Take Control: empowerment, pride and Gok Wan…

Hi there everyone!   I hope everyone is well and is looking forward to the week ahead!   Its Sunday, which for me means planning… And the realisation that although I started this blog some months ago (many thanks to those who took the time to read!) I’ve only produced one post, so lets get some thoughts down shall we!

I was thinking about some conversations I have had with people in the past week, a couple in particular which stemmed from peoples unhappiness with their weight and appearance, and my responses to said conversations.   I want people to be happy, I love it when people train hard and rediscover who they are.   They smile again, they feel healthier and they even walk differently.   So when people talk about being unhappy in themselves I have to start them off with a few simple pointers before they begin their training programmes with me and its all about taking control.


Yes I think this bullet point in particular needs three exclamation marks… There will always be an excuse for not training, be it work, the kids, lack of money, lack of knowledge of what to do, or even a lack of confidence to actually train when other people might see.   But here’s the thing: you’re not the only one with these issues.  Every person in the gym is there for the same reason, they want to improve themselves and feel good for it.   If you work evenings, train in the morning, if you have kids, train when they’re at school/nursery, if its money, maybe stop throwing money behind the bar most Friday and Saturday nights and you might find you have some!   Knowledge issues?   That’s where people like me come in.   You don’t have to know what you’re doing at the start, but if you use the right trainer, soon enough you will know and understand exactly what you’re doing and why.


I could go on for quite some time about goal setting, but the gist of it is this: you will always train harder if you’re doing it for a reason.   If you want to lose fat, why? If you want to be stronger, why?   A goal always makes for more satisfying training, because every session you get closer to that goal.   Without a goal or reason you will just get bored, return to the sofa and end up watching Britains got a dancing celebrity on ice factor, or whatever the hell passes for tv these days…


As well as having a goal, think about what it means to you.   As an example, lets say you want to lose 4 dress sizes because you don’t like how you look in your favourite dress anymore.   When you get to your goal, and it fits perfectly again, how will that make you feel?   If you want to run a marathon, what will it mean to you when all you’re hard work gets you across the finish line?


This part is really important.   Everyone has to start somewhere.   If you don’t accept that you need/want to improve, you never will.   You’ll go back to making excuses.   (See how it all links in?)   If you’re overweight, so what! So are lots of people!   But you’re accepting that you’ve got yourself into this position, and guess what, you’re damn well going to fight to get out of it.   One step at a time.   And this leads us nicely onto our next little pointer…

  • SMILE!!!

Yes, 3 exclamation points again!   This is what will make a difference.   You have made a decision to better yourself.   You have decided to take control and make changes.   It wont be easy, and at times you might curse my existence (or your own trainer/coach) for pushing you so hard, but you know that every time you walk into that gym you’re getting closer to the person you want to be, and that’s something to be really proud of.   So you keep going, because you’re awesome.

There is so much more information I could put down for you with regards to goal setting dear reader, but the subject is long and our time is short… (maybe on my next post) so moving on!

Running and Crunches.   2 ways to waste your time in the gym.

Many people are uneducated about fitness: that’s not meant in a negative way. I want to change that and my aim is to empower individuals so that they make the choices that will get them results. I always push myself to stay educated and at the forefront of fitness, which means lots of research, listening to experienced individuals that work within this profession and applying this knowledge to meet each of my clients/athletes individual targets – always putting them first. Therefore I get very frustrated when I see people plodding away for 90 minutes on a treadmill or flailing around on a mat doing some ridiculous ab move that they saw in mens health or on the Insanity workout.   And as I run my business out of a busy franchise, I see this a lot…

Lets address running first.   Running is good, some people really enjoy it, they get a stress relief from tuning out from the world and just running.   But running alone wont get rid of your belly fat, despite what some people might tell you.

A study in 2006 tracked runners for 9 years.   Most of them gained fat and their waist circumference increased.   The only ones who lost weight were the ones who ran in excess of 60km per week.   A scientist named Stephen Boutcher has been quoted:

“The effect of regular aerobic exercise on body fat is negligible.”

In the long term it can actually lead to weight gain!!!

Now, Abs!   A 2011 study showed that 6 weeks of ab training 5 days a week for 45 mins produced no change in body fat, abdominal fat or waist circumference.   The only benefit was being able to do 33% more sit ups.

(Sourced from www.charlespoloquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1029/Thirteen_Training_Nutrition_Facts_We_All_Agree_OnA.aspx)

Yes, I get clients on the treadmill, and yes, I occasionally do some sit ups with them, but I use fast paced cv bursts in addition to weight training, core exercises, Kettlebell training, boxing/mma… The point is, using different exercise methods to stimulate your body in different ways is far more effective then sticking to one form of training.

Gok Wan…

Those who know may me be expecting a rant about this guy, but you’re in for a shock.   I admit, I used to dislike him intensly, and I also admit, it was mainly down to ignorance.   All I saw initially was a camp bloke messing around with womens clothes.

Here’s what’s happened:

Me and my wife were watching the tv, and we came across Gok Wan Strip for Summer live on channel 4.   She wanted to watch so I agreed, and I was surprised. I’ve always been passionate about personal training, and I respect anyone who has that same passion, no matter what their chosen profession. Watching this programme I realised what was actually going on: he is trying and succeeding in getting people to feel good about themselves again, yet he is not doing this through weight loss. He is an individual who is knowledgeable in his field, (according to some people, personally I have no idea about fashion, a fact my wife will attest to…) and who is passionate about using his knowledge to get people to accept who they are, increase their confidence, smile and feel better. This leads back to my earlier points and as a PT I promise to listen and help you reach your goals, whether it’s just to feel better about yourself or to help you lose a few pounds because you want to.

So to Gok Wan, keep making people happy and to everyone else, I hope you have a great week, make sure you work hard at whatever it is you do and be sure to be happy!

Thanks for reading,



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