Nick Mitchell looks amazing at 50, and thanks to his work as founder and CEO of Ultimate performance, he has helped improve the lives of over 25,000 customers at UP Gyms, worldwide. While he relishes the opportunity to get Hollywood royalty in shape, as was recently the case with Glenn Powell for Top Gun: Maverick, the best-selling fitness author is just as passionate about inspiring mainstream audiences as he is. by the training of those who form the city of tinsel. .
So with the New Year squarely on our minds, M&F caught up with the man from Yorkshire, England, who now lives in Los Angeles, to find out how we can reconnect with exercise and stay consistent with gym workouts, whatever our age.
Congratulations on your incredible celebrity physique transformations, including your recent work with actor Glen Powell for Top Gun: Maverick! Are you still so enthusiastic about sharing your expertise?
Yes, I am more excited than ever to share my expertise! I am in a very lucky position. Understand that when you exercise, if it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. So, a walk in the bottom of your garden will not appeal to you, it will not change you, you will not get much out of it.
This is a great message not only for celebrities, but also for us “normal” people. How can we better progress in the coming year?
Even as a gym owner, I know you don’t have to go to the gym to exercise. You can exercise at home with bodyweight exercises, you can go swimming, you can ride a bike. The most important thing is to increase your heart rate, to challenge yourself. Personal training companies like mine will always recommend strength training because it’s the most effective and efficient exercise modality you can do in a tight unit of time. Strength training is going to give you the most bang for your buck, by far, in terms of body composition and insulin sensitivity, which is linked to blood sugar management and diabetes. Find what you enjoy doing and do it regularly.
As a gym owner, you need to understand that it can sometimes be intimidating for new members to get to the gym. How would you reassure people that this shouldn’t be the case?
The truth is, you might think people are looking at you and thinking, “Look at that big idiot” or “They don’t know what they’re doing,” but be logical. Nobody at the gym really cares about you. Either they are focusing on themselves or they are looking at the awesome boy, awesome girl, hot boy, hot girl, person lifting or doing something extreme. They don’t look at you. I have over 35 years of experience in different gyms and I can tell you that these are the most collegial places I have been to. The more serious they are, the more people want to help you. It’s a place where people go to improve. So when they see you struggling down a 1% incline, going 2 mph on a treadmill, which is very easy for most people, any reasonable person would say, “Blimey, that person is going. Good for them.”
Is strength training as important as we get older?
Yes. There is a medical condition called sarcopenia, which basically means muscle wasting. As we age, our muscles atrophy, which means they shrink, they get weaker. This dramatically decreases our quality of life. Think of the septuagenarian struggling to get out of the tub, to take an extreme example. Think of the elderly who have difficulty climbing stairs. As we get older, we look at that steep hill and think, “I don’t want to do this.” When you were 20, you were bouncing and jumping up that hill, and you had energy and a zest for life. That’s what bodybuilding gives you. It improves your quality of life. It also improves other things, such as strength and bones.
Strength training won’t do anything for the lines or wrinkles in your face, but it will do a lot for your posture, the way you stand, the way you stand. All you have to do is look at people in their 60s and 70s who do bodybuilding. Their faces may carry their age, but not their bodies. You look at them from a distance and they look younger, because they move differently, they have a better quality of life. It’s because the resistance training they did, which doesn’t have to lift weights casually, it can be bodyweight training, gave them a spring in their Steps. For seniors, I recommend full range of motion and compound movements, and I would prefer tasks where you move your skeleton against gravity, for example: pull-ups, dips, split squats, those full-range exercises of movements that allow everything. move, because the greater the range of motion, the more control you have and the less likely you are to injure yourself.
Social media influencers are going into overdrive as the new year approaches, but can Instagram Reels ever replace personal consultations with a qualified personal trainer?
Very simple answer! If you’re a social media influencer, your main job is to be an artist, not an educator or a coach. The most followed accounts are accounts focused on entertainment. Social media is a new television channel, and we shouldn’t confuse that with education and expertise. Accept it for what it is: they are great artists. They should never replace qualified personal trainers. You should be wary of even a qualified trainer or trainer who dispenses their wisdom online. Let’s say someone asks me, online, how to fix my sore knee. How the hell am I supposed to answer that? I don’t know how you move, recover, sleep, eat or your medical history etc. Anyone, online, giving answers on how to help this or that, the first two words out of their mouth if anything should be, “It depends.” That’s the common training response, I’m afraid.
What are some of the most common mistakes people make that threaten to derail their progress?
Sticking to the same workout all the time is a good example. If it worked for you for a little while, it must work for you forever, right? Fake. In fact, in many ways, the best workout is the one you’ve ever had, because your body adapts. On the other hand, and this may seem like a mixed message from me, changing routines too soon or too often can also be a mistake. You need to give your body time to adapt to a program, process that program, and then, when your progress plateaus, modify that program.
Another mistake people make is not pushing themselves hard enough. If you don’t force your body to go somewhere it doesn’t really want to go, it’s not going to adapt positively to the stimulus you give it, so it won’t change, it won’t go faster or stronger. , more explosive, anyway.
What are some of the qualities you see in people who are able to stay consistent?
The people who stick with the gym, or any exercise modality, are the ones who find ways to enjoy it. You need to change the mindset from, “I need to go to the gym.” Going to the gym is a privilege. We all get an endorphin high from slightly different training methods. You have to experiment. For some, the gym is a lifesaver. If you progress in the gym, it becomes addictive. The results and progress can be addictive. “I have more movement without pain, greater mobility, greater endurance, I can climb stairs, I can play better with my children.” All of these things are results and positive outcomes for you. Learn to follow these positive results and you will start to get addicted to chasing these positive results.