Hi, my name is James Whipp, I’m 24 years old and I’m from London. I was asked to tell my kick-ass transformation story. So here it is!
In school, I never had an interest in sports. I dreaded sports day, I was never much of a team player. I liked doing things on my own. I was 19 when I was introduced to the gym. I remember lifting just the 20kg bar off the bench and it feeling heavy! To be able to even bench press 60kilos was a dream at that stage! As for squats, I remember someone coming over to me to correct my form; I was doing them all wrong, to begin with. After regularly going to the gym, I became addicted to the way training made me feel, the pump, the aching feeling the next day, I loved it. I’ve always had a mindset of 100% or nothing towards the things I’m passionate about.
So since that first training session, I became addicted to training and the way it made me feel. For the first year or so, I had no idea what I was doing. I had a couple of PT sessions to help me understand the key techniques and help correct my form on most exercises. Fast forward to when I was around 21, I had built a fair bit of size and shape, nothing that would catch an eye though. At this point, I started my first year at university studying TV & Broadcasting. I always had a passion for media anyway, so at the time that was what I wanted to pursue.
As I fell deeper into the industry, developing more and more of an understanding of training and nutrition and alongside, creating a better physique, I decided to enter my first ever competition at ‘BodyPower’ 2014. It was a one off event, I didn’t place and that ignited my determination to better myself more than anything. To be successful, you need to fail several times and I strongly believe that. The following year, after focusing on my weak points I came back and entered my first ‘UKBFF’ Junior Men’s Physique show where I placed 2nd and qualified for the British finals. That year was the most significant for me. Getting in the best shape of my life attracted attention from photographers and through working with them I started to grow my social media.
I dropped out of University after the second year because I knew what I wanted to do. I had a high demand for helping people and at the time I was writing as many free plans as I could. I had found my passion, what I truly wanted to pursue in life. So I took the risk of leaving behind something that I deep down wasn’t passionate about and I’ve never looked back. What’s the point of this post? Everyone starts from somewhere. I never had it all. People assume I was “gifted” with size and abs. I used to have the skinniest frame. I’ve failed many times and I don’t quit till it goes my way. Building anything in life takes time and patience and most of all, passion. I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me. Now I look around and wonder if I like them.
The diet I have been following varies depending on my goal at the time. If I have the aim of gaining muscle and size, I will follow a high calorie and macro diet consisting of quality protein sources such as chicken, beef, and fish. The carbohydrates would consist of pasta, rice and oats and my fats would be from nuts, nut butter, avocados, and eggs. When I prep for shows or I want to get shredded, I will put myself in a calorie and macro deficit. I will still eat the good foods mentioned above, however not as much in order to burn more than I consume.
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I am always learning and developing my knowledge on how to better the results of my clients as well as myself. I read a lot of books and online legitimate information to constantly expand my knowledge. Besides that, I believe this industry is trial and error driven and you need to find what works best for you, as everyone works differently.
The best advice I would give to those starting out is to understand the fundamentals of training and nutrition. By this is I mean, don’t over-complicate things, follow a well-structured training plan consisting of a variety of compound and isolation lifts. Focus on your form and engaging the muscle. The mind is key and I recommend always aiming for progressive overload. (Always trying to better yourself in the weight you are lifting) As for nutrition, aim to follow a diet that consists of roughly 5-6 meals (3 of which are big) the others can be snacks. This will keep your body fuelled and your hormones/metabolism functioning well. Consume wholesome foods, complex carbs, healthy fats and quality protein sources. Your body is like a car, the better the fuel, the more effective it will function.
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