| Walking Tall |

If you clicked on this post hoping to read a critique of Walking Tall starring The Rock and Johnny Knoxville, in a remake of a 1973 film of the same name, then you’re going to be disappointed. This isn’t what this post is about. Alright, if you really need a critique, think treading on a plug in bare feet as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, and you’re along the right lines when it comes to how bad it is. 

Hopefully you landed here as you’re an avid reader of my blog, and couldn’t sleep until you got your weekly fix. Either that, or you clicked the wrong button. Either way you’re here now, so you may as well stick around. What else are you going to do? Sit around and watch Embarrassing Bodies? Actually, what time is that on…?

gallery_action_12_lrgGuns are for life, not just Fridays.

At 6 feet and 4 inches, James Haskell is a beast of a man. He might not be as tall as Peter Crouch or Stephen Merchant, but you’d hardly confuse him for Ronnie Corbett. If you’ve had your head buried in the sand for the last few years and are wondering who the hell James Haskell is, then check this video out:

As a well-traveled England international flanker (I said flanker), you’d think that there’d be no time for anything else. Think again friends. After starting up and running a hugely successful fitness and nutrition blog (definitely not jealous of that), James saw the opportunity to expand and entered the fascinating world of sports nutrition and training in the form of JH BodyFire.

I’ve been lucky enough for James to spare some time and answer some questions for me. So, once again, rather than me do the leg-work and explain all about JH BodyFire, over to the big man himself…


With a million and one fitness and nutrition business around, you’ve really made JH BodyFire stand out from the crowd. What was it that inspired starting- up?

I was consistently getting asked questions on social media about my diet, my size, what sort of thing I did for training. So I decided to set up a more formal response mechanism to manage all this. Whilst down in New Zealand I set-up a blog using the blogger tool from Google. We very quickly attracted loads of traffic and interest; people seemed to enjoy what I was writing and wanted to know more.

This was the birth of BodyFire. We quickly transferred the format into a website. The supplement range came about when I returned to the UK and couldn’t find any WADA approved product I wanted to take, so set about designing and creating my own range.

The BodyFire ethos, which is in essence very much my own beliefs and goals, seems to have resonated with a number of people. I hope because it’s all about helping them make the decision to change their life style to achieve the twin pillars of becoming fit and healthy

I see my role being to provide simple interesting information, inspired by my mentality to life, underpinned by using some transformation challenges to show that what we preach is achievable by everyone – be they young, old, overweight, looking to bulk up or whatever their goals may be.

image001 (1)

What is the BAYFS Challenge, and why should we all be getting involved?

This is exactly what I was referring to in the previous question.

The Challenge is a 12 week fat loss and muscle building transformation built around Martin Bayfield the ex England and British Lions rugby union player. Martin who is 47, hasn’t really trained properly since he retired a few years ago now. However he suddenly decided he wanted to get back to where he was, so asked me and the BodyFire Crew to help get him back in shape.

Martin was so enthused by the challenge he approached his employers BT Sport and suggested making the whole Transformation public via the Rugby Tonight show with the idea of sharing all the tips, diet plans and exercises we gave him with the public.

It’s still running so if are interested in joining in, you can read all about the challenge and get on board here http://www.jhbodyfire.com/the-bayfs-bodyfire-challenge/

The BodyFire approach is to ensure all the nutrition and training information is really easy, simple and accessible for everyone to understand and follow. Martin has had some amazing results and is already three quarters of a stone lighter with his body fat percentage down 2.8% after just 4 weeks.


How can people use JH BodyFire to improve their health and body composition?

The idea of BodyFire is it’s a lifestyle choice; not just something you dip in and out off. Everything we promote is born out of my own personal experiences over the last 11 years of playing professional rugby around the world. It may not be rocket science but it is a proven process based on real hands-on experience rather than a passing fad or trend, which is so often the case.

The fundamental premise being I have always left no stone unturned in the pursuit of getting better as a player. This has led me to adopt and try many different sports, disciplines and training techniques outside of rugby. As a consequence I have met some amazing coaches and have seen at firsthand what works and doesn’t work for people.  I have been living the BodyFire way a long time and it has served me pretty well thus far.

We believe training and nutrition should be simple and enjoyable. It’s about finding a system that caters for you. With BodyFire you can go online and utilize all the free content and videos we provide to get you going. Everyone has to start somewhere.

After this, if people want to step-up we have more detailed solutions that people can follow and download. We believe after a point all training and nutrition should be bespoke to the individual.

Now, you’re a pretty tall guy, but who do you look up to in the fitness and nutrition industry?

Being a sportsman I have a few people in my rugby world I look up to, like Richie McCaw for example. In the fitness world I respect guys like Phil Learney, Nick Mitchell, Matt Lovell, Ben Coomber and Crossfit athletes like Rich Froning.

I am a big fan as well of some of the calisthenics guys who can do amazing bodyweight work.


A question which I’m sure you get asked all the time, but one I’m sure people will find particularly interested in, could you run us through your typical daily food intake? 

My diet is purposely designed for me, based on my ability to deal with carbs and my performance requirements. However much I ask Phil Learney to get me get in amazing shape, he won’t, because I need body fat to prevent injuries. I also need fuel to perform. When I say amazing shape, I mean front cover model ready. I am not doing too badly though but maybe one day when I finally hang up my boots!

I start my day with 200g of steak, 50g of nuts.

1 spoonful of my coconut oil Tagaloa in a black coffee. You can get this amazingly versatile oil from my website http://www.jhbodyfire.com (seamless plug, I didn’t even notice it). Get 10% off using code OXFORDFIT too. Again, seamless.

Then during the course of one day I have a further five more meals which comprise 250g of protein. This could be chicken, white fish, red meat or game. Added to this is 300g of carbs like butternut squash, sweet potatoes or brown rice. Then to top it all off I can have unlimited vegetables such as broccoli, beans, carrots, cauliflower, spinach… the list and variety is endless.

Some days instead of the carbs I have a nut butter mix with my protein and vegetables.


Are you any better at making smoothies yet?

Ha, ha – I am pretty good at them. I just stitched myself up by not having a decent flavored protein. All I had was a rather dodgy tasting, chocolate orange flavor.

All my supplements have to have been batch tested by Informed Sport, which is why I created my own supplement range, as it is guaranteed totally safe.

We are in the process of adding another eight core lines to the range and plan on launching our very own, absolutely top end protein whey at some point, which will be fantastic tasting as well as being the best in class. So when this is ready I want definitely want a rematch at this challenge!

James in his amateur smoothie days…

Now he’s in the big leagues.

I asked Ben Coomber the same question, and I’ll also apologise to you for putting you in the same scenario: The chiefs at Herbalife have managed to convince the government that getting your food in powdered soy form is the way forward. From tomorrow, the world and his wife can have nothing but Herbalife. So tonight, what are you making?

Ha ha that is the most mental and ridiculous thing I have heard in a while. Bloody Herbalife are really taking the piss and I am amazed so called government experts have fallen for such a nonsense.

Tonight I shall be having a home-made Thai green curry, cooked in Tagaloa with a portion of brown rice and a side order of vegetables. One thing I can tell you is it will be the real deal and most certainly won’t be in powered soy form!


HUGE thanks to James to taking to the time out to speak to me and providing bags of information which I hope you’ve all found helpful and enjoyable. Also thanks to Natalie at JH BodyFire for helping coordinate things.

JH BodyFire Website (Use code OXFORDFIT for your 10% discount)




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s