In today’s section of Competitors Profiles, we’d like to introduce you to Mason. He competed in our third bodybuilding competition in 2016 and won First Place in the Lightweight Category.
IATB: Tell us a little about yourself.
Mason: 41, born and raised on Long Island live in Ohio. I started competitive bodybuilding at the 2014 Gay Games. I have been competing in mainstream competitions since.
IATB: How did you get into bodybuilding?
It started as a way to transform my body before I could transition which started in grade school.
IATB: What’s your diet plan and workout routine?
Mason: It depends on if I need to cut right before a competition or if it is bulking season and I need to gain muscle mass in between shows. I always eat 5 meals a day consisting of protein and veggies and 1 cheat meal a week during bulking season with carbs before and after I workout. During cutting season I consume less calories consisting of protein and vegetables and very little carbs.
IATB: How did you hear about the FitCon competitions and why did you decide to compete?
Mason: I like to keep up to date on what is happening in the Trans community and I’ve always wanted to compete since it’s conception. Unfortunately in the past it hasn’t coincided well with the other competitions I was in, but thankfully, last year was the first year I was able to compete.
IATB: How do/did you prepare for the competition emotionally and mentally?
Mason: The same way I do for ALL competitions. A strict workout a good diet and plenty of sleep. I feel it is also important to make time for things outside of bodybuilding – other hobbies like watching movies and meditation so I can relax. I also like to make sure I have a lot of music on my iPhone that keeps me in a meditative state when I workout so I have razor sharp focus.
IATB: Have you competed in the past in other competitions?
Mason: Yes since 2014 I’ve competed in mainstream competitions including numerous appearances at the NPC -National Physique Committee, Natural Muscle Association and the Gay Games.
IATB: What do you think about the creation of IATB – The International Association of Bodybuilders?
Mason: It is a great opportunity to be around like minded people and be a positive force in the Trans community.
IATB: What are your expectations for IATB? What would you like to see happening?
Mason: I would like to see it build into a strong base of participation and solid competition that is well organised and uniform. It should be so that when it expands it does not conflict with other shows. I would like IATB to ensure that there is cohesion in regard to rules, regulations and the execution of them as well as over camaraderie and tone.
IATB: How do you relate bodybuilding to your identity?
Mason: It’s saved my life because it helped me transform my body before I had access to hormones to transition and it gave me a positive outlet for stress and anxiety. It made me feel like I could do something about my given circumstances when I felt helpless.
IATB: How far do you think we’ve come and how far do you think we have to go in the fitness industry for people of Trans experience?
Mason: I’ve think IATB has progressed greatly and is now a movement which means you have to be thankful for the accomplishments and those who’ve come before and continue the success. It is important to note that many people either do not have emotional, financial or even spiritual resources to transition which is problematic on many levels. Transition also means processing things in a positive way emotionally in regards to what that means individually and in our society, so that we develop to our highest most productive positive potential.
IATB:. We like to think of the IATB bodybuilders as ambassadors for the trans community because they show a different but important side of Trans visibility. Do you consider yourself an ambassador for the community? If so, how?
Mason: Yes by showing other Trans men how to positively create and define yourself. We need well adjusted, grounded, giving, level headed folks to be out there showing what is attainable and beyond what we would’ve thought was achievable. To help believe in what was once thought to be impossible.
IATB: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Mason: Having my IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness) pro card.
IATB: What are some tips you’d give to someone who wants to compete in IATB competition?
Mason: It all takes time. Work very hard, be patient, follow a proper diet and a proven workout routine. Do not listen to negativity, just surround yourself with positive people that will offer you support and constructive criticism that will be honest as much as they’ll be loving. Get involved in the fitness community with like minded people and consult a trainer if you have money. Read all you can! Always believe things are possible as long as you’re willing to work hard for it.
IATB: Any last words?
Mason: Thank you for this opportunity and all of your hard work.