This article first appeared in Attitude issue 279, February 2017.
You are spending three months transforming your body, what made you want to do something so intense, so quickly?
To be honest, I knew that if I did something so intense over a three month period, there would be more chance of me committing to it 100 per cent.
Is it proving more difficult than you thought it would?
I am currently four weeks into the transformation and I am loving every minute — after six weeks, I may be saying something very different [laughs].
Who did you use to train you and what was it about them that made you want to stick with it?
I work with body-transformation coach Martin Bugaj who specialises in transforming people’s bodies in 12 weeks. Seeing some of his results, I thought that was exactly what I needed.
What’s an average week like in terms of keeping fit?
I am currently in the “bulking” period so I go to the gym four times a week and will play football for my 5-a-side › team once a week (it’s good cardio).
How often do you work out?
For the transformation, three to five times a week.
What does your current workout regime look like?
Each day we focus on different muscle groups, each week the goal is to get stronger by increasing the weight I lift. This helps me to actually see the progression I’m making.
What sport do you play?
I have played football my whole life — it’s a passion of mine. I played an awful lot as a kid — and at a pretty decent level. I recently joined a 5-a-side team with my mates in London.
Do you ever work out outside?
My trainer and I often do some workouts on Clapham Common, just to mix it up a bit. The gym walls get a bit same old, same old sometimes!
What do you wear when you work out?
I like to train in a vest and tracksuit bottoms.
What music do you listen to when you work out?
Radio station Kiss FM normally gets me through my sessions.
What was your body like before you started to work out?
I was relatively lean with some puppy fat around the edges. I’m certainly not one of those people who was born in shape!
How difficult is it for you to maintain your current body?
I do find it tricky to maintain and to stick to the routine, but I put in a lot of hard work and genuinely enjoy it and don’t want all that hard work to go to waste.
Are you happy with where your body is now or do you feel there’s room to improve?
There’s a lot of room for improvement. However, I still have a way to go with the transformation, so fingers crossed.
What advice would you give to guys who want to have a body like yours?
Stick to it! My body is far from perfect but my advice is to get past the first few weeks. It becomes much easier, once you get into a routine.
What are some of the common mistakes you were making when you first started working out?
I was training on my own and therefore my form was poor. I was doing the exercises but was doing them incorrectly. Also, I often just trained the muscle groups I enjoyed (chest and arms) and neglected my legs and back.
What practical tips would you offer to people who find it tricky to stay dedicated?
Find a routine that works for your lifestyle and then do everything you can to stick to it.
Do you stick to a strict diet?
The diet on the transformation is pretty strict. I have to consume a certain amount of calories per day — all calculated to my needs to help me reach my goal. Every meal is carefully calculated delivered to me daily by Fresh Fitness Food. Generally, I am pretty good with my diet and because I stay relatively lean all year round I can allow myself a few treats here and there. My main problem is not eating enough sometimes due to a busy schedule. That’s why my trainer put me in touch with the food-delivery service.
Do you ever give in to guilty pleasures when snacking?
Of course! I’d be lying if I said no. In general, I am very good. But when on tour and at gigs, for example, I will have the occasional McDonald’s.
Do you believe in cheat days?
One million per cent. Life is too short not to eat what you like and I love food. It’s also good for your metabolism to have the odd cheat meal — or complete day.
What do you find more difficult: sticking to a diet or working out?
Sticking to a diet is without doubt the most difficult thing. Simply because of my busy lifestyle and schedule.
What’s more important for you: being healthy on the inside or looking good on the outside?
Both. There’s no point in looking good but being unhealthy on the inside. One of the main reasons I am getting properly stuck in to fitness is to make my body as healthy as possible.
What goals have you set your sights on?
I just want to feel comfortable with my body. There’s nothing worse than being on holiday and feeling rubbish about yourself.
How’s the new album coming along?
Very nicely. We have been working with some incredible writers and producers in America; people who have collaborated with Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake and Chris Brown. So we are in safe hands!
What can you tell us about the direction in which you guys are taking your music? Is it going to be wildly different?
It’s going to be very different. We are coming back with a new sound. It’s evolved with us, we have grown up now and so has the music.
Are you excited to start touring again?
I can’t wait to get on the road. Our UK tour starts in February and then we have a European tour straight after. Touring is the best part of my job.
Is there anywhere you’re most looking forward to be heading again?
We did a big show in Paris recently and it was insane. It was our first time there and we are already planning on going back.
How will you keep fit on the road?
I always try to find a gym in whichever city we are in. Most of the time I’m successful, which is a relief.
Does the touring lifestyle make keeping fit more difficult?
Yes, unfortunately it does. It certainly makes it tougher to be consistent with diet. Also the lack of sleep doesn’t help the recovery period.