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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Bodybuilding champion Jay Cutler on coming back to Dubai: 'the vibe there is electric'

The four-time Mr Olympia Champion will be at the Dubai Muscle Show on December 7 and 8

Jay Cutler works out at Bluewaters Dubai before his appearance at Dubai Muscle Show, on December 7 and 8. Courtesy Dubai Muscle Show
Jay Cutler works out at Bluewaters Dubai before his appearance at Dubai Muscle Show, on December 7 and 8. Courtesy Dubai Muscle Show

The Dubai Muscle Show is back for its third year, on December 7 and 8. The event will involve meet-and-greets and panel discussions with some of the fitness world’s strongest men and women, including Jay Cutler, Brian Shaw, Ronnie Coleman, Dorian Yates and Stranger Things actor Kai Greene, as well as Venezuelan model Michelle Lewin, CrossFit athlete Shaikha Al Qassemi and Saudi mountain-climber Raha Moharrak.

Visitors can also take part in fitness and yoga classes at the Dubai Active Show running alongside, and Les Mills Live, and shop from sports, nutrition and bodybuilding brands, many of which are also promising giveaways.

The Middle East’s Strongest Man and Woman will be named at the show, with contenders battling it out in a circuit of challenges, including Atlas stone loading, log presses and Hercules Holds with motorised vehicles.

Other pro-level competitions include: the TK Amateur Championships in MMA, boxing and Muay Thai; weightlifting contests; the Gravity Calisthenics Cup; and freestyle pole performances at Dubai Pole Cup. One superhuman athlete will be crowned Dubai’s Fittest Human.

Ahead of his appearance at the event, professional American bodybuilder and four-time Mr Olympia winner Cutler tells us about his food and lifestyle habits, and shares his top tips for aspiring bodybuilders.

What’s on your plate? What (all) do you eat every day, and why?

My diet is low fat with moderate protein and carbs. Breakfast is usually eggs and oats, while lunch and dinner will be chicken and rice or some white fish and salad. Nutrition is crucial; even if you train hard in the gym, if you aren’t getting the right measure of protein, carbs and healthy fats then it is a waste of time. Also, to grow or build muscle, you need to maintain the right balance of macronutrients – don’t simply expect a protein-rich or a carb-rich diet to do the trick. One of my mantras is eat for function, not taste, and it’s one that I am dedicated to sticking to.

What's your go-to cheat meal?

I try not to cheat on my diet and, honestly, I don’t really feel the urge, either. When I was competing, I would eat 10 times a day and always keep a journal of my daily activity. I have never eaten too poorly and, as they say, what you never had, you never miss, but if I really had to choose one I would go for a burger and fries every time.

What are some of the most bizarre things people have asked you to do?

Getting asked to lift a car or truck, or even pull a plane, really isn’t all that weird a request for me. I do find it odd when men ask me to pick them up, though.

What’s your daily routine like?

On a normal day I am up at 6am, and I won’t go to sleep until all my work is done, which is normally around midnight. I still keep a very rigid lifestyle, as I train five days a week and do cardio five times a week. I use the gym as a stress releaser and I take care of my body. I do not drink and I sleep for six hours at night – it’s a pretty simple formula for success.

What are your top dos and top don’ts when it comes to being a strongman?

Firstly, don’t lift with your ego – this is by far the biggest mistake anyone can make when they are at any level of training. I’m referring to lifting or pushing too much weight without the conscious effort of keeping form in the hopes to impress.

Second, if you don’t eat enough, don’t waste your time training that day. Nutrition is a huge percentage of the puzzle – if you are active and train hard, you’ll be burning a lot of calories each day. Eating more regularly supports mass-building, and while it does include planning and preparation, it’s an essential habit that separates those who succeed from those who don’t.

What are you looking forward to from the Dubai show?

This is my third time at Dubai Muscle Show and I’m really looking forward to getting back to Dubai - the vibe there is electric. The best bit is, of course, getting to meet the fans and passing on my tips. I’m also really looking forward to taking to the stage with Ronnie Coleman on Friday – we’ll be talking about all the battles we’ve had up on the Mr Olympia stage, which is always fun to reminisce about.

The Dubai Muscle Show is at Dubai World Trade Centre on December 7 and 8. Get tickets here for Dubai Muscle Show; Dubai Active Show, and Les Mills Live.

Venezuelan model Michelle Lewin will be at Dubai Muscle Show this weekend 
Venezuelan model Michelle Lewin will be at Dubai World Trade Centre this weekend.

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Read more:

Les Mills regional chief exec Trevor Brennan on the success of group fitness

From Mr Universe in '70s Iraq to the Lion of Lebanon, how bodybuilding has muscled in to the Middle East

Healthy relationships: meet four fitness power couples in the UAE

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