Monday 5 December 2016

'Emergency surgery was a wake-up call to be healthier' - Baz Ashmawy

In a new series, Karl Henry shares the fitness secrets of the well-known. This week, TV star Baz Ashmawytells our trainer what keeps him motivated to go to the gym

Karl Henry

Published 04/10/2016 | 02:30

Health kick: Baz Ashmawy in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammies in Toronto for Sky
Health kick: Baz Ashmawy in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammies in Toronto for Sky

A couple of weeks ago I was on 'The Ray D'Arcy Show' on RTÉ 1 doing a fitness challenge with the host and also the comedian PJ Gallagher. The hanging bar challenge is pretty simple; you keep your arms straight and your hands gripping the bar with your knuckles facing towards you, hang for as long as you can with your legs straight, and your feet off the floor.

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The challenge is to try and break the two-minute mark. Could you do it? Well, why not give it a try? This basically tests your strength-to-weight ratio. Being strong helps, but the lighter you are the less weight you have to hold up. We've done the challenge in our gym for several weeks now, and only one person has managed to break the two-minute mark so far.

While I was backstage in the greenroom, I was chatting health and fitness with the guests. PJ has really gotten into the gym lately and looks great, Ray is fit and trains regularly, and I also got chatting to Baz Ashmawy and Nancy, from the hit TV show '50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy'. Baz looks amazing, having lost a lot of weight since the last time I hung out with him in Kinsale several months ago, and Nancy is full of life.

While chatting to them, it struck me that it would be great to tell our readers what these celebrities are doing to stay in shape and about what health means to them. Every few weeks in the column, I will be featuring someone you know, to get the real insight into what they are doing and asking them what you, the reader, want to know. Health and wellness is a learning curve for everyone, and what better way to learn than to ask?

Karl Henry interviewed Baz in a new series on Independent.ie
Karl Henry interviewed Baz in a new series on Independent.ie

Baz, what does health mean to you?

Everything. After emergency double lung surgery a few years ago and nearly dying, I made some big changes. My life and health got really important, fast! It's been a long slow road and I'm not there yet.

How many times a week do you train and what do you do?

I try and work out three to five days a week. I do weights, a bit of cardio and I train with Antony Lynch in Raw doing bodyweight or Zuu training. He is amazing, kicks my ass, but I love it.

How do you manage to keep in shape with all the travelling for your series?

I just do what I can, when I can. Training is easy to be honest. It's the eating well that's hard.

Mother knows best: Nancy Ashmawy and her son Baz get loaded in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy
Mother knows best: Nancy Ashmawy and her son Baz get loaded in 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy

What's your favourite treat meal?

A cheeseburger from Bunsen in Dublin, mmmm.

What's your favourite body part?

My shoulders or arms. I've got great thumbs too, it's genetics.

How does Nancy stay so energetic and fit to take on all the challenges you have set?

A lot of walking. She eats well and is very balanced. She taught me 'everything in moderation, even moderation'.

Baz and his 73-year-old dare devil mother Nancy
Baz and his 73-year-old dare devil mother Nancy

If you could have been a professional athlete, what sport would you have played?

Soccer for the money, GAA for the love.

Quick answer challenge:

Fish and chips or bacon and cabbage?

Bacon and cabbage. Have you met my ma?

Full Irish or granola, berries and yoghurt?

Granola.

Clean eating or everything in moderation?

Clean with a dirty Saturday night.

Cardio or weights?

Who likes cardio? Weights all day!

Gym or outdoors?

In Ireland? I'll hit the gym, thanks.

Catch the brand new series of '50 Ways To Kill Your Mammies' on Sky 1, Mondays at 9pm

Irish Independent

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