|Getbig Interview: Chris Bennett
BodybuildingPro.com Articles Database Articles by Writer Articles & Interviews from GetBig.com Chris Bennett
June 1st, 2002
My name is Chris Bennett and I am currently in the process of trying to
get my IFBB pro-card. I am an NPC superheavyweight and I have been competing
at the men's National level since 1998. I will be competing at the upcoming
Jr. Nationals on June 15, 2002 and based on that placing I will determine my next
National contest. I currently work for and am sponsored by MHP (Maximum
Human Performance) owned by former NPC star Gerard Dente. I also do personal
training as well as consultations and coaching for competing bodybuilders in
the US as well as internationally.
Chris Bennett, organized by Ron Avidan.
- What is your full name, including middle name?
My full name is Christopher Lee Bennett.
- When and where were you born? Your Astrological Sign?
I was born November 5th, 1970 in Buffalo, New York. I am a Scorpio, in
all senses for those familiar with astrology.
- Your height and weight (Normal / Contest).
I am 5'11" and I will compete this year at right around 250lbs. My
off-season weight is 285lbs.
- Where do you live now?
I currently live in Aliso Viejo, California.
- Are you married? Any children?
No, I am divorced. I have no children (except for Harley, my female
American Bulldog). I live with the love of my life Darlene and since we are
both divorced, marriage hasn't been a real priority. It is nothing but a
piece of paper. It is a meaningless institution unless you have the true
commitment to each other that should take place long before the wedding day.
- What color are your eyes & hair?
My hair is brown, although I have been highlighting it blond. My eye
color is green.
- Do you have any brothers or sisters?
I have a brother who is 23 and a sister who is 15.
- What religion are you?
I was born a Catholic, but I never was confirmed. I consider organized
religion to be a hypocrisy. Religion comes from the soul and the way you
lead your life as well as how you affect the lives of others. Some of the
most "religious" people have never set foot inside of a church, mosque or
temple. I try to lead my life in a manner that is honest and moral. I also
try to treat others as I would want to be treated. I never screw anyone over
and when it happens to me I make every effort to "turn the other cheek".
Lastly, I try to affect the lives of the people I associate with in a
- Where did your parent's?
I am going to tell you about my mother and step-father since my parents
are divorced. My mother and step-dad met at work as they are both teachers.
Oddly enough they used to argue with each other all of the time and take
opposite viewpoints in just about everything they discussed or dealt with.
Finally they agreed to go out and that was it. They have been together for
- How was your childhood? Where did you grow up?
My childhood was good up until I was 12 which was when my parents split. That was difficult and afterward I lived with my mother and step-father. I grew up in a white-collar town in Connecticut. I was always one of the "poor" kids compared to the rich snobs that I went to school with. They were all very sheltered, belonged to country clubs, parents paid for everything, etc.
- Did you play any sports when you were growing up?
I played soccer and was involved in martial arts. I then moved on to
football. When I left footbal to bodybuild it started years of phone calls
and begging from the coaches to get me to play again.
- What did you do after high school?
I attended the State University of New York at Buffalo. I trained for a
while and then got totally burned out on bodybuilding. So, while going to
school I took up bicycle racing. This pleased my parents as cycling was the
top sport in our household. I raced in the U.S., Canada, Belgium and France.
It was in France where I was paid to race for a semi-pro cycling team. I
finally graduated with a teaching certification in French with a minor in
Spanish. I have no idea how I ended up with this degree seeing as I started
in biology and then to atheletic trainer.
- What started you in bodybuilding?
When I first started bodybuilding at 15 it was due to lifting weights
for football. Then is was Arnold and his movies that really got me into
- When did you actually get serious in bodybuilding?
As I started to realize that I would not race in the Tour de France (ie
be a top pro in cycling) I took up x-country ski racing, running races,
swimming, etc. Eventually I found myself back in the gym in 1997 after
nearly 6 years of not touching a weight. In less than 8 months I was NPC Mr.
Connecticut and Mr. Northeastern America. I actually ended up beating the
guy who I was helping for the shows and he was the one that talked me into
- And what was next?
I did the NPC Atlantic States in 1998 as a heavyweight and ended up a
respectable 5th. I then went to the USA and was 15th in the Heavyweights at
a slim 220lbs. From there I went to the Jr. Nationals in '99 and was 4th in
the supers. I also did the Nationals that year, but was far from my best.
In 2000 I did the USA and was 12th in the supers and then out of the action
in the '00 Nationals. Then I went to the Jr. USA in 2001 where I was a very
controversial 6th and the USA as well where I was overlooked. I am looking
to put all of those demons to rest this year and get to the top of the NPC
- What is your best experience in bodybuilding?
That would have to be winning the Light-Heavyweight class at the 1990
Teenage Nationals. I had no idea that I was going to win. In fact I left
home with the intention of being a heavy. I had killed myself to get into
shape and I thought that there was no way I could suck up another 8lbs to
make the light-heavies. I weighed in exactly at 198.25lbs, so it was into
the light-heavies I went with the greatest result ever for me. The feeling
of beating 25 other teenagers in the class was absolutely unreal.
- What is your best and worst bodypart?
The answer to that question is easy. It is my arms. They are the best,
because they are. They are big and veiny and defined with crazy looking
peaks on my biceps. They are my worst bodypart since there are those who
say that I used Synthol or something similar and that they are too big for my
body and unsymmetrical.
- What is your favorite and least favorite exercise?
My most favorite exercise is heavy deadlifts and my least would have to
be barbell squats.
- Any interesting diets when you train?
Not really. This year I have been working with George Farah and his
diet was similar to what I am used to doing. I have learned some things from
him that have made a difference. It mostly has to do with less carbs than I
was used to in the past.
- How many weeks before a contest do you start to train? Any secrets?
I usually start to "think" about the show 12 weeks out. Meaning that I
start to become more focused in the gym and I start to become aware of what
and how I am eating more and more. I would say it is only the last 6 weeks
that are really tough. By that point I am starting to get tired and hungry.
I really never get that far out of shape, so I really don't need much more
time than that.
- What supplements do you use?
I use MHP's Simply Whey as well as their Effervescent Glutamine. I also
take saw palmetto, 1000iu of vitamin E and 1000mg of vitamin C per day. I
keep it basic and rely on my diet to provide me with the necesary nutrition.
- What things need to be changed in the sport of bodybuilding?
The way the judging is done. I mean that the guys who judge the local
shows should be those who are competing on the National level. The National
shows should be judged by pros and the Pro shows should be judged by former
pros. The Olympia should be judged by former winners as well as those who
have distinguished themselves as outstanding bodybuilders by their past
competitive performances. The other important thing that needs to be changed
is the fact that all pros should be paid when they compete. Seeing the IFBB
turn down Shawn Ray's $25,000 offer to pay all those in the Olympia this year
made me sick to my stomach. All the work, the time, the money and the risk
to ones' health just to be up there only to go home with nothing if you are
out of the top 10 is just plain wrong. Every pro should be paid something in
every show just to show that they are respected and appreciated. Without the
athletes there would be no shows.
- What makes you happy?
Having a loving woman in my life. My dog and my supportive family.
Aside from that, helping others and seeing them realize their goals gives me
more joy than my own success.
- What do you tell people who want to start bodybuilding?
If they are young I always tell them to get the training and the diet
down for at least 2 years before they even think about competing. I tell
them to stay away from all chemicals and to let their potential begin to show
itself. I let them know that it can be a great boost to one's self-esteem
seeing their body change for the better. I try and let them know that the
results of contests are not the measure of success that they should gauge themselves by, it is too subjective.
- Tell me something we do not know about you?
I am a very good bicycle mechanic who can build wheels, bikes from the
frame on up as well as all kinds of repairs. Also, I am really not as mean
as I look. Actually I am very emotional, probably too much for my own good.
- Tattoos? Any symbolic meanings on them? How many?
I have one tattoo on my right shoulder. It is a "fleur-de-lys"
surrounded by a vine of roses. The "fleur-de-lys" is the sign of the French
king and royalty. I got it in Bordeaux, France when I lived there. My
family background is about 1/3rd French, so it does have a certain special
meaning for me.
- Have you done any television / magazine covers / film / commercials?
No, but I alway keep that open as an option. I just simply haven't had
the time to pursue those avenues yet.
- Has anyone been your inspiration?
Yes, my finacee Darlene. I want to do well in bodybuilding for her. To
pay her back for all of the support she gives me.
- Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Still competing, as a pro, and owing my own gym. Living comfortably in
southern Cal. I don't have lofty goals for material things. They are just
borrowed for the time that we are here, just like the bodies we are given at
birth. How you positively you affect those around you and your own
spirituality are far more important than what kind of car you drive.
- What do you think about the drug situation in bodybuilding?
I have been involved in some kind of competitive atheletics all of my
life and drugs are in all sports. They are a reality of competition. The
same athletes would win without them. They are not going to go away although
it would be nice if they never existed. The "problem" is that the more money
that is involved and the more the bar is raised for better performance the
more and more drugs come into play.
- What are your best and worst qualities as a person?
One of my best qualities is that I like to give to people. It can
become a bad thing if those you associate with are "takers" as they will suck
you dry. I make every effort to rid myself of those people and to only
associate with those who have a similar outlook on life. I would also have
to say that I like to help others and that I truly care about the people that
I call friends. As for my worst qualities, one would have to be that I can
be a real grouch at times and I simply will not talk to those around me. I
can also get wrapped up in myself sometimes, which although I like to give,
can make me seem selfish at times.
- What kind of people turn you off / on?
The kind of people that turn me on are down to earth and do what they
say. The kind of people that turn me off are materialistic, greedy,
backstabbing and who tell you something yet never follow through.t.
- What's the most important thing in life to you?
Making sure that Darlene, Harley and my family are all taken care of
and never in need of something that I can do for them or help them with.
- What was the lowest point in life to you?
That would have to be when I was going through my divorce. I was so
disillusioned. I mean here was someone that I thought I knew and she turned
out to be someone totally different. I couldn't sleep. I would have panic
attacks where I thought I was losing my mind. I was so messed up that I
didn't think I would ever find anyone to be with ever again. It was very
bad, but I came out much stronger and far more certain of what I wanted for
- Do you go out much?
No, those days pretty much ended in my 20's. I hate loud music and
smoke. I like more initmate settings where I can have a conversation that
means something rather than getting blasted at a club and having dumb
meaningless shit blabbered back and forth at me.
- What are your favorites:
- Television Show: Friends
- Movie: Pulp Fiction
- Actor: Denzel Washington
- Actress: Sandra Bullock
- Foods: Pizza, Mexican and Burger King
- Bar Drink: Frozen Maguerita with LOTS of salt and only gold tequila
- Type of Music: Just about everything except most country
- Artist: Creed
- What are the last:
- Movie you saw: Insomnia
- Video rented: Bandits
- Music CD bought: Creed, Human Clay
- Contest you saw: The 2002 Arnold Classic
- Restaurant you ate at: Burger King
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