Should you compete after watching Mr Olympia 2014?

Since ive started competing, a lot of people who train tell me how they want to compete. There is a big difference between simply working out, compared to competing within bodybuilding.

I cover much of this in the video above but here are just a few additional points.

If you enjoy working out, but don’t really care about what you eat, then this is going to be your biggest challenge in bodybuilding. In my opinion bodybuilding is more of a test of mental state of mind, self control and will power, that it is athletic ability.

Working out for 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week isn’t that hard. Don’t get me wrong, training with a high level of intensity is not easy. If your workouts are easy, then you’re not training hard enough.

However to push yourself to the limit for just 45 minutes a day, isn’t the difficult part of bodybuilding. Its just the start. The majority of people who are serious about their training are able train hard and push themselves.

The hard part about competing, and getting ready for a bodybuilding show is what you do for the other 23 hours of the day.

This involves your diet, lifestyle, and habits.

The quantities of food is crucial to your success. The food choices and food groups will help with body composition, however the amount of food we consume is far more important. If you don’t even know how much you should be eating, you’re going to struggle.

Worst yet, if you don’t track your food, getting into contest shape is going to be damn impossible. In my workout log i talk about my macros, my food intake and how i track it.

If you don’t track your macro intake then you’re not going to compete in bodybuilding. End of. Its more than just taking cheap supplements using a myprotein discount code.

If you are serious about training, and are looking to compete, then just be prepared to make some sacrifices. If you’re able to cope with this, then do it.

Id recommend competing at least once if you’re curious about it. You might love it, or you might hate it. But the experience will help shape you.

Hope it gives you something to think about guys.

 

 

Posted in Blog

Guy Curls 170 lbs with Home Made Exoskeleton

Remember fighting Metal Gear Rex at the end of Metal Gear Solid?

Seeing Gray Fox run in to save your ass with that slick ninja suit exoskeleton? Only to get crushed not long after.

Well some guy has created a more bro-worthy (and less sexy) exoskeleton of his own.

The Hacksmith, of youtube and internet fame, has recently created his homemade exoskeleton to increase his gains ten fold. In the above video you  can see the contraption working, allowing the user to curl 170 lbs.

Adds a whole new meaning to curling in the squat rack. m i rite?

On a (slightly) more serious note, this is actually awesome. Devices like this will exist in professional manufacturing plants, or as test equipment in labs. But for a guy to just make it in his back yard, and for it to work? Pretty good.

In regards to workouts though, this actually, kinda, could sort of, help you make gains. Imagine if he’s able to rig it in such a way that will allow the device to curl the weight, and use less resistance on the way back down. Forced negatives without a spotter. No more messing about looking for the best adjustable dumbbell set for your home workouts. Just suit up, and go for max weight. Every. Single. Set.

That may sound a bit advanced, but if this guy has been able to make the device in the first place, im sure he can configure it in in just a way.

Next we’re looking for robot legs, and the eventual “guy snaps back squatting 1000lbs” video to follow.

Posted in Blog

4 Quick Bodybuilding Tips to Stand Out at a Bodybuilding Competition

Bodybuilding Posing Tips To Stand Out On Stage

Bodybuilding Posing Tips To Stand Out On StageThis post is brought to you by Lee Archer of Photo-Flex.co.uk. Lee is a photographer, and has covered many bodybuilding shows across the UK. I’ve been bringing you alot of posts about getting ready for to compete as a bodybuilder over in my NABBA Training journal. I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what else goes into a bodybuilding show, from a non-competitor stand point. Along with these experiences, i also wanted to receive some easy bodybuilding tips from someone who watches and attends many bodybuilding competitions.

Sam has recently shared some of his bodybuilding posing tips. Expanding on that series are some tips to help you stand out on stage at your next bodybuilding competition from the eyes of a bodybuilding contest photographer. With that being said, let’s take a look at what it’s like for Lee to cover a bodybuilding show as a photographer.

Hi to you all. Adam asked me to write a little on my views of bodybuilding shows and I thought it would be a good idea to add my view and also some tips that will not only help you get better photographs, but get noticed by the judges at your next bodybuilding contest.

Firstly a little more about me.  My name is Lee and I started loving photography back in 1997 when I took a trip to New York to see my cousin. I took a rubbish film camera and took around 6 rolls of film. At this time I had no idea what I was doing. Having said that I had a good eye for a good shot.  It was with regret when the photos came back that I realised my skills and camera were rubbish.

I did very little more for a few years but always wanted to do more photography. I started going to bodybuilding shows to watch friends and to support Gary Lister at the Pro Am Birmingham. I took a slightly better camera but struggled to get the sharp shots, I got the popular orange and blurry shots.

This started something and I haven’t looked back since. I bought a canon 300d from ebay for a few hundred quid, bought a lens and away I went to practice. The next set of images were miles better. I was talking to Foodtech owner Ken Roscoe one day and mentioned I was playing with photography. He invited me to Goodbody’s gym at Retford to photograph a training session with his main guys. It turned out the photos went down well and Ken helped me start photo-flex.

Since then Ive worked with some of the best bodybuilders and fitness athletes in the Uk. I photograph some fantastic shows and write for the Nabba Health and Fitness and work on photographic assignments for Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazine. I love it.

So enough waffle, sorry. I love the shows, the atmosphere, the chance to witness history and also catching up with friends. Its always relaxed at the shows and people have a good laugh too,. It’s a little different backstage where nerves are high etc. But in general its fantastic. Going backstage at shows like the Mr Britain and Universe is a real pleasure. It’s a place not many get to go. And its gives me some great candid shots.

4 Easy Bodybuilding Tips To Help You Stand Out On Stage

Smile

My first tip from the second you walk on stage, SMILE. People in general warm to positivity. This goes without thought by many competitors. So much focus is put into straining and hitting each pose correctly, that facial expressions on a bodybuilding stage go without as much of a thought. I can guarantee you that bodybuilding judges at any contest will notice a smile before a frown. This will put you in an immediate positive light. If someone has a positive first impression of you, then it will make the rest of your on-stage judging a breeze.

From a photography stand point, there is nothing that ruins an awesome bodybuilding pose, with perfect lighting, than a grimacing face. Many competitors eagerly wait to the preview photo’s of them self on stage, only to be abused by friends on Facebook with comments about constipation because of their facial expression.

You’re Always Being Judged

Every second a competitor is on stage at a bodybuilding show, is a second they are being judged by the prying eyes of a panel of experts. This includes the initial walk out. When you’re in a call up, when you’re not in a call out. When you’re told to relax, you’re still being judged.

Your face expressions, your reactions, everything. Be professional even if you’re a first timer. You’ve spent months training, hitting cardio, and dieting. Make sure you work your ass off the same way you prepped for the show when you’re on stage. Even after judging is over, maintain a professional and friendly attitude, on-stage and back stage. Judges remember faces from show to show. If you have a bad attitude over your placing, and act like a dick, you will be remembered – for the wrong reasons.

Pick The Right Tan

In my opinion, if you’re not totally shredded, then choose a water based tan. If your slightly off then a greasy tan will just hide even more. Prepare your skin for the tan. We see blotchy tans, and tans running off, all because people didn’t prepare the skin to take the tan. Read the tan instructions fully. Make your base coat perfect.

Bodybuilding Posing Shreddybrek

Take Center Stage

Get your self in lots of photographs. Hit your poses quick. Hold for a split second where possible. If it’s a posedown, get in the centre. Going far left or far right means youll not be in the main photos. Don’t go too far forward where the stage loses light. Using the middle third of the stage for most poses means youll  get more photos taken. The sides are usually dark and don’t provide the best light. I know its cool to give family a quick close up pose, nothing wrong with that.

Wrapping Up

Those are my main tips when I photograph a  show and I think what people could do better. You can use a similar approach to photoshoots as you would to going on stage. You want to look your best Right?

Carb depleting and loading as well as water manipulation are good things to look amazing on your shoot. The problem is that many people will start messing about, and can actually mess up their physique for the day. Its always advisable to practice this approach first, and if possible, use the help of an experienced coach. The last thing you want to do is throw in a bunch of cheap supplements to your stack the last week of a show to try and get rid of water, just to make your physique look stringy and destroy the past 3-4 months of preparation. Plan your shoot so your prepared. I always like to talk over ideas and pass on tips.

I hope some of this was helpful and if anyone would like to talk more my website is www.photo-flex.co.uk you can fill in the contact form and il reply prompt.  I also have some videos on my youtune channel https://www.youtube.com/user/Leearcherphotography/feed

Thankyou Lee Archer

Posted in Articles

Bodybuilding Posing Tips: The Importance Of Posing On Stage

Hiya folks, Sam back here. For my second entry to the site, i would like to talk about the importance of posing in bodybuilding, and the little tricks that can make a massive difference to your physique when your up on that stage.

Im the guy in the red pants.

My first competition was the Nabba England first timers 2013 were i placed 2nd to a guy who, lets say deserved to win, as he was a touch more conditioned than myself!

I went into this competition not knowing a great deal about posing as i train at a gym in my hometown of Chesterfield called Lifestyle fitness. The gym has some of the best adjustable dumbbells, traditional gym equipment etc. Unfortunately where it excels in gym equipment, it lacks in a person to ask for advice and guidance in terms of competing (unlike some who have Eddy Ellwood knocking about *cough*Adam*cough*). So for me to learn, it was a case of watching back bodybuilding clips on Youtube, past Mr Olympias, Pumping Iron and and the like to hit the bread and butter poses.

Bodybuilding Posing To Improve On Stage Presence

The next competition for me was the Nabba Midlands Novice 2014 were i placed 3rd. The two who placed above me i placed several places above them, only 3 weeks after in the NABBA British finals by bringing more condition and better posing. Now obviously if i would of done this in the midlands i would of smashed it….. but ooo well im only in the early stages of competing im always learning and improving :).

Ok now back to the focus of this entry… Posing. The next video i provide below (red pants, tallest guy). You will notice that my posing is far from perfect but not bad by anymeans. When i perform a front double bicep you will notice i really flex my abs, also head is down when hitting a lat spread and also im not showing much of my physique when popping a side tricep. Also the positioning of my feet doesnt do my legs any favours.

Some Of The Best Bodybuilding Posing Tips I Could Receive

Now the lucky part. A Couple of my Mrs friends’ were sat directly behind a couple of names you guys will know…. Dave Titterton, Max O’connor and Richard Gozdecki. Good old Laura was tab hanging and heard them say that guy has a fantastic physique but he needs to open up more and show off what he has got. So after having Max on twitter i noticed him and Rich were running a posing class down at a gym in Leamington Spa called the workout mill. I shortly received some of the best bodybuilding posing tips i’ve ever received.

After exchanging a few messages on twitter i was booked onto it and made my way down to Leamington. I must say if you get chance to visit this gym it is rather different, its based on several floors and has some wicked looking bits of equipment. Whilst down there i got some fantastic advice with my posing and ways to pose to suite my physique. The key alterations were front double bicep, previously i would stand with both quads flexed facing forward and flex my abs, Max suggested i dont flex my abs at all and take a deep breath and have one leg out to the side flexed with my foot raised.

NABBA Novice Adam Sam Bodybuilding Posing

 

I couldnt believe how much bigger and wider i looked by doing this, by breathing in and stretching out my torso alot more made my waist look tiny and obviously being show ready you could clearly see thick slabs of abs popping through regardless off flexing them, he also had me pushing my knee into my hamstring on a side chest shot and getting down lower which worked a treat. On the relaxed pose previous i would stand yet again with abs flexed, this was now changed to relaxed abs breathing in and stretching out which made me look a hundred times better. As you will see with the below video my side tricep i step back with the right leg and twist as much as possible, this also gives the waist a better look.

Here I am again, tallest guy in the middle rocking my all new blue leopard print panties boooom!

So in conclusion folks get your posing spot on it really can give your physique a new look. If you come accross any posing classes or workshops run by experienced names in the game via twitter/facebook or whatever it may be look into it because it will be money well spent.

Thanks for reading.

@slovie8

 

Posted in Training

Forget Workout Programs – Train Yourself!

cardio meme

The below post has been brought to you buy Justin Woltering. Justin is a super-star cover model, having graced numerous fitness magazine front covers, and is sponsored by Men’s Health. Today his post looks at coming up with your own training split, and not following cookie-cutter plans. Take it away Justin!  Read more ›

Posted in Training

Welcoming Sam Lovie – NABBA Competitor

NABBA Novice Adam Sam

One of the great things, that i’ve not spoken much about, i’ve found in Bodybuilding is the new friends and range of people you make and meet. We’ve all got our gym buddies, whether these are guys we met in the gym (bromance for life) or friends you had from outside the gym, and started training together. However competing as a bodybuilder and working out are two completely separate beasts. You can go hardcore in the gym for 45 minutes, and let shit hit the fan for the other 23 hours and 15 minutes of the day and not progress. Bodybuilding on the other hand, is a lifestyle, not just a hobby.

Im in a lucky position that my training partner, Martin, is a competitive bodybuilder. The gym I train at, Xtreme Fitness, is ran by Eddy Ellwood, a 5 time Mr Universe. There are quite a few people in my gym who compete, and are at a very high standard, such as the NABBA North Britain overall winner Tony Ellot and class 4 winner, Ste Wright. I even run my own NABBA Workout Journal on this site, and document my training and diet over on my Youtube Channel.

Being so heavily involved in bodybuilding, its refreshing to be surrounded, and meet others, who follow the same mantra as yourself. They don’t just train. They don’t just workout. They bodybuild. They don’t ask the same, meaningless questions about ‘which pre workout should i take to help me make gains’. They don’t consider moderate weight sets of 8 as ‘hardcore training’. They don’t look at you as if you’re a tit when you strip down to your boxers (or ravishing red posing trunks) after a workout to check out the never ending rat race of chasing gains.

Sam Lovie is one of these guys.

I met Sam at the NABBA Britain Finals 2014. He was competing in the Novice Category with me, and the Son of a bitch opened up a can of whoop ass, and poured it all over me, nabbing 5th place, and cementing me in 6th!

We got talking backstage, and got talking during the afternoon show. A bromance was formed over the sharing of an NRG Flapjack (you know this tasted the shit Sam).

With us both competing in the NABBA Britain Finals in the Novice category, and placing 5th and 6th, we are obviously very closely matched, and at a similar level within our bodybuilding careers. I know that i’ll be stood on stage next to him at some point in the future, which I look forward to!

Sam will be contributing to the blog, sharing his bodybuilding experiences, talking about nutrition, workouts and reviewing supplements. Below is his introductory post, and I look forward to having him on board!

Take it away Sam!

Hello folks, 

First of all i would like to thank Adam for getting me involved with this. After constant research over the years and reading various articles on the internet gaining knowledge for bodybuilding this is a place were i can share my views on diet, nutrition and supplementation, this will not be up to a Dr Serrano muscular development standard!. I will be aiming my posts towards your every day clanger and banger and competitive bodybuilder.

I met Adam at a recent competition we both did, the Nabba Britain Novice class, after the pre-judging i plonked myself down with my cheesecake and friji milkshakes and looked to my left and recognized Adam from the UK muscle forum prep blog he created.  Approached him saying heeyyy your that guy from the blog, within minutes we were sharing treats by him offering first pick into his mammoth bag of goodies which included numerous reese’s peanut bunnies. I did not wanna take a mans chocolate rabbit after numerous weeks dieting lol, so opted for a NRG flapjack what adam recommended and was real goo. TBF he would push them onto me rather than the hersheys and reeses etc and all the good stuff haha OJ dude. 

About myself –  soooooooo, my names Sam Lovie, DOB – 25/4/1989. I have been training since i was 17.  First year or so of training i was hopping around the gym from one machine to another blasting all my body as you do as a newbie and didn’t have a workout plan in place.  NABBA Novice Adam Sam

Then following, what i thought at the time was a healthy diet combined with me playing football, boxing, running and the gym i became shredded, but practically i was a skinny fuck. Like a fat bitch with tits, a skinny guy with abs doesn’t cut it.  So i got sick of looking an average Joe with clothes on when i busted my ass in the gym day in, day out, yes i looked decent topless but wanted to look chunky and a big mofo with clothes on also.  

So from 18 to approx 22 i plonked on the pounds, again following what i thought to be a healthy diet (which made me fat!) and got up to 23ST at my heaviest…… YES 23 FOOOKIN STONE…. you could say at this point i looked big with clothes on haha. TBH being 6,4 i carried it fairly well, but looking back now, i was just a big hefty bloated lump. More like a strongman rather than a bodybuilder.  

At this weight my training was a mixture between strongman and bodybuilding, some decent poundages being pushed out , benching 4 1/2 plates a side, squating 6 plates a side etc.  Diet at this point….. lets say on average it was 60% BRO food, the other 40% was practically whatever really.  Remember the mammoth 2500 weight gainer….. well im sure that contributed to the epic 23stone bloated chunk because a shake used to consist of 4 scoops,oats, nut butter,eggs, frozen fruit and ice cream, yes it tasted real good but was fuckin plastered with sugars and OTT on calories.

Now forget Rich piana and his mutant mass, meal, meal replacements, shakes etc. Pre-workout me and a few pals used to make the shake as just stated but chuck a handful of dbol, oxy’s and any fuckin tablet what was on top of the fridge in the supplement stack and blend the fucker up, YYYESSSS tablets into a blender lol,  thinking back this was just stupid and those shakes were just for a giggle but to this day thinking back it puts a smile on my face and adds to the fun times on this bodybuilding journey. 

One day i was pounding away with a chest session ( not fueled btw on a dbol mammoth shake lol ) I was bench pressing a brutus poundage and felt a horrible tear accross my chest, instantly i thought my pectoral had completly detached off the bone and couldnt face taking my shirt off to see the deformed fucked up mess of an injury i had just experienced.  To my shock i had i decent range of movement still and no visable damage so obviously there was no major issues although this did put me out of training still for a good few weeks ( my usual routine anyway ).  

So within this time i was obviously training lighter and got involved with something alien to myself…….. Cardio equipment :).  Within a couple of weeks weight was coming off my frame at a decent rate and my muscles were taking more shape etc.  I was loving these results, and combined with obviously educating myself on diet/training and supplementation along the way i now compete recently placing above ADAM FOSTER HIMSELF, ABOVE ADAM FOSTER HIMSELF  REEPPPEEATTT X10 LOL  OJ BUDDY :) lol in the NABBA British Finals Novice Class.  Currently been competing since Sept 2013 so less than 1 year placing in every show i have done and that continues to be my target throughout my journey. 

Keep checking the site for my contribution…… planning on some cool videos in the future but under strict instructions from my soon to be wife to be that the kitchen needs to be spotless when filming…. hard for a bodybuilder eating every 2-3 hours creating a huge amount of dirty pots haha. Until then you can check out some of the recipes Adam has over on his youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/shreddybrek

http://youtu.be/p9-k4Dld0OA

Cheers folks, thanks for reading. 

Posted in Articles

Dumbbell Falls Apart Mid Set In Gym Accident

gym fail

The terms old school and hardcore often conjour up images of iron cast plates, heavy duty leg press machines, squat racks, and blood, sweat and tears staining the bare brick walls of a place us bodybuilders like to think of our 2nd home, the gym. From the bodybuilding boom in the 80′s and 90′s, people immediately associate hardcore or old school with this era. Dorian Yates discussed what hardcore means. I’ve also seen him speak about what hardcore or old school means in video interviews.

During my NABBA Contest Prep, I’ve had the chance to pick the brains of my mentor, a 5 time Mr UniverseEddy Elwood, and he shares the same sentiments of what old school or hardcore in bodybuilding means.

However there is a thin line between ‘old school’ and run down. There is a difference between ‘hardcore’ and shit hole. Unfortunately, some gym owners have blurred vision and are unable to distinguish the difference between these areas. I recently had a bad experience when working out in a ‘old school’ gym, when in fact it was just a complete disaster.

Hardcore Should Not Mean Scruffy & Unsafe

As many of you who regularly read my blog or follow my youtube channel will know, during my contest prep for 2014, i’ve been training twice a day, sometimes 3 times a day, as part of my 6 day workout split. I typically started off my day with a brisk walk. Sometimes this would be on a treadmill, or sometimes id just take a walk outside. Then I’d hit my first weight workout early afternoon, and finish up the day with a second lifting session in the evening, sometimes followed up with HIIT cardio.

The gym I train at on an afternoon is a gym, near one of the offices im situated in. It’s convenient for me to get there, although it isn’t state of the art, by any stretch of the imagination. It just about manages to stay open, with what I can only guess, are many grey areas in health and safety circulating for the owners.

Dumbbell Breaks Mid Set – Epic Gym Fail

My second week of training there, I was warming up for a dumbbell press, as I hoisted the dumbbell in position ready to press, the weight flew off one side of the dumbbell. I couldn’t believe what I had experienced. The gym membership here is cheap, but that shouldn’t mean members should have to put up with unsafe conditions. The owner rushed and apologised, as he rushed the weight away to ‘fix it’. I continued on working out, making sure to pay extra attention to the stability of the weights I was picking up.

2 Wrongs don’t make a right

So what happens 2 weeks ago? It was the Friday before my show, the NABBA Britain Finals, a week out. I was training heavy biceps. I had already performed my barbell curls, and moved onto hammer curls. What happens next? The dumbbell, 14kg, for the second time in my experience working out in this gym, dismantled itself once again. I was pissed. Like really pissed.

Why the hell would any gym owner allow their establishment to become so run down? Its annoying when a machine is out of order, or a cable snaps. Somethings can’t be avoided. However the exact same dumbbell has broken on me twice now. I don’t need the newest, shiniest equipment to train with. I just need something that isn’t going to break half way through a set.

You can check out the dumbbell breaking on me, along with some footage from the bicep workout in the video clip above. I’ve gotta ask you though, what would you do in my position? Complain? Leave? Demand a refund?

I’ve still been performing cardio there, but that’s it. I’ve not touched their weights, machines or anything other than the treadmill and cross trainer since this happened for the second time. I don’t need to train weights twice a day now, so I think i’ll just let my membership expire this month. I might either look for a second gym to take a membership out with, or just train on an evening, and if i feel like doing any cardio, go for a morning walk, or perform hiit on my rest days.

Im back to bulking now, so im not really needing to hit cardio as much as I was, so cancelling the membership isn’t a huge concern. It’s an annoyance that it happened to me twice however. When you’re signing up at a new gym, just bare in mind what hardcore or old school means to you, and what this means to the person trying to sell you a gym membership. If you are looking to take out a gym membership when travelling, or take out a second gym membership be sure to check out this guide on blagging a cheap gym membership from http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk

Let me know what you would do down in the comments below.

 

Posted in My Training Log

NABBA Britain Finals 2014 6th Place Result – My Journey

NABBA Britain Finals Adam Double Bicep

NABBA Britain Finals 2014 – How I Placed

So i’ll quickly start off and let you all know how I placed in the NABBA Britain Finals – 6th. HASHTAG – buzzing my pecs off.

Now i know 6 out of 10 may not sound impressive, but let me put this into perspective for you. I was told by Eddy to do the NABBA Britain Finals for the experience, but that I wouldn’t place. I had dieted for the NABBA North Britain, which took place on May 4th from the last week of December / first week of January. As I mentioned, I didn’t expect to place int he NABBA North, so i had 0 idea about the NABBA Britain Finals 4 weeks later. To my amazement, and delight, all that clangin’ and bangin’, hours of cardio, and hungry nights paid off, as I had placed 3rd in the North Britain, and qualified for the NABBA Britain finals. You can check out my NABBA Training Log for how I was training, and how i was changing week on week during my contest prep.

I don’t want this to be a life transformation post, as I do have one of those planned for a future video, and article, but I feel like I should provide some background to my earlier years.

A little bit of background…

As a teenager I was the overweight MMORPG addicted kid. I spent summer after summer playing an MMO called Legend Of Mir. The game was hugely popular in Europe, and my Summer holidays would consist of being woken up by my Mam (yes that’s right, mam, not MOM – Im from the North of England!) for my dinner. This would be chicken in breadcrumbs with chips/fries and i’d cover it in bbq or garlic sauce. Id already have my PC warming up, ready for a 16 hour stint. The rest of my day would be grinding, leveling, pking (player killing, this was before WoW), spending time on the forums, taking short piss breaks or snack breaks, and heading to bed for an early night at 4 am. I knew shit got real when I heard the birds chirping outside, would minimise out of the game to my desktop, see that it was 6 or 7, and think DAMN. Better get to bed.

In School I was in ‘top set’ for most subjects, bar P.E. In the UK P.E is our gym class. In my last 2 years of secondary school(high school) I was put into the ‘mongo’ P.E class. A gym class where we didn’t do sport. We did ‘theory’ and went bowling, skiing etc. As a life long fan of WWE, I was conditioned to seeing this awesome physiques. I was also quite big on anime as a teenager, of course my favourite being Dragonball  Z, so that unrealistic muscular cartoon look was further ingrained into my mind. This was further emphasized growing up watching the Marvel animated series of the 90′s, X-Men, Spiderman, FF, Hulk, Iron Man, Silver Surfer. Funny enough all of these things, im still a huge fan of now. I still watch WWE weekly (even though most recently its almost fast forwarded every week due it sucking ass). I collect comics, figurines, busts and statues. I still watch anime, and I still collect old school Pokemon cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, and play games. Although I don’t play them very often at all compared to what I used to when I was in uni.

The 90′s were a time when comic art style was over muscular, look no further than Cyclops from the 90′s X-Men TAS. This coupled with the typical ‘boys toys’ of the 90′s such as Action Man, it was fair to say I grew up in a culture where kids my age were conditioned to a ripped, muscular look.

Anyway lets fast forward to college time. I had naturally lost weight and ended up pretty skinny. I had started exercising, eating a bit better, and looked like a ‘normal’ teenager (whatever that is). I had already been bitten by the gym bug though, and, because of being conditioned to these muscular physiques, wanted to get some muscles myself. I went on a ‘bro bulk’ and ended up, at my heaviest, 219 lbs. I thought I was a beast! My friends thought I was a beast! My family thought I was a beast! Guess what?

I was fat.

After an epic (see:silly) cut that got me beach body ready, with visible abs, i felt worst than I did when i was 219 lbs. With a t-shirt on, it looked as though I didn’t even lift. I’ve never been one for being ‘skinny ripped’. When I first started lifting seriously, I wasn’t concerned with looking ripped. I just wanted size and strength. I achieved that, but then I wanted to look ripped. So following a few years of the typical cut/bulk, and some decent progress, I decided to take a plunge into competitive bodybuilding. It’s a notion I had toyed with for about 2 years prior. I always knew deep down i would eventually do it, but towards the end of 2012, something triggered in me that made me take the first step on a life long, and life changing journey.

I changed gym’s, seeking out the advice of former Mr Universe, Eddy Elwood. In no kinder words I was told that I was too fat for bodybuilding, and I needed to focus on getting rid of body fat. Eddy has been retired since the early 2000′s, and has a ton of experience. Over the years he will have seen dozens of people just like me come and go. Talks of stepping on stage, only to give up a few weeks later. Im not sure what his first impression of me was, but it would be fair to assume he thought i was ‘just another one of them’. Hell, if i was in his position id have thought that.

So in January of 2013, I left my old gym, and paid up front for a year at Xtreme Fitness. This was one of the best investments I’ve ever (to quote Chris Jericho) eeevvvvarrrrrr made. In my first year of competing, I did 3 bodybuilding shows, i’ve documented them all, and you can check out the videos and transformation pictures of them on my youtube.

I don’t want to put too much focus on those, as in this post, I want to speak more about my nabba 2013 – nabba 2014 transformation and my workout journal leading up to the NABBA Britain 2014.

NABBA North Britain 2014

I qualified for the NABBA Britain Finals (unexpectedly) at the start of May, placing 3rd in the NABBA North Britain. Going into this show I had 1 goal. To improve from the November show I did. I think its fair to say I did improve, as I managed to place 3rd, something which I did not expect to do. This was the start of a 1 month roller coaster ride of highs & lows.

NABBA North Britain Novice Class

Now the year before, I entered the first timers at the NABBA North Britain 2013, and did not place. So to step up into the Novice class and place. Wow.

I started training from last years show with the mindset of wanting to place. Deep down I knew it was a possibility, but I did not expect it. Not this year. I realistically expected to not place in the top 3 this year, and to then place in the top 3 next year. So to actually place this year, and to get an invite to the NABBA Britain finals just left me gobsmacked.

NABBA 1 year transformation

 

NABBA Britain Finals 2014 – LONG DIETING

By the time the Britain Finals took place, May 31st, My contest prep was locked in at around 23 weeks. Anyone who has competed or follows bodybuilding knows this is a helluva long time to diet. So why did I do it? Because I screwed myself over. As i’ve explained over on my Youtube channel and in earlier training blogs on the site, I binged BAD after my last show of November. I put on about 20 lbs of trailer park trash, weight in around 2 weeks. Its safe to say after dieting for 23 weeks this year, i’ve learned my lesson and will not binge like that again. I’ve actually written a post about controlling a post show binge, from my own experiences, and I am in the midst of producing an article and video about how my mindset has changed this year compared to last year. To put it bluntly however, I don’t even have a desire, craving or urge to binge now.

NABBA Britain Finals Adam Double Bicep

Tough Love

The last week of prep was hard. Think Contra hard. Real life doesn’t have the Konami code though, so I was fubar. I was really fed up, as I felt like I was just prepping to fight a losing battle and to be a number on stage. Remember I was told on May 5th, the day after placing 3rd in the NABBA North Britain and qualifying to the NABBA Britain finals that I was not going to place at this show. Outright, I wasn’t going to get anywhere. I was going for the experience, and to be a number on stage. More importantly though, I was going there to improve upon my own physique, and to look even better than I did at the North Britain show.

I didn’t really struggle with my diet leading up to the North Britain, however the last 2-3 weeks before the Britain things got hard. I was tired every day, hungry every day, miserable. I felt like a different person. Not only was it affecting me , it was affecting my relationship with my awesome fianceé. What she misses out on due to me bodybuilding, and what we’re limited to doing and not doing is harsh. To be a bodybuilder, you need a very understanding partner, who is willing to put them selves 2nd to you, or you need to be single. Fortunately for me, I have the best level of support from the best partner I could ever ask for.

NABBA Britain Finals Trophy

When I found out I had placed, in the evening show, I couldnt believe it. It was surreal. My name was called and I walked off stage. I assumed that was game over, not realising that the 6 of us who had been called off stage had placed. It was only when I was backstage that I saw everyone buzzing something clicked. Still puzzled, I turned to one of the NABBA staff backstage asking “So.. have we all placed?”. I was met with a look of shock, covered in a pile of WTF sauce. No sooner had I asked this question the other 5 competitors all stopped and turned to me. Laughter erupted from each of them, as they could not believe I was this clueless.

I knew straight away my placing. I was lucky to get into the top 6, and I was realistic to realise that at this point, I had placed 6th. I couldn’t believe it. I was buzzing. My friends and family all ‘knew’ I wasn’t going to place, as I had told them. Connie knew i wasn’t going to place. I thought I knew I wasn’t going to place. How wrong I was.

A Lucky Break

Of course, let me put this into perspective. I don’t want to big myself up, or make myself sound great. As already mentioned those involved in bodybuilding will know placing is a huge achievement, however to outsiders, colleagues and friends, they may hear me say ’6th out of 10′ and think that it is a poor result. Well it isn’t. Placing is good.

However I placed it what could be considered a week line up. There could have easily been 20 competitors on stage, from all the qualifiers. There was 13 on the sheet due to compete. There was 10 of us who showed up. The guy who won the NABBA North Britain didn’t show up. The guy who placed 2nd at the North actually won the class. So had more people turned up, I feel the result wouldn’t have been so successful for me. Yes I did work hard to earn this, but there was also a huge element of luck on my side.

I won’t complain though, and I won’t take it for granted. As I know what next needs to be done….

Time To Grow

This past week I’ve been picking Eddy’s Brains,

‘how did I do?’, ‘what did you think i looked like compared to the others?’, ‘how could i have improved?’

He told me not to over analyse everything. Just to take what has happened as it has happened, and to look forward to progressing. Of course I then asked, what do i need to improve upon to hear, what I already knew to be true: “everything”. Why was I asking a question, in which I already knew the answer?

I need to get more conditioned. I need to get harder. I need to get bigger. I need to be more dense. I need to keep doing what I have done for the last year and a half, clangin’ and bangin’ and keep improving. Simple as that.

While I need to improve overall and in every area, the biggest thing I need to focus on now is packing on some size. Its 11 months until the 2015 NABBA North, so here we go!

11 Months Countdown

Starting this Sunday i’ll be kicking off my journey to the NABBA 2015. Im having a realistic, grounded approach, just like I did last year when looking forwad to the next year. I know i will not place next year. This isn’t going to be a repeat of the Britain, where I ended up fluking my way onto the podium. I know the standard of competition at the NABBA North Britain in class 2 (which is what ill be competing in). I know that no matter how much progress I can realistically make in the next 11 months, that I will just not be at a high enough standard to be stepping onto the top 3 podium in 2015. Give me till 2016 though….. watch this space!

I’ve let things slip in my training log over the past few weeks, but Im going to make it a mission to update my youtube with a video recap, along with this blog once a week, recapping the previous week of training, dieting etc. My first one, this Sunday, will start with my current weight, and a look at my conditioning, along with me explaining my macro’s to pack on some mass. I’ll also be discussing my supplements that i’ve used, along with what changes i’ll be making. Being in the UK, I tend to buy the majority of my supplements from bulk suppliers, so i’ll be posting my supplement stack, along with new pick ups on http://cheapproteindiscountcodes.co.uk, and you should make sure to check it out for the cheapest supplement discount codes to.

Clangin’ Time

My mindset is so different to what I had last year (last year was my first year of competing) and in November I packed on so much fat after going on a 2 week binge. Completely silly, but I don’t even have any cravings this time round. However a week ago, I couldnt wait to smash in reeses peanut butter cups, lucky charms and flapjacks! As soon as I stepped off stage all that temptation and craving went. Very strange how our minds play tricks on us.

Untill Next time guys, you all know what to do, keep clangin & bangin!

Posted in My Training Log

Meeting My Protein Athlete Sergi Constance

Sergi

Wow what a weekend at the 2014 Body Power Expo!

I’ve got a ton of of footage to edit, photo’s to upload, along with updating the my protein discount code section after meeting myprotein discount supplements ambassador, Sergi Constance  Read more ›

Posted in Blog

Lift 20KG More In 6 Weeks, But Forget 4 Week Abs – Wendler 5/3/1

Wendler 5/3/1

Big thanks to Adam at SB for asking me to do a spot on his blog. For background i’ve spent the last 12 years training in some form. Weather that be military training, weightlifting as a teenager, mud runs or just to pass the time. The last 2 years iv spent a lot more time researching strength training and exercise to achieve my workout goals. I work offshore so my gyms vary from a set of kettle bells, adjustable dumbbells and bands, to a fully kitted out strength gym. There is always the nightmare of no weights and BW is the only option.  Hope you enjoy the next few articles. Read more ›

Posted in Training

SUBSCRIBE TODAY 

We respect your email privacy