a senior in the high school Notre Dame – Bishop Gibbons. I plan on going to college to earn a degree in athletic training while pursuing my dream of becoming an IFBB professional bodybuilder.
BBG: Did you play or excel at any sports?
ALEX: Before I even knew what a barbell row was I played baseball, football, golf and other sports. I was pretty good at baseball, but my weight was a problem – being an obese athlete is a challenge in any sport. So played golf and was probably a better golfer then I was baseball player. But golf lacked physicality and I like to be physical. I like contact and aggression and got bored with golf. Boxing was out of the question for me because of my weight. Same with basketball. So I tried football and liked it. But I never worked out and quickly fell behind in the strength and conditioning department, so I had to hang up the pads after a lower back injury in the summer of ’09.
BBG: What brought you into the world of lifting and when? What are your main goals in bodybuilding?
ALEX: I came upon the world of lifting after the lower back injury in ’09. My tenth grade year things got bad for me. My grades were bad, I didn’t have many friends, and my weight was spiraling out of control. Not to mention I was just going through a failed relationship. I needed a life change. And I remember this like it was yesterday – I looked mirror. I was 237 pounds and squeezing into my black jeans was a 44 inch waist. I was depressed. I joined the gym and started working out but kept eating junk and just got fatter. This is when I met someone who would become not just my training partner but one of my best friends. I was in school on the computer looking at a picture of Jay Cutler and Branch Warren for a MuscleTech ad when the classmate next to me seemed to have looked in utter amazement. His name was Matt. He wanted to get bigger, and I wanted to get smaller. Every day for us it became all about the gym, and every day throughout the winter of 2010, Matt and I would get up, go to school, train, eat, and sleep.
Except me instead of sleeping I was learning. I would spend hours on hours reading and researching bodybuilding, losing weight, and getting abs. Eventually I armed myself with enough knowledge that by the time 2011 came around I knew what it meant. And I knew what it took to be a bodybuilder. I haven’t stopped training, learning, and yearning since. I didn’t want to be that fat kid anymore. The kid no one took seriously. I have been now training for two years, and bodybuilding for a year and a half. Sadly it took me till 2011 to get serious but since I have I’ve made the greatest gains in my life. My goals have also changed with the passing days. Now my goal is simple be the very best bodybuilder Alex Frescatore can be. I just hope the very best I can be is Olympia worthy! I will NEVER stop bodybuilding. I will NEVER stop living life to be the best I can be. I will not quit or give up because it is only death that can stop me, and death is something you cannot fear in life….neither is pain. So I just press on.
BBG: That’s quite a journey. What would you say are your biggest accomplishments in your workout history so far?
ALEX: I feel I have accomplished a lot – physique-wise – in my short two years. But my favorite accomplishment and the one I look upon with most joy is the fact that through bodybuilding I was able to not just change my life, but the life of others. I have made so many friends, met so many people, and have been able to help so many people with the knowledge I have gathered. Bodybuilding changed my life so positively. I am confident, happy, and driven. Every moment of my life has a purpose, and I wake up every day with a mission. And that is to take two steps forward rather than one step back. To be the best bodybuilder I can be. Bodybuilding is my medicine. I tell everyone. And I have met others who have changed their lives through bodybuilding. I am fully aware that this is my love in life right now. I have a purpose, a dream, a vision, and a goal.
BBG: No one makes it alone. Is there anyone who has been especially helpful to you in achieving your goals? Anyone you’d like to thank?
ALEX: You are right no one makes it here alone, and i am a testament to that. And I really appreciate this opportunity to thank people that so much deserve it. I’ll start off with my great friend Matt. Matt was my first training partner, and the best. He always believed in my work ethic, knowledge, and potential. Through bodybuilding we have become like brothers. Without Matt pushing me I might have never made it over the hump. I would also like to thank my grandmother. Without her and the support she has given me, well, I wouldn’t be eating the way I do and making the gains I make. Then I would like to thank my father who is always supportive of me, and always there for me. Now this here is special thank you. I would like to thank my mother may she rest in peace but without her influence in my past I would not be the man I am with the qualities she gave me. She taught me true sacrifice, true love, true pain, and most importantly true strength. I know down here on earth that I must make her proud, and teach what she has taught me. I would also like to thank my friends for their support along with my other family members. Everything they do helps so much in a sport that is touted as “individual”.
BBG: Your physique is very well developed for an 18-year-old. What do you find are the keys to success? What is your advice to lifters just starting out?
ALEX: Thank you! The keys to success are simple in bodybuilding you must train hard, and smart. Then you have to eat a lot of good foods containing proteins, carbs, and fats. You need the right gear to train with as well. (I wish I started using BBGs for my back, chest, and shoulder a year ago!) Also research! “Knowledge is power”. Train hard, eat hard, research hard, and get rest. This is a simple formula to being successful in bodybuilding. Listen to your body so you can learn from it. You’re the one who has to self-create a lifestyle of discipline, sacrifice, strength, and knowledge. Don’t be afraid of pain. Don’t be afraid of failure. Forget the supplement game. Eat often, and train often, then throw rest into the equation and YOU WILL GROW. Don’t forget though you must find a balance between having fun, and working hard.
BBG: What is your workout schedule like?
ALEX: My workout schedule is based on instinct. If i feel it’s ready to be trained, and my body has ample rest and nutrients, then I go at it. I have nothing set in stone. Please remember that this is a more advanced way of training. It is not something I would recommend to beginners. I also do cardio every morning 6 days a week whether I am bulking or dieting down
BBG: What about your diet?
ALEX: My diet is a little different then your average bodybuilding diet, but for now since, I’m bulking up, I am eating five times on workout days. I have 4 main large meals where I consume most of my calories. Breakfast, pre-workout, post-workout, and dinner. I have a shake during school at lunch time. That shake is all i need to get me through the rest of the day till I am home and getting ready for my pre-workout meal. I consume around 50-70 grams of protein with my 4 large meals and i have 35 grams with my shake meal. Also each of the 4 large meals contains 60-100 grams of carbohydrates, and fats but not too much fat. I get 3000+ calories a day when bulking. I eat mainly clean meals – my favorite carbohydrate sources are oats, rice, and whole wheat toast. My favorite protein sources are eggs, egg whites, tuna, chicken, beef, turkey bacon, low fat cheese, and protein powders. I try to keep my protein from shakes low, and my protein from whole foods higher. I have made the best gains since using this method of eating. Also this diet is much easier than eating every two hours.
BBG: Motivation is sometimes the hardest part for some people. What keep you motivated?
ALEX: The fact I wake up in the morning alive and healthy is enough motivation for me to go out and try to achieve something great. Life is a chance to go out and create a legacy and path for others to follow. We all have the chance to do something in some aspect of life that is great. It just comes down to doing the damn thing. Also I believe in myself. I always have, even at my worst. I believe in my potential, and plus this is something I truly love to do. No matter what happens in my bodybuilding future I will always continue to train hard, and eat clean. Through that I was able to give my life meaning and help others. How can you not wake up motivated when you’re doing what you love?! Progress is a part of being alive. It’s what makes us truly happy. Life ends when progress does.
BBG: What are your favorite exercises or body parts to work? What do you consider your best body part? Do have a body part that’s especially challenging to make headway on?
ALEX: My favorite exercises…. Well, I couldn’t honestly name a list of my favorites but I love deadlifts. I also love anything that involves a pressing movement (even leg presses), and I love all types of rows. I guess you can say I love it all. But deadlifts and the bench press are the ones i look forward to most. I would also say my back is my strongest or (best) body part. But they all need work, and I won’t be satisfied with any of them until there the best they can be. I don’t have a body part that really struggles to grow, so really blessed in the area.
BBG: If someone were going to work out with you, what are they in for, what’s your workout style? What would you want from a partner?
ALEX: Whoever trains with me on any given day is truly in for a treat – and pain. My training style is high volume, and heavy with lots of drop sets, strip sets, forced reps, and negatives. You have to have something to drive you past the pain and the suffering when you are training. I always make sure whoever I am training with on any given day knows that pain is the simplest obstacle to overcome. Pain is temporary.
BBG: Is there a workout that really stands out from the rest? A particularly amazing workout where you ended going further than you ever had?
ALEX: There was once a day where I decided to start doing things like drop sets, strip sets, and forced reps. The pain and intensity from those techniques was so incredible that it changed how I trained forever. I now train to the pain, and to the pump.
BBG: Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: One of the reasons we’re interviewing you is because we know you’re an avid Big Back Grips user. What did you use before BBGs and why did you settle on BBGs? How do they help your workout?
ALEX: Well, before I started using Big Back Grips I was using things like sponges. SPONGES! And honestly, the sponges didn’t help, so when I came across Big Back Grips and used them it was like something incredible came into my hands. The first exercise I used Big Back Grips was lat pull-downs. My grip was securely locked onto the bar so that I could bang out more reps with more weight, and I also could feel my lats being isolated more, which means more back growth. It’s only been a few weeks so check back with me. But more growth is priceless in the sport of bodybuilding, so I haven’t looked back since. They not only help with back exercises but also with pressing movements as well.
BBG: Finally, can you give us your workout for just one body part: back or legs, shoulders, chest or arms, even abs. Just pick your favorites.
ALEX: I’ll give you the back workout I’m doing today. Lots of volume, lots of drops, and strip sets. High intensity. This is my go-to workout and how I built my back. To do this workout you are going to need to be an experienced lifter, and a BBG owner :-> Here we go:
- Lat pull-downs
- Low cable rows
- Low rack deadlifts
- Barbell rows (reverse grip)
- Dumbbell rows
- Stretching and plenty of it to finish.