Ex Royal Marine, Fire-fighter, Powerlifting and Nutrition by Lee Moran.
Lee is a Greater Manchester Fire Fighter, and co-owner of www.freedomstrength.co.uk, an avid powerlifting enthusiast who is devoted to science backed strength, conditioning and Nutrition. Lee has amassed a wealth of knowledge that has been tried and test over and over again. A full time power athlete and a fantastic coach, his clients gain fantastic results following a strict training regime over a four week cycle. A great guy and noting his main attribute is he is a devoted Father and Family Man. How Lee manages himself to keep to a strict Diet and training routine whilst leading a full and busy life is why we asked the former Royal Marines Commando if he wouldn’t mind answering a few questions for The Humble Gent web post.
How do you balance keeping yourself in great physical condition with work, owning a business like freedomstrength and spending time with the family?
Firstly, I set achievable targets for each week. In this months powerlifting cycle it would be a specific loading target. This keeps me motivated to get it done and ensures I am improving. Having said that there are times that I cannot complete the training as planned and in this instance I would schedule as below.
Secondly, I would prioritize the workouts into priority one, two and three.
- Powerlifting Movements are of the upmost importance.I will complete my heaviest training in these movements for that week.
- A lighter powerlifting session.
- The “fluff basically all the bodybuilding exercises.
It can be difficult for many fitness enthusiasts to hit a full schedule of training. Sometimes releasing yourself from the restraint of a 7 day cycle can really free things up. The body responds to stimulus across time. If you cannot train your ‘Monday’ session then it’s cool to just knock everything on a day or so. Your training week now becomes 8 or 9 days but the body doesn't care. It will respond provided the stimulus is applied appropriately. Yes this can be difficult. I often take the approach of just making it fit. Work and family can be demanding and training can be first to slip but, whether I am training very early or very late I try to get it done.
Thirdly, I list my powerlifting sessions for a month and just work down them as you can. So, let’s say you train four days a week. This equates to 16 sessions in a month. Just train as your time permits. One week might see you having five sessions and the next three sessions but across time the stimulus remains as the initially planned and the results will follow.
What advice would you give to achieve an active healthy life style?
My advice is quite simple; don't get caught up in the minutiae of the fitness industry as it offers very little to the end result. Treasure your money and don't buy into magic pills and fads. Many people will reinvent the wheel just to dazzle you out of your hard earned money. Fads and quick fixes never work in the long run. Consistency is the key!!!! If what you are doing now is killing you then it will fail eventually. Consistency will taper off and you will revert back to old habits, often returning to the original starting point. How many of you have followed a diet that has required all the willpower in the world to stick to? I’m sure you lost weight, but I bet it wasn't long before you put it back on. When you set a plan to attain a goal then be sure it’s realistic and something that can be integrated into your life. This will promote the consistent adherence and something you can follow consistently is the key to life changing results.
What are your thoughts on today’s fitness world and its many different ideas and directions?
The science is thriving at the moment. So many questions being answered, should you do this rep range or that etc. etc.? There will often be a research study to answer your question and that is fantastic, but it is only half the battle. The art of fitness is the application of the science. This is where it often falls down. Sometimes we see some ridiculous workouts put together all based off sound science, but not applied appropriately for someone with a stressful work life or a new born baby, and this side of the industry frustrates me. I do feel though we are changing as enthusiasts. We are not buying into the fads of the 90's. We are actually using the science available to better understand the process and apply it to ourselves appropriately. I think this is fantastic. YouTube fitness channels are really helping this grow.
Women are training with barbells more than ever. We are seeing the Powerlifting and Crossfit communities here in the UK strive. Athletes are now only realising that Science backed programming along with perfecting technique achieves great results.
Lee we can see from your lean muscular frame you eat the right things at the right time but what is your Favourite Meal (Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner) and what would it be and why?
It is so difficult to say, I enjoy them all. If I had to choose it will be my dinner as this is followed by a tall glass of red wine. My food of choice would be a chicken tikka with basmati rice. I also enjoy Sriracha sauce to add the kick. This meal offers plenty of protein and carbs, both very satiating ready for a good night sleep.
When you do find the time to relax, what is it you do to achieve this?
To be totally honest it’s not very often. I suppose my time to relax it at the computer programming for my powerlifters. I enjoy this and I'll always play a podcast while I’m doing it. Other than that it’s on my lounger on holiday.
One thing I’ve learnt is to manage personality. Everyone takes a motivational kick from different things. Some clients need to be set mini goals, others need to see how far they've come and other just needs the “let’s do this” approach. I'll use these when I know the client has more to give, but when I also know when it’s time to give them a break, more calories or lighter sessions is the answer at this point. After a week or two of this the client will be itching to get back after it.
What would your advice be to any young athletes looking to improve on their goals in individual sports?
Young athletes need to build a base. General fitness is essential in all sport. Far too often we see younger athletes emulate the training of the elite. Elite athletes have very specific training requirements to go from 99% to 100% of their genetic capability. They have spent many years building a large base of fitness attributes that enables them to grow into the sporting elite. Young athletes should of course practice the sport. Specificity is essential for skill development but out of the sport I’d advise starting with a simple strength and agility programme. Just keep it fun and interesting and things will improve for them.
Can you give those out there reading some training tips for strength building?
If strength is the goal then you must add weight to the bar, progressive overload is essential. Overload can be achieved in many ways but in the early days just adding weight to the bar should be your go to for progress. Powerlifting movements such as the squat, bench press, deadlift along with barbell row and overhead press in rep ranges 3 – 6 and adding 2.5-5kg every week will get you very strong. Unfortunately just adding 2.5kg to your lifts every week does not last forever, so beyond that you need to explore more complex periodic training which is a full interview in itself so I'll leave it there for now.
- What are your aspirations for the future?
Just to keep building a better life for myself and family. I strive to be a well-respected coach who shares useful information and maintains integrity throughout. I am continually learning and always challenging my own knowledge by questioning my own systems of work. I really enjoy working with the general population. There is nothing more enjoyable than helping someone in a rut get out and turn their life around. I do also help higher level athletes. To date I have had a bodybuilder take 2nd place in the world. I have a power lifter who has multiple Northwest and British Powerlifting records, along with an International Powerlifting Federation world bronze medal for squat. I also have a master’s athlete with world, European and British records at 2 weight classes and a bodybuilder take 5th in Britain this year. I would honestly love to build upon this and help so many more reach their goals, whatever it may be. It’s a real pleasure and I really enjoy it.
when did you decided to start up Freedomstrength ltd And what was the trigger to say this is what we must do?
We started freedomstrength in 2012. It just came about because we wanted a platform to help people. We wanted to offer direction among all the confusion. It’s grown from there into fitness equipment specialist. Not only do we supply the training equipment, we also know what it’s used for and how it feels when training with it. This is often the missing link in the industry today.
Who was your Idle growing up?
In one sentence, what is your view of a Gentleman?
A gentleman is a person who treats everyone with respect and always maintains his integrity.
- Being a Fire-fighter takes a huge commitment. What do you do to combat stresses and strains on your mental wellbeing after a particular bad shift?
Work is work. We try our very best at every incident, we will take risk to save life but we cannot save everyone. This is life, when I leave work and go home to my family it’s gone. It’s not fair for my family to see me upset or worked up after a shift at the fire station. The fire service offers a network of support for fire-fighters. I've never needed to call upon the service as yet, but I know it’s there if I need it.
- You participate in competitions in your spare time as a power athlete representing freedomstrength. How do you prepare and get into the zone of competition?
I trust my training will put me in the best possible position to hit the loads I select on the platform. Preparation is the months of effort prior to the day. I believe in my system. I also use some visualization techniques in the final weeks. I imagine myself as a spectator watching my own lifts. I look at the form and how my body moves through space. It seems to help me anyway.
- Lee thank you again for your time and good luck in the future, hopefully we can catch up again soon for an update on your progress. If reading this you would like to learn more about freedomstrength and what they can offer you please visit www.freedomstrength.co.uk for all training equipment needs and www.facebook.com/freedomstrength for your training and dietary advice, a must for those looking to reach long awaited goals.
Cheers Lee thanks again