BodyWorks: Be No Weakling

Roman Gladiator Nutrition: They Were Fat.

I have many Heroes and Macho Icons who populate my personal mythology.

Don’t ask where I got them from, because I just wouldn’t be able to pinpoint it.

They have come from everywhere and through the eclectic nature of my existence, picked up higgledy-piggledy, here and there, along several walks of life; from history, from fairy tales, from science fiction novels, movies, cartoons, world religions, my imagination and the mythology of a universal collective unconscious.

They’ve all just got in there, somehow depositing themselves in my brain & soul as inspiration to create havoc and disquietude.

These icons, what are they?

They are variously, but not exclusively: clans of Samurai, Viking Tribes, The Immortals of Persia, The Spartan Hoplites, Mongol Hordes, Celts, Tartars and, of course, the Gladiators of ancient Rome.

Since I have never travelled in Japan, Mongolia or Iceland, but have done some travelling in Italy, Rome being one of my favourite cities,  it is the Roman Gladiator who holds the lion’s share of my interest along with a big slice of my imagination.

I am interested in how these men of action lived, died, loved, fought, drank and of course, ate and trained.

muscle Glad

Think this is what a Roman Gladiator looked like, bro? Think again!

Oh, how disappointed I was when I finally found out!

According to recent archaeological research, Gladiator pectorals were far from being finely carved platters of beef, their abdominals were not 6 packs, but more like single huge masses of lard covered layers of subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Gladiatorial meals did not resemble the paleo or meat-and-fish diets of today’s elite warriors and athletes but were more in line with the food choices of Japanese Sumo wrestlers.

Surprise! Surprise!

Gladiator Diets were mostly vegan, carbohydrate-heavy and fattening.


Their main meal was based on barley & spelt, flavoured with honey and spices. Any variation to this meal plan would have been legumes, beans and, very rarely, a morsel of red meat, fish, fowl or an egg.

This low protein, carbohydrate-rich diet would have allowed the gladiator to put on large amounts of subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Why? Why would he want to do this?

Because, when you have a spear or sword thrust into your guts, the muscle being vascular tissue, bleeds out and reacts more acutely than layers of less active & complex fat mass.

In other words, fat protects vital organs from damage better than muscle and therefore was more useful for survival in the game of death played out in the arena.


To wash down their carbohydrate-rich meals, Thracian Gladiators also had their own equivalent of Red Bull, an energy and calcium supplement consisting of a boiled concoction of charred Fenugreek, ground and charred bone, fermented fruit and spices. This alcoholic beverage allowed the gladiator an anaesthetic, painkilling effect, along with an absorbable form of calcium, to help repair damaged bone and tissue, should the lucky gladiator either survive his wounds or the infamous official ”Thumbs Down”, which would seal a more hapless warrior’s fate.

Can You Use Commercially Available Exogenous Ketones To Allow An Increase Of Carbohydrates On A Ketogenic Diet?


I think that what you’ll find happening here is that, if your carbohydrate intake is high enough (say over 100g daily, but this is only a ballpark guess), your body is unlikely to become ‘’Keto-Adapted,’’ as the preferential fuel will be glucose (derived from all your carbohydrates) rather than the ketone bodies.

So, the answer is no.

You have no hope of a Keto Cheat using EKs, I’m afraid.

But, Exogenous Ketones may come in handy for other things.

Exogenous Ketones may be helpful in certain circumstances:

  • Staying in Ketosis while on a higher protein intake schedule.
  • While in Ketosis during exercise
  • May be helpful, in some cases, in reducing the incidence of ‘’Keto Flu’’.
  • Neuro-protective. Exogenous Ketones may protect neurons against some forms of damage.

What happens to the ketones?

They will meet the same fate as any other form of calorie: an excess will be stored as fat.


1st Day In Play

So, yeah we opened yesterday.

And it was about time, too!

We didn’t do the BIG GRAND OPENING strategy thing because, basically, I’m not a drama queen.


I didn’t feel the gym needed to be ”bumped with a trumpet” as, hey, just being open and legal to run was the biggest bump and push that we could’ve done!

Besides, the weather was grand and excellent for knocking the rust off and getting back to the business of fitness.

gym babe

We Are Open!

Yes, from 00:01 Saturday 30 May 2020 we are open and back in Business!

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As part of the Level 4 Lockdown Mandate, we will be operating BodyWorks under the  Controlled Environment classification, which, along with all of the usual Distancing and Hygiene Guidelines allows for brief periods of intermittent distancing of 1 metre.



We will be required to keep a Record Of Usage, and therefore anyone who enters the premises must sign in and leave contact information ( a phone number). In case of a documented COViD-19 outbreak, the SOG will then be able to track & trace.

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Industrial Strength Hand sanitizer, paper towelling, bacteriocidal soaps, regular cleaning schedule and Hydrogen Peroxide decontamination procedures will all be in place.

Face masks and protective gloves will be made available to all members who wish to use them.



We are looking forward to welcoming you all back aboard BodyWorks!

Deadlift Bodyworks

Guernsey has no documented cases of COViD-19!

This is fabulous news!

Let’s get back to doing what we do best!

We Are (Almost) Back In Biz

The announcement of Friday 22 May by the States Of Guernsey of their intention to transition from the current Level 3 to Level 4, lifting closure orders affecting gyms and leisure centres was almost a surprise…if a long-awaited and very welcomed one.

We are relieved and thrilled to announce that we expect to re-open this coming Saturday 30th of May, after 67 DAYS OF LOCKDOWN.

We have not been posting on this website during the crises period for the simple fact that we had nothing to say, or perhaps rather: that we had nothing important or relevant to say.

A factor which doesn’t seem to have stopped many other people from sounding off.

We are currently hard at work here at BodyWorks Gym prepping, cleaning, signing and ensuring that the gym will meet or exceed the requirements to provide a clean, healthy and virus-free environment and training experience. We intend to do this with the minimum inconvenience and hassle, while not compromising the upbeat environment that has always made BodyWorks a great place to train.

We are looking forward to welcoming back all our loyal, old members (some have been members for over 20 years) who have stuck with us during this challenging and unpleasant time (Big Karma Points to you all!); as well as previous and new members and customers!

Paleo vs Keto. Which Is Better?

This is a comparison of two different things here, apples and tangerines.

On the one hand, a Ketogenic diet has a pretty definite set of criteria and clearly defined boundaries involved with it. It has a good body of science and logic associated with it, whether you subscribe to its claims of sustainability or not.

The Paleo is a diet system that is not very clearly defined. It seems to be one of those touchy-feely sorts of diets, full of arbitrary guidelines and riddled with conjecture, without much science to back it up. The Paleo premise: that food consumed during man’s palaeolithic past, when whatever he managed to gather or hunt down with primitive stone tools is what we really ought to base our modern eating habits on, is just silly.

Palaeolithic Man’s existence was poor, tedious, nasty, brutish and short. He often maintained a variety of comorbidities throughout his brief lifespan which covered everything from worms, arthritis, spinal degeneration to lice and periodontal disease.

It also begs a further question: “better for what, exactly?”

Is it Fat Loss? Then Keto works better.

Optimising your blood profile, reducing the markers such as inflammation and triglyceride levels? Then use keto.

Blood sugar normalisation? Keto is your diet tool of choice for things like this, too.


Obviously, there are other considerations which might influence your choice. But, as far as science, logic and proven benefits are concerned…the choice is yours.

Nutritional Ketosis: How do I know that I am Keto-adapted?

*Note* The question comes at the right time: Day 42 of LOCKDOWN! Looking around for my toes only to see the top of my belly-button.
No, but it is KETO.

By three very simple & methods.

Checking whether or not you’re in Ketosis isn’t much of a chore, nor need it be daunting and complicated.

Many people either seem to believe that they don’t need to check that they’re in KETO [WRONG], that they can just ”know” or feel that they are (maybe they can, maybe not); or that finding out if they are in KETO is a complicated matter, like becoming a freemason [WRONG again].

The two Ketone Bodies that you’re concerned with are Acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).

The simplest one of these two to find is Acetoacetate, the chemical that causes your breath to smell of acetone. This brings up the point that the odor of acetone on your breath is a very easy practical way to tell if you’re in Ketosis. In other words, it rarely gives you a false positive and you can use it quite happily as an indicator.

  • If your breath smells like acetone, you’re in.
  • If your breath doesn’t smell of acetone, does that mean you’re out? NO. Some people are just more susceptible to this type of bad breath than others (probably due to certain characteristics of their gut microbiome).
  • If you’re not using breath odor to find out your status, the other easy way is to use KETOstix or a similar brand to easily test the level of acetoacetate that your body is excreting in the urine. You can buy a little packet or canister of these handy little tools on Amazon for about £10.

Now, for geeks, like myself, blood BHB meters are widely available online for about £50. These involve pricking your finger with a little microchipped lancet and having the device analyze your blood for any BHB molecules swimming around in it. Not necessary, but fun (at least for people like me).

During the day, there are two optimal times for testing:

  1. Before breakfast
  2. An hour or two after supper and prior to bed.

Be warned, testing after the gym quite often leads to disappointment. This is usually because exercise will break down any glycogen stores that still may be clandestinely stored in little pockets around the body, releasing enough glucose in the bloodstream to boot you out of Ketosis for a while.

Also, you will find that you are well keto-adapted when you notice that you rarely suffer from low blood sugar or random blood sugar level swings. You will also rarely suffer from hunger or be particularly interested in food.

Funnily enough, to be truly keto-adapted is a little like being on a course of culinary & dietary Prozac.

Being a Mad Scientist and Experimenting on Yourself is often Fun and can be Educational.

Things As They Are

Ok, COViD-19 Update!

Just like every other business on Earth, we are on a very necessary but unsought and unwanted viral holiday.

Bodyworks, a business that has not had one day off in the last 21 years, is now closed to the general public due to a plague of a bloody bug that went interspecies due to the twisted tastes for Bush Meat of the Chinese palate.

This status to be reviewed and updated, as events unfold.


Hopefully, we will be open for business as usual in the near future.

For those of you who require products from our health shop, we can supply all products required on a by-arrangement-basis, observing all SOG Mandates & Regulations. This includes all bars, protein, drinks & supplement supplies at bargain prices!

Please contact us for further details.


Things as they are.


I want to gain muscle mass quickly, but can’t change my schedule around much, as I don’t have a lot of time to spare. What are some good Mass Hacks?

Well, you can try the same kind of hack that has been tried for flying to the moon without a contract from Nasa or SpaceX or making your 3 wishes come true without the benefits of a magical lamp from Aladin.

One of the downsides of the internet, as I see it, is this modern Hack Mindset. The idea that there is a shortcut, an effortless way out, for everything. Usually, the proponents of this Hack stuff know damned little about the subject that they’re setting hacks up for.

I just wouldn’t give you House Odds on it.

Not making a change to your current strategy & behaviour, continuing to do what you’ve always done, expecting something different to happen, is a ticket to a fool’s paradise. It’s not going to happen, no matter how many Internet Gurus you consult on the subject of Hacks n Quick Fixes.

So, barring that miracle, your results are very likely to be pretty disappointing, any way you cut the deck.

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Rube Goldberg should be able to provide the answer that you’re looking for.