A Conversation with Bodybuilder Nick Wright

Nick Wright continues to be an inspiration figure in the world of bodybuilding to his peers and fitness enthusiasts. (Photo courtesy of Nick Wright)

Nick Wright continues to be an inspiration figure in the world of bodybuilding to his peers and fitness enthusiasts. (Photo courtesy of Nick Wright)

By: Jacob Elyachar

Seven years ago, Nick Wright began a journey that led him to on a path to be one of the most recognized bodybuilders of his generation.

With over 11 million views on YouTube and thousands of fans following him through social media, Nick continues to be an inspiration to both bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.

Nick opened up to me about how he got into bodybuilding, the rewards and risks about having his own business and his thoughts about social media.

Jacob Elyachar: When did you get interested in fitness?

Nick Wright: To be specific, I got into fitness on January 16, 2006 when I was 14-years-old during my freshman year of high school.

JE: When did you decide to transition into bodybuilding?

NW: On January 16, 2006, I weighed about 104 lbs. and I was tired of being small and skinny.  I was always infatuated with larger than life figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger and anybody that was big and really massive to look at.   Being so lean and being an ectomorph, I naturally had those lines on my shoulders and I felt that I had some natural abs.   If you looked at a picture of me before I started, I was just skin and bone but I felt at the time: “I already have cuts. ”

I was watching a True Life episode about bodybuilding.  I remember seeing one of the guys tracking his progress and I thought it was a good idea.  On that very day, I printed out a chart made to track someone’s physical progress.    That same day, I went on Google Images and searched for random names of bodybuilders, I knew of.   I heard of both Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia, but I did not know that Mr. Olympia was the most prestigious show (in bodybuilding) nor the differences between those two shows.   But these were the names that I heard being thrown around in the past probably by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

When I saw photos of former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, I was just blown away! It did not even look real; it looked like he was made out of plastic.  I remember that I wanted that massive feeling of being huge all around.   I wanted to have crazy vascularity, huge muscle mass and the rest was history.   That night, I had a dream where I saw flashes of random clips of bodybuilding from Pumping Iron.  It was crazy because it was my inauguration into the lifestyle and after that day I was completely hooked.

JE: How did you make bodybuilding your career?

NW: By the time, I was 18-years-old, I had already done four competitions and I had won three of those competitions in the Teen Division.   My profile was on Bodybuilding.com, so I had not been introduced to YouTube yet and I had a small, small name for myself in the local scene.  Upon graduating high school, my initial plans were to get away from bodybuilding and pursue and open up a custom car audio store with my friend and that was going to be my profession.

However, my ex-girlfriend and a friend talked me into doing one last show.  It was the INBF Monster Mash, which is a pretty big and popular show on the east coast.  I had wanted to do it forever and they talked me into doing it.  At the same time, my friend talked me into turning my MySpace account into more of a professional portfolio.  Long story short, I achieved my fifth win in teen bodybuilding (and received my third regional win), became a sponsored athlete for RTN (Revolutionary, Technology and Nutrition), who I am still with.   In addition, I also booked my first paid photo-shoot and I got flown out to North Carolina to do a DVD and photo-shoot for PumpingMuscle.com.   So all those accomplishments made me realize that I could start pursuing fitness modeling and achieve sponsorships so I can keep going to these national shows and aim for that pro card.

In addition to all of that, I began interacting on YouTube and made videos because I put up some videos previously but they were simply competition footage.  Around that show, I started interacting with my YouTube viewers and I made videos leading up to the contest and that was one of the things that kicked it off.   I also noticed that there was not an outlet for natural bodybuilding and definitely not an outlet for teen bodybuilding.  I wanted to help spread this side of the sport out more, which has not been seen or heard of and income while doing it.

JE: You recently started your business: Nick Wright Bodybuilding.  What are some of the challenges and rewards of having a fitness-based business?

NW: It’s very, very rewarding.  The rewards are that I have no longer have to do a 9-to-5.  I had been working full-time since I was 13-years-old (before I was legally supposed to be working).   Right before I moved to Virginia, I was managing a corporate GNC and I was short-staffed, so I was pulling 60 hours weeks there.  It was always a goal of mine to get out of the 9-to-5 lifestyle and I have finally had. I am completely on my own schedule now and I have my own time and I love it.

However, there are some downfalls.  One thing that you have to keep in mind, specifically with this business, is that your business relies on you physically and your image.  I love being in the public eye, but that means I have to work double time to not only maintain my physique but also improve it.  If people see that you are not looking impressive anymore, they are going to stop following you.  Because I run my own business, I do not have the luxury or leniency of a lot of other people when it comes to my social media networks.   I cannot vent online and post crude inside jokes with my friends, I have to be professional and very clean.  Sometimes anything I say can be spun around on the Internet.

Finally, the biggest one of them all is uncertainty of the future.  I have come so far and it has been escalating.   I have been living comfortably but how long will it go? Will I be able to continue to do this?  How can I come up with fresh new content?  How do I continue to build myself as an athlete? In addition, I have to educate myself businesswise so I know how to advance myself from here on out.   Is this a flash-in-a-pan or a quick little ride that I am enjoying? Or can I turn this into a full-time career?

JE: One of the biggest misconceptions that a lot of people have about bodybuilders is that they are also personal trainers.  Have you thought about training anyone? Why or why not?

NW: I thought about it here or there for the sake of making extra money on the side.  But I really do not have the interest of training people one-on-one nor do I have the patience to do that.   My interest is just being a public figure and in doing so, I am technically training people by having them watch my videos and following my advice and utilizing it.   I am technically training people in like a classroom setting as opposed doing it one-on-one and that is what I prefer.   At the end of the day, I see myself as an athlete and I am sharing my lifestyle.


Nick continues to connect with his fans through various social media networks. (Banner by SHAD and courtesy of Nick Wright)

Nick continues to connect with his fans through various social media networks. (Banner by SHAD and courtesy of Nick Wright)

JE: How has social media helped your career?

NW: Social media has not only helped my career, it IS my career! My career would be non-existent without social media.  YouTube has overtaken TV right now.  Facebook is the new form of advertisement.  Twitter and Instagram are crazy ways to keep in touch with your fans.   Without social media, I would not be doing what I am doing.

JE: You spent a lot of time on YouTube.  How long does it take for you to create a video from concept to posting?

NW: It depends on the type of video.  What I do is that I get in these artistic moods sometimes if I have extra coffee in my system and when is that the case, I can start whipping out these videos.  Some of them are quick and I can do them in 20 minutes or less.  On the other hand, some videos take hours or up to two to three days.   I try to make all of my videos cinematic and I want them to feel like you are watching a T.V. show.

JE: What are your goals outside of bodybuilding?

NW: My goals outside of bodybuilding are to become more self-aware and more connected to life in general.  Other than that, I want to make a set career for myself and try to continue to get on T.V. and expand NWB, which is my constant goal.

JE: Do you have any advice for people who want to get into fitness or bodybuilding?

NW: My first piece of advice is to keep it simple. There is way too much B.S. out there complicating everything.  There are no good types of foods or bad types of foods or anything like that. Educate yourself about nutrition…get eating down!  Eating needs to be first!  Training is obviously important and you cannot go anywhere without it but you are really not going anywhere without eating…. You NEED to get the nutrition down and then educate yourself on the training.   But, however, my ultimate peace of advice would be to subscribe to me on YouTube and stay on board the Nick Wright Bodybuilding page because that will lead you in the right direction.

To connect with Nick on his Facebook page, click here: https://www.facebook.com/NickWrightBodybuilding

You can follow Nick on Twitter by visiting his profile: https://twitter.com/nickwrightNWB


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