WE TRIED THEM: JULY 2016
DROP 4KG IN 3 WEEKS Our Fastest
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Fitness Plan Are You the Next
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Is Human Growth Hormone Worth It?
12 Quick& Easy Protein Meals
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Kick Any Bad Habit Instantly!
PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
Akio Kawahito A.k.a. DJ-ID. I work as a DJ, Creative and Artist Manager kind of like an overall businessman, musician and creative.
WHAT WOULD YOU DEFINE AS A PIONEERING SPIRIT?
In my opinion there are two necessities to being a pioneer in any ield. The irst is the ability to conceptualise fresh and exciting ideas within that ield. The second is the courage to take risks and place yourself outside of your comfort zone.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
Loving your job is always the best motivation. Being the leader of a team, I have a strong sense of commitment and upliftment for the collective. I’m very driven by challenges and goals, so having an objective that I’m working towards always excites me.
WHAT ABOUT COFFEE DO YOU THINK MIRRORS LIFE?
The process of coffee is similar to that of life. As humans, we start off young and raw from a multitude of areas and backgrounds. Over the course of our lifetime, we are reined and improved in order to create the best possible version of ourselves.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR STYLE?
I’m very casual. I’m a big sneaker head and I’m not sure if it’s a good thing for a man my age to still be into sneakers that much, but I can’t help it. Lately, I’ve been more into getting dressed up into suits, and I feel like moving into the next stage of my life I would need to be suited up more.
Lerato Moloi I’m a professional model, businesswoman and presenter on The Crossover Show on SuperSport. I’ve been in the industry for a good 16 years now.
WHAT GETS YOU UP IN THE MORNING?
Knowing that I have another opportunity to do better than I did the day before, and the life I am continuously building for my children and I.
GROWING UP, WHAT DID YOU SEE YOURSELF BECOMING?
Growing up I wanted a simple life – I wanted to inish high school, go to university, get my psychology degree and open a practice, and live a normal life. But it didn’t quite go that way for me, I had a different path set out for me.
HOW DID YOU END UP BECOMING A MODEL?
Modelling is my mother’s fault, I blame her and my younger sister for it - they kind of threw me in the deep end. I was very shy growing up and a bit of a recluse - they decided I needed a self-esteem boost and put me into an agency, without me realising this would be very good for me as a person and it would be the career path that I was born for.
WHAT LOOK ARE YOU GOING FOR WITH TODAY’S SHOOT?
I’d like today’s shoot to relect my personality and just showcase that you don’t need too much to be glamourous, you just need the right outit and one or two accessories - so I wanted to make sure that I come across as myself.
It’s not just coffee, it’s NESCAFÉ.
Stand a chance to win 1 of 6 Montblanc luxury ry pens. pens. Follow us on Facebook to ind nd out out how. how.
Suit & Shirt: House of Monatic White Dress: Thula Sindi
COVER STORIES & FEATURES
GET CROSSFIT LEAN Rich Froning shares the secrets that made him the Fittest Man on Earth four years running
THE GY YMNAST’S GUIDE TO BIG MUSCL LE For a truly Olympian upper bo ody, master the ringss. Rio is ready for you
THE BIG PROTEIN COOKBOOK Man’s favourite macro has never been more popular. Get your fill here
TRAIN LIKE A STRO ONGMAN How the e Game of Thron nes skullcrusher became the third strongest man in the world
SECRETS FROM 98 TOP THE WORLD’S BEST GYMS G The brightest minds in fitness rev veal how to elevate your workouts – and accelerate yo our results
106 THE 2016 MH FITNESSS AWARDS Get fitter, faster, with our guide to the very best in fitness-focused gear
MAKE IT LAST Maximise your body’s mileage: the owner’s manual to becoming your own body mechanic
SECRETS TO A LO ONG, LONG LIFE L Icelandicc men know the em. Listen up p
REGULARS & DEPARTMENTS
STYLE + GROOMING
MUSCLE + FITNESS
78/ Suit Yourself
52/ Belly Off Brothers
One suit. 15 ways to wear it
The amazing weight-loss story of Anrich and Anton Nieuwenhuizen
83/ The Right Way to Clean Your Clothes Stop paying the pros. Instead, become one
64/ Rock-Hard Calves Three simple exercises for legendary legs
86/ Stop the Rough Treatment
65/ Touch Your Toes – Really! Improve your
Be kinder to your skin, teeth and more with this guide
flexibility with just one move
SEX+ RELATIONSHIPS 68/ She’s the One
72/ The Male Libido Crisis Are you a casualty?
Your dream woman is out there. Here’s how to find her, and keep her at your side forever
THE G P ROTEIN C OOKBOOK
76/ Ask the Girl Next Door “I think my girlfriend fakes her orgasms...”
68 FIND YOUR DREAM GIRL
GUY WISDOM 18/ One-Word Answer
34/ Find Your Bearings
How to win friends and influence people
28/ Beat the Clock
Fit couple Andene and Dale Horn give us the low down on the best spots in Durban North and Umhlanga
Local boy Brad Binder is racing to the front of the Moto3 scene. Here’s how
89/ The Truth About Carbs Wholegrain sliced
32/ Out of Sight
bread is the best thing since, well, you know
The background tech that will upgrade your life
36/ Get the Scoop Tuck into protein-packed pints of dessert
40/ How to Break a Bad Habit Your five-step recovery programme comes courtesy of SA’s top life coaches
EVEN MORE USEFUL STUFF..
92/ DIY Biltong Dry a batch of muscle-building meat at home, then grab some and grow
94/ The Truth About HGH Should you take it? The most popular cheat supplement may also be the most dangerous
10 Man of Action
16 Ask MH
Meet open-water swimmer Ryan Stramrood
“I get a headache after a heavy lifting session.“
Your guide to everything a man needs in life
14 Strong Words
42 Guy Wisdom
Allow our new ed to introduce himself
Bite-sized health and fitness tips
Got questions? Yogi the barber will help you out
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 7
THIS MONTH ON...
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MUSCLE & FITNESS
Train Hard at Any Age
Every year, the MH guys get a little wake-up call. It’s the Staf Fitness Challenge – and this time, we’re giving you access to everything these ﬁve guys are learning, including a free muscle-building eating plan from foodforsport.co.za
Train smarter at thirty so you can still be lifting heavy at ﬁfty. If you’re a healthy man who wants to train hard at any age, this is for you.
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8 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
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Is inﬁdelity a once-of mistake, or worse: a pattern? Researchers surveyed people in long-term relationships about their history of cheating and found the answer.
WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
At the heart of the most extreme missions you’ll find exceptional men prepared to entrust their security only to the most high-performing instruments. At the heart of exceptional missions you’ll find the Breitling Avenger. A concentrated blend of power, precision and functionality, Avenger models boast an ultra-sturdy construction and water resistance ranging from 100 to 3000 m (330 to 10,000 ft). These authentic instruments for professionals are equipped with selfwinding movements officially chronometer-certified by the COSC – the only benchmark of reliability and precision based on an international norm. Welcome to the world of extremes. Welcome to the Breitling world.
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B R E IT L ING . C O M
SUPER AVENGER II
Man of Action “Throwing yourself into a deadly cold, hostile body of water, the mind just wants to force you to get out. The discipline and self-belief it takes to remain calm, to perform physically even when elements are against you – that’s where you learn how far you can push yourself.” Ryan Stramrood
P H O T O G R A P H D AV I D M E R R O N
an S am amro w wa wam the orl rl ial ntarctic c a... in -1Â° r.
There are big benefits to swimming in sub-zero temperatures: studies show that cold water is a mood-booster, stimulating parts of your brain that can help battle stress, anxiety and depression. Next time you hit the shower, try the coldest setting â€“ or better yet, brave the open waters yourself. Find out how on p46
Global Editions/ EDITORS-IN-CHIEF USA BILL PHILLIPS Australia LUKE BENEDICTUS Brazil SERGIO XAVIER
TONS OF USEFUL STUFF
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Jason Brown EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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CONTRIBUTORS Kallas Eksteen (cover model), Sean Laurenz (cover photographer), Andrew Hetherington, Ben Goldstein, BJ Gaddour, Brian Boye, Byron Keulemans, Carlos Serrao, Christian Pandella, Christopher Griith, Dan Matthews, Dan Michel, Dale Titus, David Merron, Diana Asherson, Edwin Smith, Elias Stein, Ethan Wayne, Hubert Tereszkiewicz, Irwin Goldstein, Jacobus Snyman, James Garaghty, Jamie Millar, Jim Thornton, Jobe Lawrenson, Jonathan Kambouris, John Dominis, K. Aleisha Fetters, Kelvin Trautman, Laura Beil, Lou Schuler, Mark Cameron, Matthew Kadey, Maurizio Di Iorio, Michael Brandon Myers, Michael Easter, Mirco Lazzari, Nick Muzik, Philip Haynes, R. Kikuo Johnson, Richard Cook, Rob Peters, Sam Kaplan, Sean Laurenz, Ted Spiker, Theodore Yach, Todd Detwiler, Tom Schierutz, Travis Rathbone, Sjani Grobbelaar, Stephanie Arndt, Steve Sanford
Romania MIHAI GHIDUC Russia KIRILL VISHNEPOLSKY Serbia and Montenegro IVAN RADOJCIC
Spain JORDI MARTINEZ Thailand CHATCHAWIN UNHANUN
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12 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
GENERAL MANAGER: LEISURE LOUISE MENY-GIBERT
Singapore KELVIN TAN South Korea SEUNG KWAN PAIK
Unless previously agreed in writing, Men’s Health buys all rights to all contributions, whether image or text.
GENERAL MANAGER: LIFESTYLE CHARLENE BEUKES
THE SUM OF YOUR ACTIONS
THE QUOTE “Training is the same as life. If you get stuck in the same routine, you’re never going to get better. You have to do something else to be more successful.” The Mountain p120
UK researchers have found that after age 53, weaker men are 3½ times more likely to die within a 13-year period than their stronger peers. p137
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @MensHealthZA Facebook: MensHealthSA
14 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
IT ALL STARTED WITH BEING THE HUMAN VERSION OF A MAGPIE. Growing up I cut out and collected pictures and articles from magazines, and mashed them up into my own custom publications. Granted, this old-school cut-and-paste curation seems both outdated and a little lame in this digital age – but it was the foundation for my career in journalism. Fast-forward through school, university and a few print jobs through to 2006 when I found my way to this magazine in your hands, and it was love at irst read. It wasn’t just the itness and health advice that spoke to me; it was the promise of instant wisdom and a spirit of adventure. This honest, service-driven journalism provided advice in every aspect of life; from keeping beers colder and dressing right for date night (p78) to kicking a bad habit (p40). It was a blueprint for life, illed with breathtaking images (p10), outdoor escapes, real role models (p28), and tight, concise words with a little attitude – spoken like an older, wiser brother. By following these guidelines and making a few small changes, any man could build a better version of themselves. When you’re in great shape you walk taller, work better and feel happier, but best of all, this constant sharpening rewards you with a sense of selfmastery: more than money, clothes or status could ever provide. It’s not just about looking and feeling good – this brand saves lives. I’ve interviewed previous Belly Off winners (p52) who’ve lost up to 80kg and dodged diabetes and heart attacks, and I’ve got a relative who caught testicular cancer early thanks to this mag. I share oice space with MH colleagues who’ve turned their health and itness around, and these guys have become role models to both family and friends. You can make yourself a better man, brother, dad and husband with these words, and for 10 years now, that’s exactly what this blood-red brand has done for me. From getting knocked out in a boxing match and spearishing with sharks to running Comrades and completing Ironman 70.3 and surviving white water on the Zambezi, every MH Challenge (p46) and story has taught me invaluable life lessons and made me love this brand even more. I’m a believer. My goal is to make you one too. I’m still that magpie today, just a little older – and hopefully a little more tech-savvy – but I still collect photos, words, and wisdom. Now I do it for you too. Time for our next adventure.
Arthur Jones EDITOR @ArthurJonesSA
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When post-work drinks look like they’re turning into pre-dawn karaoke renditions of Eye of the Tiger, you might be forgiven for cutting your losses and making a tactical exit. But being prudish is not the same as prudence. In fact, being the first man to take the mic can actually be a smart social move. New research from the University of Oxford found that singing helps people bond faster than any other group activity. According to psychologist Dr Eiluned Pearce, singing from the same hymn sheet helps us to “build social cohesion when there isn’t time to establish one-to-one connections in a group.” Which means a duet with your line manager could be the best way to perfectly pitch a decent pay raise. It has also been suggested that singing can deliver many of the same meditative benefits as yoga, though we suspect this depends on the track chosen. For maximum networking efect, it’s best to opt for one you can sing in a low octave: deeper, more measured voices are linked to authoritativeness and superior leadership potential. For you, that means Johnny Cash is in, while Aerosmith should remain ﬁrmly in the “Where are they now?” ﬁle. But then, you knew that already, didn’t you? 18 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
P H O T O G R A P H J O B E L AW R E N S O N
What’s the bestway to winfriends and inluence people?
NEWS THAT IMPROVES YOU
CLIMB YOUR WAY CLEVER
Stair climbing can protect your brain as you become older, a new study reveals. When researchers examined MRI scans of peoples’ grey matter, they discovered that brain age decreased by almost seven months for every flight of stairs the people climbed on a daily basis. The reason for the benefit has yet to be determined, but who cares? Taking the stairs burns kilojoules, so we’ll call it a win-win.
20 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
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For up-to-the-minute sex news and tips, go to mh.co.za/sex-women
Give Some, Get Some When you give your better half a rub-down, go slow. That’s the massage message from Susan Findlay, director of the North London School of Sports Massage. “Use the heel of your hand to make continuous fluid movements and work the whole length of the muscle.” Begin rubbing up her the right way with our four-step guide: 1
Prep for Glory Have your mate disrobe and lie face-down on a towel or firm bed. Enjoy the view, then dim the lights. Squeeze some oil into your palms and rub them together to warm it up. 1
Be Smooth Start at her shoulders, then move to the muscles at the base of her neck before working down each arm. Gently pinch (between your thumb and fingers), squeeze, and knead her skin. If she winces, lighten up; she should be completely relaxed. 1
GET YOUR HANDS ON THIS
Keep It Going Return to her neck and work your way down to her lower back, making smooth circular, clockwise motions, using the same massage techniques as on her arms but adding the heels of your hands for larger areas on each side of her spine. 2
Finish Strong End by using the palms of your hands to work on her lower back. The whole process should take about 45 minutes, and with luck, much longer. Don’t worry if you get aroused. Do worry if she doesn’t. (Whale music and candles optional.) 24 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
PERCENTAGE OF EMOJITEXTING SINGLE WOMEN WHO ARE SEXUALLY ACTIVE, VERSUS 21% OF WOMEN WHO DON’T USE THEM. SEE AN EMOJI? MAKE YOUR MOVE.
If you’re curious about her long-term interest in you, ask about her number. You know, her credit rating. A study by those hopeless romantics over at the US Federal Reserve Board of Governors found that couples with the highest credit ratings were the most likely to stay together. The probable reason, says study author Jessica Hayes: “Reliable payments may indicate reliable partners. Boring, yes, but reassuring.”
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S , I S T O C K P H O T O
ARE YOU A GOOD FISCAL FIT?
Selling Skin Care Brand in South Africa *
DRY + DAMAGED SKIN RESTORED IN 5 DAYS
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For up-to-the-minute weight loss news and tips, go to mh.co.za/weight-loss
Bulletins/ Weight Loss YOU AIN’T DONE UNTIL THE FAT GUY BRINGS PIE
SNACK FIRST (HEALTHILY!) THEN SHOP
Restaurant patrons who were waited on by an overweight server were four times as likely to have dessert as those who were assigned a slimmer server, a recent Cornell study found. That’s because when we’re around people who are carrying a few extra kilos, we tend to give ourselves more permission to indulge, explains study author Tim Doering.
Eat a nutritious snack, like a piece of fruit, before you go grocery shopping. Doing so tricks you into buying 25% more fruits and vegetables than if you haven’t snacked. How it works Healthy noshing before buying food primes your brain for the decisions you’ll make inside the supermarket, according to researchers at Cornell University.
PERCENTAGE OF MEN WHO DON’T MEET THE RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES FOR VEGETABLE INTAKE. DON’T BE THAT GUY! YOU SHOULD BE CONSUMING A TOTAL OF 21 CUPS A WEEK; ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE ACTIVE FOR AN AVERAGE OF 5 HOURS A WEEK.
Push the Right Button at the Vending Machine “Get the nuts,” says Mike Roussell, author of The Six Pillars of Nutrition. “Everything else in that machine is loaded with simple carbs and added sugars. Nuts have fat, fibre and protein, all of which keep you fuller longer. More than any of the other options, nuts provide a steadier release of energy over the next several hours. Plus, they’re shown to reduce your risk of heart disease. No nuts? Go with the popcorn.”
26 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
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SOME DADS HAVE HOBBIES. BUT BRAD’S
old man was a fanatic. “Bikes, cars, it didn’t matter – I was surrounded with the stuf,” says Brad. “My father was a petrol head, and still is. He’s got around 100 bikes,” he laughs. “What can I say? It was inevitable that I would get into racing.” This was in Carletonville, the gold mining town in Gauteng where the rider would irst discover his racing chops. His home, a jungle of auto-parts, race-ready steeds and gutted cars, became a playground for the kid. On weekends he’d straddle the saddle of a bike, hit the dusty outskirts of the town and attempt to tame it. Brad’s father had fostered a motoring passion in his son, but maybe his hometown’s hunger for gold was contagious, because the young rider wanted more than free rides and kicking up dust. At just 10 years old, he began competing in road races. “I remember my irst race was actually with my dad,” says Brad. His old man had dabbled in motorsport a few times in his heyday, and keen to encourage his son, the pair doubled up and hit Zwartkops Raceway’s winding track. The young rider was on form, speeding through chicanes and accelerating into third place. “But then I tagged in my dad and he lost two positions,” he says. “I just remember feeling really bleak.” It’s a bittersweet memory. Taking part in his own race was something he’d dreamt about on those lazy Sundays, where the Binder lounge roared with dozens of engines and the enthusiastic chatter of the MotoGP’s commentators. But he hadn’t just fantasised about taking part, he wanted to win. And on his irst race day he learnt something important. Losing sucks. But could get better, and he would get better. Doggedly chasing victories, it didn’t take long for Brad to make his mark. Even when his family moved to Krugersdorp, he kept competing. There was still school,
“TO BE HONEST, RACING’S PROBABLY ONE OF THE ONLY THINGS I’M REALLY GOOD AT. OR AT LEAST, NOT TOO BAD AT”
Mount Up Even when he’s not racing, Brad’s still spinning tyres. Here’s what’s in his garage
30 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
FOR THE ROAD
FOR THE DIRT
FOR THE DAY
The KTM 250cc 4-stroke motorbike is Brad’s weapon of choice on the track. The speedster is kitted out with a liquid-cooled engine and more importantly, looks the part. He recommends upping the weight on the nose to give more bite to the frontwheel steering. That’s if you get your hands on this race-grade steed in the ﬁrst place.
Hitting a dirt track is a good way to ﬁnd your bearings without having to grapple with traic. A nod to his dusty roots, the 2016 Husqvarna TC 125 2T is a muscled-up scrambler that makes easy work of the outdoors. Finely-tuned suspension will cushion your landings and the 125cc engine is surprisingly quick.
Built by the same company that engineered Brad’s winning ride, the KTM 250 4-stroke is a versatile bike that’ll take you from dirt to road and back again. Just remember, you’ll have to pick up a street legal kit (your local bike store will point you in the right direction) – but it’s deﬁnitely worth having a bike for all terrains.
THE WINNING WORKOUT A podium finish in the Moto3 requires a light body and a strong core. Get race-ready with these exercises
BORN IN POTCH, Brad’s making a name for himself in the biking big leagues.
sport and everything in between, but none of it held the same appeal. “To be honest, racing’s probably one of the only things I’m really good at,” he says. “Or at least, not too bad at. I’ve never been interested in rugby or cricket, anything like that.” It’s the old adage: forget about your weaknesses and focus on building up your strengths – that’s what will set you apart. For Brad, it paid of. Binder competed in three seasons of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup. His best inish? Fifth. But it was enough to get his foot in the door, and in 2012 he took part in his irst Moto3 Grand Prix in Qatar. From the outset, he was a strong competitor, racking up podium inishes. But irst place proved to be elusive. That was, at least, until this year. Going into the latest Moto3 series, Brad was looking like a irm favourite. He had nailed his qualiiers, putting pedal to the metal and leaving the pack behind. But after qualifying for the race in Jerez, organisers discovered his KTM superbike was running non-homologated ECU software. To those who aren’t fluent in bike geek, that means his qualifying times were disallowed and he was sent to the tail-end of the grid. “Mentally I knew it was going to be tough,” he says. “When you line up at the back you see how far you have to go, how many racers you have to overtake and it gets intimidating.” His teammates were supportive. They told him to relax, they took the pressure of – seriously, today was just not his day. Brad nodded, but there were already other ideas brewing in his head. “I knew I could take this race. I had a really good pace the whole weekend and I felt strong, so I knew that when it came down to the race that I had what it would take to ight my way to the front row,” he says. “I was nervous, sure. But it’s normal to think a few crazy things before a big race. Sometimes I ask myself, why am I doing this? Those nerves can get to you. But when the visor
goes down, I push all of that to the back of my head and try to focus.” Commentators described Brad’s surge to the front as a “relentless charge”. The rider tore up Jerez’s rollercoaster racetrack, moving into the top 10 after just six laps. He was picking of positions at almost every corner, and before even a third of the race was done, Brad found himself powering into fourth place. Then third, second. Then irst. “It was a crazy moment,” he says. He’d become the irst South African to win a motorcycle Grand Prix since Jon Ekerold clinched one in 1981. But the gravity of what he’d accomplished only hit him on his way home. “I’d done this. I’d actually done this,” he laughs. But for a rider who had struggled to clinch that sought-after poll position, what had changed? Brad says it was all about inding balance. In the past, he’d tried to focus on nothing but racing. The result: he was left feeling burnt out, unfulilled and frustrated. A far cry from the passion he felt for his sport. Now, balance means taking breaks, enjoying the time he gets to spend at home in Krugersdorp. Tunnel vision can be your downfall, it’s about knowing when to gun for the inish line and when to enjoy the ride. It’s an important lesson for Brad to remember. With more victories in the World Championship, he’s on the cusp of winning the tournament. Momentum is behind him, but the pressure is also on. “The end goal has always been MotoGP. I’ve dreamed of racing against people like Valentino Rossi since I was a child,” he says. “I wouldn’t say I feel pressure from the outside, I think I put more on myself from within. But, when I go out, I’m taking it one lap at a time. If I stay focused and do my job, I know I can come through with wins either way.”
“SOMETIMES I ASK MYSEL WHY AM I DOING THIS? BUT WHEN THE VISOR GOES DOW I PUSH ALL THAT TO THE BACK OF MY HEAD”
PHOTOGRAPHS CHRISTIAN PONDELLA, MIRCO LAZZARI
THE PIT IS A HIVE of activity, but behind the visor is where the real magic happens.
CYCLE During the off season, Brad starts his mornings with a two-and-a-half hour cycle, pushing himself to cover as much road as he can. Time in the saddle boosts the core and quads, helping Brad stick to his motorbike like glue as he takes the corner, without losing speed. KJs BURNT
– based on your pace. For an even better burn, pick a route with steep climbs and get the most out of every ride.
CIRCUIT Brad stays light but strong by doing four rounds of 30 seconds of each of these exercises: side planks (left and right), pushups, spider lunges, squat hop to plank and lateral jump lunges. “I rely on my bodyweight to strengthen my core,” he says. KJs BURNT
more than a typical lifting session, or 35 per minute. Plus, it offers major cardio benefits.
Out of Sight Hook it up, then forget about it. Invest in tech that will upgrade your life, without getting in the way
USB sticks, external drives? Waiting to safely eject? It’s hardly the casual hookup you were expecting. A wireless drive like the Apple Time Capsule (R6 500, takealot.co.za) will give you access to your files from 50m. Plus, it’ll back up your devices overnight, for when everything goes south. The Seagate Wireless Portable Hard Drive (R1 499, takealot. co.za) won’t pack as much space, but won’t sacrifice download speed either. ack as much space, but doesn’t sacrifice on download speeds either.
A limp Wi-Fi connection is just going to let you down. Sure, the Internet is fast when you’re sitting on top of the modem, but what about the kitchen? Or even the deck? Forget about it. Here’s where you need the TP-Link AV500 2-port WiFi Powerline Extender (R880, takealot.co.za). This little gadget makes use of the existing electric circuitry in your walls, employing next-level tech wizardry to beam your connection further.
Remembering passwords is a chore – well, it should be, if you’re trying to be cryptic. The Gatekeeper Wireless PC Lock (R2 380, wantitall.co.za) is your skeleton key to all your accounts. Just plug it into a USB port and it’ll manage your passwords and store sensitive data. Bundled into the package is proximity security, which senses if you’re near your laptop or computer. Step away for a second and it’ll lock the system down.
Want a smarter home? Be prepared to splash a bit of cash – but when you’re controlling everything from the sprinklers to the dimmer switch from the comfort of your couch, you won’t regret the investment. The guys at Ezicontrol (ezicontrol.co.za) will map out your home and install a mainframe to sync up to your phone or tablet. What impressed us the most? Putting a timer on your blinds and coffee machine for the ultimate wake-up.
It’s good to track your progress, not so much fun to write it all down. Log your weigh-ins without touching a pencil with the Garmin Index Smart Scale (R2 900, garminonline.co.za). It’ll measure more than just your weight, doing a few basic calculations to determine your body fat and BMI too. Step off, and all that data will sync up to your phone or laptop, complete with comprehensive charts so you can run the numbers.
Take a Shortcut Hit warp speed right from your office desk
Shut it out. Coffee-shop background noise boosts productivity. Yes, seriously. Check out noisli.com
Go for lunch. But what to eat? Google “[food] vs [food]” to compare the nutritional info of your options in an instant.
Hit the sack. Shut-eye is the best form of recovery, for mind and muscles. Visit sleepyti.me to put a number on it
PHOTOGRAPH GETTY IMAGES
BY KIERAN LEGG
5am/ Run this City Durban North’s streets are perfect fodder for the aspiring runner or veteran Ironman, but you’ll want to get a head start on the traffic. Worried about where to begin? Dale and Andene say joining the ranks of the Regent Harriers is one of the best ways to plot your coordinates. On Tuesdays and Fridays, joggers converge on Kensington to tackle a shifting 10km trail through the city. It’s different every time, so it won’t get stale, says Andene. “And the group is pretty diverse, so you won’t have trouble finding someone to match your pace,” adds Dale. But the real test is waiting for you on Thursdays, where runners throw themselves at a tough 8km hill climb. “This route isn’t for the weak,” warn the organisers. No harm in trying, right?
BY KIERAN LEGG
T’S G O
Fit couple Dale Horn and Andene Thomson give you the lowdown on Durban North and Umhlanga
Find Your Bearings
9am/ Eat It Up Sure, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In Durban North, you probably won’t have one better. First choice for this fit couple: Mayfair Cafe. “Seriously, it’s our number-one pick every time,” laughs Andene. The restaurant takes a no-fuss, no-BS approach to serving up your morning meal. For an active guy like Dale, who spends a large chunk of his day on the board or in the gym, the poached eggs on rye with extra avocado is his go-to meal. Double up when necessary.
7am/ Grab a Cuppa
7:30am/ GOT A MOMENT? HIT UP TREE NATURAL CAFE FOR A YOGA SESSION. The studio is manned by top instructors and a pair of French Bulldogs. Visit treenatural.co.za 34 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
BETWEEN MEALS They won’t turn you into Legolas in one shot, but the guys at Kings Park Archery Club will introduce you to the unexpected health benefits of archery. Proper form is essential: notching a few carefully aimed arrows will improve your posture and help build upper body strength. kpac.co.za
I L L U S T R AT I O N W E R N E R V I L N
Your morning sprint is a great way to shave off calories, and your morning cuppa could continue the good worl: a Wageningen Agricultural University study found that caffeine can speed up weight loss. Dale and Andene recommend the cortado at Republik – and if you’re looking for something les hipster and more down-to-earth, Afros on Addington Beach is something of a local secret.
11am/ Hit the Waves
5pm/ Power Up
Durban’s waves are legendary and you’ll want to bag the benefits of splashing in the surf, says Dale. You’ll have to head a bit further out (you can spot the scores of Durban North’s surfers doing the same) and make your way to the Wedge. From there it’s perfect conditions, gentle swell and smooth riding. “We turn it into a family thing – you’ll find me, my friends and my dad out there on most mornings,” says Dale. Whereas unpredictable meteorology can mess with the most carefully laid plans, he says, “Durban’s weather lends itself to great surfing conditions, and the best part? It’s consistent.”
Still got some energy left? It’s time to sweat. Movement X is this fit couple’s gym of choice. Why? The instructors take a personal approach in their classes, making sure that everyone is getting the most out of every workout. “It’s got this electric atmosphere,” says Andene. “It just keeps you pumped up and I can push myself further.” Pick a class to match your goals. If you’re looking to build strength, the apeX programme will put you through your paces, incorporating a savage mix of anaerobic, plyometric and conditioning exercises using the full potential of ropes, kettle bells, prowlers and power bags. If you’re looking to lose weight, Dale recommends the boXer classes, geared towards burning through as many calories as possible.
1pm/ Refuel Usually we’d tell you to avoid a restaurant that can be summed up in two letters, but Nü is an exception, and a damn good one. This popular new age spot puts the emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and has that hardto-find holy grail of menu options: “add protein”. Andene recommends the quinoa salad or tuna fishcakes. Our personal pick: Grab a multigrain wrap stuffed with lean chicken breast.
6:30pm/ DURBAN ISN’T JUST FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT. Grab the pups and take them for a walk on Umlangha beach, says Andene. “Our English bulldog Rocco loves it, and there’s definitely no better way to unwind than feeling your toes in the sand and breathing in that fresh ocean air.”
2:15pm/ SKIP THE SUPERMARKET IN DURBAN NORTH – THE REAL INGREDIENTS ARE BEING KEPT AT HEALTH ON BROADWAY. A weekly organic vegetable box has you covered on greens, and the shelves are stocked with pretty much everything else.
9pm/ Wind Down Looking to impress your girl? It doesn’t matter if it’s a first date or date night, you can’t settle for the sloppy seconds being served up at a dodgy buffet. For Dale, Pintxada is always a winner. The authentic eatery, complete with “Tarantino booths”, has been hand built to set the mood. The pressure’s off man,
you’ve just nailed this date. All that’s left to do is pick a dish or two from the menu – the emphasis here is on small dishes with big flavour – and not cock up your pronunciation when you order. Que? Don’t worry, the menu’s in English – it’s just the diner’s name that’ll trip you up. Pro tip: it’s Pin-cha-da. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 35
Get the Scoop Recovery doesn’t have to taste like a relapse. Pick one of these protein-packed treats LOOKING FOR A MUSCLE-BOOSTER THIS WINTER? CHECK THE
freezer. Yeah, we know it’s cold out there, but ice cream isn’t a seasonal dessert. Forget the cliche of cones in the sun, you’re missing a trick if you’re not tucking in when the temps drop. The regular variant of this frozen treat is laced with sugar... and not much else. But ice cream makers are expanding their vision. The result: a new dairy king is set to rule your fridge. These locally-made tubs are low on sugar and big on protein. We dug around for those that tasted closest to the real deal – and one that licked the competition.
MIWHEY PROTEIN ICE CREAM VANILLA
Many of the vanillas we tried committed a cardinal sin: they threw out the calories (awesome) but the texture and taste went right along with them. But MiWhey not only jacks up the protein – you’re getting 19g per hundred – but the creaminess too, and almost claimed the dairy king’s throne.
Kick the sugar with this dessert, which packs just a single gram of the sweetener per hundred. The secret? Xylitol. This naturally occurring carb contains fewer calories than sugar, but looks and tastes like the real deal. Best part: studies have shown the substance doesn’t spike your blood sugar or insulin.
536KJ / 19G PROTEIN / 13G CARBS (4G SUGAR) / 3G FAT
903KJ / 12.1G PROTEIN / 1.1G CARBS (1.1G SUGAR) / 17.8G FAT
SKINNY SCOOP CHOCOLATE
Tasters cleaned out the whole tub, and then asked for more. In their words: “rich”, “chocolatey” and “now this is ice cream”. And while its taste trumps most store-bought, calorie-heavy desserts that bandy about words like “double fudge”, it packs almost five times as much protein per scoop. 735KJ / 14G PROTEIN / 3.6G CARBS (2.1G SUGAR) / 13.6G FAT
PHOTOGRAPH JAMES GARAGHTY STYLING WERNER VILN
36 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
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Women on Top Meet the Women’s Health Next Fitness Star Top Five. Now get that jaw off the ﬂoor and listen up – they’ve got a lot to teach you
Aneeka Buys Personal trainer at Virgin Active “Finding the time to train can be quite challenging, especially with kids who are quite little. So I get them to join me – sprints, lunges, squat jumps... They get sidetracked, and that’s fine. I’m teaching them that exercise is fun, and that they should love everything their bodies can do.” @FITGIRLZA
Irène Scholz Founder and owner of We Are Bold “Like any engine, your body needs all its parts to work together. That’s why I’m a big believer in functional training. It will help you move better, so you’ll be able to do all the things you want to do – play a sport, climb a mountain – but you’ll perform better, and go for longer.” 38 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
Mapule Ndhlovu Personal trainer at Virgin Active “One of the first things I work on with a new client is patience. You have to understand that what gets real, long-lasting results is consistency over time. Another factor: diet. You can work as hard as you like but if you’re not eating properly as well, you’re just sabotaging yourself.” @QUEENFITNASS
Sanchia du Preez Physical trainer at The Armoury Boxing Club
PHOTOGRAPH MARK CAMERON HAIR AND MAKE-UP SJANI GROBBELAAR, D I A N A A S H E R S O N , D A L E T I T U S AT O N E L E A G U E A L L C L O T H I N G A D I D A S
“The key to throwing the perfect punch? Technique. Power doesn’t come at the end – it starts at the legs, flows up to the twist of your hips, through an extended arm and finally – bam! – through your fist. And remember, no matter how good you are, you’ll get hit. Shake it off, keep moving.” @SANCH_FIT
MonikaHuman Personal trainer and sports coach “If you want to become a more effective endurance athlete, you have to work on your power. It sounds counterintutive, but strength training – single leg squats, deadlifts – will help you become faster. You’ll cover more ground with less effort, and have more energy throughout.” @POLISHMISSFIT
The WH Next Fitness Star will be revealed on Expresso, 18 July Keep an eye on womenshealthsa.co.za
GOT A VICE?
Time to Get Technical
Breaking Bad Picking up the right habits is in the difference between success and “why is that guy always late?” Kick the bad habits, right now, with this four-step guide
Apps and gadgets to give you an edge in battling bad habits
BY KIERAN LEGG FOR THE SNOOZE LOSER
Clocky (netgift.co.za) is an alarm clock that’s not putting up with your pillow talk. Hooked up with a sweet set of wheels, this ticker will start ringing and running at the same time. To stop the noise, you’ll have to get your ass out of bed and chase it down. (Keep it away from anything fragile.)
FOR THE COMMITMENTPHOBE
Skipping gym to binge on series? Browsing instead of buckling down? We get it; your body is hardwired to find patterns of behaviour. According to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 40% of our activities are repeated every day. But there’s a glitch in the matrix: instant gratification. A quick jog will get the endorphins flowing, but the TV is hitting the same dopamine centres. Your body doesn’t know the difference, but you do. The trick here: write it down, says Warren Munitz, founder of Integrative Life Coaching. Get specific: figure out how each habit is affecting your life, then keep the good and kick the bad.
2/ Substitute Breaking the pattern ain’t easy – trust us, we’ve all been there. But you don’t have to go cold turkey, says motivational speaker Shoni Khangala. Leave that level of brute force to real addictions. You can still watch your favourite 40 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
series, just start seeing them as a reward instead of a ritual. Put in the time at the gym and checked off all your chores? Great, now watch as much Game of Thrones as you want. It’ll be tough in the beginning; you’re training your brain to ignore cravings. But you need to start expecting more from yourself, says Enabled Life founder De Wet Mans – that’s when the real growth starts happening. Still struggling? Khangala suggests a Pavlovian approach. Craving a burger? Hunker down for a set of push-ups. Over time you’ll begin to associate the trigger with the healthier option.
3/ Squad Up Waging war on your bad habits shouldn’t be a lonely experience. Your mates are your brothers-in-arms, and chances are they’re struggling with the same sins. Khangala says enlisting your friends will make the process easier and faster. Studies have shown that simply telling friends and family
about your goals will help you stay focused, and, more importantly, achieve them. “I’ve been on many teams throughout my athletic career,” writes James Clear in his book Transform Your Habits. “You know what happens when you have friends, teammates and coaches expecting you to be at practice? You show up.”
4/ Steer Clear If you’re trying to quit smoking or drinking, you wouldn’t go to a bar, right? All our habits have triggers, and many triggers can be avoided, says Khangala. For example, if you’re missing out on sleep because you’re browsing Instagram for hours before bed, your phone is the smoking gun. Keep it charging in another room. You’ll be less likely to start browsing in bed if it involves crawling out from the covers. Same goes for sitting on Facebook when you’re on a tight deadline. Use a website blocker plugin to stonewall your temptations.
FOR THE SITTING BULL
When you’re staying focused on that big presentation, getting active is the last thing on your mind. Most fitness bands these days can be set to buzz when you’ve been too still for too long. Don’t think, just do – take a walk to the shops, or even just the coffee machine.
I L L U S T R AT I O N W E R N E R V I L N
HabitBull, available on Android and iOS, tracks your patterns and rewards you for going good. It may seem shallow, but the time we spent using this simple software helped clamp down on our vices. You’ll be able to see how long you’ve spent dodging temptations or ignoring your chores.
New Michelin Pilot Sport 4 Tyre: As Responsive as you are. Thanks to the new technology ÂŤDynamic ResponseÂť, which guarantees optimal trajectory control, and to its ultra-reactive design, which constantly adapts to the road for a sports grip and a flawless cornering, the new MICHELIN Pilot Sport 4 tyre becomes one with you and the road.
Ask Yogi the Barber Straight-up advice from a stand-up guy every month What do you say to the guy who’s clearly checking out your girl? You want a script? A quick put down? C’mon man, it’s obvious – you say nothing. She’s the most beautiful woman in the world, of course the other guys are going to notice. Me, personally, I’d take it as a compliment. Trust me, when she sees other women checking you out there’s a fair bit of pride lingering underneath her snarky comments. Just make sure your girl isn’t feeling creeped out, and leave it there. You’ll look ridiculous if you start acting like a tough guy every time another man glances in her direction.
I took a look through my timeline. I’ve been rocking the same haircut since my teens! Is it time to change it up? Years ago I had a ponytail. It was cool... for about six months. The point is, trends come and go, and if I was still sitting with the same style my shop would be empty. But more importantly, your hair changes as you age. Hairlines recede, thick hair thins out, and follicles change colour. Something that worked for your strands back in the day, well, it might not have the same magic now. My advice: check with your barber. Sure, we’re old souls, but we know what works. The trick is to put your trust in what we do best and don’t be scared to be a little bold.
42 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
What in the world is beard oil? And do I need it? Sporting a set of whiskers can be a good look, provided you’re willing to put in the work. That’s where beard oil comes in. The hair on your face isn’t that different from the hair on your head – it needs to be nourished. But if you neglect it, the bristles will grow out prickly and hard. You don’t want to go through all that effort just to look like a halfgrown porcupine. Invest in a decent beard oil – I’d recommend Proraso – to keep the skin underneath healthy. The hair will grow out softer and appear thicker, and you’ll skip that itchy in-between stage. However, you’ll still need to style your mo’, by means of either electric clippers or a trip to your local barber.
Do I really need to have the birdsand-bees talk with my 13-yearold boy? Don’t they get all of that from the Internet these days? Yeah, they’re exposed to a lot – but you’re not there to teach them biology. This timehonoured tradition is a rite of passage for a reason. When you talk to your kid about sex, your focus should be on respect and responsibility; the kind of knowledge no Youtube clip can teach them. You think I’d be the successful, handsome barber I am today if my dad hadn’t taken the time to sit me down and teach me everything he knows? Don’t leave it to someone else to raise your own child.
Whenever I try to be handy around the house, my wife is unhappy with the result. Is it time to call in the pros? It’s your home, you should take pride in being able to handle everything yourself. Sure, there’s a limit to what you can accomplish with two hands (don’t go messing with the wiring), but a DIY mentality will save you cash and late-night calls to the plumber. Try rope her in next time you’re tackling a fixer-upper. Best case scenario: you’ll have an eager assistant to pitch in on the next project. Worst case: she’ll at least appreciate the labour that goes into running a tight ship.
The Cape Town barber’s family has been cutting hair since before you were born. Go ahead, ask him anything
Yogi’s Lessons HE GOT THESE FROM HIS DAD
1/Be polite The secret to getting what you want? Remember to greet people, say please, and thank ’em afterwards. 2/ Ask questions You’ll only look stupid if you think you have all the answers. 3/ Keep it simple If it works, son, it works. Don’t overthink things; you’ll only create problems for yourself. 4/ Don’t wait Seize the opportunity. It might not be there tomorrow. YOGI’S LAST WORD
“I am where I am today because I woke up early, was the first in the shop and the last to clock out.” Follow Yogi on Twitter and Instagram at @YogiBarber
MH CALLS B.S. ON...
The Midlife Crisis If you’re in a funk, buying a overpriced cabriolet in candy red isn’t going to fix it. Spending your weekends moping about the house? Throw a spanner in the works – pick up a hobby: bouldering, woodwork, DIY. And remember, if it’s fixed already, don’t break it.
P H O T O G R A P H G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S I L L U S T R AT I O N I S T O C K P H O T O
Worth Your Time
Jump Into Action
You have 150* hours of free time this month. Don’t have an identity crisis Jason Bourne
FNB EASTERN CAPE WINE SHOW
The infamous action star is back, and this time, he remembers everything. That includes the bad guys who screwed him over and exactly how to kick their collective asses. The details on this latest flick are scant – all we know is, we saw the titular character knock out a rival brawler with a single punch... and it was awesome. 29 JULY
Study after study, the verdict is finally in: wine is unequivocally good for you... in moderation. East London and Port Elizabeth are devoting a night to sampling the nectar of life so you can enjoy drinking (moderately!) wines from 150 of South Africa’s most famous vineyards. Just remember to book a cab or call for an Uber when it’s time to go home.
Salomon Bastille Day Trail Run
KNYSNA CYCLE TOUR
Trail running is the quickest way to slip under the radar and escape the urban jungle. Pick a route to suit your pace (there’s a 15km, 30km and 50km option) and get going. Just remember: switching to uneven terrain requires a lot more exertion – and expletives. Check out energyevents.co.za for all the details. 16 JULY
The Heads’ trails are prime mountain biking real estate. Not ready to tackle the technical and tricky climbs of the signature 50km route? Dial it down with the 30km and 15km options. But don’t take it too easy. You want to feel like a conqueror, not a coward. Visit knysnacycle.co.za to enter. 2-3 JULY
STAR TREK BEYOND You don’t have to be a Trekkie to enjoy the Enterprise’s latest caper. Learning Klingon – that’s where we draw the line. 22 JULY
JIVE CAPE TOWN FUNNY FESTIVAL Looking for
The city’s biggest horse race is your best bet for a good time – nothing quite beats the thrill of risking a few rands on a galloping steed. But limit your wagers – there’s nothing as tragic as a penniless gambler. vodacomdurbanjuly.co.za 2 JULY
BE A MAN OF ACTION
Ready to Be a Hero? Bourne Ready
THE ESCAPE PLAN
Become an ass-kicking hero in four easy steps
Matt Damon carved his rig on the Versaclimber. This piece of gym gear targets every part of your body.
Jason Bourne doesn’t lose ﬁghts. His secret: the Israeli military’s ﬁghting art of Krav Maga.
Got goals? According to a study by Dominican University, writing them down increases your chances of success.
Bourne hid in the Carribean for years. The trick here: living of the grid. Bonus points if it’s a tropical island.
44 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
* S O U R C E S TAT S S A . G O V. Z A , 2 0 0 1
a stress-reliever after your shift? That beer isn’t putting in the work. This comedy festival runs throughout the whole month and serves up the best after-hours remedy: laughter. Yeah, you might say some standup acts can fall flat, but Eddy Cassar – the guy who picks out the talent – has a track record for weeding out the duds. The result: you’ll be chortling your way through the sets. Get seats at eddycassar.co.za
O&M CAPE TOWN 88721/E
WHY CHANGE WHAT NATURE HAS PERFECTED? Water contained within a plant. It’s the most natural thing in the world. That’s why we’ve introduced the PlantBottle TM from Valprè ® – a PET bottle made from up to 30% plant material. It’s inspired by nature for a better tomorrow, because at Valprè ® everything we do is for tomorrow.
Valprè® and the Valprè® Urn Device are registered trademarks of The Coca-Cola Company© 2016.
TESTING THEWATERS Our writer braved 7.5km of shark-infested 12° water to conquer the Robben Island Crossing. Time for you to experience open-water swimming at its toughest BY ROB PETERS • PHOTOGRAPHS KELVIN TRAUTMAN
IT’S THE COLD THAT USUALLY HITS THE HARDEST.
Your head feels like it’s about to break apart as you force yourself under the water for the first time; your body burns as you try and find your stroke, your rhythm. Pushing beyond the break and out into open water, you have to fight the urge to abandon the swim. Besides, you know that sooner or later you’re going to warm up. At least that’s what you keep telling yourself as you count out strokes, sing the last song you heard in the car or consider what that coffee’s going to taste like when you finally get back to dry land – anything to take your mind off it. It is more mental than physical. If you can block out the ice-cold temperature and the fear of what lies beneath the surface, you are halfway there. As I began my maiden Robben Island Crossing – a 7.5km swim to Big Bay – the water was a balmy 12°, so no problems there. But I was still being forced to draw on all my mental reserves as the sea water and fumes from the support boats combined to destroy my gut and have me choking down the vomit rising in my throat.
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 47
1 Open-water swimming is scary The Robben Island Crossing is an iconic South African swim. It is also one of the toughest endurance challenges you can commit to. While the measured distance is just over 7km, chances are good you will end up doing closer to 9. Keeping your bearings in open water can be tricky at the best of times, even more so if the current is against you or if the mist rolls in over the ocean. Swimmers have been pulled out of the water less than 500 metres from Big Bay because of poor visibility and rough conditions. When I told people about my decision to take on the challenge, they thought I was crazy. The idea of swimming in the sea scares most people silly for a variety of reasons – being eaten alive the most prominent of them. Great White sharks are as common to Cape Town as hipsters and artisanal coffee, so the thought of swimming through their neck of the woods can be a terrifying one. Even the most experienced open-water swimmers always have it at the back of their minds, because although there are no recorded attacks on a registered crossing, the reality is that you are just a guest in their water… and they’re better at this swimming thing.
2 The cold can kill you We got lucky on the temperature front on the day of our crossing – but the Atlantic can often end your swim before it even starts. Hypothermia is a real risk and you need to learn how to listen to your body, because these conditions can quite literally stop you dead. The bulk of my training was done in the pool, but nothing beats time in the ocean. Early-morning swims at Clifton can be brutal with water routinely dropping below 10° and just getting in is a lesson in determination and perseverance. On the coldest days it felt like I was swimming through fire and I often battled with headaches and nausea – both signs of hypothermia. Slurred speech was a frightening experience and generally happened once I was out of the water. The first time it happened I thought I was having a stroke, but I came to realise that it was natural… for me at least. It’s crucial that you know your body’s warning signs. 48 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
But it’s kind on your body Open-water swimming is not an easy sport and it isn’t for the easily spooked, but it is also one of the most rewarding. Cape Town locals Theodore Yach and Ryan Stramrood are two of the most well-known open-water swimmers in the country and their accomplishments are close to legendary. Yach completed his 100th Robben Island Crossing in March, has swum the English Channel and the Sea of Galilee, and is one of the most celebrated local swimmers in the business. Stramrood, meanwhile, is quite possibly insane, with a list of accomplishments that includes the first swim around the southern tip of Africa and the first official ice mile swum in Antarctica in sub-zero water. Both are incredibly passionate about the sport and can list multiple reasons why you should be joining them in the water. “Open-water swimming is one of the best sports in the world,” says Stramrood. “It is the kindest on your body in the long term and one of the most all round exercises you can get for body and mind. It doesn’t have to take place on a court, on a road, on a field or even a pool, but it is a truly one-on-one experience with nature, which is exhilarating and refreshing.”
Conquer the Crossing Get shipshape for open waters. Pro swimmer Theodore Yach shows you how ADAPT
Beating the cold is the bulk of the challenge. But to do it, you need to adapt, conditioning your core temp for those new lows. I started training in the outdoor pool at Sea Point Pavilion. Through the months the water’s degrees dropped, prepping my body for the crossing. By August I could comfortably handle 12°, the benchmark for the crossing, or splashing across the English Channel without succumbing to hypothermia. (See his training programme on the right.)
Back in the day, I ate everything. It didn’t matter if it was chicken sandwiches, chocolate cake or downing a Coke. But my performance suffered. I switched up my diet, cutting out the rubbish and eating clean. The result? I’m 58, but I’ve sped up. I’m conquering every kilometre two minutes faster and I’m still tweaking my meal plan to shave off even more time. The biggest changes in my 35 years of swimming across the oceans have been in my nutrition.
The purest sport on Earth Refreshing is an understatement, of course, because the water could wake the dead on some mornings. Wetsuits are not allowed if you want your swim to be official, and while some might argue that this rule – and the staunchness with which it is policed – restricts people from taking part, it is a big part of what makes the sport unique. The very reason wetsuits were created is to make swimming in cold water easier and more bearable, so legalising them would take away the bulk of what makes it so challenging in the first place. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing. “This is one of the purest endeavours that humans can undertake without any assistance,” says Yach. “You want a reason why I still do this at the age of 58? It’s the fuck-you factor. Despite all the risk, I’m doing it.”
T R A I N I N G P L A N C O U R T E S Y O F T H E O D R O E YA C H P H O T O G R A P H S C H R I S G E I L S ( T H I S PA G E )
5 One of the last great adventures It was this desire to test myself that drove me towards the Robben Island Crossing. This was only further entrenched by the shocked reaction I received when telling friends and family of my goal. After years of injuring myself running, I was desperate to take on something big that didn’t involve hours on the road. I also didn’t want to drop a lot of money on gear – all you need for swimming is a costume, a cap, a decent pair of goggles and a place to swim. And hell, the ocean is free. I joined three mates in preparing for the big day and trained for three months, using the time to not only put in some serious distance, but to condition my body to the cold and ultimately get used to the movements of the ocean. Before long I was lured to the ocean – its vastness. Swimming in a pool for hours is tedious, but splashing around in a body of water without any walls is one of the last great adventures anyone can have.
“You want a reason why I still do this at the age of 58? It’s the fuckyou factor. Despite all the risk, I’m doing it.”
YOUR 4-WEEK OPEN-WATER TRAINING PLAN Monday LOCOMOTIVE
Morning A continuous pyramid set of 3 or 4km where the objective is to swim the slow lengths dead slow and the fast lengths really fast. Afternoon 30-minute gym session (for week 1 only).
Tuesday 100M SWIM SETS
Sets of 30x 100m interval sprints, going off every 2min.
Wednesday 4KM PROGRESSIVE
6 It’s worth it The pay-offs are huge. I had my issues during the crossing, but I knew I could push through it because I had faced far worse in the months leading up to it. Knowing that I could swim for over an hour in 10° water without faltering made me realise what my body was capable of, and I knew that I had it in the bag. As I stepped out of the water and onto the beach, suffering from dehydration, both my legs cramping and my eyes starting to swim with tears, I knew in my heart that even though there were times I struggled and questioned why I was out there, I would be back in the water soon enough.
Each succeeding km is at least 15-20 seconds faster than the previous km.
Morning Long, continuous swim between 5-7km without stopping at sea-swim-pace. Afternoon 30-minute gym session (for week 1 only).
Friday REST DAY
Seriously, take it easy.
Saturday 100M SWIM SETS
Sets of 30x 100m interval sprints going off every 2min.
Sunday 4KM PROGRESSIVE
Each succeeding km is at least 15-20 seconds faster than the previous km. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 49
Five-year-old Ethan Wayne with his father on the set of War Wagon
1/ No Matter What, Look After Your Family “There’s a picture of my father that I love. It shows the real man: he’s on a horse going full speed, a herd of horses running around him. I was 10 or 11 when it was taken, so he’s maybe 66. He looks so confident and alive. You’d never know he had only one lung and a bad knee and had been falling off horses for six decades. He never stopped being John Wayne, even when he was sick – and the work wasn’t easy for him. He did what he was expected to do because he had kids who were depending on him to keep a roof over their heads and film crews who needed him to stay employed. He worried more about others than himself.”
MYDAD,THEDUKE John Wayne’s son Ethan on how he learned to be humble and grateful, and avoid pits full of snakes IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE WHAT HAVING JOHN WAYNE AS A FATHER WOULD
be like. The man we know only from movies like Stagecoach, True Grit, The Quiet Man, and Sands of Iwo Jima always seemed larger than life, the ultimate American tough guy. We can only picture him as, well, John Wayne, disciplining his kids – he had seven – with one of his classic movie lines like, “Anything goes wrong, anything at all... I’m gonna blow your head of.” Ethan Wayne, the youngest son of the movie cowboy’s brood, was just 17 when his father died of cancer in 1979 at the age of 72. A stuntman and actor, Ethan was named after his dad’s character in The Searchers. He’s also chairman of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation, which just launched its Show Your Grit campaign. From May 26 (the Duke’s birthday) to June 19 (Father’s Day), the foundation asked guys online to post photos of people who fought or are ighting cancer. They used the hashtag #showyourgrit to raise awareness, and got sponsors to donate money to cancer research. What was John Wayne really like as a father? Is there anything that modern fathers – those of us who don’t wear a ten-gallon hat to work – can learn from the Duke? Ethan Wayne shares his fondest and craziest memories.
50 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
3/ Make Sure They Can Use a Broom “One of my chores was to sweep up the seeds that fell off the rubber tree in our yard. I hated it. I remember being 9 years old and doing a terrible job, and Dad would get frustrated. He’d grab the broom and show me how to sweep properly. He had a very specific technique, which is kind of crazy. My biggest memory isn’t him teaching me how to ride a horse. It was him teaching me how to sweep. To this day, every time I pick up a broom, I remember my dad showing me how to do it.” 4/ Don’t Let Them Forget Gratitude “Once, we were at the house in Newport Beach, which was right next to the water. It was late at night, and he heard something down by the dock. He grabbed one of his guns and a torch and went down, and there were these two big guys. Dad growled, ‘Who the hell are you?’ They said they were Marines on shore leave. They knew he lived there, so after a couple of drinks, they’d rowed out to see if he was home. But they’d lost their nerve and were sorry; they’d be on their way. And Dad was like, ‘Well, get up here and have a drink with me!’ He brought them into the house, and they talked until at least 1 am. That’s how my dad was. He was grateful and welcoming to everybody.”
PHOTOGRAPHS KEYSTONE/STRINGER/GETTY IMAGES, JOHN DOMINIS/THE LIFE PICTURE COLLECTION/GETTY IMAGES
2/ If You’re Leaving on a Business Trip, Try Not to Traumatise the Kids “I was never okay with it when he left to go on location for a movie without me. I was very close to my father, so I hated not being with him. I’d ask when he was coming back and he’d say, ‘I’ll be back in September, God willing and the river don’t rise.’ That really affected me. I was like, ‘What the hell does that mean? The river don’t rise? What is that?’ It was horrible. It’s bad enough that your dad is going to be gone for months, but now you’re worried about the river rising.”
Man to Man
Wayne and Ethan on one of their sma er boa s. The Duke al ow also wn converte rte II sweepe swee per, he se e
When we took the boat to Alaska, one of my jobs was to get ice for the cocktails. So they would drop me off with a fire axe to chop chunks from the glacier ice floating nearby. 5/ Let Them Live Dangerously – a Little “When you grow up around movie sets, you have to be aware of a lot of things so you won’t get in the way or get hurt. You don’t want to mess up the shot that people are paying to get. You need to know whether explosives are being detonated and where the horses are running to, and which horses are safe and which ones aren’t. Environment has a lot to do with how well prepared your kids are for the world. There’s a guy in my office who has kids, and he drove a minivan. He told me that when he picked up his kids’ friends, the children would just stare at the van door waiting for it to open. They’d never seen a car door you had to open with your hands. Well, when I was 7 or 8 years old, I was on the set of True Grit. There was a snake pit, and I remember Dad saying, ‘Don’t go in the snake pit.’ That was all he said: ‘That big pit full of snakes over there? Don’t fall into that.’ Otherwise we were free to disappear and explore.” 6/ Have Your Fun, but Maybe Not “Throw the Boy Overboard” Fun “We spent a lot of time on Dad’s boat, the Wild Goose. A third of the year we were on that boat. It was a 136-foot minesweeper used during World War II. He bought it from a guy named Max Wyman, who would come out with us on his own boat. We’d cruise up and down the coast of British Columbia and Alaska in the summer and Mexico in the winter. Max had this French woman with him who made delicious crepes. So one day when I was maybe 8, my dad asked me what I wanted for breakfast. And I was like, ‘Can I get her pancakes?’ He thought about it and said, ‘Sure.’ He called over to Max and they brought the boats close together – we were still cruising on the open ocean. Then he picked
me up by the back of my pants and the back of my jacket and threw me to the crew on Max’s boat. It was maybe a 3-metre gap. I know this sounds negligent and dangerous, but my dad was always in control and knew what he was doing. That said, I do remember, as I was flying between boats, thinking, ‘Why the hell did I ask for pancakes?’”
7/ Reward an Earnest Efort “When we took the boat up to Alaska, one of my jobs was to get ice for the adults’ cocktails. So they’d drop me off with a fire axe to chop off a few chunks from the glacier ice floating nearby. That floating ice was really heavy underneath the water; you had to be sure about it before you stepped on it or it could roll over. If you get a good piece of glacier ice, it’s much better than ice you could make in a freezer. It melts so slowly; you can put a piece of it in your drink and the piece will last all night and won’t water the drink down too quickly. It’s a lot of effort to go through for ice, but when we brought it back, we felt like heroes.” 8/ Never Pretend You’re a Bigger Deal Than You Really Are “Life was as normal as it could be. We lived outside Hollywood. There were no bodyguards, Dad answered the door, we went to the market, that sort of thing. The only time I realised that Dad was different was when I visited a friend a few houses down. His mom asked us to get the post. I thought, ‘Oh, man, I hate getting post.’ In my house, getting the post meant dragging huge boxes and bags from the street. But we went out to his postbox, and there were three envelopes in there. That was sincerely puzzling to me. I asked, ‘That’s it? That’s all the post you get?’ We had
three secretaries whose jobs were just answering all my dad’s fan mail. To this day we still have a vault full of unanswered letters, from when my father was too sick to read any of it. But my dad treated it like part of his job. He appreciated that people still continued to watch his movies even as he aged. It was never like, ‘I’m important. People idolise me.’ He was eternally grateful to his fans for supporting his films.”
9/ Get What You Need, and Nothing More “By the time I came along, he drove Pontiac station wagons. He never wanted anything special. But even station wagons could be tough for him to get into. He had a long torso – he was a big guy – and sometimes he liked to wear a cowboy hat. So George Barris, the guy who made the Munsters’ Koach and the Batmobile, helped him out with some extra headroom. He redesigned Dad’s ’75 Pontiac Grand Safari with an elevated roof so he could wear the hat without stooping or lurching over. My dad loved it. He could drive his station wagon, and although it wasn’t exactly inconspicuous, he never had to take off his cowboy hat.” 10/ Let Them Know You’ll Never Let Go “Every time we’d get on the boat, my father would pick me up and put me down on the railing. This is when we were out on the ocean. I’d look down and see the waves crashing against the boat, and I’d seize up a little. But he’d hold my hand and say, ‘Lean back – I’m not going to let you go.’ I didn’t want to do it sometimes, because I was terrified of falling into the water. But I always trusted him, so I’d lean back and relax, dangling over the ocean, with him holding me by my arms. And I knew everything was going to be okay.” July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 51
Compiled by A r thur Jones
Belly Off brothers Anrich and Anton van Nieuwenhuizen have lost a combined 78kg – and built all-new bodies by overhauling their eating habits and joining Against the Grain CrossFit BY ARTHUR JONES • PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD COOK
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 53
Muscle + Fitness
SIBLING RIVALRY DOESN’T
have to be a bad thing. Yes, there’s plenty of bickering as kids, but when it comes to training partners, you can’t do better than a brother. Your bro knows you better than any personal trainer ever could, and family ties create the best kind of competition. While Anrich and Anton had different health goals and issues, they both used the same twopart solution to get into the best shape of their lives. One role model they share: Rich Froning, four time CrossFit Champ and owner and head Coach at CrossFit Mayhem. Best of all, we’ve got two workouts over the next few pages. For now, read on for the Belly Off brothers’ five lessons to make your own fitness comeback.
LOSST 51KG LLOST 27KG
BEFORE/AFTER: 137kg 86kg TIME TO GOAL: 16 months HEIGHT: 1.8m JOB: Financial Administrator FAVOURITE EXERCISES: Squats and snatches WORST EXERCISE: Any form of running and wall-balls
BEFORE/AFTER: 107kg 80kg TIME TO GOAL: 7 months HEIGHT: 1.78m JOB: Sports Educator FAVOURITE EXERCISES: Burpees, chin ups, cleans and wall-balls WORST EXERCISE: Overhead squats and squat snatches
54 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
1/Exercise doesn’t solve everything Both brothers realised they needed a lifestyle change, but had different body issues. Anrich’s weight gain started at school, and it got worse the older, and more sociable, he became. “When I was in matric I jumped from 90kg to about 110kg, but the biggest weight gain happened at varsity – I wasn’t exercising at all, and I was eating rubbish. It all resulted in me weighing a shocking 137kg,” says Anrich. “Being young and focused on partying, I didn’t have any exercise or healthy eating in my life – it was about just grabbing a pizza here and a chocolate there.” His brother Anton, didn’t tip the scales as heavily as his brother, but he also didn’t like what his body had become – even though he had been active and loved working out. “I’ve always loved sports and fitness, and have been working out for about seven years now – but my biggest wake-up call was when I realised that you can’t just rely on exercise to maintain a good physique; you also have to have focus on your eating habits. When I started eating more healthily, I started seeing results much faster. I’ve also learnt that preparation is everything – eating habits and training times should be planned in advance, as that makes it easier to stick to healthy habits,” says Anton.
2/ Small, permanent changes trump big, temporary ones Anrich immediately tweaked his diet, and then started off with small routines at home. “I decided to start living healthily in April last year. I started with bodyweight moves in my bedroom and started following a healthy, protein-rich diet. These short home workouts consisted of air squats, sit-ups and push-ups, and because I couldn’t even jog at that stage I did a few kilometres of speed-walking daily.” He stuck to this routine and slowly increased the workouts until he felt ready for his next fitness challenge: joining Against The Grain CrossFit with his brother in January. By then Anrich had already lost 40kg. “The point is, no matter where you are and what you have, you can turn it around. The bottom line: don’t overthink it, just get going. Always work with small goals, it makes achieving them so much easier, and never over-plan a strategy,” explains Anrich. “Joining the box really changed everything for me as I didn’t have to work out in my bedroom anymore, but could now experience intense, hands-on training that works. Training has become a big part of our lives and we keep setting goals for ourselves to maintain our motivation and to keep improving physically and mentally.”
“Being overweight meant I was uncomfortable in every aspect of my life, physically and emotionally. People also treat you differently when you’re fat.”
3/Aim for performance and body changes will follow Anton was different from Anrich as he believed that he wasn’t in bad shape as he was already training regularly, but it took a few high-intensity classes for him to get his wake-up call. “The change for me came when I attended a CrossFit class in December in Umhlanga. That type of exercise was really what I needed to get in shape and it was a natural fit for my competitive nature. When I got back to Joburg I contacted my old varsity res roommate, Tjokkie van der Merwe, who’d recently opened his own CrossFit box. Within a week, my brother and I were working out there together,” says Anton. “Before this, I thought I was maintaining a properly toned body, the realisation only hit me after a month of doing CrossFit: I wasn’t. The results of pushing yourself past your mental limits are physically rewarding. You can push your body to go places much farther than you think – and that’s where the amazing results start appearing.”
“Being insecure and constantly unhappy isn’t worth it.” 4/Join a healthier community (or create one) Having training partners and support from friends and family is not just about having spotters in the gym, it’s about finding and spending time with people with healthier habits. For these two, it started with each other. “My brother is a very motivational, competitive person,” explains Anrich. “He always helped me out when I wanted to quit – he has always been someone I look up to.” And the partnership worked both ways. “Having my brother do this with me definitely helped – there is always space for a little motivation between brothers,” says Anton. But it didn’t end with this brotherly love; these two also enjoy training in what Anton calls a family environment. “The most important factor isn’t necessarily the exercise that keeps me going back, but being part of the Against The Grain box community and their three amazing coaches, Kyle, Nick and Bianca.”
5/Take notes One of Anrich’s biggest lessons is that you need to track your results to help keep you motivated. “You should always be able to compare yourself to your success and failures from the week or workout before,” says Anrich. Either use a pen and paper, or download a training diary app to keep track. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 55
WORKOUT OF THE MONTH
Get CrossFit Lean at Lunch Become the Fittest Man on Earth and still have time to check your emails. This workout, from CrossFit champion Rich Froning, combines bodyweight moves with big lifts to deliver athletic results in a hurry
LIFT FOR VICTORY Powerful moves are a CrossFit staple and will see you pack on muscle, fast. Use a low weight while you perfect the form – go heavy too soon and you risk injury. Perform exercises 1-3 as a tri-set: complete one round every 90sec for 10 sets total. Then move to the superset, doing 3 rounds in total. Enjoy a full day’s rest before tackling the fat-burning workout over the page. You’ll need it. 56 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
SQUAT CLEAN 1 REP Perform all three exercises using 50% of your 1RM for the clean and jerk – if you’re new to Olympic lifts, play it safe until you’re comfortable. Clean the bar by pulling it up from a deadlift (A). Explode through your legs to snap the bar into a front rack position, pushing your hips forward and keeping your head up. Squat to 90-degrees (B) then press back up. Don’t drop the bar – your next move is up.
FRONT SQUAT 2 REPS Come straight out of the squat clean – with the bar still in front rack position (A) – and drop into another two squats (B). Push your chest out and your glutes back as you lower to make sure the upward pressure is applied through your quads, not your spine. Push through your heels on the way up; imagine driving your thumbs under your collarbone to keep the bar in a stable position.
Muscle + Fitness
P H O T O G R A P H S P H I L I P H AY N E S
THRUSTER 3 REPS Squats build power in your legs but for total strength, add a press on top. By taking your shoulders from bracing in a rack position to shifting weight up, you’ll keep them working through all stages of the tri-set for huge growth. From the squat (A) press up with your legs and use that momentum to push the bar to full extension (B). Drop the bar and breathe. Only nine rounds to go...
WEIGHTED SIT-UP 15 REPS Set the bench at a 45-degree incline and prepare to forge a six-pack of steel. It’s mental prep you require here – these aren’t for the faint hearted. Hold a medicine ball above your head, back flat on the bench (A), then power up to a seated position (B). Lower slowly back down, keeping your upper body straight and hinging at the hips. Missing the barbell? Don’t worry, you’ll soon be reunited.
GOOD MORNING 6 REPS Load the bar across the back of your shoulders with a wide overhand grip (A). Hinge forward at the hips until your chest is parallel with the ground (B), then squeeze your glutes and concentrate on raising your head to return to standing. This move fires the muscles in your posterior chain for a big hit of growth hormone. Take your full 90sec rest, then go back to the sit-ups.
MUSCLES TARGETED: FULL BODY TIME: 25 MINUTES LEVEL: HARD RESULTS: 3 WEEKS
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 57
Muscle + Fitness
BECOME AN HD ATHLETE You’ll never see a stodgy pro CrossFitter – these guys come in one size and that’s lean. But don’t expect to catch Froning on a long run: his high-octane circuits use the Tabata format to scorch fat and reveal the muscle beneath. Do 8 rounds of each exercise before progressing. Rest 60sec between each move, but stay strict with your timings – max effort and low rest will seriously spike your metabolism. 58 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
BODYWEIGHT SQUAT 20SEC ON, 10SEC OFF These are a cinch if you nail the form, but expect your thighs to be screaming by the end. Tabata keeps your heart rate high, so you’ll never plateau – this workout should keep getting harder. With your feet shoulder width apart (A), bend to lower to 90-degrees, keeping your head up and heels flat (B). Pause then stand up. Repeat for 20sec, rest for 10sec, then do another 7 rounds.
SUPERMAN 20SEC ON, 10SEC OFF If the squats have taken it out of you, go ahead and lie down. There is, however, a catch: extend your arms in front of you (A), then raise them, your chest and legs off the floor by a few inches (B). Hold for a second, then lower them to the ground. Aim to maintain tension at the bottom of the rep to keep your core engaged: by the sixth or seventh round, you’ll be feeling it in your lower abs.
JUMPING PULL-UP 20SEC ON, 10SEC OFF While adding a jump takes pressure off your arms and back, the extra momentum comes at a price: faster reps for an elevated heart rate. Squat (A), then jump up to catch the pull-up bar with a shoulder-width grip. Use that momentum to pull your chin over the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top (B). Lower slowly – only drop to the ground when your arms are fully extended.
SIT-UP 20SEC ON, 10SEC OFF You might not think sit-ups are particularly hardcore – but after eight fast-paced rounds, that’s exactly what you’ll get. Sit with your knees bent and hands behind your head (A). Anchor your feet with a weight plate to stop them sneaking up. Keeping your posture straight, slowly hinge back at the hips until your back is just above the floor (B), then quickly fire up to the top and go again.
PUSH-UP 20SEC ON, 10SEC OFF The good news: you’ve only one more move to go. The bad? That move is press-ups, which hammer all the upper body muscles you’ve worked already, while also demanding serious core stamina. Place your hands in line with your chest (A) and keep your elbows narrow as you lower to the ground (B). Push up with force. You have a year until 2017’s Reebok CrossFit Games. See you there.
EXPERT Rich Froning EXPERIENCE As Reebok CrossFit Games Champion for four consecutive years (2011-2014), Froning has what it takes to whip you into shape. CONTACT crossfitmayhem.com
MUSCLES TARGETED: FULL BODY TIME: 25 MINUTES LEVEL: MEDIUM RESULTS: 3 WEEKS
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 59
Muscle + Fitness
GET RIPPED LIKE A COVER GUY
TheNoExcuses Muscle Plan Quantity surveyor Kallas Eksteen has constructed his cover-model body with classic muscle moves, the latest HIIT workouts, and even some farm equipment
“Try load 50kg bags onto a truck. It’s not easy”
BY ARTHUR JONES PHOTOGRAPHS SEAN LAURENZ
BLAMING GENETICS IS A COP OUT. GRANTED,
Kallas has been blessed with certain physical attributes, but it’s not his genes that have resulted in his cover-ready physique. The real reasons for his impressive body have come through hard work and smart training decisions. He’s created a mix of old-school compound muscle-makers and the latest in high-intensity interval training. But besides that, he also doesn’t take no for an answer. If he isn’t at a gym or has access to weights and plates, he makes a plan – like lifting 50kg bags or moving heavy machinery when he’s on the farm. And while he’s careful about his recovery, he doesn’t take any rest days. Here’s what you can learn from his fitness formula.
MIND / What’s your fitness philosophy?
BODY / What does your typical routine look like?
“You are the architect of your own body. I see my body as a gift and it’s up to me to take care of it, and take pride in it. Every day you have a chance to work out and use this machine that we call our body to its full potential and to improve our health. I start every workout with a positive mindset and know that after this session, no matter what, I’ll be stronger and fitter afterwards. There are no excuses for skipping training – you can always make a way to work out, anywhere, anytime. If you skip one day a week and do that for a whole year, it adds up to 52 workout days. When I go to our farm I’ll use farm equipment and use nature itself. Try load 50kg bags onto a truck – it’s not easy. I also love trail running and being active outdoors: it’s the best way to clear your mind and appreciate the scenery.”
“I always warm up and stretch for 10 or 15min. Then I start with compound exercises (squat, deadlift, bench press, shoulder press) so that I can maintain proper form before fatigue sets in. After that I focus on machines and cablebased exercise, and then finish off the session with isolation movements. I change my cardio routine every day, but it normally consists of steady-state cardio, HIIT and sprints.”
60 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
without resting in between sets. And lastly, try supersets, where you do two exercises in quick succession – you can try breaking it down into upper and lower moves, push and pull moves, or focus on the same muscle groups.” FUN / Favourite move?
“I love squats and deadlifts. You use almost every joint in your body to do them properly. They’re a great way to improve the functionality of your body.” DETAILS / Best tips?
TRAINING / How do you make
a workout more intense? “If you train alone, find a partner so that you can do heavier reps. You should also experiment with your sets. For example, use active rest: instead of resting, train a different muscle group. Try drop sets too: for example, do 15 reps with 100kg, drop 20kg and do 10 reps, drop another 20kg and do 5 reps
“A few. Make sure your exercises use a full range of motion – you’ll activate more muscle fibre. Change your programme regularly, as your body adapts very quickly. Hit the sack early; sleep releases growth hormones, which help muscle building and burning fat. And use active recovery – it keeps the blood circulating to help get rid of lactic acid and toxins.”
2 sessions every workday, 1 each on Saturday and Sunday
FUEL / What are your nutritional rules?
“Every meal consists of a set proteinto-carbs ratio (150g-200g of any protein source and carbs) but it varies on what I train that day. I’ll eat less carbs on light workout days and more on heavier workout days. I also make a real effort to keep my food as clean as possible, so I’ll cut out oiliness and heavy sauces. I find spices bring out the flavour very well.” DOWNTIME / Describe your perfect weekend.
“I love the outdoors. Give me a weekend away in the mountains with enough red wine and good company and you’ll see a smile on my face for days. My favourite place to escape to is Clarens. The Eastern Free State has some of the most beautiful scenery in South Africa. Cape Town has a part of my heart too, though.”
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Muscle + Fitness
Step Up Your Gains
Three moves to chisel killer calves BY BJ GADDOUR
STRONGER LOWER LEGS MAKE YOU BETTER AT SPRINTING,
Calf Raise Off a Step This move extends your range of motion, improving mobility and working your leg muscles harder. Build up to multiple sets of 20 reps, pausing at the top and bottom for a full count. Progress to single-leg reps. For more stability, hold on to a power rack or a wall.
64 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
Seated Shin Raise This works your shin and ankle muscles. Do 100 every time you train your calves (say, 5 sets of 20 reps). No machine? You can still do the move with no weight. Just do more reps and include long isometric holds: pause at the top, pulling your toes as far toward your shins as you can.
Skipping Jumping over a rope will condition your calves, fortify your ankles, and help you build lower-body agility and power. Alternate 30 seconds of work with 30 seconds of rest. That’s 1 round; do 10 to 20. And try different variations, like running in place or alternating legs.
P H O T O G R A P H A M Y L O M B A R D I L L U S T R AT I O N S S T E V E S A N F O R D
running, and jumping. Plus, sculpted calves are great assets to have when you’re sporting shorts. Whether you’ve got sticks that need strengthening or burly tree trunks that could use more definition, these moves can help you build the legs you want.
Muscle + Fitness
FIX THE WAY YOU MOVE
Touch Your Toes – Really! The belly lift walk-up delivers the mobility you need to touch your toes and nail big lifts DIRECTIONS First, assume a push-up position with your hands slightly elevated [A], says physical therapist Doug Kechijian. Now “walk” your feet as
close to your hands as possible, keeping your legs straight, and round your upper back with each footstep forward. Stop at the point just before your knees bend. Push your heels and palms into the floor and make your upper back as round as possible [B]. Inhale deeply; then exhale. Don’t shrug your shoulders. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 consecutive reps every day.
Beginner Press your hands into the floor or a mat and “push” your upper back toward the ceiling. Make sure your back stays rounded as much as possible.
Throughout the move, “pull” your belly button up toward the ceiling.
Your legs should be straight.
Every breath should be deep, slow and controlled.
As you breathe, focus on filling your lungs with air. Elevate your hands on a low box, step, or rolled-up mat.
PHOTOGRAPHS BEN GOLDSTEIN
Beginner’s Guide: Ab Wheel This device is no infomercial gimmick. It’s an excellent tool for carving your core. Get ready to roll.
Press your heels into the floor.
Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions, taking at least 5 seconds to roll out. Rest 1 to 2 minutes between sets. Do this up to 3 times a week.
BEGINNER Bench Roll Stand at the foot of an incline bench set to 45degrees. Put the wheel on the bench and roll forward. Pause at the end and roll back.
INTERMEDIATE Knee Roll Grab the handles with your arms straight and slowly roll forward, keeping your back straight. Pause, and return to the starting position.
Brace your abs and glutes and take deep, slow breaths
ADVANCED Push-up Roll Assume a push-up position with your hands grasping the handle. Roll forward as far as you can, pause and then roll back to the start.
MH GYM HACK You can pick up a sturdy enough wheel by OTG for R300 at Sportsmans Warehouse, but if you’re at home, on a budget or your gym doesn’t have an ab wheel handy, just attach a pair of 10kg plates to a barbell – and roll out.
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 65
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“Spontaneity is the best wingman you’ve ever had.”
Sex + Relationships
STEP 1: LOOK UP
Stop searching. Start finding In the bar, at the gym, on Tinder: you’ve encountered many amazing women, then lost track and missed out. Time to take off those blinkers. BEFORE You’ve stuck doggedly to your type, whatever it is. She could be the blonde with an hourglass figure, or the blue-eyed hippy dream girl with a penchant for adventure. But despite sticking to the pattern, you’ve never felt the need to get down on one knee and pop the question. That spark, it just isn’t there. NOW Forget appearances, they’re not everything – otherwise, you would’ve settled down with your high school squeeze. Branch out, break the chains – chances are, what you’re looking for may be the opposite of what you’ve been chasing. Give her a chance to surprise you. Take a moment to consider what you want in life. How do you imagine the ideal partnership? Do you prefer profound unity or a bit of friction? And what are your dreams? Do you want to travel the world or settle down and start a family? Your methods matter; it’s time to be smarter. If you want a backpacker with a spirit of adventure, you’re not going to find her at a bar. Better bets: park runs, hiking clubs, even your local beach. If you’re looking for the silent intellectual type, think bookshops, coffee spots, and vinyl stores. Remember, the trick is to learn from your mistakes. There are two kinds of guys in the world. Those who imagine they have a type, and those with their dream girl. If you’re doggedly chasing after a (real) blonde bombshell, you’re going to miss out on 98% of the world’s women. True story. Like idiots, we tend to associate appearance with personality, you know, blondes are more fun, and dark haired girls are higher maintenance yada yada yada. But the opposite is often true, as women actively work against their stereotypes. So if you go in with unrealistic expectations, you’re sinking the relationship from the start. That’s not good for you, or her. STEP 2: MOVE
P H O T O G R A P H S I S T O C K P H O T O T R A N S L AT I O N K I E R A N L E G G A N D T H O M A S O K E S
Do something. Anything An attractive woman sits across the bar, laughing and touching her hair. (Stop staring, man.) Here’s what you want to do. BEFORE You make your “move”: mumble a hello, hope for a hello back, and ask if she’d care for a drink. By now, even if you haven’t spilled your beer down your front, she’s bored. And that cool, carefree, charming guy you manage to be around friends, he’s left the building. NOW Stop thinking about how you’re going to do things, and just do them. Count down in your head, 3, 2, 1, aaand go. Spontaneity is the best wingman you’ve ever had – it’ll surprise her, and it’ll jolt your mind into the moment too. That means fewer stupored pick-up lines and a lot more natural conversation (you want her to get to know you, not some pseudo-imagined version of what you want to be). Anything that aids said conversation will help: the right accessories, like sneakers with that sharp suit, will give you an air
of easygoing unstaged approachability. Bonus points: keep props handy – a well-placed gig flyer or two can rescue a flagging exchange about terrible the music is in this place, for instance. Did you guys click? Great. The trick now is be honest, learn to open up. Tell a funny story, or two – don’t try to embellish the truth, and most importantly, learn to listen. Her stories are more interesting than yours because (a) bud, you’ve heard yours before, and (b) the more she talks, the more you’ll know if she’s the one or another “that one time at a bar”. STEP 3: DO IT RIGHT
The first date is everything. Don’t mess it up You can’t light a lifelong fire without a little spark. Make sure your first touch is a roaring success. BEFORE You’d pick a restaurant to suit her tastes, the more expensive the better. But the result? Dry conversation, a few awkward glances and a waiter who keeps interrupting anytime you guys start to click. It’s stiff, it’s claustrophic, neither of you are feeling comfortable and after a while you’re just worrying about the bill. It’s just not going to work out. NOW Have you heard of the Pizza Technique? No, we’re not talking about calling for a delivery. This is when you divide the date into slices so it never gets stale. Pick spots that are new to both of you. Start with tapas at the local Cuban spot, skip over to the beachfront bar, play a round of putt putt, then finish with dessert at that ice cream place you’ve always wanted to try. The emphasis is on variety, not peacocking with an expensive menu. The result: you won’t be short on talking points, and the shared novelty will bring you closer together. You’re trying to create unique, memorable moments. What are the chances you’ll find those while waiting for a table at an overpriced eatery? Nada. Remember, it’s not just about the destination. How you get there is just as important; on foot or in an Uber, you’ll create opportunities for intimate conversations and closeness. Doing something new together will take away the pressure – you can focus on moment, and each other. STEP 4: SMILE
“U up?” isn’t going to last. Try “Pleased to meet you.” Embrace the art of real conversation After 3 or 4 or 300 dates, at some point you’re going to feel, it’s time to change gear. Here’s how not to stall. BEFORE You had a buddy, the pick-up pundit, who seems like he had all the single ladies wrapped around his finger. Maybe you even put a few of his tips to the test: talk to one pretty girl to get another one jealous, or reject a woman to make her want you even more. Yeah, that pick-up playbook stuff never works. (Mostly because it makes you look really desperate.) NOW Remember that pen from Men In Black? Time to use it. Wipe your memory and start over.
That dream girl you’re looking for has a brain. Canned pick-up lines aren’t going to cut it – plus, they’re manipulative, creepy and just plain degrading, for her and you. If you’re looking for dating advice on the Internet you’re running the risk of being just like every other dickhead out there. A winning move: be genuine. Sincerity, with a little real emotion thrown in, goes a long way. But don’t take yourself too seriously. Get her smiling, or better yet, laughing, and the chemistry will follow. Yes, literally – studies show chuckling releases mood-boosting hormones, like serotonin, into the body. Another plus: dopamine, which increases a sense of relaxed wellbeing. Let the good times roll, and she’ll want an encore. And about that: don’t rush to get her into bed. Instead, linger on the kissing – her lips are packed with touch-sensitive nerves that send signals of arousal to her brain. This way, when it happens, it’ll be explosive. STEP 5: SETTLE IN
Don’t play games. Instead, set targets Real love isn’t witchcraft. You can’t force it, but you can make sure you don’t miss out on it. BEFORE This is where it usually all goes wrong. Throw sex into the equation, and you guys are suddenly inseparable (or what your mates would call sickening). Your family’s given up on you, your mates think you’re dead. Can you blame them? You rarely leave the bedroom, and when you do, it’s in a glassy-eyed, zombie-esque, totally-in-love stupor. There are passionate declarations of love, the odd snatches of poetry, even edible bouquets. What they hell is happening? Almost overnight, the rose-tinted gloves are off, and you can barely go a few minutes without getting in another shouting match – the toilet seat, the laundry, anything and everything. Pretty sobering, right? Those mates who wrote you off would call it a slow death, but from the inside it can all seem really, really fast. NOW It’s not often we’d say this, but Bono said it best. “We’re one, but not the same.” You want to spend every waking minute with each other, we get it, but you’re in danger of suffocating each other. She fell in love with a guy with friends, family… you know, a life. So don’t lose that. If you go too far down the rabbit hole, soon you won’t recognise yourself – and she won’t either. The roses, the poetry, the big banners over bridges? It’s sweet, but be wary of overkilling it before it even gets going. Think of a real-love, foreverand-always relationship as an ultra-marathon. Do you really want to burn out after 100 metres? Pace yourself – you’ve seen the finish line before, remember, and it’s not pretty. Want to spend the day fishing with friends? Cool. You have our permission, now let her know in advance and don’t just disappear. No man is an island, except that pick-up artist buddy who probably never gets laid anyway. The real deal is something that evolves – enjoy the process, revel in the experience and that long-term relationship you’ve always wanted will come slowly into focus. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 71
Sex + Relationships
The Male Libido Crisis It seems like sex is everywhere you look these days. Except when you look in your own bedroom BY JIM THORNTON â€¢ PHOTOGRAPHS CHRISTOPHER GRIFFITH
HE FIRST TIME I LAID EYES ON DEBBIE, I WAS BLOWN AWAY:
golden hair, full lips, perfect body beneath a lemonyellow summer dress. Until that moment, I’d thought love at first sight was Disney propaganda. But the idea struck without warning: marrying this woman would make my life perfect. Seduction didn’t work, so I took pleasure in verbal jousts, a couple of grad students teasing and laughing. Months of this. Her sense of humour was as wondrous as her looks. We slowly morphed into friends without benefits. Nearly a year after our first encounter, Debbie mailed me a photo of her topless next to a swimming pool. She’d started having dreams about me, her note said. We were married within the year. Now my life was indeed perfect, the sex a nonstop wet dream from which I hoped never to wake up.
EVENTUALLY, OF COURSE, I DID WAKE UP.
We’ve all heard that old chestnut: If you put a bean into a jar every time you have sex in your first year of marriage, and then take a bean out every time thereafter, the jar will never be empty. Scientific validation for this is sketchy, but people who study long-married people – and long-married people themselves – agree: chances are, you’ll be getting less as the years wear on. But how much less? “It’s the number one question I’m asked,” says one such researcher, Brian Willoughby. “How often are you supposed to have sex in a healthy marriage? I immediately say you’re thinking about sex wrong – there’s no magic number for any given couple.” Fine, but what if this not-so-magic number is slouching perilously close to zero? This can’t be healthy, right? Wrong – it actually can, say researchers and therapists who listen to stories of low-sex marriages. It just happens, though few couples will admit it except in therapy sessions, says sex therapist Stephanie Buehler. Few are confessing to researchers either. A 2014 study by Pharma Dynamics showed that as many as 16% of South African men consider themselves to be in a sexless relationship. And another study by University of Chicago sociologist Edward Laumann, a leading researcher in his field, concluded that about 14% of married men and 15% of married women had had little or no sex within the previous year If you’re squirming with recognition, maybe you should relax. It’s possible that sex droughts are hitting younger couples these days, but generally, if you’ve settled into a comfortable pattern, your therapist would nod understandingly. It’s called married life. Infrequent sex may be a vestige of our evolutionary past, when a sexual shutdown naturally occurred in what is now early middle age. Then there’s passion-sap-
ping 21st-century life: work, distractions, children, stress, and that murky cocktail of exhaustion and indifference. All of this can conspire to make both of you roll over and fall asleep without even thinking about sex. It’s hard to pinpoint when our sex life began to wane. When our first son turned 3, Debbie and I were 35 and 39, respectively – what our ancestors would have considered a ripe old age. After our second son’s arrival (a trying conception involving fertility treatments) our sex lives took a predictable sabbatical. Between sleep deprivation, the demands of a newborn and his rambunctious brother, and the financial challenges of a growing family, the last thing either of us craved was more exercise, even of the pleasantly horizontal variety.
UP TO 16% OF SA MEN CONSIDER THEMSELVES TO BE IN A SEXLESS RELATIONSHIP.
MY WIFE AND I ARE NOT ALONE. ACCORDING TO
that Pharma Dynamics survey, 22% of SA men are having sex less than three times a month. Moreover, Laumann thinks rates of sexual inactivity have remained steady over recent decades. Some problems have persisted since the invention of marriage: health disorders that make sex impossible, loss of desire, and relationship conflicts that douse smouldering embers. All expected. What may be new is that these troubles are starting sooner, among couples in their twenties and thirties, some therapists report. Their frequency is dropping to a rate where they feel like they’re sexually inactive. “I’m seeing it in young, attractive, energetic people in their thirties who July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 73
Sex + Relationships
should be going at it like bunnies,” says sex therapist Isadora Alman. “They’ve got a roof over their head, they don’t have any major problems in their lives – but they’re just not interested.” So clearly pornography and Hollywood romcoms bear little resemblance to real life. Laumann once surveyed rates of sexual dysfunction worldwide. For men, erectile problems easily topped this list; they wanted to have sex but physically couldn’t. For women, however, it went deeper: they had a basic lack of desire. “But given the threat sex has historically posed to women’s survival,” he adds, “I consider the latter less a dysfunction than an adaptation.” For millennia, sex was dangerous; pregnancy could be deadly, explains Laumann. Without a committed mate to offer manly protection and sustenance, a woman’s life, not to mention her embryo’s, was a crapshoot. Half a century ago, birth control pills made relatively worry-free sex possible, “but our evolutionary nature doesn’t change very quickly,” he says. Human babies are helpless, and children take years to become self-sufficient. Moms, in short, are busy. Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and senior research fellow at the Kinsey Institute, says humans have a dual reproductive strategy. “We have a tremendous drive to pair up and rear our children as a team,” Fisher says, “but we also have a tendency to look for what Lord Byron called ’fresh features.’ Not everyone cheats, of course, but most of us have some predisposition toward this.” Our sagging sex life had plenty of possible causes. Maternity and breastfeeding seemed to limit Debbie’s libido; my testosterone waned as I transitioned from procreator to provider. We’d both gained pregnancy kilos – Debbie’s earned, mine by proxy. And we both began to snore. The Darth Vader vibe of my CPAP machine did not turn Debbie on. We began sleeping apart. We engaged in sex on a quasi-regular basis, with notably less of the frequency and abandon of our early years. IN A GROUNDBREAKING 1998 PAPER IN HUMAN
Nature, Fisher outlined the three stages of pairing off: lust, attraction and attachment. Each of these “systems” is accompanied by its own array of neurochemicals. Let’s start with lust, which is linked to testosterone. Testosterone levels are much lower in women, who do seem less easily addled by lust. The attraction system – call it romantic love, passion, infatuation – makes men and women literally lovesick: depressed, anxious, euphoric, despairing, manic. Our third system, attachment, is also called companionate love. It’s that deep sense of security, social comfort, trust and safe harbour you have with your chosen partner. The key brain chemicals here, says Fisher, are vasopressin and oxytocin, the so-called cuddle hormone, both of which play pivotal roles in attachment. “That early stage of intense, romantic love drives up 74 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
“The honeymoon stage may end for a reason. If we spent our days in the throes of all-consuming love fires, we'd never get anything accomplished.” the dopamine system, which in turn increases testosterone and strong libido,” says Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray. “But over time, attachment becomes more powerful, and this does not necessarily trigger the sex drive.” Explains a lot, right? “Maybe this is desirable,” suggests Susan Whitbourne, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “If we spent our days in the throes of all-consuming love fires, we’d never get anything accomplished.” What does all this have to do with the frequency of sex? A lot. There’s more to sex than procreation and pleasure, say evolutionary psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin. During a casual fling, for instance, some people say they’re driven to improve their skills in hopes of turning it into a long-term commitment. In a relationship, women and men say sex fosters emotional closeness, helping solidify their commitment. Less lovey-dovey facts: a woman may initiate sex to keep her husband satisfied (and deplete his sperm count), preventing him from impregnating rivals. A man may subconsciously do something similar – overwhelming any rival’s semen with frequent copulation. Both sexes report a host of other less-than-lofty motives for having sex – an affair to punish a partner, or for money, social status, or job promotion. Given all this, sexual frequency isn’t necessarily a good barometer of relationship health, says UT Austin’s Daniel Conroy-Beam. “Human long-term mating is about much more than just sex, and our motives for having sex are not always good,” he says. “Sometimes we have sex not because we want to but out of obligation, duty, or fear of losing our partner. If the decline in sexual frequency within a marriage is driven by a decline in these more negative emotions, it’s possible this might even be a good thing for the state of the marriage.” So what’s ailing our sex lives? Let’s take a closer look.
The Past Walking around with our Pleistocene-epoch genes can be tough, especially on campus. “The average varsity first-year sees more attractive females in a single day than our hominid ancestors saw in an entire lifetime,” says psychology professor David Buss. Combine this with social media and dating apps, and mate choice seems limitless. Willoughby, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, says today’s twenty-somethings are terrified of making a mistake. “There’s this pressure to pick the perfect person who will
make them happy for the remainder of their lives.” So sow your wild oats and get it out of your system, right? Well, maybe not. Willoughby’s research has found that the more premarriage partners people have, the lower the sexual quality, communication and relationship stability is during marriage. Possible reasons: the more relationships you’ve had, the easier it is to cut and run; skills like communication and compromise aren’t developed. This can lead to a comparison effect: if you were once a player, “it’s easy to compare in your mind all these previous experiences you’ve had,” he says. This sense of missing out can erode sexual satisfaction with your partner. Plus, we’re living unimaginably longer than our ancestors did. “Even 200 years ago,” Buehler says, “people married young, had kids young, and were dead by the time they hit 40. Today, we’re outliving the natural life of our hormones.” Modern men can procreate decades longer. (Or pretend they can.) Which brings us to the cast of thousands of imaginary partners in today’s pornography. This may affect marital relations – a bit. “We do have enough research now to suggest a weak negative relationship between viewing pornography and relational and marital sexual satisfaction,” Willoughby says. “It’s not strong, but it’s there.” The negative tug, so to speak: it’s about expectations. The porn star is “willing to do anything and everything the male partner wants her to, and taking great pleasure in doing so,” Willoughby says. “After watching all these clips, he starts thinking, ’Gosh, why is my wife not in the mood? Why is she saying she’s too tired or she’s had a long day?’”
Children “Kids are the most effective libido-squashers I know of,” says Alman. Wee ones have a tendency to hang on to their caregivers like monkeys, providing so much physical touch that the last thing you want is more groping from a partner. Touch, notes Fisher, releases oxytocin, further bonding parent to child while temporarily suppressing dopamine and libido. Breastfeeding and general exhaustion can further deplete desire. In one study, Laumann surveyed women in their twenties about their desire for sex. In those without children under six, 34% reported no interest; in those with kids, the number soared to more than 95%. A man may find himself at the end of the queue for affection. Buehler says it’s not surprising “that couples with children under the age of 5 have the least sex and report more sexual dissatisfaction than any other group.”
Stress If both partners work, finding time to be intimate can be hard. In a time crunch, sex may not be a priority, a study in the Journal of Marriage and Family reports. Different shifts, child care, aging parents: these stressors can trigger a cascading hormonal response that can affect libido. Another huge bedroom buzzkill: antidepressant medication. Alas, research shows that these drugs can cause and worsen many forms of sexual dysfunction, from fading libido to the inability to climax to “emotional blunting.” Though these medications can smooth out emotional lows, they also seem to cap highs, putting the brakes on passion and maybe even love.
I L L U S T R AT I O N M I C H A E L B R A N D O N M Y E R S S I D E B A R S O U R C E I R W I N G O L D S T E I N , D I R E C T O R O F S E X U A L M E D I C I N E , A LVA R A D O H O S P I TA L M E D I C A L C E N T R E , S A N D I E G O
Comparisons If you’re thinking about leaving this article on your wife’s nightstand, hold off. If both of you are okay with your sexual frequency, be it nonstop, middling, low or none, then from Alman’s point of view there really is no problem. “If you’re happy and your partner is happy, those are the only votes that count,” she says. In this sexualised day and age, though, it’s easy to think you’re pathological or at least an oddball. But even sexually active couples should resist the urge to compare. When researchers at the University of Colorado asked more than 15 000 people about their sex lives, they did find a link between sexual frequency and happiness. But that happiness was relative: if people knew their peers were having more sex than they were, their happiness dipped. “Many people just assume that everyone else
MAYBE YOUR MEDS ARE TO BLAME PILLS CAN DERAIL YOUR SEX DRIVE. HERE ARE SOME COMMON CULPRITS – AND OPTIONS
is having fantastic sex five nights a week while they’re lucky to get it on their birthday,” says Alman. “But no, not everyone is having better sex than you are. People can be really adept at making themselves unnecessarily miserable.”
Mismatches Discord often has less to do with frequency than with a discrepancy between how often each partner wants it. A partner who is feeling sex-deprived can wonder if a mate’s lack of interest is evidence that the love is gone. Both partners should acknowledge that dry spells happen. “It is normal for a couple’s sex life to have peaks and troughs,” says Buehler. “The important thing is to discuss the troughs. Do you both understand why sexual frequency has slid? If so, accept it and make a pledge to get back on track.” Clients roll their eyes at one of Buehler’s suggestions for kickstarting sex: scheduling it. “They resist doing this because they want to be ’spontaneous.’ I say good luck with that.” Tamar Krishnamurti, of Carnegie Mellon University, adds a cautionary note to such counsel, which has become a staple of sex therapy. In a 2015 study, she and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon split 128 married men and women into two groups and told one group to double their weekly frequency. Not only did doubling sex fail to make affected couples happier, it led to a small decline in their happiness. They also reported a decline in both sexual desire and enjoyment. When sex becomes homework, it can lose its luster – a phenomenon well documented in infertile couples who are forced into the kind
Antidepressants SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, like Prozac) increase the inhibition molecule serotonin, diminishing desire. TRY THIS Consult your doctor about a new dosage, switching it out with Bupropion, combining it with your SSRI, or not taking your SSRI when you’re expecting sex.
of one-demand dictated by the ovulatory cycle. It’s better to plan to share pleasurable experiences with your partner without necessarily making intercourse the goal. “Our desire to initiate sex itself diminishes more quickly than our capacity for pleasure,” Krishnamurti explains. “Focusing on creating pleasurable experiences may allow an increase in sexual intercourse frequency to happen more naturally.” Alman adds: “Sex doesn’t always have to equal penis-in-vagina intercourse. Cuddling, kissing, rubbing against each other in ways that are pleasurable and can result in orgasm to either or both, or maybe no orgasm but certainly pleasure.” And don’t discount the power of affectionate touch. One study found that the more cuddling, kissing on the lips and hugging couples engaged in, the more easily they were able to resolve their conflicts. Perhaps the toughest dilemma for couples is when one partner decides the thrill is gone for good. “One perspective holds that when you’re hot you’re hot, and when you’re not you’re not, and nothing can change that,” Alman says. “The other holds that you can learn to love your partner again by focusing on what is lovable about him or her, or what might be changed that could reawaken love and desire. I’m of the opinion that the second approach is worth a try.” Despite all the research, most couples have some kind of sex well into old age. Our brains are optimised for love, not just passion. “As you uncover anew how you felt in the beginning, some of the humdrum may fade,” Alman says. “Falling in love is a delightful feeling, all the more so if it’s with your own mate.” “Well, there’s always stuffing,” Debbie joked in bed. This is an ED remedy practiced by tantric yogis; she found it in a boot-sale paperback. Any couple, the book claimed, can achieve union via the patient packing of a flaccid lingam [penis] into an artificially lubricated yoni [you know]. We’d always joked about stuffing, never imagining it might one day prove, well, useful. It’s been many, many years since I first spied Debbie in that yellow dress. I’m certain we aren’t the only long-term couple for whom the metaphorical bean jar remains far from empty. But the calculus here no longer strikes either of us this way. If reverse cowgirling gives way to stuffing, so be it. Love, not sex, is the one thing we can no longer live without.
Beta-Blockers Blood pressure pills can decrease bloodflow to your penis and cause a sedated feeling that makes arousal difficult. TRY THIS Lower your BP through exercise, weight control and diet changes (more veggies, less caffeine and alcohol), but talk to your doctor before dropping the meds.
Statins High cholesterol-treating meds are linked to lower levels of testosterone. TRY THIS Ask your doc about nonstatin options, like Zetia, which inhibits cholesterol absorption. Marijuana, opioids and antiseizure meds also are known to affect sexual desire. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 75
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THE GIRL NEXT DOOR Sex, dating, love and lust. Amelia Frenkel will now take your questions
“Girlfriend” implies you’re not engaged yet. Baby steps. Start by telling her your intentions – that you love her very much and want to marry her. Next, start saving for the ring. Decide whether she’s the romantic-surpriseproposal type or not, and whether you’re going to choose a ring together. Traditionally, the bride’s parents foot most of the wedding costs, but if that’s not the case for you guys, you can have a longer engagement to give you more time to save.
I think my girlfriend has been faking orgasms. Is there something wrong?
Probably not. Most women reach orgasm about 60% of the time with their familiar partner, according to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine... whereas guys do about 80% of the time. Plus, many women don’t climax from penetrative sex alone, so it might be time for you to rethink your strategy. FYI: the clitoris has eight times the amount of nerve endings than the head of your penis. So, in a nutshell: you need to work out what gets her off to supplement the intercourse that gets you off. Anatomy aside, you’re also dealing with a head game. Make sure she feels relaxed, secure, sexy and adored. 76 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
I’ve got history with my new girlfriend’s best friend (okay, one night stand). How do I handle it? CHRIS If they’re “best” friends, chances are your girl already knows. You both have histories. I wouldn’t make a big deal about it in case it gets misinterpreted as unresolved feelings for the friend. Just don’t lie if she asks.
My fiancée says she’s looking forward to being a good housewife. Isn’t that a little dated? RICH In 2013, New York magazine ran a cover story on “The Feminist Housewife.” The article argued that the modern myth of “having it all” is just that – a myth: that it’s actually disempowering to women and damaging families. It investigated the trend of educated, successful women
who are choosing to apply themselves, in the same way they would a career, to being good wives and mothers, and so emancipating the “desperate” housewife. It all depends on the dynamic of the relationship, and making it work demands honesty about finances and your expectations. (But those rules apply to a healthy relationship anyway, no matter your day jobs.) Supporting one another to find what fulfills you is important, so if you’re planning on getting serious, talk to her about it more. You’ll have to decide how hung up you are on roles.
She says it’s fine when something’s clearly bothering her. Do I give her space or push her to open up? SFISO A bit of both. This is when you need to hone your spidey senses. As a general rule, do or say the opposite of what she says. “Don’t worry about me/You don’t have to get me anything/I’m fine, nothing’s wrong”... these are generally all “Go straight to jail; do not pass go” tests. You need to simultaneously give her space and be available when she wants to talk. Try saying, “I can tell something’s wrong. I’m here if you want to talk about it.” Then wait for the cold front to blow over – or the storm to roll in.
Follow Amelia on Twitter @MH_girlnextdoor or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE-NIGHT STANZAS STEAL FROM THE POETS, FLIRT LIKE A BOSS
Go in Strong Why should we rise because ’tis light? Did we lie down because ’twas night? – John Donne, Break of Day YOUR LINE “If you were in
my bed, nothing would ever make me leave it.” It’s best to use late on Saturday night, not 3pm on Monday. “Sexual chat-up lines can be polarising,” says psychologist Jeremy Nicholson. “So be prepared for rejection.”
Play It Cool Passing stranger! You do not know how longingly I look upon you... I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you – Walt Whitman, To a Stranger YOUR LINE “I can’t believe we’ve only just met. Maybe we knew each other in another life.” Women in a University of Louisville study preferred innocuous lines to “cute” ones.
Catch a Bold One A sweet disorder in the dresse/Kindles in cloathes a wantonnesse – Robert Herrick, Delight in Disorder YOUR LINE “I really like
your fashion sense. It’s very sexy.” “Flirty lines work well to attract women who are more outgoing,” says Nicholson. She probably went to a lot of trouble to select her photo, so show you noticed without being creepy.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S , I S T O C K P H O T O , S E A N L A U R E N Z ( P O R T R A I T )
My girl is making noises about a wedding. I’m broke. Help! BEN
O&M CAPE TOWN 89791/E
It’s a hairstyle. Technically.
Non-genuine parts work. Technically. Just because it sort of meets the requirements, doesn’t mean it’ll perform quite as it should. The difference between genuine and non-genuine parts comes down to a question of quality, safety, and keeping your warranty. Choose the parts that ensure all three. Ask for Volkswagen Genuine Parts.
Visit your nearest Volkswagen Dealership to find out more.
FOR THE FOUNDATION OF A WARDROBE THAT WILL LAST FOR YEARS, INVEST IN A QUALITY GREY SUIT. IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW YOU WEAR IT. THINK OF IT AS A BLANK CANVAS: ADDING A DENIM SHIRT WILL KEEP THE PALETTE FRESH AND CONFIDENT, SAYS GRANT VAN DER BERG AT FRANK BESPOKE. BUT SLOPPY BRUSHWORK DOES YOU NO FAVOURS – GO WITH SOLID COLOUR, AND NO FRONT POCKETS.
1 Suits aren't just for stuffy boardrooms: the right one will elevate your casualwear.
Suit jacket R1450 and trousers R499 both David Jones at Woolworths
1 SUIT 10 LOOKS YOUR WHOLE WEEK SORTED, WITH ONE VERSATILE COMBO IN YOUR CUPBOARD BY FASHION EDITOR AZEEZ JACOBS | PHOTOGRAPHS JACOBUS SNYMAN
B BUSINESS C CASUAL D DATE
3 Double down on denim (and lose the tie) for a clean but casual look.
2 Your everyday winning combo: add a blazer to dark jeans.
4 Opposites attract â€“ combine casual cargos with clean lines.
5 Add character to muted colours with mixed textures.
Bomber jacket R1 799 TopMan Puffer R629 Zara Man Crew-Neck Jersey R499 H&M Knitted Hoodie R899 Zara Man Sweatshirt R140 Oakridge at Mr Price Denim Shirt R529 Zara Man Checked Shirt R699 Country Road T-Shirt R299 Guess at Edgars 511 Selvedge Jeans R1 999 Leviâ€™s Cargo Joggers R2 299 Superdry Chelsey Boots R1 599 Country Road Leather Sneakers R2 195 Lacoste Pocket Square R79 Woolworths Classic Oxford Watch R3 499 Daniel Wellington at Treger Brands Belt R499 Ben Sherman Gloves R529 Zara Man Socks R80 Falke Wooden Umbrella R350 Nic Harry Dressing Table R4 799 @Home
6 A classic crew neck jersey can stand in for the most formal blazer.
Update your smartcasual look with a checked shirt.
@HOME 0860 576 576 ALDO 021 421 5674 BEN SHERMAN 021 425 8996 CLICKS 0860 254 257 COUNTRY ROAD 021 405 4300 EDGARS 0860 692 274 FALKE 021 951 2137 H&M 021 826 7300 LACOSTE 021 421 0939 LEVIâ€™S 021 403 9400 LUSH 021 418 4150 MAISON MARA 021 418 1600 MR PRICE 0800 212 535 NIC HARRY nicharry.co.za SPITZ 0860 109 321 SPLUSH 021 448 8847 SPORTSCENE 0860 576 576 SPREE 087 740 1010 STUTTAFORDS 011 879 1000 SUPERDRY 011 784 5739 TED BAKER 011 450 1156 TOPMAN 021 419 5900 TREAD+MILLER 0860 665 533 TREGER BRANDS 011 089 6000 TRENERY 0860 022 002 WOOLWORTHS 0860 022 002 ZARA 021 446 8700
8 Rich, dark jewel tones add a layer of luxurious contrast.
9 Yes, a textured bomber looks great with suit pants. But to really update the look, add a pair of sneakers.
10 Weekends are for T-shirts. Add a blazer just as you walk into the bar.
G R O O M I N G T O N I AT O N E L E A G U E FA S H I O N A S S I S TA N T N A D I A W I N D T M O D E L R E Y N AT B O S S M O D E L S
Style + Grooming
The Item/ Shirt Button-Downs
TheRight WayTo Clean Your Clothes Paying someone else to handle your dirty laundry? Stop it. These tips will keep your duds looking good as new
BY AZEEZ JACOBS • WORDS DAN MICHEL
Professional cleaning can mean subjecting your shirts to harsh chemicals and soaps. Then they’re ironed on a big, heavy press, which can crush buttons and wear out fabrics, especially if the operator isn’t careful. Don’t take the chance; when it comes to cleaning your clothes, it pays to get hands on. A crisp white shirt will only stay that way if you wash it after wearing, unless you’re an undershirt kind of guy, in which case you could go two or three wearings. If you notice any discolouration around the collar, cuffs or armpits, turn the shirt inside out and gently treat those areas with a stain stick. Then wash it in warm water on a delicate cycle and hang it to dry. (No dryer.) For a crisper finish, send it out for a press, not a cleaning, or just iron it yourself. And always hang it on a wood or plastic hanger – wire can stretch the fabric, leaving an ugly shoulder crease.
T-Shirts If your favourite tee fits perfectly, don’t expose it to high heat, which can degrade its fibres. Turn it inside out, soak it in warm water with a hand-wash detergent and hang it out to dry on a hanger so it maintains its shape. SLIM-FIT SHIRT R400 D.66 AT EDGARS
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 83
2 The Item/ Pants
will soften the fabric and break the denim back on. (Make sure they’re dry to avoid shrinkage.)
Don’t listen to the guy who insists he never washes his jeans because it spoils their integrity. If you want your denim to keep its colour, wash it by hand, says Eric Goldstein of The Jean Shop: place them in a tub with enough room temperature water to cover them; add a few drops of liquid detergent, mix it in with your hands, and soak them for five minutes. Remove, rinse, and hang to dry. Too stiff? Toss ’em in the dryer with two tennis balls on air dry (no heat) for 30 minutes. This
Cotton fibres are tough. So you can wash your favourite chinos like you do your tees: turn them inside out to target body grime and machine wash in warm water. Hang dry to preserve the fit.
Wool If your trousers are lined, they run a higher risk of shrinkage in the spin cycle; have them dry cleaned. Unlined? Sure, wash them at home. But remember, wool is a type of hair. Use cold water on a delicate cycle and then hang them to dry.
BELTHER JEANS R2 899 DIESEL
A DRYER CAN COOK CASHMERE. INSTEAD R O L L T H AT S W E AT E R IN A TOWEL TO DRY
The Item/ Jerseys
water to minimise shrinkage. And store all your jerseys folded – hanging them will stretch the shoulders.
Wool and Cotton Both are sturdy enough to stand a spin cycle – use a delicate setting and cool
Cashmere Dry cleaning damages cashmere, while washing
TOWEL R190 EDGARS CREW-NECK JERSEY R999 TRENERY
in cold water is good for the fibres, as it brings out their oils. Do it by hand, or machine-wash inside a mesh bag. To dry, lay flat on a towel and roll up to squeeze out excess water; unroll and lay flat again to air-dry overnight.
5 The Item/ Suits Wool A wool suit has structure and a lining, so it needs to be dry cleaned – but only once every three or four wearings. Between cleanings, slip the jacket on a wide hanger to maintain its shape, says Grant van der Berg at Bespoke Tailoring. “Let your suit hang out of the cupboard for
about an hour: this allows the suit to breathe to eliminate odours and for the creases to fall out.” If you notice a stain, grab a soft cloth and dab it (don’t wipe); then take the suit to the cleaners. At the end of each season, take your suits for a final cleaning and store them in cotton garment bags, which are breathable. When a suit is shrouded in a plastic bag, hard-to-see stains might set permanently and attract insects.
Cotton Your cotton suits are more absorbent than the wool ones but require the same care. Hang them up after every wearing and drop them at the dry cleaners every three or four wearings, with spot treatments as needed. Have both pieces done together so the colours stay matched. And between cleanings, steam the jacket and press the trousers on your own.
T WO-BUT TON SUIT R1 349 MARCO BENETTI AT SPREE.CO.ZA
The Item/ Shoes I F T H E Y T R U LY
L O V E D Y O U, T H E Y ’ D
I consider a decent pair of shoes a good investment that needs to be cared for correctly says Kennith Barlow, Merchandise Director at Tread+Miller. “Ensure that you remove all grime and residue from leather shoes with quality cleaning products. “Also make sure your shoes are dried out properly before using shoecare products and lastly, never let your shoes dry in direct sunlight or heat, it will damage easily.” Tip: before donning new leather shoes, spray on a water- and stain-repellent product.
FORGO THE PLASTIC AND USE A CEDAR HANGER
Suede Apply water repellent the same way you would for leather shoes. Restore the nap with a suede brush before you put them back in the closet. If you wait, dirt, dust and stains may settle in. And for any worn, shiny spots, freshen up the nap with a suede eraser.
P H O T O G R A P H S J A M E S G A R A G H T Y FA S H I O N A S S I S TA N T N A D I A W I N D T
SINGLE MONK STR AP R1 499 ALDO ARTHUR JACK SHOE BRUSH R150 AND TUX AN SUEDE BRUSH R110 TREAD+MILLER SUEDE CLEANER BLOCK R85 SPITZ
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU DROP OFF YOUR DRY CLEANING
“NO STARCH.” Starch can build up and cause fraying, especially along the shirt’s collar.
“KEEP THE BAG.” Some clear plastic bags emit chemicals that can discolour your clothes.
“THERE’S THE STAIN.” Point out that mustard spot so the cleaner can pretreat it properly.
“PRESS ONLY.” Leave it to a pro. You’ll look sharper – and not have to worry you left the iron on.
“MIND THE BUTTONS.” Especially if they’re plastic – they might crack under the heavy presser. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 85
Style + Grooming
The BestMan Standing Some guys wash up like they’re stripping paint. Use a lighter touch, and you’ll look smoother in the morning
Washing Your Face/
Rubbing Your Eyes/
Brushing Your Teeth/
Treating Your Acne/
Drying Your Hair/
Vigorous scrubbing won’t give you a deeper clean – it may aggravate your skin, causing it to pump out oil, says dermatologist Dagmar Whitaker. Try a natural alternative: this 2-in-1 wash uses white almond oil, jojoba oil and cupuaçu butter to leave your beard soft. Use a light circular motion to remove dead skin cells and surface debris. “Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing,” Whitaker adds. Constant urges to stroke your beard may follow.
They’re the first part of your face to show signs of ageing and fatigue – so look after them. First rule: avoid pressing too hard on the thin, tender area around your eyes – it’s easily irritated. Put a dab on your finger and gently tap from the inner to the outer corner of your eye without dragging or pulling the skin. This product has a silvertip applicator that helps to cool your skin and reduce visible puffiness, leaving your eyes looking refreshed and awake.
Whether using a manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush, make sure you are brushing for at least two minutes, says dentist Marc Sher: “Never scrub! Use small circular movements.” You risk enamel abrasion and receding gums, both of which can leave roots susceptible to damage. The oscillating action on this battery operated toothbrush helps the head to surround each tooth and helps provide thorough cleaning and gum care.
It’s tempting to squeeze that zit – but Whitaker says hands off. “You’ll only cause scarring that will last longer than that pimple did.” Use a pea-sized amount of product containing acnefighting ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid, to help reduce inflammation and soothe the area. This gel-formula acne treatment might just do the magic – it aids healing and helps minimise breakouts without over drying.
We get it ,when you get out of the shower all you want to do is get dressed and leave. But aggressive-drying your mane won’t help you get done faster – it leads to breakage, especially when the hair is wet, says Glen Summers at Sorbet Man: “Instead, pat your hair down with a towel.” Guys with some length should use a comb. Some shampoos dry out your scalp, but this one strengthens, builds thickness and leaves your scalp refreshed.
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86 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
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Food Nutrition TRASH THE WHITE BREAD Choose processed grains to gain fibre
Stop Worrying About Carbs Just focus on the right kind K. AL I HA
MANY DIETS FROM THE PAST TWO DECADES CAST CARBOHYDRATES AS HELL
spawn sent to fatten you up and destroy you with diabetes. These diets demonised all carbs, from whole grains to fruit and urged you to exorcise them from your life. Some forms of this nutrient deserve that evil reputation, but many don’t. By avoiding bad carbs you can speed weight loss and dodge disease. But beware: shunning good carbs may hurt your health and fitness goals. Here’s how to slice it.
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 89
Food + Nutrition
“Anyone who cuts down on fruit to reduce their sugar intake is making a big mistake.” reach levels associated with body-fat storage, Cresci says. Plus, they make your good gut bacteria happy. “The gut microbiota prefer complex carbs over any other food source,” says Cresci. After these buggers feast on the carbs, they send beneficial compounds into your bloodstream. These compounds, called short-chain fatty acids, may help lower inflammation and strengthen your immune system, says Cresci. Most foods that contain complex carbs are also high in fibre (another form of carb), which regulates blood sugar and helps you feel full. In a 2015 study, people who were asked to eat 30 grams of fibre a day on top of their normal diet lost about as much weight as folks on a strict diet.
What Carbohydrates Really Are Like proteins and fats, carbohydrates are macronutrients – in other words, substances that stoke your metabolism and keep you alert and active. As an analogy, think of carbs as your body’s primary source of crude oil. Through digestion, carbs are transformed into glucose – kind of like high-octane unleaded gas. “Carbohydrates are the only nutrients that exist solely to fuel the body,” says Donald Layman, a professor of human nutrition. Without glucose, your blood oxygen levels suffer, your energy levels tank and your risk of a brain fart rises. You should consume 45 to 65% of your daily calories from carbohydrates, according to the USDA’s most recent, globally recognised recommendation. So if you’re a moderately active guy consuming 10 760 kilojoules a day, that means 4 840 to 6 690 kJ of that total should come from carbs. And since carbohydrates – whether from sugar, starch or fibre – contain 16 kJ per gram, you should shoot for 295 to 425 grams a day. This amount, says Layman, will help your brain, blood and nervous systems function at their best. If you keep your intake under 80 grams of carbs a day, as some diet plans suggest, your body will begin breaking down its fat stores to produce ketones, a poor man’s “glucose,” which can lead to that low-carb “cloudy” feeling. Excess dietary carbs become excess body fat. So losing weight and helping your heart is as simple as cutting back on the white bread, right? Read on.
Why You Should Strive for Complexity The quality of your carbs is as important as the quantity, says Frank Sacks, a nutrition professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Complex carbs, found in starchy vegetables and whole grains, are linked to healthier weight and lower risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “Complex carbohydrates are difficult for the body to break down and that’s a good thing,” says Gail Cresci, a researcher in gastroenterology and nutrition at Cleveland Clinic. These carbs digest slowly and the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream is also slower as a result. The increases in your blood sugar and insulin levels are moderate enough that they don’t 90 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
Refined carbs, such as those in white bread, cookies and chips, have the opposite effect that complex, unrefined carbs have. After you eat, say, a doughnut, your blood sugar rises; in response, your insulin levels skyrocket. Plus, your gut bacteria spit out inflammatory compounds, says Cresci. So a daily doughnut sets you up for metabolic malfunction, elevated triglycerides, obesity and the chronic diseases that accompany them. Cutting out those breakfast doughnuts may help you erase the one encircling your waistline. And yes, if you eliminate almost all carbs from your diet, you’ll drop even more weight – but not for the reason you might think. On a low-carb diet, your body churns through its stores of muscle glycogen. And for every bit of muscle glycogen you burn, your body releases twice as much H2O, Cresci says. So initially you’ll lose weight, but it will be more from water than from body fat. To effectively reverse the weight gain associated with the intake of simple carbs, you have to shop smart. Beware of products that market themselves as low-fat. When food producers remove fat from cookies, ice cream, yoghurt or salad dressings, they often replace the lost flavour with processed sugar (yes, sugar is a carb), which is more easily converted into body fat than unprocessed carbs, Cresci says. And don’t let the “gluten free” trend hook you in: many gluten-free pastas, breads and baked goods contain more sugar and calories than their conventional counterparts. In fact, a 2014 review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food concluded that people who followed a gluten-free diet had a greater risk of obesity later in life than those who didn’t. So unless you’re among the very small minority of Americans who have celiac disease or known sensitivity, there’s probably no health reason for you to cut out gluten-containing whole grains like wheat, barley and rye. And don’t forget: gluten is a form of protein, your muscles’ friend. A general rule: the fewer ingredients in the food you’re buying, the better. Choose apples, not low-fat, gluten-free, cinnamon-sugar apple chips. While fruit does contain simple carbs, those carbs come with plenty of fibre. In fact, a 2013 BMJ study found that fibre from fruit may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. “Anyone who cuts down on fruit to reduce their sugar intake is making a big mistake,” says Dr Sacks.
How Carbs Fuel Your Fitness Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver and also serve as fuel for high-intensity and endurance exercise. If your fitness regimen is intense (let’s say you’re training for a marathon) you need 40 to 60 additional grams of carbs per hour of exercise to help your performance, says Stuart Galloway, who studies exercise metabolism at the University of Stirling, Scotland. Another way to think about this: one extra gram of carbs
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S ( O P E N E R ) , I S T O C K P H O T O
How the Wrong Kinds of Carbs Can Hurt You
COMPLEX CARBS, SIMPLIFIED HERE’S THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF GRAMS YOU NEED EACH DAY – AND EASY WAYS TO HIT THAT AMOUNT
WHAT THAT MEANS
You walk frequently, go on short jogs, or do light weight training.
You run long distances and do intense weight training or interval training.
EAT THIS MUCH HOW TO EAT IT
I L L U S T R AT I O N S R . K I K U O J O H N S O N
295g (minimum) 1
cup oats (28g carbs, 4g fibre)
cup cherries (25g carbs, 3g fibre)
cup brown rice (46g carbs, 4g fibre)
+40g per hour of exercise (minimum) The left column, plus . . . 1
cup cooked spinach (7g carbs, 4g fibre)
large apple (31g carbs, 5g fibre)
cup spaghetti squash (10g carbs, 2g fibre)
slices wheat bread (28g carbs, 2g fibre)
cup quinoa (20g carbs, 3g fibre)
large banana (31g carbs, 4g fibre)
clementine (9g carbs, 1g fibre)
cup lentils (40g carbs, 16g fibre)
cup collard greens (11g carbs, 8g fibre)
large baked sweet potato (37g carbs, 6g fibre)
large orange (22g carbs, 4g fibre)
299g carbs, 56g fibre
345g carbs, 66g fibre
per minute you work out. According to 2013 research in the journal Sports Medicine, carbs boost performance during endurance and high-intensity workouts. Better performances burn more calories. And while carb loading before a race is a must, no evidence suggests that switching between high- and low-carb days (or “carb cycling”) helps performance. Some experts say it may even hurt your health. Shifting between low and high insulin levels can cause low-grade inflammation, says Cresci. After your workout, you need to consume just as much carbs as protein – ideally more. That’s because insulin may help with protein synthesis and muscle building, a 2015 study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests. Aim for a 1:1 or 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio after you hit the gym. Lift some chocolate milk, apple slices with almond butter, or pita and hummus. So here’s your prescription: eat a consistent amount of complex carbs every day (unless you’re running a marathon or doing some similar activity the next day) from the greatest variety of whole sources possible. Then enjoy all the disease-fighting, gut-filling benefits.
MEATY, LEAN AND EVERLASTING,
biltong might be the world’s greatest portable protein. (Just try hauling a bag of hard-boiled eggs on a road trip.) But you don’t have to swerve into a convenience store every time you need a fix. “If you make your own biltong, you have ultimate control over the flavour,” says Benkei O’Sullivan, executive chef of the Hunt & Fish Club. “Plus, homemade biltong is about half the price of a bag of the storebought stuff.” All you need is a box, a hunk of fresh animal flesh and a few secret seasoning blends. From there, it’s easy – if you follow these five steps.
Slow-cook the ultimate snack in your kitchen. Devour at will BY MATTHEW KADEY • PHOTOGRAPHS SAM KAPLAN
92 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
Prep the Protein Seal the steak in plastic wrap and stick it in the freezer until it stiffens slightly, about an hour. (This will make the slicing easier.) Remove the meat and use a sharpened chef’s knife to cut it into 6cm-thick, 10cm-long strips.
F O O D S T Y L I N G B R E T T K U R Z W E I L I L L U S T R AT I O N S M I C A H E L H O E W E L E R
Buy a kilogram piece of silverside steak, and ask the person behind the counter to trim off any visible fat and silver skin. The leaner the beef, the longer your biltong will keep. This amount of meat will yield about 750g of biltong. If you’re dealing with a friendly butcher, ask to have the beef sliced into 5 or 6cm-thick strips, 10cm long. Otherwise, do it yourself, and make sure you get all the gristle.
Food + Nutrition
Hey you, Mr Hungry – this process also works well with ostrich, venison, even lamb.
place the strips on the racks with space between each piece. Put it all in the oven for 3 to 5 hours. (To aid dehydration, prop the door open a little.) But if you’re looking for something more custom, making your own dryer is pretty simple. Find a wooden box, cut a door on one side and place a wooden divider high enough off the bottom that you can place a lightbulb under it. Now drill holes near the top of the box – some for wooden rods, and some more for ventilation. Space them evenly apart – if the strips hang touching, they’ll rot – and place a 100-watt bulb in the centre of the ceiling. And if you want to save yourself the effort, invest in a Biltong King by Mellerware (R499, yuppiechef.com).
Treat Your Meat
Rig Your Hot Box
Marinating the meat gives biltong the most flavour; let it sit in the sauce overnight in the fridge. Dry rubs require two hours of refrigeration. Either way, combine the sliced meat with the ingredients (right) in a large zip-top bag.
There are many ways to do this. Let’s start with the quickest: your oven offers a fast way to dry your meat. Got units to burn? Heat the oven to 190°. Place cooling racks on two baking sheets. Shake off excess marinade or spices and
Page to plate in 8 minutes!
THE MH FAST FOODIE BILTONG FROM CHICKEN? IT’S CALLED JERKY. DRY IT ONCE, EAT FOR A WEEK
Dehydrate How long it’ll take to be ready depends on the amount of meat, the climate and of course your own personal taste. It could be in there for a few hours or a few days. Keep an eye on it, be patient and give it regular taste tests. Enjoy.
Chop-Chop Salad Toss a few handfuls of chopped rocket with these add-ins (all chopped): some dried chicken jerky – prepared exactly as above – tomato, avo, red pepper and onions. Add a spoonful of black beans and/or corn. Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper. Not your bag? Check out these three remixes.
PICK YOUR MARINADE CRACKED BLACK PEPPER RUB 2 TBSP KOSHER SALT 2 TSP FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER 2 TBSP BROWN SUGAR NUTRITION: 260 KJ, 9g PROTEIN, 1g CARBS (0g FIBRE), 2g FAT SWEET HEAT RUB 3 TBSP BROWN SUGAR 1 TBSP KOSHER SALT 2 TSP GARLIC POWDER 2 TSP DRIED THYME 1½ TSP GROUND CHIPOTLE CHILE 1 TSP FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER ½ TSP GROUND CUMIN ZEST OF 1 ORANGE NUTRITION: 280 KJ, 10g PROTEIN, 2g CARBS (0g FIBRE), 2g FAT TERIYAKI GINGER MARINADE 1 CUP PINEAPPLE JUICE ⅔ CUP SOY SAUCE ¼ CUP RICE VINEGAR 2 MINCED GARLIC CLOVES 2 TBSP BROWN SUGAR 1 TBSP CHINESE FIVE-SPICE 1 TBSP SRIRACHA 1 TBSP MINCED FRESH GINGER ZEST OF 2 LIMES NUTRITION: 260 KJ, 10g PROTEIN, 1g CARBS (0g FIBRE), 2g FAT SMOKEY ESPRESSO BROWN SUGAR MARINADE 1½ CUPS STRONGLY BREWED COFFEE (COOLED) ⅓ CUP FRESH LEMON JUICE ¼ CUP BROWN SUGAR ¼ CUP WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE 1 TBSP KOSHER SALT 2 TSP GROUND ALLSPICE 2 TSP RED-PEPPER FLAKES 2 MINCED GARLIC CLOVES 2 TSP LIQUID SMOKE (OPTIONAL) NUTRITION: 255 KJ, 9g PROTEIN, 1g CARBS (0g FIBRE), 2g FAT
REMIX 1 If you like Asian flavours, swap out the tomato, pepper, beans and corn and add the following: shredded carrot, shelled edamame, sliced snap peas, diced cucumber, and crushed cashews. Add a little sesame oil to the dressing too. REMIX 2 Go Greek! Keep the chicken, tomato and pepper,
but add feta, kalamata olives and thinly sliced red onion. REMIX 3 Or just pump up the protein. Leave the original alone, except throw in a few grilled shrimp, a fistful of leftover cooked quinoa and a scattering of thawed peas. Then mix a spoonful of Greek yoghurt into the dressing. These adds tack on an extra 15 grams of protein.
NUTRITION (ORIGINAL SALAD): 1 690 CALORIES, 31g PROTEIN, 23g CARBS (9g FIBRE), 23g FAT
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 93
Health Wellness Special Report
The Truth About HGH Illegal experimentation with human growth hormone may be discouraging legitimate research that could help us all BY LAURA BEIL â€¢ PHOTOGRAPH MAURIZIO DI IORIO
94 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
WHEN RUMOURS SWIRLED LAST DECEMBER THAT NFL
quarterback Peyton Manning had taken human growth hormone to recover from injury, most guys had two thoughts: (1) “Peyton, a cheater? Say it ain’t so!” (2) “Damn, maybe I need to get some.” Manning is just the latest star to face HGH doping allegations – according to various media outlets, plenty of athletes and celebrities are already true believers. Ten to 15 men on each NFL team now use the banned substance, one player told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and a prominent US trainer estimates that 20% of actors take it, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
CLOSER TO HOME, RELIABLE STATS ARE JUST
as sketchy – but as sports scientist Ross Tucker has argued, our pro athletes are under pressure to perform – and pressure can do strange things to a man. “So much is on the line… to think that top athletes do not dope is to be grossly naive.” One problem here is that word: doping. Technically, human growth hormone is responsible for controlling growth and development as we age – its role to repair and rejuvenate tissue. Regardless of the “instant recovery” effect injecting the stuff can have on elite athletes, we all need it. Unfortunately, many of HGH’s purported benefits are unproven, and its reputation as dope for cheaters and snake oil for anti-ageing hucksters keeps it from being studied more legitimately, says endocrinologist Randall Urban. “This abuse gives negative connotations to a hormone that may have big benefits.” However, these purported benefits might distort the picture in the other direction, giving the impression that we may have found the holy grail of recovery – while, as MH resident endocrinologist Zane Stevens points out, the diagnosis of GH deficiency in adulthood is very rare and should be based on proper testing. Literature on the subject, he says, emphasises that growth hormone may be beneficial only “for patients who have a clinical indication for therapy or those who are identified to be GH-deficient”. Here’s a fact that’ll make you think twice: above-normal levels of GH can be fatal. Stevens says that in patients with acromegaly, a pituitary tumour producing excessive growth hormone, “we see a number of complications, including hypertension, diabetes and a significant higher mortality due to cardiovascular disease. Personally, I believe there is too much risk associated with the use of GH in patients not found to be truly deficient.” To separate fact from fiction, we interviewed patients, doctors and researchers to understand the benefits and promise of HGH.
But let’s review what HGH is and what it does. Every night when you sleep, your pituitary gland, a gland at the base of your brain, goes to work, squirting out HGH, a polypeptide consisting of 191 amino acids. HGH flows into your bloodstream and binds to cell-surface receptors found throughout your body, including your brain, where those receptors are especially dense in the regions responsible for learning and memory. It also binds to fat cells, causing them to release part of their cargo, and stimulates your liver to produce a hormone called insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which promotes the growth of bone, cartilage, and muscle. HGH surges during childhood and adolescence, but by the time you’re 40, you’re producing about half as much as you were at 20. Still, even that is critical for body maintenance. The use of recombinant HGH was approved for extreme deficiency, mostly among children at risk of being unusually short. It was later cleared for HIV/Aids patients who suffer from muscle wasting, and for people with a condition known as short bowel syndrome. Before it was approved in the US in 1985, HGH had to be extracted from cadavers, a practice banned when researchers determined that it could transmit a brain illness similar to mad cow disease into patients. Shortly afterwards, two companies developed a limitless, contamination-free method of producing the drug that worked by inserting the coded gene for GH production into bacteria, turning them into microscopic HGH factories. In 1990, US lawmakers voted for restrictions on HGH. At the time, endocrinologists feared that declaring it a controlled substance and lumping it with steroids and narcotics would stigmatise the children who needed it. So Congress put limits on prescriptions instead, and as is often the case with prohibition, the market moved underground – and overseas. So what can and can’t HGH do? Let’s look at the claims. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 95
HGH Grows Muscle, Burns Fat
HGH Speeds Injury Recovery
Most of his friends know Mike as a professional on the Sandton financial scene. What they may not know is that he can leg-press 590kg 18 times. A competitive bodybuilder since age 19, Mike began to pay the price for his heavy lifting when he turned 40, facing operations to repair knee and rotator cuff injuries. “Before that,” he says, “I was a completely natural athlete.” When Mike’s surgical recovery seemed to stagnate, a friend suggested he try steroids and human growth hormone to speed things along. Access was not an issue. “If you spend as much time in the gym world as I do, you pretty much just know how to get hold of it,” he says. Mike’s supply comes from a special relationship with a doctor. People who can’t get prescription HGH often find a dealer who orders it from China. Growth hormone is popular among athletes because “it is widely believed by illicit users that growth hormone works,” says psychiatrist Harrison Pope. “The problem is that growth hormone is almost always used in conjunction with anabolic steroids, and anabolic steroids clearly do work.” So it’s hard to know what portion of muscle gain, if any, comes from HGH. One Australian study parsed the issue and examined sprint performance in 96 cyclists who injected either HGH, testosterone, HGH plus testosterone or a placebo for eight weeks. Compared with the placebo group, those taking HGH saw their sprint capacity improve by almost 4%; those taking HGH plus testosterone had an 8% improvement. The HGH-only group saw no gains in muscle strength. 96 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
In truth, despite what you will read on the Internet, HGH doesn’t build muscle in otherwise healthy adults the way testosterone would, says Michael Kjaer, a professor of sports medicine at the University of Copenhagen. In one of the few studies of healthy volunteers, Dr Kjaer gave men in their twenties injections of HGH and compared muscle growth to that of men who received a placebo. He found stimulation in connective tissues but not muscle. Growth hormone does not appear to help older men either. As a 2013 University of Southern California medical school review on the matter concluded, “There is no compelling data that empiric treatment of older men with [HGH] improves muscle strength or performance.” Now in his fifties, Mike has continued to use a steroid-hormone combination on and off since he started more than a decade ago. The steroids give him a muscle boost, while the growth hormone – typically 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams a day – burns extra fat, he says. Indeed, a variety of research reveals that HGH can be a potent burner of fat, especially stubborn visceral fat. Mike is concerned about HGH side effects, particularly the link to increased cancer risk. He’s now more vigilant about his doctor checkups. Among his gym crew, Mike says, HGH has a worse rep than steroids because there is so little research on it. “Guys joke that they won’t do HGH because they’re worried about growing three noses. It makes you think.”
Verdict No to muscle gains, yes to fat loss; but it is expensive.
When Max, an anaesthetist practicing in Costa Rica, began to develop tennis elbow, he turned to the usual remedies. Soon the 42-year-old was taking so many anti-inflammatory drugs his stomach ached. “It was just terrible,” he says. “My quality of life, even in my job performance, went downhill because there was just this constant pain.” He didn’t want surgery, so he turned to medical literature and started reading up on growth hormone. Costa Rica has fewer drug restrictions, so a doctor began growth hormone shots through the Anti Ageing and Wellness Clinic in San Jose, gradually increasing the dose. “After about two and a half months, I started noticing improvement in the pain in both my shoulder and my elbow. About four months in, I was completely recovered,” he says. “To this day, I haven’t relapsed into any tendinitis.” The use of HGH for injury repair has long been a part of sports lore. Whether the tales are true or not, medical science is in need of better treatment for battered joints, says Christopher Mendias, a researcher in orthopaedic surgery. “With an ACL tear, you typically need about six months to a year between the time you have surgery and the time you actually go back on the field,” he says. The difficulty isn’t so much the ligament itself, but the tissue that supports it. “If you look at the mechanics in terms of the strength of that new ligament that you put in, it’s pretty good,” he says. “The problem is the muscle weakness that occurs almost immediately after that
surgery. By the time athletes are able to return to the field or court, the side that had the ACL tear is about 40% weaker.” Mendias has just begun studies that involve administering 0.3 milligram of growth hormone directly into patients’ injured ACLs twice a day for six weeks in order to measure the effect on tendon and muscle strength. The first participants are all men between ages 18 and 35 undergoing an ACL reconstruction. His hypothesis, somewhat simplified, is that HGH will help preserve the muscle around the joint by activating IGF-1 that stimulates muscular growth while blocking another protein, myostatin, which is triggered by injury and curbs that growth. (The research is funded by the Mark Cuban Foundation, and the Dallas Mavericks owner has publicly stated that he thinks HGH should be legal to aid in joint repair.) Danish researchers are also looking into HGH as a treatment for patients with tendinopathy – long-term tendon pain. Mendias has the measured optimism of a scientist; he says the research is still too sparse to draw conclusions. Results won’t be released until 2017. Among his concerns is that the possible side effects are still uncertain. It’s well known that too much growth hormone can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome (because it stimulates connective tissue). Still other side effects may exist. But if his research turns out to be successful, it could usher in a new era of better, faster recovery from sports injuries.
Verdict The jury is out, awaiting more evidence.
I L L U S T R AT I O N S E L I A S S T E I N
Health + Wellness
HGH Heals Brain Injuries
HGH Delays Ageing Marvin doesn’t want to live forever, but he does intend to dance at his daughter’s wedding. Since he’s 72 years old and she’s just 12, he could be 90 before the band starts playing. So about five years ago, the orthodontist walked into the office of endocrinologist Florence Comite and asked her what he could do to stay in prime condition for the coming decades. He was lifting weights three days a week and had completed 30 marathons. During Marvin’s initial assessment, Comite determined that his levels of IGF-1 were low. Stevens says this, in the absence of other causes, is strong evidence for GH deficiency and may identify patients who would benefit from therapy. These patients should undergo formal GH stimulation testing. After almost a year of trying to boost his HGH naturally and taking testosterone, Marvin started on a daily dose of about 0.3 milligram of growth hormone. (Dr Comite was allowed to prescribe it because he was deficient. He’s now up to 0.7 milligram.) “I’m way more youthful and healthy looking,” says Marvin. Before he started, he adds, “I was tired a lot and had a lot of aches and pains.” Dr Comite knows her use of hormones is unorthodox – especially in the wider medical establishment, which is skeptical of growth hormone’s anti-ageing claims. Her response is a criticism of the current disease-based health care system, which focuses on healing the sick rather than preserving the healthy. “I prefer to aim for optimal health for life,” she says. How growth hormone fits into this picture is still a matter of
debate. For one thing, Dr Comite and many others don’t measure growth hormone directly but instead check IGF-1, which the liver produces in response to growth hormone. However, IGF-1 can be low for reasons other than growth hormone deficiency. What’s more, it’s unclear whether giving growth hormone to someone within a normal range is beneficial over the long term. A 2014 review in Clinical Interventions in Ageing noted that while giving HGH to a deficient person does appear to have benefits, giving the hormone to an older person who’s experiencing a natural decline has “unclear pros and cons.” One of the biggest cons is the risk of cancer. Since HGH promotes the growth of tissue throughout the body, fledgling tumors that may grow slowly or not at all could get a jumpstart into malignancy. Metabolic complications may also happen. For example, when you exercise and metabolize fat for fuel, that’s healthy. But when HGH melts fat, the sudden dump of glucose into your bloodstream can overwhelm the normal processes that clear it, leading to a risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. Other complications can include fluid retention, joint pains and carpal tunnel syndrome. What’s more, there is no evidence that HGH will help you live longer. If you’re worried that you’re deficient in growth hormone (only one in 50 000 people are, according to Danish scientists) talk to an endocrinologist about an HGH-stimulation test.
Verdict Not likely (but you may look younger).
A car sideswiped 42-year-old cyclist Jeff in 2009, the impact breaking his back and neck and snapping his left leg in three places – among other injuries. He struggled to recover over the next four years. His body eventually healed, but his mind remained wrecked. “I was sleeping just two to three hours a night because of the pain,” he says. He was dead-tired and so sluggish that he strained to recall basic facts required for his job as a property developer. Doctors offered little help. After weeks of mining the web, Jeff started to suspect that his symptoms arose from a lack of HGH. Since he couldn’t get it legally, his only path was to enroll in a scientific trial. He found exactly one: doctors at the University of Texas Medical Branch were testing whether growth hormone could relieve the physical and mental consequences of brain trauma. He got in. Within weeks of starting HGH injections of 0.6 milligram, his sleep improved. More rest eased his pain. By mid-2014, he felt like himself again. He believes he’ll stay that way as long as he has his shots. How did his injury affect his HGH levels? During head impact or whiplash, your brain can shift inside your skull. The pituitary gland sits at the base of the brain, connected to it by a tiny stalk. “You can imagine that if the brain starts moving back and forth, it’s going to put stress on that stalk,” disturbing its output of HGH, says Charles Wilkinson, a professor of psychiatric neuroscience at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Some researchers also theorise that a
concussion could trigger inflammation that damages the gland. Stevens says the prevalence of hypopituitarism following a brain injury varies significantly in the literature from 15 to 50%, according a recent publication in Endocrine Reviews. “This is an overlooked area here in South Africa, where we see many head injuries from violence, car accidents, even sport. GH, ACTH-cortisol and sex-hormone deficiencies are the most common anterior pituitary deficiencies. The mechanism by which these occur is not fully understood – and might not only be due to the physical impact on the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, but possibly even on an auto-immune basis.” “These are young men,” adds Jose Garcia, an endocrinologist with Baylor College of Medicine. “What will happen to them if they are deficient in growth hormone for the next 40 years? Will they gain fat, lose muscle and have cardiovascular disease, which is what we see in other growth hormone-deficient populations?” Dr Garcia is trying to secure funding to study whether HGH replacement therapy can improve quality of life, memory and other concerns among patients with pituitary gland damage from concussions. Preliminary research is promising. Data from the University of Texas (and Europe) supports the notion that restoring HGH to normal levels can improve lives, at least for some. If you’ve had a head injury and develop fatigue and cognitive dysfunction, see a doctor – and preferably also an endocrinologist.
Verdict Very promising. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 97
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05/ Deadlift Your Way to Action-Hero Size RISE NATION, LOS ANGELES
Rise founder Jason Walsh trains an A-list roster that includes MH cover guy Matt Damon and The Office’s John Krasinski. They do heavy, low-rep deadlift sets, Walsh’s top choice for gaining size and strength. Every few weeks they “go for broke” by loading the bar with 50 to 70% of their 1-rep max and doing 3 sets of as many reps as possible. “It’s hard, but it’s critical for beefing up.” 102 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
06/ Sprint Safely with This Treadmill Drill PARISI SPEED SCHOOL, NEW JERSEY
We all want to run faster than the next guy. But ease into it, advises Speed School founder Bill Parisi. On the treadmill, gradually add speed and elevation until you hit a pace you can maintain for only 20 to 30 seconds. Then slow down to a walk or jog for 1 to 3 minutes, and repeat. Do 2 to 4 sprints your first workout and build up to 8 to 12.
07/ Use Music and a Community for Results S.W.E.A.T. 1000, NATIONWIDE
“Group training allows you to become part of a community with similar goals, but without distractions,” says Andrew Rothschild, MD of SWEAT 1000, “and it helps you to excel based on the group’s positive energy and encouragement.” Music also plays a massive role in motivating people to push harder – we use international and local DJs and mix music using Beats per Minute (BPM) formulae.”
08/ Go Hard, but Not Too Frequently PLATINUM, LOS ANGELES
Intense interval workouts are a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness, but do them too often and you’ll burn out, warns Platinum owner Peter Park. Three challenging sessions a week is plenty if you’re younger than 35. If you’re older, make it two. Train hard on interval days, but lighten up and do easy work (at a conversational pace) on recovery days.
09/Make Light Work of Obstacles FITSTRONG, CAPE TOWN
“There’s no other sport that prepares you for daily life in the way obstacle racing and training does,” says Trevor Lagerwey, elite obstacle racer and head coach at Fitstrong (which has an epic outdoor training rig). “An obstacle race athlete needs to be strong enough to carry heavy obstacles, agile, and be able to run a half-marathon at 4 min/km.” Training method Interval running with obstacles or strength exercises (legless rope climbs, monkey bars into toes to bar, or handstand walks into tyre flips) and 400m runs.
10/Every Man Should Train Like an Olympian
11/ Try the Most Joint-Friendly Squat
12/ Take Control of Your Training MARK FISHER FITNESS, NEW YORK
INDIANAPOLIS FITNESS AND SPORTS TRAINING
Struggling with barbell squats? Co-owner Mike Robertson, recommends the two-kettlebell front squat. “It’s almost impossible to screw up,” he says. “It keeps your lower back in a great position and crushes your quads, glutes, and core.” Hold two bells in the racked position, elbows down and bent, the bells resting on your forearms. Squat.
You take pride in working out even when you don’t feel like it. That’s a sign of discipline, says MFF cofounder Brian Patrick Murphy. But it’s not a sign of ownership. “The best day to take off is when you most want to work out,” he says. Instead, take a walk or do chores. That shows that you control your programme – it doesn’t control you.
WhatYou’ll Find in the Gym of the Future
13/ Pick a Clear Goal and Train for It MOUNTAIN TACTICAL INSTITUTE, WYOMING
Working out is good, but training is better, says MTI owner Rob Shaul. Choose a challenging outdoor adventure, like climbing a tricky route or swimming to Robben Island. Then set up a training program at your gym. “Having a mission is an experience to build on for the rest of your life, and it gives your training a defined focus and purpose,” Shaul says.
If we owned a gym and money were no object, this is the gear we’d bring in. The good news: some forward-thinking gyms have already done it
THE YARD ATHLETIC, JHB
I L L U S T R AT I O N + I S M
CRYOCHAM B ER
“Olympic weightlifting, together with its stepbrother powerlifting, are the most effective way to pack on muscle and power while maintaining the most natural movement patterns,” says Joshua Capazorio, national powerlifter and Olympic weightlifter and strength and conditioning specialist based at The Yard Athletic. “They provide a high level of physicality and skill, which is why I recommend them for all men. They also develop brute force and lightning speed, which are qualities all men should want.” Here are the essential moves that Capazorio recommends you should start with: Muscle snatch Also known as the power snatch, this move develops your external rotation for stronger shoulders – which means dangerous speed and power. Power squat A.k.a. the high bar. A strong squat is a sign of a strong base – having a strong base is the foundation of strength. Press Either a narrow-grip bench press, military press or push press. Keeping the shoulders strong and making sure the triceps reach proper lockout power is the key – this move has great carryover into most aspects of an active lifestyle.
VMX ROPE TRAINER
Elite athletes use ice baths to ease postworkout inflammation. Three minutes of cryotherapy is like taking a 20-minute dip. As a bonus, it jacks up your metabolism for hours. Visit cryoliving. com to make a booking.
This machine lets you simulate pulling a rope from above, below, or somewhere in between, giving you a kickass way to build your back, arms, shoulders and core (even in low ceiling rooms).
TR U EFO R M R U N N ER
Motorised treadmills train you to run on motorised treadmills. Self-powered machines from TrueForm and Woodway, with curved surfaces and frictionless belts, translate better to outdoor running.
J A CO B’S L A D D E R K E I S E R A I R 3 0 0 S Q U AT
Thumb-operated controls let you quickly increase or decrease the resistance, while the pneumatic technology allows you to do high-impact exercises, such as jump squats, without having to land with a loaded barbell on your back.
Unlike treadmills and stationary bikes, on which you set speed, elevation or resistance, this machine goes as fast as you do. Longer steps speed it up; shorter ones slow it down. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 103
14/ Learn Your Limits with This Simple Test MIKE BOYLE STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING, MASSACHUSETTS
Rotator cuff injuries are often traceable to a lack of pulling strength, says Mike Boyle. His simple test for athletes: on a pull-up or chin-up, you should be able to lift the same weight as your max bench press. So if you weigh 80kg and bench 100, you should be able to do a strict chin-up with a 20kg weighted vest or dumbbell on a dip belt.
15/ Use a Mantra to Push Past Discomfort CROSSFIT NEW ENGLAND
Learning to get comfortable with discomfort allows you to work harder, and that’s the key to physical change, says owner Ben Bergeron, who has coached various CrossFit Games winners. He has his athletes develop a mantra – something short and positive – that they can repeat when the going gets tough. Bergeron’s personal mantra: “This is what it takes.”
16/Get a Grip on Your Weakest Links OTG ATHLETIC, UMHLANGA
“Grip strength is the one thing that very few athletes train,” says Lil Bianchi Kimble, head coach and owner at OTG Athletic. “But you’re only as strong as your weakest link. If you can’t hold onto it, you can’t lift it – this is extremely limiting to someone who wants and needs to be strong.” The best way to train your gripping muscles are heavy one-arm rows and farmer’s walks. Another area that most men neglect? “Too many men skip back training. Developing a strong back makes you more physically powerful; it’ll maintain stability for life, and not just for your lifts. Your back and core is your body’s centre of strength and is far too often outweighed by the quest for a formidable six-pack.” 104 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
17/Build the Ultimate Home Gym WESTRIDGE BARBELL CLUB, SALT LAKE CITY
The “club” is actually Dan John’s suburban garage, where he and his fellow athletes do high-level training with basic equipment. John’s gym setup was once so extensive that it included a pair of Nautilus machines to work biceps and triceps. But when he relocated a few years ago, he learned just how minimal a home gym can be.
John downsized to a single 28kg kettlebell. “That was my home gym,” he says. “I could press, swing, squat, snatch, and do many other moves, including body-weight exercises.” His advice: start with a piece of equipment that allows all those exercises.
Considering a new piece of equipment? Think of the range of exercises it allows you to do. For John, it was a TRX suspension trainer, followed by an ab wheel that he picked up for R60. For you it might be a chindip station. Or, if you have enough space, invest in a barbell set.
Don’t Splurge “Rich guys who buy a huge facility never seem to use it,” John says. “Every good home gym I know of starts small and then grows.” The biggest waste of money? High-end cardio machines. “People rarely use them, and a good walk trumps most of the expense.”
18/Make Your Workout a Game THROWBACK FITNESS, NEW YORK
New York has hundreds of gyms, but Throwback’s group classes have the best reviews of any facility in the city. The secret sauce: “We try to distract people from the fact that they’re working out,” says co-owner Brian Gallagher. “People like the competitive and team-based workouts that we put together.” That helps them work harder – and see better results.
Battle Yourself To turn your own workout into a oneman competition, Gallagher suggests this three-exercise combo: Do circuits of push-ups, sit-ups and bodyweight squats in an ascending ladder (2, 4, 6, etc) for 5 minutes. Rest for 1 minute. Then start where you left
off and work your way down. Your goal is to descend the ladder in less time than you took to climb it. Too easy? Do the ascending ladder for 10 minutes.
Battle Your Buds Each of Throwback’s classes includes between six and 16 people. One favourite game is TBF Cup.
In it, teams compete to throw balls into a net. To earn a shot, your team needs to complete a circuit of 4 burpees, 8 pushups and 12 sit-ups. The faster you do the circuit, the more shots you can take. Whichever team has the most shots in the net at the end of the training session wins.
19/Perform Daily Maintenance CRAWL PROJECT, CAPE TOWN
“Most people do nothing all day then only move when they work out – it’s like taking your car in winter when it’s been sitting in the cold all night and trying to win a drag race straight away – you’re going to fry some pistons,” says Richard Dean-Sumares, movement coach and creator of Crawl Project. “Maintenance should be a daily practice. I wake up in the morning and I start moving. I do full-body joint lubrication and a light Surya Namaskar. At night before bed, I do a decompression yoga session: slow, easy, staying in postures for 10 to 20 breaths. Have compassion for your body: it’s an exceptional piece of technology. Look after it and it’ll look after you.”
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We tested a sporting-goods store’s worth of gear and found the best training partners for you to build muscle, burn fat and break PBs B Y A R T H U R J O N E S, THOMAS OKES AND M IC H A E L E A S T E R P H OTO G R A P H S JA M E S G A R A G H T Y P.1 0 6
THE 2016 MEN’S HEALTH FITNESS AWARDS
Best Training Shoe> Reebok CrossFit Speed TR We’ve been a fan of their Nanos for years now, but this shoe has just become our favourite. It’s a kickass utility shoe, a streamlined breathable Jack-of-all-trades that allows you to squat and power clean before sprinting on to do box jumps or skipping without heavy feet. The shoe’s strengths are its snug, supportive fit, its durability and the fact that it never restricts your movement. R1 499, REEBOKDELTA.CO.ZA
Best Hybrid> Puma Ignite Dual This has some top running genes, thanks to a signature IGNITE foam midsole tech and the cchevron grooves on the sole that compress and expand on each strike, but it’s also really haappy doing conditioning work in the gym. Brreathable, lightweight and surprisingly flexiblee, they do double duty pretty easily, and while it’s a low-profile running shoe with a natural feel and d without a built-up heel, it still offers plenty of firrm support – regardless of whether you’re doing g shuttle runs, half marathons or bodyweight weigh exercises. R1 699, PUMA STORES
Best Newcomer> UnderArmour SpeedForm Gemini 2 They’ve finally landed on South African shelves, offering a wide range of fitness gear, including these versatile shoes. Favoured by top NFL players, these incredibly lighweight (only 294g), breathable running shoes offer firm support and have high levels of tech – like ultrasonic welded seams, and a dual layer midsole with arch support. One thing you’ll need to get used to is the raised arch, built-up heel and hard support, but if you’re looking for a shoe that can handle short to medium running distances and can also perform most of the conditioning work in the gym and on the field, this is perfect – especially if you’re a heavier fella. R2 299, UNDER ARMOUR 087 943 2633
Workclothesthatmove W e Wear these, do mobility exercises, get fit – all without leaving your desk 1/ Lacoste Slim Fit Stretch Dress Shirt A clean and modern button-down that’s tailored to perfection and has four-way stretch for a no-fail fit, so you can raise your arms overhead to do a shoulder stretch or celebrate an office win. R1 995, Lacoste
2/ Diesel Joggs Jeans
BEST TRAINING SHORTS Adidas A2G High End Adidas training gear has always been technically sound, but this is the first pair of training boardshorts we’ve tried that edges the top spot. It has proper stretch in all the right places, so when you’re in the deepest squat or longest lunge, these don’t feel restrictive. The fabric is lightweight and offers fast moisture-wicking, and the fit is comfortable. The best part? The low price. The designer’s sense of humour gets us too – crack does kill. R499, ADIDAS.CO.ZA
BEST RUNNING SHORTS
Reebok CF SN Core Boardies
Under Armour Raid Novelty
New Balance 7inch Shift
Granted, they’re not cheap, but in terms of training shorts, they have the top tech and are incredibly durable (we train in shorts like these that are three years old). These slimfit, four-way stretch, moisture-wicking shorts with chafe-free seams will help you move and perform.
They’re a simple pair of shorts, but they made the final three due to their stretchy comfort, the smart waistband, and the hardworking signature moisture wicking technology. If you want a loose fitting, comfortable pair of shorts, this is it.
Yes, the print is bright and different – but in a good way. Those old neon poly shorts just don’t cut it anymore. These woven shorts have lasercut perforation patterns that work as vents, and a bonded zip pocket. And they can double as gym shorts.
Skins A400 Compression Half Tights
R699, UNDER ARMOUR 087 943 2633
R900, NE W BAL ANCE SA 021 657 9700
R1 199, REEBOKDELTA.CO.Z A 108 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
These are actually compression shorts, but we think they provide invaluable undercover support during heavy lifting sessions or on match day. Please wear them under shorts for everyone else’s sake – especially when squatting or lunging. R999, SKINS.NE T/Z A
A jean-netically modified denimcrossbreed between sweatpants and jeans (and no – they’re not jeggings). They look like standard issue jeans, but the stretch allows you to move easily, whatever the day throws at you. R3 799, Diesel
3/ Rockport Total Motion Fusion Shoe Brogue on top, sneaker on the bottom (or as we like to say, work on the top, party on the bottom). A versatile and high performance package that covers formal too. R2 700, Rockport
BEST LIFTING AID
RehbandRXLineKneeSleeves These 5mm sleeves have become our favourite gym-bag staple. They offer brilliant knee joint stability without limiting your movement, and the compression helps you to prevent injuries and to stay in the right movement patterns. Consider these your spotter when it comes to squatting and lunges. Want more support? There’s a 7mm option too. R370 (PER SLEEVE) REHBANDSA.CO.ZA
BEST COMPRESSION PANTS
Reebok CF Kevlar Comp Tight When you start wearing kit that has the same ingredients as bulletproof vests, then you know you’re looking at tough, durable clothing. These militarygrade tights look the part and act like it too – those reinforced panels protect high-use areas, the seams don’t chafe, and the compression stays tight for longer than the competitors. R1 499, REEBOKDELTA.CO.ZA
Under Armour CoolSwitch Compression Leggings When it comes to leggings, most people think you should go for warmth. We (and UA) disagree – if you want to perform better, you need tights that cool you down – which is exactly what CoolSwitch tech does, thanks to a special coating in these leggings. They have a second-skin feel, with chafe-free flatlock seams and anti-odour tech. R899, UNDER ARMOUR 087 943 2633
The tops that will lift your game Move better, recover faster, stay drier, and avoid getting a cold
BEST TRAINING TOP
FIRST RUNNER UP
SECOND RUNNER UP
BEST TECHNICAL JACKET
B E S T VA L U E T O P
Adidas TechFit Chill Short Sleeve
Nike Dri-Fit Knit
Under Armour Raid Short Sleeve
PUMA Vent Thermo Runner
Maxed Zip Through Jacket
Like the first two in the list, it is lightweight, heavily ventilated, and has four way stretch. It’s a great fitting top that’s perfect for any any kind of exercise – and it comes with some nifty antiodour tech. Smart.
This smart jacket has everything you need in a high-performance softshell and more – it is super lightweight, windproof, has a snug but comfortable fit, and the clever vent areas shed heat and sweat vapour – keeping you warm, dry and fast.
We love our techpacked garments, but sometimes we just need a warm, soft hoody for after training or a warmdown session. This 100% polyester jacket is comfortable and warm – exactly what the coach ordered.
R2 399, PUMA STORES
This wins the overall prize as it offers a fantastic mix of compression fit, perforated mesh ventilation and their signature climachill tech with aluminium dots to help keep you cool – no matter what you’re doing.
As fitness tech advances, the race is on to make tops lighter, stretchier, and faster at wicking away moisture. This running top is one of the lightest and fastestdrying we’ve ever tested, and excels in any kind of training. A very close second.
R699, ADIDAS.CO.Z A
R599, UNDER ARMOUR 087 943 2633
B E S T GY M - B A G I N G R E D I E N T
SpeedoBiofusePro While these are pro, anti-fog, polarised triathlon goggles, they work incredibly well for all kinds of swimming use – from choppy sea water through to chlorine-based water lanes. They’re totally leak free and suprisingly comfortable, thanks to the ultra flex seal. They offer clear, wide-range vision without any misting up, and they’re the best goggles we’ve ever tried. R570, SPEEDO CONCEPT STORES This watch has the data you need – without any excess bells and whistles.
BEST OVERALL FITNESS TRACKER Polar M400 Think of this as a smart watch without an 8k price tag and delicate screen – it has a built-in GPS and call-answering tech, as well as a hardy, waterproof, never-say-die aesthetic that’ll make you say screw the boardroom, I’m going up Everest. The best part? Smart Coaching. It’ll give you every stat you need, like predicted recovery time and detailed training load, and it offers a handy, on-the-spot fitness test too – a five-minute round-up of your progress. R3 000, SPORTSMANS WAREHOUSE
Muscle up in your sleep 3 ways to rest better and ultimately recover quicker 1/ White Noise Ambience Lite It’s been called the Nap App, and it’ll help you to get the quality rest that you and your body deserve. There are plenty of options (for Android, iOS and Windows phones) but this is our pick. logicworks101.com
BEST RUNNING TRACKER
BEST HOME TOOL
BEST CARDIO MACHINE
Rebel XF KB
It might seem costly, but for a reason: the Blaze packs an epic five days of battery life. One downside: “Connected GPS” is not the same as regular GPS, but it only really matters if you’re running ultras, but if you’re happy with running with your phone, this will do perfectly.
This watch, probably the world-leader in sensor technology, relies on an algorithm dreamt up by a few clever guys in Cape Town. The single button design is easy to use, which helps to check stats on the go, and it’s waterproof, so there’s no excuse to skip rainy sessions (or puddles). R3 500,
If you own just one weight, make it a 28kg kettlebell. You can do all the things you do with a dumbbell, but because of its handles, a KB helps you press, swing and snatch, smoothly and safely. They’re also more versatile and durable. Available in sizes from 4 to 44 kg.
We featured this last year, and we’re promoting it here again – it’s that good. In fact, we’re even installing one in our office gym. It mimics cross-country skiing and gives your legs, arms and core a fantastic workout. Use this for 500m sprint inter vals or endurance sessions.
R3 999, TOTALSPORTS
R1 835, REBELSTORE.CO.Z A
R11 850, REBELSTORE.CO.Z A
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2/ Volpe Blackout Curtains Blackout curtains can be a sleep game changer. These are made from a thermal fabric that cuts out so much light you’ll have to check your clock to confirm it’s really morning. R499 (extra length Expresso option), volpes.co.za
3/ Rebelstore Massage Ball This simple, cheap firm rubber ball is pefect for massage therapy. Use it before bed tonight to roll over sore areas so you can perform better at gym tomorrow. R95, rebelstore.co.za
PHOTOGRAPH ISTOCKPHOTO (MAN)
B E S T E N T RY L E V E L T R AC K E R
The Big Protein Cook Book
It builds muscle. It burns fat. And now, it seems, we canâ€™t get enough. From supermarket aisles to bespoke nutrition deliveries, protein has never been so popular. But to feel the full beneit, you need the right amount. Are you getting your ill? MH ran the macros then enlisted 12 top chefs to create your ultimate muscle-kitchen bible By Edwin Smith / Photographs Dan Matthews / P.112
Protein is everywhere. This much is axiomatic. What’s unusual, however, is precisely where. It’s not just hanging from the butcher’s hook or illing the chilled aisle. Protein is now emblazoned across cereal boxes, ice cream tubs and snack bars. Food marketeers have cottoned on to the fact that protein is now seen as an elixir, the solution to our health needs, be they weightloss, muscle gain or general wellbeing. This is good, up to a point. It is good that we’re inally seeing a collective shift away from reined carbs toward protein and fats. But it is unquestionably bad if some hapless shopper thinks fortiied Frosties are the key to a trim physique. The solution lies not in labels but in numbers. Gym wisdom has for some time held that the magic number is 30 – as in, 30g of protein being the optimum amount the body can process at any one time. This is nonsense, says Caspar Rose, COO of Fresh Fitness Foods, a macros-minded nutrition service. “It’s bad science: your body can absorb far more, processing it from your gut into amino acids in your bloodstream.” Forget grams, says Rose, it’s far better to think in terms of percentages. “For lean growth, the number you should have in mind is 35%.” In other words, from breakfast to dinner, you should aim for 35% of the kilojoules going down your gullet to come from protein. If the prospect of a day’s eating gives you maths lesson flashbacks, fear not. We’ve crunched the numbers for you and, with the help of men who know their way around a kitchen, concocted 12 meals – each 35% protein, each 100% delicious. And perhaps even more surprising, there’s only one chicken breast in sight.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Bone Up on Meat-Free Muscle Edamame Tofu Puree & Pickled Shiitake By Miles Kirby, Caravan Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 200G EDAMAME BEANS • 350G TOFU • 200G SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS • 4TBSP SOY SAUCE • 4TBSP MIRIN • 4TBSP SAKE • 2TSP TOASTED SESAME SEEDS • CORIANDER LEAVES, ROUGHLY CHOPPED
1 Use a food processor to pulse the edamame and tofu together until they have the consistency of a coarse puree. As well as being a superb source of vegan protein (there’s only so much mammal a man can eat, after all), both contain high levels of isoflavones, manganese and magnesium, which all contribute to adamantium-esque bones. 2 In a small pan, fry the sliced shrooms until they’re soft and wet. Add the soy, mirin and sake to the pan to make a sauce, then remove it from the heat and put to one side until it cools. 3 Spoon the edamame puree into a pot or bowl, scatter the mushrooms on top and pour over the sauce. Garnish the dish with the toasted sesame seeds and the coriander, and enjoy.
Add Punch to Your Patties Ostrich & Quinoa Burger By Stephanie Johnson, The Recovery Café Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 250G OSTRICH MINCE • 250G COOKED QUINOA • DILL, PARSLEY AND MINT • ½ LEMON, JUICE AND ZEST • GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED • ½TSP PAPRIKA • ¼TSP HIMALAYAN SALT • 4 SEEDED PITTA BREADS • 2TBSP HUMMUS • SALAD & CORIANDER
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1 Mulled wine aside, the real reason you experienced such good cheer over Christmas may have been your dinner. Ostrich is a top source of tryptophan – an amino acid with proven moodlifting powers. Place the mince in a bowl with the other burger ingredients, then roll your sleeves up and mix with your hands. Once combined, divide into four small patties. 2 Fry the patties, in a dash of oil for six minutes on one side, then five minutes on the other, before serving in a seeded pita with tomato, chopped cucumber, mixed leaves and fresh coriander. 3 This burger’s ﬂavour alone is enough to put a smile on your face, but seal the deal with an extra dollop of tryptophanrich hummus in place of your usual (and likely sugary) condiment.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Go Wild for Performance
Salmon With A Ragu of Wild Mushrooms By John Watson, No Man’s Grace Serves 2 INGREDIENTS
• 400G WILD MUSHROOMS • 30ML COCONUT OIL • 2 SHALLOTS, FINELY SLICED • 4 GARLIC CLOVES, SLICED • 2 SKINLESS SALMON FILLETS • 200ML CHICKEN STOCK
1 Mushrooms regulate blood sugar and support cardio endurance, according to University at Bufalo– ideal if you’re hoping to go from 10K trudger to marathon man this year. Wild varieties taste awful unless you clean them thoroughly, so scrub them, then trim the tough bottoms. 2 Put a saucepan over a medium heat, add half the oil and a pinch of salt, then sweat the shallots for ﬁve minutes. Add the garlic for three more. In a frying pan, sear the ﬁllets in the rest of the oil until golden brown. Take it out of the pan and leave to rest. 3 Put the frying pan back on a high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss for two minutes. Add the shallot mix, the stock and stir, until the stock has reduced. Serve with the salmon ﬁllet on top. Take your time – this isn’t a sprint.
Raise Your Bar Snacks Lean Venison Scotch Egg By Dom Hamdy & Oli Hiam, Scotchtails Serves 4 INGREDIENTS • 6 EGGS • FLOUR • HANDFUL THYME LEAVES • 400G VENISON MINCE • ½TSP GRATED NUTMEG
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
1 Boil four eggs in salt water for exactly six minutes and 15 seconds before transferring to a bowl of ice water. Leave them for ﬁve minutes, then dry, peel and dust with ﬂour. 2 In a bowl, mix the thyme into the mince, season with salt and pepper and shape into four patties, before wrapping them around the eggs. You won’t miss pork – Purdue University found that meats similar to those eaten by Palaeolithic-era man have a better ratio of brain-boosting DHA-rich fats, so venison makes for a smart tweak to this pub grub staple. 3 Put some flour and nutmeg, two beaten eggs and the breadcrumbs into three bowls and coat the eggs in each one (in that order). Then double-dip in the eggs and breadcrumbs before shallow frying for 14 minutes. Serve hot – with a helping of smug.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Have Your Cake and Cheat It Too Chocolate Protein Cheesecake By Caspar Rose, Fresh Fitness Foods Serves 10 INGREDIENTS FOR THE BASE • 50G GROUND COCONUT • 100G GROUND ALMONDS • 20G HONEY • 50G COCOA POWDER FOR THE CHEESECAKE MIX • 50G COCOA POWDER • 300G COTTAGE CHEESE • 300G EGG WHITE • 700G COTTAGE CHEESE • 10G VANILLA ESSENCE • 30G HONEY
1 If dessert is something you only eat on cheat days, you’re doing it wrong. Mix the ingredients for the base in a food processor then press them into a square baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 180° for 10 minutes, then leave to cool. 2 Using your trusty food processor, blitz the cheesecake mix ingredients together until smooth, and pour onto your base. Sales of cottage cheese shot up by 38% last year. Your depleted, post-workout muscles are about to ﬁnd out why. 3 Turn your oven down to 150° and bake the cheesecake for about 15-20 minutes. Leave it to cool before slicing into 10 portions. Try not to eat it all at once.
EGG WHITE 3.5G
Maca Yourself Unbreakable
By Martin Morales, Andina Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 70G COOKED QUINOA • 35G AMARANTH • 100G RAW TUNA • 50G BUTTER BEANS • ½ RED CHILLI, CHOPPED • ½ TOMATO, CHOPPED • ½ SMALL RED ONION, CHOPPED • HANDFUL BLUEBERRIES • ½ AVOCADO, CUBED • 10G MACA POWDER • A DRIZZLE SACHA INCHI OIL • A SQUEEZE LIME
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1 If a tough week in the oice (or at the gym) has sapped your strength, bin the takeaway menu and prep this energy-restoring salad. Tip the quinoa and amaranth into a pan with double the volume of water. Simmer for 15 minutes. 2 Cut the tuna into 1cm cubes and mix in a bowl with the beans, chilli, tomato, onion and blueberries (an antioxidant powerhouse). Place the avocado cubes on top of your salad and season with lime juice, salt, pepper and Sacha Inchi oil (ﬁnd it at your local health shop). 3 Add a few teaspoons of water to the maca to make a puree. Ignore boasts of it being “nature’s Viagra” – the science shows that this plant’s power is its ability to release energy from food. Squeeze the puree onto each corner of the plate to unleash your meal’s potential.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Andina Superfood Power Salad
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Freeze Out Sugar Cravings
Sugar-Free Oat Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich By Keith Goddard, Arch 65 Private Dining Serves 10 INGREDIENTS
• 50G OATS • 125G BUTTER • 3 EGG YOLKS • 1TBSP HONEY • 1 PINCH SALT • 125G FLOUR
• 5G BAKING POWDER • 50ML WATER • 500ML WHEY CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM • 50G GROUND ALMONDS
1 Okay, so this isn’t an ice cream sandwich like mama used to make, but then again, mama wasn’t trying to pack on 5kg of lean muscle. Preheat the oven to 180° and mix everything bar the ice cream and almonds in a large bowl. Scoop 20 spoonfuls of the mix onto a lined baking tray, leaving space between each; they’re going to expand. 2 Bake for 10 or 15 minutes then leave to cool. Take a spoonful of ice cream and dollop on top of one cookie, then put another on top to form a sandwich. 3 Roll your sandwich over the ground almonds – studies show the nuts boost weightloss and, combined with low-GI oats and satiating protein in the ice cream, this will satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your eforts on the assault bike.
Ram Your Risk of Illness Grilled Lamb Loin, Carrots And Capers By Stevie Parle, Craft London Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 60G POTATOES, SLICED • 160G CARROTS, CHOPPED • 40G BUTTER • 150ML WATER
• A PINCH DRIED CHILLI • 400G LAMB LOIN • 2TSP OLIVE OIL • 2TSP CORIANDER SEEDS • 2TSP CAPERS • 2TSP VINEGAR
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
• 20 MINT LEAVES
1 Take your potatoes and carrots – ﬁt to burst with cancer-ﬁghting carotenoids – and add them to a saucepan with butter and water. Put the lid on and cook. After 25 minutes, add salt, pepper and a little chilli to the pan and boil of any remaining water by removing the lid. Mash the vegetables into a puree. 2 Season the lamb loin with salt and pepper and place in a hot, oven-proof frying pan with a little oil; three minutes on each side will do. Shove it in an oven heated to 200° for ﬁve minutes before removing the meat and leaving it to rest. 3 Add the coriander seeds, capers and vinegar to the pan and mix together. Slice the lamb and serve it over the carrot puree, pouring the minty, capery pan juices on top. Your cancer risk is like a lamb to the slaughter.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Give Up Fat for Lentil Breaded Tofu With Lentils & Sweet Chilli By Alexis Gauthier, Gauthier Soho Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 50G LENTILS, COOKED • ½ SHALLOT, SLICED • BASIL, CHOPPED • ¼ CHILLI, CHOPPED • 50ML OLIVE OIL • 1TBSP BALSAMIC VINEGAR • AN EGG • 1TBSP FRESH MILK • 175G FIRM TOFU • 25G BREADCRUMBS
1 Put the lentils in a large bowl with the shallots, Thai basil, chilli, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper and stir well. Everyone’s aware that chillies fire up your metabolism, but did you know this calorie-burning power is enhanced by the vitamin B3-rich lentils? 2 Break an egg into a bowl and mix in the milk. Dip the tofu in the mixture, transfer to another plate and cover with breadcrumbs. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a frying pan – when it starts to smoke, slide in the tofu and cook for two minutes (try your best to stop it from sticking). 3 Slice the tofu thinly, then layer it between the dressed lentils. Refrigerate it for a couple of hours before plating up with a splash of olive oil, balsamic and some more chopped basil. Fat loss is a dish best served cold.
Add Fuel to the Fire Chilli Con Ostrich By Christian Coates, Soulmatefood Serves 4 INGREDIENTS • ONION, CHOPPED • 6 CLOVES GARLIC • 400G OSTRICH MINCE • 2 TINS CHOPPED TOMATOES • 3TBSP TOMATO PASTE • 1 TIN KIDNEY BEANS • 2 RED PEPPERS, CHOPPED • 2 CHILLIES • 2TBSP HONEY • 6TBSP CHILLI POWDER • 4TSP OREGANUM • A PINCH CAYENNE PEPPER
118 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
1 When it comes to whipping up a mid-week meal, simplicity is a virtue. But that’s no excuse to default to Pain Grillé aux Beans. To make gains of the temporal and muscular varieties both, prep a batch of this chilli on Sunday night and dine like a king for the rest of the week. 2 Start by drizzling some olive oil into a large pot. Sauté the onion and garlic for three minutes. Next it’s time for the ostrich, the criminally undervalued member of the proteinrich poultry family. Add it to the pot and cook until it’s white all over. 3 Throw in the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for about an hour. That’ll give you time to polish of another episode of The Walking Dead before divvying it up into Tupperware, or devouring on the spot.
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
Get the Best of the Breast
Chicken With Pistachios & Yoghurt By Ed Sargent, Head Chef, Aladino’s Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 2 CHICKEN BREAST
• COCONUT OIL • 50G ROASTED PISTACHIOS • 2 RED CHILLIES • 30G GREEK YOGHURT • 2 BIG HANDFULS SPINACH • A SQUEEZE LEMON
1 Chicken breast can seem like the lowest common denominator when it comes to getting your lean protein, but this easy dish adds a bit of panache to a tired old bird. First, sear the meat in a hot pan using coconut oil, then transfer it to an oven pre-heated to 150° for 15 minutes. 2 Meanwhile, grind the pistachios in a pestle and mortar before chopping and dicing the chilli. Take out the seeds if you can’t stand the heat, but stay in the kitchen long enough to run the nuts and chilli through the yoghurt, adding a squeeze of lemon. 3 Remove the chicken from the oven and rest for three minutes. Serve on a bed of spinach, top with the dressing and tuck in. But be warned: once you’ve tried this, grilled chicken with a side of broccoli will be of the menu for good.
Reap Meat’s Raw Power Steak Tartare with MelbaStyle Toast By Chris Zachwieja, Boisdale Belgravia Serves 2 INGREDIENTS • 200G SOURDOUGH BREAD • 300G BEEF FILLET, DICED STEAK SAUCE • 70G TOMATO SAUCE
• 10G DIJON MUSTARD • A DASH TABASCO SAUCE • A DASH WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE HERB MIX • 2 SHALLOTS, DICED • 2TSP CAPERS, SLICED
• 2TSP GHERKINS, SLICED • 1TSP PARSLEY, SLICED • 1TSP TARRAGON, SLICED
YOUR PROTEIN COUNTS
1 With zero cooking time, you’ll be feasting on this powerfully nutritious starter in the time it takes you to chop up the ingredients. First, slice the bread very ﬁnely, place it on a tray and brush with olive oil. Season with the salt and cracked black pepper. 2 Warm the bread for five minutes in a preheated oven at 175°. Next, combine the steak sauce ingredients and store them in a container. 3 Mix together the shallots, capers, gherkins and herbs, then plate up with the steak and pour over the sauce. Serve with the toast and take a moment to enjoy the fact that eating raw meat enhances your body’s ability to absorb and process protein, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. Plus it makes you feel pretty manly. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 119
& " $ ! ! " %
“I enjoyed lifting heavy; I got hooked, seeing how strong I got.”
To call it merely a log – nearly 10m long, weighing 650kg – is like calling a giant redwood a tree. Technically accurate, sure, but not quite doing it justice. Like a giant redwood, the record for carrying this monstrosity has stood for 1 000 years. Legend has it that, after 50 men helped him get the log in place, the holder, fabled Viking Orm Storulfsson, managed three steps. On the third step, his back broke. To call Hafthór Björnsson – over 2m tall and 185kg – just a “man” doesn’t quite do him justice, either. Standing there, the mountainous Icelander looks like an ant beneath a matchstick. He screams to the assembled onlookers – to the gods, to himself – and grasps the thick ropes that bind the log. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, the log rises from the scaffold, as a pressure that could grind most vertebrae into dust transfers to Björnsson’s spine. He takes three steps. He feels like his back is going to break. Nevertheless, he takes a fourth step. And then a fifth. All at once, Björnsson releases his grasp and effortlessly vaults the scaffold with an athleticism that belies his frame, crying “history” over and over again at the top of his lungs. He has taken his indelible place in the strongman sagas. But his eternal spot in the dining hall of Valhalla, alongside the Norse god-king Odin and those fallen Viking warriors deemed worthy of honour, will for now remain unfilled. In the meantime, Björnsson’s stomach must be sated wit a kilogram of steak, and the histories updated. This being February 2015 and not 1015, chief among those is Instagram. “Nothing Can Stop Me!!” he posts alongside a picture of him tearing his T-shirt in two like a bearded, paler Incredible Hulk. “Nothing Can Break Me!!”
Brute Force Despite the absence of any previous acting experience, Björnsson’s credentials to embody Game Of Thrones’s The Mountain are obvious. Nevertheless, when the professional strongman was contacted about taking the role, he wasn’t sure. “When I saw the email, I thought it was a joke,” says the 27-year-old father, whose daughter, we assume, wins all dad-based playground arguments. “I was already a big fan of the series; I’m an even bigger fan now, because I know how much work goes into it.” Björnsson thus became the third actor in four seasons to play the hitherto minor role of Ser Gregor Clegane. (GoT has almost as few qualms about recasting characters as it does about killing them.) An 8ft brute, Clegane is dubbed “The Mountain That Rides.” (Although in Björnsson’s case, you suspect his steed would suffer the same fate as Orm Storulfsson.) The programme-makers were looking for an expanded actor to replace the two previous beanpole incumbents for a pivotal fight scene. They needed someone who would dwarf his opponent horizontally as well as vertically. They needed someone who could (lunch-spoiler alert!) crush a man’s skull with his bare hands like an overripe cantaloupe. And they also needed someone who could swing a broadsword the size of a human. Not only was Björnsson the only one on set who could lift it, he wielded it one-handed. The audition was therefore somewhat unconventional. “They asked me if I was strong enough to pick up one of the guys,” says Björnsson. “I gave it a try and he felt very light. They were surprised at how easily I lifted him overhead.” Aside from his prodigious size and strength, Bjornsson had another attribute: “I can move well for a big guy; they felt that would look more awesome on TV.” Since thumbing his opponent’s eye sockets like a bowling ball, The Mountain – wounded and poisoned – has only been seen in glimpses. Björnsson is sworn to secrecy regarding plot details, but the appearance in the season five finale of a 6ft 9in, zombie-like armoured mute is a clue. At least Björnsson won’t have many lines to worry about: when you’re new to acting – and English – dialogue can be more daunting than a 650kg log. “I was definitely more nervous with acting,” says Björnsson. “But I did my homework. If you’re dedicated, it’s going to pay off.” While he’s bulking out his filmography, with both Swedish zombie film Zone 261 and British gangster film Devilish Deeds slated for later this year, he’s not trying to become the next Arnie just yet. “It would be a great honour,” says Björnsson. “He was the best-ever in bodybuilding. I like acting but I still have something to prove. I want to win the World’s Strongest Man title. That’s my priority.” 122 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
BJÖRNSSON’S EATING PLAN –
7:30am 200g oats, 8 eggs, berries, avo – 9:30am 400g each beef & sweet potatoes, handful spinach, greens – Lunch 400g each chicken & potatoes + greens, fruit – Smoothie Oats, 2 bananas, 150g popped rice, berries, almonds, peanut butter – 5:30pm 60g protein, 2 bananas – 6pm 500g beef, potatoes, greens – 8:30pm 500g each salmon, sweet potatoes – 10pm 50g casein, avo, 30g almonds, 50g peanut butter
Balling Hard Björnsson wasn’t always so mountainous. Although he ascended to his current altitude by age 16, his physique was more basketballer than behemoth: in fact, he represented Iceland at U17 and U18 level. But he was reduced by injuries, some of his own making. “I was a bit crazy and trained a lot, probably three times a day,” he says. “Before school, then afterwards; plus, I was lifting at night.” A spell as a pro basketballer in his homeland’s first division was curtailed at 20 by surgery on his ankle. “I was very sad. I wasn’t sure what the next step was,” he says. “Then I started training more in the gym. I’ve always enjoyed lifting heavy; I saw extremely good results.” He ran less and ate more: “I just got hooked, seeing how strong I got and how much my body changed.” In two years, he almost doubled in weight. Nevertheless, he can still dunk, and the NFL’s Indiana Colts once tried to sign him. Björnsson picked up strongman like he does everything else: all too easily. “Two of my friends were competing so I decided to give it a try,” he says. “In my first competition, I realised I had a lot of potential.” That was at Iceland’s Strongest Viking. Björnsson rang up the organiser Magnús Ver Magnússon, a four-time World’s Strongest Man winner in the ’90s, the day before and asked if he could join; Ver Magnússon agreed. Without specific training, Björnsson won one event and set an Icelandic record for stone carrying. That’s more impressive than it sounds: although Iceland has a population of just 323 000 people, no other country can boast two four-time winners of World’s Strongest Man. Björnsson has finished on the podium for the last four years in a row, finishing second in 2014 and third in 2011, 2012 and 2015. He’s been crowned Europe’s Strongest Man for the past two years. Björnsson now trains at a gym in Reykjavik run by Ver Magnússon called Jakabol. Literally translated, it means ‘nest of giants’ and is the locus of Iceland’s huge strongman culture. The gym was previously operated by the other fourtime World’s Strongest Man winner, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, who died there of a heart attack while deadlifting. A sign on the wall reads ‘no pussies’ in Icelandic. Located in a supermarket car park, it’s not the sort of place where you sit on the spin bike for half an hour browsing Facebook. “It’s more of a raw, powerlifting gym,” says Björnsson. “It helps to have guys around you who have the same goals.” You might imagine that, like Mike Tyson at his peak, Björnsson would struggle to find volunteers. “Not really,” he says. “The best training partner isn’t the guy who is the strongest; it’s the guy who motivates you and helps you to get better.”
“THE BEST TRAINING PARTNER ISN’T THE GUY WHO IS THE STRONGEST...
...IT’S THE GUY WHO HELPS YOU TO GET BETTER.” BJÖRNSSON ON HIS WORK E THIC
“AT LEAST FOR ME, VARYING MY TRAINING WORKS BEST: I’VE IMPROVED EVERY YEAR” B J Ö R N S SO N O N H I S WO R KO U T P L A N
THE MOUNTAIN BY NUMBERS
Current max deadlift: roughly the weight of an adult grizzly bear. Björnsson translates as “bear’s son.” Insert “bear gains” jokes here.
What Björnsson can squat: about the same as nine toilets, or 150 bricks – enough to build an outhouse to put one of those loos in at least.
Yes, we asked: “How much do you bench, bro?” This was his answer. That’s the same as two forwards from the last Rugby World Cup.
“There’s something in the water in Iceland. When we want to be successful at something, we work really hard.”
A MOUNTAIN OF A WORKOUT –
Björnsson doesn’t have a set routine: this is what he did the day MH met him. Remember, he’s a professional strongman – we’d advise you to start very light and work up
1/ Log Lift
2/ Log Clean and Press
4-5 sets of 2 reps Drive through your heels to lift, then pull the log into the crook of your hips (A). Lift it to your chest, then press overhead (B). Work up to using your 8-rep max.
4-5 sets of 2 reps Similar to the previous move, but this time you want to lift the log explosively, ending with it in a rack position across your shoulders (A). Press overhead (B).
3/ Military Press
4/ Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 sets of 5 reps From your chest (A), press overhead (B). Your hands should be wide, so your elbows are bent to 90 degrees at the midpoint. Björnsson adds resistance bands.
2 sets of max reps in 30sec Stand or sit with your back supported and ask your spotter to help you position the dumbbells as shown (A). Press up until they touch (B), then slowly lower.
Mind Over Matter For Björnsson, strength is the priority, more so than size. (“I’m 185kg now; I’ve been up to 205kg, but I didn’t feel good.”) He’s in the gym six times a week, occasionally more. “Sometimes I go in the mornings and I do stretching or cardio as well,” he says. “It depends on what I’m training for: do I need to have more endurance, or be stronger?” Björnsson’s training sessions can last anywhere between one hour and three, depending on how he feels. For that reason, he doesn’t have a routine. “You have to mix up your training,” he says. “When people ask me about my routine, it’s hard to say because I change it every week.” This ad-hoc approach has helped The Mountain avoid plateauing. “If you always train the same way your body gets used to it and you stop seeing results after a few weeks.”
Fighting Spirit It’s a principle that he and Arnie apply outside the gym. “It’s the same with life,” says Björnsson. “If you get stuck in the same routine, you’re never going to get better. So you have to do something else to be more successful in life.” He’s certainly not afraid of life’s gauntlets, whether it’s throwing down against the Red Viper or The Notorious UFC champ Conor McGregor. A video of the pair sparring did the rounds on social media a few months ago. “I was in Ireland shooting for Game of Thrones and my friend [Icelandic UFC fighter] Gunnar Nelson was training in Dublin with Conor,” explains Björnsson. “I asked if I could check out a session.” Despite the kind of glaring weight category mismatch not seen outside of Rocky films, McGregor appears to come off better. “I knew he had a big fight coming up, so I was gentle with him,” says Björnsson, modestly. Perhaps it’s the genetic inheritance from Viking warriors that explains why Iceland’s athletes dominate strongman competitions and the CrossFit Games. Or why its menfolk live longer than any other – an average of 81.2 years (read more on that subject on page 130). “My father is tall and strong, so is my grandfather,” says Björnsson. “Although I’m the only actual athlete, my family is very athletic.” Possibly it’s the effect of the fight for survival on the psychology of those early settlers and subsequent generations, rather than their physiology. “When we want to be successful at something, we work hard,” says Björnsson. Or, perhaps a proverbial environmental factor is the source of Bjornsson’s mythical power. “It’s something in the water,” he adds. “It’s clear and powerful. We get extra energy from it.”
5/ Overhead Triceps Extension
6/ Triceps Pushdown with Bands
4 sets of 10 reps Hold the end of a dumbbell with both hands. With arms extended overhead (A), lower until your forearms touch your biceps (B). Use your tris to lift back up.
4 sets of 10 reps Attach a high resistance band and grab the other end (A). With elbows tucked in, pull down and apart so your hands finish up by your (B) R Return ur sides (B). turn and repeat. rep
7/ Pull-Apart with Bands
8/ Lateral Raise
4 sets of 12 reps Targeting the rear delts and rhomboids, this is great for strongmen and salarymen alike. Pull the band apart, squeezing your shoulder blades (A). Return (B).
4 sets of 15 reps Start with weights by your side, palms in (A). With arms bent and a forward tilt in your hands, raise to shoulder level (B). N.B.: Legends use muscle, not momentum.
July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 125
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I’D NEVER MET A CENTENARIAN BEFORE. I suppose it’s hackneyed to say so, but my first impression of Georg Breiofjoro Ólafsson was that he didn’t look a day over 90. Georg is a retired shipbuilder living in Stykkisholmur, Iceland, a fishing village on a fjord buffeted by the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. With the help of his wrinkle-free son, Agust Olafur Georgsson, 63, and boyishly charming grandson, Sigurdur “Siggi” Agustsson, 29, I’ve just made the three-hour trek north from Reykjavik to meet the patriarch in person. Upon our arrival, these three generations smile and hug, their bond palpable. “I’m sorry I didn’t bring you a bottle of port wine,” I say, “but Siggi only told me about your affection for it on the drive up.” Siggi translates this into loud Icelandic beside his grandfather’s ear. Despite declining hearing, Georg refuses to wear a hearing aid. I watch a smile slowly blossom on the old man’s face, and he answers in Icelandic, his voice unwavering and forceful. “He says to tell you that’s okay,” Siggi translates. “He says, ‘I forgive you.’” It’s impossible to miss how infectiously likeable Georg Olafsson is. On the wall of his neatly kept bedroom hangs a key-to-the-city-style certificate signed by the mayor on Georg’s birthday last March. Agust tells me his dad loves this honour – not as a symbol of celebrity, but because it absolves him from paying property taxes. And who could begrudge him that? As of this raw October afternoon, with temperatures in the upper 30s and winds gusting to 60km an hour, Georg has walked the earth for 106 years and 192 days. In a country noted for its long-lived men, Georg is the oldest recorded Icelander ever in a history that dates back to 874 A.D., the year Viking chieftains settled this island at the top of the world. Over the next hour, with Siggi translating, Georg graciously fields all my questions. I start with the obvious: why does he think he’s lived so long? THE UNITED STATES MAY VERY WELL BE, IN THE MEMORABLE WORDS OF
the novelist Cormac McCarthy, no country for old men. But to the surprise of laymen and researchers alike, the tiny nation of Iceland has emerged as a haven for them. When in 2014 the World Health Organisation released its most recent report on life expectancy across the globe, Iceland’s 81.2 years topped the longevity rankings for men, beating out perennial contender Japan by more than 14 months. To put that in context, South African men came in at a dispiriting 59. 132 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
Iceland, despite a population roughly equaling that of St. Louis, boasts a remarkable 30 to 50 centenarians at any given time, according to Armann Jakobsson, a professor of early Icelandic literature at the University of Iceland who maintains an inventory of the country’s impressively old. Comb through the research on life expectancy and you’ll discover a bewildering mishmash of contributing factors. Some are controllable; others, not so much. None of us, for instance, can select our parents, nor do we have any say about where we’re born. When it comes to longevity, national wealth matters a great deal – as Iceland itself has proved over the past 75 years. “For most of its history, Iceland was a very hard country to live in,” says Ottar Guomundsson, a psychiatrist at the National University Hospital of Iceland (known as Landspitali) and the author of nine books on the country’s history and culture. “In the glory days of the Viking settlers, people constantly fought and killed each other. In the 13th century, we had a terrible civil war. We’ve suffered plagues, famine and volcanic eruptions, including one in 1783 that killed off 25% of the population. “Even by the 19th century, our people were desperately poor and uneducated. We had one of the highest infant mortality rates in Europe. But then Iceland began to prosper during World War II, and everything started changing very rapidly.” Today Iceland is among the richest nations per capita on the globe. Well-funded public health programmes and state-of-the-art medical care have clearly contributed massively to the country’s longevity gains. But that hardscrabble past may have helped too. Some researchers suspect that modern Icelanders may carry unusually robust “survivor genes” bequeathed to them by ancestors who were equipped to survive the country’s evolutionary crucible. “Those who were left,” says Dr Guomundsson, “were a strange brew – maybe the healthiest or the fittest of them all. Or perhaps just the most stubborn.” Neurologist Kari Stefansson, has found intriguing support for this survival-of-the-die-hardest theory. A self-described “100% pure Icelander,” Dr Stefansson left a full professorship at Harvard Medical School to return to his homeland and cofound the biotech company deCODE Genetics. In one of their earliest studies, Dr Stefansson and his colleagues REASON TO SMILE extracted DNA from the long-buried skulls of Georg Ólafsson, Iceland’s pioneering settlers. To their surprise, 106, Iceland’s gene analysis revealed that these forebears were oldest man; his more similar to modern Norwegian men and countrymen thrive Irish women than to current-day Icelanders. on exercise, fish “What this means,” Dr Stefansson says, “is that and hot soaks.
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ONE POPULAR SAYING IS THAT MOST DECISIONS IN ICELAND ARE MADE
not in Parliament but in the hot tub. Public pools, and hot tubs in particular, are a central feature of the country’s culture. Anyone who has spent time soaking knows the relief that warm, swirling waters provide to knotted muscles, strained brains and chilled bodies. Investigators at Stanford University’s Human Performance Lab and the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine have found evidence that the benefits include more than just feel-good vibes. Repeated heat exposure appears to reduce cardiovascular strain and increase red blood counts and plasma volume, and it may even improve performance in endurance athletes. But when we look at what gives Icelandic men a greater boost in longevity, it’s probably not just the heat; it’s the community. Decades of research documents how strong social ties – or lack thereof –profoundly affect our physical and mental health. In a review in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, pioneering sociologist Debra Umberson, director of the Population Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, explains that closeness to others stimulates the release of human growth hormone, inhibits secretion of stress hormones, reduces systemic inflammation, and slows the cumulative wear and tear of bodily systems. There’s strong evidence the flip side is also true, she says: lack of social ties can cut life short. Dr Guomundsson sees in this another key to the Icelandic male advantage. “I’ve lived and worked in Sweden and Germany and seen how old people there can isolate themselves and, in a way, just disappear,” he says. “Nobody comes to help, and all of a sudden you find a man dead in his flat weeks later. That would be impossible here because of the closeness of our society.” Few nations, have Iceland’s knack for fostering such lifesaving bonds. In America, says Umberson, the average woman “can list numerous friends she can turn to for support. The average man, by contrast, is much more likely to list a single confidante – his girlfriend or his spouse.” Isolation, she says, can take a health toll: think smoking or high blood pressure. ENDURANCE RACE Negative and positive health behaviours Three out of four spread through social networks. Among spouses Icelandic guys work and friends, if one is obese, the others are at an out regularly. These men rode the Ring increased risk of becoming obese too. It also Road, a 1 330km ic friends circle of the island. tion.
Whatever the meat, the bread that sandwiches it is almost always whole grain rye, which is linked to lower risk of prostate cancer in men and improved lipid profiles of people with metabolic syndrome. Iceland’s paucity of local produce is offset by imports, so fruit and vegetable intake has been increasing in the past few decades. Another import Iceland could do without: fast-food joints. The advent of cheap, convenient kilojoules stands in contrast to a time when Icelanders lived entirely on what they caught, foraged or raised. “We were sufficiently poor not to be able to overindulge in food,” says deCODE’s Dr Stefansson. And caloric restriction, he notes, has been linked to longevity. Although fishing and farming are giving way to the sedentary toil of desk jockeys, about 75% of men report working out regularly. That’s a likely longevity booster in those who make it a lifelong habit. The Icelandic Heart Association’s Reykjavik Study found that older men who stayed active since their twenties had a 25% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer than the least active men.
THOUGH THE ICELANDIC DIET
has changed a lot in the past half century, some of the healthiest traditional fare remains. Freshly caught coldwater fish, for example, is both wildly popular and widely recognised as a dietary superstar. Its bounty of omega-3s and other nutrients may boost cardiovascular health, defend against Alzheimer’s, and provide many other benefits. Additional protein staples in Iceland are lamb and beef, which derive from direct descendants of the Vikings’ livestock. Iceland’s people and Parliament have resisted attempts to bring in higher-yielding modern breeds. In contrast to the corn-fed, antibiotic-laced, factory-farmed pig and cow cousins in most of the world, Iceland’s semiwild, free-ranging beasts meander at will into the mountains each summer, grazing on natural grasses, sedges, and whatever other odd victuals they’re meant to consume. The resulting meat is leaner and arguably more nutritionally complex than the kind most of us have grown used to. 136 MH.CO.ZA | July 2016
OUTLIVE YOUR FELLOW MAN Follow the Icelandic example and you just might add 5 years – or even 20 – to your life
Eight times has an Icelander won the World’s Strongest Man title. Throughout the country you will find men all across the age spectrum who make time in their daily schedules to lift weights. Case in point: Dr Stefansson himself. At 6’6” and a muscular 98kg, he resembles a real-life Thor. I’d heard he’s more than just a scientific celebrity in Iceland; he’s also something of a celebrated weightlifter. “I’m no great weightlifter,” he says dismissively. “I’m 66 years of age and I have a terrible family history, so when I’m in town I go to the gym once a day to maintain my health.” At this, he looks me over. “Okay, maybe I can lift a little bit. I can lift more than you.” Muscular power, from grip strength to the brute force of biceps and quads, has fast emerged as potent protection from early death. In Sweden, scientists assessed the strength of more than a million young men and then tracked their health for 24 years. The strongest were about 20% less likely to die of any cause by middle age than the weakest. UK researchers have found that after age 53, weaker men are 3½ times more likely to die within a 13-year period than their stronger peers. OUTSIDE THE NURSING HOME WINDOWS, THE
make them pliable, hauling them on your back, and then sledgehammering them into place? Strength, to be sure, is a matter of mind as well as muscle. Perhaps the toughest thing about growing old is the accrual of losses. Georg’s wife died in 1984, and he’s outlived all his friends from youth. “It’s not fun that people are dying all around me,” he says. “But that’s life. I try to just accept it. My motto is to take life as it comes.” Did such a resilient outlook stand out among his peers? “I don’t think so,” Georg says. “All the people around me were generally happy too, and they had this optimistic mentality.” If anything, he says, he was hardly the sunniest of his peers. “Everybody around me was optimistic, so I learned to become this way myself,” he says. When it’s time to leave, I gingerly offer a handshake. Georg’s grip crushes my fingers like twigs. Siggi laughs. “Look at those hands,” the proud grandson boasts. “Georg’s fingers are twice as thick as ours. He doesn’t know his own strength. That’s what a lifetime of hammering will do for you.”
“He doesn’t know his own strength. That’s what a lifetime of hammering will do for you.”
ON MY FINAL NIGHT
late autumn light is fading fast. Georg, for his part, shows no signs of tiring; the same, unfortunately, cannot be said of his jet-lagged interviewer. I wrap up our chat by asking whether he thinks the combination of diet, exercise and stress management could have influenced his longevity. When Siggi has explained what I’m after, Georg looks bemused. “My favourite food was leg of lamb, which we hung in the smokehouse and then boiled for Christmas dinner,” he says. But most of his diet wasn’t fancy. The vast majority of his kilojoules came from animal fats and protein: fish, lamb, beef and dairy. He also ate wild waterfowl, mostly puffins, which used to be common here but have migrated north with climate change. Until middle age, the only plants he consumed regularly were potatoes and other root vegetables and, of course, rye bread. His family supplemented this with such delicacies as the blubber of minke whales, ram’s testicles “soured” to preserve them, and dried cod so heavily salted that it had to be soaked for days to render it edible. “My parents told me they often went hungry when they were young,” Georg says. “My brothers and I never did.” Yet food in those days had to be caught, foraged or grown. You had to spend kilojoules to eat kilojoules. Georg the shipbuilder never learned to swim, nor did he play sports or engage in formal exercise. His life on the island, then on the farm and finally in a shipyard was exercise enough. Who needs to pump iron when your job demands nonstop hours on your feet steaming huge wooden planks to
in Iceland, in a village on the rugged southwest coast, a fisherman recommends a place for supper. In the dining room, a stereo plays country music, sung in Icelandic. I order a pint of lager, lobster soup and halibut steak, which the waitress says was caught today. This meal, like all the others I’ve had here, is thoroughly enjoyable. The portion size may not be what I’ve grown accustomed to back home. Then again, neither is the feeling of contentment, not painful engorgement, that sets in when I’m done. It’s not just my stomach that’s feeling good right now. It dawns on me how uncharacteristically de-stressed and joyful I am. Just then a chorus of male voices arises from another room. When I ask the waitress about it, she smiles and pulls back a curtain. In an adjoining banquet hall, a club of local men, from early middle age to retirement years, stand at two long tables, singing a hymn before enjoying a communal dinner. They seem, to a man, glad to be alive. That’s a sentiment, I confess, that sometimes proves elusive to me back home. Between stress, worry, and boredom with the grind, I wonder if the typical life span is already overly generous. I have come to Iceland to discover how men here live longer. Perhaps I know now why they want to.
Take In Some Air
Study Up, Stay Alive
Don’t Be a Martyr
Have Faith in Cod
Icelanders don’t have to go far to find nature, a powerful healer. How powerful? Living near green space lowers cortisol levels, a UK study found. Or get out of town: search for a hike with the Trail Guide South Africa app.
Education level and life expectancy are correlated. In Iceland, school is free through university. Already have a degree? No excuse: take online courses like those at coursera.com. MH can teach you too; search rodaleu.com
With its low pollution, healthy food and chill lifestyle, Iceland is conducive to long life. If your hood has quality-of-life issues, consider a geographic cure. Consult our Healthiest Cities pages each month to find your own Reykjavík.
Icelanders are joiners. So find a sport, poker game, book group – anything, says University of Texas sociologist Debra Umberson. “All men would benefit greatly from hanging out more and supporting each other.”
Stay the hell home if you’re sick. Icelanders are encouraged to take sick days, sparing healthy folks the bug. By law, citizens are guaranteed full wages during an illness – a policy that might just sway longevity stats.
Nearly every Icelandic restaurant offers fresh fish, rich in omega-3s. Haddock is a great swap for cod, or take a trip to the coast to find fresh options right here in SA – just keep the WWF Sassi list (wwfsassi.co.za) handy. —J.T. July 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 137
Next Month in MH “They say that to excel in the pool your body only needs to be capable of pushing 40kg. When you can power clean 140, 40 is a cakewalk. Lifting heavy gives you the endurance to keep going and going and going.” CAMERON VAN DER BURGH
“Growing up, the kids in my neighbourhood were way faster than me. I was just lucky. My parents sacrificed a lot in sending me to schools that helped enhance my talent. I’m very grateful. And gratitude has power.” ANASO JOBODWANA*
“Triathletes train three times a day. We need to hit about 6 swims, 4 rides and 7 to 10 runs a week. I’m not saying it’s a superior sport, but it sure is addictive.” RICHARD MURRAY
3 C O L L E C T O R ' S E D I T I O N C O V E R S : O N S A L E 2 5 J U LY
PHOTOGRAPH SEAN LAURENZ *SOURCE GRITSPORTS.CO.ZA
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“ PAIN LEADS TO POWER. STRUGGLE LEADS TO STRENGTH.”
– BOBBY MAXIMUS (ROB MCDONALD)
General Manager and Head Coach at Gym Jones
- ARTHUR JONES @ARTHURJONESSA 8 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
FEATURES + WORKOUTS
10 Keep Calm and Carry Iron
26 Insanely Fit
Pick up something heavy and go for a walk. Your abs will thank you
Training advice from the best gym in the world
36 The Holy Trinity of Muscle 12 Row Your Way Into Better Shape The intense workout that will max your metabolism
14 3 Steps to Bigger Biceps Stretch the limits of your shirtsleeves by learning a completely new way to sculpt your arms
16 Kill Your Cravings Fixed on food? Maybe not – here’s how to find what’s really bugging you
These three moves are your bible: in the name of the squat, deadlift and holy bench
44 Scrawny to Brawny Pack on 7kg of Muscle
46 Gimme a V! Sculpt the perfect V-shape
48 Supercharged Muscle Builder Your total-body tune-up
18 Creatine: Should You Take It? Power your workouts by fuelling up with this nutrient
19 Fast-Forward Your Gains Supplement your training with the right preworkout formula
BACK OF BOOK
50 Bounce Back Faster Make the most of your downtime
20 Build Max Muscle Learn to lift five times your body weight and transform your body ON THE COVER
24 The Microwaveable Muscle Meal
Pabz Nasius Junior
Boom! Shake the office lunchroom with this protein cluster bomb
P H OTO G RA P H B E N JA M I N LOW Y
Those few words are packed with a whole lot of wisdom – just like the pages in the magazine. And we’ve shoe-horned them with the best muscle building secrets and science. Just like Gym Jones and the big man of muscle, Bobby Maximus (featured on page 26), we want you to build the best body you’ve ever had, and we’ve got the tried-and-trusted tools, the science-approved data, the best bang-for-buck exercises, and the best coaches – all concentrated into one hardcore dose of greatness. We’ve got five potent training plans (including one from Gym Jones), a primer on crushing unhealthy cravings, a round-up of the best creatine and pre-workout supplements, a breakdown and technique manual for the three most important lifts, and even a guide on how to recover properly. If you want to put on 7kg on muscle, build bigger arms, craft a wider, V-shaped back, row like an Olympian, or even lift 5 times your body weight – we’ve got the answer. And all we need from you – to just put in the effort. So, get yourself a pen and paper, start planning your goals, and then use this muscle manual to achieve them. It won’t be easy, but trust us, it will be worth it. And keep us in the loop – your success story could make it into the next MH Muscle magazine.
Build a Stronger Base
“PACK” YOUR SHOULDERS Whether you’re holding the weight at your sides, overhead, or anywhere in between, keep your shoulders as tight as possible to improve joint stability.
WALK THIS WEIGHT Loaded carries boost your performance and core strength. So why aren’t you doing them? Dan John discovered loaded carries by accident. It was 2001, and the strength coach was sidelined by injury. So he did farmer’s walks because he wanted to feel like he was still training. But when he recovered, a funny thing happened: “I looked and performed better.” Soon John was hitting strength and discus-throwing numbers he hadn’t seen since his athlete days at university. Loaded carries had a convert, and John went on to popularise them in the fitness world. These exercises present a serious challenge for the core muscles, according to research by Stuart McGill of the University of Waterloo. A stronger, tighter core gives your arms and legs a more powerful base for running fast, throwing hard and performing heavy lifts. The moves also rock your lats while improving your grip strength and shoulder stability. The benefits aren’t limited to individual muscles. “Loaded carries build work capacity,” John says, so you can do more gym work and do it better. There are plenty of ways to build capacity, but you won’t find one that’s safer. “It’s really hard to hurt yourself when you’re walking around,” he says. Do carries at any point in your workout – they’re especially great at the end, when you’re fatigued and your balance and coordination are hindered. But no matter when you do them, the payoff is the same: a bigger, stronger body that’s better at anything you ask it to do. 10 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
STRAIGHTEN YOUR BACK Think of carries as walking planks: keep your lower back and pelvis aligned throughout the exercise.
GRIP HARD A tight grip increases tension in your core muscles.
STEP LIGHTLY A shorter stride (your feet less than 30cm apart) gives you a stronger support base.
TUCK YOUR CHIN Don’t crane your neck. Keep your ears directly over your shoulders and hips. This aligns your spine, keeping it injury-free.
KEEP YOUR RIBS FLAT If they flare out, you’re putting undue stress on your back. Breathe in through your nose and then forcefully out through your mouth. That helps push your ribs down and keep your core engaged.
GO HEAVY Carries are self-limiting exercises. That means any weight that you can hold for the recommended distance or duration is safe to use.
T EXT LO U SC H U L E R P H OTO G RA P H S M I TC H M A D E L
HOW TO CARRY THE LOAD
There are four types of carries, and each challenges your body in different ways, says exercise physiologist and competitive strongman Pat Davidson. Try all seven variations below. Do one every training session, making sure you’ve hit all four categories after four workouts
1/ BETWEEN KNEES
2/ SIDE LOADED
3/ FRONT LOADED
Holding a heavy load between your legs works your glutes harder.
Because you can use such heavy weights, these build insane total-body strength.
These variations are especially taxing on your hamstrings and biceps.
Holding weight overhead challenges your core and builds shoulder stability.
DUCK WALK Hold a kettlebell in each hand between your legs. Or cup the top end of a dumbbell and let it hang between your legs at knee height.
FARMER’S WALK Hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or barbell at each side. Grip tightly. (For loads exceeding 90kg, use a trap bar with weight plates.)
ZERCHER WALK Hold a loaded barbell close to your chest in the crook of your elbows. Keep your core braced and your back straight throughout.
Hold one or two dumbbells or kettlebells (or a sandbag, barbell, or trustil ) r l r o h lder .
There’s value in mixing up your distances and loads, says Davidson. “In strongman training, we might carry something ridiculously heavy for just 5 metres, which is a killer test of raw strength,” he says. “Or we might have to carry something relatively light for a longer distance, which challenges strength endurance.” Train different fitness skills by using the rough guide below when you do the farmer’s walk, suitcase carry, Zercher walk and bear hug walk. The percentage of body weight equals the total load you should work up to carrying for the distance.
DON’T LOOK DOWN
If you look at the floor when you do exercises that challenge your balance and stability, you’re doing it all wrong. “It’s a natural compensatory strategy, but it provides an undesirable sense of stability,” says Davidson. “It makes you shift your bodyweight forward, putting stress on your lower back.” So look ahead at a distant object when you do unstable exercises, such as loaded carries, single-leg squats, deadlifts and jumps. That, says Davidson, fixes your form and builds more strength.
Go Big. Then, Go Even Bigger
Build More Strength
Go Long and Heavy
SUITCASE CARRY Hold a weight – dumbbell, kettlebell, or an actual suitcase – on one side. Walk for the same distance or time with the other side loaded.
Just starting out? Then a 25kg Rubber Hex Dumbbell (R1 050, Sportsmans Warehouse) is a versatile at-home option. Perfect your form before upgrading to heavier otions.
BEAR HUG Wrap both arms around a sandbag, weight plate, or large rock. Or hold a dumbbell or kettlebell just as you do for a goblet squat.
Challenge Your Endurance
BOTTOMS UP Hold a kettlebell upside down, your upper arm parallel to the floor and your elbow bent 90 degrees. Squeeze the handle tight!
A sandbag with different grip options will test all your major muscle groups, and the shifting sand will make it a core killer too. Rebelstore Sandbag (R1 255, rebelstore.co.za)
Kettlebells are the original muscle building heavy metal gear. We like these Classic Iron Bull Kettlebells. There’s a range of weight options, with a 32kg the heaviest. (From R160, mifitness.co.za) MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 11
Strip Away Fat
RUN THE GAUNTLET! 100KCAL ROW
Rowing for calories helps you focus on the hard stats rather than the speed of the fan or distance. Use this guide (and good form) to get leaner and stronger
0 TO 7 MINUTES AVERAGE A NORMAL MAN SHOULD SUSTAIN 14 WATTS PER MINUTE FOR 7 MINUTES. THAT’S ENOUGH TO POWER YOUR DESK LAMP, SHOULD YOU WANT TO. 5 TO 5:10 MINUTES FIT YOUR CARDIO FITNESS IS BETTER THAN MOST AT 5 MINUTES (OR JUST ABOVE) AND WOULD GET YOU TO LEVEL 9 OR 10 ON THE BLEEP TEST. 4:30 TO 4:45 MINUTES
1 2 3
Load It Up
To get the most power out of each stroke, you need to load your body with elastic energy. Slide forward until your shins are vertical and your chest is pressed up to your quads. You’re now ready to row.
Reaching forward with the handle as far as possible (without rounding your back), push explosively back with your feet but keep your arms straight – your legs and lats should be doing most of the work.
As your knees start to straighten pull the handle back with your lats and arms, aiming for your upper abs. Lean back slightly to lengthen the stroke, then go straight into the next pull. And repeat. A lot.
12 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
MUSCULAR STAMINA IS DEFINED AS THE ABILITY TO PERFORM REPS FOR A PROLONGED TIME. AT THIS LEVEL, YOU COULD EXPECT TO DO 40 PUSHUPS IN A MINUTE. 4 TO 4:15 MINUTES ELITE UP HERE, YOUR VO 2 MAX IS IN THE RANGE OF 50 TO 55ML/KG/MIN, EQUAL TO THAT OF AN OLYMPIC 400M SPRINTER. SHOWOFF.
T E X T D AV I D M O R T O N P H O T O G R A P H C A S E Y C R A F F O R D
ROW YOUR WAY TO RIPPED
If burning 100Kcal felt like an eternity, you've got more work to do
WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING AT
you, we’re fairly certain that your arms aren’t as big as they could be. How can we be so sure? Because nearly all men (seasoned lifters included)make one critical error when working their biceps. “Most guys approach their sets backwards,” says strength coach and physiologist Chad Waterbury, author of Huge in a Hurry. “They lift so that the hardest part comes at the end of the set. But to hit your largest muscle fibres, which have the greatest growth potential, the toughest part needs to come first.”
Measure your arms every two weeks to track your progress
The Science of Swole
3 STEPS TO BIGGER BICEPS Stretch the limits of your shirtsleeves by learning a completely new way to sculpt your arms 14 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
The Big-Arms Breakthrough “Front-load your sets, exerting maximal force when your fibres are fresh,” says Waterbury. You can apply this principle to boost growth in any muscle, but you have to tailor it to your target. For biceps, high-tension isometric exercises work best, he says. In practice, that means starting each set by holding the hardest part of the move – the top of an inverted row, for example – and then banging out a handful of regular reps. Waterbury knows that hitting “pause” bucks conventional wisdom – that to grow big you have to lift big. His reply: “Rings gymnasts have the biggest biceps on the planet, and holds are all they do.” Try it by adding one of the moves on the next page to each of your weekly workouts for six weeks. “You’ll hit your biceps,” he says, “and also your brachialis [beneath your biceps] and your brachioradialis [in your forearms], optimising your overall growth potential.”
T E X T T R E V O R T H I E M E E X E R C I S E I L L U S T R AT I O N S + I S M S K E L E TA L I L L U S T R AT I O N S B R YA N C H R I S T I E D E S I G N
Position your arm parallel to the ground, bend it 90 degrees and flex your biceps. Wrap a measuring tape around your arm at the widest point
Whenever you contract your biceps, whether you’re lifting groceries or curling iron, your muscle fibres are recruited in an orderly fashion from smallest (type I) to largest (types IIa and IIb). “And those big type II fibres respond only to high levels of force,” says Waterbury. “So if you’re lifting slow and steady, as you do when you fatigue at the end of a set, all you do is exhaust your smaller fibres.” Your larger, more powerful ones never come into play.
WORK BOTH SIDES IF YOU WANT BIG GUNS, YOU CAN’T FORGET YOUR TRICEPS
Monday/ Overhand Inverted Row
Wednesday/ Decline Hammer Curl
Friday/ Inverted Row (underhand)
MUSCLES TARGETED biceps brachii and brachialis Secure a bar at waist-height and hang below it at arm’s length using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Your body should be straight from head to ankles and your heels on the floor. Pull your shoulder blades back, then pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar. Hold this position for 5 seconds, squeezing your biceps as hard as you can. (Imagine you’re trying to crush the bar between your hands, but don’t actually move your hands.) Now do 5 fast reps. Rest 10 seconds and repeat; this time hold the top position for 4 seconds and then do 4 reps. Rest for 10 seconds again; then hold for 3 seconds and do 3 reps. That’s 1 set. Do 3 sets total, resting 3 minutes between them.
MUSCLES TARGETED biceps brachii and brachioradialis Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your chest against a bench that’s set to a 70-degree incline. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length with your palms facing each other. Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells as close to your shoulders as you can. Hold this position for 5 seconds, squeezing your biceps as hard as possible. Now perform 5 fast reps. Rest 10 seconds and repeat, this time holding the top position for 4 seconds and then doing 4 reps. Rest for 10 seconds again; then hold for 3 seconds and do 3 reps. That’s 1 set. Complete a total of 3 sets, resting for 3 minutes between them.
MUSCLES TARGETED biceps brachii Secure a bar at waist height and hang below it at arm’s length using an underhand, shoulder-width grip. Your body should be straight from head to ankles and your heels on the floor. Pull your shoulder blades back, then pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar. Hold for 5 seconds, squeezing your biceps as hard as possible. (Again, imagine you’re trying to crush the bar between your hands, but don’t actually move your hands.) Now do 5 fast reps. Rest 10 seconds and repeat; this time hold the top position for 4 seconds and then perform 4 reps. Rest for 10 seconds again; then hold for 3 seconds and do 3 reps. That’s 1 set. Complete a total of 3 sets, resting for 3 minutes between them.
MAXIMISE YOUR MUSCLE RECRUIT LARGER FIBRES, AND YOU’LL GROW BIGGER FASTER
They account for more than twothirds of your upperarm mass. “Each triceps muscle has three parts, or heads,” says Tyler English, author of The Natural BodyBuilding Bible. “The close-grip bench press hits them all.” Place your hands 20 to 30cm apart on the bar. Do 3 sets of 8 reps once or twice a week.
“GUYS TEND TO APPROACH THEIR SETS BACKWARDS, WITH THE HARD PART LAST. BUT TO HIT YOUR LARGEST MUSCLE FIBRES, IT NEEDS TO COME FIRST”
2/FULL ACTIVATION Adding an isometric hold to the start of each set generates enough force to engage your full spectrum of fibres, including the large type II fibres found on the periphery of the biceps.
1/PARTIAL ACTIVATION Most traditional setand-rep schemes (3 sets of 10 slow reps, say) engage only the smaller, endurance-focused fibres concentrated near the centre of the biceps.
MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 15
Fight Off Fast Food
CRUSH ALL YOUR CRAVINGS Your food fixation is likely a different desire in disguise. Don’t cave! Fight back with these strategies instead
A meaty, sauce-slathered Big Mac
Did you frequent the Golden Arches with your high school friends or after acing your exams? Those fond memories are mixed with the food you ate, says neuroscientist Nicole Avena.
Order a different kind of nostalgia, and hold the kilojoules. Check your high school bud’s Facebook page, or listen to your favourite band from school, Avena says. Even minor diversions can help you through the fastfood fixation.
The whole bag of potato chips
Carbs, salt and fat are the Curly, Larry, and Moe of food: as a trio, they’re trouble, stirring up chemicals that block your ability to stop feeding your face, says Nicole Giuliani, a psychology researcher at the University of Oregon.
Think: eating this food is not in line with my goals. You’ll activate the brain regions responsible for resolving internal conflict, says Giuliani. Also try snacking on dried mango strips and almonds or kale roasted till crispy.
Sugar has the power to hijack your grey matter, says Avena. Her research has found that the white stuff may intensify your cravings for pleasure-producing chemicals, such as dopamine and opioids. It’s a high you’re after.
Smart swaps give you a fix without busting your gut. Lusting after fudge? Have a square of dark chocolate. Still hankering for the creaminess of the ice cream? Eat Greek yoghurt with a touch of honey.
You’re thirsty, not A huge, greasy hangover breakfast hungry. Booze leads
You need water and antioxidants to flush out alcohol’s toxins. Fructose, a sugar found in fruit, helps metabolise alcohol, reports a Mount Sinai School of Medicine study review. So make a fruit salad, chug H2O, and ponder your many mistakes.
A sundae with chocolate fudge
to dehydration, which makes you think you need sodium-laden diner fare. If you do eat more salt, you’ll further your dehydration and plunge yourself into hangover hell, says Avena.
16 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
WANT A MEAL WITH MORE STAYING POWER? ADD ALL THIS TO WHOLE WHEAT PASTA
THE FAST FOODIE FASTER THAN A DEADLY DRIVETHRU, WHIP UP A PILE OF PROTEIN AND LEAFY GREENS, PLUS A SPICY KICK IN THE PALATE Spicy Sausage with Chicken and Kale Heat a R2-size amount of olive oil in a griddle on medium. Add 100 grams loose pork sausage and 100g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped. Cook, stirring, until the meats brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 minced garlic cloves and a pinch each of red-pepper flakes and ground cumin. Add ½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth and 1 cup chopped kale; cover and simmer until the greens wilt and the meats cook through, 5 to 7 minutes. Season to taste. Makes 1 serving – RECIPE BY JEREMY LIEB
PER SERVING 2 110 KJS, 40G PROTEIN, 13G CARBOHYDRATES (2 G FIBRE), 33G FAT
T E X T J U L I E S T E WA R T P H O T O G R A P H S S A M K A P L A N I L L U S T R AT I O N M U R P H Y L I P P I N C O T T
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Fuel Your Muscles CREATINE STORES CAN TAKE A BEATING IN A FEW SECONDS OF HARD EXERCISE
SHOULD YOUTAKE CREATINE? Short answer – Yes. Power your workouts with this muscle mix 1/ What It Is When you eat meat, your liver and kidneys take some of the meat’s amino acids and make creatine. Your bloodstream then shuttles the creatine to your muscles, which convert it into creatine phosphate, a potent form of cellular energy, says dietitian Kate Patton. Creatine supplements are often creatine monohydrate, which your body also converts into creatine phosphate.
2/ Why You Need It The creatine phosphate in your muscles generates adenosine triphosphate (ATP): your fuel for explosive exercise. But you deplete your stores after just 10 seconds of sprinting or weightlifting, says exercise scientist Eric Rawson. So more stored creatine phosphate means more power for growth-stoking reps. If you do explosive exercise, take in 15 to 20 grams of creatine a day for five days to preload your system. Then, after this phase, consume 2 to 4 grams a day. To get there, you can either eat more protein (beef, pork and salmon all have 2 to 3 grams of creatine per 220g) or take a creatine supplement. This amount will maintain your creatine phosphate levels before and after exercise, Rawson says. Just be sure to consume the creatine with carbs, which help your muscles retain more of it.
THE HIT LIST
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18 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
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USN CREATINE HCL This is USN's own secret blend of HCL and alphalipoic acid for speedy creatine uptake. R219 (100 caps), usn.co.za
No, it won’t hurt your kidneys according to reams of studies reviewed for a 2012 report in the journal Amino Acids. And it may have an unlikely side effect: Korean research shows that ATP may even help keep your brain cells healthy.
T E X T K . A L E I S H A F E T T E R S I L L U S T R AT I O N Z O H A R L A Z A R
3/ How to Consume It
Turbocharge Your Workout
GET IN MORE REPS IN EVERY EXERCISE FOR BIGGER GAINS
FAST-FORWARD YOUR GAINS The right pre-workout supplements can help you lift heavier, for longer. Here’s how to get the most out of every workout If you see someone at gym moving with the pent-up energy of a six-year-old on a sugar high, it’s most likely they’ve taken some kind of pre-workout product. These are filled with ingredients that help with energy levels: caffeine, ginseng and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) like leucine, isoleucine and valine. They work in different ways – some stimulate your nervous system, some give a mental push, some provide a “muscle pump” which delivers blood and nutrients to muscle tissue, helping it to recover and grow. All have the goal of helping you train harder for longer. You can also get energy from eating the right pre-workout meals, but if you don’t have time to eat or you can’t stomach anything before training, these products are great options. But you must eat or take something for energy. If you work out on an empty stomach, you may have a slight benefit when it comes to weight loss, but you’ll be missing out on the potential of serious muscle gain, and the best results.
DO THESE WORK? Yes. But you can get many of the same benefits from food. “I wouldn’t usually recommend pre-workout fuels; I’d prefer pre-workout food,” says registered dietician Jordana Ventzke. But a pre-workout supplement is a great option if you don’t have time to put together a meal: “If you’re running on empty during a workout, your body will use muscle as a fuel source.” That’s bad. MH.CO.ZA
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? 1/ Burn more blubber Get a caffeine fix, either through coffee or a supplement. “It’s been proven to accelerate fat loss as it causes fat cells to be used as energy instead of glycogen,” says Ventzke. “It also increases performance: you can train harder and for longer.” Other caffeinated drinks include green tea. 2/ Jack up your performance A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition of 24 athletes in a high-intensity training programme found that a mix of protein, caffeine, creatine and amino acids taken before training can boost fitness levels and strength performance. This mix contained whey protein, cordyceps sinensis, creatine, citrulline, ginseng and caffeine. Their VO2 max numbers increased and there were improvements in lean body mass.
3/ Take the pain out of lifting A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning showed that taking caffeine regularly before a workout helps reduce the perceived pain of lifting weights.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS? Check the ingredients and stick to the guidelines, and don’t be the guy who takes too many scoops. When it comes to pre-workout meals, don’t overeat (think snack size) and avoid fatty foods – fat is digested very slowly, which means you’ll feel sluggish and could cramp easily. And carbs can be a good energy source, just not sweets – that’ll cause a sugar rush and crash halfway through the workout. If you are going on a run, go easy on the caffeine. It can cause stomach upsets or cause you to hit the bushes halfway through the run.
THE HIT LIST USN B4-BOMB Part of the Hardcore Series, it has a mix of BCAAs and patented ingredients, but also the benefit of creatine HCL too – and without any sugar. It’ll power you up for any kind of workout. R399 for 280g, usn.co.za OPTIMUM NUTRITION GOLD STANDARD With a potent combination of 175mg of caffeine, 1.5g of Beta Alanine and 3g of creatine in every serving, it almost guarantees you’ll be getting in more reps in every set. R499 for 330g, optimumnutrition.co.za NUTRITECH AMINO PRE If you want a great value pre-workout that’s jampacked with all right kinds of BCAAs, electrolytes, Beta-Alanine and double shot of caffeine, but without any creatine, then this formula is your way forward. R289 for 540g, chromesa.co.za CIPLA PUMP 3D XTR Every potent serving provides 190mg of caffeine and their own signature Kre-Alkalyn creatine among other energy-releasing ingredients. R365 for 300g, ciplanutrition.com
MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 19
Train Like the World’s Strongest Man
LIFT FIVE TIMES YOUR BODYWEIGHT Move more iron, bust through your sleeves. Unlock your power potential 20 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
RICHARD HAWTHORNE CHALKS UP
and steps under the bar, pressing his shoulders into the textured steel. There’s no forceful breathing. No grunting. No tough-guy act at all. There’s barely a sound as he readies himself for his heaviest liftof the day here in his hometown gym. “Let’s go,” murmurs Winston Ceasear, an enormous train carriage truck of a man who’s swapping sets with Hawthorne. “Easy weight.” The load on the bar is 165kg – an impressive but not unattainable weight for a seasoned lifter. But when you consider that Hawthorne, at just over 1.6m and just under 60kg, intends to squat the equivalent of nearly three times his bodyweight, the picture shifts a little. Then you learn that the mass of iron is mere
warm-up weight for Hawthorne: he lifted a combined 667kg (11 times his bodyweight) in the squat, bench press, and deadlift at the 2013 CAPO Nationals in Tasmania. Now the picture shifts entirely: this diminutive strongman becomes a giant. In powerlifting circles, they call him the Ant. Relative strength – how strong you are for your height and weight – is a valued commodity among athletes. Basketballers use it to fly over the rim; sprinters use it to blast off the blocks. The rest of us need it to run fast, jump high and crank out push-ups. “It’s the most important kind of strength you can have,” says Mike Robertson, a former Team USA Powerlifting coach and co-owner of IFAST gym. Here’s how to build yours.
T E X T A N D R E W H E F F E R N A N P H O T O G R A P H S D AY M O N G A R D N E R
Richard Hawthorne stands at just 1.6m but his drive to succeed is huge. Can you measure up?
Focus on Core Values
Pay Attention to Pain
For Hawthorne, this is rule number one, and to make his point, he nods to a nearby lifter setting up for a squat with his back arched and chest up. “That’s how most guys do it,” he says. “See how his abdomen stretches out? Your core is weak in that position.” The immediate result is reduced power and performance, says Hawthorne, because your core is responsible for transferring force throughout your body and stabilising all movement. And repeated over months or years, the cumulative stress can land you in an orthopaedist’s office. The solution: “Before every lift, brace your abs as if you’re about to be gut-punched. That’ll help you keep your ribs down,” Hawthorne says. It will also lock down your core and flatten your back, enhancing total-body power and stability and maximising support for your spine. “In short, there’s no reason not to do it,” says Hawthorne. To learn proper positioning, he recommends the hollow hold. Lie on your back with your knees pulled to your chest and arms by your sides. Press your lower back into the floor and lift your head and shoulders. Extend your arms over your head and straighten your legs, keeping your limbs off the ground. Hold as long as you can. Do this a couple of times a week, working your way up to a minute. “It’s harder than it sounds,” says Hawthorne. Master it and you’ll build serious core strength. You’ll also increase the activation of your quads, hamstrings and glutes, by pushing them to work at their full capacity. “And that is relative strength,” says Robertson.
For a guy who regularly hoists loads that could crush other men, Hawthorne is surprisingly averse to risk. He gave up on basketball (too jarring). He doesn’t run (same reason). He passes on arm-wrestling challenges from Men’s Health writers (not worth the trouble). “The last thing I want is to pull a muscle doing something stupid,” he says. He’s equally careful in the gym. “Each rep, I pay attention to what I feel and make adjustments.” Tempo, smoothness and discomfort factor into his evaluation. If something feels off, the set is over. “You may think you’re tough by ignoring pain, but you’re making things worse,” Hawthorne says. A better approach? “Do moves that work the same muscles without the hurt,” says trainer and elite powerlifter Greg Nuckols. If deadlifting makes you wince, do 2 to 4 sets of high-rep (lightweight) leg curls instead. Lower back hurting you? Trade squats for step-ups with a pair of light dumbbells. “Doing light work on the injured area can maintain muscle mass for months,” says Nuckols.
Perform Flawlessly Conventional gym wisdom holds that if you specialise too narrowly in one activity (like weightlifting), your abilities in others (cycling, running, soccer, basketball) wane – hence the lifter who gets winded running a mile and the marathoner who can’t do a push-up or squat more than a bare barbell.
RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
“SOME GUYS SAY, ’IF THE WEIGHT GOES UP, IT’S A GOOD LIFT.’ I DON’T BELIEVE THAT. YOU SHOULD PRACTICE PERFECT TECHNIQUE”
But Hawthorne, who can dunk a basketball and move with the grace of a boxer, is living proof that exceptional strength and explosive athleticism can coexist. The secret, he says, is to always maintain perfect lifting mechanics. Hawthorne believes that powerlifting’s Big 3 – squat, deadlift, and bench press – can teach your body skills that translate far beyond the gym: pushing explosively through your feet, protecting your spine by keeping your back straight and core stiff, and recruiting the powerful muscles in your hips and thighs more effectively. And science backs him up: in a 2009 Canadian study, heavy squatting helped soccer players jump higher and run faster.
THINK YOU’RE STRONG? SEE HOW YOU DO IN POWERLIFTING’S “BIG 3” Being fit comes with expectations. “You should be able to bench and squat the equivalent of your bodyweight, and deadlift 1½ times your bodyweight,” says trainer Dan John, author of Intervention. But for game-changing strength, you need to raise your standards. That means completing 15 reps with the equivalent of your bodyweight in the bench and squat, and 1 rep at 2½ times your bodyweight in the deadlift, says John. (See the chart for an example.)
180 KG 1 REP
BENCH WORLD RECORD
“But that only works when your form is spot-on,” Hawthorne says. When you lift weights, he explains, you’re doing more than just building muscle; you’re teaching your body to move more effectively. “Smooth, efficient lifting leads to smooth, efficient moves on the court or field, and crappy lifting leads to crappy movement.” Hawthorne contends that he is able to jump high not because he practices jumping but rather because his years of immaculate squatting and deadlifting have taught him how to put more than a quarter ton of force into the ground. “Some guys say, ’If the weight goes up, it’s a good lift,’” says Hawthorne. “I don’t believe in that. You should practise perfect technique with every repetition, whether you’re lifting 30kg or more than 300.” One key to executing every lift with flawless form: Do one or two warm-up sets (using half the weight you’d normally use) before you begin your regular sets of the squat, deadlift and bench press. “They do more than just prepare your body for heavy loads,” Robertson says. “They improve your control and technique. Take them seriously and your regular sets will feel much smoother.” MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 21
Train Like the World’s Strongest Man
BIG LIFTS FOR MAX GAINS Increase your strength and pack on lean mass with this workout from former Team USA powerlifting coach Mike Robertson
DIRECTIONS Replace one of your workouts each week with the routine shown on this page for a month. Perform straight sets of each exercise in the order shown, using the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all your reps and sets. Your ultimate goal is to maximise your relative strength (that is, how strong you are for your height and weight).
2/ Bench Press
1/ Barbell Squat
4/ Swiss Ball Hip Raise and Leg Curl
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip to hold a barbell across your upper back. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position. Reps 3 to 5 Sets 3 Rest 3 to 4 min
Roll a barbell against your shins and grab it using a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Pull your torso back and up, thrusting your hips forward as you stand up with the barbell. Push your hips back to lower the bar back to the floor. Reps 1 Sets 5 Rest 2 to 3 min
Lie on your back on the floor with your lower legs on a Swiss ball. Push your hips up and pull your heels toward you, rolling the ball as close to your butt as possible. Return to the starting position. Reps As many as you can Sets 3 Rest 90 sec
5/ Ab Wheel Rollout Kneel on the floor and grab the handles of an ab wheel. Roll it forward as far as you can; then use your core to pull the wheel back to the starting position. No ab wheel? Use a barbell with 5kg weights. Reps 8 to 10 Sets 3 Rest 60 sec 22 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
I L L U S T R AT I O N S + I S M
Lie on a bench and hold a barbell above your sternum using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder-width. Lower the bar, keeping your elbows tucked. Pause, then push it back up to the starting position. Reps 3 to 5 Sets 4 Rest 3 to 4 min
Prep Your Post-Workout Office Lunch
Prime your muscles with clean carbs and 34g of protein in 10 minutes. Spend the rest of your lunch break in the gym – tease your colleagues as they choke on their fast food
The Protein Cluster Bomb
What You’ll Need 2 MEDIUM-SIZED SWEET POTATOES 1 CAN OF TUNA IN WATER A PINCH CHILLI FLAKES 1 SPRING ONION, SLICED 150G LOW-FAT COTTAGE CHEESE 1 OFFICE MICROWAVE
24 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
1 699 kJ
Step 1/ 0-8 minutes
Step 2/ 8-9 minutes
Step 3/ 9-10 minutes
Don’t worry, you’re only really prepping for 30 seconds. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork, then microwave. Flip them over halfway through.
Once they’re done, cut the potatoes lengthways and squeeze the ends inwards to make a pocket for your muscle-friendly payload. They’ll be ridiculously hot, so leave to steam away.
Meanwhile, drain the tuna and mix in the chilli and spring onion. Pack the low-GI shell with your filling and top with cottage cheese. It’s a more explosive postworkout meal than anything on the street. And a lot cheaper too.
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APPROVED AS PART OF THE HEART AND STROKE FOUNDATION EATING PLAN
By Michael Easter Photographs by Benjamin Lowy Illustrations by Andrew Colin Beck
INSIDE EVERY MANâ€™S BRAIN IS A VOICE TELLING HIM TO JUST GIVE UP. GYM JONES WANTS TO HELP YOU SHUT THAT VOICE UP. BECAUSE IN THAT SILENCE IS STRENGTH
The madness is about to begin. Fifteen men stand against a wall in a 550-square-metre converted warehouse. They’re anxious, and it shows in their unconscious movements: shifting feet, tapping fingers, darting eyes. The punk music blasting from overhead speakers adds an almost palpable intensity as Gym Jones’s splendidly profane, superhero-size fitness director, Rob MacDonald, saunters up and down their ranks. “You, 48. You, 54. You, 63,” says MacDonald, jabbing a finger at three men in turn. “That’s how many calories you have to burn – in one minute. If you don’t make it, you’ll keep trying until you fucking do.” Muffled curses filter through the music as each man considers the immensity of his task. To reach his goal, which MacDonald has calculated using respective body size and fitness level, each man must give everything. Pain is a promise, suffering guaranteed. The first victim saddles up on the AirDyne, a stationary bike with movable handles and a giant fan for a front wheel. It’s a remarkably innocent-looking torture device; the harder you pedal, the harder pedalling becomes, thanks to the exponential nature of air resistance. MacDonald smiles diabolically. “Go!” The man pedals like Mark Cavendish on bath salts – a blur of whirling, spinning, revolving legs and pushing, pulling, flailing arms. His grimace hardens and his breathing becomes increasingly frantic as each second ticks by. Then it’s over. His minute is up and he’s off the bike and on his back, gasping for air and jabbing at his quads. “Next!” shouts MacDonald. One by one the men take the test, dropping to the floor or hobbling about on spasming legs when it’s over. Some fail. A guy in his twenties who was assigned 48 calories finishes with 47. “The only thing that makes Rob happier than people hitting their mark is when they miss it by a single digit,” says Mark Twight, Gym Jones’s founder, who’s known as much for sculpting some of Hollywood’s most chiselled bodies as he is for eschewing the fame that comes with it. “He loves throwing them back into the fire.” As deranged as the AirDyne test may seem, it isn’t an exercise NOWHERE TO HIDE in fitness sadism or a blitzkrieg Everyone at Gym attempt to build lung capacity. Jones, including training director Rob It isn’t even designed to train the MacDonald (right), body. It’s a sweaty baptism into takes fitness tests as Gym Jones’s foremost principle: the group looks on. the mind is primary. 28 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
“Bitch in the Pit” Body Count
30 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
TEST YOUR LIMITS
You’re a lot stronger than you think you are. Follow these tips to break through mental barriers and unlock your potential
Think Green “When your workout starts to get tough, you’ll hear voices in your head telling you to slow down, save your energy, and quit,” says MacDonald. “Those are red-light thoughts. They will halt you completely if you don’t learn how to silence them.”
MASTER YOUR MIND
Nothing about Gym Jones is ordinary, including these 10 strength and endurance benchmarks. Set them as goals to elevate every aspect of your fitness
“Ain’t Nothin’ to Do” Dead Boys
IN 1924, THE NOBELIST ARCHIBALD
Hill became the first physiologist to propose that the brain regulates the heart during exercise. That regulation, he theorised, was meant to protect the heart from
“A minute might not seem long, but it is if you go hard enough,” says Gym Jones’s Rob MacDonald. “This will reveal how far you’re willing to push yourself. If you’re not crushed at the end, you held back.” DIRECTIONS Hop on a fan bike and try to burn as many calories as possible in 60 seconds. (The bike will display your result.) Average is 45; the Gym Jones record is 89.
“Fill your head with green-light thoughts, which are wholly positive,” suggests MacDonald. “Repeat statements like ‘I can do this’ or ‘I’ve survived worse.’ That positivity will power you through anything.”
RUN 2.4 KM
RAISE YOUR STANDARDS
“Liar for Hire” D.O.A.
Most guys think they push themselves in the gym. These tests will show you where your limit really is and help you exceed it
SALT LAKE CITY IS KNOWN FOR RELIGIOUS ZEAL, SO GYM
Jones fits right in. Members are called disciples, and halfassed effort leads to excommunication. Many of the workouts – which range from crushing, hour-long circuits to vicious intervals on the rower or AirDyne – are insanely intense. “Each workout is designed to be a mental crucible, an exercise in the art of suffering,” Twight says. “Through suffering, you discover your true potential.” Twight has practised what he preaches. A celebrated mountaineer, he forged his mind-first fitness dogma while setting alpine speed records and claiming a first ascent on a notoriously treacherous frozen waterfall in the Canadian Rockies. “There were guys who were fitter and technically better climbers than I was,” says Twight. “But I did more transformative things because of what I had on board mentally.” Twight founded Gym Jones in 2003 to help fellow climbers “unfuck their heads.” For years it existed on the fringes of hardcore fitness, gradually adding US Special Forces recruits and MMA fighters to its ranks as news of Twight’s successes spread. Then, in 2006, everything changed. The movie 300 hit theaters, and Twight, who’d been tasked with transforming the film’s doughy actors into a phalanx of hardened warriors, found himself in the limelight. Overnight, Gym Jones went from underground muscle factory to iconic fitness temple. “Until that point, I ran the gym on the Fight Club model – it was invitation only, but if you were invited, I trained you for free,” says Twight. But after the movie was released, it was impossible to stay off the public’s radar. “The traffic it created nearly crashed our website,” he says. “We went from a few hundred hits a month to almost 13 million.” The buzz was a curse, in a way. “It gave people the wrong idea. Aesthetics are actually our last concern,” says Twight. Gym Jones focuses on building true fitness, not the appearance of it, he explains. “And true fitness comes from training the muscle that sits in your skull: your brain.” Most people aren’t prepared for what that entails. “They don’t know what all-out is because they’ve never been pushed to experience it,” says Twight. “Take the one-minute AirDyne test. If someone gave absolutely everything he had on the first try, it would be impossible to log a higher score on the second attempt. What holds people back? Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s laziness. But whatever it is, it’s 100% in their head.” Those mental barriers also hinder performance in the weight room. Twight recalls a disciple who was fixated on pulling a double-bodyweight deadlift, a Gym Jones fitness benchmark. (See “Raise Your Standards,” right, for more.) “For him, that was 163 THE GYM JONES kilograms,” says Twight. “He could PLAYLIST lift 156kg no problem, but put 163kg on the bar and he couldn’t budge it. “Power & the Greed” He thought 163kg should be hard, so The Partisans it was.” Twight’s solution: “We had him do a bunch of sets, switching up “Get Off Your Ass” SNFU the plates each time until he lost track of them. Without knowing it, “Institutionalized” he did a couple of reps at 170.” Suicidal Tendencies
22:00 RUN 5K
2 000-Metre Row
“This is a classic Gym Jones test,” says MacDonald. “When you do circuits for time, you can cheat form and cut corners. This is just you and the computer: no cheating, no shortcuts – just objective feedback staring you right in the face.” DIRECTIONS Program the distance setting on a rowing machine for 2 000 metres. Try to complete the distance in less than 7 minutes.
Make Friends with Pain To beat your limits, you have to establish a positive relationship with pain. “When you reach your edge and push past it, you’ll realise you weren’t really at your edge in the first place,” says Steve Portenga, a sports psychologist who’s worked with Olympians. DO THIS
Spend time in the “pain cave,” the point on the intensity spectrum that’s just shy of where you’d call it quits. “That will help you adapt to discomfort,” says Portenga. Any of the tests above will take you there.
FRONT SQUAT (1-REP MAX)
“This test has you face ‘the moment’—the point in a workout when you either persevere or quit,” says MacDonald. DIRECTIONS Grab a stopwatch and head to a track. Set it for 1 minute and run 10 metres, resting for the time remaining in the minute. Next, run 20 metres, resting for the remainder of the minute. Keep adding 10 metres until you can’t beat the clock. Your goal: 200 metres.
Death by Burpee
Gym Jones has four AirDynes, but only one is used for tests. Disciples take turns while others look on. “People would never hit their mark if they did it at home alone,” says MacDonald. “No one wants to look like a failure. Accountability ensures they aren’t.”
For some people, the prospect of a reward is a powerful motivator, says Portenga. MacDonald agrees. When he sets a Gym Jones record, he treats himself to a burger and shake. Enjoying the reward also motivates him to hit the gym to burn it off.
Find a good trainer or workout partner. “These people should not only motivate you to go hard but also keep you from slacking off on those days when you really don’t feel like hitting the gym,” says MacDonald.
Determine a reward that excites you, such as a high-kilojoule meal, concert tickets, or a week off from training. Set a goal and reward yourself when you nail it. Can’t think of a goal? Pick a fitness standard below.
ROW 2 000 METRES
TURKISH GET-UP (1-REP MAX)
B O DY W E I G H T
“You don’t need a gym or any kind of special equipment to take this test,” says MacDonald. “All you need is a willingness to suffer and a desire to discover what you’re made of.” DIRECTIONS Record the time you take to do 100 burpees, touching your chest to the floor during the push-up and jumping at the end of each rep. Try to finish faster each time you do it (every few weeks).
DEADLIFT (1-REP MAX)
B O DY W E I G H T
BENCH PRESS (10 REPS)
B O DY W E I G H T
BACK SQUAT (1X BODYWEIGHT)
KG RUN 400 METRES
overexertion. But Hill’s idea took more than 70 years to gain traction, THE PAIN CAVE having been overshadowed by the Every Gym Jones more popular theory that physical workout is a test of grit. If you’re halfway exhaustion is purely a matter of done and don’t want cellular supply and demand. to quit, you’re not Tim Noakes, director of the Exergoing hard enough. cise Science and Sports Medicine Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, was taught the prevailing theory. When he started studying exercise physiology, he says, he was told that your muscles get tired – either because they run out of fuel or build up too much lactic acid – and that’s why you stop. But no one had ever proved that muscles were getting too little oxygen or fuel. What’s more, studies showed that people never recruited more than 50% of their muscle fibres – even during intense exercise, says Noakes. The theories just didn’t seem to match reality. Eventually it occurred to Noakes that because you activate muscle by way of your brain, your brain must also be responsible for determining how long, hard and fast you push yourself. While Hill had been on the right track, the more research Noakes conducted on his own “central governor theory,” the more the supporting evidence mounted. To what degree can the governor in your head influence performance? Suppose you were told to pedal to exhaustion on a stationary bike while being timed by a clock. “You’re also told that it would be great if you could go for an hour,” Noakes says. What you’re not told is that the clock is slow. “You’ll find that when the clock reads an hour and five minutes, you’ll stop, even though you really did an hour and a half.” By taking this cue, your mental governor established a performance limit that in no way reflected your actual fitness level. “Your brain sabotages your performance,” says Noakes. “When you feel fatigued [during exercise], it’s just an emotion. It has nothing to do with your physical state at all.” Others agree. When Brazilian researcher Eduardo Fontes analysed cyclists’ brain activity on an fMRI machine as they pedalled to exhaustion, he showed that emotion plays a fundamental role in performance. “We saw that the limbic lobe – the emotional centre of the brain – lit up as the intensity increased and the cyclists became more exhausted,” he says. “The more active the limbic lobe became, the more emotion they tied to exertion and the more they slowed.” Your mental state, Fontes says, is behind much of the variation in your day-to-day performance. “Anyone who works out knows that training performance can differ drastically from one session to the next,” he says. “Physiologically you might not have changed; what may have changed substantially is your mental state.” Fontes has found that people who are able to detach from their emotions during exercise (for example, not thinking about their panting breaths or burning legs) almost always end up performing better. “When you exercise or compete, you have to mentally process what’s happening to your body,” he says. “But the key is to not judge it as positive or negative; that’s when your brain sets limits.” Noakes tells the story of a woman running an elite 5 000metre race. She was about 20 metres behind first place and had mentally committed herself to coming in fifth or sixth. But as she began her final lap, she saw the clock and realised that if she could run that lap in less than 64 seconds – something she had done before – she would qualify for the Olympics. “All of a sudden her thinking shifted and she didn’t care 32 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
about the race,” Noakes says. “She had a new goal that mattered on a much deeper level, a goal she believed she could achieve.” She sped up, won the race, and qualified for the Olympics. “Your biology sets your true limits, of course, but how close you can get to that number is determined by what you believe,” says Noakes. MacDonald specialises in that kind of focus shifting, which starts with goal-setting. “If someone tells me they want to get fit, I ask, ‘Fit for what?’” he says. “Fitness is task-dependent; you need to map things out and set a target, whether that’s to finish a triathlon or simply to look and feel healthier.” Everyone who walks into Gym Jones – Navy SEAL or sales rep – receives a customised training programme. Nothing is arbitrary. Nothing is left to chance. And the commitment must be total. “You might work hard in the gym, but are you also sleeping eight hours or more a night, eating healthfully, and foam-rolling while you watch TV?” says MacDonald. “Constant attention to your goal is how you reach the next level. And recovery is half the battle: don’t do the work if you don’t have the balls to rest.” Such devotion – what disciples sometimes refer to as drinking the Kool-Aid – affects what MacDonald calls a “deep chemical change” that guarantees success both in the gym and beyond. “The swagger that comes from reaching a fatloss target, crushing a half marathon, putting up a record lift or passing an endurance test doesn’t wash off with your postworkout shower. It lingers,” he says. Indeed, a man who gives his all to break a barrier in the gym may also be fighting with the same obsessive determination in other aspects of his life: building a happy family, closing a deal, inspiring change in others. “A breakthrough here can lead to someone being a totally different, more confident, improved person,” says Twight. “We see it every day. We’re seeing it right now on that AirDyne.”
“EACH WORKOUT IS DESIGNED TO BE A MENTAL CRUCIBLE. THROUGH SUFFERING, YOU ARE ABLE TO DISCOVER YOUR TRUE POTENTIAL”
THE 20-SOMETHING GUY IS BACK ON THE BIKE, PEDALLING
savagely in another attempt at 48 cals. The seconds tick – 43, 42, 41 – as his face gets redder and his breathing harder. Eighteen, 17, 16...with 15 seconds to go, his face twists in agony and his eyes close as he digs deeper into the pain cave. Three, two, one... the timer finally reaches zero and then goes blank. The man collapses heavily on the handles, gasping for air. And then, victory: “49 calories” flashes across the screen. He staggers away from the bike, smiling broadly despite the leg cramps he’s probably feeling as he accepts high fives from everyone in the room. “If you don’t push your mental limits, you’re just going through the motions and you will stay at a certain level mentally and physically for life,” says Twight. “But if you get comfortable with discomfort, if you put yourself in a dark place and come out the other side, you can accomplish anything.” You just have to believe. MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 33
JACKED BY GYM JONES Warning: this workout will make you sweat, yell, and curse. Welcome to the pain cave
1/ Inverted Row Set a bar at about waist-height and hang below it using an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Your arms should be straight (hands directly above your shoulders), your body straight from head to ankles, and your heels touching the floor. Begin by pulling your shoulder blades back, and then continue to pull with your arms to lift your chest to the bar. Pause, and then lower your body back to the starting position.
Rob MacDonald, Gym Jones training director BEST FOR
Testing your physical limits, building mental grit, and forging totalbody strength, stamina and power EQUIPMENT
Barbell, dip station, bench, weight plates, pull-up bar KILOJOULES BURNED
2 834* TIME
DIRECTIONS Do this workout 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Start with the warmup, doing the moves back-to-back in a circuit (10 reps of each, 5 circuits total). Next, load a barbell (see “Find Your Perfect Weight” on the next page) and do the main workout. Perform the exercises as a circuit; start with 10 reps per move and subtract 1 rep in each successive circuit (10 circuits total). Rest as needed. Try to finish the workout faster each week.
34 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
3/ Bodyweight Lunge
Grab the bars of a dip station and lift yourself up so your arms are straight. Bend your knees and cross your ankles behind you. This is the starting position. Shift your torso forward and lower yourself as far as you can without discomfort. Pause; push back up to the starting position.
Stand tall with your arms at your sides. Step forward with your left leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90-degrees. (Don’t let your back knee touch the floor.) Pause, and push yourself back up to the starting position as quickly as possible.
T E X T K E L S E Y C A N N O N I L L U S T R AT I O N S + I S M
*As measured by a fit 1.9m, 115kg man using a Garmin FR70 fitness watch
1/ Barbell Bench Press
Grab a barbell using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder-width, and hold it above your sternum with your arms straight. Lower it straight down, pause, and push it back up to the starting position. Keep your elbows tucked so that when you’re in the down position, your upper arms form a 45-degree angle to your body.
Assume a push-up position with your feet together, arms straight, and hands positioned below but slightly wider than your shoulders. (Your body should form a straight line from head to ankles.) Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and return to the starting position.
4/ Barbell Squat Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip to hold a barbell across your upper back. Keeping your back flat, push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Pause, and return to the starting position.
2/ Barbell Deadlift
Roll the barbell against your shins and grab it using a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Keeping your back flat, pull your torso back and up, thrusting your hips forward as you stand up with the bar. Pause, and then lower the bar back to the floor, keeping it close to your body.
Hang at arm’s length from a pull-up bar, using an overhand grip that’s slightly beyond shoulder width. Pull your chest to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, and slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
FIND YOUR PERFECT WEIGHT ONE BAR AND ONE SET OF PLATES IS ALL YOU NEED
Gym Jones workouts often use the same load for every move. Why? “In the real world, things weigh what they weigh,” says the gym’s training director, Rob
MacDonald. “If you have to push a car or move furniture, you don’t get a magic button that adjusts the weight for you.” For this workout, select the heaviest load
that allows you to complete all your sets of the weighted exercises. This chart will show you where you fall on the Gym Jones strength spectrum.
GYM JONES STANDARD BADASS
BARBELL WEIGHT (IN KILOS)
MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 35
HOLY TRINITY of MUSCLE The squat. The deadlift. The bench press. These three exercises should form the cornerstone of any serious fitness regime, yet they have sinfully fallen out of favour. MH explains how – and why – you need to harness the power of this saintly trio of strength moves By Dan Masoliver Photographs by David Ellis
THE BENCH: JUST A CHEST WORKOUT FOR BROS? TAKE A PEW...
THE SQUAT: SHOULDER THE BURDEN AND SACRIFICE FAT
THE DEADLIFT: WHY THE CLASSIC COMPOUND MOVE MUST RISE AGAIN
THE PATRONSAINT OF SQUATTING Arun Singh is a coach at the GB Powerlifting Federation and the English Institute of Sport, currently preparing Olympic and Paralympic athletes for Rio 2016
Adventist on you, prepare yourself for the second coming. We’re talking about weight training. For too long, gym-goers and fitness fanatics the world over have been led astray by beguiling fads promising major results for minimal effort. We’ve been tempted by HIIT, given in to spinning, and – forgive us, for we have sinned – signed up to a free taster session of Zumba. (And quite enjoyed it.) In doing so, we’ve turned our back on the true temple of strength, muscle and definition: the weights room. Your bodily salvation takes the form of The Holy Trinity of muscle: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. “If you walk into a normal commercial gym, a large proportion of the memberships in there are wasted. Training is not about trends,” says elite PT James ConciMitchell. “Look at successful athletes: they all use these three exercises. Yes, all of them. These are fundamental movements that have been used for as long as training has existed.” The innate beauty of this trio is that they are all compound movements, between them engaging every muscle in your body – from the big movers to the fixators and stabilisers that you don’t see, but are essential for a strong, healthy physique. “These three lifts are going to help you reach your goals, whatever those goals may be,” says Conci-Mitchell. “It’s PT Class 101: if you only knew how to do these lifts – maybe with some overhead pressing and pull-ups thrown in for good measure – that would be all you ever needed to do. It’s only by pitching your body against the biggest weights and the most resistance that you are guaranteed to engage the most muscles and cause maximum metabolic impact.” So fear not, for we have gathered three wise men, whose unparalleled expertise in strength and conditioning will lead you to physical redemption. Amen to that. 38 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
The squat is known in the trade as the king of exercises. Many people can lift bigger weights on their deadlift, but in terms of the total number of muscle fibres recruited, it’s the squat that reigns supreme. For that reason, it should be omnipresent in your workout plan, whether you’re looking to lose the love handles, muscle up or cut your triathlon splits. Sure, nothing pops your quads like a squat. More surprising, though, is that when done properly it harnesses the power of the posterior chain too – the lower back, glutes and hamstrings. In actual fact, in a regular back squat, the quads act more as a brake, while it’s the rear of the body which does all the heavy lifting. Because of this, it’s a very good idea to perform squats and deadlifts on alternate days, especially if you’re attempting to lift anywhere near your one-rep max. The sheer amount of energy required to squat with a heavy weight on your back is what makes it the perfect fat-burning tool. There’s so much musculature being called upon in a squat, that you’ll not only spike your metabolism during the exercise, but keep it firing well after you’ve finished. It’s the same principle that’s behind the much-touted trend for HIIT. But to feel the full effect, and to engage the maximum number of muscles, you’ve got to go deep – to that scary and unsteady place where you’re genuinely concerned that you might not make it back up. Adding back squats into your gym sessions – and not just on legs day – may seem a heavy cross to bear. But it’s a small sacrifice to make for the miraculous resurrection of your metabolism.
Only by sinking low can your body be reborn
THE SQUAT STEP BY STEP
1 Rack up
Reach squat nirvana by approaching the rack – no, not the Smith Machine, as this can create unnatural movements and it doesn’t force you to engage your core and stabiliser muscles.
2 Lay a trap
Duck under the bar and rise up so your shoulders make contact. There should be a slight bend in your knees. Now position the bar on the fleshy part of your traps, a few inches down your shoulder blades, not across the top of your shoulders, in contact with your neck or vertebrae.
3 Get a grip
Ensure you have a symmetrical grip, forearms at a 90-degree angle to your biceps, hands at an equal distance with equal rotation in your wrists. The bar is for balance – the weight should be held by your back, not arms.
4 Take the weight
Now brace yourself: tense your stomach, push it out and raise your chest. Head up, please. Engage your legs and stand so the bar lifts from the rack. Take a small step back and set yourself.
5 Heeling power
Feet shoulder-width apart, keep your heels and little toes planted at all times. This prevents you falling backwards and sets your knees out slightly so they don’t end your ability to genuflect for good.
benefits 6 Hinge Focus on your hips here. When you’re feeling solid, push your glutes back and hinge at the hips as you lower, bending your knees. Stay braced to keep your torso in an upright position.
standards 7 Lower To reap the full reward, your thighs must be at least parallel to the ground. Go deep – or don’t even bother. If you lack the mobility to take it that low, work on your form. Goblet squats are a great way to start.
like Lazarus 8 Make
Drive back up toward hormonal and strength gains. Lift your head slightly – now’s a good time for a swift prayer – before you push through your feet, squeeze your glutes and return to standing. Hallelujah.
PRAISE BE TO THE BENCH PRESS Dan John is a world-leading strength and conditioning expert, a former US discus thrower and the author of several books, including Mass Made Simple
The biggest misconception around the bench press is that it’s just a chest move. The next time someone says that to you, you have my permission to call them a jackass. Any lift is a full body lift, but the emphasis here is that it’s done correctly. In this case, that starts with your feet. Drive your heels into the ground, keeping your glutes on the bench – your entire lower body should be locked and loaded. To lift big, the power needs to come from your feet and travel all the way up through your legs. You’re not exercising your quads here, but by tensing your glutes and planting your feet, you’re switching on your abs and obliques, and getting a core workout more effective than any number of situps. And therein lies the beauty of this lift, which far from being a vanity exercise is actually a compound move crucial for athletes building functional strength, whatever your sport.
Purify your form and your chest shall be saved The bench press engages your deltoids, triceps, and even your biceps, which act as stabilisers, countering the force of the movement. And yes, as the jackasses can – and do – attest, your chest will see massive growth, bringing the full range of pectoral muscles into play. Far more effectively than a push-up or a chest press machine, too. Give the latter a wide berth: its fixed plane of motion isolates your pecs, while totally neglecting the equally important stabiliser and fixator muscles. It’s not the most fun activity you can perform lying down, but it is certainly the most biomechanically virtuous. 40 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
THE BENCH PRESS STEP BY STEP
Take a pew You need to attend upper body mass at least twice a week for holy progress. Rack up your weights, then start by sitting upright at the end of the bench. Clench your glutes. Prepare thyself for what is to come.
Hold position Lie back, bar above your eyes and set your arms roughly a fist’s width outside shoulder-width apart. You can adjust the grip for different benefits – closer hits the triceps, wider works outer pec and deltoids – but this is the best for all-over growth.
Arch nemesis You need to borrow from the yogis and listen to your body. With your hands on the bar, shuffle your backside up a little to arch your back slightly. Note: slightly. Hyperextension is best left to the powerlifters who do this for a living.
Push through it Exhale sharply as you push your heels into the ground, shoulders into the bench, as you power the bar back up to the top. Be mindful not to overextend your arms at the top or your shoulders will soon need resurrecting.
Lay down your arms Breathe in as you lower, under control, toward your chest. Not your neck or belly, your chest. Your elbows should stay vertical beneath your wrists – as you get bigger and stronger, your hand placement can widen.
Pump and grind With your body set, tense your abs and glutes and pump yourself up to grind out your reps. Imagine you are pulling the bar apart as you push through your triceps and squeeze your pecs hard at the top of the movement.
Shoulder the burden Poorly set shoulders open you up to injury and shut down true strength gains. Retract your shoulders into the bench so they pinch together. Keep your traps down, not touching the sides of your head like two muscley earrings, so your pecs do the work.
Stay sure-footed Your heels should be directly under your knees to form a 90-degree angle. Driving your feet into the floor allows you to push more, providing rigidity through your whole body. Don’t drive one foot harder or you’ll launch the bar at the chest-day queue.
RAISEDFROM THE DEADLIFT James Conci-Mitchell is a former army officer, physique competitor, and founder of the elite London facility Six3Nine
THE DEADLIFT STEP BY STEP
1 Step up
Approach the bar, head bowed as if in penance, until your shins touch it. The closer, the better. Plant your feet and tense from the balls of your feet up to your glutes, staying active throughout.
2 Stand your ground
The deadlift is the most criminally overlooked move in the gym, and yet the most important for your long-term health. This is probably because it has the least obvious aesthetic impact of the big compound lifts – or so the uninitiated believe. The beauty of the deadlift is as a balancing exercise, but neglecting the muscles on the other side of the body is entirely counterproductive. Over-develop in one direction, and you’re going to create weakness and injury in the other. You never hear of anyone confined to his bed because of a bad pec – but a bad back is one of the most common causes of work absenteeism. The deadlift is the best exercise to counter this, strengthening your entire posterior chain, including your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, lats and protractors. This in turn lifts your posture, opens up your shoulders and thickens your back muscles, which has precisely the effect of making you look stronger, fuller and more upright. It’s no coincidence that physique competitors all swear by this as the backbone of their success. And, due to the size and number of muscles recruited, the deadlift is likely to be the heaviest lift that you can manage. By shifting that much tin you’re causing huge metabolic stress. That’s exactly the kind of stress you need in your life, especially if you’re sat at a desk all day, as this can lead to underactive glutes and more serious muscular issues in the long run. In short, deadlifting mends many of the problems caused by modern life. Show your devotion.
It is through reps that we are resurrected 42 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, turned out ever-so-slightly to stop your knees collapsing in once you start to lift – the results of which would not be too dissimilar from you stepping on a landmine.
3 Mix it up
It’s okay to arch your back as you ready yourself. Hands close to the outside of your legs, use a mixed grip – one overhand, one underhand. Alternate with each set to pull more without busting your shoulders.
4 Into the hole
Shins touching the bar, grip set and feet positioned correctly, drop into what’s known as “the hole”. Let your backside drop behind you as you squat down. Safety note: you shouldn’t return here while holding the bar.
5 Brace, brace
Tensing is for amateurs; pros brace. Brace your abs so your stomach pushes outward a little and flatten your back. This rigid, safe position ensures the correct muscles are doing the work.
yourself out of the hole 6 Drag Shoulders retracted, drag the bar up your shins by driving through the legs. Your upper body shouldn’t move – power is from your hamstrings and glutes as your hips hinge forwards. Never snap the bar up fast.
7 Up and at ’em
Exhale as you thrust the hips forward and knees back, squeezing glutes at the top. Hinge at the hips but keep lats engaged and shoulders back at all times. Pull as if you want to rip the bar in half.
8 Going to ground
Depending on the weight, you’re welcome to control the bar on the way down. Hinge at the hips to release tension in the glutes. Do not arch your back. For near-max lifts, drop the bar. Then bow again to your task.
Pack on 7kg of Muscle
FROM SCRAWNY TO BRAWNY This 4-week programme will help you gain strength in no time. Build the power you want by lifting, carrying and hoisting your way to a totally ripped body. Damsels in distress? Here you come
DIRECTIONS Do each workout (A and B) twice a week, with at least one day off before cycling through again. So if you do A on Monday and B on Tuesday, take Wednesday off. Then repeat on Thursday and Friday. Take an extra day of rest if you’re feeling run down or very sore. Warm up for 10 minutes. Do the exercises in the order shown. After each set, rest long enough to do the next set with the same performance level – about 3 minutes for 5-rep sets, and 1½ to 2 minutes for the others. Do one of the core exercises before or after the strength exercises in A and B.
1 Bench press
5 Cable Triceps Extension
Hold a bar above your chest using an overhand, shoulder-width grip [A]. Lower it to your chest [B], and press it back up. Do 3 warmup sets of 5 reps using 75% of your estimated max. Then do 4 sets of 5 reps using 85% of your max.
Hold the rope attachment of a high pulley of a cable station and stand facing it, your elbows bent 90-degrees [A]. Without moving your upper arms, pull the rope down until your arms are straight [B]. Pause, and repeat. Do 2 sets of 15 reps. A
Hang at arm’s length from a chinup bar using an underhand, shoulder-width grip . This is the starting position. [A] Pull your chest to the bar as fast as you can [B], pause, and take 2 seconds to lower to the starting position. Do 4 sets of 6 reps.
Position yourself in a dip station with your arms straight and knees bent [A]. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your elbows are at 90-degrees [B]. Pause for 1 second, and press back up to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
44 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
4 Barbell Curl
Using an underhand, shoulder-width grip, hold the bar at arm’s length in front of your thighs [A]. Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the bar up to shoulder level [B]. Pause, lower, and repeat. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. B
Workout B B
3 Back Extension
Bend at your hips and knees and grab the bar overhand, your arms just outside your legs [A]. Stand up, pulling the bar off the floor and thrusting your hips forward [B]. Do 3 warm-up sets of 5 reps using 75% of your estimated max. Then do 4 sets of 5 reps using 85% of your max.
Hook your heels into a back extension station. Keeping your back naturally arched, lower your torso until your body is bent 90-degrees [A]. Then raise your torso back up until it’s in line with your lower body [B]. Hold position for 3 seconds. Do 3 sets of 8. A
2 Dumbbell Stepup
Grab a pair of dumbbells and place your left foot on a bench or step [A]. Press through your left heel and lift yourself onto the bench [B]. Take 2 seconds to lower your right foot to the floor. Do all your reps, and then switch legs and repeat. Do 3 sets of 6 reps.
Core Workout BEGINNER Rolling Plank
MODERATE Side Plank and Row
Start in a push-up position but with your weight on your forearms. Brace your core and hold for 30 seconds. Roll to your left into a side plank and hold for 30 seconds [A]. Roll to plank position; hold for 30 seconds [B]. Roll to your right for a 30-second side plank [C] and then to plank and hold for 30 more. Do 2 sets, with 1 to 2 minutes of rest between sets.
Attach a handle to the low pulley of a cable station and lie on your right side, facing the stack. Grab the handle with your left hand and assume a side plank [A]. Pull the handle to your rib cage [B], pause, and extend your arm. Do all your left-side reps, switch sides, and repeat. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, with 1 minute of rest between sets.
HARD Stability-Ball “Stir the Pot” Assume a plank position with your forearms on a stability ball [A]. Use your forearms to move the ball in small circles while keeping the rest of your body in the original position. Make 10 circles to the left [B] and then 10 to the right [C]. That’s 1 set. Do 3 sets, with 30 seconds rest between.
TO MAKE IT HARDER, MOVE YOUR FEET CLOSER TOGETHER
MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 45
Gimme a V!
SCULPT THE PERFECT V-SHAPE Gain more strength by building muscles you never see. This workout comes from Martin Rooney, founder of trainingforwarriors.com – he’ll help you get your trunk in top shape
DIRECTIONS Perform each back-centric workout (A and B) once a week, separated by at least a day. Do the prescribed number of reps and sets for each exercise, resting for 90 seconds between sets. Hit the rest of your upper and lower body in two other weekly workouts. Follow this programme for 6 weeks to strengthen your back, rebalance your musculature, build total-body power and bust through nagging fitness plateaus. Then find a complete nutrition plan that you can customise for your goals and lifestyle.
1 Mixed-Grip Chin-Up
Hang from a bar using a mixed grip (one palm facing you, the other facing away), with your hands slightly beyond shoulder-width [A]. Pull your chest to the bar, pause [B], and then slowly lower yourself. Do 4 sets of 8 reps, flipping your grip halfway through each set.
3 Dumbbell Pullover
Lie face-up on a flat bench holding a dumbbell straight above your chest; this is the starting position [A]. Without changing the angle of your elbows, slowly lower the weight back and over your head until your upper arms are in line with your body [B]. Pause, and slowly raise it back to the starting position. Do 4 sets of 8 reps.
4 Upright Row
2 Kneeling Single-Arm Supported Row
Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and place your left hand and left knee on a flat bench. Keep your back naturally arched and your torso parallel to the floor; this is the starting position [A]. Pull the weight to the side of your chest [B], pause, and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps (6 each arm). A
5 Incline L Raise
Grab a pair of light dumbbells and lie chest down on an incline bench with your arms straight and your palms back [A]. Now bend your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades, and lift your upper arms as high as you can [B]. Without changing your elbow position, rotate your forearms up and back [C]. Pause, and lower the weights. Do 3 sets of 10 reps. A
46 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
Using an overhand grip, hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs [A]. Keeping your forearms pointed down, bend your elbows to pull the weights to your chest and raise your upper arms until they’re parallel to the floor [B]. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 6 reps.
1 Back Extension
Position yourself in a back extension station. Keeping a slight arch in your back, lower your upper body as far as you comfortably can; this is the starting position [A]. Squeeze your glutes and raise your torso until your body is straight [B]. Pause, and slowly lower your torso to the starting position. Do 4 sets of 8 reps.
3 Cable Chest Pull
Attach a rope to the high pulley of a cable station and grab each end so your palms face each other; this is the starting position [A]. Step back until your arms are straight and you feel tension in the cable. Bend your arms, squeeze your shoulder blades, flare your elbows, and pull the rope to your chest [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
4 Cable Pullover
2 Barbell Good Morning
Using an overhand grip, hold a barbell across your upper back to assume the starting position [A]. Keeping your knees slightly bent and your back naturally arched, bend at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 4 sets of 6 reps.
Attach a bar to the high pulley of a cable station. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, grab each end of the bar with an overhand grip, your hands slightly beyond shoulder-width [A]. Keeping your back and arms straight, push the bar down in an arc until it touches your thighs [B]. Return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
5 Cable Reverse Fly
Just a Back Exercise? It’s convenient to think about specific exercises working specific muscles. In reality, everything is interconnected. Here’s what that means
1/ EXERCISES DON’T ISOLATE MUSCLE GROUPS
When you perform a row, you engage lats: your largest back muscles. Your lats attach to your thoracolumbar fasci – a large sheet that connects muscles to the spine and pelvis – so you also engage connected muscles, including your gluteus maximus.
Stand between the weight stacks of a cable machine and set both pulleys to just above chest level. Grab the left pulley’s handle in your right hand and the right pulley’s handle in your left hand [A]. Squeeze your shoulder blades and pull each cable across your body toward the opposite side [B]. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
2/ BACK MUSCLES CAN LIMIT YOUR LEG WORKOUT
Thanks to the fascial web, stiffness in your back can also prevent you from working your lower body through its full range of motion. So if you can’t touch your toes, don’t necessarily blame your legs.
3/ FASCIA IS AN ACTIVE TISSUE
It not only links seemingly disparate muscle groups but also stretches and recoils, increasing the amount of force available to you. The more you strengthen your fascia through regular exercise, the more powerful your movements will become.
MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE | 47
Hit Every Muscle Group
TOTAL BODY TUNE-UP Put power behind every move you make by shoring up your core – these routines pair cardio and strength moves together, so they’re not easy. You’ll be looking good in no time
DIRECTIONS Do each workout once a week, resting a day between them. Warm up with a 5- to 10-minute run and 20 hip swings (swing each leg side-to-side in front of you 10 times). Do the metabolic phase in each workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next without rest. Do 3 circuits for Workout A and 4 circuits for Workouts B and C. Rest 3 minutes and finish with the strength phase.
MP = Metabolic Phase SP = Strength Phase
Workout A A
Dumbbell Single-Arm Clean and Press
Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip that’s slightly beyond shoulder width and hang at arm’s length with your knees bent and ankles crossed behind you (a position known as a dead hang) [A]. Pull your chest to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together [B]. Pause, and then slowly lower yourself back to a dead hang. Do as many reps as you can.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in your right hand in front of your hips [A]. Push your hips back, bend your knees [B], and raise up explosively, pulling the weight up your body. When it reaches your chest, dip under it and “catch” it at your shoulder [C]. Press it above your shoulder [D]. Do 5 reps. Add 5 pounds each week.
Burpee to Broad Jump
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides [A]. Push your hips back and lower your body into a deep squat, placing your hands on the floor [B]. Kick your legs back into a push-up position and do a push-up [C]. Return to a squat and then jump forward as far as you can [D]. Do 10 reps. Add 2 reps each week. A
BALLISTIC MOVEMENTS LIKE THIS BROAD JUMP TORCH YOUR LEGS SP
4 Front Squat
Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulderwidth and raise your upper arms until they’re parallel to the floor. Let the bar roll back so it’s resting on just your fingertips and the front of your shoulders [A]. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor [B]. Do 4 sets of 5 reps. Rest 1 to 2 minutes between sets. Add 2½kg each week. 48 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
MOVEMENTS THAT REQUIRE BALANCE ENCOURAGE FAST MUSCLE GROWTH
Medicine Ball Elevated Push-up
Assume a push-up position with your hands on two medium-size medicine balls and your feet on a bench or step that’s about 12 inches high. Your body should be straight from head to ankles [A]. Brace your core and lower your chest until it’s even with the balls [B]. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. Do 10 reps. Add 2 reps each week. A
2 Inverted Towel Row
Set a bar to waist height and drape two towels over it so they’re about shoulder-width apart. Grab the towels close to the bar and hang at arm’s length with your shoulders directly below your hands. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor [A]. Lift your chest to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together [B]. Do 10 reps. Add 5 reps each week.
Alternating 4 Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
Hold the handles of a jump rope and stand with your arms at your sides and the rope resting on the floor behind you. Swing it in an arc over your head [A] and then down toward your feet, jumping over it by pushing off the floor with the balls of your feet [B]. Land softly, never letting your heels touch down. Do 50 reps. Add 25 reps each week.
NO KETTLEBELL? NO PROBLEM. JUST SUBSTITUTE A DUMBBELL.
Kettlebell SingleArm Snatch
Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip that’s slightly beyond shoulder width and assume a dead hang, with your knees bent and your ankles crossed behind you [A]. Pull your chest to the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades together [B]. Pause, and then slowly lower yourself back to a dead hang. Do as many reps as you can.
Hold a kettlebell in your right hand between your thighs, feet just beyond shoulderwidth [A]. Swing the bell between your legs [B] and then raise up, pulling the weight up your body [C]. When it reaches chest level, punch your palm toward the ceiling so the bell flips over your forearm [D]. Do 10 reps, switch arms, and repeat. Add 2½kg each week.
Set an adjustable bench to 45-degrees and lie on your back, holding dumbbells above your shoulders [A]. Lower the left to the side of your chest [B]. Press it up to the start and repeat with the right dumbbell. Continue alternating. Do 4 sets of 8 reps per arm. Rest 1 to 2 minutes between sets. Add 2½kg per dumbbell each week.
Roll a loaded barbell against your shins with your feet twice shoulder-width apart and toes pointing out. Grab it with an overhand grip, hands 15cm apart [A]. Pull your torso up, thrust your hips forward and raise your upper body [B]. Do 4 sets of 5. After each, perform a jump complex (see right); rest 2 mins. Add 5kg each week.
4 Jump Complex
Standing with your feet hip-width apart, push your hips back, bend your knees [A], and then jump as high as you can [B]. Land as softly as you can on the balls of your feet, then lower your heels to the floor. Repeat 3 times and then jump forward as far as you can 3 times [C]. Add one vertical and one forward jump each week.
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YOUR OFF-DAY WORKOUT
1/ Walking High-Knees
STEP IT UP ON YOUR REST DAYS, AND YOU TOO WILL BE THIS RIPPED
RECOVER BETTER Muscles don’t grow durring workouts – they grow between them. Follow tthese ain tips to recover faster, ga ack strength quicker and pa on more lean mass
Stand tall with your feet shoulderwidth apart. Raise your left knee as high as you can and take a step. Repeat with your right leg. Walk 10 metres, turn around and walk back.
2/ Lateral Shuffle Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width. Push your hips back and lower your body (keep your hips slightly higher than your knees). Shuffle 10 steps right and 10 steps left.
3/ Arm Circles
1/ DROP AND ROLL As soon as you finish your workout, grab a foam roller – our pick: Grid Roller R360, gymconcepts.com – and give each muscle group five rolls. You’ll not only increase bloodflow but also break up knots, boosting mobility and power, says Brad Schoenfeld, certified coach and author of The M.A.X. Muscle Plan.
Hold your arms straight out to your sides, palms forward. Start by making small circles and progress to larger ones. Do 10 circles forward and then 10 circles backward.
Feed Your Gains
2/ REDEFINE REST Allow 48 hours between workouts to optimise recovery, but don’t just sit around. “Doing light activity on rest days accelerates repair by cycling key nutrients through your muscles,” says Schoenfeld. See “Feed Your Gains” to take in more of your most critical nutrient: protein.
3/ HIT THE SACK EARLY “Your body produces its highest levels of growth hormone while you sleep,” says Schoenfeld, “which helps remodel your muscles into stronger versions of themselves.” Scientists think skimping on shuteye can increase muscle breakdown and inhibit protein synthesis. Log at least seven hours a night. 50 | MEN’S HEALTH MUSCLE
Con ms of whey protein after a workout can kickstart recovery, reports the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Sick of shakes? Pack a chicken and cheese sandwich on wholegrain bread. “It has the optimal mix of protein and carbs to stimulate muscle growth,” says nutrition expert Mike Roussell.
T E X T K E L S E Y C A N N O N P H O T O G R A P H T R E V O R R E I D I L L U S T R AT I O N S + I S M