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As the weather is warming up and the summer months are in sight, we talk to Reflex Nutrition Ambassador, doctor and bodybuilder, Emil Hodzovic, on how he switches up his protein to achieve his specific training goals.
Hi Emil. Let’s start at the beginning, do you switch up your supplements throughout the year depending on your goals?
Yes, absolutely. I have some core products that I use all year round such as Nexgen Pro, Krill Oil and Creatine. Then, if I’m bulking, gaining strength or focussing on sport, I will use One Stop Xtreme both as my basic protein source and to fuel my workouts.
When I’m dieting I usually switch to Instant Whey Pro and if I’m competing in a bodybuilding show I will use Micro Whey to help minimise fat and carb intake – particularly in the final weeks before a competition.
As you can see I switch between products a lot!
And do seasons affect the type of workouts you do? For example, with summer on its way, many people look to lean down and tweak their nutrition and training plans accordingly. Do you do this?
Yes definitely. When I’m leaning down, my workouts tend to become more structured so I can track my progress and maintain my volume load (the amount I lift) across sessions.
On top of this I track my steps and calorie intake and output. The workouts are usually bodybuilding style workouts and I try to hit all of my muscle groups 2-3 times a week. I keep sessions short and sharp at around 45-60 minutes, including warm up, and then try to do my cardio in separate sessions.
Although I will use compound exercises such as squats and bench press as the base of my workouts I will also use a lot of isolation exercises to really hone in on specific muscles.
So when you are leaning down, what do you look for in a nutritional product?
When I’m trying to lean down, ideally I want a protein product which tastes good even when mixed with water (to save calories!) and has minimal carbs and fats in it. Instant Whey Pro is pretty good but Micro Whey really is the next level when it comes to good tasting protein.
How much protein do you look to consume in a day when you’re looking to lean down?
I usually aim to keep my protein around 2g per kg body weight so at 115kg this is around 230g for me. As I lean down and start to drop body fat I tend to increase my protein intake slightly to preserve muscle and can go to 250g or even 280g per day. As well as maintaining and growing muscle, protein is great for keeping you full when dieting!
How do you manage your carb intake when you’re looking to lean down?
When getting lean, it is all about calorie balance. As calories become more limited and protein stays the same or even increases, carbs become more limited as well. This means that you need to be picky with carbs – both in terms of sources of carbohydrates but also in terms of when you are eating them.
When dieting hard you want to focus on carbohydrates around training to fuel the session in the most effective way possible. For me this is often a normal meal 3-4 hours prior to working out. I tend to opt for a meal with potatoes or rice. Then an hour before my workout I have a One Stop Xtreme or an Instant Whey Pro shake along with a banana.
For people who would like to lean down for the summer, what product advice would you give them?
Then on top of this, it is very useful to have a good quality protein shake. The most important factors when choosing a shake would be protein content and quality and then taste is a close second.
For me, Instant Whey Pro ticks all the boxes here and there are a number of flavours so you’re bound to find one you like. At the moment, my favourites are Chocolate Mint Perfection and Raspberry Delight.
Thanks for sharing your insight with us Emil! If you’d like to stay up to date with Emil, follow him on Instagram.
And, if you think this interview can help others switch up their protein and nutrition to achieve their specific goals, share it with your friends and family: