Hercules: You wrote a book called The Hardgainer Report. I read that you yourself personally overcame this challenge at the dawn of your career…
Greg:I was incredibly skinny as I mentioned before, 5’11”, 132. Eventually, through much failure and perseverance to find my own methods, I built up to over 220 pounds (I also grew to 6’1”) without using drugs. Much of traditional training didn’t work for me, so I kept researching, trying, experimenting, and found out things that worked for guys with almost no genetics for muscle-building who were also naturals, drug-free.
Skinny guys trying to gain weight and strength used to be the big thing—think of the Charles Atlas work you know so well–but now it’s all fat loss.
Hercules: You are known as a strong advocate for natural bodybuilding and drug-free athletic competition. Why do you feel so strongly about these issues?
Greg: I just feel it’s a choice, an alternative. I began and continued with that ideal or ethic, which was always just in me—and which I suppose seems quaint and naïve. Although I came to learn about the extensive drug use in the weight sports and sports in general, I’ve always taken a positive approach for education and information, not a condemning one. Drugs in sport has become a hysterical issue, where in reality it’s all very complicated. But I’m comfortable with my choice and just keep doing my thing.
Hercules: You wrote The Natural Bodybuilding Training Manual for folks who decide to walk the straight and narrow path. Thanks for doing that and for helping people start off on the right foot!
Greg: There are many advocates for natural training, I’m merely one. I see it as an available choice, an attractive option. I wrote the manual back when all the information for training and nutrition was from the magazines and it was what the drug guys were doing. No wonder we naturals couldn’t make gains. I tried to sift through what drug-free trainers could do and shouldn’t do so they wouldn’t waste time. Many have appreciated that little manual, and today there are many who want to bodybuild without drugs who still benefit.
Hercules: Then you wrote other books after this?
Greg: Yes, that was the first bodybuilding one.
Hercules: I’ve been exploring and enjoying your Premiere Bodybuilding website. There’s a lot of helpful information there for natural bodybuilders! How would you like the website to evolve and grow?
Greg: I’m always trying to put more good content up there, whether I write it or others do. I would like to see it have greater scope so that no matter what aspect of drug-free training or sports people are into, they can visit the site and get something out of it. I also feature athletes who are not drug-free but who have something valuable to offer nevertheless. As I said I’m not in the business of condemning, instead I try to provide a place for good, usable information. Some naturals are unhappy about this nuanced approach, but I’m interested in bridging the divide, not making it worse.
Hercules: You feel very strongly about the ethics of competition. Has there been any progress in straightening out that mess?
Greg: I feel the quest has been quixotic. The ethics I embrace of fair competition, doing your best on your own abilities is seen as foolish, laughable, naïve or for losers. This is a global effect. Pro bodybuilding and its amateur feeder world are completely ruled and dominated by drugs. Naturals are marginalized. But we can see this across other sports as well, given the revelations, although no surprise, in cycling and the Olympics.
Hercules: You are a man of many accomplishments Greg! Which of your activities have challenged you the most as an individual?
Greg: Just about all of them. There isn’t much that’s easy in life, but the effort is a large part of the journey that makes you. When training, you face a daunting task of building something from almost nothing. When writing, you must summon the best words to fill a blank page, yet your work is often rejected. Making a living forces compromises to get money to live. Much of what we do fails. But if you try, push, make the effort, that’s when good things often come to you, seemingly out of nowhere.
Hercules: Which of them has given you the greatest level of creative freedom?
Greg: The writing, I think. Especially fiction, with the science fiction I write where you can and I do create a universe. Writing provides an absolute possibility for imagining.
But I wouldn’t slight bodybuilding or sports or athletics. Despite the mundane days of training, there are often moments of startling creativity. And in bodybuilding, you’re re-creating your body.
Hercules: And how about the greatest level of fulfillment as a human being?
Greg: Falling in love and being loved by my wife Marsha. Also, the love of my family and friends. This means more than anything. Nobody really cares what you bench press or what you did, they really care what kind of person you are, how you treat people. Sounds quaint, clichéd, but I really believe that.
Hercules: I truly believe that as well and savor each moment I spend with my wife, family, friends and pets. Beyond working out, helping others and writing, what is the rest of your personal universe like?
Greg: I spend as much time with my wife Marsha as I can. Otherwise, lots of ordinary stuff. Mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, dropping ice cream on my shirt when I eat. Actually, I like to read and think and take a little time to appreciate and be grateful for our existence.
Hercules:Are you involved in any new projects or activities?
Greg: Always with writing. I’m working on and dreaming up new stuff all the time. As for other activities, I’m continuing to pursue cycling– the bicycle racing that I’ve been doing, along with my bodybuilding and other activities.
Hercules: And what is next or coming soon in the unfolding adventures of Greg Sushinsky?
Greg: I really don’t know what’s next. I want to keep doing what I’m doing. Sometimes I look for things, other times I just let things discover me.
Hercules: How can people learn more about your life-work?
Greg: They can look at some of the work itself, the writing I do, or they can go to the various websites I have. Hopefully they’ll find something that will interest them that they might enjoy.
Hercules: And how can they enter and experience the realms of your creativity?
Greg: I think the most creative realm they can enter would be by reading my science fiction.
Hercules: How can people contact you directly?
Hercules: Thank you very much Greg for your time and for granting this interview. I wish you the greatest success in all your endeavors!
Greg:Thank you. It’s been a honor to be interviewed by you, Hercules.
List of Greg’s Books:
The Natural Bodybuilding Training Manual
The Hard Gainer Report
Training and Eating the Steve Reeves Way
Training and Eating the Vince Gironda Way
Build Your Back the Vince Gironda Way
List of Greg’s Science Fiction Short Stories:
Link to Websites:
Premier Bodybuilding and Fitness – http://www.premierbodybuildingandfitness.com/
Greg Sushinsky, the Writer – http://www.gregsushinsky.com/
Link to Greg’s Amazon Page – https://www.amazon.com/Greg-Sushinsky/e/B00B6PD79O
Books and stories are available on most mobile devices. Find the bookstore and search “Greg Sushinsky”
Larger Than Life Living in the World Today
(c) Hercules Invictus