So here we go….
I’m 36 years young, was born in Carlisle, Cumbria, I’m a fully qualified Personal Trainer with a BSc Hons degree in Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle and have been working within the industry for close to 15 years now.
I currently split my time between developing my business Action Reaction Training Ltd and continue to train clients face to face at Ultimate Performance in Manchester as a senior Personal Trainer.
I’m fortunate enough to love the job I do and relish working in the gym environment. Although my online business is booming I will continue to see clients in person, as it’s vital for my own personal development. This is an industry, which is constantly shifting with new research being published frequently. As a PT if you aren’t on the gym floor getting your hands dirty testing out new practices with different body types then you aren’t expanding your knowledge base, which will enable you to become a specialist in your field.
Where it all began…
My fitness journey began at the age of 14 after coming last in a school cross country race, feeling embarrassed and humiliated my dad signed me to our local gym the next day and so my love of fitness began and I was hooked!
At the age of 16 I took up rugby union but quickly moved to league when I was signed as semi pro at 17, which opened the opportunity of playing a season in New Zealand, which was unreal. It was during these years that I first learned how to seriously bulk up, having to withstand blows from kiwi lads taught me how to obtain strength and stamina. Unfortunately on my return to the UK before signing pro I played an amateur match and injury struck ending my pro rugby dream.
Over the following 6 years whist still playing rugby intermittently, remaining on the health and fitness trajectory I went on to gain my degree and personal trainer qualifications, which is where my career lies today.
At 25, after 9 operations to rectify various sporting injuries I decided to sadly retire from rugby league always being the one that should have made it but never quite got there. (However never being one to give in completely, even in retirement I managed to represent both England and Scotland at amateur level, much to the dismay of my surgeon).
The modeling years…
Disheartened by the end of my rugby dream and needing another goal to work towards I took a chance and entered the Mens Health Cover Competition in 2005. Being a bulky rugby player with no previous aesthetic aspirations I had 5 months to get cover model ready taking my current size down to a lean, ripped athletic shape. After a steep learning curve of experimenting with pioneering nutritional practices and learning new training systems I achieved in transforming my physique to a cover model level, winning the competition.
As a result of the win I was signed with a top-modeling agency in London where I worked as a full time model for a period of time, although all was not well. The pressures of the industry to be a much slimmer clothing size than what was natural for my body type caused me to lose over 20kg, resulting in an unhealthy relationship with food, the elimination of a social life to stay away from temptation causing a loss of many friends and isolating myself from the real world.
It’s upon reflection of this time that I am now able to mentor others who may be demonised when it comes to their physical appearance or relationship with food. Throughout these times I was striving for perfection, which cost me dearly. This experience taught me that there is no perfection in life. Ensuring that you have a healthy mind, a healthy relationship with food and a healthy relationship with yourself is vital if you want to maintain a fit a healthy body.
My return to Personal Training…
After turning my back on the fashion industry and having a new found respect for health, fitness and sustainable lifestyles, I went back to working as a Personal Trainer followed by a move to Edinburgh to set up a chain of health food cafe’s called OllyBongo’s.
After the recession destroying my dreams of OllyBongo’s chain cafes I decided to sell up and move back to London returning to my passion in life working full time as a PT, initially at The Third Space and now as I mentioned before, for Nick Mitchell at Ultimate Performance.
Throughout the past 5 years I have occasionally stepped back into the modeling scene although these days I am fortunate enough to be very selective in the shoots I do, choosing fitness shoots which is more suited to my natural build resulting in 6 Mens Health front covers, 2 Muscle & Fitness and several other publications which I have also been honored to write for on a regular basis sharing my knowledge and experience to date.
Education, Education, Education…
I’m constantly learning in what has become a “boom” industry and I will always practice what I preach, I walk the walk and talk the talk. I’m proud to be sponsored by Reflex Nutrition and honestly believe they are the best at what they do and more importantly what they stand for, I will never associate myself with anyone that I don’t believe is of true value.
My training is always varied, I work strength programmes, hypertrophy programmes and love metabolic / lactic acid sessions. Recently I have taken up golf and my training programme is now designed specifically with that in mind. I train 5 days a week and generally eat reasonably clean most of the day allowing flexibility and pleasurability. My macros always vary based on my goals at the time but I’m no carb dodger or low calorie freak. I don’t smoke but I do drink and I used to be a supplement junkie but now rely on only a few to aid in my health quest as supplements are just that and should not be abused in exchange for real food.
I’m a 6.0ft, 96kg and never wander beyond 12% body fat. I have no on/off season and live in the real world where I work hard to get what I want or need. We are all individuals and unique in our own way, which is why we should all live by the phrase “You can only be the best YOU can be”
Why the ART programme?…
I developed the ART program after seeing so many online plans that lacked real support and guidance, most aren’t sustainable and some of them are bordering on being extremely dangerous. Unfortunately our industry is not governed enough which means any man with a plan or a good body having no experience with a wide demographic of individuals can call themselves a PT or online trainer. I’m here to help because I genuinely care and if you read the testimonials from those who have done this programme you will hopefully see this is reflected by what they say.
So there it is, a little more insight into my life and me. I hope by reading this you are reassured that my experience in life and work having been through it all personally and having coached thousands of people over the years all of which have different shapes and sizes with differing needs and health concerns mean’s that I am best placed to be able to provide you with valuable life and fitness support to help you reach your goals too.
I hope to be working with you soon.
If you are confused about good training practices and appropriate nutrition click below to download a FREE SAMPLE of my 12 week body transformation programme for Men and Women…
Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.