If you’ve been following LYL for a while now, you will know all about the upcoming fitness programme being released with @that.fitness.guy. Chris is my brother in law to be, and one of the most inspiring and knowledgeable personal trainers I know. I think what I like most about Chris, is that he doesn’t realise quite how awesome he is, and as someone who yo-yo’ed most of my 20’s, it is a miracle that someone managed to put my on the straight and narrow when it came to my attitude toward healthy eating and exercise. He’s what I would coin a ‘no frills’ fitness trainer. His knowledge is extensive, and he has the know how to use all the frills desired and required for a client, but what I love is that he totally gets that 90% of the population just want to feel good in their skin. He encourages being active, and creates interesting and diverse workouts that require little to no equipment and can be done from your front room. (He’s actually designed this programme to need no equipment at all and believe me, the workouts are diverse and interesting. No more workout boredom! Yay). What I believe in when it comes to helping others achieve their goals, is not creating a system where they will always be reliant on your expertise, but on giving people to the tools to find their own happiness, and Chris follows exactly the same ethos. Education is everything. He is a regular guy, with a family, a full time job and whole host of responsibilities outside of fititng in a workout routine and a healthy diet yet he makes it work. He’s also a massive pudding lover! Brought up on tea and cake, he is someone who believe life is too short to skip on pudding. He totally gets the importance of balance, and whole health and that is why I have teamed up with him to bring a fitness programme that we can use and enjoy. I can’t wait! I took the opportunity to interview him this week to give you a chance to get to know the guy behind the programme, and a little bit about what is to come.
How did you get involved with Love Yourself Lean?
My involvement with Love Yourself Lean was sparked through intrigue and excitement for a concept that in my opinion is fresh, honest, unique and refreshingly encompasses the main pillars of wellness in a way that gives followers the chance to take control of their own happiness. It is rare to see such inspirational guidance founded upon genuine life experiences that so seamlessly links both physical and emotional wellbeing through simple concepts that build self love and confidence. Kelly kindly invited me to join the movement because of my experience as a fitness trainer and my passion for inspiring others to identify their own needs and through the use of sustainable, accessible and enjoyable exercise options, encourage health improvement and long term lifestyle change .
I relish the opportunity to connect with readers in a way that reaches beyond just exercise, but instead allows the reader to become an expert of their own body, build confidence and form helpful long-lasting new habits. Having tried and tested most of the fitness fads, gadgets and gimmicks the health and fitness industry has to offer, I have learnt to embrace my physical condition and make sustainable lifestyle changes based on enjoyment, staying active, exercise and tasty food that’s packed with nutrients. I am a firm believer in removing restriction and sensibly embracing things that make you feel good and not treating food and exercise as continual battle of punishment vs. reward. Kelly and I share a like-minded vision that training should be simple, effective, adaptable and fun, but should also have some gentle education to go with it! My partnership with LYL was born!
2016 saw the launch of the wellness journal. Can you tell us a little bit about the new programme currently being developed for LYL by yourself?
Whilst the foundation for happiness needs to be built on all the things that Love Yourself Lean stands for, the journey towards seeing a fitter and healthier you is complimented hugely through embracing an active lifestyle that includes a balanced mix of vigorous exercise and every-day physical activity. My twelve week programme is designed to be a platform for long term change that is more than just a series of workout routines to be followed but empowers readers to start making their own choices and understand how different types of training need to be modified dependent on the objective. The programme embraces a more supportive approach that encourages readers to take responsibility for their own training, understand the core principles on which the training is built and become experts of their own requirements. Each section will work through progressive and varied workouts that require minimal equipment and can be modified, adjusted and tailored to ability and preferences. With each section the programme offers hints, tips and guidance to tackle some of the common stumbling blocks and help readers to stay motivated through prioritising their own needs.
Who is this programme for and what makes it unique?
The programme can be used by anyone wishing to improve their general level of conditioning and understand the most efficient ways to get stronger, fitter and leaner with minimal kit, space and time. Some of the training principles such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) and body weight routines have been around for years, but I believe my programme to be unique in the way that I don’t hold anything back. Whilst there is always a place for prescriptive exercise, particularly for those with more specific health needs, I believe that training should retain a level of flexibility to allow the reader to take advantage of whatever fits into their lifestyle. While I am a firm advocate of the principles I have based my workouts on, I feel there is a need to honestly inform readers about how they may already be doing some really good work through more generalised and recreational physical activity. Exercise must be something that you either enjoy doing or buzz for the feeling you get afterwards and some programmes, although hugely effective, often give off a ‘this is the only way’ kind of vibe. I will help readers understand fundamental movement but embrace self guided progression, adding enough variety to explore an almost unlimited selection of workout combinations.
By producing a resource that can be revisited, reshaped and modified, I hope to negate some of the common feedback that some fitness regimes generate like: ‘I got so bored’, ‘what’s next?’ or ‘it’s just become too easy’. I’m not just going to hand people the tools, I’m going to show them how to use them.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into fitness and well being?
I’ve always been keen on sport, and I have always been experimental with my training both personally and professionally. I graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a sport science degree in 2007 and had a clear aim to be involved in front line fitness coaching and personal training. It wasn’t long before I qualified as fitness instructor and trainer and began my journey in the industry. Over the years I have worked in both private and public sectors and dealt with a wide range of clients in a number of different roles. I have trained people involved in competitive sports and those striving for superior athletic performance, but a large amount of my work and passion has been centred around the general public and those with more specific health needs. I have built a career on dealing with clients that have been signposted to me with injuries, chronic pain issues, life-limiting illness or any number of health conditions. I’ve helped people with problems including cardiovascular & lung disease, arthritis, diabetes, anxiety, depression and more. The more time I spend in the industry the more I have come to realise that even the most effective training tools are rendered useless if someone isn’t willing to change for the right reasons and forms the wrong relationship with food, exercise and lifestyle. In almost all of my work my clients need help to change their behaviour, change their habits, and change their way of thinking. I have learnt to empower my clients and help them to resolve their own ambivalence towards change through empathy, professional support, education and motivational interviewing. I continue to work on a number health improvement projects whilst retaining my lifelong passion for fitness and training.
Can you tell our lean beans a bit about your day to day schedule and how you fit workouts into your lifestyle?
As a busy working professional with a young family and a fiancé who work shifts, time and energy can be difficult to manage. I work 40 hours a week and am typically out of the house from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday. I also support Kelly’s family and fiancé (Kelly’s sister), through difficult challenges with their mother who has Huntington’s Disease: an inherited condition that damages certain nerve cells in the brain. Most of my workouts can be performed anywhere with little or no equipment and whilst 3-5 sessions per week may seem a lot, I rarely exercise for more than 1½-2 hours per week and keep physically active on top. I can perform my workouts as I need to where in my case consistent routine is almost impossible. I truly believe that I succeed in maintaining a good level of physical and emotional health for the following reasons:
1) A respect for everyday activity and not just structured vigorous exercise. I give my body every opportunity move through like dog walking, cycling, being actively on my feet and recreational activity with my family.
2) A guilt free relationship with activity, food and rest. More often than not, when you don’t feel like training is exactly when you should, but I am very receptive to the notion that sometimes my body and my mind just need to rest and re-charge. This forms a healthy attitude that helps me avoid self pressurising guilt to participate because I know that 80-90% of the time I am active and healthy which leaves me room to enjoy life every now and again.
Progress not perfection
What’s the last meal you ate?
Favourite place on earth?
How do you like to unwind?
Film and a glass of red
One thing you can’t live without?
Family…closely followed by chocolate Hobnobs!
Who is your inspiration?
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Finally, I’ve noticed you take photos of the most delicious looking breakfasts! Can you tell our lean beans your top 3 breakfast choices?
1. Porridge with banana, seed mix, honey and raw cacoa.
2. Scrambled eggs on rye bread with lean bacon.
3. Wholemeal toast and peanut butter, turkey steak and a drizzle of Piri-Piri Sauce. A little bit random but so good!
The LYL programme launches in just 6-8 weeks time and will be available as a download direct from the website. You can follow Chris on Instagram by searching @that.fitness.guy and if you want to be one of the first 250 lean beans to get your hand on a journal you can comment below to be the first to know when it goes live!
Here’s to Heartfelt Happiness and Harmonious Health