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Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Saturday, 19 February 2011

Celtic fans hit the park to get fit

Celtic fans get run of the park

By Paul Bradley

FFIT, Football Fans in Training, is an initiative from the Scottish Premier League Trust that aims to address the health problems of Scotland's unfit males.

The third week of the programme involved stretching the grey matter as well as the muscles.

We were tasked with working out our BMA - base metabolic rate. In layman's terms, the amount of calories we require to survive when doing nothing, even sleeping.

This is based on our weight, age and physical activity level.

Here's the arithmetic: BMR (for a man aged 30 to 60) = my weight (144 kg) x 11.6 + 879

To work out my daily energy requirement I need to match my physical activity level and for someone who is inactive and desk bound, it's 1.3.

Daily energy requirement = BMR x 1.3, which for me is 3314 calories.

For weight loss I subtract 600 calories and round to the nearest hundred so I'm allowed 2700.


Apologies for the science there but it is important to work out what I'm allowed on a daily basis, and vital to work out an eating plan based on it.

Paul Bradley
Paul drops his camera do get some exercise

Pretty much everyone on the course at Celtic was pleasantly pleased at the outcome. One of the fans, Rab, said: "I was pretty surprised at the amount, although I've never really counted calories before."

Neither do I Rab, and therein perhaps lies my problem.

Combined with our previously accrued knowledge of portion sizes (see previous entry) we left for the players' gym with renewed optimism.

Once in the gym that optimism turned to something else entirely.

Fun (I bet you thought I'd say dread). Celtic coach John McStay showed us a beginners weights circuit and the lads and I went for it with gusto.

Halfway through the session the exercise was moved outside and we hit the park.

It's a completely surreal experience to be running around a pitch in an empty stadium you're so used to seeing packed.

Coach McStay said, "If you can't get inspired from running around a stadium like this, then there's something wrong.

"Here, the lads can work at their own pace and build it up over the weeks."

Exercise over for the night I was walking back to the classroom to collect my kit and I walked past one of the snack bars in the stadium.

It struck me then just how bad the problem is for football fans to stay or get healthy.

Every single item on the menu involved food groups that are simply not good for us. Pies, pizza, hotdogs, with or without chips, and not forgetting the curry sauce.

It's part of our Saturday culture and one that needs to change, for me and the FFIT lads at least.

If you'd like to take part in the next FFIT programme, contact your nearest SPL club's community coaching team, or email There's also a Facebook page, search for Football Fans in Training.

see also
SPL fans train with club coaches
10 Feb 11 |  Scotland
SPL fans realise portions to blame
15 Feb 11 |  Scotland
Confessions of a weight-loss cyclist
11 Apr 09 |  Health

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