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

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Thoughtful Tuesday - 29

Hello peeps, hope you are keeping well. Right so a little update on my quest to lose some unwanted flesh. Now fortunately or unfortunately (depends on your perspective) the guys have been a bit busy the past couple of weeks so I haven't been able to get my full measurements done. I have got a couple done though which gives me a nice little insight in to what is going on. Right first thing first, my weight, as of this morning I weighed in at 87kg. So from the last time I checked that is actually up 1kg. Doesn't look too good from that. Moving on to the couple of measurements that I got done. My waist is now 78.5cm, down from 80cm, which is nice. My arms (more specifically my right) is up to 42.9cm from 42cm, which is nice again unless my skinfolds have gone up in those areas! However, my bicep skinfold is down to 2mm from 3.8mm. Also my hip skinfold is down to 7.9mm from 10.2mm.

Now this isn't a full measurement and I have done them on myself so they could be slightly out but if they are it wouldn't be by too much. I was a little surprised this morning when I weighed myself, I wasn't really expecting the increase in weight. I was a bit concerned seeing as I've had a couple of heavy weekends on the booze front but looking in the mirror I know I look better, on top of that I feel better. So I really was hoping that the other measurements had gone down, which they have. So I have definitely lost body fat, there is no doubt in my mind about that. I've also clearly put on some muscle mass too I know this seeing as my right arm has got bigger. Not just that but in the gym my numbers are going up most weeks. My bench press is up to a 145kg max (150 is very close), also doing drop sets on 120kg for 8. My bent over row is up to 120kg for sets of 3. My squat is up to 180kg and I don't know about my deadlift because when I was last at the gym doing it I forgot my chalk and my grip slipped out at 195kg, my knee has a nice bruise to prove it! The annoying thing was that it came up off the floor very easily so I know I have over 200kg in the tank which would be a good PB for me. I then had to go down to 140kg (because of the grip) and was repping for sets of 8 quite nicely. My circuits have also been going well and am now up to 60kg for my complex doing 3 sets of 8, next time I'll knock out 4 sets. All of this put together tells me I have indeed put on some size, probably some density and lost some body fat. It's just that the scales don't show it.

I think that is quite an important point, if I was to just go on what the scales had said I would have thought that I had put on fat, when I quite clearly haven't. I know I am a slightly different prospect to other people but don't just rely on those scales, they can be misleading.........

I suppose I also need to get my 300 time down by 5mins, just to annoy Scott!


Joslyn's Blog Spot - Meet Supergirl!!

I was luck enough to speak with Bonita Norris last week! Now the name may not be familiar to you, but Bonita is aiming to be the youngest British female to climb Mount Everest in June, at ahem, wait for it...the age of 22!!!

At the age of 17, having never exercised in her life, Bonita decided to give running a try. So she went outside and ran for 30 seconds! I think that's my favourite bit, the fact that she started off with just 30 seconds! The next day, she ran a minute, and so on. Now how many of you would would be satisfied with just 30 seconds? I can bet that you'd say "ooh, unless I run at least 20 minutes, there's no point, so why bother"

Bonita will be putting herself at risk from the dangers of extreme altitude, frostbite, hypothermia, snow-blindness, and will most likely require bottled oxygen. A little more than a sprint session at the gym no? Everest is one big old mountain 8,848 metres to be precise!! Bonita has already achieved greatness by becoming the youngest female to climb Mount Manaslu, the eighth highest mountain in the world, just four months ago. As one of the most challenging terrains in the world, Mount Manaslu was a perfect warm-up for her Mount Everest challenge. Suddenly complaining about a few drops of rain during my long run this weekend seems utterly pathetic. Also just to give you an idea of just how much work this trot up Everest will be, Bonita has to put on a stone for the climb. This girl is gonna be working so hard that she will need to put on a stone before she goes!!!!

I asked Bonita her advice on staying motivated. She suggested you fit it around your routine. Don't be militant and hard on yourself, make it work for you, and fit it around your lifestyle!! We all have a list of excuses in our heads as to why we don't feel like exercising. Bonita says to just put your shoes on and do it!!!

Bonita sets off this weekend on her journey to Everest, and is hoping to raise £50,000 for her chosen charity Global Angels, an international foundation championing the causes of children around the world, providing sustainable solutions. Every pound received from public donations goes directly to projects working at grass-roots level to empower children and their communities. If you want to follow Bonita's journey, you can do so here at

Monday, 29 March 2010

3 / 14 Weeks

As the title suggests, I am 3 weeks through my 14-week training regime!

So far so good, I have finally completed the '300 Workout' in a time of 41:40 min, which at this stage in my training I was very pleased with.

As I previously explained in my last Blog, my main weaknesses were my Legs and the tightness through my hip flexors. With help from the 'One' team my hip flexors aren't as tight as they were, resulting in my Squats and Deadlifts improving.

To track my progress we have taken the following: Skinfolds, Measurements and Weight. On the 3rd March I weighed in at 79.8kg and today I weigh in at 80.5kg. I also had my skin folds taken again today which showed a drop of 15.1mm in total since the 3rd March, which shows a loss in Body Fat.

I will be continuing with the same regime for a few weeks until changing program to keep my body interested. I'm looking to complete the '300 workout' in less than 30 minutes within the next 6 weeks, Then attempt to beat Jamie's time of 21:20 off!

11 weeks till the deadline so I have a long way to go. I hope your training is going well and I'll look forward to seeing you all in the studio!

Scott Boxer

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The not so vital Vitality Show

Last Friday I found myself wandering around exhibitors stands at the Vitality Show at Earl's Court. Third year in a row and I must say I think I am kind of over it now. Don't get me wrong, it was still a great day out with a friend of mind. Catching up, chatting while sipping a nice coffee and munching on strawberries dipped in chocolate fountain but ... This was the first year for me being there as a personal trainer, knowing what I know nutrition and exercise wise made a whole lot of a difference.

Firstly, an awful lot of exercise specialists advising on really outdated, old school techniques, which have long been proven as not that beneficial as initially thought. Never mind on those really, as it was not something that could possibly hurt all those seeking advice and ideas on training. There are other more effective options but hey ho that was not too bad.

Then however, came nutrition... As you all know I am a big food and nutrition girl so here I went to listen to some extremely well marketed weight loss gurus, talking to hundreds of overweight ladies desperate to shed a few (sometimes more than just a few) pounds. Boy was I frustrated!!! I can not explain to all of you how much rubbish I heard being preached to all those desperate for advice. And to be honest why would they not believe in what they are being told by someone who brings out a now slim and slender (to certain extent) person on the stage that just a few months ago was a couple of stones overweight? Why would I not believe in that you may ask?

Ok... Let me explain. First and foremost, anyone that has their calorie intake drastically cut down will have to initially lose weight simply by malnourishment and not enough food. Then no one said a word about how long these people actually kept their weight off and what the potential implications of such approach may be. I am not even mentioning as individual thing as metabolic typing and cultural and ethnical origin. Then as you all probably suspect came all the low fat rubbish promoted by health and pharmaceutical industries. Someone please hold me as I am just about to scream I thought to myself... To be honest, unless you do your own research and actually know how the body works and what it needs to survive, who would you believe if not your doctor or someone out there well known as a weight loss person to go to? Aren't they there to support and help us? Now stop and think! I am going to quote the only man that made sense and saved me from jumping off the bridge in despair - Patrick Holford:

''Today's healthcare systems are the fastest growing, failing businesses. There is little motivation for the health-care industry to promote super-health. There's no money in healthy people, or in dead people. The money is in the middle: in people who are alive (kind of), with persistent health issues.''

Holford describes them as 'vertically ill', which means still standing, but not really functioning very well. And to be honest it is so true that no medication is needed until one is seriously ill when the science becomes necessary.

Have a look at his website and fill out a 100% health questionnaire and you may be surprised how unhealthy you can potentially be, thinking that you are not doing so badly. You have a personal trainer after all! Another thing is that surprisingly for most, there is no medication needed to fix you and make you feel like a newborn.

Holford has been working on discovering real health prerogatives for over 30 years. His research has been done on over 55000 people, when usual research (usually sponsored by pharmaceutical companies that have a financial interest in the results to start with) is normally done on no more than 20000 people. So trust me, this guy knows what he is talking about!

Happy Thursday everyone and I shall see you all in the studio.

Marta :)

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Kettlbell Sport Comp

Last week was quite a busy one for me. I organised a Kettlebell Sport Master of Sport Coach to run a training camp from Wednesday to Friday.

The week of Kettlebells culminated in a Kettlebell Sport competition on Sunday, which Jos blogged about yesterday. I'll get back to that in a bit but first I'll give a little insight into the training camp.

Gregor arrived via minibus from Slovenia with two of his athletes at lunchtime on Tuesday. I've met Gregor a couple of times before in Greece on Kettlebell Sport Training Camps, but this was the first time a Kettlebell Sport Training Camp was to be held in the UK. We spent a few hours catching up and going over the format for the week.

I left Gregor on Tuesday excited about what was to come. In two years of dedication Gregor has reached the level of Msster of Sport in Kettlebell Lifting, which is quite an achievement in a very short space of time. He has also coached two athletes in this same amount of time.

The Sport Camp began on Wednesday
Day 1
Warm ups, joint mobility
Exercise and technique work. Swings, Cleans, Presses, Push Presses, Jerks, Half Snatches, Snatches
Fitness protocol- 20minute continuous circuit combining above exercises.
7 minute Jerk test- 53 reps
4minute Snatch test
Then it was time for a stretch, food and sleep!

Day 2
25minute jog at nearby park to "massage lungs" and loosen up
Preview of upcoming training
5mins 10reps/min
5mins 10reps/min
7mins lighter bells

28kg 4minute set

48kg 3*10 various swings

One Arm Jerks
10rps each arm 40kg

One Arm Push Presses
3*10 reps 36kg

Jump Squats

Stretch, eat, sleep

Day 3
Jog 25mins
3*3mins sets 12/min
1* 3min Tabata protocol with 20kg bells

2minutes 28kg

Barbell assistance exercises.

Stretch, rest, eat, sleep.

The 3 Days was a fantastic experience and I learned a lot that now needs to be rehearsed and trained. The training camp was also filled with a lot of demonstrations from Gregor and his team.

I'll let you know how I got on at the competition next week. I need to get lifting!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Joslyn's Blog Spot - One comp to go...

So yesterday was Kettlebell Sport competition day. I'd like to say that BJ forced me into competing, but sadly he did not, I did it of my own free will and madness. So for those of you that aren't familiar with KB sport, the competition yesterday involved jerking a kettlebell for 5 minutes on each arm, and then snatching it for 5 minutes on each arm about an hour later.

About 6 weeks ago I let my ego get the better of me and wanted to compete with the 16kg bell. In truth I thought it would be really cool, and girl-tough etc. My body, however told me otherwise! After training with the 16s for a couple of weeks, whilst neglecting my marathon training I got more and more frustrated. Doing 10 snatches with the 16kg bell on my weak arm was a struggle, let alone 10 whole minutes!! So I decided to ignore kettlebells and get on with my marathon training...the competition on 21st March still loomed!

Last week, I started paying a bit more attention to bells again, and by that I mean, doing a few snatches with the 12s and then swearing at them, making claims about how they were getting in the way of my marathon training (which incidentally I blamed for getting in the way of my kettlebell training). I went into even more denial on Saturday knowing that I had to be under 60kg for the competition (your weight determines how many repetitions you have to do to get graded), and proceeded to carb up...hello!!!

Anyway, low and behold, Sunday morning comes and I step on the scales at 59.6kg...phew, my body must have not registered those carbs challenge down...just gotta swing some bells!! Anyway, so I was first up for the jerk set, with 4 other girls. With the snatch being my nemesis, I failed to train in jerks at all...bad planning!! With a little support from the crowd I managed to exceed the 55 jerks on each arm which I was required to do to reach rank. Despite pacing myself and trying to conserve my energy for the snatches, when I overheard the judge of one of the other girls counting more reps than yours truly, I squeezed another few out...Competitive?...Me?...No...

An hour later I was ready for snatches...(ready might be too strong a word). In training I was barely able to go beyond 2 minutes on each arm so I really was relying on hope and a prayer for this set. To make rank, like the jerks, I would have to do 55 snatches on each arm. Having completed 40 on my right arm (having never done so before) I was determined to squeeze another 15 out, but alas I had nothing left at 48 and had to switch arms. Having just missed the prospect of rank, I was pretty angry moving onto my left arm. I was going to get 55 snatches on my left arm if it killed me!! (a bit of a cheek really, since I had actually surprised myself with the fact that I managed so many on my right arm!) As I ploughed through on my stronger arm, I let out a few exertion groans at about 30 reps, and thought, oh crap, I hope I don't moan my way through to the end, especially since all of the other girls were silently lifting. Thankfully my yelps only lasted a few reps, possibly because I was gritting my teeth to get through the rest. I finished up having competed 60 reps on my left arm, a personal best!!!!!

I really enjoyed yesterday and was thrilled with my performance. Kettlebells are tough to compete with, you have good days and you have ridiculously bad days. Having warned BJ yesterday morning, pre-competition, that I was never going to compete with bells again, I've already been pondering spending some time in Slovenia to get some coaching!! Ridiculous!! Sadly that's my nature, a glutton for punishment a.k.a stupid!!

Anyway, it was nice to surprise myself with a good result, whilst I didn't make rank, or at least the rank I wanted, I did achieve a personal best. It was worth the drama! Right then, now to the marathon, eek, 5 weeks and counting!!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Thoughtful Tuesday - 28

Hello all once again. Right so another Tuesday and another update from me. I must apologies though as I haven't got round to taking my actual size measurements but my weight this morning was 86.4kg. So a drop of 0.2kg which isn't really what I was hoping for. I was looking to be around 86kg so things have slowed down this week a bit so I have dropped my calories down a tad for this week in order to kick start things off again. Now the majority of the calorie drop will be from carbohydrates. My protein intake is pretty much the same as my body weight hasn't dropped all that much so there is a reduction in protein but not a great deal. So with the extra drop in carbohydrate intake my body should be releasing even less insulin so my body should become even more insulin sensitive which I really do need. Seeing as I do have a family history of diabetes I need to make myself as insulin sensitive as I can as Type II diabetes is basically insulin resistance.

Okay so why the slower loss in weight this week. Well it could be down to a few reasons. First and foremost I wasn't the strictest person this weekend. I wanted to have a quiet weekend and that didn't end up happening! Secondly it is entirely possible that I have put on some muscle, this is pretty hard to judge without my other measurements but seeing as when I was at the gym yesterday I managed to rip my shorts in the bottom of a deep squat, my legs are definitely looking bigger. Thirdly it could quite simply be that the calories I was getting in is more around my maintenance level than they should have been, hence the drop in calories for this week.

I would be better informed if I had done my other measurements, which I'm sure you can appreciate are more important than my weight measurement. So I really need to get them done at some point this week to check up on things. On to this week, things are going to be a little tough, I have got a wedding up in Scotland at the weekend which is quickly turning in to a three day affair so not only is there going to be a less than strict diet, the gym activities will be slightly harder to perform. Might have to go for a run on the highlands! Anyway what I am trying to say is that I would be surprised to see a change this week. So this week is a damage limitation week really, back to full flow next week


Monday, 15 March 2010

Joslyn's Blog Spot - A small disagreement with most runners

Hi All,

I'm doing the marathon this year because some tiny little cell in my brain is telling me "why not?" Last year, I promise! Anyway, whether I'm doing it or not doesn't matter, it's how I have planned to prepare for it that I want to talk about.

So most runners or indeed running magazines would tell you to max out at 20-22 miles in and around 3 weeks before the big day. This is on top of usually running about 5 days a week. That's a lot people! Now running 20-22 miles pre-race is great if you run it fast and it takes you just over or under 2 hours, but NOT if it takes you 2.5 hours plus. Your body can only take so much training, and pounding your pins on the ground, day in day out, means that you are working them too hard!

So why do people suggest you run 20-22 miles before the race? It's actually not to make sure you can physically do it, but more so that mentally you know you can do it, before the big day. Don't get me wrong, I know people that have run marathons before but still want to do the 20. In my mind, I've done one before, so essentially, I know I can complete the distance. I also know that the 17 mile and the 20 mile preparation races I did before the marathon were hell and there were tears. For the former I just wasn't in the right frame of mind on the day and the latter consisted of a hideous fell running course in a blizzard...not fun!

Anyway, back to this 20 mile thing. I've always thought that if focused more on speed and power with hill sprints and interval/track sessions and a little less on distance, no more than about 16 miles, then you would be pretty fresh for the day! This was confirmed by the running coach of one of my clients who took up running when he was 30 and got a marathon PB of 2:18 when he was 41!!!! (I'm not aiming for that time just quietly) But the point is, he never did a long run beyond 2 hours. His running club mates were faster than him in training but they did run long distances, resulting in him beating them in races.

So I might be completely kidding myself by running no longer than 2 hours in training, I guess we shall see on the day. But my marathon training currently consists of one session of hill sprints, one track session and a long run. I'm lifting weights too, but the actual running consists of 3 sessions. So we'll see how I get on. I may well have to eat my words...let's hope not!!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Side effects of our lifestyle choices.

Are you thinking what I am thinking?

No ... not about food this time! A bit more about two little pyramid shaped fellas that live on top of our kidneys. Only about 3 inches wide and half an inch high but so, so important, playing a crucial role in our lives. Adrenal glands on the agenda this week.

What are they?

They're small, triangular-shaped endocrine glands responsible for secretion of various important substances, mostly hormones. The are made up of two sections, adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla.

Cortex produces steroid hormones:

-glucocorticoids like cortisol (responsible for regulating glucose metabolism and also protein and fat metabolism)

- mineral corticoids like aldosterone (responsible for salt and water balance in the body) and

- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) which is the base for estrogen and testosterone production

Medulla produces adrenaline and noradrenalin - responsible for the 'fight or flight' response, brain's reaction to external stressors. When our brain detect a stressful situation it sends another hormone called ACTH to the adrenal glands to stimulate adrenalin secretion, followed by cortisol and DHEA. This increases alertness, heart rate and prepares the body for action.

Modern lifestyles through constant stress and exertion tend to contribute to severe adrenal glands overuse therefore leading to a condition named ADRENAL FATIGUE. There are 3 stages of adrenal fatigue:

Stage 1 - when the adrenal glands over release adrenaline and cortisol whenever they receive signal from the brain. Almost everyone will enter this stage at some point in their lives during prolonged periods of stress. This usually shows as increased tiredness at the end of the day, being easily irritated and shaken by external stressors. Providing that stressors are removed, the adrenal function will return to normal.

Stage 2 - over secretion of stress hormones, especially cortisol is typical for this stage, stress is a permanent state in this stage. Typical symptoms are being forgetful, overly tense and tired, unmotivated. Immune systems starts to suffer and we are highly likely to suffer from colds and slower healing process. Blood pressure and body fat also increase. A total removal of stressors plus correct nutrition must be maintained to return optimal adrenal function.

Stage 3 - could take weeks, months or even years and is inevitable if the previous stressors are not removed in time to restore adrenal function. This stage is characterised by sharp and drastic fall in secretion of adrenal hormones due to constant, prolonged overuse. At this point dark circles appear around the eyes, constant fatigue is also present. Blood pressure lowers, allergies are more likely. Salt cravings are very common due to mineral imbalances in the body. The body is trying to compensate for not enough hormones release during the day by continuing secretion late at night therefore leading to sleeping problems and insomnia.

Whichever stage we find ourselves in, it is possible to fully restore a healthy adrenal function. First essential step would be to reduce stressors and increase rest and let the damaged tissues heal and recover properly. Proper nutrition and appropriate exercise choices are also crucial.

Now take a step back and ask yourself:

Am I ...

- excessively fatigued and exhausted
- wake up even more tired that I was going to sleep
- feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with external stressors
- feeling rundown
- craving salty and sugary foods
- not able to train as before and find it harder to recover after exercise
- finding it difficult to concentrate and suffer from 'brain fog'
- suffering with poor digestion
- feeling cold all the time
- suffering from unusual allergies

If you answered yes to some of the above questions and are worried that you may be entering the nasty world of adrenal fatigue do some research, speak to your trainer and ask for advice and above all SLOW DOWN!!! It really is not worth it ...

Till next time!

Marta :)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

You only get out what you put in!

You only get out what you put in!

This holds true to a lot in life, but is particularly profound concerning your body, it's health and well being. If you are constantly burning the 'candle at both ends' well the next cold or flu strain will be knocking at your door, similarly if you train half-heartedly, or eat well only occasionally you just won't get the results you're looking for.

Knowing how much or how little to do can be a balancing act. If you do too much you can overtax and over-stress your system, and this may not be in one particular area, it can be work, play, exercise, home stress, collectively all these different stressors can and will make something give. Conversely as mentioned above if you do too little you just won't see the results you're looking for.

The key is knowing that there is an inverse relationship between volume and intensity. Volume is the amount of an activity which can be measured by time, weight and repetition. Intensity is the exertion at a higher percentage of the activity. Basically the lower the intensity the higher the volume and therefore the higher the intensity the lower the volume. The aim for most people should be the latter, "get in, get out!" and "keep it short but simple" are ways to think about keeping the intensity high and the volume low.

Most of our clients at One PT train with us between 1 and 2 times per week. Their workouts comprise of movement and joint preparation, postural work, structural work, energy system conditioning and then range of movement work. All of it is necessary and all of it is good for you! However some of the components aren't ball busting and can be quite remedial. The components that require you to make and effort are the structural and energy system components. This is where you'll be lifting and shifting weight, this is the time to work up a sweat and leave nothing behind.

It's to time to put in so you get back!!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Thoughtful Tuesday - 27

Hey all so I'm in to the start of my second week of the carb cycling and so far so good I am pleased to report. So far this week I have managed to lose 1.5lbs, which probably doesn't sound a lot but it is just perfect for what I want. Losing around 1lb a week would be great as then I'm pretty sure it will all be coming from my fat stores. If I had more to lose in the first place I would hope for slightly larger losses week on week but I don't so this is perfect. So last Tuesday I was 87.3kg and I am down to 86.6kg. If by next Tuesday I could be around 86kg then I would be very happy indeed. I took my measurements on Thursday so I will take them again this Thursday and give you the results next week. I'm hoping for some good results!

So the actual diet, how is it going? Surprisingly enough not too bad at the moment. The main thing I'm struggling with is to make sure I get everything in. I'm making it so far but it's still a little tough. Need to get more organised me thinks. Things should be better this week though. As for my workouts, this time I have changed things round a little bit to incorporate two more circuit based sessions. These are still weight based but designed more to ramp my heart rate up and have very little rest. I really don't like them! I mean I think I would almost prefer to grab a spoon and dig a hole in my leg than do them, but I know they will do me good so I'll keep up with them! With that I'm still keeping in 3-4 more strength orientated days to make sure I keep hold of my muscle, I want as little wasted as possible. So I'm still lifting heavy and regularly for the majority of my sessions.

So first week done and things are going well, they will get harder as the diet gets tougher but at the moment I'm happy. I might not be so next week!


Monday, 8 March 2010

Joslyn's Blog Spot - Peanut Butter and Chocolate Power Balls!!

Lots of clients ask for suggestions on healthy snacks to eat on the go! And courtesy of a client who has a six-pack and two young boys (just in case anyone had any excuses stored up), I've managed to get hold of a handy little recipe book from Solgar Vitamins. It's called 'Whey of Life' and has tons of great recipes including, breakfast, smoothies, savoury dishes, savoury dishes, and sweet treats, all made with protein, and free from bad fats, sugar, and lots of other nasties. (It does recommend soya as an alternative to milk, but they can't be perfect)

Anyway, I thought I'd share one of the fab recipes with you, the perfect snack...are you ready!!

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Power Balls:

2 tbsp organic, salt-free Crunchy Peanut Butter
1 tbsp runny organic honey
3 scoops of plain or chocolate flavour protein powder
1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds
1tbsp of Solgar Omega Advanced Blend (or any oil with the ratio 2:1:1 - omega 3:6:9 respectively)
1 tbsp organic cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp chopped nuts
apple juice or rice milk, 1-2 tbsp if needed to bind the mixture

Combine all of the ingredients, excepting the apple juice and chopped nuts in a bowl. Work together with your hands to form a firm paste similar to the consistency of marzipan. Add a few drops of the apple juice or rice milk if necessary to bind. Form into 8 round balls the size of a walnut. Roll the balls in the chopped up nuts, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. DE-LIC-IOUS!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

14 Week Transformation

Hello to all, the sun is out and I'm currently finishing my 3rd week at 'One' and I'm ashamed to say I haven't trained since the 15th Feb!..
From Monday I will have exactly 14 weeks till my brothers wedding in Italy and there you have it - My motivation.
I will be training 5 days a week with 2-rest days In-between. My goals are varied between Sports Conditioning (back onto cricket again) and looking to put on some lean muscle mass.

My current weaknesses are my legs from numerous injuries and Arthroscopies so I will be looking to incorporate legs into at least 2 days of training including 1 strength day.

For added motivation I will be adding a Blog with my progression throughout these 14 weeks to keep you all updated with my progression including my measurements and skin folds changes.

My weeks training will look like the following:

Monday - Legs & Back (6-8 Reps)
Tuesday - Chest (6-8 Reps)
Wednesday - Legs Conditioning (12-15 Reps and Dynamic Stretching)
Thursday - Shoulders and Arms (6-8 Reps)
Friday - "The 300 Workout" which consists of the following.
- 25 pull-ups
- 50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
- 50 push-ups
- 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
- 50 "floor wipers" (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
- 50 "clean and press" at 36 pounds (a weight-lifting exercise)
- 25 more pull ups for a total of 300 reps

The idea behind the 300 Circuit is to complete the 7 exercises at your quickest time possible whilst maintaining good form. Throughout the 14 weeks I will be able to perform each exercise more efficiently with less rest times, and there you have it - Progression!

Wish me luck!


Thursday, 4 March 2010

InTake vitamins - eat food!!!

I was on my way to work, people watching and listening to music and read the title over someone's shoulder ... I know, I know I should not be reading over the shoulder, not very nice is it?

"Stored vitamins go off in a week" the Metro says, talking about how all the supplements can turn into candy if stored in bathroom or kitchen cupboards. Researchers say how the moisture gets into the vitamin and supplement bottles and destroys them.

Before we think about that, it may be worth having a closer look at what vitamins are and how they work and whether supplements actually do what it says on the tin in the first place.

In the late 19th century a German scientist Justus von Liebig thinking he cracked the mystery of human nutrition, discovered macronutrients existed (protein, carbohydrate and fats) and also created a meat extract in a form of bouillon and the first baby formula based on cow's milk, wheat flour, malted flour and potassium bicarbonate - both of which were meant to be meal replacements or substitutes. According to Liebig probably even a better option to real, natural food. Soon after doctors started noticing that babies fed solely on that formula were not developing as well as those fed proper food, which therefore led to a conclusion that there was something missing in Liebig's formula. As a result in 1912 the vitamins were discovered. They were the first set of micronutrients to be discovered by the Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk (what a man!). The name comes from 'vita' for life and 'amines' for organic compounds organised around nitrogen.

Vitamins were firstly separated from foods and then synthesised artificially in laboratories. Soon they became the magic molecules able to cure diseases, promoting growth in children and long life in adults. The research has even gone as far as claiming that vitamin C in citrus fruits and beta carotene in some vegetables prevent cancer. The research was based on people eating fruit and veg. Scientists knew that there is vitamin C and beta carotenes in those decided that it must be them actually preventing cancer. But knowing that citrus fruits are not purely made of vitamin C molecules and veg are not purely beta carotenes, there comes a question of whether it is vitamin C or beta carotene on its own or a combination of different chemicals that deserve all those claims?

Scientists insist on testing nutrients rather than foods. Fair enough it will be hard to test a fruit or a veg, however that's what we - human beings eat. We do not eat nutrients ... unless we take supplements - artificially made synthetic equivalents of what we find in fruit and vegetables. Which have also been proved to have little effect. Okay they may support, but they will not replace healthy, balanced diet! An important thing to realise and remember that there are hundreds of other chemicals and compounds in each fruit or vegetable rather than just carbohydrate or a specific vitamin. They all interact and work together to have a specific effect on human body. For example Michael Pollan in his 'In Defence of Food' (which I quoted a few times before) gives an example of garden thyme, which has at least 35 different chemicals in it. So imagine ingesting all that every time you eat foods flavoured with thyme. Supplements never come in the same composition of actual fruit and vegetables. Therefore cutting long story short, make sure you eat a good variety of foods (not nutrients!!) and you will be good to go!

On another note, there are also fortified foods like spreads and margarines with added vitamin D for example. The fact that most of population lacks in vitamin D, made scientists add its synthetically created substitute to loads of foods. To start with, stuff like margarine is no good for us as it's man made not natural and our bodies do not really recognise its structure. Secondly how do we know whether we solely need vitamin D for proper bone growth and repair or whether it is vitamin D combined with other chemicals. We do not ... And here we come back to Liebig's formula and macronutrients, then Funk's vitamins which were thought to have solved nutritional mysteries. Now we have antioxidants, carotenes, flavonoids and all sorts of other chemicals which are not fully known yet. And whether we will ever actually know how all the chemical reactions and correlations work for us I am not sure! We may be discovering them step by step but the main thing is to make sure we take in enough goodness through real tasty food and then worry about supplementing as and when needed!

Happy Friday and till next time :)


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

My Ideal Training Week...

For the first time in years I'm happy with my training and the progress I'm making with it. I've finally found the consistency and time to be able to do what I want and more importantly what I need to do to progress towards achieving my goals.

I have a Kettlebell Sport Competition in just under 3 weeks, so I currently need to specialise for that. But as soon as that's finished I've worked out my perfect training template. I've chosen activities that I believe will compliment and balance each other well. The plan is to be able to move as well and as efficiently and athletically as I can.

All the activities that I've chosen are things that I've already been participating in this year. My training week will look like this:
i)Weightlifting session including Snatches and Clean & Jerks
ii) Parkour (Free Running) session
Weightlifting with some Kettlebell Sport Lifting;
i)Metabolic conditioning
ii)Trojans Kettlebell Session
- Weightlifting
Metabolic Conditioning

The aim as alluded to above is to be as athletic and all round fit as possible. Now 'Fitness' is very specific, marathon runners are fit for running marathons, weightlifters are fit for lifting weights, sprinters for sprinting, however most of these athletes are so specifically fit that they can't do many other things outside of the their discpiline. I want to be at a certain level of conditioning whereby I should be able to do anything at short notice.

A decent test of fitness (conditioning is a more appropriate term) that I've come across is a 3 part test. The three parts are the dead lift, the pull up and the 5minute snatch test.
The dead lift tests maximal strength
The pull up tests relative test
The snatch test tests strength endurance.

I have a Kettlebell Sport Comp in a couple of weeks. As soon as that is done with, the plan is to test the above 3 and then commence my ideal training week. From her eI should be able to with a few weeks of specialisation compete in anything whether it be Olympic Weightlifting, Kettlebell Sport or saving the world!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Thoughtful Tuesday - 26

Okay so having got rid of whatever was affecting my kidneys and have now finished my 2 month bulking (which lasted 4) it is now probably time to concentrate on my food and start to shed a couple more pounds.

So with that goal in mind I am going back on my carb cycling. Now I should probably say that I almost naturally carb cycle anyway but with not much accuracy in what I'm getting in so basically I'm going to be stricter in what I'm eating. Oh joy!

So this is going to work by having a high, medium, low and very low days during my week, probably on an 8 day rotation so no week is the same. Also I will only have 1 high carb day every 8 days in order to really restore my glycogen levels. Plus on that high day I'll only be getting in protein and carbs, I will keep the fat to a minimum. So this can also be seen as a bit of a "cheat" day, now I won't go crazy, probably one or two meals on that day will be more indulgence type foods :-)

I think this style of eating is a generally good way to go, this is because it's not quite as tough as a proper low carb diet plus you are constantly getting in differing amounts of calories and different types of calories too. Your body should never be 100% comfortable with the amount of food it's getting in because it is constantly fluctuating. The only norm will be the amount of protein and the rough timings of the meals. Now the meals, the majority of my carbs are going to be consumed in and around my training, from more starchy sources, most of the others will be from fruit. I'll also be getting plenty of green vegetables but they won't count towards anything so I can eat as much of that as I like. This really comes in handy when the calories start to drop! So typically there will be 3 protein and carb based meals, the other 3 meals will be protein and fat based meals. When I say fat I mainly mean oils, like olive, fish and coconut oils, plus nuts and fish in general.

That's about it, I weighed myself this morning and I was 87.3kg. I haven't taken my measurements yet but I will and will have to keep an eye on everything and change things accordingly.

Wish me luck!


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