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barbelles The Women’s Weightlifting magazine // Issue o3 // April 2015

Eat Sleep Cave Repeat

eature F o e l a P h Mammot

The Best Fitness tracking Apps


“Golden Chance” TO Lift at the Olympics

Supplement your Sleep Boost Muscle recovery with ZMA and 5HTP

Escape the Gym Lift Anywhere


g ron Lift strong-live st

For women who weightlift, any time anywhere. Download monthly issues directly to your devices.




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ISSUE 03 // APRIL 2015


NEWS - A Golden Era for Women with British Weightlifting


UNBREAKABLE - Military women recover with weightlifting


BELLES - MMA fighter Polly Beauchamp on combat in the cage


EAT - Go prehistoric - clean up your diet with Paleo


HEALTH - Supplement your sleep with cherry smoothies


TRY - Badger Balm to protect and soothe your hands


TRAIN - Perfect your arms with the Push Press


FASHION -Savage Swim - buff bikinis for women who weightlift




EDITOR’S LETTER This month saw Barbelles lose an exhaust and starter motor on the way to interview some inspirational women. Two cars down and Barbelles bring you the beautiful Penny Pearson, the weightlifting wonder who lifts anywhere and everywhere. Polly Beauchamp, MMA champ, talks to us about facing off in the Octagon. Plus British Weight lifting paralympians inspire us with their achievements. This issue is packed full of advice from the experts covering everything from injuries and supplements and if you’ve ever wondered how cavemen used to curb their hunger, check out our feature on the Paleo diet. Plus much, much more…

a m g s a e

Sadly Barbelles is signing off this week with our final issue. It’s been an amazing experience and we’ve loved every weightlifting moment. A big thank-you to everyone who has shown interest in the magazine and especially for all your positive feedback. Big Barbelles Love,

Hannah Richards, Editor

e b l r l a

Victoria Northbrooke


Joanna Gravett

Tom Phillips

Lif t s

Francesca Donovan

Lemarl Freckleton

ve strong ng-li tro

Hannah Richards



Sam Howlett

Jess Fletcher

Tom Carter

Mair Unwin

Helen Brown

A Golden Era in Women’s Weightlifting British Weightlifting is on the hunt for fit, powerful and competitive female athletes to become part of Britain’s sporting elite, to compete in the next Olympic games.


rossFitters, athletes and gymnasts are just some of the women that British Weightlifting’s Golden Chance programme is targeting. The British Weightliftng (BWL) Golden Chance programme aims to find the next female weightlifting medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Strength and power is being tested and the strongest women are being selected to join a three month intensive training programme with full access to BWL performance support, including coaching, nutrition, biomechanics and physiotherapy. Commonwealth Games 2014 gold medalist Zoe Smith started out as a gymnast before beginning her record-breaking weightlifting career. Britain’s strongest teenager Rebekah Tiler was a track sprinter before becoming an elite level weightlifter after just 3 years of training. This is a golden era in women’s weightlifting with UK Sport specifically promoting more women into the sport as well as significantly increasing funding for women in the sport, through BWL. BWL performance director Stuart Cummings said, “This marks the beginning of an historic era in women’s weightlifting performance. We hope to find the next Olympic Champion.” Visit britishweightlifting.org


Powering their way to recovery Injured service women inspire with weight lifting success


ritish Weight Lifting and Help for Heroes are continuing their work to help injured service personnel recover by establishing the British Weight Lifting/Help for Heroes Bench Press Open. Barbelles magazine was inspired by the stories of participants Carolyne Dufley and Michaela Richards who are overcoming very serious injuries with powerlifting.



Michaela Richards, 27, of the Royal Navy, was involved in a car accident that left her with a brain injury in 2011, she said Help for Heroes, had “saved her life” by getting her into sport, in particular, powerlifting. Michaela, who won two gold medals in the 400m and 100m in the at the Invictus Games, shaving a second from her personal best in the former, said she felt “amazing, really buzzing” after her win. It was stepping up to compete in the powerlifting at the Games that was the icing on the cake – she came away with a Silver medal in her category.

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Photo credit: Roger Keller/Help for Heroes


Carolyne Dufley, 32, a Corporal in the Royal Logistics Corps, suffered a severe spinal cord injury during an international Judo match in the USA - since then she has suffered with debilitating pain and loss of movement. Post injury, Carolyne discovered a passion for Wheelchair Rugby, Sitting Volleyball and Powerlifting through the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery programme. She said: “Sport gave me something to get out of bed for and I have seen a positive change in others who have been injured. It made me realise that there are people out there who will help and support you no matter what and will cheer you on.” She competed in the inaugural Invictus Games last September where she won gold medals in the Wheelchair Rugby and Powerlifting events. Like her male comrades, Carolyne revelled in the banter, camaraderie and competitiveness of sport as a part of the long, hard slog of physical rehabilitation. “You’re in a group where others are injured, too – they understand your injuries, how you feel, when you’re having a bad day. Here, we’re all the same, we’re all in this together.”



The British Weight Lifting/Help for Heroes Bench Press Open takes place on Saturday 11th April at Tedworth House, Wiltshire. The competition is for novice and experienced para-powerlifters alike, both military and non-military, with a competition format aimed at making the sport accessible and enjoyable. There are no qualification requirements, anyone can enter providing they can safely and successfully complete the bench press exercise. Entries close Monday 6th April Visit: britishweightlifting.org


Help for Heroes has been involved with Sports Recovery since 2008, and in the past year alone have offered 300 events across 50 different sports enabling over 2,100 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to take part in adaptive sports from grassroots through to performance level.

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omen’s Rugby has really grown in stature in recent years and has received nationwide plaudits. The England Women’s Squad received the BBC Sports Team of the Year Award thanks to their 2014 Rugby World Cup triumph and really put the sport into the public eye. They beat off competition from Europe’s Ryder Cup winning squad from the world of golf, Mercedes Formula 1 team and the GB & Northern Ireland athletics squad to win the prestigious award. The women’s game has received a lot more television airtime as a result of recent successes. The recent Six Nations international between Wales and Ireland was made available worldwide by Welsh channel S4C’s online service. This was the first time a rugby match had been made globally accessible by S4C, and it also came with an English commentary option.


This landmark is another triumph for the women’s game, which is also now shown on Scrum V alongside the highlights of their male counterparts on Sunday on BBC 2. Non Evans, who played for Wales 87 times in rugby as well as representing the nation in weightlifting, judo and freestyle wrestling, was part of the broadcast as a commentator. She believes the game has come such a long way that she explains, “It’s just rugby now, not women’s rugby.” On the back of this recent success, Barbelles spoke to Welsh international scrum half Amy Day. Amy is an integral part of the team that has successfully beaten the award winning World Champions England in this season’s Six Nations. The dynamic scrum half took time out of her busy schedule

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AMY DAY Welsh Scrum half

When did you start weightlifting? I have always been active and started using the gym when I was 17 years old. However, over the past six or seven years I have been olympic lifting and using more free weights and strength programmes. How essential is weightlifting to your training routine? The weightlifting is very important due to the tough nature of the game. Due to the increase in physicality in recent years there is now a higher demand for strength and power. Being one of the smallest players in the game it’s essential that I can hold my own and I strive to punch above my weight. How has weightlifting helped with your performance on the rugby pitch? It has given me the confidence in knowing that for my size I am strong and that I am able to transfer the power and strength into the game. Weightlifting has been beneficial in improving my tackling, running and in staying strong when being tackled. Has training helped you off the field? Yes, it helps in everyday life; I feel like I’ve got plenty of energy when enjoying walking the dog, I don’t usually pick up colds and other illnesses because it has helped my immune system.


What aspects of the training do you enjoy and are there parts you simply dread? I just love getting stuck in and there is nothing better than the feeling after getting through a tough session.

What’s your favourite cheat meal or guilty pleasure? I do enjoy a Chinese from time to time and I also have a very bad sweet tooth for chocolates and cake.

Do you take part in weightlifting Do you think perceptions have changed competitively or simply as a means of improving performance? towards women who weightlift? I’ve not competed in weightlifting but Yes. I believe attitudes have changed I’ve dabbled in a bit of crossfit just as a towards females who weight train through the years. There is much more way of improving fitness and strength. acceptance now. Also many sports have It’s something I have enjoyed doing and benefitted from incorporating strength would definitely like to do more of it. At the moment, the way I train is simply to and power into their training. benefit me on the field. What could be done to further improve What is your favourite pre workout and perceptions? Make sure that people are taught about post workout fuel ups? Through rugby we are supplied with PAS it from an early age. nutrition and Maximuscle products for What’s your favourite workout track? before and after our sessions. I listen to anything that has an upbeat tempo, or remixes of songs. I do have a motivational playlist, which I play before all my rugby games.

What would be your three top tips to women who want to start weight training? 1. Just get up and have a go, You’ll enjoy it more than you think and you will get What has been your best workout positive results. achievement to date? 2. Don’t be intimidated. Everyone has to Every time I put on that Welsh jersey start somewhere. is something im proud of. In terms of 3. Try going with a friend. It’s easier to lifting I can lift well above my body start with someone and you can help weight, I have mastered muscle ups and I even been learning to walk on my each other achieve that little bit extra. hands.

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eight training changes your body – there’s no denying that. With summer fast approaching, you’ve got that beach body ready and raring to go. What better way of showing it off than in a stylish bikini that really fits your body type? That’s exactly what Florida based company Savage Swim is offering: handmade bikinis specifically designed for active ladies who want show off that strong body. Founded by single mum of four, Beth Reeb, she set up the company after she found it difficult to shop for swimwear. With a background in interior design and having been sewing for a living since the age of 16, Beth is no stranger to being creative and finding the perfect designs. “Although self-taught in the clothing and swimsuit arena, it all comes naturally. It’s a passion of mine to create, and also to help others shine in their own skin,” says Beth. And that’s exactly what Savage Swim does. Most pieces are reversible, and offer a wide range of patterns and colours so there’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s taste. There are four different styles of bottoms, from the boy short design “Ryan” to the cheeky, minimal coverage “Dylan”. Beth also offers the option of an extra inch of coverage, so you really are spoilt for choice.


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Much like the bottoms, two of the three top options are reversible and offer the same patterns and colours to choose from. All the tops can be tied in various ways for the best fit, and are designed to show off those ripped shoulders. The playful, creative nature of the bikinis seem to reflect Beth’s own passion for life. “We live life for the outdoors,” she says, “and are here to help you do the same, in style, comfort, and confidence.” But bikinis aren’t the only thing Savage Swim has to offer. The web store also has hats, tank tops, tote bags, blankets and more, so you’ll be completely beach ready in one shop. The best part? The shipping is available worldwide.

So are you a “Dylan” and “Jessie”? Or maybe a “Brooks” and “Leah” sort of gal? Shop now at www.savageswim.com to find your perfect style and live free.




MMA champion Polly Beauchamp talks to Barbelles about facing down opponents in the cage, diet discipline and going Pro


olly has the looks of a model but could knock you out in ten seconds flat. She began her working life with a luxurious skin care company but spends her spare time brutalizing opponents in a cage. Although petite, she is all muscle and her entire body is sculpted to perfection. That might have something to do with the fact that Polly trains 5 days a week, twice a day, increasing to 6 days a week in the run up to a fight. Polly explains, “I was a complete tom boy when I was younger, I was always outdoors. I’ve got two brothers and all male cousins so I was always outside, getting dirty and play fighting. I’ll never be a girly-girl. I never spend time on my makeup or my hair, but I do like to take care of myself, which is why I love to train. I also take good care of my skin; I like good skincare.” Polly also has a natural talent for martial arts. She was a black belt in Karate by the time she was 10. Sadly, Polly lost interest during her early teens but then took up


kickboxing, at which she also excelled. So what was it that attracted her to MMA? “I’ve never really been scared of getting into fights,” she says. “I was always playfighting when I was younger. It’s great being able to go somewhere, fight with someone and not get into trouble.” There is a streak of fearlessness in Polly that sets her apart. As she explains, “You’ve got to have the right mind set for it. A lot of people will go into a combat sport and not expect to get hit. You have to accept that you are going to get hurt and that you will get injured. If you don’t like that, then don’t do it.” Polly trains twice a day around her full time job with Future publishing, as well as having spent the last few years studying a law degree. She is well used to very long days.


She applies that same kind of discipline to her diet, where she takes a ‘clean eating’

approach and tries to get as many nutrients as she can from natural foods. Polly does take a protein supplement after training as well as desiccated liver tablets which she says ‘taste like cat food,’ but give her so much more energy. Polly also incorporates weights and strength training into her programme. “I make sure I train with weights at least 3 times a week. It’s really important for MMA because you need the strength for wrestling, especially if you end up on your back, on the ground. That’s not a good place to be so you need strength to be able to get your opponent off you. So yes I definitely incorporate weights, as well as running and cross trainer for cardio and all the combat training as well. “With weights I don’t lift heavy. In fact, I’ve just got into using Kettlebells – they are really good, especially for your hips and wrestling moves. In MMA you have to try to stop takedowns and they are especially good for your core, hips and

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arms, so I’m doing that a few times a week at the moment.”


Polly dedicates a tremendous amount of time to her physical preparation. But stepping into the cage to face an opponent takes mental preparation, too. “When I go into a fight I think about how hard I’ve been training. All the hours I’ve put in beforehand, how hard I’ve worked, I know that I’ve done everything I possibly can. It’s always going to be really nerve wracking because at the end of the day you’re getting locked in a cage with another trained fighter, who is going out there to try to beat you. “Obviously you’ve got that in your head, but you’ve got to think: don’t rush it, stick to technique, stick to basics, don’t try and look really flashy, and just do what you do. It’s what I train to do basically. “I don’t think I’ll ever take a fight and not be worried about it; I don’t think anyone would, no matter what level you are but it’s all about that state of mind.” Polly is always fiercely focused, especially when she is staring her opponent down before a fight at the weigh in.


“It sounds really bad but I’m literally thinking I will smash you in the face. That’s what you’ve got to think.” Polly is currently undefeated but as she says, “I know that one day I will lose, in fact everyone says it’s a good thing to lose because you learn from it. As long as I’ve put everything into it, as long as I’ve done my best I don’t think losing will be too bad, because there are people out there who are better than me. I think I’ll only be upset if I don’t train hard enough, if I don’t put the effort in or make a really stupid mistake.”


Outside of the cage, Polly has lived with her long term partner for the last 6 years. She also prefers nights in with friends and family rather than big nights out on the town. Her partner has some reservations about her in the cage, though. “He does worry but he said to me the other day he’s only really worried for the first twenty seconds of a fight – once he sees I’m beating them, he’s not worried anymore,” she says. “But I know that will change one day and he’ll spend the whole fight thinking oh my god.” When talk turns to the benefits of MMA

for women, Polly’s face lights up. “It’s a major confidence booster for women.” says Polly. ‘You’re going to feel so much better about yourself. Obviously the fitness side of it, it’s really good because it’s so challenging, every part of your body is challenged. At the end of a fight your whole body hurts. It just targets everything. And it’s a multi disciplined sport; boxing, wrestling, submissions, so many different elements to the sport. And for me it’s also a social life as you’re constantly surrounded by people who are just as obsessed with the same thing as you.” Polly is 28 years old now and perfectly poised to take the next step towards becoming a pro MMA fighter. “I need a few more amateur fights first and to do well in them before I can go pro, hopefully next year, if all goes well.” Polly is full of smiles and positive energy. But underneath is a ferocious determination that the MMA pros should never underestimate. Polly Beauchamp is definitely one to watch.

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“You have to accept that you are going to get hurt and that you will get injured. If you don’t like that, then don’t do it.”


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Ones to watch:

the CrossFit Open

For the past few weeks, the Reebok CrossFit Open has been taking place across the world. Thousands of CrossFitters have signed up to the competition. Barbelles looks at the top six ladies worldwide.

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Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, 26 Hailing from Canada, Camille is competing for the South West region in this year’s Games. Last year, she was the female winner of the CrossFit Games beating off a vast amount of competitors. Once again, Camille is top of the leaderboard. She’s the lady to beat. Kara Webb, 25 Competing for Australia, Kara had to withdraw from last year’s competition due to injury. However, this year, she’s back and fighting for that top spot! Kara has been doing CrossFit for three years and looks like serious competition for Camille in this year’s Games. Emily Bridgers, 27 Placing sixth in last year’s games, Emily is now two from top spot. Competing for the South East region, this small, powerful lady is also co-owner of her own CrossFit box (CrossFit Terminus, Atlanta). Emily also placed top of her region in last year’s regionals.

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Annie Thorisdottir, 25 Annie won two consecutive CrossFit Games in 2011 and 2012, and placed second in 2014. Coming from a small town in Iceland, Annie has taken the CrossFit world by storm over the past few years competing for Europe. Definitely one to watch in the coming weeks. Stacie Tovar, 30 Stacie placed sixth in the 2014 North Central regional and looks set to place highly again this year. This lady is all about having fun while inspiring others to do the same. It would be great to see her in the Games and we’re sure she’ll keep up the amazing work. Ragnheidur Sara Sigmundsdottir, 22 Closely following the top five, in sixth place this lady has shot through the ranks in recent weeks beating some big stars – such as Michele Letendre – and is fast catching up the top five. Like Annie, Sara is also from Iceland and will be competing for Europe.

Barbelles wishes our homegrown superstar, Sam Briggs all the best for the open! 16

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All photographd ©2015 CrossFit, Inc. Used with permission from CrossFit, Inc.

Annie Thorisdottir, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Julie Foucher; 2014 finals


Lift Anywhere! A

t school, teachers always nagged you to think outside the box. Well, sales assistant and weightlifter, Penny Pearson, certainly took this literally, as she left the CrossFit box to lift anywhere weird and wonderful. Be it up a mountain, in a graffitied park, or even in the rooms of a derelict house – the 25-year-old’s bar will soon need its own travel insurance! “I once went to lift in the abandoned asylum in Talgarth,” says Penny. “But I got chased out by security twice. “I took my kettlebell and had to jump over a wall to get in. All the medicine bottles were scattered everywhere and it was very surreal.” Thankfully, her other destinations are more relaxing, one of her favourite things to do in the summer being to drive down to Ogmore beach. Based in Bridgend, and a Valleys girl at heart, she also goes to the beautiful mountainous common of LLangeinor, a far cry from a sweaty CrossFit box. “I just put some music on in the car and go. I normally Google places first, and see what pops up,” she smiles. “I first started weightlifting because I broke my foot doing CrossFit; I needed something to help me continue to keep fit, so I started a barbell programme, qualifying third in both the Welsh and British Weightlifting Championships.”


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Barbelles revved the accelerator, turned the music up loud, and headed onto the open road to meet CrossFit enthusiast and role model Penny Pearson, who has a penchant for lifting any time, anywhere. Penny, who describes herself as “tall and lanky”, maintains that girls should not be put off by the false rumour that you will get bulky if you lift. Aside from the freedom her regime allows, she helps inspire young girls to get into sport as obesity levels in the UK remain a worrying issue. “I did a workshop in a school and not even half the 15- and 16-year-old girls could do a decent squat,” she says. “I blame social media, as no-one goes outside to meet each other like they did when I was younger.” Thankfully, the girls enjoyed Penny’s class, and with a strong social media campaign she looks to inspire a much wider audience. “I uploaded my pictures on Instagram and they really took off. I now advertise for Bulldog Gear, Kitbox and I wear compression socks for Zero Point. “The locations provide a different outlook, and companies like the idea.” Training and coaching around nine times a week in CrossFit boxes in Penybont, Caerphilly, Cardiff and Newport, Penny shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. After concentrating on weightlifting this year, she plans to start a PGC teaching course in September, whilst maintaining her lifting regime. Her bar is always ready to go, and there’s no telling where it might end up next.


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The Flourish, Lloyd George Avenue, Cardiff CF10 4QH

The POWER of PALEO Barbelles takes a look at the new diet craze that sends you back to the Stone Age to eat like a caveman.



Picture Cedit: Mammoth by Max, Deviant Art

elcome to the latest 21st century diet, or should we say, welcome to 8,000 BC. The Paleo diet, coined from the Paleolithic Era, is based around choosing types of food that were around before the first agricultural revolution, about 10,000 years ago. The aim being that the diet will improve your athletic performance and allow you to receive better quality nutrients. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you need a plan to catch a mammoth! The diet involves eating meats, fish, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and some fibrous and starchy vegetables, while cutting out sugars, grains and processed foods. So that means no pasta, cakes or bread for you. The sudden desire to jump in a time machine comes from the belief that the agricultural revolution contributed to obesity in the developed world. When humans discovered farming, they changed from hunter-gatherers to people who ate a lot of grains, which our bodies have never quite adjusted to. The Paleo diet means you won’t be eating additives in processed foods, reducing your chances of obesity and metabolic issues. You will also avoid anti-nutrients found in grains and legumes, which can disrupt your immune and hormone systems, and stop you from absorbing essential nutrients needed for a fit and healthy body.

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Paleo culture The paleo diet has not only inspired athletes and healthy eaters, the culture has taken on a new form in paleo cafes and fast food eateries


Café Pure

With our fast paced, modern lifestyles sometimes meaning we resort to a salty microwave meal, PaleoChef came up with the perfect solution. Founded in April 2014, the Cardiff based online company can deliver Paleo meals to your door five days a week, ready for you to cook and enjoy. PaleoChef is the product of Oxo Tower chef turned health guru Pete Cookson, and Harley Street nutritionalist Drew Price. Their meals are tailored to support your dietary needs, with meal plans including ‘Fat Loss’, ‘Performance’ and ‘Warrior’, all designed to improve health and wellbeing while supporting your fitness goals. “The proteins in meat and fish are much higher quality, meaning you recover faster from training and take better care of your immune system, which can become stressed by intense training,” explains Drew. “Paleo style diets use foods that the human body is better adapted to, foods that your genetic make-up is built around, therefore sending more of the right signals to the body.” Their meal plans incorporate fats in whole foods like fish, highquality meat, nuts and oily veg that are minimally processed, meaning they’re less likely to be damaged. They avoid processed fats, which are unable to be absorbed properly by the body.

Indeed, weightlifters in Wales appear to be embracing the caveman instinct to get up and go, as Café Pure, a restaurant in Cardiff Bay with a Paleo section on their menu, sees numerous CrossFitters and coaches going for food in between training. “They come in their gym gear to have a hearty breakfast before heading back to workout,” smiles chef Chris Lewis, 34. “Our ingredients are completely natural compared to other protein bars and smoothies, which add a lot of artificial stuff that’s not always put on the label.” Café Pure tries to be as British as possible, sourcing their Paleo meat from a butcher in Carmarthenshire, with Paleo animals unaffected by intensive farming. “No fertilisers, nutrients or pellets have been used. They don’t eat anything they shouldn’t - just grass,” explains Chris. “The only thing which might hinder the popularity of the diet is the high price of Paleo meat. But hopefully a greater demand will drive the costs down.” Indeed, the team at Café Pure are thinking big, with plans to expand and open metro style restaurants in gyms in London and Cardiff, as the Paleo popularity grows.

Face 11 But eating like a Caveman certainly doesn’t mean that your diet has to be boring! Welcome to Face 11, a bar and restaurant in Cathays, Cardiff, that has a penchant for all things Paleo. Their special menu is designed to attract sporty customers to the venue. Paleo Pancakes are a particular favourite and with flavours such as chocolate and strawberry on the menu, it’s easy to see why! “We developed our menu because our owner, Mathew Hinton, is a marine, so he’s really into fitness,” explains PA and business developer, Kelly Greening, 24. “All that’s in our pancakes are protein mix, water and peanut butter, as we use whey powder instead of pancake mix.” The team sources all their meat from local farmers, aiming to be environmentally friendly and support local businesses. “We avoid cooking food in oil, and if we have to, we will use extra virgin,” says Kelly. “We’re also looking at developing healthy cakes in the future, made from natural coconut milk; we’re becoming a popular venue for CrossFit teams to go for a meal.”


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Living like a Caveman Barbelles Sam Howlett takes on the caveman challenge and becomes fully paleo for the week, this is his diary...


he idea sounded simple. I would trial a diet, just for a week to see how I get on. If I got on well, with summer just around the corner, it may even be the change I need to shift that final stubborn spot of fat. All I basically had to do is avoid processed foods, cereals and dairy, right? Legions of Crossfit enthusiasts swear by the paleo diet and I was ready to make a bold leap straight into a regime of eating steak and handfuls of nuts. I decided I would take on the paleo diet and I would come out on top. THE DAY BEFORE I thought I would make a statement by throwing all non-paleo items in the bin. It was war and I meant business. Out went the remnants of my milk and butter, making room for all the meat I’d be stocking my fridge with. It was Sunday night and I was ready for day one of the diet. DAY 1 Waking up on day one was the usual struggle, hitting the snooze button until I really had to get out of bed. I chucked some small sizzle steaks on the grill and prepared some salad, my first paleo breakfast, not a bad start. In all honesty I was unprepared, I had exactly the same thing for lunch – with the addition of some tomatoes. I took handfuls of walnuts and pecan nuts to keep me satisfied between meals. When it came to dinner, I panicked again and had gammon and egg. Hitting the gym was hard going, I got fairly exhausted in a short amount of time. I had learnt my lesson and I would try harder from my second day onwards. DAY 2 When the alarm sounded on my second day I thought it would be best to get out of bed a bit quicker to give myself time to get my meals ready. Scrambled eggs and salmon was a nice treat. I prepared some sweet potato chunks, salad and chicken for lunch, which was much more filling. I found that when I went to the gym I had my energy back. I was fairly pleased with the day, I felt rather productive and I was feeling


positive. Now I had worked out a plan of attack, I started to feel like I could make the diet work. DAY 3 On day three I beat the alarm clock, waking up early and ready to have a morning gym session before I tucked into some bacon and eggs. It was then that disaster struck and I discovered that I would have my first paleo problem. On returning from the gym with my bacon I discovered that after snacking on some fresh veg the previous night a stray carrot had lodged itself in the door, leaving the fridge freezer to defrost. My food was ruined. I won’t blame the diet, it was my own incompetence but it was a setback nonetheless. DAY 4 After restocking the fridge for the rest of the week I was determined to finish this thing. I had hit my stride with the diet, I had worked out the portion sizes I needed and the quantities of each food group to include. I wasn’t getting hungry anymore, my energy levels were good and my mood had even improved. DAY 5 & 6 By the time I was into the final few days of this little experiment I found that the diet had become easy to follow and even enjoyable. I was snacking less and when My newfound skills in creating my own trail mix were enough to stave off any hunger. DAY 7 When day seven finally arrived, I didn’t feel any sense of relief or achievement, simply that I had made a small change in my life that made me feel a lot better and would be beneficial in the long run. I think I may even keep the diet up and stick with a paleo diet of sorts. Maybe I can let myself off and have the occasional treat, but overall the diet is simple and easy to follow. So if you’re looking for one small change to your regime, I would certainly recommend ditching the dairy, cutting the carbs and eating like a caveman.

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Supplement your sleep


A combination of Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6, ZMA helps the body achieve deeper levels of REM sleep. Magnesium is the key element here as most people don’t get enough of it in their diet. Magnesium is important to muscle relaxation, hydration and energy production. Crucially, it plays a key role in the deactivation of your adrenaline. Nutritional therapist, Marek Doyle, told HuffPost UK, “Having sufficient magnesium in your body does not necessarily guarantee that you will go into a deep sleep quickly and stay there, but insufficient levels guarantee that you won’t.” Make sure you top your level up.


5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is a naturally occurring amino acid and is key to a good night’s sleep. Getting enough 5-HTP is important because it converts into two things: melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is the body’s sleep hormone, and helps to regulate your sleep patterns. Light affects how much melatonin your body produces, so in winter months levels can change. For better sleep, you should ensure that you have enough melatonin and that these levels are stable. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects mood, appetite and sleep. A serotonin deficiency often leads to a poor night’s sleep and a resultant low mood. Ensure you have enough on board by topping up your 5-HTP. Made with mucuna, which is a good source of 5-HTP, Ronnie Coleman’s Resurrect-PM comes highly recommended: “It’s absolutely amazing!” says Nic Richardson, owner of #Gainz supplement store.


SciMx ZMA plus hardcore £19.99 Month’s Supply

Tested Nutrition Tested ZN-MG-B6 £18 Month’s Supply

Arnold Series Iron Dream £24.99 30 servings

Ronnie Coleman Signature Series Resurrect-PM £29.99 25 servings

Holland & Barrett Vegan 5HTP Capsules 50mg £19.99 60 Capsules

APRIL 2015


Sleep Smoothie Are poor nutrition choices keeping you up at night? Boost your sleep function by enjoying this blend about an hour before bed. Cherries are one of the few known natural sources of melatonin, the hormone that regulates the body’s circadian rhythms and sleep patterns. You’ll also benefit from their strong dose of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and anti-carcinogenic flavonoids. The banana will boost your potassium and magnesium levels, both of which are excellent muscle relaxants, while the yoghurt provides calcium, another great relaxant. The Shredded Wheat will give you yet more magnesium as well as a good whack of vitamin B6, which is converted in melatonin. To make, first remove the stems and stones from the cherries before throwing into a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Sleep well and enjoy!

Ingredients Half a banana // 10 cherries // A Shredded Wheat biscuit // 2 tbsp natural yoghurt // 150ml water //

For more on sleep and its benefits check out the full article on the Barbelles website @barbellesmag

APRIL 2015



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If you are doing a lot of weight training, then calluses are almost inevitable. Calluses, blisters and cuts are common at the base of your fingers, the middle of your digits and also on your palms. The calluses may start to pinch, the blisters may start to sting and cuts may stop you training altogether. Barbelles has the answers to preventing and dealing with weightlifting wounds.

Badger Balm have a number of products in their range and their hand cream is perfect for hardworking paws. This cream is perfect for rough, worn skin and cracked dry hands. It’s tough enough to soothe skin weathered from weights but gentle enough to use daily before bed. Made with wintergreen oils, which is used traditionally in antiseptics and muscle rub, the salve its ideal for psoriasis and eczema as well as the war wounds picked up from constant weight training. Barbelles recommends Badger Balm as the daily answer to keeping your hands moisturised ready for the tough training ahead.

Buy from Amazon – £4.95 (21g)

Many people are hoping for toned and ripped bodies from their training, but one thing you don’t want ripped is the skin on your hands. Your bedtime balm is ideal for keeping your skin soft but if you are unlucky enough to be suffering from blisters and calluses then you need Rip Fix to repair those tears. Rip Fix claims to be the only product on the market to be made by a family of athletes especially for hand tears. The rub takes the sting out of the painful lacerations so you don’t have to get out of your training routine. The combination of camphor, beeswax, honey, petroleum jelly and coconut and tea tree oils effectively cure the cuts so you stay blister-free in the box. Barbelles recommends using Rip Fix the rub daily until the cuts and calluses are dealt with.

HOMEMADE EXFOLIATOR Don’t fancy splurging on the latest hand cream? Why not use Barbelles own coconut oil recipe to produce your own sugar scrub? With an ounce of luck you’ll have all you need in the kitchen cupboard. Ingredients: 30g brown sugar 100g softened coconut oil (not melted) ½ teaspoon sandalwood oil Method: With your hands mix the ingredients together until the consistency reaches a paste. Then store in an airtight container and it’s ready for use. Massage into your hands and rinse off afterwards.

Pumice stones are the ideal solution for bringing up more of the dead skin from those awkward places on your hands. Soak your hands in warm water for a minute or two, lightly towel dry them and the dry skin will be slightly raised. Now it’s time to rub the volcanic stone across your hands – you know you are doing it right as the skin will start to come off. Continue rubbing until your hand feels relatively smooth and flat. The calluses will now stop pinching during training and you will breeze through your session with ease.

Buy from Amazon £1.99 Buy from Bearstrength £12.50 (42.5g)

Shop for your Ingredients at a local supermarket


Check out our video tutorials on

The push press is used to generate more power from the legs to lift a heavier weight over your head. Start with your legs straight and shoulder width apart. Keep your torso and bum squeezed in tight.


Beginner workout 1

With an over hand grip, place your hands just outside of your shoulders. Your elbows should be as parallel to the bar as you can get them. Keep your chest upright and be careful not to curve your back.


Dip your body by bending your knees slightly. Keep your feet in full contact with the floor, balancing your weight on your heels. Let your legs and hips do the initial work – don’t be temped to use your upper body too soon.


Exhale and drive your legs upwards, thrusting your hips to increase the power. Your heels should rise slightly off the ground, if they don’t then the drive isn’t hard enough.

4 5

>Every time you drop the bar, complete 5 press ups


Advanced workout As many rounds and reps as you can manage in 15 minutes: >30 Weighted DB Box Step-Overs >30 Double-Unders >30 Push Press (30kg)


Once in an upright position extend your arms above your head and behind your neck to complete the workout. Return the bar to your shoulders to repeat.


As many rounds and reps as you can manage in 15 minutes: >30 step ups >30 single unders (skipping) >30 push press with an unloaded bar (Empty bar is 15kg)


>Every time you drop the bar, complete 5 press ups (DB is dumbbells, choose your own weight for these - recommended 25lb (10kg) PT Top Tip: Maintain good form as you push press, keep your chest up, squeeze your butt and keep your abs tense.

APRIL 2015




Barbelles talks to movement specialist Daniel Cleal to find out the benefits of kenesio tape and the methods of application When injury hits, the only way to help those muscles recover is to take time to rest and recuperate. Make sure that when you’re ready to start training again you know how to tape it up to avoid regression or further injury.

I have personally found some success with kinesiology taping in the treatment of anterior type knee pain, Achilles & foot related conditions , various forms of shoulder pain/ impingement and cases of lower back pain. There are others but these have been the most common success stories with kinesiology tape.

Daniel Cleal - director at vitality life fitness and head of education at BeaverFit

What does the tape do? - It decompresses the layers of the skin which can be a factor with neural receptors and pain. - The tape Works with the tissues, alleviating pain by promoting better mechanics. - Increases blood flow to an injured area, aiding in recovery. - It can help stabilise an area, promoting better positioning for the damaged tissues to heal, and off loading overactive musculature that may be causing a problem. Other benefits have included, the reduction of inflammation in some trauma injuries, and re-education of some muscle recruitment patterns. However, correct scaling and movement coaching is generally the most successful treatment in these cases, which takes time and the correct application.

Photo credit: carolinasportsclinic.com/techniques/kinesio-taping.html

What are the benefits of wearing it? Taping can be used to assist in the recovery of an injury, but the therapist must first decide if it is indeed appropriate to tape, what type of taping method to use and what stage are they are at in the injury/rehabilitation process as this can depend on the application method used. The current research is still non conclusive it would appear and generally the jury is still out on how taping, especially kinesiology tape can assist injuries, pain and/or performance. Are there other methods of injury recovery? Personally I think taping has a place but also believe there is no one treatment that solves everything. It’s using a combination of tools and protocols with the correct application that will give you the best outcome. From my experience as a therapist and coach, a proper assessment must always be carried out before hand and only then can a correct treatment plan be put in place. Test and retest everything. There are hundreds of methods but principles are few and knowledge is useless if the correct application can’t be applied. From a placebo perspective. It you find something helps, and as long as it’s not encouraging faulty movement I can’t see an issue. Remember correct movement can be its own therapy!


APRIL 2015


It’s a wristy business Barbelles discovers unstoppable American mum, Kelley Urbani, who invented the adjustable wrist wrap that’s taken the world by storm.


e all know the cringe worthy phrase “behind every strong man, there’s a strong woman”. But, in the case of American entrepreneur, Kelley Urbani, behind every strength wrap is a woman who kicks ass. The single mum, who invented the first adjustable wrist wrap, owns an office in Costa Mesa, California, and developed her online business into a successful global product. Strength Wraps has as much spark as its owner, with the company’s sassy wrist wraps carrying names such as Bad Girl, Purple Rage and Firebreather, and many designs boldly displaying military camouflage and the American flag. “Kelley has made sure to stay true to the original concept of the wrist wrap – full range of motion, joint stability, and functionality at a cost efficient price,” says the Strength Wraps team. “We’ve grown into a successful small business with multiple employees and distributors with an international reach.” Indeed, the close-knit team, consisting of COO Britt-Marie Trace, customer service assistant Kayleigh Macha, and of course, Kelley, the president, all have an amazing drive to succeed. Kelley started CrossFit through her


involvement with the Olympic lifting programme run by international coach, Mike Burgener. Dedicated to fitness, she began training full-time in 2008 under John Wellborn of CrossFit Football; in 2011 she was placed 17th in the SoCal CrossFit regional, gained 1st place in the OC Throwdown, and began working as a personal trainer and coach at CrossFit Balboa in Newport Beach, California. But the journey wasn’t always easy. In an interview with Breaking Muscle online, Kelley revealed how Strength Wraps started. She was concerned her young daughter’s father, who was in Special Forces, might be called away. Worried about money, Kelley had the idea for adjustable wrist wraps that could be loosened and altered for different exercises after noticing that one client complained their hands still hurt after using normal wraps. Ever determined, she wasted no time in launching her pioneering new Strength Wraps on Facebook. Kelley constantly sewed, from 9.30pmmidnight, and again from 4.30am-7am – even taking her sewing machine to work at CrossFit Balboa. It certainly paid off, with the global business a far cry from the days of midnight sewing. And being a proud mum, her caring side is reflected in the

brand’s partners. “Barbells for Boobs (BFB) has been Strength Wraps’ official charity partner since 2010,” says Kelley. “They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer. Inspired by athletes everywhere, local communities come together, fundraise, and help BFB detect potentially life threatening breast cancer occurrences.” Among their other partners are Rogue Fitness, who sell CrossFit equipment, and USA Weightlifting athletic group, who train candidates for the olympics. “The first time I met Kelley, she scared the crap out of me,” exclaimed Breaking Muscle online’s Becca Borawski Jenkins. And it’s easy to see why. The tenacious lady is certainly not one to shrink from a challenge, turning a small enterprise on Facebook into a respected global company with attitude. We all know that weightlifting requires physical power, but Kelley’s business reminds us that behind every deadlift there is as much emotional stamina as there is muscle power.

APRIL 2015



Dead lift

Repetitive dead lifting can cause scrapes on your shins. Protect those pins with some leggings or long sports socks.

Adidas Stellasport Overknee Socks £11.00 adidas.co.uk

Eastbay All Sport II Socks £3.38 eastbay.com Adidas Neo Knee Socks

Nike Elite Running


Cushion Socks



Kit your johnlewis.com

Adidas Stellasports Tights £39.00 adidas.co.uk


Whether you’re doing front squats, back squats or sumo squats, you’ll want your shorts to stay put. We’ve picked these Reebok One Series 2-in-1 Shorts that are actually designed for runners. They have a fitted inner short that will minimise ride up while you squat.

Reebok One Series 2-in-1 Short £30.00 reebok.co.uk

s e l l e b r BaFavourite 30

APRIL 2015

Alternatively, go for something like these Nike Pro Tiger Training Shorts, which are made from stretch Dri-Fit fabric for a comfortable, skin tight fit underneath your training gear. Nike Pro Tiger Training Shorts £18.39 store.nike.com


Adidas Techfit Tank Top £25.00 adidas.co.uk


The continuous movement of lifting the barbel from ground to above your head causes short tops to ride up. Avoid this annoyance by chosing one that is longer with a tighter fit.

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This Theory Leen Stretch Tank is designed for low impact exercises such as yoga and pilates, but this means that it has been created to stay put during the most flexible of moves. The racer-back shape allows for full freedom of movement too. Theory Leen Stretch Tank £70.00 net-a-porter.com


Vitalise Hybrid Top £22.00 newbalance.co.uk

Nike Advantage Stretch Tank £35.00 net-a-porter.com

Match your lifts to your kit to ensure that your workout is comfortable and care free. We’ve teamed some our favourite pieces with some gym move classics so you can focus on your technique and look good effortlessly.


The end position of the clean lift can cause bruising or chafing across your collarbones. Minimise this by avoiding tops with very thin straps. Instead, go for tshirts or long sleeved varieties. Make sure they’re still flexible enough to ensure full range in motion.

Reebok Crossfit Lightweight Adaption Top £105.00 reebok.co.uk Accelerate Short Sleeve Graphic £25.00 newbalance.co.uk

Nike Dri Fit Knit Jersey Tshirt £50.00 net-a-porter.com

Nike Club Mezzo Tie Tshirt £22.39 store.nike.com Accelerate Short Sleeve Graphic £25.00 newbalance.co.uk


21:30 75%

Fitness Apps



Pumping Weight




Zombies, Run!

APRIL 2015



About Apps Barbelles looks at smartphone software that is app-solutely essential for fitness tracking. If you don’t fancy a tracker on your wrist or don’t want to fork out for an expensive wearable there are alternatives available for tracking training on your smartphone. Fitocracy (free)

Pumping Weight (free)

WODBOX (free)

Fitocracy acts as a social network for trainers and uses a combination of peer pressure and achievements to spur you on to reach your goals. As you log exercises you gain awards and level up depending on your results. All this is displayed through social media streams so other ‘Fitocrats’ can view, comment, share and encourage you along the way. The app allows you to enter weight and reps easily, monitor your progress, create personalised workouts and is very user friendly.

Pumping weights not only tracks your progress like the other apps but also has a feature where it automatically records your rest periods so you can judge the intensity of your workout. The interface is stylish, easy to use and does an excellent job of displaying your progress clearly. The “beat the clock” focus of the app will really push you to your limits.

If you are struggling to find your workout of the day, WODBOX is the perfect solution. As well as suggesting routines it integrates with Facebook to keep friends and followers updated. The app allows you to keep tabs on journal entries, personal bests and the equipment at your disposal, or “weapons” as they are know on WODBOX. If you know your favourite WODs you can scroll through them alphabetically.

GymBook (free) Unlike other apps GymBook concentrates on muscle strengthening in particular. Again, you can create workouts and routines but you also have a number of animations of exercise types to help you along the way. After you have entered data into the app it will display the stats of your last attempt next the specific exercise you tried making it simple to track your progress.


Strong (free) Strong is a workout-tracking app that allows you to enter and store your workouts with ease. It also allows you to unlock and collect achievements when you have hit certain milestones and fitness targets. You can add routines and then add them to new workouts when you want to.

Zombies, Run! (£2.99) Fancy something a little different to spice up your cardio, then this is it! Whether you are running the streets, trail running, walking to work or treadmill training this app will record your speed. Not only does it keep tabs on your times but also it plunges you into an action packed game. The app allows you to turn on a zombie chase option that pushes you to run faster and faster in order to survive the approaching zombie hordes. As you run you pick up key supplies to rebuild the city that has been destroyed by the zombie apocalypse. You can also mix your own music into it to drive you to survival.

APRIL 2015




Resisting the ropes To end things on a high, our Newbie Barbelle, Helen Brown raised the stakes and attempted the rope free way of rock climbing


may not be able to do a push up, but I do love a good gym sesh. Give me an iPod and a Cross trainer and I can sweat it out like the best of them. So I was raring to go at the prospect of being this issue’s “newbie.” That was until I heard that ‘said newbie’ would be enduring a rock climbing session. Cardio is my forte, heights are not. Especially when the risk of falling is dependant on your own ability to hold your body weight against the wall. My toothpick strong arms massively filled me with trepidation. Okay so this was bouldering, and we wouldn’t be endeavouring to scramble up some of the 30ft death traps that towered overhead, but a fall’s a fall. And I like my limbs intact. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing that is carried out without the use of ropes or a


APRIL 2015

harness. We were tackling the sport at Boulders, on Newport Road in Cardiff. It has amazing facilities for bouldering, with 12 foot walls, catering to a really wide range of abilities and thankfully, lots of crash mats. After watching a group of kids swinging around effortlessly, Spider-man style, I positioned myself confidently at the bottom of a wall. It was much harder than it looked and the kids definitely put me to shame. The lack of harness and climbing ropes mean that you really are dependant on physical strength to keep yourself from falling. Not only that, but a certain amount of stretch and flexibility is required in order to manoeuvre some of the foot and hand holds. I was surprised to find myself clambering what felt relatively quickly up the first wall and

triumphantly (and quite pretentiously) tapping the red band that marks the finish point of each climb. Coming down, however, was a very different tremble inducing story. Despite having found a route up this perilous wall face mere seconds ago, I was at a complete loss of how to come down and each foot placement felt like a life or death risk I was extremely hesitant to take. I appreciate that is somewhat dramatic, but I can imagine that a ten foot fall feels much further than it actually is, even if you are falling onto the thickest of crash mats. Anyway, with wobbly legs I hit ground again, and the adrenalin fuelled feeling of triumph really is addictive. Soon I was going up and down walls far more confidently. Boulders also has facilities for traversing across shorter walls in order to improve technique

and a fun set of trapeze rings to test your upper body strength. After half an hour my arms and legs felt shaky, like I can only imagine they would after a good leg day at the CrossFit box. I can see how rock climbing lends itself amazingly to weight training as it really engaged muscle groups I didn’t even know I had. Who knew that the muscles in your fingertips could work so hard? In addition to that, it is great for improving flexibility and lengthening your muscles. Go up and down enough walls and you’ll also find yourself getting a cardio-esque sweat on. I don’t know about those 30ft death traps just yet, but a bouldering session is far more exciting than a 30 minute slog on the treadmill, and one I would definitely do again.





“The Ability to conquer oneself is no doubt the most precious of all things sport bestows�

Barbelles // raise the bar

Profile for Barbelles Magazine

Barbelles Magazine Issue 3  


Barbelles Magazine Issue 3