strength wars to mass wars

From Strength Wars to MASS Wars

MASS Reading president and all-around athlete Michael Tennant sheds light on what it was like to compete in Strength Wars and what he’s looking forward to most at MASS Wars

Michael Tennant
University of Reading
MASS Reading President

 

Where and when did you compete in Strength Wars?

I competed in Strength Wars November last year 2016 at a gym in Berlin, Germany. The Youtube video of the battle was released a month later and now has over 3 million views.

 

 

 

 

What is Strength Wars?

It is a lifting competition comprising of a mix of exercises which all have to be completed for a certain number of reps. The competitor who can finish all the exercises in the shortest amount of time wins.

 

 

 

mass wars a

 

You were put against the most feared competitor, The Faceless, were you scared? And how did it go?

I was very nervous to battle against the faceless as he is extremely strong. I got beaten fairly quickly but it was still an incredible day and it was great fun to compete. I was happy with how I did considering the crazy challenge I was up against!

 

 

 

event banner

 

What and when is MASS Wars?

MASS Wars is MASS societies take on Strength Wars. Whilst a competition, MASS wars is mainly an opportunity for MASS athletes to meet up and test out their strength in a competition style setting. Instead of a single battle, there will be heats that will lead up to the main event, so whatever your ability it will be a quality day and a chance to learn some new things and meet likeminded people.

 

 

 

mass wars b

 

What advice would you give to people unsure about competing in Mass Wars?

Just go for it. In my first year at University, joined MASS and went along to my first ever lifting competition with the society. I wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t really know anyone else in the society, but I ended up having the best day and I made some great new friends. I am pretty sure I would not have competed in the MASS Student Physique Championships or the British Powerlifting Finals if I hadn’t first competed for my MASS society as it gave me so much more confidence and training motivation. I would encourage anyone to give it a go as you will be surprised how much more you can achieve with the right goal!

 

 

 

mass wars b

 

What are you looking forward to most at MASS Wars?

Mostly I am looking forward to meeting people from other MASS societies, as this has always been the biggest highlight of every MASS event. However I am definitely also looking forward to watching the final heats!

 

 

 

IMG_9982_editcompressed2

 

Any tips for training towards MASS Wars and for on the day?

It will definitely help to practice the exercises, which are available on the MASS national Facebook page. The weights of the competition are not yet determined but will be based on a questionnaire of each competitor and the weights they are able to use for each exercise. This means you shouldn’t be asked to lift a weight which you are not able to do, at least in the early heats.

 

 

 

2017-11-16 (6)

 

What are your future training/competition goals?

My goal for 2018 is to build strength and fitness whilst maintaining my size and balancing out my physique. I am also looking to compete in the British Powerlifting National competition in just under a years time. I competed last year and did OK but this time I am hungry to get a podium finish!

 

 

 

mass wars c

 

For more info and to enter the MASS Wars head to the official event page: EVENT PAGE

 

Questions

 

For Further Details:
Facebook page: MASS Wars
Facebook group: MASS Wars
Instagram: www.instagram.com/masswars
Tickets page: bit.ly/mass-wars

Get ready for war!

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image mass wars

MASS Wars – Get Ready for War!

MASS Wars is the all-out battle over who really is the strongest Uni in the UK. A tiered system in which competitors battle it out strength wars style to get through to the next round and ultimately compete in the finals.

 

MASS WARS
2 PM to 7 PM SATURDAY 25TH NOVEMBER
The Foundry, Vauxhall.

MASS Wars will be 3 heats of strength battles taking elements from all of the strength disciplines. A combination of exercises from bodybuilding, strongman, and powerlifting put together into a series exercises to make a ‘parkour’ that competitors will go head to head against one and other to complete in the fastest time possible.

It’ll be just like the YouTube series: https://www.youtube.com/user/BodybuildingRev

You enter and compete as individuals, but there are is a points system whereby all competitors from your University’s points add up to make your Uni’s team total. And we’ll have a Uni winner.

4 categories: men’s light, men’s heavy, women’s light, women’s heavy. It’ll be accessible for everyone!

 

The Workouts

There will be three workouts, making three heats. Complete the workout as fast as you can to qualify to the next heat and eventually the finals.

Heat 1: Fastest times go through – 5-minute time cap
Heat 2: the top 2 athletes go through – 7-minute time cap
Finals: a head to head battle for 1st place – 9-minute time cap

 

Scroll to the very bottom to see the workouts!

 

Categories

There are 4 categories; 2 for men and 2 for women (men’s heavy, men’s light, women’s heavy, women’s light). You’ll be assigned categories and weights will be released 1 week out from the competition.

Weights will be announced for each category closer to the competition. When you register on for the competition you are asked for your 1 rep max for a series of exercises. We’ll use this information to tailor the event to those taking part.

 

Individual and team placings to be won.

Individual progression is described as above in the heats progression description. For team placings; each competitor you enter will gain 1 point for completing a parkour and 1 point for completing a parkour and qualifying for the next heat (or if in the finals, winning). Your team score will be the total score of all of your competitors.

 

Pound for Pound and Spectator events

Running parallel to the main event will be a series of exercises where you can set your maximum weight for your bodyweight. These are open to both competitors and spectators to have a go at throughout the day.

 

Entry

Spectator Entry – £6
Competitor Entry – £20 for MASS members, £25 for non-MASS members
Cost includes a FREE 2017 MASS Wars T-Shirt
which is to be worn on the day when taking part
We cannot guarantee sizes but the sooner you pay your entry the more likely you are to be assigned your requested size.

 

 

Eventbrite - 2017 MASS WARS

 

Student only

You’ll be required to show a valid (in date) student ID and a matching regular ID on the day.

 

Prizes

Big prizes will be up for grabs for both individual and team winners

 

On the day

Registration for competitors will take place from 2pm-2.30pm. This is to tick-off that you have arrived and collected your t-shirt. Access to the arena will be from 2.50pm and the Wars will start at 3 pm.

 

Questions

For Further Details:
Facebook page: MASS Wars
Facebook group: MASS Wars
Instagram: www.instagram.com/masswars
Tickets page: bit.ly/mass-wars

Get ready for war!

 

The workouts

 

 

Heat 1 Heat 2 heat 3

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

maximuscle

Maximuscle CONFIRMED as new sponsors in BIG deal

MASS is very pleased to announce that the infamous sports nutrition brand MAXIMUSCLE are now MASS’s headline sports nutrition sponsors. Let us tell you more…

 

 

21314351_10154945465979067_2687399459899354457_n

The Brand

Maximuscle is a huge brand and pretty much a household name. The first sports nutrition company to hit the market when sports supplements were first introduced. Everyone remembers their first tub of Promax or Cyclone and the journey that sent them on. The Maximuscle image is clean and professional, a well-presented brand.

 

We feel that this prestigious and accredited aura that Maximuscle has will reflect well on MASS and on our societies. Helping us to grow the society network and help our societies recruit more members.

 

 

17015922_10154392116994067_4449454332000762163_oThe Product Range

The product range is large, specific and affordable. It’s important that our sponsor has products you’ll want to use and that cater to all areas of training. Maximuscles range stems from muscle building all-in-ones to sport specific products, electrolyte replenishing endurance products, convenience products such as ready-to-drink shakes and bars and now their new RAW ingredients range, and more. Meaning there’s something for all your members.

 

A side note from us – their new Award Winning RAW range is a gamechanger for us in choosing Maximuscle for be your sponsor. You can now get the core components we all love, with that upmarket Maximuscle feeling, at affordable prices – making it one line of Maxi products that I know you’d definitely want to and would use as well as potentially some of the other more specialised lines also. Check out the RAW range on their site here 😊

 

 

17880287_10154513718499067_8182006891119026649_o

ALL Maximuscle products are certified by ‘INFORMED-SPORT’

The Informed-Sport programme certifies that nutritional supplements and/or ingredients that carry the Informed-Sport logo have been screened for substances banned in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Informed-sport requires that every batch of a product must be tested in order to grant use of the INFORMED-SPORT logo… And EVERY Maximuscle product is certified.

 

Lots of brands are slapping on ‘finest quality ingredients’, ‘cutting edge innovation’, ‘quality assured’ and other stickers on their packaging but if you look up what these actually mean or is it a proper accreditation it’s likely that it’s either not an accreditation at all and is just marketing or it’s a very poor standard certification where they haven’t had to meet particularly stringent testing to get it. And where some other brands may be claiming to be working with Informed-Sport they’re only certifying a particular ‘range’ of products and charging extra for that range, which to us defeats the object of being ‘Informed-Sport’ certified in the first place and just looks like a marketing ploy so that they can get the ‘Informed-Sport’ logo on their website in some capacity and look like they’re doing things properly.

 

For Maximuscle, on the other hand, it’s not a marketing ploy, it’s a value and a promise. And that’s why every single product is certified. MASS, as a pro-natural and academic organisation, is really pleased to be associated with an all Informed-Sport brand.

 

 

 

17492811_10154456818424067_6527270206082227889_o

The Support

Maximuscle will be generous in their support to us and our societies to help drive the MASS mission. You can expect; samples for all MASS members, care packages for your committee to use as prizes for competitions, a heavy discount on the standard Maximuscle range, a reasonable discount on the MaxiRAW range, athlete visits for seminars and more.

 

The above is all coming soon. Contact your society committee for the latest!

 

 

 

15896308_10154243452374067_4093803110300084715_o

About the Athlete

It’s important for us to be working with more than a sports nutrition company, but rather a brand that’s about the athlete.
Maximuscles online support area, the ‘Home of Gains’, is evidence of really going the extra mile for their customers to provide a complete training experience and not just products. In the Home of Gains you can find meal plans, training plans, training videos, competitions are more to keep you interested and equip you with the tools you need to make gains should you need a helping hand. Join here: Home of Gains

 

And their chosen athletes reflect this value also. Their team consists of football players, rugby players, professional boxers, bodybuilders, powerlifters, sports models, cover models and personal trainers who love what they do and want to share their passions through seminars and workshops which MASS members can look forward to getting involved in.

 

 

In it for the long haul

With a 2-year arrangement from the get-go, we are committed to working closely with Maximuscle to help MASS members make gains nationwide!

 

 

 

14711310_10154027647439067_5440956422629373735_o

 

 

Have a browse at www.maxinutrition.com in anticipation of the great deals and offers that’ll be hitting your inbox soon!

 

And stay tuned for lots of cool fun collaborations in the pipeline!

 

David Bissell

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

IMG_5958-2

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.

 

 

 

IMG_6026-2

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.

 

Vote for Tom

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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!

 

 

 

IMG_20170307_094938_508-2

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!

 

 

 

IMG_20170228_110743_914-2

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.

Vote for Isabelle

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

1-2

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.

 

 

 

2-2

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.

Vote for Matthew

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

1-2

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.

 

 

 

2-2

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.

 

Vote for Elliott

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

image1 (1)

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!

 

 

 

image5 (2)

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.

Vote for Amanda

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

16804807_10155048847582658_1348988565_o

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.

 

 

 

IMG_2184-2

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.

 

Vote for Phil

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 IMG_20170315_142055-2

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

 

 

 

IMG_20161226_151648-2

 

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.

 

Vote for Joshua

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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!

 

Vote for David

 

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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!

 

Vote for Catrin

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

SBAJ9905[1]-2

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.

 

 

 

IMG_5675[1]-2

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

 

Vote for Fridaos

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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!

 

Vote for Oliver

 

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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!

 

 

IMG_3778-2

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.

 

 

 

IMG_3786-2

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!

 

Vote for Alex

Get Tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image

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.

 

 

 

2-2

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.

 

Vote for MO

 Get tickets

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

feature image edit

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 |

 

 

DSC00447-3


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 |

 

 

DSC00438-3


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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

featured image RBANDS

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

 

 

DSC00428png

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

 

 

DSC00419png

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.

 

 

 

DSC00424png

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.

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

featured image

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

featured image shona

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.”

16731833_1545203195493978_1730121301_o

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.

 

 

16805069_1545203512160613_135795262_o

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.

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

featured image vegan

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.”

 

 

phil lorimer vegan veganism bodybuilding

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.

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

societyawards2016

Society Awards Winners – 2016

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

 

The Awards

 

Society of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society

Winners: University of Bristol

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

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president

Winner: Omar Barakat, University of Bristol

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

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society

Winners: University of Kent

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

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee

Winners: Cardiff University

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

Member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring member

Yue-En, Cardiff University

Event of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society event

Welsh (Swansea and Cardiff) University Powerlifting varsity

Collaboration of the year

To recognise the most outstanding collaboration between two societies

Welsh (Swansea and Cardiff) University Powerlifting varsity

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

Christie Civetta, University of Bristol

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

Winner: MYGYM, University of Bristol

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

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

Winners: University of Bristol Students Union

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

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

Loughborough

Laurence Holt on Loughborough’s win – MASS Championship

Loughborough president Laurence Holt shares words of encouragement for all 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls as we talk about what it was like to win the title.

Name: Laurence Holt
University: Loughborough
Course: International Business
Year of Study: second

Congratulations! How does it feel to be crowned the MASS Championship University Champions?

Unremarkable! How did we come from a team of just 12 members in 2008 to Mass University champions? I guess we have our competitors to thank.

After eyeing up our main rivals ( Cardiff ) we honestly thought all hope was lost, however over the series of the MASS Championship our members brought the fire and helped secure the title.

Amazing achievement by all the students who competed and we look forward to showing off the trophy.

 

 

loughborough university

Which competitions did the team compete in, and how did they get on in each of them?

Across the year MASS brought a series of events, ranging from Physique to powerlifting. Fortunately for Loughborough, our members competed in 4 out of 5 sports covering a diverse range of results. Both the Powerlifting and Weightlifting proved to be most successful with coupling PB’s and total Wilks/Sinclair scores.

 

 

Which is your favourite competition and why?

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Powerlifting as it was filled with new competitors and put a refreshing twist on competing in MASS championships.

 

 

loughborough

Was it hard to get members interested in competing?

Luckily for us, Loughborough already attracts athletes looking to excel in a variety of sports. Therefore with a little advertising and word of mouth, word quickly spread.

 

Give us the low-down on what it’s like to run a society?

Brilliant! I have had the pleasure of meeting and inspiring new members to the fitness world and attend some pretty cool lectures. With the backing of an enthusiastic committee a simple idea can turn into a extraordinary event.

Although it’s been a roller-coaster of ups and downs, I will be sad to be stepping down.

 

Does the work-load vary between term-time and holidays?

Running a society is simply what you make of it and the effort you put in. Work- loads and deadlines will come and go but a 1 hour meeting a week can make all the difference.

 

What’s the team’s training like in preparation for a competition?

This is a hard question. Some members prefer to train alone and focus on personal goals whilst others prefer to meet up and carry out joint training sessions.  Irrespective of training routines all members however are keen to motivate and provide a helping hand before the big day.

 

 

12096074_680537645414104_1298897627280025076_n

Do other committee members help out with the competitions?

Yes, all competitions are seen as a responsibility by committee members to ensure athletes attend events to deliver a ground breaking performance.

 

In the end, is it all worth it?

YES, what’s the worst that could happen? You loose all your gains and look like Jeff Seid

 

What advice would you give to 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls?

What have you got to loose. If you don’t know have a go.

 

What’s next for you?

Hit the gym and get bigger than Dave Bissell himself. It’s always good to aim high Laurence 😉

 

Where can our readers follow your society?

Easy. Simply type in Loughborough Fitness and Wellbeing society on Facebook and await approval.

 

Interview by David Bissell
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

jakedoan

Jake Doan – What it Takes to Be the Best

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

What was your favourite competition and why?

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

 

 

MVI_2421.00_00_51_01.Still002 

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

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

 

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

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

Does your training vary between term time and holidays?

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

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

 

 

jake doan

 

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

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

What’s your current training split?

Day 1- Back and Biceps

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

 

 Day 2 Chest and Triceps

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

  

Day 3- leg day

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

 

 Day 4 Arms and shoulders

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

Rest If needed.

 

 

How do you structure your nutrition?

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

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

Can we see your current diet plan?

(click to enlarge)

 

 

jake doan mealplan

 

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

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

In the end, is it all worth it?

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

 

 

jake doan

 

What advice would you give to 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls?

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

 

What’s next for you?

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

Where can our readers follow you?

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

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

 

 

 

Interview by David Bissell

MASS Championship leaderboard
MASS Championship scores
MASS Championship competitions

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

rosie2

What It Takes to Be the Best – Rosie Howard

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

strongman9

What was your favourite competition and why?

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Does your training vary between term time and holidays?

No not really.

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

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

What’s your current training split?

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

 

Session 1 – Bench Press

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

Session 2 – Squat

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

Session 3 – Bench Press

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

Session 4 – Deadlift

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

 

 

How do you structure your nutrition?

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

Can we see your current diet plan?

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

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

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

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

 

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

A photo posted by Rosie Howard (@rosiemayevelyn) on

In the end, is it all worth it?

100% I love competing!!

What advice would you give to 2017 MASS Championship hopefuls?

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

What’s next for you?

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

Where can our readers follow you?

You can follow me on instgram @rosiemayevelyn

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

societyawards2016

MASS Society Awards 2016 | Recognising achievement

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

 

Committee members can download the application form here: MASSsocietyawards2016

 

The Awards

 

Society of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society

 

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

 

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president

 

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

 

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee

 

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

 

Member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring

 

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

 

Event of the year

To recognise the most outstanding society event

 

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

 

Collaboration of the year

To recognise the most outstanding collaboration between two societies

 

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

 

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society

 

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

 

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

 

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

 

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

 

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

 

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

 

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

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

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!

 

MASS_SPC_2016

 

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

momfebruary

Meet MASS February Member of the Month, Matt Molyneux

After receiving many inspiring applications for the February member of the month award we had a super tough task on our hands to decide the winner. Long debates and discussions later we’ve very pleased to award Matt Molyneux with the member of the month award, congratulations Matt!

 

Matt’s won a Protein Dynamix student bundle and 5kg of chicken from Musclefood

 

Name: Matt Molyneux

University and degree program: University of Lincoln, 3rd year BSc Biomedical Science

 

winnner

The call to action…

After giving up 14 years of competitive swimming to focus on my A Level studies, I quickly became restless and needed a new fitness objective to keep me sane. I had the cardiovascular endurance of marathon runner and the body to match: 5’11 – 135lbs. Inspired in a way that most young males can identify with, my sights were set on the physique of a superhero; Captain America (Chris Evans), to be exact.

A fitness and financial investment…

I started my journey with a £20 dumbbell set from Argos, hitting bicep curls from every angle, every night. Improvements were made but my interest faded with the limited number of exercises available to me and so I invested further in a £50 barbell set, again from Argos. I drove home after collecting the set, bar half sticking out of the window, and immediately loaded it with the full 50kg.

The path to progress…

Deadlifts were first and I managed a few sets of 3 before collapsing on to the bed feeling like Bane had just snapped my back in half. I kept with it, just me and the barbell, every day improvising to create new and different ways to work my muscles. Cushion supported floor press, wrist snapping power-clean/ front squat combos and swing guided barbell curls in all their infinite glory. I kept this up for around 2 years before moving to university and joining what seemed like Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach at the time .. the uni gym. My training advanced but without a squat rack I could only get so far and so I worked hard on gaining muscle as well as adding pounds to my deadlift and my bench, watching the numbers fly up month by month.

A summer of setbacks…

During the summer between second and third year I took myself to my local gym where I managed to contract medial epicondylitis (tendonitis of the inner elbow) attempting overhead barbell tricep extensions. Eight months with no deadlifting and very minimal heavy training, I returned for third year to a new (and cheaper) gym, closer to my house than the university gym.

The comeback…

The 175lbs of hard-earned man that I had built myself into traded loyalties and my new gym obsession took over: powerlifting. Just over 6 months in the new gym, weighing in at approximately 185lbs, I have managed a 147.5kg squat, a 100kg bench and a 182.5kg deadlift without breaking 12% body fat. I’m still undecided about pursuing bodybuilding or powerlifting, but for now it’s a bit of both, and a much smarter approach to my training.

Thank you to all of the applicants, please apply again next month!
Edited by Emma Pudge

 

Competition sponsored by

 

 

Protein-dynamix_logotype_v1

 

 

musclefood-Logo

For Enquiries
Email – info@muscleathleticsports.com
Phone – 0208 668 4310
Office hours are 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday
Thanks for taking part!

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

fitness basics

Breaking Down the Basics Episode 1: Meal Timing

Myestery

The online fitness community is ever-expanding, and as consumers we are faced with masses of information on a daily basis.
Whilst this information sharing opens up incredible opportunities for learning, it simultaneously forces us to confront the issue of who is worth listening to, and who is best cast aside.
A topic guaranteed to get people talking and split opinion is meal timing.

Traditionally, gym goers might preach that meal timing is everything… Calling on you to neck a protein shake before your feet hit the floor in the morning, then follow up with an alarm for your subsequent 30g protein dose every 2.5 hours. All whilst nailing your pre and post workout nutrition, and of course avoiding carbs at night like they are going out of fashion.

But then as of late we have seen a different end of the spectrum rise in popularity. With countless spins put on ‘intermittent fasting’ and even competitive physique athletes taking a more flexible approach to their diet – so that weekly totals and overall food intake are all that seems to matter.

With the speculation and rumors aside, let’s make sense of the scientific research on meal timing. What has actually been shown in real, human studies? And what does that mean for you?

#1) Overall Daily Calorie Intake is King

Despite the countless details we could explore with meal timing, your actual calorie intake remains the overbearing factor.

If your body maintains weight at 2500 calories and you take in 3000 daily, you WILL gain weight. Whether those calories are from one Man Vs Food-style showdown, or they sneak under the radar disguised as 8 sporadic snacks.

Studies show that once daily intake is equally matched – almost all otherwise noteworthy factors become accounted for.

Meaning it makes up the biggest part of the picture and provides a foundation for the rest of your diet.

Take Home Message #1

Know your intake and focus on controlling that before you entertain anything else. Understanding your body’s response to a certain amount of calories is valuable information and will provide you with a base of knowledge going forward.

Focus on eating the right amount of calories for your goals, above the precise timing of different nutrients.

#2) Eating More Frequently Will NOT ‘Speed Your Metabolism’

The ‘Thermic Effect of Food’ (TEF) is the amount of calories your body burns in order to digest food.

TEF is dependent upon the calorie content of a meal, not the frequency of meals.

Studies have shown no change in TEF with meal patterns ranging from 2-7 meals per day. However, a reduced TEF has been observed in sedentary people that follow a sporadic weekly feeding schedule.

Take Home Message #2

Find a moderate, daily feeding schedule that best fits your lifestyle. Stay within the 2-7 meal range and your metabolism will be operating like a well oiled machine.

#3) Spacing Out Protein Intake May Benefit Your Muscle Mass

Net muscle protein synthesis moves in waves throughout the day. As you eat protein – it temporarily increases and peaks, followed by a steady decrease until your next meal. So fasting for extended periods increases your body’s time spent in a state of breakdown.

But pause the search for a protein-infused IV just yet. As studies have shown that once muscle protein synthesis is maximized – there is a refractory period, that requires waiting until your body is ready to maximize it again. Making you wait to reap the benefits of a high protein meal once more.

Take Home Message #3

Research has shown the sweet-spot to be a serving of high quality protein every 4-6 hours. To really ensure you maximize the muscles’ response to what you are eating – opt for sources high in the amino acid Leucine. Such as chicken, beef, eggs, whey, turkey and fish.

#4) There is NOT a One Hour ‘Anabolic Window’ Surrounding Your Workout

The notion that there is a single hour after your workout to capitalize on food intake actually originated from research done in the 1980s. But luckily, scientists did not call it a day there and then. As evidence has since surfaced to disprove that you need protein and ‘fast acting’ carbohydrates within an hour of your session.

In fact, a recent analysis has suggested a far more practical 4‐6 hour time slot surrounding your workout.

Protein and carbohydrates consumed in this time may work synergistically with the positive impact training has on your body.

Take Home Message #4

Intuitively, it makes sense to consume protein and carbohydrates to help fuel your weight lifting performance and recover effectively.

But you are most likely safe eating a couple of hours before your workout, then heading home to cook and enjoy a meal leisurely afterwards. Just ensure a good protein and carbohydrate dose with each meal.

The one caveat is if you train twice in a single day. At which point quickly replenishing your glycogen with carbohydrates becomes important to your performance.

To Recap…

First and foremost, focus on your daily calorie intake. Before finding a meal schedule that best fits your lifestyle, ideally between two and seven meals a day. Spread your protein intake out over those meals if you want to maximize muscle gain. Then, to fuel your performance and recover well – aim to eat protein and carbohydrates in the 4-6 hour interval around your workout.

It is repeated efforts, sustained over a long period of time that yield results. I get it, that is not new and sexy. It does not promise 30-day abs nor guarantee less work and more results. But, creating your ideal physique involves playing the long game. By choosing sustainability and enjoyment over short term extreme measures, you can appreciate the journey all the more. Ensuring that the process is just as gratifying as the end goal.

By Jack Lenton
Exercise Science Student
Follow @JackLenton7 on Twitter for thousands of more training and nutrition tips!
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

memberofthemonthfebruary

MASS’s Member of the Month Competition

In MASS’s member of the month competition we’re awarding one lucky member with huge prizes for an inspiring achievement.

 

Have you defied the odds and achieved something truly spectacular? Have you made a transformation? Have you taken on a new lifestyle? Or maybe you’ve overcome a serious injury or illness? Whatever your story, we want to hear it!

 

To be in with a chance of winning a Protein Dynamix student bundle and 5kg of chicken from Musclefood fill in the submission form below and send you’re before and after pictures to info@muscleathleticsports.com with your name and subject ‘member of the month’.

 

Submission deadline has been extended to Sunday 28th February.

 

 

Kelynn Renals

4th Year psychology student, Cardiff University

I used to be fat, now I am less fat. When I was fat, there were lots of times when I was happy with the way I looked, now there are times when I am not happy with the way I look. Despite what the media says, being leaner does not guarantee happiness. This being said, I have changed a lot as a person in the time between these two photos, and that’s because I’ve met a load of new people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Gym people are often seen as narcissistic bellends, but most people are usually using it as a way of working through something that they’ve got going on, whether it’s self-esteem, mental health, stress, trying to become stronger for a sport that they love etc. This is why I think that the key to being happier is not about looking skinnier, it’s about eating foods that keep you healthy and going and doing something new with people who build others up, rather than knocking them down. P.s. I still want to get leaner, but that’s more to do with hitting weight categories that’ll help me compete :).

June 2014 – January 2016

 

 

Keylnn Renals

 

Competition sponsored by

 

 

Protein-dynamix_logotype_v1

 

 

musclefood-Logo

For Enquiries
Email – info@muscleathleticsports.com
Phone – 0208 668 4310
Office hours are 9am – 5pm Monday-Friday
Thanks for taking part!

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

strongwoman

Weights Announced – MASS’s Strongest Man 2016

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

 

  • Farmers Walk (Head to Head)

15m there and back.

Weights are per side

W<65kg – 50kg

W>65kg – 60kg

M<85kg – 80kg

M<105kg – 100kg

M>105kg – 110kg

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

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

Starting Weights

W<65kg – 40kg

W>65kg – 50kg

M<85kg – 60kg

M<105kg – 80kg

M>105kg – 100kg

  • Overhead medley (75 seconds max)

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

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

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

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

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

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

All categories will do the following for time

12kg x2

14kg x2

16kg x2

80kg bonus

  • Stones run (75 seconds max)

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

W<65kg – 50kg, 60kg, 70kg, 80kg, 90kg

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

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

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

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

 

For details on how to enter:

MASS’s Strongest Man National Championship

 

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

trainingpowerliftingnovice

Powerlifting Meet Introductory Guide

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

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

 

Introduction to lift rules

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

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

 

The Squat

 

MASSPowerliftingsquat

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Bench Press

 

IMG_5414

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

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

 

The Deadlift

 

IMG_6666

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

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

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

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

 

Keeping your head on Game Day

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

Handlers and Groups

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

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

Schedule and Timing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet sequence (Time-Flight):

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

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

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

 

temp

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

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

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

 

Food and Supplements

 

food

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

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

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

Introduction to Matt Gary’s attempt selection process

 

Matt Gary

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

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

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

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

 

The First Attempt

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

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

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

The Second Attempt

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

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

The Third Attempt

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

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

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

 

Applying the Maths; Course Corrections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

mass powerlifting

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

josh bridgeman post ukbff final

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

 

What you’re getting:

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

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

 

Show day

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

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

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

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

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

8am: Registration for UKBFF Finals.

8:30am: Tanning appointment.

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

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

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

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

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

12am: Start pumping up.

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

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

1pm: Final 15 cut down to top 6.

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

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

2pm: Junior physique completed and all done!

 

 

ukbff junior physique finals 2015 josh bridgeman

How did you feel the day before the finals?

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

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

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

Tell us a bit about your grooming and tanning routine…

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

Who came with you to the competition?

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

What was the atmosphere like backstage?

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

How did it feel to be up on stage?

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

 

 

ukbff junior physique finals 2015 josh bridgeman

Did your posing go to plan?

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

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

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

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

Surprised, happy and overwhelmed, in that order.

What did you indulge in after the show?

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

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

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

 

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

 

1. Most outrageous thing you saw someone eat backstage:

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

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

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

3. Percentage of guys who brought their Mums along:

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

4. Biggest ego award goes to…

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

5. Average number of selfies per competitor:

At least 5 per competitor, check instagram!

6. Do people share their cheat food?

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

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

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

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

Yes. That is all.

9. Who rubs oil onto who?

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

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

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

Josh’s Diet

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

3 Rashers of bacon – 174kcals

Oranic multigrain bread – 220kcals

160g eggs: 235kcals

 

 

Lunch: 711

300g chicken breast – 306kcals

90g basmati rice: 316kcals

10g Coconut oil: 89kcals

 

 

Dinner: 1470kcals:

10g Coconut oil – 89kcals

3 Healthy living wraps – 546Kcals

350g 15% fat mince – 658Kcals

100g Greek Yoghurt – 57kcals

30g Cheddar cheese – 120kcals

 

Breakfast: 555Kcals

50g oats – 195kcals

203g eggs – 298Kcals

200ml Almond milk – 29 kcal

10g Honey – 33kcals

 

 

Lunch: 588Kcals

300g Sweet pot – 258kcals

200g Chicken – 204kcals

100g green beans – 29kcals

8g coconut oil – 72kcals

 

 

Dinner: 613Kcals

200g 10% Fat mince – 412kcals

50g white rice – 176kcals

100g asparagus – 32kcals

 

 

Snacks: 611kcals

3 kalo low fat rice cakes – 87kcals

30g peanut butter – 188kcals

120g Banana – 126kcals

100g Greek yoghurt -96kcals

5g Honey – 18Kcals

 

 

 Josh’s Training Plan

Upper body workout

Bench press – 5 sets 8 reps

superset with

Bent over row – 5 sets 12 reps

Incline flies – 5 sets 15 reps

superset with

Lat pulldowns 5 sets 8 reps

DB Shoulder press – 5 sets 12 reps

super set with

Lateral Raises – 5 sets 10 reps

Rope pull downs – 5 sets 10 reps

Super set

Straight bar curls 5 sets 10 reps

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

 

Lower body workout

Squats – 5 sets 5 reps

Hack squat – 4 sets 12 reps

Extensions- 5 sets 10 reps

superset with

Leg curls – 5 sets 10 reps

Leg press – 4 sets 20 reps

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

30-60 second rest on each of these.

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

 

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

 Interview by Emma Pudge

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

josh bridgeman

From the SPC stage to UKBFF National Finals…

Name: Josh Bridgman
University: Loughborough University
Degree programme and year: Masters: International Business. Just Graduated.

In brief, walk us through journey from SPC to UKBFF National Finals?

From the SPC, I decided to try my luck at a UKBFF Qualifier in Cumbria in June! Fortunately I came second and gained qualification into the British Finals this coming Saturday (3rd October). Between June and October I went travelling around America, but still trained twice a day and added some size! Now its the final week after cutting down my body fat again for the last 8-9 weeks.

Tell us a bit about the UKBFF National Finals – what’s it all about?

UKBFF National finals are an accumulation of the UK’s best physique/bodybuilding and Bikini athletes. The top 2 or 3 who have competed in one of the many qualifiers around the country then qualify for the final.

What was your motivation for entering the UKBFF scene?

It was natural progression, coming to an end at University, the next competition for me to do was UKBFF. It is the most recognised federation in the country so I thought I would try it out!

How did MASS SPC prepare you for the world of professional bodybuilding?

MASS SPC is a fantastic stepping stone for professional bodybuilding. It gives you Vital experience and the classes David puts on have helped me so much with my stage presence and confidence. Moreover, the friends gained in the process are for life and that’s something I will value forever!

 

 

Matt Marsh Photography

What is it about stepping on stage that keeps you coming back for more?

The adrenaline rush, the fans shouting and screaming, the fact that all the people on stage with you have worked months if not years just for 5-10mins on stage. It’s every ounce of effort you have that has been put into this moment all coming true. Relishing in it is one of the best feelings I’ve ever had! It’s a bug!

What was the main thing you took away from your experience at the SPC?
The SPC was the start of my journey. I will never be so thankful for David to pushing me into doing this event! It has really kickstarted my passion for fitness and bodybuilding and now my career.

How has your prep evolved throughout this journey?

Prep has changed so much each time! I now take a more calculated approach which allows me to relax a lot more and not stress about getting lean enough, because when the plan is in motion, nothing will stop you! I’m using lower carbs this time around, as well as lower fats and higher protein has really helped me keep my size and continually lose bodyfat. It’s all a learning curve and I will most likely change things the next time around as that’s the best way to learn!

 

 

11986990_1610652739187427_9118591795027702562_n

Training

How would you summarize your approach to training?

Pretty Brutal if I’m honest. I like to warm up very well, get blood into the muscle I’m working, and then go for an all out assault on that muscle. Taking to failure through the positive part of the motion and then failure through the negative part of the motion. Complete failure to force the muscle to grow!

How does your training leading up to a show vary from the off-season?

Leading up to a show volume will go up, training intensity will go up, rest time will go down. Generally aiming to burn more calories and fully fatigue the muscle! Also introduce cardio when I need to. Anywhere from 10-30 mins 2-5 times a week.!

How do you personally determine what constitutes a ‘good workout’?

A good workout to me is when you can’t give anymore, because if you come out the workout and you could of given that extra rep or set, then why not? Someone else is probably doing that so why shouldn’t you?

 

 

12036448_1617200325199335_8724791258992512603_n

How has your strength been affected by cutting?

Strength always takes a big hit, but for me it’s no problem as I leave my ego at the door. Bodybuilding is not about moving the most amount of weight possible, it’s about sculpting and perfecting your physique – sometimes it needs a more calculated approach rather than blunt force trauma!

What will you be doing back stage to pump up on Saturday?

Back stage I will have some dumbbells and just go through an all out circuit for upper body, getting blood into my muscles and generally getting my heart rate bit higher. I won’t over do it though; you don’t want to get fatigued before you go on and have to pose – keeping your abs tight while breathing heavy is not fun!!

Do you think that training or nutrition plays the greater role in achieving a stage-ready physique?

Both. People say its 70/30 or 60/40 or honestly for me its 50/50 If you don’t put everything into both then there’s no point in the other. 100% diet and 100% training. If you don’t train well, your diet becomes useless, other than making you a healthier person etc. And vice versa.

 

 

12039413_1615460292040005_3925181476462629712_n

Nutrition

Do you subscribe to a certain way of eating?

I do IIFYM, but I remain lactose and dairy free (personal choice) Generally my diet is based around whole grains and lean meats – I don’t have pizza, burgers and other foods which are considered unhealthy (unless it’s a cheat day!). I do this for wealth of life and making my self as healthy internally as externally. So lots of vegetables bit of fruit and a balanced diet.

Does this approach vary in the off-season?

Not really no – I will just increase the amount of food I eat compared to on season. Maybe a few more cheat days and if I want something I will generally have it.

How have you tried to counteract hunger whilst cutting?

Taking my mind off it! Going for a walk or generally remaining busy takes my mind away from food. If you’re bored, or if I’m bored at least, I head straight to the fridge!

Have you had any slip-ups along the way where you have deviated from your diet?

Nope. I have implemented days where I can be more relaxed on my diet; this allows me to focus on keeping to the plan during the days where they are scheduled. Generally my cravings and hunger problems are contained by these relaxed days! Though I’ve been close to caving in!

 

 

josh bridgeman

How have you handled social eating or meals out during your competition journey?

I have my scheduled days where I can go out with friends for food and generally relax more. This keeps my sanity level stable! But throughout the week I do not eat out.

How have your primed your nutrition during peak week?

I have done absolutely nothing! I calculated it perfectly this time around, allowing me to cruise into the final week, not having to change anything as I feel I am lean enough and ready for action!

Have you planned a post-show indulgence?

Cheesecake. I am a fiend for cheesecake. I cannot wait!!

What is your post-show nutritional strategy going to look like?

I’m going to have to reverse diet, and slowly taper off my cardio. Ended up on relatively low calories this time around with quite a lot of cardio. If I just stop and start eating with no cardio… Ill definitely gain a lot of unwanted fat. I’m thinking it will take around 4 weeks for this to end and for me to get into a full bulk, which I intend to stay in for a long time! Time to put on some muscle as I’ve been dieting most of the year.

 

 

10296410_1430085687244134_3489135706015530750_o

An inside on what it’s really like to be a bodybuilding competitor

What are some of the sacrifices you have had to make to reach your goals?

I don’t see my friends too much as they go out and eat a lot. I train twice a day most days so I have had to put people on hold for a long time. Generally putting myself before others, it’s a selfish sport at the end of the day. But I am excited for catching up with everyone and getting my relationships back with some people! hahaha

What has been the hardest part of prepping for the finals?

Honestly, this is my 5th prep this year, my body is telling me no more! The diet is really getting to my head, I get mood swings and if I’m hungry, I’m generally Hangry (hungry and angry).

Who has motivated or inspired you through the tough days of contest prep?

My Mum has done so, so much for me this prep. She tells me to keep going everyday, positive motivation from someone like your mum is so valuable when putting your body and mind through contest prep!

 

 

11182044_1567214040197964_1400238971568303801_n

Can you share with us some of your top ‘hacks’ for surviving contest prep?

Drink lots of water… Eat wholegrains to stay fuller for longer. But essentially there are no quick-fixes or hacks, ultimately, you either want it or you don’t.

Can you confess to trying out any whacky strategies in pursuit of the dream physique?

Haha! Let me think… I have tried stupid workouts… lots of food… Old school techniques. But nothing works better than hard work and putting the basics into action!

Tell us a bit more about your Youtube channel:

Originally, I started my Youtube channel just to document my movement through the fitness industry. Now, it’s more of a passion. I want to make my channel everyone’s channel. If I post a video on, let’s, say ‘carbohydrates’, then I want anyone who can add to what I’ve said to comment so that when people arrive at my channel, theu will get more than just my personal perspective (I’m so far from knowing everything. Also I just love editing and making videos!

 

 

What are some of the stereotypes about bodybuilding you want to shake off?

We are not all meatheads. We are more approachable than your average human. We love what we do so don’t challenge us as to why we do it; it’s the same reason you play golf or football or anything like that. We do not (well, I do not!) eat chicken rice and broccoli everyday haha! It can be fun.

Where do you see yourself going from here?

I want to grow my YouTube channel, along with my physique and hope to compete in the USA eventually and the Olympia if possible. But until then I will just keep grinding!

If you had one piece of advice for a student thinking of competing in bodybuilding, what would it be?

Do it. Just Do it. If you don’t like it then you don’t need to do it again. But I guarantee if you’re interested in bodybuilding, you will love it!

 

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

 Interview by Emma Pudge

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

Zanna interview

Girl Gains with Zanna Van Dijk – Sheffield University Graduate

Zanna Van Dijk is a Personal Trainer, PhD Nutrition and Bodypower Expo sponsored athlete, author of two ‘guilt-free treats’ ebooks, fitness model, blogger and creator of #girlgains, a social media revolution inspiring girls to become fitter, healthier and happier. But with a first class degree under her belt, Zanna is as accomplished in the classroom as she is in the weights room. We catch up with Zanna to find out her secrets to success at university, in the gym and out in the industry…

 

Tell us a bit about yourself…

Okey dokey. Hey, I am Zanna. I am a 22 year old (almost 23, eek!) personal trainer, fitness model and blogger. I live in London but I am originally from `Yorkshire. I went to the university of Sheffield and studied speech science, and graduated with a first class degree. I was a fully qualified speech and language therapist ready to enter the working world. Then I went travelling, realised that I needed to follow my passion, and moved into fitness. I did my PT course, moved to London and the rest is history really!

 

Where did your journey into health and fitness begin?

It began while I was at university. My degree was four years long and two years into it I decided to make changes to benefit my health. I was what I describe as “skinny fat” meaning I was slim but unhealthy – I ate poorly and didn’t exercise. I started to slowly move more and eat more nutritious foods. It was a gradual change over the course of months and years but it turned into a hobby, and then a passion.

 

How did your university experience shape the way you approach fitness in your own life or with clients?

It taught me the importance of balance. University is a very social time in your life. You’re surrounding by friends and going out a lot for meals, drinks and sometimes a cheeky party or two. As a result I encourage my clients (and myself) to maintain a balance in life. I use the 80/20 rule – I eat healthy and train hard 80% of the time and I indulge and relax 20% of the time. I also make sure that I am flexible in my approach to eating so I can enjoy meals out and social occasions with friends.

 

Zanna van Dijk

What do you see as some of the biggest obstacles to healthy living at university, and how do you think students can overcome them?

The biggest one is peer pressure. At uni it is often deemed as “cool” to go out, get drunk and eat takeaways. When I personally made changes to my lifestyle, I got a fair amount of criticism. However, just stick to your guns and realise that you’re doing this for you, not for anyone else or their approval. Another issue is budget but I found that ordering my meat online in bulk (I used musclefood) helped reduce my outgoings, and so did buying fresh veggies from the local greengrocer rather than a supermarket. In the end you have to prioritise health – you would happily spend £30 on a night out so why not spend that on a bunch of nutritious veggies and fruit for the week?

 

We know that you’re a proponent of IIFYM – do you feel this strategy is well suited to university or would you recommend a different dietary strategy for students?

I personally use IIFYM but I will never prescribe this or any specific dietary approach to everyone/students as a whole. You need to find what works for you. Sure IIFYM works for me but I have a few friends who I know hate tracking macros, so it wouldn’t work for them. Educate yourself on various approaches. Test them out and use trial and error. It is a learning curve.

 

Do you think you need a background in sports science / dietetics etc to be successful in the fitness industry?

Nope. Obviously it is going benefit you greatly and mean that you have the knowledge to be an incredible person in the fitness industry. Education is highly valuable and by having a degree in a relevant field you will already be leaps and bounds ahead of many people in the industry. However, it is not 100% necessary. For example personal trainers can do an independent course and then continue on to do  further education through more courses. These are often separate from university and they do not require a degree. Also -the fitness industry relies heavily on personality, charisma and enthusiasm which are things you cannot learn from a degree. Knowledge is power, but knowledge is useless unless you can apply it and make it relevant and accessible to your clients.

 

11289389_10152810663710740_3190372270180472861_o

Where do you see the fitness industry heading?

I think that it is really hard to tell where the industry is going to go. It is always developing and changing. I definitely see even more of a lean towards digital and technology based fitness like apps and online coaching. However, I don’t think that good old face to face personal training will ever die as it is so effective, personal and fun.

 

We’ve heard fantastic things about the Girl Gains movement – can you tell us more about this?

I recently wrote a whole blogpost about what #girlgains is (see here) but I can describe it in a nutshell. It is a movement started by myself and my two best friends. We are all personal trainers but all come from very different academic and fitness backgrounds. We have different stories to share and advice to give. We created a community called #girlgains which started as a hashtag and expanded into events which bring together hundreds of girls, as well as products like leggings and smoothies, The sole purpose of #girlgains is to unite women from all over the world and to inspire them to become fitter, healthier and happier.

 

Girl Gains puts a major emphasis on boosting self esteem and self acceptance – do you think the fitness industry holds unhealthy or unattainable standards?

Yes and No. In the fitness industry there are people who are open, honest, unfiltered and relatable. There are also those who are edited, perfected and unrealistic. The problem comes when people compare themselves to these individuals. Social media in the fitness industry NEEDS to be taken with a pinch of salt. Everyone chooses the most flattering picture, everyone posts the prettiest healthiest food. We all try to look our best as it is in our nature, but we all need to realise that everyone else is doing the same. The best thing is to “stop comparing your behind the scenes to everyone else highlight reel”. You do you.

 

11933474_10152988071730740_96389442037721479_n

With more and more health and fitness professionals offering their services, it can be difficult to find the right person to work with. What are the characteristics of a great coach or personal trainer?

There are two key components to a great coach: knowledge and personality. Look for someone who has qualifications and continues to learn through further study. If you have specific goals e.g. strength gains or running a marathon, then find a coach who specialises in this area. However, knowledge is not everything. A trainer needs to have a bubbly and infectious personality. They need to be able to motivate and inspire you. They need to make you feel comfortable.

The best thing to do is to book in a one off session with a trainer to try them out and get a feel for them before you move forward and book more sessions. You will either click with them or not.

 

What kind of clients do you work with?

Everyone! I work with middle aged men with mobility issues, young girls looking to learn the basics, busy business women and everything in-between. By far my biggest client group is women aged 18-35 who are looking to get fitter and stronger. I specialise in introducing girls to lifting weights in an unintimidating way and pushing them to make #girlgains of their own.

 

If you were now able to give one piece of advice to your university-self, what would that be?

Relax!!! I was so stressed at uni as I set such high academic expectations of myself. I thought that I had to work 12 hours a day to get a first. In reality, in my final year of uni when I started to get out more, study less and find a balance of work and social life- that’s when I got my highest marks. Uni is for studying but also for socialising. It is for enjoyment not just work.

 

Zanna van Dijk
Instagram @zannavandijk
Facebook Zanna van Dijk
Twitter @zannavandijk
www.zannavandijk.co.uk

 

Interview by Emma Pudge

 

 

My favourite body part is my back I don’t think that there is anything wrong with being proud of your body I have made huge progress with it recently – especially since I started doing lots and lots of pull ups thanks to my strength coach @awillis1515. The width of my back has massively improved – to the point where I don’t fit into old t shirts and tops Pull ups are my ultimate favourite exercise. Ever. Seriously. (The guys at @thelomaxway always comment on how ridiculously often I do them!). I get all my clients working on their pull ups as they’re an amazing upper body and core exercise. If you want me to train you and help you work towards doing your first pull up then drop me an email: zannavandijk@gmail.com Wearing @activeinstyle top and @heyjolondon leggings #girlgains

A photo posted by Zanna van Dijk (@zannavandijk) on

Untensed vs tensed Women think that lifting weights will make them look manly. Well, I've been lifting for a couple of years now and sometimes I look in the mirror and think "do I even lift?" When I'm not tensing I just look like an average girl and I certainly don't look "bulky". Girls – please don't be afraid to pick up some challenging weights. It's the best way to sculpt your body and "tone up" (I dislike that term!). Plus you'll feel like a total badass as you get stronger If you're London based want me to train you and show you how to lift weights, then drop me an email: zannavandijk@gmail.com P.s. Excuse the undies as these were progress pictures just meant for my coach and my bra is from @activeinstyle #girlgains

A photo posted by Zanna van Dijk (@zannavandijk) on

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

maxxbench

DO YOU EVER FAIL, BRO? INTRODUCING THE MAXX BENCH

Whether you’re a newbie lifter with about as much meat on your arms as you’d find in a McDonalds Happy Meal, or a hard-core lifter who’d rather encounter a hernia than be seen to fail a rep, bench-pressing by yourself carries a significant risk. And we’re not just talking about a damaged ego. Already this year, we heard of the death of a 16 year old in Manchester who died after being crushed and suffocated by the bar as he trained alone.

 

Whilst recommendations to stop just short of failure, always have a spotter, and use the safety racks go a long way in preventing reckless accidents, it doesn’t account for the fact that we can over-estimate our abilities, misjudge a situation, find that our spotter cannot support the weight we’re lifting, and let’s face it, if the safety racks are set high enough to save you, you won’t have completed any full reps… so what’s the solution?

 
Entrepreneur Dave Vorozilchak thinks he has it. Introducing the MAXX BENCH, the first ever free weight bench with built in gravity release for safety whilst training to your max.

 

 

The MAXX BENCH looks like a regular bench, except that it features a hydraulics system that works like a car jack off a foot pedal. You train as normal, but when you hit failure, you can quickly depress that pedal to quickly lower yourself to beneath the level of the safety bars. This way, even if you drop the bar, your windpipe is clear of the scene. No longer do you risk ending up in A&E, or arguably, a fate equally tragic: on Youtube…

 

The MAXX performance range is being crowd funded on kickstarter and so far over 300 backers have pledged nearly $60,000, just short of the $75k goal to bring this project to life.

 

So MASS readers, we want to know…

 

 

Emma Pudge
Exeter University
StudyFit Write of the Year
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

instagramforfitness

#Fitsagram – Instagram for Fitness

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

 

And what do we exactly mean by Instagram? #doyoueveninstagram

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

 

Why is Instagram obsessed with fitness? #fitspiration

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

 

It’s more than perving #WOD

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

So exactly who are these leading fitness gurus?

 

#WCW women crush wednesdays

 

The Superstar Booty: @jenselter

 

 

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

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

 

 

The Personal Trainer: @nataliejillfit

 

 

Natalie Jill, 42, San Diego 320,000 followers

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

 

 

The yogi: @yoga_girl

 

 

Rachel Brathen, 25, Aruba 630,000 followers

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

 

 

The celebrity trainer: @mankofit

 

 

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

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

 

 

The ballerina: @balletbeautiful

 

 

ballerina

Mary Bowers, 33, New York 110,000 followers

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

 

 

#MCM Man Crush Mondays

 

The superstar body: @kyleclarke

 

 

kyleclark

Kyle Clark, 27,  Los Angeles 67,000 followers

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

 

 

The personal trainer: @lazar_angelov_official

 

 

lazar

Lazar Angelov, 31, Bulgaria 1.4m followers

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

 

 

The yogi: @carsonclaycalhoun

 

 

carson

Carson Calhoun, 35, Arlington 88,900 followers

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

 

 

The celebrity trainer: @therock

 

 

therock

Dwayne Johnson, 42, California 8.4m followers

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

 

The ballerino: @marcodalia

 

 

ballerino

Marco Dalia, 23, Italy 1483 followers

“Dance everywhere”

 

 

My Personal Favourite @kayla_itsines

 

 

kayla

Kayla Itsines, 23, Adelaide 2.4m followers

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

 

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

 

Interview with Bryan Leong

 

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

 

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

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

 

Who are your top favourite IG fitness accounts?

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

 

What makes them different from other accounts?

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

 

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

 

Rumina Awal
Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies student
Cardiff University

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

usnhyperdrive

USN Pre-Workout Comparison

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

Hyperdrive N.O

 

usnhyperdrive

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

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

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

 

Hyperdrive comparion chart

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

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

 

BCAA Amino-Gro

 

BCAA AMINO-GRO_306g_FRUIT FUSION_new

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

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

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

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

 

 

Amino-gro comparison chart

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

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

 

MASS Athlete reviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

joshleader

Interview with shredded student Josh Leader

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

 

How long have you been weight training?

3.5 years

 

What got you into weight training?

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

 

How did you get into competing in physique?

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

 

 

11401533_10153041059343512_2775139293042716138_n

What have you gotten out of competing?

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

 

 

11148654_679012042232041_5418482820226297855_n

What are your goals for the future?

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

 

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

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

 

 

10268700_474633842669863_3144674406363424027_n

How is university conducive to concentrating on your physique?

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

back

Who do you go to for training/nutrition advice?

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

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

 

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

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

 

Five foods we would find in your kitchen:

Cod, rice, oats, supplements, broccoli

 

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

flexibledieting

Weight Loss through Flexible Dieting – Daniel Olusina

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

 

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

 

Macro and Micronutrients

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

 

 

danielolusina

How to Track What You Eat

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

 

Caloric Deficit

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

 

Flexible Dieting Coming Into Its Own

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

 

 

danielolusina1

Average Weight Loss

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

 

Busting weight plateaus

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

 

Refeeds vs Cheat Meals

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

 

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

 

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

press up

Push Up, Or Shut Up!

Reinventing the push up into a viable bench press alternative.

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Regular push up - start-finish position

Regular push up – start-finish position

Regular push up - mid position

Regular push up – mid position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Staggered push up

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

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

 

Staggered push up - start-finish position

Staggered push up – start-finish position

Staggered push up - mid position

Staggered push up – mid position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Archer push up

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

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

 

Archer push up - mid position

Archer push up – mid position

Archer push up - start-finish position

Archer push up – start-finish position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Lateral push ups

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

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

 

Lateral push up - mid position

Lateral push up – mid position

Lateral push up - start-finish position

Lateral push up – start-finish position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Conculsion

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

 

Mark Harvey
Loughborough University
BSc Sports and Exercise Science

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

insulin

Insulin – The Muscle Building Hormone

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

Insulin’s Roles in the Muscle Cell

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Insulin Levels and Post Workout

 

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

 

 

7 Ways to Achieve Greater Insulin Sensitivity

 

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

 

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

spcqualifiers

The 2015 MASS Student Physique Championship qualifiers

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

 

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

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

 

 

LEICESTERemily      LEICESTERfeyi

Emily Wilson & Feyi Oyebode, Midlands regional overall champions

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

15377_909478945749420_8458613695485571878_n

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

 

By Britta Zeltmann
Cardiff University

 

Links
Midlands Scoresheet
Southern Scoresheet
Finals Scoresheet
Competition Page

lowres

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

strongman

MASS’s Strongest Man 2015

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

 

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

 

strongman Geoff

 

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

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

 

 

catherine

 

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

 

 

strongmanjazeer

 

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

 

Words by Shaun Howell

Links
Scoresheet
Competition Page
Event Photos

 

MASS STRONGEST MAN LOGO

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

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

Green Tea – A Natural Fat Burning Supplement

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

 

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

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

 

greentea

 

The Fundamentals of Fat Loss

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

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

The Process of Fat Burning

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

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

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

 

 

David_bissell_bike_4_low_res

The Key to a Sculptured Physique

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

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

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

 

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

powerliftingmax

MASS Powerlifting National Championship Report

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

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

 

 

NATIONALSsquat NATIONALSbench

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

 

 

10649979_902756136421701_1735464752571927233_n

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

 

 

PL

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

Links
Scoresheet
Competition Page
Event Photos

 

Powerlifting cropped usn_transparent

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

carbcycling

Carb Cycling Explained – Justin Bland

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

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

 

Why Carb Cycle?

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

 

 

11140102_450850665096413_3108424219566552774_n

Examples

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

 

Justinbland

Progression

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

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

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

 

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

societyawardsdinner

MASS Society Awards Winners

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

 

MASSAwards (2 of 38)

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

 

MASSAwards (22 of 38)

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

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

 

Society of the year

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

Shortlist:

  • Loughborough University
  • University of Leicester
  • Cardiff University

Awarded to:

Cardiff University

 

President of the year

To recognise the most outstanding president. Sponsored by Protein Dynamix

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

Awarded to:

Sam White, University of Leicester

 

MASS Games University Champions

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

Awarded to:

Loughborough University

Runners up: Cardiff University, Bournemouth University

 

Male Student Athlete of the Year

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

Awarded to:

Zib Atkins, Northampton University

Runner up: Will Harding

 

Female Student Athlete of the Year

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

Awarded to:

Cari Davies, Cardiff University

Runner up: Catherine Smith

 

Committee of the year

To recognise the most outstanding committee. Sponsored by Coconoil.

  • University of Exeter
  • Cardiff University
  • University of Reading

Awarded to:

University of Reading

 

Event of the year

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

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

Awarded to:

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

 

Collaboration of the year

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

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

Awarded to:

BodyPower Trip, University of Bristol and Oxford Brookes University

 

Fastest growing society

To recognise the fastest growing society. Sponsored by Shakesphere.

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

Awarded to:

University of Bristol

 

StudyFit writer of the year

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

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

Awarded to:

Emma Pudge, University of Exeter

 

Club member of the year

To recognise the most enthusiastic and inspiring club member.

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

Awarded to:

Paul Wilson, University of Leciester

 

Coach of the year

To recognise the most supportive society coach.

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

Awarded to:

Will Harding, Loughborough University

 

Alumni of the year

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

  • Chuk Uzowuru
  • Stephen Olagoke
  • Sarah Catford

Awarded to:

Chuk Uzowuru

 

Gym of the year

To recognise the most supportive gym or training facility

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

Awarded to:

The Warehouse Gym, Leicester

 

Sponsor of the year

To recognise our most dedicated sponsor/advertiser

  • USN – Ultimate Sponsors Nutrition
  • BodyPower
  • GymShark

Awarded to:

USN – Ultimate Sports Nutrition

 

Students Union of the year

To recognise the most supportive students union

  • Leicester Union
  • Cardiff Athletic Union
  • UEA Students Union

Awarded to:

Leicester Union

 

Media Contributor

To recognise the most supportive media outlet

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

Awarded to:

LUST – Leicester University Student Television

 

MASS Society Awards 2015

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

societyawards

Soicety Awards £1000 Prize Fund!!!

Yep, you read correctly… the value of all of our awards adds up to a staggering £1000! The MASS Awards ceremony is our end of year highlight to reward the student groups and individuals that have worked the hardest and achieved the most. So it’s only right that we have an AWESOME array of prizes lined up for all the winners, thank you to all of our amazing sponsors who have donated great prizes for the winners and offered student discounts for members.

THE AWARDS

1. Society of the Year

To recognise the most outstanding society

Sponsored by:

 

logitorloseit Gym-Front-CoverGym-days

WINNERS PRIZE: 20 TRAINING LOGBOOKS WORTH £140!!

For Distraction free logging of your workout it’s time to go old school and leave your phone out of the gym. Log it or Lose its books don’t ring, buzz or vibrate. You can’t even take a selfie with them. But they are awesome for logging your progress in the gym and helping you stay focussed.

GET YOURS AT WWW.LOGITORLOSEIT.NET 


 

2. MASS Games University Champions

Awarding the highest scoring University in the MASS Games

Sponsored by:

 

logitorloseitGym-Front-CoverGym-days

 

WINNERS PRIZE: 20 TRAINING LOGBOOKS WORTH £140

For Distraction free logging of your workout it’s time to go old school and leave your phone out of the gym. Log it or Lose its books don’t ring, buzz or vibrate. You can’t even take a selfie with them. But they are awesome for logging your progress in the gym and helping you stay focussed.

GET YOURS AT WWW.LOGITORLOSEIT.NET 


 

3. President of the Year

To recognise the most outstanding president

Sponsored by:

 

proteindynamixbest-in-class

WINNERS PRIZE: ‘BEST-IN-CLASS’ BUNDLE WORTH £100
  • DynaPro Anytime 1.2kg – Contains more protein than any other blend in the UK
  • DynaBar box of 12 bars – Officially voted the UK’s Best tasting protein bar
  • Dynamo – The Most extreme Pre workout to hit the UK
  • All New Protein Dynamix Shaker bottle
  • All New Protein Dynamix Technical T-Shirt

Protein Dynamix are offering you a 20% DISCOUNT on all products using code ‘MASS20’ at WWW.PROTEINDYNAMIX.COM 


 

4. Male and Female Athletes of the Year

Awarding the highest scoring male and female athletes

Sponsored by:

 

New Logofrontline03-600x600 elite-leggings-red-600x600

MALE WINNERS PRIZE: MEN’S T-SHIRT AND ELITE SERIES FITTED JOGGERS WORTH £50
FEMALE WINNERS PRIZE: WOMEN’S T-SHIRT AND ELITE SERIES LEGGINGS WORTH £50

Established in October 2013, Frontline Apparel’s aim is to make those little things count, attention to detail, exceptional customer service and they even offer the option of creating your own Frontline Apparel look with a huge range of garment and print colours to choose from making sure everything fits you and you’re taste.

Frontline are offering you a 10% DISCOUNT on all apparel using code ‘MASS10’ at WWW.FRONTLINEFITNESS.CO.UK


 

5. Fastest Growing Society

To recognise the fastest growing society

Sponsored by:

 

dyn-img

WINNERS PRIZE: 10 SPHERE SHAKER BOTTLES WORTH £90!!

The worlds first hemisphere shaker bottle. The ShakeSphere has been specifically designed to provide optimum mixing and supplement delivery in a multi-purpose vessel. Its unique pill shape reduces supplement accumulation and creates a dynamic environment for a superior mix without the need for a ball or a grid. 99.9% of the supplement mix is consumed meaning less waste for the bottle to smell after use.

Shakesphere are offering you a 10% DISCOUNT on all shakers using code ‘MASS10’ at WWW.SHAKESPHEREPRO.COM 


 

6. Committee of the Year

To recognise the most outstanding committee

Sponsored by:

 

coconoil_logo (2)coconut oil

WINNERS PRIZE: 6 TUBS OF ORIGINAL COCONUT OIL WORTH £60

Coconoil Virgin Coconut Oil was established in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami as a new revenue source for the Sri Lankan economy. Their virgin coconut oil is ethically produced from the finest coconuts in Sri Lanka. Using traditional methods of production Coconoil™ contains all of the healthy qualities of this completely natural and unique oil.

Coconoil are offering you a 15% DISCOUNT until July 31st using code ‘MASS15’ at www.coconoil.co.uk


 

7. Event of the Year

To reward the best society event

Sponsored by:

 

logoproteinbitestoffeeproteinbiteswhitechoc

WINNERS PRIZE: 2 TUBS OF PROTEIN BITES, WHITE CHOCOLATE AND  TOFFEE FLAVOURS

Muscle Treats Protein Bites are gorgeous bite size protein bars loaded with over 7.3 grams of protein. With 30 bites individually wrapped, these are perfect snack for when you’re craving that treat, made with 100% natural flavours and healthy ingredients.

GET YOURS AT WWW.MUSCLETREATS.CO.UK


8. Collaboration of the Year

Awarding the best collaboration between two societies

Sponsored by:

 

nutripaknutripak chickennutri pak beef

WINNERS PRIZE: A BOX OF 12 MEALS WORTH £40

Nutripak is the perfect workout partner. These ready to eat meals can be munched down hot or cold… When your body needs protein the most. Keep it in your gym locker, desk draw or kitchen cupboard. With a fork inside they’re so convenient for when you’re hungry and need 38g of protein. Nutripak’s are available in three great tasting flavours – pinapple chicken, lean beef chilli and chicken curry.

GET YOURS AT WWW.NUTRIPAK.CO.UK


 

9. StudyFit Writer of the Year

Awarding our best hardworking and talented writer

Sponsored by:

 

images

WINNERS PRIZE: CLOTHING PACKAGE WORTH £145

Branded Ego has an attitude and powerful identity but doesn’t need to be boisterous, shout or in your face to attain this. Our clothing achieves this by reputation, style and desirability. At no stage is substance sacrificed for style and yet style is of paramount consideration throughout the whole design and manufacture process.

GET YOURS AT WWW.BRANDEDEGO.COM. 20% DISCOUNT COMING SOON!


 

10. Member of the Year

To award the member who made the most outstanding achievements

Sponsored by:

 

MASS LOGO_Script_RED IMG_0566 IMG_1368

WINNERS PRIZE: MASS CLOTHING PACKAGE WORTH £40

MASS Stash is the best in student fitness wear. Allowing you to represent the fasting growing student fitness community and show that your part of the movement, the MASS movement.

We’re offering you a 20% DISCOUNT until  9pm on Sunday 7th to celebrate the MASS Awards. Use code  ‘MASS20’ at WWW.THEBODYMASS.ORG/SHOP


 

11. Coach of the Year

To award the most supportive society coach

Sponsored by:

 

MASS LOGO_Script_RED IMG_0566 IMG_1368

WINNERS PRIZE: MASS CLOTHING PACKAGE WORTH £40

MASS Stash is the best in student fitness wear. Allowing you to represent the fasting growing student fitness community and show that your part of the movement, the MASS movement.

We’re offering you a 20% DISCOUNT until  9pm on Sunday 7th to celebrate the MASS Awards. Use code  ‘MASS20’ at WWW.THEBODYMASS.ORG/SHOP


 

12. Alumni of the Year

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

Sponsored by:

MASS LOGO_Script_RED IMG_0566 IMG_1368

WINNERS PRIZE: MASS CLOTHING PACKAGE WORTH £40

MASS Stash is the best in student fitness wear. Allowing you to represent the fasting growing student fitness community and show that your part of the movement, the MASS movement.

We’re offering you a 20% DISCOUNT until  9pm on Sunday 7th to celebrate the MASS Awards. Use code  ‘MASS20’ at WWW.THEBODYMASS.ORG/SHOP


 

Other awards which don’t come with prizes but come with a whole lot of respect an gratification are

 

13. SU of the Year

To award the most supportive Students Union

 

14. Gym of the Year

To award the most supportive gym or training facility

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

AGM

Annual General Meeting 07/06/2015 – Agenda

MASS AGM – 07/06/15

Agenda

11:30-16:00, University of Leicester, Ken Edwards Building LT2.

RSVP your attendance here:http://goo.gl/forms/adSeZDBxhC

Open to club committee members, studyfit writers, MASS Games competitors and society members only.

This meeting will consist of both a review of the academic year just gone and planning for the next academic year. We’ll look at all the different areas of MASS reviewing the current status and deciding what improvements to make moving forward. Once all areas have been looked at the attendees will decide upon a new academic year structure, objectives for the 2015/16 academic year and a collective mission statement for the organisation.

This our chance to make plans that can help thousands of students improve their health and fitness, that can take our sports to a whole new level and that will unite students nationwide to change the student stereotype. I hope to see you there.

  • General Year Review

We’ll start by giving our open views about how we feel the year has gone in general. Our best achievements and things we could have done better. We’ll take a look at reports of the numbers we’ve achieved in societies, membership, competitors, StudyFit readers and website views and what these numbers mean.

  • Members

This will be a discussion of member’s needs. What do our members want out of joining? Have they received this? What’s the main thing people join for and the action that gets them to take that step? Membership fees. How to recruit members. Member satisfaction and retention. How do we balance paid member events and open events.

  • Committees

Here we’ll examine our committee structure. What committee positions do we have and what are the roles and responsibilities of each of them. Are all the committee positions necessary and do we need to change the structure. Committee meetings, when and what topics are discussed. How do committee members communicate, what are the most effective methods, is delegation received successfully. Clubs own AGM’s and handover system.

  • Managing data, files and emails

We set out the year with a google accounts system, designed to give each society a hub of advice packs and template documents to work from as well as a calendar for events. We’ll take a look at the system, see who’s used it and if it’s been effective. A review of how we’ve managed our database and files. A discussion of ideas for a system for the next academic year.

  • Promotion and communication

A review of the ways we communicate to members and promote events. What has worked and what hasn’t. Are there more effective methods we could be using? How do we welcome and introduce members to the club, are regular updates issued, what channels to we use to announce and promote an event.

  • Training & Events – Weekly and one-offs

This is a chance for everyone to say what training & events they’ve held and discuss what worked and what didn’t. We’ll break it down into weekly and one-off events and discuss when the best times in the academic year for holding such events are.

  • Fitness and Health advice

Here we’ll discuss what advice we’ve given out in the form of advice packs, lectures, seminars and meetings. Answering the following questions. What do members want advice on? What is the average level of knowledge across our members? What should we be advising them on and when? How does the advice given entwine with training & events?

  • The Sports

Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Strongman, CrossFit. What is the ratio of popularity and participation across them? Are we neglecting a particular sport or missing any completely? How should they entwine with society activities? Are we happy with our affiliated federations and should we aim to affiliate any of our unaffiliated sports.

  • Editorial content – Online and StudyFit Magazine

This area of the meeting is a chance to take a complete look at the editorial content we publish – both online and in StudyFit magazine. We’ll also discuss the frequency of StudyFit magazine, the split between print and online versions and a strategy for advancement.

  • MASS Games

Are we happy with our program of competitions? What are the flaws and where can we make improvements? Is the score system an accurate reflection of teams and individuals performance? What structure of regional and national competitions shall we do and what’s the best system of progression (or qualification) from one to the next? When do we want competitions to be next year and which will count towards the MASS Games. We will aim to agree provisional dates for all of the 2015/16 competitions at the AGM.

  • Clothing

Feedback on the clothing from the 2015/16 academic year and discussion of what clothing styles we’d like for the next academic year. A review of our pre-order system and times of year for making orders.

  • Sponsors

A review of our sponsors this year, who have we enjoyed having most and where have we missed out. A discussion of what we’d like from sponsors next year. We’ll take a look at the different levels of sponsorship – national sponsors and local club sponsors and discuss the best strategy for keeping our value as a membership entity high enabling us to get the most out of sponsorship.

  • Gyms and training facilities

A look at the club relationships at gyms and training facilities. Discussing where we’ve been supported and where it’s been hard to get backing. We’ll discuss University gyms in particular to see if there’s a way we can collaborate to increase our membership base and build strong relations.

  • Finances

Managing club funds. What’s everyone’s financial situations been like. What are we spending the most money and where can we save money. A discussion of University funding and where the most success has been had. How best to raise funds and what are the best things to allocate cash to. Should we aim to invest in club equipment.

  • Affiliated clubs

More and more non MASS-branded club start-ups are affiliating with us. There’s clubs for CrossFit specifically, some ‘strength-sports’ clubs and weightlifting and barbell clubs.  Do they have a central approach? Can we help them by offering them affiliation?

  • Feedback Survey

Based on the discussions up to this point in the meeting what questions do we need to put in a member feedback survey to get the feedback required to make sure all our plans match members needs.

  • Competitions

Here we’ll look at the non-sporting competitions. Such as fitness challenges, transformation challenges, cooking competitions and similar things. How can we use these to reward members and attract new members?

  • Reward Schemes

It’s only recently that MASS has established a society tier system with targets to give clubs a guide as to what they can aim for. We’ve also enabled an affiliate system on the website for clothing sales. In this part of the meeting we’ll look at how we can reward clubs and committee members for hitting targets.

  • National and Regional volunteer positions

More positions will become available to contribute to MASS activities on a national scale. Here we’ll look at what positions are needed and the process for recruiting and managing them. Positions may include writers, online content formatters, competition organisers, regional society reps.

  • Website

A review of the current website and suggestions for improvements. What new capabilities will be required to service all that’s been discussed in the meeting up to this point.

  • Limitations for MASS

A quick look at where MASS HQ has struggled running events and facilitating growth. Ideas on how we plan to tackle this moving forward.

  • Our Vision

What do we, collectively, want to achieve in the long run. Where do we see the organisation in 1 year, 3 years and 5 years.

  • The Brand

A review of the MASS brand. The brand name itself and the branding. Is it a good representative of our vision moving forward? Are changes needed or not.

  • Strategies for Growth

A discussion of ways to trigger large scale growth and help more students

  • Year structure

Here we’ll agree on a provisional academic year structure based on discussions in the meeting.

  • Objectives for 2015/16

What are our objectives for 2015/16. What do we need to achieve between now and the national society training meeting in September 2015.

  • Mission Statement

To finish the meeting all attendees will give their input to create a mission statement for the club. Our mission statement will represent our beliefs and form the basis on which all decisions are made.

David Bissell
Founder & Director
MASS

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

shoppingonastudentbudget

Shopping on a Student Budget

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

Food

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

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

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

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

Sports Supplements

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

MASS_MedNutrition

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

whatiscrossfit

What is CrossFit?

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

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

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

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

What is CrossFit and why is it so effective?

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

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

 

MASS_CrossFit1

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

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

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

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

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

 

MASS_CrossFit2

What is a ‘WOD’?

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

Results Driven

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

CrossFit Competitions

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

 

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

 

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

 

CROSSFIT CORPORATE LOGO301213
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

bethlord

Student Throwdown Champion – Bethany Lord

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

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

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

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

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

 

Beth2

How do you manage training with University life?

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

What motivates you to train?

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

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

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

 

MASS_BethanyLord3

What are your top fitness tips?

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

Beth’s favourite WOD

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

*For as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes

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

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

bethlordonstage

What are your future plans?

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

Bethany Lord
Twitter @BethanyLord
Instagram @BethanyLord_

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

FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

racheltordoff

Student Transformation – Rachael Tordoff

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

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

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

 

MASS_RachelTordoff

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

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

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

 

MASS_RachaelTordoff3

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

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

owenhubbard

Bench Press World Record Holder – Owen Hubbard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MASS_OwenHubbard2

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

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

Which body parts do you find toughest to work on?

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

What type of diet do you follow?

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

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

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

 

MASS_OwenHubbard3

How do you motivate yourself to train and eat clean?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your future plans?

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

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

 

MASS_OwenHubbard4

Owen’s Training Regime

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

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

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

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

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

martinmacdonald

Ask The Academic: Martin MacDonald on Fresher Problems

MASS Spoke with Martin MacDonald to get those all important answers to some underlying Fresher Problems.

Martin is a Clinical Performance Nutritionist and founder of the UK’s Leading Consultancy for Nutrition Advice, www.Mac-Nutrition.com. Martin now works primarily as a the lead nutrition consultant to teams such as Derby County FC and Leicestershire CCC, organisations such as Universal Pictures and Total Greek Yoghurt and many governing bodies, including British Weight Lifting and England Swimming. The rest of Martin’s time is either spent delivering lectures and seminars both nationally and internationally or spent working with the a small number of motivated individual clients whom will benefit from his level expertise and support.

Question:

I get wasted 3-4 times a week while I’m out trying to pull fresher’s…. How detrimental is all this drinking and late nights to my health and fitness?

Answer:

Fortunately the alcohol part of this question can be answered with data from actual research, however it is impossible to quantify just how much of an effect this will have. Very recent research by Parr et al (2014) studied protein synthesis in response to a protein feeding after training with and without alcohol. The amount of alcohol used in the study was enough to get you ‘wasted’ so you can take the results as being pretty valid!

The results showed that protein synthesis was significantly reduced by 24% in the group that consumed the alcohol as opposed to protein alone. The researchers concluded that “alcohol ingestion suppresses the anabolic response in skeletal muscle and may therefore impair recovery and adaptation to training and/or subsequent performance.” Previous in vivo research has also shown that baseline protein synthesis rates can still be impaired up to 24 hours after training therefore if you are binge drinking 4 times per week you could well never be recovering optimally.

Whether ‘late nights’ will have a detrimental effect is any bodies guess and will depend on other factors. Sleep is obviously important in the recovery process however the question is, would late nights be followed by waking up late and therefore getting adequate sleep? Or would the late night be followed by an early start, leading to inadequate sleep, and therefore recovery, and perhaps a substandard performance in the gym? In my opinion, and that is all it is, it is the knock on effects of inadequate sleep that would be more detrimental to progress than any specific physiological responses.

Question:

Freshers week left me with a bit of a gut so I’m trying to trim up, I asked my friend in the gym for some advice and he told me no carbs after 6, bro! Are carbs really the enemy?

Answer:

Carbs are certainly not the enemy for someone who goes to the gym! More specifically, the idea that having carbohydrate after some predetermined hour of the day is more fattening than having them at some other time is a myth that has been firmly blown out of the water. ‘Cutting out carbs’ in many people does lead to a transient decrease in body fat however the reason for this is a reduction in calories, not some unique hormonal or metabolic response to eliminating carbs. Earlier in my career I would often get asked questions about ‘a quick diet for holiday’ by my fellow gym trainers; my response was often ‘stop drinking, cut the carbs’ as I knew, for the two weeks they had before holiday this would work and wouldn’t require a great deal more input. If you want to low your ‘gut’ then your best bet is to combine a decent training program with a consistent diet that manages your hunger to a level where you can eat few enough kcals to lose weight. Generally speaking, get your protein intake adequate at around 2g/kg of your bodyweight, eat plenty of green leafy vegetables at each meal and then manipulate your carb and fat intake depending on the foods you prefer to eat and the way they effect your hunger.

Question:

As you might have guessed…. I struggle with consistency! I’ll go hard on my diet for 2 weeks and begin to see results, then put it straight back on in a few days and feel shit about myself. What’s the key to maintaining a healthy diet and achieving long term results?

Answer:

What a question! It’s not one that I can objectively answer but I can talk from my experiences with clients. The key might be finding a way to change your psyche away from a ‘going hard’ type mentality. If you’re after consistency then you need to make realistic changes that you can sustain OR you need to have a baseline diet that allows you to maintain your progress and then have periods of progression that can be a little more aggressive. Often having a specific goal in mind is a great incentive to keep on track; for instance booking a holiday, a photo shoot or the most motivating of all… entering yourself in a bodybuilding show! Either way, don’t do anything without an exit plan in mind and don’t be insane – expecting to do the same things you’ve done before and expecting different results.

By Martin MacDonald
www.martin-macdonald.com / www.mac-nutrition.com
Twitter @MartinNutrition
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

mattsallis

Training: Back to the Basics with Matt Sallis

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

 

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

The Basics

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

 

 

image

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

Planning your attack

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

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

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

americanfootball

Being The Best: American Football Exclusive with Adam Hope

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

 

Know your Nutrition

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

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

 

 

IMG_8287

Train by Season

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

 

 

MASS_BeingTheBest3

Train Sport Specific

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

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

 

Adam Hope
Twitter @AdamHopeTweets
FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+
Read More

americanfootball2

American Football… In the UK!

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

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

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

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

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

 

Great Britain

Community

MASS_AdamHope

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

Footballers, from all teams, across the

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

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

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

Finding the time

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

 

MASS_AdamHope3

Where it all Began

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

 

Adam Hope

Achievements

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

 

MASS_AdamHope1

What are you doing now?

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

 

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

 

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