The only equipment I had was a barbell, some cast iron weights and a bench. For around 2-3 years between the ages of 13 and 16 I trained using 4 simple exercises with the equipment I had. This gained me a good athletic physique and a good amount of strength. I also was Rugby training once or twice a week with a game at the weekend (in the winter) and athletics training twice a week with a meet on the weekend (in the summer).
The exercises and routine I followed every day after school for around 30-45 minutes was:
Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Upright Row – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Bench Press – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Bicep Curl – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Usually followed by 3 x 100 Sit Ups.
Having built a good athletic physique really helped in college, in both social and physical aspects. Around this time I snapped my Anterior Cruciate Ligament in my left knee ending my Rugby and Athletics careers.
Due to the injury that I sustained I was unable to play some of the sports on my course. Therefore I would go to the gym during practical’s. When I first went to the college gym, older students would ask me what I had done to achieve my physique. I told them about the exercises, not knowing really what the different muscles were called and just pointing to them. They were also interested in my nutrition. I hadn’t considered my nutrition at all and just ate what I liked including pizza and chips. They were shocked at the physique that I had achieved with my training and diet as it was.
Fortunately my tutor at college had been training since he was young and showed me how to train using different machines and free weights. Having only ever trained with a barbell, I really appreciated learning how to train with different equipment. My tutor gave me advice on nutrition and advised that I should cut out the cans of coke I had every day.
After a few months of training every day at college (training split below) and eating as much as I could I was growing and getting stronger. Towards the end of my second year of college I was getting a very strong physique and started to get a good reputation due to the way I looked and trained.
The training split I trained during college:
Monday – Upper Body Barbell
Tuesday – Upper Body Dumbbell
Wednesday – Legs (lightly due to knee)
Thursday – Upper Body Barbell
Friday – Upper Body Dumbbell
University was great; having built the physique I had and enjoying the party lifestyle. During this time I joined a local gym and continued training hard, my nutrition was still not great as I didn’t need it to be at that time, as whatever I ate or drank didn’t seem to make me put fat on. My training split started to change as my knowledge was improving. I started to train single muscle groups and the results I achieved were great! I believe the upper/lower split when I was younger worked great for my age and how long I had been training, and the single muscle split benefited me well for this stage of training.
18 -19 training split:
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Back
Wednesday – Shoulders
Thursday – Arms (because we would always go out on a Thursday night!)
Friday – Legs
During my second year of university, I really started to focus on nutrition, due to studying it as part of my course. I started putting together a plan for myself based on knowledge I had learnt through research papers. My physique was changing and the results were impressive. My training knowledge was still improving and I starting trying out more of a push, pull legs training split. I was spotted by Justin Tayler and he invited me to compete in his Body Pro competition, which I did. I won the first ever Body Pro competition and had my first ever photo shoot with Justin himself. My reputation started to grow in the fitness industry and sponsorship opportunities appeared. I owe Justin a lot as he really took me under his wing and provided sound advice.
During my third year of Uni I decided to go for the London South East Junior Physique Championship. I knew this was going to be tough as I was finishing Uni and writing my dissertation plus other assignments alongside cutting for this show. It was a very tough and emotional experience!
I wrote out my diet and training for the next 12 weeks including a wide range of different training and nutritional techniques I had learnt over the years. I ended up winning the Junior Physique category and gained my invite to the UKBFF finals.
After winning I had to concentrate back on Uni work for a few days before traveling to Birmingham Body Power Expo to be on the Justin Tayler’s Body Pro stand for the weekend. This was a great experience and I really enjoyed meeting everyone. After the weekend I had to head back to Uni and finish all my assignments off before finishing my degree. The results came back and I managed to graduate Uni with a 2.1 in Physical Education and Coaching.
Shortly after Luke Hayes Fitness was created and all my knowledge on nutrition and training which I have learnt, practised and proven through the last 8 years is now available to you via online coaching, personal training and one off plans which are available in the shop!