LA Whey is LA Muscle's premium, top-selling protein powder with 48g of 100% pure whey protein per serving. LA Whey mixes instantly, tastes great and does not give any side effects such as bloating or bad breath, which you may get with cheaper brands.
On LA Whey, Tom says: “I use LA Whey after my workouts and whenever I feel I need extra protein. It mixes easily and I use it for my training, my rugby and for recovery between sessions and games. LA Whey is a crucial part of my overall supplement regime”.
Explosive Creatine greatly increases strength, builds up your muscles and is fantastic for increasing your stamina, speed and endurance. Explosive Creatine has been a best-selling LA Muscle supplement since 1998 and has been rated by Muscle & Fitness Magazine as 300% better than all other Creatines.
Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and in essence, the building blocks of muscles. Out of all Amino Acids, the Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are considered the 3 most important ones for direct muscle build and muscle repair. It is critical to take these 3 amino acids in the exact ratios as proven by science - proven to actually work for athletes. 311 BCAAs is a 100% pure, EXACT-RATIO BCAA amino acid formula that repairs and builds your muscles. You will feel and see it working.
On 311 BCAAs, Tom says: “I take LA Muscle’s 311 BCAAs after workouts, before sleep and in the morning. I find the tablet form really practical and they ensure my muscles are recovered and fuelled for my next training session”
EXCLUSIVE Q&A WITH TOM CROFT:
What’s your name, where are you from?
My name is Tom croft and I grew up in Kingshire in Berkshire, UK.
Give us an overview of your career.
Started playing rugby when I was 11 years on at Newbury. Moved up to Oakham School when I was 16 and started playing for Leicester Tigers straight after school. Went full-time with Leicester, debuted when I was 19, played for England when I was 21, played for the British and Irish Lions when I was 23. And still going now.
What first got you in to rugby?
First started getting into Rugby purely because my local football team closed down. My dad suggested going up to Newbury Rugby club, to give Rugby a go.
Do you think had you continued to play football that you would have become a footballer?
If I continued to play football, I doubt I would have made it. I was generally a goal keeper or a defender, I think they generally put the poorer kids in goal just to keep them out the way, so don’t think I would have made it.
In football I was a goalkeeper, wasn’t so good with my feet, but in terms of hand balls skills, I wasn’t too bad - so I think maybe that’s why I got into rugby.
Was there something else you wanted to be as a kid (fireman, vet, ventriloquist)
When I was a kid, I actually wanted to become a fire-engine, I was a bit confused then. Growing up I wanted to become a vet. Then I realised you had to be fairly intelligent, so I think rugby was probably a natural progression there.
Which position do you play? How does this position help the team.
When I play rugby I am a flanker, although I can play in the second row.
Which qualities make a good Flanker?
Qualities that make a good flanker, a bit of speed, good in the line-out, good tackler, getting around the park as quickly as possible and support plays one of the biggest assets of a flanker.
Describe 4 qualities, a rugby player needs to be the best?
To be a rugby player at the top of their game the four qualities you would need I would say are: 1. Dedication 2. A good work ethic 3. Reasonable level of basic skills and 4. That desire to succeed.
How did you become a professional player?
I became a professional rugby player purely going up the system, I started playing Rugby at Newbury, chose to move up to Oakham school and then linked up with Leicester and there’s systems in place. You play for your county and you get trials, you play well there and you get divisional trials - there is a system in place which takes a young player from grass roots all the way up to the top.
How does it feel to do something you love for a living?
To be able to play rugby as my job and get paid for it, is the best thing - if you can have a job you love and you love doing it every day, you love achieving things and seeing your mates every day - it’s ideal.
How did you first find out you were playing for your country?
I first found out I was playing for my country whilst I was sitting on my sofa watching sky sports news, didn’t quite believe it when my name flashed up in the squad and straight on the phone to my parents, friends.
And what did your mum say when you told her you’d be playing for your country?
When I told my mum I was playing for my country, she was overwhelmed, with disbelief and excitement. They’d followed me over all over the country for trials, and to play for my country, she was so proud.
And does your mum worry that you’re gonna get hurt?
My mum worries at every single game, the fact that I might get injured, but what mum doesn’t?
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into Professional Rugby? (or any sport competitively)
For somebody that wants to get into professional rugby they’ve just got to be dedicated, they’ve got to work hard. Every chance they get to play - take that chance. And in terms of training, just put everything you can in - you may have to miss that party but it’ll be worth it.
Tell us what it feel like to walk on the rugby pitch when you’re representing your country.
Walking out of the tunnel, for my first cap for my country, is hard to describe, you’re nervous, you’re scared, you’re excited - all at the same time. It’s a strange feeling to have, but it happens every time, from your first cap to your 50th cap, you get that same feeling of nerves, excitement and you just can’t wait to get on the pitch -- you have a big smile on your face and off you go. The roar of the crowd when you run out on that pitch it just gets you going. Whether it’s a home crown or an away crowd, it just really gets you going.
How important is training to you?
Training is massively important to a rugby player - especially to myself. You tend to train how you play, so whether you’re on the field with a rugby call, or you’re in the gym with your CV or your weights it’s all massively important to make you the best rugby player you can be.
Give an overview of your training regime
My typical training week consists of weights on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning, they throw in the odd CV session on that Monday and Tuesday and the rest consists of Rugby on the pitch.
Describe your average gym session.
An average gym training session would consist of an upper body exercise for example a dumbbell bench press, 4 sets 3 - 4 reps on each working on a fairly high weight, followed by a belt squat working up to a 1 rep max so building up through the ranges till it pretty much hurts . and then obviously working on various other parts of the body that need working on because of weakness.
What mental preparation do you need?
The mental preparation for the game whether it’s a match or whether it’s training doesn't really differ. You have got to be focused on what your role is, what your job is, it’s no difference whether it’s a training game, playing for your club, playing for your country, it’s still playing rugby for 80 minutes and it’s getting your head over that first.
Tell us about your average day’s diet.
My average day’s diet consists of plenty of protein, plenty of carbs you know it’s gotta be balanced you put the right food into your body to perform well on the pitch.
Tell us about your diet on training days
My diet varies a little bit from training days to match days, obviously training days you are trying to get as much protein and carbohydrates into your system as possible. On a match day, me personally it’s what I can stomach, porridge, chicken, sweet potatoe. You have to take food in that you can take.
Tell us about your diet on match days.
My diet regime on a match day differs slightly to a training day. I’m generally more regimented with my timing I’ll wake and have porridge and a protein shake. Nearer match time about 3 or 4 hours before I’ll have chicken, sweet potatoe, baked beans, maybe a poached egg. And just before kick off, bananas, jelly babies.
How important are supplements to your fitness and training?
Supplements are very important to fitness and training, obviously you cant eat stupid amounts of protein after a tough session so having a protein shake there with your creatine is very important.
The supplements I take post rugby session are an LA Muscle LA Whey protein shake for the fact that you cant eat too much protein after a tough session so the protein shake is ideal for that. Post weight sessions I’ll take BCAAs obviously for the amino acids which are there along with Explosive Creatine which is good for performance.
How do sports supplementation fit into your diet.
Because of the physical exertion within training and in the gym, whey protein comes in handy, the ability to eat that amount of protein would be very tough after a tough workout so LA whey protein comes in very very handy
Why is protein important? When would you take a protein shake.
You generally take a protein shake first thing when you wake up in the morning along with your breakfast, after each session in the day, whether that's weights, rugby or fitness and generally before you go to bed because night-time is the best time for muscle rebuilding.
Why is Creatine important? When would you take a dose of Explosive Creatine.
The best time to take Explosive Creatine is in the morning, take one scoop then, post to weight session and then maybe half a scoop after your post rugby session.
I heard you enjoy a curry every now and then -- tell us how this fits in with your training?
Being able to fit a curry into your weekly schedule of your dietary requirements, it fits in quite easily. You’re eating quite healthily through the entire week, so it’s always good to have a cheat day now and again. My cheat tends to be a curry, some boys like a pizza, some boys like a milkshake so its different for each bloke, you can’t be regimented for your whole life you have to have cheat days just to keep you sane.
The girls obviously like a rugby player.. Do you think the battle scars help?
Girls dig scars? You’d have to ask my girlfriend!
Describe the partnership with LA Muscle.
It's a great relationship. Their products help me get through the vigorous demands of being a professional athlete and they are a great bunch of people to work with. I am looking forward to a long relationship with LA Muscle.
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