Cover Story – IPL Pro Champ Rob Meindl – Fitness At 50, Competing & Serving In The Air Force
“With all that I have overcome, I feel I can accomplish anything.”
ATHLETIC MAGAZINE: How are you feeling at fifty years young?
ROB MEINDL: I’m feeling pretty good! Definitely much better than a few years ago. With all that I have overcome, I feel I can accomplish anything.
AM: Are there changes in your workouts compared to say 20-30 years ago?
RM: So many changes! Hard to list it all. 30 years ago at age 20 I was just entering the Air Force and thought I knew what working out was. You know, go to the gym, lift as heavy as possible, pyramid sets, working to failure…all the things we know now to not be as beneficial as modern workouts. Science study of human/muscle development has changed the way results can be obtained. Now my workouts are calculated with weights, reps ranges and specific exercises, for volume, growth and all my workouts include abs and cardio, which I never used to do.
AM: What about changes in your diet/nutrition?
RM: Again, this is an extreme shift from even three years ago when I first began to lose weight. I eat on a specific schedule every three hours. Six meals per day. Almost all of my food is whole food. Little processed food in my plan, with the exception of protein powder. Supplements have also helped with my nutrition as well. Taking high quality supplements has provided me with the ability to consistently workout at high levels.
AM: What age were you when you competed in your first contest?
RM: I used to be a competitive power lifter back in the late 90’s. So my first competition was in 1997. I was about 26 or 27. My first physique competition was in May of 2019 when I was 47.
AM: What made you want to compete?
RM: Honestly, when I competed as a power lifter I was stationed in Korea and it just gave me something to do. Never took it seriously. Three years ago, when I decided to lose weight, Elli my coach suggested the idea of a physique competition to me. I was very hesitant and unsure because it was outside of my comfort zone. But I decided to give it a try. Never know until you try! I didn’t finish as well as I had hoped. So I wanted to see if I could compete one more time before I turned 50 and my results were night and day compared to May of 2019.
AM: What can you tell us about your time in the air force?
RM: I served in the Air Force for a little over 11 years, as Security Forces. I was enlisted and got out having obtained the rank of Technical Sergeant. Though I never got to sew the rank on as I had left service prior to the official promotion. Serving in the military was the best decision I ever made. The skills, abilities and mental fortitude that comes from serving have allowed me to have an amazing career after my service. Including being a school teacher, a head of operations for a few schools in Arizona as well as continuing to serve my country as a federal civilian employee. Because of my military time I am not afraid to take chances. My time allowed me to travel the world. I’ve been to four of the seven continents and I continue to travel whether state side or abroad. To this day I encourage anyone to join the military.
AM: Where do you see yourself within the health, fitness and competition industry, say within the next 5 to 10 years?
RM: I hope to still compete in the next 5 years. 10 years I am not so sure about what my goals will be. At a minimum I plan to be living a healthy and active lifestyle, even if I am not competing. But you never know what the future holds!
AM: When will we see you back on the IPL stage and how many more years of competing do you feel you have in you?
RM: I was planning to compete in the Southwest Grand Prix in Arizona and APEX later this year. Unfortunately I have suffered a significant physical set back recently that will prevent me from competing this year. Without a doubt I will compete next year for sure. I feel like I have about five more years in me to compete at the level I want to be at. I will have to reevaluate as I get closer to 55 years old.
AM: Will you ever train or coach athletes in competition?
RM: I get asked this question quite often. When I began prepping for my latest competition I created a team to help me with my prep. I had a coach, a trainer, a physical therapist and posing coach. Each an expert at national levels. I don’t think I would do an athlete justice in helping them prep as I don’t have the knowledge or education and ultimately what worked for me may not work for someone else.
Besides, with my desire to still compete and what free time I have, I want to spend it with my grandsons and family. Maybe sometime later I will consider it!
AM: Grandsons? That’s fantastic. Congratulations! Well, we look forward to seeing what’s next for you! Any final words?
RM: I would just like to thank everyone who has supported me in this endeavor. I’d also like to thank Ben Yosef for creating the IPL and selecting me to be on the cover. I am truly grateful to be so fortunate.
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