The Full Time Worker’s Guide to a Good Physique

Dom Thorpe

Dom Thorpe
Managing Director and Principal Trainer

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

What a summer! Yes, it rained but not much and the long sunny periods have meant that I’ve spent many an evening sitting in my garden with a bottle of wine when perhaps I should have been training. So now’s the time to make up for it. Get back on track before we reach the Christmas season, when let’s face it, nobody trains effectively, if at all. If it’s not “I can’t train tonight because I’ve got a work Christmas do” it’s “I can’t train in the morning because I’ll be hung over”. Either way, you’re only making it harder for yourselves. With that in mind I find it best to make sure I’m in great shape leading up to the Christmas season which makes the New Year’s fitness regime a much less daunting task. So we need to think about our regime now, as the evenings draw in and the temperature drops. Realistically, the social side of your life will start picking up mid-November so you’ll want to set that as your target date for greatness.

Incidentally, my birthday is the 13th November which means I’ll probably be having some kind of fancy dress party which involves me getting half naked as part of my costume:

Cupid at my 28th Birthday



How about you get in shape and join me?

So that gives us just shy of 10 weeks in which to become Greek Gods/Goddesses. The method? Put simply, train a bit, stop drinking so much and eat more healthily for a while.

Decide which areas of your body need the most work and create an exercise programme accordingly. Forget the treats where possible, cut out mid week drinking and if you can switch your glasses of wine or pints of beer for lower calorie options such as Vodka & Diet Coke or Gin & Slimline Tonic you’ll be on your way to Hotsville.

Regarding your diet, here’s something to think about. Collette Pryer, a former colleague and current friend of mine writes about the benefit of cutting out all forms of sugar out of your diet, from sweet treats to starchy carbohydrates; and the results speak for themselves. I post this because I agree wholeheartedly with what she’s saying, and that’s based on me seeing results on other people, and seeing it on myself too. Visual proof to follow.http://fit2ublogs.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/crumpets-are-not-a-good-breakfast-or-lunch/

So, to follow on from that I want to let you into a secret which I’ve learnt over the years. In June I went on a trip to Crete and this time I actually made a bit of effort to get in shape beforehand. In order to improve my physique I ate a diet which adheres to the rules suggested by Collette above and trained fairly hard around 2-3 times per week. Weights mainly with a bit of Sunday 5-aside football to get the ol’ ticker beating.

Below is a before and after of me in Dec 2011 (Gran Canaria) and June 2013 (pre-Crete).

Left: Gran Canaria at 31. Right: Pre-Crete at 32.

That’s a year and a half between the two images which isn’t particularly impressive in terms of rapid results but that’s not the message here. There are two messages, the first being that a “naturally skinny” person like myself can get fat if their lifestyle dictates it. I’m not actually naturally skinny but many people would suggest that because it appears that I don’t put on weight (as you can see from the early photo, I do put on weight). The second being that at 32 years old I’m was in the best shape of my life which highlights the fact that age doesn’t make you fat, but your lifestyle does.

Now some of you might be thinking “but you’re not that fat in the early picture”. And you’d be right. But’s that’s me after a couple of months of eating badly and not training particularly hard. The real overweight people in this world have been behaving like that for YEARS which is why they are overweight.

To summarise:Nobody is naturally fat.
Being old doesn’t make you fat.

I’m still 32 but after a few months of letting things slide I’m somewhere between the two images at present. But as I mentioned earlier, it’s time to reign it in and get back on the wagon before I over-indulge throughout December. So I’ll be eating mainly meat and veg for the next month at least, and cutting out the fun stuff like pastries and my biggest vice, DR Pepper. That alone will save me around 800 calories each day which is like doing a 10k every day in terms of weight loss.

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