Robbie Crafford is a seasoned campaigner. This NPL-sponsored bodybuilder, who also works as the company’s brand manager, first hit the stage in 2010 as a 23-year-old with huge potential.
After discovering his passion for bodybuilding, he boarded the gain train and has spent that last decade building body, his brand and his reputation. He has also learnt a few things along the way, which he shares with us in this exclusive interview.
What does it take to make a name for yourself in the bodybuilding and fitness industry?
In my opinion, learn and experience as much as you can. Focus on yourself, amplify your strengths and start building a name for yourself without riding off brands or other athletes.
Be open to learning – imitate a sponge and absorb everything you can, but be wise enough to filter it, applying only what resonates with you and your lifestyle.
Above all else, nurture your passion, work hard, remain loyal and be patient. Eventually, you’ll attract attention from within the industry and, as you earn their respect, the brands will come to you.
How would you contextualise your nutrition and supplement approach?
As a coach and athlete, I understand the importance of both nutrition and supplementation; and how they can mean the difference between me humbly reaching my goals and the bitter disappointment of failure.
Prepping for a bodybuilding show leaves very little room for error, and this is where I feel supplements offer the most benefits.
Pre-workouts boost energy levels on days when your energy-restricted diet makes it almost impossible to lift a weight. BCAAs and EAAs are also important for athletes who train with high intensity because they limit muscle breakdown, especially as body fat levels decrease.
Protein shakes offer a convenient way to hit your macros as they’re high in protein and low in carbs – ideal for building lean muscle and enhancing recovery.
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However, your diet should always form your base, working hand in hand with your supplement plan to reach your goals.
Where do you get your motivation from?
My support system – my wife, family, coach and friends. The small things they say and do daily motivate me.
And the fact that I actually do what I love, I am healthy and able inspires me daily. In my opinion, this is the hardest sport in the world and no-one is forcing me to do it. It demands everything you have 24/7. I am solely accountable for my success and my failure, which is something truly unique to this lifestyle.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow the bodybuilding lifestyle?
Firstly, have a passion for it, and then just start! Find a reliable and credible source of information, ideally an experienced and qualified individual to guide you on your path. Set small, attainable goals daily, and hold yourself accountable at all times. Practice self-discipline and, most importantly, stay humble.
READ MORE: Jason Dunning’s lean muscle gain stack
What can we expect from you in 2020?
I am taking this year to work on my weak points, and to grow as much as I can in all areas – physically, mentally, and emotionally. This sport requires a lot more than brawn. By the end of 2020, I would like to be ready to step on stage as a 212 bodybuilder.
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- Age: 33
- Occupation: NPL brand manager, coach (Iron Squad), owner (Mayhem Wear)
- Home gym: Alleysway Gym, Bedfordview
- Coach: Vic Alley
2014 NABBA/WFF World Championships – 4th
2015 NABBA/WFF World Championships – 3rd
2016 WFF Universe – 2nd
2019 NPC/IFBB Pro League:
Amateur Olympia Spain – Top 10
Amateur Olympia Portugal – Top 10