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Tobias Young


Birth Date: April 22, 1975 
Birthplace: San Francisco
Current City: Brentwood, California
Height: 5’10½”
Weight: 235 pounds (offseason); 205 pounds (competition)

Like most men his age, IFBB Physique pro Tobias Young can recall camping out in front of the TV watching Lou Ferrigno bring the Incredible Hulk to life and wanting to look that way. But as influential as Ferrigno was in getting Young interested in training, it was someone else who set him on track for the oft-photographed physique you see here.

“I grew up without a father,” Young says. “I always wished that I had a father growing up to toss the football around or to be there and support me during sporting events, but it was Elliot Daum, who I met through the Big Brothers program, who was always there for me. He got me my first gym membership at age 12, and I have never looked back.”

The Physique division has gotten very competitive. Does that motivate you?

I first competed in 2002, and being the perfectionist that I am, I kept wanting to make more improvements and compete again. But I see it more as competing against myself than anyone else.

What’s the best advice you can give newbies about getting and staying healthy?

The main thing is staying consistent and not rushing the process. I’ve been working out for the past 28 years, so it’s not something that happens overnight. Do your research and get the help that you need. It may be a sacrifice now, but in the long run, it will all be worth it. Without health, there is nothing. Start with small steps and gradually increase the intensity. If it’s hard to exercise outside or if there are too many distractions at your house, then join a gym. It’s a great place to just get away and focus on yourself. 

What’s your general approach to nutrition?

I like to eat five to seven small meals per day with protein as a foundation for each meal. I have veggies with most meals to increase nutrients and add fiber and fullness. I increase my carbs for breakfast, as well as before and after my workouts when I can use them more readily for energy and glycogen replenishment. I still have some cheat meals — usually protein cookies or pancakes — but as I get closer to a competition or photo shoot, they get fewer and farther between. 

How do supplements help you stay big, strong and lean?

I take Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy every morning when I wake up before doing cardio at my house. It gives me a nice energy kick and helps prevent my muscle tissue from breaking down. I take Optimum’s Performance Pack or Opti-Men multi with breakfast to get the micronutrients my body needs. When dieting, I take fish oil or CLA with my meals. Preworkout, I take L-carnitine to help with fat oxidation and HMB along with Platinum Pre- or Gold Standard Pre-. Postworkout, I absolutely love Hydrobuilder, which has fast-, medium- and slow-digesting proteins along with BCAAs, creatine and betaine to help with power. At nighttime, I always enjoy Optimum’s casein as my nighttime treat. With a small amount of water, casein makes a killer pudding. I take ZMA at night, as well.


“One of my favorite types of circuits is a chest/back push/pull day,” Tobias Young says. “By the end of this workout, my chest and back are so pumped they feel like they’re going to explode, and I feel completely blasted.”