Tim Gardner has been a bodybuilding and fitness coach of champions since 1995, where he started his TEAM BODY*TECH, which currently boasts over 520 titles and has a roster of over 350 athletes across the nation. Gardner is the man behind IFBB Pros such as Marcus Haley, Nate Wonsley & Lisa Reed as well as top-level NPC competitors, Carla Salotti, Son Van Tran, Julio Del Rio, Aaron Johnson, Debbie Barnes and Brandie Gardner. I am proud to say that he has also been my contest coach since 2001 and I could not have ever entered the realm of competitive bodybuilding without his expert help.
In this interview, we will get to meet the architect behind these top-level physiques up close and personal and learn how he got started in our sport, in addition to tapping into his training philosophies and nutrition tactics.
[Q] Tim, congratulations on such a successful year! Two new pros, Marcus Haley and Nate Wonsley, plus all of the other titles that your NPC athletes have claimed. Would it be fair to say that this has been your best year so far?
Its funny you should say that. I just completed a thread on our discussion board, teambodytech.com, stating that very thing; this very well may be our finest year ever, Techers. The bonding, camaraderie & cohesiveness seemed to gel almost immediately this year. At times, we had over 70 people in attendance for a team meeting and unlike years past, athletes who completed their season continued coming to meetings to support the late season competitors. Lasting friendships were definitely formed in 2005. Were almost through for the year, still going to battle at the NPC Nationals with front-runner, Carla Salotti and a diced and symmetrical middleweight, Lorenzo Newton. It should be extremely exciting in Atlanta.
[Q] For those people out there that do not yet know you, can you tell us a little bit about yourself. For instance, whats your background, how did you get started in bodybuilding and how you ended up being a top-level bodybuilding coach?
I began weight training in 1977 for high school football. I remember showing the old Muscular Development, Strength & Health, Muscle Mag and Iron Man magazines to my friends for their approval. At that time, the sport of bodybuilding was at its infant stage and was publicly viewed as mere oddities from the circus, not quite ready for mainstream America, thats for sure. Through the 80s, I continued to work out and eventually attended a competition, where I had the privilege of meeting the Myth himself, Sergio Oliva. I was hooked! I placed dead last in my very first contest in 1988, continued to compete, started winning Local, State & Regional contests, then, went onto the National scene placing as high as 8th on the Mr. USA. What a rush! From my very first contest to my last, I never would have dreamed of the journey that I would take; the friends that I would meet, the education of learning how my body ticked, all of which was an experience of a lifetime. My corporate career of 20 years, architectural metals & glass, gave me the business savvy and professionalism to apply to my own personal endeavors. Nutritional counseling since 1993 and contest preparation since 1995, I then decided to incorporate BODY*TECH Fitness Emporium in 1998 and resigned from the architectural world completely in 2000. Who can honestly say that their occupation is their passion? I can. When BODY*TECH increased in its popularity, it was very difficult to hold back the reigns. Our members were pushing us to build a larger gym, by 2003, Brandie & I outgrew our training facilities and expanding to a full-sized health club in Tampa. Presently, we are in the planning stage of a second health club to open in 2006. As for the coaching, it was second nature. I love helping people. I see the potential in them before they do in all aspects of life. Whether its coaching my sons in sports, watching my daughters dance, ballet and acro, or coaching an athlete to succeed in his or her specific sport, it seems that I bring the best out of that individual. I make them believe in themselves with sound instruction and motivation.
[Q] How did you get to find out all of these nutritional tricks that you use today to get your athletes in top shape?
Honestly, personal experience and trial and error. When I first started, I would camp out at the local vitamin store and wait for the biggest guy to strut in and wait to see what he would purchase. Then, I would grab three of whatever he bought and consume it in a week. I realized that sometimes more is not always better, I began applying logic and researching thoroughly what each vitamin and sport supplement would do in the body as well as for the body. I applied logic to my training and nutrition, basically worked off of fundamentals and basics. Wow, the changes were tremendous. Tenacity, Dedication & Desire there are not any shortcuts in our sport, the more disciplined, the better the outcome.