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How did you first get started in the bodybuilding and fitness industry?

First of all, I want to thank you for having me. I’m a big fan of RateMyArms.com. Fitness has been something that, as a police officer, is extremely important in my line of work. When the public I serve needs my assistance, I owe it to them to be in the best shape I can be. I also owe it to my family to come home safe at the end of the day. Being a police officer in Los Angeles County, high speed vehicle pursuits, foot chases, and physical altercations (resulting from apprehension attempts) are all too common. I owe it to the public, my family, and myself to make sure I am physically capable of enduring a 30 year career with the least amount of damage to my body. And this is why I believe being physically fit is so very important.

Was there a defining moment that got you to start training at a whole different level?

Absolutely. My first assignment as a 21 year old rookie police officer was arguably in one of the most physically demanding assignments an officer can be assigned to. I was assigned to the infamous Men’s Central Jail in Downtown Los Angeles, where the worst of the worst inmates in Los Angeles County were housed. At 21, I was 5’8″ and 165 lbs soaking wet. And being surrounded by inmates who relished the opportunity to challenge the presence of an authority figure, I quickly realized that being able to overcome that resistance and having a strong command presence was necessary. And my stature at the time was not exactly the type that would make would be challengers think twice. That year, I committed to a dedicated weight training, mass building routine. In my first 12 months, while on a high calorie diet and without using any supplements, I gained a solid 20 lbs. Needless to say I was pleased with my progress and wanted more! I learned about supplementation from other officers and decided to educate myself more about safe supplementation. In my second year of full time training, my supplement staple included a blend of proteins, creatine and amino acids. By this time, one could argue that my training had entered into a whole other level.

Can you tell us a little bit about your public service legacy?

I guess you could say I was destined to be a public servant. My grandfather was a career military police investigator assigned to the U.S. Army CID – Criminal Investigations Detachment. My father and both of his brothers also served in the U.S. Army. Since I could remember, I always envisioned myself being a member of the U.S. Army until my 3rd year at the California State University- Los Angeles, where I was approached by a police recruiter on campus. After weighing out the pros and cons of both career paths, I chose to be a police officer.

How does police life affect one’s bodybuilding and fitness goals?

Police work is full of ups and downs…. Literally. In a twelve and a half hour shift, your heart can go from a rested rate to a high intensity max rate all while sitting in the driver’s seat of a police cruiser. Adrenaline plays a big role in why the heart does that. But, on that note, the adrenaline that is released into your blood stream needs to be released or it remains suppressed and the next thing you know you’re a high stressed raging bull waiting for any excuse to blow up. Some would argue that this reaction is psychological, but the experts would agree that this reaction is physiological. I tend to agree with the experts. This high stress environment in your body can do a whole lot of hormonal damage including the extended release of cortisol which is bad news for someone trying to minimize fat retention. It’s really no wonder why we see a lot of overweight police officers in our communities. And yes, the donuts don’t help [chuckle].

If you had to ratio the importance of training, diet and rest, what would the percentages look like? And why? (e.g. 20% training, 30% diet, 30% rest)

This is a very good question. The percentages would be very different if comparing these three categories in terms of police work and fitness, but since RateMyArms is a fitness site, I’ll pin these percentages on the latter. Training 20%, Diet 30% supplementation 10% and rest 40%. Throughout my adult life, I have learned that no amount of training without a proper diet will result in the body you want. Supplementation plays such a small role because it is merely that… supplementation. They merely supplement your proper diet and training routine. Rest is very important. After all, our bodies do all repairing, recovering and growing in our sleep. As a matter of fact, I believe the quality of sleep one gets is a direct correlation as to how one’s day will proceed. Most people train around their work schedules resulting in an extended day. If your sleep was inadequate the evening prior, your motivation level to workout may not be as high as if you had an adequate amount of rest.

Which supplements do you personally use? Any recommendations for us?!

As the owner of 911Strong.com and having access to just about every supplement the industry has to offer, you’d think my supplement intake would be quite complicated. But the reality is, I keep it quite simple. I have an entire cabinet dedicated to my supplement staples that look like this:

1. Protein

  • Combat by Muscle Pharm – I love this versatile protein because it’s a complex blend that is enriched with Aminos and vitamins. This blend can be used as a meal replacement, a recovery drink for after workouts or as a snack between meals. This protein powder has a blend that includes: Whey isolates, whey concentrate, egg, casein and other proteins that each has their own absorption rate. So as you consume this protein blend it is essentially time released which gives your muscles a steady dose of good protein. Did I mention the flavors are INCREDIBLE? I can’t believe they’ve made the flavor profile of this blend. It’s delicious!
  • Isopure Zero Carb — This is a 100% pure whey isolate that is just about as pure as you can get. It has zero carbs, zero sugars and zero lactose. And for someone who might be lactose sensitive, this product is perfect. I like using this one immediately following a workout or in one of my fruit smoothies.
  • Optimum Nutrition Casein – Casein is the slowest of the proteins in terms of absorption. That is why I consume this right before bed. Most people think that going to bed on an empty stomach is good for you. However, I believe in the contrary. Consuming a high protein meal, such as a casein shake promotes recovery and muscle growth while you sleep. It also causes your metabolism to work while you are sleeping.

2. Vitamins and Amino’s

  • Universal Animal Pak - I love this pack as a multi vitamin. It keeps things real simple for me. I no longer have to buy separate bottles of vitamins to give me what I want (fish oils, digestive enzymes etc.) It’s all in there!
  • Optimum Nutrition BCAA 1000 - Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are so essential. It just makes everything you do in terms or training and supplementation amplified. I guarantee you that if you are in a regular regimen and not taking BCAA’s, you’re not developing as efficiently as you should be.

3. Pre-Workout

  • Body Ignition by Big Rig Supplements - This pill is incredible. A boost in metabolism and a great shot of energy throughout my workout.
  • Hemavol by i-Force Nutrition – This is the only pre workout I know of that is a plasma volumizer. It is a non stimulant so I love taking this before my workouts that are after work. Taking a stimulated pre workout too late in the day can leave you lying awake at night. Hemavol has an incredible pump too. If you’re used to taking creatine only based products, Hemavol will be an eye opener.
  • N.O. Xhaust by Big Rig Supplements – This is a stimulated pre workout powder. I love this because it has a great ratio of L-Arganine and Beta Alanine in it as opposed to just a super stimulant. One small scoop of this stuff in as little as 4 oz of water is all I need to take my morning weight routine into full gear. You get a tingle every time. First time users often ask me if they’re having an allergic reaction to it. It’s actually the beta alanine and niacin opening up every vessel and capillary in your body to promote the best oxygen and blood flow. Not to mention vascularity.

4. Post-Workout

  • I sometimes switch up taking a complex protein shake or a post workout drink infused with amino’s for recovery like glutamine. I absolutely love Anabolic Halo by MuscleTech. It tastes great and has a unique cooling feeling as it goes down. Great for post workout

5. Testosterone Boosters and Pro Hormones.

  • I absolutely love the various lines I carry at 911Strong.com. Great, SAFE and reliable pro-hormones from NRG-X labs and Advanced Muscle Science lead the way. I recently completed an 8 week cycle of Pro Anabolic Kit RDe Chrome by Advanced Muscle Science. They’ve developed a rapidly dissolving tablet that is ingested under your tongue. It’s great. It’s virtually non- toxic on the liver because of its delivery method and results are guaranteed. Most men like me in their 30’s have a lower testosterone count as opposed to when we were in our late teens and twenties. That’s why it was easier for us to lose fat and gain muscle back then. Testosterone is a great naturally producing hormone that will cause you to burn fat more efficiently and develop muscle and strength more efficiently as well. I’m a huge proponent of natural testosterone boosters as well.

What are the top 2 ways you keep yourself motivated nowadays?

If you know me, you know that God is at the foundation of my life. As a matter of fact, some people who don’t quite grasp my Christian Faith don’t understand me when I say God is at the center of my life; whether it’s my marriage, my career, or my company. As a matter of fact, I’m one of only a handful of companies who aren’t afraid to say that I run my company with Christ centered beliefs. I believe in this so much I have it stamped right on our website under “About Us”. It’s hard not to be motivated when you’ve got a God who has proven, time and time again, that anything is possible with faith in God.

In your opinion what is the biggest hurdle you or most people have to overcome in regards to their fitness career and goals?

Carbs [laughing]. Actually for me, the biggest hurdle is finding the time to be consistent in the gym. Aside from steering the ship for 911strong.com, I’m a full time detective bureau supervisor for my police department, a husband and a father of 3 with one on the way. In just a couple of weeks I will have 4 children all under the age of 6. Talk about being busy! Some days, going to the gym can seem like a chore.

Why did you start 911strong.com?

Over the years, I had developed a reputation among the police community, as the go to guy for advice with supplements and training. I would refer friends and colleagues to local nutrition shops to get their supplements. I found that these same people I referred to these stores would come back to me with questions as to how to and when to use these supplements. I thought to myself, “Didn’t they get this information from the store?” I also found that people in our field had a unique need. We require a type of training and diet lifestyle that was tailor made for our line of work, so I shared my knowledge with anyone who asked. I figured I could share this knowledge with others and began networking on social media outlets such as facebook. Soon I was connecting with public service agents from all over the country. They would ask me where the best place to go to buy supplements was, but it was hard for me to answer them not having knowledge of their respective locations. So I searched the internet for either a physical store or an online store that I could send people to. During my research it turned out that I could not find a single store dedicated to the specific needs of a police officer. I felt that this was a void that had been overlooked by the nutrition and supplement industry and was a niche I could easily work into. So I began the process of starting 911Strong.com. As with most things I do, I wanted to make sure I did this right.

When I started 911Strong.com a little over a year and a half ago, I set out with a five year plan. I knew there were a lot of supplement retailers on the internet, but I firmly believed 911strong would stand out in this field. I believed my success would come, because of the demographic we were targeting, which no one else had done before, and because of our foundation of morals: integrity and a dedication to customer service. Who does that anymore? I remember the days of when the customer was always right! Even if they were wrong!
I call this the “Right Formula”. Not because it’s guaranteed to build success, but because it literally is the “Right” thing to do. If my mother, wife, or best friend went to a retail company, I would expect them to be treated like I treat my customers. While most new companies set out to be the biggest and best company in their field, our philosophy is different. We don’t look to inflate prices like most places do. They’re looking to hit a homerun with every sale. We take the “base hit” approach. We know success will come due to word of mouth. We want people to be so happy with their first experience with us that they’ll tell their friends and family. We don’t want our customers to be merely customers, but clients and friends, instead. We can provide advice and help in selecting products. That’s why on my website, people can contact me direct! This attitude isn’t just in our store. It’s exemplified even by our sponsored athletes who exude these qualities. I think this formula is the reason why we have grown to the business we are today. Obviously we have a lot more growing to do, but in our short period of time, we have accomplished what most companies accomplish in 5 years. We have a very devoted following on our popular facebook fan page (http://facebook.com/911strong) and have a very dedicated customer base with a high rate of return customers. I think that’s a true testament to our customer experience. In the next 3 ½ years, I would like to see our product catalog expand to at least double our current inventory and have a presence in the fitness community that rivals much larger companies.

In general what does your current training routine look like?

As my family is expanding, my responsibility at the police department is increasing, and as fast as 911Strong.com is growing, my training regimen surprisingly has been pretty consistent. I’m fortunate that my police department has a pretty good gym, and I’m able to train after work, and on my days off, with my wife at our local gym.

What is your current diet routine?

My diet philosophy is pretty simple. I keep everything in moderation and I believe portion size is critical. I don’t restrict food types, per say. I am too much of a foodie to not enjoy certain types of foods. While others restrict carbs completely I enjoy them… to an extent… as I alluded to earlier, portion size and moderation is key. At most restaurant visits, a portion of food is almost double what an average person should consume. So it’s not uncommon for my wife and I to split a plate or take half our portions home for a later meal.

What would you say is the most important principle to embrace when it comes to training?

In a word… Completion. Finish what you started. Most people run into a hiccup in their routine and then quit completely. There are going to be bumps in the road. Even a Mr. Olympia type runs into obstacles. Whether it be an injury or an illness, something can always cause you to stumble. Instead of quitting completely, simply move forward from where you left off.

If you were to upload your arms to our muscle voting site (http://vote.ratemyarms.com/) right now, what do you think you would rate?

Wow, you have a lot of amazing people to rate on the site. I guess I’d have to upload my picture and give it up to your viewership to answer that question.

How did/do your family and friends feel about your training?

I’m so blessed to have such an understanding and patient wife. She supports me 100% and knows, as well as I do the importance of physical fitness in my career. She wants me to come home safe, as well.

Who is your favorite fitness model or bodybuilder? (other than yourself!)

I have great admiration and respect for so many out there, however my favorite male body builder is Kai Greene and my favorite Female fitness personality is Jamie Eason.

Describe what you see when you look at yourself in the mirror every morning!

The 2nd most interesting man in the world [grinning].

If you could tell a fitness newbie just one sentence of advice, what would it be?

Don’t ever stop learning, training and developing.

What is your all time favorite workout song?

Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

What is your favorite quote?

My life verse from The Bible:

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

What do you feel is the best type of cardio for yourself and why?

Running outdoors. I’ve always been a big proponent of outdoor fitness.

What is your favorite cheat meal?

Hawaiian style teriyaki chicken on a bed of steamed rice and a side of Hawaiian style macaroni salad! Yumm!

Outside of training and running 911strong.com how do you like to spend your time?

I am devoted family man. Therefore, I do as much as I can with my family. We are avid campers and can be regularly seen visiting Disneyland. I also still am madly in love with my wife and we try to go on dates by ourselves as often as possible.

What is your favorite body part to train? What about your least favorite?

My favorite area to develop are my shoulders and traps. My least favorite area to train is my legs.

The RateMyArms team would like to thank you greatly for your service and for taking the time today to do this interview. Do you have any last words for our readers?

Thank you for having me. I would like to thank you all for taking the time to get to know me and my company a little better. My hope is that this small look into my life gives you assurance that there are still companies out there, like mine, who put value in service. I would also like to invite anyone out there to contact me directly at aram@911strong.com with any questions, comments or advice! You can also find us on our facebook fan page at http://facebook.com/911strong.

I would also like to thank those of you know have been with us since the beginning. Although we have a great formula for success, we really would not be here without your support. I have to also express my thanks and appreciate to Joshua B. Smith of NRG-X labs, Michael Marcaino of Big Rig Supplements, 911Strong.com Sponsored athletes, who I consider my extended family, INBF Bodybuilder, Diane Mueller, INBF figure competitor, Tiffany Hunt, NPC figure competitor Milenka Corral, Police Officer and Triathlete Michael Ledesma, Police Officer and NPC bodybuilder Joe Eaton and NPC figure competitor Amber Marino. Others who have been a great support for me and my company who also deserve recognition are the NPC Husband and Wife combo Amy and Jeff Orzechowski, Police Officer and bodybuilder Andrew Mora, Team photographer Brenda Knight, Police Officer and body builder Doug Knight, Police officer and bodybuilder Ben Lowry, BRS spokes person and motivational speaker, Janine Williams, Kelly Christianson and Angela Basta from USA Sports, The Men and Women of our United States Armed Forces and public service agencies across this great Nation.

Categories: Interviews, Men