Q How important is fitness to you?
A If you’ve seen the show, you know how much stress I deal with! The thing is, when you work out, you look good and feel good. To me, it’s addicting, to be honest with you.

Q You’ve traded other addictions for it?
Absolutely. After I got sober in 1985, I bought a little bench and some plastic weights, like I had when I was a kid. I was a skinny kid. I mean skinny. And when I started working out, I put on probably 30 pounds in four or five months and it was all muscle, because I was very lean. I stopped when I got involved in drugs and all that, but it was something I’d enjoyed, and after I got sober I started getting back into it. I had missed doing it because it’s a big stress-reliever. I had the steel-fabricating business, so I started building my own equipment. I had every piece of equipment you possibly could imagine.

Q What’s in your gym at OCC?
We have complete sets of dumbbells — up to 160s. We have inclines, declines, punching bags, benches, laterals and a real nice crossover, like a Universal. We have leg extensions, leg press, tons of stuff. Five or six of us work out at one time.

Q Do you work out with your sons?
Mikey works out sometimes. Paulie hasn’t worked out in a while.

Q What’s your schedule?
We do it every day at noon. We train, have lunch and go back to work.

Q And your routine?
I don’t like a long, drawn-out workout. I do a half-hour, 45 minutes. I like to do one bodypart a day, sometimes two. I’ll go in and do just tri’s, and the next day bi’s, then shoulders and chest. When I do chest, I’ll do inclines and declines. Sometimes I’ll do bi’s and tri’s together, but generally I like to concentrate on one bodypart. Some days I’ll do high reps and light weights, some days I’ll do the opposite.

Q Have you changed your regimen as you’ve gotten older?
Yeah. Five or six years ago, I’d go downstairs and swim for a half-hour and do a hot tub and steam every day. But as you get older, it gets harder and harder to do that. What I try to do is not make it a job. I want to enjoy what I’m doing. And if I put too many expectations on myself, I don’t enjoy it as much. Sometimes when you expect too much of yourself, you talk yourself out of what you want to do. It’s the same with how much I can lift. It’s good to have goals, but I don’t have that demand on myself like I used to.

Q How much do you bench now?
Right now I could do 400-plus, but it wouldn’t take me long to get up to 455 again.

Q What kind of diet do you follow?
I don’t really do a strict diet, but I don’t eat a lot of fast food and I control the red meat. I try to stick with chicken and fish. I have oatmeal in the morning with nuts and raisins and maybe egg whites, and then a salad for lunch — I eat a lot of salad with chicken. But I’ll cheat. There’s a great soft-serve ice cream place nearby.

Q You travel a lot. Do you work out on the road?
If it’s a day or two, I’ll take the time off — sometimes it’s good to do that. But I never take a month or two off. It’s easier not to stop. Like in business, it’s consistency that works.

Q Where do you get your drive?
When you’re told you’re going to be a failure, you work hard to be the opposite. There are a lot of people who’ve passed away who I wish could see this. They’d be proud.

Q How surprised are you by the success and popularity of American Chopper?
It’s mind-boggling. Our show plays in 160 countries, and people stop us no matter where we go. They recognize me from a distance; that’s what really blows my mind. I could be four car lengths in front of somebody, and he’ll spot me.

Q Does the TV show portray you accurately?
It does now, but it took a long time. It takes people time to know me. It’s pretty obvious that I’m the bull, but there’s another part of me, the huge-heart part, that comes out.

Q So you’re really a puppy dog?
Yeah, I am!

--Gerri Miller

Biker Book

>> What makes the Teutuls tick? Find out in Orange County Choppers: The Tale of the Teutuls, a photo-filled book that includes perceptive anecdotes about American Chopper and bike-enthusiastic celebrities such as Steven Tyler, Ewan McGregor and Jay Leno. There’s also a detailed chapter on the bikes. Readers will “learn a little more about why we are the way we are,” Senior says. “Some of it might be shocking. There’s a lot of insight about me and my family.” It’s the first of several books, he promises. “I’ll probably do a biography.” $30, — G.M.

With Paul “Senior,” everything’s fit to print. Here’s a little of the Q&A you won’t find in the March issue of Muscle & Fitness:

On misconceptions:
“I guess the misconception would involve what a hard-ass I am. People think I’m like that all the time but I’m not.”

On the downside of fame:
“The loss of privacy, definitely.”

Editor’s Note: Our sincerest apologies to the team at OC Choppers for mistakenly linking them to Orange County, California, in our print edition. We like bikes, we like American Chopper, we’re based in Southern Cal – it was probably just wishful thinking.