Friday, 21st September

Finishing off the week well is just as important as starting it well!

This is when your balance in terms of your training week becomes all important.

I have this conversation all the time with people, what workouts to do and when, and this can make a huge difference to one’s improvements and the speed of progress.

For instance, i have the question “which exercise is the best one to  do?”, or “i don’t want to get too bulky from weights”, or “i go to spinning classes, isn’t that all i need?” or “we discussed in work the best exercise we should do and we decided it should be running”!!!!

Let’s get after these questions and answers straight away so you don’t make the same mistakes as these people may have done!

First of all, there is not ONE exercise that’s the best, or one exercise that will get you into shape quicker than anything else, it just can’t happen that way. The answer i give to these people is that EVERYTHING is need to get into great shape, and to work your body in as many ways as possible.

You need to do your weight training/resistance training AND your cardio (running/walking/cycling etc) AND your balance/core work involving bosu balls, swiss balls, balance pads, rollers etc. You can do some speed and agility work, rope exercise, the list is endless really and will definitely make sure you do not get bored, so you’re constantly moving on.

You WILL NOT get bulky from weights, it doesn’t happen unless you eat vast quantities of food and take steroids, so fear not.

Spinning is great fun, we do plenty of it in the gym, so i am a big fan, but its only PART of your programme. Using spinning exclusively will not get you into your best shape, use it wisely but only a small part of the big picture.

If you think running IS the best exercise, then what happens if you have a bad back? Or bad ankles or feet? Or you simply cannot run for whatever reason? I have taught many people to run properly but again, it’s only part of the big picture, and you should divide your efforts between lots of different forms of training.

This way, you get maximum results, maximum variety, never get bored and you consistenly get fitter, stronger and healthier!!

Thursday, 26th July

If you are a bit more serious into sports in terms of being a participant, you can’t beat flipping tractor tyres for a great overall workout.

You will be working everything in this type of workout.

Your legs, your stomach, your back, your hamstrings, thighs, arms and shoulders will all go through a massive amount of work when you go through this process.

Down the gym for example, we now have a dedicated area outside purely for this activity.

The same area is also used for sprints, for carrying heavy sandbags, for using a sledghammer on to tyres, and the latest addition is the famous “farmers walk” with the rubber-cased 125 pound blocks!!

All of these movements will give pure explosive power to your body-vital to perform at a high level in sports.

The great thing about all of this is that many of the participants are not sportsmen or sportswomen at all, they are normal everyday people who want that just little bit different from their workouts!!! The results they are getting are simply sensational, and although these exercises are not for the beginner, they are tremendously enjoyable and a great addition to more traditional methods!

Every exercise has an “energy cost”. By this i mean if you went for a gentle walk, then this would not have much of an exercise cost at all.

Going for a run would have much more of an exercise cost, a set of high-intensity sprints would be much more, and the tyre flipping would be right up there too.

You can see that the higher intensity of exercise definitely burns a lot more calories, a lot more fat and gets you into tremendously better shape than you ever previously thought!!Training is changing all the time, make the most of your efforts and don’t settle for second-best!!!

Monday, 28th May

Everyone wants to get faster and stronger, and this is a common question when dealing with athletes of all sports, and juniors who really want to become professionals in any sport, or even the person who plays sunday morning football, who just wants to improve their game and take it to another level or two.

The techniques used to make this happen can be powerful, but before this takes place, the fundamentals must be in place to allow it all to happen.

For example, if an individual is carrying a couple of stone too much, then training JUST for speed is too limiting an approach, and can encourage injury.

If you are doing a speed and agility session, where explosive moves are often called upon, then if that person is quite a bit overweight, then the tensions on the hamstrings and groins can be overwhelming. The individual has to realise that when you carry too much weight, then your body mechanics don’t run as smoothly when you are carrying little or no extra weight, and its vital to build up gradually, rather than dive into a programme that puts too much strain on the body.

So before we touch on what it requires to become faster and more agile, you have to go back to the beginning.

Adjusting one’s diet so you can lose body fat at a steady rate is the first step.

Then making sure your exercise programme is sound, and you already familiar with the basics is another great starting point.

So if you are eating well and exercising properly, then over time you should achieve decent results and you should at some time be at your optimum weight, or at least fairly close to it. This would be the ideal time to step up your training onto the speed and agility stuff.

This will make sure you progress quickly still and avoid injury along your path of self-improvement to becoming a better athlete.

Friday, 25th May

Apologies i havent been able to post every day the last couple of weeks, but my schedule has been crazier than ever, so even the limited time i usually get to post has gone out the window so to speak!

Anyway, just like i try to encourage you to make your exercise sessions count, i’m going to try and make my posts count too!

We have a 26 degrees day today, and although the temperature may make it hot and sweaty to train, its still important not to miss exercise just because its very warm, and some simple precautions would go a long way in making the whole process a lot more comfortable for you.

Number one is not to exercise in the middle of the day when temperatures are at their hottest. This is the time of day when it really is difficult to exercise, and totally takes you out of your comfort zone. Try early mornings and evenings as much better time slots.

Number two is to drink water throughout the day, and avoid dehydration. Sipping water at regular intervals will keep your body’s core temperature constant and keep you feeling comfortable, and be able to put in a decent workout performance.

Talking about dehydration, this can be a very serious state to get in, chances are if you’re still thirsty, then you are already in a state of dehydration and should look to immediately up your fluid intake. Severe dehydration can be seen in individuals who have white around their lips, this can lead to hospital treatment so beware.

Another key measure is to exercise within yourself and dont push it too far, in fact working slightly short of your normal performance will be a good idea, and being cautious will always lead to sound exercise habits in more extreme heat!

Bottom line is be sensible, and you can still get some good workouts in!!

Monday, 30th April

One  big reason to practice functional training instead of “run of the mill” workouts is sheer range of movement and “real life” application.

You aren’t going to get as many meaningful benefits from just using machines compared to the multi-benefits of functional exercise.

For instance, a simple test i do on individuals and turn it into an exercise is simply standing up and down on a chair.

Most people can do this, some cannot however and will really struggle to get up. This shows a lack of mobility and underlying strength.

This shows a lack of strength in the core more specifically, and this will give me significant clues about the programme that needs to be prescribed.

How many people do you know who need a lift up from a chair? Quite a few i would imagine especially after the age of 50? When you think about it, this is FAR too young to be experiencing mobility problems and work needs to be immediately done on this vital source of power and movement for the body.

Every exercise i give an individual, i will be looking for “real life” benefits from it. Every workout should help the individual live a better quality of life, that’s my mission every time.

So you can i get more than a little frustrated with people whose sole focus is “losing weight”! This means the individual doesnt really know the vast and true possibilities and opportunities that correct exercise selection brings.

Yes, you WILL drop some weight, body fat from the exercises i give you, sometimes a substantial amount if needed, but appreciating the big picture will make your health and fitness programme far more rewarding for you.

 This is why i really despise weight loss clubs and their false claims. They only focus on the weight, usually done in an unsustainable way too, so in my book they will always be a total “no no”!

Enjoy your training and the many real life benefits it brings.