For anyone who may not know you, tell us a little bit about your background & what you do.
My name is Xenios Charalambous, I am 21 years old and I study network engineering at University of Portsmouth. At the same time I also work for Sci-Mx Nutrition as brand ambassador.
Between 2011-2013 at the age of 17 I undertook the national military service as part of the Special Forces (commando) known as “Green Berets”. During that time I developed a range of practical and interpersonal skills. I was appointed to the position of explosive ordnance & planner disposal specialist.
When did you first get into weight lifting and exercising?
I was always that skinny, ugly, unfit kid that everyone was making fun of in School. For most of my life I was incredibly shy to talk to girls, introverted and had minimal self-confidence.
On my first year of high school when I was 15 years old I used to dedicate 15 hours on video games. This addiction forced me to look skinny and unhealthy because I wasn’t eating right.
After a few months I decided that enough was enough and I needed to turn things completely around. My love for bodybuilding began on that time, which I was 47kg skinny teenager.
Since then, I managed to gain more than 25kg of quality lean muscle and transform my body to the next level naturally.
What was it that inspired you to get started?
As I said before due to the way I looked, I wanted to make a change to my self and be a different “Xenios”.
When I was in high school people were usually told me that I was looking like Taylor Lautner from the movie twilight. I read about Taylor’s background and how he managed to gain 13kg in 1 year.
I was really impressed with his transformation and since then I always wanted to look like him. Taylor was my inspiration at my first year of bodybuilding.
Although you’re young, you’ve grown a huge Facebook following. Tell us about what has led to your popularity on Social Media. How did it start, and how did it get to the level it is at now?
I started my Facebook page back in 2013 just for fun, many people told me “Who do you think you are and created a FB Page?” .
I always believe to myself and one thing I like is to prove people wrong, everything is possible if you truly believe in what you do.
The huge grown to my Facebook page is due to the high quality content I provide to my followers, being real and always respond to my fans. I never posted anything that shows negativity or status like “ what’s your excuse of not working out?”.
I never forced anyone to do what I do. I like to motivate and change people’s life like I did for myself.
Another big part of my page is Christos Mavros Photography which is behind all this amazing photoshoots that you can see on my page.
As an aspiring bodybuilder, to me, working out and nutrition is more than just a hobby. Its a lifestyle. When fitness became more than just a hobby to you?
On June 2014 Sci-Mx Nutrition sponsored me and offered me the opportunity to be brand ambassador. Since then fitness became to me a hobby in a professional level.
The world of fitness can be confusing, with so many methods, training plans and ways to achieve a good physique. How do you personally workout? Give us a run down of your training split.
Currently I split my training routine into 8 days.
I always do weight training in the mornings and cardio with abs in the afternoons.
I am a big believer of cardio because it helps me prevent overtraining by recovering my muscles quicker.
That’s why I don’t have a rest day.
Day 1: Back/Biceps
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
Day 3: Legs/Calves
Day 4: Shoulders/Traps
Day 5: Back/Biceps
Day 6: Chest/Triceps
Day 7: Legs/Calves
Day 8: Shoulders/Traps
And would you apply this exact same method to your clients? Or do you view every person as needing a different solution?
Everybody is different and needs a different workout and diet plan to achieve their goals.
What are some of the more unconventional things that are in your routine? Exercises people might look at you and think “why the hell are you doing that?”
Most unconventional thing in my workout routine is generally my training split. A week has 7 days but my split is 8 days.
Many people told me that is dangerous for overtraining. Personally I don’t believe in overtraining and this is what works for me. I don’t suggest to anyone to follow this training split.
Are there any exercises that you would never recommend to someone?
I suggest every exercise if you know how to do it right with proper technique.
What is your approach to training for muscle mass, compared to training for fat loss?
I like to stay all year round lean. When it comes to gain muscle mass I increase a bit my carbohydrate intake to a level that I won’t gain fat.
When it comes to fat loss, I prefer to do carb cycling.
Moving onto diet and supplementation. Tell us about the supplements you use.
We have a ton of choice when buying supplements online these days. Bulk suppliers such as My Protein, Protein Works, Go Nutrition and the likes are gaining ground with more established brands such as SCI-MX, BSN, Maximuscle, Optimum Nutrition. Do you think people need to go with the ‘big brands’ or do you think the bulk suppliers deliver equal quality?
If you have a Ferrari you want fuel it with the best and most expensive gasoline available.
This is how my body works; I always fuel my body with the best and most expensive supplements on the market.
Sci-Mx, Optimum Nutrition or BSN they are expensive for a reason, that’s quality. For other brands for example myprotein they are cheap for a reason.
What is your favourite supplement from the SCI-MX range?
Supplements I used to achieved 4-5% body fat among with the diet and training of course:
- Sci-Mx Ultrawhey (post-workout)
- Sci-Mx GRS-9 (before bed)
- Sci-Mx CLA and Tri-Omega among with all my meals
- Sci-Mx Glutamine (post-workout)
- Sci-Mx Shred-X (every morning)
- Sci-Mx Creacore Hardcore (pre and post-workout)
- Sci-Mx X-Plode Rippedcore (pre-workout)
- Sci-Mx Intra-BCAA Rippedcore (during weights and cardio)
Do you use different protein supplements such as whey protein at certain times in the day, and then casein before bed?
At the moment I use whey protein for post workout among with fast digesting carbs and I use casein protein mixed with greek yogurt before bed.
How do you incorporate supplements into your diet, so that you have a good mix of whole foods and supplements?
As I said before I like to stick with the basic supplements. As for supplements vs whole foods, nothing can replace whole foods. Supplements are just an extra boost in your diet.
What supplements would you recommend as “must haves” to a beginner?
Whey Protein only.
How do you establish macros for weight gain?
Protein 1g per pound. Carbs 2g per pounds and Fat 0,4g per pound
How would this caloric intake differ when trying to lose fat?
To lose fat you just simply drop the carbs to 0,7 to 1g per pound. Everything else remains the same.
How important is meal timing to you? Do you eat every 2.5-3 hours , or do you not worry about timing, as long as you hit your goals for the day?
Bodybuilding for me is all about timing. Timing is very important for macronutrient intakes. I eat every 2 to 3 hours.
What does a typical day of eating look like to you?
At the moment I eat 7 meals a day. I try to gain muscle without much fat.
Meal 1: 3 Whole Eggs + Oats + 1 Banana + Protein Shake
Meal 2: Ostrich + Wholegrain Rice + Broccoli
Meal 3: Cod + Sweet Potato + Broccoli
Meal 4: Ostrich + Broccoli
Meal 5: Beef Sandwich
Meal 6: Salmon + Broccoli
Meal 7: Greek Yogurt + Almond Butter + Casein
Are there any foods you completely eliminate from your diet, and would never eat them as they’re too ‘unhealthy’?
I never eat anything that has to do with fast food or high sugar content
When it comes to cheat meals, do you see these as a free meal or do you factor them into your caloric intake?
I always listen to my body. I do cheat meals every 2 to 3 weeks according with how I feel. I love eating healthy because they make me happy, that’s why I try to avoid junk food.
Every time I eat something bad I feel bad.
What is your go to cheat meal?
Ice-cream and pizza.
I’ve used carb cycling when getting ready for shows to drop body fat. What are some of the more advanced dieting techniques you use when dieting, or looking to lose fat?
Definitely carb cycling is the best but also another technique to lose fat is to consist carbohydrates in half of your meals.
For example if you eat 6 meals a day then 3 of them should consist carbs with protein and the other 3 just protein and fat. Try to include meals with carbs before and after the gym.
What does 2015 hold for you?
I will be at the bodypower expo 2015 in May with my sponsor Sci-Mx Nutrition and also I will be shooting with one of the top photographers in the world FuriousFotog.
I also arranged more upcoming things for later on but nothing is official yet.
Where can our readers follow you?
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/fitnessxenioscharalambous
Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/xenioscharalambous
Sci-Mx Nutrition: http://www.sci-mx.co.uk