We talked with Nick Wright in October, 2019.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Nick Wright. I am 28 years old and born and raised in Rhode Island; a tiny state wedged between New York and Boston.
I began training as a high school freshman, weighing all of 104 pounds. Flexed, my arms were only 11.5″ around and my max bench was a whopping 65 pounds.
Being underweight and weak, I was always obsessed with the idea of getting huge AND strong, not just one or the other.
I fell in love with bodybuilding but always enjoyed training heavy, which became relevant later in my life.
I competed in my first bodybuilding show at 15 years old and never looked back! This was in 2006 when social media was still an infant. Nobody had capitalized on YouTube in the fitness industry yet.
I began posting my competition footage on YouTube just to be able look back at, unaware it would gain attraction. As I became more and more obsessed with competitive bodybuilding, I also became enticed with the idea of documenting and sharing my journey, publicly.
I had been posting updated photos and measurements on a now extinct social media page called “Bodyspace”, a sub-forum of bodybuilding.com.
At the time, it was basically a MySpace for fitness. I soon realized my competition videos on YouTube had gained several thousand views and that there might be something to that.
I loved public speaking and I loved bodybuilding so I began to interact with the people watching these videos by uploading informative, training and nutrition videos to YouTube. I was hooked.
Upon seeing the positive response to these videos, I then made it a goal of mine to not just rise as far as I could in natural bodybuilding as a teen, but to also become one of the most well known natural teen bodybuilders in the industry!
I continued this all while working a couple of jobs and completing high school. Upon graduating in 2009, I considered myself done with competing and was looking to move on to starting my own custom car audio installation business (a story for another time).
My closest friends talked me into doing one last show I had my eye on for years. I agreed, while also hitting the gas on the social media.
I turned my MySpace – in it’s final years of relevancy – into a fitness modeling portfolio and hit the gas on creating videos.
That was the year everything changed. I went on to win that show, my 6th at the time, and got my first sponsorship with a supplement company, got flown out of state for my first paid photoshoot gig and became a “YouTube Partner”.
Back in 2009 you couldn’t just monetize youtube videos the way you can now, you had to apply or be invited to, and qualify for the YouTube Partnership Program. Only then could you make money via videos and back then it was a LOT more money than it is today!
This was all at 18 years old. It was then that I decided to make this my career and pursue it to the fullest. I had already committed to not going to college.
I hated the structure of school and only did well in what interested me, so I made the choice to stay working full time in construction and handy-man work while grinding toward building something for myself.
I went on to become the FIRST drug-tested teen bodybuilder on the COVER of a fitness magazine in 2010 at 19! I even had Converse recognize me and send their support with free shoes for a long while.
I’ve had companies as big as Gillette pay me for promotion, just to paint a picture of how far things went.
In 2012, just after my 21st birthday I finally left the 9-5 world for myself. I haven’t had a boss in 7 years now!
I competed in bodybuilding up to an international level, placing 2nd at the Natural Mr. Olympia competition in the Teen division.
After my 7th show at 21 years old, I grew jaded and tired of bodybuilding and craved something more physical.
I stumbled onto the sport of powerlifting and fell in love with it! I have now done 8 meets, working up to a 405 pound bench at 182lbs bodyweight, a 610 pound deadlift and a 585 pound squat.
600 pounds will be my next squat attempt at another up-coming meet in 5 weeks.
In 2019 I made my return to the bodybuilding stage after a 7 year hiatus at Christian Guzman’s Summer Shredding Classic.
This was both my welcome back and my official retirement from the stage all in one!
I loved going back to my roots and the support it generated online was unreal! Now, I love maintaining both the bodybuilding and the strength life style and intertwining them.
By 25 I was able to buy my first property and now at 28 I’m working on branching out into new business avenues outside of fitness, but am still active full time with YouTube and Fitness as my livelihood.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
When I was in prep for my last bodybuilding show, I was in the gym 3 times a day.
I train at Ultimate Fitness in West Greenwich, RI. It’s a hard core facility with dumbbells up to 150 pounds, chalk buckets and specialty bars – the type of environment I like.
I would do my weight training session first at around noon. I train fasted, eating only after the weight session.
I would then do 2 different cardio sessions. A 45 minute walk on a stair master and later a 60 minute session on an incline treadmill.
Now that I’m done with the competition, It’s down to 2 times a day. Same schedule, just one less cardio session. I’ll sometimes skip cardio all together depending on how taxing the workout is.
Powerlifting training is 3 times harder and more taxing than bodybuilding training.
I do my own programming and blend strength in with hypertrophy. I have my own programs available on my site.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
I love competing and I believe it is the key to staying driven in the gym.
Setting goals that hold you accountable and are outside of your comfort zone will force discipline. Yes, they spark motivation, but motivation is fleeting. There will be days where you simply don’t feel motivated at all.
Knowing you have this goal coming up and will have to show your progress on game day will drive you to keep pushing on these days even when you don’t want to.
Without a goal hanging over your head, what’s stopping you from just taking today off from the gym?
Another major factor to staying consistent is to have a good plan to follow. A program. I have never felt more bored and uninspired than when I don’t have a set program to follow in the gym.
Deciding what to do every day is only fun for the first week.
Get on a solid program and then you have an objective to complete each day.
At the moment I am following a peaking program I constructed for myself a few weeks ago. This program is peaking me for my next powerlifting meet.
The weights will be getting heavier and heavier each week now, but it was important that I lay this plan out beforehand, with a cool, objective, strategic mind.
Once you’re in the middle of training it’s easy to let emotion take over. You may feel good one day and want to go heavier than planned, which is detrimental to the long term progress.
This short term meet goal and training structure has me excited to wake up and train every day right now.
As for business, social media is slowing down for me. Times are changing and each social media is consistently changing algorithms, making it harder and harder to gain traffic organically.
There are always ways around this of course, so many channels will still flourish and there are constantly new platforms developing on social media, but I have also been at this for over a decade which is a LONG lifespan for a YouTube channel.
Attention is bound to slowly decline over time.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
At the moment I’m enjoying combing the strength and the physique world together and still sharing it on YouTube.
I’m currently working on stepping outside of all comfort zones and learning new areas of business that will help me develop something new for myself, that is outside of fitness.
I can’t mention anything in the works this early, but I’m learning the ropes of scaling a business without having a social media platform.
I don’t do 5 year plans, I think looking too far ahead is dangerous and can create more anxiety than is needed.
Things rarely go as you plan them, especially when it comes to time lines. Having a definitive vision of where you want to go with something is what is important in my opinion.
Setting smaller goals and bench marks to help get you there along the way is the way I like to move.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Powerlifting has helped me improve my form and technique so much since you have to optimize biomechanics in order to obtain your strongest lifts.
Most bodybuilders (my former self included) don’t know how to train. Form, technique and even program structure tends to lack in the bodybuilding world.
All a bodybuilder needs is to be able to activate and “feel” the muscle. This can be achieved with any sort of form.
Many also tend to train to failure in almost every workout.
Programming correctly so you aren’t going too heavy too often, you’re recovering but also adapting has been a major staple in staying healthy and prolific in training is crucial.
Any small injuries I’ve had were all due to poor mobility. Staying up on mobility is any lifters absolute best friend on top of proper technique and form.
Foam rolling with a hard rumble roller, a lacross ball and doing various static stretches with bands has been a staple.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I mentioned that I train fasted. This began when I started dieting again and leaning down.
There is nothing magical about Intermittent Fasting (IF) despite what some believe. It is simply an eating schedule that can allow you to eat bigger meals since you’re saving all of your day’s calories for a smaller window of time.
I grew to like how I felt fasted however and chose to stay that way even after the diet was done.
I break fast whenever I’m done at the gym. Sometimes that fall around 2pm, sometimes later. I don’t stress it.
When I cut, I like how I feel and response to LOW carbs and HIGH fats as well as high protein. It’s all personal preference.
Now that I’m in my strength phase, I enjoy carbs but don’t go crazy.
I eat 3 big meals a day usually. Calories are always over 3,000 right now.
I don’t do cheat days or cheat meals. I just eat whatever I want when I want and try to stress moderation. If I’m not actually hungry or not craving something, I won’t eat it.
That said, if you’re eating well and training hard every day and aren’t getting ready for a show, there’s no reason to deny a fun meal when it crosses your path.
I even drink on the weekend with my girlfriend of 6+ years on our date nights. Balance is a beautiful thing!
Get away from the eating disorders! So many people in fitness, my former self included, suffer from eating disorders they aren’t even aware of.
Binge eating and then doing extra cardio to compensate for example, sounds normal, but is actually a form of bulimia.
I don’t take many supplements at the morning. I use various pre-workouts simply for the stimulant effect. A whey protein sometimes as well. I’m constantly switching brands and trying new ones.
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
Wanting to be known as someone great in whatever area I am involved in keeps me inspired. I want to be respected for how good I am at whatever I do. That’s the underlying drive.
Meeting the people that follow me online, seeing the faces behind the comments is also something super motivating to me. The idea that so many REAL lifters follow what I have to show makes me want to work that much harder.
I love following certain top athletes in whichever sport I’m focused on.
When bodybuilding, I watch a ton of the old school Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler DVDs. Ronnie was the only bodybuilding idol I ever had.
It was a dream come true to eventually train with him on camera. That video is currently on my channel to this day:
I’ve never gotten anything motivationally or otherwise from books. I of course enjoyed reading the now extinct FLEX magazines as a kid, but that was it. YouTube is my source for watching my favorites.
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
My advice to anyone aspiring toward anything at all, is to simply dive in to whatever you are passionate about.
Dedicate yourself to being passionate about that one thing, if you’re on the fence about it. You will never “feel ready” so don’t wait!
My advice for people in the gym is to LEARN PROPER TECHNIQUE first. Learn from powerlifters, even if you are bodybuilding.
Powerlifters HAVE to have literally perfect technique to achieve the biggest lifts possible. That’s simple biomechanics and physics.
Once you have that down, get on a legitimate program. I recommend my Lean Strength program.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I’ve never had an interest in personal training or doing diets.
If you want to try my programs, they are far more structured than most cookie cutter templates found online. They combine strength and bodybuilding using percentage and the RPE scale. They can be found on my site.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
My Instagram is where I am the most active! @NickWrightNWB.
My Twitter is the exact same handle and of course my YouTube channel is where it’s at! @NickWright.