• Name: Phil Snelgrove
• Age: 19
• Height: 5’8”
• Weight (Contest): 152 lbs.
• Weight (Off-Season): 201 lbs.
• Body Fat: 4 % (contest) 16 % roughly (off-season)
• Hometown: Conception Bay South (Newfoundland)
• Gym: Goodlife Fitness
• Profession: Student
2. What got you started in bodybuilding/fitness?
At the age of 14, I had sharp pains in my left knee. I first just figured that I twisted it the wrong way, but as the pain kept increasing as the days went by. Around a month later, I went and got an x-ray at the Janeway Children’s Hospital. That’s when I found out I had been diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer known as Osteogenic Sarcoma. This rare tumor happens to young teens normally during puberty; 1 out of 500,000 people get it (roughly). I was then told I needed one year’s worth of treatment of chemotherapy and midway through my treatment I would have to get my knee removed and placed with a chrome metal prosthesis knee. With the surgery they also took ½ of my leg muscle, leaving me with very little quadriceps.
Once I beat cancer and was released from the hospital (and as my leg became strong enough to walk on), I started working out at a gym. I was very active before my cancer being involved in sports such as; soccer, Tae Kwon Do, basketball, snowboarding, etc. I was in the gym for around two years until I actually KNEW what I was doing (workout wise), learning and observing from others.
At the age of 18, I met a friend in the gym. His name was Jeff Nippard. Jeff recently competed twice in the NLABBA (Newfoundland’s bodybuilding contest) and was in the off-season for the upcoming All Natural Nationals which was held in Winnipeg (which he took 1st place in junior and his weight class - light weight). Jeff offered to train me about 12 weeks out from the show, in which I then only started training my good leg (right). When show time came, I placed 3rd in my weight class. Training for the show was very difficult for me as legs are a huge aspect of the judging. In my case, with very little leg muscle in my left leg, there is a huge symmetry loss and makes it very difficult to train my leg, as everything is needed to be done one-legged (smith front squats, leg press, curls, extensions, etc..). I am not currently in off-season for the 2012 NLABBA (which Jeff is also training me for).
3. What keeps you motivated to train?
What keeps me motivated is to prove that with disabilities such as mine, people can do anything they set their mind to. I love bodybuilding and just to see people that believe in me, such as Jeff, keeps me going to do my best and give it my all. I’m hoping to place first in at least one category this upcoming NLABBA.
4. What workout plan has worked best for you?
Currently on the off-season, I’m just going with a normal routine. I hit every body part once a week with the exception of my leg (yes leg, not legs). I also do leg work twice a week. During the show, I used a program known as MAX - OT, which consists of heavy lifts, low reps, and nine sets in total (plus warm-up sets, and weight acclimation - this program also worked very well).
• Bench press (flat): 1 warm-up, 4 working sets, 12-6 reps
• Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Incline dumbbell fly: 4 sets, 12-8 reps
• Incline hammer strength press: 3 sets, 12-8 reps
• Decline cable fly: 3 sets, 12-6 reps
• Wide grip pull-ups: 4 sets - failure
• Dead lifts: 5 sets 6-10 reps
• Chest plated row or Smith machine row: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
• Cable straight bar row: 3 sets, 10-15 reps
• Cable close grip row: 3 sets, 6-10 reps
• Low hammer strength row: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
• Wide grip pulldowns: 4 sets, 8-12 reps
• Straight arm pulldowns (rope or bar): 3-4 sets, 8-15 reps
Leg (everything one-legged):
• Leg extensions: 4 sets - failure
• Free motion squat machine: 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Smith machine front squats: 2 sets, 10-6 reps
• Leg press: 4 - 5 sets, 12-6 reps
• Straight legged dead lifts: 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Vertical leg press: 2-3 sets, 12-6 reps
• Lying leg curl: 3-4 sets, failure
• Barbell overhead press (seated): 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Side dumbbell lateral raise: 3 sets, 12-8 reps
• One-arm dumbbell up-right row: 3-4 sets, 12-8 reps
• High incline dumbbell press: 3-4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Reverse fly machine: 4 sets - failure
• Barbell curls (cheat style): 4 sets, 10 - failure
• Incline dumbbell curl: 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Concentration curls: 3-4 sets, 12-6 reps
• Hammer curls or reverse barbell curls: 4 sets, 12-6 reps
• One-arm over head dumbbell extension: 3 sets, 12-8 reps
• Tricep kickbacks: 4 sets, 12-8 reps
• Bench dips (weighted): 3 sets, 12 - failure
• Rope pushdowns: 7 sets, 12-10 reps
Leg (repeat from above)
5. What is your philosophy about cardio?
I find the more you keep your heart rate fluctuating, the more calories you burn along with fat. So for example, a typical session is HIIT for 3:30 seconds in low intensity, 0:30 seconds in high intensity consisting of 4 minute intervals, 6 - 8 intervals each cardio session (total of 24-32 minutes, 3-5 times per week).
6. What is your philosophy about weight training?
I like exercises consisting of 6-10 reps, heavy (while keeping a steady form) target muscle growth more than high reps. You have to lift heavy to help your muscles grow.
7. Do you prefer HIIT or steady state cardio?
As stated above, I prefer HIIT over all cardio (as it keeps your heart rate fluctuating). Steady state is known at times to slow down your metabolic rate over a period of time.
8. What are your top 5 favorite exercises?
1) Decline hammer strength plate loaded press (Phil Heath press)
2) Incline dumbbell press
3) Hammer strength plate loaded lat pulldown
5) Leg press
9. What nutrition plan has worked best for you?
- *1 whole egg
- 10 egg whites
- 1 cup of oats
- 2 fish oil and 1 multi-vitamin
*Closer to a competition (around 6 weeks out), substitute 1 whole egg for 1Tbsp of whole flaxseeds.
Meal 2 (after morning cardio):
- 1 Asian pear
- 1 scoop of whey
- 200 g of plain 0% Greek yogurt (mixed with):
- 1/3 cup of oats
- 1 pack of Stevia
- 2 Tbsp of whey
*Closer to a competition, substitute this with 6-7 ounces of chicken, 1/3 cup w/w rice, 1 cup of broccoli.
Meal 4 (pre-workout meal):
- 6-7 ounces of eye of round steak
- 210 g of sweet potatoes
- 1-2 cups of broccoli
Meal 5 (post workout shake):
- 1 scoop of whey
- 50 g of dextrose
- 5 g of creatine
Meal 6 (post workout):
- 6-7 ounces of white fish - tilapia or cod (unsalted)
- 1 1/3 cup of w/w rice
- 2 cups broccoli
Meal 7 (before bed):
- ½ can of tuna
- 1 Tbsp salsa
- A few peppers
- 3-4 cups of spinach
- 1 Tbsp of vinegar
- 1 scoop of casein protein
10. What is your favorite cheat food?
1) Hot buffalo crunchy chicken burger from Montanas
2) Skillet cookie from Montanas
3) Chicken parmesan
11. What is your favorite health food?
2) Sweet potato
12. What supplements have given you the greatest gains?
Protein and creatine.
13. What does your pre and post workout nutrition consist of?
My pre and post training nutrition consists of higher carb meals (such as sweet potato and rice) with a pre-workout stimulant for an extra boost. I use protein, dextrose and creatine in my post workout shake.
14. Which tools have helped you most with your nutrition and training?
My trainer, Jeff Nippard.
15. Where is the first place you turn to when looking for training / fitness / nutrition advice?
Once again, my trainer Jeff Nippard.
16. Who are your favorite fitness/bodybuilder competitors or role models?
Phil Heath is the man. Also like I said above, Jeff Nippard is someone I think very highly of because he is very dedicated to training and bodybuilding. I don’t know anyone who works as hard as he does.
17. What obstacles have you had to overcome?
I’ve had to overcome cancer, chemotherapy treatment, amputation of my knee, and re-structuring of my knee. My cancer story is listed above.
18. What was the biggest mistake you made when you first started training?
Overtraining for sure…especially on my arms. People tend to go in the gym when they first start and just train the parts the want bigger and don’t think about their other muscle groups.
19. What tips would you give to a beginner?
Work on legs (do not skip them)! Hit everything once a week and don’t overtrain. Eat every 2-3 hours consisting of healthy protein, carbs and fats.
20. What are your future fitness goals?
To compete in the 2012 NLABBA and 2013 Natural Nationals in Canada.
21. Where can we find you on MuscleDog.com?
Check out my profile PhilipSnelgrove7 to see photos and more.