As a young boy I moved a lot between my parents who were divorced, and as is quite common in this situation, I drifted onto the wrong side of the tracks a fair bit. Then when I was about 13 one of the boys at school asked me if I had ever done (Olympic) weightlifting before. I lied and said yes, of course I had, and he invited me to the local weightlifting club. That one event changed the course of my life.
I trained 2-3 hours per night, 5 nights a week whilst all my old mates were getting into trouble. By the time I was 16 I was British Schoolboys Weightlifting Champion and had been crowned ‘Britain’s Strongest Schoolboy’.
At 17 after another short stint of going-off-the-rails I joined the Army and served just over 3 years in the infantry. I learned a lot about my perceived limits, my true limits, and of course, the discipline required for success.
After leaving the Army I kept my personal fitness habits alive, more or less. However, after moving into a corporate career, over time my fitness & health suffered and I began consuming alcohol to worrying levels.
Then one day my girlfriend (now wife) prodded me in the gut and told me in no uncertain terms I was getting fat & pasty and turning into a slob.
Well that was it!
Then started my quest to not only regain my fitness but to become the man I always knew, deep down, I was supposed to be.
Through having a personal trainer who specialized in Kettlebells I was inspired to become a PT myself and, through attending a StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor certification I first became aware of Paul McIlroy, the Centaur Gym and, of course, the Amazing 12 Week Program.
After meeting Paul, learning more about the Amazing 12 and hearing him speak at the Strength Matters summit, I asked him if he would ever be teaching his system to anybody else.
The answer was a resounding if polite “no”.
Then a few months later I received a private message from Paul and the rest, as they say, is history.
I was proud to be on the first ever Amazing 12 Coaches Certification in Dublin.
Why was I so proud?
Because I’d seen and heard about what this program does. The way it powerfully and profoundly changes the lives of all who are touched by it. Not just the students and graduates of the program but the coaches too.
It’s so deeply satisfying and rewarding to have the power to help people on such a fundamental human level. It’s why I’m in this game in the first place.
The certification itself was first class. It was like getting into a time machine and fast-forwarding my learning curve by 10 years. I left Dublin as a completely different trainer. I have literally gained decades worth of shared experience and Paul is a natural teacher who delivers his content with ease and in a way that is easy to understand.
Then there’s the post-certification experience of community, support and shared success. It’s like being part of a very exclusive and caring family.
The Amazing 12 is the premium program at my gym and will remain so for many years to come. To be accepted onto the program, to participate and graduate at the end, with the jaw-dropping results that occur every time, I can only give the program a huge amount of kudos. I absolutely love running the sessions at my gym and also the small groups of four creates a phenomenal atmosphere.
The most satisfying part of being a certified A12 Coach is seeing, quite literally before my eyes, the change that comes over my clients almost from Day 1. It’s not just the aesthetic changes or the herculean strength gains, although they are the ‘Poster Child’ of the program, it’s the way people carry themselves, head held a little higher, that bit more swagger in their walk and the light behind their eyes. The plain fact that by being a part of the program enhances people’s experience of life. That is the thing that makes it special.
Personally for me the program has changed the way I train myself and the way I design all of my client programs, regardless of the kit used or the desired outcome.
I gained a massive 50% on my bench press which was already over 100kg, I deadlifted more than twice my bodyweight and squatted more than I’ve ever done in my life. And don’t even get me started on the chin ups.
But the most amazing part of the program for me was just as I finished my final workout and took of my tee shirt ready for the photos. I literally could not believe my eyes as I stared at this Hulk-like figure in the mirror. Even as a certified coach and someone who had seen and heard from guys that had gotten stunning results before, I was really not prepared for how amazing I looked. I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face for weeks.
For me as an advanced lifter of many many years to make gains like that, it’s truly stunning…
Now I train every day using what I learned from Paul and at least once a year I do the entire program again. I have such a level of confidence in my strength and overall fitness now that I am willing to have a go at any given challenge.
I feel like I will never grow old…