interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 9 May 2015
The bearded face of Apothecary 87, Andrew Tracey, is fast becoming the poster boy for open air workouts. QH caught up with the creator of The Nomad Way to find out more...
What is The Nomad Way? And what makes it different?
The Nomad Way is a training style that has kind of evolved organically as a result of my busy, travelling lifestyle. I work probably 90-100 hours a week and I'm on the road up and down the country, I decided a few years ago that I wasn't going to use that as an excuse and get into the best shape if my life.
The difference between our style and other workouts built around having no equipment or time, is that this isn't about compromising and accepting that training won't be optimal without a gym. It's about using what you can find in any environment you find yourself in and recreating that optimal workout you would be doing in the gym. Think ten sets of ten pull ups on the fire escape stairwell outside your hotel, or five sets of heavy squats with a railway sleeper you found on your warm up jog.
I try to post as much stuff on my blog and Instagram as possible, in the hopes that others can see that their professional lifestyle needn't be a barrier to getting in cover model shape.
Where is the most unusual place you have done a workout?
That's a tough one! I guess one place that really stands out is a quarry we found our way into in Wales. The hill climb up to it was intense after a twelve hour day working in the sun, we even scaled a pretty massive cliff just as the sun was setting. Once we were in there we found a plethora of odd objects that made for an incredible workout. Huge tyres from earth movers to flip and jump on to, 20kg chains to curl, drag and add resistance to pull ups and dips, scrap steel beams to deadlift, clean and press. Amazing stuff. We still use the chains to this day and I can't wait to get back there this summer!
How much time do you spend pumping iron a week?
I try to do something every day, whether it be a quick 20minute shoulder blast at lunch time, or an hour long session of chest, back and high intensity cardio in the evening. If I've been hitting it hard for a while and I'm feeling beat up I'll take a day off. I try and do something really physical everyday, I enjoy it and want to do as much as I can while I still have youth on my side!
What are your favourite cheat foods?
I don't eat majorly 'clean', I make sure to get plenty of fruit, veg and water in but beyond that, as long as it fits within my calorie allowance for the day, I eat the foods that make me happy. If I'm only going to eat 2000 calories in a day, it's much more realistic, enjoyable and sustainable for me to eat nothing but fruits and raw vegetables throughout the day and enjoy a big pizza in the evening with some extra chicken for the protein.
I hate to feel restricted and don't refer to anything as a 'cheat', just be realistic with yourself about your activity level and eat moderately within those parameters. That being said, I'm a sucker for ice cream. I could easily hit the Hagen Daaz everyday!
What made you start blogging about your workouts?
I started recording my workouts on Instagram as a way of keeping myself accountable. I made it known that my goal was (and still is) to get into fitness model shape and score a magazine cover despite my busy lifestyle and hectic schedule. People seemed to respond really positively and I was answering questions everyday from people in similar situations looking to learn how I used the tools at my disposal to put in the work. It seemed natural to start utilising a more comprehensive platform and I sincerely hope people find my ramblings informative and helpful!
You model for Apothecary 87, how do you keep you beard in good condition?
I use Lush's Kalamazoo face and beard wash daily to keep my beard clean and soft, after washing, while it's still damp, I use a liberal amount of apothecary oil to keep it healthy and full. Beyond that I just brush it a lot. I'm going for a new look soon so keep your eyes peeled!
Your brother, Callum, is also very into his health and fitness. Do you workout together? Does he do it The Nomad Way?
For sure, he's my training partner and it's a huge motivation to have someone to go head to head with when you're training. It also helps me make sure I'm giving 100% at all times and setting a good example. We have a massive laugh in between sets with tons of private jokes, helps keeps things fun and enjoyable.
When it's go time and I'm doing my reps I'm incredibly focussed, but people who think they have to sit on the bench eyeballing the mirror with their hood up between sets are just too much!
How would you describe your personal style?
'Dressed in the dark'? Haha! No, I like basic staples, not one for garish logos, prints or slogans. Call me the monochrome don! I'm a big fan of Ricki Hall's style, I'm often in my black skinnies with a cut down band tee, but I listen to a lot of hip hop so I guess that influence is there too. Think ripped black skinnies with fresh white Adidas Superstars.
Where are your favourite places to eat/drink in London?
My first date with my girlfriend was at The Real Greek in Stratford so that has a special place in my heart. The Mexican on Brick Lane is amazing, we once sat outside drinking mojitos, eating fajitas and wearing sombreros while all of the East End revellers rolled through, amazing night.
Where has been your favourite place to visit whilst travelling?
Newcastle is my favourite city in the country, such a friendly vibe. I work in Southport every year and it's a great place to stay active, I finish work and it's straight to the beach for a workout followed by a Nandos. About as close to a holiday as I get these days!