Behind the scenes at my 60th birthday photohoot

I did a photoshoot with great photographer Simon Howard on the occasion of my 60th birthday.  It’s not the best that I’ve looked, but I don’t think its too bad for someone of my age – especially as you know I was obese 10 years earlier.

It only lasts a minute, so it’s a cramming down of two hours activity – but I hope you get a flavour of what it’s like.


New ‘Fit Happens’ TV series

Season Two of my Fit Happens TV series is now ready!

Initial TV transmission in the UK is in May 2017 by the Community Channel.

Season Two is five half-hour episodes similar in format to the episodes 1-4 of Series One, but bigger and better with an extra cast member – joining Keith Cormican and me on the studio sofas and in fitness locations globally – is top fitness personality Nicola Feustel.

As well as improving the looks of the sofa-sitters massively, Nicola brings massive knowledge and experience from working on her own fitness, individual clients and group training.

There are many new features in Season Two – a new logo, more segments, more subjects, more cameras – our first drone footage – and a massive crew of highly-talented media production individuals putting it together.

Expect to see crossfit, boxing, spinning, fun-running, bike testing, group workouts, a brand-new ultra-cool kitchen with great new recipes, and new workouts and exercises all over the place!

Plus more expert guests to join the three of us from the world of fitness.

The current transmission times are here: Fit Happens Transmission Times May 2017

Keep looking on or the Fit Happens Facebook page for more details of future transmission times.

Whole-body pre-contest workout

I sometimes get asked if there is just a single workout that I would recommend to work all the key muscles in just one workout.    And one that includes some cardio element as well as effort for the muscles.

The answer is that there is – and its the workout I specifically use for a few days before going on stage in a fitness model contest.  To me, this workout ticks both boxes – its a perfect whole-body workout – plus a great pre-show conditioning session that works everything to the level I need before that big day.

Take a look – its the first video on my video wall –

I recorded it the day before appearing on stage in the Pure Elite Fitness Model Championship, so you can tell I was motivated to get it right.

And feel free to let me have any questions, of course.

Ideas on building abs

You may have others say that ‘Abs are made in the kitchen – not in the gym’.

Well, that’s not really true. They are actually made in the gym – but they are indeed made visible by what you do in the kitchen. Work in the gym (or on the floor at home) will build those abs, but only getting down to below-average levels of bodyfat will make viewable.

The best abs exercise to show what you’ve built in the gym is without doubt: five sets daily of eating less rubbish!

But you do indeed have to build them – and I’ve written an article about what I’ve found to be the 6 best simple exercises for building the lower abs. On most people, that’s the bit south of the belly button, the lower slabs of your soon-to-be-visible six pack.

The article is in two parts, both on the great Watchfit website – take a look at the articles here:

Exercises 1-3

Exercises 4-6

I hope you find that helps you on the abs building part – now go plan that good nutrition to work on the making-visible part. There’s tips on my website about the nutrition approach you will need, but if you still want ideas, just drop me an email.

And have an ABSolutely fine time doing it, too!

Fitness TV time…

Snapshot - 101Interested in fitness on TV?

The TV documentary about me – ‘Fat To Fit at Fifty’ – is being shown by the Community Channel tomorrow. It tells my fitness transformation story and how I’m helping others down the same road. There’s contributions from some of my Personal Training clients, magazine editors, plus fitness professional Rob Riches – who is my own inspiration and the guy who introduced me to fitness in the first place. There’s also views from top local PT Russell Lee, celebrity fitness photographer Simon Howard, and my workout buddy, fitness model Alex Hughes.

It is being shown at the following times on these channel numbers:

Tuesday 17 June – 11AM

Wednesday 18 June – 5AM

The Community Channel is on Sky 539, Virgin Media 233, Freeview 63 and Freeview-HD 109.

I hope you get the chance to watch!

The top question

Chris at Zone Gym 04I’ve heard many times that it’s impossible to add muscle and burn fat at the same time.  But is this correct?

While I agree this is true for any one instant of time (the body can’t do both at exactly the same micro-second), I don’t think its true over a realistic period – such as a month.  In the past month, I’ve been able to add a little muscle and lose fat through my nutritional and training strategies, heading up to my World Championship bid a couple of weeks ago.  Its a combination of nutrition and exercise, so here are my top 10  recommendations to achieve that magic combo – the key things I did in the two months leading up to the contest:

On the nutrition side:

1. Low calories than most but high protein within it (target 40% of calories from protein)
2. Minimal sugar and other fast carbs
3. Lots of green veg to go with the protein sources of meat, fish and eggs plus some whey shakes to up the protein
4. Low saturated fats
5. As much natural food as possible – avoid processed

On the exercise front:

1. Cardio every morning pre-breakfast but post-black coffee or fat-burner
2. Vary the cardio to be either low-moderate resistance on some days, high/low intensity intervals on the other
3. Spend ten minutes on abs straight after the cardio
4. Daily afternoon resistance training, ideally five days per week, on a bodypart-split basis – ensuring the same bodypart isn’t trained on consecutive days
5. Ensure there’s two days off per week from resistance training – you can do the cardio and abs on those days of course

If you want to go the extra mile, you may want to think about supplementation – I used BCAA’s, Creatine and a morning fat-burner (Ripped) from True Performance Nutrition, the company for whom I am an Ambassador.  That level of detail may not be for everyone, but this next point is – remember that consistency is important; you won’t be able to stick to all of those 10 points every day – but the more days you do, the better and more likely you are to succeed.

Does it work?  I’ve measured the results on myself measured through reducing body-fat percentage measured by my scales, and increasing weights numbers in the gym.  To me, getting results on both of these over two month counts as doing both at the same time, so yes – I’d say it can be done!

Have a great, fat-losing, muscle-building weekend!

Its the final countdown…

My blogs usually take the form of advice or suggestions, based on something I’ve discovered, or answering a question, or another form which I believe is of general interest.  It’s not usually about me, but this one is an exception, its all about me – but I still hope its of interest to others.
The reason for this self-centredness is that its just four weeks to go until my World Championships Fitness Model appearance on stage at the Miami Pro.  As a result, training and nutrition are both stepped a notch from this week.  I came 2nd in my age group in the same World Championship contest last year, and – guess what – I’d like to do one better in 2014!
So here are the key things I’m changing to my fitness routine.  And if you’re looking to step up your performance for a big event too, then maybe this could be of value to you.
Firstly, on exercise.  yes, morning aerobic system exercise every day, if possible.
And afternoon/evening resistance training is now ideally 7 days a week from now on, rather than the 5 days up to this point.  Cycling around Arms, Back, Chest, Delts and Elevators, then back to Arms again.  Elevators?  My word for ‘Legs’ in my alphabet-obsessed brain.
When is a weights rest day, I hear you say?  None are actually scheduled as such: but the upper body gets a rest when I do Elevators!  And the legs get a rest when I do an A-D bodypart.
On the nutrition side, trying to keep the sugars and fast carbs to twice a day – after training and at breakfast.  Overall calories are down, but within that, protein and unsaturated fats are up – can’t go wrong with grilled meat from the table-top grill and green veg!  I’ve not swung totally pro-saturated fats like many have in the fitness field – I still think they make you fat, so I keep off them (as I do sugar) but not to the extent it harms the protein input.
I knew you’d ask about beer and wine – well red wine is good for a couple of glasses a week, and I won’t be restricting that.  Beer is tough, I’ll cut it down some, but an exception is always made if it is of truly superb quality or exceptionally rare… – and combined with a social occasion that really merits it.
As I said, four weeks to go, and bodyfat to come down from 12% to 9% if I’m going to do well on stage on April 6th.  I hope the above steps will all contribute to that.  Wish me well for the final run-in…