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Assane Diop
How I Started Powerlifting After Dealing with Sciatica Pain

Assane Diops Stats When We Talked with Him 💪

27 years
183 cm
(6 ‘)
95 kg
(210 lbs)

Follow Assane on Instagram

👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hi my name is Assane Diop, I’m 27 years old and from Paris, France. I currently reside in Miami, FL in South Beach. I work in production for nightclubs and I also trade stocks during the day.

I have always been working in retail in my dad’s company from the age of eight to 20. It taught me all I know about business, gave me a solid work ethic and an entrepreneurship spirit.

I have tried many sports going through high school and college, I started with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and quickly I wanted to explore more martial arts. I then started boxing, wrestling and ended up practicing MMA, when you think about it all that it is is chess played with your body, how am I going to defeat my opponent with the different pieces at my disposal.

I have always been very competitive and everything I touched I needed to be in the top tier. From modeling to powerlifitng to martial arts without forgetting the business aspect.

The way I see working out is that it is just another tool to reach freedom. The more discipline you have the more freedom you will get as a result. Waking up early, getting that intense workout done, reading, trading, etc. isn’t “rough” as some may think but it is actually the way and the catalyst to live my life the way I see fit and without restrictions.

I believe if you are able to day-after-day stick to your activity while gradually elevating the pace, it takes you where most of us aim to go and that place is freedom.

⏱ Describe a typical day of training

One should never go to the gym and do the exact same thing they did the previous day.

Training is one catalyst to my success plan. I train hard everyday and the days I don’t feel so great or not in shape are the days I especially push myself to go because these are the self defining moments.

One should never go to the gym and do the exact same thing they did the previous day. Today, I will increase weight, tomorrow I will focus on my posture more than at any other time, the next day I will focus on contraction, etc. until the point where all the factors are improved and maintained.

I train like the “golden era” pioneers used to train. They had clean proportions and aesthetics, nowadays it feels like too much and unattractive.

Six days a week:

  • Monday: Chest & back
  • Tuesday: Shoulders & arms
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Thursday: Chest & back
  • Friday: Shoulders & arms
  • Saturday: Legs
  • Sunday: Off

I vary exercise but will hit twice the same group of muscle per week and add some core or some abs at the end of some sessions. The only form of cardio that keeps my heart clean and solid is
boxing, a couple rounds at high intensity to keep myself in check.

Training will take between an hour and an hour and a half depending on how much time I have that day and how much extra exercise I want to incorporate.

I really don’t get too technical on how I gain weight but I simply make sure my calorie intake is above my daily needs, that I get enough proteins and eight hours of sleep per night.

I train in my building by myself most of the time and that’s actually the reason I moved into this specific building, there are free weights, the dumbbells get heavy and all I need for my workout is there.

It’s also a few minutes away from the beach and the neighborhood is pretty calm. I don’t compete but if I have a photoshoot incoming and that I need to look ripped I’ll simply cut all sugars, all saturated fats and dehydrate not to an extreme but just enough to go through the shoot.

My preworkout is coffee and a banana, they allow me to feel a quick kick and feel energized to push the hardest at the beginning of the workout, I then pack my bag that includes a strength belt, some amino acids, strength bands, airpods and a shaker bottle.

The only way I can know if I am improving is by knowing how precise and focused my movements are using the same weights, until the movement and breathing is perfected to the best of my ability I keep working on the same level.

👊 How do you keep going and push harder?

When motivation is low, I look back on past success, I remember why I’m pushing hard and why I keep doing so. I end up realizing that it’s when I feel at the lowest that I grow the most in terms of mindset and personal growth.

And that is exactly why some people are successful and some aren’t. If as soon as it becomes complicated or difficult you quit, the universe is telling you you’re not ready to go to the next level.

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My best hack for improving in the gym is to always observe my movements and find symmetry and cleanliness in the motion. Also, we tend to automate and not think about our breathing, about contracting correctly and our postures.

I always try to shake myself out of automation because the environment is so familiar the brain doesn’t pay as much attention as with unknown territories.

The biggest challenge I have faced was a sciatica a few years ago and it became so painful to even walk. I had to fight back the same way I got hurt and that’s when I started powerlifting for therapeutic purposes before it soon became enjoyable.

🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

I’m in my best years, everything is going according to plan and I can only thank God. I plan to increase every aspect of my workouts and eventually compete again in MMA. The future is unclear when it comes to training but so far the goal is to do better and to look better.

As far as business, my plan is to become a full-time trader so I can spend time with my loved ones in Europe and in the US as well without being tied up to a job.

If I could start over this fitness journey I would not change anything, the thrill comes from experimenting, tweaking, playing arounds with the different diets, methods, etc.

🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

To avoid injuries, on days where a joint or a ligament wouldn’t feel at its best, I would simply lower the weights and/or change exercise, in example do legpress instead of squats.

I always have a 10-15 min. session in the jacuzzi of my building, it helps my body relax and I can sweat a bit before rehydrating.

I usually sleep seven to eight hours a night to be sure to be fully rested and ready to perform on the next day. Even when traveling I exercise. I subscribe for the duration of my travel to a local gym and I never forget to take my massage gun.

🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?

I believe the source of calories and its origins matters in building good quality muscles.

I don’t follow a specific diet, I simply respect my calorie count and full disclosure: I usually don’t even need to since my metabolism burns anything extra I throw in there.

To stay ripped and maintain muscle, I need about 3300 calories per day that are easily attainable with a balance of carbs, proteins and fibers. If I go overboard with calories, for example, I’ll mainly use complex carbs to balance it out. I believe the source of calories and its origins matters in building good quality muscles.

I usually take some creatine in the morning with breakfast, some amino acids during the workout and some protein afterwards. I usually go with ‘BSN’ or “ON’.

I don’t have cheat days but I balance out what I eat, if I have ice cream around 1000 calories I know I have 2300 calories left throughout the day. The key is knowing how to balance it out and you can really eat anything without abuse.

I stay lean the whole year so that any season I’m ready to shoot or to fight, I do not differentiate off season, bulking season… and not drinking alcohol at all helps with that, I have a pretty healthy diet overall.

👍 What has inspired and motivated you?

I remember when I started to seriously workout it was when the ‘new era’ of aesthetic started. You had guys like Lazar Angelov, Jeff Said, Aaron Curtis and such that started to make some noise. It
wasn’t even my model per se but I could relate to these guys since they’re closer to my age and my era as a millenial.

My true inspiration came from our elders of the ‘golden era’ and just the solid look they bear makes me want to join that dynamic.

✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?

Simply and without detour, if you want to improve you will. Information is available to everybody and for free, all you have to do is want it and reach.

Counting on a trainer or not being accurate with anything won’t lead people anywhere. It needs to come from within and everything falls into place as your hunger drives you.

🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?

I no longer take clients, I was only a catalyst for them but I see that as soon as people move away or stop sessions they go back to their old ways and for me that’s just a waste. If it doesn’t come from within, the impact will never be sustained and fully brought to fruition.

The only clients I have now are the ones that want to learn how to trade stocks and with this virus going around now more than ever I will be on my computer.

📝 Where can we learn more about you?

I have an Instagram profile @beyond.yourself.

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