February 22, 2014

Ken Nowicki | Strongman Interview

February 22, 2014
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Ken Nowicki interview


Ken Nowicki | Strongman Interview

We were really pleased to bump into an old friend of ours on our travels, this young man named Kenneth Nowicki who is 25 years old, reigns from Scotland and started training in Strongman in 2006, he was the youngest person at the age of 17 to lift the famous Dinnie Stones and has also lifted the Inver Stones.

Ken NowickiHe has been crowned Scotland’s Strongest Man three times and has placed 2nd in The Uk’s strongest man in 2011, he is one of only two British Strongman athletes to have reached the finals of the Arnold ‘World Amateur Strongman Championships’ and has competed in China winning the Hercules Cup in 2012.

Now, we know that there will be some reading this and thinking to themselves, this guy is all Brawn and no Brain, well for those people, please sit down as you’re in for a shock, Ken holds a Master’s degree in Chemical and Process Engineering from Strathclyde University.

He has made a big impact since competing in strongman and was going full throttle until he missed out by one point on making his second finals at the Arnolds in 2013 and this was after a setback hit in 2012 when he sustained a bicep detachment. Ken is now hungrier than ever to stamp his name all over the world of strongman.

We caught up with Ken over a coffee.


Ken it’s been a while since we hooked up face to face, obviously your living in the USA now, what made you move here and what are you doing?

I moved to the US; Denver, Colorado specifically at the start of the year to start school. I attend the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado and will graduate in December at which point I hope to begin working with my good friend Justin Willis at his business Teamwork Therapy & Sports Performance.


Now in the USA, what are your plans for your Strongman Career?

I still plan to compete; I am lucky enough to have been given the opportunity of joining Brian Shaw’s team and now train with him and the other guys at the Shaw Strength Facility. For 2014, I plan on doing a few shows with my focus being US Nationals with the intent of qualifying for the 2015 Amateur Arnold, that’s been the monkey on my back for a long time and I want to win it.


Ok that’s great to hear, so you will mainly be competing in the USA or will you still compete in the UK Comps?

Obviously travelling back to the UK isn’t super cheap so the majority of my shows will be US based, but I do plan on coming back to the UK and competing in some of the bigger shows if I can qualify for them.


Do you think that the method of training in the USA regards strongman is different than the UK, are the US athletes more advanced in their strength programs etc?

I think overall it’s similar. The tops guys worldwide are all very smart and scientific when their training, then athletes at the lower ranks are all mixed in their training styles which is the same here.


Arnold Sports Festival 2014


You mentioned earlier that you’re out to win the 2015 Arnolds ‘Amateur strongman championships’, have you started training now for this competition and what is your current training plan?

The overall goal is Arnolds, that’s the overall focus but we’re also basing things on other shows between now and then such as US Nationals. The training plan is very basically becoming the best I have ever been, and is an overall plan which will be dialled in further as time goes on.


That sounds really exciting about your plan being the best you can, so with your plan are you following a specific diet, now that you’re preparing for 2015?

Yes I follow a performance diet which is designed for me by US LW Pro, Mike Mastell. Currently we’re following a re-composition plan to ensure all the weight I carry is of the highest quality.


mike mastell


So along with your re-composition plan, what supplements do you use and why?

Basically my supplement intake is very basic. I use a multivitamin and separate joint care product just for general health; and a protein blend in the am in my morning coffee. Then only other time I use supplements is after training which is protein hydroslyates, BCAAs and a liquid protein source as there have been studies showing these increase insulin response.


Well it looks as if your training and nutrition is all there, a question we would like to ask you, as you’re training at the Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado, is do you think it is important for anyone training in strength sports to have regular massage therapy and what are the benefits?

I think massage and manual therapy as a whole is a huge part in maintaining your longevity in the sport. Really any athlete should be partaking in regular therapy especially in a sport such as strongman where it takes such a huge toll on your body. Therapy such as massage or other types of manual therapy as well as cold treatment increase recovery by a huge amount.


Ken nowicki

Besides your goal of winning the 2015 Arnolds Amateur Strongman Championships, what are your long term goals in Strongman and Strength Sports?

A big goal of mine is making it to World’s Strongest Man, and the annoying part of the story is that in 2012 I was firmly on that journey and I ended up detaching my bicep and then last year was sort of a write-off due to a number of factors but I’m fully motivated and ready to make a big comeback to the sport and show everyone that my time wasn’t just a fluke.


It sounds as if you have a very clear goal of competing in the WSM, one thing we’d like your opinion on is that you have competed and won strongman competitions in China, how big is the sport there and do you think we will ever see a Chinese athlete make the finals of the WSM in the next 10 years?

From my experience the sport is really growing there and also the crowd love it. Apart from walking out to a 5000 person strong crowd at Europe’s Strongest Man 2012, China give a huge ovation to the athletes which is just awesome. It’s a very hard thing to say whether or not a Chinese athlete will make the final, maybe the heats but the sport is just getting to crazy now that it’s very hard to say.



Ken Nowicki China


You seem to be a really busy guy training for strongman and in Sports Massage therapy, but you are also coaching clients in strength and conditioning, what are the services that you offer and how did this come about?

I do programming at the moment and it really just came around from my experience in the sport, but I also am at the end process of a CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) which will make things a lot more advanced and with more in depth training processes.


Everyone has an Influence in whatever sport they do, who’s your biggest influence in Strongman at present?

The biggest influence in my strongman career at the moment has to be Brian Shaw, we train together and it’s such a fantastic environment to be in and even in just this short space of time since I moved here I can feel the benefits of training in a crew again, especially in a crew of such talented and high level athletes.


brian shaw


What we’d like to know now Ken is that out of all the Strongman Athletes in the last 30 years who for you is the greatest and why?

This is one of the hardest questions to answer because there have been so many great athletes. In terms of titles overall you can’t look past Zydrunas, he has proved himself time and time again as the world class athlete he is. Early 2000s has to be Mariusz, he was on another level to all the other guys competing in that era and now I think you have to say this is the start of Brian’s era. Just seeing how he trains and everything puts into this sport you cannot deny he is an incredible athlete.


Wow, some big names there Ken, Big Z, Mariusz and Brain Shaw. For anyone reading this who wants to give strongman ago, what advice do you have for them?

I think the biggest advice I can give is to firstly develop a good base of strength, this coupled with technique will take you far. Also find a crew to train both gym lifts and strongman events with, nothing compares to the motivation of training with likeminded people.


One last final question Ken, the Pro Arnold Strongman Competition 2014, who are your top three?

I think I have to say, 1/ Shaw, 2/ Lalas and 3/ Big Z.


Well, I have to say that is a very interesting top three, as with a top three of such elite athletes it could go either way, as it would only take a few points to change the positions. Well I know we will both be there ken to watch this event, so it will be interesting to see if you’re right.

There you go Physique Boss readers, you have just read through an interview with Ken Nowicki , an up and coming force in Strongman. We think you will have to agree that his determination and focus is really commendable and we think we can all learn from that, whether it is too loose a few pounds, beat your personal best or like Ken want to compete in the World’s Strongest Man.


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