How did you get started with bodybuilding?
I’ve always been into physically orientated activities ever since I was a child and have played everything from Tennis to American Football, which in Britain is not easily done! I first found an interest in weights after growing up watching Arnold and Sly and thinking “that’s what a man should look like!” So when given the chance to join a gym at the local athletics track I used to run at I did and started straight away. For years I just did all body training alongside continually playing basketball, football and rugby but it was at University that I began to really hit the weights with the intention of gaining muscle. Initially it was just so I could hit harder in the tackles and be more explosive but when I started to see gains I became addicted to the Iron Bashing! I was studying for my Biology Degree at the time and had a good knowledge of the human anatomy and the physiological system.
This led me to begin researching diet, muscular hypertrophy, training techniques and development through weight orientated training. I utilised the array of material available to me through my course and within literature I found and developed a good basic understanding of split training regimes, dietary requirements and techniques.
Literally overnight I made huge lifestyle changes to incorporate everything I had learnt and been told by those I looked up to, from that point on I have consistently maintained a healthy diet, solid training regime and goal set. I’m always challenging myself so when I left university I took up Muay Thai and crossed over into Mixed Martial Arts where I adapted my training to a more cross fit style regime as I began to compete at a professional level. Three years were spent training and fighting in which time I slimmed down to around 72 kilos and lost a lot of the bulk I had gained but in its placed developed a very lean and functional physique, not to mention a very high level of cardiovascular fitness.
After making the decision to stop fighting and an offer of fitness modelling I returned to weight lifting and once again found myself truly enjoying getting back to some old school Iron Kicking!
What was really interesting was the way my body reacted. Due to the level of fitness and muscular development I had achieved from the years of fight training my body adapted very quickly to the new training and I achieved good lean gains in a short period of time which was fantastic! Don’t get me wrong I was busting my ass to get them and the strength of mind I had gained from the beat downs you get in fight camps put me on another level with training (so much so I went through training partners quicker than tubs of protein! Haha) but it was great to see continual gains over a 6 month period.
I love training and the results and goals I achieved was a great motivation but I’m the kind of person that’s always needs to be challenged, to have some point to what I’m doing, otherwise I find you can go a little stale and can lose interest. It’s this need that led me to compete in the Musclemania Fitness Britain in which I achieved an Overall victory in the Regionals and third place in the Nationals! Not bad for a first run at the stage and definitely a big step for me now as I always have to better myself, so look out 2012!
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from the sheer love of training, in any form, and competition with myself to always achieve more from month to month and overcome any obstacles that may cross my path.
As we all know nothing is smooth sailing but it’s the way in which you overcome barriers or obstacles that ultimately defines who you are and what you will achieve. It’s the determination and commitment to overcome that separates the greats from the average.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
I find split body part training to be the best form of developing a well-muscled physique alongside some functional cardio such as Bag work and HIIT training. When muscle mass wasn’t something I needed the Cross Fit style training was great for developing the lean, cut look but requires you to really push yourself at a fast pace to see the best results.
I don’t have fixed days for each muscle group or training due to work commitments but I ensure that I get 4 days a week in each week, as evenly spaced as possible. I’ve been training for about 2 years now in purely bodybuilding terms but have trained athletically for well over 10 years so I have a good broad knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work for me. As such I will adjust workouts on the day dependant on how I feel or if I have any strains etc. but as a rule they will follow the same structure in essence which is a High to Low reps with increased weight each set if possible or drop sets if not.
Variable angles and grips are always utilised and intensity is ALWAYS high!
- Dumbbell Press x4 High to Low Reps
- Incline Dumbbells x4 High to Low Reps
- Dumbbell Flies x x4 High to Medium Reps
- Seated Machine Chest Press (Plate Loaded) x4 High to Low Reps
- Decline Press (Plate loaded) x4 High to Low
- Cable Flies x4 High to Medium Reps
- Dumbbell Front Raises x4 High to Medium Reps
- Seated Dumbbell Press x4 High to Low Reps
- Lateral Raises x4 High to Medium Reps
- Rear Delts, Cables x5 High to Medium Reps
- Lat Pull Down or Pull-ups x4 High to Low Reps
- T Bar Rows x4 High to Low Reps
- Seated Row x4 High to Low Reps
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows x4 High to Low Reps
- Close Grips Lat Pull Down x4 High to Medium Reps
- 100 Rep Leg Extensions (Starting with the heaviest weight that allows for 20 reps and lowering the weight each time 10 reps is failed to be met. Minimal rest points taken!)
- Squats x5 High to Low Reps
- Leg Press x5 High Reps, Deep Negative!
- Horizontal Press x5 Toes up driving completely through the heels, High to Medium Reps
- Lying Curls x5 High to Low Reps
- Seated Curls x5 High to Low Reps
- Straight Leg Dead Lifts x5 High to Low Reps
- Straight Bar Extensions x4 High to Low Reps
- Reverse Grip Extensions x4 High to Low Reps
- Hammer Grip Rope Extensions x4 High to Low Reps
- Skull Crushers x4 High to Low Reps
- Seated Dumbbell Curls, Single arm at a time x4 High to Low Reps
- Hammer Grip Curls (Dumbbell or Cable Rope) x4 High to Low Reps
- Ez Curl Bar x4 High to Low Reps
- Cross Body Hammer Grip Curls x4 High to Medium Reps
If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?
- Chest Press
- Pull ups
All core compound movements that require great form and provide a well-balanced overall package by targeting the major muscle groups of the body! Work the big and the little will grow!
What is your diet like?
Due to my scientific background my diet is based around calculated macros for my protein, carbohydrate and fat requirements. This allows me to be in a controlled surplus (for gaining weight) or deficit (to lean out for competition or personal choice) whilst maximising my food intake to generate desired results without gaining excess fat (surplus diet) or burning muscle (deficit diet). Health wise I am concerned about the sources of my food to ensure I gain a good micronutrient balance but I also like to enjoy my food so to reach a happy balance I weigh and log all my food to ensure my target levels are hit but that also allows me to enjoy some unconventional sources such as humus, sausages and roast potatoes!
- Meal 1: Wholemeal Toast with Honey and Peanut Butter
- Meal 2: Protein Shake and Rice Cakes
- Meal 3: Roast Chicken, Apple Sauce and Wholemeal Bread
- Meal 4: Diced Chicken Breast and Sweet Potato
- Meal 5: Protein Shake, Rice Cakes and Fruit
- Meal 6: Diced Chicken or Beef and Healthy Choice Mash Potato
When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?
HIIT. Simply because it is more interesting and can be worked into more fun routines such as bag work, sprints or cross trainer sprints.
That’s not to say normal cardio isn’t useful but I find long distance work adds to joint stress and does begin to grind mentally much more quickly.
What is your supplementation like?
In the off season its mainly All-in-One Protein shakes, Vitamins and a Pre-workout. During dieting I tend to include more whey blend protein supplements, intra workout BCAA’s and a stand-alone Creatine supplement.
“Yeeeeah Buddy!” and of course my patented “BOOM BABY!”