IFBB CLASSIC PHYSIQUE & BODYBUILDER
Special Note: Nick earned his IFBB Pro Card by winning his class at the North American Championships on August 31, 2016 after this feature was published. Congrats NIck!
Symmetry, aesthetics, fullness, and condition all packed on to one bodybuilder is what makes an IFBB Pro! Nick Cortese has all of these attributes and has proven that by winning many shows and also winning his class at a National level competition but missing his pro card by not winning the overall. Well, we think that will be much different this summer!
Nick will be stepping back on the National stages this summer to solidify his spot in the IFBB Pro ranks. He has added more size and fullness and will come in condition that many only aspire to while working with his coach Matt Porter. They both have a game plan and it will be fun to see that plan put in place!
1. When and why did you decide to start competing?
I have been interested in fitness and bodybuilding since I was a teenager, and have always admired the look of bodybuilders. I would go to local bodybuilding shows like Oregon State and Emerald Cup in the late 90's, and follow great athletes like Lee Priest and Flex Wheeler. In 2001 I decided to enter my first bodybuilding show, the Bill Pearl Classic (now known as Seven Feathers), and then went on to compete again in 2002 in the Oregon State Championships. I fell in love with the sport, but had to put it on hold because I started a family. Twelve years later I met my now coach Matt Porter, and decided that a good show to come back with would be the Oregon Ironman in Lincoln City, where I ended up with my first overall win.
2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?
I love the discipline and dedication that it takes to train for a show, and seeing how far I can push myself to reach my ultimate goals. I am always striving to do better than my last showing, and it's exciting to see the changes that hard work can bring.
3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?
During contest prep I have pretty rigid discipline. I train at the gym 7 days a week and make sure all my meals are weighed and portioned. This past off season was a little different than what I was used to, I followed a fairly strict diet to try to achieve lean muscle gains without gaining too much body fat, so I could stay lean for my next show. In the past two years I haven't had very many cheat meals!
4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?
When I'm dieting, my favorite type of meals are any meals period! I get to the point where I look forward to anything I get to eat. Cheat meals are a different story, if I get to cheat, I want to make it worth it. I own an Italian restaurant so pizza and pasta (something I see on a daily basis but don't get to eat) would have to be at the top of the list. Also anything sweet or savory really hits the spot, I spend a lot of time watching the Food Network or looking through Pintrest when I'm prepping to get ideas of foods I'd like to eat.
5. Who are some of the people that have helped you along the way to get where you are now in life or in the sport?
My parents, who both immigrated from Italy, have taught me to have a strong work ethic and dedication in whatever I do, which I think has helped me become who I am today and also succeed in this sport. My coach, Matt Porter, has been a tremendous positive influence. Not only is he a great athlete that I look up to, but he has believed in me from the beginning and is always there with words of encouragement when I need them most. My girlfriend, Veronica, has put up with my crazy schedules and lifestyle now for several years, yet has always been a great supporter and my biggest fan. Finally, my kids, who always have positive, encouraging things to say about me and are always proud and excited to see me succeed.
6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?
I think the one person who inspires me the most would have to be myself. Everyone around me is proud and encouraging, but ultimately it is me who has to push myself forward.
7. What is next for you as a competitor?
I just competed in the Oregon State Championships, where I placed first in light heavyweight class as well as in Masters over 40. Next I will compete in Masters Nationals in Pittsburgh this July. I hope to continue competing for as long as I can.
8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?
My favorite memory in Bodybuilding would have to be in 2014 when I won the Overall at the Oregon Ironman. I had my family and friends there and got to share that special moment with them. I wasn't expecting to win, I was just happy to compete again so winning was awesome!
9. Any website you would like to plug, Facebook, Twitter, personal site, etc...
10. Anything you would like to say to all the visitors to NPC Oregon?
It's never to late to start or get back into Bodybuilding, I took 12 years off and became a big sloppy mess but with patience and hard work I was able to come back and now actually be competitive in my 40s. Thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me along the way.