THE UP­GRADER

Men's Fitness - - 50 Man Skills -

You’ve got to be a brave man to en­ter a fit­ness physique com­pe­ti­tion. Not only do you need to live most peo­ple’s anx­i­ety dreams by strip­ping to your smalls and do­ing poses in front of a huge room full of strangers, but all the hard work you’ve put in at the gym is be­ing scru­ti­nised and judged.

But as well as supreme courage, you need supreme ded­i­ca­tion – and that’s what Matt’s demon­strated with the hard work he’s put in with coach Shaun Stafford. He’s so ded­i­cated, in fact, that he en­tered his first com­pe­ti­tion just six weeks into his six-month Up­grade pro­gramme.

‘So I had just six weeks to pre­pare my­self for my first ever WBFF com­pe­ti­tion,’ says Matt. ‘I was ner­vous, nat­u­rally, but I re­ally en­joyed the ex­pe­ri­ence and can’t wait to do it again. I didn’t get a podium place, but it was awe­some to see what I could achieve in such a short pe­riod, and los­ing nearly 9kg in eight weeks is an achieve­ment in it­self.’

Work­ing with Stafford has shown Matt the de­ter­mi­na­tion needed to com­pete at the top level. He’s train­ing five times a

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week and the ses­sions are hard­core (see above right), but Op­ti­mum Nutri­tion’s Amino Energy or Gold Stan­dard Pre­Work­out gives him the ex­tra boost he needs. ‘It mo­ti­vates me know­ing that Op­ti­mum Nutri­tion are sup­port­ing me and it helps me grind out those tough ses­sions,’ says Matt.

Two-time WBFF Pro Fit­ness Model World Cham­pion and in­ter­na­tional cover model Stafford is im­pressed by Matt’s progress. ‘He came in with a solid base of fit­ness, but his first ses­sion with me was a wake-up call,’ says Stafford. ‘Since then he’s stepped up to the plate and ramped up his in­ten­sity. Now, when I re­ally push him in a ses­sion he doesn’t break. Not right away, any­way…’

So Matt’s en­tered his first fit­ness physique com­pe­ti­tion, shown his com­mit­ment by cut­ting weight in a short time, and im­pressed his coach with im­prove­ments in the gym. All that and he’s still got a cou­ple of months left of his Up­grade. Some­thing tells us the end re­sult is go­ing to be se­ri­ously im­pres­sive.

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