Italian champion bodybuilder Francesco Frasca is from the small town of Cori, aprovince of Latina 42.9 miles (69.1 kilometers) from the Eternal City of Rome. Frasca began his bodybuilding career at age 18 and entered his first bodybuilding competition at 21. He is well known as athree-time Italian Champion: 2010, 2011, 2015 and Vice Mr. Universe in 2012. Frasca is also a two-time second place winner of Mr World: 2011 and 2013, took First Place Best Routine World Championchips 2017 and Finalist Olympia Amateur in 2016. In addition, he is also noted for his powerlifting and was Italian Powerlifting Champion in2011 and Vice Mr Europe in 2018.
What made you decide to become a bodybuilder?
Since I was a child, I practiced sports at a competitive level. I started with Kick Boxing,receiving a black belt and competed in several matches. However, my real passion started after my first results with the weight training. After only a year, I participated in my first body building competition in the under 23 category. From that point onward, I competed for 13 consecutive years, competing in more than 50 National and International competitions. I have always had a simple but intense approach to training. I ‘never spared’myself and that's what I am still doing today.
What is your training like?
I divide it into the muscle groups like this:
Monday :Chest / Triceps / Abs
Tuesday :Legs / calves
Thursday: Back / biceps
Friday :Shoulders / Abs.
Generally, my first exercises are basic ones: Bench Press, Squat and Deadlift. Then these are followed by at least 4/5 exercises with maximum weight, always maintaining good technique. Thanks to this approach, I was able to develop a great deal of strength which allowed me to take part in several Powerlifting competitions. My "little personal bests" for a body weight of about 80kg are: bench press 180kg; squat 250kg; deadlift 302kg.
How important is nutrition when you were training for competitions?
Nutrition, on the other hand, at the beginning was the most complicated part of my approach to competitions. It was very difficult to balance the macro nutrients throughout the day, minimizing fat mass and trying to stay strong enough for training. Usually in the off-season period I used to consume almost 5000 calories per day, while in the final stages only 1500 calories. The food remained more or less the same, but obviously the quantities change. Egg whites, oats, rice, chicken, potatoes, red meat were never lacking in my diet, but when I wasn’t preparing forcompetitions, I allowed myself ‘to cheat’ on some meals.
My compliments to you that 3 times Italian Strongman Champion Francesco Gioia personally interviewed you? What was your interview about?
The interview was about both nutrition and training, and the common thought behind working out constantly with fundamental exercises such as the Bench Squat and Deadlift. I discussed my first competitions and about the fact that I personally never use performance enhancing substances to get into top condition. In fact, I explained that many people do not believe that I am drug free and how I focus on naturally building up my body for competetions. Obviously during the years of my competitions, few believed in the fact that I could train without the use of drugs, and this intrigued Francesco to such an extent that he offered me an interview. We covered many topics and we also focused on my priorities at the moment. I'm a full-time Coach, I follow a lot of guys and this year some of them managed to win the Italian BB Championship in different categories.
You had the opportunity to do a workout with the strongman Francesco Gioia, what was that like?
It was amazing. We did some deadlifts and we trained hard and focused heavyly on chest and arm training. Francesco took a lot of care in the technique of executing a deadlift and, first starting with a medium-low weight, then increasing the weight, always trying to maintain the correct execution technique. After several Deadlift series, we went on to the chest exercise, a few machines, and then to dumbbell pushes, using 52kg per arm, make sure we contracted all the muscle fibers as much as possible. Finally, we moved on to the triceps, doing dips on the parallel bars, obviously with precise execution and maximum overload. In this case we used 20kg chains for several training series.
You are now a successful body building coach at your gym, Fight Club Frasca, that you co-own with your brother, Michele, kickboxing champion. Are you and your brother training students to compete in national and international competitions?
My brother and I, as I mentioned before, are now full-time Coaches. My brother Michele manages all the martial arts part, from Kick Boxing to Boxing. I proudly state that over the years several of his students have won both Italian and World Titles. Some have gone pro and Michele follows them in training and in their fights. Instead, I dedicate myself to people (both male and female) who use weights, both for those who want to compete in the Boby Building and in Powerlifting. Just this year one of my athletes, Pietro Molinari, in the category of over 45, took part in the GPC World Championships in Slovakia, finishing second and winning the silver medal.
It is now approaching the new year 2023. What are your fitness suggestions for anyone wanting to get into shape?
My first advice, of course, is to join a gym. Seriously, the most important thing is to try to move in any way possible, whether it's a long walk or a high intensity workout. Another very important aspect is to try to eat as healthy as possible during the week, and allow yourself a free meal on the weekend. Let's always remember that life is movement!
What advice would you offer for those who want to venture into the art of natural bodybuilding?
The first thing to do as a serious body builder is to remember to get a competent coach, one that has a good background in the field of fitness and who also has experience as an athlete and coach. And you must remember not to be in a hurry to achieve immediate results it takes time, commitment and a lot of constancy. Only those who insist and persevere can achieve the desired results.
As fitness is becoming more important for both women and men of all ages and backgrounds, it is often assumed that one can build muscle mass by themselves or by working out with friends at their local gym? Can you please explain the difference for those who join a gym to get into shape and for those who want to join a gym to begin a bodybuilding routine? Does one need a coach for bodybuilding?
In all fields of life, both work and sport, it is essential to contact a professional coach who can follow you to achieve your results. Setting yourself medium and long-term goals allows you to give your best in weight training. From my own personal experience as a coach, having performance improvement as a stimulus, or the goal of a competition, can give you that extra push to achieve your very best during workouts. Precisely, for this reason, in 2023 many of my athlete students, including several women, will compete in some Powerlifting competitions around Italy, with the final conclusion of the Italian Championship.