Blog | Chris Mason Performance

Why Most Diets and Dieters Fail…..

Let’s be honest,

Not being able to eat your favourite foods sucks (i hate that word but it seems appropriate here)

and eventually you’re going to end up face down in a tub of Ben and Jerrys, watching re runs of Bridget Jones Diary.

So what can you do instead?

Take a look at this vid below….

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Why Exercise Is Pointless For Losing Weight

It’s been said.

and it is (partially) true.

Exercise is pointless if your overall goal is to lose weight and body fat

and i’m afraid to say that no matter how many Zumba classes you do per week, HIIT classes and weightlifting sessions you’ll STILL notice that you weigh the same come the weeks end if your food intake matches what you’re expending.

Ain’t that a kick in the crotch?

And here is another,

For some people, it seems NO MATTER what type of exercise they do, they still struggle to shift weight and lose fat

But Why?

Now, for the purpose of the this article i am going to assume that you the reader are at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of the number of calories you actually burn from exercise.

Because we’re not athletes, right?

So here is the reality about those gym sessions

It’s been shown that relative beginners or those starting from a sedentary
position to only burn between 5 and 10 calories per minute during exercise.

<<< yes, it really is THAT low

(whereas trained individuals or athletes would potentially burn more calories per minute)

and whilst we could compare individual exercises such as an intense weights session vs a low impact cardio session, for the rest of this article lets say that we fall into the spectrum of between 5 – 10 calories per minute.

But, as fat loss researcher, Lyle Mcdonald points out, it takes more like 3800kcal to be either ‘burned via exercise / movement’ or to be restricted from the diet in order to lose just but for now 1lb of fat.

That’s a hell of a lot of exercise!


Say you go to the gym three times per week for an hour to lift weights, do a class or some cardio
you could probably safely say that come the end of the week from the exercise you’ve burnt anywhere
between 600 – 1800kcal depending on the time you ACTUALLY SPEND EXERCISING

If you take your phone and spend a lot of your gym time flicking through facebook or checking work emails you can assume that you’ll end your workout at the lower end of the calorie burn per minute.

and the speed of which you’re making significant improvements in your body is going to be slow at best.


Pretty disappointing.

So if you really are burning so few calories from exercise, there has to be more at
play here….

And this is where FOOD comes in.

You know that you have to eat less to lose fat, right?

Well, there is a little more to it than that.

The whole reason you go to the gym is to MOBILISE FAT, right?

and if we manage to do this properly, it means that we’re creating a calorie deficit in our diet (i.e. eating less) and via exercise

it would lead to a change in our body shape and levels of fatness quicker than if….

  • You’re not eating right, or don’t even know where to start.
  • You’re eating too many calories
  • And too many carbs
  • and too many fats
  • Eating too little / much protein
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Inconsistently going to the gym
  • You’re struggling to stick to your diet

So you have to know what you need to be eating in order to create that calorie deficit that’s going to facilitate the change in your body.

Plus it’s easier to eat 500kcal less per day than it is to spend the hours per needed from exercise to achieve the same outcome.

Food intakes and calorie consumption will literally make or break your results even if you are consistently going to the gym and working hard.



It’s just not as effective at controlling calories as much as you tightening the proverbial belt on what goes into your mouth!

( Hey, we’ve all got fast cake hands if we’re left to our own devices )

And maybe the type of exercise you’re doing right now maybe isn’t as effective either if you’re not lifting weights and performing specific cardio routines alongside your lifting days.

And more importantly,

It’s going to take longer than you think and requires more commitment that you initially thought to REALLY see the results you want to see.

and that’s ok.

Give yourself the time needed to achieve amazing results.

Yours in Health,



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What’s The Best Exercise To Lose Weight?

Is a question that over the years i’ve been asked a LOT as you’d imagine.

So i’m going to share with you a few secrets that i’ve learnt over the past 10 years of helping people shred fat for fun.

Because i’ve found and many other have too, that certain programs work better for certain types of body shapes, body fat levels and current training experience. 

So if you’re looking for hard and fast rules as to which program i’d have you follow, it would be this;

If you’re over 20% body fat and just seem to store fat on your legs, abdomen, butt and arms
then a wholebody approach to fat loss is going to be best and bring you the most bang for
your buck.

(You could follow a split training routine too, but would have to ensure more cardiovascular work is included too alongside a calorie deficit)

If you’re under 20% and need more fine tuning than an overhaul then a split training style
will be the best for you to shape up further.

Over 20% Body Fat

  • Wholebody training working your chest, back, shoulders, hamstrings, quads, glutes all in one session.
  • Train across a broad rep range 5 – 25 reps for sets.
  • Frequency: 3 – 4 times per week.
  • You could use single sets, supersets for opposing muscle groups.
  • Supersets for upper / lower muscle groups.
  • Tri sets.
  • Giant sets (4 or more exercises in a row).
  • The available permutations are literally endless.

This type of approach would allow you to stimulate muscle groups more frequently and could be completed in a way that would challenge the energy systems too which would improve cardiovascular conditioning alongside improving muscle strength and ‘tone’.

Not to mention the ‘metabolic’ elements of peripheral heart action supersets, tri sets and giant sets would create a larger calorie expenditure than say a direct arms session, this could potentially help lose body fat faster whilst concurrently gaining fitness.

Under 20% Body Fat

  • Push, Pull, Legs
  • Upper / Lower Splits
  • Traditional bodybuilding splits
  • Training across a broad rep range 5 – 25 reps for sets.
  • 3 – 6 times per week.
  • Usually i don’t go much beyond 4 lifting sessions per week with clients as you have much more mileage in the tank before needing split training sessions or you may not have the time to lift 6 times per week.

As your body fat is lower and it’s highly likely that you fall into more of ‘experienced’ gym goer category, split training would be a better option as it would allow you to increase the volume of work performed by specific muscle groups and potentially gain more muscle tissue if that were your goal. 

This style of training does require more commitment as if you’re following a split and happen to miss a session, you would need to play catch up in order to ensure that you don’t created an imbalanced approach to physical development but most definitely is effective if you’re looking to progress on from a more ‘general’ approach to training.

So what will produce the fastest results for you completely DEPENDS on your starting body fat, health and condition.

Here’s an example of a wholebody superset;

Exercise Sets Rest Tempo Session 1 Session 2 Session 3  Session 4
A1. Machine Chest Press 4x 60s 4010        
A2. Leg Curls 4x   3110        

Could you superset the two exercises?

Exercise Sets Tempo Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 Session 4
A.    Incline Barbell Press 4x 3010        
B1. High To Low Cable Flies 3x 3110        
B2. DB Flat Press 3x 3110        

Could you implement this portion of a Chest workout?

Exercise Sets Tempo
A.    Lying Leg Curls 3x 3010
B.     Split Squats 3x  4010
C.    Leg Press (Drop Set) 4x 3110
D.    1.5 Hack Squats 4x 2010
E.     Leg Extensions (last set fail) 3x 3011

How about this lower workout?

Different body shapes, experience and ability will always dictate where you start and which exercise program and nutritional plan you would follow.

The trick is to know where you need to start and hopefully this article will have pointed you in the right direction toward the results you really want!

Yours in Health,


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10 Reasons You NEED To Lift Weights

There are so many different exercise options available to us these days, so it’s no wonder you don’t know where to begin or what is going to work BEST for producing the type of results that you want.

So what you end up doing is either going on the treadmill for half an hour, doing some half assed exercise on equipment you’ve not even been shown to use properly

Or worse, you end up just not going to the gym

So today i’m going to make a case for you using weight training as your major form of exercise.

And i’ll tell you why;

1. Increase Strength

Who doesn’t like being able to do daily tasks with ease and lift things you didn’t think you could?


Weight training allows us to strengthen muscle fibres and create new muscle tissue as you become more accustomed to regular weight training.

Oh and it means you can carry more shopping bags 😉

2. Look Toned

Oh….You don’t want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger from lifting weights?

Believe me, it’s not gonna happen, so you don’t need to worry about that,


Lifting weights a few times per week as part of a structured weight training plan will help you add lean muscle tissue, develop shape

and definition to the areas you currently want to change and give you the tone you’re looking for.

3. Look After Your Bones

Lifting weights and other weight bearing exercise has been shown to increase or maintain bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis therefore reducing the risk of related fractures.

Bigger Compound (Multi Joint) exercises such as squats and bench press can be especially beneficial and weight training even helps strengthen connective tissue too, reducing your risk of injury.

4. Beat Boredom

We’ve all been there, plodding away on the treadmill checking the clock what seems like every 10 minutes but its only budged

1 minute!

It can be tedious right?

Well…. with weight training that isn’t the case, each session can be varied as the exercises you can do are virtually endless and i’m yet to find someone who find getting stronger, sexier and more toned boring.


5. Reduce Stress

If there was ever an assassin to your health and waistline, it’s definitely stress!

Our lives today are hectic, that’s for sure.

We all have stress and we’d all like to reduce it, especially given that the impact of stress hormones being chronically elevated and associated  physiological changes are becoming more and more well documented.

Exercise is a stressor too if we do too much of it.

But it can also help us control stress if we find that sweet spot of just the right amount.

Exercise helps our brains release endorphins which are the “feel good” chemicals we produce.

So not only does it feel good releasing stress on the weights during the session, but you will walk away from the gym feeling happier and relaxed knowing you’ve done something more beneficial that grabbing a chocolate bar to deal with stress.

6. Improve Your Posture

In today’s world a lot of us are working jobs which mean typically we’re hunched over or in poor postural positions. Whether we are sat at a desk all day, driving all day or working on a building site the likelihood is our postures not great!

And could be causing niggling pain and injury.

What lifting weights in a structured manner allows us to do is strengthen weakened muscles and improve flexibility in muscles that have become tight over time.

So not only will you stand tall but you’ll be in less pain and more functional too!

7. Burn Fat Faster

As I mentioned earlier you will add lean muscle tissue by sticking to a structured training plan.

This is important because adding lean muscle tissue allows us to house more ‘energy factories’ called mitochondria which is where we burn fuel. Part of this fuel CAN be fat that we’ve broken down from your fat stores.

Pretty cool, huh?

8. Improved Heart Health and Lower Blood Pressure

Research has shown us that lifting weights also improves another type of muscle.

Cardiac muscle aka your heart.

Lifting weights has been shown to help decrease blood pressure scores and make the heart more of an efficient muscle. Cardiovascular training can also help us do this further when combined with lifting tin!

9. Be Bettter At Other Exercise and Sport

Whether you aim to be physically stronger on the football pitch,

run a faster time in your next race or hit your driver further,

weight training can help improve performance  across the board by improving structural balance and strength and reducing your body fat percentage.

10. Improve Self Confidence

Probably an unknown side effect to lifting weights is it’s ability to help improve self confidence and esteem.

As you see the improvements you’re making by lifting more weight, completing more reps, getting a more toned tush, typically how you view yourself starts to change and your confidence starts to rise.

Suddenly you see yourself and hold yourself differently.

So there you have it,

Lifting weights is more than just deadlifts and bicep curls,

And can have a HUGE impact on your life as your start to benefit from lifting regularly.

So PLEASE include weight training in your gym routine, everybody should be doing it if they want results

Yours in Health


Is This The Reason You’re Not Seeing Results?

Today I wanted to bring you a blog article as to why you’re REALLY not seeing the results that you want to see with your body and it’s not because you don’t WANT to see improvements.

Or that you’re not doing enough Zumba or eating enough superfood salads 😉

You see…

When we’re talking about achieving kick ass transformations or even if we’re at the start of our journey, the ONE THING that is isn’t going to help us get into awesome shape is having a goal.

What? Having a goal is a bad thing?

Well, maybe it is my friend.

Cos, here is the thing;

I’ll have you consider that goals are surrounded in ambiguity and really have NO IMPACT on whether you’re actually on track to see the changes that you want.

So statements like

  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to tone up
  • I want to lose cellulite from my thighs
  • I want to lose inches
  • I want to feel better about my body

They’re all missing one thing; something you can measure.

There is nothing that is measurable about a ‘goal’ or a statement.

Which means you’ve no chance of hitting the bullseye of achieving the dream results you’ve got.

Targets are the quickest way to change your body

Targets allow us to measure and set deadlines.

And deadlines allow us to assess whether we’re on track to achieve our targets.

So what happens next is that instead of hoping and wishing that you’ll lose weight, tone up or drop a dress plan, we’re actually PLANNING ON IT HAPPENING.

One thing that I like to do with my own personal clients to ensure their success and ‘goals’ become a reality is to have them follow a target set for their body transformation

Where we can set targets that need to be hit at 30 days and 60 days in order for the outcome goal to become a reality by the 90 day mark and so on.


Say for example that your goal is to fit comfortably into a size 14 but you’re currently a size 18, what targets might you need to hit to make that goal a reality? and is it realistic?

Maybe, maybe not

But for arguments sake, lets look at it here;

90 Days Target – Tight Size 14

60 Day Target –  Comfortable Size 16

30 Day Target – Loose Size 18

Start – Size 18

Now obviously we’ll be measuring inches, body fat, taking photos, setting food diaries and have a structured exercise program within the system but now we have CLARITY on what the goal is and FOCUS to execute giving us a better chance of success.


And we’re simply going to take a huge target and break it down in manageable small chunks that you can cope with and not get overwhelmed by.

By each 30 day target it simply becomes a case of asking…

have you done the work – YES or NO

and if you have, those results will follow that’s for sure.

Yours in Health,


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