The Best Abs In The Business
By Clark Bartram
The cover shot on this issue of Fit Rx For Men represents the 70th time TJ Hoban has appeared on the front of a national fitness magazine—not bad for a guy who started exercising at 12 years old to overcome an “ugly duckling” image. “I had thick glasses, braces, a funny hairdo, and I was a runt,” TJ remembers. “I couldn’t even talk to a girl, let alone get a date!”
Things have changed for the 36-year-old fitness supermodel, thanks to “hard work, contact lenses, and a good orthodontist.” During his five-year run as one of America’s top male physique models, TJ’s gotten a reputation for having the best abs in the business—and there’s no sign of his letting up.
In his latest endeavor, TJ’s taking what he’s learned about exercise and nutrition to help other people achieve confidence and success by embracing a healthy lifestyle. He’s come up with a complete in-home workout system designed to transform bodies and lives in just six weeks.
The TV show Extra is helping TJ promote the program. They’re taking a pair of 35-year-old identical twin sisters, giving one of them liposuction and putting the other on TJ’s program—and then seeing who looks better. Extra even came down to TJ’s Fitness Rx For Men cover shoot and filmed it for their segment.
I talked with TJ about his life, his career, and his commitment to living healthy and staying in shoot-ready shape 365 days a year.
On The Importance Of Being Ugly. Being a goofy looking kid and getting teased a lot in high school was actually a valuable grounding experience for me. It keeps the success I’ve been having from going to my head. I can empathize with people who are struggling to improve their lives, and I’ve learned firsthand that you’ve got to work hard if you want to get the most out of life.
You’re Hired! It was a great honor when Arnold Schwarzenegger booked me to shoot the entire abdominal section of his new Encyclopedia Of Bodybuilding. He came down to the set and said to me, “I’ve never had abs like you.” Coming from him, that was quite a compliment. Another great experience was when Sylvester Stallone hired me to be the poster boy for his new supplement company. We worked side-by-side at the Arnold Classic this year—it was intense. Being recognized by such incredible icons in the fitness world is incredibly gratifying, and it motivates me to continue to put in the effort required to be the best I can be.
Intensity Is Key. I always train with 100% intensity. Training is so much more about intensity than it is about duration. I can get a killer workout in less than an hour, so it’s easy to fit in a training session five days a week. Cardio is also important for shedding excess water weight and building a healthy heart. I usually run a couple miles every other day—especially before a photo shoot.
Yummy For The Tummy. Good eating habits are really important if you want your best physique. For me, a typical day starts with a bowl of whole grain cereal, four hard-boiled egg whites, and water. I eat a midmorning meal replacement shake and a piece of fruit, then I have a whole food lunch that may consist of two chicken breasts, black beans, rice, salsa, and a glass of iced tea. Dinner is usually something like grilled halibut with steamed vegetables and a salad, and I’ll end the day with another meal replacement shake. In addition, I take a high potency multi-vitamin, an ephedrine-free fat burner, an hgh precursor, a b100 tablet, a c1000 tablet, and ginkgo each day.
Best Advice You Can Give I always tell people to find their highest source of inspiration and use it to drive them to success in everything they choose. I began exercising at an early age to change my appearance, and since then exercise has always been my constant, my refuge. In addition to the physical benefits, I love the undying mental strength it gives me, and the way it fuels my passion to succeed in all aspects of my life.
Wrestling With The Truth. Years of wrestling in high school and college gave me a great physical foundation. I wrestled because it required more rigorous conditioning workouts than any other sport. In truth, I wasn’t as committed to the sport as I was to the workouts, and it showed.
Biggest Mistakes People Make People fail to change their bodies when their goals don’t match their patience level. It’s great to set lofty goals, unless you’re the type of person who gets discouraged easily. Fitness is a lifestyle, but many people want it to be a quick fix. For most people, it’s better to set smaller goals, commit to a regimen, and let each incremental achievement provide the necessary motivation to keep going. Anyone can get ripped if they have the discipline. How fast depends on their staring point, the effectiveness of their regimen, and their level of commitment.
On The Fast Track. I studied finance and law in school. My goal is to build a fitness company that prides itself on making people’s lives better. I’d also like to own spa resorts, and form a charitable foundation that helps children and spreads love.
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