sharpbodies - my story so far

It's 2017, so read on lets get going.I hope my story inspires you to be the very best you can be in your life. My whole life I have set goals and achieved them. I have live the life I want to lead and done exactly what I wanted now at 50 life couldn't be better. It is so good to feel everyday real satisfaction in what you do and how you help people. Ive achieved all my goals and I am living my dream every day. The great thing is I love my job! I've had a succes in music industry, a successful bodybuilding career over 15 years, I have had 4 successful television series commissioned, regular TV Presenting and fully booked Personal Training business. The best is yet to come though. My life story is happy, sad, painful and inspiring. Thank you for reading on, it means a lot to me that your taking time to read, so enjoy. Let this be the beginning for you to change your life and archive your goals. Just like me.

It all started for me in 1984 in Brentwood Essex. My passion for fitness and Bodybuilding started right here in a small gym. I was a skinny 18 year old kid just out of college. My brother started to attend a local gym in Brentwood called Pumping Iron. It took a lot of persuading for me to go, reluctantly I went. I weighed 8st 10lbs! My weight was partly due to contracting Nephritis a kidney disease and at 8 years old I became seriously ill. Luckily I made a full recovery but my growth was seriously affected. After my recovery and as I grew up it was apparent to me that I was indeed smaller than the other kids at school. I started to get into reading bodybuilding magazines my heroes where Stallone, Reg Park, Steve Reeves, Mike Mentzer and Frank Zane. These guys were and looked like gods to me, I was soon to begin a life long journey to realise Bodybuilding dreams become reality.

I decided and finally plucked up the courage to go to the gym. Being 18 and 9 stone i wasnt the most confident of young men. So I went to my local gym in Brentwood Essex the gym Pumping Iron Gym. I walked through the gym door I was amazed. I was fascinated by the male and female bodies in there. Strong, muscular and confident woman and men. They looked incredible! The awesome Mr Britain Malcolm Brown, Paul Smith Mr South East were there, I couldn't believe their bodies and how amazing they looked. They were like something out of a comic book to me they looked like superheroes. I wanted to look like them so badly and from that moment I was hooked and I hit the iron.

At 18 I was drumming full time for the rock band The Combine formerly Small World. This was the famous Essex mod band that changed their line up in 1985, I auditioned and I became the new drummer. While i was gigging, working hard as a drummer i started weight training hard at the Pumping Iron Gym. I was playing gigs and rehearsing at night. It was at this time I started hitting the gym really hard, I went 6 days a week, read every magazine, nutrition/training book. My body changed fast, from that skinny 18 year old 9 stone kid with a 38 inch chest to a 21 year old 13 stone rock hard Bodybuilder with a 45 inch chest by 1988. In 3 years my hard work was paying off and I felt amazing. Changing my body had made me confident and incredibly strong.

My journey took a turn when in 1987/8 I regretfully left the band The Combine. I was at that time working part time as an instructor in Pumping Iron gym. I knew Pumping Iron at the time was a gold mine! As a business it was doing well. I made the owner at the time Martin an offer to buy the freehold land and business. He accepted my cash offer and I bought and took over The Pumping Iron Gym in Brentwood Essex.

Now I was not just a Bodybuilder, I would now make a living and business of making other people look and feel good. At 21 I was the Director and owner of the gym. I would now change the gym name to Bodyfitness Health Club. I made a huge investment in buying the freehold. At this time I made an investment in updating the gym, I spent £100,000 revamping and re-equipping my 5000 sq/ft gym. So In March 1988 my journey into the gym business and Bodybuilding really began. For the next 5 years I enjoyed training, getting huge and making a great business even more successful.

In 1993 a Champion is born! In 1992 I watched my training partner and good friend Dave Dunn compete in the Nabba Home Counties Championships, Dave was known for his thick rugged ripped physique above all the MOST awesome quads ever!. I was very lucky to have met Dave; he inspired, motivated and gave me the confidence to attempt my first competition in 1993. We trained together for the 1993 London Championships. We had the most hardcore grueling sessions I can remember many times I would pass out but that was how hard we were hitting it. This is when I had a double hernia, ruptured eye ball and nose exploded when squatting 350lbs! I wanted it so bad (had the operation to repair this after show!) In May 1993 I was a huge and muscular 14stone 2lbs by show day I was a ripped and full 11st 7lbs. Dave was there for me even when I was down and found the going tough. For the last 8 years I had hit my body with ultra intense short heavy sessions. It paid of.

Bodybuilding had given me the body I'd dreamt about but also great supportive friendships. Dave Dunn was a good friend and supported my training all the way. Show day, nerves hit me when I saw the competition, tan and oil on I felt good. 12 months of hard work wrapped up into 15 minute judging and a 90 second routine. Had I done enough? That night I won my class, the Novice class. I was ecstatic! Now came the overall final up against all the class winners. We battled in the final pose down, I shut my eyes head down, my name was announced Overall Champion! Wow what a feeling, my first show and two wins. I was now qualified for the 1994 Nabba Britain. Little did I know the the following year would be the hardest and most challenging of my life. 1994 I'd rather forget!

Well after 1993 success winning my first show I was on a high and in hard training for the 1994 Nabba Britain. I was super strong and training well, I began my diet in March that year things were going well until it came to my leg day on April 1st 94! Session went well ended up with my normal 160kg 45 degree toe press, end of the set came someone started talking to me I forgot to put the handles in! The whole weight came down and crushed my feet and ankles. Stuck in the machine a couple of gym members got it of me and dragged me out of the machine. I was in serious trouble and going into shock fast. I had suffered a catastrophic injuries, I was in trouble. An ambulance was called and rushed me to Harold Wood hospital, after a 5 hour wait I was told I was fine take some pain killers and go home! The physio stood me up and my feet exploded in size and pain! My Mum and Dad got me out quick and straight to Nuffield Bupa hospital. Luckily Dr Kasab a foot specialist was there x-rayed me in 10 minutes! The x-rays where horrific, every bone in my feet where in pieces multiple fractures. Including damaged tendons and fractured heels. That was my 1994 competitions over OR was it.

So I'm at home on crutches and also crawling on my elbows and hands, I couldn't do anything and my girlfriend at the time decided to leave me. What else could go wrong? So my friends started collecting me from my flat in Brentwood carry to the car and take me to my gym. I would Just sit in my reception and take money, walking wasn't an option. I managed to borrow a wheel chair from Bupa so this was my life. My consultant told me I perhaps never train legs again and never compete. I was low, lowest Id ever been in my life. But I had to get of my arse and stop feeling sorry for mysel!

One day about 12 weeks after my injuries in June 94 on crutches at home I decided that perhaps I could do the 94 Britain in October that year. I could train upper body; I would use crutches and go to each machine then to the next machine. I used free weights on arms, delts, chest and back etc so by August 1st I was getting about on crutches and crawling well! I embarked on preparation and dieting for the 1994 Nabba Britain. I decided that I would do my leg training for 30 days before the show in September; the show was first weekend in October. The sessions were grueling and painful. This was so hard, the pain, the dieting and running my gym it was just crazy. My Mum and Dad where my rock though, they believed in me and helped me to and from the gym to train and sit behind the desk! Oh and hobble about. Training was going well and I then did my FIRST leg session ouch! At first I just did leg extension and then light leg press then one day I upped the weight an 80 kg which is light! And after the 5th rep my feet stated to crack and crunch. At this point I thought it would be a good idea to stop. Yes id broken my right foot again. So what did I do, go home, and give up? No carried on training right up the show until I was crippled again! But I was lean, in ok shape and ready for the biggest test of my life and to fulfill my dream of doing the British Championships.

Tan on, prep done and we all set of to Dudley in Birmingham. In a non drug tested show in Class 2 5"9" I wasn't going to fair well. I held my own but was outweighed up to 4 stone. So ok I came last, I was proud of my achievements that year. I was in the top six in the country and 6 months before I was told I'd never train again. I proved the Doctors wrong, I listened to know one telling me NOT to do it, take it easy, your mad etc. But that's not me, it never has been, I like to achieve the impossible, the harder the challenge the better. Every workout I do is ferocious; I train like it's my last workout ever! When I first began training people in the gym people told me I'd never be big, id never compete and I would achieve nothing. I'm not blessed with tremendous genetics, nor an Arnold set of arms, I'm not chemically enhanced BUT what I have is a dogged determination to achieve what I set out to do to my best ability. Guess what 94 wasn't my last year of competing!

In 1995 my life changed direction. My foot injuries healed I wanted to change my life. I' be honest I was disillusioned with Bodybuilding. The competitors I was competing against where huge and I just couldn't match this size as I was drug free. My gym was going very well after 7 years it was the success I dreamed of and this allowed me to follow my next goal of breaking into TV and Film work. From 1995 until 1998 I enjoyed and great time in film and TV as a walk on artist, i met some wonderful people. I was a regular walk on actor on East Enders. Soldier Soldier and The Bill were also shows I did. Films also came my way with major walk-on parts on Diana and Me as Princess Diana's Bodyguard and Bond films as baddies of course.

At the end of 1998 the fire to compete again was reigniting in me. It had been 4 years since my last show. I knew my severe foot injuries were healed and I put all TV work behind me and began prep on for 1999 season. But what show to do. I decided on the 99 drug free Muscle Mania European Championships in London. January 1999 at a weight of 13 stone and began dieting and training. After 5 years of competing I needed to be ripped and ready to do in justice to my return. After 9 months I was 10st 10lbs and 4% body fat mind blowing I was shocked myself how good I looked. At this time we had amazing news that my wife was pregnant! Wow!!! So I went to the show I was so hyped up. Night before I'd done the dehydration thing with dry white wine boy I over did it. Day of show I was so ripped BUT so flat. So 5th place was my comeback a real shame but I was back and in great shape.

In 2000 I started prep for Muscle Mania and the show was cancelled 2 months before. My daughter was born in April that year the MOST amazing moment of my life. So I decided to do the 2001 UKBFF Stars of tomorrow show in London. This wasn't drug tested but I decided to do the show anyway. In the 70kg class I dominated and won! Wow I was back and I was so motivated and in 2002 I planned to compete in Britain's newest natural organisation the BNBF Championships.

In 2002 I redoubled my efforts for the BNBF Britain in May that year. At this time my daughter had become my priority and running a gym working 60 hours a week for 15 years just had to change if I was to see and bring up my daughter. So then I made a decision, to sell my dream, my business and my life since I was 21. I planned to compete in May and sell the land that the gym was on as a building plot for flats. My daughter means everything to me, I had a wonderful house and marriage was good. I would compete, find a developer to sell to, study for a Diploma in Sports Therapy and a Masters in PT and leave for Australia asp. Yes Australia! So the show went well and in 2002 I place 4th in that show job done. Now came selling my gym. In my mind I had a figure, I needed to leave the country with my daughter and wife and begin again in 2003 after my courses were done. I had every form for migrating, boy was I excited. So one day I was sitting in the gym and a gentleman walked in, a developer. We had a chat and I rang my business partner my father. So we negotiated a figure, a very large six figure number! I could pay back my business partner and have the money to live my dream. So I sold in August 2002 and promptly booked the biggest 8 bed villa in Puerto Banes to have a 6 week holiday before I started my Diploma course in October 2002.

Back from Spain the Diploma course started BUT to my horror at this time my wife decided to meet another guy, i was devastated. We had all the money we needed everything was great but all our plans to go to Australia disappeared my dream for my daughter and our future was no more. The next two years was the most challenging, upsetting and hurting time in my life. I thought of stopping my course but I had to carry on for a chance of a decent job I had to finish for my daughters sake and future. I passed Diploma and signed up for the Masters Diploma as well. My daughter came on my entire course with me; I would study in the day while my parents would take Yasmin to the safari park and trips. Wiltshire is beautiful I have many great memories of my studies, fun with my daughter and beautiful days out.

So study over, courses were done and passed all with flying colours. In 2004 my divorce came through and I bought a large new 4 bedroom home in Essex for my daughter and me. Through all my studies I was fighting a custody battle with my wife for our daughter. Luckily for us we came to an agreement we got shared custody I would have half the week my ex would have the other half. Wednesday to Sunday every week was ok I wanted more but the court set and gave me 4 days a weeks. Now I would have to start as a freelance trainer and go it alone. I'm pleased to say my PT business grew fast and I became very busy. I was now enjoying success as a freelance PT no more solicitors or courts. I was working freelance at a gym in Hampstead in London. Within months my experience and knowledge was attracting many clients. The club i was renting saw A list film and pop stars everywhere! within the first year id also bought the car of my dreams a brand new Porsche Boxter S. Hey I was just turning 40, so id thought id treat myself. Joking aside, from all the stress of passing my exams, working 24/7 building a brand new business in Hampstead I just wanted to give myself a present. What a feeling picking up that car. Makes all the hard work over 20 years worth it. Now was my time to set back on stage again and in 2005 my prep begun and 2006 would be my comeback year.

In 2006 after a 4 year absence from the Bodybuilding stage I decided to make a comeback. In the four years of I had I had built my freelance Personal Training business and it was very successful. Time to get ripped again and at 40 years old I had a point to prove to myself! Could I as a middle aged guy get in shape again? The answer Hell Yeah!! My comeback was the BNBF Southern Championships I won a 2nd place in the under 72kg class and an invite to the 2006 BNBF British Championships.

In 2006 I met my girlfriend Debbie Francis on an online dating site in April 2006. It was nothing short of love at first site. Today 2012 we are still together and very much in love. When we met Debbie had a wonderful figure I knew she had the potential to be an amazing figure girl. I never dreamnt months later with my help she'd be Ms Britain runner up! Debbie had suffered bulimia for over 20 years we had to reverse this if she was to heal her body and mind. She had never been in a gym and trained with weights seriously. So I started Debbie on a training and diet regime, she looked amazing in weeks. That same year as my comeback and after 16 weeks training with me she competed in the BNBF Centrals and qualified for British Championships that October 2006. At that show with me she blew away the competition and came 2nd in the in the British Championships igure class. This was after 20 weeks training. I had qualified for the 70kg class that year, I was waiting backstage for Debbie to return from her stage debut. When debut walked back holding the biggest trophy I'd ever seen!!! I was so proud and that love we had for each other has never dimmed ever for the last 6 years.

In June 2007 my training until then had been light. My work was very busy doing 10 clients a day take its toll on training. Then I thought I would try for a qualifying show in 5 weeks which was the 2007 Southern Championship. So 35 days later and 20lbs of weight gone! Yes 20 lbs! I competed in the over 40's class at the BNBF Southern Championships. I competed that day against World and British Champion Roger Waters. Judges had us close apparently so I got 2nd place and an invite to the 2007 Britain. Then the real work stated I had weeks to get into the shape of my life. In October I competed at 4% body fat and gained and amazing 4th place out of 14 competitors in the 2007 BNBF Britain. After so little time to prepare and get ready this was the biggest achievement in my career. After Debbie's success in 2006 she won the 2007 Central Championships that year and at the British with me she won a 3rd place in the figure class. What was to follow in the next 6 months was the most catastrophic injury in my life. That not only ruined my business but my Bodybuilding career could have ended all together.

After my success in 2007 and being so proud of my girlfriend Debbie's continued success I took the winter of 2007 of training. Well a month really, so in December 2007 I began training hard again after my success at the BNBF Britain in October. I'd just booked a holiday in Florida my my girlfriend and our kids in Disney World So lots to look forward to. So time to start training hard again. At a leg session I was taking part in with my client I joined in with his squatting. After 4 warm up sets I did a 120kg squat my normal 6 rep max weight, I wasn't quite warm up enough and had a huge pain in my lower back. I normally warm up for 30 mins and stretch for 15 minutes. This I didn't do! So with lumber pain I went home rested and took anti inflammatory. The next morning pain not to bad I prepared for my clients, cooking that day's food. In the kitchen I sneezed, and then a shooting pain hit me in heels, calves and glutes. I fell to the floor in incredible pain. I knew this pain was very serious. Referred pain in legs and feet is a sure sign that the lumber disc is prolapsed; I knew this through extensive study through my Sports Therapy Diploma. I crawled to bed, in a 4 town house that's an effort. I call the doctor he arrived and diagnosed a slipped disc. I had never felt searing pain like this in my life; I now know what slipped discs are like, serious!

My GP gave me very strong pain killers, these were useless! He then prescribed oral morphine this was the only relief from the extreme pain in my back and legs. I knew not only was my training finished but my business would suffer. I had been fully booked, for me that am 40 hours a week's which fits in with caring for my daughter 4 days a week. I knew I had to rehabilitate quickly. I'd had a holiday in Orlando Disney World booked with my daughter that was cancelled. I wasn't going anywhere. For the next 20 weeks I spent in bed on heavy doses of morphine. Then slowly I started my rehab program designed by myself. As a Sports Therapist I knew exactly what to do. Slowly my back gained strength and pain decreased. I was on the mend. This was when I returned to work slowly getting back up to speed I started training in the gym.

It was the summer of 2008 I was full steam at work and helping to get my girlfriend Debbie ready for her bodybuilding shows. That year Debbie won the BNBF Welsh Championships and placed 3rd in the British Finals I was overjoyed and an amazing result for all her hard work and all my advice and support had reaped results. Now was my time to pan my return to Bodybuilding competition.

2009 would be the year I would return and In January 2009 I began my assault on the long road to getting back in shape after my catastrophic injury. My shows would be the BNBF Welsh and Southern Championships. Hopefully I would qualify for the British Finals. After this injury it would be a long shot. But I began training and my starting bodyweight was 13st 4lbs. I had to be 11st! So I had to lose over 35lbs to compete! Would I do it.....

Hell yes! After my training of only 20 weeks I was ripped and ready to rock the stage after being told I'd never train or compete again. Note to Doctor, you were wrong! So at the BNBF Southern Championships I qualified for the BNBF Britain and at this Show my girlfriend Debbie won the Figure class beating amazing competitors. So we are now all set to go to the 5th British finals of my career. Out of the blue this summer 2009 The Active Channel gave me a call. They'd seen an article about my amazing client and by now my best friend Jodie Marsh who i trained for 6 months and looked amazing. they wanted to know if I could write a TV show for them? I said YES. I'd done so much TV work in 90's that this was a very natural progression me. This time I would be talking and showing my lifelong passion and job.

So I was 4 weeks out of the BNBF Britain and I set about writing my first TV show. They wanted to know how I trained Abs. my periodisation and Ab training design is unique. The Top PT's in the industry will understand where I'm coming from. But as there is a 1000 Ab workouts it was my time to show the power of my knowledge. I wrote 6 30 minute shows which then got commissioned and we filmed 3 60 minutes TV shows Called '6 pack in 4 weeks'. This title was also linked up to a new product LA muscle was about to launch. So my association with LA Muscle began. The first show #1 was filmed with my good friend, client and Ace photographer Gareth Dix. Show 1 was corrective exercise and inner unit core muscles. Show 2 was my dynamic stability and training and show 3 is my hardcore hypertrophy outer unit sling system training for abs. My friend Jodie very kindly helped me film show 2 and show 3 being my guest. Thank you Jodie. By this time Jodie and I had become amazing friends. She is the most loyal and generous friend I'd ever had. Much to the annoyance of other jealous PT's, I became Jodie's genuine best friend. Where other PT's would charge Jodie I gave my time to my wonderful friend as and when I was free. I was hugely successful for years, i had a big house and fantastic Porsche all the money i needed. So i knew beginning to work with Jodie was my chance to help her turn her life around.

In 1996 a 16 year old Jodie Marsh had taken pictures of me at my gym Bodyfitness for her GCSE photography. So id had a soft spot for Jodie for many years. I also knew the shit and bullying she had endured as a child and when she became famous sometimes endured more abuse. I wanted to make a difference i wanted to help and Jodie became the most wonderful friend id ever had. Jodie kindly got involved in my TV projects and Jodie got me involved in any TV projects she had for me. What many other jealous small minded PT's don't realise is that PT is not always about money. Sometimes it's about helping a wonderful friend.

So with my first TV series in edit, my business was going so well. With 45 hours PT and rehab work a week I was full on training for the BNBF British Championships. With my huge success and with my girlfriend Debbie the interest in my training for women was huge. This is when I now took the leap to my website Sharpbodies. I couldn't get any busier but it was my chance to show the world my success in PT over 20 years and my huge success with ladies figure training. So now of to the 2009 British Championships!

In 2009 I got a call out of the blue from the television company LA Muscle now The Active Channel. They had seen an article in a magazine about Jodie and her new body and wondered if I could write and film a TV show together for them. So I said Yes no problem! I wrote my first show 6 Pack in 4 weeks which is 3 one hour shows about my Ab training and the periodisation I use within Ab training. I asked my client Gareth to be in the first show and show 2 and 3 my friend Jodie very kindly said she'd be in them, thank you Jodie! The first TV series was a big success and after a meeting with active channel they said it was such a success and can I write some more show, hell yes! Excellent........To be continued

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