Posts tagged gym
food poisoning...FML

so… this past weekend I got some food poisoning


to be honest, I don't think it was food poisoning. 


But my body was rejecting too much junk food over the weekend.


I mean, I really went to town.


I know this isn’t what you expect to hear from a fitness professional


But that’s what I did. 


I’m not proud (but shit, at least I'm honest!)


I want to restore my health, and your faith in me (!) so here’s what we are going to do:


> lay out some basic rules for eating healthily


> set out the PILLARS OF LIFE to live your code each and every day


> be more active, let your body act like a human body, rather than an insect locked in a cubicle. 


The goal is to NEVER sit there, late on a Sunday/early on a Monday morning, hugging the toilet, crying out 'I'll never eat shite food again!!!'




If you've ever drunk too much - yeh it felt like that, just without the guilt and fun memories.


Anyway, onto today's lesson team....




1) Ban bread, pasta, gluten/wheat products 


If in doubt. Don’t eat it.


The breakdown of wheat products in the small intestine can negatively affect gut bacteria.


This may cause you to get bloated, feel a little sick after eating, or have a bit of a sugar/energy crash after eating.


Gluten has been shown to give coeliac type symptoms (abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea etc.) EVEN IN NON COELIAC subjects.


So don’t think you are ok to eat these products, and really, what’s the harm in taking them out for a little insurance and the massive upside of potentially improved digestion and overall health?


Ban em!


2) Limit sugar consumption


This probably doesn’t need much explaining.


Sugar ingestion increases the release of a hormone called insulin, which brings your blood sugar levels back to a normal level.


If this response happens too often, however, you can become resistant to the effects of insulin (kind of like your mate who can drink 10 pints and not get drunk - they are resistant to the effects).


Insulin resistance is also known as diabetes.


Limiting sugar consumption also helps you to make good food choices. Blueberry muffin or scrambled eggs? Hmm, now you have a critical thinking framework to use. Eggs don’t have sugar in, so pick the eggs.


Make sense?


3) Limit dairy consumption


Dairy contains lactose, which is a type of sugar (disaccharide).


Many people are intolerant of the way this sugar breaks down in the gut, basically because it isn’t fully absorbed.


This unabsorbed lactose then ferments in the small intestine (which sounds bad enough), and may result in bloating, abdominal pain or diarrhoea. 


Although it must be noted that removing dairy also means removing the main source of calcium in most people’s diets, so focus on getting a lot of nutritious foods, e.g. oats, spinach, nuts, legumes - good whole foods basically. 


** *


Overall, limit dairy and sugar (but you can still have a little bit) - but ban bread/pasta and gluten 


You will feel a million times better and have a ‘code to live by’ which will help you pick healthier foods.


Tomorrow we will work on our PILLARS OF LIFE


Which will be things like, morning rituals, meditation, tips & tricks on being lazy whilst sticking to a meal plan


Talk to you soon guys


And, I feel a million times better now, perhaps I had to go through the experience to help you all better (and sort myself out!)


Rise Above




Anthony Shaw


Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym



IF you’d like to get involved on our free 6 week transformation challenge and receive all our systems for habits, meal prep, calorie targets, strict dieting and more - plus a coach to walk you through each level - then book a consultation with me below


If you’d like motivation to stick to your diet and training plan, training partners and a supportive, fun social environment - then join the 6 week program 


And if you’d like our full, best-ever body transformation program including up to 5 sessions a week in our awesome, private gym - a coach with you every step of every workout - and guaranteed results with the skills to keep it going for the rest of your life - then book a consultation! 


Here’s my schedule:


Email me back if you have any questions at all





Coffee: The Ultimate Pre-Workout (But NOT Post Workout) Drink

The Facts

There are numerous scientific studies that demonstrate that coffee is a potent ergogenic (a drug with the capability for increasing capacity for bodily or mental labour especially by eliminating fatigue symptoms.) It can increase fat burning during training, heighten an athlete’s ability to perform optimally and improve work capacity.

However, if you drink it post-workout, you will delay recovery and elevate the stress hormone cortisol just when you need to clear it.

This is due to two factors that we should be aware of. Cortisol and the Parasympathetic nervous system. 

Exercising naturally elevates cortisol. If you are training hard enough to trigger an adaptive response then you are exposing the body to an acute bout of stress. 

After exercising you want to do everything you can to help the body metabolise that cortisol so that you get rid of all the metabolic by-products of training. If cortisol remains high, waste won’t be removed, tissue won’t be rebuilt as quickly, recovery will be delayed, and you’ll feel fatigued for longer.

Caffeine has been shown to elevate cortisol, and at the least, its presence in the body will slow the metabolism of cortisol.

But what does it mean?!

To avoid the risk of coffee ruining your recovery, drink your caffeine pre-workout.

Post-workout do the following instead:

  • Take Magnesium to replenish lost electrolytes 
  • Take Vitamin C. As little at 2mg post workout can clear excess caffeine and cortisol thus speeding up recovery
  • Drink Green Tea. Green Tea contains numerous antioxidants that can accelerate recovery and it has not been found to elevate cortisol to the same extent as coffee, this may be due to the l-theanine present in the tea which exerts a calming effect on the body.
  • Finally give your body time to recover before you drink, eat or take anything else…

The Parasympathetic Nervous system

Sometimes called the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. The Parasympathetic Nervous system is the opposite to the sympathetic nervous system which is linked in part to our fight and flight response, a response that is wide awake when we are working out.

If we want to recover post workout and get the best from our post workout nutrition, we need to spend time moving from the sympathetic nervous system back into the parasympathetic nervous system.

The Meathead myth about a “Metabolic window” is not quite true as actually downing a ton of protein shake and food right after training could lead to more fat storage and wasted energy as your body is still reacting to it’s fight or flight response. Eating 15 minutes later when your heart rate has slowed down would lead to better intake of nutrients and less energy stored as fat. 

So how do we start our recovery process and activate our parasympathetic nervous system? 

  • Pranayama (Deep Breathing): Following your workout lay down and start to breath deeply, 4 to 5 seconds in, hold for 4 to 5 seconds then breath out, again taking 4 to 5 seconds to do so. 
  • Elevate your legs: enhance your breathing by finding a declined bench or wall to put your feet against, practice your Pranayama, this doesn’t “drain lactic acid” or “help with circulation” as the old wives tales would lead you to believe, but it does align your diaphragm and pelvic floor, facilitating better belly breathing and the relaxed position allows you to slow your BPM quicker than standing.

Train hard and recover well,

EVERYDAY ATHLETE: Fitness is F*cked

Now this is a rant!

I'm blown away by all of the awesome messages and comments about my latest few 'rants'.

Thanks to all of you, it really does mean a lot to know somebody is out there reading my thoughts.

But honestly, I'm just calling it how I see it.

I don't feel I'm ranting, I'm just shining a light on the truth and saying, 'hold on a sec!'

Truth is, fitness is f*cked.

Trainers do not understand WHY they are working in the fitness space.

People do not understand their GOALS, and nobody helps them.

Big, commercial fitness companies do not help, but they cash in on dreams (whilst hoping you stay the same)

And worst of all....

People like me go to university, do coaching placements, get post graduate qualifications in strength and conditioning....

And we struggle.

We struggle to separate the educated, quality training that we do, from the shite peddled by most other fitness businesses.


The barrier to entry in the fitness world is low, terrifyingly low.

You can get a qualification in a weekend and start a gym.

You could get an online PT qualification, do a quick practical then be IN THE GYM coaching people.

What. The. Fuck.

Then people like YOU struggle with fitness. You wonder why the local trainer gave you a personalised program and it didn't work.

You wonder why the latest diet book or slimming world group didn't work for you.

You wonder why those new supplements failed.

Because all of those people do not care about you.

They've just seen an opportunity to either:

a) have an easier job


b) make some quick cash


A LOT of people become a PT so they can spend most of the day lounging about.

When they do work, they chat to clients about 'what you up to this weekend?'

Or hell, if they have a pretty female client, fucking endless flirting ensues.

I've seen it time and again and it really bugs me.

I'm not a feminist, eco-warrior either, but shit mate, have some respect and let the lady train!

They enjoy strutting about with a gym hoody and brand new trainers, telling people 'I just want to make a difference in people's lives'.


You just wanted an easy job where you could wear shorts instead of a suit.

It's disgusting, it's offensive to people with a sports science education. It needs to be regulated by someone, because it is KILLING people's dreams.

and let me go a step further here, stay with me...


According to the World Health Organisation:

"Of the 57 million global deaths in 2008, 36 million, or 63%, were due to noncommunicable diseases. The four main NCD are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases."

What can we do to solve this?

cardiovascular disease = get fitter and eat better

cancers = unclear (but getting fitter and eating better is generally regarded as a good defence against cancers)

diabetes = get fitter and eat better

chronic lung disease = stop smoking (getting fitter and eating better probably goes hand in hand with quitting)

So.....this seems like a pretty BIG problem to me.

People are dying, a very small minority of experts talk about health (Jamie OliverThe Body Coach....uh, the government.....damn can't think of any more off the top of my head)

Just a few fucking people?!!!

We should ALL be forced to be healthy!

What do you think?

.....shall we have a global push for health....or shall we just leave it to the entry-level, unqualified personal trainers....?

I've had HUNDREDS of conversations with people who have had a personal trainer yet failed to achieve their goal.

Does that sound like fitness is working to you?

In another industry, let's say construction; it would not be legal for someone to attend a 2 day bricklaying course then get a contract to build a skyscraper.

Because a dodgy building could kill someone.

But in fitness, not achieving health is deemed OK.

Failing on your goals is acceptable, and educating people to the lowest possible standard and unleashing them on paying customers is a-okay.

But wait, a dodgy heart could kill someone.

Why don't people see the similarity?

I guess because a brick falling on your head hurts, but slowly eating yourself into a grave is kinda fun.


Ever been to Vegas?

It's awesome, in fact I was telling my clients last night about some of my stories....

Anyway - there's a famous quote from a casino owner who said:

"We are selling them dreams"

You dream of winning a Ferrari, or doubling your money. Or being able to pay off your mortgage 'if only it lands on black'.

Pretty cool place.

The truth is, you can always make more money.

So Vegas is glamorised and we all accept it.

But it's not right, is it?

We're gambling after all. You are paying to almost certainly NOT realise your dream.

Oh wait - fitness is the EXACT same!

Want to lose weight and hate going to the gym?

"Buy my herbalife shakes and you'll lose 3056lbs in the first hour! "

Want to gain mass like a pro bodybuilder?

"Buy my weight gain powder and you'll look like the Hulk in 6 weeks!"

Want to join a comfortable, friendly health club to achieve your goals?

"Buy our membership, we really hope you don't all turn up on the same day or we'd be fucked!"

Now imagine all the company directors from all these companies:

> weight loss companies
> supplement manufacturers
> commercial big chain gyms

Close your eyes, imagine them all sat in the glossy, oak-panelled board room.....laughing....smoking cigars....

"we are selling them dreams"

In Vegas, you lose your money, you cry, you go make more money.

In fitness, you lose your health, you die.

Am I the only one worried about this?

When it comes to YOU, your health, your goals...

I want you to focus on brushing your teeth.

You do that 1-2 times per day, every day, right?

What happens if you don't?

You know that your teeth would fall out.

Well look, fitness is just like that.

You gotta walk, eat vegetables now and then, ask somebody to teach you how to lift weights.

Or just like your rotten teeth, you lose your health.

That's if you even HAVE your health right now.

If you're overweight, eat sugar, smoke, drink alcohol, don't sleep enough, stressed at work, don't hang out with your friends, don't lift weights 2-3x per week....

That's great!

That's normal, just know that me and my team actually get people results.

We understand WHY we're in the fitness industry

We know HOW to get results

We know WHAT we are good at, and where we could work with others (doctors, physios etc.) to get you a goal.

And as for the 'your gym looks intimidating' hurdle....

Just send me a message, if you want help, I'm the guy.

The alternative is being another statistic in global health related deaths.

Brutal I know.

But our gym is a lot less intimidating than that.



You know what....

I'm gonna have a good ol' rant about money....


1) You can't take it with you

2) You are one dimensional

3) You can get a BIG Return on Investment

4) Use The Gym as a Dojo

5) Cheap vs Valuable

So I got fired up today because I am TIRED, so so tired, of people telling me that my gym is too expensive.

Indulge me as I rant about all aspects of money, life and achievement.



You do know you're going to die, right?

Why hoard money then? Why dream of getting rich and flashing the cash?

Because you can rent a sportscar for a day and it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

But you can't claw back years of your life spent 'dreaming' and holding yourself back from enjoyment.

Stop dreaming and start living.

Find new experiences that will improve your quality of life. For example:

1. hiring a sportscar
2. finding a mansion on airbnb you can rent for a few days with your friends
3. getting a discount deal on a Michelin Star restaurant.

These things are relatively cheap, yet give the same experience as being rich.

Honestly, I'm terrified that I could spend my whole life dreaming of retiring on my yacht... only to be like the classic 80s cop movie guy, and die the day before retirement.


If you want a great looking body, you only have a finite amount of time to realise that.

Soon you will be dust.

Start living!!!


People who tell me the gym is too expensive aren't seeing the world as it truly is.

I saw a great Facebook post about an 'expensive' sports car, reposted below:


'A guy looked at the Corvette the other day and said I wonder how many people could have been fed for the cost of that car.

I replied I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people who make the trucks that haul the copper ore.

That's the difference between capitalism and welfare mentality.

When you buy something,you put money in people's pockets and give them dignity for their skills''


^^ make sense?

So the next time you go to Starbucks and wonder how the hell they can charge £4 for a coffee, instead of getting outraged - why don't you look at:

> the quiet, friendly place they've built for you to drink your coffee

> the comfortable, warm seats for you and your friend/family to relax on

> the 3 or 4 staff that are PAID to make that coffee how you like it (you are basically paying 4 quid to be their boss for fucks sake!!)

> the memories of a great conversation, or business meeting, or a great book that you read whilst you were there


But I see most people being selfish little maggots.

'4 fucking quid for a coffee?!'

Expand your horizons.

Look at the world for all the amazing things that are in it.

Chances are you're currently getting HUGE value from a million things in life - but YOU ARE NOT APPRECIATING them.

Start appreciating the extra, little, valuable things that come for free when you buy stuff.

Life gets better when you do that.

Don't be a maggot.


Related to the above concept of appreciating value, you can use money to get more out of life.

In fact, that's what money is for

A trade of equivalent value.

I have a horse, you want the horse - so you give me money for an equal value.

I can then go make a deal with Bob (not Ricardo, too expensive) to buy two horses.

Money multiplies opportunity.

I know for a fact you get this idea of investment

But when it comes to fitness, you forget about investment and instead ask "what's in it for me right now?"

Well, nothing.

Because you're making an investment.

Investments are not cash machines!

They are things that SLOWLY improve in value over time, like a nice house, a fine painting or sensible stock picks.

If you were lying on your deathbed from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke or any other dietary related disease...

And I popped up in a little purple tutu like a hairy fairy godmother and said....

"I can wave my magic wand to make you healthy again and give you 10-20 more years"

You would beg me to wave my frigging wand all over the place (watch the dirty mind guys)

So yes, this is an exaggerated example just to be funny.

But a healthy diet is an investment, NOT A GET RICH QUICK SCHEME.

You are investing in insurance against diabetes!

A strength and muscle building program is an investment:

You are investing in a strong, mobile body when you are 60 years old+!

A great program includes mobility and flexibility work:

Which is an investment against back pain, joint pain etc. now - and reduces risk of arthritis in the future.


Suddenly 50 quid a week to have an expert coach and nutritionist doesn't seem so expensive, does it?

Stop seeing money spent as money that disappears.

Stop looking for get rich quick schemes, instead look for steady investments.

With the right buying decision you'll get a priceless return on your investment.

Then, 2 years of paying me £199 per month is cheap IF it means you get to live the rest of your life healthy, strong, mobile and happy.

Most people spend £20 per month on a gym membership they don't use, for 3-5 years (£720-£1200 wasted).

That's what makes something expensive, not the fact that it's only £20 per month.

But that it's £20 per month FOR NO RETURN.

So the inflated price way above the actual value of the product.

When you get LESS value than the price you paid for it.


(we can simply call this 'a waste of money')


This is a concept I am LOVING teaching to my clients right now.


"The place of practised perfection for a world that is fucking crazy."

When you can overcome challenges (safe, controlled) in the gym - you're more likely to overcome challenges in LIFE.

Someone pissing you off at work?

Well, remember last night when you crushed a HIIT session for 45 mins?

it was brutally painful, you nearly vomited. But you finished it.

So put things into perspective:

What's going to be more painful: dealing with a dickhead for 10 minutes at work, or doing another 45 minute pain-fest?

The gym sucks.

But the mind grows.

Also consider that airy word: SUCCESS

It means different things to different people.

But the process of achievement is the same:

> write your goal down on paper
> get up every day and work on your goal
> use accountable from others and work with a team
> when you hit your goal, celebrate, then write a bigger goal

^^ this is how we run the gym. Set fitness goals. Commit to daily work on your diet, 3-4 workouts per week etc.

This is the norm in fitness!

But when it comes to your relationship....

Bet you don't have a written goal do you?

Let alone putting in daily hustle to improve your relationship.

Or your career...

What's your written goal?

Who celebrates your goal with you then inspires you to write a bigger goal for your career?


Which means you're gliding through life without direction or purpose.

Doesn't that scare you?

it should.

The principles we learn in the gym transcend the gym itself.

It's practice for life.

What does the following make you think of?

You wake up trying to overcoming challenges. You want to achieve goals. You turn up thinking things are going to be easy then gutted when you find out shit is hard. You discover you are weak, and everyone around you seems to be making it look easy

Sounds like life to me.


Let me shut this rant down:

The MOST we currently charge at Raw Strength Gym is £199 per month...

Do you see this as too expensive?

Well that tells you more about your mindset than my gym.

Do you want to live now, or wait to die?

Do you want to be a selfish little maggot, or somebody who appreciates the awesome things in life for free?

Do you want to waste/hoard money, or invest in the bigger picture and the priceless returns?

Do you want to give up when life gets tough, or toughen up for the harsh realities of life using the dojo?

The world we live in requires that I charge for my services.

I see it as my DUTY to give back a value 10 times the price of the product.

AKA - it is a great investment for you.

Finally, I see people waste £50 every weekend on eating shit and drinking 20 pints. Stop it and you have the price of the program there.




If you can't afford it, I get it. Believe me I have been in Tesco and had my card declined for food. I've had to walk miles and miles in Manchester because I couldn't afford a £3 bus ticket. I've had days where I decided not to eat so I could pay my rent ("if I just eat rice tomorrow and Sunday.....I'll make it through").

it's quite shit. But it happens.

Just know you'll get money one day, just work hard and keep on trucking.


Then re-read the above.

You do not get another go round in life.

Start living.

COACHES CORNER: Working to Capacity - The Dangers of Overtraining

There is a lot of debate at the moment about the subject of “over training” i.e. over working muscle groups compared to conventional thought regarding how often and how hard we should be training. (Volume vs. Load vs. Frequency)

Imagine your body as a glass of water, the space in the glass representing your potential work capacity for the week. Every time you train you add water to the glass, every time you rest the glass drains slightly but never fully draining the water added when you trained, as you continue to train and rest the glass will continue to fill.

Now take into account your home and work life, do you have an active job?
Do you eat clean?
Do you get at least 7 hours sleep a night?
Do you have a high stress job or is your home life currently causing you stress?

Any number of these factors can hinder your recovery from training or fill up that glass reducing your potential capacity when you hit the gym again.

In the gym, a lot of people have misguided belief that if you’re not totally exhausted and blown out by the end of the session you haven’t worked hard enough or the session was a waste of time, where on the contrary it is possible to make substantial if not more impressive gains by following a programme which allows you to leave the gym feeling better than when you went in.

There are tons of classes and programs that feed this misconception: Hot Yoga, Hot Spinning, Classes and programs that promote the idea that you need to be sweating like crazy for your training to be truly effective.

That’s not to say that a good beasting isn’t going to do you some good, on the contrary pushing yourself to the limit can break plateaus, set PB’s and burn fat like never before… there is however a time and a place and that time should never be ‘every time’.

So, what happens when the glass overflows?

In truth any number of things, you could fall ill, get injured, or at the lesser end of the scale simply under perform in the gym.

So how do we ensure we are staying within our work capacity?

The answer is different for everyone but the best advice I can give you is:

- Seek out a top-notch exercise program, follow it religiously and advance through the progression ONLY when your own progress allows you to take the step up.

- Follow a solid nutrition plan catered to your goals, if you aren’t a 55 yr old mum who hasn’t exercised for 20 years, don’t follow a diet plan designed for 55yr old mum’s! do your research and avoid fads.

- Sleep! Get your head down early and avoid playing on your phone or tablet 30 minutes before going to bed.

- Rest! Resting is nearly as important as the actual workout, especially when we start on a new journey we want to do everything we can to get there as quick as possible, take your foot off the pedal, allow your body to recover and stick to exactly what is required of you from your exercise program and trust the process.

Yours in Fitness,


PS - We've got tons of stuff to give you!


first is our FREE Facebook group, The Fit Life Community.

You can get:

> free coached workouts at our gym

> join our free transformation challenges

> ask me a question any time

or just lurk in the shadows if that's your thing!

Group is here:


Struggle with nutrition? Lots of people do!

Download the EXACT system I use to eat clean, stay lean and avoid eating bad stuff.

it's FREE - grab it here:


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Listen to the latest episode here:

How to Build More Muscle and Strength

Most people struggle with building muscle more than any other goal

You may think fat loss is hard to achieve?

Maybe you can’t improve on your pull-up strength?

Is your nutrition and meal prep overwhelming you and not getting done at the moment?


ALL of those areas pale in comparison to building muscle.

Reason being it’s relatively simple to burn fat

on a basic level - develop fitness & eat optimally and you’re done

It’s also relatively simple to build strength

Simply repeat a technique, for example, deadlift - over and over again with progressively heavier weights and you’ll get stronger - simple right?

But ah, the holy grail of training is building lean muscle

It’s hard, nigh-on impossible for 99% of men and women to do

But why?

Let’s dive in:

The body ADAPTS to training - because training is a stimulus

The first 6-10 weeks of your strength & fitness improvements on a program will OVERWHELMINGLY be neural

NOT building new muscle, but instead re-wiring the nervous system

This is a GOOD thing, or we’d all be building muscle from driving the car every day

Or learning to play the piano would result in forearms like Popeye!

Basically the body is smart with saving energy

And it takes a LOT of energy to build muscle

So I want you to think of your body as a Tony Soprano type character

And muscle building like being promoted within the ‘family’

You don’t just ask for a promotion and get it

Hell no!

You gotta earn it, kill, steal, extort and build up a reputation for months and years

THEN you get the promotion

Same with building muscle…

ATTACK 1: You hit the gym and work on chest for muscle growth

DEFENCE 1: The body will see that you are bench pressing and re-wire your nervous system to make you more efficient


ATTACK 2: You hit the gym the week after and add more weight to the bar… this has gotta work!

DEFENCE 2: Nope! The body has DORMANT muscle fibres that are only awakened when you lift super heavy (Motor Units), these guys jump in and help, then also get re-wired and more efficient

Double damn!

Still no muscle growth!

ATTACK 3: You bench yet again on week 3! More reps and more weight, that’ll fix it!

DEFENCE 3: Foiled again! The body now brings in other muscle groups to help out, your shoulders and triceps now wake-up and join the fight to stop your chest from getting overly fatigued. Now the whole lot get re-wired and more efficient.

Around now, most people give up

The body goes back to rest mode

And over time the co-ordination and improved efficiency in the bench press wilts away

Meaning you have 3-4 weeks off heavy training, then hit the gym again and wonder why you can never build muscle….

….because the body doesn’t want you to, it’s the least efficient adaptation!

So how do we build muscle?

> Long-term approach

> Fuel the body so it has enough SURPLUS energy to allocate to muscle growth

> Constantly vary the exercises so you max-out neural adaptation and force the body to build muscle as a last resort

> Constantly vary the types of training, yet keep them fairly similar at the same time (I explain below)

Here’s the commandments:

1) push through a solid 8 week block of training with no expectation of muscle gain

2) constantly vary your exercises, same but different exercises, e.g. Squat, front squat, single leg squat are all similar but varied.

3) vary the amount of reps you lift, have an easy week 1 (10-30 reps per lift), then a high volume week 2 (40-50 reps per lift) whilst continuing to change the exercises as above.

3)  constantly vary the types of training, e.g. 4 weeks of heavy strength work, then 4 weeks of higher rep ‘bodybuilding’ work, then 4 weeks of low rep high volume work (EDT, supersets, GVT…things for you to google now!)

4) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS do your strength work first. This wakes up the dormant muscle fibres so you optimise your later exercises in the same workouts. Getting stronger means you can lift more weight and stimulate more muscle fibres to grow. Strength drives muscle growth essentially.

And that’s pretty much it for the basics

Obviously eat clean, eat more than you think and be prepared to spend 1-2 years getting the body you want

That goes for ladies just as much as men

If you want my help to put together a 12 week plan for strength and muscle growth then it’s important that we know exactly where you are right now with your fitness

…What you want to achieve short term AND long term

…And exactly what your goal is.

Fill out THE FITNESS BREAKTHROUGH QUESTIONNAIRE as your first positive step today!

It’s right here:

Your situation doesn’t change until You do.

Speak soon

Anthony Shaw
Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym, Warrington

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5 Stages of Being AVERAGE

A really ruthless one today folks! 

But hey, the truth hurts right?


So spend 5 mins reading this and be truly honest with yourself


This world is full of opportunity, believe me.

Nobody deserve to be average in any area

So just know that if you’re experiencing less than desirable fitness results right now

That’s down to your mind not being razor sharp

And hey, sometimes you just don’t have the tools you need to succeed, right!?

That’s where a coach comes in

Someone who can give you those tools.


But sometimes you KNOW what to do, but you aren’t doing the work.

So what the hell is going on here?


Well, I call it the 5 stages of average….








These come out in the form of reasons why you can’t/haven’t/won’t achieve your goals


Ever said any of the following?



“I’m not that overweight”

“I’d only need 6 weeks to get in shape”



“I can’t believe I’ve let myself get this fat!!”

“My fitness is gone, I’m so weak”



“I’ll go to the gym….just after I’m back from my holiday”

“I’ll eat clean monday to friday, but I’m not giving up wine on the weekends”



“I’ll never look like J-Lo! My genetics are shite”

“I hate training, I’ll never be in shape”



“Well, I guess this is just the body I’ve been given”

“I’ve never been very strong, that’s just how it is”



Thinking or saying any of the above is a HUGE indicator of a problem.


The problem?



Fuck being average

You don’t deserve average

You deserve AMAZING

And there’s 5 things you need to cure being average






Whatever you want to call it, step your shit up and average just won’t feature in your life.


Look, life is hard, fitness can be confusing

But YOU must depend on YOU

Catch yourself saying any of the above and realise that you’re on the path to average if you don’t change to a new model of thinking

Don’t add in healthy eating to unhealthy THINKING

It’s like putting premium fuel into a rusty old car

Won’t make much of a difference


Instead work hard to have a SHIFT in your mind

Be prepared to put in 10 times the effort, actions and time you originally thought necessary and you will smash through your body’s natural resistance to change

Normally people get the basics RIGHT in fitness

> Clean eating? 


> Intense training?


> Support and training partners?



Yet they don’t account for the fact that the time, repetition, effort and hustle necessary to achieve their goal may require 10X what they originally thought

You may have to eat clean for 6 months before your body learns to rebuild itself from 6 years of eating shit

You may have to train hard for 12 months before you get above a base level of strength

You may have to change gyms and continually push yourself to more and more positive environments


It ain’t cut and dry

It isn’t the same for everyone

But what I can guarantee

Is if you move from the 5 stages of average

To an OBSESSED mindset

You’ll be a different person from day one.

Once you realise that success is a journey, you have to keep pushing for the rest of your life

You don’t just make a few changes and get in shape then get to keep the benefits forever

So learn a way of living and training that will make your life change


If you guys want any help at all just send me an email at


Speak soon

Anthony Shaw

Head Coach

Raw Strength Gym, Warrington


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Obsession is Good for You!


I’m 15 years old

I just get Bruce Lee’s workout book in the post, called “The Art of Expressing the Human Body”

(Epic read by the way)

And I was on Summer hols, no rugby, no job, and I lived in the middle of the countryside and obviously couldn’t drive yet

So I had pretty much NO friends or social life either!

But I didn’t give a f*ck!

I trained 3 times a day!!

I copied all of Bruce Lee’s workouts and nearly bloody killed myself in the process

I balanced one-legged on tree stumps

I did hill sprints and rock carries

I did thousands of push-ups, ‘deck of cards’ squats and isometrics

It was great! 

I’d wake-up, workout, eat, lounge about for 2-3 hours then repeat

Ah, to be a teenager again.

But here’s my point….


When I got back to school that september, after 6 weeks of training like Bruce

I was the fittest and strongest I’d ever been

I think I was about 70kg and 5 foot 10, lean and strong

I dominated on the rugby pitch against other 15 year olds who’d spent their summers doing nothing

And ALL my friends called me a fitness FREAK

I kind of got offended at that. 

Regardless, that year I played district schools level rugby, my school side went to the last 8 in Wales, and my club side was undefeated ALL season.


But then people told me I was OBSESSED with rugby

Teachers kept asking, “what do you want to do when you leave school?”
I’d say, “play pro-rugby, or failing that, be a coach”

And they’d tell me to GROW UP and pick a REAL job!

Well hahaha school careers guy, I’m now a coach and I love it.

Therefore my obsession changed my life in the best way possible.


SO here’s the thing team…

> When you want to be successful people will LABEL you as obsessed

Or a fitness freak

Or tell you to grow up

> But what these people are doing are TURNING a positive into a negative


I mean, why the hell do people want to say that an obsession for success and a healthy pursuit of excellence is a bad thing?




You want to shift 5 stone of body fat?

Get obsessed with that goal!

You want to deadlift 200kg?

Get obsessed with that goal!

You want the sexiest, biggest bum you can imagine?

Get obsessed with that goal!


TRUE fulfilment comes when you chase your dreams all day long

Then go to sleep and dream about your obsession


Don’t let anybody tell you what your goals should be

Don’t let anybody fool you that being obsessed, a fitness freak or a weirdo is a bad thing

Chances are, in 12 months you’ll change your life and they’ll ask HOW they can do it too


Trust me on that



Have a great day team

Go get obsessed, 10X your actions and let’s spend just the next 30 days absolutely smashing goals out of the park

Take a look at our programs and then email me at with what you want to get obsessed about


Speak soon

Anthony Shaw

Head Coach
Raw Strength Gym,

WHEN Should I See Progress?

I get this a lot, clients and friends who are on a new exercise regime approach me with a worried grin and say the exact same phrase, one filled with doubt and laced with the anxious tone of one who has lost their direction...

"I don't feel like I'm making any progress"

This is a natural feeling for those who are around four weeks into a new programme, after all a month feels a long time, you are settling into your exercise, crushing every workout and the initial 'back to the gym' shock has worn off.

You start to feel like you should be SEEING progress as well as feeling it.

This isn't how your body works however...

It is possible to see and feel some strength and conditioning gains within your first few weeks, but noticeable differences in your physique (when coupled with a kick ass nutrition system) takes longer.

The old adage is true; it takes at least four weeks for you to see and feel a difference, eight weeks for your friends and family to see a difference and twelve weeks for the rest of the world to see a difference.

BUT this requires the right type of training, an experienced and skilled coach to keep you motivated and progressing, and a nutritional system specific for you and your goals PLUS the last final secret ingredient...

A mix of desire, passion, character and belief.

This is going to be hard, harder than you think.

There will be dark moments. Cold, rainy mornings where you could quite easily miss the gym and stay wrapped up in bed.

But those that ignore the weather, the free donuts in the break room; those are the people who progress, who reach their goals and carry on reaching greater heights.

Make sure you stay consistent, and regularly measure progress (BUT stay off the scales!) and I assure you, change will happen!

Speak soon, 

P.S. Next week I will talk about a different area of judging progress, more specifically strength and max rep testing... Speak soon!

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How to Kick Ass & Get Stronger in SEPTEMBER

They say there are TWO starts to the year

Jan 1st

And September 1st

It’s when the schools go back to class, university starts, lots of sporting seasons fire up

So let’s use this as a re-set for the mind and body!

I don’t want you to be like most people from now on.

If you want a leaner, stronger body - will doing what you’ve done over the past 3 months get you there?

Only you know. 

SO be honest!


MOST people will ignore their health progressively through Sept > Nov

MOST people will hit ZERO workouts in December

MOST people will start being aware of their lack in fitness around Dec 31st

MOST people will set a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape Jan 1st onwards

…..which always ends up being Jan 2nd or 3rd after the inevitable hangovers and weekends etc.


My question is:



Why the hell would you want to waste…..let me just check the exact amount of days left this year….

121 DAYS left in 2016!!!


Our top, TOP program can get someone ripped to the bone, in incredible shape in 84 days

And we could still run 1 and a half of those programs before Dec 31st!

Our group programs get people to drop an average of 1.5 stone in 84 days

And so we could get 2.25 stone lost before the end of 2016!

MOST people won’t bother with the facts and will instead make excuses


“I don’t have time, September is so busy for me”

And on, and on, and on.


Do you think excuses are valid or helpful ways of progressing your life though?

Cos look, you have MORE than enough resources to create not only a massive change in your health and fitness

But a TOTALLY NEW lifestyle, new personality, feelings of boundless energy and confidence every day and on and on after that.


Let’s look at the facts right now….

> You have an UNLIMITED amount of times you can put healthy food into your mouth

> You have an UNLIMITED amount of times you can ask for help from a coach

> You have an UNLIMITED amount of times you can wake-up 30 minutes early and go for a walk, stretch or meditate (breathe!)

> You have an UNLIMITED amount of times you can walk into a gym and train your body


There is NO shortage of these things

Until you die, of course

But do you want to die now and wait 50 years to make it official?

Or do you want to live your strongest self today?


Take some action

Email us at and let’s talk about your goals


Have a great day


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