Today we welcome James Asquith as our Fit Foodie of the Month to share his inspiring journey to health & fitness.
After losing over 20kg, James is now a Personal Trainer at Coastal Fitness Movement in Kiama Downs and loves sharing his passion for health, well-being and actively promotes finding an all round holistic approach to good health.
Read about Jimmy's journey to good health, everything from his training schedule to his top tips to weightloss - or weightgain! Enjoy!!
Tell us a bit about yourself, what inspired you to become a personal trainer?
Training and healthy eating has always been a passion of mine since leaving school but it wasn't until I became close friends with my now bosses AJ Hatch and Alyssa Miller that I ever really contemplated becoming a personal trainer - In fact it was actually them that approached me and asked if I'd contemplate being a personal trainer and work at their gym. From then on I have loved every minute of it!
I think what appeals most to me is the continual growth and improvement of not just your clients but also continually growing and learning yourself. Knowing how satisfying it is to achieve certain fitness or health goals also inspired me to help others try and achieve their aspirations!
What is the your greatest sporting / fitness achievement?
My greatest sporting achievement would have been in year 12 where I was picked in the NSW Schoolboys Rugby team. Turns out a few of the guys I was lucky enough to play with have kicked on their careers and are now playing top level Rugby for their State and Country.
My greatest fitness achievement would definitely have come way back as a 15 year old. After always being of a 'stocky' nature I broke my thumb playing footy and managed to put on 10kg in 10 short weeks. This saw me reach my highest ever weight of 90kg and was told that I was not considered for representative football teams unless I was able to drop weight and become fitter. It was then that I cleaned up my diet and implemented a training regime that saw me lose 22kg.
I loved the discipline that was involved and I guess that is where my passion for the gym, nutrition and healthy living really started.
What is the furthest distance you have ever...
Run – 10km
Row - 5km
Bench – 85kg (8RM)
Squat – 110kg (8RM)
Deadlift – 135kg (8RM)
We know it's important to have health & fitness goals... What's your current fitness goal or challenge?
I have a couple of fitness and training goals I am working towards at the moment. One is to get my body fat percentage below 7 for the first time and the other is to complete a 2km row in less than 7 minutes. I have the ambition to achieve both by the time the CFM 4 week challenge completes at the end of July!
How many times a week do you work out, and how long do you typically train for?
Ideally I aim for 6 days a week and incorporate a variety of cardio, weights and mobility into my sessions in the gym. I train for anywhere from 45min to 1.5hours depending on the session and what's involved. I like to use social sports as part of my training schedule also as it helps add variety and enjoyment to fitness.
How would you describe your diet?
I largely follow the Paleo diet. I find that eating whole and natural foods respond best to my body, giving me energy, filling me up and allowing me to eat a large variety of healthy meals often so I am never really hungry. I've especially noticed that small substitutions such as almond milk for regular milk, home made granola for cereal and cutting out bread makes a big difference in how I look and feel.
What do you usually eat for breakfast?
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, not to mention the most important!
Every morning I will have a 4 egg omelette with spinach, tomato, mushroom, capsicum, onion, sweet potato
and either chicken or roast beef. I like to add some pepper and chilli flakes on top for a bit of an extra kick.
What are your favourite At Health Australia Protein Smoothie ingredients?
I love adding the At Health Naturally Vanilla and Cocoa to my smoothies for the great taste and to assist with my training and recovery. Along with their protein I like to add, chia seeds, banana, almond milk, oats and a teaspoon of natural peanut butter to make the complete energy shake.
What are your top 3 Tips for those wanting to lose weight, get fit and healthy?
1 - Eat well and eat regularly: I find eating smaller, well balanced meals with protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates more regularly helps sustain energy levels and minimise the risk of snacking in between meals or over eating later in the day.
2 - Drink plenty of water: It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.
3- Move: Whether it's in the gym, at home or at work, finding excuses to simply move in everyday life is crucial in wanting to lose weight. Walking to work or the shops, taking the stairs or making phone calls/business calls on an evening stroll are easy ways to simply move rather than staying sedentary.
What about those wanting to really build lean muscle and bulk up?
To put it simply in order to gain weight you must be eating a surplus amount of calories and nutrients than what your body uses in a day.
What I tell my clients however and implement myself is that your diet in terms of the foods you eat doesn't need to change whether you're trying to lose weight, maintain or gain weight. Rather, the portion sizes of the meals will be altered to suit the goal and the timing of certain foods e.g. carbohydrates will also be tailored to the individual's goals.
Again, lean proteins, good fats and complex carbs will make up the large majority of your diet, however supplements such as the At Health Naturally Naturally Cocoa or Vanilla Protein can help you to get extra vitamins, minerals and calories required to assist in building muscle, improving recovery and ensure that you're eating enough calories in order to gain weight.
What is your biggest personal challenge when it comes to staying fit or healthy eating, and how do you combat it?
For me, my biggest challenge comes in Winter and how I can fit in all my workouts in and around football on weekends and the injuries and recovery which is required as a result of it. Working out is part of my daily routine and I will always find time to train in a day, it's the balancing act of knowing when to rest and listening to what my body is telling me that I find most difficult. I will sometimes have to modify gym sessions or miss training entirely during the season due to soreness and injury.
Who inspires you and why?
There are a few inspirations that I look up to and draw a lot of my knowledge and ideas from. In my immediate company the team at CFM have been out of this world, AJ, Alyssa and Todd are so switched on with what they do and how they interact with people and conduct themselves.. They're the ultimate professionals! Similarly a good mate of mine Tom Baker has been a big influence in educating and motivating me to better myself in the fitness industry.
As far as professionals in the industry the boys at Gym Jones and most notably Bobby Maximus have been really inspiring for me. The intensity they train with, the variety of their sessions and the atmosphere they promote in their gyms with supporting and pushing one another is something that I find really appealing.
Best advice you've ever been given?
The best advice I have been given is so simple but so effective for training and healthy eating.
KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid
Training philosophies and healthy eating really aren't difficult concepts and a lot of people out there tend to over complicate things.
In short, stick to compound functional lifts, cardio, bodyweight and core exercises with appropriate mobility and recovery to get the most out of training. Similarly, by eating a variety of whole foods with lean proteins, healthy or good fats and complex carbs.. you really can't go wrong whatever your goal may be!
On that note, thank you James for being our At Health Australia 'Fit Foodie Inspiration of the Month' - We LOVE your passion for health & fitness and truly appreciate you taking the time to meet with us!!
Make sure you follow James on Instagram @djjimbo91 for a healthy dose of inspiration and to share his health & wellness journey #jointhemovement.
Alexis & Trent - At Health Australia
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