Robbie Sardinia Interview by


How and why did you get into Bodybuilding?

I got into working out seriously for a couple of years before and after a lot of people were asking me if I was a bodybuilder because I kept myself very lean year-round at the time. I thought maybe I’ll take a stab at this bodybuilding thing. One of my friends who now coaches Albert Nunez worked out at the same gym as me and suggested that I competed and that was the final straw.

I decided to take the plunge into a show 2 weeks away and ended up winning the overall and won my NGA Pro card.

What workout routine would you suggest to Beginners?

Well, I would suggest a routine like Starting Strength or something along those lines to get a decent power base as well as good forms on big lifts. Once you’ve built up a decent strength on big lifts, you can start to dabble into the typical routines of a bodybuilder. I would strongly suggest anyone new to lifting seriously train legs twice a week, it’s so easy for the bros to neglect legs by hitting them once a week or not at all because all they care about is their upper body. I was also like that but once I decided to start competing, I hated how far behind most of the guys I was in leg size that I’ve started to really put my focus on improving them as much as possible. Focus on those wheels, you’ll thank me when you finally get on stage later in life.

What advice would you give to people looking to achieve your Aesthetic Physique?

Well an aesthetic physique, aside from genetic attachments and shape, is a combination of proportioned development and conditioning.  If you aren’t low enough in body fat percentage, you won’t really have that look aesthetic look that everyone wants such as a tight midsection, good v-taper, broad shoulders, solid chest and arms, decent legs, etc. Hit the gym hard to develop your body well and bring up your lacking areas, diet down to a reasonable body-fat percentage (<10%) so that you can see the definition of your muscles clearly.

Have you ever had any obstacles in your bodybuilding journey?

I’ve had several minor injuries that have caused me to adjust my routine at times to work around it while they heal but never anything major as of yet.  I do have some lower back issues that make heavy squatting and deadlifts a major pain but I deal with it.  I’ve recently started getting deep tissue massage regularly to break up adhesions in my various problem areas to get a better range of motion and flexibility. This has helped me a lot with any pain I’ve experienced during lifting.

How did you manage to overcome those obstacles and progress even further?

Aside from the deep tissue massage I mentioned previously, I’ve taken more time to properly warm up, stretch, foam roll and keep the injuries to a minimum. After that, it’s really just a matter of wanting it and pushing yourself to go to the gym and hit it hard even when you’re not feeling it.  There are so many times where you don’t feel like lifting at all or pushing yourself hard, and then you go and set a PR later that day after forcing yourself to get in there.

What are your opinions on IFBB Pro Bodybuilders who use Performance enhancing drugs? Aren’t they risking their health?

Absolutely they are risking their health, both short and long term.  But that’s their decision to make with their own bodies. I am amazed by the physiques that are built with chemical enhancement but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder what’s going on inside.  There are definitely long-term health risks to using these drugs but the same goes for using a lot of things that are legal (alcohol, tobacco, etc.).

As a Natural Bodybuilder, what are your views on Performance enhancing drugs?

Personally, I don’t want to use any performance enhancers for several reasons. I like the fact that everything I bring to the stage is my own hard work and dedication.  Part of me is interested in what would become of me if I was to use performance enhancers but I know that I wouldn’t be interested in trying it more than once.  Trying it just once would mean I’d have to sit out competing in natural competitions for 7 years.  There’s also the financial aspect of using these drugs which is very expensive and then there’s the health issue we already touched on.  I don’t want to take that risk for a short term reward. It’s not something I’m interested in.

I love working out now and I don’t want to make it better while I’m on drugs and then never have that same feeling again when I’m off.  I know many guys who use Performance Enhancers and they say they can’t workout natural anymore because the pump, recovery, and strength is never the same. Lastly, I don’t like the thought of having to inject the rest of my life just to be normal.

When you take the large amounts of Performance Enhancers that IFBB pros Bodybuilders do, your natural production of testosterone drops off almost completely. If not completely, you will be injecting the rest of your life just to get back to normal levels.  Definitely doesn’t sound like a fun time to me.

Your triceps look insane! Give us a sample of your triceps routine and rep range.

I have 2 routines for triceps and all body parts in general and that’s a power/hyper split that many of you are probably familiar with from Layne Norton.  I do heavy presses for chest/shoulders that also hits the triceps as well for a rep range of 4-8 depending upon the lift. On hypertrophy days I stay in the 10-12 rep range.  My favorite exercises are close grip bench press, weighted dips, underhanded straight handle cable extensions, and single hand rope extensions.  I would perform the close grip bench and weighted dips in the 6-8 rep range and the isolation exercises in the higher 10-12 range.

What advice would you give to Bodybuilder beginners looking to become an IFPA Pro Natural Bodybuilder just like you?

Like I mentioned for beginners earlier, get a good base for strength, form, and a solid routine that incorporates legs twice a week.  There are many routines built for natural bodybuilders that hit legs twice a week.  Two routines I personally like a lots are Lyle McDonald’s generic bulk routine and Layne Norton’s power/hyper split. Both hit everything twice a week with several days of rest in between.  The key here is progressive overload, you need to progressively get stronger if you really want solid hypertrophy.

No matter how you slice it, if you are lifting progressively heavier weights, you will definitely grow bigger. It may be slower than you’d like but as long as you are continually inching forward in strength, the size will follow.

What are your long-term goals?

My long-term goals are to win a Natural Pro Show and compete in the IFPA Yorton Cup and PNBA Natural Olympia. I would also like to join the NPC Team Universe in the future, but I would really need to fill out a lot to be competitive there. Being 6»2, I’m immediately at a disadvantage on any stage I compete as I’ve to pack on more mass to fill out.