Aesthetic Overload: Adam Charlton Talks With

How did you get started with bodybuilding?

Throughout High School I was always called nicknames about my muscles. I was very lean and athletic with well-developed legs. Sprinting came natural to me and I became the fastest 400m runner in the UK for my age group. I loved to be competitive and the feeling of winning was like no other. I went on to compete at a National and European level. At the age of 20 I started picking up injuries and my drive for the sport slowly faded and I needed a new challenge, bodybuilding just seemed to fall into place.

So I joined my local gym and started a basic training program and since then I have never looked back.

Where does your motivation come from?

At the beginning I just loved the idea of getting huge and ripped and receiving compliments from people, that gave me a real buzz. I actually posted a short flexing video on YouTube and the amount of views and encouraging comments shocked me! I then started to realise that if I really focused and worked hard I had the potential to do well at competitions. I’m also an artist so I look at my own body as a piece of work trying to perfect it!

Bodybuilding is an art, your body is the canvas, weights are your brush and nutrition is your paint. We all have the ability to turn a self portrait into a masterpiece.

What workout routine has worked best for you?

I always try to keep the sessions very intense with 2 minutes of recovery between sets. Good form is so important for me as well especially for leg training, I always go deep on squats and leg press. I’m fortunate enough to have a training partner who is just as focused as me so we push each other to the limits!

Full Routine:

Monday: Chest/Calves

  • Incline Dumbbell Press 4×12
  • Incline Hammer Machine Press 4×12
  • Incline Dumbbell Fly’s 4×12
  • Cable Cross Overs FST-7
  • 1 Set Push Ups to Failure
  • Seated Calf Raises 4×15
  • Standing Calf Raises 4×15

Tuesday: Back/Abs

  • Wide Grip Pull Ups 3×10
  • Bent Over Barbell Rows 4×12
  • Seated Cable Rows 4×12
  • Single Arm Dumbbell Rows 3×12
  • Rope Pull Downs FST-7
  • Machine Crunches 1×100
  • Lying Leg Raisers 1×50
  • Side Crunches 1×50

Wednesday: Legs

  • Barbell Squats 6 sets, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 6
  • Leg Press 3×15
  • Walking Lunges 3x40m
  • Leg Extension 3×30

Thursday: Shoulders/Hamstrings/Abs

  • Seated Dumbbell Press 4×12
  • Hanging Single Arm Lateral 4×12
  • Front Barbell Raise 4×12
  • Barbell Shrugs 4×15
  • Lying Hamstring Curls 4×12
  • Seated Hamstring Curls 4×12
  • Machine Crunches 1×100
  • Lying Leg Raisers 1×50
  • Side Crunches 1×50

Friday: Arms/Abs

  • Standing Barbell Curls 4×12
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls 4×12
  • Seated Preacher Cable Curls 3×12
  • Close Grip Barbell Press 4×12
  • Seated Dips Machine 4×12
  • Skull Crushers 4×12
  • Rope Push Downs FST- 7
  • Machine Crunches 1×100
  • Lying Leg Raisers 1×50
  • Side Crunches 1×50

If you have to pick only 3 exercises, what would they be and why?

  1. Squats – Nothing like doing DEEP Squats, a real mass builder for me.
  2. Bent Over Barbell Rows – I can get a really good pump in my back from this and it is also a great mass builder.
  3. Seated Dumbbell Preacher Curls – I like the slow controlled movement and the squeeze at the top working on your peaks.

What is your diet like?

Usually my diet is very clean keeping my protein intake very high with only 5 meals per day. I may throw in a few cheat meals on the weekend during my rest days to help with recovery and growth with the extra calories.

Sample Diet:

  • Meal 1: Protein Shake, 4 Egg Whites, Banana & Bagel with Peanut Butter
  • Meal 2: Jacket Potato & Tuna
  • Meal 3: Steak & small portion of Chips
  • Meal 4: Chicken & Steamed Vegetables
  • Meal 5: Cottage Cheese and a Protein Shake

Transformation Video

When trying to cut down do you prefer to use HIIT or just normal cardio?

I don’t ever do Cardio. My Gym sessions are kept very intense with around 1-2 minutes of rest between sets, so it keeps me well conditioned.

What is your supplementation like?

I’m currently taking:

  • Whey Protein
  • Creatine
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Coffee (Pre-workout)

Favorite Bodybuilders?

The obvious one for me would be Arnold Schwarzenegger. I tend to go for a more aesthetic look rather than the mass monsters of today! I also have a lot of respect for Tom Platz with his amazing legs!

Favorite Quote?

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. – Confusius