I got into bodybuilding the moment I saw Luis Feringo playing The Incredible Hulk on the tv shows, I was amazed that the body could look like that and that stuck into my mind all my life. I bought weights from Argos when I was 12 years old and started my journey from home. I just loved the feeling of improving myself and getting stronger. I noticed the first time on the school bus when this lad who used to bully people tried to hold my hands down by my sides. His face did change when I easily opened his arms and he never came near me again. Was funny really but that I guess got me hooked.
During the rest of school I acquired a large amounts of weights and a bench and used to train every night I got a York Bench and trained using the guide that came with it like many people before me. As this was the only help for a guy of my age as the Internet wasn’t around and I lived in a small village in the middle of nowhere. One day my father said we need to get you a shed in the garden because my room was so full of training equipment that nobody could move. The training shed gave me my foundation of working hard and enjoying training and I trained every day.
The next step in my career was going to Keele University Gym on work experience I saw for the first time some guys who were obviously trained and it dawned on me that I needed more kit and help. I started buying bodybuilding magazines and noticed whey protein and various pills saying how much muscle that you can put on in months so I bought everything I could afford. This was obviously a mistake but at least I made more progress.
By the time I reached college I had joined the college gym and began to train there every day I was in. I had a small physique nothing special however I made a few friends who where much bigger than me and they showed me the gym which made my physique and started my junior bodybuilding career. Gray’s Gym what a place so many great memories from there I would by writing about them for years. This is where I met Gray and he taught me everything I needed to know about bodybuilding at that stage in my life I couldn’t praise him enough. I used to talk his head off asking things all the time, I spent more time there than at collage surprised I qualified to be frank. Gray lent me a very important audio tape which was Kerry Keys and Dorian Yates talking about the importance of nutrition in bodybuilding. I used to listen to this over and over again and taking in all the important points I began to change my diet which was by far the element lacking in my arsenal. After changing my diet I began to grow like there was no tomorrow, crazy 4-5 years of training like a mad boy and suddenly food was my answer to growing muscle. The light bulb certainly switched on and I never looked back.
After collage I went to University in Liverpool to study Physiology and Nutrition a subject which I was very much interested in. Obviously I only went to see how big I could get. I learned so much down to cellular biology and wherever I could I made notes of all the factors that could make me grow and also to loose fat which came in very useful a little later in my journey. After year one I bumped into who is now my best friend a chap called Peter who used to manage the BodyActive Supplement shop in Liverpool. This was the next greatest factor in me competing because Peter was already a competitive bodybuilder. I used to spend a lot of time training with him and eventually I got a job at the shop too. This gave me access to cheaper protein and supplements which was very useful as I was a poor student. I spend virtually every penny on products to help me grow. We trained in the famous Training Station and I must admit I grew very well indeed.
I was only 19 and Peter persuaded me to do my first Junior show. This meant dieting and wow what a learning curve that was. No one on this planet will be able to tell you how hard dieting is on your mind than a bodybuilder I can tell you. It took all my determination but I got there in the end. Luckily I had Peter to help and I took regular trips back home to see Gray who was a British Master Champion if I forgot to tell you. I can remember clearly how I went to his gym thinking I was nearly ready and him saying “you have a lot of work to do 6 weeks to go and your miles out”. The shock was incredible I was nearly dead from the previous 12 weeks of dieting and I was miles out. But I learned a little later on that condition was a very big factor in being able to win bodybuilding shows. Anyhow, I increased my cardio and began to cut even further. The mind at this point begins to go a little crazy and it does take a lot of mental strength to get through it. I can remember a time I used to hide in the changing rooms because I couldn’t face customers because I was so hungry. I remember going home the day before the show and my mum opening the door and saying “my god love you look ill, are you ok?” I took one look at Peter and he laughed and said that’s what you want to look like and we carried on. I dehydrated that night and the next day was the show. All the hard work paid of in the end because I entered my first show the North Staffs Open and won the Junior Competition hands down. I was so amazed and this got me hooked even more. That year I won:
2003 North Staffs Open Juniors 1st Place
2003 NABBA Mr England Juniors 1st Place
2003 Mansfield Classic Juniors 1st Place
2003 Mr Wigan Juniors 1st Place
and I came 2nd Place in the NABBA UNIVERSE JUNIORS
I got into all the local newspapers and the BEEF magazine it was a great experience and it just made me more hungry for more size.
The next year I did the Juniors again and this is what happened:
2004 NABBA North West 1st Place
2004 NABBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA 2nd Place
I had another fantastic year and couldn’t believe my luck I had done so well. I was never the biggest competitor but my shape and condition took me to the heights I had already achieved.
I decided I needed to put some size on to compete in the next level which was the Novices so I focused on that for a year and in 2006 I entered the Novices for the first time. The year out I knew I had put some size on and I knew from my past two years of dieting I could get into condition so I was looking forward to the shows ahead and this is how I did:
2006 North Staffs Open 1st Place
2006 NABBA Mr ENGLAND 1st Place
2006 Mr Wigan 1st place ans 1st Overall
2006 WPF Mr Wales 1st Place Under 23’s and 1st Place Novices
2006 Britsh Night Of Champions 2nd Place
2006 WFF World Championships 2nd Place
I had another great year and the gains I had made were vast from the previous time. I put this down to the knowledge that I had acquired over the past few years listening to some great bodybuilders, but I did all my preparation myself so I couldn’t fail to realize that my degree and the attention I had paid to cellular biology of how muscle is made and fat utilized gave me a huge advantage. So I rolled onto the next year.
In 2008 I had a major injury I tore my left Pectoral muscle. The second that I heard the dreaded ripping sound I knew that my career as a bodybuilder was over. My symmetry was ruined and I knew that I would always be marked down because of this. This still didn’t put me off having one last fling at competing. I was out of action for three months or so butt wanted to put all my knowledge to use and just see what I could do one last time. I went from competing onstage in 2006 at 184lbs to going onstage in the Mr Classes at 206lbs and was still only 25 years old. I gained a clean 22lbs of muscle in under a year and was happy with that. I entered a few shows knowing for the first time I was handicapped a couple of ways. My pectoral tare was a disadvantage and I was in the MR classes now where I would be giving away an easy 20lbs to most of the top players in the division this is how I faired:
2008 South Lakes Classic Open Mr Class 1st Place
2008 NABBA North West 2nd Place
I did better than I thought however I did qualify for the British finals and didn’t place top 6 and as I suspected that was dude to the factors I mentioned previously. All this was a bit of a downer knowing that I would be affected by my tare for the rest of my career so I decided to hang my boots up and use my knowledge to help over bodybuilders achieve their potential. I had proven my scientific methods have worked and wanted to use this positively.
Over the next ten years till now I have refined my methods getting bodybuilders bigger and show ready. As well as setting up an awesome gym called Area51 Fitness. I love this sport and want to keep on helping my fellow bodybuilders be the best they can be.