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Q How important is fitness to you?
A If youÂve 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, itÂs addicting, to be honest with you.
Q YouÂve traded other addictions for it?
A 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 IÂd enjoyed, and after I got sober I started getting back into it. I had missed doing it because itÂs 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 WhatÂs in your gym at OCC?
A We have complete sets of dumbbells Â 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?
A Mikey works out sometimes. Paulie hasnÂt worked out in a while.
Q WhatÂs your schedule?
A We do it every day at noon. We train, have lunch and go back to work.
Q And your routine?
A I donÂt like a long, drawn-out workout. I do a half-hour, 45 minutes. I like to do one bodypart a day, sometimes two. IÂll go in and do just triÂs, and the next day biÂs, then shoulders and chest. When I do chest, IÂll do inclines and declines. Sometimes IÂll do biÂs and triÂs together, but generally I like to concentrate on one bodypart. Some days IÂll do high reps and light weights, some days IÂll do the opposite.
Q Have you changed your regimen as youÂve gotten older?
A Yeah. Five or six years ago, IÂd 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 IÂm doing. And if I put too many expectations on myself, I donÂt enjoy it as much. Sometimes when you expect too much of yourself, you talk yourself out of what you want to do. ItÂs the same with how much I can lift. ItÂs good to have goals, but I donÂt have that demand on myself like I used to.
Q How much do you bench now?
A Right now I could do 400-plus, but it wouldnÂt take me long to get up to 455 again.
Q What kind of diet do you follow?
A I donÂt really do a strict diet, but I donÂt 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 Â I eat a lot of salad with chicken. But IÂll cheat. ThereÂs a great soft-serve ice cream place nearby.
Q You travel a lot. Do you work out on the road?
A If itÂs a day or two, IÂll take the time off Â sometimes itÂs good to do that. But I never take a month or two off. ItÂs easier not to stop. Like in business, itÂs consistency that works.
Q Where do you get your drive?
A When youÂre told youÂre going to be a failure, you work hard to be the opposite. There are a lot of people whoÂve passed away who I wish could see this. TheyÂd be proud.
Q How surprised are you by the success and popularity of American Chopper?
A ItÂs mind-boggling. Our show plays in 160 countries, and people stop us no matter where we go. They recognize me from a distance; thatÂs what really blows my mind. I could be four car lengths in front of somebody, and heÂll spot me.
Q Does the TV show portray you accurately?
A It does now, but it took a long time. It takes people time to know me. ItÂs pretty obvious that IÂm the bull, but thereÂs another part of me, the huge-heart part, that comes out.
Q So youÂre really a puppy dog?
A Yeah, I am!
CHRONICLES OF CUSTOM
>> 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. ThereÂs also a detailed chapter on the bikes. Readers will Âlearn a little more about why we are the way we are,Â Senior says. ÂSome of it might be shocking. ThereÂs a lot of insight about me and my family.Â ItÂs the first of several books, he promises. ÂIÂll probably do a biography.Â $30, twobookmark.com Â G.M.
With Paul ÂSenior,Â everythingÂs fit to print. HereÂs a little of the Q&A you wonÂt find in the March issue of Muscle & Fitness:
ÂI guess the misconception would involve what a hard-ass I am. People think IÂm like that all the time but IÂm not.Â
On the downside of fame:
ÂThe loss of privacy, definitely.Â
EditorÂs 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, weÂre based in Southern Cal Â it was probably just wishful thinking.