VI Life & Style spoke with Don Carlos Hadaway about his passion for bodybuilding. Don Carlos is the owner of LIFT gym, a bodybuilder and personal trainer.
How did you get into bodybuilding?
At the age of fourteen, a family friend took me to the gym. This was my first time ever being in the gym. After experiencing the thrill of weight lifting, I got hooked and never looked back. I started taking fitness more seriously in 2007.
You’re also a personal trainer. How many persons have you trained thus far and how many are men?
I’ve trained over fifty persons with over thirty of them being men.
Is it different training men versus women? If yes, how so?
There is a big difference between training men as opposed to women. Now the physiological systems for both men and women are exactly the same. What makes the training different is normally their goals. Men are mostly after bulk (getting bigger) whereas women typically want to shrink or get smaller. Most women would like to focus on the lower part of their body and most men want to work on their upper body. Most men also have enormous egos (trust me I know). They want to lift heavier than the next man, so it’s a competitive situation.
Should men’s health be treated differently to women’s health? And what would be your advice in bringing more awareness to men’s health issues?
Obviously, men and women are different in many ways, but the key difference from a fitness and diet perspective is the balance of hormones. As most may know, the two key hormones, testosterone and estrogen are present in everyone, with testosterone levels being higher in men and estrogen levels higher in women.
The aim for a man is to maintain an optimum testosterone level through exercise, diet and overall vitamin intake. Testosterone helps to build muscle and most importantly for many men is the force behind their sex drive. Research has shown that between 25 and 30 years, most men gradually experience a decline in testosterone. Resistance training specifically has been proven to maintain a healthy testosterone level. Specific and targeted campaigns bringing more awareness to men’s health is key to educating all men about the importance of the science behind maintaining good fitness levels. Every media opportunity, such as this magazine, is important in this effort.
What are some areas that need attention when it comes to men’s health?
As it relates to fitness, men generally need to be more aware of their overall health. This includes getting regular checkups and doing their own research on fitness and health. Also, having a balanced fitness plan that includes both cardiovascular training and some type of resistance training in their weekly routine is important as well.
Any particular observances you’ve had since training individuals that you’d like to bring to the fore?
The purpose is for you to get better; it’s not about getting better than anyone else. As long as you focus on you and go at your pace, the results will come and you will be able to sustain them.
Why should men take their health seriously?
When you take care of the body, you also take care of the mind. Research shows that resistance training increases focus and releases pleasurable hormones in the brain. To put it simply, a healthy body makes for a healthy mind, which makes for a happy life.
What would you tell a man who wants to begin his own health journey – how can he start?
The first step is to consult a physician. After knowing where you’re at, start resistance training at that level. Consult a reputable personal trainer like myself. If a person would like to start on their own, I would recommend taking it slowly for the first two months. Let your body get familiar with your new routine to prevent serious injuries.
To contact Don Carlos, telephone (284) 499-9828 and (284) 441-LIFT (5438).
Interview condensed by April Glasgow.