August 5, 2011 Posted by Andrew Merrifield in Mezza

MuscleTalk Interviews Mezza

Andrew, aka Mezza, is a World Champion Bodybuilder who is known for his excellent condition and focus. Andrew kindly agreed to a telephone interview for MuscleTalk, to give us an insight into his training and competition career.

HA: Hi Andrew, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for us. AM: Hi Hazel, thanks for asking me.

HA: To start from the beginning, how old were you when you started training and how old are you now? AM: I first started training when I was 9 years old with a dumbell at home; I'm 33 now, so I started at a young age.

HA: Where abouts are you from and where do you train currently? AM: I'm from Halifax and I train at Gemini fitness currently.

HA: What made you decide to start working out? AM: The Marvel Superheroes, the Incredible Hulk, all had big muscles and I wanted to look like them. Rocky too was another favourite, it was either going to be boxing or bodybuilding and I chose bodybuilding! I had a Mr.Olympia video tape which I watched over and over again, the physiques had me glued. I used to draw muscles on me with a felt tip pen and then pose in the mirror. I was dedicated even at a young age, training regularly and trying to eat more protein. I even used to take tins of tuna to school with me and eat them in the school loos!

HA: You have had an extensive and very successful career so far, in different federations, at what point did you realise you wanted to start competitive bodybuilding? AM: I realised I could compete naturally; I have been scared of needles since I was a kid, and I decided to go for my first competition in 1998, the ANB (now NPA) Yorkshire Championships. I won the Novice Class and took the Overall Title, which was the first time a Novice had won the Overall on the first attempt.

HA: What's your marital status and does your partner support you in your training? AM: I'm single at the minute but I have a 2 year old son Levi from a previous relationship.

HA: What's your day job? AM: I run a supplement shop, Solidbodys, and I have my own website www.ultimate-natural.com. I advise people about contest prep, conditioning, that includes techniques I have used over the years that work every time. Also if you do not want the super striated look, I can get you in great shape; eg the beach look, abs out, lean and muscular. I also do guest posing.

HA: You have a DVD out, can you tell us about that please? AM: My DVD is on sale now through my website Mezza - Ultimate Natural. It was filmed during off season training and it includes extras like posing and diet. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and it took about 9 months to make.

HA: Do you have a sponsor? AM: Reflex sponsors me.

HA: And which supplements do you use? AM: I use Growth Matrix, BCAA's, L-Glutamine, Peptide Fusion, L-Carnitine, Tribulus, Udo's oil, Reflex Micro Whey.

HA: How do you alter your nutrition when you have a competition coming up? AM: My first diet help was from John Hodgson. I wasn't sure what to do in the run up to my first comp, so I rang the number on my Chemical Warfare tub and they said to go round. John and Dorian were there and had a look at me. John wrote out my first plan. I lower my carbs, and now I find eating beef good and having good fats necessary for energy levels, and using the Udos oil too.

HA: How often do you train and do you have a training schedule? AM: I have changed the intensity I train with over the years. I felt I was overtraining before so I have cut down the number of sets I used to do. It's about finding a balance and listening to your body. Normally pre-contest I will do cardio, walking, six times a week. I don't overdo it as I don't want to loose muscle. I split my body part routines over the week and rest at weekends.

HA: Do you ever have problems with motivation for training? AM: Competing does have its rewards but I feel a bit sad and frustrated that in natural competitions, I can't get any further. I think better rewards should be given to the competitors. Overseas size seems to be more important but condition and completeness are important.

HA: Which Bodybuilders inspire you? AM: Shawn Ray, Lee Lebrada, Eddie Robinson, Rich Gaspari, Mike Quinn, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates and more!

HA: Do you have any useful tips to share with MuscleTalk members whom you can draw from your experience? AM: Good nutrition is just as important as workouts in the gym!

HA: Many thanks for taking the time to be interviewed and on behalf of all the MuscleTalk members, I'd like to wish you all the best in your future competitions. AM: Thanks and I would just like to say thanks to Reflex, my sponsors and Julian Wright and Tony Barnes and everyone who has helped me.

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