Sunday, 23 February 2014

Throw Away Your Television

It must be getting towards holiday time or show time because I'm getting asked a lot about what people's weight should be. My answer is always the same, weight means nothing unless you're competing in a weight class, it's how you look that counts. These days, driven by the media, people are obsessed with readings from things like scales and body fat gadgets.  Competing in a masters class I can honestly say that no judge at any show has ever asked me my weight, or what I can bench or what I can squat etc. for that matter, but they have always mercilessly scrutinised my physique on stage.  I often tell people to throw away the gadgets rather than be a slave to them.  The only things I've ever used are a mirror and the critical eyes of my coach; my record proves that it's a plan that works!

Thursday, 20 February 2014


The best thing about being a gym owner and coaching people both at the gym and via the internet, is that I get to meet nice people from literally all over the world.  So today Rose and Ryan came to me for a coaching session at PPF, all the way from Australia!  Ok, if I'm honest they were actually in the UK to visit family but it still counts as the furthest anyone has ever travelled to see me for coaching!  I was impressed with this lovely couple, Ryan is 22, has great genetics and is huge as you can see from the picture.  Rose was especially impressive, also 22, she has been lifting weights for a few years and has so much muscle tissue that if she lived in this country I would definitely diet her down and have her on stage this summer!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Forty Shades Of Green

Today I did some more work for The Active Channel.  The plan was to do a back workout designed for people over 40 but as we got working it soon became apparent that it would be a good workout for anyone.  I was really pleased to have alongside me Nigel "Tommo" Thompson, who is one of the UK's best and most respected over 40's bodybuilders.  We were so busy that we completely forgot to get a picture together so here's a picture of Tommo that he posted on Facebook with the caption "46 years old - what's your excuse?"  I can imagine the envy on so many peoples faces! Tommo and I have been friends for years, he's nearly 10 years younger than me and we always manage to bring the best out of each other when we train together.  I'm sure that will come across well when the workout is screened by The Active Channel, probably at the beginning of April, which is when Tommo is competing in Scott Horton's "Hercules Olympia", I show that I'm greatly looking forward to!

Sunday, 16 February 2014


I always try to walk the walk instead of talking the talk, so as promised we have now sorted out some classes for the ladies at PPF and there are more to follow. So far we have a legs, bums & tums class and a Pilates "little black dress" class organised, they will be starting on March 2nd followed by the "Insanity" classes starting in April.  We're looking at adding to these classes, details to follow in due course.  We have also addressed the requests for gym clothing to be sold via the website, it will be on sale within the next few weeks.  Yesterday we had a photo shoot of the clothing being modelled by gym members & staff but the whole show was stolen by my new best mate Alfie.  Pictures and a clothing price list will be on the website soon, meanwhile here's an unofficial pic that we did.  

Saturday, 15 February 2014

A Design For Life

I receive a lot of emails with a similar theme that read something like "I hit the gym hard 5 times a week but I'm making no progress".  As I always try to explain, actual training might account for about an hour of your day but if you don't get the other 23 hours right then "hitting the gym hard" is going to have little affect. To be successful at this sport at any level or even just to look good, you need to commit to a lifestyle, that means having a regular daily timetable including set times for meals, food prep and everything else that you have to do, and you can't just deviate from that timetable whenever you want to, that is not committing to a lifestyle.  Furthermore, if you want to compete then you have to let the sport temporarily take over your life, in the 3 months leading up to my first show my brilliant coach Eddie Abbew was even telling me when to get up & when to sleep. My record proves what happens if you have a coach that cares about you and you do as you're told, and that works at any level I promise you. It's something that I will write a special feature about as soon as I get some free time because the right lifestyle is the real key to having a good physique.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Young Americans

I received an email from the USA on Monday saying "As you're now a long time off the gear and permanently off season are you still a big guy?"  It made me smile so I had this picture taken on Monday, sent it to him and asked him to judge for himself.  However, it did raise an important point that I always try to get across to youngsters.  If you build your muscles drug free over a period of years then you will keep them, if you build them quickly by using steroids you will lose them when you come off "the gear".  My history of 22 years drug free is well documented but there are many other reasons why I try to stop steroid use and here's one of them. Someone else contacted me this week to ask if they could still compete as a natural if they had taken "Just a  few Anavar for a few days last year"  Let's be very plain about the answer to that.  As soon as you so much as swallow one tablet that is on the banned list you can't compete drug free for at least 10 years, testing is very stringent and cheats are named and shamed, quite rightly in my opinion. So, keep it clean and build it natural!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Walk The Dinosaur

There is no doubt that this sport that we all love is constantly evolving and that's a good thing because as I always tell people "To acheive goals that you've never acheived before, you need to start doing things you've never done before"  I'm pleased that the sport now seems to be more focused on the more athletic physiques than the physiques of us old dinosaurs, that goes for both the men and the women.  The male physique class has taken off big time despite many cynics referring to it as "the male bikini class" and the womens bikini class was the single most popular class at all UKBFF shows last year.  In the past I've not been a fan of either of these two classes but I've evolved too and at PPF we encourage men & women to compete in these classes.  To help them with that, the posing classes run by Gemma Williams from  are already a great success! 

Monday, 10 February 2014


People that know me will tell you that to me every day is a good day and I find positives in almost everything.  I say almost because being an animal lover this story really made me wonder what sort of world we are living in these days.  On a much happier note, with half term coming up we at PPF have agreed that people can bring in their children to watch the TV in the cafe area while they train rather than miss a session because they can't get a babysitter.  They little ones will be well looked after even though it won't be a proper creche facility because all of us there love kids and the kids all seem to love bodybuilders, especially Alfie (pictured) who is 4 but will soon be 5! 

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Virtual Insanity

I'm always the first to hold my hands up if I get it wrong and I have to admit that the one thing at PPF that we've not addressed properly is the classes.....until now that is.  I'm pleased to announce that we are interviewing class PT's this week and the classes will start very soon.  Going forward we have secured a licensed specialist to teach the "Insanity" workout, take a look at this link  and in the nearer future we will be running other classes, details to follow shortly.  We've been open about a month now and I'm still getting good wishes from everyone but the nicest good luck message and gift came from a very good friend who sent me these motivational posters.  They are so good that they are now in my office, many thanks NB!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Uptown Girl

I was shocked to learn that 80's supermodel Christie Brinkley is now 60 years old but even more shocked when I saw this recent picture of her. She looks amazing and although I am sensible enough to realise that she has probably had a bit of cosmetic "help" I'm sure that she has a very good diet and exercise programme too, so you have to give her a huge amount of credit for looking that good at that age. In other news, I'm not really a football fan anymore but if I was I would be a Chelsea fan just because of Jose Mourinho. As well as being the best manager I've ever seen this guy is pure TV gold, the media must actually love him. Finally, the company that sydicates this blog, last year conducted the "Big Gym Survey" The results are quite interesting, here's the link

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Groundhog Day

Today is Groundhog Day and while that just means something weather related to the people of Gobblers Knob (seriously, Google it......carefully) it is a day that a lot of bodybuilders use as a watershed in their plans for the year.  The Christmas pounds have gone and the serious bulking up work has had a month to do its job so now a decision has to be made as to shows and diet dates.  My advice is never start dieting unless you're sure that you're big enough, a show diet will always burn a small amount of muscle along with the fat, moreso if you are drug free of course.  A show diet is a massive committment so "make sure that you are hench before you start the wrench".  I already have several proteges at PPF who will compete this year and today I will alter all of their diets accordingly, based on the plans that they have.  As usual, the first timers are actually looking forward to the diet whilst the seasoned campaigners are already moaning.  I love this sport!