“Being on Broadway is the modern equivalent of being a monk. I sleep a lot, eat a lot, and rest a lot.”

Hugh Jackman

Good morning peeps, meditation done.

Quote for the Day:

“Being on Broadway is the modern equivalent of being a monk. I sleep a lot, eat a lot, and rest a lot.”

Hugh Jackman

I have not performed on Broadway, but have performed in the West End, which is London’s equivalent.

Doing a West end show is incredibly hard work and literally takes up all your time. You have to do eight shows a week with one day a week off. On matinee days you have to do two shows for me when I was in ‘Carmen Jones’ at the Old Vic, which was directed by Sir Simon Callow, matinees were on Wednesday’s and Saturdays.

I began to really hate Wednesdays and Saturdays and when I would wake up on the morning on those days I would be filled with a sense of dread. By the time you finished the afternoon matinee show you would be shattered and then you would have to leave the theatre and go and get something to eat and by the time you had finished your food it would be time to head back to the theatre and begin warming up and preparing for the next show again.

By the time the show finishes and you leave the theatre it’s gone 10pm which is late to eat and it takes time to unwind and let the adrenalin of performing in front of a live audience die down enough for you to be able to sleep.

I was from the commercial dancing world and I could earn more from doing one commercial job a week than being in the show all week. I spoke to my agency, which was Pineapple Agency about the possibility of me leaving the show. Pineapple spoke to the show about releasing me from my contract. The show offered me the role of dance captain and fight captain, which meant an increased wage alongside added responsibility. I initially enjoyed the extra responsibility and decided to get a mortgage and found a flat to buy in Brixton. The downside was it meant with all the extra rehearsing I had to do with understudies, children and taking auditions, that virtually my whole day and night, six times a week, was spent in the Old Vic theatre and I felt ‘Carmen Jones’ had taking over my entire life and like Hugh said I felt like I was living like a monk.

After Carmen Jones I decided musicals were definitely not for me, and began pursuing the development of other areas of my career.

Many years later when I was training to be a personal trainer I met Anton de Meyer, we immediately hit it off, he was a very intelligent guy and together we pushed each other to learn everything we could on the course, so much so that we both passed with what I believe were record marks at the time. Anton was married to Gaynor, who was Jade Jones brother, Jade was the lead singer of Damage and Emma ‘Baby Spice’ Bunton’s boyfriend. Gaynor had Anton’s first child shortly after we completed our training exams. A few months later Anton got in contact with me and asked me if I wanted to see this amazing gym he was working at as gym manager. It had just been taken over as Holmes Place’s flagship gym, in Regents Place, London near Regent’s Park, having previously been built as part of the Broadgate gyms particularly made famous by the Harbour Club in Chelsea, where Princess Diana used to train.

Anton was not exaggerating when he said it was an amazing gym; it really was beautifully designed and state of the art at the time. It was very open, completely surrounded by glass walls, which would change colours and the mood of the gym, to go with the music and time of the day. The glass walls had motivational quotes engraved in them, that I loved. The gym was the first one in the UK to have the Fitlinxx system.

It was at Holmes Place I met personal trainers Dave Chapman and Paul Davis, who were both fabulous trainers and very knowledgeable. Dave ran Up and Running with his partner at the time Anne, Up and Running was one of London’s first personal training companies all of their trainers were very different and Carole Caplin was one of their trainers.

Dave Chapman was one of the best trainers I have had the pleasure of working with, not only was he very fit and strong himself he was very knowledgeable about such a wide range of health and fitness, including nutrition and he was the first guy that I had met who was a vegetarian, that was big and strong and looked healthy. Dave introduced me to yoga for the first time and SAQ — Speed, Agility and Quickness training, both of which have gone on to be huge factors and influences on my life as well as my training principles.

David used to train Julian Clarey and Jocquain Pheonix when he was in town, this was around the time Gladiator came out so he was a huge star at the time. The best thing about training with Dave was he made it fun, because he has such a great personality and sense of humour never taking himself too seriously, always having a laugh, but making sure he got results for his clients and himself with his training methods.

Dave describes himself as a black lesbian vegetarian trapped in a white heterosexual body, naturally we became great friends and he has continued to play a huge part in my life, always keeping in touch wherever I am in the world and I still regularly go and stay with him and his family hanging out dancing the night away with his crazy friends as Dave spins the tunes on his decks.

I felt like I was back to my dance training days I was obsessed with learning about training, building muscles, gaining speed and improving football skills, I was like a sponge again, picking up off all the fabulous trainers around me and reading every training magazine, I could get my hands on. I was also observing all the girl dancers, swimwear and lingerie models, when we were rehearsing together, looking at how they toned their bodies, their butts, abs and arms, got rid of any wobbly bits. The catwalk is an unforgiving place in a bikini, with the bright lights and an audience of jealous females dying to spot a piece of cellulite on the models. The girls had to be serious about what they were doing it was their livelihood, so I would watch the strange exercises they would do whilst us boys were rehearsing the boys sections or press ups in breaks. If I noticed a girl’s body had changed dramatically, I would ask them what they were doing in the gym to achieve such great results, in such a short time when they had shows coming up.

It was from using all privileged information from female professional dancers and models and then applying it to normal women in the gym on a daily basis that I discovered the way I could literally sculpt women’s bodies to be toned, with the long, lean muscles, flat abs and firm buttocks and thighs that a dancer has.

There was a noticeable difference between men and women, some men wanted to lose weight especially around their beer belly’s and some wanted to build up, but nearly all women desired the same things, so I began to study the difference in training men and women and the effects on their body’s later on in my journey I began to study the difference in mindsets, but at that time I was only into learning everything there is about training the body.

A big presence in the gym was Carole Caplin who would cause quite a stir with her unconventional training methods and ‘look at me’ dress sense, leaving nothing to the imagination training outfits. David Cooper (Who is one of the founders and owners of Gymbox in my opinion the best gyms in London) as gym manager was getting a lot of complaints from members and the Holmes Place trainers about Carole’s antics. Carole said she came from a dance background and that influenced a lot of her training methods so I was asked by the Holmes Place management if I could have a look at what she was doing and give my professional opinion on whether it was safe or not.

I began asking her questions about some of the stuff she was doing and trying it out myself. One of the exercises she would do was based around a dance plié sequence in second position, With my classical ballet training and the fact that I was still working as a professional dancer albeit a slightly reluctant as I reached the latter stages of my career I could do this exercise really easily along with some of the Barre stretches Carole gave her clients and Carole was really impressed exclaiming.

“At last someone from Holmes Place that gets what I am doing. Right I am going to go to the management and ask if you can work for me as well.”

I am not sure what the Holmes Place management had intended, but Carole is a very persuasive lady and my fate was sealed I was now working as a personal trainer for Holmes Place, Carole Caplin and myself on top of my dancing, modeling, football coaching and getting beer money for playing football.

It was a tough schedule I used to have to catch the 4:20am train from Hassocks to Farringdon to get into the gym have a shower and be ready to start training my first client at 7am and would not finish until 7 or 8pm and would not get home until gone 10pm and my alarm would be set for 3:50am the next morning. I used to grab sleeps anywhere I could the train the sunbeds at the gym, between sessions anywhere and often I would oversleep on the train and miss my stop and end up in Brighton or worse still if it was a train that I had to change on I would end up in Eastbourne.

The Holmes Place management figured if I was working with Carole I could influence her and adjust any of her methods, which were considered unsafe by the industry regulators. To do this I had to totally immerse myself in her methods.

Carole was a very clever and attractive woman, who knew how to work her charms to get what she wanted from powerful men as well as women. She had begun training before the industry had become regulated and although she was not qualified she had years of practical experience and had built up an impressive client base including the Blairs when they lived in Islington, before Tony became Prime Minister. On my first morning working for her she introduced me to Cherie and then promptly said

“Oh Adj can you carry on training Cherie I have to go and speak to some designers.”

Talk about being thrown in the deep end and so that was how I began training Cherie Blair and this eventually led me to the whole 10 Downing Street experience, which was an amazing time in my life.

It was around this time I first met Hugh Jackman as he used to train in the gym around the 7.30 in the morning mark everyday. He would train with two other guys one was a trainer and one was a doctor in nutrition. Hugh was a really friendly guy and always trained really hard pushing himself to the limit. Even though he was training with his own trainer he would always say hello and if I were training on my own between clients, he would come over and ask me what I was doing and why I was doing it. I used to find that people would stop to ask me what I was doing all the time when I was training myself, because I was always doing something different making up new ways of training, I suppose it was my creative side I was also working as a choreographer at the time making up new moves it was the same with exercises the more I learnt about the body, the more I would make new exercises up and find new ways of obtaining the results I was trying to achieve. Now 15 years later I am still doing the same thing just with a lot more knowledge and experience.

Hugh Jackman is a very talented, disciplined and hard working man who deserves all the success he has achieved and he is spot on to place as much emphasis on his sleeping, eating and resting as he does to the rest of his life.

Life is all about balance.

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Have a Tremendous Tuesday peeps

Breathe, Believe and Achieve

Be Happy, Healthy and Wise

Keep on Winning, Smiling and Living the Dream

Namaste

Steve

steveagyei.com