Who Are You?

I’m Jodi Mullen, a 30 year old male living in Edinburgh, Scotland. I’m an Olympic weightlifter.

What Do You Do?

I work as a Strategist for a large digital agency. It’s an office job so I’m off my feet most of the day but I try to walk as much as possible, usually 7-10km a day, sometimes more.

How Much Do You Weigh?

I’m currently (as of Jan 1st 2014) somewhere around 90kg but need to come down to 85kg for competition.

How Much Can You Lift?

This is going up over time at a reasonably rapid rate. Most recent numbers of any signifiance are 80kg Snatch, 107kg Clean, 182.5kg Back Squat.

What Are Your Goals?

To compete in Olympic wieghtlifting and qualify for a national final while getting as strong as I can and improving my body composition. For specific lift targets and achievements, see the Goals category.

Do You Compete?

Yes.

What Programme Are You On?

My coach sets my programming. It’s vaguely Russian in flavour – lots of reps, lots of technique work.

How Many Days A Week Do You Train?

Four.

What’s Your Diet Like?

At the moment I’m on a slight calorie deficit to try and trim off some excess fat. My maintenance calories are around 3,000 so I’m running a 250-300 calorie deficit. I eat pretty clean – lots of meat, vegetables and fruits with some carbs later in the day and post-training in the form of white rice and potatoes. I’m violently gluten intolerant so this dictates many of my dietary choices.

What Supplements Do You Use?

No drugs. Whey protein, creatine monohydrate, fish oil, green tea extract, ZMA and Vitamin D since I live in the frozen wastes of Scotland.

Where Should I Start Out?

If you’re entirely new to lifting, you can do a lot worse Starting Strength. Regardless of whether you want to be an Olympic lifter, a powerlifter or you just want to improve your strength to help your running, rugby, football, tennis or tiddlywinks, you will need to build a solid foundation of strength and this and similar programs can help you do it. Start light, practice lots to get your form down and follow linear progression for as long as you can. As a novice, you can expect to double your strength in a short matter of a few month. Disregard Mark Rippetoe’s advice for the low bar back squat and learning the power clean though – go high bar and learn to clean from a proper coach.

If, after a while, you’re finding it tough to recover and you don’t want to put on weight by eating a bunch more food, look at an ‘advanced novice’ programme like Greyskull LP.

I Want to Lose Weight, What Should I Do?

Put down the cake. Learn how to say ‘No’. Seriously. Losing a significant amount of weight is a long-term commitment that requires discipline, sacrifice, determination, focus and perspective. You have to take responsibility for your own actions and choices; nobody can lose weight for you. Don’t allow yourself to be derailed by other people’s bad habits and learn to be strong-willed when it comes to things like treats being shared round the office and alcohol.

In more practical terms, count your calories, run a deficit, clean up your diet, drastically reduce your carbs and up your exercise. My initial weight loss was achieved through a deficit and cardio work but if I had to do it again, I’d focus a lot more on lifting heavy stuff and putting on lean body mass while taking off fat. If you’re serious and have money to burn, consider investing in some tech to help you out like a Fitbit Aria or Wi-Fi digital scales and a ‘quantified self‘ device like a Fitbit One, Nike Fuelband or Jawbone. These can also be really helpful for when you reach the opposite side and need to make sure you’re eating enough for lifting.

Aim for slow, steady progress – a 0.5kg/1lb a week loss is excellent, don’t allow yourself to be misled by TV shows that present losing ‘only’ 2kg/5lbs in a week as an abject failure. Also keep in mind that weight lose can fluctuate dramatically and slows down the more you lose. Those final 2kg may turn out to be harder to get rid of than the first 20. If you plateau, don’t worry too much about it, take it as a sign that you may need to change things up a bit.

Are You On Fitocracy?

I’ve stopped using Fitocracy as I don’t find it a very effective way to track my training.