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!
Name: Matt Molyneux
University and degree program: University of Lincoln, 3rd year BSc Biomedical Science
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 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
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