Having been on the case for several months to get some wise words from the current WBFF Pro Fitness Model World champion, I’ve been fortunate enough to catch up with Shaun Stafford to find out more…
Shaun has been very busy in establishing one of London’s premier gyms, City Athletic which is located in the City of London. He is a Reflex Nutrition sponsored athlete and has appeared on several magazine covers as well many Reflex campaigns. It’s fair to say he has taken the fitness industry by storm and by bringing home a world title, he has inspired many to take to the stage!
This is my first ever GNC interview, where I plan to find out more about Shaun and share his experiences with you to hopefully inspire you in your fitness goals.
Shaun conquering Physique Magazine cover: Mar – Apr 2013
Photography – Arsenik Photography
Q1. What made you get into fitness modelling? - GNC
SS: When I stopped playing competitive sport, I needed a focus for my training and a friend suggested it. She was competing herself, and I made a bet… I ended up losing the bet, which meant I had to enter my first competition. Since then, it has gone pretty well, so I have just kept going…
Q2. What is current approach to training? - GNC
SS: I try to keep my programs varied and switch things up every 6 weeks or so: I do very little cardio, but usually hit a high volume training system. I usually keep the rep range above 5 for the majority of my training, but cycle between accumulation and intensification.
I also use a lot of drop sets, super-sets, giant sets etc. I find it is a really effective way to produce overload and keep my muscles working and progressing.
Q3. How does your current diet look? - GNC
SS: When dieting for a show, my diet is very strict and controlled: I weigh out all of my meals and eat 6-7 times a day, totaling around 3-4k kcals. I usually go very low carb, and use carb cycling a lot when dropping body fat. In terms of macros, it is usually around 50% Protein, 15% Carbs and 35% Fat.
When in the off-season, I up my carbs quite a lot, and actively try to ‘fill out’ my muscles again; I find that prolonged periods of dieting leave me feeling flat, so having some time off makes me feel ready to go again when the time is right.
As for cheat meals, I use them very rarely when dieting for a show, but as often as I feel I want/ need during off-season!
Q4. What are your top 3 supplements? – GNC
SS: I use either Growth Matrix or Instant Whey Deluxe as a Post-Workout Recovery drink and Muscle Bomb as a Pre-Workout (when I use one).
In terms of the supplements I take on a daily bases, I use a Multivitamin (Nexgen+), CLA and Krill Oil.
When I am dieting down, I usually add in L-Carnitine and ALA.
All supplements are by Reflex Nutrition.
Photography – Simon Howard (SNHFoto)
Q5. What are your top 3 tips to someone wanting to get into fitness modelling/ competitions? – GNC
1) Make yourself different:
There are so many people with great physiques out there and everybody wants to be a fitness model. Ask yourself what makes you different, and interesting. If you stand out, people will be interested! It might be your look, your background, a story, whatever it might be, find out, and use it to your advantage.
2) Hard work cannot be overlooked:
If you look at the guys at the top, you might see a hand full of people with great bodies. What you won’t see is the amount of work and graft it took them to get there! It isn’t necessarily the work in the gym or kitchen, but more the networking, writing, filming, blogging etc… If you really want it, you have to work for it! The harder you work, the higher your chances of success.
3) Provide good quality content for people to follow:
SS: If you put good workout and diet advice up, with interesting photos, you will build up a strong a loyal fan base… this is attractive to potential sponsors and will help you with opportunities.
Q6. What are your plans for the future? - GNC
SS: I have just opened a brand new performance gym, City Athletic, in The City of London. At the moment this is taking up nearly all of my time. It has been a long-term dream of mine, and I am very proud of what we have achieved so far with the business. This is my number one focus for now.
In terms of competing, there is The WBFF Pro World title to defend in August… no one has ever successfully defended it, so that would be a major achievement. The show is going to be the biggest ever, and is in Las Vegas!
After the show I will work hard and try to bring The WBFF over to Europe a bit more, and get a UK show going. This is a long-term goal, so watch this space.
Thanks Shaun, we appreciate you taking time out of your busy schedule for our interview, best of luck with your future goals. – GNC
SS: Thank you very much for stopping by and talking with me.
Shaun winning the WBFF Pro Fitness Model World title in 2012
Photography – Toby Harrison
WBFF Pro Fitness Model World Champion 2012
Keep up to date with Shaun on Facebook and Twitter:
Facebook page: Shaun Stafford Fitness
London Premier Gym – City Athletic
***GNC EXCLUSIVE – BLOG COMPETITION***
City Athletic have teamed up with GNC to offer readers of our blog a Reflex/ City Athletic goody bag worth over £100 (including a complementary day pass to City Athletic)! Simply email your answer: A,B or C with your full name to email@example.com to win. Closing date is 25th April 2013. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on the GNC Facebook Fan page and via email on Friday 3rd May 2013.
Q. Which of the following does Shaun have as part of his Post-workout nutrition?
A. Reflex Diet Whey
B. Reflex Growth Matrix
C. Reflex Performance Matrix
Wait…there’s more! How would you fancy winning a pair of VIP athlete passes to City Athletic and train with Shaun Stafford himself?! Simply ‘Like’ the City Athletic Facebook Fan page to be in a chance to win. Shaun will announce the winner on Friday 3rd May 2013!