An easy fitness plan

An easy fitness plan

Fitness has got a bad reputation:


> overly complex advice


> differing opinions


> extremely boring and strict methods


Which leads people to flat out give up.


In my opinion, giving up is never a good option.


Especially when we’re talking about giving up on your own health, strength and really, your sanity! 


So is there such thing as an easy fitness plan?

How to Build More Muscle and Strength

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.

3 Secrets to Dramatic & Lasting Body Transformations: PART THREE

This is a three part series to help men like you BREAKTHROUGH the barriers and myths of training, nutrition and mindset so you can create a DRAMATIC and LASTING body transformation.


PART THREE: How to Create a Warrior Mindset


Now you are embarking on a life changing journey, it’s important to give yourself the best possible chance of keeping all the positive habits you’ll develop as you read this blog series...


…and just in cased you missed them, click here for PART ONE & PART TWO


Creating Mental Space


An important concept you’ll want to consider is that of creating more mental space. Giving yourself ‘room to think’ is an age old concept, and one that we must grasp!


Firstly, tidy and clean your home. Starting a new diet and exercise plan is an exciting time, if the rest of your life reflects a change you’ll feel better and are more likely to stick with it.


Throw out or give away all clothes you don’t wear anymore, get rid of old magazines and books. Find anything and everything in your home that you haven’t used in the last year and get rid of it! Be sure to spend extra time throwing out junk food and cleaning in your kitchen, because this will help your Sunday prep!


Having more physical space will literally give you more mental space. Get rid of the clutter in your life and your mind will follow. Now let’s turn our attention to your thought patterns…


Think of a typical dieter…or think back to a time when you tried and failed a diet …and imagine what is going through their/your heads on a daily basis; ‘I’m too fat, I must eat like a rabbit to get thin’, ‘I feel so guilty because I ate that chocolate cake’, ‘I must remember to go to the gym today, I can’t miss another workout!’ And so on and so forth.


If you have to remind yourself to go to the gym, or if you feel guilty after unhealthy eating etc. then guess what…that diet isn’t going to work! When diet and exercise become automatic AKA a habit, then you will have the body you’ve always wanted and it will be easy and enjoyable too! It all starts with simplifying the process…


Simple plans are often the best, for example, the Sunday Prep Day is a simple way of preparing a load of healthy food each week. BUT, if you were performing an unhealthy version of the Sunday Prep Day and made a week’s worth of pizza and ice cream, it would still work as a method of keeping you on the pizza and ice cream diet! Put simply, you will always take the easy option. If food is there you will eat it, it doesn’t matter what you’ve made.


So how do we use this to our advantage? Well, get a piece of paper and draw a vertical line down the middle of the page. Now on one side of the line make a list of all the things that will help you get a great body; healthy foods, more sleep, more exercise etc. On the other side of the line, list all of the opposite things that will stop you getting a great body; unhealthy foods, less sleep, missing a workout etc.


We know that your mind will always choose the easy option, so you must find a way of turning each good/evil decision into a no-brainer. Make it easier to choose the positive option and harder to choose the negative one.


Here are a few examples:

Positive Action

Negative Action

Make it easier to take the positive action

eating healthy eating junk food Throw out all junk food, prepare a weeks worth of tasty and healthy food
exercising not exercising Lunchtime workout with training partner. A more time efficient way to exercise with added accountability from partner
sleeping more staying up late, not sleeping Get a regular bedtime routine, read an enjoyable book in bed, make your bed really comfortable and inviting



Now work through your list of actions and work out a way to make it easier to complete the positive than the negative. The best thing you can do is make it fun! Think of fun ways to do lots of positive things for your body transformation.



Reg Park proved the 5x5 program works!


Emotional Triggers


We are our emotions. The way you think has a profound effect on what will happen each day. If you think you’re going to have a bad day, you usually do! On the other hand, if you think you are going to have a great day, you usually do! Let me put it another way; Thoughts + actions = results.


We’ve covered actions enough so far (diet, exercise, sleep, habit changes etc.) so let’s take a look at your thoughts and see how they can affect your results…


An emotional trigger is when something you do changes the way you think. For example, looking at your naked body in the mirror thinking ‘I have let myself get really fat, I’m not happy and I want to change!’ This ‘triggers’ your emotions from standard thought patterns into highly motivated and positive thought patterns.


Keeping your mind in this ‘triggered’ way of thinking will increase your chances of losing all your weight and will help change your lifestyle for good (which is the goal of all this isn’t it!). You’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life and hit the gym hard and ate really healthily……for about 2 weeks! The trick is maintaining it for good.


On the other hand, if you’re upset and need comforting the mind will be triggered to help you eat comfort foods and not exercise. So even when you’re happy, because your brain has been set to ‘comfort mode’, you will now eat loads of food and not exercise until you reset your thought patterns.


So how do we reset old (negative) thought patterns and trigger new (positive) ones? Well firstly, get out a sheet of paper and write down:


  1. Everything you don’t like about your body (love handles, double chin etc.)
  2. All the bad things you do that help maintain the things on your body that you don’t like (gorging on ice-cream, drinking too much beer, not going to the gym etc.)


See a link there? If not then you will have to dig a little deeper. Spend some time on this exercise until you find a link between your behaviour and your body. Now turn the sheet of paper over and write down:


  1. Everything you want on your dream body (six pack abs, toned arms etc.)
  2. Everything you could be doing to help achieve your dream body (eating healthy foods, little or no alcohol, exercising regularly etc.)


Can you see anything here that you aren’t doing? What’s stopping you?


The goal here is to realise that your current thought patterns may be maintaining a poor body image. Being aware of how your thoughts affect your actions is the first step in correcting bad habits. Just like with drug addiction (but don’t worry, I don’t think you’re as bad as a junkie!) the first step is being honest and admitting you have a problem.


So first become aware of your current thinking patterns and then understand the link between your current lifestyle and your current body. Crappy lifestyle choices = crappy body. Let me just clarify; when I talk about your lifestyle I do not mean your house, hobbies, car or anything material, I mean the way you eat, exercise and recover.


Now that you understand the link, it will be much easier to make some really important lifestyle changes so you can lose fat, become healthier and do it permanently! Great lifestyle choices = great body!


The final step is controlling your own thoughts; every time you catch yourself thinking in the old or negative way, say out loud, ‘I am making a lifestyle choice to live and eat healthily, I recognise that this old thought is stopping me from doing so, therefore I will replace it with (insert new, positive thought here)’. Or something similar, just find what works for you!


Put simply:


What do you ‘think’ is stopping you from the body of your dreams?


Stop thinking it and replace it with a new, positive thought!



Don’t Call it a Diet


What does the word ‘diet’ make you think of?


When someone tells you they are on a diet, usually you’ll ask which diet they are doing and why. Diets typically don’t work as they promote eating healthily for a short period of time to ‘drop a dress size’ or ‘quickly lose fat’. So once the goal is achieved or the participant gives up, they balloon back up to their starting weight!


For our purposes we aren’t going to call it a diet; instead it’s your lifestyle. It’s the way you choose to eat, and will continue to do so, for the rest of your life! A few things pop into your head when you start thinking, ‘for the rest of my life’, instead of, ‘for the next 3 weeks’.


Usually starting with panicky thoughts about how you can’t live without cheesecake or lasagne (of course, both are allowed during your weekly cheats! We’ll cover this later), and then followed by thoughts about how long the rest of your life is, surely you can’t be ‘healthy’ for that long?


Well you can! And it all starts with you deciding to change your lifestyle for good. So don’t call it a diet whatever you do, as this will bring up thoughts of temporary changes. Instead call it a lifestyle, get used to the idea of ‘for the rest of my life’ and deal with all the worries and negative thoughts you have.


For example, you may say to yourself; ‘I thought this was just gonna last 4 weeks? I don’t think I can eat healthily for the rest of my life!’


Instead of giving in to these types of feelings, let’s deal with it and get back on track:


First, you must understand that your existing beliefs about diets are probably wrong. For example, if you believe that diets are hard, you’re always hungry, they’re expensive and will make your friends laugh at you then you’ve got some serious issues with ‘diets’. You need to change the way you think…


Understand that whilst the first 2-3 weeks may be hard for you to adjust to, as soon as you find foods that you like, you take advantage of the weekly cheats, you learn that you can eat fun foods and eat out without breaking any rules then you quickly realise that it’s not a diet, you’re just choosing slightly different meals each day, if anything you should feel better and healthier (but you won’t feel hungry!).


So call it a lifestyle instead of a diet, and if you feel uneasy about anything, don’t ignore it, face it head on and stay positive!


I want you to be successful and achieve all of your goals this year! So...




Anthony Shaw


Performance Director

Raw Strength Gym, Birchwood Park, Warrington



3 Ways to Expand Your Mind…


The power of the mind can unlock massive gains in strength, muscle growth and athletic performance (aerobic/anaerobic power)…


So how much do you care for your brain?

I’m going to show you three incredible ways that I’ve used with myself and my clients to help the mind expand into new beliefs, behaviours and strengths that will take you to a higher physical level that you are on right now.



#1 – Take a Walk


The modern weekday is full of too much stress. Your work, personal goals, relationships, family, friends, commuting, shopping, training, eating and on and on…


It can be too much to take sometimes.




Take a walk, and reflect on each day to note your successes, think about how grateful you are for every person in your life and take a few minutes to think about how lucky you are to live in an advanced country like ours.


Drop all those ‘first world problems’ and you might just be able to relax!


Not to mention walking is an impact free, easy way to burn up some energy and is great for recovery from more intense training. So take a walk, decompress your mind and take 20-30 mins each day to look after yourself.



#2 – Write down your goals


It is WAY too easy to get yourself all hyped up for an incredible year of training and nutrition – saying things like “This year is THE year” and other such nonsense – yet what really happens is you lose your focus after about 3 weeks.


In fact, 3 weeks is the MINIMUM time necessary to commit to a new habit becoming permanent.


So in order to change your behavior you MUST stay focused for longer than 3 weeks.


But how do you do that?




Just write your goals down. A seemingly trivial action such as this can lead to twice as much more success. That means that if you have a piece of paper stuck on your fridge that says, “I am going to eat healthy 90% of the time this year in order to lose 3 stone of fat and keep it off forever”, then you’re much more likely to do so compared to just saying it to yourself.


You will literally FORGET to stay on course to smash your goals.


Writing your goals down is like a compass, just nudging you constantly in the right direction.


#3 – Ignore Your Feelings


Your mind is wired to keep you safe.


So putting a heavy bar on your back in order to complete a killer set of 20 reps of back squat will inspire your brain to talk you out of it.


Ignore it.


When you’re running the last kilometer of a 5k and your muscles are screaming for you to stop and take a rest.


Ignore it.


When the barbell is loaded to a NEW PB for deadlift and you’re stood there, getting psyched up and preparing to lift and break some records. A little part of your brain will whisper that you can’t do it…


Ignore it.



Training and nutrition in these modern times is EXCEPTIONAL. If you do what an expert tells you, you WILL get in shape. You will get stronger, leaner, faster, bigger or whatever the hell you’re training for.


But the very process of change is painful for both the body and the mind.


Stay safe, but don’t be afraid of ignoring the little voices inside your head.


Who knows, you might actually be successful.



*      *      *


So try these 3 things. I’ve really noticed a difference since using each of these tactics regularly, with both an increase in strength, muscle size and a relaxed feeling in my mind because I know that I can achieve anything.


You just have to convince your mind that you can achieve MORE than you are right now.


And if you want a daily kick up the arse to stay motivated, committed and stress-free when training for your goals, then sign-up for my email newsletter right HERE.






Anthony Shaw


Founder & Head Strength and Conditioning Coach


Raw Strength Gym, Birchwood Park, Warrington.  

3 Secrets to Dramatic & Lasting Body Transformations: PART ONE

This is a three part series to help men like you BREAKTHROUGH the barriers and myths of training, nutrition and mindset so you can create a DRAMATIC and LASTING body transformation.  

PART ONE: How Training Sessions Should Really Feel…..




Let’s take a trip back through time.


It’s 1975 and you are in Gold’s Gym, Venice Beach, California with Mr Arnold Schwarzenegger. …


You are his training partner charged with the sole mission of getting him in shape for his next Mr Olympia contest.


This is DAY ONE.


Today you are both going to obliterate and stimulate the chest muscles in order to gain some freaky size.


First up, BENCH PRESS…


Arnold hands you the bar as you take your position lying down on the bench.


The game plan is simple; All you have to do is PUSH until you’re on the last couple of reps. Then keep pushing through to absolute muscular failure. Only then, Arnie says, will you stimulate your muscles to GROW!


So you begin…









And on, and on, and on until your muscles finally start to give out around the 11th rep…


But Arnold tells you to push on in his thick Austrian accent…


“Come on! Push it now! Come on!”  (…and I challenge you to read that without doing the accent in your head, impossible!)


So you DO push harder and slowly grind through the 11th and 12th reps, sweat is pouring down your head and into your armpits in the heavy, Californian climate…


But Arnold doesn’t give a crap, he just wants you to lift.


Halfway through the 13th rep the bar slows down and starts to stall, hovering above your chest in a frustrating mix of the painful lactic acid burn and the helplessness you now feel as you’re about to be trapped under the bar.


So Arnie grabs the bar and slowly gives you some more pressure to help you through the upper part of the 13th rep.


Then you rack the bar.


Good set!


But it’s not over yet, just as you think you were done Arnie takes one plate off each side of the bar to lighten the load…


“5 more reps! Do it now!”


Shit. You’re tired. You’re sweating. You’re chest and triceps are pumped full of blood to the point of being useless.


But hey, Arnie said to do it, so you’re gonna do it!



5 more painful grinding reps go by in the haze of exhaustion and with a little help from Mr Olympia.



That’s set one complete.


4 more sets to go.


Then repeat the process on 5 more carefully selected exercises to build the chest of a Champion.



*          *          *


If you’ll forgive the storytelling approach to introduce this article you’ll be able to see what I’m getting at here.


Training should be tough. It should feel as though you can’t go on, yet, somehow you do.


I speak to a lot of men who want to get in shape and what I hear is ALWAYS the same.


“I’m not happy with my level of body fat”


“I want my chest to be leaner and stick out more”


“I’m losing deals at work because I don’t have the confidence to look the other guy square in the eye, shake his hand HARD and know I’m a bad ass”



I want you to know that it is SIMPLE to build a great looking body. All you have to do is train the same movements over and over again focusing on getting stronger.


The first thing you need to understand are the main human that need to be improved, strengthened and perfected.


Once you start working on these movements you’ll notice immediate improvements in your body shape, muscle size and see a much leaner stomach & chest staring back at you in the mirror.




  •   SQUAT
  •  PUSH
  •  PULL
  •  HINGE
  •  CARRY



The 5 human movements are the only ways that the body can move. What you  need to do is take all of your exercises from these categories and progressively improve your performance in each.


So here are a few examples of exercises that come under each category:





Lunge, front squat, box squat, back squat, safety bar squat, leg press, split-squat, 1-legged squat.





Press-ups, bench press, overhead press, floor press, board press, dips.





Pull-ups, inverted row, lat pulldown, 1-arm row, seated row, hand-over-hand rope pulling, tug of war.





Deadlift, kettlebell swing, 1-leg deadlift, Romanian deadlift, jump shrugs.





Farmers walk, yoke carry, keg carry, sled dragging, lorry pulling, sandbag carry.






Now the process of training here is VERY simple.


Just pick ONE exercise from each category and put them into the SAME workout 3 days each week.


For example:


  • Press-Ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Front Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Farmers Walk



Now pair up one lower body movement with one upper body movement:


Press-ups with Romanian Deadlift

Pull-ups with Front Squat



Then perform the carry by itself at the end.



Let’s recap what you’ve learned so far today:


1) You understand just how hard you have to train (like Arnold in 1975)


2) You understand WHY you are training (more confidence, get leaner, look better)


3) You understand WHAT exercises you should train using the 5 human movements


4) You understand that you are going to train all movements on the SAME workout, 3 times each week.



Now finally all you have to do is pick a method of sets/reps and GET ON WITH IT!


Here are a few REALLY EFFECTIVE METHODS to choose from:


  • 5 sets x 5 reps
  • 10sets x 3 reps
  • 5 sets x 10 reps




Or just mix and match your own method.





For the carrys you need to move the weight for DISTANCE not for reps. So what I recommend is a minimum of 3 sets of 40m.


You can have some fun with the carries and go balls to the wall with 1-3 sets of maximum distance. Use the carry as the icing on the cake, a bit of conditioning and a little competitiveness with your training partner.


So you’ve learned all about training; the effort required, the movements required, the amount of workouts required, the sets/reps required.


With that we will conclude PART ONE.





You can apply for a free trial of my Body Transformation Program which will help you lose 5-7lbs of fat every 3 weeks – which is 2 stone over the full 12 weeks – whilst adding 7-10lbs of muscle and improving strength, health and athletic performance.


Apply Here:



Until part two, train hard!


Anthony Shaw


Head Strength and Conditioning Coach


Raw Strength Gym, Birchwood Park, Warrington.