Ep377: Gav Gillibrand – Don’t Underestimate the Value of Stretching and Staying Flexible

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Quick take

BIO: Gav Gillibrand is a fitness and nutrition expert specializing in helping busy executives lose 20-30lbs in 12 weeks. He is the author of The GHG Method – A No “Bullshit” Approach To Losing Body Fat, Upgrading Your Mind Set & Radically Changing Your Life.

STORY: In his 20s, Gav ignored his health and just concentrated on having a sexy body. Years later, he has had several injuries that he now has to deal with in his 40s.

LEARNING: Your health is more important than wealth or a sexy body. Invest in your health today to manage the risk of injuries in your old age.


“If I could go back to my 20s, I would be the first to take care of my health. Now I have to spend the next 20 years trying to repair the damage that I did in my 20s and 30s.”

Gav Gillibrand


Guest profile

Gav Gillibrand is a fitness and nutrition expert specializing in helping busy executives lose 20-30lbs in 12 weeks and become great role models for their kids WITHOUT giving up carbs and other fun stuff from their lives.

From a TV appearance on “Blind Date” in 1993 to a distinguished career as a male revue artist AKA a male stripper, traveling all over the UK and Europe, Gav went on to become one of the UK’s most successful fitness coaches, having helped 100’s of clients in the last 12 years to health and weight loss success. He’s written articles for Men’s Health, Hello and OK! Magazine and is the author of The GHG Method: A No “Bullshit” Approach To Losing Body Fat, Upgrading Your Mind Set & Radically Changing Your Life.

Worst investment ever

Too young and sexy to care

When Gav was in his 20s during his stripping and dancing days, he would often make fun of the other guys who always took time to exercise and stretch before a show. Gav felt that he was sexy enough to need any stretching.

Giving in to age and poor health

When Gav was in his 40s, his body started caving. He got a neck injury and a spinal injury that caused his left arm to be slightly paralyzed. Gav was out of action for two or three years. Three years later, he had two meniscus surgeries on his knee. He is currently in the middle of a hip and back injury.

Gav’s worst mistake ever was ignoring his health in his 20s, and now he is trying to repair the damage.

Lessons learned

Your health is better than your looks or money

You may have a sexy look, but your sexy body will not be of help to you if you are sick. It doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got or how big your car or house is; if you have poor health, it is all worthless.

Andrew’s takeaways

Think of your health as a risk management strategy

Invest in your health when you are young to avoid the risk of poor health and injuries in your old age.

Actionable advice

Start thinking about your health now when you are young because prevention is better than cure. You do not want to spend your sunset years trying to repair the damage that you did in your 20s and 30s.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Gav’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to be injury-free. From a business perspective, he wants to double his coaching business and write his second book.


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:01
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning in our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take risk but to win big, you've got to reduce it. And I bet you're exposed to investment risk right now to reduce it. Go to my worst investment ever calm and download the risk reduction checklist I made specifically for you, my podcast listeners based on the lessons I've learned from all my guests. And ladies and gentlemen, I believe we're going to learn about physical risk today a little bit so fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz, from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guest gab Gillibrand gab, are you ready to rock?

I was born ready.

Andrew Stotz 00:51
I love it. Okay, let me introduce you to the audience. gab Gillibrand is a fitness and nutrition expert who specializes in helping busy executive leaders lose 20 to 30 pounds in 12 weeks, and become great role models for their kids without giving up carbs, and other fun stuff from their lives. Now, I know that's gotten your attention, ladies and gentlemen, because I know, we've all been gaining weight over the COVID period. From in a TV appearance on blind date in 1993. To a distinguished career as a male review, artists, also known as a male stripper, traveling all over the UK in Europe guy went on to become one of the UK most successful fitness coaches, having helped hundreds of clients in the past 12 years to health and weight loss success. He's written articles for men's health, hello, and okay magazine, and is the author of the GHG method, a no bullshit approach to losing body fat upgrading your mindset, and radically changing your life can take a minute and filling further tidbits about your life.

Gav Gillibrand 02:05
That was It's the first time I've actually heard that bio. Read Out. And I'm have to admit, I'm quite impressed. I would hire the person that wrote that stuff. I can't It was me. So sorry for the bullshit, but no, thanks for being on the show. tidbits. Oh, how do I summarize? Well, what do you want me to start? What age?

Andrew Stotz 02:24
Yeah. How about that?

Gav Gillibrand 02:26
Well, I can't wait. I gotta tell you a very quick story around blowing Yeah, I changed my whole career. Long story short,

Andrew Stotz 02:34
I know everybody knows what blind date is, by the way.

Gav Gillibrand 02:37
So I'll tell you about one day back in the day in the early 90s. Blind date, late 80s, early 90s was hosted by a lady called Cilla Black, which was the number one I guess the equivalent equivalent to reality TV back in the 90s is way before you know big brother, all those type things that we have now. It was 16 17 million people used to watch your show on a Saturday night which was for the UK was a lot bearing in mind. We only had four channels back then. BBC One BBC Two ITV Channel Four. So it was the Saturday night 8pm viewing everyone watched him. And the premise of the show that three guys behind a screen, and they had an English guy and me an Irish guy. Scottish guy, the Irish guy actually turned out to be a famous comedian called Ed Byrne. You may have heard of him, maybe not. Girl, Sally from Bournemouth, had to ask three questions. And we had to give these supposedly blind answers. And then she would choose the winner Long Story Short. I got chosen to go on the date. But to back up slightly. When I went for the auditions. I was actually working in a local gym aged 18 maybe nearly early night yeah, nearly 19 years old. In between my a levels, which are the exams you need to do to go to uni. And I've been told that I needed to get higher grades which was basically you didn't get the points you needed to get into university. So I took a year out work in the gym, saw this advert and thought I was full of myself I was into the gym. I was fancy myself was becoming famous, you know? All these cat car crash TV shows you see now I would have been one of those guys if that existed back in the 90s. I'm sorry to say. Long story short, I thought how can I ensure that I get on this show just breeze through these auditions. I bullshitted the audio The Guardian, the girl doing interviews, I've told her that I was a stripper which was a half life. If I back up three weeks before the actual audition, I'd been for an audition for a stripper gown. And that the equivalent of that is what you guys in America would say a bachelorette party. You know where someone would turn up in like a policeman's outfit or a fireman or back in the 90s late 80s. Early 90s was the Officer and a Gentleman know the Richard Gere, white officer. So I'd been for the audition, but I hadn't actually had a job. I thought Hang on. This is something I'm going to do and I know I'm going To be good at. So I lied and said that I'd been doing it for six months, got on the show. And that was the start of that was the start of my stripping career. So I fast forward three years, I've come out of university, I did Sports Science at university. And then literally two weeks before I was about to hand in my dissertation. A friend of mine who did a Meantime, I'd started working for the strip troupe. He said, gab, we've got a 12 week tour lined up. We're starting off in Belgium, we're going to Germany, the Netherlands, everywhere in Europe, it's going to be like, loads of money, loads of girls loads of fun. I said, I've got this dissertation to hand in 10,000 words to start and finish within two weeks. He said, When do you need an answer by he said, Today I went Fuck it. I mean, true story. True story. I just jack the dissertation. And we're not on this tour, which unfortunately collapsed after 11 days. And we didn't get paid. Anyway, that was the start of my illustrious could call it our illustrious stripping career, but came from 96 to 2008. It was a full time gig for me. Full Time meaning

that's a career.

Gav Gillibrand 06:15
That was a career. Yeah, completely different. No one goes up and said, You know what, I want to be a stripper. But the difference was I did it because it was fun. I was good at it. It was great money. And it wasn't a real job. And fast forward to 2008, which was when I went to London, I thought you know what I made 35 I'm going to have to use this rather than this. He's pointing

Andrew Stotz 06:34
to his brain. For those listening to the past, I was

Gav Gillibrand 06:37
gonna have to use big head rather than a little head. Yeah, for change yet. I thought I used 35. I know that I can get into whatever I want. What do I really want to do, I thought, I still love fitness. Because my whole life would be in health, fitness and taking care of myself. So that's when I moved to London 2000 I went to the city. And that was, so that was that 1213 years ago, full time back into fitness and nutrition. That was God, I was about 25 years and about three minutes flat.

Andrew Stotz 07:06
Actually, and I have a lot of questions about that. But I believe we're gonna get into some of that in the story. So why don't we move into that right now. Now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one ever goes into their worst investment thinking it will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it, then tell us your story. Fantastic.

Gav Gillibrand 07:25
Well, I thought I'd put a different spin on this. So my worst investment was the fact that I didn't invest in something. So it was almost like the reverse of reverse psychology. And as you know, for health, fitness, nutrition has been my life ever since whenever and it's been my career. This is what I do. But one thing I massively neglected within this was my own mobility and stretching. And, you know, it was always a running joke. When I was working. During the stripping the dancing, we would did the shows all over Europe, the guys, when we were backstage and I was warming up and doing all these exercise and getting ready for you know, prepare themselves for this physical show. It was almost a standing joke that I would just literally, you know, rotate my shoulders twice, move my neck to one side and say, right, let's go. And I never had an injury. I never had any problems. And this just kind of has gone on. This has been, I guess, really a habit, a bad habit of mine, because I've always thought, I'm eating very well. I'm taking care of my health. I'm probably working out at least four to five times a week. I've never missed a week apart from when I've been sick or injured, which has been very few times until I was 40 years old. So I never thought and I used to see all these guys doing stretching. And you know, 2008, a mid 30s, late 30s. And there's all these youngsters in the gym. 21 year old with foam rollers and stretching and yoga and pilates. And I used to it was another classic example, when everyone used to say yoga, I would like go shimoga is you know, I don't need flexibility. I don't need mobility. And I was fine. Until I got to about 14 as if someone said you know what you've been, you've been taking a piss out of the system far too long is now we're gonna have to pull you back down. And I literally things have started dropping off in the last six or seven years, not literally, by the way for the listeners that haven't literally been dropping off. But I had a neck injury and a spinal injury, which caused my left arm to be slightly paralyzed. It was almost like a trapped nerve loss five or six kilos, which is about 1213 pounds of body weight. You know, I was out of action for two or three years. Three years later, I had two meniscus surgeries on my knee. Currently in the middle of a hip and back injury. I've got what's called a gluteal tendinopathy. It's like a tendon tear or strain and my hip has been causing me problems. And I look back and I think I really do think The most of these problems, I mean, maybe some of them a bit of bad luck, but general wear and tear, but many of those problems, and they're the main ones, a lot of smaller ones in between. Looking back, I think most of them could have been avoided, or at least minimized. If I'd taken care of the things that is not sexy. Like, no one wants to do 15 minutes stretching into workout, no one wants to cool down, no one wants to prepare your body for work and looking back is come back to pay to bite me in the ass. And it's cost me a lot of time and heartache and a lot of money. That was my worst investment was not investing in that side of my health. Oh, that makes sense.

Andrew Stotz 10:39
Yep. So let's summarize. What is your main learning from this?

Gav Gillibrand 10:45
Well, it's a classic example of not reading the small print, isn't it really. And if I look at my life, I'm the type of guy that picks up the computer. And unless it works, the moment I open it up, something's wrong with it. I don't read instructions. And I smile as I say this to myself. It's a classic example. I like, it won't matter. Everything matters. Everything matters doesn't matter when it comes to if someone's doing it, and they say this is probably the best way to get the best result. Ignore in that way ignore that are your own peril. And I know, so many times I was looking at these guys going. I don't need to foam roll. Why are they stretching? Why are they taking care of the things and like, you know what? When you're in your 20s, you think you're invincible, don't you? Well, I know I did. Even in my 30s I think, yeah, nothing's going wrong. But now, I'm 47. So 50, in three years, you know, I'm only halfway there. With a bit of luck. I realize the six pack is absolutely irrelevant. It doesn't mean any 20 years ago, I lived and breathed for a six pack. Now, I would just like to get out of bed and have my hips function in a normal level. You know, I would like to just get up and think, you know, I would like to think I'm not failing 77 rather than failing 47. So the change on health is dramatically changed my focus. And what's weird is I never thought that would happen. I never thought I would be one of those guys were what was so important for me in my 20s, early 30s. Now, it's not a case of don't care how I look, it's definitely more about energy and how I feel. Because without energy and how and feeling good about yourself in terms of health and energy, I mean, and mindset is a different kettle of fish altogether. But if you don't feel good in your life, doesn't matter how much money you've got, no matter how big your car is, or how big your house is, or what you're doing in business, if you haven't got your health, it's all worthless. Now.

Andrew Stotz 12:51
Now. Well, let me summarize a few things I've been writing down as you've been talking. And the first thing is I remember going to see a doctor years ago, and he was asking me if I exercise this is, let's say in my 30s or something. And I basically said, Doctor, I have to confess that I never really played sports or really exercised. And, you know, he said, you know, it's not always a bad thing. I get a lot of guys that exercise a lot when they were young and played sports, and they're full of injuries. I thought, okay, that's, that's interesting. But the other thing that I thought about is that I started going, I made a commitment to start going to yoga many years ago, and I set a goal to go to this yoga class, a hot yoga class 70 classes in a row, I think I said 60. And I went seven year I said, 90, and I went 70. And, you know, it really, really transformed my life, you know, in my relationship with my body in. But I remember I have some friends of mine, and they were down at the pub, and they call me one Friday night. They said what are you doing? You know, come on out. And I said, I'm just about to walk into a yoga class. And they said, What do you do when they're Yoga is for women? And I said, That's the point. I'll see you later. Have fun in the pub.

Gav Gillibrand 14:11
He was a smart. You're the smart one. join him for a drink afterwards.

Andrew Stotz 14:14
Yeah. And so in Thailand, I mean, I was surrounded in anywhere, you know, it's mainly women that go to yoga. And so I was surrounded by 20 women, and they thought they were going to be down in the pub surrounded by 20 women, but they weren't. And now I go to a yoga place nearby. And my mother who lives with me here, my mom who's listening right now. Now Hi, mom. I always say to Mom, I go to yoga because there's 16 naked women there. And I mean, you know, there's so fit, and I smoke


Andrew Stotz 14:45
I'm in the back of the room.

Gav Gillibrand 14:47
I used to say a very similar thing. You know, back in the 90s. You know, I used to go to quite a lot of gay clubs and people say, Well, if you're not gay, why would you go there? I said, Have you seen the women that hang out? In gay clubs, and the great thing is, because when you walk in, they might know He's good looking, but they might think you're gay, which means their total, their defenses are totally down. So if you go up to him and chat to them, they're not remember, most straight women in Australia clever. Like, he's going to try and chat me up, but their defenses are down. So you sidle up there, pretend not pretend that you're gay, but just don't say that you're not. And then the girl would go, Oh, you're not gay? Literally, I would open up it was. Anyway, it's a different time.

Andrew Stotz 15:30
These are real actionable tips, ladies and gentlemen, absolutely get out to the gay bar and a gay club. And number two, get Australia

Gav Gillibrand 15:38
man, if you're listening right now get out to the gay club.

Andrew Stotz 15:41
I can't give better advice than go to a yoga place. I mean, that's one of the best ones. And the last thing I would say is that, you know, recently I was, you know, obviously, with this podcast, I'm always talking about reducing risk. And I was thinking about like basketball, and I was watching, you know, different shows about basketball. And I thought to myself, you know, there's 16 people on this team or whatever, you know, however, many people are on a team, are these the only ones that could play this? No, in fact, there's 1000s and 1000s of people that could be on that basketball court, but they hurt their knee, or their shoulder, or their back. And just one injury can stop your whole career in sports. And so, you know, this idea that you know, and then it made me really realize that risk management, you know, how we teach our kids, you know, how to and you know, the pandemic is another thing of risk management, where people are starting to lose contact with how do how do our bodies fight against viruses and bacterias and pathogens, you know, how important it is to get our risk management system, you know, working so I really have come to focus a lot of my attention on risk management, as opposed to when I was younger, it was all about hitting homeruns being big success, all that. So

Gav Gillibrand 17:04
absolutely. I've got a very quick story about this. So I a year ago, I was asked to buy a friend to come play some five aside football. Soccer, as you guys would call it, a football, real football. And I turned it down and football was my love up until 21. But I thought you know what, if you talk about risk management, and I thought I'm 45 years old, I haven't played football for 20 years. But the chances of me turning my ankle or tearing my hamstring, or ripping my Achilles heel at 90% is super high because my drive to play football is still there. Competitive spirits there the mindsets there. I will say that the mindset said but the schatzi just can't take it. Like the physical and amount of injuries that people pick up going back into five aside football. I need to because that short, sharp turn, so I said he called me a pussy. He said, Guys, come on, you'll be fine. I said, My i'm not i can't play because the chances of me getting injured are so high. Oh, yeah, the risk management?

Andrew Stotz 18:08
Yes. You just have to say I'm a lover, not a fighter.

I'm gonna remember that line.

Andrew Stotz 18:13
Yeah, I worked for a company here. And my, they had a football team playing soccer or football. And basically, they asked me to come and play and I decided to do it against my better judgment. But since I used to play when I was young, and luckily, I kind of pulled myself back when I found myself pushing myself to the limit in a competitive way. But my boss basically came back from one of those and had completely broken his knee, because he was just so competitive, and his body wasn't ready for it. So there you go. Alright, so now, let's think about some young people out there listening to this podcast that really need some clear, actionable advice. So based upon what you've learned from the story you've just told and what you continue to what one action would you recommend our listeners take? To avoid suffering the same fate?

Gav Gillibrand 19:04
You would have to just take start taking care of think about the future and that's very hard when you're in your 20s. Because even now, and I'm not, you know, an elderly yet, but I never thought when I talk about being 47 that was always my dad's age. That was so strange. Just now you're like, in your 20s you can never visualize you being 50. You just you just you just can't. So to back off, you know, rather than being in the gym, five, six days a week, squatting, 100 kilos, more dead lifting your body weight two and a half times your body weight, think I can do this, but what do I need to take care of and the reality is for everyone that's listening to this. When you get to your 40s you cannot do physically what you could do in your 20s. You can't you've got your bones aren't strong, you've got less testosterone, you've got less muscle. The connective tissues are just not there. So prevent its prevention. Rather than cure the rabid, I'm now going to spend the next 20 years trying to repair the damage that I did in my 20s and 30s. Now, if I could go back, I mean, there's several things that I would go back and do but talk about money. It's a different, you know, subject altogether. But in terms of health and taking care of myself, if someone had said, right, we're going to do yoga or put up an article once or twice a week, I'd be the first on that program. If someone said, you can spend 15 minutes, three times a week just cooling down and doing some basic stretches and taking care of yourself. I would absolutely do that. Because the things that I've missed out on in the last six or seven years I've missed, I've missed a couple of holidays, because of my injuries. I've spent 1000s. And I literally mean 1000s in osteo physio, massage, different surgeries I've had, it's cost me a lot of time and heartache. So I would go back and I would be the first to take care of myself. Now the reality is most of those 20 year olds, especially the men are going to say here, whatever, it's not going to happen to me. But I'm telling you chaps, just think before you do this, because all my friends now in their 40s they're all things that is all happening, this all is exactly the same things happening to them. I think there's very few gentlemen in their late 40s or 50s or 60s that say, you know, I'm injury free, and the ones that are probably haven't done a huge amount of physical activity in their 20s and 30s.

Andrew Stotz 21:29
So ladies and gentlemen, stop right now bend over and touch your toes. And if you can't, then take a lesson from God and start figuring out how to Alright, last question. What's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

1212 weeks,

Andrew Stotz 21:46
12 months, you can tell me 12 weeks,

Gav Gillibrand 21:49
I've I've got I've got one I've thought about this, I've got three goals. The first immediate one is to get injury free. As I said, I'm nursing this injury The moment I now that sounds not very ambitious hold on this glue, hip tendinopathy is hijacked my life for the last few years really has. So I've not had a drink in the hole of 220 21. Because I said I'm going to have my first drink when I cure this injury. So for me to have a gin or a glass of wine, I have to get fixed very, very quickly because I'm thinking Someone's coming. And I'd like a drink this summer. So that from a health perspective, from a business perspective, is to double my coaching business. 2020 for me, was a very, very good year financially in terms of my coaching. I know for some people, it's been bad. But I would like to capitalize on what happened last year. And the third one very quickly is to write my second book. I've been dragging my heels on massively, I'd love to say I haven't had time. The reality is I've had all the time. But I've just the desire and the goal has not been there. So I've set it as my goal. You've heard it here. It's not the first time I've said this,

Andrew Stotz 23:02
boom. But there you go. There's the one that matters. All right. So ladies and gentlemen, all of those great things that he's talking about, particularly his chrome book, and the stuff that he's doing is in the show notes. So feel free to go there and connect with gab. So alright listeners, there you have it another story of loss to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listeners to reduce risk in your life. So go to my worst investment ever.com right now and download the risk reduction checklist and see how you measure up and maybe God we need to put together a risk reduction checklist for your body.


Andrew Stotz 23:42
that would be an interesting one. So as we conclude, guys, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Gav Gillibrand 23:59
Well, if the guys want to connect me, thanks for bringing me on the show. I've loved it. I've really enjoyed the style of it. I love it short, sharp has given me some great ideas, my own podcast. So thank you, Andrew. If listeners want to connect with me the best places to come to the website gap gillibrand.com. Or I'm always lurking on LinkedIn, probably my biggest platform or they want to go straight to the horse's mouth so to speak, I could catch my book, the gap method. Fantastic. Jc playford.com. So that'd be awesome. So thanks for Andrew.

Andrew Stotz 24:28
Great. Well, we'll have all that in the show notes ladies and gentlemen. And that is a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our well fellow risk takers. This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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