Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 1

Joseph Ryan - Lean Gains Challenge Week 1

How James Haskell’s Lean Gains Bodybuilding Programme got me into unbelievable shape

Week 1


I recently moved from a pretty hedonistic lifestyle in London to go and live in Kuala Lumpa, Malaysia

I love KL. I love everything about it.

The people are some of the friendliest in the world, the weather is exceptional and the food is to die for.

This is totally ironic because when I was first asked to move here I immediately said 'no'! Following a glittering decade of running world renowned nightclubs and organise swanky parties in Formula 1, I was approached to open a string of upmarket venues in Malaysia by Air Asia and QPR CEO Tony Fernandes and I honestly didn't see the appeal, as I knew nothing about it and loved living in London.

Yet having landed in the capital of Malaysia I have truly immersed myself into the cultures that exist here and it is very much my home. I have expanded my knowledge of the community with a friendship base made up of Malaysian, Chinese and Indians enjoying their hospitality to the max through religious festivals, local courtesies and also expanded my waistline beyond reason through their breath-taking cuisine. I knew I was in trouble or very soon would be!

In lieu of the fact that Malaysia has world famous cuisine offering street food that some European restaurants would win awards for, how do I continue enjoying my new life without sacrificing the Malaysian magic in return for a widening waistline?

It is for this very reason that I reached out to my good friend and sporting hero, James Haskell for help. Having just launched his ‘Lean Gains Bodybuilding Programme’ it was perfectly timed for my cry for help.

Like everyone I needed to find something, if followed assiduously, would really work. I am not slavish in my approach, so needed convincing that If I was really going to dedicate 12 weeks and of course beyond, to getting my body back into the shape I wanted,  the plan needed to make sense, be easy to understand, follow and deliver  

Whilst in England I had followed some of James other training packages and had seen great results. So I was fully aware he knew what he was doing and talking about. But a pretty rigorous 12 week programme??

Then of course the fateful day came, as it inevitably does to us all. Preparing for an important meeting, I glanced in the mirror on the way out and instead of the honed Adonis in a razor sharp suit; I was instead confronted with two boys fighting under a blanket!

The moment had come; hell it had long passed! I picked up the phone and dialled the UK  

Week 1 – The beginning….

Height: 74 inches

Weight: 86.4kg

Workout; (extras my choice!)

Monday:          Lower Body

Tuesday:          Upper Body

Wednesday:   Yoga & Wingchun

Thursday:        Back & Biceps

Friday:              Legs & Abs

Saturday:         Chest Triceps

Sunday:            Hiking

Nutrition: (average day)

8am –      Workout

9am –      Shake

12pm –    Chicken & Rice

3pm –      Mixed nuts and shake

6pm –       Cardio

7pm –      Chicken, vegetables

10pm –     Cottage cheese


  • Water (lots)

  • Green Tea 3 to 4 a day

Takeaway Lesson: Form is everything.

Week One Initial Impressions

The first thing I would say about undertaking the ‘Lean Gains Bodybuilding programme” for the first time is just how much detail James has gone into to ensure participant’s get things right.

In addition to the main Lean Gains manual, which is very impressive in its explanation of what the programme was all about. The programme structure and methodoligy. Amazingly in-depth chapters on Nutrition and the vital importance it plays within the while Lean Gains structure, considered use of supplements and so on.

For the individual training weeks I foresaw merely receiving a single page word document identifying what to do over the week.

What I actually received was a 52 page in depth ‘how to... .’ with great descriptions (with pictures) of the exercises. The weekly guide explained how to recover, what to eat and how to avoid injury. All for £2.29! The man’s either mad or he really wants to help people achieve their fitness goals.

The programme is also brilliant for someone who has a dickey knee with arthritis as I do, which had been my ‘I can’t do legs you see...’ excuse.

The second lesson I learnt was that I was previously rushing my workouts and although I thought I was lifting heavier weights, I wasn't feeling the affects of the lifting. By slowing the workout down, the time my muscles were under strain was exaggerated and I really felt the muscles working. The 3-1-3 timing schedule meant I had to sacrifice the weights lifted, but that doesn't matter because my post workout aches that told me that it had worked were definitely there!

The two biggest results I’ve seen in week one are in regards to hunger and sleep. I’m hungry all day now that I’m working out in a more professional manner and with a much leaner diet I can eat over the course of the day instead of three colossal meals.

My body is craving recovery fuel! I’ve also slept like a baby this week, but the good kind of sleep where you wake up raring to go.

I don't have the washboard stomach I crave as yet; now after just one week that really would be something, but definitely so far so good….

– Entry was posted on March 3rd, 2016 by James Haskell

You may also like

© 2018 JHH&F - James Haskell Health and Fitness Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved