Muscle-Munch Talks with IFBB Pro: Alex Carneiro [Updated]

Muscle-Munch Talks with IFBB Pro: Alex Carneiro [Updated]

How did you get started?

I started my fitness/bodybuilding lifestyle around the age of 17. I remember my brother had taken me to his local gym where he would lift some weights and do some classes. Since it was during my summer break in Brazil and I was extremely bored during it I started every day going and lifting some dumbbells here and there. Towards the end of that summer I had met a couple of the bigger guys at the gym and I got hooked into it. When I returned back to school all my friends thought I was so much bigger when honestly I hadn’t seen much of a change. Slowly but progressively I started reading more bodybuilding magazines and websites every day and trying new things at the gym. Supplements and nutrition were two big areas I knew nothing about and reading about them fascinated me. Still today I learn new things and consider myself a beginner because I learn new things every week and keep applying them.

What my diet consists of and why:

Mainly my diet consists of 40% , 40% carbs and 20% fats.  From those percentages I try and obtain 30% of my protein from solid meals and the remainder from protein shakes. This way I know I am providing my body with enough protein of different sources. My carbohydrates mainly consist of oatmeal, sweet potatoes and white potatoes, rice and a couple more. My fats I tend to try and obtain them from nuts, avocados, fish and other sources.

Some foods would include:

  • Egg whites
  • Chicken
  • Oatmeal
  • Ground Beef
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Yams


Supplements like the word itself consist supplement an already balanced nutritional regimen and training protocol. I take my supplements at specific timings to enhance their properties and affect my body the way I want them too.

100% Whey Gold Standard: I consume 2 scoops of this as soon as I wake up and then 20 minutes later I have a solid meal breakfast. This stops the catabolic state my body might be going through during my sleep.

BCAA: Protein breaks down into peptides and then amino acids. BCAA contain three amino acids that have been proved to help with protein synthesis. I take BCAA with my morning shake, pre and post training

Glutamine: During hard training our body’s glutamine pool might deplete. I supplement with Glutamine to start my recovery process and help keep my immune system in order. I take it with my pre and post training shake as well as before bedtime.

Fish Oil: Fish oil has several functions; I personally take it to have a healthier heart.

Hydrowhey: I take hydrowhey pre and post training as it’s the quickest and purest protein isolate in the market and the body absorbs it quicker than whey. I take as it also contains some digestive enzymes and it helps with the break down of the protein.

American Bodybuilding Speed Stack Pumped N.O.: I drink this drink to provide me with a great mental awareness and ‘pump’ at the gym. The cool thing is this drink has no sugar and no minimal calories unlike many of the pre-training supplements out there in the market that have way too much sugar.

American Bodybuilding Maxx Recovery: I take this as well post training as it has the exact ratio of carbs to protein post training

American Bodybuilding Carbo Force: This great drinks contains 100g of carbs and I drink it post training to spike my insulin after training.

Optimum Serious Mass: This baby has 1250 kcal by itself so when I add milk and a 2tlb sp of peanut butter I can obtain a higher caloric intake for the day.

100% Optimum Casein: I consume this before I go to bed as it’s slow absorption provides a slow amino acid delivery to my body as I sleep.

Example of Diet:

  • Meal 1: 100%Whey Gold Standard Shake +Fruit
  • Meal 2: Egg whites, bagels, orange juice
  • Pre Training: Creatine, Glutamine, Hydrowhey, BCAA, Speed Stack Pumped N.O.
  • Post Training: Creatine, Glutamine, Hydrowhey, BCAA, Maxx Recovery and Carbo Force
  • Meal 3: Spaghetti, Tuna
  • Meal 4: Serious Mass Weight Gainer Shake
  • Meal 5: Ground Beef and Rice
  • Meal 6: Casein Shake+Glutamine

What are your max lifts?

This is a question I get a lot and frankly I have never done 1RP or done max lifts. Several reasons for this. My first reason is a I train for bodybuilding and next year I am switching to the new NPC Physique division, I am not a strongmen or powerlifter so lifting extreme heavy weights is simply not part of my sport. A big factor to max lifts is also how well hydrated and fed they are that day. Max lifts can change from one day to another based on how much one ate the day off or how mentally ready they are for that lift.

Opinion on the run of the mill “Bulk & cut” way of training

Until a couple of months ago I was a firm believes that in order to succeed in the sport of bodybuilding one would have to bulk up in the off-season and then trim down. However now I am a FIRM believes of trying to stay leaner all year round. There are several benefits to this. First it’s healthier to keep a weight that our bodies are used too, healthier for the joints, ligaments, skin and much more. Secondly it’s a lot easier to diet down away from a shoot or show 6 weeks or less than it is to do 10-12 weeks. Honestly if one can stay lean enough that they would only have to diet for 4 weeks or less I am sure that would make life a lot easier. I like seeing my muscle separation and striations during my off-season. It’s a bit more work having to clean leaner during the off-season but it’s worth the while in my opinion.

Who is your favourite bodybuilder?

My favourite bodybuilders have always been the more aesthetically balanced type. Not always the most massive but with well proportioned bodies that were conditioned and symmetrical. For that reason I have always aspired IFBB Pro Stan Mcquay and Dan Decker. Lately though because of my transition of sports from bodybuilding to Physique I have kept my eye on a lot of fitness

What was it like winning your pro card?

There are no words to winning one’s own IFBB PRO Card. I had been working extremely hard ever since the beginning of this year to earn that status and it took some trial and error with my coach Allen Watkins to make it. I started competing in Men’s Physique as soon as I felt my body was ready for the look and started with the first California Men’s Physique show in Culver City in May. After taking the overall out there I knew that I was one step closer to getting my pro card but there was a lot more to do. As I mentioned with some trial and error with my coach we were finally able to get my body ready to what it needed to be for my next level in the new Men’s Physique category.

After placing 3rd at my first national show I knew I was even one step closer. The next step was going to be competing at the 2011 Jr. Nationals. I did not know what to expect but I knew that I would have to beat over 25 other outstanding physiques in order to be the one to win that night. When I got that first callout in the pre-judging and was centered right in the middle I knew I was so very close to my goals of turning pro. That night one of my goals came true. I say goals and not dreams because I believe that dreams are not obtainable but goals are. As soon as they had announced that I took first place I actually had water in my eyes and the stage simply looked like a peaceful elevated area where I could show the rest of the world the hard work I had put into my body. It was a glorious and inner peaceful moment for me and I have yet to ever feel anything like that again. Words cannot describe it.

What do you think to the new men’s physique category?

The new NPC/IFBB MPD division is still extremely new. As many who are following it can observe that there is still not an exact math or pattern to what the judges are exactly looking for. At some shows you will have very tight bodies and at some a lot softer. Personally I think the division still has a lot of molding to do in order to be what many want it and originally envisioned it to be.  I believe this sport opens up the door for thousands of new athletes out there to compete and stay healthy and that is one of the greatest aspects of it. Unfortunately it also opens up the door to many that barely train and believe being a men’s physique athlete is now an ‘easier’ way to turn pro or build a carrer as a model or actor. The sport still needs to be adjusted for it to be a more ‘hardcore’ idea. By that I mean that athletes should only step on stage when they feel they are ready and not simply train abs and chest and believe they are the next big thing. As with any new sport in the IFBB the sport will need to evolve with time.

What keeps you motivated?

Motivation is an inner flame that everyone needs to keep lightened. Everyone’s idea of motivation and everyone’s motivation is different but the common idea is to push anyone beyond their normal capacity on a daily basis. Personally what originally kept me motivated was the principle of negativity that others had towards me and my idea of becoming and following my dream of belonging to the fitness industry. Today I believe in one thing that motivates me. T.R.U.S.T. – Today’s results ultimately start today. Secondly I am highly motivated now to be the best of the best in the new IFBB Men’s Physique division. I battled hard to become a pro and now I am going to battle hard to be one of the best pros. It is the time to become a legend in the sport.

If you could give someone one piece of advice, what would it be?

One piece of advice I give anyone who’s interested in either the Pro Fitness model path or Physique and/or Bodybuilding competitive world is to be consistent. Be consistent with your eating habits, training and resting. those are the three major things that will make the biggest differences when it comes to change with your body. Being consistent also means to do whatever it takes for you to achieve the goals that you want, no one should have to tell you what you want, only you can.

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