This week our editorial board was visited by Denis Gusev, the first Russian athlete who took part in the Mr. Olympia competition in the Men’s Physique category, a TV presenter, bodybuilder, and more recently also a co-founder of a healthy nutrition delivery service. - Denis, tell us how sports appeared in your life? - Like many people, he appeared at school, when you are in physical education class, and a coach comes in one of the sports. He looks at you and offers to sign up for his section. - What sections did you come from? - They came from different people, but I stayed late in athletics. I liked it because my physical qualities were developing: endurance, strength to some extent. Plus there were trips, training camps, competitions. A young man from a large family sitting at home liked it. I was the champion of the region, I set records, it was all at the children's level. But I have always dreamed of becoming an athlete.
- What exactly did you do? - Long jump. He was a candidate for master of sports while still in school. Then he entered the Academy of Physical Culture and Sports in Krasnodar, studied. It was the 90s, there was nothing to eat, my parents gave $ 15 a month for food, clothes and the rest. There was enough money for five days. I tried to earn money from the first year, so I had to work at night. - What did you do? - I dug trenches, unloaded wagons. - That is, physical labor? - Yes, the lowest paid and the most difficult job from a physical point of view. But it was enough for life. Naturally, I had to give up sports, he passed away - it was a competitive one. Only the Academy of Physical Education remained, I graduated with honors, because it was not particularly difficult to study and I liked the subjects. Then I thought that my life would never be connected with sports, 10 years passed, at 25 I moved to Moscow and soon learned about the existence of World Class. I thought that I would not get involved in sports. Then I talked to the coaches, found out how much they earn, and thought that I want to work here. I remembered that I have a red diploma, I came, I got a job, and in 2007 I started working. I worked there for a certain amount of time and learned that there is such a sport called bodybuilding. But it was more brutal bodybuilding, open. I realized that I will not compete in this kind of sport, because I will never become like the athletes there. But there is a bodybuilding federation and several disciplines are included in it, and many people think that there is only one. This includes both male and female categories. Now there are about 6 male and 5 female. That is, each person can choose for himself a category that suits him. And when I turned 31, in 2012 I decided to try myself in the "classic bodybuilding" category. I met coach Dmitry Myshalkin, and he agreed to coach me. He began to perform on the sly.
- How much time passed between the decision to compete and the first competition? - There were no dreams about championships and Olympia. I understood that this was not my level at all. That is, since I always went in for sports in the gym, like most guys, I was in good shape. It was necessary to gain 3-4 kilograms of muscle mass and bring it to a normal state. At the Russian Championship, I took 8th place out of 16 people, which was not bad. I decided to continue preparing, and a year later I took 3rd place in the Cup of Russia, received a master of sports. At that moment, I already wanted to end my career, because bodybuilding is not included in the Olympic program, no one helps you, you spend a huge amount of money.- Was it hard to gain weight after athletics? - Athletes have a well-developed metabolism, and bodybuilders should have it even better. Your metabolic rate is what helps you gain mass with such a low percentage of fat. And with a slow metabolism, more fat is stored. - How did your career develop further? - I wanted to end my career, but I learned about the emergence of a new discipline called "men’s physique". In Russia, this is what beach bodybuilding is called, but it is translated as "male physique". It is forbidden to have a large muscle mass, the guys go on stage not in swimming trunks, but in shorts and it is forbidden to show classic poses - you just stand there, smiling and that's it. I liked this discipline, because there was no need to "dry out" so much, to gain large muscle mass. The weight I had was enough. And since I was already a member of the Russian national team, I was qualified for the world championship. I went to Kiev and became the vice-champion of the world. This was in 2014.
- What happened after these competitions? - There is such a large international tournament - "Arnold classic". Schwarzenegger himself organizes it and arrives there as a guest of honor. And out of 54 people in my category, I became the first and second in the overall standings and received the right to a professional card. As a result, in the first season I had three starts: Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Dallas. At the big tournament in Dallas, I finished third and became the first non-American to make it to the top 3 in the American professional tournament. I came home with the cup, got some qualifying points for Olimpia. All professionals have a dream - to play at Olympia. It's like the Olympic Games for us. They are not allowed there at will. You have to win a professional tournament.
- It was your dream to get to Olympia. It was worth it? - Everyone evaluates this for himself. But in 52 years of performances by Russian bodybuilders, I became only the fourth of the guys who got to Olympia. - No desire to speak again and show a better result? - There is a desire. A year ago, another category appeared, which is placed just in the middle between "men’s physique" and great bodybuilding. It is called "classic physique". It's like the classic bodybuilding I started out with, only you need to have a little more muscle mass. That is, with my height of 186 cm, you need to have somewhere 103-105 kg. - What should you pay attention to while preparing for a bodybuilding competition? What is the ratio of training and nutrition? - 70% / 30% in favor of nutrition. Bodybuilding is not like other sports, if it can be called a sport at all. It is nutrition that is worth more than training here. There are eight times a day of the same type and not very tasty food. You have to be so perverted that you eat different foods at least once during the day. White fish, chicken, lean beef steak, so as not to go crazy with chicken breast with cucumbers. Therefore, I had the idea to create my own food delivery service.
- You say that only 30% of the time is devoted to training, but at the same time you do it in the morning? - Trainings are high. You come to the gym, start lifting something, endorphins are produced. It's hard, but you practice and enjoy it. Especially when you look at the reflection in the mirror. But when you come home, you start eating tasteless food, you think, "That's all." People don't get frustrated because of training. They go to them with pleasure all the time. People break down for food. In the evening, they open the refrigerator, see there products that are prohibited for use. The same milk - you can't drink it. Their hands are shaking and they are drinking it. - Why can't you drink milk? - At the beginning of preparation, you can drink. But before the competition - no. There are several reasons for this: first, milk sugar, lactose; secondly, casein protein, which, getting into the blood, begins to retain fluid. It is difficult to lose weight on such a product.
- What diet should a bodybuilder have? - Everything is calculated in cycles. If we talk about the last phase, the diet, then everything is individual here. For example, there is a book "Weightlifter Preparation". You can open it and prepare for it. There are no guidelines such as "Pre-Competition Nutrition for the Bodybuilder." Everyone comes up with their own, completely different ways. Someone can sit on a carbohydrate-free diet for several months. I know a guy who consumed only two products for about two months: liquid egg white and cucumbers. I could not have held out for two days. You have to be such a fanatic! Madness. And other people can consume at least 200 grams of carbohydrate per day and have an equally good figure. Each person has their own physiology. - How to find the right balance for yourself? - Need to try. There are prerequisites by which you can understand what a person is inclined to. If he is gaining weight quickly, then a carbohydrate-free is needed. I'm a thin person. When I entered the first year of the institute, with a height of 185 cm I had 61 kg of weight. Although I was professionally involved in athletics. Now I weigh 95 kg. It took me almost 20 years to gain 34 kg. On average, 1.5-2 kg per year. This is maximum. My muscles grow very slowly. However, the diet is very easy for me. In my preparation, I have tried many different schemes. As a result, I came to carbohydrate alternation: one day I consume 50 grams of carbohydrates, the next 100 grams, and then 150 grams. And all this is converted into a cycle. - Is it possible to get in shape without consuming protein? - If you do not use sports nutrition, then your health will be very bad. During training, a lot of vitamins and minerals are spent. If they are not restored, then health can be ruined. If you do not take fats, which are extremely important in our body, then hormonal balance will be disrupted. Supplements are also very important. Regular food doesn't have that many amino acids. Otherwise, you have to eat meat in kilograms, because of which a person will tear his stomach. It may be possible to get in shape without additives, but this is dangerous to health. It is clear that you do not need to use dozens of them, as bodybuilders do. - Did you have any desire to create your own brand of sports nutrition? - There was an idea, but I understood that every company in the world that deals with sports nutrition would become my competitors. You enter a store, and American, Dutch, and Japanese products are presented on the shelves - you need to compete with them. And so I opened the kitchen "Level Kitchen", I had only five or six competitors in Moscow. Now half of the brands are brands named after: Jake Adler, Ronnie Coleman, Phil Heath, Kai Green. Many have already got rid of the production of sports nutrition, as it is unprofitable.
- What is the advantage of "Level Kitchen" over competitors? - The main advantage is the value for money. The cost of one diet starts from 136 to 150 rubles. Even when compared with McDonald's: a hamburger costs 250 rubles. It turns out cheaper, and at the same time you get a complete diet: proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the right ratio. A day of delivery is about 700-800 rubles - this is up to 6 meals. This is generally a penny. The cheapest per month is 22 thousand, taking into account the delivery of 25 thousand rubles. Many companies do not include delivery in the price, so the client has to spend 200-300 rubles separately every day. We have it included in the price. That is, 150 rubles is including delivery. - Does the most expensive diet cost 25 thousand rubles? - Yes, 30 days. Together with delivery. It turns out 750-800 rubles per day for 6 meals. The second advantage is that we have placed great emphasis on quality. The partner with whom I opened this business already had experience with the service. For a year and a half he developed one premium segment service and after that he decided to bring his knowledge to the masses. We made beautiful packaging, everything is sealed: spoons, forks, napkins, a large beautiful menu, where everything is calculated and prescribed in grams and milligrams. Attached is a container and bag in which the food is delivered. Everything is done at a high level. A lot of money has been invested in the project. This is not done on the knee. Many services, and there are about 30 of them in Moscow, are located in basements, they cook porridge on their knees, pour it, print on some kind of cheap machines. You need to be careful in your choice. We have quality control. Also a varied menu - about 150 rations. Everything is constantly changing, it happens, we remove not the most popular dishes and introduce something new. - Who makes the menu? - We have a nutritionist and a brand chef. There are five diets: two programs per set, 1500 calories for girls - 2500 for men, two programs for losing weight 1000 calories for girls - 1500 for men. And there are just 2,000 calories for someone who just wants to eat. Each set has a distribution for protein, fat and carbohydrates. The task of the brand chef and nutritionist is to compose the menu so as to be included in these programs. There is also a set of ingredients: chicken, white fish, squid, a rabbit appeared not so long ago, beef is protein. As carbohydrates, we can use bulgur, quinoa, buckwheat, rice, pasta, vegetables, except for potatoes. There are not very many vegetables at all, many are even offended, but there is a problem with them. Especially in winter. Half go bad. When, say, you cut a tomato, put it in, until all the water is brought to a person, it turns out to be porridge. Therefore, we removed some of the vegetables. A person can buy a package of cucumbers or tomatoes himself in the store, enough for a week. It will cost 500 rubles, but it will be fresh. We focus more on proteins. We are not trying to replace expensive protein with cheap carbohydrates, as others do, or soy. Therefore, a huge number of dishes, from beef, maybe 10 types.
- How to choose specifically for yourself, how much protein, fat and carbohydrates you need? - When a person calls us, he communicates with a manager who will select a program for him. Everything is calculated from the gender and weight of the person. The first thing we are told is “I want to lose weight” or “gain”. If you lose weight - 1000-1500 calories. If a person is obese with a weight of 130, of course 1500 calories will not be enough for him, so he can take either 2000-2500. This will be enough, he will begin to lose weight, since there are few carbohydrates and a lot of proteins. Sometimes we recommend adding something. The same sports nutrition. A person can buy protein, 200-300 calories he will get extra from it. This is how the program is selected. - What meal do you consider the most important? - Perhaps someone will say that the first, morning, as in the good old saying: eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, give dinner to the enemy. It's right! I communicate with people who do not play sports. They practically do not eat breakfast, they eat tea or a sandwich - this is wrong. Breakfast should be one of the most energy-intensive, because it gives you strength for the whole day. Moreover, it is important that it is correct, not to eat sweet - insulin jumped and in an hour you are already hungry, but on the contrary, long carbohydrates that are slowly digested. Cereals, protein - should be enough for three to four hours. But all the same, I will call the most important last meal. It is the most difficult, it is at this moment that people most often break down. Either after work we went to a bar, or came home tired and grabbed at everything that was. In the last resort, the hardest thing is to restrain yourself. We usually offer a carbohydrate-free kit. Light protein so that it is not digested for a long time: fish, eggs, seafood and fiber, greens, bran. - How long before bedtime is it recommended to eat? - I believe that you can eat at any time. At least before bed. But not carbohydrates.
- Do you have any kind of drinking regimen? - I try to drink a lot. There are some rules: 200-300 milliliters of water per 10 kilograms of weight. With a weight of 100 kilograms, you should drink two liters of clean water. Doctors say that water, tea or coffee are not the same thing. Water is a solvent in our body, immediately after taking it, it begins to perform its function, and other liquid, juice, tea or coffee - decomposes in parts into coffee and water, and only after that the water will enter the body. I try to drink 1.5 liters of pure water when I dilute BCA in my workout. Even in the morning I drink coffee to cheer up.