Who am I? And why should you listen to my advice on changing your body from fat to fit?
I know that not everybody wants to be bodybuilders, marathon runners, paratroopers or elite athletes. Most people are happy if they can just lose their excess weight or start a fitness plan from scratch. This is what this site is all about. I am very passionate about fitness, healthy living and exercise and I really want to help all that I can.
This is my story:
My name is James, Jim, Aki, Tommy… I have been called a lot in my time.
I have also been through the mill when it comes to physical training and I have achieved contrasts of body shapes and physical conditioning.
When I was around 12/ 13 years old, my father pushed me to play rugby. I will say at this point that I was not a sporty kid, very shy and not confident at all.
I did not like going to play rugby every Sunday in the cold and wet. It was way out of my comfort zone and I think I did it to keep my dad happy.
A few years passed and I had actually started to enjoy playing rugby to the point that I couldn’t wait for Sunday mornings to come around! The problem was, by this point, there were not enough players to make up a squad for my age group and I was forced to train and play in an age group a few years above me.
This was a big problem when it came to getting picked for the team on match days… It just didn’t happen. I turned up to training twice per week but never in 2 years got to play in a game. I was small for my age and trying to make a mark in a team that was several years older than I was seemingly impossible.
I had to pack on some size and strength! A few doors down from where I lived, there was a couple who were friends of the family, and were into power-lifting. I started training with these guys once per week. I was also very bad at lifting techniques at first and had to use a wooden bar to get the lifts right for several weeks. (Back then, I thought it sucked and felt embarrassed but I now really see the relevancy.)
My confidence had been beaten down through my early teens, I never made the team for rugby, for some reason I was often the target for bullies, and now not being able to even lift weights properly just didn’t come as much of a shock to me as I saw myself as an underdog.
Looking back, I know that things could have been a lot different. I could have just accepted my situation and given up on trying to be something that I was not destined for but I am now a great believer in getting up each time you get knocked down.
I stuck around and trained with the wooden bar until I got my lifting techniques right. This was a long process, especially for a young boy wanting to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger tomorrow!
By the time I was 18, I was lifting weights “Power-lifter style” about 3-4 times per week and rugby had become a secondary sport for me. Weight training was definitely having an impact on the way I played rugby. I had become bigger, stronger and faster!
Lifting weights was great! Once I could see results from my perseverance, it spurred me on. As I was into weightlifting and exposed to posters of huge bodybuilders and Mr Olympia in gyms, my interest was deepened the more! I wanted to look like those guys!
I started reading and watching documentary’s on Bodybuilding. It seemed to me that it was more of a science with a lot more involved. I knew I needed to lift heavy and eat lots of protein but I was way off the mark with the limited knowledge I had. Like many many others, I got sucked into the “Buy this supplement – it will make you huge!” or “Drink this! It will get you ripped!” advertising culture.
When I was 19, I joined the army. I ended up doing P company ( Paratrooper training). I passed and served with an airborne unit. This training was brutal! It is designed to push you to your mental and physical limits, hence the high failure rate! 20 miles with weight and rifle, stretcher races, log races, “Milling” – to name a few of the tests. After passing P company, I was posted away from the unit I would serve with for trade training. This was a 9-month course where you were not physically pushed and were basically responsible for your own fitness. This was no problem for me. I actually had a fear that I would lose my fitness and not be able to keep up with my new elite squadron after 9 months away.
With this in mind, I ate what I thought I should to stay healthy (salads, veg, etc.) Looking back, this was a big mistake as I had overlooked many things. I ran every night; I would easily do 8-10 miles with hill reps thrown in. I could run 1.5 miles in 8 mins and 28 seconds. I was a cardio monster! I didn’t lift any weights at all in 9 months. When I Joined my Squadron ( 9 para sqn re), I was able to handle the training sessions… but I was 12 stone! I could run miles with no problem, and I could do countless chin ups and body-weight exercises. I soon realized that, yeah, this was great for my job but “chicks don’t dig marathon runners – they like muscle!” Maybe this is not 100% true but that was my mentality at the time.
I trained hard with weights when I was in my squadron with a few of the lads. On a typical day, we would do a long 2 hr cardio session in the morning; this could be with weight on our backs or just running. In the evening, we would go to the squadron gym and lift weights. Because of the mentality of the squadron, we trained “hard.” Looking back at it, the weight training we were doing would suit endurance rather than muscle-building.
When I left the army, I could plan an uninterrupted 8-, 10- or 16-week routine. This was great news for me! I could actually get some good weight gain results! I had started a distance-learning fitness instructor course whilst I was in the army. I put what I was learning in this course into practice and managed to get to a fairly lean 14 stone. I was 23 years old at this point. I finished my fitness instructor course and got myself a job working in a gym.
I started to do a bit of personal training here. This was great, since I was able to pass on my knowledge and change people’s mindset and lifestyle. This was a great feeling for me and hands down the highest level of job satisfaction that I could ever ask for.
I am now in my early 30s and have been involved in all types of fitness since my early teens. I have trained people from all backgrounds and fitness levels. I have also trained myself and achieved great results in bodybuilding at competition level and I am always looking for further development.
Jim onstage… Unmistakable smile. The hard work pays off!
I hope that this site can help readers with all types of training and diet ideas, and give inspirational information to help achieve great results!
If you have any questions or reservations about getting started with fitness, fat loss or you have very lofty goals that you don’t think you can reach, please contact me and I will do all that I can to help you 🙂
All the best,