Meet men’s physique competitor and Optimum Nutrition athlete Jeremy Allison.
Being a physique competitor is hard work – and not just in the gym. ON athlete Jeremy Allison finances his training and nutrition with a job at Rebel Sport as a storeman.
“It’s a very physical job which involves moving a high volume of heavy items,” Allison says. “It’s different from the usual career you see among people in the fitness industry, but that’s why I like it.”
Allison has always been athletic. He represented his state and country in cricket until the age of 19, but too many injuries soon got the better of him. “I then found myself in the gym and researching bodybuilding,” he says. “I noticed reasonably fast results.”
Allison soon began preparing for his first competition, an INBA show in South Australia in 2014.
“With a little knowledge and some help from friends, I managed to place second in the Men’s Fitness category which I was really happy with,” he says. “But I was bitten by the bug – I wanted to win!”
After taking two years off to gain more knowledge, Allison signed up to for his next comp. “I got a coach to help me with my nutrition through a 12-week cut, achieving my best physique to date,” he says. “I walked off the stage as the overall Men’s Physique winner in 2016.”
Keeping on track
Allison had fallen in love with the fitness industry, and found that by planning ahead and allowing for flexibility in his schedule he was able to reach his goals.
“At the end of the day, everyone has the same goal – to live a healthy life,” he says. “You can make fitness and health work around you – that’s the beauty of it. Make smart food choices and choose to be active anywhere, whether it’s at the gym, at work or at home. For me, I’m lucky enough to have a job that doesn’t require too much overtime, so I can be quite flexible about going to the gym.”
To track his daily macros, Allison uses My Fitness Pal, an easy app you can use to track food intake.
“I do weigh my food,” he says. “I believe it’s important to track all progress, whether it’s physical progress through photos or by tracking food using an app and scales. You have to be as accurate as possible if you want to reach your goals. And I believe you can’t progress – whether your goal is to lose or gain weight – if you don’t know how much food you’re consuming.
It takes years to build a competition- winning physique, and Allison knows first-hand that the only way to get to the winner’s podium is through old-fashioned hard work.
“Yes, it is a cliché when I say that there are no shortcuts,” he says. “People can complain about genetics to an extent, but I think that’s just an excuse used by people who haven’t truly worked hard. Without hard work you’re not going to feel completely satisfied with your end result. And you and only you know if you’ve truly worked hard or not.”
Having the right knowledge is also crucial, and experience can be the best teacher, as Allison attests.
“If I could go back to when I first started lifting with the knowledge I have now, I would have focused more on my compound lifts such as bench press, deadlift and squats,” he says. “I would also be more consistent – I found good consistency and rhythm was hard to find, but once I achieved it I found my results were rapid.”
While he’s not prepping for any shows at this stage, Allison is preparing for a lean off season – doing his best to put on muscle mass while keeping body fat low.
“You could say I’m ‘pre-preparing’ for a competition,” he says, “giving myself this time to build on my weak points so when I do hit the stage next I’ve given myself the chance to bring the best possible package I can. Like they say, ‘Train until your idols become rivals’.”
Allison’s Training Split
“My workouts change a lot,” Allison says. “I always try to cover all rep ranges, lifting heavy, volume, time under tension, drop sets and supersets. For me this works well because I’m always shocking my body, not giving it a chance to get used to what I do.
“At the start of my workouts when I have the most energy I tend to lift heavy compounds. The middle to the end of my workouts I’ll incorporate more drop sets and supersets, trying to get as much blood to the muscle as possible and get a mean pump.”
Monday: quads & hamstrings
Wednesday: back & calves
Friday: biceps & triceps
Saturday: Muay Thai
Sunday: shoulders & calves
Interested in knowing more about Allison? Get in touch through his social media handles, Instagram: @jeremyallisonfitness or Snapchat jezthetics