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Sean Calder


If anyone has been competing or attending shows in the Pacific Northwest for a couple years now, then you have either seen or heard of Sean Calder. Sean has made a major impact in every show he has done and has even gone on to the national level and done very well. After a few years off of competing so he can focus on his career and family, Sean quietly stepped onstage at the 2014 Emerald Cup and made some noise once he did! Not only did Sean win both of his classes (Masters and Open Heavyweight).. Sean also won both the Masters and Open Overall titles! We are excited to see what Sean brings to the 2014 Masters Nationals this summer.. so much for showing up quietly after winning the Emerald Cup Masters and Open!

1. When and why did you decide to start competing?

I had just returned from an overseas military assignment and was training at my hometown gym, Downing’s Gym. A member of the gym approached me and asked if I had ever considered competing, this was in 1991. I replied no but would be willing to try it with some guidance. Two months later I stepped on stage at The Oregon Coast Naturals and won the overall novice class.

2. What makes you want to go farther in the sport?

I live with the belief that if you have a talent/gift that you should not waste it. I’m naturally disciplined, can build muscle easily, stay lean fairly easily, and have some “freaky” traits associated with my body.


3. What type of training do you implement during contest prep and the in the off-season?

My weight training always changes, but that is because of so many years of training. It has become intuitive. If something isn’t working for me when I start my training I change; I don’t continue to do the same thing expecting different results. If I’m really “feeling” a movement I don’t stop after a set number of reps or sets; I keep going until I feel I have reached neuromuscular fatigue. I always stay in fairly good cardio condition because I have to be able pass the Army Physical Fitness Test at any moment. That test includes a timed 2 mile run, 2 minutes of push-ups and 2 minutes of sit-ups. Also, I believe a hindering factor in leg training can be cardiovascular fitness and so I keep fit in that way. I use less brute strength when I train and more mental acuity. My ego is always checked at the door and I spend very little time in front of the mirror or socializing with others while I’m training. I employ a mechanical disadvantage without compromising joint integrity with my resistance training.

4. What is your favorite type of dieting meals and what is your favorite type of cheat meal?

I prefer whole food over anything else. My body assimilates brown rice, oatmeal, berries or melon, and a specific type of bread made from Food for Life-as far as carbs go. With protein I try to get as many varying sources as possible. My sources come from eggs, whey isolate, turkey and chicken breast, London broil, Buffalo, ground beef, wild game, and plain Greek yogurt. My fat comes from mixed unseasoned and unsalted nuts, avocados, egg yolks, PB, and whatever is added from my protein sources.

My favorites on cheat meals are fried chicken, sushi, pizza, doughnuts (I know this is technically not a meal), Thai, homemade soups, curry. But truly comfort home-cooked southern food is what my absolute favorite is!


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?

All my friends’ parents when I was a lost child/adolescent, my brother, Pat Downing, Russ Testo, Andre Scott, Guy Overby, David Patterson, Matt Porter, but the most important is the support of my loving wife, Shannon. There are many others and if I’ve forgotten to mention them it does not minimize their contribution by any means in my life.


6. Who or what inspires you to strive for more in the sport?

I have become stronger mentally and I have seemed to adapt well to the aging process. At 45, I feel the best is yet to come from my physique. I have been fortunate enough to do exceptionally well at most athletic events I have pursued. I have always stopped short of fulfilling my true potential, I believe; this was never due to desire, life just gets in the way sometimes. Bodybuilding is one of those rare sports in which you can come back and visit later in life and continue to have success. So what inspires me…to fulfill my true potential and make it reality!


7. What is next for you as a competitor?

2014 Master’s Nationals


8. What is your favorite memory good or bad while prepping or competing?

My favorite memory was when my wife and I did the LA Bodybuilding Championships in 2005. She took her class and I did too. We were both so proud of one another and to share that together was priceless! I also had a great friend, Tad Inoue, who I competed against. It meant a lot to have him up on stage with me and for us to share that together.


9. Any website you would like to plug, Facebook, Twitter, personal site, etc...

I am a True Nutrition athlete so a shout out to them. I’m on FacebookInstagram or my website directly at

10. Anything you would like to say to all the visitors to NPC Oregon?

As long as you evolve with your training and stay away from injuries you can do this sport until late in your life. Truly, it is about embracing the lifestyle!

Also, when you think of food and dieting, think of all the other pleasures you can enjoy in your life rather than your palate or a full belly. Contest prep than becomes much easier.

Remain humble and treat everyone the way you would want to be treated. There is always someone else out there who is better, so strive to be your best and stop comparing yourself to others.

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