Remember when I created a Google map and list of UK gyms owned and run by natural bodybuilders? The map is here >> UK natural bodybuilders’ gyms <<. At the time, I pledged to do some kind of grand tour, visiting each gym to train, interview the owner and blog about the gym.
That hasn't happened (yet?) but this weekend I took a road trip to stay with my bodybuilding buddy Chris Roche. We trained twice at his local gym, Body Flex in Aylesbury, which is owned and run by former natural World Champ Tony Montalbano (there are rumours of a comeback in 2016, but you didn’t hear it from me…)
The time of year between the end of one bodybuilding season and the start of the next can be a bit boring. It’s easy to feel disconnected from the close-knit community of natural bodybuilding. So I take it upon myself to invite myself to training sessions and travel around in order to hang out with the good folk of natural bodybuilding.
This weekend was one of those road trips. I went up to Aylesbury, trained twice with Champ Chris Roche at Tony Montalbano’s Body Flex – all fuelled by Chris’s Dads excellent cooking (burp).
Chris is a Personal Trainer based at Core Strength Fitness in Aylesbury. He’s the UKDFBA British Teenage Champion 2012/13, BNBF British Teenage Champion 2013 and placed 3rd in the amateur U24s at the WNBF Worlds in 2013.
I can’t remember when I first met him, but we became firm friends on that trip out to the WNBF Worlds in Boston in 2013. I remember thinking (shame on me!) that I couldn’t possibly be friends with a young fellamelad of Chris’s age. I am, literally, old enough to be his mother (cringe). We agreed to hang out for a day and I was wondering what the hell we’d have to talk about. Well Chris, my apologies! 😉 We had a great time on that trip and have remained good friends since. We’ve trained together tons of times – at Emporium in Birmingham over Bodypower weekend, and at various “natural meets”, and now at Body Flex.
Saturday: Shoulders, Abs
– Hammer strength plate loaded shoulder press: several sets adding weight each time, then a final drop set
– Single arm dumbbell lateral raises, the final one a drop set
– Single arm dumbbell overhead press, final one a drop set (I managed the 20kg for a few!)
– Rear delt dumbbell flys (Chris taught me how to actually do these properly)
– Real debts on the pec dec with horrible “holds” and a drop set
– Hanging leg raises
Sunday: Legs, Calves
– Barbell squats, 4 working sets (I did 70kgs)
– Plate loaded hack squat: 5 sets of 10-12 reps with minimal (30 seconds or less) rest (yuk)
– Plate loaded leg press: 15-20 reps for 3 sets (heavier every set) then a quadruple drop set (yuk)
– SLDL with dumbbells – 3 sets (I used the 30kgs for these which I was pretty happy with)
– Nordic hamstring curl (ouch)
– Seated calves on plate loaded machine
– Toe presses on leg press
Great couple of sessions, thanks Chris!
What did you train this weekend? Have you trained at Body Flex? Can anyone guess which gym on my map/list I’m training at next weekend?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.