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I’ve played sports since a young age but only started training in the gym when I was at university. I was a big fan of 80’s action films, so when I saw my gains I kept at it. I’ve been training for around 5 years now and really enjoy it.
All newbies think they know it all, as I did. I just looked around the gym, searched on the internet and read a few magazines and thought I knew what I was doing. It wasn’t until I got a coach and then studied to be a PT that I realised I wasn’t making best use of my time. I didn’t realise that putting on quality muscle is a science, even an art, not a mishmash of different ideas and Bro Science. I’d also say my diet was terrible, when you are young you have high test levels, so you can eat poorly and still look good - but now I look better than I did in my 20’s!
I love the quote, ‘a black belt is a white belt that never quit,’ the same applies to building a physique. Putting on muscle is tough, you have to accept the grind. Any gain is a good gain, so let them motivate you to keep going.
Yes always, if I forget my headphones I need an extra scoop of pre-trainer to get through the session! I generally listen to Spotify playlists as they’re updated weekly, my favourites at the moment is Nervo Nation.
I focus on the muscle groups that are working and make them contract harder for that last drop of energy, and I try not to let the weight crush me!
I generally eat the same thing for breakfast snacks and lunch - so this is planned at least a week in advance. For dinner I just see what macros I have left for the day, that way I don’t get bored. Training wise I always have a plan, especially during prep. If a programs working for you, why change it? I’ll tweak the reps, rest or grip after 6-8 weeks, then keep going with the fundamentals.
Outside the gym: This year setting up my own training studio in the heart of London and earning my maroon beret as a member of the Parachute Regiment. In the gym: Qualifying for the UKBFF Classic Bodybuilding Championships this October where Flex Magazine called me a Classic Class Phil Heath!
I don’t go over 12% (is that lean?) during the off season I’ll definitely let myself indulge a bit more, but cut back if I need to. Prepping can make you a bit of a hermit, so it’s nice to be able to see non-training friends over some food and maybe a few glasses of Jim Beam.
I live close to work, so I cycle in most days, dependant on the London weather. I also do steady state cardio at 70% of my max heart rate. Weight training can be taxing on your body, so it’s good to get a sweat, relax and clear the scar tissue and toxins out of my muscles
Unlike most I don’t carb cycle or go keto. I’m not convinced on carb cycling and I think it’s a little too complex, I like to keep things simple. My carbs are at least 40% of my calories, if you can balance your insulin levels then it allows you train harder, and makes your muscles look rounder and fuller.
Frank Zane in my eyes is the king of Classic Bodybuilding and Steve Reeves had a great physique. In the modern era I like Flex Lewis and Dennis Wolf, but I’ve a soft spot for Kai (as does everyone).
1. Get a coach, even Usain Bolt has one!
2. Record what you’re eating, you’ll be surprise how much junk you have in your diet
3. Always strive to get stronger in the gym and mass will come.
Height: 5’7”, Weight: 85kg off, 77kg on stage.
Salman Kassam: www.facebook.com/salecca.sal
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