It is often the sum of lots of small changes that leads to a noticeable difference when it comes to shaping up. Which training methods are best for building muscle growth?
Different people will recommend very different training methods. For me, personally, the moderate weight, with perfect form, within a repetition range of 12-15 is the ultimate winner. Do not forget you do not want to switch on helping supportive muscle groups but you want to focus solely on the one you are actually training. Big weights and bad form cause damage to the connective tissue and joints whilst require help of other muscles than the trained one. Control the weight and do not let the weight control you. You will improve rapidly and most importantly will stay healthy and with the right supportive equipment such as wrist wraps, belts etc. also injury free.
Many people exceed their daily sugar limit without even realising it and it’s really hard to curb the cravings. Do you have a sweet tooth and do you add sugar to your drinks?
Sweets are a big temptation for me. I definitely have a sweet tooth. I always try to find alternatives such as homemade protein puddings, oat pancakes, quark muse etc. to keep this temptation under control. I also use sweeteners or sugar substitutes (mostly stevia).
Plenty of sleep is essential for a healthy lifestyle. How many hours of sleep do you average at night?
Sleep is paramount. Sadly I am not always able to get a lot of it. I know it’s very difficult but one should aim to get into bed really early. I know it sounds silly but during prep I aim to go to bed as early as I can. I don’t even mind if it’s before 20:00 o'clock. It matters a lot actually when you hit the bed. Your cellular recovery happens mostly between 22:00 and 02:00 if you are in NREM 3 or REM (deep sleep) already you will get up even at "stupid o'clock" replenished and rested.
Ordering takeaways and eating on the go, can really set you back with your fitness efforts. Do you cook at home whenever possible?
Cooking at home is an absolute must. You must know what and how much you are eating. There is no way around it unless you are very wealthy and can afford someone who sorts this aspect of the training out for you completely! Do not forget 70 percent of your achievement in bodybuilding (or body shaping) is down to what you eat. After a while, cooking becomes a routine though. I dare to say that my daily food prep takes as little as 30 minutes nowadays.
How do you juggle your work commitments with your fitness and training programme?
It is probably one of the most difficult parts. My work schedule varies a lot. I cannot eat and train always in the same times or whenever I want to; in the end, it all comes down to how much you want it and how much this sport means to you. Just a couple of examples. During my last prep (for the world championship) I was away in Germany. I was close to the show, therefore any deviation from my food and training regime would have been catastrophic. I took my mini grill and a rice cooker with me and prepared my food every day. The nearest gym (with 24-hour opening ) was about 45 minutes walk from the accommodation. I jogged there at 04:00 every morning, trained and walked back ate/showered etc. before my duty started. If you crave the results, you need to accept the hardship which comes with your dreams. Nothing is impossible!