Tuesday, 22nd January

With a bit of luck, you have got through your big workout yesterday to set the tone for the week, and maybe you are thinking how you can replicate that impressive start to the week.

Variety then should be your number one way to keep your standards high, your workouts fresh and therefore your progress high too!!!

This is why your workouts apart from weight training and the usual cardio should incorporate so much more!!!

If you have read this thing for a while, then you will know only too well that i love medicine ball work, bosu ball exercises, swiss ball work, and boxing workouts.

These exercises will work your body in a different way and often reach the hard to get areas that traditional exercise doesn’t seem to get near!!!

All of these different forms of exercise tend to hammer your core much more deeply than a more traditional workout. They are so successful that i consider these forms of training as my “traditional” form workout!!!

Once you have your traditional form of training change, then its at this point when exercising becomes “exciting again”, which is down to the variety AND effectiveness of your training, which in turn produces the big results that we are all after!!!

The best way to incorporate these types of training is to package various exercises into groups of 3.

For example, you could do medicine ball press ups, with alternate squat thrusts, and then finish it off with rope work we like to do at the gym all the time. Let me straight away that the group of three just mentioned may well be the hardest combination you could pick.

Of course, exercise selection depends entirely on your fitness ability and what you can handle.

It’s always better to start off cautiously and we will be discussing much more of this tomorrow!!!

Monday, 21st January

Assuming you are still building your programme up, one big thing you should be making sure of is the importace of a big workout on a monday to start off your week in the right way!!!

You may have had a workout before breakfast, lunch time or you hit your workout at tea time, whatever that time may be, you need to make sure you hit it with intensity, aiming to do a little bit better than last week, and setting yourself up for a very strong week.

When you do train hard, you will be more inspired to eat well and less likely to make poor choices.

When you train hard, you won’t want to waste any of that effort you have just put in.

This is why monday is SO important. How many times have you had a bad monday in terms of missing a workout, and then you went on to have a poor week in general? You may think that because you missed monday’s workout, then it will not be so bad to miss tuesday too, and by the time wednesday comes along, you may as well wait until next week!!!

Missing a week of training usually goes with softening up on your diet too. The attitude of “putting everything off until next week” is very common, and i hear anecdotal evidence of this all the time.

Being in shape is all about creating good momentum, getting into shape in the first place is very much about getting that momentum going strongly, and the only way you get momentum is getting a succession of good workouts together along with feeding yourself in a highly nutritious way.

The great news is that once this momentum does get going, it can be very hard to stop and results at this stage are much easier to get, almost without even thinking about it!!!

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.