Sunday, 28 April 2013

1 week to go!

Today I'm currently 1 week away from stepping on stage for the first time, in the first Mens Physique class of the UK. Since the UKBFF Nationals last week I've been looking through all the pics and videos, analysing poses etc. It really has motivated me throughout this final week especially seen as it was my last week of heavy weights and low reps.

One part of the prep that I've had to keep on top of, is being super organised and last week was the biggest test, planning my workouts, food shop, tan, wax, clothes, travel arrangements etc. I feel like I've covered everything and spent most of yesterday finalising everything so that Friday and Saturday next week I can just chill and rest up. 

I won't post any progress pics this week however yesterday I received one of my shots from Justin Tayler form our shoot 2 weeks ago, let me know what you think.

The photo wasn't the only thing I received last night, I also got my final week prep and had a Skype call with my good friend Dan Wheeler who has been amazing throughout my whole prep for the show. Not only has Dan worked on my own foods, his clients plans and moved house but what he personally has achieved from 2nd January until now is a great transformation and very motivational. I won't post any pics up but if your coming to the BodyPower Expo in 3 weeks time, keep an eye out for us and the rest of the 100 Day Plan gang on the stand.

Anyway I'm now off down to Fitness Factory in Burnley for another shoot I have lined up with Simon Reeves, this one is more of a workout/gym shoot as oppose to a studio like I've done before so really looking forward to seeing the final images.

On to the home straight!!


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

UKBFF Nationals 2013 and 2-3 weeks out progress

Last weekend saw the UKBFF Nationals being held in Leamington Spa with all the new classes added, with all receiving a great response. I unfortunately couldn’t make the trip down but was very keen to see the pics and videos from the mens physique tall and short classes, particularly the short class as Rob Riches was up against USN sponsored Ryan Terry. Both have very well conditioned physiques and from looking at the pics it was a tough decision however Rob Riches came out on top with the win.

I'm sure you'll agree it was a tough one to judge, in my eyes Ryan takes it!

Rob Riches & Ryan Terry

Bikini tall top 3 (left to right: Kathryn Fardon, Lauren Ashwell & Sarah McLean)

Next up was the tall men’s physique class, the class I’ll be competing in, in just less than 2 weeks time. I knew of 2 of the competitors entering, ON sponsored Leon Williams and Richard Lawrence so I was interested to see how they got on. Leon competed in the first UK men’s physique class at the Stars of tomorrow back in November and placed second however this time round he out with first place. From looking at the pics a well deserved first place too, congrats bro! Both Rob and Leon will now be representing the UK in 8 days time at the IFBB European and World Championships, so best of luck to them.

After seeing the pics and having a really solid posing practise on Sunday after a chest session I feel motivated more than ever for my show, I know I won’t be the biggest on the stage but I guarantee I’ll be leanest, most confident and showing that I’m really enjoying myself up there! I had a photo shoot last week, when I was 3 weeks out with Justin Taylor and can’t wait to see the final images. I’ve also got shoots lined up closer to my show with the likes of Simon Howard and Simon Reeves so even though my shows next week I’ll still be maintaining my diet, then having a huge reefed after the BodyPower Expo.

3 Weeks Out

Hitting concentrated flyes on Sunday with Nathan, 2 weeks out.

As my final week gets closers quite a few changes will be made, cardio will be taken up a notch, my calories and carbs will be a tad lower than usual and my fluid intake will be going up. Training wise this is my last week of hitting heavy sets and low reps then I’ll be focusing on more hypertrophy training next week, I have noticed over the last two weeks my strength has dropped a little but that was to be expected and I’m really happy its happened so late in my prep. Apart from that I’m pretty well organised and ready to rock, hair cut this week, photo shoot on Sunday and my show tan is finally booked in for the day before my show with A1 Tropical Spray Tanning based in Leicester, check them out for anyone looking to compete around the UK. And finally I wanted to say a big thank you to my sister, Vanessa for tracking down a pair swim shorts that I’ve been trying to hunt down for weeks seen as I bought the wrong size first time round!!

For the people that have tweeted and messaged me about tickets for my show you can get them from the Pyramid & Parr Hall Box Office on 01925 442 345 or you can pay on the door on the day of the show.

Thanks again for everyone’s support, Lee

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pre Workout Reviews & Supplement Box

As I diet down for my show I’m finding my energy levels are dropping just as quick as my body fat. I also noticed last week I tried 4 different pre workouts so thought I’d put together a mini review article to let you know what I tried and my initial thoughts.

One think to note about pre workout supplements is that everyone has different tolerance level when it comes to stimulants however over a period of time taking them you’ll find your body will adapt and you’ll need to keep adding an extra scoop here and there to still have that desired effect when you first started taking it. That’s why half way through November and throughout December I didn't take any pre workout supplements and started fresh again come January but only on leg days.

I’m not putting up any progress pics this week as I have a photo shoot this coming Saturday so I’ll save it until then, however I’ll be posting a few pics throughout the week of my condition seen as I’ll be upping my water intake and dropping my carbs for the shoot. Similar to my fluid manipulation I tried last year before I went to Ibiza- Part 1, Part 2 and Part3.

Ripped Freak – Pharma Freak (Chest Workout)

Price: £34.95

Servings: 45

Taste: 9/10

As you saw from my pictures on my last 5 week update, I got a heavy chest session in on Sunday while I was down in Wales with the lads. As I was travelling down and staying over the night I had to prep and pack all my food and shakers when I realised I had a Ripped Freak pre workout sample that I could bring with me. I've heard good things about this pre workout and couldn't wait to give it a try. I took a full sachet (blue raspberry flavour) and could already feel the Beta-Alanine kicking in as I was warming up and going through my mobility stretching.

During the session itself I hit a PB of 42kg dumbbells on incline press with strict form and maintained high intensity throughout the whole workout with short rest periods. I did feel a slight come down afterwards but not as bad as I've experienced before from pre workouts like Jack3d. I’d defiantly use Pharma Freak again but mainly for leg sessions as they can be so taxing or possibly a heavy back/chest workout.

Muscle Pharm - Assault & Sugar Free Mountain Dew (Back & Traps workout)

Price: £24.97

Servings: 32

Taste: 8/10

I've been using Muscle Pharms Assault for around 10 months now (I stopped taking a pre workout throughout December) and I really rate it as a product and recommend it to most people who ask for my suggestions on pre workout supplements. I got the idea of mixing  Assault with sugar free Mountain Dew from a Matt Ogus video a while back. I've never tried Mountain Dew before but 200ml mixed with the Assault (Raspberry Lemonade flavour) not only did it taste really good but the kick it gave me during my workout was incredible and a nice upgrade to my usual pre workout.

As I said, I always recommend Assault to people, it’s gets the job done for me and doesn't give a crash or come down after wards. I've even used Assault as a pre workout before my 2 hour mma sessions after a stressful day at work and my brother has even used it when he’s felt drained but had football practice.

Rocket Fuel (Legs Workout)

Price: £2.98

Servings: 100g

Taste: 7/10

I've never had a hot pre workout before so was unsure what to expect, I mixed two heaped teaspoons of Rocket Fuel with hot water (Not Boiling), mixed in my shaker and drank it on my way to the gym. Once I was in the gym I got the Swedish House Mafia album on my ipod and couldn't wait to get in the squat rack I could feel it that much. My legs session slightly changed this week, I was going for heavier weights and lower reps with a 4 second negative-1 second pause-1 second positive so I was glad I could feel the Rocket Fuel.

I’m not going to lie this was easily the best workout of the week, I've never felt like I've pushed myself on legs as I did, I loved it! Again I did have a slight crash afterwards and felt really drained but I don’t know if that was down to the caffeine of because of the workout.

Optimum Nutrition - Amino Energy (Arms Workout)

Price: £24.99

Servings: 30

Taste: 10/10

I sampled Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy at last year’s Bodypower Expo, however I've never actually tried it alongside a workout so seen as my MP Assault was running low I picked up a tub of ON Amino Energy using my Protein Discount Card. I had two scoops of the fruit fusion flavour mixed with 250ml cold water and the first thing I noticed was how good it tasted and mixed. Once I was in the gym I split my arms workout with super sets from Triceps straight into Biceps, again heavy weight and low reps.

On this particular session I was short of time so knew I had to up the intensity and be super strict on my rest periods. I genuinely think the pre workout helped me focus and drive through the workout. There was no crash afterwards and I felt full of energy throughout the rest of the day. ON have recently brought out a new pre workout supplement as part of their platinum range PRE and like last year I look forward to sampling some at this year’s Bodypower Expo in May.

Overall I’m going to stick with Optimum Nutrition’s Amino Energy, although its similar to the Muscle Pharm Assault that I’ve been on, its a nice change and I feel I got a better kick from it and like the MP Assault no crash afterwards.

Supplement Box

This article fits nicely into a package I received recently from a company called Supplement Box. They’re a monthly subscription service that sends its subscribers a curated box of the best sports supplement sample around. This is ideal for people to discover new products and save you money at the same time, with a kind of ‘try before you buy’ approach. The idea came when they guys over at Supplement Box walked into their local supplement store one day, browsed the different products and couldn’t decide which to go for, what they tasted like, amino acid content etc and came up with the idea of making it easier for people to try samples from the industry’s biggest brand to help make their mind up.

Not only do I think it’s a great idea as I’ve been in that situation before and have also helped people in that situation before when I used to work at Holland & Barretts when I was 17 but I also think it has more advantages, everyone knows how hard it can be to hit your dietary needs when you’re on the go and for that reason I always make sure I have a few whey protein and pre workout samples in my gym bag and in my car. Not only that but last year after the Bodypower Expo I kept 10 whey protein samples and 2 protein bars to one side and took them on holiday with me, so there’s a few added options for using Supplement Box. To find out more and to subscribe simply check out their web site: My Supplement Box


Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Update - 5 weeks out

How's everyones Easter weekend gone? Have you trained? Rested? Spent time with friends and family? Ate until your stuffed? Well I've done all of them and had an amazing weekend.

I headed down to Wales to surprise Bleddyn Escott for his birthday along with a few other friends, we went out for a bite to eat, had a top laugh then hit the gym early Easter Sunday for a Chest and Tris workout. I personally was feeling pretty flat and towards the end of last week but just being around like minded people with the same passion has really lit the fire inside me again for my show. So a huge thanks to everyone for that and a big thanks to Charlotte for arranging the weekend and putting us all up for the night.

Happy birthday Bled

5 weeks out after hitting a PB on incline dumbbell press, very happy considering I'm dieting down and not far out from my show.

And finally I just wanted to share my new YouTube Channel: AestheticLifestyle. I managed to film my chest and tris workout from the weekend and I'll be posting it soon along with updates about my show, training, nutrition and vlogs. In the mean time here's my intro for the channel and for all my up and coming videos. Please comment below, on the video, on Facebook or Twitter to let me know what types of videos you'd like to see on the channel.