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Boards => Champions Q & A => Topic started by: Jon on November 29, 2016, 12:20:58 AM



Title: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: Jon on November 29, 2016, 12:20:58 AM
Welcoming Ben Howard, 2016 UKDFBA British Middleweight Champion, WNBF World Amateur Lightweight Champion and new WNBF Pro.

Here to answer all your questions at Natural Muscle.   8)


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on November 29, 2016, 09:57:17 PM
Thank you for setting this up Jon , I look forward to answering any questions anyone may have  :)


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: Damo NY on November 30, 2016, 04:19:06 PM
Congratulations again mate on cleaning up some major titles this season!

You're in a great position now as a WNBF Pro and at your age, have many progressive years ahead of you. Looking forward to seeing you on a Pro stage  8)



Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on November 30, 2016, 06:11:55 PM
Thanks damo , had a very successful year, never thought would be so! And looking forward to getting after the next goal soon!


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: SCOTTGALTON on December 01, 2016, 02:41:13 PM
Great year Ben.

I think a lot of younger bodybuilders could take a lot from your approach. Simple, effective and consistent.  I do feel we live in an age of over complication, especially in the fitness industry.


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on December 01, 2016, 03:21:38 PM
Thanks Scott this year has been the best!

I think your right and I still get caught up in over complicating things and it can really be a head game, Gotta have faith in your approach and for me that means going back to basics Even if that's not the "optimal" thing to do on paper - Iv been fortunate enough to have lee in my corner as you know, and he is always reminding me to stick to the basics and not get too caught up in details he knows that if someone trains to their max , follows through with the diet plan 100% then the magic happens



Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: K_Dogs on December 06, 2016, 09:25:00 PM
I was seriously pleased to see your name on this prestigious board. So very well deserved mate. 

I'll kick off with a few random questions.

Do you train to positive failure?
What made you stick to your guns and train full body for so long?
What is your primary focus when training; e.g muscle tension, hitting PB weights or reps?
Was there a time or routine that allowed you to excel and hit a new level of mass?



Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on December 06, 2016, 11:53:34 PM
Thankyou mate! It's felt like a very long journey and still can't quite believe the success Iv had this year! Very excited for the future that's for sure!

1. Yeah I do but not exclusively like I use to with the max-ot/HIT type routines, I'm more interested in hitting a decent amount of volume with respectable weights, i find more benefit that way, I.e if I squat and use 140kg and do 3 sets to failure I can probably get 15 reps on the first then I'll be smoke and only get 9 for the 2nd and 7 on the third if I hit true failure ... That's 31 reps

If I hold back a little I could get 3 sets of 12 with the same rest, that's 36 reps therefore more load for the body and doesn't dig the recovery as much


2.to be honest mate I was sceptical because not many of the top guys train that way, but in recent years full body's have been a lot more popular and that's spured me on to stick with them and i use them still, in fact using them now and will right up to the 2018 UK pro international -

Why I use full body workouts?
i see very fast strength increases with full body workouts
There backed up by science now like DUP routines/high frequency
Training just 3 times per week it's more efficient
I enjoy squatting 3 times per week, makes all other workouts feel easy
I like things basic and full bodies mean I can't add in loads of fluff
Brian whitacre winning the worlds and yorton in 15 using a DUP full body routine + HIIT sold it for me!

My primary focus is progression in strength and /or volume , and PB in weight and reps I'm not really interested in 1RM but a 5x5 PB is always a goal of mine

I think all round mass a basic 3 day full body workout with heavy squatting, pressing and pulling each day
The routine I currently follow has worked great for me in the past and I'll keep using it- it has everything I need to keep progressing and for weak points I add in some accessory work
I do some high intensity cardio after each session and rest completely between workouts, lots of walking, stretching etc for recovery

Mon-
5x5 squat (heavy)
5x5 pendlay row
5x5 incline bench
3x10 barbell curl
3x10 calf raise

Wed-
5x5 squat (light - 80% of Monday)
5x5 military press
5x5 deadlift
3x10 dips
3x10 sit-ups

Fri-
5x5 squat (medium - 90% of Monday)
5x5 bench press
5x5 chins
3x10 leg curl
3x10 upright row

It's very basic - when 5x5 is achieved with good form , add some weight, although it's not all maximum the high frequency and volume of squatting adds size like no other routine for me, recovery has to be on point though so lots of walking, stretching, mobility/flexibility work on off days, eating and sleeping need to be on point too, I tried to push this routine when isla was newborn, with nightfeeds and double shifts! didn't last long! I crumbled!  ;D

I would say this routine could suit anyone, but because of the high frequency and volume you wanna use heavy challenging weights and progress slowly, and adapt the 3x10 "weak point"
Work to suit the individual



Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: K_Dogs on December 07, 2016, 02:09:31 PM
Awesome reply, like me I'm sure that a lot people will find it interesting and useful.
Also if some people are sitting on the fence regarding full body routines this should help them make up their mind  ;D


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on December 07, 2016, 06:08:51 PM
Yeah, bottom line is if you give the routine 100% it will work, weather it full body, upper lower, or split


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: SCOTTGALTON on December 07, 2016, 06:17:07 PM
I 100% agree with that. Pick a plan you enjoy and can progress with. Beast it and you'll improve. There is no perfect routine.


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: mthokodd on December 19, 2016, 05:54:49 AM
wow mate, you have an incredible physique. Congrats on all the success.

Question regarding the structuring  of your diet. do you have a set menu plan when dieting, and what does that look like? Or are you of the new school, Macro stuff, where anything goes as long as your number add up?

Cheers
Mthoko


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on December 19, 2016, 06:42:28 AM
Thank you for the kind words!  :)

I like to have a set "base" diet plan that I use consistently. I guess I'm kinda in between the two approaches. I fully understand the flexibility dieting approach and tracking macros is apart of your overall knowledge in this game, so I know my pro-carb-fat-calorie intake just because Iv been doing his a few years now, but for convinence I like to have 3 main meals and 3 shakes per day, kinda eat like a normal person - breakfast/lunch/dinner and fill the gaps with the shakes

So all I would do for a contest is take my base diet and start slowly shaving away at the carb sources to lower calories , that along with no occasional Cheat meals that I have in the offseason, brings in the condition

A typical day - (I measure my servings and they change due to my goals)

Breakfast- eggs-oats-berries-honey-multivitamin
Mid am - MRP shake - (I use bulkpowders informed mass)
Lunch- chicken-rice-salad-oil
Mid PM (or Pwo) - MRP
Dinner- steak or salmon-potato-vegetables-multivitamin
Before bed- MRP

I make sure I drink 1 gallon water daily and take a good multivitamin , I reccomend bulkpowders AM/PM

Hope that answers your question -


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: SCOTTGALTON on December 20, 2016, 04:39:45 PM
Ben
Looking through the pictures on the UKDFBA website I have noticed that this year your condition has surpassed your last showing in 2014. You looked great then but you have blown that out of the water. What do you think the difference was?


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: ben-howard on December 20, 2016, 07:23:38 PM
Hi mate think it was a few things,

A little more muscle from a good offseason of wavy training
I dieted a little longer overall 29 weeks instead of 24
I trained harder generally with more volume than before
I think each time you diet your body allows you to get a little leaner

You did exactly that from your last 2 comps too, and I'm sure you will too this time

Always a good idea to be in a good position from the start of the diet too, that's the plan for me next time


Title: Re: Ben Howard, WNBF Pro
Post by: mthokodd on December 21, 2016, 11:32:20 AM
Fantastic, nice and simple. Thanks for the response.
Thank you for the kind words!  :)

I like to have a set "base" diet plan that I use consistently. I guess I'm kinda in between the two approaches. I fully understand the flexibility dieting approach and tracking macros is apart of your overall knowledge in this game, so I know my pro-carb-fat-calorie intake just because Iv been doing his a few years now, but for convinence I like to have 3 main meals and 3 shakes per day, kinda eat like a normal person - breakfast/lunch/dinner and fill the gaps with the shakes

So all I would do for a contest is take my base diet and start slowly shaving away at the carb sources to lower calories , that along with no occasional Cheat meals that I have in the offseason, brings in the condition

A typical day - (I measure my servings and they change due to my goals)

Breakfast- eggs-oats-berries-honey-multivitamin
Mid am - MRP shake - (I use bulkpowders informed mass)
Lunch- chicken-rice-salad-oil
Mid PM (or Pwo) - MRP
Dinner- steak or salmon-potato-vegetables-multivitamin
Before bed- MRP

I make sure I drink 1 gallon water daily and take a good multivitamin , I reccomend bulkpowders AM/PM

Hope that answers your question -