Name: David James Nicolson
Age: 31 years young
OFFseason Weight: 78kg
Contest Weight: 69kg
I’ve always been into sport and have played Baseball, Gridiron and Rugby. I stopped playing all sports around the age of 19. This was not my best time as my fitness and weight changed dramatically. At 21 I joined the navy and during recruit school and category training I dropped around 21kgs. For the first time in my life I was in the low 80’s and got a small taste for fitness. Later on I was posted to Darwin on patrol boats in 2006 as a bosun……..after 4 and a half years in the navy I decided to transfer to the army in 2010 and become a Cav solider (Armoured Vehicles). After 5-6 months of training I was posted to Townsville B SQN 3/4 CAV REGT. 7th July 2011 I was deployed to Afghanistan with 2RAR Combat Team Alpha in the MIRABAD VALLEY MTF-3. While deployed my crew commander (CC) and I hit four Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) in four different vehicles. As you could guess, getting blown up in a armoured bushmaster on four seperate occasions slowly took its toll on my mind and body. After our forth hit my crew commander and myself were flown to a brain trauma unit at the American base in Kandahar. I was diagnosed with Mild Traumatic Brain Trauma and lower back injuries, my crew commander was unfortunately sent home with his injuries and unlike my CC I had the opportunity to stay or return home. I wanted nothing more than to get back to the lads in the valley and finish off the deployment with the boys. I finished my deployment without hitting any more IED’s and I returned home to my partner and family in Feb 2012.
Army life returned back to “normal” with bush exercise. After bush exercise, I decided I needed a break and asked for a posting to Canberra. In Oct 2013 I was posted to Canberra and my partner and I were back with our family and getting ready to get married. Nov 1st 2014, the day I got married to my long term partner of 8 years.
From the time I returned from Afghanistan I was trying to hide the fact I was struggling with depression, anxiety and major anger issues. 8 months after being married I had enough of living a lie and FINALLY decided to ask for help, this was the hardest and most scary thing I’ve ever had to do! The following day after seeking help my wife and partner of 9 years left me. This put me in a spiral of emotions and put me in a dark shitty place. For weeks I was struggling with trying to deal with my issues that were now out in the open and the fact my wife had left me. Fortunately for me, my family and friends never left my side. One friend, Zac Ward is a INBA Physique Competitor and said I should focus on the gym and my fitness to take my mind off everything and look at stepping on stage for INBA season A 2016. My brother Brad simply put it down to harden up, you have a lot to give this world so lets get it done and put me in the mindset to better myself and push through the pain. Zac put me in touch with Kyle Webber at Nutrivolve for nutrition and coaching…..we would work together for the next 5months to get myself ready for my first INBA comp.
The journey to step on stage has been a MASSIVE help in my recovery to bettering myself and my life, I found the gym to be therapeutic and most certainly keeps my mind off the troubles I’m dealing with. The fitness/gym industry, INBA, family and friends have been a savior for me, on the 18th of April I had the chance to step on stage for the first time and LOVED every min of it. I Competed in four INBA shows as a fitness model and physique competitor…..Clash at the Coast, Canberra Country Titles, Sydney Super Bodies, NSW Nationals and the Pro Qualifier. By the end I came away with 8x first places, 4x Silver, 3x third and 3x 4th places.
I’ve added other challenge to myself and have started a gym/fitness brand (GenFlex) and this has proved another way to stay focused and keep my mind in the right place.
HAVE YOU EVER HAD ANY SETBACKS OR OBSTACLES WHILE TRYING TO REACH YOUR GOAL PHYSIQUE?
I’ve been lucky with no injuries coming into comps besides my bad lower back from Afghanistan but i work around it and just get on with the job at hand.
The mental game wasn’t all that bad, four years and still dealing with PTSD, depression, anxiety and angry put me in a spot to just look forward to the end game…..knowing I’ve pulled through the worst time of my life to date probably made the mental game a little easier for myself. being in the military for 11 years has trained me to just get it done and whatever my coach says I do with no questions asked.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE LIKE NOW THAT YOU’VE TASTED SUCCESS ON THE BODYBUILDING STAGE?
My life has gone from SHIT to amazing, I’m fit, I’m healthy, I’m more focused, I’ve met some of the best people through the INBA and I’ve seen who my real mates are.
I never thought I would do so well in my first season of competing and i owe it all to family, friends and last but not lest my coach Kyle for all his encouragement and knowledge he’s passed on and I look forward to seeing what we can do in the future together.
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU MOST?
The people around me are the biggest motivation, I truly believe in the saying “BE AROUND PEOPLE ON THE SAME PATH AS YOU’’. Another is myself, I’m a new person and hungry to be better than yesterday at everything I do. My coach and that Pro card is motivating me to bring a better Physique every time I get on stage and i’ll keep pushing until that card is mine hahaha I’ll forever be pushing my limits to be the best i can be.
WHAT IS YOUR NEXT GOAL?
My next goal for the INBA is to place top three (first place would be nice haha) in the Australian championships and also get that Pro card. Representing Australia in international shows would be an honour and a massive highlight for me. Another goal is to finish my cert 3-4 in fitness and working on my clothing brand GenFlex.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE FITNESS FEILD?
I would have to say every stage appearance has been amazing and a highlight……But winning ACT Fitness Model Novice and Opens in front of my family and friends has to be the top of the list. Getting two gold and a silver at Nationals in Sydney is also right up there.
WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO NUTRITION?
I try to eat pretty clean all year round. A few weeks out from Nationals I was eating the following:
Meal 1: 50g of whey protein isolate + 40g of oats or rice flakes + 5g of raw cacao powder
Meal 2: 200g of chicken breast/fillet steak or 95/5 mince + 70g of white/brown rice (cooked weight) or 100g of sweet/white potato + 50g of tomato/onion/capsicum + 100g of green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, green beans, capsicum, mushrooms etc)
Pre-Workout Meal: (45-90 minutes pre workout) 40g of low fat muesli/oats + 30g of whey protein isolate/hydroslate + 15g of peanut butter or almond butter
Post-Workout Meal: (45-90 minutes post workout) 160g of basmati/jasmine rice (cooked measurement) + 250g of eye fillet or topside beef
Meal 5: 200g of chicken breast/fillet steak or 95/5 mince + 2 slices of white or organic rye bread + Tomato/onion/mushrooms *Add fat free mayo/mustard/sugar free bbq/tomato sauce if you like
Meal 6: 200g of plain low fat greek yoghurt (chobani or jalna) + 50g of snap frozen blueberries + 30g of whey protein isolate + 10g of raw cacao powder + 5ml of coconut oil
IS THERE ANYONE YOU WOULD LIKE TO THANK?
Family and friends for being there when I needed them most and supporting all the way, much love team.
Zac Ward for talking me into this great sport and Kyle at Nutrivolve for all the help and support over the last 10 months, always there to answer any questions and his attitude towards making myself better is second to none.
And finally you boys at Prodigy Performance Nutrition. Always giving me the best advice in terms of supplement use while prepping for a comp. They were always up for a chat and provided me with endless encouragement – thanks boys!
“Being Weak is a choice, SO IS BEING STRONG”
Goes for both mind and body.