Friday 28th  / Jan

The final lesson

For those of you that have stayed with me in this 4-week journey, it’s been pretty full-on. I’ve been asking a lot of you physically but also mentally. Sharing your views about your body, how you eat, your mindset and your big goals can feel a bit exposing so I appreciate your honesty and for you sticking with me…

The Bootcamp finishes on Sunday night (30th Jan)- so please do complete the goals questionnaire (lesson 4) if you want my feedback before it all ends! also as I shared in last nights workout; This Sunday night’s Q&A theme is all about programming for your goals. Do make it if you’s going to be very useful for you.

Also… as I know some of you had had medical and life stuff that got in the way of this experience for you. So rather than closing the resources page immediately, I will leave you all access until February 10th.. which gives you plenty of time to catch up, or even go through previous lessons or workouts. After that resources page will be deleted.

If you want to do a Bootcamp again; The next Live one will start on November 1st. I will also be releasing an automated version using some of the content I recorded in Nov and Jan along with new stuff. This is released in 2 weeks (on Valentine’s day actually). It will cost £99 and you will have lifetime access.

Now… back to business!… the previous lesson about dreaming bigger was the most important one… I wanted you to rethink what you truly want for your body. I wanted you to feel motivated to make bigger changes. I also want this Bootcamp experience to remind you how rewarding it is to throw yourself into something new and how much fitter you are when you train properly. However, there is something vital to remember when training regularly that I need to share with you:




Goals, while not essential, are very useful as they give our training focus and invariably get better results when we know why we are training, why we are drinking like wine, why we are getting up at 6am and doing 20 press-ups etc.. but if the journey to you goals is totally miserable then you are more likely to quit and you are missing out on how much fun training can be.


A playful mindset

Life is too important to take too seriously. Personally, I only take a couple of things seriously in life, but the vast majority of things (including myself) I don’t. Now I’m far from perfect as people go, and I have an interesting and wide array of flaws. But two of the things I rather like about myself are that I spend a lot of my time/energy helping others and my decisions are rarely led by my Ego (says he who currently has 3 limited companies – all of which have my name in them!).

When our Ego gets too big, at worse we become narcissistic solopolists as best we take the joy out of life – we focus too much on competing against others, or even ourselves. While I’m all for holding ourselves to high standards.. we need to control it as too much self-competition (with the inevitable feeling of satisfaction when we reach our goals and feeling of guilt when we don’t) can often lead us to ONLY doing things that we’re good at.

When we avoid what we are bad at because we feel, silly, stupid or intimidated means we miss an essential element of learning and self-development. Failure is good, exploring new feelings is good. In the gym, we train to failure as that’s when the muscles grow the most.



While I understand the value of being emotionally engaged with one’s fitness/body goals I also see it important to maintain a bit of perspective! Now there are many ways of keeping perspective, some use religion.. personally, I like to remind myself of this:

We’re all hanging out on a ball of space rock hurtling through an ever-expanding universe. We don’t know how the universe began, we simply can’t get our heads around the idea of expanding into nothingness or what happened 1 second before the Big Bang…even more of head fuck is that probably wasn’t ‘time’ before that in the way we understand it in our tiny little brains.  Also when we look at things with a really tiny microscope or look at massive things like Black Holes with massive telescopes then it proves all the things we know are true about physics are in fact false – such as time moving forward and not being able to be in two places at once… and we as a society pay more attention to the latest episode of Love Island had than this as it’s just too hard to think about. Wait .. there’s more. No matter our income, social status, race, gender or sexuality we all have dreams and desires, successes and failures, we all grow old and eventually all of us get recycled back into the earth. No one will ever remember anything about us, our lives aren’t that important so we try to make sense of it all by looking to ‘God’, but  as there are over 4200 religions in this ball of floating space rock we sit on.. and no one really knows which one is right God if any of them. So yeah.. personally I find this human existence thing all pretty hilarious… but I also find it quite freeing.


Let’s get a bit Existential

‘Absurdism’ – made most famous by the Algerian Philosopher Albert Camus it postulates that the disharmony between the individual’s search for meaning and the total meaningless of the universe is inherently and absolutely absurd. Now we can go full Niilhist with this realisation and kill ourselves. Camus addresses this in the opening line of one of my fave books, the Myth of Sisphus… ‘“There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide”

You’re currently taking a philosophy lesson from a fitness instructor – yet another example of how absurd life is!

Camus concludes that killing oneself wouldn’t actually solve the issue of absurdity, because If existence is absurd, and you end it.. then by default the existence you previously had only become even more absurd! Hence suicide is a rather silly idea when you think about it. Now I’ve never suffered from depression, anxiety or mental health issues. I’ve been lucky.. but I do often think about my inevitable death from an intellectual standpoint. Knowing that we will die is very useful! imagine living for 100000 years… life would be less fun. There would be no urgency, there would be less meaning.

so I, like Albert Camus, see absurdism not as something to be solved… but as something to be accepted and embraced… and when we do we have true freedom. We humans have the ability and opportunity to create our own meaning and purpose. This is what I try and do when not teaching bicep curls. I consciously fill my days, with real meaning… for me, that means spending my time learning (through courses, books, travel, contemplation and conversation) and passing on knowledge and ideas to others. hence why I have a career based on being a coach.

I also totally get it when Voltaire said  ‘the real voyage of discovery was not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes’. I’m grateful as I know my life could have been so much harder. I am grateful for my body and all my privilege, not just the trendy ones (ie. white, straight and male) but am super aware of the biggest privilege of all. …to exist!

So because of all this… I see life as a bit of a game and I want to play it hard play it well. As Bill Hicks said… it’s just a ride! (watch this) sp I don’t take it all too seriously…and it’s why I am who I am…

Why am I sharing this! well.. firstly because I’ve asked you to share stuff with me.. so it’s only fair !.. but because our innate life philosophy flows through all aspects of life, including our approach to diet, activity, fitness and the relationship we have with our body. 

What does a playful approach to fitness look like? 

  1. Regularly try new things
  2. Focus on learning movements rather than working muscles
  3. Remove the Ego
  4. Embrace failure – i.e do things you suck at and enjoy it!
  5. Get out of your comfort zone more often
  6. Play around with intensity (eg sometimes walk sometimes run a marathon).
  7. Play around with complexity
  8. Be more ambitious with your body. The more capable it is, the more fun it is to use and live in.
  9. Sometimes train with friends, colleagues & family.  Gamify it – make exercise mostly a fun activity, not an obligation.
  10. Play sports… compete. Test yourself for the sake of it.


So I said playful life philosophy naturally leads to playful fitness philosophy…but the interesting thing is, It can works the other way too.  If you adopt a new approach to fitness, let’s say a more playful approach which trains the mind as well as the body… then not only does that make your training for those big goals of your easier and more enjoyable, but it will inspire a more playful approach to other areas of your life too. My challenge to you is to try it for the rest of 2022 and see!


Making fitness fun

How else can we make fitness fun for you? Well talking from experience I think it’s great having big goals.. but you should also have lots of little ones too. For example, if your big goal is to lose 25kg… then also have 10 little ones that support that one big one. For example… rather than just focusing on weight and calories… put your energy into goals: how to do a pull-up, serve better at tennis, master a handstand, take up ballet on wed nights, Do your first 5k run, learn a backflip, get qualified in yoga, walk up more mountain, ski down more mountains..  this list is indeed endless!. The little goals make the process of attaining the big goal far more enjoyable and you’ll be more likely to be consistent and focused and reach that big in the background.  Remember the best journies are when we get to stop off and experience new things on the way (yes I’m being literal and metaphorical at the same time there… clever me!).


Train movements, not muscles

From a muscle-building perspective, we get more muscle activation (i.e results) when we do compound (multi-joint) movements. For example, we get better development in our inner thighs by doing Sumo Squats rather than those silly abductor/adductor machine thingies in the gym .. (you know the one where you have to sit in with your legs wide open and flap them around while praying you don’t accidentally make eye contact with someone).

In addition; by doing compound exercises your core, stabilisers and mind will have to work harder. You will be more focused and more present.. this is a key component of play – to lose ourselves in movement. Also, I find that the more skill-based the movement/exercises we do are, then the more we have to focus and it becomes meditative.  It also feels like playing when you don’t have to count reps and just allow yourself the time to enjoy the learning and explore all the variations like we do when we were children and not so aware of the concepts of success & failure!


Learning new skills

Remember the ball on wall workout and the weapons training we did? They are perfect examples of things you can do that probably aren’t essential for your day to day life!. but they are fun and just as important, if not more important than doing 15 mins of squats (sorry about yesterday by the way!) How about you make up your own drills maybe copy how your cat moves around the house for 10 mins …or watch an action film and recreate a fight scene with your husband..or watch Beyonce video and learn her steps.. it doesn’t matter what. Even when you get a bit ‘obsessed’ and practice for hours to nail this new movement…mastery may seem like the goal.. but it’s not really! The goal is not the goal. The goal serves a purpose. The real point is to enjoy the process, and that my friend is mindfulness, it’s kinda zen… and it’s also ‘play’.

80/20 rule

When training for a compelling body goal, then in any given workout session or any given week, allow 20% of your exercise time, to be pure play. As you know, I’m often hired when someone needs very quick and precise results. 8-week transformations for a film role, 2 weeks for photoshoot etc.. so you’d think I would have no time to play.. wrong. I religiously stick to 20% playtime. It’s too important! We often do things completely unrelated to their goal on purpose, play games, compete, explore new movement patterns.. we play.

And when you don’t have a compelling goal, I suggest you try spending 80% playing and 20% on structured exercises. In my experience, I find that when we play loads, we naturally form new goals, as we want to get better at the thing we play at!. When this happens, a 50/50 balance seems sensible, but let it this happen naturally. Too much planning and too much structure can ruin this childlike spontaneity I want you to cultivate more.

In conclusion

I want you to reach all your big fitness/body goals. Have a plan, make it fun, stay consistent, regularly hold yourself accountable and be prepared for all the tweaks and little plateaus and sacrifices when it comes to food, training, and your lifestyle, then you can achieve petty much achieve anything. However. Rather than just reaching your goals, I want you to reach your goals in style. That means doing so that build your character, trains your mind, and reminds you to stay curious, open-minded, embrace failure, keep Ego out of the way and feel honestly grateful for your body for what it can do today and what it can learn and be tomorrow.

Just something to think about.

D. x

p.s on Monday 31st of Jan I’m doing a special live workout bonus for all Bootcampers. It’s at 7 pm and will last  45 mins. All are welcome. I will NOT be recording it.. just a little bonus for those who can make it.

P.p.s Do let me know on the WhatsApp group what elements of today lesson have resonated with you. I’m super interested to find out.