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Nick Stahl (@nickstahlofficial) is a fitness model with experience in bodybuilding. He’s also a Vital Proteins ambassador. We got to chat with the Instagram influencer about what inspired his passion for working out, and the advice he’d give someone starting their own fitness journey.

Lively: What first got you into fitness?

Nick Stahl: My fitness journey started all the way back in the 8th grade. I had a crush on a girl from my school. She commented and said my head was too big for my body. Being a skinnier kid growing up, I was really hurt by these words. I then sought out my dad’s help on weight training. He then got me started lifting weights using his old school weight bench and equipment downstairs in our basement. Since then, I have not looked back!

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L: How about bodybuilding?

NS: I played football and baseball growing up and when I started hitting the weights, my game drastically improved from an increase in strength and overall mass. I began shooting with local photographers in order to advance my career as a fitness model. I also followed Arnold Schwarzenegger who related bodybuilding to art. I was an artist since I was a little kid, drawing and painting. I found bodybuilding to be my new outlet for this as I worked on sculpting my physique and overall proportions. Once my football and baseball career was over, I decided to hit the bodybuilding stage in large part to my competitive nature.

L: What advice would you give someone about to start their fitness journey?

NS: I would network with local photographers in your area. This will help build your portfolio and allow you to post fresh content regularly. My other piece of advice would be to stay consistent and persevere when life throws you a curveball. When I first started training, I had such a hard time putting on bodyweight. I could have given up but I knew it didn’t happen overnight.

RELATED: Try Out Our Collagen Whey Products for a Fitness Boost

nick stahl

L: How do you overcome a workout rut?

NS: I am a big advocate of taking 1-2 weeks off at a time. You will not lose any size or strength if the break is 2 weeks or less and I always come back stronger from the extra time my body had to recover. So if you are in a rut, take some time off or try a new form of exercise. It’s always nice to switch things up. Also, write down your goals and come up with a strong WHY. Well thought out goals with steps to accomplishing them will help keep you motivated and on track. Your WHY, as in why you want to achieve these goals, will light a fire inside you if this WHY is strong enough.

RELATED: The Ultimate Guide to Getting Stronger, Leaner Abs

L: Do you listen to music while you work out? 

NS: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. In the gym, I love hip-hop and rap. Other times, music can be overstimulating for me and I’d rather focus on my lifts. The gyms I train at generally have a solid playlist playing in the background.

L: Do you have a favorite Vital Proteins product?

NS: My favorite Vital Proteins product is the Dark Chocolate Collagen Sports Greens. I always feel great after drinking a shake and it’s nice knowing I’m receiving a wide range of vitamins and minerals from the organic vegetables in this supplement.