For this weeks interview we got to speak to Bryn Ray, an Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete telling us about what it takes to be a fitness model and successful athlete.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a 21 year old UX/UI Expert and student of Architecture, with a passion for integrating health and fitness into a demanding life style. The last 5 years of my life have been spent gathering a wealth of knowledge in the industry and I’m currently in the process of developing my own set of diet and training principles. I’m a highly motivated and dedicated individual. In my work I attempt to combine science, logic and technology with health, exercise and nutrition, to create optimum solutions for all. By embracing a hectic lifestyle I hopes to relate to those who are in most need of smart, simple wellbeing solutions.
How long have you been training for?
I’ve been training for just over 5 years.
How did you get started in training?
I got into training at school through trying to improve my athletic performance – I also saw people such as JCVD in films and wanted to look like that.
Who got you motivated to start training?
A combination of people got me motivated to start training. Credit goes to my old PE teacher Mr. Davies, my fellow athlete Wayne Farmer and the legendary JCVD.
What are your short and long term fitness goals?
My short term goal is to continue to test and experiment with a variety of classic training methods and principles. My long term goal is to develop a simple system that gives maximum results in the minimum time possible without having to spend every waking hour dedicated to your physique.
What workout routine has worked best for you?
The routine my body has responded best to is an Upper Lower body split – similar to that of Frank Zane.
Could you outline your basic daily diet?
My diet is all dependant on current goal but I eat 6 times a day generally, I have a balanced diet but time my carbohydrate intake strategically to have about 25% on waking, 20% 90mins before working out and 25% immediately post workout. Protein intake is spread to throughout the day to try an maximise uptake but the key times are at breakfast and postworkout. Fats are not consumed 120mins either side of a workout if possible.
Do you use supplements? If so, what do you recommend?
I use a number of supplements. The key items I’d recommend are whey protein, casein protein, multivitamin, BCAA, Waxy Maize Starch and creatine. For anyone looking to step it up a level higher I’d recommend fish oil, CLA, Glutamine and ZMA.
Do you have post/pre-workout meals? What’s your favourite?
My favourite Pre-Workout meal is a smoothie of whey, frozen berries and oats. The recipe can be found on my website.
How do you deal with things such as hunger and cravings?
I don’t get many hunger cravings as my diet generally keeps me satisfied and my insulin levels manageable. If I do have them I like to eat some sugar free jelly or some luxury yoghurt – I sometimes have a cheeky rolo or too. However, my pre-workout meal, post workout shake and breakfast limit cravings fairly well.
Do you have any cheat meals?
Yes I have ‘cheat’ meals. I don’t plan them in though, I listen to my body generally or allow them to fall on social occasions – I try never to let food or exercise rule my life. When I do have a cheat meal though I don’t binge, I have a generous serving of what I like. If i’m dieting I do a rough intake estimation and drop the next couple of days down a tad to hit desired calorie & macro intake over a 3-4 day period.
What is your biggest motivation to get you back in the gym?
My biggest motivation is that I enjoy it and the way it makes me feel. I’ve created a great social life in and around the gym, i’ve also found a workout that I really enjoy doing so it never feels like too much of an effort. If i’m ever feeling a little reluctant I knock some PRE back and then I have to go or experience terrible tingles. The key is making it a habit though – if you form a habit your brain is unlikely to influence your decision, you just get on with it.
If you could go back in time, what would you change in your training?
So far there is nothing I’d change in my training except for tearing the tissue in my knee. Everything to date has been a valuable learning experience.
Any advice for beginners or anyone looking to get back into fitness?
Advice for beginners is break yourself back in slowly! Your body will need to readjust and you don’t want to get sick of it. Start with 2-3 full body sessions a week and see how you get on.
What advice do you to anyone looking to gain mass?
Main mass building advice is EAT! If you’re not at a calorie excess you won’t grow. This isn’t to say eat junk food, just plenty of good whole foods. In terms of training you just need regular muscle stimulation and plenty of rest.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Always remember to question what you’re told. Check the facts, use your logic and analyse how you personally respond – we’re not all the same.