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Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeff Pursglove

Over 40 Bodybuilder of the Week: Jeff Pursglove! - Pics and info and more!

  • Name: Jeff Pursglove
  • E-mail:
  • Age: 51
  • Where: Yorkshire, England
  • Height: 6'
  • Weight: 200 Lbs., Contest: 190 Lbs.
  • Years Bodybuilding :33
  • Favorite Bodypart: Abdominals
  • Favorite Exercise: Hanging Leg Raises
  • Favorite Supplements: Multivitamins, Vitamin C, Whey Protein, & Creatine.

How Did You Get Started?

In 1973 I went away to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, just after my 17th birthday. I became terribly homesick and didn't eat properly, losing most of the little muscle I had. At 18 I only weighed about 140lbs at 6' tall. Just by chance, I saw an ad in the Sunday newspaper for a muscle-building course. I signed up, did the freehand exercises in my tiny bedsit, followed the meal plans and started to rebuild my body. Next came a subscription by mail order to the very first issue of MuscleMag: I was inspired by the pictures in it of Steve Reeves and started going to a gym to lift proper weights. When I saw Pumping Iron on its release in 1977 I was well and truly hooked.

After my PhD, I took a job that involved traveling around the UK with a lot of overnight stays in hotels, so I found it hard to eat and train properly. Things changed in 1996 when I commenced employment at the University of Sheffield. I gained an MBA specializing in performance management but, more importantly, there was a microwave and fridge just down the corridor from my office together with a gym only five minutes walk away. This was when I began to make some real progress, so that in 1999 I won the Mr. York senior title aged 43. I won it again in 2003, but things really started to take off for me once I was old enough to enter the over 50's class: I won the NABBA Mr. Central Britain, Mr. Northeast Britain and British Masters titles in the space of six months.

What Workout Plan Worked Best For You?

I thrive on high volume workouts. I need to feel a pump and low volume sessions just don't do it for me. A favorite training schedule is:

Arrow Favorite Training Schedule:

I do 30 to 40 sets per session, plus I always finish off with a couple of sets for my abs, aiming for at least 100 reps on leg raises or crunches. I try to lift and lower the weights in a controlled manner through the full range of motion. I see guys supposedly doing barbell curls by swinging the weight: no wonder that their arms do not grow any bigger.

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Each workout lasts between 60 to 90 minutes. In the off-season I stick to straight sets and pyramid the weight. When I want to get into shape to go on stage then I up the tempo by bringing in supersets and triple drop sets. For example, I might superset chin-ups with parallel bar dips for my chest and back, not stopping 'till I have done 100 chins and 250 dips. For triple drops I recommend machines rather than free weights. For my back I will warm up, then do ten reps on the seated row with the full stack; immediately move the pin up four notches and do another ten; move the pin up another four notches and rep out until my lats plead for mercy. Then I do it again, twice more. I rarely do any cardio, but in the run up to a competition I might return to the gym and do 30 minutes of non-stop abdominal work.

Over the years I have found that a good training partner not only makes my workouts more fun, but also much more productive. Whilst I can get through an arm session on my own, I need someone to push me when I am training legs, otherwise I might easily wimp out after six reps with the Olympic bar across my shoulders, instead of squatting for ten reps.

What Nutrition Plan Has Worked Best For You?

Pumping iron for 90 minutes a day, six days a week takes it out on the body, so I eat plenty of good food. Off-season, a typical day's menu would be:

Arrow Off-season Meal Plan:

    Rise at 6.30 am. Breakfast - five soft-boiled eggs with two slices of buttered toast, multivitamins
    Train 8.30-10 am, followed by a protein and creatine drink
    12 noon - Fish in parsley sauce, jacket potato, vegetables
    3.30 pm - Cold meat, natural yogurt, fruit
    7 pm - Spaghetti Bolognese and maybe a couple of glasses of beer or wine, cheese and crackers
    9.30 pm - two pints of milk, vitamin C
    Bed at 10 pm

This could hardly be described as a restricted diet. Like many of my fellow senior bodybuilders featured on, I want to emphasize that, if you want to grow, you have to eat plenty of wholesome food and supplement with protein in that golden window of opportunity straight after training. If I decide to get into shape for a competition then, from about six weeks out, I stop eating bread, potatoes, pasta and crackers, stop drinking beer and substitute skimmed milk for whole milk. I also eat a lot more fruit when I am feeling hungry between meals.

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What Supplements Have Given You The Greatest Gains?

I use caffeine before training to give my energy level a boost, followed by a whey protein and creatine mix as soon as I walk out of the gym. A daily multivitamin is good for general health and I am a big fan of Vitamin C. I take a gram of Vitamin C each day.

Why do you love Bodybuilding?

Bodybuilding has been good to me. It has kept me fit and healthy, given me a sense of accomplishment in life, increased my self-confidence and enabled me to make loads of great friends. Few other activities could have done this.

What Are Your Future Bodybuilding Plans?

I will be a bodybuilder till the day I die and will compete as long as I continue to enjoy it. I want to combine my academic knowledge (MBA and PhD) with my experience of bodybuilding to combat the problem of people who are overweight. The first step is going to be a book containing some revolutionary approaches and solutions to the problem. So, in April of this year, I took early retirement from my job to enable me to devote more time to this endeavour. Once it is published, I am hoping that the book will be a springboard launching me into a new career.

What One Tip Would You Give Other Bodybuilders?

Try to spend a couple of hours a week on developing a positive mental attitude, and use techniques like visualization and mental imagery to get a clear vision of the body you want. When you do this, you will find it much easier to overcome barriers to your progress, such as a lack of time to train or a lack of resistance to sugary food.

Who Are Your Favorite Bodybuilders?

The late Steve Reeves for his shape; Frank Zane for his posing; Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dave Draper for their mental approaches to bodybuilding.

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