Thursday, February 26, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: WHAT I KNOW ... PART 1

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: WHAT I KNOW ... PART 1: Okay so I'm 60, just saying that sounds ridiculous but then we all think that even at 30, 40 and 50 so no big deal. I think it was Geor...


Okay so I'm 60, just saying that sounds ridiculous but then we all think that even at 30, 40 and 50 so no big deal. I think it was George Harrison who said that he went 'from 16 to 60 in 6 seconds' and you can't argue with a man who also said 'If everyone who had a gun shot themselves then there wouldn't be a problem'. I digress, it occurred to me today that at some point in life we become aware of the real truths and falsehoods that are told to us, we come to understand what really is bullshit and we tingle at the truly magical.
 I decided to write this to my son Alexander who is 23, it's not a list of do's and don'ts of how to live life because nobody really knows how to do that ... but there some things that I do know to be true. None of this is plagiarised its just me and my own musings ... Sue just said there is no chance of anyone thinking otherwise!

Never date a drama queen... or any queen for that matter.
All confidence is bullshit it's just that some people are better at it than others.
If you want something ask for it.
My friend Steve used to say 'there are no rules'... I never used to agree with him but if you think long and hard about this you'll see his point.
Drizzling rain is depressing, even on top of a mountain when people say its atmospheric, its not, its cold, damp and miserable.
If you eat crap you will look like crap.
If you don't like Joni Mitchell then I'm not sure if you have a soul or if you do, then you haven't found it yet.
Burpee Box Jumps are a bitch.
Entropy is a pretty scary concept but not too worry because none of us will be here anyway.
If you don't understand the true genius of how Alexander the Great solved the Gordion Knot then you have a lot to learn.
Eyes will always tell you how people feel no matter what they say or do.
Sunrise over Monument Valley or the Grand Canyon is a truly spiritual experience.
If you have more than 5 true friends then some of them aren't true.
Ultra-Marathon endurance running is even harder than you think it is ......
If you feel low or depressed watch Blackadder or Friends.
Mourning is not something you do its something you feel.
The Ancient Greeks were way ahead of their time.
Women should never fake orgasms ........ unless you are Meg Ryan.
Banks really do 'give you an umbrella when its sunny and take it away when its raining'.
Take as many chances as you can but accept the consequences.
Try to be born with a rich Dad ..... sorry Alexander.
.Awesome is a word that applies to very few things.
If you ever visit Liverpool don't try to be funny because you will fail ... they are born funny.
If you ever visit Italy don't try to dress cool because you will fail.... they are born with style genes.
Cry a lot.
Some people enjoy being cruel, its impossible to fathom but they do.
Smoking is the weirdest thing I have ever seen
If you feel something is wrong, it is.
Contrary to popular belief I have never experienced an endorphin release whilst running ... but I'm still trying.
Only happy people whistle.
If you are a footballer being paid £200,000 a week I expect you to score a goal every time you have an opportunity, no excuses.
I never remember food sticking in my teeth at 19.
You cannot define love ... it just is.
University is for having fun.
Angelina Jolie is a bit scary.
Not all hitchhiker's are serial killers.
We are all fragile.
The M6 motorway around Birmingham at 8 am on a wet Monday morning must be the most depressing place on earth... but I'm sure you all have your own equivalents.
If you eat the right food and exercise the right way you will be fit and healthy.... if you are not fit and healthy then you don't.
Your children are everything.
Sprinting is the most effective fat loss exercise.
Mountains are cool.
There is no known cure for jet lag.
Don't worry if you lie in bed till late when you are young because when you are older you'll be up at 6 am for no apparent reason ... so enjoy it.
If you believe you can do something or not... you're right.
Enjoy your own company.
Politicians speak a different language to you and me.
Don't believe the Hype
Butch and Sundance were cool.
and Sue just said. ... Go to bed when you are tired.

I could go on and on but you knew that anyway. Please send me your own thoughts and I'll put them in the next blog. Life's lessons are often won the hard way so please share.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: Phil Jeremy Personal Training: IN DENIAL OF FAT

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: Phil Jeremy Personal Training: IN DENIAL OF FAT: Phil Jeremy Personal Training: IN DENIAL OF FAT : “Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it.” ― Sara Gruen , Water for E...


“Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it.”
Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

Okay I've said this before but De-nial is not a river in Egypt!......but its what so many people do when analysing their fitness and health. I find it astonishing. The amount of people I talk to who tell me how to eat and how to exercise and what's right and what's wrong ... .and they are either overweight, obese, or just plain fat and are always ill.
 It beggars belief. Its like some poor guy living in a squat or rundown area of town with no job, no money and no career and no prospects for improving his life.... and then telling me how to invest and make a fortune. It really is odd.

 Let me tell you what all overweight people do;-

They are always on the latest fad diet.
They never weigh themselves and usually don't have a set of bathroom scales.
They drink diet coke.
They believe that they are fat due to their genes.
They all say they hardly eat.
They drink just a few glasses of alcohol ... well apart from weekends and parties, and lunchtime, and if friends come over, and if its a birthday, Xmas, New Year, Thanksgiving, celebration or just a social drink.
They have hardly any full length mirrors in the house especially not in the bathroom.
They own a huge amount of clothes (To try and hide the obvious)
They do not believe that they will get ill as a result of their weight.
They do not believe they will be a burden on the health service or family as they get older.
They walk a little and very slowly believing that's all they need to do to stay slim because the BBC said so.
They have very low lighting around the home.
They think that fruit is not sugar.
They won't read this blog .... (but well done if you have).
When it comes to exercise they believe that they are a non responder, so there's no point.
They hardly ever eat a full nutritious breakfast.
They believe healthy people are obsessed, blissfully unaware that they, of course, are obsessed with food.
They believe that lifting weights will not make them leaner.
They never take the stairs.
They think High Intensity Interval Training is dangerous and wouldn't work on them anyway because they are different to the rest of humanity.
They have a special injury which prevents them from exercising.
They do not believe that if they ate more (of the right food) they would lose weight.
They have lots of unused healthy supplements in their cupboards because they don't need them.

And as I said at the start, they all tell slim, fit and healthy people what they need to do because they know all about it.
 Now I will no doubt get a flurry of emails and messages telling me that fat people are beautiful too, fine, that's in the eye of the beholder but which ever way you spin this it ain't healthy... FACT.
Again I will get someone quoting the 'Daily Something' saying many people are fat and healthy, that's another myth. Have you ever looked at an analysis of their blood?.... thought not.
I could go on but the central point is that I have never met a client of any age or shape who did not lose fat, gain muscle and feel great as a result of improved fitness and health by following correct nutrition and exercise.
So firstly recognise you have a problem, second decide to fix it and third either get good advice or a coach or a book, (whatever works for you) and stick to the plan; and when you have achieved your goal realise that this new way of life IS your way of life, now and forever.

If you agreed with any of the statements above but are one of the 64% of the UK or US population that is overweight or obese then get a grip.......and do something about it, otherwise one day that river of de-nial will lead to a waterfall of problems that you are going to go over.
Take control now!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Health Junkie: ATTACKING LIFE AT 60 ....

The Health Junkie: ATTACKING LIFE AT 60 ....: This month I reached 60 years of age. I am an ultra-marathon runner, a personal trainer and a fitness and nutrition coach, last month I ran...


This month I reached 60 years of age. I am an ultra-marathon runner, a personal trainer and a fitness and nutrition coach, last month I ran a 3/4 marathon ... and two months ago the Grand Canyon from Rim to Rim, my body fat is under 10% and yet today, suddenly, I feel 'older'. This seems to have crept up on me from nowhere as last month I felt fine. Perhaps I should explain. This is somewhat of a milestone for my family, as my father, grandfather, and great grandfather all died at 59 . I am therefore the first male in my family in four generations to reach age 60, what does this mean and how should I react ?
  I do not feel proud though I do feel grateful and fortunate as I do not take my health  for granted and never have. If  I am fit (and God willing healthy now and in the future) then this is only because of decisions I have taken in the past and this is the point of today's blog.
  Having reached this milestone the important thing is one's continued health and fitness and how to achieve it. Maintenance is fine but I firmly believe in setting goals as this will push you and keep you focused on a plan. Although this past year I had a goal to run the GC, I achieved it by training 4 to 5 times a week and by doing weights, high intensity sprint workouts, running Alpine mountain races and eating a healthy nutritious diet. I didn't succeed in running the Grand Canyon R2R because I was lucky I did it because it was planned and every step towards that goal was planned ... and I stuck to it because I had to. There were many times when I didn't feel like getting up at 5 am to run a training race or eat salmon and vegetables for breakfast but I had too because otherwise I'd probably be sitting on the banks of the Colorado river waiting for a helicopter to rescue me ... (which incidentally happens about 250 times a year).
   I was motivated to prepare well partly through fear and partly from a desire to do well and enjoy the experience, in fact this latter point was probably the biggest motivating factor. I wanted to enjoy it and hoped that it would not be one big 'pain fest'. It was hard of course but my main memories are of a very emotional, beautiful and life affirming experience.
    I never even thought about how old I was I just did it and this surely is the point. I think we all place barriers on ourselves, 'I am too old to run', 'I am too fat and can't lose weight', 'I can't get fit because I have unusual genes', 'My work stops me from eating properly', ' I've got three kids and have no time to exercise'.... and on and on.


This is your life, you only get one, so why not make it a wonderful adventure. It doesn't just happen you have to make it happen. Many people are stuck in dead end uninspiring jobs or stale relationships but we all have a choice, even if you don't think you do. The place you are in now is as a result of decisions you took somewhere in your past and your future will be as a result of decisions you take now. I am not espousing some new age feel good baloney, this is your reality, you chose it, if you don't like it take a deep breath, take a risk and change it.
        Remember the 'rocking chair test'. Imagine sitting in your rocking chair at whatever ripe old age you get to and ask yourself a question. Did you make the most of your time on earth? Did you do all you could for yourself and others? Did you have fun and excitement? Did you achieve? Were you kind and considerate? Did you inspire others? Have you had a meaningful and fulfilled and happy life?
        If you answered 'No' to any of these questions then now is the time to make some decisions and change what you are doing and thinking.
I believe it was the Archbishop of Canterbury who said that every morning he wakes up he decides ...                    
                             'to attack life before it attacks me'

      .... and that's from a religious man, makes you think doesn't it.

Today is New years day and I've just done a fabulous 16k run in the Esterel hills on the Cote d'Azur in France. Time to attack the year, makes some plans and follow through with them ... whatever age you are.
 Stay Healthy and a Happy New Year.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


The Health Junkie: CANYON REFLECTIONS: It's been 5 weeks since my epic adventure through the Grand Canyon and already I am itching to go back ... bizarre perhaps but that&#39...


It's been 5 weeks since my epic adventure through the Grand Canyon and already I am itching to go back ... bizarre perhaps but that's the truth. American's have a great phrase during a sports event, 'You got this!' they shout as you pass by and though it may be a cliché personally I find it really motivating. If I am being brutally honest about 2 minutes into my run I think a very quiet voice whispered to me 'you got this', its difficult to remember exactly and it wasn't overwhelming, it was just a feeling of calm confidence, of knowing that all would be well. I was going to do this, what I didn't know was what a unique and emotionally powerful day it would turn out to be.
      Many things had gone wrong in my preparation in the last few weeks before my run but what held it together was the training that had gone before ... and this is the key about doing anything like this. 'They' always say that you must trust your training and its true, some of my recent Alpine mountain races were very tough but they obviously helped my body adapt to the rigours of the big GC.
As some of you know I always train using two distinct systems.
1) The classic Lydiard distance run training, building an aerobic base, long slow distance, hill sprints, tempo, speed work etc.
2) Crossfit Endurance. (Strength and conditioning)
     Now I know some of you are already switching off due to boredom, lack of interest ... or disagreement with either or both systems; the good news is that this blog is not about that although I would like to point out that both systems have their benefits so why not use them; I do, and I train my clients by combining the two.
    I digress, the point is that my type of training had gone well up to 6 weeks before my GC adventure when I struck a small rock and pulled a ligament on an easy tempo run, it happens, not often but it happens. I was unable to do any running for 3 weeks apart from pool running and strength/Crossfit conditioning. There is no doubt that this training proved crucial in maintaining my fitness at this critical time. I then spent the last 3 weeks doing light easy runs and one 'back to back' just to get my running legs back. I did not commit to the cardinal error of trying to make up for lost time by doing big runs a few days out, that's just madness.
   I did not sleep well in the final week (for various reasons) which was terrible preparation and even my nutrition suffered due to travelling. This is highly unusual for me but again it happens sometimes. Then in the last few days I seemed to be getting a head cold which I have not had for about 10 years  and this plus all of the above, plus jetlag, made for poor preparation.
  Finally when I got to the North Rim having not slept properly for 7 days I then had virtually no sleep at all the night before due to my very noisy log cabin neighbours and then I awoke to find the ankle strapping that my physio had carefully prepared had just disappeared! However ultrarunning is all about not panicking when the unexpected happens so I found some old tape in my bag and did my best with that.
     But, here's the point, despite all this when I set out on my big adventure I felt calm ... Why?
     There were several reasons, firstly I was well rested physically as I was unable to train hard for the last 6 weeks and secondly my mind was clear just to do the 'crossing', (as we GC runners call it) all the other stuff in my head was gone, it was just me and the Canyon and it was quite simply peaceful. Of course I was mindful of the terrain, of falling, of snakes, of dehydration etc, etc but essentially I was in the moment, doing it and very cognisant. This was the real thing and it's only at times like this that you feel truly alive, you face your fears and do it anyway and the results can be truly life affirming. It is a truly intimidating place and I had moments of genuine fear before the run but I respected the Canyon and took no chances, (well apart from my injured leg)
     For anyone attempting a marathon, triathlon, ultra or any major physical event that is outside their comfort zone just try and stay calm, plan your event, eat correctly, do all your preparation but mostly trust your training, it will get you through, the body is an amazing thing and is capable of doing much, more than you can possibly imagine.

     I talked a lot in my blog of feeling blessed, I was acutely aware that not many people get the chance or have the time, fitness, luxury or finances (especially if you live in Europe) to be able to do this. I have a very supportive family that I don't take for granted and sacrifices also had to be made by my wife Sue. When other people are going out for the evening I was getting ready for bed, we always left dinner parties early and quite often Sue would prepare a meal for me before we went out because everyone eats late and I am afraid not very well; I have a reputation for being super strict about clean eating, sleeping, training etc but that's all part of the preparation, 60 year old men do not run from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other every day, its very hard and you have to train properly. I am fortunate to be fit and healthy enough to do it and I was grateful for this. (By the way I am not criticising people for there way of eating, its there choice but if you want to get in great shape then certain rules have to be adhered to, its just the way it is.)
     I was genuinely surprised at how much I enjoyed my adventure, I imagined it was going to be one big pain fest but it wasn't, sure my legs hurt and the climb out at nearly 7000 feet is a bitch but its the Grand Canyon so you kind of go with it and accept it. I was in an awesome place, the weather was kind and I allowed myself to enjoy and cherish every moment of the experience plus I always keep in mind a glorious finish and I constantly visualized this.
  Another major part of doing something like this is recovery and I planned this as well. Where and what to eat afterwards, recovery drinks, the drive to a particular hotel in the desert that I knew to be quiet, and putting aside time over the following days just to relax and let my body recover. Sue massaged my legs every day, once a day for 4 days. I had ice baths, the right nutrition and a good fluid intake but mostly it was un-stressed rest. Again I was fortunate but all this was planned in advance, it doesn't just happen. My DOMS only lasted a few days and I recovered vey quickly even going for a small jog a few days later.

For those interested I drank approximately 4.5 litres of water (including 2 litres with electrolytes). I ate 4 gels, 1 cliff bar, a few smaller fruit gels, 1 salty pack of crackers, a banana and 6 x S-caps. This means of course that I must have been running on fat quite a bit, but I had trained for this and expected it. There were really no surprises and all went pretty much to plan during the run. I didn't fall once, unusual for me, and my foot only had the odd twinge. The part called Box Canyon went on longer than I thought and the trail up to Indian Gardens was not as smooth as I'd expected it to be, the scary descent was scary and I can see why people fall off if they are not concentrating but otherwise all was good ... (the main surprise of the day was that the river was salty which was weird!)

   Would I do it again, yes, but next time it would be the R2R2R or 'Double Crossing' (From rim to rim and back again all in one day)... which means a very tough 75 kilometres in distance and a staggering 11,000 feet of ascent, madness you might say but we shall see, I have no plans at present but whatever I do next it has to be inspiring, challenging ... and preferably fun.