When did you decide you wanted to be an athlete?
I somehow always had this belligerent belief I would be a sportsperson of some description. After discovering I wasn’t a great football player but was fast on the track, I took up the 100m – I liked winning races!
However, another local young athlete, called Craig Pickering (who went on to become a summer and winter Olympian in the 100m and bobsleigh) started beating me, so I tried long jump, and never looked back.
What does your training entail?
When in the UK I train mostly from home – I even built my own competition-approved long jump runway and pit in my back garden.
My week will involve some sprinting, a lot of Olympic power lifting and general conditioning in the gym, and of course jumping work and plyometrics. My sessions last between 3-4 hours and I train 5-6 days a week. I have a young son, Milo, so it’s great to be able to train close to home.
Diet-wise, I eat relatively low starchy carbohydrate, with a lot of protein and fat. My carbs mostly come form nuts and berries.
How did your training differ on Strictly?
I found Strictly Come Dancing a very challenging kind of exercise! I am used to short, fast and powerful movements and dancing required long graceful movement for up to 12 hours a day in training – it was really really hard work. Especially as it was a series of movements and skills I had absolutely no experience in.
Tell us about your new fitness programme, ‘Take Flight’
The idea of Take Flight came about in late 2015. I was sat with my friend, manager and fellow olympian, Andrew Steele, at the after party for the Pride of Britain Awards.
We talked about how great it would be to provide people with the tools, guidance and knowledge to apply elite level mentality to consumer fitness. Something that could be done at home, without any barriers, and give the motivation to workout.
From there, we started to work on the idea – hiring the best developer we could to build this amazing platform that can be used by anyone, anywhere, providing a schedule of workouts that are effective and realistic, that fit around your schedule.
Amazingly, a year later, we actually made it happen!
Why is this programme unique?
Most programmes are built by a personal trainer who has no experience of elite level sport. I am always surprised to find out just how different my own training is from the general fitness advice I see, so we wanted to bring this element to everyone else.
A little insight… The first 12-week plan is built on three core principles; work (full-body, bodyweight circuits), run (short interval cardio sessions) and jump (plyometric influenced explosive jumping exercises). We include some really challenging moves, influenced by elite speed/power training, such as plyometrics (jumping exercises) but made easy and accessible to everyone. This causes more muscle fibre growth than traditional gym/vanity workouts as well as providing a great fat-burning effect. There will be exercises that people have never seen or done in a commercial gym. In addition, we provide guidance on nutrition and meal planning, so it really is a great all-round package.
The biggest differentiator to other fitness programmes – which we’re really proud of – is that every single user gets a remote personal coach who they can speak to one on one. So effectively, you get the programme, and the app, but you also get your own remote personal coach all for less than the price of a gym membership! We’re even building the ability to have a remote personal nutritionist on hand for every user too, that’s coming soon.
Can anybody do Take Flight?
Yes, in fact we have specifically designed this for beginners or intermediates.
The whole point is to democratise access to elite level knowledge for people that would not normally get the chance to do the most effective workouts, so this is very much not just an elite thing – it’s for everyone.
Why is your programme a winning formula?
This is not a short-term fad, this is a whole new way of thinking about working out.
I’ve spent my career learning from literally the very best coaches and nutritionists in the world, and this is what makes the difference. The workouts we’ve designed contain all the tricks of the trade we know in elite sport, to help everyone burn fat, build muscle, get fitter and feel better.
The whole point is though, even the best workout in the world is no good if you can’t stick to it – so we’ve aimed for each workout to finish in 30 minutes and the user can choose their workout days. Just tell the system 3-days a week your availability, and we’ll do the rest. It’s really that simple.
To find out more about Take Flight, Greg’s and his team’s services – including a FREE guide to training and eating for fat loss – head over to https://takeflight.fit/
Quick-fire Qs with Greg: What’s…
Your career highlight? Of course winning gold at the Olympic stadium in 2012, nothing will top that.
The best advice you’ve been given? Take care of the process, and the result will take care of itself – just make sure you do the best you can do to reach your goal, don’t focus on the end result too much.
Your goal for 2017? I’d love to run a very fast 100m, so I plan to sprint more this season. And of course, to win the World Championships Long Jump in London 2017.
The secret to becoming an Olympic champion? In my experience, finding the right balance between life, and performance. When I am happy, I perform well.
Greg Rutherford is a World and Olympic gold medal winning long jumper, a Strictly Come Dancing contestant for 2016 and the creator of Take Flight, his brand new 12 week fitness plan. https://www.takeflight.fit/