societyawards2016

Society Awards Winners – 2016

Nominations are in and the winners have been chosen for the MASS Society Awards 2016. The MASS Society Awards recognise the commitment and passion shown by MASS committee members and members across the year’s activities. For your achievements to be recognised and rewarded. Every society has shown great leadership and changed lives at their individual Universities and as a team we’be made a bigger impact than any one of us could have done on our own. Every single society, committee member and member is a winner in their own right. Through tough decision we’ve had to whittle it down to a select few who really stood out. So here are your MASS Society Awards Winners 2016…

 

The Awards

 

Society of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society

Winners: University of Bristol

Runners up: Cardiff University, University of Reading, Oxford Brookes University

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president

Winner: Omar Barakat, University of Bristol

Runners up: Adeshina Adesoka (Kent), Danny Ward (Reading), Jake Doan (UWTSD)

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society

Winners: University of Kent

Runners up: University of Brighton, Bournemouth University, University of Lincoln

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee

Winners: Cardiff University

Runners up: University of Bristol, University of Kent, Bournemouth University

Member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring member

Yue-En, Cardiff University

Event of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society event

Welsh (Swansea and Cardiff) University Powerlifting varsity

Collaboration of the year

To recognise the most outstanding collaboration between two societies

Welsh (Swansea and Cardiff) University Powerlifting varsity

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

Christie Civetta, University of Bristol

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

Winner: MYGYM, University of Bristol

Runners up: Trojan Fitness (Bristol), Cardiff Sport, The Athlete Centre (Oxford)

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

Winners: University of Bristol Students Union

Runners up: University of Kent SU, Cardiff AU, Swansea SU

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

jakedoan

Jake Doan – What it Takes to Be the Best

The MASS Team caught up with University of Wales Trinity St David student and male athlete of the year Jake Doan to find out what it’s like, and what it takes, to be the national champ!

 

Name: Jake Doan
University: University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Course: BSc Personal Training- Health & Exercise
Year of Study: 3rd

Congratulations! How does it feel to be crowned the MASS Male athlete of the year?

I am very grateful to be able to receive this award. A lot of training and time went into being able to compete in each event and it has been extremely rewarding year. Just having the ability to compete against the calibre of athletes and in an organization like MASS alone has been gratifying but to receive such a prestigious reward at the end of the year is just incredible and I never would have thought I would be in this situation at this time in my life.

 

Which competitions did you compete in, and how did you get on in each of them?

  • Southern Regional Powerlifting <105kg  1st Place – Biggest Bench- Biggest Squat
  • Southern Regional Strongman <105kg 1st Place
  • Southern Regional Strongman University Team Award
  • National Strongman Championship <105kg 1st Place
  • National Strongman Championship University Team Award
  • SPC Men’s Physique Tall 2nd Place Award
  • Battle of the Student 3rd Place Award

What was your favourite competition and why?

This is a tough question because all the events were extremely enjoyable. I’d have to say the SPC was my favourite because it was the most rewarding event. Although I didn’t place as high as I did in some of my other events I wasn’t concerned at all because of my feelings toward the other athletes and the how great of a final product all the guys in my category brought to the competition that day.  The majority of my training and year revolved around this event and I was very pleased with the final result and how I represented myself on stage.  The preparation that went into competing was extremely rewarding I learned a lot about myself and how my body reacts to specific types of training methods. To be honest by the end of it I would have been happy just having the courage to step on stage but to go home with a medal that day was amazing. I do have to say that the most fun day overall was the Strongman Championships because both times I competed with fellow team-mates from my university making that event even more enjoyable and rewarding because I got to share those moments with friends.

 

 

MVI_2421.00_00_51_01.Still002 

Did you have a lot of support from your family and peers?

As an international student this was a bit difficult at times as a majority of my friends and family are 5500 km away in Sault Ste Marie Ontario. (Shout out to the Hometown crowd) I am extremely fortunate to have the support system I do back home because you couldn’t ask for more supportive influences than I have; my parents, brother, cousins, old teachers, work friends, my social groups all were there for me along the way and I always knew they had my back. Here in the UK I have the best flat mates, I hit the lotto with this bunch and they know that I appreciate them for all their support.

 

Give us the low-down on a typical training week for you?

Typically I train every day of the week, the gym is one of the only places I truly feel in my comfort zone. Right now I am a bit worn down so I have implemented one rest day a week at the end of my split(see below) As a strength and conditioning coach I am a huge fan of periodization and having a set template of my week but will adjust it accordingly to weakness time to time. So it does vary with importance of developing specific muscle groups such as my lacking traps, upper chest, and calves. A huge part of my week is recovery, and I include nutrition and meal preparation in this category as I only eat to replenish and grow. I don’t eat just for the sake of eating, I believe food is fuel that’s it. Nutrition is the largest part of the whole recovery spectrum. I think that people focus more on the foam roller and lacrosse ball side of recovery but don’t meet many of the basic nutritional needs that their bodies and their specific training methods require. That being said I focus on recovery in many of those same manners; I always have my tiger tail with me and spend a lot of my down time rolling out while I watch my favourite TV shows; Suits, and basically anything Marvel or DC. The key thing with me is I listen to my body. I am very focused on recovery and ensuring I don’t get injured. I use what I call the therapies of my training; naps, nutrition, massage, and sleep. As for training I have always been a multi-sport athlete and therefore I like a variety of training methods from Crossfit (don’t hate) to Strongman and obviously bodybuilding methods. I train daily at 5:30 in the evening so that I have the day to fuel up for my lift and currently I am doing fasted cardio at 7:30 in the morning in anticipation for a photoshoot at the end of May. I will provide a training template of what I am currently doing below that way if you want to follow my plan for a week you can.

Does your training vary between term time and holidays?

This is very dependent on my goals at the time of the holiday. For example this Christmas I was weeks into my cut for the SPC so I couldn’t and didn’t miss a single day of training or adjust my meal plan. I had a number of scheduled refeeds over that “break” one of which was Christmas morning when I smashed some Nutella French Toast, it’s my favourite refeed meal. I’ll include a link to the instruction on how to make it below so you can indulge too. The only training variations that occurred over this time period was the time of day I would train. As I said before I like to train at 5:30 pm daily but over the holidays our school gym hours were changed to 10am to 1 pm slightly limiting me to training during that time period, but the gym was kind enough to open up over the holidays that they had the building closed because they understood the importance of me getting each workout in. The staff at the Sports Centre in Carmarthen have been amazing with helping me in that area, letting me stay late on some evenings even. I was extremely fortunate in that area.

Link: http://www.food.com/recipe/nutella-stuffed-french-toast-78305

 

 

jake doan

 

How drastically did you have to alter the way you train between prepping for the different competitions?

This may take a while… The first event I trained for was the Southern powerlifting event, although my training typically consists of all three of the lifts in powerlifting I only had 4 weeks to specifically train for the MASS Southern Regional event. This consisted of ensuring technique met the requirements for the competition of a lift in all three lifts. For example when I barbell bench press I tended to lower the bar to my chest level but never would I touch and pause at the bottom of the lift because I never wanted to lose momentum throughout the lift. So I started to train with pause reps in my training for the bench press to ensure I was going to be able to press the same amount of weight I traditionally lift with the new standard for bench. That was my main change in training for that event, looking back I wish I had more time to work on my sumo deadlift instead of my tradition deadlift because I can pull much more now with my sumo but that’s hind sight for you. Next up was the Southern Regional Strongman, and I changed up my training big time for this event. I actually travelled to Bridge End and was instructed in all the traditional strongman movements by Wales Strongest Man Mark Jeanes. Which I was extremely fortunate for because Mark and his fellow strongmen were extremely helpful throughout my preparation for this event as I had never lifted an atlas stone or even a yoke before training with them. By the end of the day I had lifted a 135kg atlas stone and 190kg yoke walk with ease so I owe them a huge thanks for that day of training. Learning from the best put me on a path to success in these events. Not to be forgotten my strongman Captain Evan Stanton worked me through log press form and methods of a number of other movements such as the keg toss, farmers walks and circus dumbbells, movements that I had never would have even considered implementing in my training before. The SPC was a huge shift in training and is very similar to the way I am training right now again because I have a photoshoot at the end of May. So you will get to see a bit of that training method in the program I will provide. After the SPC I decided to compete in the Battle of the Students. I have always enjoyed a good Crossfit style workout every once and a while I would perform one of the girls to reassure my progress. I am CF-L1 certified so I started to implement a lot of the standard movements of Crossfit, with Crossfit you have to be so well rounded to perform with the elites of the sport. In reality I trained for Crossfit all year, strongman, powerlifting, even some bodybuilding movement are incorporated in Crossfit but most people aren’t thinking that the three would be related but Crossfit literally is the best of it all. I did incorporate higher rep ranges and more callisthenic movements to my workouts throughout that training period because I tend to not do a lot of that during my typical training.

What’s your current training split?

Day 1- Back and Biceps

Exercises Sets Repetition
Sumo Deadlift 5 6-8
Lat Pulldown 4 6-8
Single Arm Bench Row 4 6-8
Bodyweight Inverted Row 4 Failure
Back Extension on Swiss ball Superset with Oblique Crunch 3 12/15×2
Barbell Shrug 5 6-8
Incline Biceps Curl 4 12
Hammer Curl 4 12

 

 Day 2 Chest and Triceps

Exercise Sets Repetition
Push Press 5 6-8
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 6-8
Incline Press 5 6-8
Incline Cable Fly 5 6-8
4 Spot Pushup Superset with Triceps Dip 3 10-10-10-10/ 15-12-10-8
Cable Single Arm Extension 3 12
Triceps Pulldown 4 6-8
Swiss ball Jackknife 4 12
Cable Crunch 4 20

  

Day 3- leg day

Exercises Sets Repetition
Assisted Pistol Squat 3 12
Front Squat 5 6-8
Dumbbell Walking Lunge 4 6-8
Dumbbell Step up (24 inch) 4 6-8
Leg Extension 5 6-8
Leg Curl 5 6-8
Calf Extension 5 15-20
Dumbbell Sit-up 4 20

 

 Day 4 Arms and shoulders

Exercises Sets Repetition
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 5 6-8
Cable Lateral Raise 5 6-8
Standing Dumbbell Curl 5 6-8
Triceps Cable Extension 3 6-8
Cable Lateral Raise 3 6-8
Barbell Shoulder Press/ Plate Front Raise 3 15/12
Barbell Wrist Extension/Flex 3 12-16
Cable Rear Deltoid 3 12-16
Dip 4 15

Rest If needed.

 

 

How do you structure your nutrition?

Typically I am a Fitness Pal fanatic but since my SPC show I have just been slowly increasing my caloric intake back to a normal range. When I am not cutting or trying to get lean I would eat around 600 calories with a macronutrient break down of 30/30/40 (30 % fat, 30% protein, 40%carbs) I have tried a number of other ranges lowering and higher each macro to see what is best for me dependent on my goals, this range seems best for me and muscle gains without gaining any additional fat in the process. Keep in mind everyone is different, I am 6’2 almost 6’3 and weigh 112 kg normally so no one will ever be the same as me or you likewise. Currently I have simplified my diet to the basics food to conserve money and time as well, food prep for the contest wore me down.

I scale all my food and eat this meal plan below it’s not the most efficient meal plan for me even, its I just financially what I can bare right now as a student studying aboard. (Canadian dollar isn’t looking so good right now)

Can we see your current diet plan?

(click to enlarge)

 

 

jake doan mealplan

 

Is it hard to maintain such a training and nutrition regime as a student, and on a student budget?

I don’t think it was hard at all, obviously there was times of struggle with both training and nutrition but overall I would say it is much more manageable than most student’s diets, eating habits and the training just kept me focused throughout the year. I feel that budgeting myself to specific foods and supplements was simplified by companies like Musclefood <3 which we don’t have in Canada, you don’t know how fortunate you are.

In the end, is it all worth it?

Absolutely every second of the year was worth it. I have had such a great experience with MASS and everyone I met along the way. To be able to come all the way from Canada to have an experience like this with so many people involved is positively overwhelming. I am extremely grateful for the memories made and experience I have gained.

 

 

jake doan

 

What advice would you give to 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls?

Set yourself small goals that will lead to big achievements and don’t be afraid to fail at anything it’s not about winning it’s about learning and growing as a person.

 

What’s next for you?

I return to Canada at the end of May and will hopefully be continuing my education as a master’s student at the University of Guelph studying Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism in September. I believe I may step on stage again someday soon but I am not 100% sure when that will happen.

Where can our readers follow you?

My website will be going live at the end of June which is: showmusclegomuscle.com

My personal Instagram is: @jakedoan15 and my company Instagram is: @showmusclegomuscle

 

 

 

Interview by David Bissell

MASS Championship leaderboard
MASS Championship scores
MASS Championship competitions

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

rosie2

What It Takes to Be the Best – Rosie Howard

The MASS Team caught up with University of Reading student and female athlete of the year Rosie Howard to find out what it’s like, and what it takes, to be the national champ!

Name: Rosie Howard
University: University of Reading
Course: BSc Archaeology
Year of Study: 2

Congratulations! How does it feel to be crowned the MASS Male/Female athlete of the year?

It feels amazing, I only started competing in powerlifting last year at the MASS London Regional Competition and have improved so much since then! I’ve really enjoyed this year of competing with MASS and I look forward to trying to retain female athlete of the year next year!

Which competitions did you compete in, and how did you get on in each of them?

I competed in the MASS Powerlifting London Regional and MASS Southern Strongman Championship, I managed to win both of these competitions overall. At the MASS Powerlifting competition Team Reading also got the win.

 

 

strongman9

What was your favourite competition and why?

I would have to say the strongman competition, because it was something completely new for me and I had great fun competing with the other girls. The powerlifting comp brought back memories of my first ever competition last year with MASS, having Team Reading around definitely spurred me and all the other competitors on.

Did you have a lot of support from your family and peers?

Powerlifting and strongman are individual sports, but the people you surround yourself with can have a huge impact on your performance in and out of competition. Having that support from friends and family really encourages and motivates me to keep on improving and making gains.

 

 

Give us the low-down on a typical training week for you?

I normally train 4 times per week, sometime I do strongman events training as an extra session.

Does your training vary between term time and holidays?

No not really.

How drastically did you have to alter the way you train between prepping for the different competitions?

Not drastically, they are both strength sports so the general principles of training are the same. For the strongwoman competition I changed one of my Bench Press days to a Log Press day and incorporated more events training in.

What’s your current training split?

Delroy McQueen does all my programming for me (http://delroymcqueen.com/coaching.html). My current training split is building up to compete in a GBPF powerlifting competition

 

Session 1 – Bench Press

  • Bench with comp pause
  • Close Grip Bench
  • Dumbbell Chest Supported Row 5 sets of 12
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 sets of 15
  • Tricep Push Downs 3 sets of 15
  • Dumbbell Shrugs 3 sets of 15

Session 2 – Squat

  • Squat
  • Pause Squat
  • RDL 5 sets of 8
  • Seated Leg Curl (with resistance band) 100 reps total

Session 3 – Bench Press

  • Bench with comp pause
  • Close Grip Bench
  • Lat Pull Down 5 sets of 12
  • Front Dumbbell Raise 3 sets of 15
  • Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 3 sets of 15
  • Dumbbell Curls 3 sets of 15

Session 4 – Deadlift

  • Deadlift
  • Deficit Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Seated Leg Curl (with resistance band) 100 reps total
  • Lat Pull Down 4 sets of 10

 

 

How do you structure your nutrition?

I take an IIFYM approach to my diet, eating fairly clean most of the time but not being too restrictive. I compete in the u72kg class with GBPF and u75kg with GPC-GB and sit at about 70kg therefore don’t need to worry about cutting weight for my competitions.

Can we see your current diet plan?

My macro split is 235/78/176 (40/30/30)

  • Breakfast 8:00 – at the moment I have 3 eggs and 2 rashers of bacon to start the day
  • 1st Lunch 11:30 – protein shake 50g Protein Dynamix Vanilla Ice Cream flavour
  • 2nd Lunch 14:00 – 150g of chicken & lots of vegetables with 100g rice or pasta
  • Pre-Workout Meal 18:00 – 100g oats, 25g protein dynamix Vanilla Ice Cream flavour, 20g golden syrup. I make this up with water in the morning so the oats have absorbed the water.
  • Post-Workout Meal 21:30 – this varies a lot, I tend to make meals like; shepherd’s pie, lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, chicken strips and chips, pork chops and mash.
  • Snacks – I have a really sweet tooth, so any leftover macros go on reeses pieces, kinder Buenos, cadbury’s and krispy cremes!

Is it hard to maintain such a training and nutrition regime as a student, and on a student budget?

It’s not that hard at all! I’m quite often working towards a competition and this drives me to keep consistent with training. Nutrition just takes a little bit of thought and planning, I am fairly flexible so can fit in the odd takeaway if I want one. I think if you shop sensibly it’s not hard to achieve on a student budget, I do most of my shopping at Aldi and spend roughly £25 per week on food.

 

Not sure if I have enough meat #protein #meat #gains #powerlifting #eattogrow

A photo posted by Rosie Howard (@rosiemayevelyn) on

In the end, is it all worth it?

100% I love competing!!

What advice would you give to 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls?

Enter and give it a go regardless of how much experience you feel you have. All the MASS competitions are well run by David and provide a really supportive atmosphere for lifting and competing in!

What’s next for you?

I am competing in GBPF South Midlands Qualifier on May 22nd then at the GPC-GB No Dumbelles competition on the 16th of July. I recently competed in Englands Strongest Woman Southern Qualifier and will be competing in strongwoman again this year. In the autumn I aim to compete in the GBPF and GPC-GB National Competitions. In the next year or so I hope to compete internationally in powerlifting!

Where can our readers follow you?

You can follow me on instgram @rosiemayevelyn

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

societyawards2016

MASS Society Awards 2016 | Recognising achievement

Nominations are now OPEN for the MASS Society Awards 2016. The MASS Society Awards recognise the commitment and passion shown by MASS committee members and members across the year’s activities. It’s an event for your achievements to be recognised and rewarded. This is your chance to take centre stage for your achievements, the awards is open to all MASS societies and affiliated clubs, no matter how big or small. Submit your nomination, via this nomination form, by MAY 16TH, and tell us why your society deserves a MASS society award.

 

Committee members can download the application form here: MASSsocietyawards2016

 

The Awards

 

Society of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about whether or not you made members feel welcome? What was membership participation/involvement like? Did you run events for non-members as well? Were a wide variety of activities organised? Did you achieve your aims and objectives? Did you go beyond your aims and objectives? How successful were you in raising awareness for the group? How successful were you in running projects or promotional campaigns? Did you raise any money for charity? Have you helped educate and inspire members? Did you compete in the MASS Championships? Have you contributed to MASS nationally in any way?

 

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about what the society has achieved under the presidents leadership? What was the president’s motivation for taking on the role? What has the journey been like as a club president? Has the president attended national MASS events? Has the president gone above and beyond his/her role as club president? Has the president inspired and motivated his/her committee members? Has the president contributed to the MASS Championship and/or media? Has the president had to deal with any unfavourable circumstances?

 

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about how many committee members you have? What have each of the committee members contributed to and how have you pulled together as a team? When do you have committee meetings and what’s the turnout like? Is the president’s delegation received well and does everyone get their tasks done? How do you communicate outside of committee meetings? In what ways do you help one and other?

 

Member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring

 

With this award we’re looking for someone who’s defied the odds to achieve something truly spectacular. When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about how much the member has progressed, where they started and where they are now. How much determination have they shown? This award will prove to newbies that anything is possible if you join one of our societies. If progress pictures are applicable to his or her story and you can get some then please insert them below along with the reasons.

 

Event of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society event

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about attendance, entertainment factor, enjoyment, organisation, publicity and recognition.

 

Collaboration of the year

To recognise the most outstanding collaboration between two societies

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about who the collaboration was with? What was the event or activity? How did it benefit both clubs? (This award is for collaborations between two fitness societies i.e. MASS societies or MASS affiliated fitness clubs e.g. a collaboration with the chess society doesn’t qualify)

 

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about where you were at the end of last year/start of this year and where you are now. How many more members do you have? How many more athletes are coming in the MASS Championship? How much has awareness of the society increased?

 

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

 

When writing your reasons for nomination for this award please think about what the coach has contributed to the society? Does the coach get paid or is he/she voluntary? How have members improved under his/her coaching? How often does the coach hold sessions for the club?

 

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

 

This award is designed to give something back to the gym or training facility that has supported you the most across the year. We will use the information you already gave in the club details section for this nomination. If you’d like to include anything extra please write it below. And be sure to let the gym know that you’re nominating them, they’ll like that!

 

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

 

You should use this award to try and give something back to your students union for supporting you across the year. We will use the information you already gave in the club details section for this nomination. If you’d like to include anything extra please write it below. And be sure to let the SU know that you’re nominating them, they’ll like that!

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

strongwoman

Weights Announced – MASS’s Strongest Man 2016

Anticipation has been building, excitement brewing, and the weights are finally in for MASS’s Strongest Man 2016. This is it, this is what it’s going to take, do you want to take on the challenge? If yes, then we’ll see you on March 6th at Trojan Fitness Bristol.

 

  • Farmers Walk (Head to Head)

15m there and back.

Weights are per side

W<65kg – 50kg

W>65kg – 60kg

M<85kg – 80kg

M<105kg – 100kg

M>105kg – 110kg

  • Silver dollar deadlift (21 inch)(last man standing)

Starts low, goes up in 20kgs, when 50% of the competitors have been eliminated it’ll moved to 10kg increments then finally 5kg increments for the last two competitors until there’s a last man standing.

Starting Weights

W<65kg – 40kg

W>65kg – 50kg

M<85kg – 60kg

M<105kg – 80kg

M>105kg – 100kg

  • Overhead medley (75 seconds max)

W<65kg – 20kg log, 26kg kettlebell, 35kg circus dumbbell, 50kg keg

W>65kg – 30kg log, 35kg circus dumbbell, 50kg log, 65kg axel

M<85kg – 35kg circus dumbbell, 50kg keg, 65kg axel, 70kg log

M<105kg – 50kg keg, 65kg axel, 70kg yoke, 80kg log

M>105kg – 65kg axel, 70kg yoke, 80kg keg, 90kg log

  • Keg toss (4m height) (75 seconds max)

All categories will do the following for time

12kg x2

14kg x2

16kg x2

80kg bonus

  • Stones run (75 seconds max)

5 Platform heights, starting at the highest platform with the lowest weight.

W<65kg – 50kg, 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg

W>65kg – 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg

M<85kg – 70kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg, 110kg

M<105kg – 80kg, 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, 120kg

M>105kg – 90kg, 100kg, 110kg, 120kg, 130kg

 

For details on how to enter:

MASS’s Strongest Man National Championship

 

For Enquiries
Email – champs@muscleathleticsports.com
Phone – 0208 668 4310
Office hours are 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday
See you there!

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

trainingpowerliftingnovice

Powerlifting Meet Introductory Guide

Preparing for a powerlifting meet without having had quite a few under your belt can be a daunting experience. This will especially be the case if the meet is your first. With that in mind, this article elaborates on some of the more important things to keep in mind in two articles, both as you prepare for the meet in your training, and how to conduct yourself on game day.

Firstly, let’s look at each of the lifts in turn: squat, bench and deadlift, after a brief intro to the MASS powerlifting rules. Then we’ll look at some of the other aspects of the day such as logistics, mental and nutritional prep, and finally we’ll cover the details of choosing how much weight to attempt for each lift.

 

Introduction to lift rules

MASS will be conducting their meets under GBPF rules. As an affiliate of the IPF, the GBPF has strict book rules, but there may be slight variation due to encountering different referees, human error from the same referees, and as an introductory event, some relaxation relative to high level meets (for example, the pause on the bench command may be somewhat shorter, or more benefit of doubt may be given to squats with borderline depth, compared to say, the GBPF Nationals).

This should be no cause for panic, as long as you understand the standards required of your lifts and practice them in training to that standard. While this will be covered in the rules briefing at the meet, which you should attend anyway, the process and commands of each lift as well as common issues will be covered here.

 

The Squat

 

MASSPowerliftingsquat

The squat has 2 commands. ‘Squat’ and ‘Rack’. After you are called to the platform, you will set up under the bar and walk it out. When you are standing upright with hips and knees locked, you will then be told to squat.

After receiving that command, understand that you are not under time pressure to squat. The command merely signals that you will be allowed to start at any time after that. It’s usually after the command that you will take in your breath for the rep. Making eye contact with, nodding at or otherwise acknowledging the main referee up front may reduce the wait.

After finishing the squat, you will have to stand still momentarily to demonstrate control of the bar, only after which you will be commanded to rack. This is a common cause for failing a lift; practice this call with a training partner leading up to the meet.

When in training, always ensure that you squat to depth. This is one of the most common causes of judges failing squats. You must ensure that the hip joint at the top of the leg (which is more or less at the crease of the hip) drops below the top of your knee.

Taking videos from a direct side-on view with the video camera at between knee and hip height is the best way to evaluate your depth. Good lighting and brightly coloured clothes will help you to perceive the hip crease more easily.

 

The Bench Press

 

IMG_5414

The bench press has 3 commands. ‘Start’, ‘Press’ and ‘Rack’. After setting up under the bar, you will unrack the weight (or it will be lifted off for you by spotters) and hold it with elbows locked until you are given the Start command. You will bring the bar down until it touches your torso and hold steady until told to Press. After finishing the rep, you will hold the weight with elbows locked out until told to Rack.

In training, ensure you practice holding the weight at full lockout before starting and after finishing. Practice with a considerable pause. Pause length may vary slightly depending on the judge and lifter’s style of benching, but the more quickly you bring the bar to a complete halt on your chest, the shorter you can expect to wait. The IPF has a few other subtle technicalities in the bench set up you have to contend with as well, namely that your whole foot must be flat on the ground and that your head must be in contact with the bench at all times after the first command has been given. Keep that in mind when training.

 

The Deadlift

 

IMG_6666

The deadlift is very simple in comparison to the other two lifts. It only has the ‘Down’ command. You will approach the platform, grip the bar and stand up with the weight. The down command will be received when you have locked the weight out fully. You will then return the weight to the ground without letting the bar leave your hands.

Keep in mind that hitches (resting the bar on your thighs) and any downward motion after you start pulling in the deadlift will earn red lights. When returning the weight to the ground, you may let the weight fall freely, but the bar must clearly remain in your hands until it hits the ground.

For additional references, you may consult pages 16, 17, 18, 19 of the IPF rulebook

It may also be helpful to watch videos of lifters in the IPF and their affiliates to understand the technique and standards required. The GBPF Classic Nationals and USAPL Raw Nationals are great places to start, simply plug the comp names into YouTube…

 

Keeping your head on Game Day

Depending on the available space and the total number of lifters and spectators, the venue may be crammed and a bit chaotic, with varying finish times from late afternoon to the mid-evening or later. You may spend 6 hours or more at the meet venue, so prepare accordingly.

Handlers and Groups

Go in a group, or with at least one person who can accompany and ‘handle’ you. Ideally, you’d bring along a friend who has lifted in a meet before and knows the flow well enough to keep you out of trouble.

Even if the person is inexperienced, you stand to benefit from their assistance. They can keep an eye on your belongings, keep you updated regarding the schedule and flow of the meet (more on that later) as well as film your lifts. If they’re new, they will need to be carefully and clearly briefed beforehand (by you) to know what their responsibilities are. They will have to be adaptable, alert and perhaps more than anything, have an interest in seeing you succeed at the meet.

Schedule and Timing

There is a good reason to know the meet schedule. This is to ensure you can time your warm ups well so you begin your attempts so that you’re primed to lift with minimal fatigue, and can time other things like stopping heavy food intake.

Knowing your flight (lifting group) start time will tell you when to start warming up and stop eating heavy. You’ll want to begin your warm up at least 25-30 minutes in advance, especially on the squat. Err on a longer warm up time if you’re uncertain. It is after all, easier to slow down than speed up a warm up. Don’t be afraid to take a warm up weight more than once if you’re way ahead of schedule.

There are 2 parts to this, with the first being the flight you belong to and the next, your position within the flight. Flights are just a way of grouping lifters to keep waiting time manageable. For example, a meet with 20 lifters may be split up into 2 flights of 10 each, so we don’t wind up waiting for 20 lifts between attempts. In other cases, one may have flights in two groups (or more), with a break between the groups. [e.g. Group 1: Flight A,B – break for 2 hours Group 2: Flight B,C]

Let’s consider the meet set up at different ‘zoom’ levels.

Using myself as an example (my name is Dan Chin), let’s consider that I know I’m 4th to squat in Flight B and I have the following ROUGH information (don’t take these as exact examples, in reality we may have 3 flights in a group or larger flights to give a longer break between each different lift).

  • Group 1 (Flights A,B): 1300 start
  • Break for 2 hours
  • Group 2 (Flights C,D): 1800 start
  • Flight A: 1300 start
  • Flight B: 1330 start

Meet sequence (Time-Flight):

  • 1300-Flight A squat
  • 1330-Flight B squat
  • 1400-Flight A bench
  • 1430-Flight B bench
  • 1500-Flight A deadlift
  • 1530-Flight B deadlift

The first thing I’ll do is to stop heavy eating by about 1200. From there, only snacking and drinking. I’ll also start to warm up by 1250-1300 to secure a place in the warm up room as well as allow for extra time when working between others’ warm ups.

Next, I take a look at the schedule for the individual lifters.

 

temp

You can see here the schedule of each individual lifter in his flight. I’m 4th to lift in Flight B, which begins squatting after Flight A finishes. Since I’ll prefer to have between 7-10 minutes rest between my last warm up and my opener, I work by counting the names that come before mine, starting with Patrick Fixler. I hit the 9th name when I count Maxwell Ha. With about 1 minute for a lifter to finish, I plan to hit my last warm up single when Maxwell takes his 3rd attempt squat (in reality, getting it in roughly when Flight A is about halfway done with their 3rd attempts will be good enough). If I work further backward, I know that my penultimate warm up should be done as Flight A rounds up their 2nd attempts.

As you can tell, it does seem like a lot to take care of. However, if you have help, it becomes much less difficult to keep track of what stage the meet has reached at any point. In some cases, the progress of the meet is tracked on a large LCD screen or a projector. You can watch the spreadsheet changes to see where things are at.

If you are the first flight in the group, things will usually start on time and will not be subject to the variation that comes with waiting for the previous flight. Just count the number of lifters the will lift before you in your flight, keep an eye on the clock and hit the last warm up when you want it.

 

Food and Supplements

 

food

Come equipped with food. Make sure it’s familiar, ideally something you can eat before a normal training session without any issues. Whether it’s whole food or candy doesn’t matter, but it must keep you fuelled without causing gastrointestinal distress. Supplementing with protein and carbohydrate powders may be a great idea, especially if you’re hungry right before a lift or eating food right after.

While you should take advantage of ergogenic aids like pre-workouts or stimulants, I will warn against going all out on stimulants until the deadlifts. If you burn out an hour before it’s time to pull because you got hopped up on 4 scoops for your first squat 4 hours before your deadlifts, you’re going to have a bad time finishing up. Scale back slightly the consumption of anything like stims and sugar that may cause a crash in energy levels if this applies to you until the deadlifts begin. A non-stim pre-workout may be very helpful here.

For good reason, this section does not discuss anything related to glycogen or water levels carb depletion or water cutting to make a weight class. As a novice, this should not be under consideration.

Introduction to Matt Gary’s attempt selection process

 

Matt Gary

The approach I recommend on attempt selection is based on Matt Gary’s approach. As a consequence, the following closely paraphrases articles that he has written, which you may look up on the net to verify.

Matt Gary is the owner of SSPT, a USAPL Platinum training facility in Rockville, Maryland. He has trained numerous lifters, including those who have reached USAPL Nationals and IPF Worlds meets. Matt is, however, perhaps even more well-known for his platform coaching and handling skills, which means that he often is involved in handling the US national team at IPF international meets. He employs this very system of attempt selection in the field, to great success. However, in addition to having a good system backing him up, Matt’s skill and experience often enables him to call in 3rd attempts that leave less than 2.5kg left in the tank when he needs to.

To get right down into the nuts and bolts, attempt selection should be something that’s well thought out advance and based on reliable and recent data. Good attempt selection will prioritize ensuring that you don’t bomb out, or take what you have on the day before even considering PR’s.

You should aim to hit a minimum of 6 lifts in the meet. Keep that in mind and be prudent in picking the first 2 attempts, taking reasonable risks on the 3rd.

 

The First Attempt

Your 1st attempt, the opener, will be very important, especially in the squat. It sets the tone for the rest of the attempts and perhaps for the rest of the day. Open reasonably, but lighter if in doubt. The weight should be roughly 90-92% of your projected max, or 100% of your best triple with solid form.

You should be certain of getting this. It should be a weight you can take for a single under even very poor conditions within reason. Treat it like a final warm up. If you have to get psyched for this, it’s probably too heavy. Drop the weight. Likewise if you’re feeling unusually beat up. That shouldn’t happen on game day, but sometimes it does. Make a course correction.

There are few things that will bum you out more than missing an opener, and Matt Gary’s data has shown that those who miss a first attempt are likely to miss subsequent lifts. Dominate this lift and let things snowball as you build your confidence.

The Second Attempt

The 2nd attempt should be considered a springboard more than anything else. As such, it’s generally not the place to take a PR. Still, if results from training have been unusually good and your projected maxes have far surpassed old bests, then taking a PR is not out of the question. That’s something I’ve done several times without issue.

This is usually 95-98% of your projected max. I like to take a bit more than my best double. Use this to build toward the 3rd attempt, which will be the best place to take a PR. Conversely, if the first attempt felt a bit slower than expected, you should adjust expectations and scale back by aiming slightly lower, perhaps 93-96% (taking 100% of your best double is a fairly safe bet here).

The Third Attempt

The 3rd attempt will be the place to take a PR. While generally no percentage is assigned here, if everything is on track, it will be at roughly 100% of your projected max. It is often prudent to take a small increment, such as 2.5kg over your best, especially if you’re an advanced lifter and progress comes slowly, but if you’re feeling good, being aggressive is fine.

Generally, you would not want the jump from the 2nd to 3rd attempt to be larger than the 1st to 2nd attempt. On top of that, if a PR does not feel like it’s in the books, there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking a smaller jump without a PR, to add to your total. The total ultimately matters more and a PR total is still a PR.

So, in short, be reasonable in selecting your weights. Prioritize not bombing out, and building up to a larger 3rd attempt rather than going too heavy too early and losing out on building a total.

 

Applying the Maths; Course Corrections

I offer two different approaches to building your attempts. You can begin with a goal weight, or your opener. If you begin with an opener/your best triple, add 10% to get a 3rd attempt, then split the difference between 1st and 3rd, then add 1-2% to get your 2nd attempt. Conversely, if you begin with a goal weight, subtract about 10% to get the 1st, then split the difference and add 1-2% to get your 2nd.

Whichever way you start, if you suppose that you have a best triple of 190kg OR a goal weight of 210kg (using an opener of 190kg yields a goal weight of 210kg and vice-versa, so they’re equivalent), a sensible approach to writing out attempts along with a Plan B in case things feel bad, may look like the following:

  • A1: ~90% = 190kg – A2: ~96% = 202.5kg – A3: ~100% = 210kg
  • B1: ~90% = 190kg – B2: ~94% = 197.5kg – B3: ~96% = A3: 202.5kg

You can see that the absolute values correspond well to the suggested percentages from the text.

It would be a good idea to write things out on a piece of paper so you can refer when deciding between continuing aggressively and dialling back if things don’t feel right.

In order to make a good decision on modifying your opener or deciding between Plan A and B, it’s important not to overestimate how heavy the weight feels. The best indicator of how much you have in the tank is how fast the bar moves. Therefore, if time allows, you should run over to quickly peek at footage of your lift before submitting 2nd and 3rd attempts. This must be done quickly though, as you’re often asked to submit within a minute of finishing the last lift. If not, a trusted friend with lifting experience could be asked to rate the lift and give you another opinion.

As an important final note, it is almost never a good idea to increase the weight after failing an attempt for any reason. Find out why you failed and rectify it when you repeat the weight. If it’s for lack of strength, you must be nuts to think that you’re suddenly come back and kill a heavier weight after failing something lighter. For issues of technique, increasing the weight generally only makes it harder to correct an issue. As a novice lifter, it is hard to imagine a scenario where you would fail a weight and then make a heavier weight.

 

Written by Dan Chin
Edited by Shaun Howell
About the author:

Dan Chin has been training for nearly 4 years, with the last 3 years dedicated to improving the powerlifts. He is a recent addition to Reactive Training Systems’ coachee roster and holds a wilks of 350, with a meet total of 520kg and a gym total of 547.5kg in the U93kg class. He values knowledge as a tool to get more results from one’s efforts.

 

Want to get involved in MASS Powerlifting?
Click the picture below…

 

mass powerlifting

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

josh bridgeman post ukbff final

Shredding light on how MASS athlete Josh Bridgman earned 2nd place at the UKBFF Finals

 

What you’re getting:

  • A sneak peek at how show day runs
  • An uncut interview with the man himself
  • The naked truth about who rubbed oil on who… (Josh bares all for our readers)
  • Exclusive access to the macros and meal plans from the start of prep to the final grind
  • Exclusive workout routines that will get you pumped to take away try

Last week, we caught up with MASS athlete Josh Bridgman just days before he stepped on stage at the UKBFF Finals. (Click here to read about his journey). With the finals under his belt and a 2nd place trophy in hand, we decided to dig a bit deeper and find out everything you want to know about what it’s really like to be a top-level competitor…

 

Show day

6am: Wake up and check body (I was too bloated from overeating and very, very soft)

6:15am: Shower and scrub body one last time.

6:30am: Start drinking lots and lots of water to remove the bloating I had.

7am: Leave Loughborough to get to Nottingham for my tan at 8:30am.

7:45am: Arrive in Nottingham, Still drinking lots and lots of water.

8am: Registration for UKBFF Finals.

8:30am: Tanning appointment.

9am: Walk up and down stairs 10 times to keep heart rate up and try and flush the water and salt out of my body (still drinking lots of water)

10am: Show starts, still panicking about being bloated, still drinking water and haven’t eaten.

10:30am: Stop drinking and realise what’s done is done.

11am: Put my Shorts on I will be wearing on stage.

11:30am: Go down to the pump up area, plan through how I will pose one more time and my t-walk.

12am: Start pumping up.

12:15-12:20pm: On stage for the competitors to be cut down to the top 15. (call outs)

12:45pm: Final 15 Announced and back on stage for quarter turns and more call outs

1pm: Final 15 cut down to top 6.

1:30pm: Top 6 do T-walks and have comparisons

1:45pm: Top 6 are given the position they came.

2pm: Junior physique completed and all done!

 

 

ukbff junior physique finals 2015 josh bridgeman

How did you feel the day before the finals?

I was nervous, but very excited to eat my carbs and fill my muscles out the night before show day!!

What was your peak week strategy and how did it affect the package your brought to the stage?

I actually changed nothing, I felt I was lean enough already and only needed to fill out with a nice meal the night before, so no changes in water, food or salt anything like that!

Tell us a bit about your grooming and tanning routine…

Well 5 days out, I started scrubbing down, keeping my skin as smooth as possible to make sure the tan sticks well to me and it didn’t end up uneven. 2 Days out I completely shaved my body down (yes everything, haha) And then the night before just went over any bits of hair I missed or anything that had grown back. I woke up nice and early on game day and had my tan at 8:30am on the day of the competition!

Who came with you to the competition?

I was so so lucky to have a few people there, most importantly, my mum and girlfriend were there. I also had a lot of friends from University there! 2 people flying over from the middle east to watch and friends coming up from London and Stroud to come and watch! Couldn’t believe the support!

What was the atmosphere like backstage?

Tense, everyone was nervous and we could all feel it, everyone sizing each other up and pretending like we weren’t doing that!! But we all got on well and i definitely made some new friends.

How did it feel to be up on stage?

Incredible. The screaming crowd, Seeing my friends and family shouting my name and having all the hard work come to reality at that moment. Adrenaline was pumping, heart rate was flying. But what a feeling!!

 

 

ukbff junior physique finals 2015 josh bridgeman

Did your posing go to plan?

I feel my posing could of been better, but I nailed my T-walk in my opinion. Just need to sort my quarter turns out and overall presence on stage.

At what point did you realize you would be among the top placings?

When they called the top 6, I already could not believe it!! I went there for top 5, so when they called 6th out and it wasn’t me, my smile got bigger, and bigger, and bigger with each placing they announced. I really could not believe I got 2nd in the end! Especially with all the talent on show.

3 words to describe your feelings at coming 2nd in the finals:

Surprised, happy and overwhelmed, in that order.

What did you indulge in after the show?

I went to TGIS with my family and friends. It was more about the company than the food, but when the server asked if I was hungry when I ordered the biggest burger, he knew from the look I gave him that I was ready to put it down! Also my mum made a Nutella, Oreo and hazelnut cheesecake which went down very quickly that night!

Have the post-show blues hit in or are you still on an absolute high?

I am still flying high! Though a little bloated from the food, excited to bring a better package to the Amateur Olympia I qualified for on the 31st of October!

 

10 things we really want to know but have always been too polite to ask, about what really goes on backstage…

 

1. Most outrageous thing you saw someone eat backstage:

I saw people drinking honey, heaps of peanut butter and the smell of vodka was in the air!!

2. Amount of time spent thinking about the bikini girls:

Zero, because I have a girlfriend and she is the only girl I think about! hahaha

3. Percentage of guys who brought their Mums along:

Definitely over 90% – I saw a lot of guys running in their mums arms afterwards, then again so did I!

4. Biggest ego award goes to…

I wouldn’t want to point one person out, but I definitely got knocked out the way by a few big heads!

5. Average number of selfies per competitor:

At least 5 per competitor, check instagram!

6. Do people share their cheat food?

Yes!!! I couldn’t believe the amount of people that offered a lot of their own food!

7. Anyone shed a tear as they came off stage?

A few of the bikini girls who didn’t do well, and also some who did very well!

8. Is there a risk of smudging your tan with toilet paper? (You know what we’re getting at…)

Yes. That is all.

9. Who rubs oil onto who?

Tanning ladies onto everyone! Although a few guys made some new friendships through oiling each other haha…

10. How many more Facebook/Instagram/Twitter followers did you acquire?

I had around 50 or so I think! Mainly on my Youtube channel which was great! (Josh Bridgman Fitness)

Josh’s Diet

Week 1 2820kcal Final week 2250kcals
Breakfast: 629Kcals

3 Rashers of bacon – 174kcals

Oranic multigrain bread – 220kcals

160g eggs: 235kcals

 

 

Lunch: 711

300g chicken breast – 306kcals

90g basmati rice: 316kcals

10g Coconut oil: 89kcals

 

 

Dinner: 1470kcals:

10g Coconut oil – 89kcals

3 Healthy living wraps – 546Kcals

350g 15% fat mince – 658Kcals

100g Greek Yoghurt – 57kcals

30g Cheddar cheese – 120kcals

 

Breakfast: 555Kcals

50g oats – 195kcals

203g eggs – 298Kcals

200ml Almond milk – 29 kcal

10g Honey – 33kcals

 

 

Lunch: 588Kcals

300g Sweet pot – 258kcals

200g Chicken – 204kcals

100g green beans – 29kcals

8g coconut oil – 72kcals

 

 

Dinner: 613Kcals

200g 10% Fat mince – 412kcals

50g white rice – 176kcals

100g asparagus – 32kcals

 

 

Snacks: 611kcals

3 kalo low fat rice cakes – 87kcals

30g peanut butter – 188kcals

120g Banana – 126kcals

100g Greek yoghurt -96kcals

5g Honey – 18Kcals

 

 

 Josh’s Training Plan

Upper body workout

Bench press – 5 sets 8 reps

superset with

Bent over row – 5 sets 12 reps

Incline flies – 5 sets 15 reps

superset with

Lat pulldowns 5 sets 8 reps

DB Shoulder press – 5 sets 12 reps

super set with

Lateral Raises – 5 sets 10 reps

Rope pull downs – 5 sets 10 reps

Super set

Straight bar curls 5 sets 10 reps

30-60 Seconds rest between sets, very intense and good volume work.

 

Lower body workout

Squats – 5 sets 5 reps

Hack squat – 4 sets 12 reps

Extensions- 5 sets 10 reps

superset with

Leg curls – 5 sets 10 reps

Leg press – 4 sets 20 reps

21’s wide/narrow/normal stance squat – 3 sets of 7/7/7

30-60 second rest on each of these.

Final 2 reps a spotter is used, so failure nearly every set.

 

Josh Bridgeman
MASS SPC 2015 Champion
Facebook Josh Bridgeman Fitness
Instagram @joshbridgman
Twitter @Joshbridgman2
YouTube Josh Bridgeman Fitness

 Interview by Emma Pudge

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

instagramforfitness

#Fitsagram – Instagram for Fitness

There is no doubt that Instagram has become one of the most significant and active social media to date. The service launched in 2010, as little as five years ago, becoming one of the fastest growing cultural arrivals of the twenty first century with recent figures soaring over 300 million active users by the end of 2014. But what makes Instagram phenomenal is that it has become such an influential platform in marketing and monitoring the game of fitness.

 

And what do we exactly mean by Instagram? #doyoueveninstagram

To the majority of us, the app requires no introduction however we must acknowledge that Instagram only launched in 2010. Advances in technologies and its impact on culture has us both tech and trend savvy. It’s still important to be open minded that our age and generation plays a huge role in this cultural transition.  Instagram is a photo and video sharing service based online and on mobiles. The app enables members to capture, filter and share photos and videos onto their profiles and across other social media including Facebook and Twitter. But, distinctive features of the app include confining photos similar to Polaroid images but most importantly users are able to digitally enhance their images using filters.

 

Why is Instagram obsessed with fitness? #fitspiration

Photos speak more than words, in fact, they speak volumes. Instagram is image saturated, the whole concept itself is solely focused around imagery. When words are difficult to communicate, posting images simplify the task especially as other social media is either constrained with character limitations or crammed with too many functions of statuses, albums, videos, etc. An image is visual, artistic, the best and perhaps the only way to share your progression in fitness to whoever and whenever you want. The app allows you to follow whomever you wish, mainly for motivational purposes of cultivating these beautiful, inspirational fitness, health and nutrition accounts to help support and motivate us in our day to day goals. It’s common sense that sharing beautiful images creates a positive, motivating ambience, radiating positive emotions.

 

It’s more than perving #WOD

Many of us students including myself follow fitness accounts not only on the basis of aesthetic images but we love nutritional recipes, workout plans and exercise tips and tricks – all of which are free (almost! if you’re careful)! But this is the best part, we are extremely lucky to have access to so many sources of information in targeting our fitness goals, bearing in mind that not so long ago these little gems of tips were difficult to access without purchasing the magazines or hiring nutritionists and personal trainers. I’m talking about the days before the technological boom! Yes, there really was a time.

So exactly who are these leading fitness gurus?

 

#WCW women crush wednesdays

 

The Superstar Booty: @jenselter

 

 

Jen Selter, 20, New York 2,450,000 followers

“I don’t really post a lot of face pictures. I mainly do body selfies,”

 

 

The Personal Trainer: @nataliejillfit

 

 

Natalie Jill, 42, San Diego 320,000 followers

“There’s a few things that work: the picture needs to be colourful and happy, and people like seeing me do tricks on my rings. The ones that get the most likes are my morning work-outs. I try to teach something, not be all ‘look at me.’’

 

 

The yogi: @yoga_girl

 

 

Rachel Brathen, 25, Aruba 630,000 followers

“The pictures that get the most traction? The upside-down poses – especially if I’m in a beautiful location – paired with some words of wisdom. People are really hungry for inspiration, not just for tips on how to do poses.”

 

 

The celebrity trainer: @mankofit

 

 

mankofitMassiel Arias, 25, New Jersey 1,045,000 followers

“A lot of people do ‘shout-for-shouts’, where they ask you to follow their friends. I could have three million followers if I did that. My followers are all word-of -mouth. I want to show people that working out should be fun.”

 

 

The ballerina: @balletbeautiful

 

 

ballerina

Mary Bowers, 33, New York 110,000 followers

“The photos of me dancing pregnant were popular because they were so unexpected. No one had seen a ballerina in a leotard doing advanced moves like that. Ninety per cent of the comments were supportive, but it made some people uncomfortable.”

 

 

#MCM Man Crush Mondays

 

The superstar body: @kyleclarke

 

 

kyleclark

Kyle Clark, 27,  Los Angeles 67,000 followers

“When you focus on problems, you’ll have more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you’ll have more opportunities”

 

 

The personal trainer: @lazar_angelov_official

 

 

lazar

Lazar Angelov, 31, Bulgaria 1.4m followers

“I want to inspire people, I want someone to look at me and say, because of you I didn’t give up”

 

 

The yogi: @carsonclaycalhoun

 

 

carson

Carson Calhoun, 35, Arlington 88,900 followers

“One of the most important elements of a well-rounded workout is stretching and no other activity does it better than yoga. Press up handstands and arms balances reveals the importance of flexibility and engaging your core to achieving a flawless practice on and off the mat”

 

 

The celebrity trainer: @therock

 

 

therock

Dwayne Johnson, 42, California 8.4m followers

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come”

 

The ballerino: @marcodalia

 

 

ballerino

Marco Dalia, 23, Italy 1483 followers

“Dance everywhere”

 

 

My Personal Favourite @kayla_itsines

 

 

kayla

Kayla Itsines, 23, Adelaide 2.4m followers

“I have been personal training women since 2008. It is my mission to bring incredible confidence and pride to women all around the world. We all deserve to feel great about ourselves. Everyone always says change your life today, but no one ever provides how. My life goal is to provide the how to as many women as possible”

 

Kayla’s beliefs summarises the reasons as to why she appears on my IG feed. The publishing of her Bikini body workout guide that aims to motivate women into fitness has become a global success. For myself, I need motivation and encouragement to keep going and Kayla provides the perfect balance of tough love and lots of love. This guide is dominating and proves to be working for her hundreds of subscribers and millions of followers. Kayla’s Instagram feed is saturated with motivational images, not only of herself but of the women that have followed her programme.

 

Interview with Bryan Leong

 

In seeking a male student’s position on fitness accounts. I’ve kindly sat down with student and powerlifter Bryan Leong to quiz his perspective.

 

What do you look at for in terms of following a fitness account?

“Twofold.  For powerlifter’s accounts I am looking for advices in technical lifts. For accounts of Youtube’s celebrities, I mainly follow them for their persona.”

 

Who are your top favourite IG fitness accounts?

@Marksmellybell and @Silentmikke. The more I get into the sport of powerlifting, the more I study ways to maximize progress. One of many ways to achieve this is to dig into powerlifting-specific gym equipment and accessories. Marksmellybell and Silentmikke are the spokespersons of the company ‘How Much Ya’ Bench’, in which their IG accounts focuses mainly on demonstrating and test-driving their latest products. Plus occasional posts of motivations featuring top powerlifters in the US.

 

What makes them different from other accounts?

The one thing which all of these accounts stands out from the other is, they represent the pinnacle of different aspects and field of ‘fitness’. To be fair, based on the current trend of fitness, the content of every fitness-related accounts share 90% of similarities. But I rather follow those who are at best at what they do to receive the most reliable content.

 

Any other fitness related accounts you’d like to share with us?
  • @Marksmellybell for powerlifting motivations and advices.
  • @thebodymass for general student fitness activity log.
  • @Stevecook_32  for its unique approach to motivation and the preach to balance different goals and aspects in life.
  • @Dangreenpowerlifter for the ‘animal’ side of powerlifting. helpful in learning the mindset of a champion.
  • @Nikkiblackketter for her persona and physique.

 

Rumina Awal
Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies student
Cardiff University

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

usnhyperdrive

USN Pre-Workout Comparison

Case study user reviews of Hyperdrive NO and BCAA Amino-Gro, based on 2-3 discrete usages at the recommended doses, as well as comparisons between the products and market alternatives. As USN offers a number of pre workouts, this will not be a comprehensive review of their range, so the two products will be considered stand-alone rather than representative of the USN range.

Hyperdrive N.O

 

usnhyperdrive

Hyperdrive N.O advertises itself as a stimulant based pre-workout powder with zero carbs and uses sensationalist rhetoric familiar to those who’ve shopped for pre-workout supplements before.  The stated benefit is to take your training to the next level through increased focus.  Based on the price and ingredient profile, the product aims to give you a mental boost alongside facilitating a pump at a very reasonable price.

On using this product a number of times, I certainly did notice increased focus and pump from its usage; the caffeine and pump ingredients seemed to do their job.  I can’t say I felt my performance really increased during these workouts, although I would suggest that’s because I am shooting for strength & work capacity rather than getting a pump and maintaining a strong mind-muscle connection, and I’m used to taking some caffeine before workouts.

In the below chart we look at a comparison between USN Hyperdrive N.O, BSN N.O.Explode, MyProtein Pulse V4 and BPI Vortex.

 

Hyperdrive comparion chart

From looking at the numbers, there are a few stand out points; firstly that this is among the best price you’ll find for a pre-workout and secondly that it has one of the highest average user review scores (although it’s up to you what difference that makes).  The relatively high dosage of Niacin along with the inclusion of D-aspartic acid and citrulline malate helps you achieve a solid pump, despite the latter two ingredients being dosed lower than is typically recommended.  The product states its position as a focus and pump product clearly by not including amino acids, and whilst the caffeine dosage is slightly less than competitors, the difference is inconsequential in my opinion. The product contains creatine at an unknown dosage (3g was estimated based on the proprietary blend weight, ingredient list and their typical doses), which to me is a bit of a pain but not a big deal.  Overall the product doesn’t go all out on the ingredient list but delivers what it promises at a great price.

As someone who typically just has a coffee before workouts (with a similar caffeine dosage to this product) but has dabbled with a wide variety of pre-workouts, I did notice a bit more focus using this product, and I definitely noticed more pump.  Given the low price, ingredients and high opinion others apparently have of it, I’d say this product is perfectly suited for the intermediate student athlete who wants a good workout with a solid pump and manages their recovery/intra-workout nutrition with other products.

 

BCAA Amino-Gro

 

BCAA AMINO-GRO_306g_FRUIT FUSION_new

USN describes this product as a performance enhancing supplement which uses BCAAs to reduce fatigue and help you get the most out of your workout due to fast nutrient absorption.  The product is available at a low price point and notably contains beta-alanine and glutamine; both typical in ‘performance’ based supplements to increase work capacity and improve recovery respectively.

After taking the supplement on several occasions it did produce a perceived effect similar to its competitors’ equivalent products; I felt able to hit my workouts a bit harder and I would suggest I experienced less DOMS compared to just having coffee before a workout.  Of course, it’s difficult to quantify these points and judging a product intended to improve performance only on how it makes you feel doesn’t make much sense; it would be great to test the effect of this product on a typical CrossFit workout for example, across a number of athletes.

In the below chart we look at a comparison between USN BCAA Amino-Gro, ON Amino Energy, MP Assault, MyProtein Pulse V4 and BSN AminoX.

‘-‘ means 0g, ‘?’ means the ingredient is included but its quantity is not stated (some of these have been estimated)

 

 

Amino-gro comparison chart

From looking at the numbers, it’s clear that USN have positioned this product as a predominantly BCAA powder, given the lack of caffeine and creatine, and the amount and ratio of BCAAs is respectable.   The citrulline malate is arguably under dosed, but not critical.  The beta-alanine dose is actually fairly moderate, although it’s more than enough to cause the skin flushing and tingling which the ingredient is known for.  The average user review adds very little to the debate, with fairly consistent scores across the products.  Overall this product seems to be a fairly priced attempt at a peri-workout supplement which uses a few solid ingredients without lots of bells and whistles.

Given my experience with this product and a number of similar products, I would say BCAA Amino Gro delivers what you’d expect at a fair price; it’s not going to blow your mind but could certainly be part of a sound training and nutrition routine.  I’d recommend an intermediate athlete looking to improve their workout a bit and recover quicker to try this product and compare their personal results against other, similar products.  This product is especially useful if you’re avoiding creatine or caffeine, or want to manage those supplements separately.  As a word of caution to those unfamiliar with beta-alanine; start with a low dosage to judge whether it causes uncomfortable skin tingles for you, they’re harmless and subside with continued use but can be very distracting at first.

 

MASS Athlete reviews

Cari Davies – “I thought flavour was the best I’ve tried and it was an okay pick me up which is what I needed after getting home from work and not really feeling it but it wasn’t a particularly great buzz yet gave me awful itchiness so overall not a big fan”

Theo Morgan – “Pros – good amino acid profile with leucine valine and isoleucine in a 2:1:1 ratio. Glutamine helps a lot with recovery and reducing DOMS. The beta alanine does give you energy helps maintain performance in the gym.

Cons– really high beta alanine content gave me some major itchiness when I had a double serving. Could use some more stimulant content like caffeine to make it better as a preworkout, I would probably go for a more stimulant based pre for a heavy lifting session.

Overall – good recovery and sustained energy and performance in the gym however I would prefer more of a buzz if I was going to use it as a pre workout on its own.”

 

Shaun Howell
Phd Student
Cardiff Club President, StudyFit ‘Eye on Science’ columnist, CrossFit and Strength Expert

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

joshleader

Interview with shredded student Josh Leader

University: Leeds
Degree title and year of study: MBCHB MEDICINE AND SURGERY (3RD YEAR)
BSc CLINICAL SCIENCES (CARDIOVASCULAR MEDICINE) 2014
Age: 21
Height: 170cm
Weight: 160lbs

 

How long have you been weight training?

3.5 years

 

What got you into weight training?

I was a keen sportsman at school and wanted to improve performance.

 

How did you get into competing in physique?

I did a fair amount of fitness and underwear modelling when I was 18; one of the photographers suggested I considered competing so I looked into it chose the class that suited me best and the rest is history. Only those who have also competed will truly understand the reason why. The feeling you get after weeks of dieting, intense training and prolonged cardio are all worth it when you have the opportunity to display your physique and the improvements you have made.

 

 

11401533_10153041059343512_2775139293042716138_n

What have you gotten out of competing?

First and foremost, competing has allowed me to meet so many amazing people who all share the same passion for bodybuilding and fitness like me. Through competing I met Pat Warner, CNP professional sponsored athlete and 2009 UKBFF British Championship, who I class not only as a mentor, a training partner but most importantly also a very close friend. Competing has given me a lot of discipline and allows me to remain focused. Following a strict routine has actually allowed myself to be more successful at University as my busy regime means that I have to utilize my time very efficiently in order to ensure that everything gets done to my best ability. Competing has also taught me how to present myself with confidence without appearing arrogant.

 

 

11148654_679012042232041_5418482820226297855_n

What are your goals for the future?

In 2015, I have the UK Nationals event on 12th April where I aim to qualify for the European Championships in both the open and junior classes, the British Finals, the Arnold Madrid as well as the Amateur Olympia being held in Liverpool later this year. My goal is to be the youngest ever IFBB Physique Pro from the UK and seeing as I am only 21 years of age, I still have 4 years to make this a reality! I am deeply passionate about the science surrounding bodybuilding/fitness and wish to utilize my status as a qualified doctor to help educate others.

 

What are some of the difficulties in achieving the ideal physique as a student?

  • Balancing workload with time available to train
  • Restricted budget to afford the correct nutrition, gym membership, supplementation, competition fees, tanning, posing courses etc.
  • Becoming isolated from other students, as those who do not compete do not often understand the reason we go to the lengths we do
  • Furthermore, competition prep can often prevents us from eating/going out socially

 

 

10268700_474633842669863_3144674406363424027_n

How is university conducive to concentrating on your physique?

 

University is the ideal time to concentrate on my physique as I have total independence of what I do. The structure/routine that is required for competition prep helps me to remain productive and organized whilst on placement too. I tend to find the busier I am, the more I achieve.

 

What are some of the misconceptions held by students who want to get ripped?

Students often believe you need to do copious amounts of cardio and to do very low carbohydrate diets in order to get ripped. This is not the case at all. There is not a set formula; everyone has different genetics. You just have to find what works best for you. You should remember fitness is a lifestyle and should not feel like a job. It is a continuous process of progression so whatever you chose to do should be maintainable for your circumstances.

 

 

back

Who do you go to for training/nutrition advice?

I have always read about different training/nutrition protocols on the Internet, on websites such as bodybuilding.com or musculardevelopment.com.

As previously mentioned, Pat Warner, is currently mentoring/prepping me for my upcoming competitions this year. We call him ‘The Illusionist’ due to the dramatic changes in the shape and condition he has helped make possible in such a short period of time. Mr. Warner is an extremely smart trainer and no session is ever the same. We hit the muscle with different tensions, from different angles and with different tempos. This way the body never knows what is coming next and has to constantly adapt. I feel this is the secret to stimulating optimal muscle hypertrophy as well as achieving as much detail as possible.

 

How do you feel about the stereotypes of students leading unhealthy lifestyles?

I feel that stereotyping in general is an extremely negative aspect to society and we should all try not the band certain groups of people together. Everyone is unique and should be treated this way with no labelling or stigma attached. I personally think that due to the emphasis being placed on aesthetics and body image in the social media, that everyone is becoming a lot more body conscious. This is reflected in the increasing number of students who attend the gym and are beginning to implement healthy diets. The poor habits tend to occur in Fresher’s at University but once the novelty has worn off, people soon alter their lifestyle. I also find that medical students tend to have better habits due to the larger load of work, which makes it difficult to go out on a constant basis.

 

Five foods we would find in your kitchen:

Cod, rice, oats, supplements, broccoli

 

Josh Leader
Facebook Josh Leader Fitness
YouTube DrJHLeader
Instagram @drjleader
Twitter @joshleader
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

flexibledieting

Weight Loss through Flexible Dieting – Daniel Olusina

Are you tired of doing endless cardio with no signs of weight loss? Eating the same “clean” meals over and over causing you to cheat regularly? Would you like to learn of a new approach that enables you to treat yourself daily? Then flexible dieting aka if it fits your macros may be just the approach you need.

 

Name: Daniel Olusina
University: Kent
Course: Actuarial Science
Year of Study: Graduated in 2015

 

Macro and Micronutrients

  • Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories and energy. They’re found in all foods and are made up of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
  • Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals required in small amounts that are essential to our health, development and growth. They are widely found in an array of fruit and vegetables.
  • By knowing that all the food that we eat is merely just a certain amount of macro and micro nutrients, we can track them and know precisely how much we are actually eating.

 

 

danielolusina

How to Track What You Eat

  • Any food can easily be tracked using the MyFitnessPal app. This app can be downloaded on any of the latest smart phones or can be accessed on the internet.
  • Log each each meal you eat by logging the individual foods used to make up that meal. Doing so you will find out the exact amount of macro and micro nutrients you’ve consumed in that meal.
  • Food on MyFitnessPal can be logged by either weighing out each food using a weigh scale and searching for the food & the amount of if on myfitnesspal or if you’re using the the myfitnesspal app on you’re smart phone then there is a feature where you can scan the barcode which will immediately show you the amount of macronutrients in the food you’ve just scanned.
  • This can be very handy when you’re out looking to treat yourself but are unsure of whether the desired food (poptarts for me) will fit the total amount of macronutrients to be consumed for the day.

 

Caloric Deficit

  • By tracking our food on MyfitnessPal we are able to find out the total macro and micro nutrients we are consuming and thus the total amount of calories we are consuming
  • Depending on the total amount of calories we are consuming, we may be in a caloric surplus, deficit or maintenance.
  • Caloric surplus is where we are consuming more calories than the energy we’re expending during the day and thus gaining weight (the amount depends on how big the surplus is).
  • Caloric maintenance is where we are consuming the same amount of calories as the energy we’re expending and thus our weight stays the same.
  • Caloric deficit is where we are eating less calories than our caloric maintenance and will therefore lose weight

 

Flexible Dieting Coming Into Its Own

  • What I advise is to track the amount of food you generally eat over one day.
  • See what the total amount of macronutrients is and keep that the same throughout the entire week.
  • That doesn’t mean eat the same food over and over. Eat a wide variety of food and meals but make sure at the end of the day it all adds up to the same amount of macro and micronutrients which were consumed on day 1.
  • Whilst you’re doing this I also suggest weighing yourself daily. First thing in the morning after using the toilet. This is to track weight progress. At the end of the week add all the weights together and divide them by 7 to see your average weekly weigh in.
  • If you’ve seen that your weight has gone up then you are in a caloric surplus and may need to reduce your macros slightly (either carbs or fats) however if your weight has gone down then you’re in a caloric deficit and just need to keep maintaining the same macronutrients to keep losing weight (if weight loss is your goal).
  • My rule of thumb is whether you were in a caloric surplus or deficit for week 1, if you are looking to lose weight then fats should be around 60g a day for guys and 50g for women to make sure you are still eating an adequate amount of fat to help maintain bodily functions.
  • Protein should be at least 1.2g per pound of bodyweight but this can be more and carbohydrates throughout the diet phase should be kept as high as possible despite this being the macronutrient that you’ll be looking to reduce every so often when reducing calories further.

 

 

danielolusina1

Average Weight Loss

  • So now we’ve set our macro and micronutrients its time for us to lose some weight!
  • If you’re already losing weight on your current macros then just stick with it and enjoy fitting them small daily treats into those weight loss macros.
  • You should be looking to lose around 0.5-1kg a week on average so a sufficient caloric deficit of around 300 below caloric maintenance may be all that is needed.
  • However fat loss isn’t linear so it could a loss of 0.2kg one week and 1.3kg the next.
  • Try your best to keep fat loss at under 1kg a week as if it is over it may cause a loss in muscle tissue as well, which is not what we want if we want to be looking toned.

 

Busting weight plateaus

Lower carbs, higher cardio, more intensity in gym
  • If your weight loss has stalled then fear not for there are many ways to combat this.
  • As 1g carbohydrates is equal to 4 calories then by merely reducing the daily amount of carbohydrates by 25g you’ll have reduced the daily calories by 100 calories!
  • This small refinement may make all the difference and allow the weight loss to continue
  • Another way is increasing the amount of calories you are burning through increased cardio. I would suggest HIIT (high intensive interval training) starting with once a week for 15mins (12-15secs flat out, 45sec to 1min rest) and then increasing to twice a week if weight plateaus. HIIT causes the body to experience an afterburn effect that will cause it to burn many calories throughout the day even when you’re at rest.
  • Incorporating Steady State cardio in terms of burning a specific amount of calories is also useful but doing this to burn a large amount of calories many times a week may induce metabolic damage so use it sparingly.
  • Increasing the intensity of your weight training workouts will allow you to burn even more calories and thus be further into a caloric deficit. Supersets, dropsets and less rest periods can all be utilised to make you train even harder and thus burn more calories.

 

Refeeds vs Cheat Meals

Once a Week
  • We’ve all been there, just lost a kg and we want to reward ourselves with a KFC bargain bucket.
  • STOP RIGHT THERE!
  • Unless that bargain bucket fits your macros (which I doubt it will) then refeeding may be the answer to eating more and potentially losing even more weight
  • Instead of plain cheating and eating food we know is extremely high in fat we can instead eat roughly 150-200% more carbs on a refeed day.
  • On this refeed day our fats should be lower than a normal diet day (around 10g less or so) and protein should be around the same level or a little less.
  • This will cause our leptin level (fat burning hormone) to spike temporarily as it is normally fairly low when we are dieting.
  • Our metabolism will therefore increase and when you go back to your normal food amounts you may notice that you’ve lost even more weight which is what we all want.

 

So lets all ditch the 6 meals a days of sweet potato, lentils and plain diced chicken and start having a wide array of meals that fit our caloric deficit macro and micronutrients!

 

Daniel Olusina
Instagram @danielolusina
Twitter @danielolusina
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

press up

Push Up, Or Shut Up!

Reinventing the push up into a viable bench press alternative.

 

You love to bench press. Everyone does. It’s a simple move, you can load up big weights on it, and it trains major muscles you love to see in the mirror. However, the bench press isn’t always the safest option. If you don’t have a spotter, it can be dangerous to overload yourself to a point where you might fail a rep and need the bar lifted off you. Furthermore, excessive bench press in your training can lead to a whole host of shoulder issues. Sometimes, when training your chest and triceps, it can be useful to revert back to the bench presses little brother; the PE teachers favourite; the push up.

You probably left the push up behind as soon as you discovered the bench press. You now probably view it as a warm up exercise, cranking out a few sets of 10 before you start your chest day. However, by a few simple tweaks shown in the exercises below, we can amp up the intensity of push ups so you can get great upper body results without even touching a weight.

Before you try some of the more intense and advanced push up variations, here are some key coaching points to make sure you’ve mastered the ordinary push up.

 

  • Make sure your hands are placed directly below your shoulders to ensure you’re stressing the correct muscles.
  • Keep your elbows tucked to your sides. Flared elbows are one of the most common mistakes when performing a push up. To help you keep tucked elbows, imagine you are trying to grip a business card in-between your arm pits.
  • Maintain a straight and rigid body. A rigid body during a press up involves straight legs, hips not sagging and a neutral spine position. To help with this, tense your glutes and core as well as pressing your legs and feet tight together before starting to complete your push ups.
  • Get low enough. Lowering yourself to the correct position in a push up ensures you work your muscles through a full range of motion. Lower yourself til your face is 2 to 3 inches off the ground then push away again.

 

Regular push up - start-finish position

Regular push up – start-finish position

Regular push up - mid position

Regular push up – mid position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you can perform a good set of 20-25 push ups following the coaching points above, it’s time to attempt some more advanced versions of the push up. Caution! Huge pecs and massive triceps may result from completion of these exercises.

 

Staggered push up

Set up: Set yourself up for a normal push up; hands below shoulders, core braced, elbows tucked. Now, take one hand and move it forward until it is below your eye line. Your hands are now in the staggered position.

Execution: Lower yourself as normal, then focus on driving through your hand that is still below your shoulder on the up phase. Use your more forward hand as a support. When you’re done, take a short rest, switch which hand is forward, and repeat.

 

Staggered push up - start-finish position

Staggered push up – start-finish position

Staggered push up - mid position

Staggered push up – mid position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This move increases the intensity on one pectoral at a time, by increasing the work each side does during one rep. It is a good first move to attempt after mastering the regular push up. Aim for 15 – 20 reps each side before attempting archer push ups.

 

Archer push up

Set up: Again, set yourself up for a normal push up; hands below shoulders, core braced, elbows tucked. This time take one hand and extend it out to the side of your body. Raise your extended hand off the palm onto just the fingers and make sure that arm is straight. Imagine looking down on your body and you should see an image similar to an archer with his bow. Your extended hand is ‘drawing the arrow’ while the hand still under the shoulder is ‘holding the bow’.

Execution: Similar to the staggered push up, focus on driving through the hand still under your shoulder. Your extended arm should bend slightly as you lower to the bottom point of the push up. Switch sides again and repeat.

 

Archer push up - mid position

Archer push up – mid position

Archer push up - start-finish position

Archer push up – start-finish position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The archer push up is very similar to the staggered push up in that it isolates the work onto one side of your upper body. However, by moving the non-working arm laterally and further away from the body’s midline, the support is reduced, so the intensity placed on the working arm is further increased. Aim for 10 reps each side before moving on.

 

Lateral push ups

Set up: Slightly different to the others, you start lateral push ups with both arms extended laterally away from the body. If you looked down on your body, it would resemble a cross. You can keep your fingers facing forwards, or point them out laterally too; whichever is most comfortable for you.

Execution: Lower yourself down towards your left hand. You should be moving diagonally downwards, trying to get your left pec as close as you can too your left hand. Drive back up and away so your body becomes central again. Immediately repeat to your right side.

 

Lateral push up - mid position

Lateral push up – mid position

Lateral push up - start-finish position

Lateral push up – start-finish position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This exercise provides a more dynamic version of the archer push up, and the different movement pattern makes it a difficult move to master. Aim to hit 16-20 reps before attempting the daddy of all push ups; the one arm push up.

 

Conculsion

It is hard to let go of the staple upper body exercise of the bench press. Most of us are comfortable and feel at home with a bar above our chest, but you can achieve similar results, in a safer and equally as challenging environment with the push ups shown above. And as if this article hasn’t already done enough to convince you to try some advanced push ups in your next upper body workout, always remember that push ups work your core at the same time as your pecs and triceps.

 

Mark Harvey
Loughborough University
BSc Sports and Exercise Science

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

insulin

Insulin – The Muscle Building Hormone

Insulin is a protein that is secreted from the pancreas when a carbohydrate or protein source is ingested into the body. It is transported in the blood in order to regulate blood glucose levels as they must be closely monitored by the body in order to ensure internal conditions in the body remain stable and constant.

Insulin’s Roles in the Muscle Cell

Promotes
  • Glucose uptake across the cell membrane
  • Glycogenesis (Glycogen synthesis)
  • Amino acid uptake
  • Protein synthesis
Inhibits
  • Gluconeogenesis (the generation of carbohydrate from non carbohydrate sources – ie inhibiting protein degradation)
  • Glycogenolysis (the breakdown of Glycogen to glucose)

 

The conclusion of all of that is that insulin plays a huge part in muscle building as it allows for better amino acid uptake resulting in greater levels of protein synthesis. Furthermore, it increases glucose uptake into the cell, which results in fuelling muscular contractions. Does that mean we should look to maximize insulin levels throughout the body and we’ll experience great muscle gains with no negative effects, yes?

Not exactly. Insulin also has an anabolic affect in adipose (fat) tissue and it decreases the rate of lipolysis (fat breakdown) thus decreasing fatty acid plasma levels stopping the body from utilizing fats for energy.

 

In order to avoid insulin’s anabolic affects in the adipose tissue it’s ideal to be as sensitive to insulin as possible, to allow muscle cells to be able to utilize it effectively to fuel contractions and aid in protein synthesis. The more desensitized the insulin receptors become, the lesser ability the muscle cells have in utilizing the insulin and the more insulin is used in lipid formation and fat storage. The leaner an individual is the more sensitive they will be to insulin and thus, that individual may find it far easier to add muscle, as their insulin will be able to transport glucose and amino acids efficiently. This is where the ‘dirty bulk’ theory is shown to be false as leaner individuals are far more anabolic than individuals who carry a large amount of excess body fat.

 

Insulin Levels and Post Workout

 

z274Your body is most sensitive to insulin at particular times throughout the day. One of these is after a resistance training workout, so post-workout is a good time to have a source of carbohydrates and protein to spike insulin levels. Post-workout is when your muscles need nutrients urgently as they’ve just been broken down by your training and your body will be in a very catabolic (breaking down) state. Around 30g of fast digesting carbohydrates post workout with a source of easily digestible protein is sufficient to maximize recovery and protein synthesis. Followed by adequate intake of overall calories throughout the day.

 

 

7 Ways to Achieve Greater Insulin Sensitivity

 

  1. Resistance training
  2. Cardiovascular training
  3. Low carbohydrate/ High fat nutrition
  4. Manipulating carbohydrate levels over time e.g. Carbohydrate cycling
  5. Eat plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids (found in oily fish and nuts)
  6. Control blood glucose levels by avoiding massive insulin spikes caused by eating large amounts of fast digesting carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates with sources of protein and fats affect blood glucose levels less, alongside high levels of total daily fibre.
  7. Regular consumption of cinnamon in the diet and supplementing with ALA (alpha lipoic acid) has been linked with increased sensitivity (ALA can be found in the diet in foods such as broccoli, spinach and tomatoes but in smaller amounts than in supplements).

 

Justin Bland
University of Leeds
BSc (hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences with Physiology
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

spcqualifiers

The 2015 MASS Student Physique Championship qualifiers

Tans radiated, smiles glistened and bodies rocked: How our students battled it out in attempt to qualify for the Mass Student Physique finals in London this April.

 

This March saw an array of talent in both the Midlands and Southern SPC Regional qualifiers. More than 100 of the best student physiques flocked from across the country to each show, managing to sell out both Leicester’s O2 Academy and Southampton’s Student Union in celebration of the student athlete. Both heels and standards were set sky high, filling our stages with professionalism, sportsmanship, and a positive example for students everywhere to follow.

Posing was in full force, with Manchester’s medic Sam Parsons and Exeter’s Adam James impressing the judges enough to take home awards for best stage presence of the day. The talent displayed in the Women’s bikini categories proved particularly hard to judge; finalist Rosie Williams, Serife Ustuner and Liberty Pullen demonstrated incredible presentation skills in the Southern qualifiers, while Nikita Scholes, Holly Couzens and Sarah Baron shone for our Midlands judges.

 

 

LEICESTERemily      LEICESTERfeyi

Emily Wilson & Feyi Oyebode, Midlands regional overall champions

 

Bournemouth served to be the South’s hottest Uni, gaining overall best team of the day as well as celebrating Tom Vessey’s victory in the Men’s Athletic category. Other successes included George Morgan, Roehampton’s winner in the Men’s Fresher’s category and Nathan Etherington, Plymouth’s short physique victor.  Daniel Olusina, former self-confessed “stick-thin” physique, was announced proud winner of both the Men’s Tall and overall Men’s Physique of the day. All praises for the healthy lifestyle, Olusina urges anyone to get involved,

“With hard work, dedication and consistency you can build the body you want!”

Other athletes, who are living proof of the latter, included Midlands overall Men’s champ of the day, Feyi Oyebode and both Women’s bikini winners, Hattie Moran of Westminster and 20 year old Emily Wilson of Coventry.

Each student has undergone an incredible individual journey throughout the SPC process, proving the mental discipline required to compete at this high level. Best friends and gym buddies, Duncan Barry and Jake Sales, demonstrated that physique competitions delve far deeper than surface looks

“It’s changed our mentality towards all aspects of life, and it’s great that we can do it side by side”

 

 

SPCsouthern      SOUTHERNbikini            Daniel Olusina & Hattie Moran, Southern regional overall champions

 

Unlike professionals in the industry, the students have had to juggle their rigorous training and nutrition with the hardships of student life. First time competitor, Megan Coldicott, who studies adult nursing at De Montfort University, told us,

“I train twice a day; I start with fasted cardio followed by a weights session later. It’s been hell but so worth it-I’ve never seen my body like this!”

Coventry’s 23 year old Josh Sainsbury-Bow, who gained 2nd place in the Men’s Athletic Category, believes the healthy lifestyle is well worth the time and money

“It can definitely be expensive, but I’ve saved a lot on alcohol!”

When asked to advise other students wanting to compete, Josh Bridgman, winner of the Men’s Physique, insisted,

“Just get out and do it! It’s the best thing you’ll ever do!”

 

 

15377_909478945749420_8458613695485571878_n

Congratulations to all our inspirational competitors, who proved being a student doesn’t have to mean sleeping all day and drinking all night: we can’t wait to see what you can bring to the championship next year!

 

By Britta Zeltmann
Cardiff University

 

Links
Midlands Scoresheet
Southern Scoresheet
Finals Scoresheet
Competition Page

lowres

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

strongman

MASS’s Strongest Man 2015

The first ever MASS strongman competition was held in the ‘larger than life’ Warehouse Gym this March.

 

Amongst murals of the Kings and Queens of strength and acres of gritty strength machines for people who mean business, athletes from across the country battled it out to be crowned the strongest and hopefully earn points for their university in the MASS games.

 

strongman Geoff

 

After some close weigh-ins and an explanation of the events from MASS chairman David Bissell, the day quickly got underway; starting with the farmer’s carry.  From the outset a high standard of competition was evident, amidst an atmosphere of encouragement and good natured competitiveness familiar to those who attended previous MASS events.

From the females, Cari Davies and Catherine Smith were neck and neck for first place alongside a strong performance from Sharon Shergill. Catherine dominated the log press to nudge ahead at the second event but a comeback from Cari’s now legendary deadlift skills left it all up to the last event; Catherine narrowly pipped Cari to pull the overall result back to a draw.  This meant that Catherine won the junior gold medal, Sharon won silver from the juniors and Cari won the senior gold medal.

 

 

catherine

 

From the males, Zib Atkins blazed through the events in first place across the board from the 85kg category, including a sub 30s time to load a 50kg stone, 65kg kettlebell and 70kg sandbag at the end of a 15m carry. This landed him squarely with the 1st place senior prize, alongside Jacob Hetherington as first place junior following the quickest time to load up to the 80kg atlas stone.  The 105kg male category was more contested, although a solid senior victory was earned by Geoffrey Kirby, following a spectacular 43 reps at the 180kg car deadlift and RAPID 105kg atlas stone loading.

 

 

strongmanjazeer

 

Finally, the MASS games points were awarded, including 25 points to Loughborough in first place, 20 points to Cardiff in second and 16 points to Nottingham in third.  Overall, the first MASS strongman competition was a great example of the friendly, supportive and competitive student strongman community. And we got to pick up a car, which is pretty cool!

 

Words by Shaun Howell

Links
Scoresheet
Competition Page
Event Photos

 

MASS STRONGEST MAN LOGO

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

keep-calm-and-drink-green-tea-100-365x365

Green Tea – A Natural Fat Burning Supplement

With the number of people in the gym ever increasing, treadmills smoking and the sight of people crunching widespread, the question burning everybody’s’ lips, does that magic supplement exist? A powder or capsule that can torch fat naturally?

 

Name: Brandon Tiller
University: Southampton
Course: Biochemistry
Year of Study: 2nd Year

There are whispers in the corners of gyms, telling you this and that, those sceptics laughing the idea off, and those who sink down every supplement thrust upon them with the hope it is the one. I’m sure you’ve heard of green tea extract amongst those whispers, but is the cousin of Britain’s famous brew really a heavyweight in the fat burning industry?

 

greentea

 

The Fundamentals of Fat Loss

Lets begin right at the foundation. Every time we chow down on that man-sized, muscle fuelling, umpteenth meal of the day, desperate to squeeze as much muscle-building potential out of our bodies as possible, excess calories eaten in the form of fats and carbohydrates are no use to the body and are packed together and then stored for a later date as triglycerides, or fatty acids within fat cells, and to some degree liver and muscle cells, a process known simply as lipogenesis.

Being the automated machine it is, our body thinks this is ideal, however, in the eyes of a fitness enthusiast, this is disastrous. These fatty acids have a very high energy yield (9kcal/g) compared to that of carbohydrates (4kcal/g) and are therefore retained and stored with more abundance than glycogen.

The Process of Fat Burning

Fat-burning itself is achievable in one of two ways, increasing the bodies metabolic rate, the breakdown and use of fatty acids as an energy source or raising the activity of enzymes that act on fat cells to maximise the availability of these fatty acids.

In the case of fatty acid breakdown, a process known as β-oxidation occurs, in which the triglycerides are catabolised (broken down) back into fats and carbohydrates to be burnt as energy. Much like shovelling coal into the furnace of a steam train to keep everything moving. Not to worry though, that dreaded C word, synonymous with muscle building, is positive in this case, and completely unrelated to muscle catabolism.

Now this all sounds a little bit tricky, when ideally, all we are concerned with is walking down that beach with a six pack so chiselled you could grate a block of cheddar on it.

 

 

David_bissell_bike_4_low_res

The Key to a Sculptured Physique

That is where green tea may potentially be the Holy Grail, the key to a sculptured physique. How is it that a plant can be related to such a complex mechanism though? And does it have a significant effect? Well, once the kettle has boiled and the bag is brewing, catechins (natural chemicals present within the leaves) are extracted into the water and it is these small compounds that can make such a big difference!

The noted catechin in green tea is called Epigallocatechin gallate; we’ll call it EGCG for short to save a mouthful. And studies with this have been conducted to define fat-burning fact with fiction. Different doses of EGCG and a placebo were given to active men to identify whether or not it has the ability to increase β-oxidation of fatty acids and assist in fat-burning.

Across all studies, it was conclusive that supplementing with EGCG did in fact aid fat burning across the board.

 

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

Reasons for this are not yet set in stone, but are proposed to be down to one, or a combination of these three ideas. EGCGs ability to increase fatty acid breakdown, decrease fat cell production or reduce fat absorption in the small intestine, not too bad for something you can sip on and enjoy whilst you relax and read this article.

Surprisingly, lower doses of EGCG (300mg/day) were more beneficial than higher doses (600mg/day), increasing β-oxidation by up to 33%, compared to 20% respectively within two hours of meal consumption.

However, the exact level of EGCG in a single cup of green tea is not definitive, which is why many sports supplement manufacturers have developed their very own ‘Green tea extract powder’, an accurately dosed powder that provides the ideal amount of EGCG as well as high levels of additional antioxidants that have a host of other health benefits!

 

It must beegcg noted though that the greatest effects were seen whilst the EGCG was supplemented with 200mg of caffeine, a stimulant of the nervous system that controls the release of adrenaline into the blood stream, hormones that act to mobilize fatty acids and, of course, give you crazy levels of drive and intensity whilst busting your guts in the iron clad dungeon.

Increases of up to 50% were reported, so why not combine Green tea extract powder with Caffeine for the best possible benefits.

 

As it stands, there may be truth behind those whispers after all. Green tea extract alone will not build the lean body of Adonis; intense and smart training coupled with a calorific deficit will be the main factor.

 

But, like Rome, a ripped body is not built in a day, who’s to say the Romans didn’t use all the help they could get?

 

Brandon Tiller
Facebook Brandon Tiller Fitness
YouTube Professor Muscle
Instagram @brandontillerfitness
Twitter @btillerfitness

 

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

powerliftingmax

MASS Powerlifting National Championship Report

Following the growth of MASS Powerlifting and the successful regional championships, 40 student athletes filled Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club along with dozens of spectators and GBPF officials to find the best of the best at the MASS National Student Powerlifting Championship.  A truly ‘down to business’ gym set the perfect tone for a day of serious heavy lifting, and the friendly staff perfectly complemented the supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

The group was split into 2 waves across 9 represented categories from 17 universities, proceeding as usual through Squat, Bench and Deadlift with 3 attempts at each starting with the lightest female and ending with the heaviest male.  The lightest women, at 52kg, put in some strong performances with Becky Montague pipping Alexandra Langberg at 235kg to 232.5kg totals.  The 57kg female group was the most contested with 4 athletes and Catherine Smith coming in top place with a total of 282.5kg thanks to a 140kg deadlift, although Carrie Shearer’s 105kg squat scored her 2nd in the group. Of the 63kg females Cari Davies stole the show with a 302kg total thanks to a 160kg deadlift amidst a roaring crowd, although Elly Bar-Richardson did pip her on the Bench Press with a 50kg press. In the 72kg female category, Kimberley Cowell and Ursula Artjoki tied for highest total with 282.5kg, although Ursula’s slightly higher Wilks earned her 1st place.

 

 

NATIONALSsquat NATIONALSbench

From the lightest male category, Amrik Mehta put in a solid performance at 66kg with a 475kg total that would have won him the 74kg category crown too, although that went to Joshua Foo with a 462.5kg total after a big 240kg pull. From the 83kg males, Zib Atkins stormed his way to 1st with a huge 615kg total that also would have won him a crown at the next weight category, in part due to a 230kg squat. The 93kg men’s crown went to Ryan Strother for being slightly lighter than Oliver Sawyers after they both totalled 590kg, although the standout performance from the category was Oliver’s big 270kg deadlift.  From the heaviest men’s category, at 105kg, Marcus Jolly thrived on the support of his friends and managed a big 635kg total following a 275kg deadlift to have the biggest total of the day.

 

 

10649979_902756136421701_1735464752571927233_n

Overall, Zib Atkins achieved the highest male Wilks at 412 followed by Amrik Metha and Marcus Jolly, and Catherine Smith achieved the highest female Wilks at 343, followed by Cari Davies and Carrie Shearer.  The battle for best university was hotly contested but Loughborough achieved the highest Wilks total with 1430, followed by Cardiff at 1294 and Bournemouth at 962.  Finally, MASS games points were awarded, prizes were distributed and plates were put away to mark the event of another brilliant MASS example of competition and community amongst student strength athletes.

 

 

PL

A huge thank you goes to the event sponsor USN – Ultimate Sports Nutrition, to Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club for hosting the competition and to all the spotters and plate loaders who made the day possible.

Links
Scoresheet
Competition Page
Event Photos

 

Powerlifting cropped usn_transparent

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

carbcycling

Carb Cycling Explained – Justin Bland

Carbohydrate cycling is a method of carbohydrate manipulation that utilizes days of eating both high and low amounts of carbohydrates on a daily basis.

Name: Justin Bland
University: University of Leeds
Course: BSc (hons) Sport and Exercise Sciences with Physiology
Year of Study: Graduated in 2015, Starting an MSc Nutrition.

 

Why Carb Cycle?

  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • The low insulin levels from the low carbohydrate days will allow for more efficient fat burning as insulin blunts lipolysis (fat burning)
  • Helps spare lean muscle mass as the high carbohydrate days allow carbohydrates to become the primary energy source so the body wont be converting excess amino acids in the body for energy. Also carbohydrates cause an increase in insulin levels which is a highly anabolic hormone that aids in protein synthesis
  • High carbohydrate days help blunt cortisol levels. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone which is released during times of stress and dieting, so blunting its catabolic effects aid in the maintenance of muscle mass
  • Can be adapted for both fat loss and weight gain by manipulation of overall calorie levels.
  • When looking to increase in muscle mass, carbohydrate cycling is a good way of minimizing excess bodyfat due to the low carbohydrate days blunting the insulin response and the high carbohydrate days which increases the hormone leptin, leptin is one of the best fat burning hormones. Leptin levels decrease when in an extended period of calorie restriction, so high carbohydrate days allow for extra calories to be eaten and enables leptin levels to increase and therefore increases fat burning.

 

 

11140102_450850665096413_3108424219566552774_n

Examples

This example is for an individual weighing 180lbs looking to decrease body fat levels on 2000 calories a day (with the individual being a 500kcal maintenance deficit daily). Protein levels stay consistent throughout the whole week but carbohydrate and fats are manipulated daily, hence the name ‘carbohydrate cycling’ ;).

  • Day 1- P-216g C-100g F-82g Calories-2000
  • Day 2- P-216g C-100g F-82g Calories-2000
  • Day 3- P-216g C-100g F-82 Calories-2000
  • Day 4- P-216 C- 250g F-40g Calories-2224
  • Day 5- P-216g C-100g F-82g Calories-2000
  • Day 6- P-216g C-100g F-82g Calories-2000
  • Day 7- P-216 C- 250g F-40g Calories-2224

 

This is obviously just a theoretical example trying to illustrate the concept. This person is following 3 low carbohydrate days at 100g a day, followed by one high day of 250g. Then the person has 2 more low carbohydrate days at 100g daily and one high day at 250g.

The pattern is; low,low,low,high,low,low,high.

Looking at the weekly picture your calorie intake will average out at a deficit throughout the whole week, which will result in a loss in bodyweight. The manipulation of carbohydrate levels, will allow the benefits of insulin’s anabolic properties and increase in leptin levels on high days and the fat burning benefits on low carbohydrate days, due to the lack of circulating insulin.

Another common method of carb cycling is to match your carb intake with the size of the muscle group your training that day. Leg days being high carb days, upper body being medium carb days and cardio, abs and rest days being low carb days. This can be seen as a more efficient use of the energy source, maximising your carb intake when it’s most needed and making sure your hormones are in the right place for each particular training day.

 

 

Justinbland

Progression

When results start to slow down you can tweak your plan to help revive progression. Ways to progress carbohydrate cycling…

  1. change the amount and order of low/medium/high days you do
  2. change the amount of carbohydrates you eat on low/medium/high days depending on your goals
  3. increasing calorie expenditure from exercise.

There are a variety of progressions available to you when looking to keep progressing. But as with every diet, remember not to use all your tools at once. Little changes over a long period of time will see greater long term results.

 

Justin Bland
Facebook Justin Bland Fitness 
YouTube Justin Bland
Instagram @jbland21
Twitter @blandjustin
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

britishweightlifting

Brunel University Win British Weightlifting Student Champs!

Brunel University secures overall team result at British Student Weightlifting Championships

 

British Weightlifting Student Championship
Saturday 21st March 2015
St Mary’s University
www.britishweightlifting.org

 

Brunel University held off strong competition to come out on top of the British Student Weightlifting Championships with an impressive overall score of 222 points.

 

Brunel’s result was followed by an overall point score of 205 from Middlesex University and a third place finish from competition hosts St Mary’s University, who achieved a score of 197.

 

At the centre of Brunel’s team was a first place finish from Kristian Mcphee in the men’s 77kg category, followed by a closely fought battle in the men’s 85kg category where Lewis Ridett edged Imperial College London’s Liem Bui-Le by 3kg, lifting 118kg in the snatch, 150kg in the clean and jerk, achieving a total of 268kg.

 

Kristian and Lewis’ success was followed by  second place finishes from Rachael Radman in the women’s 58kg category and Ryan Hambidge in the men’s 62kg category, as well as a third place finish for Patrick Maris in the men’s 105kg category.

 

The competition also hosted Olympic Development athlete Noorin Gulam who entered the Championships off the back of a gold medal result at the English Weightlifting Championships in February. Noorin continued her current run of form with a first place finish in the women’s 53kg competition, achieving 65kg in the snatch and 80kg in the clean and jerk, equalling a total of 145kg.

 

brunel-e1427298622621

Brunel University Weighlifting Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participants also had the opportunity to receive some words of advice and meet double Olympic Champion Ilya Ilyin, who attended the Championships as British Weight Lifting’s special guest.

 

Commenting on the competition, Ashley Metcalfe, British Weight Lifting CEO, said: “It was brilliant to have so many young athletes competing over the weekend and to see such talent emerging at this level. Competitions like this one are really important for the growth of the sport and the closely fought battles and performances on display signify real promise amongst our student athletes.

 

“We were honoured to have Ilya Ilyin attend the Championships as our special guest and we would also like to say thanks to St Mary’s University for being excellent hosts and to all the officials and volunteers who played a huge role in the organisation of the competition.”

 

The Scores

Individual

Team

 

BWL Logo 3

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

banishinggymmyths

Daniel Olusina – Banishing Gym Myths

With a new wave of bro science and sub optimal gym advice being circulated throughout uni gyms I feel it is necessary to distinguish which pieces of advice are beneficial and which are pure fiction…

So below I’ve listed 8 of my least favourite myths and how to combat them.

Name: Daniel Olusina
University: Kent
Course: Actuarial Science 
Year: Graduated in 2015

 

1. “Monday should always be Chest day”

  • In actual fact you’ll find the squat rack is surprisingly empty on Mondays.
  • Avoid the 30minute queue for a bench and train another body part instead to avoid delays.

 

2. “Doing lots of cardio will make you toned”

  • My definition of being toned is for a person to have a physique that has a fair amount of muscle and a fairly low body fat (on average under 12% for guys 22% for girls),
  • This cannot be attained through cardio alone.
  • To achieve a more toned physique a person must be prepared to gain an adequate amount of lean muscle in a caloric surplus for an extended period of time (10 months – 1 year for example) before dieting for a period of time (around 6-8 weeks) in a caloric deficit.
  • This cycle also known as bulking and cutting will enable you to gradually become more “toned” over time.
  • It has also been known that doing multiple bulks and cuts over the years will improve the distribution of fat around the body and make your look even more toned during the bulk part of the training cycles.

 

3. “If you’re muscles aren’t completely sore the day after you haven’t worked hard enough”

  • A LOT OF PEOPLE use how sore their muscles are as an indicator of how well their previous session has gone.
  • This soreness is known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and is a result of your muscle adapting to a new exercise or routine.
  • As you continue to grow stronger, continue to do the routine more often and train that muscle group more frequently the DOMS will eventually decrease and you may end up receiving hardly any doms after your sessions.
  • Instead, a better measure of progress should be if progressive overload is being achieved each session (either in the form of slightly heavier weights, more reps or more sets).

 

4. “High volume single body splits are more optimal for muscle gains than more frequent upper lower body splits”

  • Studies have proven that our muscles are able to fully recover 72 hours after being trained
  • So after you’ve trained your chest for 16 sets on a Monday, it may have completed recovered by as early as Thursday.
  • As part of this process our muscles breaking down, repairing and growing back slightly stronger and/or bigger (muscle protein synthesis)
  • Therefore instead of training a body part to ‘death’ with high volume (16 sets for example) it may be more optimal to adjust your routine so your training that body part twice a week (more frequently) with lower volume (about 8 sets).

 

Daniel1

5. “The mandatory 30 minute anabolic window post workout shake”

  • It’s widely believed that you should consume a post workout meal/shake within 30 minutes of your session ending to reap optimal muscle gains.
  • However unless you’re an endurance runner doing multiple glycogen depleting events in a day then there is no rush to rapidly replenish glycogen levels post workout.
  • The average routine does not deplete glycogen levels to an extreme amount and therefore there is no need for urgent replenishment.
  • Studies have shown if you’ve had a meal prior to workout then depending on the size of the meal, the meal could still be being digested and amino acids being released throughout and after your workout.
  • So don’t be in a rush to neck that post workout shake!

 

6. “whey protein is a must to building muscle and strength”

  • Supplements are called supplements as they aid to us building muscle and strength but they are not mandatory.
  • Whey protein is an easier way of consuming protein in your diet if you are struggling to consume enough protein across your daily meals
  • It can get quite expensive on the student budget to hit your protein targets from ‘whole’ foods such as chicken, mince, tuna etc… Which is where Whey protein can come in!
  • It may be a cheaper option to have a shake that has 30g of impact whey protein instead which will has roughly the same amount of protein as 100 grams of diced chicken.

 

7. “If you’re not working up a sweat you’re not working hard enough”

  • Sweating is not necessarily an indicator of exertion.
  • Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down.
  • It is possible to burn a significant amount of calories without breaking a sweat.

 

8. “Constantly pyramiding up to a one rep max builds strength and muscle”

  • Pyramiding up to a heavy set allows you train at many rep ranges which may allow you to build strength and muscle in the short term
  • However, all that is happening is that you are merely testing your max reps at each chosen amount of weight… Which may not be optimal for reaching your goals!
  • A more optimal way of training would be to train at a certain percentage of your 1 rep max using given sets and reps and slightly increase either the weight, reps or sets each session (progressive overload)
  • This will allow more volume to be achieved each session and thus allow you to become stronger in the given exercise.

 

 

Daniel2

Daniel Olusina
Instagram @danielolusina
Twitter @danielolusina
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

societyawardsdinner

MASS Society Awards Winners

The annual society awards dinner went down a treat, literally. No one was holding back as celebrated an amazing year by super-setting meal after meal, noodles with chicken with cheesecake with chocolate fudge to name a few. Many reached failure early on, but determined to reach the end we incorporate rest pause, drop sets and other techniques into the workout to get the last drops of ice cream down the tank.

 

MASSAwards (2 of 38)

Things got emotional in the awards ceremony as David Bissell pulled out some unrehearsed superstar speeches before he was bicep curled by our female athlete of the year, Cari Davies. Cardiff University took the most prestigious award of society of the year for oustanding achievements that were illustrated in a 7,000 word nomination form. A couple of the Cardiff team (who shall remain unnamed) then proceeded to knock back their beverages and provide the nights entertainment as we hit Leicester town.

 

MASSAwards (22 of 38)

Thanks to everyone who travelled from far and wide to be at the awards and thanks to all of the awards sponsors for providing £1000 worth of prizes.

We proudly present to you your 2015 MASS Society awards winners…

 

Society of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society. Sponsored by Log it or Lose it.

Shortlist:

  • Loughborough University
  • University of Leicester
  • Cardiff University

Awarded to:

Cardiff University

 

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president. Sponsored by Protein Dynamix

  • Sam White, University of Leicester
  • Shaun Howell, Cardiff University
  • Adam James, Exeter University

Awarded to:

Sam White, University of Leicester

 

MASS Games University Champions

Awarding the highest scoring University in the MASS Games. Sponsored by Log it or Lose it.

Awarded to:

Loughborough University

Runners up: Cardiff University, Bournemouth University

 

Male Student Athlete of the Year

Awarding the highest scoring male athlete in the MASS Games. Sponsored by Frontline Fitness.

Awarded to:

Zib Atkins, Northampton University

Runner up: Will Harding

 

Female Student Athlete of the Year

Awarding the highest scoring female athlete in the MASS Games. Sponsored by Frontline Fitness.

Awarded to:

Cari Davies, Cardiff University

Runner up: Catherine Smith

 

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee. Sponsored by Coconoil.

  • University of Exeter
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Reading

Awarded to:

University of Reading

 

Event of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society event. Sponsored by Muscle Treats.

  • ‘Stand up for War Children’, Charity event, Cardiff University
  • Max Bench Press Competition, University of Bristol
  • Zyzz Themed social, Loughborough University

Awarded to:

‘Stand up for War Children’, Charity event, Cardiff University

 

Collaboration of the year

To recognise the most outstanding collaboration between two societies. Sponsored by Nutripak.

  • USN Seminar, Leicester University and DeMontfort University
  • BodyPower Trip, University of Bristol and Oxford Brookes University

Awarded to:

BodyPower Trip, University of Bristol and Oxford Brookes University

 

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society. Sponsored by Shakesphere.

  • University of Reading
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Bristol

Awarded to:

University of Bristol

 

StudyFit writer of the year

To recognise the most creative and hard working StudyFit writer. Sponsored by Branded Ego.

  • Emma Pudge, University of Exeter
  • Shaun Howell, Cardiff University
  • Adam James, University of Exeter

Awarded to:

Emma Pudge, University of Exeter

 

Club member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring club member.

  • Paul Wilson, University of Leicester
  • Philippe Rodriquez, Loughborough University
  • Nicolo Bertoncello, Cardiff University

Awarded to:

Paul Wilson, University of Leciester

 

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

  • Will Harding, Loughborough University
  • David Crole, Cardiff University
  • Chris Langford, Oxford Brookes University

Awarded to:

Will Harding, Loughborough University

 

Alumni of the year

To award the alumni who has shown the most dedication to helping MASS’s development.

  • Chuk Uzowuru
  • Stephen Olagoke
  • Sarah Catford

Awarded to:

Chuk Uzowuru

 

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

  • The Warehouse Gym, Leicester
  • Loughborough Powerbase Gym
  • Strength & Conditioning Centre, Cardiff University Sport

Awarded to:

The Warehouse Gym, Leicester

 

Sponsor of the year

To recognise our most dedicated sponsor/advertiser

  • USN – Ultimate Sponsors Nutrition
  • BodyPower
  • GymShark

Awarded to:

USN – Ultimate Sports Nutrition

 

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

  • Leicester Union
  • Cardiff Athletic Union
  • UEA Students Union

Awarded to:

Leicester Union

 

Media Contributor

To recognise the most supportive media outlet

  • LUST – Leicester University Student Television
  • STTV – Sean Thompson Television
  • The Tab

Awarded to:

LUST – Leicester University Student Television

 

MASS Society Awards 2015

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

shoppingonastudentbudget

Shopping on a Student Budget

Shopping on a student budget is all about common sense. It’s very simple. The key is organisation and sacrifice. Being smart and thinking before you act. Planning ahead in order to not find yourself with an empty fridge. Don’t give into peer pressure, just because the house is ordering a pizza it doesn’t mean you have to get involved…. Leave them to munch their circle of grease in front of the TV while you snack have a bowl of Greek yoghurt and nuts as you get tomorrow’s assignment done. Prioritise quality food over expensive spirits and ‘procrastination foods’ and you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself. There is a choice here between buying her a drink at vodka revolution or seducing her with a salmon tagliatelle, for less that £10.

Food

To make shopping more cost-effective, organise your groceries into three categories. Fruit and veg, meat and the rest (whole grains, rice, oils, dried fruit, nuts, dairy)

  • Fruit and veg; Find a local market, where everything is usually ‘‘a pound a bowl’’. You’ll get x3 more bang for your buck at a market than in the supermarket. Markets are also great for bargaining quality fresh herbs such as mint, coriander, thyme, garlic, onion and lemons that are all expensive in the grocery stores. If you use these everyday in your cooking, buying them individually can equate over time. A trick is to go in the last hour of the day where you can definitely bargain for a buck!
  • Meats; If you have a few keen gym buddies or house mates, save money by going to the quality local butcher as a group, you’ll be surprised how much discount the butchers will offer if you buy a large amount of meat. By all chipping into a big order of chicken breast you’ll get that price per kg right down. Even if you buy in bulk on your own 9 times out of 10 it’ll still workout as better value for money than the supermarket. Similarly to meat, your local fishmonger will have great quality and variety of seafood. There are always plenty of offers in the fishmonger. Buying whole fish is cheaper, and the guy wearing the silly hat will always clean and cut the fish for you. Become a regular and take your friends, and watch the loyalty discount appear! Make sure to freeze the excess, as you don’t want to confuse the flatmates with an organised but reeking fridge.
  • The Rest; Aldi is King! It is excellent quality and value for money. If you don’t have an Aldi near you then look for the nearest value supermarket. Buy the supermarkets own brand of dairy and the largest containers you can carry of the stuff that doesn’t go off. Alternatively, Amazon can be a great shout for buying large bulk bags of rice, nuts, dried fruits and the like and as it’s delivered it saves you from a torturous journey home carrying it all on your back!

Nutritious food doesn’t have to taste plain, adding flavour and variety to meals is simple. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the huge selection of fresh herbs and good quality spices that are available. Buy a few healthy carb sources such as basmati rice, wholemeal pasta and couscous in bulk and use them interchangeably. Have meat sources that you use continuously then save room to vary one or two meals week by week.

Other than fresh fruit and veg which should be bought at least once a week, the idea is to bulk bulk bulk and occasionally, treat yourselves to a 13 oz. steak or a pound of king prawns, be it for your own pleasure or to keep your mum happy when she comes to visit. Start taking advantage of the loan drop at the beginning of term to invest bulk, this will A) mean you never run out of chicken, and B) give you a well needed newsflash that you can’t spunk all of your cash on fresher’s week club nights.

Sports Supplements

You should consider a few points before clicking buy in your shopping cart! There is no need for a drastic shelf of supplements if you eat a balanced macro and micro rich diet. Avoid buying the latest mind-busting, vein popping, pump surging pre-workout every month and instead prioritize the core essentials. To help you on your way to making the right choices here’s our top student sports supplements;

  • Milk based proteins (Whey/casein); Good quality milk proteins are rich in essential amino acids (EAAS) and also posses many immune boosting effects. They also contain the greatest density of leucine, which is related to as the protein synthesis trigger. 2-3 g of Leucine is vital for triggering muscle protein synthesis. Whey is the faster digesting out of the two and due to its higher leucine content is a preferred choice for athletes to potently stimulate muscle protein synthesis during rest and post exercise.
  • Caffeine – Caffeine, a naturally occurring timethyxanthine, is the most widely used drug in the world. It is a very effective at stimulating the central nervous system (CNS). Caffeine has been shown to successfully increase performance during endurance, power and strength exercises as well as helping you burn fat cells. Even though studies have shown marginal performance enhancing improvements; the placebo of drinking a strong coffee does work wonders. Now, there is no need to waste money every day on Starbucks! Whether it comes from a good quality instant coffee or those tablets we take before exams, caffeine is a winner!
  • Creatine – One of the most widely studied supplements, creatine is found naturally in red meat and herring. Creatine has been shown to increase energy and speed up recovery and its use can lead to increased strength and lean muscle mass. In terms of it’s loading protocol, loading of 15-20g for the first 5-7 days and then a single 3-7g pulse post workout will be sufficient. Creatine monohydrate is the best form to take and is cheaper than other, ‘’improved formulas’’ that keep appearing on the market. A good tip is to mix it with lukewarm water to increase solubility. There is no reason why you should not be taking creatine, it is not dangerous at all and can add some great spark to your training!
  • Fish oils– EPA and DHA are highly unsaturated, essential fatty acids that stand for eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Yes that is mouthful! They’re called “essential” because your body can’t produce them on its own. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, tuna and of course, fish oil supplements. The omega-3 fats have been shown to turn on genes that increase fat loss and decrease fat storage, increase muscle recovery and growth, decrease inflammation, and support brain and bone health. If the thought of oily fish is off putting, then fish oils are a must!
Do men and women need different supplements?

The short answer is no. On a hormonal level, men and women differ greatly and women face some unique challenges, especially when that time of the month dawns! So, yes, if we’re talking women-specific health issues then there are health supplements, vitamins and minerals that may be of more benefit to women. But if we’re talking about general health and fitness then no, all of the supplement that men typically use will also be beneficial for women.

The take home message is that supplements do as they say on the tin, they should supplement the diet not replace it!

 

Now go forth! And be the most cost effective student shopper the world has ever seen!

 

Mo Bouaziz
www.mednutritionltd.com
Facebook: Med Nutrition
Instagram @MED.NUTRITION
Twitter @MedNutrition

 

MASS_MedNutrition

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

whatiscrossfit

What is CrossFit?

It’s the Fitness Craze that’s sweeping the nation!

If you’re already slightly confused, asking yourself… What is CrossFit? Then we’re about to confuse you even more! But keep on reading and I promise that by the end of this feature you’ll be slightly less confused! So, CrossFit is many things… Primarily, it’s a fitness regimen developed by Coach Greg Glassman over several decades. He was the first person in history to define fitness in a meaningful, measurable way. CrossFit itself is defined as that which optimizes fitness. It’s also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective!

MASS met with CrossFit expert and organiser of the Student Throwdown Andy “The Machine” Osborne to get to grips with the sport.

Andy has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years and has a wealth of sports science and fitness certifications and qualifications to his name. He is regarded as one of the leading and most respected personal trainers and fitness instructors in the country, and is Head Coach and affiliate owner of CrossFit Leicester.

What is CrossFit and why is it so effective?

“CrossFit “The Sport of Fitness” is constantly varied, functional exercise done with high-intensity. CrossFit unlike other fitness programmes covers all the elements of fitness: Strength, cardiovascular endurance, speed, power, flexibility, stamina, coordination, accuracy, agility and balance.

The CrossFit Program was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. Our athletes are trained to perform successfully at multiple, diverse, and randomized physical challenges. This fitness is demanded of military and police personnel, fire-fighters, and many sports requiring total or complete physical prowess.
Aside from the breadth and totality of fitness, our program is distinctive, if not unique, in its focus on maximising neuroendocrine response, developing power, cross-training with multiple training modalities, constant training and practise with functional movements, and the development of successful diet strategies.”

 

MASS_CrossFit1

So what sort of stuff would I do in a CrossFit workout?

“A variety of things! We train our athletes in gymnastics from rudimentary to advanced movements; garnering great capacity at controlling the body both dynamically and statically while maximising strength to weight ratio and flexibility. We also place a heavy emphasis on Olympic Weightlifting having seen this sport’s unique ability to develop an athletes’ explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns. Our athletes are trained to bike, run, swim, and row at short, middle, and long distances guaranteeing exposure and competency in each of the three main metabolic pathways. And finally we encourage and assist our athletes to explore a variety of sports as a vehicle to express and apply their fitness.”

How does a CrossFit gym differ to a regular gym or health club?

“A Crossfit gym or “box” as it’s called, has no treadmills or shiny machines, instead they contain barbells dumbbells, kettlebells, rowers, racks, rigs, jump boxes, wall balls, atlas stones, sandbags and the like. They and focus on running, rowing, skipping and bodyweight exercises. Unlike most globo gyms all of our sessions are headed by a coach to guide members through the class. A coach focus’s on good technique, good form and take the member from the basics and build’s them up from there. A good CrossFit box like CrossFit Leicester will teach members the importance of good movement patterns, good posture and being body aware.”

“At CrossFit we work exclusively with compound movements and shorter high intensity cardiovascular sessions. We’ve replaced the lateral raise with push- press, the curl with pull-ups, and the leg extension with squats. For every long distance effort our athletes will do five or six at short distance. Why? Because compound or functional movements and high intensity or anaerobic cardio is radically more effective at eliciting nearly any desired fitness result. Startlingly, this is not a matter of opinion but solid irrefutable scientific fact and yet the marginally effective old ways persist and are nearly universal. Our approach is consistent with what is practised in elite training programs associated with major university athletic teams and professional sports. CrossFit endeavours to bring state-of-the-art coaching techniques to the general public and athlete who haven’t access to current technologies, research, and coaching methods.”

 

MASS_CrossFit2

What is a ‘WOD’?

“A CrossFit workout or WOD stands for Workout of the Day and is different every day to ensure randomised varied training. A box will each have their own WOD programming that promotes a well-balanced mix of metabolic conditioning, skill development and strength conditioning. A box will typically post the WOD on their website or Facebook page, including advanced-level (‘RX’d’, meaning as prescribed) weights, reps and rounds for men and women. The coaches show athletes how to scale the WOD down or up according to varying fitness and proficiency levels of those taking the class. Here are a few WOD basics that should help you get a better understanding of what it is and how it works.”

Results Driven

“CrossFit is a results driven community and record all of their workouts so that members can track their progress.  It encourages people to step outside of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to try new things.  You don’t have to be fit to do CrossFit.  CrossFit is for everyone and by taking part it will make you fit!  The workouts are tailored to your fitness level and experience and no matter how old or young you are you will gain the benefits that CrossFit has to offer.”

CrossFit Competitions

“But It doesn’t stop there, once you’re feeling fit and in the groove of things there’s plenty of opportunities to push yourself further.  CrossFit is not only a fitness regime but a sport in its own right.  Every year CrossFit.com hold a competition in the United States to find the fittest man and woman on earth, it’s called “The CrossFit Games”, and this year the titles of fittest man and woman went to Rich Froning and Camille LeblancBazinet.  This is a worldwide competition; however you will find local CrossFit competitions run every week/month all over the UK and Europe. The Student Throwdown is the UK’s leading student competition.”

 

So there you have it, that’s CrossFit! To find your nearest box and get started go to map.crossfit.com

 

Andy Osborne
Head Coach and Affiliate Owner CrossFit Leicester and Owner of BOX HQ & Andy Osborne Fitness Personal Training Services
www.leicestercrossfit.co.uk / www.andyosbornefitness.co.uk
Facebook: CrossFit Leicester
Twitter: CrossFitLeics

 

CROSSFIT CORPORATE LOGO301213
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

bethlord

Student Throwdown Champion – Bethany Lord

Every year a CrossFit Throwdown is held to find the fittest male and female CrossFit Student in the UK. CrossFit Leicester and MASS host “The Student Throwdown” and Bethany Lord blasted her way to victory at the 2014 competition.

Name: Bethany Lord
University: University of Leicester
Course: Physiotherapy
Year of Study: Graduated in 2014

Bethany Lord is an all-round athlete to say the least, only one week before powering her way to victory at The Student Throwdown Beth competed in Ms University, a sport which requires a completely different style of training altogether! Beth’s numerous appearances in The MASS Games earned her the title of Student Athlete of the Year. StudyFit caught up with the Women’s champ, Bethany Lord, a 22 year Physiotherapy student from the University of Leicester to find out exactly how she does it all…

How did you get into CrossFit and what do you love about it?

“I’ve always enjoyed keeping fit, and so when a friend said to me that she had just been to the craziest workout ever I had to see what it was all about! Instantly, I knew this was a new door opening for me and after my week induction at CrossFit Nottingham, I was addicted! The reason i love CrossFit is that it incorporates powerlifting, Olympic lifts, gymnastics, bodyweight exercises and cardio which means that it is constantly varied and every WOD is a challenge. The adrenalin rush you get is insane and also the CrossFit community is fantastic and it welcomes all abilities!”

 

Beth2

How do you manage training with University life?

“Training is something that I look forward to doing, where I can clear my head and blow off some steam after a stressful day studying. I’m not saying it is easy, but dedication is key; I found that being able to motivate myself was very important.”

What motivates you to train?

“I love the buzz you get from training , whether it’s in the gym or at a CrossFit box. I just tell myself if I don’t train then I’m going to get out of shape, my fitness levels will drop and I know that I will be disappointed in myself. I love looking back at where I started and seeing how far I’ve come, I become more and more motivated each time I look at my progress – whether that is an increase in weights, technique improvement or learning a new movement.”

What advice would you give to students interested in starting CrossFit?

“Just pop into a free taster session at a box in your chosen city and give it a go! Remember that it’s for all abilities and everyone was a beginner once! Don’t worry about not knowing what to do – there’s always an induction to make sure you are applying the correct technique during a WOD.”

 

MASS_BethanyLord3

What are your top fitness tips?

“Train hard, eat clean and when times get tough stay passionate and think of those results you strive for, no matter what others may say.”

Beth’s favourite WOD

Cindy
  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Squats

*For as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes

What do you like to do when you’re not WODing?

“I enjoy spending time with my family, eating good food and going travelling. I recently went travelling in South East Asia.”

bethlordonstage

What are your future plans?

“I have graduated from University now and so I plan to continue training around full-time work and incorporate it with my preparation for competing in Toned Figure, women’s body building. After competing in MASS Student Physique Championship that is another passion I have recently adopted!”

Bethany Lord
Twitter @BethanyLord
Instagram @BethanyLord_

Check us out The Student Throwdown Facebook and Twitter to see what happened this year. Then get down to your local box to prepare for The Student Throwdown 2015!
Facebook: Student Throwdown
Twitter: @ST2K15

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

racheltordoff

Student Transformation – Rachael Tordoff

Name: Rachael Tordoff
University: Plymouth University
Course: Computing
Year of Study: 3rd Year

Plymouth University Computing student Rachael Tordoff, 20, transformed her body in 12 months. She took on the challenge of a lifetime when she decided ditch the PlayStation for the gym…. and this is what happened!

“I feel healthy, happy, and positive in every aspect of my life now. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”

 

MASS_RachelTordoff

“I remember the day, this time last year when I realised I had gone from trying to squeeze into a size 10 to suddenly not being able to fit into my size 14 jeans. When realising I was borderline a size 16. I decided at that point I had to change my entire lifestyle before it got worse.”

“The journey was long and bumpy, it wasn’t just about losing fat, I had to learn about myself and my body. I was never active growing up, I was the typical tv/gamer couch potato snacker and I didn’t even realised that I was doing it!

During my journey I started to enjoy the process, started believing in myself and actually thinking “I’ve got something here”, and so I decided I wanted to start competing to see how far I could push my body and my mind. Mr University was a great experience I want to shout out to the world and say you DON’T have to have a background of fitness to compete!”

 

MASS_RachaelTordoff3

Once I achieved my goal of being ‘bikini fitness ready’ I realised it was only the beginning. I am now training for an 85 mile cycling race and plan on doing a triathlon, something I never thought I would do and this is all because I realised how much I could push myself whilst preparing for the MASS Student Physique Championship.”

Rachael got through to the finals of the MASS SPC 2014 placing 4th and also won the highest public vote Award with 1,300 ‘Like’s on her photo.
Rachael Tordoff
Instagram @rachyhtordoff
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

owenhubbard

Bench Press World Record Holder – Owen Hubbard

Celebrating the end of exams just found whole new meaning, recent Bournemouth University graduate Owen Hubbard left the partying to the rest of us as he flew out to South Africa to set the Junior World Record in the Bench Press! Just 1 hour after the final exam of his entire degree Owen boarded a plane to the IPF World Classics where at only 21 years of age and 83kg in bodyweight he bench pressed a staggering 190.5 kilograms…. That’s like three times the weight of Mo Farah holding a watermelon! As well as ginormous bench Owen can Squat 257.5kg and Deadlift 265kg giving him a combined powerlifting total of 705kg…… lightweight baby?! StudyFit caught up with the student power lifter, originally from Merthyr Tydfil, to find out more about him, how he built such strength while at University and what his future plans are. Naturally, there was only one question to open with.

You’re one of the UK’s strongest students! What’s that like?

“It’s not really something I think about too much, but it’s nice to be reminded from time to time! The great thing about powerlifting is that you can always get stronger, so I haven’t finished achieving yet.”

How and why did you start Powerlifting? How long has it taken you to build your strength?

“I started Powerlifting at quite a young age, around 15. As a younger child I was a bit of a fat kid sitting at 11 stone, aged 11. So to combat this I joined the local gym which was a real chalk, meat heads and rusty bars type gym. This environment introduced me to weight training pretty early on and through this style of training I ended up losing quite a bit of weight and getting down to around 8% body fat. Then I did what quite a lot of gym goers do, and became complacent. Luckily there were a few guys in the gym, who competed in powerlifting. I’d seen them gym shifting these massive weight and thought yeah, I wanna be able to do that! So I jumped in at the deep end, and 2 months later I was in my first comp totalling around 360kg in the 75kg class. From there I caught the bug and never looked back.”

Where do you train and do you train by yourself or with others?

“Throughout my time at Bournemouth University I’ve been fortunate enough to train with a powersports club, Bournemouth Barbell. This is run by a terrific coach, Paul Rees, who has helped me since my first year of University. It’s safe to say that without him I wouldn’t be where I am now. He creates a good lifting environment with other likeminded lifters which, I believe, is paramount to success.”

 

MASS_OwenHubbard2

How have you learned what works for you and what doesn’t?

“It’s a lot of trial and error. I train with my coach, Paul, 3 times a week but the rest of the week I train on my own due to work commitments. Over the years I have picked up a lot of things that I know works for me in both my nutrition and training. After every training cycle I review and adapt to what suits my needs at that particular moment in time. By doing this you can work on weaknesses and build on strengths!”

Which body parts do you find toughest to work on?

“I wouldn’t say there was a body part that I find toughest to work but there is an exercise for sure….. I HATE deadlifts! Probably because they are my weakest lift by far. But all I can do is keep working at it as much as possible until it gets better. I blame my short arms…” Weakest lift? You lift 265kg! Make the rest of us feel small why don’t you Owen.

What type of diet do you follow?

“This is an aspect of my training that I’ve done a lot of experimenting with in the past and I’ve finally got to a point where I can keep my performance up as well as maintaining my body weight around 83kg. This is very important for a power lifter who has to stay at a particular weight for his or her category. I usually train each day at around 5pm. Before I training my meals are mostly high fat, high protein (around a 50:50 ratio) with no carbs. Post workout this is where I introduce carbohydrates into my diet, around 150/200g altogether… depending on how hard the session has been! Over the years I’ve found I don’t really hit the higher rep ranges enough to warrant a ridiculously high carbohydrate intake throughout the day. Carbs just tend to make me sluggish for lifting more than anything. This is what works for me!”

What is the IPF and what was it like competing in the IPF so close to your final exams?

“The IPF is the International Powerlifting Federation and is the largest drug tested federation in the sport of Powerlifting. I was fortunate enough to compete in their World Classic Powerlifting Championships in South Africa in June this year. Competing there was pretty stressful considering my last Uni exam was the same day as my flight out to South Africa! My social life suffered a little leading up to the competition as I spent early mornings in the library so that I had enough time to train in the evenings. I’m glad I had the opportunity to lift out there and it was definitely worth the stress leading up to the competition!”

 

MASS_OwenHubbard3

How do you motivate yourself to train and eat clean?

“For me this is easy. I want to be the best and I know if don’t do it, someone else will. I have the ambition to become a World Champion and I know that’s not going to happen unless I’m training as hard as I can all the time.”

What tips have you for others who want to take up Powerlifting?

“The Great Britain Powerlifting Federation (GBPF) website is a good place to start or see if your University have a club, learn the rules and compete! Powerlifting is such a welcoming sport and that’s what got me hooked in the first place. I was a 15 year old boy with no idea what I was doing in my first competition and I was welcomed and supported by the other guys at my gym who had been lifting for years!”

What would you say is the key to managing training and diet as a student?

“Diet is preparation for sure. For the last few months of my degree I lived out of Tupperware in the library shovelling mackerel salad down my throat. I was probably the last person you would want to sit next to but it’s got to be done!

Training is similar and you get out of your training what you put into it. If I wasn’t too far away from a competition I would socialise and go on nights out without a problem, but I would do it strategically. Basically never go out the night before a heavy squat session as that hangover is just going to make it a write off! Bench on the other hand, your lying down so it’s not too bad!”

What do you like to do when you’re not lifting?

“Obviously the occasional night out never hurt anyone. Also I’m a bit of a secret nerd inside too so I love my gaming and anything do to with superheroes. Sad I know… “

What are your future plans?

“I’ve graduated from Bournemouth University now with a 2:1 in nutrition and am personal training out of 180 degrees gym in Sandbanks. It’s a nice place to be, training people on the beach!

Competition wise I have a bit of a break now until the British Classics in October held in Dover, so I’m training for some big numbers there.”

 

MASS_OwenHubbard4

Owen’s Training Regime

Training can vary depending on how far away from a competition I am. The closer to a competition I am the heavier the weights and my session become more intense and focused on the main three lifts; squat, bench and deadlift. On the other hand, the further away from a competition I incorporate more variance, assistance and repetitions.

Typically leading up to competition my training consists of the following;

Monday – Squats
  • Squats – 8 sets x 6 reps (preceded by at least 2 warm up sets)
  • Tuesday – Assistance Bench
  • Barbell floor press – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Overhead press – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Weighted dips – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Bench press (speed work) – 10 sets x 3 reps (explosive)
  • Abdominal roll outs – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Weighted sit ups (on a decline bench) – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Finish with foam rolling and mobility work
Wednesday – Deadlifts
  • Deadlifts – 10 sets x 2 reps (building the weight up)
  • Deficit or block pull deadlifts – 6 sets x 3 reps
  • Weighted chin ups – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Weighted side bends – 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Thursday – Bench
  • Bench Press – 8 sets of 6 reps (preceded by at least 2 warm up sets)
  • ‘Board’ or ‘chains’ Bench Press – 5 sets x 3 reps
  • Friday – Assistance work/active recovery
  • Bent-over rows – 3 sets x 10 reps (concentrating on technique and squeezing the scapula together)
  • Wide grip chin ups – 3 sets x 10 reps superset with Lateral raise – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell curls – 100 reps in as little amount of sets as possible
  • Abdominal roll outs – 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Weighted sit ups (on a decline bench) – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Finish with 20/30 minutes of foam rolling
  • Saturday – Deadlifts and squats
  • Deadlifts – 5 x 5’s
  • Deficits speed deadlifts – 3 x 5’s
  • Squats – 5 x 5’s
  • Heavy bent over rows – 3 x 5’s
  • Weighted sit ups – 3 x 20’s
  • Glute ham raise – 2 x 20’s
  • Back raises – 2 x 20’s
Sunday – Bench

Similar session to Thursday’s but usually a little lighter and stricter. This means incorporating paused bench into the session. Paused bench involved a 1 second pause at the bottom of the rep before pressing the bar; this is how the bench press is performed in powerlifting. When training I usually pause the first and last repetition.

Owen’s titles
  • Commonwealth Champion 2010
  • British Classic Champion 2013
  • British Equipped Champion 2014
  • Junior World Record Holder in the Bench Press @ 83kg (190.5kg)
  • British classic record holder for both the junior and senior
Owen Hubbard
www.owenhubbardfitness.com
Twitter – @Hubbardfitness
Facebook – Owen Hubbard Strength and Fitness
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

mattsallis

Training: Back to the Basics with Matt Sallis

The common mistake that beginner, and sometimes even experienced, lifters make is overthinking or overcomplicating their training. For a successful and easily tracked progressive plan it is a simple matter of manipulating the basic variables

 

Name: Matt Sallis
University: St Mary’s
Course: Strength & Conditioning
Year of Study: 3rd

The Basics

  • Compound exercises – a multi-joint/multi-muscle group exercise
  • Isolation exercises – a single-joint/single-muscle group exercise
  • Sets – a group of reps
  • Concentric – the lifting portion of the exercise
  • Eccentric – the returning/lowering portion of the exercise
  • Intensity – the weight at which the exercise is performed
  • Reps – ‘repetition’, one rep represents one complete movement of the exercise in question. Lower rep ranges, 1-6, tend to produce muscular strength gains. Rep range 6-12 tend to produce hypertrophic (muscular growth) gains, and higher rep ranges 15+ produce muscular endurance gains. Though specific rep ranges target different goals, this is an inter-relationship spectrum.
  • Tempo – the rate/speed in seconds at which the lift is performed. Tempo can be used to differentiate training. Quicker performing reps aim to produce speed and therefore muscular power, whilst slower performing reps are aimed at increasing time-under-tension (TUT) and therefore growth. For example, a tempo of 1-0-4-0 represents the speed in seconds of each part of the lift and can be read as LIFT-NO PAUSE-RETURN-NO PAUSE (in seconds).
  • Rest intervals – the amount of rest time given between sets. Rest periods can vary and is dependent on your goal. When training for strength rest times between 2-5mins are employed to enable the lifter to recover enough to perform again at the same capacity – also the case when Power is the goal. Shorter rest times between sets, 5-90 seconds, are used to induce metabolic fatigue/lactate build up within the muscle and employed when muscle growth is your goal. Though specific rest times are designed for different goals, it is an inter-relationship spectrum.
  • Steady State Cardio – low intensity cardio usually set around <75% MHR (maximum heart rate) and for longer periods of time. It uses predominantly type1 muscle fibres (muscular endurance fibres) and some type2 and tends to be most people’s choice for targeted fat loss.
  • HIIT Cardio – High Intensity Interval Training – short bursts of intense work followed by an active recovery. Performed in shorter periods but at >75% MHR depending on ability, fitness and goal. Employs type 2a and 2x muscle fibres, spares muscle wastage and although isn’t as effective at acutely utilising fat stores for fuel it has a prolonged fat-burning effect thereafter.

 

 

image

There are a number of factors to take into account when planning your training, the key is sticking to the basics and arranging them so that everything plays a part in working towards your goal. To help you on your way to your ideal body it’s imperative to think about these things

Planning your attack

  1. What is your goal?! Do you want to compete!? Or add 20kg onto your bench press?! Be as specific as you can.
  2. How many times a week can you train? From this you can determine your training split, you want to be hitting all muscle groups ATLEAST once a week.
  3. When would you like to achieve your goal by? This will determine the number of phases your overall plan will consist of.
  4. Do you have weak parts you need to work on? Generally you’ll want to hit these with more volume, or with specific exercises.
  5. What is your training environment? Be sure to plan your sessions so that you can actually perform them, go check your gym out first and take note of what equipment it is. This will come in handy when that times come to change things up.
  6. Choose a mixture of exercises. Generally I choose 1-2 compound exercises, and 2-4 isolation exercises for each muscle group. Sessions should start with compound movements and move into isolation work.
  7. Know your numbers! Set rep ranges, numbers of sets and rest times, which will be dependent on your goal.
  8. Plan your attack! Once you have these basics set in stone you can then go as far as to use EXCEL to plan your attack. Use each column as a new week, and the rows as an exercise – from there you can input/plan your progressions over the weeks. Alternatively there are mobile Apps that can do this.

Once and only once you’ve mastered being CONSISTENT with the above then it’s time to look at ways of upping the ante with Intensity ramping, plateau busting methods….. click here for Matt Sallis’ Plateau busting training methods

Matt Sallis
www.mattsallis.co.uk
Instagram @mattsallis3
Twitter @matt_sallis
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

americanfootball

Being The Best: American Football Exclusive with Adam Hope

What does it take to be the best? Genetics, skill, dedication, training, practice – All of those. However, I always remember the saying “hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard”….

 

Know your Nutrition

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for nutrition, the demands of each position require different nutritional goals. For example, the diet of a 290lb Lineman will be much different to that of a 170lb Defensive Back. However, I would firstly suggest eating enough calories to suit your training needs; you cannot perform if you’re not properly fuelled. Secondly, eating high quality food sources and avoiding processed foods – you wouldn’t put poor quality fuel in a race car. Finally I would stress the importance of post workout refuelling; simple carbohydrates and protein in a 3:1 ratio. My diet typically played around with carb cycling, where I would consume a larger proportion of carbs (mainly starches) on higher intensity training days. I tried to eat well but also within the constraints of a student budget; this involved a lot of eggs, milk, rice and beef and Peanut Butter.

If I was to recommend supplements I would suggest Creatine, ZMA and vitamin D.

 

 

IMG_8287

Train by Season

  • Off-season training: is about looking at your weaknesses and improving them. This should include working on the movements involved in the game and perhaps improving your strength, speed, fat loss or weight gain. It all depends on the individual, but simply put, it is a time where you can focus a great deal of time on physical improvement.
  • Pre-season training: should taper towards the specific requirements of your sport. So for me this was typically improving my footwork agility and power endurance. You want to be prepared for the upcoming season to hit your first game at full speed.
  • In-season training: for me this focuses on skill development, and strength maintenance. I typically drop to sub-maximal training, and remove speed work as this is covered in practice and during games (extremely taxing on the CNS). For guys who may not see a lot of game time, you can add more training sessions in to help improve your weaknesses. I typically switch to full body training and incorporate relevant shoulder and hip mobility work.

 

 

MASS_BeingTheBest3

Train Sport Specific

The biggest mistake I see is players training like a bodybuilder. If bodybuilding made you a better player, then all bodybuilders would play in the NFL. Performance is totally different to Aesthetics. Look at the movements of the sport, look at the performance requirements of the sport, and incorporate them in your training. The commonly used ‘3 sets of 10 reps’ isn’t the best for American Football!

Adam’s Top 5 Exercises for Sports Performance
  • Push ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Medicine ball throws
  • Hill Sprints
  • Single leg Split squats

 

Adam Hope
Twitter @AdamHopeTweets
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

americanfootball2

American Football… In the UK!

MASS spoke to MASS SPC 2014 Athletic winner and GB American Football player Adam Hope.

Name: Adam Hope
University: Nottingham Trent
Course: Building Surveying Msc
Year of Study: Graduated in 2014

More and more students at University are getting into American Football, and with its recent introduction to BUCS (British Universities College Sports) it’s more important than ever that players are exploding over the touchline and bringing the point’s home for their University. MASS spoke to MASS SPC 2014 Athletic winner and GB American Football player Adam Hope to find out all about what American Football has done for him.

The sport of American Football has taught me much about myself and has instilled traits that I will carry forward to other aspects of my life. Dedication, perseverance, attitude, commitment, effort and success are just a few of the qualities that you’ll learn! Not only have I (and many others) developed these traits but I have done so whilst having extremely great fun and making some life-long friends from multiple countries. American Football at University level is a must. It is a sport that rewards effort and commitment, where rewards are earned not given; for me, this is the thrill. I would encourage everyone to try it and stick at it for at least a year.

 “Getting involved in American Football at University was one of the greatest decisions I have made in my life.”

 

Great Britain

Community

MASS_AdamHope

Playing football at University brought me a whole new circle of friends – far bigger than I’d ever imagine. There is a great community amongst American

Footballers, from all teams, across the

globe and being part of American Football has allowed me to make great friends from all across the UK and USA, it’s really quite amazing.

Its allowed me to travel to Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, and the USA and make some great connections along the way. Events such as team socials, long journeys

to away games (always the best), play-off football, end of season meals, tours and exhibition games have added all given me some great memories I will never forget.I love it so much because of the rush of adrenaline you get when you make big play, lay a huge hit, truck an opponent, or score a vital Touchdown in the dying seconds. It’s a sport where all players can make an impact and can change the tempo of the game in one single play.

Finding the time

Having the time to be an American Football player as part of your University life all comes down to time management and priorities. Some people prioritise FIFA and drinking, others don’t. I find training and playing extremely enjoyable, and it’s great to give my mind a rest from studying. It may seem like a lot of time to commit but the rewards really are worth it. Quite simply, you make time, you learn to make the most of what you have and in fact become far more productive.

 

MASS_AdamHope3

Where it all Began

I first was introduced to American Football about 6 months before I was set to start University, through a friend for my hometown Youth team; Sheffield Tomahawks. As a scrawny 70kg lad I wasn’t the biggest, but I was quick. As such I was selected to play Running Back (RB). After a summer playing this position I decided to continue the sport at Loughborough University and ended up as the starting Running Back for 4 years. During my Freshman year I started off playing a combination of Slot Receiver and Running Back – quick, yet not big enough to carry the full load running the ball. I sharply realised I needed to add more size and with some help to my training and nutrition I was able to add approximately 15kg in my first year. Ever since then I have honed my position as a work-horse Running Back. All in all, I have been playing for 6 years now and still love the sport.

 

Adam Hope

Achievements

My highest achievement as a player has to be representing Great Britain in both their Senior team and Student team, and scoring in both tournaments. Representing the senior GB team has to be the greatest, as it took the greatest amount of work. I was first invited to a trial for the GB Lions in 2010, weeks before the European Championships in Frankfurt. I didn’t make the cut, and I promised myself that next time round I’d be selected. It took a hell of a lot of work to make the next team, and at times I questioned whether the effort was really worth it, but standing on the field in Milan under the flood lights with 3000 fans watching and hearing the national anthem play was such an immense and proud feeling that confirmed it was all worthwhile. Other achievements I am proud of have been winning the League’s Most Valuable Player award and receiving Full Colours from Loughborough University. Whilst I never played the sport for accolades, it is a great feeling to have your efforts recognised – and American Football is a sport that does so.

 

MASS_AdamHope1

What are you doing now?

Since graduating in June 2014 I’m in full time work and am currently awaiting details for the next GB tournament, I hope to make the team once again!

 

Thanks for sharing your story with us Adam. From all of the team here at MASS we’d like to wish you a MASSive good luck with all your future endeavors!

 

If this article has inspired you to start playing then wait no more… get onto your SU website now, call up your Uni’s American Football team and get down to the next training session!
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More