Training Like A Champ With 4x UKBFF Champion El Noval

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So this bank holiday weekend was a good one, lots going on with nearest and dearest and the odd bit of sunshine helping matters too. For the most part though it has to be said the weather was a little dismal, but this mattered little once I stepped into Zest Gym, Sudbury, home of the man everybody in the fitness industry is talking about…El Noval!

The Make- up of a Champ

Having won the UK Nationals and USN Bodypower Classic in Men's Physique this year already, it’s fair to say that El Noval is on a winning streak. Despite this rich vein of form, El never loses sight of the bigger picture, in fact, if it wasn’t for the incomprehensible symmetry, muscularity, the network of veins and the maturity of muscle that exceeds his 23 years, then it would be easy to forget that you are training with a twice featured Flex Magazine athlete, such is El’s attitude and humility. El is the epitome of humble, he’s kind, a family man, always got time for people, and yet maintains an unwavering degree of dedication that, for me, sets him apart from the rest.


Training like a champ…well, trying!

So speaking of being humbled, that is exactly how I felt after training with El. I weigh in at 93kg, whilst El is a muscle dense 69kg, and despite my considerable weight advantage El is lifting more weight, performing more reps and with better form! Now I knew I wasn’t in the best of shape at the moment, so it came as no surprise, but to anybody who say’s fitness models are all show, think again!!

The session was high volume in terms of total sets, but maintained a moderate rep range of 10-12 per set for the most part. The muscle of focus was back, with a torturous finisher for the biceps at the end.

Training Routine


Wide grip pull-ups

5 sets of 10-15 (10 for me and 15 easy reps for El)


Pull-down superset

5 supersets of 12 reps close grip pull down and straight arm pull-down


Single arm bent over dumbbell row

5 sets of 12 reps (I used 35kg, El opted for the 55- 60kg’s)


Bent over barbell row (middle back)

5 sets of 12 followed by a strip set to failure


Hammer Strength Iso-lateral row

5 sets of 20 reps (50:50 pause reps to pump reps)


Close grip pull-down

5 sets of 20 reps (50:50 pause reps to pump reps)


Kneeling high pulley row finisher

3 sets of 30-50 reps (work to failure exercise)


Bicep curl superset

3 rounds on cable machine of:

10 lying isolation curls

10 preacher curls (in squat position resting elbows on knees)

10 standing bicep curls


Wide grip barbell curls

4 sets of 20 reps



El currently uses Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy before and during the workout, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey for after exercise, and PhD Nutrition Omega 3  over the course of the day. El also uses a CLA supplement to keep bodyfat to a minimum.

A great session had by all, twas an eye opener and a humbler all wrapped into one. El, your patience was appreciated, your attitude is an example to all that lift, and your physique is a cut above the rest (both literally and metaphorically). Until next time bro! #Ambassador #Champ


Big thanks to Zest Gym for having us, and TrayFit for the weigh in and anthropometric measurements (fair to say I have some new action points haha)!

Check out El's pages for hints and tips on what he does to get into #1 shape, competition prep and much much more!

Instagram >>> el_noval


About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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