UK Muscle-Duncan Russell

Q:Let’s start out getting to know you. How did you get into bodybuilding and training?


A:My name is Duncan Russell and I am 22 years old. Originally fom the U.k, I am a Art studant at plattsburgh state in plattsburgh NY. I have always been into Fintness and started working out arround 12 years old, just doing bodyweight exercises like pushups, pullups and situps. I’ve been invoilved in many sports but my main interests were, Athletics, rock climbing and kickboxing. I started kickboxing / thai boxing arround 18 and started doing basic weight training at the same time. I had a small barbell set in my appartment & used to dobench presses over the back of my sofa because I didnt have a bench. I would do curls upright rows & shoulde presses every day to total failure. But my nutrition was poor and I was grossly overtraining. I read a lot into nutrtion and different training routines, got my diet on track and made good progress. I have always been very lean and have a fast metabolism, so I added muscle slowley while maintaining my deffinition.

I had never been in a weight gym until I moved to america and I realy enjoyed having all the equipment at my disposal. Unfortunatley I suffered from a string of inuries that made life difficult – fractued metatarsal, fractured tibia, fractured schaphoid , fractured sternum, torn lat, torn intercostal muscle, & chronic groin strain & hamstring strain. The wrist break was especially frustrating and after 9 months in cast, a surgery & 3 months in a splint I got the all clear to start working out again. During that time it was very hard mentally.

I couldn’t box, or lift propperly, but I kept my spirit strong by going to the gym 6 days a week as normal. and tailored my workout routines to fit what I could do. I trained legs & abs as normal & did everything else 1 handed, eventually adding a yoga band to loop over my cast & do curls. My left forearm was totally wasted after so long immobilised, But a year later & I am finaly back on track. and I also managed to rehab my legs to the point where I can run again. I learnt a lot about gauging my limits, knowing the difference between muscle burn & muscle injury and knowing when to take the time to rest. It can be very hard to take time off when you are so involved in your training, but you are only holding yourself back if you dont listen to your body. I used to be very reckless & would train on injuries regardless, but all it did was basically take me out for over a year. Infact it was 3 1/2 years before I could run again after doing so much dammage to my adductors & hamstrings. Now I am finally (relativley) injury free and training is great!

Q: What are your favorite bodyparts to train and why?

I enjoy all forms of training but probably my favourite muscle groups would be  forearms, neck/traps and triceps. Infact the workouts I enjoy the most are explosive core strength exercises like Dumbell snatch & press, or sledge hammer workouts. For forearms I got the best results from basic reverse barbell curls and barbell wrist curls. I also realy like cheat hammer curls at the end of my workouts. I like to go for arround 12 – 15 reps for the reverse curls to get a good burn. and for the wrist curls I do 2/3 warm up sets then go heavy (6 – 8 reps) followed by drop sets of dumbell wrist curls. to finish off my forearm workouts I hold a pair of moderate weighted dumbells and rotate them 180 degrees at a moderate speed until I cant take the burn and my grip fails.

Q: Do you ever bulk up ?

A:I dont know if I can say for sure why I stay so lean. It is probably a combination of genetics, intense training and a very clean diet. I NEVER cheat from my diet. I havent eaten pizza, fries, ice cream, whatever, in about 4 years. I avoid processed food as much as I can and I dont like to eat things unless I made them myslef. For sure staying lean and adding muscle is harder and slower than just going on a ‘bulk’ But I couldnt stand the sight of myslef if I were ever to get like that so for me its not worth it. It can be frustrating if you are an ecto morph body type and want to get big. But you have to play your cards and take for granted what you have. Getting on the scales every day will just leave you frustrated. Be patient and check your results on a month by month basis. It might be more rewarding to note your strength increase as you train, and the size will come in time.

Doing heavy compound lifts like deadlifts & squats will boost test & growth hormone levels, so they are a good way to add size. Building muscle naturally is slow and hard but the rewards speak for themselfs. Of coarse you want to increase your calorie intake, but try to do it cleanly with foods like milk, eggs, nutts, avacados, olive oil, good meats. and of coarse plenty of complex carbs. I like to make up shakes with oats & why protine to keep me going through the day. I just add the oats & protine powder dry into an empty bottle, then add water when I want to drink it. Takes about 15 mins for the oats to go soft but it is good nutrition.

Q: Any tips for people that hit a plateau?

A:When your stuck at a plateu its important to change your training up, otherwise you will just get frustrated and bored. Try to forget about the numbers and enjoy your workouts instead. Switch from barbell to dumbells, of change your exercise’s entirley. going in with a positive attitude will always get better results. Sometimes its just that your body needs a rest. You can be way overtrained and not even know it because you’re used to functioning tat way. But if your lifts are suffering its a sure sign. Once when I was at a plateu with my bench press I got sick and had to take over a week off. To my amazement when I went back I added hit the same weight for 8 reps when I had been getting 3/4 before.

Q:Where can we contact you?

For more info on Duncan hit him up on our Facebook Page

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