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An Interview With UKBFF British Light-Heavyweight Champion & New IFBB Pro James Llewellin!

James Llewellin doesn't disappoint. This year's British once again saw a light-heavyweight from last year take the overall and pro card. Find out more about this dedicated athlete, how he trains and more. Read on.

James Llewellin Since last years UKBFF British, the light-heavyweight winner, Flex Lewis has gone on to win the Europa Under 202 lb show and place third in the 202 lb Olympia.

This year's British once again saw a light-heavyweight from last year take the overall and pro card. After placing second to Flex, James Llewellin has gone away and teamed up with one of Britain's top respected coaches and brought a stellar physique back to earn himself pro status.

James, for the readers who haven't had a chance to know you, would you care to tell us a little background on yourself?

I am 35 years old and work as a personal trainer and nutritionist in the London area in the U.K. I am very happily married to Nicki and we have been together for 10 years now and live in a small village around 30 miles from London.

I gained a BA (honors) degree at Exeter University in 1995 and then worked as a Sales Manager for a real estate company until 2005. I then took my qualification and turned my back on the stress and followed my dream. The rest, as they say, is history.

James Llewellin working out
You have only been training a short time compared to a lot of the competitors as I heard you didn't start training with weights properly until your late twenties. What do you attribute your fast acceleration through the sport to?

Yes, I started training at the ripe old age of 27 and entered my first contest at the age of 29 just before my 30th birthday and just a few weeks before I got married. I won that contest out of 13 competitors and it just spurred me on to continue.

I have always been very focused and when I decide to do something I give it 100%. My nutrition has always been bang on the money and that is really what I attribute my success to.

I also train sensibly with very strict form and have been fortunate enough never to get injured. I always tell people that it's all about being 'consistently consistent!' There are no secrets.

Last year at the British you weighed in as a light-heavy, this year you went into the middleweight. Was that a tactical move or do you feel this was required to get the super hard condition you showed at the UKBFF finals?

Both Neil and I set out to enter the light-heavy division again, but as I dieted it became apparent that I would be in the upper 170's to 180lbs.

About 8 weeks out it was decided that we would sacrifice a little size and come in bang on the limit with ultimate conditioning. I would rather be the biggest and most ripped competitor in a class than the smallest most ripped competitor in a class!

You worked with Neil Hill running up to the British. When did this relationship start and what did he get you doing differently in terms of your nutrition?

James Llewellin posing with trophy I got together with Neil around 16 weeks prior to the UK finals. We had met on a few occasions before and he asked me to call him when I was next down in Wales.

We trained together for a whole week back in June and hit it off immediately. It was then he said he would like to help me. How could I refuse? Neil's diets are very simple and balanced but towards the end it becomes tough as the carbs and calories are drastically reduced and cardio goes drastically up!

It put me in a position that I would have never put myself in but because Neil was there I had ultimate trust in him and just did as I was told. The results speak for themselves, the guy in my opinion, is a true legend!

How did you train running up to this year's British - was it different to how you trained before?

I trained very much the same; heavy and hard until about 4-6 weeks out and then backed off whilst I was just maintaining my muscle mass and the calories were lower.

Can you giver us a run down of your routine?

I train on a restricted split in that I work only chest, back, quads, hams and calves. I am giving my arms and shoulders a break as they are ahead of the rest of my body especially in the rear poses.

Each body part I train only gets hit once every 9 days, allowing plenty of rest and growth in between sessions. It also allows me to train heavy with high intensity without the risk of overtraining.

  • Monday: Chest & Abs
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Quads
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Hamstrings & Calves
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: Back
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Repeat
  • The rep range is between 6 and 10 and around 2-3 sets per exercise. 2-3 exercises for smaller muscle groups and 3-4 for larger muscle groups. Sessions last between 30 and 50 minutes depending on the muscle trained.

    You are sponsored by Myprotein, what products do you use and has this changed since last year?

    Yes. They have been instrumental in my improvements. I have every supplement you can think of at my fingertips now so I can use what I feel is necessary at certain points in my off season and diet phases.

    I use whey protein isolate, carbohydrates, waxy maize starch, multivitamins, meal replacements, protein bars and fat burners as well as many other products.

    With the induction of the under 202lb class in the IFBB pro shows this must suite you - do you favor this new class?

    Yes, it really is fantastic news for guys like me that don't carry the kind of mass some of the pros do. It also gave me a real incentive this year to get my pro card as I can now compete (and hopefully be competitive) rather than just make up the numbers and stand at the back of the stage looking on!

    Flex's successes this year really motivated me during my prep. He is a good friend and I was so pleased when he performed so well in his 'rookie' year.

    When can we expect to see you step on the IFBB pro stage?

    Neil has a plan for me over the next 18 months. I need to make some improvements to my physique first so we will take 2009 off and compete in one of the spring shows in 2010. I can't wait!

    Thank you for the time spent answering these questions. For those who wish to find out more about you where can they go?

    They can go to my website where I can be found every day answering questions. My DVD will be on sale in early December documenting my run in to the UK Finals, it's a really great watch and a great stocking filler for Christmas!

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