I can recall it quite vividly... I would have been 15. They were a pair of rusty dumbbells with screw on ends that my Dad had purchased for my older brother. I can recall standing in front of the mirror weighing probably no more than 56kg and doing countless bicep curls - I had no idea what I was doing!
What mistakes didn’t I make?
I over-trained, my nutrition was shocking and I would go hours without eating.
I have always been self motivated to a large degree and have always strived make myself better... looking to always push myself to make improvements.
But I also consciously choose to surround myself with like-minded positive people, people who will encourage, uplift and provide constructive criticism when required to help me become better.
Motivation and inspiration are great... but I have always believed that education is empowering… More importantly the application of knowledge!
So I read and studied in an effort to educate myself so that I could train smarter and more efficiently, so that I could understand nutrition and how food would impact my performance and results.
I also find that for me personally the greatest way to remain positive and focused is through helping educate others… it’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are uplifting others! It's also my small way of giving back to something that has given me so much.
The thing I am most proud of is my relationship with my family! It defines who I am as a person... it keeps me grounded, loved and is a constant reminder to be true to myself as an individual.
I try to spend no more than 45-60min in the gym at any given time. I believe it is better to work hard, provide the stimulus and then get out of the gym and ensure your body receives the necessary nutrients and rest so that it can recuperate and grow.
I periodise my training program – meaning I don’t blocks of different rep ranges for a given period. But in general the bulk of my hypertrophy specific training works in the 8-10 rep range, which allows enough time under tension to provide the necessary stimulus to promote muscle growth.
My current training split is;
Monday: Shoulders & Calves
Tuesday: AM – Quads PM – Hamstrings/Bi’s
Wednesday: Chest & Back
Thursday: Shoulder & Calves
Friday: Bi’s & Tri’s
Saturday: Deadlifts & Rack-pulls
Sunday: Rest Day
All sessions range from 45min to an hour.
I stick with compound movements as my primary exercises and like to finish by incorporating some FST-7 to engorge the muscle with blood and stretch the muscles fascia at the conclusion of the workout.
Depending on recovery on these days I will often do a 2nd session, but this is a short session of approx 20-25min and will be the same muscle group/s as trained in my main session!
I keep cardio to an absolute minimum even when prepping and manipulate my body fat levels through nutrition.
My diet doesn’t change much year round... the main variable is total overall calories which coincides directly with a proportionate increase or decrease in carbs.
I never cut carbs out completely as I find I sacrifice too much muscle
and it impacts my strength levels adversely.
I don’t want to look good for 1 day out of the year when I stand on stage.... for me this is a lifestyle, which means looking and feeling good 365 days a year! Staying lean and is definitely my preference.
To be honest, I don’t find myself craving these types of foods... I would much rather go out to a nice top end restaurant and enjoy a quality, well prepared meal and enjoy a nice glass of red occasionally.
It gives me something to look forward to. I enjoy it more and I don’t walk away afterwards with any regrets or feeling terrible.
Usually I am in the zone... 99% of the time I train alone, without music and in preparation for a big set I usually visualise myself completing the last 2 reps of the set, anticipating the sensation not only of the movement but also the power with which I will finish with and the feeling of accomplishment I am about to enjoy!
Of course the all time favourite would have to be Michael Jordan!
In terms of bodybuilders, I prefer the more aesthetic looking physiques of years gone by – Frank Zane style!
As for fitness models – although his physique is very different to mine, my good friend Rob Riches is an ideal role model any aspiring fitness model.
Unfortunately due to some family challenges I had to withdrawal from the WBFF World Titles this year. So there is some unfinished business that I want to take care of in 2012.
My current supplement stack includes;
All of my supplements are provided by my sponsors - ASN – Australian Sports Nutrition.