Biohacking My Personal Fitness

Biohacking My Personal Fitness

Holisitc Health | Primal Fitness | Calisthenics | Weight Training | Yoga | Dynamic Running | HIIT | Long-Distance Running | Cycling | Cold Exposure Therapy | Blue Zone Nutrition | Intermittent Fasting | Prolonged Fasting | Mindfulness Meditation | Psychological Wellbeing Training

You are your body.

Your body is everything you think, feel and do.

It stands to reason that the better you look after your body, the more effective you will be at performing any task and overcoming any challenge.

Personal fitness and biohacking are key disciplines in my life because they are empowering me to live a better life.

Bolstering my personal fitness has been a priority since my mid-teenage years and I have been exponentially refining my personal fitness regime since I first discovered the biohacking movement in 2014.


Biohacking, or do-it-yourself biology, is about being proactive with your health by hacking your lifestyle and unlocking your biological potential.

A biohacker implements dietary and lifestyle improvements that boosts their physical fitness and psychological wellbeing for optimum performance, increased longevity and overall quality of life.

Biohacks include diets, exercise, meditation, new working patterns, supplements, ice baths, infrared saunas, implants, blood transfusions and even DNA editing.

The field of biohacking is constantly evolving and always has its finger on the pulse of new scientific findings.

I eventually added biohacking into the Public Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science concentration of my MTA Portfolio, so that I could study the field more deeply.


Biohacking My Personal Fitness is more than just a personal philosophy, it is also the name of the final project of my Public Health, Nutrition and Exercise Science concentration.

In that final project, I developed a comprehensive personal fitness plan synthesized from my studies and what I have learned from past experience.

First version of my comprehensive fitness plan

My current fitness regime is a further development of that comprehensive plan.


I am forever being asked about my fitness, so I’ve broken my current regime down into the main approaches, activities and biohacks that it utilises…

Holisitc Health is about caring for the full spectrum of physical, psychological and emotional needs of a person as one interconnected and interdependent system.

This is the overreaching approach I take towards my health and fitness; it’s the reason for why there are so many different elements that make up my personal fitness regime.

All aspects of my fitness regime affect my overall health and being unwell in one will always end up effecting the others.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding an equilibrium that works.


Primal Fitness is physical activity that develops the body’s strength, mobility, balance, flexibility and coordination the natural way our hunter gatherer ancestors would have exercised.

Primal means lots of bending, squatting, lunging, leaping, pushing, pulling, rotating, carrying, climbing, balancing, walking, running, sprinting and swimming.

And if you can do all in a natural setting, even better!

I’m quite fortunate that I live near a river gorge that is riddled with woodlands, cliff faces and terrain of all gradients. I head out there once a week to get a varied full-body workout in.


Calisthenics uses your own bodyweight, rhythmically and with minimal equipment, in a combination of pulling, pushing, bending, jumping, or swinging movements to generate resistance for exercising large muscle groups.

In many ways, calisthenics is a refined version of primal fitness in that it utilises most of the same natural mechanics, but with more of a systematic emphasis on achieving greater agility, aerobic performance, core stability and muscular aesthetics.

Calisthenics can be performed anywhere, you just need an adequate bit of floor space.

I aim to perform at least one long calisthenics strength and resistance session a week together with a shorter flexibility and mobility training session, both of which I do at home in my room.


Weight Training (with a bit of bodybuilding) is a form of physical training that involves the lifting of weights.

Strength training is weight training that is focused purely on increasingly lean muscular strength; whereas bodybuilding weight training is focused on increasing muscular mass, usually for aesthetic and competition purposes.

I’ve done a bit of bodybuilding to bulk myself up, but I mostly just focus on building muscular strength when using weights.

I like to be strong AND agile. The more muscle mass you build, the more it limits your range of movement and flexibility.

I used to weight train twice a week, but I don’t bother now I’ve stopped going to the gym and made up the difference by increasing the intensity of my calisthenics workouts.


Yoga combines physical exercises, mindfulness meditation and breathing techniques to improve flexibility, strengthen muscle mass and relieve overall bodily stress.

There’s quite a big overlap between yoga technique and calisthenic movements. Its why yoga comes quite naturally to me, because I started doing calisthenics long before I did yoga.

I do one yoga session a week that serves as my mobility and flexibility training session.

Some weeks I will do more than one session.

Sometimes I’ll do additional yoga sessions if I’m feeling a bit stressed or if it will help with the physio on an injury or if my muscles need waking up before I go running,

I use a video instruction app called Daily Yoga that has a whole library of 10 to 30 minute yoga sessions.


Dynamic Running is a training session that is made of different types of running interspersed with other types of physical exertion.

My weekly dynamic running session is how I get my primal fitness done and I bloody love doing it!

A typical session will include an 8-mile distance over varied terrain along which I will do some drawn out jogging; short bursts of high intensity sprinting; some freerunning practice; and a bit of walking.

The other types of physical exertion are usually covered by leaping over different obstacles or river rock jumping; bouldering and tree climbing; balancing and tightrope walking along tree branches, fallen tress and walls.

The point of doing a dynamic running session is to give all my muscles and joints and tendons and ligaments a really thorough workout.

I do different types of movement exercise over various terrains and different gradients because it works my muscles much more dynamically than if I was just going for a slow and steady 8-mile jog.

I also wear minimalist running shoes, which is pretty much equivalent to running barefoot.

Minimalist shoes give your feet a better workout that ultimately leads to better overall running performance, because you don’t have an artificial heel negatively influencing your posture.


HIIT, a.k.a. high intensity interval training, is a form of interval cardiovascular training that alternates short periods of intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.

There have been a number of scientific studies done into HIIT and they all show that short bursts of high intensity exercise actually deliver more effective and long-term results compared to more drawn out and laborious forms of exertion.

When I was still going to the gym, I used to do 10-minute HIIT sessions on the rowing machine, elliptical or spin cycle.

Now I do HIIT sprinting as part of my dynamic running sessions.

I usually go full pelt over a particularly hard bit of terrain.


Long-Distance Running is different to my dynamic running because it is longer than 8-miles and only utilises a single, measured jogging style focused on achieving physical and psychological endurance.

I’m not actually that crazy about long-distance running and I’m not the type of runner who signs up to marathons.

As HIIT shows, long-distance running is actually a very exhausting and time-wasting way to keep fit. 

Recent research also suggests that long-distance running is highly detrimental for your long-term health, because of micro tears it creates in the heart that eventually lead to tightening of the heart muscles.

Running to Clevedon along the Severn Estuary

However, I do like pushing myself to see if I can cover a new distance and I do love to explore areas of the countryside I have not been to before.

I don’t go long-distance running on a regular basis, but every so often I will head out on a long run to somewhere I have not been before.


Cycling is my primary means of transport around the City of Bristol and I end up covering a fair few miles in an average week.

It is very rare that I will go for a long distance bicycle ride, either for exercise or for fun, but sometimes I will.


Cold Exposure Therapy is exactly what it says on the tin.

Frequent exposure to cold via cold showers ice baths or just exercising outside in the cold is linked to different health benefits.

Evidence has shown that cold exposure speeds up metabolism, reduces inflammation and even strengthens the immune system.

I do my cold exposure therapy as part of my primal fitness and dynamic running.

It’s very easy to do, I just stick to running in a t-shirt and shorts during the autumn and winter months. 

In my opinion, doing cold exposure while running is actually the best way to do it. Not only are you exposing your body to the cold, but you’re also keeping warm from all the bodily heat generated from the exertion of running.


Blue Zone Nutrition means a balanced diet that mimics the food and eating patterns of specific ‘blue zone’ areas around the world where the populations live longer with significantly less chronic disease afflictions.

A blue zone diet means…

    • Mostly plant-based foods with animal-based foods falling into the minority, something like a 90/10 ratio.
    • Significantly less sugar than what we typically have in the standard western diet, which basically means almost no processed foods.
    • Drinking lots of water with alcohol and processed drinks kept to a minimum

My water consumption primarily comes from the copious amounts of herbal tea I drink

Sausage and Mediterranean Veg Bake

Most people have heard of the Mediterranean Diet… and that is exactly what the blue zone diet is because Sardinia is one of the blue zone areas that has been studied. All the other blue zones follow the same principles of the Mediterranean Diet.

I’m not a huge fan of supplements, but I do take Vitamin D tablets because I live in the northern hemisphere which gets less sunlight.

I also take a daily curcumin tablet because it has a whole range of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits.

I also drink a protein shake after doing a strenuous workout.


Intermittent Fasting is an eating pattern where you alternate between periods of eating and abstaining from eating.

Fasting has been shown to stimulate a whole range of benefits, such as…

    • Rapid weight loss
    • Lowered blood pressure
    • Clearer skin
    • Increased brain function
    • Improved cellular repair
    • Reduced oxidative stress (which slows aging and can prevent chronic diseases)
    • Reduced inflammation (which prevents chronic diseases)
    • Reduced insulin resistance (which prevents diabetes)
    • Strengthened immune system

I started intermittent fasting in 2012 with the 5:2 diet, where I would fast for two days and eat normally the other five.

Around 2017, I switched to 16:8 fasting, where you fast for 16 hours a day with an 8-hour feeding window. I do this six days a week with one day where I fast for 18-24 hours.

There are some days when I’m having a bad day and I will pack it in without reaching the 16-hour mark, but I aim to keep it up most days.


Prolonged Fasting is when you abstain from eating for a period of time that extends beyond 24-hours and can last for up to 7-days.

Once a year I do a 3-day fast where I cut down my food intake to an absolute minimum that does not negatively impact the regenerative fasting process, which means a handful of nuts and a cup of soup a day.

I do a periodic 3-day fast because it has been shown to stimulate a regenerative repair process in the body that lasts for months.

I already fast intermittently on a daily basis and doing a periodic 3-day fast may not even be necessary for me.

However, since doing my first 3-day fast I noticed a massive improvement in my immune system and how my body felt overall, which seemed to complement my daily fasting.

I’ve done two 3-day fasts now and I think I am going to bump it up to twice a year.

Based on my own experience, if I want to experience the benefits that comes from the regenerative fasting process all year through then I need to do a prolonged fast every six months. 


Mindfulness Meditation is cultivating your awareness of your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations in the present moment.

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep and reduce chronic pain.

It also increases the grey matter in your pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus, which means an strengthened attention span and better emotional control; as well as better planning, problem solving, learning and memory retention abilities.

It’s also super simple to do, you just sit down for ten minutes, close your eyes, focus in on your breathing and slowly but surely scan your way through all of the sensations of your senses, emotions and thoughts.

You can also do guided meditation, which is what I do.

I use the headspace app and aim to get one mindfulness meditation session in a day. Doesn’t always happen, but unless you are really stressed and need to reprioritise your emotional wellbeing, doing it most days is good enough.


Psychological Wellbeing Training is your emotional health, overall day-to-day functioning and how you can make yourself function even better.

Everyone’s idea of happiness is different, so your what constitutes your psychological wellbeing and how you can make it better is something that, for the most part, only you can decide.

For me psychological wellbeing means being able to achieve my potential and connect with the people who bring out the best in me without excessive worry or unnecessary hurdles to climb over.

How I go about maintaining and training my psychological wellbeing is via…

    • Mindfulness meditation
    • Getting at least two hours of nature a week (via my dynamic running)
    • Being creative
    • Socialising with people who inspire me to thrive
    • Massaging my mind with lots and lots of reading
    • Drinking lots of soothing herbal tea
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Showing gratitude towards people and things that have added value to my life
    • Disconnecting from technology
    • Practicing delayed gratification (doing your washing up BEFORE you eat your food is a great way to strengthen this)
    • Allowing my body to move dynamically (hence all my different types of physical activity)
    • Watching some good films (I love cinema)
    • Being genuinely open-minded to new ideas, circumstances and individuals

As I get older, my conception of psychological wellbeing is always growing.

I try not to overthink it too much, because overthinking is something that can greatly damage your psychological wellbeing.

Mostly, I just go with the flow.

It’s all about balance and if I’m not getting enough time in a single week to devote to maintenancing my psychological wellbing, somthing has to give.


The COVID-19 pandemic has conincided with My One-Year Challenge of Biohacking My Personal Fitness and it has caused my fitness regime to change quite a bit.

My One-Year Challenge is a practical project running throughout 2020 (with a six-month practice run that took place throughout the second half of 2019) that is focused on empowering my mindset and biochemistry to achieve optimum long-term health, dynamic functional fitness and general psychological wellbeing.

I am evolving and refining my personal training in four key ways…

    1. Dynamic Physicality – Developing my ideal athletic physique with a broad range of functional fitness.
    2. Green Eating – Clean and sustainable eating with a purchasing and preparation system that works.
    3. Mindfulness Mastery – Consistent daily mindfulness meditation and mindful eating, which is to devote all your attention towards enjoying what you are eating.
    4. Pete Be Journaling – Self-tracking my biometric data and keeping detailed progress notes in my OneNote journal.

Considering how the world has been turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was perhaps not the best year to do a project like this.

I did not know COVID-19 was coming when I designed My One-Year Challenge, but the pandemic – with its challenges, lockdowns and restrictions – has actually ended up massively benefitting my personal training.

The main change to my fitness regime is that I am no longer going to gym. My gym usage initially formed a huge part of my overall program.

Now I’ve got into the habit of devoting much more time to my calisthenics, running and primal fitness.

My calisthenics needed to massively increase to make up for the loss of free weights and barbell usage that I had at the gym. I feel much stronger as a result and have put on more muscle mass than what I was building in the gym!

My running has skyrocketed in 2020 because I had much more time during the national lockdown to go out running. I’ve gone from struggling to run a half marathon distance to absolutely owning my running at ultramarathon status. The longest run I’ve done now is 40 miles!

I didn’t think I would enjoy primal fitness all that much, but I very quickly fell in love with it as it reconnected me with nature.

Now I can not wait to go for my weekly dynamic running session through the Frome Valley river gorge.

My fitness continues to evolve as my circumstances change and I learn new things.

If you want to see my comprehensive fitness project and how My One-Year Challenge fits into it…



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