- So I hear that you are training for the Arnold Classic?
Yes, everything is full gear for the Arnold. We have made a slight change to the schedule though. A while back, I called Mr. Balik about the Ironman, and informed him that I wanted to do the Ironman but I didn't sign up for it because I had surgery on my chest on November 10th, 2003, which was minor cosmetic surgery removing some skin from my pectorial region, and I didn't know if I was going to be ready for the show or not, and I didn't want to insult him by showing up out of shape. So I asked him then if it was possible for me to jump into the show and make an exception if in fact that I could be ready. And quite honestly, since it looks like I will be ready, and due to the lineup, I am going to jump in and do the show.
- So are you also going to compete in the Ironman Pro?
Yes, I am going to start with the Ironman, which is in 4 weeks. I should be ready to go on in about two more weeks, and I am very, very excited about it. I am going to do the Ironman, the Arnold Classic, the San Francisco and I am going to finish it in Melbourne, Australia. I am working with Chad Nichols, and after discussing it with him I feel it is a good move strategically. I am no dummy, I am a realist, I know where I stand in the sport and there is absolutely no reason why I can't enter the Ironman and win the show.
- How do you feel about these last minute entries into the Ironman? The argument is that they didn't sign the contract on time and some of the other athletes do not think its fair for any other pros to enter the show?
Well, as I stated earlier, I was able to jump in late because of a medical pass so to speak. As for Dexter Jackson, honestly, I want Dexter to do the show, he's not unbeatable, he's only 220 lbs. Dexter is my buddy but we're talking about competing and I want to beat him more than anything! Now as far as contracts are concerned and athletes entering shows after deadlines, I think it's absolutely wrong. There shouldn't be contracts if that's the case, especially now that it's going to be much more difficult for guys to qualify for the Olympia. If you're going to compete in a show then you should sign the entry form on time and not be allowed to compete after the deadline date, that's just common sense. Problem is, most of the other athletes got really pissed and from what I understand, they're planning on boycotting the show. That could be a huge problem! Me, I'm ready to rock! My mind doesn't know the word defeat, period.
- Are you training any different this year for 2004?
Yes, the main thing difference about my training is that I have the gym here in my home now. Anybody who knows anything about having your own gym, i.e., Ronnie Coleman, Lee Priest, they know that when you have a gym in the back of your house, you don't miss workouts, you save a lot of time driving to and from the gym, your intensity levels increase because you have everything right there at your fingertips. So after the Night of Champions last May, I finished my gym by August. I started to train at home then. So the improvements I made are tremendous because my gym is here in the house, I don't miss workouts, and I get more rest because I don't have any travel time. As far as training goes with the weights, I still use medium to heavy weights and I still do anywhere from 12 to 15 rep range. I do high intensity, high blood volume training. I force as much blood into the muscle as possible.
- Is your diet the same or different?
My diet is slightly different, working with Chad. My protein is slightly higher, the carbs are lower than before. Basically, I feel like I am going back to the basics. I've tried just about every diet there is and this seems to be work the best for me. I am maintaining the most muscle than I ever had before on this diet, and I am getting lean really fast. On this diet, this is the most protein I have eaten. Mostly chicken and steak, 2 filet minon meals, 3 chicken meals, and Pinnacle's Juiced Protein. About 12 ounces of meat per meal, so it is quite a bit of meat. I am not used to it, but in the last couple of weeks I have adjusted to it, and everything is working strategically for me, and everything is clicking now. Pinnacles Juiced Creatine is keeping me round and full and Xenadrine is peeling the fat off like crazy.
- How much do you weigh?
I was 253 pounds this morning, right out of bed, right on to the scale. I would say I am about 7 pounds away from carbing up. Everybody has to come down to a certain weight before they start to load for a show, and 5 more pounds for me will let me get my skin as thin as possible. So for the contest, I should be the same weight I was at the Night of Champions, about 250, but a little fuller and a lot harder.
- How is it working with Chad Nicholls?
For me, the guy is a genius when it comes to this sport. He tells you to do something, and he tells you what's going to happen in so many days, and that's exactly what happens. It is pretty freaky. I like Chad because his theories in training and his theories in the last week of preparation for a show is everything that I believe in. I don't believe in sitting in your room resting Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I just don't believe that to be very effective. I think if you are training, and you start to carb load, and you are storing glycogen, when you are sitting in your room, and just rest and eat, your body right away starts saying I don't need to store glycogen, I am not training. Chad feels the same way, as I like to train Friday right up before the show. Not with the same intensity as earlier in the preparation, but to go into the gym, move some weights around, put some blood in the muscles, and at least I know my body will be storing Saturday, and I know what I will look like Saturday morning. And that has been very effective for me. And Chad likes the same thing, so I am comfortable with that because I don't have to fight anything he says.
- Does it bother you that Chad trains other rival competitors that compete against you?
That doesn't bother me at all because the fact of the matter is it doesn't matter who he trains as I can't change their genetics, and I can't change what they are going to look like. Chad helping Kamali is not going to change his flaws, and vice versa. Chad is just going to help me make the best Craig Titus can be, just like he will help is other clients will be, and then the best man is going to win. Look, I know where I stand with some bodybuilders, like Chris Cormier. Basically, Chris Cormier is the second best bodybuilder in the world, genetically. And I have beaten Kamali not working with Chad. Imagine what will happen now that I work with Chad. So it doesn't bother me.
Chris Cormier, watch what happens to him at the Arnold Classic. My prediction is such. If Chris comes into the Arnold Classic in perfect form, he will win over Jay. You cant take anything away from Jay Cutler, he is awesome, but if Chris comes in 100% and flawless, nobody will beat him. He's got a V-Taper, he's got sweeps, he's got no weak points, and nobody poses like Chris Cormier. People should just leave him alone if the guy wants to party. Just focus on what he does on stage, he wins shows. He has had one bad placing in the last five years.
- Do you work with a trainer?
No, no I don't. I have been training too long. I know how to work my muscles. You know who the best trainer in the world is for me? Kelly Ryan. I just got done tonight doing hams and calves tonight, and that girl pushed me underneath the rubber floor. She drove me into the ground. I have never seen somebody that wants me to succeed more than my wife.
- You placed well at the 2003 Night of Champions, but many people complained that you started to lose it in the second round. What's up with that?
When I got ready for that show, I made some adjustments at the end when I carb loaded. I worked with Jay Cutler. Well, Jay is a big boy. Jay had me do some carb loading for the show, and it was very effective. I pushed the limit a little bit with the carb loading and the simple sugars, because I was trying to be as full and hard and grainy as possible, so what I think happened is that I loaded a little too much, I pumped up backstage, and then right before my eyes, I started to spill on stage. And it was an emotionally aggravating situation. To know that I looked like the way I wanted to look when I walked onto that stage and I got the recognition for that, being the second name called. It was Victor Martinez and Craig Titus. But then, I watched myself fade right after the first round. And it's because I loaded a little too much with simple sugars. It felt terrible, because I knew that there was absolutely nothing I could do at that moment to control that. Once you start to spill, or flatten out on stage, you are at the mercy of biology. The human body is going to do what it's going to do. Besides, when you start to watch yourself spill, you start to panic. My cortisol probably shot through the roof, and I made myself worse.
People act like I don't know this, like I don't know that I spilled on stage. Some people say that giving me third place was undeserving. Let's get the facts straight. First round, when I walked out, it was me and Victor Martinez. That gave me enough momentum to stay in second place in points for the prejudging. At the night show, the judges decide to move me into third. I have no complaints and I don't blame them. I was grateful being in third after I spilled.
One thing I would really like to say, I wish that people would get off my gut already. You can look at any of the pictures from the Night of Champions, and you just won't see my stomach. Not in my poses, not in my transition. The one picture you will see is me mimicking Kamali with my stomach out, but that has nothing to do with our mandatory posing. I worked hard on it. I can name right now 2 guys that their guts were terrible in the GNC Show of Strength and the Olympia, and nobody says anything about them. But some of the people just cannot get off my stomach from two years ago. It doesn't stick out anymore. Get over it. Find something else to talk about. Just keep talking about my age, that's the latest thing.
- That's right. You just celebrated your 40th birthday. Congratulations!
Yes, thank you. Actually, I am 34 now. Just for the record. People are obsessed with my age, including some pro bodybuilders who know who they are. The average fan doesn't care that these particular people stress to everyone that I am 39 years old. These are people who are a little bit obsessed or a little bit intimidated that I am doing well in the sport. January 14, 1967. That is my birthday, I'm 37, believe it or not, could care less if you do, the age thing makes me crack up.
- So are you 37 or 39?
37!!!! But it doesn't matter at all. If I want to say I am 37, then I am 37, but now, for the record, I am 34. So there we go.
- King Kamali vs. Craig Titus. Is this feud every going to end?
The feud with King Kamali? I don't think we are feuding anymore. I have tried for a few times, and you know this for a fact, that I have tried several times to bury the hatchet. I even went so far as to try and set up a photo shoot for King and I in Flex Magazine, to put us on a cover, with a 10-12 page spread on our training, which would have been absolutely fantastic, and good press for the both of us. He chose not to do it, which I think was a wrong decision. It is over with. King Kamali came into the sport really hard. People can say what they want about his body. I have been reading that people say he has no arms, that he uses synthol, whatever. They can say what they want, but he is an extremely driven. hard working, aggressive training, bodybuilder. And I respect that tremendously. The guy truly believes in himself, and I have to respect that. Now, we have not seen eye to eye in the past, and that made for some great publicity, and I had some fun with it anyway. I think it got carried away, and I have nothing against King Kamali. I saw some recent pictures of him and I have to tell you, I am impressed.
- So will you shake his hand at the Arnold Classic?
Absolutely. I have nothing against King. If someone like Barbara can marry King, who I think is a very classy individual, a very pleasant person, and I have had the pleasure of talking to her, he can't be all the bad. That's the way I see it. And people might read this and say 'Oh my God, what is Titus talking about, I thought he hated his guts', or they might say 'Why is Titus doing this, he is trying to make himself look better', the fact of the matter is, King has beaten me, I have beaten King, I don't know if I am better than King or not, or he is better than me, I just know that it made for a good show, and that everyone knows for a fact that the 2001 Ironman was a good show because King and I were on stage. And when we did other shows and were called up together, the crowd went crazy. I made fun of him, he made fun of me, it's good bodybuilding. If you notice, he has not said anything negative about him in the press lately, and I haven't either. So there is no more feud, but definitely an underlying competitive edge between us, and that is good for the sport. Of course, I would like to keep beating him in every contest, but you never know. The guy is a driven bodybuilder, and when he comes in shape, he looks good. That is probably not what you thought I was going to say, but that's the truth. As I progress in the sport, I try and put my efforts in getting endorsement contracts for my wife and I to secure our future and I want to retire being in the top 5 in the world period. Top 5 in the Olympia. And that's what I want to do. And when I do that, that's when I will be satisfied.
- Now that will be tough, being top 5 at the Olympia.
Yes, it is a very tough road, and I don't want to waste my time or my effort or my energy on feuding with another man in the sport. I just don't want to do it. In terms of competitors, Ronnie Coleman is Ronnie Coleman. I don't even want to think about him. That guy is on another planet. Then you got Dexter Jackson, Dennis James, Chris Cormier, Jay Cutler, Markus Ruhl, and Gunter Schlierkamp, although personally, I think I am better than Gunter. These are the top athletes at the moment. And I would like to be, at least, called out with these guys. And when I get the chance to be called out with these guys, that's when I will be satisfied. I have no expectations to win the Sandow.
- The 2003 Olympia Press Conference and the drama leading up to it? Were you supporting Shawn or not?
What happened was this. Shawn wanted to become the IFBB Athlete's representative, and because of my personality and the way I am in this sport, and the way I manage Kelly and my career's, for somebody saying they are going to represent the athletes was a little bizarre for me to swallow. Who does this guy think he is saying he is going to represent me when I have been doing it myself for a long time? I think I took the wrong road when it was first being discussed and happening. When Shawn gave me a letter saying that I approved of it, I didn't want to sign it, because I just didn't think that any one individual can represent the athletes as a whole because there could be too much miscommunication, deceit and other things of that nature. I just thought that it would be a better idea if there was a panel of guys to represent the athletes, because if there is more than one head, better decisions can be made. Anybody knows that. If there are three people talking, everything is talked out, and the best decisions are made.
So at the press conference, it came out as my name was forged on the athletes representative acceptance letter. Honestly, I don't think it was forged, it was just that someone at the meeting was scared not to sign it, and scribbled a name, and Shawn assumed it was me. That's all it was. At the press conference, I wanted to make sure that it was clear, then Shawn came to the mike, said he planned to have a panel of guys that will help him, then I said that if that is the case, then I will support Shawn. And I would like to be in the panel. And that is exactly what happened. From what I hear out there, I understand that Shawn is doing a good job, and that the higher ups are happy with what's going on. I have talked to Shawn several times on certain issues, and it seems that it makes a lot of sense of what he is doing.
- The 2003 Olympia After Parties. From what some people have written, you had a wild and crazy party with some interesting activities going on?
It's funny, because Ron Harris did a write up in Muscular Development talking about drug abuse at the party, and some pro athletes having sex on the dance floor and some girls getting sexually assaulted. That stuff is absolutely, no doubt, 100% falsified bullshit. Fact of the matter is that there was nobody having sex in that club, you were there with your camera for Getbig.com, J.M. Manion was there with NPC News, Kelly and I was there; 20 athletes involved with the parties were there, and if anything happened anywhere, I would know. All of a sudden, Ron Harris decided to pull this story out of his hat that somebody was having sex on the dance floor. No one else saw it. He is the only one who saw it? It is pretty much common sense that it was just a fabrication topped with bullshit so try and make a good write up, which turned out to look trashy. Period. Also, if people are passing out drugs at a club, do you really think that they are going to do it so that somebody can see them. And if a girl was getting sexually assaulted on the dance floor, she would run to security. It just didn't happen. I was absolutely shocked to read that. I couldn't believe to what I was seeing in print. There was no truth to any of it. I didn't appreciate it at all, and until a retraction is printed, he will never be allowed in another Emperor Entertainment party again.
- The 2004 After Party after the Arnold Classic competition Saturday night. Anything different this year?
Oh yeah, it's a lot different. We are all very excited, as it finally all came together. Everything that Kelly and I set out to do. We have all kinds of sponsors. We have Getbig.com, NPC News, Bodybuilding.com, Muscular Development and others covering it. GNC is on board, of course Pinnacle is the main sponsor, I am not going to name all the sponsors because the flyer will be up on Getbig.com shortly so you will see who is on board. We are excited because with the sponsors, we can take some of the proceeds and offer an endorsement contract to a fitness athlete. Kelly and I are trying to think of the best one, not by the way she looks, but just who we feel is deserving and an upcoming athlete and is an asset to the sport, and would be a good representative for us. We want to give a little back to the sport. That is why you see so many hosts on the flyer. All of them are getting paid to come to the party and be a host. All we ask is to see some loyalty from the fans to come to our parties that we throw. They will keep getting bigger and better, and more money can come back to the sport. Giorgio, the promoter of the San Francisco Pro Show, which I am competing in, is letting me do the After Party there at the 1015 Club. We are going to give out a cash award and prize money to the show. Also, all IFBB Pro's never have to pay to get into an Emperor Entertainment After Party.
At the Arnold Classic Party, Gerster Associates and Bulk Nutrition is going to give out an award to the Arnold Classic athletes that place 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th. Seventh place gets $1,000, eighth place gets $800, ninth place gets $700, and tenth place gets $500. This will be awarded at 1am at the party. And Homebodies Home Gyms, a new company that Kelly and I signed a 5 year deal with, is giving out $250 gift certificates, which we will raffle off. So it is turning out to be a big event. All of our sponsors banners will be up at the party. We are expecting a lot of people.
- I haven't seen a video from you? Do you have any?
I just contacted Mitsure Okabe the other day, and I hope he will come out to Vegas and stay at the house here, and we will shoot 6 - 7 days at my home gym training, and we will see how it turns out. I have had two videos out, but not since 1996. For me, training videos was not really a hot selling item. It is a high cost, low selling product, so I never really got into them too much. They are good for when I go to appearances and expos, but things like shirts, photos, keychains had a much more profit margin, and more appealing to the fans. The main reason I want to shoot another video is because the difference between my physique from 1996 to now is so different that it might be appealing to fans.
- So Craig, are you the Undercover Pro? Are you Tumbling Dice? What other nicknames do you go by?
Man, I guess that I will take the blame for everything that is written on the boards. Ok, lets talk about Tumbling Dice. Chad went on the boards and said that this guy was from Connecticut. Tumbling Dice himself wrote that it is not me. So lets make it clear. It is not me. Let's talk about IFBB Undercover Pro. I have been hearing that I am the Undercover Pro for a while now, and let's get this straight. I am not him. If I was the Undercover Pro, I wouldn't admit that I was him anyway. The whole point of the IFBB Undercover Pro is to write things in the sport that the magazines will not print. So many people have said that I am the Undercover Pro that I have read his column to see what it is all about. The guy writes things that no one else will say or print. For instance, there are a lot of guys getting in trouble in the sport, and nobody prints it. But when I got in trouble, everybody printed it in every magazines everywhere. They put it on the cover of the magazines. But now, you have guys coming over the border and getting caught, nobody prints it. You got another guy getting his house raided a few times, nobody prints it. You got another guy getting his computers searched, nobody prints it. You got another guy's mom getting caught with a package, nobody prints it. You have guys going to jail for dealing drugs, nobody prints it. If people want to get mad at the IFBB Undercover Pro because he printing what nobody else is printing, then so be it. I don't have nothing against the guy, but I can tell you that it isn't me. Frankly, I am getting a little sick hearing about it. I even called up bodybuilding.com and asked me to put it there that I am not him. IFBB Pro Undercover has tore me apart several times now. I personally think it's Paul Dillett. No offense to Paul, but the man has nothing to lose.
- What is the story with the Victor Martinez vs. Craig Titus incident?
You know, that whole Victor Martinez things was funny. Victor was considered a very good friend of Kelly and myself, and he chose to host a party with a gentleman here in Vegas that is absolutely not a very pleasant person towards Kelly and I. We don't find him appealing. We find this guy very undesirable. He is another copycat promoter, somebody who is trying to take away something that I have worked very hard to establish, these After-Parties, and this was very difficult for me to swallow. The guy went ahead and copied every aspect of what I did for the parties, and Victor chose to host it with him even though he was a friend of mine. Maybe I shouldn't have taken that personally, but I did. I also have business partners that put up half the money for these parties, plus sponsors, as the up front cost is very, very expensive for them. The House of Blues party at the Olympia was over $20,000. So when Victor came to my party at Seven Nightclub, he wasn't allowed to come into the room. He says that I was furious. You know what, it wasn't just Victor. Anybody who hosted the other party was not allowed to come to my After-Parties, and my business partners agreed. If you choose to host another party, then stay there. Victor got a little upset, and Josh the Sandwich, asked Victor a questions that all the bodybuilders get asked "What would you do if you get into a fight with Craig Titus' or something of that nature. He won't say that Craig might smack me in the mouth and then I might run away. He's a man, he's got an ego, he's got his pride, he is going to say that he is going to whoop my ass, or whatever, but the funny thing is, before the article even came out in print, Victor, from jail, called a friend of his, and he apologized for it. He said he really didn't mean any of it, so for me, we never really had a beef. And that is why my response was 'Am I the president of the Fight Club'. Amazing that they ask them same question to different bodybuilders. What do they expect a bodybuilder to say in response to that. Bow down and run. They will say they will fight me, and beat my ass. That's what any man would say. My response would be that I didn't appreciate what Victor said, I thought it was unprofessional, and for now, we have nothing against each other, and I really wish that what happened to him didn't, because I know by experience that it is the absolutely worst thing that could ever happen to you, and I feel very badly for him. He has a rough road ahead of him. My stance now is that is was a very unfortunate misunderstanding, and Victor will reiterate that too.
- Wait. Where is the 'No Holds Barred, Take no Shit' Crazy Titus we hear of?
Well, I am still the same person, but I am a little more under control. You know how water runs off a ducks back, well, I guess that is the way I am now. I just can't pay attention to too much stuff that people say about me, especially negative things because I just don't have the energy for that. I need to concentrate my energy. I want to walk on stage and win a pro show. I want to be one of the top guys, and I won't be happy until I am there. But I still am going to smack you into the mouth if you are going to come up and say something stupid to me. That hasn't changed. The good thing is that nobody is stupid enough to come up to me and say things. I never have had to run into that.
- Man, getting mature on me. What happen to all of the threesomes we hear about?
You know what, I think people just run out of things to say about me, and when Kelly and I got married, they had to have something else to say, and that was the latest craze, that we are these wild sex crazed maniacs. It's a joke.
- How are things working out with Pinnacle?
Pinnacle is like the Ferrari of supplements companies. Every day I wake up, and I realize that I signed with great guys. Mel Rich, Steve Stern, Andy Fischman. These guys are just fantastic people. I have worked for company and you did a show and you don't even get a lot of support. These guys, they are backstage talking to you. When I did the Night of Champions, Steve Stern was talking to me, telling me pump up, get ready, you will do good here, very supportive, and that best thing is that their products are awesome. They have no aspartame in the protein so I don't have to worry about getting a headache from it. I used some protein in the past with aspartame, and I couldn't figure out why I was getting these headaches. I am signed with a company that not only endorses you but backs you up emotionally at the shows. It's like a big family, that is the best way that I can describe it. At the expo's and various booths, everybody there is on a friendly family basis. It's awesome. Then Pinnacle bought Cytodyne and they made Kelly and I the spokespeople for Xenadrine.
- You seem like you are a good businessman, with a few endorsement contracts, you save your money, you get into different things. Any advice for the rookies in bodybuilding?
A good example on a rookie pro is Richard Jones. Richard is a very pleasant individual, he's a gentleman, he's a nice guy. I was talking to him about contract endorsements and I said to him 'You are a good looking kid. You can basically write your own ticket. You have to be aggressive with your negotiations. You can't settle for anything else than what you think you are worth? You have to have some kind of edge, something that separates you from the rest. Some attitude, some charisma. You can't just lay back, and expect stuff to come to you. You have to go get it. And you have to realize that there is a short window, be it ten years, eight years, five years, and when that window shuts, you better have something else going on when you are done. When I came back into the sport in 2000, I met Kelly, we got married, and I told my wife straight up, I've got seven, maybe eight years in the sport and that's it, and at the end of the years, we need to be somewhat setup for our retirement. So all my endorsement contracts and all my business deals are all geared so I can be comfortable when I retire from the sport. And I tell the guys that turn pro the same thing. If you can get a contract that is a multi-year deal, that is very important. Never try to sign a single year deal. You need to have some type of security. And be diversified in your contracts. Don't think of just bodybuilding. Think about the general public. Homebodies Home Gym is a normal average general public site offering an all exclusive gym equipment machines for a better quality of life. Not to be a bodybuilder but just to stay in shape. Kelly & I are endorsing it, and this is a multi-year diversified type of contract that we have branched out. So try and get other types of deals. There can be water companies, clothing companies, shoe contracts, and the main thing is don't expect it to come to you. You need to go out and get it. And you have to be ready to be flamboyant and set yourself above everybody else.
- What do you think of the up and coming pros in the IFBB?
Let's see, who do we got. There's Mike Dragna, he is very thick, good looking kid, nice poser. There's Kris Dim, he's got some big arms on him, good physique. You know, I see the guys actually getting better and better every year. Richard Jones, he just turned pro, and you hear a lot of guys saying how small he is. But I think that is just a lot of haters that are scared of him, because he has a tiny little waist and five pounds of muscle. But for him, that will look like 20 pounds of muscle compared to other bodybuilders. So when Richard Jones puts on some muscle, he is going to be destroying some shows. You also have Mat Duval, a very humongous individual. Thank god that I probably will be retired before they are doing any type of damage out there, and I say that with all due respect. Because it's one thing for sure, that I am not going to lay back and let them catch me. I am moving forward. I am the rabbit, not the turtle.
- I just saw the latest Ironman Magazine. Kelly Ryan is on the cover!
Man, I was so happy for her. My wife, she wins titles, she wins shows, she takes a few seconds at the Fitness Olympia, and now that Susie Curry is retired from fitness, it is pretty clear that she is the number one in the world. She has not received a lot of covers because she is not considered a 'sex symbol' but to me, Kelly is gorgeous and sexy and everything, so when I saw her on the cover of Ironman, I was proud of her. It felt really good. And her pictures inside are so beautiful and they were done tastefully. I was really happy for her, and anything that makes my wife smile from ear to ear like me feel good.
We are talking to photographers at the moment to shoot us together for covers. That is one thing that I have been baffled about, that no magazine has shot us together for a cover. I have been on 90+ covers with dozen of fitness models but never with my wife. I am hoping now that she made the cover of Ironman that somebody will have the common sense to shoot us together.
- How did you meet Kelly Ryan?
I knew Kelly from the 1995 Fitness America. In 1995, I went to the Fitness America Pageant. With all due respect to the NPC and IFBB, I don't go nor associate with the Fitness America Pageants anymore. And neither does Kelly. But in 1995, I was at the show, and Kelly Ryan came out on stage with a routine that I will never forget it. It was to Popeye the Sailor Man. I was with Shawn Ray and a few other pros, and we thought that she was the cutest damn thing that we had ever seen. After the show, which was at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Auditorium, and they had an after party in the marina next to the event center. I tried to talk to her, but she was with her parents and she was a Southern girl from South Carolina, and she didn't leave her Mom & Dad's side so I couldn't talk to her. She ended up moving to Venice Beach, and I talked to her a few times in the gym, and nothing ever came of it. I could tell you absolutely why, as it was because of my reputation was that of a player, and she didn't want anything to do with me, because she was a good girl. I asked her out several times, she told me absolutely not.
A few years later in 1999, I had a birthday party organized by some friends of mine, and Kelly was one of the people who helped to organize the party. That night, I asked her out again, asked her about four or five times. I said 'Listen, lets just go out as friends. Hang out. If we like each other cool, if not, then no hard feelings. From that day forward, we have been together'. She was a hard cookie to crack?
- How did you propose to her?
I used a line from the movie Jerry MacGuire. But first I went to her father, who could not stand me, because of my background. Her father is a CEO of an advertising company, who actually worked for David Pecker, the chairman of AMI and Weider, and talks to him sometimes. It was after the 2000 Ironman, after the show, when I told her father in the parking lot that I wanted to marry Kelly. He said absolutely not, no way. But it took a little bit of convincing, I finally talked him into it. I got Kelly a ring, we went out to dinner at Del Frisco's in Santa Monica, and I said to her 'I cannot promise you that we will never argue. I cannot promise you that we will be happy every day of our lives. But I can promise you that I will love you until the day that I die.' And when I said that to her, she said yes. She is my best friend. We got married on June 6th, 2000. We ran off to Las Vegas, and got married at the Little White Chapel, the same place Britney Spears just got married at. We didn't want to spent a lot of money on a big wedding, instead we used the money for a down payment on our house in Las Vegas. We planned things out, set small goals, made everything happen.
- Tell me about your parents and siblings?
My mother, Sandra, is remarried, and she lives in a beautiful home in Houston, Texas on Lake Conroe. She is retired. My sister Nichole lives with them, she is in school. I also have a brother Kevin. My father, Michael, is in Bangkok. He has been there for about six years now. He's remarried to one of the engineers for the company he works for. My dad is like a sixth generation tunnel rat. My dad has been in underground excavations for over 30 years. I actually worked with my father for about six years right after high school building tunnels. Storm drains, subways, sewage systems, hundreds of feet under the face of the earth. So he was been in Bangkok building subways over there.
- Was excavating tunnels scary?n
It was real scary. I saw a couple of gentleman lose their lives. I saw my father almost die, as he got hit in the face with a four inch high beam, and his jaw cracked wide open. I saw some scary things. I broke almost every finger in my hands. When I first got out of school, and went into tunneling, it was the thing to do because my father and grandfather and great grandfather had done it. So I wanted to make my Dad proud. We actually set a world record in 1993. We mined one hundred and one feet in an eight hour shift.
- I see that you wear a gold necklace with a pendant all the time? What's up with that?
That gold necklace has the Egyptian god of power symbol on it. I had a son, my daughter's fraternal twin, and he died in 1989. That necklace was given to me as a token of my son, Aaron. It's just so I never forget him. The necklace has been around my neck since his death, and I wear it all the time. I have it on right now. My father gave it to me the day my son was buried. My father was living in Cairo, Egypt at the time, and he brought it to me saying that this will give you the strength needed to get through this.
- Do you still like motorcycles?
Yes, I love them. Unfortunately, we have opted not to have one, because I've torn my chest, and the last thing I need to do in my career is to have a wreck on a motorcycle. I used to have a V-Max, which I sold years ago, and I used to money to get ready for the 2001 Ironman.
- Do you like watching movies?
Yes, we have a movie theater in our home, a big 65 inch screen, and the whole works, a nice little bundle tied up in it, but that's what we do. We sit home, have people come over, watch movies all the time. New Year's Eve in 2003 was a boring one because we are getting ready for a show, so all we did was have a few couples over, watch movies and eat all night long.
- When you do cardio, don't you watch some bodybuilding videos?
I have the videos of all of the recent Olympia's. Most recently, I have been watching the 2000 Olympia, which by the way, I was looking at Shawn Ray, and the kid was incredible in that show. Of course Ronnie won, but Shawn looked unbelievable. I just couldn't believe how good he looked for that show. Ronnie, Flex, Shawn, and Kevin were the top 4 at that show, and that was the best I ever saw of Shawn Ray, right there.
- Do you have anything you want to say to the fans?
My true Titus fans and friend have seen that ever since I came back into the sport in 2000, I have gotten better at every show. I haven't regressed, I have only progressed. This season, win, lose or draw, I will be better than I was before. I just wish that some of the people on the boards would realize that animosity is not what I am looking for and I'm just trying to be nicer. There is no sense for saying things hateful and untrue on the net. I just want everybody to realize that I am only trying to be the best bodybuilder that I can be and to keep my true fans happy, be an asset to the sport, make things happen onstage, be a figure of admiration and help to motivate others to be the best they can in this sport. When I mention Dexter Jackson, Dennis James and Markus Ruhl, and that I want to beat these guys, right away people assume that I am as good as they are. That's not what I meant at all. I am saying that these guys right now are better than me and these are the guys that I am aspiring to beat. Why would I talk about somebody that I have already beaten, I want to move forward. Dexter, Markus and Dennis aren't offended by it, they are flattered by it. They now know that I am gunning for them because they know that they are in front of me. When someone says that they want to beat Craig Titus, I don't take that personally at all, I am flattered by the comments. If you say that Craig Titus is a fricken asshole, then I take offense to it.
I got a few emails from various people saying that it would be nice if I stop attacking other pros. My answer to them is that if you read what I say in my columns or in my interviews, I do not attack other pros. My words are always a response to something that was said about me. Correct me if I am wrong, but I am always on the defense, I never just go and attack anybody. It has always been a defense mechanism for me. I can't waste my energy on it anywhere. I plan on walking on the stage in a few weeks, and having my fans and people says 'Holy shit, look at what this guy as done in one year's time'.