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JAMES YATES: THE FITNESS GURUS TO FOLLOW NOW// MR PORTER - SUPA Model Management London
THE FITNESS GURUS TO FOLLOW NOWSwipe right for the Insta-savvy men to get you into shapeWords by Mr Jamie MillarPhotography by Mr Neil BedfordStyling by Mr Dan May, Contributing Fashion Editor, MR PORTEROne of the biggest influences on how an individual behaves is something called “social proof”. What that means, in a roundabout way, is we are influenced by what we see others doing or not doing. Although it’s often said that you’re the average of the five people you associate with the most, research suggests that the effect is far more wide-ranging than that. And also, to some extent, subliminal. So, if your friend gets puts on a few pounds, you’re 57 per cent more likely to bulk up. And if a friend of your friend gets fat, your obesity odds still go up by 20 per cent – even if you don’t know them.But forget the scary figures – you don’t need to be a behavioural psychologist to grasp that we’re highly susceptible to the examples of our environment, good and bad. However, unfriending your buddies who are looking a little too cuddly post-Christmas is, well, not something we would recommend. Instead, we would politely suggest that you follow the online accounts of some fitness influencers, and thereby take advantage of a bit of “social media proof”. To help you get in shape for the year ahead, and get some practical advice along the way, we tracked down the most influential fitness gurus to follow on Instagram.MR JAMES YATESTracksmithVan Cortlandt Striped Stretch-Mesh Tank TopReigning ChampStretch-Nylon ShortsBurberryLogo-Embroidered Fleece-back Cotton-Blend Jersey HoodieUniversal WorksGarment-Dyed Cotton-Corduroy JacketA model and the author of A Scrapbook Of Conditioning Workouts, Mr James Yates, 27, turned over a new leaf in his training after years of heavy lifting left him stacked, but also stiff, sore and sluggish. When his agent asked him to slim down to fit into his clothes, he discovered the joy of lung-busting bodyweight workouts, as have his audience and model peers. While he mostly trains shortly and sharply, he did wake up one morning to run an unofficial personal marathon: “While it was the most painful experience of my life, and easily the toughest mental challenge I’ve faced, it was hands down the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.” Fair enough.Can you give us an example workout from your book?A favourite of mine that I do very often, especially when travelling with no access to a gym, is a simple decreasing pyramid of chest-to-floor burpees, squats and press-ups. You might start by doing 15 reps of each exercise, then 14, 13 and so on, down to one, with little or no rest between sets, trying to complete it as quickly as possible. It sounds fairly straightforward, but you’ll be gasping for air in no time. If I start at 20 reps, it takes me just over 20 minutes, and in that time, I’ve burned over 400 calories and shot my heart rate up, often pushing it over 90 per cent of max.What are your health and fitness resolutions?I love really pushing myself, but I need to get better at knowing when to rest, increasing flexibility and movement. My aim for this year is to spend more time doing things like yoga, stretching and foam-rolling.What’s your morning routine?First things first, I chug a big glass of water. I spend 10 minutes meditating a few times a week and then have a coffee – always black. I don’t eat breakfast, as I intermittently fast, so I only have coffee and water until about 2.00pm. Where work allows, I try to train early: a short but intense workout at home or an aerobic workout, either a class or a run. I struggle to lift early, so I tend to leave that until later. But I try to move as much as possible in the morning, even if it means going for a quick walk while listening to a podcast.What questions are you most often asked on social media?I get asked mostly about diet and intermittent fasting. I realise for a lot of people it probably isn’t suitable, but for me, I’ve found it the most effective way of staying in shape and feeling “light”. I eat in a window roughly between 2.00pm and 10.00pm; my meals are high-protein and a good balance of fats and carbohydrates, with most of my carbs coming later in the day. But I’m reluctant to give nutritional “advice” via social media, as I think diet is so specific to the individual. I get a lot of very strange requests. I once got asked if someone could pay me to stand on their back for an hour. Not sure about that...Follow Mr James Yates @yatesy17