Blog Post by Chris Jenkins: IFBB National Title Holder
I’m dedicating this month’s Blog to the memory of my close friend, Luke Wood. He taught me everything I know about bodybuilding, so I thought I would share my experience with my good mate and Australia’s greatest pro! I miss the big poof every day, and I know he’s still guiding me even if he’s no longer here physically.
It all began in 2009. I’d been training for a little while, and like most guys new to the gym I pretty much just trained arms, chest and maybe did some shoulder presses. My nutrition sucked, and I partied every weekend (and actually through some of the week too lol!!!).
Despite my terrible nutrition and lifestyle, I trained pretty hard – I loved to lift. But something was missing; I need to win, or test myself. So I just decided I would compete. Now I knew absolutely nothing about prepping for a show. So I dieted for a few weeks, with absolutely no idea what a diet was, I think some of my meals were just chicken and olive oil! So, at 8 weeks out I was freaking out a little and realised that I might need some help. I remembered seeing the massive guy of the side of the Maxs protein tubs on the internet and figured he must know what he was talking about. So I emailed Luke and told him the plan was to do the Australasia in 8 weeks, and I needed help!!!
We made a time to meet at Squashlands gym Liverpool, and I turned up, with all my diet written out on a pad of paper and all pumped up ready to learn. So I was waiting in the foyer of the gym, waiting, waiting and still waiting. Now those who know Luke well know he’s not the most organised type of guy! So after all this waiting, I stuck my head into the weights room, where I see this giant thing of a man, blonde hair and tanned like he was straight of the set of Baywatch, throwing these massive weights around. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to approach this man, as he may have eaten me, but I thought well, he’s expecting me. So I went over and introduced myself! Poor Luke had forgotten, but the gentleman he was, dropped everything he was doing to meet and help me out.
We went and sat down. Luke was going through my current diet (a term I use very loosely) and I remember him looking at me and saying, “Gee mate, is this all you’re eating, you must be hungry!”. I just remember thinking to myself, YES!!! Someone understands… As I was starving all the time!
So we set to work, Luke wrote me a diet, showed me how to pose (sorry mate I still suck!) and we started training together. Now Luke was huge on Giant Sets pre contest, and for anyone who’s tried them, and really tried they will agree that calling them brutal probably isn’t harsh enough. These workouts and the intensity Luke was showing me I needed in the gym were nothing like what I was doing in the gym before. There was no looking around the gym and checking out the pretty girls, there was sets, gasping for air, drinking some water, gasping for air, and back to sets.
I remember Luke telling me each week what I would look like, and what I would weigh the following week, and each week he was exactly right, even when I was gaining weight on the diet he knew it was gonna happen! Id wonder if he was actually right or if it was my body just responding to what he was saying would happen… He’d say, next week you will weigh 93.4kg and for sure I’d weigh 93.4kg…
So each week we got together to train, pose and Luke would change my diet each week. I remember my first leg session with him, doing giants sets (bear in mind at this point I haven’t trained legs all that much), AND I’LL NEVER FORGET… I remember spewing in the car park after for a good 45 mins… (something I did alot of over the next 2 years lol) and taking another hour before I could even manage to drive home! Luke would ring and check on me, see how I was feeling, joke around abit and shoot the shit with me, and each time he called I felt a bit better, mainly because it was usually at night, and by then was running on fumes!
The weeks passed quickly, and Luke was ecstatic about my ass (haha the Big Poof)… He kept saying it was striated! I didn’t even know what the f*$k (can I swear? Ah well) he was talking about, but he seemed to think these striated glutes were a good thing lol!
So the show came round, Luke seemed pretty confident, but I really had no what to expect… He told me I could have a mars bar while I was pumping up, I remember thinking this was the greatest thing I’d ever heard lol!!! I got back stage and took a look at the rest of the novice competitors, and I thought, OH S&!T, these guys are massive! I told Luke and he told me not worry about it as I was just as big! I didn’t believe him, these guys were monsters! But I thought, ah well, I’ve come this far, might as well get it done so I can go to Dominos!!! Luke said to pay attention to him while I was up in prejudging. It was all pretty fun to finally be up there, and going through the mandatories. When we turned around for the back shots, a deafening cry of “GLUTES CHRIS, GLUTES” was all that could be heard… I truly pity the people sitting in front of Luke that day!!! I still have a video recording, and that’s all you can hear!!! Big Luke yelling glutes!!! I was up against 11 guys, and I think I had something like 8 call outs… Thats alot of yells of “GLUTES”!!!
When I had stepped off stage, Luke came over and I asked how I thought I went. I honestly had no idea, so I asked him what he thought, and he wouldn’t tell me, he just said I had done well… I kinda thought that meant I sucked, and he was being polite!
Well as it turns out the big poof was right (as he always was) I had done, and I ended up winning my first show, and an Australasian Novice title! Luke was pretty happy with me, and I was pretty proud too! My one and only photo of Luke and I is holding the trophy I won that day (I regret not taking more, but photos aren’t really my thing). He told me to go away and enjoy my win and some food (and boy did I?!?!)
So this is part One of Meeting Luke Wood, Meeting my trainer, Meeting my friend. , next month I’ll go into some crazy workouts we did together, some personal jokes and some training and life advice he gave me!