What a Personal Trainer CAN’T do for you

In any endeavour there are a few elements that lead to success. Some key ones are: Skill, Ability or Talent Knowledge Opportunity Motivation, Attitude & Beliefs A PT can’t change your attitude or motivate you long-term. Sure, everyone gets an initial burst of enthusiasm but after the novelty has worn off it’s down to your …

Crossfit and the worst job I’ve ever had!

I love Crossfit because it helps me to get better at things I’m not good at. Naturally I’m fast and have a lot of determination – that’s it! Nothing more than that. I’m not that strong, I’m certainly not very skilful at any sports and my mobility is awful! If I wanted to be very …

Team Games at Fox Agency

There were some stellar performances at Headingley-based Fox Agency’s weekly Reach Fitness for Business bootcamp. A 50 minute team competition was hotly contested, with directors,senior team members and graduates collaborating to try to get their team to the top of the scoreboard. A variety of fun, but testing workouts were designed to test them as a …

Variety is the Spice of your Fitness Life!

These are my rowing times… they’re not bad. They’re not brilliant, but they’re not bad! The thing is – I don’t really row. I probably row a sprint (250-1000m) every 3 months or so. Same with running – I’m not bad for someone who doesn’t run much (I run maybe 15-20 times a year) – …

What Are your Pleasure Vs Pain Motivators?

Jeremy Bentham and Tony Robbins both use the Pleasure/Pain principle of motivation. I’ve had a VERY stressful New Year but my business is better for it – New training plans. New information gathered with which to provide a better service. New recipes on my website. Client training software updated. Building work in the fitness studio. …

The Secret To Training Success

Effective training is made up of lots of elements but these five are critical. 1, Do you know your NUMBER 1 goal? Does aesthetics trump fitness? Does muscular strength come at the expense of cardio fitness? Work out what you’re trying to achieve! 2, Do you know what you need to so to achieve your …

Don’t Make Any New Year’s Resolutions Before Reading This!

As we approach the end of 2015, I’m starting to take stock of the last 6 months. When I was a lecturer in management, I used to quote Peter Drucker’s line, “What gets measured gets done”. If you’re not measuring your progress then how do you know if you’re making any? Monitoring can be subjective …

How many books about THINKING have you read?

A couple of shelves on my bookcase. Cogent reasoning and clear thinking is an innate ability but it’s also a skill that has to be developed. People spend years training to be a builder, a doctor or a landscape gardener; learning the theory & gaining experience. People spend hours at the gym or out running …

Opportunity Cost – Economics & Nutrition

In economics there’s a concept called “Opportunity Cost”. Investopedia defines this as “The cost of an alternative that must be forgone in order to pursue a certain action. Put another way, the benefits you could have received by taking an alternative action”. For example, the cost of choosing to go to University instead of starting …

From The Ashes of Disaster Grow The Roses of Success

What a morning of learning! I’ve pretty much been out of action for 3 weeks a virus that’s made me everything from sneezy to dopey to sleepy – the only thing I’ve not been is Bashful. I’ve also had a really nasty shoulder injury that meant I couldn’t get up off the sofa at one …

From Failure to Success

What makes the difference between success and failure? This unnamed model defines two strategies for coping with failure.  I am not particularly keen on the labels for types of coping strategy (emotionally & problem oriented) as emotional and cognitive processes are often intertwined (see the CBT process Model).  But the model itself is one of …

Hierarchy of Characteristics for Promotion

This is a funny story which may or may not be true. In around 1916, during the First World War, the German Army High Command was short of officers so they issued a statement to their troops. The statement read: The German high command has always recognised four characteristics that are inherent in our officers. …

The Psychology of Integrity

Consistency is the need to remain true to what we have said, done and thought.  Robert Cialdini defines it as “our obsessive desire to be (and to appear) consistent with what we have already done.  When we say or do something, it is regarded as a demonstration of what we believe in, that’s why we …

Have you ever been caught in two minds? It’s probably cognitive dissonance!

Cognitive Dissonance (Festinger, 1957) is a theory which explains the feeling which can occur when two opposing opinions or beliefs are held simultaneously.  For example, if you need to work with a computer to make your living, but your PC is running slowly then you may consider doing a scan disc/defrag etc.  But this means …

Two types of thinking

Duel Process Thinking It has been argued that there are 2 types of thinking System 1: Automatic, fast, subconscious System 2: Slow, reasons, contemplative, rational, meta-cognitive System 1 thinking is what people do most of the time.  People just do, rather than think…then do.  In contrast, system 2 is what most people revert to in …

The Ten-Day Mental Challenge

The Ten-Day Mental Challenge is a fantastic way to snap out of negative thinking or to take your positive thinking to a new level! Rule 1. In the next ten consecutive days, refuse to dwell on any unresourceful thoughts or feelings. Refuse to indulge in any disempowering questions or devitalizing vocabulary or metaphors. Rule 2. …

Conscious Competence

The conscious competence model is a key part of personal development because it shows the stages that are potential traps for us. There are four stages, but it is the first two stages which tend to be banana skins for most people’s personal development. Stage 1: Unconscious Incompetence This is the first of the stumbling blocks. …

In defence of running. An argument for a focus on performance as a means of weight loss.

As a follow up to my post “In defence of cardio“, this post makes the argument for focusing on improved performance as a means to lose weight. What I’m suggesting is that weight loss should be the outcome, not the purpose, of running. Parallels can be drawn with what Akio Morita, the founder of Sony, …

In Defence of “Cardio”

The title of this article is somewhat misleading but, as I will attempt to illustrate, the word cardio has been bastardised to such an extent that people all over the world are being deterred from losing body fat and getting healthier using activities that are traditionally classed as “cardio”. First things first, though – I …

Enjoy the Process for Better Results

The happiest clients are always those who find a sport or activity to help them enjoy the process of achieving their fitness or aesthetics goals. However, it’s important to try and find a match between the two (training for fun and training for an aesthetic goal) as there are loads of “fit” people who are …

More time for you, your business and your family!

If you’re a busy professional then time is precious, time is money, time is best spent on high value tasks such as playing with the kids. We all have 24 hours a day – how we use it and how we prioritise its expenditure can be a key differentiator between success and mediocrity; between stress …

Get out of your comfort zone

A couple of clients really surprised me today. Client 1 who has been training for around 5 months –  strength gone through the roof because he’s been doing loads of extra chest work. Conversely… Client 2 who has been training for a couple of weeks – general fitness making massive leaps because he’s done just …

Do you know some who makes excuses like this?

It could be argued that rationalisation is the psychological process most damaging to personal development. It acts as a severe restraint to growth, learning, improvement, success and ultimately happiness.  Unfortunately, it is also one of the most common – thus a recipe for underachievement en-masse! Rationalisation occurs when a person (possibly due to a need …

Lose weight without counting calories

I’ve trained and spoken to lots and lots of people who have lost large amounts of weight without counting calories. Some of them started exercising as well. Some just did it with diet. But, depending on how much weight you have to lose, it is not unreasonable to expect to lose 2-3 stones over a …

What? Why? How? Achieve Your Fitness Goals Faster.

Why are you doing that? Every time you put your training kit on you should know why you’re doing the workout that you’re about to do. What’s your goal? If you’re just about do an hour on the cross trainer then why are you doing it? If your answer is “To get fit” then which …

The Strangest Secret

Just mulling over a few key points on the latest upload on our sister YouTube channel The Happiness Network. The personal development classic, The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale has some brilliant points. Here are some of my favourites. “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice. It is conformity”. I’ve never been a sheep …

London Olympics 2012 – Lighting the torch

Just watching the passing of the torch and lighting of the flame from the London 2012 Olympics. Make me realise what I already know – I love my job so much!! I’m never going to the Olympics but just getting people moving, running, getting stronger, more motivated, more confident – lighting the torch and getting people going – that’s my Olympics, …

How contrast can skew our perception

The contrast principle affects the way we see judge or evaluate things when they are compared with another.  If we compare a beach ball and a tennis ball, we will perceive the beach ball to be big and the tennis ball small.  But when we compare the beach ball with the moon, we think of …