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Eat Yourself Lean in 2018 RULE THE BARBECUE / MICROWAVE MUSCLE MEALS / DETOX LIKE A MAN

AUSTRALIAN

FIGHT FAT & WIN! BOXING Train Like SPECIAL A Fighter

Beat the

HEAT

Stay Cool All Summer

11

Instant Career Boosters

ANGST! SUGAR! BOOZE! Quick Cures to Modern Ills MAGZ_MH_0218

FEBRUARY 2018 $8.99 NZ $9.99 INC GST

YOUR ACTION PLAN

CHEST Boost Your Bench

ARMS

Get Bigger Triceps

ABS

Fast-Track 6-Pack!

Jedi Sex Tricks

289 Ways To Crush Your Year


In This Issue 02.18 On the Cover p28 DETOX LIKE A MAN

Five ways to cleanse yourself of a festive season’s worth of sins.

p46 MICROWAVE MUSCLE MEALS

Giving your body what it needs post-workout just got a whole lot easier.

p52 BEAT THE HEAT

Your perspiration primer for staying ice-cool and stink-free through a sweltering summer.

p61 11 INSTANT CAREER BOOSTERS

Three highfliers at the top of their professional game trace your surest steps to career victory.

p64 COURTING SUCCESS

Our Australian Open package will help you lift your game – on and off the court

p72 ANGST! SUGAR! BOOZE!

Feels like a myriad of health-wrecking nasties is out to get you. Your plan for impregnability.

p84 JEDI SEX TRICKS

Use the latest findings on the female orgasm to become a maestro between the sheets.

p106 RULE THE BARBECUE

Grab your apron: our ultimate guide to cooking outdoors will make you a titan of the tongs.

p115 FIGHT FAT & WIN!

Adopt the mindset and workout habits of a ring warrior to supercharge your fitness.

MODEL: KALLAS EKSTEEN PHOTOGRAPHED BY BYRON KEULEMANS

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Open Season: apply champion tips on improving your game, and your life, from p64.


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ASK MH

USEFUL STUFF

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p16 HEARTY PROTEIN NACHOS

p09 NIX YOUR CAFFEINE HABIT

p30 UNDO DESK-JOB DAMAGE

p42 MEAT OR TWO VEG?

p32 5 FOODS TO FEND OFF CANCER

p78 THE MOVEMENT

p122 FUEL THAT HITS HARDER

p34 2-MINUTE MAKEOVERS

p128 FOLLOW YOUR LEADER

Muscle

Style

Mind

p12 WIN THE ARMS RACE

p49 THE CUT-OFF POINT

p08 TOTAL IMMERSION

p118 4-COUNT TRAINING CAMP

p54 LEAN & CLEAN

p20 RENEWED VIGOUR

p126 ARE YOU COVER MATERIAL?

p56 NET WORTH

p22 HELL OR HIGH WATER

Nothing hits the spot when kicking back with friends like a plate of Mexican munchies. We pit carnivore classics against trendy vegan fare and anoint your winner. Your best food picks for the big double: workout energy and a super-lean physique.

Three moves to titanic triceps that will blow away the competition. This boxing-inspired workout delivers knockout size, strength and speed.

The beast on the front of this magazine spills all his secrets to hitting kick-arse shape.

Your plan for cutting back on coffee if you’re quaffing it like water.

Get these on your plate more often and dodge the Big C for life.

Stressed? Down in the dumps? Use these quick fixes to get yourself back on track.

Five ways to rock denim shorts, this season’s must-have wardrobe staple. The ultimate grooming kit to accentuate your weights-room toil. Federer v. Nadal is a study in opposites, from playing style to choice of premium watch.

Your go-to move for ironing out kinks while building strength and flexibility. Is it time you switched your training focus from mirror muscles to animal agility? Tim Robards illuminates your path to ripped abs by spilling his own tale of transformation.

Develop laser-like focus so solving any problem becomes a breeze. How celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain uses jiu-jitsu to bust his limits. Big-wave thrillseeker Mark Visser on embracing fear to become a better man. FEBRUARY 2018

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Ed’s Letter

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HARD-HITTING RESULTS On the one hand, boxing is a squalid business. Blame it on the trash-talk, the wilful mismatches, the ill-advised comebacks of punch-drunk 40-somethings in desperate need of fast cash. Blame it on the stench of corruption evoked by judging decisions that strain rational thought. Blame it on the alphabet soup of sanctioning bodies – IBF, WBC, WBA and WBO – that devalue the currency of a world title. Blame it on men like Don King, boxing’s most famous promoter, who was once convicted for stomping a man to death in a Cleveland street (the unfortunate man’s last purported words: “Don, I’ll give you the money”). And yet… There is also a strange integrity to the sport. Inside the ring there is no place to hide. Stepping between the ropes, taking a punch on the snout and trying to work out how to return it with interest, teaches you many things – discipline, courage, maybe even self-knowledge. But “The first rule of there are more instantly tangible fight club is that it’ll benefits, too. Boxing will make fitter than you’ve ever been transform you into you in your life. knockout shape” For the first rule of fight club is that it’ll transform you into knockout shape (hence our boxing special on p115). Between the heavy bag and the innumerable rounds of skipping, the roadwork and the raw exhilaration of sparring, boxing forces you to put your body on the line and train with real intensity. I got a brief taste of this some years back when – in order to write a MH story - I did 10 weeks of intensive boxing-training to prepare for a white-collar bout. What I learned was that I definitely couldn’t have been a contender. In the ring I had the clumsy footwork of toddler and flailed my arms with zero composure. Yet boxing also redefined my fitness levels and slashed my body-fat percentage to single digits. Most significantly, those results came from training that was actually fun. That noise you can hear? It’s the bell and it’s ringing time on half-arsed workouts. The sweet science is calling. Ding, ding!

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Pacific Magazines, Media City, 8 Central Avenue, Eveleigh, NSW 2015 Phone: (02) 9394 2000 Fax: (02) 9394 2319 Subscription enquiries: 1300 668 118 Printing Bluestar Web, 83 Derby Street, Silverwater NSW 2128. Distribution Gordon & Gotch. Published 12 times a year. Registered business name Pacific Magazines Pty Ltd, (ABN) 16 097 410 896. All rights reserved. Title and trademark Men’s Health © Rodale Press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without prior written permission. Men’s Health is a registered trademark and the unauthorised use of this trademark is strictly prohibited.


Ask MH

Drowning in data? Let’s recapture your attention

LIFE QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

ALLOW US to allay what we imagine is your key concern first: unless you’re also experiencing symptoms such as short-term memory loss, disorientation and problems with language, this is highly unlikely to be a sign of early-onset dementia. So, presuming your issue amounts to little more than general absent-mindedness, let’s explore a little deeper. First, don’t fall for the myth that your smartphone bears the blame for your faltering focus: “Technology is often portrayed as the bad guy, but I’ve come across no research to suggest our ability to pay attention is on the decline,” says psychologist Dr Gemma Briggs. “But how we apply our attention may well be changing.” For example, social media

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BW

and push notifications may have trained you to absorb and share a large volume of information quickly, but disinclined you toward immersing yourself in a four-hour research job. “We tend to overestimate how well we can multitask,” says Briggs. “It’s not that we’re more easily distracted, but rather that we allow ourselves to become surrounded by an increasing number of distractions.” Stress and anxiety also hamper concentration, so you can start by asking what else might be taking up mental bandwidth. Of course, the theory is scant help when you’re up against deadlines and an impatient boss. (Still with us, BW? Good.) When you’ve no choice but to knuckle down, try one of the following (right).

TUNE BACK IN

Researchers from Taiwan found that enjoying music too much reduces your concentration. Select a genre you’ll happily tolerate, then set your playlist to shuffle.

DRAW IT OUT

In a Plymouth Uni study, those who did abstract doodles while listening to new info recalled 29 per cent more of it than those who listened passively. Scribble away.

REFRESH YOUR FEED

Set yourself a 5min scrolling break every 90min. A Human Performance study found a short social media session boosts subsequent attention.

KNOW YOUR TYPE

Your ‘chronotype’ may mean you work better outside of 9-to-5. Inquire about flexible work hours.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PETER CROWTHER

Q I struggle to focus on anything these days. Is something wrong with me?

FOCAL POINTS

BUILD UP YOUR CONCENTRATION LEVELS IN JUST FOUR EASY STEPS


Q I need a serious junk food fix. Should I go heavy on Friday night or try to spread NJ it over the week? Q I’m very jittery and think I might need to nix the caffeine. Any advice on the best way to go about doing that? SB Well, you could do the obvious, Shaky, and drink a little less coffee every few days. Cut back by about half a mug (that’s 50 milligrams or so of caffeine) until you feel comfortable, suggests dietitian Wesley Delbridge. (Try half-caf or swap in tea.) Nutritionist Alan Aragon says he’s seen people pull it off with a fourweek modified cold-turkey plan. The first week, you’ll have no caffeine for a single day. The next week, you go caffeine-free for three days. The third week, abstain for five days. Then, for the fourth week, no caffeine at all. That fifth week? Sweet dreams. Then reintroduce with care. Q Why do my elbows hurt when I do pull-ups, but MD not with chin-ups? This goes back to your biceps, because pretty much everything is connected. Pull-up (palms out) pain is fairly common, says Dr Nicholas DiNubile, because oftneglected forearms take a big load. Too much stress on forearm muscles can lead to tennis elbow, an inflammation of the elbow tendons that connect to those muscles. Both sides of the elbow will hurt. When you switch to palms in, your biceps help more, relieving forearm stress. Try strengthening your forearms with wrist-extension exercises. Good form will help, too. Follow these tips to nail both moves: Grasp the bar and hang at full extension, chest proud. Slowly pull your chest into the bar, keeping your elbows pointed at the floor. Control yourself back down to full extension and repeat.

Q I’m a complete chopsticks klutz. What’s the trick? MD Move to fork-free rural China and amuse the locals. Two years, max – you’ll be great. Or you can practise with these instructions: rest the bottom chopstick in the crease of your thumb and atop your ring finger. Hold the top stick between your thumb and index finger like a pencil, but two-thirds of the way up from the point. (Higher is the sign of a master; lower down is the sign of a beginner.) Pinch your food by moving only the top stick. A few etiquette tips: don’t drop food, spear meat or gesture with chopsticks. And sticking them point-down into your rice bowl symbolises death, says Edward Wang, author of Chopsticks: A Cultural and Culinary History. Do feel free to hold a bowl to your lower lip and push rice into your mouth. To get really good, try this training game from chopsticks maker John Economaki: spread uncooked rice on the table. Whoever puts the most grains in a bowl in 15 seconds wins. “It’s hilarious,” he promises. Q I like to listen to AM shock jocks and yell at them. What’s with that? DC-S Subjecting yourself to frustration is like freaking yourself on a rollercoaster or in front of a horror movie: it’s a visceral body state that provides excitement and positive feelings afterwards, says brain researcher Nicole Prause. Another simile: it’s like needing to take a slash during an endless meeting and then finally letting go. You may also be experiencing confirmation bias: when hearing the other side makes you more confident of your own, says psychologist Jerry Smith.

GIVEN THE NOTE of urgency in your tone, we’ll spare you the lecture and get straight to the point: spread it out. Just think of it as gut training. The more often your system is forced to break down a certain type of food – deep-fried carbs, say – the easier it will find the task, especially if the volume of each fix is relatively small (one burger) rather than colossal (the family feast, please). Plus it will help you avoid the supersized blood-sugar spikes you’d get with a single binge, says dietitian Vandana Sheth. Eating cheat meals within regular hours will also limit weight gain. If you know the night will end with a backlit meal deal, factor it into your evening plans, rather than making an early hours pit stop. FEBRUARY 2018

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Useful Stuff

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Tons of tips, tricks and strategies for life 02/2018

Chocs away to erase wrinkles.

HOLY CACAO: THE SWEET WAY TO LOOK YOUNGER

On the ever-changing list of curatives said to smooth fine lines and revitalise tired skin, chocolate is not a cosmetic remedy often cited by skincare brands. Indeed, a sticky application of Cadbury’s over dark circles is unlikely to do much by way of lending vibrancy to your visage. However, recent research conducted by Korean dermatologists at Seoul National University has found that, when ingested in its purest form, a little choc treatment can undo years of epidermic damage. In a trial where participants consumed 12g of phenol-rich cacao a day, the substance was found to reverse harm done to skin by ultraviolet radiation, known as photoageing. Over the course of 24 weeks, they recorded a 3 per cent increase in skin elasticity, while the depth of study subjects’ wrinkles also decreased slightly. By contrast, a placebo group saw skin elasticity decrease by 8 per cent and depth of wrinkles increase by the same amount. So, shake up your morning grooming regime and prep your skin for the dangers of summer sun to come by taking your skincare plan to a different cabinet – mix 12g of cacao nibs with banana, peanut butter, raw honey, cinnamon and milk. Let’s call it the chocolate fountain of youth.

FEBRUARY 2018

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THE TRANSFORMER Meet Chief Brabon, MH’s new fitness director. He’s done it all, from the most insane ultra events to transforming some of our top cover guys. And now? He’s focused on you.

WIN THE ARMS RACE

Build “horseshoe” triceps with these killer moves to supersize your guns

Barbell 1 Lying Skull-Crushers

The notion of out of sight, out of mind explains what goes wrong for a lot of guys when they try to jack up their arms. Admit it: you look in the mirror and see your biceps, so they’re what you’re more inclined to target. But you’re missing a trick. While biceps and delts create the definition you want in your arms, it’s your tris that provide most of the size. I’m always hearing, “I never get bigger!” Well, quit whining and hit your tris twice a week – or three times max – with this potent combo of moves.

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4 sets, 8-12rep per arm

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Chief, I’m a classic ectomorph/ skinny guy. How should I approach cardio as I begin yet another program aimed at stacking on muscle? BW FEBRUARY 2018

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Barbell 3 Close-grip Bench Press

4 sets, one arm at a time

With a dumbbell held at arm’s length above your face, hinge at the elbows to lower the weight to your forehead. Return to the start position.

ASK CHIEF

12

2 Dumbbell Kickbacks

3 sets x 6-9reps

Standing, bent at the waist, draw the weight behind you until your arm is straight. Pause, squeeze your triceps, then slowly lower back to the starting position.

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Lying on a bench, grip the barbell with hands about 15cm apart. Lower to your chest then press the bar up, squeezing your tris throughout the move.

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From one ectomorph to another, BW, I know how important it is to find the right formula for integrating cardio into your hypertrophy program. I would suggest you give this Dynamic Aerobic Resistance Conditioning or DARC-inspired program a go. The key to DARC training is to choose a conditioning exercise that utilises a muscle group that you’re not

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BULLETIN STRENGTH

LIFT WEIGHT, EASE STRESS Strength training isn’t all about muscle; it may relieve anxiety in healthy adults as well as in people with physical and mental illnesses, a University of Limerick analysis found. Researchers point to the benefits of social interaction. Try group training if you’re stressed.

TRACK KAYS, NOT MINUTES To lose weight in a walking/ running program, focus on distance, not time. Troy University researchers who studied 15 overweight people found that, on average, those with distance goals lost 4 kilograms while time-focused people actually gained a kilogram. One theory: the latter may have overestimated kilojoules burned.

WORK OUT TO GET AHEAD So the boss wants you to produce more? Ask for a gym subsidy. University of Texas research of 6,500 workers over three years found that those who did at least five days of cardio (20-30 minutes a pop) and two days of strength training each week gained over an hour in added productivity per week.

using for the accompanying strength exercises. For each workout, choose two opposing muscle groups, for example chest and back. Do a set on chest followed by 15 seconds recovery, followed by a set on back. After another 15sec recovery, do two sets of stationary cycle sprints (20sec work; 10 sec recovery) then back to your chest move. Repeat this pattern for four sets.

ILLUSTRATIONS: SONNY RAMIREZ/ILLUSTRATION ROOM

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Oris Divers Sixty-Five Automatic mechanical movement Unidirectional revolving bezel Top ring with black aluminium inlay Water resistant to 10 bar/100 m www.oris.ch


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DRESSED FOR SUCCESS

. . . . . . Five scientific tricks . . that will fashion you . . into a carnal Adonis . . . . . . . . YES LOGO . . Wear a T-shirt with a letter on . . it. This makes you look broader . . instantly. V for victory. . Nottingham Trent University . . . . LOOSEN UP . . Kilt-wearers have top quality . . sperm as the testes can self. regulate the temperature. Loose . . boxers are more SFW. . . Scottish Medical Journal . . . . FOX IN SOX . Ask her to keep her socks on: . . warm feet make it 80 per cent . . easier for her to orgasm. . . University of Groningen . . . LIKES FOR SPIKES . . Don’t shave too close. In a study . . of women aged 18-44, men with . . stubble were rated the most . . desirable. Just think Clooney, . not Cast Away. . . Northumbria University . . . . PRUNE IT . . But curb your inner gorilla. . Women prefer men with neat . . chest hair. . . Archives of Sexual Behaviour . . . ...................... . ...................... . ...................... ... ... TEXT A DOCTOR ... ... ... ... Q: Hey, doc, I feel smarter in the ... ... morning. What’s the go with that? ... ... ... ... ... A: Like around 11am? That’s when most ... people reach peak cognition. Your brain ... ... worked on unsolved problems while you ... ... slept, and some toxins got cleared. So ... your brain is rejuvenated and warmed up. ... ... ... ... ... ... Q: Good time to schedule a big ... presentation, then? ... ... ... ... ... A: Good idea. And your memory is ... ... peaking then, so ditch the notes. ... ... ... ... Nice. How else can I look smarter? ... ... ... ... ... A: Do creative work in a quiet space. ... You’ll be more creative when relaxed. ... ... ... ... Neuroscientist Dr P. Murali Doraiswamy . . .

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FEBRUARY 2018

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BE CALM AND TAT ON

Two 2017 studies have raised new concerns about tattooing. One found the sweat rate of inked skin to be half that of bare skin, potentially compromising body cooling and your workout. The other discovered ink particles that had migrated to lymph nodes, which play a key role in immunity. Both studies were small, however. Bottom line: think twice before covering great swathes of your body with tattoos like an NRL player. But as for getting a small I-love-Mum heart on your arm, you’re still in the clear.

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JACK THE BARMAN Straight-up advice on things that drive men crazy

Q Jack, at what point does

age difference become gross? Roy As a barman, I’ve staked money on the “daughter or girlfriend” bet. And I always win. One easy way to tell is by the way she steers his wheelchair. But here’s what I see: the max should be about 25 years between the two. That’s about a generation. So she can be 24 and you can be 49 and it’s weird, but not gross. Gross is her at 25 and you collecting pension cheques. In other words, about a generation and a half.

Q Why is it that after I shell

out $180 a pop on concert tickets for a date, she also wants overpriced food and drinks at the show? Hugh Well, because it’s a date, Hugh. Because if your date figures you’ve got the coin for pricey tickets, you can also afford the craft beer. Look, if she offers to pay for snacks, that’s great. But if she doesn’t, that’s not something you should blame her for. You asked her along, didn’t you? Maybe if you worry about her instead of what she’s costing you, she’ll return the favour sometime.

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40

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Percentage of young people who blame social media for episodic feelings of jealousy or inadequacy. SOURCE: STATE OF THE NATION REPORT

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BEN RIGGOTT/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

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MobilityForAll.com

W H E N W E A R E F R E E TO M OV E , A N Y T H I N G I S P O S S I B L E . Toyota t pr proto ototyp oto ot t typ type e show show hown n. Not n. Not av avail ailabl able e for for sale. salle. Š20 Š2017 17 Toy Toyota ota Mo Motor tor or Co Corpo rporat rpo ration rat ion. A All ll rig r hts re rese ser se e ved ve ed..


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MAN FOOD

HEARTY, MOUTHWATERING MEXICAN NACHOS Nothing hits the spot while surrounded by friends like a plate of protein-rich, morish munchies. Dip in

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2/ Layer in the chips, chicken, chillies, beans, corn, tomatoes and cheese. Fold the foil over to make a packet; set the pan on the grill. Cook till the cheese melts, about 15 minutes or so.

Feeds 4. 2080 kilojoules, 35g protein, 38g carbs (9g fibre), 24g fat.

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20

The percentage of extra sex had by marijuana users compared with non-users of the drug. SOURCE: STANFORD UNIVERSITY

16

WHAT TO DO 1/ Preheat a grill over direct, high heat. Put a long sheet of foil in a large cast-iron pan, letting the ends hang over the edge. Repeat with another sheet, crossing it over the first one.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED • 1½ bag tortilla chips • 500g grilled chicken strips, chopped • 1 can diced green chillies • ½ can black beans, rinsed • ½ can whole kernel corn, drained • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved • 1 cup cheddar cheese. shredded • juice of 1/2 lime • ¼ cup sour cream • 1 avocado, diced • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced • ½ cup chopped coriander

FEBRUARY 2018

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3/ Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the lime juice and sour cream. 4/ With oven mitts, remove the pan. Peel back the foil. Top with avocado, herbs and the lime sour cream.

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FITNESS CORNER

Forearm exercises? Necessary or not? Do ’em. We once had a female colleague who swore that women loved strong forearms. (So we rolled up our sleeves and went to work.) “Forearms are forgotten in the Instagram age,” says Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training. “Men don’t respect forearm training like Arnold and his crew did.” Do these: heavy barbell hold (hold the bottom of a shrug position for 20 seconds); hammer curl (eight reps per side with a three-second lowering phase); and reverse curl (10 reps).

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MobilityForAll.com

W H E N W E A R E F R E E TO M OV E , A N Y T H I N G I S P O S S I B L E . ©20 © 017 7 Toy Toyota oyota Mo M tor or Co Corpo rp porattion on o n. All All rig ig ghts ts re reser served ser ved.. ved


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MH REVIEW

HEAD-TURNING HORSEPOWER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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The latest offering from a prestige maker blends high-end performance with rear-end allure. Eat your heart out By Andrew Chesterton

Kylie Minogue. Jessica Alba. Pink. Beyoncé. There’s plenty of room for argument when it comes to the world’s most attractive posterior. But when you’re talking cars, there can be only one candidate: Jaguar’s F-Type, first launched in 2013, has incontestably the most beautiful back end of any car money can buy. Yes, you could argue that a Porsche or Ferrari would look better in your driveway. But that fact is that the F-Type’s rear treatment, wrought by Jag’s design genius Ian Callum, is close to perfect. And it looks pretty rippling good from every other angle as well, particularly the driver’s seat. The F-Type is a properly muscular example of sports-car engineering when it comes to feel as well. It’s much heavier and angrier than the

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TAKE PHOTOS LIKE A PRO

Three tips for masterful outdoor snaps from award-winning adventure photographer Tyler Stableford

1 Kneel Before Zod

Stand and hold your camera to your face to shoot a scene and you’ll get the same photo as every other schmuck who’s been to that spot, says Stableford. “By getting low and close to your subject, and by using a wide-angle lens, you’ll get the motion blur while capturing the whole background landscape.”

2 Shoot Into The Sun

“Go ahead and break some traditional photography rules,” Stableford says. “Shooting into the sun creates a great backlight look to your shots. Just be sure to adjust your exposure accordingly so your subject doesnt get lost in shadow.”

3 Don’t blame your tools

Better to invest in superior gear, like the Sony RX10 III. Featuring a large aperture F2.4-4, 24-600mm optical 25x zoom lens and stacked 1” CMOS sensor, subjects will stand out beautifully, even in extreme close-up.

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SAY THIS, NOT THAT

We asked 181 women which phrase is better – and sexpert Naomi Piercey for her analysis

18

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Porsches it notionally competes with, and provided you choose the correct engine – a V8, obviously, rather than the merely adequate V6 or the surely-they-must-be-kidding four-cylinder version – it makes the kind of crazed howling noises that would frighten a banshee too. While the entry-level four-cylinder coupe might seem tempting at $107,300, you’d kick yourself every time someone sailed past in the real deal: a 5.0-litre V8 Coupe or Convertible, which starts at a rather more hefty $246,012 and can fire you to 100km/h in just a tick over four seconds. Yes, that is quite a price range they’ve got there. But there are V6 models in between, meaning there’s an F-Type for almost everyone. And on the plus side, they all rock that fantastic rear end.

FEBRUARY 2018

52% “What’s the matter?” 48% “Is something wrong?”

N AO M I S AYS

Asking if something’s wrong implies you can’t tell. Show her that you’re paying attention.

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jacqueline Alwill . Adv Dip Nut Med . . . . . Q I’m getting mixed signals on . . egg yolks. How many can I . . AS safely eat per week? . . . If you’re a healthy guy with normal . . cholesterol readings, about six or . . seven, AS. It’s possible you could . . safely eat more than that, but . . this is what the research is telling . us for now about maintaining a . . healthy LDL cholesterol level. . . Practically, that means you could . . have a two-egg omelette boosted . . with fresh veg three times a week, . while on other days you’d go with . . alternative brekkie options like . . salmon and beans or oats with . . a plant-based protein powder . . stirred through. Want more eggs . than that? Make your omelettes . . sans the yolks on your off days. . . . . . Q To satisfy my sweet tooth . . I’ll have a zero-kilojoule . . soft drink and add artificial . . sweeteners to my coffee. . . Any dramas with that? GH . . . Yes, every drama with that. Have . . you been living in a cave, GH? . . Artificial sweeteners contain . . toxins that overexcite your brain . . cells and cause neural damage. . They also block the reuptake of . . serotonin and dopamine, so while . . you feel good getting your little . . sweet hit that isn’t sweet, later . . you crash and your mood goes . south. The other point is you’re . . not addressing a sugar craving . . that comes from a deficiency . . in your diet. Up your intake of . . protein and fat to control it. . . . Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, . practising nutritionist and author . . of Seasons To Share: Nourishing . family and friends with nutritious, . . seasonal wholefoods . . . .......................... .......................... ..........................

NUTRITION KNOW-IT-ALL

94% “Take a deep breath.”

6% “Calm down.”

N AO M I S AYS

Neither option is a great one, but “calm down” is far more likely to get you into trouble.


RENEWED VIGOUR

28

20

FEBRUARY 2018

ERIK TANNER/CONTOUR BY GETTY IMAGES

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............................................................................................... ............................................................................................... ............................................................................................... ... ... ... ... ... . . . . WISE, OLDER MEN ... .... ... .... ... .... ... .... ... .... ... .... ... .... ... . . . . You can be tougher at 61 than at any time in your life, ... .... ... . . . . proves celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain ... .... ... .... ... .... ... . . . . MEN’S HEALTH: Brazilian jiu-jitsu ... bruises, black eyes, cauliflower ear. I .... ... . . . . seems to have transformed you. ... had to have my ear reconstructed. A .... ... . . . . When did you start that? ... cauliflower ear is a badge of honour. . . . . ANTHONY BOURDAIN: Four or five ... Nobody picks a bar fight with you. .... ... . . . . years ago? My then-wife was a full... Yeah, it was too bad. I was proud of .... ... . . . . time martial artist and invited four of ... it. But look, I’m 61 years old. I have .... ... . . . . the least likely people she knew to ... limited expectations of how I’ll do, .... ... . . . . take a private training session in the ... but every once in a while I get to feel . . . . hope it would be hilariously funny ... the will to live drain out of a 22-year.... ... . . . . and pathetic. I’d never been in a gym ... old wrestler. .... ... . . . . in my life. I was 35 pounds [16 ... .... ... . . . . kilograms] overweight, a chain ... Has your eating changed since you .... ... got focused on being fit? . . . . smoker, flabby, zero cardio. Taking ... . . . . stairs was not fun. To my shock and ... I was never sitting at home with a .... ... . . . . surprise, I endured, barely, that first ... bag of chips between meals. I eat for .... ... . . . . session. I found it very strategically ... a living, so I was already conscious of .... ... . . . . and intellectually intriguing. I like ... carbs and sugar. But it’s not like I .... ... deprive myself. And I don’t think . . . . problem solving and I also like being ... . . . . the stupidest person in the room. I ... about being fit. It’s more like, “What .... ... . . . . like being at the foot of a very steep ... will help me get better in jiu-jitsu, or .... ... . . . . incline where you never reach ... suck less at it?” .... ... . . . . the top. ... .... ... If jiu-jitsu were a life philosophy, .... ... . . . . Sounds like you got hooked fast. ... what it would be? .... ... . . . . It was the last thing I ever thought I ... Humility. I’ve had my ass kicked .... ... . . . . would find myself doing, which is to ... everywhere, but it engages the mind .... ... . . . . say, enjoy rolling around on a mat ... and pushes the body to extremes. .... ... . . . . with a bunch of sweaty dudes. But I ... . . . . started taking classes and these ... And what’s your comfort food .... ... . . . . days I mostly train open mat, which ... these days? .... ... . . . . means I show up at academies all ... A bowl of spicy noodles on a street .... ... . . . . over the world, walk in the door like ... in Southeast Asia, pasta out of a .... ... cracked bowl at a family-run place everybody else, get in my gi and do .... ... . . . . five-minute rounds with anybody ... in Rome, a pastrami sandwich in .... ... . . . . who wants to fight. Getting my blue ... New York. .... ... . . . . belt was easily the most difficult ... .... ... . . . . accomplishment of my life. ... What do you love about being a guy .... ... right now? .... ... . . . . Ever gotten hurt? ... I don’t know, honestly. I’m frequently .... ... . . . . I’ve torn a groin muscle. That took ... embarrassed by my fellow males. .... ... . . . . me out for a few months. Other than ... Most of the people I turn to when the .... ... . . . . that I’ve been lucky. Just the usual ... shit goes down – they’re all women. .... ... .... ... .... ... ................................................................................................... ................................................................................................... ................................................................................................... ................................................................................................... ... ... ... ... It’s a drug messing with your brain. The drug in ques... RANDOM QUESTION ... tion here is menthol, an organic compound that’s ... Why does mint gum make ... quite the mimic. In your nerve cells, menthol triggers ... ... water seem colder? ... the same reaction that cold does, explains physiolo... ... gy professor David Julius. Certain nerve cells detect ... ... things like temperature and pain, he says, and when ... ... ... specialised proteins on these cells sense a change, ... they transmit an electrical signal from, in this case, Percentage increase in death risk .. .. .. ... your mouth to a region of your brain called the . . . attributable to a high-carb diet ... ... somatosensory cortex. So lukewarm water might ... compared to a low-carb one. ... feel cool. In a similar way, the capsaicin in chillies . . . SOURCE: THE 135,000-PERSON “PURE” . . . feels hot. Nature’s tricky that way. STUDY, PUBLISHED IN THE LANCET ... ...


@CALIBREAUSTRALIA

CALIBRE.COM. AU


Water torture: Visser takes on the might of Maui’s Jaws.

22

FEBRUARY 2018


02/18

PERSONAL

BEST Hell Or High Water Mark Visser went from fearing the ocean to riding the world’s most dangerous wave . . . in the dark. Use his blueprint to turn your daydreams into dinner-party stories [ BY

BEN JHOT Y ]

FEBRUARY 2018

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ark Visser gazed at the stars studding the night sky as his jet-ski sped across a roiling Hawaiian sea. It was 2.30am on January 20, 2011 and Visser was headed toward a reckoning that had taken four years of preparation and been a lifetime in the making. When he arrived he’d be attempting something nobody had ever done before - surf Maui’s Pe’ahi, also known as Jaws and widely regarded as the world’s most treacherous break, at night. The reason it hadn’t been done before? Nobody thought it could be. But Visser was doing more than just trailblazing. There in the cold night headed toward a raging sea, he’d already turned a fear into a fantasy. In a way that was the easy part. Now he had to turn fantasy into reality. If he could do that, he reckoned, he would leave a lifetime of insecurity and self-doubt in his wake. He’d be free. “In the pitch black it was probably the most intense ride out of my life,” says Visser, recalling the event, known as ‘Night Rider’, from a lounge chair on the deck of his house on the Sunshine Coast. “All the what-ifs that you’re trying to block out to stay in the moment come flooding back in.” As Visser and his crew got in position the scene resembled a war zone – jet-skis to tow him into the wave’s path bobbed in the water, while two choppers hovered overhead. “I remember seeing one of the biggest sets, it had to be a 50 foot (15m) face and where I could see all

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the stars they literally just vanished because they were taken out by whitewater,” he says. “I was like, holy shit!” Visser felt his body respond to the adrenaline. “My heart was pounding so hard I swear my eyeballs were pulsing with every beat,” he says. His first challenge was to match the speed of the wave. “At Jaws it’s like a wind funnel,” he says. “It just siphons in there. You have to be moving at least 50km/h to match the pace of the wave.” Visser’s board shuddered and bucked beneath him as he blindly hit chops and bumps in the surf. As the wave peaked and he began to plunge down its face he had just one thought: stay on your feet. Video footage of Visser’s feat shows a glowing avatar-like figure blasting down a gigantic, fastmoving mound of water. Visser’s

Night terrors: Visser rides Jaws in the dark.

eyes had now adjusted so he could see “shadows within shadows” in the inky swell. He remembers hearing squealing “like a highpitched fan” as his fins cut the water’s surface. He caught the wave. Then he caught another. “There was a point where I felt like I was so present that I was gliding down a mountain,” he remembers. “I could actually see the stars and the moon and I could just go ‘wow, this is the dream that I once saw’.” Visser ended up catching 14 waves that night, each one pushing his childhood fears of the ocean further and further into submission. “From where I came from – being afraid of the water – Night Rider was the equivalent of climbing Mt Everest,” says Visser, snapping out of his reverie. “It was about setting me free as a person. I could finally accept myself.” Visser knows how that sounds. “The idea that I couldn’t accept myself until I achieved this is crazier than all the crazy shit I’ve ever done,” he says. He’s right. But as his story shows, to achieve your version of the impossible, your dream, you have to be willing to tackle your deepest fears, open yourself up to pain and humiliation, forensically dissect your weaknesses and then work tirelessly to turn them into strengths. And you have to be crazy enough to dream in the first place.


TACTICS

NIGHT RIDER WAS ABOUT SETTING ME FREE. I COULD FINALLY ACCEPT MYSELF.

REWRITE YOUR STORY It’s possible Visser was never meant to be a surfer. Born on a farm outside Wangaratta in country Victoria, he was two when he dropped a peach into a sheep’s trough, dived in after it and had to be pulled out by his older brother. That experience may have set a course for a life where he could never quite escape the depths of his own insecurity. If it didn’t, a near drowning a couple of years later at Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula brought his fears right to the surface, instilling a dread of the ocean and torpedoing his self-confidence for years to come. Had his family not moved to Mooloolaba in Queensland when Visser was 10, who knows whether he ever would have ridden a surfboard? Or if he’d still be afraid of the water. Everyone in Mooloolaba surfed. Visser watched them from the shore in awe. The ocean had an irresistible pull, he says. He was drawn to it and at the same time terrified by it. You’ve probably had a similar object of fear and fascination. Maybe it’s a girl; perhaps it’s the idea of quitting your 9-5 to start your own business. Eventually the water’s pull proved too strong. He started surfing every day and while he no longer feared drowning in a purely physical sense, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he wasn’t good enough. It was a feeling that would grow like a tapeworm inside him over the next 20 years. Visser may have come to surfing late compared to his fellow grommets but he was stubborn enough to keep heading out and catching waves. He got better, winning some comps and attracting sponsors. Eventually he had a crack at pro surfing’s World Qualifying Series but as the pond got bigger the competition got steeper. Visser was coming to a realisation: small waves were not his strength or, frankly, his bag. He didn’t like catching a wave only to do one turn, then watch the water dribble away beneath him. As luck would have it a sponsor suggested he have a crack at big waves instead. Visser never looked back. He

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DRINK THE WATER During the four years of preparation it took to get Night Rider off the ground, Visser faced many

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potentially devastating obstacles and moments when he was close to quitting. In such times he’d often reflect on some advice that he’d once dismissed as the worst he’d ever received. It came from his manager Steve’s brother, tennis star Pat Rafter. “I asked him ‘what’s the secret to success?’” Visser recalls. “I was looking for the silver bullet. He said ‘hard work, hard work and more hard work’. I remember looking at him and thinking, that is the shittest answer I’ve been given in my life.” Visser probed the tennis great for more. Because there had to be more, didn’t there? “I was like, ‘ok cool, what else would you say there is?’ He looked at me like I was an idiot and said, ‘Man I just told you.’” Visser was reminded of the story a few years later when he heard a rather unique strategy for avoiding dehydration. “Someone said, ‘if you’re dehydrated, you’ve just got to drink some water’. Someone else then goes, ‘ok cool, do you need to add some magnesium, three of these things, two of those and they’re like, ‘no you just need to drink some water’.” Visser’s new book The Big Wave Method is a master class in untangling the trip wires your mind puts in place to prevent you from achieving your dreams. It’s full of

straightforward advice you could easily dismiss as simplistic or even self-evident if it hadn’t been written by someone who’s actually walked the walk. Through the course of the book Visser chips away at the mysticism we so often attach to extraordinary feats. Because even the most remarkable achievement, he argues, is ordinary, mundane even, once it’s broken down into its component parts. “Sometimes the answer seems too obvious and so we try and find this magic bullet almost to prove how hard the challenge is,” Visser says. “The answer is just as simple as drink the fucking water.” And keep drinking it.

Swell guy: Visser swapped fear for fantasy, demons for dreams.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MAUI JIM

finished runner-up in the Oakley ASL Big Wave Awards from 2008-2011. Perhaps it should have been enough to subdue his mental demons. But Visser’s thought processes were still corrupted by childhood insecurities, manifesting in a negative personal narrative: ‘I can’t do this because of that’. It was, he says, looking back, a defence mechanism devised by his ego. “Your ego wants to keep you safe by saying, you can’t do this, you’re going to die,” he says. “That thought process will stop you doing things so you can stay safe.” You’ve probably got stories you tell yourself, fears you’ve suppressed and dreams you’ve buried. It could be something simple. You’d like to run a marathon but you can’t because you sucked at Cross Country back at school, so you never even consider it an option. Or maybe it’s something where the stakes are a little higher. Maybe you possess a hidden talent but you’re too afraid to expose yourself to public scrutiny because you’re not really an artist, writer, painter or chef and besides, what if people laughed at you? What if you failed? What if… Visser believes negative thought processes haunt us all. He also believes it takes at least six months for most people to arrest damaging and self-defeating interior monologues. That’s most people. Visser? He took nine, leaving himself notes around the house to help rewire his brain to a positive default setting. The hardest part, he warns, is making yourself vulnerable. “The key to taking on challenges is to be an open-hearted warrior without a weapon or padding,” he says. “When you’re vulnerable that’s when you’re open enough that you can become all you want to be.” It takes hard work and persistence but once you fix that faulty mental wiring and rewrite your story, Visser says, you reach a point where doubts become abstract rather than intrinsic, washing over you like waves. With no defence mechanism “protecting” him, there was nothing to stop Visser dreaming big. Like 60-foot big.


TACTICS

PREPARE FOR THE WORST Ask Visser if he’s an adrenaline junkie and he laughs. “In comparison to other big-wave guys I’d consider myself a semi-pussy,” he says before adding, “when it comes to the moment, yes I’m in that warrior state of mind, but in the lead-up to Night Rider I was a bigger pussy than anyone. It was my ability to accept that and prepare accordingly that became my ultimate strength.” The truth is to take on a monumental challenge you need to freak out a little. In doing so you make yourself put in the work. In the lead up to Night Rider, Visser trained with top free diver Anthony Williams, boosting his ability to hold his breath from an already remarkable four minutes to an astonishing six minutes. To get over his fear of sharks he researched their habits, then did a 26km paddle in the dark to assure himself he wouldn’t be eaten alive. A few days later he did a 100ft (30m) free dive onto a shipwreck where he knew sharks were likely to be hanging around. He’ll never know if they were there so dark was it at the bottom. By the time it came to Night Rider, Visser estimates that from a risk-analysis perspective there was probably a 3-4 per cent chance of something really bad happening. “The amount of preparation and training I put in was almost ridiculous, way above and beyond what was necessary,” he says. “If you prepare for the worst-case scenario, hope for the best and you end up somewhere in between then you’re still ahead.”

STAY IN THE MOMENT Five days before Night Rider Visser woke up in a cold sweat. “I was terrified, thinking ‘am I going to die?’” You’ve probably had similar experiences before an event that makes you anxious, whether it’s your first triathlon or a best man’s speech. You picture yourself in the situation. You catastrophise. Few sports require you to be more in the moment than surfing yet the irony is, to prepare for that one massive moment, Visser needed to be consciously present in all the minor moments leading up to it. “I would purposefully tell myself, ‘I’m thinking about what I have to do

in five days but what have I got to do right now? I’ve got to go to training right now in this exact moment’.” For you, staying present could be as simple as maintaining strict form on chin-ups or feeling your chest hit the ground on every push-up. This constant focus on the present had the ultimate reward during Night Rider when, after managing to absorb the fear that threatened to overwhelm him, Visser was able to take that moment on the board to look up at the stars. At the same time, as he hurtled down the wave at nearly 80km/h, there were those words that kept ringing in his head. Words he’d been saying to himself for a very long time. Words that speak to surfing’s very essence: “stay on your feet”. “I knew if I said ‘don’t fall off’, all I’d hear would be ‘fall off’,” Visser explains. “If you redirect your mind to

only think what you want you’ve got more chance of achieving it.” This kind of subtle mental manipulation informed every aspect of Visser’s physical and mental approach to Night Rider and continues today as he prepares for his next challenge, Operation Deep Blue, in which he’ll parachute out of a plane to surf the biggest wave in the world. Whatever dream you set for yourself you’d be wise to apply a similar positive slant. The reason, as always, is simple. You can’t change the size of the swell, the length of a race or the gradient of a path. But what you can do is control the messages that fill your head. And whether you’re a surfer or not, when things hang in the balance what you tell yourself could be the difference between wiping out and the ride of your life.

WHEN YOU’RE VULNERABLE THAT’S WHEN YOU’RE OPEN ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN BECOME ALL YOU WANT TO BE Stand Up And Deliver

Visser’s training has become renowned in elite circles for its intensity and effectiveness. In the same way he prepares his mind for the incredible psychological challenges of big-wave surfing, Visser and coach Greg Dolman incorporate a variety of disciplines to build a body that can handle far more than may ever be asked of it. Use these drills to build a physique that can take on anything

Cardio

• 50m run incorporating stairs • 10 push-ups • 10 chin-ups • 10 sit-ups • 10 dips That’s one round. Continue without rest this time doing 9s, then 8s until you’re down to 1. “This is one of the hardest drills I do,” says Visser. “Once you finish you’ve got blurry vision.” Visser’s best time is 11mins. His best time when sick: 15.40.

Fitball Foundation

Dolman gave Visser this regimen to prepare for the 2016 Ultimate Waterman event. Do these moves balancing on a fitball to build an iron core: • Single-Arm dumbbell chest press (3x6) • Stand on the fitball while a mate randomly throws a medicine ball at you from the front and behind • Bent-over one-arm dumbbell row (3x6) • Push-up (3x20)

Core Crusher

Stand on a Fitball, holding a medicine ball in front of you for 1min, then move it explosively to your left for a minute, then your right, then above your head, then out in front again for a five-minute set. “After that your legs just tremble,” says Visser. “Your whole body pulsates.”

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MIND

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN…

I Go On Another New Year Detox?

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02

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1

Just as you’re drawn to a greasy fry-up post festivities, toxins are drawn to the body’s fat cells. “When you lose weight, those toxins are released,” says Dawson, so the faster you lose weight, the more your body has to deal with at once. “If you’re living on juice, you won’t be getting enough nutrients to process the toxins.” Play the long game.

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Take It Slow

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Whether eaten, inhaled or imbibed, most toxins eventually pass through your body’s waste-disposal system: the liver. “You can support the process through nutrition,” says Dawson. “Onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and kale stimulate production of the enzymes your liver uses for detoxification.” Consider office-party excess crucified.

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Work Your Guts Out

Of course, your body’s main form of excretion occurs in the gents. But, if your guts are stuck in slo-mo, you could find yourself in a toxic circle. “If you’re constipated, toxins found in the waste product in your intestine can be reabsorbed,” says Dawson. A highfibre diet containing veg, pulses and wholegrains will keep things in full flow. Here’s to 5pm Friday.

WORDS: DAN MASOLIVER; ILLUSTRATION: PETER GRUNDY

All Day, Every Day

Beware of supplements and plans claiming to detoxify your body. Without doing a thing, you’re ‘cleansing’ right now. “Our bodies are processing toxins at all times,” explains Emma Dawson, nutritionist at Nuffield Health. Once you begin excreting those toxins, you start to feel the effects – be it caffeine-withdrawal or a bastard behind the eyes.

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Green Light

Spinning might not appeal when your head is doing just that, but cardio will give your body a hand. “When we sweat we get rid of harmful chemicals,” says Dawson. “Plus exercise boosts enzymes that support detoxification.” Fuel up on sweet potato first: its antioxidants combat the free radicals produced as you detox. And yes, the fries work just as well.

Marketeers would have you believe expunging a year’s worth of toxins within a few January weeks is possible. But is ‘detox’ a dirty word?

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Sweat the Bad Stuff


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MUSCLE + FITNESS

THE

B E ST

EXERCISE YOU’RE NOT DOING

Undo the Damage of 01 a Desk Job

WHAT YOU’LL GAIN...

TALL ORDER

Does your back hurt after a long day’s work? Ours too. Use the Cossack Squat to add posture-protecting benefits to your gym plan

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BULLETPROOF LOWER BACK

INJURY RESISTANCE

02

EASTERN BLOC MUSCLE

TAKE SIDES

With your core set, lunge to the left and ‘sit down’ onto your left foot, extending the opposite leg. Your extended leg should be resting on its heel with your other foot flat on the floor. This, by the way, is the easy bit.

03

SHIFT WORK

Lock your arms to stop them wobbling, tighten your core and keep your posture tall as you steadily shift your weight to the other leg, ending in a mirror position.

SUPREME FLEXIBILITY

04

LAST STAND

Pushing through the heel of your right foot, return to standing, under control. Take a breath, reset your shoulder blades and prepare to repeat for another rep.

WORDS: WILL ROWLATT ALLEN; PHOTOGRAPHY: PHILIP HAYNES; GROOMING: SUSANA MOTA; STYLING: ABENA OFEI MODEL: CHRISTOPHER WHITLOW AT ANDI PETERS’ MODELS ; SHORTS UNDERARMOUR.CO.UK; TRAINERS NIKE.COM

WHILE AN INTENSIVE training plan strikes no fear in the MH man, increasingly it’s the perils of the day job that can leave you wincing. Where once a man’s work was breaking backs, it’s now bending them. Your slouching desk posture is causing pain and stilting progress. And those HIIT sessions you rely on for fast results when you finally leave the office are likely exacerbating the problem. You need to slow down. The overhead Cossack squat focuses on control, resetting rounded shoulders, opening your hip flexors and strengthening your core to get an injury-proof posture. Take it easy to start with: “Get comfortable performing bodyweight Cossack squats before adding any weight,” advises PT and mobility enthusiast Ollie Frost. “Once the bar is overhead the key is to keep your ribs down, back straight and chest up. These cues not only protect you from injury, but also develop better posture for a day at your desk.” Join our quest to mobilise the work force, and complete four sets of three reps each side, three times a week at the end of your session. You’ll sit pain-free within a month.

With feet shoulderwidth and a wide grip on the bar, raise your arms overhead. Make sure your back and legs are straight and that your hands are slightly behind your head in a Y-shape. Stop whistling the Village People.


NUTRITION

Five Foods To Fend Off Cancer Delicious ways to defend against disease are a grocery run away. Load your basket with these weapons GREEN TEA

BULGUR W H E AT

Caffeine and antioxidants help damaged cells die, lowering the chance they’ll turn cancerous, says Dr Chung Yang, a cancer researcher. TIP Bottled green tea may have added sugar, while fresh tea has none (unless you add it). Pick up a box of plain caffeinated green tea bags and brew your own.

As your whole grain intake goes up, your overall cancer risk may drop, a review in BMJ suggests. It could be the fibre. Bulgur has over 50 per cent more of it than quinoa does.

Every 10 grams of fibre (½ cup of navy beans) you eat daily may cut your colorectal cancer risk by 11 per cent, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

TIP Swap your morning oats for bulgur; toss it into salads at lunch; or prepare it with garlic, spring onions and ginger and top with trout or salmon for an easy dinner.

TIP These beans are tender and mild, perfect for stews and soups. Drain a can, rinse the beans and add them as you would meat to your favourite chilli con carne recipe.

PUMPKIN SEEDS

Omega-3 fatty acids in this coldwater fish may prevent cancer-promoting inflammation, says oncologist Neil Iyengar. TIP Wrap a trout fillet in foil with a little oil, salt, pepper and orange slices. Bake at 230°C until flaky, 15-20 minutes. Serve it with bulgur wheat. Read on!

FEBRUARY 2018

Don’t toss ’em in the trash! Pumpkin seeds have more of a type of potentially prostatecancer-fighting vitamin E, called gammatocopherol, than other nuts and seeds. TIP Toss a handful of shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds into your trail mix, salad or bulgur dish to add texture, or roast them for a crunchy, satisfying afternoon snack.

BY MICAELA YOUNG; PHOTOGRAPHY: AKIRA KAWAHATA; ICONS: SODAVEKT

TROUT

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MINUTE MAKE

YOU’RE 120 SECONDS AWAY FROM LOSING WEIGHT, GETTING FIT,

SWIPE LEFT, RIGHT, AND EVERYWHERE

2

DIABETIC? EAT THIS “DESSERT”

3

COOL DOWN ON ONE LEG

4

MAKE THIS YOUR NEW LUNCH

One of the smartest things you can pack in your carry-on for travel is a packet of disinfecting wipes. Use them to sanitise your very humble seat in economy by swiping disease-carrying microbes from high-threat areas like tray tables, seat buckles, air vent dials, seat pockets, and, of course, when it’s time, bathroom door handles.

To stabilise postmeal blood sugar, try eating carbs last. In one study, people with type 2 diabetes ate a chicken sandwich: (1) in its entirety, with 10 minutes between halves; (2) bread first, chicken/ veggies 10 minutes later; (3) chicken/veggies first, bread 10 minutes later. Option 3 reduced blood sugar spikes and insulin response for up to three hours.

To improve his balance and joint health, strength coach Jeff Watters ends workouts with a variation on the field sobriety test: stand with arms extended and eyes closed. Lift one foot and hold, up to a minute. Switch sides and repeat. This strengthens tendons and ligaments in your ankles, knees and hips. One-leg balance predicts longevity too.

A daily meal-replacement shake is among the least utilised tools for weight management, says Dr Spencer Nadolsky. Blend 30 grams vanilla protein powder, ½ cup blueberries and a small handful of chopped walnuts with water or milk. No blender? Mix the protein with water and eat the rest on the side. It’s just 1250 kilojoules, but quite filling.

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HAPPY MARRIAGE, HAPPY HEART

Researchers followed married British men for 19 years to see how their relationship ups and downs affected their risk factors for heart disease. “Improving” marriages were linked to lower LDL cholesterol and weight loss, while “deteriorating” ones were linked to higher diastolic blood pressure. To keep yours on the upswing, see the next tip.

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STARE EACH OTHER DOWN

Sit facing your partner with your knees touching and look into each other’s eyes, without talking, for two minutes. “Experiments with couples show that this increases feelings of bonding, even among strangers,” says sexual health expert Alexandra Katehakis. “When you have time, go for four minutes.”

SIZE UP ANY MENU INSTANTLY

Menu engineers (yes, they exist) know that most diners tend to scan the middle part of a menu first; then they move from top right to top left. So that’s where restaurants tend to put items with the highest profit margin, says Aaron Allen, a restaurant consultant. Don’t be fooled: think outside the triangle to make better nutritional choices.

SNEEZE LIKE A VAMPIRE

Taking a couple of minutes to teach your children the “vampire sneeze” will go a long way toward protecting you from the multitude of germs those little buggers carry. Make a game of it, by having them sneeze and cough into the crook of their arm – like Dracula ducking his face behind his cape – instead of into their hands, the air or onto you.

ILLUSTRATIONS: PATSWERK

1


HEALTH

OVERS

AND EASING ALL YOUR STRESS

5

GET MORE FROM GARLIC

6

LOSE WEIGHT BY DEGREES

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HANG LOOSE – LITERALLY

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DRESS WITH THE BEST OIL

To maximise the immunityboosting benefits of garlic, mince a few cloves and let the bits sit for a few minutes. This encourages the formation of allicin, which has antioxidant properties. Mix garlic into salad dressing or stir-fry, or blend it with cream cheese to use as a spread, says integrative medicine expert Dr Victoria Maizes.

US research shows we’re cranking up our heaters in winter to achieve temperatures that are a little too comfortable.The price we pay for T-shirt temps is looking a lot worse in T-shirts. By dialling back a little, you’ll make your body work harder to stay warm, increase its energy expenditure by up to 10 per cent and burn up to 1200 extra kilojoules per day.

To build big muscles, you gotta lift heavy. But there’s a bad side effect: compressed spinal discs from heavy squats, deadlifts, and shoulder presses. “Hanging from a pullup bar stretches back muscles and creates space for bloodflow between the discs,” says strength coach Lee Boyce. Hang for 30 seconds at a time, or anytime you feel tight.

Iowa State scientists found that our bodies are better at absorbing eight nutrients (including beta carotene and vitamins A, E, and K) when we eat vegetable salads with soybean or canola oil. And the more oil (up to about two tablespoons), the more nutrients were absorbed. Look for organic non-hydrogenated oils as a base in dressings, or mix your own.

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SWIG THIS BEFORE EATING OUT

Worried you’ll overeat at the sports bar? Nutritionist Alan Aragon suggests fixing a twominute “snack” before you leave home: mix 20 grams of whey protein with 450ml of water. It can help you cut your kilojoule intake at restaurants, where meals tend to be hyperpalatable and high in energy – “a recipe for overconsumption”, he says.

SAY YES TO CRESS

Your best play with vegetables is to eat as diversely as possible. For a new meal-picker-upper, sub out your usuals and sub in watercress, says Chef Ming Tsai of Blue Dragon restaurant in Boston. Watercress is also packed with nutrients and provides a snappy, peppery bite that takes salads, stir-frys and even smoothies to another level.

SMILE FOR YOUR FLU SHOT

The flu vaccine lowers your risk of the illness by only 40-60 per cent, medical authorities report. But cheer up: being in a positive mood on vaccination day may boost the vaccine’s effectiveness by tweaking your immune system to enhance its antibody response, a 2017 study suggests. Before rolling up your sleeve, watch a funny video or peruse your most recent vacation photos.

BOOST MOOD IN MINUTES

It’s hard to be anxious or angry when you’re feeling thankful, according to research by Sonja Lyubomirsky, a psychology professor at UC Riverside. Lyubomirsky advises writing a list – once a week is most effective – of recent things you’re grateful for and then referring to it for a couple of minutes whenever you’re feeling down or upset.

FEBRUARY 2018

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HEALTH

Raise Your Growth Potential Buy now, gain later! Keep your muscle stock strong with the inside scoop on what’s rising and falling in sports science

02 Curry Favour The heat of a ‘chilli con Arnie’ post-gym will destroy DOMS. Spicy food’s sensory overload distracts the body from cramping. Harvard Medical School

03 Master Plan For the biggest gains, stick to a regular training plan. It helps your immune system’s T-cells repair muscle, aiding growth. Brigham Young University

09 Short Stretch

02

Commit more than 60sec to each static stretch and muscles will over-relax, limiting performance by 5 per cent. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism

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A jolt of java does you a latte good. Research shows caffeine can fool your brain into thinking any exercise is easier than it is. Yes, even burpees. University of California

10 Alco Stops

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05 Red Hot

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Power up your biceps with pomegranates. The urolithin they contain will repair and revitalise your muscle cells’ energy source: mitochondria. Nature Medicine

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06 Siesta Snack

14 Free Falling

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08 Keep it Light

Lifting heavy just plummeted. A new study found training to exhaustion with high reps builds just as much muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology

FEBRUARY 2018

13

12 Beat the Strap

Ignore the guy putting a band around his biceps. Post-exercise ‘blood restrictive therapy’ does nothing for muscle growth. European Journal of Applied Physiology

13 Hurt Blocker

‘No pain, no gain’ is no good. Studies keep showing that training through soreness slows progress and damages muscle cells. Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

A man walked into a bar. Literally. A study found 90 per cent of weight-training injuries are due to free weights. Get your form right. American Journal of Sports Medicine

Key to the Risers and the Fallers Cutting-edge gym science Received wisdom, still working Bloated exercise myths

WORDS: TOM LING; ILLUSTRATION: INFOMEN

& Conditioning

11 Time to Chill

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07 Pec Perfect

Which pecs exercise is best? A study pitting bench presses against resistance band push-ups ended in a draw. Journal of Strength

Arnie packed protein shakes with rum for an added kick. But a new study says a post-gym pint will stunt muscle growth. Hit the bar on rest day. Uni of North Texas

Stay frosty after winter sprints. A warm bath (above 45°) will boil off your gains and decrease lower-body mass. Back to the cold showers. Sorry. Uni of Queensland

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Eating before sleep won’t damage your six-pack. Chowing down on protein in the late evening helps lifters rebuild muscle. American Society for Nutrition

Focus on the muscles you’re working during big lifts to activate even more fibres and gain strength and mass. European Journal of Applied Physiology

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01 Ground Hero

04 Mind Matters


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The Health Snob’s Guide To…

Kale

To say that kale is good for you is akin to declaring the Pope’s religious conviction. But making this bitter green giant more toothsome has proved no mean feat. Until now GREEN CREDENTIALS

i) CURLY KALE

The sharp-tasting poster boy of the kale crew is a top source of potassium, vital for muscle function to get more from your lifting sessions. Pair with lean, white meat and ensure your efforts reap big rewards.

ii) REDBOR KALE

Also known by the more chromatically apt moniker ‘purple kale’, antioxidant-rich redbor leaves contain more energising iron per kilojoule than beef – an ironic twist for committed carnivores.

iii) CAVOLO NERO

Originally grown in Tuscany, cavolo nero (‘black kale’) is rich and nutty. Stuffed with isothiocyanates, it’s also shown to have a potent anti-carcinogenic effect.

iv) RED RUSSIAN

This sweeter, tender variety packs 134 per cent of your vit C RDI per bowl. Your body’s immune system is weaker during intense training, so it’ll look out for you when your defences are down.

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YOUR FRESH APPROACH

With proper prep, kale needn’t leave a bitter taste in the mouth. You can start by removing the hard stems. The majority of kale’s nutrients are contained in its antioxidant-rich leaves. Hix advises using a razor-sharp paring knife. Studies have shown that dull knives can cause the leakage of nutrients such as calcium and potassium. Next, rinse and dry your leaves in a salad spinner. Now treat them to a light massage, which will relax the kale’s tough cellulose structure, reducing some of that trademark bitterness. Finally, bring out the heavy-duty cookware. “I like to keep things simple, so these recipes don’t require anything more than a heavy-bottom saucepan,” says Hix. “This is the best thing to use when slow cooking, as it retains more heat and helps to speed up the process.” For best results, take a leaf out of Hix’s book and opt for a cast iron classic from Le Creuset ($299, lecreuset.com.au). Now, fire up the stove.

WORDS: DAN MASOLIVER; PHOTOGRAPHY: LOUISA PARRY; FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS; BOWLS BARBER & OSGERBY FOR ROYAL DOULTON, PLATE HABITAT

Along with its brassica cousins cabbage and broccoli, kale has something of an image problem. Despite achieving superfood status with regular gigs at franchise juice bars, it’s not so much celebrated as tolerated. But a little culinary know-how goes a long way: “Kale lends itself to all manner of dishes, from salads to winter braises,” says restaurateur Mark Hix. Time to turn over a new leaf.


NUTRITION

HANDLE THE HEAT For such a nutritional juggernaut, kale is delicate. It may contain considerably more vit C than spinach, but bring it to the boil and you’ll lose more than a third of this immunity-boosting benefit. A steam or gentle stir fry will lock in the hyper-heralded nutrients. And whatever you do, says Hix, don’t add bicarb of soda to the water. Your granny may have sworn by its ability to keep the colour in your greens, but it’ll crucify your cruciferous veg’s healthy benefits. Protect, then serve with these recipes.

i) Curly Kale With Butterfly Prawns SERVES 4

• A head of curly kale, washed, trimmed and cut into 2-3cm pieces • Olive oil for frying • Flaky sea salt, to taste • Whole tiger prawns, 12 • Dried chilli flakes, 1tsp • Butter, 2tbsp

BRASSIC INSTINCT

METHOD

Heat oil to 180°C in a thick pan. Deep-fry the kale in handfuls until crisp, then pop on kitchen paper and scatter with salt. De-head the prawns, slice lengthways and baste with butter and chilli; cook on a pan. To finish, deep-fry the prawn shells, then dry and blend to a coarse powder with the chilli and salt. Sprinkle over the top for an electrolyte-replenishing feast.

ii) Braised Pork with Purple Kale SERVES 4

• Pork cheeks, 500g, cut into chunks • Salt and black pepper • Flour, 50g plus dusting • Vegetable oil, 1tbsp • Butter, 60g • Onions, 2, finely sliced • Dry cider, 500ml • Chicken stock, 700ml • Purple kale, 250-300g, stalks removed

METHOD

Season and lightly flour the pork. Fry the cheeks in oil on high heat until brown. Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan and cook the onion for two minutes until soft; add the flour, reduce the heat, then gradually add the antioxidant-rich cider and stock. Bring to the boil, add the pork, season and simmer for 60-90 minutes. Reduce the sauce, then steam the kale until tender. Serve.

Kale may be the leafy green du jour, but don’t write off its less fashionable brethren BRUSSELS

A veg for life, not just for Christmas, sprouts are the top pick for anti-cancer glucosinolates, reports the journal Acta Horticulturae.

CABBAGE

If ’slaw leaves you limp, unlock added benefits with kimchi – a fermented, spicy cabbage shown to have a powerful probiotic effect.

CAULIFLOWER

A distant relative of kale, cauliflower is loaded with choline, vital for cognition and brain health, says the Journal of Neurophysiology.

iii) Cavolo Nero with Chestnuts SERVES 4

• Frozen chestnuts, 250g, peeled and halved • Cavolo nero, 400g • Cold-pressed rapeseed oil, 1tbsp • Parmesan cheese, 80g, grated • Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

METHOD

Gently fry the chestnuts for three minutes or until golden. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the kale for 40 secs, transfer to a bowl, then immediately drizzle with rapeseed oil and season to taste. Serve with the chestnuts – they help you absorb more iron from the kale. Add the finely grated cheese and dig in.

iv)

Grilled Whiting with Russian Kale

SERVES 4

• A large whiting cut on the bone into 4 • Olive oil for grilling • Salt and white pepper • Potatoes, 700g, washed • Red Russian kale, 150-200g, trimmed • Butter, 60g • Chopped chervil, 1tbsp • A lemon, in 4 wedges

METHOD

Brush the selenium-rich fish with oil and season, then pop under a hot grill for five minutes each side. Test with a small knife, near the bone. Boil the potatoes until soft, then cook the kale in boiling salted water for two minutes. Melt the butter in a pan, add the kale and chervil and serve with the fish, spuds, lemon and – oh, go on then – extra butter.

FEBRUARY 2018

39


MUSCLE + FITNESS

Get a Grip on the Farmer’s Walk Use these exercises to build iron shoulders and strengthen your entire body

STRENGTH

THE BENCHMARK

Do the circuit below, rest 60-90 secs and then do another circuit. Choose dumbbells that are heavy enough to make the last few reps of each set a challenge.

With your strength work done, rest 90secs then do this test. Your score is the minutes of your farmer’s walk plus your push-up tally. Check againt benchmark below.

Reverse Lunge with Reachback

Dumbbell Clean to Shoulder Press

Farmer’s Walk

Inchworm to Runner’s Stretch

Renegade Row to Plank Dumbbell Raise

Push-up

Stand tall, arms at your sides. Lunge back with your right leg and lower your body until your left knee is bent 90˚. As you do, swing both arms overhead and to the left. Return to the starting position. Repeat with your left leg, swinging your arms to the right. That’s 1 rep; do 12-15.

Bend at the waist and touch the floor; then walk your hands to a push-up position. Step your right foot forward, outside your right hand. Lift your right hand and reach up, arm straight. Return to the push-up position and reverse the move. Repeat on the left side. That’s 1 rep; do 10-12. BENCHMARK SCORECARD

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Set two dumbbells on the floor just beyond shoulder-width apart; squat and grab them. Explosively pull the dumbbells off the floor to your shoulders and squat beneath them. Stand, and then press the weights up above your head. That’s 1 rep; do 10-12.

Assume a push-up position, hands on dumbbells. Pull the right dumbbell to your right hip, lower it, and repeat with the left. Now lift the right dumbbell, rotating your hips to the right until you’re in a side plank, your right arm straight up. Repeat on the left side. That’s 1 rep; do 10-12.

How much can your body take?

22 or fewer A fine start

Grasping a pair of 25kg dumbbells, let your arms hang naturally by your sides. Keep your shoulders back as you walk back and forth until you can no longer hold the dumbbells. See how many minutes you last; round up if you pass 30 seconds. Aim for at least 1:30.

Immediately after completing your farmer’s walk, set the two dumbbells on the floor slightly beyond shoulder-width apart. Grasp them and perform as many push-ups as you can. Stop when you’re no longer able to maintain good form.

23–30 Damn good

31 or more That’s MH fit!

ILLUSTRATIONS: +ISM

MOBILITY

Perform 2 rounds of the circuit below for lower-body mobility. Rest 15 secs between each move and 30 secs between rounds. Still not loose? Do a third round.


NUTRITION

NUTRITION

Meat Or Two Veg? From flexitarianism to veganism, swapping flesh and dairy for plant-based food is a blooming trend. But can it really rival a red-blooded meal?

ANIMAL

VEGETABLE

90kg

11.2%

VS

Amount of meat consumed by the average Australian per year. Source: OECD-FAO

The proportion of Australians who are vegetarian. Source: Roy Morgan

SCIENCE SAYS

Red meat is the best source of creatine, which helps more oxygen reach your muscles, increasing strength by 15 per cent

A plant-based diet may be more effective for weightloss. It improves metabolism to help you shed more than 6kg in six months

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

Physicians Committee, Washington DC

POWER MOVES

Curbs cravings

Cognitive boost

30% 54% 26% Sat fat*

Protein

Better burgers

Low in kilojoules

STAR PLAYER

Vitamin B12

Eating 50g of processed meat a day (the amount in a hot dog) is linked to an 18 per cent increased risk of bowel cancer

SORE SPOTS

Heart-healthy

Eco kudos

187% 46% 19% Vitamin A

International Agency for Research on Cancer

BSc Whey Protein Isolate With a hefty 26.8g of muscle-fuelling protein per serving, but just 471kJ and 0.5g of fat, this is certified T-shirt-filling fertiliser

Hormone-free

Vitamin C

Magnesium

Research suggests vegetarians are 18 per cent more likely to suffer depression and 28 per cent more likely to report anxiety American Heart Association

QUICKS HITS

Prana Power Plant Protein Perfect for a fast, clean (it’s gluten-free, hipsters) post-gym fix, this is also a tasty ingredient for your muscle-building bakes

THE MH VERDICT: ANIMAL WINS!

While sticking to veg will help you score plenty of vitamins and minerals there’s scant evidence to support cutting out your weekly ribeye. Trimming your intake wouldn’t hurt, sure, but for the MH man looking to fuel his training, meat remains the order of the day

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FEBRUARY 2018

RDI Spinach

RDI Steak

Natural vit D


SUNSMART GOTCHA COVERED MAXIMUM SUN PROTECTION MADE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN WAY OF LIFE CANCERCOUNCILSHOP.ORG.AU Always read the label. Use only as directed. ASMI 28229-0917.


MIND

How a Song Brings Out Your Beast Music motivates, but how, exactly? We asked neuroscientist and music expert Dr Jessica Grahn to tune us in BY ALEISHA

FE T TERS ALVAREZ

ILLUS T R AT ION BY R AFA

3/ Connection

Pitch, notes, melody and lyrics all travel to the limbic pathway or emotional response system of your brain, which focuses on fast tempos and upbeat chords. Within this region, the amygdala makes connections between the song and good memories (like when you heard it at a 5K you crushed).

4/ Sensation 1 / Vibration

Your outer ear funnels sound waves into your middle ear, then inner ear, where they vibrate the 200 microlitres of fluid in your cochlea. Tiny hair cells sense this motion and convert the vibrations into electrical signals that spur the release of glutamate, a neurotransmitter that stimulates a nerve fibre to carry the signals to your brain.

2/ Translation

Your auditory brain stem and auditory cortex perceive sound and distinguish pitch, notes and melody. Meanwhile, the vocals go to the Wernicke area of your brain. At first they’re garbled, like the words of adults in Peanuts, but they soon become clear. (Science hasn’t figured out why.)

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FEBRUARY 2018

With your limbic pathway activated, neurons fire in your nucleus accumbens, the mosh pit of your brain’s reward centre. There’s a rush of dopamine – a chemical linked to orgasms. These vibes echo through your cerebral reward hub and your dopamine high overrides fatigue and anxiety.

5/ Completion

With the song’s final notes, the dopamine surge subsides, returning you to where you began – but with a sweet feeling of achievement and an ingrained memory of the song’s power. Use this to your advantage in the future.


5 Microwave Muscle Meals

Want to ace your next at-home feast? Start thinking inside the box

STEAM/SIMMER

SALMON HOBO PACKETS Time

15 minutes

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FEBRUARY 2018

Protein

39 grams

That microwave on your countertop can do so much more than just heat leftover pizza. “People crave efficiency, so they should call on the microwave more often to steam and heat where browning isn’t required,” says chef Keith Schroeder, author of Mad Delicious. It’s a truly ingenious invention. So put it to use and craft sensational original meals, not just reheat old ones.

[ BY MAT THE W K ADE Y

Fold two 35×45cm sheets of baking paper in half. Open them and place 2 cups chopped broccoli, ½ sliced fennel bulb and ½ sliced red capsicum on one side of each sheet; top with a 170g salmon fillet. Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a bowl. Stir in 2 Tbsp orange juice plus 2 tsp each orange zest and fresh thyme. Spread this over the fish. Fold the paper over the fish and crimp shut. Microwave on high for 4 minutes; add time (in 30-second intervals) until the salmon is cooked. Let the parcels rest for 5 minutes. Open them and sprinkle on 1 tsp black sesame seeds. Feeds 2.

PHOTOGR A PH Y BY TR AVIS

R ATHBONE ]


NUTRITION

STEAM/SIMMER

BAKE

BARBECUE MEATLOAF

SMOKY TOMATO AND CRAB SOUP In a 1.8L dish, mix 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 cup chopped yellow onion, 1 chopped red capsicum, 2 chopped garlic cloves and a couple of pinches of salt. Cover the dish and cook on high until the capsicum is tender, about 2½ minutes. Add 1 can of tomatoes, 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 tsp smoked paprika and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Cover again and heat on high for 5 minutes. Puree with ½ cup of low-fat cream. Season to taste with more salt, if needed. Top with crabmeat and minced fresh chives to taste. Feeds 2. Time

15 minutes

Protein

Combine 450g ground beef , 1 cup grated carrot, ½ cup chopped onion, ½ cup bread crumbs or quick oats, ¼ cup BBQ sauce, 3 Tbsp tomato paste, 1 large egg, 2 tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp kosher salt and ¼ tsp black pepper. Press into an even layer in a greased microwave-safe loaf pan; spread another ¼ cup barbecue sauce on top. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high until cooked through (75°C), 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Feeds 4. Time

NUKE IT GOOD

TOAST

25 minutes

Protein

24 grams

CINNAMON-CHILLI SWEET POTATO CHIPS Slice 1 medium sweet potato very thinly. (Use a mandoline if you have one.) In a small bowl, toss the slices with 2 tsp oil, ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp chilli powder, and ¼ tsp salt. Then arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking paper-lined plate. (You might have to do this in batches so the chips don’t turn soggy.) Microwave the slices on high until your chips are crispy, about 3 minutes. Serve alongside or crushed atop tacos. And they’re great with guacamole. Feeds 2. Time

7 minutes

Protein

1.5 grams

Leftovers can be great – or horrible, if you reheat them the wrong way. Here’s the right way.

1

A shallow glass, or other microwave-safe dish is best. Spread the leftovers over the entire dish. The larger the surface area, the less time needed to reheat the food.

25 grams

2

BAKE

CHICKEN PINEAPPLE CURRY In a large bowl, add 1 peeled and cubed sweet potato, 2 chopped shallots, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp water, and 1 Tbsp chopped ginger. Cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Add 1 can coconut milk, 1 Tbsp red curry paste and ½ tsp each salt and cinnamon; puree. In another bowl, cook 450g cubed chicken breast on high, covered, for 2 minutes. Drain, add the puree, cover and heat on high till done (stir once), 6 minutes. Stir in 1 cup frozen peas, 1 cup diced pineapple, ⅓ cup cashews and the juice of ½ lime; heat 30 seconds. Serve with rice and coriander. Feeds 4. Time

20 minutes

Don’t Go Deep

Protein

18 grams

Organise

In the microwave, the centre of the dish receives less energy than the outside. Arrange thinner, more delicate foods (such as broccoli florets or the tails of prawns) toward the center. Thick or tough parts, like asparagus stalks, can go closer to the edge of the dish.

3

Heat It All

Ironically, cold spots in reheated leftovers can be hotbeds for bacterial growth. To eliminate them (and reduce your odds of foodborne illness) without overcooking everything else, give the food a stir once or twice during cooking.

FEBRUARY 2018

47


BRUSH UP ON YOUR GROOMING

THE LATEST NEWS,TRENDS AND EASY HOW-TOS FOR YOUR HAIR,FACE AND BODY + TRIAL PRODUCTS FOR FREE

beautycrew.com.au Bea utycrew

@Beautycrew

@Beautycrew

*B E A U T Y c rew i s A us tra l i a ’s numb er o n e d e d i c a t e d o n l i n e b e a u t y d e s t i n at i o n , as r a t e d b y N i e l s e n wi t h i n t h e a p p are l a nd b ea uty c a teg ory. Sourc e: N i el s en M a r k e t In t e l l i g e n ce (D o me s t i c), Av e r ag e D ai l y Un i q u e Bro ws e r s , as at 18/5/2017.


MH Life FIND YOUR TOP GEAR

THE CUT-OFF POINT

Denim shorts are a man’s best friend this summer and offer the perfect way to mix up your casual wardrobe> JEFF LACK VASSI LENA GROOMING BY KATIE L MOORE S T Y L ING BY

MODEL: TOMMY O’CONNOR @ CHADWICK’S; DOG: @BOSTON.COCKER

P HO T OGR A P H Y BY

Uniqlo denim shorts $39.90 Venroy linen shirt $100

FEBRUARY 2018

49


Style Denim shorts can serve as an anchor for bolder options up top like this playful silk print shirt that screams good-time summer vibes. H&M denim shorts $39.99 Calibre shirt $299 Ray-Ban sunnies $250 Chappelli bike $649 chappelli.com

50

FEBRUARY 2018


A linen shirt is lightweight, cool and the perfect option to transition from the beach to the bar. Huffer denim shorts $99.90 Academy Brand shirt $89.95 Dolce & Gabanna sunnies $400

While denim shorts are inherently casual, don’t let them get too frayed – snip off any stray threads. Academy Brand denim shorts $79.95 Orlebar Brown t-shirt $195

Rip Curl Bondi Firewire surfboard POA

Huffer shirt $109.90 OneTeaspoon denim shorts $90.30 Oakley Prizm Moonlighter sunnies $194.95

FEBRUARY 2018

51


Grooming

2-5

SWEAT: THE DETAILS

Stay cool and stink-free this summer with our primer on perspiration BY JE R ILY N C O V E R T A ND J UNO De ME L O

Sweat gets a bad rap, but it’s a finely calibrated fluid with many vital functions. It cools you off, moisturises your skin and contains antibacterial compounds to ward off infection. Each of your sweat glands is surrounded by a web of nerves. When your body heats up, those nerves set off a chain of signals to turn on the hose. R E D U C E YO U R SW E AT

T H E ST I N K ST O RY Perspiration alone doesn’t make you reek. Regular sweat is mostly odourless, but when bacteria go to town on sweat, they form odiferous molecules. Here’s what those germs have on their menu.

ARMPITS

Aluminum-based antiperspirants plug your pores to curb sweat. Apply it at night, when your sweat rate is at its lowest. If your pits are really hairy, a spray or roll-on may work best, says dermatologist Dr Bruce Brod.

UP TO 2Hourly LTRS sweat output

during exercise. Glug 470ml of H2O for each 450g lost

0.6LITRES -2.3 Average amount of sweat a man produces daily

1/ Stress Sweat

Under duress, you also leak from scent glands, which secrete a thick fluid that typically produces a strong, acrid odour.

WHAT’S IN YOUR SWEAT?

99%

2/ Oil

HANDS

Your palms are among your biggest sweat taps. If they’re constantly moist, you may need Botox injections to block nerve signals that stimulate sweating.

FEET

Each foot makes 470ml of sweat a day. To avoid a case of athlete’s foot sprinkle on some Canestan Clotrimazole Antifungal Cream ($10.50, amcal. com.au).

GROIN

Wear loose shorts to let air in. Going out after the gym? Dust your boys with Borotalco Talc Powder ($19.95, pureman.com.au).

STAY COOL

This flows from sebaceous glands, which are plentiful on your scalp and in your pits. Then the greasy stuff mixes with sweat.

Water

3/ Diet

Some food molecules (like those from garlic and curry) can end up in your bloodstream and migrate into sweat glands.

4/ Dead Skin

It’s more like a garnish than a main course for germs. In areas with folds that rub together, dead skin can slough off and feed bacteria.

Hold a frozen water bottle. Switch hands every five minutes. The chilled tissue will cool the blood that flows into it, says Stanford biologist Dr Craig Heller.

FEBRUARY 2018

2 / Swish Up

Carry travel-size mouthwash. The menthol makes you perceive the air as cooler, says Dr Christopher Stevens, a researcher at Southern Cross University.

3 / Ice Your Neck

1%

The rest: urea, uric acid, lactic acid, ammonia, vitamin C, electrolytes, and more

These hacks will chill your workouts. (But stop if you feel faint, queasy or weak.)

1 / Chill Your Palms

52

MILLION

Number of sweat glands found on the surface of your body

A neck-cooling collar can trick your body and brain into feeling cooler. Ultramarathoner Pete Kostelnick swears by an ice-filled bandana around his neck.

+ about 760 different skin proteins


ADVERTISING FEATURE

SOMETHING IN THE AIR SET THE MOOD AND CREATE AN INTIMATE AMBIENCE WITH THE SMOOTH, UPLIFTING HOME FRAGRANCE RANGE FROM AIR WICK

Y

our home is your sanctuary and a place you can relax and unwind. So shouldn’t it smell as good as it feels? When you find your signature scent, it brings your home together by creating a welcoming, cosy ambience for you and for others. Find your home’s signature scent in a format of your choice in the Air Wick home fragrance range, at leading supermarkets.

CREATE A COSY ATMOSPHERE > AIR WICK PURE A next-gen aerosol that neutralises odours quickly and effectively without wet, sticky fallout. Available in your choice of three quality fragrance concentrates, including Spring Delight, Mediterranean Sun and Cherry Blossom.

> AIR WICK FRESHMATIC An easy way to keep your home fresh and fragrant, simply set the frequency and fragrance level and enjoy constantly changing fragrance throughout your home.

airwick.com.au


Grooming

LEAN & CLEAN

You train (in part) to look good. So make sure you leave, um, looking good. Stash this grooming kit in your gym bag alongside your Nikes

Carrying around used gym kit and shoving your suit in a public locker doesn’t make for the most fragrant office environment. Stand out and stay fresh with the latest update to Dior’s original Homme Sport scent with notes of lemon, grapefruit and nutmeg. Dior Homme Sport EDP, $102 for 50ml, myer.com.au

02 / THE QUICK-FIX HAIRCARE

Rushing back to your desk? This dry shampoo and hair wax duo helps transform lifeless locks by absorbing excess oil and adding texture for a style that looks suave rather than sweaty. Hanz De Fuko Quicksand, $27, sephora.com.au

03 / THE 2-IN-1 HAIR SAVIOUR

Two-in-one products are your new go-to. This cleansing and conditioning hair saviour is packed full of citrus extract to rid your sweaty mop of any traces of oil, dandruff and dirt. Get scrubbing. Head & Shoulders For Men Deep Clean 2-in-1, $12.99, chemistwarehouse.com.au

06 / THE BRIGHTNESS BOOSTER SHOT

The post-gym office ‘afterglow’ may signal that you’ve been putting the work in where it really counts, but beaming like a tomato isn’t the best look for meeting clients. This serum draws a line under redness (as well as inflammation and irritation) to keep your complexion as cool as your composure. REN Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum, $52.00, mecca.com.au

07 / THE NO-NONSENSE CLEANSER

While a serious sweat session will do wonders for your health, the little droplets (and the bacteria that comes with them) can cause your skin to oxidise, resulting in the formation of blackheads. Thankfully, this gimmick-free cleanser will help you stop them in their tracks. F*ACE Face Wash, $19.99 faceformen. com.au 03

04 / THE FACIAL FIRM-UP

Hitting the cardio doesn’t just break down fat cells around your middle, but skin cells in your face, too. Chestnut oil is high in lipids, the fatty acids vital to repairing cell membranes and improving skin elasticity. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel SPF 15, $39, kiehls.com.au

05

01

05 / THE BODY BLAST

06

The rejuvenating cypress and cardamom in this body wash combine to ensure that not only do you step out of the shower feeling fresh and clean, but you’ll also get some appreciative nods in the lift. Molton Brown Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel Bath & Shower Gel, $39, moltonbrown.com.au 02

07 04

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FEBRUARY 2018

ADDITIONAL WORDS BY KATE NIVEN; PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON LEE

01 / THE FRESHEN-UP COLOGNE

Do

Does yo uble Espr itching ur gym’s airc esso o to cut y our wo n have you The Ophtha American Aca rkout short? in your lmology says demy of the ca espre not jus sso battles dr ffeine t early-m y eyes, or session zombit ning is...


ADVERTISING FEATURE

TURN UP THE HEAT

DON’T LET A FLAKY SCALP WRECK YOUR SUMMER. SAY GOODBYE TO DANDRUFF AND HELLO TO GREAT HAIR WITH HEAD & SHOULDERS CLEAN & BALANCED SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER

AUSTRALIAN

W

hen you’re training hard and the mercury rises, so does the likelihood of scalp irritation. Sun, heat and sweat can all aggravate dandruff, making your scalp dry, flaky and itchy. But don’t hide indoors or cancel your gym membership just yet. Give flakes the flick, keep your scalp hydrated and your hair looking great with the clinically proven formula of Clean & Balanced head & shoulders shampoo and conditioner. When used together, head & shoulders shampoo and conditioner work 60 per cent more effectively*, versus using the shampoo alone.

GIVE FLAKES THE BRUSH Surprisingly, 79 per cent of Australians suffer from dandruff but don’t do anything about it. A recent survey** also found that 54 per cent of dandruff sufferers have restricted their social life because of a lack of confidence. Don’t be that guy, fight the flake with head & shoulders. YOUR GYM BAG ESSENTIAL When you’re heading to the office from the gym, keep head & shoulders in your gym bag for shiny, touchably soft hair that’s up to 100 per cent flake freeˆ.

3ACTION SCALP CARE - WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED! 1. CLEANSES

head & shoulders shampoo contains a gentle cleansing agent that provides a rich, deeply indulgent lather, while offering best-in-class dandruff protection.

RECOMMENDS

2. PROTECTS

Micro zinc particles deposit deep into the scalp pore and are left behind – even after rinsing – improving the scalp’s condition and enabling long-lasting dandruff protection.

*In reducing scalp issues vs using head & shoulders shampoo plus a P&G non anti-dandruff shampoo. **Conducted online among a representative sample of 1,007 respondents aged 18-64 years, distributed throughout Australia including both capital city and non-capital city areas. Survey conducted by Galaxy Research, commissioned by head & shoulders – Procter & Gamble. ^No visible flakes; with regular use.

3. MOISTURISES

The formula locks in moisture to improve the scalp barrier, for hydrated, strengthened and toned skin. Conditioning agents also provide smoother, softer and more manageable hair.

VISIT HEADANDSHOULDERS.COM.AU


Style Net Worth

While their age might suggest that these are twilight years for Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the living tennis legends are once more in the ascendance. We rank their prowess on court and the watches on their wrists RAFAEL NADAL

ROGER FEDERER

VS

WATCH: RICHARD MILLE

WATCH: ROLEX

HEAD TO HEAD

WINS

WINS

Of the 38 times the two champs have faced each other, Nadal has won the day on 23 occasions, including 5-0 at the French Open

The revitalised Spaniard may be leading the grudge matches, but the cool Swiss, with 19 Grand Slam wins to Nadal’s 16, comes out on top

MEN OF THE HOUR

YEARS

WEEKS

The number of consecutive years that the King of Clay won at least one Grand Slam title, between 2005 and 2014

The total successive weeks the Fed Express spent as world No.1 from 2004 to 2008, before Nadal knocked him off the top spot

FACE VALUE When lifting the trophy at this year’s Wimbledon for a record eighth time, Federer wore a newly released Rolex Datejust 41, a watch first launched in 1945

To mark his record 10th French Open title in June (and his first since 2014), Nadal wore a Richard Mille 27-03 tourbillon specifically made for him

PURCHASE POWER

WATCHES

Considerably more of Federer’s Rolex Datejust 41s could be bought with his $3.9m Wimbledon 2017 prize money

FORCE FIELDS

G The world’s most expensive sportswatch, the RM 27-03 can withstand 10,000g despite its traditionally delicate tourbillon

PATENTS The number of patents the Datejust II boasts, improving on shock resistance, power reserve and timing precision

THE MH WATCH VERDICT: FEDERER He might be ahead in victories and one-off watch value but Nadal falls short on good, old-fashioned Grand Slam titles, weeks at number one, plus (relative) value for money. Game, set and match, Mr Federer. 56

FEBRUARY 2018

WORDS: MATT HAMBLY; ILLUSTRATIONS: BEN MOUNSEY

The number of Richard Mille RM 27-03 watches Nadal could buy with his spoils from this year’s exploits at Roland-Garros

WATCHES


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SUCCESS WITHOUT STRESS

MH BOSS

Make 2018 Your Career Year

PHOTOGRAPHY: GILES PARK

Money. Power. Respect. Want more of them at work? Three men at the top of their professional game share their strategies for success. Steal their secrets and reap the rewards>

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MHBOSS John Hanke, the creator of Google Earth, remapped his career with a game-changer that insured we’d never have to ask for directions ever again

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Dream It, Then Build It

Align Your Stars

Learn from Everything

Show Your Passion

Move Past Profits

The concept of a 3-D map of the world has long been a staple of sci-fi, so it already existed in people’s imaginations, Hanke says. As a result, once he saw the demo, he knew it would be embraced by users. “Success comes down to picking the right opportunity,” he says. “Make sure it’s worth the effort. Find something that feels like it just has to become a reality, whether it’s you or someone else who makes that happen.”

Personalities are key to success — but they can also conflict. “We have rock-star talent, but you’re trying to get something done,” Hanke says. His tactic: keep the mission in the foreground. High-caliber talents are motivated by ambitious goals, says Dr Andrew Boynton, author of Virtuoso Teams. But don’t force compromise. Instead, make your people compete with one another, and then churn through their ideas until the best ones emerge.

Hanke searches for lessons in all his experiences — not just the triumphs. This is a sign of self-awareness that he looks for in others. Failures, in particular, are difficult to confront, says economist Tim Harford, and we may lump them with successes to produce net positives in our memories. But that won’t help you perform better. The trick: remember that failure isn’t a flaw. “If you are trying something significant and new, you’re going to make mistakes,” says Harford.

Hanke looks for people who exhibit enthusiasm for the projects they’re working on; it starts with generating ideas for team improvement. For his hires on the business side, he likes to see evidence of entrepreneurialism, even if it’s a business started to pay the bills in college. “Any kind of initiative says a lot about the person’s drive, intelligence and ability to creatively solve problems. That’s huge for me.”

To motivate your team, establish goals beyond making money, Hanke says. Google Earth found its higher purpose in 2005, when the team worked nights to produce imagery of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck so people could check on their homes. Harvard professor Michael Beer says these higher goals can revolve around concepts like quality and service. If they’re authentic—if leaders believe in them— they can help drive teams to success.


Video mogul Brandon Evertz turned a $500 loan into a $550 million business. At 23, he’s now the youngest CEO of a publicly listed company in Australia with Big Review TV, a social media video-review platform

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Look into the Future

Think Positive

Watch & Learn

When he left school, Evertz had a vague notion of wanting to build an internet business. But as to what shape or form this would take he had no idea . Struggling to refine your own business idea? Evertz’s advice is to do a deep dive on your sector of interest, imagine where it’ll be in five years time then plan accordingly. That’s what he did with Big Review TV. “I had this vision that the future of the internet was video,” he says. “You’ve got to look into the future – timing is everything in business.”

In Evertz’s bedroom is a vision board - a collage of personal inspiration – that he scrutinises every morning. It includes an image of Times Square (where Big Review TV secured a billboard), plus the words “over $1billion” (the sum Evertz wants his company to be eventually worth). Visualising yourself hitting life goals might sound hokey, but it can work. This technique is called the “best possible selves exercise,” explains Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor of psychology at the Univeristy of California Riverside. “It inspires you to work harder at whatever you’re doing, which causes you to feel more optimistic.”

As you’d expect from an online video tycoon, Evertz spends a lot of time on YouTube. In particular, he devotes hours to watching videos of entrepreneurial rockstars like Mark Zuckerburg and Elon Musk. Partly he observes them to get an insight into what makes them tick. But studying these ultra-achievers in action has also become a form of motivational tool. “It’s important to surround yourself with success,” Evertz says. “Passion is contagious and so is negativity.”

Ramzey Choker, 35, built one of Sydney’s most popular cafes, The Grounds of Alexandria by harnessing the nascent power of social media

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Study The Best

Build Your Network

Mind & Body

Last year, The Grounds ranked above the MCG and St Kilda Beach as the 7th most instagrammed destination in Australia. But Choker claims the method behind this social media phenomenon is applicable to anything in life. “Whatever you’re trying to do, there’s always someone who’s done it before. Learn what they do!” he says. With Instagram, Choker began by identifying the pioneering voice in this field – in this case, Gary Vaynerchuk, a US author and entrepreneur. Next, he immersed himself in Vaynerchuk’s books and videos before putting his strategies into action. Whether you’re trying to master Insta or make your own sauerkraut, Choker reckons the principles are the same. “Find the best people in that area, study the hell out of them, then implement what they do.”

Choker knows the dangers of self-reliance. “I used to think I could solve all my own problems, I held everything in,” he says. Things came to a head during a traumatic time in his 20s. First his father - a successful entrepreneur who he worshipped went bankrupt during the GFC and lost everything. But far worse was to come when his dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and subsequently passed away. The tragedy left Choker reeling: “My brain just wouldn’t shut up, I started taking sleeping pills, I got hit by a car…” What yanked him out of this downward spiral was overcoming his pride to ask for support. “You’ve got to talk to people - there’s always someone who can help” Choker insists. “Learn to deal with your emotions rather than trying to block them. Otherwise they will catch up with you.”

“Success doesn’t start out with business,” Choker says. “It starts with your mind and your body.” To take care of the latter, he hits the gym five times a week to grind out HIIT cardio sessions. Yet Choker invests even more time on his mind. During the rocky period following his father’s death, he became fascinated with human psychology, studying techniques to process and manage emotions. Choker subsequently spent thousands of dollars doing self-advancement courses with the likes of human behaviour expert Dr John Demartini, life coach Tony Robbins and local business mentor Benjamin Harvey. Today, he credits them with giving him the mental platform to chase down his goals. “Everything works in unison,” Choker says. “I’m building my body, I’m building my brain and I’m building my business.” FEBRUARY 2018

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The MH guide to this month’s Australian Open will improve more than just your tennis. Prepare to receive tips and insights that will have you soaring up the rankings in the game of life > BY

DANIE L WILLIAMS

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Tennis Hall of Famer and Channel 7 host commentator Todd Woodbridge serves up his picks on who and what to look out for in the year’s first slam game. That’s the thing about tennis: you have to build your body to suit your game style. Apart from the superstars who’s the player you’ll most enjoy watching? Nick Kyrgios. His shot-making is stunning. It’s also spontaneous: he sees a gap and hits at it, whereas a lot of the other guys are technicians. There’s an

uncertainty about his temperament, but he’s starting to show he’s capable of absorbing pressure. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal dominated last season in the absence of Djokovic and Murray. With those latter two back playing, is the party over for the old-stagers? No, I think it will be difficult for Novak and Andy to reassert themselves this season. I think Roger and Rafa are going to dominate for another 12 months. Their mental games are that much stronger. Who’s the best young gun? Alexander Zverev has the package to take over from the Big Four in the next few years. At the age of 20 he has the talent and passion for the game that you need. He also has the temperament – a little fiery but manageable. The other guy is Denis Shapovalov, the 18-yearold Canadian leftie who’s improving at a rate of knots. All right now to give up on Bernard Tomic? I don’t think we give up on him. I think we keep supporting him. But it’s solely down to him to show he truly loves the game and is prepared to give his heart

MOST VALUABLE DAD Behaving like a nut job on the sidelines of your kid’s athletic pursuits is a must-avoid scenario. Use these tips from sports psychologist Joel Fish, author of 101 Ways To Be A Terrific Sports Parent, to cut out the parental unforced errors and set a stellar example for the next gen

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and soul to it. If he doesn’t he’ll have wasted a great opportunity to set himself up for life. He may feel he’s set up for life now, but that’s not the truth. He risks walking away from the game leaving an awful lot of talent untapped. Who’s your dark horse? Kevin Anderson [South Africa]. He’s a tall guy with a monster serve who has the ability to move forward and take time away from his opponents. And your winner? Roger. The court surface at Melbourne Park offers him his best chance of winning another slam outside of Wimbledon. It comes back to his body. If he turns up with a healthy back he’ll be hard to stop. What about the women? It’s been ‘spin the wheel’ to see who’s No. 1. I’m hoping someone can stand up and own that space. Simona Halep needs to win a slam and I think [coach] Darren Cahill is working on making her believe she can do it. She’s certainly a player who’s due. And look out for Ash Barty. She’s no longer a shy girl. She’s a young woman with confidence and powerful body language.

➷ 3 Steps To Getting It Right Know Your History

Even into their 80s men can recall their earliest competitive experiences, says Fish. These are powerful enough to become a prism through which you watch your children compete. Don’t let your baggage interfere with junior’s love of sport.

Identify Your Triggers

“Have a mental checklist of the specific competitive situations that are challenging for you,” advises Fish. “These could be a bad call from a match official, your son being pushed by an underdog, or match point.”

Have A Game Plan

“You need devices to fall back on when you feel your emotions taking control,” says Fish. Mantras like “Be the dad” and “Trust myself, trust my son” can work, as can having a significant other tell you to pull your head in at the first sign you’re losing your rag.

JARROD BARNES; CHRIS EVERT: STAN MALINOWSKI/CONDÉ NAST/ GETTY IMAGES

MEN’S HEALTH: Who’ll be the best athlete in Melbourne? TODD WOODRBIDGE: Putting aside their recent injuries, it’s [Novak] Djokovic or [Andy] Murray. They’ve been the standouts for five years. Djokovic’s movement, flexibility and recovery are as good as anyone’s, while Murray has built big, strong legs – the engine room to sustain a modern


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IN TENNIS, THE BEAUTY OF THE STROKE PLAY IS SOMETIMES MATCHED BY THAT OF THE COMBATANTS. HERE’S OUR TRIBUTE TO THOSE WHO’VE BROUGHT BOTH

ANNA KOURNIKOVA

The Russian princess won more hearts than matches

MARIA SHARAPOVA

EUGENIE BOUCHARD

A little too cool and calculating for some. But what an athlete!

Admirers hope the feisty Canadian will rediscover her winning game

ANA IVANOVIC

CHRIS EVERT

The women’s tour hasn’t been the same sans the Serbian siren

On-court iciness couldn’t conceal manifest feminine charm

➷ 3 Traps to Avoid Being The Hard Nut

When you’re being critical or getting in your kid’s face, you may think you’re building mental toughness. “In fact, what you’re probably doing is damaging their selfconfidence, particularly if they’re under 12,” says Fish. “Even most adults need a carrot more than a stick.”

Assuming Maturity

Maybe your young one is talented enough to play up an age group. Careful. “Their physical ability doesn’t mean they’re emotionally ready for the extra pressure and heightened competition,” warns Fish. “Push a kid too quickly and there’s often a cost in stress, anxiety and burnout.”

Parental Hubris

Having a child who excels in sport does something to parents, Fish says. Even the most well balanced ones tend to revel in the prestige of it to the point of losing the plot. “The best thing you can do as a dad is treat your son as Johnny who plays tennis and not Johnny the tennis player,” says Fish. Heed their progress in maths, music and making chums – not just their topspin lob. >

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They say no-one’s perfect. Hah! Here’s what you need to be just that. Steal the weapons of tennis giants to become an unstoppable force SERVE & SMASH Pete Sampras

Above his head, “Pistol” is the undisputed GOAT. Your takeout So much in life is out of your control. Not so the serve. Groove it until it’s lethal.

10% 5% 25%

15% 8%

VOLLEY

Stefan Edberg

15%

Toe-to-toe with the powerbaseliners, the Swede served and volleyed every single point. Your takeout Know your strength and go with it. Edberg was hiding a wonky forehand.

FOREHAND

20% 2%

MOUTH

HEART

Rafael Nadal

Andre Agassi

Lleyton Hewitt

The world No. 1’s massively top-spun whack pips Federer’s liquid whip. Your takeout Those extra revolutions come from insane arm and shoulder strength. Add plates to your curls and presses for palpable on- and off-court benefits.

History remembers your triumphs – and what you said afterwards. “You have given me your shoulders to stand on to reach for my dreams,” Agassi told a besotted Flushing Meadows crowd. Your takeout Even when you seem to be speaking off the cuff, have the right words ready to roll.

Usually outgunned, the C’mon Kid never dropped his head. Force of will won him 30 ATP titles, 10 over the distance. Your takeout If you’re not preternaturally gifted, win the onepercenters, urges Hewitt: “It can be in the locker room, being the ultimate professional in how your prepare.”

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ENGINE

Michael Chang After winning the French Open at 17, the tireless one became forever linked with long-lasting batteries. Your takeout Hill sprints are your fastest route to match-winning fitness.

MIND GAMES Sport, like life, is played as much between the ears as in the arena. Tune yourself for optimum performance with these tips from two classic tennis tomes (below), which approach the business of competing and winning from entirely different angles THE PROBLEM Performance-wrecking nerves

CHARISMA

Jimmy Connors For getting the fans on side, no one’s touched Jimbo. Your takeout If your talent alone isn’t electrifying the throng, give them something more. Start with post-winner hip thrusts.

THE FIX The Inner Game of Tennis Adopt the style of the “detached Buddhist, aware of everything but attached to nothing. Though he makes great effort, he seems unconcerned with the results of his actions”. Winning Ugly “Breathe like you’ve got asthma.” Deep, rhythmic breaths alleviate muscular tightness.

THE PROBLEM You’re getting trounced THE FIX The Inner Game of Tennis Stop matters going from bad to worse by blocking the urge to catastrophise defeat. Return to the here and now by focusing on your breathing. Winning Ugly Switch to “Turtle Time”. Slowing the speed of play pulls your opponent out of the zone.

BRAIN

Brad Gilbert The coauthor of Winning Ugly got to world No. 5 with a cerebral game that exploited the superstars’ chinks. Your takeout In most sports there are no marks for style. “Smart players observe what’s going on in a match and know how to capitalise,” says Gilbert.

THE PROBLEM Overthinking THE FIX The Inner Game of Tennis Distract the analytical part of your brain with a simple instruction (like watching the seams of the ball) so the unconscious brain can take over. Winning Ugly You should be thinking. Constantly.

Just not about how crap you’re playing. Instead, how can you make your opponent uncomfortable?

THE PROBLEM Fist-clenching frustration THE FIX The Inner Game of Tennis “You are not your tennis game. You are not your body. Trust your body to play and in a short time it will perform beyond your expectations. Let the flower grow.” Winning Ugly “Don’t ask a skinny dog to fly.” Dial back your expectations and simply keep the ball in play.

THE PROBLEM A howling gale THE FIX The Inner Game of Tennis “Choose to see the disturbance as stemming from your mind and not from the event.” Winning Ugly Lower your toss and shorten your strokes.

The Inner Game of Tennis, by W. Timothy Gallwey Winning Ugly, by Brad Gilbert and Steve Jamison FEBRUARY 2018

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Rising star Thanasi Kokkinakis looked like the Next Big Thing before injuries struck. How do you rebuild your body and attain the all-round athleticism you need to take on all-comers? TRAINING ANGRY tends to get a good rap. Rage pushes you to new levels of effort, the thinking goes. But in recent times that’s not how it’s worked out for Thanasi Kokkinakis. The towering Adelaide slugger, who’d rocketed more than 500 places up the world rankings in his first two years on the tour, had fallen off the radar last year courtesy of serious shoulder and pectoral tears. Sitting about waiting for these to heal didn’t suit his temperament. “I was pissed off with how my upper body was feeling so I started running a lot,” says Kokkinakis after a morning workout with trainer Corey Bocking. The mileage in his legs, he figured, would serve him well when he returned to the court. “But I was running a lot more than I should have been – like 12 kays a day for four days straight on a bunch of different surfaces,” he says. “It wasn’t great for my hips, but I didn’t realise that at the time because I was more angry than anything.” Sure enough, the excessive pounding had consequences: Kokkinakis developed osteitis pubis – pain in the groin and pelvis caused by inflammation. While he plans to reassert himself on the tour this year – starting at the Australian Open from January 15 – he’ll begin the climb back while managing the lingering effects of his youthful intemperance. No matter, he says. The lessons of last year have reinforced that a career is a 70

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marathon and not a sprint. You have to pace yourself. You make decisions with an eye on the long term, rather than risk burnout by ignoring blinking lights.

Learn from the best

Kokkinakis, 21, got a close-up view of what judicious careermanagement looks like when he accepted an invitation from Roger Federer to practise with the maestro in Dubai last year. “I asked him about his fitness routine,” recalls Kokkinakis. “He told me he doesn’t do much running anymore. He’s all about trying to stay fresh. You can tell by the way he moves that he does a lot of plyometric work. He’s doing a lot of bounding and jumping, which accounts for his spring and quickness.” Thinking about the circuit’s fittest guys, Kokkinakis puts Federer in the top three alongside former No. 1s Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. Djokovic at his peak, says Kokkinakis, is hands down the best mover on tour, particularly when defending. “When you push him wide he’s able to spring out there and slide back, making it really tough to get a ball by him.” Federer rules for aggressive footwork, effortlessly hitting positions that allow him to dictate, “while Murray is just a beast from sheer hard work,” says Kokkinakis. “I play differently to Murray and Djokovic – I try to be a little bit more explosive,” he explains. His inclination is to end rallies within two or three shots, but

he knows he needs to build the stamina to carry him through matches when the slam-bam strategy misfires. You need the endurance to execute your Plan B, he says. “I’ll try to gas my opponents out by making them move from side to side for long periods.”

Power play

Trainer Bocking says whatever preconceptions you may have about tennis being physically undemanding would be blown away by a front-row view of the best players in action. “The level of speed and power these guys generate is extremely hard on the body,” Bocking says. “Physically, to win seven best-offive matches in two weeks takes something special.” In Kokkinakis – tall, powerful, agile – Bocking likes what he has to work with. The focus for now is managing his charge’s battle wounds while gradually upping his speed and strength. “He’s put on some muscle, mostly in the legs, which is where you want it as a tennis player,” Bocking says. “He’s naturally strong and enjoys the weights – squatting and deadlifting. We’ll do those moves using different tempos: heavier days for strength gains and lighter days for speed and power.” The challenge for Kokkinakis, with so much body-battering tennis ahead of him, is restraining himself in training. “My physical peak is ahead of me,” he says. “You have to resist the urge to go hard when your body’s not ready.”

>


NET GAINS “Tennis players need power without the excess muscle mass that could compromise their mobility,� says Bocking. Use this workout in pursuit of a fit and functional frame worthy of a world ranking. Do the circuit four times, twice a week. Headband optional.

Linear Jump & Land Over Mini Hurdle 10 reps

Lateral Jump & Land Over Mini Hurdle

20 metres left, then right

Medball Throw (against wall)

6 forehand side; 6 backhand side (open stance)

Trap Bar Deadlift 5 reps

One-legged Bound 3 reps

Plate Woodchop 8 reps

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HOW TO SURVIVE THE HEALTH APOCALYPSE

Diabetes! Cancer! Alcohol! Pollution! Glance at the headlines and an untimely death is seemingly one beer, bacon-and-egg roll or roadside commute away. But you needn’t live in fear. With some fairly innocuous lifestyle prescriptions, you can outmanoeuvre the most doom-laden of prophecies and recalibrate your health to combat the wellbeing cataclysm. It’s not too late. Save yourselves BY

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TOM BANHAM

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY

HE ARST STU DIOS


HEALTH

01 ANXIETY!

Anxiety and depression might be the biggest problems you’ll face. But your fate isn’t written. Something as simple as turning up the stereo can help you drown out the darkest of days The Fear Trump. North Korea’s build-your-own-missile kits. How many likes your avocado frittata got on Instagram. No wonder we’re living in the so-called age of anxiety. In fact, it’s now the second-largest mental health issue worldwide after depression, with almost 1 in 5 Australian men affected. And with Trump’s finger hovering above the big red button, our impending annihilation is only fuelling the fire. The Truth According to Harvard Health, not only does anxiety come with the obvious social and mental implications, but it’s also been linked to gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic respiratory disorders and heart disease. In fact, according to a Nurses’ Health Study, people with high levels of anxiety are 59 per cent more likely to have a heart attack. But we are getting better at dealing with it. “There is a growing openness and honesty around mental health conditions such as anxiety,” says mental health expert Nicky Lidbetter. Which isn’t to say your carefully filtered brunch snaps don’t play a part. University of Chicago researchers found social media to be more addictive than cigarettes, while a University of Pittsburgh study warns those on more than seven platforms – including YouTube and LinkedIn – triple their odds of depression and low self-esteem. Unlike!

Mental troubles can fly under the radar. It’s time

The Plan The answer is to get rid of your playlist. Not because doing so signals a return to a prelapsarian, anxiety-free utopia, but because when it comes to calming down, there’s only one song you need. Weightless, a track by Marconi Union written in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy, was found by neuroscientists to reduce anxiety symptoms by up to 65 per cent, according to subjects’ heart rate, blood pressure and brain activity, making it the most relaxing song of all time. It might sound about as rock’n’roll as headbanging to Coldplay, but when the forces of holistic reckoning are converging againstyou, a little respite can help you avoid the end of days, today and tomorrow. >

to take aim.

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DIABETES!

“Fermented foods such as kimchi lessen the risk of diabetes by a lip-smacking 33 per cent”

Yes, more of us than ever are carrying a little extra. And yes, it is damaging for your health. But a few non-restrictive dietary switch-ups can sweeten your deal The Fear TV screens, sugary juice cleanses and our taste for fast food are all to blame for an uptick in your Type 2 risk. According to Diabetes Australia, around 1.7 million people currently have the disease. Not only does it cost the nation $14.6 billion a year, experts believe another 500,000 sufferers are undiagnosed, making this a big, fat national calamity waiting to happen. The Truth There’s no avoiding it; we are indeed getting fatter, with the average Australian male tipping the scales at 85kg compared to 72kg in 1926. That’s bad news because our bulging frames are responsible for the ballooning diabetes risk, which, in turn, vastly increases your chances of developing everything from heart disease to kidney disease and suffering a stroke. In fact, according to Diabetes Australia, 16 per cent of Australians are now prediabetic. You might be among them if your trousers measure more than 35in (89cm), says Libby Dowling, a disease expert. “Family history, age and ethnicity all play a role in your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but the biggest contributing factor is weight.” All of which calls for a dietary judgement day. The Plan To pretty much immediately cut your risk in half, swap sweet snacks for something much sharper. A Korean study published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism found fermented foods reverse insulin resistance. In the study, two groups ate either fresh or fermented kimchi over a 16-week period. Both groups significantly decreased their waist circumference and BMI, but the group dining on the fermented option also ordered up a side dish of increased insulin sensitivity and improved glucose tolerance, lessening their risk of Type 2 diabetes by a lip-smacking 33 per cent. Which means opting for a pickled side with your on-trend Korean BBQ will help you scorch the earth of an early reckoning.

Pore over the facts to shake off your chances.

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HEALTH

Re-work your 9-5

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before you reach boiling point.

BOOZE!

In excess, the sauce slathers your longevity in all sorts of nasties. In reality, a celebratory tipple may well be the toast to your good health The Fear While Friday night beers are nothing to be scared of, this stat is: 15 Australians die from booze-related deaths a day. But according to headlines (and research in the British Medical Journal), even occasional drinkers triple their risk of brain atrophy and dementia. You can be forgiven for requiring some Dutch courage.

some healthy red wine? Not so fast: research has recently rowed back on claims that the odd glass is healthier than teetotalism, with links to various forms of cancer found even among moderate drinkers. In fact, the latest research says the safest amount of booze is none at all. Good for your body, meagre sustenance for your soul.

The Truth Total alcohol consumption in Australia has declined from 10.53 litres in 1991 to 9.37 in 2017, according to IBIS World. In addition, the number of young people drinking is in decline with a study by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education finding the number of Australians aged 14-17 binge-drinking decreased by half between 2002 and 2015. Fancy

The Plan Despite these claims, moderate drinking isn’t quite the evil it’s made out to be. It balances out your risk of diabetes while enhancing memory and cognitive health. And dulling the damage isn’t rocket science: the University of Southampton found an extra two cups of coffee a day can lessen liver issues by 44 per cent. Whack the kettle on. Put a cork in alcohol scare stories.

04 YOUR COMMUTE! No need to quit the day job (sorry). But a few well-placed words with your boss could make all the difference to you both

The Fear Work might spike your stress levels but getting there is even worse, with a long commute raising your odds of depression by 33 per cent – making it 40 per cent more likely you’ll suffer financial problems and increasing your obesity risk by 21 per cent. In short, our reliance on planes, trains and automobiles is running your health into the ground. The Truth According to the Federal Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics the average commute is 53 minutes, which amounts to 4.4 hours a week. Sydneysiders spend the most time getting to and from the office, at nearly 5.5 hours a week. But, whatever your postcode, the long slog to work is bad news, with the research finding that after the first 30 minutes of commuting, each subsequent minute significantly slashes your life satisfaction. And it isn’t as simple as sucking it up: The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found your to-and-fro leads to high blood pressure and higher cholesterol, while daily travel encourages depression, anxiety and social isolation. A steep price to pay for spending an hour a day with your face stuck in a stranger’s armpit. The Plan Stay at home one day a week. Explain to your boss how doing so will improve your efficiency. Remember: employers want happy and healthy employees, too. Also, consider riding a bike or walking a few days a week for at least part of your commute. A study in BMJ found that cycling to work was associated with a 41 per cent lower risk of dying overall compared to commuting by car or public transport. Walkers had a 36 per cent lower risk of dying from heart disease. > FEBRUARY 2018

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HEART DISEASE! Cardiovascular disease is a killer, but few of us will seriously have to worry about it. Common sense and a new breakfast special can save the day

The Fear Opting to stay in on a Saturday night can’t save you now – not with steak dinners and TV binges raising your risk of heart disease. Feeling down about that? Don’t. A study in the European Heart Journal found that depression doubles your odds of dying from CVD. You’ve one foot in the grave without leaving the house.

05

INSOMNIA!

No need to lose sleep. Insomnia may be a blight on your day, but by re-working your approach to your eight hours, you’ll wake up a healthier man The Fear Four out of 10 Australians don’t get enough shut-eye, according to The Sleep Foundation Report, increasing your risk of diabetes, CVD, obesity and depression. Plus, it damages relationships, IQs and work performance. Oh, and your brain starts eating itself. It’s enough to keep you up at night, basically. The Truth Insomnia isn’t just the result of too much pre-bed Instagram/caffeine/exercise, but an illness suffered by a third of the population. “We work later and watch screens later,” says sleep expert Neil Stanley. “But sleep is the foundation of good physical and mental health. Get it right and everything in your life will improve.” Which is a great

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sentiment, but with your risk of early death rocketing by 12 per cent following a string of sleepless nights, what can we do to combat the prospect of an overwhelmingly holistic doomsday (and night)? The answer, it seems, could be absolutely nothing. The Plan How many hours you need may be hard-wired, but when you get them isn’t. Forgo the pressure to drop off by doing away with a fixed bedtime altogether. Experiment with times until you’re not drowsy the next day, then commit to that time, whether it’s 10pm or 2am. Finally, note down any worries to deal with tomorrow. A Uni of Northwestern study found this increases duration and quality of sleep. Night-night.

The Truth Although clogged arteries still sees off more than 45,000 Australians annually, CVD’s morbid grip on your heart is loosening. Since 1968 CVD deaths in Australia have declined by 82 per cent, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. But this still amounts to one person dying every 12 minutes from the disease. And while a heart attack is no longer the one-way ticket it used to be, it’s far from a smooth journey. “More people are surviving, which means more are living with after-effects,” says cardiac nurse Lucy Martin. But such a fate is far from nailed on. In fact, a morning indulgence could help stave off your demise. The Plan Doctors spent decades vilifying cholesterol, but new research has found that the cholesterol we eat barely impacts the levels in our blood. Eggs, then, are back on the menu, especially since Tufts University found the lutein in yolks decreases heart attack and stroke risk. When eaten with vegetables, they also increase carotenoid absorption, which further protects against CVD. Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert advises adding avocado (rich in cardio-curative oleic acid), wilted kale and balsamic vinegar to your hearty scramble.


HEALTH

07

POLLUTION! Every move you make, every breath you take, is killing you. Instead of hiding away, the smallest recalibration of your daily routine can help you The Fear Your lungs shouldn’t just fear the smoke you choose to suck down. The fresh stuff is now so full of toxins that breathing is ‘the new smoking’, with air pollution to blame for 3000 deaths a year in Australia. Worse still, most of us living in cities are at risk from smog, with rapidly spiralling levels of nitrogen dioxide meaning each breath could be ushering you more swiftly toward your last. The Truth The ‘new smoking’ tag was coined because, like actual cigarettes in the ’60s, air pollution is an unheralded

crisis. “It kills huge numbers,” says vehicle pollution researcher Laurie LaybournLangton. Australia has one of the world’s most lenient sulfur standards for petrol, allowing 150 parts per million. That’s 15 times the limit allowed in the European Union, Japan and the US and three times what’s allowed in Brazil and China. The OECD estimates that 740 deaths a year in Australia can be attributed to vehicle emmissions alone, compared to the overall road toll of around 1300. Another reason to listen to your missus and trade your muscle car in for a Prius.

The Plan The solution is two-fold. First, make broccoli your lunchtime side dish. Sulforaphane, a compound in the veg, protects against cancer and the effects of ozone exposure. Now cut back your drive time, even if your car’s electric. “You’re sat in a box in which pollutants are accumulating,” says LaybournLangton. A cardio commute helps your body fight damage, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study. But avoid main roads – run next to a freeway and you’ll gulp 10 times as much grubby air. Take the scenic route to a brighter future.

“Breathing is the new smoking with 3000 deaths a year”

08

PROSTATE CANCER! Prostate cancer is no joke. But neither is it as scary as headlines suggest. Our takeaway tips will reduce your risk with no uncomfortable effort The Fear The most common male cancer affects one in seven Australian men and kills over 3400 per year. And experts predict diagnoses of the cancer will rise to 25,000 per year by 2020. We’re all sitting on a ticking bomb ready to decimate our health at a moment’s notice. The Truth Prostate cancer is a disease of old age – most diagnoses occur after 70 and 9 in

10 patients survive for more than five years. And while mortality rates in males have generally increased since the ’70s, the fiveyear survival rate for prostate cancer has improved from 59 per cent in 1986 to 90 per cent in 2007, according to the AIHW due to increased awareness and new testing procedures. For the most part, your risk is thought to be genetic, and not exacerbated by environmental factors – unless you’re mainlining anabolic

steroids or gasping through a 20-a-day cigarette habit, which we’re assuming you’re not. But, if you are struggling to sleep through the night and fit into your jeans, get checked; every 10cm on your waistline ups your risk by 18 per cent. A change of routine now will help you avoid a fatalistic augury later. The Plan Meta-reviews show that diet can play a part in curtailing your susceptibility.

Carrots and soy are proven to cut your risk by 18 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively, while, according to a Precision Oncology study, curry reduces inflammation and slows tumour growth. Finally, fling open your front door and get outside. Northwestern University found the higher your levels of sunshine-induced vitamin D the better your chances of sending your cancer risk up in smoke. FEBRUARY 2018

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THE MOVEMENT

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FITNESS

MOVEMENT Valuing dynamism over brute strength and animal agility over mirror muscle, the ‘movement’ phenomenon has attracted enthusiasts from Conor McGregor to Jason Statham. But while acolytes are fervent, many remain sceptical of its purist credo. MH sought out the prime movers redefining exercise to ask whether fitness fundamentalism truly has legs >

BY

JAMIE MILL AR

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY

DAVID E LLIS

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A round seven million years ago our ancestors came down from the trees. Now, at 2pm on a Monday, I’m turning back the clock and making like an apeman. My local park is hardly wild, but its hectares of greenery are about as close to nature as you can get in the modern urban jungle. And anyway, so conditioned am I to exercising in designated manmade spaces, the simple act of climbing a tree feels positively transgressive. “You can develop a surprisingly strong grip strength, not to mention get a good workout for the shoulders and legs, from climbing,” says my coach, Ben Medder, one of the most respected new ‘movement coaches’. “Plus there’s more variation than with a chin-up bar – every tree can be climbed in different ways.” Trees duly scaled, Medder then asks me to move from my front to my back without taking my hands and feet off the floor. Quickly I realise this demands as much mental agility as mobility in my shoulders and hips. “There are whole courses that you can take on simply rolling,” says Medder, evidently enjoying my struggle with this deceptively elemental task. This is ‘movement’. What might sound like a kid’s afternoon spent frolicking in the woods is being advanced as a route to improved dexterity, coordination and range of motion. Researchers in Florida have even linked ‘arboreal locomotion’ (yep, that’s tree-climbing) to improved memory. And with our office-centric lifestyles increasingly held responsible for making us too stiff to function and freezing our metabolisms, the movement movement is gaining momentum. Parkour, a close cousin of natural movement, has gone from the backblocks of Parisian housing projects to receiving official recognition as a sport. In MMA, Israeli movement specialist Ido Portal helped make Conor McGregor a two-belt champion. At the time of writing, #movement returned about 3.9m hits on the cultural barometer that is Instagram. In Medder’s view, climbing, rolling and learning to move like a primate (or, for that matter, a title-hungry Irish fighter) are activities “that typified our evolution”. 80

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“THE MOVEMENT PHILOSOPHY QUESTIONS NOT Movement is a philosophy as much as a methodology. It prizes quality and variety over quantity and velocity. It shuns all barbells and most shoes. It is a throwback; the workout equivalent of the paleo diet. At its most fundamental, it questions not only how we train but why and the very nature of what it means to be human. But, like paleo, it can also seem at once entirely logical and, well, completely nuts. That’s why I sought out the men defining this most literal of movements to find out whether rejecting decades of sports-science research and taking cues from the animals really is the future – or simply another hypebeast.

THE ORIGINS OF MAN Because of his hook-up with McGregor and his Instagram-friendly feats such as one-arm handstands, Ido Portal is for many men the gateway into movement. Appropriately, he’s also very hard to pin down, eluding MH’s attempts to talk to him, partly because of scheduling clashes but also due to secrecy regarding his methods and clients. (For the record, Medder, who has studied under Portal, describes him as “a warm, encouraging and cool guy”.) Nevertheless, Portal is happy to share on social media and his website,

where he speaks about establishing “a movement culture” to facilitate “a crossdisciplinary exchange of information between various types of movers”. But of course. In training videos on Portal’s YouTube channel, McGregor can be seen walking on all fours, fluidly dodging sticks or balancing them on his feet as he rolls from front to back. To some, it might seem just a step away from wax-on-wax-off territory, but if McGregor’s career trajectory is anything to go by, it certainly appears to be effective. ‘The Notorious’ has declared, with characteristic modesty, that he’s no longer a fighter; with Portal’s help he has become “a master of movement”. But the movement philosophy hasn’t always been so fashionable, nor coherent. Previously its various disciplines were highly segregated, says Mike Fitch, creator of Animal Flow, a ground-based movement system that cross-breeds elements of gymnastics, parkour, capoeira and even breakdancing. With Animal Flow, you might find yourself performing novel exercises like ‘crab reach’ (a sort of arching back bridge) or ‘lateraltravelling ape’ (jumping sideways with your hands on the floor). “Not so long ago, someone who had done gymnastics would stay in gymnastics,” he explains over coffee.


FITNESS

Can a new twist on training unravel your body’s true potential?

ONLY HOW WE TRAIN BUT WHY ” “Parkour was its own little niche and a very tight community. But over the past few years, multidisciplinary approaches have started to evolve.” Fatigued after a decade in the fitness industry and constantly sore from getting swole, Fitch had an epiphany at age 30. He subsequently put down the weights and picked up bodyweight training in all its myriad forms. “I was shit at everything,” he admits. “I had very little ability to work my body. But [movement training] resonated with me right away on such a deep level.” A tall, broad-shouldered, blond-haired American, Fitch – like many movement

converts – talks of a spiritual awakening as much as a physical one. Gradually, he began to join the dots between the separate disciplines. “I noticed that they all used some form of animal locomotion,” he says. “I started figuring out how I could teach those in order to improve the function of the ‘human animal’ – neural sequencing, postural distortions, performance. “Whether it’s nature or the human body, everything has an ebb and a flow. The extreme of exercise is running in one direction as far as you can, or doing startstop, fixed-axis lifts. The recoil is realising that’s not how we’re designed to move.”

LEARNING THE ROPES Relative to pursuits such as marathoning or bodybuilding, movement culture is still in its infancy. I first wrote about Animal Flow in this magazine in 2013; it has since spawned many derivative ‘primal movement’ classes at the likes of your local Fitness First and Virgin Active. But while it’s infiltrated the gym, it hasn’t dominated it: the weights-room gorillas and treadmill hamsters are for the most part unmoved. Medder had his Damascene moment while stagnating in a deskbound IT job and flirting with the weights floor. Tired of training for aesthetics, he tried martial arts and parkour, before stumbling across a video called ‘The Workout The World Forgot’. Part Rocky montage, part Planet Earth episode, it depicts a man running, jumping, climbing and swimming through a lush tropical landscape. This latter-day Tarzan is Erwan Le Corre, the mostly shirtless founder of MovNat. Abbreviated from the French phrase ‘mouvement naturel’, MovNat is a coaching system that teaches techniques for activities as haphazard as climbing trees, plus jumping, swimming, carrying, throwing, balancing, crawling, walking and even breathing. Along with Portal, the equally photogenic Le Corre is one of the poster boys for movement culture. “When I first discovered Erwan, he was a complete unknown living in a Brazilian forest town,” says author Christopher McDougall, an American writer who featured him in his 2013 book Natural Born Heroes. “[Since then] his MovNat system has been taught to astronauts and special forces soldiers. He was even in former UFC welterweight champ Carlos Condit’s camp before his last title bout.” McDougall has himself shifted the movement needle. His 2009 bestseller Born To Run popularised barefoot running – and pushed yearly sales of Vibram Five Fingers ‘shoes’ from $500,000 to $50m. In Natural Born Heroes he argues that humans need to reconnect with an earlier form of movement. “The specialisation we enjoy today, be it as a marathoner, tennis player, even a triathlete, is a luxury of modern society,” he says, quoting kinesiology professor Dr E Paul Zehr. “It doesn’t have great survival value for homo sapiens in the wild. You never see your dog running nonstop around in a circle for an

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INSTA–GAINS

Searching for an easy way into ‘movement’? These Instagram gurus can help you get started:

Ido Portal @portal.ido

Ross Edgley @rossedgley

Kelly Starrett @mobilitywod

Mike Fitch @mikegbt

Erwan Le Corre @erwanlecorre

Conor McGregor title-maker

Adventurer and movement guru

The original mobility master

Animal Flow advocate

Wildman of movement

437k followers

217k followers

210k followers

26.5k followers

5350 followers

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Sidelining mobility in your training plan can seriously impact sporting performance, with kneeinjury benched players costing the Premier League $87m last season alone. We line up the numbers

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instead of waiting for them to happen. Modern athletes might be faster and stronger than ever, but, crucially, they’re not tougher. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine has diagnosed a rise in overuse injuries in younger athletes that used to be the preserve of old pros, while the University of Wisconsin found that high school athletes specialising in a single sport are twice more likely to sustain frequent injuries as those engaging in a wider range. According to a recent BBC report, ACL injuries in the English Premier League are at “epidemic levels”. Whatever the solution, it’s clear a change of pace is needed.

STANDING STRONG Natural movement may well prove the tonic for many of the problems associated with modern training, but no one is arguing that it’s a substitute for tried-and-tested strength and conditioning. “Pilates and yoga are great for movement, but you can’t hold them up as complete systems unless you’re also doing heavy lifting and hard running,” says Starrett, who has worked with Olympic gold medallists, military personnel and Jason Statham. “But I’ll take the parkour mover over the guy who can squat 200kg any day, because when you ask the freestyle athlete to deadlift, they’re going to be safer, stronger and more powerful. Movement comes first.” While its proponents might get stick for the tree-hugging mantras and occasional detour into mystic vocabulary, the truth is it’s difficult to pick holes in natural movement. The things that it entails – running, jumping, climbing, crawling – are obviously, incontrovertibly beneficial. If there’s a flaw, it’s perhaps the overzealousness that also leads passionate CrossFitters, cyclists and yogis to forsake other forms of training. Medder, for his part, still performs squats and

Season

deadlifts in the gym. Only he does them less frequently than he used to, and as an addition to his natural regimen. “Some might take ‘natural’ to mean ‘best’, which isn’t what I believe,” he says. “I’m happy to leave that debate to others; just getting on with doing, moving and experiencing is more important to me than who is right.” At the movement movement’s heart is an overwhelming feeling that in our narrowminded pursuit of sporting triumph, we’ve lost sight of play. And the obsession with performance at the cost of all else doesn’t just apply to elite athletes. “This is my biggest issue with contemporary gym culture,” says Starrett. “We’ve forgotten why we [started going] in the first place: to refine skills and develop strength so that we could express that somewhere else.” Meanwhile, Rafe Kelley, trainer and founder of Evolve Move Play, makes a distinction between play, which is for its own reward, and training, which is a means to an end. Natural movement can be both play or training. And while the former may sound frivolous, Kelley believes it is nature’s way of getting us to do useful stuff: hence why kids run, climb and fight. The phrase ‘working out’ literally prescribes something entirely opposite. To borrow Kelley’s analogy, if natural movement is a wholefood, then exercise is a supplement. If you have ambitious goals, you might need to take more supps. But they shouldn’t represent the majority of your diet. Back at the park, Medder and I spot some saplings and engage in a game of ‘The Floor Is Lava’, climbing between them while keeping off the ground. Then we stand palms-to-palms and try to push each other off balance. When I eventually retrieve my phone from his backpack, I’m astonished to see that I’ve been training for four hours. Then again, such is the joy of discovering natural movement for the first time, I realise that I really haven’t been training at all.

GROOMING: BRADY LEA AT STELLA CREATIVE ARTISTS; MODEL: FARID HERRERAR, MOVEMENT AND PARKOUR COACH; CLOTHING SPORTS DIRECT

STREET-WALKING CHEETAH Not everyone is convinced by Starrett and Portal’s animal allusions, or programs that at first glance rely more on recapturing childhood freedoms than tried-andtested fitness regimens. Bret Contreras, an unrepentantly evidence-based trainer, has published a comprehensive movement takedown called How To Be A Functional Movement Guru In 40 Easy Steps. While he does not name names, and admits that “there are indeed some credible and valuable functional movement experts out there”, it isn’t a stretch to envision who was at the forefront of his mind when he wrote, “Pseudoscience is much more profitable these days. Imagine a world with no scientific boundaries, where anything you think up in your head can be played off as factual, regardless of whether or not the idea holds merit in real life. Imagine building a strong, cult-like following and getting paid to spout off jibber-jabber all day long.” Elsewhere, former USA Weightlifting medical chair Dr Brendan Murray has attributed an increase in injuries to the extreme ‘knees out’ technique seen in some weightlifters, CrossFitters and those mimicking some of the movement culture’s teachings. Another common criticism is that, by setting benchmarks for human biomechanics and an ‘ideal’ way of moving, Starrett et al are ignoring individual variance and genetics. Arguably, such criticisms could be levelled at almost any widely adopted fitness program. The fact remains that our daily lives are less active than they’ve ever been, and when we do move, it’s in increasingly demanding ways. For instance, where we were once content to sit on pec decks and leg presses, the growing popularity of Olympic lifting, CrossFit and MMA has shown up our movement deficiencies. Even if Starrett isn’t the messiah, at least he has initiated the conversation about how to prevent injuries

OWNGOALS

ACL injury occurrences

hour . . . he’ll chase something, roll around, sprint, rest, mix things up. Animal play has a purpose, and it’s not hard to surmise that human play should as well.” According to McDougall, “it was our remarkable range of movement that enabled us to thrive, manoeuvre across any terrain and spread to every corner of the planet.” The irony is that, in doing so, we eliminated any need to move. “Our language is really a language of reclaiming the natural capacity of the human being,” says Dr Kelly Starrett, author of another mobility bible, Becoming A Supple Leopard. “The leopard can attack and defend at full capacity instantly, whereas the average person has to warm up, activate their glutes and mobilise their thoracic spine,” he explains, with the characteristic loftiness of a movement aficionado. “That’s not how it’s supposed to be.”


FITNESS

“ANIMAL PLAY HAS A PURPOSE. IT’S NATURAL THAT HUMAN PLAY SHOULD, TOO”

A well balanced plan will curb your injury risk.

UNIFIED. APPROACH. Practising natural movement has measurable total-body benefits, as this research demonstrates

01/ Immunity Two hours in nature – say an odd-object session in the park – boosts immune cell activity by as much as 50 per cent. Nippon Medical School, Tokyo

02/ Resilience Athletes who train in multiple sports are 85 per cent less likely to suffer injuries to the lower body. American Orthopaedic Society

03/ Memory Tree climbing, running barefoot or navigating over obstacles boosts working memory by 50 per cent. University of North Florida

04/ Muscle Working upper and lower limbs together recruits more muscle than if worked separately. Med & Science in Sports & Exercise

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N S I I D E

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H E


SEX

In the world of orgasm research, scientists are in a race to decode the secrets of the female climax. What they’ve found just might help improve her sex life – and yours > BY JERILYN COVERT PHOTOGR APHY BY CL AY TON CUBIT T

M S A O R G

L A B

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O Oh

God,

I’m

going

to

come

I know it when I feel it. I know what works when I take my pleasure into my own hands. Still, I’d been told to expect performance anxiety – after all, I’m in a strange room far from home, with someone just outside the cracked door. You’d have to be an exhibitionist not to feel weird. (I’m not an exhibitionist.) But that familiar, wondrous feeling arrives not long after I settle in, close my eyes and put my mind and fingers to work. A tingling between my legs, warmth in my feet. Then, pure pleasure washes over me and a pulsing sensation sends shivers throughout my body. For a brief while – 21 seconds, I’d later learn – I check out. When I open my eyes and will myself back to reality, a flatscreen

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deadpans: “You’re done. Get dressed.” I straighten my dress, cast off the blanket covering my bare legs, and try to regain my composure. “Okay,” I say, “you can come in.” Dr Nicole Prause enters the room. She’s tall, lean, pretty in a no-bullshit kind of way – face makeup-free, blonde hair in an untidy bun. At 39, she stands out in her field because (a) she’s a woman and (b) she runs her own lab, called Liberos. After leaving UCLA last year and securing grant money, Prause became her own boss, unfettered by university politics. Her focus: sex as a way to promote general health – as a treatment for depression, chronic pain, sleep disorders, even arthritis. Someday, Prause says, doctors could prescribe masturbation. “Natural, free, accessible – what more do you want from your health care?” she asks me. Researchers have been studying sex for more than half a century. I watched Masters of Sex on Showtime and figured that by now we’ve learned all there is to learn about this fundamental act. Boy, was I wrong. There remains a remarkable amount of uncertainty about the supposed best part – that intensely pleasurable climax. That’s finally changing. In fact, Prause (PROW-see) is at the forefront of a race to decode the complex cascade of signals and inputs underlying the female orgasm. It’s a pursuit fraught with complexity: scientists can’t be in the room while a volunteer is sexually aroused; grant money is limited and tends to be weighted toward studies on diseases like cancer. And sex research, well – let’s just say it’s a tough sell at a cocktail party. For scientists – and many women – female orgasm is elusive and complex. Heterosexual women report reaching orgasm during sex only 65 per cent of the time, versus 95 per cent for straight men. And being in a lab doesn’t exactly set the mood. But Prause, from her small, unassuming office, is tackling these challenges in new ways that promise to seriously advance the field – and your sex life.You might think that women have a leg up on men (sometimes literally) when it comes to pleasure. After all, research suggests that female orgasm can be generated from


SEX

at least five areas – the clitoris, the G-spot, the cervix, the nipples and (believe it or not) the earlobes. Some women may even be able to achieve orgasm using their imagination alone. Obviously evolution wanted us women to enjoy sex. As the renowned biological anthropologist Dr Helen Fisher puts it, it’s to a man’s advantage to please a woman in bed so she’ll come back and do it again. “The only way he’ll send his DNA down through eternity is if a woman has his baby. So it’s an adaptive mechanism to want to please her.” In the here and now, you’ll have better sex, which leads to more sex. Who doesn’t want that? The dean of current orgasm research is Dr Barry Komisaruk of Rutgers University, who’s been studying orgasms for 15 years. In 2004, Komisaruk and his team, which included the author Beverly Whipple (The G Spot), became the first to show where brain activity occurs in women at climax. Komisaruk uses fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging. His team slides a woman into a scanner where she masturbates while they snap pictures of her brain. (Hot, right?) The machine records bloodflow and oxygenation, indicators of neural activity. Among their findings: the brain has no dedicated “sex part,” but areas associated with pleasure and memory do light up at orgasm. That’s what keeps us coming back for more. During orgasm, Komisaruk told me, “so many different brain regions are activated. That’s not surprising, because so many body systems are activated.” Orgasm starts with the genital sensory cortex and then spreads to areas in the limbic system, including the amygdala (emotional processing) and hippocampus (memory, fantasy) along with the insula and anterior cingulate cortex (visceral sensation and internal feelings). Those last two are also activated when you feel pain, says Komisaruk, which may explain why orgasm can have a pain-blocking effect. And why your O face can look like you just threw out your back. The way the brain “lights up” is the same in men and women, Komisaruk says, with one key difference: after orgasm, the male brain tends to respond less to

Arousal areas in the brain overlap with the pain matrix. That may explain why your O face can look like you’re in pain. And why her O face is so painfully hot.

stimulation, while the female brain continues to respond. That may explain why women can have multiple orgasms, while men usually need a break before going again. The other significant contributor to orgasm research is Dutch neuroscientist Dr Janniko Georgiadis, who’s done about 60 studies on orgasm from his University of Groningen lab. For him, what’s more telling is not what lights up in the brain but what shuts down. Georgiadis primarily uses PET (positron emission tomography) scans, which also track bloodflow and brain activity. Like fMRI, PET can localise the brain activity, but it’s slower, so the true flash point is easier to miss. With his PET scans, Georgiadis saw some brain regions respond, aligning with some of Komisaruk’s findings. But to his surprise, he also found an orgasm-related decrease of bloodflow in certain regions, especially the prefrontal cortex and the temporal cortex, areas linked to planning and comprehension, respectively. These areas light up during the day when you’re speaking, listening, thinking, engaging – anything to do with conscious thought. During orgasm, they’re about 10 per cent less active compared with the stages before. When you climax, Georgiadis says, you have “an altered perception of things going on around you. There is less awareness, less fear. Everyone knows that you’re less able to think clearly while you’re having an orgasm. This fits this phenomenon really well.” Translate this to the bedroom and you see why it’s easier for a woman to climax when she’s relaxed – and why planning your fantasy football team helps you delay the inevitable. In her case, she can more easily shut off those parts of her brain; in yours, they’re being prompted to light up. The gateway to orgasm is in letting go. The reason one researcher sees the brain light up while the other sees it dim could be due to the different methods they use: turns out, what we believe about orgasm is coloured by the lens through which we view it. “It’s more an apparent contradiction than a real one,” says Dr Jim Pfaus, a Canadian neuroscientist who studies orgasm in rats. (It’s a living.) One tool (PET) takes a single

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snapshot that represents everything that came before it, from desire to arousal to the main event. The other (fMRI) shows precise moments along the way, moments that may or may not be consistent from one test subject to another. What’s more, “activation” does not always mean excitation: when Komisaruk sees frontal brain regions lighting up, that may simply be the command centre telling other parts to stand down. An fMRI can see that activation but can’t identify it; PET might be able to make that distinction but doesn’t isolate specific moments. To understand orgasm, says Pfaus, “you just have to find the right time point”. That’s where Prause has the advantage – because her method is significantly faster.

7 6 5 4 3

THIS IS HER BRAIN ON ORGASM 1 2 3 4

2

5 A symphony of brain regions lights up at orgasm, says Rutgers neuroscientist Dr Barry Komisaruk. He uses an fMRI machine to capture cross-sections of a woman’s brain during orgasm. Among the areas that light up are

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those involving sensory input, like the genital sensory cortex (1), along with parts of the limbic system linked to memory and emotion, such as the anterior cingulate cortex (2), insula (3), amygdala (4) and hippocampus (5).

1

Prep Properly Replace “inhibitors” (chores, kids) with “excitors” – early photos of you two, music, a scented candle, says sex therapist Dr Ian Kerner. Tell her

how great she looks in candlelight. Dr Nicole Prause found that body-negative thoughts curbed women’s arousal while they watched porn.

Go Slow Don’t zero in on the nipples or clitoris too early – they’re not “on buttons,” and being touched in those areas can be painful if she’s not aroused yet, says

sex therapist Dr Lori Brotto. Watch her body – erect hair follicles is a good sign – and follow her lead; tell her, “I am guided by you.”

No, Slower! Ready for penetration? Ask first. Wet doesn’t mean ready. (That’s why lube is a poor substitute for foreplay.) Her vaginal walls should be engorged and “pil-

lowy”. Tease the vulva with your penis; play with shallow thrusts, says Kerner. Or have her do that herself. You can watch.

Stimulate Multiple Areas own experiments, says Some experts say Kerner. Kiss her neck, female orgasm can caress the small of her be generated from back, whisper in her several spots beyond ear. And try stimulating the obvious clitoris, the clitoris during nipples, earlobes, cerpenetration. vix, G-spot. Do your Stop Worrying About Her points of contact – your Your well-intentioned interlocked hands, check-ins (“Almost where your bellies there?”) can interrupt touch, how her breast her flow, says sex therfeels against your lips. apist Dr Erica Notice texture, temMarchand. Focus perature, vibrations. instead, says Brotto, on Have Fun! Humour helps turn off the thinking part of your brain so you can both focus on pleasure. Know that there’s no one right way, says Marchand. Find Entrainment Steady rhythm is key. Start with a rhythm and pressure that feels natural, says Marchand. Ask easy, brief questions so she can stay in the moment: “Faster

If you slip out or fall off the bed, so what? She won’t care. So lighten up. (Check out hystericalliterature. com for our favourite sexy-funny videos.) or slower?” “Softer or harder?” “How does that feel?” Not: “What should I do?” If she seems close, don’t change a thing! —J.C.

Hair and makeup: Katie Wedlund, hair and makeup assistant: Jessica Mikulski, MARK NERYS (rocket illustration), T.M. Detwiler (brain illustration)

IN HER LAB Prause navigates past me through the tiny room. There’s a vintage desk, a yoga mat, a guitar. A plastic tub holds electronic devices; some are connected to the fingers on my left hand. (My right had been occupied.) A plated band wraps around my right upper arm and a multipronged headset clings to my skull. Prause parks herself on a wooden chest beside the computer screen, which now displays a single line that slopes gradually down before breaking into wild undulations at about the 15-minute mark. “That could be orgasm,” she says, peering closer. “Yeah, that could work.” With data like this, Prause hopes to answer some surprisingly fundamental physiological questions: what kind of touch and movement intensify arousal? Is orgasm distinct from heightened arousal, or just more of the same? Is it the pinnacle of pleasure or, technically speaking, the moment the brain puts on the brakes? My orgasm in Prause’s lab was recorded by an EEG, or electroencephalogram, which measures brain activity; hence the headset. Prause pulls up images of my brain captured as I was masturbating. We’re looking at alpha, one of many electrical waves fluctuating through the brain constantly. Alpha is present when your brain is idling or in a wakeful relaxed state – as in daydreaming or just zoning out. Along with another wave called theta, it’s linked to

COUNTDOW N TO ECSTASY

Scientists gave us the data. Sex therapists gave us the how-to. The results: sciencebacked ways you can be her orgasm donor


SEX

MY JOURNEY INTO THE WORLD OF ORGASM RESEARCH NOT ONLY CHANGED MY MINDSET, IT LED TO SOME OF THE BEST SEX OF MY LIFE

meditation and what athletes call “flow state”. When alpha’s high, you’re feeling chill. Let’s call it “chill wave” for now. A colour spectrum on the monitor goes from dark blue (low chill) to green to orange to yellow (high chill). Only one brain image is completely yellow – the “stimulate to orgasm” brain. (But crucially, not during actual orgasm.) Another chart, a spectogram, shows a bright line extending with a few breaks across the graph. That line indicates chill and should be brighter during higher levels of sexual arousal. Sure enough, it starts at a point when I’m self-stimulating and fantasising. (Sorry, not telling!) The line is brightest just before orgasm, indicating where my brain has gone full chill. But during orgasm (I’d hit a button at start and finish) the line disappears, as if my orgasm turned my normal consciousness back on. Generally, my alpha activity fits a pattern Prause has seen before. That pattern is her most surprising discovery so far, a working hypothesis she described to me as the “sympathetic nervous system switch”. (Her research on the topic has been accepted for publication by the Archives of Sexual Behaviour.) THIS “SWITCH THEORY” (my term) holds that climax is linked to an off-switch in our brain. Both Komisaruk and Georgiadis had concluded something similar. Prause’s twist: the switch is flipped well before orgasm happens. To begin, Prause had me think of something sexy. Sometimes she shows her study participants a pornographic image; sometimes they self-stimulate with a genital vibrator. When her volunteers first become aroused, their chill generally quiets down. They’re paying attention. But when they’re asked to attempt an orgasm,

the chill shoots up. To trigger orgasm, your brain may have to zone out, as indicated on my results. For Prause, it’s not that the orgasm triggers deactivations in the brain; it’s that the deactivations in the brain are necessary to trigger orgasm. “Janniko, and to some extent Barry, are arguing that there’s increased activation especially in frontal areas, and that after orgasm happens the brain shuts down,” Prause told me. “We’re arguing that orgasm is not the off switch, that to get to orgasm you had to flip that switch before.” She suspects that if Rutgers researchers were to sample more rapidly and look at the time period preceding orgasm, they’d find data to support her hypothesis. If orgasm marked the height of pleasure, you’d think chill waves would keep rising. But they don’t; they drop. That makes orgasm not an off-switch but more like a “back on” switch, pulling you out of the trance that preceded it. For Prause, this suggests that the best part of sex – the thing that keeps you coming back for more – is not the orgasm but the part leading up to it, what she refers to as a high-pleasure state and the kids call “edging,” when you deliberately delay orgasm to make sex last longer, potentially making the eventual orgasm stronger. Your takeaway: if she doesn’t have an orgasm and insists she’s fine, she might actually mean it. “Orgasm isn’t magic,” says Prause. “Not that it’s not reinforcing, but everything before it is also reinforcing.” Some women may even confuse high arousal for orgasm and still report satisfaction. During her research, Prause found many of the women reporting orgasm did not have the pelvic contractions traditionally used to define it. At first she thought the anal probe – which

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HER AROUSAL TIMELINE

What happens when a woman in the lab imagines banal activ­ ities, then receives oral sex (tough gig!) and sexually fantasises. = ALPHA WAVES BA N A L

Not much alpha B EG I N O R A L

Got my attention M O R E BA N A L

Buzzkill FA N TAS I S E

Oh, boy! T RY TO O R G AS M

Total alpha! O R G AS M

Back to reality

senses the contractions – was faulty. But as IF PRAUSE’S WORK SHIFTS THE EMPHASIS the trend persisted, she realised that these AWAY FROM ORGASM AND TOWARD THE women were not experiencing orgasms, even JOURNEY, THEN “ENTRAINMENT” BRINGS though they believed they were. (She did not see this in men.) THAT SHIFT HOME, INTO YOUR BEDROOM Komisaruk and others maintain that women do know when they’re having an orgasm and enter an almost trancelike state of This not only makes sex more fun but can also deepen consciousness. It’s “flow” all over again. In that state, your connection with your partner. “If two people are says Safron, “the rhythm is all there is”. When your brain attending to the same rhythm,” Safron says, “you could rhythms sync up with an outside stimulus, you can attend get synchronisation across their nervous systems.” That to that stimulus more easily. “The more you attend, the can lead to an increased ability to communicate with more you can be entrained by a rhythm,” Safron told me. your partner – like making eye contact across a room and “And the more in sync you are, the better you can attend.” seemingly reading each other’s minds. “You’ll see this This may explain why we can zoom in on rhythmic in armies marching together, in dance partners and in experiences like music, he says. musicians who play duets – they all develop this intimacy,” “They outcompete other things for your attention,” says Safron says. “Literally, as a mechanism, their systems Safron. “This is part of why people like these experiences: might sync up. This allows them to be closer in a variety they’re engaging with something highly pleasurable in of ways.” a very focused manner and they’re also able to let go of This underlines the sexual importance of rhythms (so things that are less pleasurable, like thinking about jobs, don’t go spelling the alphabet with your tongue during taxes or laundry.” cunnilingus; establishing a pleasing rhythm is more Sounds a little like meditation, I point out. effective) and attentiveness to your partner. It also poses “I’d say it’s a lot like meditation,” Safron responds. sex as a means to an altered state of consciousness. And all For Prause, that’s precisely what happens when that off this time, you thought it was just about getting off. switch flips: you enter entrainment. (Aptly, she’s currently “People have a bizarre doublethink around sexuality,” studying whether genital stimulation can offer the same Safron tells me. “They think of it as both unimportant benefits as meditation.) and so important that it causes terror in them.” A shift in If Prause’s work shifts the emphasis away from orgasm perspective can help you find a middle ground. Think of and toward the journey there, then Safron’s theory takes sex as stimulation and it can get old; consider it a strange that shift and brings it home, into your bedroom. Turns trance state and you might find new ways to enjoy it. out, viewing sex as a form of meditation may actually be a “Recognise that sex is really weird,” Safron says. “And good idea. appreciate that.” Meditation is a practice, something you improve at I’m here to testify: he’s right. My journey into the world over time, like learning to play a musical instrument – you of orgasm research not only changed my mindset but also get better and better at absorption and at letting go of led to some of the best sex of my life. distractions. Imagine sex as a practice (not a performance), One night after my return home, my husband joined me and maybe you can relax. in bed. I started kissing him. We kissed for a long time Meditation also means staying present: if thoughts – longer than we ever would have before. To my surprise, arise, you acknowledge them briefly and then let them go. he seemed into it. In the past, I might have worried we were That feels good because you’re not stressing out, you’re spending too long on kissing, but now that fear seemed not ruminating. Staying present in bed, focusing on your unfounded and contrary to what I’d learned. Pleasure was breath or the touch of her skin against yours, also feels something to sink into, not race toward. good and may help turn off the kind of self-monitoring that It was a much slower build than I’d ever experienced, can lead to anxiety and sexual dysfunction. and then something weird happened. The outside world All of this can enhance the sexual experience in a faded away, leaving the two of us behind. Entrainment had powerful way: as you become more in sync with the started to kick in. It led to life-changing sex. I enjoyed all of rhythms, you can tune out distractions more easily, which it, not just those last 20 seconds (sorry, I mean 21.) in turn frees you up to focus on pleasure.

Topography of the author’s brain as she masturbated. Yellow means alpha

STA RT

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SEXY THOUGHT

T RY TO O R G AS M

FINISHED


IT’s The Most fun you CAN HAVE

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THE

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FITNESS

Decathlete Cedric Dubler is targeting the podium at the upcoming Commonwealth Games. Discover how being a jack-of-all-trades can help boost your results across the board > BY IAN COCK ERILL PHOTOGR APHY BY JASON Z AMBELLI

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or the great ones, there’s often a trajectory. They declare themselves at a young age and then gather steam, attention and medals as they progress, inexorably, to whatever their main stage is – Olympics, World Cup, World Championships – to fulfil their destiny under a rain of gold confetti. And then there’s the rest. The jury is still out on just how good Cedric Dubler is going to be, but astute judges haven’t missed that, at 21, the Brisbane decathlete has racked up better numbers than the two giants of the sport in modern times at the same age, Great Britain’s Daley Thompson (Olympic gold medallist in 1980 and 1984) and American Ashton Eaton (Olympic gold in 2012 and 2016). Stay with that for a moment. When the Swedish king told the first Olympic decathlete champion in 1912 that “You sir, are the greatest athlete in the world”, he bestowed a tag that has persisted to this day. That’s the company Dubler is keeping. Not that you’d know it when Men’s Health catches up with Dubler at his training base at the University of Queensland. There’s no entourage here, just a tall, sinewy athlete with a sprinter’s sculpted calves toting a javelin and an overflowing bag filled with six different pairs of shoes. On the rugby field that occupies the middle of the track, a lone bird circles a puddle left from the previous night’s rain. It’s a scene that reminds you that, as a consuming and punishing sport – Dubler lives with his parents and scrapes out a living through a combination of small grants and promotional and coaching work – decathlon is no calculating man’s path to riches and glory. Dubler understands all this, and yet he readily talks about competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics, a full 12-year span after he first indicated he had the talent to take on Thompson’s and Eaton’s stats when finishing 4th at the 2012 world U20 championships. Two years later he was pipped for the gold medal at the 2014 U20 worlds, before becoming the first Australian to make the Olympic qualifying mark since 2000, booking a spot for Rio in 2016. It wasn’t just Dubler, his coach, support team and Athletics Australia rejoicing in Sydney that night. Since the start of 2016, Dubler had produced regular training vlogs on his YouTube channel and built an enthusiastic

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audience drawn by his insights, honesty and ambition. That same audience closely followed Dubler’s first major outing against the best of the best in Rio, where he finished 14th in a field of 32. Thompson finished 18th at his first Olympics; Eaton also 18th at his first major championships, the 2009 worlds. All good so far. Cue adversity. Entering August’s 2017 worlds in London, where observers might have hoped for a breakout performance, a persistent toe injury and then illness saw Dubler’s prospects dim. After two topsy-turvy days he finished in 18th place and the trajectory had stalled. And yet . . . and yet Dubler detected something good. Something powerful. Something he could harness through countless training sessions and future competition. “It was noticeable that when some of the other Australian athletes didn’t go so well they’d get criticised on social media,” recalls Dubler. “That didn’t happen to me. I got nothing but support, because people understood why it happened. They appreciated the honesty of my lows as well as the highs and they understood the story and the human element when things weren’t going right.”


FITNESS

Now 23, Dubler has taken the encouragement he got from that experience as confirmation that he’s on the money in choosing to share his journey with strangers. In a contemporary twist on the old dictum to get yourself a training partner, he is using his social media connections to propel him towards his next major event, April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, and beyond to the 2019 worlds in Qatar and 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he’s not shy about wanting a medal. London’s struggles confirmed one other thing, too. In recording his vlog before and after each event – including the shock of getting hit in the forehead by the pole vault bar – Dubler found his mind was constantly purged of unproductive thoughts. “Debriefing immediately after each event definitely helped me refocus,” says Dubler. “I could say what I felt and then move on quickly. “If I don’t do that it can leave me feeling flat and tired.” So, bad session? Review it, voice it, share it – on social media or with your gym buddies – and clear the decks. As any decathlete can tell you, there’s always more work to be done.

PRINCIPLE No.1

PRESS RECORD The old adage that your character is revealed by what you do when no one’s looking applies doubly to training. How often have you found yourself going through the motions when you train solo? Thought as much. So, don’t rely on your own internal motivation, says Dubler. His vlogs have given his sessions two crucial pillars: accountabilityand structure. “When I record my vlogs I have to make clear goals, I have to explain it,” says Dubler. “It forces me to define what I’m trying to achieve before the start of each session and then look at it again when I debrief afterwards. Even if no-one’s watching I love to have it to identify clear goals.” Think of it as your personal CCTV. An American Society of Training and Development study on accountability found that you have a 65 per cent higher chance of achieving a goal if you commit to someone. >

The Brisbane decathlete has racked up better numbers at the same age than Daley Thompson and Ashton Eaton

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PRINCIPLE No.2

PRINCIPLE No.3

PRINCIPLE No.4

CHANGE IT UP

LEARN TO AUTO-DRIVE

KNOW YOUR DESTINATION

Even with all the expert advice he can call on, Dubler found that his training regimen on the track and in the gym could often suck the life out of him. “Before Rio and London I was at the gym four or more times a week and was really having some fatigue issues,” he recalls. Prompted to revisit his schedule with his coaches, Dubler has since dropped back to three gym sessions a week and tinkered with the finer logistics: starting his gym session half an hour later has saved him fruitless time spent in peak hour traffic. “Don’t get caught up with what you’re doing, or be sentimental about it,” he says. “Be adaptable, constantly evolving and re-evaluating how you train. When the weather gets hotter here we change the time of day we train on the track, for instance, to avoid the worst of it.” What’s the stone in your shoe that’s getting in the way of results, or worse still, putting you off training altogether? Acknowledge it, remove it, or work around it, because it’s not going away of its own accord.

Dubler’s coach Eric Brown wants his charge to be able to coach himself, a dynamic that’s a long way removed from many coach-athlete relationships. “It’s about not being passive,” Dubler explains, “and thinking through the process so that I can feel when something isn’t right.” In turn, he says, that helps him accurately explain his training to his vlog followers, “who want to know why you’re doing an isometric or concentric phase and what it aims to achieve.” You’ve got a personal trainer or someone else who’s responsible for your gym program? Be curious. Ask why. Listen to your body. Because one day you’re likely to move gyms, towns or states and won’t have them around to hold your hand. When that happens you want to be ready to take charge of your sessions. You should be aiming to take full responsibility for your training. If you’re wholly invested in what your goals are, be it a new bench PB or a muscle-up, you’re more likely to achieve them, Dubler says.

So you’re a decathlete and the shot put is one of your weakest events, the pole vault one of your best. You target the shot put in training, right? Not necessarily, as it turns out. “My weakness is my throws, but they’re not big points when compared to the jumps,” explains Dubler. “I might get 30 more points if I can throw half a metre further in shot put. But I can get 32 points for an extra 10cm in the pole vault. “So if I can make my pole vault better with an extra half an hour training a week, I’ll focus on that.” Yes, here at MH we’ve always preached that the greatest training gains can be made in your weakest areas. But don’t lose sight of the overall objective. If your performance benefits most from improvements in an area where you’re already strong, then make sure you target those with a bounty-hunter’s zeal so you actually execute when things really count.

Take responsibility for your training. If you’re wholly invested in what your goals are, you’re more likely to achieve them

If the shoe fits... Dubler has a crack at all trades.

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PRINCIPLE No.5

MAKE IT FUN With so many disciplines to work on and every part of the body playing a role, decathlon training is relentless. Six days a week, Dubler is on the track or in the gym, sprinting, throwing, jumping and lifting. “If you train by yourself it can be long and hard and boring,” he says. Dubler is lucky. He trains with a “passionate and talented group, so the environment is really good”. The real fun, though, comes through a friendly rivalry with a younger decathlete. “We have milkshake bets that we cash in on after our big Saturday sessions. It’s good to have something at stake.” Milkshakes. That’s good. But even if you want to put something more substantial on the line it’s worth considering how to engineer incentives that spur you to push that little bit harder during each session. Dubler has one other pretty potent form of motivation. Hint: it’s gold and shiny. Get a vlog with that around his neck and it’s fair to say the shakes will be on him.

The 10-Sport Total-Body Workout

DUBLER’S VITAL STATS HEIGHT

191cm

WEIGHT

79kg

100m PB 10.71 400m PB 48.18 1500m PB 4:32.12 110m Hurdles PB 14.13 High Jump PB 2.15m Long Jump PB 7.74m Pole Vault PB 5.10m Shot Put PB 12.30m Discus PB 42.81m Javelin PB 54.32m Decathlon PB 8114

Build the strength, speed, endurance, agility and power you need to take on any discipline. Queensland Academy of Sport head of strength and conditioning Chris Gaviglio has been part of Dubler’s team since 2013. Here’s his formula to set you on track to becoming a man of steel

UPPER BODY 1a Bench Press 3 x 5 + 1 x 10

LOWER BODY 1b Reverse Pull-up 3 x 8

1a Single- Leg Squat 3 x 8 (Smith Machine)

2a Walking Lunge 3 x 6 2b Box Jump 3 x 2

1b Drop Jump (30cm) 3 x 2

2a Dumbbell Pullover 3 x 8 Lying on your back over a bench pull a dumbbell with both hands to your chest and back to the starting position.

2b Single-leg Back Extension 3 x 6 each leg

3a Rope Climb 3 x 1

3b Chin-up with towel 3 x 5

4a Box push-up 3x5

4b Windscreen Wiper 3 x 8 From a chin-up position raise your toes to bar and move your legs side-to-side.

3a Single-Leg Eccentric Hamstring Curl 3 x 5 Lie on your back on a smooth surface with your right heel in a slider and the other raised. Slowly slide your right foot forward while keeping you left raised. Repeat on opposing leg.

4a Forward Roll 3 x 8 From a standing position with arms raised, squat down, placing your hands on the floor. Tuck your head in as you rotate your body over and back onto your feet.

3b Core: Side Rotation 3 x 6 From a side plank position rotate your torso downwards and reach under your body with your left arm. Rotate back to the starting position before switching sides. 4b SL Back Extension 3x5

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ALL AT SEA A US Coast Guard rescue swimmer endures the icy waters off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska.

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re as a s e s s e g proc lite rescue n i n i a r e t, few t ast Guard’s aging seas, n e c r e o r of 80 p by the US C o battle the he storm > e t a r trition at endured at it takes t he eye of t TIM CALVER t a n a With shing as th nd out wh s afloat in t PHOTOGRAPHY BY BLY puni mers. To fi ing other T HAM T A M p m BY swi en kee m e h t et MH m

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fter two years of intense training, in 2004 Jonathan Disalle, 32, graduated as one of the US Coast Guard’s Aviation Survival Technicians (AST) – or elite rescue swimmers. It was the accumulation of three vigorous training programs, focusing on everything from in-water rescue drills to emergency medical procedures and intricate helicopter operating systems. Stationed in Oregon on America’s west coast, Disalle’s first day at work was, in his own words, “pretty intense”. A 7.5m skiff had overturned in the 5.5m swell at Basendorff Beach. By the time Disalle and his team of three helicopter crew reached the scene from their base 16km away, all three of the skiff’s crew were dead. “We were too late. All we could do was pull the deceased up onto the beach,” Disalle recalls, his voice heavy with emotion. Now a lead instructor at North Carolina’s Aviation Survival Technician Academy – the school where all

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STAYING AFLOAT From top left: AST school recruits, minutes after completing a six-person rescue drill;the twinengine MH-60 US Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter; recruits must complete gruelling fitness tests – even on dry land.

prospective rescue swimmers begin their training – Disalle is speaking to MH while preparing for a new intake of students. For a first day, he says, the crash was an eye-opener. But, as he soon learned, such stories are commonplace. He recalls one told by a colleague, of delivering CPR to a patient on a crowded beach when a helicopter crashed beside them. The fact that Disalle and his teammates are able to continue in the face of such trauma is testament to their dedication and focus. The training program required to produce such elite personnel is unparalleled outside of military circles, as is their mental and physical resilience. This is no mere lifeguard role, with just 300 AST rescue swimmers active in the entire US. “We don’t make rescue swimmers, we find them,” says Disalle. “Not everyone is cut out for it, and that’s fine. But there’s a reason there are so few of us.”

TREADIN G WATER

Responsible for 161,000 km of US shoreline – including great lakes, coves and beaches – the US Coast Guard is a machine of immense proportion. And, unlike its Australian equivalent, it is a branch of its country’s armed forces, answerable only to the department of homeland security. Operating as far north as the Arctic Circle and in territories south of the equator, their remit extends to drug seizures and intelligence gathering, as well as ice breaking, pollution clear-ups and of course, rescue. On an average day, they seize 396kg of cocaine, conduct 45 search and rescue operations and save 10 lives. And they do all of this with a force of 56,000 people – approximately the size of the NYPD – at the sharp end of which are the handful of elite rescue swimmers. As if their job wasn’t hard enough, in March last year the military’s commander in chief, one Donald J Trump, announced plans to cut the Coast Guard’s budget by up to US $1.3 billion at a time when the service is under greater strain than ever. Despite this, the men and women making up its ranks remain resilient. Budget cuts may threaten their future, but today there are lives that need saving. Before they can deploy, recruits must complete a punishing 24-week training course known colloquially as ‘A-School’. They will go elsewhere for medical and helicopter training, but it is at A-School that careers are either forged or, as is statistically more likely, deemed over before they even begin. Split into three eight-week phases, initial training seeks to drive applicants beyond their breaking point before rebuilding them with the skills necessary to specialise in rescue swimming. It is these men and women who are the first on the scene of any accident, often lowered from helicopters into raging storms and inaccessible coves. It is at A-School that Disalle operates, barking instructions at green hopefuls. A significant portion of the six-month training takes place in the facility’s state of the art training pool,

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UPS AND DOWNS Recruits perform a water confidence drill called ‘bobbing’.Taking a breath,they sink to the bottom,kick back up, take another breath and repeat.

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“It doesn’t matter how fit you are. You’re going to get to a point where part of you wants to quit” where two 3.6m-deep, 25m by 25m sections are divided by a bulkhead that supports a hoist used to simulate helicopter extractions. Hoses and a wind machine create rotor wash and gales equivalent to 70 knots. Then there are the 1.5m waves, the fog and the sound effects. It’s as close as you’ll get to a raging sea without leaving dry land and it is here that recruits quickly discover if they have what it takes to survive being thrown in at both the literal and metaphorical deep end. “It’s definitely a grind,” says AST Sam Fuller, who completed his training in Autumn 2016. “People drop like flies. My class started with 24 people and by week eight we were down to seven.” Having swum for the state of North Carolina, Fuller heard about rescue swimming from his future wife who was interested in joining (she’s now training to be a pilot). After a preparatory bootcamp he was selected for A-School, where applicants must pass an hour-long fitness test: 40 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, three chin-ups (palms in), three chinups (palms out), running 2.4km in under 12 minutes and then getting into the pool. There they must swim 500m in 12 minutes before completing four 25m swims underwater. All of which sounds taxing, but achievable to anyone with a semi-decent level of fitness. But, as Disalle is quick to point out, the test’s purpose is simply to check that you aren’t going to sink to the bottom of the pool. These are, after all, just the pre-training entry requirements. Day one consists of two and a half hours of ‘land’ PT followed by two hours in the pool. After

lunch, it’s back into the pool for another three hours. By this point, Disalle explains, “If you’ve only trained for the bare minimum, you’re in trouble.”

T HE DEEP EN D

Rescue swimmers aren’t bare minimum people. Fuller, at 187.5cm and a little over 90kg is what’s referred to in Coast Guard slang as ‘a specimen’. He trains daily in their gym (deadlift 185kg, bench press 120kg, back squat 156kg) and swims at least twice a week, practising the ‘over under’ (400m with lengths split half underwater and half over). But while fitness is crucial, being able to grit your teeth through a lactic acid build-up in the pool does not qualify you for active service in freezing 5m swells. “It doesn’t matter how fit you are,” says Fuller. “You’re going to get to a point where part of you wants to quit. You have to make a choice to either give in or push harder. That’s where A-school becomes more mental than physical.” This breaking point could come at any time, but the final hurdle is the highest: a trio of gruelling tests that all recruits must pass in order to graduate. These are the ‘One Man’, the ‘Parachute Disentanglement’ and the ‘Multi-Rescue’. Of the three, the One Man is the litmus test. Succeed and you’re in with a shot. Students must complete safety checks on an instructor posing as a victim, before towing him to safety. At some point, the instructor will turn on the student, wrestling them underwater. They must use force to subdue the ‘victim’ and bring them under control. This isn’t

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HIGH,NOT DRY Left to right: a rescue swimmer prepares to enter the sea; in addition to rescue, all ASTs are trained paramedics and helicopter pilots; an AST is lowered to the icy depths beneath from a helicopter; an AST battles through waves blasted by the downwash from the helicopter.

about taking a deep breath and diving under. It’s about being dragged down in a headlock with no warning and no air in your lungs. “You have to go to that dark place,” chuckles Fuller. “Not a lot of people can.” “Students come in all babyfaced and we put them into the fire,” adds Disalle. “There’s something hardened about the ones that graduate. It’s like forging steel.”

STO R M FR O NT

Training is, of course, only the beginning. For the next two decades at least, they have pledged to put themselves in harm’s way where most would 104

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run – or swim – in the opposite direction. Nor are their operations limited to the ocean. The event that has stuck with Disalle the most is a rescue on Oregon’s dynamic coastline: “Just off shore there’s a rock with a 90m cliff that has a crevasse down the middle. This crack was filled with boulders. Below that was just surf, slamming into a cave. A guy had tried to jump the crevasse and didn’t make it. “The helicopter lowered me down with my EMT (emergency medical technician) kit and I see this guy is having seizures,” Disalle says. “He’s smashed his whole face in. The helicopter crew got a rescue litter down to me, I got an airway in and let them winch him out. Then the helicopter left – there wasn’t room for us both.” With night closing in, Disalle’s only means of escape from the crevasse had just disappeared over the horizon. “Once the helicopter flies away, all the adrenaline stops and – apart from the waves pounding

in – it’s silent. You just sit there thinking ‘I cannot believe I just did that’.” Five hours later, the helicopter returned to pick Disalle up. The patient had made it. “It’s not a game,” says Disalle. “It’s very rewarding but deadly serious. I’ve trained 300 people and only 60 have graduated.” Such is the commitment to upholding professional and physical standards that, even with budget cuts looming and an increasing demand for their services, Disalle and his fellow instructors will never compromise on what is required of an elite rescue swimmer. “My biggest fear is passing someone and then finding out that something bad has happened because of their mistake,” Disalle says. “There is no one like us. Every day, people’s lives depend on what we do. There is no room for error.”


FITNESS

“There’s something hardened about the ones that graduate”

FEBRUARY 2018 105


106

FEBRUARY 2018


SA NUTRITION

RAISE THE

Nothing says summer like a juicy steak sizzling away on a hotplate. With that in mind, MH has put together the ultimate guide to cooking outdoors, because let’s face it, the barbie remains a man’s domain, one best inhabited with tongs in one hand and a stubbie in the other. Use our barbecue blueprint to find the best cuts of meat, whip up mouthwatering steaks, sauces and sides and discover the best barbies for your backyard or balcony. So, go ahead, grab your apron and tongs. You’re about to earn that beer. >

FEBRUARY 2018 107


BEST

E

VALUE

VALU

5

BEST

How Much Red Meat Is Too Much? BBQ season may be a carnivore’s Christmas but be careful about over indulging on red meat during summer. “The evidence suggests that you can have two or three servings a week. A serving is 110-170 grams,” says cardiologist Dr Ariush Mozaffarian.

4

2

6

1

3

1 4

2

SIX CUTS YOU MUST TRY

5

3

Look past rump to find a cut that’ll get mouths watering and chins wagging, says BBQ expert Joshua Applestone 1

2

RIB EYE “I prefer this to strip steak because it has a little more fat,” Applestone says. Salt and pepper are the only spices it needs. “I love rib eye served with sweet potatoes,” he adds. “The flavours just seem to go well together.” Savour the luscious marbling.

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FEBRUARY 2018

FLAT IRON STEAK This is the cut your butcher keeps. It comes from the shoulder and tastes amazing, Applestone says. “Toward its end there are lines of fat that spider down.” If you sear it over high heat, he says, “that fat melts in with the protein for a really rich bite that has good chew.”

3 BEEF HEART “When properly cleaned, beef heart is delicious,” Applestone promises. It’s lean and gamey and can be tough if overcooked. Cube it, skewer it, brush it with a sauce you like and then grill it to medium rare. Whether or not you reenact the Temple of Doom scene is up to you.

6

4 SIRLOIN FLAP As the name suggests, this is the flap of muscle covering the sirloin. For that reason it’s rich with fat, but it can be tough if not cooked correctly. Cube the meat and sear it to medium rare, just a few minutes on each side. Serve with a side of sautéed mushrooms.

5 SIRLOIN TOP Located just below the tenderloin, this leanyet-still-succulent cut is ideal in barbecued burritos because it bites off easily when served in strips. Sear the cut whole, and then slice it. Because it’s lean, you’ll want to eat it with some fat (sour cream, avocado) to balance the flavour.

6 TRI TIP Ask your butcher for this one, which is sliced from the bottom portion of the sirloin. It’s rich. It’s tender. It’s awesome served with cold salads that feature tangy cheeses like Parmesan. Grill it low and slow, cut it against the grain and toss into a Caesar salad. Yes, you’re on salad duty too.


NUTRITION

Grilled Bone-In Rib-Eye Steaks with Charred Tomato-Onion Relish This cut of meat will quite possibly be the finest to grace your grill. The acidic punch of the relish complements the fatty decadence of the beef. Plus, the simple vegetable side comes together quickly. All you need to complete the meal is a cold beer.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

2 BONE-IN RIB-EYE STEAKS, 400-600G EACH, 2-4CM THICK 4 MEDIUM FRESH SPRING

3 TBSP OLIVE OIL 2 CUPS CHERRY TOMATOES 1 SPRIG FRESH ROSEMARY 2 TBSP BALSAMIC VINEGAR

ONIONS (NOT SCALLIONS), GREEN PARTS INTACT

HOW TO MAKE IT

Spice-Rubbed BBQ Brisket with Smoked Garlic This recipe leverages a dry spice mix that penetrates the beef overnight. Then, after several hours in a smoker, it’s enhanced by a simple basting sauce. Sliced and served with summer sides, the result is heaven in the flesh.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

2 TBSP CORIANDER 1 TBSP FRESH THYME LEAVES

1 BEEF BRISKET (1.8KG), FAT CAP TRIMMED TO 0.5CM

2 BAY LEAVES

1 CUP CHICKEN STOCK

1 TSP BLACK PEPPERCORNS

¾ CUP APPLE CIDER

1 TSP WHOLE ALLSPICE

1 BULB GARLIC, TOP CUT OFF

2 TBSP DARK BROWN SUGAR

1 TBSP OLIVE OIL

HOW TO MAKE IT

1. The day before, pulverise the coriander, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and allspice in a spice grinder. Stir in 1 Tbsp sea salt and the brown sugar. Rub the brisket all over with the spice mixture; cover it and leave it in the fridge overnight. 2. Add wood chips soaked in water for 1 hour to a smoker or grill and preheat to a steady temperature of 90°-110°C. Combine the chicken stock and apple cider; set aside to use for basting. Place the brisket and the garlic in the smoker and smoke, keeping the heat at a constant 90°-110°C and basting with the cider-stock mixture every 45 minutes or so. (Add wood chips as needed.) The beef is done when it’s very tender and reaches an internal temperature of 75°C, 4-6 hours. 3. Remove the brisket from the smoker, wrap it in foil and let it rest at least 20 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, set the smoked garlic on a piece of foil, drizzle it with the olive oil, wrap it tightly and put it in a 200°C oven for 15 minutes. Remove and use for smearing on a side of grilled bread. Serve the brisket with your favourite BBQ sauce. Serves 8-10

SPARK FLAVOUR If you like a sweeter smoke to your BBQ, cook with a combination of apple and cherrywood chips. Prefer more intensity? Try hickory. For complexity? Try all three types.

1. Preheat your grill to indirect heat. (For gas, turn one side of the grill to high. For charcoal, get the coals hot and ashy, then bank them to one side.) 2. Season the steaks with sea salt and freshly ground pepper and sear them over direct heat, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes total. Transfer them to the indirect-heat side and set a medium cast-iron pan over the direct heat. Close the grill lid and cook the steaks until they hit 45°C (rare) in the centre, about 30 minutes. Remove the steaks and let them rest 10 minutes. 3. While the steaks grill, make the relish: brush the spring onions with 1 Tbsp olive oil and add a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook the onions in the pan, turning occasionally, until they’re blackened in places and tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer them to a cutting board and coarsely chop. In the hot pan, add the remaining 2 Tbsp oil along with the tomatoes and rosemary, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Cook, covered, until the tomatoes soften, about 12 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and onions and season with salt and pepper. Serve the relish with the sliced steaks, using the rosemary sprig as garnish. Serves 4 -6

>

COOK IT THROUGH If you have the time, remove the meat from the refrigerator an hour before grilling. Plonking a frosty steak on the hot grill increases your risk of burning the outside before the inside is done.

FEBRUARY 2018 109


THE DIRT ON GRASS FED

FIRESTARTERS

Ignite summer party season with the best new barbies on

Know these answers before you purchase your piece of meat

the market. BBQ expert Rohan Matthews of Harvey Norman picks the kit that will help elevate your grilling game BEST FOR . . .

What does “grass fed” actually mean? First off, in Australia most cattle are grass fed. Cattle have to be fed grain for more than 60 days before they’re classified as grain-fed. Even grain-fed cattle spend 85-90 per cent of their lives in pastures. So these are really grain-finished cattle, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. Is grass-finished beef healthier for me? The meat contains nearly 50 per cent more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than beef from grain-fed cattle, according to research from Gillian Butler of Newcastle University. Though grassfed beef doesn’t carry the omega-3 punch that salmon does, it may be lower in some unhealthy fatty acids than grain-finished beef, the research revealed. Is there a label I should look for? Yeah, cattle can be certified grass-fed by the PCAS (Pasture-fed Cattle Assurance System). PCAS-Certified grass fed cattle can never be fed grains. They must be grass-fed their whole lives. If you want to buy grass-fed beef that’s never been grain fed, you need to look for the PCAS certification in supermarkets.

110

FEBRUARY 2018

THE SUMMER SUNDAY ROAST EVERDURE by Heston Blumenthal “Fusion” Charcoal BBQ With the elegant contemporary design you’d expect of Heston and a 15kg-capacity rotisserie, this stylish unit is perfect for showing off to hipster friends. Roast lamb works particularly well on the rotisserie, says Matthews. “Throw a sprig of rosemary on the charcoal to really enhance the flavour,” he advises. ($799)

BEST FOR . . .

FEEDING THE CLAN

Masport Equip 6 Burner BBQ “This BBQ can do pretty much anything,” says Matthews. With a rotisserie, interchangeable cooking system that includes a pizza stone, skewer set, built in 240v lights, 18-piece utensil kit and a USB port for charging your iPad, you can serve up everything from snags to cake, seriously. ($1399)


NUTRITION

BEST FOR . . .

INNER CITY APARTMENTS George Foreman Electric BBQ Big George always did pack a punch. Compact and versatile, the beauty of this unit is you can use it indoors as a benchtop grill or attach the stand if you want to cook al fresco, which unless we’re mistaken, is kind of the point of a BBQ, right? ($109.95)

MAKE STEAK SAUCE IN 3 STEPS Some meat eaters will argue that a great steak needs no sauce. They haven’t experienced the flavour force of nature that is this four-ingredient combination

HOW YOU SLICE IT

CUT THE STEAK; THEN SAUCE IT. THAT WAY YOU ENHANCE EVERY BITE’S FLAVOUR

BEST FOR . . .

AN AUSTRALIA DAY SHINDIG Alfresco Solutions Kitchen Kakadu 2 Never cook indoors again. This complete outdoor kitchen includes one or two-door coolers to store drinks, a Teppanyaki plate for BBQ ninjas and an electric grill among a host of whiz-bang features. “Anything you can think of cooking inside you can do outside,” Matthews says. ($10,499) All units available at harveynorman.com.au

1 Cook the Steak Salt and pepper the steak. Heat a castiron pan on high. Heat 1 Tbsp canola oil. Add steak. Flip each minute till medium rare, about 6 minutes total. Remove and let rest.

2 Get Saucy Take the pan off the heat and add about ½ cup of red wine. Use a wooden spoon to stir, scraping up the bits on the bottom. Add 1 Tbsp butter and stir till melted. Season with salt and pepper.

3 Bathe the Meat Lovingly spoon the luscious sauce from the pan and onto the sizzling surface and ruby-red interior flesh of the warm, moist meat. Sexy.

FEBRUARY 2018 111


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ELITE

116 CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO GET FIGHTING FIT. 118 TIME TO BECOME A BEAST OF THE RING. 122 REFUEL LIKE A SEASONED WARRIOR. 124 SHARPEN YOUR JAB TO GET DANGEROUS.

Because fit is the new rich

BOXING SPECIAL

HOW TRAINING LIKE A FIGHTER WILL TAKE YOUR

NEIL LEIFER/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED/GETTY IMAGES

FITNESS TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL.GLOVES UP! >

FEBRUARY 2018 115


ELITE ARE YOU REALLY

FIGHTING FIT?

FORMER COVER MODEL MARK PEACOCK USED TO BE FIT

FOR LITTLE MORE THAN PHOTOS, BUT A SPELL IN THE RING TAUGHT HIM TO THINK – AND TRAIN – DIFFERENTLY. THIS IS HOW HE BUILT A BODY FOR ELITE PERFORMANCE

So I took up the last thing anyone expected, myself included: boxing. I’m not a fighter by nature, but I wanted to learn a skill that placed athleticism above aesthetics. Nevertheless, I had concerns. Would all the cardio undo six years of solid muscle-building? Would I get punched in the face and, if so, how much would it hurt? To help me learn a sport so completely out of my comfort zone, I was coached by head of boxing Gary Logan and strength and conditioning coaches Dan Lawrence and Doug Tannahill at specialist boxing gym BXR. I couldn’t have asked for a better team in my corner. And I would need them, because becoming an athlete is no quick fix. It’s tough as hell, in fact. But the months of

116

FEBRUARY 2018

78.8 KG WAS

83.8 KG

AND HOW YOU CAN TOO

ABOUT THREE years ago I appeared on the cover of this magazine and, in the process, became a poster boy for training driven by aesthetics. I zealously adhered to a split of chest, arms and back. Cardio wasn’t even on my radar. But though I’d never looked better, my motivation soon waned and notable changes to my body were harder to come by. More than that, I felt immobile, my posture hunched. My legs seemed small in comparison to my pumpedup torso. I wanted to move – to be fast and powerful, not just look like someone who might be. In short, I wanted to stop ‘exercising’ and start training.

WEIGHT

41.6 KG SKELETAL

WAS

41.1 KG

7.5% BODY FAT WAS

13.5 %


02/18

01 03

02

01/ Quality kit and smart prep proved crucial to success. 02/ Pro boxing coach Gary Logan helped Mark learn the ropes. 03/ Three months of graft led to big physical changes. 04/ His first real bout left Mark determined to progress further.

04

dedicated training (and not a drop of alcohol) taught me far more than technique. The process changed my entire outlook; the man I knew in the mirror faded, replaced by a single-minded boxer. It’s an amazing feeling. Believe me. Then they signed me up to fight. After a 12-week camp, I was going to compete at a white-collar boxing event. Dan and Doug forbade steady-state runs. Cardio came from sparring with Gary and strategically designed circuits combining short bursts of energy with one-minute rests, to mirror the conditions I’d face in the ring. Everything was geared towards honing dynamic, functional fitness. I dropped 5kg and cut my body fat by 6 per cent while increasing my muscle mass. I felt truly ready. Gary agreed. If the fight was purely a test of fitness, he knew I could last the distance, which is exactly what a coach

hopes to achieve through a fight camp. He also told me I needed to land the first punch, which I did. My opponent, however, wanted to land the rest. Which he did. That first bombardment sent my body into shutdown. With only 30 seconds left in the first round, the ref and I both knew the fight was all-but-over. The sting of defeat did not last long. Because, after all those years of looking in the gym mirror and counting up my likes

on Instagram, I’d discovered a new way of thinking. Fast physical change is possible. We at Men’s Health are experts in the matter. But transforming your mentality is a constant work in progress. A six-pack should be a byproduct of hard work, not the end game. Who knows if I’ll compete again? My focus now is on developing my skill set. Because becoming a better you is something worth fighting for.>

FEBRUARY 2018 117


ELITE THE BIG WORKOUT

YOUR 4-COUNT TRAINING CAMP

MARK SIDELINED HIS STAID BODYBUILDING WORKOUTS IN FAVOUR OF THIS MULTI-PHASE FUNCTIONAL PROGRAM FOR

SIZE, STRENGTH AND SPEED. USE THIS AS YOUR BLUEPRINT

02A

02B

FOR A BODY THAT GOES AS WELL AS IT SHOWS

01A

PHASE ONE

PREP YOUR MUSCLES Iron out any problems in the first three weeks by targeting every muscle through all movement patterns. Do these three times a week, resting 60sec between supersets LOWER BODY

A GOBLET SQUAT

4 SETS OF 15 REPS

B HIP THRUST

4 SETS OF 15 REPS

UPPER BODY

A PUSH-UP

4 SETS OF 15 REPS

B TRX ROW

4 SETS OF 15 REPS

118

FEBRUARY 2018

01B

PHASE TWO

ABSOLUTE STRENGTH For the next three weeks, your goal is simple: to get strong. Work with 85-95 per cent of your one-rep max, keep the reps low and perform this workout three times a week. Training like an athlete means toughing it out

01

SUPERSET

TRAP-BAR DEADLIFT

02

PALLOF PRESS

(5 SETS OF 5 REPS)

(5 SETS OF 8 REPS)

Standing inside the trap-bar (also known as a hex-bar), bend at the hips and grab the bar with your palms facing in, arms straight (A). Keep your back flat and stand up by driving your hips forward (B) – this will build strength in your legs. Hold for a count of one, then lower. Move on with no rest.

Fix a resistance band to a pole, stand side on and take a large step away, holding the band at your chest. Press your arms straight in front of your body to feel the tension in your obliques (A). Hold, then slowly return the band to your chest (B). Rest two minutes before going back to the deadlifts.


02/18

04B

04A

03A

THE SPECS MUSCLES TARGETED

03B

WORKOUT

30

MIN

RESULTS IN

03

WEEKS LEVEL

HARD

03

DUMBBELL PUSH PRESS

SUPERSET

04

WEIGHTED CHIN-UP

(5 SETS OF 5 REPS)

(5 SETS OF 5 REPS)

Prep your shoulders for punching by holding two dumbbells with a palms-out grip, feet shoulder-width apart. Dip your knees to generate maximum power in your shoulders and press the weights overhead (A). Slowly return the DBs to shoulder height (B). Move straight on to the chin-ups.

To spark greater strength in your back and bis add effort to your chin-ups. Wearing a weighted belt, grab a chin-up bar with your palms facing you and a grip just narrower than shoulder width (A). Pull up until your head is above the bar (B). Slowly lower to the start, take your rest, then return to the presses. >

FEBRUARY 2018 119


ELITE

02B

01A 02A

THE SPECS

01B

MUSCLES TARGETED

PHASE THREE WORKOUT

30

MIN

RESULTS IN

03

WEEKS LEVEL

MED

120

FEBRUARY 2018

STRENGTH & SPEED The next phase mixes weighted moves with plyometrics. Focus on explosiveness as you drop to 70-80 per cent of your one-rep max. Do this workout three times a week over three weeks for speed that will serve you well in the ring

01

SUPERSET

BACK SQUAT

02

HIGH JUMP

(5 SETS OF 3-5 REPS)

(5 SETS OF 3-5 REPS)

With a barbell across your traps and feet slightly wider than shoulder width (A), drop into a squat (B). Now for the explosive part: squeeze your glutes and drive your heels into the floor to push back up to standing, as fast as possible. Re-rack the weight and move on with no rest.

Employ this plyometric move to improve your power for the squats. Stand with a dip in your knees, arms at your sides (A). Generate speed by swinging your arms back, bending your knees and jumping as high as possible (B). Land with soft knees. Do your reps, rest two minutes, then start the next squat set.


02/18

PHASE FOUR

PACE & POWER

Supercharge your speed by using just 30-60 per cent of your 1RM for three weeks. Do this circuit three times a week and rest as before. You’re now a contender

01 MED BALL WALL SLAM

(5 SETS OF 4-6 REPS)

02 ALTERNATING LUNGE

(5 SETS OF 4-6 REPS)

03 MED BALL FLOOR SLAM

03A

(5 SETS OF 4-6 REPS)

04 DB SQUAT JUMP

(5 SETS OF 4-6 REPS)

03B

04B

03

SUPERSET

SEMI-SUPINATED PRESS

04

EXPLOSIVE PUSH-UP

(5 SETS OF 3-5 REPS)

(5 SETS OF 3-5 REPS)

Lie on a flat bench holding dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing in. Bend your arms to lower the weights to your chest (A), pause here for a beat, then generate power from your triceps to press back up (B). Squeeze your chest at the top. After one set, drop down for the push-ups, no rest.

Executing push-ups with speed will transfer well for power punches. Set up in a push-up position with your body straight (A). If you’re feeling really strong, add a weight plate. Bend your arms and lower your body under control (B). Drive up as fast as possible. Rest, then head back over to the bench.

04A

>

FEBRUARY 2018 121


ELITE PUNCH ABOVE YOUR WEIGHT

FUEL THAT HITS HARDER

TO COPE WITH THE HIGH DEMANDS OF BOXING TRAINING, YOU NEED AN EATING PLAN FOR LASTING ENERGY AND SPEEDY RECOVERY THAT WILL HELP YOU GET LEAN IN THE PROCESS. LAY INTO MARK’S EASY DAILY MENU

01

PRE-WORKOUT GLYCOGEN HIT

APPLE, DATE AND CHERRY PORRIDGE Boxing requires repeated,

intense bursts of effort over long rounds. This killer combo dishes up oats for a slowreleasing energy fix, plus fastacting fruit sugars for an instant morning pick-me-up. INGREDIENTS 01/ Porridge oats, 50g 02/ Semi-skimmed milk, 350ml 03/ Pinch of salt 04/ Dates, 2, stoned 05/ Fresh cherries, 3, stoned and chopped 06/ Apple, ½,cored and chopped 07/ Pinch of ground cinnamon

1980

METHOD Step 1 Tip the fibre-rich oats and milk into a large saucepan. Add a pinch of salt, then mix. Step 2 Place the pan on the cooktop over a medium heat, and cook for about eight minutes, stirring so it doesn’t go lumpy. Step 3 Serve in a bowl with spice and fruit for a slug of recoverysupporting micronutrients. Mix well and dig in 40-60 minutes before you start training for a true breakfast of champions.

kJ

04

14g Fat

65g

Carbs

21g

Protein

06 01 05

02

03

07

122

FEBRUARY 2018


02/18 06

03

07

02

MIDDAY HUNGER-KILLER

CURRIED QUINOA AND CAULIFLOWER If morning training has left you ravenous, this desk-friendly lunch is packed with filling carbs to boost repair. No shadow boxing while eating.

01

INGREDIENTS 01/ Quinoa, 50g 02/ Cauliflower florets, 4 03/ Sweet potato, 25g 04/ Curry powder, medium, 1tbsp 05/ Olive oil, 1 tsp 06/ Sultanas, 1tsp 07/ Pistachios, 1tsp

04

02 05

1570 kJ

20g Fat

37g

Carbs

11g

Protein

03

07

after training sessions. These pork meatballs are packed with protein and flavour, but by foregoing the side order of rice, you’ll ramp up fat metabolism INGREDIENTS 01/ Red chilli, ½ 02/ A garlic clove 03/ Ginger, ½cm 04/ A spring onion 05/ Coriander, small bunch 06/ Lean pork mince, 250g 07/ A lime, juice and zest 08/ Soy sauce, 1tbsp

02

BETA ALANINE

Dose 4 capsules (3.2g) When 2 pre-training and 2 post-training

ELECTROLYTES

08

1370

Dose 1 scoop in about 500ml water When During training

kJ

01

10g

CREATINE

Fat

Carbs

57g

04

Dose 1 scoop (5g) When In your post-training whey shake

METHOD Step 1 Heat the oven to 180°C and finely chop the red chilli, garlic, ginger, spring onion and coriander, before chucking the lot in a large bowl with the minced pork.

2.4g

Protein

Step 3 In a bowl, mix the quinoa, cauli and potato with sultanas and roughly chopped nuts. Grab a fork and restock your muscles with the nutrients they hunger after.

Supplements gave Mark the support he needed to stick with the fight plan

EVENING FAT-BURNER

THAI MEATBALLS Save your carbs for before and

Step 2 Slice the cauliflower and sweet potato into small chunks and place them on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with curry powder (go even hotter, if you can handle it) and drizzle with olive oil. Bake the veg for 10 minutes in the oven.

SUPP IT UP

05

06

METHOD Step 1 Bring your quinoa to the boil in a pan with 100ml water, then let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.Drain and leave to cool.

03

OMEGA-3

Dose 2 capsules (2g) When With a meal, ideally dinner

Step 2 Zest the lime into the bowl and squeeze the juice over the pork, along with the soy sauce. Now get hands-on and shape the ingredients into little balls. Place them in the fridge for 30 minutes. Step 3 Bake for 10-12 minutes

WHEY PROTEIN

Dose 2 scoops (40g) When Post-training, with your creatine

> FEBRUARY 2018 123


ELITE FORM MASTERCLASS

02

BE QUICK TO THE PUNCH

HEAD AND SHOULDERS

Once you’re in place, make sure you aren’t an easy target. Logan’s advice: “Keep your chin down, as lifting it will expose your jaw.” Your jab-arm should face your opponent, elbow in line with your shoulder and hip, and forearm vertical. Don’t leave yourself open.

THE JAB ISN’T JUST A SETUP

03

FOR HAYMAKING POWER PUNCHES. WHEN USED CORRECTLY, IT IS THE MOST

STING LIKE A BEE

DANGEROUS WEAPON IN YOUR

Ignore the pressure and try to relax. With your backhand up protecting your jaw, keep your jabbing arm and shoulder loose. “Only your fist should be tight,” says Logan. Use the large muscles in your back to create the force and twist your wrist as you punch. Be careful not to overextend.

BOXING ARTILLERY

01

STRONG AND STABLE

A good punch comes from a solid setup – starting with your feet. “If you’re off balance, everything else is affected,” says Logan. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, your front leg facing 12 o’clock and back leg at 2 o’clock. “Distribute your weight 60 per cent on your back leg to 40 per cent on your front. That way, when you throw a punch with your opposite hand, there’s more weight behind it”. Weight means power.

DEFENCE DRILLS Striking is but half the battle – keeping your guard under pressure is critical to performance. Try these three drills with a partner in your next sparring session

124

FEBRUARY 2018

A

A

B

JAB BLOCK

Practise blocking your opponent’s jab with your back hand, while keeping your front arm up to block strikes.

JAB AND CROSS BLOCK

Block as before (A). When your opponent crosses, slip back to your rear leg (B). Shield your face with your left.

B

JAB, CROSS AND LEFT-HOOK BLOCK

Block again (A). Stay low as a left hook is thrown at you. Rotate your knee in the direction you slip (B).


02/18

THE BOXER’S MOBILITY MATRIX

TO LIFT HEAVIER, STAY AGILE AND ENSURE YOU GO THE DISTANCE, DO THESE MOVES TO MOBILISE YOUR JOINTS AND STABILISE KEY MUSCLES

01

ACTIVATION

THORACIC OPENER LUNGE

02

THORACIC EXTENSION

(2 sets of 8 reps) Boost flexibility in two key problem areas: your hips and thoracic spine. Step into a lunge with your right foot and place your left hand next to it. With your free right arm, reach to the sky. Take your time to really feel the stretch, then repeat for eight reps on each side.

UPPER BODY

LOWER BODY

(2 sets of 5 reps) To undo poor posture and up your range of motion, place a foam roller along your shoulders. With hands behind your neck and elbows up, tense your core and extend over the roller. Hold for one second and return to the start.

03

04

(2 sets of 20) This targets your lateral hip stabilisers to reduce injury risk. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, a band around your lower legs. Step to the side with one foot, stepping the other in. Ensure there is constant tension on the band. Take 10 steps left and then 10 to the right – your glutes are now primed to perform.

(2 sets of 15 reps) Activating your scapular retractor and rotator cuffs will prevent hunched and painful shoulders. Hold a light band in front of you, hands a little wider than shoulder width. Now pull the band apart until your arms form a T shape. Hold for a count of one, then return, under control.

GLUTE BANDED LATERAL WALK

BANDED PULL-APART

ACTIVATION

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ELITE

COULD I BE COVER MATERIAL? WANT TO LOOK LIKE THE GUY ON THE FRONT OF THIS MAGAZINE?

YOU’RE IN LUCK: THE MAN HIMSELF, FITNESS MODEL KALLAS EKSTEEN, REVEALS THE SECRETS TO GETTING COVER-MODEL CUT

EXPERT KALLAS EKSTEEN AGE 28 HEIGHT 189CM WEIGHT 100KG

IF YOU PUT IN THE WORK BIG BOYS FIRST

After warming up, perform your compound moves (squat, deadlift, bench press, military press) at the start of your workouts when you’re fresh and most likely to maintain proper form. Once fatigue sets in, that’s when I shift to machine work and isolation movements, where small errors of technique aren’t likely to cause injury.

THE DARING DOZEN

HIT TOP SPEED

Sprints are a key component of my cardio routine. I love them. Exhausting if you go all-out, they’ll up your metabolism for the rest of the day, helping you burn through stubborn belly fat.

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SHAKE THINGS UP

Drop sets are a great way to add intensity to your workouts when you’re starting to feel you’re going through the motions and the gains have dried up. For example, on bench press, you might do 15 reps with 80kg, drop 20kg and do 10 reps, drop another 20kg and do five reps – without resting between sets.

DUTY OF CARE

For me, motivation is intrinsic. I see my body as a gift that’s my responsibility to look after. It’s also a machine with a potential most guys don’t test. One day of doing nothing is a day wasted. Think of it: if you skip one day a week for a year, that’s 52 workouts you’ve squandered. Appreciate the opportunity to become fit and healthy.

WORDS: DANIEL WILLIAMS; PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN LAURENZ, BYRON KEULEMANS

I do 12 workouts a week, two per day on weekdays and one per day on weekends. The ratio of weights to cardio is 1:1. Brutal? Yes and no. Your body is your life. Every workout is a chance to see how far it can go.


02/18 EAT FOR EFFECT

Looking like a fitness model and getting enough key macronutrients go hand in hand. I make sure every meal contains both protein and carbs, with a goal of 150-200g protein and 200-300g carbs over the course of a heavy day’s training. Chicken and brown rice is a go-to.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

You don’t need a gym to train. Guys who say they do are giving themselves an excuse to do nothing when they’re away from home. When I go to the farm the outdoors is my gym. I’ll load the truck with 50kg bags, do pull-ups from a tree branch and box jumps onto a rock.

UPS AND DOWNS

ULTIMATE MOVE

You can’t go past the deadlift as a whole-body exercise. It can be a workout in itself. But mind your form!

Carb cycling is your ticket to the shredded look. Keep it simple: halve your carbs on lighter training days; all but eliminate them on rest days.

COVER-GUY INTEL I Perform your weights moves through a full range of motion. That will activate the maximum number of muscle fibres.

COVER-GUY INTEL II Change your program regularly, as your body adapts quickly to the same stimuli. Try training in six-week blocks, each with a specific goal.

GET GOING

NO DIRTY TRICKS

I keep my meals clean. By that I mean no oily or saucy food. Use spices for flavour.

My best advice for generating morning energy is not to use the snooze button but spring up immediately and get active. I always take a shot of strong coffee. Just the smell of it wakes me up.

FEBRUARY 2018 127


ELITE

02/18

FOLLOW YOUR

LEADER

THE LAST PIECE IN YOUR QUEST FOR A SIX-PACK IS A LITTLE INSPIRATION. TIM ROBARDS REVEALS HOW HE GOT WHAT YOU WANT In this final instalment of a six-part series, the man behind the TRM 12-Minute Abs Challenge takes you on his journey from regular bloke to ripped beast. Feel free to slipstream.

CAUSE AND EFFECT

Later, Robards was in the audience at Cirque du Soleil, entranced by the acrobats hanging from the rings. “They had the most incredible physiques but they weren’t just for show,” says Robards. “They were insanely strong and could do incredible things with their body.”

In that instant Robards saw his – and your – way forward. “Training became all about function while aesthetics took a backseat.” Your six-pack will be a byproduct of getting fit.

TRIED AND TESTED

Robards spent nine years at university studying physiology, nutrition and biomechanics, which amounted to excellent preparation for the chiseling of his abs. He learnt a lot from books but accepted nothing until he saw theory working in practice. “I like to be the test dummy and after 20 years of trying things out on myself I’ve come up with the most efficient core program for those wanting to save 20 years of trial and error,” says Robards. The gist of his findings? Core moves alone are not enough. Not even close. Two or three HIIT sessions per week need to be part of your routine.

AVOID KITCHEN SABOTAGE

A rippling middle is a lean middle, Robards stresses. “A sumo wrestler may have a strong core, but if your goal is a strong core and a lean midsection then you need to get your nutrition right.” Robards will indulge himself occasionally with chocolate or beer, but knows when to rein things in. “If you’ve been a little off-balance in the sugar department, curb it with soda water and herbal teas,” he says. You’ll have your cravings but don’t play the victim, he urges. “Make yourself eat something you know is good for you first, then see if you still have the craving. Toughen up and down a bitter green-veggie juice, for example. If you still have the craving after that then go for it, but I reckon you’ll find it will have gone.” And in time it will be good riddance to stomach blubber, and hello to your centre of excellence.

To purchase the TRM 12-Minute Abs Challenge, which includes workouts, training tips and recipes aimed at unveiling your six-pack, go to therobardsmethod.com

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FEBRUARY 2018

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON LEE

SET YOUR GOAL

Robards’ earliest glimpses of conspicuous fitness were the cover guys on magazines like the one you’re reading now. “I was about 14 or 15 and I aspired to be like them,” he recalls. “They looked strong and I wanted to gain strength so I could make the high school footy team.” Robards swotted up on training and diet, and then got to work. “I wasn’t the biggest on the field but I was definitely the strongest because no one was lifting weights back then at that age.”


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ONE WORD ANSWER

Bite off all you can chew for meaty gains.

QUESTION Flexing which muscle is the key to besting your deadlift PB?

ANSWER

Jaw

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FEBRUARY 2018

clenching your jaw during resistance-training leads to a significant strength boost. In their studies, men were asked to bite down throughout hand-grip tests and, compared to a control group, these subjects were able to produce up to 12 per cent more force. Similar results were also seen in rowing drills, with biters generating more speed. Now, while simply clenching your teeth was proven to have a positive effect, the best results were seen in those wearing a custom-fit mouthguard. If you don’t have one for your next game of footy or sparring session go to gamedaymouthguards.com.au. Flashing fluoro gums at the bros hogging the bench press might not feel cool. But when you chew through your 150kg PB, who’ll dare comment?

WORDS BY SCARLETT WRENCH; PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS

Any man who has a passing acquaintance with the weights floor will know that not all muscles are created equal. Or maybe that should read ‘trained equally’. You’ve seen the culprits. Every gym has its Jersey Shore-alikes with pneumatic pecs, distended biceps and the quads of underfed fowl. Then there are the guys repping endless crunches at the expense of the squat rack in vain hope of building abs by summer. Now, as a diligent Men’s Health reader, you might think this doesn’t apply to you; that you leave no body part unworked in your studied weekly sweat schedule. Well, we’re here to tell you there is one muscle you’re forgetting about – and it’s been right under your nose all along. According to Spain’s Ramon Llull University,


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Hugh Jackman and the new TimeWalker Chronograph The new TimeWalker Chronograph is inspired by performance and the spirit of racing. montblanc.com/timewalker Crafted for New Heights.

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