During the week, you’ll probably find Harry in a recording studio.
But on Friday and Saturday nights, when most people are relaxing and unwinding after a busy working week, you’ll find him on stage at drum and bass events, either by himself or with other MCs (most notably, his group, ‘SASASAS’) spitting bars to a tempo of around 180 beats per minute, and being responsible for the unleashed wave of energy circulating the room.
Saying that he’s ‘good’ at what he does is a massive understatement.
Many consider Harry Shotta to be one of the best drum and bass MCs in the world, a title supported by a large cabinet of awards and trophies, as well as a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the ‘most words in a single’.
Understandably, he is therefore in very high demand, which means his presence is often required in locations all over Europe throughout the year, and if he’s in the UK, it can often mean multiple venues in different parts of the country per night.
Although the frequent performances had done wonders for helping to build his profile within the music scene, towards the end of 2017, he was aware that it had come at a cost…
Due to a non-stop work schedule, he spends a lot of time travelling, particularly during the hours when the body would rather be in a deep slumber, which steps up a notch during the summer months when the SASASAS headline many of the popular music festivals.
Although most of this travel occurs at the weekend, there is still enormous disruption to the sleep-wake cycle, which can take several days to recover from, and can also mean a near-constant suffering from low energy.
Anyone who’s been subjected to vast amounts of travel, especially in a sleep-deprived state, will tell you that it will inevitably take its toll on the body.
A major issue is that food options can be incredibly limited when on the move, and unless you’ve taken the time to prepare meals/snacks in advance, this can lead to some poor decisions when it comes to deciding what to eat – something that is worsened when suffering from low-energy as a result of sleep deprivation.
It’s fair to say that by the end of 2017, Harry’s health had not been a priority.
In addition to the regular struggle when it came to choosing what to eat at airports and services stations, he was also provided with endless quantities of alcohol at every show he appeared at, which would have also helped to delay the time it took for the sleep-wake cycle to return to normal.
So, with a body clock that’s as messed up as an episode of Black Mirror, and being faced with excessive calories and alcohol, you have the perfect recipe for body fat gain.
By the time Christmas rolled around, his bodyweight was the highest it had been in many years, and although weight gain is a common phenomenon around the festive period, being in the public eye meant that he suffered some consequences.
Here’s what he had to say about the effects of the weight gain on his personal/professional life:
It was a bit of a set back for me on many different levels as I had worked hard before to drop weight and over this period I put it all back on.
I can remember doing a set on 1xtra which was filmed and put on YouTube and you could really see the weight I had put on from a couple of months before.
People are quite cruel in comments online and there were a few really nasty comments about the weight I had put back on.
This made me all the more determined to work hard and lose the excess weight though. Will messaged me at the perfect time!
Despite some punk keyboard warriors doing their best to embarrass him and make him feel ashamed by his weight gain, he took control of the situation and started making regular trips to the gym in an attempt to regain his former body composition.
The only problem was, when he turned up at the gym, he didn’t really know what to do.
His training was a mishmash of various exercises, without any real structure or purpose – just the hope he’d burn enough energy to offset the damage from the days before.
Although not something that many men will ever admit to, this is very commonly seen in gyms around the world, and not the best use of training time, since following a more consistent training programme will always lead to superior results.
But during one gym session, an innocent bit of fun on social media was about to change things…
Enter Will Davis Training
Like many people, I’m a fan of Instagram.
I think it’s quite fun, an easy way to connect with people, and a great way, as a professional, to showcase what you do.
One afternoon, I was casually scrolling through people’s stories, when I came across one that really jumped out at me.
Harry Shotta had just put a photo up of his gym with a caption that said –
“Been travelling for 15 hours and come straight here”
Now, I’ve put in several thousand hours of personal training, and only twice, ever, have I seen a client who’s travelled for around 15 hours and then gone straight to the gym.
And the thing these 2 clients had in common?
They were serious about hitting their goal and nothing was going to stop them.
Absolutely no one, ever, travels for that length of time and goes straight into the gym…unless they have an important goal to achieve.
So I reached out to him to see if I could offer any help or assistance.
During a brief conversation, I told Harry about my ‘Look Like You Lift New Year Challenge’ – a 6-week online group training programme for guys who were sick and tired of feeling miserable about excess body fat preventing them from feeling confident and proud about what lay beneath their clothes…
…He signed up immediately.
I started the challenge as I put on quite a bit of weight over the December/Christmas period and wanted to get my weight down.
I was going to the gym now and then but struggled with losing the weight as I didn’t have any real structure to my workouts.
In his previous attempts to melt off the fat, there had been 2 key things missing:
- A structured plan that told him exactly what he needed to do in terms of training and nutrition
- Support and accountability to make sure he actually stuck to his plan and got the help when he needed it
Even in the most well-intentioned guys, it’s not uncommon to find both of these things absent – something I ensured that the challenge provided for everyone involved.
I wanted all the guys to be totally aware of exactly what they had to do and to have all the help and support, when they needed it, so that they never felt lost or alone.
The format of the challenge was quite simple – each guy received a training programme, which changed every 2 weeks and was to be followed in their own time, and a plan on how to set up their nutrition for fat loss.
In addition to receiving the training programme and all the necessary nutrition resources, all the guys were added into a Facebook coaching group, which became a very supportive community over the course of the challenge and helped to keep everyone on track.
The Facebook group was the real ‘secret ingredient’ of the challenge – the guys would check-in daily with a full update on their training and nutrition, as well as use it to ask questions and get additional coaching/tips to help them along the way. Sharing the experience with a group of like-minded people will help do wonders for training and nutrition adherence.
Like all the guys who signed up, it was clear from day 1 that Harry was going to take the challenge seriously, and even though he still had a hectic schedule, he was determined to make the challenge work for him.
His training involved the following:
- 3-4 x weight sessions/week
- 2 x cardio sessions/week (these were optional, but he was fully committed and wanted to do as much as possible)
He also had the target of walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
When he first started, he found out he was only doing ˜6,000/day – it took a couple of weeks, but he was soon able hit the target without it being too much effort.
For his nutrition, here’s some of the things he did:
- Worked out calorie and macronutrient goals and then tracked food intake with ‘My Fitness Pal’ to ensure that he was sticking to these
- Prepared a ‘snack box’ to take on the road so he always had good food choices when travelling
- Looked at restaurant menus in advance to see what was available and then made a decision in advance
- Had 1-2 x ‘re-feed’ days a week – on these days he would eat an additional 400-500kcal
Then all he had to do was be consistent with everything for the duration of the challenge…
Challenges Within The Challenge
No-one is immune from challenges along the way, and Harry was no exception:
When I was at home it was quite easy to keep within my calorie limit and get to the gym to do all the workouts.
The first real challenge came for me when I was doing two or three shows on the road. Performing to Drum N Bass is a high intense level of energy that you burn off on stage and when you have to do two to three shows in one night you need to keep your energy levels up.
Before I would have stopped at the services and eaten whatever was there but I soon realised this was a massive contribution to my personal weight gain. So what I decided to do was take out a lunch box of fruit, Grenade Protein bars and a couple of sugar free Red Bulls.
This actually really helped me keep my energy up for performances and more importantly it stopped me gaining weight from eating whatever options were on offer at a services at 3 am in the morning.
Another big challenge for me was alcohol intake.
As a performer you are offered free booze quite a bit and I would usually take what was offered to me in the past. I really had to discipline myself to drinking one or two beers throughout the duration of the night or even better just a single vodka and Diet Coke before a performance. Having a structured plan really helped me stick to my goals.
It wasn’t easy but it was well worth it in the long run.
One of the challenge requirements was for the guys to take regular measurements and provide an update once a week about how things were going.
If things were good, then they could carry on.
If things weren’t so good, then I’d help them out.
The aim was for each guy to achieve regular progress and to move closer to their goal every single week.
Prior to starting the challenge, I told the guys to expect fat loss at a rate of 0.5-1kg/week, with the total amount they’d lose depending on:
- Their starting point i.e. if they had more body fat to lose, then they’d lose more over the course of the challenge
- Their commitment to the programme i.e. the more they could commit, the better their results would be
As each guy was different, and therefore going to experience a different speed and magnitude of fat loss, the format was in no way competitive.
The most important thing was for each individual guy to make consistent progress over the course of the 6 weeks, and to be in a much better place at the end of the programme than when they started, without having to suffer from doing anything extreme along the way.
Despite having to work around a very intense working schedule, Harry’s fat loss goal was important enough to him to make a total commitment to the programme, which helped him to generate some excellent results over the course of the challenge: –
In just over 6 weeks, he lost 6.3kg (13.8lbs)
But, ultimately, it wasn’t just about looking good in the mirror – it was how looking good in the mirror made him feel –
When I see what I achieved it made me extremely happy. I was very disciplined in some of my choices along the journey and that really made a big difference to my end results.
It gave me a massive boost to continue on the path I started and I picked up so many good tips in terms of workouts and nutrition.
I even weigh a few pounds less than I did at the end of the challenge which is a massive drop in weight from when I first started and shows I didn’t slack off the minute the challenge was over.
Going forward I’m setting myself new goals and I’m really driven and passionate to keep eating healthy and maintain a balanced lifestyle.
When asked “What did you like about the challenge?”, Harry replied:
The workouts, the structure, the support of Will with any questions on nutrition and also being a part of a group with the same goals
As you can see, his success was not simply due to the fact he had a plan.
Anyone can get a plan freely off the Internet – but that doesn’t automatically lead to results.
The success came from the fact that he stuck to his plan and gave his full commitment, which was helped by having support, accountability, being part of a group of like-minded individuals, and most importantly, having a goal that was so important to him to achieve.
Want To Get Involved?
If this challenge sounds like something you’d be interested in and would like to be notified of future challenges, as well as receive:
- A FREE resource that gives you the the 8 steps that Harry used to help shed the body fat (and keep it off)
- Regular training and nutrition tips to help you destroy body fat and build strength and muscle
Then please fill out the form below: