“Jamie is playing the role of Houdini in a nationwide play. When Jamie first got in touch he was quite worried about getting into the shape required for the role. The online personal training process was perfect for him. We kept in touch almost daily, working through an adaptable programme based on the facilities he had available. We worked through nutritional concepts and options for when he was on the road and cooking wasn’t an option. I’m really pleased with the results.
Jamie has worked incredibly hard, taking on board everything I’ve said. He’s getting rave reviews from the play now, and he deserves every one of them. He’s been one of the hardest working client’s I’ve ever worked with”. James
What exactly are you preparing for at the moment?
Back in May this year after taking a break from acting by working as a TV, Film and Theatre Agent for two years, I was booked to play Magician, Escapologist and Illusionist Harry Houdini on No.1 UK Tour ‘Houdini’. I couldn’t believe that my audition prep and late nights preparing after work had paid off, it was such an honour to receive the phone call confirming me in the role of Harry, and I was ready to do whatever asked of me to prepare.
What does the role entail?
A lot of focus and discipline. Initially I began magic lessons with a very kind friend of mine, Mark Bilsby, in order to start building up a sleight-of-hand technique which I knew would serve me well. I’ve been learning how to scuba dive (reasons for which will all soon become clear if you head along to see this show) and I’ve been living in the gym! Mr Houdini took a lot of pride in his appearance, and I know that would be crucial to the role.
It was clear that I needed to drop my body fat percentage and pack on a little muscle for the role. Harry began training weights at the age of 15 in order to build the physique required to perform many of his escapes, whilst of course maintaining a degree of flexibility along with this strength.
Why did you choose James and The Body Blueprint?
I was concerned about how on earth I would manage to a) diet and b) train while on the road with a show. A great (and more experienced) actor friend of mine Adrian Hansel recommended The Body Blueprint. I’m glad he did! (he says sitting here with a black coffee, a tablespoon of almond butter and a “palmful” of coconut chunks!)
How have you found being coached online by James? Was it what you expected?
It honestly couldn’t have been easier. I like to be told what to do and when rather than just busking my way through something with no understanding. James literally gave me a list of do’s and dont’s and some general rules of thumb to abide by when following the Blueprint he gave me. It was then down to me to eat clean, in a timely fashion, and well… to make sure I “knew about it” when I was training. It really was a case of Train hard; win easy.
How have you found the nutritional side of things?
A lot easier than recent diets I’ve been put on, after the first week I gauged how big or small my meals needed to be, when I needed to perhaps add in a small meal and what it needed to be if I didn’t feel fuelled enough, or even in one case where I didn’t need to eat.The food I eat every day is great, realistic, practical and easy to prep for 2-3 days at a time. I actually had four of my friends weddings in three weeks in the third week of training, and I only cheated once with a desert… just saying! In fact; I’ve had two cheat meals in 10 weeks.. James, we need to talk.
How have the training sessions been?
Let’s be honest, we all love the arms, chest and short burst sprint sessions… but the rowing sprint and burpee supersets, 400m sprints and leg days make me want to just collapse and/or be sick. That said; an hour later once I have had my post-workout smoothie and a green tea, I just want to hug and thank Mr Farmer.
How has you’re body changed over the past few months?
I’ve got abs!!! Well, they’re getting there. For my last play I bulked up for the role, it was not the right diet for me though, and eating in the intervals of shows didn’t work, my metabolism was a mess.Now with the help of James; I feel faster, stronger, more adequately fuelled for a ten hour day and more confident with my top off… oh and of course in shorts, I’m quite quad heavy. It’s nice being smaller too, it makes me more cast-able as an actor as my frame can go unnoticed in a t shirt, which makes the reveal during Houdini all the sweeter, as the audience don’t expect a Body Blueprint worked physique to be under the Harry Houdini robe.
Whats been you’re favourite bits of the training programme?
Probably the handstand push ups, wall climbers and plenty of savage leg work which has served me so well since I’m now being hoisted 10-15m into the air and lowered into a glass tank overflowing water every night. Even in venues where we haven’t been able to put the 2500l of water into the tank, it’s just me holding a dead still handstand for nearly a minute…. so it’s been my bible, and has prepared me 100%. I write my workouts out for the coming week on a Sunday evening in a small notepad… which now is a mess, it’s been through some batterings in the gym!
Where can we get tickets from?
Check out www.Houdinitheplay.com for all details, we are travelling around the UK, previewing in Stoke, before visiting Blackpool, Swansea, Windsor and Dublin… we’ve just had our first review in actually, you can see it here www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/38897/houdini