Tallyson Neves on Coaching, Training, and Building Muscle
This week, we’re excited to introduce a project we hold near and dear to our heart.
We call it Feature Friday, a monthly effort dedicated to showcasing the diversity of lifters and powerlifters in Canada.
Our intention is to showcase the very people, you, who make up the vibrant community of lifters across the country and to hear your stories. We want to know everything - your highs and lows, your tips and tricks, favourite equipment and gyms - that has made an impact and continues to be part of your journey in the world of lifting.
[Interested? Follow this link to fill in the application and share your story]
Inaugurating our campaign today is 27-year-old Humber College alum Tallyson Neves, who doubles as a personal trainer and nutrition coach for Kodiak Barbell. He is also the self-published author of nutrition and fitness guidebook “You, Me, Coffee and Two Donuts Later: A Conversation About Health And Fitness Between Two Strangers”, available here for anyone looking to fine-tune their fitness and athletic performance.
Since beginning his training at the fresh young age of 14, he found his way into competitive powerlifting in his 20s but later veered off into bodybuilding. Unfortunately, much like for many in the community, scheduled shows were cut short by COVID, which has pushed him to focus his energies on other interests and hobbies.
In our interview, Tallyson tells us where his journey began, where it has taken him, and what moves him to keep pursuing the goals he’s set for himself.
How did you first get into fitness?
Growing up, I was into soccer, swimming and karate, so I’ve always been somewhat active. [...] I grew up a skinny-fat kid, always self conscious of how I looked. I got the bad side of the genes, since my sister always had the six pack haha [sic]. So that, combined with the fact I grew up watching Dragon Ball Z and everyone there was jacked out of their mind, I’ve always wanted to avoid being chubby and instead [become more] muscular.
I [even] did this crazy diet in high school where I ate and drank nothing but juice and grapes for the most part. Then one summer I went to Brazil, joined a gym and gained roughly 20lbs in 3 months. Excited, as soon as I got back to Canada my dad bought me a Bowflex and I trained at home for a while. After some time doing that, I joined the YMCA with my friend and we would workout after school religiously.
When did you start lifting?
[At] 14. At around 22 I got into competitive powerlifting and at 26 decided to get into bodybuilding.
What kind of lifting do you do?
Bodybuilding with a sprinkle of powerlifting on top. I try to keep the powerlifts (squat, bench and deadlift) and variations of them in my training routine. I’ll usually start the workout with them, training them for lower reps (<10 reps). After that, I’ll proceed onto doing “fluff work” (isolation, machines, dumbbells and cable)...you know, chasing the pump.
What inspired you to start lifting and what inspires you to keep going?
Dragon Ball Z for the most part, and the fact that I was self-conscious about my body. What keeps me going is I don’t want to throw away years of hard work, I want to be able to eat more while not putting on as much fat in the process as well as maintaining and growing my social media presence. Lifting is also one of my sources of income.
Have you ever competed?
Yes. But only in powerlifting. I loved every bit of it because of the camaraderie [...] and the high that comes from the chase of getting stronger.
You’ve said you have a home gym - what inspired you to set one up?
Not sure, I think it’s because at one point in my life I wanted to save time going to and from the gym. It was just easier to wake up and go to my basement and start lifting.
So what do you look for in a workout space?
[Different gyms provide different benefits]. [One I’ve picked] has 24/7 access. I also have a gym membership [with another chain] because it's convenient and there are plenty scattered around. And I have a gym membership at [one particular gym] because I love the ambiance and I feel like I can grow physically, financially and socially there.
If you had to offer a few words of advice on how to stay motivated through thin and thick, what would you say?
1. Get a coach at least once in your lifting career.
2. Don’t be married to one single training routine or exercise.
3. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
4. You will not lose muscle or strength by missing the gym a couple of days or a week. So no, you are not melting.
And to conclude, would you mind sharing a few things you are currently working on?
[I’m] currently busy with school and that’s taking up most of my time. Other than that, just trying to grow my Instagram following. Some of my hobbies now include watching and listening to informative videos on YouTube, [listening to] podcasts and going for motorcycle rides.
Feeling inspired to share your own story? Follow this link to let us know!
Remember, Iron House is a home, a space created by lifters, for lifters. And it’s only when we uplift each other that we grow stronger as a community.