Muscle-Munch talks with fitness model: Ben Richards

Muscle-Munch talks with fitness model: Ben Richards

How did you get started?

I first started lifting weights at the age of 17 way back in 2007. My brother and dad were much bigger than me and they had been going to the gym for  years before I started so as you can imagine it turned into a competition of who was the biggest and strongest! I wanted to compete in boxing but soon realised that bodybuilding was the sport for me! I quit boxing and from that moment on I fell in love with bodybuilding!

At the end of 2010 I was spotted by a photographer called Giles Crofta, he called me and said that he saw potential. At first I was unsure because I didn’t feel like i compared to the models that he worked with so I didn’t really want to do it. After going backwards and forwards with him I decided to go ahead with the shoot & I dieted for another 3 weeks. When I finally got around to my photo shoot I was really happy with the results, my confidence shot through the roof and I started to believe in myself a lot more. Over the next 5 month’s I did around 14 shoots and then took some time off to gain a little more size. During my off-season I saw a guy in the gym called Eddie Hall (UK Strongest Man). Watching him lift like a super human changed something inside of me & from that day on I trained with an entirely different style. I didn’t want to train to just look good any more, I wanted to train for strongman as well. I soon applied to my first strongman competition and did really well so I’m thinking about taking the next few years off of modelling to follow my ambition to compete with the best strongmen under 105kg.

What your diet consists of and why?

I try to stick to basic healthy foods most of the time apart from when I have my cheat meal. I tend to go for sweet potato, vegetables and some sort of lean meat which is usually turkey. I have a few red meat meals a week because I feel like I flatten out when I’m just eating white meat. One of my favourite meals is my breakfast where I have oats mixed with whey protein.

I’ve listed a couple of foods that I eat below.

  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Steak
  • Lean mince
  • Oats
  • Green Vegetables
  • Brown Pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potato
  • Whey Protein
  • Eggs
  • Cottage Cheese

What supplements do you use?

I’m a great believer in supplements as they are an easy and effective way of getting my macros in. I’m currently sponsored by NRG Fuel so I have access to a large veriety of supplements which keep me looking my best. I’ll list what I use below, bare in mind I only use mass gainers and creatine for when I’m trying to gain weight.

  • Whey Protein
  • BCAA’s
  • Glutamine
  • Fat Metaboliser
  • CLA
  • Omega 3

Example of diet

I eat each meal every 2 and a half hours because I feel that it keeps my metabolism at its highest.

  • Meal 1: 40 grams oats 1 and half scoops whey protein, with a banana.
  • Meal 2: 8 oz turkey, 150 grams sweet potato, mix vegetables.
  • Meal 3 (PRE): 100 grams white rice 10 oz turkey.
  • Meal 4 (POST): 60 grams white rice with 2 scoops whey protein and 200 ml water.
  • Meal 5: 8 oz turkey 100 grams sweet potato with mix vegetables.
  • Meal 6: 8 oz turkey with mix vegetables.
  • Meal 7: 2 scoops ov casine mixed with water .

What does your current work-out routine look like?

  • Monday: Back/Biceps.
  • Tuesday: Chest/Triceps.
  • Wednesday: Rest.
  • Thursday: Legs.
  • Friday: Bicep/Triceps.
  • Saturday: Shoulders.
  • Sunday: REST (Occasionally Traps/Calves)

What are your max lifts?

As I’ve said above, I’m currently a fitness model but I’m wanting to become a strongman/powerlifter in the future.

  • Bench press: 185 kg
  • Squat: 200 kg
  • Deadlift: 240 kg

What’s your opinion on the run of the mill “Bulk & cut” way of training?

I find that this style of training works best for me. In the off-season I try to eat 1000 grams of carbs and 400 grams of protein a day! I feel that you have to eat big to get big and with this large amount of food I see my size and strength gains increase dramatically. Unfortunately this style of training doesn’t work for everyone but I was blessed with a fast metabolism so no matter how much I eat I always tend to stay lean.

How do you stay motivated?

It’s real easy for me to stay motivated since I used to go out every weekend drinking and I’d often see friends fighting or throwing up and getting into trouble with the police! I don’t want that life, I want to be able to look back and be proud of what I have done with myself. There’s nothing more that scares me than being average, I want to make something of myself and the main thing that motivates me is how proud I make my mum and girlfriend!

Who is your favourite bodybuilder, strongman or powerlifter?

My favourite bodybuilder would have to be Troy Alves, he’s not the biggest bodybuilder but he’s a great guy to listen to and has such a detailed physique. As for powerlifting it would have to be Mark Bell because he’s a damn funny guy – I could watch his videos all day, he doesn’t just motivate me but I also learn a lot and find his videos real enjoyable. Finally my favourite strongman would be Eddie Hall, the man who got me into strongman! He trains at my old gym & I’d often get to see him trains.  I love the idea of having super human strength!

If you could give someone any advice, what would it be?

You are what you eat, bodybuilding starts in the kitchen! You can train as much as u want but without proper nutrition you won’t maximise your gains, and at the end of the day you have to enjoy yourself! Its a 24/7  job bodybuilding so always try to have a life out side of it!

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