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THE 2017 MASS Student Physique Championships WINNERS

At the beginning of April we had students from across the country come together to show our judging panel how far student fitness has come. The months of prepping all became worth it once the students stepped out on stage and posed their hearts out. The talent this year was truly remarkable and the SPC is managing to improve each and every year.

The MASS SPC is all about celebrating student fitness, and this year we wanted a panel of incredible judges to score our hugely talented competitors. We had industry professionals like Team Box’s Stephen Box to MASS’s very own overall bikini champion from last year, Phoebe Hagan.

But for most competitors, the MASS SPC is never about just winning, but instead it’s an opportunity to come together with other like-minded students and enjoy the process of competing, as it could be the first of many shows for some of our competitors.

In case you missed the show and haven’t had a chance to catch up, here are your MASS 2017 winners!

FULL SCORESHEET: CLICK HERE

 

Women’s Fresher

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Isabella Gottlieb)

  • 1st Place – Isabella Gottlieb / King’s College London
  • 2nd Place – Ella Thomas / University of Bristol

Women’s Bikini Short (Up to 163cm)

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Sophie Cash)

  • 1st Place – Sophie Cash / University of Brighton
  • 2nd Place – Cecily McMillan / University of Lincoln
  • 3rd Place – Anastasia Moraites / Bournemouth University

Women’s Bikini Tall (Over 163cm)

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Isabelle Schreuder)

  • 1st Place – Isabelle Schreuder / University of Bristol
  • 2nd Place – Amanda Jones / University of Kent
  • 3rd Place – Greta Supinaite / University of East Anglia

Women’s Figure

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Roshni Sanger)

  • 1st Place – Roshni Sanger / University of Nottingham
  • 2nd Place – Victoria Onyeka / University of East Anglia

Men’s Fresher

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Josh Bailey)

  • 1st Place – Josh Bailey / Bournemouth University
  • 2nd Place – Ismael Onilearan / University of Kent
  • 3rd Place – Konrad Saja / University of Southampton

Men’s Physique Short (Up to 170cm)

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Jordan Lam)

  • 1st Place – Jordan Lam / University College London
  • 2nd Place – Philip Lorimer / University of Kent

Men’s Physique Medium (170 – 178cm)

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Moe Isa)

  • 1st Place – Moe Isa / Loughborough University
  • 2nd Place – Liam Vaulters / Southampton Solent University
  • 3rd Place – Olugbade Odumosu / University of Kent

Men’s Physique Tall (Over 178cm)

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Ben Steele-Turner)

  • 1st Place – Ben Steele-Turner / Bournemouth University
  • 2nd Place – Jordan Canepari / Bournemouth University
  • 3rd Place – Henry De Candole / University of the West of England

Men’s Classic Bodybuilding

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Del Fadipe)

  • 1st Place – Del Fadipe / University of Leeds
  • 2nd Place – Lubomba Munkuli / Oxford Brookes University
  • 3rd Place – George Morgan / Roehampton University

Men’s Physique Overall Winner

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

  • Moe Isa / Loughborough University

Women’s Bikini Overall Winner

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

  • Isabella Gottlieb / King’s College London

 

Some of our competitors were also very lucky to bag themselves a sponsorship deal with Team Box or Protein Dynamix, and for Amanada Jones – both!

 

Protein Dynamix Sponsorship Winners

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Picture Moe Isa with Kate and Brandon from Protein Dynamix)

  • Moe Isa / Loughborough University
  • Amanda Jones / University of Kent

Team Box Sponsorship Winners

 

 

MASS Student Physique Championships - April 2017

(Pictured Del Fadipe with Stephen box of Team Box)

  • Del Fadipe / University of Leeds
  • Amanda Jones / University of Kent

 

 

Congratulations to all of our winners and well done to everyone that competed, prep is never easy but they all showed that just because you’re a student, that doesn’t mean you don’t have time to stay in shape!

 

 

MASS will be keeping up with our category and sponsorship winners over summer so watch this space for more information on what they get up to over the next few months.

 

Ellie

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Tom Lin

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

Hello everyone, my name is Tom Lin, 21 years old and I study architecture at University College London. I was born and grew up in China and since I was young, I have always been passionate about all kinds of sports but I was still always the skinniest kid compared to others. Despite growing up in China and the incredible study pressure, I always wanted to live a healthy life and be stronger.

How did you get into fitness?

I came to the UK for A levels when I was 16 years old and that was when I could finally start going to the gym and becoming more and more addicted to fitness. I started to see very noticeable transformation of my body and enjoy the feeling of muscle soreness and seeing myself getting better and better each day and more importantly I became more and more confident about myself. However, with the lack of knowledge of diet, I started gaining size as well as a lot fat as well and I did a cut successfully and started becoming more careful with what I eat and nutrition became a big part of my life since then. Until now, fitness has been an indispensable part of my daily life.

 

 

 

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What made you want to compete?

Competing means a lot to me and I think it is about bringing the best version of myself. It gives me a goal to work towards and keep pushing myself harder and I also want to inspire others, especially Chinese students whose life is about constantly working 24/7. No matter how far I can go, MASS SPC gives the opportunity to realise my goals and motivate others. As an architecture student, who is notoriously famous for endless amount of work and deadlines, I want to prove that it is still possible to achieve a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally because exercise and study are a mutual process.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

MASS SPC is my first ever competition and I am feeling so excited about it because I have never really cut down to this body fat before and obviously it was a bit painful when it comes to the dieting but I really enjoy the process. My training during prep hasn’t changed much to be honest. It is still generally training very heavy to maintain as much strength and muscle mass as possible. Because I am naturally lean, I didn’t go for the conventional “low weight high reps” training routine and I also don’t do much cardio either. My prep was basically revolved around the change of my diet.

What is your training like during prep?

Day 1: Back and biceps:

 

Back:

Pull-ups until failure to warm up, 4 sets of until failure

Wide-grip lats pulldowns, 4 sets of 8 reps

Reverse close-grip lat pulldowns, 3 sets of 12 reps

Seated cable rows, 4 sets of 6 reps (I really go heavy on rows because I think I need more thickness)

Single arm dumbbell rows, 4 sets of 10 reps

 

Biceps:

Barbell curls, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Dumbbell hammer curls, 4 sets of 10 reps

Reverse grip barbell curl for forearms, 4 sets of 12 reps

 

Day 2: Chest and triceps

 

Chest:

 

Incline dumbbell press, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Flat barbell bench press, 5 sets of 8-10 reps

Seated chest press, 4 sets of 8 reps

Body weight dips, 3 sets until failure

Cable crossovers, 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Seated machine flies, 3 sets of 15 reps

 

Triceps:

 

Seated dumbbell overhead extensions, 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Close-grip bench press, 4 sets of 12 reps

Rope triceps pushdowns, 3 sets of 12 reps

Single arm cable pushdowns, 4 sets of 10 reps

 

Day 3: shoulders

 

Seated dumbbell shoulder press, 2 warm sets and 4 sets of 6-8 reps

Dumbbell lateral raise, 4 dropsets of 8 reps each sub set

Barbell upright rows superset with plate front raise, 3 sets of 8 reps

Single arm cable lateral raise, 4 sets of 12 reps

Reverse machine rear delt flies, 6 sets of 10 reps

 

Day 4: Legs

 

Leg extension to warm up the quads, 3 sets of 15 reps

Leg squats, 6 sets of 8 reps

Leg press, 5 sets of 10 reps (5 reps of feet together to focus on quads and then 5 more reps of feet wide apart to get more hamstrings involved)

Single leg extension, 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Leg curls, 4 sets of 10 reps

Dumbbell straight leg deadlift, 3 sets of 10 reps

 

Day 5: Rest day

 

Day 6: Weak point target day

On this day, there is no fixed training routine, I basically go into the gym and focus on where I’m lacking, such as chest or legs. It will not be a heavy session; instead, it is more about the intensity and burning calories. I treat this day as a cardio day while still stay very active during the rest of the week.

Above is a general overview of my training during prep, which is similar when I’m bulking as well because I believe it is important to still train heavy for maximum muscle mass maintenance without strength loss. More importantly, my routine is never the same every week. I will alter it more or less or change what I start with to trick the body and keep it guessing.

 

 

 

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What is your diet like during prep?

I believe diet is the most important part during my prep. During my 12 weeks prep, the diet is slight different and can be split into two different phases:

 

  1. Generally average carb intake
  2. Carb cycling period

 

Once I started my prep, I became super strict with myself and cook every single meal. Although I was generally eat healthy before, there were still a few days when I ate out with friends and ordered takeaways. But once the prep has started, all of that was gone. Because I am naturally lean, I don’t really track calories everyday as long as I’m clear with what goes into my body.

 

During the generally average carb intake period, I basically still have healthy carbs, such as brown bread or oats, and eat no carbs for dinner and during the carb cycling period, I eat 260g of carbs on a high carb day and 80g of carbs on a low carb day, which works for me the best.

 

As I become more and more strict with my diet during carb cycling period, my diet plan is as follows:

 

Typical day:

 

Breakfast: 100g of instant oats with skimmed milk, one scoop of protein power, 2 slices of brown bread, 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites pan fried, one banana and one apple

 

Lunch: 150g of grilled salmon fillets, 200g of brown rice, 50g of asparagus

 

Before workout: 2 slices of brown bread with low-fat peanut butter or one banana

 

Post-workout: one scoop of protein powder

 

Dinner: 200g of grilled mini chicken fillets, 4 boiled egg whites, spinach

 

Before bed: one scoop of protein powder

 

How do you stay motivated during prep?

Honestly, during the prep, I have always been motivated and never felt slacking because what I am doing is to bring the best out of me. I watch a lot Youtube videos and I really look up to Men’s Physique competitors such as Ryan Terry and Jeremy Buendia. I also have an amazing training partner who supports along the prep and pushes me to the limit for every single set I do.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

Being an architecture student is tough, who is associated with endless amount of work, drawings, models and readings. But what is good about my course is that I have a very flexible timetable and it is all about managing time on my own. I believe a healthy lifestyle is a study booster and helps me become more focused during my study. Sometimes, what happens to me is that when I’m stuck with design inspirations for ages, I will just stop working and go hit the gym and when I come back fresh, the inspiration comes in naturally.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

Fitness for me is a life-long process to always try to reach the best version of myself, physically and mentally. I don’t think I will become a professional competitor but I will never give up fitness for sure. Being an architect is a dream job for me, but fitness is what motivates me everyday and it forever will be.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

At last, I just want to say that patience is key to build an aesthetic physique and as long as you stick to your plan, it will happen. I have seen so many people who are determined to go to the gym but then give up in two weeks, complaining they see no results. It is a long process, which does not happen overnight. As a student, I believe it is important to balance study and physical health. By that, I don’t mean everyone should become passionate about fitness because people have different hobbies in life. But what fitness is about for me is learning how to be dedicated to the goals you set for yourself and be consistent and patient, which applies to every aspect in life I believe.

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Isabelle Schreuder

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

22 years, University of Bristol, MSc Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health

How did you get into fitness?

I gained quite a bit of weight in the year before coming to uni. Then in my first year I decided to lose it all and became very skinny. After I wanted to build up some curves again and started training my legs once a week. I loved it and started doing it more and more, the results were amazing and kept me going.  It’s my favourite hobby now!

 

 

 

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What made you want to compete?

In all honesty, I never saw myself competing until I saw my friends compete in the SPC last year, that inspired me. I want to prove to myself that I can push past my limits and step outside of my comfort zone. And stepping on stage in front of hundreds of people, wearing little to nothing is definitely out of my comfort zone!

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

I’ve never competed before and I’m scared to death! But also very excited to show off my hard work.

What is your training like during prep?

Weight lifting five times a week, followed by 30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of fasted cardio every morning.

Monday: Legs plus 30 mins stairmaster

Tuesday: Upper body (back and shoulders) plus interval sprints

Wednesday: Rest day cardio

Thursday Legs plus 30 mins incline walk

Friday: Upper Body (Back and arms) plus 30 mins stairmaster

Saturday: Legs and Abs plus 30 mins incline walk

Sunday: Rest day cardio

What is your diet like during prep?

It varies every few weeks. Right now I am on a 1600 kcal strict plan

Meal 1: 3 eggs, spinach, green beans

Meal 2: 175g of chicken, 150g potato, green veg

Meal 3: 200g of cod, green veg

Meal 4: 50g of oats, 30g of whey

Meal 5: 175g salmon, salad

Post workout: 1 scoop whey

 

How do you stay motivated during prep?

It is hard to be motivated all the time, but seeing the progress weekly helps a lot. And whenever I feel down I talk to my friends or boyfriend and they give me a pep talk. It’s an awesome feeling to know that people are behind you and support you.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

Off season staying in shape is easy to manage as my diet and training are more flexible and I don’t do as much cardio. At the moment, it’s hard to fit everything in, especially as I’m doing a masters and the workload is huge. You definitely learn to be efficient with your time during prep!

 

 

 

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What are your fitness goals for the future?

Prep is not the healthiest lifestyle, so after the competition my main focus will be on health and growth, both physical and mental. I want to make sure I give my body everything it needs to recover from competing and function optimally

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

Come see the show everyone! It’ll be a great day out.

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Matthew Beaven

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I’m 20 years old. I go to Bristol University and I study economics.

How did you get into fitness?

I used to play rugby but I always found going to the gym with my mates was more fun. My dad bought me a weight set when I was 16 for Christmas and that was when it all started really.

What made you want to compete?

I was debating giving up on bodybuilding/fitness at uni but then I realised that it would be a real waste of time if I never actually did anything with the gains I’ve made. Competing also looks quite fun and it’s always something I’ve wanted to do so why not. I haven’t got much to lose to be honest.

 

 

 

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How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

This is my first competition. I’m feeling very relaxed about it, perhaps too relaxed but I’m sure that might change on the day of reckoning.

What is your training like during prep?

Same as always, although I’m not focusing on getting stronger just on maintaining what I already have.

I’m currently going in 5 days a week. My split is chest and triceps, legs, shoulders, back and biceps, then abs and cardio. I’m training in the 6 – 12 rep range with about 5 exercises per workout, with 4 sets per exercise.

What is your diet like during prep?

Very regimented, although I cheat more than I’d like to admit. I try to keep as few a variant in my diet as possible.

I don’t like counting macros as I think that 1 it’s unnecessary provided you are getting sufficient protein and fats and are reducing your carb intake/ doing cardio and 2. Because it’s so unbearably boring. However, I’m aiming for about 175g of protein, 150g of carbs and 50g of fat.

Breakfast – 3 eggs, 1 cup of skimmed milk and maybe a tin of sardines (they’re foul but student budget can only buy me so much)

Lunch – 100g beef, almonds, apple

Post workout – 2 scoops protein, half a scoop of dextrose and a banana

Dinner – chicken, broccoli and green beans

Before bed – Ham, carrots and glass of milk. Bleak I know. I normally schedule in 1 cheat meal a week although this realistically turns out to be 2 or 3.

 

 

 

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How do you stay motivated during prep?

Typing in men’s fitness physique on Google and comparing myself to IFBB pros. The feelings of inadequacy are extremely valuable.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

I have 13 contact hours a week so I normally go in between lectures/at the weekend. I bulk cook meals so that I don’t waste time cooking every night. Once I’m in the routine it’s quite easy to follow to be honest.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

Who knows? I will most likey just continue going to the gym steadily building muscle. Although, if I could get a sponsorship/start some fitness modelling that would be the dream.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

Dorian Yates you’re my hero.

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Elliott Patrick

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.

 

 

 

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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…

Chest/Back/Legs/Shoulders/Arms/Legs

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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: A.J. Jones

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I am 24, doing a masters in Forensic Psychology at the university of Kent

How did you get into fitness?

When I was 15 there was a death in my family. A year later I was diagnosed with PTSD, bulimia and anorexia, and also began drinking quite heavily to help me sleep and block out my problems. Somehow, I managed to get into university and during my first year I continued to spend all my money on alcohol and partying rather than focusing on my studies. However, I was drinking so much I could no longer starve myself as thin as I wanted to be – so I started to run. At first I couldn’t run lamppost to lamppost, but I had a lot of problems to run from so I kept it up. In my second year I moved back home and commuted to uni because of my poor mental state. During that year I stopped drinking, stopped partying, got a job in the security industry and pretty much decided to never drink again. My running when from strength to strength and soon I was running 7 miles a day, every day, before breakfast. While at this time I was no longer receiving treatment for my eating issues, I still wasn’t eating enough, ensuring I ate under 1000 cals every day. While at work I was thrown through a door during a fight and was quite badly hurt, and I realised I wasn’t strong enough to do my job. So, I started weightlifting, and shortly thereafter moved back to Edinburgh and continued to focus on weightlifting as opposed to running. Fitness has helped me immensely with my mental state, and thanks to it. I no longer have issues with food and I am able to manage my PTSD through this outlet.

What made you want to compete?

I’ve always admired the physiques of those that compete and last year I decided to tick it off my bucket list. I really didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did, nor did I expect to meet so many awesome women with a similar mindset to myself! I feel like I learned a lot more about myself during my prep last year and I decided to compete again this year because I had such a great time at the shows and I like having targets to meet for my training.

 

 

 

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How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

I competed last year while I was saving up to go to do my second masters. This year I don’t have the first time nerves that come with not knowing what the day will be like, but rather I feel a lot of pressure from myself to beat what I brought to the table last year.

What is your training like during prep?

As I also compete in powerlifting, my programme remains structured around the big three lifts. During prep for a bikini competition my accessory work focuses more on my ‘bikini muscles’ – shoulders and glutes. While preparing for a powerlifting competition my accessory work changes to focus more on assistance exercises that will help me lift more. Right now a typical Monday’s training looks like this; Am session ; squat 5×5, bench 6×6 , deadlift 5 x 5 Hip thrust – 3 x10, squat cleans – 3 x10 , step ups – 3 x 10 Pm session ; Incline DB press superset Lat raises – 4 x 12 Bicep curls superset close grip push ups – 5 x 10 Shoulder press superset incline curls – 4 x 12 Cable rows superset upright rows – 4 x 12

What is your diet like during prep?

I count macros year round. Last year I handled my own nutrition and training during prep, but this year I have someone planning my macros for you. I check in every day telling him what macros I hit, how close I was to my target, how I felt during the day, what my strength was like etc. My macros change every day depending on what I’m training, how I felt and performed, and of course, how far out I am from competition!

 

 

 

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How do you stay motivated during prep?

I have an issue staying out of the gym rather than getting to it, I really love training! During sessions that get hard I remind myself that very shortly I will be standing on stage wearing next to nothing, for me that serves as a massive motivator to get every rep in and do every single burpee I’m supposed to do!

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

It’s a struggle, and I don’t always manage my balancing act too well. I try to keep my day very structured and very planned so every day I train at the same times and walk the dog at the same times. Every spare minute I have is spent on my laptop trying to meet my deadlines.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I will probably continue to compete in bikini for the next two or three years and just see what happens there. I’m not looking to make it my job, or make any money out of it, I merely do it for the love of it and the opportunity to meet other people with similar interests. After that I will probably shift my focus purely to strength and give powerlifting my all.

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Philip Lorimer

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I am 20 years old and go to the University of Kent Studying Computer Science

How did you get into fitness?

My dad asked me if I wanted to go to the gym, as the leisure centre allowed 12 year olds in on specific days, and I said yes and it continued from there.

 

 

 

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What made you want to compete?

My friends Jacob and Yasmeen and I all planned on competing together about 2 years ago, but for one reason or another I was the only one able to step on stage, so it’s because of them I started my “competitive career” and I thank them for it.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

I’ve entered two competitions previously, my last one at the Miami Pro Universe late 2015 where I placed 2nd nationally and was awarded my pro status for the Miami Pro. This is the first time entering the spc, yes, but certainly not happy with what I’m bringing as a lot has been going on regarding work and uni.

What is your training like during prep?

It isn’t really much different from when I’m not on prep, except for the fact that I stop training for more reps on more functional calisthenics movements and introduce a bit more weight along with a few more cardio sessions a week than normal, it’s pretty much calisthenics, resistance training and obviously cardio.

I don’t really have a specific weekly split and I’m not a big fan of the whole “bro” split, what I train tends to change based on what I’ve trained over the previous days, recovery and time and stuff, on average I train 6-7 days a week with adequate sleep and rest when I have a lot going on regarding other priorities or just need a break, but my sessions are usually:
Lower body (back squat (10×10) & deadlifts (6×8) followed by 2-3 accessories (3 x 15)
2-3 days a week usually mon, wed, sat
Shoulders (pullups, 2 heavy presses, 1 anterior delt exercise, 2 medial delt exercises, 3 rear delt exercises)
1-2 days a week
Upper body (pull-ups 12 x 5 (1 min rest), pseudo planche pushups, bench flys etc)
Once a week
Back (weighted pullups (wide, neutral and underhand grip 10×5 each) , rows 5 x 12, close grip lat pulldown 12 x 5 etc followed by cardio)
1-2 days a week
Core (Paralette, planche, front/rear lever, pushups, handstand work) – Calisthenics essentially
Once a week –often evenings as a double session for the day.

 

 

 

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What is your diet like during prep?

I follow a high carb low fat wholefood plant-based diet, no animal products, no meat, dairy or eggs.

It’s usually around pretty much 70% carb 20% protein 10% fat macro split give or take, more protein less carbs pretty much, gram for gram can’t be 100% but 300g+ carbs, 90-120g+ protein, around 20g fats odd, that’s pretty much similar to when I’m not prepping, only thing that changes would be calories.

How do you stay motivated during prep?

My main goal every prep is to bring a better physique to stage than I did last time, anything more is a bonus.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

Regarding prep for the SPC? I failed to do so in this section, but in good reason, I said to myself that I’ll do it under the condition that if studies for university started to take it’s toll, I will always prioritise that over everything else.

In regards to just every day, I usually train in the mornings or in the evenings, it’s easy to get a quick session in after your last lecture of the day, it helps signify an end to the day.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

After prepping for the SPC leaving me unsatisfied, I’m currently dabbling with the idea of continuing for a show on July 1st. Other than that, my performance goal is to get a full planche by this time next year along with handstand push ups with ease.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

To be honest with you, the only reason I’m really going on with the SPC is to support my team all the way as they’ve worked so hard up to this point and I couldn’t let them down and give up and simply drop out along with the fact that it’s the last year I could possibly do it. Also to show people another side of things, that you don’t need meat, dairy or eggs, you don’t need to unnecessarily kill and consume animals to build muscle or for athletic performance. Animal agriculture & consumption leads to so many problems within this world from global warming, loss of habitats, pollution etc. to common diseases which were scarcely found 100 odd years ago such as heart disease, diverticulitis etc. There is no necessity in a lot of the actions we carry out.

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Joshua Owolabi

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

21, Southampton Solent. Studying: Electronic Engineering

 

How did you get into fitness?

My Flatmate was a qualified PT.

 

What made you want to compete?

To show all my hard-work and network with likeminded, fitness-oriented individuals.

 

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

I have never done a competition before and this year’s SPC will be my first ever. I am feeling nervous as I am not sure I am ready, but also excited to meet so many other people.

 

 

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What is your training like during prep?

High repetitions for hypertrophy and very regular, I am trying to hold onto as much mass as possible. Not too much cardio as I am aiming to combat fat gain through diet. A lot of posing practice and foam rolling.

 

I follow a 5 day timed superset split. However I occasionally deter and throw in big lifts, just to ensure that I don’t lose strength. Furthermore I feel as though the big lifts expose imbalances and are more functional forms of training. In addition I ensure that I do cardio at least once a week, as heart and lung health is extremely important; and I want to ensure my training is sustainable.
Mondays I work Legs (anterior and posterior)
Tuesdays Chest, Forearms and Abs
Wednesdays Back and Traps
Thursdays Stretching and Gentle Cardio (I do not classify this as training, more as active rest)
Fridays Shoulders and Abs
Saturdays Arms
Sunday Rest

Check it out on Muscle & Strength

 

 

 

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What is your diet like during prep?

A lot of protein, using MyFitnessPal to track calories and macros. Numbers for macros are C: 389, P: 200, F: 86. I strive to get healthy fats, however I prioritise my micros and protein consumption more. I supplement with Zinc and Fish oils daily and have started to include vitamin D. As well as this I also consume a vegetable medley mix (400g per day) consisting of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, beetroot and carrots. I ensure the foods I eat are low in GI and each meal is balanced out. I cook in batches and split them into 4-5 meals throughout the day. Daily I eat brown rice, vegetable medley and chicken or turkey; due to the low fat content. Furthermore, research shows that chicken and turkey are the most bio available sources of animal protein. I do not drink shakes as my skin disagrees with dairy, so all my calories must be consumed.

 

How do you stay motivated during prep?

I visualise standing on stage and wanting to make myself and the people that have come to support me proud.

 

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

I ensure that I complete my University in the morning and so I have the day to complete the workout and eat all my meals, while browsing through lecture notes; trying to pick up additional information.

 

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I wish to become the strongest and most aesthetic version of myself and maybe stand on the competition stage again.

 

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

Nothing else, just gratitude for being given this opportunity.

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: David Kenward

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I’m 20 years old and I study Design Engineering at Bournemouth University.

How did you get into fitness?

I started working out at my local gym from about 16 years old and took up bodybuilding soon after this. I aspired to have the physique and lifestyle of many famous bodybuilders I had seen on social media such as Christian Guzman and Tavi Castro. I decided to make my passion my hobby by taking a Level 3 Diploma in Advanced Personal Training and Nutrition when I was 18 years old. I continue to work as a Personal Trainer in my spare time to finance myself throughout my degree.

 

 

 

Left Side - Tricep Pose

What made you want to compete?

I have always wanted to compete ever since I started bodybuilding 4 years ago and I said I would compete one day when I was ready. The recent death of a family member made me wake up and realise that it is easy to SAY you will do something and continuously delay it and make up excuses for not doing it. I realised that you will never be ready to do something until you commit yourself to doing it. That is the main reason I decided to commit to competing this year. I’m certainly not ready or anywhere near the condition I would like to be in, but it’s a learning curve and I think it will be a great experience.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

This year will be my first ever competition and I imagine it will be the first of many. I’m feeling quite nervous about the competition but I’m excited at the same time. I’ve met loads of new people on the journey in preparation for the competition and I’m sure I’ll meet many more on the day.

What is your training like during prep?

From 12 until 6 weeks out from the competition my training was very powerlifting focused and I trained 4 – 5 times a week. This was my ‘bulking’ phase. My weekly split consisted of upper body and lower body sessions which were very intense, often lasting up to 2 hours or more. It consisted of lifting heavy weights and low reps on mainly compound movements like squats, bench and deadlifts etc. The focus of this training approach was to build as much muscle and strength as possible.
From 6 weeks until 1 week out from the competition, I started cutting my bodyfat and aiming for better muscle definition. I increased my training frequency to 6 days a week with only 1 rest day. My style of training changed to a hypertrophy bodybuilding approach. I was lifting lighter weights and aiming for a higher number of reps in order to define and tone my muscles. My weekly split was very specific to my personal goals and developing areas which needed improving. It consisted of:
Monday – Shoulders and Core
Tuesday – Back and Legs (Hamstrings focused)
Wednesday – Arms
Thursday – Chest and Shoulders
Friday – Core and Legs (Quads focused)
Saturday – Rest day
Sunday – Legs
In addition, I started training twice a day with weight training in the morning/afternoon and cardio sessions in the evening for approximately 30 minutes.
For the last week before the competition my training style changed completely again. For this week, I trained 4 times and every session was a whole body workout with at least 1 exercise for each muscle group. I varied the session each time but I basically just chose my favourite exercises including; squats, deadlifts, dumbbell lunges, barbell rows, bench press, overhead press, bicep curls, skull crushers, lateral raises, oblique twists, leg raises, calf press and calf raises. I also continued doing cardio sessions in the evening. I continued doing cardio sessions in the evening to assist in burning fat and improving muscle definition.

What is your diet like during prep?

Throughout my prep I used the app “My Fitness Pal” to keep track of my macros and diet progress. I designed and adapted my macros for my diet myself.
To accommodate for my ‘bulking’ phase from 12 – 6 weeks, my diet was quite flexible and my macros were generous to say the least! There was certainly the odd Domino’s Pizza ordered every now and then. I was on 3750 calories a day with 585g of Carbs which was nice because I tend to love foods which are high in carbs. I was also on 150 grams of Protein and 90 grams of Fat per day.
When I started the ‘cutting’ phase my diet became much stricter. After 1 week of gradual decrease from 3750 calories per day, I kept my calories down at 2750 per day until the last week before the competition. My macros consisted of: 160 grams of Protein, 370 grams of Carbs and 90 grams of Fats per day with a total of 2750 calories. I have included some pictures of a typical food diary.
For the last week leading up to the competition, I did a small ‘carb cycle’. I began the week on a very low amount of carbs (275 grams per day) and suddenly increased this to 400 grams when I was 2 days out from the competition. On the day before the competition I had minimal carbs and NO CARBS after 6pm.
The main foods I ate during prep included; chicken, steak, pork, salmon, prawns, cod, brown rice, eggs, broccoli, spinach, kale, carrots, cabbage, green beans, peppers, bananas, grapes, plums and strawberries.
The main drinks I had included; water, semi-skimmed milk, almond milk, protein shakes and Ribena light.

How do you stay motivated during prep?

With great difficulty! It is particularly difficult to stay motivated during prep because there is so much pressure and so much work to do. It is particularly difficult during the times when you are on a low carb diet and therefore feel quite low on energy most of the time. To stay motivated I just remember why I started bodybuilding in the first place and the reason why I am competing this year. I remember all the people that are looking up to me and counting on me which motivates me not to give up. It also helped to train alongside people who were also competing and on the same fitness journey as me.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

My studies always come first. I schedule my training sessions around my university timetable and my also my job. It doesn’t leave much time to go out and socialize but there will be plenty of time for that in the Summer when the competition and all my exams are over!

 

 

 

Best Abs Pose (4)

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I am aiming to continue competing in a bodybuilding competition at least once a year and also a powerlifting competition once a year. The bodybuilding competition will be my main focus and will hopefully help me get into a nice physical condition for summer. The powerlifting competition will be more for fun and will embrace my ‘bulking’ phase and high calorie diet once the summer is over.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

I would just say to anyone reading this who is thinking about competing, JUST DO IT! You will never do it if you don’t commit yourself to do it. It’s a rollercoaster journey which will teach you a lot about how determined and motivated you really are. At times it will test your mental and physical strength, but in the end you will be a better person for it. You will learn so much and it will open so many doors for you by getting exposure in the fitness industry and by meeting so many new people with similar interests. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Catrin Thomas

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

Hi, my name is Catrin Eleri Thomas. I’m twenty two years old and I’m a sport and exercise science finalist at Loughborough University.

How did you get into fitness?

I was a keen athletics growing up and was in the national squad for athletics. I competed for Wales in the 200m metres and relay on numerous occasions. I eventually moved away from track and field and began interested in endurance running. The heavy mileage unfortunately led to several injuries including stress fractures and tendonitis. During rehab is when I first become interested in the fitness industry and specifically lifting. I used lifting to aid my injury through working on strength and conditioning exercises and increasing muscle strength in my glutes and calves which were identified by physiotherapists as my weak areas. My injury also affected me emotionally but lifting allowed me to feel mentally strong, for me the gym was an escape and gave me a feeling of release.

 

 

 

My favourite session is always legs.. glute pump

What made you want to compete?

I’ve always enjoyed having goals to work towards. I competed in this competition last year and it was a great learning curve. I gained a lot of knowledge and felt it would be a shame not to put what I learnt into practice with this years’ prep. Also it’s my last year of university hence my last year to compete on the SPC stage – I’m keen to make it count.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

As mentioned above I competed in the SPC last year, this was my first and only competition to date. I am nervous but I think that’s natural. I have trained hard for several weeks and I think you just have to trust the process. I know as soon as I step on stage the nerves will disappear and I will just enjoy the experience of being in front of the judges. There was a great crowd watching last year and their support really helped bring out some confidence in your performance.

What is your training like during prep?

I don’t set specific sessions for particular days because I like to choose my session based on my preference on the day and my energy levels. However I do try and complete the 6 session below throughout the duration of my week :-
Day 1 – Legs (quads/ hams/ calves). Day 2 – Chest and triceps. Day 3 – Morning cardio and afternoon swim/aqua jog. Day 4 – High rep shoulder session. Day 5 – Back + biceps. Day 6 – Morning cardio and afternoon abs, glutes and obliques. Day 7 – rest day.

What is your diet like during prep?

Overall my calories consumption is set at 1800 calories per day. The specific macro split is:- Protein :155 grams, Fats: 43 grams and carbohydrates: 205 grams. I try to have 5 meals a day with 31g of protein serving per meal. I make sure I get carbs in pre and post training. I think it’s important to emphasize that the prep diet isn’t focused on calorie restriction or carb elimination. During prep it’s so important to get the right amount of nutrients for your body and this includes a healthy amount of carbs, protein and fats in order to maximize performance during training. Note that macros will probably be changed slightly with 4 weeks to go and during the last fortnight I will be water loading.

How do you stay motivated during prep?

I am lucky enough to have a good friend as my coach for this competition – Gareth Burns. He is a natural bodybuilder competitor and is a UKUP Pro, Pure Elite Pro, FMC Pro and 2016 BNBF Finalist. He is very knowledgeable in this field as well as supportive. It’s great to have someone to talk to about your prep. I send him weekly progress pictures and he’s always sending me feedback and encouragement. I also want to say thanks to my house mate Asia who’s come with me on all my morning runs and kept me going through the dreaded cardio sessions.

 

 

 

My stage bikini for SPC from Harlequin body building bikinis

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

Personally I think they both go hand in hand. Submitting work by specific deadlines requires a lot of self-discipline and commitment which are both needed for successful prep. I always have my ‘To do list’ out on a Sunday evening where I plan my session for the week as well as what work I need to get done on different days.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I am currently looking at career options in the health and fitness industry. I am really eager to work with the public and promote positive lifestyle choices. I truly believe that education is the key to changing attitudes towards diet and physical activity. There are many things that I’ve learned during prep that would benefit the general population e.g. tracking macros instead of counting calories, not to be defined by the number of the scales and the vast benefits of strength training.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

I’d just like to say a massive good luck to the rest of the SPC participants. I genuinely can’t wait to meet everyone on show day and witness all the incredible physiques. Hang on in there guys… there’s under four weeks to go!

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Fridaos Abdulrauf

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.

 

 

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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
Breakfast

  • 100g Oats and 5 boiled eggs (3 without yolk 2 with yolk) 9am

Lunch

  •  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

Dinner

  • Mixed Veg 100g, 2 boiled eggs

Snacks

  • 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.

 

 

 

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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

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Oliver Cheng

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I am 19 years old, studying medicine at University College London.

How did you get into fitness?

When I was 15 my mum and I went shopping at Sports Direct and I discovered my first dumbbell; a beautiful 10kg. When I tried to pick it up it felt like I was picking up Thor’s Hammer! My mum noticed this and decided to get it for me. From then on I started using it at home alongside my pushups and abs circuits. When I turned 16 I started my first job as a pool lifeguard and trained at my small local gym and got my first few pumps and I started to grow these mythical muscles that I never even thought I would ever see. I have been hooked ever since!

 

 

Oliver Cheng 2-2

What made you want to compete?

As my physique started taking shape, I felt that it was the right time to truly challenge myself. I have always been quite a shy person but I feel that training and lifting has given me the confidence to come out of my shell. I feel that competing has given me a “lift-off”, if you pardon the pun, from my comfort zone and this is exactly what I need to drive me onwards.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

My first competition will be the Miami Pro World Championships on 19th March 2017 in the teens fitness model category and MASS SPC 2017 will be my second. I am feeling excited with a hint of trepidation at stepping on stage in front of so many people. However, I see this as an opportunity to display the hard work that I have been shifting day in day out ever since I picked up my first dumbbell.

 

What is your training like during prep?

My training during prep is very intense with absolutely no more than one minute rest between sets but I have been doing my best to maintain decent strength levels during what will ultimately be an 18 week prep for SPC. I do not train with a specific split per se; I simply train the body parts that are not sore that day! I enjoy training antagonist muscles by super-setting them; I get a great pump from this style of training! Usually I train four days on, one day of cardio. So on day one I would do chest and back thickness, day two I hit legs, day three shoulders and back width and day four any body part I feel is lagging! On day five I do high intensity intervals for cardio with core conditioning.

 

Day Body parts Exercises
1 Chest and back thickness Flat bench press superset barbell row, 12 reps each exercise for 5 sets

 

Incline bench press superset with T-bar row, 12 reps each exercise for 5 sets

 

Flat dumbbell bench press superset with chest-supported dumbbell rows, 15 reps each exercise for 6 sets

 

Incline dumbbell flyes superset with decline pullovers, 20 reps each set for 4 sets with a drop set 20-20-20 for the last set

2 Legs High bar barbell squat 4×10-12

 

Front squat 4 x 8-10

 

Lunges 4 x 12 each leg

 

Leg extensions superset with lying hamstring curls, 6 sets pyramid up 12-16-20 and back down

 

Calf raises 30 reps superset with 15 Romanian deadlifts for 4 sets

 

Goblet squats and sissy squats on toes 30 reps each to finish

3 Shoulders and back width Dumbbell shoulder press superset with wide grip weighted pullups, 4 sets of 12 reps each exercise

 

Seated Arnold press superset with wide grip lat pulldown, 5 sets of 15 each exercise

 

Machine shoulder press superset with underhand hammer strength lat pulldown, 4 sets of 8 each exercise

 

Barbell pullover superset with upright rows, 4 sets of 20 on each exercise to finish with one big drop set of 20-20-20

4 Lagging body parts – currently hamstrings and chest Stiff legged deadlifts

Hamstring curls

Incline and decline bench press

5 Cardio and core Stepper machine one minute at 60 steps/min then one minute at 160 steps/min repeated 12 times.

 

Decline situps with barbell, decline torso rotations and leg raises – superset 20 reps each exercise for 6 sets

 

 

What is your diet like during prep?

My diet has consisted of a wide variety of foods, consisting of anything that grows, runs or swims! My diet has been macro based with a gradual increase in caloric deficit, which has been quite mentally gruelling for a glutton like myself! At the start of prep I was eating 2600 calories a day, with 300g carbs, 180 grams protein and 50 fats. When my fat loss plateaued I decreased by 150 calories and slowly decreased carbs. I am currently in my 14th week and on 2100 calories a day with 250g carbs, 160g protein and 50g fats. To counter fat loss plateaus I have simply added some more cardio and lowered my calories by 100 when necessary.

 

 

 

Oliver Cheng 5-2

How do you stay motivated during prep?

I stay motivated by remembering why I started taking training so seriously; I want to be unique and I want to show to others that if an average person like myself can get into shape, they can too. One of my biggest motivators is the fear of letting myself down. I have always trained for myself and to bring the best I can with what I have. Giving anything less than my best would be a waste of my potential and it is the fear of that that drives me to keep going even when I am drained.

 

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

For me it’s about prioritising my goals in life. If you want something enough you will go out and get it done; everyone has 24 hours in the day! My degree is very lecture-heavy but I will wake up at 5am and train early in the morning if that’s what I need to do. More often than not, I train between lectures. The key for me is to keep rest times to a minimum; this stops me from time wasting at the gym and increases the intensity of my training!

 

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I hope to one day compete in the UKBFF men’s physique division and maybe, through hard work, I can pick up a shiny trophy, but who knows what will happen!

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Alex Dommett

 The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

I’m Alex, I am 20 years old currently studying for an Economics BSc at the University of Kent.

How did you get into fitness?

My fitness journey began with playing football from a very young age. I had gotten relatively far with football, doing enough to get into my hometown academy at Bournemouth, but sadly nothing was to come of that. Football helped me to attain good cardiovascular strength but I always considered myself to be ‘skinny’.

In the September of 2013 I began regularly going to the gym with my friend Kieron, and to this day we are still close friends and gym partners! But it wasn’t until around two years ago that I started taking bodybuilding seriously and is now an integral part of my life and the greatest passion of mine.

What made you want to compete?

After training seriously for a few years now I wanted to see how far I can push my body. I maintain a relatively lean physique year-round but I wanted to really push my body to its limit and give me an end goal to work towards. I am also extremely excited to document my journey to the competition and meet some fantastic people along the way!

 

 

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How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

The SPC is my first taste of competing and I am extremely excited to step on stage with everyone. Prep has been very difficult at times, resisting the temptation of pizza and Ben and Jerry’s, but I am determined and have an end goal and it will all be worth it in the end!

What is your training like during prep?

During prep, I like to maintain as much strength and lean mass as possible. This means I still incorporate heavy compound lifts at the beginning of every workout. However, due to a recent lower back injury this has been slightly hampered.

My split usually follows something like:

  • Legs
  • Chest and triceps
  • Rest
  • Back and biceps
  • Shoulders and traps

However, this can vary from week to week. For example, I am currently incorporating refeed days every 4-5 days and on these days I like to train lagging body parts as these are the days in which your body is in a much more anabolic state.

Each session will involve some form of heavy compound lift, and the rep ranges vary from week to week, varying from simple 5×5’s to 4×8’s and incorporating pause reps and higher volume days when I feel it is necessary.

What is your diet like during prep?

 

My current diet allows me macros of:

  • Calories: 2,500 ish
  • Protein: around 200g
  • Carbs: 180-200g
  • Fats: around 90g

A Standard day of meals would look something like:

  • Morning: 150g chicken breast with 60g broccoli
  • Before training: 100g oats with 30g isolate whey
  • After training: 150g lean (5%) beef mince with 50g spinach and 250g basmati rice
  • Mid-afternoon: 4 whole egg omelette with spinach
  • Late afternoon: 30g pistachios and 30g whey isolate
  • Evening: 2 slices wholemeal bread with 30g peanut butter

 

I like to concentrate my carbohydrates around training time as this is when they are required the most. I tend not to deviate my diet from this very much, however some meals may be swapped for tuna and other lean meats such as turkey. I find this helps me to stay regimented and not cheat or deviate from my diet.

 

 

 

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How do you stay motivated during prep?

I always look forward to getting into the gym and smashing through a workout, constantly reminding myself that it will be worth it in the end when I am standing on stage knowing that I have given my absolute everything to be where I am. The thought of knowing I haven’t put in 110% is enough for me to stay on track and put in the extra work.

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

I find that regularly going to the gym and eating well actually gives me more time to study, and gives me more effective study time. My lifestyle is extremely regimented and this means that it is easy to allocate time to studying and allows me to be more productive during this time. Also, the thought of being in the gym or the next meal is enough to get me studying for a while!

What are your fitness goals for the future?

Post-competition I plan on slowly reverse-dieting and maintaining a steady bulk into next year. I have plans to compete again in the coming years, perhaps in the Miami Pro, but that is a long way off yet!

Finally, is there anything else you would like to add?

I am so excited to meet all the other MASS competitors in April and cannot wait to eat nice food again! Pizza is only 1 week away!

 

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SPC Competitor Close Up: Mohamed Isa

The basics – How old are you, which university do you go to and what do you study?

 

I’m Mohamed Isa – but everyone calls me dash. I’m 22 and I study MSc Int. Management at Loughborough uni.

How did you get into fitness?

 

Funny story, I was always more of an outdoor athlete but when I came over to study in the UK, the temperature difference between Bahrain (where I am from) and how it’s like here was so high that I was discouraged from playing anything that meant me being outside, no joke. I decided to join my local gym to ONLY jog on the treadmill to get a sweat on every now and then, one day all the treadmills were occupied and so I turned to the weights area, picked up my first dumbbell and the rest is history.

 

 

 

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What made you want to compete?

My best-friend Josh Bridgman, he in fact competed twice in the MASS over the years and won it 2 years ago, so I could see what came of it and how useful it was to try it as an experience.

How many competitions have you done? Is this year’s SPC your first? How are you feeling about it?

This year’s SPC is my first ever competition, I thought I would be scared but to be honest I can’t wait to get all my friends together.

What is your training like during prep?

Heavy! But not stupid heavy.

Training Split:  push-pull-legs-REST- rinse and repeat!!!

 

 

Push
Exercise No. of Sets Method
Bench Press 5 3 on 100kg and 2 on 80kg (2-3 sec squeeze pause at the top)
Seated incline press 3 6-8 as heavy as I can dropset with 8 reps with 4 sec squeeze
Front Military on Smith M 4 10-12 on 60kg
Front D Raise 3 Dropset starting with 16kg down to 12 kg
Flys 4 6 reps for 3 secs then 8 reps for 4 secs
Triceps if I have time I don’t usually
Pull
Exercise No. of Sets Method
Pull ups 2 sets of 10 to warm up
Heavy rows 3 sets 8 reps a side I don’t find this useful just feel like I need to do something heavy
pull downs 5 sets 6 heavy for 2 secs on the bottom dropset with another 6 for 3 sets at the bottom
rows 3 sets 8 reps try and hold for 3 secs then 4sec then 5 if I can
Bicep preacher curl 3 sets of 8
Any other bicep ting
Legs
Exercise No. of Sets Method
Squat or leg press 6 by 6
Quads 5 sets of 10
Hamstring 5 sets of 10
Behind the back military 4 sets of 6-8
Side or rear delt 3 sets 6 reps for 3 secs then 8 reps for 4 secs

 

 

3-2

What is your diet like during prep?

How do you stay motivated during prep? Tunnel vision, in my head I’ve already stepped on stage and life is just going by slower than usual. It’s a case of having to do it because I don’t want to upset the system in my head, I just read what I have said and yes I do sound weird but it’s the only way I can put it into words.

 

 

food diary

How do you manage your studies alongside staying in shape?

I time my meals around my study time, I know my training suffers but at the end of the day, big biceps are important, but we’re all students first.

What are your fitness goals for the future?

I want to be able to hit 100kg. I’m going to try and hit that number 5 months after the show – my stage weight will most likely be 76kg. Yes, I’m ambitious but it can be done.

 

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Macro friendly treats to help you through prep

The SPC is just a month away and I thought what better to write about than some of my favourite macro-friendly branded foods to help other students stay lean.

Everything in this article can be bought from a supermarket and a student budget in mind. So, in no particular order…

McCain 3% Fat Skin on Rustic Chips

Now we all know the feeling of getting home after a long day of uni or a big workout and just not having the energy to cook a meal from scratch. These chips are a life saver if you’re still a sucker for the fast food life. For oven chips, the macros are amazing and you can take comfort in knowing that the ingredients are just straight up potatoes and sunflower oil. If you ever feel like being lazy and just putting these in the oven, you know it won’t ruin your macros for the day.

MACROS

(per 100g frozen)

115 kcal

| 1.9g fat | 21.2g carbs | 2g protein |


 

Cholula Hot Mexican Sauce

If you haven’t hopped on this Cholula band wagon yet then pay attention, this sauce adds flavour it anything and everything without making a dent in your macros. Whether you meal prep or don’t have all the time in the world to marinade chicken then Cholula might just be your new best friend. Turns any cooked plain chicken into a culinary delight and you get a lot out of one bottle.

MACROS

(per 5ml serving)

1 kcal

| <0.1g fat | <0.1g carbs | <o.1g protein |

 

 

 


Pop Chips

I have a tendency to snack a lot when I’m busy studying or while I’m cooking and crisps are an easy way to eat a lot without feeling like you’ve eaten anything. Since discovering Pop chips, my cravings for savoury snacks of the fattier persuasion have been none existent. The pop chip brand has 5 delicious flavours and they’ve been so popular, supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi have been doing their own version. I love that I can eat a whole share bag of these and I’ve not even pushed passed the 400 calorie mark.

MACROS

(per 23g serving)

97 kcal

| 3.6g fat | 14g carbs | 1.3g protein |

 

 

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Oppo Ice Cream

Unfortunately the UK is yet to be graced with the U.S. answer to all things cold and creamy ‘Halo Top’ but I have just discovered an alternative which is pretty close. Oppo ice cream is currently only stock in Waitrose, Ocado and some independent fitness stores and does cost £4.99 but the macros are too good to ignore and love the idea of being able to eat ice cream everyday. There are currently three flavours to choose from; vanilla, salted caramel and mint choc swirl.

MACROS

(per 100ml of mint choc swirl)

85 kcal

| 3.8g fat | 9.7g carbs | 3.1g protein |


Yushoi Snapea Rice Sticks

Another snack of the crisp variety but these are even more for on the go and have a decent amount of protein in them. I’ve been having them almost every day for the past few weeks, they’re delicious. A pack is only 89 calories and 4g of protein, not bad for a bag of crisps.

MACROS

(per pack)

89 kcal

| 3.2g fat | 9.6g carbs | 4g protein |

 

 

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Weight Watchers High Protein Wraps

Weight watchers actually have some really good macro friendly alternatives to some day to day foods. I love Mexican food, especially fajitas but the amount of wraps I get through when I have them means that I end up going way over my calories or carbs, but thanks to these wraps I can have fajitas whenever I want without having to be more careful with my diet during the day.

MACROS

(per wrap)

137 kcal

| 1.4g fat | 23.6g carbs | 7.2g protein |

 

Hopefully you try some of these snacks out and love them as much as I do. If you have any suggestions of your own favourite macro friendly treats, send them into us!

 

Article by Ellie Mason

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How to use resistance bands for squatting

I’m always on the lookout for different bits of gear I can use to help me out in my workouts, and one of the best bits of equipment which are often overlooked are resistance bands.

 

I use resistance bands in both upper and lower body workouts, I use them to warm up, to help with my form and to add a bit of extra resistance in some exercises. You can get resistance bands in different lengths and levels of resistance. In this article I’ve used the lightest form of resistance bands (2-16kg), you can get these from almost anywhere and they are pretty inexpensive. Depending on what you want to use the band for will help you decide what kind of band to get. Before I bought my own resistance bands, I would use the free ones that were hanging around my gym, usually they’re just a bit of latex tubing but if I tied one to make a loop they would still do the job.

 

Warming Up

 

 

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When I perform resistance band bodyweight squats I wrap the resistance band around my calves, usually twice, and squat as I normally would. This added resistance helps to activate your hip extensor muscles and increase overall lower body stability – helping to rectify a common squat form problem; caving knees. The smaller resistance bands would be good to use for this warm up because you can wrap it around your thighs, just above your knee. A popular tool for this would be the Slingshot Hip Circle, which is great for lower body exercises where the glutes are required but often underutilised.

 

I also like to perform lateral side steps with a resistance band. This exercise is great for activating the hip abductor muscles. This is especially useful for me as I have had a hip flexor injury in the past and anything which aids in glute activation means there’s less strain placed on my hip flexors. Again, you can use a resistance band around your calves or just above your knee to perform this.

 

Resistance bands aren’t just good for lower body warm ups, but for upper body too. Before every single upper body workout, I use my resistance band looped around the squat rack or the TRX frame to perform face pulls. This warm up is great for activating your rear delts and the external rotators of the shoulder. Warming up the rotator cuffs is essential if you want to avoid upper body injuries and face pulls themselves can strengthen your bench dramatically if they are currently underdeveloped.

 

Help Activate Muscles

 

You can also use resistance bands to add resistance to some less exciting exercises, like the leg press. Using a resistance band wrapped above your knees can help make sure you’re performing the leg press correctly by forcing you to apply external rotation of the hip joint, resulting in the knees maintaining an outward tracking plane of movement. Again, this is going to assist in overall leg development and ensure adequate recruitment of the hamstrings & glutes, as opposed to the quads overcompensating due to poor knee/hip alignment.

 

Improve Form

 

 

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I’ve recently started using resistance bands to improve my form with my main lifts too. A reoccurring problem for me when I’m squatting is the issue of my knees caving inwards when the weight gets heavy. I discovered the trick of using resistance bands attached to the squat rack and wrapped around the top of my knees a few weeks ago and it’s already fixed my problem.

 

 

 

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It may look confusing but all it does is remind me to keep the resistance band taut by making sure my knees are pointed outwards during the entire lift.

 

These are some of my favourite ways to use resistance bands in my workouts but there’s lots of other ways to get them to benefit yours too. For example, heavier resistance bands are extremely useful when wanting to improve your pull ups by providing assistance and for applying accommodating resistance to exercises such as the bench press (for greater tricep development/engagement). There’s lots of information out there on how to use resistance bands to reach your goals, all it takes is some researching.

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Overnight Oats Brownie Batter Recipe

This week, I had a go at making something which my Instagram has been inundated with recently; overnight oats.

 

Picture delicious looking foods in mason jars with mouth-watering toppings and that’s overnight oats for you. I’ve been wanting to make these for ages because they seem like the perfect macro friendly breakfast for on the go. Overnight oats consist of 3 main ingredients, oats, milk and yogurt, but you can add pretty much anything you want into the mix.

 

 

overnight oats

I’m a serious chocolate lover, so naturally, I made chocolate flavoured overnight oats. I already had some chocolate brownie protein powder so the batch I made was specifically brownie batter overnight oats – sounds delicious right? Here’s the recipe I used

 

RECIPE

 

Rolled Oats 180g

 

Unsweetened Almond Milk 250ml

 

0% Fat Greek Style Natural Yogurt 125g

 

Cocoa Powder 25g (optional)

 

Chocolate Brownie Flavour Whey Protein 50g (optional – you can use any kind of protein powder)

 

Granulated Sweetener 8g (optional)

 

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, split it into some containers and leave them overnight for the oats to soak up the moisture. These ingredients yield a good amount of mixture so it’s up to you how many servings you want from it. I split the ingredients into two servings which meant the macros were…

 

MACROS

(per serving)

543 calories | 37g protein | 70.4g carbs | 12.8g fat

 

I split the mixture into two jars which I’d washed out. Fancy mason jars aren’t necessary, and seeing as I’m on a student budget, I thought it was a great way to recycle some old jars that I would have just thrown away anyway.

 

 

overnight oats

The great thing about putting them into jars is that you can eat these oats pretty much anywhere, a lecture, in the gym, at the SPC – you name it! Plus, you don’t have to eat them all in one go, you can screw the lid back on and save some for later.

 

By Ellie Mason

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Member Real Life Story: Shona Hughes

Factfile

Name: Shona Hughes

Age: 20 years old

Weight Class: 63kg

PRs: 87.5kg Squat, 50kg Bench, 122.5kg Deadlift

Studying: Physics in her second year at University of Kent


 

Shona’s story:

I first set about losing weight several years ago and had a somewhat negative relationship with exercise. It wasn’t until a year or so ago that I rebuilt my relationship with exercise and participated with the sole intention of enjoying myself and improving my strength. I started out in the gym doing endless sessions of cardio and using the occasional machine. I was introduced to powerlifting briefly, at first by a friend, who taught me two of the three lifts but it wasn’t until part of the way through my first year at university that I really got into it after my boyfriend, then course-mate, encouraged me.

 

“My eating habits took an extremely restrictive turn a few years ago, and around the time I began to lose a lot of weight I developed an eating disorder.”

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What was it like switching from being a cardio bunny to lifting heavy and being a part of MASS?

 

I was very shy about being in the free weights area but was keen to learn more, so I just needed a bit of a push! I’ve been officially lifting for a year now, and joined MASS at the start of my second year. I had heard a lot about it in my first year, but again, I was reserved about joining. The community feeling you get from the society is so welcoming though.

 

What’s it like balancing training with studying at university?

 

Thankfully, it hasn’t been too much of a strain because the facilities in the campus gym are ideal, and it’s nice and convenient to get to between or after lectures. It is tiring, and difficult to strike a balance so I often find myself prioritising training over going out with friends but it’s a fair trade I think, and I’ve even been able to encourage some of my friends to join us in training so I never feel like I’m missing out.

 

“The community feeling you get from the society is so welcoming.”

 

What’s a typical training week for you?

 

My programming tends to vary a fair bit, and since I don’t intend on competing at the moment, I keep it fairly relaxed. I train 5/6 times a week, taking rest days when I need them. Each session is largely focused on either squat, bench or deadlift with focused accessory work. Every so often, I’ll ask someone to oversee my lifts and take me through my weaknesses so I can add in specific accessory movements like deficit pulls for deadlifts, tempo squats or spoto press.

 

 

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What is your diet like right now?

 

At the moment, I’m on a bit of a cut (can’t let myself get too far out my intended weight class!) so my macros are a little lower than usual, but I’m a creature of habit so I still find ways to keep in my favourites – protein pancakes and the occasional pizza being the main things. I’m very much a fan of anything carb dense, particularly if I have a heavy day. In fact, I tend to have my most carb dense meals earlier in the day when I’m training; if not I’ll try to spread them out a bit more.

 

“Having a healthy relationship with yourself and excelling at what you love is what’s key to being content.”

How do your current eating habits vary from before you were lifting?

 

I was definitely an intuitive eater for most of my life but I became more conscious of my eating habits as I got older. My eating habits took an extremely restrictive turn a few years ago, and around the time I began to lose a lot of weight I developed an eating disorder. I remember very little of that period of my life, but I can’t have been consuming more than 500 calories on a daily basis. Often fewer. I would only have a higher intake if I was being closely monitored by friends or family.

 

What impact has MASS had on your life?

 

As corny as it sounds, coming to university and joining MASS has saved me from a self destructive path. It’s taught me that having a healthy relationship with yourself and excelling at what you love is what’s key to being content – no matter how you look, you can’t be happy if your goals aren’t coming from a good place. It’s taught me the difference between, “I’m not good enough if I don’t do this” and “I am enjoying this and would like to improve”. Without the support of the friends I’ve made through university, and MASS in particular, I would probably still struggle with that concept. But being surrounded by like-minded, hard-working and accepting individuals is an amazing feeling.

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HOT TOPIC – VEGAN BODYBUILDING

Often, when people think of strength training and nutrition, your mind wanders to one word in particular – protein. And what’s typically known as the most effective way to get your protein in? meat. But there’s a growing lifestyle choice which is growing in popularity by the day, vegan bodybuilding.

 

We live in a world that is more health conscious and ethically correct than ever before, so it’s no surprise that more and more people are becoming vegan and loving it. But, for people that strength train, like bodybuilders and powerlifters, there’s a common misconception that you won’t get bigger or stronger without consuming animal products. Despite the fact meat may be the easiest way to hit your protein, it’s possible to get enough protein on a plant based diet, and therefore make some seriously successful gains.

 

Philip Lorimer, the president of MASS for the University of Kent, has been vegan for nearly two years and doesn’t regret his lifestyle change at all, “I’ve been lifting for about 5 years now but only became vegan in April 2015. I wish I turned vegan far sooner though. I watched a few documentaries regarding animal agriculture, and decided I didn’t want to contribute anymore. I then did more research into the health side of it and realised it was just the better option for me.”

 

 

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There’s a lot of information on the animal product industry now thanks to documentaries on Netflix spreading awareness and people can agree that they don’t want to contribute to animal suffering. But one of the reasons people are reluctant to give veganism a go is the idea that the diet will be difficult to stick to and restricting. Philip admits that he didn’t find it difficult to begin with and he got used to it after the first week or so, “In the beginning it wasn’t as hard as I originally has anticipated it to be, it’s a challenge like any change is, like choosing to change from being inactive to regularly is. I approached it with open arms and tried to ditch the preconceptions. Dietary wise, there’s far more to choose from than I originally thought.”

 

But the main question on any lifters mind is, ‘if you’re not eating animal products, how do you get your protein?’ Philip is confident that animal products are in no way essential to having a high protein diet, “The whole ‘you can’t get enough protein on a plant based diet’ is often thrown out by people that haven’t tried it. There’s protein in everything, I get it from potatoes, beans, legumes, greens, the lot. I collectively get 110-160g a day with ease, and this is with a calorically restricted diet whilst prepping for the SPC. If you get enough calories in you’ll hit your protein RDA (recommended daily allowance) easy.”

 

 

phil lorimer vegan bodybuilding

Philip competes in the fitness model category usually, having competed twice before, but is hoping to compete in the men’s physique category in the future. He’s currently prepping for the MASS SPC in April and shared with us some of his favourite vegan meals while on prep, “I just keep it simple when eating while on prep. But, I do make the best vegan chocolate pumpkin brownies, it’s easy, quick and tastes good – macro friendly too! I think I’m going to make chocolate chip cookies tomorrow as a refeed day is due. I’ve also had cravings for jacket potatoes so I might make sweet potato jacket potatoes with beans, lentils and sautéed veggies.”

 

From an outsider’s point of view, it’s clear to see why people overthink the process of turning vegan, especially in the fitness industry when getting enough protein is the golden rule to making progress. But, it’s clear that animal products aren’t necessary to have a great, balanced diet and lift weights. Philip hopes more people give veganism a try in future, particularly people that lift that are too scared to in case they stop making progress in the gym, “Put the misconceptions aside and approach it with open arms, do research as you go along and ask people who are vegan for advice regarding recipes etc. It’s a changed after 2 years I certainly don’t regret, it’s better for your health, the environment and the animals. You’ll never know until you give it an honest try.”

 

We wish Philip the best of luck in the upcoming MASS SPC in April.

Interview by Ellie Mason.

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

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SPC

MASS Student Physique Championships 2016

Bristol played host to the UK’s annual bodybuilding competition for students. 85 Competitors from over 50 universities across England, Scotland and Wales flexed their muscles to compete in the annual MASS Student Physique Championships. After a gruelling 8 hours Jake Berney a 2nd Year Physical Education BA student at the University of East Anglia was crowned the overall Men’s Physique Champion and Sebastian Wolsoncroft-Dodds, a 3rd Year Chemical Engineering MEng from the University of Derby was crowned the Men’s Classic Bodybuilding Champion. The show also ran ladies categories at the competition with Phoebe Hagan who studies International Business at the University of Brighton taking the overall Women’s Bikini title and Mia Holmes, a 3rd Year Pharmacology student at Nottingham Trent University winning 1st in Women’s Figure. Our University team winners with 4 outstanding athletes were the University of Reading.

 

MASS_SPC_2016

Hosted at the Bristol SU Anson Rooms, the show took place on Saturday 12th March, with celebrity fitness models sat on the judging panel, including Men’s Health cover model and international physique competitor, Matt Sallis. The show was a roaring success with the venue packed to the rafters and 500 people from around the UK turning up to watch the live show that was sponsored by Protein Dynamix.

 

MASS_SPC_2016

To catapult their careers the lucky winners received a photo shoot with renowned fitness photographer Matt Marsh. They also received an array of prizes from the shows sponsors Protein Dynamix, and a career workshop with Matt Sallis at ESTR personal training studios

Humble in victory, Men’s Physique winner Jake summed up the show as “the perfect presentation of dedicated and ambitious students who all supported and encouraged each other” with Women’s Bikini winner Phoebe Hagan adding “maybe we can change the stereotype from lazy to lean!”.

 

MASS_SPC_2016

The involvement of Protein Dynamix helped the MASS SPC to take its competition to new heights this year with increased promotions, bodybuilding figurine trophies, the large stage banner that you see in the pictures, competitor goodie bags and much more. The competition organisers and all of the competitors would like to express their sincere gratitude to Protein Dynamix for supporting the show. Ambassadors Deek, Mustafa and Alex represented the brand on the day where they manned a well presented Protein Dynamix stall, giving out free samples to spectators, awarded the winners their medals and supported competitors backstage. We have no doubt that Protein Dynamix is going to continue to become more and more popular in the student market after their involvement in the SPC.

 

MASS_SPC_2016 (23 of 24) PD Stall

Other notable mentions include the audience, who showed outstanding support by cheering on our competitors throughout the full 8 hours. All of our judging panel including Matt Sallis, Laura Baker, Stephen Box, Holly Welch, Josh Bridgman and Stephen Olagoke who had extremely tough task on their hands to separate winners from a very competitive line-up. Our guest posers Stephen and Feyi with a dazzling performance, ambassadors Deek, Alex and Mustafa from Protein Dynamix, Bristol SU, our tech staff, DJ Harry Raven, Photographer Sam Bondarenko, Management Omar Barakat and all of our volunteers who made the event run smoothly.

 

MASS_SPC_2016

Last but not least a huge congratulations to every single competitors who stepped on stage at the 2016 MASS SPC. It takes a lot of courage and dedication to compete and every single one of them is a champion. We’re expecting big things to come from all of the MASS SPC 2016 graduates!

 

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Category winners

View the full scoresheet here.

 

Women’s Fresher winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

1st Paula Botelho Bonamigo

3rd Simi Ahmed

2nd Olivia Hill-Mathieson

 

Women’s Bikini Short (Up to 163cm) winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

2nd Sarah Barron

1st Cassidy Mackenzie

3rd Liz Smith

 

Women’s Bikini Tall (Over 163cm) winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

2nd Jessica Guy

1st Phoebe Hagan

3rd Liberty Pullen

 

Women’s Figure winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

2nd Martina Efremova

1st Mia Holmes

 

Men’s Athletic winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

2nd Jun Wei Tan

1st Jake Berney

 

Men’s Fresher winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

3rd Lubomba Munkuli

1st Antonny Cordeiro

2nd Megum Muhic

 

Men’s Physique Short (up to 170cm) winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

2nd Del Fadipe

1st Ashwin Gurung

3rd Marcus Williams

 

Men’s Physique Medium (170cm-178cm) winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

3rd Anwar Stephenson

1st Stelio Antonas

2nd Payum Pourzadeh

 

Men’s Physique Tall (Over 178cm) winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

3rd Mo Samuels

1st Michael Tennant

2nd Jake Doan

 

Men’s Classic Bodybuilding winners 

MASS_SPC_2016

From left to right

3rd Lubomba Munkuli

1st Sebastian Wolsoncroft-Dodds

2nd Matt Dove

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

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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
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Twitter @joshleader
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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.

 

 

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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
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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!”

 

 

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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

 

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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.

 

 

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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

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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
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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
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bodypower expo 2015 mass back exhibition

BodyPower is Back!

BodyPower is back and is taking the fitness industry by storm once again. The UK’s largest fitness exhibition returns for its 2015 instalment and it’s bigger and better than ever before.

 

Now into its seventh year running, BodyPower attracts over 70,000 fitness enthusiasts from over 100 countries Worldwide.

Once again Birmingham’s NEC arena will play host to the leading UK fitness event and the venues accessibility will surely prove key in attracting the international fitness market.

 

Epic Fitness Summit

New for 2015 is the ‘EPIC Summit’, a full 3 day programme from World class, evidence based speakers. EPIC, which stands for Evidence and Practical Insight Centred, focuses on the science behind the statements, helping to broaden your knowledge base and even offer solutions to everyday fitness problems.

 

 

EPICFitnessSummitDebates

Some of the Epic Fitness Summit Speakers

 

 

 

Students especially can profit from the summit, a large portion of the content covered directly correlates with a plethora of degrees and college courses. The evidence based nature allows students to learn how experts translate and apply the evidence and literature on certain subjects to their professional surroundings.

Par for the course is the portfolio of athletes BodyPower will house for its three day course this year, your favourites from every aspect of fitness you could dream of!

 

An Array of Athletes

PhilHeathBodyPowerCurrent and 4x Mr Olympia Phil Heath will be attending the event, giving the BodyPower debut of his latest business venture “Gifted Nutrition” a premium supplement line.

Other returning athletes include: 4x Mr Olympia Jay Cutler, First ever Ms Physique Olympia Dana Linn Bailey, 8x Mr Olympia Ronnie Coleman, Optimum Nutrition’s Steve Cook, one of my favourite athletes in the business Callum Von Moger, Mike Rashid and many others, for more information on the athletes at this year’s event head on over to the BodyPower Athlete Page

 

Josh Bridgeman takes the next step!

our MASS Student Physique Championship overall men’s champion Josh Bridgeman is taking the next step aftering winning the MASS SPC by entering the USN BodyPower classic Men’s Physique competition in the junior category. We caught up with the champ to see how his preparation is going…

 

Matt Marsh Photography

How are you feeling going into your next competition off the back of your win at the MASS SPC?

“I’m feeling ok thanks! I had 3-4 days off the diet which I suffered for, but I’ve managed to bring it all back in again! So I’m just excited to get on stage again now.”

 

The USN BodyPower classic, is this going to be on a whole new level?

“The USN Classic should be a good event, it’s not restricted to students so the competition can be huge. Although I am doing the juniors (under 23). But it’s a different competition with different attire and different posing. So adapting will be a fun test.”

 

Where and when can we watch you?

“Saturday 16th of May – USN Auditorium for the USN Classic junior men’s physique at 2pm. Hopefully see you guys there.”

Follow Josh’s progress over the BodyPower weekend at Josh Bridgeman Fitness

 

MASS Group Photo @ 10am Outside Hall 19

2015 looks to be the biggest year for BodyPower since its beginnings in 2009 and it has been agreed it will take over 5/6 halls in the NEC. MASS won’t be exhibiting this year as we’re already over-endowed with club applications and stash has almost sold out. But, club group trips are still in full swing nonetheless so be sure to wear your MASS stash and meet us outside hall 19 at 10am where we’ll be taking a MASSive group photo before invading the expo. See you there!

Facebook event: MASS Group Photo @ BodyPower

 

By Wade Sorrensen
Queens University Belfast

 

 

The Unisex Red Muscle Vest only £16.99. Order before Wednesday to get it in time for bodyPower.

The Unisex Red Muscle Vest only £16.99. Order before Wednesday to get it in time for bodyPower.

Click here for information on tickets. Use code 'BPMASS' when purchasing for a free t-shirt.

Click here for information on tickets. Use code ‘BPMASS’ when purchasing for a free t-shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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