“Guys, every 500m row must be one second faster. All ten rounds.”

This means the days are over when you can just walk into a session and blindly try to work hard.

You have to be intelligent with pacing and 100% present whilst feeling like your legs and lungs are about to separate from your body.

Training just became an art form.

Welcome to Gym Jones.

DB press


If you want to ramp up your life, THE place to start is to take a stone cold, brutal look at what you’re surrounding yourself with.

This means an honest analysis of every second of your day.

The work you do, how you spend the spare time you’re not going to get back and perhaps most importantly as a foundation, the people you have around you.

This was one of the reasons I chose to start my Fitness Road Trip at Gym Jones in Salt Lake City in Utah.

Famed for training the 300 actors, Henry Cavill (aka Superman), military units and a host of athletes from a range of professional sports, this is the kind of place that either spits you out quickly or makes you a better person.

One thing is clear though and it breathed life into a few areas of my brain that had gone stale.

Your status, your wealth, your success mean nothing once the timer starts.

At Gym Jones the currency is effort. Hard fucking work.

At the end of the Fundamentals seminar I found out Andy who had been on the course, was the drummer from Fallout Boy, a band I have trained to many times.

No matter and it was never really discussed.

Who you are in here and who you are outside are two different ball games.

That said, you can’t just be switched on when you’re inside Gym Jones.

Eat like a child outside and pay no attention to your recovery and lifestyle and you WILL be found out. 



Professional athletes, actors, musicians and business people come in and out of Gym Jones regularly but the coaches, the ‘members’ and the barbells don’t discriminate.

You will be called out on your bullshit but most importantly you will be lifted up just the same as the next guy or girl.

What strikes me about Gym Jones is that everything has been stripped to the bare bones.

From the layout of the facility to the atmosphere and attitude that circulates through every workout, you get the sense that the chosen few who have gone before you have taken away any layers that life didn’t need.

There is nowhere to hide.

This is not a large facility built on body shaming marketing with 40 people in a class – there as a result of fear mongering and a belief that walking in the gym door buys them the right to be in shape.

The guys and girls who stand shoulder to shoulder with you are there largely because of a rare desire to WANT a different kind of fear.

This type of fear creeps up on you and gives you two choices.

Just when you’re on the brink of quitting, that fears taps you on the shoulder and offers up two roads.

  1. Quit
  2. Work harder

Box jump 2


The strange thing about the Gym Jones fear is that it cooks you just slowly enough that you get used to it.

It’s not like looking over a cliff and getting that instant adrenaline dump.

You look forward to the point in the workout because you know it’s coming.

It might come early on, or it might come late, but it WILL come.

Squat music


If you hold on long enough, the fear gives up.

You reach a new level that you don’t forget.

Like the fish who has no concept of the water it swims in, travelling to a new place with new people, new attitudes and a new ‘bowl of water’ makes you realise just how bad you let things get.

I speak to people week in and week out and have spent years coaching people who are struggling to get out of their own self-imposed hole.

If I could go back, 90% of those conversations would be a lot shorter…

“You need to get out before you can’t”.

Forget all the ifs and buts.

Compromises can only be needed where a lack of clarity exists on one or both sides of the equation.

The first step on the journey out of the hole is to trust in life and head out after what you believe in.

People will shake their head and make up their own reasons about why.

You’ll have to say goodbye to family, jump into a lifestyle that at first doesn’t deliver the same income/familiarity and comfort and trust in your heart.

It’s everything most people are too scared, weak and beaten down to handle because they’ve swum in the same water for too long.

When you can’t see what’s going on, you can’t see how to change or that you even need to.

It just “is what it is”.

At Gym Jones, in certain sessions, you will be beaten down, but with a reason and with someone to pick you back up at the end.

At Gym Jones, people don’t need to be told to warm up.

They want to be the best version of themselves so it’s not even a question.

At Gym Jones, scores are recorded but not to gloat.

Those scores are simply beacons for the next attempt.

At Gym Jones, there is no missing the gym because you’re a bit tired.

You turn up knowing you’re gonna get a shot in the arm from someone. Everyone.

At Gym Jones you don’t need to check to see who’s going to be there beforehand.

You know that male, female, 20 years old or 50, there will be someone there who will push you to do more, see more in yourself and become more.

In just a week at Gym Jones, the main thing for me has not been learning a new workout or even hitting a PR on the deadlift.


The biggest shift so far has been that the salvation the Gym Jones crew speak of comes when you let your head slowly be ‘untucked’ by trusting in the process.

You stop saying “it will all be worth it one day” as an excuse to live a life supported by excuses, stimulants, medication and status contests.

All that matters is what’s in front of you for the next 15/30/60/90 minutes.

Nothing will give you more of a sense of inner peace and excitement than knowing you’re on the same path as other genuine people who you know will applaud a great performance but raise an eyebrow when you need it too.

It’s your set…step up.