As I set out on my journey to local Tenby, about an hour's drive away, I couldn't help but feel a little anxious before meeting the phenomenon Zack Khan. Why I was nervous I'm not sure.
Was it the fact that he is a huge inspiration to me or maybe the thought of walking down those dreaded steps, fragranced by piss, where I once lay following the most grueling workout I ever faced (or quarter workout if you ask Neil Hill). Either way, what I did know was that I could not wait to meet Zack and Neil.
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Maybe It Was The Thought Of Walking Down The Steps Where
I Once Lay After The Most Grueling Workout I Ever Faced.
To be on the safe side I arrived about 20 minutes early. It was 5 minutes before we had agreed to meet, so I went on in and was fortunate enough to bump into Duane Crees, who placed second in last years British Championships in his category.
For a couple of minutes I watched Duane hit some ab movements, he looked great. Then came a couple of voices from outside, followed sharply by two shadows, one closer to the size of a house.
In they came, Neil leading the way with the man I had traveled to meet, Zack Khan in tow. I was warmly greeted and introduced to this mass monster, who quite frankly looked amazing, even though he was on his final day of depletion.
Zack and Duane were then put through their paces by Neil, performing really high rep sets hitting their back, shoulders and chest. Neil played each athlete off one another, making them hit the same amount of reps or more each set, really pushing them through their paces.
Although I was training my biceps, I couldn't help but watch Zack, it is just something you won't see very often, a man with 24" arms, shredded with it. After they had completed their session, Zack stayed behind to hit some poses as part of his training. From every angle he looked freaky, arms bigger than the average man's legs, a back wider than a bus and really symmetrical abs.
Once Neil had concluded with Zack, he put his clothes back on; gulped down a Nutrex shake and we went to a corner where he could sit down allowing us to conduct the interview.
I'm not going to lie, I was nervous. However to be fair to Zack and Neil, they made it really easy for me. Zack appearing satisfied that he had shaker in hand, was ready to go. So without further ado, let me bring to you the man himself.
[ Adam Gethin ] So Zack, what has it been like, with Neil prepping you in comparison to others in the past?
[ Zack Khan ] Well, basically with Neil it has been more hands on and he has been more in control with my
diet. With my
nutrition, it hasn't been like in the past where I would see someone every 2 weeks or every week, but instead we have had daily contact.
Regarding my training and nutrition, we have taken it a day at a time, so I haven't had to wait a week before I make any changes. I really feel like I have had someone in my corner all the time. You know, some days where I might have gone off course he is there to keep me up when I'm depleted, and whip my arse when I need it.
[ AG ] So how has Neil's strategy been regarding your training, I mean, has it been any different?
[ ZK ] Really with me, Neil had a look at the areas I needed to improve, which was detail in certain areas and my
conditioning. In the past, other trainers and nutritionists have just made me train heavy and low reps. So this year Neil has really made me bring in a totally different package, whereby in the past I have been 25% off condition.
[ AG ] Leading on from that, where would you say your conditioning is this year, opposed to the past?
[ ZK ] It's a catch 22 really, I mean if I say I look great and on show day I don't, people will say bullsh!t. The same if I say I don't look great, but on show day I do. All I can say to people is come down to the show on the weekend, or check the pictures out and make your own mind up.
Personally, I would say it is the best shape I have ever been in both physically and mentally. This is the first time I have come into a show feeling 110% and feeling really confident. No matter what, I can look back and say I tried my very best, as where in the past I have looked back and said, you know what I could've done a bit more there.
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This Is The First Time I Have Come Into A Show
Feeling 110% And Feeling Really Confident.
[ AG ] Following on from that, do you feel confident about winning?
[ ZK ] Oooo, well I can't say I'm going to become a pro this weekend, although of course that's my dream and
goal. However, the person who beats me... I will shake his hand, because it is going to take someone special to beat me.
[ AG ] It sure is, so who do you feel is the biggest threat?
[ ZK ] At the end of the day, anyone can be a threat. The fact is, when you watch the Olympia, people wrote off
Jay, and were rooting for
Phil Heath and
Kai Greene. Nobody thought
Branch Warren would come second, so that tells you it's the toss of a coin.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia.
View More Pics Of Jay Cutler At The 2009 Olympia.
As I said, you can look great 3 weeks out, 3 days out, but who knows on the day. I always compete against myself, and it all depends on who brings that package on the day. Whoever beats me, good luck to the fella, I will take my hat off to him.
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[ AG ] Your right, its there for the taking. Tell us, what has your daily diet looked like?
[ ZK ] Basically, my diet has been a variation of
sweet potato and I have been eating fibrous carbs like
broccoli. My protein sources have come from
Nutrex protein powders,
chicken breast grilled,
Basically just good whole foods. With Neil's diet it has been a variation, I have even had fruit in my diet. You're not losing out on any part of your diet, its not boring where your just having chicken, turkey or potato over and over again.
[ AG ] Ok cool. So how many meals a day are you having?
[ ZK ] 7 meals a day.
[ AG ] Are you having low carbs at night?
[ ZK ] Well I have a target weight to hit every 3 days, and if I don't hit it then we change my diet. If I do make that weight then we stick to that diet. Of course, if I have to cut back on
calories then they will come in the form of carbs; the protein levels will stay the same.
[ AG ] Sure, and that's important for our viewers to note. How have you enjoyed your time here at the dungeon compared to where you normally train?
[ ZK ] My gym is similar to this place, I love it. I'm not interested in fancy gyms; I like to come to a gym to train old school and be
motivated to train. It's not about fancy weights or fancy machines for me. Its all about good old equipment which will make you grow.
I mean as soon as you walk into this place it has that aura, where you just want to lift some weight and bang them out. The problem today is there are too many fancy gyms, and they have lost their soul, they are far too social and are more like a pick up joint for guys to meet girls. I'm not interested in that, I want to come to a gym where there are guys
training hard and not being distracted by fit women walking past.
[ AG ] Well said, you almost feel awkward training too intense in a lot of gyms now. Presuming you win, what is the plan after that?
[ ZK ] Well the plan is me and Neil sit down... get pissed (eruption of laughter)... then see what we can do in the pros. Like I said, watch this space because after this weekend there is going to be some fireworks.
[ AG ] Are you planning on moving to America if you win?
[ ZK ] Let's see how I stack up this weekend and we can take it one step at a time. I have a lot of fans in America and I would like to thank them, I get a lot of feedback off websites around the world, and I get that buzz when someone says they're my fan and I motivate them. This is great, as I see myself as a normal person who goes to the gym to train hard and be the best I can be.
My dream is to become a pro, to get up on the stage with those guys. This is something I have always dreamed about and fingers crossed me and Neil have the winning formula, as I have a good feeling about this weekend that we can do some damage.
[ AG ] I'm sure you will. Finally, do you see yourself in the Mr. Olympia in the future?
[ ZK ] Let's just see how I stand up against the pros first. As they say, there is no point in counting my chicken's before they are hatched. Personally I can't look that far ahead, first let's see how the British goes and then my first pro show after that.
You have got to be a realist; there is no point in building up false hope in yourself and getting hurt afterwards. Like they say, Rome wasn't built in a day and neither is your physique. I will stand up against the best at the British and see how I stack up.
[ AG ] I think that your physique could be more suited at the Mr. 'O', opposed to some other British bodybuilders due to your size.
[ ZK ] Well, Neil has done an awful lot for me both mentally and physically. When I have felt like crap he has said the right things and put me back online. In all honesty, I can say I have never taken my body to this level before and he has taken it to a level I didn't think possible.
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Author Adam Gethin, With Zack Khan Seen Here At
275 Lbs On His Last Day Of Depleting From Carbs.
He's been a friend, a mentor and more than anything an idol. People say about
Dorian Yates and
Ronnie Coleman, but I swear Adam, what this guy has taken me through in the last 12 weeks during the prep for this show, words cannot describe. I rate his mental power as high as anyone, definitely. He's the hardest
trainer I know; anybody that can train with
Neil on legs, I take my hat off to them, he's a crazy f_cker!
[ AG ] Yes, I can certainly vouch for that mate. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your time with me, and on behalf of Bodybuilding.com and its millions of fans.
[ ZK ] No problem Adam. To all my fans out there, thank you very much. Thank you to my sponsors Nutrex, Nas from Derby, my friends, my family, Ali as well for giving me great input and being there for me. Man, I have so many people to thank. If I have forgotten anybody I'm sorry because I am low on
carbs and f_cked!
So there we have it folks. Words from the great man himself, and I am sure Britain's latest pro to be. What a truly great experience it was in meeting Zack Khan, and I would like to personally thank him for giving us his time and Neil Hill as well. So look out for this weekend's show, get there if you can, and most of all get behind King Khan!