By WNBF Pro Jeff Alberts
photos provided by Ricky Smith
Ricky Smith, out of Texas, traveled to the Grand Canyon state to compete in the Arizona Natural Bodybuilding Championships on September 5, 2009. Ricky was absolutely shredded at the refined age of 52! Ricky has been training on and off again for the past 30 years, but he started competing about 10 years ago. Although Ricky entered the contest arena later in life he has built an awesome physique which many people can truly appreciate regardless of age. Ricky presented a well balanced body to the Arizona stage by placing 2nd in the Masters over 50 and 4th in the open medium classes. Ricky stands 5'-9 3/4" and competes at 158 well conditioned pounds.
Ricky Smith at the Arizona Natural. Ripped and ready to go!
After the Arizona Natural we had the opportunity to interview Ricky Smith through email. Here is our interview with Ricky Smith.
3DMJ: How did you get started in natural bodybuilding?
Ricky Smith: I wanted to compete in the early 80's but being natural I knew I couldn't compete against the performance enhanced bodybuilder, so when I started following natural bodybuilding I decided to compete in the Texas Shredder Classic.
3DMJ: Who are some of your influences in natural bodybuilding and why?
Ricky Smith: I was first influenced by Dave Goodin and Kent Julius. Both of these guys are not biggest competitors but have been very successful in natural bodybuilding. Both of them answered any questions I have asked. Another new WNBF pro that has influenced me is Jeff Alberts. When I started my contest prep for the Arizona show I was one of the few bodybuilders that keep his protein low compared to most dieting bodybuilders, until I found Jeff's website and realized that he also keeps his protein low compared to most bodybuilders. I contacted Jeff and he was a great source of knowledge and encouragement throughout my entire contest prep even up to the day of show. Thanks Jeff.
3DMJ: What is the highlight in your career thus far as a natural bodybuilder?
Ricky Smith: My first contest, I entered the novice middleweight and the masters over 40. I placed 5th in a very tough masters class and 1st in the novice middleweight class and ended up winning the overall novice.
3DMJ: Describe your style of training leading up to the Arizona Natural?
Ricky Smith: Typically I like training heavy in the lower rep range. This last year I have been trying a lot of different training styles and hoping I will find one that will help me gain a little size for next year.
3DMJ: When did you start prepping for the Arizona show?
Ricky Smith: I officially started my contest prep the second week of June.
3DMJ: You looked shredded one day out, what were some of the key factors for attaining that level of conditioning?
Ricky Smith: I think the fact that I have stayed about 10 pounds over my contest weight for the last couple of years made dieting a lot easier.
Showing excellent quadricep, glute and hamstring tie-ins in this side chest shot.
3DMJ: Describe your cardio in the off season and for prepping for the Arizona Natural?
Ricky Smith: The last two years I have been competing in sprint triathlons, some I do a lot of swimming, bike riding and running in the off season. At about 2 months out I stopped doing any cardio except walking for about 45 minutes a day until about a month out and then I started doing 30 to 45 minutes of moderate intensity cardio nearly everyday.
3DMJ: What was your diet like heading into the Arizona Natural?
Ricky Smith: On lifting days I ate 175p 300c 35f and non lifting days I ate 175p 225c 30f. I don't eat the same food everyday and I have a small cheat meal at least once or twice a week.
3DMJ: List any supplements you use and why?
Ricky Smith: Whey protein to supplement protein requirements. I use creatine, but don't really seem to get much out of it. I use BCAA during the last month during cardio to preserve muscle.
3DMJ: Was the Arizona Natural your best physique to date?
Ricky Smith: Definitely the leanest, but I stayed very lean the last couple of years by doing a lot of running which may have caused my legs to look a little thinner, compared to my last contest.
Ricky displayed great detail in the quads and back.
3DMJ: What did you learn from the Arizona Natural that you can use in future contests?
Ricky Smith: I learned that I can get really lean while keeping my carbs relatively high and I plan on keep them even higher for next years show.
3DMJ: What are your future contests/goals?
Ricky Smith: I plan on competing in the Arizona show next year and I hope to be a little fuller next year
3DMJ: Any other information you would like to share?
Ricky Smith: I would like to thank Jeff for all his hard work to promote natural bodybuilding.
3DMUSCLEJOURNEY would like to thank Ricky for being an inspiration for other athletes. Ricky is also the first athlete ever to join "The Natural Movement" . Ricky represents what natural bodybuilding is all about, a healthy lifestyle, longevity and the dedication to continually strive to be your best regardless of age. At 52, Ricky continues to improve his physique through hard work and with the awesome showing he had at the Arizona Natural we see him stepping on stage next year even better. Watch out Arizona, here comes "Mr. Smith"!