Levi Burge Pro Bodybuilder sits down with Zelsh
Height: 5′ 6″
Weight: contest 167-171; offseason 185-190
How did your last season go?
April 13, WNBF Pro Tournament of Champions lightweight and overall winner;
November 9, WNBF Pro World Championships 2nd place lightweight. I Thought this went pretty good. I purposefully did not come in as sharp for the tournament of champions, so I could really bring it to the World Championships. Doing 2 contests proved to be way too much, though I will not do that again anytime soon. I was really overtrained by the end.
Who are your bodybuilding Idols and sources of motivation?
Arnold, Ronnie, Dorian, Shawn Ray. I used to watch Blood and Guts and Ronnie’s Cost of Redemption all the time; Rocky (of course);
Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Inspiration to start bodybuilding?
My older brother gave me a set of dumbbells for my 13th birthday and said,
“Levi, you’re gettin’ skinny.” From that day on I trained 5 days a week.
How does your routine change between offseason and pre-contest cutting?
I train 4-6 days offseason and 6 days pre-contest. I do cardio 3-5 days in offseason and 6 days a week in prep. During prep I do 20 minutes of posing 6 days a week. Weights and reps stay pretty much the same. I believe what built it will keep it.
Mind giving us a sample of your current routine?
Day 1: Chest
- 7 sets incline Hammer Strength press;
- 2 sets incline dumbbell press;
- 3 sets bent over cable fly;
- 1 drop set dips;
- 1 finishing set of pull overs; 8 sets 1 leg calf press
Day 2: Back
- 6 sets bent over barbell row;
- 3 sets pulldown;
- 2 sets seated row;
- 2 sets V grip pulldown
Day 3: Arms
- 6 sets dumbbell curl s/s rope pushdown;
- 3 sets spider curl s/s skull crusher;
- 2 sets cable curl s/s straght bar pushdown;
- 2 sets hammer curl s/s 1-arm seated extension
Day 4: Legs
- 7 set squat;
- 4 set leg press;
- 4 set stiff leg deadlift;
- 3 set leg curl
Day 5: Shoulders and Calves
- 5 sets 1-leg calf press;
- 3 sets Smith machine calf press;
- 3 sets dumbbell laterals;
- 3 sets rear laterals;
- 2 sets front raise;
- 3 sets Hammer Strength shoulder press
Day 6-7: Rest
These are some of the last workouts I did for each muscle. I change it around a little. I do a lot of warm ups for the first exercise and only 1 or 2 failure sets per exercise.
Do you have any coaches or do you handle the majority of the prep yourself?
I have done everything myself. No coaches have been involved.
You have some cannon’s for arms. Any particular strategies behind their size?
Very intense work. I try to fill them with as much blood as possible.
What diets have worked best for you?
I eat very basic foods:
- chicken breast,
- egg whites,
- sweet potatoes,
- red potatoes,
- brown rice.
- I eat 2 fruits a day in prep.
- Typically I take in 280g protein, 280-350g carb and 35-50g fat during prep.
Thoughts on cardio? Whether steady state or HIIT
I do 20 minutes a day with my heart rate 120-130.
What’s the supplementation like?
I take a good natural multi-vit-min; men’s herbal sup; anti-oxidant; glucosamine/chondroitin; fish oil; Whey isolate (post workout); right now I’m using a pre-workout with amino acids, creatine and glutamine.
How do you manage being a pro with real life. What’s a typical day for you?
I’m a trainer at Outer Banks Sports Club in Nags Head, NC. I awake at 4am, do morning devotions, eat and head to the gym and train my clients, usually from 530 to 2 or 3. If I have an opening I train sometime in there- if not, I train when I’m done. I do not have set hours at the gym, it’s just when I have clients. So some days are shorter and some are longer. When I get home I do my office work and, of course, spend time with my family. I have a wife and 2 boys- 18 months and 3 years, if you have kids you know there’s not a whole lot of free time. I try to get to bed between 830 and 930.
What do you think separates a pro from an amateur physically and mentally?
Work ethic- knowing what has to be done and doing it (with diet and training); knowledge; determination; genetics have a role; priorities
What attributes have made you successful in bodybuilding?
I believe all the above have helped. And God seems to have given me an ability to make myself do things that some people won’t do.
What would you have told yourself when 1st starting Bodybuilding?
Focus on form and feeling the muscle, figure out when to stop yourself.
What are your future fitness goals?
To be the best natural bodybuilder on earth. This has been my goal since I was 15. For me now this means winning the pro world championships.
What’s your stance on drinking as a bodybuilder?
I do not drink. It will not help and will most like hinder your goals.
Was the transition into bodybuilding sudden or how did you decide to do you first competition?
I planned on doing competition for years before entering one. I waited til I thought I was ready.
Anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
I focus on the mind-muscle connection. I use different techniques, sometimes slower, sometimes faster. I find fast on the way up and slow on the way down is what I gravitate towards.