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MICHAEL VAN WYK
HOMETOWN: SOMERSET WEST
EAT SMALLER, OFTEN
Van Wyk’s secret to powering his workouts is having a steady, consistent eating plan. “I try to eat every two to three hours – that’s about five or six times a day.”
When I wake up I have a protein shake then I’ll either workout or go for a run. My first meal is three whole eggs, two egg whites with two pieces of toast, “because I need those carbs in the morning,” he says.
Breakfast is followed with stacks of food. He’ll snack on a fruit, either a banana or apple. Then he has a pre-lunch meal: usually chicken and broccoli and lunch is generally plain spaghetti with lean mince.
Van Wyk snacks on a high-protein nutrient-dense food in the afternoons before eating a high-protein, low-carb meal evening meal. “That’s often a steak with some green vegetables like green beans. Then I’ll have some casein protein or some cottage cheese.”
Embrace your cheat days, Van Wyk advises. “I won’t say no to a pizza or a burger a few times a week.”
TRAIN HARD, REST HARD
Van Wyk takes his weekends off to focus on cardio and to rest his muscles from a week’s training. “Rest days are crucial because that’s the period when your muscles are recovering so optimum nutrition and good rest are important then. But you got to have fun – you’ve got to have a balance. “
Van Wyk plays rugby, and centres his training on getting into peak shape for the 80 minutes that he’s on the field. “During rugby season I’ll change to no more than three workouts a week, with no isolation training, so I can conserve energy and maintain strength.”
“The squat is a very underrated exercise,” Van Wyk says. “It’s a really difficult exercise, and if you have the proper form it’s excellent for posture, for your lower back and it can rectify a lot of back problems. I had a lot of back problems when I was younger and now I don’t have any of those issues any more.
The most important aspect of building your best body is keeping consistent, according to van Wyk. “A lot of people will expect results within a week, which is not the case. The big thing is consistency – stick it out for at least a month. And of you don’t see results, then change it up.”