Gabriel Wilson

Vice President, Co-founder



2007-Present              Doctoral Student in Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

2006-07                     M.S. Kinesiology (Sport Psychology-Motor Learning) (Thesis: "The Non emergence of an
   Especial Skill: Good Is Not Good Enough"). CSU Eastbay, CA

2006                         CSCS, NSCA Certification Commission             

2003-06                          B.S. (honors, deans list) Kinesiology (concentration: Exercise Nutrition & Wellness).
                                California State University (CSU) Eastbay, CA


Gabriel Wilson is the Co-founder and Vice President of He also is a researcher in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, where he is completing his PhD in Nutrition with an emphasis on optimal protein requirements for muscle growth.

Gabriel has an unparalleled dedication to the sport of bodybuilding, and has devoted the majority of his life to helping thousands of bodybuilders reach their goals. His academic achievements are vast, and include degrees in Kinesiology, numerous publications, and extensive experience public speaking.

What makes Gabriels’ research so unique is that he has successfully bridged the gap between science and the sport of bodybuilding. Indeed, when Gabriel Co-founded this site, he saw a chasm between bodybuilders – who relied heavily on experience and anecdotal evidence – and scientists, who relied purely on laboratory research. Therefore, he engaged on a personal mission to apply everything he learned in the lab, directly to his training in the gym; and likewise, everything he has learned in the gym, he applies directly to his research in the lab. It is this combination of science and application that makes the recommendations given on this site so unique and effective.

Interview with Gabriel Wilson

Who do you admire most as a bodybuilder?

My favorite all time physique is Kevin Levrone. I think he had the complete package - his delts especially were amazing. Arnold is a huge inspiration to me as well.

On the natural bodybuilding front, I greatly respect Layne Norton. He has done tremendous things for this sport, and has taken a very similar approach to us, continually striving to bridge the gap between science and bodybuilding.

Who do you admire most as a scientist(s)

There are so many great scientists I respect. I'll try to break this down into categories.

By far I'd have to say Jacob is the most talented scientists I have ever known. Before it's all said and done, he will be one of the all time greats. He has the ability to completely dominate academic settings like no one else I have ever known.

As far as fellow bodybuilding scientists, Layne Norton again is someone I have a lot of respect for. From a nutrition perspective, my mentors Dr. Peter Garlick and Donald Layman are absolutely amazing - they are living gods in protein research. I have always had tremendous respect for Dr. William Kraemer. The research he has done on periodization and strength training are absolutely spot on, and I'm a big advocate of a lot of his techniques. In Sport Psychology, I have a lot of admiration for my mentor Dr. Penny McCullagh. My favorite sport psychologists are Ed Deci and Richard Ryan; they invented self determination theory, which in my opinion is the number one theory on intrinsic motivation. I spent the majority of my masters program researching their theory and quite honestly, nothing has had a bigger impact on my life than this theory. You can read some of my articles by Clicking Here.

There are plenty more I can name, but let's continue with the interview...

What advice would you give to up and coming bodybuilders?

Wow, this is a difficult one. I guess what I would say to them is that if you want to succeed in bodybuilding, then you must treat it like any other occupation you want to be successful in. Research by Anders Ericsson and Colleagues suggest that it takes 10 years, or 10,000 hours of correct practice to become an expert. That's a lot of time. The point is, if you expect to get huge and shredded overnight, you are in for a rude awakening. As with any other occupation, it is going to take years and years of training before your reach your goals.

One saying which I wholly agree with is this: bodybuilding is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle. And the point of this saying is that if you are trying to find short cuts, then you won't make it. You must embrace the bodybuilding lifestyle and make it apart of who you are.

And this goes back to my research on intrinsic motivation. There is no way you are going to be able to have the longevity required to succeed in this sport without loving what you do. I mean you can, and I have seen people do it, but it is so much harder. The best rout to go is to actually enjoy everything about it - training, and even dieting! There is a saying by Arnold that many people may find quite disturbing, but it depicts my point exactly:

It was a fantastic feeling to gain size from pain. All of a sudden I was looking forward to it as something pleasurable. The whole idea of pain became a pleasure trip. I couldn’t tell anybody about it then, because I knew they would say I was weird. Which wasn’t true, I had just converted the pain into pleasure - not for its own sake but because it meant growing. We bragged to each other about how much our workouts hurt. --- Arnold Schwarzenegger

I was about to type 5 paragraphs explaining this from a psychological perspective lol, but I think my point has been made.

Last suggestion for now: feedback and social support. Trial and error learning is a slow and painful process; and social support is a key component to success in this sport. Luckily for you, both are provided in endless supply here on I encourage you to delve into our articles and ask as many questions as you can in our online forum. It might take some time and effort, but it will save you countless hours in the long run. I also advise interacting with the ABC Community for social support.

What is the best all around supplement?

Essential amino acid supplements by far. They have completely changed my diet.

What advice would you give to someone pursuing an academic career dedicated to the study of muscle?

I think Kinesiology is the best rout to go to start your education. This will allow you to experience courses from all fields of human movement including nutrition, psychology, physical therapy, and biomechanics. From here, you can then narrow your studies into areas that interested you the most.

I also find that people who get degrees in one field like psychology, often miss the big picture. You have to look at the body from a holistic perspective to come to proper conclusions - this means you must have some understanding of the physiology, chemistry, and biomechanics of the body - not just about the mind or the respiratory system. This is because the body works in sync - nothing is separate.

This is another reason why the recommendations on this site are so unique and successful - Jacob and I have a very broad academic background, and always try to analyze the body using all fields of research.

Who had the greatest influence on your career?

Jacob and my parents - the support they have given me can not be described here in a few short sentences. Absolutely, I would not be where I am today without their generosity. I'd also like to give a special thanks to my alma matter CSUEB University. The teachers there were absolutely phenomenal.

Lastly, God has blessed me with tremendous opportunities - he clearly has a great plan for my life. I just try to do the best I can to take advantage of these opportunities and be an ambassador to Christ in all my actions, hoping that my behaviors will reflect him.

What are the other interests in your life?

Mostly just hanging out with friends and colleagues for social events. While I have many other interests, it's pretty much impossible to get into them with my life style. Most people would be completely overwhelmed by a PhD program as I am involved in. Add on top of that being an entrepreneur, co-owner of a company, and two a days in the gym, and that leaves little time for anything else. But you know what? I love what I do. I love training, I love my research in lab, and I love all of our family here on ABC. And that's why I've been able to run this company now for almost a decade - I am intrinsically motivated. And God willing, I plan on changing the face of bodybuilding for another 10 years.

Any more questions? No? Then what are you waiting for - go do some squats!!!


Research Interests:


Protein Metabolism – My current research centers around the optimal dosage, frequency, and type of proteins to consume in relation to body composition and performance, in healthy sedentary and trained populations across age spans.

Body composition and human performance – my overall interests focus on the effects of diet, training, and supplementation on body composition (particularly hypertrophy and fat metabolism) and strength. I am also interested in human performance, and the effects of implementing motor learning and behavioral principles on performance.


Intrinsic Motivation – I am absolutely fascinated with topics related to maximizing intrinsic motivation of the human being. I have done extensive research on self determination theory and its sub theory, cognitive evaluation theory, and believe it is currently the most accurate theory on human motivation. I have also done extensive research on many other topics related to intrinsic motivation including cooperation and competition, goal setting, administering external rewards, and many others.

Research in Progress

I am currently researching optimal protein intakes to maximize skeletal muscle growth. Our lab believes leucine is the key signaling molecule for stimulating skeletal muscle protein synthesis; therefore, we are investigating the efficacy of using leucine as a determinant of protein quality.


Selected Published Abstracts

Ostarello, J.Z., J.M., Wilson, and G.J., Wilson. (2005) Muscle power enhances brain power: A paradigm for student 
     success in kinesiology. Western Society Review.

Wilson, J.M., Simons, J, Wilson, G.J, Theall, S. & Rodriquez, W. A Test of Self-Efficacy and
      Parameterization Changes as Possible Explanations for the Especial Skills Phenomenon
      at the 60.5 Foot Distance for Highly Experienced Baseball Pitchers. Journal of Sport and
      Exercise Psychology 2007

Wilson, G.J., Simons, J., Wilson, J.M. & Rodriquez, W. The Non-Emergence of an Especial
      Skill: Good is Not Enough. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 2007

Kim, J-S., J. M. Wilson, S-R. Lee, G. J. Wilson, B. Sommer, J. Colon, T. Diah, D. Mendez, J. D. Kingsley, and L. B. Panton. Acute Timing Effects of β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation on Muscle Strength and Soreness. Med Sci Sports Exerc 40(5):S7, 2008.

G.J. Wilson, J.M. Wilson.  The Effects of HMB Supplementation on Muscle Tissue Structure and Function, Current and
     Future Research Implications JISSN, 5:S10, 2008.

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications

Wilson, J.M., and G.J., Wilson. (2006). Contemporary issues in protein requirements and  
      consumption for resistance trained athletes. Journal of the  International Society of
      Sports Nutrition
. 3(1):7-27.,f1000m,isrctn

McCullagh, P., & G.J., Wilson. (2007). Psychology of Physical Activity: What should      
     undergraduates students know? Quest. Human Kinetics. 59: 42-54.

Andersen, M.B., P., McCullagh, and G.J., Wilson. (2007) But what do the numbers
     really tell us? Calibration and arbitrary metrics in sport psychology research
     Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 29(5):664-72.

Wilson, G.J. and J.M., Wilson, Manninen, A. Effects of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) on exercise
     performance and body composition across varying levels of age, sex, and training experience: A review. Nutrition     
& Metabolism 2008, 5:1 Achieved:

Wilson, J.M. and G.J., Wilson. A Practical Approach to the Taper.  (2008). The Strength
       and Conditioning Journal.
20(2): 10-26.

Simons, J, Wilson, J.M., Wilson, G.J., Theall, S. & Rodriquez, W.  A Test of Self-Efficacy and Parameterization Changes
       as Possible Explanations for the Especial Skills Phenomenon at the 60.5 Foot Distance for Highly Experienced
       Baseball Pitchers. Research Quarterly of Exercise and Sport (In Press).



2007             University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois Research Fellowship

                    First place, CSU Student Research Competition

                    CSUEB Graduate Student Research Grant

2006–07        CSUEB Teaching Assistantship

                    CSUEB Research Assistantship

                    CSUEB Graduate Student Grant

2006             Joe Morgan Scholarship for Kinesiology Department

                    Associated Students Research Fellowship

                    CSCS, NSCA Certification Commission       

                   Cum Laud Honors, CSU Eastbay, CA

2005-06        Dean's List all Quarters – CSU Eastbay, CA 


ACSM                     American College of Sports Medicine

APS                        American Physiology Society

NSCA                     National Strength and Conditioning Association  

ISSN                       International Society of Sports Nutrition


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