Ok, they say: 'practice what you preach', right?
I'm Rick Jones, CEO @ Olympus Health.
If you follow our Facebook, you may know me a little – I've spoken to lots of you already.
I've only used Olympus Health supps since January – no other brands, of course!
Life with 5 kids, a wife, two horses and and a dog – plus my work schedule has, at times, made it hard to prep and eat enough food to hit my target weight of 21st – or 133kgs – so that I feel I can be competitive in Strongman events next year.
Competing in strongman has been a lifelong dream of mine. I used to watch 'World's Strongest Man (WSM)' competitions when they were televised – every Christmas as a child, and all the way through my teenage years into adulthood. It may have been the only consistent interest I've ever had.
Amazed at the likes of Bill Kazmaier, Svend Karlsen and fellow Welshman Gary Taylor, I would often find myself wishing I could do what they were doing.
As a teenager, I was long-limbed and skinny, no matter what I ate. My Dad was, too.
He worked hard on our small farm, and supplemented his income by helping at the local dairy that had bought our family's milk for generations (something that would eventually play into my decision to get into supplement manufacture).
There were rumours that my Dad could lift a stack of six milk crates (the old-fashioned ones that held 20 glass pint bottles) from the loading deck straight onto a float, whereas even the younger, bigger guys could only manage 2 at a time. He could also hold two milk churns full of water out at arm's length for longer than anyone else 'at work'.
But, as strong as he was, he wasn't big like the guys on World's Strongest Man, and as much as I'd have loved to believe he could do what they did, my own introduction to weightlifting (first 'Olympic' style, as it was the only club I could find, then later Powerlifting) soon showed me, definitively, that the kind of numbers they were moving on WSM were, in fact, positively superhuman!
Would I ever be big and strong enough to do these events? With no internet, I did my best to imagine what it took, and what it may be like to get there.
I joined my first gym aged 15 – and lied to pretend I was 17, the youngest age that was permitted to train unsupervised. With no coaching or help, I spent stupid amounts of time doing endless sets of barbell curls and 'pec deck'. It wasn't that I wanted to be a bodybuilder. I'd seen Arnold and Franco Columbo... that wasn't my thing at all...
As a skinny, spidery, pasty and awkward teenager, I looked up to Bill Kazmaier as a role model.
Unlike Arnold though, 'Kaz' didn't have any books out – you couldn't Google his training routine. All i could find was bodybuilding magazines.
I had no idea what to eat, or how much I needed to eat. I bought old-fashioned egg white and milk protein under the Weider brand, but because I was a poor kid, I used half-doses thinking I could make it last longer.
Fast forward to 1998, and a move to the sunny Island of Jersey (where Olympus' head office is found now!) saw the now 16stone version of me (in my twenties at this point) joining a gym where I heard that an absolute monster was allegedly training.
I won't mention his name (as I don't have his permission), but one of the strongest men in the world (although relatively unknown outside powerlifting circles) became my mentor around late 1999.
This 180kg, 6'3'' behemoth held the world squat record (at 457.5kg) and was one of the first men to deadlift over 400kg.
Under his guidance for the next few years, I began to work towards competing as a powerlifter. My weight went up to 20st (126kg or so) and I constantly learned about eating for recovery and growth. Fat loss was never something I thought or cared about.
Supplementation (and brands such as Maxi******) began to really take off at that time, but me and a few friends were using my old, Welsh dairy contacts to buy in 20kg sacks of plain whey for a fraction of the price. It wasn't flavoured, so we added 'Crusha' milkshake and fruit to it, and drank about 5 a day – it literally cost us pennies!
Full disclosure: I used steroids between 2001 and 2003 – it was out of desperation to get 'big enough' (I was already strong enough, but I didn't realise it – I actually spent so much time 'getting ready' that I didn't realise I was) and whilst it worked, it never gave me the kind of permanent gains in either strength of size that I was pinning(!) my hopes on. I came off in 2003, went through a horrible 'shutdown' period where my body produced practically zero testosterone, and vowed I would get to where I needed to be without it.
I'll continue the story if you let me know you're interested – in the comment section below.
For now, let's fast forward to 2016:
So I've been using our own Mass Gainer (and our new, upcoming 'Hercules' Mass Gainer for the last 3 weeks), Androstart, ZMA, D3 and Creatine Monohydrate for around 9 months now.
I'm in my early 40's, and have brought my testosterone into the top range for a 30 y/o using just supplementation and mindset... want to know more? Ask away!
1) It's definitely time to reintroduce cardio/HIIT.... call me Mr. Smooth.
2) My o/h press, bench, deadlift and front squat are very respectable.
3) At 21st+ you'd be shocked at my vertical jump and sprint speed.
4) I no longer fit through standard door-frames, without turning sideways.