Saturday, 9 April 2011

Some of my basic training principles

Today I decided to share a few of my basic training priciples. Over the last few years I have work alongside some really good strength and conditioning coaches (Brendan Chaplin is one of them!), which has defientely help me open my eyes and realise that some of the training you see in the "standard" health club or fitness centre is a completely waste of time. I will now list up what I consider to be good training/diet principles and give you a simple reason why I think that. Here we go:

1. Add in interval training as part of your cardiovascular training (CV)
• Because you will burn a lot more calories than if you go for a steady pace

• You will improve your fitness and constantly challenge your system

• It doesn’t have to last for hours – in fact a 20 minutes interval session can be more than enough to see improvement!

• It is more interesting than strolling along for hours

• An example of a good intervall session the Tabata interval - check it out on a previous blog post
2. Always make sure you can do quite a few reps with body weight exercises, before you start adding on resistance 

• No point in doing a poor bench press at 80 kg, if you can’t do press ups with good technique first!
• There are so many good exercises that you can do with your body weight, and in most cases they are functional and will make you use several big muscle groups and joint at the same time

Press ups are great!!
3. Choose multi joint exercises prior to single joint exercises (this is linked with my 2nd point)

• With this I mean to do exercises that uses several muscles and joint at the same time, rather than just isolating in a single curl exercise

• Focus on what type of exercises it is, rather than a separate muscle

• You can of course choose single joint as an assistant exercise, but overall I prefer to choose “bigger” exercise

Andy demonstating the deadlift
4. Choose free weight exercises before resistance machines if you know what you are doing!
• The amount of exercise you can do with dumbbells and barbells is endless!

• Free weight challenges your balance a lot more which is great!

• Free weights is more functional and you will see better results

• Always make sure you get help and advice from someone who is qualified in the field

The front squat is another good exercise!

5. Don’t forget to train your core!

• You may not realise, but if you do exercises like dead lifts and squats you are constantly working your core!

• Forget about the standard abdominal curl exercise – start of with static hold plank exercises – there are loads of progressions to these exercises, but start of with the basics

• A strong core will help you prevent lower back injuries and it is good for your posture

• Core exercises are not just for girls!! I have come across strong, and I mean very strong men who can’t hold their body up in a plank position for 5 seconds!! Core is for everyone- however if you do suffer from hypotension (high blood pressure) make sure you consult your doctor first as a static exercise will increase your blood pressure

"Straight arm arm situp" is tough, but very good - no painful abcurl here!

6. Variation is key for motivation and effort

• I know it is easy to get stuck into the same routine week in and week out, but try to vary your exercises and always look for progressions if you feel like you are stuck and are not getting anywhere (ask for help)

7. Always look for solutions rather than limitations

• Don’t let an injury affect you and get you down, find other ways to train than what you normally do until you are better

8. Be aware that muscles weigh more than fat if you are wanting to loose weight

• Look at how your clothes fit, rather than weighing yourself day in and day out (unless you do a sport where you need to be a certain weight class– MMA)

9. Always eat breakfast

• Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it will stop you from snacking early morning

• Breakfast kick starts your body after a night sleep so it is important to get your body started early
• Food with high fiber content will make you feel fuller for longer, for example porridge
10. Women should always do resistance training alongside CV if wanting to “tone up and loose weight”

• Please understand that the stronger you are the more calories you will burn whilst resting!

Last but not least….
11. Look at training as something you do to be healthy and make sure you enjoy it!

• Training can be tough at times, but think about how great you feel after!

Good luck everyone:)

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Mr. Lenny Henry

Hi everyone

The last few have been quite busy, which is why I have not updated the blog recently. However I thought it was about time to give you a little update now. A couple of weeks ago I got a request from The Society of Sports Therapy to massage the comedian Lenny Henry as he is on a UK tour at the moment. To be honest I didn’t really know much about who Lenny Henry was, but after a bit of research I realized that he is a very famous comedian here in the UK (I blame that I am not from the UK that I hadn’t heard of him, but I am not sure if that’s a good excuse as both of my parents had heard of him and knew straight away who he was).
At first I got asked massage him at St Davis’ Hall in Cardiff on the 11th of April, but only a couple of days later I got asked to go to Bristol as well on Sunday the 3rd of April (two days ago) to massage him before his show there. So on Sunday just gone I drove to Bristol with destination Bristol Hippodrome. The Hippodrome is a big theater in the middle of Bristol City Centre so it was not easy to miss it. I arrived early (like usual!) and was ready to start work at 6pm.
Lenny was a very nice guy and after the massage I had to ask him for a cheeky photo to make sure I could put it up on the blog. And Mr. Henry wasn’t hard to ask, he was more than happy for me to take a photo of us together. I like to meet new people so I thank the Society of Sports Therapy for giving my this opportunity! I will be massaging him again next Monday when he comes to Cardiff.