The Pitch: How did you get into this?
Smith: I was 5-foot-6 and weighed 165 pounds when I was in high school. I was like any younger guy: I always idolized some of the bigger guys around the gym. I played football and I ran track, but I got into the weights when I knew I was going to play football at a junior college. My senior year of high school, I ended up gaining to 185 pounds. I broke my ankle right in my first season. And during the rehab, I spent a lot of time in the weight room and figured out my love and passion for building the physique was greater than being a football player.
What is the lowest body fat you've been able to achieve?
This last year at nationals, it was 3 percent, but that's not a level you want to stay at very long because you really don't feel very good. You are really susceptible to injuries because you have hardly any fluid in your joints. Basically everything in your body is muscle and bone.
Married or single? Is the sport good for picking up girls?
I was married for 13 years. I met my wife back at Gold's Gym, but now I'm actually going through a divorce. You know, I think bodybuilding can hurt your relationships a little. It's a little bit more of a self-centered sport. Your life revolves around taking each meal with you, carrying enough water with you. Each meal is as important as each workout. Off-season, you work out for one-and-a-half hours a day, six days a week. Precontest, it's usually about three hours, and then working on your posing.
Guys onstage are suntanned and hairless. Wax or shave?
I don't do the waxing. I do hair removal on my back, where I can't reach, but I usually just shave my body. You have to shave your whole body, arms and legs and armpits. As for bronzing, this year at the nationals, you have paint booths that you get in, and the guys just spray you down. Your color is so important. It's like guys in theater. If you see someone offstage, their color is so weird.
What about the banana hammock?
It's funny because we train a lot of first-time competitors in here. They first look at their posing suit and say, 'There's no way I can go out there looking like that.' And really, you don't even think about it because you are so in tune with getting your body ready to go onstage. The last thing you think about is that you are not wearing any clothes.