RICO VAN HUIZEN NATURAL IN THE NETHERLANDS
Interview by Eric Lipton
Rico van Huizen is an impressive 23 year old Natural Bodybuilder from the Netherlands. He is making a big impact with both his physique and his passion for Natural Bodybuilding. Rico wants to promote the benefits of the natural bodybuilding lifestyle and show what can be accomplished without performance enhancing drugs. He recently competed at the 2014 INBA/PNBA World Championships in Nitra, Slovakia and INBA/PNBA World President Denny Kakos took notice, stating, “For 23 he’s a great, elite natural athlete and he stood out to me with his love for the sport. Rico was so incredibly happy and thrilled with his INBA experience. He went so far as to film his entire experience from start to finish; you could just feel the passion he has for the sport. His hard work paid off and he was extremely pleased with his placing.”
Rico, can you tell us some background information about yourself?
“I also want to bring natural bodybuilding and fitness back to where it started.”
With a father who was a seven-time Dutch Champion in Full Body Contact Tae Kwon Do and a family where everyone was active in sports, I was deemed to be a natural born athlete. My heritage is a mixture of all kinds of countries: Dutch, German, Chinese, Indian, and Tibetan. I am currently a student at the University of Applied Sciences, studying Small Business and Retail Management. I am also in the start-up phase of developing a business focused on natural bodybuilding and fitness, which is named Royal Bodies.
My hobbies have changed along the years. In my early days, I was a party animal, but it cost too much of the precious time we have on earth and it is really counter-productive with the sport of bodybuilding. Nowadays I love being with good friends and having conversations about interesting topics. One of my favorite things to do is read books about management, nutrition, lifestyle, and self-development. I also regularly cook new healthy recipes and make YouTube videos to inspire others.
What do you want the world to know about you?
“A lot of people don’t know that the father of bodybuilding, Eugene Sandow, was a natural bodybuilder and athlete.”
I want the world to know that I am a nice guy and you always can ask me whatever you want. I hope the world will know me for my humbleness, kindness, honesty, and as a hard working athlete that always will try to make this world a better world! I also want to bring natural bodybuilding and fitness back to where it started. A lot of people don’t know that the father of bodybuilding, Eugene Sandow, was a natural bodybuilder and athlete.
When did you start training and what got you started training? Did you play any other sports?
I started with martial arts at the age of six and achieved my black belt in Tae Kwon Do at the age of 12. That became boring, so I switched to Muay Thai boxing and also played as a goal keeper in soccer. My father always trained in the gym and took me with him. So my very first experience I got from the gym was the walking there as a little kid, playing with all the iron, and drinking those lovely protein shakes. At the age of 13 my father showed me the film Pumping Iron and I was fascinated by Arnold and Louis. My mom and I are also very artistic and I can remember that while I was drawing Goku from Dragonball Z, my mom was drawing Arnold Schwarzenegger holding a side-chest pose. In some ways, bodybuilding was always my path.
“My first pump was insane! Veins were all over the place, and I felt like the Hulk!”
The Muay Thai boxing and soccer came to an end at the age of 15 and I was not active in any kind of sport for six months. This was against my nature because I always have been a sportsman, so I started training at the age of 15. When I first touched a dumbbell, I experienced my very first pump. I was a pretty vascular boy at a young age, but my first pump was insane! Veins were all over the place, and I felt like the Hulk!
When did you start competing in bodybuilding and what got you started?
“…someone told me that these big bodybuilders were putting things in their bodies to become so humongous and right away my respect dropped below zero.”
I did my very first bodybuilding show at the age of 17 and I loved it all! The experience was amazing, everything was just so nice! Backstage talking with athletes and feeling the nerves of getting on stage in front of hundreds of people, I knew straight away that this was the sport I wanted to focus on for the rest of my life. What got me started with competing was simply the fact that I probably had the genetics to do pretty well. But I always looked up to those big guys like Arnold, Ronnie, and Dorian.
“So I started to search on the internet to see if there was such thing as bodybuilding without the use of these products.”
I was pretty naive but as a teenager, I had no clue that steroids or doping even existed. Then someone told me that these big bodybuilders were putting things in their bodies to become so humongous and right away my respect dropped below zero. I was pretty sad that they let me believe that this was all earned by hard work, dedication, and what nature is in capable of. But that was too good to be true. One thing is for sure: I will never use anything or put stuff in my body to become muscular or big! This state of mind came from martial arts, where you train hard or you get your ass kicked. So I started to search on the internet to see if there was such thing as bodybuilding without the use of these products. Gladly the light came to my eyes and the world of natural bodybuilding was opened for me. Right away, I formulated a goal to become the best natural bodybuilder in the world!
I love the passion! Can you tell me about your history in the sport, including some of the titles you have won and what organizations do you compete in?
I started competing at the age of 17 years in a Dutch National show that was considered to be one of the best possible natural competitions. At the age of 19 I did my second show at the Dutch National Championships and was second in the Junior Athletic class. But the show was still was not tested and juiced up athletes were all over the place. So I decided to do some research on the internet on real natural bodybuilding shows. Natural bodybuilding is pretty unknown in the Netherlands, so I had to make my dream come true on an international level. The organization that I came in contact with was Musclemania and I did my first show in 2011 at the age of 20. I came in second at the Musclemania Britain competition and was qualified for the Musclemania European Championships. I did that show in 2011 and received my very first title as a Junior European Champion.
“After receiving my title, I injured my patella tendon and couldn’t train legs for almost two years.”
After receiving my title, I injured my patella tendon and couldn’t train legs for almost two years. This kept me from competing and it was a very stressful period for me, as I was so motivated because of my title. But bodybuilding is about getting on stage with the best physique you possibly can, so it was a no-go for me to step on stage since I was not able to train legs. I was selfish, stupid, and never let the knee rest completely and therefore it took me a long time to completely recover from it. Once I gave it rest for an extended period of time, everything was back and my training was back on point. When I was able to compete, I wanted to compete against real natural bodybuilders with real testing. I also wanted an organization that focused on competition instead of just a commercial show. That’s how I came across INBA/PNBA, one of world’s most elite natural bodybuilding organizations. I was selected to do the World Championships in Slovakia in June 2014 and came in third in my class. This was my very first time competing in the Open class and I was competing against ten amazing athletes bringing their “A” game. I was so excited about pulling off the 3rd place that I needed a full week to let it sink in!
Great job! What do you feel you bring special to the sport?
I hope to bring new life to the sport of natural bodybuilding. I want to inspire other people, especially young people who are sensitive for making the wrong choices in life. I want to show the world that it is possible to develop muscles naturally, without the use of doping or anabolic steroids.
Can you tell us about the style of training you use?
At the moment I am using a combination of powerlifting and hypertrophy workouts: upper/lower body, push/pull, and 5-3-1 Wendler system. I love my training to be as basic possible, old school iron work with no fancy stuff at all.
How would you describe your diet?
For eight years I have been eating very clean. I used the typical clean dieting style, which worked out well for me and it was no problem for me to keep it clean. But three weeks ago I switched to the flexible dieting style and my life changed completely. The variety and flexibility that comes with it is awesome! Oreo cookies became a staple and chicken tortilla wraps are also a part of the daily plan, but I’m still keeping my abs tight!
Can you tell us about bodybuilding in the Netherlands?
To give you my fair and honest opinion, I don’t like the bodybuilding world in the Netherlands. As I said earlier, almost everyone here involved with bodybuilding is juicing or using the craziest stuff to become muscular. Even the women here are putting stuff in their bodies to become the best they can. I not only dislike the doping and anabolic steroids, but also the fact the shows in the Netherlands are politically influenced. The winners of the shows are already settled under the table. There is also lot of competition amongst each other for no reason. Everybody is like an enemy of each other instead of passionate athletes that respect each other.
I’m sure you will help to make the sport grow in the Netherlands! I understand you connected with many people at the INBA World Championships in Slovakia. What can you tell us about your experience at this event?
“My experience was beyond my expectations! What a wonderful and professional organization this is!”
My experience was beyond my expectations! What a wonderful and professional organization this is! I love the passion that each and everyone has for the sport. Whether it’s the President of the INBA, the backstage team, the athletes, or the audience, everyone is so positive and humble! I have made a documentary about the day of the show so you can get an impression of how things are organized with the INBA/ PNBA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnPfn6VVE5M). This is my organization, an organization that is involved to support and do whatever it takes to make it all fair, and most important of all, make it pleasant for the athletes and audience. It’s not only a good show, it’s an honest competition where the best physique on stage wins!
Yes, INBA is a fantastic organization and it sounds like you had an outstanding experience! What are your competition plans?
My next competition will be the INBA World Championships in Dubai in 2015, which is a dream come true! How amazing is it to get the opportunity to travel to compete against the best athletes from all over the world! I can’t wait to step on the INBA stage again! My ultimate dream is to step on the stage at the INBA/PNBA Natural Mr. Olympia.
“Natural bodybuilding changed my life as an individual and gave me the ability to create success, fulfilment and happiness in my life.”
That sound great! Can you tell us about your goals for bodybuilding and for life?
My goals in bodybuilding are to become one of the world’s most elite natural bodybuilders and a natural pro athlete. I also love to motivate and educate people. Helping people make their dreams come true is what I feel I am intended to do for the world. I would like to especially inspire young people and teenagers to make smart choices in their life and health goals. Because remember, bodybuilding is a sport we are doing for our long-term health and not for short-term results to impress people. My goal for life is to create a platform for natural bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts where they can sign up to learn the healthy way of creating their natural best. As I said earlier, the company I am building on right now is called Royal Bodies – Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness. We only focus on helping natural athletes make their dreams come true. Natural bodybuilding changed my life as an individual and gave me the ability to create success, fulfilment and happiness in my life. But far more importantly, it gave me a vision of making this world a better and healthier world!
Thank you for you for vision Rico, you are already making a big difference! NMI
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