Fitness with James Yates

Bicester Village caught up with James Yates; male model and health guru extolling the virtues of a healthy mind and body.

The better the fuel that goes into the body, the better the end results right? We spoke to James about his fitness regime, and he provides us with his simple solution to a healthy and nutritious quick fix supper, shredded chicken tacos - yum!

You can't out train a bad diet

James Yates



How do you maintain the balance between food and exercise?

"You can’t out train a bad diet" speaks so true with limited hours in the day to exercise. Good nutrition will help keep you healthy with less exercise than trying to out train a bad diet. Of course there is room for balance though. I'd aim for an 80% ‘good’ diet."


How many times a week do you exercise?

"Personally, I train 6 or 7 days, but this is mostly for mental reasons. I can’t sit still, I get agitated with a day sat or stationary and for me that training is almost meditative. It's not 6 or 7 days flat out though, I'll use active recovery like long walks on a Sunday or a very light jog or cycle."


What’s the single most effective piece of gym equipment?

"For me, I’d take either a pull up bar or a kettlebell. There are tons of bodyweight exercises you can do to work your full body, and hit those last few with a bar. Or a kettlebell can be used to work virtually any muscle group and for cardio."


Do you have any other signature dishes?

"I make a mean red curry, the hotter the better, and a great Sunday roast."


Tell us something we didn’t already know about you?

"I read a lot. Mostly non-fiction stuff but my favourite novel would either be To Kill a Mockingbird or The Da Vinci Code."


Do you have any vices you would be prepared to share with us?

"I have the sweetest tooth. Which doesn’t bode well for out training a bad diet haha."


What's your favourite soundtrack to work out to?

"Sum 41 - All Killer No Filler"


Other than shredded chicken, what is your favourite food?

"Roast potatoes"


Any tricks of the trade you’re prepared to share with us?

"Not really a trick, but balance. Social time, alone time, working out, activity, eating well, learning, socialising, sleeping. When you travel a lot for work I have found that listening to my body & mind and finding the right balance is what is most important for me."


On holiday are you a sun lounger or an adventurer?

"I’m a bit of both but if I had to pick one I'd pick adventure. Especially in different cultures. Over a week I'd need at least half the days adventuring and learning."

Recipe for Shredded Chicken Tacos

To make the seasoning, mix together
  • 2 tsp of cajun, paprika and rosemary
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp onion flavouring
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • A splash of olive oil
To prepare the tacos you’ll need:
  • Chicken pieces
  • 2 large corn on the cob
  • 2 large peppers
  • 1 onion
  • Seasoning (pre-mixed)
  • Cayenne pepper and paprika to taste


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 220 degrees.
  2. Pre-heat oil in an oven dish until hot.
  3. Cover the chicken in the pre-mixed seasoning.
  4. Add the chicken to the hot dish and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Cover the corn in paprika and cayenne pepper.
  6. Place a wedge of butter on top of the corn, wrap them in aluminium foil and cook alongside the chicken.
  7. Slice the onion and two peppers, then fry with salt and paprika.
  8. Once cooked pull the chicken apart with two forks and cover in the remaining marinade from the dish.
Assemble the tacos using all of the above ingredients and serve with guacamole and sour cream!