Paul Kemp: Welcome to another episode of The App Guy Podcast. I am your host, it's Paul Kemp. This is a show and an episode that I've been so excited to share with you... It's been a long journey for me - in fact, a three-month, twelve-week journey to improve my health and fitness, and I've been so keen to share this with you. Let me just give you a backdrop before I introduce today's guest.
Before I was introduced to today's guest through a good friend of mine, actually - Andreas Kambanis, who's been on this show twice before (you can find him in the archives); he launched Fit Men Cook. Anyway, I reached out to him at the start of the year and said, "Andreas, I want to get fit, I want to get healthy; I'm feeling that health is one big goal of mine this year", and it's really important to me because I've lost my father last year, I lost my sister-in-law to cancer, and I just wanted to focus on health, because I've been abusing my body, like many of us do.
So Andreas connected me with today's guest, and I started his program, and I'm telling you - it has changed my life forever. I am the healthiest and the fittest I can remember being, and I want to bring this to you and try to encourage you as the listeners to actually rethink about your health and your fitness because it is so important to the overall success of what we do. Let me introduce David Kingsbury.
There's something that I've neglected to mention - he is responsible for some of the best bodies in Hollywood, and I'm talking about the top, A-list celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and all those amazing, sexy Hollywood actors; he is the personal coach and helps their fitness. He's got some training programs and he's been working with me for the last 12 weeks. Also, I do want you to go to theappguy.co, where I am going to post my before and after image, so you can see the impact that he's had on my life.
David Kingsbury: Hi, Paul. Thank you very much for having me on the show!
Paul Kemp: Thanks for changing my life! As I said, we were initially introduced through Andreas and then I started your program, with a huge commitment, but not knowing what to expect. It must be so rewarding, doing what you do... Let's go back to why you got into fitness in the first place; let's start from the start of your story.
David Kingsbury: Yes, of course. I've always been very passionate about my own personal fitness, and that was sort of my route into becoming a personal trainer and setting up my own gym and all these kinds of things which I did. I've actually been a qualified personal trainer for 12 years. I qualified when I was 17 years old, and I've been working in gyms ever since then. I progressed through working in normal health club gyms where I'd be just writing programs for members, cleaning the gym equipment, all that kind of stuff, through to eventually setting up my own very small personal training studio in Buckinghamshire.
Once I was set up within the film studio there, then the works kind of naturally progressed onto me training actors for roles. I never necessarily had the intention of training actors, it was just part of the process of the growth of the business. I just wanted to run a successful health and fitness business that was delivering really good results, and it just naturally progressed into that because of my location, and I guess because of my experience and the results I was achieving with people.
In terms of doing this for a job, I'm very fortunate to have a job in fitness and to be successful in the fitness space, because like you say, it's one of the most rewarding jobs that you can do, seeing people's lives and bodies transform and their health transform. It's incredibly rewarding.
Paul Kemp: I'm really keen to talk about that initial first step into training actors. We're talking about some of the world's most recognizable names. With Logan, the movie that's just been out, everyone knows Hugh Jackman... In fact, when Andreas introduced me to you, he said: "He's the personal coach to Hugh Jackman." I never really put two and two together, and then suddenly Andreas was like, "No, you do know who that is."
How intimidated were you when the actors started coming through your door, and how did you overcome that intimidation?
David Kingsbury: It was quite a surreal experience initially... Although luckily I wasn't just thrown into it; it was kind of a gradual process, in some respects. I'd been at the film studio already a couple of years before I got my first film contract; around two years I'd been training people at this studio, so during that two-year period, because I had my own space, I would have other actors coming and using the gym with their trainers. So I'd say hello to those guys, but I wasn't actually training them directly myself, so there was kind of that nice, gradual introduction to it for me.
The first actual film contract I took - my first full-time contract anyway... I'd done bits and pieces with lesser-known actors up until then, but the first big contract I took was Snow White and the Huntsman. It was a nerve-wracking experience for me because I was desperate to do well. I really wanted to show off my skills and to really demonstrate my abilities, because I wanted to last in the industry and to be established in that industry. You're only as good as your last job as a trainer, so if you don't provide good results, then that does get noticed.
Also, when you're working with actors, the risk in terms of risk of injuries and those kinds of problems is huge, because the whole film relies on them being able to shoot. If, for example, an actor does become injured during training, and it affects the shooting of the film, it presents huge problems. So it was a very nerve-wracking experience initially, but once I got into that first film role, I used all the years of experience I had and all the hundreds (if not thousands) of people I'd worked with prior to that - I used all that experience to really provide a very solid service. I think that's why I've kind of been established in the industry since then.
My progression onto training Hugh Jackman - that was quite a surreal one. It was around the time I finished this Snow White and the Huntsman -- it was a little bit later, actually, and I had done a few other little bits and pieces in other films... But I had a call from the studio and they were like "Oh, we have an actor that would like to come and see you today." I didn't think too much of it, and thought "Okay, chances are it'll be an actor I haven't potentially even heard of, or whatever."
About ten minutes before they were set to arrive, they called and they said: "Oh, Hugh Jackman's on his way to the gym", and instantly I felt the blood rush away from my skin, because I became so nervous, basically... From my point of view, that is an opportunity of a lifetime, to have someone like that walk through the gym doors and be inquiring about personal training. That's a make-or-break moment really because those opportunities don't come around very often.
It was sort of a fascinating experience with him coming in and then talking through how I would help him train for the role, and so on and so forth. He booked into training with me the following morning, so I must have done it right, I must not have been too starstruck or nervous.
Paul Kemp: That's so interesting. So in terms of actually getting someone like that - Hugh Jackman and others - to listen to you, because they have, pretty much as we would expect, everything they need in life... How can you give them the discipline...? Were they responsive to what they had to do? How can you encourage them to stay the course?
David Kingsbury: Working with actors, especially when you're working with the real top guys (and girls, obviously), they are some of the hardest-working people you'll ever meet, and they are incredibly motivated. They understand themselves; they are a brand, and they are a product in some respects, and they know that they have to work hard for that brand. If therefore a role requires training, then they embrace it and they go for it because it's part of their process of becoming that character.
When they're acting, when they are being another character, they do embody them in a lot of ways, and they do embody them in a physical respect, too. If that character is a very strong physical character, then they will want to take the onus as part of that. It links in with their business sense, but also in their creative sense in becoming that character, too.
They are, in some ways, some of the easiest people to work with, because they are so motivated. I always say to people, "If at the end of your program you're going to be shirtless on a billboard, then that's motivation enough."
Paul Kemp: Yes... Many of the appster tribe listening to this and reading the blog are not top celebrities and not actors, but we are passionate entrepreneurs, startup founders, hardworking developers, and I guess it's interesting you say that someone at the top of their game are the best people to work with because they're so motivated. I can imagine listeners like this are not so motivated because we've got distractions... But if Hugh Jackman can do it, and he's got everything he ever wants, I guess, in terms of what money could buy, then there's no excuse for us. What life changes does it make getting fit and healthy? How rewarding can it be, at the end of the day?
David Kingsbury: In terms of increasing your health and fitness, it does have huge benefits on other aspects of your life, as well. They will vary from person to person, but that could be big improvements in self-esteem, confidence, but also the more physical benefits in terms of energy levels and focus, as well. I find it's a huge motivating factor for a lot of people, the physical side of things and doing the exercise, and I find that the people I work with often comment on how it improves their focus, their productivity and their concentration during their working days, as well. So it does have both physical and mental benefits for anyone who is hardworking and is looking to really build something, as a business or as a startup.
Paul Kemp: Yes, because I often find that a lot of people get into apps because they want to become the next Mark Zuckerberg, they look at it as money... But what I've realized over the years is it's not just money that is success, it's the fact that we only have one body to walk around this world in, and in success one of the top ten things is having a healthy body and a healthy mind, and having all those things you talk about - high self-esteem, energy - which health and fitness can give you.
Let's actually help some people then... It's been really interesting to go through the program that you put me through, and just to give people a taste of what to expect, if they were to go through your program - would you be able to walk through an average program of what anyone signing up would expect to go through with you?
David Kingsbury: Of course, yes. Obviously, the initial setup is creating an account page on my website, and then from there you basically fill out a questionnaire; during the questionnaire, I get a really good idea of what your current level of fitness and also what your goals are, and what you need to do in order to achieve those goals. I'll look at things like your current exercise levels, also I will look at your weight, your body fat levels and all your personal information in that respect. With that information I can then create the custom element of the plan.
Once I receive that information, I will then get to work on building the best plan possible for you to achieve your goals. It's a combination of exercise, and the exercise will be broken up into resistance training, which will be classic weight training movements, also some cardio training, which will be either intervals or low-intensity cardio or a little bit of both. Then there'll also be some circuit-style workouts around there, as well.
The proportions of each of those will vary, depending on your goals. For example, if someone wanted to primarily build muscle, then the focus would be primarily on resistance, and you wouldn't include too much of the others because they're essential for that... Whereas if someone's goal was to drop body fat, then you'd have a little bit more of a balance of all of those, so there'd be more of the resistance, the intervals, the circuits and the cardio.
In terms of the amount of training that people do, it can really vary, and you can get great results on a variety of a different number of sessions per week. Some people will be limited to perhaps three gym sessions a week, and before they start a training plan, they might think that three sessions a week is not enough to see results, but it absolutely is. If you can get those three sessions in; never feel that because you can only do three you can't achieve results, because you can.
Other people want to spend a lot more time in the gym. We do have people that train six days a week potentially, or slightly less, but maybe doing double sessions a day. They might be doing a cardio in the morning and then the weights in the afternoon. The amount of training does vary, and it will vary based on the person's lifestyle and what time they have available, and it will vary slightly based on their goals as well.
Paul Kemp: The effects are dramatic, aren't day?
David Kingsbury: Yes, absolutely.
Paul Kemp: You got me on a five day/week program, and really after just seeing three, four weeks of progress, it's enough to keep you going and keep you motivated.
David Kingsbury: Yes, that's the thing - a lot of people talk about motivation; they say that they struggle with motivation, and it's very hard to be motivated for their training. A big part of that is a lack of results. If you see results quickly and they are sustained results and you see them week after week, then it's hard not to be motivated; it'd be hard to give up at that point. Whereas if you are struggling and you're not really seeing changes, then obviously the drop-off rate is much higher.
One of the reasons why people are so successful on my training plans is because they do see results early, and that really helps to keep them motivated. And obviously, they've got myself for accountability, as well. They'll do weekly check-ins on their page, I'll receive those and then I can review those and give them the support that's necessary. From those check-ins I can see how their training is going, how their food is going, how their sleep is going, and I can make assessments and help them improve things.
What separates a successful training plan from an unsuccessful one nine times out of ten is the nutrition, and this is where the results are seen, through the nutrition. If your calories are calculated correctly for your goals, then you will work towards and achieve your goals... Whereas if your calories are left to chance, then your results are left to chance, and you, therefore, are not going to necessarily see the results. Essentially, by calculating the calories, you take all the guesswork out of achieving results.
Paul Kemp: And I'll tell you what was great, talking about motivation... I have reached a small goal in a way - I became member of the month at my local gym.
David Kingsbury: Oh, that's fantastic.
Paul Kemp: There's a big poster at the gym saying:
“Paul Kemp, member of the month”.
David Kingsbury: There you go... That's brilliant.
Paul Kemp: It's just wonderful, because I know that there are other members who started around the same time, because of course it's the new year and the gym is packed with new year's resolutions; they've all dropped off and they pretty much stayed the same, and they've seen a huge change in me. That definitely is enough to not just make this a diet, but more a life changing experience.
David Kingsbury: Absolutely. You'll know from that - to achieve those results it's not an easy process. You do have to work for it, but the results are well worth the effort that you put in. And the longer you're on a plan, the more it becomes a part of your routine. Then once it's fully integrated into your routine, then it's something that you don't really want to live without after that point.
Paul Kemp: Yes, and to be fair, I have actually mixed it with meditation as well, and I've gone through how to stay motivated when going to the gym, and I use meditation techniques to create every session as if it's the first time you're going...
David Kingsbury: Fantastic.
Paul Kemp: ...because after several weeks of continuous training the novelty starts to wear off, and that's where you start to use those meditation techniques. I've suddenly realized what happened to me was when -- I think I was running for something, maybe in a car park, and I suddenly ran and thought, "My goodness, this feels like a different body..."
David Kingsbury: You can just keep going, yes. That's a fantastic feeling, isn't it? When your body exceeds your mind, in that sense, it's such a great feeling.
Paul Kemp: Yes, so that's enough to inspire anyone who is thinking that they need to act upon what they're hearing here, definitely give it a try because the success you may be getting in your startup or your business is actually nothing if it's not followed by the health and fitness that you can succeed with.
Let's talk about nutrition - you mentioned nutrition. I've really enjoyed the change of diet that I've found on yours, and I believe that you're thinking about a new product that by the time this goes live will have launched.
David Kingsbury: Yes, absolutely. By the time this is launched, I will have released a subscription nutrition product. Essentially, it's a really smart way of delivering custom food plans that adapt as your body adapts and they grow with your goals and they adapt to your goals as well.
The way it'll work is, again, you fill out a questionnaire on the website and it will calculate your calories, and it'll also calculate your macros. Your macros are the breakdown of your fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and different macros that will help to achieve different goals - it will select those based on your body type and your goals as well. Then you will have a page on the website which will have all of the recipes; there will be hundreds and hundreds of these recipes, and they will all be perfectly balanced for you to achieve your goals.
You can essentially select any of the recipes that you would like and include them in your food plan. If you follow that, then it's going to be the exact calories to achieving your goals. Each month you'll be e-mailed out a reminder, which is basically to do a check-in. You fill out a check-in on that, and it will then adjust your calories accordingly to either the changes in your goals, or the changes in your body type. As your weight increases or decreases, your demand for calories also change. Likewise, if your goals change - for example, if you shift from wanting to drop body fat to wanting to gain muscle, then there's quite a large shift in how many calories you need to consume.
The system is incredibly smart and it adapts all the way through, creating a custom menu for you every single month. Also, there'll be new recipes added weekly, so you'll always have new ones you can try if you want to... Or, of course, you can stick with your favorites if you love them. It's going to be a really nice product, and that's going to be available now from my website.
Paul Kemp: Right, DavidKingsbury.co.uk.
David Kingsbury: Correct, yes.
Paul Kemp: And the thing that in a way has changed my view of food and the way I consume food is that for most of my life - adult life, anyway - I've kind of gone to the fridge and decided there and then what eat, when looking in the fridge. But what's happened to me is I've gone on this journey of preparing all the food for the week - that's breakfast, lunch and dinner in one go. It's kind of hard work at the start, but the benefits are great. I know that society is not set up at all to help us keep healthy. There is temptation everywhere, and actually getting food on the go is really hard.
David Kingsbury: It is, definitely. The preparation of food - that's all about focusing on your goals and working towards them, because if you're not preparing, then you'll essentially -- like you say, it's very difficult to get the calories right, and also it becomes much easier to go and eat things that are not healthy and that are not good for you. The easiest way of keeping your willpower in check in that sense is by having food prepared with you.
The biggest part with nutrition is about understanding your goals, because once you know where you want to be, then you can work back from that to where you are now. The information in the middle there is what you need to be doing each week, and the essence of that is following the correct food plan and eating the right calories for your goal.
Paul Kemp: Absolutely. David, we're kind of in the last few minutes... I wouldn't mind exploring the app world with you, in a way. I've had past episodes of this show actually where we're spoken to these very successful app founders, entrepreneurs, and one of the areas they said is in most need of development, especially given that we have these personal devices, smartphones on us all the time, one of the biggest areas is nutrition and getting smart education about nutrition.
We don't learn this at school, our kids are not being taught the proper way to eat... And society - especially the West - are we on an epidemic of obesity and unhealthiness? What views do you have on how we can change our society because it just seems like we're on the -- I mean, I heard today about the food wastage in the U.K., it's some billions and billions there every year. What can we do to get a healthier lifestyle?
David Kingsbury: Yes, in the world today there are more overweight people than there are people starving, which does show that there is a very unequal balance of food available. The majority of people that are overweight are in the Western world, and a lot of that has to do with the availability of food. Food is so readily available in the Western world, and junk food is, as well. With that, there comes a lack of understanding as to what the body needs, and really what the body can get away with, in a lot of respects, in order to maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity is increasing. The amount of people that are sitting at a healthy weight is decreasing, and therefore the strain on society (especially in the U.K. the NHS, and obviously in the States) is massively increasing. I think there has to be a huge focus on leveling that out and getting people back into a healthy way. The only way I can see that being done is really through education early on in life - teaching this stuff to people at schools, and so on...
Then also, you've got to go back and teach the parents, as well. I think probably one of the easiest ways of doing it - well, THE easiest way - is with technology. People are using smartphones more than they are watching TV. It's gonna be the way to get the message across, and it's about developing products that are very user-friendly and that don't make it a chore to understand what you need to eat. I've got ideas of apps I'm working on, but they're big ideas, so they're going to be a long time in development... But I really do think that there need to be products available that can simplify the whole process and make it easy for people to maintain a weight that they're healthy at, but still being able to enjoy certain foods, without the typical bodybuilding or healthy eating chicken and rice and broccoli.
It needs to be enjoyable foods, and it does need to have your treats in there occasionally for people, because if they don't have those, the likelihood of people sticking to a healthy food plan becomes much less. It's about balancing your week, essentially... If you can balance a week out so that your calories come in correct for a week, then you're going to be in a good position. If you calories are coming out way too high for the week, for example, then you're going to gain weight.
In terms of the products that are available, there is so much unhealthy food available... I think that something has to be done in that sense, to try and improve the quality of the food that is cheap and readily available in this country.
Paul Kemp: Absolutely. I actually used an app from our mutual friend, Andreas, to track my progress. It's called Snapsie. It's a lovely app, and I encourage everyone to download it.
I was thinking as well, technology cannot improve us physically. There's no surgery, there's no way of -- you have to put the work in at the gym. But what I'm realizing is that smartphones, iPhones - everyone at the gym is carrying one of those, and everyone is using it to either listen to something (a podcast etc.). I've learned so much as well, because when you're exercising and listening to something educational, your retention is so much higher.
And obviously, using the phone for the timer, the workout plan and everything. It's so easy now.
David Kingsbury: Absolutely. I think technology is going to play a huge part in giving people confidence in what they're doing, and supporting people with what they're doing. A lot of people don't start their fitness journey because they're worried they're not going to see results, and they're worried that what they're doing is incorrect.
With the improvements in technology there, you can create products that are going to be more customized to them, and therefore they can reassure them that what they are doing is correct. But it has to do it in a very simple and user-friendly way, so that it doesn't scare people off, and anyone of any ability can use it.
Paul Kemp: Yes, and I just want to really encourage everyone to try this: there's a section in gyms - the bodybuilding section... I have one in mine, and I'm sure most gyms have them. I thought it was a no-go area, too intimidating. And I'll tell you, since I've been in that section of it, I've met some of the nicest people alive; they're lovely. All the bodybuilders coming there are just really genuine.
David Kingsbury: They're incredibly supportive, because for them it's more than just staying fit, it's their passion, it's their hobby, it's their life. They live and breathe it, and therefore their knowledge is great and they are very supportive of one another. It can be a daunting place... I remember when I went into my first bodybuilding gym when I was about 17; you feel about one foot tall, but you soon realize that these people are very friendly, and if you need help, they will give you help. They're not the type of people, in general (this is a generalization) -- but they will give you support; they're not going to knock you down.
Paul Kemp: Yes, and that's even the Hugh Jackmans of this world... So there's no excuse for all of the appster tribe now - if you are feeling that you need more health and more fitness, don't just sit on this information, act. You can go to theappguy.co, it's episode 520, with David Kingsbury. Or, David, how best can people reach out to you personally and connect? What is the best way of getting in touch?
David Kingsbury: The best way of finding out a little bit about my products and about my history of training actors for roles, and also visiting my blog for some really nice free content is my website, which is www.davidkingsbury.co.uk. Also, if people are using social media, I can be found on Instagram @TeamKingsbury, and also Twitter @DavidKingsbury. The focus of those is more motivation and giving people support and things to try, whereas the website is the hub of knowledge and information, but also the platform on which I supply my online training from as well.
Paul Kemp: Well David, thanks for coming on The App Guy Podcast and changing my life for the better. All the best with your future projects, and maybe we can do another show in a year's time to make sure that I'm still on track.
David Kingsbury: Yes, absolutely. That'd be brilliant!