"The most important muscle in the body is the heart muscle - fitness is as important as muscle mass"
Daz Ball eats, sleeps and lives bodybuilding. Whereas some professional bodybuilders treat the iron game as a hobby, Daz treats it as his full time career. Perpetually in shape, Daz stays below 5% bodyfat for the majority of the year which, considering he tilts the scales at over 18 stone, is no mean feat.
When Daz won the Arnold Amateur earlier this year, he became the most exciting new professional bodybuilder to hit the stage since Dorian Yates delivered his grainy mass from UK shores more than two decades ago. Always a very gifted athlete Darren began his sporting career playing semi-professional football for Ilkeston Town from the age of 16 to 20. At age 15 he started weight training more seriously to try and improve his size and strength for football and it was there that he fell in love with weight training.
Specifically back in 1996 he remembers seeing the cover of Flex Magazine one day with Dorian Yates and Nasser El Sonbaty on the cover and it was then that he made the decision to pursue a career in bodybuilding and turn what started out as a hobby, into a passion and his chosen sport.
Daz loves to experiment! As a testament to this it is rare that you will witness two of Daz’s workouts that are exactly the same. However, two things all his workouts have in common are volume and intensity.
Being in possession of one of the world’s biggest and grainiest physiques requires constant innovation and motivation – two things Daz has in abundance.
‘I really try to keep my diet the same all year round, it just makes it easier when dieting and I don’t have to lose so much weight. Also I’m a firm believer that if your diet is roughly the same off season as it is when you are dieting, your body won’t react badly when you come to a competition. Those guys who eat loads off season and then dramatically change their diet never really know how their bodies are going to react.
Also I really believe that you don’t actually need that many calories in your diet to bulk up. I’m currently about 18 stone and I only have about 4,200 calories a day. I think this idea that you need 7,000 – 8,000 calories is more of a British thing since on the European bodybuilding scene athletes aren’t eating as much. I find sticking to a 40:40:20 diet (Protein: Carbohydrates: Fat) and getting about 400 grams of protein per day is enough to grow.
Also one of my favourite things about Myprotein is the range of flavours. I find sometimes after doing cardio you don’t want a heavy, milk based protein since they sit heavy on the stomach. Whereas the fruit flavoured proteins that Myprotein make are brilliant since they’re refreshing and just feels easier to digest. Also because I have a protein shake at 2am at night, I find the Impact Whey Isolate protein is best for this, since it’s low in carbs and fat and just ensures my muscles have everything they need to repair and regrow whilst I’m sleeping.’