Beyond The Prep Podcast

How Winners Are Made with Nick Arter

July 25, 2023 Sherrie Kapach Episode 10
Beyond The Prep Podcast
How Winners Are Made with Nick Arter
Show Notes Transcript

“Winners show up. They show what they got and they walk away with everything they deserve.” —Nick Arter

Becoming a bodybuilding champion takes more than just hitting the weights and following a strict diet. It requires dedication, discipline, and determination. There will be days when you feel like giving up, when the weight feels too heavy, and when doubts start creeping in. But it's in those moments that you need to dig deep and find that inner strength to keep going.

As you progress on your bodybuilding journey, you will start to realize that winning is not just about the end result. It's about the process, the growth, and the lessons that you learn along the way. Bodybuilding is not just about the physical changes, but also the mental and emotional transformation that comes along the way. 

In this episode, Sherrie sits with Nick Arter. When Nick faced setbacks in his life, bodybuilding became his strength. But it was not easy for him either. Because of his injuries and the disparaging remarks from those around him, Nick almost lost his resolve to be the winner he is today. 

Learn what kept him going and how having a support system changed his perspectives. Sherrie and Nick also discussed the importance of showing up even when you don’t feel like doing so, always having room for growth, developing a positive mentality, and being consistent and hard-working. 

Connect with Sherrie: 





Episode Highlights:

01:30 Injury After Injury

06:10 Room for Growth

13:24 The Importance of Showing Up

18:27 The Significance of Hardwork

22:58 The Value of Mentality 

25:36 Stay Consistent

Sherrie Kapach: Welcome to Beyond The Prep. I'm your host today, Sherrie Kapach. I'd like to welcome Nick Arter, welcome. Thank you very much for just coming off stage. It's wonderful. So how long have you been bodybuilding for?

Nick Arter: Let's see? Consecutively five years.

Sherrie Kapach: Five years. What drove you to get into bodybuilding?

Nick Arter: To be honest, my girlfriend Kayla.

Sherrie Kapach: There we go.

Nick Arter: I'm an ex-military. I served four years. I've always been a pretty fit guy. I was in the Army for about four years. I got hurt and messed up my knee pretty badly, and they gave me the offer to donate. So I joined the Navy and became an NCI Ops, a Naval Combat Information Operator. I was on all the frigates, destroyers. I eventually started working on submarines. But a little bit after my knees just took a toll, my mental health took a toll from water deployments and just being away from the family alive and just the workload is a lot. So eventually, I got really smooth in the military. But before that, it'll happen. I was kind of getting into the booze pretty hard. I was partying in the car, because that lifestyle in the Navy is very, they can't trust me if I’m drinking, right? So it was a very, very cliquey situation. So I wanted over that lifestyle so I started going to the gym with Kayla. And I started going to the gym more and more and she started noticing me. Looks like it's time to go to the gym, like seven times a day. And no, I actually broke my ankle really badly just after I joined the gym.

Sherrie Kapach: Oh, okay.

Nick Arter: It was bad to the point where I got told about compartment syndrome. I was told that there was a chance to get my foot. I fell down 15 stairs. And when I got to the bottom of the pain, everything was so bad that when I opened my mouth to scream, nothing came out. My car is parked across the street. So I was trying to literally crawl across the street to get to my car, get home because I didn't know what to do. So someone ended up seeing me and called an ambulance for me. And so long story short, I go to the hospital. I disabled for a week there because my foot wasn't coming down to the swelling. I ended up getting a bunch of type line size blisters on my foot. I was about an hour away from cutting off my calf for compartment syndrome. So yeah, it was pretty, pretty intense. And it drove me right off the deep end. But you know what? As soon as I can remember, when I got over the hospital, I went to go see Kayla, and she bought me my first pair (inaudible). We have some boots from Australia. She opened my first pair, and that's where I wanted to pair this so bad. Yes, I just started bodybuilding. I thought they were the coolest thing. But hey, who doesn't like accessories? So she helped me with those. I couldn't wear the white one because my foot personally left one because of my foot. So every day I would try. And finally, I was able to put it on me. So going to the gym twice a day with a bootcamp with the boot cast on. I got told about a bodybuilding show coming up. I was like, something has to change. Something in my life has changed. And maybe this broken ankle was the reason. The opposite of a red flag.

Sherrie Kapach: It's the sign.

Nick Arter: And so as I barely knew Kayla, but I really liked her. She inspired me because she was there working in the gym every day and inspiring people themselves. With a bodybuilding competition coming up, I want to do it. I need your help, because I don't want to cook. When cooking your food, you need help, right? I was on my own. I was a single guy. I didn't know what I was doing, but I wanted to go on stage because I saw this stuff. I was like, I could do that. I could do that. So she helped me on my first show I did in 2019. It was a (inaudible) showdown. For my first show, I lost 16 pounds.

Sherrie Kapach: Wow, good for you.

Nick Arter: It was huge. The pain was so intense that like, it was just consistent. So the pain made me pass out, and literally just lay there and just sleep just because of the pain. But I turned it into my strengths. And I was going to the gym twice a day doing cardio with a broken foot. Really, just persevering. And because of the army background, I got that instilled in me that pain is weakness leaving the body. So I just really tried to push through it. And there were some days where I just wish that I'd cut my foot off. But all in all, they're making me lose 16 pounds. I showed up with our medals for my first show.

Sherrie Kapach: Congratulations.

Nick Arter: And honestly, that's only the seed. And that seed is still growing today. And today, another big flower bloomed. My room for growth is just astronomical at this point. I got reminded today after my big wins, how far I've come, and the five shows that I've done. So I did a show now, back in 2019. Popeyes called it classic 2019. Now we'll do it in about eight weeks. Since I was already in shape, I did well. That one too. And then the third one that was during COVID. So these are pretty easy. When I did that one, it got pushed back for weeks. It was a tough one because I was working. I wanted to be believable this time. So this is something different. I've been working on my legs so hard, especially since I broke my ankle. And my legs came up quick, which was crazy because I've had so many bad (inaudible). I've also been in the military, I dislocated my knee at times even though they look right now. I have a doubt I've cadaver ligaments, and a foreign metal anchor in my right knee. Again, pains weakened the body. So do work, push past. The pain is only meant (inaudible). So I ended up doing it, even though I got pushed back. Again, it progressed. And that's the thing. I progress every show. Even if it was minimal, there was always progress. I never started looking the same, and that was my first time being vulnerable. And I think I got third in bodybuilding. I think it was a bodybuilding novice or something. So again, it was great. But again, it wasn't open classes. So it was like a novelty class. Still very pricey.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, absolutely.

Nick Arter: And then after that show, I did TNT. Really worked out when I wanted to be fixed. Because finally, everything was going great for me. The knee injuries, my ankles feeling good, everything was just kind of lining up. So I did it. I looked great. But there's always still room for improvement. There's always room for a bit more condition. And that was where I held myself at the end of that show. I got first in true novice, or classic physique, and that lit a fire. They moved me. They put me in the center. I have it down and the guy says, we're pretty good. The fact that those people, guys and that, that there's fire. Then I got snatched. I was super pumped, but I also have to humble myself because I was like, hey, remember in the open class, you got smashed, so you have to do that. Right? So this year, with me doing all the novice classes already, there was no room for an officer to notice. These little fun classes were over. So it was only open now. I wanted to do this. If I wanted to place, things had to change again. So I started working with a new coach, his name is Greg Underwood. Great guy, and like a family to me now. When he took me on, we actually started talking in the middle of my prep for TNT last year. He was just telling me, you got potential, you really do. You really hyped me up. There are times where I was really terrible in my prepping. Second guessing myself like, I think you're probably not. But he always had my back even when I was feeling like crap. When I want to be played at times, he was like, no, no, no, no. You're not doing that. And he wasn't my coach. He was just a random guy. We are all okay. Because at this time, I was being coached by another guy. Yeah. It was this experience, right? Greg still was really (inaudible) messaging me what I was doing. Yeah. So after TNT, I didn't know what to do. I was pretty calm or broken. Humbling myself from that and then knowing that the open class that I got smacked around pretty much lost, it's a hard feeling. It's a hard pill to swallow. Even though I know what the great first traumas are, I just wanted that. And because I'm that kind of person, I'm proud but never satisfied.

Sherrie Kapach: It gives you that drive.

Nick Arter: I am never disappointed with myself. I'm always proud of myself, but I'm never satisfied. It's never enough. And it will never be enough. That's what I love because when it's never enough, you always strike. And I'm hungry. But no, I don't want to (inaudible) earn money. So I reached out to Greg and I told him, originally, I was gonna use the manual, but I want to come in. I deserve to be out there. I want to look that when they see me out there, like, this guy belongs here. The big thing I said was, but I don't want to talk about it. I just want to work. I just want to do it. I'm like, I'm sick of talking. Sick of trying to run my mouth and say, I'm gonna do this to do that. I'm like, winners don't do that. Winners show up. They show what they got, and they walk away with everything they deserve. That's neat, so I'm like the students. So selfless of man, never asked me for a dime. Not even your coach, you just said, let me get you where you deserve to be. And that was more motivating than anything. Because throughout these preps, I've had a hard time with coaches because they never give me 100%, more communication, or just generally truly believe me, maybe just wanted (inaudible). It just wasn't working. And the thing was, if I give you 110%, which I always do, I expected that I was barely getting 40. So I was scared about that break, because I only just wanted to, so scared that it would happen again. But again, because clearly--

Sherrie Kapach: Show us what you got.

Nick Arter: Clearly, Greg believed in me. So today, we took home 4rth in middleweight bodybuilding out of seven guys. I took 5th in classic physique today out of nine guys. And then I took 30 men's physiques. We weren't even going to do men's physique, but we did it last minute because my shape was just too damn good. And we beat some really good guys today. Okay. I showed up and I showed down. I did it all without doing any of this, and that's the biggest thing. I got a lot of respect for this prep and not a lot of random messages from people that support me. I also got a lot of messages from people that I hate. That feeling is like, so many people are gonna get the feel that feeling where the people that even hated on you have to come back and they have to kiss your ass because you deserve, like nothing deserve like, they look, holy fuck I was wrong. It shows me like I have more than what it takes. It makes me feel good when I know that these people who doubted me or laughed at me show me the towel. Look at who is shitting on who now. For me, like I said, being worried about being abandoned by Greg or having that same approach with the other coaches, I was worried. But Greg believed in me all the way over the lock, he's in prep now too.

Sherrie Kapach: I'm gonna be doing podcasts there too.

Nick Arter: Maybe we'll have to get a break up and we'll be flying over to watch that. Yeah. We'll get him started to come into your podcast, because everyone's got their stories. He's got some great stories, and some great upcoming levels. But he believed in me, and he gave me a feeling I don't think I've ever truly experienced this one thing that you just can't explain. They don't have the words to work because every time I look in his eyes today after I saw him, I couldn't stop crying. I just couldn't. I know, this isn't an overall trophy or a first place. It doesn't matter, though. Because when I got approached by even randoms today and they said to me, hey, we saw you last year. You're not the same person. And that means that even if I don't want you, it means even more.

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely.

Nick Arter: You only recognise me from a show from before. You still need to remember who I am, and you can remember how much I've improved now. It's like finding that missing puzzle piece for that puzzle that you've always had incomplete. And then it's like, you get these little competence, little words from people and it just kind of gives you that, not fulfillment, but almost like that, in order to explain just made me feel really good inside. And I just didn't know. And humble. I don't boast about it being, oh, yeah, man, I know. I came in weed, but I just sit there and go, hey, your compliments are very valued. That's the other part of what I was saying about getting hated on by some guys. I've been churning pretty hard at all of my places before. Pretty horrible, my conditioning. I guess taking something had to change, ingrained change. So this opportunity I was given, I took full advantage of, I made sure I worked. I got a message from him shortly after the show and he said to me, already (inaudible). I just hope you know, I can't find it, but he goes on, no matter the outcome today, man, you've really impressed. Show me you have--

Sherrie Kapach: No matter the outcome today, man, you really impressed me and showed me you do have what it takes. I'm super proud. Now let's do some damage today, and fuck them shut off. Wonderful. Wonderful.

Nick Arter: I was even feeling better about myself after prejudging. And it was just me getting in my head a little bit. When we're moving around again, I feel like (inaudible). They put me in the box, put the second column and I was like, please, under the fucking second column. And then I had to go see Greg and Kayla and they both were like, give me a shake. They both give me a kiss on the cheek and they're like, God, get out there, give us that same confidence that you had when they pre judge you, like everything else. And show us because that confidence that you have on stage is a match. It's a match because I bring in an energy that nobody's able to have. And I think that's what helps me all round. I think that's what also gives me an edge in all of this because I am the most enthusiastic bodybuilder out there. And even backstage, I'm that guy. I am the one who's like, I support everybody. I don't care. I support everybody. I just did. It was a wonderful day. I grew spiritually, mentally and physically today. And that's something huge. I evolved. That's a better way to put it, I evolved. And you can evolve, and you definitely can't evolve with a long corner. My corner is literally Kayla and Greg. And I wouldn't even be here doing this podcast if it wasn't for Kayla, if it wasn't for Greg. If it wasn't for the people who believe in me, I would have probably given up after the last because of how I showed up. I was still very happy. But like I said, I honestly was ready to quit bodybuilding, like competitively. 

I still would have gone to the gym, but I was ready to stop being competitive because I was so horrible to myself. And that's when Greg reached out to me and said, you know I don't want money, I just want to see what your full potential is. But you gotta be willing to listen. So this prep, it was different. I can admit that on other preps, we cut corners. Tried to figure out things, little ways to not feel like death. Try to figure out ways to get lean without having to get lean. And that's not the case. You have to work, you have to suffer. That's the only way you're going to be as lean as you can get. And I found that out through Greg. He believed that even sort of 33 weeks out, it was getting pretty hard. I was getting pretty depleted. My carbs are very low. The workouts were hard, and the cardio was high. Greg came out from (inaudible). So he came over and babysit me, trains with me, makes my meals. And literally, just made sure I was in the game.

Sherrie Kapach: That's incredible.

Nick Arter: And then when he left, I looked good. But he was like, I need you to transform in the next two weeks. It's detrimental, you need to transform. And I'm like, you didn't come down all the way down here just to tell me that and leave me not transform. Well, I'm going to transform, like the biggest transformer you've ever seen in your life.Like, I'm gonna go Super Saiyan on this. Two weeks later, I had people complain. They said, who the hell are you? It has been remarkable. And we always have a thing where after the show, we race to each other and kiss each other. Got so many medals today that I had to put them on and gather all my stuff. So many people that I'm like, whenever I did the show, in my mind it was just like hay bales. I don't know what's going on there. Walk outside for a split second and she's like, oh, hi there. And we met up and had her like, this show was just amazing today. And that's all I wanted to do. Even if I didn't take home any of these medals, I wanted to make a statement, today's my big fuck you to the people who have doubted me, who treat me like crap, talk down on me and treating me like I was below them, just treating me like I was a last call up position. I don't stand for that. Because no matter who you are, it's just what you are. But as soon as you start treating it like that, you're showing your true colors and what kind of person you are. And that's not the kind of bodybuilder I am. 

I get it if you want to be real, and you want to criticize, but there's a time for that. There's a way you approach people. But that's not how I was ever approached. Like I said, it was my big flood. I shut people up. I had people that hate me, messaged me and saying, you look incredible, man. I literally had this guy. I won't say you don't really know, but he literally crapped on me for a couple of years. And I was like, I clearly stuck with her because like, now I was like, no, because this guy is a good boy. And still is. I was just like, man, that kind of really hurts. And like, damn. I thought this guy was a cool guy. And I get that. It was coming from all different angles from other people. And then when this guy reached out to me and said, hey, do they see your progress? You look like a new human being? I'm just like, yeah. And it just did not happen, and that happened right after Greg left. And that's like the kind of fuel I needed. No, not because I was like, oh, he finally accepted me. Everything I feel for this prep, all my stars lined up. But it wasn't just by mistake. It was because I lined them up. We learned them, and we made a constellation, that constellation gave me the shot.

Sherrie Kapach: Absolutely.

Nick Arter: I keep saying, I'm on one of the best days of 2023. Right off the show, we went over to Rockin' Robyn's. I had a meatloaf burger on a jalapeno. So I brought them in. She saw me grabbing when she's like, I'm prepping right now. Oh, tell you what, I'll do (inaudible) better. I'm like, I just finished my show. I haven't had anything like this in like 18 weeks. Like literally no sugary stuff. And just I took three, sandwiching them into the huge plate while I held the medals. He was like, let me get that one. Because he got a picture of me earlier eating a normal rice cake. And he was like, okay, here are before and after. And she even saw it and she's like, I need that for my website.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah, it is.

Nick Arter: It was just the days. The World Cup ends tomorrow, and it will be alright. I've got the love of my life. I've got an amazing coach. I've got great people in my corner. I get to come here and do a podcast. Today's amazing.

Sherrie Kapach: It's good. That's a great way to end it. Absolutely. So just one quick question here for some say considering starting out not knowing bodybuilding, what one small piece of advice for someone considering starting out?

Nick Arter: Stay consistent. Start small, but stay consistent. You don't have to build Rome in a day, but you can put in a brick a day.

Sherrie Kapach: Oh, there you go. Beautiful. We're gonna end it at that. Congratulations. You did Fantastic, thank you.

Nick Arter: Thank you, everybody.

Sherrie Kapach: Yes, we'll be speaking again. Thank you very much.