Monday, 24 June 2013


Hi Guys & Girls,

How do you get ridiculously strong and powerful using minimal kit?


You only have to look at professional gymnastic athletes, male and female to see that they have incredible physiques.  They're amazingly powerful, well conditioned and are quite possibly the strongest pound-for-pound athletes that you can find.

When I first started looking in doing some gymnastic movements I wasn't convinced.  I thought; 'Those gymnasts you see have all been doing it since they were little children, its not very likely I will be able to do those movements.  Plus I don't want to go down to a gymnastics club when I'm not even sure I like it.'

I was also pretty sure that in terms of increasing strength I was better off sticking with heavy weightlifting.
But my curiosity got the better of me and I started mixing some movements into my training.  They were fun, challenging, a nice break from normal training and they didn't take up too much time so I thought, 'it can't hurt'.

A little while later I got Building the Gymnastic Body by Coach Christopher Sommer.
In the beginning of the book he describes how, after retiring from competitive gymnastics he didn't really know what to do to 'keep in shape'.
He had never engaged in any structured weightlifting or running programs, just gymnastics.
He also didn't consider himself a particularly strong gymnast compared to some of his team mates.

However, on entering the gym he found that he could:
- Deadlift 2x his bodyweight,
- Military press with 110% of his bodyweight,
- Perform multiple chin ups while loaded with 50% of his bodywight
- Perform multiple Dips while loaded with 60% of his bodyweight,
- and Run 20 miles on the spur of the moment.

Any lifter in the gym would be pretty happy with these results.
So was Christopher, at first.
But then he began to notice that he was getting sore, stiff, slow and tired.  Worst of all he noticed that his athletic ability stopped improving and began to slip backwards.

He figured that he wasn't training hard enough, so over the course of 10 years he trained his ass off, changing programs and trying various combinations of exercise routines and styles.

Eventually he decided that he had to go back to gymnastics, but there was no way he could replicate the training of his youth, for a start he didn't have 20 hours a week spare!  However after changing his approach to gymnastic training and focusing more on the conditioning aspect rather than the competitive aspects, he realised that he could distill the training down to core components which any fitness enthusiast could utilize in 2-3 hours a week.

Its an interesting argument and he has a lot of evidence and experience behind him.  For a start he is a well respected US gymnastics coach.
Now this doesn't mean that everything, everyone else has been doing in terms of training is now wrong.

No two people are the same and what works for one person will not suit the other.

I love weight training, sprints and interval training, I believe in them and I won't be giving them up anytime soon.  However I also realise that there are massive gains to be had from training gymnastic exercises. So I have been trying some out!

What I have learnt so far is that most of the movements and static holds have regressions that are accessible to most people.

They require minimal kit, in fact I have been heading down to a local 'trim trail' to perform most of my sessions, and they are fun to do.

With consistent work I have already seen myself progress through several stages on many exercises, each bringing its own sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, increased strength and mobility.

I've also introduced some of the exercises to my clients and as well as seeing them progress and get stronger they love the challenge (you know someone is enjoying training when they send you a picture of themselves doing a back lever on a tree branch while they are on holiday know who you are!)

Below is a video of me performing some of the exercises that I have been working with so far.
Most of them don't look very impressive and I am still working on them but maybe try having a go at them yourself and you will soon see that they provide a significant challenge.

If you fancy mixing some basic gymnastic movements and static holds into your training then drop me a line and we can make it happen.

Train hard, Live happy

Saturday, 22 June 2013


Hi Guys & Girls,

Well here I am back in England.  Loving life and training people who want to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

I know I have been sharing a lot of 'inspirational' videos on this blog recently, if they aren't your kind of thing then apologies and I plan to put up some different posts soon.   If however you are like me and the occasional video like the one below put a bit more fire in your belly then enjoy.

This video is all about the Grind.  Forget that a lot of the training images relate to baseball.  The central theme here is a really important one, even if you don't play a sport.  Even if you only train to feel or look better, you still have a goal and that goal is only going to be achieved through grind.

This modern world has everyone fixated on instant results and quick transformations.  Well, they are Bullshit!

Getting healthy, fit, strong or dominating at your sport doesn't happen overnight.  Success can't be bought and taken as a pill.  It doesn't come from 5 minutes of exercise a day.  It comes from consistent grind.

And this is a fantastic leveler because it means that you CAN achieve, you just have to be consistent.
You control your own outcome through every single choice you make, every day!

There will be days when the training feels boring and too hard, when you are sick of eating clean, when everyone else seems to have it easy.  It's in these moments that I remember videos like this one.   They help keep me focused and remind me that I control my performance through every choice I make.

If you want to achieve something, if you want to change yourself, then you can.
And you can start right now, through every choice you make.  Let's get better!

Remember, I am available for personal training - contact me on

"Luck is the last dying wish of those who want to believe that winning can happen by accident,
  Sweat, on the other hand, is for those who know it is a choice."

Train hard, live happy

Monday, 3 June 2013

Back to business soon & some inspiration

Hi Guys & Girls.

First of all I want to apologise for not having posted here for a while.
The winter season in Banff is over and I was busy moving out of my house there and since then I've been travelling around some of the west coast of Canada.

However I've found some time to do a little exercise, not as much as ideal, but you work with what you've got.  Here I am busting out some Back Levers in a park in Vancouver.

Anyway. I will be back in England later this week, back to training hard, updating this blog regularly and offering my PT services to those in the Camberley area (so drop me a line and we can get a date booked in the diary).

In the meantime here is a video that I have watched multiple over the last few years.  It's a commercial but it's message is very simple and valuable.

It's easy to look at those at the top of their game, those who are doing the things that we aspire to be able to do and start making excuses as to why we aren't achieving as much.  The thing that most people don't see is the hours of dedication, sacrifice and work that goes into getting those people to where they are.

It is so easy to give up when it starts getting tough, it's easy to think "Maybe it's just not meant to be!" but don't forget, everyone that has achieved something great, especially when it comes to training and physical fitness, has done so because they KEPT WORKING AT IT!

So don't give up!

Stay focused, stay hungry for it and keep putting in the work.  The rewards will come.

Remember, if you want to achieve those goals it is my job to show you the most efficient ways to do it,
it's my job to help keep you focused and motivated,
and perhaps most importantly, it's my job to make the process more fun!
So drop me a line and we can start getting you to where you want to be, what have you got to lose?!

See you soon guy & girls, until then...

Train hard, live happy