Craig Dickinson & Charlotte Howells – PPS Photoshoot

I was very kindly asked to write a guest feature for Life Changing Fitness about my recent photoshoot. I am very privileged to be sponsored by PPS Supplements. PPS Supplements was founded by a team of ex-armed forces personnel. With a belief to provide the military with the highest quality, ‘HFL informed’ sports products.

With this in mind I was requested to attend a photoshoot for Soldier Magazine, the official monthly publication of the British Army. The magazine is produced by an in-house team and published by the Ministry of Defence. It is distributed across 85 countries and read online by 15,000 visitors each month.

Having been given only two weeks notice, it was time to act fast!

Let me jump forward in time to four days out, over the previous 10 days I had been reducing my carbs to effectively zero while maintaining high quantities of protein and fats. The next two days were crucial, I needed to cut out any forms of carbohydrates while performing carb depletion works with little to no rest. The depletion workout for the next two days was as follows:

  • Chest : Inclined Smith Machine Bench Press SS Flyes 3 Sets x 25 Reps
  • Back: Bent Over Rows SS Pull Ups 3 Sets x 25 Reps
  • Shoulders: Front Raises Cable SS Lateral Raises 3 Sets x 25 Reps
  • Arms : EZ Bar Tricep Press Downs SS Dumbbell Bicep Curls 3 Sets x 25 Reps
  • Abs : Inclined Lower Ab Raises SS Inclined Sit Ups 3 Sets x 25 Reps, High Cable Oblique Crunch

I was drained, physically and mentally trying to get in as much sleep as possible while never been no more than two minutes away from the toilet. Eight Litres of water per day leading up to carb depletion takes its toll on the bladder.

Craig Dickinson Depleted

2 days out: Now the fun part begins, water is reduced and the carb loading phase begins. The plan was to eat every two hours and I consumed anywhere between 600 – 800g of clean carbs per day. Rice cakes, jacket potatoes, honey and oats was my stable diet. No training is conducted during the two days of carb loading.

1 Day Out: Another day of high carbs and no training, except for the evening I had a big glass of red wine to help dry me out.

Shoot day: The day had arrived; I was up bright and early getting everything ready, I was on set all day. Once I had my breakfast (steak, egg and oats) I got my bag ready for the day and made my way to the studio. I was accompanied by Charlotte Howells a fellow PPS sponsored athlete. Charlotte is studying sports scientist and is always in fantastic shape and that was evident as soon as we got on set.

Charlotte Howells

The shoot was nothing like I have experienced before, not only had they built an onsite gym, but a full studio ready to shoot.

Gym Setup

Once the formalities were out the way it was down to business. Pumping up was fairly straight forward with so much equipment at my disposable, all I had to concentrate on was chewing as much Haribo Tangtastics as humanly possible to help with vascularity

Craig Dickinson

Over 2,000 images were taken in the space of four hours and before I knew it, it was over! All that hard work over the last two weeks getting ready was over in the blink of an eye. The images are now being sent across to the marketing team and will be ready to launched in February’s edition of Soldier Magazine. However, here is a sneak peak at one of the shots of me and Charlotte arm wrestling…

Craig Dickinson & Charlotte Howells arm wrestle

Stay Tuned!


Written by…

Craig Dickinson

Craig Dickinson Bio 3 years ago I had never set foot in a gym. I always remember not being able to do one single push-up; you have to start somewhere I guess! I just did not think it would be right at the very beginning.Over the past three years, I have tried to better myself by absorbing as much information and techniques as possible, and try to filter that information as there are so many contradictions out there. One thing I have tried to do is make sure I have the correct people around me.With these things in place I have applied the knowledge to my training and nutrition.  2012 has been a fantastic year, i have had several photo-shoots and picked up a  fantastic sponsor who supports and aids my development. Follow me on twitter @Craig_Dickinson and find me on FaceBook

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