More focus in your training/cycling

The same old training all the time brings with it more limited results, and a lack of motivation because you will be doing the same old thing all the time.

If you’re out cycling today, then you may be just in the mood to get out there and coast it, no problem at all with that.

If you’re out to do something different and add something quickly to your fitness, i would look to challenge yourself a little more.

Easy ways to do this on a cycle path for instance, would be to pick off targets along the way. Paula Radcliffe for instance would aim to chase down targets or runners in front of her. If you see someone in front of you cycling, then try to chase them down and eventually pass them, then you can coast for a while.

When you get your breath and legs back, you can chase down the next one and so on. 20 minutes of this type of workouts will get you breathing very hard indeed!!

You can mix it up on the hills too, there must be some path or some succession of roads that you never thought you’d be able to cycle up? Well, let’s go and try it!!

I would start like this. Take your time more than normal on the flat, and do your best to get up the very steep hills, work up gradually of course and don’t take on the worst hill to start with!

The key to climbing hills on the bike is to stick to a pace that you can keep with. No point going off like mad and then blowing up 15 yards later, remember you’re not in the Tour De France and its not a race up the mountains.

You will get confidence from making gradual progress and the first time you take on a tough hill, that will be the worst feeling you’ll ever get because IT IS your first time. Every time you take that hill on after that, IT WILL FEEL BETTER AND EASIER. It’s all a question of practice and not quitting after the first time you do it because you didn’t achieve that much.

I’ve trained lots of people take on the most mammoth of hills, and they have lived to tell the tale! They developed great self belief from their accomplishments and they are proud to say that their cycling is now first-class and now literally no hill scares them, in fact some people go searching for them now!!!

Have a great day and an even better bike ride!

Massive efforts (only sometimes!)

Making  huge efforts all the time isn’t going to be good for your exercise programme. It is one sure fire way to get fed up of exercise and it soon wears thin in terms of enthusiasm.

We can all pull out all the stops and have amazing efforts in terms of workouts. People do amazing things for charity, and you have to commend them for doing so.

So before you think I’ve gone totally mad, I’ll explain!

A well structured exercise programme aiming to get a 7-8 out of 10 each time you train, will likely be far more successful than workouts now and again demanding 10 out of 10 each time. Even champions can’t work at that intensity all the time, they actually periodise their training plan into different sections of the year.

The time when the champions often go flat out is often only 8-12 weeks of the year. The rest of the year is often structured to create a base for the next level up.

That’s why its sensible to focus at steady and gradual improvements. We talk about it all the time, if you can do 5 press ups in week 1, and you can do 25 press ups in week 5, then this is a great example of making progress without working so hard that you’re blue in the face!

You look forward to workouts that don’t have unrealistic challenges in store. They become more enjoyable and you tend to love the whole process more. Going for a run in a scenic location is fun, and exillerating at the same time.

If you approached the same run with maximum intensity every time you did it, and were constantly trying to beat your personal best, you would soon become sick of that and start putting off workouts when your time wasn’t improving.

You should know by now that im all for working out with great intensity, but you have to put it in its proper context.

Those who did the London marathon a couple of weeks ago will have spent many months or even years training for it.

Those who did the Mumbles Childline Triathlon with us definitely worked hard for months before.

These two events were examples of pinnacle’s in people’s sporting lives.

The reality is that you can’t train like that forever, you have to scale it back for a while, and look at fresh goals.

The bottom line is that you’re still exercising every week, you’re eating well every week and to me, that amounts to being truly successful as you’re aiming to be fit and healthy for the rest of your life, not so many people get to achieve that unfortunately!

Keep working hard!


The worst thing we have in our lives is uncertainty.

We are sometimes not certain how much money we will earn, not certain how much our bills will be, how much will our next car cost, will we meet our mortgage payments, how our health will be perhaps being the biggest etc etc.

The stock market for instance has hated all the uncertainty of the liberal/conservative fiasco, nobody likes uncertainty full stop!

Most if not all of you show uncertainty in your health and fitness programme at times, and some of you have posted here not knowing which way to turn at times.

You have been encouraged by others and hopefully by myself on here, because we all have had doubts, we all have uncertainties running through us at times, and its how we react to all of that worry that determines where we end up.

Make the ultimate wrong decision such as going on a mega-binge in times of stress and it can lead to a longer decline if not sorted out straight away. Weight gain ALWAYS leads to feeling worse than you ever should have done in the first place!

If you have a longer term plan and  true understanding of what it takes, then you are likely to react favourably under times of great uncertainty. This comes from experience though and you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you make mistakes, all of us make mistakes and those who say they don’t are liars!

I would rather make a thousand mistakes but as long as i learned from most of them, i would know i have become a better person because of them, and are likely to make better decisions in future in times of doubt and uncertainty.

We all are learning and those who think they know it all are usually just that, know it all’s, and we all know a few but they are usually regarded as fools or to be pitied.

Whatever doubts you have, you know there is plan and way out of it, lots of resources on here to encourage you on the right path so let’s give it a go and be the success you always knew you could be!!

Sort it!

Most of you are probably just as bored as me of the general election fiasco, and the never ending story 24 hours a day on the news channels!

This is a bit like some people’s exercise programme at times. Plenty of talking but no action.

The time it takes to talk about your programme, you could have usually done the actual workout, had a shower, had lunch and evening meal and moved on to the next day, and your next workout!

We all know people who talk a good game, talk about past glories and pretend life really was amazing in a past life!

Isn’t really time to get it sorted once and for all?!!!!!!!!!!!!

I used to work in the public sector and more than frustrated by the way life moved at a snail’s pace there. Its probably like trying to get hold of the council on friday afternoon, didn’t realise we had to pay so much tax for so much inactivity and so many incompetents!

IF YOU TAKE ACTION EVERY DAY and actually do your workouts, shop for good natural foods, you will be definitely one of the minority-that’s a fact!

Wouldn’t you like to be one of the minority or are you one of the crowd? I find being one of the crowd soul destroying and tends to destroy any independent thoughts you have left.

There is nothing more liberating than making your own decisions, achieving things off your own back and not relying on others.

If you tend to rely on others, they often don’t deliver and tend to take credit for your success, making the scale of your achievements seem a little smaller than they really are.

Once you start reaching your goals, it will become addictive and you will start setting new ones all the time. This is when your life truly changes for the better because of this succession of extremely positive events.

You don’t need anyone telling you that you can’t do this or can’t do that, YOU ACTUALLY CAN!! Look at the person writing you off, are they jealous of your success and is their life a mess in their world?

Taking advice is great but encouragement goes a long way in my book. I would rather encourage than put down. Be positive rather than write someone off.

You will find that most people are negative, this is why you need to be independent and take action ON YOUR OWN, don’t pass it through various “committee’s” because nothing will ever get done!

It’s time for action, let’s sort it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

up and down standards

We talked about the importance of filling in the gaps yesterday, and how important it was not to take extended breaks from your training, as often it is so hard to get back into it again!

What about your own individual workout standards though? Do you know them off by heart now? Do you keep a workout diary to make sure you havent slipped back? How important are those workout standards to you?

Lets start at the beginning.

When you first start training, i like to start everyone off slow. For example, if you start off with 4 press ups first time, then that’s the beginning and where you should judge your progress from.

If we fast forward 6 weeks later, and i catch up with you and are thrilled to see you are doing 20 press ups, that means you are now doing 5 times the number you first started off with, this is REAL progress and you should be pleased with yourself.

If your favourite run takes you 20-23 minutes, then staying in this good range or even pushing 19 minutes can be regarded as good progress.

What happens though if the press ups start sliding back to maybe 10?

What happens if the run takes you 28-30 minutes all of a sudden?

There can be a number of factors such as illness of course but barring that, the reasons are likely to be over-eating, over-drinking, not sleeping enough or simply missing lots of workouts.

The big progress will be judged to have largely stopped, and you have no direction in your training once more, leaving you lacking motivation and inspiration to carry on most of the time.

This is why your standards are all important.

Workouts should not be done in a haphazard manner, there has to be a plan and routine. This plan also needs to show progress and this is done by challenging yourself on a weekly basis. If you have the desire to personally improve, then motivation can be easy.

If you are suffering more lack of motivation, perhaps you need to re-visit why you are training in the first place, and what being healthy and being in great shape would mean/really means to you.

A REALLY good idea is to keep a workout diary and write down your workouts, or follow the list of exercises you are suppoed to be doing, and recognise that keeping to your usual high standard is not only desirable, but is vital to your over health and progress.

Try and assess your progress over a week, and if things have gone wrong, don’t dwell on them too much, just go out and fix them. Everyone had good and bad workouts, as long as the trend if upwards though, you can be more than happy that you’re getting fitter and healthier. Use the opportunity you have right now to hit your health and fitness with real passion and drive, no putting it off or leaving it until “another day”, let’s do it and make yourself proud of your performances!

No up and down standards, let’s keep them right up there!!!