One of the most common things you hear as a Personal Trainer is “I’ll start Monday”. Or “I’ll build myself up first then try X,Y or Z!'“ Being frank, this is one of the most frustrating concepts that people buy in to. The truth of the matter is that there is never a perfect time to begin.
A prime example of this is Roy Mclean, one of the team of PTs at Boss Gym. I sat down with Roy to discuss his beginnings in bodybuilding, a career that has landed him multiple national and European titles but one that started later than most.
“My first show I was 38,” Roy explains. “I was on holiday with my family in New York when I decided that I was going to compete.”
When pressed as to why he decided to make this jump at this point in his life, Roy says; “Well, my kids were older so didn’t need looking after anymore. There wasn’t any real moment that triggered it. I had followed bodybuilding for a long time but never really thought I’d compete myself. I had been training for years, since I was younger. I actually started with boxing then moved onto weight training.”
The biggest part of bodybuilding is the prep. This is the process people go through to get themselves from their starting point to stage ready. It includes harsh dieting, long workouts and gruesome cardio. One small slip and the whole competition can be ruined. However, with no real links in the bodybuilding world and less accessible information via the internet, Roy had to rely on some more obscure forms of information.
“There was a TV programme called Body Spectacular on at the time where a bodybuilder John Hodgson, was putting someone through a prep. The show detailed the training and the diet that was being used so I copied that. I ate the same as what they did on the show and trained the same!”
A far from conventional approach to preparation for a competitive bodybuilding show, it worked! Not that there wasn’t setbacks along the way, including losing a large portion of his thumb a few weeks in! (More on this on a later blog!)
“I went into the first show with no real expectation but I ended up winning! I knew so little about the show that it was only when a friend told me that I had qualified for the nationals that I realised it was qualifying show. So I went straight onto prepping for the nationals.”
Roy had made it to the big stage. On pre-judging where, without an audience, the judges select those that will compete in front of people at the evening show, Roy was over the moon to find out that he was in the top 10 and was invited back for the evening show. Having already accomplished what he set out to do, make the actual show, he went to TGI Fridays for a big meal and to celebrate. Heading back for the final stage, with no real expectations, he waited for his name to be called out.
“The guy in 10th got called up. Then 9th, and so on. Eventually it got the top three and I’m looking around, waiting to hear my name next. The guy in third went up, leaving me and one other person. He then got called up for his second place and that was it, I had won.” When speaking about his achievements, Roy is always rather modest. A simple ‘I had won’ encapsulated all the hard work he had put it and the fact that he had won the national in his very first try.
Since starting bodybuilding competitively at 38, Roy has gone on to win numerous awards across Europe and beyond, plus helped others realise their goal of stepping on to the stage, turning what was essentially a pipe dream into a real career, one that has proved fruitful. When asked if he had any regrets over starting later than most, Roy replied; “No, not really. Maybe I could have started earlier but I have still done well with my competing so I wouldn’t change anything!”
The biggest take-away from my time listening to Roy’s story is that there’s never a bad time to start. Just beginning is an achievement, one that you never know where it’s going to take you. To all the people out there that are anxious about starting at the gym, Roy says; “Just go for it. People are far more interested in themselves to pay any attention to what you’re up to. There’s no point waiting. That goes for those looking to compete and those just starting out in the gym. Just get started and you will be amazed at how quickly you see change.”
Want to start your fitness journey? Here’s a Free Day Pass to get you going!
Want a kickstart to your training or looking to compete? Contact Roy on 07534 747131 to see how he can help you get started!