Bodybuilding, more so than any other sport, is about the eye popping, jaw dropping, head scratching, reality bending – I can’t believe what I just saw – wow factor. It’s about the moment when you see an athlete strut onstage and pose by pose break down the barriers of what you thought was possible. The 212 division is bursting at the seams with incredible athletes who all possess an amazing wow factor in their own right. However, there aren’t many athletes in the sport who pack as muscle dense, mature muscle onto frames, or possess a greater wow factor than Charles Dixon. The South Carolina native affectionately dubbed “The Tank” has been climbing his way up the ranks of the IFBB since earning his pro card in 2007. I recently had a chance to catch up with one of the 212 division’s rising stars, and you can read it all here, in this Iron Affinity exclusive interview.
- I played Football, Baseball, Basketball, & ran Track. Football being my main sport. Was an All American in Football in High School were I earned a scholarship to Carson Newman College where I was a standout running back. I was muscular as a kid so I’ve been an athletic since.
Q.) When were you first introduced to weight training?
- I was introduced to weight training at the age of 8 by my Dad who bought me a weight set. I lifted every day for almost 4 months! He made me stop until I was twelve because he heard it may stunt my growth. I just think God meant for me to be this height because it helps me in this sport.
Q.) When you first began training did gains come relatively easy? Or would you say that initially you were more of a hard gainer?
- I have always been the type to make gains relatively easy. I developed a lot of muscle in high school and college. When I started competing and my weight training changed from sports training to bodybuilding training, my gains really accelerated.
Q.) How were you first introduced to bodybuilding?
- I was introduced to the sport in 2002 by a guy named Mark Hudson at a local gym. I just finished school and I was back home. I started going to Gold’s Gym were Mark talked to me about it. He said I had the genetics to do well in the sport. So, I thought about it for a few days, and I decided to try it. I was curious about the sport so I guess you can say curiosity got me!!
Q.) What made you decide that you wanted to step onstage and compete for the first time?
- When I decided that I wanted to make a stab at a career in this sport in 2001 when I started training for my first show.
Q.) The bodybuilding lifestyle is tough to transition into from “regular life”. What would you say was the most difficult aspect of bodybuilding for you early on?
- The most difficult aspect of the sport early on in my career was the diet!! The off season diet is great, but the prep diet is tough at times.
Q.) I’d like to skip ahead to 2006 and talk about your first experience on the National level at the NPC USA Championships. Although it was your first time competing at the National level, things probably didn’t go quite as well as you’d hoped and you ultimately finished 9th in the Middleweight division. What lessons did you take away from that show?
- 2006 Nationals was definitely a learning experience. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was a real eye opener for me. I was in a whole other league! These dudes were big and ripped. I was just big, but only had a few lines. From that point, I knew I had to step my game up. If not only to compete with these guys, but also to earn my pro card. So I came back and changed my training and diet and started to build a national level body.
Q.) In 2007 we saw you onstage again at the NPC National Championships where you won your class and earned your IFBB Pro Card. Describe how you felt going from a relative unknown to and IFBB Pro in a year’s time.
- It was one of the best feeling I have had in my adult life. I was the underdog, the unknown!!! The talk heading into the show was about Peter Putman, who was picked to win, and Al Auguste. Not one mention of my name. For me to win my class being the unknown and earning my Pro Card was bitter sweet!!
Q.) Let’s jump ahead again to the 2013 contest season where we saw you compete three times highlighted by a 4th place finish at the Europa Phoenix where you brought your all-time best to the stage. You appear to have nailed down a formula for coming to the stage in excellent condition. What are you doing differently now than what you’ve done in the past?
- One thing I did was hire an excellent coach that would take the time to learn the things that work and don’t work for me, and have my best interest at heart. I found that with my coach Trey Hodge. We make a good team. My training is totally different now. I am doing more detailed work to add more shape to my package, and a lot more focus on cardio now also.
Q.) If fans would like to find out more about Charles Dixon, or someone would like to contact you for guest posing or sponsorship opportunities, what’s the best way for them to reach you?
- I can be reached via e mail which is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also on social network.
- Twitter: @ctankdixon
- Instagram: @cjdix
- FaceBook: Charlesdixon
- IA Video Interview: IronAffinity.com/mike-vifbb-pro-Charles-Dixon
Q.) Is there anyone you’d like to thank for help you along the way?
- I would like to thank God for giving me the talent to compete thank my parents & my brother. Trey Hodge my Coach. All my friends and family. I thank my fans. I can’t leave out my son Rok. Andy Nix, Owner of Power House gym where I train and Everyone at Power House Gym.
Q.) Hypothetical Question. You and fellow IFBB Pro Cedric McMillan are both South Carolina natives. Let’s just say hypothetically that a Walking Dead situation breaks out and you and Cedric become rival leaders of different tribes. You both decide that South Carolina isn’t big enough for the both of you and a war breaks out. Who wins and why?
- There’s no question that Ced would win! He’s in the military and has those killer tendencies. I may just say you can have it, and I’ll leave!
Right now Charles and coach Trey Hodge are hard at work crafting and refining the physique that has made him one of the most dangerous 212 bodybuilders in world. As they cross their T’s and dot their I’s in preparation for Charles to bring his all-time best to the stage fans of Team Tank sit and anxiously waiting for the moment when he strolls out onstage, hits his trademark most muscular, and remind us why we love this sport – because it’s all about the wow factor.
Also Be Sure To Checkout Charles Sponsors, Muscle Potential competition wear!