Jonny Simpson

NAC 2011 Bodybuilding competition

Seeking self redemption.

This year I wanted to prove to myself and the judges that I could be a serious contender. Last year many messages I was trying to send out ended up getting misconstrued in the press and in
the sport of bodybuilding and in my eyes I should not have competed.

My main goal over the last couple of years has been to prove that anything is possible and to try and use my story to show that we are in control of our lives and should never be deterred.


I want to inspire in an empowering way not a sympathetic one,

DARE TO DREAM.

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I never planned to be branded as ‘‘the CF bodybuilder’‘, Infact quite the contrary.

The fact that I have CF does not mean I plan on letting it rule my life. I do not choose to make it my life. I make my life happen with or without the CF. Living life is the message I try so hard to promote.

Whenever I step on a stage or appear in the press I want to be treat like any other athlete.


I will always promote and do as much as I can for Cystic Fibrosis sufferers around the world whether it be with training and nutritional advice, moral support, fundraising or any other way I can make a difference.

We all have choices and this is the one I made.

The Competition-  I knew this year I had to make an impact and redeem myself from last year. I was in bad condition and nowhere near competitive standard last year.
My plan was to walk onstage and be the most confident I had ever been in my life.

With backing from new sponsorship (DW FITNESS) and no personal affairs to distract me I had my mind completely focused on the diet and training I had ahead of me.
I replaced feelings of doubt for feelings of passion and redemption.

My diet started 8 weeks pre-contest and at first was simply a detox cutting out all the excess fats and sugars and basically any junk food.

I slowly reduced complex carbs by 20g per day each week and kept protein intake very high throughout the 8 week period to maintain muscle mass, I also drank up to 6 litres of water
per day.

Training changed from mass building to more isolation exercises and toning and alot more cardio was induced into my training programme. As much as 2 hours per day sometimes.

Weeks 6-8 where by far the most challenging physically and mentally.

With Cystic Fibrosis a high calorie/ high energy food diet is required due to mal-absorption of food and a metabolism faster than a speeding bullet,
so going from 7000kcal per day down to 1000kcal and no carbs was very tough.

I do not bother tracking progress on the scales or with calipers. I judge day by day in the mirror just as the panel of judges will judge me visually and not on my statistics.

The aim of such an extreme diet is to get the body looking as lean and vascular as possible, In the last 48 hours I went through a dehydration period with no water to get my muscles looking very dry and making sure I had no water retention.
This method makes the muscle look harder and a lot denser.

Bodyfat has to be as low as 3-4 percent and if you look like you are carrying anything but muscle on your frame then you are not ready to go onstage.

The complexity of the lifestyle of a bodybuilder is greatly unknown to many and the work that goes into this sport is often taken for granted, there is much more to it than
fake tan and speedos.

I prefer to slip into my own world whilst dieting, I prefer to focus solely on the competition and make sure I have no distractions whatsoever.

On the day of the competition I knew my hard work had paid off. As long as I gave 100 percent I had done everything in my power to win and the
rest was down to the judges.

Last year I felt incredibly pressured by the cameras, plus being surrounded by amazing athletes when I was out of shape was very intimidating.

I walked into the arena with my head held high and was not shaken by any looks and could not wait to get onstage.

Backstage I met one of my favorite bodybuilders Paul Robertshaw, I had watched him compete previous years and he is somebody I aspire to in this sport.
So getting to prep up next to him was a great experience for me.

I very nearly ended up competing against him but we were in different height categories by a mere inch! (Thankfully!)

There was 5 people in the Athletic category class 2. All the practicing payed off onstage and I felt I was the most confident onstage with a great response from the crowd
and loved every minute. All the fatigue and hunger pains had disappeared and were overtaken with a great rush of adrenaline and pride.

I was finally up there doing what I said I was going to do, not half a job or half the commitment.

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The quarter turns and freestyle rounds were fun but it was my posing routine that was my favorite part, I chose Eminem- Not Afraid as I felt the lyrics were very relevant to where I was at that time
in my life mentally and I put alot of thought into my routine to display my strong points.

By the last round I was exhausted, holding the poses and tensing every muscle for 25 minutes when dehydrated and running on empty is a challenge for anybody.

I came in 4th out of 5 so hope to improve on this next year and do some serious bulking in the offseason.

I will make my mark on this sport if it is the last thing I do.

Thankyou for your continued support.

The only way is up!

Jonny Simpson


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Key Fact

#6 The Cystic Fibrosis Trust funds gene therapy research to add a healthy copy of the faulty CF gene to the lung. This cutting-edge research costs around £4 million a year.