Who is Ben Carpenter?
I am a personal trainer and fitness model with an infamous baby face and boy band hair style!
How Many Years Have You Been Pumping Iron?
Technically, I started when I was 17 which was 11 years ago. The sixth form I went to had a leisure centre built directly next to it so I used to go there between classes and found myself feeling addicted quite early on. That being said, I have had a couple of extremely long setbacks so it hasn’t been a consistent 11 years.
What Has Been The Hardest Part Of Your Journey So Far?
Without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest thing I have ever been through was a period of extreme illness. I was dropping body weight like crazy and felt terrible. I dropped to 60kg (132lbs) when I was sent straight to hospital on a doctor’s visit. I was diagnosed with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At the time I spent several weeks in a reclining chair, unable to walk properly on my own and unable to perform most day to day tasks. This has happened to me twice (spaced about 3 years apart) so I have had to restart my fitness journey from scratch a couple of times.
When I first tried lifting again after such a severe illness I put a 5kg plate on each side of a thin EZ bar, the cheap ones you buy from a sports shop. I tried to lift it to perform some basic curls with it but I couldn’t actually lift it all the way up so I had to drop it to the floor. Failing a deadlift with something around 11kg-12kg is humbling when my previous best was 225kg. Getting back to a good physique and then becoming a sponsored athlete is something I am proud of.
It has been a long, long way back and not without some bumps in the road. Ultimately it has made me a much stronger individual so they have helped shape who I am today.
If You Could Only Take 3 Items Onto A Desert Island?
Probably some hair wax, a camera phone and a selfie stick!
On a serious note, I really struggle without forms of communication. I find myself answering messages sent to me on my personal training Facebook page throughout the day so I would really struggle to be without communication. I would take my mobile phone, a solar charger and a hammock. I am a delicate flower and I get grumpy if I have to sleep on the floor!
If You Could Eat Any Food Without It Being A Detriment To Your Physique What Would It Be?
This has always been a really tough one for me. As anyone who has suffered with severe gastrointestinal issues will attest to, large cheat meals aren’t conducive to feeling healthy! My prohibited foods list has been quite extensive during periods of being ill. I would probably opt for something like chocolate cake. I almost never eat it and when I do I really struggle to eat just one piece. I have always said that if someone gave me one bite of a chocolate bar in the morning and offered me £20 to go the whole day without eating more I would give them the £20 note there and then and finish off the bar they had. I think I am a closet chocoholic!
What Does A Day In The Life Of Ben Carpenter Look Like?
At the moment I have relaxed my nutrition quite a lot. I dieted very heavily for a couple of photo shoots in December and it took me until about March before I actually felt like I was back in a sound place in terms of appetite, cravings, food psychology and body image.
I am notorious for preferring to wake up late and go to bed late. I hate working very early mornings. I also tend to cram things in as much as possible and relegate my eating patterns to whenever fits rather than revolving my day around eating like I used to.
I would wake up at around 8am, go to the gym prior to eating anything (for convenience, not for proposed fasted training benefits) and get straight on my laptop once I had finished my workout. This would be things like client programmes, answering emails, social media tasks, sponsored athlete obligations etc. I would eat breakfast around noon, continue working from my laptop and then see my clients in late afternoon or evening before coming home and having dinner. I find it pretty easy to go for long periods during the day without eating so occasionally missing lunch and only eating two meals per day isn’t an issue for me if my workload is high.
1 Secret That People Do Not Know About You?
My Instagram and Twitter tags are @bdccarpenter. My second middle name is Cokayne. It doesn’t have quite the same impact when written as it does when you tell someone in person because it is spelled differently but when someone finds out my middle name is Cokayne (believed ‘cocaine’) it tends to spark some funny questions about ancestry and drug trafficking!
Name 1 Supplement That You Could Not Live Without?
If I picked just one I would probably opt for PES Select protein. It tastes delicious so I bake with it a lot to make some lower calorie versions of my favourite desserts.
What Was The Last Song You Listened To?
My standard gym music at the moment is the Ibiza 2015 playlist on Spotify. I have a week in Ibiza booked for June so I think I will be listening to it up until then. It also gives me a chance to practice my dance moves so I don’t look like a drunk uncle at a family party!
If You Had To Start Out From Scratch With Your Physique What Would You Do Differently?
Wow, what a tough question. I could probably write a huge article on all the mistakes I have made along the way or things I would improve. Here is a little list of things off the top of my head.
Worry about things that are most important (caloric intake, training volume) rather than smaller details like meal timing or a perfectly executed rep tempo. Don’t obsess over things that make a tiny amount of difference at best.
Strike a balance. At times I have focused so hard on my physique that I nudged towards being a social recluse. This was not necessary and stemmed from me focusing too much on tiny details. I don’t want to be the guy in the best shape in the world who has no friends or partner because they neglected them all.
Pick the people you listen to wisely. It is common for people to align themselves with one particular guru and value what they say over everything else. Unfortunately this often creates biased views. I feel like I wasted years of learning listening to people who shouldn’t be viewed as trustworthy sources of information.
Focus on the big lifts. If in doubt when it comes to programming, focusing on getting stronger on key lists like bench press, pull ups, squats and deadlifts is a fairly safe strategy that you are going in the right direction. Add accessory work to a solid programme rather than build the programme around accessory work.
Keep a training log and be consistent. I used to leap frog between programmes rather than sticking with something. In hindsight I realise that I was basically moving sideways between tracks and never staying on one track long enough to actually move forward. Keeping a training log and giving myself targets is one of the best things I ever did for my own training progression.
Who Do You Look Upto In The Fitness Industry And Why?
So many people! I look up to anyone who is in it for the right reasons and genuinely wants to help people. I look up to people who are happy to admit they are wrong because they would prefer to give people the correct information rather than blindly arguing their own corner. I look up to people who are humble and prioritise their audience rather than being selfish. I also look up to people who earn money by providing a great service rather than earning money by cutting corners and providing a poor quality service to the masses. If someone has a good heart and puts their clients first I will respect them.
What Advice Would You Give To People Starting Out In The Industry?
It is an amazing industry. You can make a great living doing something you love. That being said, the percentage of people who actually earn good money in the industry is really small. People get into it for the love of it and often completely forget that they need a business plan.
A lot of personal trainers think they will qualify, have clients flock to them and live happily ever after. In reality it takes a lot of work before you become well known enough that clients are consistently coming to you.
What Is In Stall For Your Future?
I keep toying with the idea of competing but in all honesty I think I am too shy to stand on stage in my posing trunks and flex for a room of strangers. I find it weird enough having photos taken in a busy gym! At the moment I don’t have any other plans than to keep working with my clients as well as the supplement company I am a part of, PEScience.
Where Can People Find You Online?
You can connect with Ben by clicking the links below . . .
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