Three motivations of a bodybuilder

Nathan, our resident fitness man, shares what motivated him to prepare and compete as a bodybuilder earlier this year.

So far this year has been extremely busy for me! With the birth of my baby daughter on Christmas Day last year and the start of some new business ventures you would think I had enough on my plate. However, after winning on my bodybuilding debut last May, I’d been bitten by the bug and wanted to get back on stage again!

Competing in a bodybuilding or physique competition requires a long and extremely strict dieting phase, lots of cardio and a lot of intense weight training. This is to reduce body fat as much as possible whilst maintaining muscle mass. It’s physically hard and extremely mentally challenging. Exhaustion, extreme hunger and bad moods are all part and parcel of the process, not to mention the extra time that needs to be dedicated to meticulously preparing meals and training in the gym. It’s all-consuming and easy to give up.

Nathan with his 2015 1st place trophy

I want to share with you the three factors that kept me motivated during my prep:

This is the only ‘selfish’ reason I have for competing. It’s not possible to complete a successful competition prep without it. I have a huge passion for training, the way it makes me feel and the self satisfaction I get from accomplishing my goals. I absolutely love that sense of achievement and empowerment.

I’m a personal trainer. My accomplishments, image and knowledge all help promote myself and my work. With a recent supplement sponsorship and the launch of some new online business ventures it was important to me to ‘prove my worth’ and increase my profile and credibility in a very competitive industry.
I really want to be someone that my family can be proud of. It’s important for me to show my children that anything is possible if you want it enough and you work hard enough for it. It was also important for me to prove to myself that I could complete this prep with a good element of balance. Competition prep can very easily take over your whole life. It happened to some degree when I competed last year, so I wanted to maintain a good prep/life balance this time around.

These three motivating factors helped push me through the toughest and darkest days of prep, and despite a last minute decision to change the category I was competing in, I managed to take first place and win!

Nathan with his 1st place trophy in May

I try to apply this same way of thinking to other aspects of life. Focus on what you want to achieve, set your goal, put into motion a plan of action and use sources of inspiration to motivate you. With dedication and hard work, anything is achievable!

Nathan is a Personal Trainer in Essex sponsored by MyProtein. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


‘Everyone has an amazing future ahead of them’: Scott McGlynn


Scott McGlynn is a celebrity blogger from South Wales. In the short
memoir, Out, he writes about growing up and learning to celebrate his
identity and sexuality. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who’s
experienced bullying, teasing or self-doubt.One
small part of Scott’s story is almost identical to mine. I
too looked up ‘gay’ in the dictionary after hearing it as a
slur against me on the school playground. Except the dictionary I
used was quite an old one, and defined gay as being happy. What a beautifully
poetic truth that’s turned out to be.

I asked Scott more about the book and the message he hopes people will take
from it.

Why did you want to write your book?

I always enjoyed writing and love blogging on my own
site. Someone suggested I write a book and I knew it was the perfect
time to help others going through coming out and getting bullied.

How does your book differ from others about including coming

Everyone has a different story to share. Everyone is different. Mine is a story
anyone can relate to for being bullied, whether it’s for being gay, hair
colour, size.

What’s your top tip for anyone inspired to write their story?

If you’re writing a book about your life be honest and go into
detail. People say ‘it must be hard to write about what happened
to you for the world to see’. It was emotional bringing up memories from the
past, but I knew it would help and support others.

In your book, you say you didn’t report school bullies as that would
only give them more power. Do you think action on bullying in schools
is better now?

I hope so! A lot of young people get cyberbullied now through
social media, which wasn’t part of the problem back in my day. It’s upsetting
to me that people sit behind a computer just making comments about other

What impact do you hope the book will have?
I want to let people know if you’re getting bullied or you’re going to come
out, everything will be ok! Everyone has an amazing future ahead of
them. You have an amazing future. Don’t allow people put you

The book ends with your engagement. Congratulations!
How is your future looking?

Thank you! My finance and I are slowly planning our wedding and have
the same ideas for it which is great! We’ll be getting married very soon. Until
then, I’m busy touring and talking about the book.

Out is available to download and buy now from Amazon. You can follow Scott on Twitter @ScottyMcGlynn.


Looking for another great book to read? Check out my suggestions from ‘My Gay Bookshelf‘.



Will Matt be King of the Peaks?

Later this month, Matt King from Essex will be taking on the
Three Peaks Challenge. It’s a race against the clock to climb Ben Nevis in
Scotland, Helvellyn in England and Snowden in Wales all in 24 hours. I found out more about Matt’s motivation for such a big challenge and how he’s been preparing.

Why are you doing the
Three Peaks Challenge?
Giving to charity is
a big deal. I don’t think enough of us realise how good we’ve got I, so I’m
climbing the Three Peaks to support The Sailors’ Society. It’s going to be a life changing challenge. I wanted to
push myself to change my lifestyle and some bad habits I have.

Who are you climbing
the peaks with?

My colleagues Ellis
and Lauren are also taking part and will be key to me actually making it
through the day. We’ll probably want to throw each other off of the mountains
at some point, but their support is going to be essential. Right now, the
encouragement and generousity of my friends and family is also the only thing
keeping me sane.

Have you been
preparing for the hike?
Yes, but probably not
as much as I should have been! We’ve stepped up training over the last few
weeks, walking up and down the famous Leigh cliff steps during our lunch break
and going on longer walks. I’ve also cut down my smoking which has been tough
for me. My goal is to quit before the climb.
What will be the
highs and lows of the day?
The muscle pain and
fatigue is going to be the worst thing. Three mountains in 24 hours is a
stretch for a hiker, let alone me who’s never hiked a mole hill. But I can’t
wait to get to the top of each mountain and feel an inevitable sense of
achievement. Descending Helvellyn as the sun rises will be a moment I’ll never
to forget.
Which peak will be
your favourite to climb?
Ben Nevis will the
most fun, because it’s the first and we’ve got a strategy in place to give
ourselves a strong start. It’s a race at the end of the day! Helvellyn will be
amazing because we’re doing it in the dark and Snowdon to finish will probably
be the hardest, but most rewarding. Each have their pros and cons.

Lauren, Matt and Ellis

Why are you supporting The Sailors’ Society?
The Sailor’s Society help seafarers
across the globe, by providing financial, spiritual or physical aid. The money
we raise will help communities in the Philippines who are still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan that hit the islands in 2013. They’re building homes, fishing boats
and medical so the islands are better prepared for any future disasters.
Spinnaker Global where I work is a recruitment
for firm for the seafaring industry and it’s great to support a cause so close
to our work. We’ve had small fundraisers like bake sales and Woolley Hat Day in
the office, to bigger events like abseiling down the Broadgate Tower last year. But the Three Peaks is definitely our biggest challenge so
It’s definitely a
very physical challenge. Have you always been an active person?
Yes, but what I do has changed over time. In primary school I was playing
football and horse riding, then I was sprinting and long jumping at secondary
school. I kind of lost playing sport when I was at uni in Brighton but was still
walking everywhere. Now I’m living back in Essex and go to the gym, doing plyometrictraining, spin classes and swimming. It just makes me feel better about myself, physically and mentally.

What challenge might
you do next?
I’d like to do a
marathon, but I hate jogging so that might not be for me! If I enjoy the Three
Peaks, another hike outside of the UK could be really interesting.
What’s your top tip
for a gym novice?
Just know that
everyone else is there for the same reason you are. Everyone is looking to
improve an aspect of themselves, whether it’s cardiovascular fitness or losing
weight. I still have to tell myself that people aren’t watching me work out and
judging me for not being able to lift as much or run as long as them. The initial
fear of judgement worries people, but everyone is there to improve.
Ellis and Lauren will be taking on the Three Peaks on Friday 17th June. You can
sponsor them as they raise £5500 for The Sailors’ Society on their JustGiving