I know Sammy because I created an illustrated character for his business ‘Tank-Top Fitness’. After meeting him I was really inspired to make my workouts count and I think about every muscle in my body humming to the beat of the drum (or archaic stereo system). In a society where most of us sit behind a desk for 7.5 hours a day or more, exercise is such an important component of a healthy lifestyle. This is Sam’s story and I hope it motivates you to try out his fitness challenge at the end (it’s as challenging as you want it to be – go on try something new today, you know you want too!).

My interview with Sammy from tank-top fitness

Who is Tank-Top Sam?

I’am a 25 year old trainer from London who is currently training alongside Blockworkout, a family of calesthenic athletes based in South London.

What’s your backstory?

It’s hard for me to explicitly tell you anything remotely remarkable about myself. As a child I wasn’t great at any particular sport and apart from my love for English, I was a wonderfully average pupil, add that to the fact girls thoughts I was chubby and uninteresting and you can see why I was never the top name on everyone’s invitation list. So, what do I want with your time, this unheard of uninspiring side character?

Well, one word, growth. The thing about realising that you are terribly average is that incessant nagging at the back of your brain yelling you should be better. I’ve found that training is not just about looking like a sex god and having the confidence to match but more importantly, it’s about being better than you were yesterday. It’s about the ability to make progress under pressure, whilst maintaining form. If that’s not a microcosm for life then I don’t know what is.

What’s your life ethos?

Being remarkable isn’t actually based on fantastic achievements, even though they may help. Being remarkable starts with the feeling that you deserve to be respected, that there is something about

you that others should be interested in, and then working hard to bring about your goals. Not cheating yourself out of a set, not putting off another invitation to perform on stage and certainly not being content with doing nothing whilst hoping that the success you want will just find it’s to you. In order to do that you need truthful assessment of yourself and where you are.

Were you always into exercise?

5 years ago I was waking up at 12pm daily, mauling my way through 2 chicken burgers and  chips (fries, for any of my American brethren reading), guzzling my way through my stash of coke, not cocaine! Helplessly unaware of the social chasm I was locking myself into. So the 1st question is; what is your routine like? You are a reflection of what you continually do. Therefore if you seek to change your person, you need to change your routine. If your routine is not in line with your end goal, then the goal becomes really easy to miss. I’ve gone from being a loner to becoming addicted to getting high. High, yes  I said it, I get high, off life and it’s consistency in being incredibly inconsistent. 13 stone free from chubbiness and baptised in determination and purpose.

How did you come to love fitness so much?

I starting working out with people who refused to just merely exist. Are you merely existing? Stagnation is the killer of creativity, creativity comes from experiences and living in the presence of interesting characters. Now I’m not talking about wacky guys who dress up as a giant dildo’s on a night out. Unless that’s what your into. No judgement here, but what I mean is people who passionately enjoy life. These people drive you to enjoy and appreciate life, as well as exposing what is possible in a lifetime.

Do you find it hard to explain who you are, when you take away your job title? Can you describe yourself accurately in 5 words in less than 30 second? I think it’s time to train. Not just physically. Mentally and socially also. When the mind is fragmented so is the body. So simply, get your mind right! My first recommendation is the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Final thoughts…

Sam is such a positive person and I like his motivational posts on Facebook. If you are looking to  throw away the excuses and start working on getting that beautiful functional body, climb flights of stairs without feeling your lungs are about to explode. Run with your children, play basketball and dunk over your stunned friends. Then contact Sam and  let him show you, the same way Blockwork and his team leader Terrol Lewis showed him how to unite body and mind into an elite living experience. It’s not easy, but worth it and who knows you might discover a new passion in life!

Hopefully Sam will be a regular in my chat box section and each time he will be giving you a personal fitness challenge to try. Here’s assignment 1:

The Stair Squat Challenge

  1. Find a flight of stairs
  2. Find something to mark the fifth step e.g a bottle of water or a towel
  3. Then start in a squat position (core braced, knees not over toes, the back of the feet should slightly hang over the step similar to a calf raise.)
  4. Squat jump on the the the 1st stair, when landing maintain squatted position.
  5. Do this from stair 1 to stair 5 then walk back downstairs to the bottom. (The walk is your rest)
  6. As soon as you reach  the bottom start again, only this time you squat jump to the 2nd, 4th and 5th stair
  7. Then walk back down.
  8. As soon as you reach the bottom jump to the 3rd and 5th step
  9. Walk back to the bottom.
  10. As soon as you reach the bottom jump to the bottom 4th and 5th step.
  11. Walk back to the bottom.
  12. As soon as you reach the bottom jump to the 5th step.

Beginners can call it quits here. More advanced readers can complete the routine backwards from 5-1.

Let me know how you got on and also how completing it made you feel. Where there times you wanted to give up but didn’t? Let me know. Feeling confident? Keep it 300! (My Happy Hemp Protein Bars make the perfect pre/post workout snack).

Being a social butterfly and networker I meet people from all walks of life and in this chatbox section I want to interview people who I find inspiring and who can help you enhancing your life, health and thinking. As these are amazingly talented people I’m interviewing, I’m very grateful for them taking the time to share their thoughts with me and I hope you that when you read their story you will feel inspired and maybe even find out something or someone that can help you to achieve a happy, healthier life. Thanks Sammy for taking the time to chat to me and I enjoy your witty sense of humor and determination. If you have any questions for Sammy please comment below and he’ll be sure to respond.

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