Ben Lowrey’s Showstopper Fitness Class – 11:30am – Sunday – Easton –  Bristol

This Sunday will be my first fitness class! I've been personal training people for a while, and teaching handstand classes, but this is the first time I've run a public fitness circuit.

11:30am - Sunday 11th Oct 2015 - Matter Wholefoods, Easton Bristol

£5 - More regular dates will be confirmed soon 

Everybody is welcome, the emphasis is on fun, full body exercises, a range of challenging competitive movements, & team work. 

Beginners are welcome. If you havn't done much intense exercise for a while and want to have some fun and get your heart rate up then this will be perfect for you.

If you are interested in increasing your general fitness and body strength then this will be perfect for you.
We may go for food at the Greebank Pub over the road afterwards so it's a perfect chance to meet new people too. 

Here is the event page on facebook

Ben Lowrey’s custom electric guitar 

When I was 17 my Dad paid for me to have a custom built electric guitar made by a local craftsman called Bob Gill. 

It was around the time of the millennium and the first time I played it live was New Year's Eve 1999 in Chew Magna village hall with my covers band at the time. 

This guitar 'The Eclipse' had a coil tap so I could get a les Paul double pickup tone and easily switch to a single coil bridge pickup sound to replicate sharp strat sounds which made it very easy for me to replicate John Frusciante's sharp choppy tone when I was in the Red Hot Chilli Pepper tribute band. 

The Eclipse style fret inlays were designed by my uncle Steve it was around the time there was a complete solar eclipse in England. Bob cut the mother of pearl shapes with a scalpel. 

In 2006 it was stolen in a robbery from my parents home. The home insurance paid for a PRS replacement but I was so use to playing this guitar it was never the same. 

Soon after that I quit my bands and started and became occupied with the online marketing of guitar lessons and didn't play again. This is not something I regret because I did very well and wanted to progress in life beyond just playing guitar.

The last gig I played was with Elguapo on the main stage at Ashton Court Festival in 2006. 

I still want to play again but have not managed to find the right creative inspiration yet. 

Charlie Barrett Bodybuildet – 1 week out – Bristol Ministry of Fitness 

"Charlie can I get a photo with you"
Charlie Barrett "not until you do some exercise I've been here an hour and seen you do 3 sets, not even the power lifters in here take that long". 

You become who you surround yourself with, that's the great thing about Ministry of Fitness, the people who go there are serious.

 Charlie is not talking about the rugby, the weather, the bus timetables, or what he did on Friday night, the only thing he wants to know is why I'm not working harder on each set. That's the difference between pretenders and showstoppers they're cut from a different cloth. 

In this photo Chatlie is 18.5 stone 1 week out from his comp. Here's an episode with me and Charlie from earlier this year.

Action vs. Identity 

Only a change in identity creates a lasting result. Adjustments in action and behaviour will slowly creep back in line with however you define yourself. Great example. Here's a guy who got in shape for a movie (behaviour level) but he defines himself as an actor not a bodybuilder (identity level) and so the behaviour will not be maintained. The Spartan workout was all the rage around the time that movie came out, everybody wanted to know the secrets of how the actors got so ripped... so does it work? well initially yes, but in the long term behaviour is irrelevant ... only identity works. Compare that to The Rock who does not exercise for movie roles (behaviour), The Rock IS a bodybuilder (identity). big difference

Handstands & Circus Acrobatics in Bristol, United Kingdom

Today I played in the park with some ex Circomedia students, CJ Ory & Link Omega. Link is a fire, stilt, acrobat and walkabout performer. CJ is primarily a contortionist and also does fire stilt and walkabout too.   

It's always nice to hear thoughts from different people, since everybody has different attitudes towards training. CJ and Link are very easy to be around and have a playful attitude towards training which is very fitting with my own approach. 

Link gave me a small tip about having my hands slightly further apart in order to press from a crow position up into a handstand, other wise a narrow hand position relies fully on triceps and strict form which is very difficult. By making that adjustment it allowed me to perform this move for the first time ever which I was very pleased about.

 Link has more of what I think of as a "strength" style of hand balancing which allows him to lower himself down into a planche and rest his body weight on one elbow then press back up into a handstand. He can also do tumbling moves which make him an impressive performer for walkabout since its moves that few FSG (fire stilt and grind) people can do. 

CJ being a contortionist can do moves that neither Link or Myself could do such as walking over into bridge and then back into handstand. 

A lot of interesting conversation came up about being heavy and muscly vs having a better strength to weight ratio. 

The thing I like most about these guys is they are both ambitious and have good attitudes towards life and career goals. They are both amused by my wildly ambitious goals and they believe - as I do - that anything is possible. It's nice to be able to talk about long term ambitions with seriousness with people who will accept the possibility of such goals. 

More Handstands at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath! 2nd Class 

Tonight was the second instalment of the 6 week handstand block at Funky Monkey Yoga Studio in Bath. 

There were some new faces this evening which was nice! 

After we had warmed up thoroughly we began practising jumping up into a tucked handstand position from our knees. Then straddles, then normal kick ups. 

You can find out about my handstand classes in Bristol & Bath here.

Ben Lowrey 

Handstand Workshop at Funky Monkey Studio Bath

Today we ran a 2 hour core-stability and handstand class at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath!

Funky Monkey is a Pole Dance, Aerial, Yoga, and Dance studio on the lower Bristol Road.

We began with a lot of warm up exercise which are very important for handstands. After warming our joints and stretching, we began some conditioning exercises which are designed to develop the strength and posture required for a good handstand.

Believe it or not, a straight handstand requires a lot of flexibility. Most people's shoulders do not open fully and stay slightly closed. Because of this, some of the angle is borrowed from the back in order to make the arms go straight. This results in slightly closed shoulders and a slightly curved back, and then the hips have to pike to get the balance right, in other words, it's not a straight handstand.

What needs to happen is to stretch the shoulders further open over time so the back can be straight and in turn the hips, making a straight handstand.

We conditioned this position by laying flat in the floor, pressing our arms out as if they were in a handstand, and pressing our armpits into the ground, but sucking our tummy button off the ground to flatten the arch in the lower back and achieve a straight spine.

We also did core conditioning exercises such as 7-minutes to heaven which involved planks, side planks and other positions.

After that we got into pairs and practised spotting each other for lots of different handstand shapes including tucks, straddles and lever ups.

Everybody enjoyed themselves and we are looking forward to hosting more handstand classes soon.

I also teach in Bristol and soon will be teaching at many more yoga and pole studios around the South West.

You can find out all about me here

Ben Lowrey






New Handstand Workshop! – Sunday at Funky Monkey Studio Bath

The handstand workshops in Bristol & Bath have been so popular that Ben Lowrey has been asked to teach a 2 hour workshop on Sunday 20th September - 12:00pm-2:00pm

Click here for the booking link


We will be working on strength, balance, and correct form. We will work in pairs to spot each other, also we'll practise against the wall.

Circus Contortion & Bodybuilding in Bristol, UK

If you are interested in gaining ultra-flexibility then you had better speak to Circus Contortionist CJ Ory. Originally from Switzerland she has trained at Circomedia circus school in Bristol, United Kingdom.

In this video she explains how ultra-flexibility can be dangerous if you don't have the strength to support the positions you end up in, and so some strength training or bodybuilding can be very important to stay safe.

As a natural bodybuilder I don't suffer from a lack of strength, quite the opposite, I'm interested in gaining more flexibility which I why I thought it would be interested to train with CJ Ory and get some cross pollination of our knowledge.

We trained at Ministry of Fitness Gym in Kingswood where I am a personal trainer. 

CJ has just come back from Bestival festival where she was performing Fire, Contortion, Dance and walkabout. 

In this video I explain how I intend to become a hand balancer but an increase in flexibility is a high priority especially if I want to be able to do more advanced moves which requires better forward bend, bank bend and splits.

In short, the more flexible you are the less strength you need because you can get your centre of gravity where it needs to be with out over stretching yourself too much. That's why a small more flexible performer can do thing that a bigger stronger less flexible person cannot do.

You can find CJ Ory on facebook and you can find me, Ben Lowrey here

Handstand Classes begin in Bath!

Today we began the first block of handstand classes at Funky Monkey Studio in Bath, United Kingdom.

Funkey Monkey is a Pole dance, Aerial and Yoga studio in Bath.

We began with a thorough warm up particularly focussing on the wrist and shoulder joints which are important for handatands.

First I showed everybody the hollow body shape which is required for a straight handstand. This involves laying on the floor in a straight line but sucking the belly button and abs in, and squeezing the bum and tucking the tail bone under so the curve in the back goes flat. This insures a straight back whilst holding a handstand.

It is important for the shoulders to be able to push straight whilst also having a straight backas described above. If the shoulders do not have the range of motion to fully open then they will borrow from the back to give to the shoulders and an arched back will ensue. Everybody in the groups did well. It's very typical for people to need to stretch their shoulders further open and so we spent some time on this.

We got into pairs and practised spotting each other whilst the other person kicked up into handstand. The spotted will grab the persons hips or legs whilst also using their knees to gives support to the person's shoulders. Lack of shoulder strength can mean the person falls forward and so the knees from the spotter assist the person whilst they practise being in a handstand.

If you would like Personal Training with me at Ministry of Fitness Gym in Bristol, or if you would like to attend a flexibility & handstand class in Bristol and Bath the check the links below. Many thanks!

Find out more about me here >>

Class times here >>