Ex world champion boxer and Sky Sports pundit, Johnny Nelson and his PT, Ryan Dack’s Online Fitness Programme

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Covid 19 note: This article was written before UK lockdown, however, online fitness programmes are now more important than ever!

We spoke to Ryan Dack, owner of S20 Physique and Johnny Nelson’s personal trainer, to find out more about the programme.

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Coming from a competitive background and now running a business, I ‘get’ the mentality of highly driven successful individuals. I speak their language and know how to tap into their heads, pushing them beyond what they thought possible! But that said, coaching isn’t just about conducting a hard physical session, knowing your anatomy, prescribing nutrition/supplementation, evaluating biomechanics/ biometrics…I could continue. All that’s pretty useless if you’re not able to communicate effectively, know when to hold back, when to push forward, when to shut up and train, or listen to a problem and work with them to find a solution. Creating a positive working and respectful relationship with the person trusting you with their most priceless possession, their own body and mind.



How long have you been a PT and what got you into it?

Over 10 years. I was teaching kickboxing from the age of 15 in the academy I trained myself in. I loved seeing people benefit from what I was teaching them, it gave me a sense of pride and fulfillment and at such a young age, that was quite addictive. Later down the line this eventually transpired to helping people in my local gym, I would often write plans for free and was frequently approached for advice. It wasn’t until the gym manager made me aware that the on-site personal trainer (who often stood outside smoking and hid biscuits behind the reception) got miffed I was taking his clients. This then spurred me to get my PT qualification, and start offering my services for a fee!

How important are PTs in the gym?

Good PTs can make a poor gym great. Bad PTs can make the best of gyms poor!

Does community value within a gym create better results?

Jim Rohns said “YOU are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I believe a gym should be the same! A community where each member is there to support each other. They have all made a conscious commitment to better themselves, and they understand that everyone starts somewhere. No matter your level or experience, respect is earned by showing up and putting in your best effort. An addictive positive atmosphere, that you feel you’re really a part of, is a gym that will create incredible results. Make sure if you join a gym, it ticks all of the boxes above!!



What can we expect from your online fitness programme with Johnny Nelson?

A no rubbish or fancy gimmicks approach to seeing you getting from A-B, as fast, safely and enjoyable as possible. We want to see you tap into that inner fighter that we all secretly possess, the one that gets it done, no matter how rubbish we feel, or how far you think you have to go on this journey, this program will support you every step of the way!!

Why do you think it is important to change your workout regime as you age?

This is very specific to each individual. I am very cautious to blanket prescribe any programming, but things I tend to look out for in my older clients are pains or instabilities in the most common joints; i.e. knees, hips, lower back and shoulders. Normally this is due to previous sporting injuries, or for some of the less active CEO/business owners, it’s from long hours sitting down driving or at a desk. I screen all of my client’s mobility, and assess all possible issues before undergoing any training. They all have a prescribed prehab warm up program before their training starts, that consists of releasing or strengthening all of the flagged issues brought up from the screening. But, to be on the safe side, I tend to stay clear of high impact training systems that require a high skill level, and that include more explosive and jumping components that can put a high amount of stress on the joints.



Do you have any quick fire tips for older men and women looking to adapt their training?

  1. a)     Get an experienced, qualified coach to help with programming and techniques.
  2. b)    Don’t look for a quick fix, just keep consistent and the results will come.
  3. c)     Track food intake with a calorie tracker if fat loss is their target.
  4. d)    Have a healthy balanced diet that puts your physical and mental health first.
  5. e)     Keep your exercise fun, life’s too short to not enjoy every minute!

How can people get involved in the online programme? 

It’s available to download and keep forever from www.johnnynelson.co.uk . It costs £15, and it really is for everybody. I created the plan, and it includes gym work and boxing. It’s easy to follow on your phone or an iPad in the gym at your own pace. As well as the workouts, there’s advice from myself and Johnny throughout.

What makes it different to other online fitness programmes?

Specifically, with Johnny having both knees operated on and both hips replaced, the programme was designed to make it very accessible for people with likewise problems. There isn’t much squatting etc. I leaned more towards the leg machines that provided Johnny with adequate support, so we could work hard with safety. We also worked hard on his core conditioning and stability in his hips and shoulders, bullet proofing his body for further more advanced training techniques.

 Do you have any advice for our readers who would like to pursue a career in your field?

  1. a)    If training yourself is your passion: train yourself. If coaching other people is your passion: coach. Don’t get the two mixed up!
  2. b)    Be prepared for long and unsociable hours. Your job doesn’t stop in the gym. It also consists of program writing, nutritional updates and supporting your clients; which can be full on. 
  3. c)    Have control over your contactable hours, and try to maintain a healthy work/ life balance.
  4. d)    Keep educating yourself with seminars/ qualifications etc. This industry is moving at 100pmh, so if you don’t keep yourself up to date, you will fall behind very quickly.
  5. e)    Over deliver on your services. You are a luxury, so when money becomes tight for your clients, you need to be at the top of the list of services they require. I pride myself on giving my clients the best experience and quality of service

Johnny’s online fitness programme is available to download from 1st March from www.johnnynelson.co.uk It costs £15, and is full of content for users to download and keep. From weights and cardio right through to stretching and skipping, there’s something for all.



“I’m really pleased to be putting out my first online fitness programme. Through boxing I’ve obviously been in the gym and training all of my life. But more recently, I’ve had to experience a different level of fitness. Rehab, and having to overcome injuries including a second hip replacement this time last year. At 53 I’ve started to realise that my body has changed, and it took me longer to recover the second time round – something that not only surprised me but hit me hard mentally too.

Working with Ryan has meant that I now have someone who has helped me to understand my body. How to get the best out of it and how to listen to it. I’m as motivated now as I ever have been and love training with him. This is the programme that he’s developed for me, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone – there really is something for all. You can download it and follow it in your own gym from an i-Pad or smartphone. And there are various videos with Ryan and myself too to keep you motivated.

I genuinely believe that everyone can find the time to train. Whether it’s getting up an hour earlier in the morning, squeezing in a session at lunchtime or on your way home from work at night. It’s the mental attitude of getting there in the first instance – believe me, even for me there are days when I don’t feel like training. But there is no better feeling than when I’ve done it.

I travel a lot through work and this online fitness programme means I can take it with me wherever I am and utilise hotel gyms, with Ryan still in my ear!”Johnny Nelson.


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