Mike Thurston is a fitness influencer, personal trainer and entrepreneur from the United Kingdom. He is best known in the YouTube fitness community for sharing fitness and bodybuilding related content. Thurston is also the owner of a health and fitness company. This article summarizes Mike Thurston’s biography, diet and workout routine as well as statistics.
Mike Thurston Statistics
|Full Name: Mike Thurston|
|210 lbs (95 kg)||6’0″ ( 183 cm)||33 years|
|Date of Birth||Place of Birth||Nationality|
|August 9, 1990||England||British|
Mike Thurston Biography
Mike Thurston was born in the United Kingdom and raised in Leeds, England. He was an active kid and participated in various sports like cricket, football and athletics while growing up. However, Rugby was his true passion at the time.
He lifted weights to build a stronger physique to be able to play the sports. But weight training became Mike’s passion and he started training in his school gym to get a dream physique.
Thurston graduated with a degree in economics and management and moved to Spain to promote nightclubs and bars as a job. He returned to England and worked as a retail store manager as well. However, these jobs did not allow him to focus on the diet and training that he was so passionate about. But great genetics allowed Mike to maintain the physique irrespective of an ideal routine.
At age 22, Mike Thurston decided to pursue fitness as a career and became a certified coach a year later. Along with his friends, Mike founded a health and fitness company in Newcastle. With hard work and a brief period of struggle, the Englishman finally succeeded in the business. He also started posting enriching content on his YouTube channel to help others achieve their fitness goals. At the time of this article’s publishing, Mike Thurston’s YouTube channel has 1.43 million followers.
Mike Thurston Workout
Mike Thurston’s training philosophy revolves around doing things the right way at the right time. Many people have speculated anabolic steroid use as the reason behind Thurston’s incredible physique. However, he claims that most of the gains in his physique were made in the early to mid-20s when it is incredibly easy. He has worked hard over the last few years to maintain it with proper diet and training.
Thurston trains six days per week and his current training split includes dedicated training sessions for chest, back, shoulders, legs and arms along with HIIT training. This enables him to focus on each and every muscle group in the body and make complete gains without any leaving weak areas.
The 32-year-old makes changes to his training plan at a four to six week frequency to ensure that his body is challenged constantly and does not get complacent staying in a certain routine for an extended period of time. He performs most of the exercises for three to four sets with an 8 to 12 rep range.
A typical training week in Mike Thurston’s routine looks like this:
Monday – Chest Workout
- Barbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 6 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Incline Hammer Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Crossovers – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Decline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets of 10 reps
Tuesday – Back Workout
- Bent-Over Barbell Rows – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Wide Grip Lat Pulldown – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Standing Cable Lat Pulldowns – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Barbell Rack Pulls – 3 sets of 10 reps
Wednesday – Shoulder Workout
- Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Standing Cable Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Rear Delt Flyes Machine – 3 sets of 10 reps
Thursday – Leg Workout
- Romanian Deadlifts – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Press – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lying Leg Curls – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Bulgarian Split Squats – 3 sets of 12 reps
- Hip Thrusts – 3 sets of 12 reps
Friday – Arms Workout
- Flat Bench Dumbbell Skull Crushers – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Triceps Pushdown – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Overhead Rope Triceps Extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Feet Elevated Bench Dips – 3 sets of 15 reps
- Standing Barbell Curls – 4 sets of 8 reps
- Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curls – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Standing EZ Bar Curls – 4 sets of 10 reps
Saturday – HIIT Training Routine
- Jumping Rope or Battle Rope – 3 Minutes
- Jumping Jacks – 3 sets of 1 minute each with break after every set
- Kettlebell Swings – 3 sets of 1 minute each with break after every set
- 20-Minute Sprint Intervals on an Exercise Bike
Sunday – Rest
Mike Thurston’s Favorite exercises for each muscle group
Mike Thurston follows an excruciatingly elaborate training plan to grow and maintain his physique. But almost everyone finds asking that one question to themselves: If I could do only one exercise for every muscle, which ones would I choose? Thurston has an answer for this question and each one of his chosen exercises have a strong logic behind them.
It is common knowledge that pressing movements are the best for developing pushing strength of the upper body. However, Thurston is a little more specific about it and feels that incline dumbbell press is his favourite chest exercise. While explaining the reason for choosing this one, the 32-year-old said:
“It just allows you a little bit more freedom of movement particularly when it comes to hand positioning and also elbow positioning… Because there is a little bit more external rotation whenever you’re doing an incline press, it’s usually a little bit more joint friendly to the shoulder.”
As the old saying goes – “If you want the back to grow, you’ve gotta row!” T-Bar rows are an excellent compound movement for building a strong and thick back. In Mike Thurston’s case, T-Bar rows offer chest support and enable training without putting a lot of stress on the spine. Therefore T-Bar row is his favourite back builder.
“The reason I would choose a T-bar row over anything else is mostly because of the chest support. So the T-bar row with chest support means that I can really take my back to complete failure without my spine giving up first. That’s usually the case I found typically at my level of training experience.”
Back is a large muscle group and therefore it is impossible to work it fully with only one exercise. Therefore, Thurston’s second favourite movement is the neutral underhand grip pulldown to focus on the latissimus dorsi / lats.
Shoulder muscles are crucial in performing most of the upper body movements like pushing, pulling, lifting to name a few. Additionally, they are a capping element aesthetically and underdeveloped shoulders can really bring down the aesthetic appeal of a muscular physique. Therefore, developing the deltoids, especially the medial deltoids is crucial.
Machine lateral raises are Mike Thurston’s personal favorite for developing this muscle group. Since the anterior and posterior deltoid muscles are stimulated during compound pushing and pulling movements, medial deltoid is the only part that would need specific exercise.
“What I would really want to work on is the mid-delts because the physique without the mid-delts looks kind of weird. mid delts help get that v-taper and most people have pretty sh***y mid delts to be honest. So don’t neglect them.”
Additionally, Thurston would prefer doing the exercise on the machine instead of dumbbells for the following reason:
“We’re training he delts where it’s relatively strongest in the lengthened position. This is something dumbbell lateral raises won’t do. There’s minimal resistance.”
When it comes to the lower body, Mike Thurston would include three exercises, one each for the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. For the quads, pendulum squats would be his go-to option. Because:
“The reason why it’s so good first of all, is because of the back support, okay? Whenever I do free weight squats, whether it be front squats, back squats, I usually find this when I’m loading myself with a lot of weight, there’s a lot of tension which is going on my lower back and it’s usually my lower back that gives away before my quads. Secondly, it’s very easy for almost everybody to get to the full depth to allow for the full range of motion to occur.”
While many people claim that compound movements can be made more hamstring focused by modifying the position, foot placement etc. Mike Thurston would include seated leg curls as the hamstring isolation movement in his routine.
“First of all, it will put your body in a position where your hamstrings are naturally fully lengthened, which is great. So whenever you’re training them, there’s resistance being applied in the lengthened position and the mid-range as well which is optimal.
And finally, the glutes. If Thurston was supposed to go with only one exercise to work the glutes, he would go with the Smith machine Bulgarian split squats. Using the Smith machine eliminates the need to control the weight as it moves along a fixed trajectory.
Arms – Single Arm Preacher Curls (Biceps) and Crossover Cable Triceps Extensions (Triceps)
Preacher curls are arguably the most effective movement for bicep isolation as the arm is firmly pressed against the pad. There are very few exercises that come anywhere close to this movement for bicep development. Needless to say, this is Thurston’s favorite bicep exercise as well. He says:
“The reason why I would choose a single arm is because it is more joint friendly… And I would choose preacher curl because it offers that support. It eliminates any cheating or any rocking or any of your torso or even movement of the elbow joint.”
Full elbow flexion and stability in the shoulder joint are two of the most important criteria for triceps activation. Crossover cable triceps extensions check both these boxes and occupy the spot of favorite triceps exercise in Thurston’s training routine.
“I like this because of the good profile, the good resistance profile. You train the triceps in the lengthened mid-position. The majority of the resistance is going to be here in the lengthened position, the mid position and then the resistance tapers off in the shortened position when it’s relatively weaker. So that’s ideal. And secondly, the angle at which I’m going to be pulling is a lot more joint friendly at the elbow.”
Mike Thurston Diet
Mike Thurston follows a strict diet plan and does not deviate from it unless there is a strong reason. He rarely indulges in cheat meals that do nothing beyond satisfying the taste buds. Needless to say, his muscular physique is an outcome of things done right in the gym as well as in the kitchen.
To fuel growth and avoid feeling too hungry or too full at any given time of the day, Mike Thurston eats six small meals spaced out throughout the day. His day starts fairly early but the 32-year-old avoids consuming anything other than plain water for the first three to four hours, especially coffee. He explained the reason for adapting this practise in one of the videos on his YouTube channel and said:
“If you have coffee the first thing in the morning when you wake up, you’re going to get an afternoon slump which actually makes a lot of sense because I was always getting a chronic afternoon slump and I think it most likely has been down to the fact that I would just crumble myself with coffee…” Thurston said, quoting noted neuroscientist Andrew Huberman.
Lan meats, eggs, vegetables and fresh fruits are the primary constituents of Mike Thurston’s diet. He avoids consuming dairy products and relies on almond milk, oat milk and peanut butter instead. When it comes to veggies, nothing is off the table.
“One of the most satisfying foods, Satiating is that feeling of fullness, is the white potato… The basic, boring white potato is the most satiating food. So get them into your diet, particularly if you are cutting and you’re hungry,” Mike Thurston advised in one of his YouTube videos.
A typical day of eating in Mike Thurston’s routine looks like this:
- 4-Egg Omelet
- 1 Slice of Bacon
- ½ Avocado
- Veggies including Tomatoes, Onions and Mushrooms
- 1 cup of Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Honey
- Fresh Fruits Including Blueberries and Raspberries
- 1 Cup of Almond Milk
- 1 Scoop of Vegan Protein Powder with Oat Milk and Fruits
- Teriyaki Salmon
- Brown Rice
- Steamed Broccoli
- Brown Rice Cracker
- 1 Banana
- Minced Beef
- Baked Potatoes
- Green Beans
Mike Thurston’s success story shows that you don’t have to get stuck doing things that don’t give you satisfaction. Pursuing your dreams is the risk worth taking if you are really passionate about doing something.