What's Your "Y"
Interview with Darrin VanScoy, IFBB Pro
Give us a brief background of how your fitness/sport journey has evolved.
Before becoming an IFBB Pro, I was a competitive and ranked athlete in many sports throughout the years from boxing to CrossFit and the Spartan Races.
I got tired of the constant and increasing cardio training and it was wearing on my joints, so I started looking at other sports and Bodybuilding fell right in line with both my personality and genetics.
Of course, that was a complete 180 in training style, caloric loads, and rest cycles, so it took some getting used to and learning not to over train and under recover.
Over the last two years, it has been a learning curve in knowing what training my body best responds to, and what type of diet to best feed the growth that is desired.
Mindset was another huge battle for me in learning that sometimes, less is more, and that pure fatigue is seldom a physique athlete's best friend. Intensity and concentration on the body part being worked is the key.
It's not just lifting a weight... it's making sure that muscle feels the weight, works against that weight, and contracts as hard as possible for a given period of time.
You gotta feel and think about every rep of every set.. no mental downtimes ..ever .. not if you want to be the best you can be.
What (or who) has been your main source of motivation over the years?
Honestly, I hate to lose.
It's really quite simple.
Opponents, both known and unknown, motivate me. Sometimes, that's myself, other times, it's thinking about the person that could be outworking me and I just don't get outworked.
My motto has always been: "Be the hardest worker in the room... or you just don't deserve what you get."
I'm thankful my Dad put that in me so many years ago, and I owe him a lot for it. Just thinking that way keeps my consistency, intensity, and relentlessness at a level that cannot be pushed aside or brushed off.
Where do you find more motivation: doubters or supporters?
There is nothing like a kick in the pants for someone to say "I don't think you can" or "that's not possible" or "maybe you should stop."
That gets me lit!
BUT ..There are times when we all struggle though. We are human, and life, well, sometimes just jumps right in your path and hits you HARD. That's when there is nothing like a text or a call from someone saying "Bro - what is up with you" or "you've done too much to let this get in your way."
What is the biggest mental challenge you've had to face in your sport and how have you conquered that?
Aside from conquering some serious illnesses due to Lyme Disease, where I literally hurt every time I ate and had no energy, it is definitely wanting to over-train and worrying about eating too much.
It's been very difficult to learn to say when is enough regarding training, and learning that I gotta eat more.
What do you do to make sure you're physically and mentally prepared for competition?
Make a plan. Follow that plan. Train like a monster.
I take my vitamins and supplements and say my prayers.
When you know you've truly done all you can, you are prepared or you aren't. Period. Nothing left to do. No regrets to be generated.
Describe your recovery strategies.
- Keep training time limited. I love to train. It's my stress relief . I love the pain. I love the sweat and the burn and it's easy for me to over do it.
- Be sure to eat adequate calories and macros before and after training.
- Hydrate properly.
- Strictly follow my supplement plan, including YOLKED intake three times per day.
- REST REST REST when possible.
If I'm not seeing progress, I know its under-recovery issues, because with me, it's never not training hard enough.
What's Your "Y"? What keeps you going and training as hard as you do?
One, it makes my kids proud. That feels really good. I'm setting an example through my life. Their friends and other people say things about their Dad and his success and progress and they like it.
The other thing is, I CANNOT STAND mediocrity.
DO NOT do anything half effort, whether that's marriage, parenting, work or training - it doesn't matter. All or nothing. My Dad taught me that.
No excuses. I want my children to know that as the norm: Never settling for just 'good enough'.
Where do you see yourself as an athlete in 5 years?
Better than I am now. If you aren't improving, or you get tired of it. Quit.
I'm certainly not there yet . I just found my groove.
Other than that, I hope I'm a champion, relaxing on the back of my horse in the mountains with my wife beside me.
Favorite motivational song.
"I finished Nationals at 6th place in October 2020 - I was supposed to win but I came in over trained and 'over cardio-ed.' I was ripped but lost all my size and density. I went from dense, thick, musculature to competing at lightest in my weight class and just not physically at all where I thought I would be. I was extremely disappointed and honestly pretty low mentally. Then, a friend pulled my head out of my rear, and told me to do what I KNOW. So, I did. I made a plan. I was going to compete again in less than 5 weeks and I was going to win my Pro Card at the Universe competition in November.