Name: François Beya
Height: 1.75 m
Competition weight: +- 84 Kg
Current weight: 90 Kg
Current city: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Employee Relations manager / Labour Lawyer
Have you always lived a fit and healthy lifestyle? How did you get started?
No, I have not always lived a fit lifestyle, in fact I used to be quite a party animal. I used to drink and drink often and I did the rave scene with extreme interest, so I was a far cry from the person I am today.
I used to be a skinny, underfed throwback that the average girl would not necessarily be proud to introduce to their family.
The only thing I had going for me in those days was my impeccable manners which made me seem like less of a reprobate. A friend of mine then began seeing a coach and making serious gains, and I was like wow, he is all buff and stuff, I want me some gains.
So I approached his coach. The coach said to me, that I would be a waste of time and that I would not amount to anything with my nightlife activities.
I said to him that I would, and that he should at least give me a chance to prove him wrong, and he agreed, and my process began.
I had been messing around in a gym before, but this was the beginning with a coach and when I became semi serious about the gym life.
A few years went by and I partied less and less as the gym life consumed more and more of my time, and I was now basically restricting drinking to weekends. So 2002 is when I joined the Perfect Physique team.
Read all about François’ inspiring story of coming back from a very harsh accident and stepping on stage better than ever! Up next week!
How long have you been training seriously for and what do you love about it and what keeps you coming back for more?
Well I guess you could say I have been training for 13 years with some little breaks in between. I have had 2 surgeries per knee to scrape away and remove cartilage fragments from them.
Let’s just say I was extremely strong mentally, and my skeletal mass did not always manage to keep up with my demands hahaha, despite this I keep going.
What do I love about it? For me it is multifaceted, I have a highly stressful job, so first and foremost it is highly therapeutic, pushing my physical limits allows my mind to relax completely. In terms of outlets or ways to empty the bucket……. You could do worse.
What do I love about it?
Well gymming has saved my life to a certain degree, it pried me away from my old “Carpe Nocti” style of living, and I love the fight.
I have a highly competitive nature and I do not like to be beaten. I set ridiculous targets for myself and I keep chipping away at them. So in terms of what keeps me coming back……
Unfinished business is the answer, I want to achieve my final form.
I just love the process. There is also a vanity element to it, people compliment you on your Physique, and they say they would like to look like you, and I know it is a little shallow, but hearing that is extremely motivational.
It means you are making progress and people are noticing, say what you want, gymming does point inward a little.
I will keep gyming as long as I am physically able. It may not be for gains when I am old and decrepit, but it will still empty the mental bucket just as effectively I hope.
How did the preparation for the WBFF show go? And how long before did you start prepping?
Oh God, the prep for the WBFF, was an emotional experience for me. I was coming of a second place at the Rossi Grand Prix, so I had already been dieting hard and strict for 5 weeks and WBFF was another 3 weeks from that day.
Peak week nearly broke me, I was sleep deprived, ratty and depleted. I knew however that the WBFF was going to be the show to tell my coach and I, whether or not I could still be competitive at that level.
I had used up most of my will power already for Rossi, so coming from a 6 year competitive hiatus was tough. I was cheating every now and then with little rice cakes and the odd hand full of coco pops, and I would chastise myself after.
Whenever I cheated I would wear an extra hoodie and do twice the cardio to burn off the calories.
In the week leading up to the WBFF, I nearly quit twice, but I had made promises to my sponsors, to my coach and I had formed some friendly rivalries with other athletes, and I wanted to beat them on that stage, so I keep it together,
I relied a lot on my team mate Stacey-Lee, and I would ask her how she was coping and we would commiserate hahaha. It really helped.
Peak week came around and the water load began, and seeing the changes in my body, I knew my coach was planning something serious, and I just relaxed and let him takeover. He would message me and say, let me do all the worrying, and just stick to the plan. He did this a lot as knows how I over think things.
Speaking strictly in terms of pure cutting diet for the WBFF, three weeks, since I was dialled in from Rossi. But mental preparation since November last year is when I decided to compete is when I stepped up my training with Jeff.
What are your future plans?
Well, I am going to take a little break for the balance of the year to relax a little and pack on some size.
I have created a bit of a stir in the industry and a few of the big names in my division are now in the position that I was in, I came in the underdog looking up, worrying about them, now they will hopefully share some of my worries and wonder what I am up to, so we are on equal footing.
I am one of the lightest athletes in that muscle model division, but I have good muscle maturity, so the Coach and I are devising a plan to get me on stage around 6-7 kilos heavier than this year, with the same condition.
If we achieve it, it will be very difficult to ignore. More size on the legs and work on a more visible stage presence.
What philosophy do you live by and believe in to succeed?
There is a passage from Macbeth which reads “Make thick my blood, stop up accesses to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature may fell my purpose. Simply translates to” give me the strength to do what I need to do irrespective of any external influence or opinions”
I live by this, no obstacles, no excuses, no apologies if it is blocking my way.
I don’t believe in fake friendships, they are too time consuming, if people have ulterior motives I kick you off my bus without slowing down. People are bad at this today, cut the toxic people out, they will hamper you.
“Even a great Surgeon will amputate a limb….. To save the body.”
Take us through an average day of yours:
I don’t know how many people are still reading after I have said so much hahaha.
- I rise at 630 and I have a secret fat loss cocktail comprising apple cider vinegar, 1gh, lemon juice and hot water and I go shower.
- I brush my teeth, then have my power smoothie. I get dressed and leave my house just after 7.
- I arrive at work at 800.
- I eat around 930, then every two hours.
- I leave work around 1800, I come home, and I prep for gym.
- I change, I charge my earphones and I take a 20 minute power nap.
- I rise at 1900 and load my pre workout, and get cracking with gym. I train for around 2 hours, well to be truthfull I cram my workouts in before the gym closes at 9.
- I get home, I have my post workout meal which takes around 30 minutes to eat, while I am eating it I am cooking rice, sweet potato, and defrosting chicken for the next day.
- As soon as I finish the meal I force another one down in the anabolic window. I roll my fat carcass to the kitchen, finish cooking, prepping and packing.
- This is around 11 or 12, I then catch up on my social media, respond to messages from friends and fans, and block people who send me obscene sexual messages and images of their genitals, and I sleep around 0100 or 0130.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your diet:
I can’t write down my full diet here for two reasons, 1 my coach makes a living drafting these, and he may take exception as my diet contains methods and tricks :) and two I don’t want someone to replicate it and get super fat since I consume nearly 5500 calories a day.
Francois said do this, and I got fat, Ain’t nobody got time for that!!!!
So here is an outline:
0630 | Metabolism Activation
- Cocktail, lemon juice, 1gh
- Apple cider vinegar
- Power smoothie containing bread, strawberries, yoghurt, apple, energy supplements etc
- Oats, muesli
- Isomax Whey
- Rice cakes, peanut butter
- 1 full serving Titan labs Muscle Prodigy
- Rice, chicken, veggies, olive oil
- 1 full serving Muscle Prodigy and a banana
- Sweet potato, chicken, veg
- Isomax whey
- Berzerker pre,
- During workout MyoGuard plus glutamine
- Inside edge(cytomaize)
- Potato, steak veg
- Muscle prodigy, pineapple, Flax, Aftermath
And that is all she wrote. I cannot write down the exact portions of my meals even though I weigh every single one, I would suggest you see a coach, as simply using my diet would not work. I have a furnace for a metabolism.
What are your top nutrition tips to leaning down and getting so vascular and dry?
I don’t really do a lot of cardio in the off season, I am quite lucky to have a fast metabolism, so my secret to getting lean is precise measurements of food, I listen and follow the advice of my coach explicitly.
He knows exactly how to get my system to respond, so even leading up to show, I never carb deplete to zero.
My secret to getting dry is no secret at all it is just something that is very difficult for some people to do, I water load like if I fail the world will end. I sometimes go as high as 14 or 16 litres a day, the more you manage to get in, the more you will flush out.
I have a friend that once managed 31 litres daily. It is extremely uncomfortable, and you do not sleep much, you pee all the time.
What do you normally eat before training? What’s the ideal foods to take in before and after training in your opinion?
You want to charge your system with something that is going to absorb reasonably quickly and keep releasing during your workout. Nothing complex like breads, as these will will drain blood away from your muscle, as your stomach will work harder to digest them.
Post workout the same, eat good food based on your metabolic rate, I can get away with potato and steak, but the average individual should really do a brown option, brown rice or sweet potato.
I have whey immediately after a workout to replenish.
Would you recommend supplements to someone starting out in the gym? Which ones specifically?
I would not recommend supplements to a noobie, get training and eat solid food.
Listen to your body and learn to interpret what it is saying. No I am not crazy, I did say listen to what your body is saying. If you are tired after training, eat more. Tired or lethargic before gym, did you eat and what was it? Was it different? Are you cramping? Do you have salt? etc.
To many noobs kick off with an arsenal they do not understand, and expect to turn into Jason Huh overnight, supplements are called supplements for a reason, they only supplement what you already have. If you have nothing, you are supplementing nothing.
If supplements could make you something you are not, they would be called complete solutions. Once you have been training for a while and you are reaching your limits regularly at the gym and need more….. Then you supplement.
You cannot do without creatine, glutamine, and a whey protein once you are using a supplement stack. This is ground zero, if you have this, you are doing well.
What supplements do you use?
I am a Titan labs sponsored athlete so I use their Isomax Whey protein which is top of the pops. I need a lot of calories daily so I rely heavily on the muscle prodigy.
I also use their aminos MyoGuard and their Glutablast. I avoided the Berzerker for a long time since I had a very negative reaction to the 1.3 Diamethyl, so I substituted it with amino rush, but recently we took out the 1.3 out of all formulation and I am using Berzerker again and WOWWAAAAAA. You won’t get a more honest answer than that hahahaha.
Give us a brief description of your philosophy on your training?
I train for an average of 2 hours per night, and what we try to do is alternate between power weeks and superset weeks.
We used to give it the beans everyweek, but ended up picking up little niggly injuries.
So one week we are flat out, and we end off with one or two reps max sets at the end, and the following week we work at slightly lower max weights and superset everything, so we still get awesome workouts in, but it gives the joints a nice holiday.
What are your top chest training tips and exercises?
- Always do incline dumbells.
- Start as high as possible on the bench and when it gets too hard, decrease the height to slightly more conventional.
- Never sacrifice form for weight, and do not click the dumbells together at the top, the noise is annoying 1, and 2 it takes the tension off of the chest.
What are your three favourite exercises and why?
I like squatting because it is a movement I am very strong on, and I could not do it for so long, so I have a love hate relationship with him (I humanise him on purpose and speak to the rack while I train, don’t judge me).
I love the deadlift, my back is my most dominant muscle group, and I train with Jeff Cook who has a powerlifting background, so we never skip it.
I love it because it is an impressive exercise that requires will, focus and strength to execute.
3. Cable crossover
I am also a fan of the cable crossover, to be honest.
I like the visuals this exercise offers, this machine is always in front of the mirror and I like staring at the striations in my chest and seeing the pump.
Few other exercises offer a visible confirmation as quickly as that one that you are doing something very right or very wrong.
What are some of the most common mistakes you see people make in the gym with specific exercises?
I see people benching too heavy and sacrificing the bottom half of the range of the movement.
- I see guys curling heavy and throwing the weight up and letting it drop down against their legs and sacrifice the negative movement which is effectively half a workout.
- But the worst mistake of all are the guys that train a little, get a little muscle and all of sudden get these huge egos and crap attitudes, like they have achieved something God like. Nothing upsets me more than that.
Favorite Influential bodybuilders/fitness models:
I am not really inspired by any Bodybuilders or models per say, I am a huge fan of physiques like Serge Nubret and Sergio Oliva, but people that inspire me in the sport are people in train with, my training partner Jeffrey Cook, 21 years old, 107 kilos of pure strength and will, if it was not for him, I would never have gotten this far.
He is a beast and got me squatting my personal best of 240 Kgs.
My Titan team mate Stacey-Lee Shutte, she is a pocket rocket, driven and hard working, and she has the love and support of her husband at every show, he makes banners for her, and her friends and family support her, and scream for her, it is absolutely incredible to watch, and that makes me push that much harder. Such an awesome crew, who scream for me also, the Frank and Janice Ross’, nearly brought me to tears on stage HAHAHAHAHA.
Jenna Raminhos is another athlete who had a Rocky start competing, anyone else would have quit, she went from WBBF no placing, to second place, earlier this year, to first place in NABA this weekend.
These are my friends and team mates doing this not people on posters who live half the world away. These are the athletes that make me push.
Favorite Female fitness inspirations:
- Instagram: @Jm_machine
“Make thick my blood, stop up accesses to remorse, that no compunctious visitings of nature may fell my purpose.”
Whats the most common question you get asked?
Please can I have your diet?
- No it would make you fat, I will give you my Coaches number instead.
Advice for someone wanting to add quality muscle without gaining fat?
Quality muscle takes time to build, eat well, eat lean only and monitor salt intake.
Quality of food you put in, determines the quality of muscle you put on.
What competitions have you competed in and your placings?
- WBFF | Muscle Model | 3rd
- Rossi Grand Prix | Mr Physique | 2nd
- Diamond classic | Bodybuilding u 75 Kg | 1st and overall winner
Where can people get hold of you?
- Facebook: François Beya’s Sports page | I post training vids, rants and competitions on it.
- Instagram: FRANCOIS_BEYA
- I am soon going to put up a commercial modelling page but, I’ll communicate the details through Facebook.