Thursday, 10th January

So moving along, assuming you have got your diet right, you are building up your exercise schedule at a nice steady rate, then its definitely time to start thinking about exercise targets.

Improving your exercise performance is the easiest way to improve everything about your health.

For example, if you are able to do 3 press ups when you first start off, then it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine you doing 20 press ups within 6-8 weeks. When you are able to do 20 press ups, then it should stand to reason that you are able to perform better and therefore be in a lot better physical condition!

If you are able to work for 10 mins on a stationery bike at a very low intensity to start with, then within that same 6-8 week period, you should be able to work for at least 20 mins on a much higher intensity.

These assumptions assume that you are still eating well, that you are not over-indulging in alcohol, and that you are sleeping well!!

These are simple assumptions, but as you may know, they are not always so easy to keep up, leave along do well, so you can be sure that im always going to preach the importance of doing the basics well.

The most successful individuals i train are always the ones who keep it simple, they eat simple but well, they exercise in a straightforward manner but always at a higher intensity, and they are pretty religious about getting a wonderful sleep, especially in the week!!!

So rather than trying to get you on some kind of complicated plan that you are unlikely to keep up, i like to introduce people to plans that they CAN KEEP UP!!!

The keep it simple principle has never been so important and results-orientated, so we’re going to concentrate hugely on this during the year!!!

Tuesday, 8th January

Following the theme of getting right back into it this week, let’s move on from the importance of getting a good shop in to preparing yourself for training.

Once you have decided which way you are going to get fit and healthy, you had better avoid these pitfalls which are guaranteed to disrupt and sometimes stop your progress completely.

Make sure you wear clothes that are not too tight to bend and move around in, wear training clothes that you are comfortable in, rather than trying to follow the latest fashions.

Wear good running shoes-even if you have no plans to run! Not wearing the right footwear or wearing training shoes over 6 months old can lead to a series of problems. Many knee, ankle and back problems can be traced to poor footwear choices. I recommend running shoes purely because they offer the most protection, they tend to receive the most research in terms of money spent on them by big companies, and will generally do a great job of protecting you.

Buy a decent pair but you don’t need to spend too much. Last season’s pair will be fine and usually greatly reduced. When you buy them mark off on the calendar when you need to change them next, always 6 months from the date of purchase. This will become an excellent habit for you and help you avoid needless injuries that can seriously derail all your hard efforts to get into great shape!

Drink enough water throughout the day. Not keeping hydrated is a dangerous practice when you want to get into shape. Sip water throughout your day and you won’t be going to the toilet all the time. Your body will feel better, maintain its core temperature better and actually make you feel like training because your awareness and energy levels will be right up there. Drinking water through your training session is vital too, it will keep you cooled down and help you perform much better.

One big no no is iced water! You wouldn’t put freezing water into your car engine and putting freezing water into your body whilst exercising can be extremely dangerous! Your body likes working out in a healthy temperature range, it doesn’t like to heat up too quickly or cool down too fast!

More tomorrow!

Friday, 14th December

For more uplifting cycling workouts that you may or may not have time for this year, it’s time to get specific about your cycling efforts and with it you can save a bundle of time!!

Most pro cyclists will work at a specific revolution per minute. When you see the rpm screen on a bike machine for example, try and work out your intensity by concentrating on that particular part of the screen.

The desired number you need to look for is the magic figure of 80. If you can cycle at this intensity, then you know you should be getting some good workouts in. It doesn’t really matter on the difficulty level on the bike, that level has to match your ability to keep 80rpm up full stop!

It may seem easy or relatively easy for the first minute, but i guarantee that you will start feeling it far earlier than a normal workout!!! Keeping at the 80 rpm is extremely difficult after a while, but if you practice working at this level, you are likely to become a far better cyclist.

Another tip to become a good cyclist is work heavily on your core. Work with the swiss ball three times a week working on a mixture of back strengthening and flexibility exercises, this will enable you to cycle harder up hills and to keep up an intensity level up for longer.

Most people do not realise the amount of work that goes through your back when you cycle especially up inclines/hills of all kinds.

Working on your core is the number one to increase power, endurance and explosive strength for your cycling efforts so i wouldn’t keep ignoring this very valuable piece of training advice. Most of my programmes now put a heavy focus on all sorts of core exercises, due to the fact that you should consider internal benefits of exercise, and not just the cosmetic side. Look after your insides and your outsides will look after themselves.

Thursday, 13th December

Since it is an icy time of year, then its more important than ever that you have other options when you run, rather than running on icy pavements.

One place that is usually a lot kinder to you than a pavement is a rugby pitch, and this type of pitch contains the perfect spread of lines in my view for top quality running workouts.

This is a quick workout that will work in a big way and definitely get the job done.

Start off on the try line and do 5 press ups, then run to the 25 yard line and then run backwards to the try line where you do 5 press ups, then run to the 10 yard line, then run backwards all the way back to the try line and do 5 press ups.

Then run to halfway line and backwards to try line and again too 5 press ups.

Then the next line and backwards and do 5 press ups.

Then the last but one line and run backwards to the try line and do 5 press ups.

Then its one big long run to the opposite try line and run backwards, again do 5 press ups.

By this time you will be absolutely shattered!! The record is 3 minutes 6 seconds.

Anything under 5 minutes is very good indeed.

This is a quick way of having a quality workout, getting the job done in super quick time and really a great test of strength and endurance!!

Give it a go and be interesting how you get on!!

Tuesday, 11th December

A very relevant question today is from a lady who is wondering if she cannot get to the gym before christmas, will the weight come piling back on after making outstanding progress lately? And is there any alternative?

First of all, in replying to this, i have said many times that i think it is an extremely bad idea to stop exercising before christmas for all sorts of reasons that have been well documented on here. So let’s get that out of the way and i don’t want to keep repeating myself!!

Anyway, let’s look at the solution so you don’t put the weight on.

Option number one is trying to make your sessions no matter what! 15 minute blasts are far better than wondering what might have been! Anyone who has done them with me will know their value.

Option two is if you really can’t make the session, then you should workout at home no matter what!!
How long does it take to put a pair of shorts on and tshirt, and just go for it.

The workout

Just pick 5- 6 exercises.
Example

Press ups

Arm dips

sitting up and down on chair

alternate squat thrusts

plank

try your best on each exercise for a maximum best

So if you do 20 press ups, then your workout figure should be 10 when doing 3 lots of it.

For example
Press ups max-20
then workout number should be 10

arm dips max-10
then workout number should be 5
and so on

So you do the workout by doing all the exercises one after the other, have a rest, then do the other two lots for a total then of 3 lots.

This should last for around 20 minutes in total.

This time investment should be available to everyone, and will also have the added benefit of making you eat better, because you will not want to blow all that hard work!!

Hope this helps a lot of people in the same situation!