Classic Body Building Competitor Stephen Milton Shares His Tips
Next up on our PT and Athlete Q&A Series is Stephen Milton, a PT based in and around the Liverpool area. Stephen has only recently got into PT’ing (as a career) over the last year or so, after graduating with a degree in PE (many moons ago) and working in other industries, I thought I’d try my hand at what I love doing, follow my passion and all that jazz, something that he is absolutely loving! Stephen also competes in classic bodybuilding, but this year has been a wash out because of COVID-19 etc so hasn’t been able to compete this year, and won’t compete again now until 2021.
What is your favourite exercise?
My favourite day is ‘Back day’ and my favourite exercise is the high pulley hammer machine. I feel it gets a good stretch across the muscle and uses a full range of movement.
What muscle do you consider to be the most important to be trained on?
The simple answer is your heart. I’m a firm believer in doing cardio all year round (granted it’s less often in the winter months) but the better your heart functions the better your performance will be. Other than that, don’t skip leg day!
What is the flashiest muscle?
Has to be the biceps. It’s the pose that people from all sports hit when they want to show strength, from fighters when they are on the scales to even the likes of Andy Murray!
Favourite pre workout meal / snack?
I don’t tend to over complicate things with pre-workout meals, I’ll just have a good meal about an hour before training. I always keep my protein high. On average I’m looking at about 200g Chicken and 150g rice, thrown on some seasoning and some veggies, but the portion size and ratios will depend on what I’m training/time of the year etc.
Favourite post workout meal / snack?
As soon as I finish training I’ll have a shake that consists of whey protein and fruit: the protein for obvious reasons and the fruit provides simple sugars that help to replenish the depleted glycogen cells. After a hard leg session (if I’m not dieting) I’ll go to Five Guys/Maccies, and kind of treat myself.
Favourite MFB dish?
Definitely the Malaysian chicken, sweet potato and chickpea coconut curry, spiced rice. It tastes as nice as a normal curry you’d get from an Indian / Asian takeaway restaurant, but obviously not as bad for you with good nutritional values.
Favourite cheat dish?
Not a dish as such, but Pizza followed by Ice-cream.
How many times a week do you train?
Weights wise I train 5 out of the 7 days for about 45-60 mins. Cardio will depend on what part of the year/season it is. Typically, it can range from 3 times a week in the winter for roughly 30 mins to everyday leading up to a show, hitting up to 60 mins a day depending on my condition etc, and where I feel I’m up to with my body.
How do you deal with sugar / junk food cravings?
It would be way too easy to just say ‘will power’ but it’s not always that easy. This is something that I do struggle with (because I have a real sweet tooth) especially in the winter months when I’m not as strict with what I eat... Sometimes I have a zero sugared drink or even a protein bar to trick my brain into thinking it’s getting sugar. You could even whip up a protein shake, there’s all sorts of calorie free syrups to add in as well. This really just makes you think that you’re consuming the sugar that you can taste, without actually putting it into your body – or at least adding extra protein etc.
What is the best diet to follow for losing weight?
I wouldn’t say there is ‘a best’ diet to follow, everyone’s body is different. You just need to be a calorie deficit and you will lose weight. It’s that simple. Keep your protein high, eat carbs and fats. Yes, carbs and fats! Good fats though, nuts, oily fish, eggs etc. Eat smaller meals and regularly, this will ensure you don’t go hungry and will keep your metabolism ticking over. Avoid fad diets and trends, stick to real foods.
Personally (when I am dieting), I do my cardio fasted in the morning ie do it as soon as I wake without eating anything. But what I would say is find out what way works for you. Allow for a treat as well, so maybe if you’re strict Sunday-Friday, you could treat yourself on Saturday. (This would obviously depend on how lean you want to get). Remember though, calorie deficit and you will lose weight, just trust the process and stay patient.
What and when should I eat around my workouts?
It would depend on what your specific goals are, but typically you want to be eating a high protein and carbohydrate meal about an hour before your workout, I usually go for a chicken and rice dish because I can digest it very quickly. After training, again high protein as the muscles need repairing and a fast-acting sugary carb, like fruit, which will help replenish the depleted glycogen levels. Straight away I’d have a shake for convenience and then eat about an hour or so later.
What has been your favourite body building competition? And why?
My first one. Although I didn’t place in it, it gave me the confidence and self-belief to know that I can progress further and do it again. It really did help my mindset and help to set me up going forward, so I am so grateful for how it went.
If you’re a personal trainer or knowledgeable about fitness / nutrition and would like to feature in our Q&A series, then please drop us a message on any of our social channels or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send over the questions, featuring you in our next available slot.