Helge Nilsen
How I Went from Gamer to Aspiring Bodybuilder and Got Really Fit in Just 2 Years


We talked with Helge Nilsen in November, 2019. Follow Helge on Instagram and YouTube
Country:
Norway
Age:
20 years
Weight:
86 kg
(190 lbs)
Height:
170 cm
(5 '7)


Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training

Hello! My name is Helge Nilsen. I am a 20-year-old Norwegian aspiring bodybuilder and I have been working out since January this year.

I also worked out in 2016, but at this time I was only 16/17 and had no program or proper workout routines like I did not work out legs or shoulders.

However, now I work out six times a week and follow a strict diet. I will step on the stage in Classic Bodybuilding March 2020, and my cut starts on December 1.

I work as an electrician apprentice but very soon I’m getting my certification. I plan on becoming an electrical engineer teacher one day, therefore I will study further on.

I used to play football (soccer) until I was 14 and I was really good at it, but computer gaming took over and I quit. After that I did nothing until I started working out in 2016.

Then came something called, “Russetid” which is a Norwegian celebration of finishing 12/13 years of school where you basically drink everyday for three weeks. Unfortunately, this ruined my training and I went back to gaming.

In January, I decided I wanted to start working out again and it quickly escalated to a burning passion for bodybuilding.


Describe a typical day of training

My typical day of training includes heavy training, a lot of sets and 10-15 reps on all exercises but compound movements (bench, squat and deadlifts).

I can stand and talk with others between sets and help people out but I rarely ever workout with anyone else so I normally train alone.

I usually drink a 250mL Power King non-sugar energy drink before or during workout, and I am kind of a caffeine addict.

Some of my favorite exercises are benchpress and deadlifts, also I like isolation movements. I do actually not like training arms, unlike most men/boys, but I am working on them.

In my bag, I keep a lifting belt, extra clothes, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and pulling straps, and also my drinking bottle, etc. I usually work out between 1 hour and 2,5 hours a day, six times a week.


How do you keep going and push harder?

What motivates me to go hard in the gym even on those days when energy is low: Progress. No doubt my biggest motivation is improving and getting better every week. Not by much but little by little where everything falls in place.

If I could start all over again, I never would have stopped when I was 17. I would’ve kept training and would be far ahead of where I am now.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Today I am doing very good, moving into an apartment with my girlfriend, first bodybuilding show in 5 months and the future looks bright.

I plan on focusing a lot more powerlifting next year and maybe even do a meet.

My plans for the future : turning IFBB pro and becoming a coach myself.

How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?

Well, I have one rest day a week. If I feel tired, I can have two. I feel like some weeks I could work out everyday but I like to keep it safe and smart. I prevent injuries by warming up properly and using proper form on all lifts.

In fact, I had some pains in both of my calves earlier and they became really, really bad. I could not squat, and walking was painful. I fixed this by doing a lot of stretching, anti-inflammatories and pumping my calves before squats — I just did normal calf raises.

Luckily, this worked well for me and now I feel no pain in them. After two weeks of doing this my calves were fine.


How is your diet and what supplements do you use?


Make sure you eat enough food if you want to grow and feel good!

I can’t tell specifics about my diet as I pay a coach for it, but I stay in a 300-500 caloric surplus and eat a lot of proteins! Make sure you eat enough food if you want to grow and feel good!

As for supplements, I use Creatine Monohydrate (any kind is good enough, no need for expensive stuff) and protein powder — that’s it. Creatine stores water in the muscles, which means more size and energy.

During off-season, I treat myself to a couple of cheat meals per week, usually burgers. Whenever I have intense cravings throughout the week, I treat myself to an apple or diet soda. Yes, I drink A LOT of diet soda, hehe.

For caffeine, I use it daily, a lot, coffee and energy drinks everyday but no sugary drinks as I believe the combination is dangerous. I can drink 500mL of diet Red Bull and I got no problem, but with 250mL of sugar Redbull then my heart starts acting up, so I recommend everyone to stay away from sugary energy drinks!

What has inspired and motivated you?

In one word: Progress!

Progress is what drives me, getting better everyday, lifting a little heavier every week, hitting a new pr every month! Always set yourself goals, never go for plan B.

I listen to rave like music when I train, but also calming music, because I like the combination between getting pumped up and calming down and focusing on the sets.

My biggest tip for keeping motivation up is: Make sure you always stay hungry for more, never be satisfied but be grateful and happy with yourself!


Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?


Keep safe and stay in shape.

Some of the tips are already listed above but some more important tips are: Consistency and mentality, always stay positive, and never look down on yourself (or others). If you treat others well, they will treat you good as well!

A lot of people make the mistake of not pushing hard enough in the gym. I believe when you weren’t able to break a sweat in the gym, it means you’ve done something wrong.

Go harder but not stupid: Focus on form and progressive overload and ask a personal trainer or someone experienced for help on form, etc.

I see so many people do deadlifts, squats and bench press with terrible and dangerous form. If I ever get to witness this, I will tell them otherwise, so they don’t get hurt.

The dumbest thing I’ve seen in the gym was a guy looking sideways in a mirror on deadlifts, and also a guy doing leg presses really fast and locking out his knees (both are extremely dangerous).

Keep safe and stay in shape.

Are you taking on clients right now?

I am not a coach and I don’t have any certificates or so yet, but I plan on getting a personal trainer education after I finished my electrical engineer test.

If you want any form of tips, however, my email is: [email protected], feel free to ask me anything and I’ll do my best to respond.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can learn more about me on my Instagram @helgeselnesnilsen and my YouTube @Helge Nilsen

Thank you for reading the interview with me on Bulk Hackers! Cya!


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I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.

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