Body Building and Air Purification
Studies have shown how clean air - free from particulate pollution such as traffic pollution, mould, dust, viruses, bacteria as well as chemicals and gases - help with shallow breathing, improves quality of sleep and can prevent a wide range of short term and long-term health problems. Allergy Cosmos was interested to find out more about the role of air purification in bodybuilding and how beneficial it is. We contacted Kevan Wilson, one of the UK's top Bodybuilders, who was kind enough to agree to an interview.

How did you get into bodybuilding?
My full time job was as a builder but I’ve always been very active, and loved all sports, so I did weight training as a hobby whenever I could get to the gym and I found that my body responded well to hard training and a good diet. When I retired from work at the age of 50, it was a natural progression to take the bodybuilding more seriously and I won the UKBFF (UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation) London & South East over 50’s title one month after my 50th birthday. I’ve never looked back from there and have won many titles since.

What factors are most important in your over-all training regime and success?
To build what we bodybuilders call a total package you need a plan that covers everything. Training is, of course, vital but so is rest - and what you put into your body is actually more important than anything else. Diet is at least 70% of getting in shape and that diet covers everything: food, drink, supplements and, of course, the quality of the air that you breathe.

When did you first become aware of the importance of air quality and how? 
Almost by accident really. I often review my entire regime and it dawned on me that the quality of my sleep was something that could be greatly improved. I read about a top pro who sleeps in a blacked out room that has oxygen pumped in while he sleeps. Whilst that is probably going a bit over the top, I realised that it would be hugely beneficial to breathe purified air whilst I slept and so I use an IQAir HealthPro 250 air purifier. Considering I always sleep at least 8 hours out of every 24 it would mean that for at least a third of my life I would be breathing purified air and that would be hugely beneficial to my cause.

Why do think clean air (i.e. free from particulate pollution such as traffic pollution, viruses, bacteria as well as chemicals and gases) is especially important in bodybuilding?
People don’t realise that you don’t grow when you’re in the gym. You grow when you’re resting because of what you’ve done in the gym. A great workout is wasted if it is not followed with top quality nutrition and rest. That means a good diet and the best quality sleep that you can manage, which I have come to realise means sleeping whilst breathing in the purest possible air. I have seen people train hard and then eat junk food for dinner followed by a night on the town and a few hours of sleep on the sofa. Then they wonder why their physique doesn’t improve!

The rate of professional athletes that suffer with allergies and asthma is higher than that of the general public. Do you think the same applies to professional bodybuilders?
Yes I do. It is an unspoken fact that these days more and more people in bodybuilding are pushing themselves harder than ever before, but they are also taking many different things, including illegal substances, to give themselves an edge. This includes steroids and other drugs, all of which can lower the body’s immune system. It follows then, that unless these bodybuilders do something to address that, more and more will suffer from illness, allergies and asthma, etc.

Installing high efficiency air filtration into existing ventilation systems is cost effective and easy to do. Do you know of any weight lifting gyms in the UK that properly purify the air in their gym? Do you think offering clean air free from allergens and traffic pollution would be a valuable differentiator?
Very few gyms do this and I think that if more did then they would be offering something special and would be rewarded with a more professional class of clients as well as extra members. Given the choice, who wouldn’t want to train in a gym with an environment of purified air? Whilst “old school” gyms will always be the best in my opinion, the days of “spit and sawdust” gyms has gone and gym owners have to realise how the sport has evolved and cater for their clients by using the latest technology and accommodating the results of the latest sports science studies. On this subject, I will be opening my own gym “Peak Physique and Fitness” in Hitchin, Hertfordshire in early 2014, and air purification is something that we will certainly be looking at as soon as we get open and settled.        Click here to learn more about air filtration for gyms.

What is the next goal in your bodybuilding career?
My plans are to go into full time coaching at my gym as soon as we are open. I actually find that helping people achieve their dream of standing on stage is far more rewarding than winning competitions myself. This will no doubt affect whether or not I compete again, I have won 9 major titles in the last 5 years so I have nothing to prove, but of course I would never say 'never again'. Although I will be 55 by the time the next season starts, I’m actually in the best shape of my life so I’m really looking forward to the future.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us about the role of air purification in bodybuilding and all the best for the next season of competitions!