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My Life

Full name: Fred Steve Smalls II

Nickname: Biggie Smalls

Date of birth: October 8, 1975

Height: 5’7”

Off-season weight: 280—but from now on, no more than 260!

Contest weight: 225

Current residence: Townsend, Delaware

Years training: 17

Occupation: Personal trainer, nutritional consultant, contest prep coach

Marital status: Married to Karen

Children: 4

Hobbies: I was a dancing minor in college and still love to dance. I also do choreography for fitness and bodybuilding competitors and cheerleaders. I love playing with my kids and listening to music.

About Fred Smalls

How did you get into bodybuilding?

At 13, I was too heavy at 5’ and 180 pounds. My mom was concerned and took me over to The Training Center, where I run my business today, many years later. She got me a trainer to whip me into shape, and he was a powerlifter. I competed successfully in that sport, and in 1996 I was the world champion in two federations, the ADFPA and WNPF. There were also two state champion bodybuilders at my gym, To-Ze Manjerico and Dave Dollar. I fell in love with that look and wanted to have a muscular physique and win my state show. The owner of my gym helped me get ready for my first contest, the ANBC Delaware, which I won. People told me I had great potential, so I wanted to keep going.

Who inspired you when you were starting out?

I liked Shawn Ray’s physique, but when I saw Flex Wheeler guest pose in my area in 1996, I was blown away that a person could possibly look like that. I was also influenced by Ronnie Coleman’s work ethic and training intensity. Of the guys out there today, I would say Dextar Jackson and Shawn Rhoden as there constant ability to improve and work hard keeps me believing I can still achieve greatness In our sport.

Top titles:

  • 2016 2nd place Arnold classic Asia
  • 2016 3rd place Vancouver pro
  • 2016 5th place Arnold classic South Africa
  • 2015 Dallas pro overall champion
  • 3 times Arnold classic best poser

Favorite bodypart to train:

Chest and legs.

Favorite exercise:

Squats and benchpress.

Least favorite exercise:

Seated Calf raises

Best bodypart:

Chest

Most challenging bodypart:

Hamstrings

Obstacles overcome:

In 2005 I had a severe injury to a tendon in my wrist after a bad spot on heavy incline dumbbell presses—it caused my hand to almost turn fully around. I couldn’t even hold a 12-pound dumbbell. The doctors said I had two options: either lift very light weights from then on or train heavy until the tendon fully tore so they could go in and reattach it. Instead, I chose to rehab it on my own by gradually increasing my weights, and now it’s fine. But that episode definitely taught me not to take training and competing for granted or to assume they would always be there—because you never know which workout or contest may be your last. In 2018 I tore my chest while benching 585lbs.

What’s your bodybuilding philosophy?

Be consistent , always focused on your why , be disciplined in your approach to your goal , and results will happen.

How do you stay motivated?

I want the feeling of being the best. I love to train, and most of all I want to show my kids that if you work hard and never give up, you can accomplish anything. I also get so much love and support from my wonderful wife Karen, and that keeps me going every day for sure!

How would you describe your training style?

I switch up my angles and rep schemes after every three workouts so that they never get stale—and also to prevent injury. The volume is fairly high, and my favorite intensity technique is drop sets.