We talked with Helge Nilsen in November, 2019.
👋 Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Hello! My name is Helge Nilsen. I am a 20-year-old Norwegian aspiring bodybuilder and I have been working out since January this year.
I also worked out in 2016, but at this time I was only 16/17 and had no program or proper workout routines like I did not work out legs or shoulders.
However, now I work out six times a week and follow a strict diet. I will step on the stage in Classic Bodybuilding March 2020, and my cut starts on December 1.
I work as an electrician apprentice but very soon I’m getting my certification. I plan on becoming an electrical engineer teacher one day, therefore I will study further on.
I used to play football (soccer) until I was 14 and I was really good at it, but computer gaming took over and I quit. After that I did nothing until I started working out in 2016.
Then came something called, “Russetid” which is a Norwegian celebration of finishing 12/13 years of school where you basically drink everyday for three weeks. Unfortunately, this ruined my training and I went back to gaming.
In January, I decided I wanted to start working out again and it quickly escalated to a burning passion for bodybuilding.
⏱ Describe a typical day of training
My typical day of training includes heavy training, a lot of sets and 10-15 reps on all exercises but compound movements (bench, squat and deadlifts).
I can stand and talk with others between sets and help people out but I rarely ever workout with anyone else so I normally train alone.
I usually drink a 250mL Power King non-sugar energy drink before or during workout, and I am kind of a caffeine addict.
Some of my favorite exercises are benchpress and deadlifts, also I like isolation movements. I do actually not like training arms, unlike most men/boys, but I am working on them.
In my bag, I keep a lifting belt, extra clothes, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and pulling straps, and also my drinking bottle, etc. I usually work out between 1 hour and 2,5 hours a day, six times a week.
👊 How do you keep going and push harder?
What motivates me to go hard in the gym even on those days when energy is low: Progress. No doubt my biggest motivation is improving and getting better every week. Not by much but little by little where everything falls in place.
If I could start all over again, I never would have stopped when I was 17. I would’ve kept training and would be far ahead of where I am now.
🏆 How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
Today I am doing very good, moving into an apartment with my girlfriend, first bodybuilding show in 5 months and the future looks bright.
I plan on focusing a lot more powerlifting next year and maybe even do a meet.
My plans for the future : turning IFBB pro and becoming a coach myself.
🤕 How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Well, I have one rest day a week. If I feel tired, I can have two. I feel like some weeks I could work out everyday but I like to keep it safe and smart. I prevent injuries by warming up properly and using proper form on all lifts.
In fact, I had some pains in both of my calves earlier and they became really, really bad. I could not squat, and walking was painful. I fixed this by doing a lot of stretching, anti-inflammatories and pumping my calves before squats — I just did normal calf raises.
Luckily, this worked well for me and now I feel no pain in them. After two weeks of doing this my calves were fine.
🍎 How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I can’t tell specifics about my diet as I pay a coach for it, but I stay in a 300-500 caloric surplus and eat a lot of proteins! Make sure you eat enough food if you want to grow and feel good!
As for supplements, I use Creatine Monohydrate (any kind is good enough, no need for expensive stuff) and protein powder — that’s it. Creatine stores water in the muscles, which means more size and energy.
During off-season, I treat myself to a couple of cheat meals per week, usually burgers. Whenever I have intense cravings throughout the week, I treat myself to an apple or diet soda. Yes, I drink A LOT of diet soda, hehe.
For caffeine, I use it daily, a lot, coffee and energy drinks everyday but no sugary drinks as I believe the combination is dangerous. I can drink 500mL of diet Red Bull and I got no problem, but with 250mL of sugar Redbull then my heart starts acting up, so I recommend everyone to stay away from sugary energy drinks!
👍 What has inspired and motivated you?
In one word: Progress!
Progress is what drives me, getting better everyday, lifting a little heavier every week, hitting a new pr every month! Always set yourself goals, never go for plan B.
I listen to rave like music when I train, but also calming music, because I like the combination between getting pumped up and calming down and focusing on the sets.
My biggest tip for keeping motivation up is: Make sure you always stay hungry for more, never be satisfied but be grateful and happy with yourself!
✏️ Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Some of the tips are already listed above but some more important tips are: Consistency and mentality, always stay positive, and never look down on yourself (or others). If you treat others well, they will treat you good as well!
A lot of people make the mistake of not pushing hard enough in the gym. I believe when you weren’t able to break a sweat in the gym, it means you’ve done something wrong.
Go harder but not stupid: Focus on form and progressive overload and ask a personal trainer or someone experienced for help on form, etc.
I see so many people do deadlifts, squats and bench press with terrible and dangerous form. If I ever get to witness this, I will tell them otherwise, so they don’t get hurt.
The dumbest thing I’ve seen in the gym was a guy looking sideways in a mirror on deadlifts, and also a guy doing leg presses really fast and locking out his knees (both are extremely dangerous).
Keep safe and stay in shape.
🤝 Are you taking on clients right now?
I am not a coach and I don’t have any certificates or so yet, but I plan on getting a personal trainer education after I finished my electrical engineer test.
If you want any form of tips, however, my email is: [email protected], feel free to ask me anything and I’ll do my best to respond.
📝 Where can we learn more about you?
You can learn more about me on my Instagram @helgeselnesnilsen and my YouTube @Helge Nilsen
Thank you for reading the interview with me on Bulk Hackers! Cya!