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Profiles

ZAC BRUCE

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Growing up, I was the stereotypical nerd. I started my journey at around 145 lbs standing at about 6’1”. Now I stay around 205 lbs and maintain a very healthy shape. I was tall and skinny, I had glasses, braces and asthma. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself because of these things and I wanted to change. It wasn’t until grade 12 that I decided to go to the gym. After a few months of going, I began to see results, and I was absolutely hooked. I weight trained for the next year and fully immersed myself in the industry. This was around the time Men’s physique started getting popular and there happened to be a show coming up in Fort St. John that I decided to compete in. I made it a point to study as much as I could, so I could have a successful prep. I lost around 35 lbs and ended up winning the Overall for Men’s Physique. That was a real catalyst for me and it really ignited my passion for fitness. I have been self-coached ever since!

I went on to get my first personal training certificate to improve my own knowledge. That led to some amazing opportunities to work with people in my hometown that I believe changed the trajectory of my life and made me realize that I have a passion for helping people. I continued to study everything I could get my hands on when it came to fitness. I went on to compete in 4 more physique shows and 3 model searches over the next 5 years.

I went through a lot of challenges during that time and had learnt a lot through trial and error. Because of all my combined experiences and my passion for helping people, I decided to get into the online coaching space. I knew I could make a real impact on people’s lives and I wanted to show them that getting into shape is more than just physical. It helps you level up as a person and encourages you to believe in yourself. Fitness changed my life, and I wanted to help others do the same.

Age:
28

City, State/Province:
Kamloops, BC

Country:
Canada

Occupation:
Online Fitness Coach & Owner of Built By Bruce.

In your opinion, is weight loss more of a fitness issue or a health issue and why?
Without a doubt, I think that weight loss is more of a health issue. I can’t tell you how many people come to me with hormonal issues, metabolism issues or injuries from poor diet and habits. Changing their routine and applying weight loss methods helps improve not only their health but their mental health as well! It’s cool to see our competitive clients get shredded, but if you truly want health, a certain body fat percentage is needed!

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: 30
  • Health level: 70

Thoughts on HIIT, Powerlifting, TRX, Yoga, bodybuilding, and others?
They all have their place, but it depends on the person and what their goal is. I’ve tried all of them, aside from powerlifting, and have seen benefits, but I always come back to bodybuilding because it has so many more benefits long term.

How did your passion for fitness start? And what was the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey?
My passion for fitness truly started after I competed in my first physique competition. The challenge was a huge motivator for me going forward. Fitness became part of my everyday routine ever since then.

The biggest challenge I have faced on my fitness journey has been navigating different approaches to weight loss, muscle gain, etc. There is a lot of information out there, and it doesn’t always hold true for everybody. There were lots of trial and error, not only with my personal fitness journey but coaching my clients as well.

Share your unique training/coaching methods?
Focus on the basics! When it comes to nutrition, I only practice and teach Flexible Dieting. This is the most effective, enjoyable, and productive way to approach nutrition. Tracking macros allows you to not only learn the true value of your food but also teaches you more about your body and how it responds to certain macros ratios and foods which, in turn, allows me and my clients to be able to make better decisions on a daily basis! When it comes to training, I have a less is more approach. I believe that focusing on the basics is what delivers great results, not all these random HIIT workouts or circuits you see people doing on social media. I used to be the guy in the gym training for 3 hours straight with minimal rest and I found that I was spinning my tires. When I started to put less emphasis on sweating or a “burn” and more of an emphasis on the quality of each rep and set and my actual performance, I really started to see more results and now, so do my clients.

Trainer Philosophy:
My trainer philosophy is this: education, sustainability & consistency over everything. Education is key to helping people create lasting changes to their health and fitness. If I can teach people not only what to do with their training and nutrition but also how to do it and why they are doing it, they will have significantly better long-term results. Most people just want a band-aid solution. Something quick and easy to follow that involves no thinking, and that’s why so many continue to fail at their fitness endeavours. They will blindly follow restrictive dieting methods or a meal plan and high-intensity workouts hoping to see rapid weight loss. Eventually, they’ll get bored, burn out and quit, only to look for the next quick fix. I would rather educate them first than employ a plan that they can stick with long-term and actually enjoy. That way, they are far less likely to burn out and the Yo-Yo diet.

Training Plan:
I train 6 days a week right now. My current training split is this:

  • Monday: Lower Push
  • Tuesday: Upper Push
  • Wednesday: Upper Pull
  • Thursday: Lower Pull
  • Friday: Weak Points
  • Saturday: Arms
  • Sunday: Rest Day

Nutritional Plan:
I actually don’t follow a meal plan. I track my macronutrients instead. It’s far more flexible and allows me to understand more about my body. These macronutrients change based on my goals. Right now I am in a contest prep so they are significantly lower than usual!

Supplement Plan:
I take Creatine Monohydrate, Pre-Workout, Greens Powder, Vitamin C & D, and Whey Protein Powder. Only supplements that are well researched and have been proven effective for my fitness journey!

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 prefer to take all-natural supplements, but I don’t mind straying from that once in a while. The more I can fuel myself with natural ingredients and products, the better off and healthier I’ll be, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it makes a large difference overall.

Please describe the importance of mental health?
Mental health is everything. I’ve worked with many people who struggle with their mental health and have usually found how effective a solid fitness and nutrition routine can help improve it. I know I feel at my best when I’m outdoors, exercising, and fueling my body with nutritious foods! It’s so important to put yourself first and have a routine to keep your mental health in check, whatever that may look like.

Take us through a typical day in your life for you?
I’ll typically wake up around 8 AM and start the day off with around a litre of water and then a cup or two of coffee with breakfast. Then I’ll do an hour of work before I go for an hour’s walk with my 1-year-old son. After the walk, I’ll head to the gym to get my workout in and I’ll typically follow that up with 30 mins of cardio. Once I get back home, I’ll shower and eat and hang out with the family for another hour before I do some work on my business. Once that is all done, I’ll eat again and trade off with my wife and let her get to work while I spend the rest of the afternoon with my son. Then we’ll go for one more walk and do some meal prep before I finish the day.

What separates Status from other fitness magazines?
Status seems very involved with the fitness community close to me and I like that! It provides realistic motivation from others in the community.

If you could ask Status Fitness Magazine Editor-in-Chief Rodney Jang any industry question, what would that be?
From your experience, what do you think the next personal training platform will look like?

Describe your coaches and the impact they have on you?
I’ve actually never had a coach. I’ve always been self-taught and have coached myself through it all. I have to say that my wife Haylie has always been there to help and support me through every fitness endeavour. She’s made an incredible impact on me. She consistently makes sure I hold myself to a higher standard and always pushes me to do and be more. Without her, I’m not sure I would have had the success that I’ve had when it comes to business and fitness.

Can you share with us your goals for fitness and life?
Fitness: My biggest fitness-related goal would be to get my IFBB Pro card in Men’s Physique. I knew this since my very first show and I believe I have the potential to do it one day. I also want to grow my physique so I can have a stage weight of 190lbs.

Life: I recently got married, had a baby, bought a house, and bought my dream vehicle, so a few of my life goals have already been met! Next, we will travel the world!

5 things people don’t know about you?

  • I absolutely love the outdoors and nature. It grounds me and allows me to decompress better than anything else.
  • I have always felt drawn to entrepreneurship. Both my parents own their own businesses and it has shown me the way.
  • My friends are everything to me. They truly are my chosen family.
  • I am completely fascinated by space and all things in it!
  • If I wasn’t doing fitness, my dream job would be a rally car racer.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?
Nothing worth having comes easily.

5 most important attributes you see in a person?
Kindness, Generosity, Drive, Light-heartedness, Confidence.

If you could inspire one person, who would that be? And why?
If I could inspire one person, it would be my son. He is the light of my life and I hope I can help him become the best man he can be!

Who inspires you? And why?
My friend, training partner, fellow coach, and mentor Don Lam constantly inspires me. His drive and perseverance are extremely motivating. He, like my wife Haylie, constantly pushes and holds me to a higher standard. He has been an integral part of my success in both fitness and business. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for Don’s kindness and tenacious attitude when it comes to winning in life.

What is your number one tip for people on their fitness journey?
Be consistent and intentional with everything that you do and make sure you have patience. Make a plan, stick to it and make sure you enjoy it. Reaching your fitness goals is tough and can take a long time, so it’s important that you have a routine that you truly enjoy. It is the true key to long-term success.

What does success look like for you?
To me, success is being able to live my life on my terms and not someone else’s. As long as I have my health, friends, family and the income to allow me to do what I enjoy, then that to me is a success. At the end of the day, happiness is what matters most, so as long as I am happy and those around me are too, then I’m perfectly content.

What is your favourite quote to live by?
“Don’t be a bitch.”

If that doesn’t work, then my next choice would be: “Boss up”. Both make me check myself and help me realize that anything is doable if I’m willing to put the work in. If things get tough. I’ll tell myself one of these quotes and it inspires me to keep pushing.

Connect with Zac: IG | Website 
Photos By: David Frod

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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