Eleven Questions For Alexander Fedorov

UN: Universal Nutrition: How long is your precontest diet?
Alexander Fedorov: Everything depends on my initial physical condition which is not always identical from the beginning of one contest prep to another. If my bodyfat percentage is not too high, it starts two months before the contest. If my offseason shape is not so good, it is necessary to begin it earlier--about three months out.

UN: What supplements did you use this past offseason? What do you use precontest?
AF: In the off season period, a major role in my supplement program is played by BCAAs (such as BCAA Stack) and various amino acids complexes. I supplement often with various types of protein, using variety in order to find the best one for me at that particular time. I also used creatine along with glutamine for the first time this year, surprisingly enough. During my precontest diet, I pay much attention to and experiment with various different types of fat burners, a specialty of yours.

UN: When do you do your cardio precontest? What kind of cardio do you do?
AF: Cardio begins approximately a week prior to the beginning of a strict precontest diet. I do, however, do cardio on occasion during the off season period. In my case, cardio is done on a stationary bike in the morning on an empty stomach. This was not always the case, as I once performed my cardio sessions in the afternoon. However, after I listened to the advice of my friend a professional bodybuilder and very experienced trainer, I revamped my routine scheduling my cardio before breakfast.

UN: How has your chest healed?
AF: The chest is slowly getting better. Surely, this autumn it will be far from peak shape. But at least it no longer looks so hopeless. I think everything will be alright. Anyway, this trauma enriched my life experience proving to me that there is no challenge I can't handle.

UN: What would you consider to be your strongest exercise? What is your strongest bodypart? What is your least favorite bodypart to train?
AF: In general, my goal is to be as strong as possible on every exercise for every bodypart. As is standard, the heaviest and most grueling bodyparts to train are back and legs… This is not to say that I don't like to train these bodyparts. There are generally no exercises that I despise, but my favorites usually depend on my current mood and physical condition. My strongest bodyparts proportionately are without a doubt my legs and triceps.

UN: How does the Russian public feel about professional bodybuilding? Are you a bigger celebrity in Russia or in America?
AF: I am known both at home and abroad, but in America bodybuilding is far more popular. Being in the U.S. increases the likelihood of me being recognized walking the street or in a store. I suppose it goes without saying that it is a great feeling to know that you have admirers on both shores of Atlantic.

UN: Is it true that you actually train in a graveyard?
AF: Yes, it is true. Moreover, I have never trained in any other place. My entire career and life as an athlete has centered on that cemetery and the gym equipped by my father and his friends. My father has long been passionate about bodybuilding and while working long hours in the graveyard, it became necessary for him to build a gym there. He was often moving equipment from location to location, until he settled in an office building in this graveyard just outside of St. Petersburg. This gym is where I fell in love with bodybuilding, using this equipment fashioned and engineered by my father. I've been around the world and seen so many amazing gyms, but in none did I feel as comfortable as in this small old gym in the center of a huge cemetery.

UN: What is the future of bodybuilding as you see it?
AF: In my opinion, especially in Russia, bodybuilding is constantly becoming more and more popular. Bodybuilding has had difficulty being accepted by the mainstream, due to the extremes of the sport and the amazing dedication and hard work necessary to achieve as a bodybuilder. Not to mention that when compared to so many sports, bodybuilding is not a cheap pastime. Nevertheless, I am sure that bodybuilding has a very bright future. I would like to see bodybuilding and fitness events accepted someday as Olympic sports. I think this is a good possibility given we are able to fight the many stereotypes and prejudices associated with our sport. For bodybuilding as a whole to reach its vast potential, we must dispel these slanders and misrepresentations.

UN: You're a young bodybuilder who became popular very quickly. Do you see any other young athletes with similar potential?
AF: It is very difficult to mention any specific names. Naturally, I know the state of affairs in Russian or Ukrainian bodybuilding much better than the scene in say Germany or Great Britain. But it seems to me, that the average quality of the athletes on an amateur level has grown greatly in recent years. The sport constantly progresses and improves and their will always be new stars and sensations. A perfect example of this would be Gustavo Badell, who surprised many people when he unexpectedly took third place in the last Olympia. It seems to me, that there are a lot of potential champions among the young athletes, both in Europe and in America. With their own strong desire and will and with the competent support of skilled professionals, many young athletes now have a legitimate opportunity to make a name for themselves.

UN: Do you read the bodybuilding magazines? How does it feel to see yourself in Universal ads? Or on magazine covers?
AF: Of course I read the magazines. It's a part of my lifestyle. Naturally, it is extraordinarily gratifying for me to see myself on a cover of the most popular bodybuilding magazine in the world or in the advertising of such a well-known company like Universal. With bodybuilding as in any other professional sport, fan popularity is extremely important. For now, unfortunately, most fans know me based on magazine features as opposed to competitive triumphs… But I think I can change all of that.

UN: How does it feel to work with Universal Nutrition?
AF: My agreement with Universal Nutrition was my first serious contract and working with this company has been a tremendous experience. I'll never forget that when I sustained my chest trauma and was enduring a very difficult time making it impossible to carry out my contract obligations, the company didn't forget about me. Instead they supported me and stood by my side. I am infinitely grateful for that. I've always said that the best companies are those that put human concerns above business matters and Universal is certainly a company of that kind.