“If anyone wants to train with me, they better be ready to get to work. No funny business. As soon as I step foot in that gym, it’s like a switch set to Beast Mode!”
Big Back Grips User Profile – JJ Schelling
BBG: Hi JJ. Before we start the actual interview, can you tell us a little about yourself. A mini-bio, if you will.
JJ Schelling: Sure! My name is JJ Schelling. I just turned 17 years old and I currently live in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. I recently got a job at my local gym!
BBG: Now, there’s a story behind your physique. At one point you were very anorexic and your life was literally in danger. Now you’re 17 years old and it’s easy to see a serious physique taking shape. What’s the story behind all the changes? Exactly when did you start lifting and what was your motivation?
JJ Schelling: It’s true. I had a very hard battle with anorexia for the past couple of years and I am very blessed I am here today. I had a heart rate of 29 beats per minute, and the doctor told me I wasn’t going to be around much longer. That was the big wake up call!! And lucky for me I found bodybuilding. And before I knew it I was seeing awesome results.
BBG: You were 102 lbs. when you started. What are you stats now? What is your ultimate weight goal?
JJ Schelling: Right now I weigh 142 lbs. at 5’3”. My best body part would probably be my legs or arms; the legs measure 23” and arms are 14”. When I first started arms were 9” and quads were 18”.
BBG: And you have a show coming up. Tell us about that.
JJ Schelling: Yes!! I am currently 23 weeks out from my Very first Show the Sudbury Championships on may 12th! I am very happy and excited to be working with Fusion Bodybuilder Mark Richman. We will be starting the contest preparation 16 weeks out.
BBG: Do you have an entry weight goal for the show?
JJ Schelling: No, no weight goal. Mark wants to keep me as full as possible while bringing the best condition as we can bring to the show.
BBG: So at the ripe old age of 17, you are a sponsored athlete: Chris Byrd’s supplement store in Kansas City North, and Sault Area Wrestling. Chris is a Big Back Grips dealer. Tell us about Sault Area Wrestling?
JJ Schelling: Yes, I am very thankful that Chris Byrd and Bob Davidson chose me to be part of the team. Chris and SAW are great! And were a big family and everybody has each other’s backs. And SAW is Sault Area Wrestling. One of the wrestlers, “The Inmate,” also known as Bob Davidson, sponsored me at the same time as Chris!
BBG: So let’s talk about “JJ and The Lifting Grips” for a minute. How did your first pair of Big Back Grips fall into your hands? And how have they changed your workout?
JJ Schelling: Well, Chris Byrd told me these grips would help really give me that extra edge in the gym. And boy was he right – not only did my hands feel better, but I was getting in at least 4 more reps per set!
BBG: What did you use before BBGs?
JJ Schelling: Before Big Back Grips I just used my bodybuilding.com lifting gloves but they weren’t the best – they didn’t offer a lot of grip. But now that I own BBGs I look forward to every back day!
BBG: Where do you work out?
JJ Schelling: I work out at a gym called the Athletic Club. I love it there because when I train I have the gym almost to myself!
BBG: Did you play or excel at any sports?
JJ Schelling: I played hockey for four years, football for three years, and I currently snowboard on the side of bodybuilding!
BBG: What are your biggest accomplishments in your workout history so far? Titles, personal goals achieved, etc.
JJ Schelling: The two biggest accomplishments I would be most proud of are beating my anorexia and becoming be a sponsored athlete. Every day I just keep on getting more and more motivated.
BBG: What is your workout schedule like? Do you really start at 5 am every day?
JJ Schelling: Yes I train 5 am every morning and I love it!! Here is my split.
- Monday: Arms
- Tuesday: Back
- Wednesday: Chest
- Thursday: Legs
- Friday: Shoulders, traps
BBG: No doubt your diet is different than it was at the depths of your anorexia. What does your bodybuilding diet look like?
JJ Schelling: I am currently in the off-season and trying to really build some quality muscle. I am getting in at least 6 to 7 meals a day and getting anywhere from 2700-3100 calories per day with 215 grams of protein; 325 carbohydrates; and 60 grams of fats. It will be much different pre-contest.
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?
JJ Schelling: My favorite body part to train is probably shoulders. Because I love doing heavy dumbbell presses because I feel like I have a lot of power. And my best body part is probably my chest.
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?
JJ Schelling: If anyone wants to work out with me they better be ready to get to work. No funny business. As soon as I step foot in that gym, it’s like a switch set to Beast Mode!
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?
JJ Schelling: I always have amazing leg days. I hit my legs very hard with a lot of volume. I noticed that it really made my legs grow, and I get an amazing pump. But boy oh boy, I sure do feel it the next day.
BBG: What’s your advice to people just starting out?
JJ Schelling: My advice to People first starting out is be patient! Muscle comes slow but give it a year and I bet you will see a great change always take pictures of your progress and you will be amazed how much muscle you put on
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.
JJ Schelling: Sure thing. Here is a JJ Schelling Killer Volume Leg Day!
- 3 sets of Leg Extensions light
- 4 sets of squats deep!
- 4 sets of walking lunges till failure
- 4 sets of hack squats
- 7 sets of leg press light to heavy
- 4 sets of lying leg curls
- 5 sets of seated calf raises
- 4 sets of standing calf raises ( reps: any where from 10-20 reps)