Carlton Stubbs is 29 years old. He lives in Altamonte Springs, Florida and is father to two year old Ethan. Five days a week, twice a day he drives 27 miles on the stagnant parking lot better known as I-4 to work as an IT specialist for Disney. As of last Saturday night, he is an amatuer body builder with three trophies.
Carlton started lifting weights at 14 to play football. He became a star at Bainbridge High School in Georgia and earned a scholarship to Divison 2, Fort Valley State where he became team captain. Carlton’s passion for lifting survived his football career, and rare has been the week that he hasn’t been in the gym at least four days over the last fifteen years.
The graft of his grind is measured in looks and comments. The lingering eyes of men and women alike in the mall, at a supercross, and even at the gym. Many times, after he has left a soccer game or basketball game, my friends will ask “what’s his deal?”, or “what does he do?” About ten months ago, I went to the gym with Carlton for the first time, and three random strangers approached to talk to him about lifting, and countless more kept looking his way. Tonight I met him at the gym again, and two other aspiring, but clearly inferior, body builders engaged him in idle chat of their initiation.
I met with Carlton tonight to learn what transpires before the bad music, spray tan and speedo. Twelve weeks before his first competion (as seen in the photo above) Carlton weighed 243 lbs. He was big and muscled by any standard, but unfit for a body building competiton. He enlisted his girlfriend Julz Wright to make him fit. Later in the process he included nutritionist, Jamie Ibon.
Training commenced with a regiment at least five days a week. 45-60 minutes of intensive weight training (every body part worked out once a week) and muscle building followed by 45 minutes of H.I.T. (high intensity training) cardio. This is basically interval training to manipulate the heart rate for maximum fat burning.
The initial diet was 300 grams of carbs and 300-plus grams of protein. Weekly meetings with the nutritionist will limit the carbs (100, 75, 50, even 0) to address specific phyical concerns. Meals are consumed six times a day and include chicken, fish, steak and sliced boar’s head sandwich meats accompanied with special bread “tastes like cardboard” and vegetables.
As the competition approaches, the nutritionist oversees carb deletion, the result of which is a marked decrease in energy and strength. Workouts change with an emphasis on higher tempo and cardio can be doubled. In the days leading up to the competition, water is pulled from the diet, leaving Carlton dehydrated and subject to cramping.
Last Saturday morning, Carlton arrived at prejuding at a shredded 213lbs. Unbeknownst to me at least, the trophies are won during the prejudging phase of the competiton. The show as it were is just that, entertainment for family, friends and fans. After prejudgement and before the show, Carlton ate a steak, potatoes and six glasses of water. After the show, it was two slices of pizza, three garlic knots and gallons of water.
With the next show only two and half weeks hence, Carlton is back to intense dieting and pre-show training. Tonight at Golds Gym in Altamonte he worked upper and lower body at a rapid pace and left the gym about 8:30 to eat before getting his cardio in before bed. He will not be able to build muscle before the next show, but hopes to arrive at prejudging at a shredded 206-208.