Are you a Beast?
Looking at these men, some would say that they have what is already considered a Carnival body all year round. These are not personal trainers with a job as a fitness professional , but regular guys whose single minded focus transformed their bodies.
So what does it take to maintain this level of discipline? And how much EXTRA does it take to be in prime shape for Carnival? We find out in the brand new Trinidad Carnival Diary feature “Beast Mode”.
Go hard or go home. There are levels to this ‘ish!
“Beast Mode” is a way of life.
Today’s Beast, Troy Howard.
1.First thing first, what’s your date of birth?
May 19, 1971
2. Height, weight, body fat percentage ?
Weight: 210-220 (216 currently)
BF%: 7-12% (9-10% currently)
3. Besides training like a beast, what’s your occupation?
I am a political/public relations consultant for my own firm Howard
Strategic Consulting and Public Relations. And, I am currently working towards a PhD in Urban Education in hopes of teaching political science and/or communications at the University level.
4. Carnival baby or Carnival newbie, what year did you start playing Mas?
My first Trinidad carnival experience was in 2012, after having done Brazil many times.
5. We know you were not born with this body, when did you start training and what was the reason you decided to make fitness a way of life?
I was always a skinny athletic kid, having played tennis since I was 5 and still playing competitively. The weight lifting came as a result of my older brother becoming a professional body-builder when I was a teen. I saw what he accomplished and started playing around in the gym. However, I found that putting on the extra muscle got in the way of my tennis game, so I backed off for many years.
Then I moved to Miami in 2008 where there is no winter season to hide the body, so I started hitting the gym hard again.But, I only reached this level of intensity leading up to my 40th birthday in 2011.I was having a big pool party where all of my friends, some of them in extremely great shape, would be. I was determined that no one would out shine me at MY party (LOL), so that was the catalyst for upin’ the ante in the gym.
I now maintain this healthier lifestyle for more than vanity. At 42, I am only 8 year younger than my father when he died of a heart attack. As well, my entire family, maternal and fraternal,is plagued with health issues due to bad eating and lack of exercise. I have promised myself that I will do whatever it takes to stay as healthy as possible, for as long as possible.
6. Tell the truth now, what did you look like before the muscles?
LOL. I was very thin! Except for naturally muscular legs, I was quite skinny. I entered college in 1989 at 6’2″and about 165lbs. I didn’t breakthe 200lb threshold until 2002.
7. How many hours a week are you in the gym ? Is this a year round schedule?
I am certainly not the live-in-the-gym type. I am there for 1 to 1 .5 hrs, 4 days per week. That is supplemented by tennis and road bike riding as much as I can find time for. And that is year-round.
8. When do you really turn up the beast mode for Carnival?
After the bad eating of Christmas.
9. What is your work out routine in detail?
I work one body part per workout, usually with 6 to 10 different exercises, for 3 to 4 sets per. I only work legs once per month, because they grow very easily and would be disproportionately large if I worked them much.
I get bored, so I mix it up frequently. I go from heavy free weights, to machines to callisthenics all in the same week. I finish every weight workout with abs work. I usually reserve cardio for my tennis matches or bike rides, but leading up to an event, like Carnival, I amp up the cardio to several spin classes and/or a couple of hours for elliptical work per week.
10. As a man do you care about costume choice or do you just pick the one that shows off your abs best ?
I put a fair amount of thought into carnival costumes. I view Carnival as the one time of year that I let go and live in a fantasy, so the costume has to inspire me.
11. What’s your diet like all year and especially when training for Carnival?
I eat pretty clean all year. I am lucky in that sense too, as I naturally do not like the things that could serve to hinder the level of lean muscle that I like. I hate bread, won’t eat pasta, am very salt sensitive and can do without sugar. I eat 8-10 small meals per day that are usually some type of meat and nearly raw veggies. I do give myself 1 cheat day per week, even during carnival prep. Usually on Thursday, I will eat whatever I fancy. I love cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, Popeye’s fried chicken and have a weakness for gourmet, unusual burgers.
12. Your one food weakness ?
I can live without most bad things, other than my energy drinks! I think I’m addicted to caffeine!
13. So apart from the Gym do you have any extra curricular activities?
Aside from my tennis and road bike, I enjoy the learning process. School energizes me, so these days if I’m not working on something for school, I’m thinking about something for school. I do also enjoy my reef aquarium and my 10 year old boxer. He keeps me going.
14. The one question you get about how you look that is the most annoying?
Hmmmm..there are a few, but the one that I get the most is “how often do you work out?” I don’t mind questions ABOUT my workouts or eating, but the how often question is usually from people who seemingly don’t work out at all, therefore making that particular question irrelevant.
15. How do you deal with the female attention on the road for Carnival ?
Carnival is fun and free and I don’t mind the attention. I am naturally a very shy, introverted person, so it takes a little effort for me to embrace it, but I realize it’s innocent and part of the carnival experience.
16. On that note , single or taken ?
I am in a happy 10-year relationship!
17. The one thing people would be surprised to know about you ?
I think that I am extremely shy. It’s something that I’ve worked on my entire life. I’ve developed a “big personality” over the years, because it served me in business.
18. The part of your body you are not satisfied with and what are you doing to change it ?
I want big, balloon pecs! I am trying new isolating movements and lifting heavier.
19. What advice do you have for the men, especially those working on
changing their body but not getting results fast enough ?
I tell people all the time that getting out of shape took time and so will getting into it. As well, lean muscle is built in the kitchen first. Weight lifting and cardio are moot efforts if you are not eating properly.
20. Which band can we look forward to seeing you with on the road for
I am 100% Yuma loyal! They have treated me extremely well, especially for being an outsider from the U.S. From the leaders, to the production staff, to the road crews, I have always felt appreciated and can’t imagine not playing with Yuma!