GQ – How Kendall Jenner’s former bodyguard keeps fit
GQ talked to Simon Newton about the importance of physical and mental health while keeping an eye on the A-listers
When it comes to fitness – especially at the moment – it all comes down to commitment, time management and motivation. If you’re running out of steam on your own, you might benefit from looking to Simon Newton, a man of almost boundless dedication.
Having started his career in the military, Newton’s fitness side has always revolved around strict routine, protection and care for other people. Perhaps more well known as a former bodyguard to Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Michael Jackson, it is no doubt that Newton is most definitely not one to pick a fight with.
You may be wondering if he lives a life like Kevin Costner’s in The Bodyguard (or, perhaps, like Richard Madden in Bodyguard) and so GQ talked to Newton himself about the importance of physical health and, just as crucially, mental health.
Monday is chest day. Every morning, Monday to Friday, I start the day with 30 minutes of cardio, always before breakfast. Fitness is very important, not only do you have to be physically fit enough to look after yourself, but you also need to be able to take care of someone else. There are times in a bodyguard’s career when having a high level of personal fitness can really pay off. It isn’t such a big deal if your nutrition is not totally right. You just need to be eating correctly enough so you’re not piling on the pounds.
Tuesday is arms. I have always lifted weights: I started before I joined the military, but I didn’t start dieting until late. I was 36 when I first followed a proper diet plan. Until then, I just tried to eat fairly healthy and trained a lot. When I was younger, I was a fat kid that wanted to join the army. That was my motivation into the world of fitness.
Wednesday is back day.
I don’t do so much traveling these days, as I own a private security company [Askari Secure] based in London, so a lot of my time is spent in the office now. When I used to travel a lot, I always made sure I drank plenty of water and stayed away from sugar and carbs as much as possible. You can always find bottled water and something sensible to eat when you’re travelling if you really want to. You can get a good source of protein from a number of different foods without using protein supplements if you wish. That being said, I do use protein powders, as I find it a lot easier and quicker to grab a shake when I need one rather than eating solid foods.
Thursday is legs.
Sleep is a commodity when you’re a bodyguard, so you have to get used to operating on very little. When I’m working, I always try to find time to train and often that can result in even less time to sleep. A bodyguard has to be awake before their principal and can’t go to sleep until they have. It’s not uncommon to carry out a 16 to 18 hour day, especially if you have an evening event as well.
When it comes to suits, I love Tom Ford. Although they can be pricey, I think they are worth every penny. All my suits are tailored to fit me correctly, there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting suit. Normally on the jacket I will have the waist brought in and the sleeve taken up slightly to show about an inch of shirt cuff. My waist jacket will also be taken in at the waist. When you’re a bigger guy it is difficult to get the chest right on a waist jacket, but it can be done with a good tailor. My trousers are taken up, so the bottoms sit around the third eyelet on my shoes. I always go for a straight leg if possible. However, that can sometimes cause a problem, particularly at the top of your legs.
Friday is shoulders. In the evenings I do an hour of cardio.
The gym is my main place to unwind. If it wasn’t for the gym and my love of training, I would find it hard to unwind. Mental health is a state of mind. Unfortunately, on occasions, bodyguards can find themselves in very stressful situations. They can witness and be involved in life-changing events and on some occasions not every bodyguard is lucky enough to even make it home. With that in mind, understanding your own mental health’s robustness is important and it is most definitely good to talk or seek help if you think you need to. Sadly, too many people with mental health problems due to their occupation don’t deal with it and just hope it will disappear.
Saturdays I hit every body part and do an hour’s cardio.
I’m not teetotal. However, when I’m dieting to get in shape for the summer months I do stay away from alcohol in general. On the odd occasion I have a drink when I’m not dieting, I always stick to vodka lime and soda water. I always find that is the best of a bad bunch!
Sundays is an hour’s cardio only. Days off? I’ve heard of them. I don’t really have rest days as such, but I do have days when I do less than others.
My security company takes up a lot of my time, but also I’m an actor. Film mainly. Outside of my business, I have two films to do this year and a number of photo shoots and magazine articles for men’s fashion, health, lifestyle and fitness. I pretty much work seven days a week, but I love what I do so it never feels like work for me. I pretty much do what I want when I want every day.
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