Washington's Natural Freak
"2008 & 2009 INBF Washington State Heavyweight Natural Champion"
by WNBF Pro Jeff Alberts
photos provided by Luke Ehlis
Luke Ehlis, 28, hails from Wenatchee, Washington and he is the reigning two time "INBF Washington State Natural champion". Luke or "Luuuuke"! is what the audience shouts out to him as he poses on the contest stage with his immense size and power. Luke stands 5'-9", weighs an incredible 198 lbs. when he is on the contest stage and he weighs a very powerful 235 lbs. when he is training in his off season. He has dominated the heavyweight class in Washington for the past two years in taking home 1st place finishes and he is even more determined to get even better. Luke is training with 100% commitment to win his third straight title at the Washington State Naturals along with a WNBF Pro card at next years contest to be held in August 2010. We had the fortunate opportunity to interview Luke to get an inside look at his training, nutrition, supplementation and other topics that has made him "Washington's Natural Freak"!
3DMJ: How long have you been training?
Luke: 8 years.
3DMJ: What gym do you train at?
Luke: Gold's Gym
3DMJ: What are your contest highlights thus far in your career:
Luke: 1st Place Open Heavyweight 2008 INBF Washington State Natural
1st Place Open Heavyweight 2009 INBF Washington State Natural
Luke at the '09 INBF Washington State Natural 1st Heavyweight
3DMJ: Describe your training style:
Luke: My training style is very instinctive. I stick to core lifts first in the workout then end with isolation type exercises. My reason for calling it instinctive is I enter the gym with one major exercise in mind and then proceed to the next depending on how I am feeling. My reps and sets very as well. I usually stick to 8-12 reps per set, but may go as high as 20+ and perform 3-4 working sets. This training technique has really helped me develop an understanding of how my body works and how it reacts to different styles of training.
3DMJ: Some of your peers call you “The Natural Dorian Yates or Jay Cutler”, because of your awesome back development. We have even heard your back development as being described as “Alien Back”, what do you feel has developed your back as one of the best in the sport of natural bodybuilding?
Luke: My back was actually one of my weaker areas when I first started competing, I had a wide frame with no thickness. It has taken years of training variation and consistency. I focus on putting an emphasis on the quality of the muscle contraction not the amount of weight being lifted. Never sacrifice form for weight.
Luke's back is arguably one of the best. Width, thickness and detail, it is all there!
3DMJ: What is the best exercise for that particular body part and why?
Luke: Dead lifts, it works your whole back as well as hamstrings and glutes.
Luke's lower back is just sick! That is why dead lifts are king!
3DMJ: What is your cardio schedule like in the off season as well as contest prep?
Luke: During my off season I perform 3-4 sessions a week for up to 40 minutes each, primarily on the recumbent bike or treadmill. During my contest prep I perform cardio two times a day five times a week. In the morning for 50-60 minutes on the treadmill and elliptical then again in the evening after weight training for 20-30 minutes on a step mill.
Chiseled to the bone!
3DMJ: Describe for us your nutrition for both on and off season training:
Luke: My Off season diet is broken down to 40% Carbohydrates, 40% protein and 20% fat. My daily totals are approximately 3500 calories.
My contest diet is broken down to 26% Carbohydrates, 58% protein and 16% fat. My daily totals are approximately 2380 calories.
I also focus on eating a large variety of foods to ensure I am getting enough nutrients.
3DMJ: What is your favorite healthy meal?
Luke: One of my favorite healthy meals during my contest prep is protein pancakes, it is plain and simple.
-10 egg whites
-1/2 cup oatmeal
-dash of cinnamon
-1 Tsp vanilla extract
*whisk together and cook on a nonstick pan.
3DMJ: Which supplements do you use and why do you use them?
Luke: Bcaa's- To aid in endurance and recovery.
Glutamine- Immune support as well as aid in recovery and cell volumation.
N.O. supplement- A pre workout arginine base supplement to aid with energy and vasodilation.
Waxy Maize starch- A sugar free carbohydrate source during my workout.
Joint supplement- for preventative measures.
Fish Oil / Flax oil - Taken throughout the day for EFA's.
Multi vitamin- To ensure I am getting the adequate vitamins and minerals throughout the day.
3DMJ: How did you get started in natural bodybuilding?
Luke: I started power lifting during College Track and Field. I discovered how much I enjoyed the lifting and the constant challenges that came with the sport. I soon competed in my first bodybuilding competition which was drug and polygraph tested. I realized that I want to bring something different to the natural stage and prove that it can be done without the use of performance enhancing drugs.
3DMJ: In your last contest at the 2009 Washington State Naturals, you won the heavyweight class, what have you learned from that contest to help you improve for future contests?
Luke: My main goal is to improve at every competition by coming in at a better level of quality and conditioning. In this sport you are your best competition. Strive to improve every time you set foot in the gym.
Showing off the mighty chest.
3DMJ: In getting to know you backstage at the ’09 Washington State Naturals and through http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/ehlisl/ , you are truly a great individual by inspiring others to do their best. You even help and inspire your competition, where does that positive attitude come from?
Luke: I think my positive attitude comes from my love of the sport. Bodybuilding has changed so many things in my life and it has also helped me through some tough times as well. You are at a constant competition with your self to improve and raise the standard of your own conditioning and it inspires me to be around other individuals with the same passion that I share.
Luke is a great ambassador to the support of natural bodybuilding.
3DMJ: What are your future contests and goals?
Luke: As of now I am planning on competing in two shows next year. The 2010 INBF Washington State Natural in August and the 2010 INBF West Coast Classic in September.
3DMJ: If you could give advice to other athletes wanting to attain their best physique, what would it be?
Luke: There is no magic solution or pill that can replace consistency, handwork and dedication.
3DMJ: Any other information you would like to share?
Luke: Natural bodybuilding is a sport where patience is a virtue. Be consistant and surround yourself with positive influences.
Luke looking towards another title in 2010!
With another full year of consistent training Luke is on track for his WNBF Pro card at next years "INBF Washington State Natural Championships". Not only is Luke a massive natural bodybuilder, but he is also a very kind person. With naturals like Luke on the natural scene, the sport is only going to grow and get even better!
Watch Luke in action right here!