Thursday, October 26, 2017

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: EAT, SLEEP, TRAIN .....REPEAT.

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: EAT, SLEEP, TRAIN .....REPEAT.: Having spent some time in the UK of late I am struck on a daily basis of the general poor health that exists in the community at large. So...


Having spent some time in the UK of late I am struck on a daily basis of the general poor health that exists in the community at large. So much so that the other day I came home excitedly to tell Sue that I had just seen a fit and healthy person in the street.... in fact I stared at this woman like I was some kind of weirdo.
 That's how rare it is and I am not exaggerating; obesity and poor health are off the charts, it is truly an epidemic. However be that as it may today's blog is not about that, I won't criticise or judge as I have given enough advice over the years of what to do to improve your health... if you don't get it by now then sadly, you probably never will.
 No, today I am looking to the positive and to those who have decided to improve their health, fitness and overall lifestyle. What is it that you need to do to get the best results within an effective and doable timescale.
 There is an old saying that to look like an athlete you have to eat, sleep and train like one but what does this mean and how can a normal person with a job, family or other commitments achieve this.
Is it possible?
Well the answer is obvious to those that have done it. They have achieved their goal not with some special talent or ability but with simple, effective habits that they practice everyday.
 Some people seem to think that you need to have a Spartan existence with no fun or perks but of course this is not the case as most maintain a normal life, they go out for dinner, they work, they raise a family... they even drink... shock, horror!
Every person is unique with their own strengths and weaknesses, they may be a good runner, swimmer, footballer, tennis player or golfer, maybe they practice yoga or even Brazilian jujitsu! Or, they may carry some debilitating  injury or are overweight to begin with or just not used to or even hate exercise. Maybe they feel they are too old too change or they have no spare time or their lives are full of stress.None of this matters as the rules to improve your health are the same for everyone, so let's begin.


It all begins with what you eat. If you don't get this bit right then the other two won't make much difference. The critical point to understand is that most people eat badly but they all think they eat well. This makes it very difficult at first as you have to change your beliefs and understanding of what food and nutrition actually is. Food may give pleasure to your senses but its primary role is to fuel the body, to maintain or improve the health of the organism i.e. you.

 When you start thinking of it like this you begin to make some changes as you know that everything that you consume will either have a positive or negative effect. Now I am not going to list all the foods that you should eat here but if you adjust your diet even in a small way to consuming more protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats and less processed and poor carbohydrate foods and fizzy (soda) drinks then you will see a marked difference. Eventually you will learn what works and what doesn't depending on your goals. Personally I consume 3 meals a day, all with vegetables (including breakfast) and I will only have healthy carbs such as rice or sweet potatoes 3 to 4 times a week and usually on training days,.... no pastries, waffles, pies, pancakes, pizzas, coke, milky coffees or rich sauces. This will maintain my weight and keep me lean. I drink virtually no alcohol and usually just water. I supplement with green drinks, vitamins, probiotics and fish oil every day no matter what I eat but I am human and enjoy a few biscuits or chocolate with a cup of tea and maybe a croissant now and again. I can do this with no effect on my body fat because I am already at the fat % that I want to be, therefore maintenance is easy however to get there you have to be a bit more disciplined.
Everyone I know who eats like this looks great. Here are the basics that you need to stick too:-

1 Protein breakfast (This is vital and will give you the best body composition in the quickest time).
2 Protein, salad and/or vegetables, seeds, nuts etc with every meal. (Including breakfast).
3 At least 2.5 litres of water a day. (No Sodas and preferably no alcohol to begin with)
4 No bread, potatoes, pasta or rice for the first 2 weeks (and then only 2-3 times per week.)
5 No cereals or health bars... its all sugar.
6 Very little dairy which is a product of the mammary gland of mammals. (Basically, it refers to milk and anything made from milk, like cheese, butter and yogurt).
7 No extra sugar.. (this does not just mean the sugar in your coffee, it means the sugar in all processed foods. If it comes in a packet, a box or a tin then its full of sugar whatever the label says. If the food you eat doesn't rot when left out, then its crap.
8 A small amount of fruit is okay but fruit is sugar too so be careful... and stop drinking orange juice,its got nearly the same amount of sugar as a coke.
9 NO pastries,cakes, waffles, donuts, pizzas, fries, pancakes, syrup, pies .... obviously!
10 Eat a lot of good healthy food, don't diet... all my clients will tell you that I insist that they have at least three good meals a day.


 This also includes rest in general both for the mind and body. If you train a lot then recovery is essential and 6-8 hours sleep a night is critical or more specifically REM sleep.A sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes and during that time we move through five stages of sleep. The first four stages make up our non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, and the fifth stage is when rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occurs which is the deepest and the last stage of sleep with vivid dreams and high brain activity, you will hope to get about 4 to 5 REM sleeps a night.
But what is actually going on? Basically our bodies all require long periods of DEEP sleep in order to restore and rejuvenate, to grow muscle, repair tissue, and synthesize hormones. REM sleep repairs the mind and consolidates the information you have learnt during the day helping your memory. To do this it forms neural connections and replenishes it’s supply of neurotransmitters which also emit the feel good chemicals, dopamine and serotonin that boost your mood during the day,
 I also believe in a third benefit which concerns the subconscious during sleep. I like to think of this as a place where the body, spirit and mind combine to process decisions and problems that exist in our lives. The answers may reveal themselves to the conscious mind via what we would term intuition or a 'feeling' of what the right path is, these problems and challenges have been 'worked out' during sleep.
Some of these benefits can be achieved through resting, such as a power nap of 20 minutes or merely lying in the sun or on your favourite sofa. There are great benefits to sometimes just switching off from the world. I always take a complete rest from training as at least 3 days a week i.e. every other day. Obviously if you are in some form of athletic event then this situation may have to be altered accordingly but I have always found that the best successes have always come after a period of sustained rest. Its quite hard to make athletes rest but its importance is vital if you wish to achieve your goals.


 Most people who don't exercise think that people who do are a bit obsessed. This is partially true but as I have said many times before; Is it better to be obsessed about keeping fit and healthy or is it better to be obsessed about getting drunk, smoking or partying till dawn? Its your choice, you decide.
I prefer to use the term training rather than exercising, this is because training always feels more purposeful and goal orientated whereas exercise to me is walking the dog. Exercise is a physical activity done for its own sake. Training is a physical activity performed for the purpose of satisfying a long-term performance goal, and is therefore about the process instead of the workouts themselves.
Not that it matters in real terms because doing squats, push ups, running, swimming or even playing golf is all exercise  (well probably not playing golf especially if you use a buggy).
So how do athletes train, what is the common denominator ? Well the answer is easy, they all do it with great intensity, simple as that and this is precisely what you must do if you want to succeed in an event , improve your body shape, gain muscle or lose fat.
I find that many people do not do this, they are on the phone in the gym, they do not push themselves enough and go all out. They cycle, swim or run at a leisurely pace. They lift very light weights or they chat whilst doing sprints!... something I find inconceivable but I have seen it. If you are not going at it with full power or intensity then the benefits are limited. Anyone who has ever trained with me will tell you that we go all out. It just doesn't have the benefits if you don't and remember it doesn't have to take long. Many of my workouts will last only 30 minutes which with a rest day is only 30 minutes training over 2 days, that's just over 1% of my time ...and people say they don't have time to exercise!!
If you see me during and after any training session I am shattered. so whether its sprinting, lifting weights, swimming, cycling or whatever, then you should 'feel it' afterwards and know that your body has been challenged.
Two examples of this was when I was fortunate to attend a Manchester United training session. You would have thought it was a Cup final, tackles flying in, precise passing, speed, aggression and exhausted players at the end of it. The second example was when training an experienced athlete. After one session he was literally collapsing on the track, unable to move, the blood had drained from his face and he was unable to speak... and it was only one of four training sessions that week. His goal was to get below 7% body fat... and after several weeks of training and strict nutrition he did.
The point is he was already super fit but to achieve his goal it was just as hard for him as it is for someone who is overweight and wants to make a positive change.... it takes effort and full commitment.
You have to have a set goal in mind and write it down, be it weight, losing inches off your waist, hips or arms, building muscle or even a charity  run. This is where personal trainers are of benefit because they can specifically design a program to help you target and achieve your goals and they make sure you train with intensity .... and that you do it consistently.
The time to take action is now ...... Buckle up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: 'FAT BASTARD'

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: 'FAT BASTARD': I'm sure we all know 'Fat Baarstard' from the Austin Powers movies, if you don't then look him up on You Tube. After ponder...


I'm sure we all know 'Fat Baarstard' from the Austin Powers movies, if you don't then look him up on You Tube. After pondering about the size of people's bums and waistlines that I witness on a daily basis I started wondering if they want to be obese; some secret, innate and comforting desire to be all fat, warm and cuddly. Like the old comedy sketch where people are going around shouting with pride, 'Look at me I'm enormous!'... Maybe and if you are one of those then good luck to you. I'm often told that being fat isn't important it's the spiritual beauty inside that counts. Well absolutely, I agree and again if you are contented and at one with yourself, God and the Universe then don't read anymore of this blog.
  My whole website, blogs and daily life are aimed at those who are perhaps not happy with their obesity or maybe those who are fit and healthy but just want to tweak it a bit more ... or most likely those that lie somewhere in between.
   I preach a mantra which is fairly consistent, what surprises me is how many people just don't know or understand the basics of good nutrition and effective exercise. Either they follow the latest Gwyneth Paltrow obsession of grilled, poached aubergines with manuka honey, beetroot and Kangaroos testicles ...or some training guru weaned by Himalayan mountain goats with the all new singing and dancing 10 ways to do sit-ups whilst boiling an egg and sipping on strained guava hearts.
   The reality is that healthy nutrition and exercise where one can lose weight, cut fat and build muscle for a strong fit body is so simple it's ridiculous and yet the question remains, why are nearly 70% of the western worlds population 'fat bastards'?
   One could argue that 'it's complicated and not that simple' or 'I'm insulin sensitive.. or resistant' or 'I've tried every diet and nothing works' or my personal favourite 'Well Phil you see when it comes to exercise I'm a non-responder'. Laugh out loud, what utter bollocks!
Just because a doctor on telly tells you that some people don't respond to exercise, why on earth do you think he means you, especially when you are the only one taking up two seats on an aeroplane.
And whilst I'm at it let me nail this lie once and for all, 'everyone responds to exercise', test after test will show this, the point is different people respond in different ways. The latest experiments have shown something that those in the industry have known for a long time which is that different forms of exercise are more effective for the different body types.
   I have trained so many clients, with a range from the fattest middle aged woman, to the slim girl with a big bum, to super fit triathletes, to the guy with skinny hips and a big fat belly. All improve, lose fat and get fitter and leaner in the right areas. I pointed out to one guy who was very fit and in good shape apart from the fact he had a belly on him that he had to lose it as storing fat on your stomach is the most dangerous place. He didn't think he had a problem however when I pointed out that the fat on his belly alone was the weight of the 24k Dumbbell he was holding with two hands it got his attention.
Pizzas in the deli section??
  I guess I'm in pretty good shape but I can still improve my fitness. In the last few months I have lost nearly 6 kilos, most of it fat and some muscle. Its called 'cutting'.... now I will work on building muscle thereby increasing my weight slightly but in the right areas so as to become more lean and toned. Yesterday someone asked me how I did this when I was already looking fit and lean. The simple answer is correct nutrition, no dieting. Its always what you eat.
I have been in the UK this month and one morning I watched people queuing outside a bakery called Greg's for pasties, pizzas, bread, waffles and pastries and it was 8am! Every single person was enormous and looked old, poorly and undernourished. It was very sad, I wanted to say something but I would have probably got mugged, trampled to death or worse still, sat on.
In fact obesity appears to be completely out of control in the UK, probably as bad as the US. The culprit and causes maybe many and varied but in my opinion its all about Sugar. Not the sugar you put in your coffee but more the sugar in everything else, often hidden by the food producers and called  exotic names, like maltose, sucrose, fructrose corn syrup, barley malt, honey (even the trendy expensive manuka honey is still sugar so you have been warned). Apparently there are 61 different names for sugar in food so don't be fooled. Remember the body converts sugar to glucose no matter where it comes from, be it a healthy strawberry or a Mars bar and if you have too much glucose in your system then it gets stored as fat... and voila, obesity.
    Exercise will make no difference so stop kidding yourself: Exercise will keep you fit, strong and healthy but unless its specific or extreme it will not help you lose weight. Its 90% what you eat, please, please remember this.

Jane and Kim with the healthy breakfast
    I see little point in employing a personal trainer who doesn't discuss nutrition, its a bit like playing a game of tennis without a racket... or in my case, balls. Also different people need to concentrate on different areas to achieve their goal but you need to see the whole picture.
 I have been having coffee in a local café and they sell pancakes, waffles, ice cream and chocolate cake for breakfast! I asked the lovely owner, Jane, what would happen if she sold them my breakfast of protein and salad/vegetables etc.... her reply was that she would be out of business in a month ... and then politely asked me to leave the café as I was a bad influence, (only joking).
The stats every day come out with more and more depressing health service costs that are caused by overweight people, and yet everyone just carries on in blissful ignorance with the constant refrain of 'they don't mean me' .... unfortunately they do. Its a bit like being stuck in a traffic jam and blaming the traffic ... you are the traffic!
Some days I literally do not see one normal, fit and healthy person,  everyone is fat or grossly overweight.  so much so that it has become normalised in parts of the country as everyone looks the same so no one feels out of place. In fact healthy people look like freaks and this is not an exaggeration. It is so easy to cure this epidemic, stop eating what you know you shouldn't and start eating what you know you should. Forget the endless diets with stupid names, sensible nutrition isn't sexy its common sense, the clue is in the word sense.
 Make a decision and change your life. If you don't have time for a healthy lifestyle then you'll soon be making time for illness.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: VIVA ESPANA !

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: VIVA ESPANA !: As some of you know I have been spending a few months of the winter in southern Spain to recharge my batteries. Having lived in the south ...


As some of you know I have been spending a few months of the winter in southern Spain to recharge my batteries. Having lived in the south of France for such a long time we felt that a change of environment and lifestyle would be a positive thing. Different stimuli are always healthy and besides you never know until you try. I love the French way of life, the sense of history, food, friends and family, the weather etc and its hard to drag yourself away from a life that is comfortable to something unknown but that was the decision and so off we went.
Due to work commitments we had to spend a brief period in the UK before leaving, this was a huge shock to the system. Sue quite enjoys spending  time in Britain but I was a basket case. I know I will get criticised for my views on this but I just don't get two things about the UK;  Firstly the rampant consumerism and secondly the weather. I could not walk down the high street of Richmond upon Thames without being hit by a tsunami of shoppers with bags and bags of crap that they do not need and that will hang unworn, slowly rotting in a cupboard somewhere being eaten by moths. Then there is the eating.... What is it with the western world? People are walking along seemingly unable to exist until they have shoved some unwanted pastry down their necks or consumed a special soda, energy drink or a bucket of milky coffee with a 1000 calories in it.  Its obscene and it was everywhere and Richmond is a wealthy sophisticated area so you can't blame it on a lack of education.
Why do fat people eat shit then buy an expensive dress to cover up their belly's to make them feel good. Or buy a watch or jewellery that they think will make them feel or look attractive when the reality is it makes them look like an oversized jerk. Then, to add insult to injury, they do all this in the pouring rain and freezing cold whilst breathing in toxic air from the never ending traffic... its madness. Now I'm not saying they are not nice people all doing their best in their own way but sometimes you've got to step back, look at yourself and say 'enough'. People need to get a grip, obesity levels are off the charts in the UK, USA and many other countries and yet nobody seems to care. There are consequences to this lifestyle and believe me they are not pretty.

 I felt suffocated and had to escape to the park to run and breathe some clean air, some space and some calm but this too had to be timed to perfection in order to get a parking space and because it was so dark they shut the gates at 3pm! On many occasions it would take 45 minutes to drive 3 miles just to get to the park entrance. As for the weekend it was like Grand Central station or Oxford street during the Christmas sales.
Now the flip side is that I have some great friends there who are fun, dynamic, loving and nutty plus I saw my son Alexander a lot so it was worth it. .. but 4 weeks was all I could cope with.

 So the time was right to head of to Spain for some much needed Vitamin D. Spain is very different to France (and the UK obviously), for a start they don't get up in the morning, its quite bizarre. Apparently the effect and damage to their economy is immense but they don't care, its hilarious. They are so laid back they are nearly horizontal.
I do not speak Spanish but its a beautiful language to listen to. My Spanish consists of ... 'café con leche' ... 'por favor'.... 'dos' ... 'asta la vista'.... and 'hola'. Some would argue its not too far removed from my French but I digress. The coffee in Spain is utterly unique, they only serve one type wherever you go and its always fantastic and always €1.50.  Starbucks should send some spies down here to learn how it's made, I just don't know how they do it. Many of you have been to Spain I know but the coffee thing gets me every time.
This part of the country is also famed for the crime which is odd because when you live here its just like anywhere else. Many French and British expats look down their noses at the Costa del Sol because of this and the 'type of people who visit'. Yes its not as pretty as France but its still a beautiful area and the people are warm, friendly and welcoming. The main thing of course is the weather, it is much hotter here in the winter than France. I have sat outside nearly everyday for breakfast and lunch and usually every evening. This helps lift the spirit, well it does for me anyway.
The gym I go to is also laid back, nobody seems to care whether you are a member or not, they just smile and wave you in. Its owned by a guy called Hilario, which means 'happy' and he always brilliant.... and named after one of Seven dwarfs, his wife is probably called Snow White or should I say 'Nieve Blanco'.  I must admit that some of the Russian guys in there are so big they make me look like a skinny wimp. I've decided that as President Putin has a massive house near here then they must be his private security guards ... or perhaps something a little more unsavoury, either way I won't mess with them. I nod and give it my best hello...pronounced 'pree-vyeht'...The only other bit of Russian I know is 'dasvidaniya' which means goodbye. I learnt that from the movie 'Ice station Zebra'.... yep its pathetic I know but who cares, I'll probably be fluent by the end of the week.
    We eat exceptionally well as many of Europe's vegetables are grown near here so the quality is excellent and my fridge is positively bursting with vitality. I have tried to vary my training much more than normal, with running, weights, cycling and swimming and I think this, along with our excellent diet, has proven to be very effective.
Finding a new routine and settling in to a different lifestyle is often fraught with mishaps but pushing out your envelope and speaking to different people has its challenges especially if you are like me and don't normally speak to anyone. I mean apart from my Russian acquaintances I don't bump into anyone I know so that's sort of odd.
 My café is the excellent 'All in One', the food here is unbelievably delicious. There are 3 different waitresses, one is from Yorkshire, Georgia who greets me with 'Would you like a coffee?' pronounced 'coffeh', ' then the cockney girl who shouts 'hello darlin'...and then the Spanish waitress, Elena, who says 'Café con leche? The bizarre thing is the two Brits give me a coffee in about 30 seconds whereas Elena takes about 20 minutes, its hilarious. Elena is so surgically well endowed that when she brings the coffee you can see her coming before she walks out the door.
You can park anywhere nobody gives a damn, well apart from one place near the beach in San Pedro where you pay a man a euro but nobody knows why... or even who he is, you just do.
 For some reason whenever I give my passport or ID to anyone they always call me Mr Phillips... pronounced 'Meester Feelips'. When I tell them its Mr Jeremy they say 'Yes, thank you Meester Feelips'. So I guess that's my name in Spain from now on.
They build the most beautiful houses and apartments, the only problem is there are too many of them but its all a compromise... and every Brit seems to be a real estate agent.

So what of the future? I miss training with my clients in France but the break from routine is a good
thing and it gives me time to learn and study whilst developing new training techniques that I can inflict on my clients in the future.
Until then its off to the beautiful mountains around La Concha or Mr Happy's gym.
 Although my readership is by far the highest in the USA and Europe, at the last count I also had over 6000 readers in Russia, not sure how they translate my humour in downtown Moscow but I guess it works, so in honour of them and my Spetznaz Russian friends at the gym I bid you 'Dasvidaniya'.