Q&A | Elliot Clements-Hill
Elliot Clements-Hill has enjoyed a remarkable few years, combining two high profile jobs: professional rugby player & professional model. Lightning quick, Elliot was one of the stand out performers of the last few seasons with Bedford Blues in the Greene King Championship, but he has also worked as a model alongside his career as a back.
We dragged Elliot along during his pre-season to the Curtain in East London to find out how he fuels himself, both as an elite athlete and a professional model...
Elliot, thank you for coming along this afternoon... can you tell me, what is the most common meal you rely on at home? What meal or recipe do you tend to find yourself drawn to most frequently? "Chicken. One hundred percent, bit of spicy chicken in the pan, mix it up with some coconut oil, some rice, bit of veg... that's probably my most standard meal. I'll have that a few times a week".
So have you got a cheat meal then? "My favourite cheat meal would be pizza".
A Domino's straight after a game? Strangely a lot of athletes we've spoken to go for pizza and ice cream after a game or race... "you know what, I'm not a massive fan of Domino's but a Pizza Express pizza is the best!"
Is there anything you actively avoid at the moment, either because you're not a fan, or you think its not the best thing to be eating? "I don't tend to drink a lot of sugary drinks, but every now & then it's not such a bad thing".
What are you having at half time at Bedford, are you having sugary snacks or anything like that for a little boost of energy? "yeah at half time we'll have a load of sweets laid out so you can get some sugar in, or take some hydration tablets, get some amino energy back in. I used to have things like a protein shake post-game, but it's not something I rely on daily. I have a tub of it at home so I'll have a shake every now & then".
So, lets talk about being a model and an athlete; in the past we've spoke to athletes like James Haskell who has said that there is a massive difference between eating to be a professional athlete and being a cover model - do you find its the same for you, or are you quite lucky in that your training as a player lends itself to your modelling quite well? "Being a full time player, and playing at that level you have to ensure you're eating a lot [to re-fuel], but now I'm modelling more I have to cut back quite a bit; I still eat regularly, but I've cut down on carbs. I'm not starving myself, but I have really cut back.
In the mornings, I'll do some fast cardio then eat breakfast after that and I've found that helps [get me leaner]".
Is the gym work more or less the same? It's rare you see a totally ripped rugby player, most have to carry a little extra weight "Yeah I think carrying some extra weight as a rugby player does help you for sure, but to get leaner you just need to do higher reps in the gym - a lighter weight, but higher reps".
What does a typical gym session look like for a pro rugby player, compared to a model's work out? "I probably do more HIIT work outs now, a lot more high intensity stuff rather than lighting big, heavy weights. I don't want to get too skinny, so I'll still life heavy weights, just a lot less often".
Hydration. This is something that almost every athlete I've spoke to, has said is super important to them as a professional - have you found that to be the case for you, both as an athlete and model? "Oh for sure, if I went to training without being properly hydrated, you feel it. You feel a lack of energy, and feel a bit lethargic. Still now, I try and have a hydration tablet now & then and keep a bottle of water with me at all times".
When you're on holiday, and we've all seen some amazing snaps on your instagram page, did you have to think about staying fit and healthy much both as a rugby player and model, or can you let go a bit? "I do love a bit of travelling for sure, but when I know I'm going away for a few weeks I still try to keep training. It's good to have time off, of course, from training otherwise it gets a bit boring, but on the whole I enjoy keeping fit, even on my holidays - just running along the beach, you can't beat it".
Ahead of a shoot, do you have to tailor your training at all? "It depends what you've got coming up really, if you're told you've been booked for a topless shoot like a Mens Health cover or something like that, then you will try and train a little bit harder to try and get those extra percentages - not all shoots are topless though, so that's not always necessary!"
What were you having in the mornings ahead of a game, and how long before kick off would you eat? "On a match day it would just be a few eggs and some avocado on toast in the morning, around half 8 or 9 am, then I'd probably eat again around half 11 or 12, and have something quite light. I didn't like to feel full before a game. It's always the day before that I'll eat well".
Anything in your gym bag you can't live without? "My headphones probably, without music I get so bored."
Have you got a favourite track to work out to, or what are you listening to to psych yourself up pre-game? "Hang on, I'll have a quick look through my phone now... I quite like hip hop, I'll just get a random playlist on, I don't think I've got a particular track I like to listen to".
Any games that have stood out in your career so far? "I suppose... Nottingham away last season, we were losing because we weren't playing very well. I scored a try from out wide with about 10 minutes left in the game, and because there was so little of the game left I quickly took the conversion and drop-goaled it over, that was quite a good one!
I remember team performances more... last year again, against Jersey, which is a really hard place to go but the boys really enjoyed that win, and I think I got Man of the Match".
How did you get into modelling? "So I was about 19, my sister was in London and modelling at the time... we walked past Models1 and shes asked me if I wanted to pop in and see them, and it just went from there".
Do you have to be careful what you eat on a shoot? we spoke to Ocean Lewis who said in Berlin, she'd be drinking loads of tea and then would bloat up, so now she has to be super careful about what she has "Yeah I was on a shoot the other week actually for a magazine, and it was a topless shoot but there were sweets and chocolates everywhere, so you're desperate to have some, but you have to be careful. If it's not a topless thing though, then I'll sneak some snacks".
What does a typical day of food look like for you, when you're factoring in training or modelling? "Every morning it'll be an omelette or a smoothie... for my omelette I chuck a load of tomatoes in, mushrooms, spinach.. I'll have about 3 or 4 eggs, but I'll take out a couple of yokes just so its a bit less fatty.
Few hours later, some fish or chicken with some rice. Depending on what I've got on I might have it without carbs. If I don't have carbs, I'll add in some good fats like hummus or avocado. I'll make quite a lot so I can snack on it up until training, plus I'll snack on nuts and things like that".
A lot of people aspire to be a model, and everyone has an idea in their mind about how easy it must be, what are the real ins & outs of a regular shoot? "Depends what its for really, some e-commerce stuff, like Next online or things like that can be really long days sometimes, and you'll have to do about 60+ outfit changes. Of course they can be well paid, but can be really hard work. It's constant getting changed, and having you photo taken, then you'll get a quick lunch break then you carry on".
Find Elliot on Instagram for more updates on his careers...