A SPORTS nutritionist has been proving he practises what he preaches by taking part in a body building championships.
Matt Banks, the Nutri Centre sports advisor, based at Tesco, Marton, was competing in the North East Bodybuilding Championships.
Matt, who can often be found giving sports nutrition advice and bodybuilding guidance to customers at the store, is seen as a threat in the bodybuilding world, because he stays in shape all year-round and takes a healthy and sensible approach to the sport.
The 28-year-old, who lives near Stanley Park, Blackpool, says he wants to make local people aware despite some unhealthy practices surrounding the sport, good quality food and training with perfect technique are the keys to success in body building.
Matt, who has been body building for seven years, said: “I find we are getting more and more parents coming in with their teenage children wanting sound advice when it comes to training and nutrition – be it for bodybuilding or sport.
“One of my big concerns is a lot of people are being encouraged to rely solely on supplements, and forget good quality food cannot and should not be replaced.
“I see bodybuilding as a lifestyle and, because of that, I eat well consistently, all year round, so when it comes to competition preparation, I am pretty much already in shape with only a few tweaks to make.
“Many of my competitors, on the other hand, are in shape for only maybe six weeks of the year and balloon up ‘out of season’ – this is nothing short of yo-yo dieting and puts a huge amount of stress on your joints and internal organs.”
Matt is always trying to encourage women to train with weights, as he says it does not make them ‘bulk up’, as many perceive.
He said: “Women shouldn’t be afraid of exercising too hard, as their bodies will react in a completely different way to a male athlete.
“The main reason for this is because women don’t have nearly as much testosterone as men in their body, and it is high levels of testosterone which causes muscle growth in men.
“In women, regular training and/or adding protein supplements to the diet will simply help tone and define the body and regular exercise will increase the production of endorphins – which are feel-good hormones, so exercise can benefit both your physical and emotional health.”
Matt’s top tips for sensible body building:
* Don’t just lift weights, cardio is important to keep the heart healthy
* Always have good correct form when lifting weight – don’t ever worry about how much you are lifting, compared to others
* Always, always warm up before training and stretch after training
* Eat a balanced diet: lean proteins, slow digesting carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal and vegetables. Broccoli and green beans are a favourite.
* Eat six small meals a day to keep your body at its fat burning peak
* Supplements should be worked around a healthy balanced diet.