Definitely the biggest mistake I made as a newbie was in nutrition. I thought that if I wanted to get big and muscular I had to eat everything and anything... I went from 120lbs to 165lbs in just under 2 years, but most of that was fat. So clearly that was not the proper way to bulk up.
I would say I am mostly an ectomorph with a little bit of meso. Before I started training I was super skinny, weighing in at only 120lb. I thought I was jacked, but I was delusional. Then one day I saw the movie 300, and wanted to have the body of the Spartans. I bought a set of weights, joined a gym and I have never looked back since.
This is best explained with one of my favourite quotes, “Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” My tip for someone who is struggling is to be consistent, is keep at it and you will get to a point that training will become an integral part of you. It becomes no more difficult than brushing your teeth. Just think back to when you were a kid and didn’t like brushing your teeth. Now you don’t even give it a second thought, it’s just something you do.
Both free weights and machines have their benefits but if you are just starting out or have had a recent injury I would stick with machines as they will guide your body through proper form and motions. But once you feel comfortable with the motions or feel that you have recovered enough I would definitely transition to free weights. I personally feel that free weights provide much more stimulation for your target muscles while also strengthening synergistic muscle groups.
Competing for the first time at the 2011 WBFF world championships is definitely my proudest moment. While it was an extremely difficult journey, there is no feeling like stepping on stage for the first time after training and dieting for months. Competing not only pushes yourself to another physical level but will also completely change your way of thinking about training and dieting.
When I am not training for a show I do not do cardio because I have balanced my diet to the point where I can stay relatively lean without it. When I am training for a show I prefer to use HIIT training as it is not as boring and I can get it over with quicker.
I will change up my rep ranges once in a while, but I will usually stick to 8-12 reps. I find that it is enough to stimulate muscle growth while lowering the risk of injury that accompanies 4-8 rep ranges. It is important to also note though that when I’m pushing my 8 reps I’m choosing a weight that will only let me do 8 reps slowly with proper form. A tip I can give for those guys swinging weights around, is to remember that you are in the gym to stimulate muscle growth, not to just pick up weights. If you need to use a lighter weight then use it.
I do a 5 day split and cycle the muscle groups so that if one doesn’t fit into the week it is just carried over to the next.
Lat pull down wide grip
Flat Dumbbell press
*Bi's & Tri's*
Alternating curls with supination
standing cable crunch
I had a lot of success carb cycling for my last show. I would have 4 days of 100g of carbs followed by one of 200 to replenish glycogen storages and confuse the body to continually to use up stored body fat. I’ll eat 8 very small meals, keep protein to 1.75g per lb of body weight and keep fat intake to below 50g a day. For liquids I always keep water intake high at around 7 litres a day.
Since I have photoshoots and events to do year round I have to stay pretty lean, at the same time though I do increase my caloric intake enough to put on some muscle mass. This process is a lot slower than if I were to do a full on bulk, but doing this allows me to be photo shoot ready in about a week.
When I have cravings I will stop myself and think about how badly I want to achieve my goals, and that will usually help me. However if I do succumb to cravings, I will only have a mouse size portion.
Another one of my favourite quotes is, "When you want to succeed as much as you want to breath, that is when you will become successful!" So when I’m trying to push that last rep I think how badly I want to achieve my goals and I how I will not get there by taking it easy.
I would have to say James Ellis (Checkout our CutAndJacked.com interview with James Ellis here) and David Kimberle, I met both of them at the WBFF Worlds and even though they have become the top fitness models they are both so humble and took the time to give me tips before I stepped on stage for the first time.
The goals I have in sight right now are to compete at a professional level, and hopefully become a sponsored athlete by a supplement company.
Whey Protein, Multi Vitamins, Omega 3-6-9, Arginine,
A Vege Supplement, and Glutamine.
1. Don’t Rush! Remember that you are training to change your life,
not for short term goals.
2. Eat clean, healthy food sources. You are what you eat!
3. Don’t give into excuses not to train because those excuses will snowball.