What is your full name & where do you live?
Richard Bellwood - Castleford, West Yorkshire.
Do you have a daytime job?
Yes, I am employed as a Regional Sales Manager.
How many years have you been training for now?
Including training at home in the very beginning approx 7 years now.
How did you get into sport? Have you always been "a sporty type"?
From my early school days sport has always played a big part in my life, both participating and spectating. The most prominent being Football as I played for School and club teams from an early age and I am also an avid Leeds United fan.
You have tried various sports: football, rugby, abseiling a little bit of extreme sports and natural bodybuilding. If you were to devote yourself o one and make it "full time" which one would that be and why?
Without a doubt that would have to be bodybuilding. I truly believe that this amazing sport will play a part in the rest of my natural life. Competitive bodybuilding is not to be mistaken for a hobby or pastime, it is a way of life you have to eat breathe and sleep the sport literally.
What is it about bodybuilding that other sports lack?
It is not so much that other sports lack things because all sports require a level of effort and ability etc. However so many attributes are required to make a successful bodybuilder, where do I start, Mental & Physical strength, determination, enthusiasm, knowledge, patience, dedication, genetics, I could go on and on. It really is about finding the right balance with training, nutrition, rest and of course supplementation. There are no two people a like within the sport therefore every one of the elements has to be tailored to each individual.
Do you have any role models? Who has been your greatest motivation?
There are many people from many sports that I admire including of course the great Arnold. But as for role models I only really have two, my Mother and Father they are the greatest role models I could wish for, they have taught me so much, and to this day they continue to provide me with all the guidance and support I could ever need. For this I am truly grateful.
How did you get into Men's Health Cover Model Finals 2005?
My girlfriend agreed to allow me to take some photos of her and send them off to the Board master's Babes competition run by Nuts magazine on the condition that she could do the same and send mine to Men's Health. And wow what a twist of unexpected fate I made the final and went to Chelsea for a photo shoot and Caroline went one better and won the competition and a professional modeling contract and has since appeared in several publications including the Nuts front cover.
Can you remember what the atmosphere was like? There were thousands of entries, was the competition overwhelming?
It was a surreal experience. There were some fantastic guys in the competition a real mixed bag of physiques and looks, some tall, small, big, thin, black, white you name it.
I went to the photo shoot with no real expectations of winning as I have never regarded myself as a typical model type and I still don't!
Was your training before the final very different from your usual routine?
No not at all I prepared for it in a similar way that I would to a bodybuilding competition
5 days on 2 days off split into 2 sessions a day AM = CV Workout and PM = Weights Workout.
What do you think is your biggest achievement in sports to date?
My first Bodybuilding victory ranks up there because it was such a relief to see all the hard work pay off. And it was a transition from recreational trainer to competitive bodybuilder the start of a long hard journey! But my biggest achievement I feel was reaching the Men's Health final as I made the last 12 and I believe there were around 5000 applicants.
What is your diet like? What do you eat on a usual day?
I tend to have a little time to myself each year and eat what ever I feel like, but the rest of the time a typical day may be something like…
Meal 1 Porridge Oats and Skimmed Milk
Meal 2 Chicken breast and Brown Rice
Meal 3 Chicken / Tuna Salad
Meal 4 Jacket Potato and Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Meal 5 Tuna Steak and Veg
Meal 6 Rice Cakes and Low Fat Cottage Cheese
I also consume a LA Muscle LA Whey protein shake after training and before bed.
Plus I eat a little fruit throughout the day and I drink at least 2ltrs of mineral water everyday.
How often do you train and what is your training routine like?
Mon Legs (Quads and Hamstrings) & Abs
Tue Shoulders & Calves
Thurs Back & Biceps & Abs
Fri Chest & Triceps
Sat Circuit & Abs
Which part of your body do you like to train the most?
As it is by far my strongest point, I like to train my Chest I have been known to get some ridiculous pumps. My chest is a bit of a standing joke amongst my friends, it tends to enter a room before me ha ha!
What supplements are you taking at the moment and how do they help you?
I am currently taking Explosive Creatine, LA Whey and LA Aminos. I am not just saying it but I have tried many forms of Creatine and none have come anywhere close to giving me the results that LA Muscle Explosive Creatine does. LA Muscle products in general are superb quality and value for money and come highly recommended; they do "exactly what it says on the tin"!
Have you ever considered turning your knowledge and experience in nutrition and training into a profession and becoming a Personal Trainer?
Yes of course I would be lying if I said it hadn't crossed my mind, it would without doubt be a dream job. But that said I really enjoy my current employment and there is a small matter of money!
In general how would you encourage people to care more about their fitness and wellbeing?
It baffles me that people will look after there cars, get them serviced, mot'd and give them regular check ups. But yet they abuse and neglect their bodies. Life is precious and the greatest gift you will ever receive, I would strongly recommend looking after your body and health and preserve this precious gift!
What would you say are the most important do's and don'ts with training?
DO: Be patient (Rome wasn't built in a day)
Educate yourself on training, nutrition and supplementation
Set achievable goals
DON'T: Look for a quick fix.
Sacrifice quality for quantity.
What will be your next competition?
I am hoping to compete in the NPA and BNBF qualifiers towards the end of the summer.
How do you motivate yourself on a daily basis?
I am lucky, motivation comes relatively easy to me, but I was once a 5ft nothing, skinny weakling who was taken for granted and over looked on many occasions and I certainly don't want to go back to being that person. Bodybuilding has changed my life completely and because of that I shall always remain a slave to the Gym!
Do you have times when you just give yourself some time off?
Yes every Sunday, I owe that to my Girlfriend and Daughter for their patience throughout the rest of the week and in particular in the build up to a competition. There has to be a balance between working hard and playing hard. I truly believe we should embrace life, all of it.
How do you usually relax?
I like my home comforts and to be around my family, in particular my daughter Taylor who shares with me her unconditional love and provides me with the ideal medium to recharge my often weary batteries.
What is the most important thing and priority in your life?
That's easy, my family. My beautiful girlfriend Caroline, my amazing daughter Taylor and the rest of my wonderful family, Mum, Dad, Nicky, John and Graham. To these people I owe everything.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would just like to say thanks to you guys at LA Muscle for your kind support and sponsorship and I would also like to give a special mention to Ady Howell (Proprietor) and all of my friends at Fitness Base, Pontefract.
Life is too short to waste, have no regrets!