ageing, Body shape, Fitness, Goals, habits, life, mind, risk, self-image, Strength training, time, you

Have you got what it takes?

Before you begin lifting weights and start your workout program, either after a long lay-off or if you’re a beginner you need to consider a few things. In my two decades of experience, one thing that holds true is, you have got to decide what you want to get out of it. Basically, what is your goal?

Working out in a gym and sculpturing a physique that is closer to what you imagine yourself to be in the mirror can be rewarding, but it involves hard work, time, lots of effort, sacrifices, risk and money. How much risk you’re willing to take is an individual thing. Just like the famous but true investment motto, “gamble only what you can afford to lose”, in this case, training on your own increases your risks (here, injuries and not achieving desired results). To lower these risks, seek help from a suitably experienced and qualified professional.

So, it is essential to understand why you’re doing it and where it lies in your priorities in life whichever phase of life you’re in. A clear sense of purpose will help propel you through what can be a confusing and often unsatisfying experience, if you’re not careful.

Depending on which phase of life you’re in, for example a man or woman going through their 40s would see life quite different from a person in their 20s. In many cases, there will be a specific trigger that kicks this process off – a change in circumstance maybe an upcoming wedding, something traumatic such as going through a divorce or being made redundant or even coming in to a sum of money. For a person in their late teens or early 20s, making themselves feel stronger, more confident and looking better may improve their chances of attracting a potential partner.

In my experience, for most people, however, the underlying reason for starting a strength and fitness program is a desire to be a better version of themselves – a better you, of the person they see in the mirror every morning when they wake up and every night before they go to bed. There is no doubt that feeling stronger and healthier and fitter with an improved body shape makes people feel more attractive and improves their level of confidence. It gives you a certain level of self-determination that simply does not come from other parts of life. If you feel good about your physical self, after all, you usually relate better with everyone who comes in contact with you. More importantly you relate better to you. That much is true. Everyone gets the best of you. You get the best of you too.

Have you got what it takes?

Do you have enough humility to accept that you are not perfect and that you don’t know everything and that you may just need help? Only you can answer these questions. Only you can act on them. Don’t wait too long.

Be brave.

Let the David in you overcome the voice of goliath that has been creating fear and stalling you. Your strongest weapon in beating this goliath, in changing and adopting new physical habits in your life for a better quality life now and especially in to your old age, is with you, 24/7: your MIND.

Its never too late to start, no matter how old you are.

Good luck!

Until next time,

body, Body shape, body weight, Energy, habits, muscles, perseverance, self-image, Strength training, time, truths, Vitality

Its body shape not body weight that matters

The old Cap”n Viking Pirate – ME.

Weight loss is a losing game

I have helped hundreds of people of all ages re-engineer their bodies towards a stronger, healthier, fitter version of themselves over the years with over 84% success rate in clients’ achieving their goals. Weight-loss has always been a by-product of the transformation using my framework to body re-engineering.

It is important but it has never been the main focus for me and I’ll tell you why I have never believed in losing weight just for the sake of losing weight. Weight loss is a losing game, I know but most people go about loising weight the wrong way.

Be the best you can be for you, first, then by default, everyone gets the best of you.

The importance of composition 

The weight scale can be misleading because it tells you nothing about your body composition. Your weight can fluctuate quite a lot on a daily basis due to many factors – your water intake, temperature, time of day etc. It has been the catalyst for many trainees being disheartened and de-motivated on their journey to a better version of themselves.

The scale does not tell you what your muscle-fat ratio is. So, understand that body shape is more important than body weight.

Imagine. Believe.

Rely on YOU

Avoid rapid weight loss because that usually accompanies muscle loss and you cannot afford to lose muscle. Avoid diet-only transformation programs that does not incorporate strength training. If you have a lot of fat to lose, and if you choose not to get an experienced personal trainer to help you, the best thing you can do is combining a well thought out diet plan with a good progressive strength and cardiovasular and stretching routine.

With self-control, discipline, consistency and persistence you may lose say, 10 kg on the scale  over 6 months. A safe and sure way. But note, that would be the net effect of actually losing 13 kg of fat and gaining 2-3 kg of muscle. Like for all my clients who go through my re-engineering programs, this way of weight loss will have a significant effect to your appearance, fitness and well-being: your body shape.

Rely on YOU.

The additional muscle gained enables you to use up more energy even at rest. The benefits go far beyond the initial fat loss and mere aesthetic measures as there are improvements in the inter-cellular and intra-cellular levels in your body and this would help reduce the tendency to store fat.

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & optimal performance

The best you can be

So, the better your condition gets, that is, putting on more muscle and losing fat, the easier it is to lose further fat and maintain a lean body once you have shed the excess fat. You body goes about maintaining a new ‘state of balance’, a new equilibrium: a new YOU.

Don’t go on extreme weight-loss diets, don’t fast to lose weight and don’t go on a fad diet and we have had many come and go over the years. When you limit your food intake extremely without proper resistance exercise, your body will respond by slowing your metabolism or ‘engine room’ and this makes fat loss more difficult and fat gain easier. Your engine room dictates the amount of calories you burn at any point in time.

You then find yourself spending more and more time on treadmills and other versions of cardio machines in gyms. You’ve seen the countless numbers pounding the conveyor belts of these machines in the gym. This all leads to losing muscle you cannot afford to lose.

Target a weight loss of no more than half kilogram per week, which under the right training program can add up to 13 kilograms over a realistic and healthy time-frame of six months. Do this safely.

Don’t be the best ‘biggest loser’ you can be, be the BEST  you can be!

Sometimes a feather can feel heavy when you are FOCUSED on the essence.

Strive for an improvement in body shape, get closer to getting an ‘x-frame’ (which means a smaller waist and from a health point of view means you carry less visceral fat around your waistline which all medical advice say decreases your health risks).

You should not do it with diet alone. You must build muscle.

Control fat by building more muscle. Muscle burns fat, its as simple as that!

Until next time,


Best of Vitality and ahoy to YOU,


The old Captain Viking Pirate ,…. & thoughts on muscel and body shape and the ridiculous focus on weight loss ( I love meaty women!)

Each rep of every set of every exercise is an opportunity for a person to connect with the muscle group he or she intends to.
The right mix of tempo, control, continuous tension and feel is critical.
Executed properly, under an experienced eye, allows one to bridge the muscles with the mind.
Practise does not make perfect. PERFECT PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT!

ageing, body, Energy, life, mind, muscles, needs, Strength training, time, Vitality, you

My meditation hour

We all need to relax. True.

Some people, some cultures, some countries do it better than others, just like there are some animals that do it better too. We all need to relax. That much is true.

And physical relaxation is important but I think it is second to mental relaxation. A relaxed mind is a relaxed body.  Not necessarily the other way round. You see it when you watch elite sportsperson in competition and you hear them talk about their mental state being the difference between winning and not. The mind is intricately connected to the body, you all know that.

What I mean is that mental relaxation and peace of mind is one of the most important ways each and every one of us need in our lives to truly relax because it helps boost our sense of vitality. The quantity of hours of sleep is not as important as the quality of sleep but sleep in and of itself is not enough to attaining a relaxed mental state. Your mind being at rest. A quiet mind. You know the type, the people who sleep more than the recommended 8 hours a day and still seem more restless when they wake. They probably have not quietened their mind, not truly allowed their minds to rest. Slowed their minds.

It is a need, not a want. Remember this.

Everyone is searching for that something, that medium that would allow them to feel relaxed. Some go to a church or mosque, some do yoga, meditation classes, some surf, do gardening or fish. Some turn to alcohol, some to drugs. Some go to the other side of the world in search of a way, of a magical drug to find a way to calm, to rest, to slow their minds. Some find it, most never do.

What if I said that you don’t have to look very far. What if I told you that the essence of meditation can be had in the gym. Yes, your gym down the road.

Apart from all the physical goals you set yourself to achieve by visiting the gym, the most important benefit – NOW, to you is the intangible benefits of mental rest and relaxation. How is that so, you say? Well, I don’t think everyone has the required skill level to truly absorb the full benefits to the mind that working out with weights gives. However, it can be learned just like anything else, with patience and a good teacher.

How do you define a workout? Some of you may say words like “lifting weights, with reps; intensity; hard work, lots of sweating etc ..” All good.

I define a workout as a “continuous progression of 15 to 45 second FOCUSED MOMENTS”.

Now, here’s the thing – what are these ’15 to 45 second focused moments?’ Well, they’re simply what every gym goer calls a ‘set’. A number of sets of exercises comprise a workout. I refer to a set as a ‘focused moment’. Now, how does this allow my mind to relax?

Well, think about it for a second … if you really focus for the 15 to 45 seconds and become one with the weight and perform the set, your mind will be thinking of nothing else but getting through each repetition. All other thoughts are blocked out of your mind just for those focused seconds. Don’t let anything or anyone distract you for those seconds. If you add up all those 15 to 45 seconds for the duration of your workout, you would probably get 30 minutes of ‘quiet time’ or totally ‘relaxed mind’ for that period of time.

Now that is food for the mind.

Each workout is my meditation hour. Make it yours too. I have anywhere between 3 and 5 workouts a week. So that means I get 3 to 5 meditation hours every week. Do you get yours? Do you get to rest your mind through your body? Do you give it the respect it needs? What you get out of it depends on how much effort you put in to it, how well you focus. Learn proper exercise/meditation technique and practise, practise, practise. Set after set after set.

If you don’t already visit a gym, do so and try it. Try this meditation technique. Even if you don’t get it the first few times around, you’re still going to benefit from increased muscle size.

Its a WIN-WIN for you!

See if you feel the essence of your workouts.

Until next time,


awareness, basics of training, better choices, body, Body shape, caring, change, change management, choices, Energy, examined life, Fitness, fundamentals, game of life, Goals, gratitude, habit, habits, hope, life, long-term perspective, love, mind, mind-muscle connection, muscle building, muscles, needs, patience, perseverance, perspective, responsibility, self improvement, self love, self-image, self-respect, Strength training, strengths, truth, Vitality, workout, you, your life

How Fit and Healthy are you?


Definition of Total Fitness

There is no standard definition of physical fitness.

It means different things to different people. Decide on your own definition but be mindful of your activity. Fitness is relative to the activity performed and not all activities require similar fitness.

For example, someone who is playing as a goalkeeper in soccer may not necessarily be fit for hockey and the fitness for running a marathon may not translate to the fitness for playing rugby.

I believe it is more appropriate to promote a broader definition of total fitness that should comprise of the following 5 elements:

  1. Strength and the development of lean body mass (muscle).
  2. Flexibility
  3. Cardiovascular conditioning
  4. Ease of general daily activities
  5. Exercise-FREE factors

Elements 1 to 3 is quite self-explanatory but lets talk about 4 and 5.

With element 4, if you go about your daily activities without an ache or pain in the world, then, you must be doing something right with your life. Stop and spare a thought for the millions of people in the world that are not as lucky as you to just jump out of bed bursting with the vitality of a hundred people.

There is a definite ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Train your muscles to train & exercise your brain and help it release all those necessary life-affirming hormones to flood your body … needed nutrition for the cells and soul. Try it.

Consider starting a Fitness Program tailored to you

Many humans struggle just to get through their daily activities, like getting out of bed, doing their shopping etc without some form of pain or discomfort. Some could not get through their day without resorting to more than a handful of drugs.

Not nice. Not the way they had envisioned of living, I suppose.

With element five, this includes variables that make up your lifestyle such as healthy nutrition (for the body and mind), no drug abuse, adequate rest and recuperation (sleep), adequate exposure to sunshine (but don’t get sun-burned), good posture, healthy and fulfilling relationships and an enjoyable and satisfying employment.

Now, for people who make their living being a sportsperson, being talented is not enough. They each need to ensure they hone their skills specific to their sport to be the best they can be to be totally fit for that activity.

However, if you’re thinking of starting a fitness program. Great for you! Consider the elements I have listed when you think about getting ‘fit’. All these elements should be factored in to your program for self improvement before, I believe, anyone can really be said to be healthy and fit.

I have seen them, so perhaps have you, people that are strong and well-built but physically unfit and cannot even run up a small flight of stairs without difficulty. Just all show and some suffer from a world-wide epidemic, very evident on beaches – mostly men who suffer from what I have termed “ILS” or “imaginary lats – syndrome”.

Yep, you’ve seen them! Then you have people who are extremely fit physically and yet not be healthy (very long-distance runners could arguably fall in this boat).

What is your definition of health, strength and fitness? Does it include your TOTAL self – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, socially?

What is “Fit” to you?

What is ‘Fit” to you?

There is a prevailing mis-perception about what people consider to be ‘fit’ in society as it most probably does not include the 5 elements I have highlighted above. Although it is highly desirable to be physically fit, please bear in mind that there is so much more to total fitness (and health) than just that.

Now, if you’re brave enough to ‘get off the fence’ and help yourself with your physical goals in life and if you’re lucky enough to seek and get help, just do it! (I just love this NIKE slogan). If you feel you want to go about it on your own then consider mapping out a time-frame for your body transformation journey, say a 16-week (4 month) goal with realistic but specific goals.

Obviously, don’t be too ambitious in the early days. Don’t be disappointed if you can’t achieve instantaneous results. Like I have said before, learn patience and persistence.

Take stock of your physical health so far and remember you have had your body since you were born. You have possibly misused it for many, many years.

You have a lot of mending to do, so getting fit won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen if you TRY.

Be the most UN-Common Man/Woman you can be.
Find the Real YOU and … be YOU

Health, good health is the sum of many parts

Health, good health is the sum of many parts, including how you think, what you eat, read and drink, how you see your body, how you plan your daily activities and how you perform them and how you get on with your internal and external environment.

Like I have said in an earlier blog, you are like a juggler with many balls in the air. If you drop one, that’s fine. Keep going, the others will take up the slack. And then tomorrow, start again with all the balls.

Take a day off occasionally. On those days, sit down for a few minutes and think how you could make your routine more enjoyable.

Notice, I said more enjoyable – NOT EASIER..

Stay focused!

Until next time,


Cheers & Ahoy!

The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk … & How fit and healthy are you

Side triceps pose. Contest: Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd.

Side triceps pose.
Contest: Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles.
Placing: 2nd.


Always maintain discipline in all areas of life, at all times, under all conditions … like a great Viking or Pirate of the Seas do.
Become the best Captain of the Seas of Life you can be. …
Cheers & Ahoy!
The old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk