Welcome Ben Crowley!

Welcome Ben Crowley!

Posted by Ben Crowley on Aug 25, 2014 in #Introductions.

After much back and forth, I’ve decided to commit to writing a blog myself.

Some readers will recognise me as the general manager of Bulk Nutrients, and nowadays in the company I’m fortunate enough to be able to focus on brand direction and product development.

While I was tempted to use this space to discusses the many issues the industry is facing, complexities in developing products and future direction of Bulk Nutrients, I’ve since decided to stick to training here.

While I’m not a competitive bodybuilder or professional athlete, or someone even blessed with great genetics, I believe I can add some value to many people out there who constantly battle the time vs goals conundrum.

At 34 years of age, a father of 2 and manager of a very busy company, my goals are all about getting the best gains possible, with the least derision from everyday life.

Please note, I’ve the utmost respect for those athletes and bodybuilders who devote huge proportions of their life to their physical goals, however this isn’t what I’m about, as it’s not practical for me to devote copious amounts of time to training (or any activity nowadays). All training I do has to be as efficient as possible, so I’ll be looking for maximum “bang for buck” here.

My fitness journey is an interesting one. As a kid I was a classic ectomorph but one who luckily had very good power to weight. I recall doing 840 sit ups in a grade 5 fitness test (before being told to stop) and at my peak at about 20 years of age I could manage 4 sets of 100 push ups, and 6 sets of 20 chins, with a great 10k run time.

While this sounds impressive, for every benefit theres a negative and for years I found it very difficult to add quality muscle to my frame – utilising that style of bodyweight training anyway!

After 6 years of serious lifting, I added approx 20kg of muscle, however the first 5-10kg came quite easily as I would have been considered underweight to start with, eating a diet for years devoid of much protein!

My “starting point” where I switched from body weight exercises and predominantly fitness training to proper weight training was at approx 60kg at 6% bodyfat, with my peak “in shape” weight of 82.5kg at approx 9% bf 5 – 6 years later.

While the early days I was all about fitness and endurance my goals quickly shifted to heavy bar bells. I was lucky to not waste too much time with cables and curls, and realised as a skinny dude, I’d need the squat rack and to pack on the weight I was lifting quickly.

For strength training id consider my genetics on the good side of average, but I’m certainly no power lifter. At 80kg my best deadlift was around 200kg, squat approx 165kg and a bench of 110kg. Not terrible numbers, but genetically I’m clearly set up better for endurance than peak strength. I do credit a lot of my gains to training hard and heavy though.

I must say I get envious reading about fellow bloggers like Elias our strongman from S.A. within a few months of him beginning lifting his lifts would have surpassed my best all time lifts, however I’m going to guess he may always struggle if he had to train for a 10 or 20k run, do it all evens out.

The biggest problem was that peak strength saw me with very little fitness, and due to pretty terrible squat form, I wasn’t doing my back many favours!

Over the last 7 years, an expanding business, marriage and a family saw my priorities shift and in this time so has my waist line.

While for the last 7 years I haven’t trained much at all, I’ve been keenly learning about training theories, diet and of course supplements, so this blog will see all of that put to work.

These days my goals are quite different. I’m aiming for a good balance of strength and fitness, I’m doing 4 weight sessions a week with 2-3 sessions of cardio slotted in after phase 1, and the emphasis will be on ensuring everything is as efficient as possible.

If you’re expecting the typical 1 muscle group a week, 6 meals a day and low intensity cardio to get cut, you’ll be disappointed with my blog. If however, you’d like to see some effective results where I’ll be putting quite a bit of well founded training science to work, then it’ll be your cup of tea.

My aims in a 6 month period are to be close to my previous peak strength, while building good, practical fitness, while ensuring my body is kept in good condition.

My target figures are to be less than 10% bodyfat at around 80kg with any weak muscle groups brought up to scratch as much as possible. To put it into context I’m 176cm, so if I was lean enough my physique would resemble a sprinters (don’t get too excited this is a best case scenario!), as dimensionally they have very similar bmi’s to this.

My best muscle groups are my back, shoulders and arms, with chest and legs being weaker, so at least visually, I’ll be focussing on balance.

It’s amazing how different being 34 is to 24. Training involves a lot more warming up, and all that advice about decent form (for key lifts) actually needs to be applied! I cringe at some of the stuff I did in the past, literally zero warm ups, massive forward lean when squatting and other mistakes.

I’ll generally be discussing my lifts, strength and composition changes as my training takes a few phases, however my next post will be on genetics and why I have chosen the type of training I have.

Thanks for anyone who is taking notice, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions you like as I get into things. I’ll apologise in advance for not being able to answer everything in too much detail, but we’ll see how we go.

Regards,

Ben

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