During our recent East Coast MuscleWeek Conference in Washington, D.C., Senior Editor Shane Ray broke away from our dinner at the Ritz-Carlton because he allegedly ‘had to do something’. Usually, in bodybuilding parlance, that means ‘have to go up to the hotel room by the ice machine and stroke some old man off’ but in this case, it meant meeting perennial NPC National Contender Rob Krieder for a quick drink in the lobby bar for a few shots of tequila. One hour later, a shit-faced Shane returned to the dinner just in time to present our ‘Newcomer’ award, with 7 soggy, handwritten bar napkins stuck to his Bruno Magli shoes. I pointed them out and he plucked them off his heel and handed them to me: ‘Here’s your fucking interview, Boss.’
MuscleWeek: Tell us a little about yourself, Rob. Where did you grow up? What do you do for a living?
Rob Krieder: I grew up in southern Maryland. Very rural and country. My grandfather, who was a farmer, gave my parents a few acres to build a house on and that is where they still are living to this day. I get most of my genetics from my grandfather. Hard working man, with huge arms and forearms and a heart of gold.
I have been running a personal training business since 1998, RK BODIES (www.rkbodies.com). I managed health clubs and was a fitness director as well, but I got tired of making the clubs a lot of money, and I myself, only seeing a fraction of that. I’ve always done things my way, and always will.
MW: How did you fall into this cult known as the competitive bodybuilding world? Was sand kicked in your face, too like most of us?
Nope, no sand kicked in my face. I was the stocky kid in school. During lunch, we would always have arm wrestling challenges and me and another kid were the champs.
I picked up a Muscle and Fitness and Flex magazine at a 7-11 when I was about 14 and read those suckers from front to back. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I did my best to apply it all in the basement of my parents house using my fathers sand weights. I kept educating myself through magazines and Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Body Building. I grossly over trained for a couple of years trying to emulate the pro’s routines, not realizing they were all juiced up. It wasn’t until Dorian Yates came on to the scene and his high intensity/low volume approach became popular. The more rest I gave myself, the more I grew.
MW: Would you say you are now over the hump? On your way UP the hump one constantly worries about their nitrogen balance and thinks whey protein will help “build muscle”. Over the hump means if you miss a meal you know you’re not going to shrivel up and drop 60lbs and evaporate into nothing. It means you put your fanny pack away and don’t look down on men with hair on their legs. Which side of the hump are you on?
RK: I was obsessed at an early age, and I am glad I grew out of that quickly. I am educated, with a Bachelors in Exercise Physiology (Cum Laude), so I got over the hump a long time ago. I don’t look down upon anyone. Fanny packs, bad bad memories. How about tight skinz pants back in the day as well. Funny shit.
MW: Did you at one point have a true interest in winning a pro card?
RK: I still do. I hope to obtain that fucker in 2013 at Masters Nationals. I is just a personal goal, one I have had since I was a kid. I have experienced everything a pro body builder has already, except the pro card. I have been sponsored by Twinlab, MHP, MuscleTech and now Big Bitch Formula (www.bigbitchformula.com), I have traveled the country, working booths at show, tons of photo shoots, interviews, videos, magazines cover and features etc etc. I have done it all pretty much. Has it changed me or made me a better man? Not really, but it has made me realize body building isn’t a mean to an end. I will never make a career of body building. I just enjoy doing it. I wouldn’t have competed in over 30 contests in 20 years if I didn’t.
MW: What would have that really given you besides an annual bill to “renew” it?
RK: To pay for your pro card in the first place is the most absurd thing EVER. It may help my business slightly with the added title of IFBB pro body builder. That’s about it.
MW: Do you dabble in seedy ways to make money like majority higher level competitive bodybuilders do? You don’t have a pseudonym somewhere in cyberspace such as Zeus Maximus, do you?
RK: Too fucking funny. I have had so many people contact me for private posing, web cam shit etc. I have morals. I couldn’t live with myself if I did any of that crap. The only person I have a pseudonym for is my fiance. Gotta keep things new and exciting right ? lol
MW: It’s public knowledge now in the bodybuilding world over your distaste and mishap with hiring George Farah. You claim he was not invested in you and was very flaky like a typical bodybuilder despite your handsome payment to him. Tell us a little about that.
RK: We had a run in down in South Beach, Miami this past Nationals. I paid him for 16 weeks of contest prep. I heard from him the first 4 weeks and didn’t hear a peep until our paths crossed in Miami. I asked what happened ? He said what do you mean? I said, I haven’t heard from you in 12 weeks. He tried to turn it around on me, I haven’t heard from you. I said, George I paid you to be my coach, if you don’t hear from me, wouldn’t you feel obligated to at least check in with me ? He said, I lost your email. Someone broke into my garage/car and stole my lap top. I shook my head, knowing you don’t need your lap top to access your address book. I said, you have my number also. He said no I don’t. I showed my phone with his number on it. I said look, I am not hear to argue, can I get a refund, since I feel I paid for a service that I didn’t get ? He said, yeah sure, whatever to make it better. Have I seen any type of refund ?? NOPE. After my radio interview on RX MUSCLE, in which I told the same story, he probably got his panties all up in a bunch.
MW: What possessed you to hire George in the first place? Why George over somebody else such as a Chris Aceto or “Diamond” Dave Palumbo?
RK: I was going to go with Palumbo. The dude is pretty smart. However, a couple good friends of mine suggested Farah, so I did. I thought you get what you pay for ($1500) and Palumbo was much cheaper. Boy was I wrong. I may work with Palumbo for the 2013 Nationals, but to be honest, no one knows my body better than I do. I did consult with someone this past Nationals who was good, but if I had done things my way the final couple of days, I would have done much better.
MW: Is competitive bodybuilding in your future cards still?
RK: Indeed. I love this shit. I don’t give a flying fuck where the judges place me. I won’t kiss anyone’s ass either for a better placing. I do this to challenge myself. It is always a journey I enjoy. It is like therapy I suppose. Until I find another hobby/activity that challenges me in the same way, I will always be a body builder.
MW: What frustrates you the most with the way competitive bodybuilding is governed by the Usual Suspects and power brokers?
RK: Politics man…just politics. During the run in with Farah, he said I had a guy in your weight class place in the top five. I said who? I wont name names, but he said he placed fifth. I knew who it was and threw my arms up in the air and said, well that explains it. That is the only way someone with a fat ass and zero conditioning could make it in the top five.
MW: It seems like Men’s Physique is growing and bodybuilding is dwindling. Just look at the numbers. Why do you think more guys are choosing the Men’s Physique route?
RK: It is more mainstream. It is not as hard core. Body building has gone in the wrong direction the past 15 years. Bigger is not better. It has gone so far to the extreme that I don’t believe it will come back. But its the fans doing. No one wants to see a dude they see on the street every day. They want freaks. It is a freak show, but now the Physique division is great for the women admirers as well as the homosexual population. One thing about the NPC, they are smart business men.
MW: Competitive bodybuilding seems to be a game of alchemy, sorcery and chemical wizardry more than ever. I know of guys still on the local scene barely cracking the Top 5 in a light heavy class that use year around and exceed dosages up to 2g a week and possibly up to 10 unites of serostim daily. Is this facilitated by the way bodybuilding is governed?
RK: Its gone way way overboard. I say, if you don’t have the genetics to be a body builder, pick another hobby. You aren’t gonna make it past the local scene. People who use so much gear just on the local scene, make zero sense to me. This chemistry shit isn’t healthy. People are fucking with their long term health and longevity. I have learned the hard way regarding all of that also. Been there and done that with crazy dosages. I was strong, but bloated me, gave me high blood pressure and nose bleeds etc. Felt horrible all of the time. That ain’t fun to me. For the past several years, I have only touched stuff around contest time. If I cannot grow in the off season from eating lots, training like a beast, resting lots etc, then I am not cut out to be a body builder. Again it goes back to genetics man.
MW: Delusions of Grandeur seems to be an ailment affecting many competitive bodybuilders. In your early years of all of this did you think streets of gold and a lifestyle of a baller was waiting for you eventually?
RK: More people are realizing now that unless you are a Heath or a Cutler there is less than no money or opportunity for you. Like I said above, I have done it all except receive my pro card. It has helped my business etc. I know there isn’t a career in it for me. I learned this years ago. It’s all about balance. Most body builders are extremist for some reason or another. Body building is used to cover up insecurities as well. When something is done at one extreme, the other end of that extreme is waiting right around the corner. Universal balance man.
MW: You seem to be a smooth cat and Playa. How many Figure girl Industry chick ass have you white washed? Be honest.
RK: Out of respect and love for my fiance, I will not divulge that information. Let’s just say, I sowed oats here and there, when I was young, dumb and full of………BOOM !
MW: Is dating a competitor chick really all that? The ones I dated were all fit for a straight jacket and Thorazine drip.
RK: Chicks who get into the sport are just as fucked up as a lot of body builders. Covering up insecurities x 100. As for the ones who get on the juice, why the fuck do you want to have facial hair, a raspy deep voice, a manly face, zits, and a huge clit ? Well maybe the huge clit ain’t so bad for em. Easier to get off BOOM !
MW: Where does Rob Kreider see himself in five years?
RK: In 5 years, I will be married with kids, partnered with my boy Bobby Haire with Big Bitch Formula, kicking the supplement industry in the ass, and also opening a gym with him as well.
MW: Who are some of the best people in the bodybuilding industry that you admire and can actually call a friend?
RK: Mat Duvall, Troy Moore, Fred Smalls, Vinnie Galanti, Derek Farnsworth, Lee Priest.
MW: Who shouldn’t be expecting a Christmas card from you this year or anytime soon?
RK: George Farah !
MW: Marry. Fuck. Kill. Ready? Ava Cowan. Jessica Paxton. Erin Stern.
RK: I am engaged man brother. I wouldn’t marry or kill any of them, soooooo…….
MW: How can people get ahold of you for nutritional prep and contest coaching? Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free.
MW: Name Association. I drop a name and in one word tell us what comes to mind.
George Farah: Fucking douche bag!
Steve Blechman: Wise
Steve Weinberger: The Godfather
Aaron Singerman: I don’t know who he is.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Bodybuilding.