ANTH “THE FREAK” BAILES
I want to start by saying thank you for agreeing to do this interview and sharing many topics I’m sure the readers will be Interested in. Firstly, let’s start with the question we all want to know before we get more serious, did the “FREAK” nickname come before the sponsorship or after?
The “Freak” Nickname came from me being Featured in MD Magazine as “Freak of the Month” After that people started calling me “The Freak” When I was Sponsored by Pharmafreak the name stuck even more.
How old were you when you started training and was you into any other sport as a child?
As a child, I tried many different sports. Football, Rugby, Karate, Boxing, Volleyball. Just never really stuck with them. I started messing around with weights when I was 15-16 years old.
What was the reason you started and competing?
My uncle was a Competitive Bodybuilder and he took me to the Gym and got me into Bodybuilding. Competing wise, the owner of the Gym I trained at the thought I had good potential to Compete and I agreed to give it a go. The rest is History as they say.
Was the goal when you started out bodybuilding the same as it is today?
When I first started out, I just wanted to train to look good. The more I lifted the more I enjoyed the actual Physical aspect and challenge. Even today, although I have competitive goals, the training and the challenge of pushing myself are what attract me to bodybuilding the most!
Who was your biggest idol and inspiration back then and is today?
When I started out Dorian Yates was a big inspiration to me. Not just because of his Physique, but also his mindset and work ethic. My bedroom walls were covered in Dorian posters! Today, I’m a big fan of Flex Lewis. He’s a great champion, hard worker and great Ambassador for the Sport.
Through your career as a very successful bodybuilder, what style of training have you found to be the most effective for building muscle?
For me, High Intensity, Low Volume, Low Frequency. I’m big on LESS is MORE!
Have you had any serious injuries and how did you manage training around them?
After 20+ Years of training, I have never had a SERIOUS injury. I had a slight tear in my quad and the usual joint/tendon issues that most Bodybuilders deal with. However, just recently I tore my Pec! Luckily it wasn’t a full Tendon rupture, just a slight tear in the muscle belly and seems to be healing well! Nowadays I stretch a lot more, warm up correctly before every workout and I also get regular Deep Tissue and Chiropractic work. Lots of people say HIT training leads to injury. In reality, if you are pushing yourself over a 20+ year span, you are going to get wear and tear eventually, even with perfect form and execution. I think I have done OK injury-wise over that time frame! I’m just getting old! 🙂
What body part did you struggle to bring up the most? And what method did you find was the best way to do it?
Honestly…none of my body parts have grown easily! I have had to bust my ass for every lb of tissue. If I had to choose one body part, it would be calves. I have very high insertions and they have been very stubborn over the years! Mixing it up has worked to bring them up a little. Higher reps with less weight, Lower reps with heavy weight, etc, etc.
What is your favorite and least favorite body part to train?
I love to train everything, but especially legs and back as they are the most challenging!
How have you stayed motivated throughout these years?
I suppose I just focus on myself and I’m at constant battle with myself. This keeps me motivated, trying to be a better Anth Bailes. A lot of guys compare themselves to others and end up being frustrated and lose motivation. Maybe you will never have Calves like Flex or a Back like Dorian, but you can improve YOUR Calves and Back! Focus on yourself.
If anyone has followed your career they will be aware that you are a type 1 diabetic, when were you diagnosed with this and how has it affected your bodybuilding?
I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetic in November 2007. How it affects my Bodybuilding? Diabetes is a Metabolic disorder was the body does not absorb nutrients effectively (Not just carbs as most think…all nutrients!) Not absorbing nutrients is obviously going to impact building and maintaining muscle. If my Blood sugars are not stable, it affects my physique and obviously my health (A totally different topic). Let’s just say Bodybuilding with Diabetes is very frustrating!
Speaking about nutrition, with many prep coaches out there, there seems to be a lot of mixed information on contest food. What protocol do you tend to follow and what have you found the most effective?
In a nutshell…KEEP IT BASIC! Too many crazy fancy methods around right now!
What are your thoughts of cheat meals, cheat days or re-feeds? Do you suggest all if not any?
Offseason I usually have people have 2 – 3 cheat meals per week, just for some sanity and normality to be honest. Trying to eat clean 100% of the time generally leads to disaster for most and going way off track in the end! Pre-contest I prefer people to have clean food higher carb days, but only when they are lean. High carb days when you are 15 weeks out and still holding higher body fat levels are just not needed
Being a coach yourself what do you find the most rewarding and the most frustrating from your athletes?
The most rewarding is obviously seeing a client make great progress and if they compete, seeing them place well or win is a great feeling. The most frustrating part. Maybe the final week stage when people’s minds start playing tricks on them and you end up with dozens of texts and emails per day. It can be quite mentally draining lol!
You are an owner of your own gym Maxxmuscle if I’m correct, is this open too public, where is it located and what type of gym is this?
We are open to everyone! We are more of a “Bodybuilding” type Gym, but we do get a wide range of trainees in there. We are located North East of England.
In 2012 you won your IFBB pro card, within the first year of competing in this federation I believe, after coming off a NABBA qualifier win, NABBA Britain win and NABBA World’s win all in the same year. What was the feeling like after all this had sunk in?
That year was little nuts for me. Bodybuilding wise and some personal issues. I did almost a year of contest prep and by the end of it, I was physically and mentally very drained. To be honest I have never really thought about it too much. To me, they were goals that were set, and we met them. People who know me know the way I tick. I don’t think because I’m a Pro Bodybuilder I’m something special or better than anyone else in the Gym. Only recently have I thought about my bodybuilding career now I have my Daughter who was born in March. I can tell her daddy was Mr. Britain, Mr. World and an IFBB Pro, which is pretty cool I suppose.
What is the highlight of your career and what show result meant the most to you?
This as to be Overall UKBFF British Champion earning me my Pro Card
What was the feeling like becoming a father and has it changed your output towards bodybuilding and training?
Becoming a Father is a feeling you can’t really describe until it happens to you! People with kids would always say to me “You never know what it feels like until you have your own kids” and I would think, Yeah Yeah! Now I know what that feeling is! My Bodybuilding hasn’t changed that much, other than a little less sleep and watching more cartoons instead of Bodybuilding Vids lol! One thing that has changed because of my Daughter Leah is, I won’t be competing next year. I don’t want to miss her very young years of growing up and changing. I don’t want to miss any of her growing up of course, but especially things like her first steps, first time saying certain words, those types of things. Bodybuilding…sometimes you can miss a lot, especially since most pro shows are overseas, which means being away from home and your family.
What’s next for Anth Bailes? Are you planning on competing any time soon shows? And or promoting any shows?
Next thing on the cards for me is the release of my New DVD “100 % Nasty” which was filmed by James Grealish of JG films. Rather than me explaining, you can visit www.100percentnasty.com for all of the info and updates! I will also be promoting my show UKBFF North Championships for the 5th year. I also have another project in the works which I can’t really say what it is at this point, watch this space! You will see me on stage again, most soon!
Where can people contact you for contest prep or to purchase DVDs and merchandises?
You can visit www.maxxmuscle-gym.com Everything you need is on there!
Once again, thank you for your time taken out of your busy lifestyle, I really do appreciate it and I’m sure the readers will too.
No problem at all. Always happy to contribute and support anything positive towards Bodybuilding!
I’m going to throw this in there now so we are all on the same level, squatting, leg pressing, deadlifting, rowing, pressing, dipping style exercises are great movements that will put the most amount of stress on your body. These movements are what your workout plan should be based around for an increase in strength, mass, and testosterone.
WE ALL are gifted with the ability to break boundaries mentally and physically, we can achieve whatever we believe, our thoughts become things, we manifest ideas and visions when focusing so strongly on them but obviously within the laws of physics and our genetic limitations, even then I am still not totally convinced, I honestly believe that anything is POSSIBLE, anything!
I am sat on a flight back to Dubai after a surprise vacation for my 33rd birthday, which was a gift from my wife. We have spent 4 days in the Maldives, which is a dream destination, it was so beautiful, so picturesque. What a place to reflect on the year that has passed, plan and get excited about the year to come, whilst appreciating the now, where we are, what got us to this point and the position we are blessed to be in. We travel more than most and we have been fortunate enough to visit some incredible places in the world and each time we have we have returned with more value, respect, and awareness of the world we live in.
What I have seen more than ever is that most people see a pipe dream when it comes to their goals, they want to look like that guy or that girl, they want the end result but they don't want to do what it takes to get there or maybe it’s that they don't understand what it takes. "Everybody wants to go to heaven but no one is willing to die"!