Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My exercise regime

I get a lot of emails, tweets, messages and comments about my exercise regime and what I have been doing over the last 14 months so I thought I would blog it to share.  As with the introduction to clean eating blog post please note I am NOT an expert, I have no qualifications in this subject so if you prolapse a bowel doing a squat you cant sue me and take my dog and vinyl.

This is just what has worked for me, and remember I have done it with the help and guidance of a personal trainer Steven Shaw.

OK so when I first started in Jan 2013 Steven was doing a bootcamp, three hourly sessions a week where we did high intensity circuit traning. what the hell is that?

Well its a selection of full body exercises you do for a set amount of time then have a rest and move on. so for example, when I first started we used to do 30 seconds on an exercise and 30 seconds rest, there was about 10 exercises in the circuit working the whole body, after all 10 exercises are performed we got a 2 minute rest then we did it all again, we performed the whole circuit 3-4 times in the hour.. 

As I progressed through the weeks this was moved upto 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off, and then sometimes 50 seconds on 10 seconds off. those are the hardest because ten seconds only allows you enough time to get to the next station to perform your next exercise. This is also known as circuit training and if you google it you'll get loads of programmes, if your stuck on any of the exercises and don't know what they are just whack them on youtube and they'll come up with how to do them.

So we did this for a month or two and I think I lost around half a stone and several inches, I then began to have one on ones with Steve where we did harder stuff like cross fit training and pyramids.

crossfit is where you get a time, e.g 10 minutes, and some exercises, eg10 pull ups, 10 squats, 10 burpees. The aim is to complete the exercises as many times as you can in the ten minutes, so you do 10 pull ups, straight onto squats, straight onto burpees, straight back into pull ups, until the 10 minutes is up no rest. SOOO HARD. again google crossfit programme for more info and exercises you can do.

pyramids was my worst nightmare, literally had me crying. Steve worked around a giant tractor style tyre and we had around 5 exercises to do, for example, jump squats on the tyre, flips of the tyre, press ups on the tyre, sledgehammers and these squat walking type things where you walk around the tyre in a low squat which bloody kill the thighs. Anyway each exercise is performed 2 times, then 4 times, then 6 times, then 8 times, then 10 times (by which time you want to die) but then the good part comes and you work your way back down the numbers, so after 10 times you do it all 8 times, then 6 times, then 4 times then 2 times then you're done) These were always high intensity 30 minute personal training sessions which work you so hard with the full body.

Ok so then around May time Steve introduced my absolute favourite of all exercise and fitness WEIGHTLIFTING, we started off small with squats, clean and press, shoulder press, deadlifts, bent over rows and bench presses. Steve started me nice and light ensuring I got my technique perfect and felt comfortable and safe.  I remember my first squat was 15k just the bar basically with no weights on. Same with bench, I was doing 15k only.

I think we did around 1 weights session a week, sometimes in group (which I still attended) and sometimes in one to one sessions.

I also joined a local gym and started doing weights myself using what Steve had shown me.

slowly over the months I got my weights up and now I can bench around 46k (one rep max) or i can bench 37k comfortably (10 reps /4 times) My squat has gone from 15k to an unbelievable 127k (one rep max) Deadlifts are around the 80k mark too. I can also leg press with six 25k plates plus the machine.

Don't take my weights as a guide, please remember ive been doing this almost a year and I do it nearly every day.

Which leads me onto my final chapter... my exercise regime now.

Well ive taken on board everything Steve taught me over the last 14 months and now I do my own fitness regime.

I train 5 times a week, usually during the day as im self employed.

I do three weights sessions, focusing on chest and back muscles in one session, legs in another session and arms and shoulders in my final session. Each session lasts around 1 hour and I always finish with 20 minutes focusing on my core. I also do two cardio style sessions (although Steve will kill me for calling it cardio haha)

In these sessions I do one of the above mentioned, either intervals,  crossfit, or pyramid, or sometimes I swim, I can do 800m in around 25 minutes breaststroke. Its really hard doing cardio on my own as I benefited so much having someone to push me. Sometimes if ive done my 2,4,6,8 on a pyramid and im knackered i'll cheat and miss the 10's and go straight back to 8,6,4,2 ha!!

Id rather suffer the pain of discipline than the pain of regret though so I try and complete whatever I have set myself.

SOOOO why the hell have I bothered....

I cant begin to tell you how much my fitness has improved, when I started this I couldn't swim a length without getting out of breath, now I do 40 lengths (which is my 800m) without stopping.  I can jog longer, sprint faster, im stronger, leaner and to top it all off ive shed 30lb of pure fat. Ive also gained 10lb lean muscle, so overall im around 20lb down on the scales.

I hope you've enjoyed reading, any questions drop me a comment and i'll reply when I can. Like ive said, im not saying any of this is right or wrong it just works for me, my advice, get a personal trainer, even if its just for a month.  If you cant afford one join a local bootcamp.

I don't have any goals really, im happy with my weight, im healthy and my body fat is decent. I just want to continue getting fitter with more muscle tone.

Chocolate raspberry fondant

Got three minutes to spare? Great that’s all you'll need to cook this delicious clean protein packed chocolate fondant.. If you don’t have a microwave it’ll take a little longer in the oven sorry (try 12 minutes on 190)


Makes  2, I cook one and chill one to cook another time as it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

2 scoops protein powder

2tbsp raw cacao or 30g 85% organic chocolate which will need to be melted

1tbsp coconut oil melted

A small handful of raspberries

1 tbsp natural peanut butter (smooth is best for this recipe)

2 tablespoons each of almond milk, strong freshly brewed coffee and water (as long as you have six spoons of liquid it doesn’t matter what you use)

1tsp natural vanilla extract for flavour if you have it, if not leave out



Easy as pie, mix all ingredients together, pop into two ramekins, cover and put one in the fridge, whack the other one in the microwave for 1 minute, TADA, done!

Serve with Greek yogurt (the proper stuff not the “greek style” and eat hot/warm, goes a bit stodgy when cold.


If your cooking two at a time you’ll need to microwave for longer, maybe 20 seconds longer.


Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Clean protein chocolate mousse

This can be eaten as a stand alone dessert, or it can be used as a kind of cheesecake topping for other cakes. its especially good on the protein brownies / chocolate cake recipe leave out the protein if you wish.

This torte contains no butter, sugar, eggs or flour.  You won’t believe how creamy and rich it is and the best bit is it literally takes minutes to make.  The avocados add a beautiful creaminess to the torte and I promise you can’t taste them.

makes 2 pots, or enough to cover an 8 inch cake
100g 85% cocoa chocolate, melted
1 scoop of chocolate whey protein OR 2tbsp raw cacao powder (if you use protein don't use cacao)
2 small ripe avocados, flesh scooped out
75mls maple syrup or raw honey

1tbsp natural organic peanut butter



Nice and easy this one, just add all the ingredients (except the melted chocolate) to a food processor and blend together, when smooth add the chocolate and again blend.

Keep refrigerated and it will last 5 days no problem. it will firm up a little once chilled so remove from the fridge around 20 minutes before eating.


Protein Brownies / chocolate cake

One of the things I enjoy most is something sweet after ive eaten. Being on both a clean eating and high protein nutritional programme I wanted to come up with something which satisfied my sweet tooth, fulfilled some of my protein quota, whilst being sugar, wheat and dairy free. I came up with this recipe using black beans which are high in plant based protein. So now I can have guilt free desert, perfect post gym, they double up as a protein bar. You can make this into one large cake and use the chocolate mousse (separate recipe in this section) to fill the cake for a totally clean chocolate fudge cake.

I put all the ingredients into my fitness pal app which I recommend getting if you don't have it. and if you cut these into 10 they are 78 calories and 6g protein each.

Chocolate brownie protein bar

10 bars

1 tin drained black beans
3 tbsp raw cacao or 50g of melted 85% cocoa chocolate
7 tbsp chocolate protein powder (45g)
Pinch of salt
75g pure maple syrup  or raw honey
coconut oil (35g) melted
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/2 tsp baking powder

Method: preheat the oven to gas mark 4 (180) or lower for fan. grease and line a small 7 inch square tin (they'll be thinner if you use a larger tin, or you can double the recipe, use a larger tin and freeze some)

Simply blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 15 minutes, they will be slightly firm but will firm up more once cooled, a bit like a sponge cake when cooked.

cut and keep in the fridge in an airtight container.

top with coconut oil and natural peanut butter, top with the  clean chocolate mousse frosting (separate recipe) or eat on its own.

An introduction to protein treats and clean eats

Hello, thanks for reading. If you've been following me for a while you'll know since January 2013 ive been on a bit of a body transformation. Nothing to drastic just getting more healthy, stripping body fat and gaining muscle. I am in no way an expert, infact ive done it with the help and support of a personal trainer.

The recipes and methods in this section have worked for me, but they might not for you. Like I said im no expert and I would always recommend speaking to a professional before starting any big exercise change. Besides, most PT;s will give you a free session to see if you like it.

Eating clean, what the hell does it mean, well if your my mate Ryan Tindle eating clean is throwing domestos on your Kebab in Kentish Town in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The soul of clean eating is consuming food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet. NO preservatives. NO chemicals. NO processed foods.

Once you've read the notes below (taken from clean eating magazine and edited by me) have a look at the recipes in the section. Bear in mind though my goal is to put all this into my second book so feel free to print off and use but please don't publish anywhere else online.


Theres a really good list of clean eating shopping list essentials HERE

rules I follow:

Eat five to six times a day
Three meals and two to three small snacks. Include a lean protein, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and a complex carbohydrate with each meal. This keeps your body energized and burning calories efficiently all day long..
Get label savvy
Clean foods contain just one or two ingredients. Any product with a long ingredient list is human-made and not considered clean.
Avoid processed and refined foods
This includes white flour, sugar, bread and pasta. Enjoy complex carbs such as whole grains instead.
Know thy enemies
Steer clear of anything high in saturated and trans fats, anything fried or anything high in sugar.
Consume healthy fats
Try to have essential fatty acids, or EFAs, every day. Such as avocados and coconut oil
Meal Preperation
 A big part of my routine, i'll make a batch of protein brownies which will last me a week and can be eaten in various forms. I'll also roast a chicken on a Monday and it will last me until Thursday with various sides.