- Name: Owen & Lewis Harrison
- Profession: Personal trainers and fitness models
- Website: harrisontwins.com
There's no denying that genetics play a crucial role in bodybuilding. Some people respond better to weight training than others. Some people gain weight faster or more easily, and others have an incredibly hard time packing on size. But how can you differentiate between identical twins, with matching genomes? Those differences are made in the weight room.
Case in point: Owen and Lewis Harrison, a pair of identical twins raised in the United Kingdom, built on football, and designed by nearly identical eating and lifting regimens. These brothers want to look exactly alike. In fact, that's their brand identity.
Even so, although they lift the same, eat the same, and even take the same supplements, Owen and Lewis have different strengths and weaknesses: Owen has a stronger back, but Lewis can push more with his chest.
This forces the brothers to work harder in areas where they fall short. Their similarities and differences make the Harrison brothers the ultimate lifting partners.
Bodybuilding.com recently caught up with the muscle-bound brothers-in-arms to learn more about how they lift, eat, and live the fitness lifestyle together.
Check out the interview and try their workouts!
Q. How did you get into the fitness industry?
Owen: We were both born in a small town called Kendall, England. We were always into sport as boys, so I guess you could say we were born to do this.
Lewis: We didn't really get on with each other when we were younger, always fighting as brothers, you know? We both played for the same soccer teams over here in the UK at a high professional level. We played different positions and were always shouting at each other during the game if one of us made a mistake or did something wrong.
After finishing school, I was still playing professional soccer, but felt my passion lay elsewhere in life. After my contract ended with my club, I went into personal training.
Owen: I left school and joined the Royal Marines, which is one of the best fighting forces in the world. I passed the hardest military course in the world at 17 years old. I left the marines in 2012 after serving four years, and then became a personal trainer.
We moved into fitness modeling three years ago when we did our first fitness photo shoot together. Shortly after our first shoot, "Muscle and Fitness" contacted us to see if we wanted our unique brand to shoot for them.
We've since been featured in national newspapers, celebrity magazines, fitness websites, and more fitness magazines in the UK and around the globe. We're also sponsored by MyProtein (available in the Bodybuilding.com UK store).
Lewis: Building the Harrison Twin brand hasn't been easy, but we have worked our arses off to get where we are today in this industry.
Sounds like you two grew up with a small sibling rivalry. Does that extend to the gym?
Owen: There is a bit of sibling rivalry at times, which we believe is a good thing. It helps us push each other to reach our set goals. As a twin fitness brand, we both need to look very similar; that is the brand. So we need the same training plan and the same diet throughout the year to maintain our shape and for us to look similar.
Lewis: The rivalry between us comes to surface when we train together. It's the "I won't let my brother beat me" mindset which has been going on since we were a young age. I remember back in school, Owen was always the 100-meter sprinter in athletics for our school; he was believed to be the quickest boy in our year at that time. I always steered cleared of the 100 meter, and was a 400-meter runner for our school.
In our last year, I wanted to compete in the 100 meter. I was sick of the 400 meter. I beat Owen in the 100 by five milliseconds, which he hated. As you can see, it's a bit of a rivalry that's been going on in our training since we were young teenagers, and still to this day in our weight training.
It isn't a bad thing. It's always good to have someone spur you on.
Are you both equally motivated to achieve your fitness goals?
Owen: When it comes to motivation, we're equals. I believe having a twin brother spurring you on and looking in shape lends more motivation in a big way. Neither one of us wants to fall behind in training and have the other one look better.
Our brand is the two of us, so if one of us was to fall behind on training and diet, the brand would stop working.
Do you follow different supplement or nutrition plans?
Lewis: We both stick to the same nutrition plans. We are genetically very similar, so anything that works for Owen in the nutrition department works for me, as well. Our diet is broken down into high-carb and low-carb days, so we can keep our energy levels high.
Our bodies have always reacted well to moderate-to-high-carb diets. We never seem to put on weight in fat due to high metabolic rates. We have always held genetically low body fat, so ingesting some carbohydrates has never been a problem for us.
Do you each have favorite workouts or particularly strong body parts?
Owen: I have a stronger back, so I'm able to deadlift more than Lewis, and at times row more weight. Lewis has a stronger chest than me, so he's able to press more weight than me. To be honest, this really annoys me. We are twins! Why can't I press that weight?
I'm always striving to press the same weight as him on the chest exercises. Any weight he tries to do, I like to attempt when we're training, and he does the same when we train back. If he wants to move up in weight on dumbbell press or bench press, I always try to match that.
I can't explain why we have opposing muscle groups that differ on strength, but it just goes to show that even though we are genetically similar, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Can you share a workout with us?
Owen: Absolutely! Try out our chest and back routines.