Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
My name is Nick Cheadle, I’m 30 years old. I live in Sydney, Australia and have been working as a personal trainer and coach for the past 12 years. I now own my own facility called, Paragon Strength & Performance with my partner Bec Chambers that specialises in strength training and powerlifting.
I started training towards the end of high school because I wanted to look better and have more success with girls – fortunately it didn’t take me too long to realise that most of them don’t really care if you’re 6 or 7% body fat. Plus, a working libido tends to be pretty handy when it comes to dating.
What started out as a way to overcome what was probably a pretty low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in who I was as a person, has ended up turning into an education into discipline, a way of life and ultimately my career.
Describe a typical day of training
Whilst the majority of my training history has revolved around bodybuilding and higher volume training, there have been regular strength phases and powerlifting competitions mixed in.
Training like a bodybuilder is a lot of fun but the lack of objectivity that tends to go with that style of training only really keeps me going for so long.
I’m currently training five days per week for around 90 minutes to two hours with the intention of hitting another powerlifting meet within the next six to 12 months.
Training follows a DUP style approach to training, whereby each main lift and muscle group is trained multiple times per week. Training this way allows me to accumulate more training volume and ultimately practice the skills of squatting, benching and deadlifting more often.
How do you keep going and push harder?
I’ve been training for in excess of 12 years now – even if the first few years weren’t overly productive when I was I high school. Training is part of life for me now, and while I certainly experience some highs and lows in terms of motivation towards training I can’t imagine ever not training.
Setting goals along the way and constantly revising those goals helps from time to time – as I said, bodybuilding training and its lack of objectivity tends to push me towards setting new strength-related goals sooner or later.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a lot of fitness-related goals at the moment. I think there’s always an underlying desire to get better, stronger, bigger, but outside of the occasional powerlifting meet to really help with prioritising training from time to time, there’s nothing specific that I’m working towards. There’s definitely no physique shows on the horizon, I’ve got too much life to live.
I’d like to spend some more time building the community at Paragon (my gym) and working with more and more clients, but I’m getting married in 2020 and the majority of this year is probably going to focus on things outside of fitness, some travel, enjoying married life and riding my Ducati.
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Now that I’m doing more and more strength work, mobility work is more important and tends to be a focus of the first 20 minutes of most of my sessions. On top of that, I see our in-house chiropractor once a week for a tune-up and regular massage, dry needling and adjustments.
I’ve had issues with a bulging disc previously, so I guess it’s always in the back of my mind. I worked with multiple physios, my chiropractor and strength coaches to help overcome the issue – something like that doesn’t just disappear on its own.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
For the most part, I track my macros – I’ll either eat just enough to gain weight slowly in order to support lean muscle growth and improvements in strength, or just little enough to lose fat without risking excessive muscle loss.
The actual foods I eat don’t really change whether I cut or bulk or maintain. I usually eat oats, eggs, or yoghurt and muesli for breakfast, a more substantial ‘bro-style’ meal during the day and then a large meal for dinner.
We do a lot of home cooking now, which is something I really enjoy, so dinner is quite varied – if I’m tracking my macros at the time then we’ll usually cook with care, or if I’m not too fussed then I’ll enjoy myself.
I used to track my macros diligently day in, day out, but now my goals are less focused on my appearance and more to do with enjoying life, supporting my performance in the gym and not stressing too much about things.
When it comes time to tighten up or stay on top of my weight, then I can kick it up a gear and start tracking diligently once more, but until it’s necessary, I’m in a pretty good space right now.
As for supplements, I tend to include a couple of protein shakes (typically I use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Isolate) a day just to help with ensuring I’m eating enough protein and hitting my protein target for the day.
I also take Optimum Nutrition Creatine Monohydrate daily and drink Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy because it’s delicious and contains caffeine, which gives me a bit of a kick first thing in the morning.
I’ve been sponsored by Optimum Nutrition for around six years and have used their products religiously through that time, although for the most part I just stick with protein, creatine & Amino Energy.
What has inspired and motivated you?
When I first started training I looked up to guys like Steve Cook, Shaun Stafford & other Instagram superstars, and I’ve been fortunate enough to rub shoulders and spend some time with those guys and others just like them – but to be honest that sort of thing doesn’t really do it for me.
I don’t gain a lot from external validation anymore – I’m impressed by what other people have achieved but I’m just here trying to be a better version of myself.
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves?
Educate yourself particularly on nutrition. I spent the first two to three years of my training life stabbing in the dark and doing what I thought was right or what I thought would get me results. It didn’t – it led to frustration, which at the time was completely unwarranted. I was putting in a lot of effort, but without any appropriate aim.
As soon as I began to understand the science behind nutrition, I was able to make endless progress and since then I’ve never looked back.
I worked with multiple coaches, all of whom taught me something about coaching, whether it be good or bad, or about myself and took a real interest in learning more. Ultimately it’s all contributed to where I am and who I am today.
Are you taking on clients right now?
I am taking on new clients. I don’t work with everybody and I only work with a select number of clients one at a time to ensure that I can give those clients the level of service I believe they deserve.
I’ve worked with coaches in the past who’ve clearly taken on too many clients at a time and it reflects in their ability to communicate effectively.
You can submit an application on my website or email me at [email protected] to inquire further and see if we’d be a good fit for one another.
Where can we learn more about you?
My website: nickcheadlefitness.com
My Gym: Paragon Strength & Performance