BUILD A BRAND MARCH 2018
MARCH 2018 Â£4.10
MACRO ECONOMICS: HOW ADDED PROTEIN BECAME BIG BUSINESS (P86)
DROP 3 KGS O
Incinerate Kcals 24/7 /7 19 Ways y To Hack Yourr W i h l Genes G Weightloss n Your Foolprooff Plan
DEFEAT O K ANXIETY
O IN TIME FOR SPRING! 03
9 771356 743149
GET XXL ARMS! STRENGTH & DEFINITION
31 NEW FOODS TO PACK ON MUSCLE REST EASY FOR BIGGER GAINS BOOST YOUR FLEX APPEAL!
R Reclaim Your Life Todayp488
SPRING / 2018
Guide To Style
TRICKS TO PUT AGEING ON ICE
A 22-Page Toolkit Of New Season Trends For Men With Taste
THE BIG PROTEIN SWINDLE How The Macro Was Milked
03 8 T H ISSUE
P38 LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS
P37 CASTROL ZZZ
P25 SEEDS OF CHANGE
Boost your stamina stock with our portfolio of endurance tips that go the distance
Why rice bran is the oil change you need to keep you on the road to a better night’s sleep
Shake up your mundane meal prep and shop seasonally to reach your body goals sooner
P43 YOGA UNRAVELS...
P54 UPGRADE YOUR BRAINPOWER
P52 DOWN TO A TEA
Deep breath now – the ancient practice and trending cure-all could be doing you harm
Just seven days of cardio can supercharge your cognitive function. On your bike
Matcha be damned! Turns out a builder’s can shift stubborn fat as well as any wellness brew
P96 RAISE THE BAR
P56 BRAIN TRAINING
P100 FOOLPROOF FAT BURNING
Use our deadlifting masterclass to unlock the strength benefits of the heavy staple
A father and son compare body and mind in search of the smartest ways to stay sharp
Try our four-week plan to harness the new science of weightloss. Cutting edge, indeed
P106 BE A MAN OF ATHLEISURE
P30 NOTHING TO SNIFF AT
P28 CHICKEN SUPREME
The luxe to-and-from gym gear that will make you look as good as you feel in 2018
Our guide to treating the common cold at every step. Make this your first defence
Four ways to give flavoursome wings to the most reliable feathered protein in the aisles
P116 THE BEAUTIFUL GAME
P34 LIQUID INVESTMENTS
P62 CULTURED TASTES
‘Terrace casual’ has been scoring freely on the catwalks. This is how you can get onside
Hydration is a Very Good Thing. We uncap the best reusable water bottles available
Fermenting food might take a bit of time, but these delicious recipes are worth the wait
P133 FASHION WARS
P68 LITTLE WHITE LIES
P109 STAY BANG ON COURSE
David Beckham versus Pharrell Williams. We unpick the stats on the two style icons
MH examines whether the positive effects of placebos are sugar-coated, or worth a pop
Recover faster after tough winter sessions with this piping, high-protein sausage stew
12 MEN’S HEALTH
IN THIS ISSUE ON THE COVER
YOUR GUIDE TO PEAK MIDWINTER
P47 GET XXL ARMS Why lifting less and resting more is the best way to gain
P48 BEAT WORK ANXIETY We are lonelier than ever at work, says author Johann Hari. Time to take charge
P82 FAT-LOSS HACKS Tinker with your genetic settings to cut fat fast
P99 MUSCLE IN A MUFFIN Breakfast is stacking up nicely with this post-gym protein fix
P111 BURN KCALS 24/7 A one-move fitness challenge that will incinerate calories for 24 hours after your final rep
P115 GUIDE TO STYLE Our seasonal handbook to refreshing your wardrobe
The Great British
PHOTOGRAPHER MILLER MOBLEY MODEL MICHAEL DUBREE STYLING BRIAN BOYÉ, SANDRA NYGAARD & DAN MICHEL HAIR MELISSA DEZARATE USING KUSCO MURPHY GROOMING JESSI BUTTERFIELD/ BIODERMA/TRACEYMATTINGLY.COM SET DESIGN THERESA RIVERA DESIGN
MEN’S HEALTH 13
THE EXPERT PANEL BEGIN YOUR WELLBEING WINNING W STREAK AND LEVEL-UP YOUR BODY AN ND MIND, WITTH HELP FROM OUR SIX SPECIALISTS
TOBY WISEMAN DEPUTY EDITOR
EDITORIAL BUSINESS MANAGER
COMMISSIONING EDITOR (PRINT AND DIGITAL)
ASSOCIATE EDITOR (STYLE)
DEPUTY STYLE EDITOR
SHANE C KURUP
JUNIOR FITNESS EDITOR
ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITOR
ASSISTANT DIGITAL EDITOR
MANAGING DIRECTOR RODALE
FIT FOR PURPOSE
BULK FOR SALE
Take PT and influencer Simmonds’ lead on how to build functional muscle that works for you. It’s advice worth following g p40 p 0
With the protein-fortified foods market increasingly bloated, dietitian Mohr examines whether the fad is worth buying into p86 p
While some professionals argue depression is genetic, award-winning writer Hari’s research unearths an entirely different story p48
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)
EMPTY PROMISES O S S
GUT GU FEELINGS GS
STRIKE A POSE
DR JEREMY HOWICK
Prescribing dummy pills may seem odd, but physicians are realising their potential. Scientist Dr Horwick uncaps the placebo effect p68
The head chef at London’s Aqua Kyoto explores the benefits of fermented food to help prime your gut. Oh, and it tastes amazing p62
Could your downward dog be causing you more harm than good? Sports scientist Worthington helps unwind yoga’s loose facts p43
THIS ISSUE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY… 9 UNIVERSITY RESEARCHERS
4 SENEGALESE WRESTLERS
8 PERSONAL TRAINERS
3 MH PLACEBO POPPERS
7 HEALTH SPECIALISTS
2 STRENGTH COACHES
7 STYLE AUTHORITIES
1 PRO BARBER
6 MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
1 SPORTS SCIENTIST
5 LEADING CHEFS
1 MENTAL HEALTH AUTHOR
AND ONE FATHER-AND-SON DUO
14 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
HEAD OF MARKETING JANE SHACKLETON
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JOURNALIST ENQUIRIES MEDIA@HEARST.CO.UK HEARST OPERATIONS HR DIRECTOR SURINDER SIMMONS
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER CLAIRE BLUNT
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ACTING HEAD OF EDITORIAL OPERATIONS SOPHIE WILKINSON DIRECTOR, HEARST BRAND SERVICES JUDITH SECOMBE
HEARST-RODALE JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, HEARST MAGAZINES UK CLAIRE BLUNT
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 © 2018. 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
There’s far more to fermented foods than cabbage and kombucha – as our recipe book proves
DON’T LET FEBRUARY BRING YOU DOWN. EMBRACE IT
We take a look at how Senegal’s wrestlers earned superstar status with little more to train with than rudimentary gear – and a lot of grit
The UK’s protein market is growing at a rapid pace, but is our macro obsession all for the good?
Is age ever really just a number? We pit father and son against each other in the ultimate fitness test
Knowingly taking a placebo could have tangible benefits. MH conducts its own trials to test the theory
Losing weight needn’t mean hours of tough work in the gym. Science is on hand to offer the shortcut
his is a rather difficult one to write. At Men’s Health, we pride ourselves on the connection we have with our readers; the sense that we know who you are, what you want and how you feel. But right now, I’d venture that I’m in a different headspace to all of you. That’s because, the lead times involved in monthly magazines being what they are, I am writing this in 2017. As a matter of fact, I’m in the process of packing up for Christmas. Shane MacGowan is currently on Spotify, neatly contextualising this morning’s hangover from last night’s office party. And, unlike your good selves, chief among my current anxieties are not sticking to New Year fitness goals or delivering on resolutions, but what to buy my mother-in-law and how long it takes to roast a 2kg gammon. While I realise this will be of little cheer to a man staring February grimly in the
When it comes to depression, the drugs don’t always work. But, according to new research, lifestyle changes make a notable difference
face, please indulge me. What it has made me realise more acutely than before is the extent to which we live conveyor belt lives. And, more pertinently, how our hopes and expectations are governed by an unthinking adherence to a cycle that is beyond our control. We build up a steam through November, embrace abandon in December, pay penance in January and then endure the cold winds of penurious late-winter. And so it goes on. And on. What goes around comes around. It needn’t be like this. We create this predictable carousel for ourselves under the assumption that this is just what men do. But life is too short to be writing off two months of the year just for the sake of a festive-themed cheat week. As it happens, this issue is largely based around challenging self-limiting assumptions. In Generation X vs Y (p56)
we pit father against son in a comprehensive test of health and fitness, and discover that it’s entirely possible to outsmart your body clock. In 24 Ways to Hack Your Fat Loss Genes (p82) we explain how your DNA is not immutable. And in Career Lows (p48) award-winning writer Johann Hari reveals how extensive research has taught him that it is lifestyle, not brain chemicals, that causes depression. So, please, don’t begrudge me my Christmas. Instead, embrace your February. It might not be the most wonderful time of the year, but there’s more going for it than you might think.
TOBY WISEMAN BSME EDITOR OF THE YEAR Readers, we need your help! The Big Book Awards is a new competition to discover the best emerging titles in UK publishing. We’d love you to help us assemble a worthy long list in the health and wellbeing category. If you’re keen to join our judging panel, sign up here: hearstpanel.co.uk/join
MEN’S HEALTH 17
ASK MH FAST ANSWERS THAT CUT THROUGH THE NOISE
YOUR PT’S SIZE WON’T INDICATE HIS CALIBRE
THE BIG QUESTION
Q SHOULD I CHOOSE
A PT BASED ON THE BODY SHAPE I WANT?
WORDS: MICHAEL JENINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS
No, Darren. At least, no more than you should choose a doctor based on his beatific complexion. Of course, you’d expect your PT to be in good shape, but any trainer worth their salt is more than just a walking set of abs. Besides, the first person you should examine is yourself. “Understanding your own genetic make-up is crucial,” says Andy Vincent, PT at London’s Third Space. “If you’re predisposed to skinniness and struggle to gain muscle mass, flexing 18in arms in eight weeks will be a hard ask, however your PT is built. It’s a mistake to size up a potential candidate thinking you’ll look like them after M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK MENS ME NSHE NS H AL ALTH TH.C TH .CCO CO. O.UK UK
a few sessions. It’s not that easy.” The first thing to do is ask a potential trainer about their own fitness ‘journey’, plus those of their clients. If they have coached people with similar goals to you, they’ll have an understanding of the challenges involved. If you want to lose weight, for example, it’s far more important to look at their track record in securing results than their own bodyfat percentage. In terms of experience: “Your trainer should have a minimum of five years in the industry, with more than just a single qualification,” says Vincent. “Ideally, they’ll also have some sort of nutrition certification, because your diet is often the biggest challenge.” Credentials aside, the best PTs are the ones willing to put the time in and invest in your progress. But, remember: you could be training under Jason Statham and still not get anywhere unless you have enough determination in your own locker. For serious results, the most important member of your team is the one in the mirror.
CHECK YOUR BODY OF EVIDENCE Hit your goals faster with the most effective training method for your body type YOU’RE AN ECTOMORPH YOU NEED BODYBUILDING
If you’re lean, try a split of two upper- and lowerbody sessions, finishing with 10min of metcon twice a week. YOU’RE AN ENDOMORPH YOU NEED HIIT
For bigger frames that struggle to shake fat, try bodyweight sessions which keep rest periods short. YOU’RE A MESOMORPH YOU NEED CROSSFIT
With adding muscle not a problem, the intensity of resistance-based circuits will suit your athleticism.
M N’ ME MEN’S N’SS HEALTH H ALLTTHH 19 HE 1
ASK MH INJECT LIFE INTO YOUR NUTRITION PLAN TEXT A LAWYER I’ve just had another kid, so I’m needed more at home. Will my boss let me work out of office? You’re entitled to ask for flexible working if you’ve been there 26 weeks. Not that your boss has to agree… We’re on good terms, though, and I’ve been hitting all my targets. Why would he say no? Well, business comes first. If he thinks your absence will affect your quality of work, his grounds to reject you are fair. Embarrassing emotional scenes aside, what’s the best way for me to convince him? Go in with a proposal. Explain how it would improve your efficiency and be prepared to negotiate. Asking for one or two days at home – plus morning phone catch-ups – could bring him round to the idea. Right. So I should prep ASAP or forget about my dream home office. Look, employers want happy workers. If that means conference-calling in your dressing gown, so be it. Philip Landau, employment lawyer
ANCIENT SOLUTION TO A MODERN PROBLEM
My office assistant has invited me to his birthday drinks. Do I really have to show my face? Daniel, Derby You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. Plato, Greek philosopher, 400BC
20 MEN’S HEALTH
DON’T FRET IF YOUR FIVE-A-DAY PLAN’SS GONE OUT OF DATEE
I FIND FORCING DOWN N MY FIVE-A-DAY DREADFULLY BORING. CAN I CHEAT THE SYSTEM? CONNOR, LEEDS
While we’d never tell you your fruitand-veg quota doesn’t matter, it does represent just one small piece of the wellbeing jigsaw. In fact, Queen’s University Belfast found that green diets have little effect on heart health markers like blood pressure if your other daily habits aren’t up to scratch. “Cardiovascular disease can be avoided, but it’s about investing
energy into your lifestyle and mindset, not just your five-a-day,” says sports nutritionist Matt Crane. “Completing 10,000 steps a day and prioritising sleep are small commitments that have a big impact, with or without a side salad.” So, while nutrition remains the cornerstone of good health, you can rest easy knowing it’s possible to compensate for some of the deficit.
SWAP SHOP Nailing your nutrients needn’t be a bore: load up on these surprising superfoods i/ BURRITO > BROCCOLI The pinto beans crammed into your lunch wrap have 74% of your folate RDA, a B-vit that helps create red and white blood cells and prevent anaemia. Broccoli provides just 42%.
ii/ CHOCOLATE > BLUEBERRIES The Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition found the dark variety has more flavonols – proven to improve brain health and blood vessel function – than the popular superfruit.
iii/ POPCORN > KALE Screen-snack with impunity. The American Chemical Society found that popcorn hulls have a higher concentration of anti-inflammatory polyphenols and fibre than kale.
EDITED BY TED LANE
11 STRIKE S O FOR OIL O SOUNDER S SLEEP PAGE 37
077 PAILS IN COMPARISON PAGE 33
WHY YO OGA IS S TYING U G YOU IN KN NOTS S PAAGE 43
09 TESTING THE WATER PAGE 34
19 TIME NEW SIZE TO PERFECTION N PAGE 47
S S E N T I F GR S UP
018 2 H C R MA
044 TEA ACH A AN N OL LD BIRD NEW T TRICKS C S PPAGE G 28
14 DOUBLE-TAP I INTO REAL FITNESS PAGE P 40 MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MEEN N’’S HE HEEAL ALTH AL TH 23 23
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
STOCK UP TO GET LEAN
WEIGHTLOSS NEWSFEED 03/18 SEASON’S EA EATINGS Forr year-round health, stocck your kitchen with some of nature’s rec ecommendations WINTER
P S R S L FA quarterlyy update ofo
• Mussels • Sweet potatoes • Apples B Best for: Vit C for a boo b osted immune system SPRING
your shopping list iss y eenough to ripen you u ur w weightloss g potentiaal
• Lamb • New potatoes • Grapefruit Beest for: Dietary fibre foor healthy digestion
WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: STUDIO 33
f you’ve remained faith hful to the eating plan you sset yourself on 1 January, we applaud both your intentions and resolve. But before be o e you meal-prep yet another b batch of chicken and kale, consider the latest research: swapping ng your adherence to a strict meal rota for a seasonally attuned approach can give your weightloss a healthy fertilising. A study that followed nomadic tribes in Tanzania, published in the journal Science, found that a diet based on seasonal availability contributed to a 30% increase in gut microbiome diversity, a quality linked to improved mental health, increased energy levels and, most interestingly, a well-stoked metabolism. In fact, separate studies show lean men have 70% more gut
bacteria than their overweight g peers. Researchers believe a cyclical eating plan consisting of updated ingredients encourages the growth of fat-burning microbial cultures that are not found in the heavily processed diets of most Westerners. But you needn’t regress to hunter-gatherer tactics just yet. Ditching supermarket shopping, where ingredients are often imported, for your local grocer’s oﬀerings will make you more aware of changing seasons and ingredients. Which, in turn, will stop you becoming reliant upon your tedious, repetitive shopping list. Cast your net (or reusable shopping bag) closer to home. It’s the smartest way to ﬂick your gut’s evolutionary fat-loss switch. Without a one-way ticket to East Africa, that is.
’ TIS THE SEASON TO EAT PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI
• Mackerel • Courgettes • Strawberries Best for: Vitamin K for Be cardiovascular health AUTUMN
• Duck • Pumpkins • Plums Best for: Iron for muscle and brain function
MEN’S HEALTH 25
01 SIDE EFFECT CT
DETONATE FAT & LOAD UP NEW ABS
Stand with your feet shoulder-widthh apart, p positioned at one side d of the barbell. Hinge H g bend at your hips to b d forwards and hoold d tthee weighted end oof the barbell b bell with ith oonee hhand. d Brace yourself – yyour B y abs, b in particula laar..
Prep your core training for explosive impact with h the h TWISTING LAND DMINE ESS. Grab b CLEAN AND PRE a barbell: your stubb ubborn belly is about to geet blasted
THE BEST S EEXERCISE SE YOU’RE YO NOT DOING NO O G
GRIP AND RIP Twisting T g through h gh your core to face y the th weight, gh quickly kl pull p the barbell up p and a d across your body, turning g 90 degrees as you do d d so. so Maintain t a fflatt back throughout to t minimise your risk of injury.
ith every passing week, the e promises you made e to become a leaner, l , stronger you in 2018 inv variably wear thinner. But there e’s no need to settle on that pllateau. Put a batch of explosives un nderneath it, instead. The twisting g llandmine d clean and press is a dyn namic move that not only targets your abs, but your obliques, too. Unlik ke a crunch, the twist-to-press transsition engages multiple muscl cle g groups, as well as your core, to fast f track your six-pack endeavou urs. The extra calorie burn and metabolism metabo s boost from working mo ore muscle ﬁbres will blow away th he excess fat camouﬂaging your abs. a . “This may be a compound exercise, but don’t deplloy y it as a primary lift, like a squ uat, deadlift or bench press,” says strrength h and conditioning specialist ialist Andy Haley. “It’s best used in the middle of your workouts with lighter loads.” This allows you to work in higher rep ranges, maximising muscle growth and fat loss across your midsection to expedite results. Haley recommends adding it to your sessions three times a week to see half a dozen well-deﬁned results come springtime. Fire in the hole!
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN 26 MEN’S HEALTH
03 S SOLID SET D As the weight A reeaches h your shoulder height, sink into to a halff sq quat. Get co o t b e comfortable inn this athletic sttance ce and d m mentally y ffire up p y your muscles l foor the final f push.
MILITARY-GRADE SINGLE-DIGIT BODY FAT ABS
AIM HIGH H Explode E l d through h h y hips your p and push p t weight up from the y shoulder, fully your f extending your arm o e he d Lower overhead. o e and repeat p on the othe sside. other de Now o pull the trigger gg on 3 sets of 20 reps..
EXPLOSIVE POWER PO R MENSHEALTH.CO.UK M S CO UK
WORDS: WILL ROWLATT ALLEN | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | MODEL: LEE PHILLIPS AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS | TRACK PANTS LULULEMON.CO.UK, TRAINERS NEWBALANCE.CO.UK
03 CORE REACTION
THE HEALTH SNOB’S GUIDE TO
8 0 3/ 1
CHICKEN To rescue this nutritional powerhouse from bland meal-prep purgatory, teach the old bird some new and nutritious tricks
01 THE PECKING ORDER
Chicken is the ubiquitous muscle food. But whether her clipped into your Tupperware or served cheekily at Nand do’s, ’ it can quickly become, well, a bit boring. We’re here to ffree y you from the monotony. With the help of Romain Bourrillo on of Notting g Hill rotisserie Cocotte, let us reignite your relation nship h with h the feathered superfood to make it an altogetherr tastier but no-less-powerful proposition. We’re cock-a-hoop p about it.
A BREAST This cut is a staple in the gym-goer’s fridge for very good reason. Each 100g 1 portion packs around 23g of o protein, similar to that of your standard shake – only without that sickly, y chalky strawberry afftertaste.
B WING Don’t flap about sticcking to your weightloss plan. Ressearchh published bl h d in Molecular Metaboolism sm found ou d that the amino acids in moreishh wing meat target a group of brainn cells that help you ffeell fuller f ll morre quickly. A smart choice in our boook.
C THIGH Although more calorific, the hhigh monounsaturated fat contentt found in thighs has a positivee effect on your cardiovascular diseaase and stroke risk, according to ressearch he basis published in Circulation. The b ss of a truly hearty meal, then en.
D DRUMSTICK The darker leg meat is richer r in B vitamins, chiefly B3, oor niacin, which promotes genom mic stability and regular cell divisioon, making k tumour growth less liikely. It clips your cancer risk, bassically, ll says a Nutrition and Cance ncer sstudy..
28 MEN’S HEALTH
02 HAVE A BUTCHER’S To prep your bird fo T o or a week’s worth of lunches, start with h a Victorin n nox ssharpening steel (£ 36 6 nisb nis isbets.co.uk) k) to g ive your Wüsthof hof boning kn ife (£30 £ knivesandt i esa ndtools.co dt o o.uk) k) a professionall ed edge.. Now rreach for a chopping ng g board that’s h ’ h heavy enough h not ot to sl slide d around d as you carve – o one e that co com comes with h a spike rring (£20 (£ llakeland k land nd.co. co.uk) will ll h help l with h that, h too t – and d turn the h chicken h k on n its side. d Bend d each h lleg b back ku untill the h thighbone h hb pops outt and d cut d h them h m l l to detach com mpletely. ll each h wing g away, Next, pull c h h the he cutting through e joints h w to remove them. Sw wap to
poultry y shears (£37 £3 a allianceonline.co.uk), ) upend p the bird and cut th through gh the h rib b cage g and d shoulder joints to separate t breast from the f the back. Place l the h breast b skin-side k d down, chop through g the centre bone b and d separate p it into two pieces. p To divide t legs, the g cut between the joints along the white ffat line ine and separate the thigh g from the drumstick. d u st . That’s at s seven portio p rtions tions fro from fr one chicke cken, ke all in just ﬁve minu nutes .
FLOCKS O OOF N TRIENTS NUTRIENTS
FOWL O L PLAY
03 S START FROM OM M SC C SCRATCH
The T e Colonel Co o e ca can keep p his 11 herbs a and spices. p Here, Bourrillon g gives y you four simple and ta a asty y recipes p that are p plump p full of heallth l a and ﬁtness beneﬁts,, w with a free range g of o fresh ﬂavours. Forrget rg ﬁnger g lickin’ good g d – these are ‘lick yo our plate clean and ge et down the gym’ gy good g od.
WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA PARRY | FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS
JJUMP MPING TH THROUGH CCOOPS Use Bourrillon’s top tips for thee best bird buyss
A RE-FEED SLOW W CHI HICKEN HICK CCKKEN EN AND ND CAARRRROOT
B FEATHEERWEIGHT E G ASIAN S WINGS GS
SERVES 2 Chicken breasts, 2 For the marinade: Garlic cloves, 2, chopped Olive oil, 100ml Lemon zest, 5g Salt & Pepper, 2g For the puree: Carrots 8 Carrots, Butter, 2tbsp p Ground cumin, 2tsp p
SERVES 4 Chicken C wings, 1kg g Olive O oil, 140ml Rice R vinegar, 140ml Soy sauce sauce, 3½tsp 3½ts 3½t Salt, 1tsp Toasted sesame oil, 1tsp Agave syrup, 1tsp Vegetable oil, 1L P Potato starch, 40g Quick Q Quick-mixing mixing flour, 40g
METHOD Marinate the breasts, cover and leavee for an hour. Cook them at 90°C for 90 minutes, then remove and rest them for 20, before grilling for an extra 15 to crisp the skin. Bolster your immune system by roasting the carrots for 20 minutes at 230°C (their beta-carotene boosts T-cell production), blitzing with the cumin and butter in a food processor. Spoon on with MasterChef p p M rChef flair, placing g the breasts on top..
METHOD O Whisk together the olive oil, rice vinegar, g soy sauce, salt, sesame oil and agave gave syrup in a bo bowll aand then add the wings and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While heating the vegetable oil in a deep pan to 180°C, combine the potato starch with the flour and coat the wings. Fry five at a time for seven minutes, drain on a wire cooling rack for three minutes and then serve with a squeeze q off Sriracha for f a kick.
THE OLD BIRD Go to your local butcher’s and get specific. A well-grown, healthy chicken should weigh around 1.2kg and be between 56 and 81 days old.
S O S MODE SPORTS O EEL You’re looking g for f r an athlete. t ete Thee tast t stieer meat comes ffroom strong s g chickenns th are in goood that shape. s p Check ffor firm d long l ng legs.. meat and
FARM FRESH Free range is good, but for the tastiest chicken, go organic. Flock size is limited to 1000 and birds will spend a third of their lives outside.
C MEDITERRANEA EAAN CH CHIC ICKE KEEN N TH THIG IGH SSAALA L D
D DDRR’SS ORDERS CHICKEN AN AND ND M MO MOREL ORE REL PA REL PPASTA ASTA ST ST
SSERVESS 4 C Chicken thighs, 8 Carrots, 2, diced d An onion, diced Garlic cloves, 5 Water, 150ml Green olives, 500g, pitted For the salad: Quinoa, 1 70g A red pepper, sliced Cucumber, ½, sliced Tomatoes, 150g, halved
SE SERVES 4 Chicken drumsticks, 8 C Chicken stock, 1½L C Dried morels, 45g D Cornstarch, 2tsp Butter, 2tsp An onion, diced Garlic cloves, 2, sliced Whisky, 70ml Single cream, 140ml Dijon mustard, 2tsp Tagliatelle, 250g
METHOD O Cook the carrots and onion in a p pan with oil for f three minutes. Mix in the garlic, water and olives, high in BP-lowering oleic acid, then add the chicken and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes. In the meantime, boil up the quinoa, combining it with the salad once it’s cooked and dressing with oil, balsamic vinegar and crumbled feta cheese. Plate up with the thighs and extra olives for a taste of the Med.
METHOD In a small pan, boil up the stock and remove it from the hob. Add the antiinflammatory morels, leave to sit for 30 minutes and then whisk in the cornstarch. In a separate pan, cook the drumsticks for four minutes in butter with the onions and garlic. Add the stock, whisky, cream and mustard and simmer for an hour, turning the chicken over in the last 15 minutes. Cook the pasta, toss in the sauce and gobble.
MEN’S HEALTH 29
06 DEBUG YOUR BODY
02 RUN WITH IT
…I GET ANothing COLD? makes the
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN…
More than 200 virus strains can cause the common cold, spreading through the air in tiny droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Contact with your mouth, nose or eyes is enough to catch the bug – so wash your hands thoroughly and keep them to yourself. Beware: your colleagues are at their most contagious during the earliest days of a cold. Hot-desk at a distance, in other words.
bleak mid-winter more grim than succumbing to man ﬂu. Here’s how you can fortify your defences and blow away the rhinovirus for good
Once hit, most believe the cold virus is the direct cause of your chronic nose tap. However, according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, your symptoms are actually your body’s inflammatory immune response to fight the infection. Your sore nasal passages will continue to produce excess mucus until your cold is defeated. It’s best you stock up on Kleenex and ride this one out. 03
04 03 PLAY THE HEAVY With your body’s inflammatory response (and nostrils) in full flow, your T- and B-lymphocytes begin their counterattack against the infection. If your symptoms are above the neck, you can support them with a workout. Yale Uni found the virus replicates better at cool temperatures. One 45-minute session will simulate the physiological conditions of a fever, boosting your body temperature and, in turn, slowing your immune system’s enemies.
FOOD FOR SUPPORT Too run-down to train? The old adage that you should feed a cold actually has legs. In a study by the Laboratory for Experimental Internal Medicine, ill subjects who were given a 1200kcal meal experienced a 450% increase in gamma interferon, a compound that supercharges your immunity. Also, Finnish scientists found that lozenges containing infection-fighting zinc cut cold duration by 30%. They’ll help you suck it up.
05 DOWN YOUR RISK The average man contracts up to four colds a year, so as your symptoms subside, double down on your defence strategy. The University of Helsinki found topping up your vit C with a glass of OJ at breakfast halves both the incidence and duration of colds. Plus, Carnegie Mellon University discovered that stress slows your immune response, so start imposing an at-home email ban. You’ve won the battle – now prepare to win the war.
WORDS: LEAH CRAIG | ILLUSTRATIONS: PETER GRUNDY
FINISH WINTER WITHOUT ANY ILL FEELINGS
DAIRY YOUR VOCAL TALES COACH
KERNELS OF TRUTH
VERSUS COW VS NUT
MILK THE BENEFITS
Any cornerstone off human nutrition can, it seems, be repackaged for f the health conscious. But are trendy nut alternatives l really lly worth h abandoning b d g the h udder dd ones?
The last recorded T d increase c e se for o nu ut ‘milk’ sales over s es o e a two-year period d, all ll thanks h k to th he continuing trend fo or plant-based l b d nutrition n
The falll in total UK dairry milk n the p past sales in two yeaars. Bad d or farmers; news fo good neews for your wallet as a prices drop d
FRESH S SCIENCE S E
An exceellent source of riboﬂavin, or vit B2, 2 dairy milk m (no, not the chocolate) boosts your metaboliic rate, t speeding d up your calorie l burn b n
A major component in most anti-ageing pproducts, almond milk’s vitamin E levels make iit a fountain of youth. Bathing in it won’t help D Dermato-Endocrinology
30% 6.4G 7.2G Calcium RDA
GLASS HALF FULLL
30% 0.8G 2.2G Calcium RDA
Current C Medicinal Chemistryy
*OF FORTIFIED NUT MILK | WORDS: ED COOPER | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS
High calorie Lactose intolerance Antibiotic risk
Goes off quickly
High in sugar
Allergy potential Not actually milk
The bro-approved GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) diet is popular among hard-gainers. But all that blue top milk equates to 77g of saturated fat, supersizing your CVD risk
According to the World Health Organisation, almond and cashew milks have been found to leave enthusiasts with an iodine deﬁciency, an easily preventable cause of brain damage
K JERSEY MILK It’s bursting with more protein (about 18%)), plus higher levels of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, than your corner shop variety
STAR PLAYER ER
CO OCONUT MILK Loocked and loaded with MCT (medium-chain trriglycerides), it’s a potent source of mental energy. Add to coffee for extra focus en
THE MH VERDICT: COW WINS! While nut milk is a valid, vegan-friendly alternative, it relies on being fortiﬁed with vitamins and minerals. Dairy, however, is brimming with both and farms out more protein and healthy fats with every swig. For pure nutrition – and, let’s be honest, taste – stick with the herd MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MEN’S HEALTH 33
PURE LIQUID INVESTMENT This month, the MH Lab deep dives into hydration, uncapping the best bottles around to make sure your performance formance isn’t isn t diluted
3 MEN’S HEALTH 34
ICE C KLEAN
Klean Kanteen Reflect £22 andkeep.com
LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle £35 cotswoldoutdoor.com
Performance e o ce Design n Ease se oof use
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BASIC S C DECENCY C C With no paint n nor plastic, this is simplicity at its best. b Thanks to its polished interior, this bottle doesn’t retain or impart flavours, keeping your water fresh. Plus, it’s backed with a guarantee, so you can return it if you break it. EXPERT VERDICT The uninsulated design held this one back. Although it made no claims to the contrary, cool liquids warmed by 6.4ºC after 12 hours. It was also uncomfortably icy to the touch when filled with cold water. However, the bottle was leak-free and dishwasher safe.
Performance Design Ease of use
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ALL THE FILTERS The adventurer’s
essential. This bottle allows you to fill up at a river, stream or puddle and sip filtered water. Plus, for each one purchased, a child in a developing country will receive safe drinking water for an entire school year. EXPERT VERDICT The rubber mouthpiece is easy to use, but you have to suck quite hard. It didn’t leak and is pretty tough – although the filter gives the water a plastic taste. Worth the outlay for wild weekends.
M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
WORDS: TED LANE | PHOTOGRAPHY: ROWAN FEE
irst, the science: hydration is important. Very important. In fact, if you’re serious about exercise (which we assume you are), then you should know that losing just 2.5% of your water weight results in a 45% decrease in your performance during HIIT. Your calorie burn literally dries up. The common prescription of six to eight cups is outdated, too. Research conducted by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine determined that men need an average of 3.7 litres of ﬂuid per day – that’s more than six full pints. But simply reﬁlling the old plastic bottle at your desk won’t cut it. Although many companies have removed harmful BPAs from their products, new research has revealed that reﬁlling unwashed Evian bottles exposes you to 900,000 bacteria per square centimetre. And not the good kind. There is now a glut of reusable bottles on the market – even Pret is in on the act – but not all beakers are created equal. The product team at the Good Housekeeping Institute tested the ﬂasks hoping to clean up your drink problem.
POUR OOVER PO THE T FACTSS
WATER MARKSS MARKS
TEST THE WATER Everyday items like these bottles require simple yet specific trials. This is how our experts ran the numbers
GET THE HUMP
Joseph Joseph Dot £10 josephjoseph.com
CamelBak Chute Vacuum £40 cotswoldoutdoor.com
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Performance Design Ease of use SPOT ON Made from BPA-free plastic, this cleverly designed bottle helps you track your hydration goals. The lid displays a new dot each time you refill, so opt for the 600ml version and mark off seven in one day to hit just above your H2O RDA. EXPERT VERDICT The dot system was useful for tracking your daily goal, but it was easy to accidentally increase dots when securing the lid. There was no leakage, even when upside down, and although it’s not designed for hot liquids, temperature only decreased by 5.2ºC in 12 hours. M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
Performance Design Ease of use
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THIRSTY WORKS This vacuuminsulated bottle keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for six. Its steel shell keeps condensation at bay and the narrow mouthpiece stops spillages. Plus, at 1.2L, it’s a beast. EXPERT VERDICT Being so sturdy, there was no leakage – but it is heavy and hard to grip when full. The star performer in the heat tests: cold liquids lost only 2ºC in temperature in 24 hours and hot liquids lost just 9.6ºC after the advertised six hours.
COLD FACTS After filling with icy water and taking the temperature, the bottles were left for 12-24 hours before being tested again, with any rises noted. CANNED HEAT Heat is harder to retain but, following the same process, bottles were retested between six and 12 hours later and degree drops recorded. WORTH BOTTLING Finally, on to the added extras: they were put in the dishwasher, upended for leaks and sipped on the go to test the mouthpieces.
PULL A CORK 75/100 Corkcicle Canteen £25 root7.com Performance Design Ease of use
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CAN’S NOT HOT Stylish and crafted from stainless steel with triple insulation, this bottle makes bold claims of keeping drinks ice cold for 25 hours and hot for 12. Smart extras include a wide opening to fit ice cubes and a slip-proof bottom. EXPERT VERDICT It’s comfortable to sip from, but would benefit from a mouthpiece for drinking on the go. Its capacity is small due to the insulation, which was hit and miss in our test. Over 12 hours, hot liquid lost 28ºC of warmth; over 25 hours, cold only gained 2.8ºC. Save this for sunny days.
MEN’S HEALTH 35
HIT THE BOTTLE BEFORE BED AND SINK STRESS FOR GOOD
WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS
s more and more British men notch up 50 hours at the oﬃce each week, it comes as little surprise that many of us are walking, zombielike, towards a mental health crisis. Britain’s reputation as one of the world’s most perennially tired nations – with one in three now regularly suﬀering from insomnia – is an exhausting symptom of work-related stress, a problem to which we lose 12.5 million working days each year. But now that we’ve jolted you awake with some nightmarish statistics, here is some dreamier news. According to researchers, a simple oil change in the kitchen can cure your stress-related
sleeping problems. A chemical found in rice bran oil has been proven to combat the eﬀects of sleeplessness borne out of the oﬃce. Research published in the journal Nutrients found that phytosterols in this oil have a potent hypnotic eﬀect. Firstly, ferulic acid lowers levels of the hormone serotonin in your blood. Normally associated with happiness, serotonin levels also rise during the day when exposed to sunshine, helping you to feel more awake. Keep them in check, then, and you should drift oﬀ more easily. Another phytosterol in rice bran oil, y-oryzanol, also inhibits your histamine receptors. Histamine is an inﬂammatory agent released by your immune system that can put your body on edge at around 3am. Block the receptors and you should sleep right through. Crucially, scientists at the University of Tsukuba in Japan found these beneﬁts to be speciﬁc to those suﬀering from anxiety-induced insomia, by targeting and lowering levels of stress hormones in the blood. Of course, you needn’t give up your extra virgin altogether (nor a generous dash of balsamic and some crusty bread). But when deadline anxiety kicks in, a swap to rice bran oil for your evening meal will provide a simple, tasty ﬁx for undisrupted shuteye.
FRYING HIGH Know when to drizzle and when to deep-fry by poring over our guide to the smoking points of oils
AVOCADO OIL Temp: 271°C Best for: High-temperature frying Health benefit: Lowers bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol
COCONUT OIL Temp: 232°C Best for: Baking Health benefit: MCTs can help fire up your metabolism
OLIVE OIL Temp: 191°C Best for: Drizzling over salad Health benefit: Reduces risk of heart disease
BUTTER Temp: 135°C Best for: Spreading on bread Health benefit: Rich in vitamins A, E and K2
for the stresses of insomnia. Try this ﬁx for golden slumber
12 FATS AND FIGURES
CHANGE YOUR OIL & SLIP INTO DEEPER SLEEP Rice bran oil is your new cure
11 POUR CHOICES
NUTRITION NEWSFEED 03/18
MEN’S HEALTH 37
1 13 STAYINGG O R POWER
TRAIN LIKE BANE Take your endurance to new heights with an oxygen restriction mask to mimic being at altitude and boost VO2 max by 16%. If it’s good enough for Tom Hardy… Journal of Sports Science in Medicine
True ﬁtness means being able T tto go the distance, so learn to p play the endurance markett
BEET YOUR PB A single glass of nitraterich beetroot juice increases NO levels in your blood to expand vessels and increase lung capacity, rooting out extra stamina. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Keep your palms cool during a run to add endurance. Freeze your water bottle before setting off, hold on tight and melt seconds off your times. American Heart Association
FFIT$E $ IND£X STAMINA S A
STRONGER TOGETHER You needn’t choose between HIIT and LISS. Balancing both spikes stamina by upping your oxygen intake by nearly 15%. American Journal of Physiology
TIGHTEN UP Whether you rate the science behind compression gear or not, the placebo effect of looking and feeling the part reduces your perceived effort. Plos One
RHODIO DRIVE Just one 200mg pill of rhodiola rosea plant extract can keep you running up to 10% longer. Think of it as your fitter pill to swallow. KU Leuven
RISERS AND FALLERS
UNCORK POTENTIAL Diets containing resveratrol, found in wine’s grapes, improve muscle strength and cardiac performance by 21%. Journal of Physiology
Longest hitters HOLD
Staying steady DOWN
Pre-run stretches loosen muscle power to hamper performance. Focus on getting warm to activate your muscle fibres, instead. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
HIGHS ARE LOWS
Hill running is often touted as a staminabooster, but flat terrain actually spikes your endurance potential. Give it your level best. South Dakota State University
Drop the pre-workout scoop: 3-6mg of caffeine per kg of your bodyweight is optimal for stamina. Your double shot will do. Journal of Strength and Conditioning
38 MEN’S HEALTH
F**K THE HATERS Flagging in the gym? Swearing mid-set will give your lifts an energy boost. So ignore the dirty looks – or maybe save it for home workouts. Keele University
SHORT-TERM PAIN… …Long-term gain. Just 12min of all-out intervals (that’s three rounds of Tabata a week) can up your VO2 max by 10% in 10 weeks. Doesn’t mean it’ll be fun, mind. Norwegian University of Science
WORDS: MATT EVANS | ILLUSTRATIONS: INFOMEN
Hit snooze and reschedule your 6am cardio. Rolling over to enjoy an extra hour in bed boosts muscular stamina by 9.7%. You’re getting fitter in your sleep, kind of. JAMA
HOW I BUILT MY BODY
GROW YOUR FEED Try Simmonds’ Instagram tactics to add bulk to your own following
PT and social media ﬁtness mogul Bradley Simmonds wants to upgrade your potential in 2018. All you need to do is follow on
nstagram’s a funny one, isn’t it? On the one hand, it’s a bottomless source of #ﬁtspiration, spurring you on to be your best self. On the other, it’s an unregulated vortex of extreme opinions, fake news and dangerous pseudoscience. Which is what makes Bradley Simmonds’ even-handed use of the platform to promote his ﬁtness philosophy so refreshing – and, as a result, very successful. Though we’re sure the lycra-clad models in his videos also help. His ﬁtness journey – to appropriate the parlance of his chosen medium – began after an ACL injury cut short his footballing career at Queen’s Park Rangers. Still in a cast, he began studying for his PT qualiﬁcations at 19. “I’m not someone who can easily relax or take a break,” Simmonds says. “I need to keep myself active and ticking over.” It’s thanks to this drive that he now counts Theo Walcott and John Terry among his athlete clientele. How did he get on their radar? “I just sent them a DM on
Identify the people you want to work with and message them. Collaborate on content and then piggyback off their follower base.
STRIKE A BALANCE Ensure your posts are not just attractive, but useful. Don’t show off what you can do; show others what they need to do to reach their goals.
SCHEDULE SUCCESS Post at peak times. Share workout videos at 9pm for people to try the next day and then a snap at lunchtime when they’re on their phones.
10% BODY FAT
WORDS: TED LANE | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN AND SPORTFX
DOUBLE-TAP YOUR INNER ATHLETICISM
Instagram,” he says. “That’s it.” If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Despite ﬁnding success after his footballing career, it’s his sports background that forms the bedrock of his training principles. “I like to mix cardio and strength exercises. I’m not training for how it will make me look – I’m training because I want my body to function well. So I do a lot more endurance work than people might expect,” he says. Mirror muscles hold little allure to Simmonds. “Someone who is ripped might not be able to run a 10K,” he says. “What does that say about them? Are they truly ﬁt?” It’s this mindset that has seen him combine his signature social media HIIT workouts with various ﬁtness challenges. Last year, he cycled the 178km L’Etape du Tour, ran the London Marathon and began boxing in earnest, with his mind on a ﬁght in the near future. And to those who hold the outdated notion that stamina and size are oxymoronic, Simmonds has a simple yet compelling response. “Look at Cristiano Ronaldo. He is ripped, but his day-to-day workouts are ﬁlled with HIIT, followed by a 10-mile run on match day,” he says. “True athletes mix cardio with weights. It’s my aim to empower people with the platform I have and help them realise that you don’t actually have to be an athlete to train like one.” MH likes this. We think you will, too.
THE MOTIVATOR Bradley Simmonds, PT and fitness influencer
40 MEN’S HEALTH
FIT FOR PURPOSE
FOLLOW THE LEADER
THE FITNESS TRIFECTA Follow Simmonds’ ethos for all-round excellence and target strength, stamina and functional muscle in just one workout B
01// DEADLIFTS 4 sets of 5 reps, 2min rest With feet wider than shoulder-width, bend your knees and grab the bar with an overhand grip (A). Set your coree and d ppinchh yyour shoulders, h ld thhen nd up stand p (B). (B) Lower under d controol.
02// TREADMILL SPRINTS 8 sets of 20sec on, 10sec off For a stamina-boosting finisher, increase the treadmill speedo until you’re at an all-out sprint. Hop off to the side after 20sec and rest for 10sec. Deep breaths, now.
PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS | ALL CLOTHING ADIDAS.CO.UK
40 10K TIME
03/ ASSISTED ED CHIN CHIN-UPS N UPS 4 sets of 12 reps, 60sec rest Hanging from a bar, tuck your knees into a band so they take your weight (A). Engage your lats to propel your chin above the bar (B). Lower, your core tight, then hang on for 11 more.
MEN’S HEALTH 41
THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
STOP YOGA TYING YOU UP IN KNOTS To many, a spot of downward dogging
*PUBLISHED IN THE JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH | WORDS: DAN MASOLIVER | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS | ELASTIC BANDS COURTESY OF RYMAN.CO.UK
is the remedy to all your physical and mental woes. That’s not just a stretch, it’s a licence for more harm than good
lose your eyes, take a deep breath and try to relax – because you might not like what you’re about to hear. The truth is that the ﬁtness industry is a pendular one, where one diametrically opposed craze soon replaces another. For the past few years, the trend has been hardcore HIIT workouts and heavy weights. We men, in particular, threw ourselves into these macho disciplines with gusto. And now we are broken 1 . Enter yoga: a centuries-old practice promising to relax both your body and mind. The tightness in your hips? Opened. That lower back pain? Eased. Your all-consuming, blood pressure-elevating stress levels? Exhaled. These days, yoga is seen as the Ayurvedic antidote to all that ails you. And men are unfurling their mats by the millions, with blokes now representing an unprecedented 28% of all downward doggers. The bitter irony, however, is that while yoga provides no guarantee that it will heal you, it could even break you further. A recent study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found that in 10% of all practitioners, yoga didn’t reduce, but actually caused
M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK MENSHEALTH S H.CO.UK CO UK
musculoskeletal pain. And if you’re thinking of taking it up as part of an injury rehabilitation programme, hold on to your tights: the same study found that 21% of existing injuries were exacerbated – not solved – by going with the ﬂow. Perhaps the most insidious risk of this purported panacea is that you might not know the extent of the damage you’ve caused until it’s too late. While a strained hamstring would be obvious, injuries to connective tissues such as joint capsules, ligaments and tendons are another story. With no blood supply or pain transmitters, you can overstretch them and they won’t hurt. But they won’t heal, either. Plus, over time, you can displace a joint, create an alignment issue or worse – all without even realising. Complex, eye-catching moves force your body to contort itself into postures that it isn’t ready for. Performed incorrectly, as it all too often is, yoga poses a real danger to your long-term health and mobility.
SEARCHING FOR EXTRA ZEN COULD BE TIGHTENING YOU UP
THIS MONTH’S ADVOCATE Luke Worthington, from London’s Third Space, is a sports scientist and movement specialist
ASSESS YOUR POSITION
UNWIND THE FACTS
> DEALS WITH THE DEVIL 1
HIIT AND MISS
The American Journal of Medicine has linked HIIT to rhabdomyolysis, a condition that precedes kidney damage.
Yale School of Medicine found those who play extreme sports regularly possess more anxietyreducing neuropeptide Y.
JOG YOUR MIND
According to one study*, just 30min of running each week enhances sleep quality, mood, concentration and relaxation. Don’t get me wrong: in a safe and controlled manner, it can be a powerful addition to your workout portfolio. But the fact is that there are more eﬀective ways to simultaneously strengthen your body, improve your movement and eradicate stress than pulling your foot behind your ear and trying to connect with your ‘heart centre’. While yoga encourages anxietyreduction through mindfulness, asking you politely to focus on your breathing and push all thoughts from your head, so-called ‘adrenaline zen’ activities demand it 2 . Let your mind wander during rock climbing and you’ll plummet to your doom (or the crash mat); lose focus while surﬁng and a wipeout is all but guaranteed, and I dare you to think
“Performed incorrectly, yoga poses a real threat to your long-term health and mobility” about Monday morning’s conference call as you hurtle down a boulderstrewn hillside on your mountain bike. Alternatively, the rhythmical, repetitive nature of low-intensity steady-state training, like swimming or running, has also been proven to release endorphins and reduce stress 3 . All without having to suﬀer the ignominy of rolling around in ‘happy baby’ pose. So while the highly Instagrammable allure of scorpion handstands, ﬂying pigeons and one-legged crows is admittedly a draw, for your own sake, buck the trend and namaste away from the studio.
MEN’SS HEALTH 433
18 PUSH YOUR LIMITS
FITNESS OUT OF THE BOX CrossFit is known for its intense workouts, zealous
LETTERS OF THE LORE
fans and HD 8-packs. This is your pre-WOD primer
Brush up on your acronyms – you’re going to need them. Use our lexicon to avoid any awkward nod-and-smiles at your first session
TREND SECRETS CROSSFIT
TAKE A SWING AT ‘THE SPIRIT OF FITNESS’ TO EARN ELITE RESULTS
EMOM EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE Used as a warm-up. For 10min, perform five pull-ups, pressups and box jumps every time the clock hits the minute mark.
DO I NEED TO UPDATE MY GYM GEAR? Becoming better acquainted with a barbell will put remarkable pressure on your wrists. You’d do well to support them with some wraps (£13 rogueeurope.eu) during your first snatches and cleans. Especially if their previous conditioning extends only to over-vigorous right-swiping. WRAP UP TO STOP YOUR WRISTS FROM BLOWING YOUR WOD
ATG ASS TO GRASS This one’s about range of motion. With a sandbag on your shoulders, do three sets of 10 squats, ensuring you get as low as you can.
WORDS: AARON TOUMAZOU | PHOTOGRAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON, PHILIP HAYNES, STUDIO 33 | ILLUSTRATION: BEN MOUNSEY
WHERE DO I START? A specialist box is your only serious option – CrossFit-inspired classes at your local gym just aren’t worth the eﬀort. Dedicated spaces will have all the kit you need and tuition from informed trainers. South London’s 3 Aces is Team MH’s gruelling g g go-to. g 02_
WHO’S IT FOR?
IS THERE A SIGNATUURE MOVE TOO MASTER? R?
The ambitious. CrossFitters train to be complete athletes. Scaled workouts accommodate all abilities and ensure there’s always something to improve on. Feeling pigeonholed into bro-splits or bodyweight training? This will expand your horizons. 03_
WILL IT GET ME RIPPED? “The CrossFit physique is pretty special,” says Rich Brockhurst of 3 Aces CrossFit. “But we’re not about six-minute abs. Your body should be a byproduct of what you do with it.” Combining compound lifts with killer cardio kit like the Airdyne bike strips fat and builds muscle – fast. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
AMRAP AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE An obvious one. Set to time, go until you can’t push any more. Try it with a pillar of any CrossFit workout: the burpee.
Start by naiiling g the ‘kippingg’ pullup, in whichh you swing your b body d back and foorth with every rep, accelerating your momentum. With haands d wider than shoulder-width th, push your head forwardss to begin swinging through gh your shoulders (A). As the he force sends you into a backswing, flex at your hips and pull your chest to the bar (B). Push away and arch your back to swing momentum into your next rep.
WHAT SHOULD I AVOID?
Impatience. Early on, CrossFit earned a reputation for poor form and injury. Expert coaching will minimise dangers, as will checking your ego at the door. “Respect the process. Don’t try to run before you can walk,” says Brockhurst. That ring muscle-up can wait.
WOD WORKOUT OF THE DAY CrossFit workouts often have names like Murph, which involves a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 press-ups, 300 squats and another mile run.
MEN’S HEALTH 45
HIT SNOOZE FOR BIGGER MUSCLE Go light on work and heavy on rest for a new, relaxed approach to adding extra bulk and getting the most from your minutes oﬀ
orget what you know about reps and rest. The ‘12 reps punctuated by a minute’s rest’ protocol, long relied upon by bulking bros, is now as outdated as their snapbacks. New research ﬂexing its scientiﬁc muscle suggests that you need to lift lighter and rest longer to really pack on size. Observing a test group who performed upperbody isolation moves, sports scientists found that a generous helping of ﬁve-minute rest periods produced the greatest overall rep output in those lifting weights at 50% of their 1RM. The study, published in the Journal of Human Kinetics, found that a recovery time of 60 seconds – or even
PAUSE THE PRESS
FREE UP STRENGTH
up to three minutes – wasn’t enough to fully recharge. But that doesn’t mean restful sessions need to overrun. Longer rests will allow you to lift eﬀectively in the 20-25 rep range, ﬁtting in the same volume of work into fewer sets. Essentially, a scientiﬁc rejig of your current workout will see you rest more and yet build a better body. Extended rest periods are not an excuse to exercise your thumbs on Instagram, however. Oﬀset your pursuit of ‘the pump’ by spending the intervening ﬁve minutes working on your mobility with our muscle-loosening exercises (right). Match the move to your lift to make the most of your newly found free minutes in the gym.
REST PRACTICE Drop the weight and move into a loosening exercise designed to unlock lifting potential
BENCH PRESS > T-ROTATION
A TIME OUT IS THE KEY TO FAST GAINS
From a press-up position, reach up and rotate towards the ceiling with your right hand, making a T-shape with your body to really test your core.
DEADLIFT > DYNAMIC CHILD POSE
On all fours, move your glutes to your heels while keeping your hands and knees in place, and your head down to avoid straining your neck.
WORDS: LOUEE DESSENT-JACKSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON
BACK SQUAT > PLANK STEP-UPS
From a high plank, step your right foot up to land just outside your right hand. Sit into the stretch to boost your hip mobility. Now try the other side.
MUSCLE NEWSFEED 03/18
MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO U
MEN’SS HEALTH 47
Career Lows Is Your Working Life Getting You Down? Artwork by Dan Page
was ﬁrst diagnosed with depression when I was a teenager – and I was immediately told a story by my doctor. It was the 1990s and this take on our distress was conquering the world. You are depressed for a straightforward reason, my doctor told me. There’s a chemical in people’s brains called serotonin that makes us feel good. You are naturally lacking this chemical. That is why you feel like pain is leaking out of you uncontrollably. I lived by this story for years, drugging myself for more than a decade – and yet, to my puzzlement, I remained depressed. Three years ago, I began to research what was really happening. I ended up travelling the world, speaking to leading scientists on this issue, as well as people who’ve come back from depression. What startled me most was discovering that so much of what I thought I knew was wrong. They explained to me that there is no evidence that low serotonin causes depression. And there is no evidence that depressed people have a chemical imbalance in their brains. But there is evidence that several key changes in the way we are living are
48 MEN’S HEALTH
causing depression and anxiety. Crucially, I learned that there is evidence for seven environmental causes – along with two real biological factors that make it worse. I started to glimpse one of them in Philadelphia. Joe was waiting for the day to end. If you walked into the paint shop where he worked and asked for a gallon of paint in a particular shade, he would ask you to pick it from a chart, and he would prepare it for you. It was always the same. He would put a dash of pigment into the tin, then put the tin into a machine that looked a bit like a microwave, then the machine would shake it vigorously. This process evened out the paint. Then he would take your money and say, “Thank you, sir.” Then he’d wait for the next customer, and do the same thing. Then he would wait for the next customer, and do the same thing. All day. Every day. Take an order. Shake paint. Say, “Thank you, sir.” Wait. Take an order. Shake paint. Say, “Thank you, sir.” Wait. And on. And on. Nobody ever noticed whether Joe did it well or badly. The only thing his boss ever commented on was if he was late, and then he’d get bawled out. Joe told me that,
as he left work, he’d always think: “I don’t feel like I made a diﬀerence in anyone’s life.” As he looked out over the next 40 years of this, he felt a black despair.
Guilty Thoughts Joe felt like his human thoughts, insights and feelings were almost a defect. But whenever he told me about how his work made him feel, he would chastise himself. It was reasonably paid, he could live with his girlfriend in an OK place; he knew plenty of people who didn’t have any of that. He felt guilty for feeling this way. But then the feelings kept coming back. And he shook more paint. And he shook more paint. And he shook more paint. Joe made me think about a lot of my friends. Most of them have more interesting jobs than Joe, but they often viewed their work with anxiety, panic or low-level despair. I began to wonder: could the way we work be playing a role in depression? I learned that the answer to this was uncovered, almost by accident, in the 1970s by an Australian scientist called
ITâ€™S TIME YOU LIFT THE LID ON BRIMMING WORK STRESS
THE FIRST STEP TO A HEALTHIER WORK LIFE IS TAKING YOUR FEET OFF THE PEDALS
Johann Hari Professor Michael Marmot. He was given the job of carrying out a study that most people thought was pointless because the answer would be so obvious. He wanted to investigate what makes people stressed at work and he believed he’d found the perfect laboratory in which to learn the answer: the British civil service in Whitehall. This small army of bureaucrats and civil servants was divided into 19 diﬀerent layers, from the permanent secretary at the top, down to the typists at the bottom. What he wanted to investigate was who would be more likely to have a heart attack: the big boss or somebody below them?
Who’s More Stressed? Everybody told Marmot he was wasting his time. Obviously, the boss would be more stressed because he has more responsibility. But when the results were published, after years of investigation, the truth was found to be the exact opposite. The lower down you went in the hierarchy, the more stressed you were – and the more likely a heart attack became. Then he noticed that you could see exactly the same eﬀect with depression. Next he wanted to know why. So, he began to study people who worked at the same rung on the civil service ladder, but whose jobs diﬀered, to see whether this could explain the diﬀerences. And it did. He cracked it. He discovered what made the diﬀerence. It turned out there are two crucial aspects of your work that can make you depressed and stressed. One is if you feel you have no control over your work. And the other is if you feel nobody seems to care about your work or notice how well you do it. Those two factors are worse in the lowest-status jobs, but they are not conﬁned to them. Even people in very high-level jobs often feel like this. Between 2011 and 2012, the polling company Gallup conducted the most detailed study ever carried out to assess how people across the world feel about their work. They found that 13% of us say we are “engaged” in our jobs, while 63% claim to be “not engaged”, which is deﬁned as “sleepwalking through their workday”. Meanwhile 24% are “actively disengaged”. They hate their work. That means that 87% of people, if they were to read Joe’s story, would recognise at least a little of themselves in it. Nearly twice as many people hate their jobs as those who love their work. And this thing that most of us don’t like doing – that feels like sleepwalking, or worse – now takes
up most of our waking lives. The average worker checks their ﬁrst email at 7.42am and leaves work at 7.19pm. As I researched, I looked at several deep shifts in the way we live today that are like this. We are lonelier than any humans before us. We are more likely to value junk – like buying stuﬀ, then showing it oﬀ – than any humans before us. These are other deep changes that have been shown scientiﬁcally to increase depression and anxiety. Yet we continue to be told that all that’s happening is our brains are spontaneously malfunctioning and we need to be drugged to get back to work. There is a diﬀerent way of thinking about depression – one that leads to very diﬀerent solutions. The evidence suggests we are depressed for rational reasons because we aren’t living in a way that is compatible with what human beings need to have a decent life. I have come to realise that this means the solution is not to change our brains, but to change the way we live. Some of the scientiﬁcally backed solutions I go through in my new book Lost Connections can be carried out in our personal lives. Some require bigger shifts. I learned about one possible solution to Joe’s problem in Baltimore. The day that Meredith Mitchell handed in her resignation, she wondered if she was doing something crazy. She worked in a typical oﬃce job. She was given assignments with a deadline and her role was to keep her head down and do what she was told. At the age of 24, she could see this stretching out before her inexorably. Around this time, Meredith had started to feel a pervasive sense of anxiety that she couldn’t quite understand. On Sunday nights, she’d feel her heart pounding in her chest and a sense of dread about the week to come. Before long, she found she couldn’t sleep during the week, either. She was quitting for a reason. Her husband Josh Keogh had worked in bike shops since he was a teenager. It was insecure work, poorly paid, with no path up – but he loved bikes. One day, he and his friends in the bike store asked something. What, exactly, does the boss do? Don’t we do most of the work? Couldn’t we do this ourselves? So they decided to set up a new bike store – but they would run it diﬀerently. They’d organise the company democratically.
They’d share out a lot of the less interesting tasks, so nobody was stuck doing something they didn’t like for too long. They’d all build something, together. They’d all be the boss.
Taking Control When I went to Baltimore Bicycle Works – a thriving business – most of the staﬀ talked about how they had felt anxious and depressed in their old jobs, and how it had largely disappeared once they shifted to this new way of working. The reasons why are made clear in Professor Marmot’s research. These people worked in bike shops before; they work in bike shops now. The actual work hasn’t changed drastically, but they have dealt with the factors that cause depression. Now, they have control over their work; their colleagues notice the work they do. Depressing tasks are shared out, so they don’t dominate anyone’s day. This is the diﬀerence between work that depresses you and work that energises you. There is no reason, they told me, why companies have to be structured in this top-down, controlling way. It’s actually quite a new invention, dating back just to the 19th century. So why don’t all companies work like this? This is a radically diﬀerent way of thinking about depression and anxiety. We have been taught to see them as pathologies – signs that the individual is broken. But what if they are signs that, in fact, the culture is broken? That it’s not giving people what they need? I discovered there is a whole range of solutions, like giving people control over their work, that act as real antidepressants – ones that actually solve the depression, rather than trying to mask it. I realise now what I should have told Joe back in Philly. You’re not crazy. You’re right to feel down. You’re being made to live in a way that doesn’t meet your needs for autonomy and meaning and choice. But we don’t have to live like this. There is a better way waiting for us. But, to get there, we have to start by seeing that depression and anxiety are not what we have been told they are for so very long. Award-winning author Johann Hari’s book Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions is available from Bloomsbury and as an audiobook from Audible. Visit thelostconnections.com
“The solution is not to change our brains, but to change the way we live”
MEN’S HEALTH 51
TIME WORDS BY TED LANE / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOBE LAWRENSON
MAXIMISING LIFE’S GREATEST LUXURY
WEEKS TO DEMOLISH STUBBORN FAT WITH A BUILDER’S BREW
STEAM TOWARDS YOUR WEIGHTLOSS GOALS THIS MONTH
old on to your kettles – everything you thought you knew about your morning cuppa is about to be turned on its head. Sales of green tea have leapt by 50% in just three years, boosted by promises of piping hot health and cosy weightloss. Old favourite English Breakfast, on the other hand, was left to stew over its supposed shortcomings. But, thankfully, we were all wrong. A European Journal of Nutrition study found that the black tea in your Tetley’s is a prebiotic. What’s more, its molecules are larger than green tea’s, so instead of passing through your gut lining, they sit there and feed the production of the friendly bacteria pseudobutyrivibrio. It’s these bacteria, according to the scientists, that alter your body’s metabolism, making it burn through energy and boil off stubborn fat cells. The University of California conducted experiments on mice and found that those given black tea lost the same amount of weight as those on a low-fat diet. This furthers research in Nutrition that found a mug of builder’s inhibits the enzyme lipase, helping fat pass through the body without sticking to your waist. All of which is probably enough to even out the three Digestives you’re partial to dunking. Probably.
MINUTES TO SPIKE TESTOSTERONE IN FRONT OF THE TV
IMAGE MANIPULATION: COLIN BEAGLEY ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY
hen the giants of Northern Hemisphere’s rugby elite scrum down for the Six Nations, it can be easy to feel a little, well, emasculated. But try not to beat yourself up: for a physical boost of your own, just take a seat and get behind them. According to new research in Physiology & Behavior, urging your team to victory over 80 minutes can score you a 28% testosterone spike. If you’re more of an impartial spectator, it’s very much worth taking sides, with testosterone levels in the UK now at an all-time low. This male elixir not only helps you to look and feel younger, lift more and recover faster from the gym, but it can also help you edge away from the impending fertility cliff which makes a shot in the
arm on any given Saturday certainly worth your while. The boost comes down to the sense of community and camaraderie you feel when facing off against a perceived ‘other’. Sit within chanting distance of the enemy at your local and the vicarious competitive edge will produce an endocrine response, stimulating the production of more testosterone and enhancing your efforts in the gym until next weekend’s kick-off. There is, however, a catch. The beneficial boost is only enjoyed by supporters of the winning side. A loss, on the other hand, will leave you figuratively – and physically – deflated. Sorry, Scotland.
SCORE YOURSELF A SHOT AT EXTRA MUSCLE ON THE SOFA
A WEEK’S CRASH COURSE IS ALL YOU NEED TO GET SMARTER
DAYS TO UPGRADE YOUR BRAINPOWER ON THE COMMUTE
hat exercise is good for the mind is no new thing. But how many of you use that as inspiration? Most men consider cardio’s grey matter benefits a long-term investment, safeguarding you from cognitive issues many years and miles down the line. Which, if you’re more at home on the lifting platform (or sofa) is unlikely to have you lacing up your Asics any time soon. But what about a short-term boost to your mental firepower within a week, too? The promise of unwavering concentration and promotion-worthy initiative come Monday? Because that’s exactly what scientists at the National
Institutes of Health have discovered. Examining mice, the team found that just seven days of running on a wheel – though you can stick to the cycle lanes – increases the number of new neurons in your brain for sharper reactions and a better memory. The study authors added that this was the most conclusive evidence yet that the brain cells produced by running are not just a quantitative improvement, but a qualitative one, too. Every stride improves the standard of your brain’s neurons at a biological level. Add the fact that you’re outdoors rather than sat in traffic, and your cardio commute has the power to clear your head of anxiety, making room to unleash your full mental potential. Start measuring up the corner office.
06 ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS | RETOUCHING: ANTHONY HAMMOND
MINUTES TO REBOOT YOUR LIVER WITH A PANCAKE DAY BINGE
FLIP THE SCRIPT OF FIT FOOD: PANCAKES ARE GOOD FOR YOU
o you know how important your liver is, really? We’d wager not. Yes, you joke about it taking a battering on a Friday night, but it’s useful for more than nullifying a booze binge. Your liver is responsible for the metabolism of food, too. And much like beer’s harmful alcohol content, the Western diet is flooding your system with sugar and drowning your liver in harmful fatty deposits. In 2016, it was calculated that 52 million people across Europe are at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). But you can lighten up, because there’s a fluffy, delicious antidote scheduled for the upcoming Shrove Tuesday. Whisk up four eggs and you can
batter your risks of NAFLD with a healthy stack of pancakes. A study by Kangwon National University found that egg yolks undo the damage of a high-sugar diet, reducing fat build-up in your liver. It’s down to the Atherogenic Index – the ratio between healthy HDL and bad LDL cholesterol in your blood. And, flying in the face of popular belief about eggs and cholesterol, subjects who ate yolks regularly had lower levels of liver fat. So spoon some batter into a pan and fry on each side for three minutes until golden brown. Stack them high. Oh, and double down on the maple syrup. Yes it’s sweet, but its 54 antioxidants act as a salve to liver inflammation. Time to indulge.
Joe 57 5ft 11½in 83kg 217mg/dL 134 mg/dL 106 mg/dL 637ng/dL 85% 0.51 kg/kgBW 50 kg 18 METs 54 AGE
BEERS PER MONTH
X v With stereotypes fitness disproven on editors at Men’s to be father and son, generation game, health, nutrition and determine, once and and gained with time. will help you stay stronger, Words by Joe Kita & Paul Kita
Paul 32 5ft 11½in 70kg 197mg/dL 104 mg/dL 87mg/dL 1401ng/dL 88% 0.65kg/kgBW 82 kg 21 METs 14 AGE
s Y around ageing and a daily basis, two Health – who happen no less – played a facing off across 131 fitness markers to for all, what is lost Their discoveries younger and for longer
BEERS PER MONTH
Photography by Steven Laxton
WE SHARE THE SAME DNA.
LITTLE COMES BETWEEN THIS FATHER AND SON
58 MEN’S HEALTH
The Heart Can Beat Ageing We underwent a battery of cardiovascular tests at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital; its executive health 18 METs assessment programme is 14:31 minutes considered among the world’s Gen X 21 METs best. Technicians taped 17:40 minutes electrodes to our chests, Gen Y wrapped blood pressure cuffs TIME around our arms, and made us exercise to exhaustion on GEN Y - 1 / GEN X - 0 treadmills. On that last test, Paul lasted a full three minutes longer and cranked out three more METs (‘metabolic equivalents’ – a measure of exercise capacity). Happily, we were both well above our age group averages and have a low risk of heart attack in the near future. Even though my heart is 25 years older and has beat about a billion more times, our hearts “could be interposed,” said Dr Kevin Dunsky, director of comprehensive health at Mount Sinai Heart. “Their appearance and function are similar.” My decades of running, cycling, and eating well have paid off. It seems you really can stay young at heart. TEST #1 STRESS ECHOCARDIOGRAM
I’m 57. My son Paul is 32. We grew up in the same place (Pennsylvania), earned the same degree (journalism), and work for the same magazine (Men’s Health US, of course). We’re both 5ft 11½in, and people say we even talk and walk the same way. There’s very little to separate us. Well, apart from 25 years. Middle-age isn’t what it was, though. Not only are we living longer, many of us are striving to stay ﬁtter, stronger and more agile in our later years, too. We’re signing up for our ﬁrst triathlons and getting smarter in the kitchen. But while we may feel we are striking a blow against time, the fact remains that it’s hitting back at us, too. So what about all the changes we can’t perceive? In an eﬀort to dig a little deeper, Paul and I subjected ourselves to a barrage of tests, from routine blood work to carotid artery ultrasounds. We had stress echocardiograms to gauge our heart health and MRIs to assess the deepest reaches of our brains. We had a dietitian dissect our eating habits and a dermatologist map our moles. And we squared oﬀ in the gym to test our muscle, too. Here are the six most surprising lessons we learned. Start applying them now and ageing won’t ﬂoor you.
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE Paul says: I’m impressed that Dad almost beat me, considering his heart’s been around since before JFK was elected. I do mostly strength training, so this was a reminder that there’s more to fitness than just mirror muscles. After all, the heart is a muscle, too. The best way to futureproof yours, says cardiologist Dr Arthur Agatston, is with interval training; intense exercise combined with active recovery. You can do it with classic cardio (alternating 60-second sprints with threeminute jogs) or weight training (try EMOM, ‘every minute, on the minute’ circuits). Train this way three to four times per week when you’re young, and you may never need to worry.
MATURE INSIGHT Joe says: I’m cautious. My father died at age 61 of a heart attack or stroke, and I’ve been preoccupied with arterial plaque ever since. I track my cholesterol and take a statin daily. But I never fully assessed my heart’s performance until now. “Heart disease isn’t plumbing,” says Dr Dunsky. “You can’t say, ‘Aha, there’s a clog in this pipe. Let’s clear it.’ In the absence of symptoms, problems can be difficult to spot.” Our treadmill test – the stress echocardiogram – proved the missing piece of my cardiac puzzle, allaying many of my concerns. If you have heart disease in your family, ask your GP about it. In the meantime, self-preservation needn’t be hard graft; a Finnish study found men who used the sauna four times a week are up to 50% less likely to die from heart disease. There’s your hot tip.
Your Brain Can Be Trained
Beer Needn’t Come With A Belly
After years of having my son question my every decision, I finally have proof that my brain isn’t the size of 88% a pistachio. After our MRI memory brain scans, state-of-thetissue 85% volume art software was used to volume Gen Y compare our results to Gen X age-graded norms. Once we got beyond the rather unflattering term ‘grossly GEN Y - 2 / GEN X - 0 unremarkable brain’ (thankfully, it’s radiologyspeak for ‘normal’), we delved into the data. “Throughout the course of my career, I’ve seen thousands of brains,” said Dr James Brewer of CorTechs Labs, the company behind the imaging technology, “and usually there is a good amount of variability. But I’ve never seen a father and son side-by-side. It’s fascinating how similar the anatomy is.” Our hippocampi (where memories are made) and frontal lobes (involved in recall) were similar. And my memory tissue volume of 85% (the more the better) was just 3% less than Paul’s. I’ll make sure he remembers that. TEST #2 3D TI BRAIN MRI WITH NEUROQUANT
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE Paul says: It turns out Dad isn’t as dim as I thought. Our healthy habits may be paying off, but I need to keep putting the work in. According to the experts, our hearts and minds are more connected than we realise: a recent study that tracked 518 people over three decades found that those with better cardiovascular health at 18-30years-old had a decreased risk of brain shrinkage 25 years later. “The most important thing is keeping good blood flow to the brain,” Brewer says. “If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, sort it.” Pulmonary shunt training – say completing a round of barbell squats before going straight into 10 reps of overhead presses – keeps blood flow efficient from top to bottom. It’s the smart choice.
X vs Y
MATURE INSIGHT Joe says: Beyond 60, the brain’s memory structures lose volume at about 1% a year. The anxiety attached to this decline is driving a new industry of brain-training games. But these games tend to make you better at the task involved, says Brewer. Instead, try to improve your cognitive resilience. Challenge yourself to learn new things like music and technology – the more complex, the better. “Building up abilities and strategies to solve problems in a variety of ways will allow you to function better for longer,” Brewer says. Pick up a few new moves with MH’s Primal 9 training app and you can challenge both mind and muscle. Problem solved. menshealth.co.uk/primal-9
In the past decade, I’ve gained about 5kg, despite exercising regularly – my job, after all, demands it – and eating fairly well. Now, 154 lb, 0.46 WHtR, 87 mg/dL Gen Y according to my waistto-height ratio (WHtR) – a tool doctors use to gauge your risk of diabetes, heart 184 lb, 0.52 WHtR, 106 mg/dL Gen X disease and other illnesses related to obesity – I’m on GEN Y - 3 / GEN X - 0 the butter-knife edge of being overweight. Plus, my glucose level is currently hovering at the lower end of the pre-diabetic range (100 to 125 mg/dL). By comparison, Paul carries none of these risks. Mine is a classic case of “creeping obesity”, says dietitian Dr Chris Mohr. Adding a kilo a year escapes notice until you try on the tux you last wore in 2012 and realise you need a new tailor. After examining my diet, both Mohr and Dunsky flagged the 54 craft beers (23 litres!) that I imbibed in one month. That averages out at a little more than a pint an evening – which could prove something of a downer. TEST #3 WEIGHTS, WHTR, FASTING GLUCOSE LEVELS
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE Paul says: Left unchecked, the dadbod can take hold sooner than you think. A new study monitoring alcohol use among nearly 8,000 millennials found that “heavy episodic drinkers” (that’s men who put away five or more drinks on a night out) had a 41% higher risk of becoming overweight within five years. But keeping tabs on your WHtR can halt stealthy weight gain. It’s a far more accurate gauge than BMI, which doesn’t account for deadly abdominal fat. To find yours, divide your waist (bottom of the tape touches top of hip bone) by height. Less than 0.43 is underweight; 0.43 to 0.52 is healthy and 0.53 to 0.62 is overweight. Now plan your Friday night accordingly.
MATURE INSIGHT Joe says: Don’t let those microbrews screw you. Next time you order, here’s an easy way to estimate the calories in your can: multiply the ABV by 30. My 54 beers – most of which were higher-alcohol IPAs – averaged 225 calories apiece. And that’s only half the problem. “The body preferentially metabolises alcohol,” explains Mohr, “so it’s more likely to store whatever else you’re ingesting.” This is how a beer belly is born. As well as selecting lower-ABV brews, up your intake of EPA and DHA fats. Not only does it stave off weight gain, it also protects against alcohol-related inflammation, according to Plos One journal, making a krill oil capsule a better morning-after cure than a pack of ibuprofen.
MEN’S HEALTH 59
You Can OutMuscle Old Age
Genetics Is A Pain In The Neck
Instead of arm wrestling (macho, yes, but not clinically meaningful) we duelled with a dynamometer. Squeeze 0.65 kg / this handheld device as hard KgBW 0.51 kg / as you can and, in addition Gen Y KgBW to grip strength, you’ll get Gen X an indication of your overall NORMALISED strength and longevity. GRIP That’s because it gets at the broader quality of physical GEN Y - 4 / GEN X - 0 “robustness,” says exercise physiologist Dr Mark Peterson. Turns out, I’m in the 50th percentile for normalised grip strength for my age. I’m average, essentially. Paul is in the 75th percentile for his. Both are pretty good, but – in this instance at least – Paul has a better grip on his health. TEST #4 HANDGRIP DYNAMOMETER
Paul says: Want to know how you measure up? If your gym or doctor’s office doesn’t have a dynamometer, order a Camry EH101 on Amazon for around £20. Don’t cheat and train for it beforehand; do the test right out of the box, three trials per hand. If you do poorly, commit to raising your bar. Specifically, work in three sets of pull-ups, hanging windscreen wipers, hanging leg raises and dead hangs into your evening run. If your local park isn’t generous enough to furnish you with overhead bars, a narrow tree branch, or even kid’s climbing frame will do. Just wait until no one else is using it, first.
60 MEN’S HEALTH
Joe says: I’ve eased up on my resistance training over the years, so it was a quick win for Paul. But my losses extend beyond pride – both upperand lower-body strength are linked with longevity. I suspect my sporadic protein intake may play a part, too: “Your body doesn’t store protein,” says Mohr. “It uses what it needs and excretes the rest, so you need to split your intake throughout the day.” Without enough protein, exercise can actually break down muscle. About 30g per meal (that’s a small chicken breast) will help keep your focus high.
It’s been 26 years since I said goodbye to my father and Paul to his grandfather. And the ultrasound image Left/right arteries normal on the screen in front of Gen Y me proves a stark reminder. “This is something you’ve inherited from your dad,” L 40-59% stenosis, R normal says Dunsky, pointing to Gen X a 59% narrowing of my left carotid artery. “You’re in GEN Y - 5 / GEN X - 0 incredible shape and doing everything possible to keep your heart strong, so that’s not you,” he says. “It’s genetics. And Paul, you have these genetics, too. Your carotids are clear now, but you also have to stay on top of this as you age.” An altogether disconcerting prognosis for us both, but a valuable insight, too. TEST #5 CAROTID ARTERY DUPLEX ULTRASOUND
Paul says: Genes can be managed, but they can never be mastered. The Kita family gene pool is brimming with heart disease. I know this, yet I ignore it. But when you’re staring at an image of your neck arteries pumping blood, you realise you’re basically just a machine prone to breakdown. Being aware of weak points motivates maintenance, so make time to brush up on your family history. The sooner you start to take note, the better.
Joe says: A carotid ultrasound is an easy way to detect plaque build-up and avoid stroke; these take just 30 minutes and cost from around £100. Because carotid plaque often correlates with stenosis (narrowing) of the coronary arteries, it may be the most crucial life-saving test you’ve never heard of. But diet and lifestyle play a role, too. In one UCLA study, garlic extract was shown to reduce artery build up by a huge 80%, while further research has linked skipping breakfast with arterial narrowing. Crush a clove into your morning eggs and rebalance the odds in your favour.
Brains ‘ﬂoat’ in ﬂuid (pictured black in these MRIs). Joe’s ﬁlls 85% of the space. Paul’s ﬁlls 88%. The black space gets bigger as the brain shrinks with age, but a healthy lifestyle puts the brakes on this process.
These neck arteries supply blood to the brain. Joe’s left carotid has narrowed by 40-59% while Paul’s remain wide. These images are from a carotid ultrasound test.
X vs Y
Don’t Trust Your Testosterone My testosterone is in the normal range for a healthy adult male (280 to 1100 ng/ dL), but Paul’s is well above 1401 ng/dL 637 ng/dL normal. Could he be twice the Gen Y Gen X man I am? Luckily (for me), the link between T and manliness isn’t direct. While it’s true that testosterone generally rises through youth, peaks in young adulthood, GEN Y - 6 / GEN X - 0 and then slowly declines, it’s not clear how these levels affect us. “It’s unwise to give so much weight to a single measure,” says Steve Woloshin, a professor of medicine at The Dartmouth Institute. “So long as you’re within the normal range, science does not yet know the importance of those numbers.”
AN UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR INNER WORKINGS WILL EQUIP YOU WELL FOR THE FUTURE
TEST #6 TOTAL BLOOD TESTOSTERONE
Paul says: Even for a fit man of my age, my testosterone levels are high. But, according to Woloshin, I shouldn’t take that to mean too much. And neither should you: if your GP prescribes a T test because of an underlying condition by all means accept the offer, but there’s no reason to source your levels for your Instagram bio. “No professional organisation recommends screening for the general population,” Woloshin says. If you feel fit, don’t sweat it.
Joe says: Age needn’t diminish you. While it’s expected that my T levels would be lower than Paul’s, research from the Endocrine Society shows maintaining fitness and muscle mass can stave off most of that decline well into middle age. As for those whose levels fall below the healthy range for their age, according to Woloshin, the benefits and harms of testosterone replacement therapy aren’t yet known. In the meantime, adding a weekly grass-fed steak to your diet should help to maintain healthy hormone levels. And I’d say that’s a form of therapy, too.
OUR HEARTS Lined areas on the stress echo image show that Joe’s atria (upper heart chambers) are normal in size and very similar to Paul’s measures. Despite the age difference, their hearts are virtually the same.
Ageing By Numbers What Paul learnt “Most 32-year-olds never get this many tests in the absence of symptoms – not to mention unlimited funds – but I’m glad I did. Even though I soundly defeated my dad, I saw glimpses of my future self, both good and bad. As Dunsky said, I now have a baseline of health and ﬁtness I can refer to for the rest of my life. This is key; measurements taken at any one moment in time don’t mean nearly as much as those charted over time. Knowledge is health.” What Joe learnt “Some men don’t believe in searching for disease; medical tests can send you down rabbit holes. Well, I believe the opposite. The more educated you are as a patient, the healthier you’ll be. Sure, I learned some scary things. I have proof that I’ve lost my edge. And those heart issues are in my rear-view like a speeding lorry. But it’s a motivator to keep running, do more lifting, eat more protein and keep pitting myself against youth. Because the moment I stop is when I’m truly old.” MEN’S HEALTH 61
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ou could be forgiven for believing fermented morsels to be a new branch of superfoods. They are not. True, wellness bloggers and social media ‘nutritionalists’ feed oﬀ their popularity for followers, while the global probiotics industry is predicted to top $65bn a year by 2023. But the process of lacto-fermentation is an ancient one. Central African farming societies subsisted on porridge made from soured oats; across Asia, the art of pickling vegetables varies by village; the Inuits ferment ﬁsh, seal and whale; and, in Europe, we habitually consume sauerkraut and pickled roots. Fermentation, you see, has been trending pretty hard since 6000BC. Its name deriving from lactobacillus (a ‘friendly’ bacteria that converts sugars to lactic acid to preserve fruits and vegetables by killing oﬀ all sinister bacteria), lactofermentation enhances not only food’s shelf-life, but cultivates the nutrients pickled within. As a result, you get an increased payload of vitamins, minerals and, crucially, probiotics – live cultures that promote the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut biome, linked to everything from boosting mood, immunity and energy, to a reduction in obesity, heart attacks and cancers. Downing yoghurt pots is to somewhat miss the point, however. Fermenting and pickling your own foods at home – while admittedly more involved than a Yakult – packs more health beneﬁts, ﬂavour and nutritional potency into every bite. What follow are ﬁve meals that serve up fermented foods as their proud and primary ingredients. Break with the trend. This is for men with truly cultured tastes.
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Adding a dash of rice vinegar to starchy meals has been linked to improved blood sugar control. Which justiﬁes adding that crusty bread roll.
Burger With Super Slaw And Fermented Ketchup By Andrea Waters, co-founder of Redemption Bar INGREDIENTS (SERVES 4) • RAW BEETROOT, 40G, GRATED • SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS, 50G, DICED • OLIVE OIL 1TBSP • A RED ONION, FINELY DICED • GARLIC CLOVES, 2, CRUSHED • BLACK BEANS, 400G, RINSED • GROUND FLAXSEEDS, 30G • SMOKED PAPRIKA, 1TBSP • RED MISO PASTE, 2TBSP • HIMALAYAN SALT, 2TSP • GROUND BLACK PEPPER, 2TSP • WALNUTS, 200G, CHOPPED • SOURDOUGH BREADCRUMBS, 180G Leave the grated beetroot in a colander over a bowl to drain off excess liquid. While that’s dripping away, oven-roast the mushrooms in a splash of oil until brown, not crispy, and set aside to cool slightly. Saute the onions and garlic until soft. Pulse the onion and garlic with the beans, mushrooms, flaxseeds, paprika, miso paste (try brand Miso Tasty), salt and pepper. It should be nicely combined, but still chunky. Combine the mixture with the beetroot, walnuts and breadcrumbs (add more if it’s too wet – it needs to hold its shape). Pat the mixture into four patties and rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Brown the patties in a pan with oil and finish in the oven for five minutes. You’ll need some sides with that…
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INGREDIENTS • A LARGE CARROT, PEELED AND GRATED • A MEDIUM KOHLRABI, PEELED AND GRATED • SAUERKRAUT, 500G • CORIANDER LEAVES, HALF A BUNCH, ROUGHLY CHOPPED • FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY, HALF A BUNCH, ROUGHLY CHOPPED • UNWAXED LEMON, ZEST ONLY Mix all the ingredients together. And that’s it, basically. Add as much dressing as you like, depending on whether you want it just bound together or almost drowning.
Red Dead Fermentation Your ketchup only takes 15 minutes to make, but 16 hours to ferment. Fortunately, this recipe is for 1.5 litres of the stuff, so you can make a big batch and keep it in the fridge for a couple of months. INGREDIENTS • VEGAN WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE, ¾CUP • UNFILTERED RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, ½CUP • PURE MAPLE SYRUP, ½CUP • COCONUT WATER KEFIR, 100ML • SMOKED PAPRIKA, 1TBSP • HIMALAYAN SALT, 1TBSP • ORGANIC TOMATO PASTE, 1L Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl, stir well, then add the tomato paste and stir again before transferring into a large, wide glass or ceramic jar. Fasten a cloth over the top with a rubber band. Leave for 16 hours in a warm space. The kitchen is ideal – just keep it away from the window if it’s cold outside. Then either pour your ketchup into bottles and cap, or stick an airtight lid on your existing jar. And apply liberally to everything.
Salted Fermented Daikon With Chilli, Coriander, Ginger And Sesame By Miles Kirby, executive chef and co-founder of Caravan Daikon, sometimes known as Japanese radish or mooli, is one of the most consumed root vegetables across swathes of Asia, principally because it is as toothsome raw as it is cooked. This makes it ideal for the laziest of culinary processes: lacto-fermentation. But there is more to unearth than just flavour. A study in Food Chemistry found that compounds in the veg protect your DNA from oxidative damage, much like that caused by too many 7am HIIT classes, for example. Prep it slow – and stay fast.
INGREDIENTS • DAIKON, 400G, SLICED • SEA SALT, 10G • ONIONS, 120G, CHOPPED • SALT, 2TSP • CHILLI FLAKES, 50G • FISH SAUCE, 60ML • RICE WINE VINEGAR, 60ML • GARLIC, 20G, CRUSHED • GINGER, 35G, GRATED • CORIANDER, 3 HANDFULS • CASTER SUGAR, 10G • SPRING ONIONS, 2, SLICED • BLACK SESAME SEEDS, ½TSP Massage the daikon with the sea salt in a bowl and leave for an hour. Pulse the remaining ingredients, apart from the spring onions and seeds, in a blender until mixed well. Wash the salt from the daikon and then dry it. Mix it with the sauce and store in a sterilised, unsealed Kilner jar for 24 hours. Then seal it and stick it in the fridge for at least four days. As it ferments over time, it will develop deeper flavours. Serve with the spring onion and seeds. Simple.
FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS | PISTACHIO DINNER PLATE MUDAUSTRALIA.COM
Regardless of the confused nutritional consensus on red meat, researchers agree it’s hard on your digestive system. Happily, by foregoing the mince patty in favour of a vegetable version, replete with flavour and fibre and topped with slaw and fermented ketchup, you’re flipping the regular gut-buster into a probiotic punch-packer.
Super-Fast Slaw OK, it might be cheating slightly. But using sauerkraut instantly adds fermented goodness to a coleslaw that takes mere minutes to knock up. Chop chop, now.
Coriander is more than just a fragrant garnish. It’s rich in vitamin K1 – a third of your RDA per large handful – which strenghtens your bone health.
Put a bunch of dietary fibres in a jar with minerals such as calcium, potassium and iron, along with some C- and B-vits. Now, add gingerol, capsaicin and chlorophyll, finishing with 34 amino acids. Congratulations: you’ve just made kimchi – a pickled Korean cabbage, and one of the five healthiest foods in the world. Or you could just follow the recipe below, and plate it up with a fresh eel salad. Golden Kimchi And Smoked Eel Salad By Erchen Chang, head chef at Bao and Bao Fitzrovia Higher consumption of kimchi was found to have a “profoundly positive effect” on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults, the Journal of Medicinal Food reports. Eel adds extra phosphorus, which strengthens bones and ligaments, containing more than the quantities of milk, yogurt and shrimp combined.
KIMCHI INGREDIENTS • CHINESE CABBAGE, 2 HEADS • SALT, SPRINKLE • A CLOVE OF GARLIC • FERMENTED BEANCURD BLOCKS, 4 • A GREEN APPLE • A CARROT • CASTER SUGAR, 2TBSP • SESAME OIL, 1TSP • RICE WINE VINEGAR, 1½TBSP • CHILLIES, 2 TO SERVE • SMOKED EEL, HANDFUL, DICED • SALAD LEAVES, HANDFUL • GRELOT ONION, ½, SLICED • CHILLI OIL, 2TBSP • GOLDEN KIMCHI, 100G First, wash your hands well to keep bad bacteria out of your kimchi. Wash the cabbage and chop it into chunks. Sprinkle with salt, layer by layer, then let it sit for 24 hours. The next day, blitz the garlic, beancurd (you’ll find it in Chinese supermarkets), apple, carrot, sugar, 100ml water, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar to make the sauce. When it’s smooth, and only then, add the chilli. Drain the water from the salted cabbage and mix it in a bowl with the sauce. Put the mixture in a sterilised glass jar and tuck it away somewhere dark for a least a week. Finally, dress the golden kimchi with all the other ingredients and serve cold, alongside your smoked eel and salad. Dress with chilli oil, eat and feel very wholesome, indeed.
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A cooked breakfast needn’t leave a grease stain on your health. The probiotics in this dish have been proven to curb anxiety, with a Psychiatry Research study finding that regular sauerkraut intake leads to higher levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that tempers your brain’s fear response. Celeriac also bumps up the fibre you need to feed your digestive microbes, while the ’kraut’s sharpness is balanced out by the eggs. Your #brunch posts are about to gain more likes.
The fermentation processes at work in sauerkraut increase the bioavailability of the vitamin C by 200%, compared to the raw veg. Halloumi, as with other sheep’s milk cheeses, is easier on your digestion than most, and adds an extra 8g of protein on top top of the eggs.
Celeriac And Sauerkraut Rösti With Poached Eggs And Halloumi By Eve Kalinik, nutritionist and author of Be Good To Your Gut INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2) • CELERIAC, 130G • SAUERKRAUT, 20G, LIQUID SQUEEZED OUT • FREE-RANGE EGGS, 6 • ONION POWDER, 2TSP • GROUND CUMIN, 2TSP • COCONUT FLOUR, 1TBSP • SALT AND PEPPER, PINCH • UNSALTED BUTTER, 1TBSP • APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, DASH • UNPASTEURISED HALLOUMI, 4 SLICES • FRESH HERBS (TRY PARSLEY OR DILL) TO GARNISH Trim the tough skin off the celeriac, then grate it into a large bowl. Add the sauerkraut, two egg whites, onion powder, cumin, coconut flour and a pinch of salt and pepper. Get your hands in to mix it all up well. Divide the mixture into four and flatten into small, pancake-shaped röstis. Bring a pan of water to the boil, ready to poach the four remaining eggs with a dash of apple cider vinegar. Heat a frying pan on
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Shred the cabbage into thin strips and place into a large bowl. Add the salt and massage it into the cabbage to release any liquid. After 15–20 minutes, you should see a pool of liquid in the bowl. Now you can add the caraway seeds and chilli. a medium heat, add the butter, then fry the röstis for three minutes on each side. For the last minute or two, add the halloumi slices to the pan. Transfer the röstis and halloumi onto a plate, almost ready to serve.
In With The Kraut Not only is sauerkraut probioticrich, but it’s also easy to make. Plus, doing it yourself means you know it hasn’t been pasteurised or heat-treated.
Poach the eggs until done to your liking – which, if you’re unsure, is with perfectly set whites and a molten yolk – remove and drain. Place the eggs on top of the röstis. Garnish with fresh herbs and a pinch of mineral-rich salt, then give your gut what it’s starving for.
INGREDIENTS • A MEDIUM CABBAGE (WHITE, RED OR A MIX) • MINERAL-RICH SALT, 2TBSP • CARAWAY SEEDS, 1TBSP • RED CHILLI, ½, DESEEDED AND FINELY CHOPPED
Pack the cabbage down inside a jar and then cover it with the liquid from the bowl. Secure the jar with a muslin cloth and rubber band so that it can breathe. Press down the cabbage inside the jar every few hours. After 24 hours, seal the jar with a lid and keep it at room temperature for a further three or four days. You can leave it longer for extra flavour and fermentation. When it tastes the way you want, store it in the fridge.
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While the Okinawans’ restricted calorie intake may be what gobbles up the headlines, it is the strong tang of fermentation in the Japanese diet that keeps their life expectancy in the mid-eighties. A study published in the journal Plos One found that probiotics directly ease joint pain and arthritis. But you don’t need to be a grand-master of traditional techniques to stay limber – just Google your nearest Asian supermarket and start cultivating your own blue zone of physical and mental longevity from the comfort of your own home.
Black garlic has twice the antioxidant levels of the white variety and is toxic to 14 types of cancers. It’s dark magic. Along with 16g of ﬁbre per 100g, the rape leaves also serve up 82% of your iron RDA, for more energy throughout the day. And until you’re 127, presumably.
Crab And Pollock Roe Soba Noodles With Fermented Black Garlic And Rape Leaf By Paul Greening, head chef at Aqua Kyoto INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2) • KATSUOBUSHI BUTTER, 50G • POLLOCK ROE, 30G • BLACK FERMENTED GARLIC, 6 CLOVES, THINLY SLICED • FERMENTED RAPE LEAF, 100G • SPRING ONIONS, 2, THINLY SLICED • MINCED GINGER, 1TSP • SOBA NOODLES, 140G, COOKED • CRAB MEAT, 100G, COOKED • GREEN SHISO LEAVES, 4, SLICED To make black garlic, pop regular cloves in a rice warmer for two weeks. Or you could just buy some. The rape leaves need fermenting for a few days in nukadoko (fermented rice bran) – Greening makes his own, but you can buy starter kits online. Heat a frying pan with katsuobushi butter, scraping out the pollock roe while you wait. Stir in the pan, adding the garlic and rape leaves. Throw in the spring onions, minced ginger, cooked soba and crab for one minute, mixing well. Once it’s hot, serve in a bowl with the shiso leaves.
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30% Pain reduction in those with chronic back ache after taking a placebo 68 MENâ€™S HEALTH
Little White Lies Unethical, unrealistic or just a load of quasi-spiritual hogwash – placebos have a bad reputation. But now many physicians are waking up to their potential, and the latest evidence suggests their effects hold true. To find out whether sugar pills can revitalise the tired, gym-going office worker, we conducted an experiment of our own. Could healing our bodies turn out to be an act of faith? WORDS BY TOM WARD – PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROWAN FEE
DO YOUR MEDS REALLY DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE BOX?
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Suppose we told you there was a pill that could provide you with the energy to power through your morning workouts with professional dedication, then arrive at your desk ready – no, raring – to start your working day? Suppose the same pill could banish training aches and pains and erase your mid-afternoon headache; could cure you of chronic procrastination and rebalance your oﬀ-kilter sleep cycle? The bad news is that no such capsule exists. The good news is that, if you dared to believe us, even just for a second, it may well be enough. Backed by an increasingly robust body of evidence, prescriptions of placebo pills are on the rise. What’s more, many of these prescriptions are now ‘open-label’ – that is to say, patients are knowingly taking sugar pills to combat cramps, allergies, chronic pain and depression. And, crucially, they’re feeling the beneﬁts. The latest ﬁgures suggest that 97% of UK GPs have prescribed placebo pills. And this has been proven to aid everything from stomach ulcers to – according to one study detailed in the journal Mechanisms of Placebo Pain Reduction – the perception of pain when test subjects’ ﬁngers were squeezed in a vice. While their use in mainstream medical practice may be new, the phenomenon can trace its origins back to the second world war. Treating Allied soldiers in southern Italy and desperately low on morphine, a nurse assisting anaesthetist Henry Beecher told a wounded soldier that he was about to receive a powerful painkiller. In fact, her syringe contained only salt water. To their surprise, the injection calmed the soldier, preventing the onset of shock. Beecher would go on to become a leading voice in how new pharmaceutical drugs are tested. Currently, it is estimated that half of all drugs reaching ﬁnal-stage trials are
discontinued because of their inability to beat sugar pills in blind tests. Faced with two options, patients simply cannot tell the diﬀerence. To what degree, then, is the real thing any more valuable than the belief that what you are taking is real? The most recent breakthrough came with the realisation that patients didn’t necessarily have to be deceived in order for placebos to work. In 2017, a 260-person study review carried out by Dr Jeremy Howick, a clinical epidemiologist at Oxford University, found that open-label placebos are just as eﬃcient at improving symptoms compared to those purporting to be functioning medicines. In one study, patients with lower back pain given open-label pills noted a fast reduction in discomfort. In others, they’ve been found to reduce symptoms of irritable bowl syndrome, depression and attention deﬁcit hyperactivity disorder. Howick – who has written a book on the subject, Doctor You – attributes this to ‘embodied cognition’. Essentially, the mere anticipation of improvement signals the body to release chemicals that can help to alleviate symptoms. It’s like Pavlovian conditioning, in which your brain anticipates reward (energy and alertness, for example) based on a stimulus (such as the action of taking a supplement). To test this theory for ourselves – and to ﬁnd out whether placebos hold any promise for the tired, overstretched, but otherwise healthy, man – we decided to carry out our own testing protocol. For two weeks, three writers would pop a pill once a day. One would knowingly take an energising cocktail of creatine, ginseng and B vitamins. Another would knowingly take a sugar-pill placebo, and the third would take the same, believing it to be a vitality-boosting vitamin complex. We recorded their results, then asked Howick to weigh in on how sugar pills can work for you.
“THE MERE HOPE OF IMPROVEMENT SIGNALS YOUR BODY TO EASE SYMPTOMS”
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SOME BELIEVE PLACEBOS ARE AN UNTAPPED PANACEA
THE LEGITIMATEE ENERGY-BOOSTEER
David Morton - 34 Deputy Editor at Men’s Health The Pill - Solgar Gold Specifics Energy Modulators solgar.co.uk A punishing fitness schedule, young family and exacting job meant David could use all the performance help he could get. His course of healthboosting nutrients plugged the gap “I’ve been training harder than usual as part of a body-transformation feature. Using the Primal 9 app, I’ve been fitting in a combination of strength training, cardio and conditioning for an hour a day, five days a week. On top of that, most mornings I’m up at 5am with a two-year-old child. So it’s full-on. The idea of taking a pill to give me a booster shot appealed, and I believe they have helped. While I’m not a lot more energetic
THE UNAWARE SUGAR PILL DOSER
Ben Hobson - 35 Digital Editor at Runner’s World The Pill - Placebo World Sucrose Capsules placebo-world.com Returning to his training after illness, Ben decided to throw himself into cardio with the help of an energy pill. Unbeknown to him, he was fuelling his workouts with a placebo
84% Doctors surveyed who described placebos as ethically acceptable
“I’ve been doing a lot of fitness and gym work lately, and have been popping the pills before my runs and weight-training sessions. I was expecting more side effects. Most of the energy pills I’ve taken before contain beta-alanine, which gives you a hot, tingling face, so that’s what I was anticipating. Those aren’t the sort of reactions you can ignore – you know it’s doing something. With these, it was different. I had
than usual during my gym sessions, I do feel less exhausted back at my desk and I don’t find myself fading come 4pm. “After taking my pill every morning, I’d often then forget about it, which could be why I haven’t noticed a more marked change in how I feel. I didn’t overthink the process. I’ve had three or four nights recently when I haven’t slept so easily, but that’s likely due to the fact that I’ve changed my diet to include fewer carbs, so I might be producing less melatonin. “My case is an interesting one as I know the pills I’m taking are ‘real’. I guess there’s a psychosomatic aspect to that; I know they’re genuine and so I expect them to work. Considering my diet is currently quite restrictive – I’m on a calorie deficit – I feel like the pills have been filling in for the caffeine and sugar I would usually rely on to prop me up. “So, yes, overall I noticed their impact. If I was eating my normal diet and not training so hard, I might not rate them as highly. But, even though I haven’t been bestowed with boundless energy, they have made up for a shortfall – and paid my energy debt on a daily basis.” David’s score: 7/10
increased focus, rather than a surge of energy. The pills helped, but not like dosing on caffeine. “On some days, when my baby son had had a bad night and I’d turn up at the office knackered, taking a pill would make me feel better for a little while. I think there were a couple of occasions when the supplements added an extra element to my training, too. A lot of that is down to the fact that I was returning to training after being ill, likely having lost a little of my fitness. The trial helped to motivate me. I’d take a pill, wait half an hour, then head to the gym thinking, ‘This is it.’ It would have seemed a waste to take them and then not train. “Once or twice, I forgot to take the pills. Strangely, I think I pushed myself that bit harder on those days because I wanted to match the other sessions. In general, though, I trained at my usual pace. I was taking them in the hope of making regular sessions feel easier, rather than harder sessions less painful. “All in all, the difference wasn’t huge. At times they were helpful – but I’ve taken supplements with more impact.” Ben’s score: 5/10
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THE CONSCIOUS PLACEBO POPPER ER
Ted Lane - 27 Commissioning Editor at Men’s Health The Pill - Placebo World Sucrose Capsules
THE SELF-HEALING RESPONSE COULD BE STRONGER THAN WE KNOW
A heavy workload pushed training to the bottom of Ted’s to-do list. He timed his course of open-label placebos with a weights-room reacquaintance “I knew these pills were placebos. But having been provided with a specific purpose for taking them, to boost my energy, well, that made it interesting. The fact I was actively seeking some kind of sensation meant they kind of worked. I was acknowledging a problem and looking for a solution. “A quick caveat: I deliberately timed this experiment with my return to training. Beforehand, I’d been so busy that I’d come into the office early, only to then work through lunch. The more gym sessions I let slip, the more lethargic I became, and so the less motivation I had to exercise. My low energy levels were something I was very conscious of. Beginning the placebo trial offered an extra incentive to force myself away from my desk. “Even though I knew them to be fake, I don’t think I could fully grasp the fact that the pills weren’t going to work. That was the weird thing. It didn’t make any difference to my mindset. When I took them, the thought would pop into my head: ‘This is an energy pill.’ I’ve also never taken energy-boosters that have a slow-burn effect, as opposed to more instantaneous pre-workout supplements, so I had no real frame of reference for how they were supposed to make me feel. “I noticed the effect most in the gym. After taking the pills, I pushed myself that bit harder than I otherwise would have done. But I also had more energy at work afterwards. I didn’t just come back to my desk, yawn through my afternoon tasks and wait to go home. I was focused, if not in the super-switched-on way you’d expect after a megadose of caffeine. “I feel a lot better now than I did a few weeks ago. Whether that’s from the extra workouts or the pills themselves, something certainly worked.” Ted’s score: 6/10 72 MEN’S HEALTH
An Article Of Faith Our trials would suggest that a daily placebo holds more than empty promise. Researcher Dr Jeremy Howick explains how you can benefit from a new belief system
In Ben’s case, it seems likely he might not have experienced much effect over and above the ‘natural high’ of exercise – which is certainly no bad thing. What’s interesting about Ted, who took the same placebos knowingly, is that he couldn’t fully grasp the fact that they weren’t going to work. And, as a result, he did feel some benefits. This could have been a conditioning effect. Just as Pavlov’s dogs salivated when they heard a bell even if there was no food around, it is possible our bodies react in a certain way when we swallow MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
The reason placebos confuse people is that many struggle to understand how the mind can cure the body. Certain complaints some people assume are ‘just psychological’, while others – anything that shows up on an X-ray, say – are ‘physiological’. This leads us to believe there are certain things placebos can’t fix. This philosophy is very much mistaken. Nothing is ‘just in your head’. Your mind and body are so intertwined that they can’t be separated. It’s why placebo back, knee and shoulder surgeries have been seen to work as well as the ‘real’ thing. Fabrizio Benedetti, professor of physiology and neuroscience at the University of Turin, uses the phrase ‘placebo response’, instead of ‘placebo effect’. He reinforces that inert pills can act as a catalyst for the body’s endogenous healthcare system – its natural healing mechanisms. After more than a decade of research, he claims to have mapped the biochemical reactions that make up the placebo response. He believes the brain produces its own analgesic (painkilling) compounds under conditions of stress, which not only relieve pain, but can also modulate heart rate and respiration – and that this can be triggered by knowingly taking placebos. Benedetti believes such processes can help lift mood, sharpen cognitive ability, relieve insomnia, limit the production of stressrelated hormones such as cortisol and help digestive disorders. Crucially, you don’t need to buy a placebo ‘pill’ to benefit from a placebo response. Even positive self-talk – “I’m going to have a great workout”, “I feel energised” – can have the same effect. Many mind-body techniques including meditation and mindfulness can also help to induce the relaxation response. And for those who train seriously, the body rebuilds itself best when it is relaxed and less stressed. It seems the mind has far more power over the body than most would believe, and that actively tapping into this – with or without a sugar pill – can have a huge impact.
“MANY SUPPLEMENTS’ CLAIMS AREN’T SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE”
10% Drop in depression and anxiety with placebo pills
a pill, even if we know on a conscious level that they are just placebos. It’s likely that Ted’s body reacted to the act of taking a pill, in spite of what he knew. What’s really interesting is David’s response. Because he was the only person taking genuine nutritional supplements, it’s difficult to tell whether they had any impact above a placebo effect. He mentions a ‘psychosomatic aspect’, and he could be right. I’m only aware of small trials showing that energy
modulators high in ginseng, such as those David took, work any better than a placebo. Certain supplements’ claims are not supported by evidence – but if you believe they work, they often will. This issue also raises a problem with the ‘nocebo’ effect, in which our beliefs have a negative impact. If you regularly take a supplement, then one day run out, it can create a negative expectation: “I don’t have my magic supplement, so I won’t have a good workout.” It’s worth considering that the placebo benefits can be a double-edged sword.
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ROAR OF THE CROWD 01\ Wrestling is bigger than football. The top matches draw tens of thousands of spectators
In Senegal, professional wrestlers are more highly revered than any other sportsmen, with six-ﬁgure salaries to match. For young men, success in the ring is a chance to escape poverty, while those at the top maintain their status with the help of shamanic rituals. MH took a ringside seat
WORDS BY TOM WARD – PHOTOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEWS BY CHRISTIAN BOBST
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BEACH CLUB 02\ Coaching sessions take place by the seafront 03\ Kherou Ngor trains on the steps of Dakar’s Monument of the African Renaissance
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physically, by some of the planet’s most inhospitable mountains, deserts and rivers, and politically, by decadeslong conﬂicts, border disputes and humanitarian crises. But despite the turmoil, an unlikely shared passion runs the length and breadth of the continent. It’s not, as one might suspect, a love of football, but a deep and profound appreciation of bare-basics wrestling. Throughout the 54 African nations, no form is as popular or as intrinsic to its country’s way of life, as Senegal’s historic national sport, known in the native Wolof language as ‘Laamb’ or, in French, as ‘La Lutte Sénégalaise’ (Senegalese ﬁghting). Across this West African country, from dusty village squares to Dakar’s biggest arena, it is a sport that attracts sell-out crowds and shuts down cities with ease. Originating with the Senegalese Serer warriors who used it as a way of training
PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTIAN BOBST / LAIF / CAMERA PRESS
04\ Ngor pours milk over his head, a ritual believed to harness the power of ghosts and spirits before a fight
04 for war, the sport has been making ﬁghters famous since wrestler Boukar Djillakh Faye became a star in the 14th century. Today, La Lutte is a multimillion-dollar spectacle. Its top wrestlers are some of the most famous men in the country, with their faces appearing on T-shirts, buses and billboards. For those competing at the highest level, there is opportunity to earn up to £150,000 per match – a startling amount in a country where the average worker earns just 75p per hour. But it takes more than a rigid and dedicated training regime to reign victorious in the sport of La Lutte. Among the competitors, their trainers and followers, superstition, magic and
“Winners’ faces appear on buses, T-shirts and billboards”
folklore hold equal reverence, with an arsenal of rituals, talismans and incantations considered as vital to victory as a wrestler’s strength and skill. This is ‘gris-gris’, a spiritual practice with its roots in the Islamic faith. It may seem anachronistic in a sport that attracts sponsorship from telecoms giants and coverage across dedicated TV channels, but for the gris-gris wrestlers of Senegal, staying faithful to traditional rituals is no mere show, as photographer Christian Bobst discovered over the course of several trips.
RITUAL TRAINING Senegal is traditionally the only West African country to allow blows with the hand, but today its ﬁghters practise Luttee Traditionnelle both avec and sans ‘frappe’ (hits). The more traditional, hands-free version is reserved for
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05 SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS
local village matches, while stadium ﬁghts routinely feature devastating jabs and punches. Whatever weapon is used – hand, elbow, knee, or an opponent’s own bodyweight – the winner is the ﬁrst to throw his adversary to the ground by lifting him up and over. Typically, a match will last no longer than the 90 seconds it takes a skilled ﬁghter to upend a challenger, to the delight of the crowd. Bobst, a Swiss photographer, ﬁrst came across the sport when working in a small village on behalf of an NGO in 2012. He has since returned to Senegal to document wrestling matches across the country. “The atmosphere in the bigger stadiums is febrile,” he says. “In the cities it feels very serious; police protect the ﬁghters. It isn’t like football hooliganism, but people do lose their minds sometimes. In the countryside, it’s a lot more playful.”
05\ A wrestler wraps his body with amulets to bring luck for a fight in the small village of Djilas 06-08\ Gyms are expensive, so many training sessions and fights take place in public spaces
FIGHTING SPIRIT The diﬀerences between these arenas are as vast as the men ﬁghting in them. Some, like Balla Gaye 2 and Eumeu Sene are household names and, “more popular than soccer players,” says Bobst. So valuable is their cultural cachet that, “even politicians want to be pictured with them.” At the other end of the spectrum are the huge numbers of young hopefuls attending spitand-sawdust bare bones training schools on rural beaches. Senegal’s climate is too hot for wrestling during the day, with matches taking place at dusk, illuminated by the glow of electric mosquito traps. Those hungry to break into the sport train when they can – around school and jobs – and will often practise well into the night, silhouetted as the sun sinks over the sea. The training is basic but eﬀective. Bobst recalls watching one competitor run across the sand with two others attached to him by a large rubber band. Other times they’ll carry each other as they run. The key is to build both balance and strength in the core and legs – as ﬁghts always take place on sand, developing a solid foundation is essential. Alongside these rudimentary exercises, the ﬁghters undergo a regimen of bodyweight and skills training, including press-ups, squats and practice ﬁghts.
“Hungry to break in, men train around their jobs”
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08 Should a ﬁghter distinguish himself in one of the local competitions, he may earn enough to aﬀord training in a gym. The set-up will still be sparse – there’s rarely enough money for equipment – but the chance to be noticed is worth the entry fee: “The young men with the most talent will go on to train at one of the famous academies run by ex-ﬁghters like Balla Gaye, who opened the ﬁrst oﬃcial wrestling school in Senegal,” Bobst says. “Many successful wrestlers have graduated from his school, including the sport’s superstar [and Gaye’s namesake] Balla Gaye 2.” Their training regimes are fuelled by a diet not unlike that of any other athlete – piles of rice for carbohydrates, plus ﬁsh and meat cooked in oil. Except, in their case, the more weight they can gain, the better. “Usually the ﬁghters start out lean and athletic, then later they try to put on weight,” says Bobst. “They’re still strong and muscular, but they’ll aim to get a bigger belly.” The more you weigh, of course, the harder it is for an opponent to lift you in the air, and the more chance you have of using your bodyweight to beat them down. But despite their dedication, even the best ﬁghter considers his preparation futile without the protection of the most important component: gris-gris magic.
HOLY GHOSTS DUEL AT DUSK
09\ Tournaments get underway as the sun sets in cities across Senegal – it’s often too hot to wrestle during the day
At the highest, stadium-packing level of La Lutte, each wrestler will spend a vast amount of money on amassing an entourage of shamans and religious teachers known as ‘marabouts’. This support team is tasked with performing rituals believed to bestow supernatural powers upon a wrestler before a ﬁght. Wealthier and more successful athletes will be able to acquire the most soughtafter spiritual talent. Bobst is quick to point out that these practices are in no way cartoonish. This is not the voodoo of Western pop culture: “Senegal is a Muslim country and they would probably say that the Christians perform voodoo, which is mostly black magic, while the Muslims perform gris-gris, which is white magic.” Of course, that’s not to say there’s no foul play: “Fighters will sometimes hire voodoo priests to perform black magic, too,” Bobst explains. “Each ﬁghter is afraid that an opponent could have more spiritual support, so they try to hire as many marabouts as possible to ensure that they win.” Traditionally, gris-gris refers to amulets made by the marabouts. These
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10 LIONS IN THE SAND 10-12\ Locals turn out in droves for a bout in the Adrien Senghor arena. Fights often go on past midnight
often take the form of a small cloth bag inscribed with verses from the Qur’an and containing ritual objects. Their uses are varied among descendants of the West African diaspora; in Haiti they are regarded as good luck charms. In the Cajun communities of Louisiana, they are thought to ward oﬀ ill-fortune. For the wrestlers of Senegal, they are believed to mean the diﬀerence between a crushing defeat and a glorious victory. “They’re not just part of a costume,” says Bobst. “They’re worn to provide protection.” Just as boxers have their walkout songs, gris-gris wrestlers have their own elaborate intimidation strategies. “Before a big stadium ﬁght, the reigning champions will walk around performing rituals with their marabouts. There are drums and music. They pour ‘magic’ ﬂuids over their heads.”
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Alongside this ritual dance, called a bàkk, ﬁghters will inhale ‘holy smoke’ and release pigeons, believed to bring even more luck. Each ﬁghter has an assistant to watch over his amulets. Equal reverence is given to the removal of these amulets post-ﬁght, too. Win or lose, this is always done behind closed doors, and in the presence of a shaman. Bobst recalls not being allowed into a room where this was happening because it was apparently dangerous and ‘full of spirits’. “It’s a very paranoid system,” he says.
EXTERNAL FORCES These days, there are other, more modern, powers at work in the sport, too. Many of the ﬁghters competing at the top level believe their street cred is improved by temporarily relocating to Europe or the US to train. “Most of the wrestlers I talked to want to go abroad. It’s their chance to travel, to see the world,” says Bobst. “It’s
also a status thing. If you can aﬀord to go to America then you really are someone.” But as well as gaining a competitive edge in the gym, it’s rumoured that many of the wrestlers have been introduced to steroids while abroad. According to Bobst, it is an open secret that top-level ﬁghters have used them to gain size and strength before returning to Senegal to compete. “Anabolics aren’t yet widely popular, but everyone talks about it,” he says. Signs of outside inﬂuence are apparent too in the wrestlers’ clothing; men perform gris-gris rituals in tech sportwear next to those in traditional costume. Some wear T-shirts emblazoned with sponsors’ logos. As their celebrity grows, wrestlers are also demanding – and receiving – higher pay for their performance. They read about their competitors’ salaries in daily papers such as the Sunu Lamb,
War Games 13
THE CHAMP 13\ Fans sing and dance in the street as winner Ngor returns to his neighbourhood on the roof of a car
which reports exclusively on Senegalese wrestling, and start to form a sense of their commercial worth, accurate or otherwise. For the next generation of aspiring ﬁghters, the bar is set high and it’s diﬃcult to imagine that those lucky enough to escape poverty and make a career from ﬁghting will resist the lure of America. But whether they will relinquish centuries of tradition remains to be seen. It’s easy to write oﬀ the gris-gris rituals as a mere performance piece. But, for now at least, their eﬀects can be very real. In 2015, Bobst documented a sell-out ﬁght between Balla Gaye 2 and Eumeu
“Top ﬁghters now train in the US. It’s a status thing”
Sene at the 30,000-capacity Demba Diop football stadium in Dakar. Gaye 2 became a superstar in Senegal after dethroning reigning champion Yekini in a ﬁght that lasted all of 30 seconds. Until that match, Yekini had been unbeaten for 17 years. The odds, then, were very much in Gaye 2’s favour. But as Bobst looked on, something entirely unexpected unfolded. “Eumeu Sene turned up late and was very angry and aggressive. When the ﬁght started he went into the arena and went ballistic. After beating Gaye 2, he started crying. I couldn’t understand what he was saying, but obviously he was not well. “Later, it emerged that his team had told him somebody had found some gris-gris on the grave of his mother. He was convinced that Gaye 2’s team had done it. That’s a big no-go in their culture. You cannot put magic spells on the grave of someone’s mother. It made Eumeu so angry that he won the match. In the end, it turned out that it wasn’t even true; his own team had made the whole thing up to provoke him.” In such cases, it’s diﬃcult to argue that gris-gris doesn’t work. The psychological eﬀect is undeniably powerful. The recent inﬂux of money into the sport may be a new and strange phenomenon in La Lutte. But money isn’t the only force that moves.
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2 4 Ways To Hack Your Fat Loss Genes h
If you’re looking to lose weight, there are options. You could slave away at the treadmill, put down roots in the weights room or just deny yourself pleasure at the dinner table. Alternatively, you could cheat the whole system. That’s because, with a little scientiﬁc tinkering, you can rewire your brain, hijack your biology and make fat loss automatic every hour of the day. This is our guide to outsmarting Mother Nature. Let’s make your genes a better ﬁt Words by Louee Dessent-Jackson & Scarlett Wrench – Photography by Jobe Lawrenson
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YOUR INNER TOOLS FOR TRUE CHANGE
Amp Up Your Fibre Power Leaner men have healthier gut bacteria than their overweight peers. But while this is partly inherited, a smart addition to your daily diet can flip the switch. An NHS study found the fibre inulin is better for your gut than probiotic drinks. To get your fill, roast in-season Jerusalem artichoke with garlic and add it to your soups and salads.
See Insta Results Food cravings begin in the brain, not the belly, with the part of your grey matter responsible for visual imagery particularly active. Next time you find yourself salivating, rewire your mental circuits by bringing a vivid, compelling or emotive picture to mind, advises Frontiers in Psychiatry. Lacking imagination? A scroll through @natgeoadventure after lunch should transport you to a better mental space.
Empty The Tank Evolution has hardwired our bodies to store fat for potential famine, rather than torching it for fuel. But imposing a tactical food delay could hack your weightloss hard drive. A Uni of Bath study found training on an empty stomach triggers the ‘PDK4 gene’: a sign that your body fat is burning off. An hour’s effort is enough, so schedule in your Sunday run before you settle at the brunch table. Avo on toast, we presume?
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Diarise Your Cheat Days Scientists now know willpower can be biological, rather than an acquired personality trait. This means our genetics could affect our response when faced with a mouth-watering menu selection, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Why leave it to chance? Take impulse out of the equation by making ‘burger night’ a fixed weekly event, rather than weakwilled indulgence. Studies show a 2700-calorie cheat day can binge-proof your brain for the rest for the week.
Save Your Best For Last Your lunchbreak workouts may offer respite from office drudgery, but for maximum fat-burn from your weight training, save the heavy stuff for the evening. According to journal Chronobiology, our in-built body clocks mean we’re strongest at 6pm. Use this time for full-body deadlifts over curls or presses to recruit maximum muscle mass. You’ll shift more weight – and can drop them sooner, too.
Juice Up Your Metabolism A dad bod isn’t an inevitability, no matter the shape of your own dad’s, er, bod. Make your paunch a softer target by upgrading your morning juice. Not only is watermelon lower in sugar than OJ, it’s also rich in citrulline, which animal studies by Paris Descartes University found ‘loosens’ stubborn belly fat, making it easier for your body to burn it up. Opt for a carton of What A Melon, which is 100% pure.
It’s not just your choice intoxicant that impacts fat loss: your bar snack has its part to play, too. Peanuts are rich in resveratrol, the ‘red wine’ compound, which the European Journal of Nutrition discovered boosts your fat cells’ ability to torch calories. And to wash them down? Go British: grapes grown in cooler climes contain more of the nutrient.
Follow A Hot Tip Not only will a warm bath speed your post-gym recovery, but add a few magnesium flakes and you can scrub away at body fat, too. These natural salts – available in most health shops, or your gym, depending on its hipster cred – raise levels of the anti-obesity hormone adiponectin, according to Journal of Nutrition research. We’ll let that thought soak in.
Have Good Scents Here’s a tip from the sharp end of science: the smell of grapefruit has been shown to activate ‘nerve pathways’ to the body’s fat tissue, which essentially means you’re torching more calories, Osaka University reports. Of course, grapefruits aren’t exactly the most portable of snacks; happily, a pre-lunch spritz of citrus aftershave (try Terre d’Hermès) has a similar effect.
Acquire Taste If an insatiable sweet tooth is souring your weightloss plans, it’s time to reconsider your afternoon pick-me-up. But it’s not just the digestives at fault: a Cornell University study found 200mg of caffeine – a double espresso’s worth – dampens our tastebuds and makes sweet foods less satiating. If you recoil at the word decaf (that’s French for ‘brown water’), breakfast tea is your best of both.
Step Into The Light It may make you feel virtuous, but shuffling from bedroom to bus to gym on dark winter mornings deprives your body of natural light. And that could cast a shadow on your fatburning plans, too: a study by North Western University found morning light exposure resets your circadian rhythm, positively affecting hormones linked to metabolism. Step out for some brisk winter rays 20 minutes before work and hit the weights room at sundown.
Diet By Halves Still sticking by your new year eating plan? We’d advise you to quit it. According to the University of Tasmania, adopting a ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ protocol prevents the drop in your metabolism – part of your body’s ingrained famine response – that occurs midway through a strict nutrition regimen. Give your Tupperware some time off and you’ll stand to lose an additional 8kg by summer.
Hack Your Fat Loss Genes
Seafood And Cheat It The lower your levels of satiety hormone leptin, the higher your risk of obesity. Fortunately, scientists have devised an opulent approach to overturning this particular problem. Crustacea such as langoustine and lobster are rich in the mineral zinc – with roughly a third of your RDA per serving – which the journal Life Sciences says ramps up production of the hormone. With or without the lashings of garlic butter.
Play With Fire Any man with a passion for Sriracha will be aware of chilli’s ability to bump up metabolism. But now, recent research from the American Society for Microbiology has found that capsaicin – the burning core-chemical in chilli – hacks the genes involved in digestion, too, using up extra calories long after your tongue stops tingling. Our native Dorset Naga happens to be one of the world’s hottest – if you think you can handle it.
Green Energy Your fat stores have met their matcha. As well as lending your latte hipster kudos, the green tea powder has been shown to boost levels of the ‘marathon enzyme’ AMPK, which McMaster University found helps you train harder for longer – and enjoy it more, too. Vitamin C makes the nutrients easier to absorb, so blend a teaspoon of powder with fresh berries as part of your morning shake.
The Zen Is Mightier Eleven-hour working days add as much to your fat stores as they steal from your downtime, as chronic stress disrupts the hormones linked to weight control. Fortunately, Coventry University found on-trend mindfulness suppresses this response at a genetic level. Not the meditative type? Playing pool is proven to have a similarly soothing mental effect. Pot your belly.
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: STUDIO 33
Elevate Your Fitness Flaked on your training again? Blame your parents: the extent to which we enjoy exercise could be genetic, says VU University Amsterdam. Still, breaking a sweat needn’t be a grind. Studies show social integration and novelty are vital in helping us to stick with a plan. Join in at a local climbing wall to keep motivation at its peak.
“Morning light boosts hormones linked to fast metabolism”
Dark Magic Upgrade your overnight oats by skipping the usual fruit topping and grating a block of dark chocolate over it, instead; its polyphenols suppress genes related to fat storage, according to Nutrition journal, rewiring metabolism. Better still, a 600-calorie cocoabased breakfast has been linked to a reduced incidence of overeating later in the day. We like to call it bar training.
Play The System
That the cornershop crisp selection looks all the more tempting after a hard morning of meetings is purely down to science – our ‘stress genes’ impel us to scavenge for high-fat foods when under pressure. But you can outwit them: a short gaming session on your phone is not only proven to reduce anxiety, but also crush food cravings, according to journal Appetite. Just three minutes is enough to see willpower win out.
After a well enjoyed evening of overindulgence – be it alcoholic or calorific – sleeping through the next morning’s meal may seem sensible. Well, here’s your wake-up call: a study by Ohio State University found that a pattern of gorging and meal-skipping activates genes that lead to fat gain. Spread your meals throughout a 12hour window – which means making time for bacon and sleeping it off on the sofa later.
Chew Through Fat If you’re really keen to supercharge your calorie burn, the muscle you need to be working is your jaw. Lingering longer over your meal and chewing thoroughly increases ‘diet-induced thermogenesis’ – that’s calorie burning, to you and us – while improving blood sugar control, according to Clinical Nutrition. Aim for 40 reps per mouthful, instead of the usual 15. That you’ll have less time to source second helpings surely helps, too.
Dampening your cravings with low-calorie fizzy drinks will have rather flat results. Chemical sweeteners such as sucralose – found in ‘diet’ beverages – hijack fat cell production, increasing the risk of weight gain, according to George Washington Uni researchers. Instead, sub in this year’s trending fat-loss brew chicory-root coffee, for a more 2018 solution.
Get The Best Of The Rest
Propping yourself up with extra helpings of, well, everything after another late night is only natural. A study in Sleep journal found that scraping by on less than five hours’ rest increases endocannabinoids in the blood, which are linked to impulse and reduced willpower. If tiredness is leaving you hungry, take a trip up and down the office stairs in the late afternoon – just 10 minutes jolts your brain in the same way as caffeine.
Dial Down Fat Ready for the cold, hard truth? Scientists have found a master gene that regulates our levels of blubber-storing ‘white’ fat cells and calorie-burning ‘beige’ – and 44% of us carry a variant that raises obesity risk. But don’t take the stats lying down – not when you can hack the gene during your shower. A daily blast at a breezy 18°C, instead of your usual 45°C, will help rebalance your ratios. Grin and bear it.
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The Great British WORDS BY OLIVER THRING - ARTWORK BY PETER CROWTHER
The UK protein market is experiencing a growth spurt, as fortiﬁed foods move from gym-bag to shopping trolley. But with everything from chocolate to bread to crisps being adulterated with the nutrient, what does it say about our insatiable hunger for extra muscle with every bite? MH unpacks the facts 86 MEN’S HEALTH
CAN THE PROMISE OF MORE PROTEIN REDEEM YOUR GUILTIEST TREATS?
The proportion of UK consumers who buy proteinfortiﬁed foods or drinks he change happened quietly, albeit suddenly. Once the chalky preserve of sweatbox changing rooms and elite sportsmens’ kitbags, protein has become the sexiest, most ubiquitous and most lucrative nutrient around. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of new food products claiming to be ‘highprotein’ rose almost 500%, according to market research group Mintel. And with one in four Britons already consuming sports supplements regularly – recently rising to an alleged 42% of men aged 16-24 – it’s clear we just can’t get enough of it. Of course, we expect to ﬁnd whey in our post-gym shakes and bars. You’ve doubtless used them yourself, whether looking to build and sustain muscle or simply recover faster from your workouts. But this relatively niche market has breached its banks. Its appeal is blowing up. Yoghurt brands such as Arla heavily market their protein content. Weetabix On The Go calls itself a ‘protein breakfast drink’. Even Marks & Spencer’s Balanced For You ready meals promote their high levels of the muscle macro. Meanwhile, the ‘healthy’ ice cream brand Halo Top, soon to launch in the UK, now outsells all of its US competitors. This is in no small part due to its advertised 5g of protein per scoop – ﬁve times that in the caloric equivalent of a Ben & Jerry’s. Other brands such as Shreddies and Batchelors Cup a Soup have all launched high-protein products. Coca-Cola has even created protein milk Fairlife, which the company’s executives anticipate will “rain money” for the brand. Not even rain itself has escaped protein-iﬁcation. Recently launched ‘water’ Vieve claims to be natural, sugarfree, fat-free and high-protein – a list of descriptors that could all be applied to a glass of tap water with one exception. Each bottle contains 20g of protein, mainly derived from collagen. In the language of marketing gurus, protein now has a ‘health halo’, just as low-fat foods did back in the ’80s. But why exactly is this? Why have British consumers suddenly embraced this macronutrient with such strange and
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EVEN WATER IS NOW SWELLING WITH EXTRA MACROS
PROTEIN INVESTIGATION MARGINAL GAINS Want to know how much muscle you’re really getting for your money? This is how protein-fortified foods stack up against their unadulterated counterparts
bewildering obsession? And is it really as good for us as we seem to think?
MACRO ECONOMICS We’ve known about proteins since the 18th century. The Swedish chemist who named the molecules in the 1830s coined the word from the Greek ‘pro’ – meaning ﬁrst and, therefore, most important. They are, of course, crirical to life. The amino acids of which they are comprised are essential to sustain our muscles and bones, and synthesise hormones. Research in the Journal of Nutrition found that eating a serving of protein at every meal promotes healthy ageing, while a Japanese study linked eating animal protein with a lower risk of mental decline. So far, so vital. Crucially, it proves pretty helpful for weightloss, too: when we consume protein, it stimulates glucose production in the small intestine, which helps us to feel full. A 2013 paper from the University of Missouri found that a high-protein breakfast staves oﬀ hunger better than a regular bowl of (unfortiﬁed) cereal, even when both dishes oﬀer the same calories. Nevertheless, the word ‘protein’ can be a misleadingly catch-all term when describing what actually goes into adulterated food products. You have whey and casein, which are found in milk, as well as numerous plant options like those extracted from soy and hemp. One of the many growth areas for the booming high-protein industry is that derived from insects – crickets, for instance. And, when deciding where to score your hit, not all proteins are created equal. Typically, only the animal-derived varieties found in meat and dairy contain all essential amino acids – those that our body cannot produce itself. They also oﬀer a more favourable ratio of proteinper-calorie. Quinoa, as any health hipster
Tesco Finest High Protein Loaf 5.1g per slice
Weetabix Protein Cereal 7.6g per serving
Yorkie Pro Chocolate Crisp 10g per bar
Muscle Food Spicy Beef Protein Pizza 67g per pizza
Kingsmill Thick Wholemeal 4.5g per slice
Regular Weetabix 4.5g per serving
Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Chocolate 2.4g per bar
Pizza Express Large American Hot 47g per pizza
worth his Himalayan sea salt will tell you, is a rare example of a plant that contains every amino acid necessary for the human body. But you’d have to consume almost 550 calories’ worth of the stuﬀ in order to score 20g of protein, says dietitian Chris Mohr, who has a PhD in exercise physiology. To obtain the same from a juicy steak would set you back by less than 200 calories. Consequently, food manufacturers have realised that we don’t just want more protein, we want it in more manageable, condensed packages. Yet while the sports nutrition industry has been bulking up, British snacking habits have been waning. According to recent research from Mintel, our consumption of sweets and crisps has fallen 10%. “Concerns around health are prompting users to cut back – most people are trying to eat healthily much, if not all, of the time,” explains Emma Cliﬀord, Mintel’s associate director of food and drink. “As companies clamour to capitalise on the interest in protein, there has been a surge in new products featuring the high-protein claim. Snacks lend themselves well to this, providing an easy way for consumers to boost their intake.” Signiﬁcantly, 18% of consumers now say they would happily pay more for a snack with added nutritional beneﬁts. And in 2018 that doesn’t mean low-fat muﬃns or vitamin-enriched biscuits. It means extra P.
Paleo diet – have been teaching us to prioritise protein for the last two decades. And while we’ve always been careful not to use the word ‘diet’ itself, this very magazine has promoted the nutritional beneﬁts of protein since its inception. According to Dr Mayur Ranchordas, a senior lecturer and sports nutrition consultant at Sheﬃeld Hallam University, this ﬁxation could be due to a process of elimination. “The key message nowadays is to reduce the amount of carbs we eat, and for a long time we were told not to eat fat, either,” he says. “So protein is the only macronutrient left to ﬁll the gap.” But Ranchordas is also quick to lay responsibility with social media for the recently accelerated shift, citing the ‘wellness inﬂuencers’ who share their workout and refuel snaps on Instagram. Protein supplementation is no longer the preserve of overmuscled bench-pressers. Body fuel has been lifestylised. Meanwhile, Dale Pinnock, a specialist in the medicinal properties of food, thinks that our collective obsession with protein is not so much the result of a newfound interest in health, as a guilelessness when it comes to nutrition. “People are mad about protein all of a sudden because of prevailing ‘bro science’, rather than society becoming more interested in ﬁtness per se,” he says. “Certain ‘theories’ that once existed within the conﬁnes of the gym have been brought into the mainstream and presented as true.” As a result, we’ve come to believe that more and more protein is inherently healthier. So how much of it do we need and
“Protein is no more the preserve of bench-pressers. It’s been lifestylised”
APPETITE FOR EXCESS None of this is to address exactly why we suddenly want it so much. Of course, successive popular eating plans – from Atkins to Dukan and, more recently, the
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how much of it are we already eating? Dr Zoe Harcombe, a researcher in public health nutrition, points out that protein is present in almost every food, not just your chicken breast. “Nature tends to create foods with either a mix of carbs and proteins, such as vegetables, grains, legumes, or fats and proteins, such as meat, ﬁsh and eggs,” she says. All this means that we already consume more protein as part of our everyday diets than we might suspect, claims Harcombe. “At my size, and with my activity levels, I need roughly 50g of protein a day,” she says. “I could get that from a couple of tuna steaks. But I’m still taking on protein from almost everything else I eat during the day: porridge, salad, brown rice, dark chocolate – you name it.” Britain’s Department of Health recommends that men consume an average 56g of protein daily – or 0.75g for every kilo of bodyweight, based on the Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI). Most of us are eating more than that: the mean average intake in the UK is 86.5g per day for men. According to a recent Scottish government report, “mean protein intakes are well above the RNIs in all age groups.” If you’re still unsure of what that quantity looks like, a typical chicken breast contains about 40g of protein, a portion of tofu 15g and two eggs 12g. And from the fortiﬁed aisle? You’ll ﬁnd 10g in one of Eat Natural’s soya-enriched Peanut and Chocolate bars and a full 20g in a bag of Sweet Southern BBQ Chicken protein crisps. All of which means your odds of falling short are highly unlikely.
quotas for sedentary people. Even so, it’s still a goal you can meet without desperate measures. “It’s relatively easy to get enough protein from food sources, no matter how much exercise you’re doing. There’s really no need to resort to fortiﬁed ice cream,” says Pinnock. “My major concern is the people who are banishing all carbs while eating half a grilled moose for breakfast. They are pushing protein intake beyond a healthy level, risking damaging their kidneys, cardiovascular health, gut ﬂora and increasing their colorectal cancer risk.” Indeed, science suggests you really can have too much of a good thing. A 2013 paper published in the journal ISRN Nutrition concluded that an excessively high protein intake “could be useless or even harmful for healthy individuals”, especially for those who self-prescribe protein supplements and overlook the guidelines for using them, something which can be common among athletes and bodybuilders. Excess protein, the report claims, “is not used eﬃciently by the body and may impose a metabolic burden on the bones, kidneys and liver.” Nevertheless, Ranchordas is keen to countenance against irrationality – after all, what we are talking about here are diets with unusually high levels of protein, prioritised at the expense of other nutrients. He recommends that we approach the alleged dangers of over-consumption with a healthy side of scepticism. “We can speculate that high-protein diets might cause problems,” he says. “But the data is not as clear as it is for high-carbohydrate diets, which are known to cause insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. I wouldn’t recommend a diet excessively high in any one macronutrient.” All of which is reasonable. However, it’s not a compelling sell at the checkout. And until the pitch of ‘naturally balanced nutrient ratios’ manages to acquire some marketing sex appeal, food marketeers will continue to seek out the most translatable sales hook, regardless of scientiﬁc nuance or veracity. In the early 2000s, that hook was omega-3. In 2018, it is baited with protein.
“Food marketeers seek the simplest sales hook – there is no nuance”
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS The average Brit might not be at risk of deﬁciency, but, of course, optimal nutrition is about more than meeting base requirements. People exercising frequently will need more protein than the sofabound, and for the man in training or looking to add to his frame, government targets probably set the bar too low. “The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes undergoing heavy training should eat between 1.6g and, in extreme cases, 2g per kilo of their bodyweight,” says Ranchordas. Working out at roughly 150g a day for an average-sized man, this is double the British government’s recommended
90 MEN’S HEALTH
MINIMUM EFFECTIVE DOSE In order to sell itself as a source of protein, food-labelling guidelines dictate a product needs just 12% of its calories to be derived from the nutrient, which means many of your kitchen staples already pass muster
Spinach – 30%
Cheddar cheese – 26%
Broccoli – 20%
Chickpeas – 18%
Peanuts – 16%
Porridge oats – 13%
Tomato sauce – 12%
NATURAL ORDER What, then, is the hungry MH reader to do? Well, if you’re only making it to the gym a couple of times a week, then
35.7% The increase in ‘high-protein’ products launched in the UK within the last year alone
PROTEIN INVESTIGATION habitually stocking up on proteinfortiﬁed foods is probably unnecessary. Protein is not a muscle-building elixir in and of itself and, in any case, it’s likely your diet already has you covered. If you’re training regularly, then – by all means – supplement your intake. But unless you’re happy to fork out 50% more for a loaf of bread, it’s easier and cheaper to add an extra scoop to your shake. The critical point, agreed by all nutritionists we’ve spoken to, is that the quality of your diet is more important than the quantity of your macros. If all you’re doing is counting grams, the people who stand to beneﬁt most from those extra helpings are the manufacturers of processed foods – capitalising on the prevailing myth that a ‘high protein’ badge automatically makes a food product healthy, regardless of whether it naturally belongs there or what else might be in it. As Harcombe says: “Adding protein to our crisps and cakes doesn’t make them virtuous; it just makes them junk foods with added protein.” Food manufacturers are well aware of this, which is why they are frequently at pains to claim some kind of authenticity for their wares. When phrases like ‘clean eating’ are common parlance, drawing attention to ingredients’ ‘natural’ credentials becomes a key part of the sell for a high-protein product. As a Mintel investigation into UK attitudes concluded, brands are learning to put a strong focus on the plant-derived nature of highprotein ingredients in order to “boost associations with naturalness”. Indeed, many marketeers predict the next big retail trend will be plant-based or ‘green’ protein, in place of the ‘high-’ preﬁx. But it’s worth noting that boosting “associations with naturalness” is only ever required in those cases when the food you are purchasing is, well, quite unnatural. Brands such as Vieve Protein Water, for example, bill themselves as ‘naturally ﬂavoured’, yet a glance at the ingredients list reveal it to contain the artiﬁcial sweetener sucralose and the anti-foaming agent E900, alongside its added collagen protein. It’s not that they’re bad for CRISPS MAY PROVIDE A PORTABLE SOURCE OF P, you. It’s just that, for the same BUT CAN THEY EVER price, you could purchase REPLACE YOUR SHAKE? eight whole pints of another health drink – one that serves up all your ‘natural’ protein alongside vitamins D, B12, calcium and phosphorus. It’s called milk. And wouldn’t that be simpler?
MEN’S HEALTH 91
YYOUR STACKED MUSCLE M MUFFIN P/ 99
TRAINER Because ﬁt is the new rich EDITED BY MICHAEL JENNINGSS
COOL COMFORTS F CHILLYY FOR S STARTS S P/ 106
HOTWIRE YOUR METABOLISM IN 25 MINUTESS P/ 100
L LEARN TOO DEADLIFT LIKE A PROO P/ 996
UNLOCK EXTRA STRENGTH P/ 105
PPUT UT THE HEA HEAT EAT AT O WINTER ON CCO P/ 1099 COLDS MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MEN’S HEALTH 95
PT / 03.2018
NEW! W! FORM MASTERCLASS #2
RAISING THE BAR
BREAK DOWN THE LIFT Trying to deadlift as much as you can straight from the oﬀ will put you at risk of longterm injury. Take a step back and work your way through these four moves ﬁrst to ﬁnd your groove with the movement patterns needed to add plates to your barbell. Now, let’s get down to it
EXPERT Jason Coultman EXPERIENCE Likely to be the
strongest man on your feed. Head of powerlifting at Performance Ground, London, Coultman deadlifts a scary 285kg. He knows the score. CONTACT jasoncoultman.com
96 MEN’S HEALTH
01 DOWEL HIP HINGE
02 WALL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
3 SETS OF 10 REPS
3 SETS OF 10 REPS
First, learn to engage your hamstrings and glutes, which are vital for deadlifting. Hold a dowel (or broom handle) behind you: one hand low, the other high (A). With your knees knnees neess bent bent and and chest chesst ches st up, up p, fold foold old at a your your hhipss and puushh youur glluutes u s baack, k kkeep eping e wel fflat aga aag inst i t youuur heead e and the dow d back (B). Pussh your o hipss forwa r rds,, squuee u zing z (B) our glu luutes lu ttess as youu stand sta tand and d up up straight strai strai t ight ight htt. t yyour glutes
Use a wall to perform the same hip hinge as before, but this time add a barbell to begin strengthening your hamstrings, glutes and back. Take a step away from the wall, holding the bar to your thighs (A). Shift the weight to your heels, then fold at your hips to touch your glutes to the wall. The bar should end up at your shins ((B). B) Drive your hips forwards to stand tall.
03 BANDED DED LA DED LAT AT PPUL AT PULLDOWN ULLLDOW LLDDOW WN WN
04 BBLOCK BL L PULL
3 SETS TTSS OF O 8 REPS REEPS EPSS
3 SSETS OF 6 REPS
Set a barbell in a rack at head height and tie two bands round it, just wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the bands with straight arms and walk backwards to create resistance. From here, pull your hands down to your sides (A), keeping the tension in your back as you then push your hips backwards (B). Hold for two seconds, then reverse the move.
With the bar on blocks, hinge down to grip it, hands just wider than shoulderwidth (A). Keeping your back flat, arms locked and feet firmly planted, lift the bar, driving your hips forwards as it passes your shins to finish with your knees, hips and shoulders locked out (B), getting you comfortable at the top of the lift. Lower it down. You’re ready to deadlift.
WORDS: MICHAEL JENNINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | GGROOM M MING:: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN | STYLING: ABENAA OOFEI
Deadlifts are the anchor of every elite athlete’s strength training: master them and you can build power, co-ordination and lean muscle in one. With proper technique in the bag, expect to watch those weights shoot up
PULL IT ALL TOGETHER
MODEL: LEE PHILLIPS AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS | TRACK PANTS LULULEMON.CO.UK, TRAINERS NIKE.COM, PVC TECHNIQUE BAR AVAILABLE FROM ESP-FITNESS.COM, BALLISTIC JERK BLOCK AVAILABLE FROM BULLDOGGEAR.EU
Lifting the bar oﬀ the ﬂoor might look simple, but you can’t pull your potential if your technique is oﬀ. Take your time perfecting your form and gain all the strength, speed and muscle-building beneﬁts that come with deadlifting correctly. It’s time for lift-oﬀ
PHASE 1 GET GROUNDED Position your feet as you would for a squat: your toes pointed slightly outwards to harness your glute power. The bar should stay directly above your feet throughout. Hinge at your hips – push your glutes back – and grab the bar with an overhand grip. Bend your knees and lower your hips so your shins touch the bar.
PHASE 2 TIGHTEN UP Ensuring your body is braced before you pull is vital for correct form. Lock your arms and rotate your elbows inwards as if you’re trying to snap the bar. Lift your ribcage up to create tightness in your back and look at the floor a few feet ahead of you. The bar, your feet and shoulders should all be aligned. Get ready to pull.
PHASE 3 STAND TALL Tensing your back and glutes, take a deep breath and drive your feet through the floor. Drag the bar up your shins and, as it passes your knees, drive your hips forwards to pull it to your thighs. With your knees and hips locked, chest up and shoulders back, hold the bar at the top for one second to show your strength.
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BREAK THE CHAIN DON’T LET BAD BREAKFAST HABITS GET BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR GOALS
hey say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It sounds platitudinous to the point of cliche, but here’s the thing: they’re not wrong. Because if you start your day the right way, and fill your tank with the right fuel, you enter yourself into a virtuous cycle of good decision after good decision. You’ll be more productive; you’ll say no to snacks, and you’ll swap that post-work pint for a trip to the gym. But who has time on a weekday morning to whip up scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on a slice of rye? Precisely nobody, that’s who. Fortunately, there is another way to avoid running on empty – even when you’re running late. Ready in anything between nought and two minutes, the new breakfast range from Optimum Nutrition makes hitting your macros convenient and enjoyable in equal measure. It’s fast food, but not as you know it.
READY FOR ACTION Supercharge your breakfast in seconds. Snoozing no longer means losing Protein Pancake Mix From tub to plate in two minutes, this just-add-water protein pancake mix is the perfect way to start your day if you want Brad Pitt’s physique but have John Goodman’s appetite. Protein Yoghurt Smoothie Blending ingredients for a morning smoothie is normally time-intensive and noisy as hell. This stir-in smoothie mix gives you the same creamy texture and protein goodness, minus the faff. Protein Flapjack Packing 20g of muscleP eenhancing protein and eenough oaty complex carbs tto stave off hunger until lunch, these flapjack bars deserve to become your go-to on-the-go breakfast.
SHAKE THINGS UP Here’s how you can ascend to fitness supremacy in three simple steps. Step 1: Fill Optimum Nutrition shaker. Step 2: Shake. Step 3: Enjoy.
P Oats Pro With more protein per W portion than a regular bowl p oof porridge, Pro Oats are tthe best way to fuel today’s gym session and support g yyour muscle growth. For more information visit onacademy.co.uk
PT / 03.2018
EARLY-MORNING GLORY POWER SAUCE #21
MICROWAVE MUSCLE MEAL #25
HAM & EGG MCMUFFIN
5MIN PROTEIN O 36G C RBS CA 455G CALO LORIES O S 423
YOU WILL NEED… • A muffin • Eggs, 2 • Water,, 300ml • Ch Cheddar dd cheese, h 1 slice • Ham,, 2 slicess • Spinach, handful f l For the ketchup • Chopped tomatoes, t , 100m 00ml 00 • Cider vineg ne negar, 1tsp 1 • Worcestersh Wo ceste shhiree sauce, 1tsp p • Honey, 1tsp p • Salt and pepperr
PROGRESS PRESERVE Swap sugary sauc uces for an easy-to y to-prep alternativ tive that ups p the ant antioxidants o d ts in yo muffin your uffi ff to fight muscle cle b brea eakdown akdown
Using g a fork, whisk togethher the h chopped h d tomaatoes, vinegar, i Worcestershire h sauce and hhoney iin a b bowll
BOTH O HAM AND EGGS GGS CONTAIN ALL NINE OOF THE CO ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS YOUR OU BODY O NEEDSS FOR O MUSCLE REPAIRR MUS
When h it starts to combine, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and continue whisking until you get a smooth consistency
WORDS: MICHAEL JENNINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS | FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS | RECIPE: GRAEME TOMLINSON @THEFITNESSCHEF_
With double the protein off a certain fast-food classic, our b breakfast muscle muﬃn will help build mass after a morning w workout without compromising o speed or moreish tastte on
TIME TO MAKE
Beware the white bread naysayers. Your body craves fast-acting g carbs post-workout p to boost your y energy. g Toast the halved muffin and microwave the eggs gg in a bowl with the water for 2min. Keep p it on for 15sec more for #yolkporn. y p .
Add dd the t e slice s ce oof cheddar c edd to oonee toasted muffin half and p put both pieces in the microwave for 30sec. p To ensure a soft bun, place p a shot g glass of water beside the muffin while yyou zap p it. It will evaporate, p preventing g the dough g dryingg out..
Now for the fun ppart. Stack yyour muffin with the eggs, gg ham and spinach, before drizzling over your home-made ketchup (right). g Season, then bite down on yyour muscle-building g muffin. Oh, and g a napkin – it might grab g gget messy.
DOCTOR TOM Spoon out a dollop (or two) to safeguard your gains from sick days
MEN’S HEALTH 99
PT / 03.2018 03 20 8 T BIG WORKOUT THE
The keystone of eﬀective weightloss – and keeping T fat oﬀ for good – is training smarter, not harder. By ﬂipping between muscle groups and moving t through all planes of motion, you can burn calories at your biomechanical best. Light the ﬁre
THE HEAT S Strength coach Dan Lawrence’s p peripheral heart action (PHA) d training circuit will pump blood around your body, raise your m metabolism and extend your c o e bu e t 24 calorie burn fo for tthee next hou s Follow ollo this th s workout o kout on hours. M d y and d Thursdays, h d y restingg Mondays d b 20 seconds between supersets f each and 90 seconds after r d The h breaks b k might h seem round. h b that h means more time short, but f loss. spent surging your fat 1
01 BENT-OVER BARBELL ROW
2 REVERSE DUMBBELL LUNGEE
4 ROUNDS OU S OF O 12 REPSS
4 ROUNDS OU S OOF 12 REPSS PER LEGG
Start by elevating g your heart rate into the fat-burning g zone with p pp y move a compound upper-body that builds and th b ld your back, b k biceps b d rrear d delts. l Holding ld g a b barbell b ll withh an overhand h d grip that’s h slightly l hl w wider d than h shoulder-width, h ld d h llegs g bent and back straight, b g bend fforwards (A), (A) lletting g the h b b ll barbell hang. Keep it close as you row it towards d your lower l abs b (B). (B) P Pause,, and d return under d control.l
Now switch your efforts to your llower-body. y Here, yyou’ll work yyour llegs separately to extend the duration of your sets and double yyour ffat burn. Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand (A) (A). T Tense yyour abs as yyou step p yyour rright g leg g backwards to load your lleft leg. Aim for both to be bent at 9 90 degrees (B). (B Drive through your l heel to step back up. Rest 20 left s seconds after f working both sides. M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK ENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
WORDS: MICHAEL JENNINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES
S SUPERSET S
F FOOLPROOF WEIGHTLOSS
THE SPEC M MUSCLES TTARGETED G
R S S IN RESULTS N
WEEKSS LEVEL G GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | SHORTS EVERY SECOND COUNTS AT MATCHESFASHION.COM, TRAINERS NEWBALANCE.CO.UKK
0 04B S SUPERSET S
3 DUMBBELL PUSH PRESS
M S MENSHEALTH.CO.UK CO K
4 ROUNDS OU S OOF 12 REPSS
T TRAP BAR DEADLIFT 4 ROUNDS OU S OF O 12 REPSS
S Shunting g your blood back to yyour upper-body pp b dy willll take k the h g intensity up a llevel,l ensuring yyou keep torching through ffat. W With your ffeet shoulder-width, hhold ld a dumbbell d bb ll in eachh hand h d aat shoulder h ld hheight h (A) (A). Slightly l hl dip your knees as you g generate d m maximum p power in yyour shoulders sh ld to press the h weights h ooverhead h d (B) (B). Slowly l l return th the dumbbells d bb ll to the h start.
Y d it: it’s b You guessed backk to your llegs g to ffinish. As it works your group, lleg llargest g muscle l g g training g meaning rrequires maximum effort, ff g bigger burn. Standing ab gg calorie l b d g iinside d the h b bar, hhinge your hhips to g grab it with your palms facing f in (A) b k straight gh and d (A). Keep your back shoulders drive yyour sh ld pinned p d as yyou d hhips p forwards f f it (B). (B) Hold ffor to lift countt and then lo lower. oonee cou d the e Rest est 90 seconds before 9 f round two.. MEN’S HEALTH 101 10
P / 03.20188 PT
SC H CK Y You’ve used PHA training to t l b w trigger extra calorie burn, now s supercharge your results ffrom a angles. “There’s no reason to o all restrict your training to just the s g l plane,” l y Lawrence. sagittal says W move across three h planes l We in life, so we should replicate this t in our workouts.” Perform these th multi-directional l d l moves on Tuesdays d and d Fridays, d with h 90 s d rest b p seconds’ between supersets. Then h make k way ffor 3D abs. b 1
S SUPERSET S
01 LANDMINE THRUSTERR
2 LATERAL SKATER JUMPP
4 ROUNDS OU S OF O 12 REPSS
4 ROUNDS OU S OF O 6 REPSS PER SIDE S
Kick off your workout with t thrusters, which require q your y u upper and lower body to work a one to carve off fat. With as your feet f shoulder-width, hold o end of a barbell to yyour chest, one t other end in a landmine the a attachment. Squat as low as possible (A), A before driving g out o the squat of q as yyou p press the weight over your head (B) (B). That’s That s one rep; now lower and repeat.
Often missed out of most people’s training, g use the side-to-side movement to trigger an EPOC effect, which w ll help will h l extend d your calorie l bu for burn o tthee next e t 24 hours. ou s With t slightly g bent knees, stand on g (A). ( Explode off your one leg g grounded leg g to bound your body sideways, landing g on your elevated leg (B). (B) Immediately explode back the opposite way. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MODEEL: LEE PHILLIPS AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS | ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS
0 B 02B
EXPERT Dan Lawrencee EXPERIENCE CE Elite strength
THE SPEC S
and conditioning coach Lawrence e ce hass made de athletic t et c performance p his priority p y to help p yyou move better and burn fat in a sustainable way. CONTACT O T @perform365 f danlawrencetraining.com m
M MUSCLES G TARGETED
R S S IN RESULTS N
MED 0 04A
SHORTTS ADIDAS.CO.UK,TRAINERS NEWBALANCE.CO.UK | LOCATION COURTESY OF CROSSFIT PERPETUA
S SUPERSET S
3 ONE ARM KBELL SWINGG
0 BEAR CRAWL
4 ROUNDS OU S OF O 100 REPSS PER ARM M
4 ROUNDS OU S OOF 155 REPSS
You’ve probably tried a doubleY aarm swing g before, but to further tthe move’s benefits and expend eextra calories, swing solo. Stand w with your ffeet wider than shoulderw width and bend yyour knees to g grab the kettlebell with one hand. U g the same hinge g pattern Using aas the deadlift, sink your hips b back (A). A With a flat back, swing g the weight up to shoulder height (B). Switch arms after 10 reps.
D Drop to the floor to finish your workout. This upgrade g on bear ccrawls will have you moving 360 d degrees for full-body fat-blitzing. O On all fours, f with yyour hands in y shoulders and knees front of your uunder yyour hips, p lift your y knees ooff the ground and travel five ssteps forwards (A). A) Now shufflee five steps left (B) ( ) and five steps right. right That’s That s one set set. Collapse afterwards a leaner man.
MEN’S HEALTH 103
PT / 03.2018
LOOSER HIPS, BIGGER LIFTS
From lower back pain caused by sitting at a desk all day to robotic stiﬀness and zero squat depth, tight hips are shackling your athletic potential. Choose from these warm-up moves to strengthen and lengthen your hip muscles and unlock peak performance
EXPERT Ollie Frost is a rugby player-turnedmovement maestro, with a history of unwinding g rigid g range of motion @olliefrostpt p
01 SEATED LIFT-OFFS
3 SETS OF 10 PER SIDE
EXTERNAL ROTATION 3 SETS SEET E S OF 12 REPS
Strengthen the conne neecttive tti e mprooovee tissue in the joint to im end of range move veeme emeent entt d duri uri u ing ing g squats. squat sq uatts. tss. Sitting S Sit ittt tting ting g inn during a str raddlee position, raddle poosit osittio tion, n, sh hiftt hift straddle shift your yo our bo our bodyweight oodywe odyw dyweigh weighht ht on o to to your yoour ourr work w orkking king g leg leeg eg (A). (A ( A).). Ho over ov er itt up p working Hover and over o r ann object ob bjecct bjec ct before befoore befo oree and grrroundi oundi diing ing g it oonn the tthhe he oth otthher herr side side B). Rev Revver verrsse se aand nd d dee ((B (B) rep p t onn thhhe oth pea o hher leg..
MO EMEN MOVE NT
Strengthen S St t your aabd bduct bd ucttors tors and hip flexors abductors to eas ease se lower-back se lo lo pain. S Sitti ittiing ing g against ag ga ga Sitting a wall with thee soles th s so of your feet ttogether to ogeethe eth theer and knees up, rest a ke re kettlebell on the top oop of each knee. Usse the weights to p pu push u your knees d dow down ow wn for 10sec (A), wn b befo efoor or releasing and before re returning et et them to the th he sta he sstart ta position (B). C Cont ont the weight. Control
PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | MOODEL: LEE PHILLIPS AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS | SHORTS NIKE.COM, TIGHTS UNDERARMOUR.CCO.UK, TRAINERS NEWBALANCE.CO.UK, YOGA BLOCK LULULEMON.CO.UK
03 LYING HIP ABDUCTION
04 INTERNAL ROTATION ON N
3 SETS OF 5 REPS A SIDE
3 SETS OF 10 PER LEGG
Loosening your hips will instantly straighten your posture. Lie on your front, arms extended out by your sides (A). Keep one leg straight and lift your other leg off the floor. Bring your knee up to reach as close to your elbow as you can (B). Once you’ve done five on one side, change legs. Deeep eep p breath, brreat b reattth, h,, no now. ow.. Deep ow
Focusing on one leg att a time will iron out muscle sclee imbalances, which could uld be limiting your powerr.r. With a resistance band d just above one knee, and d the other end wrapped d round a post, take a bigg step away and squat (A) A). Now slowly squeeze yoourr groin, driving your knee ee inwards (B) before releasing it. Keep your other knee pushed out. Go slow and steady here.
A B B
PO URE POSTU MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
MEN’S HEALTH 105
PT / 03.2018
GEAR CHANGE #23
BECOME A MA OF ATHLEISURE
If your downtime is spent moving back b and forth from the gym, this is how w to blend performance with style, ensuri ring that you always look and feel the parrt AIR MILES
WORKOUT WARMER W Y pre-workout coffee Your kkick is a must, especially when the weather is w draining your motivation d sstores. This cup’s cork band will save you scalding b yyour hands, plus its 8oz ssize allows it to fit neatly under coffee machines. u KeepCup Press Coffee Cup K ££19 keepcup.com
Their breathable knit material is a blessing for airing your hard-worked feet after HIIT. But, be warned: with such extreme comfort, you won’t want to leave these shoes in your locker for training. Athletic Propulsion Labs Techloom Pro £125 theactiveman.com
P POCKET PRECISION N
LESSEN SS YYOUR LOAD Carrying round excess C luggage gg g ffor your gym kit can be a pain. p This bag packs 57 litres l of storage, so your y woork folders, meall prep p and trainers can all fit f inside. i Handy, ass that meeans fewer bags g for f you y to forget. Bulldog lld g Geear Gym Bag £65 bulldo b oggear.eu
106 MEN’S HEALTHH
You needn’t worryy about Y y your kkeys sliding l d g out o on the tube. These joggers gg off extra security, offer y th k to the thanks h h handy dy z on its side zips d and db back k poc pockets, meaning n you y won’t run the risk of losing your valuables. Lululemon ABC Jogger £118 lululemon.co.uk
HOOD VIBES This classic windrunnerr has been redesigned for increased warmth and lighter weight. Cruciallyy, th its three-panel hood with a visor offers complete coverage, so no rain willl dampen your progress. Nike Sportswear Tech Fleece Windrunner £90 nike.com
S SMALL AAND MIGHT G TY T
WORDS: MICHAEL JENNINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS, GETTY
Waterpr erpr erproof roof and lig light ght as a feattheeer, yyou won n’t have n to sw weatt fitting g thiis g gilet into you you ur bag. s g size g Its snug allow w ws ffor handy p packing, n leavin ng more spaccce for your pooost-workou u ut meal. Canaadaa Goose HyBrridg r dg ge Lite Vesst £300 0 caaanadagoos d g sse.com m
FEEL THE HEAT An added layer under your hoodie is a surefire way to keep your muscles warm before training. Designed for sub-zero temperatures, this will get you to the car park postworkout without freezing. Patagonia Capilene Lightweight Crew £42 patagonia.com
MAN N OF STEEL Your smartwatch needn’t look like one. This battery-powered hybrid doesn’t require charging, so won’t run out of juice mid-workout, plus its steelmesh strap will add a touch of class to your outfit. Skagen Hybrid Smartwatch £195 skagen.com
M MENSHEALTH.CO.UK S CO K
MEN’S HEALTH 107
PT / 03.2018
NEW! MEAL PREP HERO #3
HOT BANGERS FOR COLD DAYS Batch cook this comforting Mex-style stew and say ¡Hola! to ﬁve immunityboosting portions, brimming with vitamins to help bolster your defences
HEARTY MEXICAN CHICKEN SAUSAGE STEW Spoon out a week of flu-fighting dinners sure to spice up tired meal prep menus
INGREDIENTS 1/ A red onion 2/ Garlic cloves, 8 3/ Chipotle paste, 100g 4/ Red peppers, 2 5/ Men’s Health Kitchen Lean Chicken Chipolatas, 10 6/ Tinned chopped tomatoes, 850g 7/ Chicken bone broth, 500ml 8/ Black beans, 850g, drained 9/ Spinach, 3 handfuls 10/ Thyme sprigs, 3 handfuls
WORDS: MICHAEL CHAEL JENNINGS | RECIPE BY PERFORM PERFORMANCE NUTRITIONIST LIAM HOLMES AT PH NUTRITION PHNUTRITION.CO.UK | PHOTOGRAPHY: HEARST STUDIOS | FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS
CHOP, CHOP Cutting your garlic releases alliinase, an enzyme that helps stop the spread of bacteria. Added to your onion’s anti-inflammatory selenium, it’s a double dose.
METHOD Step 1 Finely chop the onion and garlic and fry with a knob of coconut oil for 10min in a large, deep pan. Now, add the chipotle paste, peppers and sausages, frying for a further 5min. Step 2 Next, stir in the tomatoes and bone broth to create your stew. Make sure you mix it well before covering the pan and letting it cook for 20min. Keep an eye on it – and don’t forget to stir. Step 3 Mix in the beans, spinach and thyme, cooking for a further 10min to reach your preferred tthickness. Iff your y stew becomes ttoo sticky, add a splash off water. All that’s t t s left e t to do iss divide d de itt b between five f and look forward f tto a banging g g week of food.
PUMPING IRON Pairing vit C-rich pep ppers with go-to green spinachh maximises your body’s absorption of iron, aaiding the healing proceess by helping blood ccells ll deliver oxygeen to damaged tisssues.
GUT AND RUN With 70% of your immune system in your gut, the broth’s collagen and sausages’ glycine are vital for strengthening its inner lining. They work ork with the B-vits in the beanss to increase your body’s infection-scanning T ceells.
TTRIPLE THREAT 03
T Tomatoes, chipotle paste and peppers provide a ccombination of antioxidantss beta-carotene, vit C and E b E. These protect your immunne T ll against oxidative d cells damage caused by workouts. d clean l b l . We predict bowls.
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INCINERATE KCALS 24/7
THE MH FINISHER #3
PERFECT YOUR PULLING TECHNIQUE WITH THIS DYNAMIC MOVE
PUSH BODY FAT TO THE EDGE WORDS: MICHAEL JENNINGS | PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES | GROOMING: NATACHA SCHMITT USING CLINIQUE FOR MEN | STYLING: ABENA OFEI | MODEL: LEE PHILLIPS AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS | SHORTS UNDERARMOUR.CO.UK, TIGHTS CASALL AT MATCHESFASHION.COM, TRAINERS NEWBALANCE.CO.UK
To increase pull-up strength and burn through more calories, ﬁnish oﬀ your workout with SUICIDE BY BURPEE PULL-UPS. It’s the ﬁnal nail in fat’s coﬃn THE FORMAT: Keep your eye on the timer. For the first 30sec, complete one burpee pull-up, then add an extra rep every 30sec after. When you can’t fit all your reps into 30sec, just do burpees. When your burpees no longer fit into 30sec, your finisher is over. Here’s how…
01 HIT THE DECK Drop from a standing position to plant your hands on the floor with straight arms, jumping your feet back into a straight-arm plank. From here, complete a press-up, touching your chest to the floor before launching back up to full extension.
02 FAST TRANSITIONS Burpee pull-ups are actually easier than straight ones, as you use the momentum from the jump to attack the bar. To do this from your straight-arm plank, jump both knees to your chest, sit back into a squat and then explode upwards to grab the bar.
03 WAIT A SECOND Catching the bar with a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip, pull your chest as close to it as you can. Hold on for one count before lowering with control. Drop down and stand tall – that’s one rep. Make each one after as good as the first.
THE TASKMASTER Name: Andrew Tracey Trainer tip: “Rather than trying to get up and down as quickly as possible, break this movement down. Think of it as one giant three-move set.” Contact: @theandrew.tracey
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THE MH DIRECTORY Look good and feel great with this selection of life-enhancing products
WORLD’S MOST COMFORTABLE SUIT – THE STRETCH SUIT Introducing The Stretch Suit. Gone are the days of wearing an uncomfortable suit; no more struggling to tie your shoe laces. Finally, a business suit that offers full freedom of movement. Specially designed for men always on the move. The Stretch Suit bridges the gap between work and play; these stylish suits are breathable, lightweight and most importantly, stretchable. Features of The Stretch Suit: 1. Reinforced buttons 2. Strong 360-degree stretch fabric 3. Moisture wicking wool, for fighting sweat 4. Lightweight, for easy packing and travelling 5. Breathable fabrics, keeping you cool all day every day Social Media: @TheStretchSuit Stretch Shirt prices start at £45, Shop Online: www.thestretchsuit.com Men’s Health readers receive an extra 10% OFF online with discount code: MENSHEALTH10
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MODELS: O’SHEA ROBERTSON AT SELECT AND PHILLIP DEERE AT NEXT | O’SHEA WEARS COAT £1195 KENT & CURWEN, ROLL-NECK £655 BALLY, TROUSERS £480 RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL | PHILLIP WEARS CARDIGAN £345 JOSEPH, SWEATER £995 RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL, TROUSERS £79 COS
_ GUIDE TO _ STYLE
Edited by Eric Down & Shane C Kurup
This time of year is one of renewal – and your 122 Quartz W Watches h wardrobe deserves a recalibration, too. Our comprehensive manual is your seasonal update. Whether you’re after a signature scent, want to master tonal dressing or just need a clean cut, consider this your refresher Crystal teechnology g has underrgone a renaissaance ce with thesee shiny h new offerings g
116 The Close-Up Find your fashion-forwarrd ffootball tribe with these statemeent pieces p s
121 Should I Be Wearing g? MH explores why corduuroy is enjoying an unlikely revivall
Style Versus Does Pharrell e Williamss outrank oout B a Becks in the ffashion staakes?
The Portfolio: Tone Deft Monotone d M dressing i iis a kkey SS18 ff trend. Here’s how to pull it off
134 The Edit Park your parka and layyer up p with a lightweight blouusonn
136 Grooming Manual Cut loose with relaxed looks oo s that’ll make styling a brreezee
138 Instant Upgrade Thanks to a luxe update, the bum bag is making a comeback
M S MENSHEALTH.CO.UK CO K
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Terrace Casu l
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Football haas long enjoyed a chequered relationshiip with street style. But now the beautifful game is making its mark ment logos, technical fabrics with statem and team scarves dominating the catwalks. Know the score
TRACKSUIT TOP £215 AND TRACKSUIT BOTTOMS £149 BOTH CASTORE ZIP-UP JACKET £140 NIKE X UNDERCOVER AT MRPORTER.COM T-SHIRT £60 AND TRAINERS £170 BOTH NIKE EARPHONES £170 BEATS BY DRE WATCH FROM £399 APPLE WATCH NIKE+ SERIES 3 SUNGLASSES £150 OAKLEY
Genuine Article “Beware imitations. Or, at least, reissues. If you’re after retro originals, always check the inside label. The neckline never lies” Neal Heard, Vintage Sports Consultant
Photographhy by Jobe Lawrenson Styling by Riccardo Chiudioni Words by Dan Masoliver
The Off-Duty Playmaker Dressed as though half-expecting to be hauled off the bench to start stretching, this supporter takes training ground chic to the next level. He’s also, naturally, a numbers fan with a stat for every occasion, the latest Apple smartwatch ensuring every fact is at his fingertips. While his route one sportswear silhouette of matching tracksuit top and bottoms with box-fresh trainers could potentially come over a tad Tony Pulis, he pulls it back with tidy one-two collaborations and fresh takes on classic training gear from the likes of Castore and Nike. 116 MEN’S HEALTH
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
ACCURIST.CO.UK, ADIDAS.CO.UK, ALICEMADETHIS.COM, APPLE.COM, BEOPLAY.COM, BEATSBYDRE.COM, CASTORE.CO.UK, COMMON PROJECTS AND DEREK ROSE AT MRPORTER.COM, EASTPAK.COM, ELLESSE.CO.UK, FRAME-STORE.COM, JIGSAW-ONLINE.COM, JOHNLOBB.COM, LEVI.COM
ZIP-UP TRACKSUIT TOP £70 ADIDAS ORIGINAL T-SHIRT £40 VISION AT TOPMAN JEANS £215 FRAME TRAINERS £320 COMMON PROJECTS AT MRPORTER.COM WATCH £139 ACCURIST HEADPHONES £249 B&O PLAY GLASSES £110 KOMONO
The Dalston Diver Though a proud season-ticket holder, this hipster wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the new season’s kit – he may be tribal, but he’s no sheep. Instead, he prefers to attend games in one of the three Roberto Baggio-inspired Fiorentina shirts sourced from Topman and eBay, all of which look a class apart when paired with skinny jeans, an Adidas shell jacket, B&O Play headphones and Common Projects trainers. The Panini Italia ’90 sticker album is this enthusiast’s lookbook, while his hoard of vintage match programmes is truly his pride and joy. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
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ZIP-UP HOODIE £545 DEREK ROSE AT MRPORTER.COM T-SHIRT £29 JIGSAW TROUSERS £160 AND HAT £40 BOTH RON DORFF SLIDERS £150 PAUL SMITH GLASSES £375 LUNETTERIE GENERALE RING £175 ALICE MADE THIS WATCH £525 MAURICE LACROIX
Centre Half “Club scarves were ﬁrst seen on the terraces in the 1930s. Now they’re all over the Milan and Paris runways. Football is back”
The Veteran Benchwarmer While he may spend more on his Sky and BT Sport subscriptions than he managed to get through during his days in the stands, this committed fan won’t let a little thing like fathering twins – babies Alex and José – get in the way of his weekend of football. His attire combines comfort and practicality without sacrificing style, pairing top-notch athleisure apparel, such as a crisp white tee and Ron Dorff jersey sweats, with designer sliders that wouldn’t look out of place on the team coach. He might need a pair of specs to watch the match, but even those are design classics. 118 MEN’S HEALTH
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
KITEEYEWEAR.COM, KOMONO.COM, LUNETTERIE GENERALE AT KAFKA.CO.UK, MAURICELACROIX.COM, NIKE.COM, NIKE X UNDERCOVER AT MRPORTER.COM, OAKLEY AT SUNGLASSHUT.COM, PAULSMITH.COM, RIVERISLAND.COM, RONDORFF.COM, TAGHEUER.COM, TOPMAN.COM
PARKA £725 STONE ISLAND ZIP-UP HOODIE £60 ELLESSE JEANS £85 LEVI’S CHUKKA BOOTS £1090 JOHN LOBB SHOULDER BAG £28 EASTPAK GLASSES £150 KITE EYEWEAR SCARF £15 RIVER ISLAND WATCH £1350 TAG HEUER
The Reconstructed Casual Hooliganism is a rare sight in domestic football these days, but traces of 1980s terrace style remain. This we can celebrate. In fact, with the resurgence of brands such as Stone Island and Ellesse, the look is arguably stronger today than ever. This devotee has one foot in a tougher past, the other striding into an enlightened future. He prefers podcasts to match programmes, thinks money has ruined the game and, though appearing hard as nails (sharp Mod crop, parka, Eastpak satchel and scarf), he still wept like a baby when Leicester won the league in 2016. MENSHEALTH.CO.UK
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Into The Groove
SHOULD I BE WEARING...? CORDUROY
It might be the material of the moment, but it’s also one fraught with stylistic pitfalls and Jeremy Corbyn punchlines. Associate style editor Matt Hambly tries total-look corduroy for size to see whether it’s a groove you should be digging MH’s style editor tests a new take on a vintage trend
Sometimes the unlikeliest contenders make for the most memorable successes. Think Greece winning Euro 2014 or Leicester running away with the Premiership in 2016. Style is often no different. This year, for example, the great unlikely trend for colder months is corduroy. And when it comes to improbable comebacks, there aren’t many that can top that. Admittedly, it’s a complicated one. Unlike denim (enduringly cool) or velvet (perennially not), corduroy has been seen throughout history as alternately practical, posh, left, right, groovy and geeky. It has been the uniform of both the anti-establishment
and the landed gentry, 18th-century dandies and 1970s roadies. Even the name itself is equivocal: some maintain it’s a derivative of the French corde du roi – literally, cloth of the king – while others claim it descends from duroy, a coarse woolen fabric worn by the Georgian working class. Politically speaking, corduroy has swapped sides more often than Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger. Even so, there can be no doubting its current status
as the on-trend fabric of the season. Prada was the first to break cover with a variety of tan blazers and bombers featuring prominently in its AW17 collection. Then Gucci, E Tautz and Brunello Cucinelli all followed suit with their own modern interpretations of the polytechnic humanities tutor vibe. It became a look. But of course, looking good on the runway is one thing – pulling it off on the street is another. And this is where
SHEARLING JACKET £99 LEVI’S JUMPER £89 JIGSAW TROUSERS £155 NN07 AT HARVEY NICHOLS BOOTS £250 RED WING AT SCHUH
I’m struggling. Wearing head-to-toe wales (the official name for the ridges that define corduroy) may be hitting all the right fashion notes, but I still can’t help feeling that I’m missing a beat. “Corduroy is a bold look, both in the sense of its inherent bulkiness and strong links to years that style forgot,” says Sarah Ann Murray, fashion consultant and stylist to Kit Harington and Samuel L Jackson. “In particular, the lower the wale – that’s to say, the thicker the cord – the more difficult it is to wear convincingly.” In other words, it starts wearing you. “I would advocate mixing up corduroy separates,” she says. “I think you’ll get more wear out of a pair of trousers than a blazer, especially in a fine, needle cord. The key is to match them with a colour and fabric that stand up to that bulk. A bright crew-neck sweater, for instance, rather than a shirt will look best.” Ultimately, I think that this kind of look is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a style statement. It’s not the sort of thing you can ditch your jeans and sneakers for on any given weekend – friends will think you’ve turned up for lunch in fancy dress. But that’s the point, really. You need to make the fabric look as though it’s a natural part of your wardrobe. Next time, I’ll try something a little more accessible. Levi’s now makes a cool trucker jacket in a fine chino corduroy. It comes in black as well as the traditional tan and offers all of the fabric’s practicality without the usual dated overtones. And that’s a power chord in my book. MEN’S HEALTH 121
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
PHOTOGRAPHY: NICOLE GOMES | STYLING: RICCARDO CHIUDIONI | GROOMING: OSCAR ALEXANDER USING FUDGE & L’OCCITANE | SHOT ON LOCATION AT I CAMISA & SON ICAMISA.CO.UK | LEVI.COM, JIGSAW-ONLINE.COM, HARVEYNICHOLS.COM, SCHUH.CO.UK
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Waatch aficionados have always been sniffy about quaartz, but time is a healer. With a new enemy in smartwatches, even committed horologists are beiing won over by the latest electronic upstarts
Even the uniniitiated can tell a battery-poowered quartz from a sspringwound mechannical c watch. tc Instead of a steeadyy sweepp of the dial, the ssecond hand ticks crisply at readable intervals. But thhe biggest gg giveaway is preecision. Quartz is a crysstal that responds to eleectricity by vibrating at a coonsistent ose oon 8192Hz. It will lose average just ten seconds a year, while a mechanical m h l watch can lose ten te seconds seco ds quartz a day. Despite this, th q hema to has been anathe gs snobs. spring-and-cog b The explosion oof cheap p quartz watchess from Japan p is held responssible for almost decimatting g the dustryy in dus Swiss watch ind 0s – a p period the ’70s and ’80 Quartz known as ‘The Q Crisis’. But collaarss aree loosening at lasst.. “Quartz is thhe only ly horological tecchnology g developed in thhe 20th century,” says rrenowned collector James Dowling. “The point of horology is keeping time, and quartz does it best.” As the rise of the smartwatch poses the biggest threat to mechanical brands, so the watch with a crystal heart is now being viewed with comparative affection. “Wearable tech is in its infancy,” says Dowling. “Quartz has proved itself for four decades. It’s finally being given some respect.”
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BREITLING COLT C SKYRACERR £1690
BRISTON CLUBMASTER VINTAGE £300
SKAGEN SIGNATUR SLIM TITANIUM £155
03 Square Up
01 0 Precision i i Engineering i i g A Breitling for less than £2000 is certain to get noticed – and in this case, it’s for exactly the right reasons. The thermo-compensated Breitling SuperQuartz movement is 10 times more accurate than standard quartz. Adding to its desirability, the ultra-light case is made of Breitlight, a proprietary polymer spiked with composite fibres, making it three times stronger than titanium. It’s genius, to say the least.
02 Mid-century Modern It’s a quartz-only line-up over at Bauhaus minimalist Skagen, which has consistently ensured its crisp, designer watches are firmly in the affordable price bracket. If you’re a fan of 20th-century design, this new back-to-basics arrival will pair beautifully with your reproduction Marcel Breuer tan leather Wassily armchair.
With their distinctive cambered square face, Briston watches are inspired by Gatsbystyle tickers of the ’20s. Our favourite, the Clubmaster Vintage, has a felted flannel strap cut from suiting cloth, making it the ideal partner to a mohair two-piece. The cellulose acetate tortoiseshell case – made from 70% cotton and plant fibre – is skilfully polished for four days to achieve a lustrous finish.
WRIS ST MANAGEMENT
Photography By Taal Silverman Words By Alex Doak
LONGINES CCONQUEST VHP £1160
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Bamfo B ford, the custom atelier te e with links to both TAG Heuer and Zenith, has ressponded to client rrequests with a ppurchasable version off its temporary ‘courte ‘ esy car’ quartz watch,, issued when serviciing customers’ mecha hanicals. Typically for Bam mford, true personnalisation is key: you y caan customise a range g of features and dictate d ct te 20 characters for f thee caseback. Well, brevity is the soul of w wit, after all.
TIMEX MK1 ALUMINIUM £69.99
04 Martial Hour A contemporary update of the iconic ‘US Marines’ militaryinspired model, the all-new Timex MK1 is leaner and meaner than its predecessor, thanks to a new lightweight aluminium case. It’s also more versatile: the metal’s ability to be anodised gives you a whole host of colour choices. Its eminently affordable price tag also means you needn’t be restricted to buying just one.
05 Tough g Timess This year’s ‘Very High g P ec s o model ode ffrom o Precision’ Longines is equipped with a recently developed in-house movement accurate to ± five seconds per year. It’s also able to reset its hands after an impact or magnetic exposure, using a clever ‘gear position detection’ system. Even mechanical diehards couldn’t help but be impressed. Plus, the clutter-free face will appease even the fussiest aesthete.
BAMFORD MAYFAIR £425
1969 Seiko Astron The ﬁrst quartz wristwatch cost 450,000 yen – the same as a Toyota Corolla
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06 6 Indivvidual Touch
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Tone Deft From low-key neutrals to bold brights and dusty pastels, designers are fixated on monotone looks for SS18. But how do you pull off tonal dressing in real life without looking, well, too onenote? MH’s resident style gurus quiz a team of menswear aficionados on how to achieve top-to-toe Pantone precision
PARKA £795 JACKET £715 AND TROUSERS £380 ALL PAUL SMITH SWEATER £325 SIES MARJAN AT MATCHESFASHION.COM TRAINERS £185 GRENSON
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Photography by Pip Styling by Eric Down Words by Alfred Tong
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
CARDIGAN £345 JOSEPH SWEATER £995 RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL TROUSERS £79 COS
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
01 Stay In Your Tonal Comfort Zone If you’re not feeling outré enough to go the whole hog in a full-on purple ensemble, grey, black and navy shades are a great way to test the water. But less orthodox hues can still be elegant, especially when applied to the garment in an intelligent way. “This season, we’ve used pink and pistachio green, but in dusty, sun-bleached and washedout tones, so they’re more restrained and easier to wear,” says Toby Lamb, creative director of Richard James, a Savile Row tailor renowned for its masterful use of colour. Most important is to consider what shades are occasionappropriate and, crucially, what colour you feel comfortable in. If you’ve got the bombast to go to work wearing a terracotta suit, fill your boots. But if that won’t go down well with your boss in your morning meeting, a monochrome navy or grey outfit fuses trend with custom.
JACKET £89 KIN BY JOHN LEWIS SWEATER £115 ARKET SCARF £160 ETON TROUSERS £425 MARGARET HOWELL SHOES £880 LOUIS VUITTON
THE PORTFOLIO Have you ever wondered why certain tones look great on some men and not others? While it may seem as though the style gods favour a select few, in fact, it’s largely down to what suits your skin tone. “Burgundy is a good route to
go down if you want to make a statement, but it pays to be aware of what works for your complexion before committing. Tonal dressing can wash you out, especially if you pick tones that are too light and you have pale skin,”
says David Aquilina, head of menswear at Harvey Nichols. Dark and earthy shades tend to suit most complexions, while brights look good against a tan, so choose accordingly – or crack open a bottle of San Tropez.
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
GROOMING: OSCAR ALEXANDER USING NANOGEN AND SISLEY | MODELS: O’SHEA ROBERTSON AT SELECT AND PHILLIP DEERE AT NEXT | PHOTOGRAPHER’S ASSISTANTS: NICK GRAHAM AND GARY MORRISOE | STYLIST’S ASSISTANT: RICCARDO CHIUDIONI
02 Consider Complexion
SUIT £4300 RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL T-SHIRT £80 HANDVAERK BAG £1190 TOD’S POCKET SQUARE STYLIST’S OWN
CAP £7 NEW LOOK ROLL-NECK £150 JOHN SMEDLEY SHIRT £345 RALPH LAUREN PURPLE LABEL TROUSERS £190 CERRUTI 1881
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Mixing textures is a tried-andtested method of injecting a dash of sartorial verve into an outfit – and it works especially well for tonal dressing. “Combine woven materials with ribbed, matt and sheer fabrics to add depth and interest,” says Lamb. “This variety of finishes is important when everything is the same shade.” Aquilina agrees: “Get as much contrast in there as
possible, whether it’s textures or patterns. You want to see where one piece ends and the next starts.” The key message here, then, is not to be too ‘matchy-matchy’ with your materials, which could lead to lacklustre results. “It’s best to avoid similar fabrics, as they can make an outfit look contrived,” says James Doidge, head of menswear design at Marks & Spencer.
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
03 Take The Rough With The Smooth
SWEATER £125 SCOTCH & SODA TROUSERS £495 JOSEPH TRAINERS £110 ADIDAS ORIGINALS JACKET £1495 DUNHILL T-SHIRT £70 OLIVER SPENCER SWEATER (AROUND WAIST) £175 SANDRO HOMME TROUSERS £90 MICHAEL KORS TRAINERS £160 GRENSON
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ASAUVAGE.COM, ADIDAS.CO.UK, ARKET.COM, CERRUTI.COM, COSSTORES.COM, CUTLERANDGROSS.COM, DUNHILL.COM, ETONSHIRTS.COM, GRENSON.COM, HM.COM, HANDVAERK AT MRPORTER.COM, HUGOBOSS.COM, JOHNSMEDLEY.CO.UK, JOSEPH-FASHION.COM, LOUISVUITTON.COM, MARGARETHOWELL.CO.UK
SUIT £1850 A SAUVAGE SHIRT £30 TOPMAN FOLIO £335 DUNHILL
Another way to sidestep Pantone blandness is to use pattern to your advantage. “Prints are a great way to break up solid colours and provide visual interest,” explains Lamb. Meanwhile, Men’s Health style director Eric Down advises opting for two-tone accessories to prevent things appearing convoluted. “The major or minor colour should match the dominant hue of your outfit, while the secondary colour should be a neutral shade, such as white, cream or navy,” he says. “This will stop your outfit looking too busy.” If you’re not sure where to begin, try a blue microprint shirt layered beneath a denim jacket or navy peacoat. It’s a combo that’s both considered and masculine. For the more adventurous, this winning pairing of burgundy suit and blue geometric-print man bag makes a powerful statement.
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
04 Use Pattern As A Focal Point
One of the most common faux pas of tonal dressing is ending up looking like a single blob of colour. To avoid this pitfall, try building an outfit based on graduating shades of a single ‘theme’ hue. “First, pick a base colour and then assemble your outfit from there, adding different shades and fabrics for interest,” says Doidge. Adrian Holdsworth, founder of Italian-inspired tailor Volpe Sartoriale, also advocates this approach. “There should be a good amount of variety between the shades, but within a close range,” he says. “What you’re going for is a ‘total look’, in which the subtly different hues all work in unison. Done well, it looks really refined.” This graduating technique was championed on the SS18 catwalks by Berluti, Zegna, Oliver Spencer and Dunhill – brands that trade in subtle elegance.
COAT £795 CERRUTI 1881 JACKET £399 AND TROUSERS £169 BOTH HUGO BOSS SWEATER £560 ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA COUTURE BAG £995 SMYTHSON SHOES £180 GRENSON
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
05 Build On Your Spectrum
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06 Juxtapose Your Footwear
Footwear is a great tool for breaking up your tonal outfit. A pair of crisp, white trainers can ground a monotone look, whether it’s casual or smart. “The thing to remember is to make the contrast obvious: go for hues at least two tones
lighter or darker than your outfit’s main colour, so that it looks deliberate and not just poorly matched,” says Down. Aquilina also underscores the importance of creating a clear distinction: “I’d caution against matching your shoes to an
all-white ensemble – it’ll look strange if there’s no contrast between your legs and feet.” Beyond shoes, layering something as simple as a white tee beneath your jumper or sweatshirt will highlight your tonal savoir faire.
SUIT £80 H&M STUDIO VEST £40 SCHIESSER SUNGLASSES (ON JACKET) £300 CUTLER AND GROSS SHOES £195 RUSSELL & BROMLEY JACKET £55 AND TROUSERS £35 BOTH TOPMAN SHIRT £275 JOSEPH TRAINERS £185 GRENSON
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
MICHAELKORS.CO.UK, NEWLOOK.COM, OLIVERSPENCER.CO.UK, PAULSMITH.COM, RALPHLAUREN.CO.UK, RUSSELLANDBROMLEY.CO.UK, SANDRO-PARIS.COM, SCHIESSER AT MRPORTER.COM, SCOTCH-SODA.COM, SIES MARJAN AT MATCHESFASHION.COM, SMYTHSON.COM, TODS.COM, TOPMAN.COM, ZEGNA.CO.UK
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Alongside careers in football and music, David Beckham and Pharrell Williams have enjoyed lucrative sidelines in fashion. Both aree undoub btedly b tedly stylish, even intoo their fifth decades, but who is really leadinng?
David Beckham, 42 D
Pharrell Williams, 44 4
Fashion Scents Therre’s just one Signature For Him variattion, but Becks has many other scentss in his locker, such as Respect, Innstinct, Intimately and Beyond Beckham-like bend meets Ultra Boost cushioning. These Predators are a style swerve whether you’re playing football or watching c g it in thee pub
Tudor ambassador Becks dresse sees the Heritage Black Bay S&G up with a suit and down with denim m m. It’s more versatile than Phil Neville illle
Ha Hard to keep track, but Becks added fo four tatts in 2017, including ‘Seven’ on his finger, four birds behind his left ear and ‘Dadda’ on his neck
Instagram followers of Kent & Curwen, founded in 1926 and now co-owned by Becks, which offers refreshing archive pieces like this jacket
The average number of monthly “Beckham style” searches since 2004; it peaked at 100 in 2007 when he signed for LA Galaxy. As did “soccer WTF”… (jk)
Pharrell’s fragrance Girl, made byy Comme des Garçons and named after his hit 2014 album, is unisexx, confusingly. These are blurred lines Part of his Statement Hiking collection, Pharrell’s Hu NMD Trail Shoes will send all but the most adventurous ru a unning for the hills
ntt Wrist Assessment
P Pharrell’s repped several Richard M Mille models, all of which go for b between six and seven figures. T The man’s a multi-Mille-ionaire
An unknown qu harrellll k uantity, but Ph d it tto h i some remooved admits having d via painful laser surgery: “I don’’t need fire on my arms; I’m a grown man!”
Followers of Billionaire Boys Club, which Japanese designeer 05. Nigo and Pharrell set up in 200 This bomber is right on the money
The average searches for “Pharrell style” over the same period. It spiked at 21 in April 2014, when he covered the Style Bible issue of American GQ
The GTS Verdict: Beckham wins! Pharrell has the fashion chops of a man half his years: age cannot wither him, nor custom stale his infinite variety of oversized hats. However, after some sarong moves in his youth, Becks has streaked ahead in the timeless style stakes and this is a guide to, well, you know.
MEN’S HEALTH 133
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
DAVID BECKHAM RESPECT £24.95 FOR 60ML BOOTS.COM | PHARRELL WILLIAMS GIRL £20 FOR 100ML THEFRAGRANCESHOP.CO.UK | KENT & CURWEN VARSITY JACKET £895 KENTANDCURWEN.COM | BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB REVERSIBLE BOMBER £295 BBCICECREAM.EU
Illustrations by Joe McKendry Words by Jamie Millar
Trending Tops The Matchesfashion.com buying team predict a 20% uplift in blousons for spring 2018
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Park your parka – technical fabrics are often too hot for the city, even in winter. Instead, our edit of this season’s lightweight blousons will help you layer up while retaining your cool
Photography by Tal Silverman Words by Shane C Kurup
BLOUSON £80 H&M EDITION HEADPHONES £85 URBANEARS
134 MEN’S HEALTH
APC.FR, BANDOFOUTSIDERS.COM, CALVINKLEIN.CO.UK, FRENCHCONNECTION.COM, HM.COM, HUNTERBOOTS.COM, J CREW AT MRPORTER.COM, LAVIN AT MATCHESFASHION.COM, OLIVERSPENCER.CO.UK, URBANEARS.COM, WOODWOOD.COM
THE EDIT: BLOUSONS
£120 J CREW AT MRPORTER.COM
£280 OLIVER SPENCER
£340 BAND OF OUTSIDERS
£2270 LANVIN AT MATCHESFASHION.COM
£235 HUNTER ORIGINAL
£379 CALVIN KLEIN MENSWEAR
£220 WOOD WOOD
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
£140 FRENCH CONNECTION
MEN’S HEALTH 135
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Meen’s hair in 2018 is losing its austere edge and adopting a frreer spirit: still tight, just less uptight. Renowned barrber and stylist Kevin Lucchmun explains how to askk for – and maintain – the styyles making this year’s cut
Just as we’re seeing a less starchy approach to menswear design this year – soft, unstructured tailoring, oversized greatcoats, rugby shirts – hairstyles, too, are loosening up. “Men are now gravitating towards more relaxed styles that work with the natural texture of their hair, rather than trying to fight against it,” says Luchmun. “We’re at a crossroads: while close tapers and short backs and sides are still relevant, the prevailing trend is for longer, more relaxed cuts. My advice is to go with it and emphasise what you already have, be that thick, wavy or poker-straight hair.” Here is the cream of the crops for the coming season.
Tip For The Top For a less structured look, applying products when your hair is still damp will soften things up
136 MEN’S HEALTH
01 The Buzz Cut
02 The Short Back & Sides
There’s more to this simple look than meets the eye, says Luchmun: “If your hair is fine, then this cut could look too transparent. Tell your barber to leave it a touch longer than usual. If you have dark, thick hair, however, you can go shorter.” Sachajuan’s Leave In Conditioner (£21 for 250ml thegroomingclinic.com) is all you’ll need to style – it’s clean and fuss-free.
“This cut will always be in style,” says Luchmun. “But, for a really polished and contemporary take, tell your barber to fade and taper your hair around the nape area and leave the top less manicured. Products are central to pulling this off; Hanz de Fuko Quicksand (£16 for 56ml mankind.co.uk) has a natural texture and creates that just-off-the-beach volume.”
03 04 Mid-length Textured Cut The Faded Crop Growing hair out is a notoriously awkward process. The key is to maintain its shape. “You need to keep this cut narrow, despite the extra volume, so ask your barber to remove weight from the back and sides but keep the length,” says Luchmun. “The edges should be textured for a lived-in look. Label M Souffle (£19 for 120ml labelm.com) will give it an undone quality.”
“Some men will always want the sharp look of a fade,” says Luchmun. “Even so, a looser feel on top, enhancing any curls, is a more modern way to style it out. Tell your barber to go with your hair’s natural persuasions rather than taming it. Moroccanoil Texture Clay (£16.35 for 75ml moroccanoil.com) will finish the look and provide a softer texture.”
WORDS: SHANE C KURUP AND TOM WARD | PHOTOGRAPHY: PIP | STYLING: RICCARDO CHIUDIONI | GROOMING: OSCAR ALEXANDER USING NANOGEN AND SISLEY | HAIR: KEVIN LUCHMUN | GROOMING ASSISTANT: CHIE SATO | MODELS: BENJAMIN, CHARLIE, FRASER AND TOM ALL AT ESTABLISHED | BENJAMIN WEARS JACKET £90 NEW LOOK, T-SHIRT £80 HANDVAERK | CHARLIE WEARS JACKET £45 BURTON, T-SHIRT £80 HANDVAERK | FRASER WEARS JACKET £499 CALVIN KLEIN MENSWEAR, SHIRT £195 DUNHILL | TOM WEARS JACKET £90 H&M STUDIO
Cutting Cutt g Loosee
THE SS18 GROOMING MANUAL
01 The Saharan Zephyr
02 The Scientific Concoction
03 The Smell of Victory
Taking its name from the fiery, arid wind that rips across the Sahara Desert, this is, mercifully, much less abrasive. Blending a traditionally masculine base of sandalwood and tobacco with outré top notes of juniper and hay, the result is an exotic and certainly unique fragrance, but one that is still reliably usable on a day-to-day basis. Blows high-street scents away. Serge Lutens Chergui Eau de Parfum £150 for 100ml sergelutens.com
Escentric 03 focuses on the dry, woody scent of vetiveryl acetate, derived from an Indian root, that has been hybridised with acetic acid to eliminate its bitter undertones. It’s also layered with notes of ginger, peppercorn, lime, sandalwood, cedar and leather. Most remarkably, the lab-engineered potion reacts to your individual pheromones, making it entirely unique to you. Escentric Molecules Escentric 03 £76 for 100ml harveynichols.com
What better way to honour one of British naval history’s most decisive victories than with a fragrance that simulates the aroma of the battle itself? Well, each to their own. Nevertheless, BeauFort’s Trafalgarinspired scent remarkably combines accords of smoke, gunpowder, brandy and sea spray. Your usual lemongrass concoction this is not. BeauFort London 1805 Tonnerre Eau de Parfum £95 for 50ml beaufortlondon.com
Studies show that we’re working longer hours, going out later and sleeping less, all of which is enough to age you quicker than a stint down the mines. Fortunately, we’ve assembled a kit to help you look your best – even when running on empty BEST FOR
Lancer Intensive Night Treatment £130 for 50ml mankind.co.uk
Shut-eye is sacred, so make sure you get the most from yours, however short. This cream’s hyaluronic acid breaks down damaged skin tissue while directing moisture to the new cells beneath, helping you look like you’ve banked a full eight hours.
Dr Barbara Sturm Eye Cream £105 for 15ml spacenk.com
Use a small amount on your face after cleansing and before going to bed.
In one day
If the telltale signs of your long days (and nights) are raising eyebrows, fret not: this eye cream combines potent natural ingredients with molecular cosmetics to penetrate your skin for long-lasting hydration.
Gently apply a small amount round your eyes twice daily.
In one week
Perricone MD Cold Plasma £129 for 30ml perricone md.co.uk
Designed to keep you feeling fresh whether you’re tackling an early HIIT session or client breakfast, this concentrated treatment uses scent-free, elasticity-promoting copper tripeptide, evening out skin tone and fighting redness.
Use a fingertip’s worth and apply evenly to the face each morning.
In one week
Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Eye Serum £65 for 30ml murad.co.uk
While unpaid overtime is becoming the norm for many, it needn’t take a toll on your outlook. Murad’s eye formula uses the age-defying vitamin retinol to remove fine lines and encourage your skin’s collagen production.
Lightly massage into the corners of your eyes once a day.
In one week
MEN’S HEALTH 137
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY: TAL SILVERMAN | BURTON.CO.UK, CALVINKLEIN.CO.UK, DUNHILL.COM, HM.COM, HANDVAERK AT MRPORTER.COM, NEWLOOK.COM
With new season fragrance launches so often amounting to ‘sporty’ reiterations of the same citrusy aroma, it can be tough to sniff out a scent of one’s own. However, these additions to your bathroom cabinnet will set you apart from the duty-free crowd
Hoow do you negotiate the yeearr’s moost unlikely trend revival wiithout loooking like an anachronism (or worse)? The answer: it’s not what youu wear, but how you wear it
GUIDE TO STYLE – 03 / 18
Photography by Tal Silverman Words by Shane C Kurup
How H o To Wear Get et yyour satchel et g game on point and avoid any bum notes
138 MEN’S HEALTH
body. You could even loop it round a larger bag.” This fire engine-red version from Prada caught our attention at the SS18 shows, not least because it looks less like a Japanese sightseer’s passport sac and more like a smart update on the classic messenger bag. Compact yet capacious, it will declutter pockets without burdening you in the way that a tote or rucksack might. Meanwhile, the hard-wearing tech fabric and statement colour mean that no-one is ever going to confuse you for a market trader.
To the back Worn ironically on your rear is a look that’s best reserved for true hipsters.
Cross-body y This attention attentioncommanding look gives easy access, earning it the MH endorsement.
ILLUSTRATIONS: JOE MCKENDRY | BEOPLAY.COM, JOHNLEWIS.COM, PRADA.COM
BUM BAG £620 WALLET £340 AND KEYRING £315 ALL PRADA PRADA L’HOMME INTENSE £72.50 FOR 100ML PRADA AT JOHN LEWIS BEOPLAY P2 SPEAKER £149 B&O PLAY
There is only one name of accessory more ridiculous than ‘bum bag’ and that’s ‘fanny pack’. Unfortunately, they amount to the same thing, which is to say those belted pouch holdalls beloved of middle-aged tourists, New Kids On The Block fans and, at best, a few skaters around 1991. Many would contend that of all trends, however short-lived, the bum bag is the least deserving of revival. But fashion is a fickle beast and brands as diverse as Louis Vuitton and Prada
via Fila are imploring us to reconsider the virtues of this once-maligned style. So should you? Yes, claims James Doidge, head of menswear design at Marks & Spencer, who has created a sporty black rendition for his own Spring collection, inspired by the styles worn on the streets of Tokyo. The key, he says, is how you wear it: “The prescriptive name is a bit of a misnomer because it’s actually an extremely versatile carryall. Yes, it can function as a loose belt, though I’d suggest wearing the bag itself on your hip. Alternatively, it can work well slung casually across your shoulder or
On the front Go traditional and you’ll look like one of the tourists at Magic Kingdom.