Monday, 20 December 2010

Simplify, and Improve

Many people struggle with motivation at this time of year. You feel as if you are not only no longer progressing, but actually losing ground as well, getting worse. One of the main reasons I have seen for this is too many goals. If you try to do too many things, you end up not being able to truly focus on any of them, and your training just goes nowhere.

If you find yourself in this predicament, make it simple again. Choose ONE goal. Don't be afraid that you'll lose everything else, because you won't. Pick one goal, something like deadlifting twice your bodyweight, performing a chest height standing jump, 10 minutes of kettlebell long cycle clean & jerk without stopping, anything really - but focus on only one of the physical goals you do want to achieve.

You will find that as you progress towards and eventually reach that one goal, not only will your motivation return, but your physicality will increase in other areas alongside your chosen goal.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.

Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


So many people out there want to lose 'weight', (really what they want is to lose fat, but let's not split hairs for now), so they go on a diet. I have lost count of how many people have told me that they are on a diet, and for every single one of them, it is not the first time that they are “on a diet”.

Now don't get me wrong, watching what you are eating and doing your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition is a great idea, I am all for it. What I am against is diets. Diets do not work. It is that simple. If you tell me they are, because you lost x amount of weight the last time you were on a diet, you are fooling yourself. Unless you have maintained and will continue to maintain your new size, shape,weight with ease, your diet failed. A diet will never work, because it is designed to be temporary. The minute you go back to your old habits, you will re-assume you old size, shape, weight, etc.

Think of diets as training wheels. They are an aid to help teach you how to do something on your own – without thinking about it; without having to draw up a complicated plan. You learn something by using them, then you go on and do it on your own, without the training wheels.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

Contact me for Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea.

Contact & location details are on my website: BODYQUESTPT

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


One of the biggest problem we face nowadays is choice. When there is no choice, you go with whatever is in front of you, and think nothing of it. Whilst sometimes having a choice can be great, when you have too many choices, it just makes life unnecessarily complicated and stressful. 30 years ago having a television was a big deal (South Africa only started a television service in 1976!). Today if you don't have a television you are living in a cave, and how many different choices do we face when buying a television? Flat screen, LCD, Plasma, HDMI, HD, 3D, etc... We live in a consumer driven market, and not only are more and more companies trying to get a share in the market (for your cash), but existing companies are trying desperately to expand their market-share by offering additional products and also more diversity therein. We don't need more! All this 'more' is there to try and lure you into making an additional purchase that you didn't yesterday. The choices (more often than not) exist not to benefit you, but the line the wallets of someone else. What has this got to do with health & fitness you might say? Everything!

How many different diets are out there? All 'scientifically-proven' to work, all saying that they are the only way to being healthy & looking good. From Vegan to Paleo to Atkins – who do you believe? Exercise is equally confusing. Should I be using an elliptical in a commercial gym, or should I be battling ropes like John Brookefield? Should I be curling and pressing barbells, or swinging and cleaning kettlebells? Maybe I should just be using my own bodyweight and training outdoors, or should I use resistance bands in a pilates studio? In the fitness industry we are bombarded with more and more information. We are suffering from information overload – enough already!

So what's the answer? Well the choices we have won't go away, so the answer is simply not to get bogged down in trying to decide which is best. Pick what appeals to you and go with it. Forget about wondering if you should have picked something else. Just make sure you pick something that suits you, your lifestyle and your needs. If you just want a great beach body, lift iron like Arnold. If brutal, sweaty sessions are your thing, try Crossfit. If you need something to balance a hectic lifestyle, try yoga or Tai Chi. If you want a great all-rounder, try Kettlebells. As far as nutrition goes, just cut out the junk & processed foods and you're pretty much there.

Keep it as simple as you can. In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

For BodyQuest Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea, you can contact me HERE

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

The Importance Of Recovery

This post is directed at those of us who love exercise, who exercise regularly, who can't get enough of it. We thrive on the pump, the burn, the sweaty state we are left in after a grueling workout. Of course we are rewarded with the increase in performance, our bodies getting stronger, fitter, more mobile & flexible, greater endurance, and of course, we love to look better too! Whilst I love exercise as much as the next athlete, too many athletes fail to realise (or just forget/don't think about) is that exercise is catabolic – it breaks our bodies down. In order to achieve the anabolic effects we are really after, our bodies require rest in order to recover. We don't change or grow in the gym, we do so afterwards when we are resting. Too many athletes train too often. 

Think of a fighting video game; your character has a life or energy bar, and as you burn energy (or in the game, get attacked) that depletes down until you have nothing left – and you die. Of course real life isn't quite as dramatic, but the same system is in place. You have a finite amount of expendable energy. Everything you do takes some of that energy, and not just the physical activities, but the emotional & mental activities as well. If you are stressed, that will sap your energy. Yes, exercise is great for counter-acting stress, but that is another topic of discussion entirely. If you work a physical job like a builder and then train 7 days a week Crossfit style (for example, nothing against Crossfit, but it is the most brutal system that comes to mind!) you are heading for trouble. Without adequate recovery you energy levels will never fully recover, and you will have less in the tank for the next session. Eventually you will suffer as a result. Call it burnout, call it adrenal fatigue, call it what you want - it's the same thing.

So what is the solution? Plan your workouts around your recovery. Not the other way around.

Here is a great method of assessing how well you are coping with your routine:

Every day assess how good you feel (recovery) on a scale of 1-10 (1 being horrible and 10 being super-charged), then assess your workout on a scale of 1-10 (1 being as easy as reaching for the TV remote and 10 feeling like you have melted into a pool of sweat and blood under a ton of iron). If you keep a record of your recovery and your workout intensity, you will soon see if your workouts are taking too much out of you (or maybe that you aren't working hard enough!).

If your recovery is always high and your workout always low, step it up.

If your recovery is always low and your workout always high, dial it down a notch.

Plan your workouts around your recovery always.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer

For BodyQuest Kettlebell classes and Personal Training in Southend-on-sea, you can contact me HERE

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Personal Training Southend-on-sea

Are you interested in reaching your physical potential? Would you like to develop authentic strength, to be as strong, if not stronger, than you look? At BodyQuest Personal Training I train my clients, as well as myself, for authentic strength, cardio that just won't quit, and amazing mobility. My quest is for "strength-in-motion", and I can help you achieve it too. Using unconventional tools like kettlebells, ropes, Indian clubs, medicine balls, jumping platforms, tires, hammers.... etc.. you can and will get twice the results in half the time of conventional mainstream gym training.

If you are ready to challenge yourself, I guarantee you twice the results in half the time.

No gimmicks - No secrets - Just genuine results

Come & discover THE TRUTH about health & fitness

Contact me via my website, BodyQuestPT, to get the results you want!

Challenge Everything, Especially Yourself

Alex Kay Grimmer

Kettlebell Classes Southend-on-sea

Kettlebell classes are a great way to burn fat, build strength, increase mobility and develop cardio that just won't quit! If you are bored with your current workout and fancy trying something fun & challenging, come down to the BodyQuest Studio in Southend-on-sea and take things up a notch! Here is the current class timetable, although I can and do put on private classes for groups that would like to train outside of the below times.

Tuesday: 7pm

Thursday: 7pm

Saturday: 8AM - coming soon!

Please contact me to book in for the classes. Spaces are limited, classes are popular, so book in to avoid disappointment!

Contact & location details are on my website: CLICK HERE!

Challenge everything, especially yourself!
Alex Kay Grimmer

Friday, 19 November 2010

What's the most important thing in the gym?

The most important thing in any gym is Space. The minute you put equipment in a space, that space becomes dedicated to that piece of equipment. This is never more true than in a commercial gym where the piece of equipment is something like a leg press machine. Now that space can only ever be used to leg press. This is not to say that your gym must be empty – far from it. You need equipment, things like kettlebells, ropes, jumping platforms, clubs, hammers & tires. But don't get sucked into thinking about equipment first. Think about space. Space to DO stuff – swing kettlebells, flip tires, undulate ropes, throw medicine balls, do burpees, duck-walking, handstands, etc. Space is your most valuable asset in the gym. Space to DO things.

Challenge Everything, Especially Yourself!

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Thanks to Matt Schifferle, The Fit Rebel, for inspiration!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

BodyQuest Challenges

One of my favourite sayings is "Challenge Everything, Especially Yourself". To help create the right mindset, I started introducing specific challenges for my kettlebell classes - and if you are able to complete a challenge, your class session is free! So far 4 challenges exist:

1 - The Wall Squat - Facing the wall, both feet together, toes touching the wall, squat all the wall down to rock bottom and come back up again.

2 - The Strongman Lift - Using only one arm, lift 50% of your bodyweight into an overhead lockout position. You can use any technique you want (Clean & Jerk, Turkish Get Up, etc).

3 - The Hand Stand Press Up - A free standing hand stand (ie: not against the wall), lower yourself and press back up.

4 - The Pistol Squat - Place one leg out in front of you, keeping it there squat right down onto your haunches and drive back up again. Basically a single leg squat with one leg in front of you the entire time - ALL the way down and back up folks.

As I dream up more challenges I will add them onto the board in the gym :)

Very well done to Errol for being the first to complete a challenge - The Wall Squat.

Challenge Everything, Especially Yourself!

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Is your trainer qualified to teach kettlebells?

Kettlebell training is fantastic. It offers far more bang-for-your-buck than regular gym training, as you learn to train your muscles as they were designed to move - in concert with each other rather than in isolation. Kettlebell training is so effective because you burn fat at an incredible rate, whilst building strength, fitness & endurance, as well as flexibility & mobility - all at the same time!

Recently I have seen a local facility offering kettlebell classes to it's members and to the public. I am all for kettlebell training, whether it is with me or with somebody else, but I am deadset against people jumping on the bandwagon and teaching (or trying to) kettlebells when they really do not have a clue.

Kettlebell training is VERY different to conventional training. Like anything else though, if it's done correctly it can have huge benefits. If it's done incorrectly you are just setting yourself up for injuries. To become certified as a kettlebell instructor you will do as much, if not more learning, training, performing & coaching as you would with the highest levels of fitness qualifications out there. You cannot become a credible instructor in a few hours - regardless of whatever other fitness qualifications you might have to draw knowledge/experience from. A true qualification will require you not only to attend, but to perform & coach to a high level.

If you want to reap the amazing benefits of kettlebell training, your instructor should teach under one of the following 3 organisations:

AOS (Art Of Strength - Punch Kettlebell Gym under Anthony Diluglio)

IKFF (International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation under Steve Cotter)

RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certified under Pavel Tsatsouline)

Yes, there are a few other credible organisations out there such as the AKC under Valery Fedorenko, but largely any reputable kettlebell certifying organisation will be following from the above 3 (4 to include the AKC).

So next time your fitness centre or trainer offers you kettlebell training, question them. Ask them to explain a specific technique. Why are you doing that movement? What muscles are you working? What should you be concentrating on? What shouldn't you be doing? What can you do to improve your technique? What certification do you have? If the instructor cannot give you immediate, credible answers to these simple questions, not only are you wasting your time with them, but you are risking injury.

If your instructor has qualified through a mainstream fitness body, looking for another REPS badge, it is probably advisable to walk away. If they are teaching with plastic kettlebells, walk away. At best, you will never reap the rewards kettlebell training is famous for, at worst you will injure yourself. Find a genuine instructor who understands how to lift correctly, and your health & fitness will skyrocket to new heights.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Simple Ideas, Complex Results

Most people really want to be in better shape, but do not know what they need to do to get there. There is a minefield of information out there, with many credible people contradicting each other on what is best for health. On top of that, a great deal of advice is complicated. Whether its nutrition or exercise, it just seems like a huge effort to figure it out before you even get started. So with one of my key principals (keeping things simple) in mind, here are some easy to follow points for the 3 main areas, Nutrition, Exercise & Lifestyle, to help you achieve the results you desire.

Whenever I ask people what they want, the answer is quite often “lose weight and tone up”. What that actually means, is less fat and better muscles. Let's start with the fat loss.

Fat loss via nutrition is far more effective than exercise. You can't out-train a bad diet, and besides, how can you expect to get rid of fat if you keep putting it in?


1 - Cut out junk food. This is the BIG one that will make the biggest difference. Junk food includes food sauces like ketchup, brown sauce and bottled sauces for Italian/Indian/Chinese/etc dishes. Junk food also includes junk drinks like ANY fizzy drinks, energy drinks, squash & alcohol. Oh and don't use sugar or artificial sweeteners. Ever.

2 - Eat more vegetables, especially dark green ones. Things like broccoli, kale, spinach, spirulina, seaweed. Then add as many colours as you can.

3 - Cut out dairy. You just don't need it.

4 - Cut out bread. This just bloats most people.

5 - Eat little & often (6 half size meals instead of 3 'normal' size). You don't even need to eat less. Just spread the same amount out more during your day.


1 - Lift weights. Heavy ones. Light ones do nothing for you.

2 - Get a sweat on - if you don't you're just not doing anything.

3 - Do complex movements rather than isolation (Overhead press, squat, deadlift, pull ups, swings, cleans, jerks, snatches, etc).

4 - Loosen up first, stretch after. Not the other way around.

5 - Do this regularly. Exercise 3-5 times a week for about 45 minutes each time.


1 - Get more quality sleep. This is when your body regenerates itself.

2 – Make time for you, to do whatever you want to do that you enjoy.

3 - Watch less TV. Read a book. Go for a walk. Spend time with people. Engage yourself more and be active.

4 – Get rid of stress in your life. If you hate your job, change it. If you're in a bad relationship, get out of it. If a 'friend' is always really negative, cut them loose. If you don't these things are just anchors weighing you down.

5 - Laugh more - it really is the best medicine.

Of course, things can always get complicated, depending on how far you want to take things, but the above will enable huge strides towards your goals.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Aesthetic Appeal or Athletic Performance?

Recently two of my fitness colleagues have written articles on the above topic, with the intention of encouraging replies and it becoming an open debate. I thought I would offer my two cents worth.

As a personal trainer/class instructor/coach I can say that nearly everybody who comes to me for advice or coaching on nutrition or exercise, has come to me for aesthetic reasons. It's in our nature to want to look good, whether for ourselves, or to be attractive to others, or some other reason entirely, looking good is a powerful motivator. We are also constantly bombarded with the media's conception of health, fitness & beauty, and we in turn seek that ideal, the cover model look.

There is nothing wrong with wanting sculpted abs, perfect pecs, toned thighs or 21” guns. Looking good goes a long way in many areas of our lives. We feel more confident, clothes look better on us, we are more attractive to others; all plus points.

But some people walk a different path, and athletic performance is their goal. They could care less about symmetry or size, and seek to improve their performance above all else. Whether it is strength for power-lifting or strongman contests, sport-specific drills for wrestling or boxing, or conditioning for something like givervoy (kettlebell) sport. Their measurability is in the improved performance on the field, not in the mirror. The performance-orientated people generally view their way as the right way, because they believe that form follows function. In other words, the aesthetic appeal will come about naturally, as a welcomed side effect of their training – and they are not wrong. I have never seen someone train hard for performance who didn't look good for it either. But does that make the first group wrong? No. Not at all. For a start, if you don't have a specific, performance-orientated goal to work towards, what do you aim for? Most people who exercise, have absolutely no specific goals at all. When asked they will merely generalise about being a little fitter, a little less bodyfat, a little more toned, etc.

I may get critisised for this but although less so, function will follow form too. Your ability to perform athletically will improve as you train your appearance. It may not be specific, but you're not training sport-specific are you? If you are smart about bodybuilding/aesthetic style training, and ensure that you work towards symmetry and balance in your muscular structure, periodise your training, strength, power, cardio, etcetera and follow a clean, healthy diet; you will get stronger, leaner, fitter, healthier – all for the goal of looking better.

So train for what you want. Train for what motivates you. Do what you enjoy. Above all, eat a good clean healthy diet, exercise regularly in a balanced fashion, pay attention to your body and take care of yourself. In the wise words of Zach Even-esh, “The secret is that there's no secret. Lift hard, lift consistently, eat tons of clean, wholesome foods and listen to your body.”

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Are you seeing results?

Take a good look at yourself. Can you say for certain that you are stronger, fitter, more mobile and in better health than you were this time a year ago? If you can, you are on the right path - stick with it. If you can't; ask yourself why your body has not changed for the better.  Maybe the answer is simple. You have wanted to change, but haven't ever managed to get your butt off of the sofa to do anything about it. Maybe you started to make some changes, but quit after only a few weeks (generally a recurring pattern). Maybe you don't know why - you have been training consistently for the last year, maybe longer, and still your body remains the same.

The bottom line is, if you haven't changed for the better in the last 12 months,...

You are doing something wrong!

The training I offer at BodyQuest is all about results. If you haven't seen any results in the last 12 months, but have the desire, are ready to challenge yourself, and have the commitment, I guarantee you results. I practice exactly what I preach, and I am stronger, fitter, more mobile and healthier than I was a year ago. Are you? If you aren't, get in touch, and together we will change that.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Interested, or Committed?

There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.” – Art Turock.

I meet people all of the time that show an 'interest' in fitness & health, very few actually commit themselves to it. How many people have you met that start training for a while, go on a new diet for a while, only then to “take a break”; for a while...

These people will never see real results.

In the first few weeks they feel and see a change within themselves, which is quite motivating. As the weeks progress, they begin to realise that to attain whatever their goals are will take much longer (and more effort) than they first anticipated, and their motivation wanes, and they “take a break”. Thinking they need to re-assess, to be able to come back with renewed vigour. More often than not, the break lasts much longer than planned, and if they do manage to return, they have to start at the beginning again.

These people are part of the quick-fix society we live in nowadays. No longer are people prepared to wait for anything. They want it now. Credit enables people to have whatever they want now, and pay for it 'later'. That sort of mentality crosses over into every other aspect of their lives, including health & fitness. They want immediate results. The problem is there are many charlatans out there who promise quick-fix results in health and fitness – body transformations, weight-loss clubs, etc. People do experience results with these methods, which is what makes them popular. But how many people do you know who use these transformation or weight-loss clubs over and over again? Yo-yo training and dieting is bad for you! I am not a fan of body transformations, or weight-loss clubs, because the results are so often temporary. If you have to join these clubs or transformation programs more than once – it didn't work! Eating right & training for a while, only to then undo all of the hard work by returning to unhealthy habits, or even worse – binging – is bad for you. 

Health, fitness, strength, mobility... these things are a lifestyle choice. If you keep bouncing back and forth from health & fitness to being unhealthy & unfit – stop kidding yourselves. You ARE unhealthy & unfit. If you only smoke cigarettes on the weekends, are you a smoker or a non-smoker? You would be a smoker of course. The only way to be a non-smoker is never to smoke again.

Quality of life is not determined by doughnuts. If your quality of life hinges on being able to consume unhealthy junk and lobotomising yourself in front of the television, your problems are bigger than you realise.

I have made the choice to be fit, strong, mobile & healthy. My quality of life is better for it. I am committed. It isn't always easy, but it is worthwhile. You need to decide for yourself if you are committed – or not. My training, my diet, is constant. I do not train and eat healthy for 2 or 3 months, then take 2 or 3 months off. I stay in shape and I stay healthy all of the time.

As Vince Lombardi said: “Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

So are you 'interested' in being fit & healthy, or are you 'committed'?

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Flat stomachs are made in the kitchen

This photo is of a BodyQuest client, who has followed the nutritional & exercise advice of BodyQuest.

Many people want to reduce their waistline, and whilst it is very important to exercise, fat loss via nutrition is more effective. You can consume calories far quicker than you can burn them off, and it is nearly impossible to out-train a bad diet. Forget about the friend you have who can and does eat anything and everything and doesn't ever gain a pound. They are very lucky to be like that, but even for them it won't last as they get older. Here are some tips to help you:

Avoid sugar (anything ending in “ose” - fructose, sucrose...)

Avoid junk food (cakes, sweets, crisps, chocolate, biscuits, etc)

Avoid processed foods (anything that comes in a box)

Eat less meat (swap red with white, swap white with fish)

Eat more vegetables

Don't skip breakfast

Consume less dairy

Eat more frequently, but not more in quantity

Drink more water (and less of everything else)

Read food labels – know what you are consuming

Tricks consumers fall for:

Low/zero fat (usually means high in sugar)

Low/zero sugar (usually means high in saturated fat)

No added sugar (usually means added artificial sweeteners)

No artificial sweeteners (usually means added sugar!)

There is a huge amount of documented evidence that most of the modern world's health problems are related to our modern diets. Stop buying stuff that is “made” or processed, and buy natural foods. Stop adding stuff like sauces. If you need flavour, think about herbs and spices instead.

More to follow....


Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Alex Kay Grimmer.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Dangers Of Diet Drinks

How can diet drinks (Coke, Pepsi, etc.) with virtually no calories make you gain weight? Well all food & drink is either acidic or alkaline. This is measured on the pH scale, 0-14. If you over-consume acidic foods, your body has ways to bring its pH back into balance, namely respiration, perspiration, urination & mineral depletion. The trouble begins when your body has to work overtime to maintain balance. If we consume too many acidic foods and drinks, our bodies take action to restore our pH balance - our breathing rate increases to remove carbonic acid by exhaling carbon dioxide, the kidneys increase the acidity of the urine, and minerals begin to be leached out of the body. As a side note, most animal products are acidic, and most fruits and vegetables are alkaline.

Diet drinks contain phosphoric acid, and drinking them causes our bodies to leach alkaline forming minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iodine, potassium & sodium to restore pH balance. Iodine supports the thyroid gland, which regulates our metabolism. Without iodine the thyroid won't work properly, our metabolism slows down, and weight gain will follow. Next time you think about reaching for a diet soda, think again!

The minerals I mentioned above are extremely important for normal body function, but most of us probably suffer from a deficit of these minerals. We are bombarded with the importance of calcium from the dairy industry, but did you know broccoli contains 10 times the amount of calcium that milk does?

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010


It doesn't take all that much courage to change your life. I don't care if we're talking about working out religiously, changing jobs, getting out of a bad relationship, or moving to a different town. Believe me, you can't lose.

It's like the Chinese allergory of the man caught in the rapids. He's managed to grab hold of a rock, but the raging waters are beating him against the rock over and over again. If he doesn't let go, he'll soon die, but he's afraid to let go because he doesn't know what dangers lie downstream.... let go of the rock.

Make every day count

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you. You can make of your life anything that you wish. I hope my story is at least an example of that. Create your own life then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets. Most important though, if you love someone, tell him or her, for you never know what tomorrow may have in store. Remember, tomorrow is promised to no one.

 - Walter Payton.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

New BodyQuest classes and courses starting soon…

Kickboxing Fitness classes -
keep fit & have fun without the contact! I am a previous member of the British Kickboxing Team, and winner of many English, British, European & African titles.

Stretching & Mobility courses –
Learn to maximise your mobility for pain-free movement and increased flexibility & strength.

Ladies Self Defence courses -
Learn effective close combat defensive skills that could save your life. I have black belts in 3 martial arts, as well as a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu under Royce Gracie himself. I worked as a nightclub doorman for 4 years in South Africa, and previously taught self-defence to the South African Park Rangers.

Hardstyle X Combat Conditioning classes -
The ultimate in hardcore conditioning! Only for the truly brave, dedicated, or foolhardy! Not for the fainthearted….

All classes are £8 per person
All courses run for 6 weeks and cost £50

Courses will be run several times to allow people to consistently practice under expert tuition to fully develop their skills. 3 levels of all courses will be offered, beginners (level 1), intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3). To enrol in Level 2 you must have completed Level 1, and to enrol in level 3 you must have completed level 2.
Please email any enquires, or to register your interest to:
or visit the website
and use the contact form

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Just get it done!

Stop blaming everything and just get it done!

I have been as guilty of this as the next person, but there comes a time when even if certain things are other people's fault, or have come about because of circumstances beyond your control; you have a choice. Stand around moaning about it, or just do something to fix it! Just get it done! If it is someone or something else's fault; that won't change. You can't change that. The only thing you can control is you. So ask yourself, are you in a position to do something about it? Is there anything in your control that can make it better, whatever it is? If you have any measure of influence over a bad situation - exercise it. Make things better. I promise you, you will benefit from it. So what if someone else (who might not deserve it!) benefits too? Forget about that. Make your own life better. Take control of your own destiny. Take charge. Get out there and do things to make things better, to progress, to grow, to be happy. YOU are the one who is ultimately responsible for your own life, your own growth, progress and happiness. If life throws you a curve ball - deal with it. If you need help dealing with it, don't be afraid to ask for help. You are still in control. You get to decide if you need help to ask for it. So make it happen. Take charge and get it done!

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Consistency and Sacrifice

Almost everybody out there has something that they want to achieve, but very few people actually achieve what they want to. Why? Well a great number of those people never do anything to make things happen, so that one is fairly obvious! For the remaining majority, most will give up long before they get anywhere near their goals. The reason? Lack of consistency and a failure to realise and make the necessary sacrifices.

Probably the most important thing to working towards any goal is consistency. Without it you will spend years starting and stopping your plans, and then look back wondering why you are nowhere near your dreams. “But I have been trying for years!” I hear people say. The truth is if you have not remained doggedly consistent with your efforts, every single time you stop, you start from zero again. So years of effort amount to nothing if it has been a stop/start situation.

Almost all people will also fail to recognise that to achieve something, almost without exception, sacrifices will have to be made. Whether it is to sacrifice your love of cake, or your habit of not getting out of bed early enough, late night TV (or just the TV at any time)… something will have to be sacrificed.

If you can give up the things in your life that stand in the way of your goals, the path is so much clearer. If you can remain consistently on the path to your goals, you WILL achieve something worthwhile.

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Bodypower Expo 2010

Yesterday I went up to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for the Bodypower Expo, and what an incredible day it was! I have to start off by saying the highlight for me was meeting Steve Cotter, one of the world's top kettlebell instructors! Seeing him in person, and watching his incredible single leg piston jumps UP & DOWN off of two tractor tires on top of each other... phenomenal.

I was lucky enough to be able to participate in some of the lifting events staged at the kettlebell arena, everything from flipping a 280kg tire several times, to working out on the 3-inch thick ropes, overhead snatches, windmills and single one-arm overhead squats with the barbells.. a fantastic experience. Jerking the Thomas Inch Dumbbell was just a little too much me! But next time fellas...

Myself and one of my clients were lucky enough to get some instruction by CJ Swaby on just the basic kettlebell moves - swings, one arm swings, cleans & presses - but those details make all the difference and CJ has such a keen eye for detail, a motivating and helpful demenour, and then the ability to coach effectively.. again, I am humbled and feel privileged by it all.

I joined in for the 2 Hands Anyhow lift, not knowing it was a competition or else I would have kept going! But what I did put me in the lead with weight lifted and reps, and was honoured when Steve Cotter himself presented me with a kettlebell for my efforts.

The last lifting of the day was the girevoy sport challenge, again, a humbling experience, but has left me with renewed vigour to hit the gym and train hard!

Meeting Mark Felix was awesome as well, to say the least! That man has hands like shovels...

I am already looking forward to attending a course this coming weekend, led by CJ Swaby! I am also looking forward to becoming more involved with the IKFF organisation, and I would highly recommend them to all who are interested in kettlebells!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Is vegetarianism the way to go?

I have been reading many articles on the pros and cons of being vegetarian, and I thought I would explore these further, by taking a good look at why I am vegetarian, and the pros and cons of my own experience.

Growing up in South Africa, I wasn't always a vegetarian! But I never gave it much thought. Several years ago though, I began to take note of the incredible variety of meats we have to choose from. My own conclusion was that this was a little unnatural. In the days when we had to hunt for our food, we took what we could get. Nowadays, we can have almost any meat we choose, all at our local supermarket. The reason we have this huge variety constantly at our fingertips? Because we farm animals for food. At this point I decided to stop eating 'land' animals, as my own private protest against what I deemed unfair and unnatural. Perfectly natural to eat meat, just unnatural to set up hundreds of farms just so that Joe Public can have whatever he wants whenever he wants. I continued to consume sea animals for some time. However, once you begin to look at the ethics of something, you inevitably question the ethics of the next thing...

Deciding that I was against factory farming, because this was an unnatural existence for the animals, I had continued to eat fish because I thought the fish continued living in their natural habitat, and were subject to being hunted (by us) as they would be by any predator. It seemed a more natural choice. Then I was faced by two flies in my logic ointment. One, that fish are farmed too, and two, I began to feel an empathy for the fish too. The countless sea animals caught and killed indiscriminately by trawling (dolphins, turtles, etc), or overfishing, etc..

So I become a vegetarian. I became a vegetarian not for health reasons, but for ethical reasons. I would have done so ever at the detriment of my health, to take a stance for what I believed in. As it turns out, I can be quite healthy on a vegetarian diet. I do not exclude protein from my diet, I merely obtain it from a different, and varied, source.

People always seem to get dragged into the debate about whether a healthy/natural diet should include or exclude animal products. I will agree that a diet that includes meat is far more natural than a solely plant-based diet. Historically, we ate what we could get. Our bodies are more than capable of digesting meats, and animals are a good source of many nutrients required for our survival. Forget trying to debate whether we are 'designed' as herbivores, carnivores or omnivores. We can and do sustain ourselves quite easily on both plant-based diets and diets that include meats. Eating meat is definitely "natural" for human beings. So the question is, is it healthy? Or is a solely plant-based diet the healthy option? Meat can definitely have its place in the human diet. So long as you smart about balancing the nutrients you consume, not overconsuming, you can live a long healthy life with meat as a part of your diet. But equally you can do so on a plant-based diet. Many top athletes and even professional bodybuilders have proven that you can consistently perform at world class levels on a completely plant-based diet. One benefit I do see time and time again with a vegetarian/vegan diet is that because of the need for it, vegetarians/vegans usually consume a larger variety of food, and therefore nutrients, in their diets. Of course some vegetarians/vegans still consume a large amount of processed food and don't get enough variety and are therefore unhealthy!

The bottom line is, if you are looking at health reasons, make sure you get a balanced diet that includes all the required nutrients in the correct quantities. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Be aware of food intolerances. Most people do consume too many carbs, not enough protein, and not enough fruit and vegetables! Try to get a good variety of foods to ensure you are getting the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need. A healthy diet can include meat. Just be sensible about it. A healthy diet can also exclude meat, be sensible about that too, and ensure you are meeting the body's requirements for nutrients. So if health is what you base your diet on, you can include or exclude meat, and you are NOT wrong - either way!

If you choose an ethical debate, then you just need to decide how far you are willing to go for the animals, for your planet. A good expression is "doing LEAST harm". That doesn't mean doing NO harm. Get real - if you are a human being you cannot avoid harming the environment in some way. So you need to decide for yourself where you draw the line. Not eating fish (pescatarian), not eating meat (vegetarian), not consuming any animal-derived products or products that contain or are animal by-products (vegan). You can expand this thinking further into saving the environment, recycling, not purchasing products with excess packaging, not supporting unethical companies, walking or cycling instead of owning a car, not wasting electricity or water... etc.. I could go on ad infinitum! Don't ever call a pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan a hypocrite. They are doing what they CAN, in an attempt to balance the scales a little. A least they are trying to make an effort for the greater good. They have chosen to do LESS harm, and they have decided how far down that road they are willing to go. Don't ask them why they are doing it, ask yourself why you are not.

So my reasons for choosing my path are ethical, but as it turns out, I have not sacrificed my health to do so. I am quite healthy and physically capable. I will not condemn you for your dietary choices, so please respect mine. I will however always urge people to look at their lives, and do whatever they can to preserve our planet and all that is on it. Good planets are hard to find, so we should take care of this one!

More to follow...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Danger Of Accommodating (by Mike Mahler)

Original Article Here

"I don't think you were put here to please everybody; that would be horrible. You have to have some kind of a stand and stand against something as well. If not, you're just being accommodating."
- Rocco Deluca
A few weeks ago I was talking to my friend, Harley Flanagan, about my latest kettlebell DVD on fat loss. As many of you know, Harley's the founder of the NYC hardcore band, The Cro-Mags, and is working on a new CD (which I’m financing) that'll be out soon. I've heard some of it and it rocks! But that's a story for another time, so let's get back to the conversation I had with Harley: while Harley likes my DVD, he thinks I'm missing the mainstream market with my personality and teaching style. He didn't insult my approach, just stated that it's hardcore and intimidating to a lot of people. He's probably right, but me making a soft, mainstream fitness DVD is like asking Harley to model his musical style after Justin Timberlake in order to hit the mainstream market! It is not going to happen! It means not being genuine, and when you're not genuine people pick up on it. This is a main reason why most fitness DVDs--and most music Cd's--are terrible: instead of doing what he wants to do and letting it flow authentically, the artist starts thinking about what's going to sell and how to please people. Hell, this is the main reason why most movies are forgettable: too much of a corporate cookie-cutter approach that insults the viewer. You know what's going to happen in the first ten minutes and thus drift into oblivion for the next two hours.

The problem with being accommodating is the focus gets shifted to what doesn't matter. In a recent episode of Inside the Actor's Studio, actor Matt Damon said that winning an Academy Award shouldn't be the focus of an actor--the focus should be the craft itself and doing the best job possible. The best job possible comes from being genuine, and in the moment, rather than being focused on approval from others.

The problem with always accommodating the needs of others is you stop taking risks, and begin to live your life like a spineless politician who has to take a poll before any decision. If you only take action after getting validation from others, then you'll never live fully. You're no longer a real person, but a pinball in the game of life being thrown from one side of the table to the other--not an empowering way to live, to say the least. There's a rush that comes from having the deck stacked against you and prevailing; those are the times when you discover what you're made of and are fully alive.

Many of the greatest human beings were people who refused to be quiet and accommodate the wishes of others. Gandhi refused to move from his seat on a train and as a result was literally thrown off the train. He went from being a lawyer focused on making money to becoming arguably the greatest human rights leader of all time. Gandhi learned the importance of not-accommodating in seemingly insignificant cases and used that to prepare himself for the major cases later in his life.

Being accommodating in major areas of your life comes from being accommodating in the seemingly insignificant areas. Recently, I was on a flight and got stuck in the middle of a row. Not a fun place to be, and even worse when you're seated between a couple talking over you while passing things back and forth to each other. It was irritating and disrespectful, to say the least. Finally, I suggested that I either switch seats with one of them or they respect my personal space and stop passing things over me and talking over me. While they were the ones that were being rude both of them looked at me like I was crazy. Clearly they were used to having their way. Fortunately I spotted an empty window seat in the front row and moved leaving the annoying couple pondering why someone had the audacity to question their rude and inconsiderate actions. Ah, I miss my private jet from the old days ;-)

Yes, I realize the above instance of non-accommodation is hardly dramatic. But, that's the point: it starts with the small stuff. When you accommodate others, you're a victim as a result--no matter how insignificant the situation--and you create a victim pattern. If you can't stand your ground with small stuff, you'll be crushed when major events come your way, e.g., instead of quitting a lame job and going after what you really want, you'll accommodate the boss, taking the path of least resistance. In this manner, your entire life passes you by with you wondering what happened.

From an early age we're taught to accommodate others at the expense of ourselves. Sure, some accommodation is necessary and we can't always have things our way, but letting others walk all over us and decide how we should live our lives isn't acceptable. You don't have to explain your actions to others nor get their approval. So some people aren't going to like you? Well, they weren't going to like you anyway so it's not a big deal.

It's a liberating feeling knowing you don't have to take crap from people; you can stand your ground and do what's best for you instead of living a fear-based, accommodating lifestyle. Just remember to be a non-accommodator with the small stuff and you'll automatically become a non-accommodator with the major battles.

Article written by Mike Mahler. Please check out his website at:

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A Few Home Truths... continued

As I have recently been challenged on this piece (which I welcome! Challenge everything!), I thought it best to offer a short follow up. I have been condemned for my "train with intensity" philosophy. I have been challenged that the only people getting good results are those who follow good nutritional habits and exercise with intensity - I have been told that statement is simply not true. Well I will make this as short and sweet as possible.

I agree completely that hormone imbalances exist. I agree that we can put too much stress onto our bodies (muscles, organs, minds, everything), and that both of these factors can influence our training results. So the question is how do we address the hormonal imbalances? How do we fix them? You guessed it - good, clean nutritional habits!

There are 3 factors - and only 3 to consider. Nutrition, lifestyle & exercise. Sort out your dietary habits by replacing junk food (toxins) with good, clean unprocessed foods (nutrients). Do your best to eliminate stress from your life (easier said than done, but do what you can!). Finally... train - with intensity! This doesn't mean go balls to the wall every training session every day, but training with Barbie & Ken weights and never breaking a sweat will get you NOWHERE. With exercise you need to shock your body into changing. A good trainer will understand how to put together a program to enable you to do this efficiently and effectively. Your sessions should be tough, but equally you should be able to get through them and recover.

All those who challenge my views are welcome to do so. But it is interesting to notice that what they advise comes back to those 3 simple truths - Good nutrition, stress-free lifestyle and exercise. Of course, when they are selling something they will take something simple and complicate it.

In have to add the reason why people fall into the trap of believing quacks is because they so deserately want to believe there is a magic formula. They want to believe there is a short cut to obtaining the body they desire. So when someone comes along who is selling magic formulas and short-cuts, they will, against all logic, buy into it regardless. There is no magic formula. There is no short-cut. Get on the right path and stay there, one step at a time, and you WILL reach your destination. It took time for your body to reach it's current state, it will take time to reverse it. Forget weight-loss, forget perfect pecs or thighs, focus on health, fitness, strength, range of motion & endurance as goals. Form will follow the function.

Challenge Everything - Especially Yourself.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Metabolic Typing - Fact or Fiction?

What is Metabolic typing?
Metabolic typing was introduced by William Donald Kelley, a dentist, in the 1960s. Kelley advocated basing dietary choices on the activity of one's sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (Interestingly enough, In 1970, Kelley was convicted of practicing medicine without a license, as he had diagnosed a patient with lung cancer based on a fingerstick blood test and prescribed nutritional therapy). The practice has been further developed by others including Harold Kristol and William Wolcott. Wolcott provides three general metabolic types:

•Protein types -- Protein types are fast oxidizers of parasympathetic dominant. They tend to be frequently hungry, crave fatty, salty foods, fail with low-calorie diets, and tend towards fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness. They are often lethargic or feel "wired", "on edge", with superficial energy while being tired underneath.

•Carbo types -- Carbo types are slow oxidizers or sympathetic dominant. They generally have relatively weak appetites, a high tolerance for sweets, problems with weight management, "type A" personalities, and are often dependent on caffeine.

•Mixed types -- Mixed types are neither fast or slow oxidizers, and are neither parasympathetic or sympathetic dominant. They generally have average appetites, cravings for sweets and starchy foods, relatively little trouble with weight control, and tend towards fatigue, anxiety, and nervousness.

What are the guidelines for the diet?
According to the metabolic typing diet, the three metabolic types should eat the following foods:

•Protein types should eat diets that are rich in protein, fats and oils, and high-purine proteins such as organ meats, pate, beef liver, chicken liver, and beef. Carbohydrate intake should be low.

•Carbo types should eat diets that are high in carbohydrates and low in protein, fats, and oils. They should eat light, low-purine proteins.

•Mixed types should eat a mixture of high-fat, high-purine proteins and low-fat, low-purine proteins such as cheese, eggs, yogurt, tofu, nuts. This type requires relatively equal ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Now down to business...

Some people may respond slightly differently to particular foods, experiencing higher or lower tolerances to certain foods, which occasionally draws correllations to ethnicities. But this does not change the fact that we all share the same biochemistry. We all process nutrients and react accordingly in the same fashion. Having sensetivities or preferences to foods does not mean we need different macronutrient compositions in our diets. There are plenty of other factors that may influence our nutritional needs and sensetivities, but this has nothing to do with where our great ancestors hailed from. In fact almost every factor you can think of, age, sex, medical history, etc... apart from where 10 generations ago of your family lived.

One of the biggest quacks perpetuating the myth of metabolic typing is Dr Joe Mercola. Dr Mercola's testing is not only completely unscientific and inaccurate, but rather based on how you feel when you eat certain foods. The testing for metabolic typing is purely subjective. It is like asking a smoker if they enjoy smoking, and if they feel better after having a cigarette. Most people's addiction to unhealthy foods means that the results of any metabolic test will be nonsense. In fact, the more you crave something and the worse you feel when you stop consuming it is a good sign that you are addicted to it and it is harming you, not helping. For example, most people with hypoglycemic symptoms feel better when they eat a mostly animal-based diet, yet these same people get completely well once they are off the high-protein diet they have been using to lessen their symptoms. and their body is no longer nitrogen toxic. In other words, they no longer feel ill when their withdrawal symptoms have been allowed to come to completion, and they are off the high nitrogen diet. he is appealing to that person's food preferences and addiction and not only deviating from scientific integrity here, but promoting dietary suicide to his uneducated entourage to make a buck. His opinion is without scientific foundation in both these areas, and unquestionably can lead people to a shorter lifespan. Dr. Mercola's position on saturated fat (high in cheese, butter and red meat) runs counter to thousands of medical research studies showing that saturated fat is the food factor most promoting high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Though Dr. Mercola (like Atkins) denies the saturated fat--> high cholesterol--> heart disease link. Dr. Mercola's topsy-turvy advice actually promotes the consumption of high saturated fat foods and makes ridiculous health claims for coconut oil (ninety percent saturated fat) including weight loss, detoxification, viral killing, heart disease reversing and other unsubstantiated silliness'. Good health comes from nutritional excellence, not from a jar of oil.

Metabolic typing is also refered to as Genetic Based Nutrition - suggesting that we require different diets because of different genetic make up. Our biggest genetic difference is being male or female, so by that account males and females should have vastly different diets! That fact alone shows that metabolic typing is pure fiction.

The scientific literature is clear; there is no genetic type that has immunity from such a disease-causing, high saturated fat diet-style. People can eventually develop atherosclerosis and hypertension from the low intake of unprocessed vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds. Our high intake of animal products AND processed foods and our low intake of unrefined plant food is the dietary pattern undeniably associated with these avoidable illnesses and a premature death from heart attacks or stroke.

Metabolic typing is pure fiction! Anybody saying otherwise is either uneducated or selling something.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Losing weight is nonsense!

People are obsessed with body weight. So many people want to lose weight. I still hear even educated people saying "I want to lose ...lbs" Why is that? Because people are conditioning to think that they should be a certain weight to be fit and healthy. The problem lies in the fact that there is some truth in that, just that the truth has been manipulated. The truth is, if you are fit & healthy, you will be your ideal weight. Obtaining a supposed ideal weight will not make you fit and healthy. But by pursuing health & fitness, you will achieve your ideal weight.

If I told you I could make you look 10 times better, and feel 10 times better, but you would actually have to gain some weight, what would you say? What if I told you nobody would ever know you had gained weight unless you told them, because you would look so much better? If you are a size 14, and I said I could mke you a size 12, or even a 10, but you would gain weight, would you go for it?

If you focus on your body shape and composition as a goal, who cares what the scales say? If you are smaller, more shapely, fitter, stronger and feel a whole lot better for it, isn't that what you really wanted? Or do you not care about how you look & feel, so long as the numbers go down on the scale?

Be fit, strong, healthy & confident. Do not get sucked into the "weight-loss" mentality. Throw away your bathroom scales and get a full length bedroom mirror instead. Want to look good naked, or want to lose 5lbs? Losing weight doesn't mean a change in body shape - hell, it may not even mean a change in body size either.

Focus on looking good and feeling good. I tell my clients "how you look and how you feel is what is important". Forget the scales. Forget weight loss as a goal.

Here is the truth:

For nutrition:-
It is more important to exclude the junk than finding a fancy diet plan.

For exercise:-
It is more important to push yourselves - hard - with resistence, than to look for the magic training tool or plan.

Cut out the junk food and train hard! Your body will look better for it.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


My training is exclusively with kettlebells, bodyweight movements, gorilla ropes and Indian clubs/power clubs. Some people still view what I do as a novelty. They still think that 'traditional' exercises are the way to go. Why is that? Is it because bigger gyms/training facilities have the ability to market themselves and their methods to a wider audience? I would have thought that by now the results would speak volumes, but the message still isn't sinking in. My diet gets challenged as well because I am a vegetarian. What? A vegetarian? Don't you get sick all the time? You can't possibly train on a veggie diet.. surely you need protein? You eat chicken though, don't you? How about fish? Let's put this in context: Last year I took part in a 12-week body transformation challenge. Not that I wanted or needed to change, I just rose to the challenge. My fat percentage was 8% to start with (as a result of my normal day to day training and nutrition), so I wasn't interested in weightloss. I instead decided to gain muscle. Using my OWN training methods and tools, as well as my vegetarian diet, I put the effort in. In truth, I got bored just over halfway through, but I had gained a stone (6.5kgs) and maintained my 8% bodyfat, in 7 weeks. The closest out of the rest of the group, managed to drop to 8% bodyfat, but a third of the weight loss was muscle - in 12 weeks. What about athletic performance? I can, and have, flipped tyres and dragged sleds faster than professional athletes who outweigh me by more than 50%.

So for all the doubters out there, if you think a vegetarian diet is unhealthy, or you think kettlebells are a novelty, put your money where your mouth is. Join me for a workout. So far none of you come even close to matching me physically.

"First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win."

Sunday, 28 March 2010

MMA Strength & Conditioning

If you are looking for the best form of strength & conditioning for MMA, and are not yet training in kettlebells with a skilled instructor, you are driving with the handbrake on! Most forms of training, including some sport-specific programs, lack the training to give you the mental focus required to be at the top of your game. Other forms of training are seriously struggling to keep up with kettlebells for conditioning the body for extreme deceleration. Dynamic loading of the hip muscles for powerful contractions is fundamental for athletic ability, and kettlebells are miles ahead in this respect. Kettlebell movements build deep neuro-muscular foundations for athletic strength & power with forced acceleration and deceleration, abdominal pressurization, multi-planar muscle movements and hand eye coordination. The extreme body awareness created through repeated tension and relaxation, concentration on proper breathing techniques, and mental focus often draws parallels with martial arts or yoga training. Kettlebell training will teach you the fundamentals of strength training whilst delivering brutal conditioning. You will develop all-purpose strength to easily handle the toughest and most unexpected demands. You will maximise your staying power because the last round will decide the winner, and you will forge yourself a fighters physique, because the form must follow the function. What are you waiting for? Start swinging!

Challenge everything, especially yourself.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A few home truths

So many people are getting sucked into believing utter nonsense about exercise, nutrition & health. Not only are people always looking for an easy short cut to strength, health & fitness, but I see so many trainers making things worse by wasting clients time with exercises that, at best lead nowhere, or at worst are dangerous. Then when their clients don't see results it is blamed on hormone regulation, stressed out organs or some other intangible no-fault-of-the-trainer-or-the-client reason.

Come on people! Do I really have to point out to you that the people who are seeing results are the ones who are consistent with good nutritional habits, and exercise with intensity. I see so many people "training" and they NEVER break a sweat! Well here's a newsflash, you will NEVER get results. It's that simple. Don't go blaming your hormones, your metabolism, your organs or your glands if you are not putting in the effort.

I do believe that hormone regulation to achieve better results is a fact - but that is for athletes looking to make a small amount of difference to their ALREADY fit, strong & healthy bodies.

If you want to see change in your body, sort your nutrition out first. Don't get sucked into nonsense like blood type dieting, metabolic typing or anything else. Good nutrition is not complicated so don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You can fine tune it like anything else, but the basics are the basics, so start there and be consistent.

When it comes to exercise, push yourselves! So many people go to the gym for years and never see results. Why? Because they just don't the effort in. They don't put the effort in to sorting out poor nutritional habits and they don't put the effort in when they exercise. Keep good form above all else, but lift heavy and pick up the pace! A good trainer will understand how to put exercises together so that your body can cope throughout the entire session, and not have you collapsed in a heap gasping for air after 5 minutes. Going hell for leather without an intelligent structure doesn't do you any good either.

If you need direction with nutrition & exercise, employ a personal trainer. But remember 2 things:
1 - make sure they know their stuff
2 - make sure you follow their advice
If the trainer can't tell you why you are doing something, or what you should expect from it, they aren't worth your time or money. If you don't follow their advice, then you're wasting your own money and time. The personal trainer is not a magician. The PT will guide you, but actually putting the effort in and making the changes is still down to you.

Get training! Challenge everything, especially yourselves.