36 Year Old Del Monte Pro Team Member and Father of 2, Ben Salkeld, Built Over 10 Pounds Of Muscle and Keeps a Six Pack All Year Round.
By: Tim Ernst
BF% 8% Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 180 lbs.
Q WHAT FIRST SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN FITNESS? HOW DID YOU GET TO THE POINT WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
A Back in my late 20’s, I remember a guy in his early 30’s telling me:
“Enjoy your fit physique while you can mate, because when you hit 30 it’s all over! You get married, have kids and work your ass off. You’ll lose your six pack, have little to no time to train and look like every other guy this age – fat and comfortable. It’s just a fact of life Benny Boy!”I remember thinking I’ll be different; I’ll be the shredded father, who other guys envy. At the time, I remember thinking”I’ll be different … I’ll be the shredded father … the Dad who other guys envy.” Unfortunately, when I hit 34, I looked in the mirror and staring back at me was your average 34 year old married man with kids holding down a busy job. I asked myself, “What happened to living my dreams? “What happened to that once passionate kid who wanted to take on the world?” On that day, 13th August 2012, everything changed. I re- connected with my dreams, started on my mission to break away from the ‘average’ and began working towards being the BEST… and I’ve never looked back!
Q WHAT’S BEEN YOUR STRATEGY IN TRANSFORMING YOUR PHYSIQUE AND LIFE?
A Unlike most guys, I did not lift weights right away. I spent my first 18 months engaged in high intensity training such as boxing, out door circuits, TRX and mountain bike races. Running early mornings with a pram (sometimes as early as 0430) and my 45 minute lunch break was my starting point for training.
I set a micro-goal at the time to reduce my body-fat level until I could clearly see my abs. I didn’t set a specific % because that can be a little overwhelming and I personally couldn’t connect with setting a number. Instead, I had a drive to have a six-pack and knew that would be the beginning of the physique that I desired. During this time, I started developing my knowledge on how to burn maximum fat while maintaining muscle mass with limited free weights. This is a skill that I take very seriously, especially when time is of the essence.
After I achieved a satisfactory level of fat loss, I began my climb “up” into the world of building lean muscle. I don’t say ‘building muscle’ like most guys throw out there either; I mean really packing on solid, dense and well- defined muscle using world-class techniques in the realm of resistance training. It was here I fell in love with just how much of a difference you can make to your own physique when you have a PLAN, you have KNOWLEDGE and you continually MEASURE and MANAGE what you’re doing.
Once you understand a few of the key concepts in terms of nutrition & training and how to tweak these to maximize burning fat and building muscle, you can do just about anything with your physique. I believe this is where 95% of guys are going wrong. They’re ‘working out’ but failing to train … likely wasting time and energy and getting nowhere. I want to change that!
A Initially, my motivation was to change my own physique that has evolved into changing my entire life. While I continue to do this, my big driver is to help other guys and to PROVE that we as MEN don’t need to fall victim to the “average.” We CAN and SHOULD work towards achieving our dreams no matter what age we are, how limited we are with time, or how stressed we are with life commitments. Every training session, every nutrition plan, every talk, every video and piece of content is created with one goal in mind
‘HELP MEN BREAK AWAY FROM BEING AVERAGE AND START BECOMING THE BEST MEN WE CAN BE.’
HELP MEN BREAK AWAY FROM BEING AVERAGE AND START BECOMING THE BEST MEN WE CAN BE.
Q WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO STAY FIT AND MOTIVATED?
A TIME. We all have the exact same number of hours, minutes and seconds in a day and it’s important we understand how we utilize them to be the BEST. Eating, training, reading, listening and learning in general all take TIME.
It’s a daily challenge to ensure I’m making the most of every second of the day to get the most out of my life.
Q IF YOU HAD TO NAME ONLY ONE OR POSSIBLY TWO THINGS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR CURRENT PHYSIQUE, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
A I’m passionate about 2 KEY attributes and believe by applying them, you can make radical changes to your physique and life.
1. MINDSET: Mindset is deep and isn’t just about being ‘motivated’ but has a multitude of layers. The first layer is having a clear understanding of WHAT YOU WANT AND WHY IT MATTERS. For example: Why do you want a six pack? Why do you want a great physique? Why do you want the body of a fitness model? Why do you want to get fit? When you know this, the rest of the puzzle will start to fall into place. You’ll ensure you train when you need to train and eat what you need to eat. You’ll ensure you create micro-goals and become attached to the process of achieving success.
2. THE R.O.T.I. PRINCIPLE: If you’re going to train, even if it’s just for 30 minutes, you need to ensure you’re getting the absolute MOST out of that 30 minutes. I call this R.O.T.I. (Return On Time Invested) and it’s an absolute in terms of ensuring there’s a reason you’re training. Just showing up is a great start, but if you want serious results then you need to take this game seriously. If you’re not 110% engaged in your training, then you’re better off doing something else that will enhance your life. I take 1-5 min before I start each session to get my ‘head in the game’ and treat each one like a sporting game. I’ll set out to break PB’s, burn more calories, and always be improving. I’m there to WIN!
YOU NEED TO ENSURE YOU’RE GETTING THE ABSOLUTE MOST OUT OF THAT 30 MINUTES
Q WHAT’S THE SECRET TO STAYING SHREDDED ALL YEAR ROUND?
A One trick that ensures I stay lean is to track my calorie OUTPUT during every training session. By wearing an HRM (Heart Rate Monitor) I can track calorie output. This works twofold:
- It’s a great way to push yourself as it works like a training partner and will quickly advise when you’re slackening off.
- This method of training ensures I’m maximizing my fat burning efforts while building muscle. (My hot tip: Lift with an elevated heart rate. I can tell you from experience that I can burn up to 3-4X more calories in a session when my heart rate is elevated and it also has a positive impact on the resistance training.)
For more killer tips, head over to 12weekshred.com.
Q YOU’RE NOW A DEL MONTE PRO TEAM MEMBER WHICH IS AWESOME. WHAT WAS THE JOURNEY LIKE GETTING TO THIS POSITION?
A My journey was nothing short of amazing. Having the definitive goal to be part of the Del Monte Pro Team for close to 18 weeks pushed my learning, training and nutrition to a whole new level. Vince has been a role model of mine for the past few years and the opportunity to be part of his team became ‘I WILL MAKE THIS HAPPEN’. I remember when I first heard about it and applied. When I made the top 60, I made it my personal mission to make the team.
Q WHAT’S ONE OF THE BIGGEST TECHNIQUES YOU’VE LEARNED FROM VINCE’S PROGRAMS?
A It’s hard to look past the Crash Contraction Cluster Sets.
I remember coming across these during a shoulder enhancement program and my muscles instantly reacted to them. Essentially you grab your working weight weight, for example, your 6 rep max … 3reps – 15sec recovery – 3reps – 15sec recovery – 3reps. You’re busting out an additional 3 reps at your working weight. You can do this as well, such as your 8 rep max … your 8 rep max and push it out to 4 sets of 3 (12 reps). When I first applied this to squats, I took my DOMS to a whole new level I hadn’t felt since I first started training!
I TOOK MY DOMS TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL!
Q WHAT’S THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? WHERE WILL WE SEE YOU IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
A As I mentioned at the start of this interview, the story of the ‘average’ is a common theme among most middle-aged men around the globe. We begin to make (what we believe to be legitimate) excuses as to why we don’t have the physique of our dreams, why we hate our jobs, why we’re not connected with our families and that it’s ok to look and act like the ‘average’ guy. It’s something that I feel very connected to and I can see it slowly destroying the true meaning of what being a ‘MAN’ is all about. I’m on a mission to help change this, to share my story and start re-igniting that inner beast that lives in all of us and motivate men around the world to start breaking free from AVERAGE and start becoming the BEST they can be!
THE AVERAGE IS A COMMON THEME AMONG MIDDLE-AGED MEN
Q HOW CAN GUYS CONNECT TO YOU?
If you have a plan in advance for avoiding the diet-busting bombs that are sure to be thrown your way this season, it’ll be easier to enjoy your favorite holiday feast foods WITHOUT the guilt.
You may not realize it, but the #1 reason for your belly bulge and why you don’t have a nice, flat stomach or abs is because of these 3 dirty little lies below: