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Expert Advice

Aron Noble is a Shotgun sponsored athlete and writes regular articles for the site on weight training, dieting, nutrition and competing.

Aron has been involved in fitness and weight training for over 25 years and his articles contain a huge amount of valuable information that would benefit anyone from beginners to advanced trainers.

Scroll down the page to read his most recent article or click on the link just below to check out his previous articles.

Archived Articles


Shotgun Supplements introduces Aron Noble

Aron is a qualified personal trainer, fitness instructor, teacher and successful natural bodybuilder who has been training for over twenty five years. Aron has competed successfully in many competitions around New Zealand with his most recent competition in Australia in May, 2013.

His titles include:

- 2nd Southern Hemisphere Athletic Class 4, 2013 - Representing NZ for (NABBA/WFF) - Brisbane, Australia.

- 1st Open Mens Athletic Christchurch Grand Prix Class 4 & overall, 2013 (NABBA/WFF)

- 1st Open Mens Classic NZ Title - Class 4, 2012 (NABBA/WFF)

- 1st Open Mens Classic NZ title 2009 (NZFBB)

- 1st Open Mens Classic NZ title 2008 (NZFBB)

- 1st Open Mens Overall Athletic NZ title 2004 (NABBA)

* Age: 37

* Years training: 26 years

* First year competing: 1998

* Competition Weight: 61-65kg, Height: 5 foot 5 inches (165cm).

* Occupation: Secondary School teacher (Physical Education & Health) & Art: 2000- current

* Qualifications: B Ed & Diploma in teaching. (Palmerston North)

* Fitness instructor @ Massey University rec centre: 1998-1999

* Personal Trainer @ Cuts n Curves Gym Penrose: 1999-2000

* Qualified Network personal trainer from: 2000-2004

* Personal trainer @ Physique 2000 Hastings : 2005-06

Aron uses a natural method of bodybuilding and does not use any performance enhancing drugs, In addition to his formal qualifications Aron has turned his passion into a profession.

Aron is our resident site expert and we are proud to have him onboard as part of " Team Shotgun "

Do you need to get any bigger?

I ask this question because it seems to be one of the main reasons people never reach their goal of achieving a physique they are happy with; whether they want to look good for the beach or compete in bodybuilding. Often they have a fixed idea of what they want to weigh based on unrealistic expectations derived from bodybuilding magazines, claims made on the internet or the person they see at the gym who is using more than just food and natural supplements.

Another side to it is that people often believe that they can ?bulk up? and gain a lean muscular physique faster through force feedings and eating junk followed by a ?cut?. This can work for a few gifted or ?enhanced? athletes, but what usually happens is the majority of the weight gain is fat. So they then have to work extremely hard both physically and mentally to lose all the excess weight- sometimes with no gains to show for it at the other end.

Staying relatively lean through the muscle building process is better for several reasons; it allows you to see your progress and provides a better picture of what needs to be worked on in terms of weaknesses. There is less chance of losing the hard earned muscle you have gained and ironically when you are leaner and lighter you often look bigger as the separation between individual muscles and the increased differential between the waist and shoulders creates the illusion of more size.

So what is the best way to achieve a beach body or competitive physique for a natural athlete? Firstly we need to have realistic goals of what can be achieved naturally; below are some yardsticks to measure yourself by:

As covered in a previous article; Steve Reeves, a bodybuilding icon before drugs became widespread, presented a simple formula for calculating the ideal muscular body weight for your height. (Probably around 8-12% body fat which would be a good beach body look).

Height Weight (pd) Weight (kg)
5'5" 160 72.7 (note- professional bodybuilders can weigh 95kg+ with 5% body fat at this height!)
5'6" 165 75
5'7" 170 77.2
5'8" 175 79.5
5'9" 180 81.8
5'10" 185 84
5'11" 190 86.3
5'11" 190 86.3
6'0" 200 90
6'1" 210 95.4
6'2" 220 100

Martin Berkhan, the creator of leangains.com suggests that a lot of natural athletes, when dialed in for a bodybuilding contest (around 5-6%), are not far off this formula: "Height in centimetres" (96-102) = bodyweight in kilos.

So for me this would be 165 - (96-102) = 63-69 kg. As a natural athlete in competition condition I feel this a realistic goal as I look my best around this weight- usually around 60-65kg. Obviously there will be exceptions beyond this as genetics play a large part in determining your muscular bodyweight potential. If you surpass this naturally then congratulations- awesome work!

Now that we have some realistic goals to shoot for we need to train smart by using exercises that suit our unique leverages, muscle belly lengths and can be overloaded progressively over a long period of time (see 'Finding what works for you 1-4 in archived articles'). Also using a combination of low rep (myofibrillar) and higher rep (sarcoplasmic) training should be used to maximise muscle growth.

Eat good food that meets your macronutrient and micronutrient needs to gain muscle without gaining excess fat. I am not a fan of IIFYM (if it fits your macros) as people think they can eat junk food with little micronutrient value and think it will help them achieve their physique goals. Find out how many calories, protein, carbs and fats is required to maintain your weight now by eating meat, eggs, fruit, veges, nuts, dairy. Then eat a little more of these foods to help the muscle building process. Augment this with a range of good supplements like whey, creatine, fish oil, vitamins and minerals. You won't gain body weight as fast, but what you do gain will be mostly lean mass- in fact you may even gain muscle and lose fat at the same time!

Current Article - "Bro Science" versus "Science": What works best?

As a natural bodybuilder I am very aware of the different training advice and information advocated online, in the media and in gyms around the country. What I have discovered is that there is so much information (good and bad) out there that you have to be a critical thinker and separate the Science from the Bro Science.

Now before I continue I want to explain the difference between Bro Science and Science. Bro Science is the term given to ideas or principles within bodybuilding circles that are not necessarily based on scientific research yet they are perpetuated by the media, drug users or genetic freaks who grow from anything, or if they have some scientific merit the facts have been warped to suit whoever is looking to gain from it. For example common Bro Science ideas I hear in regards to bodybuilding are: "You need to train 5-6 times per week", "You need to get 3-4 grams of protein per kilogram a day to grow", "Don't have carbs after 4pm" or "You need to do cardio to get lean for bodybuilding competitions" to name a few.

Compare that to Science which is the search and use of knowledge and understanding of the body and how it grows by following a systematic process based on evidence. Simply put you experiment with different variables over time to determine what gives you the best outcome and in the case of bodybuilding the most muscle with the least amount of fat.

So how do we know that the workouts we are doing are the best for us? Who do we listen to and why? Consider this for a moment. Who knows your body better than anyone else? YOU DO! So the best way for you to make progress is to start with some basic training and nutrition information from credible sources and experiment in a systematic manner to determine what works the best for you.

The variables you need to consider when devising a routine are:

  • Exercise selection & technique
  • Frequency of training
  • Duration of sessions
  • Sets and repetition ranges
  • Rest
  • Recovery ability- affected by how much you sleep, nutrition, stress, work
  • Age
  • Past injuries
  • Strengths and weaknesses in terms of muscle balance and proportion
  • Structure and leverages
  • Motivation levels

Next time I will discuss how I have experimented with training to find what worked for me so that you can hopefully find your own best way to make gains. If you haven?t made progress for a while don't spend years of your life training a certain way based on hearsay or Bro Science, become your own experiment now and be happy in the knowledge that you are training in a manner that helps determine what works best for you and is actually based on real Science!