I’m going to Turning Point Scotland HQ

You might remember, back in April, when I ran the London Marathon for charity… I raised money for Turning Point Scotland. You might have even sponsored me – and if you did you helped raise £1,300 plus gift aid to help homeless and vulnerable people in Scotland. Thank you very much for your donations.


I was in touch with the people at Turning Point Scotland and I was able to ask them to use the money for specific causes. I chose homelessness as I hate it when I see it on the streets and I feel like I can’t do anything about it. I’m tempted to give them money, but then it probably wouldn’t be used in the best way… to help get them off the streets and their lives straightened out. And this is where Turning Point Scotland comes in.

You can read more about what they do for homelessness here – http://www.turningpointscotland.com/what-we-do/homelessness/

The Turning Point Scotland head quarters are around a half mile away from my house…and on Tuesday I’m going in to meet them and learn about what they’ll be doing with the money you’ve helped me to raise. Thanks again… I really appreciate your donations and hopefully they’ll help some people who are in need across Scotland.

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Excusitus – Not enough time?

I was thinking the other day… when people say they don’t have enough time to exercise…

… there’s 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week… and even if you work full time / 40 hrs a week, there should still be plenty of time to exercise for your health and fitness.

My sister once asked me how I fit in exercise, but she realised that exercise is a priority for me, to keep me fit and healthy and happy. It’s a must, and it takes priority over many other things in my life.

Maybe it’s easier for me as I have a short commute and don’t have kids, but even with those demands on your time, it can still be possible to make the time to exercise for the good if your health – you just need to make it one of your priorities.

I probably exercise about 5 days a week, between 4-8 hours a week … which is about 2-5% of my hours in a week.

Now let’s break our weekly hours down…

– Work – 8 hrs a day / 40 hrs a week
– Commute – 30 mins a day / 2.5 hrs a week
(Times this by 3 as my commute is tiny! 1.5 hr a day / 7.5 hrs a week)
– Sleep – 8 hrs a day / 56 hrs a week
– Eating – 2 hrs a day / 14 hrs a week

That’s about 20 hours on a weekday or 128.5 hours in a week.

Say we add on 2 hours a day for house work or kids or other = +2hrs day, 14 hrs a week.

That’s 22 hours a weekday day / or 142.5 hours a week of our time used up… or…

… That’s around 85% of our week used up, leaving around 25 hours left to play with.

2 hours left on a weekday where we could exercise and it leaves around 15 hours left at the weekend, or 7.5 hours each weekend day to play with.

You could easy fit in 4-8 hours of exercise into the remaining 25 hours in the week.

Say 20% of the remaining hours or exercise or 2-5% of the week. (And it still leaves 17-21 hrs a week left for other stuff.)

All you need to then do then is prioritise and plan when you’ll exercise – for example:

Mon: 6am – 1 hr gym / Strength
Tue: 630am – 1 hr run
Wed: 6am – 45 mins gym / Strength
Thu: 630am – 1 hr run
Fri: Rest
Sat: 8am – 1 mins gym / Strength
Sun: 8am – 2hr Run

(Or be flexible and do it in the evening at 6pm if you miss it in the morning for any reason).

The plan above is a potential of around 6 hours exercise (out of the training 25) for exercise / training, which could easily be fitted in around work / commute / sleep / children / play. Or you could even do it on your commute, or at lunchtime in your work.

Here are some tricks to use your time to exercise more, in the best ways:

– use your commute to exercise
– exercise at lunchtime
– catch up with friends on the run
– go for a walk in the park instead of sitting catching up
– set a daily or weekly steps goal or mileage goal and compete with others
– get an early night so you can maximise your sleep time AND get up early to train
– get support from your friends / family to few you up to exercise (whilst the kids are taken care of)
– invest in yourself, join a boot camp or hire a coach

– exercise when your kids are sleeping or at school or when your partner is around

Commit to spending 2-5% of your week on exercise and you’ll reap the rewards and you’ll not regret it.

It’s about priorities and making exercise something that you want to do. Set yourself some goals, get support to achieve them from family and friends, and go get it done.

I’m away to the Garagym to do a Strength workout. 🙂

Ps: hopefully my maths above is right!

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3.5 weeks progress …

I posted the other week that after a June where I was ill, I started to get back into being more active and eating better (or being careful not to eat like a greedy ba**ard to be precise).


I tracked my calories for a week or two, to get an idea of what / how much I’d be eating to hopefully be in a calorie deficit. And I focused on being active and training, to burn more calories, regularly.

3 weeks and about 2 days later … and it looks like I’ve lost 3.5lbs in July, and nearly 4lbs overall. Or a lb a week roughly.

Being active and being a bit more careful about what I eat so that I don’t over eat / create a calorie deficit… (or don’t eat like a greedy ba**ard, with plenty exercise allowing a few treats)… – that’s how I did it.

It’s nice to see the progress and it sure is a good motivator to get me up early tomorrow to train.

What works for you?

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Wk28 into Wk29

Last week I did 4 runs including a coaching session, and did just the one strength session. My legs felt a little heavy in my run on Friday, probably delayed soreness from squats on Tuesday I’d think. This week I’ll ease myself back into weights alongside running again.

Here’s what I did last week:

Mon: 5M easy / PM 10k Coaching
Tue: Super Strength A
Wed: 35 mins hills
Thu: Rest (Travel)
Fri: 7.6M easy / hilly
Sat: Rest (Travel)
Sun: Rest (10k steps)

I had a good hill session on Wednesday, short and sharp, 35 mins including 15 mins of hill reps through the smartie tunnel.

Then towards the end of the week I travelled to and worked from Inverness. I took a couple of kettlebells just in case I fancied a Strength workout, but decided meeting friends was more important.

I spent quite a bit of time with my best friend and her husband (and bump), and some time with my surrogate family from when I was a teenager – all good.

I did a run up there, about an hour 20 running around the Daviot Woods. It was a nice day, not too warm and it had just stopped raining. It was a little hilly, so I slowed down accordingly, a nice wee run through the forest.

I had three rest days, I could have trained today, but I felt like I needed a rest day so I listened and took it. I went shopping instead, and bought some new clothes and a new TV… a workout or run would have been much cheaper! 10,000 steps today…

Here’s what I’m planning next week:

Mon: Super Strength B / PM 3-4M easy
Tue: 6-8M easy
Wed: Super 5s & Finisher
Thu: 5M Tempo
Fri: Super Strength A
Sat: 10M easy / long (haircut)
Sun: Rest

Oh and I’ve been eating some ice cream again…. one on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! A nice wee balanced week last week, full of fun, training and treats (but a good balance of calories in vs calories burned).

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What will you change to be the best you can be?

Is it time to make some changes in your life?

Here’s what you can do:

· Decide what it is you want to change.

· Give yourself a really good reason to make the change.

· Give yourself a positive goal to aim for.

· Let the people around you know you’re doing it so that they can support you in the change

· Measure your progress – tick off 3 runs a week, measure your weight / body fat / steps / progress.

· Be accountable to yourself, to a coach or a friend.

When I was at my heaviest (and unhealthiest)… I was drinking every weekend, eating out, enjoying life. I’d been going out with my other half for 2-3 years, had just started a new job and my Dad told me that I was looking ‘comfortable’. My BMI was verging on 25… and it was time to make some changes.

I decided I wanted to get fitter and healthier (my goal) and made some simple changes (weight loss and improved health became a result of my changes).

· I started running three times a week and went to the gym twice a week.

· I entered events (raised money for charity) and arranged to run with friends to keep myself motivated.

· I didn’t go on a diet as such, but was thoughtful about what I ate and consumed – I tried not to overeat or be greedy.

· I ate based on my activity, and exercise allowed me to create a bigger calorie deficit than I’d had when I didn’t exercise. (ie little exercise, less food, more exercise, more food).

· I measured my weight and body fat weekly and with the changes I made, I saw the weight drop off.

· After a few months, exercise and eating better became a habit and I’d managed to fit it into my lifestyle.

I lost around a half pound a week, and after 6 months I was down about a stone. I progressed my running on to endurance events, running further and longer… and I lost another stone over about a year.

In 2009 I gave up alcohol… mainly for health reasons but also so that I could train to the best of my ability (without hangovers). This saved me calories and money, and whilst I wouldn’t suggest everyone does it – it certainly worked for me.

Exercise worked to make me feel better and burn lots of calories (I aimed to burn 5,000 a week) and gave me a deficit in calories of what I ate (as long as I wasn’t greedy / eating everything in sight because I’d run).

My main reason or goal was to be as healthy and fit as possible (not weight loss) – (and because my Dad / someone who cared about me pointed it out to me).

Weight loss & fat loss became a result of my actions (exercising and eating in moderation) – it wasn’t a focus it was an outcome of the changes I’d made.

I achieved all of that by building my running up, strength training regularly and changing what I consumed so that I wasn’t being a greedy bas**rd who ate anything I wanted.

Now my weight loss / changes to my body, happens when I exercise regularly and be careful about what I eat.

Over to you….

· What is your main reason to make changes?

· What will your goal be?

· How will you achieve it / what will you change?

· Who will you be accountable to?

· How will you measure your progress?

Make small changes, fit them into your life and stick to them, and before you know it… your life, health and fitness will change forever.

Choose reasons for you (not for others), set goals which are achievable and enjoyable, get support from and socialise with others. Make small changes, improve your health and become a better version of you.

Want to read some more for motivation?

A good book to read about this is Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle by Tom Venuto. Or if you want some help with what you eat, read Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald.

In Matt’s book he talks about the three things that people who lose weight do consistently:

1. Be active regularly.

2. Eat similar things each day.

3. Measure your progress, ie. weight / waist / body fat to see progress.

I don’t think it needs to be too complicated…we don’t need to do special diets, or juicing or shakes… just be aware of what you eat and fuel your body and weight loss according to your activity.

Some further links from me for inspiration:

Weight vs body far vs waist to height

My weight loss journey
Diets that don’t work

Finally, some people don’t like measuring weight (although I see it as a measure of if what I’m doing – eating / exercising is working or not)… you could usewaist to height ratio as a measurement instead.

What changes are you going to make, and what’s your reason for doing it?

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Summer Autumn 2018 Strength Plan

Here’s my workouts for my strength plan for Summer into Autumn this year:

Mon: Super Strength A

Tue: Run

Wed: Super 5s

Thu: Run

Fri: Super Strength B

Sat: Long Run

Sun: HIIT / KB 80/20 / KB/Pull Up Build

– Option to do a strength session & run in the same day / rest on the other day

Warm Up

– Hip Thrust – together then each side

– Crucifix Stretch

– Plank to stretch into Childs Pose

– Groiner Stretch x3 es

– Pigeon Stretch

– Rolly polly into stretch

– Downward dog to Press Up
– Floor to ceiling

– Leg Tick Tock

– Leg Tick Tock side

– Bar warm up

Super Strength – 45 mins

Workout A

– Squat 3×6, 1xAMRAP

– Squat to Press 2x8kg / Reverse Lunge Bar 3×10

– Romanian Deadlift Bar / KB Swing 16kg 3×10
– TRX Atomic Press Up / Sledgehammer 12kg 3×10

Workout B
– Deadlift 3×6, 1xAMRAP

– Press Up / Bent Over Row 2×12.5kg 3×10

– Clean n Press 12.5kg / Single Leg Deadlift 3×10
– TRX Squat to Row / Press Ups 3×10

Super 5s – 30 mins

Warm up then 4 rounds of 30-40:10 secs work:rest:

– Squats / KB Swings 16kg

– Clean n Press 8-12kg / Jumping Jacks

– Press Ups / Bent Over Row 2×12.5kg

– Single Leg Deadlifts / Burpees

– Lunges / Mountain Climbers

Various HIIT 25s

KB 80/20 – 35-40 mins

– KB Swings 16kg x80

– DB Clean n Press 12kg x20
– KB Goblet Squat 12kg x80

– Press ups 20
– KB High Pull 12kg x80
– DB Clean n Press x20
– KB Romanian Deadlift 16kg x80
– Burpees x20

KB & Pull Up Build

– 3×5 Clean n Press (or Pull Up) / 5×10 KB Swing / 3×10 Press Up
– 4×5 Clean n Press (or Pull Up) / 7×10 KB Swing / 4×10 Press Up

– 5×5 Clean n Press (or Pull Up) / 9×10 KB Swing / 5×10 Press Up


– Sledgehammers / KB Swings

– Farmers Walk 3 mins

– Jumping Jacks / Burpees

– High Pull / Press Ups

– Clean n Press / KB Swings / Press Ups

– Clean n Press / Scissor Jumps

– Goblet Squat / Sledgehammer

3-4 strength sessions a week, 3-4 runs, 1-2 rest days.

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Wk27 into Wk28

Last week was my first week of getting back into training after a couple of weeks of down time training wise… a pulled muscle and a cold… I figured I’d leave it until July to start training properly again. Get a good rest before starting my next training block.

Last Monday it was 12 weeks until the Scottish Half Marathon that I’ve entered so I figured I’d get back into running and start my strength training too.

The week before I’d gently eased back into running and this last week I ran 4 times including a coaching session with Nicola (about 22 miles). I did 3 strength sessions, and felt them… but not too much. My hamstrings were sore on Friday… but nothing too painful.

I had two good rest days, one of which was the day after giving blood. I could have run as I had planned to do it on the Saturday, but I woke up very tired on the Saturday and common sense told me I’d be better off resting.

The general advice after giving blood is to take it easy, so I took heed.

I felt good this morning, after plenty food in the last couple of days, and a good long sleep, and I took the long run (8.2 miles / 1 hr 1/4) nice and easy.

Mon: 5.4M wi Twinnie
Tue: Rest
Wed: Super 5s Strength
Thu: 5M Glasgow Green / 20 mins Strength / 60 mins Hill Coaching Fri: KB Strength 80/20, Walk & give blood
Sat: Rest
Sun: 8.2M easy

Next week I’ll add more weights into my strength workouts and I have a plan worked out for 3-4 strength workouts a week… plus 3 runs. I’ll post that soon. Back in to the Garagym (or outside again) I go.

My sleep was good last week, a wee blip on Tuesday where I was possibly thinking too much and woke up through the night, but good apart from that. I tend to find if I’m exercising my sleep is good… as I’m knackered and needing the sleep!

And I did around 16,000 steps on average each day, which can’t be bad:

Here’s what I’m planning next week:

Mon: Super Strength A / PM 10k Coaching
Tue: KB Strength 80/20
Wed: Super Strength B (Travel to Inverness)
Thu: 5M hills
Fri: HIIT 25 mins & Finisher
Sat: 9-10M easy (Travel)
Sun: Rest (or swap this with Saturday long run)

Not running and training so much in June has seen my weight creep up to just under the 10 stone mark… I still feel fine, and don’t feel too much different – maybe a bit bigger around my middle … but I’m seeing this as a good starting point to see what consistent training and eating well (ie not being my usual greedy bas**rd) will do.

I’ve lost weight before by regularly exercising and being careful with what I eat, so I imagine this should work again. So far in two weeks, I’m down almost 3lbs, mostly fat, so the consistent exercise and not eating too much (ie not being a greedy b…) last week must have worked.

24 June 2018
139.2lbs, 16% body fat
22.3lbs body fat, 116.8lbs lbm

7 July 2018
136.5lbs, 14.9% body fat
20.3lbs body fat, 116.2lbs lbm

I used MyFitnessPal to keep a track of things and made sure I was under 1550 calories intake plus any exercise I did… that amount could be quite limiting if I didn’t put exercise into the mix…

… for example on Thursday I burned around a thousand calories in running twice… and on Friday I burned a few hundred walking… this allowed me to eat more that’s 1550 calories and still be in calorie deficit. And the numbers above speak for themselves.

Activity + Intake = result
Calorie Burn usually = calorie deficit = weight or fat loss

Below we see a weekly deficit of around 2,500 calories, and that’s after already taken off 500 a day to get my 1550 number.

Plenty of activity, means I can eat to hunger and hopefully still lose body fat / change my body composition. I’ll use myfitnesspal for a bit, then I should know what I’m eating to be in balance with what I’m regularly doing.

For me, it’s all about getting a balance in life – and weight loss usually comes as a result of that.

You don’t need diets, juicing, super shakes or cutting out food groups… you just need to burn more than you consume regularly… be careful about what you take in, and change your habits long term to make your changes stick and make a difference overall to your health and fitness.

I’ll post my measurements along with my weekly updates to see if the outcome of my training and intake is what I’m after (fat loss / strength gain).

Yesterday I got this notification on my watch via my withings / Nokia health app… so I must be doing something right (and the drop in weight shows that too).

My real goal isn’t weight loss… as I find that quite a frustrating and negative goal… but weight loss will hopefully come as a result of my goal – to be the best I can be, fit, strong, healthy and happy.

Exercising consistently, doing training I enjoy, resting, sleeping well and socialising and being good at my job… all of these things add into me achieving my goal. And if I’m consistent with it (and not too greedy / eating too many ice creams / mars bars) weight loss should result too.

What is your goal, and what are you doing that will help you achieve it? Post in the comments below.

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