Alex “Delts” O’Hanlon

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Alex, your before and after pictures are quite impressive, you have definitely transformed your body, what inspired you to do this?

I started training with Gav of Ultimate City Fitness about 3 years ago, and quickly realised I had the potential to radically transform my body through weight training and following a nutrition plan. The better the results I got, the more I wanted.

You have a very athletic rather than bodybuilder look to your body, did you compete in any sports?

Although I’ve always enjoyed sports, I have never taken any to a competitive level. I did however start ballet at a very young age and danced at a fairly serious level until university. I was always a keen gym goer, although until I started training with Gav I didn’t actually have a clue what I should be doing to get the body I aspired to and you were more likely to find me on the cross trainer than in the weights room.

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How does nutrition factor into your lifestyle? Do you find it difficult to stick to your plan in everyday life?

Not really. I don’t really look at my day to day plan as a diet, as it’s just a balanced healthy way of eating: Lots of protein, good fats and carbs after training. I also have a cheat meal once a week, so I am able to factor this in should I be going for dinner with friends or have an event to go to.

Closer to a shoot or competition my diet obviously gets pretty strict which makes it a little harder, but as long as I’m prepared it’s easy to manage. Preparation and consistency are the key to success.

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Alex, we shot together last year, but this time your physique looks a lot different. What are the main changes you have made and what sort of training do you do now?

My goal from last year was to build muscle, but still come in as ripped for competition season. Last year on stage I was 52 kilos and 3% bodyfat, and I walked on stage last Sunday at 56 kilos and 3% bodyfat so I’m happy with my progress.

Gav wrote me a serious off- season plan for both my nutrition and training in order to reach this target. My training was cut down to 4 times per week with one HIIT session and no other cardio. The focus was on low reps and heavy weights and my nutrition plan was high in calories and heavily carb loaded.

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You competed for the first time last year. What made you want to get on stage?

It was a goal way, way out of my comfort zone and gave me something massive to work towards.

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What does an average days nutrition look like for you?

Gav writes all my nutrition plans for both on and off -season. I eat 6 meals a day off season, and 5 on season: Protein, good fats and carbs with lots of green vegetables. I also carb cycle, which I find works very well for dropping body fat.

I am currently in the process of writing my first ebook, which will include recipes for both on and off -season nutrition plans. People have an assumption that dieting needs to be boring – which is absolutely not the case. It’s not all about dry chicken and broccoli and I want to show people it is possible to get ripped without this.

Off season a daily food plan would look like this:

Meal 1 – Post workout shake: Protein, creatine and Vitargo

Meal 2 – 100g oats, whey berries and nuts and 3 whole eggs

Meal 3 – Chicken, 200g sweet potato, broccoli and almonds

Meal 4 – Tuna salad with avocado

Meal 5 – Salmon, 100g basmati rice, vegetables

Meal 6 – Greek yoghurt, whey, berries and nuts

On season (3 weeks out):

Meal 1 – Post workout shake: Protein and creatine

Meal 2 – 50g oats, whey and berries and 3 whole eggs

Meal 3 – Turkey mince, vegetables and almonds

Meal 4 – Chicken, vegetables and 1tbs fish oil

Meal 5 – Steak stir fry with vegetables and basmati rice

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What is an average weeks training?

I train 6 days a week on season and 4 days off-season.

A typical training week pre comp looks like this:

Monday: LISS (am) Legs (pm)

Tuesday: Chest and Back

Wednesday: LISS

Thursday: HIIT (am) Bis and Tris (pm)

Friday: LISS (am) Shoulders (pm)

Saturday: Legs

Sunday: Rest Day

Below is a typical leg session pre-comp

A1 – Seated leg curl x 15 rest 30 secs

A2 – Leg extension x 15 rest 30 secs

Repeat 4 times

I use this as a warm-up

B1 – Nordic curls x 8 60 sec rest

B2 – Squats x 8 60 sec rest

Repeat 4 times

C1 – Box jumps x 10 rest 30 secs

C2 – Sled (prowler) sprints x 40metres rest 90 secs

Repeat 4 times

D1 – skip for 10mins to finish

How do you stay motivated?

I ensure that I always have a goal. A photoshoot, a competition, a target weight, or a PB. It doesn’t matter how small it is, as long as I have something to work towards.

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What top tips would you give others wanting to compete?

  • Ensure you have a strong support network.
  • Find yourself a good coach.
  • Take regular progress pictures.
  • Research the federations thoroughly before selecting a show.

How important is mindset for this lifestyle?

VERY important. I find prepping for a competition much harder mentally than physically. You have got to REALLY want it and be willing to do what others won’t in order to achieve.

What do the people around you think about your training and body?

On the whole, people are very supportive. They may not get it, but they accept that it’s what I want to do and admire my dedication and will power.

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Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Firstly, my coach and boyfriend Gav. He inspires me to better myself every single day, and pushes me to reach my goals and beyond. He also has to put up with me while dieting – I can assure you, that’s no easy task!!!

Thank you also to every single person who takes the time to support me both in the gym and on my Facebook page. The messages of support I get from those I know, and those I am yet to meet, help motivate me to keep on grinding to reach my goals, no matter how lofty. I’ll get there one day!

Find Alex on Facebook  & Twitter

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