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Craig Winnard Interview

UKBFF Mr North West 2006.

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Winner of the UKBFF North West 2006 show, Craig has an amazing physique. In this exclusive interview, Craig shares some secrets with you...


o What is your full name and how old are you?

Craig Winnard, aged 28.

o Where do you live at the moment?

I live in Wigan, famous for Pies (although I don't eat them), Rugby League and now Premiership football!

o Do you have a daytime job?

Craig WinnardI am a Partner In a local business called Batt & Brown Estate Agents.

o So how did all this started? Have you always been a
sporty type?

I have always liked sports, and played football, rugby and golf regularly up to the age of 18. I started training with weights for a year or so when I was 16, then went onto doing Thai Boxing for 18 months when I was aged 18. I had a break from being actively involved in sports from being 20 up to the age of 23 and then started 'playing' at weight training again. It is only in the last 12 to 18 months I have been taking my bodybuilding seriously and did my first competition in May 2006, UKBFF Northwest and took 1st place, qualifying for the Great Britain Finals on 8th
October.

o Who has been your greatest motivation? Has this person been your role model throughout the years of training?

As a kid and even now I have always seen Arnold Schwarzenegger as a great role model and inspiration. It is amazing all he has achieved within his lifetime, from Bodybuilding, to acting and now becoming governor of California. Obviously there are the other greats in bodybuilding with so much grit and determination, such
as Dorian Yates.

o What is you biggest achievement to date?

My biggest achievement to date is winning my first and only bodybuilding competition at the UKBFF. I worked so hard for 21 weeks, with dieting and training
weights six days a week and cardio 7 days a week. I started the strict diet a little too soon and In the last 8 to 10 weeks I was permanently exhausted and felt like my legs could not carry me anymore, but I was determined and stuck with it and in the end it all paid off.

o What made you choose bodybuilding above all the
other sports?

I have always been a big fan of bodybuilding and always wondered if I would be able to get my body into a condition where I was good enough to compete. I was not sure of what the diet and training etc would entail exactly, but was keen to find out and learn from my experience.

o What do you like the most about your sport?

Seeing the results from the dedication and determination to succeed. To be successful in competitive bodybuilding you have to be dedicated more than in any other sport, due to the fact that 24/7 your life revolves around training, eating correctly (without cheating), training hard both with weights and cardiovascular equipment.

o What is your training routine?

My current routine is as follows:
Cardiovascular Work 7 Days a week:
60 mins cardio before breakfasts - 60% to 70% of
maximum heart rate (fat burning zone).
30 Mins cardio after training weights - as above.
Sundays: 40 to 60 mins cardio.

WEIGHTS:
Monday (Back & Hamstrings)
1 x 15-20 Bent over rows (warm up)
3 x 10 Bent over rows
4 x 10 Lat pull downs
4 x 10 Seated rows
1 x 15 Straight leg dead lifts
2 x 10 Straight leg dead lifts
3 x 10 reverse leg curls.
1 x 10 Triple drop set reverse leg curls

Tuesday (Chest & Biceps)
1 x 15 Incline dumbbell press
3 x 10 Incline dumbbell press
4 x 10 Flat dumbbell press
4 x 10 Incline flies
4 x 10 Pec dec or cable cross over
1 x 20 Single arm dumbbell curls
3 x 10 Single arm dumbbell curls
4 x 10 EZ Barbell curls
3 x 10 Reverse EZ curls
1 x 10 Reverse EZ curls with triple drop set

Wednesday (Abs & Calves)
4 x 20 Twisting pulley crunches with weight
4 x 20 Crunches
4 x 20 Roman chair leg raises
4 x 10-15 standing calve raises
4 x 10 -15 seated calve raises
4 x 10-15 leg press machine calve raises
(triple drop set on 4th set of each calve exercise)


Thursday (Quads)
1 x 20 Squats (warm up)
2 x 10 Squats
3 x 10 lunges
1 x 15 Hack squats
1 x 10 Hack squats triple drop set
2 x 10 Leg press
1 x 10 Leg Press triple drop set
3 x 10 Leg extensions
1 x 10 Leg extension triple drop set

Friday (Shoulders & Triceps)
1 x 20 Dumbbell press
3 x 10 Dumbbell press
3 x 10 Side laterals
1 x 10 Side laterals triple drop set
4 x 10 Upright rows
4 x 20 Tricep Dips
4 x 10 Tricep push downs or close grip bench press
4 x 10 Single arm cable tricep pull downs

Saturday (Work on areas needed for Improvement)
Usually upper chest and or depth on back.

o What supplements are you taking at the moment?

LA Muscle Fat Stripper, LA Whey, IP4.

o How do they help you?

The products assist in ensuring that my body is receiving all protein and nutrients needed to recover and repair correctly. The Fat Stripper is excellent for doing exactly what it says on the tin!

o Can you actually imagine life and competing without
supplementation?

I think it would be nearly impossible to compete without any supplements. It would certainly be impossible to place as one of the top athletes.

o What do you think is the hardest part in your regime?

The hardest part of my routine at the moment is all the cardio work and sticking to a strict diet. It all takes a lot of discipline and determination.

o Does bodybuilding affect your personal life?

Yes. To be competitive, your whole life has to revolve around bodybuilding. From getting up at 5.45am to do cardio, to preparing meals and eating certain calories at certain times every single day, to weight training and recovery. To compete it has meant giving up my social life for the period when I diet. Even down to going out for a nice meal with my girlfriend.

o How does she cope with your passion, what's her attitude to bodybuilding?

My girlfriend has been excellent throughout my dieting and competing. I started dieting In January this year ready for the show in May and everyone said it would
end up splitting us up because of the dedication that must be given in competing. But, I am pleased to say it actually brought us closer together and we decided to set a wedding date. Madelaine was so understanding in respect of me being tired and grumpy and she was unbelievably helpful in terms of preparing my food, staying in with me at weekends and even doing cardio with me and altering her diet so as not to have tempting junk foods in the house (Which I can honestly say has done her figure a world of good!) Madelaine always preferred a man with a bit of meat on them, but didn't really like the competitive bodybuilder physique....until I took her to Mr Wigan,
where Gary Lister did a guest spot. Straight away she changed her mind and wanted me to compete. I told her of all the hard work it involved and it would mean
having no social life etc, but she still wanted me to have a go. It took about 12 months of persuasion but I finally decided to give it a go this year and won the UKBFF Northwest. Overall, Madelaine has been fantastic and I could not have done any of it without her help and support.

o Are your current hobbies related to bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding is my only hobby at the moment.

Craig Winnardo When do you think you'll stop competing?

I would like to leave my options open, but intend having a break of 6 to 12 months after my next competition in October 2006, in order that I can concentrate on putting on some quality size and improving certain areas.

o In general, how would you encourage people to care more about their fitness and wellbeing?

I always stress to people that to get in shape you must have a healthy diet. Training and supplements do play a big role, but without a well balanced diet the other hard work is wasted.

o What would you say are the most important do's and don'ts with training?

The most important things in my opinion are always give 100% and don't worry about what weights you are using, concentrate on keeping a good strict form. It is better to do the exercise correctly with a lightweight than look stupid trying to throw heavy
weights around.

o How do you motivate yourself on a daily basis?

I stay determined and focused on the job in hand. Also have a saying 'winners never quit and quitters never win'

o What will be your next competition?

The UKBFF British Championships.

o Any big plans for future..?

Marriage in May 2008, to my lovely girlfriend Madelaine. Now that I have been dieting most of the year, reality has hit home a little with Madelaine, so I am now under strict orders to have a good six month break so that we can have some nice holidays, nights out and tasty meals!

o Is there anything else you'd like to add?

Competitive bodybuilding takes 100% dedication and hard work, but the results are very rewarding and well worth it. Anyone who does bodybuilding owes it to them
self to compete at least once, just for the experience if nothing else. Also there is other person who I must mention is Jon Greenhalgh, the owner of Shevington Gym where I train. Jon has been superb and has given me all my advice in terms of dieting and supplements and even down to the choreography of my free posing routine. Anyone who is considering competing will definitely not go wrong if they come to Jon for advice!

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