Q & A
Q: Where were you born?
Q: Do you have a big family?
N: I have two sisters and two brothers.
Q: Are you married?
Q: Do you have any children?
N: No children.
Q: How educated is Nasser El Sonbaty?
N: I attended the University of Augsburg in Germany and have
a Masters Degree in History, Political Science and Sociology.
Q: When did you become interested in bodybuilding?
N: I’ve been working out since 1983.
Q: When and where was your first contest, and how did you place?
N: First contest as a Junior competitor in 1985 took place in Germany.
I came in 6th at this state championship contest.
Q: How many contests have you done to-date?
N: 13 Amateur shows and 53 pro-shows.
Click here to see the stats.
Q: How many first place wins and runner-ups have you had?
N: I’ve had 6 Pro-show wins, 11 runner-ups and 15 third places.
Q: How many days a week do you work out, and what’s the average time per workout?
N: I train with weights 5 to 6 times a week (once a day) during the offseason. Pre contest I follow the same routine but incorporate cardio twice daily.
Q: Do you have a favorite body part and exercise?
N: I don’t have a favorite body part nor do I have a favorite exercise. Everyone who is honest prefers machines over free-weights, because machines are more convenient and cause less muscle pain and require less concentration and are generally less dangerous. BUT, if you like to have real gains you have to train hard and heavy, and you have to chose always the LEAST favorite exercises which actually give you the best possible results. So go for the least favorite exercises, the free weights… and go for the muscle pain!
Q: During the off-season, what’s your daily average percentage of body fat?
N: During the off-season, I’m never out of shape. By the way, I’m the ONLY bodybuilder who can guest pose with over 300lbs. and have my abs still visible!
Q: Do you belive in training “light” at any time, why or why not?
N:Before training light, I’ll take another day off until I’m refreshed and can train hard and heavy again.
Q: Do you belive in massive amounts of protein (ie, 1.5gr per lb. of body weight or more), why or why not?
N: Everyone has different DNA and a different gene pool and different metabolism. I belong to the group-type who can maintain my size by not having protein for weeks. To put size on, I do not need more than 100gr of protein daily. High protein intake for me is only important during my pre contest diet.
Q: What kind of daily caloric intake do you have during off-season?
N: I do have a middle-slow/middle-fast metabolism and I’m not a big eater at all. During the off -season I don’t consume more than 3000 to 4000 calories per day. It doesn’t necessarily mean the bigger you are the more you’re eating.
Q: When preparing for a contest, how does your carb intake differ from the off-season intake?
N: My carb intake during off-season is about 80% of my total daily caloric intake with 20% comprising of protein and fats. My pre-contest carb intake is around 80 – 250 grams per day with between 400 – 600 grams of protein per day.
Q: How many exercises per body part do you typically do in a workout?
N: I’m following Joe Weider’s Instinct Principle. Sometimes I train just one body part per workout and sometimes 2 to 4 different muscles per workout.
Q: Calves and Abs… what’s your best advice for training these two body parts?
N: Everyone can develop calves up to a certain degree/level, but people with better genetics will always have better calves. If you don’t develop calves after two years of training, you will never have great calves. Two to three exercises per session is absolutely enough. To make your abs clearly visible, you have to do 3 things: super set ab exercises plus decrease you daily calorie intake over weeks/months and increase your cardio on a daily basis.
Q: Do you think machine work can help you achieve mass just as good as free weights?
N: No. Nobody grows really bigger by using machines. You can, and you have to use machines as well, but only in combination with free weights.
Q: If you could change one thing about Bodybuilding, what would it be?
N: The general public knows to little about the sport of Bodybuilding, and if they seem to know something, it’s mostly negative information combined with ignorance and prejudice. The negative view on Bodybuilding comes mostly from lazy, physically inactive people and from jealous people in general. Daily newspapers and television should report about Bodybuilding and they shouldn’t be just reports about pros & cons, but rather about local and international shows, like that of any other sport, and not stuff about good or bad things in Bodybuilding. Nobody starts discussions about soccer or football and if it’s good or bad or healthy or unhealthy.
Q: How much weight will you normally gain during the off-season?
N: Generally, my off-season body weight is 40lbs higher than my contest weight.
Q: How many weeks does it normally take you to get ready for a contest, such as the Mr. “O”?
N: 10 to 12 weeks of strict dieting.