Following my recent interview with Gabe Tuft, aka Tyler Reks, I’ve been lucky enough to be introduced to another pro wrestling star and bodybuilder, Brian Cage. Today we’re bringing you this interview with Body Spartan member, bodybuilder and pro wrestler Brian Cage. When I first discovered Brian, through Gabe, I immediately saw him as someone I should aspire to be. Our stories are similar, albeit, i am just in the first chapter of mine. I’ve loved wrestling since I was a kid, and the reason I started lifting weights was because of wrestling. Whilst I’m currently focused on my NABBA Training & Bodybuilding Show Prep, I have took part in Pro wrestling training in the past, and do plan to pick up on it again in the future. Brian is first and foremost a pro wrestler, who just so happens to be a kick-ass bodybuilder on the side.
Thanks for being with us today Brian. Wrestling is a huge passion of mine, so it’s great to speak with someone who is doing this for a living. First of all, can you give our readers a quick introduction to who Brian Cage is.
I’ve been a professional wrestler for over 9 years and have worked for both TNA and WWE and currently work all over the country and some of the world, and I absolutely love what I do. Best wrestling on the planet has got to be in Reseda, CA at a little place called PWG! I am also a bodybuilder having competed in a few shows and have a couple coming up as well as guest posing at the Fresno classic April 12th. Im the F’n machine, the Swolverine, Mr. GMSI Brian Cage.
Sum up Body Spartan for us.
A crew of gifted athletes, with above average physiques and vast knowledge of fitness and the fitness industry. With a passion to help others reach their fitness goals and better themselves. There’s a ton of information over on the Body Spartan Website for readers to check out.
How did this team assemble to form Body Spartan?
Well Gabe Tuft/Tyler Rex was the brain child of this idea and he reached out to each one of us and proposed Body Spartan to us. I liked the idea and was happy to join.
When Gabe contacted you to be part of Body Spartan, how did you feel?
Well I have maintained decent communication with Gabe throughout are time apart from WWE especially when it comes to fitness and changing his physique, so I was happy to hear he wanted me on board.
What is your take on the importance of having a solid physique in order to be successful within pro wrestling in this era?
I don’t think it has anything to do with era, I think you should no matter what. Whether you respect wrestling or not, at the end of the day you are a “PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE” and you should look as such. There is room for the big guys but the main roster should look like they are professional wrestlers. Just like an NFL team. They have their big boys on the line, and plenty of muscle elsewhere on the team. End of the day they are all in shape and pro athletes though. “LOOK THE PART”
You’re heavily involved in both Pro Wrestling and Bodybuilding. Which sparked your interest first?
Wrestling, all ive wanted to do since I was 10years old. That’s what got me into bodybuilding to get bigger for wrestling. I graduated HS at 154lbs.
Much like yourself I was a skinny teen. I wanted to turn from skinny to muscular because of wrestling. How did you first get involved with weight training?
My first real commitment was after I graduated high school I wanted to go to a wrestling academy but realized I wasn’t going to cut the mustard being so small. So Monday-Thursday during summer I would jog to my high school and my old PE teacher would let me in the gym and I went at it like no bodies business teaching myself all the way. I wasn’t the biggest or strongest by any means, but always said I was more dedicated than any other person .
What led to you stepping into Wrestling?
As soon as I felt I had more to offer, I started training at a local School and there you have it.
Do you find wrestling prohibits your ability to make strength or size gains?
It definitely adds an extra challenge but I’ve done it. Would I be bigger and stronger if I never wrestled? Probably, especially without all the nagging injuries from wrestling. But without wrestling I would never have found my love for bodybuilding.
You were part of FCW when it was a developmental scheme for the WWE, how did you end up there?
After having a stint in Deep South Wreslting I got contacted for a triple shoot with WWE in CA and ended up getting signed afterwards.
What other talents were part of FCW when you were there?
Jeez, damn near everyone. Sheamus, Justin Gabriel, DJ Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Rex, Hawkins, Escobar, Macyntire, Tarver, Low Ki, Slater, Otunga, Darren Young, the Rotundas, Wes Brisco, Swagger, Yoshi, Mason Ryan, Ryback, bateman, Abraham Washington, list goes on and on
Talk us through the training schedule when you were part of FCW.
We would train M-W for at at least 3-4hours. Warming up and stretching first, then doing blow up drills, working on technique, matches, etc. Wed we would also work on promos. Thursday we would do live show, and come back in for light practice and tape review Friday, and then shows Friday-Sunday would differ week to week
What led to you leaving FCW and not getting called up to the main roster?
Well that’s the million dollar question. As everyone thought I was headed there from the coaches to the workers. We will just sum it up to what most have said, I got royally F—ed over
What was the atmosphere like as a young talent when part of FCW?
LOVED IT. I loved all the work and the boys and the coaches and the pressure, it was great.
Who are your biggest idols within wrestling?
Chris Kanyon, Chris Benoit, and Chris Jericho. Those are the three I’ve always wanted to emulate in the ring. Kanyon being my favourite and became a close friend, and of course Shawn Michaels was always a top guy for me.
From your wrestling career, which moment are you most proud of?
My First match with Kanyon in my hometown. No doubt.
You now wrestle primarily for PWG. How do you balance your bodybuilding with wrestling commitments.
It is freaking tough! Soooo tough. People don’t realize the stress I go through trying to prepp three days of food, supps, clothes, gear, merch, etc. Plus pre-arranging what gym I’m going to and when and how for cardio, and working out and if I’ll have access to fridge and Microwave, etc.
A huge part of any wrestlers schedule is travel. This isn’t always ideal for bodybuilders who follow a structured diet. How do you eat on the road? What preparation goes into organising your diet?
A whole lot of though and cooking. I literally write down every day ill be gone and structure and hourly eating schedule to see what I need and how I may bring it all. Then I go to work cooking, weighing and preparing everything for every day. This usually takes a few hours.
Arguably, your biggest accolade in bodybuilding was winning the Fresno classic overall last year. Talk us through your competition prep for this particular show, how long was your show prep?
I started prep about 16 weeks out. I Kept carbs in for about half the time or so, then went full on keto. Cardio went up to about 2 hours a day, and then we pulled back a bit because I was dropping to much weight at the end. I won the show, but still came in a little smaller than I probably should of, but was very proud and happy to have won the show. Especially with Kai Greene (my favourite modern day bodybuilder) and Flex Wheeler coming out to present the overall trophy.
I’ve yet to win a show, but the excitement of just placing 3rd for me was a huge buzz, and gave me a lot of drive to better myself for my shows this year. Winning your show, and having your trophy presented by Kai and Flex must have been a surreal moment! Did you adjust your training from the ‘off season’ when preparing for the show?
My training always evolves and changes depending on how I’m feeling diet wise and how im feeling from wrestling. No matter what though I always go HAM!
How does your diet differ when preparing for a show, compared to the off season?
Less calories for sure Especially carbs, but I tend to eat pretty damn clean 24/7 365. If I want to have a handful of jelly beans or something I may, but pre contest no such chance of me slipping even a little bit!
Last year was my first year of competing. I did 3 shows, and foolishly piled a ton of fat on after my 3rd show, which im now regretting, as it means more dieting and less overall progress. How important is staying lean all year round to you?
Extremely, especially for wrestling. I need it to look, perform and maintain my athleticism. You can go buck wild for a couple days after a show, but then I go back to pre-contest mode and slowly taper down cardio as well as slowly tapper in carbs. Slow and steady wins the race.
That’s great advice for someone like me who eff’d up last year following my show haha. How do you manage your food when not preparing for a show. Do you often have cheat meals?
I will have my cheat meal once a week and they are ridiculously epic nearing and after a show. I can put it down! But other than that Im on point most often. I weigh out everything to. Protein powder, bccas, pre workout, chicken, veggies, steak, everything.
We sound so alike haha. Each night I prepare my shakes for the next day with the digital scales out, weighing protein powder, creatine, bcaa, glutamine etc. What is your ultimate cheat meal?
Oh man that changes so much. Depending on what I want. I’ve murdered so many buffets and in record time. Id really like to do some food challenges to tell you the truth. There is this pizza on called “the big kahuna” I want to do in Manteca CA.
You’re competing on May 31st in the Chico Bodybuilding Show. How is your show prep going this time round compared to the Fresno Classic. Have you changed anything?
Its going fantastic, best prep yet. Much fuller, harder, stronger, bigger, everything! Im going to dominate this show.
Do you ever think twice about wrestling, incase you injure yourself before a bodybuilding show?
NOPE. Its not ballet but that’s the difference between us and everyone else. Show must go on. When I tell people im a pro wrestling and they go “like MMA?” I say “no, like a pro wrestler.” They ask “whats the difference?” I tell them “I compete whether I’m hurt or not!”
Do you stop wrestling so many weeks out before a show, just incase you do get injured?
No I’ve wrestled all the way up through the weekend before. And have gotten a little injured before but doesn’t keep me out of gym or away from ring. You deal with it and move on. Hey they don’t call me the F’n Machine for no reason.
Many bodybuilders look, aesthetically fit, but are fat from fit. For wrestling, conditioning and cardio are crucial. How do you stay on top of this, whilst being able to build muscle?
It’s another double edged sword, and actually I hindered myself from being able to put on more size this past year because I didn’t want to. I was happy what I had gained and didn’t strive for more because even being lean and not fat, so much mass is so hard to get use to and breath and keep up your mobility. So I cut back a bit to find that happy medium. Another challenge doing both sports at once.
What does a typical week of training look like for Brian Cage?
Weights 6 days a week, I split up every group including hamstrings and quads and cardio 6 days on top of that for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is if im traveling and or have a show or not. I don’t miss a day. Depending on prep, cardio can increase significantly and become 7 days a week.
Do you favour high rep or low rep training, and why?
All depends on how I’m feeling really. I go in with a game plan sometimes, but often now I go to do let’s say back. And I just go to what sounds good at the moment and if I feel real strong, ill go crazy heavy. If I like the pump and contraction I’m getting Ill rep it till I die having a friend get multiple assisted reps out at end of the set.
There are many contradicting and conflicting sources of information within the fitness industry. There is no one right way to do something, but there are a lot of wrong ways. The Body Spartan books shares Gabe’s experiences as to what has worked for him, and provided excellent results. What are some of the biggest misconceptions or myths you believe exist within the fitness or bodybuilding world?
Well the biggest mistake that 90% of gym goers make is doing cardio right before weights. Terrible idea. You burn up your glycogen storage and then when you hit the weights, with a higher heart rate because you are working harder, your burning off muscle for fuel because you glycogen has been depleted from cardio and your heart rate is to high to burn fat. Always do separate, or immediately following weight training. Gabe’s book does have plenty of vital information and plenty of experience, definitely a worthy buy.
How do you incorporate supplements into your diet? Talk us through your supplement stack.
Im a big sup guru. My top 5 are protein(which is more of a food source, but a definite in any regiment) BCAA’s(I drink these intra workout and they give me so much more endurance) Pre workout(can’t leave home without it. Though I cycle off for week or two after 6-8weeks) Fiber(I take at night to reduce bloat, burn fat, and well keep regular!) Multivitamin to make sure you are getting all of your proper nutrition needs.
Ill throw in glutamine and kre alkalyn creatine during a pre contest diet, and sometimes omegas. But I generally get plenty of omegas through my diet.
Your Supplement stack sounds very similar to mine. I stick to the basics and will often use a my protein discount code from http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk to cut down costs and get cheap supplements. Do you have a particular brand you favour?
MaxMuslce Is fantastic brand and everything is third party tested to make sure everything is up to par and the quality that they say is in there is actually there.
What are your thoughts on mass gainers? People often will find themselves looking for the best mass gainer if they struggle to lose weight, when often these people simply aren’t tracking their calories from food.
I did mass gainers at the beginning of my training, to help bring on a lot of size, but I ate too! That’s the problem, people take in replace of food. Even using the best mass gainer, you still need to eat a proper amount of whole food throughout the day as well. But unless you are genetically gifted there is no way to put on size with a gainer without gaining a good bit of fat. Just part of the game.
I remember my first experience of using a pure weight gainer. I actually gained 14 lbs in 10 days, combined with eating food. I cover it in my mutant mass review.What supplements would you recommend to a beginner just starting out with weight training.
Protein and BCAAs really. I didn’t take anything special right out the gate. Work hard and hit your plateaus on your own, then use sups to push past them.
What supplements do you feel are the biggest waste of money?
A lot of fat burners. They do do something but not much. And many take in lure of them doing the work for them. That doesn’t happen nor does it exist. If it did, gyms wouldn’t.
Do you place an importance on carb timing, or do you split your carb intake evenly throughout the day?
First four meals pretty much everyday. I have my cheat meal last meal of the day though as to get the spike from it instead of burning it off all day if I take in morning. Plus you are more likely to cheat again when you do early.
I’d agree with you in regards to saving a cheat meal at the end of day as to not binge all day. You’re in line to be taking part in a Heman film this Summer. Can you tell us a little more about the project?
I was contacted by the creator of the film who has done plenty of work and I believe works a lot with the action figures as well. And he was trying to find someone to cast as heman, and decided he should look at wrestlers as he is a fan. And said when he saw me he thought I’d be perfect. I’ll hopefully be shooting in July depending on kickstarter. It should be a fun time though, and excited to say I’ll be He-man.
Do you see bodybuilding as a stepping stone to landing more acting gigs, or are you more focused on becoming a pro wrestler or pro bodybuilder?
Pro wrestler, but the bodybuilding has definitely opened more doors to different opportunities.
If you could only pursue one, which would it be pro bodybuilding or pro wrestling?
Wrestling. Im a pro wrestler that happens to bodybuild not a bodybuilder trying to wrestle. As you see so many poorly do.
What are your thoughts on the WWE Network? Do you have a subscription?
I don’t but I do plan on getting it and think its fantastic.
Wrestlemania is fast approaching. Do you stay up to date with WWE programming?
To be honest I haven’t watched wrestling on TV for quite sometime but I do read reports and stay up to date with what most is going on.
What are your thoughts on the Daniel Bryan Yes movement, and the crowds sudden turn on Batista?
Loved the Batista turn. For once the crowd dictated what they wanted to see, and that was wrestling not sports entertainment. Usually they force feed you no matter what, but glad to see the change. Love the yes movement and think Bryan is best thing on there right now which is great because him, Ziggler and Tyson kidd are probably the three best workers in the company.
Tell us more about your involvement with Body Spartan, what is your role as part of the team?
Well all of our roles are kind of equal as in what we do. We try to get the word out and create traffic on the site, as well as make weekly blogs those who visit. So that they may try to learn and grow form our knowledge and experience. And in return hopefully encourage them to buy a nutrition plan, t-shirt, e book, etc. But I love helping people who are serious and looking to change or improve.
Do you feel each member of the team specialises in a particular area, or are you all able to contribute across a wide spectrum of topics?
I think we are all pretty verse in multiple things but I do think each have our niche that we are more comfortable or knowledgeable about. Id say competing/prepping people might be mine, but I’m definitely not a one trick pony.
Tell us about any other projects you have coming up in 2014.
Plenty Of Wrestling shows, He-Man film, 2 bodybuilding shows, & Im getting married June 14th to my wonderful fiancé, Ashleigh Burk.
A pre-congratulations from me on the Wedding! How can our readers stay up to date with everything Brian Cage.
MrGMSI_BCage on twitter, BrianCage on Instagram, and can also shoot me a message on facebook(Brian Cage Button/ Mr GMSI Brian Cage). I usually don’t accept friend request as to not over populate my news feed, but I will always respond.
Do you have any final words for our readers Brian?
Whatever you want to do in life go at it with full force and don’t let people who are afraid to chase their dreams hold you back or detour you with negativity. Its not going to be easy, but nothing in this life is, and once you achieve it, it’s all the more sweet. And achieve I you shall, only thing stopping you, is you.
It was a true pleasure for me to have this interview with Brian, an individual who has achieved pretty much everything i would like to within my life. Both on a professional and personal level. Brian is a successful Bodybuilder, Pro Wrestler, and is getting married later this year. I would like to think in a few years I will have established myself within the bodybuilding community by winning some shows and advancing to a higher level of competition. I do intend on eventually picking back up with my Pro Wrestling training at some point, and I look forward to the day when Myself, and my fiancé Connie are happily married.
You can stay up to date with my training journal over on my Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/shreddybrek or in my training log here on the site. Be sure to follow me social, and subscribe to my newsletter for FREE