Belfast wrestler Tron on health and fitness: Do you want to be bitter or better?

Gail Bell asks experts and people in the public eye what keeps them going. This week: 7ft, 25-stone professional Belfast wrestler Tron, The Northern Irish Nightmare, aka Brian Norton

Professional wrestler 'Tron, the Northern Irish Nightmare' – PE was never my strong point at school
Gail Bell

1. Up and at it – what is your morning routine?

My alarm usually goes off at 6am and the snooze gets hit at least three times. I'll grab a coffee, if I've left myself enough time, and then leave the house. I normally just pick up breakfast on my way in to work.

2. What might you eat in a typical working day for...

Breakfast? Breakfast is usually a banana, a natural cereal and nut bar and a protein shake or yoghurt.

Lunch? Lunch will consist of two chicken salad wraps and maybe a bag of nuts.

Evening meal? Evening meals typically also involve chicken, whether that's chicken salsa, chicken and pasta or just a grilled breast and veg – it depends on how strict I’m being on myself and what time I manage to make it home.

3. Is nutrition important to you?

I’m naturally a larger-framed guy, so I typically lean towards a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. To be honest, though, how close I stick to the low-carb part varies, dependant on my show schedule.

4. Best meal ever?

I think it's hard to beat a rare steak with mushrooms and pepper sauce.

5. Do you have a guilty pleasure?

I'm usually pretty strict on myself in the month leading up to a big event. To get through that, I set my sights on a post-show meal of a meat feast pizza and caramel choo choo ice cream.

6. Have you ever been on a diet? If so, how did it go?

I remember being encouraged by my mum, when I was 17, to do this cabbage soup pill diet thing she was doing. I remember complaining the entire week about not being able to eat anything. I lost a stone, but I think I'd put it all back on by the end of the week.

7. Do you take health supplements?

I keep it fairly basic – a multivitamin or protein shakes pre-workout, if I need a kick before the gym.

8. How do you relax?

With me, it's all or nothing, so, when it comes to relaxing and taking it easy, I like nothing more than locking myself in the house and either finding a TV show to binge-watch or playing X-Box.

9.Teetotal or tipple?

I Enjoy a Jack Daniels and coke, but I wouldn’t drink regularly. I maybe only have a drink four or five times a year.

10. Stairs or lift?

I work on the sixth floor at my day job, so I have to admit, my first choice will usually be the lift. If I'm feeling especially energetic towards home time, though, I'll sometimes take the stairs down.

11. Do you have a daily exercise regime?

I don't have a daily routine as such. I let my in-ring training sessions cover my cardio, which I run two or three times a week. Some of the various drills and sequences are designed to blow up even the fittest on our roster. Gym-wise, I try to do about an hour in the gym, twice a week. I tend to stick to the free weights and I use an app with a basic 5x5 total body workout.

12. Best tip for everyday fitness?

It's a cliché, but find something you enjoy. It doesn't feel like working out when it’s fun.

13. On a scale of one to 10, how fit do you think you are and how fit would you like to be?

At present, I'd say I'm around a six; I've let a few things slip over the last six months. Over the past month, I've started to work on these and I’m now heading back in the right direction. Personally, at my best, I think I'm happy at an eight, which would be my personal best.

14. Have you tried, or would you try, alternative therapy?

I've had acupuncture in the past when I was doing rehab on a dislocated shoulder. It's not something I think I would actively seek out in the first instance, but I'd be open minded enough to try it, if offered.

15. Were school sports happy times or do you have a memory you would rather forget?

PE was never my strong point at school. If there was running involved – track, cross country, bleep test, I hated them all. I did manage to make a few of the school's seconds sport teams. I played once for the football B team, playing another school's A team in a cup match. I think it ended 11-0 to them and I was in goals. In my defence, I’m fairly certain the only time the ball made it into their half was after I cleared it to there.

16. Did you ever have a health epiphany which made you change your lifestyle?

There's a picture of me, with my brothers, at one of their weddings. I'm about twice the size of all of them and just look depressed. I was 30-plus stone at the time, so I joined the gym, started watching what I was eating and lost about seven stone in six months.

17. Best health advice/lifestyle advice you were ever given and would pass on to others?

When you continuously compete with others you become bitter. When you continuously compete with yourself you become better.

18. Who inspires you or who would you try to emulate in terms of fitness / attitude to life?

There isn’t a specific person I would look at as a role model. However, recently the group of trainees we have taken in at The Compound Pro-Wrestling Academy have been a huge inspiration. Their hunger, drive and determination to improve is uplifting. Their positivity has definitely helped improve mine.

19. What time do you normally get to bed and do you get enough sleep?

I'm a fairly quick and deep sleeper. Most nights I aim to be in bed between 10 and 11 to try and get seven to eight hours. I'm not a morning person though and tend to really struggle throughout the day if I don't get enough sleep.

20. Would you say you have a healthy attitude towards your own mortality?

I would like to think so. I’m not afraid of death and if I died today I would feel I’ve lived a decent life. I should probably say, though, I hope it doesn’t happen any time soon.

:: Tron’s wrestling taster sessions are available to the public at South 13 (S13) on Boucher Road, Belfast, every Saturday from 12 noon until 6pm.

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