Beyond The Prep Podcast

Balancing Multiple Goals— Achieving Success in Bodybuilding and Powerlifting with John Mark Nicolet

October 16, 2023 Sherrie Kapach Episode 22
Beyond The Prep Podcast
Balancing Multiple Goals— Achieving Success in Bodybuilding and Powerlifting with John Mark Nicolet
Show Notes Transcript

“To really take yourself to the next level, you need to think about somehow you're inspiring other people.” —John Mark Nicolet

While bodybuilding and powerlifting share some similarities such as building strength and muscle mass, they differ in their training methods and ultimate goals. By striking the right balance between these two disciplines and incorporating strategies that support both goals, individuals can unlock their full potential and achieve their desired results. 

Therefore, committing to improvement and developing a winning mentality can make a difference in overcoming the unique challenges of pursuing multiple sports. A strong commitment fuels progress while a winning mentality sustains motivation and resilience. 

This week’s Sherrie sits with bodybuilder/powerlifter John Mark Nicolet. John Mark discusses how he got into bodybuilding from a young age with the encouragement of his father and his commitment to continual self-improvement. Sherrie and John also talked about balancing training and nutrition for the different goals of each sport, and the importance of intrinsic motivation in inspiring yourself and others.

Connect with Sherrie: 





Episode Highlights:

01:13 Inspired by His Father

03:29 Developing a Winning Mentality

04:22 Committing to Improvement 

06:14 Balancing Bodybuilding and Powerlifting 

06:30 Adjusting Meals for Different Competitions 

07:06 Challenges of Back-to-Back Competitions

09:17 Finding Inspiration and Motivation in Others

Sherrie Kapach: Welcome to Beyond The Prep. I am your host today, Sherrie Kapach. I have with me, John Mark, who will be competing today at the TNT Muscle. Welcome. Thank you for joining me. So how did you get into bodybuilding?

John Mark Nicolet: For me, as a kid, I was always someone with way too much energy. And without something to expand my energy, I was just an absolute, just crazy kid that needed something to calm down. Thankfully, my dad, Norman Nicolet, was a bodybuilder growing up, and he competed as well. He got me training in the gym at a very young age. Had me taking lots of supplements and stuff. When I was younger, I was always very small. And just growing up trying to play or growing up playing sports and stuff, I was always the smallest guy. Well, one of the smallest guys. And just being one of the smaller guys was already a very big driving factor just to put on myself. So from grade 8 to grade 10, I was only about 100 pounds. So my dad got me training with him in grade 8. And then I always loved the gym even at a very young age. I'd always go with him, and then he would show me sort of everything what to do. But my dad wasn't someone who had to really push me. So go there with him. He knew that I wanted to be there with him. So instead of trying to motivate me to hit weights, they would more so be like, oh, hey, you're looking small today, stuff like that. You need muscles to wear muscles. Those are the things that really motivated me to actually train harder. It's obviously just joking around, but it works well for me. And he knew that drive and passion for lifting weights.

Sherrie Kapach: So you've always been around it, you grew up with it. When did you decide that you actually were going to compete?

John Mark Nicolet: For me, it was after both grade 8 to grade 10. And grade 10 was when I started wrestling more seriously. And wrestling really correlated to my bodybuilding as just making weight and seeing the same movements that are similar. And aesthetics, just how when the singlet and sort of like the same thing where you're coming up backstage, or you're waiting on the sidelines because you know you've been going up against this guy. I've always had a mentality where it's like, I'm here to win. I'm here to be the best version of myself. That's where the difference comes in. A lot of people just do it to have fun. For me, I do it because I want to be the best.

Sherrie Kapach: So you got that commitment. You've earned that drive, and you've grown up with it. I would imagine watching your dad compete with how much effort it takes to even do bodybuilding with you growing up with it. Have you ever had any struggles? Or did you enjoy it?

John Mark Nicolet: I've always enjoyed it. I didn't really start trading seriously until about grade 10. Then from grade 10 to grade 12 is where things really took off. I went from 110 to 170. In high school was when I started competing in powerlifting. So in grade 12, I did my first powerlifting comp. Really enjoyed that, it was fun to me. And ever since then, I've just been competing in powerlifting and bodybuilding. My goal for myself is to just do one each year. So I do one out of two competitions this year. And my goal for myself is not just to win, it's to do better than last time. So when I do powerlifting, I only compete in powerlifting. If I know that, I'm going to be my last total because that means I'm getting better. Same with bodybuilding. I only compete if I know I'm going to be better on stage than I was the last time. So for me, it's not just competing just to have fun. For me, it's competing to beat my old version of myself.

Sherrie Kapach: Nice. That's great. Now what, bodybuilding and powerlifting? Is it the same structure? Like for your say, your meals and things like that? Are they similar? Or do you have to change it up a little bit depending on which one you're competing with?

John Mark Nicolet: That's a good question. So obviously, when you're bodybuilding in your offseason, you're eating a lot of food. So no matter what, your body strength is gonna be super high. So in the off season is when I do my powerlifting competitions. And sometimes, it's hard to line it up because the competitions can get different times. Like last year, I did nationals for powerlifting four weeks prior to nationals in bodybuilding.

Sherrie Kapach: So how was that?

John Mark Nicolet: Surprisingly enough, I beat my last total powerlifting. But when it came to the bodybuilding internationals, I wasn't at my best because I was holding on to water. I still train heavily getting into prep, but not talk singles and stuff whereas the last step was like, well, I have to. So yeah, those ones. This time, it was timed out a lot better where I had about 14 weeks and just focusing on strictly bodybuilding. I still powerlift while bodybuilding, but this prep, I was not doing my top singles and stuff as much.

Sherrie Kapach: So if you could give advice, a piece of advice to someone that's considering bodybuilding--

John Mark Nicolet: I think that the best thing, the best advice I could tell someone is you got to do it for yourself. Because for bodybuilding and stuff, if you're just doing it because your friend likes it, or you're doing it because you saw someone else doing it and you're gonna give it a try, or you're doing it because you just want to try something new, I've came to realize, especially bodybuilding, if you want to do well, it's got to be something that you have a very strong desire to do well, and that's because it's definitely one of the harder sports to play. If you want to do bodybuilding, I encourage everybody to do it. I encourage everyone to lift weights. No matter where you are, what sport you play, everybody should be lifting weights. But to compete in bodybuilding, I think that if you're going to do it, you need to mentally prepare yourself and how to fully lock it in. And we have to have a very strong desire.

Sherrie Kapach: Yeah. Great advice. Wonderful. Well, on that note, I want to thank you for coming. I want to wish you the best of luck in your competition and cheering you on. So it's wonderful. Thank you for being here.

John Mark Nicolet: Are there any more questions?

Sherrie Kapach: No, no, unless you have anything you need to add?

John Mark Nicolet: Yeah. I think the main goal for just people striving for greatness, they're doing it for themselves. But I feel to really take yourself to the next level, you need to think about somehow inspiring other people. Because no matter how it is, when you're competing in bodybuilding, you're gonna have days where it's like, how am I going to mentally push through this? Now, am I going to get to the other side? And when you realize that what you're doing is not just inspiring yourself, when you actually realize that what you're doing is inspiring the community around you, that alone will give you more drive and more passion to go harder in the gym. Take everything more seriously. So, yes, at the end of the day, you're doing it for yourself. But really, keep reminding yourself that you are helping other people as well. And when you realize that inspiring other people to pursue their dreams is a very big thing in life because you can change their life as well.

Sherrie Kapach: Well said. Wonderful. Thank you very much.