About Me

My name is Richard and I live in York, UK. I started my fitness training back in the late 80s when as a skinny 16 year old I first set foot in a proper bodybuilders gym. (Think spit and sawdust). I was lucky enough to be instructed by a former Mr North of England (Big Paul at Bodyworld, Hull) who taught correct technique and forced me to start with really low weight - a cruel blow to my fragile teenage ego! Unfortunately, I knew nothing about nutrition and was extremely picky with food so, other than an overall solidifying of muscle, I didn't make the gains my impatient self craved. After a year I found a local Karate club in Hull and started my 30 year love affair with all things martial.

I studied Wado-Kai Karate with Sensei Trevor Welburn for a couple of years and attained my 'full' blue belt. Our instructor was very strict on fitness and made sure we did lots of ab work to protect our stomach during sparring as well as lots of bodyweight exercise and stretches.  After moving down South I sought out another club and studied Kyokoshinkai Karate up to blue belt again - and then another move took me to Cornwall. There, I was lucky enough to find a Jeet Kune Do instructor who had studied under Taky Kimura.

I'd just turned 28 by this point and was still as thin as a rake but extremely fit. However, over the next year or two, my metabolism hit a change point and I started putting on weight for the first time in my life. I worked for the NHS who had a deeply ingrained "cake culture" and I suddenly found that those donuts we had on an almost daily basis were catching up with me! I put on 2 stone (28lbs) in less than a year and moved to York as a bit of a heavyweight.

Thankfully, the house I was renting had a massive garage and I setup a home gym with weights, heavy bag and cushioned floor area for cardio and stretching. I lost the weight quite quickly using a combined martial arts/weights/circuit training regime and put on some 'proper' muscle. I studied nutrition using whatever reading matter I could find and put together a sustainable diet for a busy 30 year old who still liked a drink every weekend.

Fast forward ten years and I now had 3 children and a mortgage to feed. Time was at a premium and energy was not. I hit another change in metabolism and, due to taking my eye off the ball, I discovered I had put on 2 stone in weight again - mostly, it seemed, around my waist and chin(s).

Now this weight was HARD to get off and gave birth to my 'Middle Aged Spreadsheet' - a method of tracking weight and body measurements I still use seven years later. I succeeded in shifting the extra weight using cardio, running and resistance/strength training but this was the hardest I have ever worked (up at 6AM, train/run for 45 mins, go to work for 8 hours, come home - train for 30-45 mins...) but it taught me a lot about the male body over 40. (Mostly, what doesn't work...)

I turn 50 next year and am at my ideal weight for my height and activity level (office worker). My BMI is within 'normal' levels and I can fit into 32" jeans with some room to spare. My diet is healthy - probably the best it has ever been - and I can run around with the kids, go swimming most weekends (and don't spend all my time sucking my gut in) whilst still enjoying the food and drink I like.

And if you're wondering WHY I've gone into so much detail, it's so you know:
  • I've been young and skinny, tearing around and burning 4000 calories a day.
  • I've put on weight on more than one occasion - and worked it back off again.
  • I know what it's like to try to balance Home/Work/Kids/Fitness.
  • I've hit 30 and seen my metabolic rate take a nose dive.
  • I've hit 40 and seen my metabolism change again.
  • I've been there - and come back with a tighter t-shirt!
Level 3 Fitness (Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor)
Personal Trainer: Muscle Building & Dumbbell Level up Certificate from SmartMajority.com
Diploma in Weight Loss (Nutrition) from Shaw Academy
Advanced Diploma in Sports Nutrition from Shaw Academy
CrossfitTM Lesson Planning certificate