Thoughts, life and business also maximum recovery work.

The Best Is Yet To Come

The Best Is Yet To Come
If I could go back in time would it change a dam thing in my life?
Love the dumb things we do when were young but the best is yet to come

“Ding a ling-ling-ling….” I reach for my old style alarm clock on the bedside chest of drawers. Firstly as I always do I manage to silence the damn thing. Louise – used to this morning routine rolls over and tries to ignore me.
I switch the side light on and check the time. 3.45am. By 4.30am I am on my way to my gym studio in a lovely car only weeks old is still has that new car smell, and only sets me back a few hundred a month.
I pull into my car park – still dark I leave the lights on, on my car, until I unlock the gates. This six day a week routine I have down to pat. I could do it whilst still asleep. As I enter my studio I flick on the lights – they click on, one by one illuminating the labyrinth of gym equipment – all state of the art and brand new. The black steel frames contrast against the grey carpet and walls. Everything fits here – as in colour coded to a compulsive disorder degree.
Everything is black or grey giving the whole gym that photo negative effect – grey towels – black coffee cups – black coffee machine – black leather seat next to my computer sat on a black table – you get the picture.
I have a huge day ahead and got to work planning out my programs for each of my clients today. I don’t just train normal clients – oh no – I train the country’s top figure girls and many come from all four corners of our lovely country.
Business is huge – giving six figure income each year.
Awesome gym…
Nice house…
New car…
Life is awesome right? – Wrong!
The saying goes – be careful what you wish for.
I had strived to make a successful business and had achieved just that. I had everything and anything I wanted, apart from time!
I felt trapped in this money making machine I had created.
I had cars – mortgage – rent – bills – insurances, and countless other costs that needed eighty plus hours a week of work.
Sure I was doing something I loved – also working for myself, but I was running in a wheel like a hamster and I could not stop.
Every gadget bill and loan needed feeding – feeding with money. I was turning over a shit load of money each year only to give a huge sum to the tax man. I could not believe we turned over so much money and yet we were no better off.
As the years ticked by we seemed to never see an end to “overwork” I was always at work to keep us afloat. When we did have holidays I spent half of it asleep – worn to a frazzle from working too much. I hardly saw the family and our two kids were growing up so fast.

The Change
It took a huge wake up call to slap me to my senses. Five years ago Louise was diagnosed with cancer, four years this coming February 2019 we lost her. In her final weeks Louise told me her only regret was we worked too much and never had enough holidays.
When Louise was diagnosed – we had just started to implement a plan to rid ourselves of debt and minimise outgoings. We had been working hard to pay off loans and knock the mortgage down.
Louise being so strong needed to make sure I could keep this ship afloat without her – she needed to know the kids and I would be ok. So we downsized – selling businesses – and clearing away everything that was not essential, so there was no strain on living expenses at all. In her final year – we had got things in order – and she got to see how this new life setting would run.
We had cleared away every unessential, you would be surprised by how much crap you own that sucks money out of you.
We had got to that point whereupon you either push forward – and earn more, therefore earning more money – buying more things and working even more, or cut back on everything and reduce living costs.
We had decided that money was not everything – time was – time to us and to me at this point now in life – time is everything.

Changed Man
I feel different – I feel like something inside me has changed over the last few years – seeing Louise go through what she went through made me look at life and existence completely opposite to how I used to look at it. At times I feel heartbroken that Louise only got a year or so of this new life of living, something we should have done years ago. They say hindsight – well, I could kick the hell out of myself. I try to instil into everyone I come into contact with now – hence this article, that there is more to life than work.
Like I said I do feel changed I feel so different it is hard to explain, but I will try.
There is no aggression, no desire to work and earn money. What I earn now I give away. I work only a little to fund holidays for the family, what I live for is time with family. Like most men, I worked far too much and quality time with the loved ones was minimal, now that is all I want and crave.
Take Your Path
Now all the above said – this is my chosen path, after many many years on what I see was the wrong path for me I changed direction and found a whole new world I have never really seen.
Maybe chasing money and success was a knee joint reaction to being on my own at fifteen with nothing, maybe it made me overreach, by then I had reached a high and found out it did not make things better only worse. Little did I know that I had all I needed around me already.
Many can balance success and life. I got it wrong an ended up overshooting it. If you have found balance I am proud of you, be happy love life. If you feel like what I am saying here is you to a T, well only you can make the changes to life and those close to you.
Let me give you some points here.
Yes they sound simple because they are. Just the building a business or advancing up that corporate ladder at work minimising takes work at first. But – in the end you will find yourself free and happy.

Clean Out
The first thing you need to do, before anything else, is clean the house. Yes – bottom the whole house – why? Well you will find out yourself you have so much shit stuffed here there and everywhere that you don’t even use or look at anymore.
This, I think is cleansing – this allows you to see the wood for the trees, you will be surprised by how much dead money you have just sat there.
Here is what we did, I ordered a skip – yes a skip – and took a day off work. Anything I had not touched in a month went on eBay, or in the skip. The skip cost me £80 but I made £800 on eBay in a few days. I took that £800 and paid it off one of my card debts.
All together the clean out lasted around a month as I still found I could live without the stuff I thought I could not live without.
So again, I sold it or binned it, I ended up making thousands believe it or not – selling rare books and old bodybuilding magazines, old phones, I was seriously shocked at the crap I and my family had accumulated.
Not one of these things was that one ‘thing’ that made you happy.
Cleaning out the house decluttered not only the house but also decluttered me! It cleansed my mind, I had a clear focus and direction to what would actually make me content and happy – and that feeling was being free.

The Next Stage
After cleaning out the house and making money to pay off bills from dead money the next stage of this minimalist approach was put into action.
Over the years we as a family had racked up some serious credit card debt. This was built up as the years went by running a business and basically robbing Peter to pay Paul. Add to that holidays, cars, gadgets – and the mentality of “I will pay that off later when I get that next lump of money” – never really happened. Before you know it your working all hours god sends to fund everything and every payment.
So we consolidated all the card debt – business loans – car loans and what not, and had one lump sum. I then set up a three year work plan – to pay that off. So meals out stopped – sold the car – got a smaller one, big holidays stopped we just had a few long weekends away cheap.
This freed up a ton of money to pay off the lump sum.
Here is what I did; I would put in a tin all the cash I would earn selling things. Reducing out goings you name it – I would save £500 and pay it off the lump – without fail. You will be shocked by how effective and rewarding doing this is. Every month I felt freer and happier.
Once the debt was going down this in turn freed up monthly outgoings.
This allowed more money to be paid off the mortgage.
To further free up monthly outgoings we looked at all those incidentals you don’t notice.
I can remember freeing up another £90 a month over one weekend of going through Sky – phones – gas – electric – insurances – you name it – Louise got on the phone with every provider and by hook or by crook got them reduced.
The same month we reduced our cars also – going from two cars to one, this freed up a further few hundred pounds.
We were winning.
By the time three years of both of us really working hard we were really seeing the results of our labour and life was looking better. Then the aforementioned illness struck Louise and we had to minimalist even further in order to be able to run this ship alone without Louise. She only had a year or so but still thought of others and planning everything down to the last detail of how life for the kids and me would be.
We put our heads together, sold the gym, and built one at home so I could be here for the kids always – but still work a little. What mortgage we had not paid off we had insurance that covered the rest. Something we had never scrimped on and had paid since first starting work. We got eighteen months of the new life. I’m so glad Louise got to see the end goal in its working order. I am so glad she got to see the freedom of life we had created.

Today and the Future
Life is very minimal – at this point in life I have hardly any outgoings at all.
I have no mortgage – no business rent or rates and so forth. I don’t even own a car. Yes I sold my car and bought Molly her first car – why? Two reasons – one I work from home and really don’t need one, and two I did not want Molly to start life with a car payment. I am instilling in her – the ‘keep your overheads low point’.
We bought the car out right and this had no monthly costs. I only work now to fund holidays instilling again in the kids Molly and Louis that life is about doing.
I am also still doing that ‘saving in a tin’ thing – whereupon I save £500 and buy some dollars for trips to Florida and California. For me I would rather not have a car and nice things and spend money on DOING – enjoying a holiday with the family.
Sure many would read this and want the nice cars and everything as well as the holidays. But for me, having had that, I like this way of life much better. Some people as I said at the start of this article thrive on business – thrive on the work stress and love it, sorry it, not me.

The future is planned out for the ultimate minimalist approach to life. This I have already set in motion.
I bought a cabin over by the coast that we use at weekends now, with the plan of living there some day in the future. As the kids start to find their own footing in life and leave our home that will be the point that I will sell the house and give each of the kids a lump sum to put down on their own home.
This is when I will move in to the cabin along with a wonderful lady that was a close friend, who in time became part of me. Louise is with me every day and always will be – and I know she would want me and the kids to be happy. I am lucky that Joanne understands my life with Louise and we have built something special.
Joanne is amazing – and the kids love her. I feel so lucky to have had two wonderful strong ladies in my life.
I said a point earlier – that I am a changed man. I feel like I was broken – into a million pieces when Louise passed. I questioned life and its meaning. I could not begin to understand how someone who was such a good – good person could be taken away from us.
It took years of anger – and frustration – before bit by bit I built those pieces of myself back together – Joanne was there for every piece along with the kids. Kids are so resilient and strong – Molly being like her mum – strong as you could imagine is already making an amazing life for herself. Louis is very much like me in that he is more emotional and – for want of a better word – soft in a good way. Together we talk about mum often – and it does us both good.

Changed Man
Today I no longer have that work aggression – all I do each day now is do all I can for those close and enjoy each day to the full. When the time comes to move to the Cabin with Jo, I will only need to work a few days a month with my planned fitness weekends to give people a taste of the ‘quiet life’ along with training and nutrition. I will still crank out the odd book or do some art work as I age. The cabin’s overheads are so low that the need to earn is nondescript.
To wrap up this article – reducing, downsizing and minimalizing is not to everyone’s taste – but – some of you reading this will think – that’s what I want from life and there is nothing stopping you from doing it but you. I hope some of the ideas here have stimulated your mind to reach towards another goal.
You see for years I thought to be successful I needed to be a good business man and have lots of money.
I was the richest man in the world because I had a wonderful family and I was blind to see it. I cannot change the past all I can do now is be a better man.
Ian x

“It is the heart that makes a man rich not according to what he has but according to what he is”

Henry Ward Beecher


The last six years have seen a huge life direction change for myself and those close.
Let’s just basically lay it out here.

Here is what life was like….

Work all the time.
Spend money on crap.
Work to pay for crap.
Make loads of money – pay everybody their cut -tax -rent -mortgage -on and on -turning over loads but left with hardly anything for the effort.
Spent hardly any -real quality time with those close.
Because I was stuck in that cycle of having so many outgoings I had to constantly work.
I chased money and ‘stuff’ before a family tragedy; made me truly understand life.

Here is what I did….

De-cluttered life and possessions to the bare essentials.
Paid off all debts and got off that ‘treadmill.’

Here is life now….

Work part time hours only to earn money to pay for holidays and time with those close.
Spend as much time enjoying life with those close as I can.
Enjoy each day doing what I love with family and good friends.
Have as many holidays with those close as I can.
Sounds like a pipe dream eh?
Too good to be true.
Well its not – the life I have chosen now is achievable to anyone- who wants it.

I- as you know use to chase money and business- all I found was stress.
You see, some people thrive on that business stress. The money turn over, staff, bills more money – more overheads -bigger numbers in and out.
Me I thought I did – then realised its not my thing.
So I went the other way – reduced outgoings. I say to my kids “all I want is for you to be happy – either make more money or reduce outgoings – you will soon see what makes you happy.”

I have reduced and downsized even further over this last year by buying a cabin near the coast.
This was done with the intention of selling up in the future and moving there. At present Jo and I are there every weekend and the kids use it through the week.
When I say it is quiet and relaxing – that is an understatement.
The pace of life is so different to the city life its like night and day.
The cabin and the area is so conducive to health and a well mind that time literally goes in slow motion.
The air is clean -fresh and invigorating.
The food available is farm fresh, local and the best quality you can get.
Everything is conducive to having a well body mind and spirit.

In the future, when we live at the cabin.
My goal is to only work a few days a month as the outgoings are so low. My plan is to offer fitness weekends to those interested in following the basic way of life we live and enjoy.
I used to run fitness weekends as part of my Bodyindesign business for around 15 years here in Leeds.
These weekend retreats are a whole different animal, as much about lifestyle and living a stress free life as it is training and eating clean.
I want to offer people a taste of the other-side – so you can decide if the ‘quiet life’ is more to your makeup.
We have had friends over at the cabin and they have all said the same “they felt awesome -free -alive and stress free”.
Many have put the wheels in motion towards their own journey to ‘freedom’.
So here is my goal.
Starting this May 2018
We will be booking two weekends a month for our Fitness Weekends.
Open to couples – singles -or two training buddies.
They will run Saturday and Sunday, as we put you in an awesome B & B close to our cabin.
You will then not touch your car for two days.
The whole weekend will be built around looking after you.
Your training and fitness goals and of course – mindset.
We will feed you and show you how to prepare the meals we give you and we will help you build your future nutrition plan.
There will be of course some awesome workouts in a nearby gym that is set in a beautiful village, again close to our cabin.
The workouts will be tailored to your needs, whether you compete or not.
This ‘life style’ weekend will also include some long invigorating walks on the nearby beach, whereupon we work on stress reduction and a happy healthy life.
In this fast paced world we will be offering you time to ‘step off’ and actually have time to feel and be the real you.
Like I said – open to all -from novice to competitor – we want you only to enjoy and be the best you can be.

The first bookings are in May – in the next month or two I will place an itinerary here on this site with just about everything you will need to know. In the meantime any questions please email me at
Love to ya all Ian

Full Circle

Full Circle

This article has taken me weeks to write believe it or not. Not the tapping out of the keys, but the building of it in my mind.

It is nothing special as far as writing goes but there is a message weaved though it. I am writing about nothing, but really about everything.





I don’t want to keep bringing this up but the years of illness and subsequent loss of my wife Louise totally changed me. I can feel the change from the inside out. Life and the thought process of everything about life is different.

In what way? You may ask, well it’s hard to pin it, mortality – time – having – doing – value – and other people.

Here’s an odd thing to say but I have said this to those close.

I have no fear of death anymore, I use to, but now I only fear living the fear of not living my life right and therefore not impacting those close to me in the way I should.

I constantly try to make the right choices as I now know time here is so precious and needs to be spent right.

Over these last few years I know I wouldn’t be at this point now in life without my kids, Jo, and a few key friends Suzanne – Sarah, Glyn, Vince, Nigel and Bob.

My kids have handled loss in there own way as kids do where as I fell like a stone.

Without these key people I would have struggled to step up to life again, Jo being unbelievably supportive and understanding.

I am now a different person – better I hope than I was, not that I was all-bad but I could have been a better man. I worked too much and I could have given more of ‘me’ to others. Each day now I strive to be a better man. I use to consumed with work and competing – now each day I am consumed with how I can help others and living good life one day at a time.




I am now consumed by ‘doing’ rather than having. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have minimalised life and possessions.

I now only work for the kids essentials and holidays for them, Jo and I. Doing rather than having, living and enjoying memories – I would rather go to Florida than have a flash car, hence I have no car.


Instead of being consumed by myself and competing – I now want to pass on and help as many people as I can. I have turned my little success into raising money for others. Over the last three years over £40,000 has been passed on to cancer research -Wakefield hospice and the Forget Me Not Hospice.

I say this not to put myself on a pedestal, but to show how YOU my bodybuilding community has raised with me only at the spear tip of this thing.

My plan is to keep pushing this on to £50,000 and beyond. It feels so much better helping others and anything I ever did in this sport.


My plans to step on stage again have much more to it than getting in shape and doing my stuff up there.

No – I know that doing the one thing I’m fairly good at creates an interest in my small community therefore I sell more books and the posing camps sell out in hours, and more money is raised for charity. I help others who in turn help others, we all win.

It’s the only thing I know – training – drawing, writing and those things are giving me the tools to help others. So when I ask myself what’s my purpose? I feel it’s to help others to be the best they can be, I truly do.


I feel like I have just rambled on with really nothing to say, like I said at the start of this mash up of words it says nothing but everything.

The take home from this could be.


Simple life.


Try to be a better you, nobody’s perfect and nobody ever will, but try.


Don’t be consumed by yourself – seep into others and be far more than you can be on your own.


Live each day – work only to do -to live and enjoy time.



Full Circle


As I have got a little long in the tooth – I think about life a lot. Like I said earlier I now only fear not living right.

Being happy is key, do what makes you happy. For me its simple things, I thought for years it was having – working- money – competing – winning.

Then I realised the less I had the happier I was, hence the downsizing of everything.

I had a huge business relative to me, that run me into the ground. It took years to realise this. Some people thrive on money in money out – staff and huge company overheads. It’s not my bag.


Simple – basic and being stress free is now my idea of success and happiness.


A few months ago my son Louis asked me “Dad if you could live anywhere where would that be”?

I didn’t even hesitate – “Bridlington or that coast”.

Louis could not believe I would not want to live in Florida, California or the like.

Its a case of being back to my roots I told him, I love the sea the quite rural sprawling openness. I love the memories there of a simplistic childhood and everyday was spent on the seafront and beach.


I had a life plan for as I got older and the kids find their own way to move back to the coast. I crave the sea air and an even simpler life.

As the months ticked by I started to put the life plan in place.

This has led to me buying a lodge/cabin between Hornsea and Withensea – basically in the middle of nowhere but walking distance to the beach and a small village with a butchers – bakers and a candle stick makers – no not that a post office ha ha.

The plan is to use it for weekends for the next few years -it offers quiet open space, so quiet its deafening and clear night sky’s you would not believe for Jo and I.  It also has Hornsea and Hull some 15 minutes either way for Molly and Louis – although Lou loves the outdoors as much as me.


This will be in time the ultimate downsize, just the basics of life and the joy and happiness and tranquility that brings.

As the kids need it the home we have will provide them a start for their homes and the cabin – sea and quiet will be ours.

I feel I have come full circle back to the start of my life journey much wiser and full of experience.

Between now and then all I will do is live life the best I can and help others do the same.

What more is there?

Love Ian x







Hills x

Bodybuilding is hard for me –yes I have won my fair share of competitions, but I have had to fight my genetics to do so.

I am built more for ‘or would be’ for athletics –namely running.

When I was kid –in the words of Forest Gump –“you may not believe me –but I could run like the wind blows and If I was going somewhere, I was running”.

I would run to school –if I went –I run home-I run to the shop.



And on that note, I will tell you, that my dad would time me to run to the shop in the old town to get his cigarettes.

Took me years to figure –he just wanted his ‘cigs’ quicker.

I would even put on my plimsolls so I could be faster –I was 26 at the time ha-ha, no I’m joking, I was about 8-9 and running was a huge part of my life.

At 13-14, I was starting to do a few bodyweight exercises most mornings before school and some evenings. I would also run after my little workouts, the mornings being the longest, I would run around 10 miles most- early mornings of the week.

The run I loved, as growing up in Bridlington- a seaside town, it was very open and rural.

My ‘little’ run was from the point of just outside Bridlington town on the cliff tops –along the tops I would run. Through- Sewerby, Danes Dyke and all the way along the cliff tops to Flamborough head. Not more than a stones throw off the lighthouse. I would look out over the sea for a few minutes, turn right round and come back. It was five miles there and ‘surprisingly’ back.

The terrain was rough –with hills of many sizes, that added to the wind blowing off the north-sea made the run incredibly hard.

But something I can see in my minds eye even today, I loved it that much.

Even after all these years, I still long for that outdoors solitude-never did I like the street- city type runs I loved to be out in nature and not seeing a sole other than wildlife.

For my bodybuilding goals I had to let the running go –I simply could not eat enough food for the calories I was expending and hold onto muscle tissue. If its lean muscle tissue you’re after- long duration CV and weights do not mix, as you will compromise the amount of muscle you will ultimately hold. When I am prepping for a show –it’s a strict no CV work program-its weights all the way training fast and heavy. This is also my philosophy when prepping clients –hard fast heavy-weights bring about the look needed for the stage, In girls and guys.

If I have to prescribe any other work, it would be what I call drills. These are mini early morning workouts with weights to boost the metabolism and anabolism.

So what’s my take on the CV side of things?

Long duration CV –be it a run or some kit in the gym –is in my mind a muscle waster and in-turn a metabolism kill switch.

But if your not prepping for the stage and enjoy doing some –do it –its your choice, just don’t overdo it.

If it is a cosmetic look your after for the stage, well then–there needs to be a prescription for that look –the best and fastest strategy to obtain it if you will.

And in my experience hard, heavy, fast weight workouts are the top rung of the ladder –with everything else below.

I could go on and write a book here on this but lets stick to the first point here. I love to run-I love being out so how can I not compromise my physique goals –but still do something that I enjoy and will actually be a part of the lean muscle mass equation.

This is the point that hill sprints come in.

Something I can do, that will keep muscle tissue on me and even aids it.

I can be outside –enjoy the solitude of just me my dog and my thoughts.

Hill workouts are incredible and will humble you if you give them all you have. They will spike the metabolism and in time will make you feel functional fit. The type of -in shape- feel you have when you just know you can do something if need be, that in shape feeling and agility that makes you feel good from the inside out.

The benefits don’t stop there.

You get such and incredible workout from them that your legs will increase in squatting power –your hamstrings will take on a whole new look –not to mention calf’s.

So–as in we have reached the top of the hill –we have a downside ha-ha.

They knock the crap out of you-they are as tough as many sets of high rep squats and at this time of year you get wet through and covered from head to toe in mud –but that, for me- is part of the fun.

I have two hills I run one is a long nasty Bast*** and the other a short sprint of maybe 30 sec. The big ‘B’ takes around 80 seconds to run it as hard as I can to the top.

To be honest the big un is my favorite, It is out in the wilds –just off some woods –not a sole about just the dog and me.

A couple of days a week, I have Daisy (yes Daisy the dog) jump in the back of my van and off we go-she gets as giddy as me. After a 15 min car drive we pull up on the outskirts of our hideaway place.


We trek though the woods as a warm up till we reach the hill. I then just run up the frigging thing as fast as I can –without resting I turn round and jog back to the bottom, the jog is the rest –I turn at a marked clump of trees. I try to run even harder now, as the aggression is building in me. I attack –but love every second –the clean cold air cuts into your lungs –but makes you feel so alive. Daisy is right there at my side all the way-on three, to the top hard runs –I take a short pause and suck in the clean air.

It’s at this point I realize I am covered in mud and I smile. Always a kid. As you can guess the hill is very rough –with the only trail on it is a muddy little track through the tall undergrowth and brambles that Daisy and I have blazed through it.

With my heart rate dropping – I head back down for another set of three. On a good day I may do 3 rounds of this –I play it by how good I feel. I kill it –but don’t overkill it, all things being in place –eating rest –work and home are not as mad –I get my three in.

Other times if time does not permit and I feel I need a shorter quick blast I do the hill walking distance from my home –six on this is short sharp shock, again my mutt by my side.

You could say she’s as fit as a ‘coach’s’ dog –not butchers ha-ha.


What you need.

A good-sized hill for a start-something to challenge you.

Some old trainers –or even football /rugby boots –something to give you some traction in the mud. I use some North Face cross trainers –had em years and they are held together by mud now. But they are still going strong.

Some time-just put a couple of days a week aside for hill sprints –this should be plenty enough to reap all the benefits.

The dog or a buddy to sprint with is optional.

Enjoy the basic simplicity of hill workouts –find a remote hill and make it yours –and be functional fit and in shape.

Love to ya all Ian



Simple Life

“Hey diddly dee a gym owner’s life for me” – sang to the tune of the song in Pinocchio – “An Actor’s Life For Me”.

I used to use this as a ‘wind up’ to a few of the cheeky members I had in my gym in the 90’s.

They would say I was the richest man they knew.

So I use to sing the above and finish with “not much money but I’m happy”.

It use to wind them up as they thought that I had buckets of money.  But actually I was telling the truth, all they saw was the money coming in, they never saw it going out.

You know from my past articles that I had a shit load going out.  I was pulling in thousands but also paying out nearly as much.

I covered my head and was happy with my life choice for so long.

Then I started to feel trapped by my own success and doing.

I was playing the numbers game, lots in lots out.

Basically running in a hamster wheel generating money but working so much I never lived other than work.  Everyone else benefited from my money ball, but not us as a family.

Everyone took a piece, as happens in business – after many years I realised this side of life was not making me happy.

This may have come about with wisdom of years, Louise being ill and passing, or maybe just totally burned out; probably a mix of it all.


Breaking Free

Something needed to change and only I could do that.  So I set about it step by step as if setting out on the longest journey.  Step by step eliminating debt, step by step eliminating ‘things’ I did not need that added to energy needed to be produced by me in that hamster wheel.  Step by step I downsized outgoings, rental, mortgage, loans, car payments – everything.



By one – deciding what I wanted life to be like for myself and my kids.

And two – just like anything else I planned it out week by week, month by month, year by year.

Just as in building business – I dissected and downsized.

I had to see my goal.

More time for life, more time for holidays, and actually living.

I had to also be able to see a base standard of living and debt free life.

And just like any other goal in life I went for it.

First came more work while subsequently reducing overheads so I could use the money to pay off past debt. This took three years.

Next came a further reduction in working hours as the money ball, once huge was now tiny and need very little attention.

This led to money being available for holidays and just living each day, devoting time to what I had missed by my own doing.


An Easy Life

Is not what everyone wants many want the houses the nice cars and the high life.

And that’s awesome – you need to live life your way.

But it’s not for me – I lived a high-ish lifestyle for me, and found it was not my thing.

I thought it was, but the stress of constantly earning to feed the machine made me sad.

I’m not cut out for that, some thrive on it and feel alive, me?  It drains me of my energy.


Define Success

I admire people at both ends of the spectrum, those who have successful businesses and quality things they own.  But I lean towards the man and woman who for my mind, is free.

That to me is more impressive, maybe it’s because it’s my craving, it’s my need.

Maybe it’s because I worked far too much and neglected the real area of life – family and time.

All I know is – time – freedom – and to have no worries.  So I admire those more with those areas in their lives.

One of my favourite books is The Choice by Og Mandino. I can relate to so much in the book. If you are of like mind as me – you must read it. It’s the story of a man that gives up the corporate life after he realises he never sees his family.  He writes a book that becomes successful and it frees his life.

They more to a converted light house and spend real time together. They have nothing but have everything!

There is more to the book – but this was my take away message.

For the last 8 years or so I have directed my life and those close to that ‘successful’ lifestyle as I see it.  And at last I feel I am there.  I can and will refine more – but the basic principles are in place now.

Just Two Of The Many Pieces Of Work I Have Produced x

Just Two Of The Many Pieces Of Work I Have Produced x

Today And Beyond

I have now cut work even further because of the success of my book Old But Strong.  My work is now writing – believe it or not it gives ‘us’ as a family all we need.

I have very few outgoings and that was my plan all along, reduce and eliminate debt, good and bad, so the ‘earning need’ is low.  This creates freedom of time. I earn all I need for the basics and for the kids – simple as that.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it is mine.

For enjoyment – and as an add on to holiday spend – I am drawing again.

Commissions run from 100 to 150 pounds, so I don’t need many of those a month for the holiday fund.

I missed drawing – I lost it for years when I worked so much.  I have now rekindled the love and simplicity of it, I am producing work along with writing and I’m really happy in what I do.

In turn I’m available for the kids almost always. Time – quality time is all I look for each day.  Doing instead of having is life for me/us and I encourage the kids to live and love each day and do – do – do stuff and be happy – real happy.

We are not here long enough to work all the time and not actually live life.

Love to ya all Ian x





Health Nut



I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the whole bodybuilding industry thing a little too much at the moment.

In my humble opinion, the social media thing is not doing the average weights’ guy and girl a fat lot of good.


Well – everyone seems to be an expert, everyone seems to do one event and is suddenly a star in their own making.

So therefore the average trainer is sucked in by this and thinks that what these people do is right.

They think because they have a lot of followers they must know what they are doing.

Don’t be misled.

You never seem to see the horror stories on the net of the people who get fucked up by the ‘coach’.

I do – being in the industry as long as I have, there is still the old way of getting to know things, yes – talking.

Yes there are some lovely people out there, caring people who are actually helping people reach their goals.

So be careful who you choose to follow and take advice from.

At this point you’re probably thinking what a sour old twat.

I would agree with you, I am.

Guess I’m just finding it hard to come to terms with what’s happening to the basics of training and health.

I have said for years – you will not beat Mother Nature.

But so many try to at the expense of theirs or others’ health.

Diets that would not sustain a mouse – CV night and day, drugs, fat burners – God I could go on.


What’s happened to the bodybuilder that was called a health nut back in the day?

Could most people that weight train or compete be called healthy these days?

Look, yes I’m a dyed in the wool old school guy that’s a bit sick of the shit what’s out there.

I know if I don’t like it I should not look, and to be honest I don’t. But being in the business even a little you get caught at the edges.

So you see it… the crap.


I have to be on Facebook and the other media as how else can I get to people of like mind as me.

I try not to let it bother me and ‘get a life’ then I feel bad for not trying to give the average guy a guiding light, someone like them who just needs real life stuff ya know.

I have been trying for years to spread the word of health and the basics of all this, and if I say so myself, I’ve not done bad. But I need to step up my game and drive a wedge – no matter how small – into the monster.

Many will not like what I have to say on this site and that’s fine.  I am writing for those people that feel the same way. Giving them a place to read and be grounded when the stuff out there gets too much.

I want to write so people understand the basics of health, training and nutrition, like it use to be in the old days.

I have trained all my life – I exercised at 10 years old and even then understood if I was to do this training thing it was for life and health always till the day I pop off.

Sure I won shows – big wow – I’m just a guy like you who wants to enjoy training for as long as I can.

I have always been average – I just was good at working my average to as far as I could. Always hand in hand with what Mother Nature give me.

Many of you will never compete – have no intention at all, your goal is to fit training and health into your life, not life into training.

That’s the man I want to help and the guy and girl that may want to step on stage but not at the expense of their health.

That’s my like minded reader.

That’s who I do this for.

Real life – family guy with normal responsibilities, not the fake on line life that many think is real.

So my goal is to give you just the basics. Real stuff that works, good basic nutrition and basic hard training.

It may get repetitive – because there really is nothing new.

It will always come down to the basics in the end.

Thank you for letting me rant.

Love to you all

Ian x

Full Circle …Kid Again

As the years have ticked by my training has evolved to the point whereupon I have come full circle.

From the very start I was interested in being strong and athletic. This came about – don’t laugh – by being a Conan comic fan.
I would hike, walk run and climb everywhere.
I lifted to be strong and look strong and healthy.
Even food at a young age was basic and clean. My Granddad was Latvian, and growing up I was heavily influenced by his eating habits which was ‘natural fare’, no crap.
For years I trained with anything – and looked upon everything being exercise.
I ran, dug bait on the beach, biked to a place miles away to fish, biked back and then would head off out camping. I was in constant motion, if I was home I was training if out I was ‘doing stuff’.



Then I found bodybuilding, and to excel I dropped everything else and pursued my goal.
The goal built year upon year with many peaks and lows, but always with a slow steady rise to as far as I could go. As the achievements notched up the goal was that much harder, more and more other things got left on the shelve.
Now in my twilight years I am picking those things I loved back up again. No longer is the focus of training for the stage. The goal is again to be healthy, strong, athletic, and to look strong.
I feel like I am living again and enjoying everything all over again, but now with a perspective and gratefulness I never had, as you don’t when you’re young.

So I train hard and basic and enjoy a huge variety of programs. I strike at what motivates me and inspires me at the time, with no rhyme or reason other than loving to train to be strong, enjoying it, feeling strong and healthy.
Recently I have been running and doing free hand exercises whenever I feel like it.
If I walk the dog for two hours and I want to run hills and do chins on a tree branch, I do. With no other thought than loving it and feeling awesome.
Do you know what?
All those years of fussing about and now I feel I look better than at 90 percent of the time between shows. I look right and feel right for life.
The other day – I trained with Jo in my back yard, we did some press ups and chins. The sun was out – I had a vest on, I felt supple and really strong and muscular, I felt like I was a kid again I smiled to myself and my mind shot back to doing the same stuff at age 13-14, and what I would have given to look and feel like this now. I was Conan at last ha ha.
Be a kid again guys – do what you enjoy and move. Movement and strength will keep you young.


I have for years looked to others for inspiration and if somebody could do something well I was dam sure if they could- so could I- within reason. So I took on others strategies learned from them and adapted them, used what was useful to me and disgarded what didn’t fit.

This is called Modelling.

People who have been mentors and who I have followed closely are Lee Labrada, Skip Lacour, Bill Pearl, Brooks Kubik, Arthur Jones, Robby Robinson,  to name just a few.

I know for a fact without their influence in my life my business and competition success would be much lower.

I reached higher because I stood on their shoulders, you too can do the same, read on.


Anthony Robbins

The famous self-help guru, public speaker, and author had this to say about modelling in his book, ‘Unlimited Power’.

“It‘s not a matter of whether you can produce the results that another person produces, it‘s a matter of strategy. That is – how does that person produce the results? If someone is a terrific speller there is a way to model him so that you can be too. If someone you know communicates perfectly with his child, you can do the same thing. If someone finds it easy to wake up in a morning quickly, so can you.

Simply model how other people direct their nervous systems. Obviously some tasks are more complex than others and may take more time to model and then duplicate. However if you have enough desire and belief, that will support you while you continue to adjust and change.

Virtually anything that any human being can do can be modelled. In many cases a person may have spent years of trial and error to find the specific way to use his body or mind to produce a result. But you can step in, model the actions that took years to perfect and produce similar results in a matter of moments, months or at least a lot less time than it took the person whose results you desire to duplicate.”

Like I said earlier, I have modelled for years. In this time I have weeded out the bad from the good. If I have seen anybody in my life or anything that is able to produce outstanding results the first thing I think is “How do they do it?” I then study that person or business down to the books they read and even their beliefs. I take what I need and also gain success.

I have studied all the programmes out there, I have studied all the eating plans and diets out there, I have studied all the trainers out there – what’s good and not so good, year after year. This brings Bodyindesign to the point it is at now. I will continue to refine as many years click by into the future.

One thing many of us do not have enough of is time.

Trial and error is one thing; it uses vast quantities of one resource that none of us have enough of.

How can you not take action with this area of accelerated form of learning…. modelling is the way.

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Bill Pearl

A Happy Life Balance

Hi guys

With part of our site my goal is to cover life, and the balance of it.  As this site develops we can see what area is more popular and steer our ship into that direction.

I have plans to cover business, stress management and also things I think you will enjoy and make your life better.

In this month’s installment I will like to discus being happy.


The technology in this world is now cramming us with an information overload. So many conflicting ideas, bad news, any news – about everything and everybody.

We are bombarded with ads for this and that, for things we don’t really need – but think we do.  So we end up spending money we don’t have on shit we don’t need.

We are all searching for that happiness – that THING – that one thing that will make us ultimately happy.

We search.  What is that thing?

It may be a new car.

Two weeks after driving it, it’s not new anymore and you have a shit load of debt and a car that is losing money faster than you can pay it off.

It may be that new thing you just have to have, a new bag, shoes, the latest phone.  That thing – you – just – have – to – have, for that small spark of happiness, that lasts a few hours, if that.

Let me tell you.

As you get older you realise that there are really only a few things that make you happy and content from the inside out.  Life is, when it boils down to it, simple, and if it isn’t – you should strive to make it so.

Let’s just run through a few things here – get you thinking a bit.


We spend a third and some much of our day at work.

So if you hate your job and it kills everything that is in YOU – your passion, your spark, your fun, for each day – get the hell out and get another job.

Or work for yourself doing something you love to do, something that makes you feel alive.

It’s not about the money, it’s about making a difference – making your mark no matter how small on this planet when you’re gone.

Do something that touches others and makes that difference so you live on in others forever.

I have a few millionaires that train with me.  They have more money than you or I could imagine – so many THINGS it would be hard to count them.  But get this, they would love to do what I do.

What does that tell you?

It’s about passion for life guys – loving what you do and enjoying the hours you get paid for.  Earn what you need to earn and don’t buy crap and you will be as happy as a pig in shit.

I have read many books whereupon a hugely successful person recounts their life, they more often than not say that the time they were happy, truly happy, was when they had NOTHING.

They may have lived in a one bedroom apartment and earned very little, but they lived their sport or art, music or whatever, but they lived what they loved.

Each day they woke with excitement and lived their passion.

Life is to short not too.


Love – yes that four letter word that will lift you more than anything in the world.

You will never buy it, you cannot force it, but when you find it, go with it, embrace it.  You have to find that feeling of love – if you are with someone you don’t love, get out and find that real love that makes your eyes sparkle and your heart skip every time you see them.

With this comes family.

Do simple, fun things with your family.  Life is all about doing, not having.  Please try this.  Close your eyes and think of something you did with your Dad or Mum one Christmas or on a vacation when you were a kid.  Think, picture it – picture it – something that made you laugh so hard, or made you so excited you could hardly breathe.

Go ahead just for a minute – relax and think of that special time in your life.

Are you smiling?  That shows you that life is about doing things not having – those memories you have as a child, that you just love are ingrained in you forever.  Bet you would not sell them from those memory banks in your mind for all the money you could hold.

They are that much of a part of you.

Well – you have to build those loving family memories with your kids and family because they will never forget the little things you do with them.

It costs nothing to kick a ball about and have a real good time.  I have before now climbed trees with my son and played all day like one of his friends.  If I promise my kids I will do something with them – I never, ever break it.  Because to them that is the most important thing in the world – not the car, not the bills – they just know time and fun.

Build those memories – and have fun doing so –that’s being happy.

So to recap, we have:

  1. Passion for what you do in life and work = Happiness.
  1. Love – be in love, surround yourself with love and be with your soul mate that = Happiness.
  1. Family and building memories of good times – doing simple things that give your family the attention they need = Happiness.

Can you see life can be so simple?

If anyone of these areas are not in balance – everything goes to pot in time and you’re left thinking what the hell happened.

Take some time to work things out in your mind then get up tomorrow with the mindset of you’re going to be happy and make changes so it happens.

Love and respect to you all.