The basics – How old are you? Which university do you go to and what do you study?
I am 20 years old, studying Bsc Biotechnology with enterprise (IND), to put in layman terms it is basically science and business in one course, my two favourite aspects of life.
How did you get into fitness?
I have been training for three and a half years on and off, but recently I have been more consistent. How did I get into fitness … that’s a good question. Initially I despised the idea of training at the gym, I genuinely believed this was something only people with no social life did. I have always been a sporty individual; football, athletics, all of that. The only time I went to the gym was as part of PE classes back in high school. I had a mate who went to the gym consistently around this time and I just used to laugh to myself thinking what was he doing. It was second year of college when I had more time on my hands I started going to the gym really. At this point, a few of my close mate had gained some serious size from gym and it was like with great size comes huge respect. Everyone treated them with more respect, people would refer to me as their mate rather than my actual name; a bit disrespectful to be honest. I went to the gym once with these huge mates of mine and struggled with 7.5kg either side on the bench press and they laughed at me after helping me up. That just sparked fire in me really, I said to myself enough is enough. I paid for my first ever gym membership and started going after college; I had no knowledge and just copied what others were doing. I must have been doing it right or copying right should I say because compliments started flying my way. It was when I got to university I did more self-education and trained with the friend of mine I used to think had no life. Then my interest in fitness grew and there has been no going back since. I train for me now, to look good.
What made you want to compete?
I decided to compete in February, again from friends influence and one day I looked more into it and started thinking more about it and thought to myself why not. I have nothing to lose, plus it will be a challenge to myself and the first time I will be judged on my physique. A good experience and overview into what the industry is like; plus, the first time I will ever get tanned in my life.
Watching videos of bodybuilding competition just grew my interest in it more, I wanted to get a taste of that prep life and challenge my physique and taste buds.
How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?
This would be my first ever competition aside from one within myself. I am feeling slightly nervous though excited at the same time. Nervous, because I am basically wearing next to nothing and showing off my physique for it to be judged, but excited as it is a challenge. I have just been going to the gym for myself really, without any other goal, but with this competition it allowed me to set myself a challenge and work towards it.
What is your training like during prep?
My training has not changed much. Because of my daily activities I always train late evening from like 6pm, and the week goes as follows:
Monday – Legs
- Stretch, Squats warm up with the bar, then 60kg.
- Then move on to working 5 sets in total which range progressively from 100kg-180kg and total of 35-40 reps.
Then I go for a one rep max and drop the weight down back to 100kg and do sumo squats with resistance bands for 10 reps. Finish of with 60kg deep squats until failure.
- Leg Press – Warm up, Wide foot 10 reps supersets with close foot 10 reps.
- Donkey calf raises – 5 sets of each then on the 6th set I do a drop set till failure
- Smith machine – Lunges 3 sets 10 reps on each leg, 4th set I do a slow negative until failure close foot squat (not sure on the technical name)
- DB Straight leg deadlift with 50 kg 4 sets, 10 reps each
- Leg extension – Start off heavy then do a drop set with lighter weight on each leg. Usually a total of 5 sets 10 reps on heavy, 10 reps on each leg on lighter weight. If I am training with a friend I tell them to try pushing the extension down on me whilst I try to resist and hold the push. I do this for finishers
- Leg Curls – Drop set on each leg, 4 sets 10 reps each
Tuesday – Chest
- Warm up – pull ups 4 sets 10 reps, push up 3 sets 10 reps
- Flat Bench press – warm up, then total of 6 sets, reps ranging from 5-10 depending on weight. All superset with DB lower chest raise 10 reps. Add an extra set doing reverse grip bench press till failure
- Incline bench press – 4 sets 6-10 reps depending on weight, all superset with DB push ups
- Machine fly’s – 4 sets 10 reps focussing on the squeeze, then single arm machine flys 3 sets of 10 reps
Standing cable cross overs – 4-5 sets, 10 reps each alternating the weight
- Lower cable cross over – 4 sets of 10 reps
(I alternate this weekly, so following week I would do DB flat bench press and Incline press. Starting off with incline drop set on each level of the inclination on the bench all the way down till its flat, then a drop set on flat bench press as well. Followed by DB flys 4 sets 10 reps and DB Bents arm Pull over 3 sets 10 reps, again focussing on the squeeze. Then machines chest press 4 sets 10 reps)
Wednesday – Shoulders
- Warm up
- Standing military raises – 4 sets 10 reps, followed by behind the neck presses 4 sets 10 reps
- Seated Shoulder press – 4 sets 10 reps
- Arnold press – 3 sets 10 reps
- Standing Lateral raises – 4 sets 10 reps
- Rear lateral raises super set with BB up right row wide and close gripe 4 sets 10 reps each
- Shrugs – BB or DB depending on how I am feeling
- Face pulls – 4 sets 10 reps
- Cable cross over – 4 sets 10 reps then drop weight and go till failure on last set
- Cable single arm raises – 3 different angles 10 reps each way so total of 30 reps per set and 3 sets in total.
Thursday – Back (my absolute favourite)
- Warm up
- Pull ups – 50 reps different variations superset with dips
- Deadlifts – warm up then move to working sets 200-210 – 5 sets of 5 and sometimes I go heavier, then drop weight down to 150/160 and do pause reps 3 sets 6 reps
- BB bent over under arm rows – 4 sets 10 reps
- BB bent over, over arm rows – 4 sets 10 reps
- Single arm RB rows – 4 sets 10 reps on each arm
- T-Bar rows – 4 sets 10 reps
- Lat pull downs – 4 set 10 reps followed by under arm close grip 4 sets 10 reps
- Low pulley rows – 4 sets 10 reps
- Machine lat pull down – 4 sets 10 reps
- Machine rows – 6 sets 10 reps and on last set 5 random weights 10 reps non-stop
Friday – Arms
- Tricep pull downs – 10 sets 10 reps
- Curls – 10 sets 10 reps
- EZ bar curl with fat gripz superset with DB tricep extension – 5 sets 10 reps on the extension last set is a drop set
- Tricep gauntlet – 4 sets with 6, 8, 10, 12 and failure on each DB
- Seated DB curls superset with tricep push ups – 4 sets 10 reps
- Spider curls – 4 sets 10 reps
- Tricep cable extension – 4 sets 10 reps
- Drag curls – 3 sets 10 reps
- Finisher – cable bicep curls till failure
4 out of 5 days I do cardio incline walk for 45 mins
On Saturday I do fasted cardio in the morning the train calves and abs in the evening
What is your diet like during prep?
Diet has been the main one for me during prep as I lived off the mantra of eating big to get big so I just ate a lot. But during prep I’m having around 2000 calories split out as follows
- 100g Oats and 5 boiled eggs (3 without yolk 2 with yolk) 9am
- Lunch 1 –Mixed Vegetables 180g, Chicken breast 100g, 12:30pm
- Lunch 2 –Mixed Veg 180g, Chicken breast 100g, Sweet Potato 50g (Pre-workout) 5pm
- Lunch 3 – Mixed Veg 180g, Chicken breast 100g, Sweet Potato 50g(Post workout) 8pm
- Mixed Veg 100g, 2 boiled eggs
- Cashew and almond nuts 46g
- Whey protein 1 scoop
I don’t measure water I just drink as much as I can. I alternate Sweet potato with brown rice every now and again and I have a re-feed one day a week where I just eat whatever I have been craving all week. Sometimes pizza, sometimes a proper African dish which are ridiculously carb heavy. At times I have strayed off a bit on a day and gave in to cravings, I just up my cardio for that day. All about balance.
How do you stay motivated during prep?
I have a friend who is also competing so we just keep each other motivated and I always take pictures and look at my progress. That keeps my head in the game as well. Also, a supporting girlfriend who I think enjoys this whole prep process more than I do.
How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?
I am currently on placement, so there is more of a recurring structure to my day which has its advantages and disadvantages. Its good because I know how my day will go so plan before hand, and a drawback is I get tired at times but I only have the one window a day to train so either I do or I don’t. Back at uni, I trained according to my day really. If I spent longer in the library I just went to the gym later in the day and I lived off Tesco meal deals. So, it wasn’t ideal but I always found time to get everything done. Good grades and good gains. I played some sports as well, so I maintained fitness that way too.
What are your fitness goals for the future?
My fitness goals for the future are just to get better year on year really I want a constant progression in my physique. If mass SPC goes well and I enjoy it (I already am) then I could compete in the future as well, but baby steps for now. I am just enjoying the growth in my physique and being able to advise others.
Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?
Good luck to other competitors, let’s all enjoy it and bring our A game