Don't call it a comeback (he's been here for years,) but you can call it redemption. After hitting a career-low 8th place at the 2012 Nationals in Atlanta, Team Scivation member Christopher San Juan has his eyes set on a podium finish at the upcoming 2013 NPC USA Bodybuilding, Figure, Bikini and Men's & Women's Physique Championships in Las Vegas. The welterweight bodybuilder and Scivation Brand Ambassador has been dialing in his training under the watchful eyes of prep coach Jason Theobald, and believes he will bring his strongest package to date when he walks onstage in the University of Nevada Las Vegas concert hall. "I want to redeem myself. I felt like I wasn't in my best shape last year," says San Juan, about his goals for the upcoming show. "Of course, I always want the gold. You have to train for first. I train and diet my butt off."
I know what I am going to do. Now, when I am at work, I am working. When I am at the gym, I am training. When I am at home, I am with my kids. When you have no time you find a way to find time.San Juan spends his days working as a field service engineer in Chicago, installing and repairing high-end hospital gear such as MRI and CAT scan machines. Between a demanding career, performing live demonstrations for Scivation in the Chicago area, and caring for his four children (ages 4 to 19) it's a miracle the 35 year old has the drive to train, much less the time. Somehow, his crazy schedule has provided direction instead of sapping his energy. "I've become more successful since I got into bodybuilding," he says. "It's made me think ahead. Instead of being like, "What am I going to do tomorrow?' I know what I am going to do. Now, when I am at work, I am working. When I am at the gym, I am training. When I am at home, I am with my kids. When you have no time you find a way to find time." San Juan spaces his meals at three-hour intervals, and if he gets hungry between feedings he makes himself an XTEND slushy. He will toss 16 ounces of water, plenty of ice, and a scoop of his favorite flavor of XTEND (Grape Escape, Green Apple Explosion, or Watermelon Madness,) and blend it into an icy concoction that abates his hunger pangs. Even though he has meticulously dialed in his daily macronutrients, he relies on XTEND three to four times a day since it is calorie free. San Juan had a productive off-season in which he was able to bring up his back, which had previously been a weakness. He also experimented with doing more negatives and tempo training, which he feels has given his muscles more fullness. For the non-stop San Juan, the worst part of preparing for competition has nothing to do with dieting or training. "I hate tanning, real tanning," he says. "I am so busy, I don't have time to just lie there."