This month, 26 of the capital’s fittest personal trainers battled it out at CrossFit London as part of the Turf Games ‘fittest in the city’ series. Across the day, competitors were put to the test with 10 of the toughest workouts organisers could create, leaving only one man to reign supreme. Men’s Health spoke to Jordan Shuttleworth, who took the title, to find out how he built the strength, speed and endurance to come out on top.
I’m happy to go to a dark place every time I step in the gym. For me it doesn’t make any difference how hard a workout is
Men’s Health: First of all, 10 workouts in one day, how on earth did you manage that?
Jordan Shuttleworth: Yeah it was a bit of a crazy day. There was hardly any time between the events, so staying warm, focussed and more importantly, fuelled was crucial. I was snacking loads between workouts… I think I made it through two packs of Soreen loaf and a pack of rice cakes!
MH: The snacks of champions. Which events stick out in your mind from the competition?
JS: The first event was an 850m row. The atmosphere was incredible in the gym because everyone’s adrenaline was so high. Most guys set new personal bests on the rower, hitting numbers they’ve never seen before – I shaved two seconds off mine. My favourite event though was the thrusters and rope climbs combination.
MH: They are two very tough movements. What do you think separated you from the competition on game day?
JS: As an ex Royal Marine, climbing ropes comes easy to me now. I’ve been training a lot recently and because of that, developed a really good capacity to work harder for longer. When others might drop their intensity as a workout goes on, I can start and finish at the same intensity and find I even get stronger as it goes on.
MH: Tell us a bit about your workout programme? It sounds gruelling.
JS: I typically train three times a day, five days a week. I’ll start with a steady state cardio session in the morning just to get the body moving, then mid-afternoon I’ll do my main strength part, focussing on squats, deadlifts and push-pull movements. Later in the afternoon I’ll do a short, high intensity interval workout, using an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) structure or EMOM (every minute on the minute perform an exercise). Three times a day training might seem a lot but my body is used to it now. If I train once a day, I get into bed with loads of energy and feel like I haven’t done enough.
MH: You must be eating a lot to fuel these training days… what does a typical day’s food look like?
JS: Oh yeah, I love my food. I probably eat around 4,000 calories a day. It always starts with a big breakfast. I wake up at 6am and have two bowls: one has cereal and fruit in it with almond milk, the other has overnight oats, which I prepare the night before with three or four egg whites and a scoop of protein. I’ll then do my morning cardio followed by six eggs with avocado on toast at 11am. Before my strength session I’ll have a couple of rice cakes and a NOCCO drink. I don’t like to eat straight after my workout, so I leave about an hour then typically have chicken, rice and some sort of vegetables. After my last session I’ll have my main meal which is usually a jacket sweet potato and a couple of turkey burgers or a pack of chicken sausages. Before bed I like to mix together an apple and banana with fat-free Greek yoghurt.
I eat to perform and fuel my training, not for aesthetics. I don’t track my food, but that can be a good place to start. If I feel hungry before a workout, I’ll have some more carbs, otherwise my intensity will suffer. The fact is, the more I eat, the better I recover.
MH: Do you have any goals for the future?
JS: I’m planning to move back to the midlands and open up a gym in Staffordshire. I want to introduce functional fitness to more people up north. Once you’ve tried this style of training, you’ll never want to go back to just bodybuilding. Being able to lift heavy, as well as having an engine to run and row hard is the best feeling.
Book your spot at the Turf Games Winter Festival here