On Saturday 18 October I got the chance to sit in on a seminar held by international fitness cover model Steve Cook. An American fitness enthusiast who is one of my biggest inspirations. He is an Optimum Nutrition sponsored athlete, bodybuilding.com athlete and motivates many around the world. When I need some motivation I turn to Steve's social media pages to re light my spark! He is a massive role model to me, so you can imagine when I heard this news I was over the moon with delight and couldn't wait to meet him!
The seminar lasted for 2 hours and it felt like I had just sat down when it was over, yes it was that enjoyable. Steve spoke about the important things to remember when you are training and in essence that is to make small steps. He used quotes like ' you are what you think about' and 'have a vision'. I could relate to these points he was giving as it is so important to know where you are going. It is important to you to have a dream and a goal that you want to achieve. For me, these little quotes really hit home.
He spoke about training and staying focused on what you want to achieve. Again, he related everything back to a goal. Steve went into depth about creating a plan if you are a newbie or if you have been training for a while and just can't seem to make changes. Within the plan he mentioned how it is necessary to challenge yourself through progression so that you change.
Throughout growing up, Steve played a lot of college American Football which has given him a good foundation for weight training. However he doesn't just stick to gym based workouts. He has a passion for Cross Fit, Strength training and running.
Nutrition was a big topic within the talk and an emphasis was put on recording what you eat. He mentioned having a small book that you can easily record what you eat to make life easier for you. This is something you can look back on He asked questions like 'how many of you count your macros?' Macronutrients for those that don't know are tailoring your carbohydrates, protein and fats for your body type. This is a big thing and Steve also spoke about keeping the food you eat exciting. He said, 'you don't have to eat chicken, rice and asparagus all the time, it is important to mix it up'. As I looked around the room when he said this I saw a lot of people engage more with this comment than most. More pens went to paper and more nods were appreciated by this comment. I think this is a big thing in the fitness industry as many people think all you have to eat is rice and chicken. So when Steve said this I'm positive it is going to have a great impact on the people that took it in.
Steve is a positive person and more motivational quotes came out as the seminar continued. One of my favourites being ' nothing worthwhile happens overnight', which again connected with me as I know how long the process takes to build an aesthetic physique. Towards the end of the talk, Steve touched on training principles and how it is crucial to use different training techniques to maximise change. He uses supersets, drop sets, negative reps and rest pause sets to shock his body. He is a big fan of cardio and likes to fit this in as it helps maintain a healthy look. He made a point of also addressing weak areas of the body that you might need to work on. This is something he has had to do in order to achieve a great physique.
Steve is a big believer in giving the body enough rest when you are exercising regularly. He has around 7 hours sleep a night and will take rest days from the gym by listening to what his body is telling him.
To wrap it up, Steve spoke about some of the supplements he uses. He swears by using a multi vitamin that helps give your body the micro nutrients it needs to recover and stay healthy. Creatine, BCAAs and protein are all in the mix too. And yes, these will be Optimum Nutrition products ;).
It was a great 2 hour talk and I'm certain everyone loved it. Steve is such a humble guy that really just wants to promote a healthy lifestyle. There are no secrets. There are no crash diets and he made this clear. Possibly the best line he did say was 'health first, looks second'. Four words that emphasise leading a healthy lifestyle and not focusing yourself on how you look on the exterior.
Once the seminar had finished, all but myself and another guy called Jordan went on their way. I was fortunate enough to have lunch with Steve after the seminar asking more questions and just having a good time. I can't give away everything that was talked about as I want to use what I have learnt and use it to help me grow and develop ;). However, what I will say is the whole day was incredible. A massive thank you to Steve and the whole Optimum Nutrition team for the amazing experience. I can honestly say I left Steve as once a follower and fan to his social media pages and now as a friend. Thanks guys!!