Choose who you are going to be, then make it happen.

Warning – I am passionate, I will swear – they are just words, grow up.

If you are reading this and can say you are honestly content, please leave, this isn’t for you.

Right now they are gone let’s get a few things straight. Content – the most god awful word I have come across, it tells me two things; 1 – You don’t dream big enough, 2 – You lack drive.

Be the person striving for more, pushing yourself till it hurts, finding the limits you’ve set yourself and breaking them down.

I decided who I was going to be, I even went as far as to make a plan, a plan I have fought for, suffered for, that sure as shit was never going to be easy and I am god damn happy that it wasn’t, a plan that does not have an end and has requirements where failure or becoming ‘content’ will take everything from me.

I sit here looking at a sheet of paper, a sheet that in essence says ‘step 4 – Tick’. I don’t take more pride than that in it, it is the sum of three years and hundreds of hours, but to me it is just another bullet point. So was the £450 qualification handled in two weeks, or the few thousand hours of training and studying, even the accredited masters that requires a bank loan.

We all have something we want out of life, but we look at the road it takes to get there and shudder, the idea of sacrifice or hardship terrifies us, and so content seems like a suitable plan B. Let me say something that will get a scorn expression from many – fuck content, fuck your fear. I have had my own hell and hardships, there are moments that I would give anything to fix or get rid of from memory, but my goal, my dream requires so much god damn more. State your dream, wait no, let’s really do this –

Right now, say your dream, in 5 words or less – Might be a job/place/mood/ anything.

Next, state the minimum of what it’ll take to get there – cost/ hours/ ears/ qualifications

Now, and take this part seriously, are you brave enough? Could you take that on and accept the struggle that entails? Let us be very serious, if you look at it now, before even the first damn step in that direction and can’t say with certainty you are willing, when those moments come around that bring you to tears, that keep you awake at night, that lose you friends, to accept that this is all part of the plan, then don’t even start, and get really fucking familiar with – content.

Oh and if I need validation –

– Every damn friend I lost

– The hundreds of hours needed just to change appearance

– The tens of thousands of pounds for my qualifications

– The utter failure come competition day

– The loneliness for 3 years

– The laughter and judging

– The five years of work to just get my foot in the door

– The agony every fucking day

– The scars, history to overcome

and the rest of it that frankly if you need to hear, you were never going to be convinced anyway.

Be brave because in reality, if you aren’t living for those dreams, what is the damn point?

Aspire to Inspire.


I am here.

NO IT’S NOT FITNESS. Just so you don’t close it right away. Anyway, moving forwards.

If you came to a 7 foot wall, what would your first thought be? A way around it I’m sure. But that isn’t an option. So option two, you look for a hand up. Nobody there. At least for now. So lets assume by some miracle, gruelling effort and personal strength you make it over the wall after god knows how long, what’s next? Most people say if you are good at something never do it for free. Well in some circumstance that would be true, but to me, if you are good at something, you have an obligation to help others with that experience. 

Getting over that wall is my experience, therefore I believe I have an obligation to others to help get them over it. 


We all face obstacles in life, some more extreme than others, higher walls as it were. So sometimes we need a leg up, or at least somebody behind us if we fall. 

I came across my own obstacles which I am unafraid to share, plenty of them in fact. If you are reading this you are either one of my subscribers (so much love to all of you) or you are one of my Facebook friends (assuming I had the balls to share this, so be kind). It’ll be very easy to laugh me off and frankly that is fine by me, I am not here for approval.

I am here as that leg up, or just a voice to guide or an ear to vent. Everything I went through I wished I had that hand up, it was one of two times in my life I prayed. Sadly I never got it. Without that I found my own way over the wall and I promised myself no matter what, if I came across the chance to help anyone else in any situation I would take it.

So whatever you are coming across, no matter how well you know me, all I am saying is: 

I am here. 


Aspire to Inspire. 

Bodybuilding Training Tips

It’s no secret that doing the same workouts with the same internal variables over and over again won’t lead to muscle growth. But you don’t need to completely abandon your routine every time you need a change.


I hate to ruin your love affair with football, but unless you enjoy standing in lines reminiscent of your childhood trip, Monday is absolutely the worst day to be in the gym—especially if you’re planning to train your chest. Ironically, if you were to hit that same gym a mere 24 hours earlier, you’d find it practically empty. I’ve come to find the most serious lifters at my gym are there on Sundays to skip the crowds. 


We know you’re popular: You’ve got friends to text and conversations to catch up on with your crew at the gym. None of this changes the fact that you’ve still got a cardio session waiting for you at the end of your workout. Why not get your cardio done alongside your lifting.

Instead of sitting your butt on a bench between sets, you can speed things up, get your heart going, and burn calories at the same time. Active rest (doing a mild cardio activity between sets) will help you get a more productive workout and cut your time in the gym substantially. Try jumping rope, doing step-ups, or hitting box jumps for 45-60 seconds between weight-training sets. Just make sure you pace yourself.


Working out with a partner has some huge advantages. But creating a partner-friendly workout means finding convenient ways to load and unload weights. Nothing feels more like wasted effort than continually having to make weight changes. By using the smaller plates you can more easily make weight changes, saving time and effort. Bonus: If you do dropsets, you can simply pull off the right amount of weight without having to take off one of the big wheels and replace it with a smaller plate.


Too many lifters—at least the ones who never make any progress—come to the gym and choose weights they can lift for 10 reps, rest, and repeat. The problem with this approach is that the body has already grown accustomed to the load, and no further adaptation is taking place. You can literally train like this for years and never see progress.

Instead of hitting the usual 10 reps after your warm-up sets, choose challenging weights you can do for 6-8 reps—especially early in your workout, when your energy levels are high—and then employ sets of 8-10 later in your training session.

If you’re in fact going for 10 reps, you should barely be able to squeak out a 10th rep. When you can hit 10 reps without cheating or help, then it’s time to add a small plate to each side of the bar.

If you find that you’re taking every set to 10 reps, your internal alarm should go off. As soon as you hear yourself say the number 10, automatically add a plate to increase the overload. Don’t get lazy and work out on autopilot.

This tip applies mainly to multi-joint movements, especially for individuals looking to increase their size and strength.


Often times when training your back, your grip will give out first. Never sacrifice your back for your hands. When your grip starts to fail, put on a pair of lifting straps and you’ll be able to get an extra rep or two on each set, which translates into more muscle growth. Don’t let your grip be your limiting factor on back day. If you want to work on grip or forearm development, throw those on to the end of your workouts.

When using straps, be sure to isolate your back and let the straps do their job. You don’t need to use an overly firm grip with straps. Just press lightly on them, allowing your forearms to relax a little to send the focus of the movement toward your back.



You probably can’t sustain a high-intensity workout for long periods of time. You can, however, do a long workout with moderate intensity, but even that’s suboptimal for muscle gains. Powerlifters are known for longer workouts, but that’s typically due to more warm-ups and substantially longer rest periods between sets.

If your workouts are taking two hours, work on increasing the intensity (and texting less between sets) by making each set heavier and harder. Don’t just add more sets and exercises; that only serves to lengthen your workout.

Unless you’re a powerlifter (like myself), a faster pace does two things, it has been shown that shorter rest times and higher volume may improve your hormone activity, which means you’ll likely build size at a quicker rate. Second, it’s easier to stay focused for the duration of your session. Mental fatigue contributes to less-than-perfect focus and form, not to mention increased risk of injury.

Successful natural bodybuilders get in and out of the gym fast—in 60-75 minutes, tops. But what they sacrifice in duration, they more than make up for with intensity. Plus, you’ll save yourself an extra 45-60 minutes each day.


Learning how to keep your lower back arched correctly when training is like learning how to ride a bike: It doesn’t come naturally at first, and you’re going to make mistakes along the way. But while falling off a bike may result in only a few scrapes, using bad form and rounding your back when training with heavy weights disrupts spinal alignment and can cause permanent damage. Disc herniation can happen when you don’t protect your spine during lifting.

You can save your spine and properly target your working muscles by learning how to hold the arch in your back. This is especially important for bent-over exercises like Romanian deadlifts, bent-over rows, and bent-over lateral raises.

By having normal curvature or even a slightly modified arch in your lower back you’ll also gain stability across the core. By breathing in on the negative and having your chest up, if you squeeze your abdominals in tight you’ll increase your intra-abdominal pressure and actually provide much greater strength across your core. As an added benefit, contracting your ab muscles will actually help build them to a degree.

To check your form, stand perpendicular to the mirror, bend over about 45 degrees, stick your arse out, keep your chest big and open and bend your knees slightly. Look sideways at the mirror and check your body position, ensuring you have a tight arch in your lower back—not a humpback that’s rounded forward. You must practice this until you get it right, and few beginners naturally get the hang of it.


You’ve probably heard that you want to hit a large muscle group with exercises from multiple angles over the course of your workout. Pay attention to bench angle and hand, foot, and body position so you’re not repeating very similar movements. Incline, decline, and flat-bench presses work the pecs from multiple angles, but there are only small differences between flat-bench barbell, flat-bench dumbbell, and flat-bench machine presses.

Angle training ensures that you hit every muscle fiber, especially in muscles that have multiple attachment points. Performing a similar exercise with a different piece of equipment may help improve stabilizer muscle contribution, but going from a machine to a barbell, or barbell to a dumbbell, still hits the muscles at almost the same angle. At the very least, if you’re going to do the same exercise at the same angle with a different piece of equipment, vary your grip or your stance [with leg exercises]. A varied grip changes the emphasis of the primary muscles and the activation pattern of the assisting muscles.


Want to know the best way to ensure you’re physically incapable of doing anything later in your workout? T your body’s weakest links and train them to failure. For most of you, that’s your grip and your lower back.

Once your lower back is fatigued, standing upright becomes nearly impossible, let alone maintaining good form with heavy weights. For safety’s sake, do lower-back exercises at the end of your training session, most likely on back day.

Likewise, blow your grip with forearm or grip training, and you can forget about holding on to anything afterward. A heavy set of bent-over barbell rows after forearm training? Not a chance. So save the forearm and grip training until the end of your workout, with no other body parts to follow. It’s also a good idea to skip training those body parts if they’ll be necessary for the next day’s workout.


Everyone wants big muscles, but no one wants to lift heavy-ass weights. Eight-time Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, and he was dead-on. If you’re looking for shortcuts or otherwise trying to make your workouts easier—avoiding free-weight squats, bench presses, and deadlifts, for example—I’m sorry to say that you’re taking the wrong approach.

Looking for the easy way out may also mean excessive cheating on your movements, such as bouncing the bar off your pecs when benching, or bringing your elbows forward when curling. Although there is a time and a place for cheating, relying on it takes stress and tension off the muscle, which is counter-productive in bodybuilding.

Find ways to increase the degree of difficulty and make movements harder, not easier. Add chains to your bench press, do negative reps, extend sets with dropsets, or decrease your rest intervals: whatever it takes to make a movement more difficult. When you substitute machine movements for free weights, do seated motions instead of standing, or otherwise look for ways to make your workout easier, you only short change yourself—and the results you see in the end.


Aspire to Inspire

Living with Hypermobility Syndrome

Instead of having muscles that are too tight, people with hypermobility syndrome are often too flexible. They are able to extend their joints and flex their muscles beyond the normal range. Although this increased range of motion can serve as an advantage in activities such as gymnastics, dancing and swimming, hypermobility can cause numerous problems, particularly with joints. The best activities for hypermobile joints help to strengthen your muscles, while the worst activities increase their flexibility.


Hypermobility syndrome is characterized by excessive joint motion and joint instability. Normally, muscles and ligaments help ensure joint stability. When those tissues are too lax, their ability to stabilize joints is compromised. Loose muscles and ligaments allow for more wear and tear on the joints than normal. This can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis, the most prevalent form of arthritis.

If you suffer from hypermobility syndrome, engage in activities that strengthen your muscles. Stronger muscles are better equipped to protect the joints they surround. They provide more stability, thus decreasing not only joint wear and tear, but also your risk for joint displacement. Strengthening exercises are those that involve working with resistance, such as weight lifting, medicine balls and tension bands.

In general, you want to avoid stretching hyperflexible muscles any further. Instead, concentrate on isometric or concentric strengthening exercises. In isometric exercise, the joint doesn’t actually move, even though the muscles around it are contracting. Imagine pushing as hard as you can against a building, as if trying to move it – the muscles are working, but the joints don’t change position. Isometric exercises keep the joint stable and protected while still allowing the muscles to work properly and gain strength. With concentric exercises, muscles shorten as they contract, the way a biceps muscle behaves during a biceps curl.

The excessive range of motion present in hypermobility syndrome makes joints particularly vulnerable. Therefore, keeping muscles strong throughout their entire range of motion is especially important. Muscles tend to be strongest in their mid-range and weakest at either extreme of motion. That means a joint will be most vulnerable, or least protected, when it is at the end of its range of motion. Maintaining strength at range of motion extremes helps counteract that vulnerability in a joint that has too much range.

Prioritize strengthening the muscles surrounding the most susceptible joints: your shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles. Also focus on strengthening your core muscles in your lower back, abdomen, pelvis and hips, because they protect your spine. By stabilizing your entire body, a strong core also lessens the load on the most susceptible joints, reducing the chance for injury there as well.

Doctors do not recommend sustained muscle stretches for hypermobility syndrome, because muscles and ligaments are already too lax. For the same reason, eccentric exercises should be avoided, although it’s hard to avoid them completely. Eccentric contractions, commonly referred to as “getting the negative,” are the opposite of concentric contractions and occur when a muscle contracts while lengthening. Using the biceps curl again as an example, an eccentric contraction occurs when you lower the weight back down to starting position. During that phase, the biceps is getting longer as your arm extends down, even though the muscle is still contracting to control the downward movement. As the name implies, a lengthening contraction does lengthen the muscle, an undesirable action for muscles that are already too flexible.


Aspire to Inspire. 

Well… Crap

This is a vent session, sorry for the bore.

Just been to the doctors for a check in essentially. I’ve left being told I need to essentially stop powerlifting or i’ll permanently damage my tendons and mobility – Fuck hypermobility. Seriously fuck this. Having my own damn body let me down? Having all the god damn motivation, discipline and dedication mean absolutely nothing because I am not physically capable. 

Cannot explain how angry I am. 

So frankly, screw it, I’m not stopping. There is no chance in hell that I will allow myself to just give in. This may mean enduring some serious pains or injuries, so yes there will be that, but there is recovery. 

I will endure and I will continue to progress.

Aspire to Inspire. 

Reality of Eating Disorders

First – The reason I share this – I’ve been there, i’ve been through my share of dark places, and a few other shares. I know the pain and I know the struggle. the lack of information I had was part of my downfall, so here’s me sharing some info condensed. It gets better, I promise. 

What are they?

Most people at some point feel a need to lose a bit of weight or get a bit fitter, or to comfort eat after a bad day. When these feelings are so common that they become a major part of somebody’s life, there may be an eating disorder. Medically recognised eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the extreme end of eating problems that can start simply, and get more and more complicated until they control or dominate a person’s life.
A wide range of issues can trigger an eating problem. Often a person feels that they have very little control of the events going on around them and eating problem can make them feel more in control.
An eating disorder can leave a person with a very low self-esteem and a distorted body image. They can lead to depression, and even at place someone at risk of suicide or self-harm. Eating disorders can also damage people’s bodies, sometimes with tragic consequences.


• Anyone can develop an eating disorder, although most likely it will occur in young women aged 15 to 25.
• Over 1.1 million people in the UK are directly affected by an eating disorder
• Recent research of young people in Scottish secondary schools showed that 68% recognise anorexia as a mental health problem. Only 9% considered someone will an eating disorder to be attention seeking
•Girls and women are 10 times more likely than boys and men to suffer from anorexia or bulimia
• Eating disorders affect 1 fifteen-year-old girl in every 150 and 1 fifteen-year-old boy in
every 10004

Signs and Symptoms

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are described here, but it is important to consider that the lines between these problems are blurred, and indeed many people exhibit symptoms of both or either without meeting the precise definition.

Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa avoid eating and lose a lot of weight. They are usually at least 15% below their recommended body weight for their height, and often feel fat, even when they are very thin.

• People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight: they feel fat, even when they have lost so much weight that it becomes obvious to others.
• They may starve themselves by only eating tiny quantities of food.
• They can become so preoccupied with their weight and shape, and so distorted in their thinking about food, that it is very difficult for them to accept the need to eat a proper diet.
• They remain fascinated with food and often enjoy cooking for others.
• They often hide food and follow very complicated plans to avoid food and appear heavier than they really are.
• Sometimes they may pretend to have eaten when they have not.
• They may exercise vigorously, use laxatives or make themselves sick in order to lose more weight.
• A girl’s periods may stop or never even start.

Bulimia Nervosa

People with bulimia nervosa eat large amounts of food in ‘binges’ and then make themselves sick, or take laxatives to get rid of the food (purge).
• They may not look overweight or underweight, and because of this their eating problems are often difficult to detect. In fact, they can have great difficulty in controlling their eating – sometimes strictly dieting, at other times giving way to periods of binging.
• The food people eat in a binge is often high in calories, fat, or carbohydrate. As a person begins to fill full, feelings of shame and guilt can overwhelm them. It is those feelings that can trigger the need to purge.
• Continuous binging and vomiting can do serious harm to the body. Frequent weight changes can lead to loss of energy, mood changes and loss of interest in sex. Being sick regularly can result in dehydration, bad breath and serious damage to teeth. Regular use of laxatives can lead to severe bowel disease. Serious imbalances in any of the body’s essential minerals can result in organ failure and even death.


• Recovery means different things to different people and no two individual journeys of recovery will be the same. Regardless of symptoms or past experiences, people with mental health problems should be given every opportunity to, and can, lead fulfilling and satisfying lives.
• Recovery from eating disorders can take a long time, and it is common for a person to experience setbacks before achieving a full recovery. Nevertheless, many people do recover completely.
• Eating disorders develop relatively slowly, with the behaviours involved emerging, and becoming more complicated as time passes. It is important for a person’s recovery that they get appropriate support as soon as possible, as once behaviours become ingrained, they can be very hard to alter.
• Treatment for eating disorders can take many forms, including inpatient and outpatient care from hospital teams, treatment from GPs, and support in the community. Other professionals like dieticians and occupational therapists may form part of a care team. Some people find self-help groups useful.
• The support of family and friends is very important to recovery, and if you are supporting someone with an eating disorder, you should look up information from specialist organisations to support you and your friend/relative.

Stigma and Eating Disorders

• Eating disorders are often intensely private, and hidden from view. When it becomes clear that something is wrong, people often get cruel comments, and a lack of understanding from people who do not have adequate information to be supportive.
• People’s stigmatising reactions to mental ill health vary. Sometimes stigma is motivated by fear of the unknown, such as in schizophrenia. For eating disorders, one of the most important aspects to the stigma is disgust.
• Because the consequences of eating problems are often visible, onlookers often find it so hard to feel any empathy or understanding with the behaviour that they react by stigmatising.
• Verbal abuse, or comment is very common. Often people are called names, or their appearance is remarked upon. This abuse comes from friends, family, and even passers by in the street. This type of stigma is especially damaging because eating disorders are so closely linked to body image and self-esteem, the main targets of comments.
• The term “anorexic” has started to become a common adjective to describe very slim people, which can lead to a misunderstanding of what it is really like to have anorexia nervosa.

Myths and Misunderstandings

• Eating disorders are often described as a modern day problem, arising from the catwalk culture of the last thirty years. Although images in the media have been shown to influence some people’s body image, clinically significant eating disorders were first described by Physician and Minister John Reynolds in 1669 and Philosopher Thomas Hobbes in 1688.
• Eating disorders are sometimes dismissed as phases or fads, not serious and something that a person will just grow out of. Eating disorders have many long-term physical and psychological consequences. Anorexia nervosa carries a 13% mortality rate, from physical complications and suicide.
• Eating disorders are often thought of as middle class attention seeking behaviour, something that wilful teenagers do, that could be sorted by eating properly for a few weeks. This is not the case. Eating disorders are very complicated, deeply held routines that for the person involved seem like a perfectly logical way of coping with a difficult situation by controlling one aspect of life. Returning to a more conventional relationship with food may take years, and careful support.


Aspire to Inspire. 


Hitting your max.

Your one-rep max (1RM) on key lifts means much more than determining your pecking order among the gym’s elite. The 1RM is also useful for directing your future training plans, which makes it essential to occasionally max out on major movements.

While knowledge is power when it comes to planning, it also has a heavy influence on strength performance. Despite the high-tension physical strain of lifting—muscles and tendons pulling on bones, human frames overcoming iron and gravity—1RM testing isn’t dominated by the physical form. It’s actually a robust mental state.

When you venture into the territory of testing your physical limits, you’re more likely to succeed if you follow a process—a mental checklist of sorts—that prepares your mind to lead your body. That battle can often be won or lost before you even touch the weight.


Let’s start with visualization, which begins days, weeks, or even months before your body even engages the barbell.

Throughout your training cycle, visualize yourself successfully lifting your goal 1RM. In your mind’s eye, picture your performance: the weight on the bar, the gym around you … see your body forcefully defy gravity.

As you visualize, feel. Feel yourself strain to move the weight; feel the positive emotion from accomplishing your goal. The goal of visualization is to create the entire environment in your mind so your neurology is accustomed to it.

Start visualizing every day—morning, night, and between sets while training—at the beginning of your training cycle. Keep visualizing your success until the moments before you attempt your 1RM.


Psychological intensity is the lifeblood of heavy lifting. Moreover, you have the ability to practice controlling said intensity by creating a mental intensity lever.

This practice is rooted in visualization. I can’t give you the exact visual—you’ll have to create one with your own imagination—but you need a lever and numbers to rate your intensity. Start by imagining an actual lever that, when pulled, increases your concentration and strength. My lever ranges from 1-10, where 10 is maximum intensity. During warm-up sets I systematically crank the lever, working from 5-10.

Even though you’re not maxing out during a regular training day, you need to get used to feeling what maximal mental output feels like and associate it with your lever. So crank it up to 10 just once during your last warm-up set, drop down to 8 or 9 during most of your working sets, and get to a full 10 again during your last working set.

It’s abstract, and it seems a bit ridiculous, but this really works. Build your mental intensity lever and put it into practice right now.


No matter if you coach yourself or outsource your training process, sound coaching cues are necessary for strong lift performance. Coaching cues are engrained in your procedure months before your max attempt. The goal is to make these cues automatic, so conscious thoughts about starting position, lift engagement, and lift completion become unnecessary.

However, revisiting cues before approaching the bar for your ode to “human conquest over inanimate iron” is always a good idea.

As you practice your final visualization in the moments preceding your lift, remind yourself of your coaching cues for all phases of the lift. Start with your setup and make sure you master the necessary steps for good positioning.


Getting angry is a “to each his own” type of process. I can’t offer you a step-by-step primer on rousing your inner beast to let loose on a barbell. I can, however, recommend that you find a dark place in your psyche and provoke it. This provocation coincides with ramping up your mental intensity lever. The combination turns aggression into applied performance.

Be mindful, however, to not disregard your coaching cues. Blind anger is a hindrance; focused aggression is an enhancement.


Start with procuring a trustworthy spotter. Knowing a person is there to save you—should any hazard reveal itself—is priceless for peace of mind. No need to waste mental energy that would be better spent on accelerating mass.

Sometimes collecting the little rocks permits us to move the big ones, so be sure to secure sturdy weight clips tightly to your plates, clear your lifting space, and make sure you’re not attempting an ego lift.



Aspire to Inspire

Little bit broken.

Not sure if I have posted about this before or not, but I’ve written to go back looking through it all so sorry if it’s not new.

I talk of obstacles almost everyday, but for me the obstacle was never motivation, it wasn’t the drive, those things came naturally. For me, sadly, my biggest obstacle was my own body, what a betrayal eh? 

As some may know I suffer from two main issues, hyper-mobility syndrome and junior arthritis, not all shits and giggles. These two mean that basically my joints are hell, they ache, they click, basically they f****** hurt. A lot. AGAIN – I am not looking for sympathy, I kinda love what I have had to overcome. I started out unable to comfortably support a rucksack, unable to run properly, lift anything or train at all. Today I run for miles, life literally hundreds of kilos and do whatever the hell I like.

However today, once more, a new issue arose. My god damn wrist. Quite essential in my fitness work which is somewhat distressing I will admit. Anyone having experienced these issues it would be great to get in contact as to how you have dealt with them. 

Personally I went with the ‘build muscle through the pain’ approach, it still hurts…but it has worked.

So yeah, a little more about me for you.


Aspire to Inspire.