Today we’re bringing you this interview with men’s physique competitor & Bodybuilding Warehouse ambassador, Lee Malone. From a skinny kid, to a men’s physique competitor and supplement brand rep, Lee has progressed leaps and bounds with his own fitness goals.
Hi Lee, thanks for taking the time to be with us today. Give our readers a quick intro to who Lee Malone is, how did you get involved in the fitness scene?
I got involved in the fitness scene when I cut for the first time just before the Bodypower expo in 2012 when I took part in my first fitness shoot with Justin Tayler. This lead to an increase in followers on twitter/facebook/instagram, a lot of people asking questions regarding my training and nutrition so I set up my blog- http://aesthetic-lifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/ to help answer everyone’s questions plus more.
Before training you weighed in at a feather weight of just 9 stone and 4 lbs. What was your lifestyle like then?
Before the gym I did a lot of fashion and editorial modelling which is more of a slimmer look for guys. My lifestyle was more about going out and socialising and eating whatever I wanted, which is a plus to being an ectomorph body type with a fast metabolism however the huge down side is I really struggle to put weight on.
What was the driving force to start hitting the gym and lifting weights?
I remember looking back on holiday snaps and seeing a picture of me on the beach with all my collarbone and ribs showing, I didn’t look at the photo and think I looked bad, I looked in shock and thought I looked really unhealthy and out of proportion considering I was 6 foot 2.
Was it more about health or aesthetics?
Initially it was about health, I needed to look more in proportion and not have my clothes drown me. However seeing the difference it made and the buzz it gave me working out it made me more comfortable in my own skin and seeing my body change so much was amazing. That was what gave me the encouragement to carry on, take my nutrition more seriously and introduce supplements.
You placed well in your first UKBFF men’s physique show, scoring 5th out of 16. From this show Bodybuilding Warehouse got in touch with you. Tell us more about how this relationship started?
I have always used Bodybuilding Warehouse supplements for the last 4/5 years, (make sure to check out our bodybuilding warehouse discount codes) when I set up my blog I would post different recipes and always credit and link their products. Having built up a following across social networks I received a message from Bodybuilding Warehouse to see if I would be interested on being a warrior on their stand at the 2013 Bodypower expo. I couldn’t believe it, 12 months prior I attended the expo for the first time and took part in my first fitness photo shoot hoping that one day I could be part of one of the big names exhibiting there, now I was being approached to be part of the BBW Team which was perfect for me because I had used their products for so long, believed in their products, knew how far they’ve come as a business and they’re also based in the North West.
What does your affiliation with Bodybuilding Warehouse involve?
For Bodybuilding warehouse I write weekly articles, blogs and record videos for their YouTube channel in return I receive my own promotion and supplements. It’s good to be rewarded for your hard work and to know it’s been noticed by such an amazing company that’s going from strength to strength and growing so much.
Your friends and family must have been buzzing for you to receive such attention from one of the UK’s leading supplement firms. Has your working with Bodybuilding Warehouse changed your life in anyway?
My family we’re very proud of me yes, I remember when I was 15 and my Dad buying me a weight gainer shake whilst I was heavily into Thai Boxing, it tasted horrible, like fish! I’m so glad companies have brought flavourist on board to put together the shakes we have today, Bodybuilding Warehouse have some amazing flavours in their range, especially the PURE 80 Whey, I’ve used this throughout my current contest prep, vanilla, chocolate milk, peanut butter and banana and also the new white chocolate taste unreal! It’s also good to see my younger brothers and people I encourage online listening to my advice and using the Bodybuilding Warehouse products I recommend in order for them to reach their goals.
Was there any temptation for you to get into competitive bodybuilding, or have you always steered to the mens physique competitions?
I have no preference to be honest however I saw Mens Physique as a first choice as I felt I fitted into that class initially and would have to add a lot more mass for my height to be competitive within the bodybuilding classes. Last year was a big year for Mens Physique, it was the first time the class was introduced to the UKBFF and the first time it was featured at the Olympia after being launched in the states in 2010. I do see a huge future for Mens Physique and it’s good to see people opinions change from “guys that don’t train legs” to it being a huge plus for the sport of bodybuilding.
What separates a professional fitness model from someone who just simply trains in the gym to look good?
I’d say it’s in the mind set and taking it to the next level with regards to training and nutrition. One point in which I notice the change in drive in myself was when I knew I had my first photo shoot lined up. I’d also say my mind set really changed when I heard Mens Physique was coming to the UKBFF and made the decision to compete, since then I haven’t looked back. My training is completely different from when I started, I never regret a workout or a set and always leave the gym knowing I’ve gave it 110% whether that’s weights or cardio, I will not be out trained and want that number 1 spot so bad.
How does it make you feel when you see so many guys transforming their bodies, enjoying their workouts, and becoming healthier as a result of your advice?
It’s crazy, it really is. The fitness industry and healthy lifestyle that comes with it are a huge part of my life so it’s very rewarding to know that people appreciate me and Bodybuilding Warehouse spreading good solid advice, covering all aspects of fitness. I’ll always remember a tweet I got from a guy in Canada telling me how he reads my blog and finds my personal transformation motivational as he is also an ectomorph looking to add muscle too. Another eye opener was a message I got from a guy in Spain wanting to buy a couple of Aesthetic Lifestyle gym vests from me, it’s times like that which really open your eyes to how powerful social media is these days along with a genuine personality. Just knowing that I’ve helped at least one person with an article or video makes me happy and gives me a real sense of accomplishment.
When you were younger, who were your inspirations within the fitness world?
As a youngster I’ve always watched wrestling with my Granddad and younger brothers and had an interest in martial arts so for me my first inspirations were Bruce Lee, Hulk Hogan etc, seeing their muscles and skills made me want to be like that. As I got older I remember watching Arnold Schwarzenegger films and thinking WOW! From then I loved all his films and everything I could find and read about him. More recently with the internet having everything and anything on there I can look into mens a physique athlete as that’s current my end goal.
For a young lad who aspires to follow in your footsteps and become a mens physique competitor, what advice would you give as a starting point?
TRAIN LEGS and get your nutrition on point! I can’t stress enough to people just how important nutrition is to us whether that’s cutting for a show/holiday/shoot or even from a performance point of view.
Talk us through a typical week in the gym, how do your workout days look?
At the moment with me being 6 weeks out from my second mens physique show my training is pretty hectic.
Monday- LISS cardio am – Legs pm
Tuesday- LISS cardio am – Shoulders pm
Wednesday-LISS cardio am – Rest
Thursday- LISS cardio – Chest
Saturday- LISS cardio – arms
I also add abs in 3/4 times a week, currently doing the Bodybuilding Warehouse 6 weeks abs program in the run up to my show.
Does this differ between your ‘off-season’ workout plan?
Yeah, at the moment I’m hitting high reps and keeping my rest times very short to elevate my heart rate. During ‘off-season’ I tend to focus on 5×5 or Jim Weldners 5/3/1 training for my compound exercises.
Do you find any workouts particularly hard to get psyched up for? How do you overcome this feeling?
I used to really dislike training legs and shoulders, I was at first under the impression that I played football and did Thai Boxing so why do I need to train legs!? Then I stopped doing both and realised how foolish I’d been so turned to the Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Encyclopaedia and saw that likewise he hated training legs at first so wore shorts in the gym so he’d see his legs, hate them and want to train them, I did the same thing and took the same approach to shoulders too, by wearing a vest when I trained them. Now I love training both and don’t really have a body part I dislike training anymore.
Working out with the intensity you do is difficult, however it is just a small part of obtaining an aesthetic physique. Controlling your diet is arguably more difficult as its a 24 hour thing. Run us through a typical day of eating.
Again with me being in contest prep my diet has changed and tightened up, I’m surprisingly hitting over 3000kcal a day and that’s split over 68g fat/266g carbs/320g protein.
What foods do you avoid, even when bulking?
I don’t really restrict myself, I can’t remember the last time I ate bread but that’s not because I avoid it.
How often do you ‘cheat’ on your diet, and to what extent?
During ‘off- season’ I don’t see there being a problem with having a cheat meal at all (that’s cheat meal, not cheat day!) I’m also a big fan of a re-feed, now there is a difference between the two, obviously a cheat meal is a case of going all out and having whatever you want. A reefed is a lot more controlled and kept ‘clean’, it’s just a case of upping your carbs and mixing up the carb sources themselves.
Do you ever have a cheat meal during contest prep?
I do but only when my coach, Jamie says I can. For me I believe cheat meals during prep should come when you hit a certain weight or body fat percentage to really help spike those insulin levels after weeks of hard dieting.
What is your current supplement stack, and why do you use these supplements?
Pre Workout- Warrior Rage or BBW Performance Prime
Intra Workout- BBW PURE 8:1:1 BCAAs or Gaspari BCAA caps
Post Workout- BBW PURE 80 Whey, BBW PURE Waxy maize, 10g BBW PURE Glutamine and 5g BBW PURE Creatine.
What are your favourite Bodybuilding Warehouse supplements to use?
I love both the BBW Prime and Warrior Rage pre workouts, they give you a real kick up the arse and focus for your workout without the crash afterwards like most pre workouts do.
Which supplements would you recommend as ‘must haves’ for any guys reading this who are wanting to get into the best shape of their life?
I’d say a solid protein shake (I highly recommend BBW PURE 80 Whey) along with 5g creatine and 10g glutamine post workout to help speed up recovery.
And if you use discount code AMLEEM10 at the checkout you’ll get some money off all your Bodybuilding Warehouse and Warrior Supplements.
Are you recognised by people randomly in the street who have seen you on the Bodybuilding Warehouse website?
Not in the street but I have in a few gyms here and there, apart from wearing Bodybuilding Warehouse clothing in the gym I’m not the type of personality to run around bragging to people about being a sponsored athlete. It’s a huge goal to reach, I feel privileged to reach this level already and look forward to progression within my fitness career with Bodybuilding Warehouse.
What are your 2014 goals?
I’m a big big believer in setting goals both short term, medium term and long term. Every year I set myself new goals (not resolutions) and always re-evaluate how close I am to reaching them half way through the year.
My goals for 2014 are to compete in the UKBFF North West Mens Physique class and qualify for the British finals in October. Find a new job and I also want to fully launch my gym clothing line Aesthetic Lifestyle, I have a strong interest in fitness and also have a degree in graphic design so combining the two only seemed natural.
Will you be attending the body power expo with Bodybuilding Warehouse again this year?
I will be attending Bodypower this year but with Bodybuilding Warehouse buying a new warehouse and their own supplement factory they won’t be exhibiting at Bodypower unfortunately so I’ll be wondering about so if anyone sees me feel free to stop me for a chat.
How can our readers stay up to date with Lee Malone?
Follow me on Twitter @Lee_Malone
Follow me on Instagram @Lee_Malone
I’m always on those two putting up regular updates regarding my training and contest prep.
A big thank you to Lee for taking the time to be with us, and best of luck for his upcoming show! You can follow his journal over at bodybuildingwarehouse.com