The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?
Elliott Patrick, 21 years old, Oxford Brookes University: Business and Management (2nd Year).
How did you get into fitness?
Fitness was a bit of an oddball for me. I never really got into it until I was about the age of 15. I wasn’t particularly interested in sport at school at the time and really had no desire of getting fit. It wasn’t until one of my friends dragged me to the gym to train with him after he spent a year asking me. He loaded up the bench press with his usual, of course, being the young man I was at the time, I gave it a go. I remember there was 70kg on the bar. I proceeded to drop the bar on my chest, of which, I then could not move, very entertaining for my friend indeed. It was at that moment I became addicted to the progression. I trained every day after that almost. My research began, through YouTube, various books and magazines. It has been a passion ever since.
What made you want to compete?
Nothing in particular, my physique wasn’t changing much at the time when I first got to University. I met the MASS group, became very good friends with them (now my housemates and I am VP of MASS here at Brookes.) The opportunity arose and I decided it would be something that was way out of my comfort zone. I thought I’d give it a shot, a new challenge and I learnt so much from it last year. With my new found knowledge, well, here I am again! Back for round 2!
How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?
This will be my second ever, once again with MASS. I feel much better than last year – I’ve retained a lot more size this time and my conditioning rivalled last years at 4 weeks out. Much better, but there is still plenty of work to do.
What is your training like during prep?
My current split is a 6 day split which just rolls over – Yes I train everyday…
I usually switch between a compound focused week and a hypertrophy based week. Mainly when I am cutting down for a comp that is the case – until I come closer to the show where it all changes to a conditioning/depletion split. If I am bulking – heavy compounds every week. My joints love it I swear! I could copy and paste my entire session for every day of each week. But there is no way you’d have enough pages in your spread!
What is your diet like during prep?
Generally I stick to a particularly organised and clean diet during prep. I like to see what my body responds well too in the gym. For example one week I may have red meat in the morning (as it raises dopamine levels). It runs well and I feel good. But occasionally it doesn’t sit well. I prefer to stick to chicken/cod in the mornings. My macros vary based on how my body is changing – if I am changing too fast – I’ll increase my intake, I am changing too slow, I lower them. Simple really! I’ve had a lot of success doing a variation of carb cycling – it’s far more harsh but does the job. For example, I’ll go super low carb one week, deplete down, and then hit a moderate week after, I fill out again and I’m leaner.
General food choices:
Protein: Rump Steak/Cod/Chicken/Turkey Mince/Tuna
Carbs: Rice/Oats/Sweet Potato/Mixed Veg
Fats: Coconut oil/Red meats/Feta Cheese/Milk
How do you stay motivated during prep?
I am thoroughly motivated by change. Change in strength, conditioning, how the muscle looks etc. To see change I have to work hard. So, I suppose it’s just that vicious cycle of wanting to better myself. Looking back to last year’s comp and looking at my photos, seeing how I’ve improved is a massive motivation – I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve achieved which I’m already super proud of.
How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?
To be honest, much better when I am on prep. I am far more organised, I get up much earlier (to go do fasted cardio) which means I start studying earlier. At three weeks out, I have no trouble waking up at 5 and getting my day started. When I’m in the off season, I am still recovering from the previous night’s food coma of trying to hit 5000 calories. It makes me lethargic unfortunately, it’s certainly not comfortable carrying round that food all day. But, you get used to it and I love my food way too much to give it up!
What are your fitness goals for the future?
Chances are I will compete again eventually, when I don’t know. But again, next off season will be a decider based on how much I improve. I really do think with the past 11 months worth of heavy training and eating I’ve gained a large amount of knowledge that is really going to better my physique within the next 5 years or so. I don’t see myself ever not training. It’s my passion. Period.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
MASS for myself has been a bit of a life saver at uni, not sure where or what I would be up to otherwise. I am not a massive fan of the going out and the getting wasted scene that uni sometimes shows up to be. I am just glad I get the chance to make time to go to the gym, with a group of lads and ladies of which share the same passion for fitness as I do. It’s really brought us all together and it’s safe to say we will be friends for life. Both in and out of the gym.