Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
June 23, 2024
Interview With Fitness Star Anthony Catanzaro

Anthony Catanzaro By Ben Tatar

1) Critical Bench: Tell us about yourself?

My name is Anthony Catanzaro, I am 34 years old. My mother and father were born in Sicily, so that makes me 100% Sicilian. I started working out at 15, and the rest is history. I have been married for 6 years, and I have been with my wife for the past 12 years! I love life, animals, and I love to help others!

2) Critical Bench: What was it like being in a family of six children?

Since I was the youngest, it was cool because I was the most spoiled. Most of my siblings are much older than me, so they were more like parents to me than brother and sisters. My parents have both passed away, I really miss my mother and her unbelievable cooking, and hanging out with my dad.

3) Critical Bench: So you use to imitate people and you would do anything to make other people laugh. I'm sure you have a lot of funny stories to share. Tell us some of your all time funniest life time stories?

Well I do love to imitate people, I used to imitate my uncle Sal, He always used to complain about his wife never cooking for him. So I used to dress like him and I sounded just like him with his deep Italian accent saying "my wifa, she maka me popacorna for dinner"!

My uncle Sal was my mother's brother, so she had the same accent! Just once I wish I could still hear her say "Anthony, Leava your uncle alona you sonomabitcha!"

I used to torment my uncle Sal, I would tie his shoe laces to the chair so that when he got up, he would fall to the floor! When I met my wife's family, it was a whole new adventure!!! My wife has an older brother named Jimmy. Now this guy, well all I can say is that you have to meet him to understand! He drinks about 12 cups of coffee a day, Just one cup is so strong that it would wake up John Wayne!! My father in-law loves to sing. He is actually a good singer, and loves to sing Elvis songs. Before they moved to Florida, he had a Karaoke setup in the basement. Now Jimmy lived in the basement!! But Jimmy loves the Beatles, so you can just imagine my father in-law singing Elvis songs FULL blast while Jimmy is high on caffeine! Jimmy is incredibly shy, so he would always wish to himself that we would just go upstairs! All I can say is that you had to be there! I have to say that the funniest moments of my life were the stuff that just happened naturally that just stays in your head forever.

4) Critical Bench: So Hulk Hogan inspired you to begin bodybuilding and after that your life took off. Weight training can also help other lifters conquer their dreams much like it has helped you conquer yours. So, cut us an interview promo or an inspirational speech and tell everyone why they should start working out and how weight training can improve their lives?

First off, I have to say that I owe my life to fitness and well being! It is not just something that I do, it is who I am 100% mentally and physically! There is so much to understand and learn from diet and exercise and there are tons of false info out there which will confuse and discourage people in making the correct progress. The bottom line is nothing good in life comes easy. You must be open minded and willing to learn from your own mistakes. Try to hang around people who can inspire you and not discourage you. Remember what I say, If you want to soar like an Eagle, you cannot hang around the Buzzards! Choose your friends wisely, for they can be a positive or negative influence on your life!

5) Critical Bench: You have been on many different TV shows, commercials and films. I'm going to name a TV show and I want you to comment on all of these TV shows and films that you have been on and tell us about your experiences.

Law & Order - It was fun to meet the cast of the show and that was the beginning of my career so I learned a lot from that experience.

Saturday Night Live - Incredibly exciting, got to see first hand the pressures of a live TV show!

Good Day New York -It was fun because at that time my dad was in the hospital and he got to see it live on TV, so it made his day!

Phil Donahue - The first talk show I was ever on! I remember my mom had recently passed away, but my father was there to watch it with me, he was very happy.

Fitness Star Anthony Catanzaro Gordon Elliot - The second talk show, pretty much the same. Gordon Elliot is a big guy!

Charlie Perez - Here is a guy that just started out but his show didn't last long. I was a male model for the show!

Ricki Lake - This is a good one, I was crowned King of Cinco De Mayo, and I am not even Mexican!

Maury Povich - I have been on Maury quite a few times, mostly escorting Drag Queen contestants to the stage.

Amanda Lewis - This was a nice show that I was on with my wife and my aunt to promote my playgirl centerfold

Good Morning America - Great morning show that I was on talking about health and fitness

Sex and the City (HBO) - I am on the beginning credits.

Whoopi (NBC)- I was a waiter in a Diner scene

Mr. Romance (Oxygen TV)- I was made the star of the show! Because of sensitivity and love for my wife!


Carlito's Way - I played a bouncer

The Scout - Played Yankee first baseman

Batman: Gothic This was a fun Indie film to work on


Nordic Track- Back in 1992

Guess Jeans - Also in 1992

The Loving Game- A commercial for a fun board game I did back in 1994

6) Critical Bench: If you were in a movie or in the WWE what would be your ideal way of entertaining others? Tell us about the persona that you would like to play and what your TV show would be like? What sorts of things would you do and what would happen on your show?

I would like to do a variety show where I can come out as different characters in different scenes. I would bring to life the people I have imitated in the past that I think are unbelievable characters like my uncle Sal, my brother in-law Jimmy, my friend's parents etc.

7) Critical Bench: Away from appearing on television, you also have competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions across the Country and you have won five major titles. I'm going to name five competitions that you succeeded in and tell us about your experiences in the following five competitions.

  1. 1997 Mr. Fitness Champion- This was the proudest day of my life! I came in third place the year before, so I did what I had to do to win the title in 1997! Why I am so proud is that I did it all on my own, I choreographed my own routine and proved to myself that I was a winner! This is the first contest I had ever won besides winning hot body contests in the dance clubs hanging out with my friend Nick, but that's another story.....

  2. 1998 Natural Bodybuilding, Middleweight Champion- Another proud moment in my life, this was the first bodybuilding show I have ever entered and I took first place!

  3. 2001 INBF Tournament of Champions, Middleweight Champion- This show was held in Garden City, NY. It was a tough competition.

  4. 2002 NPC New York State Bodybuilding, Middeweight winner & overall champion- This show was a blessing to me. It was actually held at my old high school in Brentwood, NY. It was a weird coincidence. I took the whole show.

  5. 2003 Fame America Model Universe, First Runner Up- This show was held in Miami Beach. I beat out 52 other guys!


8) Critical Bench: Out of everything that you accomplished, you have said that when you inspire others then that is what makes you the happiest. How do you normally inspire others and when you personally train others what types of things do you say to them? How do you motivate them and set a fire within them?

As I said before, every one is born with a gift. I believe that my gift is to help and to inspire others achieve greatness. I instill in everyone that anything is possible and anyone with a heartbeat has a chance! Too many people today do not have any confidence in themselves. You have to understand that God put all of us here for a purpose. So if he has confidence in you, then why can't you have confidence in yourself?

9) Critical Bench: You have appeared in many magazines before. Some of the magazines that you have appeared in include Muscle and Fitness, Playgirl, and Natural Bodybuilding Magazine. What was it like getting published constantly?

It is very exciting to me! Before my mother passed away, I told her that people would know my name somehow, I don't know if I am there already, but I am working on it.

10) Critical Bench: Okay, so you clearly have chased your dreams and you have succeeded. I think a question that we all want to know is how did you get on the cover of the muscle magazines, how did you get on commercials and how did you get on all of these famous television shows? What are some of your internal and external secrets for having the fame and publicity that you have attained?

Well it all comes down to one thing, meeting the right people and having the confidence to know that I could do it! Believe it or not, I do not have an agent, 95% of the stuff I have gotten was on my own! I would send letters to magazines, or call and ask to speak to the Editor in-chief or art directors to set up meetings! It's amazing what you can do when you are confident in the way you speak!

Tony and Tina 11) Critical Bench: Where did you meet your wife Tina and how did the marriage start? Do you plan on having kids in the near future?

I met Tina in a dance club. I was on stage in a hot buns contest. After the contest, I saw this beautiful woman smiling at me, so I ran back to tell my friend Nick that this gorgeous girl is smiling at me and I am going to try to talk to her. This all happened 4 months after my mom passed away in 1993. She always said that when one doors closes, another one will open for you Anthony. I proposed to Tina at her 30th surprise party and I threw for her in front of all of our family and friends. Yes we would love to have kids in the near future.

12) Critical Bench: Everyone is probably wondering about how you got so ripped? Tell about a little about your diet, tell us your training routine, your special training techniques and your training secrets that you have used to have gotten as shredded and fit as you are?

Getting ripped is one word....DIET! Truthfully, I eat nothing but grilled chicken every three hours and that's a fact! I don't really believe in bulking up too much during off-season. It is just more body fat to lose for a show. The body naturally can only gain 5-10 lbs of muscle a year, so why gain 30-40lbs when it is not all muscle? I have plans this year of going off from my off-season weight of 188lbs to 205lbs. That is because I will be competing 10-15 heavier next year. By the way....I do this all naturally! I have NEVER taken any kind of steroids or growth hormones of any kind, nor do I even know anything about them or what they look like.

13) Critical Bench: What are your future goals?

My goals today are what they have always been, to inspire the world to get into shape and to live a happier healthier life!

14) Critical Bench: What are the top 10 most important factors to building a physique like yours?

  1. Proper diet, without it you will not achieve the definition you aspire to have.

  2. Patience! Anything beautiful takes time to grow!

  3. Proper training, understanding about form and learning the different muscle groups.

  4. Reading, you would be surprised what you can learn from others.

  5. Visualization, if you see it happen, you can make it happen!

  6. Persistence, you have to do what you have to do!

  7. Learn to love yourself, just like plants grow with love, so will your body.

  8. Confidence! It all starts with that word!

  9. Support, try to hang around people who will support you and not discourage you.

  10. Trust in God! Say a prayer before you eat your meals and give thanks to he who created you for greatness!

Ripped! 15) Critical Bench: What is it about bodybuilding that you love so much and how has it changed your life?

The look on peoples faces, when they see you and want to look like you. This is how I know that I was destined for this. When I am no longer here, people will remember me for who I was and what I believed in. So in that sense, I will live forever.

16) Critical Bench: What are your final words to everyone reading your interview?

All I can say is that I cannot thank you all enough for all of your incredible support and love that you have shown me throughout the years. Every dream I have ever dreamt has come true for me a thousand times over! My life has had a lot of ups and downs, but I never lost focus on what I was born to be. Some of you right now reading this may think that I was just lucky in this, but that is not true at all. There are even times when I doubt myself and that is when I look deep down inside and find that little guy that reminds me of who I am and what I was destined to be. We all have that little guy inside of us trying to tell us that we are here with a purpose. Remember, God lives in all of us. Ask him to be in your corner and there will never be a mountain too high for you to climb.

God Bless all of you!
All my love,
Anthony Catanzaro

Visti my site at: www.anthonycatanzaro.com

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