Cover model looks

This month’s cover model Louis Ren­nocks is a Barry’s Boot­camp PT, co-founder of The Boxx Method and an am­bas­sador for the M&S Big & Tall range. Here he re­veals the train­ing and nu­tri­tion plan that helped him build his best ever body – so you can too

Men's Fitness - - Perfect Fit -

You’ve made the leap from suc­cess­ful per­sonal trainer to suc­cess­ful model. When you found out you were go­ing to com­bine the two ca­reers and ap­pear on the cover of MF, what sort of train­ing plan did you fol­low? I did four heavy strength ses­sions each week, based around big com­pound lifts or the Olympic lifts. In those ses­sions I’d hit a cou­ple of big lifts for around six sets of three to five reps, then fin­ish with some more hy­per­tro­phy-fo­cused work where the rep range is closer to eight to ten. Did you do any car­dio? Yeah, I did five car­dio ses­sions each week – ei­ther a class at Barry’s Boot­camp, where I teach, or a Boxx Method (the­boxxmethod.com) ses­sion, which is my own high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing pro­gramme. I hate long and slow car­dio and much pre­fer HIIT. I’ll also do a dou­ble abs ses­sion at Barry’s once a week – I never used to train abs di­rectly but if you want a de­cent six-pack you have to train your abs just like you would any other ma­jor mus­cle group. What was your nu­tri­tion ap­proach lead­ing up to the shoot? I didn’t eat un­til 1pm, and then I ate all my day’s calo­ries in an eight-hour win­dow un­til 9pm, so I fasted each day for 16 hours. I’ve found this ap­proach works for me and I don’t see the point in spread­ing out my calo­ries into smaller meals through­out the day. I feel like when I eat my body is in re­cov­ery mode, and it can make me feel tired and slug­gish, and I’m more alert and fo­cused when I am hun­gry. This makes sense from an evo­lu­tion­ary point of view: if there was no food and we were hun­gry then we’d have to go hunt­ing, which re­quired a lot of fo­cus and de­ter­mi­na­tion. And ex­tended pe­ri­ods of daily fast­ing is a great way to reteach your body how to burn fat for fuel. Did you fol­low a spe­cific diet? My prep diet for the shoot was pretty sim­ple. I’ve found that a ke­to­genic diet works best for me – that’s very high fat, mod­er­ate pro­tein and very low carb. Once the body has no carbs left for fuel it will start to con­vert fat into ke­tones, and it can be a very ef­fec­tive way to get lean. I aim for 2,500 calo­ries a day with a daily pro­tein in­take of around 180g, so I just make up the rest of the calo­ries from fat, with that split around 60/40 in favour of an­i­mal fats over other fat sources. The only carbs I’ll have is 500ml of orange juice straight af­ter train­ing. How did you get on with a keto diet? A keto diet means that, with­out carbs, your body has no choice but to burn body fat as fuel and it can be very ef­fec­tive, although it’s not easy at first. For the first four days as my body ran out of carbs I felt like hell. It was aw­ful and I had no en­ergy and no strength and couldn’t get a pump, but then I was in a yoga class and sud­denly every­thing just clicked into place. From then on I felt fan­tas­tic. You must spend a lot of your time in ac­tivewear. Do you ever dress up? As a PT I spend most of my day in sports clothes. When I am train­ing my­self, a client or a class then I will be in per­for­mance wear; in be­tween clients or classes then I like to look a lit­tle more pro­fes­sional and com­fort­able so I wear ac­tivewear, like jog­ging bot­toms and a hooded top. Is it im­por­tant to you to look good when work­ing out? You want to wear clothes that are com­fort­able, make you feel good – and make you look like you train! A baggy T-shirt is great when chill­ing out, but it’s far from ideal when train­ing. I find a lot of my clients buy new work­out kit to help mo­ti­vate them to get to the gym in the first place, and then to push hard when they’re there. I like tech wear and per­for­mance wear be­cause it can give you the con­fi­dence to re­ally push your­self. It’s sim­i­lar to when you go run­ning: if you’re in the right gear that makes you feel good you’re go­ing to run a faster time, no ques­tion. Do you find it dif­fi­cult to shop for your shape when buy­ing clothes? When I need to get dressed up for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion like a wed­ding it can be tough find­ing the right look that fits. I am 6ft 4in [1.93m] with a 46in [117cm] chest and 34in [86cm] waist and that’s a frame that’s hard to shop for, es­pe­cially suits or shirts. At least one part would al­ways be too tight or loose, so I had to spend a lot of money on get­ting be­spoke and tai­lored cloth­ing. I was so happy when M&S brought out its Big and Tall range be­cause it’s ta­pered for guys like me who have broad shoul­ders, big arms and a nar­row waist. It’s perfect and great to be able to buy some­thing fan­tas­tic right off the peg. What is the one out­fit you know you will al­ways feel con­fi­dent in? My go-to ca­sual sum­mer look is a pair of chino shorts, a white tee and a de­cent pair of train­ers. In win­ter my look will

be based around a big jacket. I’ll have a nice stan­dard out­fit – not too shouty – and let a big jacket do all the talk­ing! With all my out­fits that’s my ap­proach, keep things ca­sual but with one stand­out piece, whether that’s a jacket or train­ers. It’s all about com­fort and the right fit, be­cause if you’re in good shape then your clothes will look bet­ter on you. If you’re con­fi­dent and feel good, then you stand up straighter and just ra­di­ate con­fi­dence. I want peo­ple to know I am feel­ing fan­tas­tic when I am. Why is the right work­out gear so im­por­tant? Train­ing is like cook­ing – you need to right tools at your dis­posal to do the best job pos­si­ble, so I ad­vise peo­ple to spend a bit of money on the right work­out clothes. Peo­ple spend so much money on things they don’t need, but it’s im­por­tant to in­vest in your­self, and good train­ing clothes and book­ing into group classes or get­ting a PT is a mas­sive com­mit­ment to self-im­prove­ment, what­ever your health and fit­ness goal. In­vest in what is go­ing to help you look, feel and per­form bet­ter than ever. What’s your fit­ness-fash­ion ad­vice for some­one new to train­ing? If you’re new to the gym, or com­ing back af­ter a break from train­ing, then first in­vest in pair of qual­ity train­ers. For other kit I like leg­gings and shorts be­cause jog­gers are too loose and just get in the way, and I can “feel” my legs mus­cles bet­ter in leg­gings, which makes it eas­ier to work them harder. Al­ways go for a breath­able T-shirt. It doesn’t have to be tight; it’s more im­por­tant that you’re com­fort­able. Black or grey if you don’t want to stand out too much, but if you do there’s more choice than ever be­fore when it comes to bright and neon colours! Ul­ti­mately it doesn’t mat­ter how you look so long as you feel com­fort­able – if you do then you’re go­ing to train hard and every­thing will fall into place. What mo­ti­vates you to keep work­ing at your fit­ness ev­ery day? For me it’s not just about look­ing good. I know what it feels like to be re­ally healthy and I love feel­ing like this. When you train hard and eat well you feel fan­tas­tic, and this pos­i­tiv­ity ra­di­ates into ev­ery sin­gle area of your life – work, friend­ships, busi­ness, re­la­tion­ships, every­thing. I love push­ing my­self hard and when I feel like I can’t do a sin­gle ex­tra rep, I al­ways try to find the men­tal strength as well as the phys­i­cal strength to keep go­ing. When you push your­self to the limit and then man­age to keep push­ing it’s a pow­er­ful thing. And it helps me in other ar­eas of life when I have to dig deep, be­cause I know I can do it. A lot of peo­ple start train­ing be­cause they want the phys­i­cal ben­e­fits, but pretty soon the men­tal ben­e­fits be­come clear too. Train­ing helps keep me calm and in con­trol. Af­ter a re­ally hard ses­sion, any­thing else that hap­pens in your day is go­ing to be easy to deal with.

Pre­vi­ous page M&S Col­lec­tion hooded top, £25 M&S Col­lec­tion jog­gers, £16 This page M&S Col­lec­tion pure linen shirt, £35 M&S Col­lec­tion chi­nos, £39.50

Top M&S Col­lec­tion sweat­shirt, £17.50 M&S Col­lec­tion jog­gers, £16 Bot­tom M&S Col­lec­tion T-shirt, £6 M&S Col­lec­tion trousers, £19.50

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