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RAF Lakenheath personal trainer John Wales’ advice for getting rock-hard abs is to do them every single day. Every single day.

RAF Lakenheath personal trainer John Wales’ advice for getting rock-hard abs is to do them every single day. Every single day. (Ben Murray / S&S)

John Wales does not lift his body when doing push-ups, he shoves the Earth away from him a little bit. If the moon is in the wrong place when John Wales flexes his biceps, the tide rises 9 feet in the Western Hemisphere. John Wales does not sweat, he leaks titanium. John Wales could beat up Chuck Norris.

At 40 years old, Wales has some impressive dimensions: 5-foot-11, he weighs about 200 pounds, with 17-inch arms, a 29-inch waist and 27-inch thighs. An accomplished bodybuilder with titles to his name (most recently, Mr. East Anglia), the British national and personal trainer at RAF Lakenheath also won the Ultrabodies competition at RAF Mildenhall on June 24. After a break from the sport, he sat down with Stars and Stripes partway through a comeback year.

Do you fancy an arm wrestle?

Not at the moment. I trained arms this morning, and they’re killing me. Catch me on a day when I haven’t been training arms, and I’ll give you an arm wrestle.

How many times do you think you could bench me? I weigh about 155 [pounds].

Mmmm. Hang on a minute, I have to convert it into kilos — um, probably 15 to 20 times.

That’s serious. What would you say is harder, benching 250 or shaving the backs of your thighs?

Shaving the back of your thighs, because I have to do that, and that one makes you twinge a bit more. Yeah, I’m more happy to actually put 250 pounds on a bench press and do that three or four times than I am to run a razor down the back of my legs.

I would imagine. Give us some good tips to the secrets of rock-hard abs and pecs the size of Iowa.

Rock-hard abs: Do them every single day. Every single day. Don’t go for full range, just do the little crunches, small movement into it and squeeze ’em tight, and do 15 to 20 repetitions, three times a day.

That’s not what I wanted to hear.

And don’t eat too much because it’s what covers them — you can have rock hard abs, but it’s what covers over the top of them [that hides them]. Control the diet, do the cardio and use the weights to keep your cardio going and just do a little bit of abdominal exercise every day.

Do you have to starve yourself for a couple of days before a competition?

Ah, you don’t really starve yourself. What it is, is you cut out all the carbohydrates. You eat very high protein, but you’re not eating any carbohydrates. Bread is something that you cut out right from the word go when you do your diet-down.

Name something that angers you, so I don’t do it.

Slow drivers.

How about something that frightens you?

Um (long pause). Hmmm…. (silence). That’s a difficult one, because I don’t know. Um. Spiders, have to be spiders. It’s probably just a stupid phobia.

Have you ever been, like, wearing something tight and accidentally ripped a shirt or knocked a Volkswagen over?

No. I have accidentally knocked into people and knocked them over, but not recently. Purely accidental, never intentional.

Do you think you could take the Governator in a pose-down?

I don’t know who ...

Arnold. It’s what they call him back home.

No, no. I would probably have a better shape than he has now, and I think he’s probably lost it, but if he trained again, I’m absolutely certain he would be awesome again.

Lastly, do you have a favorite pose when you’re on the stage?

Yeah, rear lat spread.


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