Health and fitness in the past few years have been a topic that even the younger generation has been getting involved in. Look at the ones that have made “lift”; a term originally meaning to pick something up, now has derived to mean something more to those who try to stay fit and healthy. It grows more and more into a lifestyle that a secular group of individuals prides themselves on.
Toan Nguyen is a man, who not only takes pride in his confidence among living his life the best he can, whether it be enjoying the times with his friends, laughing at the good times, having family time with a strong bond, or even taking his life in the gym to new levels everyday he reaches his goal to push it to the limit and beyond.
One thing is for certain, Toan Nguyen’s dedication to his health is the major factor that can allow him to enjoy his life as he sees fit. Toan can be described as a determined, balanced, and profound. Although his life is just on a kick-start, this individual has a future in success.
We were able to get the catch-up with the man himself and ask him a few questions.
Here’s the interview:
Q: What’s your name & where are you from?
My name is Toan Nguyen and I was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I currently reside in the state of Oklahoma.
Q: Family. How has your family effected any type of goals you have in your life?
My family has always motivated me to push hard and be successful. Although my career path is not what they want for me, I’m still going to work as hard as I can and prove to them that I can be successful in doing what I am passionate about.
Q: Starting from when you were younger how did you try to motive yourself on getting to the weight/body size you’re at now?
When I was young, I knew for a fact I was not fit. I looked at people who had the perfect physique, and I told myself if they could achieve that, so can I.
I started off by running to my old elementary school park every single day, doing bodyweight pull-ups, pushups, and dips on the jungle gym. Following that, I would do 100 pushups/crunches every night before going to bed.
It was just to get used to that consistency. I knew that if I did 100 pushups every day, that’s a 100 pushups ahead of where I used to be. Eventually that would be 700 pushups a week, 2800 in a month. This mind-set kept me going, and eventually it just became a habit. Like my body had to do it in order for it to feel normal. This is why I rarely ever skip a day at the gym because I love going there so much. It’s literally become my second home. I would go insane if I missed a day, let alone a week.
Q: How did you get started in bodybuilding?
I started getting into lifting the second semester of my Senior year in highschool. My weightlifting coach that I had when I was a sophomore let me come in during lunch to workout, so I always skipped out on lunch to go lift. The summer following afterwards, I went to the Oklahoma City Community College and worked out there. I really did not know much about bodybuilding, I was just like any other average joe out there trying to lose weight and build some muscle.
When I entered college my freshman year, I started getting more and more serious about lifting. I educated myself through reading tons and tons of articles, browsing through YouTube channels, and googling questions that I needed to be answered. Until this day, I am still constantly learning more and more about the science of bodybuilding and two of its main aspects, which is lifting and nutrition.
Q: How did you find out about the competition and what were the steps you taken to prepare for it?
One of my friends during the summer told me about NPC Oklahoma and that he was going to compete in his first Men’s Physique bodybuilding competition. He told me to do it with him so that’s when I started dieting. Unfortunately, he did not end up participating.
That summer, I started taking notes of everything that I was doing. I did tons and tons of research over what other competitors did during their contest prep. I changed my workout regimen and tailored it according to my weak points. I also even started uploading YouTube videos to help keep my mind on track. Most importantly, I announced that I was doing the competition, so that made sure I would not back out.
Q: What’s your normal workout day compared to the days you were prepping for the competitions?
My workout split did not change very much. I was doing a Push-Legs-Pull split, and kept most of my important compound lifts. I mainly focused on maintaining my strength with heavy weights, 3-5 or 6-8 rep range. I always trained intensely, so that part hasn’t changed. Although, I did tons and tons of fasted cardio during my contest prep, which I do not normally do or do as of now.
Q: Does your habit of eating change as you prepared for the competition?
Oh most definitely. Normally, I’m always a supporter of eating in a way that best suits your lifestyle. I am not a firm believer of meal-timing, nutrient partitioning, etc. However, during my contest prep, I wanted to make every single little detail count.
This was actually a very great experience for me, because I was able to implement and test out all the “bro-science” I could possibly think of. That means eating low in carbs, doing fasted cardio in the morning, eating little to none processed food, eating superfoods, eating healthy fats like avocados, almonds, and grass-fed butter, intermittent fasting, drinking coffee and tea in the morning, taking fat-burners, and much, much more.
I ate as incredibly healthy as possible so that at least when I stepped on stage, I knew I worked hard. I skipped out on every late night drinking that my friends would have on weekends. I cut out sodium, drank three gallons of water, and rarely ever ate out at restaurants. I had to prep all my foods and make sure I was getting my meals in daily.
Q: Did the adrenaline start to pump as you walked out in front of the crowd and judges?
I pumped up pretty hard before stepping on stage, but even so I still felt pretty nervous. I was not used to holding a smile that felt natural. I mean I practiced when I was posing, but still I never did it in front of people. I felt so awkward, but hey I guess they were digging it since I won 1st place.
Q: How did it feel to winning or competing in the NPC Heartland Classics?
Honestly, winning felt amazing. I did not expect to win at all since it was my first competition. I would have been happy not even placing, because I knew I worked hard. What excites me even more is the thought of what I am going to do after I am done with the competition. I want to focus on improving myself even more, gaining more size and coming in better condition than how I came in last competition.
Q: College, exercise/fitness, family, and work. Rank them from the first being important to the last being the least important.
Honestly it is difficult to rate all these things in an order. To me, they are all important priorities, and it would not make sense to put any less effort into any of them. I just try to balance it all out, make things work. College, exercise/fitness, family, and work are all things that everyone has to focus on no matter what. You can’t really choose one or the other, you just make the best decision that can support all those roles. That’s how I live my life.
Q: Do you have a future in bodybuilding or was it something that you wanted to try out?
After competing for the first time, I found that I truly do love this sport. That state of being in contest prep was like no other. I was at the prime of my physique, and my mentality was great. I focused a lot harder on school, and strived to be successful.
As of now, I am currently going offseason for 6 to 8 months in order to focus on gaining more strength and mass. I want to come in my next competition looking a lot bigger, harder, and ripped. I plan on doing Open Men’s Physique this time, in a National Qualifier competition. This will definitely get me a lot more publicity and hopefully I can gain some sponsorships through winning.
Q: Any future in the bodybuilding competition circuit? If so, what would you do next time in preparation to come out on top?
Things I will be implementing is lean-bulking. This means I will be slowly increasing my calories and keeping fat gain to a minimum. That way, when I cut it won’t be so difficult in order to obtain a really low bodyfat %. Also after having talked with the judges after the show, they pin-pointed my weak points in which I will focus on. I changed my workout split to an Upper/Lower Power day, followed by Legs/Push/Pull hypertrophy. On my rest days, I will be focusing on my weak points, such as my arms and chest. My goal is to gain a serious amount of muscle before I decide to cut and step on stage.
Q: Give the present state of your life, what do you see for yourself in the near future?
Right now I am just trying to get by in life, living it out one day at a time. Just trying to focus on school and fitness. I really want to take my time off this summer to really plan out what I can do to get a career started once I graduate college. That’s probably my biggest fear, not having a job and not being able to support myself or my family. I hope to see myself as a successful personal trainer in the future, and perhaps do something more like furthering my education in nutritional science and biomechanics.
Q: Lastly, give us a few words to the fans and supporters that have been there for you in this competition.
Honestly, I did not have much support for this competition. No one came out to watch, but that’s okay. Some of my friends wished me luck, and a few people congratulated me after winning. I guess they just did not take me seriously when I said I was going to compete. I am hoping that next time when I compete, I will have more supporters and have people coming out to see me at the show.
Nobody knows what the future may hold for Toan Nguyen as we can obviously see that his future is bright. Only thing we can hope for is for his success in anything he pursues. There’s many competitions in the world of bodybuilding that the champion can compete in to motive in desire to be successful. We hope that Toan Nguyen the most prosperous success and thank you for the interview.