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Trainers Profiles

CHRIS HARRISON

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I’m the eldest of 3 boys and the shortest. I have an amazing daughter that shares so many of my attributes that it honestly gives me goosebumps. I’m married to a very successful businesswoman that is not only gorgeous but has the intelligence and kindest soul to compliment it.

I started my fitness career playing baseball from about the age of 5 until college, where a series of unfortunate/fortunate events, led me to the sport of bodybuilding in which I absolutely love. I’m a bit of a burger connoisseur and have an addiction to sourdough bread. There’s something about toasted sourdough bread with butter and peanut butter that I can’t get away from. If it’s in the house, It won’t be for long. My wife says I have OCD but I tell her, it’s called “Putting things away where there should be”. I love the colour red. The deep reds though. I’m not a huge fan of the brighter shades. I’m a business owner and a published author. For someone who despised school, I never thought I would ever become a published author.

I’m currently 31 going on 25. I feel great, healthy and my drive continues to increase with every sunrise.

Is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue in your opinion and why?
In our current societal state, this is a health issue for sure. With the massive rise in obesity, there’s no way to argue it. However, to dig a little deeper into this topic, I would argue that it’s more of a mindset issue than anything. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, we as a society have become very lazy. With technological advances making our everyday lives more efficient I.e.) cars, electric bikes, electric scooters, Skip The Dishes, etc., and the increase of calorie-dense and processed foods, we are losing our output (exercise) and continuing to increase our input (Food).

We literally don’t have to go to the movie theatre anymore to have their popcorn. With a click of a couple of buttons, we can have it delivered right to our front door. Then complain that we have to walk the 20 feet to open the door and get it.

It seems like if weight loss doesn’t come in a pill or box, people are becoming less willing to take their health seriously. Our mindsets on discipline, work ethic, and self-control are becoming very weak. In my opinion, weakened mindsets are the real health issue relating to weight loss.
If you have 100 tokens in total and you could apply them to the following categories, how many would you apply to each?

  • Fitness level: 20
  • Health level: 80

Health for me is #1. I will never win a championship if my health crumbles. However, that 20% is where those calculated risks come into play. Especially when I’m at the tail end of contest prep and we’re really pushing the limits of the human body. Are we still focused on health? Absolutely, but we’re also riding the fine line of depletion where if things aren’t done correctly, it could land me in the hospital. Again, these are calculated, well-educated decisions. If the risk is too high, I would never put my life on the line for it.

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, others?
I think these are all fantastic forms of exercise. Personally, I’ve done them all. This does depend on the end results you are looking for though.

For example. I’m not going to train a bodybuilder as a powerlifter. They have two completely different end goals that require separate strategies.

I’m not going to give a bodybuilder yoga 4 times a week either because again, the end result we’re looking for isn’t the same in both fields of exercise.

However, these types of exercises can cross over into each other in order to complement them. Like I was saying before with how I use the benefits of yoga on my recovery days to help improve my results and performance as a bodybuilder. Just like how a bodybuilder can have a quick powerlifting type phase to help increase the density of their muscle tissue or how a powerlifter and incorporate some isolated bodybuilding movements to help increase their lifts.

With the right strategy, all of these are amazing forms of exercise that I would highly recommend as long as they are in line with the results you’re looking to achieve.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
I’m a huge believer that the body will follow the mind. Therefore, one of my main focuses with my clients is on mindset. We MUST believe we are capable to achieve our goal if we’re ever going to attain it. So that’s where I start.

I am always a believer in my clients. I know that they’re able to achieve their goals. With the proper guidance, and someone to believe in them, they will. I know they will. Sometimes it can be a tough reality check to some when they finally realize the goals require work, discipline, consistency, and pain but once that mind blocks crumble, success is easy.

I then take this to the next level with my competition clients because that level of success is a whole other mindset shift on its own. It requires a whole new level of focus, determination, and pain that honestly, most people cannot handle but, in this sport, you either handle it or lose.

Trainer philosophy:
Dedication, discipline, consistency, and focus.

Training Plan:
This question is more complex than it seems. I have programmed phases into my training to trigger more type 1 muscle fibre activation and other phases trigger more type 2 muscle fibre activation.

I usually run 1 week of heavier weights (6-8 reps), 2 weeks of midrange weights (14- 18 reps) and 1 week of lightweight (25-30 reps with drop sets, supersets etc.)

This way I not only hit all my muscle fibres, but I also activate all the different types of energy systems. It also provides myofibrillar AND sarcoplasmic hypertrophy for maximum results.

Now, this may change depending on the result and goals that I’m looking to achieve at any given point but this is usually how I run my program.

Nutritional Plan:
Off-season, I shift to more of a macro-based approach. Meaning I keep things mainly clean (about 80%) but I will make sure I stay within my calorie and macro limits so I can prevent excessive adipose tissue gain. Since I’m in a caloric surplus at this point, my protein consumption is lower than usual (Approx. 30% of my intake) as the extra carbohydrates consumed during this phase are protein sparing.

During contest prep, things are very different. I completely scrap the marco approach and have things extremely structured and simple. Meaning the typical chicken, rice and veggies type of diet. This allows for much more control over my calorie intake. I know exactly what I’m intaking per day which then allows me to make extremely accurate adjustments to achieve that perfectly conditioned look on stage. At the later stages in my prep, my protein intake can rise to about 50% of my daily caloric intake.

Supplement Plan:
This is very simple. I don’t rely too much on supplements. I believe in real food for most of my nutrients however I do use these simple supplements on a daily basis

– Multivitamin
– Powdered greens
– Omega 3
– CoQ10
– Vitamin D
– Vitamin C
– Protein isolate powder
– Powdered carbs

Do you prefer to take and recommend all-natural (no sugar, no artificial colours/flavours/sweeteners) supplements or supplements with artificial flavours and sweeteners? And Why?
I personally don’t have a preference however some of these can affect some individuals more than others.
For example, some artificial sweeteners can cause gastric distress, some artificial colours can trigger headaches etc, etc.

If I find myself or a client reacting to supplements with these additives, I will suggest moving at an all-natural option or even dropping that specific supplement altogether.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines:
Status is filled with real people. People like me came from the bottom and worked their way up. The experience, the knowledge, and the connectivity that the magazine provides are simply unmatched. Whether someone is a professional athlete or a beginner, Status magazine will provide the value they’re looking for. Anything from tips and tricks to help attain your dream physique, to motivational and inspiring messages to keep you on the right mental track to success.

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
Hiring a coach was the best move I made in my career. Do I have the ability to coach myself? Absolutely, but it’s having the extra eyes, accountability, and someone behind me to pick me up when I start hitting the lows in a contest prep that really make the difference. It honestly makes the process of contest prep incredibly easier. I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without a coach.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor in Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
From your experience in the industry, what are the top 3 things you believe that need to be improved in order to help expand the sport of bodybuilding?

Status Fitness Magazine runs model searches across North America including the largest one at the Arnold Classic for the Status cover. As part of the Status family, you will receive a special participation invite. How excited are you for this opportunity?
That’s a phenomenal opportunity that I would absolutely take advantage of. Being on a cover of a fitness magazine is one of my goals during my career. With a past of being bullied for being chubby and not in shape, being on the cover would be the moment of success that the younger me would finally be able to let go of.

Do you have a sponsor? List them and what they mean to you?
I currently do not have any sponsors. Full disclosure, I haven’t tried to reach out to obtain any either. I’m a believer that my hard work, focus and dedication won’t go unnoticed by a sponsor willing to take me on. I completely trust my abilities and when a sponsor reaches out, I’ll know that they trust them too.

Future fitness goals and plans?
Currently, it’s obtaining my IFBB pro card this 2021 season. After that, my scope will be aimed at the 212lb open class at the Arnold Classic in 2023.

Life goal?
My goal as a child was to become a professional athlete and a champion at that level. That’s still my goal to this day. I want to take my career and business to the point where I can make sure my family is well taken care of and that I can live the last years of my life with the peace of mind that I have done everything I could to continue my legacy and the sport that I fell in love with.

5 things people don’t know about you?
1) I’m quite an introvert and have serious social anxiety.
2) I’m shy and that can make me awkward at times.
3) From being more of an observer, I’ve become very good at reading body language.
4) I like pineapple on my pizza.
5) I don’t like ketchup and like my cheeseburgers plain.

5 lessons you have learned?
1) Work before play.
2) If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time.
3) Let your work do the talking.
4) Patience, patience, patience.
5) Focus on your strengths.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
– Honesty
– Kindness
– Optimism
– Imagination
– passion

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
It would be my daughter. I want to prove to her that with the right mindset, attitude, and work ethic that anything she wants to achieve is possible.

I’m the first one in my family on the path to significant success and I want that to continue. Not only for my family but for society. The success that I dream to attain for myself and my family, will give us that ability to help motivate and push others towards their dreams.

Who inspires you? And why?
My wife inspires the hell out of me. When we first met, she was in the middle of a divorce, left with nothing and sleeping in her car and I wasn’t far off.

She went from that to owning and expanding her very successful hair extension company. Her company is now providing the best quality hair and installations for IFBB athletes from Olympia to regional levels.

Her work ethic, determination, and focus on the success of her business are incredible. Not only that, but the kindness, patience, and selflessness she gives to other human beings influence me immensely. This is the type of person I aspire to become.

Your transformation story:
I was horrendously bullied as a kid. I was never the super athletic, popular, or well-dressed kid. I was quiet, I didn’t like school and I honestly didn’t like people. At home, my mom was raising 2 other boys and working her butt off at the hospital day and night just to put food on the table. The school was a nightmare and home wasn’t much of an escape either. I used to fight a lot with my brothers but I knew deep in my bones that I was meant for something bigger.

That’s why baseball was so important to me. I drown myself in the skill of the game. In turn, when I went to college, I was accepted to play at the semi-pro level. Unfortunately, that career didn’t last long as I couldn’t afford to continue my enrollment with the college. With baseball not being a national sport in Canada, there wasn’t much for scholarships either. That’s when my baseball career came to a very abrupt end.

I went into a severe depression, almost killing myself with alcohol. I didn’t care about myself, others, or anything in general. I didn’t want to live. I spent my days working at a job I hated and the nights drinking my sorrows away. If I wasn’t drunk, I was on my motorcycle street racing and driving like a maniac.

Until one night I was drunk and decided to cross some train tracks to get some breakfast food. I went to step across the track and at that very moment, a train nearly took my life. It was so close that I could almost feel the paint on my nose. At that moment, I knew my life was worth more.

The next morning I woke up, late for work, with a terrible hangover and the vision of the train almost killing me replaying in my mind repeatedly. I went and got myself a gym membership and started to get back into shape for what I thought was going to be my baseball comeback. Instead, it was the beginning of my bodybuilding career. I fell in love with the sport immediately.

That’s how I went from a skinny-fat, bullied and sheltered kid to the success story I’m becoming now.

Favourite quotes?
– Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail
– Do not live to satisfy the expectations of others
– When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm
– Fall down 7 times, get up 8

Connect with Chris Harrison: IG | FB
Photos By: Sean Davidoff

I am a content and talent manager of Status Fitness Magazine. If you are looking to share your story or get featured in Status, contact me.

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