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.


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.

Adidas Cloudfoam City from Brantano

I recently received some excellent trainers from the guys at Brantano. These are Adidas Cloudfoam City design and I have a lot to say about them – what’s good, where to wear them, design characteristics and foot support.

Take a look at my video which tells more on all these points by clicking here

And for more information on Brantano and their full range, click on Brantano

The final time on stage for me

I decided to retire from the fitness modelling contest stage this year – after four years – with my last contest being in September this year. I’ve had an exciting time, met some great people, and ended up with a few trophies.

Here’s a video showing how well (or how badly) I fared in that final stage visit.

PS – Retirement is a reversible condition.

Gym Review

Snapshot - 201I’m lucky to have tried gyms all around the world, in just about every continent (damn you, Antarctica) – and I was pleased to receive an invitation to visit Fitness First in Tottenham Court Road last week, just down the road from my usual London gym in fact.

This was my first visit to the gym and I was impressed by the huge range of facilities there – at 6pm, there were four exercise classes taking place simultaneously, all well-attended.  I don’t know many other UK gyms that have the amount of separate studio rooms that would be needed to support that number of activities.

And there is, as you’d expect, a large range of cardio machines – with multi-channel TV – and a large resistance training area with a good weights platform (for all of you who for some reason insist on dropping the bar in a deadlift rather than lowering under control) plus dozens of machines from calf raise to shoulder shrugs and everything in between.    For virtually every machine, there are multiple instances – I think I counted four leg extension machines, for example.

All good – and massively popular.  And that, perhaps, is a drawback – it was very crowded in the cardio, free weights and resistance training area.  A workout would need to be flexible if you didn’t ever want to wait for anything.  Supersetting could be a bit difficult, I expect.

A more personal drawback is that it doesn’t have high ceilings.  I know that may be seen as a weird comment, but I like training in an airy space – in London, think of Jubilee Gym in Covent Garden, and Fitness First’s own locations in St Pauls and Broadgate, both of which have partially double-height workout areas.  Further afield, two of my favourite gyms – Hercules Gym in Telford and Gold’s in Venice Beach – both have high warehouse-high rooflines, which contribute to the atmosphere (it for me, anyway).

There’s also a swimming pool, which I didn’t use, and looked pretty tempting if you like that in your gym.  I’ve discovered that putting a swimming pool in a Fitness First gym usually moves the membership category up a tier – which means those with Fitness First memberships of a more lowly calibre can’t use any of the facilities there – which is why this was my first visit.

In summary, Fitness First Tottenham Court Road is a great gym with more equipment and a bigger floor area than I’ve seen in any other London Fitness First.   And I guess the popularity was due to my 6pm visit time.  Go at some less popular hour, and I know you’ll have a great workout!  Checkout their website and you may just find a way to get a free one-day pass.

And thanks so much to Shaun and the team at Fitness First Tottenham Court Road for inviting me over for the visit.

The LAD Bible

There’s many web magazine-style sites out there, many dedicated to fitness – and a huge number that have a bigger subject coverage.  But I’ve noticed that more and more of the generalist sites are giving more space to fitness-related material.

This is excellent news, the more that fitness gets to be a mainstream activity, the better.  I want to be where lifting heavy things for the pure joy of it, and for the heath benefits and for the way all aspects of life are improved by doing it – is absolutely the norm for the population.  ‘Sorry, you don’t workout?’ becomes a surprising reaction.

I’m old enough to remember when it was absolutely the usual thing to smoke – ‘Sorry, you don’t smoke?’ showed up the exception.  So as smoking decreases in popularity, lets see hitting the equally health-promoting activity of shifting weights as something that everyone does.  I’d love to see it where pub conversations include ‘What’s your favourite beer?  Football team? Chest exercise?’

One particular example of fitness hitting the mainstream magazine sites is The LAD Bible.  A site with a huge following and audience base (10million likes on Facebook isn’t exactly shabby!), they are focussing more space and devoting further effort on promoting fitness to its audience through articles and videos.  And still they keep the levels of humour and entertainment way, way up there.  Well done guys.

So its big thanks and two-thumbs-up to the team at The LAD Bible to be featured there.  They recently published an interview with me on my approach to improving fitness levels, both my own story and what I suggest to others. Thanks again – and take a look at the article on

Fitness talk on HayesFM – listen again…

I had the great pleasure of being invited to be a guest on the FuestelFIT programme on HayesFM 91.8 a couple of days ago.  HayesFM is West London’s leading community radio station, and this particular show, hosted by fitness personality Nicola Feustel, is the top weekly radio show specialising in fitness anywhere in London.

During the chat with Nicola, I talked both about my own fitness story, and also tips for others – both over and under 50 – during the half-hour I was on air.

If you missed the show, and you’d like to hear it, then you can listen again on

Quick Muscle Beach day trip…

Filmed last November, when the weather was lousy here, Dan Wynes and I decided to do a quick all-body-part workout together showing some of our favourite exercises for Arms, Back, Chest, Shoulders and Legs – and then crammed them all into a quick four minute video.

And to make you truly jealous of the winter weather, we hopped on a plane and did it outside at sunny Muscle Beach in Los Angeles.

If you want to see these fave exercises, or just like seeing other people doing the work in the sunshine (or even see if my music choice has improved), take a look – its the top left video on

Really, why do you do it Chris?

Sometimes I am asked – Chris, why on earth did you get into the Fitness Modelling lark? I understand all about getting fit, but not sure I really follow the on-stage bit – tell me more, and what’s it like?

Well, rather than write it out again (I’m all for self-plagiarism), here is an interview I did with Keith Cormican that was published a little while ago on the MyFitTribe website. I hope it explains why I think walking the fitness stage is great, even for someone of my age.

I hope you agree, and will join me under the spotlight later this year or next!  Let me know…

Click here

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!