How I stay fit with… Love Island’s Brad McClelland

The reality star chats hiking, protein shakes and how the Love Island gym really works...

Brad McClelland on his fitness routine

by Aimee Jakes |

Keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a surefire way to feel your best, but how do the celeb lot do it? Is it a fancy juice plan? A PT to the stars? Sauteed kale that's been whipped up by a personal chef? Or do they have plenty of wellness tips that the rest of us could steal to help us on our own wellbeing journey? Believe it or not, it's often the latter. We speak to celebrities and influencers to find out exactly how they stay fit, look after themselves inside and out and ultimately feel great.

This week, it's all about super-fit Brad McClelland - the Love Island 2021 contestant from Northumberland who the nation instantly fell in love with. Since leaving the villa, Brad has been posing with puppies, partying with his co-stars and ultimately, ramping up his workouts, working with many huge brands include boohooMAN, Puma and Jack Wills in the process.

Brad chats to Closer Online about keeping fit on Love Island, motivation and daily supplements...

How easy was it to stay fit on Love Island?

Brad McClelland

The villa had a gym setup, so there was a rack with dumbbells on that went from two to 30. You had a bench, a pull-up bar, skipping ropes, kettlebells. You expect to have a full-blown gym with all the equipment that you've got back at home, but your gym sessions were limited to what you could do. You could do enough to maintain what you’ve got.

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Then cardio-wise, a lot of the lads were skipping. but that wasn’t my style of cardio. Also, there was the swimming pool but it didn’t really get used much for that, apart from Aaron Francis who used it a couple of times.

It was hard to stay fit in there, especially with the food. You could eat clean and stay on top of your diet, but there was so much different choice of food. The quantity of it was insane, and it was free, so everyone was eating like kings, not really thinking about their physique.

It just depends on what you prioritise really, you're in the villa to potentially find someone, and just to have a good time. So, the gym did get put to the side. You'd do some kind of workout in the morning, just because something is better than nothing.

Who used the gym the most in the villa?

Love Island gym

To be fair, I think everyone that was in there used it. I think all of the lads that were in there were into fitness or the gym beforehand.

I mean, Aaron Francis, he focused more on bodyweight stuff and cardio. Then you had the likes of myself, Jake, Liam and Teddy who all did weights. I think Toby was kind of between the two, he would train sometimes but just trained when he fancied it. Hugo was into training as well.

I felt sorry for the girls though, a lot of them wanted to train but couldn't because of the time schedules that we were given. In the morning, the slot the lads were given to train ran alongside the slot the girls had to get ready. For the girls to get ready for the day, there's a lot more goes into it than the lads. The lads just had to put their swim shorts on and that was it.

I think everyone was into it and everyone trained as much as they could. Mostly, it was the lads that spent more of the time training and the girls not so much.

With Dr. Alex George speaking out about the pressures around body image while preparing for Love Island, did you feel any of those pressures leading up to the show?

For me, I'm into looking after myself anyway so I'm constantly trimming down and then coming back up again. Towards summer I'll start cutting down, so regardless of whether or not the show was there, I was going to be starting to cut down already.

I was already in good shape going into the summer, therefore when Love Island came around, it was more about staying in that relatively good shape. It was my lifestyle, so it was easy for me in that I didn't have to change it up too much. Before going in, I was like half prepared, I was in the process.

I mean to be fair, on the week running up to leaving the show, I was eating all sorts of rubbish and everything but I didn't take it too seriously.

What's your favourite way to keep fit, and what does your weekly routine look like?

So, I'd say I train at least five days a week. Sometimes I'll train that sixth day. At the minute I do push, pull, legs, push, pull. Then on a Saturday or Sunday, I'll do an additional ab session or something of that nature.

Cardio is not one of my favourite things. I'll do the odd run, but then in my free time, I do a lot of hiking, which is obviously great. I'm pretty active, I play football, go hiking, literally just walking in general as well as the gym on top of that.

What's your ideal morning routine for a really productive day?

If I've got any head screwed on, my ideal morning would be: waking up, grabbing myself a coffee, getting out to run for around 20 to 30 minutes, coming home to have my breakfast, chill and watch telly for a little bit and then going to the gym, maybe doing an ab session.

After that, I'd come home and have some lunch, chill out a little more and then head to the gym again in the late afternoon. Then I'll start winding down, have my tea and whatnot.

Do you have any daily wellness habits?

Brad McClelland

Obviously I enjoy hiking and it's a bit easier for me at the minute. There used to be a thing of every weekend, I would go on a big hike with one of my pals. Then during the week, a lot of my pals started to get into it and were able to take days off work so we could go down to the Lake District and stay there.

For me, it's easier because I'm more flexible so I can just kind of pick any day and go for it, but with my pals at work it's not so easy. If my pals can't get time off work, then I just normally go for a walk around where I live. You can probably walk around the full area in about an hour, so I would do that.

I just like being active. I do like to relax and chill out, but I do like to be up and doing stuff as well. I feel as if I don't see the gym as a form of exercise or activity. It's that much of a routine. There's a certain time in the day that's reserved for the gym, it's just one of those daily routines.

Do you take any vitamins or supplements?

I use protein shakes, but I never use protein shakes as a meal replacement. I always add protein shakes in with meals just as a way of getting more protein into my diet.

At the minute, I use Myprotein, and the best flavour I've had is their Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Powder in Mocha (£33). I'm a big fan of coffees, so the mocha is nice, and the lattes.

The Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Powder in Strawberry (£25.94) and Myprotein Impact Whey Protein Powder in Natural Chocolate (£24.95), they're also nice. I literally went through and made a list on my phone a while ago of every single flavour Myprotein have and rated them as good, bad and alright.

With vitamins, I take cod liver oil, multivitamins, milk thistle and creatine. I'll normally have a ginger or turmeric shot in the morning as well. I used to make my own with a little bit of apple juice blended in with some ginger.

The Tumeric Co. sent me some Ginger and Raw Tumeric Shots (£24.99) to try so I've got those that I'm working my way through. Although I'd rather just make my own, not everyone's got the time in the morning to blend up some ginger, so the shots come in handy.

What gym essentials are always in your gym bag?

I used to take wrist straps and everything else, like a belt for any heavy lifting to make sure I wasn't straining my back, but that's already all supplied at the gym. So these days I just turn up with a bottle of water, and that's pretty much it.

Do you use any fitness apps?


I swear by MyFitnessPal for anyone that is looking to get in shape or lose weight. MyFitnessPal is the best way. Work your macros out, work your calories out and put them into MyFitnessPal and start tracking your food.

I'm not a personal trainer and I'm not a nutritionist, but I've got a hell of a lot of knowledge about it. I can basically do the job of both just without the qualification. I got one of my pals from 20 stone down to 14 stone, and it was just simple.

I remember when I first set him up on his diet plan, he couldn't eat the amount of food that I'd put down. A lot of people don't realise that when you eat healthily, the calories are less, therefore there's a hell of a lot more food that goes into it.

At first, he was like, 'Look, Brad, I can't even eat what you've put down,' and I told him 'That's because you're used to eating high-calorie junk food, but very little of it.' If you eat 3,000 calories of sh-t food, it's nothing. You can eat 3,000 calories of sh-t food in one sitting. Whereas, 3,000 calories of actual, good food goes a long way.

I've used MyFitnessPal for the past two years now and it's just the simplest way. You could have 600 calories left one night, scan a bag of cookies and be like 'I could have two more of those cookies.' If it fits your macros, you can eat it. That's all it is, it's a numbers game.

How do you stay motivated?

For a start off, nothing's gonna change overnight. Never mind overnight, nothing's gonna change after a couple of days. You might not even see changes after the first week, but stick with it, trust the process.

I went to the gym for quite a bit, and I never took it that seriously. My diet was miles off, I probably wasn't even training properly. Then, I got a coach. My coach is a good friend of mine who has a company called Aesthetically Trained. He's been dedicated to coaching for years at a very high level, knows everything he needs to know.

He used to always say, and it always stuck in my mind, 'just trust the process.' You might think that nothing is changing, but before you know it... I never expected, when I followed his plan to get into the shape that I did. I was just expecting to lose a bit of weight, get some abs.

Then two weeks went by, and then four weeks went by, then six weeks went by and I'm starting to think at the four week mark 'I'm in mint shape.' And then I got to the six week mark, and it just kept getting better. It takes a few weeks, then you see the then you notice the difference and then you're happy. You start sticking with the changes just start coming.

What would you say to anyone struggling with building a healthy lifestyle?

For me, the massive one is for anyone that anyone that's not motivated, it's usually because they're not seeing results quick enough. You don't have to be super motivated to go to the gym, you only need an hour. Like he said, 'Trust the process'. Once you start seeing the results, that's what then keeps you motivated. Give yourself a goal, give yourself a challenge, better yourself.

For me, I was looking at my coach and I was thinking 'He's done it for years now he's had these results with these people, so it clearly works'. And then, I must admit, I was like three or four days in thinking 'I've been eating clean for two or three days, I need to see abs.' The process hasn't even started happening yet, you're just adjusting your body, give your body a chance. After two weeks or something, that's when you'll start noticing the difference.

When you're doing your cardio, that first mile that you used to struggle to get to, it then becomes a breeze. Then, you're like, 'Hang on a second, I'm going to push to two miles'. Your body adapts as well as your mind does. It's basically a game between yourself. You'll be telling yourself you can't, you'll be telling yourself there's no change - but tell yourself you can and tell yourself there is change.

Quickfire round:

Go-to gym wear brand? My go-to brands are Nike, Gymshark and boohooMAN active. I love Gymshark stuff. BoohooMAN active has a really good clothing range, the material is great and it looks good too.

Favourite healthy snack? I love Cream of Rice by the Bodybuilding Warehouse in Millionaire Shortcake (£9.99)

Usual bedtime routine? I normally go to bed around half 10, but might not sleep until about 11 or 12.

Something that’s always in your fridge? 0% fat yoghurt.

Quote you live by? Trust the process.

Read more on Closer:

How I stay fit... with Courtney Black

ow I stay fit with... Krissy Cela

How I stay fit with... Vicky Pattison

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