Our Ryderwear athletes are more than just the sculpted cores and sweat-soaked workouts you see on your Instagram feeds.
They’re real people, leading real lives beyond the lens, each with their own ambitions, anxieties and adversities to overcome.
What we want to do is offer a window into the people behind the physique. Sure, part of that is what they eat and how they train, but also their stories, their passions and their habits. How did they get to where they are today? What influences an influencer?
Warren Leppan is a personal trainer and fitness coach with a military background with the Royal Navy, and a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. He’s also a Ryderwear athlete.
We asked Warren to give us an insight into his rituals, his inspirations and the challenges he encounters every day. By showing you the man behind the muscle, we’re hopefully connecting you with our athletes on a human level, revealing the sacrifices and relentless work ethic it takes to be a Ryderwear athlete!
6:00AM: Wake Up
Get up, have a coffee, check emails, watch the News, turn News off after 5 minutes because it’s so depressing! I like listening to new music in the mornings, and use the Spotify Daily Mixes to find new tunes. I’m always making playlists, I think it’s a hang-up from being a 90s kid!
Check out Warren’s favourite tracks from April here
"Start by making your bed"
I have a lot of rituals, but the most important one is making my bed. Trust me, it’s a cliche now, after Admiral McRaven’s speech, but there’s a reason he put it in there. It’s your first win of the day, and if you don’t see it that way, then you should. The day is full of potential wins and losses, so win more than you lose. That’s an easy one to win!
6.30AM: Meal One
Meal one is usually an egg white and oat pancake, or an omelette, depending on carb goals for the day. After this I’ll usually check in with my online clients. I’ll check their progress, crack the whip, compare photos and diets for all of my clients through my App, then send out any amendments and changes needed.
I’ve been setting myself things to work on everyday, not just physically, but in all walks of life. Mentally, I’m working on achieving positive resolutions from conflict. I can be a bit combative sometimes, it’s a hard trait to shake. Not only did I serve in the military, but my formative school years were also at military-style all-boys schools in South Africa. This means I can come across a little too confrontational at times. I always mean well though.
9:00AM: Meal Two
Meal two is chicken, rice and some salad
After check-ins, I’ll get new clients onboarded, and after that I’ll continue working on my website, or edit some videos for IG. I do all my own marketing, website and IG adverts, and there always seems to be something to improve on the site! Throughout the day I’ll usually just kick around the Ryderwear loungewear, or some track shorts and a T-shirt.
Because of the global pandemic, the Personal Training side of my work evaporated. The change in situation has forced me to reevaluate and change course a little. As a self-employed individual who ‘fell through the gap’, I was informed by my accountant I was not entitled to any support from the government, nor was I eligible for any form of loan.
"Adversity introduces a man to himself"
There are only a few hundred thousand people in the UK who will receive NO help, and I’m one of them. I didn’t think I’d say it at this stage, but it may be the best thing that happened to me and my business, because the feeling of being alone has lit a fire of motivation and tenacity which will not go out, simply because it can’t!
I’ve made a transition to online coaching, which has given me the ability to help hundreds, if not thousands of people. It also allows more freedom for personal study, and the development of my own knowledge, which in turn offers more back to the client.
Online coaching has broadened my horizons, and I have learned more in the past few months of lockdown through study and personal research, than I would have in 5 years of a ‘PT routine’. I’m embracing the current situation, I’ve discovered a new style of training which is helping to motivate and inspire many people, and I’m using every second of the day to grow my business
12:00PM: Pre-Workout Meal
My pre workout meal is usually some rice cakes, with peanut butter and a protein bar. After this, I normally like to relax and chill for 30-60 minutes. I want a clear head before training, and don’t want to head into a session with website code dribbling down my face. It’s luxury, but during lockdown we all have more spare time, so usually I’ll put on some YouTube (I haven’t paid for a TV license since my Uni days!)
I like getting into the right mindset before training, and will watch people like Fouad Abiad, John Meadows and Joe Bennett (Hypertrophy Coach). I like watching intelligent people talk about lifting, cooking or bodybuilding in general. ‘You may as well learn something’ is a motto I live by when it comes to TV, books and social media. Every day I set out to train, or learn something new about training. It’s my life, my career and my livelihood
I can’t train at the gym right now because of the pandemic, so I normally head over to a local park with my ‘bag of bands’. The area actually gets pretty busy and people tend to stare, but usually the local cop will come around and tell everyone to leave except me, because I’m ‘exercising’ in public
Today I’m training legs with my partner Alice. We don’t always train together, but when we do it’s usually legs! For all my faults, I’ve been blessed with the ability to push myself independently, as I’m extremely self motivated. Alice and I are quite happy to train with headphones on, not saying a word. She’s similar in that she can push herself as hard as she needs to alone. So we just like being together and training at the same time, and that’s all that really matters.
"The difference between where you are and where you want to be is what you do each day"
At the moment I’m training in the Ryderwear Duty collection, which is probably my favourite range from any brand of all time! It’s not just the military look that I like, but it’s a practical range perfect for my style of training. To me, Duty gives the impression that ‘we’re here to work’ which is exactly how I rock up to the gym (or my park) every time. It’s bodybuilding to the core.
I think it’s important to care about wearing something decent to train in, even if you’re only headed out to do some push ups. Guys often say we don’t care about how we look and hide behind that as an excuse, but we do! Lockdown could be here for a while, so it’s best to adapt and adapt well to the routine from the start. Make sure you get up, get changed, put some decent gym gear on and go and train like you mean it. There are no half-measures in bodybuilding. Not in training, not in nutrition, and not during lockdown. Do what you can, and do it well.
3:30PM: Post Workout Meal
I’ll head back to the apartment for my post-workout meal. It’s usually a shake with oats, berries, whey, ice, glutamine and some almond milk. The rest of the afternoon is spent working on the business.
6:00PM: Evening Walk
Alice and I like to down tools around this time and get out for a walk around the docks. We might live in a shoebox, but we’re lucky to live in an area (Canary Wharf) with some water nearby, and it offers a decent walk around sunset.
7:30PM: Dinner Time
Dinner is either salmon and rice, chicken wraps, or more chicken and rice.
This is usually the only meal Alice and I eat together, but it’s very rarely the same thing. On Fridays and weekends we might try, but it’s more the routine which is more important to us, so we’ll always eat at the same time, whilst watching something on Netflix.
9:00PM: Meal Six
This isn’t always used, but it’s here to make up any macros if I missed them earlier in the day. If I need to eat again, It’ll usually be some nuts, Greek yoghurt and berries or a protein bar, depending on what macros I’m looking to catch up.
On the other hand, Alice designs her schedule around this time! It’s not uncommon to see the biggest meal of the day appear here for her! Neither of us are night owls, and we’re more than happy to be in bed by 10:30PM. On the weekends, we’ll usually rent a movie from Amazon, and get a cheat meal with some movie snacks.
It’s simple and boring, but when you do it with the right person, it can be better than anything else!
"Don’t count the days, make the days count"