Men's Fitness

Alex Crockford


Gracing the cover this issue is fitness model and personal trainer Alex Crockford. The 30-year-old believes in sustainabl­e gains: lifestyle and training changes that can create fitness for life, rather than flash-in-the-pan diets and workout programmes that foster a boom-and-bust mindset. In 2016, Crockford set up the CrockFit app – which has grown to include gym, home, bodyweight and nutrition plans – and you can access a load of free training tips and workouts on his Instagram (@alexcrockf­ord) and YouTube.

ALEX, EVERYONE’S HAD TO ADAPT AND IMPROVISE AS BEST THEY CAN THIS YEAR – HAS YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE CHANGED MUCH AS A RESULT OF THE VARIOUS RESTRICTIO­NS? Yeah completely. My method of training is always a mixture of weightlift­ing and gym training, along with some bodyweight stuff and running. It’s always been varied, but back in March when we first went into lockdown I obviously had to go into home-training mode – that began with purely bodyweight, but I progressed it to single-piece equipment workouts.

I just used as much creativity and variety with resistance

bands, dumbbells, TRX Straps and kettlebell­s as I could.


e past 12 weeks – and pretty much culminatin­g in the MF cover shoot

– I went back into a weights-focused routine at the gym: lifting four times a week. I supplement­ed that with running and cardio, but the main structure was gym-based. e split routine varied, but most of the time it was a variation on push, pull, legs.

I’m currently without a programme, which is quite rare for me, but I’m enjoying the exibility. I normally say it’s best to follow a programme, because most of the time it is, however there are some pros to listening to your body and doing what instinctiv­ely feels right. So at the moment if I’m not feeling right or I’ve got DOMS all over my body, I’ll have a day o , or go for a walk and do yoga.


Nutrition is a key part of my habits, and it’s really ingrained in me now

– I struggle to not think about it, to be honest. I’m always looking to get

tter and stronger, but look aesthetic as well. ere are of course some days in the weekend where I ‘let loose’ and enjoy a nice cheat meal, but my day-to-day habits are pretty on form. In terms of calories, I like the term ‘main gain’ – not maintain, but main gain – because a lot of people get stuck in a cycle of cutting and bulking, but there is a sweet spot of maintenanc­e calories that allows you to enjoy your food, build muscle and stay lean all year round.


In the early days, when I rst started working out, I did what most young men do and followed my ego. When you’re young, you don’t get injured and it’s all about lifting as heavy as you can, as fast as you can, and that eventually led to quite a lot of lower back pain that took a long time to recover. at taught me that slow, progressiv­e overload and increase in volume works wonders.

So many people can lift 80kg deadlift, so the next week they want to lift 100kg and the week after that 120kg, but then their form gets worse and worse, and then the injury comes. e mindset of lifting the same weight for three weeks, then upping the weight by just 5kg at a time, can be hard to get into, but you do that for a year and you will make incredible progress – without the injuries.

“ere is a sweet spot of maintenanc­e calories that allows you to enjoy your food, build muscle and stay lean all year round”

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