Virtual Trainers

I can’t afford in time and money to go to the gym. I certainly can’t afford to have personal trainer. So what I have like most people, is a selection of fitness videos and podcasts. Therefore I have a number of “virtual” trainers. People in my life who regularly inspire and motivate me. but of whom I have never even met.

Here are the list of people who I have connected with over the years in the form of fitness videos and podcasts, the people who have made me as fit as I am today.


1 Shaun T – Insanity

Yes, this is the man who started it off. From a recommendation I got bought the Insanity workout. My friend was doing it at the time. After a couple of months of procrastinating I finally took the plunge and stood the course.

The first Insanity is a 60 day programme with the first months workouts at 45 minutes a day and the last months workout over 1 hour.

It is worth it.

Shaun T is an excellent instructor, he has so much energy, and he motivates you with a sincerity and humour like no other.

I have stuck with the first programme and I have converted it to a computer file so I can put it on my iPhone. I use it as part of my weekly workout still.

Shaun T has produced other workouts since so find the one that works for you. You can find a full range of workouts at


2 Laura – Couch to 5k

Even after completing Insanity I still couldn’t run. My friend came with me (he is an excellent motivator) and I still had to rest part way. But when I started to run on my own I struggled.

Luckily I didn’t have too. Because I met Laura.

Laura is the voice to a series of podcasts run by the NHS called Couch to 5k.

The programme itself is brilliant but it is made better with Laura’s expert encouragement and tips along the way.

In fact now that I have completed the podcasts I do miss that extra encouragement Laura offered.

I did the programme, and now I’m running 10k’s and marathons.

You can find the podcasts at –


3 Tony Horton – P90X

After the success of Insanity I was on fitness rush eager to consume new workouts. Advertised within Insanity is P90X. Now It is on my phone next to Insanity and again I take what I need from it when I plan my weekly workouts.

Tony Horton is one of the funniest trainers I have seen, he is quirky and humourous and very motivational.

The only problem lies with the programme itself. Unlike Insanity, (which you can pick up and do anywhere) there is a lot of equipment needed to perform some of the workouts. Also, some of them are over an hour and half long.

Like Shaun T, Tony Horton has produced more recent workouts that are shorter so don’t let that put you off. The P90x workouts work for me just great. I like the way they have a Kendo specific and Yoga specific workout. I use these regularly. And the weight training is brilliant.

Again check out for more from Tony.


4 Adrienne – Yoga with Adrienne

Tony Horton got me into Yoga. Adrienne made me love it. Yoga with Adrienne is a series on YouTube. She runs 10 minute to 30+ minute yoga sessions. If you are a beginner or expert yogi she is worth tuning into.

Again I use my phone to watch the workouts so they are very accessible and you can find an episode for whatever your using for weight loss, running, or just if you’re in a bad mood.

Find Adrienne on YouTube


5 Jeremy – The Hockey Movement

Another YouTube channel, and this one really is a Hockey specific trainer. The channel boasts a lot advice on getting your techniques right through all aspects of the game. Jeremy clearly plays and loves playing the sport and this comes out in the care he gives in his tutorials.

There are also review of different equipment and training tools, as well as some really inspiring hockey related videos (like the wonderful journey he takes to Lake Louise to play pond hockey).

If all that wasn’t enough there are also some links to other excellent YouTube channels like the fantastic Jeremy Weiss (no relation).
Find Jeremy from the Hockey Movement at

So there are my current 5 virtual trainers. I have never met any of these people in person but I see them every week at some point without fail. They have shaped my fitness into what it is today, and am thankful for their support and motivation.


The first stop on the Journey to Positivity is Insanity

Today is the first day of the summer holidays, and I have rode my bike to work.

This is part 2 of an initiative I like to call, “get my fitness back”.

You see in my youth I was very fit. I was a Muay Thai boxer, a WWE style wrestler, and Roller/Ice hockey coach, manager, player. At one point I was training every night for hockey, and play at least 2 matches each weekend.

Then in university I started to smoke and drink, and when I came back from university I started a family, and I have found I didn’t have the time to put into keeping active.

The other thing I used to do was eat my kids food. Sounds harsh but, what I mean is I hate when food goes to waste, and as a new Dad I had no sense of portion control for my new child. But instead of throwing the extra in the bin, I would scoff it down. I got fat. I had stopped going to Ice Hockey. I was smoking more because my family was getting bigger and smoke break is a break. It was 2-3 minutes when I could have a breather (chuckle, ex smoker joke there).

I’m not body conscious, I like to think I have a Gok Wan outlook to my body, and I love my own skin. But I was referred to as fat daddy, and my kids loved the fact that I was Daddy Pig from Peppa Pig. I loved that, no problem.

All that said I realised I felt old. I was lethargic. I was depressed. I was breathing heavy going up the stairs. I didn’t want to play with the kids on the park. The people who supported my smoking and drinking drifted away. I had moved to the country from Manchester and my mates from Manchester who I smoked and drinked with were too lethargic drinking and smoking to visit. And I was too lethargic from all the drinking and smoking I was doing. So I got depressed that I couldn’t see them and the negative spiral escalated.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with drinking per say and I was not doing it to excess. Nor was it effecting anyone else but me. And I was happy, life was great but just sometimes I got depressed, easily. I was always lethargic.

Also some of my smoking supporters where getting sick too. The serious type of sick no smoker dares dwell on.

I have a friend who is very athletic, competitive and sporty. My teenage self wanted to beat him so bad. However, there was no way my adult self would even try. We played golf together. One tee, I said “I doubt I’ll make this shot with my luck”. I was being funny. “Such negativity,” he said “you need a bit of PMA (Positive Mental Attitude)”.

I was being funny, I thought. But looking back how many times had I brushed it away as that. How many times had I reinforced my own negativity to myself. Where had my confidence gone. And my question was simply this. Is this what I want for my kids. Is this the example I want to set for my kids, for others, for Myself.


I had to quit smoking.

I had quit smoking before for a spell, however I had been stressed at work and had just one. IT ONLY TAKES ONE. All you smokers out there if you quit remember this.

This February 2014 it was different. I was determined. And I quit smoking and I genuinely feel it is for good this time, I can feel it. No gum, no patch just will power.

But it wasn’t enough. I felt brilliant but I couldn’t run. And I wanted to run, with the kids, on the park, play football, play hockey, cycle.

My friend also had a copy of the Insanity workout. I had watched a video of him doing it. The negative me had looked wide eyed, wondering how the heck he did it. Making excuses in my head like I don’t have certain shorts or the right kind of trainers. Worrying that Shaun T was an ex marine. I would never be able to to “the hardest workout ever put on DVD”.

Now after quitting smoking, I was ready to try. I watched the intro, Shaun T telling me to Dig Deeper. Next the fitness test. Which floored me. Even my wife, who has always been very positive and confident, didn’t think it would be that hard and wondered how I was going to get through the next DVD let alone the week, let alone the 60 day course.

I persevered. I took Shaun Ts advice and I Dug Deeper.

It only took a week for my fitness to improve drastically. I only have 3 weeks left on the Insanity workout left, but I’m hooked. I love exercise again and I can keep up. I highly recommend the Insanity workout to anyone.

Since I quit smoking and started exercise the improvements to my health and mind set have been tremendous. I haven’t lost all the weight I’d like, but that didn’t bother me anyway (besides I know it won’t be long). I play with the kids, my skill in any sport has improved, my positivity is endless. I even started this blog because of my healthier mindset.

Hopefully I will be able to bring this positivity and share it with the people who read my blog.

So now its time to start part 2 of the initiative, it’s bring your bike to work day. Everyday. I got 8 weeks before I need to use my car for the kids so this holiday I will see where it takes me.positive-thinking