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

It’s not just me then…

As you probably know, I’m forever going on about the benefits those aged 50+ will get from taking up exercise and adopting a more pro-fitness lifestyle. So, firstly, apologies to those who’ve heard enough of this from me over the past few years!

It pleases me to report others agree with my views. A recent study, results of which were recently published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and reported by the BBC in the words that follow, agrees with me. Since that august journal is quite possibly not on your reading list, allow me to pass on the key facts.

The study followed 3,500 healthy people at or around retirement age. The conclusion was that those who took up exercise were three times more likely to remain healthy over the next eight years than those inactive. Amongst other problems alleviated by exercise, according to the study, were rheart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. Those who took up exercise in their middle age and behind were also less likely to struggle with day-to-day activities such as washing and dressing.

After eight years of follow-up, a fifth of the participants were defined as healthy – not suffering from any major chronic mental or physical illness. This group was largely made up of people who always exercised and relative newcomers to exercise. Few of this healthy group were people who did no exercise at all.

Doing regular exercise throughout your life is ideal, say the researchers, but there are health benefits to be had even if you are a late starter.

Lead investigator Dr Mark Hamer, from University College London, said: “The take-home message really is to keep moving when you are elderly. It’s a cliche, but it’s a case of use it or lose it. You do lose the benefits if you don’t remain active.”

In the study, those who had regularly indulged in moderate or vigorous physical activity at least once a week were three to four times more likely to be healthy agers than those who had remained inactive, even after taking into account factors such as smoking. Dr Hamer says physical activity does not necessarily mean going to the gym or going for a run – gardening or walking to the shops also counts.

The Department of Health recommends all adults, including those over 65, do a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity a week.

Doireann Maddock, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s well worth getting into the habit of keeping active, as we know it can help reduce the risk of heart disease along with many other conditions.

“Every 10 minutes counts, so even hopping off the bus a couple of stops early or taking a brisk walk on your lunch break will help.”

It’s great to see my views endorsed through a scientific study. I’d like to add that some progression is good – if you start doing a bit more walking, then try walking further. If you’re able, them try jogging a bit and progress from there. And if you really want to keep mobile and independently active into your old age, then some resistance exercise is ideal – look at the 20:20 Workout on my website to see one of the the best ways to use 20 minutes of home time each day. It’s on the ‘Workouts – Without A Gym’ tab of

Does this mean I will now stop seeing it as my job to tell people of my age group how great it is to live a healthy life by dropping the fatness levels and increasing the fitness levels? No chance!

Have a fit and healthy weekend!

A bit of re-resolving

The first blog of 2014 and so, of course, the first thing to do is wish you a happy, healthy and fit new year! I’m not a big fan of the word ‘resolutions’ – they get broken far too easily – but I hope that you have taken a few minutes to think of your fitness priorities for the year.

I’ve a bit of ‘catch-up’ work to do on the fitness front myself. The family Christmas and other celebrations have led to me being less fit than I’d like to be – for example, I’m up to 12% body fat today, and I like to be under 10% for most of the year, coming down to a lower number for contests. Additionally, I have a number of fun events coming up (some holidays in Feb, a TV series in March, and the Miami Pro Fitness Model World Championships in April) so its definitely time to get back into shape.

I’ve decided to commit to my fitness objectives for the year, and here are the highlights. It’s nothing new, just a re-commitment to last years approach. I hope it’s of interest, and if you need some inspiration in setting your own priorities, maybe there’s something in here that can help.

Keeping fitness levels up and fatness levels down is a blend of nutrition and movement. My view is it’s 50% nutrition, 30% cardio and 20% resistance training, and since there are three components, I’ve re-committed to objectives in all three.

On the nutrition side, my ideal day has seven meals. That’s made up of three smallish main meals per day – breakfast, lunch and dinner – with a smaller snack in between each, plus a shake after resistance training, and finally a late night snack. I don’t count calories accurately, but I do make a rough eyeball estimate of each meal; the three mains should typically be about 500 calories each, with the snacks and shake each at 250 – that comes in at about 2500 for the day. I make sure that each of those seven meals has a substantial protein element, and I keep the sugar and saturated fats down. And it’s definitely time to put the Christmas booze away.

For cardio, I’d like to get my 40 minutes pre-breakfast cardio back up to five days per week. I keep my cardio effort at around 65% of my maximum heart rate, which works out to be 120bpm – this ensures I keep in the aerobic activity zone with the main fuel source being fat. Nothing eaten beforehand, only black coffee or my RIPPED fat burner from True Performance Nutrition. On Saturdays, I replace the cardio with a 5k ParkRun – and I’m sure I can keep to the Sunday goal of a lie-in!

On the resistance side, my aim is to get back up to five days per week in the afternoons or evenings – cycling round ABCDE body parts, one part per day (arms, back, chest, delts and elevators). That’s a 50 minute per day trip, which is now back to being a high priority, as Christmas is done. Elevators are legs by the way, in case you don’t know my strange use of the alphabet!

There’s nothing new in the above, it’s what I was doing pre-Christmas for 2013. So my resolution – if we are going to use that word – is to get back to business as usual!

I hope there’s something in the above that helps you. There’s more about everything on my website – and I’d be happy to answer any questions or comments on

And as I said, a happy, healthy and fit new year to you!