Chris Lykins by Michael Anthony Downs
We have already featured the awesome all American hunk Chris Lykins at Stunning Men, but now that he has joined AllAmericanGuys.com, we wanted to show his work with photographer extraordinaire Michael Anthony Downs.
Chris also very kindly accepted our invitation to an interview and was very open in his answers. Check it out at the end of this post!
Mike Downs and Chris' first collaboration has produced beautiful shots and a great behind the scene video, which you can see at AllAmericanGuys.com
My first reaction to the brand new photos was "great shots but Chris doesn't show much of his stunning physique" ... Chris told me that for a first shoot they decided to take it slowly (oh the tease!), but he also told me that Mike Downs is planning another shoot later on this year, around March, involving water ... a seaside shoot would be awesome! We will have to wait and see ...
"Working out is my drug, my way to escape reality, you can catch me in the gym everyday, occasionally I'll take a rest day if I need one."
These words spoken by Chris, only serve to illustrate his dedication to achieving the best physique as he possibly can.
Chris has just created a facebook fanpage, I would urge you to 'like' the page to get to know his work further and support him!
All photographic copyrights to Michael Anthony Downs at AAG.
Here's the interview in full
Stunning Men – Chris, this is such pleasure to welcome you at Stunning Men and be able to interview you.
Chris Lykins – Thank you, the pleasure is all mine!
SM – To start off, could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
CL – I lived in Niles, Ohio my whole life and graduated from Niles McKinley. After high school I had no idea what I wanted to do and was just lost. My friends had helped me out a lot and after I graduated I ended up going to a small college with some friends to play football. I really didn’t like it at all and I ended up withdrawing after the football season. I then moved down to North Carolina to live with my dad.
SM – This must have been a huge decision for you.
CL – Yes, it was a really big move but it was just something I needed to do for myself and it turned out to be the best decision of my life. I ended up joining the Army soon after the move and I loved it. I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. The army played a huge role in my success; the experience really kicked me into gear and pushed me to make something of myself.
SM - What about University?
CL - After I finished training I was accepted into Fayetteville State University where I studied Computer Science for about a year and a half. I can never get situated nor am ever satisfied with anything I do because I always want something better. I wanted another change so I decided to apply to East Carolina University and I was accepted so I had to move again. This is my second semester here and I love it.
SM – Were you already into fitness at a young age?
CL – Growing up I was always into sports and played just about everyone possible in school or out of school, so staying fit was part of the job. Fitness really became a passion, a hobby of mine when my dad first taught me how to lift weights. He always preached to me that “it’s not about how much weight you can lift, it’s all about how you lift.” I took what he taught me and started doing a lot of research on different routines and just amplified what I learned from him.
SM - What about your diet?
CL - Once I finally got the correct form down lifting weights I had to start eating right which was the hardest part because I love food, who doesn’t right? My dad also got me started with a good diet, just the basics but I really had the most help from my mom who has been a personal trainer for years and a nutritionist as well and if it weren’t for her I probably would have never figured out the proper ways to eat, when to eat or what to eat. I know I drove her crazy always asking what I should eat but I appreciated every last bit of help I got from her and if it weren’t for her and my dad I would not be as successful as I am now.
SM – You are now studying Health Fitness I believe; what are you planning to do with this?
CL – Yes, I am. I changed my major to Health Fitness Specialist and I will finish my undergrad at East Carolina University. Once I graduate I am going to move out to California to pursue a career in modelling and hopefully acting. With my degree I would love to train corporate business or even be nutritionists for actors/actresses and I feel I would really be successful considering I am pursuing a career in modelling and I actually put my knowledge of fitness and nutrition to use personally for my success as a model.
SM – You have been in the US Army for 3 years now; what do you enjoy the most?
CL – I enjoy the adventure the most and of course all the hands on training and tactics. It’s definitely something you don’t get to experience everyday and isn’t your typical desk job. There are a lot of opportunities and I love to travel so it’s a great opportunity to see what else is out there and experience new places.
SM – Was modelling something you wanted to do growing up? How did this come about?
CL – Modelling was always in the back of my mind since my dad was a model/bodybuilder and I have always been competing with him because I always wanted to do bigger and better things than he did. It took a lot of hard work, determination and dedication but I am still not satisfied yet. Modelling really started to pick up when I trained with my stepmom and prepared for my first bodybuilding competition where I entered in the Men’s Physique division and after the show I was getting a lot of compliments and that was the biggest motivation to pursue modelling and fitness.
SM – How do you prepare before a shoot?
CL – A lot of cardio! With my body type a low-carb, no-carb diet works the best and is the easiest way for me to cut fat and water weight. It takes a lot out of me and all I think about is pizza or junk food, but my drive overpowers my cravings and I push myself to the limits because of my passion for modelling and being successful. It really is the best achievement knowing that I have the power and will to push myself like that. That to me is the biggest success and in the end is always a great reward.
SM – What do you enjoy the most about modelling?
CL – I enjoy the experiences of trying new things and to me a picture is worth a thousand words. I am always critiquing myself, like they say “you are your worst critic” but when I receive compliments from others about the work that I have done that really inspires me that I am not doing this for nothing, that these people can see my passion for this and hopefully they are inspired just as much as I am.
SM – You have worked with some amazing photographers. Do you have a favourite shoot?
CL – I really enjoyed working with Eric Battershell, we got really creative and just had a lot of fun with it and did several themes. I loved the opportunity I got from Michael Downs who selected me to shoot for AllAmericanGuys, this was a huge deal for me and the biggest compliment that I could get to be placed with the best male fitness models around. He is an amazing photographer and knows how to capture my best attributes and qualities. I am looking forward to another shoot with him soon.
SM – You have an amazing physique. What kind of exercises do you do to keep in top shape?
CL – I am always switching my routines up, I never go into the gym and do the same thing. The majority of my physique comes from the kitchen, it’s all about “how you eat and what you eat” what I do in the gym is just a bonus. I go off on how I am feeling that day; that decides what I actually work on. The weekends I still weight train but I sometimes incorporate cross-fit which is absolutely incredible and really pushes your body to its max. I sometimes go to the football stadium and run the steps and ramps, another crucial full body workout.
SM – Besides modelling, what gets your interest and what are your hobbies?
CL – Sports of all varieties. I love trying new things and will do just about anything. The things I have done so far and interest me are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, boxing, swimming, running, weight training, cross-fit, diving, dancing, football, basketball, baseball, softball, racquetball, 4-wheeling, dirt bikes, snowboarding, fishing, river-rafting, hunting, surfing, jet-skiing, parasailing, clubbing, beach volleyball, watching movies and hanging out with friends.
SM – What do you do to have fun and relax?
CL – To have fun I like to go out with friends clubbing or just sit in front of a big screen TV eat pizza and wings and enjoy the game. I listen to music and just get in a trance to relax and I tend to research nutrition and ways I can achieve the best physique I can.
SM – Do you have any role models? People who inspire you?
CL – My parents are my biggest role models and inspire me the most. There are several other models that really helped me out and gave me a lot of tips which is really appreciated and are a part of my success.
SM – Now a few fun questions if we may? Do you think you are a good date?
CL – I never had any complaints before so I would say so, I am a very outgoing person and can relate to just about everything, and sometimes I can be goofy. I think it’s good to have some sense of humour, just chill and relax.
SM – What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
CL – My junior year in high school, 16 at the time for spring break I literally packed my stuff and drove 7 hours straight to go visit my dad in Kentucky. My mom wasn’t too thrilled about that one considering I left without telling anyone.
SM – Are you a brief man or a boxer kinda guy?
CL – Briefs, much more comfortable.
SM – What do you listen to on your iPod?
CL – When I work out for the most part I will listen to trance and when I am training heavy I like to listen to Linkin Park. Other than that I listen to anything.
SM – One last question Chris, where do you see yourself and what would you like to be doing in 10 years time?
CL – Hopefully in 10 years, my modelling will take me into acting and I will be happy just having small roles on TV or even better in movies which is my ultimate goal and work with the best.
SM – Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions Chris. All the best for the future!