Out In The City


My Body: Jack Mackenroth

jack mackenrothName: Jack Mackenroth, former model and fashion designer turned HIV activist.
When did you start working out?

I have to credit my mom for putting me in swimming lessons when I was only two years old. I started swimming competitively when I was six, and I still swim with US Masters. So, before I ever started lifting weights, I had a good base to work from.

I started training in the gym when I was about 22. I'm 45 now! I started out at 145 pounds at 6 feet tall and now, after 23 years of lifting, I am about 200 pounds. I reached this size about 10 years ago, so it took me 10-12 years to pack on 55 pounds.

What's your typical gym routine?
I mainly lift weights, but I also like to cross-train to change up my routine. As far as weights go, I'm a bit of a creature of habit. I know most 'experts' will tell you to change your routines to shock your muscles, but I get that by swimming, biking or running. So, when I lift, I stick to the basics. I try to lift every day that I can fit it into my schedule: about 4-6 times a week and about 1-2 hours per workout. I repeat the same four main workouts: chest and triceps; back and biceps; shoulders; and then legs, sprinkling abs throughout each day. Then I start all over again.
At this point in my life I do not want to get any bigger, so I usually don't max out anymore. I just use a pretty heavy weight in four sets of 10-12 reps. I do change up the specific exercises or machines so I don't get too bored. If you are just starting, or trying to gain mass, I wouldn't recommend what I do. My workout is all about maintenance. The only body part I really push is legs because I don't want a flabby ass and it can never be too big in my opinion.

What other workouts do you incorporate?
I hate cardio, so I am always changing up that part of my workout. I am really cut in the photo but that is hard for me to achieve. I don't stress about that too much. Sometimes I run on the treadmill and do interval training. I run outdoors and I swim frequently. If I am training for a swimming competition I back off the weights and swim about six times a week.
Right now, I am concentrating on biking. I have been a casual cyclist since I was young, but now I am training for the Boston to New York Braking AIDS® Ride to raise money for HIV/AIDS. It's almost 300 miles in three days so I have to build up to 100 mile rides in the next two months. I have been HIV-positive for 25 years – since I was 20, so fitness has been very important to me for my overall health. Fortunately, I have been very lucky with HIV and have been very, very healthy. The treatments are amazing now. However, others are not so lucky. HIV still kills a lot of people globally and the stigma is a massive problem. So we need to keep fighting until we reach a cure. Please sponsor me on the ride and learn a little more about my personal journey here: http://bit.ly/1nrR5iN

Do you take any nutritional supplements?
Yes. I drink a protein shake every morning and I take amino acid supplements and Omega-3 fish oils, which helps maintain cholesterol. When I was trying to gain mass I mixed in Creatine, which works well.
I think nutrition is the most important piece of the puzzle. A trainer friend of mine once told me that 90% of getting abs is your diet. We all have abdominal muscles, but if you want them to show you have to eat right. It's really hard to do. I tend to be a pig. I'm not great at controlling my eating all the time, so I do better with more muscle mass because it burns more calories.
I try my best to stay away from useless carbohydrates like fast food or chips. A good rule of thumb is to stay away from anything that is processed or comes wrapped in plastic with pretty colours on the wrapper. That is not food.

Do you have any personal workout advice or tips?
Sure! First of all, find something you love to do. Trying new things like yoga or rock climbing is great, but if you force yourself to go to the gym because you want a good body but you hate doing it, you are probably not going to achieve the results you want. I usually like to work out alone with some kick-ass music, and I dance around the gym like a fool. If I don't make it fun then I get bored. If it helps you to motivate yourself, get a workout buddy. My boyfriend loves all the phone apps that track your workouts and log your progress. Try some of those. You can virtually work out or have a little friendly competition with people all over the world.

For more about me please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jackmackenroth. If you retweet me I will follow you back and then you can DM me any questions. My Facebook fan page is www.facebook.com/jackmackenrothfanpage

jack mackenroth2

Want more fitness advice? Check out some of our other hunks:
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Jack Mackenroth photo: STongPhotography.com

Posted: 21 July 2014


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