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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Fitness > July 2019 > GET SPARTAN STRONG


If you want to get seriously strong, there’s only one man to turn to. MF spends some time at the bar with Jack Lovett, founder of Spartan Performance

I’ve been working for Men’s Fitness since 2004, and over the course of those 15 years I’ve had the privilege of working with most of the fitness industry’s biggest (some of them really are pretty stacked) and best experts. And if you asked me who I’d select as a coach if wanted to get stronger, it would be incredibly easy for me to give you an answer. Jack Lovett, founder of the Spartan Performance gym in the northeast of England, would undoubtedly be the person I’d select to help me achieve that aim.

Photography Glen Burrows

The reasons are pretty compelling. He achieved elite status as an athlete by winning Britain’s Natural Strongest Man on multiple occasions, then replicated that success as a coach on the world stage by guiding Donna Moore to two World’s Strongest Woman victories. He has also excelled in other sports and disciplines as the training force behind UFC fighters and Premier League footballers. But the real reason for my selection is his coaching style and philosophy.

The essence of good coaching is about making the complex seem simple. It’s about balancing the art and science of physical performance, it’s about understanding the psychology of your client and it’s about helping them to realise their potential. That’s all very nice for me, because I have access to the world’s top coaches. And I’m sure it’s pretty nice for Lovett to read these words. But what does that mean for the everyday gym-goer?

Actually, it means good news, because for the first time Lovett has distilled his coaching methods and presented them in a book, Spartan Strength. “The manual I’ve created is a reflection of what believe matters most if you want to get stronger,” says Lovett. “I’m not trying to impress you. I’m not trying to entertain you with fancy exercise variations you’ve never seen before. I’m giving you what works.”

That gives you a pretty good insight into the man and his methods. For Lovett, substance is everything. Even the name of his training business, which you might assume is related to the film 300, is rooted in real meaning. “Most people assume my gym is called Spartan Performance because the film 300 came out and they all looked fucking amazing,” says Lovett. “Well, not quite, though it certainly didn’t hinder business in the early days! actually called it Spartan Performance because when was studying Ancient History, Latin and Greek at university I did a dissertation on the Spartans. And in ancient Sparta, physical culture was a massive component of their lifestyle.

“The women and men trained together – it wasn’t like the guys were the only ones exposed to physical training. And that’s been my philosophy since day one; training does not discriminate in terms of age, ability or sex. If you learn how to train smartly and you implement strength training methods astutely, then you will gain appreciable levels of results.”

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