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Alcohol is a deeply ingrained part of British life , and a real point of struggle for many of our clients. Now, your bog standard fitness blog will tackle this issue with something as useful and insightful as "drinking is bad , mmkay?"

Or " it's a simple choice between being fat and unhealthy, or not drinking"

But in truth, it's not. For many it's a choice between socialising with their friends or not (the glib, pious personal trainer answer to this would be "get new friends")

For others it's a choice between progressing their career or not
(ask any city professional where the best networking gets done and the most strategic relationships are solidified and they'll tell you it's over drinks)

Booze is a social lubricant, a rapport building shortcut, and the linchpin of just about any social occasion. So as trainers are we living in the real world when we tell our clients not to drink? I don't think so.

I've been doing this a while, I know a lot of personal trainers and most of them drink, some drink heavily.

Now, they also train every day, are generally young, eat well and lead fairly low stress lives all of which tips the balance in their favour. But the fact remains that when you get a load of fitness people together at the various events we attend its usually as anarchic as any office piss-up. So the standard fitness industry advice to avoid alcohol is quite hypocritical.

Never the less , It's an unavoidable fact that excess alcohol consumption is unhealthy, slows weight loss and at extremes can be very destructive.

I grew up in Ireland, which is effectively the international school for binge drinking so this is a subject I know a little about. So do I think people need to cut out alcohol to get in great shape? No.

The negative effects of non- ridiculous alcohol consumption have, in my humble opinion, been overstated in the fitness world.

I've done 8 weeks totally booze free, and honestly I can't say that it was worth it.

That's my subjective opinion. But when we look at the research it seems to back me up. The oft touted testosterone sapping effects for example , are in reality so minimal as to be insignificant unless you are drinking quite heavily or drinking every day. (One study showed a 6.8% drop in testosterone following 3 weeks of drinking 3 beers a day every day. I don't advocate drinking every day. Another showed a more significant reduction for 16 hours only after the equivalent of 10 beers. Granted, in Ireland that would be known as "Sunday afternoon", but for most people thats still a fair amount of booze)

There is even some research to suggest that moderate drinking can improve insulin sensitivity (But what's moderate? That's another story. By the way if you want references I can put them in the comment section, I'm doing some mind numbing cardio as I write this and can't be bothered to dig it out. So instead you get me brain-dumping. Nice!)

The main issue with alcohol is that it interferes with the liver in a way that causes other calories consumed to be more readily stored as fat. This is compounded with the fact that we tend to make more indulgent good choices when we drink. It's been my gut feeling for years that stupid food choices while drinking and on the following day have a greater impact on the waistline than the alcohol itself.

So, how can we minimise the negative effects of alcohol while still enjoying the odd drink?

A few caveats. Binge drinking is unhealthy. Alcohol can be a very destructive and dangerous drug. It has messed up lives and had ill effects on millions of families including my own. It can also cause you to sleep with ugly people. I'm not saying you should drink as much as you like and there won't be consequences. But you're probably going to so here's my suggestions.

1- keep it to once a week.

2- on the day you are going to drink, consume as little fat and carbohydrates as possible. Stick to protein sources like chicken and to green veg.

3- alternate alcoholic drinks with sparkling water. The bubbles slow you down more than still water would.

4- don't make stupid food choices the next day, get right back on track with eating proper food and keep it lower carb.

5- stick to low sugar drinks. Dry white wines or spirits. If you're having mixers make them sugar free. I'll probably get kicked out of the trainer club for advocating "aspartame laden diet drinks" but in this specific circumstance I'd rather a bit of sweetener than the sugar.

6- don't take this as carte Blanche to drink as much as you like. No matter what way you look at it , 8 hour drinking binges aren't healthy. Don't do it and think it won't have consequences. You're an adult. Understand the consequences and make your mind up



One of the things I pride myself on is achieving outstanding fat loss results with busy female clients.

In fact when people ask me who my "target market" is or to describe my typical client, the ones who I have the best relationships with and therefore get the greatest compliance and most rapid results with, my answer is always the same, "female lawyers and gay men!"

Well, I have yet to come up with a program for the second of those specific niches. But if you're female, are interested in losing two jeans sizes in the next month and have limited time to commit to an exercise program, I do have something that might tickle your fancy.

In January we will be launching a home fat loss program. This will be for clients who want to achieve the kind of fat loss results our clients do on a monthly basis, but for whatever reason, financial, geographical or other, can't make it in to our studio to physically train with us.

However, I don't want to launch it until its been tested. I know the program works, but I've never delivered it in this way before without seeing the client in person.

So it comes down to this; I want 20 ladies who will be my trial subjects (I was going to write guinea pig there but its hardly the most flattering analogy) who I will work with over the next month. I will go to work like a mad man to get you looking your absolute best for the Christmas party season. You don't have to meet me in person, you don't even have to live in the UK. You just have to be willing to do exactly what I say for 30 days. Do that and you will get better results in those 30 days than you have in your last year of diet and exercise. I know because I do this every week and its what we have built our business on.

The ideal candidate for this program will-

-Female (obvs)

-Have had at least some experience of exercise in the past, but you DO NOT have to be super fit to begin with. I'm talking you've tried a few fitness classes in the past and at least know what a dumbbell looks like.

-Be willing to give me 30 days of your life and trust what I recommend. By the way, I train people who routinely work ridiculous hours and have a lot on their plate. I generally have 2 hours a week of in-person contact time with my clients. I'd be a moron if I asked them to do hours and hours of exercise every day, be insanely restrictive in their diets or go through bottles of obscure supplements. I know you're busy and am prepared to work with rather than against your schedule to get you the results you need. But remember I'm doing this to test a program, if you don't stick to it the test results are worthless so if you don't think you can commit this is not for you.

Thats it.

How much?
In January when we launch this program to the thousands of new years resolutioners we'll probably set the price at around £139. But this is the test phase so I'm not going to charge that much.

So for the month of November only it will cost £47, significantly less than the cost of one private session with me.

If you want in, email me at and if you're one of the first 20 applicants who I think are going to stick to what I say, we're in business.

30 days from now you'll be the skinny bitch at the office Christmas party. Love it. 



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