Cameron 'Cam!!kaze' Toms fit for the ring
CARY CASTAGNA - QMI Agency
|Cam!!kaze. Photo by Jack Danielz
Cameron Toms’ business card describes him as a professional wrestler/entertainer.
That’s not just a sideline for the 26-year-old Medicine Hat product.
That’s how he ekes out a living.
Toms, affectionately known as Cam!!kaze, has been taking his bumps and honing his skills with wrestling promotions throughout Canada and the U.S. for the past eight years.
The rising indy star, who has had the opportunity to train under such wrestling legends as Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Jake “The Snake” Roberts, is dedicated to taking his wrestling career as far as he can.
And that’s why he takes fitness so seriously.
“You’ve got to look like an athlete,” he tells Sun Media before a recent match in Edmonton with local promotion Revolution Pro Wrestling.
“You have to look the part. There’s too many guys nowadays that come in (wearing) shorts and a T-shirt (with) little skinny noodle arms and way overweight. You’ve got to look like an athlete.
“And I’m not saying be a bodybuilder. But look like you can beat the person in the front row. Look like you can put up a fight and no one’s going to mess with you.”
A muscular 210 pounds at six feet, Toms certainly looks like he can put up a fight.
But for the Calgary resident, who counts U.S.-based Ring of Honor among the high-profile promotions he’s worked for, cardiovascular conditioning is the most important aspect of his fitness regimen.
“If you’re too tired, too blown up, then you can’t work properly. You’re going to get sloppy. You’re going to end up hurting somebody,” explains Toms, whose Cam!!kaze alter-ego is a babyface (“good guy” character).
“You can’t put the emotion into the people if you’re too tired and huffing and puffing when you should be trying to entertain them. It’s all facial expressions and body language — a lot of body language in this business. It’s a giant show. But it’s the most physical form of entertainment you’ll find anywhere — bar none.”
Toms, a graduate of WWE superstar Lance Storm’s Calgary-based Storm Wrestling Academy, hits the gym five days a week.
He sweats through a 27-minute cardio circuit that includes everything from squats and sit-ups to planks and pushups “for the core and to just get the blood flowing and the heart pumping.”
Cameron Toms headlocks Cary Castagna.
Toms, of course, also lifts weights, preferring to train like a bodybuilder and isolate one muscle group per workout.
To ensure all his hard work in the gym is not for naught, Toms eats a relatively clean diet and is ultra-strict about his evening meal.
“I cut out carbohydrates after six o’clock every day — all protein after that,” he says.
“You are what you eat. You can be training as hard as you want, but if you’re eating crap, you’re not going to look the part, that’s for sure.”
Despite his best efforts, Toms has already had his fair share of injuries in the squared circle.
But he chooses to power through these temporary obstacles.
“I say it all the time: not everybody can do this. It is extremely physical on the body,” he notes.
“I’ve had two knee surgeries. My lower back is messed up. I have an 8 mm partial tear in my rotator cuff. We’re beat up. We’re all beat up. We all have different injuries and we work through them and we do the best that we can.
“It (wrestling) doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. We are true athletes. No doubt about it.”
Cary Castagna, an editor at the Edmonton Sun, is a certified personal trainer and former bodybuilder. He also writes a weekly fitness column for the Sun Media/QMI chain called Keeping Fit. Cary has interviewed many industry icons, from Jack LaLanne and Jake Steinfeld to Denise Austin and Richard Simmons.