Andrew Whitehill is a competitive bodybuilder from the state of Connecticut. He also has started to do photo shoots to begin his career as a male fitness model. Below is an introduction to Andrew. He speaks of how he gained an interest in bodybuilding and how he has developed over the years into the physical specimen that he is today.
Andrew: Ever since I was 7 or 8 years old I have always been fascinated with muscles and powerful male physiques. My parents told me that I used to flex and try to be like “The Incredible Hulk.” That was so long ago I don’t even remember doing it. I grew up watching all the 80’s and 90’s action heroes such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, and Dolph Lundgren to name the major ones. The first glimpse of a real life hero was the father of a childhood friend of mine, Lee Mcquarrie. Lee (my friend) was lifting weights because of his father. And one time I ran into him in a grocery store and he told his dad to flex. So he flexed his mighty bicep and I was amazed, to say the least. I even rememeber looking at Flex Magazine when I was the same age and being inspired by the huge men and women in there. Tonya Knight is the only name I can recall. So watching movies like Rocky, Rambo, Conan, Bloodsport, Kickboxer, etc. really gave me something to work towards.
Despite always wanting to get big and strong, I didn’t start lifting weights until I was 17 years old. However, I was doing hard manual labor at a horse farm when I was only 11 years old. By the time I was 16, I was working on a hay farm, picking hundreds of bails of hay most days in the sweltering heat. Bales so heavy I could barely lift them. Many times I wanted to give up and cry, working at both farms. But I kept pushing and tried to be as strong as the older guys there.
At 17, the weight training began. I purchased an Exercise For Men Only magazine and wanted to get the six pack abs that almost every model displayed in exquisite detail. Not totally realizing that to achieve that look an entire lifestyle change was needed, I did get a little bigger and a little leaner over the next year, but since I was not prepared to make the necessary sacrifices my physique changed very little. By the time I graduated RHAM High School in 1999, I was still a scrawny 145 pounds at 5’10” tall. And still didn’t have the elusive six pack. I want to also mention that I tried the “Body For Life” routine, and that did work fairly well with the exception of having a whole day to cheat will ruin a weeks worth of the diet. However, “The Body For Life” and “Body of Work” documentaries inspired me very much. I cried when reading some of the stories of what some of these amazing people had to go through. Even though I never officially competed in the challenge, I gained priceless information and inspiration from it.
Then I started my college career at Southern Connecticut State University, and eating the “see food” diet, I gained about 30 pounds in 6 weeks, most of it fat and water. I did fortunately get much bigger and stronger, but my abs went from decent to barely visible and I wanted to do something about it. By the end of the summer after freshman year, I was running 5 miles 5 days a week, and sometimes 7 or 8 miles on the weekend, on top of lifting 3 times a week. I had gotten leaner than ever before, but was now at my smallest and weakest, 135 pounds. Ouch! Happy that my abs were starting to finally show but unhappy with my loss of muscle mass, the mission continued. I tried too many routines and diets to even discuss here, but needless to say, I finally nailed it at the end of my college career, getting ripped enough to stand on a national level stage.
There are a few people I would like to mention who were pivotol to my success. Vin Lindsley, Tom Wilson, Jared Cross, Kevin Herrholtz, Jeff Matthews, Seth Spaner, and my brother, Rob Whitehill. Without their great physiques to look up to and/or continued support of my goals and dreams, I would not be where I am today. If anyone thinks that they can get through life on their own, they are crazy. You have to have friends, family, or people that are there to support you, in one way or another. Even though bodybuilding is a very selfish and individual sport, you still need that backbone of supporters. Working out has been a true passion of mine ever since I first started training my senior year of high school.