Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete Shaun Stafford meets

Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete Shaun Stafford meets

Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete Shaun Stafford meets

0 comments 📅23 May 2015, 09:25
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Up until now Aesir Sports was available in German language only. Times change – so do we. Therefore it’s a real pleasure to introduce you to our newly founded interview section for our English speaking audience and it is even a greater honour to announce our first interview guest: Optimum Nutrition athlete and fitness model Shaun Stafford.

When we asked good Shaun to make this interview with us, we had no clue about his injury nor his need for surgery. However, Shaun didn’t bother – he got surprisingly fast back at us and just recently he was released from the hospital.

Dear Shaun – we hope you get well really soon, so that you can dive into your hobby once more. The iron is already waiting for you, mate!

Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete Shaun Stafford meets

Quick Profile – Shaun Stafford

  • Age: 32Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete and Fitness-Model Shaun Stafford meets
  • Height: 183 cm
  • Weight (current): 90kg
  • Residence/Point of Origin: London, UK
  • When did you start training?: 19 years of age.
  • Website / Online Presence: Facebook & Twitter & Instagram & Fitbooks

How did you get started with bodybuilding & fitness?

I started weight training to improve my performance for rugby: being naturally a pretty skinny teenager, I needed to “bulk up” to have more impact in my sport. This introduced me to the weights room, and I loved the effect training had on my body.

When injury forced my retirement from the sport, I took up Men’s Physique at the age of 27. I found a second sport that I love, and it has now formed a massive part of my life and career.

Do you have someone or something that motivates or inspires you? Do you have any idols?

I have always trained to see how far I can push myself, and to see what sort of changes I could make to my physique. When I started training for Physique, the guys I looked at and found motivating were the old school bodybuilders such as Zane, Paris and Reeves! I found their physiques much more in line with how I wanted to look as opposed to the modern day mass monsters.

Since ‘Fitness Modelling’ has become more popular I look to athletes such as fellow ON Team mate Steve Cook, and IFBB Pro Ryan Terry for motivation! I am also blessed to count these guys as close friends so it is always good to push each other and be around like minded individuals.

Looking back at your exercise career: Which training system or routine brought you the best results?

Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete and Fitness-Model Shaun Stafford meets AesirSports.deI have always been a fan of higher volume protocols for myself: I love variations of GVT and found they have always produced good results.

For training athletes and clients, I have always got incredible results with variations of German Body Composition programs. The lactate work as a primary driver for fat loss is brilliant, and it certainly gets people outside their comfort zones. My own take on these principles can be found in a series of books at

How does your current routine look like?

My routine varies every 6-8 weeks and follows undulations between periods of accumulation and higher volume work, and intensification and heavier work. I like to superset a lot of exercises to increase the density of a session, and also follow a lot of the “Poliquin Principles”.

I try to lift 4-5 times a week and my current split looks like this:

  • Monday: Chest & Back.
  • Tuesday: Quads & Abs.
  • Wednesday: Rest or LISS.
  • Thursday: Biceps & Triceps.
  • Friday: Hamstrings, Calves & Shoulders.
  • Saturday: Rest or
  • Sunday:

Do you prefer traditional cardio training or HIIT when dieting?

10906050_1011876505495576_1989772509468186228_nI like to mix up my cardio to keep fit, but don’t really use it as a tool for fat loss. I would always try to lift weights twice and structure my programs for that, rather than do additional cardio.

All my programs and workouts can be found on my Facebook page, Shaun Stafford Fitness.

If you had to pick only 4 exercises, what would they be and why?

  • Pull-Ups: In my opinion the best upper body exercise out there!
  • Chest Press: With a neutral grip, on a slight incline, and with dumbbells, this is a great all round chest, shoulders and triceps developer.
  • Walking Lunge: I think one of the most underrated legs exercises for developing power and functionality.
  • Glute-Ham Raise: Often overlooked, this posterior chain move is not only great for improving athletic performance, but helps keep you injury free and string.

What is your diet like?

My diet changes like my training. I try to rotate variables every 6-8 weeks, and would change between periods of a calorie deficit and calorie surplus, every 6-12 weeks. The aim is to keep progressing and stimulating adaptation.

One thing that stays pretty constant is my reliance on nutrient dense, unprocessed food. I eat a lot of meat, fish, nuts, potatoes, vegetables and fat sources. I like to combine these into good recipes with lots of spices and herbs.

Everything is always weighed out and calculated beforehand: I use a lot of recipes from my cookbook found at, and try to stay on the straight and narrow for 90% of the time. This switches to 100% of the time during competition prep, but relaxes to 80% of the time during a period of downtime.

Do you take supplements? If so, how does your current supplementation look like?

Interview: Optimum Nutrition Athlete and Fitness-Model Shaun Stafford meets AesirSports.deI follow a core supplement plan of Whey Protein and Casein from the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Range, both post workout and pre bed.

I also take a good multivitamin, fish oil and BCAA product: I use Performaxx, Fish Oil Caps and Amino Energy all from Optimum Nutrition. If needing to get

More carbohydrates into my diet, I would supplement with Gylcomaize.

I also use a greens product, but rotate this to keep the nutrient profiles variable.

Do you use any pre-workout supplements or boosters? What is the most important aspect in those kind of products for you?

Depending on how much of a pick me up I need, I would either use the pre-workout from the Gold Standard series, or from the Platinum series.

I use these products sparingly, but if I need a strong pick me up I would use the Platinum Pre (Raspberry Lemonade) or the Gold Standard Pre-Workout for a less punchy boost (watermelon). Both flavours are awesome.

If you had to pick only 3 supplements, what would they be and why?

Fairly boring, but I would stick with the Gold Standard Whey & Casein, and then probably the Amino Energy or Multivitamin.

Although supplements are helpful, I prefer to focus on my diet and training to get my results.

Do you have a mantra or do you act on a specific maxim/ lifestyle philosophy?

I think balance is important, and putting everything into a frame of context is key for longevity. Being healthy and health conscious is a lifestyle, and shouldn’t be the be all and end all. It should facilitate a higher level of well-being and happiness rather than being the ultimate source for both of these.

Health and fitness is transient: sometimes you’ll be fit and feeling great, other times you’ll be injured or sick, and you have to be able to deal with both sides of the coin and be positive throughout.

Focus has to be paramount when prepping for a show, but this needs to be increased discipline rather than all consuming actions. The people who make more consistent progress are the guys who don’t go too far on the extremes and keep a sense of reality around their life.

Do you have a favourite quote?

There are no short-cuts to anywhere worth going.

Are you religious?

Interview-Shaun-Stafford-5More spiritual.

Are you currently working on any interesting projects you’d like finish in the near future?

I have just had multiple shoulder surgeries so am looking forward to the challenges that this will create. It will be a very up and down journey, that I will document through my social media and video diary series over the next few months. My aim is to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.

What was the single best decision in or thing that brought you the most in life? What advice would you like give to our readers?

Getting married, getting a dog, and starting a family.

All these things teach you to think outside of yourself, which I think makes you a much more grounded person and surrounds your life with love.

I love my life competing and running a business. All my sponsors are incredible and I am very grateful for all they do to make my life better. I would like to thank all the guys at Optimum Nutrition, Fresh Fitness Food, City Athletic and for allowing me to do a job that I am incredibly passionate about, and I would also like to thank the people who follow me and support me on my journey in fitness and in life.

Thanks very much for taking the time to interview me, and all the best in the future!

Do you have additional questions for Shaun? Ask via our comment section.

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Picture sources: Copyright Shaun Stafford & Optimum Nutrition & Toby Harrison Photography

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