Biggest mistakes, neglecting training certain body parts, legs mainly, why? Well some of you may have heard the phrase curls for the girls, as a youngster/newbie I trained to stand out, to impress the females as a result I trained the bodyparts that were visible to me i.e.; chest triceps biceps traps, I completely neglected leg training and when I did train legs it was so inadequate thinking of it now makes me cringe.
So my advice for any newbie is simple TRAIN YOUR LEGS, I know I’m not the only one to have made this extremely common mistake, and one I regret.
I began weight training from the age of 19, back then the fear of looking like the average man on the street drove me to the gym, however I was only interested in training my chest and biceps, and this is what I did. In fact thinking about it my training back then was purely to develop big arms and chest to impress the females, in a word it was ridiculous. However despite my ridiculous training routine I did develop impressive arms of which I was extremely proud. It didn’t take me very long to see results, unlike some of my friends, and this kept me motivated. As the months and years went by I made some impressive gains, however back then I had no legs or back development, I simply neglected training them. Those muscles to me were not visible, I could hide my legs by wearing trousers, I couldn’t see my back so I really didn’t care, and the females were complimenting my physique, so I didn’t see a problem. Fast forward to 2010, where after some internet research I found out about natural bodybuilding, I recall saying to myself well I’ve spent all these years training, and looking at some of these guys I’m pretty confident I could do quite well. I continued my research into natural bodybuilding until one day I came across a natural bodybuilder called Rob Hope, to cut a long story short that was the day I decided to become a bodybuilder.
I guess that is how I got started, it has been such an extraordinary journey thus far and I have loved every bit of it.
Like the question says consistency is key, regardless of if you're a competitive bodybuilder or simply someone wanting to stay in shape, do not allow yourself to fall off, if you do get up dust off and start again, to me it all comes down to how badly you want something, if you want it enough you will get it, I would say set yourself goals/targets realistic photos of someone you would like to look like physically, then set yourself a time in which you would like to achieve that look, there's no time like the present, why not start now summer is still a few months away, I couldn't stress this enough if your inconsistent with your training, diet etc, you will achieve inconsistent results, it's really that simple.
I do not think it's possible for me to get through a training session without music lol, my current playlist. Rick Ross, Drake, Jay Z, Mavado, is just a few of the artist I currently have on my smart phone gym playlist.
How much do I want this? If I’m stopping short of my best then the only person I’m cheating is me, as a bodybuilder if I stepped on stage anything less than 100 percent then I would have cheated myself and everyone who believed and supported me and I don't ever want to do that, digging deep is giving 100 percent in my book the first 10 or 12 reps does not matter to me as much as the last one or two, where I really want to give up but don't.
They both have their place, but my preference will always be free weights, I think machines are great for beginners especially, you sit down you select a weight and you carry out the exercise, simple, safe, less chance of injuries etc, however to me machines takes away the intimidation factor, I don't feel as intimidated when I’m about to bench press 160kgs on a smith machine for e.g., balance and coordination isn't required as much as it for free weights.
Whenever you perform an exercise with free weights, you use proprioreception, which is the brain's ability to know where the body is in space and whether or not it is balanced. This is a very important skill for athletes or anyone who plays sports.
That said, the risk of injuries is clearly higher using free weights, it is quite easy to move a part of your body out of alignment and derail your form for example.
Free weights has and will always be my preference.
My two-year-old son, who is already shown good bodybuilding aesthetics lol, extremely proud of him. As a bodybuilder well it has to be my achievements in my first year as a competitive bodybuilder, becoming British champion with both natural federation in the UK in my first year I genuinely still find it hard to believe.
HIIT, without a shadow of a doubt! Going out for a long continuous jog is great, however I find it tedious and boring, Research has also shown you burn calories faster doing HIIT, which if you think about it makes sense.
Go heavy or go home. From the first time I started weight training, I’ve always trained as heavy as possible. I’ve tried the alternative but I found that it just did not suit me. I train on average four times over a five day period, one rest day, and repeat. I’ve always consistently trained heavy, I typically use a weight that allows me to achieve between 10 and 15 repetitions with good form before failure, this may not suit everyone but I believe it allows me to get the best out of my physique.
I’ve tried other methods but I found that it just wasn’t for me, I simply stick to what works.
A typical training split.
Rob Hope without a shadow of a doubt, the best natural bodybuilder the world has ever seen in my opinion, The UK'S current WNBF champ Richard Gozdecki, across the pond Layne Norton an extremely knowledgeable natural bodybuilder crazy work ethics, flex wheeler incredible structure not forgetting Arnold Schwarzenegger and Frank Zane of course, I much prefer the physiques of that era.
The only supplement I currently use is a good source of whey protein.
To get cutandjacked you have to put the work in, it really isn't rocket science.
1. Train hard/smart. (if you don't the only person your cheating is you)
2. Eat clean. (Always remember you are what you eat)
3. Recover. (Remember you do not grow in the gym so allow sufficient time to rest and recover.
Nigel St Lewis
Stats: 6ft/183cm, Weight: Off season 215 lbs.
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