WEIGHT: 255 lb (competition)
300 lb (off-season)
DOB: March 17, 1989
HOMETOWN: Carshalton, Surrey, England
RESIDENCE: Wallington, Surrey, England
As a young boy in Surrey, England, James was an avid skater who spent his evenings working out at a local boxing gym. He became fascinated with Mike Tyson after watching a compilation of Iron Mike’s “greatest hits.”
“I was intrigued by the musculature and athleticism of Mike,” says James. “I became interested in the thought of adding muscle to my frame.”
Feeling increased pressure from growing up with an absent father, James found that training helped fill the void of not having a paternal presence in his home. “I thought it was up to me to find a way to fill that space.”
Pouring his energy into athletic pursuits and weight training, James made quick progress. He began competing at only 18 years of age, soon qualifying for national level competition. At 20, he won his first national title in the Jr. category.
He kept winning and kept growing, becoming one of the most massive competitors in the UKBFF (United Kingdom Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation). Then in 2014, he claimed his first national superheavyweight title, winning the UKBFF Championships in that division. In 2017, he won the show again, but also took the overall men’s title as well, earning his IFBB Pro card.
As his successes piled up, James learned over the years how to maintain his perspective. “I'm happy I chose to pursue the path that I did, but I soon realized that to be a man takes more than muscle.”
James found deeper meaning in his life in 2015 when he challenged himself to climb to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. “I managed to reach the summit,” he says. “The trip was an experience that changed my entire life and outlook.”
Back on the contest circuit, he’s ready to take his career to the next level. “I'm now in my first rookie season as an IFBB Pro, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience. I’ve done three shows this year, and will now go to work during the off-season. With Kaged Muscle supplements behind me, I can tell it is going to be my most productive one yet!”
JAMES’FAVORITE TRAINING SONGS
“Angel’s Fall” by Breaking Benjamin
“Behind Blue Eyes” by Limp Bizkit
“Places to Go” by 50 Cent
James’nutrition is managed by Phil Viz (of Vizual FX), who helps him prep for his shows. Says James: “My ethos behind nutrition is to focus on feeding the body energy when required. That means carbohydrates around active periods and lower carbohydrates on rest days.”
His diet includes healthy fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids, but he believes even saturated fat has its place. “Don't be afraid of fats. Just be aware of the calories they carry,” he advises.
He keeps his protein intake high. With an offseason weight of 300 lb, you can imagine why. “I generally aim for around 350 g of protein per day to achieve my contest weight of 255 lb.”
And he suggests that you should let go every now and then. Says James: “Cheat meals have their place too, not just for social reasons, but they also have positive benefits on metabolism, as long as you don’t overdo it.”
JAMES’ TRAINING ADVICE
James works with Jordan Peters (of Trained by JP). “Progressive overload is the main concept behind my training,” says James. “I log all of my training information so I can refer back to it and gauge the progress of my lifts.”
When it comes to a specific body part breakdown, Hollingshead looks toward a fellow countryman. “I train using Dorian Yates’ split,” says James. Here’s how the four-day split* breaks down.
- Day 1: chest and biceps
- Day 2: delts, triceps, and abs
- Day 3: back
- Day 4: legs and abs
* Take rest when needed
JAMES’ FAVORITE SUPPLEMENTS
Below are James’ three favorite Kaged Muscle supplements.