Hasan Banks is always striving to be better and proves if you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to do it. Prepare to be inspired.
- Hometown: New York, NY
- Current Location: Clearwater Florida
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 142 lbs.
- Age: 35
- Favorite Lift: Squat
- Favorite Quote: “Life isn’t about finding yourself; it’s about creating yourself.”
- Websites: hasanbanks.com
For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got involved in competing in Men’s Physique?
I was born and raised in Harlem, NY. I admired the fitness world; it played a role in my relocating to Boca Raton, Florida in 2009. I switched from men’s bodybuilding to men’s physique in 2013 to be more competitive and use the sport to elevate my journey.
Before you were diagnosed with Ataxia disorder, did you have a sports background and what was life like up until that point?
Growing up in New York City, my first love was basketball. I played in numerous tournaments throughout the city in my childhood, I played basketball, baseball, wrestling through middle school and high school and I played a little in college. I truly enjoyed this part and I enjoyed competing; I felt in control of my life and I was having a lot of fun.
Tell us a little bit about what your typical day looks like. What are some of the daily challenges you face?
My day typically starts around 8:30 a.m. I start off by taking a shower. Since I have balance issues, I have to hold onto the wall so I don’t fall. While brushing my teeth, I have to lean against wall and use 2 hands to brush my teeth. I then start preparing breakfast. This has its challenges, as preparing food such as cracking eggs to make egg whites. It is difficult to crack eggs when you have issues with coordination and balance.
Moving around my apartment is difficult due to the fact I require assistance to complete a task. A 10 minute walk to my mailbox takes me about 25 minutes for me to walk there and back. Depending on my budget, I will prepare my food in advance to ensure I am eating, and it makes for less cooking and cleaning.
After lunch, I will try to do some cardio on a stationary bike. I spend time praying, listening to motivational music, and talking with my coach Jason Giardino.
I read that you originally thought you had a different purpose for your life. What were you like before this happened to you and how has this changed you?
I originally had been very intrigued with running my own business. I loved sales and marketing thus wanted to run an information technology internet security service.
Who are your current sponsors and how did you get connected with them?
I’m blessed to be a part of the GIALABS Inc. and the Work2flex family. I worked with TeamGIAFIT since 2012 and met Work2flex in Columbus, Ohio when I competed at the 2015 Arnold Classic.
Because of the neurological disorder do you have to be overly cautious with the supplements you take?
No, due to living on a fixed income I am unable to use the supplements that I would like to.
I heard you have some issues consuming enough calories due to your fast metabolism and your budget. How do you work around your limitations and what does your meal plan look like?
I have been fortunate to have awesome people in my corner, which allows me to focus on what I can do and not what I can’t.
Hasans’ Typical Diet
Meal 1- 2 cups of oatmeal, 6 egg whites
Meal 2- 8oz. chicken breast with 1.5 cup of jasmine rice
Meal 3- tuna, 1 cup of rice with broccoli
Meal 4- 8 egg whites with 2 cups of grits
Meal 5- 10 oz. talapia with 2 cups of rice
How long have you had your coach, Jason Giardino? How has he helped you with your training and what have been your biggest challenges in the gym?
I have been with Jason Giardino since 2013. He has been vital, and so has his guidance. Together we have developed an exercise plan to keep me pushing past my limitations; having a plan to execute helps tremendously. My biggest challenge is performing exercises that require me to use balance and coordination.
What body part is the hardest for you to train?
No specific body part; it’s harder using free weights.
Hasan’s Training Schedule
35 to 45 minutes of cardio per day
Monday- back, shoulders and triceps
Wednesday- chest and biceps
Thursday- legs and shoulders
I heard you have quite a story about stepping on stage for the first time, would you like to share that with us?
My first men’s physique competition was in 2013 at the Southern States Championship. My group was called to the stage and my nerves started acting up and my legs began to lock up. I started telling Jason the issue and said “I can’t do it; I wanna go home”. He looked at me with this face and started telling me I had worked too hard for this and we weren’t turning back. He sprayed me with oil and pushed me on stage. I was frozen; a lady back stage helped me and as I started to pose, the entire audience applauded as well as all the competitors on stage.
Tell us about your family and friends and have they been supportive of your endeavors along the way?
My select few friends and family have been supportive. I believe competing led to my divorce due to the attention I was receiving.
How do you feel that bodybuilding has opened up opportunities for you to share your story and what foundations are you currently working with?
The sport has given me so much, showing that nothing is impossible when you believe. The sport has improved my quality of life. I am currently working on the Mr. No Excuses Foundation; it will use the sport of bodybuilding to help create awareness about the Ataxia disorder.
Tell us about your walk with God and do you feel your faith has helped you through your adversities?
God has been a main source of guidance for me. I recently lost my way and entered a very dark place. My demons led me to hitting that proverbial wall. Instead of staying complacent and angry about my situation, I was able to step back and ask God for guidance and prayed for forgiveness. Placing my faith in God has allowed me to see despite my challenges, I am truly blessed and God will never give us more than we can handle.
What’s something most people don’t know about you? And what do you enjoy doing when you’re not training?
I have a silly personality and I love to laugh.