ONE: London's exclusive personal training studio, in the heart of the city.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Trick or treat?

For the past couple of days I've been thinking of whether I should change the main subject of my blogs or shall I just carry on babbling on about all natural and simple foods we should all try and revert back to consuming... I've also heard that some of you watched the Meatrix and spend some time contemplating and thinking about what is actually going on behind the scenes of the industrial mass farming business ... scary!!! So here I am again, browsing through my massive folder of various training and nutrition related articles and just came across a couple of paper clippings cut out of Metro and Daily Mail a couple of months ago.

Organic food that is... The government together with pharmaceutical biotechnology companies have been trying hard to trick and convince us that mass produced, chemically adjusted or genetically modified products are no different to those grown and farmed organically. Is that really the case ... ?

Well, I am not going to go on about what was said and done to make us believe there's no difference between the two but I will use myself as an example instead. Some time ago I suffered from something I thought could have either been a chronic fatigue, anemia or under-active thyroid. Desperately trying to do some research and find out why am I actually collapsing half way through my day (still working in the office then) and am literally not able to walk back home after work... In a cry of despair I went to see my GP and demanded all possible tests done as I could not carry on like that for much longer. Surprisingly all results came back normal and the doc said I was an example of a perfectly healthy citizen and told me not to come back and pretty much deal with it as there wasn't anything wrong with me. Thank you very much public health service ...

A short while later I got rid of the office job I hated and found myself sitting in my first nutrition lecture on the personal training course I did. A few simple questions from the guy that really knew what he was talking about and it all suddenly became crystal clear ... adrenal fatigue ladies and gentlemen!! Adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and are responsible for adrenaline secretion. As we all know adrenaline is a hormone that would give us the energy kick we want however our bodies can not differentiate the type of stress we're under so the more adrenaline the little fellows produce the more exhausted they get and eventually refuse to work properly making us feel as if we were the living dead in a zombie world somewhere. As much as I got rid of most of the coffees, lucozade alerts and red bulls I was downing in hope of getting that extra energy kick (NOT! - they exhaust the adrenal glands even more), tried to regulate my sleep patterns and spend more time relaxing and just simply chilling out looking after myself I changed my food diet completely and switched to organic wherever possible. 2 months down the line I was a brand new person with heaps of energy and passion for life again.

As much as I appreciate the fact that it was a combination of all steps I took to bring me back to life I do know that food played a major role, no questions asked! Research confirmed that there is 58.6% more beta carotene in organic vegetables, 11.3% more zinc, 38.4% more flavonoids and 12.7% more proteins and 40% more antioxidants in other organic produce comparing to non-organic. I know some of the names above may not mean much to some of us, however just the fact the way organic food is being produced is much more friendly for the environment we all live in and more so tastes so much better should be convincing enough ... Another thing is that if there is more nutrients in organic foods we will naturally feel fuller quicker and consume less as the process of feeling hungry is nothing else but our body asking us to put some essential nutrients in (ever experienced cravings for a very specific food? - makes sense doesn't it?). Have a look at the Daily Mail article I mentioned before and here we go the Meatrix part 2 ...

Happy Halloween! Have a fab weekend and till next week.

Marta :)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Easy healthy tips

We're all striving to get our lifestyle's healthier, so I thought I'd give you one fairly easy, painless way of doing it.

NASA research has shown that there are certain plants that help to filter the air in our homes, and the New Ecologist posted a list of the top ten, so here they are:

1. The Feston Rose plant
2. Devil's Ivy
3. Phalaenopsis
4. English Ivy
5. Parlor Ivy
6. African Violets
7. Christmas Cactus (pictured)
8. Yellow Goddess
9. Garlic Vine
10. Peace Lily

'course this may cause you a little more stress if you're not particularly green fingered, but don't say we don't try to give you little extra helps.


The New Ecologist, July 2009
The Daily Green, September 30 2009

(picture from: Cactus.jpg)

The week that was

The last week has been a busy one. On the weekend I attended a BWLA (British Amateur Weightlifting) Course. One of the tutors on the course was David Morgan, the guy who tamed King Kong that I wrote about a few weeks back. If you missed it here is a link to the blog article.

Watching this guy in action and talking to him about his career was amazing. At his peak he would train up to 8hours a day in two, 4 hour shifts. He would do this 6 days a week, by himself, in a garage. Most of his competitors at the time had coaches, teams, masseuses, physio's, doctors, nutritionists and other hangers on all helping them out. That David achieved what he did was truly amazing and a feat of mental application, dedication and discipline as much as it was about physical prowess.

On Tuesday I gave a talk to the FIA (Fitness Industry Association) on the benefits of resistance training as a mode of exercise in health and fitness. Resistance training is what you guys do all the time in the studio, whether it be lifting a barbell, pressing dumbbells, swinging kettlebells, warming up with medicine balls or thoroughly enjoying body weight circuits. The problem is in the wider fitness industry world most people spend a lot of times on machines, which means that they don't move very well and are more likely to be injured. That's basically what I was presenting to the FIA about, letting them know how individuals need to spend more time on their own two feet, supporting their own body weight and lifting things the way the body intended. A lot of our clients you guys were used as examples, so thank you!

Motivated by last weekend and that a few of my clients are starting to lift decent numbers in the Olympic Lifts I've placed more emphasis on the Snatch and the Clean & Jerk- I can't let any of you catch me! A few of you are having quite an amount of success with the BWLA proficiency workout and are moving through the levels. It's so far neck and neck between one of my clients and one of Jamie's- not to lay down the gauntlet or anything.

Have a good week.


Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Thoughtful Tuesday - 13

I've come to a rather tough conclusion this week. Well, tough for me at least. I've decided, from today that on my low and medium days I'm not going to have any grains or starches what so ever. The main problem I have with grains and starches is probably the same as everyone elses, mainly they don't really fill you up and oh yeah, I like them too much! This then requires me to actually have some will power and say "no, stop eating that enormous bowl of pasta" Truth is, I wouldn't listen to myself if I got in to that situation. Lets face it, I'm Italian and I grew up on pasta, breakfast, lunch and dinner! Okay so things weren't that bad but it was pasta every single night. Which as I would like to think you would know by now is not a good idea if you are trying to lose body fat or even maintain the level you are at. The problem, therefore is where do I get my carbs from and also another problem is that what do I eat! Everywhere you go out there it's bread, pasta, rice with a small amount of protein. Useless!

So basically I'm going to have to get my carbs from where nature probably really intended us to get it from in the first place before we invented farming. Vegetables and fruit. Oh yeah, they're carbs with the added bonus of being packed full of nutrients and lots of that handy stuff called fibre! Of's so simple it just might work. So here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to be super organised in the evenings and cook up a MASSIVE batch of vegetables. I'm going to bring that in to work and eat it coupled with chicken, fish, beef, eggs or whatever takes my fancy at the time. Sprinkle on some olive oil and there, job done. Perfect meals for your time at work. Before you say that sounds like a lot of work, it literally takes 5 minutes to cut up some vegetables and 5 minutes to stir fry them. We can all spare 10 minutes of our evening.

On my high days though, all bets are off!


Monday, 26 October 2009

Joslyn's Blog Spot - Green Spaces = Happy Faces

Scientific research has shown that living near a green space reaps a wealth of health benefits. Research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health says that the following diseases benefit from green spaces:

*Coronary heart disease
*Neck, shoulder, back, wrist and hand complaints
*Depression and anxiety
*Respiratory infections and asthma
*Migraine and vertigo
*Stomach bugs and urinary tract infections
*Unexplained physical symptoms

Those included in the study were registered with their GP for longer than 12 months as the study covered the minimum amount of time people would have to live in such an environment to effect a change. Whilst it is ideal to have green space within a 1km radius from your home, those that had a green space within at least 3km of their home reported improvements in anxiety disorders and diseases of the digestive system as well as those of medically unexplained physical symptoms. One area that wasn't affected was blood pressure.

Part of this probably reflects the changes in air quality and more opportunity to exercise.

It's great to know that this kind of green exposure can lead to better general health. If you don't live within 1-3km of a green space, try and detour through one on your way to or from work, or get out to the country at the weekend for your green fix!

Have a good week and stay green!!


Sunday, 25 October 2009

Exercise of the Week

The Plank

The plank exercise is very effective in working the deep core muscles. Be sure to include it in your next ab workout.

1. Lying face down, start by resting on your forearms and the balls of your feet. Keep your body straight, not letting your hips rise or fall.

2. Contract your abdominals and hold.

Start with 15 second holds and build up to 1 minute.


Friday, 23 October 2009

Eating algorithms?

Here we are again, another week gone ... How's your eating been? There's been a lot happening on here food wise recently. Both me and Jos were writing a lot about it, Jamie's still going through his carb cycling too. As promised last week, I'd like to give you a few tips and ideas as of what to look for when food shopping. The most painful and sad thing for me is that in recent years for most of us supermarkets became the only food source. Industrialisation of our plates has been happening since 1960s. Food has been replaced by foodlike looking products ready to eat in a split of a second and that's how most of us are eating at the moment ... unfortunately. Always on the run!

Another thing is that for a while now we've been told to eat algorithms of complicated names and signs that do not actually mean anything but someone out there said it's good for us so then we all follow ... For many years long long time ago people used to believe the Earth was flat. One of the the best examples to prove that the fact that something is commonly 'known as true' does not always have to be true ... What I mean is that an ideology of nutritionism, as Michael Pollan calls it (check out his 'In Defence of Food' - another amazing read) has convinced us that since nutrients are invisible chemical substances only understood by scientists, we all need their advice in deciding what and when to eat.

Isn't it interesting that most of us no longer eat what our mothers and grandmothers used to eat as children? We got so caught up in the narrow concept of 'physical health' and 'healthy eating' malarky that we forgot about the simple fact that food is also about pleasure, community and our relationship with the natural world.

I am not interested in telling you what to eat for your next dinner. All I want to say is that most of the damage done to our food and health caused by the industrialisation can be reversed and again it's all up to us and our choices when we go food shopping.

Got carried away again I know. So where are the tips and ideas I promised at the beginning?

Well, here we go:

- eat real and natural food (preferably organic or biodynamic, especially meat!)
- go for good fats and oils such as butter, organic extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- choose fresh seasonal fruit and veg rather than canned options
- ditch breakfast cereals, white pasta and rice in favour of oats and wholegrains
- the less processed the better
- always read the label, the less ingredients the better (if there's lots of complicated names on there you can't understand, you're better off putting in back on the shelf)
- if you are concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products making 'health' claims as it strongly indicates that it is not a real food but some kind of a 'foodlike' product
- if possible try to find out where your food is coming from
- avoid fast foods and pre packed meals
- avoid artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame K or sucralose
- avoid flavour enhancers like MSG (remember that the label does not have to say MSG on it, things like yeast extract, hydrolised protein and most natural flavourings will indicate its presence)

For more ideas check out or if you would like to have your fresh and organic food delivered to your door look these guys up, they're amazing (don't forget to put my name down as a referral if you decide to sign up, no, they're not sponsoring this blog)

And to finish off this week a little video for you to watch (this is only part 1, parts 2 and 2 1/2 available on youtube).

Let me know what you think.
Have a great weekend. Till next week.

Marta :)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Don't believe everything you read in the press

I feel so sorry for anyone trying to be conscientious and sensible about weight loss and sorting their health out. You are repeatedly mis-informed, and I'd go so far as to say lied to in the press regarding the best way to go about all these. Am I going to cite any in particular? No - but what I want to encourage is a) some personal responsibility towards educating yourself properly on all things health related and b) well - taking anything in a short article (as you never get a proper dissertation), seen on TV or talked about by friends or relatives with a pinch of salt.

So instead of going off on my usual lecture I am going to issue you with two bits of homework:

1). Research your body's dependence on fats and carbohydrates and tell me which one is harder for your body to regulate it's response to and therefore more 'dangerous' in terms of weight gain and general health (hint it's not fats - but you need to be able to tell me why)

2). Is the swine flu vaccine a good idea?
- suggested areas to look at: Trial groups - how big were they, how long did the trials last, did they actually test it on any specialist groups such as pregnant women - the answer may surprise you?
: when were the vaccines developed - after swine flu was discovered?... you might want to check that!
: is swine flu more or less serious than the common flu?
: who is really most at risk? and what does it have to do with your levels of Vitamin D?

Think you're well informed by the media? - think again. Mostly they simply can't get anything other than rhetoric over in their short columns, but ultimately these things are never as black and white as we are led to believe and a lot of people stand to make or lose a lot of money on the decisions that are made. So if you want to make an informed decision - not blindly put money into the pockets of pharmaceuticals and fall for weight loss gimmicks and fad diets do some research. BUT take everything you read with a pinch of salt and a proper, critical, analytical eye. I am by no means saying all medication/advice is bad - I'm saying you should be able to tell the rhetoric from the facts and understand why you are being advised/given what you are - all the pros and cons weighed up.

Getting Ancestral

I was sent a link to an article the other day which discussed a book review. This whole piece was about how our ancestors were bigger, stronger and faster and that they had much larger brains as well!

To read the article visit here

The book review discusses how scientists have found a group of footprints in the Australian outback from 20,000 years ago. The findings mean, given stride length and size of foot, that the individuals would have been clocked running as quickly as Usain Bolt (the worlds fastest man) for longer distances than 100m and on soft ground. The article goes on to mention Roman foot soldiers who would cover more than a marathon distance a day with half their body weight on their backs. It doesn't mention this (I'm a bit of a history geek!) but the Romans would also have to build fortified camps (for approximately 6,000 legionnaires) every evening after their daily travels and invariably get up and fight the next day.

The reasons given for our ancestors physical superiority is attributed to diet an lifestyle. Our hunter gatherer ancestors had to be strong and fit to forage for and hunt for food. This would mean traveling great distances and then having to fight with strength and explosiveness. The diet was made up of natural whole foods, there were no preservatives here, just plenty of proteins, healthy fats, and lots of vitamins and minerals from nuts, seeds, berries, as well as root and other vegetables.

The book goes on to discuss farming and industrialisation as being the main reasons why we are physically inferior to our ancestors. This makes sense when our food was wild and natural it contained higher concentrations of nutrients (macro and micro), was seasonal and there wasn't a hell of a lot of sugar ready available. Our bodies were therefore much better nourished. We were also much more active from infants our very survival depended upon movement. Now today we don't have to move at all.

What can we gain from this knowledge. Well regarding our nutrition we should aim to have natural whole foods. Our meats ideally should be from game, it should run on the land, swim in the sea and fly in the sky! If we want to be fit and healthy, shouldn't our food be fit and healthy too? Concerning exercise we should stand on our own two feet and pick things up, we should move, run, jump and throw things about. At the studio we encourage you to barefoot and we don't have any machines for the very purpose of getting you to move freely and naturally. We're really trying to release the inner caveman/ woman!

The article only uses a couple of examples but there are plenty more out there of how our ancestors would have kicked our butts! English Long-bowmen from the 13th to the 17th centuries were massively strong men. Studying these guys remains, the insertion points (where muscle attaches to bone) were extremely large due to all the force that the overdeveloped muscle had to use to draw the bow. The draw weight of these bows was 200lbs or 90kgs and these guys could fire up to 16 times a minute and repeat this for many minutes and in some cases perform this again and again for hours during battles. To put this in perspective drawing one of those bows is the equivalent of performing a one hand chin up- I can't do one, let alone sixteen in a minute! I'm off to practice my one arm chin ups now!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Thoughtful Tuesday - 12

Hello all, okay so no you haven't fallen in to the Twilight Zone and some how it has reverted back to yesterday. I just missed my blog day, I can sometimes get carried away with things and then forget to do other things. Basically I was designing the invite for our Christmas Party (yes that's a P A R T Y!) and the creative juices were flowing and I got a bit lost in it. Anyway I am here now and next week will definitely be back on Tuesday (if you care!)

Right so back to my experiences on the cycling carb diet. The week has gone pretty well, the weekend was pretty much there but as some of you may know I was in York visiting some of my girlfriends friends and didn't want them to think that I'm a weirdo (even if I am but they don't need to know that!) so I had a bit much on the carb front on Saturday and balanced it out on the Sunday. Workouts are hard, there is no doubt about that. My high and medium day sI feel pretty good, it's training on the low days which is a female dog. Seeing as at the moment I am training for strength and want to put on a bit of size the sessions are intense to say the least. Where the carb cycling is coming in is that in putting on this extra size and strength I don't want to put on much body fat (which is hard to do) So far so good on that front. My weight is going up with no serious gains in body fat (there have been some though!) Each session though is tough, I really have to concentrate and really feel like I'm having to push myself harder each time (which I should) to make the gains. I got a bit used to just maintaining what I had and so not overly exerting myself in the gym. Problem is, if you want to change your body shape you have to push yourself as hard as you can (I would just like to say that for some people this isn't a good approach) That doesn't just mean working hard in the gym, working hard in the gym will allow you to get fitter and stronger, this also means you HAVE to work hard on the food front. There is no point working hard in the gym and then going to waste that good effort in McDonalds or something equally nutritionally retarded. Work hard on both these fronts and you will see results

On a slightly related note, I just think this is funny! (Watch the whole thing if you have 10 mins Please don't train like this!)

See you next week! Your turn


Monday, 19 October 2009

Joslyn's Blog Spot - Food and drink that can give you the sniffles

I always knew that bread didn't go down too well and that milk always caused a little extra mucus production, but I never quite knew why sometimes after eating or drinking, I would sneeze incessantly for minutes and maybe even hours. A few years ago, after a particularly bad spell and nearly passing out on a train, I decided to investigate further into possible food intolerances and how they affect people.

First of all, it's important to distinguish between a food intolerance and a food allergy. A food intolerance is a digestive system response, that occurs when something in a food irritates a person's digestive system or when a person is unable to properly digest or break down a food. A food allergy is an immune system response, when the body mistakes an ingredient in food (usually a protein - often milk, nuts) as harmful, and creates a defense system to fight it.

At the time of my near-passing-out episode, I was eating a high volume of tuna - naughty for the mercury levels alone! Upon further investigation, and memory recall of other foods that caused sneezing and general cold-like symptoms, I realised that wine, beer, cheese, olives and some cured meat were all offenders from time to time.

I soon discovered that many foods either contain histamines (your body's natural inflammatory response to nasties in your system), or indeed create or cause a histamine reaction in the body. Sometimes you can have high levels within your system and sneeze at the very sniff of beer (that actually happened, about 100 sneezes, it was embarrassing) and on other occasions you remain unaffected. When there are high levels of histamines in the body, the usual symptoms of an intolerance (bloating, stomach irritation) can be replaced with a milder version of the symptoms of an allergy: rash or hives, nausea, stomach pain, itchy skin, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling of the airways to the lungs, anaphylaxis, and diarrhoea. However removing some or all of the foods below for a couple of weeks, will help to get the system back to normal.

So here are the foods below, a lot of them my favourites, so my two weeks without them wasn't a happy time:

Foods that cause histamine to be released in a major way:

Egg white; shellfish; fish, especially deep sea such as tuna; strawberries, pineapple; tomatoes;
chocolate; alcohol, especially wine and beer

Histamine-rich foods that also cause histamine to be released:

Fish, especially deep sea and small fish (anchovies, etc);
Canned and processed foods with MSG, sulfites, benzoates;
Yeast extract & yeast;
Fermented beverages - wines, beer, vermouth; fermented condiments - soy sauce, miso, vinegars, oriental sauces

Foods that cause histamine to be released in a lesser way:

Dried fruit;
Peanuts (roasted);
Soybeans and soy products (tofu, etc);
Whole wheat, barley, oat, rye;
Canned and processed foods with MSG flavor enhancer or preservatives such as sulfites, benzoates and parabens.

Histamine-rich foods:

Cheeses, especially aged or molded ones such as bleu cheese;
Cultured dairy products such as yogurt;
Avocado, spinach, eggplant;
Legumes, especially soy and roasted peanuts;
Jams and preserves;
Fermented foods - sauerkraut, sour cream, vinegar, ciders

So if you find yourself affected by any of the above just remove them frim your diet for a while and you should be able to tolerate them again in small amounts.

Have a good week all!


Friday, 16 October 2009

Exercise of the Week

Mountain Climbers

A great whole body exercise that will work practically every muscle in your body while giving you an intense cardio workout.

1. Get in to the top of the push up position.
2. Keeping your abs tight and body straight, bring your right foot towards your chest. You should be on the balls of your feet.
3. Kick your right leg back to it's original straightened position while simultaneously bringing you left foot towards your chest.
4. Repeat and gradually increase the speed.

Start with 20 seconds and build up to 1 minute.


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Too old to train? - Never!

Hey all,

after a break of two weeks I'm back. Sorry about the unmentioned disappearance - I popped off to Spain for a weeks break, but now I'm back, and loving what I have to show you today.

So when are you beyond it? Too old to train? When is it too late to bother and simply not worth the effort? NEVER!

Australia is currently hosting the 'Masters', which are games - not unlike the Olympics, but which cater to a more senior athlete. For people from 35 years up to, well whenever (101 is given as a suggestion) - and people do compete, right up until the amazing Mrs Frith who, at 100, trained for her competitions in shot put by bench pressing 35kg!!! Go on girl!,23739,26195506-953,00.html,23816,5061200-17382,00.html

So is it ever too late to start, or the right time to stop?

No. Looking to other cultures - away from the decadent west there are plenty of examples of people up through their 70s, 80s and 90s with the dynamism, suppleness and energy levels that many of our 30 -40 year olds would struggle to compete with. The secret? Don't stop. When you stop moving, you stop conditioning your muscles, energy levels, bones - well everything. It doesn't have to be 'formal' exercise - gardening, hiking, swimming, playing footie with the kids - these all count - as does getting off the bus stops early and walking. Just keep moving. And if you can include some formal exercise - well you're going to be ahead of the pack and refusing to look at Zimmer frames when you're 94!

Keep moving


Blinded by the traffic lights

No, I am not going to go on about the horrendous London traffic as the title may suggest ... Food labelling ladies and gentlemen, that's what I've got in mind today. I am sure most of us are aware of the FSA's traffic light labelling system that has been around for a while. We go to the supermarket to buy our food and are immediately being hit by what's good and what's bad for us. They've been telling us what to eat to feel and look great since 2000 (As taken from the FSA's website - The Food Standards Agency is an independent Government department set up by an Act of Parliament in 2000 to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food.) But is it really as simple as choosing green over amber and red? I am afraid not ...

There are certain elements that must by law be placed on a food products label and these are:
  • manufacturers details
  • total volume or weight
  • date mark or best before date
  • storage instructions
  • potential allergens in the product
We must remember that food packaging is a powerful marketing tool and primarily is there to make us buy it rather than keep us healthy! As brutal as it may sound, unfortunately it is true. In order to fully understand the product and what we are really buying and consuming every day we need to see past the advertising and be able to read the reliable and essential information that will indicate the product's quality and nutritional value.

First thing is that what we see on our food labels provides only 'typical' amounts of each macronutrient to be found in the product and these figures are not required to be exactly accurate by law. There is a generous margin of 20% of error so imagine that there could actually be 1/5 more or less of fats, carbs, protein or anything else that's actually stated on the label in our food. Misleading? Only a little bit...

Another thing is the marketing terminology used by manufacturers. For example a product labelled as 'fresh' is supposed to be sold a short time after harvest, however what the short time actually means is nowhere to be found and specified. Going for 'traditional' would automatically suggest that we are buying a product that's been prepared using a recipe that's been handed down for generations, while it could only mean as much as the factory using the same methods of preparation since it first started selling it.

'Healthy' terminology used by all major supermarket chains is also very tricky and fools us into thinking that we have done ourselves a massive favour choosing 'good for you', 'healthy living' or 'be good to yourself' range. These products are often stripped of the good fats (commonly known as 'the bad guys')which are then simply replaced by artificial sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin (this time to avoid adding sugar) or flavour enhancers (mostly MSG - Monosodium Glutamate) to keep the flavour. Well that's less than healthy for us since both sweeteners and flavour enhancers are classed as excitotoxins which are mildly addictive substances stimulating the sensory areas of the brain and create a desire for more, almost all of which have potentially harmful side effects from learning difficulties and sleep deprivation to headaches and seizures.

I would probably have to write a blog every day for the next few weeks to cover all the information regarding what is and what isn't enclosed on our food labels. For those of you who would like to find out a bit more about what really is going on behind the scenes I would recommend reading:

'Not On The Label: What Really Goes Into The Food On Your Plate' by Felicity Lawrence or
'Excitotoxins : The Taste That Kills' by Russell L. Blaylock

Next week I am going to go through a bit more in regards to food labeling, give you some tips and buzz words that you can look for while shopping.

Happy reading and don't be blinded by the traffic lights, learn to read the label!

Till next week


Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Gone Clubbin'....

You may have seen the skittle looking things about in the studio. Well they're called Indian Clubs and they're a fantastic training tool. 'Indian Clubs' are an ancient training tool that the British Empire first brought back from the sub-continent a couple of centuries ago.

The clubs are brilliant for improving the integrity of the shoulder joints as well as strengthening the forearms and grip.

Here's a clip of me coming to grips with them:

Feel free to ask your trainer to give you a go when you're next in.

Until next Wednesday... BJ

Thoughtful Tuesday - 11

Heya, okay so a little late this week but we've got there in the end. Just thought I'd give people a bit of an update on the carb cycling and my general training as a consequence (or at least as I see it)

This last week has been much better on the food front. I've been sticking to my days with vigor and determination. A couple of days have been hard but I stuck through it. As a consequence I have lost a bit of body fat, which has been a welcome bonus! The scales haven't moved that much but visibly I'm looking a bit better under the shirt (not that that's the only reason why I train of course!) On top of that, my lifts are getting stronger and my strength endurance has also increased. Both of which I have been struggling with a bit of late. So all in all, so far things are going well, they can of course be better, as always.

I think that I have fallen prey of a common trap that a lot of people can fall in to. I got a bit carbophobic (one who is scared of carbs). I was going pretty perpetually low carb. Which I think is a fine thing to do but obviously doesn't work for me for a prolonged period of time. I need to have a structured amount of what I can and can't eat each day, it just works better for me. The extra carbs have seemed to help out too, which has been great. Now these aren't coming from any bad sources, things like rye bread, fruits, bit of pasta, rice, beans and lots of veggies. I think the most important thing and it always seems to come back to it but getting a good variety of foods is the best way to go. Get your protein, your good fats, good variety of carbs and try not to over eat and you'll do fine

Monday, 12 October 2009

Joslyn's Blog Spot - Positive Mental Attitude

Call it cheesy if you will, but I saw it in the raw this weekend and was astounded by the weight of it. I was lucky enough to be in the company of a British Weightlifting Champion this weekend, a modest looking guy that could lift some serious weight - there were smelling salts and pre-lift yelps, so this guy was very serious.

Whilst watching the speed at which he could throw a heavy bar into the air was amazing, I was most in awe of his attitude towards his future success. In no uncertain terms, Chris told us that he will return with 3 gold medals from the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He said it with such conviction that I didn't doubt it for a second. It was great to see such self-belief, and it struck a real chord in me. Probably because I hear such conviction so rarely. For the most part, we hope that we will do well, or we'll see how we get on with whatever path it is we choose in training, career, or life in general, it's generally all a bit hit and miss.

But what if we all knew exactly what we wanted, and even better, actually knew we were going to achieve it!!! This isn't to be mistaken for setting a goal and blindly stating that you will achieve it. Chris' plan is a 5 year focus, with month by month steps carefully planned out to reach his ultimate success in 2014. Here he is doing a ridiculously high jump from standing:

You're pretty sure he's gonna take back those 3 golds too now aren't you!!

Anyway, I remain mega-impressed by this guy, he has a goal and he will achieve, and thoroughly believes so. It's a shame we come across so few people like that.

Have a good week folks,


Friday, 9 October 2009

Where do I start?

Where do I start? There's so much I'd like to write about it's hard to decide... Guess the best thing will be to introduce myself as some of you haven't probably met me yet. My name is Marta and I am pleased to say that last Thursday I officially joined the ONE training team as a new trainer.

After being here for as little as 6 days I can say there are no regrets at all and I already know this was probably one of the best things I could have done in my personal training career. I have already learnt so much that I can honestly say that I am suffering from a severe information overload. It's all good though as that's what I thrive on and think that we never stop learning in our lives and if anyone says to me they know it all I simply just laugh and think to myself ... yeah whatever!

So who am I and how did it all begin?

I've always been passionate about sports and active life. Cycling and ice skating like mad when I was a teenager (some health problems I was suffering from back then sadly stopped me from competing on a professional level), skateboarding and trekking in the mountains with my one and only mountain hiking guru - my Mum. It's been a long journey and twenty something years later here I am ... working with you trying to transfer my love and passion for active living into your lives and hopefully make a positive difference. I used to work in an office environment myself before embarking on the PT boat and I do know how it feels working ridiculously long hours, being stressed to the limits, not getting enough break time and not having time to enjoy your food during the day, running around like a headless chicken ... the list is endless and I could go on forever ...

BUT! There is a way of embracing your life, taking responsibility for who you are and how you feel like each day and stopping the vicious circle right here right now! So get off the couch, stand up from your desk, sleep well, eat good food, take time to relax and enjoy your life ... keep your chin up, it's all up to you after all!

Happy Friday and I will definitely see you around some time soon J

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Kettlebell Sport Lifting Competition

Well last Sunday, 4th October was the Trojans Kettlebell Lifting Competition. The Trojans Kettlebell Lifting Club uses the One Personal Training Studio as a training venue on Thursday nights. I'd mentioned in a couple of blogs over the last month that I was training for this event.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I didn't lift as well as I would have liked but I still hit a personal best in the Jerk. Now Kettlebell Sport is arguably the toughest sport around. There are two lifts in the competition the first is the Jerk and the second is the Snatch. In the Jerk the bells are jerked continuously for 10minutes without the bells being put down. In the Snatch one bell is snatched continuously for up to 10minutes with one hand change, again without the bell being put down.

As I'm relatively new to this sport I competed with 24kg bells, the pro's compete with 32kg bells. I did a total of 72Jerks and 110Snatches, I finished second out of the men present. Both lifts are works in progress and I think I may possibly need to go backwards before I am able to go forwards and progress. I have to make some serious amendments to my technique in both the lifts, but it's something I'm looking forward to getting stuck into.

Jos also competed and did very well considering she has only trained in Kettlebell Sport for a number of sessions. Jos came equal second and got personal bests in both her Jerk and Snatch. Women compete with one bell not two in the Jerks.

I have a couple of other competitions dates coming up so I'll be sure to keep you all posted of my progress. I'd really like to achieve 100Jerks and 200Snatches (100 each hand)- I might still be dreaming!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Thoughtful Tuesday - 10

Please excuse my abscence last week as I was having a nice relaxing few days at home. For those of you who are wondering, yes it was greatand yes I could quite happily win the lottery and stay at home doing not much other than developing my body and mind.

The other thing I did last week was to start my carb cycling. So I thought I'd give you a bit of an update. Obviously I was at home so actually eating what I was meant to was relatively easy. The problem was the weekend. I have to own up to this fact. I didn't do so well on one of my low days and the med day was probably over done too. This week has to go better if I'm to make a realistic assessment of my measurements. They might be too high or not high enough, but I have to stick to things in order to make that judgement call. Something that I have noticed however is that my strength has seemed to go up. Not accross the board but on some key lifts things are definitely improving again which is reassuring. Now is that down to the carb cycling or the fact I'm being a bit more disciplined in general (apart from my weekend badness!), who knows? What ever the reason I welcome it for sure.

I guess what I have to accept (again) that there are no quick fixes, anything worth having requires hard work. It's also, I guess, more satisfying that way too.

Until next week (when I will have been better!)


Monday, 5 October 2009

Joslyn's Blog Spot - Eating to boost your metabolism

It never ceases to amaze me just how important food is. At its basic level it is an energy source, and at its most complex, is far too complicated to write about in one small blog. So in an effort to keep it simple, I want to talk about one food source that has a very positive effect on metabolism, and so should be incorporated into each meal.

The magic food group is protein. First a little bit about carbohydrates (starches, fruit, vegetables). The process of digestion takes place in different areas of the body. Carbohydrates are primarily broken down in the mouth by chewing and the release of the digestive enzyme amylase in our saliva. Whereas protein is broken down in the stomach. Which food group requires more energy to be broken down? Protein, by far!

So what does that mean in any given food day? By eating a carbohydrate-rich diet, we are using less energy in the digestive process than would be the case, if we ate a protein-rich diet. So by simply adding protein to each meal, you are effortlessly burning more energy. Not a bad trade-off for adding a little chicken to your lunchbox. This is why a mini-protein snack between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner is great to keep your metabolism boosted throughout the day.

Here are ways to make sure you get your protein (bolded) in each day:

Breakfast: scrambled eggs on toasted rye bread

Mid-morning: blueberries and walnuts

Lunch: chicken salad with rice

Mid-afternoon snack: houmous and celery

Dinner: grilled fish and steamed vegetables

Happy eating until next week!


Friday, 2 October 2009

Execise of the week.

Exercise Description:
Push Up with Rotation

Chest (bodyweight)


1. Start by completing a normal pushup and then at the top of the second pushup pick your hand up off the ground and rotate your upper body so that your hand is above your head.

2. Proceed to complete this same movement with the other arm. Then return to a normal pushup.

3. Complete this movement for the desired number of repetitions.

4. To make this more challenging hold a dumbbell in each hand while completing this movement.

Blog Round-Up