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Contents 05.16 FEATURES / COVER STORIES
86 Fast Food Redux We upped the nutrition level of three cheat-day favourites. BY DAVID MORTON
95 First Blood Act fast and strike hard to emerge victorious over illness. BY MARK BAILEY
102 What’s On Her Mind During Sex The thoughts happening up top when she’s down and dirty. BY MIKE DARLING
106 The Land That Death Forgot Iceland’s men have the secrets to see you power past 100. BY JIM THORNTON
114 BlowAwayFat Fad diets come and go. Here’s how to stay lean for life. BY DAVID MORTON
120 Leaderof thePack Plot your rise with lessons from SAS hero Ben Roberts-Smith. BY AARON SCOTT
80 RETURN OF THE KING NRL enforcer Sam Burgess opens up on silencing critics and enjoying the ride, come what may.
68 86 102 120 80 132
BY AARON SCOTT
MH COVER GUY SAM BURGESS PHOTOGRAPHED BY JASON IERACE
129 ELITE 146 GUY LIST
Denim doesn’t have to be blue. Use our guide master its shades.
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Yoga made an elite warrior a better, fitter man. It can do the same for you.
55 129 Rising AFL star Jack Viney always had a rough and tough attitude; here’s how he built a body to match.
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE BAKER, APIX SYNDICATION, ANDY LA MAGNA
Make your first time together something worth remembering.
“The focus of healthcare, he believed, needed to shift from treating sickness to preserving wellbeing”
Men's Health Magazine Australia
POWER UP YOUR MAG!
I recently met a GP who’d become so disillusioned with his profession that he was planning to throw in the whole shebang. The doctor reckoned the health system was fundamentally rigged to stop him from doing his job properly. Most of his patients, he estimated, would see him for perhaps 45 minutes, staggered over the course of the year. During these brief sessions, all the doctor could do was tackle the urgent issue at hand, whether it was a stubborn bout of gastro or violent attack of the lu. The downside? Such limited and episodic contact made it almost impossible for a doctor to take a more holistic view of the patient’s long-term health. Essentially, the doctor felt he’d become a medical ireighter. His role was to simply douse the lames of the latest aliction. But instead of waving his hose about, what he really wanted to do was stop the moment of ignition. The focus of healthcare, he believed, needed to shift from treating sickness to preserving wellbeing. The truth is that you can’t rely on your doctor alone to keep you out of trouble. Ultimately, your health is in your own hands. That’s why in our story, “First Blood” (p95), you’ll ind a guide packed with preemptive strikes to ward of disease, boost your immune system and help you live longer. Kick-start your own personal preventive healthcare campaign today. Attack is the best form of defence.
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Genius Solutions Expert advice from
BExSc (Nutrition), M (Nutr+Diet)
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Abs are built in the kitchen”. It’s true, but doesn’t go far enough. At least as much as your workouts, your diet determines the cut of your entire body. Food, in other words, is your No.1 instrument of change. Want to bulk up? Eat a certain way. Strip fat? Eat a different way. Then there’s the issue of munching for longevity. “Eating good food will give you a healthy metabolism, more energy, more muscle and less fat,” says Robbie Clark, a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian and sports nutritionist. Whatever your goals, here’s your game plan.
BLAST BLUBBER B
MAKE THE FINAL CUT
“ “Step one is going into kilojoule deficit, which k means each day m burning more b kilojoules than you eat. k Start by reducing S portion sizes. I also p rrecommend a balanced diet high in protein d – the most important macronutrient in losing m ffat. It helps to reduce ccravings and boost your metabolism. My y preferred sources of p protein include oily p fish, chicken, eggs and Greek yoghurt.”
“Need to drop just 2-3 more kilos to unveil your abs? Cut down on carbs. Satiety and fat loss generally improve on lower-carb diets, specifically those with higher protein-to-carb ratios. By cutting back on sugars and starchy carbs you’re also better controlling your secretion of insulin, the body’s main fat-storage hormone. Lower insulin levels mean my body uses, rather than stores, available energy.”
Deputy Art Director
Social Media Editor/Writer
Editorial Coordinator (02) 9394 2321
National Group Sales Director Health Brands (02) 9394 2289 NICOLA TIMM
National Business Integration Manager (02) 9394 2212 KRISTIE BARNFATHER
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BM BS BMedSci (Hons)
NEUROLOGY & SPORTS MEDICINE • Richard Parkinson, BMedSC (Hons), MBBS, FRACS
ORTHO PA EDICS • Nigel Hope, MBBS, FRACS, FAOrthA
• Nick Vertzyas, FRACS (Orth), MB, BS
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(Psych), PG Dip (Couns), DHS
Marketing Manager (02) 9394 2703 HANNAH DEVEREUX
Director of Corporate Communications
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“When bulking, my goal shifts to being in energy surplus, meaning I need to increase kilojoules. Consuming smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps me achieve this. Rather than resorting to a “dirty bulk” (pizza, cheesecake), I opt for foods that are nutrient and energy dense, consisting of a mix of protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.”
“By growing steadily, your gains will be primarily muscle rather than lard. I aim to eat about 1200kJ more than I burn each day. That equates to four extra slices of wholegrain bread. Carbohydrate is the first nutrient I focus on, since muscle must be fuelled for the training that stimulates growth. I also up my protein intake to 1.2-3g per kilo of body mass.”
KATE LAWRIE JOHN VIRM JESSIE TAYLOR JEREMY SUTTON
Group Subscriptions Manager PETER ZAVECZ Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Magazines GEREURD ROBERTS Commercial Director MYCHELLE VANDERBURG Group Marketing & Retail Sales Director SIMONE DALLA RIVA Regional Sales Director DEAN PORTER Operations Director
WEALTH • Yianni Tsimopoulos, CTA, FAIM, ATIA, AFA, AFP, MFAA, RTA
TRAINING • Chief Brabon Dip(MT), CFMT, CTAC, CAC
• Cameron Byrnes, Adv Dip (A&P), Adv Dip (F)
• Greg Joujon-Roche, NCCPT Cert PT (UK)
• Greg Stark, BSc (Ex&SpSc)
40+ FITNESS Craig Cooper, C.S.C.S
Executive Director, Business Development and Global Licensing
Deputy Editorial Director, Runner’s World
Editorial Director & Director Content, Rights & Photography Operations
• Ray Klerck, SEX & RELATIONSHIPS • Nikki Goldstein, BSocSc
Marketing Director (02) 9394 2057
Senior Business Analyst
OUR ADVISORY BOARD MENTAL HEALTH • Gordon Parker, MB BS, MD,
Publisher KATHY GLAVAS
QLD Senior Account Manager (07) 3368 7486
GENERAL & EMERGENCY MEDICINE • Hugo Gemal,
Editorial Director, Women’s Health and Men’s Health
Content Manager BURCU ACARLAR
International Business Development Coordinator MOIRA O’NEILL
CAREER • Darryl Cross, FAPs, FAIM, PCC, GAICD
FOOD & NUTRITION • Luke Hines, IIN health coach • Daniel Churchill, MeS, Bsm • Jacqueline Alwill, Adv Dip Nut Med, B Bus, B Arts
• Robbie Clark, BExSc (Nutrition), M (Nutr+Diet)
Pacific Magazines, Media City, 8 Central Avenue, Eveleigh, NSW 2015 Phone: (02) 9394 2000 Fax: (02) 9394 2319 Subscription enquiries: 1300 668 118 Printing Hannanprint Warwick Farm, 2-8 Priddle St, Warwick Farm, NSW 2170. Distribution Gordon & Gotch. Published 12 times a year. Registered business name Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd, (ABN) 16 097 410 896. All rights reserved. Title and trademark Men’s Health © Rodale Press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Men’s Health is a registered trademark and the unauthorised use of this trademark is strictly prohibited.
ILLUSTRATION: CHANTEL DE SOUSA @ ILLUSTRATION ROOM
FEED YOUR FRAME
Deputy Editor DAVID ASHFORD
Q The guys I bike with are super it, but some of them have big bellies. Can a person be it and fat? TC
Ask MH LIFE QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
It’s what’s inside that counts. If quality muscle lies under that gut, your mates may fall into a group known as the “metabolically healthy obese”. These fat-it guys carry what looks like unhealthy body fat, but their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes is lower than an unit obese person’s. Still, they’re not immune to other obesity-related conditions like sleep apnoea and depression, warns Dr David Mutch, associate professor of human health and nutritional sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada. The silver lining: a recent study found that men who stayed or became it – regardless of their BMI – were less likely to die of cancer than unit men. >
Wrestling with your weight? You may have nothing to worry about.
LIFE QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
Q First it was bacon, now it’s sausage rolls . . . are all processed meats off the menu? WO If you’re worried that where there’s smoked, there’s ire, don’t fret just yet. Yes, there has been a lot of tabloid noise recently – there always is. But studies linking processed meats to bowel cancer have not only been inconsistent, they originate from countries where national diets are not comparable with that of your average Aussie, says Dr Christian Abnet, of the National Cancer Institute. In short, a 10-pack of streaky isn’t necessarily akin to a 10-a-day ciggy habit. Even so, other dangers do inhabit cured foods. Most processed meats are high in salt (70 grams of salami will put you above the NHMRC’s daily “adequate intake”), which can ramp up blood pressure, according to the Journal of Hypertension. And scientists with the WHO found that people who ate 50g of processed meat daily – equivalent to four slices of ham – were 11 per cent more likely to develop colorectal cancer. So while we’re afraid to say the risk looks real, moderate ham fans, bacon biters and sausage snackers needn’t worry. Studies do vary, but nutritionists generally argue it’s all in the dose (140g a week is ine), while other lifestyle choices also play a major role. In other words, a bacon sanger on Saturday morning isn’t going to kill you.
HOW TO SAVE YOUR BACON Reluctant to ration your rashers? Try this instead.
throw some beans into the mix; their resistant starch counteracts the cancer risk associated with meat, says Cancer Prevention Research.
marinating meat in a dark ale reduces the formation of potential carcinogens. Beer-poached bangers are now backed by medical science.
A sweet potato has as much bloodpressure-curbing potassium as a banana. Just keep your hands off the salt shaker.
Q Sometimes I’d just rather masturbate than have sex with my wife – and she’s hot! What’s the deal? BD Hey, you’re not alone . . . so to speak. Sex, even solo, is a stress reliever. And according to Kinsey Institute researchers, men are more likely than women to masturbate when anxious or stressed. So if you opted to go it alone, maybe your emotional resources were depleted after a draining day, says Dr David Rowland, professor of psychology at Valparaiso University in the US. For most men, the best sex involves an emotional connection – and that takes effort. According to Dutch research, males in relationships masturbate more often than their female partner. But frequency of hand sex isn’t linked to frequency of sex with a partner – the latter averages out to about three times per two weeks for both men and women, the researchers found. So yes, you’re normal. Before your wife starts to wonder why you’re in the shower so much, make sure she knows you find her sexually attractive. Even better, try to reconnect with her after a hard day. Relax, pour some wine and actually talk. Doing that will likely give you both a stronger desire for sex together, Rowland says.
Q At what age is it a good idea to start using anti-ageing cream? HV Congratulations for risking opprobrium by asking such an emasculating question. Because it’s a good one, and the answer is: too soon is almost as bad as too late. Your skin ages in your late twenties as production of collagen and elastin slows, says dermatologist Dr Annie Chiu. But slathering on collagen creams can actually worsen natural collagen production. Instead, try retinol, a form of vitamin A that not only boosts collagen but also helps replace dead skin cells. A study in Drugs and Dermatology found applying retinol cream daily for a year reduced fine lines by 44 per cent. >
SEX, DATING, LOVE AND BIGGER BREASTS. ALICE TRELOAR WILL NOW TAKE YOUR QUESTION
Courting a lassie shouldn’t be about convenience, CW. Drive-thru, wi-fi, 2-in-1 shampoo? Sure. But the L-O-V-E, love? Well, sometimes relationships require a little extra work, even if that means giving long-distance a go. Skype sessions, Frequent Flyer calculations and pillow spooning might become the norm, but word is that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Plus, think of the castle-visiting, rarebit-eating, rugbywatching adventures ahead.
Q I’m getting a strong vibe that a colleague I’ve only ever viewed as a friend fancies me. Do I have to do something or can I just play dumb? AS
Q My girl always rejects my attempts to join her in the DE shower. What gives? A few things, DE. First, there’s the issue of luro. Most bathrooms have been itted with lights that mimic service station interiors. It’s tricky to maintain a degree of mystery when spotlighting unevenly shaved kneecaps and dandruff-sprinkled scalps. Second, space. Fighting for prime under-shower real estate can hijack hygiene. No one should be rushed when it comes to de-crudding cracks and crevices. And last, you’re short-circuiting a safe haven – a place we retreat to to pluck the occasional chin hair and debate the merits of post-modern architecture and its place in society.
Playing dumb has its place, but oblivion’s bliss is temporary. If she’s playing footsy under the boardroom table or hitting the lift’s emergency stop button, it’s time to address her come-ons head-on (or start taking the stairs). Your game plan: let her lead. Use her next after-work-drink invite as a conversation starter. Set the standard. Work mate, definitely; bed mate, not so much. Play it safe. Stick to group social settings and screen her calls if your phone lights up post-10pm.
Q My girl’s talking about getting a boob job. I reckon fake boobs are tacky. Does she need to hear my opinion? ST Speak up, ST, but don’t expect her to adhere to your boob bothers. What you’re interpreting as tacky may be masking some rack-related hang-ups. Maybe your lady wishes her lumps were more Playboy-esque than pre-pubescent. Perhaps she longs for nipples that point north on her chest compass, instead of sagging south. Or it’s possible her left knocker has a little more cushioning than its right counterpart. Your juggly job is to make sure she talks to the professionals – cosmetic and emotion – before going under the knife.
Q My wife’s birthday is soon. Ask her what she wants (as usual) – or roll the dice? QP The dice should have been thrown years ago, my friend. Buying from a gift list is as exciting as listening to Aunt Barbs yet again recount her dream of a road trip in the company of George Clooney. There’s no challenge, and there’s definitely no reward. Even if you don’t back yourself with Kanye-level confidence, work with what you know. Mrs QP trialling Xtend Barre classes? Get her fresh fitness threads. Back been playing up again? Book her in for a massage. Even if your present is off-target, the effort will outweigh any uneducated guesses.
Date-Ready in 60 Seconds Rushing to meet her? Stylist Ashley Weston has a few tips for fast prep
She’s looking at those gnarly ingernails and judging every unkempt cuticle. Whip ’em into shape and you’ll pass her initial inspection.
Reach for a strong deodorant or antiperspirant, but don’t go too overboard with cologne. Stick to three sprays max.
BRUSH AND FLOSS
You can melt a Use a dab of product. woman’s heart with You’ll get more your beautiful smile. points for efort than But you can also you deserve, harden it if corn considering she kernels are all stuck probably spent up in your grill. hours getting ready.
Got a question for Ask Men’s Health or The Girl Next Door? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or head to yahoo7.com.au/menshealth
PHOTOGRAPHY: APIX SYNDICATION / RICHARD GUATY; MODEL SHOWN IN IMAGE IS NOT RELATED TO NOR ENDORSES THIS FEATURE
Q I really like two girls. One has just moved back home to Wales but wants me to visit. The other one lives in the same suburb as me. I’m no two-timer but I feel CW torn. Is this a no-brainer?
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GREAT WHITEHAVEN BEACH RUN 1 May 2016
26 June 2016
13 November 2016
NEWS THAT IMPROVESS YOU
You might call it vitamin T. Getting a tattoo â€“ in fact, the more the better â€“ can strengthen your immunological responses, making your body steelier at ighting of colds. The University of Alabama study found that while getting one tattoo may temporari y lower your resistance to sickness, getting inked frequently forces your body to adapt to high levels of stress, leaving you with a greater ar enal to ight of winter bugs. bugs If your nan objects, objects hit her with the science. science
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HEALTH NUTRITION FITNESS SEX MAY 2016
LIQUOR FOR YOUR TICKER We’ll raise a glass to this: consuming a little alcohol every day will make you less prone to heart failure and heart attacks than people who rarely or never drink, according to a study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. And more good news: it doesn’t matter whether you drink beer, wine or spirits. “It’s primarily the alcohol that leads to more good go cholesterol” cholesterol, says study author Imre Janszky Janszky. “It’s best to drink oderate amounts relatively often,” he adds.
LITTLE PAIN, BIG GAIN THIRST FOR POWER
PERCENTAGE REDUCTION IN DEPRESSION SYMPTOMS AFTER TWO WEEKS OF MEDITATION AND AEROBIC EXERCISE. SOURCE: RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
Water may be the closest thing there is to a panacea. But you may be missing out. Research commissioned by SodaStream states that tiredness, impaired concentration and mood swings regularly afect 80 per cent of Australians, with most unaware these conditions can be the result of mild dehydration. The report says many people sufer dehydration because they drink t only ly when thirsty. thirsty “The water The amount needed varies, dependent on individual factors including age, diet, climate and levels of physical activity,” says neuroscientist Dr Sarah McKay. To “train” yourself to drink more, link having a glass of water to everyday tasks like washing your hands, and drink a glass before you leave the house in the morning and on arriving at work.
s kilojoules consumed daily by people restricted to four hours’ sleep a night. SOURCE: SLEEP
Struggling with some unwanted weight? Take heart. Research published in the journal Cell Metabolism reveals that losing as little as five per cent of your body weight is enough to reap significant health benefits, such as reduced risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. “The findings show that five per cent weight loss is suicient to improve health outcomes, with additional weight loss further decreasing risk factors,” says study author Samuel Klein.
Don’t skip breakfast – double up! Downing a protein shake an hour after your morning meal can help cut cravings, a study in the journal Appetite found. Active men who chugged whey protein saw their hunger subside immediately by as much as 65 per cent – nice for when lunch rolled around. The volume of the shake didn’t matter, says study author Kristen MacKenzie-Shalders. Those who consumed 20, 40, 60 or 80 grams all ate the same number of kilojoules at lunch.
JEDI MIND TRICK
THINK LEAN Call it mind over fatter: considering yourself pudgy could increase your weight and your BMI, a study at the University of Liverpool suggests. People who were okay with their weight, however, kept extra kilograms of during the study period. So rethink your goals: focus on improving your overall health instead of simply losing weight.
REALLY WHEY THE BENEFITS
TAKE A BLOWTORCH TO YOUR BELLY
Walk Away From the Takeaway Menus are tempting; you know that. Research from the University of Illinois shows exactly how tempting. So skip ’em. Instead, put the recipes in MH to good use and create a menu of home-cooked healthy favourites. Average Daily Kilojoule Intake
IF ALL MEALS ARE...
HOME COOKED FAST FOOD
RESTAURANT FOOD 7560kJ SOURCE: EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NUTRITION
1606 AVERAGE INCREASE IN YOUR DAILY KILOJOULES WHEN YOU DRINK ALCOHOL. SOURCE: JOURNAL OF THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS
Be pickier in the produce aisle. Certain fruits ight fat better than others, Harvard researchers report. After assessing 24 years’ worth of people’s eating habits, they linked each extra daily serving of fruit with an average quarter-kilogram reduction in weight over four years. Blueberries, apples, prunes and pears yielded the biggest change – up to a 0.6kg reduction per extra daily serving. Some credit may go to flavonoids, the helpful compounds found in fruit and vegetables, says study author Monica Bertoia. Research shows they boost energy burn and cut fat absorption.
INC Thermogenic 120 Capsules
LIFT TO BE LEA Want to incinerate th hat cheat meal faster? Skip the exercise bike and treadmill: a 12-minute kettlebell ccircuit burns more kilojoulees than doing all-out cardio fo or the same length of time, say researchers at Southeastern Louisiana University y. Men who performed the four-m move kettlebell workout no ot only ules, but also crushed more kilojou taxed their lungs more than when they did repeated sprrints on an minutes. “Plus, exercise bike for 12 m nd results in the workout is safe an ” says less overall physical strain, s study author Brian Williams. W
Stroll, Still Score Goals Walk smart now! A treadmill desk won’t impair your ability to focus, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah. They found that people who worked while strolling at cardio desks – which some critics speculate may hurt your ability to process information – displayed just as much cognitive competency as those who sat. “The health beneﬁts of walking and moving at work are vast,” says study author Dr Michael Larson. If your work won’t cough up for a treadmill desk, just take ﬁve minutes every hour to get of your chair and walk briskly, suggests Larson.
TRY IT! Perform each exercise, in the order shownn, for one minute – that is, work for 20 seconds, rest for 10, then repeat once. Completing all four exercises is one round. Do three rounds.
1. SUMO SQUAT Stand with your feet twice shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands, and squat.
3. CLEAN & PRESS
2. SWING Bend at your hips to grab a kettlebell. Hike it between your legs, then thrust it up to shoulder level. Keep swinging.
4. SUMO DEADLIFT
Hold a kettlebell in front of you. Explosively pull it up and catch it at shoulder height. Press it overhead.
Grab a kettlebell and assume a wide stance. Push your hips back to lower your torso. Rise back up, your torso straight.
Bells vs. Bikes (12 M Min.)
AVERAGE HEART RATE (bpm)
O2 CONSUMED (ml/kg/min)
GIVE US A V!
31 PERCENTAGE OF INJURED RUNNERS AT ANY GIVEN TIME DURING RACE TRAINING. SOURCE: SCANDINAVIAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE AND SCIENCE IN SPORTS
A little “slide” of hand can make you bigger. Mix up your latpulldown grips to work more muscle, suggests a Strength and Conditioning Journal analysis. Do one set with each of these grips: twice shoulder-width overhand, shoulder-width with overhand and shoulderwidth with underhand.
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Read label, use as directed. If symptoms persist please consult your healthcare professional.
sex ADD SPICE FOR GREATER VICE We know, we know: it can be hard to keep things smokin’ when you’re in a long-term monogamous relationship. But a study by California’s Chapman University of almost 39,000 married or cohabiting couples who’d been together for at least three years has revealed the secret to keeping the fire burning: variety. Couples in the study were encouraged to spice things up by trying a new position, acting out a sexual fantasy or using sex toys. “What set sexually satisfied couples apart was that they actually tried some of the ideas,” says study author David Frederick. “If properly nurtured, passion can last for decades.” Nurse! It’s time for a bed bath.
MORE GRIND = SHARPER MIND
40 PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE WHO SAID FOOD WAS THE MOST ATTRACTIVE PASSION IN A POTENTIAL PARTNER. SOURCE: EHARMONY
Good news – the key to staying sharp is a lot more fun than solving the cryptic crossword. Coventry University researchers have revealed that men of mature years who enjoy regular sex have better cognitive function and memory than blokes who’ve put the cue in the rack. The study found that men between 50 and 89 who remained sexually active (masturbation counted, as did petting and fondling) scored 23 per cent higher on cognitive word tests and three per cent higher on number puzzles than those who were sexually inactive.
PHOTOGRAPHY: WARWICK SAINT
Fire up the beats for more heat between the sheets. In a study carried out for musicstreaming company Sonos, 30 couples were monitored over two weeks. In week one they were told to go about their lives as usual. But in the second week they were told to listen to music at home, and on average reported having 67 per cent more sex. Our brains release oxytocin when listening to music, whichis“responsible for helping us feel connected with people”, says neuroscientist Daniel Levitin.
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BEST TURNING CORNERS Grant Hackett says he was scared of the bathtub during his eventful six-year retirement. Now he’s back in the water, aiming high and challenging you to rethink the meaning of impossible [ BY DANIEL WILLIAMS
PHOTOGR A PH Y BY
JASON Z AMBELLI ]
LIFE HAS A BEGINNING, middle and end. Nothing seems clearer on this sultry Wednesday morning at an outdoor aquatic centre on the Gold Coast, where Grant Hackett is kicking back in the shade. In full swing behind him is an aqua-aerobics class. The seniors are, well, you know . . . flapping about in a way that doesn’t seem to be doing anyone much good. There’s your endgame. “We’ll all be there one day,” says Hackett. A merrier spectacle – a school swimming carnival – is playing out in an adjacent pool. The mums have noticed the towering celebrity in their midst and keep breaking off to approach him, pulling their child along with them. Most of them say something like, “He just won his race!” – before requesting a photo. But one mum surprises. “He just came second-last,” she deadpans. Hackett’s response is instant. “That’s not last, mate,” he says to the boy.
You’re quick when you’re happy. And that’s Hackett right now. This isn’t someone who’s stagnated in life’s bulbous middle. At 35 he’s back in its sweet spot, where belief trumps doubt. Life had knocked him sideways – at times by his own actions. But he’s picked himself up and is nailing a comeback that could have an inspiring denouement. Here’s the deal. If Hackett can turn on the speed and nail a top-six finish in the 200-metre freestyle at the national selection trials in Adelaide this month then he’ll have booked a spot at his fourth Olympics. If he finishes between third and sixth he’ll qualify for the 4x200 relay only. But should he manage top two – a tall order with the likes of Cameron McEvoy and Thomas Fraser-Holmes in the mix – he’ll make the individual 200m as well. “I can still push these younger blokes,” says Hackett. “I see myself do it in training.” Just by making it to Rio he’d break sundry records. And show the rest of us what’s possible when you’re supposed to be washed up.
I CAN STILL PUSH THESE YOUNGER BLOKES. I SEE MYSELF DO IT IN TRAINING
THEGRANT HACKETT FILE THEN
TRAINING 50-55KM 70KM+ WEEKLY LOAD
IT WAS JUST GO, GO GO. AND IT GOT TO THE POINT WHERE MY PERSONAL LIFE WAS UNRAVELLING FALLING DOWN This is no garden-variety has-been having another dig. Hackett set his first world record at 18. In the 11 years to 2007 he went undefeated in his pet race – the 1500m. He’s a three-time Olympic champ and a former world record holder over four distances. His lifelong coach, Denis Cotterell, reckons history has tossed up smoother movers than Hackett: “But he’s the toughest.” While never a mug in the pool, Hackett’s been a bit of a mug out of it. Here’s a recap to contextualise where he is now. In 2008 he quit swimming aged 28 and seemed to glide into civilian life. Professionally, he nabbed jobs in high finance and TV. Domestically, he and singer-songwriter wife Candice Alley welcomed twins. Heady times. But discontent was simmering. In 2011 Hackett trashed the couple’s Melbourne apartment in the presence of his wife and twins, resulting in police being called. He and Candice separated the following year. Then in 2014 photos surfaced of a dazed Hackett, wearing only a towel, apparently
searching for his son in the foyer of Crown Casino. Having previously admitted to a “heavy reliance” on the sedative Stilnox, he flew to the US and checked in to a retreat. You might expect Hackett would bristle at the mention of this history, but he’s happy to talk. He’s reached that stage where you’d rather deal purely in actuality than keep primping some idealised conception of yourself. His wagon ran off the road, he says, because it was overloaded. Work was satisfying but hectic. “It was just go, go, go,” says Hackett, “and it got to the point where my personal life was unravelling. For the first time in my life I heard the referee blow the whistle for me. I was being taken off on a stretcher instead of playing injured all the time.” Sedatives had their place when he was competing. At big meets, where swimmers may need to perform of a morning after a night spent racing, obliging drug testers, facing questioning journalists and maybe coming off post-victory highs, Hackett was hardly the only joker who sought a little chemical help. But using pills as a regular guy to forestall burnout was inviting disaster.
“If my life ever got to that sort of intensity again you’d just have to walk away from stuff,” says Hackett, who still sleeps as though he’s sitting an exam the next day. “I have an overactive mind,” he explains. These days he uses vitamin C and raindrop recordings to promote quality sack time. “And I’ll talk to a psychologist when I need to.” Most people know jack about rehab, Hackett reckons. For a start it’s not all about the drug use, which is just a symptom of torment. “It’s about finding who you are, what drives you, what doesn’t drive you,” he says urgently. “Why did the unravelling start? What were the traumatic events?” It got him thinking about love, marriage and the decisions a guy makes when he’s too young and stupid to know himself or what he needs in a partner. He just reckons the man you are at 35 is different to the man you were at 25 and some choices are best postponed. He’s single now and open to caring for someone again, despite the shadow of marital collapse. What, after all, is the alternative? “I think I’d rather put all my chips on black and have a crack than walk away from the table and the possibility of something great happening.”
BOUNCING BACK After therapy Hackett came home to the Gold Coast, back to family, friends and familiar surrounds to surf and unwind. One night he
broke bread with US swimming titan Michael Phelps, himself returning from a break from the pool and in town for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. Looking his mate up and down, Phelps told Hackett he appeared fit and should consider swimming again. While it wasn’t the first time Hackett had heard this idea, it was the first time he didn’t dismiss it out of hand. “I’d been adamant there was no way in hell you’d ever see me back in the water – which says to me you should never say never,” he says. But why was he tempted? Was it the chance to experience again what the Russian weightlifter Yuri Vlasov called “white moments” – when at the peak of victorious effort “you have the conviction you contain all the power in the world . . . and you will work for years just to taste it again”? Absolutely not, says Hackett: “I never came back to get an accolade, to touch the wall and see the No.1 beside my name or hear the national anthem.” He just thought it might be nice to get wet again, to churn out some laps and feel energised. That was the extent of his ambitions. It took him months to call what he was doing a comeback. Just for the sake of company, Hackett phoned Cotterell and asked whether he could rejoin the squad. Sure, said the coach. The guys would love to have him around. Three weeks after taking the plunge Hackett felt the old magic surging back. “And then the competitive instinct kicks in,” he says. Contesting club relays wasn’t enough. Why not compete solo against the best in the country? Just for fun, of course, he told himself. In April last year at the national championships in Sydney he finished third in the 400m in a display that left him stunned. “It was a time that would have won you the world championship back in 1998,” says Hackett. “I thought, How did I do that?” There was more to come at the same event. By finishing fourth in the 200m freestyle he nabbed a spot on Australia’s 4x200 relay team at the World Championships in Russia where, as the oldest swimmer to make an Australian team, he won a bronze medal. And now the Olympic trials loom large. “I thought I’d be over it by now,” says Hackett. “I didn’t think my body would be able to deal with the training.” His approach up to now has been to refuse to feel anxiety. At three previous Olympic trials he’d been obsessed with qualifying. Which is a lot of pressure. “And I don’t want that sort of pressure again,” Hackett says. “And I don’t really deserve it because I’m at an age where things aren’t as real as they were when I was 24 or 28.” Real? He means he’s doing this course without a textbook. “There is no real understanding of older athletes in the sport of swimming competing at this level,” he says.
I NEVER CAME BACK TO TOUCH THE WALL AND SEE THE No.1 AGAINST MY NAME AGAIN “Denis and I have had to be smart. We’re learning as we go.” Here’s the main lesson so far, according to Hackett: at 35 you can go as hard and fast as you did in your twenties, but you can’t go for as long nor recover as quickly. He says he’s heavier and stronger than he was in his heyday, with less body fat. His diet is also better: more protein, fewer simple carbs. And supplements have improved since he was last in the game. But you can’t pretend you’re a teenager. “The thing that undid me for a while was that I tried to train like I did before,” he says. In a six-week
period late last year he got sick three times, including a bout of bronchitis. “You’ve got to be a realist and say, ‘Hey, my body can’t physically do that work anymore’.” He predicts he’ll be calm on the blocks at the trials. Pre-race, he’s listening to different music these days – tunes rather than “heavier stuff to psyche up and get the adrenaline going”. “But like every race I’ve ever approached I’ll be set to leave absolutely nothing in the tank. If you touch the wall and feel you’ve done that, and executed your race plan to within an inch of its life, you’ve got to be happy.”
THE CAN-YOU-HACKETT? WORKOUT
Trying to stack on beef when you’re churning out kays means knuckling down to some heavy lifting. Twice a week do four sets (8-10 reps per set) of these five mass-gaining moves and you’ll build the body to complement your engine, promises Hackett.
BARBELL BENCH PRESS Lying on a flat bench, core braced and elbows tucked, slowly lower the bar to your mid-chest before pushing it back up.
SQUAT Bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Drive up by recruiting your glutes and quads, keeping your upper body as upright as you can.
SHRUG Hold a heavy barbell in a dead hang at your thighs. Now raise your shoulders up towards your ears, pausing and squeezing at the top of the movement.
MOVING ON Having sworn he’d never return to swimming, Hackett won’t say for sure he’ll re-retire once the Olympic adventure is over. That’s the plan, though. “You see, I love finance. Absolutely love it,” he says. “I spent all this morning buying shares and doing trading because the market was down yesterday and I see opportunities.” Less certain than whether he can kick arse in the years ahead is whether he can find stability. That may sound dull to you but it doesn’t to Hackett, whose life’s been marked
by soaring highs and plunging lows. To some degree that applies to all of us, especially athletes, but it’s been crazy in Hackett’s case and he knows it. Only recently he spoke to his mum about “the rollercoaster”. Was he destined to ride it his whole life? He tried to reassure her he wasn’t. “But I don’t know,” he says. “It might be the nature of my personality. Or it might be I’m drawn to things that are extremely challenging and those challenges bring with them ups and downs. Maybe that’s what it’s always going to be like.”
WEIGHTED CHIN-UP Wearing a loaded weights vest (or with a dumbbell hooked to your feet) pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar.
LATERAL RAISE Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise the weights sideways (with a slight bend in your elbows) until they’re level with your shoulders.
The Fat-Burning Truth PILLS THAT PROMISE RAPID WEIGHT LOSS SOUND TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. AND SOMETIMES THEY ARE. MH GETS TO THE MOLTEN CORE Swallow the advertising spiels whole and you’ll conclude that fat-burners are a “rapid-fire” solution to “incinerate” your body fat and generally build the physique you want without very much effort at all. Clearly the marketing bumph works, with the fat-burner market exploding on these shores. But with an ever-lengthening list of ingredients and syntheticsounding chemicals, can you really pinpoint the effects of the pills you take? MH pored over the science to find out whether you should keep on popping or apply a blowtorch to your habit.
A highly popular chemical in fat-burners, glucomannan has an instant effect on your appetite. It’s a thickening agent, so absorbs liquid and expands in the stomach to super-size your meals from the inside out. The result: you feel full for longer. The effect sounds extreme, but actually it’s no different to thickening soups. Still, while it’s been proven to combat obesity, there are noticeable side effects. We’d advise staying very close to the facilities . . .
Green tea extract is one of the more natural options when it comes to giving your metabolism a boost. Containing plant-derived polyphenols, it increases your liver’s ability to process dietary fat. And in the short-term this works, helping to kick-start your weight loss. But be cautious – it also bumps up the caffeine count, too much of which can irritate your stomach. Don’t wash it down with a Red Bull-espresso cocktail.
3 BINDING AGREEMENT 4 HEAVY METAL HIT “Fat-binding” pills stick to fat molecules, allowing them to pass straight through your system. But in doing so they also scoop up essential nutrients. “This can result in the malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K,” says pharmacologist Dr Igho Onakpoya. Digestive issues – exacerbated by the aforementioned caffeine hit – can also lead to imbalances in sodium and potassium. Not the kind of losses you want.
Fat-burners’ diverse mix of ingredients can make you urinate more often, resulting in calcium loss. Some try to compensate with extra calcium, but this can overcrowd your intestines, interfering with zinc and iron absorption and affecting carb breakdown. Which, in turn, can make your workouts feel tougher. In short, a sensible dose is fine for a short-term boost. But if you train dirty, you’re better off staying clean.
THE ABOVE AVERAGE JOE
BITTER ORANGE EXTRACT
We weigh up three popular metabolism-boosters to see how a one-gram dose stacks up against your daily fat-burning stalwart, a cup of coffee.
= 50% metabolism increase
= 2% metabolism increase
= 1.7 cups of coffee
= 0.1 cups of coffee
GREEN TEA EXTRACT = 288% metabolism increase = 10 cups of coffee
WORDS: TAYLOR SATCHELL REID; ILLUSTRATION: PETER CROWTHER
1 SUPPRESSING FIRE 2 GREEN TEA PARTY
MUSCLE + FITNESS
THE BEST EXERCISE YOU’RE NOT DOING
01 LIFT OFF Assume a plank position with the soles of your feet pressed against a wall. Tighten your core but keep your breathing relaxed. Or at least try to.
02 STEP UP Hold for 10 seconds. Now walk your feet and hands up until you’re at 45°. Squeeze your glutes to tuck in your tailbone; aim to keep your core engaged.
Give Your Abs a Cutting Edge If your core routine is growing stale, incorporate some original pirate workout material and wall-walk the plank
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN
AN UNSHAKEABLE MIDSECTION
03 WALK ON Count to 10 again. Then walk your feet up and hands in all the way, toes just touching the wall. For good technique, let your shoulders slightly cover your ears.
04 GO LOW Made it to 10? Then walk back down, hitting each stage again for another 10. That’s one rep. If that’s too hard, start by mastering stage one – and work up.
PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYES
Like the largely forgotten viral fad, planking can get tired: if you’re riding it out for five minutes, your time could probably be better spent. Intensity is the key to progression. “This move is an adaptation of a handstand conditioning exercise,” says trainer Al Jackson, who calls it “wall-walking the plank”. “It’s my favourite because planking with your feet against a wall forces you to maintain maximum core-firming tension – or you quite literally face the consequences.” Going vertical also strengthens your arms, shoulders and rotator cuffs, while budding park gymnasts will find it’s a great progression to a proper flat-back handstand. Jackson advises three “reps”, with 90 seconds’ rest between each, at the start of your workout so tired arms don’t let you down. A warning: wear trainers. Socks and slippery walls are a potentially painful combination.
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OGLING AND TALKING
Give Your Thumbs a Rest
Recruit a Wingman
Focus on Your Form
If your typical workout includes multiple sets of heavy texting, ask yourself this question: what the hell am I doing at the gym? You’re blowing valuable lifting time and membership money with every missive. At the very least, wait until your cooldown before you start tapping on your phone again. Can’t keep your paws off the thing? Switch it to flight mode as soon as you walk through the door.
Men in our survey spend almost 10 per cent of their time waiting for, resetting or wiping down equipment. So enlist a partner. While you finish your sets, he can re-rack weights or scope out machines that are about to free up, then you two can switch. And carry a hand towel along with your gym towel. One is for wiping off a stranger’s sweat, the other is for mopping up your own.
Taking in the scenery between sets is fine, but be a gentleman about it. No double takes or leering once-overs. Someone trying to bend your ear? Wear headphones – even if you’re not listening to music. This sends a clear signal that small talk isn’t welcome. If the bore isn’t getting the message, just pretend you’re on a hands-free headset: “Sorry, champ, I have to listen in on this conference call.”
Just because you’re resting doesn’t mean you’re resting effectively, especially if you’re kicking back between sets after rushing through exercises. For a standard routine – say, three sets of 8-12 reps for five or more exercises – plan on 60-90 seconds of rest between efforts. To stay on track, use an app like Bit Timer (free), which has three stopwatch options – work, rest and repeat – that you can tailor to your workout.
WORDS: MICHELLE MALIA
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THE AVERAGE ONE-HOUR WORKOUT: HOW YOU FRITTER AWAY THE TIME (IN MINUTES)
Stop Wasting Your Workout
Squeezing in a good workout can be tough, what with everything else you’re doing at the gym: checking email, admiring the spin class, taking water breaks. Then there’s the time spent waiting for equipment then cleaning the previous user’s bio-waste from it. Based on our survey of over 500 men, the average man forestalls itness in at least 13 diferent ways – potentially sucking up nearly half of an hour-long session. That may be the diference between the body you want and the body you have.
MAN UP! BRUSH UP ON YOUR GROOMING SKILLS
FROM THE EXPERTS AT
THE GAME CHANGER OF GROOMING... JO I N THE CREW NOW!
The No.2 Way to Boost Your Health The microbes living in your body can afect your mood, waistline and disease risk. So we asked two MH readers to give a shit – literally [ BY MELISSA ROMERO ] BY NOW YOU KNOW the drill at the doctor’s oice. Stick out your tongue. Roll up your sleeve. Drop your drawers. Take a dump in a cup . . . sorry, what? Okay, maybe you haven’t been asked for a stool sample yet. But a good argument can be made for shipping some of your poo to a lab. Your faeces can reveal a lot about your microbiome – the community of microbial organisms that lives on your skin and inside your nose, your mouth and especially your gut. You have 100 trillion of these creatures, and an unhealthy biome can cause various problems, from acne to anxiety, says Dr George Weinstock, of the US-based Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine. These microbes are part of you. There are 10 of them for every one of your human cells and together they make up the “superorganism” that is you, says Weinstock. You pilot the ship, but your microbial minions man the turrets:
they ofer irst-line defences against pathogen invasions and signal your immune system when more antibodies are needed. Diversity is critical. Generally speaking, a wider range of microbes creates stronger protection from chronic health conditions and autoimmune diseases. Depression, type 1 diabetes, obesity, even cancer – your risk of developing any of these maladies drops when your microbiome is as lush as a rain forest. To see how normal men fare, we created a contest: two volunteers swabbed some used toilet paper and sent the samples to a lab to learn whose gut was more diverse. • VOLUNTEER ONE: Adam Smith, 24, with a history of acne and gastrointestinal problems. He controls both by avoiding grains, gluten and sugar. • VOLUNTEER TWO: Craig Merrick, 40, a gym owner who eats a healthy, well-rounded diet and works out hard four days a week. His
biggest health threat is stress, which can cause inlammation and throw of gut bacteria. About a month later, the results were in: both guys had above-average biodiversity scores (see “Sign Up for Medical Stool!”, p50). But Smith had less biodiversity than Merrick – predictable, given Smith’s problems. “If not for his diet changes, his microbiome would probably have been much worse,” says Weinstock. And both men could still probably improve: a 2014 study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that the average microbiome of a Western adult is about a third less diverse than those of our ancestors and people in less developed countries. That may be partly due to our heavily processed diet and the overuse of antibiotics that wipe out good bacteria along with the bad. Hack your microbiome with the tips on the following page and let the enemies of health know you’re King Shit.
1/ FEAST ON FIBRE Gut bacteria love ibre: researchers at New York University have linked an increased intake of ibre from beans, fruits and vegetables with a greater abundance of both Actinobacteria (which produce natural antibiotics) and Clostridia, a class of microorganisms that’s been linked to decreased risk of colorectal cancer. The average ibre intake in the study was 14 grams a day; you’d be wise to aim for almost three times that, which amounts to just under three cups of black beans or kidney beans.
2/ TRAIN YOUR GUT You can bolster your biome at the gym. Male pro athletes have signiicantly more diverse gut bacteria and lower levels of inlammation than less active and sedentary men, a recent study in the journal Gut reports. The researchers aren’t exactly sure how exercise diversiies a person’s microbiome, but the efect may be from a combination of breaking a sweat and eating for performance. The athletes consumed 100 more grams of protein a day than the control group.
MALE PRO ATHLETES HAVE MORE DIVERSE GUT BACTERIA THAN LESS ACTIVE MEN 3/ EAT WHOLE GRAINS
The paleo crowd talks about carbohydrates like they’re poison. Ignore them. In a recent study from the University of Nebraska, healthy adults who ate 60g of wholegrain cereal every day experienced signiicant improvements in metabolism, immune function and microbial diversity. Yes, ibre certainly played a role in those results, but the study authors suggest that wholegrains might confer additional anti-inlammatory beneits.
SIGN UP FOR MEDICAL STOOL THE R E WINN
CRAIG C MERRICK, 40
ADAM SMITH SMITH, 24 2
4/ GO EASY ON THE PILLS
The latest prescription antibiotics are broadspectrum – in other words, they target good and bad microbes indiscriminately. Recent studies indicate that this can disrupt your microbiome within three days and it can take up to four years to restore the balance. No, you can’t always avoid antibiotics, but you can ask your doctor for the safest option. For example, a study from Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Centre found that amoxicillin has no efect on microbial composition.
Very small numbers of bacteria not included in results shown here
We asked two MH readers to donate faecal samples for a head-to-head shit fight. The results – a snapshot of biome diversity – are shown in the pie charts. And those big words? They’re phyla of bacteria. Here’s what they do. • Verrucomicrobia Bacteria in this group spike after you take antibiotics, and they’ve been linked to obesity. • Actinobacteria These produce about two-thirds of your gut’s natural antibiotics. • Proteobacteria The Proteobacteria include a wide variety of pathogens (such as E. coli) that have been linked to inflammatory bowel disease.
• Bacteroidetes Another group of beneficial microbes: Bacteroidetes let excess fat slide through the gut undigested. • Firmicutes They’re common, but having too many is linked to obesity and irritable bowel syndrome. VERDICT Merrick wins. “Given that he’s eating well and working out” – two ways to promote biodiversity – “it looks like his microbiome is helping him manage his stress,” says Weinstock. Smith’s inflated Firmicutes reading may be causing discomfort.
5/ MAKE IT A DOUBLE SHOT Cofee’s laxative efect may signal that there’s something positive going on in your digestive tract. Scientists at Zurich’s University Hospital found that drinking three cups of cofee a day could bolster your gut’s levels of Biidobacterium. They speculate that these beneicial microbes help prevent bad bacteria from moving in and taking up residency in your intestinal tract. Credit probably goes to the slew of beneicial compounds that exist naturally in cofee, such as chlorogenic acids.
CHC70814 - 06/15
BULK-UP, SLIM-DOWN BURRITOS
T Whether you’re after mucho muscle or want to be a W little more Speedy Gonzales, we’ve made Mexican m mealtimes a two-way street. With some culinary s smarts, a burrito can help you achieve any goal
POWER BUNDLE SUPERSIZE WITH HIGH-ENERGY EXTRAS Sophisticates will know, of course, that burrito means “little donkey” in Spanish, but with some thoroughbred additions you can turn this street classic into a stallion of post-workout feasts. Filled with tender grass-fed steak and black beans, the base recipe for this comfort meal is already a protein-dense muscle-prepper. But the addition of brown rice will add a handy extra 700 mass-building kilojoules (for just an extra gram of fat), plus you get 45 per cent of your RDI of manganese, which helps you metabolise the extra protein from your kidneyand-black-bean combo. As bulk-up meals go, we think this is as gourmet as it is comforting. You’re going to need a bigger poncho.
SERVES TWO • 2 x 200G RUMP STEAKS • 150G BLACK BEANS • 1 WHITE ONION, CHOPPED • 1 GARLIC CLOVE, CHOPPED • 1 TBSP COCONUT OIL • 1 TSP CUMIN • 1 GREEN CHILLI, CHOPPED • 1 TSP PAPRIKA • 1 LIME, JUICE ONLY • 50G LETTUCE, SHREDDED • 2 WHOLEGRAIN TORTILLAS BULK-UP EXTRAS • 100G BROWN RICE • 100G KIDNEY BEANS • 200G GREEK YOGHURT
1/ RICE AND SIMPLE
2/ LICENCE TO GRILL
3/ BEAN MACHINE
4/ BURRITO TIME
You may be desperate to flame those steaks, but start with the rice – it takes longer. Place in a pan of boiling water, then simmer for 12-15 minutes. Drain, then stash in a covered bowl to keep warm.
Preheat your griddle pan to high and season the steaks. Cook for five minutes on one side, flip, then cook the other side until they’re as juicy, middling or scorched as you like. Remove, rest, cut into chunks.
Save on prep by using pre-cooked beans instead of dried. Empty the cans into a saucepan – measure afterwards, saving leftovers for a lunchtime salad. Warm on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, then drain.
Fry the onions and garlic, then add the steak, spices and lime. When heated, mix with the rice and beans. Toast tortillas in the pan, then dollop in the mix with lettuce, yoghurt and Tabasco.
PHOTOGRAPHY: DAN MATTHEWS
GET COOKING! USE THE FREE VIEWA APP TO PUT THESE RECIPES ON YOUR PHONE
SHRINK-WRAPPED ABS CUT CARBS AND KILOJOULES TO MAKE FAT MUERTO
SERVES TWO 2 x 200G RUMP STEAKS 150G BLACK BEANS 1 WHITE ONION, CHOPPED 1 GARLIC CLOVE, CHOPPED 1 TBSP COCONUT OIL 1 TSP CUMIN 1 GREEN CHILLI, CHOPPED 1 TSP PAPRIKA 1 LIME, JUICE ONLY 50G LETTUCE 2 WHOLEGRAIN TORTILLAS SLIM-DOWN EXTRAS 2 TOMATOES ½ SPANISH ONION CORIANDER, HANDFUL 2 JALAPEÑOS 150G SWEETCORN
Eating to get lean shouldn’t have to mean beige meals that taste like a bandit’s sombrero. This streamlined burrito owes its piquant taste profile to the potent spice mix, not fat and sugar, so you can savour 200g of juicy steak without a kilojoule OD. In addition to the known metabolism-boosting traits of chillies and paprika, the sweetcorn in this recipe delivers 14g of hungerbusting complex carbs (again, with less than 1g of fat in tow) to maintain your energy during your next HIIT session. And with 12 per cent of your daily fibre needs to boot, you won’t be craving dessert as soon as you finish your last mouthful. Topped with coriander to stimulate insulin and balance your blood-sugar levels, it’ll put the “taut” in “tortilla”.
1/ CARE TO SALSA?
2/ HIGH STEAKS
3/ BITE-SIZE BITS
4/ LEAN AND CLEAN
Make the salsa first because the smell of cooking steak will drive you crazy if you’re just back from the gym. Dice the tomatoes, onion, coriander and jalapeños and mix them up in a bowl.
Preheat the pan to high and season the meat with salt and pepper. Cook the steaks as before until restaurant-perfect. Remove from the heat, rest, and carve into chunks. No nibbling.
Empty a can of black beans into a saucepan. Warm on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, then drain the water, saving excess beans for your next meal. Drain the sweetcorn, then mix the corn with the beans.
Fry onions and garlic, add steak, cumin, chilli and paprika, then squeeze in the lime. When heated, mix with the corn and beans in a bowl. Brown the tortillas, then add the steak mix, lettuce and salsa.
Name: Joe Wicks Job: PT and author Wicks is an online health coach. Try his recipe ideas to shape up without ditching the man-fodder you crave.
THE ONLY RACE WHERE THE FINISH LINE CATCHES YOU ONE DAY AT THE VERY SAME TIME ALL OVER THE WORLD
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S EX U AL
Novel Experiences H EA LI N G
First times can happen any time. Here’s how to turn new beginnings g g into a debut neither of you will forget in a hurry
Q: I recently came out of a long-term relationship and have been going through a dry spell. Now I’m seeing somebody and sex is imminent – how do I avoid that drought ending all too quickly? EH A: That the rains are about to fall once more
PHOTOGRAPHY: APIX SYNDICATION SYNDICATION, ANDY LA MAGNA
n Nichi Hodgso
is good news. But premature ejaculation is common, especially if you’re having sex infrequently. Thankfully there are practical steps you can take to prolong your debut. Yoga or Pilates will reduce the pelvic tightness that can trigger quicker arousal, so schedule some mat work to help flatten unexpected spikes. Once in situ, you need to limit muscular tension. Avoiding holding your breath, flexing your abs or any positions where you have to support your body weight will make a vital difference. Save showing off for later sessions and you’ll be well placed to last the distance.
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BEING DESIRED IS A HUGE AROUSAL BOOSTER FOR MOST WOMEN Q: I’m keen to introduce a video camera into the bedroom. How do I go about it without looking like a creep?
Q: My wife gave birth a short while ago and I want to plan an intimate night together. How can I maximise her pleasure and minimise any discomfort? DS
A: First, ask her if she’s up for it. As well as the crucial matter of consent (more on this later) the trust an open dialogue engenders is the most important cast member in any amateur production. Your starlet may be more willing than you think if she knows how much it’ll turn you on – researchers at Queen’s University in Canada found that being desired is a huge arousal booster for most women. When setting up for a shoot, use the camming community’s mantra, “no bare bulbs on bare butts”, and agree on a few positions. Then roll cameras. When you’ve wrapped, lock the tape away. Working with a phone? Send her the video and let her see you delete the original. This has practical reasons – there are various laws that make it a crime to post sexual images of somebody without their consent. Letting her have the copy and only enjoying it with each other will also boost intimacy, turn screenings into new experiences and make shooting a sequel more likely.
Q: Last week my partner and I had bad sex for the first time. Normally it’s great. How do we nip it in the bud?
Q: I’m finally joining Tinder and I have no idea how to approach this kind of thing. Any tips? SB RI
A: To give your sexual A: In this situation, the emphasis should be on making the woman who just had your child feel desirable again. Book a plush hotel room and factor in a massage to help her unwind. If the post-baby budget won’t stretch, then at least clean and tidy the house, put on some fresh sheets and bathe the bedroom in candlelight to take the edge off any of her body anxieties. Bear in mind that her post-birth hormones are likely to have caused a drop in libido, so don’t take it personally if her response differs from pre-birth. But if you’ve waited until her post-natal six-week check and she had a regular delivery, there shouldn’t be any pain to contend with. If there is, consider your options beyond penetration. Oral or mutual masturbation with plenty of lube and lots of sensual kissing and caressing will work wonders for intimacy. Then again, she might be an exception to the rule and be ready to rip your shirt off. Either way, the real trick is to let her run the show.
misadventure a thorough investigation, you need to pair up as detectives. Were drugs or alcohol involved? Were either of you excessively tired, or suffering from work or other emotional or financial stresses? If not, then it could be as simple as you both being stuck in a rut while relying too much on the other to pull the usual moves. Talking about it makes it a shared problem. Once that’s done, agree that you need to try something new to break the cycle. Rebuild intimacy with a hot shower, then use a couple’s vibrator. Wearing it on your penis will stimulate both of you and encourage a different approach to positions. The Taoist technique of “screwing” – a rhythmic rotation in a figure of eight while you penetrate her – is hugely effective, very intimate and a big change from the moves that let you down. A change is as good as a rest, after all.
A: Greetings cyber-Romeo. If you’re looking to run your fingers over more than your iPhone, it’s best to advance with enthusiasm and a healthy pinch of caution. Once you start swiping and talking to your matches, there’s a danger in thinking you have the measure of each other, when all you really know is how well you both flirt over wi-fi. On the flip side, Tinder replicates that “quick and dirty assessment of rapport and chemistry that occurs when people meet face to face”, says Dr Eli Finkel, professor of social psychology at Chicago’s Northwestern University. So you increase your dating options while simultaneously making more of a curated choice. Once you’ve developed a strong dialogue, meet up in person ASAP to check that what made you swipe right is there IRL. And prep early. According to the University of Abertay in Scotland, women find chilled-out brooding men automatically attractive. Watch Drive with Ryan Gosling and take notes before you head out.
NEW ISSUE OUT NOW!
“PACK” YOUR SHOULDERS
WALK THIS WEIGHT Loaded carries boost your performance and core strength. So why aren’t you doing them? [ BY LOU SCHULER ]
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.” 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 Dr Stuart McGill, of the University of Waterloo in Canada. 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 particularly effective at the end, when you’re already fatigued and your balance and co-ordination are reduced. 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.
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.
DO THE MOVES USE THE FREE VIEWA APP TO ADD THESE LOADED MOVES TO YOUR PHONE
STRAIGHTEN YOUR BACK Think of carries as walking planks: keep your lower back and pelvis aligned throughout the exercise.
TUCK YOUR CHIN
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, then forcefully out through your mouth. This pushes your ribs down and keeps your core engaged.
A tight grip increases tension in your core muscles.
GO HEAVY STEP LIGHTLY
A shorter stride – your feet less than 30 centimetres apart – gives you a stronger support
Carries are self-limiting exercises. That means any weight that you can hold for the recommended distance or duration is safe to use.
MUSCLE + FITNESS
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 Dr Pat Davidson. Try all seven variations below. Do one every training session, making sure you’ve hit all four categories after four workouts.
Holding a heavy load between your legs works your glutes harder.
1 / BETWEEN THE KNEES
Because you can use such heavy weights, these build insane total-body strength.
2 / SIDE LOADED
3 / FRONT LOADED
4 / OVERHEAD
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 90 kilograms, 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 back straight.
OVERHEAD WALK Hold one or two dumbbells or kettlebells (or a sandbag, barbell or trusting girlfriend) directly over your shoulders.
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.
BEAR HUG Wrap both arms around a sandbag, weight plate or large rock. Or hold a dumbbell or kettlebell as you would for a goblet squat.
BOTTOMS UP Hold a kettlebell upside down, your upper arm parallel to the floor and your elbow bent 90°. Squeeze the handle tight.
DON’T LOOK DOWN! If you look at the floor when you do exercises that challenge your balance and stability, you’re doing it wrong. “It’s a natural compensatory strategy, but it provides an undesirable sense of stability,” says Davidson. “It makes you shift your body weight 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.
These variations are especially taxing on your hamstrings and biceps.
Holding weight overhead challenges your core and builds shoulder stability.
PHOTOGRAPHY: TREVOR REID
STRIDE RIGHT There’s value in mixing up your distances and loads, says Davidson. “In strongman training, we might carry something ridiculously heavy for just 10 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 here when you do the farmer’s walk, Zercher walk and bear hug. The percentage of body weight equals the total load you should work up to carrying for the distance.
Build More Strength
Go Long and Heavy
Challenge Your Endurance
CRASH DIETING IS NO BAD THING
Extreme eating plans may be a familiar target of derision, but with care they can help outflank your obesity risk
SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER Matthew Capehorn is the clinical director of the UK’s National Obesity Forum. He cuts to the bone of fat loss.
IN WEIGHT-LOSS LORE, tortoises end up leaner than hares. Crash diets, we’re told, are unsustainable in the long term – a juice cleanse or month of cabbage soup might help you shed the kilos, but without tackling the underlying reasons, you pile the weight back on the minute you go back to solids. But the lore is an ass. The simple fact is that crash diets – even the ones named for the book-touting “gurus” who devise them – do work. From Dukan to Atkins via South Beach and Beverly Hills, the majority of rapid fat-loss plans take carbs out of your daily fare to cut your gut with clinically proven success. I’m not saying that they are particularly pleasant, mind you. Our societal reliance on carbohydrates as an energy source means that cutting them out almost entirely leads you to consume far fewer kilojoules over the course of the day. So you’re hungry. Stick with it for a few days, though, and your body will shift into a state called ketosis – burning fat rather than food for energy – which has the handy side effect of dulling your appetite after a week or so. That crash diets make this sort of impact is their aim but, staying with physics, the force of that impact dissipates greatly over even a short time period. Diet for more than a few weeks and the effort-to-reward graph plateaus, with your initial rate of weight loss levelling off. More crucially, on returning to
THE VAST MAJORITY OF RAPID FAT-LOSS PLANS DITCH CARBS, WHICH CUTS YOUR GUT WITH CLINICALLY PROVEN SUCCESS your normal way of eating, the results simply don’t stick. To capitalise on the benefits of a crash without the bounce-back, you need to alter your “set point”. According to the set point theory, your body gets used to the mass it normally functions at and calibrates your metabolism and appetite accordingly to keep you within a small margin of this weight. So you need to exercise if you want to exist at a lower weight long-term. While it’s unwise to step into the squat rack when you’re low-carbing, increasing daily activity – whether that’s walking more or introducing a bedroom body-weight routine – will stop your body eating muscle instead of fat to fuel itself. When you’ve harvested a diet’s weight-loss benefits, hitting the gym with equal zeal will see you stay lean for life. So for once, heed the screaming headlines and crash away. Or you’ll be “flaunting your curves” again by the time spring arrives.
THE DEVIL’S DETAILS CURB CARBS
Tulane University School of Public Health found that low-carb dieters lost more over a year than those on a low-fat plan. HANG HUNGER
The ketones released by burning fat, not sugar, increase hunger-fighting hormones. More fibre also aids fullness. MASS APPEAL
Still, a Lancet study found 81 per cent of rapid dieters lost over 12.5 per cent of their body mass, compared with 50 per cent of dieters on a more gradual plan. WHAT SUPP
Protect your muscles: taking BCAAs pre-workout helps reduce catabolism, which chews up hard-earned gains.
EVEN MORE TO MOVE YOU Whether you’re all gear and no idea or a serious contender, the versatile Toyota Corolla can take it. The 60/40 split fold rear seats mean you can fit your bike, all your gym gear and even your mates.
ZR Hatch shown
FORM AND FUNCTION Maintaining perfect form is easy when you step inside the Toyota Corolla’s spacious cockpit-like interior. With front bucket seats, the impressive touchscreen audio display and the convenience of cruise control, it equips you to take on any feat, big or small. SEARCH TOYOTA COROLLA
Think Outside the Boxset Worried what binge viewing could be doing to your health? We have your pause switch
PEAKY BLINDED A marathon session exhausts your tired eyes. Screen time causes your blink rate to drop dramatically, which leads to dryness and even blurred vision. Reboot your eyeballs between each episode by spending 20 seconds looking at something six metres away. If you’re already suffering, don’t be all Daredevil about it. Switch off and lie with a warm, damp towel over your eyes.
GAIN OF THRONES By the fourth HBO title screen your body is racking up worrying ratings. Men who watch TV for four or more hours a day have a 125 per cent higher risk of heart disease, a University College London study found, while slumping on the sofa right after eating spikes blood sugar, triggering fat gain. A 40-minute post-meal walk will nullify this effect, as will adding some turmeric and chilli to your TV dinner.
TRUE CORRECTIVE It’s not hard to detect the main victim of inertia. Studies by the UK’s United Chiropractic Association linked a hunched sitting posture to constricted breathing and heart disease. As your episode loads, hit the floor for a Superman stretch: lying facedown, tense your glutes and lift your chest, legs and arms with thumbs pointing up. Do three reps of 10 seconds and you’ll limit tension to the dramatic kind.
WAKING DEAD After-dark sessions increase blood pressure and infect your sleep cycle, so you’ll feel restless even on nights when you don’t indulge. Among the host of health issues is a 25 per cent drop in sperm count, reports the University of Southern Denmark. Your antidote: pick up a book before lights out. It reduces sleep-disrupting BP spikes, says Sigman. You’ll be less of a zombie in the morning.
WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH; ILLUSTRATION: JAY ABADY
BREAKING BAD HABITS If hitting “play next” feels as addictive as Walter White’s products, you’re not alone. Compulsive viewing lights up the same area of your brain as drugs and, over time, is linked to depression and poor impulse control in other areas of life, reports the University of Texas at Austin. Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman advises watching with friends and agreeing a time limit.
HEAD TO iTUNES OR OMNYAPP.COM
THE NEW MEASURES OF A MANâ€™S HEALTH Some health benchmarks are outdated. If you want to stay fit, disease-free and mentally sharp for life, then consider these new science-proven trackers of wellbeing
Trophy life: use these moves to put your health on a pedestal.
Drink eight glasses of water
A BMI under 25
Low intake of saturated fat
A glass of OJ with breakfast
Urinate five times
A waist-to-hip ratio under 0.9
Four hours a day standing at work
Five close friends
If you were to wring all the water from your brain, it’d lose about three-quarters of its weight. In fact, every cell in your body relies on water for survival. Studies suggest that dehydration hampers your endurance, motivation and mental sharpness. Problem is, the old eight-glasses-a-day advice is too broad, says Dr Jesse Mills, director of the UCLA Men’s Clinic. A 70-kilogram man, for instance, needs far less water than a 100kg CrossFit fanatic. So stop counting trips to the water cooler. If you urinate four or five times a day – say, one litre total – then you’re hydrated. If not? Drink.
In a University of Texas study, up to 10 per cent of men with physically active jobs were wrongly classified as obese using BMI criteria. BMI estimates fail to distinguish between muscle and fat; in fact, after assessing more than 15,000 adults, Mayo Clinic researchers found that men with high waist-to-hip ratios were twice as likely to die over the 14-year study period as men with high BMIs. To calculate your ratio, measure your waist at your belly button and your hips at their widest point. Divide the first number by the second; 0.9 or above means you have too much visceral fat, the kind that promotes type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Saturated fat took a big hit a few decades back, when research linked it to heart disease. That science has since been debunked, but the perception lingers. So let’s be clear: there is no solid evidence that saturated fat puts your heart at risk. What isn’t controversial is the link between cardiovascular health and sitting: the more time you spend in your seat, the more your heart attack risk spikes. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Exercise found inactivity was responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity, and daily workouts don’t completely undo the damage. So enjoy a steak. Just earn it with time on your feet.
The sit-and-reach test – sit with legs straight and try to touch your toes – does have some merit: a study at Japan’s National Institute of Health and Nutrition found that people with more flexibility have less arterial stiffness. Unfortunately, the results apply only to people over 40. A better test: grip strength. By following 140,000 adults, international researchers linked a weaker grip to an increased risk of death from all causes. The average middle-age man should generate about 50kg of force, says the study’s lead author, Dr Darryl Leong. To test your grip, use the dynamometer at your gym or pick up a Camry Digital Hand Dynamometer.
In 1970, 1000 milligrams a day of vitamin C – the dose in 1.8 litres of OJ – was believed to protect you from colds. It didn’t. Numerous studies have found no link between C and illness prevention. What does help? Friends. University of North Carolina researchers found that people with robust friendship circles tend to have less systemic inflammation, which can set you up for sickness and worsen the symptoms. According to a Cornell University study, the average person today has two close friends. Aim for five to see an uptick in health, says Dr Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Oxford.
A serious athlete can sweat as much as 10 per cent of his body weight during a workout, according to a study in the journal Nutrition Reviews. So plan to replenish after a hard sweat session: weigh yourself before and after you exercise, then drink 500 millilitres – slowly – for every 500 grams you lost.
To flatten your belly, crank up the intensity. In a University of NSW study, men who did 20-minute interval sessions three times a week on an exercise bike – alternating between eight-second sprints and 12-second rests – reduced their belly size (and visceral fat) more than those cycling at a moderate pace.
BLOOD PRESSURE The Old Number You Still Need to Know
You don’t have to stand around all day to fortify your heart. In a study from Melbourne’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, overweight desk jockeys who alternated every 30 minutes between sitting and standing throughout the workday managed to cut their blood sugar levels by 11 per cent, compared with those who sat exclusively.
Strengthening your grip alone may not improve your health, says Leong. So address the underlying causes of weakness: poor sleep, bad diet and lack of exercise. If you just want to bolster your grip, try farmer’s walks: grab the heaviest dumbbells you can and walk across the gym with them.
A study of older adults found that those who visited friends or family at least three times a week were 77 per cent less likely to feel depressed than those who hung out only once every few months. Everyone benefits from social interaction, says Dunbar. And no, Facebook doesn’t count.
Your arteries don’t do well under pressure. They stiffen, and plaque collects along the inner walls and puts undue strain on your heart. While your car tyres might carry 35 pounds per square inch, your arteries work best at 2.3 psi or lower. That’s equivalent to a systolic blood pressure (the top number) of 120 millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Why is 120 the magic number? Because your ability to stay below it is directly proportional to the number of years you’ll likely spend enjoying life on this planet. In a US National Institutes of Health study of people aged 50 and over with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular risk factors, those who dropped their systolic BP below 120mmHg reduced their risk of death during the study period by 27 per cent, compared with those whose target was a less strict 140mmHg or lower. So keep your BP down. No pressure. Well – low pressure, anyway.
mpany. h © 01
INTRODUCING THE FIRST RAZOR BUILT FOR THE MALE TERRAIN
A ROUNDED HEAD FOR TRICKY SPOTS 3 LUBRICATING STRIPS FOR MORE GLIDE AN ANTI-SLIP GRIP FOR ULTIMATE CONTROL
Patrón Silver “This is a great tequila, made very well,” says Bayly. $84.99; danmurphys.com.au
MAKE IT COUNT
1800 Añejo “Deep charred, very dark and, for the price, a very good-quality tequila,” says Bayly.
Sesión Reposado “Light, smooth and very approachable for non-tequila drinkers,” says Bayly.
LICK, SIP, SAVOUR Put down the salt and don’t even think about biting into a lemon. It’s time to rethink your approach to tequila
PHOTOGRAPHY: EDWARD URRUTIA
BY JASON SCULLIN WAS YOUR “knowledge” of tequila formed as a devil-may-care teenager? For Phil Bayly, the man considered the Australian authority on the Mexican spirit, your re-education starts with your wallet: “If the cheapest tequila is $40-45, spend $60. Compare it to vodka or gin – if you spend that little bit more, you get a Grey Goose or a Hendricks. It’s the same with tequila.
And choose 100 per cent agave tequila, not cheaper 51 per cent agave blends.” Next, think about what you normally drink. “If you drink white spirits, go for a blanco,” says Bayly, who brought Europe’s Cafe Paciico tequila bars to Sydney. “If you’re a bourbon drinker, maybe a reposado. Whisky, an añejo. Or if you like cognac, go extra añejo.” Once you’ve chosen
your style, how to drink it? For Lee Applebaum, global chief marketing oicer with tequila giant Patrón, it’s simple: “Don’t be afraid to experiment. You have a very distinct flavour proile with tequila that can enhance a lot of cocktails,” he says. Bayly concurs. “You can make a fantastic Old Fashioned with a good añejo, and if you like a martini, a great blanco or
similar makes a really nice crisp, dry martini. Convert your favourite drink to a tequila drink and you’ll be surprised.” And it’s not all about cocktails. Applebaum suggests sipping an añejo or extra añejo straight or with ice. Still hankering for a shot? Fine – just heed Bayly’s advice: “Freeze a blanco – it comes out smooth and delicious.” Sounds like a plan . . .
A “NEW” OLD FASHIONED Put your fresh appreciation for tequila to use with this recipe from Patrón mixologist Gee David INGREDIENTS • 60ml Patrón Añejo • 10ml agave syrup • 2 dashes angostura bitters • 2 dashes orange bitters • Orange twist METHOD Pour ingredients into an icefilled glass and stir until the desired dilution is reached. (Good bartenders will stir up to 20 times.) Garnish with an orange twist.
COLOUR ME BAD BLUE MIGHT DOMINATE THE DENIM COLOUR CHART, BUT WHY LIMIT YOUR PALETTE? MASTER WHITE, GREY AND BLACK DENIM SHADES WITH OUR EXPERT ADVICE ST YLING
Guess denim shirt $99.95 ▪ Tommy Hilfiger scarf $150 ▪ Rado Diamaster watch $3775 ▪ Calibre leather bracelet $59 ▪ R.M. Williams woven belt $250 ▪ Calibre jeans $249 ▪ R.M. Williams suede boots $475 ▪
The New Clean E WHITIM DEN 363
Newsﬂash: when it comes to white jeans, the pristine look, popular with Euro yacht owners and certain reality TV stars, is on the way out. “Under no circumstances would I advise you to pair white jeans with a blazer or boat shoes,” says Damien Paul, head of menswear at matchesfashion.com. Instead, think sturdy boots and a washed denim shirt as preferable partners, softening the efect of your crystalline white denim and, at the same time, modernising it. “Keeping them clean is always tough, but don’t ever be tempted to bleach them,” advises Paul. “They’ll just go yellow.”
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Vanishing Elephant knit $150 Fitbit Blaze smart watch $329.95 7 For All Mankind jeans $290 Local Supply sunglasses $79.95 Superga sneakers $89.95 Trenery jacket $449
Utility Player “Grey is the lowest-maintenance denim of all,” says Paul. “You don’t need to worry about it fading, and the more beaten up it looks, the better it looks.” However, to avoid appearing like a rain cloud, opt for diferent textured items to help break up the monotony. The dark, textured weave of this wool jacket paired with the pale-grey denim makes for a contrast that demonstrates you know that it’s not just cut and fabric that mark you out from the masses.
GREY DENIM 0 57
Style e Soften th tween e b t s a tr n co s and your shopeting for o y b jeans e material a matt uede. like s
Z Zegna shirt $295
& Ross BRV126 watch $6000
Tommy Hilfiger belt $129 and jeans $180
Marcs suede shoes $199
Calibre jacket $469
Dark Horse O INDIGIM DEN 1054
“In the office your denim should, as a rule, remain dark,” says personal shopping consultant Daniel Rhone. “The beneﬁts of this are twofold: to better complement your trousers or jacket, and to look more professional with it.” Of-duty, the same principle holds. If you want to look smart, then dark indigo is the way forward. Leave stonewash denim for those with a penchant for power ballads.
To yo u s t o p dark jerafaithful losing t ns from h coloure, ir perfect tumblenever dr y.
Ganton shirt $114.95
Ben Sherman cardigan $129
Marcs tie $69
Chopard Superfast Chrono watch $16,380
Boohoo jeans $40
Clarks shoes $229.95
Fade to Black Black jeans may be associated with the rock-star look, but they can be smartened up, too. Seek out a slim cut rather than skinny. “They are both neat and forgiving, grazing your thighs and calves rather than hugging them,” says John Mooney, head of menswear design at Asos. “They bestride the smart-casual dress code and are the most versatile cut of all.”
A FASHION SNOB'S GUIDE TO...
INSIDE LEG INFORMATION
Sanforisation is a tragically widespread process that prevents your strides from shrinking but hampers their Clooney-like ageing powers. Selvedge jeans traditionally come long in the leg. “Back when denim meant workwear, all jeans came in one length; your local tailor would hem them or you’d roll them up,” says Babzani. Unsanforised pairs shrink by about 7.5 centimetres when washed, which is why Babzani advocates soaking before wearing and indeed hemming them. But not climbing in the bath while wearing them.
THIS FETISHISED FABRIC IS NO LONGER THE PRESERVE OF DENIM PURISTS, BUT PICK AT THE THREADS OF WHAT’S LABELLED “SELVEDGE” AND IT QUICKLY UNRAVELS. MH IS ON HAND TO HELP
Terms of Engagement
Going for Gold
Selvedge is prized for its authenticity and the way it ages – like a fine wine, only with sweeter fades. But it’s a word that is bandied about a lot and too often abused. Consider this your denimhead dictionary.
“The most legit selvedge is made by a tiny Japanese brand called Strike Gold,” says Babzani. “It’s always the most exciting thing at the Tokyo trade shows. The way the stuf ages, you’ve never seen anything like it. It’s three dimensional.”
It’s spelled selvedge not selvage. The former is the British spelling; the latter is, like the Texas tuxedo, an Americanism. It’s a contraction of “self-edging” fabric. “‘Selvage’ mistakenly leads people to think it’s ‘salvaged’,” says Kiya Babzani, of leading denim retailer Self Edge. Selvedge is not proof of quality. Like all pre-Sixties denim, selvedge is made on less reliable shuttle looms; its irregularities give it character. “But string up a shuttle loom with bad cotton and you won’t get great denim,” says Babzani. The loom is not the only factor. There's selvedge and selvedge. Shuttle looms fell out of fashion in favour of mass-production, until the vintage-loving Japanese revived them. Now every high-street brand is doing selvedge. “None of it is good,” says Babzani. As ever, you get what you pay for.
JEANS MADE FROM SELVEDGE
“For the selvedge look and feel that most people are into, the Japanese make the best, most interesting fabric that ages the most appealingly,” says Babzani. “If you take Japanese selvedge and ship it to a factory in Montreal or Los Angeles or Tunisia, you may have a great fabric but I guarantee you that the sewing quality will be nowhere near the Japanese.”
JEANS MADE IN JAPAN “Japanese factories have an eye for manufacturing garments that I’ve not really seen anywhere else,” says Babzani. “A typical Japanese jean has a stitch count 20 per cent higher than a typical good-quality jean made elsewhere – which is a lot with something woven that chunky. The overall feel of Japanese-made jeans is very different. You can just tell.” Alternatively, you can check the label.
Mapping Your Jean Type
SELVEDGE MYTHS THAT DON’T WASH
Most selvedge is marketed as “raw” or unwashed (although some brands like RRL do sell pre-washed selvedge). Despite that, it’s also been heavily processed, limiting its characterbuilding potential. “You want your denim to be as close as possible to ‘loomstate’ – the way the fabric is when it comes of the loom – before it’s treated,” says Babzani. “The more texture you can see and feel, the better. You don’t want anything too ﬂat.”
v / Button ﬂy Fiddlier but also generally sturdier and longer-lasting than a zip, a button ﬂy is also a sign that the jean is not sanforised (see left), as a zip would buckle with shrinkage.
i / Rivets These are metal fasteners placed at high-tension points. They’re usually brass, but some brands have unique designs or use materials that age, like iron or copper.
vi / Pocket lining It’s perhaps not the sexiest feature, but worth looking out for nonetheless, as it roughly doubles the life of your pockets (and halves your chances of losing your phone).
ii / Bar tacks Stitching reinforces the aforementioned tension points. This is sometimes seen as a line (or “bar”), sometimes an X, sometimes coloured.
iii / Weft This is the extra yarn that creates the contrast when you turn up your jeans to show of the thin red thread. Traditionally white or undyed, but can be coloured.
Only wash selvedge jeans in the sea. “Why? You’d have to wash your jeans normally afterwards anyway,” says Babzani. “I’ve smelt jeans that have came out of the sea and are left to dry. They do not smell good.” Buy a size down as they will stretch. “They can stretch up to an inch-anda-half in the waist. But only if you buy them tight. If they’re not tight, they won’t stretch. Just buy jeans that ﬁt.” Always hang rather than fold them. “The jeans come folded from the factory. They’re shipped folde ed. They’re folded at the retailer. I fail to see how folding could be dam maging.” Put them in the freeze er to kill the bacteria. “You don’t need to do that,” says Babzani. “If that’s what g gets you of and it’s fun, ﬁne: it’s no ot going to damage the jeans. But if they smell, just wash them.”
CLEANING UP CONFUSION
iv / Selvedge The actual “selfedge” is tape-like in appearance with a coloured thread or “ID” – usually red, but originally added to diferentiate between brands’ fabrics.
vii / Arcuate The stitching that “arcs” over the back pocket – the arcuate – serves no purpose other than to look cool, diferentiate brands and spark denimhead debate.
All that stuf about not washing your selvedgge for months stinks as much as your jeans will. Con y ntrary to popular belief, it’s wear that causes loss of indigo, not water. And swerving laundry day will wreck your expensive selvedge rather than preserve it. “Denim becomes brittle over time,” says Babzani. “How do you make it more pliable? Wash it.” Built-up dirt only increases that brittleness. Before the crotch blows out, stick them in the machine on cold every 4-6 weeks with a gentle detergent, then air-dry. Your jeans – not to mention your friends – will thank you.
6 WAYS YOU BROADCAST YOUR AGE
SHOUT DOWN YOUR BODY’S TELLTALE SIGNS OF DECADE-BY-DECADE AGEING BY
Jennifer Ryan Jones
Act your age? Never. Look your age? Once you lose the fear of getting carded – prefer not to, thanks. But the passing years can sneak up on you and affect your appearance in subtle ways – stray ear hairs, blotchy skin, a dulling smile. And your grooming routine needs to step up as these challenges arise. Choose your decade, and embrace our easy age-defying adjustments.
Tame gnarly ear hair the moment it sprouts, or risk looking like an antique.
MAIN PHOTO: THE VOORHES; PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY: ESA RUOHONEN; ADDITIONAL REPORTING: MELINDA AYRE
Clean Up Good In Every Decade
You’re in a rush – but just stop, take a breath and devote a few minutes in the morning to avoid these hang-ups.
No more coasting on your youthful looks. Give your face and hair a rejuvenating lift with these smart strategies.
Even if you’ve been a little negligent over the years, you can still turn back the clock with these two solutions.
1/ Excess Facial Oil
2/ Skin Irritation
3/ Sun Damage
4/ Hair loss
5/ Fine Lines
6/ Discoloured Teeth
Foam up daily with a cleanser containing alpha-hydroxy acids, says dermatologist Andrew Miller. “It’s a simple way of preventing breakouts – unblocking pores means they don’t get to that next step.” Exfoliation also helps – just don’t overdo it. “Exfoliation rubs off the dead skin cells of the outer layer of skin,” says Miller. Moisturise with oil-free lotion: dry skin looks dull and is more susceptible to fine lines.
Always shave immediately after you shower without drying your face, says Miller. And upgrade to a hydrating shave gel or cream so your blade doesn’t catch on skin. Multi-blade razors are the best choice, adds Miller. “With a three- or five-blade razor it won’t pull and stretch the skin.” End with a fragrance-free aftershave – chemical scents can cause redness and bumps.
Spend your money on good sunscreen, says Miller. “Buy a new sunscreen at the start of each season because they do go off, and look for SPF50+ and broad spectrum.” Though if you drive to work and sit inside most of the day, moisturiser with built-in sunscreen will do, says Miller. But if you run at lunch, apply SPF50+ sunscreen mid-morning so it has time to lock into the skin, he warns. A vitamin-rich moisturiser, applied morning and night, will help keep environmental damage buried.
Hair loss can begin in the twenties, but most men do little about it, says Geoff Hawkins, vice-president research & development technology at Aveda. By your thirties, it’s high time to begin a routine that fights age-related thinning. Use a treatment product that nourishes the hair follicle and change over to exfoliating shampoo to stimulate the scalp.
Skin of any age will respond quickly to the right care routine. Use products containing peptides to improve firmness and fill in fine wrinkles. And undo the real damage by applying a retinol-based lotion all over your face; this increases production of collagen, which gives skin its elasticity.
As you age, your teeth become more porous and susceptible to stains, says Sydney dentist Ellie Pikoulas. Drinks such as tea, coffee and red wine are a few culprits. Don’t want to pay for an in-chair procedure? Try an at-home whitening system or use a daily whitening toothpaste.
► TRY THIS Buy the highest-quality serum you can afford, combining anti-ageing peptides and vitamin C to help boost collagen production. Jack Black
► TRY THIS
► TRY THIS You’ll want a cream that combines loads of antioxidants to help even out skin texture and shield against environmental damage.
Invati Men Nourishing Exfoliating Shampoo, $49, and Scalp Revitaliser, $80
► TRY THIS Look for face wash with exfoliators like salicylic acid or glycolic acid to keep your skin zit-free. Swisse Olive Leaf Gel Cleanser, $10.95
► TRY THIS Choose a razor with hydrating technology to reduce nicks, and buy shave gel or cream over foam. “Spray-on foams can sit on the surface of the skin and don’t give the best lubrication,” explains Miller. Molton Brown RazorGlide Shave Gel, $40, and Schick Hydro 5 Razor, $12.99
► TRY THIS Look for a shampoo and treatment duo from the same brand that work in synergy, like Aveda’s two-step treatment
Protein Booster Skin Serum, $93. Bring in the
Oral-B 3D White Whitestrips, $44.99 are
individual strips coated with whitening gel that shape to your teeth. Apply to teeth twice a day for 30 minutes.
big guns overnight with a retinol lotion. Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Wrinkle Recovery Overnight Serum, $133
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Transformer, $48
Motoring LAUNCH REPORT // AUDI A4
A Smarter Drive Audi’s latest offering in the prestige sedan market might just be more competent than its driver Watch the car in front – if you don’t slam on the brakes to avoid an imminent rear-ender, the A4 will; Worry about being rear-ended yourself – the A4 detects a fast-approaching car to your rear and frantically strobes its brake lights to alert that car’s driver; Concentrate in car parks – reverse out of a perpendicular spot and the A4 will look left and right, warning you of approaching cars; Look out for cyclists while parked – the car lashes an internal warning if you’re about to open your door onto a bike, on either side;
Worry about your judgment when cutting across traffic – tick the Driver Assistance Package ($1900) and try to do a suicidal righthand turn across traic and it will stop you; Fear high-beaming other drivers – the Matrix LED headlights ($1700) will dip the beam only on that portion of the headlight dazzling the oncoming motorist; Fret about your next meal (or ill-up or checkup) – ask the voice control system to locate the nearest Thai restaurant, petrol station or doctor and it will give you options, then phone them for you. Seriously.
WORDS: BRUCE RITCHIE
THOUGH THE RISE of the machines is a common theme in sci-i, you could mount an argument that the human being is already all but redundant in some respects. If you doubt this, take the brand-new, ninthgeneration Audi A4 for a test drive. The company calls it the most technologically advanced car it’s produced. We say it’s the beginning of the end for fully autonomous human beings. Here’s just a short list of what you no longer have to do as a driver: Pay attention in traffic jams – the A4 will do the peak-hour, start-stop shule for you;
It seems almost superluous to discuss the things you can control, but in order up the engine food chain you have a choice of front-drive in 1.4L and 2.0L petrol engines, with quattro AWD powered by a 2.0L diesel and higher-powered 2.0L petrol, ranging in price from $55,500 to $69,900 and all delivering a terriic power/economy equation. If you’ve got a spare $2K, Audi’s schmick virtual cockpit is a must-have option – a hi-def, customisable LCD console that lets you display speed, tachometer and sat-nav in various conigurations, including having your
route overlaid on Google Earth. Full music connectivity comes through Apple’s new Car Play or Android Auto. Styling is a subjective thing and the new A4 has copped some lak for looking like the old A4. While not breaking new ground, that sharpened face and stronger character lines give it an angular presence with a strong family resemblance to the latest TT – no bad thing, in MH’s view. It’s a handsome, highly competent addition to the crowded exec express market. And whatever the situation, it’s always got your back.
TheA4’ssharpenedface and stronger character lines give it an angular presence
More From Less You don’t have to be at the wheel of Audi’s miserly new A4 to dramatically improve your fuel economy. Long-time motoring journalist Peter McKay has twice competed in the Darwin to Adelaide Global Green Challenge, an event where the goal is to cover the 3000-plus kilometres from Australia’s north to south using the least fuel. In 2009, McKay achieved the best result in the production-car category, using 98.46 litres at an average consumption of just 3.13L/100km in a Ford Fiesta ECOnetic turbodiesel. Here are his tips for getting maximum distance from minimum fuel.
Your right foot dictates how much fuel you consume and big movements will result in big numbers. “Use the throttle like you’re driving on eggshells,” says McKay. “Ease away from a stop. Momentum is your friend in traffic. Ease up to red traffic lights, which will eventually turn green.”
FIND THE ENGINE’S COMFORT ZONE
You need to ﬁnd the place where you can maintain speed at the lowest possible revs, which shouldn’t exceed 1500rpm.
GO EASY ON THE AIR-CON
On McKay’s winning run, he and his co-driver traversed the outback in 34°C heat with the windows up and air-conditioning of. He’s not suggesting you do that. “Use the air, because air-conditioning these days doesn’t use up the fuel like it used to in older cars, but avoid going full blast. And don’t open the windows instead, because it will increase drag. Consumption-wise, there’s not a lot in it, but air-con is nicer, so go for the nice option.”
TAKE A LOAD OFF
Get rid of roof racks you’re not using – they add 6-8 per cent to your consumption. If you’re driving around with extra stuf in the boot, get it out. Weight is the killer. On that note, don’t drive around with your heavyweight mate – tell him to get the bus!
PUMP IT UP
“You’re better of bumping up your tyre pressures a little. If the tyre placard – situated inside the driver’s door – recommends 34psi, put in 36. It improves the tyres’ rolling resistance and, as an added bonus, improves the grip in the wet,” says McKay. “If possible, opt for a narrow tyre, which again improves rolling resistance.”
Make no mistake: Audi’s new A4 has the brains to match its beauty.
“We did a story at the Sydney Morning Herald three years ago where we took out three identical Toyota Camrys ﬁlled with E10, standard and premium petrol,” says McKay. “Regular beat E10 and 98 beat regular – but not by enough to justify 98’s 10¢ a litre price hike.”
Think you have what it takes to tackle a stage of the Tour Down Under? Ben Jhoty tests the limits of his endurance to discover what life in the hot seat is really like I SUPPOSE THERE’S a certain logic in putting a ive-kilometre, category-two climb towards the end of a 142km stage ride. It’s the same logic that dictates that the scariest monster will arrive at the climax of a horror movie. I’m stooped over my handlebars, each pedal stroke an act of will, as I take on the notorious Crows Nest climb at the pointy end of the BUPA Challenge. The 142.4km ride tracks stage four of the Santos Tour Down Under, beginning in Adelaide’s inner east, before winding south through the Adelaide Hills to Victor Harbor on the Fleurieu Peninsula. I’ve been in the saddle for over ive hours with my “domestique”, former pro rider Jorg Ludewig, as part of the Giant-Alpecin team. (Pro cycling has a storied history of teams bearing incongruous sponsorships. The GiantAlpecin team continues this tradition – Alpecin is a German cafeine shampoo.) Right before we hit the climb we’d passed a sign lashing “Escape Route”, tempting us with the prospect of avoiding the hill and lopping a cool 11km of the total stage distance. Ludewig looks 78
sidelong at me with a sly grin and asks if I really want to take the hard road. “Of course,” I reply, my pride stung by the suggestion. Barely a quarter of the way up the climb and I’m experiencing profound regret. “I feel like I’m in The Matrix and took the wrong pill,” says one bloke doing it tough next to me. I’m with him. Right now I’d be overjoyed if my reality was a mere digital projection with someone poised to yank the plug out of the back of my head. At the very least I wish I’d programmed myself to be a pro cyclist. Instead, my prerace training consisted of two 30km jaunts around Sydney’s eastern suburbs and I rolled up to the starting line – to the horror of my teammates – minus cleats and cycling knicks. “You’re basically doing the equivalent of a half-marathon in dancing shoes,” observed Ludewig, a slightly manic, sandy-haired fellow with lean, sinewy limbs courtesy of a decade of professional cycling. Around me, plenty of people are throwing in the towel, walking their bikes up the
bitumen, which is mercifully shaded by eucalypts. I’m ighting the urge to join them, but remember something Ludewig said before he pedalled of gaily. “You have to betray your brain on the hills, otherwise you will be lost.” That’s why, with 4km still to climb and my brain telling me I’m done, I’m trying to convince myself that I have more in me. And so it continues up the hill – a man in dancing shoes at war with himself.
CATCH AND CLING Looking at stage four on paper, you’re drawn to the two hills at either end of the ride proile. The irst is a rather savage 6km climb up Norton Summit, just outside Adelaide. The second, Crows Nest, looks less daunting, but that’s before you account for what ive hours and 120km in the saddle does to an untrained body. Largest on the list of physical complaints are an eye-watering ache in the glutes and a stabbing sensation at the point of the spine. In-between the two hills the course trends downward, another 24 or so “bumps” along the way.
No knicks, no cleats, no hope? Ben joins the MAMILs on a mission.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JO-ANNA ROBINSON
Our team sets of at 6.30am along with 6000 other aqua-vested riders. It’s less than ive minutes before the road starts ramping up to Norton Summit and almost immediately chatter among riders drops of as everyone begins an inner dialogue with their demons. My jersey is already clinging to my skin and my heart is hammering away. I decide to divert my attention to the lat grids of the City of Churches stretching out before us. At the summit I ind Ludewig waiting for me. As we prepare for our irst major descent he urges me to keep my legs turning over to prevent lactic acid pooling in my muscles. “It’s like active regeneration,” he says. “If you don’t pedal downhill you really explode when you hit the next hill.” I heed his advice and then focus on making myself small as I blast down the smooth, winding bitumen at around 55km/h, some 30-odd kilometres of Ludewig’s top speed of 87km/h. It’s not long before we zoom out of the wooded hills and into rolling straw ields, every so often zipping through tiny hamlets,
memorable for their inviting heritage pubs and sandstone churches. “It’s Australia’s Tuscany,” Ludewig says, smiling. On the lat stretches our tactics are simple: ind a group of riders and lock onto their back wheel like slipstream-sucking parasites. This way you can reduce the energy you expend by 30 per cent, Ludewig says. Over the next 100km our ride falls into an enjoyable tactical game of hunting and “feeding” on packs until they either pull away, or we overtake them and seek out our next human windbreak. “A guy like Simon Gerrans,” Ludewig tells me, “wouldn’t even have a minute with his nose in the wind until the end of the stage. Then everybody’s on their own.”
UPHILL BATTLE By the 90km mark my body is issuing protests, picket lines of pain forming in my glutes and advancing up my back. I’m grateful when we roll into a rest stop outside the coastal town of Goolwa to ill up on Powerade and muesli bars. From Goolwa it’s a short ride to Crows
BUPA STAGE 4 RIDE PROFILE
Nest where my inal physical reckoning awaits. The last kilometre of the climb is particularly steep, rising to a quad-busting 5.8 per cent. My lungs burn, each pedal stroke threatening to bankrupt my dwindling physical bank account. Roadside distance markers accentuate the agony, signposting the sufering that still remains. A solitary kilometre on this gradient may as well be a hundred. When the summit inally arrives the relief felt is commensurate to the agony endured. There’s still another 15-odd kilometres to go, but it’s largely downhill to the inish line in Victor Harbor. Later in the day Gerrans will win what to me is an utterly unfathomable sprint to the line. He’ll receive cheers from the crowd and kisses from podium girls. Frankly, he will deserve everything he gets. FOR MORE GREAT CYCLING CONTENT, CHECK OUT THE AUTUMN ISSUE OF BIKE MAGAZINE. ON SALE NOW.
KING AFTER A ROLLERCOASTER YEAR IN ENGLISH RUGBY, SAM BURGESS IS BACK WHERE HE BELONGS. FOLLOW THIS HARDMAN’S PLAN TO SILENCE YOUR DOUBTERS AND CRUSH THE OPPOSITION > BY
ST YLING BY
Burgess kicks back on one of the old slatted wooden benches in the Erskineville Oval grandstand. The autumn sun’s shining, a gentle southerly’s sweeping over the ground and the big Yorkshireman is in a garrulous mood as he puts his feet up and gazes out over his kingdom. The benches have been painted red and green – Rabbitohs colours – but the paint can’t hide the old nicks and gouges. This is South Sydney territory: working class, industrial, gritty. A few streets north of here is the once-notorious Block; to the east rise the crumbling towers of Waterloo. Sure, times have changed, but in this brickand-concrete warren there’s still a scent of tough luck and hard times. And yet the South Sydney faithful have taken Burgess in as one of their own. They love him in these parts. More than that, they revere him. As Burgess talks, an Aboriginal kid in a lat-brim cap rolls past on his BMX. He glances up then slams on his brakes. He drops the bike and stands there, his mouth agape. Burgess raises a thumb: “Alright mate?” The kid grins, too shy to speak. He stares for a moment, then turns and calls out to two other kids tooling around on scooters on the far side of the park. They drop their transport, toss their school bags to the ground and break into a sprint. Gradually the assembly grows until there are half a dozen kids milling around, stealing furtive glances and whispering gleefully to one another. Yes, in this working-class corner of Sydney, Burgess is king. Question is: how do you inspire such respect, such reverence, in those around you?
JUST GET ON WITH IT
WATCH THE VIDEO USE THE FREE VIEWA APP TO SEE OUR EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF SAM
Burgess has worn the South Sydney crown since the 2014 NRL Grand Final – a match that has gone down in Rabbitohs folklore. A head clash with Bulldogs prop James Graham in the opening seconds of the match left Burgess pawing frantically at his right cheekbone. At that moment, he knew the bone was broken. “It hit a nerve pad and straight away my face was in all sorts,” he says, his face creased into its trademark lopsided grin. “I could feel this lump growing where my eye socket had gone in. I wasn’t concussed. My sight was clear, I was thinking straight. I just knew my face had gone.” Burgess got to his feet, played the ball, then stumbled into the backplay, pointing to the right side of his face. The cameras homed in on an eye that was already turning purple, a cheek that was grotesquely depressed. He admits that his irst thoughts were those of
defeat: “I thought I’d spoiled a year’s worth of work. I thought I had no chance of staying on the park.” But he did stay on the park. He got his hands on the ball and took a carry, just to see how the face held up. Then he took another carry. Then another. Halftime came and went, and before he knew it, the fulltime siren had sounded. The Rabbitohs had notched a 30-6 victory – their irst premiership in 43 years. Burgess was awarded the Clive Churchill Medal – best on ground. It was a display of courage that sent the rugby league world into rapture. In the gnarliest of the football codes, a game that venerates its hardmen, Burgess assumed an exalted position alongside John Sattler, who played the 1970 Grand Final with a broken jaw, and Clive Churchill, who slotted a sideline conversion against Manly in ’55 with his broken arm splinted in a school textbook. Toughness – a trait every man admires. Ask Burgess how he honed his and he considers for a moment before answering with a childhood story from his days back in England’s north. The family was putting an extension on their house and his father had tasked himself with digging out the foundations with a shovel. “I must’ve been seven or eight at the time, and I remember seeing Dad come in – big muscly guy, dripping with sweat – and I said: ‘Why you sweating, Dad?’ And he said: ‘Well Son, when you do things properly, you sweat.’” Burgess snorts with laughter: “I’ll never forget that.” This, for Burgess, is the essence of toughness. It’s not a talent – it’s a mindset. It’s a willingness to sweat, to keep working until a job’s done. “Just get on with things,” he says simply. This philosophy has powered Burgess’s prodigious football career. His willingness to take hit after hit, to keep trucking the ball into the defensive line, is an invaluable trait in rugby league – particularly when paired with a 116-kilogram frame. He made his professional debut for the Bradford Bulls as a 17-year-old. In that season, his coach, former Kiwi international Shontayne Hape, described him as “Great Britain’s Sonny Bill”. A year later he was called into the Great Britain team and distinguished himself with a vicious shoulder charge that loored rampaging Kiwi prop Fui Fui Moi Moi. Having reached the pinnacle of the game in the UK before the age of 20, he began looking for a new frontier to conquer.
COLLECTMEMORIES,NOTTROPHIES Burgess contends that his decision to pack his bags and move to Australia at the end of 2009 was “relatively easy”. He shrugs: “I’ve always been ambitious, ever since I was a young kid. I wanted to test myself in Australia. I was 19 – you’re not too worried about much at that age. All I wanted to do was chase a dream. And
antedto elfin s ralia.II was19 –you’ y re nottoo or dabout much h atthatagee”
King of his castle: Burgess steps out at Erskineville Oval.
“I’vealwaysfound y awaytogetthe y g mostoutofthings. g hatsmymotto: y jjoy y whatyouredoing” that dream was coming to Australia.” When Burgess talks about ambition, however, he’s not just talking about winning games and hoisting trophies – he’s talking about collecting memories. “I grew up in Norristhorpe, a small town out of Leeds, and I always knew that there had to be bigger and better things outside this little village. So through my sporting career I’m just trying to create as many memories as I can, get as many life experiences as I can. Back then, coming to Australia was one of the irst big steps I took.” Press him on his memories of those early months in Sydney and it’s the experiences of the ield that stick in his mind. He moved into a rented apartment in Potts Point, with sparkling views of the Harbour Bridge. He had no car, no maps, no clue what made the city tick. Fortunately he had a friend in town who had some time of work. Together the two of them would pedal bikes around the city, the local showing Burgess the haunts – where to go for good cofee, where to go for a cold beer, where to go for a solid feed. “These are my memories of that irst year in Sydney,” he says. “Not the sport so much, but the living. Learning a whole new city.” And who was the friend? Burgess looks down at his hands bashfully: “Well, it was Russell. Russell Crowe. But after a few days the Hollywood-thing had gone out the window. We were just out-and-out good friends. I had a great time. Think he did, too.” For Burgess, this ethos of collecting life experiences is a levelling force. For a 20-yearold cutting his professional path in a foreign city, his family on the far side of the world, the pressure to perform on the ield could have become a crippling load. For many young sportsmen it has. But Burgess palms this of: “I’ve never had much fear. I’ve always found a way to enjoy things, to get the most out of things. That’s my motto: go out and enjoy what you’re doing.” It’s a motto that’s reaped rewards on the ield. Leading the Rabbitohs pack, Burgess carried the perennial underperformers to preliminary inals in 2012 and 2013, before sealing the title in 2014. Two years on, he can’t suppress a grin as he recalls the celebrations after that match. “I pushed my surgery back to the Tuesday afternoon, so that gave me a good 48 hours to have a beer. No painkillers, mind you.” With his right hand clasping an ice pack
to his cheek, his left hand clutching a beer, he drank to a job well done. Then it was time to turn his attention to a new challenge.
TRUST YOUR METHODS Burgess insists that he feels nothing but pride when he looks back on his season in rugby union – a year that culminated with the 2015 World Cup. “I had to learn a brand-new sport from the ground up,” he says. “For me to learn union, I had to fully switch of from rugby league, let go of what had just happened. And that wasn’t easy. We’d just won the Grand Final – one of the most emotional experiences of my life – then I had to cut it of straight away. That was probably the hardest thing, mentally and emotionally.” With his ties to league severed, he lew to England, settled in the rugby town of Bath and started toiling in his new trade. When he was out on the training paddock, he was constantly pumping his teammates for technical advice. When he wasn’t on the training paddock, he was sitting in front of a television watching footage of old matches. He rebuilt his body, shedding some of the bulk from his shoulders and arms and stacking on muscle through his glutes and quads via brutal deadlift sessions. He rewired his physiology, upping his quotient of fast-twitch muscle ibres via relentless sprint sessions. “I got in a strong, competitive mind frame; I got in the best physical shape of my life and I did what I needed to do,” he says. “So I’m immensely proud.” The English press, of course, saw it diferently. After humbling losses to Wales and Australia eliminated England in the World Cup group stages, the nation’s sports writers turned
on the league convert. The Mail on Sunday’s Oliver Holt described Burgess as “a symbol of everything that was wrong with the England dynamic”, while former Ireland centre Gordon D’Arcy said Burgess was so out of his depth he “embarrassed those around him”. Was the criticism unfair? Sage rugby brains certainly thought so, with former Wallabies mentor and recently appointed England coach Eddie Jones defending Burgess, instead pointing the inger of blame at the Bath and England coaching staf who had switched him from position to position, further muddying the process of learning an entirely new sport in eight months. “You have a guy who comes from rugby league and you ask him to play in two completely diferent positions – how silly is that?” said Jones. For his part, Burgess isn’t overly concerned with apportioning blame. Yes, the pressure the English media heaped on him during that World Cup campaign was unlike anything he copped during his years in the NRL. But the experience provided him with a valuable blueprint for how to deal with stiling stress. “It’s quite simple really,” he says, “I simply believe – really believe – that what I’m doing is right. I believe in the training that I’m doing, I believe in the people around me. The external noise really becomes irrelevant when you truly believe in your own system, in your own ability, in your own capacity to learn.” This belief is, of course, a direct result of Burgess’s ferocious work ethic. Put in the hours, break that sweat, then trust in your eforts. Do that, he says, and you take control of your own destiny. “Other people might try and slow you down, they might try and get in your way, but they can never stop you. That’s something you’re in control of.”
ARMED AND DANGEROUS With its brutal collisions, rugby league demands an armour-plated upper body. Just ask Chris Feather. The Gym Jonescertified trainer and owner of Sydney gym 98 Riley St spent a decade playing professional rugby league in the UK, including two seasons alongside Burgess at Bradford. (The two are still close mates, with Feather standing in as best man at Burgess’s wedding in December last year.) With its emphasis on big, multi-joint upper-body moves, this workout from Feather will pack on serious bulk through your chest, lats, shoulders and arms. No biceps curls? Correct. Focusing on larger muscle groups like the triceps and deltoids (all three heads) will add more depth and width to your arms in less time.
NO REGRETS And now he’s back at South Sydney – much to the joy of the gathered schoolkids on this warm afternoon at Erskineville Oval. Burgess admits that, in the days after England’s World Cup exit, he considered staying on, playing out another four-year cycle and having a crack at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. But he realised his motivations were weak. “Deep down I knew that I wouldn’t be doing it for me,” he says, “I would be doing it to, you know . . . ” He mimes lipping the bird at the media men who’d given him such a hiding. So, in November last year, he re-signed with the Rabbitohs and lew back to Sydney. And as he sits here – bathed in late-afternoon sun, the breeze ruling the gums that line the oval, the kids milling around with reverent wonder – you can see he’s happy with his decision. “At the end of the day, I just didn’t enjoy rugby union as much as I enjoy rugby league,” he explains. “That’s the bottom line. As footy players we’ve only got short careers. I might only have four or ive years left and I want to spend those years in a sport that will give me the most enjoyment, rather than trying to prove something to someone else. So I’ve no regrets.” It’s pure Burgess. Work hard, trust your eforts, enjoy yourself and don’t look back. It’s a simple formula, but a powerful one. A formula, perhaps, it for a king – or even a wide-eyed kid looking up at one. Sam wears clothing by M.J. Bale.
SUPERSET 2 For the bench press, select a weight that is 50 per cent of your 1RM. Perform the exercises back-to-back, then rest for two minutes. Repeat five times. Record your reps and aim to beat them next time you do it. • Max reps bench press • Max reps wide-grip chin-up
SUPERSET 1 Using a set of light dumbbells (6-10kg), perform these three shoulder exercises backto-back. Rest for one minute; repeat three times. • 10 x front raise • 10 x lateral raise • 10 x reverse fly
SUPERSET 3 For the skull-crushers use a set of light dumbbells (6-10kg). Perform the exercises back-to-back, rest for two minutes, then repeat three times. Again, record your reps and aim to beat them next time you do it. • Max reps dips • Max reps skull-crushers • Max reps push-ups
AT MH WE’RE NO PURITANS: WE SAY IF YOU WANT TO EAT DIRTY, FILL YOUR BOOTS THEN PAY YOUR DUES LATER. BUT THAT’S NOT TO SAY YOU CAN’T CHEAT SMART. WE TOOK THREE JUNK FOOD CLASSICS AND REINVENTED THEM SO THEY RETAIN ALL THEIR SMUTTY FLAVOUR WHILE TRIMMING A BIT OF NUTRITIONAL GRISTLE. NAPKINS AT THE READY, GENTS > BY
ux MAY 2016
Double Trouble CHEAT DAY JUST GOT A LITTLE BIT MORE VIRTUOUS WITH OUR REMODELLED CHEESEBURGER
YOU WILL NEED FOR THE BURGER • 20G HIGH-QUALITY MINCED LEAN BEEF WITH ROUGHLY FIVE PER CENT FAT • 1 BRIOCHE BURGER BUN • ONION POWDER • ½ SPANISH ONION, CHOPPED • 1 TABLESPOON TOMATO SAUCE • ½ TEASPOON AMERICAN MUSTARD • 4 SLICES DILL PICKLE • 2 SLICES AMERICAN CHEDDAR CHEESE FOR THE SHAKE • 2 CUPS GOOD-QUALITY VANILLA ICE-CREAM • 1¼ CUPS LOW-FAT MILK • 2 TABLESPOONS GOODQUALITY COCOA POWDER • 1 TABLESPOON MALT POWDER • SMALL PINCH SEA SALT • DARK CHOCOLATE, FOR GRATING
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t was always going to begin here. The cheeseburger is a tombstone in the graveyard of many a well-intentioned night out, where weakened men see their training goals fade into blissful nutritional oblivion. Double cheeseburgers often snare gluttonous men, particularly those who’ve had a skinful, trapping them into downing more than 20 grams of saporous fat and the best part of 2000 kilojoules. On occasion we love ’em, but frankly a man could do without the guilt. So Men’s Health asked Michelin-starred chef Mark Sargeant, no stranger to a backlit menu himself, to reappraise the double-decker. “What you need to remember is that everything is in there for a reason,” he warns. “So the sweetness of the bun; the richness of the meat and the cheese; the sweet, sharp tang of the ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles – it’s the combination of those flavours that makes it so moreish. “That said, you can lose a lot of the fat for starters. A gourmet burger is thick – you need a lot of fat in the meat so it can render out while cooking and keep the burger moist. But cheeseburger patties are thin, cook quickly and are best reproduced with very lean meat.” Ask the butcher for extra-lean mince – no more than five per cent fat – and divide the beef in half and roll into in two even-sized balls. Press flat on a piece of waxed paper until about three millimetres thick, then leave them to rest in the fridge for an hour.
SIDE ORDER #1
A SUPERIOR SHAKE SURE, IT’S SUGARY. BUT USING QUALITY DARK CHOCOLATE MEANS YOU’RE GETTING A GOOD SLUG OF ANTIOXIDANTS, ALONG WITH ALL ITS OTHER STORIED BENEFITS, FROM PROTECTING AGAINST CANCER TO WARDING OFF STROKE AND HEART DISEASE. MEANWHILE, THE SEA SALT BALANCES OUT THE FLAVOURS SO YOU’RE NOT JUST DRINKING AN ICE-CREAM. PLACE ALL THE INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER AND WHIZ UNTIL SMOOTH BUT NOT SO LONG THAT THE ICE-CREAM COMPLETELY MELTS. POUR INTO A GLASS THEN GENEROUSLY GRATE OVER THE CHOCOLATE. DRINK THROUGH A STRAW, OBVIOUSLY.
Rinse the chopped onion under cold water for a few minutes, then pat dry, wrap in kitchen towel and squeeze out as much of the juice as you can. “This gets rid of a lot of the sharpness and gives them that slight crunch you’re after,” says Sargeant. Now lightly season your patties with salt, pepper and – your secret ingredient – onion powder for that intensely moreish, savoury flavour. Dry-fry in a hot pan for two minutes on each side.
Finally, assemble your ingredients (don’t pretend you don’t know which order they go in), then place your cheeseburger in the microwave on high for 15 seconds. Madness? “There’s method here,” says Sargeant. “It heats up the ketchup, mustard and onions slightly, melts the cheese and fluffs up the bun. The result is that same squashy warmth you get when pulling one out of a brown paper bag.”
If you really want a guilt-free burger, there is one final option: lose the bread. “Removing buns from your burger is an easy way to lose carbs and reduce the overall kilojoule count of your meal,” says Adam Issa, national marketing manager of Ribs & Burgers, which has created a new bun-free Naked Burger. “It’s also a great option for people who don’t eat gluten.” >
EXCUSE #1 YOU GET HALF YOUR RDI OF PROTEIN PER BURGER, EQUAL TO THAT FOUND IN MOST PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS. TASTES A LOT MORE SATISFYING, THOUGH.
EXCUSE #2 THE PICKLES CONTAIN PROBIOTICS, THE SAME GUT-FRIENDLY SORT THAT PEOPLE DRINK SPECIAL LITTLE YOGHURTS FOR TO PROMOTE DIGESTION. BUT THIS ISN’T A TINY YOGHURT; IT’S A CHEESEBURGER.
Ma v No dlN YOU CAN TAKE THE NOODLES OUT OF THE SUPERMARKET BUT, DONE RIGHT, YOU CAN STILL KEEP ALL THEIR DIRTY FLAVOUR
Y FOR THE NOODLES • 1 NEST DRIED EGG NOODLES • 2 HEAPED TEASPOONS CURRY POWDER • HANDFUL BABY SPINACH LEAVES • 5 CHERRY TOMATOES, HALVED • ½ TEASPOON TOASTED FENNEL SEEDS • 1 GARLIC CLOVE, FINELY SLICED • 1 SMALL CHILLI, FINELY SLICED • 3CM PIECE GINGER, FINELY CHOPPED • ½ TABLESPOON GARAM MASALA • HANDFUL CORIANDER LEAVES FOR THE SAUCE • ½ TABLESPOONS GARAM MASALA • 2 LARGE SPOONS GREEK YOGHURT • 5 LARGE MINT LEAVES, CHOPPED
o ight now, with long queues outside ramen joints and breathless blogs attesting to the clarity of three-day bone broths, all demonstrating our newfound foodie affection for the Japanese staple. All of which has precisely nothing to do with the instant noodles you get in the supermarket. They’re about as Japanese as baked beans on toast. And let’s face it, when the fridge is empty and resolve is low, no worse for it. Except deep down we know it is worse and that’s because of three pesky letters: MSG. Great for intensely savoury flavour, bad for headaches, weight gain and a host of other undesirable side effects. In an authentic Japanese noodle dish, the glutamate would come
SIDE ORDER #2
A SAUCE OF POWER NOODLES ARE NOT THE SAME WITHOUT A SACHET OF STICKY SAUCE ON TOP, AND THIS RECIPE COMBINES THREE DIGESTION-BOOSTING INGREDIENTS TO HELP YOU PROCESS THE CARBOHYDRATES IN YOUR SNACK. GRAB A BOWL AND SPOON IN THE GARAM MASALA, WHICH HAS BEEN FOUND TO IMPROVE THE FUNCTION OF YOUR GASTRO-INTESTINAL TRACT. MIX IN THE GREEK YOGHURT FOR A SLUG OF PROBIOTICS AND FINISH WITH THE MINT, WHICH WILL ALLEVIATE ANY BLOATING WHEN YOU’VE FINISHED GOBBLING. YOU KNOW THE DEAL: ADD LIBERALLY AFTER THE FIRST STIR.
THIS PORTION OF EGG NOODLES CONTAINS 15G OF PROTEIN – ABOUT THE SAME AS YOU’D FIND IN A PRAWN SANDWICH BUT WITH AN ADDED GLUTTONOUS KICK.
THERE ARE ZERO ARTIFICIAL FLAVOUR ENHANCERS IN THE MH NOODLE, WHICH MEANS NO RISK OF THE ATTRIBUTED LIVER DAMAGE, CHRONIC INFLAMMATION, CHRONIC PAIN AND WEIGHT-LOSS RESISTANCE.
naturally from dried kombu or bonito flakes. The stuff you buy from the supermarket comes out of a factory lab. What’s clear is that in reinventing the classic noodle dish, packing in as much taste without resorting to a heart-shaking level of salt is Sargeant’s challenge. Start with a suitably heatretentive receptacle. A widenecked Thermos would be ideal but, in a pinch, a protein shaker will do. Throw the spinach in first and then gently crumble over the dried noodles. “Break them up into pieces small enough to cook quickly and evenly but long enough to making slurping enjoyable,” says Sargeant. Slice up the cherry tomatoes and spoon over the curry powder. Next, add the chopped ginger, chilli and
garlic. “Even though you want strength of flavour, grating these would overpower everything,” says Sargeant. “Instead, aim to slice it as finely as you can without going so small they dissolve when you add the heat.” Fennel seeds, the garam masala and a few coriander leaves top it off. The final ingredient is, of course, hot water. Cover the dry mix by about two or three centimetres and screw on the lid. Give it a gentle shake and leave it to stand for a few minutes. Keeping with tradition, give it a good stir before leaving it to stand again until the noodles are nice and soft. Finally, combine your sauce ingredients and mix in at the last minute. Now all that’s left is to grab a fork and madly try not to burn the roof of your mouth. Some things never change. >
The Bucket List WITH A LITTLE PLANNING AND SOME NUTRITIONAL FOWL PLAY YOU CAN FRY UP A MEAL THAT’S FINGER-LICKING GOOD FOR YOU YOU WILL NEED FOR THE CHICKEN • 4 BONE-IN CHICKEN THIGHS • 4 CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS • 500ML BUTTERMILK • 50G SALT • VEGETABLE OIL FOR THE FLOUR DREDGE • 200G FLOUR • 100G GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR • 4 TABLESPOONS CORNFLOUR • ½ TEASPOON CAYENNE PEPPER • ½ TEASPOON GARLIC POWDER • ½ TEASPOON ONION POWDER • 1 TABLESPOON SEA SALT • 1 TEASPOON SMOKED PAPRIKA • 1 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER FOR THE COLESLAW • 1 SPANISH ONION, SLICED • 1 CARROT, GRATED • ½ SMALL RED CABBAGE, SHREDDED • 1 TABLESPOON GRAIN MUSTARD • 3 TABLESPOONS MAYONNAISE • 1 LEMON, JUICED • 1 MEDIUM RED CHILLI, FINELY CHOPPED • ½ BUNCH CORIANDER, CHOPPED • SEA SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER
ried chicken was the first fast food to really find itself in hot water with the health police. Stories about mutant test-tube birds grown without feathers or beaks have become an indelibly greasy stain on the bucket of the fried food industry’s reputation. And yet a truly honest man would confess to a few stains of his own, courtesy of a transcendent roadside experience with a deepfried drumstick, every moist bite a discordant mouthfeel of crisp, spicy skin and succulent flesh. The secret to that succulence is the huge pressure fryers, which seal the juices in the chicken. Assuming you don’t have a steam engine filled with boiling fat in your own kitchen, Sargeant suggests an alternative: brining. “A couple of days before your feast, dissolve your salt in a litre of warm water and leave to cool,” he advises. “Then submerge the chicken and leave to chill in the fridge for 24 hours. The brine draws out natural moisture from the chicken and replaces it with flavoured moisture. It changes the
molecular structure of the meat to make it more dense but still juicy.” This chemical reaction is what it takes to keep the moisture of a bargain bucket without trading in all the nutritional benefits of a healthy bird. After a day of swimming in the brine, pluck out your protein and dry it thoroughly with kitchen paper. Now put it into another clean container, cover with the buttermilk and stick it back in the fridge for another 24 hours to tenderise further. This might be a good point to do some exercise. When you’re finally ready to cook, fill a deep-fat fryer about two-thirds full with vegetable oil and set the heat to 165°C. While that’s going, pour all the flour dredge ingredients into a plastic bag and mix them up well. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk, put it straight into the flour bag and shake it like hell to coat. Fry until the chicken pieces are that special shade of golden brown and then leave on a thick wad of kitchen towel to drain off any really excessive fat. Put into a (clean) tin pail and serve, or else eat it right there at the countertop. After three days of waiting, you’re primed for a good stuffing.
SIDE ORDER #3
A HEALTHY DOLLOP OF COLESLAW DONE WELL, THE CLASSIC ACCOMPANIMENT TO FRIED CHICKEN IS A POWERHOUSE OF VEGIE GOODNESS. GET THE SEASONING RIGHT AND IT WILL BE HOT ENOUGH TO ENHANCE THE SOFTER FLAVOURS OF THE MAIN MEAL. GIVE THE ONION A GOOD RINSE IN A COLANDER UNDER COLD RUNNING WATER FOR A FEW MINUTES TO REDUCE ITS SHARPNESS, THEN DRAIN AND PAT DRY WITH PAPER TOWEL. NEXT, SIMPLY STICK ALL THE INGREDIENTS TOGETHER IN A BOWL AND MIX THEM UP WELL. GO HARDER ON THE CHILLI AND LEMON FOR A FRESHER, FAT-BURNING FINISH.
EXCUSE #1 TWO PIECES OF CHICKEN CONTAIN TWO-THIRDS OF YOUR RDI OF NIACIN, WHICH HELPS LOWER CHOLESTEROL AND BOOSTS THE RELEASE OF ENERGY FROM THE REST OF YOUR FOOD. USAIN BOLT WAS ONTO SOMETHING.
EXCUSE #2 FAT’S GOOD FOR YOU NOW, REMEMBER? IN ANY CASE, THIS HAS 15 PER CENT LESS OF THE SATURATED STUFF THAN THE AVERAGE TAKEAWAY VERSION.
FIRST BLOOD On the battlefield of health, too often we let our enemies deal the first blow. But rather than waiting for illness to attack, experts are beginning to think like army generals. If we start delivering preemptive strikes, they say, we can start banishing infirmity altogether BY
ILLUSTR ATIONS BY
SON OF ALAN
YOUR FIELD GUIDE TO PERFECT HEALTH Nos.1-39
n the neon-lit corridors of power at the nation’s top hospitals, calls are growing for change. Speciically, a change from our incurious, soporiic, Brave New World culture of pill-popping and symptom-pacifying to a potent and proactive system of “preventive healthcare”. Experts believe switching from reactively treating illnesses to actively preventing them through simple daily lifestyle and dietary changes
could save lives. It’s elementary when you think about it. Why sit and wait for pain, sickness and discomfort to come to you before doing anything about them? Far better to forestall an attack and devitalise the enemy. “You get the best outcomes if you don’t have a pathology in the irst place,” says Dr Stephen Parnis, federal vice-president of the Australian Medical Association. “Healthy lifestyles, whether it be diet, exercise and work-life balance, make you much less likely to get diseases
like heart disease, osteoporosis, even depression.” This can help ease the strain on already stretched healthcare systems, he adds. “If you don’t develop lung cancer because you quit smoking, you not only save your health and wellbeing, you save the health system a fortune in treatment, which is of beneit to the entire community.” Your life is in your hands, so why not do something with it? While the lab bods set about trying to deliver a preventive wallop on the nose of cancer and
LEFT-SWIPE NECK PAIN Peering down at your mobile piles weight on your neck – up to a whopping 27 kilograms (the weight of an average eight-yearold), reports the journal Surgery Technology. To combat this, raise your phone to your face instead. You’ll dodge around 1400 hours of neck strain a year. And a few lampposts in the process.
Eating fibre does more than just move your bowels; it also decreases your risk of bowel cancer by 10 per cent for every 10 grams you eat each day, according to the British Medical Journal. Snack on an apple after lunch, add oats to your protein shake and cook a baked potato for dinner – you’ll be 20 per cent safer.
04 SAY CHEERS TO SKELETAL STRENGTH
GIVE THE REAPER A RYE SMILE
02 GET TO THE CORE OF YOUR CANCER RISK
heart disease, there are plenty of micro sucker punches you can issue on a daily basis to help keep maladies at bay. Starting from today, kick-start your own personal preventive healthcare campaign with our complete blueprint of daily boosters designed to ward of disease, optimise health and help you live longer. These simple lifestyle adjustments will have a major impact on your health so you crush illness before it crushes you. Your body will love it when a plan comes together.
Research at the University of WisconsinMadison has proved lowering your kilojoule intake by just 10 per cent works to cut age-related disease by a third. Just swap your normal toast at breakfast for some appetitecrushing rye bread: the journal N < utrition> says rye-eaters get fewer cravings between 9am and 4pm so eat less over the course of the day.
Glug a post-work drink for sturdier bones. Oregon State University says moderate drinkers have higher bone densities than non-drinkers because alcohol slows the rate at which bones shed old cells. Stick to 2-3 units, though, so you don’t break any on the way home.
12 09 TURN OVER A NEW LEAF ON ODOUR If you’re dousing yourself in deodorant to mask odour before a big date, you’ve left it too late (and, if anything, might be making it worse). Better to add spinach to your sandwich at lunch: Oregon State University proved chlorophyll in greens works as an internal deodorant to reduce the pongs that emerge through sweat.
FISH FOR LONGER LIFE A single weekly serving of oily fish like salmon has been proven to halve your dementia risk, but the benefits don’t end there: doubling that to two servings a week will also cut your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and depression. One small change, one big shoal of benefits.
06 FILE AWAY DISEASE
07 DON’T OVER-RIPEN
Turns out your mum was right: keeping your room – or even your desk – tidy could save your life. Duke University found that well-organised, conscientious types enjoy knock-on improvements in diet and exercise, with 27 per cent fewer health problems, lower cholesterol and less gum disease. Time to banish illness to your out tray.
You don’t need to blow a fortune on grooming products. Save your wages while profiting from a smooth complexion by chopping a kiwi into your porridge. The Journal of Cell Physiology found it doubles the synthesis of collagen – a key skin protein – to keep you looking Bieber-fresh.
BE FLEXIBLE TO PREEMPT EXHAUSTION Stretching banishes post-lunch slumps before they happen. A NASA study showed pilots who did standing stretches – try quad and side stretches – for seven minutes every hour displayed less theta activity (the brain waves linked to daydreaming) and increased alertness.
08 10 STEM THE FLOW OF TROUBLE DOWN BELOW
DIAL UP THE HEAT ON ARTHRITIS Avoid creaking joints in old age by asking for extra wasabi with your sushi. The isothiocyanates found in wasabi have antiinflammatory properties that protect your joints and fight arthritis. It has also been shown to prevent osteoporosis. Mouth burn has never felt so good.
Face the hard truth: erectile dysfunction haunts 40 per cent of men by the time they hit 40. To ensure you stay firmly in the lucky majority, give your buddy a workout by interrupting your urine flow for five-second bursts every time you go to the toilet. It helps avoid floppiness by strengthening the muscles used for pitching your tent.
11 PILLOW-FIGHT AGAINST BACTERIA You can scrub your hands like Lady Macbeth, but your pillows – the actual pillows, not just the cases – are “wet sponges” harbouring bacteria such as the E. coli food-poisoning bug, reports London’s St Bartholomew’s Hospital. Wash synthetic pillows every three months at 60ºC to keep stomachchurning bugs at bay.
13 MAKE LIKE A FLAMINGO Next time you’re styling your hair or buttoning up your shirt, do it with one foot off the ground. A study from Kyoto University revealed that standing on one leg for just 20 seconds tests brain health and is linked to a lower risk of dementia and cognitive decline.
14 SWEAT YOUR ASSETS Bolting a sauna onto your gym workout burns away heart disease. A University of Eastern Finland study proved that 19-minute saunas improve your endothelial function – your blood vessels’ ability to widen and constrict – slashing your risk by 50 per cent. Not bad for sitting on your arse in a towel.
15 DEFEAT FLU WITH FLOWER POWER Echinacea may be a species of daisy, but it has a heavyweight impact on flu. A review by the Cochrane Library showed that taking three daily doses can reduce the number of recurrent infections by 59 per cent. As soon as your colleagues start to sniffle, get floral.
16 WALK OFF YOUR DIABETES RISK Take a stroll after dinner to blast away your chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Walking for just 15 minutes after eating reduces daily blood sugar surges, found a Diabetes Care study. Just so long as you don’t stroll to the kebab shop.
17 GIVE STRESS THE COLD SHOULDER Stress accelerates ageing – the University of Dundee proved it even makes you uglier – so galvanise your mind with cold showers twice a week. A study at Herzog-Julius Hospital in Germany showed the shock boosts your ability to tolerate everyday angst so you stay ice-cool under pressure.
EAT YOUR GREENS, KEEP YOUR GAINS Pair meat with kale to fight muscle wastage. While high in protein, meat creates acids that eat muscle tissue, reports Osteoporosis International. Kale contains potassium and magnesium to buffer against these acids. Can’t face Kale every night? Try Swisse Leafy Greens Superfood Powder ($19.99; swisse.com).
21 CHILL OUT TO REST EASY Bad sleep can cause depression and crank up your risk of heart disease. Up your dozing by turning down the thermostat. Research by the Sport Sleep Coach group reveals the optimum bedroom temperature is 16-18ºC, rather than the toasty 20ºC most people aim for over winter. Cool it.
18 GRAB A PEAR FOR YOUR LUNGS Choose wisely next time you’re in the supermarket fruit aisle. The International Journal of Cancer showed a huge decrease in lung cancer cases among those who gobbled fruit from the Rosaceae family, such as peaches, plums and pears. Buy one, get cancer-free.
19 AVOID TOOTHLESS EXERCISES Deadlifting may be good for your posture, but it’s a killer for your teeth. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine found exercise curbs saliva, damaging the enamel. Arm yourself by brushing before you train and swilling water in the gym to appease both doctor and dentist.
s w booss s
y ur i wc k–t es c a i y o o t es
HIT REFRESH ON YOUR BREATH Gum has its merits, but tackling halitosis isn’t one of them – you’re masking the smell, not stopping it. Chew on an apple instead: the journal Dental Research says this helps to remove food particles, while adding cinnamon nukes bacteria.
23 BRUSH OFF ALZHEIMER’S The most complex and devastating illnesses can be kept at bay by the simplest of solutions, and dementia is no exception. When cleaning your teeth, hold your brush in your non-dominant hand – a study at the University of NSW found mentally challenging tasks stimulate cognitive pathways and diminish your Alzheimer’s risk by nearly 50 per cent. A brain-saving benefit well worth those dollops of toothpaste all over the bathroom.
24 BREAK THE BAD-NEWS CYCLE
25 FORCE POOR RHYTHM TO TAKE THE FLAX
26 PLAY IT SAFE WITH MEAT AND ONE VEG
News flash: depressing stories in the media hugely outweigh good ones. It gets worse. A review in Trends in Cognitive Sciences proved a pessimistic daily outlook significantly ups your risk of heart disease. So spend less time obsessing over mysterious plane crashes to create some good news for your heart.
Slash your chances of a heart attack by sprinkling flaxseed on your morning porridge. It contains alpha-linolenic acid, which can cut your risk of dying suddenly from heart-rhythm abnormalities. To guzzle the goodness, whiz flax in a blender (try the Vitamix S30, from $845; vitamix.com.au/S30) with bananas, honey and yoghurt.
Red meat has a bad rep, but the American Institute for Cancer Research says marinating your steak (try lemon juice and two tablespoons of olive oil) reduces its carcinogenic chemicals. Serve it with some broccoli to pick off stealthy extra carcinogens.
27 BE A FIDGET Yes, desk jobs are bad for your heart, but there’s no need to quit just yet. Research in the journal Science showed fidgeting at your desk can help you burn over 1400kJ a day compared with sitting still.
DON’T LOSE THE PLOT
If you struggle to unwind at the end of the day, scour your bookshelf for a well-thumbed novel. While anxiety triples your risk of heart attack, Washington DC’s American University says re-reading an old book promotes therapeutic self-reflection to slash stress. Just six minutes of reading anything lowers anxiety by 68 per cent. Your final chapter remains a long way off.
TAKE CONTROL OF SICK DAYS Pumping yourself full of bacteria doesn’t sound like the smartest way to avoid flu, but the B < ritish Journal of Nutrition> has proved that consuming yoghurts full of healthy bacteria cuts work absences by 56 per cent. So you’ll only take sick days when it damn well suits you.
35 VISIT THE GUM CLINIC AFTER LUNCH
Giving in to your daily sugar hit ups your risk of type 2 diabetes 11-fold, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Give your willpower some back-up by chewing gum after lunch – it cuts sugar cravings by 10 per cent, says the journal Appetite. Sweet news for your health.
PUT BLOOD PRESSURE ON HOLD A ringing mobile phone can cause your blood pressure to jump as much as seven points, taking you above the healthy norm of 120/80 at various points throughout the day, says the American Society of Hypertension. Put your phone on silent mode (and turn off vibrate) so heart disease and dementia don’t come calling.
36 RUN BY THE CLOCK, SAVE YOUR TICKER It’s hardly news that going for a jog is good for your heart, but in the fight against disease, timing is everything. Appalachian State University has shown morning jogs three times a week are 10 per cent more effective at lowering blood pressure than lunchtime or post-work runs. Long life is worth getting out of bed for.
DECLARE WAR ON BAD VISION
Load up Call of Duty to save your peepers from age-related decline. The University of Rochester proved CoD and other shoot ’em ups boost your contrast sensitivity function – the ability to discern brightness in an image – which is one of the first visual skills to fade with age. It’s a fair bit cheaper than 40 years of contact lenses, too.
32 GO TO THE PUB, LIVE LONGER Ignoring that text from your mate inviting you to the pub could kill you. A Flinders University study found men with close friends outlive loners by 22 per cent. Pick up the next round – your life depends on it.
33 JOG ON FOR A MARATHON MEMORY Fight age-related memory loss with an hour-long weekend run. As your body learns to fuel long runs, it also fuels the neurons needed for forming memories, say University of British Colombia scientists. That’s not to say you won’t get lost, though.
37 CLEAN YOUR JUNK WITH JUICE Swap your morning OJ for a glass of cranberry juice to swerve painful urinary tract infections. Research in Phytochemistry proved that proanthocyanidins – the polyphenols found in cranberries – stop bacteria sticking to the urinary tract. Never (again) will you have to experience peeing liquid fire.
38 METABOLISE THIS, BELLY FAT
34 BEND OVER FOR YOUR BACK Yoga is your double-barrelled shotgun to blast away desk-induced back pain. Doing stretches like the sphinx and pigeon pose twice a week cuts aches by 42 per cent, says the journal Spine. It also alleviates muscle-tightening anxiety. Life will be a lot less of a pain.
Visceral belly fat doesn’t just wreck your beach bod – it also causes heart disease and high cholesterol. Stay ahead by supplementing with L-carnitine – research in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology proves this compound helps torch fat when you exercise, so you look better and live longer.
39 CLENCH TO DODGE DOUGH Next time you crave fatty snacks, clench your fist for 30 seconds. The Journal of Consumer Research found this simple action helped people to control their impulses. Just make sure there isn’t a pie in your hand at the time.
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AND ENJOY SEX EVEN MORE
LISTEN UP, LEARN . . .
THEIR MID-ROMP THOUGHTS.
WE ASKED 2500 WOMEN TO REVEAL
WHAT’S ON HER MIND URING SEX
ASK A MAN TO DESCRIBE HIS thought process while he’s having sex and you’ll get this: crap-hangon-wait-not-yet – followed by flashbacks to his team’s last Grand Final appearance and his year eight maths teacher. What’s in her head, on the other hand, may be more useful. Happily, women are eager to share, minute by hot (or not) minute. “Talking about whatever’s on your minds during sex can be the final frontier to a more satisfying relationship,” says couples therapist Ian Kerner, founder of the online sex guide Good in Bed. Turn the page to read her sexual subtitles. >
MAY 2016 103
0:45 “Damn,youlook goodinthat T-shirt.” Given six choices, 30 per cent of women surveyed said muscular arms are their biggest physical turn-on. Broad shoulders came in at 25 per cent. As for that elusive six-pack? Only six per cent of women put it irst on their wish list. So until your hammer curls pay of, wear itted shirts that hug your guns; no more than two ingers should it in an armhole. Or try a raglan tee to create contrast by broadening your shoulders and chest.
FAKES AND FAVES: WHAT WOMEN TOLD US
What’s your favourite classic sex position?
1:12 “Butyourmouthtastes like blue cheese.” Why’d you order the onion rings? When asked to pick their most toxic turn-of, nearly half the women surveyed said bad breath. But avoid alcohol-based mouthwashes, which can make your breath worse, warns dentist Dr Jennifer Jablow. Her strategy: stay hydrated and use mouthwash containing zinc. You can also chew on parsley (inally, a use for it!) – the chlorophyll neutralises odours. Or pop a piece of gum containing xylitol to increase saliva production, says Jablow.
2:13 “Youwanttodowhat to my ‘sweet arse’?” Many women ind that the pressure of talking dirty interrupts progress to a screaming orgasm, Kerner says. What they’d most like to hear: moans and groans. Men typically aren’t as vocal as women are, so these are clear signs that she’s doing something right, says Dr Megan Fleming, a psychologist and relationship therapist. If you prefer being a little racier, just keep it PG (at least until you’ve tested the water). About 20 per cent of women say that a simple “You’re so damn hot” or “That feels amazing” will do the trick.
Girl on top
6% On your sides
3% Reverse cowgirl 104
If you faked it and he asked, what would you say? 27% I’d tell him the truth
34% 32% I’d lie and tell him he was great
I’d sugarcoat it and say I was close
3:27 “Spendmoretimeon my nipples. Please!”
4:55 “Slowdown,buddy. This is getting good!”
6:29 “Youtakecontrol.I’ll just enjoy myself.”
It’s science! “Nipple stimulation activates the same sensory brain region as clitoral, vaginal and cervical stimulation,” says Dr Barry Komisaruk, a professor of psychology at Rutgers University who studies sexual response. Besides the genitalia, that’s the yes-please spot for four in 10 women surveyed. Start slowly, kissing the tops and sides of her breasts, suggests sex and relationships adviser Dr Debby Herbenick. As she becomes more aroused, inch toward her nipples.
Tongue-tired? Pace yourself. Nearly one in four women said men should spend more time on oral sex, and a common tip was: “Slow down and be more gentle.” Consider yourself a pleasure provider, says Dr Kristen Mark, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky. Take your time and don’t go right for the clitoris; warm it up, she says. Make slow, circular motions with your ingers outside her vagina, and move steadily inward, teasing her with your tongue.
Only 29 per cent of women called girl-on-top their favourite position, but that still leaves plenty of other options. More than half said they prefer the man to be either “very” or “mostly” dominant in bed. So bring on the missionary. Lots of women love the intimacy of eye contact, Kerner says. The tantalising trick: “Focus on deeper thrusts that provide more clitoral contact,” he says, “or raise yourself up so you’re coming down into her, which will increase her likelihood of reaching climax.”
“WOMENTENDTO FANTASISEDURINGSEX MORETHANMENDO.IT CANHELPHERDISCONNECT FROMSTRESSORSTHAT INHIBITAROUSAL”
WHAT’S HAT’S HER VIBE? VIBE HERE’S A GUIDE Nearly a third of the women surveyed don’t use a vibrator but are curious. So buzz up one of these. Or, what the heck, all three!
BEGINNER’S BULLET Reasonably priced and great for sex-toy neophytes, the Trojan Vibrating Bullet has four levels of intensity and is so small you can fit it between your bodies during sex. ($75; myshopping.com.au)
APIX SYNDICATION; VIBRATOR ILLUSTRATION: R. KIKUO JOHNSON
7:31 “Oh,crap,ishegoingto comesosoon?”
8:43 “Okay,timetothink aboutRyanGosling.”
9:35 “Imayneedto helpmyselfhere.”
Good news: seven out of 10 women are satisied with how long men last in bed. The bad news? Even if she’s not satisied, it could be hard to tell: women tend to realise it quickly if they’re not going to climax, so they fake it to bring an end to sex, Kerner says. If she’s stressed-out, try talking during foreplay. Brain chemistry lowers inhibitions during arousal, so it’s a good time to have a sexy conversation, Kerner says. “As you kiss and touch, you can ask her what she likes and doesn’t like.”
Don’t be threatened. Roughly half of women fantasise about sex with celebrities, says Kerner. “Women tend to fantasise during sex more than men do,” he says. “It can help her deactivate and disconnect from stressors that inhibit arousal. It’s totally normal – and in an odd way, she might get more into the sex that she’s having.” Help her disconnect: give her a massage or quiet stimulation with your hand or a vibrator on low, he says. “You want to encourage her to feel, not think.”
If she reaches down to stimulate herself, don’t take it personally. In our survey, 19 per cent of women “almost always” take matters into their own hands; nearly half do so sometimes, and almost 10 per cent want to but hold back. Some women may hesitate for fear of hurting your self-esteem – even though men generally like the idea. More power needed? About three-quarters of women we asked don’t use sex toys, but of those, 30 per cent said they’d like to start.
The remote-controlled We-Vibe 4 Plus fits in her vagina but still leaves room for you. If you’re not around, you can operate it remotely through a smartphone app. ($159.99; wevibe-australia.com.au)
SMALL WONDER Like its predecessor, Lelo’s diminutive new Lily 2 vibrator looks like a purple tongue and vibrates like a jackhammer, but now it also emits your choice of boudoir bouquets. ($109.95; adultoutlet.com.au)
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THE LAND THAT DEATH FORGOT
Type in the latitude and longitude for longevity and youâ€™ll arrive at Iceland. Iceland? Is it the hot springs? The Viking blood? The tasty whale-blubber snacks? We went to the end of the Earth to find the anti-ageing secrets a lot of men are dying to know
PHOTOGR APHY BY
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I’D NEVER MET A BEFORE, and I suppose it’s hackneyed to say so, but my irst impression of Georg Breiofjoro Olafsson was that he didn’t look a day over 90. Georg is a retired shipbuilder living in Stykkishólmur, Iceland, a ishing village on a fjord bufeted by the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. In the company 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 Reykjavík to meet the patriarch in person. On 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 afection 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-citystyle certiicate signed by the mayor on Georg’s birthday in March of 2015. 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? When we meet a few months later on a raw October afternoon, with temperatures hovering just above zero and winds gusting to over 60km/h, 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 AD874, the year Viking chieftains settled this island at the top of the world. 108
Over the next hour, with Siggi translating, Georg graciously ields all my questions. I start with the obvious: why does he think he’s lived so long? The US-Mexico borderlands 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 2015 the World Health Organisation released its most recent report on life expectancy across the globe, Iceland’s 81 years put it second in the longevity rankings for men behind the tiny republic of San Marino and ahead of perennial contender Japan by over a year. (Australian men came in at a respectable ifth; our average expiration date is 80.) Iceland, despite having a lower population than Canberra, boasts a remarkable 30-50 centenarians at any given time, according to Dr 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 Dr Ottar Guomundsson, a psychiatrist at the National University Hospital of Iceland (known as Landspítali) 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 sufered plagues, famine and volcanic eruptions, including one in 1783 that killed of 25 per cent 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 planet. Well-funded public health programs 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 over,” says Guomundsson, “were a strange brew – maybe the healthiest or the ittest of them all. Or perhaps just the most stubborn.” Neurologist Dr Kari Stefansson has found intriguing support for this survival-of-thedie-hardest theory. A self-described “100 per cent pure Icelander”, Stefansson left a full professorship at Harvard Medical School to return to his homeland and co-found the biotech company deCODE Genetics. In one of their earliest studies, Stefansson and his colleagues extracted DNA from the longburied skulls of Iceland’s pioneering settlers. To their surprise, gene analysis revealed that these forebears were more similar to modern Norwegian men and Irish women than to current-day Icelanders. “What this means,” Stefansson says, “is that living on this desolate
PHOTOGRAPHY: JOI KJARTANS, FISKMARKADURINN.IS, KYLE HILTON; ILLUSTRATIONS: MICHAEL BRANDON MYERS
Georg Olafsson, Iceland’s oldest man; his countrymen thrive on hot soaks (pets welcome!) a diet high in fish, and regular exercise.
island for 1100 years, sufering all sorts of hardships, has changed our people’s genomes so they’re unlike those of people whose ancestors just stayed home.” Scrutiny of Icelandic genes could eventually lead to next-generation medicines. For example, one recently discovered gene variant, found in about one per cent of living Icelanders, ofers nearly total protection from Alzheimer’s disease. Perhaps most fascinating of all is proof that an almost mystical “genetic asset” exists within certain Icelandic family lines – an asset that’s not yet identiied but is almost certainly a single gene – that confers upon its fortunate owners a dramatically extended life span after age 67. But genes, like wealth, are only part of the Icelandic story. “HONESTLY, I DON’T KNOW WHY I’VE LIVED so long,” Georg Olafsson tells me over cofee and chocolate-coconut biscuits. His life, he maintains, has been an ordinary one, typical of men of his generation. Born in 1909, he grew up on an island in the frigid waters of Stykkishólmur. During the Great Winter of 1918, Georg remembers that the seawater froze – all the way to the
KILLER HABITS TO DITCH
mainland. His happiest childhood memories were times spent with his brothers, picking seabird eggs and gathering down from eider ducks’ nests. When Georg turned 17, his father bought a farm near Stykkishólmur and moved the family of the island. Georg dreamed of becoming a sea captain, an ambition his younger brother, Eyjolfur, achieved. But Georg soon discovered that he had a very un-Viking-like propensity for seasickness. He decided to build ships, not sail them. When I ask how he’s managed to keep his mind sharp for so long, Georg again is hard put to ofer explanations. He enjoys playing chess and cards and practising his harmonica. Building boats had been intellectually challenging, too, but he says he never went out of his way to exercise his brain. Perhaps, I suggest, he’s a beneiciary of the recently discovered Alzheimer’s protection gene. Son Agust shakes his head. “Actually, they tested my father for this gene,” he says. “They found he doesn’t have it.” Not that Georg has enjoyed immunity from other serious medical problems: he’s sufered a heart arrhythmia since childhood and lost an eye when a shard of wood pierced it during a shipbuilding accident. And then, cancer.
Using your phone while driving Keep a photo of a loved one on your dash. It will remind you why that text, search or email isn’t worth the risk.
Not washing after peeing University of Colorado scientists found skin bacteria like Staphylococcus (think pneumonia) on most bathroom door handles.
Reaching for a drink after work Bask in Bach: lower stress by listening to classical music while reimagining a happy ending to a work hassle.
“My brother noticed he was getting very pale,” says Agust. “So he told the doctor, and the doctor found advanced colon cancer.” “How old was Georg when he was diagnosed?” I ask. “Still pretty young,” Agust says, smiling. ut he recovered from
EING A MAN HAS ITS ADVANTAGES, but outliving women has never been one of them. This is true in Iceland, too, but maybe not for much longer. Among developed nations, says Jakobsson, the life-expectancy gender gap in high-income countries is about six years. But in Iceland, men have managed to narrow it to three, and they continue to close in. “Over the past 30 years, women’s life expectancy here has climbed four years while men’s has increased six,” he says. “Both are gaining, but men are gaining faster.” Even among centenarians, where women typically hold an overwhelming advantage, Iceland is nearing parity.
Mindless munching at night Create a “notshopping list” of snacks you shouldn’t buy. The on-paper commitment will help you resist in the store.
Popping ibuprofen for every ache It may raise your risk of heart attack and stroke. Rub eucalyptus oil on the sore spot; it’s anti-inflammatory.
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Iceland’speacebringswithitanother keybeneit:theharderitistomake enemies, the easier it is to make friends One explanation for this is smoking. “Among developed countries, probably the most important factor causing life expectancy to vary is smoking prevalence,” explains Dr Samuel Preston, of the University of Pennsylvania’s Population Studies Centre. The US-based Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation cites Iceland as one of the four countries in the world with the largest declines in smoking since 1980. Quitting tobacco boosts life expectancy for both sexes, of course. But only in Iceland have men managed to add more years than women have by doing so. Drinking rates have also been traditionally low in Iceland. While many countries have experimented with prohibition, Iceland’s ban on booze lasted longer; beer was illegal until 1989. “There are still a lot of abolitionists around,” says Guomundsson, who adds that drinking’s relatively late arrival to Icelandic culture may be a factor in its citizens’ 110
longevity. It certainly seems a likely one in yet another chart-topping Icelandic stat: the lowest rate of liver cirrhosis in the world. Substance abuse isn’t the only reaper with a preference for male targets. Icelandic men beneit, too, from a dramatic reduction in violent mayhem, which globally continues to cull far more men than women. “Given how peaceful Iceland has become,” Jakobsson says, “it’s hardly a surprise that men are catching up.” National serenity on this island is more than just a qualitative notion. Iceland placed irst out of 162 nations in the 2015 Global Peace Index – the same spot it’s held for six out of the eight years since the Institute for Economics and Peace, headquartered in Sydney, introduced the ranking in 2008. Despite the rape-and-pillage notoriety of its Viking ancestors, the country has managed to solidify its reputation as the least violent place on Earth.
Iceland is the only NATO country with no standing army, though it maintains an expeditionary peacekeeping force. Automatic and semi-automatic weapons and most handguns are illegal for citizens to own. Even the police don’t carry guns; if they need to use one, they must seek approval from the National Police Commissioner. Gun licences are allowed but require a safety course and test at a local police station. Possibly because of this, violent crime rates are low, and homicides extraordinarily so. Iceland averages about a murder a year – not per 100,000 citizens, as homicide rates are typically measured, but for the entire country of 332,000 people. As one man told me, Iceland’s crime-thriller writers have been forced to invent more murders than have actually occurred. For obvious reasons, men live a lot longer when they stop killing each other.
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 ind a man dead in his apartment. That would be impossible here because of the closeness of our society.” Both negative and positive health behaviours spread rapidly through social networks. Among spouses and friends, if one is obese, the others are at an increased risk of becoming obese themselves. But it also works y, optimistic friends can positive direction.
THE LONG RUN A runner near the Blue Lagoon; Icelandic men’s life expectancy is gaining on that of Icelandic women, in part due to diet.
But Iceland’s peace brings with it another key beneit to men: the harder it is to make enemies, the easier it becomes to make friends. As I make my way around the island – from city to village, from restaurants to hot springs – I experience this irsthand. This is a decidedly friendly place. 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 and strained brains. Investigators at Stanford University’s Human Performance Lab and the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine have found evidence that the beneits 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 show strong social ties – or lack thereof – profoundly afect our physical and mental health. In a review in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour, pioneering sociologist Dr Debra Umberson, director of the Population Research Centre 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 inlammation and slows the cumulative wear and tear of bodily systems. There’s strong evidence the lip side is also true, she says: lack of social ties can cut life short. Guomundsson sees in this another key to the Icelandic male advantage. “I’ve lived and
HOUGH THE ICELANDIC DIET HAS CHANGED A lot in the past half century, some of the healthiest traditional fare remains. Freshly caught coldwater ish, 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 beneits. Additional protein staples in Iceland are lamb and beef, which derive from direct descendants of Viking 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 sustenance they’re meant to consume. The resulting meat is lean and nutritionally complex. Whatever the meat, the bread that sandwiches it is almost always wholegrain rye, which is linked to lower risk of prostate cancer in men and improved lipid proiles of people with metabolic syndrome. Iceland’s paucity of local produce is ofset by imports, so fruit and vegetable intake has been increasing in the past few decades. Another import, fast-food joints, Iceland could do without. 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 suiciently poor not to be able to overindulge in food,” says deCODE’s Stefansson. And kilojoule restriction, he notes, has been linked to longevity. Although ishing and farming are giving way to the sedentary toil of desk jockeys, about 75 per cent 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 Reykjavík Study found that older men who stayed active since their twenties had a 25 per cent lower risk of advanced prostate cancer than the least active men. Eight times an Icelander has won the World’s Strongest Man title. Throughout
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‘‘It’snotfunthatpeo p redying y allaroundme.Butt slife. Mymottoistotakelifeasitcomes’’ the country you will ind men all across the age spectrum who make time in their daily schedules to lift weights. Case in point: Stefansson. At 198 centimetres and a muscular 98 kilograms, he resembles a real-life Thor. I’d heard he’s more than just a scientiic 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, 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 a joint Swedish, Finnish and Spanish study, scientists assessed the strength of more than a million young men and then tracked their health for 24 years. The strongest were likely to die of any cause e weakest. UTSIDE THE NURSING HOME WINDOWS, the 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 mix of diet, exercise and stress management could have inluenced 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: ish, lamb, beef and dairy. He also ate wild waterfowl, mostly puins, 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. On top of that, of course, was 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 112
formal exercise. His life on the island, then on the farm and inally 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 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 the friends from his 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 ofer a handshake. Georg’s grip crushes my ingers like twigs. Siggi laughs. “Look at those hands!” the proud grandson boasts. “Georg’s ingers are twice as thick as ours! He doesn’t know his own strength. That’s what a life of hammering will do for you.” ON MY FINAL NIGHT IN ICELAND, IN A village on the southwest coast, a isherman recommends a place for supper. In the dining room, a stereo plays country music, sung in Icelandic. I order a pint of Gull 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 lifespan in Western countries is already overly generous. I have come to Iceland to discover how men here live longer. Perhaps I know now why they want to.
OUTLIVE YOUR FELLOW MAN
Follow the Icelandic example and you just might add five years – or perhaps 20 – to your life
ENDURANCE RACE Three out of four Icelandic men work out regularly. These men rode the Ring Road, a 1333km circle of the island.
TAKE IN SOME AIR Icelanders don’t have to go far to find nature, a powerful healer. How powerful? Living near green space lowers cortisol levels in lowincome people, a multiinstitutional UK study found. Or get out of town: search for a hike at aussiebushwalking.com.
STUDY UP, STAY ALIVE Education level and life expectancy are correlated. In Iceland, school is free through to university. Already have a degree? No excuse: take online courses like those at lynda. com, coursera.org and udacity.com.
LOOK AROUND With its low pollution, healthy food and chill lifestyle, Iceland is conducive to long life. If your ’hood has quality-oflife issues, consider a geographic cure. Take a trip to the bush or consider relocating to the sticks.
GET TOGETHER Icelanders are joiners. So find a sport, poker game, book group – anything, says University of Texas sociologist Dr Debra Umberson. “Men would benefit greatly from hanging out more and supporting each other.”
DON’T BE A MARTYR Stay the hell home if you’re ill. 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.
HAVE FAITH IN COD Nearly every Icelandic restaurant offers fresh fish, rich in omega 3s. Get your fill of oily fish like salmon or mackerel at least twice a week.
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BLOW AWAY FAT
THE SURE-FIRE WAY TO BECOME LEAN FOR LIFE IS TO START THE WEEK STRONG AND CHIP AWAY AT FAT EVERY DAY. SO TAKE AIM . . . > BY
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Give yourself a hand: hack your willpower to ensure your weight-loss goals don’t crumble
you’ve been exercising a bit more and eating fairly well then consider your 2016 fitness resolutions well stuck. Congratulations. But, now, you will have noticed that the cutting down and leaning up – so easy during the first few weeks, even months – has begun to thin out. It’s on such a plateau that many a fatburner loses their way; the flat motivational terrain prompting you to turn back and retreat at breakneck speed down the rocky slope up which you’ve been manfully scrambling. You will not find a route across this weightloss wasteland in the realms of new-fangled exercise regimens or the highest-trending fad diets. The stubborn, age-old fat stores uncovered by your initial successes require more consistent work to break down. The way to etch out a new body is to make almost imperceptible changes to the way you go about your daily business. Call them “lifestyle hacks” if you must. But fat-loss mavericks Dan John and Josh Hillis swear by their lasting effect. Their book Fat Loss Happens On Monday was written to explore how small things can have a hugely positive impact on your waist size. The name comes from their first rule: begin each week by purchasing and preparing the right sort of food. Starting with this job on day one makes it noticeably easier to stick to your nutrition and exercises plans for the next six. If that sounds like bunkum, ask yourself how often a missed workout on a Monday lunchtime turns into an entire week of sedentary apathy. Listening now? Good. Because we asked John for his favourite tricks for shedding excess weight as part of your daily to and fro. These are not your everyday nuggets of advice, granted. But put your trust in this structure and you can break off a piece of fat every day, for as long as you want.
03 Shock Your Body By . . .
Hitting A (Cold) Shower
First Things First . . .
If You Really Want Something . . .
Make Some Good Choices
Trust Your Gut
Unless poached turkey breast and green tea are all that your pious quest to #eatclean permits past your lips, your day is replete with food and beverage decisions. Most of us make more than 200 of these mini judgment calls a day but, according to a study from Cornell University, we only register about 15 of them. John’s advice is to make each choice a visual one. “Put your hands on the outside of everything that is about to enter your mouth,” he says. “Your left hand is your starting point – your right is your goal. Now decide whether this food or drink brings you closer to your goal (right hand nearer and left further away) or not (left hand nearer and right further away). It’s simple, but you won’t get the value until you try it. So try it.”
We have championed the DOMSdousing properties of cold water many times, with changes in temperature helping to flush out the lactic acid that brings the sting. But, according to John, a cold shower is another way to put weight gain on ice. “Always finish with a blast of cold water for as long as you can handle,” he advises. “It triggers a process called hormesis” – a biological phenomenon hypothesised to give you physical benefits from a low dose of something. In this case, a direct positive influence on fat-burning. The fact that cold water has been shown to improve immunity, circulation, skin, hair, even anxiety and depression are cool extras. It might even wake you up. Should that prove too Spartan a regimen during the colder months, you can enjoy the same process of hormesis in the heat of a sauna. Which is as good a reason to take a little longer at the gym as we’ve happened across. >
Cheat meals happen. What’s important is that, once you’ve come to your decision, you follow through with it. If a doughnut is what you crave – and you recognise it won’t realistically fill the holes in your nutritional plan – then tuck in. But no matter what, stick with your first choice. “Odd, yes. Drink that beer, eat that muffin,” says John. “Here’s the strange part: we tend not to keep going down that road once we’ve made this quick mental decision.” Indulging in a big breakfast doesn’t automatically usher in a long lunch and slap-up dinner. As long as you’re knowingly pushing the healthyeating boundaries, you’re more than likely to get back into safe territory after your satisfying (but considered) excursion. MAY 2016 117
04 Whenever You Eat Anything . .
Eat Some Fat, Too Okay, so you’re aware that fat is no longer a nutritional bête noire. That’s not news. But what you need to get used to is adding some fat to every single meal. Those in the know talk about “macros”, but it can be simplified further. Imagine each plate of food divided into sections, says John. “Always take care of your protein first, then just aim for more fats than carbs on the rest of your plate.” Eating fewer carbohydrates will create a much better weight-loss environment in your body, lowering insulin and opening up fat stores to be greedily consumed for energy. There is a caveat attached to this mealtime rule of thumb, however: fat is great and tastes divine, and that makes it easy to overdo it. “We always add a serving too much oil and butter because we love it. Even a spoon of peanut butter gets doubled once it’s a heaped spoon,” says John. “Always under-serve slightly and you’ll be about right.”
05 When You Slip Up . . .
Give Yourself a Break When brushing your teeth each night, conduct a quick mental review of your day. Think about any exercise you’ve done, or how much water you’ve drunk, and pat yourself on the back all you like. But then think about where you deviated from your plan or ignored it altogether. The side of chips you had with your chicken salad, for example. Then, and this is the crucial part, immediately forgive yourself. “Rules are going to get broken,” says John. “That’s life. But letting yourself off is the difference between being a bit better tomorrow or simply chucking it all in.” Science supports this sink-top psychology – research published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found feeling guilty about failing on a diet more than doubles your odds of bingeing, compared with forgiving yourself for missteps. After all, tomorrow heralds another chance for perfection. Or not.
06 For Lasting Gains . . .
Shoot down shame: feeling guilty about failing on a diet more than doubles your odds of bingeing
Freeze Your Assets Over-heated homes have a lot to answer for. The cosy comfort in which we live means you expend very little energy once you’re safely ensconced at home, turning your dwelling into a petri dish for love handles. The solution, thankfully, is not ripping off the thermostat and growing a beard. Instead, get your chill on the way home from work. “Each night, I take the dog for a walk. If it’s really cold I’ll wear gloves, but I keep short sleeves on,” John says. “That chill on your arms stimulates the body’s weight-loss miracle: brown fat.” As opposed to regular white fat, which stores kilojoules, the brown version is packed with mitochondria that burn energy to produce heat. Regular exposure to the cold was shown by the US National Institute for Health to activate brown fat and grow new brown fat cells, increasing your natural ability to burn kilojoules rather than hoard them. Going without your jacket on the way back from the office is all it takes to start the process.
07 Hit The Treadmill . . .
For Exactly Two Minutes Spending hours chugging away at cardio has had its time as a staple of your weight-loss schedule. The wellpreened phalanx of group exercise classes currently clamouring for your membership all came to a crucial realisation a while ago – feeling like a beginner is the best way to get into shape. John agrees: “Never, ever, go for more than two minutes on any one cardiovascular movement. Mix and match all of your CV work in twominute bursts – for example, row for 500 metres, bike for 120 seconds, then follow it up with 60 hip thrusts to counter all the folding over you’ve done,” John says. MAY 2016 119
The ADFâ€™s most decorated soldier has swapped the battlefield for the boardroom.
LEADER PACK OF THE
IN THE TESTOSTERONEDRENCHED REALM OF THE SAS, BEN ROBERTS-SMITH STOOD APART. IN THE DOG-EAT-DOG CORPORATE SPHERE, HE’S CUT STRAIGHT TO THE CORNER OFFICE. HERE’S YOUR STRATEGY TO RISE THROUGH THE RANKS > By A ARON SCOT T
Photography by RICHARD WHITFIELD
MAY 2016 121
en RobertsSmith is striding through his dining room – white, spotless, everything in its right place – when he suddenly stops. He’s just noticed his dog, Millie, an ebullient chocolate-and-white border collie peering up at him from beneath the dining table. “Millie – out.” The dog stands its ground, its paws planted squarely on the hardwood floor, its unblinking eyes locked on its owner’s. Roberts-Smith squares his shoulders and draws himself up to his full 202-centimetre height. His voice raises a decibel and drops an octave: “Millie – outside!” This time the dog turns and bounds through the open glass doors out into the mid-morning sun. Roberts-Smith turns to me and mutters, “She knows she’s not allowed inside . . . ” 122
I smile and silently wonder: is this his much-vaunted leadership style? A drillsergeant technique of rank and ile, command and obey? It’s the easy assumption – Roberts-Smith has khaki in his DNA. Born in Perth to a family with a storied history of service to country, he joined the army at 17. His plan was to serve for four years, then go to university and get on with the rest of his life. But the teenager found he loved soldiering, the sense of purpose, of being part of something larger than himself. And as he loved soldiering, so he proved a remarkably ine soldier. It was a happy conluence that provided his irst real lesson in leadership. “When you ind something that you enjoy and something you’re good at,” he says, “leadership starts to develop around those two aspects. In any form of leadership, you have to lead by example. So if you’re good at something, if you have a passion for it, then you are doing that job in a way that’s beitting of a leader.” His career – both in the army and beyond – has embodied this truth. In 2003, seven years after joining the army, he completed the notorious SAS selection course and entered
the crack regiment. In 2006, in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province, he employed his sniper rile to deadly efect, repelling a group of 16 Taliban insurgents who were overrunning his observation post. He was awarded the Medal for Gallantry, the third-highest decoration in the Australian Defence Force. Four years later, during an assault on a fortiied Taliban compound in Kandahar Province, his patrol came under machine-gun and rocket-propelled-grenade ire that pinned the Australians to ground in a ig orchard. Roberts-Smith broke from his men and charged three separate gun emplacements, silencing them all. For this, he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the Australian Honours System. Roberts-Smith would serve a further three years in the SAS before retiring in 2013 as the ADF’s most decorated soldier. Little surprise that the leadership skills that had lit up the SAS soon shone equally bright in the civilian world. He embarked on an MBA at the University of Queensland and started presenting seminars on leadership to major companies. One such talk was delivered to Channel 7 Queensland. So impressed was
It’s easy to forget your priorities when you’re mired in the day-to-day effort of trying to get ahead. But, according to Roberts-Smith, “every decision you make will reflect on you into your future. So how you get there is as important as where you want to go.” For this reason, Roberts-Smith adheres to five guiding beliefs that underpin every action he takes.
01 “You can’t just show integrity while people are watching then drop the ball when their backs are turned’’ general manager Neil Mooney, he ofered Roberts-Smith the position of deputy GM. Within three months, Mooney had retired and Roberts-Smith had assumed the corner oice. It’s a résumé that reads like a boys-own adventure tale. The towering soldier turned corporate warrior; courage on the battleield transformed to gravitas in the boardroom. So what sets Roberts-Smith apart as a leader? A triple threat of physical presence, menacing stares and barked orders? As we sit opposite each other in his lounge room – again, the furniture squared to perfection – and he begins to muse on the subject of leadership, it becomes clear nothing could be further from the truth.
COLLABORATE AND LISTEN
It is, says Roberts-Smith, one of the great misconceptions of the military that it’s a rigidly hierarchical society where commanders issue orders and grunts blindly obey. Instead, he insists, leadership is structured so that every person in the chain of command can call on the knowledge and
experience of the soldiers below before formulating a plan of attack. It’s a system where every voice is heard, every opinion taken into account. “And that’s crucial to leadership – in the military or the civilian world,” says RobertsSmith. “Because even though an individual may disagree with their leader, they’ll understand why a certain decision has been made. It’s crucial for a leader to be able to say, ‘I’ve heard what you’ve got to say. But we’re still going to do things my way, and this is why . . . ’” This mode of leadership is particularly evident in the rareied atmosphere of the SAS, where even the lowliest members of each patrol are highly trained professionals. Yes, the patrol commander makes the ultimate decision. But if he has a question about sniping – he asks the sniper. If he has a question about communication – he asks the signaller. It’s a process lubricated by the oil of respect. “It’s all about understanding that every person has their place,” says RobertsSmith, “and you respect the position they’re in. The process is collaborative – just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you’re any
“Integrity is about the consistency of your honesty. You can’t just show integrity while people are watching then drop the ball when their backs are turned. As a leader, consistency in how you treat those around you is what will win them over.”
Humility “You can’t drive people to a goal if you don’t understand what they want to achieve. You have to align people’s personal goals with the group goal; their priorities have to be your priorities. That’s how you move individuals forward.”
Empathy “When you want to lead people, you have to have empathy for them. And to gain that empathy, you have to take it back to a human level; you have to have a legitimate interest in them.”
Courage “Physical courage is easy to come by – moral courage is a smaller commodity. For me now, courage is about representing my staff at Channel 7 Queensland to the best possible standard to the hierarchy, regardless of how that reflects on me personally.”
Endless Pursuit of Excellence “No matter what you’re doing, you should be doing the best you possibly can to get the best possible result at all times in all scenarios. If everyone in your organisation has that mentality, then it automatically raises the standards.”
MAY 2016 123
better than anyone else. That’s one of the key things I’ve taken from the military to the civilian world.” Exhibit A: when Roberts-Smith took charge at Channel 7 Queensland, his irst order of duty was to sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with every single one of the company’s 200-odd employees. He wanted to know where they’d come from, where they were headed, how they planned to get there. And he listened – really listened – as they told him. It took a fortnight to work through every person in the oice. But for Roberts-Smith, it was a crucial investment. “I wanted them to understand that we’re all exactly the same. We’ve all got a job to do, we’re all entitled to respect. If you can’t show that respect then you lose the ability for empathy, the ability to understand why people think the way they do. And when you lose that, you’ll never be able to bring them along on the journey.”
MAKE THE CALL
Roberts-Smith doesn’t like talking about the Victoria Cross he won in 2010. (He never refers to it by name, instead calling it “that award”.) But push him on the subject, probe that decision to leave the relative cover of the ig orchard – to sprint across 40 metres of exposed ground into a hail of bullets – and he shrugs: “Look, I had ive seconds to make that decision. And it was made based on my assessment that I could reach them before they could get on to me. To make that decision, I called on all my experiences in the military. I calculated the lay of the land, the distance I had to run, the position of the enemy – and I calculated that I could probably get there.” Yes, collaboration is crucial. But ultimately, a decision has to be made. And when that time comes, argues Roberts-Smith, the key is to act – and act fast. Make a decisive decision quickly and you’ll seize the advantage. His rule of thumb: as soon as you have 80 per cent of the information, make the call. “Because you’ll never get 100 per cent security in a decision.” Of course, fast decisions can prove false. So what’s your move when you’ve made the call and the strategy’s unravelling? According to Roberts-Smith, this is when you need to adapt. “You have to be able to look at things from outside your normal frame of thinking. Everyone has one particular way of thinking; when you look at a problem, you’ll have a natural instinct to go for one solution. You need to know what that frame is, then be able to step outside that and look at the problem from diferent angles.” For Roberts-Smith, the keys to building a lexible mindset are to broaden your learning and hoard your life experiences. This is why he went to university as a 35-year-old after 124
‘‘Don’t be frightened of making a decision, because you’re going to learn from it’’
spending 17 years in fatigues. He wanted exposure to diferent ways of thinking, to broaden the array of experiences that underpinned his reasoning. Your move? Travel widely, read constantly, talk less, listen more. Never stop expanding. These are the keys to honing a lexible mind. Above all, act – and act fast. “You have to learn from doing,” says Roberts-Smith. “Don’t be frightened of making a decision, because you’re going to learn from it. If it’s not working, learn from the failure, make it succeed in the long run. But you have to make the decision irst.”
FAIL TO FIRE
When Roberts-Smith talks about fear, it’s not the fear of death he muses on – it’s the fear of failure. This, for him, is the more damaging trait, stymying action and killing innovation. “What’s the end result of a fear of failure?” he asks. “Never trying
anything. And how can you possibly innovate if you’re not prepared to try anything new?” Roberts-Smith admits that he’s not immune to this poisonous fear. He recalls the anxiety that gripped him in the months leading up to the SAS selection course. This brutal 21-day examination of a soldier’s physical, mental and emotional fortitude was the deining point in his military career. In the four months leading up to the course he trained harder than he thought possible. But, yes, despite the thoroughness of his preparation, he still felt the claws of fear. A trick he employed to quell this mounting anxiety: before every training session he would stand in front of a mirror and say to himself: “I am not giving up on selection.” It would become a mantra that echoed through his mind as the horror three-week course began to play out. Like every soldier who undergoes “selection”, Roberts-Smith eventually reached a point where he teetered on the brink of giving up. It occurred midway through the course. The men had just returned from a 60-kilometre navigation exercise in the bush and had barely dropped their packs when they were arranged in ranks and handed 15-kilogram “torsion bars”. Thus began a non-stop circuit of fullbody moves. Half an hour passed. Then an hour. Then an hour and a half . . . After two hours, Roberts-Smith felt the walls closing in: “I was literally about to black out. My vision was getting fuzzy; I could feel it coming on. I had nothing left – but I remembered saying those words in the mirror and I thought, Well, if I’m going to pass out, then I pass out. But I’m not giving up.” He didn’t pass out that day – the trainers called time on the exercise just as darkness began to fall – but from that moment on, Roberts-Smith knew he was going to pass selection. “I’d hit the lowest point and I’d come through it,” he says simply. For Roberts-Smith, the triumph of that day – indeed, the triumph of his entire career – has been a willingness to push himself to, and beyond, the point of failure. “If you try something,” he says with emphasis, “even if it doesn’t work, nine times out of 10 it gives you an insight into what you should be doing.” He’s cooking on a pet theme now. He leans forward in his armchair, the stitching of his white shirt straining against the bulk of his shoulders. This is no longer a soldier recalling his years in fatigues – this is a businessman enunciating his strategy for success in the modern workplace. “You have to fail and fail and fail – to learn. Yes, this is easy to say and hard to do. People don’t want to be the one who fails. But look at all the people who’ve made fortunes – there aren’t many billionaires who haven’t lost it all at least once before they’ve found success.”
Our guide to what’s happening and what’s new
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132 TRIATHLON TRICKS TO BUST YOUR PBS 138 THE REAL DEAL ON T-BOOSTING SUPPS 140 YOUR NO-MERCY ROUTINE TO TORCH EXCESS FAT
PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE BAKER
Because fit is the new rich
POWER PLAYER USE AFL STAR JACK VINEY’S WORKOUT WISDOM TO PACK ON HARD MUSCLE >
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DEMON SPIRIT MELBOURNE MIDFIELDER JACK VINEY’S ON-FIELD AGGRESSION IS COMPLEMENTED BY A POWER-PACKED PHYSIQUE. USE HIS SECRETS TO BUILD A BODY THAT CAN STAND UP TO THE TOUGHEST PUNISHMENT BY
BEN JHOT Y
PHOTOGR APHY BY
MIK E BAK ER
FAST F ACTS NAME
Ja c k V in e y
M id f ie
17 8 c m
8 4 kg
BOX S QUAT
2 0 0 kg
13 0 kg
Nobody wanted to play on Jack Viney as a kid. Already a pure ballgetter who charged headlong into stoppages and clamped opposing players in ferocious tackles, he was deemed too tough and rough for kids his own age. “Ever since I played juniors, my mum and dad were getting approached by other parents saying I played too aggressive for their children,” says Viney, who’s speaking to MH on a day off from preseason training. “From a very early age I was playing up an age group because of how physical I was.” It’s safe to say there are few players in the AFL these days who relish playing on Viney. In his three years with the Demons he’s built a reputation for going harder at the ball than just about anyone in the competition. It’s an approach that has won many admirers but also one that has, on occasion, led to controversy as opposing players and even unfortunate teammates have found themselves between him and the ball. Viney takes a deep breath before attempting to explain the repercussions of a game founded on a fearless pursuit of the footy. “I don’t go out there trying to hurt other players,” he says. “It is a physical sport and that’s something I really love about it.” The 21-year-old takes the same uncompromising approach into the gym, attacking sessions with an intensity that’s seen him stack on 10 kilograms over three years and smash his endurance base. “The thing with Jack that’s very unusual among AFL players is that he walks into the gym trying to improve every single day,” says David Misson, elite performance manager at the Demons. “That’s what makes him stand out over and above his physical attributes.” Got a demon or two lurking inside you that could do with being let out? Bring it to the weights room or the track. As Viney has shown, it’s a sure-fire way to turn yourself into a weapon.
05/16 SONOFAGUN Viney was always destined to play for Melbourne. Son of Demons great Todd Viney, who played 233 games in a career spanning 13 years, the red and blue is in his blood. “I grew up around the Melbourne change rooms, knew all the players and got to run out on the MCG with my dad,” he recalls. It was certainly a leg up, but Viney made sure he made the most of it, hitting parks for kicks with the old man and talking footy at the dinner table. “I used my dad as a resource,” he says. “We were always looking at what I needed to get better at and how an elite athlete goes about their football. I was quite switched on from an early age.” Viney bolted through the junior ranks and arrived at the AFL almost fully formed. Perhaps he was too ready. Recruited by the Demons in 2012 under the father-son rule, many wondered if he played the game at too frenetic a pace for one so young. Melbourne’s director of sports performance, Neil Craig, warned early on that he’d need to get used to rehab. It proved to be a prophetic observation. Viney has missed his fair share of games through injury, including a broken leg last year that sidelined him for six matches (he still finished second in the Demons’ best and fairest). But true to his instincts, Viney isn’t about to alter his approach. “Watching myself from outside I do worry that I could seriously hurt myself,” he concedes. “But as soon I cross that white line it just seems to go away.”
IFYOUDON’T TRAINWITH INTENSITY,HOW CANYOUEXPECT TOPRODUCEIT ON GAME DAY? THEHARDERTHEYCOME
Time in the rehab room is just one consequence of Viney’s fast and furious approach. In his VFL debut at 17, an incident with Geelong player David Wojcinski saw him cop a broken jaw. It seems the universe favours symmetry, or is at least partial to irony, because in 2014 Viney collided with Adelaide player Tom Lynch. This time it was the Crows forward whose jaw was turned into jigsaw pieces. Viney faced a two-match ban, but after a huge public outcry the Demons were able to have the sentence overturned on appeal. Think he’d ease up in training? No chance. This preseason Viney was involved in a scrap with teammate Tom McDonald that caught the media’s attention. If you don’t train with intensity, Viney explains, how can you expect to produce it on game day? “It’s actually pretty common in practice,” he says. “Everyone understands that it’s part of playing a competitive sport and getting the best out of yourself and each other.”
Viney walked into the Demons’ training facilities at AAMI Park back in 2012 weighing 74kg. Like most young players, he says, he’d worked hard on “beach muscles”, hammering the bench press and biceps curls. “As a 17- to 18-year-old you’re more worried about aesthetics than performance,” he says. Of the 10kg Viney has added since, Misson reckons around 8kg is pure muscle. “Pound for pound he’s our strongest player.” The way Viney plays he needs to be. This preseason he’s worked on adding power and stability to his lower body and core while maintaining strength up top. “Being a bit smaller than a lot of the midfielders in the competition I felt I was too light and being pushed off the ball too easily.” Like everything Viney does, he goes at it hard. This preseason he also went heavy. “I really pushed myself to where I couldn’t lift any more. It’s similar to how I play on the footy field. Whenever I do something, I do it 100 per cent.”
“Try to run as far as you can in a minute and get as close as you can to that distance in remaining sets,” advises Misson. Viney averages between 350 metres and 380m for each of those sets.
4 x 8 REPS
4 x 8 REPS
Build Your Power Base Power-to-weight ratio is paramount in AFL, says Misson. “The more you’re carrying around, the less efficient you are,” he says. “We’re trying to find a weight Jack can transport efficiently while being strong enough to break tackles and keep his feet.” Use Viney’s workout to turn your puny pins into pillars of Hercules to ensure you never get knocked over. Do the following routine three times a week.
PUSH A WEIGHTED SLED (70-100KG) 20M. REPEAT THREE TIMES
Put Oil in Your Engine Viney didn’t have a great endurance base when he arrived at the Demons but now boasts a threekilometre time trial of 10:05. “He’s now an elite endurance runner, which wasn’t something that came naturally to him,” says Misson. Do this drill to increase your miles to the gallon:
6 x 1-MINUTE RUN FOR DISTANCE (one minute’s rest between reps)
4 x 3 REPS
NORDIC HAMSTRING CURL
OVERHEAD MEDICINE BALL THROWS (10KG)
4 x 8 REPS
3 x 6 REPS
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Prepare for Lift-of TRI HARDER WITH PROPULSION TRICKS FROM ROCKET SCIENTIST AND IRONMAN JIM GOURLEY
o matter how hard you train or how much carbon fibre you buy, there is one opponent you can never beat – the laws of physics. But armed with a bit of knowledge, you can make them work for you instead of against you. Jim Gourley, aerospace engineer and author of Faster: Demystifying The Science of Triathlon Speed, has successfully completed Ironman events, sent satellites into space and even made teenagers understand maths and science. “Free speed exists,” he explains. “You just have to know where to find it.” The theories he explains here will help you make informed decisions in your training, racing and shopping. Because, if a smarter triathlete is a better triathlete, then this will turn you into Sheldon Cooper. Set off with a (big) bang.
DRAFTING The main thing that can improve your swim time is the guy in front. Keep close behind and one metre to the side, so your hand enters the water level with your leader’s shoulders. You’ll reduce your drag by 20 per cent, saving valuable time and energy and helping you saddle up sooner and fresher.
DEVIL’S ADVOCATE SLOW YOUR PACE ON THE CRAWL Even if you’re James Magnussen in the water, hold back a bit. The swim section doesn’t last long enough to give you a significant lead, but it is tough enough to exhaust you for the rest of the race.
8mm The ideal gap you want between your fingertips. You’ll increase the drag coefficient of your hand by nine per cent, so more energy is transferred into forward movement.
90% ARMS + 10% LEGS = PROPULSION
Your legs might be your most powerful muscles, but they’re responsible for just a tenth of your forward motion. As they get out of line with your body, drag increases. Kick just hard enough to keep yourself level.
THE RUN DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
SMALLER STEPS, FASTER RESULTS
Lengthening your stride won’t help you cover more ground. As you open up, you expend more energy each time you de/accelerate. Shorter strides are better for conserving energy – just so long as you don’t bounce too much.
POWER IS MONEY GAME R E G NAH C
There are no fast bikes – only fast riders. With that in mind, a power meter is the most valuable piece of gear money can buy; it helps you pace yourself, maintain consistent effort and avoid red-lining. Riding without one is like shopping without checking your bank balance: eventually you’ll go bust.
The crucial factor is shoe choice – since 99 per cent are made from the same material and even a weight difference of 50g has little impact. Replace around the 400-kilometre mark.
Best for those . . . Who are serious Pedal-based and very accurate, the Garmin Vector 2 even identifies imbalances between your legs. It’s easy to switch between bikes. $1599.99; wiggle.com.au
On a smaller budget The reasonably priced Power2Max is crankbased, so fixed – unless you’re keen to do an hour’s work between rides. From $1099; power2max.com.au
Starting out Strava calculates your output using GPS data from your smartphone – but only after your ride, not during it. Free at strava.com
COMFORT TREAD CAREFULLY THE NUMB3R
180 The number of steps you should take per minute to cut ground contact and waste less energy.
Your race number can wreck all the aerodynamic advantages from fancy sports gear if it’s flapping around. Pin it on properly.
THE COOLEST TRIATHLETES WEAR BLACK
Most people think white race kit will keep them cooler by reflecting the sun’s rays. Unfortunately, it will also reflect your own body’s infrared heat energy back at you. Black doesn’t just look cooler; it actually is.
Y > OUR QUICK GUIDE TO PACING STRATEGY
Swim ► Sprint: work at 80-85 per cent effort while drafting the guy in front. ► Olympic: 80-85 per cent effort, again while drafting that sucker.
Cycle ► Sprint: just hammer it for all you’re worth. Well, it is a sprint.
SURFACE Pavement Sand Grass Treadmill
ENERGY COST -+63% +4.8% -11%
No wind resistance and a higher energy return than paved surfaces makes your gym’s conveyor belt easier than the real thing – and the race harder than anticipated. Raise the incline a few degrees to compensate.
Put your newly gained knowledge into action 1. IRONMAN AUSTRALIA Where Port Macquarie, NSW Date May 1 Distance 3.8km swim/180km cycle/42.2 run Dive into a world-renowned event. 2. ULTRAMAN AUSTRALIA Where Noosa, Qld Date May 14 Distance 10/421.1/84.3 Test your limits; one stage a day.
Run ► Sprint: start hard, hang on; let the crowd fuel a last-gasp effort.
► Olympic: moderate cadence, ► Olympic: run the first kilometre slightly below lactate threshold five per cent below target pace (your max steady-state effort). and accelerate towards the end.
3. IRONMAN CAIRNS 70.3 Where Cairns, Qld Date June 12 Distance 1.9/90.1/21.1 Hit Australia’s most scenic coastal roads. 4. HAMILTON ISLAND TRIATHLON CAIRNS Where Hamilton Island, Qld Date November 12 Distance 750m/20/5 Go hard on a sprint course.
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CALL IN YOUR SPECIAL FORCE YOGA MADE ELITE SOLDIER DOUG KIESEWETTER A BETTER WARRIOR, FRIEND AND HUSBAND. SEE WHAT IT CAN DO FOR YOU I STARTED DOING YOGA IN 2011 when I was helping shut down the US combat presence in Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn. Eight other Special Forces guys and I were the last American soldiers north of Baghdad, and our job was to represent US support for a sovereign Iraqi state. The area wasn’t particularly dangerous (for a war zone, anyway) and we had some free time on our hands. So while my fellow SF guys did yoga, I lifted heavy things. Yoga was a sissy workout, I thought.
But one day after I’d finished a CrossFit WOD, the guys goaded me into joining one of their “sissy” sessions. As a sergeant with the Special Forces, I’ve been on sniper teams and reconnaissance teams, and led hundreds of men in battle. I deadlift 235 kilograms, squat 185 and bench 145. But this yoga session left me in a shambles. It was held in a cinderblock building in the desert with no AC. Matching my breathing to inverted poses was nearly impossible, and I felt like I’d used a whole new set of muscles. After my deployment, I returned to our Fort Bragg base and started doing three
90-minute yoga sessions a week to supplement my four or five weekly CrossFitstyle workouts. I used to pound the iron nonstop. Now I’m actually 14kg lighter, but hitting the same numbers in key lifts. Leveraging the breathing techniques I learn on the yoga mat allows me to access untapped strength and mobility – I don’t need to redline to improve. It’s funny, because those physical benefits are mostly due to yoga’s mental benefits. As a soldier I believed I could control everything around me completely and thoroughly. But the practice of yoga
REASONS EVERY MAN SHOULD DO YOGA Science confirms that the ancient practice benefits your mind, body and wellbeing
MORE STRENGTH People in a Colorado State University study who did eight weeks of yoga were able to pull 13 per cent more weight in the deadlift.
Master of the mat: Kiesewetter credits yoga with a host of physical and mental benefits.
Low-back-pain sufferers who took a four-week yoga class (and practised at home) experienced a nearly 20 per cent greater reduction in pain than a group assigned to do general back and abs exercises, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found.
BETTER MOOD Just 10 days of yoga helped reduce anxiety and depression in people suffering from mood disorders, reports a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE People diagnosed with prehypertension who did yoga and adopted a healthy diet and exercise routine for 12 weeks reduced their blood pressure more than the group who skipped yoga, according to a recent study published in Hypertension Research.
PHOTOGRAPHY: GIACOMO FORTUNATO
Special Forces warrior or not, yoga will test your strength and fitness.
– breathing, being present and letting go – taught me to allow things to happen naturally. People tend to think the Special Ops gig is all about blowing stuff up and kicking in doors of terrorist cells. Okay, we do that, but it’s a small fraction of the job. As a Special Ops soldier, I must make good decisions in high-stress situations. The frame of mind that yoga puts me in lets me step back and assess a situation through a different lens and then react more calmly. In my line of work, that can be lifesaving. When I returned home, my wife and I were having marital problems because I was
trying to force the relationship to “work”. One afternoon, while in moon pose, I realised that I couldn’t impose my will on our marriage – I just had to step back and let it run the way it needed to run. Soon, everything started working between us. I’m better at my job. I’m better in the gym. I’m better at home. Hell, ask my wife – I’m even better in bed. I’m starting to see more and more of my SF brethren in the yoga studio. Knowing that the men in my regiment are also forging a mind-body connection makes me feel better about going into dangerous situations with them. >
DEEPER SLEEP Scientists at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital found that older people who did yoga three times a week slept longer and reported improved sleep quality.
LESS ILLNESS In research at Korea’s Daejeon University, study participants who practised yoga had reduced stresshormone levels and better immune response.
GET YOUR YOGA ON USE THE FREE VIEWA APP TO PUT THESE MOVES ON YOUR PHONE
POWER UP YOUR PRACTICE This high-intensity yoga flow builds ruthless mobility while bulletproofing your core, back and shoulders. Do 5-10 flows daily
Breathing rules: try to inhale and exhale on a four-count for the entire flow.
Kiesewetter is seeing more of his SF brethren swap salutes for salutations.
2 Bending your knees in downward dog is okay. Push away the floor with your hands and heels.
STANDING FORWARD FOLD HALF FOLD
HIGH PLANK DOWNWARD FACING DOG
Stand tall with your shoulders drawn back and ribs pulled in. Inhale to reach high, then exhale as you fold your body to the floor by extending forward from your hips and bending your knees as much as you need to in order to touch it. Now straighten your legs as much as your hamstrings allow. Inhale and rise to standing, bending your knees as needed to keep your spine straight. Do this three times. Then, from a forward fold, do a half fold: extend your chest, letting your hands slide up onto your shins, and keep your back straight. Lower back down into a forward fold. Repeat two more times.
From the half fold, exhale as you step back into a high-plank position. Push your tailbone towards your heels, extend your chest and brace your core. Your index fingers should point forward and your upper arms should wrap outward to broaden your chest. Inhale, lift your hips and push your bum up into the air. Press down evenly with all 10 fingers (keep your thumbs grounded) and draw energy up your arms and spine to help elevate your pelvis as you push your rear up. Draw in your rib cage and press your legs back. Extend your heels away from your toes and push them into the floor. Take 3-5 deep breaths.
Broaden your chest and draw your shoulders away from your ears.
A twist challenge: cross your body by touching your left knee to your right elbow.
CHATURANGA UPWARD-FACING DOG
THREE-LEGGED DOG KNEE-TO-ELBOW TOUCH
From downward-facing dog, inhale and rock your body forward into a high-plank position. Align your shoulders, hips and heels, keeping your core and quads engaged. Exhale and roll forward onto your toes; your elbows should stay close to your body as you lower yourself, push-up style, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Now inhale as you roll your toes under so that the tops of your feet come into contact with the floor. At the same time, press away from the floor as you lift through your belly, extend your chest and roll your shoulders back to transition into upward-facing dog. Keep your hips and thighs off the floor.
From upward-facing dog, exhale as you roll your toes back over so youâ€™re once again in a high plank. Do a push-up, then exhale as you shoot your hips up into downward-facing dog and lift your left leg. Keep your hips square to the floor. Now youâ€™re in a three-legged downward dog. Inhale and bring your leg down and forward as you touch your left knee to your left elbow. Do this three times, then switch sides and repeat the sequence three times. Now return to a downward-facing dog and push down through both heels for three final breaths. Then step or hop to the front of your mat and stand tall.
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ELITE T HE T RU T H A BOU T
THESE SUPPS COULD UP YOUR STRENG HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WH BY
RAY K LERCK
WHAT ARE THEY? Many of life’s finer t with age. Sadly, you them. A big player in tanking testosterone drop by one per cent the age of 40, found the Journal of Clinica Endocrinology and M Cue: less muscle, decr strength and lower be mojo. Testosterone bo are a class of legal supplements that may increase your T levels vi combination of herbs th stops your body converti testosterone to oestrogen Advocates reckon they’re the Clint Eastwood of the supps world.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
WHEN DO I USE IT? Always follow the advice on the pack, but the timing of these supplements can be crucial. Those containing ZMA need to be taken at night, with research in the Journal of Exercise Physiology finding that when college football players in the US did this,
terone supp can help you fight back against ageing.
IS THERE A SUBSTITUTE?
they increased t per cent and expe cent jump in strength. It’s w cycling any testosterone booster for 3-4 weeks, then taking two weeks off so your body doesn’t get used to it.
acne ular shrinkage and infertility that hardcore juicers risk. You’ll just wake up with a bit more glory to your mornings.
ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
WHICH SHOULD I PICK?
Increasing your manliest hormone can accentuate the yang elements of your personality. That means hyped sexual desire, increased aggression and more strength, which can lead to improved muscle gains with regular resistance training. Since these supplements won’t hike your T levels
Try Beast Super Test ($79.95; mrsupplement.com.au). Not only does this booster have all you need to up your T, it comes loaded with nitric oxide for better mid-training pumps and accelerated recovery. It also has a liver detoxifier that’ll help keep your system in prime nick.
Methoxyisoflavone. This nifty ingredient was invented in the Seventies as an alternative to steroids. Research in Life Sciences found it bumps up the potency of the testosterone you already have in your body. And you don’t have to worry about a positive drug test, since none of its ingredients is banned by the major athletic organisations. Use it when testosterone boosters fail to boost. One option is Elemental Massive Muscle Fuel 2.0 ($69.95; mrsupplement.com.au).
PHOTOGRAPHY: EDWARD URRUTIA
Boosters often contain a cock t of ingredients, including longja tribulus territris, fenugreek, D-aspartic acid and ZMA. The first three have the least scientific backing, while D-aspartic acid did increase testosterone by 42 per cent when taken in three-gram-a-day doses, found a study in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. The last ingredient on the list, ZMA, is a combination of zinc, vitamin B6 and magnesium, which your body needs for maximal testosterone production and to get a better night’s kip – the cornerstone of any healthy hormonal system.
Stretch Yourself Stronger BUILDING MUSCLE MASS DOESN’T BEGIN AND END WITH DUMBBELLS AND WHEY POWDER. TAKE YOUR STRETCHES TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH THESE TIPS FROM MATT “STRETCH” MILLER
(STRETCHPERFORMANCE.CO.UK) TO PRIME YOUR BODY FOR EXERCISE AND STAY INJURY-FREE
PICK UP GOOD VIBRATIONS That satisfying shake in your muscles as you stretch out? That’s your stretch receptors activating, which means you’re in the recovery sweet spot. If soreness stops you going deep enough to feel the wobble, hop on a vibe plate. The motion mimics the shakes during more gentle stretches, which helps to boost your muscles’ recovery.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH Breathe out for five seconds as you sink into each stretch, then repeat the exhale. Regulating your breath helps your muscles relax and become pliable. You’ll naturally draw up your pelvic floor, too, which fires up your abs.
MAKE A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE The best warm-up moves mimic the exercise you’re about to do, only weightsfree. Try good mornings with a pole to prime your back before you deadlift, or do overhead squat stretches before heading to the rack.
GO FOR A FULL 15 NO PAIN = MORE GAIN Intense exercise causes micro-trauma to your muscle fibres, and aggressive stretching can make it worse. Stretch lightly until you can feel it without pain. It’ll realign your fibres – and reduce wincing on the stairs.
While a quick tap of your toes won’t cut it, a 15-second stretch is time enough. Don’t waste time going for longer – this isn’t yoga, and research shows you’ll see no extra We all now those leng y “cooldowns” are just an exc cuse for a lie down, anyway.
JOIN THE BAND RETHINK REST DAYS As the new fibres of a repairing muscle contract 24-48 hours post-exercise, you’ll begin to feel stiff. A separate recovery session will flush out your vascular system and reduce stiffness.
Wrap a resistance band around your foot during any major leg stretch and pull it towards you. This adds stability to each move for maximum control and, if you’re already loosened up, provides extra resistance, helping you go harder than before.
DYNAMIC C OR STATIC? Both have the eir place. Stay dynamic during w warm-ups; use the momentum m for a greater range of motion as s well as to flood your es with oxygen. But go soft tissue st-workout – it works static pos better for lengthening and g muscle fibres and realigning peed your recovery. helping sp
MAY 2016 139
MetaShred Your Body THIS WORKOUT INCORPORATES EVERY HARD TRUTH LEARNED ON THE FRONT LINES OF FAT LOSS. THE EIGHT EXERCISES HIT EVERY MUSCLE AND ATTACK YOUR FLAB WITH NO MERCY. THEN TURN THE PAGE FOR THE FOOD PLAN TO SEND YOUR LARD-BURNING INTO OVERDRIVE
1 / DEAD-STOP PUSH-UP Assume a push-up position with your feet together, your body straight and your hands below but slightly wider than your shoulders. Lower your body all the way to the floor. Lift your hands, pause, then place them back on the floor and push up explosively.
DESIGNED BY PT & fitness expert BJ Gaddour BEST FOR Building lean muscle, burning stubborn body fat and improving fitness across the board EQUIPMENT Dumbbells, bench or box
2 / GOBLET SQUAT
3 / BEAR CRAWL
Hold a dumbbell in front of your chest, cupping the top end with both hands. Push your hips back and bend your knees, performing a squat. Pause, then push back up.
Assume a push-up position and then walk your feet forward until your hips and knees are both bent 90°. This is the starting position. Now keep your arms straight as you “step” your left hand and right foot forward several centimetres. Repeat with your right hand and left foot. Keep crawling forward.
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4 / HIP THRUST Place your upper back against a box or bench with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Then squeeze your glutes and raise your hips until they’re in line with your body. Return to the starting position and repeat.
05/16 5 / BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
6 / SKATER HOP
Stand with your back to a bench or box. Place the top of your right foot on the bench. This is the starting position. Keeping your torso upright, bend your left knee and lower your body until your left leg is bent at least 90°; raise your arms as you lower. Push your body back to the start.
Stand on your right foot with your right knee slightly bent and your left foot just off the floor. Lower your body and then bound to your left by jumping off your right leg. Land on your left foot and cross your right foot behind you. Now reverse the move and continue hopping from side to side.
7 / DUMBBELL SWING
8 / DUMBBELL ROW
Hold a dumbbell handle with both hands. Bend at the waist, push your hips back and lower your torso, swinging the dumbbell between your legs. Thrust your hips forward and swing the weight to shoulder height, then immediately pull it back between your legs. Keep swinging.
Holding a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor and the dumbbells are hanging in front of you. Bend your elbows and pull the weights to the sides of your torso. Pause, then slowly lower them.
CHOOSE YOUR METASHREDDING WEAPON THESE INSANELY EFFECTIVE COMBOS EMPLOY THE EXERCISES SHOWN IN THIS WORKOUT. THEY’RE A PROVEN WAY TO HELP YOU TORCH MORE FAT AND BUILD MOUNTAINS OF MUSCLE IN LESS TIME
FIVE-MINUTE SHRED SETS
Select an exercise pair below. Do the first move for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Now do the second move for 20 seconds and rest for 10. Repeat the pattern for four minutes. Pick another pair and repeat; do as many as you want.
Do each exercise below in order for 30 seconds, resting for 30 seconds between moves. That’s Round 1. For each ensuing round, take five seconds off your rest time; keep going until you’re not resting at all (Round 7).
Pick three exercises from those below. Perform them as a circuit with 60 seconds of work and 60 seconds of rest; complete ﬁve circuits. Each circuit, take three seconds to lower or raise the weight or hold the midpoint of the move.
Pick an exercise below and do as many reps as you can in ﬁve minutes. (For weighted moves, use a weight you can lift about 20 times in a regular set.) Then pick another exercise and repeat; do as many moves as you like.
Do the ﬁrst exercise in the pair for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Do the second exercise for a minute, rest for 15 seconds. That’s Round 1. Complete four rounds, then do the remaining pairs the same way.
Exercises 1+2; 1+7; 8+6; 5 (alternate legs)
4, 1, 2, 8, 6, 7
1, 2, 4, 5, 8
1, 2, 3, 5, 7
1+2; 3+2; 4+7; 6+7
> MAY 2016 141
ELITE Eat Your Way To MetaShredded
Here’s the eating plan to complement your workouts. My weight-loss blueprint employs the latest science to control kilojoules – and your hunger. It’s a two-phase program that uses the five keep-it-simple rules below. The trick? Eat until you’re satisfied, not stuffed. That means following my “eat and eat again” rule: eat as much as you want – if you think you could eat that much again two or three hours later. Ready? Let’s do this. – Mike Roussell
• RULE 1
• RULE 2
• RULE 3
EAT PROTEIN AT THREE MEALS
GO GREEN AT EVERY CHANCE
HAVE A POSTGYM SHAKE
That’s right: three square meals a day. Plan on breakfast, lunch and dinner, and make a fist-size chunk of protein front and centre. It’s more satiating than carbohydrates or fat and triggers a metabolic cascade that leads to improved blood sugar control. Eating protein also stimulates muscle growth and is crucial to burning fat and becoming lean. And because protein helps your body rebuild between workouts, you can train harder in your next session. Spreading out your protein intake gives you a 25 per cent advantage in muscle building over the average guy, who tends towards low-protein breakfasts and lunches and a protein-rich dinner.
The key to uncovering your abs? Pounding vegetables! The verdict is clear: vegetables crowd out the unhealthy carbs and other high-kilojoule options, and they’re packed with nutrients, so fill your shopping trolley. If you’re not cruising the fresh produce section of the supermarket, you’re in dangerous territory – the vast middle of the store, with its stacks of processed foods that will give you a vast middle. Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and asparagus are your full-belly all-stars, and they mesh well with role players such as tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms and pumpkin. Throw down a piece or two of fruit a day, too. You deserve a sweet (healthy) treat.
Sure, exercise burns kilojoules and builds muscle, but it also affects the way you process nutrients. Your goal is to spike protein synthesis (aka muscle building) throughout the day. Consuming 20-30 grams of whey after you train enhances this process. It’ll flood your system with accessible, fast-digesting amino acids and also put the brakes on muscle breakdown – so you’ll make gains faster.
Meat and Other Powerful Protein Picks
The Good Carbs: Vegetables to Stock Up On
► Lean red meat
► Wild game
► Leafy greens
► Plain Greek yoghurt
► Brussels sprouts
► Cottage cheese
► Protein powder
► Capsicums (all colours)
05/16 HOW TO USE THIS PLAN For Phase 1, the first 30 days, simply follow the five rules. For phase 2, the next 30 days, make two changes. First, cut out those post-training starches; all your carbs will come from fruit and veg. Second, don’t snack on workout days, but you can still have your post-workout shake. I’ve found that this pushes most people over a stubborn plateau and prevents the body from panicking at the loss of kilojoules.
• RULE 4
• RULE 5
EAT STARCHES TO REFUEL
SNACK ON FAT AND PROTEIN
Exercise turns your muscles into carbohydrate sponges. The post-workout window is the only time you can direct carbohydrates towards your muscles (instead of, say, fat cells). This window starts to close after 60 minutes, but eating a carb-rich meal within two hours of your workout is good enough. So you can have rice, bread and pasta (in moderation) about three times a week. Note: this applies only to Phase 1 (the first 30 days). Read about the Phase 2 changes in “How to Use This Plan”, above.
Don’t be like the average Australian, who tends to snack on sodium-laden refined carbs. In this plan, a protein-and-fat-combo snack acts as a nutritional bridge between two meals separated by five hours or longer (usually lunch and dinner). This way your body is forced to draw on stored fat for energy, which is good, and you’ll fight hunger while keeping your blood sugar within the ideal range. Speaking of fat, you should include a variety in your diet (oils such as olive, peanut and canola; nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews; and dairy such as Greek yoghurt or butter). That fat will keep you from caving in to hunger; add fibre for an assist. Warning: measure your oil when cooking. For meals with starch, use one teaspoon of oil; for nonstarch meals, use 1-1.5 tablespoons (less if you’re adding nuts or cheese to the meal).
Post-workout Starches and Grains ► Wholegrain pasta ► Sprouted-grain bread ► Sweet potatoes ► White potatoes ► Brown rice ► Black rice
Snacks That Combine Protein, Fat and Fibre
►Plain Greek yoghurt and flaxseed meal
► Corn tortillas
►Cheese sticks and a small apple
►Smoked salmon and almonds ►Celery and cashews ►A handful of any type of nuts ►Cottage cheese and baby carrots ►Low-carb protein bar
FOODS THAT BOOST YOUR METABOLISM TRANSFORMATION STARTS IN YOUR FRIDGE. STOCK IT WITH THESE BETTER-BODY STAPLES
1/ BARBECUE CHICKEN You already love it, right? Go ahead: it’s ready-to-eat, high-quality protein. Pair it with a vegetable if you’re ever in a pinch for a meal. 2/ PRE-CUT VEG Supermarkets these days make preparation easy. From chopped broccoli and cauliflower to readymade coleslaw, you can find most vegetables ready to toss into a roasting pan or steamer. 3/ PRECOOKED SAUSAGE New Flavours! Lean protein! Just heat and eat. It doesn’t get any easier. Try the All Natural Sausage Company’s range (available from Coles). 4/ PLAIN GREEK YOGHURT It offers twice the protein of traditional yoghurt and about the same number of carbs, making it a great snack or starting point for breakfast. 5/ SMOKED SALMON Okay, you weren’t expecting this. That’s part of what makes it great. It’s ready to eat, carb free and full of satiating protein and fat. Having smoked salmon in the middle of the day will quickly change your concept of “diet food” snacks. 6/ CHEESE STICKS Portable protein, properly portioned. Whether they’re string cheese (mozzarella), Colby or Swiss, these should always be in your fridge. Pair them with a small piece of fruit for a snack, or chop ’em up and toss them on a salad with some barbecue chicken to round out a fat-burning meal.
MAY 2016 143
ELITE OLYMPIC GOLDEN MOMENTS
Bayley plays cat and mouse with Theo Bos in the ﬁnal.
HEADER HERE USE THE FREE VIEWA APP TO PUT THE RXXS ON XXXX XXXYOUR PHONE
T FAST FAC
ey R ya n Ba yl LI VE S
Brisban e OL YM PI CS
04 At hen s, 20 SP OR T
lin g Trac k C yc EV EN T
[Cat - andS pr in t
m o us e]
AG E TH EN
AG E NO W
THE WHEEL DEAL TRACK CYCLIST RYAN BAYLEY GOT MAD, GOT EVEN, AND WENT ON
For the win! Bayley’s tactics and training pay off.
TO BECOME AUSTRALIA’S FIRST OLYMPIC SPRINT CHAMPION
CRUNCH TIME I knew I had to change my approach. I had to get angry. I put my headphones on and listened to some heavy metal – Rammstein, Metallica. At the start line I was pulling faces, bouncing up and down, hammering the handlebars. I had to make him think I wanted the front position, even though I really wanted him in front so I had something to aim at. That’s the way it worked out and I got there . . . just. I now had to re-set for the decider. I wanted to be behind, but when we picked the cards I got the front again. I again pretended I wanted the front, until at one point I made it look as though I’d made a mistake and given him the opening he was after. He took the front. I’d given him enough rope and now I had a target. I hit him on the final corner and rolled right past him. Some bum kid from WA and I’d just won at the Olympics!
BAYLEY’S FLYING 200M
10.177 SECS 144
CURRENT FLYING 200M WORLD RECORD
(François Pervis, France)
LESSONS FROM BAYLEY LEAN ON SOMEONE Whatever your goal, you’re better off with a true believer beside you. “Looking back, the biggest thing I had at the major competitions was a great support person – someone I could trust and bounce stuff off. My biggest failures were when I had no one in my corner.”
BE A HEADBANGER Bayley chose wisely in cranking up heavy metal before race two. In a 2012 Brunel University review into the psychological impact of music on exercise, one of the world’s leading experts, Costas Karageorghis, described music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug”.
TARGET YOUR WEAKNESSES Peak performance is an exercise in constant calibration. Four months out from the Games, Bayley realised his emphasis on power had taken the edge off his acceleration, so he backed off the weight training and concentrated on pedalling fast on small gears for a while.
AS TOLD TO IAN COCKERILL
THE BUILD-UP My top-end speed was my weapon, but my acceleration was really bad, so I spent the last year leading into Athens working on the power stuff. By the time I got to Athens I didn’t have a weakness and my top-end speed was out of control. I’d never been a nervous rider. But when it came to the semi-final people were screaming my name over the fence and I started to think, Jeez, the whole world’s watching! I lost focus a bit and former world champion Laurent Gané got a fair way in front before I put everything into catching him and got him on the line. Unintentionally, I’d revealed what speed I had. In the first round of the final against the reigning world champ, Theo Bos of Holland, I felt I raced the perfect race. Once I’m in front not many can come around me, but Theo did. One down. I needed to win the next two.
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12 Things No Man Should Do After 30 CERTAIN BEHAVIOUR COMES WITH A SHELF LIFE. AFTER YOUR TWENTIES, IT’S TIME TO EVOLVE 1 / SHAPE UP
Robert J Carroll, The Strand Hatters, Sydney
2 / BE THE MATCH MAKER Impressing your date doesn’t always mean buying the expensive bottle; show off your culinary prowess by acting the expert and matching wines. For spicy dishes look for something clean with a touch of sweetness to cut the spice, like a German riesling. Opt for a cabernet sauvignon shiraz blend when eating red meat, as the high tannins will cut through the fat. Textural white wines or light red wines are suited to poultry and white meat, while seafood is suited to a light and dry white like a riesling or semillon. Fish, however, needs something richer – like a light chardonnay or chenin blanc. Franck Moreau, Group Sommelier at Merivale
3 / FIND THE FAULT
Play drinking games that involve balance or milk
Use the word “bro” – even when speaking to your brother
The ejection of your stomach’s contents and a herniated disc. Doesn’t sound as fun as it did at uni, does it?
Frat boys who abbreviated every noun in Nineties teen movies sounded like douchebags, even back then.
Have posters on your wall
Sleep on a mate’s futon
Cars. Movies. Pamela Anderson. By now the Blu-Tack has worn out – as has any trace of cred.
You have a job now. Pay for a cab.
Blame your parents for the way life has turned out
Wear a flat-brim cap Are you in the major leagues? Are you Fiddy? We didn’t think so.
Matthew Garrett, Relationships Australia
4 / SHABBY TO SHARP
Order the second-cheapest bottle of red on a wine list
Wear a footy jersey with someone else’s name on it
You’re not fooling anyone – you still look like a tightarse.
Go on. Tell us for the hundredth time how you could have made it big if wasn’t for your bung hip, dodgy knee . . .
Own a velcro wallet Are you going to put your bus pass inside and hang it from your belt with a plastic chain? Time to step up to a money clip.
Trust us, they’re not happy you still live at home either, buddy.
We blame others when it’s the easy move – and it’s a common sign that a man feels helpless or stuck. Whether it’s too difficult or painful to talk about, continually blaming your parents could be a red flag that you should seek help. If you’re alive, fed, educated and healthy, your parents have done a great job. If there are deeper issues you wish to explore, set aside a time in a calm, safe place – don’t wait for an argument to unfold to scream what’s on your mind. A session or two with a counsellor can help you prepare for this, minimising the chance of yet another yelling match.
Run out of petrol You have to do it once, just to see how far you can push it. After that you’re just a pest causing peak-hour gridlock.
Wear pants that showcase your undies
Fronting up at black-tie events in a Lowes suit
It’s 40 inches long and has a buckle at one end . . . The prize if you guessed belt? Your dignity.
After two outings as the shabbiest bloke in the room, watch the invites dry up.
Put simply, you get what you pay for. Invest in an Italian wool suit if you can, but steer clear of rayon and polyester blends at all costs. No suit looks good when the bloke who’s wearing it is a sweaty mess. If you’re one of the lucky few who can buy off the rack – good for you. For the majority of men, though, tailoring is essential to get that perfect fit. Whether it needs to be taken up at the cuff or in at the waist, ask the sales assistant whether they tailor in-house. Good retailers should do it. If not, chances are they’ll know the best in the area. Cassie Callegher, Calibre
ILLUSTRATIONS: BREN LUKE @ THE ILLUSTRATION ROOM
Why do you wear a hat? It’s either for sun protection or as a fashion accessory. You should look for a hat that ticks both. While structured hats are more prevalent than ever, most gents are stingy with brim width. I recommend a wider brim for two reasons: more effective shading and to make a statement. Value for money comes from a highquality Australian felt like the Akubra. Have it fitted; you’ll look better and get more bang for your buck in the long run.