FROM KEVIN HOPKINS
OWNER AT GIBSONS FITNESS CENTER
Educated at Rutger’s College of Pharmacy, my background and strengths are in the chemistry and biochemistry that drive the human body. More importantly, my interest lies in the hormonal environment that results from the foods we ingest and the supplements we may or may not take.
While in college and for a brief time afterward, I was employed by one of the largest natural compounding pharmacies in the country, Hopewell Pharmacy. I am greatly indebted to my bosses at Hopewell for the the exposure I was given to the alternative medical community through this work. Fortunately, they trusted me and gave me the freedom to work in conjunction with some of the top hormone replacement doctors and nutritional experts in the world. I attended several conferences and trade shows that helped further my education and exposure to this vast field. While working at Hopewell, I was introduced to Gerard Dente, former super heavyweight bodybuilder and current owner of MHP (Maximum Human Performance). This introduction led to several great developments for both of us.
In 1995, I opened a health food store that focused on the integration of different types of supplements with prescription medications, and the prevention of drug interactions resulting from the mixing of various supplements and drugs. In 2000, I moved the entire operation into Gibson’s Gym, in Washington, NJ. At this time, I became more focused on athletes and weight loss.
In 2002, Gerard Dente approached me to work on formulating some products for his company, MHP. So, along with the business in the gym, I began to work as a consultant for MHP and developed some of their leading products – such as Tbomb, REMI, the Macrobolic line, the Up Your Mass line, and various creatine, glutamine, and fat burning products.
After many products and the filing of a patent on the REMI body fat gel, Gerard and I decided to write a book using the research we had developed. This led to the publication of Macrobolic Nutrition by Basic Health in 2004. This experience added to my credentials and led to me being sought after by various physicians, professional athletes, and bodybuilders to assist in their dietary and training regimens.
After completing a long renovation of the existing Gibson’s Gym building, a partner and I purchased the gym business from Bill Gibson in October 2003. The renovation gave us more space and updated facilities, making us a force to be reckoned with in the fitness community.
On a personal fitness level, I stepped back into competitive bodybuilding on the NPC level as an open middleweight competitor in the summer of 2000. I placed fourth in the Physique Classic, won the 2002 Philadelphia Classic middleweight and overall, and took fourth in the 2003 NJ State and Suburban. My conditioning and proportion earned me a great deal of respect from fellow competitors as well as the judges. My average contest weight was 175 pounds with body fat in the range of 3%. Check out a few of the photos below. As you can see, I firmly believe in practicing what I preach. (Click any image for a larger view.)
I am repeatedly asked about my philosophy on training style. What I recommend – what each individual should actually do – will vary from person to person. However, I feel that the number one thing a person does wrong in the gym is to over train. I am also a proponent of “one set to failure” strength training.
I strongly suggest that people invest in a little personal training to learn the correct way to train and achieve the results they desire. I know some people who feel my training philosophy of one set to failure does not work, or only works to maintain. Without the correct mentality and discipline, that may be true. While people are training, I see them talking, looking around in the mirrors to see who is watching them, and using way too much momentum while performing a repetition. There is no way a person can get the most out of “one set to failure” if their head is not in the game.
Total concentration is the cornerstone of complete muscle activation. While working out, I am not aware of what music is playing or anything else going on around me. I have taken clients spending over two hours a day in the gym down to 30 minute workouts and created more muscle growth and strength increases than they have ever experienced. My best gains ever occurred after a year lay off from training, during which I went down to a mere 150 lbs. Upon returning to the gym, I adopted my new “one set to failure” training style and achieved a level of size and conditioning I had never experienced.
I train very few clients. A pre-requisite meeting is required for me to feel out the individual and judge whether or not they are capable of achieving their best, mentally and physically. I do not want to simply take money. A client’s results reflect positively or negatively on me as an expert in this field.