Get involved! Msalonen : Gym Tours

Load your guns with me

I am calling all fitness fanatics, to lend me a helping hand with little research. I have decided to start “Msalonen: Gym Tours”. This idea came to head last night after an fanstastic event at The ICA. I had just been to the gym with my dear friend Chris, he goes to a very fancy gym in town. I wont name it yet, as I will of course do a little write up in the next few days. However, so the this is the idea.

As I am a member of Fitness First. Teeny gym in East London that I dispise, however it is about 90 second walk from my house. Easy. I can go to the gym at 6.30am, do my extreme cardio, walk home sweaty as a pig and then shwoer at home with no rush, no panic. Having full access to my OWN products, which I didnt have to drag around town all day long. At the evenings it is equally easy. Workout, home, shower, tv, bed. You know the drill. I love my gym because I have to. Its close and does the job. It’s all about convenience, not having to drag my gym kit with me all day and don’t even get me started on the amount of products I would have to carry with. However, as much as I “like” my gym,  it does smell and is teeny tiny. Last nights workout at a premium gym has opened my eyes again and now I am thinking the following…

I would like to start doing rounds at great gyms in London, or anywhere in the Uk. You know what, let’s make it Global. I want to see what else there is on offer, can I find climbing walls, military training, floor to ceiling windows, medicine balls, kettle bells, power clubs? Ooooh. this is exciting. I want skipping ropes and indoor skating tracks and jump rope. Ok, lets not get excited. Too late!

My dearest readers, this is where YOU come in. I need your help. As I can’t just walk into any gym in town, country, world, I need you lot to take me. If you think I might enjoy working out at your gym. Invite me and I will come. In return you get to see how I train. I train to the max. Go hard or go home. End of. I am sure I can teach you a trick or two and perhaps we can have few giggles and share interesting facts about life over a protein shake afterwards. If you want to take part, just get in touch. Bring it on!



People of the world, I have coined a new term,SkinnyFAT.

I’m thinking I should give you all a little background and how I came to create this new term. You know me,obsessed with the gym. If I haven’t hit the gym at least five times on any average week, I start going a little nuts so to speak. I work hard on this body of mine and take great pride in what I have achieved. However, the last month. Yes,month I have been slacking off. First I wasn’t feeling 100% and then just couldn’t be asked to go lift weights,much to my PT’s dismay. Thank god she lives far far away. Phew. So the last month I have been going to the gym maybe twice a week. Most people would call this “maintaining”. I call it slacking off and have had numerous conversations with myself,trying to boost myself to go and work it out. These conversations haven’t helped really.

SkinnyFAT is when I gym toned (athletic,a body that could model underwear) starts to lose its tone. See,I don’t get fat if I skip the gym, I lose muscle and definition in a catastrophic rate and become flabby,yet thin. This confuses me greatly and have not found a word to describe it,so had to make one up. Easy. I totally understand people who don’t excercise and get fat. That’s given if you eat pizza and chips and lay on the couch. However,these people don’t understand people like me (most people don’t), for me losing weight is the worst thing that can happen. I rather put on a stone than lose couple of pounds. I know I can lose a stone within days,but gaining couple  pounds takes weeks.

Currently I am on my SkinnyFAT phase. I know I’m not fat. I know I’m not thin either. I guess most people would call me “athletic”.  I am looking a little too lean for my liking and flabby. My six-pack is looking a little sad and this causes great distress. Now you are all thinking that I have finally lost my marbles. Just remember that flabbyness is relative too, just like muscle gain. I am dead serious. For most people looking good and feeling great isn’t on the same level as it is for me and my fitness dedicated friends. We often talk about how  society discriminates fat people, on the same level we are so sick and tired of justifying our way of living. Clean eating, exercising to the limit of being obsessed and no drinking. However, all the above I have slipped in the last month and I hate myself for it. I miss the buzz from the gym. I miss the energy and the immediate results after an ab workout. UGH! I miss feeling great and looking like I could be in a Aussiebum advert. Dont get me wrong, I know my body rocks even on SkinnyFAT phase, however, rocking or not, it isn’t “good enough” for me. Therefore, I have now made a plan.
Back to my bionic self with PRIDE. Lift or go home. Do or die.

Pre SkinnyFAT phase

Profile on Vanessa Bird, Personal Trainer

Personal Trainer extraordinary

Today marks the start of something new on, little profiles of interesting people with something to say. No better person to start than my Personal Trainer, Vanessa Bird.

Hi Vanessa, thanks for joining!

1. Tell us what is it that you do?
Why of course Marko! I am a freelance Personal Trainer specialising in aesthetic body reshaping (training the vain!), fat loss, intense & advanced weight training techniques, online PT, and metabolic training (training designed to maximise fat burning & get rapid results). Oh and I am one of the very 1st PTs to be qualified in the UK as a Power Club Instructor. In fact, I have just filmed 6 new TV shows with specific workouts using the clubs after the successful response from the 1st show I filmed that was screened on The Active Channel (you can peek at it online now if you missed it). So I guess that means I am also a TV Presenter too, & I often contribute to national fitness magazines. Wow, What a long answer!

2. How did you get started in fitness? Was it always what you wanted to do?
Was it heck! Surprisingly I hated fitness. Like, REALLY despised it! It was my worst subject at school and I hung around with the asthmatic kids during PE so I’d not have to do much exercise (I’d say they needed looking after!). You’d need threat of Nuclear War to even warrant me to break out into a slow jog I hated it that much. So no, it wasn’t what I always wanted to do. Originally I wanted to be a Graphic Artist, then a writer of fiction, and then I fell into fitness by accident and worked in gyms for a few years until I ran them, before leaving it to work as a medical sales rep. Of course, turns out that fitness is my true passion, so I’ve returned to where I belong and am now transforming the world into a fitter, more beautiful place, person by person (or victim by victim)…I am creating a bionic, vain and supremely healthy race 😉
3. what is the best part of your job, and the worst of course?!
The best part is that I truly enjoy it and it’s my passion. It’s hard to tell where my working hours end and my free time begins. I have an intense  burning need to help people become healthier & happier in themselves. I want to fight this rubbish view that getting older means you get fat, slow, ache a lot and generally curl up into a decrepit foetal position & wait to die. I want people to realise that they can be in the best shape they have EVER been in, regardless of age. I want to create a bionic army of Pensioners that look like silver-haired Adonis’! Seeing results & seeing how a person changes completely in their body and character inspires me. You think THAT was a long answer then you’ve no clue how much I had to stop myself launching into a 10 page epic on why I love what I do!!!!

The worst? When I get frustrated as some people just refuse to take accountability for their own physical body and blame everything but themselves for failing at fitness & then quit. I hate seeing lost potential. I’ve been that person and made all the excuses myself so I know if I can change then anyone can. Oh and also the ridiculously unpredictable and antisocial hours sometimes. 4.30am starts and 10pm finishes? Not so hot! 
4. In a perfect word, what would you like to be doing if not your current career?
In a perfect world I’d be doing the exact same thing, albeit in my own private sumptuous health club. I’d also have a health club over in Las Vegas!  I’d be ramping up the TV presenting too & bringing out some motivational books to help people get into the right frame of mind to begin their transformations.  If THAT wasn’t an option? Well I’d be Prince Harry’s Cougar Mistress (whilst being his Personal Trainer too!!). “Harry, ‘call me, yeh? Marko can pass you my number…xx’
5.  Any advice to anyone thinking about a career in fitness?
Be prepared to earn little to begin with and work hard as you build up a reputation. Results show and clients will then refer you without question. You need to eat, sleep and breathe health & fitness and have a true passion, otherwise it’ll come across to your clients. If you cannot motivate and inspire your own fitness lifestyle then how the hell do you expect to do it to anyone else? Personally, I believe that if you put yourself up there as a Fitness Professional, then you need to go that extra mile and practice what you preach and look the part too. Don’t do it thinking you’re gonna get paid to work out and look buff all day. You’re in for a shock if you do! It’s hard work and a true vocation.

That’s great, thank you Vanessa. Now as we have learned about your chosen career, 
I would like to get a little more personal! 
1. The first thing you do in the morning when you get up?
I nip downstairs, make a cuppa (I’m a Northern girl and we transfuse our blood with tea daily), and then head back upstairs to have a shower and paint on ‘the face’. Grooming darling! No excuses!
2. Before you leave the house, you always check?
Whether I have my iphone glued to my hand? It is 99% certain that I have but I always check!
3. On your way to work, you?
Continually change tracks on the CD or radio, sing along to it, talk to myself and paint my nails when in stationery traffic. (shhhh). 
4. At the end of the day you look forward to?
Ooh, I don’t actually know? Getting home & shutting out the outside world? That & having another cuppa!
5. The last thing you do before you go to bed?
I say my prayers. I’m a good girl & you’ve got to thank The Big Man for everything he’s done for you eh?

Right, in conclusion: Vanessa is totally committed to fitness (well now at least), she drives with her iPhone glued to her hand, tea bubbling in her vains, whilst changing CD’s. God help the people on the road with her! For more about Vanessa you can visit her site On the site there are regular updates about news and blog as well. PLUS you can of course get in touch with her and book you very own training session! You can of course visit her facebook page “Elite Physique Personal Training” or follow her on twitter. As I have been training with Vanessa for a while now, I have invited her to join me on the site as my “fitness guru”, in the next coming weeks, she will be guiding us all to “the perfect gay body” using me as an example! Give me few weeks to get camera ready and then it is on! Any request? Just comment below and we will see what we can do!