Bodybuilding provides a means of physical expression as well as goals that can be set by the individual participants, making it a unique endeavor but also a highly rewarding one. Athletes such as 2013 IFBB North American middleweight champion, Charles Curtis are a great demonstration of what can be accomplished when this physical pageantry meets athletic execution, day in and day out, in the gym and outside, on the stage and off. In this piece we get a brief profile of Charles Curtis, and a glimpse into his past as well as plans going into the future. As one of the top amateur athletes in the nation, Charles is sure to be a threat at any contest he enters, so keep an eye out!
- How did you initially get into weight training, and at what point did this transition into competitive goals?
I first got into weight training at a young age. About 10 years old. I was out of shape, chubby. I remember being at Albertsons and running into Troy Alves. I just remember seeing his big ass arms and from that day I wanted to just have big ass arms. I didn’t transition into competing until 2010, I have always wanted to compete, just didn’t know where to start.
- Briefly describe your first few contests, and what role they served in your overall bodybuilding career thus far? (a learning experience? etc)
My first few contests were very exciting. For beginners, we expect and think so much about what will happen. We think we are ready but we have no clue about how the outcome will be. I placed top 5 in my first few shows and from there I just wanted more. Wanting to constantly improve and beat my previous look, wanting to work towards an image I’ve always had in my head. I learned that it’s not about competing with others, but with yourself. Improving, progress is always the concept. From there it just propelled me to achieve and reach bigger and better goals.
- What was your mentality and expectations going into your 1st national show?
Going into my first national I didn’t expect anything. Just was constantly questioning and wondering if I’m ready or if I will place. You have no idea the level of readiness you have to bring until you get there. Win or lose, do great or horrible, it’s still an experience and it’s about what you have learned from that. Be confident but humble and know you gave it your best. From there work to better yourself the next time.
- After moving up a weight class and having such a good placing the year prior, again what were your thoughts when going to the national level, only this time as a middleweight?
After packing on some size and moving up a weight class my expectations were the same. Mentally I was questioning and wondering if I will do well in a heavier class. If I’m ready. All I could do was follow what needed to be done and do it. Regardless of the placing I was excited to beat my previous look.
- Just a few weeks after last year’s USAs, you went on to win your Middleweight Class at the IFBB North American Championships. What were your thoughts about winning the class?
When I competed in the 2013 IFBB North Americans and won my class as a middleweight, my thoughts was fluids, I need something to drink. I was so depleted and out of it I didn’t even pay attention to who else was there. I just wanted it over with. I didn’t expect to feel a certain way, I won first place but so what? Was I pleased with how I looked? It was more of ok I reached my goal and won a national show, now I have to beat that look so it was back to the drawing board. More mass, more size. I think winning or achieving a pro card is an accomplishment to many, but to me, it’s a goal I reached so now I have to surpass it. I’m never satisfied so it’s always a improving my physique factor.
- Though the NAs is a pro-qualifying show, only 3 cards are allotted to bodybuilders, and you unfortunately fell one point short of achieving IFBB Pro status. Though I am sure it was a disappointment, what were your feelings on being so close and yet so far at the time? How did this translate into the next year’s prep?
The North Americans handed out 3 pro cards and I just barely missed mine. I wasn’t disappointed, I knew that even if I did get my card I would still need to grow. It made me shoot for a better physique next time I competed. I’d rather build a name, resume, and followers than just being a nobody and going pro. It would of been nice to get my card and grow not struggling to make weight, but I can do that now and have a following as well.
- Going into this year’s USAs, you first completed at the NPC Dennis Jame Classic, where you won your Light-Heavyweight Class, only narrowly losing the Overall to Heavyweight Champion, Frank Nezdoba. Though you were already qualified to compete at the national level, what was your thought process in doing this show, and did it serve the purpose you intended?
Yes, I did win my first light heavyweight title at the 2014 DENNIS JAMES classic. The show was just a test run for the USAs. Packing on more size I wanted to see how my body responds this year. The plan was to have a practice run to nail it at USAs
- You had, almost undoubtedly, the best posing routine of all male bodybuilders at the USAs. What is your method for coming up with a routine like that? How long does it usually take, as well as frequency of posing practice?
Haha my posing routine is not practiced, I just visualize what I am going to do to the music I created for the show. I put my heart into it, it’s like being on stage I’m comfortable and I turn into a character I’m trying to portray with my physique, like a actor would to entertain the crowd. It just comes naturally.
- You have a microphone tattooed on your shoulder, what does this represent to you, and what role has music played generally throughout your life (outside of bodybuilding?)
Yes I have mic tattooed on my shoulder. Before I started competing I was into music. I was working with DeepFreeze Ent. With Rampage from the Flipmode Squad, Bustah Rhymes label. I song write, vocalist and I was also in vocal ensemble and theatre. Music and acting as well as dancing has always been a part of my life. Still trying to incorporate that into bodybuilding.
- How have music and bodybuilding complimented each other in your life, and what have the results been? (Music Videos etc)
Mixing bodybuilding and music is still under works. I’ve made a few songs and music videos like Metroflex Gym City. It compliments me because it’s original. It’s me, so when I’m on stage I can put on a performance with me like a concert. Still working on incorporating it mainstream. I think it can do well with the right help. But until then, it’s for fun and I enjoy it.
- You train at Metroflex Gym Phoenix, with owner Josh Barnett as your coach. How have both he and Metroflex helped you reach your physique goals?
Yes I do train out of Metroflex gym Phoenix. The owner and my coach Josh Barnett has a gym with members and trainers who want to do nothing but see you improve. It’s an environment where you can take it to another lever and keep progressing. It’s helped me improve a lot. You can learn and grow there. You will want to constantly push yourself when you’re there. Amazing friendly and positive environment is what everyone needs if you want to make changes to your physique and life.
- Though I think we may see you on stage sooner than even you expect, what are your competitive plans at this point moving into the future, both short term, and long term?
My goal right now is to pack on a lot more lean mass. I plan to take time off and not compete until 2016. Even if I got my pro card, I would be too small to do any damage in a pro show. So why not get to that level now, and then try and get my card so I can go straight into a pro show and be ready? I don’t want to just get a pro card, I want to be an elite of the elite. I want to be a top pro.
- How has bodybuilding impacted your life and what role does it hold?
Bodybuilding has made a difference in my life. Keeps me disciplined in every aspect. Bodybuilding is more mental than anything. When getting ready for a competition you learn so much about yourself. It makes you stronger not just physically but mentally and spiritually as well. It kept my ass out of trouble. Plus I like to feel confident about how I look. This sport has tons of self conscious insecure individuals. So it’s an outlet to try and better yourself in a positive way.
- What keeps you motivated?
My family and my kids keep me motivated. Why give up? Why quit something just because it gets difficult, or there is bullshit involved and you feel like just quitting? I would be more pissed off if I gave up. Regret not pushing through and knowing I could of been where I wanted to be if I kept going. When I was dieting for my show in 2011 my 2 1/2 year old son was murdered. I could of gave up and went crazy but I’m not a quitter. Would my son want me to give up? no. I keep pushing and I will go through hell and suffer pain before I quit. Whatever I go through, no matter how difficult it may seem will never compare to the pain and suffering my son had to go through before he died. So fuck all the people who quit. Why be weak. Why say it hurts, why give in. Use the anger and rage and pain with all my guilt and regret as my driving force. I will fuck shit up if you get in my way. Nothing will make me quit, unless it’s serious medically or I am crippled, even then I won’t quit. Life, everything I’ve experienced keeps this young mother fucker motivated..
- Most great bodybuilders have a strong support system, who does your’s include and how do they help you? Also, any sponsors you would like to shoutout?
My family has always been my number 1 support system. So,I do it for them and my kids. Through my ups and down. Trials and tribulations. My family has always been there. And I thank them and love them deeply for just being there. Unfortunately I don’t have any sponsors to shout out so if any sponsors want to sponsor me I am free. I was sponsored once but I decided to let them go don’t want to sign a contract that’s not worth it. I work my ass off like everyone else so I expect more from them if I’m doing my part.
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