Anyone who knew William Smith in high school wouldn’t recognize him now. He was a self-described beanpole. Today, Smith is a deputy with the Newport News Sheriff’s Office, and he is a national level bodybuilding champion.
On July 24, 2010, Smith garnered four trophies as he moved through the Old Dominion Classic organized by the North American Sports Federation or NASF. He swept the competition and won Best Overall.
To be a top notch athlete requires discipline and staying power. In his own words, William Smith shares what it takes to pursue his sport and how it enhances his ability to serve the City of Newport News as a deputy sheriff.
QUESTION: How long have you been lifting weights?
ANSWER: I’ve been working out off and on for ten years. But I’ve been doing the bodybuilding thing for about four years now.
Q: How often do you compete?
A: You don’t want to keep doing shows repetitively because if you do, you don’t have a chance to gain more uscle. When I’m dieting for a show, I’m not building muscle. I’m striping the fat off of what I’ve already built. I like to take 6-8 months between competitions to build more muscle.
Q: What do you eat?
A: When you’re bulking, you should be taking in 4,000-5,000 calories a day. But it must be clean calories: sweet potatoes, chicken, fish, egg whites, and lots of rice. If you are getting ready for a show, you eat the same kinds of food. You just gradually cut the amount until you’re eating about 1500 calories. You limit your calories. Your carbohydrates are very low. Your fats are very low. And your protein stays high. Even in the off season, I try to get 300-400 grams of protein. All that stuff that’s good for you, I love it because I’ve adapted my lifestyle to it.
Q: How precise is your routine?
A: Everything is like clockwork. From the time I wake up to the time I go to bed, I will eat something every three hours. I eat six meals a day. It takes me five minutes to knock out a chicken and rice meal. I drink two gallons of water every day. If you manipulate your water, your fats, your carbs, and your protein, you can change your body in a snap. It’s the way you dial it in.
Q: As a bodybuilder, are their advantages to your law enforcement profession?
A: Absolutely there are advantages. The fact that I’m fit and in shape. If I had to chase somebody, I won’t get winded. Bodybuilding doesn’t make you a fighter. But I can bench press over 365 pounds. So I believe by being stronger, it will help me in defending myself if need be. I wouldn’t say fighting because that’s not what we do (as a deputy sheriff). I’m saying if I had to defend myself, I could.
Q: Is your stature and fitness level intimidating to the inmates?
A: They know I work out. I don’t try and come off as intimidating. That’s not what I do it for, but I think it helps. If you’re an inmate who weighs 150 pounds and see a deputy who is 200 pounds and looks ripped, you wouldn’t pick it with him.
Q: What you do obviously takes discipline. Does the dedication to your sport relate to the dedication to your profession?
A: I like structure. I stay focused. I like knowing what I’m going to be doing at what time. It’s the clockwork. So yes, I try to stay focused on the job. I have been a court runner for several months, and I like the physical exercise of it. It keeps me active all day.
Q: It sounds like you to eat to live and not the other way around.
A: I’ll put it like this. I eat things now that I believe will allow me to eat what I want when I am 60-years old. I look at people who are sixty and they’re on blood pressure medicine, cholesterol medicine, or they have diabetes or clogged arteries. Bodybuilding is not just for looks. There’s the health aspect. I believe by eating healthy now, it’s going to allow me to not be on all those medications when I am sixty. If I want to eat a piece of pizza, it’s not going to kill me, and I won’t have to swallow a blood pressure pill with it.
Q: Which professional bodybuilder do you admire most?
A: Jay Cutler is my favorite. He motivates and inspires me. When I’m working out, I think about what he’d do. Would he stop or would he hit another rep? Go hard or go home. That’s my motto.