Alex Bowen has been a part of the GK journey since the very beginning. From our first campaign shoots around Leeds, through to his collaboration campaign in AW21, he has always been a key part of our GK Family.
Ahead of the ABX Launch in a few weeks’ time, we had the opportunity to sit with Alex for 10 minutes and ask him a few questions about the collection, cheat meals and his ABX online fitness venture.
Hi Alex, thank you much for sitting down with us, we’re so excited for the collection to go live.
Q : Let’s have an easy question to start, what would your meal deal be?
A : Right so I would go to pret. I’d have one of those tuna baguettes because they’re amazing, a ginger shot and a bottle of water. This is already more than a meal deal haha, but also them Pret Kettle crisps. And if I’m hungry I’ll get the heated pasta box with the broccoli as it's too good.
Q : We’ve seen on your Instagram that you’ve started DJ’ing again recently, so if you were to choose one radio station to listen to what would it be?
A : You know what I’m really weird with my music, i listen to all kinds. When I DJ I play tech, but I don't listen to that in the house. Liv likes old 2000’s R&B and I listen to 80s tunes, so it’s a real mixture. But I do listen to smooth FM a lot, so I’d say I’m a proper smooth FM man haha.
Q : I don’t think anyone can go wrong with a bit of Smooth FM! For people who may not know you, describe yourself in 3 words
A : Haha, good question hm, I’d probably say, a joker, honest and friendly.
Q : So how did your journey with Gym King start?
A : This is a really nice way to start going into the collection so, I remember I was scaffolding. To set the scene I was in the van, it was lashing down with rain and Jay (GK CEO) rang me to ask if I wanted anything sent to me from the website.
And when I was looking through it picking a few things he said, actually do you want to model for us? I was like okay sure. He said he needed another lad so I said that my best mate Ty can model, so we both met up with Leon Scott and Alex Cannon to do the shoot. That was the start of when Gym King started to boom really, and i'm so grateful I got to be a part of it.
It’s so funny to look back and see all the photos around Leeds with you all!
A : Oh god I know, we were so young weren’t we! I’d never modelled in my life, neither had Ty so everything was new to us, but Alex and Leon helped us. It’s mad to think it’s been going for this long, must be nearing 10 years nearly as i’’d just come out of Uni when I started to model and I’m 30 now!
Q : That leads onto the next questions quite nicely, what does GK mean to you?
A : Haha you’ve got some good questions! To me the first thing I think of when I think of GK is loyalty. Jay always said to me when I started modelling that I wouldn't be scaffolding in a year's time. GK got me recognised to go onto TV and boosted me. When I went on there, I boosted them a little bit and we’ve continued to always look out for each other.
Q : It’s so nice how over the years the bond between you both is still so strong. Moving onto the collection, which we’re all so excited for, what inspired it?
A : Basically, I'm tall and wide and not a lot of clothing fits me well. GK had to change some of its sizing slightly to fit me so it seemed like the perfect time to design a collection for people like me, but also people in general who have difficulty finding clothing that fits well.
I also wanted to create a collection where you could tell it was my own. A lot of fitness brands create clothing which doesn't accentuate your body, or it doesn’t sit well, so the way that we’ve done this is the textures, fabric, the fit, everything that's gone into the collection makes it fit and look great.
Q : Why did you want to include your fingerprint in the collection?
A : So in the work that I do, a lot of people from TV release a collection with a brand and it's not their collection and have just put their name on it, which is fair enough. But for me I wanted to create a design which people knew was mine, so that I had my own stamp on it.
And to be honest I didn't know how we were going incorporate that. When we were designing, I asked if anyone had a lipstick, I printed my thumbprint and went print that! It was kind of a spur of the moment thing, but it ended up being cool.
Q : Them light bulb moments are like no other haha. With the collection being performance based, we wanted to know, what has your journey with fitness been like?
A : I was always very skinny when I was younger and always used to get the mick taken out of me in college for it. Then I started working at a gym and I trained nearly every day, sometimes 2-3 times a day and I blew up. It took over my life a bit but in a good way. I’d say weight training is the stuff I do the most, but as I get older i’m now more into bike riding, running and stuff. Just a mixture of stuff.
Q : What does a day of eating look like for you?
A : Honestly it depends on what I’m doing, I'm very lucky in the sense I get to eat what I want but I always eat within reason. To me it's all about balance. I like to have a drink on the weekend, and I don't restrict myself from doing that.
I don’t really count calories now, but because I've been training for so long, I know what kind of things to eat to go up / down in weight. So, when i’m training people, because of doing it so much in the past I can create good meal plans. But truthfully, I would say overall my diet is very inconsistent, although I know that if i’ve got a shoot etc I focus on the gym and try to keep my diet clean so i’m in the best shape possible.
Q : You’ve got your online fitness website ABX performance; can you explain a bit more about it?
A : Yeah, so i’ve got the website, its 4.99 a month for people to sign up. I record my workout videos every single day and people sign up and watch the videos.
If you pay the monthly subscription and become a member, you get discounts on meal plans, fitness plans and a few affiliated brands. There’s a lot of different classes like summer shred, bulking etc. My wife Olivia is starting to do the women's side of it soon so that's very exciting!
Q : We’re excited to see what plans she brings out! What is your go to cheat meal?
A : Domino’s. Has to be Domino’s. I’ve actually changed my order recently haha, but it's either a large Meatlicious or American hot pizza. Then I get the 7 BBQ wings, chicken kickers and Wedges.I also get the Ben and Jerrys too. And I absolutely polish it off haha, it’s all about balance!
Q : What’s one thing that helps you to be resilient and stay motivated?
A : I think a lot of people put that in the wrong light, if you’re going to be motivated, you’re going to be motivated. You can set yourself goals but if you don’t believe or love what you do then you’re never going to be able to fully motivate yourself. You shouldn’t have to motivate yourself if you love what you do.
Q : They do say to do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life! How do you cope with pressure?
A : I don’t feel pressure. Hahaha nah nah to be fair pressure is a good thing. In everything I do, even before TV, I always try to just relax and get into the right headspace and go for it. Pressure is a good thing really as it forces you out of your comfort zone.
Q : If you could give advice to your followers, what would it be?
A : Um, Liv sent me a quote yesterday haha that's so coincidental! ‘You have to love your new habits more than your old habits to make change permanent’. So I’ve now stolen that as it’s a good one.
Q : It is a good one isn’t it! What is your favourite piece from the collaboration?
A: I haven’t got a favourite piece because I love them all, haha! But the funnel 3⁄4 zip is the one that stands out to me. But for the collection I wanted it to be for everyone.
When I was younger and going to the gym, I wouldn’t wear a vest because I was skinny, but I put a vest in the collection for people who would feel comfortable wearing one. I put shorts in but not a lot of lads want to get their legs out so I brought out a tracksuit with it, so hopefully there should be something for everyone.
Q: And lastly what’s your favourite piece from the normal GK range?
A: I’ll always love the original tracksuit, the basis and basis polys. I feel like that's always been a bestseller, the fit and the fabrics are just so comfy. I think it's one of the best sets! But I also think that GK have really stepped up with the performance range, the range is great with the fabrics and fit.
We want to say another massive thank you to Alex for taking the time to talk to us and creating an incredible collection. The ABX Collection is launching at the end of the month, so mark your calendars as it's predicted to be a quick seller!