DECEMBER 2017 Â£3.99 9
COMFORTABLY NUMB: HOW PAINKILLER ABUSE IS DESTROYING UK SPORT P80
ROCK HARD ABS! Flatten Your Belly 19 Ways To Spike Your Metabolism Fast 8-Pack Hacks
9 771356 743132
BeeatThe Winter Slump
108 WEIGHTLOSS SUPERFOODS! BOOST ENERGY FROM YOUR BED THE BEST MOVES FOR TORCHING FAT
ANGST! SUGAR! BOOZE!
WAYS TO LOOK YOUNGER NOW
Simple Cures To Modern Ills
THE NEW MUSCLE SCIENCE
ADD 8CM TO YOUR BICEPS
MAKE STRESS PAY BY TIM FERRISS HENRY CAVILL, 34, ACTOR, GENTLEMAN, MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE
12/17 YOUR MONTHLY UPGRADE
N NUTRIT TION
P29 SEAT OF POWER
P26 DOMS SUM
P25 UNPARALLELED ABS
Your desk job needn’t be damaging. Pull up a chair for MH’s guide to a healthier 9-5
How to turn unctuous, Chinese dumplings into wholesome parcels of training fuel
Achieve the flexibility and functional muscle of a gymnast with our parallettes challenge
P31 CAFÉ SOBRIETY
P42 JUICE UP YOUR MEMORY
P34 CHILL SPRINTS
If your coffee habit is boiling over, our decaf tips will re-energise you without the jitters
This is one breakfast tip well worth remembering...
Wintry weather needn’t freeze your morning cardio. Grin and bear it for endurance gains
P80 COMFORTABLY NUMB
P44 BACK IN THE PINK
P94 PEAK FITNESS
We pop the lid on the abuse of OTC pain pills among pro and everyday athletes
The only ham recipes you’ll ever need again
Ultra runner and Everest record-breaker Kilian Jornet lets us catch up for a moment
P106 FRESH KICKS
P23 BRUSH OFF WEIGHT GAIN
P32 HARD COREE
Tread sure and steady this month with our pick of the season’s sharpest footwear
Forget clean eating – clean living could be the key to tidying up your gut for good
Hew a strongerr body b and cut off unwanted timber at a calisthenics sthenics gym like l no other
P122 UNCOMMON SCENTS
P50 FULL STEAMER AHEAD
P46 STRENGTH IN DEPTH
These exceptional men’s fragrances are certain to turn heads for the right reasons
Prep lean meals with precision, thanks to MH’s roster of tried-and-tested steamers
Our insider secrets of strongman training will ensure you look, feel and act the part
P131 VISUAL EFFECTS
P79 EAT YOURSELF LEAN
P53 RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
If you can’t secure your eight hours, fake it. This is how to hide a night very well spent
How a leisurely lunch will keep you nicely trim and shave years off your good looks
Spike your mental and physical abilities with a one-two combo of comfort food
10 MEN’S HEALTH
IN THIS ISSUE COOL ADVICE ON THE HOTTEST TOPICS
PHOTOGRAPHY HAMISH BROWN STYLING ERIC DOWN GROOMING MICHELLE ABELS T-SHIRT ARMANI JEANS CITIZEN OF HUMANITY AT HARRODS
ON THE COVER P58 SUPERMAN BODY PLAN The focus and workout that made Henry Cavill more powerful than a locomotive
P41 SPIKE YOUR METABOLISM Keep your internal furnace stoked with our 24hr burners
P48 NEW MUSCLE SCIENCE Why a bit of stretching can expand your muscle growth by 300%. No yoga required
P77 BOOST YOUR ENERGY How turning in early could pump up your gyms sessions
P100 CURE ALL MODERN ILLS Your guide to surviving the coming health apocalypse…
P54 TIM FERRISS’S TIPS Use the productivity boffin’s plan to outsmart your 9-5
P139 BEAT WINTER SLUMPS Freeze seasonal weight gain and put the office flu on ice
Hot Hot Heat Playy with Pl th ﬁ ﬁre andd reap the rewards unscorrched p86 r
MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
MEN’S HEALTH 11 M
THE EXPERT PANEL STAY STRONG ALL SEASON WITH GUIDANCE FROM SIX OF ONTH LEADING HEALTH AND FITNESS AUTHORITIES THIS MONTH’S
TOBY WISEMAN DEPUTY EDITOR
EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER
COMMISSIONING EDITOR (PRINT AND DIGITAL)
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (STYLE)
DEPUTY STYLE EDITOR
FRANKIE HILL JUNIOR FITNESS EDITOR
SHANE C KURUP
ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITOR
ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITOR
MANAGING DIRECTOR RODALE
DR CHRIS ALFORD
DR AJAI SETH
In an age when the UK’s coffee habit is brimming, Dr Alford explains why filtering out caffeine is the key to renewed energy p31
The ex-marine now uses his military skills to rig stunts in hostile filming locations. Let et Kanee add dd adventure d e tu e to your workout plan p38
There’s no sugar-coating the fact that legal painkiller abuse is rife in sports, says D Dr Seth. But could your own hhabit be harmful, too? p80
TAKE A CHILL PILL
ALUN WILLIAMS CHIEF BRAND OFFICER, LUXURY, BEAUTY AND HEALTH DUNCAN CHATER EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO CHIEF BRAND OFFICER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR RODALE NATASHA MANN CLIENT DIVISION MANAGING DIRECTOR, BEAUTY JACQUI CAVE
MANAGING DIRECTOR, HEALTH AND FITNESS ALUN WILLIAMS
MANAGING DIRECTOR, FASHION AND LUXURY JACQUELINE EUWE
DIRECTOR OF SPORT AND HEALTH ANDREA SULLIVAN
DIRECTOR OF TRAVEL DENISE DEGROOT
DIRECTOR OF MOTORS JIM CHAUDRY
CLIENT DIRECTOR, PERSONAL FINANCE JACQUIE DUCKWORTH
CLIENT DIRECT DIRECTOR, HEALTH AND SPORT NATASHA BAILEY
CLIENT DIRECT DIRECTOR, FASHION AND BEAUTY EMMA BARNES
AGENCY DIVISION CHIEF AGENCY OFFICER JANE WOLFSON HEAD OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT LUCY PORTER (0207 439 5276)
FIRE FOR STARTERS
IS THE END NIGH? S SUMMIT OOF SSTRENGTH G
DR STUART FARRIMOND
MH explores our burning love affair with chillies to determine why we’re so hot for pain, with help from scientist Dr Farrimond p86
What does it take to achieve the impossible? Jornet, the record-breaker who conquered Everest twice in one week, divulges p94
Alarmist headlines would have us believe our risk of death is higher than ever. Senior nurse Martin lays the fake news to rest p100
THIS ISSUE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY… 10 PRO ATHLETES
3 EXTREME ADVENTURISTS
9 HOROLOGICAL HONCHOS
2 MOUNTAIN RESCUERS
8 MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
7 PERSONAL TRAINERS
6 UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS
1 COCKTAIL MASTER
4 CHILLI EXPERTS
1 STUNT RIGGER
4 LEADING CHEFS
AND ONE COMPETITIVE EATER
12 MEN’S HEALTH
BUSINESS MANAGER GEMMA THOMPSON (0207 297 3480)
HEARST DIRECT MANAGER, CLASSIFIED LUCY PENNY (0203 728 6247)
CONSUMER SALES AND MARKETING MARKETING AND CIRCULATION DIRECTOR REID HOLLAND
HEAD OF CONSUMER SALES AND MARKETING MATTHEW BLAIZE-SMITH
HEAD OF SUBSCRIPTIONS JUSTINE BOUCHER
DIRECTOR OF SPORT AND HEALTH ANDREA SULLIVAN
DIRECTOR OF TRAVEL DENISE DEGROOT
DIRECTOR OF MOTORS JIM CHAUDRY
DIGITAL MARKETING DIRECTOR SEEMA KUMARI COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS LISA QUINN HEAD OF PR FAY JENNINGS
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PRESIDENT AND CEO, HEARST MAGAZINES INTERNATIONAL JAMES WILDMAN
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, RODALE INTERNATIONAL PAUL MCGINLEY
MEN’S HEALTH IS PUBLISHED IN THE UK BY HEARST RODALE LIMITED, A JOINT VENTURE BY HEARST MAGAZINES UK, A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF THE HEARST CORPORATION, AND RODALE INTERNATIONAL, A DIVISION OF RODALE INC. MEN’S HEALTH IS A TRADEMARK OF, AND IS USED UNDER LICENCE FROM, RODALE INC. HEARST RODALE LTD, 33 BROADWICK STREET, LONDON W1F 0DQ. TEL: 020 7312 3800. FAX: 020 7339 4444. RODALE’S MEN’S HEALTH (ISSN 1356-7438). COPYRIGHT © 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. MEN’S HEALTH IS PRINTED AND BOUND BY SOUTHERNPRINT, UNITS 15-21, FACTORY ROAD, UPTON INDUSTRIAL ESTATE, POOLE, BH16 5SN. DISTRIBUTION BY COMAG. PUBLISHED 11 TIMES A YEAR. CONDITIONS APPLY. FOR ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION RATES, PLEASE CALL OUR ENQUIRY LINE ON 0844 848 1601, INTERNATIONAL +44 (0)1858 438794. BACK ISSUES, CUSTOMER ENQUIRIES, CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND ORDERS TO: MEN’S HEALTH, HEARST MAGAZINES UK, TOWER HOUSE, SOVEREIGN PARK, LATHKILL STREET, MARKET HARBOROUGH, LEICS LE16 9EF (0844 848 5203; MONDAY TO FRIDAY, 8AM-9.30PM AND SATURDAY, 8AM-4PM. CREDIT CARD HOTLINE: 0844 848 1601). MEN’S HEALTH, ISSN 1356-7438, IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY, 11 TIMES PER YEAR BY HEARST RODALE LIMITED. C/O DISTRIBUTION GRID. AT 900 CASTLE RD SECAUCUS, NJ 07094, USA. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT SECAUCUS, NJ. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO MEN’S HEALTH C/O EXPRESS MAG, PO BOX 2769, PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-0239
Erase the wear and tear of modern life with our edit of the creams and potions that deserve a starring role in your everyday grooming arsenal
APTITUDE ISN’T EVERYTHING – THE COURAGE TO TRY IS
Meet the Mountain Rescue team putting their lives on the line in the unforgiving environs of Mont Blanc
Sick to death of scare stories? We ask the real experts to rate – and cheat – your biggest health threats
Kilian Jornet might just be the fittest man alive. MH tracked him down to learn the secrets of his preternatural ability
R THE NEW ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN P58
MENS ME NSHE NSHE HEAL A TH TH.CCO CO.UK UKK
ecently I watched my son play his first rugby match. It was meant to be football, but after eight years of unsuccessfully indoctrinating him in the beautiful game, it was time for a change. With football, not only was the natural skill absent, so too was any apparent bond with the sport. Rugby might be different, I thought: more primal and direct, less reliant on dexterity and innate proficiency. And so it proved. He ran haphazardly but determinedly; he tackled recklessly; he even scored a clumsy and utterly elating last-minute try, a reward for his dogged pursuit of the ball. But seriously, who did I think I was? How condescending! There was me, half encouraging, half pitying this novice boy’s gutsy attempt to impose himself on a game he didn’t understand. The subtext of our conversations beforehand had been: “Don’t worry son, one day you’ll be like me.” But watching him that afternoon, I realised that one day I was all too like him. Whatever sport I played as a kid, I never possessed the aptitude or confidence that comes with inherent talent. I didn’t have the next pass in my head, or the courage to make the break, or the presence to choose the smarter option. Instead,
Give your look a big step up with our edit of the best trainers for any occasion
Abuse of legal painkillers is endemic in sports at all levels. We investigate the fallout of dosing up
I ran haphazardly and persevered until eventually I became not too bad at all. Not great, but half-decent. I understand now that this is what I should have been teaching the boy, rather than allowing him to compare himself unfavourably to the kids for whom all this comes instinctively. These feelings came into focus when editing two profiles in this issue. Kilian Jornet, the preternaturally gifted athlete who ran (ran!) up Everest in 17 hours, is the kind of man who turns us all into boys. We cannot compare, so do we just watch in awe? Or do we try and learn, lest we accept deference as defeat? It’s a question I haven’t yet answered. Meanwhile, Henry Cavill, aka Superman, operates in a world in which true performance doesn’t matter so long as you look good in a tight outfit. Yet rather than rely on CGI, stunt doubles and studio trickery, the Jersey boy threw himself into the study of martial arts. It wasn’t his natural environment; he could have faked it if he wanted. But he battled and persevered. He became more than decent. I think it’s a salutary lesson.
TOBY WISEMAN BSME EDITOR OF THE YEAR MEN’S HEALTH 15
ASK MH PROVIDING CLARITY OF THOUGHT THE BIG QUESTION
Q I STRUGGLE
TO FOCUS ON ANYTHING THESE DAYS. IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME? RYAN, PORTSMOUTH
Allow us to allay what we imagine is your key concern first: unless you’re also experiencing symptoms such as short-term memory loss, disorientation and problems with language, this is highly unlikely to be a sign of dementia. So, presuming your issue amounts to little more than general absent-mindedness, let’s explore a little deeper. First, don’t fall for the myth that your smartphone bears the blame for your faltering focus: “Technology is often portrayed as the bad guy, but I’ve come across no research to suggest our ability to pay attention is on the decline,” says psychologist Dr Gemma Briggs. “But how we apply our attention may well be changing.”
FOCAL POINTS Build up your concentration levels in just four easy steps
DROWNING IN DATA? LET’S RECAPTURE YOUR ATTENTION
For example, social media and push notifications may have trained you to absorb and share a large volume of information quickly, but disinclined you toward immersing yourself in a four-hour research job. “We tend to overestimate how well we can multitask,” says Briggs. “It’s not that we’re more easily distracted, but rather that we allow ourselves to become surrounded by an increasing number of distractions.” Stress and anxiety also hamper concentration, so you can start by asking what else might be taking up mental bandwidth. Of course, the theory is scant help when you’re up against deadlines. (Still with us, Ryan? Good.) When you’ve no choice but to knuckle down, try one of the following (right).
TUNE BACK IN Researchers from Taiwan found that enjoying music too much reduces your concentration. Select a genre you’ll happily tolerate, then set your playlist to shuffle. DRAW IT OUT In a Plymouth Uni study, those who did abstract doodles while listening to new info recalled 29% more of it than those who listened passively. Scribble away. REFRESH YOUR FEED Set yourself a 5min scrolling break every 90min. A Human Performance study found a short social media session boosts subsequent attention. KNOW YOUR TYPE Lastly, our genetic ‘chronotypes’ mean many men work better in the evening. Inquire about flexible working rather than struggling against your genes.
MEN’S HEALTH 17
ASK MH TACTICAL ADVICE IN BITESIZE FORM ANCIENT SOLUTION TO A MODERN PROBLEM
Since I split up with my ex, her friends have been saying some fairly offensive (and untrue) stuff about me on Facebook. Should I fight back? Jeremy, Cardiff
I NEED A SERIOUS JUNK FOOD FIX. SHOULD I GO HEAVY ON FRIDAY NIGHT OR TRY TO SPREAD IT OVER THE WEEK?
The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
TEXT A PHYSIO
Given the note of urgency in your tone, we’ll spare you the lecture and get straight to the point: spread it out. Just think of it as gut training. The more often your system is forced to break down a certain type of food – deep-fried carbs, say – the easier it will find the task. Plus it will help you avoid the supersized blood sugar spikes you’d get with a single binge, says dietitian Vandana Sheth. Eating cheat meals within regular hours will also limit weight gain. If you know the night will end with a backlit meal deal, factor it into your evening plans, rather than making an early hours pitstop.
Not necessarily – though of course I haven’t met the guy. How much is he lifting? I think he’s up to 110kg now Or that’s what he tells me… For how many reps? If he’s using it as a protective measure when maxing out on one to three reps, he might have the right idea. Belts can protect your lower back. No, this is just for his regular sessions, maybe 10-12 reps at a time. Poser, see? It sounds like he’s cheating himself out of a good core workout, then. Using a belt will make the lift easier on his abs, as well as his back. Now that you mention it, my back does sometimes hurt after a big session… Here’s the rule: if you can’t finish a set of deadlifts without breaking form, you’re lifting too much. Go too hard and you’ll limp home. Dr Rolland Nemirovsky, RN sports therapist
18 MEN’S HEALTH
HEALTH HACKS FOR DIRTY APPETITES A little further justiﬁcation – if you require it – for a regular departure from the wellness menu
BACON + MAPLE SYRUP YOUR EXCUSE Both bacon and maple syrup contain immunity-boosting zinc and iron for instant winter flu-proofing.
CHIPS + CHEESE YOUR EXCUSE Adding fats makes the antioxidants in sweet spuds easier to absorb. Cheesy chips are your post-gym refeed.
BURGER + RED WINE YOUR EXCUSE Polyphenols in wine inhibit harmful compounds linked to animal fats. Carte blanche for meat and booze lovers.
WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH | ARTWORK: PETER CROWTHER | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT STUDIO 33
JEFF, ROTHERHAM My gym mate has started using a belt for his deadliftss. It’s all for show, right?
EDITED BY TED LANE
211 PIG OU UT AL LL ALL WEEK WEEK PAGE G 444
08 DECAF TIPS FOR EASY S ENE ERGY GY PAGE G 331 1
GIVE YOUR MIND SOME SO E EXTRA JU CE JUICE PAGE G 42 2
HACK H CK YOUR CK R PRODUCTIVITY PAGE 54
12 A COOL WAY TO GO FASTER PAGE 34
S S E N T I F O UTS
05 WRAP S STARS S PAGE G 26
2017 R E B M DECE
03 xx xx
8-PACK K ABS IN A N 1 MOVE O E P PAGE 255
27 MUSCLE FOOD SO GOOD IT’S OFFAL L PAGE 53
MEN’S HEALTH 21
GIVE WEIGHT GAIN THE BRUSH OFF Don’t let the dust settle on your body ambitions. If your fat stores need a clear-out, start with the house you live in
he backlash against ‘clean eating’ is, rightfully, in the ascendance. But while purifying your diet might no longer be considered the path to health, it seems clean living is still a smart way to realise your fat-loss goals. Allow us to explain: Duke University found giving your home a regular dusting protects you from fat-triggering substances hiding in the accumulating ﬁlm of ﬂuﬀ. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, interfere with the function of
your hormones. You may already know these chemicals – such as BPA and phthalates – as those found in household plastics and food containers, previously linked to fertility issues. Well, now it seems they’re leeching into our homes at alarming levels. About three micrograms were found to be enough to eﬀect a change on your fat cells, which is far less than the average 50mg we are exposed to daily. In the study, dirty surfaces not only caused subjects’ fat cells to grow by accruing extra triglycerides, but also increased the number of fat cells in the body. While surveys reveal more than a ﬁfth of people claim their homes are near spotless, more than 90% of those tested had impactful levels of dust and EDCs. So bringing your spring clean forward means you can transform your body from the comfort of home. And we’d consider that a tidy proﬁt.
WIPE OUT BODY FAT
MAKE GRIME PAY
THE DIRTY WORK Adopt our simple cleaning calendar to ensure you miss none of the health saboteurs found lurking in your home DAILY
25% of men wear their boxers for two days at a time, exposing them to e.coli – yes, really. Turning them inside out won’t help. WEEKLY
Wash weekly to limit exposure to allergytriggering dust mites. Pull back the sheets to reduce humidity and stop them breeding, too. MONTHLY TOOTHBRUSH
Boil your germridden toothbrush in water for 5min every month, and replace it every three. Store it with the head upright.
START CLEANING A LITTLE DEEPER SO YOU DON’T BUST A GUT
WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTOGRAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON
WEIGHTLOSS NEWSFEED 12/17
S CO K MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MEN’S HEALTH 23
SWING INT FOR OLYMP
WORDS: WILL ROWLATT ALLEN | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | GROOMING: SABINE CHAMMAS | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | MODEL: BRADLEY SIMMONDS | SHORTS, TIGHTS AND TRAINERS ALL ADIDAS.CO.UK
THE BESST S EXERCISSE YOU’RE YO O DOOINGG NOT
In a plank position, grab the parallettes. Acttivate your shooulders by hunching to hhollow your chest, and d position them direectly above your hannds. nd P Prepare to push off ffrom your toes.
02 TUCK IN Slightly bend your knees and spring forward, engaging your core to bring your legs up to your chest. It’s similar to a foetal position – if the womb came equipped with parallettes.
PULL THROU OUGH U Here, the h initial momentum m pays off Swing yyour le off. legs egs to t move yooour bod b dy d i an L-siit p i . into posiition. h temptationn Resist the t drop to p yo y ur feet f t – this th s iss whhe hhen thee e h t slowl --mo. experts hit
0 PUSH US ON O UP When yourr feet hhit the p floor, p push yyour hhips u a upward and engaage y glutes. Oncee youur your core is stabilised b l d, reverse the h moveee, the hen repeat. p After f 15 reep eps, d s ou tt. naill the dismount
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN…
MEEENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
emember that gymnast with the muﬃn-top pa aunch and no muscle deﬁnitio on?? Neither do we. That’s mix because gymnasts, with their m of ﬂexibility and functional muscle, realised long ago that while six-pack en, en abs might be made in the kitchen they’re chiselled at the bar. med The swing through – performed on the parallette bars tucked away in a corner of your gym and criminally underused – is a beginner’s gymnastics move that yields elite results. “Starting with momentum is key,” explains calisthenics expert James Greenwood. “Spring your feet forward and engage your core to whip your hips through.” Once you have perfected the movement pattern, you ca an slow down each phase to truly can ta ax y your abs. Aim to complete a rrep p in three seconds for W Whitlock-level t oc eve c cred. ed. With the technique q na ailed,, add three sets off 15 reps p as part p off a co c e ﬁnisher core s e three t ee orr four times a week,, an nd Greenwood says n y ou’ll see the beneﬁt to yo our midsection within yo a ffortnight. g Worth taking ga wing agree. sw g at, we think you’ll y g
NEW KIT KUDOS
04 YOUR COR YO ORE REWARDSS
01 BR RACE
G THROUGH OUGH is The PPARALLETTE SWING your gateway to a gymnast’s six-pack in weeks. No pommel horrse necessary y
03 SSURPASS SS THE BAR
MEN’S HEEALTH E H 25
THE HEALTH AL SNOB’S S GU G GUIDE UIDE E TO O
DIM I M SUM
n credentials of a Chinese nal The nutritional takeaway may bee chop suey, but homemade dim m mroll sum can steamroll that reputation. It’s time to awaken the healthy dragon in your kitchen
THE FEAST FROM THE HE EAST There may be little chance of redemption for your sweet’n’sour sweet’n’so sweet’n’sou something, but dim sum deserves fresh sh consideration. Its potential for health-enhancement ment is anything but bitesize, as Luca Malacarne of London’s Pan-Asian Novikov explains: “Dim sum is light, nutritious utritious and, when steamed, very low in fat. It’s also delicious.” .” Time, then, to ditch your Deliveroo menu and fuse takeaway takeawa way taste wi with ith more wholesome dining.
B DUCK T Peking favourite is billed as This ffatty, but despite a tasty 9.6g per sserving, the breast is also an eexcellent source of metabolismffiring selenium. Plus the mineral w will bolster your immune system aagainst seasonal man flu.
C PORK R in energy-boosting B vitamins, Rich oopt for loin chops, a comparatively llean piggy cut. Pork also contains ccreatine which, when eaten pre-gym, eenhances your performance and muscle growth. The perfect bite m b before your lunch-hour workout.
D PRAWN Testosterone starts dropping at 30, making you feel, well, not so manly. Thankfully, prawns are swimming in zinc, a mineral linked to increased production of the male hormone, halting the effects of ageing on your body while revving up your libido.
26 MEN’S HEALTH
BRING BRIN NG HOME THE DOU DOUGH UGH For that light, pale casing you ﬁnd only in the best dim sum, mix 250g dumpling ﬂour (£4 sous-chef.co.uk) with 125ml water, knead and leave to rise for 30 minutes. Cut into 1.5cm balls and roll out until 8cm each in diameter. Want fast food? Save time and reach for ready-made wonton pastry wrappers (£3 melburyandappleton.co.uk). Add a heaped teaspoon of ﬁlling
before e folding and crimping the edges. edg ges. Invest in your heart health with w a traditional bamboo ssteamer ((£14.50 £14.50 andrewjamesworldwide.com): andrewjam amesworldwide.com): line it with g greaseproof paper and hover ove over ver a simmering wok of water to o gently cook the dumplings. Use e chopsticks (£3 (£3 thejapaneseshop.co.uk); thej thejapaneseshop op.co.uk); they’ll slow you ou down dow and nd encourage the mindful eating ing g proven pro to aid weightloss. Plus Plus, could you really handle the shame of resorting to a knife and fork?
WORDS: LUCY GORNALL | PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA PARRY | FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS AT HERS AGENCY
A staple of every gym-goer’s diet, cchicken packs a 23g proteinous punch per 100g – the equivalent of p a protein shake, minus the lumps. Mainlining this muscle-recovery M hhero will soften the impact of tough ttraining. Call it DOMS sum, if you like.
FULL U S STEA AM AHEAD Steaming S g use es no fat and h p p helps preserv ve vitamins a and d mineral e als. It’s also a far more g gentle process than boilin ng, thereby rretaining g ffood’s shape and texturre – good news ffor your y d delicate creations. S Serve up p Malacarne’s m morsels,, each recipe ﬁlling 110 dump plings, and start working g on your chopsticks sskills. The T food is supposed to go g in n your mouth, not o on y you ur lap, after all.
SAUCES FOR COURSES
A RENEWING CHICKK EN EN AN NDD M OR O R EELL D UM U M PPLINGGGS SERVES 22-33 Dim sum wraps, 10 Chicken breast, 100g, thinly sliced Morel mushrooms, 50g, sliced Spring onions, 20g, thinly sliced Soy sauce, 10g White onion, 20g, sliced Garlic, ½ large clove
METHOD This one’s easy. Mix together the raw ingredients, including the p proteinpacked chicken and morelss, which contain enough vitamin D to hit the accelerator on recovery: ideeal for f easing muscles after a touggh sessio essio session umplings li g in the gym. Wrap the dumpl and seal them at the top p in a cross min tes shape. Then steam for six minutes. Pretty p painless all round.
B FAT-TRIM MINGG CRISPY S DUCK DUMPLINGS GS SERVES 22-33 Dim Di sum wraps, 10 D g Duck breast, 100g Carrot, 20g, grated S g onions, 20g, g Spring t y sliced thinly Garlic, ½ large clove,, crushed d Soy g S sauce, 25g
METHOD Cook the metabolism-firingg duck b breast e st in a 170˚C 0 C oven o e for o 30 minutes. utes Once cooked, shred into thin strips. p Meanwhile, stir-fry f the carrot, spring g onions and ggarlic (high g in allicin, a compound that inhibits weight g g together g gain). Mix the fillings with the soy sauce and fold f into the d li g d ghh lleaving dumpling dough, i g th the ttops open. Then steam for five minutes.
Double dip your way ay to better health with th the condiments thaat complement your d dim sum’s already potent e ent nutritional nutritiona a profil rofile
KKIMCHI I HI M a from m the thhe Made fe fermented, er d, veery ey sp p cabbag ag ge, it’s spicy ad r digestive drream, fil ob biotic f lled with prob ba a nd bacteria to haand d your gut healthh ad delicious booost.
OYSTER OOY We W know you wish stt sticky hoisin had h d a place p on thiis list, but bu oyster sauce iss an equally ssweet Ch C Chinese staplle thh that contains half the sugar.r
SOY SO The fermented soya beaans help to lower y ur levels of LDL you (ba ( ad) cholesterol. Op pt for tamari soy to also a cut excess salt sal and halt high blood pressure.
C GET-UP-AND-GO GET UP AND GO PORK DUMPLINGSS SEERVESS 2-3 23 Dim Di sum wraps, 10 Por g sliced ork loin, 50g, Praw wns, 50g, peeled peele and choppe c opped A carrot, thinly sliced Shiitake mushrooms, 10g, sliced Yam bean, 50g, chopped Garlic, ½ large clove Salt and pepper to taste
O METHOD Stir-fry the energy-boosting pork Stir-f loin with the garlic in an oiled pan for about 10 minutes. Add the prawns after five minutes and the mushrooms for the final 60 seconds. Fuel up by boiling the carb-rich yam bean for five minutes, along with the carrot. Once cooked, fill the wraps, closing them in a half-moon shape and frying on one side for 90 seconds to add some bite.
D FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH FO YOUT PRAWN PRR AWN AW W N ROLLS R O LS SSERVES 2-3 23 Di Dim sum wraps, 10 Prawns, 10g, peeled and chopped Carrot, 20g, grated Courgette, 20g, grated Spring onions, 20g, thinly sliced Mushrooms, 20g, sliced Chilli garlic sauce, 2tbsp Garlic, ½ large clove
M O METHOD M together Mix g h allll the h ingredients, g d this t time adding g the zinc-rich prawns to the carrot’s carrot s antioxidants for a mouthful that can halt the march of Father Time. Roll the filling inside the dough and do away with the steamer. Instead, for an indulgent twist, fill a pan with an inch of olive oil and deep-fry the rolls for 90 seconds. Go on, we won’t tell anyone.
MEN’S HEALTH 27
07 STAND AND DELIVER
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN...
…I SIT DOWN ALL DAY? You may have little say
01 SEVEN-HOUR FIX
A day at your desk slows blood flow, causing harmful deposits to collect in your blood vessels, the Medical College of Wisconsin found. Fortunately, there’s no need to turn every meeting into a ‘walk and talk’ parody of The West Wing. Simply reducing your time spent seated from the average nine hours to seven (a lunch-hour workout and regular tea breaks should do it), along with a daily cardio commute, have been proven to offset any life-shortening risks.
on your oﬃce set-up, but you can soften the impact of a day spent on your backside. Here’s what’s up with sitting down 9-5
BACK IN BUSINESS
Most people subconsciously crane their necks when staring at a screen, which works the muscles three times harder than usual, exacerbating Britain’s neck and back pain epidemic. Prolonged sitting also switches off your glutes, reducing your power in the gym. Optimise your workspace by adjusting your monitor to eye level, then add hip flexor and glute-activation exercises to your mobility drills. Find tutorials on our website – just be aware of your posture while you watch them, won’t you?
05 REST SECURED 02 03
02 WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH | ILLUSTRATION: PETER GRUNDY
BRAIN DRAIN There’s a reason you’re so bloody tired – and it’s not last night’s Netflix binge. Sitting restricts blood flow to the brain, causing fatigue and poor focus. Flexing your calves under the table can help (University of Missouri scientists found this form of fidgeting had a notable effect on circulation). A chilled bottle of water will also help you rediscover your flow: the Uni of East London found 300ml can boost attention by 25%. Plus, you can pour it over your head if you’re really struggling.
03 CATCH A BREAK OK, not everyone has time for an hour-long strongman session on their lunchbreak. But can you spare 10 minutes? Thought so. Prolonged sitting triggers a gradual rise in blood sugar, but a University of Otago study revealed a brief stroll immediately after eating has the biggest rebalancing effect, beating longer walks taken later in the day. In fact, just 90 seconds on your feet can reactivate the cellular systems that process glucose and triglycerides. Little and often, as ever, is key.
A note to those early standing-desk adopters who pointedly refuse to take a seat: sitting down does have some benefits, protecting you from joint pressure and muscle fatigue caused by too much time on your feet. But before you throw this magazine to the floor to cries of, “I can’t win!”, understand that the body suffers from maintaining any posture for a prolonged period. Aim for 30 minutes of rest following every five hours standing. A good excuse to book a cab home, we’d say.
boiling over and your health is paying the price. Reset your usage with our decaf tips for all-day energy
N *PUBLISHED IN MEDICINE & SCIENCE IN SPORTS & EXERCISE | WORDS: DAN MASOLIVER | PHOTOGRAPHY: PETER CROWTHER
Dr Chris Alford is associate professor in applied psychology at the University of the West of England
CAFFEINE IS NOT A 9-5 ELIXIR Your coﬀee habit is
“Coﬀee is a drug and, like any drug, you can build up a tolerance to it”
09 CAP YOUR ’CCINO
THIS MONTH’S ADVOCATE
THE DEVVIL’SS ADVOCAATEE
o oﬀence, but you look tired. OK, that’s just a guess, but it’s an educated one. As a nation, we Brits have become spectacularly bad sleepers, clocking an average 6.8 hours of kip a night, according to the Royal Society for Public Health. Worse still, a third of the population get fewer than six. Work, gym, a busy social life: we want it all – and rightly so – but it comes at a cost to our energy levels. Throw fatherhood into the equation and the dream of reaching your eight-hour RDA seems risible. It’s no wonder, then, that we’re purchasing pick-meups at an unprecedented rate. The average British male now downs 13 cups of joe a week, contributing to a rapidly expanding coﬀee shop market valued at £3.7 billion. More worryingly, the UK is the world’s second-largest consumer of energy drinks per capita, rising by a palpitating 375% in the last ﬁve years. But if you’re one of the many who think your caﬀeinated concoctions hold the key to day-long vitality, you need to wake up and smell the coﬀee. Don’t get me wrong, caﬀeine is a powerful stimulant. It’s an adenosine
08 CAFE SOBRIETY
IF YOUR DAILY BREW IS DROWNING YOU, IT’S TIME TO FILTER IT OUT
inhibitor, blocking the eﬀects of the body’s naturally occurring drowsy chemical. The result is improved alertness, cognition and physical performance, as the eﬀects of your pre-workout espresso will attest. But caﬀeine is a drug and, like any drug, you can build up a tolerance – and experience comedowns. Over time, you need an increasingly large hit to get the same kick. You no longer fancy a cup ﬁrst thing, but need one to feel normal. Then the jitters and coﬀee-induced anxiety kick in 1 . Even in small doses, your brew can be counterproductive. With a half-life of around six hours, caﬀeine lingers in your system – and one energy drink consumed
too late in the day will disrupt your sleep, tiring you out tomorrow. There begins the escalating loop of coﬀee quaﬃng. Good news for Costabucks; bad news for your health. n Thankfully, a week’s detox is all it es to return to your former, pre-caf take g y. There are also plenty of ways to glory amp yourself up while going cold turkey – and afterwards, too. You may not have the mental energy for heavyweight workouts, but start jogging to work in the morning and you’ll reduce tiredness by 65% 2 . Next, swap your coﬀee mug for a water bottle. Tufts University found that dehydration – even losing just 2% of the water stored in your body – causes your energy reserves to dry up. Going green has its beneﬁts, too. According to the University of Exeter, working with a plant on your desk is enough to increase oﬃce productivity by 38% 3 . However, the real beauty of hitting your caﬀeine reset button is that once you’ve ﬂushed it out of your system, you’ll be hyper-sensitive to its beneﬁts once more. An espresso will again provide a tangible, functional performance boost to body and mind. Coﬀee shouldn’t be the fuel you run on, but instead the nitro button to be pressed when you really need it. So ease oﬀ the hot stuﬀ and get some sleep. Lord knows you look like you could use it.
> DEALS WITH THE DEVIL 1
RIDE OUT ANGST
One study* revealed cycling at 60% of VO2 max for 60min could significantly slash caffeine-induced anxiety.
JOG YOUR ENERGY
Uni of Georgia researchers found regular, low-intensity exercise such as jogging boosts energy levels.
Australian scientists found having plants also reduces symptoms of depression by 58% and anger by 44%.
MEN’S HEALTH 31
THE BEST GYMS IN THE WORLD
HACK AWAY AT YOUR TIMBER
If you’re feeling rooted to the same old routine, go against the grain at Calisthenics Parks to cut a leaner ﬁgure and build functional ﬁtness
32 MEN’S HEALTH
6m The approximate length of the scoliotic ‘dragon spine’, made by Farmery from a gnarled oak tree limb, which has to be traversed using a set of rings. Your biceps and forearms will benefit from the burn
5 tonnes The quantity of old, rusted weights that Farmery bought on eBay to save money – even with a presumably hefty postage charge. They were sandblasted and repainted before being secured onto shiny new bars
ym equipment of the quality you ﬁnd at Hull’s Calisthenics Parks doesn’t grow on trees. Well, not in its ﬁnished state, anyway. Every piece of wood in this industrial unit has been cut down and milled by founder James Farmery, a tree surgeon who operates with a chainsaw while 40ft oﬀ the ground. Farmery’s interest in calisthenics sprouted from watching YouTube clips after getting a hernia at work. He came to the painful realisation that while he’d been pumping up his arms in the conventional, mirror-muscle manner, he’d been neglecting his trunk – a training shortfall many can relate to. He planted a rudimentary, homemade pull-up bar in his garden, and the idea of opening his own place grew. The ﬁrst piece of equipment Farmery made for Calisthenics Parks was the bar by the entrance, carved with the inscription, “It all started with a pullup” – a reference to the fact that, when he began his bodyweight odyssey, the tree surgeon couldn’t manage even one. “We make videos of our trainers doing amazing tricks and people think, ‘I can’t do that,’” he says. “But for every exercise, there are so many regressions. Anyone can do this. They just have to be willing to have a go.” Those who are willing range from the reigning UK Obstacle Course Racing champ Conor Hancock to policemen and desk workers. Calisthenics has made the gym members stronger and more ﬂexible; life-improving qualities that you can beneﬁt from either here or wrapped up in a hat and gloves down your local park. That your abs and Instagram video cache will proﬁt is equally pleasing. So, don’t let your training slump toward the end of the year. Finish strong and take a swing at something new.
WORDS: JAMIE MILLAR | PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS
10 Perform this many muscle-ups to see your name carved on a commemorative plank. The gym record, held by ex-paratrooper Craig Barker, is 19. “He did have to resort to chicken wings by the end,” admits Farmery
£30 The monthly membership fee at Calisthenics Parks, which includes all of its daily classes, such as mobility, yoga and HIIT, plus skill workshops. Nailing your handstands will be as easy as falling off a log
GRASS ROOTS FITNESS
PARK YOUR EXCUSES
36 Seconds that John Bell (pictured) – a former Royal Marine turned physiotherapist, who also lectures in biomechanics when he’s not teaching at Calisthenics Parks – can hold a human flag. Salute-worthy
GYM CALISTHENICS PARKS
LOCATION HULL, UK
MEN’S HEALTH 33
TURN UP THE DIAL
FITNESS NEWSFEED 12/17
CHILL OUT FOR FAST RESULTS THIS WINTER Don’t let cold mornings put
TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE Transform your sporting performance by making the most of every mercury level
your outdoor training o on ice. Stick it out for a coo ol headstart come race dayy
34 MEN’S HEALTH
EXACTLY 19°C The ideal temperature for concentration: set your thermostat and you’ll breeze through interminable to-do lists. University of Virginia
Around 5°C is the optimum marathon-running temperature, with anything above 10°C causing a dramatic drop off in pace. US Army Research
WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | ARTWORK: PETER CROWTHER
BELOW 10°C of seasonal aﬀective disorder, while also boosting your immune system to guard against colds, and not only will you be training more eﬀectively, but more consistently, too. Beneﬁcial though swapping a warm duvet for an early park run is proven to be, the majority of men won’t maintain motivation as the thermometer plummets. So don’t wait to join the throngs of January gym-goers – this is your chance to race ahead of the chasing pack. Fortune favours the cold.
esist the urge to roll over – the frost on your window signals an opportunity to shortcut the long route to maxed out endurance. Research shows that dips in temperature cause your body to make subtle adaptations; blood vessels and arteries narrow, the heart and lungs work harder. An animal study from Northern Arizona University found this response helps to develop the muscles’ aerobic function, which, in normal people’s parlance, means they’re able to receive more oxygen during exercise. Test subjects experienced a 34% increase in maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and an impressive 29% increase in running speed over distance after sustained exposure to cold temperatures – a result the scientists expect could extend to your own cardio sessions, too. Which makes a November spent braving dark mornings a worthwhile pursuit. Add to that the fact that training when it’s Baltic lightens the burden
Hit the steam room post-run. The heat reduces oxidative stress to improve recovery and boost muscle growth. The Journal of Applied Physiology
THE IRON PRICE
VERSUS WEIGHTS VS CARDIO
TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR
Battle lines are drawn in the ﬁtnesss world: ld Mat Fraser or We run (and squat) o Mo Farah? Metcons or Boosts? W q the num mbers to reveal which is the route to real ﬁtness
00kg 2h25s The vast amount of w weight deadlifted last year by 29-year-old World’s Strongest Man W E Eddie Hall, who almost died in the process
Eliud d Kipchoge ran history’s ory’s fastest athon back in May, marathon whilee attempting attemptin eak the 2hr to break barrier. ier. So close...
Strength boost Testosterone hit Metabolism charge Instagram likes
You don’t have to lift big to get big. Work with a moderate weight for 6-15 reps; the extra metabolic boost maximises growth
Stamina increase Doesn’t cost you
The treadmill doesn’t eat through muscle. Combining cardio with weights grows both slow- and fast-twitch muscle ﬁbres
PT Brad Schoenfeld
Plos One medical journal
High injury risk
Gym bro culture
After four months of weight training, levels of osteocalcin (a marker of bone health) can go up by 19%. Futureproof your framework
Journal of Applied Physiology
Improving your cardio ﬁtness lowers blood pressure. Considering that 25% of us are running high, it’s worth dusting off your kicks Public Health England
175% back squat
150% bench press
Sub 4hr marathon
Sub 5min 100kcal row
Sub 20min 5K
THE MH VERDICT: IT’S A DRAW! If your goal is long-lasting, full-body ﬁtness, these disciplines are very much mutually inclusive, each supplementing the weak links in the other. Cardio will keep you ﬁt and fast; weights will maintain strength and hormonal vigour. We just can’t separate them. And neither should you. 36 MEN’S HEALTH
*PERCENTAGE OF YOUR BODYWEIGHT | WORDS: ED COOPER | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES
HOW I BUILT MY BODY HIT YOUR TARGETS
STRIKE BACK AGAINST GYM BOREDOM
HAVE A GOAL “Mentally lock in on a picture of what you want to achieve. Only attack a task when you’ve played it out successfully in your head.”
TAKE A BREATH
Aldo Kane is an ex-Royal Marines sniper who now rigs stunts for Marvel’s Avengers. Bring a sense of adventure to your workout
found that with a little tweaking, the lessons he’d learned – discipline, meticulous prep, problem solving
DON’T WAIT “Procrastination is the assassin of dreams. If you’re mentally prepared and physically ready, what are you waiting for?”
11% BODY FAT
WORDS: MATT HAMBLY | PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN AND AVEDA HAIRCARE | CLOTHING NIKE
“Breathe in through your nose for 3sec and out through your mouth for 5sec. If you can control breathing, you’ll master fear.”
– could be applied to ﬁlm production. He also expanded his repertoire and armoury: “I became a kayak instructor, learnt to skydive, skied in Norway and worked on stunt rigging in South Africa.” The investment paid oﬀ both physically and professionally. Kane has been in TV and ﬁlm ever since, working as an advisor on BBC and Hollywood productions, including Avengers: Age Of Ultron. His global travels are documented by pictures of Kane furiously skipping in a Chinese car park or pistol squatting above an active African volcano on his Instagram page (@aldokane). The caption “No gym, no excuse” is indicative of his training outlook. When you’re busy hopping t’s impossible not to warm to continents you fall back on simple Aldo Kane – his bearded grin and training protocols and rigid mental Scottish brogue are infectious. discipline to maintain your ﬁtness. It is somewhat startling to learn, “It sounds like a cliché but your mind is then, that he is a trained assassin. the most powerful part of you. If you can Before setting up Vertical Planet, get your head right, everything falls into a company that provides logistical support place. That’s true of physical ﬁtness, too.” and security for ﬁlm crews working in In 2016, he proved this point when, extreme environments around the with no ocean-rowing experience, world, Kane was a Royal Marines he was part of a ﬁve-man team commando sniper. Having enlisted that crossed the Atlantic in 50 at 16, it was there that he laid the days. His routine for those seven foundations for his battle-ready weeks at sea? Row for two hours, body with the corp’s punishing sleep for one, eat, repeat. physical regimen. “I spent over With that sort of experience a decade doing heavy-duty stuﬀ behind him, it’s clear we have a in horrible places,” Kane recalls THE MOTIVATOR of his time serving in Afghanistan, Aldo Kane, hostile lot to learn from Kane. Fall in line. locations support Iraq and Northern Ireland. for TV and film After leaving the military, he
Apply Kane’s military focus techniques for a shot at success
GO BACK TO BASICS
SIMPLE, NOT EASY
Take aim at multiple muscles with high reps to amp up your strength endurance. You’ll gain the physical grit to match your mentality
01/ OVERHEAD RHEAD SQ SQUAT 25 reps Hold a weight overhead (A) – a barbell or anything you have to hand. Keeping shoulders stable, squat until your knees degrees (B). Push are past 90 d g (B) P h back b k up. p
02/ SKIPPING 30 seconds Grab the rope at both ends and use your wrists to flick it round your body, building up a rhythm as you jump. Now drop the rope and hit the floor... A
B 03/ ELEVATED VATED PRESS-UP 25 reps For your final stunt, set up in a plank with feet behind you on a chair or step (A). Lower your chest (B). Rest 2min, then complete another four rounds.
MEN’S HEALTH 39
18 BURNING ISSUES
SWIFT PINT UP
S Stoke y your metabolism and on eeﬀortless d ccash s in o o t ess weightloss, g even in the throes of a heavy y party y season n
GRAIN CAPACITY UP
MULL IT OVER Your cockle-warming tipple of choice, mulled wine, is rich in resveratrol, which stalls winter weight gain by up to 40%. Washington State University
Loafing about all day is your route to fat burn. Three slices of barley bread daily boosts metabolism for up to 14 hours. British Journal of Nutrition
Of water, that is. You’ll enjoy a 30% spike in metabolic rate within 10 minutes of downing a glass. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
CHEATERS WIN Schedule a cheat day to raise production of the hormone leptin, which reignites your weightloss potential. We’ll take a Meat Feast. The American Physiological Society
CITRIC DUTY Dust off your juicer. OJ’s vitamin C inhibits production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can slow metabolism. International Journal of Sports Medicine
CUP TIED Rethink coffee for weightloss. While cortisol doesn’t rise from a single cup, the second shot ups levels 10 times. Psychosomatic Medicine
CHEW THE FAT Japanese researchers found a positive correlation between time spent chewing and energy burned during digestion. Obesity
ROAD TO RUIN Marathon runners beware: overtraining can slow your metabolism by changing the body’s reaction to carbs. Bordeaux Segalen University
RISERS AND S FALLERS
WORDS: MATT EVANS | ILLUSTRATION: INFOMEN
Picking P up p d up speed HOLD
Steadyy S movers mo ers
Putting the P b es oon brakes
FIT$E IND£X METABOLISM
Low-calorie artificial sweeteners sour your weightloss potential, increasing fat storage by up to 250%, especially if you’re overweight. Endocrine Society
3-SECOND RULE Don’t rush your reps. Metabolism kicks in when muscles are working their hardest. Time under tension creates an all-day burn, so slow it down. Sports Medicine
HEAVY SLEEPERS Regular lie-ins slow metabolism, resulting in 2kg of extra weight gain when compared to those who stick to a steady seven to nine hours per night. Glasgow University
BIG CHEESE Sliced on crackers (or melted over nachos), a high dairy intake is linked to faster fat loss and improved body composition. Pass the chutney. Journal of Nutrition
Turn the thermostat down to 15-17°C to activate more brown fat. This chills weight gain by increasing your metabolic rate. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism
MEN’S HEALTH 41
PULP U P FICTION ON
MORNING O G M DICINEE ME
HEALTH NEWSFEED 12/17
There’s fresh evidence at the OJ O trial: juicing j g mayy prove the t easiest way y to outwit dementia. de e t Here’s e e s exhibit e btA
WAKE UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL Couple your OJ with these morning staples to further bolster your brainpower and enhance mental sharpness
ammered by a y the tabloids for its sugarr content and replaced with greener and ‘cleaner’ fare at the hipster’s breakfast table, the once ubiquitous OJ is having a crisis of conﬁdence. Just as the humble bowl of cereal has lost its hearthealthy reputation, so the orange’s monopoly on vitamin C is being beaten to a pulp. But if spinach smoothies are not quite hitting the spot, the latest research is worth remembering. Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have found that daily intake of citrus fruits can cut your risk of developing dementia by almost a quarter. That’s because citric acid contains nobiletin – a phytochemical with anti-inﬂammatory, anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering properties that has also been shown to slow or
42 MEN’S HEALTH
i/ MARMITE The University of York found daily servings upped the calming chemical messenger GABA, aiding healthy brain activity.
ii/ COFFEE A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience says a cup disrupts adenosine – a major culprit in neurodegeneration. reverse impairment of memory. And dementia is a condition you’d be well advised to put the squeeze on, with experts predicting that 1.2 million will be diagnosed with the disease in England alone by 2040. But in news that may be bittersweet, most nobiletin is contained in the pith (the white stitching of the fruit). So unless you’re prepared to juice your own, ‘bits in’ pips ‘smooth’ to the post for maximum beneﬁt. We’ll take our glass half full in this instance.
iii/ WALNUTS Add to porridge. The University of Tsukuba in Japan found that alpha-linolenic acid cracks your risk of dementia.
WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS | FOOD STYLING: TAMARA VOS | PHILIPPE STARCK JUICER AT ALESSI, ROUND JUICER AT KITCHEN KRAFT
TAKING THE PITH: OJ IS OFFICIALLY BACK ON THE MENU
REFINED DINING HAM
TIME TO THINK PINK
When sniﬃng out a protein ﬁx, don’t be afraid of looking beyond white. Our porkyy remixes turn qualityy haam into healthy pig-outs w
O1 PEA PE AND HAM MULT TIVIT BROTH MAINLINE THIS WARMING, IMMUUNITY-BOOSTING BOWL TO PRROTECT YOUR SNOUT FROM WINTER COLDS AND FLU INGREDIENTS SERVES 4 AN A ONION, CHOPPED • GA GARLIC, 3 CLOVES • OLLIVE OIL, 3TBSP • C ICKEN STOCK, 1L • CHI FR ROZEN PEAS, 1KG • PUULLED HAM, 200G • D DOUBL LE CREAM, 100ML • SPINACH, 100G • CHIVES, 1TBSP •
1/ Sweat the onion in oil along with the antibacterial garlic. Simmer a separate pan of chicken stock – proven to soothe colds – while you wait. 2/ Add the vitamin-rich peas to the onion pan and season. Pour in stock to cover, add most of the ham, then turn up the heat for 10 minutes until the peas begin to soften. 3/ Add the cream and fresh spinach then blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve and cool over ice, adjusting the consistency by adding extra stock if necessary. Grill the remaining ham for a protein-packed topping, along with chopped chives. Thanks to Merchants Tavern
O22 HEARTY JAMÓN AND D SPINACH TORTILLA A CURED HAM IS NOT THE ENEMY OF HEART HEALTH TH – IT JUST TAKES A LITTLE SPANISH FLAIIR INGREDIENTS SERVES 2 JAMÓN IBÉRICO, 30G • BABY SPINACH, 30G • OLIVE OIL, 1TBSP • COCONUT OIL, 1TBSP • POTATOES, 300G, SLICED • ONIONS, 300G, SLICED • FREE-RANGE EGGS, 3 • JARRED PIQUILLO PEPPERS, 100G • CHIVES, 1TBSP •
44 MEN’S HEALTH
1/ Fry the jamón slices and anti-inflammatory spinach h in olive oil for 30 seconds, then set aside. The Spanish pig’s acorn-laden diet raises its levels of heart-friendly monounsaturated fatty acids. s. 2/ Wipe the pan and heat the coconut oil. Add the potatoes and onions and fry until golden brown. Remove and rest on kitchen paper. 3/ Beat the eggs and mix with the other ingredients, including the sliced peppers and chives. Cook for five minutes, then place a plate over the pan and tip out yourr tortilla. Return it to cook the other side. Now help yourself.f. With thanks to Barrafina
MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
21 SWINE AND DINE DIN N
O3 QU UICK-CUT JERK HAM BURGER SEND YOUUR POTBELLY O TOO SSLAUGHTER G WITH THHIS FIERY JAMAICAN DINNER INGREDIEENTS SERVE ES 4 KG • GAMMON KNUCKLE, 1KG 0G • ALLSPICE, 20G OT • A CARRO ES • GARLIC, 3 CLOVES E • SCOTCH BONNEET AN ONIOON • 0G • FRESH THYME, 10G BAY LEAVES, 3 • 0G • JERK SEASONING, 20G JERK MARINADE, 300MML • SOURDOUGH BUNS, 4 •
355 55 KCAAL A
43g 3g PROTTEIN T
40g 0g CARRBSS
WORDS: AARON TOUMAZOU | PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS | FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS AT HERS AGENCY
1// Rinse i e the pork knuckles and placce them in a large pot with all ingredients bar the marinade and buns. Bring to the boil, skim off any fat that floats to the top, then reduce to a simm s mer for three hours. 2/ Fish s tthe ham from the pot p t and d remove the bone and skin – which contains nearly all oof tthee cut’s fat. Shred the meat into chunks, then add a spoonful of jerk marinade – Walkersw e swood’s is made from metabolism-firing Scotch bonnet chillies, c pimento and thyme – along with a splash of the coooking liquid. 3// To inttensify the taste withoutt adding fat, smoke the h meatt using a stove-top smoker k uuntil roasting. Serve yyour p porrk in a slow-digesting g g sourdou d ghh b bun. We’d d advise d against w wearing a white h shirt. h Withh tha haanks k to Rudie’s d s
T O4 HEAVYWEIGHT HAM, EGG & CHIPS POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION NEEDN’T BE A BOAR WITTH T THIS MUSCLE-BUILDING TAKE ON COUNTRY PUB GRUB U UB INGREDIENTS SERVES 8 GAMMON, 1.5KG • AN ONION • A CARROT • A CELERY STICK • BULB OF GARLIC • PEPPERCORNS, 6 • A BAYLEAF • CLOVES, 15 • FOR GLAZE HONEY, 50G • CHAMPAGNE VINEGAR, 20ML • OLIVE OIL, 2TSP • FOR FRIES SWEET POTATOES, 8 • CUMIN, 1TSP • OLIVE OIL, 150ML •
1/ Place your highh protein ham inn a pan and cover with water. te Add the vegetabl ables, bay leaf and peepper for inflammatioonabating nutriennts. Bring it to boil then th simmer for 2.5 hours. hou s 2/ Remove thee ham m skin, stud with ccloves o es and glaze. Roasst at 180°C for 45 miinutes, basting occasioonally. ll 3/ Restock you ur muscle glycogen by slicing g the sweet potatoess into wedges, g covering in oil, cumin, c salt and pepper and bakking g at 180°C for 40 minutes. Se Servee with t tthee gammon and tw wo poached eggs. Sure beatts a whey shake. Thanks to Farm mshop, p Bicesterr MEN’S HEALTH 45
TREND SECRETS STRONGMAN TRAINING
STRENGTH IN DEPTH In this new series, we present all the insider info
you need to look, feel and act the part in trending ﬁtness pursuits. First up: the strongman scene
INSIDER TRACK Bulk up your triivia i with our quick guide g e to the (very) big names in strong n gman
DOO I NEED ANY SPECIAL S KIT? Flat, F stable-soled shoes are your best investment, according to Gotting. Chuck Taylors y from Converse are,, surprisingly, s g the all-star st choice. c o ce.
A/ Mariusz Pudzianowski Wins: The GOAT domiinated ted d the noughties beforee retiring to play rugby by in his native Poland. Not someone we’d like to tackle.
TYRES AND ATLAS STONES ARE TOOLS OF THE TREND
WHERE DO I START?
London’s The Foundry is spearheading the rise of ‘modiﬁed strongman training’, which focuses on conditioning, rather than ripping phonebooks apart. After that, you can head to Stoke-on-Trent’s Strength Asylum, home to Eddie Hall (right).
B/ Magnús Ver Magnússon Wins: First crowned in 1991, Magnússon knows about longevity. He won his last Iceland’ss strongest man title in 2004, aged 41.
Physically? Everyone. You can scale down heavy lifts to match your strength . Mentally, it suits those jaded by the monotony of barbell work, but who hanker after more grit than that of the more photogenic calisthenics crowd.
WILL IT GET ME RIPPED? Yes, but not only in the obvious, bulkier sense. “The extreme toll it takes on your body makes strongman a potent fat-burner,” says Ben Gotting, co-founder of the Foundry. The EPOC this generates means your body will continue to burn calories long after you’ve dropped your atlas stone.
It’s drive time. Standing in front of a tyre, push your hips back and get a good grip underneath it. Keep your back straight as you push up through your hips, explosively (A). Once the tyre is almost vertical, catch it overhand then push it (B) until it topples over. Get ready to flip again.
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C/ ian Shaw Bria ns: Win A 6ft At 6 8in and 193kg, S w is a giant. To Shaw m ntain this size he main e s 12,000kcal a day. eats That’s Th t equivalent to about 24 Big Macs.
IS THERE A SIGNATURE MOVE TO MASTER?
WHAT SHOULD I AVOID?
WHO’S IT FOR?
D/ Eddie Hall Wins: Hall isn’t small. Since the age of 16 he has strived to match his age to weight in stones. Impressive now that he’s 29.
“You can’t come to the gym and fuck about taking selﬁes and posting them,” warns Gotting. Strongman training is awkward and without proper form and focus can cause injury. “Have fun, but don’t be the guy who spends more time ﬁnding the best lighting for a shot than he does mastering a lift.” Well said, we think.
WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS, PHILIP HAYNES, GETTY, ALAMY | ILLUSTRATION: BEN MOUNSEY
22 YOUR NEW FIT FAM
THE HONE STRETCH
PILLS WORTH POPPING
MUSCLE NEWSFEED 12/17 OUR EXPANSION PLAN WILL STRETCH YOUR ABILITIES
MAKE SPACE FOR MUSCLE GROWTH If you’re struggling to pump up your physique in the weights room, reviving an old bodybuilders’ trick could help you reach your fully inﬂated potential
FIT TO POP One shortcut not enough? Rework your supplement plan to help your muscles blow up
TAKE IT: CREATINE
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Bang Buck Uni of Queensland scientists found powerlifters gained an average 3kg of lean mass with the help of creatine. Consider this the researchapproved king of supps.
TRY IT: VITAMIN D Bang Buck There are positive proven links between vit D and strength, according to a meta-analysis. But the vitamin benefits general health and fitness more than big muscles.
SHELVE IT: ZMA Bang Buck Thought to be a testosteroneand growth-hormone-booster, ZMA lacks clear proof of any benefits, according to the Australian Institute of Sport. Don’t open your wallet.
WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTORAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON
e’re not often advocates of Bro Science, but sometimes the weights-bench worshippers stumble upon something, well, spectacular. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found intense stretching after working a muscle group has the potential to increase its mass by 318% in 28 days. Arnie employed the protocol en route to Mr Olympia, and it will prove equally eﬀective on your own journey to a better body. For supersized success you need to lengthen your fascia, a ﬁbrous sheath surrounding your muscles. As well as protecting your proteinous ﬁbres, the fascia also restricts them. Stretching unlocks those shackles and creates more room for your muscles to expand. Reach for a heavy weight and use it to stretch out after you’ve exhausted a muscle group. For example, after working your chest, lie back on a bench and slowly lower the dumbbells to a position that maximally stretches out your pectorals. Hold for 60 seconds, blocking out the pain, and the fascia will elongate. The same principle applies to seated DB curls for bigger biceps, DB pullovers to lengthen your lats or goblet squats to garner maximum growth from legs day. Whether you’re aspiring to follow in Arnie’s footsteps or a lapsed gym-goer looking to regain your size stat, this is certainly big news.
STEAM TACTICS Here’s e e s how o the t e MH Lab b team p h h lh put these healthy kkitchen h kkits tto the h test...
DAWN OF THE NEW STEAM AGE Far mo ore sophisticated than your y stove top pot stove-top pot, the latest stteamers prep p p lean m meals with w precision. p MH te test-runs ns the t best
hiile stir-fries,, stews ews and a d roasts oasts ce ertainly y have th heir p place, for maximum healtth beneﬁts be e ts in the shortest tim me possible y you can’t do better than t steaming. g. After all, if you’rre selecting g your y ingredients for ttheir unique nutritional prop perties as much as you are their ﬂavour, then you need to consider how much of that goodness will survive the journey from m hob to plate.. Frying and bo oiling g generally g y cause nutrient loss l of 20-60%,, but studies show cruc ucial a v vitamins ta sa and d carotenoids are almost entirely preserved when steaming – which, when you’re ploughing through another meal prep’s worth of sweet potato, is pretty signiﬁcant. But the contents of your steamer needn’t conform to bland stereotypes, and nor is it hard to achieve the precise texture you want. The right steamer will leave your vegetables tender, while delicately cooking your meats and ﬁsh without stripping them of moisture. Our MH Lab team took the latest models over to the Good Housekeeping Institute for rigorous testing. These are our hot picks for health at the touch of a button.
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SMART CHOICE 95/100
DESIGN CLASSIC 73/100
Morphy Richards Intellisteam Compact £55 argos.co.uk
M&S Black Aluminium 3-Tier Non-Stick Steamer £49.50 marksandspencer.com
Performance Design Ease of use
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DIVIDE AND CONQUER Size doesn’t matter if you’re after quality steaming kit. Although compact – you’ll need to batch cook if you’re looking to prep for the week – the results are worth the effort. Plus, you’ll be pleased with its small stature when it comes to storage. EXPERT VERDICT It produced perfectly cooked food in every test. Literally, perfect. You can control both compartments separately to time and cook your meal to your taste, and the boil-dry protection stops it from damaging itself when the water level drops. Clever stuff, indeed.
Performance Design Ease of use
•••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••••
WRONG NUMBER Billed as a three-tier, only
two are available for steaming. But after a shaky start, the rest seems positive. The steamers look slick, are dishwasher safe and soft grip silicone handles on the pan and lid are easy to grip and will protect you from burns when a tea towel is out of reach. EXPERT VERDICT Results depend on your hob. Electric may struggle to hold water at a rolling boil; gas and induction give better control. The pan at the bottom is useful but three tiers would be better for a full meal.
DESIGN QUALITY Manuals were studied, buttons pressed and knobs twiddled to see how easy it was to start cooking quickly.
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SAFETY MEASURES To protect yourself from burns and your kit from burning out, the team trialled handles, lids and low-water-level alerts.
SILVER SERVICE 71/100
SPEAR CARRIER 70/100
TRIPLE DECKER 91/100
Sage by Heston Blumenthal The Steam Zone £200 johnlewis.com
Lakeland Upright Asparagus Steamer Kettle £22 lakeland.co.uk
Russell Hobbs 21140 Steamer £23 robertdyas.co.uk
Performance Design Ease of use WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS
MEAL PREP Size and timing functionality were closely studied to measure the exact amount of healthy food that could be cooked to perfection.
25 SSTEAM M POWERR
•••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••••
FORM AND FUNCTION Unlike the traditional, stacked steamer, this has one large level that can be used as a steaming tray. A clever tool stops cooking when the water runs low to prevent damage and the ‘keep warm’ function comes in useful when you’re still busy pouring yourself a drink. EXPERT VERDICT Chicken and vegetables were impressive but rice and fish were underdone and disappointing. It could do with more guidance on cooking times in the instruction manual. The ‘split zone’ and sync finish are the best features, timing everything to plate up at the same time.
Performance Design Ease of use
•••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••••
TALL ORDER Despite this being billed as
a steamer, instructions say to half-fill it with water so that the asparagus bottoms are boiled and only the tips are steamed. This is a good-looking gimmick for your kitchen top, though you’d have to be a real fan of asparagus to justify giving it the space. EXPERT VERDICT Suitable for all hob types, our asparagus came out perfectly cooked in three minutes. A glass top allows you to see in while cooking but look out for the loose lid – it rattles and spits when boiling.
Performance Design Ease of use
•••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••••
ANOTHER LEVEL With three full tiers, this is the only steamer in our pick that can cover every base of protein, carbs and veg to cook up your entire meal in one sitting in the healthiest possible way. The water capacity only allows for approximately an hour of steaming, though your greens won’t need that long to cook. EXPERT VERDICT The height of simplicity: set a timer, wait for the old-school bell to ring and collect your perfectly steamed meal. The clear base makes it easy to monitor the water level, and the tiers fold for storage. Though we doubt you’ll want to pack it away.
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PAN YOUR EXCUSES
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
ARM YOURSELF AGAINST GYM-DAY BRAIN FRY
NUTRITION NEWSFEED 12/17
AN ANTIDOTE TO OFF-DAYS
WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH | PHOTOGRAPHY: TOBI JENKINS AT HEARST STUDIOS | RETOUCHING: COLIN BEAGLEY
Our simple recipe will revive your hunger for tomorrow’s workout
STR YOUR RESOLVE OVER R If a busy schedule is eating away at your ﬁtness motivation, a hefty hit of comfort food will reboot both mind and muscle
aving extracted yourself from a barrage of emails to squeeze in a midday session at the squat rack, getting your head in the game is no mean feat. But on those days when even a playlist full of power tracks won’t help you, maintaining your ﬁtness needn’t be a simple case of mind over uncooperative muscle. In fact, success could very well rest on tonight’s dinner. The nutrient alpha-GPC – found at high doses in calf’s liver and best
LIVER, BACON & ONIONS SERVES 2
known for its cognitive-enhancing abilities – can also reignite your motivation with the promise of more muscle. In a study published by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, young, gym-going men who took alpha-GPC increased their power output by 14% in subsequent sessions. It also bumped up their levels of human growth hormone, the elixir of increased muscle mass, while further research by scientists in Louisiana found the nutrient improved athletes’ isometric strength after just six days. They speculate this is because alpha-GPC helps to build neurotransmitters – the brain chemicals that facilitate communication between mind and body. Which is some achievement after a morning full of meetings. While many protein sources will help to bump up your levels, liver has been shown to provide the heftiest dose. Serve it with bacon, onion and mash, according to our recipe. Tomorrow’s training session will be anything but oﬀal.
• Plain flour, 2tbsp • Sage, pinch • Calf’s liver, 400g, sliced • Bacon, 4 rashers, sliced • An onion, sliced • Stock, 300ml • Tomato puree, 2tbsp METHOD
1/ Combine the flour and sage – a source of vit K, which aids fat loss – and dust the liver. Fry the bacon until crisp, then remove. Brown the livers for 60-90 seconds. 2/ Brown the onions until soft, then stir in the stock and puree with a pinch of pepper. Simmer for five minutes while you pack tomorrow’s kit bag. 3/ Add the liver and let it bubble for four minutes, then mix in your bacon. Plate up with mashed spuds for a strong finish.
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29 REBOOT YOUR BRAIN
THE TIM FERRISS SHOW
MAKE LIGHT OF ANY WORKLOAD Clear the clutter from your mind and harness fresh mental focus with Ferriss’s tips for dialled-in productivity. Let’s get this done
early every morning, I sit down with a hot cocktail of turmeric, ginger, pu’erh tea and green tea and write three pages in my journal. Morning writing exercises are, as author Julia Cameron puts it, “spiritual windshield wipers”. To quote her further: “Once we get those muddy, maddening, confusing thoughts on the page, we face our day with clearer eyes.” It’s the process that matters, not the product. But while this simple ritual alone can make each day more productive, there are other, more wholesale ways to organise your mind and make headway. Japanese author Marie Kondo, whom I follow, created the KonMari Method, which consists of gathering everything you own, one category at a time, and keeping only the things that ‘spark joy’ in you. Her method is also a state of mind. Minimalism is about reduction, but KonMari focuses on value. And it turns out removing physical clutter can have an equally important impact on fostering
a productive mindset. To begin, organise and clear-out belongings in the following categories: clothes, then books, paper documents, miscellaneous items and ﬁnally sentimental items. With a clear head, the next stage is to set about maximising your mental output by improving your focus, and also becoming more considered in your approach to new ideas. I do this by practising some form of daily meditation or mindfulness, a habit I’ve learnt from more than 80% of the elite performers I’ve interviewed on my podcast, from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Special Ops commanders. It’s the most consistent pattern I’ve come across among successful people. By practising focus when it doesn’t matter (eg sitting on a sofa for 10 minutes), you improve your ability to focus when it does (a negotiation, conversation with a loved one or max deadlift). Meditation lets me step back and gain a ‘witness perspective’, so that I’m observing my thoughts instead of being tumbled by them. If you’re a beginner, start by using an app such as Headspace for 10-minute, guided meditations. I enjoy mantra-based transcendental meditation, where I sit comfortably and repeat a two-syllable
“Meditation is a habit I picked up from Arnold Schwarzenegger”
> WHAT’S ON MY RADAR 01/ BOIL UP INSPIRATION When I’m running low on energy, South American tea yerba mate enhances my creativity and provides a long-lasting caffeine buzz.
02/ LET FOCUS SPROUT Another of my mind-boosting go-tos is chaga mushroom coffee – an occasional dose helps with clear thinking when my to-do list piles up.
03/ SUPP YOUR DEFENCES I also combine supplements creatine and ubiquinol, both proven to preserve brain function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases. word in my head (for a while I used ‘nature’) for 10 to 20 minutes. Of course, no matter how well you prepare, life still throws obstacles at you and mental output relies on your ability to react. The philosophical school of Stoicism is the perfect operating system for thriving in high-stress environments. The Stoics had an exercise called ‘turning the obstacle upside down’. Suppose you’re trying to help someone and they respond by being surly. Instead of perceiving this person as making your life more diﬃcult, according to the exercise, you should actually view them as directing you toward new virtues, such as patience and understanding. Take an evening to read On the Shortness of Life by Seneca – it will change your outlook entirely. The ability to be spurred on rather than derailed by stress, when combined with mental clarity, is a potent combination to maximise your work capacity. With all that in mind, it’s time to get your head in the game.
ILLUSTRATION: JOE MCKENDRY
TIM FERRISS The author of Tools of Titans and creator of The Tim Ferriss Show shares his plan for improved mental performance
DRAW ON NEW MENTAL RESOURCES TO WORK FASTER, NOT HARDER
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TheNew Adventures Of Superman Unlike his alter-ego, Henry Cavill probably can’t punch through walls. But he would give it a go. With this month’s Justice League in the can, he uncovers how steeling your focus can power up your own training. Brace for impact Words by Jamie Millar Portraits by Hamish Brown – Styling by Eric Down
eavesden is not a name that’s conjured in the mind as readily as Hollywood when one thinks of ﬁlm locations. But the northern suburb of Watford is where movie magic – not to mention the Making of Harry Potter tour – happens on a daily basis. The 80-hectare Warner Bros studio complex is a veritable department of mysteries, each of the anonymous hangars and workshops its very own chamber of secrets. The ﬁrst clue to the current function of workshop 11, the location for MH’s own shoot, is the welcome mat featuring ﬁve superheroic members of the Justice League, the comic book collective that is DC’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers. Front and centre is Superman, ﬂanked by Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Green Lantern. Justice League, the movie, is out this month and stars Ben Aﬄeck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
and Ezra Miller as The Flash. Green Lantern is unlikely to feature, after the 2011 standalone ﬁlm with Ryan Reynolds failed to light up the box oﬃce. But the involvement of Henry Cavill’s Superman has also been in some doubt, following his death at the denouement of 2016’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. A blockbuster get-together without DC’s most iconic character (sorry Bruce) is, however, inconceivable. And given the various teasers and marketing materials that have hinted at Superman’s return – to which can be added Cavill’s presence on this shoot today – it’s fair to hazard that he’s involved in some way. “You can assume whatever you want,” grins the actor, whose very British sense of humour softens the super-earnestness that helped him bag the part in 2013’s Man of Steel. It’s not always easy to tell when he’s joking. Beyond the mat is a makeshift gym jury-rigged for the cast of Justice League. It may only be temporary, nevertheless,
it’s so spacious and plentifully stocked – dumbbells, ski-ergs, sleds – that it would put most sweatboxes to shame. The ﬂoor of the free weights area bears a quotation from a Robert Bly poem: “I am afraid there will be a moment when / I fail you, friend; I will turn slightly / Away, our eyes will not meet, and out in the ﬁeld / There will be no one”. Less literarily, the ﬁngerboard attached to the rig has been graﬃtied with, “Flash, get some, love Aquaman” (another Justice League member, played by former MH cover star and Game of Thrones alumnus Jason Momoa). In the corner lies a Wonder Woman coﬀee table tome, positioned serendipitously next to a copy of Jane Fonda’s Workout Book. It’s easy to imagine the Justice League cast all training here together, perhaps while wearing those Under Armour Alter Ego compression tops that match their respective costumes. “It happened once,” says Cavill, casting his mind back. “No, it didn’t; Ben and Gal were oﬀ that day.
“I like the gym, but I’d prefer to be sweating and breathing hard while learning a new skill”
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Cover Model Muscle
Henry Cavill But we had Superman, Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg [played by Ray Fisher] in the gym. That was fun.” Unfortunately they weren’t repping compression: “I wish we’d thought ahead and done that. If a Justice League sequel happens, maybe we will.”
Off-Set Action Cavill has arrived with an unexpected mass of hair covering his top lip, and his handsome, dark-coated American akita called Kal-El. (Fanboys will recognise the name as Superman’s Kryptonian moniker.) “He looks scary, so people think that if they get into a scrap with me or I get pissed oﬀ, he may turn into some vicious attack dog – which he is, by the way,” deadpans Cavill. “You should see him when he’s angry: it’s something else. I’ve got these pans hanging above the stove in my kitchen and when he barks, they literally ring. With a hangover, it’s miserable. But you’re very brave, aren’t you, bear? You keep everyone away from the house.”
TRAINING PARTNERS Both Cavill’s mindset and Super physique were forged by Mark Twight, founder of Gym Jones, who is responsible for sculpting a stellar roster of heroes: Gerard Butler 300 / 2006 It wasn’t just Leonidas’s hyper-real abs that formed Twight’s first big-screen project. He also trained all the Spartans and stuntmen.
Henry Cavill Man Of Steel / 2013 For the famed origin story, Twight’s frighteningly full-on workouts helped Cavill add 6kg of muscle. Continued on p65
The security of a guard dog notwithstanding, Cavill appears more than capable of looking after himself. Warming to the shoot, he demonstrates sequences of martial arts punches and kicks for MH’s photographer which, more so than his bare arms, indicate that getting him even mildly pissed oﬀ would be unwise. The well-spoken, unfailingly polite former public schoolboy from Jersey (who was once nicknamed “Fat Cavill”) might not bark – at least not without provocation. But he can clearly bite. Directing Cavill on our shoot is Wolfgang ‘Wolﬁe’ Stegemann, a ﬁght choreographer, stuntman and typically uncredited actor, who ﬁrst began working with him on the sixth Mission: Impossible ﬁlm. Scheduled for July 2018, the forthcoming installment of the spy franchise is also the reason for the normally clean-cut Cavill’s aforementioned facial furniture: he’s
MARTIAL ARTS PROVIDES THE POWER BEHIND CAVILL’S TRAINING PLAN
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taking over as Tom Cruise’s “right-hand man” from Jeremy Renner who, in some kind of weird symmetry, is tied up with Avengers: Inﬁnity War, out April 2018. While the combos look pretty impressive to these untrained eyes, Cavill is quick to downplay his apparent proﬁciency. “I’ve only just started with Wolﬁe and we’re still trying to execute the basics of technique,” he says, assessing his form critically on the photographer’s MacBook between takes. “You’ve got to lay a foundation before you can start building a house. And we’re very much in the ‘pouring the concrete’ phase.” Cavill’s girlfriend Lucy Cork, a stuntwoman who he also met on the M:I 6 set, and who is herself a genuinely proﬁcient martial artist, swings by the set to observe quietly in the background and keep tabs. Cavill has done what he calls “movie martial arts” before. “All you really need is to look like you can do it,” he says. “But I want to be able to actually do it. Faking it just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.” So when his (currently classiﬁed) role in M:I 6 called for at least the illusion of capability, he thought he’d ﬁt in some extra practice after work. His motivation was partly professional, but largely personal. “It’s handy to be handy,” he says. “It’s nice to be able to protect those around you, and yourself.” And handily, martial arts training is also a kick-ass form of conditioning: “I like going to the gym, I do. But if I’m going to be sweating and breathing hard, I’d far prefer to be doing it while learning a skill, rather than just for the sake of sweating and breathing hard.” The Taekwondo-style striking he’s practising is new to Cavill, but he’s long been a keen disciple of the grapplingbased discipline of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In fact, he occasionally rolls with the sport’s big dogs like Roger Gracie, tentime world champion and scion of the South American combat sports dynasty. Cavill now lives in London, where the Gracies run a world-renowned academy. A legit dojo sounds like the kind of place where an actor might not dare tread for fear of a bruised ego – or worse. But, thankfully, most ﬁght clubbers are just excited to meet Superman, not try
62 MEN’S HEALTH
and kill him. And it’s a culture of respect that starts with the guys at the top. “The martial artists that I know are all very nice, gentle people,” says Cavill. “There’s nothing aggressive or fast. It’s always a big hug – not a bro hug, a twoarm hug: ‘How you doing?’ It’s like, ‘Stop. Take a breath. Let’s engage with each other. We’ll get to training. And when we train, we’ll train hard.’ Everything is relaxed and I like that. It’s enormously refreshing.” Besides, peacocking is a waste of energy: “Save it for that moment just before you have to beat the crap out of someone. Because you might need it.”
Going The Distance Cavill is into conservation, and not just in his capacity as an ambassador for Jersey Zoo. He recounts a ribald story – told by Tony in an episode of The Sopranos, possibly Buddhist in origin – about two bulls standing on a hill, looking down at a herd of cows. The younger one proposes running down the hill and copulating with a mate of their choice; the older one counsels walking down instead and inseminating them all. The parallel is woolly, admittedly, but Cavill applied a similarly pragmatic and paced approach to his prep for Justice League (that is, if he is in the ﬁlm and did indeed prep for it). While he was “really rather strong” for last year’s Batman vs Superman, his emphasis shifted toward improving his movement and deﬁnition, both of which are more critical for looking good on camera than a one-rep max. In league with his longtime trainer Michael Blevins (@gritandteeth), he focused more on CrossFit-inspired workouts: less technical lifts for time, which might invite injury, and more “go really hard, non-stop, which is great for getting lean”. The change-up yielded a mixed response. On the one hand, Cavill’s sessions weren’t quite as hard as before, “because I wasn’t lugging round useless weight”. On the other hand, they were still very hard: “You have to be eager to do that kind of thing, because it can be a miserable workout, it really can.” Meanwhile, the post-exercise endorphin
CAVILL WORKS WITH FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER ‘WOLFIE’ FOR MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 6
“Faking the moves doesn’t feel right – I want to be able to actually do them”
“If I can create an aesthetic one way without destroying myself, that’s great”
MAN OF STEEL? CAVILL LEARNED HIS BODY ISN’T INVINCIBLE AND NEEDS TIME TO RECOVER
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“MOVIE MOVES” ARE OUT: CAVILL’S DOING THE STUNTS FOR REAL
GROOMING: MICHELLE ABELS | VEST PEAKPERFORMANCE.COM, JOGGERS CASTORE.CO.UK
high – and sheer sense of relief – will only sustain you for so long when you’re putting in the hours at work and not putting much down your gullet in order to chisel oﬀ extra fat. Cavill found himself slowly ground down, physically and mentally, as if with Kryptonite sandpaper: “It wasn’t much fun,” he says plaintively.
Moving Targets When pizza is oﬀ limits, you get by with a little help from your super-friends. Training hard is a necessary evil for the superhero-franchise actor and colleagues tend to be there for each other – even if only in spirit. “It’s more about encouragement than anything else,” says Cavill. “Like, if you see someone having one of those tough days, it’s about giving them a quick cheer when they’re pushing that sled past you, or giving them a pat on the back and saying, ‘You’re looking great, mate.’” His on-set conversations with Aﬄeck, however, tended to revolve more around the complicated logistics of urinating between takes while in
TRAINING PARTNERS Gal Gadot Wonder Woman / 2017 Twight described her pre-transformation arms as looking like “wrists that went all the way up”. But a nine-month regimen of heavy lifting made Wonder Woman an inspirational athlete.
Jason Momoa Justice League / 2017 Now divorced from Gym Jones, Twight channeled his and Momoa’s shared love of climbing and hardcore training to add even more functional strength to Momoa’s naturally huge frame.
costume: “‘Do you reckon we have time to go for a pee?’ ‘How long does it take you?’ ‘It takes me this long.’ ‘OK, cool. Do you reckon we have time?’ ‘Yeah, let’s go.’” This mixture of discipline and levity is key. Now 34, Cavill has reached a point in his life where he understands the importance of balance. “My perspective has changed somewhat on the things that I want from life and the enjoyment I can get from it,” he says. That’s not to say that he doesn’t recognise the merits of “working hard and really smashing everything”. Neither are his standards any less high or his goals less lofty. But like the older, wiser bull in Soprano’s story, he isn’t going to beat the piss out of himself unnecessarily: “If I can create an aesthetic one way without destroying myself, then great. And if I can learn a new skill and get my cardio done that way, then I’ll do that. That’s just the way I see it now.” Outside the gym and the studio, Cavill is embracing everyday life more. When
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he’s not working on set or working out he’s go-karting, getting his motorbike licence or sleeping in “until my kidneys start hurting from lying on them for so long”. Last weekend, he taught himself how to cook a shoulder of lamb. “It actually went really well,” he says, surprised, although he admits the gravy could have been better. “I just added chicken stock and scraped all the good stuﬀ oﬀ the bottom, but I should have poured out more of the fat because it ended up being quite oily,” he says. “Still, more water and a bit of red wine vinegar rescued it.” In roast dinners, as in training and life, Cavill has realised it’s important not to overdo things. “I think I’m kind of ﬁnding my pace now in more of a lifestyle thing,” he says. “Like, I can do this training and it’ll make me look a certain way. I’ll make sure my food is right, but I don’t feel like I’m on a diet all the time. I can have three cheat days in a row if I want – and then knuckle down, be good for a while and get back to a certain point. You know where your baseline is.” This kind of intuitive approach is more enjoyable and sustainable for a hard-charging and demanding personality like Cavill’s: “I’m very single-minded and can be extremely dedicated when given a target. And if that target is constant, I exhaust myself.”
CAVILL ISN’T READY TO HANG UP SUPERMAN’S CAPE ANY TIME SOON
The Next Round Comic adaptations are constantly rolling oﬀ the Hollywood – or rather Leavesden – production line. But another Superman movie is by no means inevitable. Man of Steel grossed $668m at the global box oﬃce and was largely well received; Batman vs Superman was critically bludgeoned, with the $860m haul scant consolation. “From a ﬁnancial point of view, it was successful, yes. But it should’ve been more successful,” says Cavill. It also killed Superman oﬀ when he’d only just been rebooted – and after he’d been loathed by everybody for the whole ﬁlm. Justice League will doubtless resurrect him, but the fear is that there won’t be room in the crowded ensemble piece to do him, well, justice. “I think there is so much more to be told of Superman,” argues Cavill. “And especially with what’s going on in the world right now, it’s important to have that kind of outlet – that ﬁgure of hope, responsibility and good vibes.” If not, then there’s always Bond, of course – a role to which Cavill is perennially linked. He’s 20/1 at the time of writing, which
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“I’m very single-minded when given a target. If that target is constant, I exhaust myself” seems overly generous for someone who only narrowly lost out to Daniel Craig for 2006’s Casino Royale and is a much better ﬁt for 007’s dinner suit now than he was at 22. But, ultimately, money talks and money is what Warner Bros will listen to. Time will tell. There’s a knock on the door and Kal’s barking shakes the whole trailer. Cavill’s lunch is served. Before it goes cold, there’s just time to ask him about working with the ageless superhuman that is Tom Cruise. “He is extraordinary,” says Cavill. “He also does all his own stunts, as we know. [At the time of writing, ﬁlming on M:I 6 has been suspended while the 55-year-old Cruise recuperates after breaking his ankle jumping between buildings.] I’m from a
family of men who have done a lot of pretty cool things. Two of my brothers are in the armed forces. I’m very hard to impress. But Tom’s done some stuﬀ on the ﬁlm where I really have gone, ‘OK mate, yeah, that’s undeniably awesome.’” Although the uncertain nature of the ﬁlm industry means that he doesn’t know what will happen next week, Cavill hopes to still be able to leap (between) tall buildings with a single bound when he’s 55 – preferably without breaking any bones in the process. “You know, if I ever have kids one day, I want to be the dad who’s running round after them,” he says. “And if I do have kids, even now, it’s starting to get quite late. But I want to be a ﬁt and healthy dad, not hobbling round like, ‘OK, I’m just going to catch a breather.’ Yeah, I’m going to take care of my body – look good, but not smash it.’
TRAIN LIKE SUPERMAN
Cover Model Muscle
WARM-UP Disclaimer: Cavill might not actually be superhuman, but his workouts are certain to test any mere mortal. Warm up with a steady 5min on the bike, then perform 10m of each of the following before starting: 01/Alternating kicks 02/High knees 03/Butt kicks 04/Bear crawl 05/Walking lunges 06/Dynamic lunges
JOIN THE BIG LEAGUE To arm Cavill for Justice League, his trainer Michael Blevins cranked up the actor’s metabolic demands with “awkward” strongman moves. The goal? To cut all that was unnecessary – fat and bulk, yes, but also sets, reps and weight progressions. “It’s not about going through the motions, but deciding who you are,” says Blevins. In Cavill’s case, that was “the best Superman to date”. A Strong Week Blevins’ sample session (right) is just one typical day’s training out of many months, but the below will give you an idea of how he programmed Cavill’s weeks DAY 1 Strength DAY 2 Power/strength endurance DAY 3 Endurance DAY 4 Strength or power/ strength endurance and endurance (double session) DAY 5 Power/strength endurance DAY 6 Endurance DAY 7 Rest
Superfood Diet Superhero training won’t elicit ultra-high-definition if you don’t also eat lean. Cavill’s meal plan was dialled in by Blevins’ wife Erin (@shutup_eat). Here’s a quick taster of his Krypton-eats
LUNCH Chicken balti or stir-fried meat and veg with rice AFTERNOON SNACK Protein whip: two scoops of chocolate peanut butter protein whipped with non-fat yogurt
30M @ 25KG
So-called because afterwards you’ll feel like you’ve suffered one. Jump on the bike and pump your arms while pedalling. The harder you go, the quicker you’ll burn the calories.
Grab a weight plate or heavy medicine ball and lift it to shoulder height (A). Keep your core tight and eyes straight ahead as you walk for 30m (B), then swap sides and stroll back bac to the start.
AMRAP 2 With the timer set for 4min, perform as many rounds as possible of the following pair until the alarm sounds. Then rest for 2min and move ove on.
BREAKFAST Protein pancake, chicken sausage and black americano PRE-WORKOUT DRINK Containing R-BHB (beta-hydroxybutyrate), 150mg caffeine and BCAAs
B/ WEIGHTED CARRY
A/ POWER CLEAN
B/ WEIGHTED CARRY
5 REPS @ 50KG
30M @ 20KG
Squat down with a straight back and grab the bar overhand (A). In one swift movement, lift the bar, flipping your wrists to catch it across your shoulders oulders (B). (B) Lower and repeat.
Yes, again. But remember that at least it’s only 20kg this time. As Blevins says, “The weights room is simple; the human mind is not – and that is what we are determined to master.” w mas
AMRAP 3 Set the timer for 3min and… you know the drill. When the time’s up, rest for 4min and then return to AMRAP 1. Oh, didn’t we mention you had to do two circuits?
DINNER Fattier meat (such as ribeye) and veggie hash with complex carbs
B/ WALKING LUNGE
Drop to the floor (A) and hop your legs back into a press-up position, then jump them back in and leap up (B). Superman doesn’t cheat, so place a target abouut 6in above yo y ur arms..
Step forward and drop your hips so that your front knee is bent 90 degrees and your rear knee brushes the ground (A). Drive into the next lunge ((B). Too easy? Hold 20kg dumbbells.
A B B
ENDURANCE If you think that’s enough for one day, you’re sorely mistaken. On his double-session days, Cavill also ran 3.5 miles at a “conversational pace” in the afternoon. Which, after that session, is a true act of heroism.
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CUT OUT AND KEEP
THIS PLAN IS SIMPLE BUT NOT EASY. STEEL YOURSELF
For this AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) couplet, set a 5min timer and alternate between the moves. When the alarm sounds, rest for 3min and then move on.
A/ ASSAULT BIKE
TIME WORDS BY SCARLETT WRENCH / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOBE LAWRENSON
MAXIMISING LIFE’S GREATEST LUXURY
TREAT YOURSELF TO THE SEASON’S HOT NEW HEALTH DRINK
01 IMAGE RETOUCHING: MATHEW CARPENTER
NIGHT TO BURN YOURR HEART-ATTACK RISK WITH A MULLED U CIDERR
h speculating as to why hen our rissk of heart problems is so much m higher in the winter, scientists have no shortage of suspects – lack of sunlight; morning runs cut short by sudden downpours; an inexorable urge to fill your face with comfort food. But now the latest research has aimed fire at the most seasonal of culprits: the cold air itself. A new study from cardiologists at Sweden’s Lund University has linked chilly outdoor temperatures to a spike in the number of heart attacks. Your body responds to the cold by constricting its blood vessels, which temporarily increases arterial blood pressure, and they speculate this extra strain could be to blame for our increased vulnerability. But, should you find yourself shivering in a damp park on the eve of 5th November, you’d do well to remember (remember) this flavoursome advice: a hot glass of mulled cider is your best defence against the elements. Not only will it foil the cold weather’s health-harming plot, but studies conducted by the Institute of Food Research in Norwich found the antioxidant count in many British ciders matches that of red wine, with the nutrients more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than those in fruit. A heart-warming prescription, we’re sure you’ll agree.
10 ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: TOBI JENKINS AT HEARST STUDIOS | PAPER PROP: POLLY LINDSAY
MINUTES TO ELEVATE WORK PROSPECTS BY TAKING THE STAIRS
ental energy can be hard to acquire in the darker months, unless it comes served in a paper cup with a double shot and a dusting of chocolate. But if you’re worried about the impact your mocha habit is having on your physique – not to mention your ability to function without a near-constant intravenous flow of caffeine (see p31), there is a cheaper and equally effective alternative to help you on your way up the corporate ladder – simply stop taking the lift all the time. A recent study of sleepdeprived workers, published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour, found that 10 minutes of walking
up and down the stairs at an easy pace had a more beneficial effect on energy levels than a 50mg shot of caffeine – that’s more than you’d find in a cup of tea and almost as much as an espresso. The participants also experienced a small but notable boost in “motivation for work” following their jaunt up to the fifth floor and back – which makes refusing to depart from your desk on busy days a false economy. Next time you’re in need of a mental pick-me-up ahead of an afternoon meeting, leave a little earlier and take the long way up. Just give yourself some time to catch your breath before you walk into the boardroom, won’t you?
WE’VE FOUND THE BEST NEXT STEP ON YOUR CAREER PATH
TOUGH OUG SESSION? S SS O ? LAY YOUR O TRAININGG NIGGLES GG S TOO REST S
HOURS TO WAKEE UP STRONGER ANDD G INJURED J D NEVER GET
MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO U
ow much sleep did you get last night? We’d be willing to bet it wasn’t enough. Statistically speaking, most of us are falling short, much of the time. But while our early weekday starts may be inevitable, we rarely turn in each night quite as soon as we really should (a fact that push notifications, Insta Stories and reruns of The Handmaid’s Tale certainly don’t help). So, if a burgeoning blue light addiction isn’t enough to make you rethink your nocturnal habits, a recent US study published by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention should be. They found that sleep could be the simplest and cheapest form of injury prevention. In their research, athletes who averaged fewer than eight hours of sleep per night were 70% more likely to sustain injuries during training. This made sleep an even more accurate predictor of risk than training strategy. Aside from the obvious downsides of stepping onto the pitch or into the squat rack while bleary-eyed, sleep is crucial for maintaining testosterone levels, even in otherwise healthy men. Low levels of the hormone further reduce concentration, energy and strength, as well as seriously hampering your ability to burn away fat. Making this one body transformation that actually does happen overnight.
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TIME U S UPSCALING G YOUR OUR O ORDER WILL HAVEE FRUITFUL F U U RESULTS SU S
HOURS TO GET LEAAN NGER AND LOOK YOUNGER OVER A BIG BRUNCH
IMAGE RETOUCHING: ANTHONY HAMMOND
et’s chew over the facts: for the average Brit, ‘breakfast’ still consists of a couple of slices of toast, hurriedly inhaled while scrolling through the news, and lunch offers little more than a Tupperware box of leftovers. The promise of a hot dinner is likely all that sustains you through the working day. But as our office hours slowly encroach upon our evenings – and dinner time is inevitably further delayed – this back-loaded routine could be doing us ill. In fact, taking time to fuel up earlier on is an increasingly attractive option. Recent studies from UT Southwestern Medical Center have uncovered surprising new insights into the way our
body clocks interact with the c in our digestive cells g system. Their research, conducted on mice, suggests that eating the bulk of your calories earlier in the day could re-synch your circadian rhythms, not only leading to reduced fat storage, but even boosting the enzymes that protect skin against the harmful, ageing effects of UV radiation. Of course, making a prompt exit at hometime will help, too. But with pre-Christmas deadlines looming, binning your bland al desko breakfast in favour of something more satisfying will deliver big benefits. Alternatively, should you wish to wait until Sunday to kickstart your new healthy habit, a leisurely brunch could prove just the tonic. Now, will it be scrambled or fried?
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Painkiller sales make up almost a quarter of the UKâ€™s over-the-counter medication market
Among both professional and amateur athletes, painkiller abuse is reaching epidemic proportions. And while dirty drugs make the headlines, it’s everyday OTC pills that are quietly inﬂicting harm. MH asks whether playing through the pain is simply an inevitable part of competition, or if addiction to anti-inﬂammatories represents an alarming culture of willful ignorance in sport
WORDS BY DAN MASOLIVER – PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROWAN FEE
PAINKILLER ABUSE SPECIAL REPORT
Are you in pain? Not emotional hurt or trauma, but tangible, physical pain. You know what we’re talking about: that twinge in your knee that prevents you from stepping onto the ﬁve-a-side pitch; the sharp shin splints that turn every weekend 5K into an excruciating endurance event; the deep DOMS that prevents you from performing even the simplest of tasks without a wince. Anyone who has ever trained or played sport – whether team or individual, amateur or elite – has felt this pain. Bumps and bruises, aches and strains, niggles of all shapes, sizes and severities: these are the nagging bugbears that all athletes live with on a daily basis. Now, what if you could make that pain go away? What if there was a little white pill you could simply swallow before a big race or match that could deaden your discomfort, allowing you to perform at your peak, almost if not totally painfree? What if that same little white pill could ease the ache of your post-match recovery, too? Better yet, what if that pill was apparently safe and perfectly legal? Not only that, but available over the counter at all good chemists, corner shops and even supermarkets, priced at 35p for a packet of 16. Well, you’d take it, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. And, of course, you do. In recent years, paracetamol, ibuprofen and aspirin have become as much a part of a sportsman’s kit bag as caﬀeine gels and post-workout protein shakes. It’s an industry that’s now worth £591 million to the UK economy and their use is so common it’s not so much an epidemic as it is endemic. This year’s BBC State of Sport survey revealed that about
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two thirds of amateur athletes take nonprescription anti-inﬂammatories, either to enable them to perform at the best of their ability, or to support their recovery. But could it be that these pills – cheaper than bottled water and easier to come by – are not the painkilling panaceas we take them to be? And, by taking them even on a weekly basis, could you be doing your body more harm than good? Recent research suggests we have a problem on our hands – a very big problem. So perhaps the ultimate question is this: when the short-term rewards for popping
painkillers are so great, how do you begin to reconcile a genuine concern for your future welfare with the desire for instant relief?
A Dangerous Game The higher up the sporting ladder you climb, the bigger the rewards, and thus the greater the pressure on athletes to play without pain. From football to cycling, rugby to athletics, painkiller abuse is rife. Take golﬁng legend Tiger
Pep Talk Concerned about your ibuprofen intake? The Mankoski Pain Scale breaks down precisely when it’s OK to dose up, and when it’s best to grin and bear it Minor twinges Feels like: Stubbed toe No medication required Annoying, but not too distracting Feels like: Desk-job back ache. Stretch it out instead Can’t be ignored for more than 30 minutes Feels like: Major legs day DOMS. Pop two paracetamol, and get a grip of yourself Difficult to concentrate, interferes with sleep Feels like: Head-splitting hangover. Two ibuprofen will do the trick, as would a can of Coke and a bacon sarnie Physical activity severely limited. Nausea sets in Feels like: Post-VO2 max test. Strong painkillers recommended. Or, have a banana and wait two minutes Unable to speak. Moaning, near delirium Feels like: The last leg of MH’s Survival race. Even strong painkillers are only partially effective. (NB in the case of Survival, just have a warm bath and an early night)
SPORT ITEMS: SPORTS DIRECT
Unconscious Trust that someone is calling a doctor
Woods, who was recently ordered to attend rehab after being caught driving dangerously while under the inﬂuence of ﬁve separate painkillers. Or Daniel Awde who, in a bid to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics, was taking up to 14 tablets a day to mask the pain of a knee injury. “Within the athletics community it was a running joke that a lot of athletes were having ibuprofen for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he would later tell the BBC. Crucially, none of these meds appear on a World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) banned substances list. Now experts are
concerned about the long-term impact of this self-medication. Data collected by Jiri Dvorak, the former chief medical oﬃcer at FIFA, showed that half the footballers in FIFA tournaments between 1998 and 2014 had been regularly using non-prescription painkillers. This, said Dvorak, was accepted as “part of the game” – a part that could prove fatal. As a key member of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side, former ﬂanker Lewis ‘Mad Dog’ Moody took more painkillers during his 16-year career than he cares to remember. In rugby, more than most sports, the opportunity for injury is high, and you don’t acquire a nickname like Mad Dog without putting your body on the line. “It was just the norm,” he says. “Painkillers and anti-inﬂammatories were always available post-training and post-match. When you come into a sport straight out of school, if the normal course of action is to take paracetamol and antiinﬂamms if you’ve been concussed, if you have a tweaked hamstring… you do as you’re told.” In hindsight, Moody can see that his painkiller use had turned into abuse. At the time, he acknowledges, medical staﬀ at club and national sides would warn players about the dangers of overuse. But these were athletes in the prime of their careers, playing for the highest sporting stakes. Predictably, words of warning fell on deaf ears. “Back then, there was a more ﬂippant approach to how you take painkillers. I remember being warned about the eﬀects of certain drugs. But as a young man who thinks he’s invincible, and in a macho sport, you’d do anything to be ﬁt – you don’t want to miss out and give someone else the opportunity [to play] and possibly lose your spot. You’d do whatever it took.” The palpable embarrassment in Moody’s voice turns to disbelief as he considers the harm he inﬂicted upon himself. “When you look back it’s insanity, because the
amount of impact those anti-inﬂamms have on your colon and the lining of your stomach is signiﬁcant.” Moody isn’t talking in generalities here; he’s speaking from experience. It was in 2005, with the Lions tour to New Zealand a matter of months away, that the symptoms started: unbearable stomach cramps, a sudden, desperate need to empty his bowels, and a severe loss of blood every time he did so. The diagnosis was clear: Moody had developed ulcerative colitis, where painful ulcers develop in the bowels. Its onset, he maintains, was a direct result of his overthe-top use of over-the-counter pain relief. To cope, Moody initially dealt with it the only way he knew how: he took more meds. In 2007, in the build up to the Rugby World Cup in France, Moody reached peak painkiller, taking drugs midweek to get through training, then before and after matches on the weekends. Playing through the pain, he was one of the stars of the World Cup ﬁnals, but his body was broken. It was only after deciding to go cold turkey on all forms of medication that the symptoms of his colitis began to clear up. These days, ﬁve years into his retirement, he is symptom-free.
“As a young man who thinks he’s invincible, you do Inflammatory Issue It took a career-threatening illness for whatever it takes” Moody to wake up to the dangers that he
Percentage of players at the 2014 FIFA World Cup who took some form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug before a match
and his teammates had been exposing themselves to. And that’s hardly surprising. After all, how could something sold for pennies in every chemist in Britain with the express purpose of making you well actually be bad for you? It’s tempting to dismiss Moody’s example as an extreme case. As for the likes of Tiger Woods and Daniel Awde, well, they were, by their own admissions, addicted. They craved painkillers. You, on the other hand, you’re diﬀerent – isn’t that right? You just take them as and when they’re needed, in smaller doses. Sadly, you’re probably wrong. The chances are that the way you’re using painkillers – particularly popular anti-inﬂammatories such as ibuprofen – is all wrong. “I’m a sports physician, so my major cohort of patients is the recreational athlete,” says Dr Ajai Seth, a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. “Generally, people have no real understanding of how antiinﬂammatories work. I see a lot of patients with stress injuries and stress fractures. A lot of the time this can be put down to poor diet or over-training, but the vast majority of the time it’s because they
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PAINKILLER ABUSE SPECIAL REPORT
take a fair amount of anti-inﬂammatories as well.” In other words, far from aiding recovery, anti-inﬂammatories are often responsible for exacerbating injuries. The key issue, says Seth, is ignorance. “Non-steroidal anti-inﬂammatories block a substance called prostaglandin, which produces inﬂammation in the body. Inﬂammation your body needs in order to heal. So, let’s say you’re playing tennis and you sprain your ankle. It becomes swollen because of prostaglandin.” So, what do you do about it? You pop a couple of Nurofen and let the swelling go down. Then pop a couple more when you get home to take the edge oﬀ the pain, until you’re back on court a week later. This, says Seth, is where we’re essentially misunderstanding the role of inﬂammation. “What prostaglandin does is, ﬁrstly, stop you from using your ankle because it’s painful. In this respect, pain is a protective mechanism.” In other words, if you can’t put weight on it you can’t make the injury worse. But that’s just the half of it. “Secondly, prostaglandin helps the tissues heal. When they heal they become stronger. But if you’re doing a half-marathon, say, and you take a couple of ibuprofen before you run, you’re not letting your bone adapt. Do that over a long period of time, and you put yourself at higher risk of injury.” It gets worse. “Anti-inﬂammatories aﬀect lots of systems within your body,” says Seth. “It’s not just the bones and ligaments; taken over a long period, they can increase your risk of heart attack, kidney damage and bowel problems.”
The Watch List Of course, most people are dangerously, albeit understandably, unaware of these risks. If a doctor prescribes you a course of medication, you’re told how to take it. You might even read the small-print about the potential side eﬀects. But when it comes to over-the-counter painkillers, it’s unlikely the server behind the chemist’s counter is going to talk you through the recommended dosage. That’s problematic because the less we understand about the drugs we’re taking, the more we’ll continue to take them. But if these pills are so bad for us, and so many athletes are taking such large amounts of them, then why not simply cut the cord? There are already dozens
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of banned substances on WADA’s everlengthening list. Surely the answer, to protect the health of athletes across the sporting spectrum, is simply to add a few more? However, the problem with this approach is, in a word, prevalence. “Painkillers are one of the most commonly used drugs by athletes in sport,” says Nick Wojek, head of science and medicine at the organisation UK Anti-Doping (UKAD). “And the main reason why that’s the case is precisely because they’re not prohibited substances. Consequently, people see no harm.” It’s the caﬀeine conundrum all over again. Countless studies have shown caﬀeine to have substantial, quantiﬁable performanceenhancing qualities. To this day, WADA is exploring how and whether it could ban athletes from consuming caﬀeine pre-competition. But the reality of enforcing such a policy would be farcical; will athletes receive two-year doping bans for knocking back a double espresso during a training camp? Will a can of Coke be classiﬁed as contraband? Caﬀeine is simply too mainstream to prohibit, and so too are painkillers. How to police the use of something that any Tom, Dick or Tiger can get his hands on in every branch of Boots is the sort of question that keeps Wojek up at night. “It would be very diﬃcult to regulate them, simply because they’re so
accessible,” he aﬃrms. “There’s a culture with painkillers... you just go down to the chemist, buy them and take them. To control that behaviour through sanctions and traditional anti-doping regulations would be virtually impossible.”
Small Print All of this doubtless makes for troubling reading. But are all over-the-counter painkillers really that bad? Should we be raiding our gym bags and medicine cupboards, rounding up half-ﬁnished packets of Anadin and ﬂushing them down the toilet? No, is the short answer. But the only way to stay safe from harm in the long-run is to learn how and when to use them optimally. “If you’re going to use nonsteroidal anti-inﬂammatories, ideally seek advice from a doctor to guide you through why you’re taking them and how long you should be taking them for,” says Seth. “And remember that they’re only ever meant to be used during the acute phase – that’s the immediate injury phase, of 24-48 hours. You need to get out of the mindset where antiinﬂammatories are being used as a means of recovery in either a prolonged or habitual way. And they certainly should never be used prophylactically [when you haven’t got an injury but want to avoid pain]. That’s the worst thing you can do. If you’re relying on painkillers, then
“To control this kind of behaviour with sanctions is nearly impossible”
Pill Of Good Health Laid low? Use this guide to the maximum 24-hour doses* of common meds to ensure your recovery is both timely, and safe
Aspirin 12 x 300mg tablets
Paracetamol Ibuprofen 8 6 x x 500mg 200mg tablets tablets
Codeine 4 x 60mg tablets
Tramadol 4 x 100mg tablets
*one dose taken every four to six hours
Natural Rejuvenation While the scepticism that surrounds homeopathic remedies is generally justified, popping pills isn’t always the only option. These natural alternatives will alleviate inflammationrelated ailments with no risk of a comedown
Turmeric The spice is proven to be as effective as ibuprofen for reducing joint pain and inflammation (The Journal of Medicinal Food) Cloves These are found to alleviate nausea and reduce the pain associated with colds, arthritis and toothache (UCLA researchers)
Garlic This clears up earaches in 48 hours (University of New Mexico School of Medicine)
The abuse of tramadol – a prescription painkiller – that occurs within cycling, according to WADA
Salmon Two or three helpings of oily fish per week ease digestive pain (The Inflammation Research Foundation)
MSM A sulphur compound found in many fast food sauces, MSM can reduce joint pain by as much as 80% (UCLA School of Medicine)
INTERNAL DAMAGE CAN BE INSIDIOUS – BREAK THE HABIT BEFORE IT SETS IN
you’re doing something wrong. You’re not rehabbing properly; your strength and conditioning programme isn’t right; there’s something missing from your training routine, and that’s manifesting itself as pain. You’ve got to look at the bigger picture and ask yourself why you’re in pain in the ﬁrst place.”
Finding The Line The burden of staying safe and healthy, then, lies not with team doctors or international authorities such as WADA, but with you, and each individual athlete. And that’s what’s perhaps most concerning. Because all athletes, whether motivated by happiness or glory, taking part or taking home millions in prize money, want to compete. And they will generally do whatever they can within their means to meet that end. Ask a serious competitor not to take a seemingly benign pill that will help him get through the day because it might well hamper him further down the line, and that’s a warning that will too often go unheeded. Knowing the trouble they’ve caused, Moody now steers clear of painkillers at all costs. But he can’t escape the fact that taking them was what enabled him to overcome the post-op pain of a major shoulder surgery in advance of the 2003 Rugby World Cup… which he went on to win. And it was painkillers that, four years later, helped him mask the agony of a series of recurring injuries just in time to make it to the grand ﬁnal of the 2007 competition. So, if he could go back and do things diﬀerently, given what painkillers have done for his body – and for his career – would he? “It may sound strange, but I would have done it again,” he admits with uncharacteristic sheepishness. “The opportunity to play in World Cup ﬁnals doesn’t come around very often. Would I have done things diﬀerently if I had more information? I don’t have an answer for that. All I know is that you play a sport that you love, and if you have the opportunity to play at the highest level, then you do anything and everything to be ﬁt enough to give yourself the opportunity to play. That’s certainly what we did at the time, and I’d be hard pressed to change that.” And, whatever stage you’re competing on, that, gentlemen, is the painful truth.
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Hot Hot Heat WORDS BY LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON & MATT BLAKE PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN MATTHEWS
Pain & Relief Good for more than just torching fat, chillies have been praised for their health properties for 500 years. Most recently, a study linked ﬁery predilections to a 13% lower risk of early death. Cool
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With global sales of hot sauce ablaze (and ketchup falling from favour) our passionate love affair with chilli shows no sign of abating. But whether you like it mild and tropical or full-on thermogenic, the capsicum is a dangerous fruit to know. This is a guide to help you play with ﬁre and reap the nutritional beneﬁts – without getting singed
W GUTTER CREDIT
e are all gluttons for punishment – science says so. By purposefully, gleefully partaking in a chilli’s ﬁery burn, we are the only species that actively seeks out what traditional animal instinct would classify as A Very Bad Thing. Put simply, chillies aren’t supposed to be eaten. Capsaicin – the active compound th that binds to the receptors on your ttongue, tricking the brain into b believing your mouth is actually aﬂame – is the atomic bomb in the t chilli plant’s survival arsenal. Despite this, from south-east Asia to Mesoamerica and Eastern Europe, we have been dining out on these explosives since at least 7000BC. Today, a string of UK chilli farms – exporting to the likes of Mexico and Pakistan – bolster the economy to the
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tune of £1.3 million per year. The UK hot sauce market, meanwhile, is currently valued at an estimated £17 million annually. So what’s going on? Paul Rozin, a psychologist from the University of Pennsylvania, who has studied chilli-eating behaviour since the 1980s, calls it “benign masochism” – the process by which we teach ourselves to enjoy their hostile heat. More recently, Penn State University researchers John Hayes and Nadia Byrnes devised tests that revealed chilli lovers to be, in eﬀect, “sensation seekers” – people searching recklessly for thrills, exhilaration and reward. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they
also found hardcore chilliheads were more likely to be men. But there’s evidently more to it than just machismo and posturing. As anyone who has endured (or embraced) the sting of a bhut jolokia, moruga scorpion or naga viper can attest, even the most spiteful of varieties can induce an almost transcendental state, focusing the mind solely on the heat scorching the walls of the mouth and the resulting endorphin rush. You don’t get that from a bag of kale chips. And when you consider a chilli’s analgesic properties, its iron content,
myriad vitamins and antioxidants with implications for weightloss, cancer-prevention and longevity… come on, what’s not to like? This is our manual to the nutritional love that hurts. From an informative anatomy of the beast and gut-searing sauce and rub recipes, to the hottest chillies known to man and tips on how to rescue a meal when you’ve really overdone it, consider this a handbook for connoisseurs on how to bring the heat. And if ever you are tempted to forego the ﬂames, remember: there’s no gain without a little pain.
From Sriracha to Tabasco, the beneﬁts of introducing a little piquancy to your meal can spice up your workouts. We asked sensei of spice Ross Shonhan, founder of ramen hotspots Extinguish DOMS With Bone Daddies, for his Chipotle Sauce own secret condiment So effective is capsaicin at recipes to pep up dampening pain signals between your nutrition plan at nerve endings and your brain, it’s employed in pain relief gels, home. Blaze a trail often creams and even plasters. Which to future greatness is great, if not very gourmet. But
reduction in your appetite after a hot meal. Fire up your morning eggs
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Smoke Your Cardio With Jalapeño Dressing
Torch Cravings With Citrus Ponzu Jam
by combining chilli paste with inflammation-reducing apple cider vinegar, this sauce becomes an analgesic with a culinary kick. Heat the ingredients to combine, adding the cider vinegar last.
Jalapeños are packed with vit C (roughly 40mg more than the average orange) which, when sprinkled over an iron-rich plate of leafy greens, enhances absorption of the mineral in your gut. This supercharges energy production – useful whether you’re training after work or simply need to cheat the mid-afternoon slump. Puree the peppers in a blender, mix in the other ingredients and emulsify.
The fiery bird’s eye chilli is not only adept at boosting your metabolism to encourage fat loss but, according to a study in the journal Appetite, pp , increases the sensation off fullness, f too, helping to prevent oveereating. Combine that with olive oill – shown h to stimulate GLP-1, a horm mone that h promotes satiety – and this is jam am will help those rolls around your ur middle flatten out. Blend and storee for a month in the fridge.
• Chipotle paste, 200g • Organic honey, 200g • Sake, 2tbsp • Garlic paste, 1tsp • Apple cider vinegar, 2tbsp
• Jalapeño, 15g, with seeds • Jalapeño, 20g, de-seeded • A serrano pepper • Grapeseed oil, 360ml • Garlic paste, 16g • Sea salt, 16g • Rice vinegar, 300ml
• Red chilli, 80g ed • A bird’s eye chilli, de-seeded • Olive oil, 1tbsp • Yuzu juice, 2tbsp • Mirin, 1tbsp • Rice wine vinegar, 1tbsp • Zest of one orange
FOOD STYLIST: JACK SARGESON
01\ Fire Starters
Burn After Reading 02\ Hot To Handle To avoid getting burned, you need to know a chilli’s bark from its bite. Food scientist Dr Stuart Farrimond, who worked with Encona for the launch of its Carolina Reaper hot sauce, breaks down the constituent parts of the classic capsicum annuum
Calyx Apex The mildest part of the chilli – the tip. If you’re new to this, tackle this end and leave the rest alone. Or you could, you know, grow a pair and get stuck in.
The fibrous stem, which connects the chilli to the rest of the plant, is best removed before cooking. In small peppers this is a good entry point for opening up the fruit to remove the seeds.
Seeds Despite the myth, these aren’t the culprits – in fact, they’re usually flavourless and contain very little capsaicin. However, they are more often than not coated in oil from the ‘placenta’, which is why it’s unwise to take a toilet break directly after deseeding.
Exocarp The ‘skin’ of the pepper. Different colours indicate the presence of different healthy properties: yellow peppers contain vision-protecting lutein, orange pack immunising beta-carotene, and red peppers boost your levels of vitamin A.
Placenta Capsaicin is the source of a chilli’s power and this is produced and stored as minute droplets in the white, pithy placenta. Nearly all of the heat (and little of the pleasure) comes from the oil in here. Discard.
MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
Off The Scale Invented in 1912, each unit on the Scoville scale denotes the dilution a particular chilli required before its testers could no longer feel the effects
The water-rich flesh of the chilli is what gives the pepper its crunch, texture and structure. It’s also what lends it that fruity flavour that tastes so good raw in your Indian and Mexican dishes.
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03\ High And Dry While fresh chillies lend a lively sting to stir-fries and garnishes, it’s the dried varieties that give curries their slow but potent burn. What’s more, fresh chillies aren’t in season for long and have a short shelf-life, so prepping your own dry blends will keep you in heat all year. Here, Lisa Guy of the Dorset Chilli Shop (dorsetchillishop.co.uk) suggests heady concoctions for healthy scenarios. In each case, dry your chillies on a tray at 100°C for 15 minutes, then whizz in a spice (or coffee) blender and store until needed
T Longevity The Mixer A study conducted by the Uni of Vermont nt found that chillies help keep your heart pumping, while other research shows that those who like it hot enjoy longer lives. Meanwhile, parsley and coriander are packed full of vit K, which crushes your mortality risk. Use this mix (sparingly) inn fishcakes. Skip the side of chips for best results, though. Ingredients • Thai bird’s eye chilli, ½ • Red curry powder, 1tbsp • Dried parsley, 1tbsp • Dried coriander, 1tbsp • Chia seeds, 1tbsp
The Post Post-Gym Fire Blanket ket The Dorset naga once held the top spot for heat intensity in the UK – and you’ll see why. Balance the oral assault with cumin, which is an effective painkiller. Add a third of the mix to your pot to create a fiery curry that will help you blot out irksome training pains. Although we would advise saving this dish until your session is over. Ingredients
Scorpion chillies immolate fat with around 300x the heat of a jalapeño pepper
• Dorset naga, ½ • Garlic powder, 2tbsp • Paprika, 1tbsp • Cumin, 1tbsp • Caraway seeds, ½tbsp ½ • Salt & pepper, ½ttbsp
Sears through inﬂammation with a super high Scoville rating
Th W The Weight ht Combustor The mix below provides the ideal rub for a lean grill-up. Not only does the chilli speed up your fat-burning, but nutritionists at Columbia University found that adding ginger to your meals scorches an extra 43 calories. This one is not for the faint of heart, admittedly. But it will be for the low of body fat. Ingredients • A trinidad moruga scorpion chilli, whole • Mild curry powder, 1tbsp • Garlic powder, ½tbsp • Ginger powder, 1tbsp • Chinese five-spice powder, ½tbsp • Sesame seeds, 1tbsp
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Decreases your risk of premature death by up to 13%
The Pre-Bed Balancer A milder but no less fragrant chilli, the kashmiri isn’t going to keep you up all night. ht. But that’s rather thee point: by combining the fruit’s appetitesuppressing effects with a dose of blooddsugar-regulating cinnamon, you’ll keep ep metabolism ticking over while you get some much needed shuteye. Mix it into your protein oats an hour before lights out. Ingredients • A kashmiri chilli, whole • Cinnamon powder, 2tbsp • Ginger powder, 1tbsp • Ground nutmeg, 1tbsp • Fine orange peel, 1tbsp
Inhibits pancreatic cancer cells for better insulin function and metabolism
Burn After Reading 04\ Damage Limitation
your vit C RDA per glass
Forging a career out of eating absurdly spicy foods is a vocation of, one assumes, limited appeal. But for Chilli Dave – competitive eater and co-founder of the Clifton Chilli Club – it’s all in a day’s work. These are his tips for pain management
05\ Hot Blooded You don’t always need to chew, you know. This chilli-infused Bloody Mary alternative from Richard Hunt, drinks expert and owner of London’s The Mint Gun Club (onesour.com), not only adds welcome spice to your mixer, but will bolster heart and soul long after the hangover subsides
Shake it off
The Ancho Chilli ‘Marita’
“High-fibre foods such as bananas can assist with the transit of the chillies through the digestive system,” he says, “while the fat in peanut butter will dissolve harmful particles. Add both to half a pint of milk and a scoop of protein to strong-arm the pain.”
If the Bloody Mary is a drink close to your heart, this hot Marita variety should be closer. A Spanish study found that the polyphenols in sherry improve cardio health by preventing the build-up of LDL cholesterol. Meanwhile, chilli has been proven to reduce both blood pressure and artery-blocking clots. Either mix the ingredients and pour over ice, or serve in the traditional way: blend the chilli and garlic and pour into a shot glass, then do the same with the liquid. Down this first, and follow up with the spices. A word of warning: ironically, ordering this on date night will likely lead to heartbreak.
Express yourself “Firing off a few choice expletives in the throes of a heatwave can help psychologically dowse the flames. Research from the University of California apparently shows that expressing pain verbally can reduce its intensity. Which I think is fucking great.”
Mind over matter
Ingredients • An ancho chilli, finely chopped • Black garlic, ½ clove, crushed • Mezcal Burrito Fiestero, 1 part • Manzanilla sherry, 1 part • Tomato juice, 2 parts
“I find that if you’re totally at one with your mind, body and soul, then, occasionally, you’re able to convince yourself that the pain is just an illusion and that, eventually, all things must pass. Admittedly, this is a little easier said than done…”
drop in systolic BP from spicy tomato juice
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06\ 6\ The Fire Inside
Every time you ingest the holy chilli, you set off ﬁreworks in the body. Some you know all too well; others may come as a pleasant surprise. Here, we anatomically assess the effects of capsaicin on your constitution, from liver disease to heart health Nose
Just a spoonful of hot sauce can be easily enough to clear up sinus congestion. In fact, a University of Cincinnati study found that nasal sprays containing capsaicin were most effective for clearing up inflammation. It should go without saying that this is best taken orally.
A study by Purdue University found that adding chilli powder to meals resulted in a decreased appetite for salty, fatty and sweet foods later in the day – presumably not just because your mouth is so numb you’ve lost your sense of taste. Either way, it will help to swerve the call of the biscuit tin come 3pm.
Mouth Anyone who claims to have developed a ‘taste’ for incendiary chillies is lying. “It’s not the tastebuds that are activated but the pain-sensing nerves lining the mouth,” explains Dr Farrimond. “The rush of feelgood endorphins is what keeps you coming back for more.” Remember: the hotter the chilli, the greater the eventual payoff.
Liver Here’s some great news if you have a penchant for pubs and late-night Turkish establishments: capsaicin not only helps to repair liver damage but can halt the progression of liver fibrosis, the European Association for the Study of the Liver reports. Which makes a hearty breakfast of eggs and Tabasco more advisable than an early-hours kebab.
Fat Stores If you’re carrying a little extra baggage, don’t sweat about missing the odd cardio session: “The capsaicin in chillies turns up the body’s internal thermostat and can cause your body to burn an extra 50 calories a day,” says Dr Farrimond. Just don’t make a habit of swapping your evening run for a plate of jalfrezi.
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Gut It’s not just you who fears the burn – it seems that the Big C can’t handle the heat either. Capsaicin causes the activation of cell receptors lining the intestine, which, in turn, acts to suppress the development of colorectal tumours, according to the Uni of California. Best remember that one the next time you’re debating your sauce selection at Nando’s.
improvement in blood sugar if eaten daily
Frrom m anc ncie ieentt frruuitts sttee eepe pedd pe in gri r sl slyy trib trib tr ibbal al trraadi al diti diti t on ons to lab-grrow ownn hyybrridds re report repo rted teddly caapa pablee off kil pabl illi lli ling n a hum uman an, chhil illi lliies tha h t fa fall l intto thee bracket of ‘ssu supe supe perh erhhot o ’ wouldd make a haabban ban a er ero tast taast se more like Haribo bboo. SSttill illl th thin hinnk you can taakkee thee heat? This is the loowdown on high-risk nutrition
01 Red savina habanero Despite its Spanish name roughly translating as “from Havana”, it’s believed that this species was originally discovered in the Amazon basin, before being brought northwards through Mexico. The modern iteration has been tinkered with by chilli aficionados in California to create a heavier and spicier fruit, and is now used in ultra hot Yucatan dishes. Despite scoring a modest 350,000 Scoville units, this chilli held the record as the world’s hottest up until 2006. In other words, it’s still muy fuerte.
03 Drag Dr raggonn’s bre reat atth
02 Carolina reaper Stocked at your local Tesco as of this year – though the supermarket advises customers to wear gloves before touching and, rather confusingly, to not actually eat it – the carolina reaper is thought to be a hybrid of the pakistani naga and a red habanero from the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent; two regions steeped in chilli heritage. The legacy lives on: the reaper is the official title holder of The World’s Hottest Chilli and clocks in at 2.2 million Scovilles, around 500 times hotter than Tabasco.
Grown in Denbighshire, North Wales, this unholy creation charts at an alleged 2.4 million Scoville units, making it – if confirmed – the hottest chilli in existence. As it is, originator Neal Price is the only man on record having actually tried it. “After its initial fruity flavour, the extreme heat lasts for about half an hour,” is his verdict. Which may be something of an understatement, given that experts agree swallowing one whole would put you at risk of death from anaphylactic shock.
Burn After Reading
08\ Red Alert Experiment with chillies in the kitchen and you can send dinner up in ﬂames. How often have you decided to knock up a romantic meal for two, only to serve your partner a dish hotter than Hades? To help keep Breathe Fire The antioxidant a controlled hand carotenoids in chilli on the thermostat, coat your cells with we asked Cyrus a protective layer Todiwala, renowned to stave off damage chef at London’s from air pollution Café Spice Namasté, hoow to bring an overspi spiced meal back from the brink of hell Carb Your Enthusiasm “Peel, quarter and parboil some floury potatoes (Maris Piper or King Edward), then add them to your dish while giving it another 10 minutes to cook,” says Todiwala. “Their porous texture will absorb much of the liquid from the dish – and, with it, the heat from the chilies.”
05 Moruga scorpion
of food pathogens killed by adding chillies
04 Bhut jolok Bh ollok okia iaa (gho (g gho h stt pep eppe ppeer) r) Cultivated in the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur, this variety peaks at ar nd 1 million uni on the Scoville scale. Tradition has it that the headhun rs of the ferocious Naga tribespeople would cook the skulls of their victims with the chillies to melt away the flesh. And its violent connotations continue to this day, as the Indian government has harnessed the chilli’s incapacitating powers to create militarygrade stun grenades. Great in vindaloos, though.
So-named because of its vicious sting, the moruga is another species to have been hailed the world’s hottest, this time by the New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute back in 2012. Native to Trinidad and Tobago, where its oil is mixed into marine paint to prevent barnacles attaching to the bottoms of boats, this golf ball-sized variety is certainly the hottest naturally occurring chilli in the world – in other words, not a manmade Frankenstein’s monster of other strains.
Cool White “Greek yoghurt is high in casein, a muscle-boosting protein that binds with the chilli’s spicy capsaicin oil and washes it away. Mix a few tablespoons into your dish, but just be careful not to overheat it or the yoghurt may curdle.”
Sweet Surrender “The first taste the tongue picks up, before any other, is sweetness. Because of this, a tin of tomato passata mixed into your dish will distract the tongue from the hot chilli. Add an extra handful of fresh coriander to balance the flavour.”
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Peak Fitness Kilian Jornet breaks records. Earlier this year, he not only conquered Everest twice in one week, but became the first person to do so without supplemental oxygen. Attempted by any other, this would have resulted in one more body on the mountainside. But for Jornet it was simply the latest in a string of spectacular achievements. MH chased down the elusive man redefining extreme endurance
Words by Tom Ward â€“ Artwork by Peter Crowther
HOW DOES THE FITTEST RUNNER ON EARTH REACH SUCH DIZZYING HEIGHTS?
H e is not like us, you or me, Kilian Jornet. On 22 May 2017 the Spanish mountaineer, adventurist and ultra runner astounded experts and obliterated past milestones by ascending Everest without so much as an oxygen mask in just 26 hours. Irked that a stomach bug had hampered this ﬁrst ascent, he set out to do it again ﬁve days later; this time he reached the summit in just 17 hours. That he completed both climbs with just two litres of water, 10 energy gels and a pair of mittens is testament to his preternatural resilience. That he raced up the world’s highest mountain without oxygen twice in the same week – coming within 15 minutes of setting a new speed record in the process – is little short of remarkable. Eight weeks later, Jornet, then 29, embarked upon another herculean challenge: the notorious Hardrock 100 Endurance Race. An ultramarathon held annually on the alpine ridges of Southern Colorado’s San Juan Range, it covers 10,000m of elevation over 100 miles. Fresh (in his world) from his Himalayan endeavours, Jornet did not immediately enjoy the same success – 13 miles in, he tripped and dislocated his left arm. His legs, however, were feeling just ﬁne. With a race still to run, Jornet popped his own shoulder back into place and ran the remaining 87 miles in a makeshift sling. A little over 24 hours later he won the race – his third win in four years. (He turned in a disappointing second in 2016.) Meanwhile, when he’s not winning ultramarathons, he also speed-climbs, competes in duathlons and holds records in ski mountaineering and mountain running. More often than not, whatever extreme activity or challenge Jornet decides to pursue, he excels at. Alpinism, in particular, is a sport that deals in extremes – of altitude, mental fortitude and endurance. But even in a ﬁeld that’s crowded with exceptional
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Evolution Of Man Jornet’s stats form a complete picture of ﬁtness. Target his nightly hours and you’ll build a solid base for your cardio endeavours. Well, it’s a start
59kg 5'7" 90ml 8% 5.3L 8hr Weight
VO2 max: min/kg
Sleep per night
athletes and noteworthy accomplishments, Jornet’s innate ability stands apart as something profound. So what is his secret? Genetics? Training? Or something less tangible? Before he set oﬀ to conquer yet another mountain, MH travelled to Jornet’s home in Norway to ﬁnd out what it takes to push beyond the wall.
Breathing Room Mount Everest stands at 8850m, making its peak the highest scalable point in the world. At this height the availability of oxygen is just a third of that at sea level. Consequently, for those able to even make it that far, blood oxygen levels plummet from around 99% to just 40%. The average climber will notice these eﬀects at around 3500m. Pulse and heart rates will become elevated as the body attempts to make up for the deﬁciency. Nausea and headaches are common; vision and balance become impaired. Left to his own devices, a climber in this position is at risk of developing either High Altitude
Kilian Jornet Matterhorn poster in my bedroom, so I thought it would be nice to try and climb some of these mountains,” he says with keen understatement. “Just in a lighter, more minimalist way.”
Freedom To Roam
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: SÉBASTIEN MONTAZ-ROSSET/SUMMITS OF MY LIFE, DANIEL PETTY/GETTY
JORNET CLIMBS WITH MINIMAL KIT, FOOD AND WATER TO STAY FAST ON HIS FEET
Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE), in which ﬂuid leaks into the alveoli of the lungs and compromises breathing, or High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE), in which ﬂuid leaks into the brain. Both can be fatal. The easiest way to prevent them is to carry enough 2.7kg oxygen canisters to sustain you. Unsurprisingly, most do. After all, the risk of not doing so is vast: 22% of deaths above 7900m are those climbing without oxygen. In short, only someone of singular determination and athletic ability would purposefully set out to submit body and mind to such conditions. And only a madman would do it twice. “Actually the plan was not to try and climb Everest twice. My goal was to climb to the summit quickly, on my own, and to light a ﬁre without oxygen,” says Jornet, an aﬀable, easy-going speaker with the air of someone recalling a brisk jaunt around the local park. “But the ﬁrst time I climbed to the summit I had some
digestion trouble and was vomiting. Afterwards, with another week left in the Himalayas and nothing else to do, I thought, ‘OK, if I can recover it would be nice to try to go up there again.’” This natural aﬃnity with altitude is in the blood. Born in 1987, Jornet grew up in Refugi de Cap de Rec, an alpine resort in the Pyrenees where his father worked as a mountain guide. Here Jornet spent the ﬁrst 13 years of his life above 2000m. It was an active upbringing: he experienced his ﬁrst seven-hour hike aged 18 months and completed his ﬁrst crossing of the Pyrenees aged 10. As a teenager, ski mountaineering became a passion and a place on the national team beckoned. By his early twenties he had achieved renown as a long-distance runner, winning competitions across Europe, America and Australia. Such an upbringing was evidently the perfect incubator for developing Jornet’s extraordinary athletic prowess. But early glory led to Jornet growing, if not complacent, then certainly apathetic. To retain his interest in his sport, he knew that he would have to push himself in new and challenging directions. “I’d been trying to ﬁnd motivation by opening up new ﬁelds,” he says. “I don’t like to do the same thing all the time, I always need to do something else to keep motivated.” From this period of stagnation, a new obsession developed. “I grew up in the mountains and had a
This initial spark set light to the ‘Summits of My Life’ project during which Jornet set out to claim fastest ascent and descent records on six of the world’s most famous mountains, from the Matterhorn to Denali. Beginning in 2012, the dual Everest ascent represented the culmination of this venture. His principal objective, he tells MH, was to re-deﬁne how climbers approach mountains, with an emphasis on fast movements and minimal equipment, as opposed to the traditional long, slow slog to the summit. In other words, he wanted to take trail running discipline and apply it to vertical routes. “For me the mountain is a space of freedom,” Jornet told Spanish newspaper El Pais ahead of this year’s Everest attempt. “I try to go light so I can move quickly. In this way, we spend less time in altitude and our body fatigues less.” Jornet’s theory proved correct. On the ﬁnal summit push above 8400m, he averaged an incredible 330 vertical metres per hour. His slight frame – he weighs in at just 59kg – certainly helps, but there is far more at play. In mountaineering and trail pursuits, Jornet estimates that he climbs 600,000m of total ascent per year. As a result, his VO2 max level – the measurement of oxygen distribution throughout the bloodstream under eﬀort – comes in at an almost unfathomable 85-90ml/min/kg. Meanwhile, his lung capacity has grown to 5.3 litres – almost 1.5 litres greater than an average male of the same height. “Kilian has one of the biggest bases of aerobic ﬁtness of any athlete, probably in the world. He’s been logging over 1200 hours of training per year since his late teens,” says Scott Johnston, coach to Nordic World Ski Championship athletes and mountaineers, and co-founder of training resource uphillathlete.com. “And this is not randomised exercise he’s doing. He studied and graduated with a degree in exercise science [from the University of Perpignan] and worked with top coaches for many years.” But while Jornet’s commitment to training is laudable (he actually estimates
“For me the mountain is a space of freedom”
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Summits Of My Life Having scaled the world’s most prominent mountains in record time, Jornet is ready for a new project. Take inspiration – then set targets of your own his training hours to be higher, around 20-30 hours per week, preferring to stay ﬁt all year round rather than go all-out for a speciﬁc event) many professional athletes also work with top coaches and likewise train as often as possible in their relative sports. And yet still the vast majority will fail to achieve truly noteworthy feats. Even among the top 10% of athletes, Jornet seems to occupy a division of his own. Beyond innate ﬁtness, determination and discipline, most agree that there must be another factor behind his extraordinary abilities – something altogether quite diﬀerent.
Matterhorn Height – 4478m Time – 01:56:00
Mont Blanc Height – 4810m Time – 04:57:00
Denali Height – 6168m Time – 11:48:00
Aconcagua Height – 6960m Time – 12:49:00
Everest Height – 8850m Time – 17:00:00
The Upper Limits Jornet has always had an inquisitive nature, often to the detriment of his own wellbeing. “I once stopped eating to see how long the body can keep going without food,” he recalls. “I was training for three to four hours in the morning then doing another session in the afternoon.” After ﬁve days without food, he collapsed while out running, but was nevertheless overjoyed with the results of his experiment. “[Afterwards] I knew it was possible to go for ﬁve days without food and not die,” he says. Recently, he experimented with the eﬀects of not drinking over the course of a 20-hour run. He is currently playing with 30-hour training weeks of long interval runs and climbs in an attempt to see what eﬀect this will have on his racing speed. His Everest feat was perhaps the riskiest experiment of them all. “I knew that I didn’t have hypothermia so I wanted to explore,” he says of his push to the top of the world. “I wanted to try and ﬁnd out how the body performs in diﬀerent situations.” Putting one’s life at risk with such a climb, or running for the best part of a day without hydration, might seem like excessively punishing and dangerous undertakings. But in Jornet’s view, it is only by exploring the limits of endurance that performance can be advanced. Unlike the majority of his competitors, he doesn’t view competitions as the worst place to roadtest new theories for the ﬁrst time. “There are a lot of theories [about performance] but it’s important to actually try things,” he explains. “The worst case is that you lose races – I think that’s worth risking
EXPERIMENTATION, THOUGH DANGEROUS, HELPS JORNET STRAY FROM HIS LIMITS
if, in doing so, you ﬁnd out something interesting.” More than a pursuit of summits or records, Jornet’s career is a pursuit of knowledge. He explains that the ﬁrst thought that crosses his mind after a race is how he can go faster next time, whether that is by augmenting performance, or developing a new tactic. “It’s good for your motivation to want to break a record, but afterwards what’s more important is how you have learned from it,” he says. While he admits that he has always been competitive, it is the push to see not just how far his body can go but how far we can all go that drives him, “I think it’s important to explore what is possible, both for me and for others. Maybe I can get to a summit by climbing in a certain way and then think ‘OK, so my limit was there, but the other person can do this or that.’ It’s interesting to explore outside of what is [thought to be] possible.”
“Kilian climbs 600,000m of total ascent every year”
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Cheating Nature Though he may be the one generating the most headlines, Jornet is not a lone ﬁgure in the mountaineering community when it comes to exploring new avenues. Adrian
Ballinger, 41, has climbed Everest seven times. He summited without supplemental oxygen for the ﬁrst time this year after a failed attempt in 2016. Determined to discover exactly what had let him down, Ballinger began training with Scott Johnston. The ﬁrst step was to undergo a metabolic eﬃciency test. “I found out I was really metabolically ineﬃcient when climbing,” says Ballinger. “I actually shifted from burning fat to carbohydrates at a heart rate of about 115bpm.” When you’re high on Everest, Ballinger points out, it’s almost impossible to stop and eat. With no new calories coming in, the body switches to burning through stored carbohydrates for energy. Not only is this a less eﬃcient energy source than fat, but once it’s gone, all calorie reserves are depleted. This is precisely what happened to Ballinger in 2016. By contrast, Jornet’s body is geared toward fuelling itself diﬀerently; on his own attempts, this switch to using carbohydrates didn’t occur until much later in his ascent. By following a carb-restricted diet and ensuring that half of his workouts in the build up to Everest were fasted,
Surviving On Thin Air The higher you go, the harder it is to drink down enough oxygen. Use this scale to inform your alpinist feats 8000m The ‘Death Zone’ – where oxygen is insufficient to sustain life – begins here. Get down. Fast
6400m The average hypoxic chamber can simulate conditions up to this altitude, helping your body to adapt from sea level
5950m Humans have survived here for up to two years, making it the highest altitude for long-term tolerance
5000m At Everest Base Camp, the oxygen level plummets to roughly half that of sea level. Deep breath…
3500m The (dangerous) effects of altitude sickness begin here. Say hello to nausea, dizziness and headaches
2500m About 140 million people live at this height, and their bodies permanently adapt to the lower oxygen levels
JORNET INSPIRES OTHER CLIMBERS TO RETHINK WHAT’S HUMANLY POSSIBLE
low intensity and long distance – in other words, the very conditions he would experience on Everest – Ballinger encouraged his body to switch to burning fat ﬁrst, increasing the limit at which his body switches to carbohydrate stores to 143bpm. “Exploring new technologies and training is part of what fascinates me with this sport,” he says. “When I started big mountain climbing, I felt like it was being done the same way it had been since the 1950s; the system, the schedule, the acclimatisation process, everything had stayed the same.” By approaching the sport as a multi-discipline athlete, Ballinger believes Jornet had the freedom to approach the mountain with a much fresher mind-set. “My opinion of Kilian and that of the community is one of real excitement. When well-trained, aerobic athletes from sports like running come into climbing, I think there’s just so much potential. Many alpinist climbers – and I would include myself in this – tend to be untrained. There’s a belief that this sport is all about suﬀering, and the more you suﬀer the more you achieve. But the past few years have seen science, data and athletes such as Kilian come in and show that it is possible to excel with a smarter approach. It’s like he’s breaking through a mental barrier, showing people what’s possible.” But while Jornet’s inquisitiveness, lateral thinking and genetic advantages undoubtedly help fuel his dominance, like any athlete, it is a life-long dedication to his sport – starting with that ﬁrst hike aged 18 months – that has seen him excel. Whereas Ballinger was in his late teens before he climbed his ﬁrst mountain,
Jornet has been climbing them ever since he could walk. “The training history of an athlete is the best determination of his performance. It takes years for the physiological adaptations and developments known to enhance endurance to maximise their eﬀect,” says Johnston. “If a 35-year-old suddenly decides he wants to emulate Kilian – whether that’s starting to run ultras or climbing Everest – he will never reach his ultimate genetic potential for endurance because the ageing process will be working at a faster rate than the training process works. There just is no magic high-intensity shortcut.”
Mind Over Mountain Perhaps Jornet’s most closely guarded weapon is also his most unexpected. Unlike most athletes, he claims that everything he does is ultimately meaningless. It’s a kind of nihilism that beﬁts one who spends his life among the cold majesty of mountaintops. “Racing is fun and it keeps you motivated, but it is nothing important,” he says. “Even if you are Olympic champion, all that means is that at this time, in this race, you were faster than the other guys. In general we put sport on too high a pedestal. We are not educating people. We are not investigating ways to make the world better through new medicines or new energies. It’s just a game.” From this comes Jornet’s most salient piece of advice, and one that is equally applicable to summits both real and metaphysical. “Thinking that what you’re doing isn’t that important actually makes things much easier,” he says. “I have seen people who are really well prepared, but then on the day of the race they put themselves under so much pressure that they don’t perform. If you relax, you don’t have the unnecessary stress of thinking, ‘OK, today I can be a hero.’ Instead, you complete the race the way you want.” We all have our own heights to scale and limits to test. We may not all aim to sample the rareﬁed air of snowcapped peaks or to embark on 100-mile runs for fun. But as Jornet has demonstrated, whatever the challenge, preparing thoroughly and being open-minded about how you tackle it is likely to yield results. In the meantime, the extraordinary Spaniard has a short race in Switzerland coming up, followed by a 100-mile race in the French Alps. After that, his schedule is open. “The list of ideas is very big,” he says, reﬂectively. “Now is the time to take it down and choose which one is next.”
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HOW TO SURVIVE THE HEALTH APOCALYPSE WORDS BY TOM BANHAM - PHOTOGRAPHY BY HEARST STUDIOS
Diabetes! Cancer! Alcohol! Pollution! Glance at the headlines and an untimely death is seemingly one pint, bacon sandwich or roadside commute away. But you needn’t live in fear. With some fairly innocuous lifestyle prescriptions, you can outmanoeuvre the most doom-laden of prophecies and recalibrate your health to combat the wellbeing cataclysm. It’s not too late. Save yourselves
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01\ ANXIETY! Anxiety and depression might be the biggest problems you’ll face. But your fate isn’t written. Something as simple as turning up the stereo can help you drown out the darkest of days The Fear Brexit. North Korea’s build-your-ownmissile kits. How many likes your avocado frittata got on Instagram. No wonder we’re living in the so-called age of anxiety. In fact, it’s now the second-largest mental health issue worldwide after depression, with almost 17% of UK men affected. And with Trump’s finger above the big red button, our impending annihilation is only fuelling the fire. The Truth According to Harvard Health, not only does anxiety come with the obvious social and mental implications, but it’s also been linked to gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic respiratory disorders and heart disease. In fact, according to a Nurses’
MENTAL TROUBLES CAN FLY UNDER THE RADAR. IT’S TIME TO TAKE AIM
Health Study, people with high levels of anxiety are 59% more likely to have a heart attack. But we are getting better at dealing with it. “We’re now seeing an increased demand for support,” says Nicky Lidbetter, CEO of Anxiety UK. “There is a growing openness and honesty around mental health conditions such as anxiety.” Which isn’t to say your carefully filtered brunch snaps don’t play a part. University of Chicago researchers found social media to be more addictive than cigarettes, while a University of Pittsburgh study warns those on more than seven platforms – including YouTube and LinkedIn – triple their odds of depression and low self-esteem. Unlike! The Plan The answer is to get rid of your playlist. Not because doing so signals a return to a prelapsarian, anxiety-free utopia, but because when it comes to calming down, there’s only one song you need. Weightless, a track written in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy, was found by neuroscientists to reduce anxiety symptoms by up to 65%, according to subjects’ heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity, making it the most relaxing song of all time. It might sound about as rock’n’roll as headbanging to Coldplay, but when the forces of holistic reckoning are converging against you, a little respite can help you avoid the end of days, today and tomorrow.
02\ DIABETES! Yes, more of us than ever are carrying a little extra. And yes, it is damaging for your health. But a few non-restrictive dietary switch-ups can sweeten your deal The Fear TV screens, sugary juice cleanses and our taste for fast food are all to blame for an uptick in your Type 2 risk. According to Public Health England, around four million people currently have the disease – that’s 9% of the UK adult population – with the figure set to jump to five million by 2025. Not only does it cost the NHS nearly £9bn a year, experts believe 25% of sufferers are undiagnosed, making this a big, fat national calamity waiting to happen. The Truth There’s no avoiding it; we are indeed getting fatter, with the average male waist widening from 34in in 1967 to a hefty 37in today. We’re also 10kg heavier than the previous generation, with our bulging frames responsible for the ballooning diabetes risk, which, in turn, vastly increases your chances of developing everything from heart disease to kidney disease and suffering a
stroke. In fact, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Open, 35% of Brits are now prediabetic – a 300% increase inside a decade. You might be among them if your trousers measure more than 35in, says Libby Dowling, senior clinical advisor at Diabetes UK. “Family history, age and ethnicity all play a role in your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the biggest contributing factor is weight.” All of which calls for a dietary judgement day. The Plan To pretty much immediately cut your risk in half, swap sweet snacks for something much sharper. A Korean study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found fermented foods reverse insulin resistance. In the study, two groups ate either fresh or fermented kimchi over a 16-week period. Both groups significantly decreased their waist circumference and BMI, but the group dining on the fermented option also ordered up a side dish of increased insulin sensitivity and improved glucose tolerance, lessening their risk of Type 2 diabetes by a lip-smacking 33%. Which means opting for a pickled side with your on-trend Korean BBQ will help you scorch the earth of an early reckoning.
PORE OVER THE FACTS TO SHAKE OFF YOUR CHANCES
“Fermented foods such as kimchi lessen the risk of diabetes by a lipsmacking 33%”
2017 Survival Guide
PUT A CORK IN ALCOHOL SCARE STORIES
04\ YOUR COMMUTE! No need to quit the day job (sorry). But a few wellplaced words with your boss could make all the diﬀerence to you both The Fear Work might spike your stress levels but getting there is even worse, with a long commute raising your odds of depression by 33% – making it 40% more likely you’ll suffer financial problems and increasing your obesity risk by 21%. In short, our reliance on planes, trains and automobiles is running your health into the ground.
03\ BOOZE! In excess, the sauce slathers your longevity in all sorts of nasties. In reality, a celebratory tipple may well be the toast to your good health The Fear While your Friday night pint is nothing to be scared of, 63,000 Brits will suffer booze-related deaths over the next five years. But according to headlines (and research in the British Medical Journal), even occasional drinkers triple their risk of brain atrophy and dementia. You can be forgiven for requiring some Dutch courage. The Truth Buy-one-get-onefree offers and industry lobbying meant that by 2004 we were guzzling more alcohol than we had in a century. But in the last decade, restraint has returned. “In turn, there
The Truth According to the Royal Society for Public Health, the average commute is 56 minutes – almost an entire working day per week. Londoners spend an extra 23 minutes getting to and from the office, which, depending on your point of view, may well serve them right. But, whatever your postcode, the has been a drop in alcoholrelated health problems,” says Dr John Holmes, from the Sheffield Alcohol Research Group. In fact, more than a quarter of 16-to-24-year-olds abstain completely, according to the Office for National Statistics. Fancy some healthy red wine? Not so fast; GPs have recently rowed back on claims that the odd glass is healthier than teetotalism. In fact, the government’s chief medical officer says the safest amount of booze is none at all. Good for your body, meagre sustenance for your soul. The Plan Despite these claims, moderate drinking isn’t quite the evil it’s made out to be. It balances out your risk of diabetes while enhancing memory and cognitive health. And dulling the damage isn’t rocket science: the University of Southampton found an extra two cups of coffee a day can lessen liver issues by 44%. Put the kettle on.
long slog to work is bad news, with the ONS finding that after the first 30 minutes of commuting, each subsequent minute significantly slashes your life satisfaction. And it isn’t as simple as sucking it up; The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found your to-and-fro leads to high blood pressure and higher cholesterol, while daily travel encourages depression, anxiety and social isolation. A steep price to pay for spending an hour a day with your face stuck in a stranger’s armpit. The Plan Stay at home. If you’ve been in your job more than 26 weeks, you’re legally entitled to request flexible working. “It can be anything from reduced hours to working from home,” says employment lawyer Philip Landau (landaulaw.co.uk). Explain to your boss how doing so will improve your efficiency and be prepared to negotiate; three days at home is punching, one or two is more reasonable. Remember: employers want happy and healthy employees, too.
RE-WORK YOUR 9-5 BEFORE YOU REACH BOILING POINT
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2017 Survival Guide STACK THE ODDS BACK IN YOUR FAVOUR
REST ASSURED THAT THERE’S A SOLUTION
05\ INSOMNIA! No need to lose sleep. Insomnia may be a blight on your day, but by reworking your approach to your eight hours, you’ll wake up a healthier man The Fear Eighty per cent of Brits don’t get enough shuteye, which not only increases your likelihood of dropping a kettlebell on your toes, but ramps up your risk of diabetes, CVD, obesity and depression. Plus, it damages relationships, IQs and work performance. Oh, and your brain starts eating itself. It’s enough to keep you up at night, basically. The Truth Insomnia isn’t just the result of too much pre-bed Instagram/caffeine/exercise, but an illness suffered by a third of the population. “We work later and watch screens later,” says sleep expert Neil
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Stanley. “But sleep is the foundation of good physical and mental health. Get it right and everything in your life will improve.” Which is a great sentiment, but with your risk of early death rocketing by 12% following a string of sleepless nights (according to the journal Sleep), what can we do to combat the prospect of an overwhelmingly holistic doomsday (and night)? The answer, it seems, could be absolutely nothing. The Plan How many hours you need may be hard-wired, but when you get them isn’t. Forgo the pressure to drop off by doing away with a fixed bedtime altogether. Experiment with times until you’re not drowsy the next day, then commit to that time, whether it’s 10pm or 2am. Finally, note down any worries to deal with tomorrow. A Uni of Northwestern study found this increases duration and quality of sleep. Night-night.
CVD is a killer, but few of us will seriously have to worry about it. Common sense, and a new breakfast special, can save the day The Fear Opting to stay in on a Saturday night can’t save you now – not with steak dinners and TV binges raising your risk of heart disease. Feeling down about that? Don’t. A study in the European Heart Journal found that depression doubles your odds of dying from CVD. You’ve one foot in the grave without leaving the house. The Truth Although clogged arteries still see off a quarter of Brits annually, CVD’s morbid grip on your heart is loosening. “The UK death rate from CVD has declined
“Heart attacks are no longer the one-way ticket they used to be”
by more than three quarters since the ’60s,” says Lucy Martin, senior nurse at the British Heart Foundation. But this still amounts to 530 heart attacks and 435 CVD-related deaths a day. And while a heart attack is no longer the one-way ticket it used to be, it’s far from a smooth journey. “More people are surviving, which means more are living with aftereffects,” says Martin. But such a fate is far from nailed on. In fact, a morning indulgence could help stave off your demise. The Plan Doctors spent decades vilifying cholesterol, but new research has found that the cholesterol we eat barely impacts the levels in our blood. Eggs, then, are back on the menu, especially since Tufts University found the lutein in yolks decreases heart attack and stroke risk. When eaten with vegetables, they also increase carotenoid absorption, which further protects against CVD. Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert advises adding avocado (rich in cardiocurative oleic acid), wilted kale and balsamic vinegar to your hearty scramble. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
PROPS: MANDY THE MAKER
06\ HEART DISEASE!
07\ PROSTATE CANCER! Prostate cancer is no joke. But neither is it as scary as headlines suggest. Our takeaway tips will reduce your risk with no uncomfortable eﬀort The Fear The most common male cancer affects one in eight men and kills over 11,000 Brits per year. And, by 2035, experts predict a 12% jump in
diagnoses. Worse still, the UK five-year survival rate is well below the European average. We’re all sitting on a ticking bomb ready to decimate our health at a moment’s notice. The Truth Prostate cancer is a disease of old age – most diagnoses occur after 70 and 84% of patients survive for more than a decade. And while mortality rates in males have generally increased since the ’70s, the last decade actually saw deaths decline by 13%, due to increased awareness and new testing procedures. For the most part, your risk is
thought to be genetic, and not exacerbated by environmental factors – unless you’re mainlining anabolic steroids or gasping through a 20-a-day cigarette habit, which we’re assuming you’re not. But, if you are struggling to sleep through the night and fit into your jeans, get checked; every 4in on your waistline ups your risk by 18%. A change of routine now will help you avoid a fatalistic augury later.
your risk by 18% and 48%, respectively, while, according to a Precision Oncology study, curry reduces inflammation and slows tumour growth. Even better: pack a bag and get your balti in situ. Northwestern University discovered the higher your levels of sunshine-induced vitamin D – of which the Indian subcontinent has an abundance – the better your chances of sending your cancer risk up in smoke.
The Plan Meta-reviews show that diet can play a part in curtailing your susceptibility. Carrots and soy are proven to cut
DON’T SLIP UP WHEN IT COMES TO MEN’S MOST COMMON CANCER
risk from smog, with rapidly spiralling levels of nitrogen dioxide meaning each breath could be ushering you more swiftly toward your last.
SET YOURSELF ON THE ROAD TO LONGER LIFE
08\ POLLUTION! Every move you make, every breath you take, is killing you. Instead of hiding away, the smallest recalibration of your daily routine can help you breathe easy MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
The Fear Your lungs shouldn’t just fear the smoke you choose to suck down. The fresh stuff is now so full of toxins that breathing is ‘the new smoking’, with air pollution to blame for 40,000 deaths annually. Worse still, 59% of us are at
The Truth The ‘new smoking’ tag was coined because, like actual cigarettes in the ’60s, air pollution is an unrecognised crisis. “It kills huge numbers,” says Laurie LaybournLangton, part of an Institute for Public Policy Research study into UK vehicle pollution. This May, the government was sued for the third time over flawed plans to tackle the issue. Its response is to ban new sales of diesel cars by 2040, but don’t hold your breath – unless you live in London, where particulate levels are occasionally worse than in Beijing, leading to respiratory infections and cancer. Plus, the World Health
Organisation found that Brits are 50 times more likely to die of air pollution than those in the US, which is, frankly, embarrassing. The Plan The solution is two-fold. First, make broccoli your lunchtime sidedish. Sulforaphane, a compound in the veg, protects against cancer and the effects of ozone exposure. Now cut back your drive time, even if your car’s electric. “You’re sat in a box in which pollutants are accumulating,” says Laybourn-Langton. A cardio commute helps your body fight damage, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study. But avoid main roads – run next to the dual carriageway and you’ll gulp 10 times as much grubby air. Take the scenic route to a brighter future.
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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOBE LAWRENSON | STYLING BY ERIC DOWN | WORDS BY SHANE C KURUP
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CONVERSE A waterproof design means there’s no need to keep these butter-soft nubuck Chucks under wraps this winter. --Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Waterproof Nubuck £95
With avalanches, injured alpinists and extreme hostile weather to contend with, the job of Chamonix’s elite Mountain Rescue Service places its members in the eye of the storm, each and every day. MH travels to Mont Blanc to discover what it takes to save lives on the most treacherous land mass in the world
WORDS BY TOM WARD – PHOTOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEWS BY ALEX BUISSE
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TOUGH AT THE TOP 01\ Chamonixâ€™s Rescue Service patrols the popular Mont Blanc massif, ready to offer lifesaving assistance around the clock
AT 4808M Mont Blanc is the jewel of the Graian Alps, straddling, the French winter sports mecca of Chamonix to the north, and Italy’s Aosta Valley and to the south. It is the highest mountain in Western Europe and, although comfortably dwarfed by the Asian behemoths of the Himalayas, the sheer number of fatalities it sees makes it the world’s deadliest. A total of 8000 alpinists are estimated to have lost their lives on the mountain in the 231 years since Frenchmen Jacques Balmat and Michel-Gabriel Paccard completed its ﬁrst ascent in 1786. Inherent in the mountain’s lore is a legacy that is not to be disrespected. On 31 January 2015, Alex Buisse, a French photojournalist then aged 29, could not help but ﬁnd himself urgently aware of this history. Delivered to the fresh, white, silent wake of an avalanche, the elite rescue service with which Buisse was embedded had just 15 minutes to extract a skier who had become trapped beneath the snow. After this time, his chances of survival would drop as sharply as the temperature. It was Buisse’s second morning with the team. Despite a heavy snowfall overnight and a high risk of disturbance, many holidaymakers from Chamonix had decided to ski the early-morning powder of the Pré du Rocher, a popular run forming part of the Mont Blanc Massif. When the avalanche came, it was a miracle no one else was trapped. Instead, seemingly unaware of what had happened, skiers continued to use the ridge above the narrow pass from where Buisse and the team were desperately trying to retrieve the trapped man. Unable to winch the skier to safety due to a helicopter fault, and with the snow bank below them still settling, Buisse and the operators were caught in one of the worst avalanche traps that he, at least, had ever experienced. But with a life at stake and a plummeting chance of
survival, the team had little choice but to oﬀer up a prayer as they dug deeper into the snow.
FIT FOR THE TASK An established photographer whose subjects include base jumpers, mountain bikers and climbers, Buisse is no stranger to extreme conditions. As the nature of his trade demands, he is also a keen alpinist and has settled at the foot of Mont Blanc in Chamonix – renowned as one of the oldest ski resorts in France and the site of the ﬁrst Winter Olympics in 1924 – to be closer to his beloved Alps. But should you be or become lost, trapped or injured in the mountains, it is Chamonix’s elite Mountain Rescue Service that will come to your aid. Joining the team on active duty for a week was a project Buisse had been keen to undertake for a long time. “I’ve spent enough time in the mountains to see them rescuing people on a regular basis,” he says, “and I’ve always been fascinated by their work.” “I’m used to being in dangerous situations, but it’s unique what this team has to go through,” Buisse continues. “One minute you can be at the heli-base just shooting the shit, then a call comes in
“I may be used to dangerous situations, but this is unique”
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LEADERS OF THE PACK 02-03 \ Three specially trained search and rescue dogs accompany the team at all times 04-05 \ A selection of carabiners and winches hang on the walls at HQ. Often victims need to be rescued from perilous crevasses, accessible only by air and rope
and within minutes you ﬁnd yourself in an extreme mountain environment. And you need to adjust very, very quickly.” In France, the Mountain Rescue Service is part of the military and falls under the remit of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. As such, its oﬃcers undergo a minimum of six gruelling years of training to prepare them for such snap deployments. Fred Souchon, 40, has been working with the service for 13 years. “Training is a long process,” he says. “First, you need to qualify as a gendarme [a role roughly similar to that of a police oﬃcer in the French system]. This alone entails an exam and a year of study. Then you need to pass an exam covering skiing, ﬁrst aid, orienteering and ﬁtness. It is not easy.” Once the course is completed, recruits are given the option of joining one of 17 teams operating across the French Alps, Pyrenees and French islands in the Indian
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VERTICAL LIMITS 06\ “The mental side is difficult,” says Souchon. “For the past few years, we’ve been offered psychological help on request”
FULL SPEED 07\ Often the rescuers have mere minutes to find those trapped beneath the snow, before a survivor’s core temp bottoms out 08\ Avalanche rescue dogs can search the terrain in an eighth of the time it would take their human handlers
Ocean and Paciﬁc. For the next four to ﬁve years they will learn on the job, doing all they can to prepare for every eventuality.
BEAUTY AND BRUTALITY For many, applying to join the unit is not only about what they get to do, but where they get to do it. In a past life, Souchon led hiking groups through the region. One day, without warning, a helicopter landed beside his group and a serviceman leapt out on his way to an incident. “It was a revelation,” says Souchon. “I was fascinated. I realised this is what I wanted
to do with my life: to go and rescue people in the mountains.” For François Nicard, 31, a rescuer and dog handler, a family history informed his vocation: “Before becoming a mountain rescuer, I was a gendarme for ﬁve years,” he explains. “My father, like me, was an avalanche dog handler and a mountain rescuer, so my passion was born at a very young age.” Passion alone does not save lives, however. Once selection is completed, the ongoing learning process is as relentless as it is thorough. In addition to classroom lessons at the CNISAG (Centre National
d’Instruction de Ski et d’Alpinisme de la Gendarmerie), daily training takes place in the various mountain ranges where the team will be called to perform their heroics. “Depending on the seasons, we alternate between rock climbing, skiing, ice climbing, canyoneering and cardio in the form of trail or cross-country skiing,” says Souchon. “We also often train on rescue simulations, including crevasse falls, paragliding pilots stuck in chairlift cables and, of course, avalanches.” Many rescuers take their work home, too. “I practise a lot of backcountry skiing in winter and trail running in summer,” says Nicard. “But the most important part is frequent alpine climbing with other rescuers, always making sure that our objectives are physically challenging.” In summer, the group’s remit is mostly limited to accidents involving hikers, mountain bikers and paragliders, while in winter the focus is on lost or injured skiers. Whomever they’re assisting, the 40 fulltime staﬀ plus occasional volunteers remain on call 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. “There’ll always be two extra men who are ready to drop everything and supplement those at the base at short
“Passion alone doesn’t save lives. Training is relentless”
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COLD COMFORT 09-11 \ Trapped up on the mountain overnight, lost climbers and hikers will have to endure freezing conditions. However, unless threatened with a severe storm, it is likely they will survive – cold but otherwise safe
notice,” says Buisse. “Sometimes there’s an avalanche that takes 20 people and you need as much manpower as you can get. The point of the Rescue Service is that we’re never oﬀ duty.”
HIGH STAKES While risk is an inherent part of the job, the team’s day-to-day operations are as varied as the 350-400 parties that attempt the Mont Blanc summit each year. In 2014, a Polish climber demanded to be airlifted from the mountain because he didn’t want to walk down. The rescue service refused. After a 48-hour stand-oﬀ, during which he attempted to charter
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a private helicopter, he was eventually forced to retrace his steps with the help of a guide. Chamonix’s mayor was understandably infuriated, condemning the “ad hoc alpinists” who treat the mountain like “an amusement park”. While such behaviour is in the minority, Buisse explains that, more often that not, it is a lack of experience that lands people in trouble. “A lot of people call for rescue not because they’re injured, but because they haven’t managed to get up the mountain by the time night falls. We were called out to a father and son who
weren’t injured, but had become stuck in a storm because they weren’t skilled enough climbers to tackle the climb they were on. Instead of taking the usual three or four hours, they’d been up there for 12 hours and they still hadn’t ﬁnished.” In this particular instance, the weather was so bad that helicopters were unable to ﬂy, forcing the rescuers to re-open the cable car in the middle of the night and install an electric winch to lift father and son to safety. Occasionally, when all
MOUNTAIN RESCUE 12
HEIGHTS OF ADVENTURE 12\ Popular tourist attractions such as the Aiguille du Midi viewing platform stand at over 3800m 13\ Away from their gruelling training, service members rest at the helicopter base, waiting for rescue calls 24/7
13 other options are unavailable, rescuers will have to hike the trails themselves before returning the casualties to safety. Not only does this require immense reserves of ﬁtness and mental resilience, but an unselﬁsh dedication to braving the risks of the mountain. “For them to go into a full-on storm at night only happens when the survival of the victims depends on it,” Buisse explains. “Otherwise, they’ll tell them ‘You’re going to have a really shit night, but you’ll live, and we’ll come and pick you up in the morning.’ There’s always the risk of an avalanche or a fall, but these guys are extremely experienced climbers and skiers and they know the environment well. They’re hardcore.”
“We try to avoid dangerous situations,” says Souchon, “but unlike climbers, we don’t get to pick where we go! The victims choose for us, and sometimes it can be very dangerous. It’s an exhilarating job, but hazards can often lurk in unexpected places.” Fortunately, Buisse’s ﬁrst mountain rescue mission following the sudden avalanche did not end in tragedy. Thanks to the work of the team, the skier was recovered and evacuated inside of 15 minutes and suﬀered no ill eﬀects. He, and they, were lucky. But this isn’t always the case.
“Challenging rescues can be very tough, psychologically,” says Nicard. “You have to remain absolutely focused and think about the necessity of bringing the victim back in the best shape possible.” Inevitably, it does not always go their way. “The hardest part of this job is being confronted with human tragedies,” he continues, “especially the times when you go to rescue somebody who is still alive and they die during the intervention.” For Souchon, the challenge is closer to home. “The hardest part for me is to see friends and colleagues die,” he says. “Our community is a small family and everybody knows everybody.” More than 50 rescuers have died on the job in the last 60 years, making the ultimate sacriﬁce for those who become trapped, lost, and injured in the pursuit of sport. However, the vast majority of rescuers will get home unharmed. This, for Souchon at least, is what makes the constant peril worthwhile. “The most challenging but also the most beautiful part of this job is the human side. Sometimes, when I catch the spark in the eye of somebody we’ve just saved, I tell myself that I wouldn’t want to do anything else in the world.”
“Hiking up in a storm requires brave, unselﬁsh dedication”
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SET STYLIST: ZENA MAY | STYLE ASSISTANT: RICCARDO CHIUDIONI | PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANT: JULIA SCHOENSTADT
BOWTIE £45 GIEVES & HAWKES TUMBLER £95 MARIO CIONI DECANTER £375 WILLIAM YEOWARD AND FOUNTAIN PEN £460 CARAN D’ACHE ALL AT WILLIAM & SON OCTO ROMA WATCH £4850 AND CUFFLINKS £390 BOTH BULGARI TRAY £42 ALESSI
PHOTOGRAPHY LUKE KIRWAN | STYLING ERIC DOWN | WORDS TOM BANHAM
Welcome to our second seco annual celebration of an industry gy dedicated to making you llook and feel better than you have any g right to.. From the unguents that transformed nights out to the potions aved mornings g after,, thes that saved these are 2017’s best grooming performers MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
BEST OLFACTORY EFFECTS
Sweet Smell Of Success These leading men’s scents all have their own olfactory signature. They know that the modern man wants a distinctive smell, and so hunted down rare inﬂuences and unexpected accents to give a performance straight from the heart notes
03 Carolina Herrera Gold Incense “This is such an honour. Did you love our vanilla caviar? The way it swirled with Boswellia sacra incense to create something familiar but exotic? Oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m just so proud we could make men smell amazing.” £215 for 100ml harrods.com
02 Joop Wow! “This award proves free spirits can be taken seriously. I want to thank bergamot and violet, for keeping me fresh. And most importantly – tonka bean. With your help, I was always grounded.” £39 for 60ml theperfumeshop.com
01 Yves Saint
Laurent Y “Let’s hear it for the new generation. We offer the brightness of ginger while also possessing the sensuality of ambergris and incense. We’re proof that an all-day scent can boss the night.” £72 for 100ml johnlewis.com
Zegna Elements of Man Passion “A win for those who love the finer things. You know our saffron base suffuses our rum and cognac heart to create something luxurious yet not overpowering. The next round’s on us.” £180 for 50ml harrods.com
WASH BAG £450 TUMBLER £210 AND SOAP DISH £210 ALL CZECH & SPEAKE RAZOR £32.50 MÜHLE TOOTHBRUSH £22 KENT BRUSHES SOAP £24 BULY 1803 TOWEL £16 THE WHITE COMPANY
05 Coach for Men “I really must thank nashi pear, for being distinctive but never sickly. We always knew that – paired with the warmth of vetiver – you would be unstoppable. This could be the birth of a modern icon.” £29 for 40ml coach.com
06 Tom Ford
Noir Anthracite “This isn’t just a win for me. Sichuan pepper, you were there from the first spray until the end. And patchouli and cedar, you supported me and gave me depth. This is about consistency, from morning spritz to bedtime.” £82 for 50ml johnlewis.com
BEST FOREIGN SHORTS
Stoer Travel Set “This award just shows that, for all the hell of long-haul, with the right team on board, you can still hit arrivals bright-eyed. And it’s all thanks to my globe-trotting cast. Barbary ﬁg, you made it from Mexico to soothe skin traumatised by dry cabin air. Italian Alpine plant, those skills you used to survive the ice age kept skin protected, even when it stepped from air-conned terminal to baking cab rank. And wakame, all the way from Japan, you stripped away pollution so trekking a thousand miles felt like a walk in the park.” Stoer Travel Set £35 stoerskincare.com
OCTO ROMA WATCH £4850 BULGARI CANDLE £78 CIRE TRUDON GLASSES £550 DITA BOWTIE £4 GIEVES & HAWKES
Special Commendation Aesop Ginger Flight Therapy The judges loved the unconventional blend of ginger, sweet almond and lavender to give travellers a swift pickme-up. A dab on the wrists and neck made short work of nausea, stress and whattimezone-is-it exhaustion, allowing them to hop straight from red-eye to sales pitch. £21 aesop.com
WASH BAG £450 MANICURE SET £225 AND SOAP DISH £210 ALL CZECH & SPEAKE SOAP £24 BULY 1803 CARD HOLDER £55 ASPINAL OF LONDON COMB £4 KENT BRUSHES
Philips Diamond Clean Special Commendation Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser This cleanser’s on-face transformation from gel to milk was almost as impressive as the way its enzyme-blend stripped away grime, before grapeseed oil replenished any lost moisture. It targeted the bad stuff, with no collateral damage. Most impressive. £45 spacenk.om
“This is vindication for anyone who’s looked at the everyday and thought: ‘We can do better’. Was it diﬃcult to create a smartphone app that tracks which teeth you’ve scrubbed and which ones you’ve missed, to stop surprises at the dentist? Was it a challenge to invent four smart brush heads, designed to care for every part of the mouth? Of course. But was it worth it? That depends on whether you think removing 10 times as much plaque and 100% more stains is worth it. Because I do. And it looks like you – and the judges – all agree.” Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush £360 johnlewis.com
WATCH £4850 AND CUFFLINKS £395 BOTH BULGARI BRUSH £44 KENT BRUSHES TUMBLER £210 CZECH & SPEAKE TOOTHBRUSH £22 KENT BRUSHES ESPRESSO MAKER £37 ALESSI ESPRESSO CUP AND SAUCER £175 FOR SET OF 4 WEDGWOOD AT SELFRIDGES SOAP £24 BULY 1803
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Gillette Fusion ProShield “This journey started with a simple question: how could I make men’s mornings smoother? I was horriﬁed when I discovered how many suﬀered skin burn from making 120 repeat strokes every shave. So, I reached out to my Lubrication Bar, which agreed to do double-duty by soothing skin before and after my blades for less irritation. Once my Flexball handle joined the team, I could slide smoothly over every bump and divot of a man’s face. We knew we’d achieved our lifetime’s work – a shave that’s as close as it is forgiving.” Gillette Fusion ProShield Razor £12 superdrug.com
BEST ACTION HERO
Sisley Mattifying Skin Care ATTACHE CASE £995 ASPINAL OF LONDON GLASSES £550 DITA CARD HOLDER £55 ASPINAL OF LONDON GREEN FOUNTAIN PEN £460 CARAN D’ACHE GREY FOUNTAIN PEN £390 ST DUPONT AND MONEY CLIP £200 ALL AT WILLIAM AND SON SHIRT £225 TURNBULL & ASSER SHIRT STUDS £160 AND CUFFLINKS £140 BOTH ALICE MADE THIS BOW TIE £45 GIEVES & HAWKES DINNER JACKET £1350 A SAUVAGE
“This is for the man who didn’t skip legs day and then found his skin still shining with sweat when he arrived at the oﬃce. It’s not fair. But you know what is? The way my triple-layer of tropical resins ﬂooded skin with moisture – marshmallow extract, take a bow – but left it completely matte, courtesy of bamboo powder and java tea extract. Burdock extract even throttles sebum production, to stop shine all day, every day. You’ve done your work in the squat rack. Let us sweat to make sure that you don’t.” Sisley Mattifying Moisturizing Skin Care £82 sisley-paris.com
Special Commendation Jo Malone Exfoliating Shower Gel The panel praised the skin-pleasing combo of joboba and bamboo stem, making it tough enough to scrub off a Survival of the Fittest’s worth of mud without drying out skin. Best of all? No plastic microbeads. So, it’s as kind to the planet as it is your skin. £30 jomalone.co.uk
BEST PRODUCTS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Mane Players This group of hair products have one thing in common: they work diligently to put the ﬁnal polish on production, without hogging the limelight. Applause, please
03 Alpecin Caffeine Liquid “To any guy who’s seen too much hair in the plughole, we know your pain. My caffeine complex was there for you, strengthening follicles right at the root.” £7.49 boots.com
01 Jack Black
Wax Pomade “This award proves I’m a star, but even I don’t shine like the hairstyles that my kelp extracts tamed, de-frizzed and whipped into old-school shape.” £17.50 mankind.co.uk
02 Braun Multigrooming Kit “Thank you to the nine fittings that joined me on this journey, from styling sideburns and trimming nose hair to tackling the toe-piary that stops so many wearing sandals.” £52.49 braun.com
Sea Salt Spray “I couldn’t have done this without the location crew. By mixing citrus oils with sea salt, you brought the beach to the bathroom to boost hair’s thickness.” £20 murdocklondon.com
BOWTIE £45 GIEVES & HAWKES CHAMPAGNE COUPE £35 FOR 4 AND COASTER £25 FOR 4 BOTH THE WHITE COMPANY TRAY £99 AND METAL COCKTAIL SHAKER £80 BOTH ALESSI MONEY CLIP £200 WILLIAM & SON CRYSTAL COCKTAIL SHAKER £695 AND MARTINI GLASS £30 BOTH WILLIAM YEOWARD AT WILLIAM & SON
06 Baxter 04 L’Officine
Universelle Buly Shaving Cream “Almond, hinoki wood – come up here. You were the ones who smoothed skin, killed bacteria and softened bristles so men could finally bid adieu to razor burn.” £33 mrporter.com
of California Paste Pomade “Awards are great, but what really matters is knowing my carnauba and beeswax extracts ensured all-day hold, and that my kaolin clay always kept men’s hair flexible and never stiff.” £20 mrporter.com
MARTINI GLASS (LEFT) £45 FOR 2 RIEDEL AT SELFRIDGES METAL COCKTAIL SHAKER £80 ALESSI CRYSTAL COCKTAIL SHAKER £695 CARAFE £290 AND MARTINI GLASS (RIGHT) £30 ALL WILLIAM YEOWARD AT WILLIAM & SON TRAY £95 AND COASTER £25 FOR 4 BOTH THE WHITE COMPANY MIXING SPOON £21 ALESSI
BEST FACIAL EDITING
Murad Exfoliating Cleanser
“Wow. This is an honour. And one I can’t accept on my own. This was about the triple-acid dream team: salicylic, working overtime to clean pores; glycolic, which sloughed oﬀ all those dead cells, and lactic, pumping in moisture and coaxing skin into repairing itself. But their work would have been wasted without jojoba beads, which stepped up to polish away a day’s worth of gunk. You left me brighter, guys. Every single time.” Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser £35 murad.co.uk 30
Special Commendation Bamford Grooming Exfoliating Face Wash The judges were bowled over by the innovative way in which the black rice and quartz in Bamford’s face wash combined to buff dull skin into a healthy glow, before charcoal pulled out the impurities lurking underneath. £25 bamford.co.uk
BEST AGE EDITING
ASAUVAGE.COM, ALESSI.COM, ASPINALOFLONDON.COM, BULGARI.COM, BULY 1803 AT NET-A-PORTER.COM, CARAN D’ACHE AT WILLIAMANDSON.COM, CIRE TRUDON AT JOHNLEWIS.COM, CZECHANDSPEAKEBATHROOMS.COM
Lab Series Solid Water Essence
“This performance was all about transformation. Going from gel to liquid right in your hands – that’s a tricky thing to pull oﬀ. But I had a great team around me. Ginseng and caﬀeine, you both picked up tired skin, even at its most pallid; my bambooinfused micro-droplets, you guys channelled hydration right into the skin’s surface, and of course, those antioxidants behind the scenes, who, alongside caﬀeine, fought free radicals, plumped up skin and rolled back time. We all just clicked together. And in the end, we made it look easy.” Lab Series Solid Water Essence £39 labseries.co.uk
SHIRT STUDS £160 AND CUFFLINKS 140 BOTH ALICE MADE THIS HIP FLASK £37 ALESSI RAZOR £32.50 MÜHLE TOOTHBRUSH £22 AND COMB £4 BOTH KENT BRUSHES
Special Commendation Kiehl’s Age Defender Power Serum Boasting heavyweight antiageing efficacy in a lightweight package, the panel enjoyed its adenosine and cypress blend in particular, which was absorbed quickly and then boosted collagen production to smooth wrinkles in the blink of a suddenly youthful eye. £49 kiehls.co.uk
BEST PRODUCTS IN A LEADING ROLE
Crème De La Crème These stars gave performances that went more than skin deep, and our judges applauded their use of cutting-edge techniques to smooth wrinkles, ﬁght UV rays and plump up tired skin. This is high-def hydration at its best
02 Malin + Goetz Vitamin E Face Moisturiser “I couldn’t have done this without my two favourite vitamins. Where are you, E and B5? Your antioxidant activity did so much to fight the effects of pollution and ageing to keep men’s skin supple. Thank you.” £39 spacenk.com
03 Anthony Day Cream SPF30 “Thank you, thank you. Was it my UV ray protection you loved so much? My skin-nourishing vitamin E? Maybe my hydrating glycerin extract? Oh, who cares. You love me.” £28 mankind.co.uk
“The secret to my success? Hydrogen. That’s the molecule that I have always relied on to penetrate skin, and we took hydrating hyaluronic acid along for the ride. Simple, right?” £69 perriconemd.com
04 Lab Series Maxellence “I went to the ends of the earth for this one. Well, further than that, actually – my meteorite extract’s space-age technology boosts the production of fibrillin, to smooth lines faster than any SFX team.” £105 labseries.co.uk
DITA.COM, EVELOM.COM, GIEVESANDHAWKES.COM, GILLETTE.CO.UK, KENTBRUSHES.COM
01 Perricone MD Hydrating Cloud Cream
CUP £14 AND SAUCER £13 BOTH VERA WANG FOR WEDGWOOD AT SELFRIDGES TOWEL £16 THE WHITE COMPANY SUNGLASSES £690 DITA MONEY CLIP £200 WILLIAM & SON ELITE CLASSIC WATCH £4100 ZENITH
05 Clinique For Men Maximum Hydrator Activated Water-Gel “I want to dedicate this to the guys behind the scenes: the liquid spheres that helped hydrate deeper into the skin than we ever thought possible, and the moisture-locking matrix that kept it that way.” £34 clinique.co.uk
04 Verso Day Cream
MARIO CIONI AT WILLIAMANDSON.COM, MUEHLE-SHAVING.CO.UK, PHILIPS.CO.UK, RIEDEL BAR AT SELFRIDGES.COM
“I know it sounds trite, but I’d be nothing without my Retinol 8 technology. You took normal vitamin A and supercharged it, to strengthen skin and make short work of fine lines. This award is for you.” £90 thegroomingclinic.com
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Special Commendation Malin + Goetz Revitalising Eye Cream The judges considered the one-two punch of marine extract and caffeine a knockout blow to dark circles and wrinkles – just one application and it was au revoir to late-night eyes. £85 spacenk.com
Clinique Anti-Age Eye Cream “This is all about the men who are sick and tired of looking sick and tired. We knew it would be a struggle to banish bags and wrinkles, but whey protein brought the goods and made skin immediately more elastic. Puﬃness? That’s gone too – phytosphingosine eased irritation to make eyes look like they’d enjoyed their full eight hours. But they both needed linoleic acid, which put in the graft to rebuild those top layers. We wanted real change. Thank you, everyone.” Clinique For Men Anti-Age Eye Cream £19 clinique.co.uk
ST DUPONT AT WILLIAMANDSON.COM, STOERSKINCARE.COM, THEWHITECOMPANY.COM, VERA WANG AT WEDGWOOD SELFRIDGES.COM, WEDGWOOD AT SELFRIDGES SELFRIDGES.COM, WILLIAMANDSON.COM, WILLIAM YEOWARD AT WILLIAMAND SON.COM
SUNGLASSES £690 DITA FOUNTAIN PEN £460 CARAN D’ACHE DECANTER £375 WILLIAM YEOWARD AND TUMBLER £95 MARIO CIONI ALL AT WILLIAM & SON TOWEL £28 THE WHITE COMPANY
EDITED BY SCARLETT WRENCH
MH QUIZ WINTER NO.38
Winter Is Coming. Are You Ready? Freeze your risk of weight gain and shut sickness out in the cold. Our quiz will help you ride out the Long Night and finish this season stronger MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MENâ€™S HEALTH 139
Q1\ Already feeling tempted by a turkey-stuffing sandwich? The best bit is the… A
White meat B
Dark meat B Why wait until next month? The nutrient taurine, found in darker, fattier poultry meat, has heartprotecting properties, while cold-fighting zinc and selenium are also more concentrated in these cuts. Christmas has come early for your immune system.
\ Q4 Repping biceps
Q6\ Chilly? Should you turn up the heating or grab a jumper?
curls before getting a flu shot can boost your protection…
Crank it up
A Even your gym’s biggest bro likely hasn’t claimed this fact: performing a 25-minute arms session can make the vaccine more effective, according to the University of Birmingham. Curls 1, colds 0.
Wrap it up
B Here’s a cool way to lose a few pounds: an Endocrine Society study found those who set their thermostats to 10°C had a 1.4in-smaller average waist size than those whose houses were at 20°C. Slash your heating bill and buy a chunky knit.
Q5\ Running on a brisk morning could shave how much off your 10K time? B
Q2\ We need more sleep in winter… A A
B Lack of sunlight causes a rise in soporific melatonin, but the NHS says we don’t need extra time in bed. Up your natural-light exposure with an outdoor lunchbreak.
\ Q3 Sitting next to a log fire ree can caan n bring down your… A
Blood pressure C
Mood B Relaxing next to the hearth – with or without the roasting chestnuts – can positively l alter l blood bl d pressure, according to journal Evolutionary Psychology. Consider it a beta-blocker for paleo fans.
140 MEN’S HEALTH
B Research from St Mary’s University should give bleak mid-winter mornings fresh appeal. Your heart rate reduces by up to 6% in cooler weather, as your body expends less effort on temperature regulation, providing you with an easier ride. Just suck it up, man.
MH QUIZ: WINTER
Q7\ B Training in the great outdoors this season can Myth boost your immune system by…
\ Q9 Last-minute gift shopping can increase stress biomarkers by… A
C Start that list now. Battling the crowds elevates skin conductance – a key sign of stress – by 50%, while the Uni of East London found that half of shoppers display harmful blood pressure readings after just 75min.
Q10\ Which of the following supplements can help to winter-proof your skin? C
0% B Far from catching your death, run fast enough and you could outpace winter illness altogether. According to a study by the Mayo Foundation, regular outdoor exercise in the winter reduces your flu susceptibility by 20-30% 20 30%, while other studies suggest sugge cold-weather training may trigger an adaptive response in the h body, b d strengthening h your immunity over time. Good news in the long run.
Q8\ A steaming g mug m of mulled wine could sink your risk of ccatching a cold by…
Green tea B
40% B Putting away 14 glasses of red a week correlates to a 40% drop in your chances of getting a cold, according to research in the American Journal of Epidemiology. An effect we imagine will be reinforced by the volume of morning-after Berocca you’ll be mainlining. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK MENSHEALTH CO UK
Collagen A, B & C If bitter winds and overheated offices are messing with your smooth complexion, a combination of these nutrients was shown to reduce the “deteriorating skin structure” caused by dry, cold weather in a study by University Hospital St Jacques. MEN’S HEALTH 141
Q11\ Which of these is your smartest defence against frostbite?
Q13\ Braving the elements is an effective way to beat the winter blues…
A hot shower A
A cool bath
B Overstimulation of the skin – either with hot water or intense rubbing – can lead to damage. Loyola University Health System advises warming up in a bath full of roomtemperature water. And MH advises a pair of touchscreen gloves…
Q12\ Which of the following is the most depressing day of the year? DECEMBER 2017 SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
3 10 17 24 3 31
4 11 18 225
5 12 19 26
6 13 20 27
7 14 21 28
1 8 15 22 29
2 9 16 23 30
JANUARY 2018 SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
7 14 4 211 288
1 8 15 22 29
2 9 116 23 30
3 10 17 24 31
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
6 13 20 27
FEBRUARY 2018 SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
4 11 18 25
5 12 19 26
6 133 20 0 27
1 2 3 7 8 9 10 14 15 16 17 21 22 23 24 28
B The third Monday in January, the so-called Blue Monday, is when the national mood reaches its lowest ebb. We suggest bucking the trend by missing your bus. Researchers at Curtin University in Perth found that a short walk can offset weekday malaise with immediate effect. 142 MEN’S HEALTH
A A few laps of the park can warm your spirits. In fact, Duke University found that just 30 minutes of brisk exercise, taken three times a week, is as effective as antidepressants at relieving symptoms of low mood, and drastically reduces your chances of depression returning. Sweat out the SAD.
WORDS: NICKY WILLIAMS | PHOTOGRAPHY: SUN LEE, JOBE LAWRENSON, DAN MATTHEWS, HEARST STUDIOS, GETTY | ILLUSTRATIONS: ADAM NICKEL AT SYNERGY ART, PETER CROWTHER AT DÉBUT ART
A hand massage
MH QUIZ: WINTER
Q14\ How many pounds does the average man put on during the colder months?
carbohydrates to offset seasonal depression? A Breakfast
What’s the quickest fix for a tickly cough?
\ Q17 When should you eat your
Honey and lemon
C Researchers at Imperial College discovered that theobromine, a chemical in cocoa, can combat persistent coughs, while chocolate’s thick texture soothes a sore throat. Save the brandy for 6pm.
C Carbs boost the activity of feelgood brain chemicals (no surprises there, right?), so concentrating your intake to the evening will not only offset depressive symptoms when they’re most prevalent, but also support sleep. The answer to your problem is pie.
Q18\ B While we agree a little winter padding is merely insulation, if you’re putting on more than a kilo you could be in danger of keeping it there, according to The New England Journal of Medicine. Say no to third helpings.
Hit or myth: going out without a scarf can cause you to get ill. A
Q15\ Which of these contains your RDA of vitamin D?
Myth A 1L of milk
B 9 eggs
C 1 salmon fillet
A, B & C Each of the above will meet your daily needs of the sunshine w hine vit, which many of us become deficient in over the course of the winter. Although we would advise foregoing the nine-egg omelette in favour of a supplement.
How did you score?
A Don’t dispute the Dad Science. While the weather itself doesn’t fell you, Yale University found that the cold virus can more efficiently multiply in the body when your temperature is cool. Opt for merino wool, which will wick away moisture if you’re hopping from street to shop.
0-6 FAIR-WEATHER FRIEND
7-12 THAWING OUT
13+ COLD WARRIOR
If your mood is as dark as the mornings, here’s a timely way to lift your spirits and give your porridge a seasonal flavour: a serving of chestnuts provides 17% of your vitamin C RDA, a nutrient shown to alleviate the body’s response to stress.
Fall back in love with winter by escaping your overheated home and heading for the slopes. Turing Institute researchers found that features such as mountains and valleys improve subjective wellbeing more effectively than flat green spaces.
Think you’re equipped to handle the big freeze? Let’s put your bravado to the test. A Plos One study found routinely blasting yourself with cold water in the shower for a few seconds leads to a 29% reduction in sick days. Deep breath…
MEN’S HEALTH 143
THE MH DIRECTORY Look good and feel great with this selection of life-enhancing products
TACKLE THINNING AND GREYING HAIR WITH SCIENTIFIC OXFORD EXPERTISE - TRX2® AND MELANIQ® MOLECULAR CAPSULES FOR HAIR Worried about thinning hair? Does looking in the mirror sometimes sap you of self-confidence? Thinning hair can be a nightmare. It can lead to an emotional burden with low self-confidence and an impaired quality of life. Scientists from Oxford offer a potential solution. Their TRX2® food supplement is one of Europe’s leading hair support regimens and has been sold in over 100 countries worldwide. TRX2 is based on natural compounds and compared to drug-based alternatives has no side effects. Hair support regimens often promise a lot without delivering, but TRX2 is backed by cutting-edge science and has been thoroughly reviewed. According to the company’s study TRX2 works for 87% of men and women experiencing early stages of hair thinning. The results can be impressive. “Your hair will be bigger. Your confidence grows. You maintain your healthy hair”, says Oxford Biolabs founder Dr Thomas Whitfield. TRX2 tackles the problem on a molecular level. As a person experiences hair loss the function of potassium channels in their hair follicles diminishes, resulting in shrinking follicles and thinning hair. These potassium channels are small protein structures that control the transport of nutrients across the hair follicle’s cell membranes, and are essential for retaining the follicle’s full biological activity and function. For those experiencing premature greying, greying in general, or those who want to prevent greying before it starts, the company offers Melaniq, a scientifically formulated food supplement supporting normal hair pigmentation. The capsules come in brown glass bottles and cost around £48 and £41, respectively. Get an exclusive 10% discount using the coupon code “MH”, when ordering on Oxford Biolabs official website www.oxfordbiolabs.com
DURA’S ULTIMATE LEISURE ROOM Maximise the potential of your garage with Dura’s wide range of storage and flooring products. Create your ultimate ‘man-cave’ with custom-coloured storage cabinets, a flexible clip-on wall storage system, and a wide range of flooring options – transforming a space of any size into a room to be proud of! For a FREE brochure call 0845 371 0048 or visit www.duragarages.com for inspiration!
WOODEN WATCHES BY MOSAIQE – THE UNIQUE GIFT Mosiaqe’s wooden watches, thanks to their graining, pigment and texture, make for a unique stylish gift with a story behind each piece. The watches’ neutral colourings perfectly complement both classic and contemporary styles. Sustainability is a key part of their mission – one watch purchased plants five trees. 15% off with code MENSHEALTH215 www.mosaiqe.com
FREE CLEAN EATING CHICKEN FAJITA MEAL BAG FOR 2 – WORTH £6 Fresh meat. Fresh veg. Clean ingredients. Nothing artificial and no added sugar… Gorgeous! Easy Cook™ in just 12 minutes with ZERO WASTE. Clean ingredients. Nothing artificial. No added sugar. Visit musclefood.com and enter code FREEMB to claim your FREE Clean Eating Meal Bag for two. *Minimum spend of £25. One code per order.
A BOLLOCK BALM FOR MEN... ...who care about their personal hygiene. Fresh Bollocks is a light, silky-smooth bollock balm that’s easy to use, fresh, fragrant and deodorising with no unsightly residue. An essential addition to modern man’s grooming routine. The perfect Christmas present, now available on Amazon. www.freshbollocks.com
To advertise in this feature call Hearst Magazines Direct on 020 3728 6260
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GILCHRIST WATCH CO. Gilchrist Watch Co. is home to an unrivalled collection of unique affordable timepieces. The strikingly minimal Mesh Chrono from Megir boasts a steel mesh band, precision stopwatch and calendar wheel at 4 o’ clock. 3 variations, £59. Shop at www.gwcwatches.com Quote MHDEC for 10% off, expires 30/11/2017.
TREAT SOMEONE DEAR TO YOU TO THIS HAND-ENGRAVED FLAT BANGLE The piece will be engraved by hand in London with the names, dates or message of your choice. The team at Merci Maman will handcraft your bracelet within a couple of days and they will giftwrap it in their signature box. Available in sterling silver, gold-plated and rose gold-plated. mercimamanboutique.com
£45 FOR YOUR BEST EVER CHRISTMAS FEAST – WORTH £73.50 www.musclefood.com/luxury-christmas-turkey-hamper Winning multiple Great Taste Awards means Muscle Food know gourmet produce. After 8 months of taste testing, they bring you an exquisite fresh turkey which beats all the major supermarkets on price and easily on taste! Feed up to 8 hungry guests for a teeny tiny £5.62 per head. Gourmet Christmas Breakfast… 6 x 75g Meaty Breakfast Sausages 10 x 35g Breakfast Bacon Medallions Spectacular Christmas Dinner… 3-3.4kg Luxury Fresh Turkey Hen 10 x 35g Unsmoked Streaky Bacon 16 x 28g Chipolata Sausages 454g Pork Sausage Meat 10 x 25g Pigs in Blankets 12 x 30g Sage & Onion Stuffing Balls
SHREDDIES And Christmas Veggies… 2kg Whole Roasting Potatoes 1kg Whole Carrots 800g Whole Red Cabbage 500g Brussels Sprouts
Plus These Extras… 300g Luxury Turkey Gravy 2 x £5 Muscle Food Vouchers The Ultimate Christmas Cooking Guide
Join the 25,000 customers who had their luxury Christmas dinner delivered by Muscle Food in 2016. www.musclefood.com/gourmet-christmas #TweetYourMeat
Shreddies garments are the perfect solution for all flatulence related issues. Our discreet and stylish designs include an activated carbon panel which absorbs and neutralises flatulence odours. Shreddies range of garments include two styles of men’s underwear, pyjamas and jeans. Visit www.myshreddies.com Prices start from £24.
To advertise in this feature call Hearst Magazines Direct on 020 3728 6260
ONE WORD ANSWER #41 QUESTION What convivial communication tool could be sabotaging your career? ANSWER
t may be that you’re not the sort of man to express his witty, considered opinions in the form of upturnedthumbs, face-palms and cry-laughs. Perhaps you think emojis are best left to those born after 1995, along with Snapchat filters and the #Friyay hashtag. Even so, most of us would admit to deploying the odd :-) in order to soften the impact of a blunt request or critical comment. It’s shorthand for “I appreciate your help” or sometimes “I’m not really angry” – a bit like signing off with an ‘x’, only more office appropriate, right? Well, not quite. In fact, new research suggests even the relative Luddites among us could be making a major misstep. A study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that the use of smileys in work emails – yes, even those of the ‘colon and close-bracket’ variety – cause
146 MEN’S HEALTH
recipients to perceive the sender as being less competent. According to the researchers, smiley emojis do little to increase “perceptions of warmth” and actually reduce your chances of receiving a helpful or informative reply. Now, none of this is to suggest you should adopt a stern and sober demeanour in the workplace. Quite the opposite: in fact, a study in the journal Social Indicators Research found that cheerful employees were more likely to receive positive appraisals and promotions over the following 18 months. It’s more a case of assessing your priorities; of choosing to convey a sense of assuredness over worrying about whether or not your colleagues ‘like’ you. So, when you can’t deliver a message in person, simply say what you mean then sign off. You’ll be less likely to feel ’ when you read their response. ‘
WORDS: SCARLETT WRENCH | PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY | IMAGE RETOUCHING: ANTHONY HAMMOND AT PREMEDIA
Greatest Of All Time The Finest Watches In The World Today Featuring
TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer Limited Edition
CONTENTS 27 < MATERIAL
In a new era of aesthetic innovation, these brands want us to judge each timepiece by its cover
EDITOR TOBY WISEMAN – STYLE DIRECTOR ERIC DOWN – CREATIVE DIRECTOR DECLAN FAHY – DEPUTY STYLE EDITOR SHANE C KURUP – ART DIRECTOR TOM PLUMSTEAD – SENIOR DESIGNER JESSICA WEBB – PRODUCTION EDITOR SCARLETT WRENCH – STYLE ASSISTANT RICCARDO CHIUDIONI – SUBEDITOR LEAH CRAIG – CONTRIBUTORS (DESIGN) WILL JACK ZUKI TURNER – PICTURE EDITOR FRANKIE HILL – PHOTO DIRECTOR VICI CAVE – GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR ALUN WILLIAMS – PRODUCTION MANAGER ROGER BILSLAND
24 UP CLOSE AND PERSONALISED
How watch customisation maverick George Bamford has made his name with bespoke design
30 TO THE BONE
Glance over our guide to the bare-all skeleton pieces worth worrth more m than the sum of their partss
38 SKIP A BE AT
MH tests the highh end tech watchh designed to tickk off all functions
7 H O U R H EROO > Bremont’s ’ ace one-off salutes Britain’s ’ heroes of the airr
MH : 11
CONTENTS 60 < COMIIC TTIMINGG
Our league of heroes find themselvees in the throes of a nucleaar war after te being cataapulted through timee
54 MODERN ARTISANS MH meets the skilled luminaries turning their time-honoured passions into an art form
S h l yourself School lf on th the spectacular l watches h imitating art withh our buyer’s b ’ guide d
67 WHEN EVERY W SECOND CCOUNTS COU
E Eight famous f faces relive th career-changing tthe m ents in which mome ttime sttood still
22 TIME OUTT
Nadal and Federer go headto-head in the watch stakes
MH : 12
In these collector’s covers for our annual edition of Synchronised, we celebrate the timepieces creating a splash in the horological world PHOTOGRAPHY BARRY MAKARIOU | STYLING ERIC DOWN
MONTBLANC TIMEWALKER CHRONOGRAPH AUTOMATIC
PATEK PHILIPPE GENTLEMAN’S ANNUAL CALENDAR REF 5396R-014
GRAND SEIKO HI-BEAT 36000 GMT PEACOCK GREEN DIAL
Montblanc’s rose-gold TimeWalker takes its form from race-car instruments, making it a worthy investment for the man who values fine engineering on the road and on his wrist. £16,700
A tribute to Patek’s patented 1996 Annual Calendar, this iteration’s moonphase indicator is coupled with a calibre 324S self-winding movement. It’s an heirloom in the making. £36,720
Grand Seiko’s Hi-Beat sports an exceptional 9S86 movement with a titanium oscillating weight, and clocks 36,000 beats per hour. Its luminescent peacock-green dial is equally singular. £6250
TUDOR HERITAGE BLACK BAY CHRONO
TAG HEUER AUTAVIA JACK HEUER LIMITED EDITION
ORIS WILLIAMS 40TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION
Tudor has long been aligned with the realms of motorsport and professional diving. This model combines the two, melding diver sturdiness with the track-ready elan of a chronograph. £3610
Marking the 85th birthday of creator Jack Heuer, this exact replica of the 1963 model features a Calibre Heuer 02/CH80 automatic movement. It’s modern vintage horology. £4650
This ’70s reissue marks the 40th anniversary of the first Williams F1 Grand Prix, with its signature blue accents and caseback logo a subtle salute to the team. It’s one of 1000 so be quick off the line. £3020
MH : 14
MINUTES THE LATEST MOVEMENTS IN THE WORLD OF WATCHES
WHITE-GOLD BREMONT 1918 £16,995
Materials taken from four RAF aircraft – the SE5a, Blenheim, Spitfire and Hurricane – have been incorporated into the movement rotor of these horological aces.
WORDS: TIMOTHY BARBER | PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN FEE
The 1918 is notable for its elegant day/ night indication at six o’clock, meaning it displays a 24-hour cycle. It’s aligned to a GMT hand that tells you the time in Blighty when abroad.
HERO OF THE HOUR Bremont’s limited-edition 1918 RAF centenary watch packs in the very fabric of British aviation history – it’s constructed using parts of iconic aircraft ﬂown in both World Wars
For 70 years, the Hawker Hurricane Mk.I P3717 – the aluminium of which has been built into the watch – was grounded, having crashed in Russia in 1942. It has since been fully restored.
MH : 17
Just 425 watches are being made. The British brand is issuing 275 in steel with a white dial and 75 each in rose and white gold – with a black and two-tone blue dial respectively.
Keeping weight in check is something we know a fair bit about at Men’s Health, but it’s a relatively new concept in the watch world, where bulk has long ruled. This year’s ultraslim models have cut their own niche – here’s the skinny on our favourite lean pieces i/ SECOND SKIN Swatch has earned a solid reputation for quality watches that are anything but dull. The Skinotte, the latest addition to the Skin range, sports aesthetically pleasing, oversized indices and a unique dual-injection case, which gives it an elegant ‘double-wave’ detail. The mesh strap has the feel of a second skin or, if you’re feeling a little more poetic, featherlight chain mail. Being black, it will work with anything you throw on. Swatch Skinotte £89
ii/ SLEEK CERAMIC Rado’s True Thinline – one of the slickest ceramic watches on the market – has received a revamp with the model now offered in a range of rich shades (our favourite being forest green). The flawless Swiss quartz movement keeps things ticking over, while scratch-resistant ceramic and titanium will keep it looking as good as the first day you wore it. A fine example of why it’s worth shedding a few horological pounds, we say. Rado True Thinline £1585
WORDS: SHANE C KURUP | PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN FEE
iii/ LITHE MECHANICS
It’s not just watches; here’s how the principle of ‘deconstruction’ applies to suiting
WHAT IT MEANS ‘Deconstruction’ is when a suit is made with a notable lack of padding, linings and other reinforcements, giving it a softer, more natural shape – perfect if you’re of a bigger build.
SHOP TALK ‘Buggy’ and ‘butterfly’ lining denote either a half or a quarter jacket lining, respectively. Flawless construction is essential as the jacket’s innards are on show.
WHY GO DECO? Devoid of stiff padding, a deconstructed suit is comfortable and airy, which you’ll be grateful for when spending hours in an office chair or on sweltering transport.
MH : 19
If you don’t believe ‘less is more’, it might be a challenge to find a slimline timepiece to your taste. However, if you’re watching your width, you don’t need to skimp on detail. The 9.9mm-wide case of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Ultra Thin Réserve de Marche houses an automatic 41-jewel movement, a date and power reserve indicator and sub-seconds dial, while its alligator strap delivers signature LeCoultre luxury. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Réserve de Marche £7300
THE WATCH SNOB’S GUIDE TO
THE MORE COMPLICATIONS THE BETTER
Like car engines, watch movements range from functtionall workhorse to engineering masterpiece. A little insideeerr knowledge can help you decide in which to investt
01/ Mechanics in Motion The inner workings of a watch are unchanged by time: a spring or battery releases energy into the mechanism, which regulates timekeeping via a lever escapement in mechanical watches or quartz oscillator in battery models. Here are the pros of each type.
1/ MANUAL WIND The mainspring is wound by the crown. It providess energy through an escapement mechanism m controlled by thee oscillations of a balance whee eel and d hairspring. Impulsses d drive the hands via geaars. Advantages Manual watches are slimmer, with a visible moving mechanism.
2/ AUTOMATIC This is the most common form of mechanical watch. The mainspring is wound up by a weighted rotor, which swings about when you move your hand. You are your ticker’s very own dynamo. Advantages No winding needed. It should run for 40 hours, at least, when not worn.
3/ QUARTZ An electrical charge from a battery makes a quartz crystal vibrate 32,768 times a second. A circuit turns the oscillations into electrical impulses that drive a minute stepping motor, which moves the hands. Advantages What it lacks in mechanical soul it makes up for in accuracy, longevity and price.
02/ Complications Complications are extra functions that make watch movements more elaborate. Here are a few of the most prized
i/ CHRONOGRAPH The classic sports watch complication, which is essentially a stopwatch. Although seldom used, the aesthetically pleasing mix of extra sub-dials and buttons turns your timepiece into a perennially cool, actionready instrument.
ii/ MOON NPHASE A rotating disk displaying th the cycles l of the moon. Although only (barely) useful to fishermen and farmers, moonphase watches are incredibly accurate; some only require adjustment once every 120 years.
MH : 20
i / WO iii/ WORLDT TIMER Thee world o d ttimeer is a ffrequentt globetrotter’s l b t ally, with its ability to keep tabs on all 24 global timezones. A 24-hour ring rotates anticlockwise and aligns with the corresponding cities marked around the dial.
iv/ CALENDAR A full, perpetual calendar – which calculates the irregular lengths of months and leap years for decades on end – means you never need to adjust the date on your watch. Consider it haute horlogerie minus the fuss.
03/ Going In-House Most Swiss mechanical watches feature off-the-shelf movements from firms such as ETA and Sellita. While there’s nothing wrong with those, extra clout is earned by brands with the resources to create their own. Here are the industry movers and shakers
WORDS: TIMOTHY BARBER | PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA PARRY | ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: HEARST STUDIO | ILLUSTRATIONS: SON OF ALAN
A hard-working watch movement is subjected to more than half a million vibrations a day, with constant friction, turning gears and swinging rotors. Here are some tips to keep things ticking smoothly
1/ NOMOS GLASHÜTTE
Germany’s Nomos Glashütte offers remarkable value: each one of its affordably priced, design-led watches contains in-house movements to rival many of the specialised Swiss brands – and at half the price. Defining factor Nomos Swing System, the brand’s in-house design of escapement, developed at a cost of €11.4m. Nomos Glashütte Minimatik £2770
Rolex’s movements are renowned for their bulletproof construction, shrewd use of materials and a commitment to quality control. Aficionados generally claim they’re the most trustworthy movements around. Defining factor Rolex’s most advanced movement – the Calibre 3255 – packs in no fewer than 14 patents. Rolex Day-Date 40 White Gold £27,650
i/ GET IT SERVICED To avoid more serious issues down the line, watches need to be serviced every three to five years, so parts and gears can be cleaned, replaced if needed, lubricated and recalibrated for precision.
ii/ AVOID MAGNETS Laptop power connectors, speakers, clock radios and mobile phones all contain magnetic parts, which are like Kryptonite to movements – keep your watch well away from anything that could compromise its timekeeping.
3/ GRAND SEIKO Besides producing reputable quartz watches, the Japanese behemoth’s luxury division, Grand Seiko, makes some of the finest in-house watches on the market, with a level of detail few Swiss manufacturers match. Defining factor Each watch is assembled and adjusted from start to finish by one dedicated watchmaker. Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT £5800
4/ PATEK PHILIPPE The pioneer of complications and still the emblematic house of haute horlogerie, Patek Philippe’s movements are expressions of traditional Swiss watchmaking at its very finest – the epitome of technical artistry. Defining factor Every movement part is hand-finished and assembled using a precision blueprint. Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5940G £66,850
MH : 21
iii/ DATE CHANGE Don’t adjust your date display between 10pm and 2am, during the date transition. Some movements are prone to damage and doing this can tear up the gears inside. Wait until morning.
Wh their age might suggest While uggest gg that these are twilight years for Rafael ael Nadal and Roger g FFederer, the living tennis nis legends g are once mo more in the ascendance. We rank their pprowess on court and the trophies hies on their wrists
RAFAEL NADAL, 31
ROGER FEDERER, 36 ROLEX
HEAD TO HEAD
Of the 37 times the two tennis pros have faced each other, Nadal has won the day on 23 occasions, nearly twice as often as Federer
The revitalised Spaniard may be leading the grudge matches, but the cool Swiss, with 19 Grand Slam wins to Nadal’s 14, comes out on top
MEN OF THE HOUR
The number of consecutive years that the King of Clay won at least one Grand Slam title, between 2005 and 2014
The total successive weeks the Fed Express spent as world No1 from 2004 to 2008, before Nadal knocked him off the top spot
To mark his record 10th French Open title in June (and his ﬁrst since 2014), Nadal wore a Richard Mille 27-03 tourbillon speciﬁcally made for him
When lifting the trophy at this year’s Wimbledon for a record eighth time, Federer wore a newly released Rolex Datejust 41, a watch ﬁrst launched in 1945
WATCHES The number of Richard Mille RM 27-03 watches Nadal could buy with his spoils from this year’s exploits at Roland-Garros
WATCHES Considerably more of Federer’s Rolex Datejust 41s could be bought with his £2.2m Wimbledon 2017 prize money
The world’s most expensive sportswatch, the RM 27-03 can withstand 10,000g despite its traditionally delicate tourbillon
The number of patents the Datejust II boasts, improving on shock resistance, power reserve and timing precision
THE SYNCHRONISED VERDICT: FEDERER WINS! He might be ahead in victories and one-off watch value but Nadal falls short on good, old-fashioned Grand Slam titles, weeks at number one, plus (relative) value for money. Game, set and match, Mr Federer.
MH : 22
WORDS: MATT HAMBLY | ILLUSTRATIONS: BEN MOUNSEY
The industry once viewed serial embellisher George Bamford as an iconoclast. Now the customisation partner of Zenith and TAG Heuer, he’s in serious demand. Here, he explains why the future is personalised PHOTOGRAPHY LEON FOGGITT | WORDS SHANE C KURUP
MH: Congratulations on your new partnership with Zenith and TAG Heuer! GB: I’m jumping for joy at the prospect. Both TAG and Zenith are historic names, but they’re also focused on the future and pushing forward. And the fact that they’re embracing personalisation is amazing, of course. It all started when I had a conversation with the former head of watchmaking at LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver, who is one of the gods of the watch world. At those offices, I’m like a kid in a candy store. I’m just so excited to be part of brands at the forefront of luxury. MH: Why do men love luxury watches? GB: I think it’s to do with investment and the appreciation of good engineering. Most men are engineers in their mind or entrepreneurial in spirit. They also want something on their wrist that truly belongs to them. MH: What were you up against when you started customising watches? GB: I gained the reputation of a maverick, though I don’t class myself as one. People said I was pushing boundaries. All I believed was that I was giving people something they wanted, and that was individuality. My business got off the ground because I made a watch for myself and then had one person after another saying they wanted one, too. I was just a watch geek with a love of collecting. Occasionally, a journalist would tell me that I’d ruffled a few feathers, but I thought I was doing a good job! MH: What is the most memorable customisation job you’ve ever done? GB: My favourites are actually the ones I’ve just done for TAG and Zenith. There’s an aqua-blue El Primero that’s so cool. It has a spider dial – or, as my team call it, “a sonar dial” – that I love. Everything about it makes me want it on my wrist. MH: How many watches do you own? GB: A lot. Actually, it’s an embarrassingly large amount. Every time I go to my safe
deposit box and look at the watches, I think, “What the hell have I done?” (i) MH: Any particular favourites? GB: I really like TAG Heuers and Omegas from the ’60s to the ’80s. With some of those, such as the [Omega Seamaster] Bullhead or [Heuer] Kentucky digital, it’s like they were smoking crack when designing them. I’ve also got an Omega Speedmaster with a digital movement that I love. But if the house was burning down and I could only save one, it would probably be my 1956 Breitling Navitimer. It was the first ‘proper’ watch I was given by my parents. (ii) MH: We hear you’re a bit of a petrolhead on the side. Do you collect cars, too? GB: I do. My favourite is a Ferrari 275 GTB – mid-1960s. It’s the colour of a deep barolo. At the time when I bought it, around 14 years ago, it felt like a hell of a lot of money [today they fetch upwards of £2m] but I’m obsessed with it. I even love its quirky imperfections. Every time the door doesn’t 01 close properly or I break down at the side of the motorway, I smile and think, “This car is so cool.” MH: Do you customise your cars as well as your watches? GB: I worked with a company called Devon 4x4 and they built me an awesome Land Rover Defender specifically for off-roading, which I’m very attached to. We stripped and rebuilt it over the course of eight months. If you take a regular Defender and park this next to it, it’s probably four times the height! It’s huge, a proper machine. It’s my go-anywhere-in-the-country ride, though I did recently get it stuck when I drove it into a bog and started sinking. Luckily, I managed to winch myself out. (iii)
MH : 24
01-02 Showing individuality through customisation is Bamford’s ambition 03 The self-proclaimed “watch geek” is known for pushing boundaries
MH: Describe your personal style. GB: I love a beautiful suit. Invariably, my suits are dark but they’ll always have a twist, like a pin dot or a bird’s eye – just something to make it a little bit different. And I always wear a suit with trainers. Nikes are my favourites. I love Hermès and Gucci ties, too. I think there’s something indescribably nice about a really beautiful necktie. You always feel as though you’ve put your suit on the right way when you wear one. MH: What do you do to stay in shape? GB: I don’t think I’m in amazing shape. I always feel like I could do more, but I run every day for five or six miles. I just enjoy listening to good music and having that 45 minutes of running time to relax and rebuild my mind for the day ahead – or clearing it after the day I’ve had. It’s my thing. All I need to do is slip on a pair of Nike Pegasus trainers and I can go running anywhere in the world. bamfordwatchdepartment.com
FOOTNOTES i Watch collecting has unique hazards. When the limited-edition Omega ‘Speedy Tuesday’ was released in January, Bamford fell down the stairs trying to order one in time.
ii At eight years of age, Bamford was taught by his grandfather, JCB company founder Joseph Cyril Bamford, how to weld and put a JCB together on the factory ﬂoor. A passion for assembly was born.
iii Bamford is a member of the Tyre Kicker Club – an eclectic group of petrolheads who test the mettle of their vintage and custombuilt cars in intense off-roading challenges.
WORDS: SHANE C KURUP | GROOMING: PATRICK FORINI AT DAVID ARTISTS USING L’OREAL MEN EXPERT
I WAS GIVING PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANTED, WHICH WAS INDIVIDUALITY
BWD X TAG HEUER MONACO £POA
PLAYERS TO WATCH Instagram may be 93% selﬁes, but know the right handles to follow and you can upgrade your horological knowledge at the mere double-tap of a screen The Director
@arthur_touchot Head of digital strategy at contemporary art dealers Phillips. Why: As former European editor of US watch oracle Hodinkee, Touchot didn’t just cover the news, he was part of it, moderating at all the biggest launches. Now he’s in-house at auctioneers Phillips. Prize hardware: The coveted 2017 Rolex Daytona with ceramic bezel – a (very generous) gift from his mother-in-law.
@tobybateman The managing director at online retailer Mr Porter. Why: Bateman proved fine watches would sell online at a time when the luxury watch world was more like a clandestine society. The fact he’s a pretty sharp dresser certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Prize hardware: His collection includes an unusual Omega Chronostop worn by his father, with the pushers at 11 and 1.
@jasonheaton Adventurer, podcaster and freelance writer. Why: Unusually for a watch geek, Jason Heaton very much lives the adrenaline-fuelled lifestyle that the watches he writes about were made for. As an experienced diver – and member of the highly regarded Explorers Club – he works his watches harder than most. Prize hardware: Heaton has invested heavily in the sibling submariners of brands Rolex and Tudor, but his favourite is his Z series Rolex Submariner No-Date 14060m.
@tge_ldnm Co-founder of fitness phenomenon Ldn Muscle. Why: Tom Exton’s Instagram is primarily a hub for his car collection (he founded Ldn Muscle in his twenties, while working as an investment banker) but look more closely and you’ll see a watch collector – and sometime dealer – well worth spending time on. Prize hardware: A 50th-anniversary 2017 Rolex Sea-Dweller. He currently wears it daily, although we imagine another gem will soon emerge from the depths of his collection.
@johnmayer The American singer, songwriter and serial dater. Why: Mayer isn’t just a rich guy buying nice watches (although they are nice). He has written for Hodinkee, and even earned the respect of Patek Philippe, which provides him with specialist pieces. Prize hardware: Mayer owns a one-off Tiffany-faced 5164A Patek Philippe – the envy of all horological junkies.
MH : 28
@wei_koh_revolution Publisher and co-founder of The Rake and Revolution. Why: Koh founded luxury watch mag Revolution back in 2005, and his interest in quality watches, tailoring and cigars borders on obsession. Expect all of the above in unashamed abundance. Prize hardware: A bespoke Cornes de Vache by Vacheron Constantin – a style with serious wrist presence.
WORDS: MATT HAMBLY | JASON HEATON PHOTOGRAPHY : CHRISTOPHER WINTERS
INSIDE KNOWLEDGE With its profusion of hand-polished components and animated parts, a skeleton watch will often leave your wallet looking undernourished. The Tissot T-Complication Squelette, however, has all the visual appeal of a bare-all mechanism coupled with Swiss manufacturing clout, at a price that won’t leave your bank manager (or significant other) red-faced. It’s a smart investment for curious collectors who want to study how on earth these things work. FIG.A •• •• ••
TISSOT T-COMPLICATION SQUELETTE £1365
SKELETON CREW Timepieces with their inner workings exposed put on show exactly what mechanical watch enthusiasts pay good money for: expert engineering, precision performance and a licence to show off what’s really going on under the hood PHOTOGRAPHY MAX OPPENHEIM | WORDS ARIEL ADAMS & SHANE C KURUP | STYLING ERIC DOWN
THE INNER CIRCLE
•• •• ••
HUBLOT BIG BANG MECA-10 MAGIC GOLD £34,600
IT’S A KIND OF MAGIC Not only are the obsessively intricate innards of Hublot’s Big Bang MECA-10 engineering porn for the mechanically minded, but its case sets a new standard for the craft of watchmaking. Developed specially by the Swiss heavyweight, the Magic Gold is an alchemist’s cocktail of 24k bullion and the material of the moment, ceramic. This unique alloy has a hardness twice that of 18k gold, so your watch will be spared the scuffs and scrapes usually acquired by golden timepieces. King Midas would approve.
MH : 31
THE INNER CIRCLE
•• •• ••
BULGARI OCTO FINISSIMO SKELETON £POA
EIGHTH WONDER The appeal of a slim watch is similar to that of smooth-driving, compact sports cars: refinement in a more streamlined, efficient package. As the most exposed version of the world’s thinnest tourbillon, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton delivers this in abundance. And its design goes beyond cutting-edge engineering; being made by LVMH Group’s leading horological powerhouses means every part has been hand-polished to perfection, making it an aesthetic and engineering marvel.
MH : 32
CONQUER SEASON Swiss-born Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823), whom many in the know consider the granddaddy of modern watchmaking, supplied timepieces to French emperor Napoléon and his wife Joséphine. Today, as then, the brand appeals to those who prefer to relish in the heritage of horology than entertain contemporary trends, although this rose-gold Breguet Tradition 7097 manages to shrewdly balance the best of both. It’s a worthy prize for the modern man with a conquer-all attitude. FIG.D •• •• ••
BREGUET TRADITION 7097 £24,500
THE INNER CIRCLE
•• •• ••
MAURICE LACROIX MASTERPIECE GRAVITY BLUE £8500
THE BEAT GOES ON The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity might not look as ornate as other skeletonised styles, but its brilliance lies in its asymmetry. An exposed, beating oscillator and pallet lever create a hypnotic spectacle; coupled with a slick, lacquered blue main dial, it’s a design of distinction. The original model was the first Maurice Lacroix to feature a movement with high-tech silicon parts, making it more energy efficient and immune to magnetic forces – the greatest foe of mechanical watches.
MH : 34
THE INNER CIRCLE
•• •• ••
BELL & ROSS BR-X1 BLACK TITANIUM £14,400
FULL THRUST Despite being a relative youngster in the watch world, Bell & Ross has earned itself a loyal following since launching its aviation-inspired watches in the early ’90s. The latest in its BR-X1 chronograph line – a style which takes its shape from fighter-jet instrument displays – is built like a tank, but absent of the usual burden of bulk due to its lightweight, yet robust titanium build. Its movement’s x-shaped upper bridge is a clandestine nod to Nasa’s experimental X-plane projects. This skeleton's bones are anything but brittle.
MH : 36
FUNCTION MEETS FORM
UNDER A hybrid of classic style and digital expediency, the concept of the horological smartwatch is one many struggle to reconcile, designed as they are to be simultaneously good looking and high performing. We challenged an MH writer to take one from assault course to dinner date, to see if it could keep pace
echanical purists tend to view smartwatches as plastic-fantastic novelties, but proponents argue they should just get with the times. According to Forbes, the wearables industry is now worth $14 billion a year – a figure which is difficult for any watch brand to ignore. The principal appeal of a smartwatch is, of course, easy access to information – whether that’s tracking your physical activity or keeping one eye on your emails. But as an object of desire, display of craftsmanship, or even a genuinely functional fitness tracker? Two years after Swiss watchmakers first dipped their collective toe in the smart market, the jury still appears to be out. Some are less equivocal, however. Mark Toulson, head buyer at Watches
PHOTOGRAPHY TAL SILVERMAN WORRDS LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON of Switzerland, has plenty of praise for the traditional watch maisons raising the bar in the field. “TAG Heuer, and to an extent Mont Blanc, are the only Swiss luxury brands to produce anything really interesting,” he says. “The modular aspect of the TAG’s latest model is exceptional; each component part can be unclipped, making it easy to customise. It excels in functionality, too. Google voice command, GPS, Translate – they’re great features that make your life easier.” So, keen to determine whether this shrewd marriage of aesthetics and multi-functionality is one of true love or simply business convenience, I sought to put the Connected Modular 45 – TAG’s second-generation smartwatch – to the test. And the first item on my agenda is
MH : 38
the toughest challenge I can think of: the Marines Bottom Field assault course. TO O UG G H TI M E S Mentally steeled for the ordeal ahead, a quick glance at the Connected’s weather app delivers the small consolation that I won’t be facing my first military-style training in a deluge. After setting up the TAG with travel alerts via City Mapper and Google Maps (so I’m not wrongfooted by a change of schedule), I cycle
01 CAN TAG’S LATEST SMARTWATCH STAND UP TO THE RIGOURS OF A PUNISHING ASSAULT COURSE?
TAG HEUER CONNECTED MODULAR 45 Â£1200
02 MH’S WRITER PICKS UP SPEED TO PUT THE DATA-TRACKING TECH THROUGH ITS PACES
calloriees burned d
12,743 steeps takken
peaak heaartt ratee d achhievved
to handle the rigours of the course. Built in the brand’s Chaux-de-Fonds workshop alongside its other mechanical models, it has a tank-like robustness, along with the sort of high-grade finish that has earned Switzerland its fine watchmaking reputation. The sporty rubber strap feels equally substantial, but sits comfortably on my wrist. Given what I’m about to undertake, I’m grateful to minimise all possible distractions. I set the timer on the TAG’s Google Fit app, and after a gentle jog with a few squats and lunges thrown in, the warm-up escalates to a series of 50m sprints, press-ups and sit-ups. Five rounds in, I’m told to lie back with my
MH : 40
eyes closed, naively expecting a moment to recuperate. Suddenly winded by a heavy thud into my chest, I’m startled to find Benny on top of me, attempting to pin my arms to the floor. “Fight him off!” comes the instruction. The ordeal ends when I finally take up the invitation to tap out of a choke hold. The PTIs then jog me over to my first official test – a daunting 30ft rope climb. During their training, recruits will scale the equivalent of three Eiffel Towers. It’s all I can do to haul myself off the ground and wriggle up a few metres from the floor. Unable to replicate the
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: LEO CACKETT | LEATHERMAN WAVE BLACK OXIDE DAMASCUS EDITION MULTI-TOOL-STORE.CO.UK
the six miles to the station to catch my train to Devon. I’ve also downloaded Strava’s tracking app to keep tabs of my performance en route. It’s considerably more rewarding to see the stats pop up on screen as I pedal, rather than waiting to check the data on my phone post-ride. I find I push myself that bit harder. Settling in on the train, my wrist vibrates again – this time alerting me to a last-minute ‘good luck’ call from my editor. Even without connecting to your phone, Google’s Android Wear operating system has plenty of features to play with, whether you’re reorganising your playlist, planning a client dinner or, in my case, finding your way from genteel London to purgatory in Devon. Three uniformed men in green berets approach as I disembark at the camp’s railway station and I’m soon on the receiving end of a warm welcome and abnormally firm handshake. I’m escorted to the kit room by a captain named Olly, whom I question about the Bottom Field’s reputation. I start the voice-recorder app on the TAG, eliminating the usual faff of fiddling with a dictaphone, to record key quotes for later. “You’ll be taken through one of the easiest sessions we do with recruits,” says Olly. That’s good. “But it’s still going to be hard.” Kitted out in my camo and boots, I’m taken to the outdoor drill ground to meet the Royal Marines physical training instructors (PTIs), Ash and Benny, who both, predictably, embody the proverbial brick outhouse. “The difference between marines and athletes is that we need to be prepared for anything – we can’t train just to be specialists in a single discipline,” Ash explains. The aptly named Bottom Field Pass Out is made of four components designed to test each recruit’s readiness for combat: a rope climb, a fireman’s carry, a water tank rope crawl and an assault course. The TAG certainly feels like it’s able
Affteer 68 minutes wiith the Marines:
FUNCTION MEETS FORM
technique that allowed my instructor to shoot to the top in seconds (I clocked it), my arms burn out before I’m halfway. HE E AV V Y LIF F TI N G The next item on the agenda – the 200m man carry – is serious business. The pressure is increased when I’m told Benny is the ‘wounded’ comrade I need to deliver safely to the finish line. Taking his 100kg frame onto my shoulders in a fireman’s lift, I cover half of the distance without faltering. But on the home straight, my grip loosens and my quads melt to jelly – it takes every iota of willpower to reach the safe zone within the 90-second limit. Via the Bluetooth monitor I have strapped to my chest, the TAG Connected later tells me I hit a peak heart rate of 198bpm at this point. “Everything inside is telling you to drop to the floor,” Ash says, using an arm to keep my wobbling body upright. “But you can’t lie down in a warzone.” Quite. Next up is my timed lap – recruits need to complete this in five minutes, carrying 14kg of kit and a weapon. Without the benefit of 15 weeks’ rigorous preparation, I’m mercifully spared some of the more technical obstacles and the weighty add-ons. Even so, 6ft walls, monkey bars and rope crawls soon take their toll. With my face in the gravel inside the long, claustrophobic tunnel known as the ‘smartie tube’, I feel like I’m crawling through treacle, though the built-in torch on my TAG provides some much-needed illumination. When I eventually emerge into the light, I summon my last reserves of aggression for the cargo net wall before sprinting the last few metres toward the waiting PTIs. At this point, glancing at my watch’s timer, I notice the battery is already down to 53% – which just so happens to be rather reflective of how I’m feeling. Like all smart devices, the more apps you use, the faster the juice depletes. But the Connected 45 does have an ingenious power-saving feature in the form of ‘wrist gesture’ settings – the watch senses when you hold it up and brightens the display, animating its face. When lowered, it returns to a semi-dormant state, conserving energy. Something that I, it seems, have failed to master.
As if the smartwatch’s durability needed further scrutiny, there’s a good chance I’m about to get wet – the watertank rope crawl requires recruits to shuffle across a 30ft traverse. After several exhausted attempts, my muscles fail me, and I plunge into the cold water. Thankfully, the TAG is watertight up to 50m, so unless you intend to go diving for pearls, you don’t have to worry when taking a plunge, expected or otherwise. By the time I complete my endurance test – 68 minutes, to be precise – my watch registers that I have clocked 6.5km and exactly 12,743 steps. Not bad for an afternoon’s work. I leave the course with a few cuts and bruises, and immense respect for the professionals – both military and horological.
FOR INFORMATION ON CAREERS WITH THE MARINES, SEE ROYALNAVY.MOD.UK
IT’S CONSIDERABLY MORE REWARDING TO SEE THE STATS APPEAR ON SCREEN AS I GO. I FIND I PUSH THAT BIT HARDER
FR R ES S H FAC E D On the return train journey, a WhatsApp message buzzes through to my wrist – it’s a friend reminding me of our dinner this evening. With the Google Fit app telling me I burned 1129 calories in just over an hour, a cold beer is on the cards. Showered and changed, I quickly browse through the customisable watch faces, changing from the two-counter chronograph – ideal for tracking my ordeal – to a classic TAG Carrera face to match the change of environment. Novel as this is, an oft-cited issue with smartwatches is that – like the latest iPhone release – they can date quickly. TAG Heuer has attempted to surmount this issue, not just through regular Android software and stylistic updates,
MH : 41
03 WEATHER-PROOFING CLAIMS ARE PUT TO THE TEST – AND SHOWN TO HOLD WATER
but with an add-on mechanical movement, which can be clipped in and out. The brand’s CEO, Jean-Claude Biver, says this give the Connected an ‘eternal’ element. It’s also perhaps intended to appease traditional haute horologists. Either way, it looks the part. After loading up with a much-needed protein hit at dinner, footing the bill offers a chance to test the smartwatch’s Android pay feature before I head home. It feels slightly odd – careless, even – to be depleting my bank account with the flick of a wrist, yet the feature works seamlessly. It has survived each of the day’s trials without baring any wounds and, crucially, has performed well for a timepiece manufactured by a brand more used to dealing with escapements and rotors than Silicon Valley tech. But is it for everyone? Well, if you’re after a fitness tracker, it certainly ticks all the boxes – although, at £1450, there are more wallet-friendly options. For diehard fans of mechanical pieces, it’s still recognisably a slice of electronic wrist tech, despite the appealing design. One suspects purists will never get past this. Nevertheless, it is unique in its ability to combine the multipurpose functionality of a smartwatch with the elegance and build quality of a luxury timepiece. TAG’s Connected also distinguishes itself from its competitors in its capacity for customisation, with interchangeable dials, lugs, buckles, case materials and bezels forming thousands of design options. If you’re the kind of busy man with a multifaceted lifestyle that defies designation – and I like to identify as such – you’d be a fool to resist.
BULOVA CURV CHRONOGRAPH
Bulova is still ahead of the game with its ‘UHF’ tech, which is eight times more precise than standard quartz. Thi llatest This t t ddesign i hhas been b g g engineered with a gentle curve, so it sits comfortably o tthee wrist. st £699 on
MONT TB BL L LAN A C TIMEWA AN ALK LKER DATE AU UTO UT OMAT OM MA IC C
MO OV VA AD DO O CON ONNE NE EC CT T
Th l bl The sleeping blackk mirror of Movado’s Bauhaus-style h LED display d l ‘Museum Watch’ is exceptionally ll sleek. l k Android d d and d iOS compatible, p bl it has h l t ttracking ki and d paymentt alerts, features, and offers more than 100 animated, historic Movado displays. £550 d d l £ 0
The rebooted Timewalker collection might be inspired b by vintage race instruments, b but the h aesthetic h is kept k futuristic utu st c with t Star TrekTrek-style k yl numerals n merals and a sleek black ceramic bezel to track a seco secondd time t e zone. o e £2295
ARTISTIC MOVEMENTS A well-designed watch is a kinetic mas m sterpiece – from its canvas of ticking hannds n tto the miniature mechanic strokes inside. But to which school do you belong? WORDS ALEX DOAK | ILLUSTRATIONS MARTA CERDÀ ALIMBAU
CASI SIIO GG -S SH HOC HOC OCK OCK Q GULFMAST STER ER R GWN-Q1000
Goingg from shock-proofing g into ffuture-proofing, f this new G-Shock is the ffirst to be ki kitted d out with i hQ Quad d Sensor S tech, providing coastguards with vital stats on barometric pressure, temperature, and wind and tide direction. £700
LOUIS SV VU UIT ITTO T N TAMB MB BO U R O ON SM CH HORIZO SMAR SMAR ARTW ARTW TWA AT T TC
Futurism Driven by speed, technology and innovation, this early 20th-century movement unshackled itself from tradition. Today, the horological scene has never been more progressive
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A globetrotting Bluetooth-connected smartwatch to die for. f Louis Vuitton’s zeal ffor travel results in two bespoke apps: My Flight, for seamless airport navigation and City Guide, for when you reach your destination. £2735
BUYER’S GUIDE TAG HEUER AQUARACER ARCTIC CAMOUFLAGE
If you’re reluctant to go the whole hog with camo athleisurewear, accessorise instead. This GI Joe-worthy number – another fine iteration of TAG’s bona fid Aquaracer A di fide diver – iis g d to 300m. £2200 good
SWATCH À COTÉ
Pop Art The late ’50s were characterised by mass-consumerism and teen culture, with an advertising boom giving rise to Pop Art. Its legacy continues: now watchmakers are getting in on the act
GUC G CC C CI DI DIVE IV VE E YEL ELLO LLO LOW OW RU G DIAL RUBBER WITH TIGER
Launched in 1983 and a Pop Art icon in its own right, the Swatch watch mix-and-match plastic-fantasticness hit the perfect note for that era. Modern artists queued up to collaborate and still do, but a shown here,, Swatch’s own as t e iss st b t £38 take still vibrant.
CORUM ADMIRA RAL’S CUP RA P C O RED AC-ONE
The textured-rubber Th d bb dial on Gucci Gucci’ss Dive shouldn’t undermine your confidence in water – it’s still resistant to 200m, the rubber strap is rock solid a d the h bezel b l clicks l k withh and r razor sharpness. h £78 £ 880 0
The T m multi-faceted case off Corum’s hhalo l series offers impressive presence on the wrist. The red ‘pop’ dial almost upstages its star turn: the tides times, current strength and tidal state. £7100
HUBLOT HU O BIIG G BAN ANG G FE ERR RAR RI UN UNIC ICO OC CA ARB RBO ON O N F CO
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? p No, it’s it s a Hublot ub ot with t a namee tthatt e evokes a Lichtenstein piece. p here comes ffrom The impact Ferrari’s design d ddepartment, whose h tribute b to their h legacy l ffeatures t screw recesses that th t echo the rear diffuser on the F12 Tdf super-GT. £23,400
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NIXON ROTOLOG WITH WOOD INLAY
Any West Coast surfer is likely to have a Nixon strapped to his wrist. The oblong bamboo inlay of the US brand’s classic blocky Rotologg perfectly p complements his wood-panelled station wagon g p on the dunes. £250 50 parked
Cubism These robust, well-shaped examples of watchmaking can be squared away with Picasso and Braque who brought bbold geometry and new perspectives to a two-dimensional medium
BE B ELL L & ROSS S BR 033-92 92 HO H HORO OROGR OG GRAP GR APH H
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE
Legendary watch designer Gérald Genta dashed off the now-iconic octagonal lines of the Royal Oak specifically with Italian men in mind – and this flamboyantly bold Offshore is Amalfi coast through g and through. g £38,700 , 0
SE S EIK IKO PRO IKO PROS PR OSPE OSP PEX SRP PEX SR RP5 P5 P581K1
M circcular More c than angular at g cce, but have a pplay, y first glanc aand the proportions feel ssatisfyingly blocky and solid. Itt’s fondly dubbed the ‘Tuna Can’ by Seiko fans. What’s C m more, at a wallet-friendly price it’s price, p it s a steal given the quality off its mechanics. £329 q
Bell & Ross’s utilitarian litarian range took a square-framed cockpit st u e t and d then e added dded instrument h reinterpreted d a strap. The l straddles ddl Cubism bi and d style h h kss to this h Bauhaus, thanks d gn inspired d restrainedd desig b airport clocks. l k £2 by £2400 00
PA ANE NERA ER RA AI RA RADIOM OMIR IR SLC YS S C 3 DAYS S
The size of a Panerai usually ggrabs your attention – that and the iconic cushion shape shape. Look closer to appreciate the subtle interplay of edge, curve and contour, with every facet meticulously brushed or hand-polished. £6600
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PATEK PHILIPPE GRAND COMPLICATION REF 5320G
Hailed as a tribute to Patek’s greatest hits, every detail, from its sumptuous cream lacquer dial to those stepped pagoda-style p g y ‘horns’ make it worthy of hanging g g on a wall, not ot to mention e t o its fine perpetual p p calenndar. £63,370 , 0
Pre-Raphaelite The mid-19th century brotherhood sought a return to the lavish detail, intense colour and complex compositions of Italian art – qualities these exquisite pieces have in spades
THOM MAS AS SAB AB BO O RE RE EB BEL RACE E CHRONOGRAPH WATCH C O OG C
RAYMOND WEIL MAESTRO 2237-PC5-65001
This rose-gold-plated beauty is nigh-on perfect, with a solid Swiss mechanical movement and, in a whimsical flourish of artistry, a waved sunburst engraving engraving. The musician’ss watchmaker musician tc e ttakes es a trip to thhe h gallery. g £995 995
CARTIE ER DR DRIV IVE DE IV E CARTIER MOON C OO PHASES S S
This striking number nuumber couldn couldn’tt be more rock goth with its decadent yellow-gold plating.. It’s not all fur coat, though – the knickers are the quartz chronog h graphh movement and d black leather l h strap. £33799
Paris’s grande maison reinterprets the dial’s blank canvas in all manner of abstract forms. The new Drive D e de d Cartier is subtle bl aand d el eelegant, withh a char moonphase ch rming r h indic d ator. £18,800 £ 8 800
BREI BR EIT TL LING FOR R BENT TLE EY B0 B0 B06 6 06
An ornate pilot watch and a bargain for an in in-househouse manufactured chronograph. Only, it’s not for flying, rather grand-touring. Breitling’s 15 years of shared stateliness with Bentley couldn’t feel more suited today. £9140
MH : 45
BUYER’S GUIDE GRAFF MASTERGRAFF STRUCTURAL SKELETON
The sense of light and space in this movement and framework case create a masterpiece of kinetic sculpture and the mechanics and merry-go-round tourbillon cage draw you in as it ticks and tumbles. £POA
Contructivism The abstract geometric forms, angles and bold colours that emerged in post-imperial Russia lend themselves to the simple shapes yet complex details of these unique watches
VICTORINOX INOX TITANIUM SKY HIGH
Victorinox went to the Moon and remains official kit aboard the International Space Station. This limited-edition watch comes with a strap made from the same material as cords of the a the parachute p M s lander. Mars de £7155
TIMEX THE WATERB BURY CHRONOGRAPH
POR RSC RS CH HE DE D SIGN 19 9 C CH 1919 HR H R RON ONO ONOT ON OT TIM MER ER
A nostalgic yet unusuall chronograph with counters sitting highh up the dial rather than across a its equator, bold aviaatorstyle hour indicess and annd an i haat ice-cream canvass tha y just could you ld llickk. £99 £9 99
The woorld’s o first titanium chronoograph o was drafted for h Design, IWC in 1977 by b Porsche five f yeaars after it broke ground with the first black, PVD-coated h This sleek modernist 1919 watch. chronotimer chrono otimer dra drawss inspiration from the h orig g ginall Porsche h 911. It’s the h ticker of o choice ffor car nuts. £3200
C TI CI TIZE Z N PR ZE PROM OMAS ASTE AS TER R S 10 000M DIVE DI VER’ R’S 1000 00M M
At 52.5mm, this formidable A piece of engineering g g is the first light-powered g saturation dive d e watch tc rated ted down do to a b bone-crushing hi 1000m. 1000 The Th bezel numerals are dense, but its artistic flair means it doesn’t feel cluttered. £1695
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BUYER’S GUIDE FEARS PEBBLE GREY
The recently launched Fears – a revival of a storied Bristolian maker – now manufactures u ctu es in Switzerland. S t e d Thiss latest test model ode iss a new e y take on its ‘Redcliff’ style, g with a slick matte-grey q face and p precision quartz o d 5 5 movement. o e e t £650 650 Ronda 515
Bauhaus ‘Form follows function’ was the maxim at the heart of the inter-war ma Gerrman art school. For watch design, th this means telling the time clearly, nothing more, nothing less
SKAGEN SIGNATUR CONNECTED HYBRID
Flexing its minimalist muscle, Skagen, with typical restraint, offers Android or iOS functionality limited to subtle comms alerts via the mid-centuryy hued sub-dial g on and activity tracking y p 95 your phone. £195
NOM N NO OM MO OS GLASHÜ ÜTT TE ME METRO S LV CUT NE EO OM MAT ATIK IK 339 9 SI SILV VE ER RC UT
IWC PO ORTOFINO C ONOG CHRON OGRAPH
The core Tangente lookk hasn’t s t altered te e since ce 199 990 90 ded when Nomos was found in the former East Germany. Metro’ss new ‘silvercut’ Metro silvercut dial features a nine-step p process off lacquering and wet-blasting. bl £2 0 £2710
The T butch utc and Germanic e c IWC C l p a little, inspired loosens up by louche,, linen-shirted IItalian l Riviiera style. l And d iif yyou don’’’t have a Riva runabout, gaze lovingly through th the he clear back at the sh h e mechanics. h ££4750 0 shipshape
MOND ND DAI AINE HEL AINE ELVE LVE VETICA VETI TICA TI CA ON ERIK SPIEKERMANN S
People often about the f forget f Swiss origins S g off a domestic classic: the Helvetica typeface. It fell to Mondaine to realise this most egalitarian of fonts in a watch, freshened up by typographic master, Eric Spiekermann. £335
MH : 49
BUYER’S GUIDE ROLEX CELLINI MOONPHASE
JUNGHANS MEISTER DRIVER AUTOMATIC
This new timepiece came with a shock, injecting verve into the Cellini dress-watch collection. It also brings the lunar indication back from the ’50s,, the full moon realised with t a wafer-thin e t slice s ce oof g genuine meteorite. £19,650 0
This latest addition to the wildly successful Meister Driver range pays tribute to the golden era of motoring. Despite the British racing green, g the dial draws from the ccream e d dashboard s bo d oof a ’30s 30s German G Maybach. y £1080 080
Art Deco The streamlined elegance and modernity of Arts Décoratifs translated naturally to the craft of timekeeping and cultural shifts of the 1920s – and continues to do so
JAEGER-LECOULTRE J E REVERSO TRIBUTE
LONG NG GIN INES INES ES HER ERIIT ERI TAGE 1945
The recent Heritage collection of faithful reissuess hhas proved d to b be a most successful f move. This year’ss revival scores points for f f perfectly poised restraint, ff and its bafflingly low price, given the tip tip-top top automatic movement. t £1330
Worn on the polo fields of colonial India, the Reverso flipped over to hide the glass from errant mallets. The 1933 shape h hhas b barely l changed; h d lless sporting sorts can now f choose a flipside dial rather than h a metall back. b k £16,800 £ 6 800
SH I NO OL LA THE HE SHIN GUARDIAN 41.5MM G
Shinola S o wass established est b s ed during d g Detroit’s 2011 manufacturing renaissance, and its locally assembled, Swiss-powered utility watches are inspired by the city’s former industrial prowess. This model takes its cues from the city’s majestic Art Deco Guardian Building. £645
MH : 51
BUYER’S GUIDE ZENITH PILOT TYPE 20 EXTRA SPECIAL BRONZE
Zenith holds the exclusive rights to have ‘pilot’ on its dials. Now, duly kitted out with the famous El Primero chronograph, this model has a case forged from bronze, a case which takes on a unique q patina with age. g £5900
RADO HYPERCHROME 1616
Steampunk Combining the literary fantasies of Jules Verne, sci-ﬁ and Victoriana to superb effect, Switzerland’s master watchmakers continue to raid the art archives for inspiration
The 1616 marks 400 years since the discovery of South America’s southernmost trade route, Cape Horn. The scratchproof, lightweight and super-smooth brown-ceramic ccase makes the large g case e o t ess to wear. effortless e £1980 980
TISSOT HERITAGE 1948 ON MESH BRACELET
TW STEEL CANTEEN LEATHER CS14
This reissue of a classic 1948 model references the Swiss post-war age of enlightened science and engineering, retaining the ‘railway’ minutes track, stud hour-markers and those handsome scalloped strap attachments. £1145
The hobnail steel bezel and crown could be from a Bentley’s gear knob; the cream dial the colour of a Cadillac Coupe de Ville. This is petrolhead nostalgia with studded leather straps and sspare-tyre proportions. i £299
BRE EM E MON ONT T NO N RT RTON ON V4/RR / R
PHOTOGRAPHY: HEARST STUDIOS
Bremont is deeply p y connected tto its fellow Brit,, Norton,, sp sponsoring g the brand’s Isle of Man TT race team. Handassembled in Bremont’s Henley-on-Thames atelier, this crisp chronograph is a fitting tribute. £5495
MH : 53
In a world that runs on algorithms and gigabytes, the true artisan is a rare commodity indeed. We spoke to three craftsmen whose time-honoured passion it is to make manual labour an art form
PHOTOGRAPHY JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE WORDS SHANE C KURUP | SITTINGS EDITOR RICCARDO CHIUDIONI
LONGINES PRÉSENCE HERITAGE £2320
SEXTON KNOWS A SHARP CUT CANNOT BE RUSHED
EDWARD SEXTON Bespoke tailor Having dressed the likes of everyone from Mick Jagger to Mark Ronson, and mentored Stella McCartney, veteran tailor Sexton is a Savile Row luminary. Now 75, he maintains the creative energy and vigour of a man half his age. He continues to run his bespoke tailoring business at 26 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge “Anything in life must have a good balance and a good foundation. Tailoring is no exception. When measuring a client, it’s my responsibility to determine the balance of the garment for that given figure. The way the internals are made is crucial; everything has to be exactly spot on.
I have to pinpoint the prominence of the chest and the balance of the shoulder line. I need to see how much flare I want to put into the garment. It’s my job to make everything look perfectly equal. It’s what I call ‘sartorial sculpture’. I can make a short man taller or a stout man look 20lb lighter. Of course, while you can’t rush an artist, we also have to meet clients’ deadlines and it’s important that we never let our standards slip. My father once said to me: ‘Be your own master and learn a trade. When you’ve got a trade in your hands, you can pick up your tools and walk.’ It was the best piece of advice that he ever gave me.”
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CHAUMET DANDY 38MM WITH PINK GOLD CASE £13,840
CHARLIE SIEM Classical violinist Inspired upon hearing Beethoven’s violin concerto, Siem picked up a bow at the precocious age of three and hasn’t put it down since. Still only 31, he has accompanied both the London Symphony and Israel Philharmonic orchestras, as well as collaborating with Jamie Cullum and Bryan Adams “With the violin, it’s just a tiny fraction of a millimetre that determines whether you’re in tune or out of tune. With your left hand on the strings, it’s almost unquantifiable how small these distances are. But it’s not just about precision placement. All music is written with a rhythmic metre – it has
MH : 56
bars and time values ascribed to each note, so you can understand the sense of rhythm that the composer wanted to create within the music. So, of course, in a technical sense, timing is crucial. But what truly turns a musician into a great live performer is when you can elongate or distort time within the framework of the music. Do that, and you create this electric energy, where the performer is able to manipulate time. It’s a sort of intangible, abstract thing that makes the music so powerfully engaging for the audience. Use your hands wisely and you can draw the listener into a new zone.”
PRECISION TIMING DIVIDES GOOD MUSICIANS FROM GREAT ARTISTS
A LANGE & SÖHNE SAXONIA DUAL TIME £23,300
DOM BERAN Sushi chef Growing up among his grandparents’ crop fields in the Philippines gave Beran an understanding of the importance of quality ingredients from an early age. He later moved to London to pursue his dream of becoming a chef, honing his skills in Japanese cuisine. He is now head chef at Taka in London’s Mayfair “Sushi rice is the backbone of our business, so we need to ensure it’s cooked properly. It might sound simple but it
takes a great deal of practice and this ingredient is key to the success of a restaurant like ours – it’s very delicate and can be overcooked in a moment. We also have a robata charcoal grill menu that includes Japanese wagyu beef and complex types of yakitori [meat skewers] that require an extremely precise cooking time. Meanwhile, sashimi needs to be sliced with a very sharp knife to just the right thickness. It takes years of dedication to refine this art. An accurate, steady hand is the most important skill a chef can have, especially so for a sashimi chef – I’d say that timing and accuracy are more vital to Japanese cuisine than any other. It’s all part of being consistent in delivering top quality dishes for your diners and ensuring food is served how you envisage it. Your reputation as a chef depends on it.”
PERFECTION CAN’T BE COMPROMISED FOR CHEF BERAN
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60 SECONDS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
Eight extraordinary men recollect the deﬁning moment in their careers, when time stood still in realisation of their success, their futures and how far they had come
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BEAUDEN BARRETT CLINCHES WORLD CUP VICTORY FOR THE ALL BLACKS The New Zealand international burst out of the line to score a winning try in the dying moments of the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final I’d been called on to play full-back for the last 15 minutes of the game, but as the clock ticked down toward the final whistle it felt like I’d already been on the pitch for an hour. We were 10 points up with just two minutes to go and Australia were pushing hard with an attack out wide. But when the Aussie winger Drew Mitchell couldn’t gather a pass, Ben Smith swooped on the loose ball and picked his head up. I came screaming from the back field in support, hoping that he’d read my mind and put in a kick for me to chase. Fortunately he did, and I emerged from a crowd of yellow shirts to see the pitch
BARRETT WEARS A TU D O R H E R ITAG E B L AC K BAY DARK £ 3 20 0
MH : 67
open up in front of me. Feeling a burst of energy and determination, I sprinted downfield praying that I would get a favourable bounce. Running at full tilt, I gave the ball the deftest touch with my foot that I could manage, and it sat up beautifully for me to catch. I ran on to score the try and barely had time to celebrate before Julian Savea and my other teammates bundled on top of me. The three years that had passed since getting my first call up for the All Blacks felt like preparation for that one moment. Any sense of expectation and anxiety left my body, replaced with pure elation, pride and adrenaline. Listening to the Twickenham crowd erupt was a moment I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
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ADAM PEATY BREAKS THE 50M BREASTSTROKE WORLD RECORD
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The swimmer came in under 26 seconds at the World Aquatics Championships in July
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PE AT Y WE ARS AN O M EGA S PE E D MASTE R DAR K S I D E O F TH E M OO N £8 6 4 0
JÉRÔME DELAFOSSE FACES DOWN FEAR The environmentalist takes a gamble to ﬁlm great whites – with no cage
As I waited for the start of the race, my hands were tingling and my chest warm; I believe in keeping a high body temperature for performance. I also believe that, if you can visualise something, there’s more chance it will come true. Pressure doesn’t affect me. Tunnel vision is crucial – if you start focusing on the guy in the lane next to you, you’ve already lost. The rush of adrenaline means the race itself is a blur. I never thought it would be possible to touch under 26 seconds on the 50m. When I looked up at the board I was genuinely shocked. All I need to do now is tighten up my start and that will make me so much faster. The key is to be obsessed with self-improvement and performance but not to be possessed – I know when to take my foot off the gas.
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The explorer’s Himalayan trek almost came to grief in a horriﬁc car crash Travelling in a local taxi on a remote mountain road in Nepal, I heard the brakes snap. Seconds later, we fell 450ft off the edge of a cliff. When it eventually came to a stop, I was unable to feel my arm. I assumed it must have been severed but it was still attached – just pointing in the wrong direction. A group of locals carried us out of the jungle to safety. By the next day, I’d already decided I’d come back to finish the expedition.
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WOOD WEARS TH E IWC B I G PI LOT ’ S WATC H £ 11 , 4 5 0
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D E L AFO S S E WE ARS TH E O R I S AQ U I S HAM M E RH E AD LI M ITE D E D ITI O N £ 1 9 0 0
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LEVISON WOOD NEARS DEATH
Just off the Cape of Good Hope, we’d lost the diving cage to a raging storm. The prospect of jumping into the water without one, surrounded by great whites, was daunting, but I couldn’t afford to go home without this footage. We baited the water. As I prepped in the boat a 1.5m fin came up alongside us, and the huge shark began thrashing around. I plunged to the sea-bed with two teammates, but the vast shark just swam gently by. At that point, I knew I had the story.
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WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY, ALAMY
POGBA WEARS A TAG HEUER CARRERA CALIBRE HEUER 01 £5000
I was elated when I signed my contract at Manchester United. I’d been in the academy since joining from Le Havre in France, but to play professionally at a club like Man United… that’s a dream come true for every player. Even as I was signing I knew that I couldn’t let it go to my head. When you’re young, it’s easy to lose focus on what matters. I thank the lord for how lucky I am. Not only to do what I love in playing football, but because I’m in good health. Soon after signing I was promoted to the first team, and then the French national team. It happened so fast. I feel it was destiny for me to return to Man United a second time, but signing that first piece of paper was one of the most special moments of my life.
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Long before securing a record transfer deal, the midﬁelder fulﬁlled his dream of going pro
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USAIN BOLT MAKES A NAME FOR HIMSELF AT THE WORLD JUNIORS
global events since, but that day I could barely think straight. I actually put my spikes on the wrong feet. The World Juniors is for athletes under 20 years old, so at 15 I could easily have felt out of my depth. I went on to win, but the moments after crossing the line are what stay in my mind. The crowd was going berserk so I saluted them. It’s still one of my favourite race photos. I told myself as I stood there that if I can win in front of my home fans, I should never worry about running at a big event.
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Bolt had to prove himself in front of a home crowd to get his career out of the blocks People often ask which race from my career means the most to me. They’re usually surprised to learn that it wasn’t taking gold in London or Rio, but the 200m at the World Junior Championships The of pretty much in 2002. Theboss competition was held in every kind of surﬁng imaginable my home country in Kingston, and I was 15 years old. I remember the wall of noise attended his inaugural board comingmeeting from the Jamaican fans in the at pre-school age stadium. The atmosphere was electric. I have rarely suffered with nerves at
KAI LENNY CATCHES HIS FIRST WAVE
BO LT WE ARS A H U B LOT B I G BAN G U N I CO U SAI N BO LT £ 3 1 ,6 0 0
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The South African batsman focused on family after smashing the fastest century in one-day international history
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The sailor played the high stakes to win his ﬁnal race at London 2012 As the final showdown between myself and Danish sailor Jonas Høgh-Christensen approached, I knew that it would probably be the last race of my Olympic sailing career and one of us would take gold. The race was almost unbearably close, but I had to make a split-second decision on whether to manoeuvre my boat into a new area to find better wind. It really was do or die, so I took the risk. Anyone who tells you that those sorts of situations are easy to handle AI N S LI E WE ARS is lying; the pressure on the race course is A ZE N ITH C H RO N O MASTE R unique. Going back to your processes is E L PR I M E RO S PO RT the only way to keep calm. My judgement L AN D ROVE R BAR TE AM call paid off and I was propelled into the E D ITI O N £670 0 lead and hung on to win the gold medal.
Things certainly went well for me on 18 January 2015, when the Proteas played a One Day International against the West Indies in Johannesburg. Every shot seemed to work, and I managed to score 149 runs in just 44 balls before being a caught in the last of our 50 overs. The seconds that followed my dismissal remain a moment of real significance in my life. The capacity crowd were making a lot of noise, and I was feeling exhilarated, aware that I was living through one of the highlights of my career. But my mind somehow focused entirely and absolutely on my parents, AB Sr and Millie, who were in the stadium. I just wanted to see them, to share the moment with them, and to thank them again for all the sacrifices they’d made over the years. When the going is good and everyone wants to be your friend, it’s easy to overlook the people who really matter. But in that moment, it was so significant to keep my parents in mind.
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SIR BEN AINSLIE GRABS VICTORY AT LONDON 2012
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AB DE VILLIERS HITS IT HOME IN JOBURG
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PHOTOGRAPHY: JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE
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THE WATCH SNOB’S DICTIONARY For true aﬁcionados, owning a watch is nothing if you can’t speak watch. Know your escapement from your tourbillon with our glossary
Gérald d Geenta noun. Legen g nndarry designer who created ssome of the world’s mostt icoonic watches. Until you ow w wn a ‘Genta-designed’ p piecce, you’re an amateur.
Chronograph noun. A timepiece with a built-in stopwatch, controlled by butt b ton t pushers; one of the least-uused d functions, but neverthelesss considered an essential paart of any watch snob’s quiverr.
George G Daniels noun. The T renowned British horologist, h who died in 220111, was responsible for tthe ‘co-axial escapement’ – ad devvelopment which revolutioonised mechanical Kudos. watchh performance. pe
Chronometer noun. A watch that has been rigorously assessed by thee Official Swiss Chronometeer Testing Institute to ensuree you’re never out by more than -4//+6 6 (for f mechanical watches) or ±0 0.077 (for quartz) seconds per dday. y Crystal noun, adj. The clear covering over the dial of a watch, made from acrylic, glass or synthetic sapphire. Although sapphire is significantly more scratch-resistant, the vintage allure of acrylic is often hard for a horologist to resist.
H ﬁg 11. ﬁ Accurist £139
D Dive watch noun. A watch designed to be worn underwater, with a minimum water resistance of 100m. Of course, a true snob would never wear anything rated less than 300m, just as he would never dream of actually wearing it in water.
E Escapement noun. The ticking component that meters-out the energy ‘escaping’ from the mainspring into the gear train, moving the hands at the correct speed. It’s the beating heart of every mechanical watch.
H t H Horlogerie noun. Haute A French term meaning ‘high watchmaking’, this is the name given to the upper echelons of the craft. If ‘horology’ is expensive watchmaking, haute horlogerie is very expensive watchmaking. Helium Escape Valve/HEV noun. A one-way valve that relieves the overpressure of helium that seeps into dive watches on saturation dives. That they’re only of use to deep-sea divers somehow serves to make them more covetable.
M An old-school complication that displays the phases of the moon, making it as superfluous to the modern man’s needs as the HEV (above). But, yes, you do want one.
Movement noun. A watch’s ‘engine’, these can be quartz (battery) or mechanical. Mechanical watches are favoured because not only are they vastly harder to make, they also possess more of a ‘soul’ (not yet a recognised watch-part).
P Perpetual calendar noun. A complication that takes different month lengths into account, even during leap years, and displays at least the date and month. It’s the only ‘smartwatch’ a snob will confess to owning.
Tourbillon noun. A rotating cage that houses the escapement, to counter the effects of gravity. It’s both a show of expertise and a way to add a few zeroes to the price tag.
W Worldtimer noun. A watch with a dial that can be adj sted to display adjusted displa the time in 2 time zones. Jet-setting g 24 aficionados enjoy having af g the g world at their fingertips. Even with an iPhone in their p pocket..
Retrograde noun, adj. An indicator on the dial that moves across a semi-circle or arc before snapping back to the start, at which point it’s likely to elicit a carnal grunt from even the most righteous watch boffin.
The Holy Trinity noun. The name given to Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe. These Swiss brands are coveted because of
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their history, exclusivity, and the fact they’ve never strayed into downmarket (read: more affordable) territory.
Rattrapante noun. A type of chronograph with an additional seconds hand, thus allowing two times to be recorded at once. Twice the prestige.
ﬁg 2. Breitling £1810
With 24 functions, this is the most complex piece designed without the aid of computers, commissioned by banker Henry Graves Jr in 1933 to outperform his horological rival, engineer James Ward Packard.
Pilot’s watch noun. A style of watch with large hour markers (often with a triangle placed at 12 o’clock)), making it easy to read at a glance – handyy when you’re trying to navigating a set of wings through the stratosphere. Originallyy worn by WWII bomber pilots, they exude masculine bravado. They are also an unashamedly clever piece of marketing.
Patek Philippe Henry Graves noun.
ﬁg 4. IWC £10,950
Wrist presence noun. D Describes a watch’s most cconspicuous facets when w worn: “The wrist presence of my [watch name here] is truly spectacular.”
WORDS: CAMERON WONG | ACCURIST CHRONOGRAPH 7165, BREITLING COLT SKYRACER BREITLIGHT, IWC PORTOFINO HAND-WOUND MOON PHASE IW516401
IN YOUR LUNCH HOUR QUICK CIRCUITS WITH PERMANENT RESULTS GYM-FREE PLANS FOR MUSCLE ON THE MOVE
15MINUTE WORKOUTS REBUILD YOUR BODY
THE BIG BOOK OF
SMART TRAINING IN DOUBLE-QUICK TIME
CHOOSE YOUR WORKOUT
PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN AND AVEDA HAIRCARE, SABINE CHAMMAS
From fast, fat-burning bodyweight circuits to barbell challenges that will truly test your mettle, our workout manual is designed to help you achieve maximum results in the shortest time possible, whatever your current ﬁtness level. The clock starts now
WORKOUTS YOU QUICK RESULTS CAN DO ANYWHERE WITH MINIMAL KIT These equipment-free circuits, from bodyweight guru Bradley Simmonds, will build muscle and burn calories with zero excuses. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
Why complicate things? PT Alex Crockford shows you how to get the most out of your training when there’s only one tool to hand.
UNLEASH YOUR INNER ATHLETE
Barry’s Bootcamp trainer Faisal Abdalla has devised four workouts to unlock strength and stamina, for elite results in less time. MEN’S HEALTH 3
YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER
You don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. You don’t even need any equipment. All g and you need is 15 minutes, your own bodyweight the willingness to work as hard as is humanly possible until the time is up. Let’s get started 4 MEN’S HEALTH
Bradley Simmonds Simmonds’ bodyweight workouts are tried and trusted by his legion of over 224k Instagram followers. Join his army to get lean and build muscle on any budget. @bradleysimmonds
TOP, SHORTS, TIGHTS AND TRAINERS ALL ADIDAS.CO.UK
GYM-FREE FITNESS #01
TORCH FAT ANYWHERE
Find an empty space that you don’t mind sweating on and you’re set to cook some calories. This workout uses an EMOM structure (Every Minute On the Minute): perform a different move at the start of each 60 seconds, and if you ﬁnish your reps before the minute is up, rest until the next one starts. Go fast if you’re gasping for a breather, basically
B HALF BURPEE 20 REPS
Don’t be fooled by its name – a half burpee doesn’t require half the effort, as your shoulders and core stay under constant tension. Starting in a plank, crunch your abs to jump your feet in toward your h ds (A), then hop back to the plank position (B). hand Do 20 reps, then rest until the 60 seconds are up.
JAACK REPS 30JUMPING
Burn fat in double time with this next move, beloved by the military. Stand with feet together, arms by your sides (A), then raise your arms up above your head at the same time as jumping and spreading your feet wide (B). That’s one rep. Perform 30, then enjoy a brief moment of respite. Get to it soldier. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER REPS 20SPIDER
Spend your third minute on the floor. Drop down and assume a press-up position. Keeping your core tight and back flat, bring your right knee to your right elbow (A). Lower your right leg back into the plank and repeat with your left leg (B). Done? Go back to the burpees for minute four. MEN’S HEALTH 5
ADD INCHES IN AN INSTANT
REGULAR 01 \ PRESS-UP 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 REPS
No weights? No problem. Add muscle to your upper body with these four press-up drop sets. Do 10 reps of each as a circuit, then repeat, reducing the reps by two each round. For the ﬁnal circuit, you should be performing just two reps of each move. This will pump extra blood to your chest and arms for results you’ll see by the time you stand up
Begin your strength crucible with the holy grail of bodyweight moves. With your weight supported on your toes, and hands beneath your shoulders (A), keep your body straight as you lower (B). When your chest touches the floor, explode up. Do your set of reps then move on with minimal rest.
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GYM-FREE FITNESS #02
PIKE PRESS-UPP 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 REPS
DIAMOND PRESS-UP 10, 88, 6, 4, 2 REPS 10
From a regular press-up position, lift your hips so your body forms an upside down V (A) – this shifts more weight onto your shoulders, giving your chest a welcome break. Bend your elbows until the top of your head nearly touches the floor (B). Hold for a count before pushing back up.
Working with your hands closer together builds strength in your triceps. With your back straight, and index fingers and thumbs forming a diamond (A), lower until your chest touches your hands on the floor (B). Push back up to the start position. Avoid burning out by keeping your pace steady.
PRESS-UP 0 TYPEWRITER 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 REPS
For the ‘typewriter’, a wide base will serve you weeell, ll so start by spreading your hands apart, with your arms extended and hands turned out (A). Lower your body to the floor by bending one arm, as you lean to the side (B). As you extend the bent arm, bend the other arm to shift your weight. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
CLAP PRESS-UP 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 REPS Finis your first round with a move that requires Finish real press-up prowess. From a standard press-up position (A), lower your chest toward the floor. As you push back up, clap your hands in mid air (B). Cushion your landing and sink straight into the next rep. Done? Return to the start. MEN’S HEALTH 7
MAKE CARDI GREAT AGAI
This full-body assault smashes any lacklustre commuting. As before, it requires minimal space and you’ll actually be resting for longer than you’re working. However, when you are working, nothing less than all-out, pedal-to-the-metal effort will sufﬁce. So, grit your teeth, blast through three rounds, and feel smug for the rest of the day
CHEST TO 01 \ FLOOR BURPEE 20SEC WORK, 30 REST There’s no more taxing bodyweight movement than the dreaded burpee. From standing (A), squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump both feet back into a plank, drop to the floor and explosively reverse the motion for the press-up (B). Rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the Spider-Man.
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GYM-FREE FITNESS #03 SPIDER-MAN PRESS-UP 20SEC WORK, 30 REST Start in the top part of a press-up position then, as you lower, pull one knee in towar ard d the elbow of the same side (A). Pause, then push back up and extend your leg back to the start position. Repeat on the other side (B), and try to find a natural rhythm. After 20 seconds, take your rest, then start on your climbers.
MOUNTAIN CLIMBER 20SEC WORK, 30 REST Begin in a plank position with your arms completely straight and core tiight. To get an thee most from this exeercise you need to move quickly, butt maaintain teension through your core as you lift your right foot off the floor and drive your knee to your chest (A). Repeat on your left leg (B). Keep on climbing.
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PT 12.2017 FUNCTIONAL KICK-SIT 20SEC WORK, 30 REST As well as making you sweat, this twisting move will strengthen your obliques. Start on all fours with your ould lder lde er-w wid dth th hands shhou apart, kne neeess off tthhe ground with a slig ight ht ht bend. Drop your right hip and kick your leg through to the other side (A), then repeat on your left (B). Repeat in a fluid motion until your 20 seconds are up.
ALTERNATE 05 \ LUNGE JUMP 20SEC WORK, 30 REST From a standing position, lunge forward with your right leg until your rear knee almost touches the ground (A). Jump into the air, bringing your rear foot forward and the front foot back. Land in a lunge (B) and keep repeating for time. Your legs and lungs will feel like they’re on fire by now, but dig deep.
A 10 MEN’S HEALTH
GYYM-FFRREEEE FITNESS #03 EXPLOSIVE SQUAT JUMP 20SEC WORK, 30 REST To upgrade your bodyweight squat and burn even more fat, add an explosive jump. Start by performing a regular squat, driving your hips back (A). As you come up, leap as high as you can (B) before landing back in the squat. Once your time is up, go back to the first move for round two of three. Deep breath…
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A SHOCK TO Your average, workaday lunchtime abs session this is not. Our circuit targets every core muscle from your deep abs to your obliques with laser precision. And you’ll have minimal time to recover. These four moves are performed back to back for four rounds with only 60 seconds rest at the end of each circuit. Your brand new washboard is a just reward
LEG RAISE 45SEC WORK, NO REST
Start by targeting your stubborn lower abs while you’re ’ still fresh. Lie on your back with your hands relaxed by your sides, legs extended. Keeping your legs straight, raise them to form a right angle with the floor (A). Lower back to the ground, under control (B). Repeat for 45 seconds, favouring proper form over speed.
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GYM-FREE FITNESS #04
B B V-SIT CRUNCH 45SEC WORK, NO REST
BICYCLE CRUNCH 45SEC WORK, NO REST
Lie face up p as before, with th your ur legs out straaaight. ight. Now lift them and your torso just off the floor, with your hands at the side of your head (A). This forces you to engage your abs for the whole rep. Lift your torso and bend your knees, pulling them to your chest (B). Lower, maintaining control.
V-UP 45SEC WORK, 60SEC REST
With your hands on the sides of your forehead, shoulders off the floor and legs bent, twist your upper body quickly to the left, pulling your left knee to touch your elbow, as you straighten your right leg (A). Return, and then repeat on your right side. Keep on pedalling for the full 45.
Lie with your legs out straight, arms above your head (A). Slowly lift your torso and legs and try to touch your toes (B). Lifting both at the same time ensures your whole core is activated. Your body should form a ‘V’ at the top. Lower. You’ve got 60 seconds’ rest before the next round. The deep burn is a good thing, remember.
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YOURR PERSONAAL TRAI T RA RAINER ERR Tom Jo J hnsson As a bod odybu ody buiild bu b lde deer and and d fitnes fit nesss mod nes mod odeel, JJoh ohhnso nss n is kno known wn fo for sq squee uee eezin zing zin g
Whether you’re tired of queuing for equipment during peak-time gymequipment hours, or simply want to minimal ntt myprot myp ro training, rot ein i .co .com m upgrade your home these workouts will build a leaner, stronger body using just one piece of kit. Grab and go, gentlemen 14 MEN’S HEALTH
YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER Alex Crockford PT Crockford proves that making quick physical progress doesn’t require a PhD in high-end gym kit. Step away from the StairMaster, please. @alexcrockford
MINIMAL KIT, MAXIMAL RESULTS #0011
THE SIX-PACK SLAM DUNK
If you want to combine athleticism with aesthetics (you do, right?), the medicine ball is your prescription, boosting overall ﬁtness and honing your core. Use a ladder structure, working down from 15 reps of each exercise in round one, through to one in round 15. Pace yourself; this may be a 15-minute workout, but it’s very much a marathon, not a sprint
ROLLING 02 \ PRESS-UP 15 REPS DOWN TO 1
TOP AND TIGHTS ADIDAS.CO.UK, SHORTS UNDER ARMOUR, TRAINERS ASICS.COM
WALL BALL 15 REPS DOWN TO 1
Transferring the ball from one arm to the other means your stronger side can’t do all the work, leading to a balanced physique. Start with one hand on the floor and the other hand on the ball (A). Complete one press-up in this position, before rolling the ball under your chest to the other hand (B). Keep on rolling.
Standing in front of a wall, an arm’s ’ length away, hold the medicine ball at your chest. Drop down into a deep squat (A) and as you explode up, throw the ball high (B). Once the ball rebounds, catch it as you drop into your next rep. Distribute the effort evenly between your legs and delts to last longer.
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PT 12.2017 WALL BALL 03 \ ROTATION 15 REPS DOWN TO 1 Holding a med ball to your abs, stand side on to a wall, with your left shoulder closest and adopt a split stance with your left leg in front of your right (A). Twisting from right to left, throw the ball into the wall (B). Catch it on the bounce, then switch sides for the next rep to strengthen your obliques. Swap sides when you feel you need to.
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MINIMAL KIT, MAXIMAL RESULTS #01 SQUAT 04 \ AND ROLL 15 REPS DOWN TO 1 It might look like you’re ’ falling over backwards, but the roll requires full-body balance and strengthens your core. From standing, press the ball out in front of you as you drop into a squat (A). At the bottom, roll all the way back, reaching behind your head and tucking your legs to your chest (B). Use the momentum to roll back and stand up straight.
LUNGE 05 \ AND PRESS 15 REPS DOWN TO 1 When time is precious, combining an upperand lower-body move will serve your musclebuilding well. With the ball at your chest (A) lunge back with one leg and press the ball overhead (B). Step up again, bringing the ball to your chest. Alternate legs for 15 reps on each side. Done? Go back to the wall balls for 14 reps, and so on. Gulp.
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CUT ARMS D DOWN TO SIZ
When training with dumbbells, it’s tempting to go as heavy as possible. We get it. But trust us when we advise picking up a lighter pair for this session, as you’ll be taking on a full 50 reps per round. That’s no small feat: as well as pumping up your arms, these moves leave no major muscle group unburned. Simply repeat until your 15 minutes are up
SQUAT TO PRESS 20 REPS Start each round by building both lower- and upper-body muscle as A you lift the dumbbells from the ground to above your head. Squat with your feet shoulder width, dumbbells on the outside of each foot (A). Stand up, lifting the dumbbells to your shoulders before pressing them overhead (B). Bring them back to should lder er hei eigh ghtt be befo fore re sq quaatting g ag agai ain. n Do yo your ur eps, then move ve on. n. 30 rep
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MINIMAL KIT, MAXIMAL RESULTS #02 FLOOR OR PRESS 20 REPS Lie on your back and hold a set of dumbbells to the sides of your chest with your palms facing in and upper arms flat against the floor (A). Focus on generating power from your triceps – the part off your arms with the th biggest potential for sleeve-filling growth – as you push the weights straight up (B). Hold for a second, then lower to the start.
BURPEE PRESS 10 REPS There’s ’ no letting up as you finish your first round of 50 reps with burpees. Holding the dumbbells at your sides (A), squat down and place the weights on the floor. Jump your legs back, then perform a press-up (B). Bring your legs back to your chest to stand. That’s ’ one rep. When you’re ’ done, go back to the start.. Pre ress ss on now…
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HAN A V-
The devilish versatility of the TRX means you can push and pull your weight at the gym, in the park or from a door at home. Use this session to target your chest and back for a V-tapered shape. Work your way through a set of each exercise every 60 seconds. Rest when you need to. But don’t let go of the straps
SQUAT TO Y RAISE
Start in a squat p sition, holding the po TRX handles out in front with your palms facing inwards and arms not fully locked (A). Explode up out of the squat and lift the handles high and out to the sides. Your arms should finish up in a ‘‘Y’’ shape (B). Sink back into the squat, under control. Do 10 reps then move on.
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MINIMAL KIT, MAXIMAL RESULTS #03
Barbell rows aren’t’ the only way to build a V-shape silhouette. Hold on to the handles and lean back, keeping your body straight and core tight (A). Now retract your scapula (ie knit your shoulder blades together) to pull your body up, so your chest pushes past your hands (B). Slowly lower back down, focusing the effort on your back, not your arms.
CHEST FLY 6 REPS To maximise growthh and definition in your chest, try performinng TRX. your flies with the T Lean forward with a slight bend in youur elbows, hands together (A). Slowly pull your hands wide to lower until you feel a strettch throughh your chest (B). Squeeze your p pecs to pull the handles iin. When thhe minute’s ’ up, go back to th the squats. Twelve more minutes to go.
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YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER
Training like an athlete needn’t mean double sessions or weekends in the weights room. The following workouts combine the best kit in the gym to eliminate wasted time and unlock your potential. How hard are you willing to work? 22 MEN’S HEALTH
Faisal Abdalla As a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp, Abdalla is the best in the business when it comes to making the most of every minute. He will work you bloody hard. @faisalpmafitness
TOP, SHORTS, TIGHTS AND TRAINERS ALL STORE.NIKE.COM
ELITE FAST-TRACK #01
GO HARDCOR IN A HURRY
This workout is what’s known as a ‘Bear Complex’, and it will maul both your muscles and mind. Grab a 30-60kg barbell and perform one rep of each move in turn, 20 times. Each time you let go of the bar – and you will – your penalty/recooveeryy is 10 calories on the bike. Top tip: aim for sets of ﬁve with recovery in between. Just grin and bear it
FRONT SQUAT 20 REPS
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a bar across your upper chest. Support the weight on your fingers, with your wrists extended (A). Push your hips back to sink until your thighs are parallel to the floor (B). Drive back up and move on to the push press, without letting go of the bar.
PUSH 01b\ PRESS 20 REPS From the front rack position, initiate the press by slightly bending your knees (A) and then fully extending your hips, before pushing the barbell above your head (B). From the top of the rep, bring the bar down behind your head to rest on your back, ready for the next move.
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PT 12.2017 BACK 01c\ SQUAT 20 REPS Give your shoulders a brief rest by using your leg power to shift the barbell. With the bar across your upper back (A), drop into a squat, keeping your head up and back straight. Lower your body until your hips are aligned with your knees and your legs at 90 degrees (B). Drive back up and get ready to press the bar once more.
BEHIND THE 01d\ NECK PRESS 20 REPS From the top of the squat (A), call on your posterior delts to press the bar overhead as you lock out your arms (B). Lower the bar to rest on the front of your shoulders. If you need a rest, let it hang by your knees before going back to the squats – just don’t ’ let go unless you’re ready to hop on the air bike. You’ve got this…
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ELITE FAST-TRACK #01 THE AIR 02 \ BIKE 10 CALORIES … But if you don’t have it, your penalty for dropping the bar is to burn 10 calories on the air bike. Rather than pushing for all-out sprints, use your time on the bike to recover, but don’t’ stop pumping your arms and legs. The air from the wheel fan will be a blessing. ’ burned When you’ve your 10 calories, go back to the barbell for the next round.
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BURN AGAINST THE CLOCK
This fat-culling, stamina-boosting workout will help you ﬁnd out how big your tank really is, with a selection of kit that demands cardio ﬁtness, functional strength and explosive power. Complete the circuit three times, resting for a minute between each round. Make sure you fuel up before starting; running out of gas isn’t an option
A leisurely paddle this ain’t – the aim is to go as fast as you can. Keep your core tight and shoulders down as you push off with your legs (A) and just before they straightten, bend your arms, using your back muscles to finish the pull (B). Reverse by extending your arms, before bending your legs.
02 \DEADLIFT 10 REPS
Go straight from cardio to strength training by deadlifting your bodyweight on the bar. Bend your knees and hips to take hold with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart (A). Straighten your legs slightly to load the tension, then squeeze your glutes to lift the bar and stand tall (B). Lower. Do nine more, then move on.
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ELITE FAST-TRACK #02 SLAM 03 \ BALL 10 REPS Next up, transfer your strength into power with explosive slams. Stand with your knees slightly bent, holding a medicine ball above your head. Now reach up as high as you can (A) and tense your core as you bend your hips to slam the ball against the floor (B). Let your arms follow through to catch the ball on its way up and go straight into the next rep.
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STANDARD 04 \ PULL-UP TO FAILURE With your muscles fatigued, complete as many pull-ups as possible. Hang from a bar using a forward grip with hands just wider than shoulderwidth (A). Pull up to touch the top of your chest to the bar (B). Lower under control until your arms are fully extended. You’ve ’ got a minute to recover before ro nd two.
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Say what you will about CrossFit zealots, but their WODs (that’s Workout of the Day) are worthy of praise when time is at a premium. The rep counts here are purposely low so try to keep your rest time short to make sure the intensity stays high. Perform as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. See you at the 2018 CrossFit Games, champ
DEADBALL CLEANS 5 REPS Build strongman strength by lifting a deadball from the floor over your shoulder. Squat down and get a strong grip under the ball before bringing it close to your chest (A). Stand tall as you push the ball up over your shoulder (B). The hard work isn’t’ over – turn around and pick it up again. Do 5 reps, then move over to the box.
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ELITE FAST-TRA RACCKK #0 RA # 3 BOX 02 \ JUMP 4 REPS Stand a foot from the box with your feet shoulder-width apart. Drop quickly into a squat or half-squat ( A), then swing your arms back for momentum as you jump up onto the box, landing as softly as possible (B). Step backwards off the box e’s and repeat. This one’ a serious fat-burner, so move quickly for maximum impact.
TOES TO 03 \ BAR 3 REPS Finally, carve out a set of Instagrammable abs with this CrossFit staple. Hold a pull-up bar and drop into a dead hang (A). With a slight bend in your legs, tilt your pelvis back, tense your core and raise your legs to touch your toes to the bar (B). Slowly lower. Return to the deadball for the next round. The clock’s ticking.
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ELITE FAST-TRACK #04
While the sheer number of reps may intimidate, this workout couldn’t be simpler: complete 200 of them in 15 minutes, resting as and when you need to. But while it isn’t complex, neither is it easy, and this will test you both mentally and physically. You should be on the ﬂoor by the time the stopwatch bleeps – but yours is the glory
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WALL BALL 200 REPS
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Holding a 9kg wall ball to your chest, initiate the move by dropping into a squat (A). As you explode up, throw the ball as high as you can against the wall (B). In one smooth action, catch the ball and drop back into a squat. Your shoulders, legs and lungs will burn, but no workout worth your 15 minutes will ever come easy.
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Mens health december 2017 uk