Thursday, 20 May 2010

What is YOUR goal

I find it hard to believe that most people who set off on an exercise routine don't really know where they want to go with it. At the start of the 2010 I sat down and wrote out my training related goals for the year. I then broke this down into 3, 6, 9 and 12 month goals.

My major goal is to be competing next year at the BDFPA British Championships in the 90kg category. I am taking this year off to get ready for it and to increase my strength. I know what I need to do to qualify for the championships, but I don't want to JUST qualify, I want to go there and make an impact.

The goals below were set at the start of the year. I have set out certain weights I want to be lifting at certain points throughout the year. I set goals for March. I failed to reach two of them so I had to reassess and I changed my goals slightly. This is what they look like:

End of March 2010:
Bench: 140kg - I failed and made 135kg
Squat: 180kg - I passed and made 185kg
Deadlift: 240kg - I failed and made 232.5kg

End of June 2010:
Bench: 145kg - New goal of 140kg
Squat: 190kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 250kg - New goal of 240kg

End of September 2010:
Bench: 150kg - New goal of 145kg
Squat: 195kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 260kg - New goal of 250kg

End of 2010
Bench: 155kg - New goal of 150kg
Squat: 200kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 270kg - New goal of 260kg

As you can see, I failed to make certain lifts. I didn't sulk or give up because I failed, I keep going and strive to get stronger. When I test at the end of June, I will reassess my goals again then.

My point is this, set goals for yourself, long term ones and then break that down into short term ones. If you fail to reach the goal, you can reassess as I have and see what you can do to keep moving you forward and reach your next short term goals. It maybe that you surpass your goals, well done, reassess and maybe make your next goal a more challenging.

You must have goals, it gives you something to focus on, something to keep you driving forward, if you don't, then you will lose focus and most probably give up. This doesn't have to relate to just your training and exercising goals either, we should have goals set out in our life too.

'Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.'


Monday, 10 May 2010


As a trainer and being in the gym pretty much all the time I see one thing that lacks from a lot of peoples training programs. I see people lying around on the stretch mats, not doing a lot, wasting time chatting to a friend while they hop along on the x-trainer for an hour. So many people just don't seem to push themselves in the gym or during any exercise really.

I have had clients say to me, that if I wasn't with them, they would have stopped as they wouldn't push themselves that hard. So why is it that people don't push themselves to their full potential? Well thats for another blog. I am here to talk about intensity.

One of the services I do for people is to write training program for them. This is just one tool to achieving the goals you require. Have a good training program in place and you're on the right path. It is just that though, a tool in the box. If it is not used properly, it won't reap the rewards that it designed to do.

I wrote a leg program for a guy to do, it had 3 exercises in it. I gave it to him and he looked at me and said 'is that it'. I said go away and have a go at it. He duly went away and did the program and came back to me saying there was not enough exercises in it and that it was too easy. I said to him to book in a session with me and we'll go through it 'my way'.

The program involved Back Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats and Romanian Deadlifts. It involved squats in the rep ranges of 3-4 reps, split squats in the range of 6-8 and romanians in the range of 10-12. We did the session, well my client did, I looked on at him with a wry smile on my face as he grimaced and sweated through the weights session. I said he could do more exercises if he wanted, with him following that up saying 'its alright, I think I will give them a miss'.

My point is this, you can have the best program in the world, but if you are not willing to push yourself and up the intensity, it is complete bullshit. I know I talk between sets to training partners, but when it comes to lifting the weight or sprinting the hill, I will put 110% effort into it.

Cut the crap and get on and do it, if you're lying around, chatting to mates in the stretch area or have enough breath to muster more than a few words or any words at all on the x-trainer then you are wasting your time and in some instances, my time. Get in the gym, kick the shit out of your program and yourself and get out so you can start the repair process to a better you.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

Training logs

Quick note - Harry and I will be posting training logs up on this blog for people to have a look at and see what our training looks like.

The Importance of Nutritional Supplementation

Following on from the article I wrote a few weeks back on 'The role of anti-oxidents and minerals in the body' I have written this article on nutritional supplementation. There is always going to be an argument for the case of whether or not to take a nutritional supplement. Here is my case on this issue.

The intake of nutritional supplements has risen in order to:

Maintain health

Prevent certain disease

Improve health overall

What we mean by nutritional supplementation is not products like protein powders and creatine, but a product that provides all of the micronutrients to the human cell at optimal or advanced levels that have been shown to provide a health benefit. Dr Ray Strand calls this ‘Cellular Nutrition’ (8).

Oxidative Stress

Oxygen is necessary for life, it is also very dangerous to our bodies (7, 8). While the body utilizes oxygen within it’s cells to create energy, the body also produces a by-product referred to as free radicals (7, 8). Free radicals are charged oxygen molecules, which are missing at least one electron. These free radicals try and obtain an electron from the surrounding area. Antioxidents can neutralize the free radical by giving it the electron it needs (7). If the free radical does not get neutralized with an antioxident, it can create more free radicals that can cause damage to cell walls, proteins, fats and even the DNA nucleus of the cell (2, 6, 7, 9, 11). For example, the same process that causes a banana to go from green to brown and rust appearing on metal, causes us to rust too.

Medical literature has shown that over 80 degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer Dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis and many others, are the result of oxidative stress that results over a period of time (7, 8).

Nutritional Supplementation

A major review of 38 years of evidence was conducted by Harvard researchers, Dr Robert Fletcher and Dr Kathleen Fairfield. They found that while diet was sufficient enough to prevent the vitamin deficiency diseases, such as scurvy, rickets and berry berry, it is not enough to support the need for optimal health (4, 5). The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Why go with nutritional supplementation? Surely we can get everything we need from the food we eat. Although many antioxidents can be obtained from our food, the major sources of vitamins and minerals come from fruits and vegetables, the increase of toxic chemicals in our society e.g. pollution, chemicals in the water supply, our over medicated society and stressful lifestyles all cause excessive free radicals (8). With poor food choices so readily available now, this too can cause excessive free radicals.

People are also finding it hard to find to consume the government recommended intake of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with males consuming an average of 2 portions and females an average of 2.5 portions a day (8).

Studies have shown though, that the quality of our food is deteriorating. Through gas ripening, excessive chemical fertilization, prolonged storage and picking fruit and vegetable too soon, nutrient and mineral levels have severely depleted over the last 60 years (3, 7, 10). Even people who are fortunate enough to grow their own fruit and vegetables and those who eat organic, still, cannot guarantee they are receiving all the essential nutrients they need to help stave off these chronic degenerative diseases (7). In light of this information, we should really be consuming between 9 to 13 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (1).


We should not neglect the importance of well balanced diets, high in fruit and vegetables, eating as close to the earth as possible. In today’s fast-food world, people find it hard to avoid high calorie, low nutrient quality, over processed foods and get the essential levels of antioxidents and minerals into their diets.

Action dictates that we take necessary steps to optimize our nutritional needs and to do so, we need to increase the nutritive value of our diets with high quality, pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements that replenish the body with the same vitamins, minerals antioxidents that should be provided by our food (7, 9).

Dr Ray Strand, states:

“After spending over two years reviewing the medical literature, I concluded that the only way you have a chance of preventing oxidative stress is by taking high quality, complete and balanced nutritional supplements” (9)

Both Josh and I eat a well balanced diet, consuming 9 to 13 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and yet we still supplement with high quality, pharmaceutical grade antioxidents and minerals.

USANA Health Sciences is our company of choice when it comes to choosing nutritional supplements. USANA Health Sciences’ products have been given the 5 Star Gold Standard rating in the Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, have been given the Gold Standard by the Human Fitness Laboratory in Newmarket, England, met the highest standards at and have successfully met all listing criteria in NSF/ANSI 173 Dietary Supplements Standard.

Click here to find out more about USANA Health Sciences.


1. ANH Consultancy. (2006) Can Supplements Help You Live Longer? (online) Available at: 27th February 2009).

2. Balch, P.A., and Balch, J.F. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. 3rd ed, New York, NY: Avery. 2000

3. Colgan, M. We Have Fouled our Land. The New Nutrition: Medicine for the Millennium. Vancouver, BC: Apple. 1995

4. Fairfield, K.M., and Fletcher, R.H. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 287(23): 3116-3126. 2002

5. Fairfield, K.M., and Fletcher, R.H. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 287(23): 3127-3129. 2002

6. Fox, B.A., and Cameron, A.G., Food Science, Nutrition and Health. 5th ed. London, UK: Arnold. 1995

7. MacWilliam, L. Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. 4th ed. Northern Dimensions. 2007

8. National Statistics - Social Trends - 2001 Edition - United Kingdom fruit and vegetable consumption at home. National Statistics Consumer Trends - Q1.2001

9. Strand, R.D. A New Concept in Nutritional Medicine, Healthy for Life Newsletter. 4(2), 2007.

10. Thomas, D. A study on the mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991 Sussex, UK: Trace Minerals UK Ltd, 1999

11. Whitney, E.N., and Rolfes, S.R. Understanding Nutrition. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 1999

Going live

Josh came to me with the idea of video based personal training workouts for on demand purposes in early 2009. I liked what he had to say and asked if I wanted to be involved. I would like to think I am very open to new ideas and opportunities and I think this was one of the reasons why Josh asked me. I didn't hesitate much and I came on board.

We went about trying to decide what to call the company and soon came up with the idea of PT On Demand, which just seemed to stick. We are now a registered company called PT On-Demand Ltd.

We had plans that we needed to produce the workout videos, the website, set up as a company, set up a bank account, look for an accountant etc all things that were completely alien to the both of us. Also we had to find the funds to put this altogether. We have both funded it from our own pockets, which to me, shows we have belief in our product.

We went about having the website designed by a professional website design company. We really liked their work and could see they could do the same with us. We have been thoroughly pleased with the design of the site. People have said it is fresh, attractive, easy to read and know exactly what we are selling.

The next thing we needed to do was to build the site. We anticipated that this would be an easier job than it actually was and showed mine and Josh's ignorance to the world of website developing. We came across many problems with developing the site, which made it frustrating as we thought that we would be up and running in September/October 2009, reality took hold and we launched the website in May 2010, a year after we started design and development. We are very pleased though with the site as it is very easy to navigate. A testament to the design and the development of the site.

As the site was being developed, we started to produce the 6 workout videos for our first series. We used friends to film and edit the material. We used a local school gym and it sports facilities as our location. The filming took 3 days to do.

I undertook most of the directing, a first for me, while Josh was the exercise bitch. As the personal trainer on the videos, I had it easy telling Josh what to do while wearing my aviator sun glasses. Josh got his own back by consuming a Macky D's for lunch and then falling into a sugar coma for the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't happy haha.

Once the filming was done, we moved onto the editing process. I used a friend again who is excellent at what he does. I am so pleased with the final editing. It didn't come without spending time on it though, 120 hours or something along those lines. This was great though, as it was really good to see the videos taking shape. We also edited 12 shorter teaser videos, which are going up on TiVo in the USA and which you can find on our youtube account,

I am overall very pleased with how things have turned out, we have a live website, selling a legitimate product, which works. I wish it had been up and running earlier, although I can say it has been a massive learning experience for both Josh and myself. It is like one chapter finishing and a new one starting as we are now on the map, we just have to show people how to find us.

Marketing and advertising is, like starting a company, completely new to myself and Josh and I look forward to learning more and see our business grow. I will update you when things are moving onwards and upwards.