Alex Michael Turner

I finished High School at whopping 103 Lbs; and the last 5 years, have naturally gotten myself up and over 200.


BBG: Would you mind introducing yourself. Tell us a little bit about your background, where you’re from, went to school, what you do… Anything you want people to know about yourself.

AT : My name is Alex Michael Turner. I was raised in the small country town of Ontario in Oregon. It’s right on the Idaho border, not far from Boise. I am 23 years old currently, and have made fitness an absolutely NECESSARY part of my everyday life.

BBG: We’ve met a lot of great people on Facebook. Can you tell people how we met there?

AT : I looked you guys up, after receiving a pair of Big Back Grips from a buddy. The rest is history!

BBG: What brought you into the world of lifting and when? What are your main goals in working out?

AT : I would have to say my dad brought me into the vast world of lifting. He was a nationally ranked power lifter straight out of high school. And since I graduated, it has become my passion as well. I also began training in hopes of gaining weight. I finished high school at a whopping 103lbs…and in the last 5 years, have naturally gotten myself up and over 200, while maintaining a bf % of nowhere higher than 5%.

Interview Questions

BBG: What are your biggest accomplishments in your athletic history so far, wins, personal goals achieved, etc.

AT : I have done a few shows, but I would have to say my biggest accomplishment was this last year in May. I took 1st Place at a National Gym Association (NGA) pro show in Idaho. It was all the motivation I needed to venture onto bigger and better goals. I have been published in Fusion Magazine, and done several interviews as well. I was a strong competitor in the Men’s Fitness Athlete Search, and finished 76th in the entire country, out of hundreds of thousands of entries. I love Boise for the shear fact that it is a “fitness” oriented town. originated here, and so there is a huge following of athletes. It’s a small city, but always motivating, nonetheless.

Michael Alex Turner's back

AT : I would have to say the biggest thing that I see people do is maintain a mentality that CALORIES are CALORIES…and in all reality, when I sit down to lunch with my friends who are weighing in at 265 competing weight, the first thing I notice is their diet. It is always CLEAN bulk food. Whole foods are the key ingredient, and supplement to major growth. Just because a chicken basket with fries is 1800 calories….that doesn’t mean it’s going to ANYTHING positive to benefit you in the areas of lean gains! Stick to your major food groups…get back to the basics! That has also been the major turning point in my career, was taking my diet and completely putting it through boot camp! Haha

BBG: How is your philosophy about diet reflected in your own day to day habits?

AT : I am very good about how I eat, and have found certain ways to make it more cost effective as well. I think another huge misconception is that eating healthy is expensive. We as society have sadly made it more affordable to go to your local fast food restaurant, than to, yes, go home and cook up a steak…..But look at other avenues. Look at using a crock pot for roasts, and all your veggies for the week. Look at chicken, frozen salmon, etc. The real problem I see is people making excuses for not eating right. Not bothering or not knowing HOW to go about getting into this regimen! Don’t get me wrong, I will have a cheat day here and there. What is life without enjoying some of the finer foods? Strongly moderated, of course.

Alex Michael Turner's rear lat spread.

BBG: Where do you work out?

AT : I have lifted at a number of gyms in Boise, and maintain memberships at several as well! I like changing things up and seeing new scenery from week to week. My primary gym is the GOLD’s located in Meridian.

BBG: So now you work out with Big Back Grips. Do you use them for back only or for more than that?

AT : I love my BBG for ALL of my back exercises…but can’t deny the help in ALL other areas as well. Anything, that I can grip (aside from a rope) gets a grip now. I love saving my hands, and feeling as if I can push, pull, or drag more weight WITH my BBGs! Benching with my grips has changed everything in my routine!

BBG: How would you compare BBGs to straps, gloves, chalk, etc?

AT : I think they are very comparable to straps/chalk/gloves combined…. except …you don’t get achy wrists from the weight being supported by your wrists, you don’t get dirty from chalk, and you don’t have the sweaty nasty mess that gloves will leave you with. BBG are easy, light, there when you need them…in your pocket when you don’t! In my opinion they are by far more convenient, and beneficial health wise.

BBG: How have they changed your workouts?

AT : I know that my own strength has naturally been increasing, but I do feel almost as if a mental block is gone. I hated how beat up my hands got doing heavy weight for such a slender frame. As I mentioned earlier in the interview, I started this voyage at just over 100 lbs., and so although I have physically grown, I have also noticed my hands have not toughened up as quickly as my body itself has. The grips take that stress off, and allow me to push to my maximum capabilities!

BBG: As anyone who’s been to your Facebook page knows, you have some very impressive ink. Do you mind if we ask you about it?

AT : Absolutely not, I love talking about my tattoos. I started getting inked right out of high school, and have acquired full sleeves VERY quickly. I feel they set me apart from the majority of others in the gym, as well as the fitness world as a whole. I love color, vibrancy, and art…so the combination of those three things was directed to my arms. My entire right sleeve consists of everything from roses, to my mother’s hands praying, to my Favorite Grandfather’s initials after he passed. The left sleeve is a full freehand Japanese themed piece. We outlined the entire Japanese sleeve in ONE day, 11 hours. To be honest, I feel I am done though as far as artwork goes. I don’t have anywhere else on my body that I wish to cover, or hide! My arms fit me, and I am happy with them!

BBG: That was actually our next question: we couldn’t help notice the most densely covered and elaborate collections are your sleeves. The colors there are the most vibrant.  Other than the neck and face, arms are the hardest part to go low profile with if you’d want to. We were wondering why your arms became the main canvas.

AT : I picked my arms because they could be vibrant if I wanted them to be…but I can still wear a suit for business, and you would never know. I do a good job of covering my arms during contests, and in fact you should have seen the judges’ faces at my last show, after I washed my tan off! Haha — priceless. No one knew I had full sleeves, so you can imagine the shock of finding out the guy who took first was covered! Nonetheless, it was a great laugh!

BBG: Is future ink planned?

AT : No future ink is planned….I am going to finish coloring my left Japanese themed arm, and then call it quits for a while. I do not want to cover my core, chest, or back in any way!

Alex Michael Turner working legs with heavy squats.

BBG: So back to workouts: What is your workout schedule like? How does your training schedule support  your current goals?

AT : My current schedule is pretty easy to keep down, its 6 days a week…normally making my off days Saturday. I train mornings at 5:30 AM, and do my cardio in the evenings. My lifts normally consist of 5-6 different exercises, 4-6 sets, of 8-12 reps…ending each set with a drop set! A drop set, is burning out with each weight, before moving down in weight to continue burning out. This is done until you can’t push it any further.

Let’s take triceps pushdowns as an example of drop sets:

  • Set #1: 160lbs, burnout…
  • Set #2: drop weight to 130lbs, burnout
  • Set #3: Drop the weight to 100lbs burnout…and so on and so forth.


AT : This I feel increases my definition, and allows me to go heavier DURING my main sets, knowing my toning set is waiting for me at the end. I am normally in the gym for no less than 1.5 hours…but would say its more like 2 on a daily basis! Cardio consists of 15-30 minutes of a stair machine, followed by abs. I have found this routine, is perfect for my body type. It promotes lean gains, while keeping my metabolism high, and keeping the desired low body fat that I love!