I am the youngest of five children, born and raised in Royal Tunbridge Wells. I come from sporty family and I was always interested in sport, psychology and performance, probably because my father had been a good football player and cricket player, also my sister Joanne played field hockey for the county and represented England, this inspired me to test myself at an early age playing street hockey (I broke my arm three times learning to skate). By age 11, I was playing street hockey everyday in the local car parks and school playgrounds, skating to school and traveling to London to watch games. My mother was always interested in skating and loved hockey – she still does and watches more hockey than I do!
My mum’s support has been a huge influence on my playing career and developing a positive attitude towards sport.
I didn’t excel in sports in high school, I was a chubby kid, you could say I had a predisposition to being overweight, ‘It’s just genetics Andrew, you’ll have to accept it’, was often the response to my frustration regarding my weight. Although I think it had more to do with growing up in a bakery!
But I dreamed of playing street hockey to the highest level possible. I was fortunate that my dad’s best friend ‘Jock’ (the only Scotsman in Tunbridge Wells!) had a gym in his garage and as a 15 year old I trained seriously with him and his two sons Darren and John. I learnt a lot about weight training, mental toughness and specific sports training. In fact what I had done unknown to me at the time, was to actually reprogram my genes. Jock would always say to me 'Andrew you taught yourself to become an athlete'.
Today I have a much better understanding of how to reprogram genes and I can help you go beyond your familial genes and become more aligned with your primal genes.
The effort resulted in me representing the London All-stars, the top 12 players in the country and experiencing an all expenses paid trip to Florida at seventeen years old.
Unfortunately, in those days training was designed to hurt, “no pain, no gain” was the mantra, that combined with a high carb diet of pasta, bread (pizza and beer being the staple diet of any hockey player) and sugary sports drinks resulted in me feeling tired, injured and inflamed, this went on for 15 years and although I was strong and fit, I was aching all over and felt tired all the time. It turns out I was suffering with an autoimmune disease called Gout, Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis characterized by recurrent attacks in the joints. It is extremely painful, although at the time I assumed I’d injured myself playing or overdone it in the gym.
Over time the gouty arthritis became chronic, with regular attacks sometimes lasting 4-6 weeks —this caused early retirement from playing hockey at a high level, I would be in so much pain taking weeks off work and as a business owner you can not afford time off work. The problem with an autoimmune disease it doesn’t just affect the joints, it also affects the mind – I would feel very low, depressed and this would affect my personal relationships. Also having lost father to a sudden heart attack age 48, I was even more conscious of the health implications, especially as inflammatory diseases can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In 2006 I was also diagnosed with hip arthritis and was told that I would have it replaced within 5-10 years. Clearly I was ruining my immune system and my joints stressing my body with too much exercise and eating an inflammatory diet. But the doctors didn’t have any answers; in fact they sniggered about my gout ‘As the rich mans disease’ my family joked that gout was the only thing my dad left me, he suffered with it terribly. That’s when I started exploring nutrition as a way to enhance my well-being and improve my immune system. I wanted to understand the causation, rather than take the prescription drugs offered to me by my doctor.
While I was unable play anymore, I could certainly coach…and I did. I spent 4 years coaching Team GB at the World Championships where we gained promotion into Pool A for the first time, competing against with the top eight countries in the world – the success of Team GB lead to my first published book called Managing The Mist: How To Develop Winning Mindsets and Create a High Performing Team.
By this point I had learnt about nutrition, I’d removed grains and sugar from my diet and learnt how to manage my arthritis. The inflammatory attacks started to become less often, I started working out again and I got back into playing hockey regularly making a return in 2014 representing both the men’s team in the Pool A World Championships and GB Vets (38 and over) World Championships.
Now, at 42, I feel stronger, fitter and leaner than I was at 22.
Now, at 42, I feel stronger, fitter and leaner than I was at 22. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that has allowed me to be my best at work mentally and physically and still play hockey. It’s hard to imagine the pain I was in back then and how debilitating it was.
Today I want to help others avoid making the kinds of health mistakes that I had made. I have avoided a life on prescription drugs and I am applying natural ways to achieve optimal health and so can you.
I draw on my extensive research, my certification in nutrition and my own experiences to design the Get Primal programme aimed at entrepreneurs and business leaders like you who want to get strong, lean and healthy, to live an energized, happy and enjoyable life.
At the end of 2017, after my own experience of building a business, trying to stay fit, being a father and husband in a young family I decided to write a new book called The 4 Keys: How To Win In Your Business, Body, Relationships and Mindset.
Out of the book came The Get Primal programme, the Get Primal Cookbook and the inaugural Get Fit To Win Retreat a three-day retreat bringing together entrepreneurs and business leaders in the Get Fit To Win community for a weekend of amazing food, great company, business ideas, breakout sessions and a little training and relaxation.
My life has been one built around sports, health and fitness, and I have managed to create a lifestyle rather than stick to a boring, restrictive diet. I've made it my personal goal to help 1 million business leaders to take full responsibility in their business, body, relationships and mindset.
The Get Primal programme will help you discover how easy it is as a business leader wellness can be by managing 3 basic needs: nutrition, exercise and rest. I provide a complete eating, exercise and lifestyle philosophy, along with various products, services and incredible support from the Get Fit To Win community.
Nutrition is very personal so this is not a one size fits all, however I am strong advocate of a plant based diet, healthy fats, moderate protein (animal or vegan), and carbohydrates aligned to your level of activity. I'll also provide you with simple and effective training programmes that will get you looking and feeling great. I've learned two important things about exercise - 1. You can not out-train and bad diet and 2. You don't need to train excessively or even consistently (despite popular belief) to get fit, lean and strong.
It will help you enjoy becoming the very best version of yourself. The Get Primal programme is a set of lifestyle principles that enabled us to evolve for over two million years, and is supported by respected research in the fields of epigenetics and evolutionary biology.
The Get Primal programme changes lives; it gives you the energy you need to create a thriving business, be the leader you aspire to be and a role model to others —you’ll get strong and lean—it will seem effortless and enjoyable. If you’re ready to make a change in your life, please join other business leaders and start your journey and Getting Fit To Win!