Building the Disability Bodybuilding Mindset: A 12 week Journey…

This should be the easiest blog to write – bloke eats right food, trains hard, loses weight, tries to get into shape….Job Done. BUT it’s the mindset that is much more complex to pen / write down.

Putting your trust in a process that you’ve not gone through before can be daunting – The ProteinCard guys had given me reliable discounts for some time so the prospect of joining their 12 week journey was easy – nothing to lose, everything to gain – to see if I really could edge closer to getting on a disability bodybuilding stage.

So I signed up. Sent my measurements and got the plan – To be honest, I was dubious to start – my first thought – ‘cutting calories from around
3,000 to 1986 for a guy at 157lbs – How will that work to build muscle?!’ oh the thoughts of a novice!

I’m an Ectomorph, I had always wanted to bulk, bulk, bulk, but that, I realised, that could wait – I had previously just put on belly fat – it was time to trust a process to see what shape I could get in, could I be disciplined enough?

In actual fact it was a significant amount of food, (7 meals!) stripping back to just nutrients free of added sugar, dairy and full of what I found to be a great deal of protein, a balanced level of carbs for energy & fats. The Challenge? To stay the course, learn the discipline of allowing the right prepared food to fuel and advance your training (learning the discipline of prepping the food was another big success!) aided by a fantastic team of coaches from ProteinCard.

The training? structured, tough, engineered to get you to really push your physical boundaries with weights complemented with fat stripping HITT sessions.

I adapted around the training with my disability as I had previously, testing what worked and pushed harder than ever before. I found that connecting with the core of the collective online group of folks on the same journey was such a motivation – yes I had to adapt my training but everyone is unique and will encounter different challenges – my disability is no different to any other barrier people face in their lives.

The biggest joy from the programme is that I now have the firm belief I will get on stage at a disability show next September, it is no longer just a distance dream, it’s a reality that I’m building toward.

In addition, you know what else that made this journey so pleasing? It was the realisation that if your got your mindset right – you really could achieve anything. The ‘week 12 graduation’ this past weekend was an outpouring of celebration from the group…whatever our goal, we had finished the first phase of our journey, each knowing how tough it had been & how hard we had worked. It was a wonderful experience and we are forever grateful for the help, guidance and vital support our coaches provided, they’ve not just shown us the skills to develop the right training and nutrition for 12 weeks, it’s the lifestyle that has been adopted as a result.

As for the next 12 months of training?


Week 1 to 12…


Published by Matt Elson

Bringing you the latest in not only my personal journal into the world of disability Bodybuilding, but a discovery into latest events, profiles, news and promoting awareness of this great sport Based in Bristol in the UK, I’ve been competing in Disability Bodybuilding for the last 3 years in a journey which has taken me all over the country to national, international & world championships and I am so so grateful for that opportunity that had changed my life. Living with Cerebal Palsy has its challenges, but everyone has their individual hurdles to negotiate. Gaining strength both physically & mentally and adapting to the surrounding is all part of this journey. This is a mission to raise awareness, to promote our great category to develop opportunities for others. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss more!

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