Issuu on Google+

U T LI

Strip Stress

Plus Live Like More Less Work menshealth.com.au

A Pessimist’s Guide to Optimism

=,1_MH_0217


On the Cover p22 STRIP AWAY STRESS Put serenity on speed dial with this simple stress-relieving trick.

p26 MORE CASH, LESS WORK One of Australia’s canniest financial gurus shows you how to get ahead.

p72 6 POWER FOOD COMBOS Alone, these foods are potent. United, they’re pure magic.

p78 OPTIMISM FOR PESSIMISTS Pessimism is the new smoking. So how does a lifelong cynic achieve the big O?

p85 TEST YOUR SEX IQ! Reckon you know the fairer sex? Your time starts now – no peeking!

p110 LIVE LIKE A VIKING Life wasn’t all raping and pillaging for these supreme Norse warriors . . .

p120 THE #1 MUSCLE SECRET This classic move is the key to a stronger, pain-free body – no barbell required.

p122 DROP 5KG OF FAT Left your run for a beach body a tad late? This brutal workout delivers results – fast.

p126 19-DAY ARMS

MODEL: TYLER WOOD PHOTOGRAPHED BY TURE LILLEGRAVEN

8

FEBRUARY 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY: APIX SYNDICATION

Employ “giant sets” to build gamechanging size where you want it most.


Sections

p12

p17

p26

p48

p64

p119

ASK MH

USEFUL STUFF

PERSONAL BEST

MH LIFE

FEATURES

ELITE

Fitness

Nutrition

M Muscle

p24 MAKE HEALTH AN INSIDE JOB

p12 THE WHITE STUFF

p 8 CH SE

Turns out much-maligned steady-state cardio is the best way to shed nasty visceral fat.

Can sugar – the ultimate nutritional bête noir – ever be healthy?

C s a im os silhouette with the ese three lat-expanding moves.

p36 HAPPY TRAILS, KILLER CARDIO

p18 ITALIAN STALLION

p34 GETT NEGATIVE GAINS p34

Tap the white-knuckle thrills of mountain biking to build an engine that keeps on going.

Can’t go without your weekly bowl of pasta? Here are your best options.

Wa ant to add the muscle-up to your rep pertoire? First, nail this move.

p90 DOES MY BODY LOOK . . .

p38 EAT SHOOTS, CUT FAT

p1229 PACK ON SIZE

Big? Skinny? Fat? Whatever your body type, shape up with these tailored plans.

Sprouted grains are so hot right now. Here’s how to maximise these protein-rich kernels.

When it comes mes to building bulk bulk, ignore the bros and heed the boffins.

Health e

Mind

Style

p30 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN . . .

p22 USE FAILURE AS FUEL

. . . you’ve had a few too many? (’Tis the season!) Limit the damage with these tricks.

Turn today’s defeat into tomorrow’s glorious victory with this practical wisdom.

p13 ASK MH

U

ACK

The final word on the ultimate sartorial dilemma: can you wear black with brown?

p40 WANT FAST WEIGHT LOSS?

p24 THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT

p48 DATE NIGHT

Don’t be a sucker for a New Year’s resolution. Lay these foundations for stunning results.

Sick and tired of explaining yourself? Here’s how to fend off the meddlers.

Meeting her at 8? Jeans and a tee won’t cut it. Use our guide to nail the look and get the girl.

p98 TRENDS WITH BENEFITS

p32 BRAIN TRAINING ON THE ROAD

p56 SMASH HITS

From ninjas to mushrooms to sound baths, these 2017 trends will set you up for success.

A dose of carefully timed cardio can do more than trim stubborn belly fat.

Game, set and match! Ace your wrist action with these tennis-inspired timepieces.

FEBRUARY 2017

9


Ed’s Letter

“Optimists are less likely y to die from a host off diseases. Privately, I suspectt they’re moree fun at parties, too.”

BIGGER BICEPS! In Just 3 Weeks

6-PACK SECRETS

8 Game-Changing Moves To Uncover Your Abs

101 GUT-MELTING EXERCISES +20 Killer Workouts

WEIGH LESS EAT MORE, With Our Gourmet Guide Fuel Your Gains

GET BEACH BODY READY! FIND ALL THE WORKOUTS, RECIPES AND TIPS YOU NEED IN ARMS + ABS. BUY ONLINE AT SUBSCRIBETODAY. COM.AU/BUY/ARMS

Facebook

Men's Health Magazine Australia

Twitter

@MensHealthAU

Instagram

@MensHealthAU

Online

menshealth.com.au

“It’s a mug’s game,” my girlfriend tells me. She heard on the radio that your odds of winning the Lotto are 45 million to one. “You’ve got more chance of being struck by lightning,” she says. That doesn’t put me of. You see I once did a story on lightning-strike survivors. I interviewed several people. They were pretty easy to track down, though I was a bit disappointed to ind that none had been left with supernatural powers. I even spoke to one bloke called Don – a meteorologist ironically enough – who’d somehow been struck twice up in Darwin. What are the chances? So I keep buying my weekly tickets (sometimes more if the Powerball jackpot is particularly tasty). My conviction that I’ll win exasperates my girlfriend. She reckons it stems from some crazy mix of delusion, self-entitlement and mathematical incompetence. “Got to be in it to win it,” I reply. Admittedly, I’m not a multi-millionaire just yet. But I console myself by showing her Aaron Scott’s story on p78. It reveals that optimism is good for you. New research from Harvard Medical School proves that optimists are 30 per cent less likely to die from a host of diseases than the most miserable folk. Privately, I suspect they’re more fun at parties, too. My girlfriend shrugs that of. She mutters something about my Lotto habit being the triumph of hope over experience played out on a weekly basis. Deep down, I’m willing to concede there might be a modicum of logic in her argument. For now, though, I prefer to look on the bright side.

Twitter: @LukeBenedictus Email: menshealth@paciicmags.com.au 10

FEBRUARY 2017


NEW YEAR, NEW GEAR!

FREE LUKE BENEDICTUS

Editor BEN JHOTY

DANIEL WILLIAMS

AARON SCOTT

Deputy Editor

Associate Editor

Associate Editor

DAVID ASHFORD

JASON LEE

Creative Director

Deputy Art Director

JAY ABADY

HANNAH HEMPENSTALL

Multimedia Content Producer/Senior Designer

Head of Sub-Editing – Health

KATE FRASER

SASCHA CHRISTOPHERSON

Head Of Pictures – Fashion and Health

Group Picture Editor – Health

JEFF LACK

CAELIA CORSE

Style Editor

Grooming Editor

NEW YEAR STARTER KIT when you subscribe to Men’s Health *

GET IT:

BOLDSHOULDERS 6-PACKABS BIG BICEPS DANGER!

BRAY STONEHAM

NATALIE TALEVSKI

Digital Content Producer

Editorial Coordinator (02) 9394 2247

5 Mistakes That You F

LARRY

TOTAL VALUE $230

ANN-MAREE MULDERS

KATHY GLAVAS

National Group Sales Director Health Brands (02) 9394 2289

Marketing Director (02) 9394 2057 COURTENAY RAMAN

MICHELLE BAYLEY

National Business Integration Manager (02) 9394 2250 MIKE BARTLETT

Marketing Manager (02) 9394 2703

ALL YOURS FOR ONLY

$69

HANNAH DEVEREUX

Director of Corporate Communications

QLD Senior Account Manager (07) 3368 7486 TOM ZAVECZ

Victorian Advertising Manager (03) 8636 7516

JOHN VIRM

Production Manager JESSIE TAYLOR

Advertising Production JEREMY SUTTON

Group Subscriptions Manager

GEREURD ROBERTS Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Magazines JACKIE FRANK General Manager Fashion, Beauty & Health MYCHELLE VANDERBURG Group Marketing Retail Sales Director SIMONE DALLA RIVA Regional Sales Director

YOUR EXCLUSIVE KIT INCLUDES: ROBERT NOVICK

SAMANTHA QUISGARD

Senior Vice-President

Associate Editor

KEVIN LABONGE

VERONIKA TAYLOR

Executive Director, Business Development and Global Licensing

Deputy Editorial Director, Runner’s World KARL ROZEMEYER

JOHN VILLE

Content Manager

Editorial Director & Director Content, Rights & Photography Operations

BURCU ACARLAR

LAURA ONGARO

International Business Development Coordinator

Editorial Director, Women’s Health and Men’s Health International

Financial Analyst

• 12 print issues of Men’s Health • 12 FREE issues of our digital edition worth $59.88 • 5 FREE digital fitness guides • FREE Transform fitness book • FREE gym duffle bag

MOIRA O’NEILL

Pacific Magazines, Media City, 8 Central Avenue, Eveleigh, NSW 2015 Phone: (02) 9394 2000 Fax: (02) 9394 2319 Subscription enquiries: 1300 668 118 Printing Hannanprint Warwick Farm, 2-8 Priddle St, Warwick Farm, NSW 2170. Distribution Gordon & Gotch. Published 12 times a year. Registered business name Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd, (ABN) 16 097 410 896. All rights reserved. Title and trademark Men’s Health © Rodale Press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Men’s Health is a registered trademark and the unauthorised use of this trademark is strictly prohibited.

subscribetoday.com.au/buy/nyk

1300 668 118

and quote P72JKZZA

*Subscriptions renew automatically until you decide to cancel. Ofer available in Australia only and ends 31/03/2017 or while stocks last. This ofer cannot be used in conjunction with any other ofer. Subscriptions may not include promotional items packed with the magazine. Visit subscribetoday.com.au for full terms and conditions.


LIFE QUESTIONS,, ANSWERED

Q Can sugar ever be healthy? CB

12

There are performance benefits that make concentrated coffee worth stealing from the coffee e shop poseurs. Because it’s concentrated, it boastss more caffeine per ml than the average cup (which might be why your pal is pipping you to the post during your Sunday sportive). Plus, it’s sold in shot bottles that are easy to take on bike rides. But perhaps the best thing for weekend athletes is its lower acidity levels. “The slow extraction process means you get less acid in your cup, so it’s kinder on your stomach,” says barista First Sukpaiboon.

FEBRUARY 2017

RENS

Look the part you must, Padawan. Show them you mean business, and by “show”, we mean business: wear a shirt in a bold colour, like cobalt blue. “That exudes confidence and leadership,” says fashion stylist Jacqui Stafford. Your shoes should be polished – it shows that you know you’re representing the company. And don’t forget body language. Step forward when you’re presenting, which conveys fearlessness, says body language expert Patti Wood. In your office, sit up straight. Slouching may seem cool but could be seen as disrespectful.

E

Q My training buddy likes to neck concentrated cofee before our bike rides. Is it just a hipster fad or worth a shot? DW

OGRAPHY

Q I’m up for a promotion at work. Know any Jedi mind tricks to convince the deciders that I’m the guy? TH

HER-HAGGERSTON.COM;

Y MICHAEL BYERS

IT’S LONG BEEN the condiment non grata at your PT’s dinner parties, but guess what? The alternatives suck, too. Things get cloudy when companies swap out sucrose and sell something ostensibly healthier in its place. Acids in diet soft drinks can actually be worse for you than the sugar in their full-on counterparts, says nutritionist Drew Price. Then there’s the efect on your brain. According to Harvard University, artificial sweeteners can overstimulate taste receptors. This means that, just like the sliding scale of a drug’s moreishness, you end up needing a bigger sweet hit in future. So yes, controlling sugar intake is important, but a handful of snakes every so often won’t harm you – especially post-gym when your hungry muscles put extra glucose to good work. Timed correctly, it’s fine to dabble in the second-best white powder on the planet. (The first is salt, obviously.)


Q Please resolve this dilemma once and for all: can I wear black with brown? NI The short answer is yes. The injunction against combining these colours is antiquated. That said, you can still look like a chump if you don’t do it right. “It should be apparent that you paired the colours on purpose,” says fashion stylist Seth Howard. “That’s why the correct proportions and tones are important.” Howard likes the 80-20 rule: if your shirt or pants are one colour, the other colour should be more of an accent (like a brown shirt with a black suit, or tan oes n ) hen picking your browns, thin Howard says, go dark brown or th else makes you look like you dressed in the dark.

never l al

r.

e co rove rs ou ossi e ct t s ms fro st s ven’ l. ut t c ov t h ab o si ar o rese e e to ar . oss is an exp uct that s ens e entists n ce ive ’ ve mu stu c of re r

pers of ss have h, w c cav ies an

ssers.

s wh tween

Q Is it true that some guys can’t get abs that show? If that’s the case, how do I know if I’m wasting my time aiming for that six-pack? MM SIX-PACK REQUIRES TWO THINGS: low body fat and dequate muscle mass. But genetics play a role, too. “Two guys w with the same body fat and diet and exercise program rarely look exactly the same,” says exercise physiologist Christine Mermier. You might not shed fat easily or you might store it around your belly. So blame your DNA, age, stress or the lighting. Still, most men can get their abs to show if they hit on the right diet while exercising with extreme discipline.

FEBRUARY 2017

13


Discover a whiter smile in just 2 DAYS It’s as easy as...

Brush.

Whiten.

Go.®

Colgate Optic White® Toothbrush + Built-in Whitening Pen. Available in all leading supermarkets and pharmacies.


. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

f l

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

. . . . . . .

Tons of tips, tricks and strategies for life 02/2017

PHOTOGRAPHY JOBE LAWRENSON

DAYS TO KICKSTART YOUR METABOLISM BY GORGING ON BREAD After years spent in the lower circles of nutritional purgatory, bread has recently had something of a rebirth. While the once-mighty white is unlikely to surface any time soon, wholegrains and a wide variety of seeds have seen the artisan loaf rescued from the inferno by those after lower-GI energy to go with their protein. Now it seems that toast has completed its remarkable renaissance, with a study proving that barley kernel loaves are an effective, if surprising, fat burner. Research published in

the British Journal of Nutrition found that subjects eating barley kernel bread with breakfast, lunch and dinner had higher metabolisms for up to 14 hours, as well as better appetite control. The

study’s experts point to barley’s positive effect on gut hormones – ones that can simultaneously accelerate fat burning and reduce inflammation that can cause bloating. In the long term, this

could take a healthy bite out of your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and early death. In the meantime, dropping the wonder grain into your toaster will keep your own bread basket well sliced.

FEBRUARY 2017

17


. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

NUTRITION KNOW-IT-ALL Jacqueline Alwill Adv Dip Nut Med

Q What’s the best post-

endurance run refuel? DA A drink’s generally preferable for easier digestion. You want one that’s carbohydrate-loaded to replenish your muscle glycogen stores, but it will also contain protein for muscle repair and, crucially, magnesium to support your energy levels. Blend the following ingredients into a smoothie: coconut water, a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt, frozen banana (for creaminess), a couple of chopped dates, cacao, and whey and magnesium powders. Drain it within 30 minutes of finishing your session for optimum glycogen replenishment.

THE MUSCLE GUY

CHISEL

BACK

At long lats! The key to a tapered torso By BJ Gaddour, PT and fitness expert

Strong lats make you look and lift like a superhero. PS: You might need new tees (with a giant S, to wear under your mild-mannered suits).

Q I love my pasta but also my

six-pack. What’s my best pasta option? AS

Where being obese or overweight sits among preventable causes of cancer – after smoking and excessive drinking. Just under two-thirds of Australian adults are in these weight categories. SOURCES: CANCER EPIDEMIOLOGY, ABS

18

FEBRUARY 2017

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

STRAIGHT-ARM PULLDOWN A lat-strengthening finisher. Lean forward at the top (for muscle stretch); lean back at the bottom (for contraction). Do It Put your hands over the bar of a cable machine. Keep your arms straight as you pull down. Do 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps. Rest 30 seconds between sets.

SHAKE OF THE

MONTH

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

Banana Pumpkin Protein Shak ke Spare your tastebuds the punishment of anothe er powder and water concoction. The pumpkin makes this s a naturally sweet treat that’s rich in sight-saving vitamin A WHAT YOU’LL NEED ¼ cup peanut butter 1 scoop (34g) vanilla whey protein powder ¼ cup cooked, chopped pumpkin 1 medium banana (frozen) ¾ cup milk

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practising nutritionist and author of Seasons To Share: Nourishing family and friends with nutritious, seasonal wholefoods

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

. . . . .

HOW TO MAKE IT Fill a blender with the ingredients in the order shown. Blend for 30 seconds, adding more milk if needed. Makes 2 servings. Per serving 1571 kilojoules, 45g protein, 17g carbs, 20g fat Recipe by Shom Chowdhury, co-founder of Indie Fresh, New York

PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN GOLDSTEIN; SAM KAPLAN

DUMBBELL BENCH PULLOVER Want to make a muscle grow? Stretch it out and put it under load. Here’s how. Do It Rest your upper back on a bench, hips up, feet flat and knees bent. Cup a dumbbell over your chest. Slowly lower it behind you. Pause; pull it back up. Go for a minute. Add 5-10 seconds each session until you’re doing two-minute sets.

NEUTRAL-GRIP CHIN-UP NEUTRAL GRIP CHIN UP This joint-friendly move hits the lats while boosting shoulder mobility so you can safely lift overhead. Do It Hang from a chin-up bar – ideally clutching parallel-grip handles if the bar has them, so your palms face each other. Pull your chest to the bar, keeping your body straight and rigid. Then slowly lower yourself. Do 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps.

Your first step away from white, heavily processed pasta would be the wholemeal or spelt versions. While these pack roughly the same caloric load, they’re more satisfying so you won’t eat as much. But your best pasta substitute is zucchini spirals. You can have a huge bowl of them – because they’re so low in kilojoules – topped with your usual helping of meat sauce. An 80/20 split of pasta and zucchini ticks every box.


....

. . . . .

20

. . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

FOR ETTER SEX,

HE THIS

“What would you say is the best sex we ever had?”

1 When To Ask It

2 Why It Works

After sex. Studies show that the more time couples spend talking afterwards, the more sexually satisfied they are, says Amanda Denes, a pillow-talk expert (yep) from the University of Connecticut. Feeling safe and satisfied helps you both open up, Denes says. That’s because having an orgasm (she did, right?) floods the brain with the “cuddle hormone”, oxytocin, while levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, dive. And talk about an easy segue.

This simple query is a good window into your partner’s preferences. You’ll each learn or be reminded of what works. That’s what sexual communication is all about, says Denes – talking about what you like and how you like it. Coax out the details: the setting, timing, specific angles, positions, types of touch. It’s all valuable intel that’ll improve your sex life. And who knows? The nostalgia rush could lead to a reenactment.

PREPARE FOR LIFTOFF Three simple ways to solve the hard problem of ED

Run Intervals Losing excess weight can help boost your libido, says urologist Dr Jamin Brahmbhatt. High-intensity interval training is a proven fat burner. Brahmbhatt runs for 20 minutes straight, alternating between sprints and jogs.

FEBRUARY 2017

Lay Of the Porn About a quarter of men seeking treatment for ED are under 40; for many of them, it’s due to performance anxiety. “Men watch porn and think they have to last for hours,” Brahmbhatt says. Don’t buy in: intercourse typically lasts about 5-8 minutes, he says.

Stick to the Script If you’re on statins for high cholesterol, keep taking them: they may aid erectile health, a new Greek study suggests. As it turns out, they boost your blood vessels’ ability to expand and contract, which helps more blood reach your penis faster. That’s a good thing.

3 The Payoff Sex talk will be easier from now on, says Sean Horan, a communication expert at Texas State University. Like any skill, it gets simpler with practice. That’s important because sexual communication is associated with sexual satisfaction and passion, according to a recent study in the Journal of Sex Research. The study also found that satisfied couples are more likely than dissatisfied ones to try the ideas they read in magazine articles. (Hint, hint.)

A quick bedroom Q & A can lead to one hell of an O

EAT WELL SAVE BIG Smart food choices (left) will do more than look after your heart and weight. They’ll boost your bottom line

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Rolled oats (15c per 30g)

BREKKIE

Corn Flakes (30c/30g)

1 apple (45c per 100g)

SNACK

chocolate bar ($2.20/50g)

Baked potato (55c per 150g)

LUNCH

potato chips ($4.50/150g)

Whole Milk ($1-2 per litre) (

MILK HIT

flavoured milk ($5+/L )

Raw chicken (40c per 100g)

DINNER

pre-made kebabs ($2/100g)

SOURCE: DIETITIANS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA. PHOTOGRAPHY: ERWYN LOWEN/APIX SYNDICATION

. . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


LOW CARB. HIGH PROTEIN. DON’T UNDO THE HARD WORK.

available at:

atkinslift.com


. . . . . . . .

The author of the new book Win at Losing, Jim Loehr, explains how to turn today’s defeat into tomorrow’s victory

2 / What Went Right In a famous study, Olympic bronze medallists looked happier than silver winners. Their gratitude was due to “counterfactual thinking, or pondering what might have been. Claiming a small victory softens the blow and helps you identify successes to build on, says Loehr. Dream of a scenario that gives you hope and inspires you to work harder. 3 / Grow From It “No pain, no gain” is more than a cliché – it’s science. But science calls it “post-traumatic growth”. Consider the Sydney Swans’ horror stretch in the early Nineties, when they claimed three consecutive wooden spoons. That bred success for the club for years to come – in fact, they remain an AFL powerhouse to this day. It’s the old story: you learn more from your losses than your triumphs. This guy knew: it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Hours of TV a day that, if exceeded could lower a man’s sperm count. Want kids? Head for bed, not the couch. SOURCE: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY

22

FEBRUARY 2017

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

JACK THE BARMAN Straight-up advice on things that drive men crazy

Q My boy is 11 and has no

interest in sport. I won’t lie – I’m disappointed. Gus Believe me, Gus, the boy’s doing you a favour. Angry coaches yelling at him, other parents beefing when their little whiz kids don’t get their shot? You playing taxi driver every Saturday morning? Who needs it? Just take him for a hike in the bush and put a fishing rod in his hands. Worry about making memories, not a star athlete. Q My boss is great when we’re

outside the oice. Why is he such a jerk at work? Tim You’ve got one man and two variables here, Tim. The two variables are “outside the oice” and “work”. The one constant is the man. So maybe the problem is the work, not your boss. My question: what are you doing to help? If it’s nothing, then trust me, your boss is saying, “Why is Tim such a great guy outside the oice, but such an overpaid, underperforming, passiveaggressive, ornery jerk at work?”

..... ..... ... . ..... ..... ... . ................. . . . Pick up the phone and call a friend. It’s no secret . Lower . that social interaction eases stress, but a new . Stress Is . study suggests that a simple phone chat is . . Just a Call especially efective for men, more so than a social . . event. Over three years, men who increased the Away . number of times they talked on the phone were 17 . . per cent less likely to feel psychological distress. . . . . . . . . . TOP 5 PLACES YOUR PARTNER MIGHT GO TO CHEAT ON YOU   . . Summer is prime time for infidelity. But it’s not cheap motel rooms where most of the illicit sex is breaking out . . . . . . . Roadside Public toilets Bushland Bunnings car parks Cinemas . . Joint exercise can It’s not always a Sausage sizzle by Light on romance, Logical venue for . tyre that’s getting day; sizzling sex high on privacy X-rated action . turn into horizontal . pumped after dark jogging . .

SOURCE HEARTBREAKERS, A PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS FIRM SPECIALISING IN CHEATING PARTNERS

USE ILURE AS FUEL

1 / Do a Postmortem Did you fail, or just lose? One implies fault; the other may be beyond your control, says psychologist Jim Loehr of the Human Performance Institute. Be honest: did you botch the presentation? Find the winning PowerPoint and compare it to yours. Did a better candidate land your promotion? Ask the boss what the victor had that you didn’t.

. . . . . . . .


MAKE TODAY COUNT

100% DYNAMIC WHEY JOVJVSH[LÃ…H]V\Y

(U HK]HUJLK WYV[LPU ZV\YJL ISLUKPUN >70 HUK >7* [V OLSW TLL[ [OL OLH]` KLTHUKZ VM [YHPUPUN ;OL WYV[LPU ZV\YJLZ HYL PUZ[HU[PZLK MVY VW[PTHS HIZVYW[PVU ;OPZ MVYT\SH OHZ HKKLK KPNLZ[P]L LUa`TLZ [V Z\WWVY[ IL[[LY KPNLZ[PVU HUK PZ PKLHS MVY[OVZLZLLRPUNMHZ[[YHPUPUN YLJV]LY`HUKSLHUT\ZJSLNYV^[O

JODTQPSUTDPNBV

!JODTQPSUT

Protein

26g

Carbs

Fats

2g

*/$4QPSUT

(]HPSHISLH[*OLTPZ[>HYLOV\ZL4`*OLTPZ[+PZJV\U[=P[HTPU>HYLOV\ZLHUKL7OHYTHJ`

2g


HEALT AN INSIDE J

Cardiophobic bros beware: your bulging biceps may paint a picture of health, but the route to longevity is one best trod in good quality running shoes. Endurance training is now proven to be the most efective cure for excess visceral fat – the internal kind that swaddles organs and

obscures abdominals. A recent study by Obesity Reviews found that, while two to six months of endurance training has little efect on your weight – good news for those who fear cardio’s catabolic efect on their gains – it reduces internal fat by as much as six per cent. This slashes your risk of heart

failure, no matter how many kilos you’re carrying. A waist-to-hip ratio of above one is a key marker of high intra-abdominal fat, which is lethal stuf. To tackle the issue at heart you need to push hard enough to put your body in the fat-burning zone. This lunchbreak-friendly triathlon workout (below) is your go-to.

LEAN UP AT LUNCH Trim visceral fat from your workouts with a plan from Wayne Edwards, head trainer at 3Tribes

24

ROWER Row as fast as you can to complete 2000m. Fit guys should aim for eight minutes, but 10 is a good target. Make sure you’re breaking a sweat.

FEBRUARY 2017

WATT BIKE Crank it out on the bike at 60rpm for a standing climb. Every three minutes, switch to a seated sprint at 120rpm. Go for 15 minutes.

TREADMILL Sprints are proven to shift more abdominal fat than a steady-state trudge. Do four minutes at 8km/h and one at 14km/h for 15 minutes.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... .... ....

............. ............. ............

The Mod

No. 17 / Your Other Rightt No to Remain Silent Far too often, people expect you to explain yourself. Why’d you pass on that ofer? Or dump that great girl? If you’re so inclined, hey, spill – share all your motives for moving to Vietnam. But if you’re a more private guy, don’t feel compelled to walk people through your reasons for anything. Sometimes you don’t even know why you trust Plumber A or definitely don’t trust Doctor B. You have reasons you don’t yet understand, wolf-level instincts that kick in long before your much dumber brain shows up to the party. If total silence seems too cold, then go with a vague non-answer, something like “Feels right” or “Doesn’t work for me”. Both make you sound like a selfpossessed guy who knows himself and prefers not to be cross-examined if that’s all right with you.

Exercise for this many x days th by a SOURCE: BRITISH JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE

....................... ....................... .......................

PHOTOGRAPHY: AGATA PEC/3TRIBES.CO.UK; SAM KAPLAN ILLUSTRATIONS: ALCONIC

AKE

Mirror muscles can mask inner weaknesses. Change up your workouts and put dangerous fat on the run

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . .

A

, A P , A PLAN

Grilled steak kebabs with sweet potato fries. Because nothing satisfies a guy like meat on a stick

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . .

THE GIRL NEXT DOOR Alice Treloar

WHAT YOU’LL NEED • 2 tsp olive oil Q  I work 60-hour weeks and

• 1 medium sweet potato, cut into wedges • 250g tenderloin, cut into pieces • ½ red capsicum, sliced into bite-sized pieces

earn twice what my wife does. Do we really have to split the housework? SK

• 2 tbsp

HOW TO MAKE IT Halve two wood skewers and soak them in water. Heat one teaspoon oil in a grill pan on medium high. Add the potatoes; cover and cook until just tender, 5 minutes. Skewer the beef and pepper pieces, and brush the kebabs with 1 teaspoon oil; drizzle with soy sauce. Uncover the spuds and char them, turning now and then, 5 minutes. Push them to the edge; add the kebabs. Sear on all sides, 5-7 minutes. Feeds 2 Per serving 1474 kilojoules, 34g protein, 13g carbs, 17g fat

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Why Every Man Needs a Grill Pan Non-stick pans are fine for eggs and leftovers, but you need serious hard eavy- uty gr can ta at hi temp. the h at. Pick u the Tefal Hard Anodise 8cm Square Grill Pan ($149; .

Robust soy sauce pumps up the meaty beef flavour.

Ace Your First 3 Having her over for the first time The obvious is crucial: ofer her a drink. Holding a glass – regardless of what’s in it – helps ease anxiety, says relationship expert Laura Berman. A tour should be short – no tacky pause at the bedroom. “Oh, that photo? My beloved grandmother.”

nutes

Yes, because life isn’t about titfor-tat. You may be bringing home the big bucks, but that doesn’t mean your missus has to make up for it with laundry drops and lamb chops. Besides, an occasional onceover with the Dyson will pay of in the bedroom: Cornell researchers found that couples who share housework have more sex. Time to come clean, SK.

Q  I found out my wife watches

porn. Why? I’m always up for sex, day or night. DP  Don’t take ofence, DP. Fantasy is a big part of foreplay, regardless of whether it comes from you or X-rated intimate relations on the World Wide Web. Why not incorporate it into your romp routine? According to our sister crew over at Women’s Health, 58 per cent of females who watched porn with their guy said it had a positive efect on their relationship. Ergo, erotica for the win.

Whatever the situation, early moves matter

Attending an open house Don’t let shiny counters blind you; you want a roof that’s newer than 15 years and double-pane windows under 20 years old, says John Ternullo of Re/Max Leading Edge. And check the internal doors – if they don’t shut true and square, the place could have structural flaws.

Brainstorming at work Announce the restrictions on a project – time, money, whatever; these can spur creativity. And surprise ’em by, say, passing out menus if it’s close to lunchtime. That outside element can kickstart riing, says Jonathan Grof, executive producer of the TV comedy Black-ish.

Entering a party As you approach someone, say “Great” three times to yourself to trigger your smile. Introduce yourself, make a comment about the occasion and ask an open-ended question, says Nicholas Boothman, the author of How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds.

Buying a used car from the owner Pop the bonnet and check the two long pieces of steel the engine sits on. Pull out the spare tyre from the boot and examine the well. If you see dings or dents, the car has sustained front- or rearend damage, says Mike Brewer, host of Wheeler Dealers. Move on.

FEBRUARY 2017

25


02/17

BEST This Man Can Secure Your Future Money man Scott Pape, aka The Barefoot Investor, knows what it’s like to lose everything. He also knows how to rise from the ashes. Follow his lead to fireproof your finances [ BY A ARON SCOT T

PHOTOGR APHY BY

PAUL LOUGHNAN ]

OPEN THE RUSTING IRON GATE, go down the steep gravel drive, turn to your right and you suddenly emerge in some kind of antipodean Eden. Gnarled eucalypts tower above scattered sheep; a gentle breeze rules the knee-high rye grass. Behind the white picket fence, Scott Pape’s wife, Liz, is cleaning out the chook house. Their three-year-old son, Louie, is charging around the front yard with a fresh egg in his right hand. The family dogs, Betty and Bufett (named in honour of Scott’s hero, Warren Bufett) are sprawled in the shade of the verandah. Life in this rolling farmland an hour north of Melbourne is good. Only the scorch marks around the base of the gums serve as a reminder that three short years ago this place was a ire-blackened

26

FEBRUARY 2017

wasteland. The hills were wreathed in smoke, the house was a mound of ash punctuated by two lonely chimneys, the few remaining sheep were stumbling about on charred hooves searching desperately for a mouthful of water. Sitting at his kitchen table, mug of cofee in hand, Pape – the inancial guru and bestselling author of The Barefoot Investor books – gazes out the window. The memories of that day are seared in his mind. “I drove down the driveway and I remember seeing a dead sheep on our home block. In the distance I could hear the gunshots as my sheep were put down.” He shakes his head. “I had my baby son and my wife sitting in the car next to me. Now, I’d been ighting the ires for the past couple of days, so I was

kind of immune to these sights. But my wife wasn’t. And she was really, really upset. She was screaming.” The irst thought that went through Pape’s mind? I’ve got this. He sips his cofee and smiles bashfully. “I don’t imagine I’m a tough guy or anything. I was devastated by everything we’d lost. But I had the belief I could rebuild. And it doesn’t take a lot of money to have that kind of belief. It just takes a diferent mindset.” Make no mistake: all of us will face a inancial ire at some point in our lives. It might be a long illness, sudden retrenchment, a market collapse. Or it might be a new baby, hefty school fees, a looming retirement. Question is: do you have the mindset to endure the ire?


Pape’s alpacas, Pedro and Alberto, fought tooth and hoof to survive the fires. Do the same with your money.

FEBRUARY 2017

27


A SIMPLE PLAN Growing up in the tiny town of Ouyen, in Victoria’s parched north-west, Pape credits his father with nurturing his love of inance. Although a deliveryman by trade, Pape Sr was fascinated by the markets. By the time Scott was in primary school his dad had him reading the business pages of the major dailies. When Scott did work around the house he paid him in BHP shares. He used to sit his son on his knee and explain, “You now own a part of Australia’s biggest company – and they’re going to share their proits with you.” The concept lit a ire in the youngster’s mind. After working stints at the Australian Stock Exchange and a blue-blood inance irm, Pape decided he would start writing simple, accessible inance advice under the moniker The Barefoot Investor. (He shrugs: “It was just a random thought I had about kicking of your shoes and treading your own path.”) His advice struck a note with hungry young alpha males – a gung-ho tone relected in his irst book, Five Steps to Financial Freedom. But since marrying Liz in 2012 and welcoming his irst son less than a year later, Pape’s focus has shifted. He’s less interested in wealth and more concerned with security – a constant message in his new book The Only Money Guide You’ll Ever Need. “See, research shows that every dollar you earn above $80,000 has a diminishing return on your happiness,” he explains. “But if you have savings, then you have choices. And choices make you happy because they give you control over your life.” Pape’s number-one rule when it comes to establishing inancial security: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. The more complex a plan is, the less likely you are to implement it.” For this reason, his personal inances are now entirely geared towards simplicity. He’s cut up his credit cards because the risk of getting gouged by the banks was too great. And he’s shut down his self-managed super fund because it was too involved (he now puts all his super in an ultra-low-cost indextracking fund). Above all, his inancial goal is crystal clear in his own mind: “The most important thing is providing for my family. If I can provide for my wife and my two boys, that for me is inancial success.”

PLANT A SEED This urge to provide reached fever pitch in the days after the ire ravaged the family farm. It was a time of fraught activity: the sheep needed to be buried, bulldozers had to clear away the wreckage of the house (a brass bell that Scott had given Liz on their wedding day was the only thing salvaged from the embers). After this, Scott and Liz sat down and looked at the black land that was their home.

28

FEBRUARY

2017

Where to begin when everything – literally everything – you own has gone up in lames? The irst thing Pape did was plant an apple tree. He bought a shovel, dug a small hole in what had once been his backyard and itted the sapling into the earth. It was, of course, a symbolic act – new life springing from the ashes. But for Pape, it also illustrates a crucial inancial lesson. “When it comes to investing,” he says, “otherwise smart people believe there’s a shortcut to growing wealth. Well, if there was a shortcut, everybody would do it and it would cease to be a shortcut. The truth is, good things take time. Wealth is all about planting, growing, harvesting. And you can’t shortchange that.” Pape urges you to think of your money as you would a tree. Plant it in the right place, then leave it alone. “You might not notice it growing in the early years, but if you let time work its magic, in 20 or 30 years you’ve got something amazing. But if you never plant that tree or if you keep digging it up and moving it around, it won’t grow.”

SPEND SMART Pape and his young family had moved into a rented house when the insurance money from the ire arrived. He and Liz were sitting on a rented couch, drinking wine out of rented cofee mugs. Their eyes widened when they saw the size of the cheque. The next morning they walked into their local homewares store to begin the long rebuilding process. A smiling saleswoman approached them: “Are you two looking for something in particular?” “Well, we lost our home in a bushire, so we have to replace everything.” “Everything?” “Everything. . .” Something about the delighted glint in the saleswoman’s eyes drove them out of the store. The experience of gradually restocking the family’s possessions, however, taught Pape a powerful lesson in spending. “It’s the little things you use every day that will give you the biggest happiness boost,” he says. “I’m talking socks and jocks, a comfortable pillow. But the big things you lust over? I guarantee you, there’s very little happiness you’re going to get from going from a base-level car to a top-level model.” Pape calls this “conscious spending”. Splash out on the things that impact your life on a day-to-day basis. But the big luxury items that barely leave an imprint? Don’t be a sucker.

PREPARE TO STOMP Interview over, cofees downed, Pape grabs a halved apple and heads out to the nearest paddock. Watching his approach with hard,

GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME. WEALTH IS ALL ABOUT PLANTING, GROWING AND HARVESTING level stares are a pair of woolly alpacas. Their names are Pedro and Alberto and they arrived at the farm not long before ire devastated the place. Pape cheerfully admits that alpacas are horrible creatures. Get too close to them and they’ll growl, then spit, then stomp. “But that’s the reason you have alpacas! We’ve got foxes in this area and they won’t come near us because they know the alpacas will stomp them. No one messes with the alpacas’ lock.” Pape was witness to this hardnosed mentality the morning after the ire. At irst light, Department of Environment workers began scouring the smoking paddocks and


TACTICS

Pape’s the man to whip your assets into shape.

shooting the damaged sheep. At the sound of gunire, Pape looked up and saw Pedro and Alberto circling a handful of scorched sheep. Although the alpacas’ hooves were so badly burnt they could barely stand, they reared up at the men with guns, desperately trying to protect their lock. This is the attitude, Pape believes, that’s key to building inancial security. “Alpacas are all in,” he explains. “If someone gets too close, they’ll stomp. And if you have that attitude with your money – I’ll just work two jobs, I’ll just cut up my credit cards, I can’t afford this car so I’ll sell it – you’re going to succeed.”

NO EXCUSES

Reckon you’ve got a good reason for not securing your financial future? The Barefoot Investor sets you straight

THE EXCUSE

THE EXCUSE

I’m not smart with money!

I don’t earn enough!

THE EXCUSE

The economy sucks!

THE TRUTH

THE TRUTH

THE TRUTH

“No one is born ‘smart with money’. It’s a learned skill – like driving – and it has more to do with behaviour than brains … It’s much more important to start than it is to be smart.”

“It’s not about what you earn, but what you save. I’ve had clients who never earned more than the minimum wage but used compound interest to build a milliondollar portfolio.”

“In the past century the average lifespan has doubled; the average income has tripled. Food is 10 times cheaper, electricity is 20 times cheaper, transport’s 100 times cheaper . . . These are the good old days.”

FEBRUARY 2017

29


HEALTH

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN . . .

I’m Half Cut?

01

HAPPY HOUR

If even the thought of that first sip makes you feel refreshed, you do not have a problem. Researchers at Indiana University found that the anticipation of your initial quaff – as well as the actual event – raises levels of the feel-good hormone dopamine. Sadly for those with a busy day tomorrow, it’s that same buzz that convinces you to have “just one more”.

02

If you’re going out out, use our guide to make the most of alcohol’s social advantages while limiting its potentially melancholic consequences

YOUR LIVER CAN PROCESS ONE PINT PER HOUR

DUTCH COURAGE

The confidence delivered by a few drinks is due to ethanol soaking through the stomach lining into your blood. Once it reaches the brain, according to the journal Psychopharmacology, it disengages the amygdala and prefrontal cortex to afford you that sense of happy invincibility. Sipping bubbles? The extra pressure forces the alcohol into your blood faster. Plan on remembering the wedding? Switch to wine ASAP.

04

SEAL TEAM

Three beers in, alcohol suppresses the release of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), responsible for quelling your need to urinate at night. While a few drinks won’t end in a change of sheets, without the ADH dam in your kidneys, water floods your bladder to bursting. Swap to spirits: the alcohol still inhibits ADH but a reduced volume will ease the urgency.

05

CLEAN UP CREW

Once at your liver, booze is broken down by alcohol dehydrogenase and converted into harmless fatty acids, CO2 and water. Flood it, however, and an excess of the byproduct acetaldehyde leads to an almighty hangover. Your liver can process the equivalent of one pint per hour. Stick to this and see off trouble in the battle against morning-after misery. We’ll drink to that.

30

FEBRUARY 2017

WORDS: BOB MAKELA

03

BEER GOGGLES

The notorious goggles are actually a thing – alcohol causes slower pupil dilation. In fact, a Canadian study found it reduces your eyes’ ability to adjust vision by 30 per cent, even below the legal drink-drive limit. If you’re suffering blurred lines – or channelling your inner Robin Thicke – it’s time to book an Uber.


Happy tummy honey. New Beeotic® is a 100% natural prebiotic honey which can help boost your digestive health. Look for it in the honey section at leading supermarkets and pharmacies. Visit capilano.com.au to find out more.

100% Australian honey.

Always read the label. Use only as directed.

Australia’s homegrown honey.

CHC71923-0916

Beeotic.® 100% natural Australian prebiotic honey.


MIND

Brain Training On The Road mental performance, benefactor. But for timing is everything

WAKING UP, lacing up and pounding the pavement before breakfast is a proven way to jump-start your metabolism for the day. But if your aspirations are to stay mentally fit, then recent research suggests a judiciously timed post-work run fits the bill. The connection between body and brain is well established: when you exercise, chemical compounds like norepinephrine and dopamine are released, stimulating the hippocampus and enhancing your neural activity. It’s probably the reason you stumbled across your last big idea while out running. But now a Current Biology study suggests that, if the timing and conditions are right, cardio can help you set a new memory PB. Wait four hours after a learning task (such as a brainstorming creative session at work or memorising every Melbourne Cup winner in preparation for tonight’s pub trivia) before exercising and research shows that your hippocampus will glow white-hot with memory-boosting activity. The applications of this are two-fold. In the short term, an evening run can help lock in the main points of the next day’s presentation. In the longer term, regular post-work cardio can help you outrun cognitive decline in later life. Either way, it seems that playing the exercise waiting game is your wisest choice.

THE MINUTE DETAILS MAXIMISE YOUR MEMORY IN THE TIME BETWEEN LESSONS LEARNED AND KILOJOULES BURNED

Coffee boosts memory consolidation, but time it right. Drinking caffeine much after 4pm risks disrupting brain-enhancing sleep. SOURCE: NATURE NEUROSCIENCE

Stress triggers Alzheimer’s, so take the sting out of the daily commute by wearing headphones – it’s proven to make crowds less traumatic. SOURCE: ROYAL HOLLOWAY

A quick call to make plans with pals saves grey matter. Men with active social lives have the slowest rate of memory decline. SOURCE: HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Eating a high-fibre diet rich in nuts and beans reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment that can lead to Alzheimer’s.

IF THE TIMING IS RIGHT, CARDIO CAN HELP YOU SET A NEW MEMORY PB 32

FEBRUARY 2017

Chewing gum as you warm up raises your heart rate, delivering more oxygen to your brain and enhancing cognitive power. SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF NORTHUMBRIA

WORDS: TED LANE

SOURCE: RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTRE


MUSCLE +

THE

FITNESS

Get Negative Gains Reverse the reps and pump the brakes on bad form to send new muscle growth through the roof. The ECCENTRIC MUSCLE-UP lowers the bar for achieving total calisthenics mastery To paraphrase the Super Furry Animals, gravity has a knack of holding you back. Even so, it’s also your best gym buddy for a ripped torso. The eccentric muscle-up – so-called because of the focus on the lowering phase – overloads your triceps, shoulders and core, increasing their rate of protein synthesis. Which is a fancy way of saying the longer you take over each rep, the better for your body. Why so negative? Well, not only does this multi-stage move build muscle, it strengthens

the areas needed to perform the same move in reverse: the revered muscle-up. “Eccentric moves are fundamental to learning the transition,” says calisthenics coach Darren Onyejekwe. “It reinforces muscles throughout the entire range of motion, offering greater control.” And that means when you finally achieve the full muscle-up, you’ll do so with more grace. Aim to perform each rep over five seconds for a true muscle hit. Just remember to hold on tight – this is falling with style.

WHAT YOU’LL GAIN

GYMNAST ABS

V-SHAPED BACK

FROM THE TOP Jump up above a chin-up bar with arms extended. Keep your core braced and your legs straight out beneath you as you prepare to slowly lower down.

BEST

EXERCISE YOU’RE NOT DOING

KEEP IT TIGHT As you lower into a dip, don’t let your elbows flare out. They should remain close to your chest for growth in your arms and shoulders. And tidy form, of course.

LOWER DOWN

PARK WORKOUT PARTY PIECE

WORDS: JACK HART; PHOTOGRAPHY: PHIL HAYNES

Straighten out your arms to lower your body down into a dead hang, with your straight legs out in an L-sit position. Feeling the strain? Good. Now do it again.

HIT THE BRAKES Lean back and slowly lift your legs parallel to the ground. Aim to keep the back of your hands facing upward. This “false grip” will increase the pressure on your forearms.

34

FEBRUARY 2017


LOW CARB. HIGH PROTEIN. DON’T UNDO THE HARD WORK.

available at:

atkinslift.com


Your MTB mantra: enjoy the thrills, avoid the spills.

HAPPY TRAILS, KILLER CARDIO Kick your strength, endurance and mental focus into high gear by riding dirt [ BY ERIN BERESINI It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . Sure, Charles Dickens was writing about post-revolution Paris, but he could have been waxing lyrical about mountain biking. Done right, mountain biking can torch fat, build muscle and provide the kind of whiteknuckle thrills normally associated with parachutes and aeroplanes. Done wrong, it can end with a broken collarbone – or worse. Want to embark on your own of-road adventure without eating dirt? Read on to get the most out of every pedal stroke.

36

FEBRUARY 2017


MUSCLE+ FITNESS

1/ FIND THE RIGHT BIKE

3/ EASE INTO RIDING

5/ CLIMB LIKE A GOAT

“There’s a lot of product out there, which is great for the new rider, but it can also be confusing,” says former mountain-biking world champion Ned Overend. One of the easiest ways to make a sound choice is to spend some quality time at a local bike shop. Test-riding different rigs is smart, because you have various tyre widths to choose from, as well as three major wheel sizes (26”, 27.5”, and 29”) and several suspension options. A good shop will match you to a bike that suits your goals, size and wallet. “Your relationship with the shop is even more important than the bike you’re buying,” says pro coach James Wilson of MTB Strength Training Systems. The right staff will make sure your bike fits you and is put together safely; they’ll also inspect your rig if you crash it.

You don’t need to launch off a 10-metre ridge or hop off boulders to call yourself a mountain biker. “When you’re new at this, you’re supposed to suck,” Wilson says. Ask your shop about good beginner terrain and trails in your area. A few simple riding tips to start: you’re in the correct gear when your pedal stroke is smooth and gives you constant, steady power – no bouncing or jerking, no slack in your chain, no struggling to turn over the pedals. To brake, squeeze both sides softly and equally. One finger is enough to engage today’s high-tech disc brakes, which will stop on a dime – and potentially buck you off – if you squeeze them full-force.

“There are two elements to climbing: balance and traction,” Overend says. Distribute more weight on your back wheel so it doesn’t spin out and enough on your front wheel so you have sufficient grip to steer – a 60/40 split is ideal. For more traction, says Webber, “lower your chest toward the handlebar, shift your weight slightly back in the saddle, and concentrate on a smooth, consistent pedal stroke”. Many beginners fail to downshift early enough at the bottom of a climb and end up with too much chain tension, making gear changes difficult. That’s why it’s better to “undergear” on long hills. Pick a slightly easier gear than you think you need; that way your cadence or pedal rate will be faster and you won’t exhaust your muscles with overly heavy strokes up a long hill. On shorter, steeper climbs, just stand up and crank hard. That costs more energy, but it gives you the most leverage. In both scenarios, ride with the pedal centred in the middle of your foot, which puts the least stress on your calves and provides more direct power from your body’s prime mover – your glutes.

PHOTOGRAPHY: BARTEK WOLINSKI/RED BULL ILLUME

2/ GRAB THE ESSENTIALS You could buy a truckload of expensive accessories, but you really only need a handful of essentials, says Overend: a few extra inner tubes, a tyre lever and a mini hand pump in case of a flat. Practise changing a tyre at home so you don’t end up stranded on a ride. One short-cut used by racers is tyre sealant. It fits easily in a jersey pocket and can keep a puncture repaired for as long as seven months. For your maiden ride, go with simple flat pedals instead of clipless (see “Mountain Biking Terms You Need to Know”, below). Flat pedals boost your confidence because they make bailing easier if you find yourself losing control. If you want to splurge on something, invest in a dropper seat post, which lets you raise or lower the seat with the push of a handlebar lever. Dropping your seat on downhills keeps you safer by lowering your centre of gravity, says elite coach Marc Gullickson. This reduces the risk of launching yourself over the handlebars if you brake too hard.

4/ SURF THE TRAIL As you approach obstacles like rocks and roots, use your arms and legs as shock absorbers, says coach Pete Webber. Don’t freeze up or slow down. Think light hands, heavy feet, arse off the saddle – like a surfer crouched to absorb the force of a wave. Maintaining momentum makes it easier to roll up and over obstacles. Over time you should master the track stand, says Overend. That’s the ability to keep your balance while stopped or at very slow speeds rather than using momentum to stay upright. This skill helps you tackle features like tight turns and switchbacks that need to be negotiated slowly. On a soft patch of grass, try to stay on your bike as long as you can without rolling forward or falling off. Do this: stand up, rotate the cranks to horizontal and turn the handlebar 45°, keeping one finger on each brake and holding pressure on the forward pedal. “Stay loose and calm and focus on a point two metres ahead,” Overend says. “It’s really simple, but it really helps. Work up to 60 seconds.”

6/ BOMB DOWNHILL Fast, flowy descents are the most thrilling part of mountain biking – and the most dangerous. Shift your weight back in the saddle for better control and more speed. You’re too far back if you’re hanging on with your fingers and losing pressure on your palms; that pressure helps you maintain steering and braking power. If you have a dropper post, this is its time to shine. “When your seat is in the way of your hips, it messes with your ability to react and stay balanced as you bomb downhill,” says Wilson. To scrub speed, “pull both brakes evenly and at the same time with one or two fingers,” Wilson says. That’ll prevent you from vaulting over the handlebars after grabbing a fistful of front brake.

Mountain Biking Terms You Need To Know Full Suspension Best for rough, technical terrain, this type of bike can absorb impact from the front as well as the rear. Hardtail It has no rear suspension and may have front suspension or a rigid fork; good for hill riding.

29er On a bike with 29-inch wheels, you have more momentum once you’re rolling and more tyre contacting the trail. The result is better traction and a smoother ride than you’d get on a traditional 26-inch bike.

26er This is an old-school bike with 26-inch wheels. Good luck finding one at any race these days. 27.5 It’s nimble like a smaller 26er but has the more responsive handling that a larger wheel provides.

Fat Bike Standard mountain bike tyres are about 6 centimetres wide. The tyres on a fat bike can be nearly double that, which allows you to run lower pressure for better grip, and float over soft terrain like sand, scree or snow.

Clipless Pedals Despite the name, these are pedals that shoes with compatible cleats clip into. They’re the modern version of the original toe clips – those little pedal cages that your gym’s spin bikes probably still have.

FEBRUARY 2017

37


WEIGHT LOSS

EAT SHOOTS AND LEAVE FAT BEHIND Chia? Over. The latest high-protei morsels shooting of the shelves are sprouted grains. Make ke th hem more than just low-ca carb fillers rs

Detox x Defend ender

P Power r Plant

TEFF Ha ailing from Ethiopia, tefff is the endurance fuel of champion runn ners.. Rich in protein, pro calcium and iron, it also provides plenty of resistant starch, which balances blood sugar to keep weight in check. YOUR MOVE It’s gluten free and highly versatile. Just substitute wherever you’d normally opt for rice and reap the stamina benefits.

38

FEBRUARY 2017

Pain & Grain

ALFA ALFAL

QUIN NOA

lfalfa has been cropping Alfal up in the kitchens of the whole-food brigade for a while – now it’s time the rest of us got in on the act. The sprouts of this plant help your body to filter out nasty toxins and cholesterol as well as boosting circulation. They’re also a boon for protein digestion, ushering the nutrients from the rest of your breakfast in the direction of your muscles.

You’re d doubtless a aw ware of the myyriad health benefits o of quinoa but soaking itt for 12 hours g it sprout and letting ramps up the rewards. Specifically, sprouting more beneficial activates m while enzymes, w delivering a bigger protein puncch and ntioxidants serving up an ur muscles to soothe you after a workou ut. YOU MO Stir it into a roccoli, feta salad and pomegranate seeds for a one-course muscle multivitamin.

Couple with scrambled eggs on rye toast for a virtuous morning protein boost. YOUR MOVE

Cold Comfort Co Pressure Drop

GARLIC

MILLET Under the pump at work? Decompress with this form of sprouted grass. It’s a rich source of magnesium, for lower blood pressure, while a partnering tryptophan kick will ensure you get a decent night’s sleep after your nutritious dinner.

Okay, so this one isn’t a grain (and, if you want to get technical about it, neither is quinoa). It does sprout, however, and this is the key. Allowing garlic bulbs to germinate by leaving them at the back of the fridge for a week drastically ups their antioxidant potency.

YOUR MOVE Steam your sprouted millet then toss into a stir-fry. Dress with sesame oil to score more heart-health points.

YOUR MOVE Roast a chicken with four cloves of sprouting garlic (a French classic) for the ultimate flu-fighter.

SPROUT YOUR OWN STEP 1 Put your grains in a jar and cover with lukewarm water. Soak overnight then drain and rinse. Return to the jar.

STEP 2 Place some muslin over the jar and secure with a rubber band. Tip the jar upside down and leave it at an angle.

STEP 3 Rinse the grains twice a day, then leave the jar tipped. You’re done when the sprout is just emerging. It takes three days.


DEVIL’S ADVOCATE

Face it: almost all New Year’s resolutions fail. Recalibrate your fitness goals to avoid becoming another statistic For those wont to spend much of December wallowing in softcentres, it shouldn’t come as a surprise SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER in January to find PT Dylan Jones is all too familiar with the pitfalls of your middle is January’s treacherous similarly squashy. inroads, and his military But despite the training background natural urge to means you’d better listen. remedy this affliction, the New Year is not the time to undo a month of damage. Kicking off any new exercise regime is hard. Attempting it with December’s millstone around your gut is like trying to climb over a wall by first digging a pit. Forget April – January is the cruellest month. Your social life has withered from nights downing icy beers to an invite-free wasteland. Any fun is precluded by a credit card bill so massive it’s left a dent in your doormat. And after spending a week basking in front of the Boxing Day Test, you’re suddenly back at a desk that’s groaning under all the new projects your boss waited until after the holiday to drop on you. It’s a shock to the system akin to diving from the sauna straight into the pool. Your body’s right to recoil. According to a study from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, only 12 per cent of our New Year’s resolutions stick. Surprised? Perhaps the more

surprising thing is that there are any successes at all. Change demands willpower above all else, and willpower is a finite resource that drips away every time you exercise it. If the excuses won out over the silly season, why do you think you’ll suddenly discover seams of untapped resolve now that you’re back in the office? Swapping chips for kale and the sofa for six-kay slogs is tough enough without that looming deadline weighing on your mind. However, don’t for a moment think that we’re suggesting you just park yourself on the couch all month. This is Men’s Health, after all. But

what we are recommending is acclimatisation, rather than shock therapy. Postpone your body overhaul by a month or two and use those intervening days to put in the kind of groundwork that will enhance your chances of still speaking to your PT in July. First, make a plan. Looking to lose weight? Get stronger? Diving into the gym blind means you’ll do the wrong things on the wrong equipment and won’t see results. And you won’t go back. Start from your goal and work backwards so you know how that action you detest will create results you’ll love. Next, link your change to a positive goal. If you’re hitting the gym to become more attractive and snare a girlfriend, you’re more likely to keep going than if you’re doing it to avoid heart disease – although that’s a not-too-shabby side effect. Finally, do some groundwork. In the early days of January, you’re hung over, carrying an extra 5kg of turkey and – even if you’re a regular exerciser – probably haven’t seen your trainers in a fortnight. So spend the month slowly making small changes to build base fitness. Do 15 body-weight squats every morning. Head out for a half-hour walk twice a week. These easy wins will boost your motivation and mean that during that debut workout on 1 February, you’ll be less likely to introduce your lunch to the bin than you would if you’d started a month earlier. And more likely to still be going when every other “New Year, new you” newbie has long since returned to their unwholesome habits. YOUR DEALS WITH THE DEVIL 6731974

MENTAL LOAD

Work kills willpower. Study subjects told to memorise a number found it harder to resist cake*. Fix your desk, then your body.

PLAN, MAN

Studies found that writing down the time and date you intend to perform a task makes you 13 per cent more likely to do it.

BE POSITIVE

Negative goals (quit sugar) are harder to reach. Tie your resolutions to things you want to achieve (more energy).

40

FEBRUARY 2017

WORDS: TOM BANHAM; PHOTOGRAPHY: SUN LEE; *SOURCES: STANFORD UNIVERSITY, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH

WEIGHT LOSS


UNPACK AND BOUNCE BACK The right nutritional tools will see you cruise through your first day back in the oice. Power up with these supplies When the biggest decision you’ve had to make over the last two weeks is whether it’s too early to paddle out for another wave, wading into the oice can prove a cold reality. Slipping back into a routine of café sandwiches and a 4pm slice of banana bread is all too easy. But pack in the correct nutrients and you can set your body and mind of on the right path. We gave chef Adria Wu a list of 10 ingredients that belong in your fridge after a week away. Then we tasked her with creating a nutritious breakfast and packed lunch to keep your head sharp, mood keen and make the day pass faster. Welcome home.

01

05

06

08

07

09

01/ Strawberries These slow digestion to keep you satisfied. Keep a bowl on your desk to prevent mid-meeting rumbles.

06/ Chopped tomatoes Cooked tomatoes lower blood pressure to fight deadline-day stress. Crack open a tin and you won’t lose heart.

02/ Garlic Its allicin lowers heart disease risk and keeps you switched on. Go raw to score the maximum dosage.

07/ Milk Missing the sunshine? Grab a vitamin-D fortified milk to stop office days from clouding your mood.

03/ Zucchini This vegetable is 95 per cent water, supporting you in your daily battle against desiccating air con.

08/ Capsicum If your inbox is stuffed, capsicums dish up double your vitamin C RDI, helping to keep stress at bay.

04/ Banana Rich in vitamin B6, bananas balance mood hormones. Consider them a back-towork shock absorber.

09/ Oats Oats support immunity. And there’s no greater injustice than catching the office bug on your first day back.

05/ Couscous With B vits and manganese for blood sugar control, a bowl of this won’t leave you chewing your keyboard come 4pm.

10/ Chicken At 250mg per breast, phosphorus reinvigorates your muscles. Handy after a week hitting the deck chair.

10

42

FEBRUARY 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA PARRY

04

03

02


NUTRITION

01

WARM TO THE TASK

BANANA & STRAWBERRY PORRIDGE

Upstage your colleagues’ choice of • A BANANA, large instant porridge. This homemade mix • ROLLED OATS, 100g with fresh fruit provides a longer-lasting • SEA SALT, 2 pinches hit of natural sugar. • MILK, 350ml A/ If you’ve got time first thing, • STRAWBERRIES, 6 prepare this at home on the stove; • NUTS, a handful if your alarm never went off, your office • HONEY, 1-2 tbsp microwave will get the job done. Vent Serves two back-to-work frustrations by mashing the bananas in a saucepan or a microwave-friendly container, throw in the oats and salt, then pour the milk on top. B/ Cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes to your preferred consistency. If you’re microwaving, cook on high for 90 seconds, then take it out and stir before blasting it for another 90 seconds or so. C/ Top with more fruit, nuts and honey. Shovel this moodenhancer into your mouth with one hand, as you tackle your overflowing inbox with the other.

Bowled over: crush your first day back at the thi break fa

GET THE BALLS ROLLING CHICKEN & ZUCCHINI MEATBALLS

This twist on spaghetti and meatballs • COUSCOUS, 160g will deliver more lean protein, fewer • OLIVE OIL, 1 tbsp carbs and a whole lot of cognitive power • A CAPSICUM, chopped courtesy of the couscous. • CHOPPED TOMATOES, A/ Retain the minerals in your base 400g by soaking the couscous in enough • CHICKEN MINCE, 400g lukewarm water to cover it for 15 • A ZUCCHINI, grated minutes, or until all of the water is • SPRING ONION, absorbed. Add the olive oil and some 2 stalks, sliced salt and pepper to taste. • GARLIC, 2 cloves, B/ Mix the capsicum and tomatoes in a diced • CUMIN, ½ tsp bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the • CHILLI FLAKES, ¼ tsp mince with the remaining ingredients • PAPRIKA, ½ tsp and get the meatballs rolling; you • BASIL AND should end up with 10-12, the size of OREGANO, 50g a golf ball. Serves two C/ Tee up the meatballs in an ovenproof dish and cover with the tomato sauce, leaving the tops visible. Cook for 20 minutes at 180°C, then leave to cool. Pack it up for your lunch – and start planning your next holiday.

FEBRUARY 2017

43


BE THE BOSS IN THE BEDROOM Apply these workplace secrets of the job and enjoy red-hot perks that HR would never approve

UNLESS YOUR LAST NAME is on the front of the building, you’re probably not going to claim the corner office without working a few late nights. Punch out too much overtime, however, and the price to your relationship might not be worth the bonus in your pay cheque. The happiest couples approach their careers and their relationships with the same level of commitment, says Dr Jill Bowers, a researcher who studies relationship satisfaction. So what’s a man to do? The answer doesn’t require dialling back your ambition. The strategies on these pages will help you rise in the boardroom. Embrace them at home, and you’ll emerge on top (and bottom and behind) in the bedroom, too.

44

FEBRUARY 2017

Dress Like the Guy in Charge WHY IT MATTERS Women zero in on clothes, subconsciously looking for signs of status. “What you wear advertises who you are and the resources you have to offer,” says Dr Helen Fisher, author of Why We Love. Your attire also conveys confidence; plus, by mixing up your look, you show that you value her enough to keep trying to impress her, notes relationship expert Dr Yvonne Fulbright.

ERIC OGDEN / TRUNKARCHIVE.COM / SNAPPER MEDIA

[ BY MARIA MASTERS ]


SEX

‘‘Go o on n a double e date e with h the e most life-affirming g couple e you u know. Coupless feed d o others excitement” Exploit Your Social Network WHY IT MATTERS Boredom is a big contributor to relationship dissatisfaction, according to a study in Psychological Science. That’s why nightly squabbling over the Netflix queue can be a warning sign. You need to get out more: people feel more passionate about their partners when they hang with other couples. “We tend to be at our best around others: happy, engaged and telling stories,” says Dr Geoffrey Greif, co-author of Two Plus Two. “Seeing other people who value your opinions and respond to your thoughts will also make her appreciate you more, and vice versa.” DO THIS Go on a double date with the most life-affirming couple you know. Couples feed off other couples’ excitement, says relationship consultant Dr Jeremy Nicholson. Look her in the eye when she speaks and laugh at her jokes to make her feel appreciated, says persuasion expert Jay Heinrichs, author of Thank You for Arguing. Sing her praises, especially when she’s not around. “Every single word will get back to her, guaranteed,” says Heinrichs.

Be a Team Player WHY IT MATTERS A good worker

DO THIS Rework your wardrobe. She’ll notice shoes instantly, says David Hart, a leading menswear designer, so invest in quality, keep them polished and use shoe trees to maintain their shape. When it comes to your pants, you can never go wrong with straight-leg dark jeans. Above the belt, mix things up, says Hart. Try a solid, a pattern, and a texture – like a navy jacket with a plaid dress shirt and a solid knit wool tie.

relieves a colleague who’s under the pump, and the same idea applies at home. A recent Swedish study found that women in relationships are more likely than men to experience psychological distress if they feel they’re juggling an unfair share of chores. Start by taking over her most despised task, says Dr Elizabeth Lombardo, author of A Happy You. DO THIS Delegate. A smart manager doesn’t work in isolation. From Airtasker to Freelance.com there’s a tsunami of digital services that can take menial tasks off your plate.

Boost Morale at Home WHY IT MATTERS It’s no fun working for a misery guts – and a woman shouldn’t have to live with one either. Wives with positive husbands report less relationship conflict than women hitched to pessimists, reports a study in the Journal of Marriage and Family. But beware: men with positive mates report just as much conflict as men married to pessimistic partners. “Women may be more likely to try to repair the relationship,” says study author Dr James Iveniuk. “Men tend to withdraw from conflict, so guys who naturally look on the bright side may be better at preventing disagreements.” DO THIS Celebrate victories – even small ones. Notice the little things. “Women look for sincerity and integrity of actions,” says family therapist Dr Paul Hokemeyer. Is she running her first 10K? Be there to cheer her home at the finish line. Research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that partners who showed appreciation for each other were more likely to be together after nine months.

Give Back to the Community WHY IT MATTERS Good news:

couples who have more sex are also more likely to have stronger marriages, reveals research from Johns Hopkins University. But it’s overall satisfaction, not frequency, that really counts, says Fulbright. “Being desired is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” Fulbright says, “so focusing entirely on her needs can boost your bond and her confidence in bed.” DO THIS Make it all about her. “Oral sex is often thought of as just a form of foreplay, but couples should treat it like the new main event,” says Fulbright. Start by setting the mood – a massage, for instance. That’ll leave her more relaxed – and up her odds of achieving the big O.

PASS HER PERFORMANCE REVIEW FIND OUT IF YOU’RE DUE FOR A RAISE, SAYS SEX EDUCATOR EMILY MORSE SHE’S WEARING HEELS TO BED “Women want to feel beautiful and desired,” says Morse. “If she’s dressing up for you, it’s a sign that you make her feel attractive.” It’s also a sign to hightail it out to Victoria’s Secret, pronto. SHE GIVES YOU INSTRUCTIONS “A woman knows how you can touch her to get her off,” says Morse. “So if she’s speaking up, it means she feels comfortable.” And if she’s not, it’s time to ask her what feels good. SHE WANTS MORE. AND MORE “The more sex people have, the more they tend to want,” says Morse. Better yet if she tries new things, like sex toys, it shows she thinks of sex with you as an investment. SHE REMINDS YOU HOW GOOD IT WAS If she doesn’t? “Say something like, ‘I’m happy with our sex life, but is there anything you want to try?’” says Morse. “You might get the chance sooner than you think.”

FEBRUARY 2017

45


MEN’S HEALTH SUBSCRIPTION OFFER

ON THE VER PRICE

WHY SUBSCRIBE? • FREE Men's Health Summer Starter Kit valued at $230 • ONLY $69 for 12 issues of Men’s Health print + digital bundle • BONUS access to our digital edition • SAVE 59% on the cover price

*Subscriptions renew automatically until you decide to cancel. Ofer available until 31/03/2017 or while stocks last. We reserve the right to replace the gifts with one of equal value. Ofer valid for Australian delivery only and cannot be used in conjunction with any other ofer. Subscriptions may not include promotional items packed with the magazine. Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd is collecting your personal information for the purpose of processing your order. As a subsidiary of Seven West Media Limited, Pacific will handle your personal information in accordance with Seven’s Privacy Policy, which is available on subscribetoday.com.au/privacy-policy. By providing your personal information, you agree to the terms of the Policy. Without limiting the foregoing, Pacific may disclose your personal information to its related entities and service providers for research and profiling purposes as well as processing your order. Pacific may also use your personal information for the purpose of Pacific and its related entities sending you information regarding programs, products and services available through them and/or through their business partners, and to Pacific from time to time sharing your personal information with carefully selected business partners for the purpose of them sending you such information directly. We will always provide you with the ability to opt out of those communications.


NEW YEAR, NEW GEAR!

FREE when you subscribe to

*

TOTAL VALUE $230

ALL YOURS FOR ONLY

$69

E

Y

R

AGE

GET IT:

I

YOUR EXCLUSI KIT INCLUDES: • 12 print issues of Men’s Health • 12 FREE issues of our digital edition worth $59.88 • 5 FREE digital fitness guides • FREE Transform fitness book • FREE gym duffle b

All the tools and knowledge you need for a killer rig this 2017!

subscribetoday.com.au/buy/nyk 1300 668 118 and quote P72JKZZA


Style

48

FEBRUARY 2017


FIND YOUR TOP GEAR

SHOT ON LOCATION AT ALPHA RESTAURANT AND BETA BAR, 238 CASTLEREAGH STREET, SYDNEY ALPHARESTAURANT.COM.AU

If you want to woo her, you have to wow her. With Valentine’s Day looming, use our guide on how to dress for your next date night – whatever the destination STYLING BY JEFF LACK PHOTOGRAPHY BY VASSI LENA GROOMING: STEPHEN FOYLE MODELS: TYSON AND AMY @ CHIC

Formal Occasion Monochromatic colour palettes are chic and understated. A cheeky black silk pocket square adds texture and sophistication . SHE SAYS “If you want easy glamour without looking too stiff, choose a shirt in the same colour as your jacket and loosen up by losing the tie and unbuttoning the collar,” advises Marie Claire fashion editor Bree McDonald. ▪

Bailey Nelson glasses $125

MJ Bale shirt $169.95

MJ Bale suit $899

Aquila shoes $699

available at Myer ▪

Rachel Gilbert dress $999

All jewellery Kerry Rocks jewellery POA

FEBRUARY 2017

49


Hitting The Bar A bomber jacket with a pressed shirt and rolled chinos offers effortless street cool. Keep the mood relaxed with box-fresh white sneakers. SHE SAYS “When buying a casual jacket, a contrast lining will add intrigue, suggesting a keen eye for detail,” says McDonald. ▪

Ben Sherman jacket $159.95; shirt $89.95; chinos $119.95

Vans sneakers $99.95 available at The Iconic

Marcs dress $259

50

FEBRUARY 2017


The Swanky Restaurant You’re firmly in suit territory here. Add a smart buttoned-up polo shirt or dark block-coloured tee and elevate things with a silk pocket square for a slick semi-formal look. SHE SAYS “Keep printed pocket squares on hand for a splash of colour and instant panache.” ▪

Tommy Hilfiger polo $99.95

Rhodes & Beckett suit $948 & pocket square $69 available at Myer

TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 01 watch $6700

FEBRUARY 2017

51


Style Denim is a casual classic; boots add finesse to the finished look. If you’re going double-denim, always make sure the shades contrast. SHE SAYS “Denim shirts should be a wardrobe staple. Pair with neat pants and dress shoes for the win.”

The Casual Meal Instantly upgrade your usual jeans and T-shirt by throwing on a blazer with a pocket square. You can always take your jacket off, but that first impression that you’ve made an effort will go a long way. SHE SAYS “A grey marle tee is evening appropriate the moment a blazer is added to the equation. Choose a jacket in a subtle check for a little extra personality.” ▪

Rhodes & Beckett blazer $699 & pocket square $69

Ben Sherman T-shirt $39.95

Neuw Denim jeans $169.95

Timberland boots $239.95

52

FEBRUARY 2017

H&M shirt $39.95

Neuw Denim jeans $169.95

Aquila boots $429

Henry London watch $293


DATE NIGHT CHECKLIST style . Good re clean ake

Black types d skin for eveni

body en pale

3. JACKET Always ws and o date s the v n n progresses.

SUITS Yes, c business sur and acces

cc

in l

WAISTLINE tuck

tu

k rs, t art vised.

ACCES A

FEBRUARY 2017

53


Grooming

i BY

C A EL I A CORSE

SKIN

HAIR

The biggest mistake men make when it comes to skincare is not using it, says beauty expert and founder of Go-To Skincare, Zoe Foster-Blake. “If men applied sunscreen in the morning, washed their face in the shower at night and put something on – face oil and/or moisturiser, they will look younger and better for longer,” she says. Too late to introduce a regimen? Pull out a night-before panic facial: Wash face. Exfoliate face. Use a mask – take some selfies for Insta and tag your POI. Moisturise. Done.

NAILS

Got hair? Wash it. Then try these easy styling tips. For a short 9-5 vibe, apply product to your hands then “tip your head upside down and run your fingers through your hair quite vigorously in the direction it was originally styled. Pop your head up and pat it lightly into place so it’s not as structured and looks more casual,” says Craig Argent, Hanz de Fuko ambassador. Long hair? “Add a drop of conditioner to dry hair using your hands, says Argent. Or spritz with a light-weight sea salt spray for cool beach texture, adds Anthony Nader, international stylist and founder of RAW salon.

Want to get your paws on her? Then you’ll need to make them look marginally appealing and most of all, clean. Jocelyn Petroni, nail expert for Chanel Australia, reveals how to perform a DIY man mani. Step 1: clip your nails straight across, following the natural line of the white free edge. Step 2: wash your hands under warm water with a gentle soap and scrub with a natural bristle brush to remove dirt under the nail bed. Stop here, or, if your masculinity allows, use an orange stick to gently push back your cuticles towards the nail bed and wipe away the dead skin. Massage a natural oil (like almond or jojoba) into the cuticles.

Research published in The Archives of Sexual Behaviour found men with full beards were judged more attractive by women than those with patchy facial hair.

BRO-TO PROPERLY CLEAN, $31 Remove grime and de-clog pores with a dab of mousse Just rub, rinse and refresh.

54

FEBRUARY 2017

NIVEA MEN ORIGINALS EXFOLIATING FACE SCRUB, $8.60 Dead skin can clog up pores and cause acne. Refresh your mug with this mineral-rich gel.

HANS DE FUKO NATURAL SHAMPOO AND NATURAL CONDITIONER, $28.95 EACH Lavish your hair with folliclestrengthening amino acids.

THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR, $19.95 Your digits need their own security detail. Use a dollop to restore suppleness.

ERNO LASZLO FIRM AND LIFT HYDROGEL MASK, $113 Mask your flaws by minimising pores, removing toxins and boosting your skin’s elasticity.

AVEDA MEN PURE-FORMANCE POMADE, $39.95 Lock your ’do down. A firm hold provides confidence, even when things get messy.

PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHELLE TAN

DATE NIGHT ESSENTIALS


GE T T HE ME N’S HE A LT H DIGI TA L E DI T ION F OR

SAVE 50% Subscribe for f and conveniently access Men’s Health anytime, anywhere on your mobile device. That’s ^

To subscribe, visit

ci

to

m

Download the app on ^Subscriptions renew automatically until you decide to cancel. Ofer available until 31/03/2017. This ofer cannot be used in conjunction with any other ofer. Visit subscribetoday.com.au for full terms and conditions. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. registered in the US and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. Prices may vary from our direct to publisher rates.


Watches

SMASH HITS

Seiko Astron SSE087 $2700 Novak Djokovic is Seiko’s poster-boy and the Astron lives up to his exacting standards. Push a button and the watch adjusts to the local time anywhere in the world, with accuracy of one second every 100,000 years, using only the power of light.

NET GAINS AREN’T CONFINED TO THE COURT. WEAR ONE OF THESE AND YOU’LL NEVER DOUBLE-FAULT ON STYLE

PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHELLE

TAN

The wrist plays a crucial role in modern tennis by allowing players to whip heavy top-spin onto their booming forehands. Conversely, tennis also exerts a growing influence on the wrist. Watch brands splash big bucks to sponsor tennis players and tournaments because they share a common set of values with the game. Watchmakers and tennis pros both know that success ultimately depends on perfect timing and ruthless precision.

Rado HyperChrome Match Point $6475 Crafted from plasma hightech ceramic, this watch is ready to serve. The chronograph counters are marked at 00, 15, 30 and 40 in a nod to points scoring. The net-like design on the hours counter further drives home the advantage.

Longines Conquest GMT $2025 Anyone for tennis? Longines definitely is – it’s been official timekeeper of the French Open since 2006. The brand also supports the next generation of tennis superstars by sponsoring the Future Tennis Aces tournament.

56

FEBRUARY 2017

Rolex Air-King $7850 As official timekeeper of Wimbledon and the Oz Open, Rolex is deeply invested in tennis. Relaunched in 2016 with a bigger 40mm dial, the new Air-King is a genuine cross-court winner.

TAG Heuer Connected $2100 Last year, TAG Heuer asked a selection of its ambassadors to create a personalised design of its Connected smartwatch. This dial comes courtesy of Japanese tennis star Kei Nishikori in vibrant colours that certainly wouldn’t be tolerated at Wimbledon.


I’LL BE ENJOYING A PICNIC ON AUSTRALIA DAY, WITH FRIENDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. Alphonse Mulumba New Australian

CELEBRATE #AUSTRALIADAY

YOUR WAY

Visit australiaday.org.au to ind events in your area


Motoring

Two Wheels or Four? They cut through traffic, they’re cheaper to run and they exude hairy-chested machismo. Is it finally time to add a motorbike to your garage?

58

FEBRUARY 2017


EDITED BY STEPHEN CORBY

THE CASE FOR When you’re sitting astride a motorbike, traic simply ceases to exist. A 2015 traic study by nav-tracking website Global Positioning Specialists found drivers in Sydney – Australia’s most congested city – spend an annual average of three working weeks stuck in traic. Melbourne drivers lost a fortnight, while Brisbane drivers fared slightly better at 1.9 weeks. Motorbike riders, on the other hand, spend exactly zero minutes stuck at the back of a line of stationary cars. Then there’s parking, which is infinitely easier and, in many cases, heavily discounted (if not entirely free). And a tank of petrol will get you change from a $20. Don’t blow it on an ashtray. Finally, motorbikes are cheap. Genuine Ferrari-bothering performance can be parked in your garage for comparative peanuts.

THE CASE AGAINST Riding a motorbike is considerably more dangerous than just about any other mode of transport, save being shot out of a cannon. Research from the Queensland University of Technology found that, at the wheel of a car, having a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 increases your risk of dying seven-fold. Texting at the wheel makes you four times more likely to be killed while removing your seatbelt roughly doubles your mortal danger. Throw your leg over a motorcycle, however, and you are, per kilometre travelled, 30 times more likely to be killed than someone in a car. And there’s more. Rain will not be your friend. Nor will biting winter winds or scorching summer sun. Finally, it’s nowhere near as cool as you imagine. At least, not at first. Before you can get your Easy Rider on, you’ll be asked to glue an “L” plate to the back of your power-restricted bike as you wobble around the backstreets trying to learn how to stay upright.

THE VERDICT It’s a split decision! The case for scores big points by noting motorbikes are cheaper, quicker and better for the environment. But the case against counterpunches crisply with the fact you’ll be cold, wet and possibly dead.

TEST DRIVE: LEXUS IS THERE WILL SOON come a time when the humble sedan has been relegated to the history books, a victim of the ubiquitous SUVs that have stormed the Australian new car market like a plague of high-riding locusts. Just a few years ago, for example, the performance-flavoured Lexus IS was the top-selling model in the Lexus range, having accrued more than one million sales across the globe. In 2016, as Lexus shoots for a record-breaking year in Australia, it will contribute less than 20 per cent to the final numbers. But if it’s going down, it’s going down swinging, baby, with Lexus pouring safety, technology and style upgrades into its 2017 IS range in an effort to lure buyers back to its oncedominant sedan. All jutting Harvey Dent jaw-line and razor-sharp body creases, the new IS sedan looks less like a sedate luxury cruiser and more like it was sketched by a red cordial-addled toddler. Happily, it looks nothing like an SUV. Inside, too, it’s a complicated whirlwind of technology, with its joy stick-controlled infotainment set-up and its speedometer in the driver’s binnacle

that magically shifts to the right when you engage the car’s Sport mode. Under all that sharp-cut metal, Lexus has re-tuned the suspension set up to give the IS a more engaging, athletic driving style on the road, and it mostly works, with this new range skating closer to being a genuine performance handler than it ever has before – even if it’s still some way from completely nailing that brief. The safety tech has been updated, too, with every model in the range now arriving with a heap of keep-safe kit that includes autonomous braking and lane departure warning systems. The range still kicks off with the pick of the bunch – the turbocharged IS 200t – before stepping up to the hybridpowered IS 300h and topping out with the naturally aspirated IS 350. It can still be had in entry-level Luxury, mid-spec F Sport and top-shelf Sports Luxury trim levels, with prices starting at a reasonable $59,340. So will the 2017 IS range breathe new life into Lexus’ mid-size sedan range? Probably not, because it’s still not an SUV. But it is at least the very best of Lexus’ dying breed.

THE STATISTIC

33%

IF THE MANUAL GEARBOX ISN’T DEAD IN AUSTRALIA, IT’S IN ITS DEATH THROES. ADDICTED TO THAT THIRD PEDAL? THEN BUY A MANUAL CAR NOW – WHILE YOU STILL CAN

MANUAL GEARBOX NEW-CAR SALES IN 2000

8%

MANUAL GEARBOX NEW-CAR SALES IN 2016

FEBRUARY 2017

59


Discover Bali

TROPIC THUNDER

MY CHEST feels like it might split open. Struggling through a set of aptly named “death push ups” at a itness retreat in Bali, my pecs are racked by a deep, humbling burn as I desperately try to lift my tired body back to the starting position. Static for a last, agonising moment, my arms begin shaking before giving out, causing me to crumble into a pathetic pile on the grass. Trouble in paradise? Just a bit. I’m at Sohamsa Ocean Estate, home to the RBT Retreat. While Bali is littered with health and itness retreats promising instant wellness, it’s a safe bet few are as physically punishing as the Results Based Training camp. Every waking moment at this tranquil, seaside escape is dedicated to physical improvement. Twice-daily training sessions are balls-to-the-wall afairs that leave me prostate, melting in the sun. After every workout I stumble to my room for a shower. 60

FEBRUARY 2017

Ten minutes rest on the bed staring out at the sky turns into a 30-minute nap. Crawling back into the shower rounds out the hour, before it’s back into the action. RBT’s idea of a rest day consists of stair sprints and suring. Evening meditation sessions are spent pondering life goals. It’s easy to see why the retreat is popular among PTs and itness enthusiasts seeking to ofset torture with scenic bliss. For your average deskbound sloucher, like me? Let’s just say it’s a challenge. But it’s one I’m determined to meet. EACH DAY at RBT is split between education, training, cooking, more training and recovery. Days start with yoga, hour-long sessions that stretch my limbs like I’m prepping for the Kama Sutra. By 7am I feel ripe, primed and prepared for the day. “Your body becomes very rigid from repetitive

movements,” says instructor Lara Blackman. She’s right: coming of an eight-week program of heavy deadlifts and squats, yoga proves the perfect circuit-breaker. “You need to be open through the hips for a lot of the classic strength-building movements,” conirms Blackman. Training sessions follow core strength and conditioning principles. The morning session is a 45-minute circuit. The afternoon a HIIT session, often led by model and PT Olivia Arezzolo. Let’s just say she’s a drill-sergeant in a crop top. One round through the nine-exercise circuit and I’m on all fours. Alas, we’re only half way. I’d like to say I’m busting out reps for the majority of each 50-second interval but more often I’m slumped on my knees. “It’s all about time under tension,” says onsite PT Ryan Dickson. “Working for 50 seconds straight with a 10 second rest

PHOTOGRAPHY: RBT, LIAM CURTIS

In one week, MH writer Liam Curtis slashed more than three kilograms of fat from his frame. And he was on holiday


Chest Pain

No retreat, no surrender: the views at RBT may be sumptuous, but as Liam Curtis (below) discovered, the daily HIIT sessions are anything but.

g o lo

Want to add some front to your torso? Work your way through this classic RBT chest session, completing as many reps as possible in 50 seconds. Use a weight appropriate for 12-16 reps. Have a 10-second rest between exercises. Do five rounds.

BENCH PRESS Lie on a flat bench holding a barbell, your hands shoulderwidth apart. Slowly lower the bar until it touches your chest, pause, then drive back to the starting point. You may need a spotter 30 seconds in.

RESISTANCE BAND FLY

Every waking moment at this tranquil escape is dedicated to physical improvement increases the volume of tension on your muscles. This method of training really increases strength and adds lean muscle.” MEAL TIMES become beacons of respite and recovery. I fear my 8786-kilojoule-per-day diet (yep, they calculate it down to the last ’joule) is going to leave me malnourished. I ind myself frantically scouring my breakfast for carbs. There’s a large omelette packed with spinach, but where’s the bread? So closely monitored is my kilojoule allowance there isn’t even the luxury of milk in my cofee. But after being briefed on the importance of this macronutrient ledger, I’m won over. After all, that extra helping of dairy would alter my nutrition targets – ultimately impacting results. And at RBT, it’s all about results – stunning results. Hell, I shed three kilos of useless weight and shaved three points of my body-fat percentage.

WHERE

COST The retreat costs $2500 for the early bird package and runs during specific weeks of the year. For more information visit retreat.resultbasedtraining.com.au

DENPASAR

SYDNEY

GETTING THERE Qantas flies direct to Denpasar from most Australian capitals. The crew at RBT will arrange a pick-up driver from Denpasar Airport.

Anchor a resistance band at shoulder height and stand facing away from the band. Grab the ends of the band with both hands and step forward. Keeping your arms in line with your shoulders, pull your arms forward and bring your hands together.

DEATH PUSH-UPS Stack two weight plates on the floor and place your hands on top, adopting a regular push-up position. Lower yourself until your chest is below the plates, pause, then drive back up. Trust us, there’s no irony in the name.


Australia’s ultimate obstacle race returns! Sponsored by DEEP HEAT and Atkins LIFT, more than 2000 competitors flocked to Olympic Park on December 10, keen to test themselves on the brutal 10km course. Here’s a look at the day in pictures

mhsurvival.com.au

Hit the bars: LIFT bars for race-day refuelling

@MHsurvivalaus

Balls to the wall: competitors’ upper-body strength is pushed to the limit on the LIFT Wall

PHOTOGRAPHY: JASON LEE

Knees up: MH fitness advisor Cam Byrnes pumps up the crowd

Leap of faith: DEEP HEAT’s airbag jump tested runners’ resolve

62

FEBRUARY 2017

Parallel universe: negotiating obstacles often required getting horizontal


MH RADAR

Eyes on the prize: time to get a grip, fast

Showered in glory: DEEP HEAT ambassador Tim Robards cools off under the Olympic torch

Medals of honour: biting off all they can chew

Swingers’ club: a little water raises the stakes

Helping hand: friends come in handy on the LIFT Wall

Thanks to our sponsors

Chowing down: after 10k and 50-plus obstacles, LIFT protein bars start the recovery process

FEBRUARY 2017

63


FIGHTING TALK “TENNIS IS A LOT LIKE BOXING. YOU NEED TO HAVE SPEED, AGILITY AND AGGRESSION”

64

FEBRUARY 2017


AUSTRALIAN OPEN

COURT MARSHALL “AM I THE FITTEST? YOU NEVER KNOW HOW OTHERS ARE TRAINING. BUT I THINK SO”

A

t the photo shoot, Andy Murray leaps in the air, swishing his racquet in imitation of a running forehand, then lands on his appointed spot, marked on the loor by a piece of tape. Unfortunately, foot, tape and loor are misaligned and the best tennis player in the world at the start of 2017 has to negotiate a musclejarring tumble that might have not just sabotaged his season, but signiicantly altered the tone of this interview. Only Murray’s sense of balance saves him from potentially calamitous results – not to mention embarrassment. “Well, that was nearly a story,” his business partner, Matt Gentry, says, raising his eyebrows. There is a hush in the studio as Murray pauses, then returns to his mark to complete the balletic task. Life around Murray is rarely dull, on court or of. The 2011 French Open, for instance, was a sequence of comic mishaps: he got lost on the Metro; he broke his tooth on a baguette and later tore a tendon in his ankle; he won a match virtually on one leg; and he reached the semi-inals, giving Rafael Nadal, the best clay-courter of all time, a decent three-set argument. Nearly six years later, after claiming three Grand Slam titles, two Olympic gold medals and the No.1 ranking after a stupendous run of tournament victories to inish last season, there is the unmistakable sense of a man hitting his straps.

>

Andy Murray has it all: speed, strength, grit and prodigious talent. It’s a combination that’s carried him to the world No.1 ranking and favouritism for this month’s Australian Open. Follow the champion’s lead and use fitness and mental strength to pursue your burning ambition By Kevin Mitchell and Daniel Williams Photographs by David Clerihew

FEBRUARY 2017

65


BREAK POINT Clearly, Murray has come a long way since he irst walked into Wimbledon as a nervous teenage prodigy 12 years ago. Now an acclaimed athlete at the peak of his powers, the chronic back problems that could have ended his career in 2014 are a memory. With long-time nemesis Novak Djokovic looking out of sorts, Murray is at the start of what could be a long stint as the world’s premier player. He’s also a doting father, to Sophia, now almost a year old. In his persistence and attention to detail, in his determination to surround himself with the right people and to strengthen his weaknesses while developing his strengths, Murray is showing the way forward to any guy whose ambitions go beyond protecting a comfortable place near the top of his ield. Why settle for that, after all, when there’s a grander prize just waiting to be seized? One of the remarkable things about Murray’s 2016 is that it began much like previous seasons, with the Scot playing support act to the relentless, indefatigable Djokovic. By winning the French Open in June, Djokovic became only the eighth man to claim a career grand slam – victory in all four of the major tournaments. Thereafter, however, somewhat astonishingly, Murray took over. On the eve of Wimbledon, he reappointed the steely Ivan Lendl

as his coach, thus resuming the most successful collaboration of his career. He stormed through the event, brushing aside the huge-serving Milos Raonic in the inal. Fresh from his second Wimbledon title, Murray became the irst player – male or female – to win a second Olympic gold medal in singles, outlasting Juan Martin del Potro in a four-hour inal. Title victories followed in Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris, where on November 7 he deposed Djokovic as No.1. The Serb had a chance to reclaim top spot in the last event of the year, the ATP World Tour Finals in London, where he and Murray met in a muchhyped inal. But in a poignant illustration of how far Murray has come in the past six months (and, to a lesser extent, how far a distracted Djokovic has slipped), Murray dismissed him in straight sets to inish the year with 24 consecutive wins. “We should all let Andy enjoy this a little bit,” Djokovic said after the match. “Don’t ask him questions about next season. He deserves to be in the moment and to take in everything he’s achieved.”

THE AWAY GAME

38.1kph IBF world heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua’s glove speed 8.8m/second

193kph

Murray’s service racquet speed 53.6m/second

66

FEBRUARY 2017

BEGINNING WITH A BIG BANG MEANS HARNESSING THE LAWS OF PHYSICS AND BENDING THEM TO YOUR WILL

THE DIVE TOPSPIN CREATES LOW PRESSURE UNDER THE BALL, PLUNGING IT INTO THE COURT

Speaking to MH before the start of his magniicent run, Murray was delighted with his circumstances. He had come through a tough time at last January’s Australian Open, where

SPEED THRILLS The velocity of Murray’s serving motion provides some knockout numbers

01

his father-in-law, Nigel Sears, collapsed on an adjacent court during one of Murray’s matches. He admitted that his 31st match against Djokovic in the Open inal was unlike the others, although it wasn’t the build-up of losses that afected him (his 22nd to the then world No.1) but the external circumstances. He’d said beforehand he would have no hesitation leaving the tournament if his heavily pregnant wife Kim went into labour, even if he reached the inal. And here he was. And there she was. Still waiting. Her father had just blacked out in the stands while she was at home with her mother in the aluent suburban

village of Oxshott, England. That’s not a regular scenario for anyone. After he lost in the inal, Murray was ferried overnight to Tullamarine airport for the irst available ticket back to London – he’d reserved seats on three lights. But Sears recovered quickly and Murray’s daughter Sophia arrived soon afterwards, bringing the edgy period to a halt. “After the Australian Open I took two weeks of without hitting a ball and that was the longest I hadn’t played since I had my back surgery [in 2014],” he said. “Normally, after a week or so, I want to hit a few balls. When I got back to doing stuf, I felt much better for it.


AUSTRALIAN OPEN

TECHNIQUE, SPIN AND TIMING HAVE MADE MURRAY ONE OF THE GAME’S BEST RETURNERS OF SERVE THE STRIKE THE LONG LEVER OF ARM AND RACQUET CREATES EXTREME BIOMECHANICAL FORCE

THE TOSS MURRAY BUILDS KINETIC ENERGY THROUGH HIS LEGS, HIPS, TRUNK AND SHOULDERS

“It wasn’t the inal that was diferent – it was the whole event. It was tough, and then everything that happened in the middle of it. Obviously a lot of things go on away from the court. Normally in a Slam, the tennis is the priority. For a number of years I hadn’t played a Slam like that; normally I’m competing for them and trying to win them, but this time I had something else on my mind, as well. I don’t think it afected my tennis so much, but it deinitely gave me perspective. I had to think a little bit more about what’s important, what my values are.” It sounded like a turning point. The conundrum for

Murray was and remains: how does he cope with the twin responsibilities of parenthood and tennis? Both Roger Federer, father to two sets of twins and a travelling ad for Swiss efficiency, and Novak Djokovic, also a beaming new father, have handled it. On the evidence of the last six months, you have to suspect that fatherhood has helped Murray take his game to another level? Once on the brittle side, his temperament now beits a world No.1. Murray thinks he has found balance and, for now, will let the cards fall where they will. He loves tennis. But he loves wife Kim and Sophia more.

OUTSIDE ADVANTAGE Murray still trains as hard as ever, despite suggesting on a visit to his Miami winter camp a few years ago that he might level of as he got older. He remains as ascetic about his diet as he was when he won his breakthrough US Open title in 2012, when he joined the celebration party late, picking up a bill for $US6448 at the Ling Ling bar in the upmarket Hakkasan restaurant. He had a $6 soft drink. Life for Murray is calibrated – he knows no other way. A few years ago he told MH: “Earlier in my career I used to spend a lot of time practising my tennis on

court. Now I’ve learned that it’s better to do just a couple of hours on court and two gym sessions a day. That’s what’s made me itter and stronger. For much of the year, you’re just trying to maintain your itness. It’s not often you get time to really concentrate on improving it.” Back at the photo shoot, Murray gives us an update. It shows how precise his training has become. “I don’t do much running now. I stopped after the problems with my back. After my surgery I did more cardio work on the court. Before I came here today, I was doing Gyrotonics [a system of exercise incorporating movement principles from yoga, dance, gymnastics, swimming and tai chi], which has made a huge diference to my life. Not just my tennis but to what I can and can’t do. I still do Pilates, but a lot of it is straight lines. With Gyrotonics there is more twisting and turning, the kind of movements I use in tennis.” Looking after his body is one of his key enthusiasms. When he played his third match at Wimbledon in 2005, losing a ive-setter to David Nalbandian, he complained that he could not match the older, stronger Argentinian for stamina. Few listened. Get on with it, they said – it’s only tennis. What Murray has done since moving his winter base to Miami nearly eight years ago is not just admirable, but a template for others. Physically, he’s now surpassed the Djoker. Returning to his latest

>

FEBRUARY 2017

67


02

TECHNIQUE, SPIN AND TIMING HAVE MADE MURRAY THE GAME’S BEST RETURNER OF SERVE

Usain Bolt start reaction time

And

yM

u

rra

obsession, Gyrotonics, he continues: “We got the lady who teaches it to come to a few tournaments. She was in Washington the week before the US Open. She did a couple of weeks with me before the clay court season. She’s been fantastic for my game. “I still make adjustments during the year and I tried a lot of things to help my back. It’s so much better now but I’m always trying new stuf. Sometimes you ind something that makes a huge, huge diference. I used to do a lot of running on the track and then came across the VersaClimber. I felt I was getting huge beneits from that without my hips and knees and back taking a pounding. That made a big diference as well, a big aerobic beneit. Also, the work you get on your quads on the VersaClimber is massive.”

THE SNAP: FLEXION IN THE CORE, SHOULDER AND WRISTS PUTS MAXIMUM VELOCITY INTO THE BALL

THE EFFECT: MURRAY AVERAGES 2400RPM ON EACH SHOT, FOR MORE POWER AND ACCURACY

COURTING CONFLICT Elite athletes spend a lot of time on the hunt for new techniques.

THE FULL 1 SERVICE

EXTENSION/ MED BALL SLAM

2

3 SETS OF 5 REPS ON EACH

68

Lewis Hamilton start reaction time

0.2

THE ANGLE: SLANTING THE RACQUET FACE AT 55˚ PROVIDES THE MOST TOPSPIN

TRULY ELITE ATHLETES WORK EVERY ANGLE. MURRAY’S PLAN ADDS LOAD TO DYNAMIC MOVES FOR A LEAN PHYSIQUE

0.3sec 0.15sec

Returning a fast serve puts Murray’s reflexes ahead of most

Stand in front of a cable stack and pull the rope handle straight up over your head (A). Do 5 reps, rest 30sec, then smash out 5 med ball slams (B).

FEBRUARY 2017

yr

etu

rn rea

ction time

And of course, some take the easier route: performanceenhancing drugs. Murray, more than just about any other player, abhors their use. He was among the most unforgiving of critics when former world No.1 Maria Sharapova failed a drug test at last year’s Australian Open for the previously unheard-of meldonium. He exchanged frank words with Djokovic over the suspension of the Serb’s compatriot, Viktor Troicki, in 2013. Other players tread warily. Not Murray. If he feels strongly about something, he will say so. Murray and Djokovic, born just a week apart 29 years ago, fell out more dramatically last year, when the Scot said he sometimes wondered about past opponents who had been able to go strongly to the wire in long matches. First, Djokovic’s coach, Boris Becker, came out iring, saying Murray was “totally out of order” to make such suggestions. Djokovic, a born diplomat, tried to smooth things over. Djokovic asserts he is good friends with Murray, whom he

TWISTING PLATE LUNGE

A

3 SETS OF 8-10 REPS A

B

Holding a weight plate in front of you (A), lunge forward and twist 90˚ in the direction of your lead leg (B). Do 8-10, then swap legs. And yes, this will burn.

B


AUSTRALIAN OPEN

has known since losing to him in a junior tournament when they were 11 years old. But Murray is equivocal. He describes their relationship as that of “professional friends”. They are cordial – and have even played ive-a-side football together – but they have had their moments on court. Murray has suspected Djokovic of gamesmanship more than once, most pointedly in the 2015 Australian Open inal. But they take such contretemps in their stride. They might be closer when they retire. They might not. Neither went to the other’s wedding. Neither was upset about it.

They are diferent temperamentally: Murray rides his emotions more demonstrably; Djokovic is quietly brutal in mastering his inner beast. For now, Murray is happy to talk sushi, another apparent obsession: over the course of our conversation he hoovers up maybe 20 pieces. “The irst time I went to a Japanese restaurant I would have been, like, 19. I thought, there’s no chance I’m having that: raw ish, no way. The irst time I tried sushi was after a Davis Cup tie. And that was it. Sold. In Miami, it’s everywhere.” Does he still stack up the

03

kilojoules and match the intake with massive workouts? “No. There was a period, when I was younger and trying to put weight on, when I was looking at my calories. These days I just try to maintain my weight. I feel most comfortable at 84kg.” He does not look as if weight – too much of it, anyway – would ever be a problem. “The problem for me was when I had my back surgery. When I don’t do anything, I drop weight, because I don’t have as much of an appetite. When I started training again, I put on quite a lot. Anyway, now it’s ine. My body fat is around 9-10 per cent. It’s what I want. When I tried the gluten-free diet,

AN EXPER GRASP OF ANGLES AND B OME HANI S LETS MURRA IT WINNERS FROM AL ANGLES

THE GRIP: A MIXED GRIP TRANSFORMS THE BACKHAND INTO AN ‘OFFHAND FOREHAND’

THE RETURN: THE EXTERNAL ROTATORS RAPIDLY DECELERATE TO READY FOR THE NEXT SHOT

3

THE ROTATION: TWISTING HIS SHOULDERS PAST HIS HIPS PUTS STRETCH ENERGY INTO THE MUSCLES

MED BALL RETURN

4

REACTION SPRINT

4 SETS OF 10 SPRINTS

4 SETS OF 3-5 REPS Face a wall with a med ball in both hands. Squat (A), jump slightly and rotate your shoulders as you land to throw the ball (B). Go heavy and aim for power.

I dropped like 5kg in the space of a few weeks, and had no energy. The only thing that it helped was sleep but I think that was simply because I was so tired. I couldn’t play tennis like that. I just didn’t have enough energy. I struggled.” It was Djokovic, of course, who led the way with glutenfree. He was also, until recently, Murray’s bête noire. They will surely clash in the months ahead, perhaps in Melbourne – in the inal – as the two top seeds. It is a rivalry that encapsulates the nature of modern tennis: intense, physical, psychologically demanding – and, for the rest of us, utterly engaging.

B A

Set two cones 10m apart and get into a “sprint start” position between them (A). Have a partner call out a cone, then react to touch it (B).

A

B

FEBRUARY 2017

69


THE

BALD

MH: Your father pushed you incredibly hard as a kid. That produced a relationship that was often tense. But it also drove you to win multiple grand-slam titles. Today, as a father yourself, how do you inspire your children to excel without piling on the pressure? AA: It’s a delicate balancing act, no question. But you’ve got to hold your kids accountable to what they claim is important to them. You can’t choose for them. In fact, the problem comes when you choose for them. So if my son wants to be the best that he can be at baseball, then he better do everything that he can control to get better every day. I also think that deining success by a trophy or a tangible measurement can be a mistake. What’s more important is expecting them to give everything and to igure out what they need to do in order to get better if they want to succeed. MH: The mother of your children, of course, is Stei Graf. But it wasn’t easy for you to win her heart. You were living in diferent countries, both jugling crazy schedules, and for years you weren’t both single at the same time. What’s your advice on how to get the girl when everything is stacked against you? AA: I didn’t take no for an answer. I mean, I really didn’t. I really didn’t. I just made this assumption that if Steffi really knew how I felt about my desire to get to know her better then, hey, what’s wrong with that? Surely that’s a good thing? So I took a “no” a few times. But you have to stay focused. Perseverance is key. 70

FEBRUARY 2017

PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT ASCROFT/CPI-SYNDICATION.COM/HEADPRESS

Andre Agassi is one of the all-time greats. Use his winning tactics to get the girl, conquer your demons and finally come to terms with losing your hair


AUSTRALIAN OPEN

TRUTH BY

LUKE BENEDICTUS

MH: You mention the value of staying focused, but in the early stages of your tennis career you strugled with your temperament . . . AA: I struggled with it throughout my career. MH: How, then, did you learn to master your emotions on court? AA: What I actually learned is there is no place for emotion on a tennis court. The allocation of value shouldn’t be put on one point or another. A tennis player’s job starts at a certain time and doesn’t inish until you’re done. Every mental detour you take from that makes it longer to that inal destination. So you’ve got to learn to leave your emotions in the locker room. You do that by developing a muscle and it takes time. But that should be your objective if you want to become more efective on the tennis court. MH: So you believe the mind is a muscle? AA: You haven’t learned that yet? On court, I’d rather have a body that’s struggling than a mind that’s struggling. Unquestionably. MH: What advice, then, would you give to someone like Nick Kyrgios, who’s still wrestling with the mental side of his game? AA: I’m not going to speak to Nick because he’s admitted that he hates tennis and I don’t have the tools to help him suppress those feelings. But I have a high regard for him and optimism as to what his future holds – even if it’s not tennis-related – because he’s incredibly talented and he’s done a lot in spite of the way he currently feels. I feel for him when I watch the emotional rollercoaster he’s on because there’s no place for that inside the sport. He’s young. He’ll igure it out. But I respect his honesty. He’s not hiding from it. I just hope he learns from it and makes a decision that makes his daily engagements a lot more authentic. MH: You won eight Grand Slams and an Olympic gold medal. Not a disastrous haul. When you look back at your career, what’s your proudest on-court achievement? AA: Winning the French Open in 1999. It was the last of the grand slams that I hadn’t won.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

ROBERT ASCROFT

Winning at that age (29), in a tournament where I’d already twice lost in the inal and after being two sets down . . . there are so many reasons why that was rewarding. I’d come back from being ranked 140 in the world. I was coming of an injury, plus that match was only 60 days after my divorce. Getting past all that was so tough, physically and mentally. MH: In that final against Andrei Medvedev you lost the first two sets (1-6, 2-6) before coming back to win. What’s the secret to forging that kind of never-say-die resilience? AA: I think if you look at the diference between the great players and the rest, the great players don’t value any point as more important than the next. They give themselves the freedom to execute their game plan on every point. Every point matters. You develop a muscle that treats every point equally. And when that happens you tend to execute in big moments when your opponent might not. It’s like asking Carl Lewis how does he pass everybody at 60m. He doesn’t get faster; everybody else slows down. MH: During the comeback period leading up to that French Open win, you rebuilt your body to get into the best shape of your life. Today, who do you rate as the fittest guy on the circuit? AA: Andy Murray. [Rafael] Nadal set the standard for a long time. But Murray is tough, strong, it and prepared. MH: Carefully leaving a touchy subject until last . . . in your autobiography you discuss strugling to deal with your hair loss. You even wore a hairpiece until you got paranoid it would fall of mid-match. What advice would you give now to a bloke who’s starting to thin on top? AA: On your deathbed you’re going to think – I wish I could have back every moment that I’d ever spent worrying about anything. So I would say just shave it all of and stop wasting so much time worrying about it.

PLAY A SMARTER GAME TO DOMINATE THE COURT Hall of Famer Chris Evert still kicks butt at age 61. Let her help you raise your game

YOUR SERVE: Toss the ball high enough that everything stays up – your head, front shoulder and racket – so you’re long and reaching. You want to imagine swinging up. The racquet will come down eventually. HIS SERVE: Attack weak second serves, picking a target well inside the lines. This continued pressure will cause your opponent to slow down his first serve in order to avoid having to hit a second serve. VOLLEY: Tilt your wrist back to open the racket face so you’re leading with the racquet’s bottom edge. Strike the ball in a short,sweeping motion – no more than 30cm – as if you’re clearing a bookshelf. REACTION: Don’t watch your opponent; watch the ball come off his strings.This keeps your concentration high so you can identify the direction and spin. Reacting once the ball crosses the net is simply too late.

Andre Agassi is an ambassador for Longines

FEBRUARY 2017

71


The New Power Food Formula COMBINE THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS AND YOUR MEALS BECOME EVEN MORE NUTRITIOUS – AND DELICIOUS. TRY THESE SMART MATCHES

STEAK

+

GARLIC

+ ONIONS

Like you needed a reason to eat this stuff. Research suggests that garlic or onions may help your body absorb zinc and iron from grains; the benefit may extend to meat, which is loaded with these minerals. Zinc may bolster immunity, and iron is crucial for muscle performance. To cook ’em, add the garlic and onions to a cold pan with some oil; then turn on the heat. That way the garlic is less likely to burn. MUSCLE BOOSTER

72

FEBRUARY 2017

IMMUNITY DEFENDER

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

GENTL AND HYERS


NUTRITION

AFTER YEARS OF RESEARCH, new nutritional science is seeing the value in an old piece of advice: don’t mess with Mother Nature. Take vitamin E, found in spinach, almonds and broccoli. If you consume these and other E-rich foods regularly, you’re likely protecting your eyes and preventing cognitive problems. But what if you’re not eating enough healthy foods? Enter the supplement companies. Pop your vitamin E in pill form and you’ll reap the rewards without having to masticate spinach, right? There’s one problem: new research shows that vitamin E, when isolated, may not have the same protective power. One recent study suggests that supplementing with E long-term

can actually increase your risk of one type of stroke. And it’s not just E. Experts are now questioning supplements like selenium, green tea extract and fish oil. There are smarter and tastier ways to make sure you get the nutrition you need. Certain foods gain superpowers when paired. Adding olive oil to tomatoes, for example, helps your body absorb the tomatoes’ antioxidants. “Our bodies are incredibly complex engines, and at the cellular level they require a complex fuelling strategy to run best,” says nutritionist Dr Mike Roussell. “A variety of whole, healthy foods seems to provide the best benefits.” Curious? Try these six power combinations.

ALMONDS + KEFIR

Think of kefir as a tart, bubbly yoghurt. If that sounds off-putting, taste and learn: dump a slug into your next shake to give your gut a batch of beneficial probiotics. While you’re at it, add a handful of heart-healthy almonds. Preliminary findings suggest that the fibre in almond skins may act as a prebiotic. And prebiotics are known to feed probiotics, found in kefir. Both can keep your gut in balance so your body can fend off illness-causing bugs. > IMMUNITY DEFENDER

HEART PROTECTOR

FEBRUARY 2017

73


Cut Kilojoules, Not Flavour

Toppings can topple an otherwise healthy meal (example: greens smothered in salad dressing). Turn to these add-ons for more taste without the kilojoule load USE THIS

Steamed seafood, pasta with olive oil, stir-fry

Fresh herbs: basil, thyme, chives, parsley

Roasted chicken, grilled fish, roasted vegetables

Sprouts: broccoli, mung bean

Turkey sandwiches, salads

Thinly sliced hot chillies

Omelettes, soups, chilli con carne

FEBRUARY 2017

+ SPINACH SALAD

ON THIS

Citrus zest: lime, lemon, grapefruit, orange

74

WHOLE EGGS

Fat has benefits. Men in a Purdue University study who ate a salad with three eggs took in nine times more carotenoids — antioxidants that help your eyes — than those who didn’t. Carotenoid-rich produce, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes, may reduce heart disease and cancer risk. You need fat to absorb these compounds; that’s where yolks come in. Don’t want eggs every meal? Olive oil, avocado and nuts may work too. EYE SAVER

CANCER FIGHTER

HEART PROTECTOR


NUTRITION

Give sweet some heat. Researchers in India discovered that capsaicin, an ingredient in cayenne, increased absorption of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body can convert into sight-saving vitamin A. (It was a rodent study, but still.) Capsaicin is also the compound that lights the fire in chillies. For a new twist on a baked sweet potato, dust it with cayenne, squeeze on some lime juice, and top it with fresh coriander. >

SWEET POTATOES

+ CAYENNE PEPPER

EYE SAVER

FEBRUARY 2017

75


Ever eat a stack of pancakes with syrup in the morning and then crash later? That’s because a blood sugar high is often followed by a nap-inducing low. A Polish study suggests that you may blunt that midmorning drag if you sip green tea while you chew through your morning carbs. Also, researchers at Purdue say a squeeze of lemon may increase the disease-fighting polyphenols that are available for your body to absorb from the drink. DISEASE FIGHTER

When Foods Just Don’t Get Along Some consumable combos spark trouble, with effects that can leave you with a food hangover. Avoid these three dastardly duos 76

FEBRUARY 2017

FRIED CHICKEN + BEER

W HITE BREAD + JAM

LENTILS + RED WINE

High-fat meals and alcohol don’t mix. Your liver processes both fat and booze but tackles the alcohol first because it’s a toxin. So the excess fat hangs out in your blood and can then settle in fat tissue. Plus, the fat slows digestion, leaving you feeling bloated and lethargic long after you’ve left the pub.

Eating a pair of simple carbs taxes your pancreas. First, your blood sugar spikes, forcing your pancreas to secrete insulin to recalibrate. Next you suffer the crash from that sugar high, and you’re likely to end up exhausted and irritable. Instead, turn to the high fibre in wholegrain bread and fruit.

When the compounds that give red wine its tartness, called tannins, mingle with the iron in foods like lentils, your body’s ability to absorb iron can be compromised. Vegetarian? Well, your body has a harder time absorbing iron from plants than from meat. If lentils are on the table, drink water.


NUTRITION

ROSEMARY

+ GRILLED CHICKEN

When you grill meat, potentially carcinogenic compounds called HCAs form in the muscle. Too much char and you may increase your cancer risk. Limit your exposure by adding rosemary to your marinade. Its antioxidants may prevent HCAs from building, a Kansas State University study found. No need to get fancy; just mix the juice of a lemon, a glug of olive oil, the leaves from a sprig of rosemary, salt and pepper. Use on two chicken breasts. CANCER FIGHTER

FEBRUARY 2017

77


78

FEBRUARY 2017

Half full?

Half empty?


SLUG + MIND

Trump, Brexit, house prices: there are plenty of reasons to be pessimistic right now. Problem is, pessimism might be killing you. So how does a lifelong misery guts learn to see . . .

upside By Aaron Scott

FEBRUARY 2017

79


Really tired. My two-year-old woke up at 2:23am last night. I tried not to look at the clock but I couldn’t help myself. She had a bleeding nose. Why does she get bleeding noses at night? It never bleeds during the day. An hour later the cat started scratching at the door. It wants to go outside and kill native marsupials. It doesn’t even eat them. It just dumps their carcasses at our door. Why would it do that? My wife says it’s a sign the cat loves us. That’s one sick kitty if you ask me. God, I’m tired. My eyelids feel like they’re made of sandpaper. I didn’t get a seat on the train this morning. Shock me. Flicked through the headlines on my phone only to ind Trump whinging about “illegals” again. Soul destroying. Now I’m at my desk and my computer’s not working. My computer never works. I must emit a magnetic ield that jams its circuitry. Or it just hates me. Why not? Dogs growl when I tickle their ears. Babies cry when I hold them. Makes sense that computers would hate me too . . .

THE PESSIMISM PLAGUE People tell me I’m a whinger. They call me a cynic, a killjoy, a misery guts. My wife’s kinder: she tells me I’m a pessimist. “Ha!” I sometimes reply with droll smugness. “I used to think I was a glasshalf-empty kind of guy. Now I know the glass is full. It’s just full of toilet water.” My wife’s right, of course. I am a pessimist. But to be honest, I’d never considered it much of a problem. It’s just how my brain works, how my synapses ire. Some people are optimists – I’m a pessimist. What’s the problem with that? Takes all kinds, right? Well, as usual, it turns out I’m wrong. Science has established with concrete certainty that pessimism is more than just a disposition – it’s a disease. In fact, it’s a particularly virulent disease that can gnaw at every facet of your health. I discovered this when my wife, a medico by trade, laid a sheaf of photocopied studies in front of me after a particularly mournful monologue about the various misfortunes that had befallen me that day. There was a University of Tampere study, for example, that found 80

FEBRUARY 2017

pessimistic men were three times more likely to develop hypertension than optimistic men. There was a Harvard study that found pessimists were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than optimists. And there was a 2014 review published in the American Journal of Human Genetics that found increased optimism improves career prospects, strengthens relationships, protects against loneliness, improves sleep quality and reduces the need for rehospitalisation after surgery. But the real kicker? A longitudinal study that tracked 6959 students entering the University of North Carolina in the mid 1960s. Upon starting university, the subjects underwent comprehensive personality testing that determined their outlook. Over the following 40 years, 476 of them died. The most pessimistic individuals had a 42 per cent higher rate of death than the most optimistic. That’s right: pessimists die younger. When I’d inished reading, my wife raised her eyebrows: “Maybe you should see someone about this?” I shrugged: “What’s that going to achieve?”

lot of good and, yes, there’s some bad – but here’s what I’m going to do about it.” This “solution focus”, says Sharp, is the deining trait of the optimist. Where the pessimist sees unsolvable problems, the optimist sees answers. Where the pessimist sees endless troubles, the optimist sees temporary setbacks. Where the pessimist sees his existence as a plaything of cruel fate, the optimist sees his future as something to be shaped. This explains why optimists enjoy such diverse health beneits. They see the future as controllable, so they work hard to improve it. They exercise, they eat well, they nurture relationships. The best part, according to Sharp: optimism is a skill to be learnt. “Whatever your genetic predisposition,” he says, “you can learn to think more optimistically. Think of it as a muscle. If you go to the gym every day and work your biceps, they’re going to get bigger and stronger. Optimism’s the same. Now, just like I can’t build big biceps in one session, you can’t build optimism in one day. Sometimes beliefs can change quickly; more often they take a long time. But they can change.” I look down at my spindly arms. No amount of biceps curling is going to make them bigger. Is it? Maybe it’s time to speak to a leshand-blood optimist.

FAKE IT TO MAKE IT THE OPTIMISM SKILL I’m sitting opposite Dr Tim Sharp in his central Sydney office. A clinical psychologist by trade, Sharp now devotes himself to the ield of positive psychology and goes by the somewhat schmaltzy moniker of “Dr Happy”. In fact, there’s nothing schmaltzy about Sharp. With his neatly trimmed beard and upright posture, he radiates an air of calm vigilance. I feel scrutinised – a lifelong cynic laid bare on the operating table. Sweat prickles my upper lip. One of the great misunderstandings about optimism, Sharp tells me, is that it’s all about picking lowers while whistling Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. “Optimism isn’t just positive thinking,” he says with careful emphasis. “It’s not about saying everything’s fantastic – because sometimes things aren’t fantastic. Optimists are realistic about the world. But they look at problems with a solution focus. It’s not about saying everything’s fantastic. It’s about saying, yes, there’s a

Paul de Gelder doesn’t believe he’s an optimist. “I suppose I’m on the optimistic side of things,” he muses, sipping a short black in a packed Bondi cafe. “But I don’t think I’m on the high end of the spectrum. I know shit’s going to happen. Shit always happens. Clearly!” He holds up his prosthetic arm and laughs. It was February, 2009, when de Gelder, a navy clearance diver, had an arm and leg torn of. He was midway through a training exercise in Sydney Harbour when he felt a blow on his right leg. He looked down and saw the head of a bull shark, it’s teeth sunk into his thigh. For a second or two he simply stared at the shark. It was only when he went to punch the beast in the nose that he realised his right arm was also caught in its mouth. The shark pulled him under, gave him a speculative shake, then glided of. These days, de Gelder’s in a good place. He’s carving out a televisionpresenting career in Los Angeles,

>


MIND

“A HARVARD STUDY FOUND THAT PESSIMISTS WERE MORE THAN TWICE AS LIKELY TO DEVELOP HEART DISEASE THAN OPTIMISTS” You can coach yourself to wear rose-tinted glasses.

From refugees to Zika, global warming to ISIS, pessimism has prevailed over the past 12 months. But there’s still cause for optimism…

HOODOO GURUS

ROARING BACK TO LIFE

ICE, ICE BABY

Perennial losers finally got their moment in the sun, with the Bulldogs winning the AFL flag and the Sharks claiming the NRL title. And don’t forget Leicester City’s EPL triumph. Or the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.

A recent survey from the World Wildlife Fund found the global population of wild tigers has increased over the past six years from 3200 to 3890. Oh, and giant pandas are no longer on the endangered species list.

Yes, the Ice Bucket Challenge may have been torturously over-exposed, but good came of the viral sensation with scientists using the proceeds to discover a gene that contributes to motor neuron disease.

FEBRUARY 2017

81


“OPTIMISTS ARE REALISTIC ABOUT THE WORLD. BUT THEY LOOK AT PROBLEMS WITH A SOLUTION FOCUS”

Put a positive spin on your health.

82

FEBRUARY 2017


MIND

while custom-built prosthetics allow him to indulge in his passion for shifting iron. But his smile falters as he recalls the dark days after the attack. “As a kid I was extremely unfulilled,” he explains. “I was smoking a lot of weed, I was ighting, I was stealing. But in the military I found purpose, I found drive, I found brotherhood. All these things I’d been missing as a kid. And now a 10-second shark attack was going to take all this away from me. I was terriied I was going back to that unfulilling life.” It was at this juncture, however, that de Gelder’s stunning optimism kicked in. Lying in his hospital bed, his stumps still izzing with excruciating pain, he decided that he wasn’t going to wallow in self-pity. Instead, he made a commitment to himself: he was going to go back to work. “That was my motivation,” he says. “That’s what took me out of my initial funk.” For de Gelder, establishing this goal was crucial to his recovery. “You can’t have positivity without a goal,” he says. “You can’t maintain positivity unless you’re aiming toward something.” And when the inevitable negativity sunk its claws in? “I ignored it,” he says simply. “I put on a front of ultimate positivity. I constructed an aura of invincibility.” When he couldn’t cut his own food up, he shrugged and asked for help. When he couldn’t do up the button ly on his jeans, he smiled and left the house with his ly open. He let the vexations pass him by. “And you know the funny thing that happens? When you do something over and over and over again, it becomes real. That’s what happened to me. The more I pretended I could do it, the more I could do it.” I shake de Gelder’s prosthetic hand and leave the café with a pleasant buzz that can’t be fully explained by the two long blacks I’ve just downed. In de Gelder, I see optimism as something real, something tangible. And it’s beautiful to behold.

BACK TO THE FUTURE “I’m standing on a sheet of ice that rises up into a dazzling blue sky. My altimeter shows I’m at 8600m but my lungs feel good, my legs strong. I can make out the summit of Mt Everest above me. I know that in a few short hours I’ll be standing there. Suddenly my phone beeps. Reception up here? The wonders of modern technology! I pull the phone from my down jacket. It’s a message from my daughter – she’s just passed her medical exams. I’ll call her from camp tonight. For now – the summit.” I put my pen down and lean back in my chair. Yesterday I bought a Paciic island and spent my days swimming in

the lagoon. Tomorrow – who knows? A century-old vineyard in the Loire Valley? A circumnavigation of the globe in my yacht? The irst civilian to set foot on the moon? I’m employing a psychological strategy known as “Best Possible Self” (BPS). I’ve been put onto it by Dr Lisa A. Williams, a social psychologist based at the University of NSW. It’s simple: each day I’m to spend ive minutes imagining a future in which I’m happy, fulilled and thriving. “Forget about inancial constraints,” says Williams, “forget about geographical constraints. Simply imagine the best place you could possibly be. And really imagine the details of that future.” The evidence supporting BPS is strong. A 2011 study from Maastricht University found that after imagining a golden future for just ive minutes a day subjects reported higher levels of optimism after two weeks, while researchers at Southern Methodist University found that subjects who spent 20 minutes writing down life goals for a week experienced less ill health over a ive-month period than controls. As I stand on the peak of Everest – a frigid wind numbing my cheeks, the Himalayan peaks ranged beneath me – I begin to see the appeal. I feel vital, driven, empowered. Focusing on something beyond the tedious here-andnow lifts a weight from my shoulders. And this, says Williams, is one of the key mechanisms at play in BPS. “In our day-to-day lives, you’re always focused on the immediate; the tasks you need to do right now, the places you need to be right now. But this activity puts the brakes on that immediate attentional demand. It lets you raise your gaze to the future and imagine that future as something overwhelmingly positive. In this modern age, that represents a big shift.” Maybe this is why BPS clicks with me. Just as de Gelder’s goal to get back to work as a navy clearance diver lifted his gaze from the daily torture of negotiating life minus an arm and leg, so imagining a glorious future lifts my gaze from the daily aggravation of sleepless nights, recalcitrant computers and terrifying election results. After a month of daily BPS sessions, I begin to narrow my focus. My imagined futures grow less fantastic and more realistic. There’s less summiting of mountains and more paying of of mortgages. I concentrate less on glittering achievements and more on the characteristics that will carry me towards a positive future – the strength to laugh at irritants, the fortitude to let annoyances pass me by. In this way, the future becomes something malleable,

something I can inluence. I know I’ve turned a corner one morning when my computer inexplicably shuts down, deleting an hour’s worth of work. I stare at the blank screen. I breathe deeply. Then I call IT. The guy on the other end of the line’s friendly. He asks me how my day’s going. Then he recovers my lost work. I thank him. He says, “Hey, any time.” And that’s it. A polite two-minute exchange that leaves me with a smile on my face. It is, I realise, the irst green shoots of optimism. Am I an optimist? Not by a long shot. But I reckon I can get there. And if that’s not an optimistic mindset, I don’t know what is.

Live On The Bright Side Need to up your optimism? Try these tricks

1

TALE OF WOES Twice a day, spend five minutes writing down your thoughts. Don’t analyse them – just write them down. According to psychologist Dr Tim Sharp, a thought journal allows you to build awareness of negative thought patterns. “After all, you can’t change something if you don’t know what it is,” he says.

2

SHIFT FOCUS

3

SNAP OUT OF IT

4

GET COLOURFUL

Blindsided by bad luck? Write down what happened, making a conscious effort to reinterpret how this will impact your life. If you’ve been made redundant, for example, instead of chalking it up as a financial hammer blow, reinterpret it as a good opportunity to find a better job.

Put a rubber band around your wrist. When negative or selfdestructive thoughts start to drag you into a pessimism spiral, snap the band. A small dose of pain can be a helpful aid in changing entrenched thought patterns, says psychologist Dr Fred Bryant.

According to a recent study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, optimists eat more carotenoids – antioxidants plentiful in colourful produce such as carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes – than those with a cynical bent. The researchers believe that healthy eating may allow optimists to cope with stress.

FEBRUARY 2017

83


SEX

HOW MUCH DO PHOTOGRAPHY: APIX SYNDICATION

ABOUT Let’s be frank: the fairer s is an exquisite mystery. Allow MH to shine a bit o light on their dark arts > FEBRUARY 2017

85


Q1

Q5

Divorce makes women… Divo

Who fare better onIQtests?

A Happier

Q9

Wearing a whit letter “T” on the T-shirt with a make you how e front will attractive tomhuch more er?

B Sadder A C Richer

MEN B

WOMEN

Q6

Q2

Women who regularly receive oral sex are less likely to... A Be overweight

A

Howmanykilojoulesaday shouldMsAverageeat?

23% 5% 12% B

C

A

8400 Q10 5900 11700 B

B Get married

Women are more likely to do what with a good-looking man?

C Cheat 

Q3

C

Women are naturally betterlisteners than men.

A Marry him

Q11 Who is more likely to be considered marriage material?

A True B False

Q4 Are women

more or less likely to be bisexual than men?

Q7 Who are

A Beyoncé

faster runners?

B Miranda Kerr

A Men

C Your mate’s plain sister

Q8

B Women

Q12

B Cheat on him

Who falls in love first? A You B

A

MORE

LESS

B Her

C Orgasm

Which of these women is most likely to catch your eye at the bar? A Your hot work colleague B The sexy stranger

86

FEBRUARY 2017


SEX

Q13

Q18 When University of Texas at Austin

a can ofge t ng your number A 10%

bods asked a panel of men what the most important part of a woman was, they said . . .

A B 50%

YOU B

A A pretty face

HER

17

Women who work night shiffts are more likely to‌

C 300%

Q14

What sort of jokes impress women the most?

C A Have a low Suffer from sex drive depression B Have fertility problems

A Physical comedy B Toilet humour C Puns

Q15 Which of these women

B A nice body

would be most receptivee to your advances?

ILLUSTRATIONS: ANDREA MANZATI

C fashion sense

A

B

C

D

FEBRUARY 2017

87


Q19

Women are more emotional than men...

Q23 What is the average

bra size in Australia?

A

TRUE B

FALSE

A

12b 14d 16dd B

Q20

C

What percentageof Australian women are happywith theirbodies? A 30%

Q24

What percentage of internet porn surfers arewomen? A

33% 10% 25% Q25 B

C

You need your sleep more than she does...

B 50% C 85%

Q21

A TRUE

Roughly how many times per day does she think about sex? (Clue: less than you) A Once B 8 times C 19 times

Q22

Q26

What’s the best indicator of a faithful partner? A She has lots of female friends B She has lots of male friends C She has only a few close friends

How many words a day does the average woman speak? A 20,000

Q27

According to a survey of over 1000 women, at what age does she feel sexiest? A 21

B 16,000

B 28 C 40,000

88

B FALSE

FEBRUARY 2017

C 34


SEX

YOUR FEMALE MIND MAP TALLY UP YOUR ANSWERS, THEN USE MH’S TUTELAGE TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORING STRATEGY

01

IS STAYING MARRIED BETTER FOR BOTH OF US? Answer: A Forget the stereotype of the vengeful, greedy ex: divorce makes women poorer but happier, found Kingston University.

08

02

HOW CAN I MAKE HER LESS LIKELY TO STRAY? C Cunnilingus keeps her faithful, reports Evolutionary Psychology. In fact, guys who believe other men find their partners attractive are more likely to indulge in the act.

09

03

10

WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER HER BEST MATE’S NAME? A Research by Indiana University shows women use both sides of their brains to listen; men use one.

04

WOULD SHE EVER LEAVE ME FOR ANOTHER WOMAN? A You can’t rule it out. A University of Scranton study found women are more likely to be ‘hetroflexible’. From an evolutionary standpoint, it means she can shack up with a girl to share childcare if you disappear.

05

WHO HAS A HIGHER IQ? B For the first time, women have overtaken men in IQ testing results. Researchers hypothesise this is due to better multitasking abilities.

06

HOW DIFFERENT ARE HER NUTRITIONAL NEEDS? A According to Harvard Health she needs 8400kJ a day to your 11,700. Women require twice as much iron though, so don’t skimp on the steak next time you cook.

07

BUT I’M STILL FASTER...? A For now. But research in Nature journal found the gender gap in sprint times is closing every year.

IS SHE IN LOVE WITH ME? A Women take longer to fall, says the Journal of Social Psychology. On average, you’ll know after three dates; it takes her three months.

HOW SHOULD I DRESS TO IMPRESS HER? C A T-shirt with the letter T on it makes you 12 per cent more attractive, says Nottingham Trent University. The horizontal bar makes shoulders look broader. ARE GOOD LOOKING MEN BETTER IN THE BEDROOM? C The more handsome her mate, the more plentiful her orgasms, reports Pennsylvania University.

11

IS PUNCHING ABOVE MY WEIGHT A GOOD IDEA? C Men prefer to marry within their ‘league’, says the British Journal of Psychology. Plain girls are (wrongly) perceived as being more faithful.

12

WHAT’STHEALLUREOF ASTRANGERINABAR? B Stirling University found men are genetically primed to find women they don’t know more desirable.

13

DO I NEED A WINGMAN? C Yes – one of the canine variety. A study by the John Molson School of Business found men with mutts got three times as many numbers when approaching strangers.

14

WILL HUMOUR HELP ME? C You can pun a woman into bed. Stanford University found women are most impressed by clever jokes.

15

DOES RED MEAN SHE’S A GOER? B A study published in Psychological Science found women pick pink or red clothing when they’re at their most fertile and will therefore be more receptive to male advances.

16

WILL SHE CHEAT ON ME? Both genders are equally likely to stray, says Rutgers University, but women invest more emotion in it.

17

COULDHERJOBBE HARMINGOURCHANCES? B A new study from Southampton University found shift workers are more prone to fertility issues. The antidote: a solid eight hours’ sleep.

21

HOW OFTEN DOES SHE THINK ABOUT SEX? C 19 times a day, says Ohio State University. (Your score: a dirty 34.)

22

WHY DOES SHE TALK SO MUCH MORE THAN I DO? C She doesn’t. Studies by Arizona University show both women and men average 40,000 words a day.

23

AREWOMEN’SBODY SHAPESCHANGING? B A survey by purveyor of ladies’ frillies Burlei found the average bra size in Australia is 14D, a sizeable increase on the 12B average of the late 1980s.

24

DOES SHE ENJOY PORN? A You’re not the only one deleting your history – one in three users is female, found a Nielsen report.

18

25

19

26

DO LOOKS MATTER? A Texas research showed 75 per cent of men rate a pretty face over a great figure when selecting a long-term partner. Feminine features and youthful skin both indicate a higher “reproductive value” say scientists.

ONLY GIRLS CRY, RIGHT? B Let it out! A Vanderbilt University study found men experience emotion with the same intensity - we just hide it better.

20

HOW CAN I BOOST HER SELF-CONFIDENCE? A A survey of over 1000 Aussie women found 7 in 10 are unhappy with their bodies. The best compliment? A specific, nonsexual one, found Manchester University scientists. So her pretty smile, not her large… handbag.

WHICH OF US NEEDS MORE SHUT-EYE? B Stop hogging the doona – a Duke University study revealed women require 20-60 minutes more sleep than men to function at their best.

HOW CAN I IDENTIFY A MONOGAMOUS WOMAN? A Cornell University found women prefer to befriend females who are less sexually active. If she has a lot of girlfriends, she’s not a cheater.

27

AT WHAT AGE DOES SHE HIT HER SEXUAL PEAK? C Women feel sexiest at 34, while 56 per cent think sex gets better with age. Something to look forward to...

HOW DO YOU RATE?

0-10

11-19

20+

IN UNKNOWN TERRITORY

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE

WELL-VERSED IN WOMEN

You’re clueless. Perhaps try switching off COD and join a dating site. A University of Rochester study found it’s the best place to find a long-term relationship.

You know a bit about women, but here’s a new tip: a University of Louisville study found if a woman makes similar hand gestures to you, you’ll be more compatible in the sack.

Your black book rivals the Yellow Pages. But don’t be too picky: a Texas A&M study found men who forgot their ‘must-have’ lists and relied on their gut had more dating success.

FEBRUARY 2017

89


Does My Body Look

Big/Ski 90

FEBRUARY 2017


FITNESS

The age of ectomorphs and endomorphs is over. In 2017, a man’s physique follows the more modern trends of Skinny Fat, Gym Bro and Dad Bod. You might recognise yourself as one. You may have aspects of all three. Either way, you’re not doing your health or physique any favours. To transform you inside and out, we’ve compiled a guide to the three shapes, with fitness prescriptions to cure yourself of their symptoms. This is your body of evidence. > BY

JAMIE MILLAR

ILLUSTRATIONS BY

OLIVER BURSTON

nny/Fat In This? FEBRUARY 2017

91


01

The Skinny Fat Man That most deceptive of body types, the beanpole-fatty boasts a naturally slender frame, but like an iceberg, most of his bulk is hidden. It’s this visceral fat around the midriff that makes him critically unffiit, with worrying long-term health implications. It’s time to stop hiding and redress the balance. See: Mr Bean

92

FEBRUARY 2017


FITNESS

Compound Carving A healthy-looking frame can belie serious health risks.

While compound lifts reawaken both metabolism and muscle, there’s more fun to be had in ditching the barbell for unstable random-object work. These moves from Walker incorporate the most underused gym kit – so that’s less time queuing at the rack and more time working. Forget long-distance cardio, too: cutting down rest between sets is a far superior way of torching fat.

1

Farmer’s Walk

*SOURCES: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY, THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, INJURY EPIDEMIOLOGY JOURNAL, PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE USA, BUCK INSTITUTE

Visceral Panic Often found hiding in plain sight, the Skinny Fat man is unlikely to ’fess up to the appellation – mainly because he’s unaware of it. Sure, he looks okay in a T-shirt, but underneath he’s a not-so-hot mess, with visceral fat sufocating his internal organs, drastically increasing his risk of type 2 diabetes. In short, his long-term prospects are slimmer than his arms – and he has fat chance of reaching a ripe old age. “As well as poor training habits, stress and overeating can cause your body to stockpile fat,” says PT Tim Walker of Evolution of Man Training. “As a result, it’s likely that your testosterone levels have plummeted in inverse proportion to oestrogen, leading you to pack on lard in ‘female’ places.” Think triceps (tuckshop arms), chest (man boobs) and hips (they don’t lie). So, while you may feel in ine fettle, if you’re carrying a little extra heft, ask yourself: are you burning the candle at both ends by getting to work early then staying up late? Does “training” actually mean the occasional jaunt round the park? If the answer to either is yes, it’s time to act. “The immediate reaction when we gain weight is to hit the cardio hard, but steady-state runs actually raise the stress hormone cortisol, cannibalising what muscle you do have,” says Walker. Cue severe iron deiciency, leading to lethargy, heart palpitations and headaches – none of which will put you in an optimum training mindset. “The key issue at the heart of the Skinny Fat physique is an imbalance between lean muscle and fat,” he says. “The solution is to reverse this ratio in favour of muscle by shocking your system into action.”

20%

The fat-begetting increase in blood glucose caused by an overabundance of the stress hormone cortisol*

21

The number of days of HIIT it takes to reduce visceral fat by 18 per cent

YOUR BODY SHOP

(3 sets of 30sec with 10sec rest) Holding two heavy things – dumbbells, hay bales – walkk forwards, taking short, quickk steps while keeping your posture upright, shoulders back. Keep going until your grip gives out.

B

A

2

One-arm Kettlebell Swing

3

Medicine Ball Lunge with Overhead Pre ess

B

(3 sets of 20 reps with 10sec rest) Feet shoulder-width apart and knees soft, take a 12kg kettlebell in one hand then swing it through your legs. Engage your core, hips and shoulders to drive it up to chin height. Do 10 reps per A side to complete one set.

(3 sets of 20 reps with 10sec rest) A Grab a medicine ball and ht step forward with your righ ee foot, lowering your left kne to the ground. Both legs should form right angles. Simultaneously push the ball b ee overhead and hold for thre nd seconds. Drive back up an repeat 10 times per leg.

DRINK THIS A study in Obesity journal found a direct correlation between zero-kilojoule fizzy drinks and visceral fat around your waist. Soda water with a slice of lemon is a sugar-free alternative to hit that refreshing sweet spot – don’t be fooled by “diet” badges.

B

BUY THIS A pair of dumbbells. If you’re new to lifting, these are an ideal tool for teaching stability and form, with adjustable weight options preventing you from lifting too heavy too soon. >

FEBRUARY 2017

93


Muscle-Bound Mobility Top-heavy training can lead to painful postural disparities.

Bringing in the neglected postural muscles and glutes will promote far greater mobility than simply alternating chest and arms ad infinitum. However, bad habits are the hardest to break and in the gym, our man has a reputation as someone who lifts and leaves. The solution is to continue behind closed doors with Wong’s 20-minute evening stretch session. You can even do it in front of Jersey Shore.

1

Ys and Ts

This guy is at his best when approached face-on, thanks to his habit of constantly training from the front in the following order: chest, shoulders, abs. But a sideways glance tells a diferent story: his shoulders slump forward over his too-tight pecs, his behind protrudes and his lower back curves because of taut hip lexors. He may hold the gym’s deadlift record, but he’d struggle to raise his hands above his head or complete a 5K without collapsing – all of which can lead to lexibility issues in later life. Personal trainer Dalton Wong of Twenty Two Training started out in mobility and rehab, and has seen his fair share of poor postures. “Many men who ‘train’ have that rounded kyphotic posture, leading to shoulder, neck and back pain,” he says. “They have a ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, so they work through it. Inside, they’re in terrible shape: stif, sore and shovelling protein into their stomach, which is distended because they can’t digest it all.” Not the kind of bulking you had in mind, bro. When it comes to rectifying the situation, regeneration is the name of the game. For the most part, those MMA ighters the Gym Bro wants to emulate go hard, go home and get massages. Wong suggests releasing your hip lexors with a foam roller and your pecs with a therapy ball. Not only will this improve your range of motion, it will also lush toxins from your muscles, saving you painful DOMs while boosting your bench-press PB in the long run. You should also rejig your regime to emphasise your posterior chain: “For every one chest exercise, do three back,” says Wong. Having good posture will never be a negative.

94

FEBRUARY 2017

15

The number of minutes, three times a week, you should spend working on back stretches to maintain good posture

150% The rise in hospitalisations from weight training since 2003

YOUR BODY SHOP

2

Single-leg squat

(3 sets of 10 reps) Start with your right leg raised off the ground. With your arms outstretched in front of you, slowly lower into a squat position with your left leg bending through 90°, and your right leg parallel to the ground. Return to the start; 10 reps per leg is one set.

3

B

A

B

Prone leg curl

(3 sets of 20 reps) Lie facedown with a resistance band looped around both ankles. Tighten your core and bend your right leg at the eel knee. Bring your right he as as close to your glutes a possible before slowly er letting go. Do 10 reps pe leg to complete a set.

B

A

EAT THIS The connective tissues around your muscles have viscoelastic properties, meaning they’re slow to recover from damage. Give them a much-needed hit of reparatory collagen by dining on bone broth after your toughest session.

BUY THIS A resistance band may not be the manliest of purchases, but if you want to keep training long after your bros have injured themselves out of the game, this is the heavy hitter for you. >

PHOTOGRAPHY: AGATA PEC AT HEARST STUDIOS

Upfront Imbalances

(3 sets of 10 reps) A Hinge forward at the waist, knees slightlyy bent and back flat. Raise e your arms overhead to fo orm a Y shape with your each thumbs up. Then re des for your arms to the sid p. Mr T. That’s one rep


FITNESS

02

The Gym Bro He defififfiinitely lifts, but sadly he’s more focused on ffiilling his scoop-neck T-shirt than crafting a well-balanced physique. He might act like king of the gym, but his egocentric strength training lacks imagination and is invariably hiding serious weaknesses, which become painfully apparent on leg day. See: the cast of

Jersey Shore

FEBRUARY 2017

95


03

The Dad Bod The owner of the ubiquitous Dad Bod combines the occasional moderate hour at the gym with more frequent epicurean sensibilities. Unchecked, his Mr Average physique will hinder both his ability to grow new muscle and to repair injury. And, unless you’re a millionaire ffiilm star, it’s a diffififfiifi cult look to pull off. See: Leonardo DiCaprio

96

FEBRUARY 2017


FITNESS

Growth Spurt Gains naturally slip with age – adjusting your training is key.

If age or indolence has grounded your gains, highintensity “drop sets” will elevate your progress. Whatever you’re doing, aim for twice as many reps as normal, lifting your usual weight. When you tire, drop the weight by 20 per cent and keep going until you’ve finished all reps. Pushing through fatigue engages dormant muscle fibres, promoting strength to recapture your youthful physique.

1

Dumbbell squat

Benched Benefits Whether you’re out of the game completely or no longer seeing the fast results you did 10 years ago, lapsed athletes face a triple threat, says “career extension specialist” Mackie Shilstone. Having helped quarterback Peyton Manning lift the Super Bowl trophy this year after his multiple neck surgeries, 65-year-old Shilstone still terriies clients such as Serena Williams with his itness levels. “If we let itness slide, we face sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss; anabolic resistance, which is the failure of exercise to stimulate growth like it did when you were 20; and a reduced ability to recover,” he says. If you happen to be a Dad Bod denier, complacency is your enemy. Whether it’s a penchant for partying or a new addition to the family keeping you awake at night, it’s clear your priorities have shifted since those halcyon days when you could pack on muscle and keep of fat while eating whatever, whenever. In your head, you’ve still got it; in reality, you’ve got a burgeoning middle-aged spread and fading muscle memory. But turning things around doesn’t require Inception levels of complexity. “By far the biggest contributor to the Dad Bod is being too busy or tired to dedicate proper time to progression,” says Shilstone. The answer isn’t more time in the gym, but to rethink what you’re doing while you’re there. “The same short warm-up on the bike followed by those biceps curls you’ve been doing forever won’t solve anything,” says Shilstone. To mix things up, it’s time to embrace a technique beloved of Arnold Schwarzenegger, AKA the true itness daddy.

34%

The amount by which testosterone in new dads can plummet.

(2 sets of 20 reps) A heavy bar on your back A isn’t ideal when working toward failure. Hold dumbbells by your sides an nd slowly lower into a squat with your back straight. Explode e up and repeat, reducing the e weight by 2kg each time yo ou feel like you can’t go on.

2

8

The number of weeks spent taking omega-3 supplements for anabolic resistance to reduce, reigniting your ability to build muscle.

YOUR BODY SHOP

B

Bench press

B

(2 sets of 20 reps) Lying on a bench, start with a barbell weight you can comfortably lift for 10 reps. Lower the bar to touch your chest, then power it back up. Once you hit the wall, drop 5kg and continue – with a spotter on hand should your arms give out before your will does. A

3

Dumbbell Lateral Raise (2 sets of 20 reps)

A bodybuilder’s favourite, this pper back, calls in the entire up ps. Stand shoulders and tricep up straight with a mediumweight dumbbell in each ms to the hand. Raise your arm hape. sides to make a T sh Lower and repeat, working w down the rack until all A reps are done.

EAT THIS Uncovering hidden abs involves reworking your nutritional intake. With exceptional levels of glutamate – source of the satiating “fifth taste” umami – soy sauce is your friend. Douse lean meats and veg in the Japanese staple to curb overeating.

B

BUY THIS If you are going back to the gym, don’t just reach for your old knackered trainers. The Nike Metcon 2 offers the stability and grip you need to lift with confidence and stay injury-free. $179.99, rebelsport.com.au.

FEBRUARY 2017

97


From CrossFit to F45, Paleo to cold-press juicing, trends in fitness and health can move faster than Conor McGregor’s mouth. Stay ahead of the game with our run-down of 2017’s hottest new health crazes. That way, in the year of the rooster, you’ll have something to crow about By Melissa Shedden

98

FEBRUARY 2017

Illustrations by Paolo Lim

PAOLO LIM/ILLUSTRATION ROOM

Trends With


HEALTH

Benefits

1

• TRX jump squa t and pull Use TR X ropes to lower into a squat then leap int o the air. • Lateral hop an d stop

NINJAWARRIORTRAINING THE LOWDOWN Good news for the rope-climbing, box-jumping crowd and anyone who prefers to bring nun-chucks to a knife fight: obstacle-course game show, Ninja Warrior is coming to Oz. Based on the cult Japanese series Sasuke, the Aussie version will follow the same frenetic format as competitors throw themselves at one ridiculous obstacle after another. “It’s the Olympics for the everyday man and woman – the ultimate test of strength, agility and mental toughness,” says Stuart Clark, executive producer of Australian Ninja Warrior.

JUMP ON BOAR D Try this circuit from spor ts performan ce coach Alw yn Cosg rove. Star t with 20 seconds of work, 40 seconds rest

WORTH A CRACK? Training for the impossible means boosting your output across the board. Your grip, in particular, will get a working over, which is, ahem, handy – a McMaster University study found grip strength can predict your likelihood of dying from all causes. >

Standing on your left foot, hop right. Repeat on rig ht foot.

• Grip-changing chin-up Switch from unde rhand to palms out and vic e versa at the top of each re p. • Spiderman pu sh-up Lower your body while bringing your right leg to your right elbow. Repe at on left.

FEBRUARY 2017

99


2

AntiFrugality

THE LOWDOWN First-world problems require first-world solutions, reckons self-help guru Tim Ferriss, who asks: “How can I waste money to improve my quality of life?” Shots and showgirls? Sadly not. Instead it means taking income you’d usually save and spending it on your wellbeing. “Your behaviours may be tethered to a very frugal lifestyle that you once had, where your money was a scarcer resource than your time,” he explains. WORTH A CRACK? Offloading your chores to boost your wellbeing is a no-brainer. A 2012 Dutch study found what you do after work significantly affects your level of job dedication the next day. People who spent their downtime continuing to work or do chores were less relaxed and psychologically focused the next day than those who kicked back. JUMP ON BOARD Ferriss recommends picking a number – say, $500 of disposable income a month – and listing ways you can “waste” this money on things you really don’t want to do (assembling your latest IKEA purchase). Jump on Airtasker and delegate these activities for 14 days to identify the smallest changes with the biggest pay-offs.

3

Biohacking Your Sex Life

THE LOWDOWN He who is master of his domain has the capacity to rule in other areas of his life, reckons Dave Asprey, author of The Bulletproof Diet. “Psychologists call this transformation of sexual energy into productive energy ‘sublimation’,” says Asprey. Hear the man out. More testosterone equals increased aggression. Useful when you need to close that business deal. WORTH A CRACK? (Rock) hard evidence is rather patchy. Zhejiang University researchers found abstaining from ejaculation for six days after orgasm had little effect on testosterone levels, but T rose approximately 146 per cent on the seventh day. JUMP ON BOARD Technically, you don’t have to put a padlock on your boxers – Asprey doesn’t mean no sex, just no finishing. Follow his formula: (Age – 7)/4 = X, where X is the number of days between ejaculations (a 39-year-old man, for example, should unload every eight days).

100

FEBRUARY 2017

4

CHRONOTYPING FOR BETTER SLEEP THE LOWDOWN What’s the secret to Xanax-level slumber? Unlocking your chronotype, a personal biological clock that controls your body’s rhythms, says sleep expert Dr Michael Breus. Forget night owls and early birds, here are your four new sleep spirits: Lions: morning-oriented, driven optimists with a medium sleep drive. Benefit from setting AM plans and exercising early evening. Roar. Bears: good-time guys who prefer a solar-based schedule. Have a high sleep drive and are most productive between 10am-12noon. Wolves: night-oriented, creative extroverts with a medium sleep drive. Should get morning sun and unplug before bed. Dolphins: intelligent, neurotic light sleepers with a low sleep drive. Best served by working out first thing and not skipping lunch. WORTH A CRACK? g p the top. study the ourna of linica Psychopharmaco ogy and N urosci nc f und a person s chronotype was the factor most strong y associ d sl disturbance.

D JUMP ON BOAR rofwhen.com, tic quiz at thepowe os gn dia s’ Take Breu ng the Zzzz. then start mainlini


HEALTH

5

Gene Editing Via CRISPR

THE LOWDOWN Short for “clustered regular interspaced short palindromic repeats”, CRISPR is every Gattaca-like plot you’ve ever dreamed of: unlimited energy, industrial-strength hairlines, designer pecs, and less pressing stuff, like, you know, the end of cancer. CRISPR is a molecule discovered in bacteria that finds a string of DNA code, locks on and makes a precision cut. And because scientists can tailor it to target any genetic sequence, they can use it to turn genes off or replace them with new versions. WORTH A CRACK? It will be. Recently a man in China was injected with modified immune cells engineered to fight his lung cancer. Larger trials are scheduled to take place next year in the US and Beijing, paving the way for cut-andpaste humans. JUMP ON BOARD “A recent Kickstarter offered CRISPR kits that fit on your kitchen table for under $200,” says Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint. Check out the-odin.com to start playing God on yeast and bacteria.

6

Medicinal Mushrooms

THE LOWDOWN While not quite magical, clinically-trialled ’shrooms are purported to be anti-cancer, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and liver protective. Used for centuries in Asia, medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps, reishi, shiitake and chaga are now gaining functional food status, sending global sales soaring and explaining why fungi is turning up in everything from coffee to craft beer. WORTH A CRACK? Yes, it’s time to pop some caps. There are currently around 400 clinical trials focusing on fungi. In results already in, a study in the journal Advances in Therapy found lentinan in shiitake mushrooms increased the survival rate of cancer patients. JUMP ON BOARD “You can add medicinal mushrooms to almost any meal, sweet or savoury, beverage or a full-on culinary dish,” reckons Tero Isokauppila, founder of Four Sigmatic, a US health food brand that specialises in mushroom coffee. It’s legit – Tim Ferriss is a fan of this stimulation-sans-jitters beverage. >

FEBRUARY 2017 101


HEALTH

7

PERIPHERAL HEART ACTION TRAINING (PHA)

THE LOWDOWN Developed by a US physiology expert over 70 years ago, PHA is making a comeback. Recognised as a fat burner, muscle builder and cardio booster (yes, all in one), it aims to increase bloodflow throughout your entire body, rather than flooding a specific body part. WORTH A CRACK? Recent studies published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found it was more effective than HIIT at boosting muscular strength and aerobic capacity.

JUMP ON BOARD PHA sees 5-6 exercises performed sequentially (no rest in between) at a medium intensity to alternately stress your upper and lower body. Give it a go with this workout, courtesy of MH fitness advisor Cam Byrnes. 1 circuit = 15 reps of each move, no rest between sets. 1min rest, then repeat • Bench Press • Leg Extension • Lat Pulldown • Leg Curl • Shoulder Press • Seated Heel Raise

9 102

BRAIN DETOXING THE LOWDOWN Eating could be cheating in 2017 as you munch to boost your grey matter. Dr David Perlmutter, author of The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, says that for optimal brain performance you should limit dietary carbs to 60g a day.

FEBRUARY 2017

WORTH A CRACK? Too early to call. For now, a study by Mayo Clinic researchers in the US found carblovers had an 89 per cent increased risk for developing dementia, compared to fat guzzlers.

8

SOUND BATHS FOR STRESS

THE LOWDOWN Not the rub-a-dub kind, sound bathing is a healing therapy that uses sound from Tibetan singing bowls (rock on), tuning forks, gongs and even electro music to induce a meditative state. WORTH A CRACK? Academic consensus is not exactly loud and clear. But a review of 400 studies by McGill University in Canada concluded that playing and listening to music has mental and physical health benefits, positively impacting on heart rate, breathing and motor function. JUMP ON BOARD Practised in a yoga space or al fresco (check meetup.com), you’ll either bliss out to good vibes, or get a supervised nap. Dip your ear in at Humming Puppy – an acoustic yoga studio in Sydney and Melbourne.

JUMP ON BOAR D Check out a samp le day on Perlmutt er’s brain detox diet Breakfast: Three -egg omelette with spinach and olive oil. Coffee. Lunch: Salmon an d steamed veg. Dinner: Grass-fed beef with aboveground veg. Glass of red.


SPECIAL OFFER FROM MEN’S HEALTH

SUMME R

SALE

Grab any title for Subscribe to a fit & healthy 2017

SAVE

SAVE

33%

33% january 2017 $9 99

NZ $9 40

nc GST)

SAVE

SAVE

23%

25%

SAVE

25%

STR

n l G T)

ma iec a re com au

O y AR

Jen hit b c

h

SPECIAL

tr

u 21

FOR CLICKS FROM MUMMY THE DATING A SINGLE WOMEN

SAVE

41%

1

SAVE

eces

2

50%

SAVE

SAVE

25%

32%

$30 OFF sort out your summer essentials with these vouchers

SAVE

17%

$30 OFF Minimum spend $100

SUBSCRIBE SECURELY ONLINE:

CALL

subscribetoday.com.au/hny17mh

1300 668 118 and quote P729JZZB

*Minimum spends and other conditions apply. For full terms and conditions, visit subscribetoday.com.au. ^To receive your vouchers, a valid email address is required when you place your subscription order. All magazines are published monthly except Better Homes and Gardens, which is published 13 times annually; WHO, that’s life! And New Idea are published weekly, Diabetic Living is published bi-monthly and Girlfriend is published quarterly. Offer valid for Australian delivery only. Subscriptions may not include promotional items packed with the magazine. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer and ends 30/06/17. Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd is collecting your personal information for the purpose of processing your order. As a subsidiary of Seven West Media Limited, Pacific will handle your personal information in accordance with Seven’s Privacy Policy, which is available on subscribetoday.com.au/privacy-policy.


WHERE YOUR WILD THINGS ARE BY

JOE KITA

PHOTOGRAPHY BY

104

FEBRUARY 2017

MARTIN OEGGERLI


HEALTH

Cleanliness may well be next to godliness, but only in the sense that our sterilised, antiseptic lifestyles are endangering our long-term health. While unsightly, the billions of microbial bacteria that inhabit our bodies are what really keep us going. It’s time to start looking after them >

the small stuff: these microbes produce fatal compounds to see off foot funghi.

FEBRUARY 2017 105


here’s a party going on in your gut. Right now, billions of microbes are enjoying one big belly dance, working together to extract nutrients from food and crowd out uninvited guests. This gut “microbiome” has been big news lately, with plenty of probiotic foods and supplements claiming to keep the party going, which benefits your health. It’s easy to get sniffy about these wellness bandwagons. But the importance of bacteria in a healthy body can’t be underestimated. Each of us plays host to roughly 10 times the number of microbial cells to human cells, amounting to 2kg worth of foreign interlopers working in harmony with our bodies. In the large intestine, these microbes extract nutrients from food while improving digestive health, your immune system and cholesterol balance in the process. But there’s a problem. We may think our sanitised lifestyles represent a wholesome clean-living ideal, but in reality, the modern diet, our dependence on antibiotics and obsession with hygiene are depriving our body’s bacteria of vital sustenance. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation believes this means our bodies now contain 40 per cent less beneficial gut microbes than hunter-gatherers’, which has significant health implications. “You have at least a thousand species of good microbes in your body, from your gut to your armpits, mouth, nose, toes and more,” says Dr Rob Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University. “Our bodies rely on these microbes, but our lifestyles are causing some species to disappear and their loss has been linked to conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, MS, asthma and Alzheimer’s.” The need to protect these bacteria is more crucial than ever. The good news? Changes in diet can increase their diversity in days, while simple lifestyle tweaks can keep the good stuff working in your favour. Join us as we put your most important microbes under the electron microscope and go on a fantastic voyage into the recesses of a healthy body.

T

106

FEBRUARY 2017

01 YOUR

02 YOUR

WHAT ARE THEY?

WHAT ARE THEY?

Intestinal microorganisms (PREVIOUS PAGE, LEFT)

Staphylococcus (PREVIOUS PAGE, RIGHT)

THE BENEFIT Thousands of bacteria species have been found in your gut, mostly in the large intestine – and they’re all specialised. “Some digest difficult foods, like the fibre in broccoli, with enzymes acting as tiny knives,” says Dunn. Others strengthen the intestinal lining. But this particular microbiome is delicate. It’s been in our bodies since birth, so we need to treat it with care. “Unfortunately, antibiotics kill both the good and bad,” Dunn says. “For now at least, it’s impossible to target one over the other.”

“These bacteria play a starring role in the microbiome on your feet. Back when our ancestors roamed the forest brogue-less their odds of developing foot infections were high. So Dunn believes these microbes developed to kill potentially fatal fungi. Now they’re more likely to protect you from the gunk in the gym locker room.

NURTURE IT Give your gut a fighting chance by upping its allies’ food supply. “Microbes like these are also found in aged cheeses,” says Dunn. “In fact, many microbes used to make fermented foods, such as sourdough and kimchi, were originally outsourced human microbes. Eating foods that are ‘alive’ re-colonises your gut with good microbes.” In our book, that means a kick-arse cheese platter.

THE BENEFIT

“Your feet sweat up to 250ml a day,” says Dunn. “This would have kept these microbes healthy once, but now they’re trapped in shoes they just make your feet smell.” As well as going barefoot as often as possible, opt for a pH-neutral shower gel such as Nivea Men Sensitive ($5.99, nivea.com.au) to safeguard your hooves’ habitat. NURTURE IT

Our bodies contain 40 per cent less ggut microbes than hunter-gatherers


HEALTH

03 YOUR NAVEL CAPTAINS WHAT ARE THEY?

Navel bacteria and fungi spores “Every one of us wears a ‘cloak’ of beneficial microbes that protects from pathogens,” says Dunn. “Imagine a flu virus landing in the middle of this. It wouldn’t stand a chance.” But as well as putting up a barrier to disease, these microbes also influence the way mosquitoes (and people) are either drawn to you – or repelled. “Glands all over your body feed these microbes with secretions,” says Dunn. “The belly button even has glands that nourish the bacteria living in it.” Think of it as your “eau de you”. THE BENEFIT

NURTURE IT Ironically, Dunn explains, if you remove this cloak you’ll likely die. But that’s precisely what we’re doing with antimicrobial lotions and antiperspirants. The solution might seem counter-intuitive, but opting for plain old soap and water, and occasionally skipping the deodorant will create a healthier, more agreeably odorous you. >

FEBRUARY 2017 107


04 YOUR HOMEGROWN BREATH FRESHENERS WHAT ARE THEY?

Mouth and tongue microbes These confettilike strands represent some of the millions of microbes that live in your mouth, helping break down food and subdue pathogens. This may come as a surprise to those who think bacteria is the cause of tooth decay and bad breath. As always, it’s a question of balance. Two things threaten this harmony: sugar and overenthusiastic oral hygiene. “Huntergatherer mouth microbes were quite different from ours today,” says Dunn. “Once we started eating sugar, our entire oral biome changed, resulting in the onset of cavities and periodontal disease.” Sterility is not the answer, however, because removing beneficial bacteria simply encourages the bad stuff to colonise. THE BENEFIT

“The more sugar we eat, the more we alter the microbial battlefield,” says Dunn. The WHO already advises cutting sugar intake to 25g a day (or 6 tsp), so for the sake of teeth and belly, do as you’re told. Dunn also advises losing any mouthwash that contains alcohol as it alters oral pH levels. Probiotic lozenges will help redress the balance. NURTURE IT

108

FEBRUARY 2017


HEALTH

05

06

YOUR

YOUR

WHAT ARE THEY?

WHAT ARE THEY?

E. coli bacteria

Helicobacter pylori bacteria

THE BENEFIT We think of these

THE BENEFIT

bacteria as pathogens in their own right. But they’re in your gut right now, keeping you healthy with the rest of your microbiome. You’re only at risk when a new E. coli species comes into your system. “What you want is moderation with your microbes,” says Dunn. “Work out how to keep unwanted guests out, while protecting the good stuff you already have.” Guard against harmful species of E. coli. A Cambridge University study found one in four supermarket chickens contained the bacteria. Our advice: find a good butcher.

NURTURE IT

Distinguished by their golden threads, H. pylori is a species of bacteria living in the acidic stomach lining of roughly 50 per cent of the world’s population. In some rare cases, they can be blamed for peptic ulcers and certain stomach cancers. But often infections are harmless. “In fact, when viewed as part of the entirety of the gut microbiome, they’re important contributors,” says Dunn. Beneficial duties include regulating stomach acid, thereby reducing acid reflux and the risk of oesophageal cancer. They may also, in some as-yetundetermined way, battle asthma and allergies.

THERE’S A BUG ON YOU! As if hosting billions of bacterial microbes weren’t enough, these like you too

NURTURE IT “Once again we have this balance,” says Dunn. “Upset it, and even good friends like these can turn on you.” But, where cancer is concerned, it’s better safe than sorry. If you’re feeling bloated with simultaneous loss of appetite, it can be a sign of infection. Thankfully, treatment is a simple triple shot of stomachacid lowering tablets designed to help two further antibiotics go to work. Smoking and alcohol can exacerbate the condition, but we’re going to assume you got a handle on that long ago, right?

“You want moderation. Work out how w to keep p unwanted gguests out, while protecting the good stuff”

DEMODEX MITE Several of these are living in every one of your follicles. They’re geographically distinct, so mites on people in China difer from those in Europe. Dunn and his colleagues have studied them for years but don’t know much about them, other than that they’re fed by the follicle and, because they lack an anus, pop when full.

HOOKWORM About half of people globally will host an intestinal worm at some point in their life. This monster siphons food and can harm its host. But despite its evil look, it can be beneficial. “Some autoimmune conditions seem to be connected to the loss of these worms,” says Dunn. “In fact, some people are taking them as medicine.”

FUR MITE

Divide and conquer: a microbe dividing to become the next generation of itself.

“One theory of why we don’t have hair all over our bodies is because critters like these once clung to us and transmitted pathogens,” Dunn says. So your nakedness is a result of fur mites past. “We don’t like thinking of things living on us,” he adds. “Yet they do. Your body is a habitat; the Serengeti of your back hair.” FEBRUARY 2017 109


110

FEBRUARY 2017


TACTICS

Live Like a Viking History has portrayed them as barbarians. But the legendary warriors and explorers were ahead of their time in terms of fitness, courage, friendship and leadership – and they can teach modern men some lessons.> BY BILL GIFFORD WITH BEN COURT

FEBRUARY 2017 111


THE ATTACKER LUNGES AT ME, SWORD FLASHING. HE SWINGS HARD at my knees and I block him with my blade. He slashes at my torso; I parry again. He raises his sword and comes straight down on my head, but I stop him centimetres before he would split my skull. He’s terrifying, with a dark beard and angry, bottomless eyes, but he’s the one who should be scared. The secret to fighting like a Viking is to use your opponent’s strength against him. So rather than block his overhead swing, I deflect it to my right as I step nimbly to the left. His momentum makes him stumble and I slash him across the belly. As he crumples to the ground, bleeding to death, I whirl around to face the next warrior. I am conqueror. But not for long. “Let me show you, mate,” says Travis Fimmel, who plays Ragnar Lothbrok, the central character in Vikings (season 4 recommences on SBS on January 11). We’re standing under an enormous antler chandelier in the Vikings’ Great Hall, on a sound stage outside Dublin.

112

FEBRUARY 2017

The Viking Code Speed Wins Battles “The Vikings were the last people to ight with axes, which must have been horrible,” says Fimmel. They wore little to no armour, preferring to attack their enemies with fast-and-light raids, clad in little more than hardened leather and perhaps a bit of chainmail, and carrying wooden shields. They had an elite warrior corps called Berserkers, who were the fastest, most skilled ighters. They sometimes fought bare-chested; they believed death was fated from birth, so armour wouldn’t help you. But more on that later. Today, we see a similar fast-and-light strategy in the US Army Special Forces, says Rob Shaul, founder of the Mountain Tactical Institute in Jackson, Wyoming. The Institute trains military and law enforcement personnel, irst responders, and others. “For these guys, their body is their primary weapon, and combat performance and survivability depend on itness.” These tactical athletes need speed and stamina, mental resiliency, physical durability and a high strength to-weight ratio. In other words, total itness. Just as Vikings sprinted into battle carrying axes and Green Berets carry M4 riles on raids, Shaul has his clients do intervals and run as far as 19km while carrying a 4.5kg sledgehammer or dumbbell. “You see immediate gains in grip strength and athleticism because you’re also ine-tuning your ability to run with a load in your hands,” he says. That’s useful even if you’re just sprinting for a train or carrying groceries in the rain.

>

“KANE ON THE GOLDEN SEA,” 1978 (PREVIOUS PAGE), AND “SWORSDMAN OF MARS,” 1973 (OPPOSITE), BY FRANK FRAZETTA, COURTESY OF FRANK FRAZETTA JR. COLLECTION/FRAZETTAMUSEUM.COM

In person and on the screen, Fimmel is a convincing Viking: he’s 182cm tall and built like a fullback. (He played AFL in his youth.) His face, once so pretty that it was plastered on Calvin Klein billboards around the world, now looks ierce, framed by a shaved skull and wispy goatee. I hand Fimmel my sword and he turns to face the enemy, who seems to have made a miraculous recovery. The soldier is actually the show’s trainer, a compact, bearded Scotsman named Lee McDermott. “What are we doing here?” Fimmel asks. “One, three, ive, then step through and kill,” McDermott replies, using jargon for the positions of stage combat they’re rehearsing. During shooting, McDermott frequently steps in as a stunt double for the numerous battle scenes in the series. “Travis has killed me hundreds of times.” Which he proceeds to do again, only much more gracefully than I had. Moving like a dancer, Fimmel parries, whirls, and then lunges in for the kill. As the obliging McDermott dies, Fimmel says, “It’s funny – I’ll kill him, and when the camera moves of him, he’ll pop right up [as a diferent character] and I’ll kill him again. And then I’ll buy him a couple of drinks.” Vikings is not fancy: it’s soaked in mud, blood and guts. Nearly every episode features hand-to-hand combat. Fimmel takes to the ight scenes naturally, ofering a perfectly clear explanation: “I had brothers. I was the youngest. It was bad.” It’s also physically demanding, even for a man whose abs once loomed over Times Square. It’s tiring, being a Viking warrior. And a tired Viking is usually a dead Viking. That’s why, prior to our swordplay, McDermott had put me through a series of brutal drills: one push up, then a sprint across the 27-metre Great Hall, then two push ups, then another sprint, then three, and so on – all the way up to 10. And then back down. After that I had to do it again, but with squat jumps instead of push ups. I made it halfway through the squat jumps before I had to stop, chest heaving as I endeavoured not to puke. McDermott looked disappointed. “This is kind of like my litmus test,” he said. “All my actors are supposed to be able to do this, at least.” So I’d have made a shitty Viking. And so would you, most likely. Modern men could learn plenty from the Norse warriors. Vikings were men of action, men of purpose. They valued important things – friendship and feasting, adventure and exploring, family and legacy. They were even trailblazers in gender equality: Viking women could own property, get divorced and go on raids. What’s more, an eating plan called the New Nordic Diet (see box “Eat Like A Warrior”) is currently destroying belly fat and conquering heart disease. After immersing myself in all things Norse, I emerged with newfound respect for the Vikings, and with a set of rules that’ll have you eyeing England greedily – or at least a larger office and a tall, beautiful, blonde woman.


TACTICS

FEBRUARY 2017 113


Strength Decides Wars The Berserker Workout puts emphasis on what Shaul calls the “tactical or combat chassis” – legs, hips and core. “The thigh-to-shoulder The TV series Vikings is area is where warriors need based on the real-life strength.” The Vikings trained adventures of Ragnar their combat chassis daily: Lothbrok, who ruled in farming (lifting heavy stuf), the ninth century. shipbuilding (chopping trees), Meet the cast. and rowing (strengthening legs, arms and lungs). In your world, a stronger tactical chassis means you’ll become more functionally it and less likely to experience lower-back problems. In the workout, Shaul includes rotational exercises done on your knees; this results in greater core strength because your legs can’t assist your core. It also includes loaded carries at diferent speeds. Clive Standen, who plays the Berserker Rollo, uses farmer’s walks in his training. “It’s simple – you carry two heavy dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides and walk. But it’s a total-body burner,” says Standen.

Travis Fimmel (Ragnar Lothbrok)

Do farmer’s walks for time, not distance, says Be Viking Shaul. “Guys move faster if it’s distance, and Vigorous that defeats the objective of keeping your grip and core under tension for longer, and it encourages poor form.” Add them to the end of your workout; otherwise you’ll fry your forearms. Do four 60-second sessions and work up to using two 30kg dumbbells. Rest 60 seconds between sets.

Know Your Weaknesses The Vikings were feared for many reasons: they were strong, skilled and brave to the point of crazed. (One theory is that the Berserkers’ performance-enhancers of choice were psychedelic mushrooms.) They were in astounding shape, but they weren’t overconident: when the odds were against them, they’d run away, says historian Justin Pollard, associate producer on the show. “They were brave, but they weren’t stupidly brave,” he says. “When the enemy put up a big army, they’d just refuse to ight, retreat and ind someone else – their enemy’s enemy – to team up with.” Fight only the battles you can win. At your job, become aware of your strengths and weaknesses by asking for honest feedback, says Peter Bregman, a corporate leadership coach. This requires emotional courage because it won’t be comfortable for you or the person giving the critique. Your script: (1) Stress that you want an honest – even harsh – assessment. Propose talking about your strengths either first or last because discussing both at the same time (weaknesses sandwiched between strengths) is not as effective. (2) Listen without judgment and don’t be defensive; convey that you find the feedback helpful. (3) Write stuff down. This shows you’re serious and creates momentary silences. That’s when a person often will volunteer a second – and insightful thought. Be Viking Smart

37

AGE

HEIGHT

182cm

WEIGHT

81kg

Farmer Strong

Leader Lessons

“I like working outside; there’s something that happens mentally. I help out on my parents’ dairy farm for three months every year, lifting hay, milking cows, helping with calving and driving the tractor.”

“Ragnar is a sensitive, curious Viking. He possesses this great passion and drive to always do what’s best for his people. He figures things out and thinks for himself rather than following other people. He is not a sheep.”

favourable, they set sail to conquer new territory. The pillaging was just a bonus; what they really needed was elbow room. “The western expansion was basically an agrarian homesteading kind of thing,” says Dr William Fitzhugh, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center. This exploration was good for the tribe and for the soul, says Dr John Ratey, a psychiatrist and the author of Go Wild. “We’re adapted to be searching for the new, evolutionarily speaking,” he says. “We were huntergatherers for 4-6 million years, so we’re wired to move, to look for new things – a new berry patch or a new source of game.” This keeps your brain sharp. “The Vikings were truly bold,” says Fimmel. “They got in boats and didn’t know if they would go of the edge of the earth or hit land.” Think about the last time you truly went into the unknown. Make looking for novelty and variety a habit, says Ratey. Challenge yourself to learn something new on a range of scales: daily (meditating or reading a chapter of a classic); weekly (learning to cook or brew or draw); and yearly (training to earn a black belt or mastering a foreign language). Be Viking Bold

Explore New Worlds Most people don’t know the Vikings were farmers despite the severe terrain and climate. But when population growth in Scandinavia made living of the land less 114

FEBRUARY 2017

Find Your Shieldmaiden The Norse warriors spread their DNA rather liberally across

“If any men in the ninth century were in touch with their feminine side, it was the Vikings.”

BERNARD WALSH/COURTESY HISTORY (FIMMEL, STANDEN), STEVE WILKIE/COURTESY HISTORY (LUDWIG)

It Takes a Pillage


TACTICS

Clive Standen (Rollo Lothbrok)

35

AGE

HEIGHT

192cm

WEIGHT

93kg

Secret Weapon

Fighting Talk

“Resistance bands: they’re lightweight, so they can go anywhere. I have them on set, and between takes I do curls, squats and triceps extensions. Often I do five or six mini-sessions – 10-15 minutes each – throughout the day.”

“Rollo makes good and bad decisions, but he’s a man of action. He stands up for what he believes. He won’t let anything slide. It’s a whole approach to life: kicking arse is a lot more gratifying than kissing arse.”

Europe; yet they had a relatively enlightened view of gender equality. “Vikings respected their women,” says Alexander Ludwig, who plays Ragnar’s oldest son, Bjorn Ironside, on the show. “Bjorn likes women who stand up for themselves and don’t back down.” Unlike in the rest of Europe circa AD 800, Viking women were considered equal to men; they could ditch you – or worse: some Viking women trained as warriors called shieldmaidens. “In Viking society, if a woman’s husband treated her badly, she might stick a knife in his ribs. Or she could divorce him, in which case he had to give back all the property that came with the marriage,” says historian Justin Pollard. “If any men in the ninth century were in touch with their feminine side, it was the Vikings.” Research also reveals that the explorers took grooming seriously; they wore jewellery and colourful silk, says Michele Hayeur Smith of Brown University. These savage warriors likely carried combs, razors, tweezers and even ear spoons (early Q-tips). Anglo-Saxons at the time thought of the Viking invaders as clean freaks because they washed weekly, says the Smithsonian’s Fitzhugh. The Vikings were also style trendsetters, with tattoos, braids and bleachedblond hair. (Darker-haired Vikings used lye to get the look.) Be Viking Enlightened

To satisfy a modern-day shieldmaiden – a leaning-in alpha female – be open-minded and patient. (Smelling good also helps.)

Alexander Ludwig (Bjorn Ironside)

AGE

24

HEIGHT

188cm

WEIGHT

86kg

Road Warrior “I like running to explore a new place. But I mix it up. For example, I’ll jog for five minutes, then do four 45-second sprints with 15 seconds of jogging; then I’ll run fast for 20 or 30 minutes and finish with four more sprints.”

“Praise her independence and be supportive of her work,” says psychologist Dr Vinita Mehta. “Consider taking charge in other spheres. She’ll likely value commitment and creativity toward the relationship. Surprise her with new music, new restaurants and new shows.”

Own Your Story Blame the Vikings’ fearsome rep on bad PR. They had no written language, so it was Christian monks who wrote about the conquering pagans as devil-like. The monks “had a vested interest in portraying them and their religion in the worst possible light,” says show creator Michael Hirst. So it matters who tells your story. The Vikings’ rich oral tradition of storytelling led to the writing of the Icelandic Sagas, which helped correct the record. “Poetry was considered a high art, and the ability to give really amazing speeches and toasts for people was held in high esteem,” says Fitzhugh.

Lust for Adventure “I’ve always loved going on adventures. I’ve further appreciated how lucky we are to travel the way we can. You can hop on a plane and be across the world in 12 hours instead of pooping off the side of a boat for two weeks.”

The Vikings had an elite corps of warriors called Berserkers, who were the most skilled fighters.

Upgrade your narrating skills by speaking publicly more often. Steal the formula that radio host Ira Glass uses so effectively on This American Life: Action (describe something dramatic and give your story motion) + Stakes (create tension around an important question) + Reflection (find personal meaning in your story). Practise at dinner parties, then wow a larger crowd. Be a Viking Storyteller

> FEBRUARY 2017 115


116

FEBRUARY 2017


TACTICS

Have More Courage Scandinavia circa AD 850 was a harsh, dog-eat-dog world, with everyone trying to impress the gods. The ultimate way to do that was by dying courageously in battle, which Vikings believed might gain them admittance to Valhalla, where men battled all day and feasted all night. You went down swinging. In our mostly axe-free age, living with courage or purpose is still important. “I look at it as taking a risk for a good reason,” says Dr Cynthia Pury, a professor of psychology at Clemson University in the US. “But at least within current culture, people need to be successful to be seen as courageous.” Take risks that make sense to you, not necessarily to society. Pury worked with Vietnam vets whose self-images were tainted by negative feelings about that war. “They would sort of discount how brave they had been,” she says. “One of the things we would do was to help people change their narrative for the traumatic events they experienced.”

OPPOSITE: “THE DESTROYER,” 1977, BY FRANK FRAZETTA, COURTESY OF FRANK FRAZETTA JR. COLLECTION/FRAZETTAMUSEUM.COM; THIS PAGE: ILLUSTRATIONS BY SAM PEET

Be Viking Brave

Keep Your Tribe Together In the Viking era, all politics was local: you fought, farmed, traded and raided with the people who lived in your village. Cooperation and loyalty were paramount. Matters of justice and common welfare were settled at a collective meeting known as “the thing,” where all men had a vote. Group consensus ruled. “Part of what made the Vikings so strong was that they were a cohesive society that believed in one thing,” says Dr George Everly, an associate professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. Tribes where members are “willing to sacriice something for the good of the group are superior to tribes where the individual ego is superior to the group”. Forge a work culture where people in your Be Viking tribe feel safe and that they belong and Cooperative matter. “If employees feel insecure, they’ll gossip more and create silos,” says Christine Comaford, author of Smart Tribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together. Answer these questions (taken from Comaford’s “tribe test”) with “rarely,” “consistently” or “always”: (1) When I make a mistake, I am corrected with respect and the desire to help me improve; (2) I trust my team and colleagues to support my and the company’s success; (3) I receive acknowledgment and appreciation at work. “If you’re in a strong tribe, there’ll be more ‘consistently’ and ‘always’ answers,” says Comaford.

Share with Your Comrades The Vikings’ spirituality and mindfulness make them seem almost new-agey. Their belief system called for a close study of nature and awareness of their surroundings, says Standen, but with a twist. Examples: morning dew signiied sweat from godly horses wrestling; a change of wind meant a godly eagle was lapping its wings; and when a raven stared you in the eye, Odin, the Norse god of war, was looking into your soul. This spirituality may have enabled Viking men to discuss their feelings openly. Bonds of friendship were forged ighting and farming – and cemented with ale and mead (honey wine), drinks the Vikings considered sacred. (If your cup is a horn, you can’t set it down; so you have to keep drinking.) Close friendships are powerful health indicators. “Our ancestors were used to feeling close, touching each other, looking at each others’ faces to gauge a reaction, and our nervous system evolved in that kind of environment,” says Dr Thomas Joiner, a professor of psychology at Florida

State University. “Modern men are generally not as close, and research shows that feelings of isolation can be deadly.” In an analysis of the efects of loneliness on mortality, strong social relationships were two to three times as powerful an indicator of survival as diet, exercise or smoking cessation. Facebook won’t suffice – you need actual face time, says Joiner. Actively maintain your connections to friends and family. Your daily to-do list should include – near the top something about improving a relationship, says Joiner. Call your uni mate, compliment your wife, send your dad a link to a funny video. In terms of connectedness, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it regularly. Poker nights, season tickets to sporting events, book clubs – all are lifelengthening activities. And of course, you should go Viking: shoving off on a seasonal adventure with your closest mates is a fantastic way to maintain friendships. Be Viking Friendly

Bonds of friendship were forged fighting and farming and cemented with ale and mead, drinks the Vikings considered sacred.

Eat Like a Warrior The New Nordic Diet is giving the Mediterranean Diet a good fight. It also promotes heart health and weight loss; people in one study shed 4.5kg in six months with no kilojoule restrictions. Plus, it’s good for the planet Go Berserk with Protein Eat cold-water fish and poultry at least three times a week. When you eat red meat, make it lean and grass-fed or game, like kangaroo. Hail Healthy Carbs! Choose fibre-filled whole grains, especially oats, rye and barley. Limit empty carbs like refined flour, pasta and rice. Raid the Produce Aisle Make it your daily mission to eat more local and seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs, especially berries, leafy greens, root vegetables and legumes. Change Your Oil Add canola oil to your arsenal. It’s loaded with beneficial monounsaturated fats and alphalinolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Find Allies at the Dairy Aim for two daily servings of cheese and plain yoghurt (no added sugar). The mix of protein and fat nourishes your muscles and slays hunger cravings. Drink Beer, Not Juice Cut out sugar-sweetened drinks and fruit juices (eat whole fruit instead). Tea, coffee and alcohol (in moderation) are encouraged. Skol! Schedule Feasts Go beyond mouth-burning Ikea meatballs. This plan celebrates cooking more at home with family. Make it more exciting by inviting lots of friends.

Try It Here’s three hearty meals that’ll help fuel your adventure Viking Oatmeal Rinse ½ cup of whole spelt wheat and/or rye grains and throw them into a bowl; cover them with water and leave the bowl on the counter overnight. In the morning, drain the grains and then simmer them in milk till soft, as you would oats. Add a little honey and salt. Roast Lamb Rump Try lamb rump (the tender meat between the leg and loin), seared in a hot pan and roasted at 220°C until slightly pink inside. Serve with boiled potatoes or barley. Jackknife Clams These long, tubular molluscs have a meaty texture and briny flavor yet are sweeter than your average littleneck. Try them steamed in a pot till plumped, like you would mussels, with plenty of white wine and fresh thyme. Then lift out the flesh with a fork, bite and grunt. FEBRUARY 2017 117


SAVE $10 BEFORE JANUARY 24 SYDNEY’S NORTHERN BEACHES Rise to the challenge and take part in one of Sydney’s favourite community sports weekends.





SATURDAY SUNDAY FEBRUARY 4 FEBRUARY 5 7km, 10km

1km, 2km & 5km

sunruncoleclassic.com.au

sunrun.coleclassic #sunrun #coleclassic


122 YOUR LAST SHOT AT A BEACH BODY

M –

caus

t

w

YOUR GLUTES ARE MORE THAN JUST A CUSHION FOR YOUR DESK CHAIR. LEARN TO ENGAGE THESE SLEEPING GIANTS FOR A FAT-BURNING,

>

PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN LAURENZ

HEAD-TO-TOE POWER BOOST

FEBRUARY 2017 119


ELITE

THE STRENGTH SECRET MOST MEN IGNORE UNLEASHING THE POWER THAT HAS BEEN DORMANT IN YOUR GLUTES WILL BALANCE YOUR PHYSIQUE AND BOOST YOUR SHOT AT SPORTING GLORY BY

K RISTEN DOLD

COREY OLSON WAS JUST 27, but his 190cm, 113kg body felt twice as old. His back hurt all the time. It hurt when he sat at his desk for eight hours straight every day, and after work when he’d force himself to play sports. Just looking at a barbell sent a shudder down his spine, to the point that he thought something might be very wrong. Exasperated, he sought the advice of a trainer, who pointed out the problem: Olson had a weak arse. Olson isn’t alone. Men so commonly let their backsides slide that it’s even a syndrome: glute amnesia. We can thank our sedentary lifestyle for letting our largest, most metabolically active muscles turn into pillow cushions. “Good glute strength is crucial for endurance, power and pain prevention,” says sports medicine specialist Dr Jordan Metzl. Four months after Olson started targeting his glutes, his back pain was virtually gone. “There were so many other positive cascade effects, too,” he says. “I was more flexible, my posture improved and I had more muscle.”

AVOID INJURY

HAVE MORE HORSEPOWER

Your butt consists of three distinct muscles – the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus – that attach your torso to your legs along a number of points, including the sacrum, pelvis and femur. Your glutes make it possible for you to walk upright, move, swivel your hips, rotate your legs and accelerate. “A weak butt puts more pressure on your lower back, knees, hamstrings and hips, increasing the likelihood of a strain,” says Metzl. He sees many men in his office with conditions that can be chalked up to poor glute strength, especially lower-back and knee pain, and Achilles tendonitis.

Talent scouts are arse men. That’s because a strong butt is critical to any exercise requiring speed and strength. Think of your backside like an engine, says Metzl. It powers you forward and helps you harness the force from other muscles for even more strength and speed. Doing your favourite activities on a weak, underdeveloped rear is like trying to run your car with a lawnmower engine. “Whether you’re lifting, jumping, sprinting or shooting a basketball, your glutes are key to tapping into that explosive push-off strength that comes from extending your hips,” says Metzl. That power’s not just for smashing a tennis or

120

FEBRUARY 2017

golf ball, jumping for a rebound or pulling a big deadlift; the extra juice can also give you more endurance during a hike or run, or even when shovelling dirt.

SUPPLEMENT YOUR TRAINING The number one mistake guys make is assuming that they’ve got their glutes covered by their favourite activity or through exercises like squats and lunges, says sports scientist Bret Contreras. “To really improve your overall strength and performance, limit injury and change the way you look in a pair of jeans, you need to train your glutes directly and more often.” (To do that, see “Fire Up Your Hustle Muscles” on the adjacent page.)


02/17 YES, IT WORKS – HERE’S THE PROOF! WHEN PEOPLE IN A NEW ZEALAND STUDY DID 4 SETS OF 6-12 HIP THRUSTS TWICE A WEEK, HERE’S WHAT THEY GAINED IN SIX WEEKS:

5KG 50KG 2.5CM 1.4KG on their front squat

on their hip thrust

on their vertical jump

muscle on their frame

YOU GLU

Fire Up Your Hustle Muscles The barbell hip thrust is the ultimate glute builder. Do it and you’ll have a bigger engine to make your body stronger, faster and more injury resistant

DOWN POSITION The bar should be positioned in the crease of your hips.

Relax your shoulders; don’t shrug them.

Focus on moving the weight with your glutes, not your lower back.

The edge of the bench should be at about the middle of your upper back.

GLUTEUS MEDIUS GLUTEUS MINIMUS These muscles assist the gluteus maximus when you raise your leg to the side. They also rotate your thigh outward when your leg is straight, and inward when your hip is bent. KEY MOVE: Bench side leg raise

UP POSITION

Gaze forward throughout the move; this puts your back in a safer position.

Your torso, hips and upper legs should be flat and parallel to the floor.

GLUTEUS MAXIMUS It helps you hold your torso upright and straight. KEY MOVE: Single-leg hip raise

Your shins should be vertical.

Contract your glutes as hard as you can.

ILLUSTRATIONS BY SCIEPRO AND +ISM; PHOTOS: BEN GOLDSTEIN

Keep your feet flat on the floor.

Like Olson, Tyler Fiorillo, a 25-year-old law student, knows firsthand what working the glutes can do. When he added two targeted glute exercises—a hip thrust and a standing kickback using a resistance band— to his regularly scheduled leg presses, his performance exploded. “They were such small movements, but some months later I surpassed my squat and deadlift goals by about 25 kilograms.” Your glutes are the largest muscles in your body, so working them has a huge kilojoule-burning benefit. “I hear it all the time from guys who start training their glutes – they get more compliments from women and feel better about their physique,” says Contreras.

YOUR POWER The hip hinge, which is mainly controlled from your glutes, is involved in everything from jumping and deadlifting to driving a golf ball, says PT Bret Contreras. Here’s how it helps you generate power

1/ HINGE

2/ EXPLODE

As you draw your hips back, the muscles and tendons around your hamstrings and glutes activate and stretch. This creates what scientists call passive elastic tension, the same energy stored in a stretched rubber band. Really feel the stretch to load up power.

Snapping your hips forward draws on that tension and frees up energy, setting off a chain reaction that extends your hips. As you near the end of the extension, make sure you thrust fully forward. Doing that locks out your hips and makes your glutes fire even harder.

FEBRUARY 2017 121


WHETHER YOU’RE JETTING OFF TO BALI OR JUST HEADING HEADIN UP THE COAST, S TIME WITH THE MERCURY MAXING OUT IT’S TIM TO CRANK THINGS UP. THIS QUICK FIX WILL LEAVE 5KG OF FAT O

GROUND

JUST 28 DAYS

SIMPLY BY OVERLOADING YOUR MUSC LES. GET READY TO PAC

LIGHT

01A

01B

GIANT SET ONE

This workout by PT Alex Isaly is your express ticket to a boardies-friendly physique. After the first exercise, go into the two progressions without rest. Finish with a cardio burst before doing two more sets, then move to the next block, overleaf. Perform the whole workout three times a week. Your reward will be a leaner, coast-cut body in time for take-off.

122

FEBRUARY 2017

01

02

SQUAT

BICEPS CURL COMBO

(3 SETS OF 10 REPS)

(3 SETS OF 10 REPS)

This dynamic pattern of simple movements is a surefire way to tire out your muscles and burn kilojoules. Focus on tempo, taking two seconds on the way down and one back up. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sink into a squat, halting as your thighs become parallel with the ground (A). Now press with your legs and squeeze your glutes to return to the top (B). Done your 10 reps? Straight into the next move, then.

Keep squatting once you’ve passed 10 reps on the regular movement – this time, though, curl the dumbbells to your chest as you move from standing (A) to the bottom position (B). You’ll end with your legs bent at 90°, weights in line with your chest and palms facing inwards. With no let-up on your quads, adding the biceps curl creates a more complex move that will force you to control your tempo to coordinate the sequence.

02A

PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES

LOSE YOUR BAGGAGE


03B

04B

04A

>

03A CARDIO

03

04

SHOULDER PRESS

SKIPPING

(3 SETS OF 10 REPS)

(3 SETS OF 45 SECONDS)

Progress from the previous move by adding a shoulder press to the concentric (upward) phase of the squat. From the bottom position (A), press up with your legs and shoulders simultaneously, finishing upright with your arms extended (B). Turn your hands out to face forward as you press them up. Your legs will be burning by this point, but keep the pace even – tensing your core will help control the movement.

Drop the dumbbells and grab a rope (A). Skip for 45 seconds – push it to a minute if you’ve got the lungs for it (B). This final burst will elevate your heart rate to just below an anaerobic state, placing you smack-bang in the optimal fatburning zone. True, you won’t stay there for long. That’s why you’ve got only a two-minute rest before you start over again. Finish another two sets of these moves before heading on to the next giant set.

>

FEBRUARY 2017 123


EXP PERT Alex x Isaly EXPERIENCE Elite athlete and celebrity trainer Isaly takes clients under his wing to get their bodies in top-flight condition. Use his giant sets to propel your summer six-pack CONTACT alexisaly.com

05A

06A

05B 06B

GIANT SET TWO

DEPARTURE LOUNGE Your next set of moves follows exactly the same format: perform each move in turn without rest, then take a full two minutes before repeating three times. Keeping your largest muscle groups under tension for an extended period – with high-intensity bodyweight moves added to the mix – is the best way to burn kilojoules fast and say bon voyage to excess fat.

124

FEBRUARY 2017

05 LUNGE SQUAT

TRICEPS KICKBACK

(4 SETS OF 10 REPS)

(4 SETS OF 10 REPS)

For this second set, complete all three moves with one leg forward before starting the next set on your other leg – you’ll finish all three moves on each leg twice, with burpees in between. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward into a deep lunge with your left leg (A). With your knee hovering above the floor, push up with both feet (B) before dropping.

When you’ve finished 10 lunge squats, pause at the bottom position with your right knee just off the ground. Hinge forward at the hips and raise your elbows until your triceps are parallel to the ground (A). Without moving your elbows or your body, push the weights up behind you until the dumbbells are as high as they can go (B). Keep your knee off the ground.


MUSCLES USED

MIN TS IN

08B WEEKS L

07B

A

CARDIO

07

08

BENT-OVER ROW

BURPEE

(4 SETS OF 10 REPS)

(4 SETS OF 45 SECONDS)

This one requires you to think about what you’re doing. It isn’t needless complication, though: the dynamic movement recruits masses of muscle fibres. Keep moving as you were in the previous set, but this time when you’ve finished one kickback, lower the dumbbells toward the ground (A) and pull them back up (B) to perform one bent-over row. Do 10 reps of each move.

Your final move keeps the high intensity but adds upper-body conditioning on top. Plus, the rapid transition to cardio burns more fat. Drop to the ground (A): push up, kick your feet under your chest and jump as high as you can (B). Make sure your chest touches the ground on every rep – it’ll pay off when you swap that sweat-drenched kit for your togs.

FEBRUARY 2017 125


R E N WIN Hyde Ethan

+

+

OP T T NEX R

E N I A TR – Bro

ught

to yo

u by

THE 25-YEAR-OLD PT FROM BUNDABERG, QUEENSLAND HAS TAKEN OUT THE INAUGURAL

MEN’S HEALTH NEXT TOP TRAINER COMPETITION. IN A STELLAR FIELD, HYDE PROVED HE HAS THE KNOW-HOW, COMMITMENT AND CHARISMA TO TRANSFORM THE

THE FIVE FINALISTS in the first-ever Men’s Health Next Top Trainer were, as you’d expect, an impressive bunch. But there could be only one winner – and that is Queensland dynamo Ethan Hyde. While Hyde was neither the most experienced nor prodigiously credentialed of the final five, he stood out for what he calls his “passionate obsession” with all things fitness – and relentless drive for self-improvement. A gifted communicator, Hyde also impressed with his ability to motivate all-comers. We came to the view that if you awoke one wet Sunday morning with bloodshot eyes and only a hazy recollection of the night before, Hyde would be the man to get you out of bed and out the door for a bout of head-clearing physical activity. Read on for our winner’s Top 10 tips for escaping a training rut, as well as his go-to workout for building massive arms. High five?

Leader of the pack: Hyde, centre, edged out, from left, Steve Kiely, Rob Coad, Russell Jarrett and Dinny Morris.

126

FEBRUARY 2017

WORDS BY DANIEL WIILIAMS; PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON IERACE; ILLUSTRATIONS BY SONNY RAMIREZ

PHYSIQUE OF ANY GUY PREPARED TO AIM UP


NEXT TOP

TR INER

Training zeal on the wane? Use these inspirational tips from anointed PT Ethan Hyde and feel that old hunger surging back

HAVE HA AVE A “WHY” HY “Why are you training like a beast? Be specific,” says Hyde. You might want to stack on 5kg of brawn in time for your Bali getaway, or drop the same amount in lard to reduce your slightly high bloodpressure reading. “You’ll be rewarded for having a clear goal and a structured plan for achieving it.”

SET A DEAD DEADLINE E A DL I N E “This creates urgency and helps prevent slacking off,” says Hyde.

BOOK B OOK A DEXA DE EXA SCAN SCAN “It’s the most accurate way to measure fat and muscle levels.” Get scanned on day one and regularly thereafter to check you’re on the right track.

PREPARE P REPARE A AND ND PROSPER OS “A lot of guys walk into the gym unsure what they’ll train today.” Planning a month’s workouts keeps you focused and accountable.

MONSTER ARMS WHO BETTER THAN MR HYDE TO CREATE THIS TRULY MONSTROUS WORKOUT FOR DELIVERING MASSIVE ARMS IN A MATTER OF WEEKS?

WHAT TO DO In this workout, Hyde exploits the hypertrophic potential of so-called giant sets to stimulate scary growth in your biceps and triceps. “A giant set is four or more exercises performed back to back – no rest,” explains Hyde. “You hit the targeted muscle from every angle while achieving an insane pump.” Perform all five exercises for each body part as a circuit. Repeat twice for a total of three sets per muscle. Your tempo should be 2:1:1.

BIONIC BICEPS DUMBBELL TWIST CURL 12 reps Stand tall, weights at your sides, palms facing each other. As you raise the dumbbells to your shoulders, rotate your arms so your palms finish facing you.

PACK P PA ACK A STOPWATCH STO OPWATCH “That 60-second plank was more like 40 seconds. That one-minute rest period was actually 90 seconds. You’re chasing results, so leave nothing to chance.”

GET SNAP HAPPY HAPP A PPY 6 “Beforeand after-photos are worth their weight in gold. Nothing works better to ignite motivation than seeing how far you’ve come.”

COOK OO UP A STORM STOR OR M “Nothing sucks more than coming home late and finding nothing to eat.” When you have the time and will to fire up the pan, make the session count by cooking in bulk and freezing ready-prepped meals.

NAIL NA AIL YOUR YO OU R W WEIGH-IN E IG H - I N “What you think is 100g of carbs is often quite a bit more. I am guilty of this, too. Use a set of kitchen scales to measure out your portions.” No scales? “Cup one hand. That’s roughly 25-30g of cooked carbohydrates, such as pumpkin or sweet potato.”

ENJOY E NJOY T THE H E PR P PROCESS RO C E S S 9 “If you hate your meal plan or workout program, you won’t stick to it. I wouldn’t either. Find a meal plan with foods you like and a workout regimen that’s fun to complete.”

CLAIM YOUR YOUR REWARD EWARD If it took you 60 days to get shredded, you’ve earned a celebratory – carb-loaded – meal.

DUMBBELL HAMMER CURL 12 reps Begin as above. But for this exercise, keep your palms facing each other for the duration of the movement. Keep your elbows tucked throughout. BARBELL CURL 12 reps Holding a barbell with an underhand, shoulder-width grip, squeeze your biceps and curl it up to your shoulders, keeping elbows in tight throughout. CLOSE-GRIP BARBELL CURL 12 reps As above for the standard barbell curl, except this time take a narrow grip hands about 30cm apart - to change the angle of attack. ROPE HAMMER CURL 20 reps Standing tall with core braced, grip both handles, palms facing each other as per the standard hammer curl. Squeeze your biceps and pull the handles up to the centre of your chest.

TITANIC TRICEPS DIPS To failure Gripping the parallel bars, keep your head up as you lower your body until your forearms are parallel with the floor. Drive back to the start position. TRICEPS PUSH-UP To failure Get into a standard push-up position, then bring your hands together so your fingers form a diamond shape. Squeezing your triceps and core, lower your body to the ground, then explode back up. OVERHEAD DUMBBELL TRICEPS EXTENSION 12-15 reps Standing tall, hold a dumbbell lengthwise behind your neck, arms bent. Now straighten your elbows until the weight is above your head. DUAL CABLE EXTENSION 12-15 reps Gripping the handles with an underhand grip, keep your elbows in tight and triceps engaged as you draw the cables downwards towards your thighs. CABLE OVERHEAD EXTENSION 12-15 reps Form is similar to the overhead dumbbell extension. Draw the cables down behind your neck, fully stretching your triceps, then bring them up above your head.

FEBRUARY 2017 127


ADVERTISING FEATURE

Our guide to what’s happening and what’s new

FRESHEN UP Dettol Glen 20 Max Cover Mist has a unique wide-angle cap that’s specifically designed to kill germs on big, soft surfaces – so it’s easy to keep them fresh and hygienic. And you can also use it in the places where you already trust and use regular Dettol Glen 20.

FOR THE JETSETTER TAKE TIME OUT What would you rather be doing this weekend? Outsource that mega to-do list with Airtasker, a trusted community marketplace that allows you to outsource your tasks in minutes. From cleaning and gardening, to even holding your spot in a queue — Airtasker has you covered!

Powered by all light sources, with a six-month power reserve, the SEIKO Prospex Solar World Time is the ultimate in sports watches. This stainless steel watch with a scratch-resistant sapphire glass has 25 cities pre-programmed, with a dual-time facility. It also features a stopwatch that measures 24 hours in one-fifth-of-a-second increments and a 24-hour alarm, plus it’s rated to 100-metre water resistance. RRP $950. seiko.com.au

RRP $8.49. Available at major supermarkets. dettol.com.au

DO IT LIKE A PRO Bring the barista-style coffee experience home with the new Nespresso Creatista Plus. It’s the first Nespresso machine that allows users to personalise their milk texture and temperature to create silky smooth latte art, thanks to its innovative automatic steam wand technology.

PREP STARTS HERE Deep Heat Pro Sports Prep Massage Lotion and Deep Heat Pro Sports Recovery Massage Oil represent an elite new product line aimed at muscular preparation, strain prevention and quicker recovery. An integral part of every warm-up and warm-down routine – both mental and physical.

The stainless steel Nespresso Creatista Plus is available now in Nespresso Boutiques and online at nespresso.com RRP $799.

GET ON TRACK Make your workouts more efficient with a performance tracker. THE ICONIC stocks a range of brands including Fitbit, Misfit, Polar, TomTom and Garmin, all ready to help you smash your goals. Start your fitness tracking at theiconic.com.au


ELITE

02/17

WHAT’S THE KEY TO PACKING ON SIZE? FORGET THE BRO SCIENCE AND LISTEN TO THE REAL EXPERTS. THIS IS THE BIOLOGICAL LOWDOWN ON HOW MUSCLE GROWTH REALLY WORKS,ALONG WITH SOME

EXPERT DR BRAD SCHOENFELD EXPERIENCE An internationally renowned hypertrophy expert, Schoenfeld has some big ideas when it comes to building muscle. CONTACT lookgreatnaked.com

BIOMECHANICALLY SOUND TWEAKS TO LIFT THE PACE OF YOUR PROGRESS

JUST THINK ABOUT IT It’s what’s up top that counts. Research suggests that by focusing hard on the muscle you’re contracting, you can increase fibre activation and shift more weight. This mindmuscle connection reduces the efforts of your supporting “ancillary” muscles, isolating the ones you’re aiming to grow. Harness your brain to power your brawn.

TRY SOMETHING NEW TODAY

TAKE A BREAK If you’re taking each set to absolute failure, you’re going to burn out. Structure your training into five-week blocks: gradually increase intensity for four weeks before taking it easy for a week, then start again.

You’ll likely have experienced the symptoms of the “repeated bout effect”, even if you haven’t heard of it. Muscles grow accustomed to exercise movements, causing a plateau in your progress. Avoid it by changing up your workouts and hitting muscles from different angles. Sideline your bench-press PB attempt in favour of push-ups on incline and decline benches – you’ll work more muscle fibres for fuller definition.

GO HARD & FAST

BUILDING BLOCKS

ILLUSTRATIONS BY BEN MOUNSEY

RUNNER’S CURSE Excess cardio can be detrimental to muscle gains by slowing down your body’s ability to synthesise protein. Without enough protein, your muscles can’t grow, even if you’re training balls to the wall. Limit cardio to three 20-minute HIIT workouts per week.

You don’t need to chug protein at every opportunity. About 1.7g per kg of bodyweight is the ideal daily quota – and that’s easily achievable without downing a pint of raw eggs at breakfast.

Strength gains made early in a workout are significantly greater than any from moves at the end of a session. So if your goal is to bulk up your arms, then you need to hit the preacher bench straight away. Sure, it sounds obvious, but it’s the basic things that are too easily forgotten and yet most effective.

VARY YOUR REP RANGES The classic “hypertrophy range” of 8-12 reps per set needs to be your mainstay – but don’t get stuck. Diversifying won’t just alleviate boredom: short sets (4-6 reps) build strength while sets of 15+ increase your lactic threshold.

FEBRUARY 2017 129


ONE WORD ANSWER

AS A MOVER and shaker on the seasoning scene, salt has long been the subject of opprobrium. Health policy makers have been urging us to reduce our intake since the ’70s, linking the crystals to high blood pressure and heart attacks. However, surprising new research claims that we should now take such suggestions with a hefty pinch of sodium chloride. According to McMaster University, low-salt diets could increase the risk of heart disease in healthy men. And while those with hypertension would do well to keep tabs on their habit, for the general population a lower intake was correlated with a greater risk of early death.

130

FEBRUARY 2017

Of course, a diet of chips, dips and processed meats will serve up problems beyond mere sodium overload. But it’s nonetheless worth reminding yourself that salt has functions beyond making your meat feast so moreish – namely, regulating fluid balance and nerve impulses, and assisting with the absorption of glucose and amino acids. If you really want to earn your salt, we suggest a bacon sandwich as a weekend treat paired with an electrolyte supplement immediately after a partypump arms session. As well as assisting with recovery, sodium draws fluid into your muscles, boosting your post-gym pump. Scoop-neck singlet optional.

WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH ; PHOTOGRAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON

Which notorious white powder could actually improve heart health?


(FZQNƵT\JW HWZXYUN__F


RADO.COM

RADO HYPERCHROME MATCH POINT LIMITED EDITION PLASMA HIGH-TECH CERAMIC. METALLIC LOOK. MODERN ALCHEMY.

TIME IS THE ESSENCE WE ARE MADE OF

OFFICIAL TIMEKEEPER

AVAILABLE AT SELECTED WALLACE BISHOP STORES. WALLACEBISHOP.COM.AU 1800 804 040


20dfvdfv