Long, lean limbs, the likes of which we see on the Victoria’s Secrets models, are just a genetic accident of birth, right? Well maybe not… It seems that while genetics may play a role, one Russell Bateman of The Skinny Bitch Collective is building on genetic blessings like no one before him. The man himself admits, ‘I think Skinny Bitch Collective is quite simply the most talked-about training and wellness project for women right now. It’s about new wave strength and metabolic conditioning using signature SBC primal movements.’
It’s not all talk or yet another fitness fad either. ‘The elite crop of British supermodels swear by it and are training alongside the next generation of female icons. These are women training the right way and supplementing their training regimes with the right nutrition and mentality,’ Russell explains.
The name ‘Skinny Bitch’ doesn’t mean you’ll become mean as you get lean, it was an observation by one of Russell’s friends who made the joke, based on Russell’s uber-famous and smoking hot clientele, that he only trained ‘skinny bitches’; the name stuck and so the collective was born.
Let’s make no bones about it - Glossip Girl wants a piece of this action. So we tracked the crazily busy trainer down (he is the only person giving SBC classes so is in high demand) to find out what the secrets are to his Skinny Bitch regime, how he gets supermodels so long, lean and lithe and the big change we can all make to get that little bit closer to our perfect bodies…
What's the philosophy of the Skinny Bitch Collective?
Having coached athletes and trained alongside some top health professionals, I’ve designed a training regime through a collective that is aimed specifically at promoting lean, strong, empowered women through re-educating them on the misconceptions around fitness and wellness.
Why is there such a strong focus on women?
Working with women is amazing and I push everyone to their limits whether they have a Victoria’s Secret campaign or a wedding to aim for. Women are stronger than they think, in fact the only time a woman is helpless is when her nail varnish is drying.
What can someone expect from their first class at SBC?
You're going to do movements you've probably never done before. You're going to get as far away from your comfort zone as possible.
What do you ask of someone before they can take a class at SBC?
They are asked for some fitness background but I've found that is often irrelevant because regardless of any participants’ fitness, everyone that's left a class has said that it’s the toughest out there.
What goals, aims and objectives are most common?
Leaner bodies and fitness are the top two.
If someone came to you wanting to make real changes to their body, what's a realistic timeline?
It depends on the mentality and willpower of each individual. Priorities dictate choices at all times so make your choices - what you eat/ how you train- according to them. If you follow my advice then you're going to get in epic shape and in not too much time at all!
What's your number one superfood to go with SBC classes and why?
Salmon. It’s the perfect recovery source after a big SBC session. It’s great with some green vegetables like kale or broccoli, which is also going to compliment your mind and body.
Is it a myth that you can't spot reduce your troublezones?
You can't with exercise but certain supplements are mooted as helping certain sites lose bodyfat. Grapeseed is apparently great for the under arms! If your troublezone is your lower body then start consuming a diet high in fibre along with large amounts of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale which contain diindolylmethane (or DIM) that helps your body get rid of excess oestrogen that could be making your legs bigger. You have to detoxify to shift the fat on your legs by eliminating the excess oestrogen and toxins.
You create meal plans for models - how do they look and what are your priorities when developing them?
They are high in fibre, protein, veg and superfoods. I suggest limited sugar but lots of healthy fats. Low fat is a no-no and means high sugar. I tell my clients that if they can't pronounce something on the ingredients list then they shouldn’t eat it!
Which models do you train and what's different (if at all) about their approach to health and fitness?
I train so many girls in the industry and they are all passionate about being the best they can be with fitness and health. I don't train anyone who is half-hearted or slacks off. That wouldn't work!
Some say it's 80% diet and 20% exercise - do you agree or disagree and why?
You can't out train a bad diet. The two have to be choreographed to perfection. Look at like a tango dance! If one partner is out of sync it screws up everything!
SBC was born of working with models and celebrities - what's different about their needs when it comes to diet and fitness?
Everyone is treated the same.
What one piece of fitness advice would you give every woman who wanted to make a change?
Boredom is the enemy. Going to the gym and spending an hour on a cross-trainer four times a week is like going to the Tate gallery and spending your time looking at the cloakroom. It's a veritable fat loss festival in any gym. So many variables and ways to challenge yourself. Don't ever feel comfortable with a mediocre workout - you'll never change that way.
Our Glossy Posse is working towards a bikini body - what one change can every woman make if they aren't quite there yet?
Eliminate anything in your life that isn't improving the quality of your life. Your best body starts at the roots - sleep, relationship and job all factor in how you look and feel.
SBC is intro/membership only - why did you decide to do it this way?
Too many people want to train and there is only one of me. I'm not comfortable diluting the class with someone else teaching it unless they fully understand the methods behind it. Until I find someone it will continue to be quite illusive I'm afraid.
Women are bombarded with various diet regimes and fitness fads - in your opinion which ones should they absolutely avoid and why?
I’d suggest avoiding any starvation diet or anything which requires counting calories. Not all calories are created equal. Look at the sugar content at all times! Juice diets should be combined with food too.
Which of your high profile clients do you love working with and why?
Daisy Lowe brings treats for my girlfriend and I whenever she trains. She always has a big smile on her face and is a pleasure, as is everyone.
What supplements do you recommend (to work alongside regular exercise and a healthy diet) and why?
Omega 3 oils and vitamin D. Vitamin D is so hard to get in this country and regulates so many hormones so it's crucial your level is optimal - most of us don't get enough omega 3s in our diet which are vital for body composition and brain function so I supplement them alongside food.
Where does your head need to be for your body to be at its best?
Quite simply focused on your goal. Try to embrace the human in you at all times. Don't worry about things too much, out of 99 problems in our head, 90 of them are made up scenarios we stress about for no logical reason.