Take Us Through the Life of Jaco. Who Are You and What Do You Do?
I’m a 28 year old Bachelor of Science with Honors (BSc. Hons) graduate in Computer Studies. I live in London, England with my girlfriend and work as a freelance Digital Project Manager. My job is basically concerned with the management of resources, budgets and timelines in the delivery of digital marketing solutions e.g. (websites, mobile apps, banner campaigns, etc). It’s an office based role so I get plenty of recovery/recuperation time between gym sessions, which allows me to train both harder and longer. It pays the bills, and then some, so I can’t complain.
I am currently on a mission to get ‘Aesthetic’. What that means to me in measurable terms is basically gaining 4Kgs of Lean Mass and reducing my bodyfat percentage from 7% to 6% and growing various body parts (e.g. chest, bicep quadriceps, etc.) by specific amounts to generate a well-proportioned, balanced and shredded physique that can be appreciated universally. I’ve made reasonable progress so far, losing 2% bodyfat and gaining 3.5Kgs of lean mass, since September this year (2011). Once I’ve reached ‘Aesthetic’ status I’ll look to get work as fitness model and enter a competition or two.
How and When Did You Start Training?
I started training at 14yrs old in the summer of 1997.
I played football/soccer competitively back then and I’d had some talent scouts from professional clubs in the Premier League coming to watch me and was lucky enough to have been selected for trials for their respective schools of excellence/junior academies. I performed well at the trials but was competing for places with kids who were at a far more advanced stage of physical development than me (some of these ‘kids’ were like 6ft+, 160Lbs+ and had beards!), as such I struggled to compete with them on a physical level.
On being rejected for being “too small” my Dad recommended I start hitting the gym to ‘gain a bit of size’. So I did, and from that point I was addicted. For my 15th Birthday my parents bought me a bench, barbell, dumbbell set and 65Kg of weights and installed them in our garage. Half way through that year I picked up a knee injury that pretty much put rest to any football/soccer related career aspirations so I started to concentrate more on bodybuilding. Between the ages of 15 and 21 I spent countless hours, working out in that garage and during stressful or difficult periods of my adolescent life I found it to be a place of refuge where I could briefly escape from anything/anyone that was troubling me and emerge feeling rejuvenated, feeling stronger and with a sense of accomplishment ready to take on whatever life had to throw at me.
What Does Your Training Routine Look Like?
I’m currently running a 4-day (Monday to Thursday) split routine with a couple of abdominal sessions interspersed (two sessions/week) as and when I see fit.
Unless otherwise stated I use a 2 x 5 (heavier weight) followed by 3 x 8 (moderate weight) rep/set configuration.
Session #1 – Chest & Biceps
- Incline Bench Press (alternate barbell / dumbbell weekly)
- Flat Bench Press (alternate barbell / dumbbell weekly)
- Incline Flyes
- Cable Flyes
- Pec Deck
- Cable Bicep Curls
Session #2 – Legs
- Seated Leg Press (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 15)
- Knee Extensions (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 15)
- Hamstring Curls (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 15)
For each exercise I gradually increase the weight in (15Kg/33Lbs) intervals while reducing the reps up until the last set where I return to starting weight and reps to really fatigue the muscle.
Session #3 – Back
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldowns
- Seated Rows
- Bent Over Rows
- Dumbbell Rows
Session #4 – Shoulders & Triceps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Upright Rows
- Lying Rear Delt Raises
- Close-Grip Bench Press
- Tricep Cable Pushdowns
- Triceps Dips
- Dumbbell Shrugs
Ab Session #1
- 15 x Straight-Leg Hanging Leg Raises
- 15 x Bent-Knee Hanging Leg Raises
- 15 x Left Side Bent-Knee Hanging Leg Raises
- 15 x Right Side Bent-Knee Hanging Leg Raises
- 20 (4 x 5) of each of the above.
Ab Session #2
- 75 (25, 15, 15, 10, 10) x Lying Leg Raises
- 75 (25, 15, 15, 10, 10) x Pelvic Raises
Any Tips On Getting Abs Like Yours?
You can have the best abs in the world but if you’ve got bodyfat hiding them nobody will be able to see/appreciate them.
I used to train my abs hard; every morning (250+ exercises) and at the beginning of every gym session (300+ exercises). While at times they looked good they’ve never been as prominent as they are now since reducing my bodyfat percentage following a recent cut. Before the cut I was doing more targeted abdominal exercises in a day than I am currently doing in a week but due to having a lower bodyfat percentage the results are much more noticeable.
When performing targeted abdominal exercises concentrate on engaging your deep abs aka (transverse abdominis). I used to write anything off that sounded remotely like Pilates as something for the ladies. Then my girlfriend (who has done her fair share of Pilates in the past) ‘awared’ me that the deep abs need to be engaged to really get the most out of an ab workout. Getting the mind-muscle connection was difficult at first and performing pelvic raises in the gym might not be for you but if it works…it works, right!?
#3 Hang Out!
I recently got me a pair of abdominal slings. It was one of the best purchases I’ve made. They really allow you to focus on the movement and contractions keeping things slow and controlled without having to rush to finish your reps before your arms tire. The full body support they offer means that your abs will tire out way before your arms do. I guarantee it!
What Is Your Approach On Nutrition?
Only very recently have I started to take nutrition more seriously. Prior to that all I knew or was interested in knowing was Protein = Good, Fat = Bad. I’m still not a total nutrition nut but while clean bulking (as I am currently) I do make a conscious effort to ‘shoot for’ 1.8g of Protein/lb of bodyweight, while ensuring the cals consumed from Fats does not exceed 25% of my total daily caloric intake. Carbs make up the rest and make sure I get my daily fix of fruit and vegetables to cover off most of the essential micronutrients as I’m not taking a multi-vitamin at the moment.
A typical day’s eating looks like this…
Meal #1 – Breakfast
- 100g Porridge Oats
- 32g Crunchy Peanut Butter
- 32g Raspberry Jam
Meal #2 – Mid-Morning Snack
- 25g Whey Protein
Meal #3 – Lunch
- 440g Sliced Chicken Breast
- 330g Hoisin Chicken & Noodle Salad
Meal #4 – Mid-Afternoon Snack
- 25g Whey Protein
Meal #5 – Post Workout
- 50g Whey Protein
Meal #6 – Post Post-Workout
- 305g Carrot, Cauliflower & Broccoli Mix
- 225g Brown Rice
- 400g Medium Beef Fillet Steak
Daily Totals: 3330 Calories, 310g Protein, 87g Fat, 307g Carbohydrates
What Supplements Do You Take?
- Precision Engineered Whey Protein (Chocolate)
- Precision Engineered Creatine Ethyl Esther Tablets
- UPSLabs Jack3d Pre-Workout (White Blue Raspberry)
- Scivation Xtend Amino Acids
Your #1 Tip To Get An Aesthetic Physique?
Lift things up and put them down again…but do it properly!
Don’t concern yourself too much with WHAT you are lifting try to focus on HOW you are lifting. Lifting with good form and developing a strong mind-muscle connection is integral to getting an aesthetic physique. If you are pushing yourself (and only you can truly know this) strength will develop gradually over time.
“Form > Weight”
Check out Jaco on Facebook and “Like” his page to see his current stats, target stats, and to keep tabs on his progress.
Enjoyed This? Here's What To Do Next.
Get my FREE 5-day Simplify Your Fitness email course to learn how you can get in the best shape of your life without ditching your favorite foods or living in the gym.