one of the very first Danes to burst onto the scene and win an IFBB pro card, Only Approved Supplements athlete Klaus Riis has made quite a name for himself in the bodybuilding industry - not only in Denmark, but internationally as well.
Klaus has over 20 years under his belt, and started out doing martial arts and wrestling, which he eventually also did at a professional level before going on to make coaching and bodybuilding his full-time job.
At 31 years of age, he is a married man and lives with his wife in Valencia, Spain.
He trains at McFit and says he does so because of the nice people there, the overall pleasant environment and the high quality of equipment they have as well.
How did you get into working out and how long have you been doing it for?
"I started out by doing taekwondo when I was 8 years old. Later on, I'd go on to do wrestling, which was actually something I did professionally at one point too, but I got more into the whole strength and weight training thing when I was around 21 years old."
"All in all, I've been working out for more than 22 years."
What's your fondest memory from competing, training etc.?
"My best memory from competing is from when I competed in the Dominican Republic. The service there was just incredible and they treated the athletes so well. I had a blast backstage with all of the amazing competitors and just an overall awesome time being there."
"Oh yeah, and winning that show also meant I beat some of the best amateur bodybuilders in the Caribbean, which qualified me for the contest where I would eventually go and win my pro card. I was very proud of that."
"I'm sure a lot of people will say they have great memories from training, and so do I of course. I can't even begin to explain to you how many great workouts I've had and how many times I gave myself a pat on the back for overcoming a challenge in the gym that scared the hell out of me before doing it."
"Another thing is the amazing people I've met and the friends I've made from doing this for all of these years. That's something I'm eternally grateful for."
Which muscle group is your favourite one to train and why?
"Legs is something I've always loved to train, which is probably also the reason why my upper body is somewhat lacking today. Before I got into bodybuilding, I just loved to work out and gain strength, which I obviously also do now, but back then it was all about getting as big and strong as possible without worrying too much and the symmetry and proportion aspect as you do in bodybuilding."
Which muscle group is your least favourite one to train and why?
"Trapz. Definitely. I never train them."
"I think they get so much work from doing back and shoulders - plus I think my trapz are pretty well-developed now, which probably comes from simply doing a lot of strongman and wrestling training over the years."
What's your current training program looking like, and can you name a few of your favourite exercises/techniques?
"I try to change up the order of exercises as well as the training program I go with every 6 or 8 weeks to prevent my body from adapting to what I do. The most important aspects of the actual training - for me at least - is to keep the intensity high but also listening to your body, which is something that I've had to learn over 20 years of doing this stuff."
"The basic exercises always work, no doubt about it, but I think you have to find out what way of doing them works for you personally."
"A sample of a week's worth of training for me could look like this:
Day 1: Chest and shoulders + calves
Day 2: Back and abdominals
Day 3: Legs and calves
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Chest and shoulders + calves
Day 6: Arms and abdominals
Day 7: Legs and calves
Day 8: Off.
What kind of music do you like to listen to while working out?
"When working out, I generally listen to electronic or reggaeton type tunes depending on what mood I'm in."
"When it's time for some heavier sets where I need to bring out some mad intensity, I'll bust out some Disturbed - never fails to help you max out on the big lifts!"
What favourite foods or recipes do you have?
"For cheat meals, I like a nice and greasy burger with fries or some all-you-can-eat sushi."
"I have a bunch of recipes I do to make dieting and simple everyday eating a little more exciting and tasty. For example, there's this greens, fiber and amino sludge type meal I do, which is not only healthy and delicious, but it's virtually zero calorie and a true lifesaver when dieting for a contest."
"Dieting doesn't have to be boring. It's just about being creative with your foods and not being picky. Being a bodybuilder and a picky eater is quite hard to do at the same time. Some foods are tasty and delicious without you even doing anything special when cooking them while others are just flat out boring but work wonders."
What's your worst habit?
"My worst habit is sort of a double-edged sword. I tend to feel like I never do enough. It's very easy for me to over-do stuff and I always like to deliver more than what is expected from me. It's just personality, I guess."
"Whether it's training, dieting, working with clients etc., I always feel like I could do more and better than I am."
If you could go back and start your fitness journey over, would you do anything differently and if yes, what would you do?
"If I could go back and start over, absolutely nothing would be done differently. Through more than the 20 years I have been into bodybuilding, strength, weight training etc., I've stayed healthy, injury-free and happy."
"Of course, I've made mistakes along the way and had to learn from them, but all of these were very valuable lessons that made me the person and athlete I am today, so I would never change anything for the world."
Finish this sentence: before this year ends, I ...
"Before the year of 2019 ends, I promise you all that I'll show you a whole new, bigger and much improved physique."
"Also I want to promise that I'm going to make an even bigger impact this year by helping even more people achieve their goals through my personal coaching business."
"The better we become and the more we learn, the more we can give back."
Can you name some of your favourite supplements?
"I can name one in particular that I would never go without, and that's Recovery by Granite Supplements. It's one I've been using religiously since it first came out. The combination of essential amino acids (EAAs), electrolytes, Cluster Dextrin and Ashwaghanda just makes for an overall awesome product. I definitely feel like it's helped improve my recovery and increase my work capacity, allowing to get back in the gym and train again quicker."
"Besides that, I also love the Health Stack by MPA Supplements, consisting of their HeartSolve and CardioSolve. I value health and longevity more than anything, and these two are some that I cannot go without. Guys, your body is the only one you have, so take good care of it. Without your body being healthy and running at optimal levels, you're never going to reach your strength and/or physique goals."
"Other than those, a good multi vitamin/multi mineral is always a top priority for me, plus a high quality fish oil/omega-3 supplement is something I think everyone should be taking."
"I like the products by Life Extension. They're really high quality and cover pretty much all of the basics you need to have in check, and they come at a fair price as well."