Matus Valent Interview
Matus Valent, born in Slovakia, currently living is Los Angeles is an international fitness cover model and holds a Master’s degree in Physical Education and Sports with Management. Find out what he does year round to maintain one of the […]
Matus Valent, born in Slovakia, currently living is Los Angeles is an international fitness cover model and holds a Master’s degree in Physical Education and Sports with Management. Find out what he does year round to maintain one of the top levels of physique as a fitness model.
How did you get started in fitness and training?
I was a sporty boy since my childhood. I played soccer and than later I switched to volleyball, which I played on high level for 9 years. I started to work out thanks to my dad ( a former bodybuilder ) when I was around 14 years old in his basement where he had his own, private hard-core gym. My first years of weight lifting, was focused for me to get in better shape, get some strength and it was also towards my sport, to perform better. When I was 24 years old I start to treat my workouts the way I do now, as a fitness model, competitor and athlete. I don’t do much other sport these days, just focus on improving my physique. I also have a Master’s degree in physical education and Sport, so all my University time I spent in school doing all kinds of sports and being very active every day.
What or who got you motivated to start training?
The answer would be my dad. He worked out his whole life and me seeing him everyday going to the gym, the dedication, way of eating, results, it really was easy for me to follow his steps and start with a light weight training when I was a teenage boy. Also with my sport, gym & workouts were part of the training so coaches only increased my desire to work out on my body, get better and improve with every session.
What are your short and long term fitness goals?
My short term goal as a fitness athlete is to get signed with one of the Top supplement company, I think that’s what I will be focusing on this year. Also to increase my exposure a bit with more magazine covers, that is one of my current goals.
In long term, I just want to be healthy, have plenty of motivation and drive to continue what I am doing, living a healthy & fit lifestyle and be an example for people with similar interests.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I have been training almost the same way the past 3-4 years, I don’t really like to change my routine. I train 5x a week, leaving the weekend for rest, which my body really needs after a long 5 days of heavy lifting.
I usually train 2 body parts a day plus my abs. Monday I have chest & biceps, on Tuesday I train legs, Wednesday is back & triceps, on Thursday I train chest & biceps again and on Friday it’s my shoulders & calves day. That’s my training split and since it’s working pretty well for me I think I would stick with it for a while.
I am a fan of big amounts of sets, so for an example on my chest day I train around 31-35 sets for chest, heavy, than I ad about 16 sets for biceps and another 9-12 sets of abs, that’s why I am in the gym almost 2 and half hours. I always train in the evening hours, that’s my favorite time.
What is your favorite form of cardio for cutting body fat?
I don’t really do much cardio. When I am really focusing on getting ripped I ad 2 Elliptical sessions a week into my training program for about 20-25 minutes. My workouts in general are over 2 hrs long, so I feel I burn a good amount of calories while lifting weights. I also ad one sauna session a week in my body fat cutting phase. My diet improves though, plus I like to supplement with fat burners. Everyone’s body is different though, cardio is a great way to burn calories and lower the body-fat %, I highly recommend it, but it all depends on your body structure, metabolism, way of training, age and other factors.
Could you outline your basic daily diet?
- Whole milk
The key and main food in my diet is chicken breasts, I eat a bbq chicken breast for every lunch with rice. Very simple no other side dishes or vegetables. I make my protein shakes with whole milk which is also an important part of my diet, only the last 2 weeks before my peak shape when I diet and burn fat I really minimize any dairy products. Also fish is sometimes included in my post workout evening meal , sometimes it’s canned tuna or a salmon that I prefer to make on my grill. Low sodium cottage cheese is another smart source of protein, I like to ad honey and raisins for flavor.
As a fitness professional I like to consume high protein and medium carbs meals, trying to minimize sugars and fats. Healthy fats from nuts and fish are acceptable in small amounts in my diet
What are your favorite pre and post workout meals?
Pre workout meal is always a banana and a Carbmaster yogurt ( Ralphs brand )
Post workout is a protein shake and most likely some meat ( steak, fish )
What supplements do you take or recommend to others?
Whey Protein – this is the key supplements for everyone working out and trying to get some extra grams of high quality protein. One or two protein shakes a day are an amazing meal replacement. I switch between high carb weight gainers and very clean whey protein isolates.
Creatine – another 5-star supplement I always have to have. I have been supplementing with creatine since I was 15 years old. I usually mix more than one type, always a monohydrate and a cre-alkalyne with it. Sometimes I ad the ethyl ester form, serum or the new micro-crystal Concrete. I get size, volume and strength but stop taking it when in my leaning phase.
Glutamine – in powder form a good addition for my protein shake. 5 grams once or twice a day, it’s a great recovery amino an essential part for any bodybuilder.
Vitamins & Minerals – Trying to take the whole scale of the most important vitamins (A,B,C,D,E ) and minerals ( magnesium, potassium, zinc, chromium, selenium ) in a very high content. I am not a big fan of one multi-vitamin supplements I have all my vitamins and minerals separately.
Nitric oxide – a great pre workout, arginine based supplement.
What has the biggest impact on muscle growth and recovery?
I think combination training, nutrition, sleep and supplements will lead to the best result in muscle growth. A great workout with a lousy recovery won’t bring desired results, that’s why we need to take care in the same amount of our workouts, but also recovery, sleep, diet and supplementation. When combined it will bring what we are aiming for.
What is your best motivation to get you in the gym?
Very rarely I watch workout videos before I go workout. My favorite though is Ronnie Coleman’s China White, I love this video clip.
I always listen to my iPod when I work out, I have combination of dance music and rock, really like Linkin Park and EuroDance style of music. The biggest motivation for me are my results, my accomplishments and emails from my fans. It all drives me to get even better, train harder and so people who are on my team can be proud.
Any last advice for beginners or anyone looking to get into fitness?
Always be nice, reliable, respectful to everyone in the industry, those are the main keys to a possible success. There are many fit & handsome models, but you have to have the whole package, charisma and presence so someone can discover you. I had to deal with many mean people, lot’s of refusals at castings or from magazine editors, but I didn’t get mad or mean, I just trained harder, worked with more experienced people and slowly my goals did get accomplished.
Dedication to the sport and mental strength are very important attributes to have.
Many times you feel like giving up, skip a training or a meal, but only true champions stay with the schedule and game plan if they want to be the best.
Where to find Matus?
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