How did you get started?
I used to race in Down Hill and Cross Country Mountain Biking events; I was very fit and had an athletic physique. At that time my bodyweight was approx 13’2 lbs / 184 lbs / 83.4 kg and at six feet tall, I felt pretty skinny. I then had an accident whilst riding and broke my clavicle (Collar-bone) and damaged ligaments and tendon in my right arm, I spent six weeks in a sling and the result was wasting of the muscle (atrophy) in my right arm and shoulder. In Sept 1999 I visited a renowned physiotherapist and accomplished body builder Stuart Cosgrove. Stuart used to treat and train with Dorian Yates and has treated Ronnie Coleman, Ernie Taylor to name just a few. Stuart treated the injury over a course of weeks and once recovered explained that I needed to rebuild the muscle or this would result in permanent weakness. Stuart set me a program and instructed me to increase my protein intake to assist in recovery and strengthening by promoting repair to muscle tissue.
I continued riding and weight training and felt stronger than ever, my riding improved due to my upper body and core strength which helped maneuver and control the bike especially over rocky terrain. After a few months training Stuart commented on the rapid change in my body composition and suggested I take up body building as he felt I had good genetics, Stuart offered to mentor me and six months later I competed in my first bodybuilding competition, I placed forth in the Intermediates at the Mr. Northern UK show, I was delighted and no one believed I had been training for a total of twelve months. I now began to feel this was the right direction for me to take and under Stuart’s guidance I set about training for the same competition the year after. I entered the following year and won my class at 15’1lbs! I was hooked!
Several years of training and studying every piece of information I could find, led to me achieving more trophies and then ultimate prize. I bought my own gym, Olney Health & Fitness Ltd based in Olney near Milton Keynes in November 2005. I became a qualified Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer and have since helped many others compete. Boditronics offered to sponsor me and have done so for many years now. I currently weigh 20’0 lbs / 127kg with a body fat of approx 10%.
What your diet consists of & why?
My diet consists of 1.8g protein /2g carbs / 0.5g Fat per lb in bodyweight so at my current weight 20’0 lbs /280 lbs / 127kg I consume 504g protein / 560 g carbs / 140g Fat. I prefer to stay in good shape all year around and don’t see any benefit from putting on too much fat as it just makes tying your shoelaces so difficult without puffing and panting. The only weight I want to carry around with me is lean muscle tissue not an extra 70 lbs of fat which affects your blood pressure and joints. My carb intake is moderate and my fat intake is higher than most, I must add that most of my fat intake is in the form of Udo’s Oil a blend of healthy fats with Omega 3, 6 & 9 EFA’s this is a good source of energy without water retention as high carbs cause water retention. Udo’s is also fantastic for joints, skin and has multitude of other health benefits.
- Protein whole-food sources: Chicken, Turkey, Steak, Tuna, White fish, egg whites.
- Protein Supplements: Glutamine, BCAA’s, Whey, Micellar Casein.
- Carbs whole-food sources: Basmati rice, Sweet Potato, Wholemeal bread, Oats, small amount of fruit.
- Carbs Supplements: Vitargo (Fast acting corn starch) Maltodextrin, glucose.
- Fats: Udo’s oil, Olive oil, Walnuts, Almonds, egg yolks, oily fish.
What supplements do you use?
It is paramount to have a balanced diet and I try in the main to use supplements for around 50% of my calorie intake and whole-foods for the remaining 50%, this keep the gut healthy and intestines clear with lots of fibre. The clearer the intestine the more nutrients you can absorb.
I use in the main Boditronics supplements as they are my sponsor, I have found Boditronics to have no nonsense approach, they produce a high specification product, backed by research and without the hype and bogus claims of some of the industries less reputable companies.
#1 Boditronics Whey Isolate (Protein Splash) / Vitargo Carb Powder
I use this first thing on waking in the off-season, this signals my body to stop being catabolic and return to a positive nitrogen balance. The reason I use Whey Isolate is that it is rapidly absorbed and the advantage of Vitargo over glucose is that it is absorbed 70% faster. I take this in the form of 25g Protein and 35g Carbs in the morning and for Post-Training 50g Protein and 100g Carbs to replenish glycogen and begin the recovery process (Consumed immediately Post-Workout) then eat a whole-food meal 60-90mins later as this represents the anabolic window.
Branch Chain Amino Acids are the 8 Aminos that the body cannot make from other amino acids, therefore supplementation of BCAAs is essential in times of increased stress from heavy training or dieting.
#3 Boditronics L’Glutamine
When dieting I take L’Glutamine with water on an empty stomach pre-cardio in the morning, pre- training and before bed. With L’Glutamine it is very important not to take it with other forms of protein as the aminos compete for absorption so wait at least 20mins before taking other forms of protein. L’Glutamine can reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), helps improve gut health and improves immune system. L’Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and so should be topped up when being depleted by hard training.
#4 Boditronics Express Whey
This is a Whey/Micellar Casein mix as a peptide this offers a time release effect and so can be taken anytime of day to boost protein intake or as a stand alone shake. It is high in BCAAs and has pro-biotics to aid digestion.
#5 Boditronics Profusion Reloaded
This is a Pre and Post Workout shake again high in BCAAs but with added Creatine and Beta Alanine which delays fatigue, Profusion also has added carbs in the form of glucose and maltodextrin. This type of product is now referred to as an ‘All in One’
#6 Boditronics Midnight Express
This is a Whey/Micellar Casein mix as a peptide this offers a time release effect the ratio of Miceller Casein is higher in this product making it ideal before bed to reduce catabolism through the night. It is high in BCAAs and has pre-biotics to aid digestion.
#7 Other Boditronics Products also used:
- ZMA – Endocrine Support, Testosterone booster.
- Bulgarian Tribulus – Endocrine Support, Testosterone booster.
- Creatine – Increase strength.
8# UDO’s Oil
Special blend of non-fish oils to give optimum ratio of EFA’s Essential Fatty Acids, including Omega 3, 6 and 9. This blend helps lubricate joints, control blood sugar, increase energy, moisturise skin, improve healing, increase concentration and improve cardio vascular function.
Example of diet
- Meal 1: Whey Isolate / Vitargo
- Meal 2: 100g (Dry) Oats / Chopped Banana / 3 Scoops Express Whey Vanilla / 3 Dessert Spoons
- Meal 3: 3 Slices Wholemeal Toast / 4 Poached eggs / 3 Scoops Express Whey
- Meal 4: Pre-Training 4 Scoops Profusion
- Meal 5: Post-Training 75g Whey Isolate / 100g Vitargo
- Meal 6: 100g (Dry) Basmati Rice, / 300g (Cooked) Turkey
- Meal 7: Large Sweet Potato / 300g (Cooked) Chicken
- Meal 8: 4 Scoops Midnight Express / 3 Dessert Spoons Udo’s Oil
What does your current work-out routine look like?
I train 5 days per week for approx 1hr each session, I train for 6wks Heavy (10 reps with 2 min’s rest between sets) then I train for 6wks (15 reps with 30 sec’s rest) and then repeat. My split looks something like:
- Monday: Chest & Abs.
- Tuesday: Back.
- Wednesday: Legs & Abs.
- Thursday: Shoulders, Traps & Rear Delts.
- Friday: Biceps/Triceps & Abs.
What’s your opinion on the run of the mill “Bulk & cut” way of training?
I don’t really care for this method of training. As a competitive body builder I prefer to be in shape all year around, I just don’t see the point of adding lots of fat for the sake of it. It simply makes dieting harder and you are much more likely to lose muscle when you diet hard. Carrying all that extra weight around that serves no purpose, apart from putting extra pressure on your heart. It’s not just about adding bulk, for me it’s about adding lean muscle and being fit and healthy.
Who is your favourite bodybuilder?
I have many bodybuilders who I admire for different reasons. Dorian Yates for mass with condition, Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler for size and professionalism. Phil Heath and Kai Green as the up and coming contenders.
If you could give someone one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be consistent, there are no shortcuts. You have to earn muscle, treat it with the respect and care it needs. If you eat, train & rest properly, regularly, consistently. You will be rewarded with muscle, strength and vitality.