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Showing posts from 2014

No gym? No problem…

With the Christmas and New Year holidays coming up it's a time when people often go away on vacation and forget their gym routines and fitness goals. While some may be fine with this, there are others who want to get in some workouts wherever they are no matter the location. As such, here are my top 4 exercises which can be done anywhere with no equipment. Push-upsThis is a classic bodyweight exercise that is often one of the first introductions many people get to strength training. It can be done in any space big enough to lie down in which is a huge benefit when you are staying in small hotel rooms or tents. It also has the benefit of working a heap of muscle groups. Properly executed push-ups work the chest, triceps, and core. They can be made more difficult by raising the feet onto a box or chair or made easier by doing them from the knees. They are definitely worth including in your holiday workouts SquatsSquats, in my opinion, are one of the best exercises you can do. Ever. No…

The season is over, time to relax…right?

The offseason for many sports people is just that – time off. It is time to hang the boots (or shoes, or skates) up for the summer and take time to relax and unwind. Unless you are a professional athlete who trains year round, you will at some point have time off from training. This article is aimed at the non-professional yet serious athlete who wants to make some offseason improvements. I am also aiming this at team sport athletes, however, there will be take away points for most athletes no matter what the code so if you want to get a little better…read on. Take a fortnight off The first thing I tell my athletes once the season is over is to take 2 weeks or so and just do nothing. If they must do something, it should be absolutely nothing to do with the sport which they play. In my case, in terms of my sports coaching, this is football (or soccer for those that way inclined). The reason for this is that it gives them a mental break from the sport. This is important. If you take your …

The quicker the better…a brief article about speed

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In most team sports, speed kills…the opposition that is. I can’t think of one team field based sport where speed is not a game changer. If one team is fundamentally faster than another they already have a huge advantage. Many coaches of sporting teams want to develop faster athletes (myself included). There are some however who are not sure how to go about doing this. 
As such, I thought I would shed some light on the issue and do my best to help anyone who would like to get the jump on the opposition (either athlete or coach). Of course, if you just like reading my writing then I’m OK with that too. 
What is speed? Speed can be split into two broad categories – first, there is top speed (maximal velocity for those sports science geeks out there). This is essentially how fast you can run when in full flight, think Usain Bolt at about the 60-metre mark in a 100-metre race. This is important for track athletes but less so for team sport athletes. It's nice to have, but the other form …

If I could tell my clients only five things…

As a personal and small group trainer, I often find myself repeating the same advice over and over again. While there are many other aspects of health and fitness that are frequently discussed with clients I find myself coming back to these 5 pieces of advice time and again. So if I had to choose my five most common pieces of advice, these would be them… 1. Have some patience...Losing weight takes time. Especially if you want to lose weight and keep it off. You can lose weight rapidly but this usually involves diets with extremely low (often dangerously low) calorie intake and excessive exercise. Whilst the weight may fall off in these programmes, often it comes back again because the low level of food intake and the high levels of exercise are not sustainable long-term. 

A more sustainable way to approach weight loss is to look at a gradual reduction in weight over a longer period of time. By taking your time to lose the weight, it makes it more likely that you will keep it off as the …

Getting outside for your workout

Over the weekend I managed to get out with a couple of mates and get an outdoor workout done. This answered the question that had been nagging me for a week or so – what should I write about next? My thought went something like this: the sun is shining…spring is here…summer is on the way…which means outdoor workouts for those who like to try and mix things up. A long train of thought but I got there, somewhat clearly (I hope). Summer is a great time to get out of the gym and get some fresh air while working out, so in case you are struggling to decide where to go or whether it is worth it, below are some options for you. Beach WorkoutsBeach workouts are tough. I have to be honest and put that out there before I even go into this paragraph! The resistance provided by the moving sand makes everything difficult, you’ll know if you’ve walked any reasonable distance on loose sand. It gets tough pretty fast. As such, I would recommend that less is more when it comes to beach workouts – keep…

Injuries Suck…

Let’s face it, injuries are a part of sport and exercise that can cause physical pain and mental frustration to an individual. As anyone close to me knows, I have had my fair share of injuries (probably more than my fair share!) so can relate to being out of action for extended periods of time. As such I have put together a few thoughts around the subject. However, these thoughts are not designed to take the place of a qualified medical professional’s input – if you are injured go and see a doctor. With that being said, what follows is a basic guide which outlines how to avoid injuries and what to do if one happens to occur. The best way to deal with injuries is to not have them in the first place. The best way to prevent injuries is by following some simple rules when working out. Firstly, it is essential to warm-up properly. Ideally, a warm-up will prepare those muscle groups that will be in action during the workout and also raise the body temperature at the same time. This means th…

What Are Your Support Networks Like?

Support networks are one of the most overlooked facets of fitness. It doesn't matter what your fitness goals are, at some point you'll need to lean on someone or something to get you through. This is when your support network needs to kick in. Support networks do not have to be friends or family, often it's better to have a wide range of support structures in order to ensure that you stick to the programme. By utilising tools such as social media as well as those close to you, it enables you to get a broad range of support from a number of different places. Just remember that you may not always have support from where you assume you should. Below I have outlined some of the issues present around support networks and how best to utilise them for your own success. It’s important to have encouragement… Changing your lifestyle is a tough process to work through, especially if you have been set in your ways for a long period of time. One thing that you can do to can make the pro…