We take a closer look at Biggest Loser’s, Richard Callender’s workout schedule and find out why he is so successful with creating beautiful bodies and how he finds the time to keep his own body in such good shape…

interview by Caroline Dean

ALWAYS keen for a fitness challenge, Hip and Healthy’s Features Editor, Harriet, recently embarked on an eight-week get-in-shape programme called Project You (you can read more about that here). The body beautiful project is the brainchild of Personal Trainer and TV fitness guru, Richard Callender. It is a total body transformation programme that encourages good eating and fitness habits to get you looking better than ever. It certainly worked for our Harriet who lost an impressive 4.6% of her body fat in just two months. To find out more, Hip and Healthy sat down with super-fit Richard over an omelette – he can’t get enough protein – to give us the low down on all things fitness and an insight to his life as a high profile trainer.

H&H: Richard, you have basically lived and breathed fitness since you could walk, how did your career in fitness start and why? 

Richard: Well, it really was in my blood, my family are all athletic, and coupled with the solid education that my parents gave me I knew that fitness and health were hugely important. From an early age I was taking part in athletics, including sprinting, hurdles and long jump.

I found that I had a passion for fitness and went on to study sports science. I progressed through fitness management roles in health clubs, during this time I learnt a lot, however I found that I am not a good at following others and I always look at how things can be done differently. So I moved on and was a self-employed Personal Trainer and alongside that I developed other brands and classes such as my dance brand, Urban Funk.

H&H: Then a leap into media, which saw you training celebrities and on ITV’s reality TV show, The Biggest Loser.  How did this come about?

Richard: I was working as a Personal Trainer when I was asked to model for a woman’s magazine. It was Katie Price’s management who then saw the magazine article and asked me to come and audition for a fitness DVD she was producing.

It was from there that the ITV’s The Biggest Loser producers saw me and asked me audition for a role as Personal Trainer on the show and it all progressed from there.

H&H: Sounds like a lot of opportunities almost found you?  Or are you being quite modest?

Richard: I do not take myself too seriously and I do things differently. I think this is perhaps the reason why people respond to me and I do find that doors open for me.  Obviously I do work very hard, but I am doing what I love so it never seems like a chore.

H&H: How was it in the Biggest Loser camp? 

Richard: Working on the programme was so much fun and I met so many great people. Your clients are in a controlled environment where they can solely focus on themselves and their programmes. In many ways it was Personal Trainer’s dream.

H&H: Our Harriet had fantastic results with your studio, Exclusive Training in Richmond (including 4.6% drop in Body Fat) What is Project You?

Richard: Project You is a total body transformation programme, spanning 8 weeks. It is not extreme, it is about good habits and changing your body. The Project is available at my Studio in Richmond where you can work with one my excellent team of trainers.

H&H: You have many projects and businesses on the go at the moment, including Armageddon, and also exciting projects with Reebok can you tell us a bit about them 

Richard: I love creating new brands and products and then I hope that they will develop a life of their own so I always find I have things in the pipeline.

Armageddon is a fast paced, variable intensity workout. I have been developing for years and I used as a training regime on The Biggest Loser. Armageddon is a group class, using bodyweight only and a blend of intensity levels that encourage fast results. It certainly is a busy time for me as classes are being launched throughout the country and is having a great response.

I am now Global UK Ambassador for Reebok, which is fantastic. Reebok are in a really exciting place at the moment and about to launch concept stores in the UK so it is great to be a part of that.

H&H: Yet you still always find time to train clients? 

Richard: Being a Personal Trainer is what I love and I will always find the time to train and work with clients. I could not imagine not training.

H&H: So you are looking pretty fit right now – what does a workout look like for you? 

Richard: Things are pretty busy right now, so I might only get an opportunity to train twice a week. My workouts are intense and tough. I generally incorporate some strength training alongside core work and then a high intense cardio session.

H&H: What music do you like to train to? 

Richard: I actually like training to slow jams, R&B and old swing, I find this helps me to focus. Also a couple particular favourites are Maddonna – Out of My Head and Prodigy – Warrior’s Dance.

H&H: What are the key components to a successful training schedule? 

Richard: Have an emotional target. A goal that is solely based on numbers such as weight, does not have the same impact as something emotional. Be it a wedding or special event that you want to look your best. Feelings are much more powerful than numbers.

Balance. This is the key if you commence on a get slim quick diet, do not expect what starts fast ends fast, you need to live a balanced life.

Be prepared to fail. There are going to be days when you have bad workouts and days when you don’t feel like working out. This doesn’t mean that your training is over.