Who ARE you and why should I listen to you?
Well, put simply, because I’ve been where you are right now.
Hard to believe?
Well here’s a quick rundown of my history with fitness and nutrition…
- Was a chubby kid who never ate vegetables and hated exercise
- Started going to the gym in Uni and made a load of mistakes
- Found strength training and thought “hmm, I like this”
- Struggled with body image for a long time
- Realised that focusing on getting stronger made me way happier than trying to make my body look different
- Became obsessed with learning about fitness and nutrition and finding out how to get results without it taking over my life
- Wanted to help people do the same without making the mistakes I made and wasting all the money I wasted
My earlier years, the bullet point version…
I was never an athletic kid, and I definitely wasn’t a slim kid.
We’re talking McDonalds every week, large chicken nugget meal with an extra burger and a milkshake kind of kid.
Throughout school and college I was bullied for being the ‘fat’ one and so naturally found comfort by retreating into my room, locking myself away and playing video games (any Counterstrike fans here?)
Funnily enough this combination of blows to my self-esteem and Hobbiting myself away didn’t exactly leave me in a good place mentally for the majority of my younger years.
I distinctly remember having to do PE and not being able to make it once around the field without feeling like I was going to pass out. It was so bad I had to go to the doctor to get an inhaler that I could use to help.
And then I went to University…
I remember hitting University and finally feeling like I’d had enough of hating myself and the way I looked.
I was fed up with surviving off of Rustlers microwave meals, staying up until 4 in the morning playing games because I couldn’t face socialising and just thinking “this can’t be it”.
Luckily, a few of the guys I was sharing accommodation with were signing up to the Uni gym and asked if I wanted to go along and sign up with them.
I already knew that I was supposed to exercise to look good, and looking good would obviously solve all of my problems…
So I thought fuck it, why not.
Thus began the oh so typical first step of cardio-ing myself into oblivion. Because that’s what makes you lose body fat, right?
So I span my wheels for a while, made a strange attempt to eat slightly better (I will never, EVER get the image out of my head of when I first cooked frozen spinach) and basically went to every extreme you can think of and tried every supplement under the sun.
I became obsessed with trying to find the “secret” to seeing faster results. Faster muscle-growth, faster fat loss (spoiler alert, there wasn’t one).
Don’t get me wrong, I saw some results. Funnily enough if you just eat a bit better and move a bit more your body likes it.
But I still wasn’t happy.
I got a bit better with my training, incorporating weights into my routine and focusing on some of the main lifts, but because I wasn’t seeing results ‘fast enough’ I was continually frustrated and kept program hopping because I was still searching for that elusive ‘perfect routine’.
Then a strange twist of fate (AKA the Transformation Challenge)…
I entered a 3 month challenge.
Again, I’d hit a wall where I was so fed up I just thought “fuck it”. I’ll pay for someone to help me.
And it went well.
I finally saw my abs for the first time in my life, and on top of that met a great group of people.
But the challenge was pretty brutal.
By the end of it I was struggling with energy every day and was pretty hungry.
You see the thing is, it was a transformation challenge, and you can make a transformation look more impressive if you just give someone fuck all calories to survive off of. Plus at the time I didn’t have work, which meant I could dedicate all my time to either cooking, eating, cleaning up or going to the gym.
Transformation, part 2…
Some time passed.
I entered another transformation challenge a couple of years later, this time approaching it from a different angle.
I decided that I wasn’t going to do anything extreme, and I was also going to do it on a Vegetarian diet.
I took everything that I’d learnt the first time around, discarded the things that were unnecessary and distilled everything down into the essentials to make it as easy and bearable as possible.
I got some good results and even treated myself to a photoshoot.
But despite finally getting what I wanted, I made a startling realisation.
I still wasn’t content.
And here’s what changed my life…
A few years previous, the group I had met through the first transformation challenge met up at BodyPower.
One of my coaches also happened to be there so we said hello and had a chat:
Coach: “Rob your numbers are pretty good, how much do you weigh?”
[me telling him how much I weighed at the time]
Coach: “Have you ever thought about focusing on strength training?”
[me, thinking nah, I don’t care about being strong I just want to look like Arnold]
And that was it.
That was the seed that planted itself in my head for the next few months.
Fast forward a few years, and it was one day as I was looking in the mirror that I realised that constantly chasing a purely physique goal was actually destroying my mental health and creating a really unhealthy relationship with my body.
Because my opinion of myself was at the mercy of how I felt on the day.
Some days I’d feel great, and others I’d just feel depressed at how slowly I thought results were coming, thinking I was just getting fat again.
So I decided to make a change…
I realised that I really enjoyed seeing my numbers go up. Getting stronger was so fulfilling that I made a decision then and there to no longer have what I looked like be my reason for exercising.
Instead, I was going to do it to get stronger, and because by now I’d realised how much of a positive impact it had on my life.
And that’s what I did.
And it changed my life.
Focusing on what my body could do instead of what it looked like not only increased my enjoyment of exercise, but also drastically improved my self-image.
And that’s why I want to help people.
Not only so that they can avoid having to make all of the mistakes I’ve made, but also to help them approach fitness and nutrition from a much healthier headspace.
How I can help you
I’ve made all of the mistakes, tried all of the supplements and done all the fucking around so you don’t have to.
I’m also obsessed with finding out what I like to call the “minimal dose” for everything, which is the minimum amount you have to do in order to gain the most benefit.
Which means I can help you focus on the things that truly matter without bogging you down with “fluff”.
Because let’s face it, you’ve got a life to lead and don’t want to spend hours in the gym or have to spend most of your money on supplements and expensive food.