Porter Cottrell Bodybuilder


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Porter Cottrell Interview

Porter, first we'd like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us. It's a real privilege to interview someone of your caliber.

How did you first become interested in bodybuilding?

When I was eight years old, my father took me to my first drive in movie. It was Hercules, and my first view of Steve Reeves. From that point on I knew I wanted to obtain that look. I didn't know what bodybuilding was, but that moment sparked my interest in bodybuilding.

I watched Hercules movies every chance I could on channel 41. Then I found out there were magazines. An older buddy of mine had some. Every time I got an opportunity, I would run down to his house and look at his magazines. Then when I was twelve years old, my brother was given a 110 pound, concrete weight set. He never opened it. So I took it upon myself to open it, and read the little manual that was in it. That's where it all began.

What influenced you to go into firefighting, and then to study nursing?

By trade I am a certified welder/machinist. I went to seven years of vocational school for this field. I started working and realized that, even though I enjoyed it, it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Now remember, I had this dream in the back of my head that I wanted to be a bodybuilder. But I was a realist and knew that bodybuilding wasn't going to make me any money. So I believed at the time. I enjoy working with people. So I wanted to do something that dealt with people, and at the same time offered me stability. The fire department came into my life through an individual; the chief of the department, Chief Russ Sanders. I met him and one thing led to another, and I said,'this is an opportunity not only to help people and have a great deal of self gratification in my job, but it offers me a stable career. So I persued it.

I believe in destiny. That everything happens for a reason. The incredible thing is that it not only allowed me to have a carreer, but to pursue my dream of a career in bodybuilding which I have been fortunate enough to have come true.

As for nursing, I'll retire from the fire department at forty five. I don't plan on bodybuilding the rest of my life either. I think that education is the most important thing that anybody could ever go after because nobody could ever take it from you. I wanted to get my college education. So I asked myself, 'what could I do that would bring me the enjoyment, stability, and enable me to move anywhere in world that I wanted to move and work.' For me, that would be nursing. So that's why I chose that field of study.

How do your two present careers fit together, and how do you make them both work?

At the fire department, we work 24 on and 48 off. This allows me enough time to train. And almost every individual in the fire department has their off days job or career. My off day job is bodybuilding. If I need to go out of town. If I have an appearance on the weekend, I can make a trade and I'm off for five days. So it allows me that leaniency to pursue bodybuilding in the same fashion that any other person was that wasn't working a carreer. It's just that I have to use better time management.

How does the extreme precontest dieting effect your work as a firefighter?

I don't have the stamina that I would normally have. The last few weeks before a show you feel very lethargic. You do what you have to do because it's your job. Your adrenaline kicks in, so you feel pretty good at the time; but afterwards you're really blown away with exhaustion. I used to pray not to ever have a fire right before a show. What I try to do, to be honest with you, is not work the last two or three weeks before a show. I make trades or schedule my vacation around that time. When I'm not 100 percent it could be detrimental not only to myself; but, if I don't have the energy, my job might lack a little bit and that could be harmful to someone else.

Are you going to be in the Olympia this year?

No. I'm not going to do anything until the Canadian (Cup), and the Night Of Champions.

What do you do on your time off?

I'm getting my prerequisits out of the way for nursing school. What I enjoy doing. I like listening to books. Talk radio, and I like keeping up with current events. I love movies. I'm a movie buff.

What's your favorite movie?

I would have to say my favorite movie is a love story, called "Somewhere in Time," with Jane Seymore and Christopher Reeves.

How are planning to prepare for the next contest?

I'll tell you exactly what I'm planning on doing. First let me say something. I've made it a point to take some time off after the Ironman. I stepped back and looked at the sport and what role I played in it. And I realize that over the last two or three years my attitude toward bodybuilding and my ideology of what the sport was to me had changed. When I took time off, I realized that bodybuilding hadn't changed. My attitude toward bodybuilding had changed.

The question is should I be a mass monster. Should I try to continue to get larger and larger. That philosophy has taken me away from what actually gained my sucess in bodybuilding. So let me tell you. My future plans in bodybuilding are to go back to simple, Porter Cottrell basics.

Define those for me.

Not worrying about mass. Coming in the same kind of condition that I've always come in. Whether it be 200 lbs or 210 lbs or 215 lbs. I've never worried about weight before. This time I got caught up in this size game and my forte' has always been semmetry and condition and I'm going straight back to that. And I'm going to use the same principles that I used my whole life. And the key is balance and moderation in supplementation, nutrition, and so on.

What are your future plans for bodybuilding?

In three to four years I'll retire from the competitive aspect of bodybuilding. Your body can only take so much. But I hope to stay in some area of the fitness industry.

We have a worldwide readership, If there were only one message that you could to tell our readers what would it be?

That you can do anything in this world that you want to do or be anything you want to be if you believe in yourself.


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