IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald Dropping The Truth
Corey Swiergosz: [02:02:12] Corey Swiergosz here, host of the Physique Business podcast, and we are on location today at Truth Gym Gallery with a special guest IFBB Pro Morgan McDonald, thank you very much for coming. How has it been here on the West Coast the last couple of days?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:02:26] Well, first of all, thanks for having me, my man. I’ve had an absolute blast ever since getting here. It was a long journey. But yeah, totally worth a man. Honestly, ever since I landed in Vancouver and Victoria, especially, I’ve just been like, first of all, amazed by the scenery and then the hospitality. All you guys have been showing me just made the this weekend, you know, absolutely amazing for me. Like, I feel blessed, like, have these opportunities like, you know, so yeah. No, everything’s been great, man.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:02:49] So it’s been a long journey not only for you to get out here, but also in bodybuilding altogether. How long ago did you start?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:02:55] Yeah. So I mean, it would be like ten years this year taking it seriously and like, you know, really paying attention to my diet and trying to be on point, my training and supplementation and everything like that and having the goal of actually competing. So yeah, it’s been 10 years now.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:03:08] Awesome. That’s incredible. You know, definitely just to have the persistence to be able to continue through it. Do you have any tips for anybody in terms of, you know, being able to stay with it that long?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:03:19] I think it’s just to understand that getting into this, like if you have the goal of taking it to like a high level, like becoming a pro like I did right away, like I set my after, I did my first show, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a pro. You know, it’s just it’s going to take time. It’s a process. It’s going to be a long journey for you. It’s going to be difficult. There’s going to be highs and lows. But everything is a win in a way. All your losses leading up to you, like turning pro. Like I said, if that’s your goal, they’re all like blessings in disguise at the time. You might not realize it, but it’s just showing you what you need to improve what you need to get better at. And then if you have the champion mindset that you need to be successful in the sport, you’re going to take that and run with it and figure out what you got to do, make the right moves and get better. And then that’s what’s going to get you to where you want to be.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:04:02] Absolutely. At what point in the process did you want to make this your job, your career early on?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:04:08] Like, I honestly fell in love with this sport like like very quickly, and I knew that in order to be successful in it, I was going to have to completely indulge myself in it, even in my career. So jumping into a personal training job at a big box gym took complete advantage of that. I learned everything I could build up. My reputation as a trainer got myself to the point where I could be an online coach and that really benefit in my business because it allowed me to live the bodybuilding lifestyle to the fullest, but still be financially secure enough to do what I love. And I mean, we all know bodybuilding is a big investment in your time, but also like your finances. So, you know, I just feel like, you know, I worked hard to get to where I am, but I feel lucky to be in the position I am to have a career that I love that transfers over directly to my passion, which is bodybuilding competing, right?
Corey Swiergosz: [02:04:48] Cool. Cool. Let’s talk about that because a lot of people say, I don’t want to be a trainer at a big box gym. I don’t want to work for somebody else. But can you talk a little bit about what you learned in that setting? And if you would recommend it to somebody just starting out or not?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald – “So I think for me, working in a big box gym just gave me all the tools necessary to eventually go out on my own and be successful in what I’m doing now.”
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:05:00] Well, I think it’s a great opportunity when you’re first starting out because like, I mean, you’ve got to drop the ego, right? Like, like, you know, everybody wants to get to the point where you’re training high end athletes and things like that and like, that’s a dream of every trainer, but you know, you have to work to get to that point. So I think a big box gym will kind of put you in an environment where you’re going to have a lot of people that are just looking for a trainer just looking to get started. You’re going to be working with beginners and you’re going to be teaching the people the basics over and over again. But you’ve really sharpened and hone your skills at that job. And not to mention, big box gyms offer you a lot of like, you know, sales coaching and courses and that type of thing. And that’s very important. Like, if you plan to go on your own with personal training or coaching, like, yeah, you might be really good at your job, but you need you need to be able to show that to people and market that. And that’s how you’re going to ultimately be successful. So I think for me, working in a big box gym just gave me all the tools necessary to eventually go out on my own and be successful in what I’m doing now. So I mean, I pay homage to those things in
Corey Swiergosz: [02:05:55] A way, right? Absolutely. I mean, every job leads you to the next and as long as you’re in that job and you’re learning and you’re honing your skills and you’re taking in what is around you, it’s only going to help you going into the future. Absolutely. So I think that’s incredibly important. Plus these big box gyms, you know, they put a lot of time into developing their systems and their formulas, you know, to be able to be successful. And so you can definitely learn a lot of stuff by working for somebody before you get into business, you know, obviously on your own. Yeah. You know, in this day and age, social media is everything. Yeah, and I know, obviously from the seminar earlier today, you touched on it, you know, and utilizing video and utilizing YouTube. How big was that aspect of, you know, allowing you to increase your business overall and your brand reputation? The actual video aspect of you getting in front of the camera?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:06:42] Well, you know, from a business standpoint, that’s all I had because especially when I went out on my own, I was like, OK, like Instagram, like YouTube, these are my platform and say, like, explain myself, show people. I know things. So you know, it’s hard to pick up the phone sometimes. And we all understand that. And I think people from the outside looking in and think like, Oh, like, you know, bodybuilder must be nice. All you gotta do is post on social media. But like you know, when you’re trying to support yourself, support your sponsor, it’s like there’s a lot of thought that goes into that. There’s a lot of time like you want to represent, like at a high level, you know, so I think you know me just. Picking up the phone when I didn’t want to, you know, making those videos, you know, putting that out there, you know, you gain people’s respect. And the thing about that is consistency because a lot of people try this, they try the YouTube thing. And you know, it’s tough to keep up, especially when you don’t get the instant gratification, the instant feedback, like, you know, it takes a while for people to take you serious in those realms, right? But I know for me, like, I’m so thankful that when I started out, I pushed myself to do those things and get uncomfortable because it is very uncomfortable at first, like you’re just talking to your phone. But once you do start to get positive feedback and people message you like, Hey, thanks for making that video on how to how to stay on my diet over Christmas, you know, really helped me, you know what I mean? And then you get a client and then you see the things you’re doing are transpiring and benefiting you. You know what I mean? So it’s just like anything, man, you’ve got to put the work in, you know what I mean? And good things will happen.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:08:00] Absolutely. I definitely agree with that. You know, in twenty twenty one, you turn pro at the Canadian nationals. Right? What was the first thing they went through your mind when that happened?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:08:11] Man, that was a very, very crazy experience. That was a very long prep, you know? So I definitely feel like I had I had earned it. But I’ll be honest, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders because, you know, for the last couple of years, bodybuilding like my name was kind of out there like everyone was a pretty big. I always had potential, right? I always had potential. So to finally nail it and be rewarded for all the work I know I was putting in and I had made some mistakes in some earlier shows probably didn’t get the result I wanted because of that. So to finally just nail it through everything right? And no, like, I literally gave everything to that like, you know, and yeah, like to finally be rewarded for it, like on that stage that I competed on twice before and got absolutely mobbed. Like, you know, it was incredible, and it just kind of was like breath of fresh air in a sense, like, OK, I can reset like, I’m a pro now. I’m just like the new guy in the Pro League, the kind of pressure’s off, and that’s what I’m really excited for. And you go on and my pro debut next year is just, you know, just not having such big expectations on myself, you know, just to have a bit of fun with it again, you know, and I’m sure like, I’m sure, you know, I plan to work up to a high level and be at the top of the pro is like, that’s my goal. And, you know, pressure is going to come with that. But for now, I’m enjoying just like taking my physique to the next level and just seeing what I look like compared to those guys, because that’s really the first step, you know?
Corey Swiergosz: [02:09:27] So I’m sure, you know, the excitement of winning the show happens. You go back home, everyone’s, you know, your Instagrams going up. People are congratulating you when reality set back in, say, the following Monday or a week later, you know you started thinking about your career, what it was the first thing that you had to do to get going on with making money, making revenue and be able to transition from an amateur to a pro.
“I’m going to kind of be off the radar for a bit, but I’m going to be working the whole time so that when I do come back on the scene and come back on the radar like people are going to know my name again”
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:09:53] Well, I think it’s just understanding, I mean, the the validation you get from something like that, you know what I mean? Because like, like I said, I was right there like even, you know, for my business, like from a professional standpoint, like, you know, I was a I was a good coach, but like, I still didn’t have anything to like, really like, verify me to people, right? So I think getting that, getting that status that prepared, especially in open body building, you know, it kind of like taking that back home. It was kind of like everyone was like, OK, like, this guy is legit, and it made me feel more legit. It gave me a lot more confidence in myself to, like, start expanding and pushing myself and like, that’s what I’ll do with my business now. Look, I’m hiring some assistant coaches and things like that. And, you know, obviously like my sponsor and stuff like helped me a little bit more. So it’s like all these things that came after that just kind of gave me more and more confidence just to keep pushing myself and keep going and like, that’s what it was like when all that went that high. You know, a lot of people talk about post-show blues, and I’ve had that before, but I know for me like getting the pro card and like, after that, I kind of disappeared. I was just like back to work like so driven because I understood I was OK. That was nice. But like in this industry and bodybuilding, especially like you can be forgotten about very quickly, you know what I mean? And I knew that was coming, and I’m perfectly fine with that. Like, I made peace with that. I’m going to kind of be off the radar for a bit, but I’m going to be working the whole time so that when I do come back on the scene and come back on the radar like people are going to know my name again, you know what I mean? Like, that’s my plan.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:11:12] So cool. Well, I was like, they both Canadian nationals. That just happened in November, December. You know, we awarded twenty four new IFB pros in Canada, you know, and I’ve seen a lot of them disappear already. Do you have any, you know, type of advice that you can say to new young I pros on what they should be doing now before they make their pro debut?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:11:34] Well, I think for most of them, like myself included it, I mean, there’s a couple of exceptions like, I mean, go back to the Toronto bro. The guy that won the classic was he won the Toronto the Pro show, right? So there’s some guys that are just incredible and are just ready to go like right out the gate. But let’s face it, a majority of us new pros, we need more time like. So I understand that you’re all eager to jump on the pro stage because like you want to strike while the iron is hot and like while your name is relevant, but you only get one pro debut, right? And that can really. I mean, if you’ve observed the sport in the last five years, that can make or break somebody, you know what I mean? Like, you have a good pro debut like that can do a lot for you on the business side of things, as well as the. So I think so I would just encourage everyone to kind of do what I’m doing. Be realistic with yourself like, you know, take pictures of your physique when you won your pro career. Compare it to the top pros, right? Like if you’re not close to, they’re like you got years of work but left. So don’t do some shows and just delay the hard work that’s coming anyway that you have to do the off season work right? Get into your off season. Do what you have to do. Get get your physique like to the point it needs to be from a muscularity standpoint and a maturity standpoint, and then go fucking rock the pro stage man and make that pro debut. Make a splash, make an impact because that’s what it’s all about. So I know that’s what I’m doing.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:12:46] So how do you manage your day and what percentage do you focus on your personal development of your physique versus your actual business?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:12:54] Well, I get up early, you know, that’s like the number one thing. Yeah, like as soon as you as soon as your eyes open up in bed, get out of bed because there’s more can be done. You know what I mean? So I mean, for me at this point. Like, the bodybuilding stuff is automatic in the sense that like that comes first to me, no matter what it’s like, that’s my bread and butter. And like, that’s my main goal is our bodybuilding. So like, I’m training what? I’m training, I’m eating when I’m eating like, there’s nothing get in the way of that. Like, I don’t care. It just doesn’t matter. It’s not. It’s just not a variable. But I mean, my business definitely comes like second. So I mean, like, honestly, a typical day for me is like up six thirty seven o’clock. Usually by that time, like, I’ll do some morning cardio or something. Morning Update start coming in, usually working for four hours in the morning, get a couple of meals and then that time because I’m working from home. So that’s very good. Hit the gym, you know, come home and get a post-workout meal. You know, work for three more hours till seven eight o’clock.
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:13:42] Get my last two meals, then go to bed. Repeat because I mean, as a business owner, like, there is no days off. Like, I couldn’t honestly tell you last time I had a day off was, you know what I mean? Like, not while I had this business anyway, because it’s just the business never sleeps, right? And if you want to keep growing, it’s just all day, every day. And if you don’t want to accept that, then don’t be a business owner. Like if you want your weekends off and you want to get up at five o’clock in your day to be done like owning your own business is not for you. You know, it’s just not so. I mean, there’s definitely hard days with that. Like, there’s there’s overwhelming days, but I mean, that’s the grind, you know, because I always say, like some days, I wish for a day off and sometimes those days come like, I’ll have a slack, easy day and I just don’t feel productive. And I’m like, Okay, I got to do something like, you know what I mean? So I’d rather be busy than board, you know?
Corey Swiergosz: [02:14:26] And we talked about a little bit earlier, but you know, the opportunities that get in front of you, how important is it to say yes?
“And that’s why that’s why I have to chase this bodybuilding dream because I refuse to be a what-if person like I just can’t.”
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:14:31] Oh my god, dude. It’s everything like opportunities these days are tough to come by, right? And especially in this industry, because there’s more and more people getting involved and there’s there’s a larger talent pool. So like, you know, a great example is this opportunity for me. You know what I mean? Like, there wasn’t even a fight like of of not coming out here like this to get this like opportunity come out and like to the other side of the country, which I’ve never been before, you know, establish a new network that I’ve never had like, you know what I mean? I think that’s vital because you want to be known as like a yes person. Like people want to rely on you, like people want to know like you’re in it for the right reasons. And, you know, even if maybe you’re not like financially benefiting from something like that directly with this age we’re in of social media and networking like you can make connections just by saying yes to like one opportunity. Maybe you don’t want to do it. Maybe it’s going to inconvenience your life, but it could really like give you a boost sometime down the road. And I think you just need to remember that like, you know, don’t be don’t be selfish in the moment. Like, understand like, you know what these opportunities can do for you and just take them because I’m sure if you don’t like, there’ll be a day that you regret it. And that’s my biggest thing. Like I, that’s kind of how I live my life like. And that’s kind of why I do say yes to every opportunity I get because I fear regret more than anything, right? And that’s why that’s why I have to chase this bodybuilding dream because I refuse to be a what-if person like I just can’t. I got to find out for myself, right? So that’s like everything. I’m like, you know, if you sometimes you take an opportunity, maybe it won’t work out, but at least you tried, at least you found out. And if anything, it’s just a learning experience that you can take with you elsewhere, right?
Corey Swiergosz: [02:15:57] So totally, totally. And I mean, you only live once. And I thought something that you said earlier from the actual seminar was that, you know, you think you have a lot of time, but you actually don’t. So the time is now and also the only thing that is guaranteed to you right now. And I always say to all of my my employees that one hundred percent of the things that you do right now get done, man. And if you wait in the future, it may not. Absolutely. And so I think there’s a lot of value in doing that, for sure. And I think maximizing the opportunities that you have in, it’s like you come out here, you’re on your social, you’re updating your gram, you’re taking pictures, you’re taking video, you’re posting, you’re doing blogs, you’re doing vlogs. You know, you graciously, you know, said, let’s do this podcast. So, you know, just maximize the opportunities that you can, you know, you could have went home or back to the hotel and took a shower or took a nap, you know, before we go on to the next thing, but definitely saying yes, coming out, doing these things, it’s only going to benefit you. All of a sudden,
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:16:49] It’s automatic for me. And like you said, like when I look back at the last ten years and how fast it went by, it’s just incredible. It’s incredible the things that I’ve done and the progress I’ve made. But how how actually fast and like if I had to know I would have work so much harder when I was younger, you know, just like knowing the things I know now, but that’s the beauty of it, right? Like, so I’m just I’m just happy that I do know what I know now, and I’m so excited to just carry on for the next, like 10 or. However, many years I’ve left in the sport and just doing everything I can from a competitive standpoint, but also just like I want to be an ambassador for the sport, I love it so much. It’s done so much for me on a personal level, like a mental health level, you know, so much positivity positivity in my life. I met so many wonderful people, like all you guys here. You know what I mean? And I think like the more people that can get involved and experience that, you know, I think we’re saving lives in a way with this sport, you know what I mean? I think it does a lot for a lot of people. So, you know, if I can just get that out there and get that word out there in any way I can, that’s what I’m all about.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:17:42] You know, what’s next for you?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:17:44] What’s next? Getting huge, bro? Yeah, I got a I got a long offseason ahead of me. So, you know, honestly, I need to take the next four or five months to kind of for some business stuff like I really got my big plan now is taking this year really to kind of get my business in a position where it’s really running itself a little more. So become a more self-sufficient because like in twenty twenty three, like I said, I’m going to start my prep for my pro debut and I just want to be able to be locked in for that. So, you know, offseason, I don’t want to say it’s easier than Prep, but you know, you get a little bit more leniency with things like that. So get time to focus on business. While I’m still making progress and adding the size, I need to add, that’s definitely like my biggest focus. And yeah, man, just looking forward to the pro debut in twenty twenty three. Like, that’s I think about that every single day.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:18:27] So yeah, in terms of your business, where are those revenue sources coming from?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:18:32] Oh, just clients, right? So I mean, like my business, I have like on my coaching business, of course, it works out like a membership basis. So there’s different options for different for different people, what they need, like, how many updates they want, like things like that, right? So some of my clients I work with very closely, especially competitors, things like that, and I have some clients that check in like once a month with me, right? So you know, one thing I know a lot of my clients will say about me, though, is that I work very closely with them. Like no matter what my clients know, I’m at their disposal and that’s how I built. My business is just like really just caring about people and the results I get and my reputation is kind of got my business to where it is. So, yeah, that’s that’s just something I plan to sustain and want to keep, like mortgage-backed nutrition, like no one forced. It’s a quality of service we provide, really.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:19:17] So that’s awesome. And you know what? It’s been great. I think you’ve given people a ton of value and an insight into your life and into your business. Where can people find you on social?
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:19:26] Yeah. So Instagram, Morgan Mack Bodybuilding, Tik Tok Morgan backed up bodybuilding. I’ve been on the TikTok scene a little bit lately. Yeah, yeah, it’s pretty cool. And YouTube Morgan Mack bodybuilding. Yeah, same thing. You can find me there. And I mean, if you go to my Instagram, you can find my nutrition page, which is just Morgan Mack nutrition. So if you’re interested in coaching or anything like that, I just want to see some of the work I’ve done with people. There’s like hundred transformations or so on there. So yeah, check it out.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:19:50] Cool. If you haven’t done so already, head over to Morgan Mack on Tik Tok and watch him shake his ass.
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:19:55] Yeah, that’s it. How much I’m all about the dance videos, guys. If you want to see some moves, head over there now, don’t wait.
Corey Swiergosz: [02:20:00] Yeah, awesome, man. It’s a pleasure. I’m your host. Corey Swiergosz is with the Physique Business Podcast. We are on location at Truth Gym Gallery in Beautiful Victoria, B.C. If you haven’t checked it out, come down and have one of the best workouts of your life. I appreciate, as always, Morgan pleasure having you.
IFBB Pro Morgan MacDonald: [02:20:15] Thank you, man. Appreciate it.