Category Archives: Fitness

What’s Your Calling?

If you’re wanting to get into a specific sport/activity then you are faced with a huge list of choices & it can be hard to narrow it down to one single thing

I wanted to write this post today for you to have a little insight into how I recommend you go about this selection process & when you have decided, what to do from there.

First things first I believe you should experience as much as you possibly can before you make a final choice

When you experience many different types of exercise/sports that all involve different rules & regulations you can have a good understanding of what general direction you want to move toward

Just take boxing for example – you might hate the whole idea of competing by yourself & what that involves. So that’s one thing you have experienced & learned – a team sport may be more appropriate for you right now

So if you can start & use the experiences you have to narrow down what you want & don’t want then this can make the whole process fly by in maybe a month or two

Could you imagine how long it would take to try every single type of sport/activity? Too long – that’s how long

So once you have a general idea of which particular area you want to go into start narrowing it down a little more specifically

This can be done by personal preference but also any experience you have, what your body is like & what fits in with your life

If you have experience with any type of serious sport/exercise then you will have probably developed specific physical & mental characteristics associated with it. It would be easier to get back into that in the beginning so that’s something to think about

Next is your preference, say you have had experience with something in the past then that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn new skills & develop new characteristics, if you’re hungry to get good at a new skill/sport then that will be very good for your development

So what is your body like?
If you’re a 250lb 6’4 monster then I wouldn’t recommend you to start off as a marathon runner. If you’ve had 10 years of serious Powerlifting coaching then becoming a professional gymnast is going to be a good idea (helpful though).

Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to push yourself & try new things.
But with the type of body you have then you have to think about the likelihood of being successful. Think about this ‘Am I starting off at a disadvantage before I even start’?

Remember, not many people like doing anything that they’re not good at!

If you can get into something that you have an inclination to do well at, you will enjoy it as you see progression.

Let’s say you have a 400lb bench & you’re 200lbs then a powerlifting route may be a good shout

If that’s a little slow paced for you, have a look into American Football/Rugby

Also I want you to think about will it support you & your lifestyle & long term goals

If you want a muscular physique & to be healthy until an old age & you’re getting on in the age department then some type of bodybuilding/strength training program will be ideal yes but what about when boredom sets in (if it ever does)?

You could try something like competitive swimming, 400M sprinting & high intensity training maybe – low injury risk, explosive movements promotes lean muscle development & flexibility is a high priority

Even if you’re not interested in competing at a high level then just have a think about something you could do to have a social aspect, getting around like minded people can be a great way of simply just having fun!

Just to give you an example of all this I had a choice to make a few weeks ago..

I used to play rugby in school10633779_693466640747222_3347132165910652897_o

I’ve since gotten into Strength & Conditioning coaching

Tried MMA, Strongman & oddly enough dabbled in long distance running

I had free time in the afternoons & wanted more of a social aspect to my training so I went back to rugby but I wanted a change so I play in a different position & have pushed myself & gone for quite a good team with lots of room to progress

I have everything I want!

Social aspects, Coaches for me, Set times to train at, Games – to push me to train harder than I normally would

Plus I get a good balance of strength & conditioning!!

So what are you going to try?

When are you going to start looking around?

Enjoy the process & learn new stuff

 

Speak Soon

 

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Feel Tired All The Time?

Energy – it’s what powers you, me & the universe.

It’s never ending & yet a lot of us struggle to scrape enough of it together to get out of bed in a morning without feeling lousy all day & needing to reach for a coffee or a sugary energy drink.

Lets get back to basics here – carbs are out main source of energy.

The more we eat, the more energy we have.

Simple.

Sugar however is a toxic substance that rots your body & gives you a whole heap of nasty problems that you really don’t need to be dealing with while trying to build a strong body or gain athletic performance

 

So, just to be clear carbs = energy

However what type of carbohydrates you’re eating will have an impact on your energy levels

Trust me, sugary cereals, white bread & pasta will not cut it!

If you’re serious about working out hard to get real results then your nutrition has to be on point too!

You should be eating lots of fruit, vegetables, beans & rice – that stuff will keep you full & give you the energy you need to fight through your workout

 

You also need to consider how hydrated you are

No water in the system that is made up of 70% water? You’re asking for a really awful time there!

 

Then there’s the amount of sleep you’re getting…

4-5 hours a night?

Say hello to lack of concentration & feeling lousy

 

What are you focused on throughout the day?

If you’re quite a relaxed, enthusiastic, motivated person then you will probably be focused on the positives of life & thus miraculously have ore energy throughout the day

If you’re a grumpy, mardy, angry type person then a lot of your energy that you have for the day will be taken up your your stresses of the day 7 your negative thoughts circulating your head

 

Lastly I want to cover exercise…

Try exercising first thing in the morning if you can.

You see when you exercise in the morning not only does it turn on your metabolism on, you also have hormones released into your body which actually make you feel better.

Think of it like your natural way of becoming fitter, healthier & happier… & it can even be free if you want – just go for a brisk walk or a jog 😀

 

Or… you could jump off a crane … that $h1T will wake you up!

(Yes it’s me) 😀

 

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Yes, it was as insane as it looks & if you haven’t tried it, please do!

So go & make yourself into the nuclear power plant that I know you can be!

A few changes here & there done for a month, will end up giving you a huge change as you form it into a habit

 

Speak soon

 

 

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I’m Getting Back Into Rugby!

So what’s new this week?

Well last night I went to play rugby for the first time in around 4 years!

Why is that relevant? Well I want to talk about something abut my instructor used to talk about way back int (Yorkshire for in the) day.

He used to say “go back to being a white belt”

Now the main reason he said this was to get the instructors underneath him to put themselves in a position where they understand what its like to start something new.

To go to being a beiginner & not know how to do everything because they’ve done it a thousand million times with their eyes closed – going back to a white belt

So yeah – last night I want up to a local Rugby team & to be honest I was crapping myself.

I mean I haven’t played since 2011 I think & then it was for my schools team.

Now in comparison to the school league I wasn’t THAT bad to be honest – I even got an award.

Look…

Rugby

But the level of players I saw last night both scared me & made me excited.

I can’t wait to play my first game with them, train with them – get around people who are hungry for progress in the weight room & build their performance.

Having more coaches to help me evolve & who can help me learn even more!

Plus on top of that it will be a great challenge to move away from barbells, chalk & walls for a while during the week.

It will be more, rain, cold being flattened by 20 stone monsters – ‘character building’ I think its called…

But in terms of complete fitness I do think it’s important to a sport/activity of some sort that you can

  1. Have something to push you a little further in your training
  2. Be around like minded people who will push you in all areas of your life
  3. Force you to train you weaknesses
  4. Have coaches to help guide you

So why am I getting back into rugby after all this time?

Well I’m good at strength, power, bodybuilding & throwing people around

However having quick feet, being agile & speed is my down fall & a sure way to increase that is to have a team of people relying on you to improve.

You see when there’s more than you involved there’s another reason to push through the pain in pursuit of the goal in mind – that sounded sweet!

Plus a monster screaming at you & wanting to crush you into the floor in order to get his hands on the ball will be a good little motivating thought 😀

So in all seriousness why don’t you try taking up something new?

Whether it be to become a white belt in order for you to find it easier to help others,

Push yourself out of your comfort zone & be forced to work on your weaknesses

Or just for a change in scenery – something to get you outside or around new people!

It could truly be anything too, I’m going to start doing ballet lessons early next year to work on my flexibility & leg strength.

Yes – there will be pictures – don’t worry 😉

But the most important thing is to have fun with it & experience new things!

Speak Soon

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Never Been To A Gym Before?

So over the next few weeks you may want to start and look for a gym to train at.

Now this can be a very daunting and intimidating idea for you. If so – I want to calm your nerves a little bit :)

If you’ve never been to a place of fitness before I imagine it would be very easy to form an idea of what to expect based on what you’ve seen on TV, Films, social media, heard people talk about or general advertisement from gyms themselves.

Well the first thing that I want to say is that there as many different types of “gyms” as their are types of people who train.

What I mean is if you want to go to a relaxed gym with chilled people and chart music then I’m sure there will be one near by.

Also, if you want to go to a Powerlifting gym where people scream, lift gargantuan amounts of weight and listen to very VERY heavy metal, again you’ll be happy to know that there will be one around the corner (or a short drive away).

powerlifter

One thing you can be pretty damn sure of is that there will be a CrossFit ‘box’ (just a different word for gym – it’s not actually a box) where you can go and push yourself to an insane level of conditioning with a good variety of strength training in there too – the coaching is the best part of it for me (IF the coach is up to scratch)

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But whatever ‘type’ of gym yo decide (or just happen to fall into) go to then remember a few key things;

  • The membership cost might not directly correlate to what you get
  • A coach is worth a lot (IF they know what they’re on about)
  • What equipment do they have? Does it fit your needs and goals?
  • Some gyms will push you into a membership for 12-24 months – please be careful with this one – you don’t want things to turn nasty

 

 

So what should you actually look for in a gym?

Well what do you want to get out of it?

Pure strength?
Olympic Weightlifting skills?
Increased mobility?
A better physique?
Community/social aspects?

If you want a lot of thing then  suppose you either need to be willing to pay for a decent sided membership, travel or look around before you buy.

For me I get talking to people at my local 24 hour franchise gym. It has lots of good equipment, it’s open all the time (literally) and, for the most part – no wan**rs :) Bravo!!

So realize that everyone that goes to the gym will mainly be going for the exact same reason as you – to change how they look, feel & perform.

You might be pleasantly surprised to know that 99% of gyms aren’t like Globo-Gym fro Dodge-ball!

 

And if all else fails and you REALLY can’t hack being in a public place while being sweaty and gasping for air, try going when its quieter, at night, go with a friend or exercise at home :)

 

I personally love a gym – it’s an escape from everything else and being there just seems to make time fly by – plus you look great naked if you know what you’re doing 😉

 

Hope this helps Guys & Gals

 

Speak Soon

 

 

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Shaking It Up

Recently I’ve been working serious overtime.

I haven’t been hitting my training as often and consistently as I would have liked to and as a result of this I felt slow, weak and tired. Normally I train three times per week with a Chest, Shoulders & Triceps on day 1 (Mon/Tue). Back & Biceps Day 2 (Wed/Thur) & Legs on day 3 (Fri/Sat).

Looking back and reflecting on why I think my training dedication started to lag was the fact that I hadn’t changed what I was doing in about 3/4 months.

I had no variety, nothing to look forward to doing, I stopped chasing numbers and Setting goals.

I let myself get bored with my training to be honest and it resulted in me really not feeling hungry enough to get myself to the gym when I knew I should.

I haven’t trained properly in about 3 weeks now and this past week I’ve been trying a new way of doing things!

For the best part of this year I’ve stuck to this Bodybuilding style routine and I’ve seen some really good strength/muscle gains. Over the past 3 weeks however I’ve struggled to find the energy to train my body parts as a split routine. So I’ve switched to more of a power/athletic full body routine.

The Result?

I feel ALIVE again!!

My energy has come back and I’m hungry to train my ass off and get my numbers up.

I’m following a basic power based plan (lots of cleans, box jumps, sprints, squats) Then following up with some strength work (Deadlifts, presses, rows) then accessioning like a bodybuilder to keep imbalances away and muscle shape as well.

So what I want to tell you is its not only important to vary how you train (different sets/rep combinations) to stimulate your muscles in different ways to continue with progress. But also for your own sanity, enjoyment and experiences you should (in my opinion) change what you do too. Try doing an olympic weight cycle, try using Strongman equipment, incorporate different training methods into your routine and see what works and what doesn’t.

My bet that introducing something completely different into your training will force your body to adapt to it after a few weeks and the results from this (my guess) would be that your performance will improve in what you originally were doing.

Plus I find that training more of a full body routine every now and then really helps with the ball ache of having super bad muscle soreness for a few days that restricts your movement and more important, your sitting down abilities after leg day!!

So have a go at something new! (Like Atlas Stones :D)

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Don’t be afraid to learn something new and step out of your comfort zone! It might actually help you with your main sport/activity.

Speak Soon

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Alpha Male Motivation

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine (here we are a few weeks back at my sisters wedding)

 

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asked me to take part in a small documentary based around male body image.

After him and his team coughed out this magical little piece I couldn’t help but think that it made me want to go and train!

I hope it has the same effects for all of you, some of it isn’t pretty but then again, hard work, sweat and chalk very rarely is!

 

 

I hope it made some shifts in your state and you feel empowered to go train your ass off!

 

 

Speak Soon

 

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Stubborn Fools

Whether you are a Powerlifter, Weightlifter, Strongman, Bodybuilder or Marathon runner we all have our versions of being active. That’s not to say that you are right or wrong and it’s also not to say that anyone else who has a different opinion to you as to what fit is to them, is right or wrong.

Some thing being able to put the most amount of weight on a Barbell is being the most important thing in our training, while others choose a Log. Some choose to swing on bars while others swim in lakes. It really comes down to your own personal preference and I love that. Everybody doing their own thing and getting good at it. But some people tend to see their love as the only love they will ever have.

There’s nothing wrong with doing what you’re good at and even better if you enjoy it and are a part of a community. However I think that we can all agree on one thing. That in any sport, no matter what, you will find someone who thinks that their sport/activity of choice is the best and only way it should be done.

Well you my friend are the person who most likely has either tried something once, you were quite bad at it then never returned, or even worse never tried anything else.

The sad thing is that people who sit in their own little bubble of comfort will yes probably get quite good at their chosen sport/activity but I can GUARANTEE you will see PB’s if your broaden your horizon. Whether that be in the training activities you do, nutritional habits or your approach to rest/recovery.

You see, what I’m getting at here is the people who are getting in their own way of success and are either too proud or ignorant to say “Yeah, there are somethings that I don’t know and I want to learn to improve myself”. I mean why would you do that!!

Now if you’re reading this and you are someone who does experiment with different training approaches, dabble with nutritional experimentation and change how you rest/train to see what happens then I congratulate you my friend as your are the person that makes progress and if you don’t? You try something else or have the determination to try again but a little harder, ask for advise and LISTEN!

So well done you! :)

If you are someone who doesn’t do that however, then Maybe take a look at the people who are progressing faster than yourself? The only thing that can happen is you learn something and yeah, it might not work for you this time around but who knows. In 5, 10, 20 years time you could really do with that knowledge. You could also earn something that you could pass on to them after trying it out for yourself, again further improving yourself and others around you.

So if there’s one take home message from all of that it would be this…

Try new things, ask questions and don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Both for progression of your chosen activity/sport but more importantly to experience new things and to have fun along the way.

Ask questions from experienced people and get excited about the fact that you can progress in massive leaps, simply by applying a little new found knowledge into your journey.

 

Speak Soon

 

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