At Aflete we know to look like a champion you need to train like a champion, so when we wanted to get some tips for perfect pecs we needed to look no further than our friend James Sutliff.

James Sutliff is an inspiration to thousands on both sides of the Atlantic after being featured in Men’s Fitness UK. James was featured along with other young men who have overcome disabilities to build physiques, massively impressive in their own right, but more importantly to inspire others to never give up no matter what adversity they face.

James was diagnosed with Dystonia without any prior symptoms in his mid 20’s and through exercise regained his confidence and he now raises awareness of Dystonia as a way to educate and inspire others.

We talked to James after his initial media coverage to capture his story in his own words which you can read here.

Catching up with James again we were able to get an in depth interview about how he trains, what exercises he uses and how you can get a ripped physique just like him!


james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom Since being featured in Men’s Fitness you have had a lot of recognition both in the UK and now in America too – how has that been for you?

It has been amazing and quite overwhelming. I would have never thought that I would receive such a positive reaction from people with both disabilities and those without disabilities.

Since our last interview you have joined Models of Diversity– how did it come about and what do you want to do with your modelling and where will we be seeing your photo-shoots?

I was entered into a modelling completion to win a space on the MOD modelling workshop, which I won. It was a fantastic experience and really gave me a good confidence boost. I have some exciting projects coming up in the new-year that will hopefully give me a little more exposure and also help to raise more awareness.

What kind of aesthetic do you most try to achieve with your physique, is there anything in particular like shoulders to waist ratio or symmetry or definition or size?

My main goal is to achieve a ripped physique all over, to look healthy and not too bulky.

james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom

Training Advice

james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom

How long do you train for and what techniques do you use to get such a sculpted body?

I train 6-7 days a week for 1.5 hours each session.  My training consists of 3 week alternate training programs.

Week 1 – Heavy compound training

Week 2 – High reps into super sets

Week 3 – High reps

What is your weekly regime like? How often do you hit each body part?

I train each body part at least once a week.  I generally start off with:

  1. Chest
  2. Back
  3. Cardio – abs
  4. Arms
  5. Shoulders
  6. Legs

james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom

Chest is probably the most popular workout for most men yet very few achieve the kind of results you have – generally how do you approach a chest workout (amount of time, variety of exercises, number of repetitions, etc)?

I spend 1.5 hours per session.

Week 1: Compound training – pressing exercises, such as impound press, decline press and incline press but I always end with dumbbell flies.

Week 2: Super set training- high reps, press into a fly exercise, bench press into dumbbell flies, and incline press into cable flies and finish with chest press machine into cable flies.

Week 3: High reps-15 reps of 4 sets for each exercise.

  • Bench press
  • Dumbbell flies
  • Bench at a slight angle
  • Incline press
  • Up and under flies on cable machine
  • Decline press

james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom

Do you work chest in isolation or do you combine it with other body parts?

I tend to work in isolation.

If you were not able to get into a gym what would you do to get a chest pump at home?

  • Use a resistant band
  • Do press ups

Do you use any products for pre and post workout?

  • Grenade pre workout
  • NRG Protein Quench post workout

james sutliff, dystonia, fitfam, fitness, nomnom

If someone has to make adjustments to their workout or was unable to go heavy on traditional exercises like flat chest press what alternative exercises would you recommend?

I would recommend using machines on a lighter weight to make it safe. If you have a training partner to spot you on free weighted exercises then you may be able to push a little more. I would always recommend to train within your limits and never work beyond your capabilities, always make steady progression and never try to jump ahead to achieve a higher lifting weight, as this will not give the results you are aiming for.

We are very thankful for his time and if you want to see more from James you can follow him on social media:

Facebook: James Sutliff 
Page: fyi-findyourinspiration
Twitter: sutty06




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