Small Town Big Dreams
I grew up in a small Northern Ontario, Canada community and I was like any other kid. I played a wide range of sports as a way of fitting in socially. In the winter I played hockey, which was always my ‘go-to’ sport, and I had a great passion for. In the summer months I played baseball, soccer, and even swimming. I had great parents that supported me being active, and it always came naturally to me. On the nutritional side of things, like most kids, it was nearly none existent. My diet was filled with simple carbohydrates and little protein. I ate what my parents provided and looking back, I realize how unhealthy it really was.
Becoming a model was a long and hard road for me. It was something that I aspired to do in my late teens, but the situation wasn’t right at that time for me to do so. As the years passed, I became more in control of my life and things started to come around fairly quickly. I was able to gain some publicity in both Toronto and New York. For me, moving to Toronto, Canada was the biggest step that I needed to take in order to make my career in this industry thrive.
I’ve always been a very passionate person in regards to life in general. No matter what I do, I give my all to accomplish every task. It was natural that fitness became a huge part of my life. During my modeling career so far, I have gone from fashion to commercial and later transitioning into a fitness model. It has taken almost 7 years of healthy living and activity to get my body to a desirable state. Fitness has allowed me to push past the limits that I thought I had. Everyday I connect with myself on a deeper level that really reveals the true person within. That connection allows me to have a great understanding of what I am capable of achieving. Completely breaking yourself down during a workout cannot be explained with words, it is something that you must feel. You get an amazing high and your natural endorphins make you feel in such a euphoric state, that I believe it is higher than any drug could ever take you. That’s followed by an enormous crash that will take you to great lows, and you will feel tired, hungry, and sore. At this point you will often question everything in your life and you become as real as you will ever be with yourself. You build yourself back up to continue on with your life. The beauty in this comes, when you do this everything single day.
The biggest motivation for me to be fit is to be accountable not only to myself, but inspire others around me. I have a great team of people in my life that support and believe in me and that makes me push myself everyday to make them proud. I no longer consider my personal fitness a choice. It is my lifestyle and I have a lot riding on my commitment to do what is needed day in and day out to be successful. The hardest thing to overcome is gaining the knowledge to do things the right way. With access to so much information everywhere, it is so hard to put it all together and make a plan that will really work for you. It can be difficult to find the proper way to do everything but with trial and error you slowly discover what works the best for you and your body. It has taken me 8 years of research, trials and constantly learning new and different things, to get my body in the shape that it is now.
My main support comes from my involvement with ‘Team Green’, which is a group of athletes (myself included) trained by Jason Green, with the focus of creating a group atmosphere in an individual sport. All of the team members are great and offer tons of support throughout training and during shows. We are a little army that stands together to support each other.
I have a very supportive mother, who loves me to no end and is always encouraging me to follow my dreams, no matter how wild they are. My father is a very hardworking blue-collar northerner. We do not share details of our lives with each other and we both prefer things that way. Because of that he does not know that I compete as a fitness model or have been published in magazines.
I also owe much support to an incredible girl named Jolie that inspires me daily to be my best. She encourages me to give max effort every rep of every set in the gym and to always follow my nutrition plan. Outside of the gym she also encourages me to touch others and let my true color’s shine. I could never thank her enough for believing in me and allowing me to be part of her life.
One of my fondest memories to date would have to be seeing myself in ‘Inside Fitness Magazine’ for the first time. I was back in my hometown for Christmas, when a good friend of mine texted to ask if it was me in the magazine. I had no idea that my image was selected to be part of an editorial spread. With my mother and younger siblings in front of me I opened the Dec/Jan ’12 issue to page 110 only to see a half page image of myself. It came as such a surprise since the image was shot 15 months prior to being published and I had completely forgotten about that particular photo shoot all together.
My current workout routine is 6 days on/1 day off split. My workout days are comprised of 2-a-day workouts with morning cardio plus weight training in the evening.
Monday: Back, Biceps, Abs
Tuesday: Chest, Triceps, Calves
Wednesday: Legs, Lower Back
Thursday: Shoulders, Abs
Friday: Back, Biceps, Calves
Saturday: Legs, Abs
ISO XP Whey Protein
Monster Amino BCAA’s
Grenade Thermo Fat Burner
Crazy Nutrition Waxy Maize
Green Tea Extract
Apple Cedar Vinegar Extract
Animal Pak Multi Vitamin
Typical Meal Plan (at the current time):
Meal 1: 12 Egg Whites, 1-Cup Oatmeal, 1-Cup Blueberries
Meal 2: 8 Oz. Chicken Breast, Medium Sweet Potato
Meal 3: Chicken Salad – 6 Oz. Chicken Breast, Spinach, 2-Cups Mixed Veggies
Meal 4: 1 Apple, 1 Tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter
Meal 5: 8 Oz. Tilapia, 1 Medium Sweet Potato, 2-Cups Veggies
Meal 6: Post Workout 50 Grams of ISO XP Whey Protein, 50 Grams Simple Carbs
Meal 7: 12 Egg Whites, 1 Tablespoon of Natural Peanut Butter
It’s very important to have people that you look up to in any industry because those people have already done what you’re trying to achieve. These people not only have the knowledge, but they’ve used it and know what it takes to reach the goals that you’ve set out for yourself. From the beginning of my fitness journey I’ve looked up to Jay Cutler for being someone that did it the right way. Not only has he accomplished the greatest heights in bodybuilding by winning the Mr. Olympia 4 times, but also he is truly a ‘peoples champion’ and really cares about his fans. He is one of the most active touring athletes, making appearances all around the world and understands how to build a business by branding himself, to allow him to live the lifestyle that he wants to live. I have a lot of respect for him and believe that at some point, everyone in the bodybuilding community looked up to Jay or asked him for advice.
Another great individual is the current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath. He played college basketball in Denver till his mid 20’s before hitting the gym with a bodybuilding mind frame. Not only is he truly gifted (nicknamed ‘The Gift’) but also he has shown the world that it’s never too late to get into the game and become a world-class athlete. His work ethic is something to be truly desired and I can’t think of a harder working guy in the industry.
Someone a little bit closer to home that I look up to is IFBB Pro: Ben Pakulski (Toronto). He is the type of guy that not only workouts for himself, but also makes sure that everyone around him is doing things properly.
I’m a really big planner and enjoy setting both long-term and short-term goals. At the present time my main focus is to bring a better overall physique to the UFE North American Championship Pro Show on November 10th in Hamilton. I’ll be competing in the Male Fitness Model category. I have been working 7 months so far for this event, and it’s going to be a great time. I also have a personal goal to make the transition into bodybuilding, and I’d like to do a natural bodybuilding show before the end of the year. Leading into 2013, I’m going to continue developing my physique as I prepare for a full season of shows and promoting myself as a brand.
If you’re lacking personal motivation, I think it’s best to look within yourself to find what you really want to get out of your fitness journey. For each person it will always be different, but whatever your reason might be, it is the correct one! Something like seeing your children get married or being able to play with your grandchildren, whatever you want to do, is that thing you need to find. It’s not going to be easy and during the hard times you’ll need to remember and have a clear understanding of why you are doing what you are doing. This one (or many) reason should help you continue with your plan and become successful. Of course you’ll have ups and downs along the way but trust me, in the end it will be worth it. It’s never too late to start, and you’re ahead of 70% of the people that have never left the couch in the first place. It’s your journey and not anyone else’s! Don’t compare or analyze yourself against the person beside you! The only person you are competing against is yourself! Whatever “goals” you set out to do, it will be worth it in the end. The hard times along the way are only temporary and will not stop you. Really, live each day to the fullest and break through the limits that you have placed upon yourself. Limits don’t really exist if you won’t let them, so take them away and go after your wildest goals and dreams!
As a UFE Pro Fitness Model, Fitness enthusiast for 10 years, Personal Trainer, and Contest Prep Coach, I’ve done many things in the fitness industry. I’m more than willing to help out with your fitness goals in anyway that I can. I’m very honest and respectful. If you reach out to me you are assured to get a reply back. Thank you to Socially Fit for giving me the opportunity to share my story. I’d also like to thank Sweat Collection and Nutrition Club Canada for their support in my fitness career.
Blog: sweatwithcorey.blogspot.com Bodyspace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/coreykirk/