Chad Shaw Interview

In this interview, I wanted to sit down with Chad Shaw, an individual that I have followed online for quite a while.

1) Can you tell us how you got started in bodybuilding?

Well as most people know, I have a long history of nasty health problems that range from 15 years of servere and life threatening asthma, to spinal scoliosis and a severe back injury, to knee problems that stem from being born absent an ACL in my right knee, which caused multiple knee dislocations and cartilage tears, and severe arthritis. Part of my motivation in getting into bodybuilding was to physically pull myself together again. With all the health issues I suffered from I was physically weak and disfunctional, and I made a choice at a young age that I was going to be the opposite of that. I wanted to be strong and functional. Doctors told me that I would never physically be able to lift weights, they told me I should be happy to be able to walk. I just couldn’t except that prognosis, I wanted

to become a bodybuilder. This desire led me to the path of becoming a bodybuilder starting at the age of 11. I began by tagging along with my older brothers to local YMCA where they used to lift weights. Now they were 7 and 10 years older then me and about 10 times my size at the time so to me they looked larger then life. They were among the strongest guys in the weight room so when they went in to lift their big weights, I would be beside them lifting my dinky weights, anxiously awaiting the day I would be able to lift huge weights like they were and have everyone in the weightroom watching in disbelief.

2) How do you stay dedicated and focused on your diet? Do you have a once per week cheat meal?

My strategy for nutrition is very instinctive.  In other words I adjust my nutrition based apon whatever activities that I’m forced to do on any given day. For example, there are some days that I show up at work and sit at a desk working all day with almost zero activity and then go home and have to write an article that’s due and end up sitting another few hours, so on days like these I dont need very much for calories or especially carbohydrates because not physically doing anything. If I were to take in the same amount of calories that I take in on my more active days, then those calories would just end up being stored as fat. On the other hand there are some days where I work all day, then come home and have to shovel snow for 2-3 hours, then head to the gym to get my workout in. Days like this I’m burning allot more calories so I will take in quite a few more calories in the form of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to support my bodies maintenance and growth needs. For the most part I rely on protein supplements to fullfill my protein needs because I never have time to eat and protein powders are fast and easy when I’m always on the go. Outside of my protein powder, when I have time I like to prepare baked or grilled fish, chicken breasts, turkey, steak, some brown rice and yams, raw or steamed broccoli at both lunch and dinner, then if I’m not in a rush in the morning for breakfast I like to make protein pancakes out of oatmeal, whey protein, eggwhites, flaxseed, blue agave, and cinnamon and cook them in a pan with extra virgin coconut oil. Once per week I do have a REAL cheat meal and I don’t mean like an extra yam or double serving of brown rice like allort of bodybuilders I know, I’m talking 6 pieces of deep fried cod, drenched in malt vinegar with some french fries onthe side, a couple 24 oz beers to wash it down, and then some cookies or icecream for desert! Now that’s a cheat meal and I look forward to it all week! If I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t be able to keep my diet so strict the other 6 days per week.

3) Do you track your calories or macronutrients or do you just eyeball your food?

Not at all, I’m lucky if I have time to shave during the day let alone count calories. As I said before my nutrition is very instinctive so I’m very in touch with my own bodies nutritional requirements based apon how I feel.

4) How do you overcome a fat loss plateau?

A little trick that always works for me in overcoming a fat loss plateau is to cut back calories simply by replacing my between meal snacks which are always protein shakes or some other pure protein food, and then replacing it with high doses of branched chain amino acids, like 10 grams 2-3 times per day.. This way the branched chain amino acids will mimic the effects of food and keep the body very anabolic, but at the same time they contain very few calories so the over-all cut back in calories will allow you to starve the fat cells suffieciently to lose fat, but at the same time keep you anabolic enough to preserve your muscle mass.

5) How are you training these days?

Before I tell my workout routine, I want everyone to understand that over the years as I’ve gotten progressively stronger I’ve had to add additional recovery time between my workouts little by little in order to be able to keep making progress and avoid over training. I haven’t always needed this much recovery time between workouts. Week 1, I will train chest and back on Wednesday, then quadriceps and calves on Saturday. Week 2, I will train biceps and triceps on Wednesday and then hamstrings and calves on Saturday. Week 3, I will train shoulders on Wednesday and then quadriceps and calves again on Saturday. After that I will begin that 3- week rotation all over again but only I will train hamstrings on the Saturday workout. So I train quadriceps and hamstrings every other week and back, chest, arms, and shoulders get trained just once every 3 weeks. On alternate days I will do HIIT style cardio alternating high and low intensity intervals, 1 minute each for about 20 minutes. After that, I will do some core and abdominal training. My workouts are brief but, very intense!

6) Where can we find more information out about you?

I can be found all over, most people find me on bodyspace on I’m currently writing a monthly column for them and there is a direct link to my bodyspace page right on my column I write. The link to my bodyspace account is: I also write a column for World Physique magazine and also worldphysique, so people can contact me on the World physique social network as well, or I can also be found on myspace just under the name Chad Shaw, I’m pretty easy to find on there

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