Our next guest on Rising Muscle’s & Beyond the Stage is non other the popular author, lawyer, actor and former competitive bodybuilder Rick Collins. Mr. Collins is also known for participating in the movie cult classic “Bigger, Stronger, Faster”.
Additionally, he is a well respected authority both inside and outside the fitness industry, who also is a big fan of the sport of bodybuilding.
RM: Rick Collins, Thank you for participating in this interview. Let’s kick off the interview with a classic but important question. How did your interest for bodybuilding come about?
RC: I remember being on a school bus early in high school and seeing a copy of the old Muscle Builder & Power magazine. I think Mike Mentzer and Danny Padilla were on the cover. Inside I saw Arnold and Zane and Franco. They looked like superheroes to me. I asked my bodybuilder cousin Donny to get me started with weights. We went to Sears here on Long Island and bought a set of blue, sand-filled plastic weights. I worked out at home then trained at a couple of gyms until settling in at Valencia Health Club in Elmont. I gained enough size to compete in local shows and collected a number of trophies. I also worked as a gym instructor and later ran a personal training business with two partners. I stopped competing but never stopped bodybuilding. I train hard to this day. It’s in my blood.
RM: What made you want to become a law student – and later on an attorney helping clients with legal problems in the health and fitness community?
RC: I was an undergrad psychology major but by senior year in college, law school seemed more interesting to me. Trial practice seemed so exciting – a gladiatorial battle of wits and strategy played out in a courtroom rather than an arena. I also liked the idea of sticking up for people in need. I hated bullies! My first job as a lawyer was as a prosecutor, sticking up for the victims of crimes. But as I saw more and more of the criminal justice system, I came to realize that there are more shades of gray than black-and-whites. I realized the system isn’t always fair to people accused of crimes. I went into private practice, and my ties to the fitness community gradually steered my focus to what it is today. My law firm represents a broad spectrum of nationwide clients in the health, fitness and bodybuilding communities, from sports nutrition and dietary supplement companies to athletes and others in trouble for performance enhancing substance issues. I love what I do, and have the opportunity to help people all over America and even beyond. I fight hard for my clients. I’m very fortunate.
RM: Would you like to tell us a bit about your latest book Alpha Male Challenge?
RC: My first book was a specialized treatise about performance drugs in American law, culture, sports, politics and medicine. My second one, Alpha Male Challenge, is a more mainstream book – a revolutionary diet and exercise program with a powerful 10-week plan for ordinary guys looking to reclaim their edge and be at the very top of their game. It’s got meal plans, specific exercises to follow – no two workouts are alike – and a whole section on reclaiming that winning attitude so necessary for success in anything you do. I co-wrote it with prolific fitness author James Villepigue. It really rocks! We have some great success stories from the guys who have followed the program, and even women have followed it and seen great improvements – more muscle, less fat. You can read more at www.alphamalechallenge.com. Meanwhile, I just might have another book or two in my future. I’d also like to do a TV project, and have talked about it with film maker Chris Bell, who directed the documentary “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” in which I appeared. As you know, I was also an actor and am still a Screen Actors Guild member, and every once in a while I do a little something on stage or in a film.
RM: Having been a competitive bodybuilder yourself back in the day, what do you miss about the old days of bodybuilding versus today?
RC: Some of my friends are current NPC champions or IFBB pros, and I don’t want to take anything away from them. I know how hard they work and how much they sacrifice. But I tend to personally prefer the more aesthetic physiques of the old days, when V-tapers were the norm and the ability to suck in the waist and do a vacuum pose wasn’t uncommon. Maybe it’s because that’s the look I admired when I first started out. I also miss the old Muscle Beach of the days of “Pumping Iron.” Now the pros are spread out all over, rather than Santa Monica being the mecca. I train at Bev’s (Bev Francis) on Long Island, which is today’s East Coast mecca. It’s inspiring and motivational to train alongside the current pros and top amateurs in a truly hardcore atmosphere.
RM: How do you think competitive pro bodybuilding will develop in 10-15 years ahead?
RC: I don’t know how it will all shake out. I think the entire industry may continue a process of reevaluating and refining what its standards should be. Many hardcore bodybuilding fans love the mass monsters. But we may have reached a point where in some cases mass eclipsed symmetry and aesthetics. Mass for the sake of mass alone, especially when accompanied by a thick waist and blocky overall look, isn’t the ideal I admire most. The decline of women’s bodybuilding and the mainstream appeal of relatively new classes like bikini and physique may help redefine what a muscularly developed body should look like, even in the bodybuilding classes. But time will tell.
RM: Ok Rick, it is time for the round up, if you want to add something please feel free to do so:
RC: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I’m blessed to be part of the bodybuilding community all these years, and to have the opportunity to educate and give back to the sport. I was recently invited by Dr. Ken Kinakin to Toronto, Canada to serve as a featured speaker at the Society of Weight-Training Injury Specialists (SWIS) Symposium 2015 – addressing the legal aspects of dietary supplements and performance enhancing substances/drugs. It was an incredible symposium – don’t miss next year’s!
I also sponsor a variety of bodybuilding and fitness competitions and write a monthly column in Muscular Development magazine to keep folks apprised of legal changes or other matters of particular interest. My website at www.steroidlaw.com offers lots of information on PED’s, and I post timely updates on Twitter @RickCollinsEsq and on my public Facebook page @RickCollinsOnline. If you’re in the fitness industry and need legal help or counsel of any kind, feel free to call my law firm at 516-294-0300. I’ve helped people all over America and even in foreign countries with a wide range of legal problems, large and small. We are very responsive and we make our fees affordable. And certainly, if you have a legal problem related to anabolic steroids or other PED’s feel free to make mine the very first phone number you call.
RM: Rick, thank you for taking time of your busy schedule to make this interview. It has been really interesting to read your answers. Since the holidays are closing in, we also want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Rick Collins: 516-294-0300