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Why I do what I do – be the example you follow; fit and sick vs. fit and healthy

Firstly let’s make it clear that being fit does NOT mean you are healthy! In my years in the fitness industry I have come across many people that some would consider fit but with all the ailments that go with an unhealthy body, myself included. Now I live very differently. So here is a brief summary of my lifestyle, health and fitness to date. When I was a kid I played everything I could, competed in every team and was known as the sporty one. Mainly I played tennis up to regional level, before really getting in to my rugby until University where I discovered the world of boxing. I started doing weights when I was 18 and have continued this trend since albeit very differently these days.

I used to consider myself to be pretty fit and strong because:

  • Bench press 135kg
  • Seated shoulder press 2 x 45kg Dumbbells
  • Run 5k in sub 20minutes
  • 8% body fat
  • Sporting an 8pack

    My weekly exercise routine:

  • 2-4 x 2 hour boxing sessions – sparring, technique and circuits
  • 4-5 x 80minute resistance sessions, 3day upper body split using typical body builder routines
  • 1 x 30minute cardio session usually a 5k or interval sprints

General lifestyle:

  • Food was ok eating regularly, poor quality meats, lack of vegetables
  • Laden with C.R.A.P.
  • Alcohol intake quite high & dehydrated
  • Supplements including creatine, ZMA, protein, progains etc.
  • Went to bed between 1 and 3am, get up between 8-11am always tired

The results:

  • Serious shooting low back pain on my right hand side daily
  • Neck ache
  • Right hip pain
  • Left inside knee pain
  • Could barely put on a pair of socks because of tightness and pain
  • Right shoulder pain & constant wrist strains
  • Always tired and fighting off illness
  • Generally feeling run down

Fit and healthy! Fit – maybe in some definitions, Healthy – definitely not!

I thought this can’t be right, apparently I’m in great shape and look good but I feel like shit and hurt! So I graduated did some travelling and came back with a clear direction. I did a highly respected personal training and sports massage course. I applied what I had learnt on myself and saw some improvements but still pretty much suffered with all of the above ailments. 12 months of working with clients, going on courses, seeing chiropractors, physios and chatting with other professionals I was still in pain, burnt out, knackered, miserable and unfulfilled but mostly fed up of being a hypocrite. People were paying me to coach them to be healthy when I was a complete mess myself.

I was reading some Chek stuff which really interested me and got chatting to a gym member wearing vibram five fingers, turned out he was a Chek practitioner. I seized the opportunity, conquered my fear and arranged an assessment and programme design. We went through the programme but I was very sceptical doing so little and such basics thinking I was going to get weak and fat! I fought the temptation to not do it and return to my old ways; clear in my mind I was going to give this a real effort and see what happened.

In 4 weeks following 90% of the programme:

  • My back, hip, shoulder & wrist pain had gone with a little residual knee issue
  • Was feeling more energetic
  • Inspired and learning
  • I felt strong and stable all over, a difficult feeling to describe
  • I could touch my toes for the first time since I was about 10

Those four weeks changed my life, personally and professionally. Since then I teamed up with Matt combining our joint knowledge and experience which led to the evolution of the aps philosophy. We live by it because we know it works and are improving our lives in every aspect living our dream and building our legacy. I practice what I preach and I am my own example of my methods.

So now my average exercise week looks like this:

  • 2-3 30-40minute ‘work out’ resistance sessions using primal patterns & integrated core work
  • 1-2 30minute ‘work in’ foam roller sessions mobilisations and self myofascial release
  • 15-30 minutes a day doing ‘work in’ exercises, stretching and/or long lie breathing
  • Walk the dogs most days
  • Rest and recovery weeks at the end of intensive programmes

General lifestyle:

  • Generally eat M.O.R.E. with a variety of quality vegetables, free range meats & fish
  • Very little wheat, dairy or processed foods
  • Very little alcohol, occasional pint, glass of red or a rare drinking night out
  • No supplements apart from fish oils and gut flora
  • Go to bed between 10 and 11pm, get up between 6 and 7 am energetic

The result is being strong, fit for purpose, fulfilled and the healthiest I’ve ever been:

  • 9% body fat sporting an 8pack but most importantly a functional core
  • Deadlift 170kg
  • Can jump and squat on a swiss ball
  • Solid primal patterns with Inner and outer unit function
  • No pains, aches or tightness
  • Living my dream & challenge myself
  • No headaches or illness
  • Generally feel great

I now believe that health should always be a prerequisite for fitness and being fit and unhealthy can be just as damaging as being unfit and unhealthy.

Stay Healthy


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