Ultimate Performance Mentorship Weekend Write Up
This past weekend – Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 19th April, I visited Ultimate Performance Gym in Mayfair, London.
UP is run by fitness and nutrition guru Nick Mitchell, and they were hosting one of their first Ultimate Performance Mentorship Weekends. The course was taken by strength and conditioning coach Phil Learney -
The man knows his stuff.
So, What is this “Mentorship” Thing Then?
The idea of the weekend was to give an overview of a host of topics, all surrounding training and nutrition for performance and body composition. This meant touching on subjects such as nutrition and supplementation for fat loss, managing client compliance, advanced training techniques, body typing, hormones, digestion, and even more.
What Was The Schedule?
The course ran from 8am to 6pm both days. The majority of the time was spent on theory, although there were hands on practical sessions too. There were around 30 of us in attendance, with Phil lecturing, ably assisted by another UP trainer – Ben. We were all given a folder with an outline of the course in, and went through a comprehensive slide show while Phil was talking. Note taking was encouraged, and I came away with a pretty full notebook.
Pretty much everything. Firstly, the price – at £325 for 20 hours of first class lecturing, I think you’d be hard pushed to find a better value course out there. Considering that you can pay more than that to do a more or less useless gym instructor course, this was a steal.
- There was a load of opportunity to ask questions, and discuss our own experiences of training and working with clients.
- The facility – Wow. For a fairly small space, it’s amazingly well equipped. They’ve got some fantastic Watson power racks, a load of speciality barbells and dumbbells, enough weight to keep Brian Shaw happy for a month of Sundays, Atlantis resistance machines, which I’d never used before, but certainly deliver. Add to that the fact that grunting, using chalk and training barefoot is not only allowed but encouraged, and you’ve got yourself a pretty decent training environment.
- The knowledge. There were so many smart people in one room, and so much to take in that I’m amazed I came out with my head in one piece. Everything was a blur within the first hour, but fortunately, thanks to my trusty notebook, I’ve managed to remember everything I thought might have washed over my head.
Any Negative Points?
Certainly no negative points, although I’m happy to admit that I didn’t agree with everything. Phil himself said that no one can ever prove they’re completely one hundred percent right, and that it’s okay to disagree, provided you have a good reason for your point of view.
I have absolute confidence that everything they do at UP works tremendously; however, I do some things differently.
For example, they very much believe in cutting out dairy, wheat and gluten for most clients, especially those looking to lose weight.
Fair enough, doing this will lead to weight loss, but I don’t think it’s essential. I’m quite happy for my client to switch their chocolate bars to Greek yoghurt, have a bowl of oats with protein powder for breakfast, or keep a small bit of milk in their coffee. In my experience, clients are more likely to comply if you’re not too strict, and you’ll still see results.
I also had to laugh – we were discussing sweeteners and diet drinks, and everyone in the room unanimously said that they didn’t ever drink diet drinks, and would ban clients from drinking them. It was at this point that I managed to inconspicuously hide my half finished bottle of Diet Irn Bru in my rucksack!
Take Home Points
Here are a few titbits that I found interesting:
- Face Creams are made predominantly from proteins, as protein is needed to rebuild and repair cells. Instead of spending hundreds of pounds a year on cosmetic products like this, why don’t we just all eat a bit more meat?
- Supplements are viewed as socially unacceptable. No one bats an eyelid if you’re scoffing a doughnut or necking a Red Bull, but break out your protein shaker or bottle of fish oils, and everyone thinks you’re a freak.
- We’re living in an age where there are more gyms, more gym members, more personal trainers, and more knowledge on health, fitness and medicine than ever before. But people are getting fatter, and more disease ridden. How does this work!?
- The busiest time in UK coffee shops is between 10 and 11am, and between 3 and 4pm.
- The worst time for the UK stock market is between 10 and 11am, and between 3 and 4pm.
- Maybe if people ate a little better, instead of relying on coffee to get them through the day, we’d all perform better in our jobs.
- It’s quite acceptable to give children pure sugar, by plying them with sweets, fizzy drinks and junk food, but you give a child a supplement or protein shake, and you’ll have the neighbours phoning Childline. We don’t care about the health of our kids enough.
In summary, this weekend was awesome.
I was absolutely bushed from getting up at 5:40 on Saturday, and 4:30 on Sunday, after my usual week of 5am starts, but I’d do it all again in a second. Phil’s running more workshops in the future, and you can guarantee I’ll be at those. Even if you’re not a trainer, I recommend checking out the website for future courses. You’ll learn more than you ever thought possible in one weekend.