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Author Topic: Steve Howarth, NPA British Masters Champion  (Read 73166 times)
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« on: February 01, 2011, 11:09:31 PM »

Welcoming Steve Howarth, 2010 NPA British Masters Champion.

Here to answer all your questions at Natural Muscle.  Cool
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NPA South-East Lightweight Champion

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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 01:17:28 PM »

whats your offseason training like steve? do you use lower reps and heavy compound movements or do you still include isolation exercises and high rep sets?

also do you still use advanced techniques like supersets and dropsets in the offseason?
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5 x British 2 x UIBBN World Champ Powered by EQ

« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 05:54:49 PM »

Hi Davey
I have gone from doing a single bodypart per day and 3 sessions of cv per day, to come down for a comp - to training just 3 times per week for weights and once for cardio.

My current splits are:
Back & Shoulders (Sunday as longest session the other days I try and fit in)
Chest & Biceps
Legs & Triceps

I train abbs every session and calves every session - after everything else - but from Sunday I am going to do calves first to see if I can stimulate some growth and I intend to use 30 rep sets, as heavy does nothing for my claves. Cry

All the rest I pretty much go 80% of one rep max and look for between 6-12 reps.
So back for example am deadlifting 160-180 x 3sets for 8-10 reps - but I don't put the weight back to the floor - it is a hell of a long way down for me - so I go to about an inch above and back up - plus the poncy gym I go to frowns upon loud noises and shaking the floor - but it keeps me in total control and I never go for max weight!
I love bent over rows happy with 120kg x 3 sets x 10 reps and love T bar - but I stick the Olympic bar in the corner of the room and go from there, upto 5 plates and a 10 on a good day.

I tend not to use supersets or drop sets - mind you I normally train very fast - usually no more than 15 secs rest between sets - so every body part is like one gigantic drop set/pyramid set.

I also train instinctively - I don't really mind about the weight - if I feel strong - I go for it - if not I "feel" the weight I can manage and slow the reps down.  I also train on my own - cause I never really know when I can get to the gym or at what time - work permitting.

I am a training "tart" as well - I love training with a partner and their routines cause I can pick up new ideas and incorporate the bits I like into my routine.  e.g. I trained with a chap @ Evolution this week on back - he is a Masters over 50 ex UK Champ - he did lat pull downs with a reverse grip just slightly wider than shoulder width - he says it builds thickness - so I am using that instead of chins (bad elbow stopping me from doing them)
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 07:22:09 PM »

When you do a day of cv in your off season Steve  what form is it in ie power walk first thing ?  and for how long ?

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"What we do in life, echos in eternity"

« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2011, 01:05:16 AM »

Hey Steve!

You had a while away from the stage and came back a right lump. Do you think time out and giving your body that chance to develop is key to progressing quicker physically?
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 12:29:34 PM »

Adam - CV  - I tend to hit 15 mins x 3 on different machines off season just for variety.  So 15 mins on rower - about 4500m, 15 mins on stationary bike, 15 mins on stairmaster.

When trying to condition I tend to go for the power walks - 20 mins first thing, 20 mins starimaster and then 20 power walk end of the day
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2011, 12:51:48 PM »

LOL - I am a right lump!!  Alway have been always will.

The shot below- I am far left is the last time I competed 1991 - Yorkshire Heavyweights - I was 87Kg - was still playing footy - although I think I did retire that year.  Shows the kind of size I had even when playing 3 times per week, training twice, and doing 3/4 times for weights - talk about over training!!  Plus my idea of diet was to cut things out!!!  Didin't have a clue but I was always ripped  Grin

If we then fast track to last year - I think with Jon Clarks support and advice I can just about nail condition - only photo I have of the UIBBN Worlds - I was 91.5kg there.  
NPA Yorkshires - 91.6kg
UIBBN Europeans - 91.6kg
Open Mr Lincs - 93Kg
MWC - 93.6Kg
NPA Britain - 89.7Kg

So my gains over the last decade have been about 5-6lbs of solid muscle.  But my main focus now is to maintain what I have - over 40 Testosterone tends to dip - and it is hard to make any form of progress.

But you know that this sport is all about illusion - I have been blessed with wide shoulders, narrow waist and big thighs (school ribbing - hated fat thighs) and with help, support and a bit more confidence - can now create a better illusion of size, shape and condition than I could a decade ago - where I was frightened by the size of people around me.

But a lump I will remain till they carry me out of the gym

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5 x British 2 x UIBBN World Champ Powered by EQ

« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2011, 01:15:34 PM »

Oppppsss forgot to add.

I diet down very slowly - to try and hold on to as much mass as possible, so no 6 week diet for me.  I started the diet for the Yorkshires Jan 1st - and didn't cheat till the day of the comp!  That was 5 months - and I pretty much carried on all year, very high carbs, high protein, clean fats.

I am looking at Sept 25 for my first run out this year - so it will be interesting to see if I can nail my condition for that one - and daft as it sounds I am eating clean for that now  Grin  That is an initial 9 months to come down from around the 99Kg mark that I am now - I feel huge at that weight, but still have all my abbs, can still hit the intercostals and my glutes are still ripped - why I just don't know - think each time you go very low bodyfat wise - it goes back on in a different spread  Grin
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If it doesnt scare you it isnt heavy enough!

« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2011, 01:33:40 PM »

I'd love to be 99kg with ripped glutes!!! Envious m8, i can be very low bodyfat and my lady still calls me saggy bum  Grin
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2011, 05:58:13 PM »

LOL  Grin - We all have our weak spots - I carry it on my lower back - that takes forever to come in - usualy the last few days if I drink tons of water!

In fact I am now paranoid - I do hyper extensions super set with low pulley rows every week - and try and stick in hypers a lot - even though I know you can't spot reduce! Cry
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2011, 09:26:20 PM »

whats your diet look like steve?
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2011, 10:38:52 PM »

Steve mate
As a guy fast approaching his 40th birthday I am intrigued to know how you stay motivated.
You have won nearly every title going.
What are your aims this year? Retain all titles. I guess I must have the lowest boredom threshold out there.
You are an inspiration though along with my good mate Lloyd to show you can get better after 40.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2011, 10:23:00 AM »

Hi Strange 1

My diet hasn't altered from the last two years clean eating plan I am afraid Grin  I am sticking in bits extra at the moment which makes the grub a bit more colourful and adds flavour - but it is essentially:

6.00 a.m.
150g Oats, 2 x scoops MM5, 10ml of EQ Oil, handful of blueberries, pint of green tea - 1 x 1000mg vit C, 1 x Cissus, 1 x multi vit
9.00 a.m.
250-300g baked potato - with a tin of tuna - splash of chilli sauce (added in 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese) - pint of water
250-300g baked potato - chicken breast 0 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese - 1 x banana, 1 x apple peeled - pint coffee
250g-300g baked potato - with a tin of tuna - splash of chilli sauce (added in 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese) - pint of water
8 egg omlette all yolks and whites, either a splice of turkey breast off the bone or ham for taste, brocoli, cauliflower, peas n carrots - pint of fresh orange h=juice
tin fruit cocktail, 2 x scopps EQ Nut Fudge protein, 10 ml EQ Oil - pint of H2O - 1 x 1000mg vit C, 1 x Cissus

After training I also take a protein shake - MM5 2 scoops

I have stabalised around 99Kg - so up from comp weight by around 7.5Kg - but I think a lot of that is H2O!!
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2011, 11:00:33 AM »

Hi Jon - hope you are well.

That is the one question I have been mulling over since last year and probably the hardest question to answer without exposing a raw nerve!  I read it on Friday night in Amsterdam - and have been thinking about it all weekend  Cry  Think my response may not make sense or will ramble - but bear with me Roll Eyes

I don't want to look back on my life when I am with my grand kids and say - "I could have been good at that - I wanted to be able to say I was the best"

I have "almost" suceeded in every aspect of my life.
School came easy
Sport came easy
Football came easy
Rugby came easy
Athletics came easy
Work came easy
Life is easy - I have a  wonderful wife, brilliant kids, a great job, big house, flash car - but I had a nagging doubt that I wasn't really doing anything of value.  My mid life crisis was an epithany that I was a "Gunna" - I was gunna do this and I was gunna do that, but not that well.

So - I am a jack of all trades.
Never quiet good enough at Footy
Never quiet good enough intellectually
Never quite good enough @ Athletics
I was very good at Rugby - but never went for it
I am not quite good enough at work (OK might be but it doesn't rock my boat)

So I am a nearly man - and I realised that I have talent and have wasted whatever I was blessed with and mucked about.  I never put the hard work time and effort in - to be the top man.  Was happy to be top 6 but disgrunteld when I was.

Bodybuilding is the same - I have pretty much looked like this since late teens early twenties - but I didn't diet properly (didn't know how and couldn't be bothered to seek help and advice) - expecting it all to happen without knuckling down and working your butt off.  Mezza kicked my butt in the first comps, then I kept on coming in the top 6 - but not really shining and getting down and defeatist.

It was easier to concentrate on the kids and family without putting yourself in a postion to be shot at and shot down - not by the judges, not by others but by yourself.

When I tried again a few years back at the Yorkshire Masters - Fivos kicked my butt, and I thought here we go again - I very nearly gave up then again and It could haev gone two ways - I could have had the same defeatist attitude as before and jacked it in again.  But Fivos did me a huge favour.  I swallowed my pride sought support, help and advice.

My saving grace were the kind comments (Mez, Lee Kemp, MJP) telling me I should have stuck at it years ago and the intervention of two people who I owe a real debt of gratitude.  Jon Clarke made me realise diet was king and Rich Gozdecki - kicked my poor mental attitude around.  a lot of soul searching went on then - plus hitting that 40 ish mid life crisis where you question everything about yourself, life, values and approach.

I had the essential ingredients to suceed - but my mind would not support the whole - it didn't want to knuckle down and work hard - why would it - I have never really worked hard in my life.

My eldest is the same as me in a lot of respects - gifted singing wise - but intrinsically lazy and I wanted to prove to her that if you do knuckle down and work for something that you really want  - you can suceed.

I didn't expect to ever win a comp, I didn't expct ever to win a British Title and I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever be good enough to step on stage as a British althlete and grace a World stage.  I still can't accept that I won.  I have a strange approach to success - outside looking in I have it all - inside looking out - I don't feel like I deserve it. 

I know I worked my butt off the last 2 years and have fully enjoyed it but there is a piece of me saying you were lucky, it was a one off day for the rest - just the way I am - like an inner demon you have to overcome.

The gym though is where I feel comfortable, I just love being there, love training, love DOMs, love the banter, love the escapism, love the respect - working out - be that running, tennis, spin classes or bodybuilding is in my blood, I live it. 

My goal for this year - I would love to step on stage next to Roger Waters and give him the fright of his life. Grin 

Barring that retaining the British Masters is my focus, but if all the over 40s turned their eyes on that title - I know full well what a battle it would be - so with that in mind I am training as hard as I have ever done in the past and know that I have Jon Clarke batting in my corner for diet, conditioning and support and have my "little" Bro Quadzilla - enforcing PMA in my ear.

Long winded insight into my weird mind - hope it resonates Jon and I am going to post on your Q&A the same questuion - cause it really nailed me and made me think  Grin
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2011, 11:07:40 AM »

Fantastic post, Steve.  Cool
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