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My Mindset! By Peter Chown

Mr Natural Universe?  My life?  What was the mindset that I had to achieve what I have achieved in natural bodybuilding?  Hey, its no secret, it was just the way I lived my life!  But none the less I am more than happy to share with you my 'secrets'.  

I started competing as a natural bodybuilder in 1991 after 2 and a half years of training and over the years have won several Under 21 Junior titles including the Junior Mr Britain and Junior Mr Europe.  Later on in my career my achievements extending to winning the INBF World Heavyweight tile in 2005 in NYC and a year later winning the heavyweight title and overall champion at the INBA Natural Mr Universe in Los Angeles, California where I earned my natural bodybuilding professional status.  Plenty of moments I will remember for the rest of my life.  

ANB SOUTH EAST AGE 23, WINNING THE HEAVYWEIGHT CLASS AND OVERALL IN 1996.

ANB SOUTH EAST AGE 23, WINNING THE HEAVYWEIGHT CLASS AND OVERALL IN 1996.

Getting yourself into the mindset to train for a bodybuilding competition can be hard!  You know you have many weeks, or even months if you have more than one competition lined up, of hard dieting, hard training, 24 hour commitment, tiredness.  What the hell made me want to do this?!  Well, it is a sport I love and luckily for me its a sport that I was encouraged to compete in from early on in my training as I was actually good at it!  I'm not very good at many things so this was my opportunity to excel in a sport.  When I'm passionate about something my drive towards my goals is intense.  Even before I started training I knew I wanted to be a bodybuilder, I wanted to win the Junior Mr Britain title, to be one of the best in the world.  

One other thing that drove me as well was that I was scared of losing!  I wanted to win, I wanted to feel special, I wanted to inspire others to build a body that they want, if I can do it then so can others.  I was a very shy teenager, I worked in retail where you get many customers look down at you, I wanted to prove that with drive, determination, consistency that this shy teenager in a dead end job could work hard and become a World Heavyweight Champion, a Mr Universe, who could train in Golds Gym in Venice California and be recognised for the physique he built.  

What else drove me to have this intense mindset?  It was seeing how much the body can take in the gym, as I have always been lifetime natural I didn't have the option of drugs helping me build my physique.  I didn't want to limit myself either with the mindset that as I was natural then I'm limited to only building a smaller physique, a physique that could only lift a limited amount of weight.  My goal was to build a physique that wouldn't of looked out of place amongst 1980's style physiques, as to me this was one of the best eras of bodybuilding.   If I told myself that I can't do this because I'm natural, I can't do that because I'm natural then I would limit myself to what I could achieve.  I was a bodybuilder, thats it.  I trained harder than anyone else, I was known for crazy intense training sessions, especially leg workouts.  I got the respect of high ranking non natural competitive bodybuilders.  It's amazing how much punishment the human body can take.  I'm not saying this is the way for everyone to train as everyones goals are different, but this was my mindset, every workout was a challenge, I trained intelligently, but like a nutter too!  

A massive tool that helped me too was visualisation.  I'll cover this inmate depth in a separate blog another time.  In my mind I had what I wanted my body to look like.  Every workout I trained my body, I could 'see' the fibres contracting, the muscle growing.  My body just had grow into what was in my mind.  Every time I ate a meal, every gram of protein was building my body, every step of cardio pre contest was turning my body into a fat burning furnace.  Visualisation really works!

One other thing that is really important, and something I learned later in my competitive career is a balance in life.  Even though I was very intense with it all I learnt to switch off as well.  Pre contest I still made time for others in my life, not early in my career, but the last few years I did.  In the early years I thought everyone should understand what I was going through.  I didn't make much time for others pre contest.  It was when an ex of mine competed I found it really hard to be the partner who wasn't competing, not going out, the arguments.  This was coming from someone like me who had competed several times!  I thought if I found it hard then what must people think who aren't into the sport who's other half is competing, it must be hell!   From then on when I competed I always made time to do things with my other half, no matter how tired I was, my cool bag can come with me and we can have days out.  It helped and I then had more of a balance, certainly not perfect, I did have competitions coming up but I made the effort.  Now when competitors tell me their husbands or wives don't understand, its causing problems in their relationship, I can help.  Competing certainly isn't worth losing a great relationship over and no-one forces us to go through this, we can stop at anytime.  

This sport isn't for everyone, I've seen many people diet for a show and they've suffered badly mentally, they just haven't got the right mindset, they're almost losing their mind, they get angry with everyone, ranting, its really not worth it.  Competing should be fun, seriously hard, but fun seeing the changes your body can make with hard work.  If its not fun then take another sport or activity up, life too short! 

Anyway, I waffled on enough I think but I'll cover more on mindset, visualisation etc. in the future. If you have anything you'd like me to cover then just let me know!  

Peter Chown

Michelle And Her Mindset Dealing With Multiple Sclerosis

Natural Physiques Michelle recently had a video posted on youtube talking about being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and how she controls the condition through healthy foods, exercise and medication.  She has started to be quite an inspiration to other young MS suffered around the world!  Check out the video on youtube, subscribe to the Made Strong channel, give it a thumbs up and share! 

 

London To Brighton Bike Ride 2016/2017

I never did do an update on the L2B bike ride last year!  The ride was amazing, we all completed it  and raised plenty of money for the MS Society UK.   Michelle and I raised nearly £2000 between us to help people like Michelle, who herself has multiple sclerosis.  Michelle completed it on her mountain bike and myself and my friend Nathan completed it on our BMXs.  Thank you so much to everyone that donated.

It was such good fun that we have decided to do it again in September 2017, again raising money for the MS Society UK.  We are aiming to get a good size team this year, so if you're up for it....

Well Done Anastasia!

My bikini prep client competed at the weekend and this is a quick well done to say how proud I am of her.  She made an amazing transformation and looked stunning!  Well done Anastasia! 

Read what she had to say here 

Anastasia with her medal form her first bikini competition. 

Anastasia with her medal form her first bikini competition. 

How I Transformed My Physique In Under A Year To Win Natural Mr Universe!

DREAM BIG TO GET BIG! 

Do you want to transform your body in the shortest space of time even though you've been training for years?  That can't be done surely?  Of course it can!  

Training In The Colosseum Gym, Fullerton, California Post Natural Mr Universe Win

Training In The Colosseum Gym, Fullerton, California Post Natural Mr Universe Win

 

I'll tell you what I done back in 2005.  After winning the heavyweight world championships I still realised I needed more size, even though I won I could still look at my physique and tell where I needed to improve.  I needed more balance with my lower half as my legs were always ahead of my upper body, so that meant more size on the upper body, great!  The challenge was set.

So what was my secret?  Well, for years I was doing the same type of training, each body part once a week, low sets, low reps and heavy weight, very much along the lines of Heavy Duty training, Dorian Yates style.  This type of training is phenomenal to be honest and had got me fantastic results over the years.  But after a couple of years my muscle size hadn't changed dramatically.  It got to the point where I thought whats the point in carrying on.  Maybe all the size I had put on over the years was all that my body could build naturally?  Someone wrote on a forum that myself and some others had reached their genetic limit and we couldn't get any bigger, well that was it, just what I needed! That was the motivation that I needed to get bigger, better and not accept the size that I was!  

So, back to the drawing board, what was I going to do to get the results that I was after?  I knew what would work,  go against all what I believed in!  Instead of training three to four days a week, each bodypart once a week, heavy duty style, low sets, low reps, a fair bit of rest, I'd do the opposite, surely that will work?  My mindset had to change to progress further and get out of my plateau.  Three to four days a week training turned into six days a week, each body part trained once a week became each body part twice a week.  Training six days a week, each body part twice a week was a recipe for serious overtraining for a lifetime natural competitor surely?  Well my train of thought was to shock the body, if I do something radically different my body would surely have to change!  Once you increase your frequency and volume of your workouts the body will adapt and recover a lot quicker (as long as your nutrition is spot on too) which means training each body part more often will result in more muscle gain, we all want that right?  

Checking Out My Progress In Muscle Limit Gym Leading Up To The 2005 Season

So heres what my plan was.  I split my body over three days, the first three days I trained heavy, keeping the rep range in the 6-8 range, rest until my breathing recovered.  I then repeated my body split the following three days but training lighter and upping the reps to 15-20 and my rest between sets was 30-60 seconds.  I trained on the lighter days just short of failure, really going for a massive pump, gorging the muscles with blood.  The training split I used was as follows -

  • Monday - Heavy Chest/Shoulders 
  • Tuesday - Heavy Back/Arms
  • Wednesday - Heavy Legs/Abs
  • Thursday - Light Chest/Shoulders
  • Friday - Light Back/Arms
  • Saturday - Light Legs/Abs  
  • Sunday -REST

The results were shocking to me, I had gained approximately 7lbs of lean muscle from April 2006 to the end of July 2006, I hadn't made that much progress since i first started training!  Here I was  17 years into my training and I was making gains like a beginner.   

So, if you have reached a plateau in your own training,  which a lot of my clients have when they first come to me, then radically change things, do what you wouldn't normally do.  If you always train heavy and low reps then change your rep range to 15 reps, or higher, drop your rest down too.  Do the opposite of what you would normally do, shock the body, do something different!  

Winning The Natural Mr Universe In Los Angeles, California, A Dream Come True.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Peter 

 

 

 

London To Brighton Bike Ride For The MS Society (Multiple Sclerosis)

I have had the 'bright' idea of doing this charity event on my BMX (my other passion).  Some of you may know, some don't know, but my girlfriend Michell  and Team Natural Physique member, was diagnosed with MS 3 years ago, a devastating time.  The first thing I thought of was she will be in a wheelchair, Michelle knew nothing about MS!  Did you know more than 100,000 people have MS in the UK?   We are both doing this ride (Michelle has a separate fundraising page) to raise awareness of this awful condition and to raise money for the wonderful charity MS Society who not only help with care but also fund research to BEAT MS FOR GOOD! Treatment has advanced so much over the last few years that this needs to carry on to find a cure. My pain and discomfort will only last a few short hours where someone with MS their pain and discomfort will last for life.....or will it?  PLEASE HELP AND DONATE - AND PLEASE COULD YOU SHARE, THANK YOU :-)

https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/peterchown1

Congratulations!

I just wanted to say a big congratulations to my client Fanni for her recent success at the Pure Elite competition.  Fanni's goal was to transform her body for her first bikini competition and that she did! Although she didn't place you have to admit that her transformation was fantastic!  She put in the hard work,  dieted hard but sensibly and naturally, no unnatural unhealthy fat burners, and the results show.  She also enjoyed the whole prep ( so she tells me 😜).   

 

Congratulations Fanni! 

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Healthy Chicken Jambalaya

Eating healthy doesn't mean having to eat bland food.  Healthy food can taste great, it can be easy to prepare and cook in bulk. If you cook in bulk you'll have plenty of healthy meals to keep you going so you'll have less temptation to eat unhealthy.  If you eat unhealthy consistently you'll never reach your goals.  

 

 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of macadamia nut oil

3-4 skinless chicken breasts

2 onions, chopped

1-2 red peppers

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1-2 tablespoons of cajun seasoning

350g brown rice

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

500ml of chicken stock

 

How To - 

- Heat the oil in a large pan/pot and then add the chicken until the chicken is brown.  Remove the chicken and set aside in a bowl.  Add the onion to the pan/pot and cook until the onion is soft.  Then add the peppers, garlic and cajun seasoning and cook for 5 minutes.  

- Add the chicken back in to the pan/pot with the brown rice and then add the tomatoes and chicken stock.  Cover and then simmer for approximately 40 minutes.

*To make this even more healthy you can add in peas, carrots, spinach etc. to really up the healthy points!  

*Macadamia nut oil is an awesomely heathy oil that is perfect for cooking with as it has all the  omegas, 3,6,7 and 9, no cholesterol, and all that goodness isn't ruined with cooking due to macadamia oils high smoke point (which means the goodness doesn't dissapear when heated).  I buy my oil from the lovely people at www.ennoblement.co.uk, check them out! 

And there you have an awesome healthy meal and plenty more to store away in your fridge or freezer so as not to be constantly cooking!  

This is a quick video that I put on my Instagram of chicken jambalaya.   

PETER CHOWN TRAINING TIPS

Chownie's Quick Tips - Parallel Grip Pulldown  

To add variety to the pulldown movement, try various grips and bar attachments. You'll hit the muscles from different angles resulting in your progress moving forward.  Here's the parallel grip, wide grip pulldown, filmed at Muscle Limit Gym.  Work on that mind-muscle connection, focusing on the muscle working, feeling it stretch and contract.