• Interview: Gary Turner talks Training, Nutrition, MMA, Weight Loss and more

  • Gary Turner 1 300x220 Interview: Gary Turner talks Training, Nutrition, MMA, Weight Loss and moreGary Turner is a World Champion Sportsman, HypnotherapistPersonal Trainer, and Performance Expert. Also, the man who I have heard people refer to as a “Super Hero” has just released his first book entitled “No Worries”, which is available in paperback and on Amazon Kindle. I got the chance to speak with Gary about his Sports Career, Training, Nutrition, MMA, his new book and much more.

    Check out the interview below:

    Jay Cee: Hi Gary, it’s great to have you on themmareview.co.uk! Lets start by talking about how you first got into fitness and performance? I hear you used to be a sportsman, is that correct?

    Gary Turner: Hi Jay, thanks for inviting me on here!

    I’ve always been into sport since the age of 4 when I started competitive swimming, but all that changed when I stepped onto the Judo mat when I was six. My martial sports career had started. I’ve had a great career, and a long one! Take a breath…and…

    I’ve been an international since 1983, I’ve been in British Teams for Judo, Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing, picked up black belts in Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing (this last one isn’t worth toffee!), fought in over twenty countries, headlined arenas around the world, fought legends like Tank Abbott and Rick Roufus, was arguably Britain’s first Mixed Martial Artist when I won the Golden Dragon Cup in Rimini in 1991, was there at the inception of MMA in the UK fighting in Lee Hasdell’s shows in the 90’s and commentating on Andy Jardine’s. I was twice UK K-1 (official) champion and one of the few UK fighters to fight on the official K-1 circuit including K-1 Basel, K-1 Stockholm, and K-1 Barcelona. Highlights of my career have been winning thirteen World Titles across three different fighting sports – Jiu Jitsu, kickboxing, and Thai boxing.

    I’ve been busy!

    Today I am still training in kickboxing, Thai boxing and various grappling skills, and still keeping the youngsters in check in sparring.

    I also have two huskies and now my competition is with myself, as we run mountain ultra-marathons together.

    Jay Cee: What exactly do you do now? Tell me about some of the services you provide – I know you have your fingers in a few different pies i.e. Hypnotherapy, Personal Training, Kickboxing etc.

    Gary Turner: I live what I call the ‘portfolio lifestyle’. My main work is as a Hypnotherapist and Personal Trainer, amongst other work.

    As a Hypnotherapist I seem to work with many ‘difficult’ cases, ranging from severe traumas and post-traumatic stress disorder, depressives including suicidal, eating disorders, medical conditions and those suffering from extreme anxiety. I also work as a performance specialist’ working with many athletes helping them consistently achieve top performance. I regularly pick up work with the British Army, and recently have worked with the Royal Engineers Judo Team, the Army Kayak Team, and in the past with the Army Judo and Boxing Teams too.

    My Personal Training centres on the fight sports. I help various clients with their needs whether it is striking, grappling or their fight preparation.

    I also work on other products, delivering corporate psychological interventions, workshops, seminars and such like and have just released my first book, and my second is well in development.

    Jay Cee: Now, one of the main things I wanted to discuss with you is nutrition. If possible, can you explain why good nutrition is important for anyone who is working out or trying to get into shape?

    Gary Turner: Correct, nutrition is paramount. It is what fuels us and what we are made of. Malnourishment is unfortunately very common and is common in this modern world even amongst athletes. If we don’t get our nutrition right it results in lower performance and longer time to recover, together with allowing a whole host of illnesses and diseases to happen.

    I believe that nutrition is important for anyone, let alone people working out or trying to get into shape. Life is just simply better when you get it right.

    Jay Cee: Do you work with any combat sportspeople or MMA fighters at all?

    Gary Turner: Yeah, I work with them all the time, including high profile names and a couple of UFC fighters. These I’ve worked with in my Hypnotherapy capacity helping with such things as mental strategies, fight anxieties, increased efficiency of training, and so much more. I will not name names as these clients have my full confidentiality.

    In respect to my Personal Training I work with fighters all the time, most of my clients are fighters, yet no big names as yet.

    Jay Cee: Lots of fighters struggle to cut weight and in some cases become dangerously dehydrated, which can affect the kidneys and cause all sorts of health problems. What are three top tips or bits of advice you would give to any MMA fighter that is cutting weight before a fight?

    Gary Turner:

    Tip 1: My first piece of advice is to maintain your condition all the time. It is so much easier to get your weight right for a fight when you start from the right place! Lots of fighters have ‘blow outs’ after a fight too – not a good idea as they are shocking their body at a time when they need to have appropriate nutrition for recovery.

    Tip 2: My second piece of advice is to start early. Gradual slow weight cuts are so much better than the panic responses that some fighters make. If you need to dehydrate to make your weight you are doing things wrong. A little dehydration will not affect performance if the weigh in is the day before the fight, yet anything more than a very light dehydration and you are putting your body at a disadvantage. Your body does not need a ‘shock’ the day before

    Tip 3: My third piece of advice is to study your body rhythms. Work out the weight that can be held in your body by way of undigested food, bowels, urine, and how water is ‘retained’ in your body. By understanding this you can time yourself to be at your lowest weight at the time of the weigh in.

    Jay Cee: What is your stance on supplements and protein shakes etc.? Are they really necessary?

    Gary Turner: Supplements are supplements – they are not replacement for appropriate food. The ONLY time supplements should be needed are if you are travelling and can’t carry your own food, or if you have a particular requirement for a health issue. If you are a serious athlete you should be serious about your nutrition, plan and prepare for performance. Eat real food. Your body will thank you for it.

    In my opinion supplements are, as a generalisation, overrated and over-priced, and unnecessary. I regularly ask for the efficacy of the products being sold, or the science studies to support their efficacy claimed in their marketing. I urge everyone to do this. Question, question and question some more. There is so much rubbish out there it is unbelievable.

    Jay Cee: In a discussion on Facebook you mentioned that you like to dispel any myths that exist in the nutrition/fitness world. You gave an example about people thinking weight loss is all about calories consumed vs. calories expended. This was something that sparked my interest. Are you able to explain in more detail why that is a myth? Also, tell me why you think so much incorrect or false information exists?

    Gary Turner: This carries on from the last question. Our opinions are based on our perceptions. Our perceptions are unique to every individual and are determined by our life’s experience – what we believe, think, and experience relies on contextual factors, past experience, expectations, motivations, and many other factors.

    We are fed marketing through the media. We are told how to think and what to think. Myths get rammed home to us daily. Unless we question, we take things as being correct. Add into the mix psychological factors such as social conformity, (Google Asch social conformity experiment), repeated exposure and familiarisation, the power of the media, marketing by association, confirmation bias, and hindsight bias and it is very easy to see how these myths persist.

    Let’s take apart the saying that weight loss is all about calories in v calories out – the calorie deficit model. Eat less and exercise more. If only it was that simple.

    People often explain that it is right because of the First Law of Thermodynamics – energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed. To maintain your weight the energy you eat in your food must equal the energy that you expend to hold the same weight. If you take in more energy than you use you’ll put on weight and the reverse. Sounds good, until you realise that there is also a Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics we can term ‘diffusion’, to simplify matters. In other word, a calorie is not just a calorie, they aren’t created equal. Different calories are treated differently in our body. Some are stored. Some minor amounts can end up passing through. Some are used as energy. Some circulate until used as energy. It changes depending on our body’s needs and our hormonal states. It is actually possible to eat more calories than you burn and lose weight, and vice versa.

    To illustrate this point, I regularly work with bulimics and anorexics that are obese yet so severely malnourished they go hypoglycaemic during the session, and return to hospital for feeding through an NG tube to keep them alive.

    There are many variables to weight and fat loss, ranging from how your food is digested, human physiology, psychology and neurology, circadian rhythms, set points, hormonal responses – it is a very complex area.

    Jay Cee: What are your thoughts on Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s)? Also, Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) is a hot topic in MMA over in the U.S. right now, do you think it is fair that some athlete’s are allowed to use this?

    Gary Turner: I think that if someone feels the need to take a PED then they are lacking in their psychology and will not achieve their full potential. Performance is 100% in the mind. Sure, you need to get the right training in for the conditioning and technical ability, yet if your mind is not in the right place you won’t even turn up for training. People who take PED’s are severely lacking. PED’s can detract from performance in interactive sports such as MMA, not add.

    I’m sure that statement will gain some discussion!

    I have no problem with athletes taking TRT if they are required to do so for a physical condition. Here’s something not many people realise – male/female is not that clear cut – there are shades of grey between the two sexes. Not every male produces enough testosterone, and there can be complications as a result. If a medical practitioner advises that TRT is necessary then in those instances I don’t see any problem with it.

    Jay Cee: You have a book out called “No Worries”. Tell me what is it all about and where can we get a copy?

    Gary Turner: Ah, thanks for asking about it! “No Worries” gives you all the skills to handle nerves and worries, stress and anxiety. It is written in a clear and readable way that guides you through what they actually are so you can understand them, how you can go about changing any that you have, and then the clear steps of my Anxiety Clearing Technique so you can learn how to regulate (lower or raise) and control (switch on and off) that anxiety.

    It is perfect for fight anxiety, whether pre-fight, during performance or post-performance anxiety. It has every step in there a fighter needs.

    Some say that a fighter needs anxiety to perform well. They’re wrong. Negative emotions place tension in your body, and tension in your body will stop you from having ‘flow’ – the performance where you just get everything right. If you are fighting with anxiety it is like driving your car with the handbrake on. My book will help you to easily take that handbrake off and increase your performance.

    I’d love it if people can take a look! You can buy through Amazon in paperback or in Kindle format. It is available in all territories, yet the UK links are here http://amzn.to/1aznu3h and http://amzn.to/1bEv1Ro.

    It’s been getting some fantastic 5* reviews – let me know what you think!

    Jay Cee: What do you have planned for the rest of 2013? I know you like to do marathons and bike races etc. do you have anything interesting in the pipeline?

    Gary Turner: 2013 is a busy year for me. I have some good projects coming up, and I’m busy with the launch of my first book. My second has been 9 years in development and will be on fat loss. Fed up with the rubbish that is being touted everywhere I’ve been studying hard, from human and sports physiology, nutrition, biochemistry, psychology and more to get the answers. I’m now putting it all into an easily readable and understandable book so that everyone has the information they need – the right information. It should be available at the end of the year.

    Apart from that I will be doing some more mountain ultra-marathons with the huskies once the weather starts to cool. On the cooler days in September I’ll be out doing 10-15 mile runs, and with the cooler October mornings they’ll increase to 20-30 mile runs. Just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s easy! I plan a few races, already booked in for the Brecon Beacons 42 mile race in December.

    Fight wise I’ll continue to train. It appears that my ‘retired’ training surpasses the work done by many current professional fighters. That’s a thought for people – I’m retired, yet still training 6-8 times a week directly on my fight sports. I wonder, if this is a retired professional doing this amount of quality work – what can you change about your own commitment and training?

    With 6 weeks’ notice I could still take a fight at either K-1 or MMA at any level. I would be prepared to do so, if the offer was right…

    Jay Cee: Ok, great. Thanks for taking some time out to speak with me Gary, I really appreciate it. If there is anyone you would like to shout-out or anything else you would like to say, please feel free to do that now…

    Gary Turner: Rather than take this opportunity for me to thank people, I’d rather people got my book and read my acknowledgements. Everyone is in there who I’d like to thank.

    Instead, I’d like to give some advice to fighters.

    Train clever – practice makes permanent, not perfect. Work on your weaknesses more than your strengths. Question everything. Learn that fighting is a business first and sport second. ‘Vote with your feet’ and take opportunities when they are offered. On that last note – work out what you want to achieve, and then work out what you need to achieve it. What resources do you need, how will you get there, how long will it take? Once you’ve done all that then vote with your feet, and take the right step forward.

    Most importantly learn to enjoy everything that you do, it is the secret behind the right motivation, and becoming the best you can be.

    Thanks for chatting with me Jay, and hey, you readers, if you are interested in hearing more from me pester and badger Jay, he may just ask me back!

    Thanks again to Gary Turner for the time, I appreciate it.

    Make sure you check out Gary’s website www.GaryTurner.co.uk, where you can find links to his blogs and information on his book “No Worries”. Also, be sure to FOLLOW Gary Turner on FACEBOOK and TWITTER!!

    Stay close to The MMA Review (themmareview.co.uk) for all the latest MMA news and interviews.

    Jay Cee – @JayCeeMMA

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    Fitness 468x60 Interview: Gary Turner talks Training, Nutrition, MMA, Weight Loss and more Interview: Gary Turner talks Training, Nutrition, MMA, Weight Loss and more