Eric Marriner Athlete Profile

Eric competed for the first time on a natural bodybuilding stage with the INBF in 2009. He is planning to compete in at least 2 more competitions in 2010.
Eric Marriner

Quick Stats

  • Eric Marriner
  • 23 (April, 1986)
  • West Paterson, New Jersey
  • 5'9"
  • 165 lbs
  • 5
  • Back and Legs
  • Deadlift and Squats
  • Whey Isolate and Creatine Monohydrate

Your Background

Competition History

  • 2009 INBF Northeast America. I placed 4th out of 11 in the open lightweight class.

Eric Marriner Natural BodybuilderWhat is your background and how did you get started in bodybuilding?

When I was 18 I weighed in at a whopping 125 pounds. I was actually an inch to an inch and a half taller (I've messed up my discs a little since then) and I always thought I looked pretty damn good. Then I started seeing all these guys in the muscle magazines and I said I want to look like that. So I started lifting weights and fell in love. I have no idea what I would do with myself if I could not lift anymore. It's become a lifestyle for me. And it's the one thing I can always keep as long as I am willing to put the effort in.

Why do you love bodybuilding?

There's simply no challenge like it. Watching my body completely transform has been the coolest thing ever. I also love knowing that I look better than a vast majority of the population, and honestly I never ever want to be a typical American again. I never want to be normal by America's standards because normal is fat. It's completely ok and accepted for a woman or man to walk around with a bodyfat of over 23%, but God forbid I dip below 4% for a show - people tell me I look like I'm sick. Well honestly, I like having abs and muscles, and I'm ok being involved in this subculture because I know that I am healthy. I eat healthy, training keeps me physically healthy, and ever since I started lifting I feel healthier. Like I said before, natural bodybuilding is a lifestyle for me and I would never choose any other way knowing what I know now. 


What is your training philosophy?

Heavy weight, relatively low reps. That never changes.

What's a good workout routine that has given you results?

I plan my training in phases. I get overtrained really easily because I squat and pull a substantial amount of weight for a natural my size. It taxes my CNS more than my muscles after a few weeks, and my fourth week of every cycle is usually a recovery type week for my joints (I've had arthritis since before I touched a weight) and nervous system. Anyway, this is the program I am on right now.

Eric Marriner Training Phases


Barbell Bench Press

  • Week 1: 180x5, 210x5, 235-failure (around 9-10)
  • Week 2: 195x3, 220x3, 245-failure (around 7-9)
  • Week 3: 210x1, 235x1, 260-failure (around 5-7)
  • Week 4: recovery week

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

  • 3 sets x 5-6 reps

Either flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets x 5-6 reps, or lighter weight, shorter rest, flat barbell bench press for 3 sets.



  • Week 1: 245x5, 280x5, 315 x12
  • Week 2: 265x3, 300x3, 335 x 10-12
  • Week 3: 280x1, 315x1, 355 x 8-10
  • Week 4: recovery

Bent Over Dumbbell Row

  • 2-3 sets 145-160 pound DBs max reps (6-12)

Weighted Wide Grip Pull Up

  • 2-3 sets 45-65 pounds, 4-6 reps

Chest Support Machine T-Bar Row

  • 4+ plates, max reps (6-10)

Eric Marriner Back Double BicepsShoulders and Triceps

Military Press

  • Week 1: (you get the idea now, two lighter warmup sets) 150 x 12
  • Week 2: 160 x 8-10
  • Week 3: 180 x 5-7
  • Week 4: Recovery

Dumbbell Lateral Raise. I normally use DBs but I'm waiting for my new wrist wraps to come b/c my wrists have been all messed up since april. The last few weeks I have been using the machine.

  • 3 sets x 6-8 reps

Hammer Strength Shoulder Press or Seated Dumbbell Press

  • 2-3 sets x 4-6 reps

Floor Bench Press (For 2 more weeks. I'm trying to improve my bench as much as possible b/c my chest sucks and my bench is pathetically week.)

  • 255-285 x 4-6 reps

Behind The Head EZ Bar Skullcrushers (Elbows tucked in)

  • 2-3 sets x 6 reps

Cable Tricep Extension

  • 2-3 sets x 6-8 reps



  • Week 1: 315 x 10-12
  • Week 2: 335 x 8-10
  • Week 3: 355 x 8
  • Week 4: Recovery

Reverse VSquat Machine or Good Mornings

  • 5-6 plates for 6 reps (Feet are wide and almost off the platform for hamstrings) or i do Good Mornings

Single Leg Leg Press or Dumbbell Walking Lunge

  • 6-8 reps for lunges. I use 90-100 pound DBs, slow reps and push off my heels

Leg Curl - Alternate seated, standing and prone

  • 6 reps per set

I will be adding Leg Extensions following this week.

Routine Notes

Bench and shoulder press I add 5 pounds to my working set every new cycle, squats and deadlifts I add 10 pounds.

Eric Marriner Natural Bodybuiling CompetitionIf you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Squat
  2. Barbell Bench Press
  3. Deadlift

There's a reason why these the only movements powerlifters use in a meet. You get strongest using them. More weight plus more reps equals more muscle. How could you go wrong with these three lifts.

What's the best training tip you could give to others?

Light weight is not always the enemy. During my years of training, I've seen so many people doing exercises wrong. Example: my girlfriend has been lifting for two years. Just last night I told her that we are dropping the weight until her form is perfect. I'm talking everything, breathing, range of motion, alignment of the spine, the path the weight travels through. And that's 2 years that she could have been reaping the rewards of added muscle and strength had she been doing it properly.

I work in a gym, and as I walk around I can literally go up to every person and make their set more effective if they're willing to listen. Problem is no one wants to drop the weight because it's an ego thing. Bottom line - you will get strongest and build the most muscle when the weight is traveling through it's proper path, and when you breathe properly. I've put up to 30 pounds on people's bench and 50 pounds on their squat in 5 minutes by teaching them how to breathe and put their body in the right position to lift the most weight.


What is your philosophy on nutrition?

Exercise and nutrition are two of the greatest unknown subjects out there. By that I mean there is no best way to get to a certain stage of development. Everyone thinks they know the best way, or they have the best methods to build muscle and get shredded. 5 years of training and I am still learning, and I am quite content knowing that my body is ever changing and I may never know what works "best". I have found a plan that seems to be pretty effective right now; that being said I am always trying to soak up more knowledge in the constant search for better results.

Give us a typical day in your off season diet:

Meal 1

  • 16 oz milk
  • 1 tbsp mac nut oil
  • 2 cups oatmeal (dry)
  • 1.5 scoop isolyze

Meal 2

  • 6-8 oz chicken
  • Rice or potato with Smart Balance

Meal 3

  • Repeat meal 1

Meal 4

  • 6-8 oz chicken
  • Rice or potato with Smart Balance


  • 3 double cheeseburgers from Burger King =)

Meal 5

  • Same as meal 1

Eric Marriner Eat HealthyGive us a typical day in your diet (contest prep):

This was the majority of my last prep. My next prep will contain a lot more calories, and definitely more healthy fats.

Meal 1

  • Egg whites (7) 1 yolk
  • 2oz grilled chicken
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 10 almonds

Meal 2 - Postworkout

Meal 3

  • Poultry/fish or red meat (6oz)
  • 2 cups veggies
  • 10 almonds

Meal 4

  • Poultry or fish (6oz)
  • 2 cups veggies

Meal 5

  • Poultry/fish or red meat (5oz)
  • Sweet potato/yam/potato - medium size yam OR 1/2 cup brown rice (before cooked)
  • Veggies
  • Whey protein (1 scoop)
  • 10 almonds

Meal 6

  • 6 hard boiled egg whites
  • Veggies
  • ½ grapefruit

Meal 7

Favorite cheat food?

Burger King double cheeseburgers.

What's the best training tip you could give to others?

Eat relatively healthy year round. You'll look better and feel better.


What supplements do you use that give you great results? How do you use them?

  1. Whey Protein Isolate. I take it 2-3 times per day. I switched to isolate a few months back because it absorbs more rapidly than concentrate and blends. I don't like to walk around feeling full, and isolate doesn't sit in me the way the others do.
  2. Creatine Monohydrate and Dextrose. Postworkout. Time after time these two supplements have proven to be effective. Two of the three supplements that have proven themselves for a long enough time to make the investment in. And they're both cheap =).
  3. NO-Xplode. My favorite pre-workout. 30 minutes before the gym on as empty of a stomach as possible.

Eric Marriner

What brands do you think are offering the best products at the moment?

Scivation Xtend is a great product as well. 

What do you think is a good off season muscle building stack?

Protein and creatine. I personally don't think investing in muscle building supplements is worth it anymore. I'd rather save my money and buy more food.

What do you think is a good pre-contest/fat loss stack?

Not applicable for me. Pre-contest I am more concerned with retaining as much muscle as possible. This prep I used USPLabs Prime, HMB, and Beverly Mass Amino Acids and Universal Nutrition liver pills. I will be cutting out HMB and Beverly Mass Aminos and substituting Scivation Xtend this time. Great product from a great company.

Advice For Others

What are the 3 best tips you'd give to someone thinking about competing in natural bodybuilding?

  1. Come in in the best condition you possibly can. Don't try and play the size game. Judges look for good muscle development, symmetry, and insane conditioning. The guy with the best conditioning almost always wins. That being said, don't cheat on your diet. You will regret it after your show.
  2. Work on your posing. Bad posing instantly makes you place worse. And have someone help you if possible. Don't forget the judges are beneath you, one of the mistakes I learned from.
  3. Just do it! And most importantly have fun!

What is your best advice for looking your best on competition day?

Honestly this I cannot answer as of yet. The last person I had guiding my prep I feel was not knowledgeable enough and I will either be working with Layne Norton or Joe Klemczewski this year, if I decide to work with anyone at all. I'm still very undecided at this point. Affordability also comes into play. So my best advice to someone new would be work with one of these guys who knows what they are doing. There are a lot of people out there who do preps, but I look at they're clients and what they looked like the day of their show. 

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who's having trouble staying on track?

Short term and long term goals. I think about them between each set. I focus on being the greatest, and when I am in the gym I picture myself becoming the greatest natural bodybuilder of all time. This helps me to do what I have to do in the gym. Mind you, I don't walk around with this attitude, it's just simply a mental picture that helps me focus on where I want to be.

Future Plans

What shows have you got coming up, where can we see you compete?

I'm waiting for the 2010 schedules to come out, but I will be doing both an NPC and INBF show around October, locally in either New Jersey, New York, or Connecticut <-- my real home state =).

What would you like to achieve in your natural bodybuilding career?

I would like to become a WNBF pro this year. Either way I will most likely be switching to the NPC following the 2010 season, as I feel it is better run and the competition is outstanding. A lot of people suggest that I compete in the OCB, however I like that the NPC has local, state, and national level shows. I feel that it is too easy to become a pro in a natural org, and once you get there it's always the same guys cracking the top 5.

Favorite Competitors/Idols

Who are your favorite bodybuilders and idols?

I will say I don't idolize anyone. I've met each and everyone of these except for Mark Alvisi. These guys are some of the nicest and knowledgeable people I have met and they're all incredibly down to earth, especially Evan Centopani.

Natural - Dave Goodin, Brian Whitacre.

IFBB - Evan Centopani, Kai Greene and I also really like the structure of new IFBB pro Mark Alvisi.

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