I have always lived an active lifestyle. As a child, I took up football and played from the ages of 8-16. For a few years after that, I took up running and going to the gym, doing a mix of cardio and weight training but to be honest had no idea what I was doing. I can really relate to these people who are videoed doing various exercises incorrectly as this was definitely me at one point! It was really from the age of about 21 that I started to learn more about types of training, movement patterns, muscle actions etc. From that, my passion for training and bodybuilding developed, and I finally made the decision to leave the teaching profession 3 years ago to follow my passion and start my own PT business. I still see myself as a teacher, just in a different capacity now.
I love feeling strong and healthy. I also love seeing new development and feeling new connections with different muscles. It’s my lifestyle; I couldn’t imagine my life without it to be honest. Training is so much more than just going to the gym; it’s shaped who I am, and given me so much in terms of confidence, drive, passion, determination, discipline, and dedication.
To be honest, I don’t actually do any cardio! I ran 10k for Cancer Research back in 2011 and I think I’ve stepped on a treadmill about 3 times since then. I do undertake extremely intense sessions though. I take very short rest periods and do very high volume workouts; my workouts usually consist of 30+ sets. I really give my all, I don’t see the point in training any other way and it works for me. But this is definitely something that has developed over time. When I look back my training intensity years ago, I think how much I was probably wasting my time, but I think like anything, you need to go through that; it’s a process at the end of the day. Training is something you can always improve on, there’s so much to learn - it’s a challenge for life. At the end of the day, you need to give your body a reason to change, something to adapt to and this is at the front of my mind during my workout.
I don’t really have any specific recipes, I make things up as I go along! I also love going out for food - I think my favourite food is probably steak!
In the main, my diet consists of single ingredient whole foods, but it’s not always super ‘clean’, I mean who doesn’t love a good piece of cake! There’s so many dietary approaches popping up all over the place but I think the key is balance. I do think our bodies run BETTER on real food, where digestive enzymes are present. I know that when I eat too much junk there are consequences to that - digestive issues, my skin breaks out, I feel lethargic. We were not meant to run on junk food at the end of the day. That said, when you are leaner, you are in more of a position to be more flexible. In terms of macros and tracking my food, at times, I do track my food, mostly to make sure I am eating enough, but I don’t do it obsessively. I think I know my body well and I listen to it. My diet is actually very high in fat; around 150g but sometimes strategically higher, my body works very well with them. My carbs aren’t too high, around 150-200g daily, but my calories are high around 2500-3000 calories so I have plenty to work with. I’m very grateful to have such a highly functioning metabolism and I respect it. I am fascinated by nutrition though. I’m studying the Precision Nutrition Certification at the moment and I am experimenting with pre, intra and post workout carbs.
Well, if I want something I’ll have it! I think when you start to restrict, that’s when cravings become very apparent. I know this from past diets I tried years ago, and I’m just not prepared to do it as it affects me too much psychologically. Yes, I could be leaner but I’m not interested in dieting, so if I did want to be, I’d probably need to do some cardio!
God that’s a hard one.. I love most of the exercises I do! I guess I go through phases so I’d say at the moment wide grip pull ups, squats and deadlifts. You can’t really beat a good back or leg session!
I have very eclectic taste. I’ll really listen to anything, but it has to have a good beat. Rock and metal are always good to get you into workout mode.
I have been doing a split routine for years, and I’m training 5 times a week at the moment. I split my legs, so I have a quad session and then a separate hamstring and glute session. Quite frankly, it’s the best thing I have ever done. Apparently I didn’t have hamstrings before I split them! The engagement I’ve had in the last 2-3 months is unbelievable. I’m quad dominant, so this has really allowed me to bring my hamstrings on. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go but it’s made such a difference, and has brought on my squats and deadlifts in a big way. I train shoulders and core together. Shoulders are a weak area for me – I have internal rotation issues and very poor flexibility in my lats and shoulders so this is definitely something I need to work on. I train chest and triceps together. My chest has come on leaps and bounds in the last six months. I am pressing about half the amount I was, but it’s allowed my pecs to engage whereas when I went heavier, it was always hitting my anterior delts and triceps, inhibiting my chest. I see this a lot in the gym, if only people would just drop the weight! I train back and biceps together – I love training back, it’s probably my favorite workout.. and I train calves about 3 times a weeks. They’re tiny but at least I can now actually feel them to train them. Persevere I will!
My short terms goals training wise are to bring on my hamstrings, shoulders and calves in the main. My long term goals are much more holistic: to stay healthy, stay true to myself, keep a sense of perspective, and humour, keep driving forward, learning as much as I can along the way, and enjoy the journey with those around me.
It might sound cheesy but my clients make me very proud. They all work so hard. I’m also proud to be part of an industry that has so much potential to have such a positive impact on people’s lives. I think sometimes we can lose sight of that. And I’m proud to be part of Optimum Nutrition; it’s like an extended family, such a great team of people.
I go by the mirror and progress pictures. I don’t weigh myself. I think most people are very negatively affected by this. I’m not saying there’s not a place for these tools, but they can’t be used alone as they do not show the whole picture. Most people are concerned with body composition and I think the mirror/progress pictures are the best way to gauge this.
I respect anyone out there promoting health and I think it’s important to have healthy, real people out there. I don’t have any children of my own but having taught in secondary schools, I can see the damage that images of perfection can do to young people. Yeah I have abs, but I’m extremely healthy, I eat A LOT of food. If I had to choose between abs and my health, it would be the latter every time. And at the end of the day, there’s more to life that abs!
I have a couple of shakes a day. I use Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard whey for pre-workout or during the day between clients. I use Optimum Nutrition creatine, powdered BCAAS, Amino Energy, and powdered glutamine intra-workout. Optimum Nutrition Hydro Whey is great post-workout, which I mix again with powdered glutamine. I’ll have Optimum Nutrition Casein (chocolate of course!) before bed.
Born: 1984 (age 30), Height: 165cm, Weight: 52kg,