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MINDSET FOR MUSCLE #3

BIG GRANTY | GLOBAL PRO ATHLETE | LONDON, UK | APRIL 2023

Here we get to know Big Granty, the man who cheated death 10 times. We get under his skin to discover how he’s transitioned his hardcore mindset from military service to the pro bodybuilding stage.

INTRO TO BIG GRANTY

Olympvs ambassador Big Granty has a story to tell. He’s cheated death ten times: surviving being shot at by Taliban and separately pirates, stabbed, set alight in a forest fire, carjacked, serious bicycle crash, faulty parachute, heart attack and stroke survivor.

Big Granty, or Wezz, has transitioned into a more peaceful civilian life. Now a pro bodybuilder - having competed in 15 shows in 13 countries in this season alone. His hardcore mentality and non-stop work ethic is equally motivating as it is scary. Here we learn the mindset, beliefs and life stories from a guys who’s stared death in the face countless times, but walked away with a kind heart and a willingness to go above and beyond to help others.

LINKS TO EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • How Big Granty felt stepping onto the bodybuilding stage for the first time
  • 6 of Big Granty’s beliefs which have helped on his fitness journey
  • Big Granty’s go to meal for building muscle
  • How it feels to survive 10 encounters with death
  • How Big Granty’s role models have developed over time
  • Big Grantys advice for dealing with negative inner voices

What Is Mindset For Muscle?
In this series we aim to uncover ideas and tips which can help develop your mindset and find motivation for your fitness journey. Including interviews with influencers in the fitness space.

GET TO KNOW BIG GRANTY

WHAT'S YOUR STORY?

My name is Wesley Grant but most people call me Big Granty. I am an ex Royal Marine. After serving and completing 2 tours in Afghanistan I went into close protection and have worked with many high net worth clients. I also compete in men’s classic bodybuilding and have turned pro in many federations, with one more to conquer.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?

I’m working on being a better version of myself after being on prep for 18 months competing internationally. I’m now in an off season where i'll take the opportunity to strengthen my physique and deal with some personal issues.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO STEP ON STAGE FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Terrifying although one of the proudest moments in my life. All the hard work and dedication of hours’ worth of cardio/ blood sweat and tears in the gym all come together, to showcase your creation in your bare skin.

FITNESS

WHAT'S A COUNTER INTUITIVE FITNESS IDEA WHICH HAS HELPED YOU GET BETTER RESULTS?

I've found focusing on quality over quantity. Instead of doing long, intensive workout sessions, allowing myself to focus on shorter, high-intensity workouts that target specific muscles and focus on proper form. This not only reduces the risk of injury, but also leads to more efficient and effective workouts, allowing for better results in less time.

BIG GRANTY'S ADVICE FOR LEG GROWTH

Sometimes you need to go against the grain and against what you believe. Not always does heavy weights grow bigger muscles. I’m a firm believer in mixing my training up. Keep the body guessing and pushing it to its limits.

What I’m getting to here is VOLUME. I’ve adopted a different outlook on my training and especially when it comes to legs. We are on our feet most of the day carrying our body weight around so our legs are put through hours of endurance daily. When squatting and pressing heavy weights we tend to plauteo or we are limited by compression of our spine and injuries along the way.

So as I tell my clients VOLUME is key. Well along with consistency! Hit legs with a manageable weight to allow you to just about hit 20/25 reps per set. Then use the strongest muscle in your body (your mind) and repeat for 6- 10 sets! This allows you to work the muscle full of blood and create hypertrophy and also the ultimate pump too!

WHAT ARE SOME BELIEFS YOU HAVE WHICH HELPED ON YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY? 

  • Always trust the process and feed the gains… Food is fuel.
  • Nothing happens overnight and you have to be consistent.
  • You need to trust the process. Never give up!! 
  • Leave your ego at the door and focus on techniques
  • Exercise is only a small percent of what you do in the day. Focus on fuelling your body with good nutrition and foods
  • Above all, enjoy what you do!

Big Granty competed in 15 shows in 13 countries this season on the hunt to become an IFBB pro. Follow his journey via his Instagram here.

Big Granty was a Royal Marine for 8 years, completing 2 operational tours of Afghanistan.

Big Granty in Amsterdam, rocking the Olympvs Cargos and Muscle Fit Hoodie.

WHAT'S THE BIGGEST MYTH IN FITNESS WHICH IS POPULAR RIGHT NOW WHICH YOU THINK IS BS?

Spot reducing fat areas is a myth. This theory of targeting specific body parts is popular, leading many people to focus only on troublesome areas, rather than exercising their entire body, there is no scientific evidence to prove this. This making it a BS myth.

WHAT IS A LESSON FROM YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY THAT YOU WISH YOU KNEW AT THE START?

Having more understanding about coaches and how best to choose them. I found that many coaches in the industry don’t hold any qualifications especially in nutrition .Yet we pay for plans that are either generic and one size fits all or they have little knowledge of how to work with you and how your body responds making it more challenging to achieve the desired results.

QUICK FIRE

What’s your number 1 fitness advice?

You need to lift reasonably heavy to build muscle. I’m a fan of progressive overload workouts as well as mixing things up with lower weight and high intensity too just so your body doesn’t get use to it. The saying goes that the more you train the bigger you will get, this is not true as you need time to recover and rest.

If you could pick a “golden rule” for fitness, what would it be?

Nutrition is KEY! It’s not what you do in the gym for 2 hrs a day, It’s about controlling what you eat for the remainder of that day. You can't out train a bad diet!

What’s your go-to meal at the moment?

Always has been and always will be: chicken and rice. It’s my mindset now as a habit and I’ve seen first hand and got proven results from this. It’s just the amounts that differ.

MINDSET

CHOICES | CHANCES | CHANGE

YOU must make the choice to take a chance or your life will never change.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SURVIVE SO MANY ENCOUNTERS WITH DANGER?
DOES IT CHANGE YOU AS A PERSON?

Growing up in South Africa and developing my skills in the Marines it never surprised me I took the dangers as a normal part of my life. I embraced each day as if it was my last.

At times I don’t feel like it has changed me, however, I’m a true believer subconsciously it has. Although I am not as cautious as I once was, I do feel I am a lot more free in living than before. Life is worth living and best to do it well as you never know when your last day will come.

“You may possess all the clock but you'll never have control over your time”

WITH THESE ENCOUNTERS WITH DEATH AND DANGER, IS EVERY TIME LIKE THE FIRST TIME? HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED TO REALISE WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED AFTERWARDS?

With each encounter of death I faced, the dangers actually varied and have never felt like the first time. I can assure you being shot is not the same as being stabbed or having a Parachute malfunction mid air. You don’t get time to realise what’s happened as you need to react fast, especially with bullets flying past your head or having to think fast on how to save your life when your parachute won’t open! 

Still to this day I don’t think it’s even settled in my mind as I try to not think about it. I refuse to quit despite all the sh*t. That’s just how it is, you never give up.

WHAT'S THE GREATEST OBSTACLE YOU OVERCAME LAST YEAR?

Being able to step on stage 15 times and place top 5 in 11 of them. All this while having to maintain a demanding job of 12hrs a day / traveling and studying whilst still having to overcome the weight restrictions required to meet the class criteria. Whilst still retaining muscle mass.

WHAT TOOLS / RESOURCES / TECHNIQUES HELPED YOU DEVELOP YOUR MINDSET? 

Coming from my background growing up in South Africa, moving to the UK and became a Royal Marine. This allowed me to develop a positive and disciplined mindset. I've found like-minded individuals with a similar mindset that have empowered me to stay positive and create stability to achieve my goals.

WHAT'S YOUR BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?

My biggest failure was not achieving my IFBB pro status however in my eyes it was not a failure but rather a lesson learnt. 

If you don’t try then you will never know and to me that is even worse than not trying at all. I feel you should never stop trying. Live life with no regrets!

WHO IS A ROLE MODEL FOR YOU? WHAT INSPIRES YOU ABOUT THEM?

My role model was Arnold Schwarzenegger because of what he did for the sport of bodybuilding and how he gave back to everyone.

Now I feel like I am my own role model as I set such high standards for myself and set out to achieve beyond what seems normal and then don’t stop until I get there. This inspires me daily to be a better version of myself whether I walk that much faster, stand a bit taller and give more than the average. I mean this in every aspect of life.

Big Granty on the beach in our deep blue muscle tee and navy shorts.

Big Granty made headlines in the press for his many survival stories.

Big Granty rocking the Olympvs Olive Green Cargos and Jet Black Henley.

WHAT'S YOUR MOTIVATION TO BETTER YOURSELF?

My motivation is to always be different and excel in every aspect of life where I can. 

I have a 'never give up' attitude towards all that I set my mind to. I have and always will be the hardest working person in the room in my mind. 

Unfortunately, I’ve lost too many close friends and even family from their minds getting the better of them, so I use this to motive me and not allow any negative thoughts to overpower me. 

Only you can control your mind, so be stern and take control of your own destiny.

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU HAVE A NEGATIVE INNER VOICE?

I try talk to people I trust and work through any negative inner voice and turn them into a positive ones.

It’s not easy to open up but it helps and I recommend anyone facing negative inner voice or thoughts to speak to someone. We all suffer with mental health we just don’t realise it. So should that be stress of a job, family life or just self doubt. Just know it’s ok to think these things sometimes.

“It’s okey to not be okey”. Just don’t hold it in and try to bury you worries.

VISION

WHAT WOULD BE A PERFECT DAY FOR YOU?

To wake up and be the best version of myself where I can inspire and motivate others.

I would hit the gym early, eat a well balanced meal and take in my surroundings. I'm a lover of the outdoors and I’m a complete adrenaline junkie and would take to the sky and dive out of a plane at 15.000ft. I would also go for walks/ hikes in the countryside as it remind me of how lucky and blessed I am to be alive. 

To end the day watching a golden sunset on the beach as it sets over the ocean with my beautiful partner and our kids by my side.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT 1-2 YEARS?

I remain focused on my training/ competitions. My goals are to become an IFBB pro and to help more people be a better version of themselves. 

I mean this in more ways than just coaching as I’m also looking to expand my business. I would really like to get involved and help more people overcome hurdles in their own life and support where I can especially when it comes to men’s health and mental well-being - I’m a big advocate.

WHAT'S A PROBLEM YOU'RE WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

I am currently trying to figure out the best solution for a work/ life balance since my personal circumstances have changed. My partner has been so supportive during this difficult time and helps me to stay focused with staying on track with my bodybuilding prep, work schedules and family life around my business, all while she also does the same.

We make a great team and believe that we can overcome any challenges we face together. A wise man once said “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”

BIG GRANTY'S PICKS

Muscle Fit - Hyper Stretch - Made For Athletes

Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash
Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash

Sorbtek 365 Jeans In Midnight Wash

£99.00
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green
Cargo Trousers In Olive Green

Cargo Trousers In Olive Green

£89.00
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black
Cargo Trousers In Jet Black

Cargo Trousers In Jet Black

£89.00

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