Football, rugby and basketball
“What am I doing today to get me where I want to be tomorrow?” Justin St Paul
I think from the moment I was born I had a yearning to be physical; chasing things, breaking things and being a general nuisance. Sport was a natural outlet for the energy I had and was perfect for my competitive nature. From the first opportunity I had I joined sports teams; football, rugby, basketball, everything, I was a member of every possible sports team throughout school. I won’t lie and say I was the best at all of them!
Rugby and football were always my favourite, but being pretty small and skinny technical ability could only take me so far and I remember how I used to just get shrugged off on the pitch. I was determined to get stronger and when I was about 14 or 15 I got a small set of plastic weights, of which I don’t think went heavier than 5kg. I’m not lying when I say even those were a struggle, there weren’t many exercises I could do with them! In truth I had no idea what I was doing a spent most nights just doing endless bicep curls.
When I was at college a close friend of mine was a member at the local gym and he used to take me once a month using guest passes, he had a small amount of experience (more than I did) at the time so showed me the ropes. I loved it, I was almost begging him to get more passes.
My college had a small gym, but during the day it was only open for a short period at lunchtime when it would always be absolutely rammed, at the time I found it pretty intimidating and being quite shy I never really had the courage to go on my own. After a while, I realised that the gym was open in the evenings and took it upon myself to start going on my own, I would wait until late in the evening that I knew it would be quiet and started to go more and more regularly and pretty soon I was hooked. I would convince a few friends to come with me, but none of them lasted more than a few weeks at a time.
102kg Off-season weight
90kg Stage weight
My personal mantra- “What am I doing today to get me where I want to be tomorrow?”
I feel as though if you can put a plan behind something, then anything is possible. I hate hearing people moan “I wish I was this” or “I wish I had that”, If you’re not satisfied with where you are what are you actually doing to get yourself to where you want to be?
A person who inspires me- I think for me one of the most inspiring people within the sporting industry is Manny Pacquiao. From the poorest of the poor, living on the streets of the Philippines with his family and his dad allegedly having to resort to eating their pet dog out of desperation to becoming one of the highest paid athletes and most successful boxers of all time. His story is incredible and worth researching.
My favourite meal- I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just one. Usually anything cheese related gets my mouth watering, pizza, cheeseburgers, cheesecakes you name it, unfortunately all of which are pretty hard to fit into a calorie restricted diet!
In my bag you will find- There’s a few things I always keep in my gym bag just in case. Starting with my gallon water bottle, I try to drink as much water as possible while I train and I feel having a big bottle really reminds me to keep knocking it back. I always have with me my lifting belt, a pair of lifting straps as well as chalk in there as I like to switch it up and not become reliant on either. Alongside my pre and post workout shakes I usually keep a couple protein bars handy too just incase I get caught out and can’t get a meal in when I would like to.
My motivation comes from- I think for me the main thing is that I am never satisfied, this applies to most things and not just bodybuilding. I am maybe a little bit of a perfectionist and always want things to be better than what they are. I am quite hard on myself in a sense as I never think that I am (things are) good enough but this just drives and motivates me to keep working at it until they are.
Although if I'm completely honest, when it comes to fitness/bodybuilding I just love everything about training. I wake up everyday excited to get in the gym, I love the pain of pushing myself to the limit, I love the feeling of being pumped (not quite as much as Arnold did) and I Love that feeling of soreness the next day after a hard session.
I very rarely find myself needing motivation to train, I think if someone turned around and told me that no matter how hard I trained I would only improve by 0.01% each year… I would still be in the gym slugging away for that 0.01% 7 days a week.
However often where I do need motivation is in my nutrition, sticking to a diet when trying to drop weight can be pretty tough, I mean I love to eat so when I can’t it’s a real psychological battle. I have to think about the end goal, think about why it is that I’m doing it and remind myself that the rewards are far greater than one little moment of satisfaction.