West Coast Update With Eric Broser - Austin Karr
By Eric Broser
On my recent trip to Las Vegas for the official grand opening of (7x 212 Mr. Olympia) Flex Lewis’s DRAGON’S LAIR gym, I got to meet one of the fastest rising 212 bodybuilders in the IFBB – Austin Karr. His physique is literally packed with muscle (his legs are freaky), combined with a tiny waist and rock-hard conditioning that makes Austin an immediate standout in any lineup. His goal is very clear for 2021 – qualify for the Olympia and instantly make his presence known as a dominant force on the world’s biggest bodybuilding stage.
I knew I could not leave Vegas without accomplishing a couple of goals of my own! First was to take Austin through a Broser-style chest-crushing workout, and second, to sit down with him for an exclusive GASP interview! Check and check! Hope you all enjoy!
Workout video can be viewed HERE.
Eric: So, Austin, give us a little background info. How old are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
Austin: I am 37 years old and was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m am retired from the Police department where I worked for over ten years as an officer. A few years ago, I inherited my father’s business - promoting NPC local regional shows here in Las Vegas. I’m also a full-time coach and IFBB Professional bodybuilder.
Eric: When did you start bodybuilding and what got you into the gym? How long did it take for you to do your first show?
Austin: I have always played sports my whole life - particularly football. I have worked out for as long as I can remember and my dad was a high-level national bodybuilder, who also was the NPC Nevada Chairman for 30 years. So, I was kind of “born into” the bodybuilding world. My first actual competition was in 2016 where I won the novice overall as a light heavyweight.
Eric: What year did you turn pro and at what show? How did it feel to accomplish this?
Austin: I turned pro at the 2018 NPC North Americans, which was my first national show. It felt absolutely amazing and solidified to me that this was my true calling in life. Truth is, I was always told I had the potential to be a top Olympian - even before I started competing.
Eric: As of right now I believe you have competed in two pro shows and are now preparing for your 3rd. What are you doing differently now to try and improve over your first couple of outings?
Austin: I really haven’t changed much in the way I prepare for competitions because I do not believe in fixing something that isn’t broken. However, as the time has passed, I have altered my training style somewhat, in that I am much more focused and pay more attention to the technique and execution of every movement. I have also added more fats to my diet as I feel it gives my muscles a more full and round appearance.
Eric: Bro, your legs are freaky. Obviously, you have great genetics, especially for quads – but you must also bust your ass to get that kind of development. What are your mainstay exercises for legs, and can you give us a typical workout?
Austin: (Laughing) Thanks! My legs were always a dominant body part for me. Even as a kid I had huge legs and glutes. I did a lot of squats in my younger years and got really strong in that department. Today I focus on a lot of volume training for legs and I split up my workouts, training quads alone on one day and hamstring/glutes on another. My leg training is rather simple in that I generally perform just two compound movements for both quads and hamstrings. I also pay a lot of attention to creating more “refinement” in my legs via leg curls, leg extensions, various lunges and hyperextensions. I believe in extended levels of time under tension, performing anywhere between 12 and 25 reps for all lower body exercises.
Eric: You and I were supposed to get in a training session on film a couple of years ago, but it never worked out. However, we finally were able to do chest together the other day, and I know I put you through a workout that was unlike anything you had done previously. Tell me your thoughts about it. You said the pump was your craziest ever!
Austin: I was DEFINITELY feeling that workout after leaving the gym. I really enjoyed the thought process involved in it. I loved the extended time under tension techniques had me utilize, and the many different angles you worked the muscle from. I felt as if your methods really stretch and expanded the muscle and traumatized the fibers! I really liked that we didn’t have to go “crazy heavy” to get the muscle massively pumped and focused on my technique and various sections of each repetition. I feel training like this can definitely grow new muscle tissue.
Eric: Like I mentioned above, your goal this year is absolutely crystal clear: Win your next show and qualify for the Olympia. After working with you and viewing your physique I don’t think it’s out of the question for you to not only get to that stage, but to crack the top 5. What are your thoughts?
Austin: You are 100% correct. I plan on winning my show in just a few short weeks and immediately qualifying for the Olympia. I have tremendous respect for every single champion that will be on that stage but believe in my heart I can break into the top 5.
Eric: Interestingly, something else we talked about is the fact that you seem to be quickly growing out of the 212 class and may have to soon think about switching to the open division. Do you see this happening? In what timeframe? What happens if you end up top 5 at the 212 Olympia?
Austin: Yes 212 is an amazing division and like I said, I respect all of the awesome competitors in the class. Being over 5’8, however, I feel that my frame has so much more room to grow - especially in the back and chest regions. I have the clavicle width of an open pro and my wheels are definitely up to par. When I make top 5 at the Mr. Olympia, I want to see how I compare with the other competitors. I want to figure out if 212 is right for me and whether I have the potential to become the best. For sure I would like to try the open class to see how I stack up there as well. I want to be smart about my career and what direction I take. I know my body wants to grow, and I don’t want to derail that process by constantly forcing my weight down to 212. I guess I will just wait and see how this year goes first before making and decisions.
Eric: I know you are actually not just a pro bodybuilder, but also a promoter. You are in charge of the NPC Las Vegas Classic, which has been one of the biggest shows in the West for many years. What does it mean to you to promote this show and how hard is it to balance this along with everything else you do?
Austin: I absolutely love promoting the show because I renamed it after my father who passed away in 2017. It is an honor to be in charge of a show with such a great legacy and tradition. I plan to keep making it better and better every year. I take a lot of pride in it because my dad put in years of gut-busting work to make it the best contest in Las Vegas for over 30 years. And honestly, it’s not hard for me to balance everything simply because I love all that I do. I enjoy interacting with all of the athletes – both in person and through social media, as well also being on the judging panel at local NPC competitions. It’s a perfect fit for me and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Eric: Before I close out my interviews I always like to ask if there is anyone you wish to thank. The “floor’ is yours.”
Austin: Eric, I would like to thank you for the interview and training session. I look forward to more! Of course, I must thank my two biggest supporters - my wife and my diet coach Justin Miller. I am so grateful to compete and do what I love to do. This sport inspires me, motivates me, drives me, and gives a goal to constantly strive for. Thanks also goes to my sponsor, HD Muscle, and to the great Flex Lewis for opening up the Dragons Lair here in Vegas. Thank you to Dave Bourlet and 4x Mr. Olympia, Jay Cutler, for featuring me on their channel. And I cannot forget to say thank you to Jim Manion and JM Manion for running such a great organization. Last but not least- thank you God for all things!
Eric: That was awesome brother. Thank YOU for taking the time to sit down and chat with me. I know your future in the sport is extremely bright. I also know that you and I will likely be seeing a lot more of each other very soon!
Austin: I know the sky is the limit for my career and I work harder and harder every day to perfect my craft. I’m again so thankful for everything in my life. My wife and my two kids are of the utmost importance to me and I strive to be the best in the world so I can GIVE them the world. I look forward to continuing my competitive career and expanding and growing my business ventures. Just make sure to remember my name - because I will be a force this year.