Full time firefighter, phenomenal athlete/ competitor and 15 x Men’s Health Cover model – who is this incredible real life hulk? He is the first Active Man athlete to join our team, Lee Phillips. Lee has a burning passion for all things health and fitness and lives to compete with himself every day… read on to find out more as we go 1 on 1 with ultimate Active Man.
What do you do when your not competing in comps or featuring on the cover of fitness magazines?
I’m a full time London firefighter and part time personal trainer.
That brings us to the next question- how many times have you been on the cover of Men’s health?
Haha I’m fortunate to have been on the cover fifteen times internationally and hopefully I’ve got a few more left in me yet!
You are a fire-fighter by day – how did you get into this and what do you love about it?
I finished university and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to live and work in London. I worked for a bank for a while and hated the office routine then a friend told me he was applying for the fire service so I joined him. I love the fact that its an active job, everyday is different and you never know what to expect. The adrenalin pumps every time you get a shout. It’s also very rewarding when you are able to help people and protect this great city.
6 x London’s fitness fighter? What did you do to earn these titles?
It’s a fitness competition which involves completing firefighter related tasks such has running up stairs with hose, hauling equipment aloft and carrying dummy casualties. I’ve managed to get my name on the trophy a few times and am the current titleholder.
For you, what does your weekly fitness routine look like?
I work shifts so I have to fit my training in around my time on duty. I train six days a week and will do double sessions on certain days. I don’t hammer myself on all six days it’s about training smart with the correct balance of high volume/intensity and lower intensity recovery sessions. It’s important to follow a good program, as it’s very easy to over train which can result in fatigue, plateauing and in the worst case injury.
How do you fuel your workouts?
I can’t stress how important good nutrition is. I eat a well balanced diet with a 40/30/30 Carbohydrate/Protein/Fat macronutrient split. So 40% of my daily calories come from carbohydrate, 30% from protein and 30% from fat. There is so much bad nutrition advice out there it drives me mad. Very basically you need carbs to fuel your workouts, protein for muscle repair/growth and fats also for fuel and hormone production. Don’t listen to anyone who advises you to drastically cut any of these. Think of your body as a machine and food as the fuel, the best most nutritionally dense food you put in will yield the best results. Stay away from processed foods and foods high in sugar. Stick to lean meats, fish, and vegetables etc basically foods that have not been manufactured.
What essentials would we find in your gym bag?
Olly lifting shoes, lifting belt, wrist straps, resistance bands for warm ups, tape, skipping rope, water bottle.
Do you take a supplement stack? If so, what and what brand?
I aim to get all my nutritional requirements from food however this is not always possible so I do supplement my diet when required. I am sponsored by Maximuscle and use their supplements that are premium quality market leaders. The supplements I use are BCAA’s, whey protein isolate, creatine and ZMA.
What set-backs have you had in terms of training? Any bad injuries that you’ve had to suffer through?
Fortunately I have never had a really bad injury even in my rugby playing days. I put this down to following a good training program, good nutrition and listening to my body.
If you have had a few heavy session what do you do to recover – yoga/rolling etc?
Nutrition again is key as is good sleep. I do yoga when I have time as I find it really helps with my mobility allowing me to get into better positions for lifts. Foam rolling is also a must to release any tight spots in muscles. I also have a compex machine which uses electrical muscle stimulation to promote muscle recovery. It has been a lifesaver between workouts at competitions as you can feel the benefits after a 20-minute session.
Away from fitness and firefighting – what do you do to relax?
I love traveling and given the opportunity I think that is what I would spend all my time doing, as well as training of course! I also love good food and a glass of good wine, you don’t have to deprive yourself of these things if your lifestyle is balanced.
Congrats on becoming the first Active Man athlete, what made you want to join the athletic life team?
Thank you. When I found out more about Active Man I realised that we shared the same ethos in wanting to inspire people to become more active so it was an honour when they asked me to become part of the team. I’m really looking forward to working together to motivate and inspire people to get out there lift, run, swim, jump and be active.
Watch our recent video with Lee here