Between meal prep and packing for Las Vegas, Zeke took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Nutrition Beast.
- Hometown: Charlotte, NC
- Current Location: Charlotte, NC
- Height: 6’ 2”
- Weight: 235 lbs
- Age: 35
- Favorite Lift: Leg Press
- Favorite Cheat Food: Ice Cream with M&M’s
- Instagram: @SurrealBodyZeke
- Facebook Athlete Page: https://www.facebook.com/ZekeSamplesFanPage
- Twitter: @SurrealBodyZeke
- Website: ZekeSamples.com and SurrealBodySolutions.com
For those unfamiliar with you, can you tell us a little about your background and how you got involved in the fitness industry?
I always tell people that exercise found me; I wasn’t looking for exercise. As a teenager, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I was told I had two years to correct my spine, or I would have to have metal rods to keep my back straight. Out of fear, I turned to exercise because I wanted to avoid surgery.
I started reading fitness magazines to find out who had the best backs and who was the best in the industry. Lee Haney became my inspiration. After two years of hard work, many tears, and struggles along the way, I was able to come out of a back brace, and I decided I wanted to give competition a try.
I wanted the best, so I contacted the gym Lee Haney owned in Atlanta, Georgia; Animal Kingdom. In 1997, my father paid $250 for a personal training session with Lee. My objective was to sell myself to him! I wanted to go to the top; I wanted to win at a bodybuilding competiton, and I wanted Lee to help me. I also enlisted the help of nutritional guru, Chris Aceto. Ultimately, I won the Teenage USA as a heavyweight.
I think being told, you can’t do something or that the odds are against you, either make you fearful or stronger. I chose the latter, and in 2003 Surreal Body Solutions was born.
My wife has been my number one supporter.
Tell us about your upcoming appearance at WBFF Worlds in Las Vegas and what are your expectations for it? And how have you been preparing for it?
The WBFF Worlds will be my comeback, and I have very high expectations! I have been working closely with Jeff ‘Locomotive’ Lopez from New Jersey, and he has put me in the best shape of my life. Jeff is a spiritual man like myself; we both have faith in God and are allowing Him to control the outcome.
Do you have a favorite travel location for photo shoots and why?
I really like California and Florida for photo shoots. One of my favorite vacation spots is Lake Tahoe, California. San Francisco was incredible, and I would love to go there again for a shoot. I would also love the opportunity to shoot in the Carribean or Europe. After Worlds, my wife and I are traveling to California for a vacation, so I might be adding Los Angeles to the list!
What’s your most memorable photo shoot or the funniest thing that’s happened on a photo shoot?
I was doing a photo shoot in San Francisco at the old military battery in my posing trunks and the photographer asked me to hop into a birch tree for the shot. It had just rained, and a birch tree doesn’t have the best surface when it’s wet. So, I was being extra careful about my footing. Well, there I was standing in a birch tree, in my posing trunks when a kid on a school bus field trip yelled out, “teacher look!” The child wasn’t even referring to me, he was pointing at a seagull, but the look on my face, caught on film was absoulely priceless!
Zeke’s Full Routine
Incline Barbell Chest Press 4 x 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Chest Press 4 x 8-10
Incline Smith Machine Chest Press 6 x 8
Seated Incline Cable Chest Fly 5 x 8-10
Abs Circuit Medicine Ball 3 x 20-30
Cardio – If Time Permits
Shoulder Press Smith 4 x 8-10
Side Lateral Raise 3 x 12
Front Lateral Raise 3 x 12
Rear Delts 3 x 12
Seated Pulldowns 5 x 8-15
One Arm Rows 3 x 15 each
Seated Mid-Row 4 x 10-12
T-Bar Rows 4 x 8-12
Lower Back Hyperextensions 4 x 15
Seated Leg Extensions 5 x 15 (15 Seconds Rest Between Sets)
Leg Press 5 x 20-45
Leg Lunges 4 x 15
Vertical Leg Press 4 x 20-25
Leg Curl 5 x 15-20
Calves 5 x 25
Do you prep your meals and if so how long does it take you?
It feels like it takes forever but it is worth it. My wife helps me tremendously with food preparation. It takes us an entire Sunday afternoon, from 3 to 4 hours to prepare my food for the week.
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without?
Oatmeal, protein, carbs and fiber; ‘boom!’
Zeke’s Typical Diet I work out in the morning at 5 a.m.
PLAN A - Plan A for 3 Days Low
Meal 1: Preworkout Meal - 10 Egg Whites and 1 Serving Cream of Rice
Meal 2: Postworkout - 7 Ounces Chicken, 1 ½ Cups White Rice and 1 Cup Spinach Spinach on non training days only
Meal 3: 7 Ounces Chicken, 8 Ounces Yams and 6 Asparagus Stalks
Meal 4: 7 Ounces Fish, 1 Cup Brown Rice and 1 Cup Spinach
Meal 5: 7 Ounces Fish, 1 Ounce Avocado and Small Salad
Meal 6: 8 Egg Whites and 2 Yolks
Plan B - Plan B for 3 Days High
Meal 1: 10 Egg Whites and 1 Serving Cream of Rice
Meal 2: 6 Ounces Chicken, 1 ½ Cups White Rice and 1 Cup Spinach
Meal 3: 6 Ounces Chicken, 1 ½ Cups Brown Rice and 1 Cup Chopped Spinach
Meal 4: 6 Ounces Turkey and 8 Ounces Yams
Meal 5: 7 Ounces Fish and 1 Cup Brown Rice
Meal 6: 10 Egg Whites
What supplements could we find in your kitchen?
- Eat the Bear Whey Isolate – Ice Cream Sandwich Flavor
- Eat the Bear Grass-Fed Whey Isolate – Chocolate
- HD Ripped
- Muscle Meds L-Glutamine
- 5% Nutrition BCAA’s
- Species Fiberlyze
Do you have a favorite color of HeyDay Footwear?
The blue pythons are my favorite pair to wear! I also love black and red the new fall line will have black and red pythons! Heyday have many colors and styles to choose from and with only between 100-200 pairs made, they turn heads all the time!
I like to be ‘one-of-a-kind.’
What’s something that not many people know about you?
I love small dogs! My Chihuahua of 14 years recently passed away this year, and I would like to get another small dog. People think I need a pitbull or great dane. My wife would like a Great Dane, we’ll see.
I am also very humble, and I don’t have an ego. I love to help others, and I would go to Disneyworld anyday over a rock concert!
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the fitness industry?
I love Formula 1, Moto GP, American History and traveling.
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