Posted 26 July 2011 by Interview:

'Grenades' Richard Elston

Do you remember the first time you
picked up a dumbbell?

Yes I was 13. Whilst finishing a day of school I noticed the gym was left unlocked, so I went inside closed the door behind me and started trying out all of the different equipment. From that moment I was hooked.

What mistakes did you make as a newbie?

Corrective lifting techniques were a major issue along with an unbalanced training program. Also when you first start lifting weights you tend to favor t-shirt muscles, which caused me to only train chest, biceps and abs.

How do you manage to stay motivated and consistent?

Health and fitness/Bodybuilding has always been a major part of my life so the motivation to keep bettering myself has come from all the other keen fitness fanatics I surround myself with. Working within the health and fitness industry also helps keep my motivation to succeed on a very high level.

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of the comparison pictures I have accumulated over the last few yrs of bodybuilding. I’ve come a very long way in terms of shape and thickness development and I’ll only continue to get better. I am also proud to call myself a Grenade fitness model as well as one of many professionals on and achieving many qualifications within the fitness industry.

Tell us about ‘Grenade’, what it is, and what
do you do as part of ‘Team Grenade’

Grenade is a thermogenic fat burner that works by increasing your metabolic rate and fat burning potential. Grenade also has the ability to suppress your appetite, stop cravings and provide you with a sustained release of energy to help see you through your toughest workouts whilst maximizing calorie burn.
Since Grenade was brought to the UK market it has expanded to over 100 different countries and still to this day continues to grow. Once Grenade takes over the US Grenade will become the most talked about fat burner we have seen for decades.
Grenade approached me in 2009 as I am the store manager for Tropicana Health and Fitness, Grenades official UK distributor and offered me the chance to take part in their very first photo shoot as they knew I was in very good shape and since then I have participated in many other photo shoots, store appearances, workout videos, exhibitions including IFBB British Grand Prix and Fibo Germany.

How long do you usually spend in the gym?

I train 4 days a week for around 60-90 minutes depending on what phase of training I am doing. If strength training, rest periods can take as long as 3 - 4 minutes on leg days. Everyone typically says never go more than 60 minutes but I believe you should monitor your rest times and complete your session in however long it takes you. With that said it shouldn’t be taking any longer than 60-90 minutes even if training with a partner.

What rep ranges do you prefer and why?

I have recently found that phase training is the best way to get my body to grow. I complete 6-8 or even 10 weeks of strength training, which is rep range 3-6, and 6 - 8 weeks of 10 - 12 reps training for hypertrophy. I spent a good 6 months performing the same rep range of 10 - 12 reps with only small improvements so decided to try out strength training and realized this is what my body was needing.

What is your training routine like?

All exercises are 3 sets of pyramid sets increasing up the weight
(not including warm up sets) and 3-6 reps

Monday: Back & Shoulders.

Under hand pull ups, Dead lift, Wide grip lat pull down, Seated smith machine shoulder press, Dumbbell lateral raise, reverse pec dec.

Tuesday: Abs & Calfs.

Hanging leg rises. Elbow to alternate knee floor crunch. Decline weighted crunch, Plank. (All sets to failure) Seated calf raise, standing calf raise.

Wednesday: Chest, Biceps

Incline dumbbell press, Seated chest press, Seated pec dec. Straight arm barbell curl, dumbbell hammer curls, alternating dumbbell curls.

Thursday: Rest day.

Friday: Legs & Abs.

Leg extension, leg press, lying hamstring curl, standing hamstring curl. Seated Calf, standing calf. Side oblique twist, Cable rope abdominal crunch, hanging leg raises.

Saturday: Triceps.

Straight bar push down, Cable rope pull down, behind the head dumbbell extension, Single arm reverse grip cable pull down.

Sunday: Rest day

I perform 2 different sessions a week in order to build thickness and mass in all areas. Here is week one of strength training.

What is your diet when trying to get in peak condition?

When I am dieting for a photoshoot or I just make sure everything I eat is very clean and is homemade from fresh ingredients. I tend to stick to chicken and turkey along with Whey protein isolates as my protein source and only consume complex carbohydrates during the day before loading up on vegetables and healthy fats for the evening and dropping my carbs out after 8pm. In the final 3 - 4 weeks out I start to cut back the carbs and alter as needed coming into my final weeks so that I make sure my skin is nice and tight around my abs.

Do you bulk and cut or stay lean year round?

Genetically I am very lucky as I have always been able to maintain a 6 Pac since I was 14 but now at the age of 24 I find myself having to be more cautious with what I eat. As my current goal is to build muscle I understand that you need to go through the bulk and cut phase if you want any real changes in muscle mass. Being a fitness model and future bodybuilding competitor I know that to increase muscle size and strength I need to up my carbs and calories to a high amount for this to happen and then cut them back when looking to decrease body-fat. Muscle is produced at a much quicker rate if a bit of extra fat and carbs are there to help aid the process.

How do you deal with cravings for junk foods,
sweets and salty food?

I don’t. I’ve always enjoyed eating healthy clean food but even though I do treat myself to junk once in a while I don’t actually crave it. I guess this is just good self discipline.

What do you think about when you have to dig deep and push out that last rep?

It’s one of the best feelings I can think of. All your stress, anger, passion and determination all kick in to help complete that final failure rep.

Who are your favorite athletes, bodybuilders or
fitness models?

I have a few, I look up to some well know bodybuilders and fitness models & athletes more so because I have had the chance to get to know them on a personal basis and this includes, Mr. O Jay cutler, Gaspari “FLEX” Lewis and Mr. Dorian Yates. Fitness models/competitors Include Olly Foster *(checkout Olly Foster's interview with Optimum nutrition Rob Richies and Vyomax yummy mummy IFBB PRO Lynsey Beattie

what are your future goals?

My goals are to improve my size and shape over the next year so I can compete for the first time on stage and show you all what hardwork and determination looks like.

What supplements do you use if any?

I use a large variety of different supplements from Reflex nutrition. Everything from Instant whey to Progen, Whey refresh, Omega 3’s, Glucosamine chondroitin, Next gen and many more. I love the huge variety they have.

What top 3 tips would you give to anyone
wanting to get CutAndJacked?

  1. Experiment with diet and training and find what works well for you as an individual.
  2. Set yourself a realistic goal and a time frame you want to achieve this in.
  3. Abs are made in the kitchen and maintained in the gym. : is a site where people can join my group to ask me direct questions on anything to do with health and fitness. : I am the store manager here.


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