My kids programme research

As you may know, i have run successful programmes for kids for many years, and you may be interested to read some research i have done over the years that may surprise you.


 Reasons for kids becoming unhealthy

The biggest influences of a child’s eating habits are

Behavioural factors-Time and convenience, meal patterns and dieting

Family (income, working status of mother, family eating patterns, parental weight, diet and knowledge)

Friends (conformity, norms and peer networks)

Schools (school meals, sponsorship, vending machines)

Commercial sites (fast food restaurants, stores)

Consumerism (youth market and pester power)


80% of parents in many surveys say they have the greatest responsibility for their child’s health, schools come out 52%, food manufacturers 43%, government 33% and media 32%. Parents admit they are the group that could do most about their child’s eating. Parents tend to make only reactive efforts and don’t make any long term changes, more token gestures.


Teachers do make some effort in trying to educate children about eating healthily, although there is little or no supervision on what children actually eat at lunch and break times. Most schools give the kids what they want, burgers, chips, pizza, cake etc and plenty of vending machines. Finance seems to be the barrier to schools providing better nutrition too.

Got more stuff on advertising of junk foods but you may be bored by all that!

More facts about kids in this country

Uk eats more than 15% more ready meals than the rest of Europe, double the amount of france and 6 times as many as spain, 80% of households have microwave in uk compared to 27% in Italy for example.

Many mother’s have more cash available now and rely on readily available foods that are quick to cook but have lots of sugar, salt and bad fats. Many mothers are also working or claim not to have time leaving kids with money to make or buy their own snacks, who then tend to make bad choices.

Since many parents see breakfast and lunch boxes a hassle, the media is targeting the parents by advertising quick options instead, again usually full of fat and sugar.

It’s a fact that the more you don’t cook yourself as a parent, the more you rely on poor nutritional choices and you lose track of what you’re really eating in terms of fat, sugar and salt.

Fruit and veg don’t usually go with fatty/sugary foods, so your chances of getting kids to eat fruit and veg are cut that much more again.

The facts are that children are getting more of a choice in which foods they have, and often make lousy choices!

Most children don’t eat anywhere near enough fruit and veg, well below in fact and is usually up to a third less than 30 years ago.

Most children know that fruit and veg does them good and do not know seem to realise that being fat is not good to them, they avoid being fat simply because the opposite sex won’t find them attractive, the link to health doesn’t seem to enter their mind!

Sweets, fast food, sugary snacks, sugary breakfast cereal, crisps and sugary drinks are now the REAL staple foods of kids these days!

The kids with the least money and their families usually have the poorest diets.


I have numerous examples of kids who worry deeply about the way they look, even if they look very fit and healthy, they can often have 95% compliments or more, but maybe the odd insult will often stick that much more and really hurt them so much that they don’t even notice the good stuff said about them. They often admire the very skinny look that is so common  with pop stars and actors/actresses, but when you talk it out with them, they will often admire more curvy and fuller figure stars but are afraid to go against the grain. It’s important to talk it out with the child and really listen to them about their fears and worries about themselves. It often takes constant reassurances to get the message over. A good way sometimes is to get the child to make a list of good and bad comments they have had over the week, and then they can see for themselves that life is really not so bad, in fact it’s often very good! Most kids are told or heavily influenced in the way they think by their friends and the media. Encouraging individual thinking is vital.

Kids have pressure to dress the same way, eat the same way, dye their hair the same way, have their ears pierced, like the same music, have same clothing styles, to hang around in the same company and friends, to constantly change their look and cut their hair the same way.

Its a fact that most kids are teased in school if they eat healthily. A good start can be at home and actually make your child feel special for eating good foods, give them plenty of encouragement. A good way of doing this is using role models, using Ronaldo, wayne rooney, actors, pop stars like beyonce knowles etc and telling your kids that these people rely very heavily on a good diet, and then give examples of someone overweight, spotty etc as someone who eats badly!

Tell your kids who are sports that they will become stronger, run faster, jump higher and have strong muscles and bones if they eat well, as well as good skin and have a good looking body for life if they make the effort now.

It’s impossible to make kids eat right all the time, encourage the odd sugary snack from time to time, and if they have a party for instance, encourage them to eat badly, the usual response from a child is to turn the “bad” food down, because it’s all about rebellion at that age and they sometimes do the opposite of what you say.

Many kids who have a “too healthy” lunch box are sometimes bullied or called posh, the fast food option is often seen as cool. A tactic sometimes is to get together with some of the other parents in the class and make a healthier lunch box the cool way to go. It doesn’t matter whats cool in the rest of the country, a classroom can be cool all on its own with the parents help.

When you make the lunchbox for the child, experiment by making it a bit more exciting! First of all, try picking a cool looking lunch box, there are many around and there’s nothing worse than a bland lunch box, hows that going to inspire a kid to at properly. Studies have shown that 8-10 year olds prefer lunch boxes while 11-12 year olds prefer brown paper bags.

How about using a cold pack or small cooler box for the food. Nothing worse than having soggy, warm food lunch time. Also try keeping lean white meats in the fridge in good supply, as well as low-fat yoghurts and fruit juices.

Pack in some favourite foods from time to time. Nothing wrong with a small slice of pizza, some pasta or wedges now and again. The key guide to doing it healthily is portion size, by keeping them relatively small, you will reduce the calories while still satisfying their sweet tooth.

Celebrate special occasions such as valentine days, the Chinese new year, Indian special days with putting appropriate foods in the lunch box. Variety is the spice of life and keeping it fresh and exciting only takes a couple of minutes longer the night before and a bit of forward planning with your supermarket shopping list.

Use dips and sauces in your lunch box, kids love using dips because it can bring vegetables to life for them. Believe it or not, vegetables are only second to chicken nuggets when it comes to kids favourite dips. Also popular are low-faqt dressings and low fat sauces.

Kids like foods that are fun and tasty so let’s make the effort!

Some suggestions from parents i’ve seen are

“in our home, we like to encourage our kids to decorate their own pizzas with different vegetables, making faces or whatever with peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives and tomatoes. It has changed our kids perceptions of pizzas”

“i encourage my kids to buy a different food every time we shop, like mangoes or pineapple, a new type of bread with different grains, all of it is healthy so they are keen on trying it out when we get home!”

“we have special theme nights, like Japanese night, Chinese night, Indian night, and get the healthier recipes off the internet, it creates real interest in food and different ways of cooking healthy food that my kids say is incredibly tasty”

“ i make baked potatoes and let the kids create a potato bar. I can get healthy toppings such as low-fat cheese, shredded cheese, salsa and some thin broccoli pieces. Kids seem to love the idea of making their own special potatoes they don’t get anywhere else”

“every april, we plant different fruit and veg with the kids in the garden. When they ripen, the kids take pride in their efforts and love to taste all of their good work!”


 “Try a different fruit in the box/bag every day for a month, make it a mystery what you’re putting in so its different every day, and try to be really imaginative every day, Monday to Friday”.

 Most lunch boxes become tiresome and tedious, as a parent you have the chance to make a real difference in your childs life! Many studies have shown that early intervention in your childs eating has very long term effects in terms of reducing body fat throughout the child’s school life, versus the children in studies who experienced no nutritional intervention.

Some good stuff there i think you’ll agree and sums up how big the problem is right now!


Count on yourself!!

In recessionary times, there are lots of things that you’re not going to be sure of. Have you got enough money, will your job last, will you have enough money for christmas, will you get that loan or mortgage, will i sell my house for what i really want, are our energy bills going to go up again, what about council tax etc etc!!

These are all worries we all face day to day, and especially coming up to the festive  season. All or many of these things are sometimes out of our control, but there is one very important thing that we CAN control, and that’s what we do with our bodies which has a direct relationship with our mind.

Scientific studies show that happiness is directly related to the control we feel we have over our lives. The bottom line is that most people i’ve ever seen get on some kind of sound fitness plan, backed up by a sound eating plan, have directly improved their quality of life. When you are fitter you ARE directly taking control of your life, you are overcoming challenges and increasing your self-esteem, you are setting yourself up to be in far better shape to handle life’s never ending challenges.

If stress comes (and it always does), you handle it better when your heart is in good shape, you can deal with it and seek instant solutions when possible. When you are feeling strong, you not only will help yourself, but feel inclined to help others and take some leadership.

If you’re on a good fitness plan right now, you should be very capable of dealing with problems and giving yourself the best chance to succeed. If you think before you make any decision, base your choice on what will give you the best chance of success.

So with all the uncertainty out there, you can surely count on yourself to do the right thing and give yourself and family a great chance of being successful. If you workout most days, eat well, and are positive in attitude, i know you will be highly attractive to an employer. If you smoke, drink, don’t exercise and takes lots of sick leave, then the chances are not so good? Common sense there i think.

Whatever programme you’re on, good luck on it, and any questions you have, send them in! If you don’t want to do that, there’s quite a lot of information on here already for you to browse to help you. This blog has barely been up a couple of weeks but by year end, there should be over 100 articles/resources at your disposal!

Stay healthy,


What time is “church”?

Some of you may be religious on here, some may hate religion and blame every war on it in the world today! Whatever your persuasion, here’s a good way to get your own brand of exercise religion into your life.

We have been over excuses before and how they disrupt your efforts to get into shape, or even start at all!!! Here’s a nice new tactic to make sure your plans are not thrown off course, and actually you start making some appointments with yourself!

A client of mine is quite religious and would never miss a workout with me, but would often miss my prescribed workouts. This was hurting his progress and although we would have fantastic workouts together, his fitness was not gettting to the level he wanted. I asked him one day what was the most important appointment he kept in his life, he said that’s easy “it was church”!

I then asked him if he treated his own workouts like his church appointments, what would happen? He replied that he would be in amazing shape! He then looked at me with those light bulb moments and discovered that he had been neglecting to spend time for himself, and soon promised to set up these “church” meetings in the week as well, and experienced more progress in the next 8 weeks, than he had in the previous 5 months!

Making time for yourself in often difficult, but what happens if you schedule it into your diary, like a dental appointment or a solicitor’s appointment? You wouldn’t miss those so pencil it in your diary now, there’s really no excuse for missing workouts, it may be getting up 30 minutes ealier, getting to bed earlier, missing a bit more television, or simply organising your time better!

Making time so you can have a healthier, higher quality of life can only take 30 minutes or less, make that promise to yourself that you are finally going to “do it” this time and nothing’s going to come in between your workout, no matter what!

Make sure you visit your own “church” this week, a few times!!


Eating to perform!!

Performance eating and drinking

 Most people I know need a lot of energy and most are concerned they way they look, I was anyway and most people I talk to are. I’ve always worked on that if you eat healthily and well 6 days a week, then one day isn’t going to matter too much. On the other hand, if you eat badly 6 days a week, then one good day of eating good foods is not going to do that much good for you. What I’m saying is to eat well most of the time, and then enjoy yourself when you want something you really fancy now and again, that’s not going to do any harm. What I am saying though is the choices you make on what you eat and drink, are critical to get your body looking and feeling good.

Let’s lay the basics down and see what really matters for your body

There are 6 different types of essential nutrients you need in your diet-fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Each of these are needed to stay alive and healthy. The body gets energy from fats, carbohydrates and proteins, while vitamins, minerals, and water help to regulate energy processes in your body.

 When you surf, run, jump, throw, ski, skip, lift etc, they all require energy supplied from food.



Most surfers seem to be always on the go and need a high energy level, so they need a high-performance diet. Fats provide the most energy but include 9 calories per gram, while carbohydrates and proteins each supply around 4 calories per gram. Alcohol, which the body doesn’t need, supplies around 7 calories per gram. This is why that high-fat diets are bad news for you and can seriously damage your health, leading often to weight problems and a variety of diseases in later life. For example, if you have 10g of fat, then that equals 90 calories, 10g or carbs or protein equals 40 calories-massive difference?!!

Energy intake is vital if you workout/play sports or you need to lose some weight. Starving yourself and over-exercising can affect your health in a bad way, hit your performance hard and make you feel miserable, a bad idea all round and I see it more or less every day.

 If you’re trying to lose weight, the best way is to lose it gradually, decreasing your calories intake from food slowly, so weight is lost slowly. Ever see those programmes about past slimmer’s of the year? Without exception, they all put the weight back on and more! This is why faddy diet’s don’t work so don’t fall for it and the advertising that goes with it!!


The fact’s are that most people exceed their energy requirements every day. That’s why around 60% of this country is considered overweight, overeating and not exercising enough are the main reasons. This programme tries to sort these problems out once and for all, and more importantly, get you all feeling good about yourselves every day and wanting to achieve something really big!



Fats are the most energy rich food source. Most people try to carry little fat but fat serves as the body’s main storage depot. It also protects and insulates your vital organs. You may have heard a lot about “fatty acids” recently? Fats are called “saturated” if they contain high amount of saturated fatty acids, foods high in saturated fat include hamburgers and steak, cheese, butter and whole milk. Mono un-saturated and polyunsaturated fats come from plants such as olives, peanuts, corn, soybeans and sunflowers. Food manufactures can also make “hydrogenated” fats to make them saturated, this will increase the texture of the food and increase the shelf-life of their products, these are BAD NEWS for your body!

Most people consume 30-40% of their total calories from fat, while the body only needs a fraction of this. The high fat diet increases the chances of heart disease and some types of cancer so is bad news all round. Most nutritionists recommend that fat intake be less than 30% of total calories consumed.

As well as restricting the amount of saturated fat in your diet, it’s important to choose better sources instead, olive oil is high in good essential fatty acids, and most kinds of fish (mackerel, trout, salmon) are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease.






Try to stick to foods where fats makes up 30% or less of the total calories so get used to reading food labels. You can never avoid fatty food totally and sometimes it’s a good idea to have a bit of what you fancy. For instance, having a higher-fat meal in a restaurant is nice sometimes, try to balance it out though earlier/later in the day with a lower fat/sugar meal.






Carbohydrates -the high performance fuel

This is the most important energy source during your workouts/sports and also fuel your brain. Natural foods such as wholemeal/wholegrain breads, wholegrain cereals like Porridge, wholegrain pastas, kidney beans and potatoes are great examples to power you through the day.

Sweet tasting foods such as sugar and honey are examples of simple carbohydrates, while high fibre foods such as fruits, some vegetables, and grains as mentioned, are complex carbohydrates. A diet high in fibre is essential to gastrointestinal health and prevention of colon cancer. Complex carbohydrates should the main emphasis of your diet with food like sugar and honey kept to a minimum.

The bottom line is for you to supply your body with a continuous supply of carbohydrates throughout the day, starting with a good breakfast to replenish energy stories after the long night without any fuel intake.



Proteins are the most important structural material, making much of muscle, bone, enzymes, some hormones, and cell membranes. Active young adults need plenty of protein-about 1.5g per kg body weight-because they must supply the demands for growth and the protein requirements for exercise (to repair muscle tissue that has been broken down after a workout).

Protein is also important for those involved in endurance exercise. Protein in your meals help maintain blood sugar for many hours and prevent hunger pangs. The  building blocks of proteins are called amino acids, which break down slowly and act like time-released blood sugar tablets (lots of energy).

Proteins give your muscles firmness and shape and good examples include chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef and eggs. Protein is fantastic for making you feel full and stops you from binge eating. Protein can make your bones stronger too, milk being a great food for this and provides Vitamin D for your body. If you don’t get enough Vitamin D, your bones get weaker especially if you’ve got a weakness for soft drinks. So to be stronger bones, try milk, yoghurts, cottage cheese and lower fat cheeses.


Vitamins and minerals

 A balanced diet should provide most of your vitamin and mineral needs to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Vitamins work with enzymes to drive the body’s metabolism and aid in the protection and production of red blood cells. While vitamins are not produced by the body, they are only needed in very small amounts. Vitamin C is considered safe as long as it’s not consumed in mega-doses like some athletes do, and if your diet is not so good as it could be. Vitamin C and E may also protect the body from destructive chemicals like free radicals which cause ageing, degenerative diseases, and breakdown of the immune system (which means you‘re wide open to illnesses). Free radicals can be thought of as rust that attacks cells. Antioxidants (which we hear a lot about in the media) fight free radicals and help prevent ageing and diseases such as hardening of the arteries. Vitamins C and E act as anti-oxidants that help eliminate free radicals and protect your body from their destructive effects. Most fresh fruit and vegetables would be great foods packed full of vitamins and minerals.



Water makes up 60% of the body and makes your skin look fantastic. It helps to keep you feeling full and keeps your body temperature constant. Even a 2% drop in body water will affect your exercise performance-especially in children and young adults.

As well as plain water, water is found in nearly all foods, especially fruits, vegetables and liquids. While your body can make water as part of it’s metabolism, 80-90% of daily water comes from your diet. You lose water every day in your urine and sweat for example.

Water and salt affects your body water. Dehydration upsets the balance and disrupts communication between different parts of the body and results in poor coordination and muscle stiffness which you may have suffered from in the past. You also lose salt from your body when you sweat, this can cause muscle cramps because dehydration speeds muscle fatigue, the leading cause of cramps.

You should try to replace water losses before, during and immediately after exercise. If you don’t have enough water (8 glasses minimum), your body has to work harder all day long and that why many people feel exhausted during the day for no reason.

Drink plenty of water, I can’t overstress it!!


Some other reasons why most people are overweight and/or don’t perform at their best in food terms



We don’t know what we’re eating!

The first thing I do to new clients is get them to keep food diary for 7 days. It’s always a shock to the person keeping the diary because they then realise how much they’ve eaten, or sometimes how badly they‘ve eaten. It’s then easy for me to point out where they’ve gone wrong, why you’ve eaten certain foods and what we can do to put it right. You may be surprised at yours when you fill it in!














Portion size

You go to any fast-food restaurant and the portion sizes are getting out of control, add to that all the fat and sugar in the meal and you have a recipe for disaster! If you go often enough, you begin to accept that this is the normal size of a meal and make this the norm at home. Extra calories means extra weight full stop!

When you’re thinking of portions sizes, try imagining your clenched fist as a guide. For example, a piece of chicken/turkey/lean beef would the size of your fist, so would carbohydrates such as jacket potato, rice or pasta and fill the rest of your plate up with veggies!








Eating out

Most people go out the weekend and are likely to bump into a fast food place, fact of life that there‘s tons of them in Llanelli and Swansea! The good news is that as long as you have eaten well most of the week, then one burger is not going to kill you or suddenly put a stone on you! It’s the eating over the whole week that matters. Most fast food places do offer healthier options now though, depending on where you are you can choose from wraps, jacket potatoes with various fillings, lower fat desserts, lower fat burgers and I’m going to be boring again but they do offer fruit from time to time and remains the best choice (plus it won‘t give you a bad stomach and make you feel like sleeping all day afterwards!!).



So after all that, how to I know how to put a meal together that’s good for me?!!!

I know you’ve hear it a million times but it’s going to be a million and one! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!! Look at it this day, if you’ve been to bed for 8 hours and don’t have food, your body won’t start burning calories at a fast rate, your body still thinks it’s asleep and is still in “yawn” mode, you’re going to feel like rubbish all morning and your blood sugar levels will be on the floor, 10.30am break time and your first port of call is a bar of chocolate from the shop and I don’t blame you! I’d be the same too if I was starving but if you manage to make around 1 minute’s of effort and eat breakfast, you’ll feel full straight away, make your body burn calories INSTANTLY and burn fat straight away too. Try and get a glass of water down you too, all the bad stuff in your body that’s build up overnight will then be instantly flushed out-simple. Plus if you want to really clear skin and no spots, a good supply of water is vital! How do I know? Of course I’ve studied it anyway but I happen to train one of the best beauty therapists in the business, and she says good old fashioned water is ten time as good as all the creams you see in the shops!!


Ideas for a big start to the day

A bowl of porridge with a piece of fruit

A boiled egg with wholemeal toast, and a piece of fruit

A boiled egg with a wholemeal bagel and piece of fruit

Poached eggs on toast with no butter

Wholemeal toast with flavoured cottage cheese for energy and taste

Egg white omelette with peppers and mushrooms

A wholemeal muffin with some cottage cheese

Fruit salad with natural and low fat yoghurt

A wholemeal bagel with some cottage cheese

Wholemeal toast with natural peanut butter and piece of fruit

A bowl of Weetabix

Muesli with no added sugar or salt

A bowl of Shredded wheat

An omelette with 2 eggs and mushrooms and tomatoes, lose the yolk on one of the eggs, plus some wholemeal toast if you can

Try having a glass of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk with each meal

Breakfast burrito-fill a small whole-wheat tortillo with 3 scrambled egg whites. Add one tablespoon of salsa, half a tablespoon of low fat cheese, and one tablespoon of low fat sour cream. Roll and serve with a big glass of water

Porridge with skimmed milk with sultanas as a sweetener



Water when you rise

Having some water when you first get up may seem like the last thing on your mind but it’s hugely important to start your day off right. When you get up and have your first pee, you may see it’s darker in colour than normal because your body has lost water overnight. Your body desperately needs water as soon as you get up and will clean your system up straight away. Using the colour of your urine as a sign of your water needs is a good method. Keeping it clear is the way to go!


Snack time!

I always encourage everyone I train to eat every 3 hours, this speeds your metabolism up (the rate your body burns calories) and let’s your body hold onto precious muscle. Why is muscle important? One pound of muscle burns more than 35 calories a day, one pound of body fat burns 2 calories!!! The more lean you are, carrying a healthy degree of muscle, the more your body burns body fat at rest. You don’t lose the fat when you train, you lose it the other 23 hours a day when you’re not exercising and that’s the truth. Working out and eating every 3 hours (small amounts) is the key to being strong and burning fat. Do things the easy and you’ll be in great shape!


Snacks need to come in to keep up your energy, and to avoid hunger pangs, so take time out both mid-morning and mid-afternoon to consume some of the following;

Fresh fruit of all kinds-apples, pears, bananas, berries, kiwi fruit, plums, grapes etc


Dried fruit can also be good and is a sweet alternative but keep them in moderation-sultanas, raisins, figs and apricots are all nice choices


Low-fat yoghurts but make sure they’re not full of sugar


Nuts-as long as you’re not allergic of course!

Almonds, brazil nuts all contain essential fats that are great for the body. Keep them to a small handful and you won’t consume too many calories at one time.


Remember your metabolism slows down if you stop putting good fuel like this in your body. It may even hold onto fat just in case it needs some energy later, missing meals is a common mistake so don’t make it yours. You’re out to perform at your best and feel the best you ever have so let’s nail this thing once and for all!




Lunch hour

If you’ve followed the plan, you need to use the same principles for lunch. Plenty of energy from carbohydrates, a fist sized amount of protein and a small amount of fat. From now on, try and think of lunch as just another meal, not something to last you until later on in the evening. Some lunch choices could be met on the school menu and try and look at the ones that obviously don’t include the processed junk that’s going to ruin your energy levels and health in the future maybe. These choices are something to think of, you may not be able to have them every day but they may give you some ideas on good food at home or at school.


Jacket potato with a tin of tuna/salmon/mackerel/sardines and one small teaspoon of low-fat mayo plus any veggies or salad you can

Jacket potato with some plain cottage cheese or flavoured cottage cheese (you can get pineapple, onion and chives, tuna and sweet corn etc) with veggies if you can

Lemon chicken and potato-smother a grilled chicken breast with freshly squeezed lemon, microwave a plain potato and serve with fresh carrots

Fast food choice-have a grilled chicken salad with some reduced-fat dressing plus a serving of low fat ice cream they may have in the restaurant

Brown rice salad with beans and asparagus

Couscous salad with chicken

Chicken or beef cawl

Fast food-a slice of vegeterian pizza, a small salad with reduced-fat dressing and a cup of semi-skimmed milk

Pasta/tuna salad

Grab some pasta, a cup of carrots, 1 medium tomato, half a cup of cucumber, a can of tuna and an apple afterwards. You can substitute the tuna for chicken, turkey, lean beef, any fish, just mix it up a bit!

If you’re  having sandwiches, try your best to use wholemeal or whole-wheat bread, try cutting the spread to a minimum if you can, and use some protein fillings again such as any white meat, any fish, any cottage cheese or lean beef.

A lean beef sandwich if you fancy it from time to time-a couple of slices of lean roast beef on whole-grain bread, not too much mustard or no mustard even better but up to you!) and some grapes for afters


Afternoon snacks

You’re having an awesome day if you’ve done well this far, make sure you get over this bump in the road and you’ll be flying! Keep it to the snacks I suggested earlier, any fruit, nuts, dried fruit etc which all rise the sugar back up much more slowly than a Snickers bar would! Your body responds to constant and steady blood sugar levels and eating this way is going to hit it perfectly!


Evening meal

You’ve done it!!!!!!!! If you’ve got to the evening and followed the plan, congratulations and awesome effort! You shouldn’t be as hungry as you normally are. You are less likely now to make poor choices in the evening, and if you’ve taken some of what I said in, you’re going to have much more control of what you eat than you used to! Using chicken, turkey, lean beef, fish as protein choices is a great way to start, a jacket or sweet potato, rice, or pasta (remember the fist sized-serving would be perfect), and some vegetables to fill up the rest of the plate.

Other choices could be spaghetti with whole-grain pasta and meatballs, have some salad on the side with reduced-fat dressing. A healthier fast food meal could be a reduced fat Caesar salad add to some grilled chicken, have some potatoes with it but halve your normal quantity because they’re usually been fried or something. You could have a lightly breaded fillet of fish with a jacket or sweet potato with some kidney or green beans, and some yoghurt and berries for dessert. You could also try some steak, a jacket or sweet potato or some rice, with some reduced fat dressing, and some semi-skimmed milk as a drink.


The bottom line is that you’re going to ALWAYS feel sluggish and lacking in energy, with the occasional bad stomach if you eat processed junk food, like crisps, chocolate, fried foods, chips, fried bacon and eggs etc. I know that EVERY person who had made the CHOICE to eat healthier and better all round, can no longer stand the junk food mentioned because they feel so GOOD without it. Don’t eat food because all your friends tell you to, eat good food because you want to look after your body and feel much better than you ever thought-you‘ve got your own mind and the right to make the right choices-up to you!

Training for sports

Don’t be put off by the title, most of you can use this one, and it’s ultra-informative anyway so take out what you want out of this. This programme has worked well for clients i have in the pro sports arena, such as surfing and golf, and the results have been sensational.

Let me know what you think of this one!

Your key to unlimited potential and sports conditioning!

Training for strength, speed, endurance, power, agility, balance, coordination and flexibility

When my father opened a gym way back in 1957, if you did any weight-training, you’d probably get looked at daft if you said you were going down the gym to lift weights. You were told you may have a heart attack, you’d put too much stress on your bones, your growth would be stunted, it would slow you down for sports, you’d become “muscle-bound“, it would all turn to fat once you’ve stopped, it’s unnatural, it’s cheating and so on! The funny part now is the absolute reverse is true and weight-training, strength-training or whatever you wish to call it, is the most recommended activity by just about every doctor and health expert to help you in just about every area of health.


The fastest sprinters in the world all use weights extensively as well as every other major sport if they want to significantly improve their performance and health. I’ve had professional sports coaches go through this programme and they all agree on the massive benefits it offers.


 Talking about health, how about keeping away diabetes, not developing weak bones, increasing your chances of avoiding some cancers, slowing down the ageing process later on in life, having better balance for sports and life, having stronger joint and generally feeling pretty fantastic?!! Read on if it sounds good;

If you’re a male, you will see some real positive gains all round in the way you look and feel, and if you’re a female, please don’t worry about getting big or muscular, you have a tenth of the male hormone that boys have and most boys or MEN even I know struggle to put any serious muscle on, you will NOT get “too big” from doing weight-training full stop unless you purposely consumed loads of food and overdid It and lifted massive weights!

All the girls I have ever trained have seen their bodies actually get smaller. Here’s a fact for you, if you substitute 5 pounds of sagging fat of your body for 5 pounds of muscle, you’ll not only look better but burn up to an extra 250 calories a day without doing anything! That’s why have a lean, shaplier body is the EASY way of STAYING in shape, it takes a bit of work to get there but once you’re there, it becomes a very pleasant experience to be in control of your body and weight!


The workout!

I don’t believe in faddy exercise programmes, most fitness DVD’s are worthless and often use fraudulent claims on their effectiveness. The same with faddy exercise equipment, how many of you at home have a parent who’s bought some “wonder” fat burner machine, then after 2 months it becomes a coat hanger at the back of a cupboard somewhere!! If something seems to be too good to be true, then it probably is.


The basics

You have to start off slow with any exercise programme, or you‘re likely to get hurt and so stiff, you won‘t be able to get out of bed in the morning. I told you we’re going to avoid all the faddy exercises, instead we’re going to concentrate on what really works, then create variations so you’ll never get bored and really understand how to create an exercise programme yourself, anytime and anywhere, all it takes is you following the plan and following me through the programme!


I try never to do the same workout twice with all my personal training sessions, and you don’t need to either, once you master the basics and get to know how strong your body is.


For your lower back-hyper extensions

For your legs-squats and lunges

For your shoulders-shoulder presses, lateral raises

For your chest-bench presses and flyes

For your back-dumbbell rows

For your triceps (back of your arms)-arm dips, tricep extensions

For your biceps (front of arms)-dumbbell curls

For your stomach and core-sit ups, plank

Aerobic conditioning-alternate squat thrusts




Before anyone jumps in a says they can think of a lot more, I’m going to come back and tell you that I know a lot more too. All I’m saying that these exercises are tried and tested to bring massive RESULTS, and that in my job is pretty important to deliver and you’re going to get them!



These exercises look limited but really they’re not and will provide you with more exercises than you ever thought. I’m going to show you how to do these exercises on a big, comfy fit ball which will improve areas you may never have thought of but are so vital, and most can be done with just a set of dumbbells. I have a special routine that needs no equipment that’s one of my favourites, and has been tried out on practically everyone I’ve trained, and has brought massive results. I have routines that you can use in the gym that will bring big results, and we’re going to have some workouts to follow which involve speed, endurance and agility (running, cycling, jumping etc), which will come in the next section.



How to do the exercises

Hyper extensions-(lower back)

Lie flat out on stomach with hands right in front of you. When ready, raise arms and legs together slowly, so your whole body raises, then lower yourself slowly to really stretch and strengthen your lower back.


Squats (legs)

Often called the “king” of exercises, the squat not gives your legs a tremendous boost, but your stomach and lower back too. It also gets you breathing really well and can have a good effect on your heart and lungs once you get used to it and advance.


Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and a bar resting on your shoulders. Keep your back straight and slowly squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to a standing position and repeat.




Key points-never lean forward (you’ll strain your back) and keep looking up directly in front of you, never look down. Keep your feet straight and don’t let the weight come onto the balls of your feet. Keep the movement slow to be safe and have big results.


Lunges (legs)

Lunges are a great exercise that can bring tremendous results for your legs.

Hold the dumbbells by your sides, with your feet about hip-width apart. Keeping your back straight again, take a big step backward with your left foot. When the ball of your left foot touches the floor, continue the movement by lowering your hips until your right thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Your right knee should be bent at nearly 90 degrees with your right knee directly above your right foot. Gently push yourself back up into the starting position by driving the right foot into the floor, and repeat the move. Do this for 10 reps on the right leg and 10 on the left.

You can also alternate this movement by using a medicine ball instead of the weights. As you go down, you will swing slowly the medicine ball to your right, and then left. This separates your lower and upper body and really works your core area. This would be for more advanced exercisers only. I recommend this for surfers.


Shoulders press (shoulders)

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hold dumbbells in both hands and press dumbbells up above your head and return to the start position (just outside your shoulders), then repeat.




Lateral raises (shoulders)

Stand with feet apart and start with dumbbells by your side. Raise the dumbbells slowly to the side and bend your elbows slightly throughout the movement. Lower dumbbells back down slowly to your side, then repeat.






Bench presses (chest)

This works your chest, the front of your shoulders and the triceps (back of your arms). Lean back gently on the ball until you are comfortable with upper back and shoulder blades on top, making sure your feet are secure and are totally stable, lower your dumbbells down together to the sides of your chest. Then gently press up with the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended, squeeze your chest muscles for a second, then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Aim for 8-10 reps.



Flyes (chest)

Lying back on the ball again getting in the same position as the bench press, this time push the weights together with your palms facing each other. This is the starting position of the move. Slowly, lower the dumbbells to the side in a semi-circle arc until they go down as low as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Then come back up in the same semi-circle arc to the starting position. Aim for 8-10 reps.





Dumbbell rows (back)

Hold dumbbells in both hands, bend forward at your waist so that your chest is leaning forward over your feet. Keep your knees slightly bent and your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Start with arms fully extended, lift or “row” the dumbbells up and to your stomach area. Return to the start position and repeat. Keep your head up and shoulders back throughout.



Arm dips

Using any bench literally anywhere, lower yourself down slowly with your hands with your knees bent, then come back up slowly. To make it harder, straighten your legs out, aim for as many as possible without straining yourself of course!







Tricep extensions (backs of arms)

Stand up straight with a light dumbbell in your hands and raise it straight above your head. The dumbbell should hang and be vertical, with the top of the dumbbell resting comfortably on the palms of your hands, thumbs around handle. Start off in this position, now slowly lower the weight behind your head until forearms are parallel to floor with elbows pointing to ceiling. Then raise weight slowly over your head and repeat. Always feel as if you’re pushing the weight up and never forward and really try to feel that the back of your arms are doing the work.




Dumbbell curls

You can do this standing, sitting on a bench or a fit ball. Hold dumbbells by your sides, curl the dumbbells up slowly and bring them up towards shoulders. Slowly lower the dumbbells to starting

point, then repeat.



Using your forearms and toes to keep you off the floor, with your bum and back in a flat position, aim to hold yourself up as long as possible. This is fantastic for your lower back and overall stomach strength. A very difficult exercise that beginners will struggle with, but get much at with regular workouts!




Sit ups

Lie on the floor with knees bent and your feet placed flat on the floor. Support with your head gently with your hands as if you were holding a baby. Tense your stomach and then start off by raising your torso forward, raising your head and shoulders slightly off the floor and push your lower back into the floor to extra feel on the movement. Hold it for one second and then lower yourself back to the floor, then repeat.








Alternate squat thrusts

A great exercise for aerobic conditioning that’s low on joint pressure which is always good. Get in a position as if you were in starting blocks going for a 100m sprint. Hold it there, and simply interchange your legs pushing them back and forth, with your knees nearly touching your elbows. Aim for as many as possible.




The programme in practice-level 1

To get the programme really working for you, we have to get your level of conditioning up steadily but not too quick. Getting fit and healthy, and surf specific takes time, so use the following program with caution and make sure you’re doing the exercises properly to avoid any potential injuries.

For starters this lasts for 2 weeks to get you into it properly!

Monday and Thursday-? Means the maximum number you can possibly do so this will be personal to you.

After a brief warm up of 5 minutes (walking quickly, a slow jog, bike etc) rest maximum of 45 seconds between each exercise



Exercise How Reps Sets
Back extensions Floor 12 1
Squats Standing 12 1
Shoulder  press Standing 12 1
Bench press Ball 12 1
Rows Standing 12 1
Arm dips Chair/bench 12 1
Dumbbell curls Standing 12 1
Crunches Floor 12 1





Alternate squat  floor                 ?                     1













Level 2 (Third and fourth week)-Monday and Thursday

Were trying to raise the weight a bit and workout with

more purpose using different positions



If an exercise is placed with another, e.g flyes with bench press, it is to be done straight away with the other one. This caused even more progress and intensity in the workout which is always good!

Exercise How? Reps Sets
Back extensions Floor 10 2
Squats with ball Standing 10 2
Flyes plus bench press On ball 10 of each 2
Shoulder presses Sitting 10 2
Lateral raises Sitting 10 2
Rows Standing 10 2
Arm dips Chair/bench ? 2
Tricep extensions Ball 10 2
Dumbbell curls Ball 10 2
Crunches Ball ? 2
Reverse crunches Floor ? 2





Alternate             floor                    ?                       2   

Squat thrusts     








LEVEL 3 (fifth and sixth weeks)-Monday and Thursday

Aim to work with real intensity and aim to raise the weight on each exercise if possible. This time introducing your surf-specific exercises, now that your conditioning as moved on quite a bit if youve been following the program, as well as your performance nutrition guidelines!


Exercise How Reps Sets
 Hyper  extensions/

Then Hamstring lifts

Floor 10 2
Squats with ball/then rolls on ball Standing 10 2
Lunges with med ball twists Standing 10 2
Shoulder  presses plus lateral raises Standing 10 of  each 2
Bench press and flyes On ball 10 of each 2
Rows then

Knee lifts on ball

Standing 10 2
Arm dips plus dumbbell curls Bench and ball 10 of each 2





Alternate            floor                     ?                          2

Squat thrusts

Extra! Plank                  floor             as long as ?      2


Practice the plank also by putting one foot on top of the other, which will gives you a bit more out of the exercise.

Aim to use slightly more weight as you go along, as well as keeping your exercise form perfect. You can progress your workouts every week, if you really focus on raising your intensity, as well as eating properly of course and taking in plenty of water. Sounds simple but most people dont workout every week because they often let excuses become part of their life. Find a way to exercise, rather than making excuses not to! Give it a go and you may be surprised at the effects on your body, as well as the massive boost to your general fitness of course! This will seriously improve surfing and golf fitness, as well as any other sport.






“Fuel tank” workouts

The name says it all, you can be the strongest, fastest in any sport, but if you can’t go the distance, you’re going to be passed by those who have trained a bit smarter and worked on keeping their “fuel tanks” full and never being out of gas.


This can be a very demanding form of exercise so we’re going to keep it to once a week only. This has massive benefits and gets your stamina and endurance up in a record amount of time. This form of training can take place over many different distances but since peak power and speed are our goals, we’re going to concentrate on a simple method. We’ll use a rugby pitch, a local park or athletic track to start with.

Sprint for the straight part of the track/pitch/park, then walk all the way around the bends, then sprint again on the next straight, then walk again, and keep this for a total of TWO LAPS ONLY. The aim is to get to 8 laps and you’ll be in awesome shape! Remember to keep the sprints at real flat-out pace or this method won’t work so well.

Another method is to use lampposts. Jog slowly to first lamppost, then sprint to next lamppost, then jog to next one, then sprint to next and so on. You will get tired VERY quickly with this one so the workout won’t last that long! Aim to improve each time











Explode workouts (sprints for power ,speed and agility)

Most sports , the most critical movements last for only a few seconds, but need a great amount of power, especially getting through the waves and up on the board, as well as endurance and power to stay in the water for longer periods of time. These exercises will help you develop the ability to accelerate and change directions rapidly and make big gains in your fitness and feel fantastic physically, although making you feel exhausted immediately after doing them!.

To start with, I’ve selected sprints ranging from 20-50 yards which improve strength and performance in most sports. Start off with 3 to 5 reps of 50 yards so you can get used to sprinting at 100% of your maximum pace. Then cut it down to 30 yards the next week and when you’re sprinting, making sure your arm action is vigorous, your arm speed can dictate your leg speed.

After a couple of weeks of getting used to this method of running, aim to increase it to 10 to 20 reps of 30 yard sprints flat out, REST 30-60 seconds between each one or when you’re able to get your breath back.


Lateral sprints

Again, these are excellent for most sports and work your legs from different angles. You can use cones, shoes or shirts, set up a zigzag course, run straight for around 5 yards, then run left at a 45 degree angle for 5 yards, then right at a 45 degree angle. Or you could try placing 2 markers 10 yards apart. Sprint from the first marker to the second, touch it, and then sprint back to the first marker.



Backward sprinting

You have to run backwards in most sports, and this is one of my personal favourites. Backward running will develop your hamstrings and bum areas. We’re keeping it short again, I would keep it to a maximum of 30 yards and use the same way of progressing as forward sprinting.





Bounding strides

This is a great one for stride length. Measure a distance of around 20-30 yards and aim to take as few strides as possible over the distance. Aim to take bounding jumps and really stretch yourself.


High-knees fast arms

A fine exercise for sprinting power. Aim to use a sprint motion while almost standing still. Pump your arms and lift the knees as high as possible. Try to get 20 strides in just 10 yards. Try 3 sets of 10, you could after a while get up to 10 to 20 sets when your fitness level raises.


Jumping and plyometrics

Jumping exercises are excellent for building basic strength, power and speed, as well as increasing important bone density, and really getting you up on that board quickly. New research show they build bone mass in girls that will protect them in fractures as they age. It’s important to start off gradually and stop immediately if you get any pain.



Some of the main exercises include;

Tuck jumps

This is a vigorous exercise but very beneficial. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Jump up and drive your arms upward. Tuck your knees underneath you as you reach the height of the jump. As you land, extend your legs and retract your arms and get ready to jump again. Aim for 5 to 10 reps, taking as little time as possible between jumps.


360 degree squat jumps

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Jump up and drive your arms upward, spinning in the air as much as possible. As you land retract your arms and get ready to jump again. Start off by turning in only one direction, as you improve, turn to the left on one rep, then turn to the right on the other. Do 5  to 10 reps, taking as little time between jumps.


Wall-bounce push-ups

These are simple and the least stressful push-ups. Lean against a wall at a 60 degree angle. Push up from wall with force, then allow yourself to go back against the wall and absorb your fall with your arms. Immediately push off again.


Floor bounce push-ups

These are much harder than wall push-ups. Don’t try these until you can do 15 press ups. From a standard press up position, push up with force, extending your elbows until your hands leave the ground. Bounce back to your hands, then repeat exercise.


Medicine ball throws

Overhead throws

In a crouched position, grab a medicine ball and throw the ball over your head, behind you using your ankles, knees, hips and arms and jump from the ground as you release the ball


Front waist throws

Start off throwing the ball from your waist using an underhand throw, and throwing the ball in front of you as far as possible


Side waist throws

Using a partner, throw the ball from your waist but this time to the side, a great exercise especially as the ball gets heavier-they can range from 2kg to 5kg or even more. Start off light and work up.





Good flexibility is vital for your joints to function properly and to prevent injuries. You may also get even stronger by stretching as well as your strength programme. There are endless benefits to a proper stretching programme so try these stretches after each workout and before surfing.







Good-morning stretch

This stretch helps stretch the spine and shoulders.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and reach up over your head with your arms extended fully. Stretch by trying to extend your arms as much as possible, first one arm, then the other, then both arms. Hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds


Hamstring stretch

Lying on your back, lift one leg up with the other one down, put your hands behind the top part of your knee and pull until you feel some  discomfort. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other leg. Your flexibility will improve with practice.


Lunge stretch

This stretches hip thigh and calf muscles

Step forward in a lunge with your right foot and flex your knee. Keep your knee directly above your ankle. Stretch your left leg back so that it is parallel to the floor. Press your hips forward and down until you feel a stretch in your thigh muscle. Balance yourself by placing your arms at your sides, on to of your knee, or on the ground. Repeat exercise on the left side.





Shoulder stretch

Stretches the shoulder and upper back. Cross your left arm in front of your body and grasp it with your right hand. Stretch your arm, shoulders and back by gently pulling your arm as close to your body as possible. Repeat stretch with your right arm.


Chest stretch

This stretches chest and shoulder muscles. Stand to the side of a wall or post 2-3 feet  away. Place arm on the wall at shoulder level and walk forward until you feel a stretch in your chest and shoulder muscles. Hold the stretch, and then repeat using the other side of the body.



There are many more exercises but these are enough to get you going!





Try the resistance workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday.


Please make sure you always have at least ONE DAY rest, when you dont do anything. This will give your body time to rest and recuperate and come back even stronger!


Once you become really comfortable with this way of working out, try and go onto the more advanced way of working out on the following page, incorporating many of the best techniques Ive previously listed.




Advanced for maximum results

Mon-resistance workout with sport-specific after week 4


Tuesday-explode workout/plyometrics




Thursday-resistance workout (optional surfing too)


Friday-fuel tank workout/plyometrics optional


Saturday-(optional sports too)


Sunday-(optional sports too)