Hennie Kotze

Hennie Kotze

Interview - IFBB SA Champion

This month, SSN had the opportunity to chat to Hennie Kotze after being crowned IFBB SA Overall Champion, and got some insight into what principles worked best for him on his road to SA Champs. Read on and find out more about South Africa's number 1 bodybuilder.

IFBB SA Overall Champion - The Ups & Downs

Let's start 10 years back in 1999 when I first stepped onto the stage as a light weight. That year I stepped on stage with guys like Shameen etc. I would never forget the disappointment when, at the prejudging, I did not even make the top 10! I did my quarter turns for 5 minutes and left the stage. I decided that this was never going to happen again. I trained my butt off, dieted, used some supplements for the next 2 years and came back as a middleweight winning the overalls at the provincials and placing 3rd at the SA's (I still have a pic where me and Mario were doing a side chest together).

From there, I competed every 2nd year and tried to better my conditioning every time I stepped onto the stage. I always dreamt of being the best in SA. To me it's a 10 year dream come true and I really can't describe how good it feels. I don't have words and alI can say is... the glory goes to God. I have spent more time on my knees praying to get me through this year than on my feet. You know how tough it is raising a little baby. There were nights where my wife, Ilse and I would sleep 2 - 3hours per night throughout my preparation. What made it more difficult was the fact that we've recently opened a new business, BodyGuru in Petoria, and that has its own demands. Sleeping as much as 3 hours per night getting up at 3 in the morning to do my cardio and starting with my first clients at 5 was not easy. My day usually ended at 7 in the evenings when I did my own weight training and another cardio session. I got home by 9pm. For 20 weeks I saw my wife and little son only on weekends (and in the middle of the night when he was crying), but I managed to get through this and brought home the overall trophy.

This only shows what can be done if you look for strength in the right place.

What has been your biggest hurdle to overcome in order to be South Africa's number 1?

This year the biggest challenge to me was to manage a business, raising a baby and getting along with little rest. Throughout my bodybuilding career I would say a big challenge for me was to prove that conditioning rules and not size.

What is your preferred training split?

I train 5 to 6 days per week. I prefer to train 1 muscle group per day and I totally exhaust that group with 4 - 5 exercises. On the six day, usually Saturdays, I train my body part that I feel needs more attention.

My training split is as follows:

In your opinion, how much protein is enough protein in g/kg. What would you suggest as the best source?

2 - 2,5g per kg body weight. I prefer a variety of proteins sources because all of them has their own amino acid profile, digestive rate etc.

In order of preference my protein sources are:

The rest of my daily protein I get from protein shakes – SSN 100% Whey Protein in the morning, before and after training and a blend, SPS Ultra Pro, containing casein in the evening before I go to sleep.

Who do you believe is the single greatest bodybuilder to have lived?

Flex Wheeler, because of his superb conditioning and his excellent symmetry.

Does the carb free high fat diet approach work for you, if not what would you suggest?

No. I prefer my carbs in moderation on and off-season. I prefer to start my day with intermediate glycemic carbs and as the day passes on I switch to lower glycemic carbs and no carbs in the evening.

What are your top five exercises, in order of preference?

What is your favourite cheat meal?

Off-Season - any good breakfast. I enjoy the business breakfast at Bugatti's

Contest Prep - on a Saturday, big helping of mielie pap with tomato sauce, a 500g steak and I finish that off with a big bowl of fruit salad.

What is your best fat loss cardio piece of equipment, how long and how often?

I believe any piece of cardio equipment will help you burn fat and calories. I perform cardio only in contest prep time. I prefer the recumbent bike for the first half of my preparation for 40 minutes per day. The second half I will perform the recumbent bike for 30 minutes in the morning and the rowing machine 30 minutes in the evening.

Eat Smart!

Keeping fit is not just a fad - it's a way of life.

Nutrition also plays a major role in strength training. Your diet and bodybuilding supplements have to be regulated and carefully planned out.

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Training Schedule

Throughout my bodybuilding career I would say a big challenge for me was to prove that conditioning rules and not size.

I train 5 to 6 days per week. I prefer to train 1 muscle group per day and I totally exhaust that group with 4 - 5 exercises.

More Information


Hennie Kotze would like to thank all his sponsors for their support over the years.

Science Sports Nutrition