Ashley Stockton existed on a diet of KFC, fags and booze. But one day that changed, and now he is one lean mean, 45 year old.
It’s nice to see that age is no limit to someone turning their body around.
What is your fitness background?
I don’t have one to be honest. Other than the occasional ride on my mountain bike, the very rare surf and a bit of snowboarding, I’ve not really done any exercise since I was forced to do it back in school. And work wise I’m at a desk all day.
Why did you decide to transform your body?
I didn’t really make a conscious decision to transform my body, it was more of a side effect.
I split up with my wife two years ago. The day after it happened I cracked open a tinny and sparked up a ciggy and realised that I didn’t like the taste of either of them.
I poured the beer down the sink and stubbed out the ciggy, and haven’t gone back to either since. I was bored, so instead I went for a ride on my bike as it was a nice day, and it has kind of snowballed from there.
What was your training was like?
I started out cycling about 10 miles a trip at first, but I turned into the cycling equivalent of Forrest Gump! Before long I was knocking out 50 milers on the weekend, and the evenings I didn’t have my daughters I’d be doing 25 miles. I was easily racking up more than 100 miles a week.
When the nights drew in I joined my local gym and used the cross trainer, bikes and began using the weights machines. From there I started using the dumbbells, barbell and Smith machine (deads, squats and bench).
Since then I’ve moved on to a gym with more weights and am concentrating on 4 main lifts: dead, squat, bench and standing behind the neck press, my current 1RMs are 190Kg, 170Kg, 110Kg and 70Kg respectively.
I also do some other assistance work, but I am training instinctively rather than following any program. I also do some HIIT (tabatas) and work a heavy bag 2-3 times a week to maintain a good level of aerobic fitness. I avoid traditional cardio like the plague, it’s too catabolic.
What was your diet like?
A source of constant amusement to my work colleagues. I used to have a diet consisting mainly of junk, BK, KFC, pop, crisps, beer (not in work) and chocolate. All of a sudden I was turning up with sandwiches made of brown bread, protein shakes, having kippers or porridge for breakfast and talking about glycemic indexes and macros.
I have done some bulking and cutting (when bulking I’d be eating 8 clean meals a day (LFHC), cutting I do keto(HFLC). I just started cutting 2 weeks ago so my muscle is a bit flat (empty of glycogen and water) and I am carrying more body fat than I want. Another 6 weeks and I’ll be ready for summer.
What supplements did you use?
I made a decision when I started doing the weights that I wasn’t going to juice. I do use supps and they are different depending on whether I am bulking or cutting, they are:
Bulking: Protein powder, BCAA or straight leucine, creatine, beta alanine, taurine, powdered oats, waxy maize starch, dextrose, maltodextrin and fish oil tabs
Cutting: Protein powder, beta alanine, psyllium husk powder (to help with the lack of fibre in the low carb diet), coconut oil, caffeine powder, green tea powder, ZMA tabs and fish oil tabs.
I have dextrose and maltodextrin before the gym as I am doing a targeted ketogenic diet. I use ‘Lo Salt’ on my food to make sure I get some potassium.
What challenges did you face?
The perennial problem of funds, having lost half the household income it has been tough. Knocking booze and fags on the head has helped, but now there are supplements and gym membership, and they aren’t luxuries I can forego.
There’s also the issue of information overload. The internet has every training program and diet theory ever invented, so sorting the wheat from the chaff is difficult, but it’s about finding what works for you.
Oh and a broken collarbone, a plate and 7 pins from mountain biking in Afan Argoed. Then a broken nose and an op to reset it from sparring with a cage fighter, I really ought to start acting my age eh?
How do you feel about your transformation
Chuffed to beans to be honest! I know it sounds like a cliché but I really am in the shape of my life at age 45, I have never felt this good before. The thing I’m most pleased with is my daughters noticing the changes I’ve made for the good and it rubbing off on them.
At ages 12 and 8 they now want brown bread for their sandwiches, want brown rice with their chilli, want brown pasta, when we go for fast food (and that’s not often!) it’s Subway rather than burgers or fried chicken. They still love their sweets, they’re kids and I wouldn’t want to change that.
What are your plans for the future?
Short term I want a 500Kg raw (unequipped) powerlifting total (I say short term, gains are slower now so 30Kg over my 3 lifts will probably turn out to be medium term. Long term keep adding plate.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
You’re only as old as you’re feeling!