Where did your passion for fitness come from?
I was taken to the rugby club from a young age to watch my brother play, then at around 7 years old I started to play and developed a real love for competition. From there I went on to athletics training, which were my two main passions. When I went to high school I was introduced to basketball, football and played most team sports.
How did you develop your specific approach to keeping in shape – what inspired you to make the dietary and lifestyle changes?
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I started early as I wanted to achieve my childhood dream of playing for the under 18’s for England in Rugby. I developed an attitude that if I wasn’t training, someone else was and this would make them bigger, faster, stronger than me.
So I made it my goal to train as hard as I possibly could and leave no stone unturned, I believe that if you want something and are willing to work for it you can achieve anything. I’ve never been naturally talented, big or fast so I’ve had to work really hard to achieve the things that I have. Since I’ve become a personal trainer my clients have inspired me, I use myself as a guinea pig for all of the things that I learn.
I’m a true believer in leading by example, so it’s really important to me to practice what I preach to ensure that I’m not a hypocrite.The reason that I live the way that I do is the old cliché, ‘I want to live forever!’, I want to be the 60 year old that still kite surfs and has a 6 pack.
You’ve achieved so much – what has been the most important achievement so far and what are you aiming for now?
Again I’d have to say playing rugby for England – not many achieve their childhood dreams, I’m very privileged. Another dream was to travel the world, which was a really fantastic experience. And obviously to become a cover model is amazing, I gave myself the target to become a fitness model 12 months ago by the age of 30, which is this January, so I have achieved this just in the nick of time! My new goals are to compete in further fitness model competitions on stage in America…and hopefully win one! And my last goal is to achieve a blue belt in jujitsu within the next six months.
You reached elite level as a rugby player, tell us about that and why you decided to stop playing?
As I reached 21, I didn’t manage to attain the contracts that I was hoping for so I carried on playing at semi-pro level whilst looking for a new career. After a few years I started to kite surf and it got to a point that when I was on the rugby field and the wind was blowing I wanted to be in the water rather than on the pitch. So I felt it was time to give, my new passion a chance.
You’ve travelled all over the world what was your inspiration and how did you manage financially?
I always wanted to travel and was at a point in my career where it was time to have a gap year then or never, so I took the chance. I found a course to become a kite and wakeboard instructor in Kenya and went off for three months to qualify. After this I saved £1,000 and booked a one-way flight to Melbourne, Australia.
I worked my way around Australia and Fiji as a kite surfing instructor until I ran out of funds, at which point I decided to go to the outback of Australia to become a ‘Jackaroo’ (Australian for cowboy) for 3 months. With the money I saved, this gave me the funds to spend a month in Asia to train at a fight camp. I trained eight hours a day in jujitsu and Muay Thai.
I then travelled home through Australia and South East Asia. As I was travelling I would always seek out local gyms, even in the depths of Cambodia I was able to find one which cost 15p to use. When I didn’t have access to a gym I had to improvise by using anything that I could find. In Fiji I used rocks and logs. I’d flip the ogs, throw rocks and run up a hill carrying rocks or logs, for example.
In the outback I made use of tyre which I again flipped and I also did sledge hammer training. I also chopped wood. My favourite fitness test was when hay bales were delivered and I would unload all 200 from the truck by myself. I’d also regularly do body weight exercises – press ups and lunges and would use tress for pull-ups.
Oh and on one day I got in a bit of CV work when 1 tonne bulls that chased me for my day job! One thing that I always carried with me on my travels was a sand bag. I always take this on holiday with me, fill it up and get training.
What advice do you have for men wanting to shape a great body and looking to live what we call the ultra-FIT lifestyle?
My main piece of advice is to work out specifically what it is that you want, for example a bigger chest, smaller waist, or to run faster, whatever it is. Then work out a plan and stick to it.
What’s your favourite workout and what are the key tenants of your workout programme?
My favourite sessions are strength training, it’s the caveman instinct from within that makes me want to pick up the heaviest thing that I can. Jujitsu is also a personal favourite.
What are your fitness strengths and weaknesses?
My biggest weakness is the strength and size of my legs, they are not what I want them to
be therefore they are the main focus of my training at the moment. My biggest strength is my mental attitude – it keeps me strong and focused.
What motivates you to train and be as healthy as you can?
My inspiration is to live along and active life, so I take great care looking after myself.
Tell us a little a bit about your family background, where you live, what you do…
My parents have been fundamental in my sporting and work success – they have always helped and supported me 100% even if they didn’t agree with my decisions. They are the ones who picked me up from school, took me training and spent a fortune on equipment and training and came to every game and competition to support me. I currently live in London working as a personal trainer.
Anything else you would like to add?
I owe a lot of my recent success to my girlfriend who has supported me 100% through my crazy diets, late nights at the gym, ridiculous food bills and even shaves my legs in preparation for a competition! All future achievements will be due to her love and support.