Matt DeConti



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?

MATT: I never used anything before BBGs, I just used my bare hands. The reason I settled on BBGs was because I needed something that would prevent calluses and would help me better target the muscle I’m working each day. It helped in a few aspects of my lifting. First, it allowed me to not think about my grip as much on my days when I did my back work. For working lats, you need a solid grip on the handle, and these keep my sweaty palms from slipping off the bar. So I have much better back workouts. They give me more support through my wrist and forearm because they make it so that the weights feel like they are planted in your hands. Lastly, when I am using the Big Back Grips, I feel like I have more stability when doing the chest press, because the weights aren’t moving or caving in, ruining my form.

Interview Questions

BBG: Thank you. So tell us a little about yourself: your name, background, where you grew up, where you went to school and for what. What do you do professionally? A mini-bio, if you will.

MATT: My name is Matt DeConti and I turned 17 about two weeks ago. I lived in Berlin, Connecticut, and I work at a local grocery store called Roger’s Marketplace which is right here in Berlin. I’m in high school and I am currently a junior maintaining high honors. After high school I want to go to college to major in nutrition because I found that kind of stuff very appealing to me and I would love to help people with their health goals and lead a healthy life.

BBG: Where do you work out?

MATT: I work out at Powerhouse Gym, in Berlin Ct.

BBG: Did you play or excel at any sports?

MATT: I used to play football when I was a freshman but then I stopped because I didn’t find it that appealing to me. I also did karate for almost 3 years and was in the advanced/master club classes, but I also stopped doing that because I soon got bored of it and I eventually got into weight lifting and have been hooked ever since.

BBG: What brought you into the world of lifting? What are your main goals in bodybuilding?

MATT: I began working out at the age of 14 during the summer before my freshman year. My older brother Josh asked me if I wanted to go to the gym with him and work out and I immediately said sure. I would usually go with him late at night because we didn’t want to deal with the crowded gym. We would go for about an hour and finish up with about 10-15 min of cardio at the end of our workout. He started not to go as much, and he was my ride so I started going less. It took me a little while to make myself go to the gym by myself because I was worried about what I would do in the gym since he would always go with me and tell me what exercises to do. As I started to go by myself I would love the whole atmosphere and stay there for a couple hours at a time and I soon saw results which made me like working out even more. My main goal in bodybuilding is to reach about 160 lbs. and be completely shredded. I also hope to get a magazine cover and start doing fitness modeling.

BBG: What are your biggest accomplishments in your workout history so far? : Titles, personal goals achieved, etc.

MATT: My biggest accomplishment so far throughout my 2 ½ years of working out is that I am able to curl 45 lb. dumbbells for a set of 10 reps. Also I am able to flat chest press 90 lb. dumbbells in each arm for a set of 10 reps.

BBG: Not bad! What is your workout schedule like?

MATT: I work out every day. Here is my routine:

  • Monday: chest
  • Tuesday: back
  • Wednesday: shoulders
  • Thursday: arms
  • Friday: legs
  • Saturday: chest
  • Sunday: back

Also every day at the end of my workouts I always do about 15-20 min of abdominals

BBG: What about your diet?

MATT: I don’t have an actual diet that I follow but I make sure that I don’t eat bad food. I usually stick with eating mostly rice, chicken, pasta, steak, and also a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

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?

MATT: My favorite body part to work would either have to be chest or arms. The reason why is because when I’m doing chest, I feel a great contraction of the muscle and I really feel my chest working. Also with arms, I feel a great pump when I’m either doing DB curls, preacher curls, or pull-ups for biceps and then triceps pushdowns with a rope or dips for triceps. One body part that is challenging would be shoulders because I always have a hard time getting a good pump.

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?

MATT: They are in for a pretty intense workout and I can guarantee that! When I begin my workout I look to start with about 5-10 minutes on the bike to get the blood flowing and then I jump right into whatever muscle group I am planning to destroy that day. I take about 30-45 second breaks between each set and do usually 3-4 sets per exercise. I would want my partner to stay focused on what we’re doing that day and to give it everything he or she has.

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?

MATT: My chest workouts stand out the most from the rest of them because I get an insane pump and I am very explosive when I am banging out each rep of every set.

BBG: What’s your advice to people just starting out?

MATT: My advice for people that are just starting to lift is to not let other people that may be at the gym you go to make you feel like you shouldn’t go because your arms or chest are small compared to them. Everyone has to start somewhere and gradually get bigger and stronger. It all takes time, mental toughness, dedication and the determination to become a better and healthier person. Also when you begin lifting, don’t try to impress anyone by doing ridiculous weight that you know you can’t physically do because that is just an accident waiting to happen, instead focus on learning the correct form for each exercise.

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.

MATT: Sure! Here is a killer chest day:

  • 4 sets of incline bench press
  • 3 sets of DB flies
  • 4 sets of flat chest press with DB’s
  • 3 sets of cable flies
  • 4 sets of pushups         (8-12 reps per set)