How Your Mind Can Build Your Muscles!

We have all heard phrases like “your mind is the most powerful muscle in your body”, or “we only use 10% of our brains capacity”, or in this case the critical one “you have to build the mind-muscle connection”. However, have you ever really thought about what they mean, especially the last one, and also what impact it might have if you could really switch on some of that extra brain capacity, especially in relation to your muscles.

For the purposes of this article I’m only focusing on the brain and your minds ability to enhance your physique and help you build a better body. So if you are a budding Einstein, Mozart or Newton, you’d best look elsewhere, this article is not going to help.

The Mind Muscle Connection:

So what exactly do we mean by the often used phrase “the mind muscle connection”. Well, to be honest, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. It is about finding and using the ability to tune your thoughts and your mind into the specific muscles that you are working at a particular moment. What do i mean by that? Well let me give you some examples.

How many times have you gone to the Gym or done a workout with a specific goal in mind, or even followed a programme for a period of time, and then come away disappointed. You haven’t really felt it the next day, weren’t sore in the areas you expected to be sore, or simply after a period of time, just weren’t getting the results that you expected. It is very possible, even likely that the reason for this is that you weren’t correctly working the muscles you intended to work, and therefore just weren”t getting the results you wanted.

Again I’ll give you some examples. You are working your chest doing some form of press (bench press, dumbbell press, incline press), but instead of getting a good chest pump and soreness the next day your triceps give out first or you feel pain in your shoulder joints. The same may go for shoulder press where you end up using triceps, Lat pull downs where you end up using biceps etc etc.

Another common fault is where people try to use too heavy weights and end up swinging them into position or forcing them up, thus using a whole variety of different muscles and muscle groups, other than the one your are actually trying to work.

In short people are not actually thinking about what they are doing and not focusing their mind on what they want to achieve and how to go about doing it. This is often driven by ego. Lets be honest we have all been guilty of trying to outdo the guy next to us in the Gym, or just throw some extra weight on in the hope that extra weight equals extra muscle.

The solution to this is very simple and there are three or four key elements that if you use correctly and every time, will have a really dramatic impact on the results you achieve.

Key Mind Tips:

These are my key mind tips which if you use will boost your gains and results enormously.

  1. The first is really simple. Concentrate on the specific muscle you want to work while doing the exercise. Feel that actual muscle contracting and extending and whilst doing the concentric part of the movement really try to squeeze the muscle as hard as you can. Do that for each rep, and at the same time, try as much as possible not to engage or use other muscles around it. This is quite hard at first but with a bit of practise it comes naturally.
  2. Concentrate on form and tempo, and lower the weights from what you would normally do. This is vital. To start with lower the weights around 20/25% from what you would normally use. Do each rep slowly and concentrate on squeezing the weight up (or down) and then controlling it slowly on the way back down. Believe me this is really hard and there is no way you will do full sets with the amount of weight you normally use if you do it this way. The eccentric or lowering phase if done really slowly is just as important as the lift or squeeze itself.
  3. Use a full range of motion. Use strict form, don’t swing the weight up which often shortens the lift, and when lowering the weight really feel the stretch of the muscle and open up the joint as much as possible whilst still keeping it under control.
  4. Finally, try to keep the muscle you are using under tension the whole time. What this often means is that you won’t quite lock out at either the top of the bottom of the movement. By doing this you ensure that the muscle being used is constantly under tension, constantly being used and gets no sneaky little rests.

Watch this guys video here. He covers a number of these points and demonstrates what i mean about controlling the reps, really focusing on the specific muscle you are trying to work, and keeping tension in the muscle.

As I already said, if you do this strictly you will find your workouts will change immensely. Number one you’ll be super tired after completing them. Number two, you’ll be very sore the next day (and hopefully in all the right places). Number three, you will absolutely have to use lower weights, but Number Four, don’t worry about that because after a month of doing this you will make monster gains in both your muscle size and strength.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please give it a try and I’d really welcome your comments and thoughts once you have done it. if you enjoy the article please share, comment, like etc etc blah blah.

Take Care,



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Twitter: @Ordguyfitness


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The No Plan Training Plan!!

workout-diaryHi Everyone,

I hope you are sitting down as what I’m about to say might shake your world just a little bit. At the very least it will send any professional coaches or trainers reading this into meltdown. Here goes…….”I’m a big fan of not having a training plan!!”  There I’ve said it, you can pull yourself up off the floor now.

Let me try to put a little context around that bold statement. I know that the entire industry revolves around fitness and training plans. Magazines, Websites and many trainers base their entire income and life around designing and coaching fitness, training and workout plans. So who am I to diss them so easily? Well the answer is, I’m no-one, and I’m not dissing them…well not completely.

This site is Ordinary Guy Fitness and for many ordinary people trying to stick to a hard and fast training and diet regime can be very tough. I’m not talking about mentally but more so just because our lives are complex and busy. You may be able to get to the gym 4 times this week but only twice next. You can prep your meals and eat healthily for the next few days but then are going to be away on business and eating out a lot, etc etc.

Don’t get me wrong, properly designed training and eating plans 100% work BUT in the real world, hand on heart, are you always going to stick to it?


No Plan:

So what exactly am i proposing…..that you have no plan at all and just turn up and wing it whenever you can? No, absolutely not. That definitely won’t work. However there is a middle way, a way that builds flexibility, some creativity and a longer term approach into your health and fitness. Here is how it works, or at least how I utilise these ideas myself.

Firstly you need to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve, and ideally this should be a medium to long term goal. So the best example I can give is myself. What’s my longer term goals? Well i want to be fit and healthy, able to run, play some sports, look good in clothes and on the beach well into my 60’s (I’m currently heading for 48). That’s the long term goal. The medium term (next couple of years) is to hit 50 looking and being as fit and buff as possible. Shorter term (next 6/9 months) is to gain as much muscle as I can over the next 4 months and then get as cut as I possibly can in time for summer and possibly, finally, at long last reveal some proper six pack abs.

So you would think that to achieve that I need a proper plan right? Not necessarily. What I have is a broad brush , high level plan, and then I just change the day to day components to suit how I’m feeling, what I’m doing and what’s happening in my life.

So for example. I know that to gain muscle I have to train all the main body parts – Shoulders, Back, Chest, Arms, Legs, Abs probably a couple of times a week plus throw in some good cardio/fitness work. A traditional plan would probably split that into something like a 5 day routine with a couple of push days, a couple of pull days and a cardio day. Or 5 days of 2 bodypart splits etc. You would then stick to that routine pretty rigidly for 2 to 3 months.

I’m not suggesting anything radically different to that, I just like to take a slightly more intuitive approach based on what I’m “feeling”. Here is what I mean. I may go to the gym on Monday and blitz a Chest and Triceps session, maybe with a little Abs to end. Then Tuesday I might do Back and Shoulders. So logically Wednesday should be Legs and Biceps right? However , If I came out of Monday’s session thinking “you know what, i really didn’t feel my Triceps and wimped out a bit on them, I’m gonna do them again today”….that’s fine, do what you feel is best. Then the next day you hit the Biceps and Legs. Day after that you should probably do Chest and Triceps again but you’ve already done those twice so maybe do Chest and Shoulders. Just mix it up as and when you feel it’s right.

I know that sounds confusing but it really isn’t. It’s just about doing what your body and mind feels is the best to do on that day. You know in your own mind that you need to train all your body parts regularly AND do cardio. None of you are dumb and can remember what you have been doing over the last week or two so just adjust and flex as you go along. Rather than a weekly plan, have a more holistic 3 to 4 week plan where you roughly speaking hit everything that you need to equally during that period. This has so many positives for your training and lifestyle.

  • It means you don’t get stale by following the same routine all the time
  • It means that if you are really sore and need to rest a body part, fine, just hit something else
  • It means if you feel a body part is lagging behind, or you need to focus on weight loss or need to bulk up you can do it. Hell I’ve trained Biceps 3 days on the trot sometimes….it’s not against the law. Going off plan isn’t illegal despite what your PT says.
  • It means that if your life gets in the way and you can’t train as often or when you want you just adjust things. Do 3 bodyparts or a whole body workout for a few sessions.
  • By having an overall strategic plan but not a rigid daily plan you don’t feel like you are letting yourself down when you miss something out.
  • It’s fun. Last Friday I drove to the Gym with no idea what I was going to do and in the end did a load of stretching , made up a HiiT routine and then went on the rowing machine. I loved it. Follow your intuition.

Psychologically I really think this works. So many people set off on a training regime with fantastic intentions. Then something happens, an injury, family commitments, work issues etc. They fall off the plan for a week or two and their mind set changes. They believe they can’t get going again, become despondent “this damn fitness stuff is just too hard!!” and they give up. Having a “No plan, plan” helps with that because you haven’t really missed anything or let anyone down.

The critical thing is, you DO need to understand what your targets and goals are. You need to know that when you gaze into the distance, you do have a specific destination. As long as you get there at roughly the time you want and in the shape you want, does it really matter what route you take?

So if you have an organised life and can follow a strict plan fantastic, that will work for you. If not, if your life is a bit more chaotic like the rest of us, then ditch the rigid plan and follow your instincts. To recap, here are my top tips.

  • Have an overall plan of what you want to achieve some way down the track
  • Figure out the things you need to do regularly to get there.
  • Incorporate all of those things regularly and semi methodically into your routine BUT mix it up based on what’s happening in your life and how you feel.
  • Adjust the plan (or no plan) regularly based on the progress you are making and what you feel needs extra focus and work.
  • Above all, be happy with yourself and enjoy what you are doing.

Take Care,


As always if you enjoyed this post please comment, like, share, subscribe etc. My other social media links are below.

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Small Goals Lead to Great Things!

Yes You Can!

Hey Everybody,
Firstly I owe you an apology. I’ve been missing in action for a week and no new posts so sorry to have let you down. I’m back now and hope you enjoy this one.

I read a post today by a really good friend of mine who also happens to be a fantastic personal trainer and the fittest guy I know. He talked about a small single goal that he set himself just two weeks ago that he wanted to achieve by tomorrow, 1st July, which is his birthday (Happy Birthday Mate). It revolved around wanting to get his personal best up to a certain amount of weight for a single specific lift……and it got me thinking.

To me what he did is a perfect example of what we should all be doing. Setting small, simple, very targeted, completely measurable goals over short time periods. He did it, and he achieved it, and so can you.

We all have big dreams: Building a great business, owning a Ferrari, getting a proper six pack (yep that’s mine, i own up!) or playing football for England. However realistically it’s very unlikely that you can just make the jump in one easy move from where you are now to that big ambition. In reality it will be a slow and gradual process with successes and failures along the way. We have all heard the sayings, sometimes clichés – “every journey starts with a single step”, “don’t run before you can walk” etc etc. We probably disregard them but you know what, they are 100% true.

If you set yourself unrealistic and possibly unachievable goals too early in your fitness and health process a couple of things will happen. 1) You won’t achieve them because they will be impossible without putting the building blocks in place first. 2) When you don’t achieve them you will dent your confidence, feel crap about yourself and that will make it so much harder mentally to get to where you want to go.

baby steps 1

Baby Steps:

It is a cliché but seriously, start with some Baby Steps. What do i mean by that? Well in reality it is actually really straightforward. Think about your lifestyle and think about what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to lose a load of weight, run a marathon, build great bicep and chest muscles, or combinations of all of the above? Then think of some small, specifically measurable and definitely achievable goals. Now I don’t mean something so stupidly easy that actually it isn’t a goal at all. It needs to require some effort and at least a bit of willpower otherwise what’s the point. Try to think of a list of at least 10 things that you absolutely KNOW that if you did them and could achieve them, then you would be well on the path towards hitting some of your bigger targets and long term goals. Not only that but you will feel fantastic about yourself and that self confidence will really help push you further along that path.

So I am going to set you all a task, and you’d better bloody do it as I will be watching!!!

Pick a simple small goal that you can achieve tomorrow. It can be anything but it needs to be Health & Fitness related eg “I will eat no biscuits, sweets or fizzy drinks tomorrow whatsoever”. Or “I will walk back from the station rather than get the bus”. Or “I will ONLY drink water all day tomorrow”.

Then pick a similar but different goal that you set yourself for the next week eg “I will work out or go to the Gym 4 times”. “I will not drink any alcohol until this time next week”. “I will cut out ALL bread for the entire week”. Again it can be anything but it needs to be specific to health and fitness and it needs to be something you can do in a week or maintain for a week.

Then finally set yourself another small goal that you can achieve for a month. It has to be an action and it has to be specific, so saying “i want to lose half a stone” is not an action, it’s just a hope, an aim a dream. It needs to be something like “I will do a minimum of 20 workouts in the month”. Then keep a record and make sure you do them. Or, “I will increase my squats by 15kg by end of the month”. Or, “I will cut out sugar totally for the month” (That’s a real toughie but by all means give it a go).

You need to keep records of what you are doing. Write it down, put a sign up around the house, put it out there on Facebook… declaring things publicly you force yourself to avoid embarrassment by making sure you hit the goal. Do this as often as you can, set new ones on a regular basis. By setting these small, regular and most importantly achievable goals I promise you, you will transform your life.

Success is this way!You may think “how can these silly little goals” get me to where i want to be? I understand that thought process….but you’re wrong! They all add up. Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals and lots of them… Very quickly over the matter of just 3 to 4 months all those small things that you have achieved will almost imperceptibly transform you. Just by doing these tiny little things you WILL lose weight, become healthier, become stronger, lift more, run faster, fit in those jeans. Your friends will notice, you’ll get compliments on your butt. You will BE on the road to success and it won’t feel like you have really had to work for it. Again another cliché for you SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS!” It is a cliché, but it’s there for a reason……because it’s true!

So don’t hesitate and don’t let me down. Get off your arse, go and grab a pen and paper and start writing……”Tomorrow I WILL (or WON’T)……”, “For the next week i WILL……..” and finally “By the end of next Month or during the next month i WILL……..”

Please report back, let me know how you get on, i really do welcome your comments. Once again sorry for the lack of action but MY goal is to write more posts over the next month.

Take Care,


Weight Training: Volume or Time instead of Reps!

Arnold 2We all would love a torso like Arnolds right? If you are into weight training then you’d have to be crazy not to think Mr Schwarzenegger looked incredible in his prime. However, genetics, an unbelievable amount of hard work and probably some illicit substances all went towards making him the icon he is.

If you are like me, a fairly ordinary guy, you’d be pretty happy looking even half as good as he did. However, even to achieve that, especially as you get a bit older, still takes a lot of hard work, clean eating and heavy lifting. You CAN achieve great things if you put your mind to it but even the most dedicated weight trainers will become a bit jaded from time to time. One of the reasons for this is repetition. You can mix up your exercises as much as possible but 90% of people will still end up doing a fixed number of reps and sets. Depending on if you are training for size and muscular growth, or just for strength, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll end up doing something like 4 or 5 sets of 6-12 reps on most exercises. Over a period of time, when you have been doing that for month after month it can become hard to stay motivated. So what do you do about it? Well below I’ve detailed two different methods which you may not have tried before but which can bring some variety and even new gains and improvement to your time worn routines.

Volume Training:

Initially this can be a slightly difficult concept to get your head around and the first thing you’ll need to take to the Gym with you is a small pen and pad. This is the way it works. Lets say you are training your Chest, you will need to count the total volume of weight that you lift across all your reps and sets for all your chest exercises. You can do it in pounds or kilograms, whatever floats your boat. So let me illustrate this for you with a full example and breakdown of a typical workout. I’ll use nice round figures on the weights to keep it simple.

Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 10 reps @ 80kg . So 10 reps would be 10 x 80kg = 800kg. 5 sets of that is 5 x 800 = 4000kg Lifted.

Barbell Incline Press: 5 sets of 10 @ 50kg. 10 reps would be 500kg. 5 sets of that is 2500kg.

Dumbbell Decline Press: 4 sets of 10 @ 60kg (30kg each hand). 10 x 60kg = 600kg. 4 sets of that 2400kg.

Dumbbell Flys: 4 sets of 10 @ 30kg (15kg each hand). 10 x 30kg = 300kg. 4 sets = 1200kg.

So in total for your chest you have lifted 10,100 kg for your chest. Keep a record of that and the next time you train your chest make sure you lift more total volume than that figure. You can do that by using exactly the same exercises but increasing the weight, doing more over all reps or simply by doing some extra sets or exercises. You can use this technique for all body parts. Keep your records to hand, make sure you document them and train this way for a couple of months. You will be amazed at the amount of extra volume you can add in a couple of months and if you work hard will be equally amazed at the gains in size and strength that you make using this method.

Stopwatch weights


By time i DO NOT mean the length of time you actually spend in the Gym and train for. I’m a big advocate of getting in and out of the Gym quickly, 60/70 minutes absolute max… do have a life after all. What i mean by time is “time under tension” for the muscle. The way you do this is to do an exercise for a fixed period of time such as 40 seconds. You need to use a weight that you can lift smoothly and continuously as the trick is to have the muscle constantly under tension for the entire 40 seconds. Don’t pause at the top or bottom of a rep, try to keep the weight moving the whole time. However do not rush, you need to maintain strict and correct form throughout the exercise. This is surprisingly hard and you may well need to lower the weight compared to what you would normally use when just doing a set number of reps. By the 3rd or 4th set you will be struggling by the time you get to 30 seconds but its important to keep pushing through to the end even if you end up doing half reps for the last few seconds.

The key here is the continuous time under tension for the muscle. By giving it no time to rest and being constantly under strain it forces the muscles into something called Hypertrophy which is the state that makes your muscles grow. You can use this technique for every exercise you do and it makes for a seriously intense workout when done properly. It will initially take some experimentation with the weights but once you get it right you will love the pump and growth you get from using this method. Again, try it for a couple of months and see what happens.

So if you use the standard Reps method, Volume method and Time under tension method you now have three different ways of training. By changing things up your body never knows what to expect and this in turn helps you to keep growing and improving. For any of these methods to really work you need to give them some time. It’s no good doing it once and then going back to reps. Trust me, pick one of the methods and do it for 4 times a week for all your body parts and see where you are after a month, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Take care,


How to Kim Kardashian your Butt!!!!

Kim KardashianIt’s a little known fact that Kim Kardashian owes the large part of her huge fame and fortune to me. If it wasn’t for the training tips that she uses from Ordinary Guy Fitness then her most famous asset, her Derriere, would not be in the shape that it is. As a result she very kindly agreed to pose for the photo above.

Now you may or may not be a lady who wants a backside of quite the proportions that Kim’s is and may also not quite want as much exposure as the Kardashian’s get, but i know of very few women who would not like to tone, firm, lift and shape their bottom just a little bit more than it is at the moment. Am I right?

So how do you go about that? Just what can you do to tone up not just your backside (or Gluteus Maximus to give it the correct name) but also the thighs as well.

There are a number of exercises you can do that will work your thighs and bum hard and give you that round firm look you’d like. I wrote in a previous article here about how to tone up this area and I’ll go back through some of the key routines that Ms Kardashian learned from me.

Click on the title word for each exercise and it will take you into YouTube for an example of how to perform them. So let’s get started on getting you a Kim Kardashian booty!

Glute Training:

Lunges: There are a number of different variations of the lunge, all of which work a slightly different part of your thighs and backside. Therefore I’d recommend doing a different one each day and rotate them. Initially start without any weight until you feel comfortable and can control the movements. Then as you get stronger add in some weight, but don’t go too heavy. It’s more important to go low when you dip down and really squeeze the muscles as you push back up. Start with 3 sets of 12 (6 on each leg) and work up to 3 sets of 20.

Squats: As with lunges there are many different variations, both with and without weights. To really strengthen and tone your legs you will need to use some weight at some point. However, initially you can do a perfectly good job just with body weight. Again try to use some of the different variations and change each day to work different parts of the leg and backside. Keep your back straight, chest up and head & eyes looking ahead and up. Push your butt backwards and lower it towards the floor, do not lean forward and topple over your feet. If using bodyweight do 3 sets of 12 to 15. If you progress to using some weights do 3 x 8/10.

Hip Thrusters/Glute Bridge: Hip thrusters or the Glute bridge as it is sometimes called is an excellent exercise for toning, firming and shaping your bum. Again it needs to be done correctly and the key thing here is to really focus on squeezing and engaging your Glutes or Bum muscles as you push up and at the top of the exercise. Go for 4 sets of 15/16 when using both legs and 3 sets each side of 7/8 when just using one leg. when you hit the top point, squeeze hard and count to 5 then lower back down, that’s one rep.

Glute Kickbacks: Another great exercise for really shaping your bottom and adding great muscle tone to your bum and backs of your thighs. The key to this exercise, in fact all Glute and Thigh exercises is to really concentrate on squeezing the right muscles ie your Glutes and your hamstrings in this one. I’d suggest starting off with 3 sets of 10 on each leg and then progress up to sets of 20. If and when that starts to become easy then as with the girl in the video add some weight, either by using a small dumbbell as she does or by adding some strap on ankle weights that you can easily find or get on Amazon.

Initially i would suggest picking two of these four exercises to do each day eg Squats and Kickbacks one day, Lunges and Hip Thruster the next. Mix it up and change it around as regularly as you can and use different varieties of squats and lunges. The idea is to work every part of your Glutes and Thighs. Believe me 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week and within a month you will really notice the difference and you’ll be on the Kardashian website buying dresses to show off your new favourite asset.

Take Care


PS: Some of the information in the article above may not have been quite entirely true…..but I’m sure you already guessed that! The exercises are spot on though!

Drink Beer & Get Fit – What do You Want?

Beer Fitness Image

Hi Again Everyone,

I’m in the process of writing a book, the title of which will be “Drink Beer and Get Fit”. I can sense fitness professionals around the world throwing their hands up in horror at that title and castigating me for setting a bad example. If you’ve followed my blog you will know that I am approaching Health and Fitness from the perspective of an ordinary person and the truth is that most ordinary people will not live the life of a fitness model or a monk and WILL sometimes indulge in a beer or three or bottle of wine. Below is an extract from the first chapter of the book. I hope you like it and it strikes a chord with you. If it does then please let me know in the comments section.

Chapter 1. The First Step-Knowing what you Want.

So I’m guessing that if you’ve bought, borrowed or possibly even stolen this book you must have a reason. Maybe you just love Beer, saw the word in the title and couldn’t resist. Maybe it made you curious “can I really drink Beer and get fit? How does that work?”

More likely however you are unhappy with some aspect of your health, weight, shape or fitness and want to do something about it? Right? It must be or why else would you be here.

It’s important though that you really think about what it actually is that you want to achieve. You can change your lifestyle and change or improve your health, fitness, size, shape and weight in many different ways. What you actually want to achieve is important because it will to some extent dictate what you need to do and how to go about it.

So let’s break down some of the most basic needs and desires that might be driving you.


Most people are slightly overweight to some degree but the changes you need to make to your lifestyle will be to a large extent dictated by just how much weight you want to lose. It is possible to become much fitter without actually losing much weight. You will still be healthier, stronger, fitter, but may still be carrying some extra blub around your middle, chest, arms and backside. You may be happy with that. Losing weight may not be that necessary, either because you are already close to where you want to be, or because you are comfortable the way you are. That’s fine, be true to yourself and certainly don’t be led by the images you see in magazines and the media.

However there are a few points to bear in mind. Carrying an extra stone around won’t do you too much long term harm but two, three stones or more, anything bordering on or straying into the territory of obesity will definitely have long term health effects as you get older. Diabetes, Heart problems, knee and joint issues and just general length of life are all directly linked to being heavily overweight and without wishing to lecture you, you really should think about doing something about it.

If weight loss is your key aim then the food and dietary parts of this book are the bits you should pay attention to and actively try to incorporate into your lifestyle. That is not to say that you should ignore the fitness chapters completely, in fact they go hand in hand. Following the tips and tricks around food and diet will 100% help you lose weight, however if you incorporate that alongside the fitness advice in other chapters two things will happen.

Firstly it will be easier to lose the weight and you will lose it faster. Not only that but it will be easier to keep it off. Why is that? It’s very simple really. Exercising burns calories, the more calories you burn the more weight you’ll lose. It really isn’t a Stephen Hawkingesque concept. Not only that, but the exercise will help to fire up your metabolism. Certain types of exercise which I’ll explain later not only burn up calories whilst you exercise but light a forest fire under your metabolism which mean that your body will continue to burn calories at an increased rate for many hours after you stop exercising. How cool is that? You can be sitting on the sofa watching Masterchef and lusting after all the food you can’t eat (only kidding) and still have a firing metabolism that is eating calories and weight hours after you left the Gym or got off the bike.

Secondly and more importantly the exercise itself will start to repair, improve and counteract the adverse health effects that we already discussed. Your heart and lungs will become healthier and work more efficiently, your joints and muscles will become stronger thus improving your mobility and the likelihood of Diabetes and other similar diseases will decrease.


Again this is an area where you really need to give some thought to what it is that you are seeking to achieve. Are you trying to get fit for a specific reason or event such as doing a 5/10k charity run, playing for a 5-a-side football team or climbing Everest? Or are you, as most people are, just seeking to be a fitter, stronger, leaner version of your current self. It’s also very important to be honest with yourself. We may all have grand dreams (I still cling to the hope of becoming world Middleweight boxing champion) but the reality is that was never ever a possibility let alone now that I’m 47.

That is not to say you should set your sights too low or not too dream, but do be aware of your initial limitations and set yourself some goals that for an initial period at least are achievable. What do I mean by that? Well you know yourself far better than I possibly can. If you currently get out of breath walking to the bus stop a little too fast then quite clearly your initial aims need to focus around improving your general fitness and aerobic capacity so that you can walk and do some decent exercise without getting out of breath or collapsing at the bus stop. In fact if you are very unfit, have had health problems or are very overweight it’s always sensible to have a quick chat to your doctor before starting any exercise regime.

Alternatively if you are already reasonably capable and can run, or possibly already play some sport then absolutely set your eyes on the horizon and have some ambitious goals. I have a friend who is a fantastic Personal Trainer and he has achieved some amazing things with some of his clients. Taking them from injuries and disabilities or extreme obesity, to running marathons, losing half their body weight, transforming their body shape. It can be done, anything is possible, but you need to have a plan and be realistic at the outset. In a later chapter I will cover the subject of your mindset, mentality and how one of the most critical things you can do is alter how you think about challenges and your attitude to your life, your health, your diet etc…..but that’s for later. All good things come to those (that read the chapters in order).


If you eat better over a period of time and also exercise then inevitably your shape will change, and for the better. So why am I giving this a separate category? Well because when I refer to shape and people who want to change their shape I guess I am talking more about the people who have some sort of a goal in mind. We may not be talking Arnold Schwarzenegger type ambitions but certainly you’d like to add some muscle, possible reveal some abdominal muscles, even achieve that wide shoulder , v tapered look that athletes and superhero’s have.

So can that be done? You bet. Of course it depends to a degree on your starting point but you CAN get there. To lose weight and become fitter as outlined in the two sections above you need to work hard and be reasonably dedicated. To dramatically change your shape and become muscular and/or lean and sleek you need to do exactly the same thing but just work a bit harder and change how you exercise slightly.

Again a degree of realism is the key here. If you are 55 years old and carrying an extra four or five stone around with you then sculpting a six pack and arms that Hercules would be proud of is a big ambition that is going to take a great deal of work and some serious dedication. However I am not here to put you off, in fact I’d positively encourage you to think positively, set goals and work your butt off to achieve them.

That’s it, that’s part of the first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. There is much more to come and I hope to have the book done and published by the end of the year. As i said earlier I’d welcome your comments. If you like the sound of it then please subscribe to my emailing list on the website. That way you won’t miss any more posts and all subscribers will get the first notification of availability as well as fantastic chances to get freebies of the book and other offers to follow. Once again, thanks for reading.

Take Care,


THE 5 pieces of essential home fitness equipment!!

Resistance Bands 1

So you want to improve your fitness and become stronger and healthier but can’t get to the Gym. Maybe you just don’t have the time to get out for an hour, don’t want to lay out the money (some gyms are very expensive these days), or one of the most common reasons is embarrassment. You may not feel confident in a Gym environment as you may not be completely sure what you are doing or could feel self conscious about your shape….

All of these are valid reasons for millions of people. However that doesn’t give you a reason to kop out and do nothing. As I’ve said in previous articles, you can do fantastic workouts that will transform your body and health from the comfort and privacy of your own home. However in order to do that effectively it would really help to have a few bits of kit and equipment to help you achieve your goals.

Listed below are 5 pieces or types of equipment that will help you do all the exercise you need to tone, flatten and pump your body as well as improving heart and lung function and general health. Most of these are relatively inexpensive, easy to source (Amazon) and easy to store.

My number one choice is a good set of resistance bands with handles. I probably shouldn’t advertise but something like this would be perfect.

They are very easy to use and enable you to literally do dozens of different types of exercises that very effectively mirror a weights or resistance training programme that you could do in a Gym. Many Gym goers sneer at them but unless you are already a hard core gym bunny who throws a lot of weight around you genuinely can do as much as you could do in a gym and the various bands add degree’s of resistance (weight) up to a fairly decent level. For women, beginners or youths they are particularly fantastic. Just check out Youtube for examples of the training you can do.

A set of Dumbbell’s or possiblly Kettle Bell’s. This is by far the most expensive item in my list. However if you prefer real weights to bands and want to shape and tone your body then a good set of dumbbells are a fantastic addition to your home fitness kit. What you buy will to some degree depend on how strong you are and what you want to do with them. Personally speaking, adjustable ones that you continually need to keep changing the weights on bug the hell out of me but they are a cheaper option. Otherwise like me go for 4 or 5 different weights. For beginners, those only looking to tone, or some ladies then you can keep it fairly light A set of dumbells that comprise or can be adjusted to 1.5kg, 3kg, 5kg and 10kg is fine. For guys or those looking to add some muscle then I’d say something like 4kg, 7kg, 12.5kg and 20kg would be perfect.

A professional style skipping rope. What?? A skipping rope? That’s a kids toy isn’t it? Very far from it actually. Some of the fittest professional sportsman on the planet, professional boxers and MMA fighters swear by them. Skipping well is not easy and when you start you will be deeply disappointed in yourself and tempted to ditch it. DON’T!! Persevere, keep practising and you will improve and when you do the benefits are fantastic. 10 minutes of skipping is a brilliant cardio workout. It gets your heart pumping, your metabolism racing and also tones your legs, forearms and even shoulders. Honestly, it’s a great exercise.

A Swiss gym ball, exercise ball, fitness ball…they have lots of names but you all know what i mean, an inflatable shiny ball. They may seem a bit naff but they work. They are great for a variety of abdominal exercises, good for stability exercises for your core and can also be used to support your body whilst using your dumbbells and weight training. Again this is a very cheap piece of equipment. Make sure you do not buy a ball that is too big, especially if you are a lady or smaller guy.

An Abdominal roll out wheel. Again not the most well known piece of equipment but fantastic for toning and shaping your abs and building deep core strength. It will also increase shoulder strength if used correctly. Another relatively inexpensive item although i’d recommend spending £15/20 and buying one that has good recommendations and is fairly robust so that it lasts some time.

That’s it. 5 very simple, cheap (apart from the dumbbells) and easy to buy equipment that will transform your home workout programme and help you to transform your body. There are lots of other things you could buy ranging from pull up bars to full home gyms, but seriously, you don’t need them. More home work out programmes will follow in later posts so get buying and lets get you ready to rock and roll in time for Summer.

Now go off and enjoy your Easter eggs without any guilt.

Take Care,