Armand Beasley: how I aim to get fit for my 50th birthday

two men - one doing squats

Armand with PT Tom McConnell who is leading him through a 12-week programme aimed at improving both health and happiness - Credit: Armand Beasley

Actor, makeup artist and beauty expert Armand is approaching a landmark birthday. Over the next few months, we'll be following his fit-to-50 journey

It’s been a funny old couple of years. For me it’s been a bit of a reality check: looking at what’s really important, thinking about what I really want in life and focusing on my physical and mental health.

This may be incidental, but this year I hit the big 50… am I having a mid-life crisis? I don’t think so. I have no desire to get a tattoo or have botox but I have decided to try and be the best that I can possibly be. 

I’ve enlisted the help of Active Nation, a national charity here to help people be healthier and happier. I even have my very own personal trainer called Tom McConnell based at the Active Nation gym in Runcorn. I’m doing a 12-week fitness programme with Tom and over the next six issues I’m going share my journey with you. I will be looking at nutrition, skin treatments and mindset tips and techniques.

Studies suggest inactive men are 60 per cent likelier to suffer from mild to moderate depression than those who work out for 30 minutes three times a week? This can be going for a walk or even swimming with the kids.

Not everyone loves the gym. I like attending some classes in a studio but hate the machines and free weights section. I find it pretty intimidating, which is why I’ve also downloaded Active Nation On-Demand (£4.99 per month), so I can work out in my living room with a diverse selection of exercises suitable for any age or fitness level. 

My first session with Tom was him dissecting my seven-day food/drink diary. He gave me a B+, would have been higher if it wasn’t for those pesky Lindt dark chocolate balls. I don’t suppose the weekend cocktails and champagne helped either.

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However, Tom assured me that getting healthier is about achieving balance. I already eat a lot of greens and drink two to three litres of water a day. But because I don’t really eat meat I need to increase my alternative source of protein.

He also took my measurements I was shocked to discover that I had put on a staggering four inches on my waist. My trousers were getting a little snug but I didn’t realise I was now a 36-inch waist.

I also paid a visit to Dr André Brittain-Dissont, longevity physician at Extensa Clinic in Alderley Edge, to get my hormone levels checked out via blood screening.

The blood analysis not only looked at my adrenals but also my liver, kidneys, prostate, bone health and essential vitamins. It takes a week for the result to come in and then Dr André goes through them in detail with you. I see this as a really useful MOT that can flag up potential conditions or issues. 

Thankfully, my results were good, with only my testosterone and progesterone being below the optimum range. It’s typical for testosterone to decline as we get older but boosting it can help with maintaining lean muscle mass as well as eliminating fat more efficiently while exercising. Progesterone is commonly associated with being an essential female hormone, yet in men, it really helps with healthy sperm production as well as relaxing and destressing mind and body. 

So I will be using a special bio-identical cream to help raise my levels over the next few months. I will keep you posted with the progress over the next few issues. Consultation, analysis and follow up with Dr André – £750  – admin@drandre.co.uk

activenation.org.uk/venues/runcorn

You can follow Armand's progress every month in Cheshire Life and on his twitter account @ArmandBeasley