December 1, 2013

Mathew Tidball | Fitness Model Interview

December 1, 2013
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Vital Statistics

Name: Mathew Tidball

Age: 27

Height: 6’2”

On/off season weight: 87-92kg

Sponsors: iSupp

Twitter: @MatTids


Mathew Tidball or ‘Tids’ as I’m more commonly known.  27 years old Welsh lad and proud. 

Currently working full time as a Physiotherapist in South Wales. I’d like to think I am just an average guy with a 9-5 job fitting training around my work and social life.  I am a massive fan of routine and people joke that you can set your watch to my daily gym session and meal times.  I tend to train every weekday with the occasional weekend sessions.

I started training at 16 but more seriously since the age of 19 originally alongside my rugby career.  I am constantly learning about training and nutrition.  I am keen to pass on my knowledge to others interested in health, fitness and weight training.

I have previously played rugby at Welsh premiership level.  Due to an increasing number and severity of injuries my focus is now more on my individual goals than sports specific goals.


Current Goal?

Feature in a leading fitness magazine, (preferably on the cover, ha) and ensure iSupp are a brand leading the field in the near future.


Proudest Achievement

Officially joining Team iSupp as an ambassador.  To be giving the opportunity to represent a company that i believe in and am passionate about.

Cast for Mens Health shoot July 2012.



Within the fitness industry i’d have to say Lee Phillips (Principle iSupp Ambassador) .  If i can achieve half of what he has achieved i’d be extremely happy.

Also Stuart Tomlinson deserves a mention.  A friend, who is also one of the leading lights within the fitness industry.  His constant banter provides me with daily motivation.  Founder member of the ‘3D chest club.’

On a personal level my gym owner and good friend Carl Preece has been extremely supportive during the last 4-5 years of my training.  I feel i have made massive strides forward during this time.  45 years old and in exceptional ‘shape’ and probably the hardest trainer i know.


Mathew Tidball interview | physique boss


Favourite Training Routine?

My favourite split is as follows:

Chest and triceps

Back and Biceps


Shoulders and traps

Abs and calves.

My set and rep range depends on my goal/training cycle.

HIIT x3 per week.


How often do you train?

I tend to train at least 5-6 days per week.  I like a strict routine and always train immediately after work Monday to Friday with the occasional weekend sessions.  My training sessions tend to consist of weights, x2 abdominal/core sessions and approximately x3 HIIT sessions.  Consistency is the key when it comes to training.


How many meals do you eat per day?

I eat 6-8 times per day.   My meals tend to be fairly small but regular.  I believe nutrition is crucial to a lean, aesthetically pleasing physique.  There are many people who train as hard, if not harder than myself but have no self control when it comes to dieting. The engine needs to be fuelled appropriately in order to provide maximum output when training intensely.


Do you work full time as a fitness model?

No I am a full time Physiotherapist.  I work standard hours of 8.30-4.30 Monday to Friday.  I fit my nutrition and training around my day job.  I actually find my job helpful as it gives me structure and routine which works well for me.  Team iSupp endorse real people as their ambassadors, proving that everyone can achieve their desired physique with dedication and consistency.  Being in ‘good shape’ is not easy, but if you are willing to work hard enough and have clear goals then anything is possible! Fitness modelling is a hobby which gives me focus and helps maintain motivation with dieting and training.  I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in some promotional work for Hugo Boss, CK, Bjorn Borg aswell as shooting for Men’s Health.  The highlight so far has to be gaining iSupp sponsorship and attending the recent BodyPower Expo.  I enjoy working full time as it provides me with a routine and structure for my training and nutrition.


Mathew Tidball interview | physique boss


How do you manage to fit your meals around work?

I’m quite lucky with my work as i am able to eat around/in between my patients during my working day.  As most of my meals are small i tend to only need 5 minutes to eat.  I always carry my iSupp shakes to ensure i meet my nutrition requirements.  I prepare all my meals in advance and this ensures that i do not cheat when temptation arises.  I’m quite lucky as i don’t have a sweet tooth and am not a fan of cake, chocolate etc.


How long have you been training for?

I first started training at the age of 16 but was pretty clueless at the time.  I began taking my training more seriously aged 18.  Although my training improved, looking back my nutrition could have been a lot better.   At the time i was playing rugby at semi professional level therefore it was difficult to maintain my rugby and weight training.  I have now finished playing rugby which enables me to focus on aesthetics.  I feel I am continually learning about training and nutrition principles.  I feel a lot is trial and error as different people respond differently to certain methods of training and diet.  There’s always new ideas and research evidence coming to light regarding certain supplements and food.


What were your biggest mistakes as a beginner training and nutritionally?

Previously I have been known to over train.  Often training for a few weeks with no rest days.  I think I’ve learnt the hard way the importance of rest and recovery to optimise gains.  Remember your muscles grow at rest following the trauma caused during intense workouts.


Biggest mistakes you see others making when training?

Ego lifting and inconsistency.  I often see people lifting heavy weights with poor form and then questioning why they are not getting the gains.  Correct form is key to optimise time under tension.

Also, I see so many ‘occasional trainings’.  Wandering aimlessly around the gym with no plan or programme, chatting or texting. You need your workouts to match your goals.  They need to be planned and specific.

It also surprises me how many people begin training a month or 2 before their summer holiday.  Training needs to be an annual process if you are to achieve significant gains in muscle mass and definition.  I have made a point of training on Christmas day for the last 5 years as I know 99% of people will be resting.  Sounds sad but it’s usually through the winter months when the real gains are made.


Mathew Tidball interview | physique boss


How do you overcome a plateau?

I don’t allow myself to plateau as my body responds well to varying my training.  I usually change my routine every 6-8 weeks.  Altering exercise, order, rep range, rest periods etc depending on my short term goals.  Each week I try to beat the week before whilst maintaining form and intensity.

Favourite motivational quote?

‘If you want the fruit you have to be willing to climb the tree.’

This highlights that nothing worth having in this life comes easy.  Training and dieting is not easy and there is no quick fix.  Dedicated consistency is the key.  I have been training for the best part of ten years and only the last 2 years I have been seeing the fruits of my labour.

Remember you are your greatest asset put your time, effort and money into training and become the best version of yourself!


What do you like to do when you’re not training (hobbies)?

There’s nothing better than socialising with mates and holidays!  I tend to drink alcohol about once a month but really enjoy a ‘blow out’ with my mates.  This gives me renewed focus and intensity to my training.  Although training is an important part of my life I believe I have a good balance and like to enjoy myself when the opportunity arises.  I also enjoy a chilled night with a visit to Nandos and the cinema when I get some down time!


If anyone has any further questions do not hesitate to ask @MatTids (Twitter).

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