Thursday, 28 October 2010

The habits of succesful clients

Hello all,

First off, well done again to my clients, friends, blog readers who took part in the GFD over the past month... in total we lost 31kg (11 people) in 3 weeks - pretty awesome. Special mention to my client DG who is down 40lbs since the summer, im  guessing another 15-20lbs to go and thats his long term goal done. bring it on!

Well done my golf team "Velvet Thunder" for retaining the Think Pink golf title this year, thats 4 competitions and 4 wins for the now legendary foursome (invite only). We also got some local press action for that! Haha.

Onto the blog... This is another one i have been waiting to write for a long time, so i will get right to it. For a while now i have been noticing trends in my clients and other gym members, trends for success. It has become very obvious to me that the clients/gym users i see getting amazing results all share common habits and characteristics.

So what am i saying?

Im saying that if you read the blog below and copy the habits of my most successful clients, you will have a great chance of sharing their successes in the gym.

Remember... "success leaves clues"
World class athletes like Rafael Nadal have a system for success

"Success leaves clues" I love this saying, its simple and spot on. Look at what the most succesful people do and copy it, simple right? So how come many of the people who step into gyms are not getting the results they want? I will highlight what i see as my top habits of my most succesful clients, let's see if you share any of them:

1) Having the foresight to learn and change

Time after time i get 'know-it-all' clients walk into the gym and tell me exactly what they want, when they want it, how they should do it (whilst being in terrible shape) blah blah blah. Fact: My very best clients come in to the gym with an open mind and a willingness to try something new. If i explain the training ahead will be hard, they don't complain or attempt to talk me into a new regime - they just DO.

Take home message - If you are a client, remember that the trainer (should) know the best exercises/strategies for you. Pay attention, focus on the session and listen to what the trainer is asking before offering your opinion. If you do not get the results you are after then change trainer/gym. There are good and bad fitness professionals out there - if you want a good one, come to our gym! (Shameless plug for RCC but im actually fully booked - get in the queue!)

Im a huge fan of salma hayek's.... focus and attention!

2) Attendance

I never realised this before and now it seems so simple. People who turn up when they should - usually get results. At the end of each month i total up my sessions and check each persons totals for accounting purposes. I started to notice a trend. My most succesful clients were not missing sessions.

Example unsuccessful client phonecall: "Hi Nathan, I think im starting to come down the flu, best leave it until next week, bye!"

Example Successful client: No phonecall, just turns up (looking terrible): "Hi Nathan, Ive been on the toilet all night, ive definately got some form of psneumonia and my right arm is broken, but there is absolutely NO WAY im missing deadlifting day today!".

My examples may be over the top, but you get my meaning, right? They just turn up. I can give you my top 5 clients of all-time right now and the stand-out attribute about them all (above talent/fitness) was they always turn up.

Take-home message - If you are always cancelling sessions, dont blame your trainer that you're still fat, blame yourself! Tough love 101, get used to it.

You are chubby... get over it.

3) A natural talent/work ethic

Surprisingly, this is not a compulsory attribute for gym success and some of my greatest clients successes have come from absolute beginners in the gym. Importantly, they had a great work ethic.

I will say however, that fitness is probably the biggest reason why people cant get into great shape... sounds pretty straight forward? Think about this... I can create the best training session ever in the world of fitness, people could travel all over to speak to me about, papers would print it, world-wide fame, etc... but what if nobody could do it? It becomes useless. Fitness and talent become the limiting factor.

I have created a program recently for one of my young clients who wants to be a fast bowler (cricket). I love the program, he thinks its awesome, every time we complete a session he seems to get stronger and fitter in all the areas we are targetting - its spot on. However, I cannot give this program to 60% people i train because they couldn't do it... so is it a great program?

Take home message - Talent/Fitness is not necessary for great results but it is a great starting place to achieve fast results.

It wouldn't be difficult to train Usain Bolt

Im guessing a session with Mr Blobby would be a f*cking nightmare!

Take home message - choose your parents wisely.

4) Nutritional adherence from the start (90% rule)

I can't begin to explain how important this is. If you have heard the saying "you can't out-train a bad diet" then you have heard correct. I won't elaborate too much on this point as its a whole blog in itself - it is vitally important that you live by the 90% rule of eating well to get good results.

Not only do crap foods affect the way you look but they affect the way you feel. We could both eat 3000 calories per day - mine could be all fresh produce, vegetables, lean protein, good fats, etc. and yours could be fast food, Latte's, doughnuts and cheese (not together obviously... thats gross) - it wouldn't take a genius to work out which one of us a) looks better b) performs better c) has better moods and d) is generally more intelligent about the way we look after of our bodies. (Me, if you weren't following)

The 90% rule

I realise that there are people reading this now thinking that fit people are boring, they dont eat any bad food, they dont drink alcohol and live like a monks to stay in shape. Your wrong. People who are in shape - know the rules of eating. 90% adherence to a healthy lifestyle, 10% anything you want.

Work your 10% out. average 4 meals/snacks per day x 7 days = 28 meals/snacks a week

Divide by 10 = 2.8. round up to 3 meals/snacks 'off plan' per week (roughly)

No need to get all anal about the numbers just know the rules, you can't eat shit all the time and look good. If you do look good im guessing that 'ole father time will catch up with you at some point. Probably something nasty and sudden, let's hope not eh?

G.W Bush was shocked when i told him about the 90% rule

This is not the end of the story, you must also exercise (5 hours per week is optimal - another blog). If you spent 6 hours a week in the gym (which you don't) that would still only be about 3% of your entire week.

Take home message - its what you do in the 97%+ time of your week that will dictate how successful you are in your fitness goals.I hope that's an 'A-ha' moment for some of you?!

I had written other attributes like Positive mental attitude, finishing sets/reps, etc. but they are pretty much covered in the first 3 headings of this blog.

Finally... another interesting habit to consider is training time. In one the gyms i used to work at, I tested the bodyfat of 10 random early morning trainers and 10 random late evening trainers. The results shown a significantly lower reading in the morning group than the evening. Is this valid? who knows... i may have been just trying to prove my own theory. But if you look at the people who are first to arrive in the gym each morning and the ones who are last at night - there is a definite difference in attitude, confidence and general approach to training at the gym. I always thought that the early crowd (6-8am) wanted to be there and had a system that they enjoyed where as the late evening crowd (7-9pm) seemed like they had to be there and had nothing else better to do (we used to call the friday night crowd "The lonely hearts club" - Im sorry if you were in that club - or indeed are still in it!)

I may be completely wrong and there are exceptions to every rule, what do you think?

All the above habits are things i have noticed from my own clients and the 1000's sessions i have done in the past 4 years. Do you share any with my best clients? It would be safe to say that if you do not (share any of the above) you will not get the results you're after. Realise that the limiting factor in your fitness quest is probably YOU and the reason why you actually train or Take PT sessions anyway. You are paying for a result not a friend. Friendship and respect will often come from a great result. Look at my clients they all hate me... but they are getting in great shape! (that was hopefully not true)

Share with Facebook friends if you like this blog, spread the word, comment, leave abuse!

Next blog i will actually write a training program!!! (that's new for me) :)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Green Faces Diet: The Results

Hi everyone,

First of all im tired of the term "green faces" so for the rest of my life i will refer to it as GF. Oddly enough if you type GF diet into google im right at the top of the list! Internet fame - Job done.

Todays blog will reveal all the results of my clients during the GFD and i will try to conclude what i feel the best and worst things are about the past 3 weeks.

Who did it?

3 weeks ago, 10 people started the GF challenge. Mostly they were PT clients of mine, some work colleagues and myself. PT sessions per week for each individual ranged from 1 to 3 sessions/week, i will put the number next to the weigh loss in (brackets).

RCC clients excited at start of the GFD

The results

The weigh loss results were as follows:

DG - 107.9 - 102.7 (3 per week)
PD - 106.3 - 102.2 (1 per week)
KB - 60.4 - 55.5 (2 per week)
SP - 56.0 - 54.8 (3 per week)
ES - no change
CD - down approx 4kg
NW - down approx 4kg
DB - down approx 2kg
SF - down 1 kg
LP - no change

It was very noticable that the first 7 days are the most potent for this plan and some people lost up to 4kgs (8.8lbs). The 2 biggest results came from those who had admittedly put on weight through poor eating during summer holidays, so it was expected they would drop back down. After day 8 this plan gets very tiring -  Its not the energy but the lack of options/tastes available. There is only so many times you can eat brussel sprouts for breakfast and not question your sanity!

The best and worst

The best thing about this diet is obviously the immediate weight loss and health kick. For those who are 'stuck' in their weight loss quest, this may be the plan to bust through a plataeu.

The worst thing is the boredom. It's not that you want to really eat things that are bad - its just the menu becomes very bland, very quickly. See my GFD solution in the conclusion.

Client Comments

During the last 3 weeks i was continually interviewing my clients on how they felt, below are some of the most important things said:

"After only one week i haven't any of my usual PMS symptoms! My husband is a big fan of this diet"

GFD can reduce PMS symptoms. Thats a pretty powerful statement!

"I'm sleeping much better"

"I don't feel hungry at all"

"I'm so much calmer around my husband and child, in situations where i would normally get stressed"

"I have more energy at the end of the day"

"I can't do this a day longer - i have to add fruit today or i will go insane (Day 2)"

"I feel like i'm turning f*cking green"

"I had a coffee today and couldn't sleep"

"For the whole 3 weeks all i was thinking about was eating Haribo jelly sweets" (That was me)

The Hulk. Possibly the best GFD client of all time?

Goals and behaviours

What i found is that those who did not have a goal of losing that much weight were not 100% into it. Their goals were different from those who lost a lot of weight and their behaviours were different.

What is your goal? if it is to lose as much weight as possible as quickly as possible then the GFD is for you. If you are happy with your current levels then i would suggest not doing it. You have to want to lose the weight or its just not worth it.


We only took 3 weeks out of our usual lives to do this diet plan and its a great exercise in discipline and understanding your own body. I think it is brave to decide to do this and would like to congratulate all my clients who had a go and made some progress. Brave? yes. The easiest thing in the world to do is remain the same and not try to change your health and live better. The amount of times in the past few weeks, the 'normal' life around me put me in situations where i would definately break the plan. The problem with most people's lives is that every 5 days a weekend rolls around which brings the inevitable influx of calories, alcohol and inactivity. As i mentioned above - what is your goal? I also found it bizaare that some of my clients' (so called) friends were negative about the 3 week challenge. I really hate people who are so insecure they need to de-rail those who are trying to make changes. Choose your goal and own it 100% - if someone tries to de-rail you... tell them to F*ck off... seriously.

Fact:  GFD is great for quick return to normal body weight after a period indulgence. I dont care what anyone says/thinks about the past 3 weeks, me and my clients lost a total of 24kg in less than a month - has anyone else in the region done that? probably not.

I found it useful in re-programming my green intake. As predicted in my article, i have eaten more green vegetables than ever and although i dont plan to eat that quantity again, but my body has been re-programmed to eat more from now on.

My GFD solution

For those people who think that doing this diet will leave them short on energy, i honestly believe that is rubbish. Anyone who cannot tolerate a lower carb diet after a week is either:

a) genetically a carb-type person (usually african and hot climate races)
b) Addicted to a steady supply of sugar (good and bad) for energy

Are you addicted to sugar?

I would suggest most people are option b) and are unwilling to be brave enough to lose some bodyfat and "tough out' a stricter diet for any period of time.

Final thought - During our PT course, i stayed off Carbs for 2 weeks and performed 2 bleep tests before and after - the results were the same. How would i be able to run the same time with absolutely 0 carbs in my body? A: Protein (4cals/g) and Fat (9cals/g) are energy sources too. Believe it. Fat will not make you fat, but sugar will.

Spread the word and share this with your facebook friends below :)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Bahrain: The state of a nation

Somedays, I wake up and I know its going to be a long, difficult day. Things dont seem to line up right, I feel a bit too tired to go to work but not so tired to call it off. I feel hard done by and curse the long hours and my hard luck...

Then somebody phones you late at night and tells that a friend (and client) has died of cancer aged 41, leaving a teenage daughter and husband behind. In comparison, my bad days don't even come close to those who were close to Cherryl Chisholm. Everytime during our sessions we had a great laugh in the gym and i'm sad i will not get to share more time with her again. She was an absolute star.

I will miss you Cherryl x

Hello everyone,

This blog has been on my mind for a while... well, about 2 years actually. I keep hearing horror stories and seeing ridiculous things involving people, food and lack of exercise. Its time i exposed the truth and whats really going on here in Bahrain.

In a previous blog i mentioned that i hate fat kids' parents and i like to retract that statement. I actually despise them, how they leave their kids make nutritional choices based upon the colour of the packaging. Before i go into a rant i will share with you the main problems.

All the facts in this blog are taken from stories i have heard, seen or been told over the past 3 years here in the middle east.


When i was a kid, life was simple. I got up (after a good nights sleep) had breakfast and walked to school. I played football or cricket at playtimes and hated maths. I walked home, ate my tea then went to the park to play football with my friends (until dark) then went to bed... repeat. That was my entertainment, it was all about moving, playing and having fun with my friends.

Now, the world over, kids are waking up and checking their blackberry for any BBMs (i hate that term) from other 10yr olds... what the hell do they talk about?? Breakfast MUST be laden with sugar and additives because they dont like anything else and Mummy and Daddy are too busy to care whats good food and whats not so they dish out the Coco-pops everyday.

I'd rather have a bowl of... type 2 diabetes!

They are tired from late night PS3/Internet chatting (often with older perverts - very often german) that they can't concentrate in school and therefore hate the whole experience of learning.

In Bahrain, the easiest thing to say is "there is nothing to do". I know, i have said it myself. As an adult, If it does not involve eating and drinking there is very little options here. However, if you are willing to move around a bit and (god-forbid) exercise! there are plenty of different activities. But the problem is the kids. they dont want to do anything, they see entertainment in Bahrain as the mall, the fast food and maybe the cinema... and thats it. They have turned to technology for entertainment and they are totally addicted!

I have a friend who's child will not eat for hours because they are chatting online (probably to a german librarian) and using all of the alloted internet time they have been allowed. The mere suggestion of an athletic interest is returned with absolute disguist.

Kids are addicted to modern technology

Of course, the result of this is that the children of Bahrain are not learning any physical skills/lessons. The closest they are coming to a fall or bruise is when they are playing WWE wrestling on the PS3. I am getting kids in the gym that cant even get in positions to stretch and perform basic human movement because they have never learned or needed to do it.

I have trained a 9yr old boy trying to get in shape and lose weight. If that doesn't tell you things are wrong in the world then nothing will. Im happy to help out but i also feel quite sad - and often wonder what i was doing at 9yrs old? Did i know what a gym was when i was 9? Im pretty sure i didn't.


During our assessments at RCC, i ask a question about sleeping patterns. How do you sleep? What times? etc. to get an indicator of how stressed a person may be. A recent assesment went like this:

Nathan: What time do you go to sleep?
Client: 6am
Nathan: What the f@#*!
Client: But i do wake up around 1pm

Honestly, thats exactly how it went. i had to dig further into this and it is apparently very common for Bahraini  youngsters to stay up all night. i have heard that it is actually 'fashionable' to stay up all night and be exhausted the next day. Apart from thinking "ok, thats weird" i tried to work it out. In order to be able to stay up all night, you must not be tired... which leads back to daily activity. If you are not doing any activities in the day, you will not feel tired at night. Add to this a diet full of sugar, caffiene and additives and you have the perfect cocktail of stimulants for an all night internet chat session.

Little Johnny concentrating after an all-nighter.

There is so much wrong with not sleeping at night, i cant begin to start in this blog. All i can say is any child that is doing this will have major physical/emotional problems by the end of their teens and will probably end up seriously unhealthyin aged 21, wondering how they got in such a state. WAKE UP KIDS! well, go to sleep... you know what i mean.


I could be brief here and say the diet in Bahrain is SH** but you probably want to know more than that. The locals live on rice and bread. enough said. Family life in the middle east is based around a huge gathering involving crazy amounts of food. It would be hard to break free from, im sure. A few of the locals i have managed to change, saw results immediately.

After 1 month of training, 1 client (aged 21) lost 11lbs and started to regain some strength only to never return to the gym. His reason... it's too hard. Tragic.

The supermarket food is limited and you have to pay well over the odds for decent European vegetables ('Decent' meaning they are probably 5 days old when they arrive). Also the thriving take-away delivery business in Bahrain is well used. Every restaurant has an army of scooters ready to deliver heart-attacks to your doorstep.

Is there a quicker way to become fat?


I can't really go overboard here as im not a parent (so my views are purely theory). What i'm seeing in the shops, malls and other places is that the trouble with these "problem kids" is all down to the parents. The kids are out of control because there is no discipline. Most families here can afford a nanny, so the 'burden' of bringing your own child up can be substituted for a lifetime of coffee mornings, afternoon tea and around BD150 a month (about 220 quid). The nanny's (often Indian/indonesian) obviously have no authority or control on the children, who are quickly turning to selfish, talentless brats overnight. Family meals are taken at a fast food restaurant on weekdays and weekends, believing that the 'food' they are eating is ultimately good for them. wrong, wrong, wrong.

Just today i noticed an incident where the child was being yelled at by a stressed and depressed, overweight mum. If you own body is 'mal-nourished' then your child doesn't stand a chance. Some of these parents look generally miserable at the prospect of sharing time with their kids - they all seem tired, fat and constantly hungry for coffe and junk food. A viscious cycle?

I could go on a world-class rant here but its best to leave it there. Check out my earlier blog on hating fat kids' parents.

I recently heard a story about a 5 year boy who demanded a golf cart for his birthday so that he didn't have to walk around anymore.

Also, did you hear about the boy who had a stroke whilst watching tv, aged 9.

Or how a maid quit her job (heart-broken) because the youngest child in her care was addicted to mars bars and was eating a box a day (24 bars @ 250cals each)

Seriously, what the F#!* is going on?

A pretty common site in modern households

Talent/work ethic

If you combine all of the above points you are left with a child who has limited physical talent. If i was harsh i would call them a 'motor moron' - a person who is unable to perform basic human movements on command. Since moving to Bahrain i am constantly encountering 'motor morons' who also have a natural dislike of hard work! As a trainer, it really is 'scratch your head' time in terms of program design and exercises. How do you teach someone to stretch, bend, etc? A: its tough.

I believe there is a direct link with poor quality food consumption and 'motor morons'. These people are not strong because they have no nutrients in their bodies, their brains do not send the right signals to the muscles to move, the problems are at a deeper level than just exercise technique and muscle tightness. I often spend the first 3 weeks with a client working through a mobility program (future blog) and the results are always amazing. I wonder what trainers (who don't know anything about mobility) would give this type of clients?

A: They put them on strength machines, where everyone has perfect technique! and never address faulty movement problems to fix the problem.

Ok im done.

I will leave you with something i listened to on my Ipod at my gym today. It comes from a narative before a dance song called "Choose Life' from the film "Trainspotting". One of the films of the 90'sthat you need to watch.

'choose life, choose a job, choose a career, choose a family'
'choose a f*cking big television'
'choose washing machines, cars, compact disk players and electrical tin openers'
'choose leisure-wear and matching luggage'
'choose a 3 piece suite on higher purchase in a choice of f*cking fabrics'
'choose DIY and wander round your garden on a f*cking sunday morning'

Now here is the part that i like:

'choose sitting on a sofa watching mind-numbing game shows stuffing junk food in your mouth'
'choosing rotting away at the end of it all in a miserable home being nothing more than an embarrasment to the 'selfish f*cking brats you made to replace yourselves'
'choose your future, choose life'
'i chose not to choose life - i chose something else'

Renton chose heroin, not interval training

Now, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) admittedly was talking about taking heroin everyday. But im talking about looking after yourself and use the gym, eat healthy, live your life while you're young - not plan for when you're old. No-one is saying to go bungy jumping everyday, just plan to do fun and exciting things every few weeks/months... not the same old shit, week in week out. As you read earlier, one of my clients Cherryl died at the age of 41 this week, and it made me ask myself a question "Am i happy with my life and love what i do?' A: Yes and there is more to come.

Can you answer the same? If not, what can you do to change?

If you like, please comment or Share on facebook (button below) and spread the word.

Thanks. Next blog "Green Faces Diet: The results"