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.

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

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!

The countdown has begun…

It’s now seven weeks until my next appearance on the contest stage, and Stage 1 of my pre-event preparation has been under way for a week.   Hang on, I hear you cry (almost), I thought you had retired from competition earlier this year, Chris?  So what’s afoot?

Indeed it’s true that I declared after my contest appearances in April that my on-stage competition days were over.  After all, I had just won the Miami Pro World Championship for my age group (the over 50’s), for both Muscle Model and Fitness Model, so it did rather seem like a good time to retire.  I had achieved one place better than the same event last year, so the progression of runner-up to winner to retirement sounded pretty logical to me.

But then, in May, I met young Dan Wynes and his girlfriend Liz.  Dan knew of my story, and he asked if I would act as his fitness mentor.  I agreed, but only on the condition that he set himself a real and specific target – entering a fitness modelling contest similar to the ones I had done.  The Pure Elite contest was chosen because the date of the event, 2 November, was then about 6 months in advance of that initial meeting between Dan, Liz and me.

Chris meets Dan at BodyPower 2014

Chris meets Dan at BodyPower 2014

It was then Dan’s turn to make a condition – he would only enter Pure Elite if I retired from being retired, and entered the event as well.

The conclusion of these mentor/mentee negotiations was therefore that Dan and I will both compete in the event – although in very different age categories – he is 21, after all.

So, that’s how I come to now be following Stage 1 of the preparation for an event that wasn’t on my radar 7 months ago.

This is, I’m sure, going to be a tougher competition than my last ones – a key reason for this is the age categories.  In my last contests, the category age was 50 and over; in Pure Elite, its 45 and over.  So, as I will be entering the stage just a couple of weeks away from turning 58, I’ll be facing competitors up to 13 years younger than me.  You may think that gives me more years of preparation time, but it doesn’t actually work that way, one reason being that I didn’t do any sport or lift weights seriously in the gym room until well past 50.

All of which means I’m going to have to work extra hard to do well on 2 November.  Which I will indeed do, as I relish a challenge.  And I have the bonus of training up to the date together with Dan – while I am mentoring him for these final few weeks, he is also doing his very best to encourage me too (not that I need much encouragement, the truly un-wonderful smell of the spray tan is beckoning to me already).  So yes, darling Jenny, it’s another round of spray tans, body shaves and grumpy carb-light Chris for you to put up with – one more time.

So what are these preparation stages that I mentioned all about, and what constitutes Stage 1?  I’ll explain all in my blog this time next week.

And if you want to follow Dan’s progress for these final few weeks too, check out and subscribe to his blog

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!

A double World Championship – and another retirement!

MPW1402I came first in both the Muscle Model and Fitness Model categories, both for the over 50 age group of course!  It was an amazing experience, a draining day with some heavy preparation involved on both training and nutrition fronts over the previous 6 weeks, but well worth it when the results were announced at 10pm.

I’ve decided to ‘retire at the top’ and don’t plan on competing again – I have to say that ‘never’ is a big word, but I can’t see me changing my mind at this point.  I’ve had a great few years on stage, made some great friends doing it, and have accumulated a few British Championship and runner-up World trophies.  But now I have the double World Championship – with the biggest trophies ever! – I am happy to move on from posing competitions.

I’ll still be involved in fitness – in more and bigger ways than before, in fact – but the trophy cabinet is now full.  Many thanks to Angie Weston , Audrey Kaipio and Matt Marsh, plus everyone else I’ve met both backstage and onstage at Miami Pro, all of whom I hope to meet again in the gym someday!