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.
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.
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
|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|
|Incline Biceps Curl||4||12|
Day 2 – Chest and Triceps
|Dumbbell Bench Press||4||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|
|Swiss ball Jackknife||4||12|
Day 3- leg day
|Assisted Pistol Squat||3||12|
|Dumbbell Walking Lunge||4||6-8|
|Dumbbell Step up (24 inch)||4||6-8|
Day 4 – Arms and shoulders
|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|
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?
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.
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