- Name: Andrew Merrifield
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Age: 31
- Where: Halifax
- Height: 5' 7"
- Weight: 182 Lbs. (13 stone)
- Years Bodybuilding :10
- Favorite Bodypart: My Heart
- Favorite Exercise: Holding My Son & Squats
- Favorite Supplements: Reflex Growth Matrix and Reflex Peptide Fusion. I am almost living off the Peptide Fusion.
How Did You Get Started?
In 1998 I turned on the TV and was totally mesmerized by what I saw - THE INCREDIBLE HULK. From that day forth I wanted muscles.
I was very much into the Rocky films, so it was either boxing or bodybuilding. The first time I picked a weight up it was a small steel chrome barbell that my uncle Leny made me at his work. First gym I went to was Avery's small gym at the local swimming baths; age 10. I went Saturdays after I had been swimming with my mates. Most of the time I was on my own as they would walk home. I would use my bus fare for some hot chocolate, then walk home.
At age 12 my mum bought me a second-hand Weider multi-gym, that had the lat pulldowns, bench press, and the leg extensions. It was really good.
1984, I was with my grandma shopping and she said, "Go buy yourself a comic." I used to look at all my brothers Marvel comics. Of course "The Hulk" was my favorite. Anyway my eyes were drawn to the top shelf - a FLEX magazine caught my eye that had Lou Ferrigno on the front. I really wanted the magazine and if it didn't have big Lou on the cover my grandma would not have bought it for me. I still have the mag to this day, but unfortunately the cover is not attached.
By now I new I wanted to be a bodybuilder. The Flex magazine would come through the post once a month and I just couldn't wait for the post each and every month. I still have so many of the old Flex mags; my inspirations back then as a lad growing up: Of course Lou as the Hulk, Rich Gaspari, Paul Demao, Shawn Ray, Mike Quin, Gary Strydom, Bertil Fox (I really do hope he is ok), Eddy Robinson, Berry De May, Lee Labrada, Vince Taylor, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Charles Claremont, Allan Gest, Billy Payne, and more...
Check Out Andrew's Bodyspace Here: Mezza
Andrew Merrifield "Mezza" is available for bodybuilding, nutrition and dieting, contest-prep, and one-on-one training/coaching in the gym or home. You can email him direct at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at
Lifelong Natural Bodybuilder.
Week #93 - 12/28/2007
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What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?
Achieving the right volume and
intensity of training is an art in itself. On a personal note, I have cut down the volume (number of sets) within my workouts over recent years because I felt that I was
I have also cut down on the intensity which used to involve forced reps within every set overseen by a training partner. I also used to do drop sets. Again, I felt that this was too much as part of my regular training program. The fine balance between pushing yourself and pushing yourself over the edge is different for all of us. What I physically respond to as a training program may not be enough for you, similarly it may be too much.
All I can say is that on a personal note that by cutting down on the sets and knocking out the drop sets and the forced reps my muscle respond more favorably. It's an age old adage that you should listen to your body, but I guess sometimes it takes a while to clear your ears! The forced sets that I used to use on my legs meant that I literally couldn't walk properly the following day. In hindsight, I guess that I should have seen that this wasn't a natural or healthy approach to take on a regular basis.
Sometimes to increase the intensity without forced reps and if I'm pushed for time I perform the above in a giant set type of circuit. I perform the first exercise to failure, then jump on to the next exercise and then the next which counts as one set. I may repeat that once or twice depending on how I feel.
I guess that being sensitive to how your body is reacting on a particular day is also important. A good example might be when you're training and you're starting to loose the pump. This could well be your muscles telling you that you're done in that training session. Be in tune with your body rather than working against it.
Supplements (sports nutrition) are just as important as my workouts in the gym. The analogy that I would make is of a racing car that is not given the right fuel and lubricants. The same is true of your body which will not perform at its best, recover from the workouts or grow to its optimal level.
The following resistance training routines (from
www.ultimate-natural.com) are samples of the types Mezza uses off-season and pre-contest. Nearing a competition he may not perform too many heavy lifts for the risk of injury.
- First set - 12 to 15 hard reps
- Second set - 8 to 12 reps to failure
- Third set - 6 to 12 reps to failure
I put my heels right at the top of the foot plate and press with heels. I don't lock out. I keep the tension on my hamstrings, not on my knees or quads. Then I continue to rep with quite a fast pace.
- Cable Front Raise - 3 sets
- Lateral Dumbbell Raise - 3 sets
- Seated Dumbbell Press - 3 sets
- Incline Dumbbell Front Lateral Raises - 2 sets
- Behind The Neck Shoulder Press - 1 to 2 sets
- Dumbbell/Barbell Shrugs - 3 sets
- Dumbbell/Barbell Preacher Curl - 2 to 3 sets to failure
- Standing Barbell Curls - 2 to 3 sets
- Concentration Curls/Seated Dumbbell Curls - 1 to 2 sets
- Preacher Reverse Curl - 2 sets
- Barbell Wrist Curl Supersetted With
- Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl
- Barbell Reverse Curl - 2 sets
- Second set - 20 reps to failure
- Third set - 10 to 12 reps to failure
- First set - 10 to 15 reps to failure
- Second set - 8 to 12 reps to failure
- Sometimes I do a third set - 6 to 8 reps
- First set - 8 to 12 reps to failure
- Second set - 6 to 8 reps to failure
- First set - 20 hard reps to failure
- Second set - 10 to 15 hard reps to failure
- Third set - sometimes 6 to 10 reps to failure
- First set - continue until failure
- Second set - 10 to 12 reps to failure
- First set - 11 to 15 reps
- Second set - 8 to 12 reps
What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?
Mezza competes at 157-158 pounds and in the off-season he is around 173-180 pounds. He tends to stick with the basic
protein sources such as
whey protein all year long.
When planning to compete and in pre-contest mode he will usually cut back on red meats and right before a show cut out the protein shakes because of the added sodium and water mix which normally causes some water retention. Off-season and pre-contest protein amounts will normally reach about 300 grams per day divided among 6-7 meals.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Off-Season And Pre-Contest Protein Amounts Will Normally Reach About 300 Grams Per Day.
The healthy complex
carbohydrates Mezza chooses are usually
potatoes. The fruit of choice is
banana and the normal fibrous vegetables are
green beans. Off-season the carbs (Not Counting Fibrous Vegetables) are usually around 200-500 grams per day divided among 6-7 meals.
When in pre-contest mode he will judge the amounts of carbs he needs by his appearance, the scale, and how he feels. If he feels he should take-in only 50 per day or 300 grams on a certain day, then so be it. Off-season there is a little cheating with food, but normally Andrew says he does not like to lose definition and get soft so he will not go overboard. Mezza drinks plenty of water each and every day to keep his fluid levels regulated and his metabolism running at full capacity!
What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?
Best gain supplements - I use the full range of Reflex supplements that are fantastic. I use Growth Matrix, Peptide Fusion, BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and creatine for great gains in muscle, strength, and performance. Also use: Nexgen, and ALA; keeps me very healthy.
Why do you love Bodybuilding?
Here are some of the great things I love about it:
1st - I couldn't imagine my life without it. It's been with me for so long; from such a young age.
It's my lifestyle... it's with me from the moment I open my eyes in a morning until the last thing at night.
My life is structured around my interest (e.g. bodybuilding), it has to be. If it wasn't for all those years gone by then I wouldn't have achieved what I have. Again without my mums support I couldn't have made it through my bodybuilding years as dieting for a competition is so hard physically and mentally. So many times over the years dieting for bodybuilding shows I thought I was going to crack up, but with my mums help I made it. Ha!
I have had so many great times on the competitive stage. I made friends with some very good people that have the same interest as me - it helps as other friends and people who don't share the same interest as me find it very hard to understand why we do what we do. We put our bodies through h*ll sometimes (e.g. in the gym and all the dieting and cardio we do).
Most of the time I really enjoy weight training, bodybuilding and the gym, but sometimes it can be hard after doing the same thing for so many years.
I enjoy helping people achieve there physique goals, and giving advice in my muscle and fitness shop - SOLIDBODYS.
I have started to get many emails from people all over the place asking for diet plans, to get in great shape, and many people for a contest prep diet, so this year there will be a lot more people in super great shape.
Bodybuilding is my life, my passion, my love.
What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?
Future plans... I will continue training hard to stay in the best shape possible!
What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?
The results will come only if you apply your mind and body with the right tools (e.g. be realistic with your goals), don't run before you can walk. Train hard but smart and don't overtrain. Always have a post workout shake after you train (e.g. Fast acting protein and fast carbs).
Have at least 3 solid meals a day including high protein and medium carbs. Take in some essential fats (e.g. Udo's Ultimate Oil Blend is great) and at least 2 protein drinks on top of your post training drink. Always drink plenty of water every day. Also make sure to get plenty of rest/sleep.
Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?
The man who I thought should have won the Big O - The big bad Wolf. Also: James "Flex" Lewis, Brandon Greenwood, and many more. There are meny fantastic physiques around the world; too many to mention.
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