Thursday, 29 December 2011

Organic stretching protocol

Hi all,

I sent this blog out in December and it didnt reach half the people it normally does. So im going through some of the oldies and giving them some new life.
Todays blog is all about a system that i incorporate with my clients which i call 'organic stretching' and something which i have found is helping everyone that incorporates it.

If you think this is 'gay' then you probably are tight and need to stretch more

I believe it was Paul Chek who first began this method (I used to have a kick ass book called "Eat, move and be healthy" but one of my clients in Bahrain never give it back to me!) which encourages people to "stretch what is tight and pass on what is not". For more quality reading on stretching, type in 'Paul Chek stretching" into google and this guy literally wrote the book on the subject.

Great book... Somewhere gathering dust in the southern tip of Bahrain!

So here is what i have adopted. We want every muscle to 'feel the same' therefore you have to listen to what your body is telling you and adapt the time and pressure accordingly. For example, this is a normal stretching prescription:

- 30s stretcth on each quad
- 30s stretch on each hamstring

Before i carry on, what if you play a one-sided sport/activity like golf? One side will definately be tighter than the other, so a standard stretching program becomes useless in terms of re-balancing.

To quote Eric Cressey recently:

"The best training programs are assymetrical"

And that is 100% correct in my opinion. The same goes for stretching. Just this morning my client LP said they felt really tight on their left glute so we hit that stretch for 30s then moved onto the right and they felt nothing. We immediately went back to the left and stretched for a further 30s. And thats basically it. Stretch what feels tight and move past what doesn't, thats the beauty of balance.

Achieving balance often leads to pain free movement and improved performance

My personal stretching always involves twice as much strecthing on my left side (particularly hip, glute and hamstring) as i have spent all my life rotating in sports on that 'power' side (golf, soccer, cricket). 

Final thoughts

Take 20-30 minutes to fully stretch and note what 'feels' tighter, either write down or keep a mental note of this and allow that to form the basis of your new "re-balancing" stretching program. If any of you still think stretching is pretty gay or 'just for women' - then you need to wake up and realise that "tight is weak" and tight is the first step towards inbalances and injury.

Gonna be busy for the next few months writing, training and bringing out more blogs than ever, so speak soon :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Health game

Hey all,

Another quick (and hopefully useful) blog on how to keep track of results/diet. Like the last blog on Music to help workouts this idea is just something a little different which could be used to get you to your personal goals.

We are going to play a game, well you're going to play... i'll be the host.

Alan Partridge, arguably the worlds greatest host

We are going to play "The Health Game" (cue cheesy tune) where the goal of the game is to get to 100 points.

The rules

- You earn points (maximum 3 per day) for doing things that put you closer to your goal (fat loss, muscle building, wellness, etc)

- You lose points for doing stuff that take you further from your goals (eating shit food, not exercising, drinking alcohol, etc)

- The points earned/taken away are reflective of the crime (and you must be honest with the crime)

Here are a few of my guidelines:


- Completed training session = 1 point
- Every meal that fits your training goal = 1/2 point
- Bed before 1030pm = 1 point
- Drink 3L water = 1 point
- Massage = 1 point
- Day out being active = 1 point
- post workout nutrition = 1/2 point

Being stroked while earning points? Win, Win.

REMEMBER 3 points scored per day maximum.


- Fast food = -3 points (nulify any scoring that day)
- Alcohol x 1 = -1 point
- Alcohol x more than 1 = -3 points (nulify any scoring that day)
- Eating after 7pm = -1 point
- Bed after 12 midnight = -1 point
- Sugary drinks = -2 points
- coffee after training = -1 point

More than 2 of these and you have 0 points for that day

*you can create your own scoring list based on whats important to you. Just be sure to not over-reward yourself for doing average things and always punish your scoring for doing the worst things (fast food, alcohol bingeing, sugary drinks).

Everyone starts on 0... Play this game for a day, see how you score. Play this game for a week, see how you score. If you cant get off square 1 with your scoring then you probably have some very bad, DAILY habits that are stopping you getting anywhere near your training goals.

Example Yesterday for me looked this:


- training session (fasted) = 1 point
- post workout nutrition = 1/2 point
- Sushi/sashimi lunch with banana = 1/2 point
- water intake good = 1 point

(at this point im looking at a maximum 3 point day... woop effing woop!)


- Chicken Katsu curry with udon noodles in fast food establishment (nulify point scoring for day) 
- Frappacino with Almond snickers

Dont ask me why but i just fancied it, and although it did no long term damage, my new total for the next day was ZERO (0) Nothing.

This is how most people live their whole lives. Play the game, see how many points you can score today, the next week, the rest of the year. My personal goal is to score 20 points over the next 7 days and 30 points before xmas day.

This is just a bit of fun, let me know if it works for you. Imagine getting to 100 and take a look at yourself in the mirror - im 100% sure there would be changes!

See ya :)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Exercise to music

Hey all,

Just a quickie this time around. Do you have steady state cardio work in your plan? Im not here to judge and say you shouldn't (truth is i have personally benefited from doing some LSD over the past month).

Long Steady Duration... what were you thinking? Tut Tut

While doing my rowing challenge i found it great to listen to music. Heavy metal was perfect for tough, short distances. Dance music was my steady work over 10 minutes. As my playlist had the same shuffle i was getting bored. So i decided to SHUFFLE my entire itunes.

Wow, what a great move that was. This allows you to perform different intensities based on the tempo or feeling of each tune. For example:

1-4 minutes (Phil Collins) - easy pace 2:15/500 getting into a rhythym.
5-8 minutes (Tenacious D) - Boom! im up to 85% and picked me speed up to 1:50/500
9-13 minutes (David guetta) - kept Rpm high (32 per minute) but light to match fast paced song
14-18 minutes (Coldplay) - slow pace with intervals of speed (chorus)

My Ipod was dictating my speed and mood with music! It felt good. Fartlek is not a new concept but i really loved this and it ate the time away really quickly... Great if you dont like steady cardio much!

Try it out. Just make sure you have varying music. Too much Metallica will kill you, Too much david Gray will leave you in 1st gear, Too much Michael Buble and i'd probably kick you off the rower for listening to Michael Buble!

Not a good pose, Not good rowing music

Try it out and see what you think, personally i loved it.

Nice and quick as promised :)

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Walking the talk

Hey all,

Its been another mental week for me in my PT career. I presented a talk on injury prevention for marathon running last saturday - which went really well. I started my own new training project BBHR which is going amazingly well and i have managed to fit in 45 PT sessions in the past 7 days! mental hours by any standard... but im still smiling, just.

One of my last blogs was on quotes (and how to make them real) and ever since i have been reeling qoutes off to anyone who will listen. Ive even been making my own up! Here is my latest:

"Beware of those who talk, Walk with those who walk... and Learn from those who do both"

So here is my story...

A young man (lets call him Nathan) arrives in Singapore in April, bouyed by the fact that he knows a lot of stuff and arrives in his new location ready to be an instant success...

Ive learnt a lot of stuff over the past decade about training, but sometime late in 2010 i decided to stop applying that knowledge to myself and my training. I still carried on doing the good work i was doing (relying on my TALK). When i got in my new gym (for reasons that i have explained in previous blogs) I was atl east 25lbs overweight. Without realising it i was now ALL talk. I had the same knowledge but i was not living it, i was not wearing my expertise as a badge, as a billboard for my product.

I started to train well. But (without making to much noise about it) i was in serious pain. My knees hurt, my back was hurting, to be totally honest - i felt like shit. The WALK had turned into a crawl, and a painful one. On top of this i was struggling to enjoy my work, i was complaining about my long hours, the long working week and i was stressing about everything. It was hard to convince gym members of my skills as a trainer when i didnt project any image of it. Business slowed down as did my evening walks home - i was at the edge of my sanity.

The walks home through Geylang were getting weird!

On to September and i was about to hit Day 1 of the newest, baddest training plan i had written to get me back into shape (deadlifts, heavy, sets of 5) but i felt awful. I stopped after 1 set and decided to fix my body.

I wrote about this in my blog on Yoga:

After some internet fitness debating with fellow trainers in the UK and Australia i realized that over the past 5 years i had completely neglected my 'fitness'; this is where my new focus would lie. i began to cycle/row/sprint and most instantly i started to have more energy, my diet cleaned up (future blog on IM fasting) and i was regaining a swagger (WALK). My interest was back and i started to create some really cool programs for people, my TALK was now in full swing.

Sometime in October, i met a new gym member called Thomas (a guy who WALKS and TALKS) , who i knew i wanted to learn from and train with. Fortunately, my knowledge and new-found enthusiasm meant that he felt the same and now we meet daily to really push our limits on the gym floor. Now i can say that my training (WALK) is really back on.


While this has been going on, my clients have suddenly picked up their sessions, some guys/girls are now hitting 3 x week and claiming they feel great from the fresh approaches ive introduced. They see the changes in me and i definately see the changes in them. Evening clients are now scrambling for morning slots (which are fully booked) - 1 client offered to buy a slot off another client (his workmate) for $10! Training is good and Business is good.

The main thing i have taken from the past 3 months is that being positive creates positive situations... and the opposite is definately true. Smiling and saying 'hello' to gym members is leading me to PT leads. Being visibly back in shape has helped me attract interest and my January new client interest is currently about 5 - if you consider i now have 25 active clients, its pretty significant for business. Who knew? Smiling and talking could help me earn more money? Try it out. Im pretty sure it would improve almost anyone's fortunes.

Final thoughts

I arrived in Singapore full of talk, no action.

"Beware of those who talk"

I found a trainer partner that i knew would make me 'step up' and challenge my physically.

"Walk with those who walk"

Getting back in shape and being more positive and open to others has increased interest from gym members in my training and PT product.

"Learn from those who do both"

If you fall into any of the above categories then there is a sure-fire pathway to resolve it in my story. Smile and enjoy what you do, talk to people you normally ignore and be surprised at where it will lead.

More shorter blogs coming soon! Please leave comments/abuse, share with FB friends :)

Monday, 7 November 2011

What happens when... You take a 7 day break from the internet?

Hi all,

I just finished a 7 day (almost total) ban on the internet. I wanted to see what i could get done in 7 days when my small slots of spare time were devoted to my ongoing 'to-do' list and not chatting, debating, updating my facebook and other training forums.

The social phenomenon of our generation could also be the biggest time-waster? Dis-like.

Sunday 31 October

To get the most out of this week i decided to make a 'to-do' list, here is what i came up with:


- 25+ PT sessions (in a week where i had 2 day on a course, this was a tough ask)
- write up presentation for staff training (basic assessment and program design)
- write or plan 2 x articles for
- write or plan 1 x seminar for standard chartered marathon (core training for runners)
- write up 20+ new clients training programs
- write up notes from all collected training/programs to create several new templates for new sessions
- train every day (5-6 day including weights, rowing, mobility, etc)
- row at least 15,000m (as part of Xmas rowing challenge) future blog
- look for 2/3 new clients
- review all client info and make business plan for remainder of 2011
- read 'fit for life' by Martin Rooney (on MRT to work and before bed)
- clear out unwanted emails and check emails daily (at one time in the day)
- take dog for a walk when possible
- clear apartment each evening before sitting down to rest
- prepare healthy food for next day before sleeping (when possible)
- attend PTA global course (fri and sat) all day
- send important emails
- skype brother (gavin) as planned the week before

some list for a week but i was determined to crack on with it.

A bit sneaky of me but right after i announced my facebook fast on my fitness page, I started on the client programs. needing 3 a day to keep my goal - i hit 3 that afternoon, great start - also read some of my book and managed to create a sheet of 65 new/unused exercises that i planned to try-out for new client programs.


- log in to facebook at any time - done!
- spend more than 2-3 minutes on bbc sport, checking football scores - done! (Spurs are still winning so im happy)
- watch TV for more than 30 minutes a day (if at all) - probably did 30-60 minutes at the end of the day. Mostly watching downloaded X factor!

Have you ever calculated how much TV you watch a week? Get other things done... or sleep!

Below is what i achieved:

- 25+ PT sessions (in a week where i had 2 day on a course, this was a tough ask)

I worked on the morning of my day off to ensure i did 26 sessions in the week

- Write up presentation for staff training (basic assessment and program design)

I completed this one evening after work, took about an hour.

- Write or plan 2 x articles for

Not got around to this yet but its next on my list

- Write or plan 1 x seminar for standard chartered marathon (core training for runners)

Planned my seminar presentation, will attempt to write up on powerpoint later this week

- Write up 20+ new clients training programs

I managed 15 - which isn't too bad! I will continue with the other 10 this week @ 1 per day

- Write up notes from all collected training/programs to create several new templates for new sessions

Not got around to this yet, i spent 6 weeks trying new stuff out - it will take a whole focused day to get through all the info

- Train every day (5-6 day including weights, rowing, mobility, etc)

I did this no problem, loving training right now, varying intensity with general feeling so if im tired i ease off slightly

- Row at least 15,000m (as part of Xmas rowing challenge) future blog

including the weekend before i rowed 21,000m in past 8 days - im well ahead of my target and im looking for much more by xmas day, including a crazy xmas eve final push!

- Look for 2/3 new clients

I already have 2 new clients who are coming onboard in January, i also have spoken to 2 other clients (more importantly morning clients) as i want to reduce my evening hours in the new year.

- Review all client info and make business plan for remainder of 2011

Half achieved this. Need to review half way through this month and see if im on track.

- Read 'fit for life' by Martin Rooney (on MRT to work and before bed)

Every spare minute i had (MRT journey to work and before bed) was spent reading this book. Im 50 pages off finishing it which should be by the end of the week. What a great read for any training professional and training-minded person, top class

- Clear out unwanted emails and check emails daily (at one time in the day)

I got my unread emails from 110 down to the 10 i would read (Nate Green, John Romaniello, Nick Tuminiello, Eric Cressey, etc). Plus i subscribed to about 5 other new blogs (Contreras, Weingroff and others) for some diversity in my reading

- Take dog for a walk when possible

Regrettably i dont get to spend much time with my new best friend, its an area that i need to improve, even if it means taking him out when im tired - if you own a dog then you should exercise them regularly (especially athlete dogs like whippets/greyhounds). Thanks to Becks he has had regular walks and runs.

How could you say no to this face?

- Clear apartment each evening before sitting down to rest

Getting good at this, it makes me happier when i do some general cleaning before sitting down at night. Making food for next day is essential so this works well for me.

- Prepare healthy food for next day before sleeping (when possible)

See above, bit slack during course days last week but back on track this week with my steamer!

- Attend PTA global course (fri and sat) all day

WoW! what a course, lots of new perspectives on client needs, new ways to move, foam roll and im getting instant results from using the system. Ian o' Dwyer and Rodney Corn are the business - world class presenters with world class knowledge! look forward to learning from them in the future. Check out their youtube stuff.

Attend courses regularly to refresh your knowledge and energy

- Send important emails

Sent the few important emails that needed sending, job done.

- Skype brother (gavin) as planned the week before

Regrettably i forgot this until sunday night and i was in bed when my brother text me. 8 hours time difference so i need to have a set time where we both can commit.


Looking at the list im very happy with what i achieved during the past 7 days, in terms of progress it was a world class week. I didnt (hardly) waste any time on things that were un-important to my life/work/goals and it paid massive dividends this week. Since Saturday i have been completing really good sessions and everyone seems really happy (not that they are usually down about training with me!)

What can you take from this?

Taking great advice from Todd Durkin's "IMPACT" training book:

"Completing 5 things per day off your 'to-do' list will result in a world class day"

Before you hit the sack each night, write 5 things down that you would like to acheive the next day - wake up and get them done = world class day. If you can hit 5 world class days in the week (mon-fri) then i think your productivity/life will significantly improve.

My list for this week:

- 5-10 client training programs
- Deliver staff seminar on assessment & program design
- Row 15,000m
- Train 4-5 times
- Write up standard chartered marathon
- Find time to skype my brother
- Spend quality time with my dog!
- Prepare food each night
- Plan and write Fitnorama article
- write this blog... DONE!

Whats your list for tomorrow? Whats your goals for this week?

Comment and Share with facebook friends (just dont spend too long on there!)

See ya

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

12 great quotes... and how to make them real!

Hey everyone,

While training last week in a fasted state i had an amazing mind-fart of ideas and eneded up with 8-12 qulaity brand-new blog ideas. The first of these was a "best quotes" type blog. I always read/share/recite memorable quotes almost on a daily basis. They sound cool, they feel good to recite, but there is one problem...

"They (quotes) dont actually mean anything, unless you turn them into an action?"

Here are 12 inspirational quotes, complete with NWT "tough love" action plans to set them in motion:

"Knowing is not enough: we must apply. Willing is not enough: we must do". ~ Goethe

(as some of the text is copied and pasted, the font is a bit funky throughout the blog, anyone who has eplisepsy... Im really sorry about that, i hope you can still read the blog)

1. Albert Einstein

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"

NWT: I wish every person who hit the gym and constantly weighs themselves could have this stamped on their foreheads. identify your training/physique goal and find out what you need to do to get it done, its pointless banging out sets of heavy bench press if your a) overweight and b) if your goal is to look leaner. Or indeed skinny guys wanting to be big but doing Spinning and BodyPump x 3/week and eating like a mouse, whats that all about!!??

2. Emil Zapotek

"Between the borders of pain and suffering, the men are seperated from the boys"

NWT: I love this quote (and have it as tattoo on my ribcage) because it reminds me that in order to excel at different tasks - you have to put the work in. Its the difference between loving leg days and missing them out - you either have it or you don't.

"This crazy polish bastard started a marathon by sprinting to put off opponents!"

3. Wayne Gretzky

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"

NWT: Whatever your goal is, go for it! If you miss then understand why and dont make the same mistake again. Failing at something sometimes is valuable process towards achieving success, dont be afraid of it.

4. Robbie Williams

"Youth is wasted on the young, before you know its come and gone"

NWT: If you have experience, share it with someone who is younger than you. I love training 16-20 year old clients because i know that they are getting a far better introduction to weight training/fitness than i did - that gives me a buzz that i actually passed something on. Yes it was fun to learn and train the way i did BUT i would have loved to have got into the really important stuff earlier than i did. This week i had a chat to a young guy in the gym who has been "smashing" himself 6 days a week - long story short, i told him if i could go back to his age i would warm up and stretch more and not be so focused on chest and shoulders. I think he took something from it.

4. George Burns

"I'd rather be a failure at something I enjoy than a success at something I hate" 

NWT: I dont know what the stats are on "% people who do what they love every day and get paid for it" i think its less than 1%! Im not saying go out and quit your job and become a zoo keeper tomorrow (interestingly enough, i think that would be my second best job), i'm suggesting if you are miserable in your current job and have a choice to re-train without affecting your current income/lifestyle then why not go for something that will make you happy in the long term? Im fully ware that this is not an easy thing to just up and do - but really think about the barriers that stop you. If they are all your own created thoughts then break them down and take a jump!

5. Bodi (Patrick Swayze) "Point Break"

"Why be a slave to the system when you can be its master"

NWT: I think the best recent example i can give here is about nutritional choices that you make every day. If you know you work at a place where all the food outlets are both expensive and not great for your fat loss goals, then prepare food and take it into work. Dont accept a problem, fix it.

6. Mel Gibson (Braveheart)

"Every man dies, but not every man really lives"
The first part of this saying is (unfortunately) true, we are all going to die one day. As this is a blog on how to make things 'real' im not going to say 'seize the day' or bullshit to that effect but you can live out these statements by making better choices, braver choices. Start by deciding what your purpose in life is, what would make you happier than anything? It could be look after injured animals, it could be play football on a beach in brazil, who knows? Decide what that is and do something small every day/week/month to get towards it. BUT (warning) dont bullshit yourself and waste time.

Example (not my own): I want to live in australia one day.

action 1: research places in australia you may want to live in.
action 2: Research the requirements for a working visa and job opportunities
action 3: set dates and save money each week/month

etc, etc, etc.

7. Anonymous

"You are the exact average of the 5 people you spend the most time with"

NWT: If you hang around with assholes, you will turn out to be an asshole. If you live/go out with/ spend time with negative people - you will be a negative person! get rid of the energy vampires in your life and start to surround yourself with people you want to be like.

8. Yoda (Star Wars)

"Do or do not.... There is no try"

NWT: For a 900 year old green dwarf, Yoda spoke a lot of common sense. Confidence is the key to most things. "If you tell yourself you cant do something, you're probably right!" (i stole that quote BTW). Have the confidence to fail at things, try things out and convince yourself you can pull it off. If things dont go as you planned, you have a good idea of how to suceed at them the next time you try.

9. Roy Keane

"Do not compromise in what you believe in"

NWT: Stick to your guns, don't sell out. If you believe in something then stand by your own judgement. This quote came from footballer Roy Keane who left the Irish world cup squad in 2002 because he beleived the Ireland squad were not taking the tournament seriously and was annoyed that the management had below par expectations and preparation for the tournament. he stood up, took a lot shit  and was kicked out of the team. He wouldn't compromise hi high standards and missed out on what should have been the pinnacle of his footballing career.

I liked very few things about 'keano' as a player, that changed after i read his book

10. LL Cool J

"To be a champion you have to live like a champion. You cant eat cupckaes every day and stand in the mirror expecting to look like some else"

NWT: Stop kidding yourself about getting into great shape if you train lousy and eat shit. Set aside 12-20 weeks where you lay off the booze, spend all the money you save (from not drinking/partying) on better quality food and possibly a trainer if you need one. Get on a structured training program that focuses on your training goals and get more sleep. Doing the same shitty routine and drinking 2 nights a week and expecting to have miraculous results is just f*cking silly - get real.

Swayze... what a man!

11. Christian Thibadaeu (T nation training master)

"Complexity is the language of simple people. Always beware of the guy who sounds impressive"

NWT: Don't listen to people who talk, learn from people who DO. Knowledge is great when applied! Which is why (in my opinion) every trainer should be in decent physical shape - i know some disagree but i personally believe you should 'practise what you preach'.

Inspirational physique for someone nearing 50 years old!

12. Thomas Andrews

"You can't fire a cannon from a rowing boat"

NWT: Train your Goddamn lower body! This was shouted at me by my new training buddy, Thomas - during our 2nd leg session of the week. If you dont train and prioritize your lower body in your training schedule, you will end up suffering... either through muscle imbalances (and ultimately pain) or aesthetically. XL vests and skinny jeans is a look only Johnny bravo should go for! 

Look familiar? don't answer if its you

Okay, i have done my 12 best quotes but here are some that i had to put down... with some 'tough love' one-liners!

If you’re bored with life — you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals. ~ Lou Holtz

NWT: In the words of billy Connolly "Get a fucking job ya like!"

 Whether you think you can or you can’t—you’re right! ~ Henry Ford

NWT: Stop talking yourself out of things.

Go out on a limb—that’s where the fruit is. ~ Will Rogers

NWT: Get out of your comfort zone, try something new.

A ship in the harbor is safe. But that’s not what ships are built for. ~ Anonymous
NWT: Give your body the odd test run, see what you can do, push the limits

If you don’t drive your business, you will be driven out of business. ~ BC Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine

NWT: Dont ever stand still, always look to better yourself and your product

Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get. ~ Ray Kroc

NWT: Put in the hard work and you will reap the rewards

"Jump off the cliff, learn to fly on the way down" anonymus

NWT: Take a chance, dont overplan the perfect plan, act out the imperfect one

Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly. ~ Stephen R. Covey

NWT: To achieve anything, you have to want it bad enough (attention PT clients on that one)

Selected others (that need no additional comments)
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. – John F. Kennedy


The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince. – Vincent Lombardi

 "i feel the need, the need for speed"  Maverick/Goose (top Gun)

60% of the time it works every time (Brian Fantana, anchorman)

Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success. ~ Napoleon Hill 

"Everybody wanna be a Bodybuilder, but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight!" - Ronnie Coleman

Hope you enjoyed reading some of these, i loved writing this one! If you can take one quote that resonates with you and your life and work on the 'tough love' action plan - its been a worthwhile 10 minute read.

As always share with FB friends and enemies :)

Comment and add your own favourite quotes.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Trouble shooting for fat loss... Project Xmas

Hi all,

*Today marks (another) new dawn in my attitude and renewed attempts to change EVERY single person i train, not just the ones who are good at turning up and 'into it'.

*This is not the first day i have thought this, im just re-energising my efforts for the coming 3 months.

Before i go on, have a read of my older blog post (and one of my best ones) related to this on "habits of effective PT clients". How many of you/your clients share the same traits?

Ok, so im targeting all my gym people here and all my Facebook/blog readers', their people and the people they know with this post. Lets all make a change to our physiques in the next 3 months? Lets call it Project Xmas... sound good? Im challeneging everyone to start to get in their best shape ever by Xmas 2011 and start 2012 as a brand new you.

Interested? Read on. If you don't fancy reading on see point 1 below.

There are several important factors when considering 'why aren't my clients/I getting into better shape, here are my top 8 factors (in order of importance), let me know if you agree/disagree or have more to add:

1. Attitude

You have to ask yourself why you do it? Why are you spending time in the gym? why have you paid for a PT? If you have definite answers for this then i congratulate you and hope you are moving closer to your individual goals. If not then im afraid you may be 'spinning your wheels' and wasting time.

I know a few people who (i believe) are lost in their fitness goals. There is no energy or enthusiasm from them in the gym. No training plan or direction - no goals or targets. If you have a poor attitude towards the gym and bad work ethic then no PT/training program in the world can help you. Training and changing shape begins with YOU and ends with YOU. 

How much does changing shape/getting fit mean to you? 

Make your transformation one of the most important things in your life and do something daily to get you closer to it. I say one of the most important because there are other important things in life like family, friends and social life that dont need to suffer while on your mission to get fit and lean.
You have to change your attitude towards training

2. Nutrition

(For the purposes of this blog im talking exclusively about weight/fat loss for; building muscle would need a different nutritional guidelines).

How good is your nutrition? Are you eating an optimum diet for weight/fat loss?  Its no good saying "i eat really well" then explain how you eat 2 rounds of toast and fruit juice for breakfast. Everybody needs to wake up to proper fat loss nutrition. Cereals, bread and fruit juices are not part if it! Not even for kids. Focus on Protein, Vegetables and fruits at all meal times and only choose wholefoods that will assist your body during exercise. Think of the word THRIVE. when eating ask yourself:

"Will this food help my body THRIVE? or will it hinder and make sluggish?"

You always have choices - choose to eat good foods instead of bad.

Do you know your body-type? Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph. If your primary goal is weight/fat loss then i'm guessing your probably near the endomorph type. 

Carbohydrate tolerance will be lower on Endomorphs and higher on Ectomorphs

You need to understand that this body type (Endomorph) does not handle Carbohydrates well - if you have ever analysed how you perform/feel after big carb-based meals, you should have realized that by now. This is what is keeping you the way you are. Carbohydrate intake for Endomorph body-types (when fat loss is the main goal) should be limited to post workout only. So If your going to the gym once a week and not cutting back on carbohydrates... you can see where people let themselves down regarding fat loss. It will be almost impossible.

"Working for your carbs (post workout only) really works for fat loss"

If you don't adopt a nutritional plan that is designed for fat loss, forget about fat loss!

3. Frequency of training

Lets say you use the gym or see a trainer once a week.

"Honestly, what do you expect to happen?"

Lets get real here and say that it certainly will not be fat loss. Im certainly not saying use a PT 5 times a week, far from that - but (for fat loss) you really need to be training in some form for 5+ hours a week. That could involve any activity of your choice. Going to Malls and eating/drinking does not qualify for activity but unfortunately makes up the bulk of 'social' time in todays society.

If you are the type of person who wishes they are lighter when they jump on the weighing scale daily and dont exercise daily and eat properly, im afraid you may have some form of mental disease, no kidding! You WILL NOT suddenly drop those 10 lbs you want off by hoping and praying. Makle some solid changes - be consistent for about 3 weeks - then (if you have to) weigh yourself, or better still buy some bodyfat calipers and measure once a month.

Use the scales to confirm a weight loss result, not hope for one

Real example: One gym member comes in the same time every week and demands a bodyfat test, if its me that is near by i always ask him "what have you done this week that will make you think anything has changed?". Why bother measuring progress when you do nothing to attain it? 

But i digress...

So how important do you think training frequency is when you have average genetics and an average diet? Answer: VERY. You really need to be training more often to see better results.

Exercise or perform pulse-raising activities for more than 5 hours per week before expecting any shift in weight/fat loss.

4. Consistency

Whatever you do, you must be consistent to see results.

'Rome wasn't built in a day"

I used to tell friends and clients that they would get great results in 10-12 weeks, what a fool i was! Believe that the first 10-12 weeks (for some people) is just the beginning, the real progress starts when you/your clients begin to adopt and live new habits over the long term - not just for that month before summer holidays.

Get all the fat-loss ingredients in place and go on a 3-6 month run of healthy living. I challenge you.

5. Type of training

As a trainer, i try to match people's behaviour to their goals. I see too many overweight gym members sitting on isolation machines for 2-3 minute breaks between sets - absolutely the wrong thing to do. the workouts should be dynamic, fast-paced and more metabolically demanding.

"You shouldn't cares how big your biceps are when your 30% bodyfat, concentrate on getting them visible by burning some fat"

If you are looking to lose weight/fat, there are several rules i like to have when considering training type:

1) You must get your heart-rate up
2) *Choose something you are not good at
3) If you can wear the same gym clothes day after day - you are NOT fat loss training

*Fat loss is about inefficiency. Find something that puts you in trouble and watch the heart rate go up and the body fat mely away! Personally - i can skip as long as i want, its not tough for me. But when i run long distance or swim im really not comfortable. Therefore i always choose these 2 forms of exercise when i want to drop weight/fat (because i hate them).

Although she isn't working hard, Im feeling she deserves a mention in my blog!

6. Daily habits

I think a lot can be explained about different body-fat levels on people whern you look at the family's habits. How do your parents eat? What did your grandparents do for social activity? Over the past few years i have noticed that the very lean people i have come across have all had some form of good family habit which involves physical activity

Example: Lets say 2 families live nextdoor to each other. The parents of family A spend weekends camping, trekking, cycling and generally all outdoors activities. Their kids play games/sports in the field and with other families' kids. Family B have obese parents who watch gameshows on tv, they are dpressed with their jobs and eat take-away food as they have no energy to be creative in the kitchen. Their kids lock themselves in the bedroom playing videogames and chatting online to other non-active kids around the world. The parents are just happy that they are not maikg too much noise.

Forward a decade of the pattern...

I guess you see what the difference between Family A and B's kids are right? Family B's kids and parents will complain of slow metabolisms, thyroid function issues and all the other easy-to-blame things that under-active people can call on as excuses. The truth may be that decades of low activity levels and poor nutrition from the family have created that slow metabolism?

Life-long family habits will effect a childs future behaviour, attitude and appearance 

Just some food for thought? Does anyone agree or disagree with this theory?

Increase you NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) levels every day. Get outside more and become involved with fun/social activities that involve physical movement.

7. Supplements

When you have checked off the above 6 factors, then i think you should decide on supplementing your diet to acheive better results. Supplements are really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to egtting in great shape - yes they help but buying a supplement and thinking it'll change your physique is just plain dumb.

I would definately recommend meal replacement shakes to those people who are too busy that they skip meals, i am currently using herbalife meal replacements and i'm really enjoying the quick meals that you can create - more on that in future blogs.

In my opinion, products like fat burning supplements can assist fat loss **only if you follow a fat loss diet and training regime. They wont work if you eat normal and train as you've always done.

8. Support group

This factor is often under-looked but very destructive to people's goals. Make sure that your immediate social group (partners, spouses, friends, gym partners, trainer, etc) are all 100% supportive of your efforts. If you have a partner who eats terribly at night time and tries to encourage you to be the same - it will be hard for you to get results.

It happens more often than you think, men and women in relationships instead of appreciating the better form/physique of their partner can very often become jealous at any new-found attention! I will leave it there but it does happen and can cause problems. Create a strong support system with friends/family who will encourage you not try to de-rail any progress.

Real-life story: one of my best ever results was with a client in Bahrain called Nancy. To cut a long story short Nancy had an amazing (i mean amazing!) support group in her husband Shaun and her 2 young boys Ryan and David. Nancy made a change and the whole family made the change too - everything from training to diet. I think some of her brilliant success was due to that support group. Dont underestimate the power in someone encouraging and complimenting you every day


1. Change your attitude to a positive one. Set a weight/fat loss goal and go after it
2. Adopt a nutritonal strategy that will acheive weight/fat loss
3. Commit to 5 hours of training/activity per week
4. Go on a 3-6 month run of healthy and active living
5. Adopt a training program that will assist weight/fat loss
6. Increase your daily NEPA with fun/social activities
7. Purchase supplements to help fat loss or (meal replacement drinks) to fill in gaps in your diet
8. Choose your support group carefully, distance yourself from any negative influences

- If you can honestly put a tick next to the points above then i personally believe you will get great results.

- If you are missing a few points, spend the next week or so to work on those areas.

- If you are not doing any? You need to wake up to the fact that you may never acheive what you first stepped in the gym to do - that was to get in better shape.

Thanks all, please comment and share with facebook friends :)