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VXOTZKJ INOTU YNUXZY
COVER STORIES & FEATURES
Make Your Comeback! 88
THE BEST OF BELLY OFF 2016 These guys swapped sagging stomachs for savage six-packs – and now they’ll teach you how to do the same.
DROP 7KG IN 12 WEEKS Lose your gut, grow muscle and see results that last with your free 12-Week Body Transformation Manual.
IS THAT THING YOU LOVE KILLING YOU? It could be your coffee, your cellphone or just your imagination.
HOW YOUR HOME WILL MAKE YOU BETTER, SMARTER AND STRONGER You spend half your life at home – here’s how to make every second count.
THE FUTURE OF SPORT IS DOPE Athletes are playing dirty. Should we crack down or change the rules?
THE 50 BEST AND WORST FOODS What you should be piling high and what you should push to the side.
REGULARS & DEPARTMENTS
MUSCLE + FITNESS HEALTH +NUTRITION 56/ Train like a UFC Champ Defeat hasn’t
34/ Be the Ultimate Herbivore Upgrade your
deterred UFC featherweight champ Conor McGregor. If anything, it’s made him more dangerous.
dishes with homegrown heerbs – here’s the blueprint.
62/ Hit the Ground Running Run further and faster – without getting injured. We show you how.
65/ Tune Up Your Runs Music boosts your performance. These headphones will get you to the finish line in record time.
68/ The New Science of Big Arms Personal
X X TH XX TH THRE HRE E LIN LI N NE E CAPT CAP C A P IO ION FOR R TTHE TH HE FO H FOOD PLS P LS
trainer Tony Gentilcore’s ultimate guide to taking those guns from buckshot to sharpshooters.
77/ Use Your Noodles 3 smart ways to dress up your carbohydrates.
79/ Menu Decoder Feel like takeout without the guilt trip? Here’s how to read between the lines.
80/ Brew Science It’s Coffee vs. Green Tea and there can only be one winner. We’ve got the results right here.
82/ The New Enduranc ce Fuel The secret to unmatched stamina? Hint: it’s not what you’re eating right now.
77 PUT THE “NEW” IN NOODLES
7 F 70 FEWE FE W R FIGHTS GHTS,, BET BE T T ER ER SEX X – START A RTT H E ERE E
28/ Run the Gauntlet There are no obstacles, just inhibitions. Paralympian Mpumelelo Mhlongo has spent his life learning the difference.
38/ What’s Good in Your Hood?
SEX + RELATIONSHIPS P H O T O G R A P H S L O U I S B O T H A , J O N AT H A N TAY L O R , S A M K A P L A N
32/ Clean Up Your Act Style advice from actress Amanda du-Pont.
70/ Send Better Smoke Signals Even the best relationship isn’t immune to everyday stress. Learn to avoid any obstacle.
EVEN MORE USEFUL STUFF..
STYLE + GROOMING 88/ The MH H 2016 Grooming Awards Look better, feel better. We’ve tested the best grooming products – here are our winners.
122/ One Jacket. Seven Looks Invest in a timeless classic, reap rewards forever.
The cutting-edge of food, fuel and fitness – when in Woodstock, do as the hipsters do.
42/ All Terrain. All Gain Mental strength is forged on the trail. Are you tough enough?
48/ A Life Derailed Darryn August broke his back after being thrown from a moving train. Now he’s learning to walk again.
50/ Be Their Hero Springbok Siya Kolisi stepped up to take care of his orphaned brother and sister. Here’s how he learnt to be a father.
8 Ed’s Letter
It’s comeback time. Make yours.
Short answers for big How to spend every free health and fitness results. minute this month.
16 Ask MH
“Could that have been a heart attack?”
36 Worth Your Time
130 The List
Your guide to everything 10 ways to spring-clean a man needs in life. your sanity.
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 7
Strong Words The inspiring story of hero Darryn August is my favourite read this month.
taught me the value of a good leather jacket.
We’re building a new office gym. Lunchtime gains are coming.
IT’S COMEBACK TIME TRANSFORMATION QUOTES “Make time for it. Just get it done. Nobody ever got strong or in shape by thinking about it. They did it.” Jim Wendler
“If you lack sufficient motivation, your goal isn’t compelling enough.” Charles Staley
“Favourite abs exercise? A smart diet.” Conor McGregor
The combined total of all the kilograms lost by the Men’s Health weightloss all stars in the The Best of Belly Off feature. p88 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @MensHealthZA Facebook: MensHealthSA
8 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Arthur Jones EDITOR
PHOTOGRAPHS (FROM LEF T) NICK MUZIK, CAMERON MACDONALD, GARTH MIL AN/DC SHOES
UNLESS YOU’RE GENETICALLY GIFTED, YOU’LL HAVE CONTRACTED the “chubs” at some stage of your life. There are a few common scenarios. There’s obviously a puppy fat stage as kids, but most men make friends with fat when they leave school and their activity plummets while their partying skyrockets. This includes those who study at university or technikons (known as first-year spread) or those who travel abroad to work. London is a common destination and comes with its own fat term: the Heathrow injection. And of course, there’s the dreaded dad bod. Fat isn’t racist. It isn’t ageist or sexist either. It’s an equal opportunities disease – it hits men of any age, race and background, and it deposits itself silently. The common markers: your belly expands, your chins multiply, and moobs form – then suddenly it looks like you’re using a fat filter in photos. No one is exempt, even models (see the story of our cover guy, Roché Kilian, p88), put on fat layers if they let their standards slip. The most crucial part of this: it’s not just about vanity. Yes, we want to look and feel good, but high body fat is like a miner’s canary for heart attacks and other life-threatening lifestyle diseases. Fat isn’t jolly or part of a punchline. It can, and will, kill you. The good news? You’ve got our potent 12-Week Transformation Package. This starter pack has everything you need to get into the best shape of your life. We’ve got a fat-evaporating workout booklet, a nutritious eating plan and the best weight-loss advice. We describe the best foods to eat (p94), provide a beginner’s running plan (p62), decode fast food menus (p79), make you look younger (p114), upgrade your style with one classic item (p122), reveal how to burn fat as fuel (p82), learn from a MMA champ (p56), show how your pooch (p21) is a big part of your fit family – and introduce you to our new favourite role model (p50). We even show how your house can make you stronger and healthier. It’s time to drop the excuses and the start your comeback. We’re going to help you defriend fat and find you the best body you’ve ever had.
WELCOME TO OUR WORLD
At the heart of the most extreme missions you’ll ﬁnd exceptional men prepared to entrust their security only to the most high-performing instruments. At the heart of exceptional missions you’ll ﬁnd the Breitling Avenger. A concentrated blend of power, precision and functionality, Avenger models boast an ultra-sturdy construction and water resistance ranging from 100 to 3000 m (330 to 10,000 ft). These authentic instruments for professionals are equipped with selfwinding movements ofﬁcially chronometer-certiﬁed by the COSC – the only benchmark of reliability and precision based on an international norm. Welcome to the world of extremes. Welcome to the Breitling world.
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EXPERTS AND ADVISORS ADRIAN PENZHORN Nutrition DR ANGELA LANDER Biokinetics DR DILSHAAD ASMAL Dermatology SHONA HENDRICKS Sports Science JAMIE ELKON Psychology ALBERT BUHR Stress Expert ZANE STEVENS Endocrinology ELNA RUDOLPH Sexual Health AMELIA FRENKEL MH Girl Next Door
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CONTRIBUTORS Byron Keulemans (cover photographer), RochĂŠ Kilian (cover model), Adrian Penzhorn, Alexis Fotiadis, Amanda du Pont, Ben Goldstein, Brett Israel, Cameron MacDonald, Casey Crafford, Chris Lippstreu, Craig Kolesky, Deven Stephens, Dirk Erasmus, Ed Smith, Garth Milan, Gary Salter, Jacques Marais, Jacques Weyers, Jazz Kuschke, Jacques Weyers, Joe Madden, Jonathan Taylor, Junior Polokwane, Karl Shoemaker, Kevin Donahue, Komal Patel, Levi Brown, Lori Cohen, Louis Botha, Mackenzie Stroh, Mike Darling, Mike Sugal, Pablo Sennett, Paul Edmondson, Peter Flax, Peter Yang, Sam Kaplan, Scarlett Wrench, Sean Laurenz, Shamit Kachru
GENERAL MANAGER: LIFESTYLE CHARLENE BEUKES
Romania MIHAI GHIDUC Russia KIRILL VISHNEPOLSKY Serbia and Montenegro IVAN RADOJCIC
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THE NEW FRAGRANCE FOR MEN
This Month On...
GET IN SHAPE FOR SUMMER
Our Summer Fit section will help you reverse a winter of neglect. It’ll mean the difference between wearing your shirt on the beach and conﬁdently wearing nothing but boardshorts all summer long. mh.co.za/ summer-ﬁt ENTER ONLINE NOW AT...
BELLYOFFCHALLENGE.MH.CO.ZA CHECK OUT OUR BELLY OFF SUCCESS STORIES ON PAGE 88 AND SUBMIT YOUR OWN AT BELLYOFFCHALLENGE.MH.CO.ZA
MUSCLE + FITNESS
The Total-Body Trrifecta If you want to be lean, ﬁt,, strong, athletic and ripped, then you need a combo of cardio, strength, and isometrics in your life e. Here’s how to pack all those com mponents into a single, short workout. mh.co.za/ﬁtness SEX + RELATIONSHIPS
The Orgasm Blue eprint
MUSCLE + FITNESS
How Protein Aff A ec cts Your Muscle Grow wth During a bicep curl or a squat session, your muscles exxperience micro tears that require re epair – this is where protein com mes in. mh.co.za/ﬁtness 12 MH.CO.ZA | Septemb ber 2016
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The elusive female orgassm is possible within just 15 5 minutes, with a few conditions. Here’s your blueprint to bring her to the boil. mh.co.za/sex-women
Man of Action
“Taking my bike off the beaten track, hitting breakneck speeds with the foaming surf chasing me down the coast. It’s surreal – it’s an unbelievable feeling to break new ground. I wouldn’t be living if I didn’t try find new ways to do new things and test myself.” Robbie Maddison, motorbike stunt rider
PHOTOGRAPH DEVEN STEPHENS/DC SHOES
Taking on new, insane challenges will pique your adrenaline, and hopefully, save your heart. Sounds weird, right? But the right kind of stress will help your body cope better with everyday duress. Researchers at Texas A&M University found that adventure sports spike more cortisol and epinephrine amounts in your body than public speaking, generally acknowledged champion of redline stress reactions. Couple that surge with physical activity and youâ€™ve mixed up a lifesaving cocktail of stress tolerance.
Ask MH TM
LIFE’S QUESTIONS, ANSWERED
Could that have been a heart attack? We wouldn’t want to increase your blood pressure unnecessarily, but yes, possibly. Unwittingly suffering a cardiac arrest is a phenomenon that’s perhaps not quite as phenomenal as previously thought. A recent study of 1 800 hearts found 78% of those with scarring consistent with an attack had never been diagnosed as such. This means that what might feel like a skipped beat could actually be a myocardial infarction. Don’t know what that is? Suffice to say it’s a risk to any human heart. An attack won’t always floor you, however. That’s why it’s important to seek help should you feel any random chest pain, nausea, sudden fatigue or discomfort in the neck or jaw. Paranoia is never the best medicine. But in this case, being laissez-faire could prove fatal. 16 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
P H O T O G R A P H G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
My wife wants me to get the snip. Will it kill my sex life?
undesirable side effects of other birth controls, says study author David Guo.
We get it: the betrayed look on Rex’s face post-neutering haunts you still. It’s impossible not to feel some sympathy with your mutt after you’ve lopped off his own best friends. But you are not a dog, and a human vasectomy couldn’t be more different. Reported complications are low and arguments against the procedure are, ahem, limp at best. In fact, to allay your biggest fears, new research even suggests both sex drive and frequency tend to increase. One explanation is that you and your partner are less worried about pregnancy and the
My CrossFit mates look great but I’m not sure I’m built for the box. Should I give it a go? BAILEY, BRAAMFONTEIN
There are few better ways to build muscle and burn fat with summer on the doorstep. Even so, we’d caution against going inside the box without ﬁrst thinking outside it. As with all athletic pursuits, your body needs to be ﬁne-tuned before you throw yourself in at the deep end of an overhead squat. CrossFit workouts invariably feature heavy lifts, which will mess with your
shoulders and lower back for good if your technique is out. Use this test to check your form before signing up for tomorrow’s WOD: Before You Take the Overhead Lunge 1. Stand with your arms at your sides and your feet at hip-width. Raise arms, keeping your back and elbows straight, until your arms are at your ears. 2. If you’re having trouble with your range of motion, you’ll need to start stretching your chest and arms before your workouts in order to prime your body. 3. Until you can execute the test properly, replace overhead dumbbell or kettlebell moves with stabler highincline exercises to build strength while reducing your chance of injury.
What’s worse: skipping breakfast or eating a doughnut?
YOUR BODY DISSECTED
Downing the doughnut. It’ll only make you hungrier in a few hours when your blood sugar crashes. Skipping breakfast won’t bring on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Your body has enough fuel to carry you through to lunch. “I even encourage some of my clients to skip a meal every so often,” says nutrition consultant Mike Roussell, “so they know what it’s like to feel hungry.” Think of it as your willpower workout.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get the answers
I sweat. A lot. Even when I’m just walking to the office. Should I be worried? KUNGAWO, CAPE TOWN If you often ﬁnd yourself greasier than a FIFA exec on a sunlounger, try not to fret the sweat: excess perspiration may be linked to ﬁtness. In a PLOS One study on diaphoresis (medics’ term for sweating buckets) long-distance runners perspired more than sedentary men under the same conditions. So it’s perhaps not so much a cause for concern as a cause for celebration. However, if you’ve turned into The Swamp Thing overnight, best see a doctor, says dermatologist Dr David Praiser. Abrupt sweat – especially when accompanied by weight loss, chest pain or night shivers – could signal trouble. A change in your sweat smell can mean infection, while ﬂuxes in body temperature might point to thyroid disease. Soaking the bed could be your body’s way of telling you about lung disease, heart disease or cancer. But odds are you’re just genetically prone to soak a T-shirt and you’ve got a handle on your ﬁtness.
Which frothy liquid holds the key to long-term brain health?
18 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
P H O T O G R A P H G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
While the predilection for a pint of lager has often been linked with cognitive ability, rarely has the correlation been ﬂattering. Until, that is, new research from Lanzhou University in China found that hops – the crop used by brewers to give beer its bitter aroma – could in fact protect brain cells from damage. The hero in this tale is xanthohumol, a chemical that slows the spread of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by reducing oxidative stress. Bank that as a pub fact. But pause before you order: “If you want more hops, look to an IPA, which will tend to have three main additions of hops, whereas most beers only tend to have two,” says Rob Heyns from the League of Beers, who recommends CBC Imperial IPA or Woodstock Californicatorr (for those who like their barley pop home-brewed). What’s more, the micronutrient folate, also on tap in beer, will further down your risk of dementia. So don’t fret about getting in a second round of Vitamin B. Sober Sunday can wait.
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MioFuse Heart Rate Monitor Watch! The Mio Fuse has all the features you want in a fitness tracker paired with the precision of Mio Optical Heart Rate Technology. Keep any eye on every metric known to man to improve your health and performance.
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REBEL Burner Kit TheREBELBurner kit includes three workout essentials â€“ An Enduromax speed rope, XF Competition Kettlebelll and a Slam ball. Create workouts with a high intensity designed to burn fat and get you into the best shape of your life.
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Superdry Watches! Superdry watches have hit SA! The diverse collection creates the perfect balance between aesthetic appeal and functional design, with equally appealing prices.
Nutritech Hampers! This all-round nutrition hamper is the perfect start-up kit for major muscle, with everything you need to boost testosterone levels, maintain and build lean muscle, and shred fat.
NEWS THAT IMPROVES YOU
Get a New Leash on Life Need a workout buddy? Look no further than the loveable mutt farting at your feet. In a study conducted by the American Journal of Health Promotion, researchers found that regular dog walkers logged at least 150 minutes with their pooch per week. And over half of those said they hit the park, forest, or tarmac to give their dog a workout (and a few new trees to piss on). If you’re looking to pair up, we suggest visiting the pound and adopting a pup that matches your personality.
J SEPTEMBER 2016
P H O T O G R A P H G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
BE REX’S RUNNING BUDDY
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 21
For up-to-the-minute health news and tips, go to mh.co.za/health
GAME OF DOZE
Cut Calories with a Curfew
SKIN CANCER WHERE THE SUN DON’T SHINE
HELP A FARMER, HELP YOURSELF
Cases of melanoma in the rectum and anus among men have increased 5% a year between 1992 and 2011. This cancer is relatively rare but often diagnosed late. The reason for the increase is unclear. See a doctor if you notice changes in bowel habits, bleeding, pain or itchiness.
People who shop at farmers’ markets at least once a week average 3.8cm less around the waist than those who go less, a Canadian study found. Members of communitysupported agriculture groups (CSAs) also had smaller waists. One theory: they eat more vegetables.
PERCENTAGE INCREASE IN STROKE RISK FOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T EAT BREAKFAST VERSUS THOSE WHO DO. AN A.M. FEED MAY HELP PREVENT MORNING BP SPIKES, SO KEEP BOILED EGGS IN THE FRIDGE TO GRAB AND GO Source: Stroke 22 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
TEXTING MAY TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY Scientists in Korea found that people who used their phones for more than four hours a day had 31% lower levels of “peak expiratory ﬂow,” a measure of lung function, than those who kept their daily usage under four hours. You tend to round your shoulders and drop your head when using your phone. Result: you breathe less deeply.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S , I S T O C K P H O T O
Losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep on weekdays could increase your risk of obesity significantly, as a recent Journal of Health Psychology steady reveals. 522 patients with Type 2 diabetes completed sleep diaries; those who built up weekday sleep debt were 72% more likely to be obese. Skimming off some decent shuteye, is linked to overeating as kilojoule intake following a poor night of sleep may increase as much as 20%, as you tend to seek out foods rich in carbs and fat – and fewer fruits and vegetables when sleep-deprived.
For up-to-the-minute muscle news and tips, go to mh.co.za/ﬁtness
Master the Midlife Crisis It’s never too late to start working out. Seriously, that’s not just something we pulled off of a motivational bumper sticker. Research published by Stroke has found that men between the ages of 45 and 50 bagged big benefits from increasing their cardiorespiratory fitness level. Not only does hitting the gym in the midst of your midlife crisis cut your risk of suffering a stroke by 7% (that’s more than buying a coupe by the way), but those who beefed up their fitness levels even further managed to double down on the danger by 30%. Repeat after us: deadlift, not the dealership.
BUILD REAL MUSCLE AND MEMORY
Brains versus brawn? It’s no-contest, literally: these things aren’t mutually exclusive. A new study published by EurekAlert found that regular exercise – and that goes for your time in the squat rack and the cycling saddle too – will also beef up your noggin. For example, one test found that guys who hit the treadmill on a weekly basis improved their memory in just four months. Want even bigger brain gains? Research published on Current Biology found that exercising four hours after a memory activity will rev up your retention even more.
WHY YOUR WORKOUT IS SUCH A RASH
A recent study conducted by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that people diagnosed with eczema steered clear of moderate to vigorous physical activity and moved far less throughout the day than their healthier peers. The reason: heat and sweat caused their rashes to swell up, itch and burn. Even worse, the lack of physical activity made them more susceptible to cardiovascular disease. The remedy: a trip to the dermatologist could do more than just alleviate skin issues, but reinvigorate your workouts too.
MINUTES OF EXERCISE EACH DAY THAT WILL REDUCE YOUR RISK OF DYING BY 22%. THOSE ARE SOME PRETTY GOOD ODDS. Source: EuroPrevent 2016
FEELING SAPPED? JUST ADD VITAMIN D
If your performance is hitting a plateau, and protein isn’t a problem, you might be short on vitamin D. An International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise study found that athletes sapped of the vital nutrient didn’t measure up to their powered-up peers. Looking for a vitamin D boost? Supplements will do the trick, but a lunch of fatty ﬁsh in the sun will make a meal of it.
24 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S , I S T O C K P H O T O
SUSHI STR E NGTH
Bulletins/ ns/ Sex
For up-to-the-minute sex news and tips, go to mh.co.za/sex-women
NOPE, NOT HORNY
Why She Sends You Nudes Trawling dating sites hoping for a naughty message or explicit image? You’re wasting your time. While 55% of people surveyed as part of a Journal of Sex Research study admitted to sending sexy photos or videos, most did so when they were in a relationship. The main factor: commitment and being in a high comfort zone. However, their motivation isn’t horniness. According to the study, most who divvied out an explicit text or two were either anxious about a new dating relationship or feared a negative evaluation from their partner. Yep, she wants affirmation. So next time she sends you something suggestive, fire back with glowing, well-written compliments, not a dick pic. 26 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
IS THAT REALLY PORN ON YOUR PC? What is porn? You might think you know, but it’s a subject that’s got a lot of guys, and girls, divided. In a study conducted by the Journal of Sex Research, participants were asked to rate the explicitness of 20 given scenarios, from strip teases to doing what they do on the Discovery channel, with something from the Discovery channel. The verdict: only 72% of people thought penetrative sex qualiﬁed as pornographic. As for the rest, well, they’ve probably been on the Internet for a very long time.
PERCENTAGE OF BISEXUAL GUYS WHO KEEP THEIR ORIENTATION A SECRET FROM THEIR PARTNERS.
Source: Archives of Sexual Behavior
SEXUAL HEALING BY THE NUMBERS
1 in 7
men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
1 in 39 will die from it – but wait! There’s a feel-good preventative.
orgasms a week cuts your risk by about 20%. (And you can do it solo.)
DON’T CLOSE THE TAB ON MARRIAGE Between the Tinder hook-ups, dirty DMs and popularity of polygamy, you’d think the new generation had given old traditions the boot. But research has shown the opposite. According to the Iconoculture Consumer Insight Watch List, 81% of millennials are still interested in getting hitched, having kids and settling down. And given the choice, they’d like to meet their mate out in the real world. So if you’re looking for marriage material, put down the phone. Your best bet: hit the bookstore, park or supermarket and bank on the good, old-fashioned combination of coincidence and charisma.
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GET GOLD MEDAL GAINS These three moves make Mpumelelo a juggernaut on the track. Your new personal best starts here...
MPUMELELO IS A JUMPER BY TRADE,
but he’s branching out. While he’s not overly confident in his sprinting abilities, his coach has other ideas. “Yeah, we’ll have to see how that one works out,” he laughs. The UCT chemical engineering student splits his time between burying himself in his books and putting in work on the track. And while he has performed at a top level since qualifying as a Paralympic athlete, he’s stayed humble. “You know, I’ve been fortunate. Fortunate to have the family I have, to know the people I know,” he says. The young athlete was born in Klaarwater. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, Mpumelelo isn’t offended. The tiny township barely makes it onto the map of KwaZulu-Natal. “Hey, it’s where I experienced the best childhood I could’ve ever asked for,” he says. Born with a clubfoot and amniotic band syndrome – a condition which cut off bloodflow to his leg, maiming it permanently – Mpumelelo was under the knife before he even uttered his first word. While urgent surgery didn’t restore movement back to his leg, it did save him from having it amputated. It was a tough call for his mom, but she would rather her son had all his limbs, even if one of them didn’t work properly. Whether it was the trauma of the operating theatre or the damage to his appendages, the kid was a slow-starter. While his home, filled with immediate and extended family, was a constant hive of activity, he sat quiet and motionless in the corner. “I didn’t speak or walk for the first six years of my life,” he says. “I spent that time sitting in one place and being fed.” His grandmother (“she’s brutally honest”) had told him bluntly that he would always be the family’s favourite, but that nobody expected anything from him. All he had to do was survive.
BE FASTER To win a 100m sprint, “you’ve got to power up your legs,” says Mpumelelo. His go-to move: single-leg squats. Not only does weaving squats into your workout add explosive energy to your sprints, added muscle will allow you to glide over the tarmac, taking the strain out of every step and boosting your stamina. Add dumbells for even bigger gains.
BUT SUDDENLY, FROM A SEEMINGLY HIDDEN PLACE, HE
discovered his momentum. He took his first step, then spoke his first word. He sprang from his paralysis, transformed into an energetic youngster, eager to explore a world surrounding his small home. Mpumelelo began clambering up the hill outside his house, quickening his pace from a stumbling jaunt to a slow jog. There was an immediate freedom for the once-static youngster. Having spent six years locked in one place, he felt powerful with the dirt under his bare feet. Doctors had said he would never walk – but within that same year, he was already playing soccer with skill and agility. He’s never taken keeping active for granted. In his formative years his time on the pitch helped him connect with the other children, straddling the gap created by his leg’s strange appearance with sweat and grass stains. Their pity dissolved into playfulness as soon as he stepped onto the pitch. That distance? It was bridged by four posts and a rubber thump as he lofted the football expertly into the air. “I ran a lot in those early days,” he says. “Being on my feet made me feel alive. I was always looking for some new way to test my body, another way to prove I was faster, stronger or better than the other boys.” One day, like every other, he was clearing new heights. Mrs. White, a veteran school teacher, watched the youngster fly through the air, turning obstacles from tricky to trivial, each jump going higher and higher. He advanced from tree stumps to toppled bins, from concrete steps to stacked boxes. An idea hatched in the teacher’s head, and a few minutes later she was encouraging him to tackle a discipline Mpumelelo had never heard of, let alone considered: high jump. “It was overwhelming at first,” he laughs. “I didn’t want to be known as a teacher’s pet, but in retrospect that was something 30 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
incredible special for me as an athlete. I can’t put into words how much she has meant to me over the years.” BY THE END OF PRIMARY SCHOOL, MPUMELELO, EGGED ON
by his family of former runners and sprinters and his teacherturned-mentor, was competing in provincial trials, his passion for the high jump burning hot. But for all his achievements Mpumelelo’s passion sputtered out as he grew older. “You know, life happens. You pursue other things.” At university that meant parties, drinking and skipping classes. He was trying to find out who he was and he thought that meant making connections, giving his life context within a widening circle of acquaintances. He was trying to discover himself, he says, but his marks were suffering and ultimately, and instead of uncovering the secret code – that elusive meaning of life – his grades tanked, he felt burnt out and lost. The problem? “I’d left behind those sports that had once meant the world to me as a kid. That sense of competition, the feeling of winning,” he says. It was just a thought at the back of his mind. But the realisation truly dawned when he went home to visit his mom and she asked him what he could tell her about Cape Town. “I was like, the places I know about, you really don’t want to know about,” he says. Not for the first time, her invaluable perspective allowed him
CLIMB HIGHER The secret to sailing over the bar isn’t a secret at all. You need to be able to jump high. Mpumelelo’s move: the depth jump. “This exercise is invaluable, it allows me to add height to every leap,” he says. Performing a depth jump involves dropping off a box, briefly landing before immediately jumping as high as possible. But make sure you get this right, you want to jump 0.2 seconds after landing, otherwise you’ll bag zero strength benefits.
STAND TALLER He calls it “the dog wee”, but this mutt muscle-builder is far from a bad joke. Start in a crawling position, with your knees and hands on the ground, and then left one of your legs like a pup taking a leak on a fire hydrant. Not only will you build core strength, but you’ll bolster your stability, improving your form and perking up your posture.
“BEING ON MY FEET MADE ME FEEL ALIVE. I WAS ALWAYS LOOKING FOR SOME NEW WAY TO TEST MY BODY, ANOTHER WAY TO PROVE I WAS FASTER, STRONGER OR BETTER THAN THE OTHER BOYS.”
to see a new path. She didn’t tell him off, or go on a tirade over his skipped classes and failed courses. She suggested, she encouraged – her warm words helped him mark out his next step, just like they coaxed out his first. When he returned to university, he decided to unearth his passion for sport. It took a while to get the engines running, but quickly he was competing against able-bodied athletes, and most importantly, winning. The varsity paper covered his exploits, marvelling at this young man who emerged from nowhere to become one of the campus’s sporting heavyweights: the chemical engineer with the blueprint to overcome his disability. Strangely enough, it was only in his third year that he discovered he could register to be classified for disability sport. Encouraged by a fellow athlete the process opened the gates to the road to Rio, and he jumped at the opportunity. IN THE UPCOMING PARALYMPICS, MPUMELELO WILL COMPETE
as part of the T44 category – reserved for athletes who have a single below-the-knee amputation or can walk with moderately reduced function in one or both legs. He’s confident about taking on the familiar battleground of high jump, but sprinting? “Those guys are so fast, I feel out of my element,” he says with a laidback sigh and a smile. His emotions are scattered. One moment he’s training, he’s gliding over the bar and tearing along
the track. The next? He’s doubting he’ll even make it over the starting line. But he’s staying sane. “Somehow,” he says. His secret: his varsity work. Tough courses are a major distraction, and keeping his grades is to him just as important as taking a medal on the world stage. Which also may be a reality. Pundits have labelled the young athlete a serious medal contender – remember, he just recently started competing at an elite level – but Mpumelelo isn’t worried that if he missteps that his loss wil be met with pity. Quite the opposite.“There’s disappointment, definitely. But, there’s also this real feeling of camaraderie among Paralympians. They’re your biggest supporters. Well, except maybe his supporters back at home. He’s the boy from Klaarwater who was never supposed to walk. And now he’s a medal contender who could sprint, jump or glide to a spot on the podium. “I’m excited to go out there and prove myself against the best of the best,” he says. “But more importantly, I’m excited for what competing has brought back into my life. I feel re-energised, I feel fulfilled, and I feel like I’m right back where I belong.” And most importantly, he doesn’t feel pitied. He feels like a man in his own right, someone who has forged his destiny on ability, not disability. Those leering looks, the curiosity, sympathy and disgust of childhood is a distant memory. He’s run the gauntlet and come out sprinting on the other side. September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 31
Clean Up Your Act Let model, actress
and Women’s Health Cover Girl Amanda du-Pont steer you clear of fashion fails, gruesome grooming – and Spidey undies
3/ Should guys ask their girlfriends for style advice? “I always tell my boyfriend when his shoes are beyond even giving away, and I think women have a better eye for what’s in fashion. Girls know what girls want.”
4/ What three things should a guy have in his wardrobe? “One word: trackpants. But remember, it’s all about the fit. Go for a tapered look that’ll show off your legs, and your gains in the gym. Then make sure your dress-to-impress arsenal is stocked with a pair of fitted jeans and a plain white tee. Finally, a long grey cardigan goes with any look – and that’s awesome.”
BY LORI COHEN
5/ What’s a big fashion turn-off?
“If a guy doesn’t look after his teeth and go to the dentist regularly, I’m seeing red flags. Even worse: having a bad haircut. I use your locks to figure out who you are; if it’s a mess, I’m going to assume the worst.”
2/ Do you share your skin products with your man? “Absolutely. I don’t want lines, and I don’t think he should admit defeat either. I’d be worried if my guy wasn’t doing masks or going for facials. If your girl can use it, you can too. Just remember to ask nicely. Or better yet, buy your own.”
32 MH. M .CO.ZA | September 2016
6/ What’s your take on leather jackets? “Apart from the fact that every guy should own at least one? Don’t cheap out on pleather threads, rather save up and invest in something genuine. The fake stuff will just start shredding and embarrass you.”
7/ What’s your secret style tip for guys? “When in doubt, always choose fitted. I hate seeing a guy in a baggy suit – it just doesn’t inspire confidence. Or even worse, baggy jeans with an XXL tee that makes him look like you’re drowning. Just stop! Fitted is a good look; it tells me you’re in control and you know how to dress yourself.”
PHOTOGRAPH JACQUES WEYERS
1/ What’s your bad grooming deal-breaker?
“Old-school underpants. No one wants to see the Spiderman undies you wore when you were nine. Go for boxers instead.”
WHAT TO GROW? Ideally, you’d want a fertile bed of every frond. Get the season started:
Be the Ultimate Herbivore Old spices and wilted greens aren’t doing
Resist the temptation to plant more than a single herb per pot. These peeps don’t dig overcrowding
your meals any favours. Skip the grocery store, and start upgrading your dishes from home
MINT Use it to season your lamb chops or give smoothies a punch of flavour. This herb is the definition of low maintenance. Plant it, and it will grow – ridiculously fast.
BY KIERAN LEGG
PARSLEY This one needs a bit of TLC – but each leaf is loaded with vitamins. “You can boost your immune system by eating two tablespoons a day,” Hoffman says.
1/ Take Shortcuts Nurturing your herb from seedling to seasoning takes a lot of time, and commitment. Rather invest in preplanted saplings from your local garden centre, says Arne Hoffman of herb.co.za.
2/ Let There Be Light To flourish, those greens will need at least four hours of sun per day. Make sure to place your pots near a window. A south-facing screen will benefit from the most beams, but east and west-facing windows work too.
3/ Make Space for Roots Ditch those plastic containers and pot those herbs up. And for the best results, get ready to go deeper. Hoffman says you’ll need at least 30cm of rich soil (ask for a high-quality organic potting medium) to trigger wild growth and reap bigger crops.
4/ Make a Splash Keep them hydrated, but be careful you don’t cause a flood. Here’s the trick: want to know if your plants need watering? Hoffman says bury your finger in the pot down to your first knuckle. How’s that finger? If it’s dry, it’s time to add some H2O.
34 MH.CO.ZA | September August 20162016
THYME This potter revels in abuse – the more you snip, the faster it grows. Thyme adds hearty flavour to your meals, so save sprigs for those thick stews or ambitious roasts.
5/ Just Keep Trimming The magic of an indoor herb garden: the more you prune off leaves for your meals, the more it grows. Hoffman says the trick to growing perfect fronds boils down to cooking more. “Pruning encourages thick, bushy growth – exactly what you want.”
BASIL The one most likely to get “Damn, that smells good” compliments. Plus, according to The Green Pharmacy, this herb reduces anxiety and stress.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S I L L U S T R AT I O N S M I K E S U D A L
OREGANUM Make sure it’s basking in sun. A rich flavour-enhancer that can upgrade most meals. Just remember to use it sparingly, says Hoffman, or you’ll overpower everything else.
Build the Garden You Want in the Space You Have Homegrown veggies picked at their peak provide more concentrated nutrients than any truckedin stuff from the grocery store. It’s time to grow up
If you have a garden... BUILD A RAISED BED Loose soil helps plants grow fuller, so elevate your garden on a 1-by-2-metre bed. For wood, you’ll need four 500cm-by-3m boards (two 2½-metres and two 5-metres) and 3 metres of 1-by-2. Also grab 28 decking screws (2½”) and a saw. Finally, go to rodalesorganiclife.com/ garden/how-make-raised-bed for the steps. Total cost: about R100 and less than an hour.
If you have a verandah...
If you have a sunny wall...
If you have a windowsill...
USE DEEP CONTAINERS They allow the plants’ roots to roam, says Alex Mitchell, author of The Edible Balcony. Any vessel deeper than a foot and larger than half a metre in diameter will provide room for runner beans, potatoes or carrots. If you’re on a budget, fill a galvanised trash can with potting soil. Make sure your vessel has holes in the bottom for drainage; if it doesn’t, drill five holes using at least a 2.5mm bit.
HANG ’EM HIGH Vertical gardens work best for compact plants, such as herbs, lettuces and hot peppers. Find planters at Stodels, or make your own, suggests Mitchell: pick up a dark-green or black hanging shoe organiser, fill the pockets three-quarters full of compost, and drop in your seedlings. Then choose a wall that gets the requisite dosage of sun for your chosen plants, and hang it up.
DITCH THE SOIL Lettuce and herbs can grow with only water and fertiliser, says Mitchell. In the lid of a clean coffee container, cut a hole that’s large enough to accommodate a 2-or 3-inch plastic net pot (available at garden supply stores). Fill the container halfway with distilled water, add 2 teaspoons hydroponic fertiliser and stir. Insert the pot and add your plant. Water and feed accordingly.
YOUR GOOD HEALTH VICTORY GARDEN FIGHT CANCER! Plant tomatoes + kale + blueberries + garlic FIGHT HEART DISEASE! Plant lima beans + cabbage + carrots + broccoli FIGHT DIABETES! Plant spinach + sweet potatoes + strawberries + collard greens + shelling peas
In their own words, it’s not “another sterile, faceless gym”. This is retro artwork, white-faced walls, bags swinging on steel chains and a cohort of PTs who will push you to your limits. The Armoury is an arena where guys like Devin Paisley, the model turned motorcycle-muscle in charge of Woodstock Man Cave, squeezes in a few bouts and earns a few bruises. A one-hour session in the ring will burn through almost 3 000 kJ. But even better: you’ll get your blood pumping and keep your heart ticking in the long run, suggest studies on the sport.
READY TO RUN? Start outside Flatmountain Coffee, turn onto Searle and head left until the hospital, taking Roodebloem back to your starting line. That’s 5.9km of running turf with enough elevation to test you. Bonus: log your lead on Strava. 38 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
• UR HOO
11am/ Saddle Up To experience the Western Cape you need a sturdy steed to scramble around its streets, shores and steppes. It’s a place best experienced on the back of a robust bicycle, and Woodstock Cycleworks stables everything from restored city rollers to refurbished rugged mountain rigs. Not shopping? No problem. This spot doubles up as a pitstop if your bicycle is in the market for a service. But we recommend doing the DIY, well, yourself. Go in with a good idea of what parts you need and you’ll definitely find them among the stores of second-hand spares stashed at the back. Got your set of wheels? Good. Take them for spin along the area’s green cycle lanes.
8am/ Pour a Cuppa The chestnut-coloured, steaming lifeblood of Woodstock is served up readily by eager, bearded baristas. But not all brews are made equal. For the best cuppa? Hit up Flatmountain Coffee. Not only is their java the most memorable (we recommend the Heritage Blend) it’s the perfect place to grab a paper and soak up the atmosphere. If you’re after a cold brew instead, Rosetta serves up the slow-steeped variety, and the best we’ve tried. And finally, for an extra shot of energy, there’s Espresso Club, where brews will help take you from 0 to 100 in one Americano.
DEVIL’S PEAK BREWS UP FOAMING, HEARTY, LET’SHAVE-A-TOAST CRAFT ALES. Take a sip, or two, at the brewers’ local Tap Room. According to the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, beer could cut your risk of a heart attack by 25%. In moderation, of course.
1pm/ Tuck In Fresh fish in a sweet setting isn’t just for those loaded, obnoxious tourists flocking to the Waterfront. Inside The Woodstock Exchange you’ll find one of the area’s best-kept secrets: Ocean Jewels. This little hole-in-the-wall diner serves up the catch of the day without nuking your wallet, says Jonno Le Feuvre, owner of Rosetta Roastery. You’ll get to choose your protein (tuna, Norwegian salmon, angel fish, you name it) and pair it up anything from noodles to spring rolls. We recommend sticking to a lean cut and a simple salad. Unless it’s a cheat day. Looking for something different? Raw and Roxy’s kitchen doesn’t have an oven, or a stovetop, or a microwave. It’s all about the best fresh ingredients, served up raw and packed with flavour. Our pick: the Zucchini Lasagna.
P H OTO G RA P H S G A L LO/G E T T Y I M AG ES, CAS EY C RA F FO R D
6am/ Fight it Out
BY KIERAN LEGG
T’S G O
WO O D •IN
The cutting-edge of food, fuel and ﬁtness – learn from the hipsters living it up in Woodstock
Lock, Stock and Coffee
3pm/ Head for the Hills
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and shift your perspective. An afternoon hike can sink your stress levels and help you build up an appetite for the inevitable picnic at the top (we recommend piecing together a feast at Woodstock’s Neighbourgoods Market). While not technically in the area, the Woodstock Cave overlooks our healthy spot and takes just 1.5 hours to clamber up to. Start at the end of Tafelberg road where you’ll find a metal gate marking the start of this trail. A zigzagging route will take you into the cave’s mouth. Top SA hiker and guide Gavin Raubenheimer says traipsing up the Western Cape’s hills can be a tough workout. “Just leave yourself with enough daylight to come back down,” he warns.
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK It’s got elements of sparring, acrobatics and ancient rituals. But there’s some song and dance in there too. It’s called Capoeira (that’s cap-ohair-uh), and if you hadn’t figured it out yet: it’s awesome. The Association of Capoeira Cordao de Ouro, situated on Albert Road, lets you tackle a beginner class at just R80 a pop. The benefits? This Brazilian martial art is a tough workout that will boost strength and flexibility and reduce stress.
6pm/ Do It Yourself Chill time doesn’t mean down time. Seriously, you can rev up your after hours recreation at Woodstock Man Cave. This spot is for anyone, and their significant others, looking to start building their own vintage bikes, or fix up their trusty set of wheels. Founder Devin Paisley says he started the
HERE’S AN INTERESTING FACT: DID YOU KNOW THAT DARK CHOCOLATE MAKES YOU SMARTER? Yep, the University of Nottingham discovered that chowing on an ebony slab will improve bloodflow to your noggin. Drop by at Honest Chocolate inside the Woodstock Exchange and grab a few bars of their organic, raw dark chocolate for dessert.
warehouse to give bike enthusiasts a space to build and collaborate, and you’ll find stacks of veteran mechanics and old-hands ready to jump in and help you out. Got your hands dirty? Cool, now you can kick back and relax. “Upstairs you’ll find grub, a pool table, motorcycle mags and old video games,” says Paisley. September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 39
Ask the Author Straight-up advice from a stand-up guy every month I think my cover letter is tanking my chances of finding a job. What’s the trick to standing out?
My y boss’s emails are riddled with spelling p g mistakes. What if he’s sending g those out to our clients? Should I say something? Tough one. I always assume that someone who is careless with spelling is careless in other ways too, and therefore don’t tend to give him or her my business. But nobody wants to be told that he can’t spell. The subtle approach is best. Check to make sure the problem applies to other letters too. If so, tell your boss you’re concerned that some of the communications going out may be bad for the company’s image, and offer to proof-read as a favour. That should work.
40 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
I often tell people who are trying to get published that their covering letter is almost as important as the book they’re submitting. What’s important is to let people know not just what you’ve done, and by which writers you’ve been influenced by, but what you hope to be writing in five or ten years time. A similar approach applies across the board: what companies or individuals have influenced or impressed you; how you see yourself developing within the context of the company to which you’re applying; and how that development will help to fulfil the needs of the company. Avoid too much use of “I”. The world doesn’t need any more egotists.
queues... What’s the best timekilling novel ever written? I’d go with The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, because it doesn’t have a dull moment in it, and it’ll make you appear interesting, and possibly swashbuckling. Mind you, Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine and Room Temperature are novels about passing time. And there’s always In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust, but it’s very long and you may expire before you finish it.
My ideas at work keep getting rejected. Should I even bother anymore? There are two possibilities here: 1. Your ideas are terrible. 2. Your ideas are okay, but you work in the wrong environment. The only one who knows for sure is probably you, and even you may not know for sure. But this is important – if you just stop caring, you may as well curl up and die.
I always leave big tips – I just think it’s polite – but my partner hates it. Who’s right here? You are. Better to be too generous than too cheap. The only danger is that you set a precedent, and if you return to the same restaurants over and over you’ll find eating out becomes very expensive. But if you and your partner share finances, it’s best to compromise, as you don’t want to spoil what might otherwise be a lovely evening. Fifteen percent is decent, twenty is very good. If you and your partner can agree on a level of tipping that satisfies both camps, then everyone is happy.
The tots are sick of my bedtime stories. How do I ramp it up? Go to a bookstore and buy a couple of classic children’s books. Let someone else do a little of the heavy lifting, while you practice your funny voices.
The Irish author of Time of Tormentt has been everything from waiter to journalist. He knows a lot about success and maybe too much about hiding a dead body.
ON JOHN’S BOOKSHELF WANT TO EARN YOUR LITERARY STRIPES? OR AT LEAST LOOK SMART IN FRONT OF GUESTS? START HERE
1/ Skyfaring: A Journeywith a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker That 5am flight to Joburg won’t ever feel the same again. And that’s a very good thing. 2/ Red Sparrow by Jason Matthew Espionage, deception, intrigue and Vladimir Putin. Translation: you won’t be able to put this book down. 3/It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll by Jenny Boyd Wonder what goes through the heads of the world’s greatest musicians – and we’re talking the Fleetwoods and Starrs of the world – when they’re making music? This book’s got you covered. 4/ Summer House with Swimming Pooll by Herman Koch A botched medical procedure. A dead actor. And a whole lot of tension, with a bit of humour mixed in. This one’s a winner. Follow John on Twitter and Instagram at @jconnollybooks
P H O T O G R A P H G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
O&M CAPE TOWN 89795/E
It’s dancing. Technically.
Non-genuine parts work. Technically. Just because it sort of meets the requirements, doesn’t mean it’ll perform quite as it should. The difference between genuine and non-genuine parts comes down to a question of quality, safety, and keeping your warranty. Choose the parts that ensure all three. Ask for Volkswagen Genuine Parts.
Visit your nearest Volkswagen Dealership to find out more.
A RIVER? RUN THROUGH IT. AJ Calitz is SAâ€™s trail hardman.
ALL TERRAIN. ALL GAIN. For all-over, real-world strength, skip the road and take to the trail. The mountains are waiting. Are you tough enough? BY THOMAS OKES • PHOTOGRAPH JACQUES MARAIS
MAYBE IT’S THE VIEWS. OR THE SHEER SPACE AROUND YOU,
empty and vast. Or the rain, and the mud, and the rocks and the steepest rock faces you’ve ever seen, or the dark, and the feeling of being absolutely alone. Maybe ultra trail runners are just mad. Who else but the truly deranged would take on such incredible odds? Most high-profile trail races in South Africa set a standard of ultra-marathon distances at a few thousand metres above sea level, in some of the country’s most remote locations and in extreme, unpredictable conditions. Forget a flat track to run on, forget water stops and and route markers and thousands of fellow sufferers to share your pain. On top of that mountain it’s only you and all that you can carry.
THIS IS WHAT DRIVES AJ CALITZ, RECENT WINNER
of the 65km Hout Bay Trail Challenge and current holder of the Red Bull Lionheart crown: an instinctive need to bust out of the city’s limits. “I love the looks you get,” he says. “When you’re running through traffic, heading up the mountain, all these people sitting in their cars thinking, What the hell? My question is, what the hell are you doing in that car, man? Our bodies were designed to be incredible all-terrain vehicles – trail running is going back to the root of what we were created to be.” Or maybe it’s the fact that trail running makes you better. Many studies have shown that living among tall buildings and heavy traffic can make you ill with anxiety, and that running through roads from one urban area to another does little to alleviate the stress of city life. So to see if prolonged exposure to nature can help reverse that effect, scientists compared two groups of people: one went for a long run in a natural setting, and the other ran through city streets. They published their results in 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – and found that people who regularly run long distances outside, surrounded by nothing but trees and an open trail, showed significantly decreased activity in an area of the brain associated with mental illness.
Local trail phenom Ryan Sandes knows this well. “Trail running helps keep my mind clear and not be afraid to dream,” he says. “I’m quite a control freak, and running trails helps me forget about all of that and just enjoy myself. Especially running distances over 100km – it brings out the true person I am. I think everyone should experience an ultra at least once in their lives. The world would be a better place.” It’ll also make you fitter. As opposed to road running, which can restrict your body in becoming more and more efficient in a single direction, trail running requires the strength, agility and plain athleticism to leap over and around fallen trees, navigate broken-up rocks and climb inclines that go up forever. To do it effectively, you’ll spend a lot of time in the gym, working predominantly on allover strength, and the benefits of that carry over into all aspects of life. “Trail running is a dangerous sport – the conditions are everchanging, and the terrain is taxing on the body,” says Chris Lippstreu, owner of Cape Town’s Race Fit, where he trains endurance athletes to get stronger. “It’s not just about your legs – whether you’re scrambling up a rocky ravine or descending a technical rock garden, you need to be seriously strong all over to stay upright and keep moving forward.” September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 43
Running for days up and over a treacherous mountain, no matter the weather, sounds almost sadistic. To put your own body through something like that, surely you’d have to be just a little crazy? As Calitz explains, there’s a unique kind of victory waiting for you up there. “I see a mountain, I want to run it. Running where no one else has run before is a little like sticking a flag in the ground and claiming it. It’s a way of saying, I was here. Were you?” Give your brain a break and test your body on the toughest terrain imaginable at the same time. Here are South Africa’s top trail series: we suggest you start small and aim bigger. Don’t stop until you hit the sky.
Gauteng Summer Trail Series 23 OCTOBER-27 NOVEMBER 12-14KM EACH
Four races in the course of a month, consisting of short and longer distances, this is a great introduction to what trail running is all about, without the risk of falling off a cliff if it all goes wrong. The first race takes you 12km along the Hennops River, over largely easy-running terrain of established tracks; the second, at Segwati Game Ranch, is the same distance but steps it up a notch to include steeper ascents. A week later at B’Sorah Tented Camp you’re faced with just over 13km of 80% off-road conditions, and it all ends at Leeuwenkloof: 14km of technical terrain at a runnable gradient, so you can make up some time with a fast finish. Calitz says it’s a lot like a cross-country course, and a fun way to spend your Saturday. To get a medal, complete all four. Consider this your warm-up. trailseries.co.za
Garden Route The Otter African Trail Run 14-15 OCTOBER 42KM
SA’s premier marathon trail race takes place along the Otter Trail – you might know it as that fiveday hike along the coast between Nature’s Valley and Stormsriver. But walking is one thing… Calitz calls this the one of the most gruelling but beautiful trails in the world: “Expect serious steps, highly technical running and views that are second to none”. This is a one-way race that alternates between two directions, known as the Otter and the Retto. Most finishers agree that the latter is hardest, involving a tricky negotiation of a treacherous waterfall section between Ngubu Hit and Stormsriver Rest Camp on very tired legs. There’s a 5K prologue to get you accustomed to the technicality of the route, and on the day itself you’ll cross four rivers, the first of which 44 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
“Running where no one else has run before is like sticking a flag in the ground and claiming it. It’s a way of saying, I was here. Were you?” involves a swim. You can look forward to 11 significantly steep climbs, with a total elevation gain of 2 500m: enough to slow the strongest trail runners to a brisk hike. This is no ordinary 42km – there has been only one sub-four hour time set in its six-year history. Your cut-off is eight hours; after that, your chances of crossing the raging Bloukrans River are slim. theotter.co.za
Free State Golden Gate Challenge 21-23 OCTOBER 73KM TOTAL
This three-day stage race through the Golden Gate Highlands National Park takes you on a tour of some of the country’s most restricted and isolated reserves, with names like Little Serengeti and Cathedral Caves. You’ll pass ancient rock paintings and deal with severe altitudes, on the hunt for the rare Bearded Vulture. Highlights from the first day’s trekking include two serious single-track climbs, known as Hartbreek Kop and the Brandwag Mountain, and on Day 2 be prepared to use your hands while climbing – the max slope hits 35% – but it’s Day 3 that you’ll really feel the burn: the first 7km are all upwards, a total gain of 1 590m. Take it from Calitz: prepare for some serious climbing, straight up, at altitude. Due to the delicate nature of the ecosystems you’ll be visiting the race is restricted to a special few hundred people, so book now. wildseries.co.za
Western Cape Ultra-Trail Cape Town 10 DECEMBER 35KM / 65KM / 100KM
Three races of increasing difficulty over what must rank as South Africa’s toughest mountain: its sheer variety of terrain makes this a true challenge for the most hardened mountain goat. Calitz says the weather can play its part, and you can experience all four seasons up close and personal at the top of the world - from sub-zero temps at the start to over 30s in the middle of the day. “This is one of the more accessible races, thanks to its three distances. But don’t underestimate this mountain. She bites.” Whichever distances you aim for, expect no shortage of hills. The 35km option comes with 1 800m of
elevation gain, with two major climbs at either end and a massive, very technical descent along Newlands Contour right in the middle. Look out for a steep climb known as The 400 Stairs, and of course Platteklip Gorge: a notorious vertical ascent with gradients upwards of 35 degrees. Two aid stations make this short route a feasible option for more inexperienced runners, but be warned: in the first 7km you’ll have climbed 900m. The 65km Ultra includes a final 10km stretch with two serious climbs directly into the vicious Cape Doctor headwind – one to get up onto the Block House, and the other straight up Devil’s Peak – but it’s on the 100km route that you’ll start wondering if it ever ends. Nine aid stations, a recently extended cut– off of 17 hours, a 4am starting time: if you can make it through this, you can make it through anything. ultratrailcapetown.com
Eastern Cape Sky Run 18-20 NOVEMBER 42KM / 65KM / 100KM
“The beast!” says Calitz. “Self-navigated, selfsupported, 100km at altitude with no defined trails? Running across the Dragon’s Back is an experience in true mountain solitude, and one of South Africa’s greatest trail pleasures.” The SkyRun 100km offers a unique challenge: extreme endurance athletes take on the remote Witteberg Mountain Range with nothing more than a map or compass and a back containing enough food, water and safety gear to survive – all at an average of 2 500m above sea level. As far as terrain is concerned, this race is more a combination of energy-sapping hiking trail and quad-destroying mountain running than your average Jeep track. And that Dragon’s Back Calitz mentioned awaits about 20km in: a ridge line three metres wide with nothing but steep drops on either side, which offers incredible 360-degre views. Not for anyone who suffers from vertigo. About halfway you’ll come across a compulsory stop at Balloch Cave, where you’ll undergo a quick medical check-up – then it’s over the almost-vertical Balloch Wall. Don’t be surprised if it suddenly gets dark – you’ll be running into nightfall – and on your way home you’ll have to navigate a sharp, technical descent on fatigued legs. “Proceed with caution,” says Calitz. “Skyrun is very, very, very hard.” skyrun.co.za
P H OTO G RA P H C RA I G KO L ES KY
Pack, Animal Gear: you won’t need much, but whatever you do, don’t leave home without it. (And when you sign up for an ultra, check out the race site for info on essential safety gear.)
Coleman CXS+ 250 LED BatteryLock Headlamp There’s one thing worse than trekking home over a mountain: trying to find your way in the dark. Its BatteryLock tech prevents power drain, so you’ll have light when you need it the most.
Camelbak Ultra 10 Hydration Pack Water stops, where you’re going, are scarce. This 2L pack is much more than a bladder, stretching to fit almost anything you can stuff into it, yet light enough to forget it’s there at all. R2 000, SPORTSMANS
Salomon S-Lab 5 Series To manage the variety of conditions you’ll face over 50+km, you’ll need proper all-terrain tyres: these lightweight, waterresistant shoes will protect your toes and keep you as fleet of foot as you can be.
First Ascent AR X Jacket Waterproof is one thing, but on top of a mountain you’ll need to be ready for a lot more than just rainy season. Stay warm and air-cooled at the same time in this heavy-duty yet surprisingly light jacket.
Garmin Fenix 3 HR Leave your smartphone safe at home, you won’t need it. This hardy activity tracker has everything you’ll ever need – including altimeter, heart rate monitor and full-blown map – built right into the dial, so it’s all there in a single glance.
R699, CAPE UNION MART
R2 700, DUE SOUTH
R2 000, FIRSTASCENT.CO.ZA
R10 500, TOTALSPORTS
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 45
Blaze that Trail
A strong runner is a better runner. This trail-specific strength programme will get you ready for any mountain
DIRECTIONS: Work through these exercises three times per week, says Chris Lippstreu, who trains endurance athletes at RaceFit. Between workouts, do one 10km recovery run and one trail run per week. And if that trail is a monster, cut the workouts down to two.
3 Kne ee Drive
2 Kettlebell Swings
Stand with your right foot on the pad and your left toes resting very lightly on the ground behind you. Raise your left knee to your waist in front of you, then lower it carefully back to the ground. Concentrate on balancing on your heel while on the pad. Do 3 sets of 15 reps per leg.
Grip the kettlebell, hinge at the hips and pull it underneath you, allowing your knees to bend slightly to generate the required power to swing the bell. Driving from the hips, swing the bell up, keeping your arms straight; pause at the top, then swing back to the start. Do 4 sets of 15 reps.
5 One-Arm Row Grab two dumbbells, bend at your hips and knees and lower your torso until itâ€™s parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang with your palms facing back. Pull the right dumbbell to the side of your torso. Lower it and repeat with your left. Continue, alternating sides. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
4Lateral Step-Up Stand with your right side facing a step or bench. Place your right foot on the step. Press your foot into the step and push your body up until both legs are straight. Lower yourself back down to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of reps with your right leg, then repeat with your left. Next set, grab a pair of 10kg dumbbells. Do 3 sets of 8 reps per leg. 46 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
You know these. Keep your back straight and your legs down. Look for an explosive move upwards, and a slow grind down. Do 3 sets of 5-8 reps.
7 One-Arm Shoulder Press Hold a dumbbell in your hand in front of your left shoulder, palm in. Press the dumbbell directly above your shoulder. Return to the starting position. Do all your reps, switch sides, and repeat. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.
8 Bench Press Load a barbell with 75 to 80% of your max. Lower slowly and once it touches your chest press it explosively back up. Thatâ€™s one rep. Keep your feet flat on the floor for the whole exercise. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Trainer: Chris Lippstreu, RaceFit Time: 45 min Frequency: Three times per week (min 2, max 4)
P H O T O G R A P H S J A M E S G A R A G H T Y S O U R C E C H R I S L I P P S T R E U AT R A C E F I T, R A C E - F I T. C O . Z A
Find a step or raised platform. Step explosively up p onto the platform and d drive the knee of your o opposite leg up ds. This needs upwards to be done as a fast, powerful movement. Step down, then do the opposite side. Next set, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps per leg.
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The Survivor/ Before he was attacked, Darryn August was an active member of his community.
Your situation doesn’t need to define you, says Darryn – you just need a change of perspective.
A LIFE DERAILED Darryn August recounts the day he was flung from a moving train and broke his back BY JAZZ KUSCHKE · PHOTOGRAPHS CAMERON MACDONALD
JUST AFTER 8AM ON MONDAY,
25 April, I boarded a train from Athlone for Somerset West, outside Cape Town – my regular commute. For the most part it was like any other Monday, except a few delays had caused me to miss my regular travel time. Not ideal, because if you don’t catch one of the two or three peak-hour trains, on that route you run the risk of getting into trouble – train delays, gangsters, criminals... a lot can happen. I just about found myself in that bracket. It had happened in the past and I’d been fine, but this particular day I just felt like something was going to unfold.
Prelude to Disaster It got sketchier and sketchier the closer we got to Somerset West. There were so few commuters on the train that it was being emptied at every station, which is never a good thing. Part of the reason why the early commutes are safer is because they stay full all the way through. Just before Somerset a heavy group of guys [news reports say nine] got on the train. It was just me and a few women on the carriage. All of us had our valuables out and that, of course, attracted their attention.
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY Staying fired up when the chips are down is what makes you a better man. Here’s how Darryn stays motivated: KEEP FIGHTING!
There’s nowhere for me to run or hide. I’m living my second chance at this exact moment and that really puts things into perspective. I can’t second guess myself anymore. I can’t get swallowed by negative thoughts. What I can do: I can take control of my life, and I can keep on fighting for what I want, and that is to one day be able to walk again.
Fight or Flight They were heavily armed. I never really thought about it at first – but there were baseball bats; one guy had a long knife; I remember a big thick stick that looked like bamboo; there was a golf club – all kinds of things. It was pretty intimidating. I was just looking at the ground and out the window and trying to avoid eye contact because if you make eye contact that’s when they sense fear and you get yourself into trouble. One of the guys approached a woman and without thinking I said something to him. I then got up and went to confront him – he was definitely going to hurt her. I was standing between him and the woman when the first blow came. From there things escalated pretty quickly. It’s a bit of a blur, but I was hit from behind by another guy and then a few others jumped in. I got into a tussle with all of them trying to defend her, and protect myself. Then I took a big blow to the head that knocked me senseless. The women were visibly terrified but I think I took most of the focus away from them. The guys dragged me to the train door, took my bag and threw me out. By that time I was already bleeding and in a pretty bad way. I collided with a tree – the force snapped my spine and caused internal bleeding.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
P H O T O G R A P H G A R Y S A LT E R
“A big part of my recovery has been finding out what I’m made of. Doctors tell me I won’t walk again but I’m thinking... we’ll see.”
Bouncing Back Doctors say it is unlikely I will ever walk again. Look, that woman could have been seriously hurt so I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I feel that if I could have at least helped prevent that and get them to the station safely, then if you think about it, it was worth it. People have asked me how I’ve managed to cope so well, and the truth is, I was in a dark place. I could feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into depression. I had a choice. If I stayed negative, I’d be defeated. But if I battled against the thoughts swirling around in my head, that’s where I’d come out on top. You have to stay positive, you know?
Also, my belief system is really strong – it may sound crazy to some but you really have to hang on to something. My faith is central to everything I do. Family support is also very important. My family has been amazing and is a big part of why I am as upbeat as I am. The love and support I received before has been multiplied by so many people and I truly can’t express how much strength it gives me, and how grateful I am. But an even bigger part of my recovery has been finding out what I’m made of. I have been through a lot in my life, and this is by far the biggest test for me. The challenge is to get out of this rehab clinic and, one day, walk again. I used to be an accredited assessor and facilitator working with kids and teaching life skills. I believe I still have a lot to give and there is still a lot more to live for. I believe that with all my heart. I feel I will always be able to improve people’s lives in a lot of ways. It’s a job that taught me how to find hope in the darkest of places. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a wheelchair or if I’m going to be walking in the next five years. I’ve always dreamt about doing certain things; I’ve achieved some of them and I still have a whole list of things I want to achieve. This right here, it’s my newest challenge. I’ve lost so much muscle mass and strength, but I’ll get there. I’m dreaming the impossible dream. Doctors are telling me I won’t walk again and I’m thinking, “Okay… we’ll see.” But what keeps me going is that I’ve seen people come out of this type of thing. With enough work and medical help and holding on to my faith, I’m waking up to a new opportunity every day. I have a chance to become a little stronger, a little better, a little closer to walking again.
The world is filled with amazing guys who find strength out of nowhere. People who have fought back against the odds make you understand that we all have different definitions of impossible. Those stories inspire me. CREATE GOALS
There are guys out there who can use all their limbs. There’s nothing inhibiting them from getting out there and enjoying the world. But they are so depressed and incredibly sad. The people I’ve met here at the clinic seem much happier, and it’s because their lives are orientated around goals, around striving for that next achievement, whether it’s taking their first step or just making it further than they did yesterday. WORK HARD
I give it my all at every single rehab session. I know that if I don’t, well, I’ll never get better. Putting in those hours is the only way I’ll realise my goals. I need to take full advantage of my time at the clinic, and grab every opportunity to train that I can. SHIFT PERSPECTIVE
I was in such a dark place a few months ago. But I pulled myself out. If I hadn’t? I would’ve ended up sinking deeper and deeper into depression. I put on a brave face, and I eventually I started feeling brave too. September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 49
BE THEIR HERO When rugby giant Siya Kolisi’s brother and sister were taken away by social services, he vowed to bring them back home. This is how he found them, and learned to be a father BY KIERAN LEGG . PHOTOGRAPH KARL SCHOEMAKER
SHE HAD NO IDEA
who he was. This nervous little girl, inching towards him with childlike curiosity, moving leaden feet in slow, tiny steps. Her face was an innocent mixture of confusion and awe. Siya was the older brother she had never met. A man, almost myth, who she boasted about on the playground. “He plays rugby, for a really big team,” she would sing. And now he was sitting there: relieved, elated and startled that his search was over. He had finally found his brother and sister. She paused. She reached out a small shaking hand, her fingers spreading over Siya’s face, the tips checking if he was real. Another breath, and then she jumped into his lap. “She started hugging me, and I knew – I knew right then that there was no way I was leaving without them,” says Siya.
Keep Your Family Close Growing up in the Zwida township in Port Elizabeth, Siya learnt a few things. First, a plate of food was a rare sight. Often he lived on an empty stomach, barely getting by on the small jam sandwiches served up during break times at the local primary school. Second, you didn’t need a lot. While his friends played with toys, he would drive a brick around the dusty yard outside of his home, content that his imagination would fill in the blanks. And finally, he was happy. “This is just what I knew, and I remember just being very happy,” he says. “I didn’t have much, but what I had – it meant the world to me.” His
father was in Cape Town. His mother was in the periphery. He was left to live with his grandmother, aunt and uncle in a cramped four-room home in the burgeoning settlement. Siya slept on the floor, laying out couch pillows to form a bed. He survived on water and any food his grandmother could find: vetkoek served up at tea with her friends or the deflated plastic bag of groceries she was able to afford when the money was there. While he tucked into his small suppers, she would go hungry. “She never complained; she looked after me and she did anything she could for me,” he says. When she fell ill, he lapsed into a small state of panic. The rock of his life was crumbling and now the roles were reversed. He would bunk school to take care of her: washing her, feeding her, making sure she had water. “She was everything to me: my parent, my best friend,” he says. He was at home when she collapsed in the kitchen and died in his arms. He remembers running outside and pleading for help, asking, in the final moments of his childhood innocence: “Is she dead?” “But I’m glad I was there, that she didn’t die alone,” he says. “Always, I wish she was here right now, to see what I have made of myself. I wish I could repay her for what she gave me. For the advice, the inspiration; for all the days she put me ahead of herself and suffered so that I could be what I needed to be.” Siya didn’t have much. What he did have was a selfless example of what it meant to be a real parent.
“She started hugging me, and I knew there was no way I was leaving without them.”
Never Stop Trying Despite running on fumes for most of his childhood, Siya was a rising sports star. He had prowess on the pitch, and people were starting to take notice. He was accepted into Grey Junior School on a bursary, and the boarding school kept him warm, fed and housed. He would return home on the weekends, swapping his comfy quarters for his old spot in the living room. There was a sharp contrast in the duality of his life at this point – the extreme poverty and bric-a-brac township juxtaposed against the manicured lawns and stiff ff architecture of his school grounds. But he still looked forward to slipping back into the familiarity of his old four-roomed home. It was during these visits that he learnt he had a brother, and later a sister. Two children he would see in passing, swapping quick hellos or just a wave. That was before his mother passed away, and his siblings were taken in by social services. And in an instant, they vanished. Even as he joined rugby’s big leagues, proving himself on the field, catching the eye of talent scouts and provincial coaches, their disappearance felt like a heavy weight on his conscience. “I would dream about my mother. In these dreams she would tell me that she wanted me to be there for them,” says Siya. “And when I woke up, I knew I wanted to be there for them, to give them the same opportunity that I got – to send them to a good school, give them a proper education and guide them, the way my family guided me.” During the off-season ff he would jet off to PE and start searching. He scoured the township, interrogating extended family and knowledgeable strangers. But he always returned to Cape Town empty-handed.
Take Charge “One day our team was playing in PE,” he says. “But I didn’t get picked. I was sick, and fortunately I had my car down from Cape Town, so I decided to take a drive to the township.” He coasted around Zwide, turning down narrow roads and winding between a maze of shacks and homes, his tyres kicking up dust, and his internal compass following nothing but a glimmer of hope that he’d find a sign, a sighting, a signal to keep on searching. That’s when he spotted a distant cousin on the roadside. “I remember he asked me: you’ve seen your brother and sister, right? I said no.” But excitement was surging through him. 52 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
And the next moment he was being led to their new home, opening the door and hugging his brother. “I couldn’t believe it. It was this crazy coincidence,” he says, laughing. “There he was, my brother, and there she was, my sister, right there standing in front of me.” Sitting there with his siblings, Siya knew they were coming home with him. He was just 23, a young guy with an outgoing personality and a promising rugby career to think about. A man who already had a kid on a way, now choosing to be a father to two more. And he didn’t think twice. He had to take matters into his own hands. “They were coming with me, I didn’t care what it took. They were going to spend Christmas with me; they were going to get the life they always deserved,” he says.
You Have What It Takes Being a dad isn’t easy work. With two wideeyed, excited but slightly apprehensive kids in his home, and a new-born infant to think about too, Siya felt like he was out of his depth. He watched as his fiancé, Rachel – who had, without a second thought, quit her job to look aff ter their new family unit so that Siya could pursue his dream on the pitch – adjusted to being a mom. He was barely treading water. “It came naturally to her,” he laughs. “I think because she’d been carrying baby Nick all that time. Me, on the other hand – yeah, that took a bit longer.” In his own words, he used to be outgoing. Friday nights were for partying and kicking back with friends. Weekends were for browsing fashion aisles and killing time in trendy cafés. And did we mention he was just 23? In a single moment he had to rip off ff the Bandaid, accept that those dog days had passed, accept that there were three little lives depending on him now, and accept that he was a father. “When I managed that,” he says, “that’s when I started to feel true happiness.” Siya had always known he wanted to have his own family, an aspiration that first took root during his impoverished, fatherless but happy childhood. Knowing that, he was confident, even when he erred and um’d, that he would find his way there eventually. “I don’t just want to make a child; I don’t just want to be a dad by blood. I want to be present,” he says. With Rachel’s support, her unwavering belief in his ability to be a father, and her
LEAD BY EX AMPLE
Without his father around, Siya had to fend for himself – from infancy to rugby icon. But the Springbok isn’t holding any grudges. In fact, following the birth of his son and his reunion with his brother and sister, the loose forward reconnected with the old man in Cape Town. “I’m not a bitter person,” he says. “He wasn’t there before. But he’s here now, and he tries. And at the end of the day he’s my dad no matter what.” Reaching out has been a positive process for the pair. Father and son have discovered shared passions and common ground, a stable platform to kindle a relationship in the ashes of his absence. “For me it’s important my son has a grandfather around,” he says. “I want him to see the positive relationship I have with my own father, you know, to lead by example,” he says. “I have mad love for my dad, and I know he loves me too, and just like lookk ing after my family, I know I have to make this work.”
sacrifice which allowed him to make mistakes along the way, Siya eventually made the transition. With her help he navigated his way around balancing house rules, bed times, movie nights and church trips. His sister has warmed up to him, his brother is now his best friend – and these flourishing relationships are frozen in snapshots spliced squarely between bright images of his rugby career on his Instagram. He’s filed papers, fielded phone calls, and sat in queues to finalise the adoption process – a tumultuous journey that is still ongoing. And through it all, he’s discovered that what he wants most in the world is to be a great example to his brother and sister, and to his son. That when they look up, they will see what a real man should look like. “Their role model should never be another kid’s dad. I want to be their hero.”
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COME BACK STRONGER Defeat has not deterred UFC champion Conor McGregor. It may have made him more dangerous
BY PETER FLAX • PHOTOGRAPHS PETER YANG
CONOR MCGREGOR BRAGGED
that in this UFC cage match, the lion would devour the gazelle. That his opponent Nate Diaz was too soft, too slow, too repetitive. That he would knock Diaz out in the first round. The result? Diaz choked out the cocky Irishman in the second round. “You can either run from adversity or take it head-on and conquer it,” McGregor says. “I took a risk; it didn’t pay off. I will be back.” It’s that kind of straight talk, along with explosive punching power, that spurred McGregor’s rise to the top of the UFC, earning him milliondollar paydays and legions of fans. Lost in the headlines about the defeat was the fact that McGregor, 28, was fighting two weight classes above his usual featherweight, and he took the Diaz fight on ten days’ notice. MH caught up with the hard-hitting poster boy to discover what the loss taught him. McGregor also explained his training approach, which prioritises unconventional movement practice over brute strength, a focus that could make you fitter and stronger too.
Prior to the Diaz event, McGregor was on a mother of a streak – 15 straight victories since 2010. Overall, he’d prevailed in 19 of his 22 pro bouts, all but two ending in KOs. Most famously, in the fight leading up to the Diaz matchup, McGregor’s left hook detonated on the chin of Jose Aldo, who hadn’t lost in 10 years; it was all over in 13 seconds. For Diaz, McGregor was overconfident. “With most fighters, if an opponent’s injured, he gets flustered. Not Conor. He will fight anyone,” says UFC president Dana White. “I remember driving out to the Mac Mansion [McGregor’s 1 000-squaremetre estate] at 3 pm. Conor walks out in his underwear, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. We tell him his opponent just got injured. He asks who he’s fighting. We say it’s one of three guys. He says, ‘I’m going to go to the gym. Just call me and tell me who I’m fighting.’” Facing a 170-pound opponent brought new challenges. He’d had success dropping weight quickly for a bout, but putting it on was trickier. “I was eating two steaks a day. I was eating cookies,” says McGregor, who nor-
THE HIT MAN THERE'S POWER IN THOSE FISTS AND FEET. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE HIT BY McGREGOR? 58 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
mally fights at 145 pounds. “I was full. We don’t fight when we’re full – we fight when we’re hungry.” To prep for the Diaz rematch, he has a nutrition plan to cut weight. His trainer, John Kavanagh, believes starving to hit a weight target puts a fighter in survival mode and taps into his reptilian brain. While McGregor’s cutting weight, he views his opponent as an obstacle in the way of his next meal. McGregor also dedicated more time to boosting his cardio. “I slapped the hell out of Diaz for eight minutes. I didn’t lose on skill; I lost on stamina,” he says. He’d prepared for a longer, more strategic fight. “It’s not frustrating. I look at it as educational,” says McGregor, who admits he’s watched the replay “dozens” of times. Adversity, we know, can lead to growth. In the wake of a loss, it can help to identify new possibilities, says University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Martin Seligman. By recognising weaknesses in his approach and changing his training and tactics to work against them, McGregor is doing just that.
His punches can land with the force of a jackhammer – times 11.
His kicks can bite with an impact similar to the snapping jaws of a crocodile.
A SPINNING KICK His spinning kicks can rotate faster than a helicopter's rotor blades
S O U R C E S H A M I T K A C H R U , P H . D . , S TA N F O R D U N I V E R S I T Y; E S P N S P O R T S C I E N C E ; C A L S TAT E F U L L E R T O N C E N T E R F O R S P O R T S P E R F O R M A N C E
1/ Learn from Loss
Muscle + Fitness
“To win a bar fight, hit the soft part of someone’s face. Put your fist between their nose and mouth. It’s tender there. Hit first, hit hard.”
PARTY FUEL “Monster and vodka.” WORKOUT ANTHEM “‘It’s All About the Benjamins,’ P. Diddy.” FAVORITE CAR “Rolls Royce Phantom.” BREAKFAST “Eggs and porridge.” FAVORITE AB EXERCISE “A smart diet.” SHOES “Reebok ZPrint – light and fast.” FAVORITE SHOW “The Simpsons.” LAST TIME YOU CRIED “Right after I won my first UFC title.” KARAOKE SONG “I don’t do effing karaoke.”
2/ Expand Your Skill Set After his 13-second demolition of Aldo, McGregor offered a pronouncement that was as full of swagger as analysis. “Aldo is powerful, and he’s fast,” said the new champion. “But precision beats power, and timing beats speed.” Truth is, McGregor thinks traditional strength training is overrated. “What people see as power is often tension, which actually makes you fragile,” he says. “People are so caught in a routine, doing the same things over and over. I want to be an expert in many different things.” To that end, McGregor says he’s infinitely interested in learning about new fighting styles, training methods and mental approaches. That quest led him to connect with the Israeli movement specialist Ido Portal, whose innovative approach borrows elements of martial arts, dance, circus, athletics, somatics and other disciplines. McGregor says he began studying Portal’s methods on YouTube late in 2013. “Ido is just incredible in the way he can move,” he says. Eventually he reached out to Portal, and the two began to work face-to-face. As McGregor shadowboxes and kicks in the gym, the implied violence of his parries is obvious – and so is the grace of his movements. These are roundhouses and left hooks that have buckled more than a dozen pro fighters, but his movements have the fluidity of modern dance. This observation is warily mentioned to the fighter, whose chest is inked with a giant tattoo of a gorilla eating a heart; thankfully he takes that as a compliment. I’m riveted by the seeming disconnect between the artistry of his movements and the destruction they deliver. I ask him about this later, and he refuses to acknowledge an incongruity. “It’s all beautiful,” he insists. “The movements are beautiful, but so is the brutality. To know how to make another man’s body submit to yours – that’s a beautiful thing.”
Later, as the Irishman punches and flexes for a Reebok video shoot and does interviews for affiliate sponsors, he shares details about how the unconventional training quickly helped him become a better fighter. “I’ve learned new footwork patterns,” he says. “I’ve learned how to find a lower centre of gravity and found more angles to throw shots. In a bout, I’m not just fighting another man. I’m dealing with another man and the ground. I want to understand how the ground can be my friend.” Portal explains: “Conor actually has a non-macho approach. A fight is a movement scenario – a dynamic and infinite puzzle. Supportive fields like strength and conditioning and fitness fill in some of the gaps, but movement fills in other gaps of the puzzle too.” Emphasising graceful movement may sound strange, but it works, says Marco Sanchez, a trainer at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. “Improved movement mechanics let you put your body in positions that enable you to make greater strength gains,” he says. Whether that’s extending your range of motion for an exercise or achieving better form, it starts with consistently warming up and cooling down every workout. Too many guys warm up for lifting by doing gentle cardio. Instead, do body-weight exercises that mimic your workout. You want to grease the patterns of your workout, warm up your joints. At your cooldown, do soft-tissue work, such as foam-rolling and static stretches, for five minutes. Afterwards, breathe deeply for two minutes in a relaxed position on your back or stomach, or cross-legged. Inhale through your nose and fill your diaphragm as deeply as possible; then exhale slowly through your mouth, as if you’re blowing out birthday candles, until no air’s left. This slows your heart rate and toggles your nervous system into a relaxed state. You’re starting your recovery before your shower.
3/ Forge Unbreakable Confidence The loss to Diaz has barely dented McGregor’s confidence. Some of that unshakable self-belief arises from the distance he has traveled from Crumlin, the tough Dublin suburb with the Rocky-worthy name where he grew up. The story of his origins may seem clichéd, but it reveals an authentic struggle. McGregor took up boxing at the age of 12. “I walked into a gym not giving a damn about a belt or a title – I got into it to deal with the street,” he says. It didn’t take long for his work ethic and left hook to catch people’s eye, and the teenager starting seeing success. Within a few years he was grappling, kickboxing, and practicing jujitsu – every discipline he could think of – sowing the seeds for UFC success. He continued fighting while collecting unemployment checks. “I remember having scuffed sneakers and wanting to do something about it. But I couldn’t.” He became a plumber’s apprentice for a year, but his heart wasn’t in it. Then he saw his first UFC event in Dublin, and it changed the arc of his life. “I was 18. I didn’t think anyone I saw in the octagon seemed better than me,” McGregor recalls. “I realised this is something I could do with my life.” McGregor turned pro as an MMA fighter in 2007; he earned a 12-2 record in the following six years and became a European champion. But global stardom eluded him. That changed in 2013, when UFC president Dana White was in Dublin to receive an award. “I like to go to pubs,” says White. “And in every pub I went to, literally everybody was telling me about Conor McGregor. I was like, ‘I need to meet this kid.’” So White had McGregor flown out to Las Vegas, where the UFC is headquartered. He took his prospect out for a drive down the Strip in his white Ferrari and then to dinner. White was impressed. “Conor has this unbelievably magnetic personality. After dinner I called my partner and said that if this guy can throw a punch, he’s going to be a superstar.” “What you see is what you get with Conor,” says Portal. “He’s a nonscripted, full-on living-in-the-moment, brutal-honesty kind of guy. I’ll take honesty over modesty any day of the week.” That honesty is essential to rock-solid confidence, explains sports psychologist Jonathan Fader. “The key is learning objective optimism: you need to objectively analyse your situation, looking for evidence of how you are excellent. Your evidence has to be based on facts, or your mind will reject it.” I ask McGregor what it feels like the moment he steps into the cage for a big fight. Does he ever feel fear? “No way, man,” he says. “It feels like freedom. It’s the one time where I get to do whatever the f*#& I want.” September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 59
Agile, Mobile, Hostile: the 13-Minute Plan
Tight muscles sap power. This daily routine, inspired by drills from Conor McGregor’s movement guru Ido Portal, will help you unleash your full potential
1 Flexion Gapping
2 Low Lunge
3 Low Lunge
Kneel with your hands on the floor. Place your left ankle behind your right knee. Sit as low as you can, and move your hips side to side very slightly. Do this for time; switch legs and repeat. Time: 1 minute per side
Put your left leg forward with your right leg stretched behind you in a lunge position. Lean forward with your right hand on the floor and left hand near your foot, your elbow pressing your left knee outward. Push your hips towards the floor, feeling the stretch in your hips. Hold for time. Switch sides and repeat. Time: 1 minute per side
Assume a side lunge position with your right knee bent and left leg outstretched to your side. Lean forward and place your hands on the floor. Sink into the stretch, pushing your hips toward the floor as low as you can. Hold the position for time; then switch sides and repeat. Time: 1 minute per side
4 Deep Toe Squat
5 Hinge Hold to Deep Squat
Assume a squat position with your feet close together, heels elevated slightly and fingers on the floor for balance. Hold for time. You should feel the stretch in your hips, ankles and lower back. Time: 1 minute
With your legs straight, hinge at your hips and lower your torso while keeping your back straight. You’ll feel your hamstrings stretch. Hold the position for 5 seconds. Drop your butt and descend into a deep squat, with your torso as straight as possible. Hold the position for 5 seconds. Reverse the move and repeat 10 times. Spend the rest of the time in a deep squat, using your elbows to push your knees outward. Time: 4 minutes
Time: 13 minutes Workout days: Warm up with it. Rest days: Do it whenever it's most convenient
Do the exercises as a “flow.” Start with the first move, hold it for the allotted time, and move directly to the next. Continue until you’ve completed all five. PRO TIPS:
Breathe deeply throughout. Deep breaths help relax tight muscles. Don’t worry if you can’t get into a position – just stretch as deeply as you can while maintaining good form.
60 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
6 Dead Hang ang Hold a pull-up bar using an overhand grip; flex your abs and glutes. Hang, breathing in and out deeply. You should feel the stretch in your lats. Time: 1 to 2 minutes
O&M CAPE TOWN 90440/E
COUNTLESS BATTLES WON AND THE WAR STILL RAGES ON
Sipho Didiza, 26.
Some do it for gold medals and statues, some for riches and glory. Sipho trains hard to keep ﬁt so that he can focus on the one thing he is truly passionate about, dancing. He’s just an extra ordinary athlete and when aches and pains get in http://mentholatum.co.za www.facebook.com/deepheatza
the way of his dream, we’ll make sure he keeps going.
More than 25% of new runners end up injured. Avoid that fate with our plan
WHEN I CROSSED THE FINISH LINE
at the Boston Marathon a few months ago, my old varsity buddies were in disbelief – back then, I wasn’t exactly known for my athleticism. But Boston was my third marathon, and I now consider myself a real runner. In truth, my transition from beer runs to road runs didn’t happen smoothly. I’ve had sore knees, a cranky Achilles, and more, mostly due to my rookie mindset. Like many novices who end up injured, I thought the only things I needed were shoes and a will to sweat. “Most people are poorly prepared for the stress that running puts on the body,” says Kelly Starrett, author of Ready to Run. Use this plan to prep yourself so you don’t wreck yourself. Consider it your starting line to incredible fitness. 62 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
1/ Equip Yourself Seek out a specialty running store and invest in the gear you’ll need to start strong. Here are a few essentials Shoes That Fit Don’t just go to a sports gear shop and buy the first pair that looks cool. It’s worth the extra effort to find a running shop that can provide a gait analysis. The test will tell you how you run – that is, whether your foot rolls inward (pronation) or outward (supination) when it strikes the ground – and whether you have high arches or flat feet. That information will help the staff put you in shoes that compensate for weaknesses in your running mechanics. They may even recommend an over-the-counter orthotic. This is an insert that you customise by popping it in the oven to soften, sliding it into your shoe and then simply wearing the thing. For people with wonky feet, orthotics can help reduce the risk of a whole slew of painful and common injuries, like IT band syndrome and shin splints.
Miniband to Prevent Injury Stash this simple item in your gym bag or overnight bag – it can save you from a world of hurt. You can use it to strengthen the oft-injured muscles around your hips as well as your smaller stabilising muscles, says Philadelphia trainer Jim Ferris. (Need miniband exercises? Keep reading.) Dumbbells for a Strong Core A firm muscle is a faster muscle. If you don’t own dumbbells, buy a pair of 10- or 15kg each. With these, you can combine weighted exercises (such as overhead push presses, straightleg deadlifts and lunges, to hit your back and legs) with classic bodyweight moves like planks, side planks and mountain climbers to strengthen your core, says sports medicine doctor Jordan Metzl.
Muscle + Fitness
3/ Prep Your Muscles Readying your body requires loosening up your muscles and locking down your nutrition. Run through this routine before you pound pavement
THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO RUNNING
Hit the Ground Running Run like you mean it – without getting injured. Here’s how BY MIKE DARLING • PHOTOGRAPHS SEAN LAURENZ
Open Your Hips With a wall directly behind you, assume a lunge position with your left knee forward and your right knee behind you on the floor close to the wall; your right shin should be running up the wall. You’ll feel your right hip and quad stretch. Switch legs; repeat. This simple move opens up your hips and helps prevent knee, back, and hip pain, says Starrett. Do it for a minute on each leg before and after you run. Stretch Your Calves Prevent Achilles tendinitis and shin splints: Stand on the balls of your feet on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. (You can use a railing or a wall for balance.) Push yourself up and slowly (to a count of 10) drop your heels below the level of the step. Push back up and repeat. Do 3 sets of 15 every day after you run.
Don’t Carbo-Load Step away from the pasta, Fordyce. Beginning runners often overfuel, not realising that a 5km run burns only around 400 calories, which is roughly the amount in two candy or energy bars. Your normal diet will give you what you need until you reach at least half-marathon distance and beyond, says Metzl. Hydrate Gradually Resist the urge to glug lots of H20 before a run; you shouldn’t feel as if you’re cramming for an exam, says dietitian and Runner’s World magazine columnist Pamela Bede. A better strategy is to simply drink when you feel thirsty, she says. For any outing lasting under an hour – as long as conditions aren’t too hot or humid – you really don’t need to carry water. You’ll be perfectly fine with the fluid you have on board.
2/ Build a Foundation
4/ Start Running
Don’t take off like a rabbit: spend two weeks walking while doing these moves three days a week, and then once or twice a week afterwards
Your ﬁrst runs are critical. Learn proper running mechanics early so you can make faster progress and protect yourself from injury
Miniband Sidestep Here’s the ultimate hip fortifier: position a miniband around your legs just below your knees. Keeping your upper body still, take small steps to the right for about 20 feet and then sidestep back to your left for another 20 feet. That’s 1 set. Do 3.
Cadence Lunge Build strong strides: holding a dumbbell in your right hand, step back with your right leg into a reverse lunge as you swing the weight in front of you. Explosively stand back up. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 and switch sides. Do 3 sets of 10 per side.
Turkish Getup This move boosts mobility and strengthens every muscle from head to toe, especially those in your core. Why that’s important: a strong core allows you to run more upright, with control and stability. Do 5 reps on each side.
Band Lying Leg Extension For bulletproof legs, lie on your back with your hips and knees bent 90-degrees. Loop a miniband around your feet. Straighten your right leg. Reverse and repeat with your left. Do 3 sets of 10 reps per leg.
Don’t Overstride Try to maintain a compact stride and a quick cadence (i.e. step turnover), says former Dartmouth College track coach Mark Coogan, who now coaches pro runners for New Balance. That’ll help you avoid landing on your heels too much. If you’re a bigger guy, it could also moderate the impact on your lower back. “It’s especially important when going downhill,” he adds. “That’s when the quads and knees can take a beating, and also when new runners tend to go for it.”
“Most people are poorly prepared for the stress that running puts on the body.”
Relax! Try not to move like Frankenstein’s monster. “I tell people to imagine they’re holding an egg in each hand. You don’t want to be squeezing so hard that you’d break it.” That helps you stay loose everywhere, including your upper back and shoulders.
Be Efficient Beginners have a tendency to swing their arms across their body as they gain speed, Metzl says. That motion wastes energy because it’s side to side rather than forward. Swing your arms naturally back and forth; the movement should be a perfect counterbalance to your legs, propelling you forward. Foam-Roll Roll everything. Set a timer for 10 minutes and foam-roll back and forth over as many parts of your lower body – glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves – as possible for about 30 seconds each. When you’re really feeling the pinch, dig into achy spots with a cricket ball, Starrett says. Align the ball with the tight area, take a deep breath and relax around it, letting the ball sink in and knead the spot. Then roll the area very slowly. September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 63
5/ Increase Your Speed With a solid base and a plan to become strong and avoid injury, you’re ready for the long haul. Follow these rules of the road Build Distance Slowly An abrupt build-up in distance – say, more than 30% over a two-week period – dramatically increases a new runner’s risk of injury, according to a 2014 study in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. You can stay off the injury list by allowing your body sufficient time to adapt: Increase your mileage by no more than 10% a week.
Finesse Your Speed Now let’s go fast. Speedwork can help you burn more calories and train you to run fast without having to suck wind. Coogan recommends “strides.” They’re simple: in the middle or at the end of a normal run, just increase your pace to a near sprint for 100 metres; then resume your normal pace. If you do 8 to 10 of these, recovering after each one, every other day for two weeks, you’ll start to see your times improve.
Tackle a Hill Add a weekly hill workout and you’ll quickly become a stronger runner, says Coogan. He recommends finding a gentle hill – at least 350 metres – and running quickly up it. “Try to do it five times the first week; add a couple more every two weeks. When that becomes too easy for you, find a steeper, longer hill.” Recruit a Friend You’ll be more likely to stick with the sport if you have a running partner. If your buddies hate running, join a club. Many, like the Nike+ Run Club or Puma Trac, are free and draw big crowds – and fit women.
BECOME A RUNNER IN 21 DAYS: THE TRAINING PLAN DAY
SOLE SUPPORT THE BEST RUNNING SHOES ON THE MARKET RIGHT NOW
Reebok ZPrint 3D
Bright enough to show the way on those dark, early-morning runs, with great support and a lightweight, breathable feel. In our reviewer’s words: light, firm and fast. R1 599 9 takealot.com
Run by time, not distance. *If you tire, just walk for a while. Recover between days; by week 3, you’ll have better endurance.
“Learn proper running mechanics early so you can avoid injury.”
Nike LunarEpic Low The magic of these is in the heel: soft enough to bounce back off the tar, but not so squishy that it feels like wearing cushions. Maybe the most responsive shoe on this list. R 2 299 Nike
New Balance Vazee Pace v2 Strong and stable: just what you need to go further than you’ve gone before. Don’t expect to blast a new 5K PB, but do expect to run for hours. You won’t find a better foot-fitting shoe this year. R1 999 Totalsports
Puma Speed 500 Ignite Snug and slim, almost like a pair of slippers – it’s easy to see why Usain loves these. Great for sprints of 400 to 900m. R1 799 Puma Stores 64 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Tune Up Your Runs
Beats PowerBeats 2 Wireless
JBL Reflect Mini
Plantronics Backbeat Fit
A powerful Bluetooth transmitter means your tunes won’t cut out when the going gets tough. Coupled with RemoteTalk controls that allow you to field calls and switch music on the fly, fly this device packs a lot tech into a small, sleek package.
SkullCandy’s new and sweat-resistant tech are blended into the silicone ear gels to keep your gear feeling fresh. The XTFrees are sonically welded shut, blocking out sweat, rain, and other types of mois moisture that would otherwise ruin your gear.
These wireless sweatproof buds were engineered to be streamlined, keeping cabling to a minimum and cutting down on external frills. Under the hood it’s packing a punch, with 5.8mm drivers that boast premium sound and a powerful battery that’ll give you 8 hours of playback off of a single charge.
These buds produce crisp sound while amping up the bass. But that sound quality doesn’t come at the cost of comfort. Not only did the pair fit snuggly (there are four sets of different ear tips to make sure they’ll sit frictionfree in your earholes) but the controls are intuitive and easy to work. The downside? All those perks come at a hefty price tag and the cost of precious battery life. R3 600, takealot.com
Definitely the best looking buds we tested, and the sound quality is top notch. However, the comfortable fit fails a bit when you start ramping up the intensity. At slower paces, they’ll stay glued in place. But start gunning it? Your tunes will cut out as these Bluetooth buds plummet. R1 320, webantics.com
E D ’N
Listen here – mixing music with your sprints will boost performance. Here are the newest wireless road-ready buds on the market The Descriptor
PHOTOGRAPH JAMES GARAGHTY
COMFORT SOUND DESIGN DURABILIT Y VALUE
COMFORT SOUND DESIGN DURABILIT Y VALUE
Built to withstand a beating, these headphones are bundled with a reversible armband to secure your phone on the tarmac and store your headphones when you’ve maxed out. On-ear buttons allow y you to wirelessly switch tracks, or hit pause when you’re taking a breather.
Light, non-intrusive and resilient, the JBLs are a perfect fit. "They never once felt like they were slipping out," commented one of our testers after a gruelling session on the tarmac. However, if you’re looking for an audio heavyweight, these cans leave a lot to be desired. While it hits the high notes, the bass tends to buckle out, leaving you without much oomph in the final stretch. R1 799, myistore.co.za
Decent sound quality and intuitive controls make this a solid set. But what really makes them stand out are the voice notifications regularly keeping track of battery levels and bluetooth connectivity. However, our testers noted this set never sat just right. Bottom line: they’re an awkward fit, but they look the part. R1 599, takealot.com
TIE THE KNOT CUT COSTS WITH A CABLE Wireless tech keeps you from getting tangled up, but it can be a hassle to keep charged. Need a reliable pair of corded cans? Sennheiser’s MX 686G Sport buds will stay hooked in and pump out crystal clear sound without draining your phone’s battery. R1 129, takealot.com
COMFORT SOUND DESIGN DUR ABILIT Y VALUE
COMFORT SOUND DESIGN DUR ABILIT Y VALUE
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA A 65
REALL LIFE SUCCESS STORY
Making a Clean Break Kyle Dunn taught himself how to eat better and train smarter to overcome obesity. Here are his hardearned lessons BY ARTHUR JONES PHOTOGRAPHS CAMERON MACDONALD
EGO. THAT’S THE ENEMY THAT KYLE
Dunn figured out early in his weightloss journey. He realised the best way to lose the bad weight, and to keep it off, was to recruit the best experts and to ask for help. As a varsity student, he used the same enquiring mind to research what he needed to do, and then he just started. One of the biggest changes for Dunn took place in the kitchen, which is like his second home. “I love being in the kitchen but I have shifted that passion into a healthy focus.” He knew it would be tough, especially in the beginning, but he stuck to it, and built up strength where he needed it most: in his mind. “I’ve learnt that you can thoroughly enjoy the healthy lifestyle. It’ll be tough for a bit but it becomes second nature and you won’t want to look back,” says Dunn. Read on for more of hiss advice.
AGE / HEIGHT T
22 / 1.92m LOCATION
Morningside, Joburg WEIGHT BEFO ORE
140kg WEIGHT AFTE ER
88kg TIME TO GOA AL
EZ-bar bicep curls place less pressure on your wrists, and target your forearms.
USE HIS MOVES: KYLE’S FITNESS FORMULA MUSCLE MOVE 1 / Deadlift
“I enjoy deadlifts because they don’t just target one specific area of muscle but all the major muscle groups. It activates your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and even your arms! I mostly use the assisted deadlift machine (Smith Machine) purely because I know I can keep my technique safe and solid when deadlifting at my max, which at the moment is 120kg.”
1 2 3 4 The Problem
“I’ve been overweight since I was about 12 years old. I was always the biggest in the class. It was an accumulation of things – like bad portion size, binge-eating and biscuits – but most of all, lack of self control when it came to food. It followed me from puberty, through high school and peaked at 19, when I was 140kg.” THE LESSON Like any bad habit, you need to break the routines and associations you have with unhealthy food to be able to follow a better eating plan. The first major step: start a daily food diary. Write down everything you eat and drink, and then get a dietician to define a custom eating plan for you with realistic changes.
“I realised I was unhappy in the body I created for myself. And I thought if I could damage my body like this, surely I can rectify it. Yes, it would take time – but I was adamant I could change with enough hard work and dedication. “However, admittedly, I needed help. Sadly, this realisation came at my heaviest. Nevertheless, I did my research and sought out a dietician: Karlien Duvenage of Shelly Meltzer & Associates.” THE LESSON Seek out the experts, and start your own fit family. First find a good dietician, then recruit a personal trainer. Also, ask your family and friends to help you achieve your goals – you need support.
“The first step: completely change what I consumed. I swapped white rice for wholewheat couscous, included more vegetables on my plate, cut out sugar, stayed away from fruit and opted for lean meat such as chicken breasts, ostrich and fish. “Then I started with 60 minutes on the elliptical, five days a week. Once I felt fitter, I knew strengthtraining was the way forward. Calvin Legodi took me under his wing and taught me that my mind will give up way before my body does. “My plan of three weight-training days and two cardio days became my routine.” THE LESSON Combine weights and cardio.
“For the first 3 months, I only focused on my diet and I lost 10kgs! The incorporation of cardio in my routine helped me lose an extra 20kgs in only nine months. “With weight training I lost another 20kgs and ended up with the muscle mass and muscle definition I’d been aiming for. The recognition of my weight loss from friends and family was incredibly flattering, but all that mattered was how I viewed myself in the mirror. Seeing the changes in myself? Priceless. “I’m stronger. Fitter. Leaner. And above all, I’m happier.” THE LESSON Your plan should change every few months to avoid plateauing.
MUSCLE MOVE 2 / EZ-Bar Curl
“I prefer using the EZ bar instead of a normal barbell for the curl exercise because of the angled grip. This takes away the strain on your wrists and elbows. The EZ bar not only engages the biceps, but targets your forearms and triceps too.” CARDIO / Mix It Up
“Every week, I switch my cardio routines up. One week I’ll focus on doing a 5km run in 30 minutes and interval sprints in the studio, another week I’ll aim to swim 1km. Another cardio element I use is spinning, where I’ll attend a few classes or go spinning myself. The reasons for changing up my cardio: 1. “My body doesn’t get used to the training I do.” 2. “This way, gym never becomes boring.” NUTRITION / Eat Clean
“Food played a pivotal role and I love being in the kitchen. I hate dull food, so even though I cut out all sugar, I still made sure all the meals I had were tasty and filling.”
FLIP TO P88 FOR MORE TIPS FROM OUR BELLYOFF ALLL STARS We want to hear your weight-loss and personal success stories! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 67
Muscle + Fitness
The New Science of Big Arms This routine from PT Tony Gentilcore uses mechanical drop sets, a method favoured by elite bodybuilders to hit every muscle in your arms from every angle DIRECTIONS Before you do this routine, you should be able to perform five pull-ups. That means you have the foundation you’ll need to get the most
1 Prime Your Pump
2 Feel the Burn
Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Curl the dumbbells toward your chest, twisting your palms so they face away from your body. Pause, and slowly lower the weights to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. WHY IT WORKS It targets the lower portion of your biceps. That helps push the peak of your biceps higher.
Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Curl the dumbbells toward your chest as far as you can without moving your upper arms. Pause, and slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. WHY IT WORKS It zeros in on the muscles between your elbows and wrists for thicker forearms.
3 Face the Fire Hold the dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing in. Curl the dumbbells toward your chest, twisting your palms so they face your body. Pause, and then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. WHY IT WORKS This exercise builds the primary muscles that make up your biceps – the guns you’ll be showing off all summer long. 68 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
4 Hold On for Dear Life Stand with your arms straight and hands on a racked barbell. Walk your feet back so your hands are supporting your weight, your body straight and at an angle. Bend your elbows to slowly lower your head toward the bar. Go until your head is slightly below the bar, and then slowly push back to the starting position. That’s 1 rep. WHY IT WORKS It hits your triceps – the biggest muscle in your arm – from a unique angle, spurring growth.
PHOTOGRAPHS BEN GOLDSTEIN
out of this workout. Do the exercises as a circuit – one exercise after the other – for 10 reps each, resting 20 seconds between exercises. Complete 3 to 5 circuits, resting 2 minutes between circuits. Use the workout as a finisher after your regular routine.
SEND BETTER SMOKE SIGNALS No matter how solid your relationship, you’ll never get away from everyday stress. But you can make sure it doesn’t burn the house down. Here’s how to stop fanning the flames BY PABLO SENNETT · PHOTOGRAPHS JONATHAN TAYLOR
THE THING WITH FRICTION
is, it causes heat, and fire, and big explosions. The logistics of living together with another human being make it almost impossible to avoid becoming irritated or arguing. A Pew Research study showed that only 10% of adults admitted to never arguing at all, while most of us do so several times each week. This is not necessarily a bad thing; allowing the sparks to fly once in a while breathes new life into a relationship and creates room for constructive change. But there are rules, of course – like never make it personal and don’t be mean – but who among us can say he has not sinned and lost it, just a little bit? So how do you keep your conflicts on the right side of constructive? Glad you asked. We’ll tell you.
The Bar She’s at home; you’re saying, just one more drink You met a few mates for a drink after work. Okay, maybe more than one. Next thing you know, she’s on the phone every couple minutes asking where you are. DE-ESCALATE The key to a relationship that goes the distance? Mutual trust. Without it, you’ll always be one spark away from tearing up your marriage register. “It’s difficult for any attempt to control your partner not to come off as demeaning or just plain paranoid,” says medical doctor, sexologist and resident MH sex and relationships advisor, Elna Rudolph. “Finding a balance between a healthy social life and not disregarding your partner’s feelings is crucial if you want the relationship to last.” It’s also a matter of practice – for her and you, too. Acknowledge that you understand how she feels, and remember, if it were the other way round, you’d probably be kicking down doors and breaking heads right about now. THEN ACT Find a quiet moment to discuss the issue. This is something that most couples have to negotiate, so take it easy on her and yourself; there’s no silver bullet that’ll solve everything in one go. Point out that it is good for the relationship in the long-term if you are both able to learn to live without each for short periods at a time, such as when you’re grabbing a drink with colleagues or she’s out with her pals. “A reallife social network is important for both of you, so the answer here isn’t to simply neglect your contacts,” says Rudolph. If you suppress your jealousy, or your anger about hers, it’ll simmer for a while before going boom. September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 71
She’s tired; you’re really, really not
She needs help; you’re just trying to chill
You fibbed; she found out
You’re in bed, the sheets are silky, the room’s heating up. We know where this is going, right? Then she says, “Goodnight.” At this point you’re not far away from pointing out how rarely she’s in the mood these days, and being accused right back of only thinking about sex. DE-ESCALATE Breathe, man! Stay calm, no matter how difficult. Allegations only end up saying, You’re bad, I’m better.” And no one needs that. THEN ACT “Nobody likes making a go for it and being turned down, and nobody likes feeling forced into it either. You have to communicate to make it work,” says Rudolph. “But a conversation about her libido not matching yours is not something to have between the sheets in the heat of the moment. Have it over a glass of wine when the hormones and emotions are under control.” If you feel she’s been a bit distant, ask her why – and if she says she’s really just tired, let her sleep and look forward to a well-rested lady in the morning. It is key to inflect everything with a pinch of humour. “Keep it light, but get help if it keeps causing conflict and you’re not finding solutions.”
Lambie’s just kicked off, and here comes the vacuum cleaner. Yup, housework sucks – and if you hate it, so does she. DE-ESCALATE Sitting in a simmer gets you nowhere, and blowing up takes you ten steps backwards. Don’t give us that “but I work longer hours” crap; that’s not helping anyone to actually get the housework done. The only thing worse than her having to nag at you is your whining back. THEN ACT Plot a pre-emptive strike. If you don’t already know – and chances are, you don’t – chat to her about what needs to be cleaned or sorted around the house on a regular basis, and by when, then get it done well ahead of the game. You could go one step further and draw up a roster to divide the labour, but remember to take on twice as many tasks as you assign to her – trust us, she’s doing a hundred things around your home you’ll never have to think about. And if, after all that, you’ve ticked all your boxes and she still needs help, get off your ass and wash those dishes, take out that garbage. It’s not rocket science.
Let us guess: you figured telling her the whole truth would just lead to a long debate, and all of a sudden “I’m working late” became catching the rugger with guys you hardly know in a bar you don’t remember. DE-ESCALATE Admit to everything. She’s not angry you spent the evening drinking seven shots for every seven-pointer, she’s angry that you lied about it. You see, lying is bad. It hints at a pattern – the easier it is for you to do, the louder the alarm bells in her head. So confess, openly and unapologetically. You can’t move past it until you’re being honest. THEN ACT Now explain yourself. Describing your reasons for lying, even by omission, will go a long way in establishing a foundation for a constructive conversation. You might even be surprised by your own motivations. “People lie either to gain an advantage or to protect themselves against some kind of negative response,” says Rudolph. “By grilling you she is trying to understand how your mind works, not punish you – so be open with her. Look for the cause together and you’re more likely to find solutions.”
Pump Up Your Performance Men’s Health and Filtr have put together a 3-hour 3 hou po power e workout o kout playlist – add it to your music library and start tuning up for your new PB! Start here... APPLE MUSIC 1/ Open Apple Music on your desktop or iOS/Android device. 2/ Open the New tab. 3/ In the Search bar search for the Men’s Health Transformation playlist. 4/ Open the Men’s Health Transformation playlist under Top Results. 5/ Add the Men’s Health Transformation playlist to your Music Library.
DEEZER 1/ Open Deezer on your desktop or iOS/Android device. 2/ In the Search bar search for the Men’s Health Transformation playlist. 3/ Under Search Results navigate to the Playlists tab. 4/ Open the Men’s Health Transformation playlist. 5/ Add the Men’s Health Transformation playlist to your Music Library.
GOLDEN RULES FOR
No one loves paying for stuff
“So, how does this look?”
You shared a great dinner, the steak was perfect, that red wine is your new favourite. Nothing spoils a happy occasion quite like quibbling over the bill. DE-ESCALATE If you really don’t feel you should pay, or at least without her making some kind of effort to grab that bill away from you, fine. But don’t make it the waiter’s problem. Pay up immediately and remind yourself to bring it up later. Fighting in public is a major betrayal that won’t win you any favours. THEN ACT At some point in every relationship, money becomes an issue. Don’t think you’ve somehow cracked the code – give yourselves some time to figure out your different approaches to spending and saving, and how to work together in making all that money work for your shared objectives. (Such time is not while you’re still in the damn restaurant.) Discuss the option of opening a joint account that you both share – an account separate from both yours and hers, that you both contribute towards and you both have access to. That way, you’ll be independent and equal, and learning how each of you thinks about money.
You get home late, your mind still decompressing from a long, stressful day’s work, and you get sandbagged as you walk in the door. “Look honey – I was at the hairdresser today!” Do not ever underestimate the potential of this moment to cause some serious conflict. DE-ESCALATE Most guys aren’t aware of what they like until they see it. Chances are, you liked her hair just fine the way it was when you first met her, and little tweaks here and there are all good. A radical cut, on the other hand, could go either way. Don’t let it! THEN ACT Rein in the shock and go with “I love it!” Yes – even if you don’t, and no, it’s not being dishonest. “Avoid criticism – it won’t make her hair grow back any faster,” says Rudolph. “She’s probably a little uncertain, so go easy and don’t go making her feel bad about herself.” In a few days she might mention that she’s not sure it’s really her thing, after all, and that she might go back to what she had before… at that point, and only that point, should you pipe up with, “Well, I don’t want to seem shallow, but I’ve always loved your hair the way it was.”
G R E AT E R HARMONY
Elna Rudolph’s three-step guide for a healthier, longer relationship: 1. BE FAIR Don’t blame anyone. That means you, and especially her. It’ll only lead to a spiral of accusations, back-and-forth until you’re both sick of each other. 2. STAY CALM Don’t get loud. Having a disagreement while remaining calm and composed is the sign of a well-adjusted adult – shouting and swearing is evidence of immaturity and a lack of empathy. 3. RECONCILE No matter how bad it gets, do not hold onto resentment. If you have to let an argument sit while you think it through, leave it for no longer than a day. Go to bed at peace.
Girl Next Door Sex, dating, love and lust. Amelia Frenkel will now take your questions Maybe she’s had a cheating ex. Who knows? If you care, the reason shouldn’t matter; making her feel secure and content should. Because right now, your behaviour is saying that you care more about the attention of a stranger – or worse – her friends, than her feelings. Hey, flirting’s fun, but if the chase is what you’re after, then maybe you shouldn’t be in a relationship. Man up: don’t make alcohol your excuse. The issue is, the more you drink, the more “unconscious” you become. And if your barriers are down, who’s to say things won’t go too far?
My yg girlfriend has a tattoo that she shares with an ex. I’m trying y g not to be jealous, j , but it’s impossible. p How do I handle it? You’re going to have to get over it. Everyone has a history, hers is just inked on her skin. She’s been honest with you; say something and she’ll feel self-conscious and judged every time it’s exposed. I reckon she has regrets of her own, but she’s moved on, and you need to as well. 74 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
My buddy’s girl is pregnant. She wants to go through with it; he insists it’s not the right time. What’s his move? No comment. This is an incredibly personal decision, one that has nothing to do with you. Besides the fact that legally he has no “move”, he can’t force her to do anything. Support your friend, but stay out of it.
Is there ever a right answer to “do you think I’ve put on weight”? There’s a meme that my girlfriends sent around, and it goes: “If a woman asks if she’s fat, it’s not enough to say no. You must always act very
surprised by the question. Jump backwards if necessary.” You need to know that 1. women’s bodies fluctuate thanks to hormones, and 2. when she’s asking the question – likely after zipping into her favourite jeans that feel a little snug – she’s probably feeling uncomfortable/vulnerable/insecure, so her reaction to your sincere objectivity may seem disproportionate. Go with, “no, you look gorgeous,” because her confidence is worth more than a number on a scale. Also note: love chub (the weight you gain in a happy relationship) is rea, so motivate each other, get active and compliment her without her having to hint.
How long should I wait to get in touch after she’s given me her number? Quick question: how much of the hunt was just to see whether you could get her number, or are you actually into her? Because if you really like her, then don’t waste time playing games. And if you’re not really sure, then don’t waste her time playing games either. If it’s the former, send a SMS/Whatsapp within 24 hours saying how nice it was to meet her (go easy on the Emojis) and that you’d like to see her again. Once she’s replied in the affirmative, do a crazy thing: call her. Around lunchtime, late afternoon or early evening are good times. In the time of snaps, texts and tweets, you’ll stand out.
63% The number of varsity guys who received oral sex during their last hook-up, according to a Canadian survey. Be that lucky...
1/ Never ask “Can I have a BJ?” is the least arousing question ever. Instead, hint. Talk about how hot she is. Sex therapist Ian Kerner suggests framing your desires in fantasy form. Share those daydreams you have of her passionately going down on you. 2/ Make a deal In your dreams, you return the favour; make sure she knows you’re eager to do that in real life. “Oral should be reciprocal,” says Kerner. “Many women struggle with the double standard of being expected to provide a fellatio appetiser and making do with an intercourse entrée.” 3/ Hop in the shower Women in Kerner’s surr veys value a clean penis more than a big one. So yeah, a couples shower may set the right tone. If she doesn’t take the hint, move to the bed and kiss your way down her body, subtly sliding into the 69 position. Because, you know, reciprocity. But do t use tthat don’t at word. o d.
P H O T O G R A P H S S E A N L A U R E N Z ( P O R T R A I T ) , G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
The more I drink, the more I flirt. But I’m not a cheater – like, ever. So why does my girlfriend treat me like one?
Food Nutrition Use Your Noodles Three smart ways to dress up your carbs PHOTOGRAPHS SAM KAPLAN
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR MIDDAY
meal. It’s easy: just set aside 15 minutes on a work night to prepare one of these make-ahead meatand-noodle bowls. They taste far better than anything from a styrofoam container and are way better for you. And if you’re chowing down after a noontime workout, know that each recipe delivers more than enough protein for muscle recovery and growth. Plus, these lunches taste just as good chilled as they do reheated. So nuke your noodle bowl if you’re craving something hot, but when the microwave queue at the office looks like the line outside a Bieber concert, you’ll enjoy slurping the noodles cold too.
HOLY SH!T KITCHEN TRICK
Give Zoodles a Twirl Some stores sell precut packaged zucchini noodles. Or cut your own with the tabletop Gefu Spirelli Julienne Slicer (R350, yuppiechef.com). You can also make super thin zucchini slices with a sharp knife.
Food + Nutrition
Creamy Peanut Noodles with Shredded Chicken WHAT YOU’LL NEED 3 TBSP CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER 2 TBSP LOW-SODIUM SOY SAUCE 1 TBSP LIME JUICE 1 TSP SRIRACHA 1 TSP DARK BROWN SUGAR 1 TSP TOASTED SESAME OIL 110G WHOLEWHEAT SPAGHETTI, COOKED (RESERVE ¼ CUP COOKING WATER) 2 CUPS SHREDDED ROTISSERIE CHICKEN 4 SPRING ONIONS, THINLY SLICED RED-PEPPER FLAKES (OPTIONAL)
HOW TO MAKE IT
In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sriracha, sugar, sesame oil and at least 2 Tbsp cooking water. Add the noodles and toss until well coated. Toss in the chicken and half the scallions. Divide between two bowls and top with the remaining scallions and some red-pepper flakes if you want. Makes 2 servings
HOLY SH!T KITCHEN TRICK
Cook Pasta Fast Big pots of water take a long time to boil. Speed the process: Grab a big pan, add about an inch of water and a hit of salt, and bring it to a boil. Add the pasta; cook until al dente.
Per serving 2 620 kJ, 59g protein, 54g carbs (9g ﬁbre), 20g fat
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto, Shrimp and Chickpeas HOW TO MAKE IT
In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, cheese, almonds, garlic, and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse to finely chop. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until a thick paste forms. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl; add salt and pepper to taste, and more lemon juice if needed. Add the zucchini noodles, shrimp, and chickpeas. Gently toss to coat. Makes 2 servings Per serving 2 800 kJ, 44g protein, 36g carbs (9g ﬁbre), 40g fat 78 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
WHAT YOU’LL NEED 2 CUPS PACKED FRESH BASIL LEAVES ¼ CUP COARSELY GRATED PARMESAN 2 TBSP ALMONDS 1 CLOVE GARLIC 1 TSP FRESH LEMON JUICE ¼ CUP OLIVE OIL 2 MED ZUCCHINI, SPIRALISED (OR 6 CUPS PRECUT ZUCCHINI NOODLES) 225G COOKED SHRIMP 1 CAN CHICKPEAS, RINSED
Sun-Dried Tomato Cavatappi with Grilled Stir-Fry Beef
WHAT YOU’LL NEED ½ CUP SUNDRIED TOMATOES IN OLIVE OIL 1 CLOVE GARLIC
HOW TO MAKE IT
In a food processor or blender, pulse the tomatoes and garlic. Add the herbs and vinegar. Pulse until combined. Toss the warm pasta with ¾ of the sauce, adding cooking water to thin if needed. Heat a grill or grill pan on medium. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Grill to medium, about 4 minutes a side. Transfer to a cutting board and top with remaining sauce; let rest 5 minutes. Slice; serve on the pasta, with parm. Makes 2 servings Per serving 2 130 kJ, 33g protein, 49g carbs (4g ﬁbre), 21g fat
¼ CUP FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY, CHOPPED 2 TBSP BASIL LEAVES, CHOPPED 2 TSP RED WINE VINEGAR 100G MACARONI, COOKED (RESERVE ½ CUP COOKING WATER) 225G STIR-FRY BEEF PARMESAN FOR GARNISH
Food + Nutrition Fast-food rule no.1: lose the sides, focus on macro ratios
FAST FOODIE YOUR THREE GO-TO MEALS AT STEERS GOOD /
The Prince Beef Burger or Steer Burger come out tops with a decent dose of protein, a nice ratio of protein to carbohydrate, plus moderate fat and salt levels. Add a salad if it won’t fill you on its own.
Menu Decoder: Steers
A quarter chicken and green salad (pictured) will give you 40g of protein in just 1 800 kJ: space to round it off with the occasional side of regular chips or a frozen yoghurt on the way home. Better yet, finish it with that fruit salad and yoghurt you packed for lunch.
Feel like takeout without the guilt trip? Yes, it is possible to enjoy the convenience of fast food without flame-grilling your gains BY ADRIAN PENZHORN • PHOTOGRAPH JAMES GARAGHTY
1 2 3 4 5
Kill the Combos
Put Sauce on the Side
Run Your Own Numbers
Beware Unnecessary kJs
Keep Salt to a Single Serving
A large King Steer combo meal provides almost a full day’s recommended energy intake for most guys – so upsizing on top of that is just unnecessary. A side of chips and drink adds 1 500 kJ to your meal – or up to 3 200 kJ when you upsize. Stay strong when the cashier recommends the combo.
Sauces add extra (mostly unnecessary) kilojoules and salt, neither of which is ideal – but some of them are also sources of MSG, tartrazine, sulphites, soya and some common allergens too. Ask for yours on the side, and use it as a dip – and for best results, stick to tomato or chilli.
On the face of it, the Better For You options seem legit: swapping your drinks for water, or choosing a green salad instead of greasy chips, these are great choices. Just be aware that half a chicken is going to match the kilojoules and fat of a King Steer Burger – so it’s not necessarily better for you.
If you think that by skipping the meat you’re skimping on cost and kilojoules, wait up. Veggie burgers provide a very similar kilojoule and fat content – plus a lot more carbs and salt, and less protein – when compared to most of their chicken or beef counterparts.
The DRI for sodium is less than 2 400 mg/ day. Most specialty burgers provide between 50 to 100% of that. If salt is an issue in your health needs then tread carefully here – opt for the Prince Beef Burger or good old Steer Burger, both of which go easier on the stuff.
My Burger is the jackpot. If your local branch offers this option, take it every time. You can control your choice of protein and, more importantly, toppings and sauces. Our favourite formula: two chicken patties with lettuce, tomato, gherkins, red onion and jalapeno. Hold the sauce and add a green salad side for a complete meal.
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 79
Food +Nutrition Fast-food rule no.1: lose the sides, focus on macro ratios
For ffuelling F lli your worko orkouts or simply abetting the daily y grind, nd coffee and green tea have long battled to cla p. But which h shot is hotter? hic claim the victor’s cup. BY SCARLETT SCAR WRENC ENCH
Green Te Tea
Percentage staminaa boost enjoyed by coffee-drinkers during running and cycling time trials*
Grams of body fat bu urned by one cup of green tea, according g g to Dutch researc earch
Cost per day
Hitting your 400mg caffeine limit with ith a 4 4-cup French press can set you back as much ass R30 R30. (Assuming you go for the good stuff.)
Reaching yourr gre green-tea limit costs about R10, or 8 to 10 0 cup cups. Probably best not to drink them all at once. on Steep p impact im
Coffee’s high caffeine content triggers hormones such as adrenaline to deliver a short-term burst of energy. Use it as your pre-workout, 30min before the gym.
Tea contains natural relaxant l-theanine and less caffeine, for a smoother effect on energy. Use it for a late-afternoon boost that won’t disturb your sleep. Helpful for
Sunburn Sexual boost
Heart health Diabetes
Minerals: your java curbs the absorption of iron and calcium. Down it at least an hour before lunch. And don’t use it to wash down supps.
Carbohydrates: tea can’t quite flush out a bread binge, but its polyphenols help stabilise blood sugar by increasing insulin activity in fat cells. Hipster points
Cold-brew coffee: the latest in coffee-shop trends will score you big hipster points, with an 86% Google search increase since January 2015.
THE MH H VERDICT:
Matcha latte: matcha just squeaks this point, up 90% in the search stakes. Plus it’s infinitely more ’grammable than a mug of boiled leaves.
Green tea wins! For a quick pick-me-up or pre-workout jolt, Joe will get the job done. But for proven health highs (weight-loss and disease prevention) without the caffeine comedown, green tea takes it. Your PB is in the bags.
80 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
P H O T O G R A P H S I S T O C K P H O T O A D D I T I O N A L R E P O R T I N G K A M A L PAT E L *SOURCE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, OBESITY REVIEWS
ZACH BITTER, AN ACCOMPLISHED
endurance athlete, sailed through the initial 55 kilometres of his first ultramarathon, the 90km North Face Endurance Challenge. He was energised and focused. Fifteen more miles – no sweat, he thought. But then came hill after hill, and by kay 65 Bitter was running on fumes and losing focus. He rounded a corner, started one more long, brutal climb... and bonked. He cursed himself and the race route as he staggered into one of the last aid stations. Soda and sports drinks propped him up the rest of the way towards a less-thansmooth finish. Bitter competed in more ultras, but they always ended the same way: he’d cruise his first 50 to 60km and then inevitably reach a point in the race that left him feeling lightheaded and irritable, and struggling to push forward at an even pace. In search of a solution, he scrutinised every aspect of his training and nutrition plan. He did research and asked questions. Then he made a pretty radical change: he axed a ton of carbs from his diet, slashed his protein intake, and ate a lot more fat. After eight weeks on the plan, Bitter’s training intensified and his recovery times fell. In his next race, he didn’t bonk. Soon after, in 2012, he won four ultramarathons. Then, in 2013, Bitter broke the US 100mile record with a time of 11:47:21. Two years later he smashed his own record, with a 100-mile time of 11:40:55. That’s under 4.5 minutes/km – for 161 consecutive kilometres.
The New Endurance Fuel
Some elite athletes are conquering their 100th km with the same intensity they brought to the first. Their secret? Foods they were told to avoid BY BRETT ISRAEL 82 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S , L E V I B R O W N
BITTER’S EATING PLAN IS CALLED
a ketogenic diet: low-carb, high-fat and moderate protein. It’s not for the faint off heart, and even though it goes against years of “carbs are king” endurance dogma, it’s gaining traction with some elite endurance athletes, who say it helps them go harder for longer and feel just as good at the back end of their ultra as they did at the start. How could such a counterintuitive plan possibly work? Like this: with a typical diet, your body converts glucose (a type
of sugar) from the carbs you eat into glycogen. That glycogen is stored in your liver and muscles, where it’s a fast fuel for hard exercise. Unfortunately, however, your body can store only enough glycogen for about two hours of intense exercise. If you do only short events, that’s fine. But if you’re a distance junkie – you prefer Ironmans to sprint triathlons – it’s a problem. Once you hit hour two without refuelling, your glycogen stores are tapped and your body searches for energy elsewhere. Finding nothing, it crashes. To prevent this, you pound gels, drinks and energy bars as you run, ride or swim to keep glycogen stores high. Eating enough carbs to thwart bonking during an endurance event is impractical if not impossible. The ketogenic diet works by replacing carbohydrates with fat as the primary fuel source. When you shun carbs and limit protein, your body enters a state called ketosis. Eventually it becomes “fat adapted” and resorts to running on fat instead of sugars. That’ss ideal
for long endurance events, where access to food is a limiting factor – including big wall climbing and mountaineering – because once your body is done burning the fat you eat, it starts to burn the fat on your frame. Even if you’re lean, you have enough body fat to fuel nearly any distance race, which is why you won’t bonk. THE EVIDENCE SUGGESTS THAT
the body adapts. In research from Ohio State, elite ultramarathoners and Ironman distance triathletes who consumed very few carbs burned more than twice as much fat during prolonged exercise as high-carb athletes did. “At a very high level, where the smallest edge can mean victory, I’d bet on a ketogenic endurance athlete,” says nutrition expert Mike Roussell, author of The 6 Pillars of Nutrition. The catch: the diet is pretty demanding. About 80% of your kilojoules come from fat, 15% from protein and as little as 5% from carbs. If you eat 10 000 kilojoules (2 500 calories) a day, that’s 220
“When a triathlete limits carbs and protein, the body learns to power itself on fat, not sugar.” grams of fat, 90 grams of protein and 40 grams of carbs. That’s a lot of eggs, butter, avocados and nuts. And you have to eat like this for weeks. While your body can become fully adapted to burning fat as fuel in four weeks, Roussell advises endurance athletes to follow the diet for eight weeks or longer before competing. According to Roussell, no credible science opposes the diet from a health perspective. However, not everyone’s biochemistry is suited for ketosis. When you’re first forcing your body into ketosis, you might come down with “keto flu,” with symptoms that include fatigue, brain fog and possibly irritability. And if you follow the diet haphazardly, you
may become deficient in certain nutrients. Unless you’re chasing some seriously epic distances, this may be more trouble than it’s worth, and some scientists are still skeptical. “I haven’t yet seen evidence that the ketogenic diet provides a superior approach,” says Louise Burke of the Australian Sports Commission. But some athletes swear by it. “I believe a ketogenic diet has allowed me to train harder,” Bitter says. Since he started using the keto diet, he says he hasn’t had that “emotional roller coaster” feeling where his body feels like it’s shutting down on him. For endurance athletes, that’s the difference between bonking and breaking the tape.
A DAY OF EATING ON THE ENDURANCE DIET MOST MEALS INCLUDE A MODERATE SERVING OF PROTEIN (WITH EXTRA OIL OR BUTTER) PLUS A FIBRERICH VEGETABLE LIKE SPINACH OR ASPARAGUS. FOR SNACKS, GO WITH FULL-FAT DAIRY AND NUTS BREAKFAST
4 eggs, ½ avocado, 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil LUNCH
Baked salmon with 1 Tbsp olive oil; asparagus with 1 to 2 Tbsp butter DINNER
80% lean ground beef burger (no bun) topped with ¼ cup kimchi; spinach sautéed with 2 Tbsp sesame oil
It Enhances Weight Loss Compared with other diets, a ketogenic plan may help you lose more fat faster, clinical trials suggest. This may be especially true for people with prediabetes or diabetes.
It Helps Fight Cancer In a preliminary study in the journal Nutrition, the ketogenic diet seemed to slow the growth of certain cancers in patients with the highest levels of ketosis.
It Improves Your Memory SNACK
50g macadamia nuts and ½ cup raspberries
Older people at risk for Alzheimer’s showed memory improvements after eating keto for six weeks, a study in Neurobiology of Ageing g found.
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 83
Is that Thing You Love Killing You?
Lately, everything from sitting down to what you put in your coffee is being called “the new smoking”. But is the buzz-term ever justified? Our experts trawled the annals of science to find out which habits aren’t worth breaking, and which you should cut out BY JOE MADDEN • ILLUSTRATIONS WERNER VILN
THE STORY Addictive, neverending notifications are making us antisocial, app-lobotomised Pokémon-chasing iZombies. THE SOURCE Googling “are smartphones bad for you?” gets 33 million results, most of which answer so affirmatively you’ll be tempted to smash yours against the wall. In terms of negative coverage, they’re right up there with ISIS and the Kardashians. According to the papers: smartphone use in bed suppresses melatonin, damaging sleep patterns; an obsession with checking your screen can ruin your sex life; mobile-addicted teens suffer anxiety during lulls in notifications; global rates of myopia have soared in recent years; kids ignored by smartphoneglued parents miss out on key developmental interactions; and all that hunching-over is bad for your neck and back. And having the fact-checking resources of the Internet at your fingertips all day long will make you mentally lazy, too. THE FACTS A 2015 study conducted on 319 students shows a clear link between smartphone overuse and depression, anxiety and/or reduced sleep quality. “However,” says neuroscientist Nicola Ray of Manchester Metropolitan University, “whether smartphone overuse causes these things – or is a result of them – is up for debate.”
THE STORY Like a delicious, sizzling Brutus, everyone’s beloved breakfast protein has betrayed you, with just two rashers of the stuff increasing your chances of colorectal cancer by 18%. THE SOURCE Last year, the WHO suggested bacon classify as “probably carcinogenic to humans”: the same category as asbestos and cigarettes. The thinking is that heme iron found in red meat breaks down into carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the digestive tract. Throw that bacon roll in a bin, then throw that bin in a wheelie bin. THE FACTS You wouldn’t tuck into a Bensons-and-asbestos sarmie, so bacon is now firmly off the menu, right? “Absolutely not,” says dietitian Priya Tew. “This was a particularly acute case of media hype, based on an unfinished, one-and-a-half page document that contained no new evidence, merely a reframing of evidence from the last 20 years.” Retrieve that bin! “What the report actually says is that there’s some evidence that if you eat large amounts of red meat (particularly processed red meat) then there could be a link to cancer. We’ve known that for decades, so it’s nothing new.” Unless you’re ravenously, dementedly carnivorous, the safe-side limits are pretty reasonable. “You can eat three rashers of bacon a day and have red meat as a main meal twice a week without any problems,” Tew assures us. Get stuck in.
THE STORY Grounds of the good stuff have made twitchy crackheads of us all: as well as twisting up your brain in the exact same way as cocaine, coffee can lead to cancer and heart disease. THE SOURCE Since 1966 at least 21 studies have been undertaken on a potential link between coffee and coronary heart disease. Other studies claimed to find a causal link between coffee drinking and lung cancer. THE FACTS Most studies that earned coffee its notoriety have been widely disregarded, because (as pointed out in a 2014 meta-analysis by Harvard School of Health’s Dr Rob van Dam) they failed to take into account their subjects’ other unhealthy lifestyle choices. “It’s perfectly safe to drink up to four cups of coffee a day,” says Tew. “In fact, there’s a clear benefit, as coffee contains antioxidants that help fight cancer.” New studies have shown that coffee may protect against diabetes, liver disease, gallstones, Parkinson’s and depression – and (shock!) improve cognitive function. As for caffeine’s drug-like grip on your brain, don’t book into rehab just yet. “Coffee is definitely addictive,” says Dr Ray. “It’s a psycho-stimulant that blocks the same receptors as cocaine, reinforcing addictive behaviour. The difference is that cocaine is highly toxic and coffee isn’t.”
THE STORY Artificial sweeteners were supposed to rescue us from the deadly threat of sugar, but all they’ve really done is give us multiple sclerosis, brain tumours, blindness, mental-health issues and even seizures. THE SOURCE Saccharin, the first artificial sweetener, was discovered by accident in 1879 by a research scientist working on coal tar derivatives. Sugar shortages during WWI saw it become commercially available, widespread and instantly controversial. Since then, studies claim to have found links between sweeteners and type 2 diabetes, insulin spikes, dizziness, vomiting, low birth weight, seizures, low blood pressure and cancer. Aspartame has a particularly bad rep: it was dropped from Diet Pepsi in the US last year after customers’ concerns over its supposed links to multiple sclerosis, lupus and blindness caused a significant dent in the soda’s sales. THE FACTS “When you look at the research, sweeteners have been repeatedly cleared as being perfectly safe for consumption,” says Tew. In fact, according to the results of the European Food Safety Authority’s 2013 investigation, even aspartame is safe, breaking down into less harmful by-products as soon as it enters our system.
ARE SMARTPHONES THE NEW SMOKING? Quite possibly, if you
use them too much – but have you seen what the world looks like without an Instagram filter? DANGER RANKING
IS COFFEE THE NEW SMOKING?
ARE SWEETENERS THE NEW
Nope. Not even smoked bacon.
Unless you’re working through a buy-10-get-one-free loyalty card every few days, you should be in the clear.
SMOKING? A low-kilojoule content means they’re better for your weight (and that award-winning smile) than evil sugar.
IS BACON THE NEW SMOKING?
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 85
Health + Wellness
Trans Fatty Acids
THE STORY We now spend half our lives slumped in a chair. The idle muscles and sluggish blood flow that result can lead to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even reduced brain function. THE SOURCE This story rocketed into the mainstream last year when Apple CEO Tim Cook declared: “Sitting is the new cancer.” His solution: the soonto-be-launched Apple Watch would rescue us all from our fatassed fate. Phew! THE FACTS Pins and needles aside, sitting for extended periods adversely impacts the body’s metabolism, increasing levels of unhealthy fats, such as triglycerides, and decreasing levels of HDL cholesterol. A study of sitting’s health risks was conducted on 92 000 people over 12 years. Subjects who spent more than 11 hours a day sitting were 21% more likely to die of cancer and 27% more likely to die of heart disease than those who sat for four hours or less. A particular correlation has been noted with TV viewing. Thanks for being fatally addictive, House of Cards. Fortunately, the solution is simple: walk on your lunch break, don’t skip the gym and put a limit on those evening Netflix binges. And maybe invest in a heartratemonitor-enabled fitness tracker. It’ll drive you move more than you did yesterday and help you keep an eye on your heart rate too.
THE STORY Trans fats are pure poison, hiding in nearly everything sweet and cramming your poor arteries full of heart-exploding fatty plaque. THE SOURCE Trans fats – a.k.a. Industrially Processed-Trans Fatty Acids – have been a talking point all over the world since 2006, when New York’s health board banned them in eateries due to concerns over their heart attack-causing properties. (The US FDA has since announced a country-wide ban to come into effect in 2017.) THE FACTS “Trans fats are formed when oil is put through a process called hydrogenation, making the oil more solid,” explains Dr Justin Varney of Public Health England. “It can then be used in processed foods like biscuits. But the evidence is clear that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease and blood cholesterol levels.” Panic not, though – you’ll have to search ingredient lists long and hard to find them this side of the Atlantic. The SA Department of Health declared in 2013 that the use of artificial trans fats is limited to a maximum of 2% across all foods. Cansa even went so far as to compare 40 local margarine brands, and found that not one of them exceeded that amount. (To be extra safe they suggest you look for margarine with a low omega-6/ omega-3 fatty acid ratio, as several studies show that a ratio of around 2.0 has anti-cancer effects.)
THE STORY Sugar is as addictive as meth, cheaper than chips and the number-one contributor to the global obesity epidemic. THE SOURCE The public’s prodigious sugar consumption has been a newspaper mainstay for years, hand-in-hand with reports of what the sweet stuff is doing to our innards: high blood pressure, liver damage, heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, apocalyptic teeth... Then there are the tales of sugar’s evil moreishness. One startling study found that lab rats would choose sugar over cocaine – even when they were already addicted to cocaine. THE FACTS When it comes to sugar, in this case, you can believe the hype – within reason. “Too much sugar in the diet means too many kilojoules, which leads to weight gain,” says Dr Varney. “That makes you more prone to developing life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.” But it’s not all bad. “There’s no evidence to suggest we should remove sugar from our diet,” Dr Varney continues. “We needn’t worry about the sugars found in dairy, fruit and vegetables, but we need to cut down on added sugars, as well as the sugars contained in honey, syrups and fruit juice – known as free sugars. Adults should be consuming no more than 30g of free sugars a day.” Bad news for your meal deal: that’s roughly one Mars Bar or a 330ml glass of orange juice per day. IS SUGAR THE NEW SMOKING? It looks like it, unfortunately. It may also be the new crack. DANGER RANKING
IS SITTING THE NEW SMOKING?
ARE TRANS FATS THE NEW
Not quite. Sit down while smoking, however, and you’re really living dangerously.
SMOKING? Technically, yes, but in the enlightened times of 2016 you’ve little to fear.
THE STORY Where there’s smoke... The e-cigs thing turned out to be too good to be true, with their flavour-enhancing aldehydes attacking your respiratory system – making e-cigs just as lethal as the cancer sticks they were supposed to save us from. THE SOURCE Initial mistrust turned to grudging acceptance as medical experts came out in support of vaping as an alternative to smoking. Then, in an article in the British Medical Journal last September, Professors Martin McKee and Simon Capewell argued that vaping’s benefits had been oversold by parties with vested interests. And so, once again, vaping received the suspicious side-eye: Sanlam’s chief medical advisor Dr Pieter Coetzer announced that the insurance company would still charge its customers smokers’ rates if they declared their vaping habit, and a SA Medical Journal article declared that the risks of vaping far outweigh any perceived benefit. THE FACTS “Inhaling anything that’s not supposed to be in your lungs will cause damage,” says lung expert Professor Robert West of UCL. “But on a scale of zero to 100, if zero is breathing in fresh sea air, and 100 is smoking a cigarette, then vaping is around five.” Safe-ish it may be, but vaping won’t nix your habit. “Vaping is every bit as addictive as smoking,” says Dr Ray. “The benefit is that you’re not also ingesting tar and other chemicals used in cigarettes.” IS VAPING THE NEW SMOKING? Not really. Unless you’re a smoker, in which case it probably should be.
86 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Health + Wellness
SLEEPER HITS EDGE OUT INSOMNIA WITH THESE FREE APPS iOS + ANDROID /
Relax Melodies The trick to a good night’s rest? Getting yourself to chill out. This app lets you play doze-off DJ, allowing you to mix together 64 different ambient melodies to create a sound that hits all the right notes in your head. It’s like a lullaby for adults and beats asking your partner for an awkward rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. ANDROID /
What Happens When You Lose Sleep? If you don’t snooze, you’ll lose. Use these strategies to triumph in World War ZZZ – and you can avoid a full-scale health nightmare
1 2 3 4 5
Binge On Sleep
Beat Fat in Bed
Doze Up on HGH
Face the Facts
Book-ending a long workday with a gym class and a Netflix marathon can result in you going without sleep for up to 20 hours. For your brain, it’s akin to being over the drink-driving limit, warns Guy Leschziner of the Sleep Disorders Centre. Tuck in just two hours earlier to hit the recommended minimum for sleepinduced sobriety.
Logging five hours or less raises your risk of obesity by 15%, reports a US study. Fluctuations in ghrelin and leptin, hormones that regulate metabolism and appetite, are to blame, says Leschziner. Freeze them out by setting the thermostat below 18°: it triggers “non-shivering thermogenesis” for overnight weightloss.
People who get only five hours of sleep typically have an increase in cardiovascular disease and can become insulin resistant, according to Professor Adrian Williams of the London Sleep Centre. Work to blame? Walk away. No, don’t quit: a study found walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week, can prevent and reverse insulin resistance.
While there are proven ways to marginally increase your human growth hormone (heavy squats, for example) 60-70% of your HGH – responsible for everything from metabolism to hair growth – is produced during sleep. Moreover, a Harvard study linked insufficient sleep to less efficient production. No way around this one, chaps.
Your body also uses sleep to eliminate toxins from the skin, says Sleep School founder Guy Meadows. People who skimp on sleep take 30% longer for their skin to recover after a hard day, reports the University Hospitals Case Medical Centre. Cleanse, then apply a quality moisturiser – just don’t let the midnight oil spill over onto your face.
Twilight Your smartphone is sucking up precious hours of shuteye, and not because of Twitter. The culprit: blue light. The American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health says that exposure to excessive gleam can tank your chances of a decent night’s sleep. The solution? This app slowly drains the colour from your screen, fading out harsh blues to dim reds by the end of the day, stimulating the part of you that wants to sleep, and not the part that wants to stay up and disappear down the Youtube rabbit hole. iOS + ANDROID /
SleepBot Your alarm clock doesn’t give a damn. That mechanical pest sits and wails, screeching until you can be bothered to hit snooze. SleepBot does away with morning torture, studying your sleep patterns and using the data to wake you up at the right time.
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 87
THE BEST OF
2016 The old, the new, and the up-and-comers... p These are the guys g y who turned their lives around, switching g dad bods for deadlifts. It’s time to learn from the best
BY KIERA N LEG G & ROSS A FRIC A
Roché Kilian 24, PORT ELIZABETH
A penchant for takeaways and hours spent browsing in the office chair turned this once lean and chiselled teen into a sloppy mess. When Kilian realised it was time to make a change, his first stop was the Internet. “Google knows everything,” he laughs. “But all those basics were things that I already knew too. I spoke to friends who had lost weight before and they pointed me towards the Banting diet,” he says. Within a month he was down 5kg and getting ready to build some definition. His lesson: rope in the real weight-loss veterans. Those guys have burned through their baggage and are eager to help you do the same.
LOST 10KG IN 4 MONTHS
LOST 35KG IN 24 MONTHS
Xola Magwaza After his asthma diagnosis Xola was forced to give up on his dreams of becoming a pro soccer player. He went from kicker to couch potato, packing on 33% body fat in the process. He was able to burn through the excess weight and come out stronger on the other side. His secret weapon? He called the professionals. “My dietician made a plan that suited my needs and lifestyle. I gave up junk food and started lifting and exercising.” The lesson: it’s not just about what you eat, it’s about when you eat it. With the help of his dietician Xola was able to plot out when to tuck in to maximise every macro.
Gersen Govender 36, DURBAN LOST
The numbers do in fact matter. Don’t believe us? Gersen was able to shred through the weight by weighing-in, tallying up and adjusting his diet and workout plan based on the digits. His lesson: “Keep track of your progress no matter the result.” Even if you slip up, it’s important to know why. Reevaluate your methods and stick doggedly to your better habits.
Jairus Thomas 22, AMANZIMTOTI LOST
Going in guns blazing could smoke you out. It’s one of the first lessons Jairus learnt when he began his weight-loss journey. “Overtraining is as unproductive as not training at all and could potentially reach a stage where you muscles are being broken down and not given enough time to heal or become stronger yep, you’ll lose muscle mass,” he says. The lesson: change up your routine regularly as this will keep your fibres guessing and save you from reaching a premature plateau.
PHOTOGRAPH ALEXIS FOTIADIS
LOST 65KG IN 11 MONTHS
Shaun Ringler 35, PRETORIA LOST
Kabelo Mogapaesi 29, BOTSWANA LOST
Shaun Knoetze 35, PORT ELIZABETH
Ex-military man Shaun Knoetze lost the battlefield body when he moved into the boardroom. At the age of 34 he’d gone from a streamlined 79 to a cinderblock 148. But it all changed when he noticed the fittest guys in the office used their lunch breaks to squeeze in a group run. Minutes later, he was signed up. The lesson: hold yourself accountable. “After making the commitment to join my colleagues I defined my objectives.” From there it was all about holding his own on the tarmac and shedding the pounds to make it possible. Your game plan: track down a race calendar and enter a marathon and start training.
Alex Diana 21, GLENWOOD
PHOTOGRAPH DIRK ERASMUS
“Going to gym can be intimidating. Focus on technique rather than worrying about power. You aren’t doing this for the other guys in the gym, so stop trying to Yazeed Jainodien look tough. Stick to 26, RONDEBOSCH just lifting the bar until LOST 15kg you’ve aced your form.”
Kevin Horstmann 31, JOHANNESBURG LOST
He was diagnosed with HIV but refused to let it be a death sentence. “My secret weapons were spinning and swimming,” says Shaun Ringler. Both exercises melt through kilojoules without taking it out on your joints. That’s a deal-clincher if you’re at a healthy weight, it’s vital if you’re a rocking a few extra kilos. Try weave 20 minutes of cycling into your routine. Go hard and you’ll burn through 800kJ calories in a single session.
Looking for motivation? Kabelo used to turn a blind eye to what he ate. In the end he felt sluggish and demotivated. Now, after losing 10kg of flab, the gym instructor is bagging the benefits. The lesson: envision where you’ll be. “Now I wake up feeling good. I kick those blankets off at 4am and hit the gym first thing in the morning.” All it takes is discipline and dedication.
Not a fan of the gym. Don’t worry. Alex is living proof that you don’t need to stick to training indoors to start melting away the flab. The lesson: there’s always somewhere and some time to work out. “The gym isn’t the be-all and end-all of a healthy lifestyle. Most people can’t find time for the gym every day, but what about skipping at home or going for a morning run? There’s no excuse. Do what fits your lifestyle.”
Kevin wants to set a personal best every time he trains. And it shows. But though he’s proud of his conquests in the gym, it’s in the kitchen where the war is being won. The lesson: “Experiment with new, different foods and flavours. Sure, you’re cutting kilojoules, but this way you can turn dieting into something you look forward to.”
6kg September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 91
26, CAPE TOWN
Drinking, smoking and junk food pushed this guy from overweight to overburdened. First step: cut out the bad habits. Then, realise there’s a lot more hard work ahead. His lesson: when your weight loss starts to flatline, it’s time add more exertion. “I had reached my plateau and had to start adding in an exercise routine. I started with walking and light jogging in the beginning. Within weeks, I was back on track,” he says.
LOST 121KG IN 4 YEARS
“It’s what Gary Player once said, and it’s true: keep food in its most natural state possible. Chowing down on processed grub will flood your body with nasty additives and unnecessary kilojoules. The lesson: it’s not a diet, it’s Willem van der Gryp a lifestyle change. Keep 33, PRETORIA the rules simple and it LOST 33kg will become easier.” 92 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Desmond Rieck 28, EAST LONDON LOST
He’d battled with losing weight his whole life – he would buckle down, put in the time at the gym and then get demotivated after his first weigh-in. His turning point? He decided to hold off stepping on the scale. “Otherwise I felt that if I didn’t lose weight as quickly as I expected, it would demotivate me and I’d give up too easily.” From there he developed his own body weight training routine and robust eating plan. By the time he weighed himself, he’d shaved off the kilos and was fired up to keep going. The lesson: manage your expectations, and don’t worry about the numbers when you’re starting off. If you start making healthy changes, the digits will follow.
PHOTOGRAPH CASEY CRAFFORD
Neil Carrick 42, CAPE TOWN LOST
Edohan Burger 34, VANDERBIJLPARK LOST
Malem Heymans 23, STELLENBOSCH LOST
Ryan Brauer 34, CAPE TOWN LOST
Neil had always been a big guy. And for as long as he was hauling around that extra weight, he’d wanted to lose it. But those fad diets never stuck, leaving him deflated and sending him further down the spiral of blubber building until he hit rock bottom – 158kg of rock bottom. And then he was desperate for his answer. The lesson: weigh your portion sizes. Eyeballing your meals is a quick way to swallow up extra kilojoules. Logging every gram will give you more control over your intake.
Training shouldn’t be boring or something you dread, says Burger. He was able to reach his real, longterm weight loss and fitness results by picking a workout that he relished. For him, it was a Biokinetics gym – which not only helped him shave off the kilograms and restore his health, but discover a new career path as a personal trainer. His lesson: “Get the movement right before adding weight.”
Heymans is proof that workouts hit both your belly and your brain. After struggling at university he decided to bury himself in his books, but it was only when he started switching out binge-eating breaks for a 30-minute loop around the local hockey pitch that his grades turned around. His lesson: “Take quick exercise breaks as a mental and physical release”. It’s a strategy that helped him de-stress, concentrate and develop healthier habits.
The ex-poker player was in bad shape, but the idea of a complete flab-to-washboard-abs transformation wasn’t just daunting – it felt utterly impossible. Instead, he set himself daily, weekly and monthly goals. His lesson: “Focus on milestones along the way. It helps break things down into bite-sized pieces and make the weight-loss journey look way more manageable”.
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bellyoff.co.za | MH.CO.ZA
The 50 Foods to Ea
& t Right Now!
Food trends are more fickle than teenagers – and with the constant flip-flopping of health studies, today’s superfood can easily become tomorrow’s chopped liver. So to offer some clarity, this is our rundown of what you should be piling high and what you should be pushing to the side of your plate, pronto.
THE MEN’S HEALTH NUTRITIONAL MAVERICKS
The Vegan Fanatic
The Carb King
Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert specialises in weight control and eating disorders at rhitrition.com
Nick Barnard strives to master all things grain- and oat-based as cofounder of rudehealth.co.uk
Plant enthusiast Dr Laura Thomas promises to help you “hack the sh*t out of your food” at laurathomasphd.co.uk
By Ed Smith / P.95
25 Instantly Devourable Health Enhancers Don’t fuss over fads. Eating well shouldn’t mean you can’t indulge and reap rewards at the same time. These simple food-shop swaps provide maximum benefits with minimum dietary adjustment Raw honey “It might just be sugar,” notes nutritionist Laura Thomas, “but raw, unrefined honey taken straight from hives is one of the better sources of sweetness. It contains antioxidants absent in commercially manufactured honey, as well as refined and processed sugars.” 01
Whole milk Recent Scandinavian studies have debunked years of bad press relating to saturated fat, concluding high-fat dairy products are actually inversely related to obesity. So swap your skimmed milk for full-cream. 02
Eggs Studies released over the last 10 years have dispelled rumours that eggs contribute to heart disease. In fact, we now know their stomach-filling protein assists weight control. Plus, high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health. 03
Sourdough Studies show the glucose and insulin response to sourdough is significantly lower than with normal bread which makes this ideal as part of a reduced-carb diet. Slow fermentation (and a chewier crust) also means it’s easier to process gluten from sourdough. 04
Blood sau usage It may not be the most palatable option, otein, but it is rich in pro nepotassium, magn nd sium, calcium an utcher fibre. Ask your bu or deli owner for help. 05
Biltong A no-braine er when it comes to o snacks – this offe ers plenty of protein and healthy fat. The best option: any kind of venison, and make sure you don’t ha ave huge portions. 06
Red peppers They’re bursting with beta-caroten ne and lycopene – both key for eyesight. They have a high wate er content, too, so eatin ng masses doesn’t equal masses of kilojou ules.
Keﬁr Go further still and quaff kefir, a fermented dairy drink, higher in vitamins B1, B12 and K than the milk it’s based on. Barnard reckons it has “superpowers”, including a digestion-aiding probiotic element. 10
Chinese greens Pak choi might seem too watery to be worth it – there are just 55 kJ per 100g – but researchers at Oregon State University have found these cruciferous greens to be high in sulforaphane, a compound (also found in broccoli) that’s known to have anti-cancer properties. 11
Beetroot A number of studies published d since 2009 show w nitrates found in beets aid exercise perfo ormance after bein ng converted to nitric c oxide by enzyme es in saliva. The last po oint is key – better to sip p coldpressed juice tha an bolt a supplement. 08
Goat mea at Data from th he US Department of Agriculture show ws goat meat is both h leaner and has less ess kilojoules than beef, pork and chicken. It has more flavour too, meaning your hunger is likely to be satiated by smaller portions. 09
96 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Scotch whisky The odd dram of quality, matured whisky has multiple health benefits, according to merry Japanese scientists. Natural phenolic compounds absorbed from oak ageing barrels include ellagic acid, which improves gut health and may even reduce your cancer risk. Scottish single e malts have particularly high levels. 12
Sprouts “Studies prove that Brussels aid the liver’s detox capacity,” says Th Thomas. “Th “They also help clear carcinogens produced by cooked meat and sup-port DNA repair mech-anisms.” Go organic to reap the benefits. 13
Fruit and veg crisps “Opting for alternative crisps skims fat and carbs and has the benefit of acting as one of your five-aday,” enthuses Lambert. “Freeze-drying locks in antioxidants, potassium and fibre,” Lambert says. 18
Peanut butter But it’s full of kilojoules right? If you shop smart, not necessarily. Peanut butter is high in fibre (so, satiating) and numerous studies point to its high levels of antioxidants and immune-boosting B6. Avoid those containing sugar, added salt, palm oil or emulsifiers. 19
Nori As in seaweed. Or, more specifically, a dried and pressed seaweed high in protein and sparse in calories. Antipodean food regulators deduced that a single sushi roll wrapped in nori contains almost two-thirds of our recommended daily intake of metabolism-boosting iodine (92 out of 150 micrograms). 20
Soybeans “They’re on the health shelf for a reason,” says nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. “They contain isoflavones that reduce build-up of arterial plaque. Plus, 100g has 20-40% of your RDA of protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, folate and vitamin K.” 14
Polenta Often seen on supermarket shelves as cornmeal, polenta is an adaptable carb quietly dominating brown rice in the iron and fibre stakes. Thomas cites its antioxidant carotenoids and abundance of complexion-boosting phytonutrients as yet more reasons to fill your cupboard. 15
Sprouting grains In his book Eat Right, Nick Barnard claims “microgreens and sprouted grain flours have a greater concentration of proteins, vitamins, minerals and enzymes than at any other time in their life.” To activate your own seeds, soak them in a salt solution for 12 hours, then dry. 16
Sweetbreads “We should take a cue from our ancestors and eat more offal,” says Barnard. “The pancreas and thymus gland used in beef, lamb and pork sweetbreads are packed with protein, zinc and selenium.” They’re high in kilojoules but carb-free: ideal fitness fuel. 17
India pale ale Recent Chinese studies suggest hopsheavy beers could protect against diseases like dementia. A compound in these drinks called xanthohumol does guard against neuronal cell damage, making IPA craft beers a solid health beer choice. 22
Almonds A 2014 study published by the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that nutrients in almonds, such as riboflavin, magnesium and manganese, contribute to more effective use of oxygen. Unblanched, skinon nuts are ideal. 23
Hard cheese Milk contains nutrients that get lost when its heated and treated pre-curdling which is why cheese made from unpastuerised milk is a great choice. Parmigiano Reggiano, Comté, Roquefort and Swiss Gruyère are all good options. 24
Smoked cod’s roe “Super high in protein and beneficial fats,” says Barnard. “You’ll find it in taramasalata, but some brands are full of additives.” Spread it over that sourdough (#4) for a power combo.
Sauerkraut “Cabbage is full of goodness, but in its raw, fermented form it’s also revered for its digestive health benefits,” says Lambert. Preserving it in brine encourages the growth of gut-friendly bacteria – vital for processing an increased training day protein intake.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
Fix 5 Snacking Mistakes You Make Every Day If you want to lose or maintain weight, your nutrition needs should come from 3 or 4 large meals. If you’re still hungry, follow these guidelines. You’ll eat more of the good stuff and less junk as you watch your gut deflate. BY CINDY KUZMA
You’re Not Even Hungry
You’re Hooked on Sugar
You Eat the Wrong Foods
You Need More Protein
You Take Too Big a Serving
If you find yourself constantly snacking, hit pause. Are you truly hungry? Or are you tired, stressed, or bored? If you’re seeking food as temporary relief, sweat it out. Cardio may activate areas of your brain that help you resist sweet or salty foods, according to research from the University of Waterloo.
The lower the sugar content, the better – though producers often hide the sweetness with jargon. Any ingredient name ending in “ose” (dextrose, sucrose) tells you the product has sugar. Watch out for “natural cane syrup” or “natural fruit juices” too. They’re still sugar.
Unless you’re trying to bulk up, Aragon recommends limiting your snack calories to under 3 100kJ a day. Foodwise, that’s approximately 2 to 4 servings of fruits or vegetables, 1 serving of nuts, 1 serving of cheese and a 2-scoop protein shake.
If you’re very active – training for a marathon or lifting heavy several days a week – add 25g of protein on either end of the two-hour window surrounding your workout. That’s a 1-scoop protein shake, four large hard-boiled eggs, or 50g beef jerky. That’s the kind of dose that’ll fuel muscle growth.
Office birthdays happen. So why not just a half slice of cake? When researchers in the Netherlands gave large and small desserts to two groups, the result was no surprise: the big-dessert group ate more kilojoles and enjoyed ’em. But guess what? The people served the small portion felt every bit as satisfied.
25 Bites Nearing the End of Their Shelf Life From the latest immunity-boosting liquefied plant shot to your mid-afternoon energy bar, we pick apart nutrition myths and fads falling out of favour. Whether overrated, outdated or plain harmful, your body deserves better Protein balls “If you make these yourself and limit the sugar, they can be a balanced energy snack pre- or post-workout,” Lambert says. “However, many of the readymade versions are rolling in syrup and not a lot of actual protein. Aim for less than 5g sugar per 100g or eat a meal.”
Gluten–free products “Processed glutenfree foods won’t do your blood sugar levels any favours,” warns Thomas. “Few contain as much fibre, folic acid and B vitamins as their unrefined equivalents. If you do have coeliac disease, look to natural ingredients that have always been gluten-free.”
Wheatgrass The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has dismissed suggestions that wheatgrass juice is anything other than a juice. Bluntly, there’s no scientific proof to support claims it protects against inflammation, or builds red blood cells. Plus, kilo for kilo, it’s no more nutritious than spinach or broccoli.
Raw carrots Sure, raw crudités are great hummus dippers, but you’ll get more nutritional crunch if you cook them in butter. “About 3% of betacarotene is available in raw carrots,” says Barnard. “Cooked in good-quality butter, this number increases 10-fold.”
Granola “It’s hard to find a shop-bought bag of granola that’s not laden with sugar in the form of a glaze and added fruits,” warns Lambert. “Excess fructose is converted to VLDL in the body, a cholesterol that’s high in triglycerides, leading to fat storage.” Buy fruit-free and add a sliced banana. 03
Wasabi peas Coated in oil and wasabi powder made from sugar, salt and chemicals, wasabi peas have a nutritional value of zero and are the health equivalent of a small chocolate treat. Rather have unsalted nuts. 04
Farmed salmon Thomas is not a fan of farmed salmon, which she claims, “bioaccumulates environmental pollutants associated with diabetes”. In fact, intensively grown farmed salmon contains three times the saturated fat of wild salmon, due to the fish’s processed high-fat feed, along with 40% more kilojoules. 11
Popcorn Sales of bagged popcorn have more than doubled in the last five years, but it’s far from a nutritious snack. A problem, Lambert says, is that “sweetened versions, loaded with sugar and salt – and sometimes as calorific as fizzy drinks – are being marketed as healthy.”
Agave nectar According to Thomas, “agave is chemically similar to high- fructose corn syrup. But whereas glucose can be used by every cell in the body, fructose is only metabolised by the liver.” And due to the liver becoming overloaded, most ingested fructose turns into fat. “Avoid!” says Lambert. “Honey and maple syrup are better.” 12
Orange juice Dr Robert Lustig’s Fat Chance, as well as studies published in 2013, underline that masses of sugar and a lack of fibre mean orange juice is not as wholesome as once assumed. In fact, it has more kilojoules than beer. Rather eat a whole orange. 08
Rice milk High in starch, one cup of rice milk has 33g of carbohydrates – three times the amount in regular milk. “It’s a no-go for diabetics,” says Lambert. “Opt for skimmed to keep insulin release and fat storage at bay.” Non-diabetics aren’t drinking in goodness either: 20mg of calcium per serving of rice milk equates to 1% of your RDA, with an almost non-existent protein content. 09
Tinned soup “You’ve read about the MSG preservatives in tinned soups,” says Lambert, “but a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association also found levels of the chemical bisphenol A soared among soup slurpers. Among other things, it’s been known to alter sex drives in animal studies.” Not ideal. 10
Dates According to Lambert, the current date love-in is getting out of hand. “If you eat three dates a day your sugar intake is already high – never mind adding handfuls to your ‘healthy’ snackbar mix. When used as a natural sweetener in shop-bought products, the ratio of beneficial fibre to fructose sugars is laughable.” 13
Dried apricots “Most dried fruits also contain up to three times as much sugar as their fresh counterparts,” Lambert says. “And because they’re smaller, you’ll eat five instead of one, overloading on fructose. Finally, their orange colour is the result of added sulphur dioxide, which can lead to acute reactions in those who suffer from asthma.” Another reason to buy organic. 14
Omega-3 “The traditional position that omega-3 in supplements and oily fish can protect against heart disease is based only on a hypothesis, not scientific literature,” says Thomas. “That said, vitamin D- and calcium-rich fish is great for bone strength and highly nutritious.” 15
Cucumbers Low in kilokoules they may be, but with less than 5% of our RDA of potassium, magnesium and vitamin C – they’re a bit of a time-waster. Opt for purslane leaves (replete with heartfriendly linolenic acid and more betacarotene than spinach) in your sandwich. 17
Junk Food Science Comfort foods – and drinks – trick you into coming back. Here’s why you find these five so hard to resist. BY CINDY KUZMA Ice Cream
Coconut oil 18 There has been n relatively little solid research into coconut oil but we do kno ow that, per gram, extra virgin olive oil is less calorific and has morre “good fats”. Greek olives pack the mostt immunity-boosting polyphenols. Coconut water “Hydration-wise, studd ies have shown that water is just as effec-tive after a workout,” says Lambert. “And while coconut water does contain electroo lytes, it’s often full of sugar, too. To avoid undoing the benefitss, read the ingredient list on the back – it shou uld just contain one ingree dient: coconut waterr.” 19
Kale “Okay, you can n’t argue with its ridiculous vitamin A, B6, C and K content,” Lambert admits. “Bu ut the prevalence of an n indigestible sugar, called raffinose, can cause bloating, and the leaves’ goitrogen ns can disrupt iodine uptake in the thyroid, leading to fatigue an nd weight gain.” 20
Spiralised courgette “Courgette is relatively high in potassium and vitamin C, but the backlash against carbs isn’t great,” Lambert says. y “Our brains use glucose from carbs to contribute to the creation of serotonin. The amino acid tryptophan found in courgettes plays a part in this, but without carbs, it can’t cross the blood-brain barrier.”
PHOTOGRAPH ISTOCKPHOTO (CUCUMBER)
Acai Fans boast of serious health properties,, but research supporting this superfood trend is limited. In terms of dietary antioxidants, Lambert says, “you’d be better off with blueberries. You don’t have to go to Brazil to find fresh versions of those.” 21
Goji berries 22 Similarly, the BDA does not recognise any evidence goji berries boost immune system and brain activity, protect against heart disease and cancer or increase lifespan. The advice? “Stick to a range of fruit and veg, rather than spending money on this one item with no proven benefits.” Convenience salads Your “go-to” salads won’t do you any favours, packed as they are with kilojoules and sugar-heavy dressings. Lambert recommends checking all labels before you tuck in. 23
Frozen yoghurt “Frozen yoghurts are a dairy minefield,” Lambert declares. “Often the freezing process destroys the healthy gut bacteria that makes normal yoghurt healthy, with most brands adding tons of sugar, too.” Lambert suggests forgoing the lot in favour of WheyO Ice Cream. 24
Almond milk “Many – though not all – almond milks are highly sweetened and have minimal natural nutritional value. In fact, they won’t give you many benefits unless they’re fortified,” says Lambert. For dairy alternatives, consider switching to soy, which is a much better source of protein and calcium. 25
Casein, one of the main proteins in milk, creates morphine-like molecules called casomorphins during digestion. And don’t underestimate the intense power of nostalgia. Because sometimes it’s just simple: eating junk food makes you feel like a kid again.
Hamburgers Tastebuds love complexity. Towering fast-food burgers often have a dozen or more competing flavors, all of which combine to light up your brain’s pleasure centres. High-glycemic, processed buns spike your insulin, causing you to overindulge in empty kilojoules.
Bottled Coffee These liquid pick-meups contain the triumvirate of taste: salt, sugar and umami, a Japanese concept translating to “pleasant savoury taste.” Those flavors, combined with a smooth mouthfeel, deliver a sensory experience that’s far more rewarding than coffee.
Doughnuts The high-fat, highsugar combo is hard to resist. That’s because both fat and sugar are energy-dense and can tax your brain’s opioid receptors. This overload can trigger a flood of the pleasurable neurotransmitter dopamine. Hence the sugar “rush.”
Stacked Cookies These kind of cookies offer an addictive combo of visual contrast and texture variety (both soft and crunchy at the same time). Flavourwise, they normally offer a sweet, sucrose-based filling between a pair of justsalty-enough wafers. Septem mber 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 99
MH LIVING P 100
Benjamin Osmers at his pad near Hoedspruit
THE HOME THATâ€™LL MAKE YOU BETTER. STRONGER. SMARTER
HOUSE RULE #1 OPEN UP ABOUT IT
The average guy spends just over half his life inside his home. That’s a good thing – if your home is as dedicated to health and wellbeing as you are BY THOMAS OKES & KIERAN LEGG · PHOTOGRAPH SEAN LAURENZ
Your home is your shelter, not a hideout. Creating outside spaces that blend seamlessly with the interior – that’s how you’ll live a longer, less stressful and more energetic life. A series of studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that spending just 20 minutes out in nature was enough to significantly boost vitality levels. Training on the porch, or rolling open those French doors will help you reap those benefits even when you’re tapping away in the home office.
DON’T JUST LOUNGE AROUND: LIVE BETTER.
Watch It ULTIMATE VIEWFINDER
Studies from the Universities of Toronto and Missouri show that we naturally find symmetry attractive. Keep your couch backed into the widest wall; it’ll make the whole room seem bigger and more open. And anchor the space with the coffee table as the centrepiece.
D O G D AY S
Several Harvard University studies found that owning and regularly interacting with a pet in your home results in significant weight loss. So keep a spot for Rex near the couch, don’t just kick the poor guy outside – out there, he won’t be able to remind you to get off the couch and go for a walk.
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Neuroscientists at Princeton University found that clutter competes for your attention, causing you to lose focus when attempting to complete even basic tasks. Get rid of it regularly, and you’ll re-energise the room – it’s called the art of zen, and yes, it really works.
Almost half of all electricity that powers TVs, DVD players and other home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off but not unplugged. Plug everything into a power strip and switch it off at night. And trade your PC for a laptop, which will use 50 to 75% less energy.
HOUSE RULE #2 BIGGER IS BET TER FOR YOU
Exposure to natural light can improve your metabolism, according to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. And researchers at Northwestern University say more access to bigger windows equals better quality of life.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
LINE IT UP
LCD TV screens suit rooms with lots of light. Why? The glass is glare-resistant and bright compared with a plasma’s screen. Remember to sit at least 1.6m away – any closer is bad for your eyes. Position the screen as close to eye-level as possible, to save your neck, and don’t hang it right above the fireplace: heat travels upwards.
YOUR HOMEâ€™S CANTEEN OFFERS MORE THAN TAKEAWAYS. START COOKING.
YO U R WO R K R O O M
Guys who cook most of their meals at home eat cleaner and healthier than those who have it done for them, according to research from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
T H E T R I F E C TA
For optimal efficiency, arrange your appliances and instruments in what architects call a work triangle, with clear and direct routes between prep, cooking and clean-up.
LOCK IT UP
Even brief exposure to the sight and smell of food has been shown to increase appetite, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity. But that study was based on slices of pizza. Easy fix: keep cheat meals under lock and key.
C ROC K ERY COUNTS
A study from Deakin University shows that eating off smaller plates helps you consume smaller portions, and another one from the Journal of Consumer Research suggested that a plate of a contrasting colour to your food will help you eat less.
HOUSE RULE #3 BELIEVE IN FLOWER POWER
Your cognitive performance is far better when youâ€™re in the presence of greenery, according to research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology. Another benefit: your partner will love them.
A Boston fern is a natural humidifier. Keep it in direct sunlight and mist the leaves regularly
YOUR INNER SANCTUM IS A PLACE FOR SLEEP AND SEX: DO BOTH BETTER.
Be Cool COUNT THREADS. THEN COUNT SHEEP
The National Institute of Health in the US recommends that cooling your bedroom at night can cause your body to burn more kilojoules while you sleep. So invest in Egyptian cotton bed linen with a high (400+) thread count, and leave the windows open at night.
Snooze and you’ll lose – literally. A Columbia University study shows that people who sleep less weigh more. Men and women who grabbed only 6 hours of shut-eye each night were 23% more likely to be overweight than those who slept for seven to nine hours.
KICK OUT THE TV
Studies have shown that watching TV before bed has been strongly linked to insufficient sleep and weight problems. And leave your gadgets outside the bedroom. Why? Adults without a screen to distract them have better (and more) sex with their partners, according to a 2014 UK poll.
M A K E YO U R B E D
A 2012 survey of 68 000 people found that 62% of guys who don’t make their beds consider themselves generally unhappy with their lives. So start each day working on those militaryprecision corners.
Spanish researchers found that those who slept on medium-firm mattresses were twice as likely to experience pain relief as those who slept on hard ones. To keep your spine in shape, rotate the mattress by turning it every three months. And replace the thing every 5 to 7 years.
HOUSE RULE #4 BLUE WALLS, BET TER NIGHTS
Blue is calming, promoting communication and trust, according to research from the University of British Columbia. Save red for your home gym, as it stimulates the pulse, and brain-boosting green for your workspace.
SCRUB UP, SAVE WATER. SIMPLE.
HOUSE RULE #5 CLEAN UP. BEFORE SHE DOES
A University of California study found couples with dirty homes experienced more stress than those who clean regularly. Take a cloth to the counters before she takes an axe to your head.
The single biggest user of water in your home: the toilet. Depending on when it was built, your loo could be using as much as twice the water of more modern models. Upgrade to save.
S AV E T H E R A I N
Showers use 16 to 20% of the average homeâ€™s water. Replace the showerhead regularly to guard against leaks, and save as much as 70% on the water portion of your rates bill.
Grey-water systems cycle already-used shower or sink water straight to your toilet bowl. Find a contractor in your area at waterrhapsody.co.za or savingwater.co.za
Studies by the resource-management Rocky Mountain Institute show that insulating your geyser and water pipes could save energy wastage by 4 to 9%: an easy way to save on your electricity bill.
THE MAN CAVE
DOWN TIME, ME TIME, GAMES TIME. ENJOY A ROOM OF YOUR OWN.
HOUSE RULE #6 SHUT OUT THE NOISE
A study in the European Heart Journal says noise might be killing you: men who were exposed to prolonged noise were 50% more likely to have a heart attack. Make sure you have at least one spot in the house where you’re in control of the volume.
Habitual players of first-person video games have stronger visual skills and make decisions 8% faster than nongamers. “You can read the newspaper, recognise a scene, or pick out facial features in a photograph faster,” says Daphne Bavelier, of the University of Rochester.
H O M E T H E AT R E
Plasma screens are made for movies or video games as they offer better contrast and black levels – and their pixels update quickly to keep fast-moving screen images clear. True benefits of plasma kick in above 42 inches, but the room needs to be dark for you to see the difference.
The best predictor of your family’s health: books. A paper in the Research in Social Stratification and Mobility journal found that kids who grow up in homes with many books get more schooling, and a better education, than children who find it more difficult to access books.
Got space? Your man cave is the perfect room for at-home exercise equipment. We recommend a Concept2 rower: it’s a scaleable cardio workout and folds away into a corner. Blast the stereo while you row: studies show listening to your favourite tunes can boost your performance.
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I T R E M A I N S O N E O F T H E M O ST E N D U R I N G S C E N E S I N
Tour de France history. Tyler Hamilton, aged 32 and on his seventh Tour, grits his teeth as he sprints away from a 12-man breakaway group at the front of the race. For two weeks, he has been riding with a double fracture in his right collarbone, the product of a nasty crash. Yet, after suffering through his five-hour 198km ordeal on the road from Pau to Bayonne, Hamilton is leading the pack by four whole minutes. Wiping tears of pain from his face on the climb, he nevertheless sails into a comfortable first place. As a spectator it’s nigh on impossible not to be swept up by the emotion of the occasion. One year later, in 2004, Hamilton tested positive for blood-doping. He received a two-year ban and, after a shortlived comeback, retired from the sport in a cloud of ignominy. He later admitted that, on the night before his heroic effort up to Bayonne, he had injected a bag of his own red blood-cell-enriched blood. BY THE LETTER OF THE LAW, HAMILTON WAS A CHEAT. HIS TEAMMATE
Armstrong, who would go on to claim overall victory, was also a cheat. Then again, so was the rider who finished second. In fact, of the top 10 finishers of the 2003 Tour, only two men have never served bans for doping. In his autobiography, The Secret Race, Hamilton would later write, “You can call me a cheater and doper until the cows come home. But the fact remains that in a race where everybody had equal opportunity, I played the game and I played it well.” He’s not the only one playing. Cycling has been under suspicion since 1999, with 90% of blood collected before that year’s Tour reportedly classified “suspicious”. And with both Nike and the UN distancing themselves from Maria Sharapova after she tested positive for the banned substance meldonium at the Australian Open in January, as well as allegations levelled against Mo Farah’s coach, Alberto Salazar – not to mention the state-sponsored doping endemic in the Russian Athletic Federation – it’s clear that doping culture in sport is as rife today as it’s ever been. 110 MH.CO.ZA | September 2016
Yet some supporters question whether athletes like Sharapova and Hamilton are the villains anti-doping purists make them out to be. After all, when most of your rivals are injecting EPO – erythropoietin, a hormone stimulating red blood cell production, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen available to the muscles – it’s arguable that to race clean would be to guarantee defeat. It’s the same embittered line Lance Armstrong has maintained since he was stripped of his titles and his dignity in 2012: if everyone is doping, taking performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) isn’t cheating; it’s the only way to level the playing field. It’s a controversial viewpoint, one which many research scientists vehemently reject. Local anti-doping advocate and professor of physiology Ross Tucker is one of them. “Everyone responds differently to drugs, so legalising PEDs won’t level the playing field at all,” he says. “Because the effect of drugs on the human body is so profound, sports events would then be decided by whose body responds best or quickest to chemicals. Training is the opposite: you have to do the work to earn the benefit. Legal PEDs would fundamentally change the outcome of the sport without changing the input.”
PHOTOGRAPHS ISTOCKPHOTO ICONS MICHAEL BRANDON MYERS
Dope Boys Anti-doping is an expensive business. In 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had an operating budget of R377 million. It might seem a large figure, but considering it’s equivalent to the total Wimbledon prize money, and much lower than a Premier League football team’s annual wage bill, incentives to cheat across all sports remain far greater than the chances of getting caught. To date, WADA has had little success in combating doping, with only 2% of all blood and urine samples collected each year resulting in positive tests for banned substances. Tucker says it is impossible to land on a statistic that accurately show the prevalence of doping in any sport, anywhere in the world – but by most experts’ estimates, the true number of dopers is anywhere between 14% and 39%. Tom Bassindale, a senior lecturer in forensic and analytical science, spent six years working in WADA’s London laboratory, on the front line of anti-doping. His work has given him unparalleled insight into why cheats slip through the net. “They know testers are going to turn up at a competition and that if they stop using whatever drugs they’re on three to four weeks beforehand, it’s unlikely they’ll get caught,” he says, matter-of-factly. As avoidance strategies go, it’s hardly rocket science. To deter dopers, WADA has upped its level of out-of-competition testing. Its reps now turn up at athletes’ homes or gyms at any point over the course of the year. But athletes can – and often do – miss these tests, whether by accident or design. “You get three strikes within a year,” Bassindale explains. “If you miss three drugs tests, you’re banned. But, if you only happen to miss two, your slate is wiped clean after 12 months.” It’s unsurprising that due to the ever-evolving nature of doping, WADA and its affiliate agencies are constantly playing catch-up. Each time a new test is introduced, dopers come up with a more sophisticated drug or method of avoiding detection. In an attempt to combat this, WADA introduced the “biological passport” in 2009; samples were taken from athletes over time, making it easier to spot spikes in performance. The system has since been exposed for its many flaws, most notably the difficulty of detecting microdosing. “If you only use a small amount of EPO every day, instead of two big doses a week, then those values that are being monitored won’t fluctuate much. Yet the changes in terms of your oxygen-carrying abilities will be very real – and very useful,” says Bassindale. Evidently, anti-doping in its current guise isn’t working. Is the answer not to embark on the Sisyphean task of stringently regulating all sports, but to lose the incredibly expensive, logistically complex regulations altogether? September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 111
Nature vs Nurture Enhancement, in one form or another, is nothing new. For as long as tests of athletic ability have existed, those taking part have sought to gain any available advantage. In ancient Greece distance runners would smear their bodies in olive oil to stay hydrated (and badly burning themselves in the process). Today, our approach is considerably more scientific. Take a professional cyclist such as Chris Froome. Every gram of food that enters his mouth is measured to ensure an optimal macro-nutritional profile. His R250 000 carbon-fibre bike has been through hundreds of hours of wind tunnel testing to ensure aerodynamic efficiency. His riding position, cadence and helmet are analysed and optimised. It’s all entirely within the rules. Yet how much of his success can be considered natural, and how much is technological? “Athletes are in the business of attempting to transcend human limits,” says professor Andy Miah, author of Sport Technology. He argues that rather than holding on to the antiquated idea that sporting greatness is the product of some kind of organic perfection, we need to acknowledge technology’s role. “Sport at the elite level is inherently a relationship between technology and nature,” he says. Tucker agrees: “Nobody assumes sporting performance is the product of organic perfection. Athletes succeed because they are extremely well-trained and put in a hell of a lot of work. But that mindset of technological advancement will lead to doping if not kept in check – a line must be drawn.” The water is further muddied by the fact that the thinking behind which substances should be banned is in flux. After a spell on the wrong side of the law, caffeine, despite not being found naturally in the human body, is now on WADA’s safe list. “Caffeine is a proven performance enhancer, yet reversing the ruling on it has done nothing to affect the spectacle, nature or definition of sport,” says Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University. Conversely, dabbling with steroids, EPO or HGH – which are found naturally inside our bodies – remains prohibited. For Savulescu, this comes down to form over function. “If something comes in a plant, it’s okay. If that same substance is distilled into a pill, it’s objectionable. And if it is put into an intravenous drip, well, that’s the same as taking crack cocaine and needs to be banned – even though it’s the same physiological substance.” What’s the difference? Safety, says Tucker. “Caffeine is a mild stimulant; the performance benefit is tiny. And sure, EPO and HGH are found in the
body, but they are part of a system that the body regulates in order for it to maintain its health. If you screw with that, you are taking a health risk. It’s why the prescription of GH and EPO is done by doctors, and you can’t stroll into a pharmacy and buy it along with a headache tablet.”
A Clean Pill of Health By complicating the rules, Miah claims WADA has failed at one of its key stated aims: to protect the health of athletes. Its list of prohibited substances, he argues, fuels a PED black market. Instead, Miah advocates that pharmaceutical advances should be legalised and regulated. “Sports organisations have a moral obligation to ensure that they are investing in the safest forms of performance enhancement for athletes,” he says. “Managing the health and safety risks associated with performance enhancement – that’s the priority.” Tucker says this doesn’t mean we have to go full hands-off. “There is currently no real will to stamp out doping completely. The result is that athletes are being put at risk.” However, for most fans (and governing officials), the focus is on fairness, rather than the wellbeing of dopers. As Verner Møller, professor of sports science and health at Aarhus University, pointed out at last year’s International Network of Humanistic Doping Research, “If 99% of athletes abstain from doping, that then makes doping all the more advantageous for the remaining 1%.” It’s the anti-doper’s paradox: the more cheats we catch, the better off the uncaught ones will be. Follow this chain of thought through to its logical conclusion and the only way to guarantee everyone has the same advantages is to legitimise PEDs. “Doping is not against the spirit of sport,” says Savulescu. “If you’re taking steroids and somebody else isn’t, that is unfair. However, if you allow people to take the same doses of steroids – within limits – that wouldn’t be unfair.” Right? “No way,” argues Tucker. “This idea of legalising doping is a form of apathy. Trying to manage doping by making it legal within certain limits would simply create the same problematic set of circumstances where athletes are trying to work around those limits.” And that, he says, would bring even greater health risks: “By legalising PEDs all we would be doing is inviting the most ambitious person to be the most reckless person, and to take the most drugs possible without killing themselves. It’s only ‘safe’ at the moment because it’s limited by the presence of anti-doping controls.”
“If everyone is doping, then it isn’t cheating, but levelling the playing field.”
THE EPO BOOSTER Health scientist professor Julien Baker on the sharp end of doping
THE SIDE EFFECTS
What Is It?
How Does It Work?
What About Performance?
How Do Athletes Hide It?
Erythropoietin, or EPO, is a natural hormone secreted by the kidneys that regulates red blood cell [RBC] production.
EPO stimulates bone marrow to make more red blood cells and therefore more haemoglobin. A higher RBC count means better oxygen transportation and a higher rate of aerobic respiration.
The faster the rate of aerobic respiration, the higher the level at which an athlete can work without suffering from lactic acid production or physical fatigue.
Typically an athlete will put a protease powder in his pocket before a test, then transfer it to his fingers. He’ll urinate over his hand into the sample bottle, destroying any trace.
One side effect is increased viscosity of the blood, which occurs following injection. Athletes must keep the blood circulating all night after injecting to avoid blood clots, leading to heart attack or stroke. Other side effects include seizures, fever, nausea and anxiety.
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P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S * S O U R C E M O U V E M E N T P O U R U N C Y C L I S M E C R É D I B L E S U R V E Y
A Battle of Wits Dr Olivier Rabin, WADA’s director of science, is the man tasked with keeping pace with the increasingly sophisticated strategies employed by dopers. For Rabin, the argument that allowing doping would increase fairness isn’t that simple. “If you need to take a pill to compete at the level of people who do not take a pill, then when the ones who don’t currently take pills begin to do so, they’ll still be ahead of you.” Essentially, by legalising PEDs you wouldn’t so much be levelling the playing field as jacking up the existing one. It would be what Tucker calls a free-for-all of athletes harming themselves. “At the moment, we might be seeing 50% of athletes doping, but if you had 100% doping because it became legal, that orginal 50% would dope more. We don’t know exactly what the long-term outcomes of that are, but I can tell you now they won’t be healthy.” Far from being democratic, the open use of PEDs could be like holding a gun to the head (or needle to the arm) of anyone wanting to compete. What’s more, Rabin believes that whatever level of doping you allow under this new, anything-goes system, it’s human nature to find ways to cheat. “If you take away limits,” Rabin says, “athletes will become guinea pigs, with scientists and physicians choosing the most efficient molecule or technology.” The athlete as lab rat – an experiment that nutritionists, scientists and engineers are looking to advance and exploit – sounds terrifying, but
BLOOD SPORTS: DOPING BY NUMBERS
of blood-doping cyclists are male, according to MPCC* stats for 2015
of 2015’s doping cases occurred in athletics: the most-doped sport
of cases occurred within weightlifting: the second most doped discipline
of doping originates in Russia, following the US (8%) and the UK (7%)
of doping cases occur in road cycling, versus track or mountain biking
The minimum ban for doping, enforced by the World Anti-Doping Code
not a million miles away from the top-level experience today. Under so much pressure, is it any wonder athletes look for extra help?
Club PED Tyler Hamilton still vividly remembers his initiation into the world of doping. “Five months into my first season at the top level is when I got invited into that secret fraternity.” He recalls paper bags stuffed with PEDs being openly handed out to riders. “It started out slowly, and next thing you know, a few years later, you’re crossing borders with performance-enhancing drugs, taking major risks,” he says. “It wasn’t a lot of fun. But you felt you had to do it, because the other guys were.” Under the influence of a potent cocktail of prohibited substances, Hamilton won stages of the Tour de France, the US National Championships and an Olympic gold medal. Yet he never felt able to take pride in his achievements: “I wasn’t proud of my results and I hated it when people put me on a pedestal,” he says. You might think someone whose victories came via an intravenous drip might back the notion of a World Pro-Doping Agency. But Hamilton has become an outspoken supporter of WADA and its mission. “I understand the argument [of people like Savulescu], and I’ve heard it many times, but if we legalise these substances, what’s that telling the younger generation?” he asks. The question of fairness lies at the very heart of sport. From cricket to shotput to downhill skiing, all sports are wrapped in a series of arbitrary regulations. Without rules, it’s not sport – just people in shorts running around in a sweaty, chaotic mess. But rules change. Sometimes evolution is triggered by a shift in technology, other times by physical improvements in the athletes themselves. As the sporting world changes, the rulebook must either adapt with it, or be abandoned. And so it is with PEDs. Then again, sport, by its very nature, is not about equality, but about celebrating those who stand out. Records – and human limits – are there to be broken. To what extent, then, does the fabled “level playing field” exist? If fairness comes down to either everyone hooking up to an IV, or no one, surely the latter is more palatable? September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 113
2016/ GROOMING AWARDS LOOK BETTER, FEEL BETTER. SIMPLE FORMULA, RIGHT? NOT REALLY. IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING TO MAKE SENSE OF THE SHELVES STUFFED WITH TOO MANY SKIN CREAMS, RELAX: WE’VE DONE THE TRYING AND TESTING SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO. HERE ARE OUR WINNERS BY AZEEZ JACOBS
THE NEW RECRUIT ROUTINE: BASIC IF YOU SHAVE EVERY OTHER DAY, TAKE FIVE MINUTES TO GET READY FOR WORK AND LEAVE THE HOUSE WITH WET HAIR, YOU’RE DOING THE MORNING ALL WRONG. HERE’S HOW TO FIX IT.
COARSE HAIR AND COWLICKS Thick hair requires regular maintenance. “This particular growth pattern lends itself to length – and the longer it is, the easier it will be to control,” says Glen Summers at Sorbet Man. “Thinning out the top will reduce weight, and have the sides cleaned up every couple of weeks. Then all you need is the right styling aid.” A/ This bendable, mouldable styling gum is great for coarse hair. Its Mega Elastic Fibre technology delivers strong texturecontrol with exceptional shine: perfect for creating texture and definition. Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Thrill Fibre Gum 100ml R230 Retailbox
2 GROO016 AWARMING DS
Three exchangeable combs adapt to your contours and keep the trimming length consistent.
BODY WASH NIVEA MEN ACTIVE CLEAN 500ML
ANTIPERSPIRANT NIVEA MEN COOL KICK 150ML
This body wash with active charcoal works as a dirt magnet, which means it cleanses your skin thoroughly without drying it out. R50 Clicks
A cooling formula with mint extracts and Iso-Magnesium is designed for active men and protects your skin with a light, fresh scent. R30 Clicks
BODY LOTION VASELINE MEN FAST ABSORBING LOTION 400ML
SUNSCREEN CETAPHIL DAYLONG LIPOSOMAL LOTION SPF 50+ 200ML
A masculine, fastabsorbing body lotion that contains Stratys-3, it tackles dryness in 15 seconds. R49 takealot.com
Beach-bound? This lotion nurtures the skin with aloe vera and vitamin E, and is water-resistant. R210 Dis-Chem
DEODORANT STICK MITCHUM ADVANCED CONTROL ANTIPERSPIRANT FOR MEN SPORT 63G
BODY SOAP DOVE MEN+CARE EXTRA FRESH SOAP BAR
Formulated with Oxygen Odour-Control tech that keeps you free from sweat and smelling your best for 48 hours. R57 Clicks
Thoroughly cleanses your body and rinses off easily, unlike regular soap which leaves your skin feeling dry and tight. R10 Pick n Pay
SHAVE GREASY AND OILY SKIN Fighting your oily skin may actually make it worse. Here’s why: when you overcleanse or use harsh soaps to dry out your skin, you strip away your face’s natural oils – also known as sebum. This can cause your skin to overreact, producing even more oil and clogged pores. So take it easier with that scrubbing and use the right products.
TRIM, SHAVE AND EDGE It’s best to shave after a hot shower. The hot water will help soften beard hair, which leads to less irritation. It also cleanses the face, of course – that way the razor doesn’t have to work as hard. For a closer shave, prep the surface with a gritty scrub a few times a week to prepare skin for shaving. It remove debris and dead skin cells, too.
B/Facial toners suck up the oil on your skin’s surface. Use it after cleansing but before moisturising. It uses Capryloyl Glycine, which reduces the appearance of sweat, oil and pores – a good pick for guys who sweat a lot. Oil Eliminator Refreshing Shine Control Toner 180ml R345 Kiehl’s
C/ With this 3-in-1 facial hair styling tool, you’ll be able to master any look from a thin chinstrap to a clean shave with sharp sideburns. Its Braun-engineered Power Trimmer is designed for maneuverability and effortless, even trimming. Gillette Fusion ProGlide Styler R300 Dis-Chem
RAZOR SCHICK HYDRO 5 RAZOR
SHAVE CREAM PREP SHAVE CREAM 250ML
The cool hydrating gel reservoir nourishes skin with Vitamin E and aloe as you shave. R110 Clicks
Contains lubricants and soothing agents – ideal for pain-free shaving of sensitive skin and heavy beards. R72 Makro
SHAVE GEL DUEL SHAVE SENSITIVE GEL 200ML
AFTER SHAVE OIL LIPIDOL AFTER SHAVE OIL 100ML
Comes with soothing aloe vera to stop irritation and redness. R23 Clicks
Specially blended oil that soothes skin after shaving and replaces lost moisture and natural oils. R80 Clicks
EDITORS’ PICK EXPERTS’ PICK
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 115
THE RISK TAKER ROUTINE: MODERATE LET’S FACE IT – NOT EVERYONE’S A MORNING PERSON. ANYTHING THAT CAN MAKE THE PROCESS LESS COMPLICATED IS USUALLY A GOOD THING. LUCKILY, WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED TO MAKE YOUR MORNING ROUTINE RUN A LITTLE MORE SMOOTHLY, WHILE STILL ENSURING YOU LOOK, SMELL AND FEEL GOOD BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HANDS If you work with your hands a lot, you need to moisturise every day with a fast-absorbing hand cream – which hydrates without leaving behind a greasy feeling. Don’t feel the difference? Trust us, she will.
STILL THE BEST WAY TO HELP YOUR SKIN LOOK AND FEEL REFRESHED IN THE MORNING? A SOLID 8 HOURS OF SLEEP.
A/ We’re fans of this cream for its convenience. It’s great for tossing in your gym bag, and it can pull double duty as a daily lotion for your hands and body or even as a post-shave balm. The crème is light, non-greasy and soaks in fully within seconds. Nivea Men Crème 75ml R45 Clicks
2 GROO016 AWARMING DS
Beard oil hydrates the skin and helps soften and tame beard hair too.
BUMP CONTROL CLICKS MEN’S BUMP CONTROL 100ML
SHAVE BALM BLUEBEARDS REVENGE POST SHAVE BALM 100ML
Engineered to fight razor bumps and irritation by soothing razor burn and helping to prevent ingrown hairs. R32 Clicks
A balm designed to reduce beard growth as well as nourish and moisturise the skin after a shave. R350 Sorbet Man
WRINKLES AND OTHER SIGNS OF AGEING Its never too early (or too late for that matter) to start a good routine, says dermatologist Dagmar Whitaker. “Once you hit your thirties, look for ingredients like Vitamin A, B and alpha hydroxy acids to help your skin keep its renewal up to speed.” Use these products at night without any interference from the environment. B/ Fight the first signs of ageing right now. This lightweight, anti-ageing moisture-gel helps improve skin smoothness and reducing visible lines. One tester said this nongreasy formula helped minimise his pores. Facial Fuel Age Combat Moisture-Gel for Men 75ml R515 Kiehl’s
A FAST-GROWING BEARD Attention to grooming matters. It might seem counterintuitive, but even guys who grown out the hair on their face or head have to maintain it carefully. That means investing in the right tools, and developing a more attentive grooming routine. C/ You’ve gone through all the trouble of growing the damn thing, so don’t drop the ball now. Keep it groomed and healthylooking with this oil: the soothing combination of almond, jojoba and grapeseed oils will smooth over the most stubborn scruff without making it feel greasy. Tom Ford Beard Conditioning Oil 30ml R745 Edgars
SERUM LAB SERIES MAX LS OVERNIGHT RENEWAL SERUM 30ML
EYE CREAM CLINIQUE FOR MEN ANTI-AGE EYE CREAM 15ML
Reclaim your younger skin with this intense overnight renewal serum inspired by Sirtuin technology. R545 Red Square
Works to repair the look of lines, wrinkles and reduces dark circles around the eye area. R 340 Edgars
FACE SCRUB TERRES D’AFRIQUE GENTLE FACE SCRUB 60ML
LIP BALM LABELLO SUN PROTECT SPF 30 5.5ML
This paste stimulates cell regeneration, removes impurities and dead cells. R450 Terres d’Afrique @ Four Seasons Westcliff
This balm is waterresistant with SPF 30 to combat the harsh effects of UVA and B rays when outdoors. R19 Clicks
ACNE OVERNIGHT CLEARING GEL 50ML
FACE WASH THE BODY SHOP FOR MEN MACA ROOT FACE WASH 125ML
Salicylic acid sloughs pore-clogging skin cells to inhibit breakouts, while antiseptic tea tree oil soothes. R760 Dermalogica
A soap-free face wash that deep-cleanses the skin, removing all dirt and excess oils. R130 The Body Shop
EDITORS’ PICK EXPERTS’ PICK
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 117
THE SMOOTH OPERATOR ROUTINE: NUANCED A DAILY SHAVE OR TRIM CAN BE QUICK AND EASY IF YOU HAVE THE PROPER TOOLS — AND LESS HASSLE IN THE LONG RUN, IF YOU KEEP AT IT.
DRY SKIN Colder temperatures mean less moisture in the air and on your skin, says Whitaker. Those long hot showers you love in winter leave your skin flaky and dry. Your solution: use a rich moisturiser at night, and use something light in the morning. Sunscreen will help prevent uneven skin tone – a big problem for darker complexions.
DON’T SPEND A FORTUNE ON A THOUSAND DIFFERENT PRODUCTS OR LOCK YOURSELF IN THE BATHROOM FOR HOURS. THE TRICK IS TO DEVELOP A DAILY ROUTINE THAT WORKS FOR YOU, ENSURING YOU DON’T LET YOURSELF DOWN.
A/ This refreshing, anti-discomfort moisturiser is enriched with Hyaluronic Acid, which can retain up to 1 000x its weight in water. It’s an ultra-fresh gel that will keep your skin hydrated for 48 hours. L’Oréal Paris Men Expert Hydra Power Refreshing Moisturiser 50ml R130 Dis-Chem
2 GROO016 AWARMING DS
Dry skin? Apply fragrance more often. Oily skin holds scent longer.
MASK JACK BLACK DEEP DIVE® GLYCOLIC FACIAL CLEANSER 147ML
BEARD GROOMING BEARD BRUSH
This 2-in-1 cleanser can also be used as a purifying mask when left to dry on your skin. R500 metrocosmetics.co.za
If you have a beard, this face brush sloughs off all the grime, oil, and dirt, leaving it looking perfect at all times. R120 Bonafide Beards
BEARD & FACE WASH KALAMAZOO BEARD AND FACE WASH 110G
SPOT CORRECTOR DX SMOOTH PRO SERIES DARK SPOT CORRECTOR 15 ML
It’s creamy and full of enzymes, while almond and jojoba oil will leave your beard eminently strokeable. R145 Lush
This affordable applicator contains salicylic acid, vitamin B and liquorice extract to help restore natural skin tone. R70 Clicks
FINDING A VERSATILE, MASCULINE FRAGRANCE If you’re looking for something simple, fresh and appealing, you should steer towards aquatic and citrus notes like bergamot, orange and lemon, as well as florals like iris and tuberose. Some colognes make sensitive skin more susceptible to burning, so try applying the fragrance to an area that’s not likely to get much sun.
MANSCAPING SITIAUTIONS First of all, women don’t want a man who looks like he crawled out of a cave. Second, getting your body hair under control not only sharpens your look but will also show off your abs. The tools you use to get rid of hair on your face aren’t meant to handle other parts of your body. We suggest you pick up a grooming tool and DIY.
B/ This is anchored by masculine smoky notes and spiced up with a dose of black pepper and cardamom. And the weighty, engine-turned bottle is a work of art, designed by South African Mark Eisen. Dunhill Icon EDT 100ml R1 595 Edgars
C/ Bushy is untidy, but bare isn’t manly. If you’re not a fan of taking a razor to your body but still want a closely shaved feel, this trimmer features an integrated skin protector for safety, and a shower-proof design for wet use. Philips Bodygroomer 1 000 R299 takealot.com
ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH PHILIPS SONICARE HEALTHY WHITE RECHARGEABLE
FLOSS GUM ORIGINAL WHITE FLOSS 30ML
Clean away plaque and food debris in one go – then polish your teeth to be two shades whiter in just two weeks. R900 Clicks
Thin and easy to insert, even between the tightest contacts. Expands during use to clean more tooth surface. R55 Clicks
TOOTHPASTE SENSODYNE WHITENING REPAIR & PROTECT 75ML
MOUTHWASH LISTERINE MOUTHWASH TOTAL CARE 500ML
A daily repair toothpaste that has been clinically proven to whiten, protect and relieve sensitive teeth. R34 Clicks
Helps prevent cavities, restores minerals to enamel and kills bad breath. R60 Dis-Chem
EDITORS’ PICK EXPERTS’ PICK
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 119
THE PRO ROUTINE: ADVANCED IF YOU’RE SPENDING 45 MINUTES OR MORE TO LOOK YOUR BEST AND HAVE A THOROUGH NIGHT-TIME ROUTINE TO KEEP YOURSELF LOOKING HEALTHY, HATS OFF TO YOU. BUT IT CAN’T HURT TO ADD A FEW MORE TIPS AND TRICKS TO YOUR MORNING.
LONG HOURS AT WORK, A LACK OF SLEEP AND SATURDAYS SPENT ON THE BACK NINE CAN ALL CATCH UP TO YOU IN A HURRY – IF YOU DON’T TAKE ACTION NOW. STOCKISTS RETAILBOX.CO.ZA RED SQUARE 021 461 7417 PICK & PAY 021 658 1000 MAKRO 0860 300 999 METROCOSMETICS.CO.ZA
LUSH 021 418 4150 KIEHL’S 086 100 1085 EDGARS 0860 692 274 DISCHEM PHARMACY 0860 347 243 BONAFIDE BEARDS 083 458 6088
CLICKS 0860 254 257 DERMALOGICA 021 418 0789 FOUR SEASONS WESTCLIFF 011 418 6450 MODERNHAIRBEAUT Y.COM
LACK OF TIME IN THE MORNING Moisturising with an SPF is something you should be doing year-round, says Whitaker. “Even if you’re working in an office, you’re at risk from UV rays with the sun hitting you during your commute and on your lunch break. Give your skin the necessary protection,” Whitaker adds. A/ This multitasking lotion soothes postshave BURN and shields against skin-ageing UV rays. It’s non-greasy, non-chalky and is a great finish to your routine. Oh, and it helps fight ingrown hairs and breakouts. Daily Defence Block SPF15 Broad Spectrum 100ml R840 Dermalogica
PHOTOGRAPHS MACKENZIE STROH PHOTOGRAPH STILLS JAMES GARAGHTY
B/ Make smoothing-out deep lines and wrinkles your goal while tightening up sagging skin around your chin. This line-fighting cream lifts and firms in all the right places, and helps block skin-damaging pollutants too. Clarins Men Line-Control Cream 50ml R395 Edgars
KEEP A CLEAN HEAD OF HAIR Everyone deserves a full head of amazing, healthy and great-smelling hair. Good hair starts in the shower – so instead of spending all that time styling your mane, pick the right shampoo or conditioner and the bulk of your work is done. C/ There’s nothing better than an ice-cold beer, right? Your hair thinks so. With a blend of malt, brewer’s yeast and orange zest, this shampoo has an enticing aroma that you’ll enjoy. It will remove product buildup of clays or waxes too. Redken for Men Clean Brew Extra Cleansing Shampoo 250ml R303 takealot.com
EXPERTS // DR DAGMAR WHITAKER DERMATOLOGIST / DR DILSHAAD ASMAL D E R M AT O L O G I S T / DR IMRAAN HOOSEN D E N T I S T / DR MARC SHER D E N T I S T / DIRNA VAN RENSBURG O R A L H Y G I E N I S T / FARREN GREENING O W N E R B A R N E T F A I R / ANDREW GUILFOYLE O W N E R S C A R / GLEN SUMMERS T R A I N E R & E D U C AT O R AT S O R B E T M A N / RENÉE ROSSOUW H A I R & M A K E - U P A R T I S T / LIZ FERRETT F R A G A N C E B L O G G E R / DANIELLE WEAKLEY E D I T O R W O M E N ’ S H E A LT H
Block destructive UV rays and boost skin regeneration with this two-in-one moisturiser.
FIRMER SKIN By now you should have a pretty comprehensive grooming routine, but if you’re still tyring to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin, know this: your skin loses its firmness dramatically after the age of 40. “Your skin’s renewal process slows down as you age, and it takes roughly twice as long for new cells to reach the surface,” says Whitaker.
2 GROO016 AWARMING DS
THINNING HAIR NIOXIN DIABOOST THICKENING XTRAFUSION TREATMENT
ANTI-DANDRUFF HEAD & SHOULDERS 2-IN-1 CLASSIC CLEAN 200ML
Diaboost’s blend of niacinamide, panthenol and caffeine boosts the strength of each strand. R824 modernhairbeauty.com
Helps reduce dandruff for hair that is free of embarrassing flakes. R48 Clicks
CONDITIONER LABELS.MEN INVIGORATING CONDITIONER 250ML
HAIR GEL L'ORÉAL STUDIO LINE FIX & FORCE MULTIVIT GEL 150ML
Invigorating daily conditioner will restore the moisture balance and nourish, resulting in healthy shiny results. R307 Retailbox
For a strong hold, gel is the way to go. This one is especially great for longer hair lengths. R75 Clicks
FRAGRANCE SPORTY PACO RABANNE INVICTUS EDT 100ML
DATE GIORGIO ARMANI ACQUA DI GIO PROFUMO EDP 75ML
It means “invincible” in Latin, which is how you’ll feel when you reach for this fresh, sporty scent. R1 200 Woolworths
The elixir opens in a single wave of spices and citrus notes of elemi and bergamot. One spray will do just fine. R1 339 Edgars
ADVENTURE DIOR SAUVAGE EDT 100ML
EVERYDAY MR BURBERRY EDT 100ML
Natural ingredients prevail – radiant top notes burst into a powerfully woody trail. R1 550 Stuttafords
Inspired by the iconic black Burberry trench coat – zesty grapefruit cut with a seductive base of earthy vetiver. R1 395 Edgars
PARTY DOLCE & GABANNA INTENSO 125ML
STATEMENT AZZARO CHROME INTENSE EDT 100ML
Use a dab of two before a formal event. R1 655 Red Square
This is what an intense version should be: bolder, deeper and a more magnanimous scent than its original. Instantly memorable. R1 085 Edgars
EDITORS’ PICK EXPERTS’ PICK
September 2016 | MH.CO.ZA 121
“THE LEATHER JACKET INSTANTLY GAVE MY LOOK A COOLNESS FACTOR THAT SUITED EVERY PART OF MY NIGHT.” CHAD SAAIMAN, SINGER
TIMELESS. DURABLE. VERSATILE. FANCY DINNER A shirt and tie are mandatory, but looking too stiff – that’s a problem. Step 1: swap those boring, uncomfortable work trousers for a pair of fitted denims. Step 2: layer a clean-cut waistcoat with your leather threads to neatly straddle the line between dressed up and laidback. A word of warning: steer clear of extremes. A bowtie is tempting, but you want your outfit to work even when the temps pick up and the jacket is off. Go for a tie in a neutral colour.
Shirt R1 900 Ted Baker, Waistcoat R450 Studio W. at Woolworths, Woven Tie R600 TM Lewin at Edgars, The Maestro Beatles Ltd Edition Watch R20 500 Raymond Weil Geneve at Picot & Moss, Leather Belt R1 700 Replay, Cropped Jeans R599 RE at Woolworths
HOUSE PARTY Want attitude? You don’t have to join a motorcycle gang. A denim shirt under a leather jacket will do twice the work – but make sure you keep the sleeves rolled up and the tails untucked – the tattoos are optional. Save your look from looking sloppy by donning slim-fit jeans in a pair of black kicks.
Classic Western Shirt R799 Levi’s, Chrono Bike watch R4 399 Festina at Bacher & Co., Belt R300 Edgars, Venom Skinny Jeans R2 500 Kings of Denim, Hudsons Cruise Shoes R4 400 Replay
“WEARING IT WITH A PAIR OF SLIM-FIT JEANS AND BOOTS IS MY GO-TO CHOICE.” JORDY HUNT, BARBER
A LEATHER JACKET ADDS A SOPHISTICATED EDGE TO ANY OCCASION. THIS GUIDE WILL SHOW YOU SEVEN WAYS TO STYLE THIS CLASSIC ITEM THAT’LL WORK WHETHER YOU’RE LOUNGING AROUND OR LIVING IT UP
Johnny K Slim-Fit Leather Jacket R2 999 Issa Leo
BY AZEEZ JACOBS PHOTOGRAPHSJACQUES WEYERS
OUT FOR LUNCH Like to keep your gym buddies guessing? A cool athleisure approach shows the best of both worlds – with a comfortable, hoodie layered under the leather exterior. Or, if you want to switch it up, lose the hoodie, add a cap and rock the jacket solo.
V-Neck T-Shirt R120 Woolworths, Hoodie R599 H&M, FXX Male Watch R5 650 Scuderia Ferrarri at S. Bacher & Co., Track Pants R1 099 Adidas, Gradient Jacquard Sneakers R2 299 Le Coq Sportif
“THE LEATHER JACKET INSTANTLY UPDATES MY SPORTY LOOK, SO I’M READY FOR A DAY OF RUNNING ERRANDS OR JUST LAIDBACK LOUNGING.” JOHRY BATT, MH COVER GUY
“KEEP IT SIMPLE AND LET YOUR JACKET BE THE HERO.” ANDILE MADLALA, PT
DAYTIME DATE Want a polished look? Zip it up with a slim-fitting jacket – and keep your accessories simple (think neutral colours and understated details). A hat and sunglasses will show you’re ready for anything, but don’t forget to remove the shades when inside and loosen the jacket when you sit down.
Flat Cap R900 Ted Baker, Aviators R4 186 Tom Ford at SDM Eyewear, Night Vision Watch R14 995 Victorinox at Picot & Moss, Spender Sweat Jeans R4 599 Diesel, Belt R299 H&M, Hi-Tops R1 895 Kurt Geiger
AFTER HOURS This old-school number will make you look (and feel) like James Dean. It’s versatile enough to sling over a button-down shirt when you clock out, and sleek enough to have you covered when “just drinks” turns into an overnighter.
Shirt R529 H&M, Leather-Strap Watch R3195 Simon Carter, Belt R1 700 Replay, Theon Chinos R2 900 Scotch & Soda
“A LIGHT-TONED, BUTTON-UP SHIRT SCREAMS SOPHISTICATED. AS FAR AS FIRST IMPRESSIONS GO, A LITTLE CLASS GOES A LONG WAY.” MARK JOHNSON, RADIO DJ
“I FEEL DRESSED UP, BUT IT’S EFFORTLESS AND VERY COOL. THIS IS THE ONE ITEM IN MY WARDROBE THAT I’LL NEVER LOSE.” ISSA LEO, DESIGNER
A BIG DEAL We’ve always loved a classic cut as it can be casual or dressed up with a few simple tweaks. Exhibit A: a gingham shirt with slim-fit trousers. Feel free to swap out the sneakers for black brogues. You want to say clean-cut pro, not egomaniacal tech-billionaire.
Checked Shirt R1 349 Ben Sherman, Slim-Fit Suit Pants R1 199 TopMan, Paris Watch R3 550 Hugo Boss at Bacher & Co., Woven Belt R229 H&M, Sneakers R3 999 Tiger of Sweden
OFF DUTY While there are many different styles, we’re partial to classic cuts because they’re versatile and flexible, so you can wear them anywhere. Choose one to suit your budget.
Loosen up! Yes, you can live in this thing – if you learn how to look relaxed. The result: people will assume that you were born to wear one. A basic T-shirt and fitted jogger pants let the jacket shine as the stand-out piece. Trust us: soon, this will be your go-to weekend get-up.
T-Shirt R329 H&M Studio Collection, Surplus Carmel Joggers R699 Billabong, Beaded Bracelets R79 H&M, Machine Casual Watch R3 299 Fossil at Spree, Tubular Invader Sneakers R1 899 Adidas
“KEEP YOUR JACKET FITTED AND YOUR PANTS LOOSE. THIS LOOK JUST FALLS INTO PLACE.” Hanson Leather Jacket R3 299 Old Khaki
SHAUN SMIT, ACTOR
Biker leather jacket R9 990 Anthony Morato at Hydraulics
ADIDAS ORIGINAL 021 421 8272 BEN SHERMAN 021 425 8996 BILLABONG 042 200 2600 S. BACHER & CO 011372 6000 DIESEL 011 630 4000 EDGARS 0860 692 274 H&M 021 826 7300 ISSA LEO 021 426 2757 KINGS OF DENIM kingsofdenim.com KURT GEIGER 0860 434 437 LE COQ SPORTIF 012 345 4527 LEVI’S 021 403 9400 NIC HARRY nicharry.co.za PICOT & MOSS 011 669 0500 REPLAY 021 418 8507 SCOTCH & SODA 011 784 3233 SDM EYEWEAR: 011 334 7020 SIMON CARTER 011 884 0006 SPREE spree.co.za TED BAKER 011 450 1156 TIGER OF SWEDEN 011 440 3235 TOPMAN 021 419 5900 WOOLWORTHS 0860 022 002
FA S H I O N A S S I S TA N T N A D I A W I N D T G R O O M I N G S U A A D J A P P I E AT O N E L E A G U E M O D E L S I S S A L O P E Z , S H A U N S M I T S AT I C E G E N E TI C S , C H A D S A A I M A N , J O H R Y B AT T AT I C E G E N E T I C S , J O R D Y H U N T, M A R K J O H N S O N AT @ 0 M A N A G E M E N T, A N D I L E M AT T O P C O
Leather jacket R1 999 The Lot
MENSWEAR COLLECTION 2016 ASE C W O H S E SIV DS U C X E N A FOR LATEST TREN T U O T H G I ST N SUMMER 2016 We are giving 100 lucky readers E T T O H E H TO T OF SPRING/ and their partners tickets to join us for this premier menswear fashion show.
21 SEPTEMBER 2016 CAPE TOWN Simply post a pic of you at your stylish best to Instagram with the hashtag #MHstyle by 10 September 2016
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
10 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Sanity Spent winter hibernating? Here’s how to ditch your bad habits, worst purchases and errant clutter and come out the other side a better man BY KIERAN LEGG
2/ Skip the Gym (for a Change) Spending a whole season training indoors means two things (a) yep, you’ve stayed fit, and that’s awesome (b) you’ve spent a lot of time staring at a wall. Swap your session on the treadmill for the great outdoors. It’s the perfect combination of cardio, catharsis and not-havingto-hear-Chad-singing-along-toNickelback-in-the-squat-rack. 3/ Kick the Comfort Food
The dead of winter is a breeding ground for bad meals and binge eating. We get it, staving off the winter chill is easier when you’ve got a bowl of meat and potatoes in front of you. But it’s time to get back in the kitchen. Switch out your carb-heavy, kJ-loaded comfort fare for some homegrown and homemade spring greenery.
130 MH.CO.ZA | September b 2016
4/ Enjoy the Season, Not
the Third Season... for the Third Time Getting home, plopping yourself down on the couch and rewatching Game of Throness is perfectly acceptable when winter is coming. But winter has come, and gone, and it’s time to reinvent your game plan. Limit yourself (and your significant other) to a single (new) episode every night. Use the rest of your free-time to take your dog for a walk, or tackle a DIY project around the house. 5/ Cut the Crap You’ve got piles of clutter all around your home, and the mess is starting to turn sentient. Clearing space is easy – just ask yourself, when last did I use this? If the answer is: “I can’t remember”, it’s time to donate, dump or destroy. 6/ Upgrade Date Night Got dinner plans for Friday? Cancel them. Winter was when you’d huddle up in the same cozy diner, on the same damn day, every same damn week. Spring is where you’ll be found out on the deck of eccentric hipster joint that serves everything on a bed of tea leaves. Remember, going out is not just about the food, it’s about the experience and creating a memorable moment. Like that time you guys found the barista’s moustache hair in your Matcha Latte.
7// Don’t Phone It In Hook-up apps can and do work. But save the static speed p dating for when you’re y holed up p at home. It’s spring, p g and the beautiful, free-spirited and adventurous g girl yyou’re looking for is out there living it up, not looking down. 8/ Seriously, Do It Yourself
Clearing gutters in middle of a storm? Yep, we’d also call in the professionals. But on a clear day? You have no excuse to shell out your hard-earned cash to let another guy do your DIY. Look up quick fixes on the internet and take matters into your own hands. You’ll save some dosh, and look like a badass at the same time. 9/ Don’t be a Dad Joke
Your kids need more than a TV and a toy box to connect with their dad. For some real bonding time? Take it outside. The warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to start a family project. Think: tree house. Too ambi-
tious? Think: tyre swing. That way when your little tykes are swinging around during their summer holidays and you’re slaving away in your cubicle, it won’t be “the swing” but “the swing dad made”. 10/ Live for the Weekend
We’re not telling you to slack off. It’s the opposite. Remember last season? You know, when you’d leave everything until next Monday and doom your days-off to live in the dark shadow of your procrastination and those swirling grey clouds? Nipping your deadlines in their proverbial bud will save you from staring down the barrel on Sunday afternoon.
P H O T O G R A P H S G E T T Y/ G A L L O I M A G E S
1/ Stop Abusing the Snooze Your poor alarm clock has been beaten, tossed and molested all in the name of “just five more minutes”. But it’s time to cut the snooze abuse. Keep your beeper out of arm’s reach. That way you’re forced to crawl from the covers, get yourself moving and at least confront your own laziness if you decide to turn in again.
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