After serving 6 years in the Royal Navy, I decided to change career and work in the fitness industry. For years I had been interested in health and fitness so I thought going into this field was the right choice for me. Since then I have acquired lots of knowledge in fitness, nutrition and different styles of training. From this I have managed to implement my skills on myself and also change other people's lives by helping them achieve their goals and be the person they want to be. I am always trying to better myself and this year I have decided to enter my first competition in the Mr & Miss Hull and East Coast's Men's Physique category. With hours and hours of training harder than I ever have and clean eating every day I hope to do very well on the stage, learn a lot and have a great experience from the day.
I decided to enter the 'Men's Physique' class of the Mr & Miss Hull competition to challenge myself and see if I could transform my body to competition standards. It was a tough road to get there and something I'd never thought I'd ever do but I loved the experience and I learned so much.
Throughout the 5 months leading up to the competition I had to stick to a strict diet to shape my body to where I wanted to be.
For the first 3-4 months I had to stick to a high protein and carbohydrate diet to put some size on as I'm naturally a small framed person.
This diet consisted of 7 meals a day including chicken, egg whites, tuna, wholegrain rice, sweet potatoes, oats and vegetables. I also made sure I took in my good fats from Flaxseeds, Omega 3 capsules and oily fish.
For the last 5 weeks I had to change my diet again to start cutting down my body fat whilst maintaining all the muscle I had previously gained.
I did this by dropping the amount of carbohydrates my body was taking in a day by only having about 500g of sweet potato in the morning and keeping my protein high so I wouldn't lose any muscle mass. Majority of my meals consisted of chicken and vegetables. I also had to up my good fat intake to replace the lost calories and to help my body use more fat as energy.
2 weeks prior to competition I had to furthermore reduce my carb intake by only taking in about 100g of sweet potato a day. This was where I started to feel the effects of having little energy but I had my heart set on the day and had gone too far to go back so stayed motivated.
For the last week I had to take out all carbs from my diet to deplete the glycogen from my muscles so all my meals consisted of green vegetables and chicken only for 3 days. Then 2 days prior to the competition I had to carb up so my muscles would fill out for the day so I added 400-700g of sweet potato a day and a low protein intake as I wasn't training and didn't want to store any excess energy. I also had to take potassium and vitamin C to help flush the water out as well as drink lots of water throughout the week and then very little the last 2 days to help my body stop retaining any.
Training through the 5 months had to be strict also. My routine consisted of 4 weight training days, Monday - Chest, back and arms, Tuesday - Legs and shoulders with both days low repetition, high weight with about 5 sets of 8-10 for each of the exercises.
Thursday and Friday I would do the same exercises but this time with high repetitions and lower the weights to really target my slow twitch muscle fibers. This meant about 5 sets of 20 repetitions for most of the exercises. I also did 10 minutes of core training at the end of each of the workouts. As I'm a coach at The Village Gym I used the spin classes I teach each week for my cardio. Throughout the training I tried my best to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a night. 5 weeks prior the competition I began implementing fasted cardio most mornings which would consist of 10-15 minutes of high intensity interval training before breakfast. I would only take BCAA's to keep my amino acid profile high but no food. I found this was a brilliant way to really lose that extra fat as your body has depleted your carbohydrates overnight, it will use more fat as energy in the morning.
Once I got into the last week prior competition, most of my training was a circuit based workout with high reps and minimal rest to really try and deplete the glycogen that was left in my muscles before I had to carb up. The last 2 days prior to the show there was no training required, but a lot of posing practice as that is one of the most important aspects to get right before you walk on stage. I had previously been practicing my posing for about 5-10 minutes a night for the 5 weeks prior.
Overall I had an amazing experience on the day and definitely looked the best I could have done. Been on the stage was scary to start with but once I came off I just wanted to get back on again. It's a proud moment after going through all the training and dieting to get there. I have taken a lot away from the whole experience and hope to do more in the near future and one day go for the 'NPA' (Natural physique association).