I played many sports growing up such as football, baseball, basketball, track, and swimming. In high school I continued as a 3-sport athlete but my clear passion was football. My junior and senior year I was voted “Most dedicated in the off-season” by my teammates due to my intensity in the weight room and desire to do whatever it took to improve. During my senior year after football season I committed to attend a division 3 college to play football – But as I continued to workout and started attending a local gym, I began to realize my passion for football was shifting towards a passion for seeing how far I can push my body. I’m the type of person that when I do something, I’m going to give it 100% effort so I knew if I was going to do this, I had to be all in. So at age 19 I decided to do my first bodybuilding show – It was a 12 week diet with zero cheat meals and very basic foods – With no teen class, I placed 5th in the light heavies at the Mid-State Natural NPC show in Rockford IL at about 179 pounds. I continued to focus purely on improving myself from one show to the next and knew I had a long way to go until I reached the ultimate vision I had in my head. It took 11 years of competing until I won my first Men’s Bodybuilding Overall title earning the title 2015 Mr. Illinois. The next year I placed 3rd in the super-heavyweight class at the 2016 NPC USA’s and I’m currently preparing for the 2017 NPC USA’s with a goal of earning my IFBB pro card.
On Being an ALLMAX Athlete
I first got “introduced” to Allmax supplements about 3 years ago by my wife Jessica Kouba. When I tried the Isoflex Chocolate Peanut Butter protein, I was blown away by the taste! Being a competitive bodybuilder I only put the best quality products in my program – and when I researched Allmax Nutrition further it was clear the quality was top-of-the-line with proven ingredients that work in ALL the products. I had been competing for 7 years already, but the first year competing when I exclusively used Allmax products, was the year I won my first Bodybuilding Overall title as Mr. Illinois and went on to place 2nd at a National show. They have a very comprehensive and quality product line with amazing tasting products – I couldn’t be more excited to represent Allmax Nutrition as an athlete moving forward!
Question & Answer with MATE KOUBA
The 2 main priorities when training should be keeping a laser focus on working the intended muscle on every set, every rep. The other priority must be to train with a high level of intensity. I only do sets that I truly believe serve a purpose at stimulating growth so I don’t do a ton of volume or fluff exercises – High intensity and keeping reps between 6-12 while taking the last 1-2 sets of each movement to failure or past failure with the use of assisted reps from a spotter.
A big DMK burger and sweet potato fries with some frozen yogurt from Red Mango for dessert! I think it’s important to not overeat when having a cheat meal – Have a good size portion but don’t stuff your face til you can’t move.
I would say my favorite is scallops and rice but I only eat scallops for periods of time during contest prep (eating a pound of scallops per meal gets expensive lol). I never get sick of my diet food and am a big fan of using seasoning and low calorie condiments to make my food taste good!
Nothing better than a maximum effort set of Hack squats.
Spending time with my wife Jessica, having lazy days hanging out with family, watching and attending my favorite NFL team — the New York Giants, taking nice long vacations after contest season each year, and hanging out with my Frenchie named Stitch. I also have quite the Jordan/Nike shoe collection as well as a sports memorabilia collection I’ve obtained over the years.
I trained to get better for sports in high school and shortly after high school my passion shifted from football to bodybuilding. I think I saw bodybuilding as something I could continue to do for many years and I knew I was willing to put in the work to be good – But if I played Division 3 football I would likely be done with that in 4 years since I never had great speed despite my best efforts.
Trap, Dubstep, Rap
My Allmax shaker bottle with Aminocore, Creatine, Leucine and Glutamine that I drink during my workout. I also have a towel (I sweat a lot when training hard), my wrist wraps, some rubber bands, chalk for deadlifts, and my fully charged wireless Powerbeats headphones.
When people are sitting on a machine scrolling through their phone – Especially if it’s a machine I want to use!! I wear wireless headphones and never take my phone out of my bag!
Isoflex Aminocore HVOL ACUTS CVOL Carbion (this I mainly use during the off-season)