Training

Charlie Garforth – On The Way To WBFF Worlds

Question: Tell us a little about yourself and your fitness journey...
Answer:

I’m Charlie Garforth. I’m an 8-time title winner in physique and fitness competitions. In October last year, I competed in Los Angeles at the WBFF North American Championships winning the fitness model category & gaining my Pro Card. This qualifies me to compete as a pro in the WBFF Worlds which is on August 26th and is the highest level of fitness modelling competition you can get to.

I’m also a coach, I have a lot of competition prep clients purely because of my reputation as an athlete & because a large number of my clients have been winning titles from first timers comps right up to European overall champion in the Pure Elite Pro division.

I also have a large number of clients in the general population as that was where I began coaching. People who just want to get in shape. I’ve also coached people to a high level in power lifting and Thai boxing because of my history of competing in those sports too.

When I began I didn’t consider it fitness. I considered it fun or sport. I began taking martial arts lessons in primary school after being inspired by The Karate Kid and action films. By the age of 16 I was competing in kickboxing and then progressed into full contact Thai boxing.

Question: Has the fitness industry changed your life?
Answer:

Absolutely, just partaking in martial arts classes taught me discipline and commitment. It showed me that if I put my mind to things I could achieve whatever I wanted. There’s nothing like being in the depths of a diet and not giving in to temptation or being in the ring whilst tired of teaching you that you can survive and you can come out on top. It’s amazing how this

There’s nothing like being in the depths of a diet and not giving in to temptation. It’s amazing how this self-belief carries into normal life when running a business or pushing towards your goals.

Question: What motivates you to compete?
Answer:

I always loved bodybuilding and lifting weights but I never wanted to look like a bodybuilder myself. As much as some of those top guys like Arnold, Dorian, & Ronnie were my heroes I like to be able to put a shirt on and look good to the average person.

When physique competitions came around people told me I should enter, it seemed a good idea. It was only after I started competing I found out about Fitness Modeling and after doing a few comps, modelling seemed to suit me perfectly.

My motivation to continue has really due to Thai boxing, people always told me I could go a long way but I enjoyed having a few fights then having a long time off so I never really took it as far as I could have. Even though I won a few regional titles etc and fought in Thailand for a stadium belt, I only really did it in short bursts from time to time.

With Powerlifting, I won at a local level and then at a national level but injuries stopped me going further.

So when I started physique & fitness model comps I told myself I would keep going until I got as far as I could go and would not stop. It turned out I could get pretty far, we’ll see where I stand in the world rankings next month.

I also just love bettering myself. And of course, who doesn’t enjoy winning things, I’m very competitive.

Question: What is your favourite training day of the week and what exercise do you do on this day?
Answer:

I pride myself on having never had favourite body parts. I hit every body part with equal vigour. It’s a mind set thing, If you allow yourself to have a favourite you will subconsciously hit that body part harder. Normally you have a favourite body part because it is a stronger body part or responds well to training. So it’s actually the other body parts you should favour. I’ve always convinced myself I love every body part. And for that reason, I think I’ve got a reasonably balanced physique.

But to answer the question, over the years I’ve always loved dead lifts, squats and dumbell pressing.

 

Question: Do you find it hard to train when you are cutting before a competition?
Answer:

No, sometimes I’m hitting personal bests in the weeks before a comp. Partly because motivation is through the roof the closer I get to a comp. I have habits and routines that ensure that even when my body is tired, my mental focus gets me through. It’s normally the rest of the day that’s hard.

In the final stages of prep, your body wants to reserve energy so things like walking upstairs to the loo get put off as long as possible. That said I’ve learned a lot more about prepping for competition over 8 competitions & coaching clients so my last prep I actually never hit that stage. And I try not to make my clients cut so hard that that happens. But it’s a length I’m willing to go to if needs be.

Question: What supplements do you consume?
Answer:

I use Impact Whey Isolate & cyclic dextrin daily, they would be my top two supplements & I tell my clients that these are a priority but to consider these as food sources rather than supplements. The rest of the things below just give me an edge.

I use a lot of glutamine & bcaa‘s but that’s mainly because it tastes so nice and it helps me hit my water target for the day, it tastes so nice!

I have a lot of the Myprotein vitamins and minerals to prevent inflammation and just maintain good health. These probably make the biggest difference to how I feel during prep as you can obviously get protein & carbs elsewhere but these can be lacking once you are in a calorie deficit & keeping fats low etc. Things like a multi vitamin, fish oil, Vitamin D, curcumin, omegas, odourless garlic etc.

Question: What is your favourite Myprotein snack?
Answer:

No question about it gotta be the White Chocolate Brownie warmed up in the microwave for 20 seconds. Amazing!

Question: Do you meal prep yourself? How many meals per day do you eat?
Answer:

I eat 7 meals a day. I’ve got a meal prep sponsor. They send me 3 meals a day. I prepare one other traditional meal and have a bit more variety to keep life interesting. Then it’s a couple of bowls of oats with a protein shake a day and cottage cheese etc. So I’ve got my life pretty simple now. But in the past, I’d spend one day a week doing my meal prep once I’d decided on my macros for the week.

I advise my clients to prep a large variety of meals hitting the same macros but varying the flavourings, veg, meat and carb sources to keep it interesting when I do. Rather than meal after meal of plain chicken, rice and broccoli. You can then write the macros on top and put them in the freezer so you have a choice of meals.

 

Question: Do you believe in a cheat meal? If yes, what is your favorite one?
Answer:

So much so I don’t call it a cheat meal. It’s just a meal. If I’m in off season I’ve got no reason for a big influx of cal’s, I’ll have something like chicken tikka with a naan bread and rice. If I’m shredded and looking flat and want to fill my muscles I’ll go all out on ice cream and pizza. And if I’m in the middle it’s probably Chinese. That’s probably the reverse of what most people expect.

At this stage of prep, I’m more likely to be having high carb days to give myself some practice runs at my carb load to come. Too many people go weeks and weeks without carbs and are then surprised when their body doesn’t know how to deal with the influx of carbs. You have to teach your body. I quite like things like protein wafers, flapjacks & crisps for a high carb day or post workout for a higher gi influx of carbs as well as whole foods.

 

 

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Camille Thiebaut

Camille Thiebaut

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