This week, we got to chat with Jon Ford and discuss his experience competing in Men’s Physique! Jon Ford (@jonfordy88) is from Bridgend, South Wales (UK). He is very passionate about health and fitness. Jon has competed in Men’s Physique as recent as last year and is also a fully qualified personal trainer with his own business called Fordable Fitness.
Tell our followers a little bit about what got you to this point in your career, some of your stops along the way, and why you wanted to start competing in Men’s Physique?
Jon: “Many years ago I used to be so shy and not confident but training changed my life. I would feel much better in myself as I would have more energy and feel much fitter. I have been training for about 10 years and I would go into the gym with no goal really, so I decided to enter the UKDFA Men’s Physique competition last August. I really enjoyed the whole experience. I didn’t place but I know what I must do to improve for next time if I decide to compete again.”
What was the most recent competition you took place in? How do you felt you did and what are your future plans regarding competing?
Jon: “Most recent competition I did was the UKDFBA Men’s Physique in August last year. Overall, I think I did really well considering it was my first time. I was up against competitors who had years of experience in competing. I haven’t completely decided if I’m going to compete again but I’m going to see how I look and feel next year as I’m currently in the off-season trying to gain some tissue.”
How many weeks of prep do you feel works best for you when it comes to gearing up for a show?
Jon: “I decided to compete in March last year and this gave me 6 months to prepare for it. I was unemployed at the time and thought ‘I’ve got all the time to put my focus into this.’ My nutritionist said to me ‘Why don’t you compete?’ and I was like ‘I don’t know, I would sh*t myself! (haha)’ . I never looked back and stuck to it all the way to the day of the competition. I even went to one of my mates’ weddings and didn’t drink a drop of alcohol which was very hard. You really have to be strict with everything from training to nutrition along with sleep and recovery.”
What do your training blocks look like leading up to a show? Also, give a brief overview of your nutrition (or nutrition principles) throughout those blocks.
Jon: “I would do PUSH, PULL, REST, LEGS, REST and repeat. On rest days I would do HIIT cardio intervals on a stationary bike. I’d go as hard as I could for however long and rest 2 mins. I would do that for 8 rounds. My nutrition was always on point. I would make sure I was hitting my macros that my nutritionist suggested. Protein was the most important macro as I wanted to retain as much muscle as possible while being in a caloric deficit. Carbs got lower as the months went on to try and lose as much body fat as possible. I would find by the end of some days I would still be hungry, so I would chomp on celery sticks as they were very low in calories.”
What do you feel is the toughest part about competition prep and/or competing in general?
Jon: “The toughest part of it all is not being able to socialize the way you would do normally, as you had to watch what you were eating and have no alcohol. Feeling hungry all the time got more difficult as time went on as well along with feeling so drained, but that’s part of it.”
For anyone competing in physique sports or just in general trying to look their best, body dysmorphia comes into play from a psychological standpoint. Do you ever feel symptoms of dysmorphia in a prep and if so, how do you deal with it?
Jon: “As time went on and I got leaner and leaner, friends and family would say that I look ill and drawn in the face, but I had to ignore what they said as it’s got to be done to look good on stage.”
What is the best piece of advice that you would give a younger athlete looking to start competing in Men’s Physique?
Jon: “The best piece of advice I’d give would be that if you’re going to compete, you really should get someone who has experienced it before, or is a coach themselves. They will know exactly what to do in preparation for the competition such as the nutrition and training principles.”
You also run a personal training / coaching business. Tell our followers a bit about what you guys do over there and where they can find you if looking for personal training?
Jon: “I have my own personal training (PT) business called Fordable Fitness and train clients in the Bridgend area. I decided to do this after I was made redundant in my previous job. I thought that considering my passion for health and fitness, why not do it as a career as well?”
Follow Jon Ford on Instagram: @jonfordy88
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