David Gandy: how I got my bodyHe has one of the most famous physiques on the planet. But how does David Gandy, the world's most in-demand male model, stay in shape?
The question I get asked more than any other is: “how did you achieve your physique?” The simple answer is: hard work.
The fact is that no magic pill, no short cuts and no clever cheats will bring you the results you want, but small changes can make a huge difference - and I always recommend that fitness beginners start small.
These days there’s a huge demand for knowledge on how best to get into shape, which is why I developed the David Gandy Fitness app. Anyone who knows about the development and update costs of apps knows that you don’t produce them for the money - for me it was about sharing the knowledge I’ve picked up over the years.
In the gym I watch people who exercise long and hard but who use the wrong form, wrong exercises or wrong weights. They can often be doing more harm than good, which is sad to see when they are putting in the effort.
My app seemed an inexpensive yet modern approach to showing as many people as possible how to achieve results quickly - like having a personal trainer, without the sometimes extortionate costs associated with that.
I go to the gym approximately four times a week - five or six if I am in training for a campaign or event. They are not long sessions - 45 minutes to an hour at most - but they are usually high-intensity. People tend to forget that exercising increases your metabolism, even when you are not training, meaning even on days off you are burning calories and fat more quickly.
Usually, I train quite late in the evening (not ideal, but in the mornings I'm too busy connecting myself up to an IV of coffee to have time for the gym). I always suggest that, if they can, people go to the gym three times a week, for anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes to begin with, but making sure it's high intensity. This means not taking long breaks and usually involves circuits or super sets (sets of exercises, usually three, without a rest in between, but using lighter weights). These sessions should contain some of the following exercises:
- Pull ups
- Burpees into wide armed pull-ups
- Press up leg kicks
I've learnt that training smartly is as effective as training hard, and that diet and nutrition play a big part in developing your body's natural potential. You can't underestimate the importance of protein intake, especially within an hour of training. I've tried training without protein and the results simply are not as effective.
My number-one nutritional tip for losing weight and eating better is to simply stay away from processed foods and foods high in saturated fat. Steer clear of white bread and pasta - always go for the wholewheat variety. Fats are essential to our diet, especially oily and fatty fish, but anything high in saturated fat should be avoided.
Of course, like everyone, I like to indulge, but I have an "everything in moderation" mentality so that when I do, I try to choose options that are slightly less unhealthy than others. I have a sweet tooth: for biscuits that means Rich Tea, digestives and Jaffa Cakes, rather than the really unhealthy stuff. Whey Hey ice cream is high in protein, low in saturated fat, sugar-free and completely natural - I've been so impressed by it that I’ve invested in the company! And Jax Coco coconut water is a great alternative to fizzy drinks; tasty and more hydrating than water.
The healthier you eat, the more beneficial it will be to your body, skin, hair and muscles. It seems obvious, yet Britain is now the most obese country in Europe and seventh overall in the developed world, which I blame mostly on a lack of nutritional education. I also think that people often make lazy choices, such as queuing for the right-hand side of the Tube escalators when, if they just walked up and down them every day, they would notice a difference.
I wish there were a simpler solution to being fit and healthy, but I’ve learnt that the only way is to put the effort in. However, I usually find that once you start seeing the results and feeling the benefits, that will hopefully be enough to motivate you to keep going.
The world’s only international male supermodel, David Gandy, rose to fame as Dolce and Gabbana’s muse and face of their Light Blue fragrance. He was the only male model to take part in the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and is an official ambassador for London Collections:Men. A regular, global magazine cover star and brand ambassador, he also writes for Vogue.com and reviews cars for GQ.com.
David Gandy is represented by Select Model Management