Jamie Myerscough thought nothing of a lunchtime call from an agent asking if he would be interested in working with someone from the music industry.
After all, the trainer who runs Educogym Ireland is used to being approached by executives and high-flyers, athletes and actors keen to try his body-shredding diet and workout plans. However, even he was taken aback by the conversation that took place later that evening when he was relaxing with fiancée Jennifer at their Kildare home.
“We were just watching TV that evening when my mobile rang and this guy said, ‘Hi, it’s Robbie Williams here, would you be interested in training me?’ ” Myerscough recalls.
“I really thought it was a wind-up at first.”
It wasn’t, and Williams was serious about wanting to get into shape for his global Let Me Entertain You tour this year.
A few weeks later the pair met up in London and Myerscough, 35, began drawing up a plan that would blast away the 41-year-old superstar’s body fat and leave him fighting fit for his return to the stage in a punishing tour schedule that takes in 27 shows in Europe and three in Asia.
“He’s a family man with two young children now,” says Myerscough. “His goal is to be healthy for them as well as for his job.”
The former Take That star had come across Myerscough’s name when reading about the golfer Darren Clarke’s rapid body transformation using his approach. He was impressed enough to decide the same intense programme was what he needed to lose weight he’d gained away from the limelight.
“My approach is based on intense resistance training and a low-glycemic diet,” he explains. “This kind of eating plan helps a person to detox from sugar and also lowers their levels of insulin, the hormone that signals the cells to store fat.”
Being high in fat and low in carbs, it’s crammed with the kind of foods you might not expect you need if trying to shed weight — cream, cheese, eggs and meat. No sugar or processed foods are allowed. But having shed a whopping 4.5 stone on Myerscough’s unique regime, the Ryder Cup captain Clarke was proof that it works.
Myerscough, who is the grandson of legendary horse trainer Vincent O’Brien, plans individual schedules meticulously, but says Robbie began a 12-day induction programme on December 7, 2014, before progressing on to the second phase for an additional 12 weeks.
“It changes every six weeks and is ongoing right through his current world tour,” Myerscough says. “It’s crucial he stays fit and healthy as a tour can be hugely demanding.”
Time zone differences mean that often the pair hook up via Skype so that Myerscough can oversee the singer’s 20-minute daily workouts from a distance.
Williams has also done sessions with Thurston Pym, an LA-based Educogym instructor, and has installed one of the company’s ‘Time Machines’ — a high-tech piece of equipment on which a variety of weights exercises and resistance moves targeting different parts of the body can be performed — in his LA garage.
Williams has posted videos on YouTube showing just how far he has come and is lifting 416lb on the leg press machine.
Results have certainly been impressive. In the first six weeks, the singer’s body fat dropped 4%, he lost 8lb of fat and gained 7lb of muscle. “Robbie also lost two inches from his waist,” says Myerscough. “He was already quite slim, but was keen to build on his muscle and strength and that’s where this plan makes a dramatic difference.”
But can it work for you? Myerscough bills his approach for ‘real people’ and says that, despite being unconventional, it is more manageable than many other trendy weight loss plans. Trials by his company have shown how participants lost an average 7.5lb of fat and gained 3lb of lean muscle mass in 12 days following the simple approach.
“It can dramatically change the way you look and feel for the better,” he says.
1. Only eat when hungry. The body is burning fat for fuel. If you snack when not hungry, it will slow down this process.
2. Do not cheat. The plan works because your body switches from using sugars to fat for energy. Cheat by adding in extra carbs and results will be harder to obtain.
3. Be creative. Fat has a lot of flavour, but you can add more with herbs and spices.
4. Have faith. Fat is good. Don’t be afraid of putting on weight because you are eating more fat in your diet. In fact, the opposite is true. The greater the proportion of good fat you eat, the better the results.
5. Work hard. Most diet plans can cause muscle loss because they are too restrictive. This one works in tandem with intensive exercise. It’s crucial you do both for optimum effect.