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INTERVIEW: GRAHAM HICKS

GoNutrition sat down with Strongman Graham Hicks to discuss all aspects of his life as one of the UK's strongest men. [caption id="attachment_2638" align="alignnone" width="720"]Graham Hicks Graham Hicks takes a break![/caption]

Graham Hicks before lifting

Have you always been into fitness? Ever since I can remember I’ve always had some kind of hobby. During my childhood I was really into my football, this continued into my teens although it was at this stage that I also started going to the gym. Although I always enjoyed going to the gym it wasn’t until I turned 24 that I decided to do strongman. Obviously this meant I had to quit playing football as the two don’t really go too well together. How did you get into lifting? To begin with I started going to the gym and lifting weights in order to try and keep in reasonably good shape. I found I was enjoying what I was doing and lifted heavier and heavier as it helped me feel better about myself. When did you get into competing? It was in 2010 when I found out about lower level contests for people just getting into strongman. These contests has different weight categories meaning I would be competing against people who were a similar weight to me. This was obviously pretty important in the beginning.

Graham Hicks' current activities

[caption id="attachment_2643" align="aligncenter" width="435" class=" "]Graham Hicks trains all year round Graham Hicks trains all year round to stay in shape[/caption] What events are you currently training for? Over the years I’ve learnt that it’s important to train for all of the strongman events in order to continually improve. By just concentrating on one area it becomes harder to make improvements. This means I train all year round to keep me in shape. The current focus of my training is for the upcoming World’s Strongest Man competition. What was your first goal when aiming to become a strongman? My original goal when I started out as a strongman was always to win a competition. At first this meant focussing on the under 105kg titles as I started out which I won on my second attempt. Who's given you the best advice and what did they tell you? It’s hard to choose just one person or piece of advice really as I’ve had a lot of advice from top guys over the years I have been training. If I was to focus in on just the one piece of advice I would say, try to make sure you are always training smart as this will help you to avoid injuries which are going to set your progress back.

Graham Hicks' day to day lifestyle

What does your day job and how do you find time to train? I currently work as a design support engineer for BAE. Working full-time can be quite stressful as it makes it really difficult to find the time to train. However, when you’re doing something you enjoy you’ll always make the time to do it. How often do you train and what's your regime? I make sure that I train four days a week all year round. The focus of my training is all strongman related so things like logs, stones and keg toss as it’s all going to help me during competitions. Do you train alone or with a trainer? Whenever possible I try to train with a couple of guys I know from the gym. Unfortunately this isn’t always possible due to our busy schedules but we try to train together as often as time will allow. What would you tell your younger self? [caption id="attachment_2640" align="alignnone" width="657"]Graham Hicks What would Graham Hicks say to his younger self?[/caption] If I’m honest, there’s probably not much I would tell my younger self if given the chance. I think the path I’ve taken has been quite remarkable so far, especially the pace at which I have progressed at as it has been so quick. What's your typical daily diet? I try to avoid sticking rigidly to a strict diet as it’s important to avoid getting bored of it so I try to keep it as varied as possible. Mainly you’ll find me eating a lot of chicken and eggs whilst for something sweet I’ll usually turn to protein cookies and protein shakes. Although it’s fairly good stuff most of the time I’ll never say no to chocolates or takeaways if that’s what I fancy. I train so hard so I’m not afraid to treat myself when I feel like it.

Graham Hicks' supplements and heroes

Which supplements really make you go further? I think GoNutrition’s Whey Isolate 90 is the key supplement for me. It allows me to get plenty of calories down as I find it doesn’t leave me feeling as bloated as some other shakes so I’m always happy eating a meal after one. Who do you most look up to in your field and why? For me I’d always have to say Vytautas Lalas. Vytautas is the same height as me but is remarkably strong considering and manages to compete with guys much taller than himself. My aim is to be stronger than him one day as hopefully this will be followed by even more success. [caption id="attachment_2641" align="alignnone" width="640"]Graham Hicks recently seen abroad in Europe Graham Hicks recently seen abroad in Europe[/caption]
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