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As the Olympic Games come to an end, we have been privileged to be part of what will undoubtedly be the most memorable sporting event of our generation. For decades, the Olympics have inspired many people in many different ways. For some, the spectator experience is enough to motivate a change in lifestyle; for others, the sheer athleticism and beauty of seeing the body taken to the limits of human performance may inspire improvements in their own exercise and sporting activities. From another perspective, we often underestimate the wider impact that global sporting events have on well-being. The historical and cultural relevance of the Olympics can often bring about an unconscious social connection or bonding with others - the feel-good factor and satisfaction to be gained from this type of interaction is priceless. In the words of Boris Johnson, “The excitement is growing so much I think the Geiger counter of Olympo-mania is going to go ‘zoink’ off the scale.” I prefer the simpler patois, “witness the fitness”. The London 2012 Games has not only motivated people to think differently about exercise and sport, it has also motivated us to want to know more about the science behind it – as explored in the article ‘Energy Systems: why you can’t sprint forever’. And of course, who can fail to be inspired by the diversity of training approaches that different sports offer? With more features on flexibility, strength and power, or just no-nonsense high intensity training, we’ve got something to really hit the spot. Equipment-driven training modalities are still hot in the industry, particularly those that use a back–to-basics approach. With this in mind, we’ll be looking at ‘Boxing and Pad Work’ and the relatively new area of ‘Bulgarian Bag Training’. And don’t worry – if you prefer a minimalist approach, you can still get your fix with ‘Barefoot Running – taking your first steps’, which discusses how to make an effective, pain-free transition to this growing trend. Finally, every fit pro, athlete and exerciser understands the role that optimal nutrition plays in health and fitness. Experts will often say “we are what we eat”; however, I would go a step further and say “what we eat can help us be much more than what we are”. These thoughts are strongly echoed in ‘Going Coconuts’ and ‘The Power of Protein’ – two refreshingly simple features that reinforce the message that food really is medicine.

Autumn 12


I certainly hope this autumn edition of the Premier Training Magazine inspires you to improve your own health and fitness in different ways. And as we all continue to be motivated by the athletes at the London 2012 Games, let’s not forget that these extraordinary individuals all share a common goal – commitment. At Premier Training, we are committed to your education and development, and our proven track record in fitness innovation and high-quality delivery has allowed us to be the best in the business. So what are you waiting for? Turn the page and take your PT business, as well as your own training, to Olympic heights.

Kesh Patel - Research and Development Manager Autumn 2012 | PTM | 3

Autumn 12


6 - Women & Weights 10 - Fighting Fit 12 - Going Coco-nuts 14 - Boxing and Padwork 20 - Barefoot running 22 - The giant barbell pyramid workout 28 - Energy Systems 30 - High Intensity Training 34 - the power of Protein 36 - 5 Great Reasons 40 - Principles of exercise during pregnancy

6 - Women & Weights

46 - Brutal GVT Workout 52 - Flexibility Corner 54 - Bulgarian bag Training 60 - Put the COMPLEXity into your Strength & Power Training

10 - Fighting Fit

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PTM is now available on the iPad via iTunes. Editorial Contributors Patrick Dale Ben McDonald Andreas Michael Yvette Nevrkla Kesh Patel Ben Pratt Richard Scrivener Del Wilson Magazine Editors Andreas Michael Patrick Dale Research and Development Manager Kesh Patel

Magazine Development Victoria Branch Zoe Rodriguez Advertising Sales Andreas Michael telephone: 07950 338897 Published by Metro Health And Fitness on behalf of Premier Training International   Published online and via Apple iTunes PTM is published 4 times a per year

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here may not be in agreement with those of Premier Training International and their employees. The above parties are not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury or health condition that may occur consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Layout Designer: Andreas Michael

20 - Barefoot running

14 - Boxing and Padwork

40 - Principles of exercise

Autumn 2012 | PTM | 5


Women & By Patrick Dale


It’s a shame but a great many female exercisers steer away from strength training in their quest to get leaner, tone up and/or lose weight. All you have to do is look around most typical gyms to see that men tend to head to the freeweight area and women are more likely to be in group exercise classes or doing cardio. While both cardio and group exercise can be useful in the quest for fat loss, strength training can be equally beneficial. Besides making your muscles bigger and stronger, strength training offers a number of benefits to female exercisers including: • Improved muscle tone • Targeted exercise for problem areas such as thighs or backs of arms • Improved posture • Elevated metabolic rate at rest for increased fat burning and easier weight control • Improved joint health • Increased bone density and a subsequent decrease in risk of developing osteoporosis • Greater functional strength for everyday activities By contrast, regular strength training workouts will not result in the following – (unless you follow a non-gender specific programme that has been badly designed that is...) • Bulky, masculine-looking muscles • Big veins • Big arms • Broad shoulders • Large thighs • Chunky calves • Thick waist 6 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Many of the myths attributed to women and strength training are directly attributable to bad programmes and, more specifically, women who are instructed to train like men. For most men, the aim of working out with weights is muscle growth. Subsequently, most men follow a bodybuilding-type training programme that is probably split over the week so that entire training sessions are devoted to the development of specific muscle groups; chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, shoulders on Thursday and arms on Friday sort of thing. Needless to say, this approach is great for muscle gain but pretty much the opposite of what most women want. Another problem is exercise allocation. It is not uncommon to see women doing exercise that are just not suited to what they are trying to achieve. While shoulder presses, biceps curls and bench presses are great “guy” exercises and target the muscles most men want to “bulk up”, they are not necessarily the best choice for the female exerciser who wants to avoid excessive muscle gain. Finally, consider the aim of the typical “guy” training programme; muscle hypertrophy. Muscle hypertrophy

means making muscles bigger and generally involves gaining significant bodyweight. It’s pretty safe to say that this is the exact opposite of what most women are exercising for! So, while men tend to benefit from multiple exercises for each muscle group in the 6 to 12 repetition range, typical female trainees would benefit from an altogether different training approach. Guidelines for female weight training Now you know how not to strength train, unless you want to develop

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bigger muscles that is, let’s look at how you should organise your training to get the best that strength training can offer without turning yourself into Guy the Gorilla...


Perform your exercises in the standing position. Seated and lying exercise are okay but working out while stood up offers a number of advantages; you’ll burn more calories and even upper body exercise will involve and strengthen your legs and core, you won’t be able to lift as much weight and the strength you develop will have greater carryover to everyday activities.


Leave the split routines to the bodybuilders. Instead of doing chest on Monday etc. perform two or three whole body workouts per week. This way you will only be able to perform a very limited amount of exercise per muscle group so you are far less likely to experience much in the way of hypertrophy.


Stick with 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise. This rep range is known for developing muscular endurance and not promoting significant muscle growth. Your muscles will still get firmer and more defined but without getting overly masculine. Short rests between sets, around 30 to 45 seconds, will also ensure you are unable to lift especially heavy weights and this will also reduce your hypertrophy potential.


Superset your exercises into push and pull pairings or upper body and lower body pairings. By alternating between two exercises with little or no rest, you will significantly increase your calorie expenditure resulting in greater fat loss and also reduced loading due to systemic fatigue.


Still do your cardio! Many guys will avoid cardio altogether in the belief that it will limit the recovery resources they have available for muscle growth - and they are right! Doing cardio and weights means muscle growth will be compromised so any smart female strength trainer should do just that. Alternate a day of cardio with a day of weights to reduce your muscle growth potential. Add in a calorie controlled

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diet and you have exactly the right environment to limit muscle growth.


Don’t take muscle building support supplements like creatine, weight gainers or whey protein. You can get enough protein from your diet by eating meals based on lean protein such as chicken or fish plus veggies and healthy fats. Additional protein is required for muscle growth. Don’t want big muscles? Don’t consume protein like a bodybuilder then!


Perform single limb exercises that challenge your balance and coordination as much as your muscles. I love squats and deadlifts – mainly because they allow me to lift a lot of weight which triggers a significant gain in strength and muscle. If you don’t want manly muscles, stick to exercises like lunges, reverse lunges, single legged deadlifts, single arm overhead presses, single arm chest press on stability ball and two-point bent over row with one dumbbell. These exercises are not known for their massive muscle building ability which makes them ideal for the muscle-conscious female exerciser.


Don’t use training systems like drop sets, pre-exhaust, post-exhaust or similar hypertrophy-specific intensifying methods – these are meant for one thing only...making your muscles bigger! Leave them to the bodybuilders. Don’t get me wrong – I am most definitely NOT against women developing muscle and strength but I also recognise that many women have an abject fear of gaining muscle even though physiologically, a woman’s body is not primed for hypertrophy. In many cases, following the eight points above will result in very little muscle gain but a significant increase in energy expenditure, local muscular endurance and muscle tone. If you are concerned about muscle gain as a result of strength training, follow the eight guidelines above and also avoid training like a man. If your trainer has you following anything remotely like a hypertrophy orientated split routine, ask them to provide you with something more appropriate to your goals.

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Fighting Fit fit for fighting

By Patrick Dale Many people are involved in martial arts: from boxing to judo to the newly popular sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Even people who have no intention of ever stepping onto the mat or into the ring are training to give themselves the physiques of these super-tough athletes. By and large, fighters have good physiques – lean, muscular, good core strength, athletic and fit – but what is the best way to train for a sport of such complex demands? In this article we’ll be looking specifically at conditioning for fighting...


or just about forever, fighters’ fitness training has involved lots of road work. Early morning runs were (and still are) the mainstay of many peoples’ fight training but, before we go any further, what has running long distances relatively slowly got to do with the mostly anaerobic sports that encompass the fighting arts? LSD running is great if you are training to run a marathon but the fitness demands of combat sports is more akin to repeated 400 meter sprints than distance running. If LSD running is being done for weight management, I’d suggest the fighters’ diet needs addressing rather than wasting valuable training time and energy pounding the pavements. So, if LSD roadwork isn’t the best form of conditioning, then what is? Most combat sports are fought in rounds – 3 minutes for boxing and longer for some MMA bouts. Fighters should focus on training like they are going to be fighting. There is no real benefit of going out and running slowly for 60 minutes if your sport consists of 3 minute rounds with 1 minute recoveries. That’s like training to throw the javelin by kicking a football. Fitness is SPECIFIC by which I mean that the training you do dictates the responses you get. Most fighting is anaerobic and so most training

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should be anaerobic too. Let’s say you are a boxer and you are training for a fight of six x three minute rounds with 1 minute rests. That three on/one off should be your main training template for most if not all of your conditioning training. Anything outside of those parameters is not specific to your fitness goals and therefore likely to be a waste of your time. Try this boxing specific energy system workout... 1. Burpees 2. Barbell high pulls 3. Speed squats 4. Press ups 5. Lateral box jumps 6. Kettlebell swings Perform each exercise as fast as you can for 30 seconds, moving from one exercise to the next with no rest to complete three minutes of work or one round. Rest one minute and repeat for six rounds. THAT is specific training for the demands of boxing! In addition to being a superior training tool for fighters, this approach is also a supreme fat burner so it is ideal for those who want to look the part but not get hit in the head too often! Muscular endurance and anaerobic conditioning are both worked within the same training session which leaves more time for skill and drill work, strength and power training. If your sport requires five minute rounds try this workout... 1. Rowing machine 2. Burpees 3. Treadmill 4. Barbell/sandbag clean and press 5. Skipping (jump rope, not playground!) Perform each exercise for 60 seconds at full speed before taking 60 seconds rest and repeating for the desired number of rounds. For variety, you can also perform similarly intense and sports specific

workouts but without the use of such constrictive timings. The key is to work as hard as possible using large muscle groups, take only short rests and repeat for a number of rounds – train harder to fight easier. The burpee challenge 1. 5 burpees 2. 10 press ups 3. 15 squats 4. 20 jump rope double unders 5. Row or run 500 meters Repeat for 5 rounds as fast as possible Whole body bodyweight blast 1. 5 chin ups 2. 10 dips 3. 15 squat jumps 4. 20 mountain climbers Perform one round every 2nd minute – the faster you go, the longer you rest. As your fitness improves, try go-

ing every 105 second and then every 90 second for a really challenging workout. 400 meter sprints on the clock Using either a treadmill, running track or a measured 400 meter distance on the road start your stopwatch and run 400 meters. When the timer reaches three minutes, run again. Continue running 400 meters on every 3rd minute until you have covered two miles. These types of workouts will challenge your anaerobic energy system, your fast twitch muscle fibres and have you fit for fighting far quicker than any amount of LSD road work so make the change and you’ll never run out of gas in a fight again.

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training By Ben Pratt

Going Coco-nuts for weight loss In a rapidly expanding industry where weight management is the most common driving and motivating factor for exercise, it is easy to become buried amongst the vastly conflicting evidence in trying to assist our clients to be successful. In relation to dietary advice an area that is heavily supported by scientific research, but not so much by the popular press, is the inclusion of a sufficient amount of coconut oil!


oconut oil is the most saturated of all fats, with 91% of the fatty acids being saturated. As you can imagine this high saturated fatty acid profile has traditionally made coconut oil unpopular as a valuable contributor to a healthy diet. Coconut oil is particularly rich in medium-chain triglycerides; composing as much as 69% of the total fatty acid ratio.1 The exceptionally high content of saturated, medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) has interested the scientific community for many years. Research highlighting the health promoting benefits of the medium-chain saturates in coconut oil has been around since the late 1950’s. Despite this, the main evidence brought to public attention over the last 30 - 40 years has been very much focused on decreasing the saturated fat intake in our diets. This has led to coconut oil being vilified both by experts and by the media as a source of dietary fat to be avoided due to its potential for negative impact on human physiology. It may be illuminating to know that there are experts who boldly contradict the saturated fat/heart disease hypothesis regardless of its general acceptance. Harvard’s world renowned nutrition expert, Walter Willett M.D. in speaking of the infamous Dietary Modification Trial acknowledged that even though ‘the focus of 12 | PTM | Autumn 2012

dietary recommendations is usually a reduction of saturated fat intake, no relation between saturated fat intake and risk of CHD was observed in the most informative prospective study to date.’ Perhaps the most prominent and the longest running scientific trial on record looking at diet, cholesterol, lifestyle and heart disease has been researched over a 40 year period in Framingham, Massachusetts. 6000 subjects have been involved in this investigation over the years generating a huge volume of valid and ground breaking information. One of the trial director’s, William P. Castelli, declared in 1992 after he retired that ‘In Framingham, Mass, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. We found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.’ 4 Whilst these are the scientifically informed views of two experts in the field, these statements do fly in the face of widespread opinion. But if two world class specialists on the subject of diet and health are questioning our long held beliefs regarding saturated fat, should we not at least open our minds to the possibility that they could be on to something?

Getting back to coconut oil, unlike other saturated fats that can be produced by the liver, the mammary gland is the only place in the body that produces MCT’s. This makes it a nutritious and vital component of breast milk, nature’s perfect food! There are only three sources of MCT’s in the adult diet; smaller amounts are found in butterfat and palm kernel oil, whereas large amounts, as mentioned earlier, are present in coconut oil. MCT’s are also gentler on the digestive tract as they do not require the catabolic action of bile to break it down. This makes it an excellent fat to introduce when a low fat diet has been followed for some time and fat digestion may have become weak. There is a very convincing body of evidence about the benefits of coconut oil, particularly as an effective tool for body fat loss and optimising energy! Research carried out on rats showed that rats fed 45% of calories as MCT’s had virtually no body fat deposited compared to larger body fat deposits found on those fed long-chain triglycerides (LCT). Another rat study demonstrated decreasing body fat levels due to an increase in metabolic rate and thermogenesis (increased heat or energy output) when the study group was fed MCT’s. A research trial carried out at McGill University in Canada showed that MCT’s increased body fat oxidation in women and could be suitable as a supporting factor in long term weight control. Several different scientific studies on men showed that when MCT’s are eaten there is a resultant increase in weight loss and body fat oxidation, a boosting of metabolism

and increased energy expenditure compared to control groups. Another revealing study showed that the MCT’s in coconut are burned up three times faster than other more commonly consumed long-chain fats and oils. When the effects of ‘heart healthy’ olive oil were compared to coconut oil there was significantly greater loss of adipose tissue when the latter was consumed. The authors commented that ‘MCT’s may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.’ Scientific trials that have involved both men and women found that MCT’s increased weight loss and energy expenditure. One such study interestingly concluded ‘that MCT’s increase energy expenditure, (and) may result in faster satiety and facilitate weight control.’


Ideas for introducing coconut oil into your diet: • Melt a tbsp. of coconut oil in some warm water and drink as a coconut tea – also delicious in a cup of cocoa made with whole milk • Use coconut oil, cream, milk or desiccated in curries or spicy meals where appropriate • Use quality fats such as butter and olive oil blended with coconut oil in baking, bread making or pastry • Enjoy a morning bowl of organic porridge oats with some coconut oil, cinnamon and a sprinkling of nuts and seeds • Melt creamed coconut and quickly mix with a natural organic yoghurt • Use coconut oil as a natural moisturiser for the hands, face and skin in general

n our effort to beat the bulge we need to stop slipping into the long held oversimplification that we should significantly reduce the amount of fat in our diets. Fats are not all bad; in fact some are exceptionally good for our health. It is now widely accepted that omega 3’s are beneficial and we often read advice about increasing our intake of these valuable fats. To become healthy, lean and fighting fit the evidence in support of including highly saturated, medium chain coconut oil in our diets is hugely positive. Coconut oil is looking likely to become an additional and highly effective secret weapon in the weight management programmes of the future. So get ahead of the game and start using good quality oils. Seek for organic, cold pressed extra virgin coconut oils which are readily available at heath food shops and on the high street and the internet.

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Boxing and


By Ben McDonald

‘The noble art’ is followed my millions of people around the world The skill of the fighters is phenomenal as is the conditioning, but as PTs how can we bring this training to our clients safely? The benefits for PTs are huge, pads are relatively cheap, transportable and, when used correctly, are a highly effective conditioning tool. Pad training is extremely audible and visual so when performed in a gym environment it gets the PT noticed which is great when attracting new clients! As for the client; not only do they get a fun, stimulating, effective and ‘functional’ workout but also get to expend some serious stress. Putting together a pad training session is relatively easy; after all the aim of boxing is to be unpredictable so to write down lots of combinations in order would almost have negative carry-over. We should build different combinations in different orders steadily over the period of a few sessions, up to the point where the client is moving and throwing crisp punches with good technique. Firstly the client must be taught the correct stance; this is paramount. All power, speed and movement stems from the stance so it must be correct otherwise sooner or later it will collapse. We should then teach straight punches followed by hooks, uppercuts and finally body shots. If the client can generate good amounts of force with

good technique for head shots then body shots tend to be easy to pick up. As this process is going on we are constantly working the client on the pads, building combinations to the point where the punches flow from body to head.

ent awake and ready. We can then extend the rounds and the intensity of the punches. If the client is warm and ready you can definitely let them bang like a toilet door in a storm! Once we get into putting the round together it should be random with varying amounts of single shots and combinations to the head and body.

An example session may look like this:


arm up: Remember we

must be ‘warm to perform’ so a warm up is highly important. A pulse raiser with dynamic stretches is a good place to start but try and integrate some specific warm up drills such as little squat jumps to get the legs fired up along with some little ankle pops to wake up the calf complex. We can then move into a rotation drill. To keep the arms and shoulders fresh and free from fatigue use a VIPr held across the chest. Flex slightly at the hip and knee and rotate from one side to the other building speed. This fires up the body in the transverse plane but keeps the shoulders fresh so we can MASH those up in the main session!


ain session: We should start with a nice, short, light round just to get the cli-

Let’s have a look at some of the key punches and then I’ll show you some great little combinations I like: • • • • • •

Jab Right cross Left hook Right hook Left uppercut Right uppercut

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Jab - orthodox or right handed fighter An orthodox fighter will hold their left hand slightly out in front of their face. This hand is for jabbing. The jab is used to keep an opponent off guard, to find range and to effectively load the more powerful right hand. Because the left hand is closer to the opponent it has less distance to travel and thus gives the opponent less time to react. When we throw a jab the hand will travel in a straight line directly out and towards the opponent. The elbow must come up directly behind the fist and the punch land with a straight arm, knuckles parallel to the ceiling and the shoulder girdle rotating slightly into the punch. This shoulder and torso rotation is useful during combinations when another punch, such as the right cross follows the jab, as it will help load the right hand. The jab will return to the starting position in a straight line. When throwing the jab remember that it is not meant to knock our opponent out. The focus must be to try and keep punching speed. Imagine the action of quickly using a bull whip or flicking a wet towel!

Right cross - orthodox or right handed fighter The right cross has a vital role. It can be thrown very quickly with a huge amount of force and is difficult to defend against, however, it is often thrown with poor technique. The power for the right hand comes from the right foot; this is where the punch begins. The fist is only the delivery system for the force generated by the rest of the kinetic chain. When in normal stance the feet are at a 45째 degree angle facing away from our opponent. Before the right hand even moves, the client must turn their back foot so that their toes point straight forward. The pivoting of the back foot will drive the hips so they are square on and in turn rotate the shoulders, finishing with the right arm quickly extending and delivering the force that has been generated up the kinetic chain. When the right hand lands on the pads or the opponent, it will be with a straight arm and the knuckles parallel to the ceiling. The right hand should then quickly return to the right cheek in a straight line and the shoulders, hips and right foot should return to their original position. This will prepare the body to throw the shot again, almost like reloading a slingshot.

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Left hook - orthodox or right handed fighter The left hook, when thrown on its own, is difficult to hide and to generate sufficient force with. When thrown in a combination, it can become a knockout punch. The punch starts with the left hand dropping slightly, allowing the left shoulder to roll. As this shoulder roll takes place the left hand comes round and up almost like drawing a circle, the elbow naturally rising behind the fist. This is essential to maintain the delivery of power. If the elbow is low, lateral rotation at the shoulder can occur (while if the elbow is high medial rotation is maintained) and leads to a loss of power. While the elbow comes up the front foot is allowed to turn away from the opponent. This helps to drive the punch into the opponent or the pad while simultaneously shifting body weight and in so doing storing kinetic energy in the back leg ready to explode into the next shot. At the moment of impact a left hook should land with the elbow directly behind the fist and the knuckles parallel to the ceiling. Alternatively, the knuckles may be vertical on impact, but parallel knuckles do promote the elbow being directly behind the fist and as such it is preferred. Once the hook is delivered the left hand returns to the starting position and the shoulders, hips and feet return to the stance position.

Right hook - orthodox or right handed fighter The right hook is a superb shot which utilises the transverse plane to the fullest! The punch starts with a slight rotation of the shoulders away from the opponent, the right hand dropping slightly away from the right cheek bone, whilst turning on the right foot followed by the hips and shoulders turning with the punch. The right hand will naturally arc outwards and, as with the left hook, it is imperative to ensure the elbow is directly behind the fist. The momentum of the punch will help shift body weight at the same time and so store kinetic energy in the front leg ready to explode into the next shot. When the right hook lands it will be with the elbow behind the fist and the knuckles parallel to the ceiling. Alternatively, the knuckles may be vertical on impact, but parallel knuckles do promote the elbow being directly behind the fist and as such it is preferred. Once the hook is delivered the right hand will return to the start position and the shoulders, hips and feet return to the stance position.

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Left uppercut - orthodox or right handed fighter The left uppercut when thrown correctly is a potent punch, as demonstrated by a young Mike Tyson. However, most people throw the shot from the shoulder - this is incorrect. The punch is initiated by flexing at the hip and knee, slightly rotating and leaning towards the opponent, and loading the lead leg. The powerful force comes from explosively extending at the knee and hip driving the left hand upwards. Towards the end range of extension through the leg the left fist continues straight up and into the opponents chin or the pad. When the left uppercut lands the knuckles should be facing the opponent and the hand and forearm should be vertical. Once the uppercut is delivered the left hand will return to the start position and the shoulders, hips and feet return to the stance position.

Right uppercut - orthodox or right handed fighter The right uppercut, when thrown correctly is definitely a ‘power shot’! The punch is initiated by letting the right hand drop away from the right cheek slightly, whilst flexing at the hip and knee. The back foot must pivot, in a similar manner to the right cross or right hook. As the hips turn the right fist is driven upwards utilising hip and knee extension to add the power. As the fist rises up the shoulders rotate allowing the right fist to continue directly upward into the opponents chin or the pad. When the right uppercut lands the knuckles should be facing the opponent and the hand and forearm should be vertical. Once the uppercut is delivered the right hand will return to the start position and the shoulders, hips and feet return to the stance position.

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• One, two, left hook, straight right. • Jab, right uppercut, left hook, straight right. • Right hook body, left hook head, straight right. • Double jab, right hand, left hook, right hook (Reverse the punches for a left hander or ‘southpaw’) This is by no stretch of the imagination an exhaustive list so feel free to chop and change as you see fit! Cool down: Consisting of bringing the heart rate down and static stretches. Pad training is a highly motivating way to train and really puts the ‘personal’ into Personal Training, so have a go with your clients, you might even get them chasing chickens and shouting “yo Adrienne we did it!” at the end of every session!

One, two, left hook, right hook

Interested in taking the “Total Padwork Instructor Training” course? Then here is a little more infomation

Length and Format of Course


This course consists of a two day workshop at selected Premier venues.

Premier Certificate in Total Padwork Instructor Training.


Course Content

Students are practically assessed on day two of the workshop.

• Health and safety considerations for pad training • Correct stance and punching technique • Correct technique for holding pads and force absorption • An introduction to the use of the body pad • How to build logical flowing combinations

Entry Requirements A REPs accredited gym instructor qualification is required for acceptance on this course. It would be recommended that students are actively working in the health and fitness industry with a range of clients.

Next Steps You may wish to consider Premier’s Medicine Ball and Power Club Instructor Training workshops as useful additions to this course. For more information and to book your place please call 0845 1 90 90 90 or visit www.


Autumn 2012 | PTM | 19

Barefoot By Kesh Patel

running Taking your first steps

As children, running barefoot came naturally to us and was perceived as natural. As adults, we are often sceptical and hesitant to the idea of barefoot running. Don’t we need to cushion our feet? What about injuries? On the contrary, barefoot runners often report having stronger feet, feelings of lightness, a better connection to the ground and tend to be more injury-free. With these benefits in mind, many people are reembracing the natural culture of barefoot running. So why run barefoot?


uch of the hesitation and resistance to barefoot running we see today is most likely down to years of being sold on the need for good running shoes – proper cushioning and rigid motion control have been portrayed as synonymous with injury prevention (Robbins & Waked, 1997). Growing evidence from the fields of sports medicine and evolutionary biology are only confirming what barefoot cultures have known for generations – that running barefoot (or with minimalist footwear) is a natural and energy-efficient way of moving (Warburton, 2001). In effect, cushioned shoes act like casts that artificially provide stability and motion control, thereby robbing the lower extremity of its innate 20 | PTM | Autumn 2012

dynamic functional ability, and increasing the risk of injury (Harvard University, 2010; Crevier, 2009). It’s important to understand that barefoot running naturally adopts a mid to forefoot strike on landing resulting in smaller collision forces compared to heel striking (Lieberman et al, 2010); this makes far better use of the spring-like abilities of the foot and leg. The switch from heel striking to mid/forefoot striking is often the biggest challenge, but with perseverance, the transition can be smooth and pain-free; key to this transition is the use of ‘barefoot shoes’.

Barefoot shoes – an oxymoron! When it comes to barefoot running, it may seem like a contradiction to talk about barefoot (or minimalist)

shoes. However, they will ensure a smoother transition to pure barefoot by removing most of the cushioning, significantly changing your running pattern in the process (Squadrone & Gallozzi, 2009). They also offer the advantage of 360° protection, while retaining a decent amount of ground feel. It’s worth noting that that even traditional barefoot culture, such as the native Tarahumara tribes of Mexico, still use some form of protection on their feet while running (e.g. Huarache sandals). When choosing a barefoot shoe, comfort and functionality is more important than the latest trend. As far as transitional shoes go, a useful tip is to look for those that offer a ‘zero drop’ (same height at the heel as at the ball of the foot) – which provides a barefoot feel by allowing the foot to land

flatter and follow its natural motion. Another consideration is the ‘toebox’ – the space at the front of the shoe that houses your toes. Barefoot running will naturally splay the toes, allowing for increased ground feel and stability, and it’s important that your toes have the space to do so. Almost all of the major barefoot brands (e.g. Merrell, Vivo Barefoot, New Balance etc.) will generally incorporate a spacious toe-box that will feel comfortable even for the widest of feet. It’s worth noting that while ‘glove-style’ footwear (e.g. Vibram Five Fingers) will spread the toes, they may not offer the freedom of movement that ‘shoe-style’ footwear offers. Once again, comfort and fit should inform your decision. Wellchosen barefoot shoes will hopefully result in a smooth transition into pure barefoot running.

Taking your first steps

what, and your cadence will increase to sustain your pace. In order to remain light and springy on your feet, avoid pushing off the ground with each step; instead, pull the heel towards the buttock immediately after each foot strike, before allowing it to simply land. When performed correctly, you will feel like you’re running on the spot, yet still moving forwards.


Choose the appropriate terrain. Although barefoot running can be performed almost anywhere, it may be easier to focus on technique on a harder surface. This may seem absurd, but landing on your heels on a hard surface (with or without barefoot shoes) will hurt; therefore you will quickly adopt a mid/forefoot strike in no time. After a couple of months, your feet and legs will be stronger, and you may wish to progress to running on a softer surface. Grass is usually the best place to start, and you may even want to try going completely barefoot. Because running on softer surfaces results in larger eccentric forces through the leg, it’s worth progressing slowly to avoid excessive soreness.

3 Here are some useful tips on how to get started with barefoot running:


Practise the technique. Learn to use gravity to assist forward motion by slightly leaning into the run, using the whole body (not just the torso). The forward lean will allow the mid/forefoot to ‘catch’ you underneath your centre of gravity, and maintain balance and forward momentum. In order to run in this way, your stride may shorten some-

Take it slow. Many people make the mistake of doing too much too quickly, which will often lead to discouragement, as well as pain and potential injury. Commit to a barefoot transitional programme for at least one month, beginning with just a few minutes of barefoot running every other day, and adding a minute to each session as you progress; begin with nothing more than a jog/light run and avoid faster paces. If you are midway into a running programme, then try adding barefoot time to the end of a regular run. During the first few weeks of barefoot running, your body will be growing accustomed to a new way of moving. Nurture your feet gradually through the transition, taking a full rest day between each barefoot session (more, if you feel excessive muscle soreness), and stretch or massage the feet/calves regularly.

While your initial explorations will most likely require a degree of negotiation, effort, and perseverance, it won’t be long before you develop the natural and rhythmic pattern that running barefoot stimulates. References 1. Crevier LM (2009). Running barefoot: A natural step for reducing injuries? Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine 26(7) 2. Harvard University (2010). Barefoot running: How humans ran comfortably and safely before the invention of shoes. ScienceDaily. Available at http://www.sciencedaily. com/releases/2010/01/100127134241. htm [Accessed 20/6/12] 3. Lieberman DE et al. (2010). Foot strike and collision forces in habitually barefoot versus shod runners. Nature 463, 531-535 4. Robbins S, Waked E (1997). Hazards of deceptive advertising of athletic footwear. British Journal of Sports Medicine 31, 299-303 5. Squadrone R, Gallozzi C (2009). Biomechanical and physiological comparison of barefoot and two shod conditions in experienced barefoot runners. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 49(1), 6-13 6. Warburton M (2001). Barefoot running. Available at http:// [Accessed 20/6/12]

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Autumn 2012 | PTM | 27

Energy Systems By Richard Scrivener

Why you can’t sprint forever!

Jump onto a Concept II Rower sometime and set the screen on the power output trace display. “3, 2, 1 Go!” Hammer it as hard as you possibly can for 10 mins straight and watch how your power output progresses. No doubt you set off strong, but what happened after 15 secs or so and then over the next 2 mins and then the next 8?


ow most folk who have undertaken some sort of human physiology or biochemistry study in relation to exercise and sport will be familiar with the concept of ATP. Short for Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, ATP is often referred to as the ‘universal energy currency’ of the body. What this actually means is that every single one of your 75 trillion cells will use ATP to provide the energy required for all metabolic reactions including the processes that keep you and I alive and allow us to exercise. Now, when you were tearing it up on the rower and giving it everything you could on that horrible-pain inducing- cramp provoking- nausea prompting machine, you’d think that

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the drop off in power output might be due to your ATP stores sinking faster than your worst enemy strapped to two 32Kg Kettlebells. However, what the research tells us is that cellular APT never really drops below 60-70% of a full-tank; how come?

Fortunately, human beings have developed ‘energy systems’ that replenish this all-important molecule. When working flat out at maximal intensity, we call upon our ‘fasttwitch’ muscles fibres. Ideal for sports and activities which require feats of strength and power such as sprinting, fast twitch muscle fibres use

up large amounts of a short acting chemical called creatine phosphate (CP). This is used to re-build ATP that has been assisting in the energy production necessary for powering those large muscles needed for sprinting. Interestingly, CP levels are wiped out to around 10% of starting levels after just 30 sec high intensity activity which explains why your power

output took such a big dip so early on. If you wanted to see that impressive peak in your power curve again you’d need to rest for around 8 mins as this is how long it takes your cells to replenish all the ATP and CP levels you’d need to smash it one more time. If you ever watch a 100m sprinter train, you’ll often see them go like the clappers and then take more of leisurely stroll back to the start line than your Gran would going to get a sausage roll and cheese on a stick at a relative’s wedding. Why? They need the full recovery to maintain a peak power output on their next sprint.


o what happened next on the rower as your ineffective attempt to keep that trace from falling failed despite your fully motivated snarling? Let me guess; your lungs started burning? Your legs begun to feel heavy? You had the distinct urge to stop rowing altogether? Now to be fair to you, I’d imagine your pace on the Concept II was still pretty handy at this point. Indeed, your muscle cells still have the means to replenish the ATP you are using at a decent rate. Now many people will assume that you can’t make energy (ATP) without sucking in some of the good stuff- oxygen but you can. When flying out the blocks at your top speed, do you think that the all-important O2 molecule will make it to that muscle fibre in your right lower leg in time waiting ready to step in and replenish an ATP molecule that’s just been torn to shreds as you drive forcefully through the legs during a stroke 45 secs in to this little experiment? Probably not. Energy produced in the presence of oxygen is termed ‘aerobic energy production’. When oxygen levels are less than desirable because those fast-twitch muscle fibres are destroying all before them, we term this ‘anaerobic energy production’. Rather than using any chemical resources (like CP), the ATP producing apparatus start breaking down any stored carbohydrate you have in the same cells. This carbohydrate is broken down in a series of stages and ATP is replenished along the way. The caveat? 1) This is a slower process than using CP 2) As the stored carbohydrate source is stripped apart a build up of an intermediate molecule accumulates; this is converted to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. At this point you need to start breathing out that CO2 rather rapidly before its crippling effects start shutting down the effectiveness of your muscle’s contractions as the body doesn’t like an acidic build inside the cells, which is what begins to happen. This explains the burning lungs, heavy legs and drop off in performance.

substrates will gradually be released into the blood as time progresses, but oxygen is required for this to happen efficiently (remember, this is now termed aerobic energy production). This ‘oxidative’ approach to refuelling is very efficient and doesn’t really produce any fatiguing wasteproducts. The only problem is that it needs time. But by this point you already knew that as that power curve didn’t stay up there for long did it?!


mins in to this enlightening experience, you’ll have noticed that your power output has begun to plateau despite your best intentions. As your work intensity decreases you offer more time for oxygen to get into the body and circulate to the exhausted muscles. As stored carbs gradually deplete, the muscle fibres search out additional circulating fats and proteins. These ATP building Autumn 2012 | PTM | 29

By Patrick Dale




How many sets do you do per muscle group? 12? 16? 20? According to the late, great, Mike Mentzer, if you are doing more than 1 or a maximum of 2 sets per muscle group you are seriously overtraining and undermining your potential for gaining Olympian size muscles. Mentzer should know— as one of the best bodybuilders never to be crowned Mr. Olympia, Mike is the only man to ever have scored a perfect 300 in the Mr. Universe bodybuilding competition.


entzer, now sadly deceased, was a dogmatic (some say quite mad!) proponent of high intensity training and according to mighty Mike and a number of experts including Arthur Jones who was the giant brain behind Nautilus training equipment, Ellington Darden who was Jones’s number two and numerous other training experts, it is intensity and not volume that is responsible for muscle hypertrophy and, up to a point, I think they make a good case. In the words of Mentzer, it only takes one bullet from a gun to kill someone and it only takes one set of sufficient intensity to trigger muscle growth. While I’m not sure about the imagery, Mentzer did have a point about train-

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ing volume and intensity and while you can train hard or you can train long, you can’t do both. So many exercisers spend far too long doing every exercise known to man for a particular muscle group that their training intensity is so woefully low that they never get any stronger and/or bigger. Look around the gym and watch the skinny little guy with no appreciable muscle mass do barbell curls, dumbbell curls, preacher curls, concentration curls, cable curls and then maybe some reverse curls to finish off his “guns” (very small caliber guns at that). In his effort to train his biceps from every angle (don’t get me started on that idiotic idea) he has to use very light weights otherwise he’ll tire out too soon to do

the 24 sets of triceps he’s going to do after his biceps workout. If volume training was all it was cracked up to be he’d be MASSIVE but instead he’s got arms like knots in a thread of cotton!

So what is HIT? HIT is the common acronym of high intensity training. HIT is a system that has been adopted and adapted by many but is essentially a style of training that involves taking your work sets to absolute failure and only performing one or two exercises per body part. HIT proponents stress that, despite the very low volume of each workout, you must strive for ever increasing intensity by increasing your weights and/or reps every workout – or at least trying to. Mentzer stressed the need to develop a “gun to the head” mentality to make sure you always take your sets as far as possible. Mentzer’s own brand of HIT was called Heavy Duty and included the use of training systems such as pre-exhaust, supersets, negatives and drop sets although other


HITters do not use these intensifying methods. f you have doubts about the validity of HIT as a legitimate training method, shame on you for doubting me AND check out the Colorado experiment. Back in 1973, Arthur Jones took bodybuilder Casey Viator from a bodyweight of around 180lbs to 240lbs in four weeks using HIT. Admittedly Viator was coming back from injury and also was probably on a few daily drops of vitamin S (steroids to you and me) but the results of his transformation are jaw dropping, especially when you consider that Jones trained Viator a total of 14 times over the 28 day period of the experiment for an average of 33 minutes per training session. I actually spoke to Viator about 10 years ago about the Colorado experiment and he confirmed that the results were exactly as Jones published them. Take a look at htm for more info on the Colorado experiment.

So if HIT is so great, why doesn’t everyone do it? Good question and I’m glad you asked. followers of HIT are often referred to as Jedi. So strong is their belief in HIT that they will never stray from the HIT path and will often label the non-hitters of this world as idiots or, worse still in their minds, non-efficient exercisers! The thing is, HIT is hard and I mean REALLY hard. One set to failure might sound easy enough—it is just one measly set after all—but the reality is that it’s going to hurt and, next week, it’s going to hurt even more as you try to better your workout performance. Psychologically this can become very wearing. I remember doing a 20 rep HIT squat programme that, while it had me gaining strength and muscle quite visibly on a weekly basis, literally gave me nightmares. I’ve never been as scared about an upcoming workout as I was with HIT squats—you could literally smell the fear…or maybe that was the cheap protein I bought? Too long ago to say for sure…anyway, my point is that there is only so long you can continue adding an extra rep or loading a little more weight on the bar before your forward momentum grinds to a halt and you hit a wall.

rounded periodised training plan. It’ll challenge your muscles in a new way and the extremely brief workouts are over in 30 minutes or less. In fact, because I love to see you suffer, I’ve provided you with a six week HIT (high intensity training) programme you can use to bridge the gap to your next, more traditional, workout.

I challenge you…. In fact, I double challenge you to do this programme for six weeks. It’s not just the workouts that are going to be hard, it’s also going to be tough for you to turn up, do your workout and then be on your way home while your buddies are still on their first set of bench presses. Don’t worry, have confidence in the programme and strive to do as many reps as possible—don’t just stop because you reach your usual rep cut off point…do as many reps as you can and then try to get one more. If you feel like doing more than the prescribed exercises…don’t! Treat this as your very own Colorado experiment. If you want to include some cardio over the next few weeks try performing Tabata sprints (20 seconds of maximum effort work/10 seconds of recovery for 8 to 10 sets) on the days in between your strength workouts. Don’t be surprised if you feel more energetic than usual—the shorter workouts mean that you’ll have a lot more energy for non-gym related activities. Don’t tell the wife though or she’ll have you mowing the lawn every other day!

When’s a good time to HIT it? If you’ve been training traditionally for a few years and fancy a change, maybe it’s worth considering HIT. If you are finding it hard to get to the gym for as long or as often as you’d like, maybe HIT could be the answer. Perhaps you just fancy seeing if HIT is all it’s cracked up to be. Regardless, HIT workouts are short, tough and fun – especially if you define fun as seeing just how much pain you can tolerate while you work out! You’ll probably experience some notable gains in both strength and size because HIT is the polar opposite of high volume training and, often, a dramatic change in training style can result in some new spurt of progress. Is HIT training the one true way that the HIT Jedi proclaim it to be? Is it heck! But, like any good training system it has its value in a well Autumn 2012 | PTM | 31

Workout A – Upper Body 1 Bench press 2 Chin ups 3 Seated dumbbell press 4 Chest supported row 5 Parallel bar dips 6 EZ barbell curls

Workout B – Lower Body & Core 1 Squats (alternated with dead lifts each workout) 2 Leg extensions (drop set) 3 Leg curls (drop set) 4 Standing calf raises 5a Stability ball plank 5b Stability ball crunches 5c Cable Russian Twists To warm up, perform 5 minutes of light cardio and one or two sets of bench press and lat pull downs. Make sure you have a spotter handy as you’ll be training to failure and I don’t want you getting squashed by a weight. For chins and dips, feel free to add weight by hanging a dumbbell around your waist if your reps are going above 12. As a general rule, work in the 8 to 12 rep range but don’t worry if you go outside of this range – focus on maximal intensity rather than some randomly selected number.


his workout requires that you alternate squats and dead lifts on a workout by workout basis. The squats and dead lifts are going to be performed as 20 rep sets. I want you to perform a single set of 20 reps of each exercise (after your warm up of course) using the heaviest weight you can manage. Keep the rep count at 20 but add a little more weight to the bar every week. Use the rest/pause technique to complete the set and don’t worry if you need to lie down after the set is completed—this is quite normal although if you need more than 10 minutes

Week One Week Two Week Three Week Four Week Five Week Six

Monday Workout 1 Workout 2 (dead lifts) Workout 1 Workout 2 (squats) Workout 1 Workout 2 (dead lifts)

I suggest you need to work on your cardio. I also want you to perform drop sets after leg extensions and leg curls—two or three drops will be sufficient. The core work is a one set to failure tri-set. Hold the plank for as long as possible before rolling over and banging out as many crunches as you can and then finishing up with a set of cable Russian twists to the left and right. Job done! Your six week workout plan should look like this…

Wednesday Workout 2 (squats) Workout 1 Workout 2 (dead lifts) Workout 1 Workout 2 (squats) Workout 1

Friday Workout 1 Workout 2 (squats) Workout 1 Workout 2 (dead lifts) Workout 1 Workout 2 (squats)

Is HIT for everyone? Is it the only true path to muscle and might that Mentzer said it was? Are the HIT Jedi’s body building’s chosen people? No, no and no. However, for a change of pace, HIT is effective and a great plateau buster and, if nothing else, it’ll teach you to train with eyeballs-out intensity which is something many gym goers are clearly incapable of.

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The Power of

Protein By Patrick Dale

Protein is a vital, nay essential nutrient for bone and muscle growth, cellular repair and sometimes even energy. The word protein is derived from the Greek word proteus meaning primary or first so even the ancient Greeks understood the importance of this nutrient for health and wellbeing. While most bodybuilders know all about the power of protein, the rest of us tend to put carbohydrates first. In fact, the whole Western standard food pyramid is based on carbohydrates. In this article, I’ll lift the lid on protein and explain why protein is not just for bodybuilders.


rotein is made up from chemicals called amino acids which can be thought of as the protein alphabet. Whenever you eat a protein-rich food, for example chicken, your body takes the protein, breaks it down into its constituent amino acids and then uses them as necessary throughout your body. In a protein-packed nutshell, we don’t actually eat foods like eggs, turkey and fish for their protein but rather the amino acids they contain. Protein can be obtained from a wide variety of sources including the previously mentioned eggs,

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turkey, fish and chicken. Protein is most abundant in animal derived foods as well as dairy although there are some vegetable sources of protein as well. Foods such as soya, quinoa, buckwheat and gram flour contain reasonable amounts of protein but nowhere near the quantity and quality of the aforementioned animal sources. In addition, some people get their protein from supplements such as whey protein powder which is a milk derivative. Whey protein is generally a very high quality source of amino acids but is really only designed to supplement and not replace “real” food...

In terms of how much protein you should eat; it very much depends on the amount and type of activity you are doing. The RDA for sedentary adults is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight whereas most people involved in regular strength training should consume around 2.0 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Endurance athletes and recreational exercisers fall somewhere in between these two recommendations. As a general rule, protein should be consumed at regular intervals throughout the day to ensure a steady supply of amino acids. As well as being essential for postexercise muscle repair, muscle growth and general health, protein is also a useful weapon in the war of fat loss. It’s no coincidence that some of the best diets for fat loss are high in protein! Protein has a high thermal effect

which simply means that eating protein elevates your metabolism more than fats and carbohydrates. In very simple terms, for every 100grams of protein you consume, between 20 to 30% of the calories are “lost” in the process of ingesting, digesting, transporting and eliminating the protein. This is why many protein-based diets do not restrict protein consumption – it’s very hard to eat too much protein! In addition to having a high thermal effect, protein does not tend to cause much of an insulin spike. Insulin is a “storage hormone” produced by your pancreas and allows nutrients to enter your cells and as such can promote fat storage while inhibiting fat burning. Insulin tends to be produced in large amounts when you eat carbohydrates, especially those deemed to be “refined”. By eating more protein, and therefore replacing carbohydrate and limiting insulin production, you flip your metabolic switches from fat storage to fat burning. In contrast, excess carbohydrates are easily converted to fat so higher protein diets are very useful for fat loss. Protein is also an uneconomical fuel. If you reduce carbohydrate intake and replace those missing calories with protein, your body will be forced to try and use protein for fuel. While it CAN do this, it’s not a particularly “clean” process and a lot of energy gets used converting protein into useable energy, unlike fat and carbs which are very easily converted to energy. So, protein is essential for postexercise recovery and is very useful for weight control but can you eat too much? Yes; you can but it takes some doing! Many “experts” believe that eating too much

protein places an excessive stress on your kidneys but there is little research to support this. Providing you drink plenty of water and have no history of kidney disease, there is no reason to think that your kidneys will implode just because you eat a few eggs every day and enjoy fish, chicken and other protein-rich foods. However, even though it’s very hard to convert excess protein to fat, if you really eat way WAY too much, any excess could make you gain fat. To be honest though, if you are gaining fat, it’s much more likely that the cause is too much refined carbohydrate or fat rather than too much protein but as protein contains calories, an excess could, theoretically at least, be converted to fat. Of all the food groups, carbohydrate is the cheapest and most abundant and this is probably why most mainstream nutritional approaches such as the traditional food pyramid are built around carbs. This often means that protein is viewed as less important and something that is not really necessary. In actuality, the opposite is true. Your body can run very well without much or even any carbohydrate but insufficient protein can quickly lead to poor recovery from exercise, stalled progress and even bone and joint problems. On the downside, protein is more expensive than carbohydrate and tends to be less readily available – just try and find a decent protein-based snack at the late-night garage!

Cost and availability mean that protein is often overlooked in favour of carbohydrate but smart exercisers, like the readers of PTM (!) know better. Try to eat a protein food every three or so hours to ensure you keep your body supplied with those all but essential amino acids – a condition called positive nitrogen balance. Chances are, if you were protein deprived before, you’ll notice you get leaner, feel stronger and recovery better from your workouts. When it comes to exercise nutrition, the power of protein is unbeatable!

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5 Great Reasons By Yvette Nevrkla

To Turn Your Passion for Fitness into an Irresistible Package

Take a look at the Health and Fitness Industry and one thing you can’t fail to notice is the wealth and depth of expertise in so many different areas. Not only that but you also see the huge passion and excitement that fit pros have for what they do and for all things health and fitness.


f only we could bottle that passion and inject that into our clients, the nation would be fitter and healthier than it is today. However, the challenge with all of this health and fitness passion, whether it’s for weight-loss, Kettlebells, Pilates, running or the healing powers of coconut oil, is turning that into an irresistible package your clients really want, because these things on their own are fairly meaningless to your clients. Have you noticed how they just don’t get quite as excited by this stuff as you do?

you’re constantly needing to create, recreate and create yet again. You’re always starting from scratch and you can never become the expert you could become for your clients and never get to have the impact you could.


- You can stop customising

I’ve had this conversation with many of my clients over the years because whilst you insist on creating customised solutions for each and every client you meet, your ability to reach, attract and sign up your ideal clients and achieve awesome results with them is severely limited. Not only do you miss out on lots of clients this way but you create a burn out situation for yourself because


- You can stop trying to work with everyone

You might think you can help everyone and that you want to help everyone but in reality this isn’t true. You won’t be the right expert for everyone and not every client will be right for you. Trying to create solutions for everyone leads to overwhelm because you feel you have to try and become an expert in everything which is an impossible challenge. When you try to position your fitness business for everyone the messages become confusing and you just don’t get heard. If your marketing and sales feel really hard right now, then it’s most likely because you’ve still got some work to do to define your ideal clients and create the right product for them.

What they do get excited about is solutions and results. One of the steps that will transform your current business is to package up that wealth of knowledge, skill, tools, passion and experience that you have into a unique solution that solves the number one problem your clients have. I want to share FIVE exciting ways that creating a packaged solution will transform your business.

serve. It’s about matching your natural talents and abilities to a specific kind of person’s need. It’s not just a job right? It’s your vocation.

When you create a packaged solution you’re creating a package that suits all and then offering it in a few ways to suit different client budgets and readiness. This is customising but on a much bigger scale because you’re creating a very tailored, results driven solution for a specific group of people.

When you design a solution and package for a particular group of people, the marketing and sales becomes a whole lot easier. Trust me that you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you let go of everyone and turn your attention to those people you love working with; people who allow you to share, do and teach what you are most passionate about.

“But every client is different” I hear you cry!


That’s true to a point and one of the steps you’ll need to take is to identify your niche market – that group of people you are perfectly placed to

- Your confidence will sky rocket

One of the things that stops fit pros from getting out there in a big way is fear. Fears like “Will I be good enough?”, “What if I can’t help my Autumn 2012 | PTM | 37

clients?”, “I don’t know enough yet”. When you know 100% that you have a packaged solution that will achieve the result your clients really want, guaranteed, imagine what that does to your confidence? Imagine how much more confident you will feel about promoting your services and having sales conversations with clients when you know you have the perfect solution for them? This confidence alone will take your business to a completely new level.


- You can move beyond exchanging your time for money

Your sales conversations move from feeling like you’re trying to sell yourself and your time, to selling your clients exactly what they want. Selling a complete packaged solution is a whole lot easier than trying to sell 10 hours of personal training. No more hourly rates. Your prices become based around value, not time. It’s about the value of the package rather than how many hours of your time a client gets and so you’ll see your fees and your income grow.


- You can build your perfect business

Something I believe passionately is that if you’re going to be able to make a big difference through the work you do, doing what you love for as many years as you want, then your business has to work for you. Your business needs to give you the income you want along with the time and freedom for doing the other things that matter in your life, now and in the future.

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As a mother of two young girls, perfect for me is being able to work part time hours for a full time income with plenty of time and flexibility for my family. What’s perfect for you? This is exactly what I help my clients to do - to achieve their own version of the perfect business with the right combination of clients, income and time. And yes, I have developed a very specific packaged solution for doing this! I practice what I teach and turning my passion for helping personal trainers to build their perfect business out of making a difference doing what they love into packages that my clients can access in different ways has been one of the keys to my success. If you look closely, you’ll notice that this is exactly what other successful fitness professionals are doing. It will be one of the keys to success for you too. Yvette Nevrkla is one of the UK’s top business coaches and mentors for personal trainers. Yvette’s special ability to help her clients to have the confidence and belief to raise their aspirations and go for the business they truly want along with equipping them with the tools and strategies for getting there, has enabled hundreds of PTs to make big strides in their business including many PTs who were close to quitting because they couldn’t see how to make it work for them. Yvette’s signature product is her cutting edge intensive online business bootcamp programmes which are transforming PT businesses in the UK and abroad.

effective PT client & business management

no sweat

This is the long-overdue revolution in personal training. The time has come to maximise your PT business performance: increasing your income and saving valuable administration time. PT Portal puts personal trainers at the centre of their own individual social fitness network. On joining PT Portal, personal trainers can sign up their clients to give each of them their own connected personal training microsite. Personal trainer and client can capture goals; schedule and pay for sessions; record workouts and display progress. With our free e-commerce module, personal trainers can recommend and sell fitness products to their clients and beyond.

VisiT Our sTand H436 aT Leisure indusTry Week 2012 Or VisiT WWW.PTPOrTaL.cOm and WaTcH Our VideO TO see HOW PT POrTaL can cHange yOur business


rinciples of exercise rescription during pregnancy

By Kesh Patel

Pregnancy is an exciting time for many women, and can be a rewarding one for fitness professionals working with them. However, both sets of individuals are commonly bombarded with varying and often conflicting information about exercise during pregnancy. With this in mind, it’s important that fitness professionals (and their pregnant clients) take the time to work together and understand how to make best use of all available information, and more importantly, how to apply this to the client’s own set of circumstances.


he aim of this article is to introduce fitness professionals to a number of important questions and principles to consider when designing effective exercise programmes for pregnant clients.

combe et al, 2009). Therefore, fitness professionals, in conjunction with other healthcare professionals have an important role in educating and encouraging their pregnant clients to exercise.

What does the research say?

Who needs an exercise programme?

We already know that specific forms of exercise improve specific aspects of fitness – this suggests that the type of exercise should make a difference to the physiological changes that take place during pregnancy. For example, circulatory and metabolic responses to training occur readily by performing sustained, weight-bearing activity using larger muscle groups (e.g. walking, running, aerobics, and weight training). Because these responses are the ones that complement those of pregnancy, these forms of exercise can be considered superior.

There is a wealth of positive literature on the subject of exercise and pregnancy that both fitness professionals and their clients can access. These include guidelines written by leading bodies such as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG 2006), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG, 2002), the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine Australia. These guidelines can provide a solid foundation on which to build an individual approach to safe and effective exercise prescription during pregnancy. During an uncomplicated pregnancy exercise is actively recommended, and produces a number of associated maternal and foetal benefits (ACOG 2002; RCOG 2006). Sadly, recent surveys that looked at physical activity habits of over 1000 pregnant women showed that the majority did not reach the recommended activity levels (Borodulin et al, 2008). It was also reported that many pregnant women felt anxious about exercise and were unsure of safe levels and modifications to their normal routine. In addition, feelings of nausea, fatigue, and discomfort during exercise were also described as limiting factors (Dun40 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Firstly, when developing an exercise programme for pregnancy, it’s important to remember that exercise probably isn’t necessary for most women who are already exercising recreationally (e.g. using a gym/aerobics 3x/week). Secondly, any exercise programming should include the following in addition to the exercise itself: • • •

Education and interaction Instruction and observation Safety and monitoring

What is the right amount of exercise? 1. How much exercise is enough to obtain the associated positive effects during pregnancy? 2. Is there a safe upper limit? The answers to these questions are absolutely essential for safe exercise prescription; however, the questions need to be broken down further to make informed decisions about exercise: •

Do all types of exercise provide the same benefits?

Which stage of pregnancy is a better time to exercise? How often, how hard, and for how long should exercise be?

What type of exercise?

In all cases, the type of exercise chosen should match the goals of the programme, which for most pregnant women will be the maintenance of fitness.

Which stage of pregnancy to exercise? Regular exercise in early and midpregnancy can often alleviate feelings of nausea and fatigue and enhances maternal adaptations, placental growth and functional capacity; the latter providing a margin of safety for the baby’s growth (Clapp, 2002). Jaime Short, Pre and Post Natal Course Leader for Premier Training states, “Many women think they have

Autumn 2012 | PTM | 41

to rest and take it easy during pregnancy. While you shouldn’t be aiming for a personal best, there is no reason if you were a regular exerciser to stop if you become pregnant”. She goes on to say, “Listen to your body, if it feels good it is probably OK, but don’t ignore any issues or anything that doesn’t feel quite right”. Continuing to exercise into late pregnancy can help to maintain these positive effects, and if the level of exercise intensity is appropriate, it can also limit unnecessary maternal weight gain and fat deposition in both mother and baby, and enhance the course and outcome of labour. When it comes to exercise prescription, it’s important to consider current exercise patterns and fitness levels, as well as the stage of pregnancy. Then develop specific and realistic goals alongside a suitable programme that will achieve them without endangering the pregnancy process. For example, if a pregnant client is starting exercise for the first time, it won’t take much exercise to make her feel good and improve placental growth; it may however take a 42 | PTM | Autumn 2012

lot more exercise during mid and late pregnancy to modify weight gain and shorten labour.

What about exercise frequency, duration and intensity? The effect of acute exercise variables on different aspects of physiological function and fitness are well documented. Therefore, it is highly probable that these exercise variables have specific ranges during pregnancy, in order to maximise the benefits of exercise. For example, it is clear to see that the greater the intensity and duration of maternal exercise, the greater the foetal heart rate response, which can reduce uterine blood flow and blood glucose. Therefore, frequency, intensity and duration of exercise will directly affect the delivery of nutrients to the baby in any given 24-hour period, and will ultimately affect baby’s growth rate. Where pregnant women wish to pursue vigorous training programmes, they are advised to do so under strict supervision and monitoring from a qualified professional.

It’s also important to note that the safe upper limit for exercise appears to be dictated by fitness levels at the start of pregnancy, as well as the health of the pregnancy itself. In a healthy woman experiencing a normal pregnancy, the problem is not what the baby can tolerate, but what the mother can safely tolerate without overtraining (Clapp, 2002).

Summary The approach to exercise prescription for pregnant women should follow similar principles and thought processes to those used when not pregnant. Most healthy pregnant women with normal pregnancies will not require specific exercise programming outside of what they are currently doing; however those exercising at the extremes of performance will undoubtedly benefit from more detailed programming and regular monitoring. In all cases, the right frequency, intensity, time and type of exercise should be considered within the context of starting fitness levels, as well as the stage of pregnancy.



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44 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Pregnancy & Post Natal Massage / Remedial Therapy Premier is excited to announce its partnership with Burrell Education to launch their Pregnancy and Post-Natal Massage/ Remedial Therapy CPD course. The first course will take place at the London Academy on 22nd-23rd September and is being delivered by Jenny Burrell herself. This two day CPD course is the perfect add-on for both fitness professionals and massage therapists. It draws on the anatomy and physiology that form the foundation of both disciplines and then guides you to building the skills, confidence and personal touch to enable you to provide a stand-out service for either the Pregnant or Post Natal client. Great massage therapy can be very difficult to find for many women at this time so great skills that underpin a quality service are in high demand. If you are currently serving women, the chances are they will need this specialist service at some point in their life journey and of course adding this special population to your client-base will create another profitable income stream to your portfolio.

Course Content • Modification of your already established massage skills to suit the needs of the Pregnant and Post Natal client. • Adapting your initial consultation/client screening procedure for the pre/post natal client. • Conditions, changes and contraindications of the pre/post natal period and implications for providing massage/remedial therapy. • Considerations when positioning the P/PN client. Candidates are taught how to apply a full treatment in the elevated supine and side-lying positions. • Candidates are taught how to apply strategies such as Soft Tissue Release (STR), Therapist Applied Myofascial Foam Rolling, and other Muscle Energy Techniques appropriately to the pre/post natal client. • The course includes a Business/Marketing module specific to offering massage/remedial therapy to the pre/post natal market. • Finally, candidates are taught the ineffable qualities of providing a service for women at this special time such as considerations for the therapy environment, external life factors and timing of sessions.

Assessment Candidates are assessed in the following ways:

Qualifications CPD Certification from Premier/Burrell Education

Entry Requirements Candidates need to be certified as a Sports Massage Therapist and already have some knowledge of METs. Length and Format of Course 2 full days CPD education.

• Ability to carry out a full client screening. • Ability to plan a session according to information gained during screening. • Ability to carry out a massage/ remedial therapy session according to information gained during screening. • A multiple choice exam at the end of day 2. For more information and to book your place please call 0845 1 90 90 90 or visit Autumn 2012 | PTM | 45

Brutal GVT

Workout By Andreas Michael Model: Michaela Sethalerova

Pain is all in the mind with the variation of German Volume Training (GVT). I’ve laid out a simple two day workout routine which is balanced based around using movement patterns, horizontal push/pull, vertical push/pull, squat and deadlift. It’s intense while at the same time being a full body attack plus you can be in and out of the gym in 45mins. I was recently on holiday in a small town in the north of Slovakia and I spent quite a lot of time training in a great little gym I found, and as you do I started to notice a trend in the way people were training out there. It seemed to be the land of the three way split so I teamed up with local personal trainer and fitness competitor Michaela Sethalerová to put a change to that. The basics of this variation are to hit 100 reps in total of each given exercise 10 sets x 10 reps and ideally using a compound exercise only utilizing 60-90 seconds rest between sets. I’ve laid it out staying on the same exercise until the whole 10 sets are completed, but you can opt to perform in a circuit format. The following workout is brutal so skip this workout if you want: • Use the squat rack for bicep curls • Never train legs • Train chest on a Monday • Think a three way split routine is the only way to train

46 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Autumn 2012 | PTM | 47

Workout one Exercise Squats One arm row Dumbbell chest press Additional exercise Additional exercise

Sets 10 10 10 2-3 2-3

Reps 10 10 10 12-15 12-15

Rest 60-90seconds 60-90seconds 60-90seconds 60 seconds 60 seconds

Squats This powerhouse movement can aid in great improvements to strengthen lower back, core and knees, if practised correctly. The squat is commonly performed with a loaded barbell braced on the fleshy part of the neck (trapezius muscle) for the duration of the exercise, but it also has a plenty of variations to suit first time squatters and those with limited equipment access. The main muscles involved in the squat are the quadriceps (front of the legs), gluteals (buttocks), erector spinae (lower back), abs, and the hamstrings on the return to start (back of the legs)

How To

• Using a squat rack or smith machine adjust an unloaded barbell to your shoulder height position. • Stand under the bar resting it on the trapezius a bit higher than the posterior deltoid (rear head of the shoulder muscle) and take a firm grasp of the bar wide or narrow; go with whatever is most comfortable. • Take a deep breath, contract the abdominal muscles (core), slightly arch the lower back and tilt the pelvis forward. • Look straight ahead and proceed to lift the barbell from the stand/machine. • If using a rack take one or two steps back, and position the feet shoulder width and parallel to each other. Bend forward from the hips and lower down avoiding rounding the lower back. • If using a smith machine position the feet under the barbell shoulder width apart with feet parallel to each other. Bend forward from the hips and lower down avoiding rounding the lower back. • When thighs are horizontal to the floor, proceed to straighten the legs and return to the start position at this point breathe out.

One arm row Upper body pulling exercise hitting a vast majority of the upper back muscles and even hitting the guns. The one arm row targets the Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Posterior deltoids, with some of the smaller muscles including teres minor/major, rhomboids and biceps also pulling their weight.

How To • • • •

Pulling based movements are often neglected within the unknowing gym user. Some of the main benefits that come out of pulling based exercises like the barbell rows are:

Kneeling with one knee, one arm a bench and holding a single dumbbell with the palm facing in towards the body Maintain a strong back and pull the dumbbell up the side of the body with the elbow tucked close to the torso. Breath in as you pull the dumbbell up while maintaining a strong core Return to the start position and breathe out

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How to

• Using a bench lie on your back with your feet flat on the ground • With your back slightly arched grasp the dumbbells with an overhand grip wider than shoulder width apart • Breathe in and push the dumbbells up towards the ceiling • On the return extend the arms and breathe out • Maintain a steady tempo and do not bounce the bar off your chest

Dumbbell chest press The dumbbell press is an upper body compound exercise targeting the chest (pectoralis major), front of the shoulders (anterior deltoids) and the back of the arms (triceps).

Workout two Exercise Deadlifts Seated shoulder press Lat pull downs Additional exercise

Sets 10 10 10 2-3

Reps 10 10 10 12-15

Rest 60-90seconds 60-90seconds 60-90seconds 60 seconds

Deadlift The deadlift is known as a back builder within the weight training world, but this compound exercise has built up a bit of a bad reputation and is often avoided. Spinal disc injuries are common when performed incorrectly. A rounding at the lower back during the exercise is the number one cause. In this how to we’re going to highlight proper technique which will set you in the right direction.

How To • Place a suitably loaded barbell on an even floor • Stand facing the barbell with the legs hip wide apart, abs engaged and bend your knees until the thighs are almost parallel to the floor. • Using an overhand grip: Hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart hold the bar with both palms facing towards the body. (Standard grip and a common learning grip, allowing more thought to be on positioning and technique) • Using an over-under grip: Hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart hold the bar with one palm facing forward and the other facing back. (This limits the rolling of the bar within the hands and allows you to lift heavier loads) • Breathe in and brace the core (abs and lower back) and lift the bar straightening your legs riding the bar up your legs in a controlled manner. • When the barbell reaches the midline of your quadriceps (front of the legs) extend your torso standing erect with your arms now in a straight position by your sides, breathe out, and hold this position for 2 seconds. • Return the barbell to the floor by reversing the above steps maintaining a brace of your core muscles, and avoiding rounding at your lower back.

Autumn 2012 | PTM | 49

Seated dumbbell press A great shoulder pressing movement which hits all three heads of the deltoid and triceps. To gain deeper core activation this exercise could be performed standing which will require a lot more stability and focus. How to • Perform seated using an adjustable bench one below the top incline. • Grasp two dumbbells in line with the shoulders palms facing out. • Breathe out and push the dumbbells simultaneously over your head. Return and breathe in and repeat

Lat pull down

I would normally prescribe chin ups as my preferred vertical pull exercise but for this workout the lat pull down will stand in better stead due to the greater number of reps. A mighty pulling exercise working the powerhouse that are your lats.

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How To

• Seated facing the machine grasp the long bar as wide as comfortable. • Breathe out and pull the bar down towards the sterna notch while lifting the chest and keeping the elbows back and down. • Breathe in as you return the bar up.

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52 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Flexibility Corner – the Hip Flexors

The iliacus and psoas major muscles are collectively called iliopsoas which is as hard to pronounce as it is to spell (I looked it up!). Their more common name is the hip flexors and, despite their more complicated moniker, they do exactly what their name implies: they flex your hip. Hip flexion occurs then your femur or thigh bone hinges forwards. Chances are, if you are reading this while you are sat down, your hips are in a flexed position. Spending too much time sat down causes problems. Not only can it make your butt bigger (!) it also causes your hip flexors to become chronically shortened. This means that, when you stand up, the front of your pelvis gets pulled upwards which causes your lower back to become rounded.

By Patrick Dale

runners’ lunge... To stretch your hip flexors, take a large step forwards and lower your rear knee to the floor. Your front shin should be vertical. Move your rear leg back until you can feel a nice stretch at the top of your rearmost thigh – essentially the groin area. To maximise this stretch, keep your torso upright and place your hands on your front leg. Look straight ahead and imagine you are pushing your pelvis down towards the floor. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds and then switch sides.

A rounded lower back is predisposed to injury, especially when you bend over to lift something heavy, and also gives you a not-so-lovely pot belly – even if you are relatively lean. And how do most people try and correct a rounded abdomen? Crunches! This exercise compounds the problem by further shortening the hip flexors and also shortening the rectus abdominus. Most of us would benefit from less strengthening exercises for this typically over-tight area of the body and more stretching but that’s a whole other article... Stretching the hip flexors is relatively easy but because these muscles tend to be chronically tight, they need to be stretched often. If you spend hour after hour sat in your car or at a desk, I strongly suggest you stretch your hip flexors for three to five minutes per day. Not all in one go, but in three or four periods spread throughout the day. If your hip flexors are really tight, try stretching them after every hour you spend sat down. They’ll respond to this “tough love” approach and you’ll soon be on your way to long and supple hip flexors and, better still, less of a pot belly!

Take the time to stretch your hip flexors often. Not only will your posture improve, you’ll also find your running speed improves as you’ll be able to cover more ground per stride while using less effort. Better posture, flatter abs and faster running – the question is why wouldn’t you stretch your hip flexors?!

My favourite stretch for the hip flexors is called the Autumn 2012 | PTM | 53

54 | PTM | Autumn 2012



By Del Wilson Photos: Shears Mockford Photography

ag Training

Bulgarian bags are a relatively new fitness training tool having been invented in 2005 by Ivan Ivanov, a former Bulgarian Greco-Roman Olympic athlete. They were initially designed as an aid for wrestlers to help improve explosive actions and dynamic movements involved in pushing, twisting, pulling, rotating, squatting and lunging. Over the last few years however, they have made their way into the general fitness population and in particular, those who have adopted their training style to a more ‘functional’ methodology They are generally manufactured from leather or canvas and are available in weights ranging from 5 to 23 kg. What starting weight? This very much depends on your general conditioning. Your experience with other training tools such as kettlebells and clubs will also influence your starting weight. If you are only used to the slow controlled movements performed with barbell and dumbbell training then the explosive and dynamic movements with a Bulgarian Bag will be new stimulus for you. Your general aerobic conditioning will also have an impact as Bulgarian Bags will target your aerobic and anaerobic pathways. If you have previous experience with kettlebell or club training then you will be better equipped to handle the dynamic, explosive elements to Bulgarian Bag training as well as the high demands they make on your grip. Generally, use the following guidelines. For men, start with a 12kg bag unless you feel as though you have good conditioning in which case

you may attempt to use a 15kg bag For women, start with an 8kg bag and likewise, use a 12kg bag if you have good general conditioning. Remember that squatting and pressing the bag is one thing but once you start to have centrifugal forces acting on the bag, it becomes a whole different ball game. The workout. Perform the following in a continuous sequence if you are able. Rest 3-5 minutes between sets and perform 1-4 sets depending on your level of conditioning. Reps can vary but if you are new to Bulgarian bag training, then start with 10 repetitions.

The exercises. There are 3 fundamental movements which will need to be mastered with the Bulgarian bag. These are the Spin, the Power Snatch and the Arm Throw. All 3 of these movements are included in the workout but I would suggest you practise these 3 movements in isolation and get reasonably proficient at them before incorporating them as part of a circuit.

You may also choose to perform a timed session. Select anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute for your timed sets depending on your conditioning level. • • • • • • • • • •

Spins x 15 each side Power snatch x 15 Front Squats x 15 Military press x 15 Rows x 15 Press ups x 15 Double lunge left x 15 Double lunge right x 15 High pulls x 15 Arm throw x 15

Let’s start with those 3 movements: Autumn 2012 | PTM | 55

Spins. The Bulgarian Bag spin is a very dynamic rotational full body movement covering multiple planes of motion. It is extremely tough on the grip and forearms but also works the core very hard. • Grab the Bag by the 2 main handles. • Adopt a wider than shoulder width stance with your feet and attempt to push your feet ‘into the ground’ in an attempt to get a good grounding. • Perform some gentle side to side movements initially in order to gain the initial momentum. • Using a side to side lateral motion, spin the bag around your head in a smooth motion. (around your head as opposed to over the top of your head) • Shift your weight slightly as the bag swings to the side to offset the outward pull of the bag. • Arms should be straight at the bottom of the movement. • Continue to press your feet into the ground as you perform the movement. • Complete the desired number of reps or time and then switch immediately to the other side. • Take a deep breath in as the bag goes over the top of you and exhale as the bag hits the lowest point. This is beneficial as you will be breathing in whilst the bag is in a relatively weight unloaded position and the chest will be open.

Power snatch. This is another movement that works the entire body. During the loading phase, the muscles of the posterior chain are heavily involved. This includes the glutes, hamstrings and lower back. During the other parts of the movement, the muscles of the core and superficial front line are getting loading as they decelerate the movement.

• Initially rock the bag forward with your hips to gain some initial momentum. • Then drive the bag up powerfully using your hips. • As it comes over the top, the bag should lightly touch your shoulders. • As the bag comes back over to the low position, your back should be flat and the head in a neutral position. • Engage the core musculature as the bag comes back over the top in order to control the deceleration. • Keep legs slightly bent at all times and avoid moving into a squatting position. • Breathe in as you reach the top of the movement and exhale as you hit the low position.

Arm throw.

• Grab the 2 main handles. • Adopt the same stance as you used for the spins. 56 | PTM | Autumn 2012

This is an excellent movement for the development of rotational strength and power through the core and will have many functional benefits in sports as well as everyday life.

• • • • • •

Grab the 2 main handles. Adopt the same stance as for the spins. Swing the bag over one shoulder, side lunging gently to that side. Swing the bag down in front of you and up to the opposing shoulder, side lunging to that side. Fully engage the core as you swing the bag from side to side. Breathe in as you move the bag over your shoulder and exhale as you perform the movement.

The rest of the movements are more standard and will be familiar to more of you as you may have performed them with other training tools.

Front squats.

back to disengage and become rounded. If this happens, you have squatted deeper than your current flexibility levels allow. • Pause momentarily at the bottom of the movement before rising back up. • Contract your glutes at the top of the movement, before repeating. • Take a deep breath in before you squat, hold at the bottom and then exhale on the way back up.

Military press.

• Move the bag up onto your shoulders, grabbing the handles at the front • Begin the movement by pushing your hips back. • Keeping your weight on your heels, continue sitting back into the squat only going as deep as good form will allow. Do not allow your lower Autumn 2012 | PTM | 57

• With the bag resting on your shoulders, grab the 2 handles at the front. • Contract your legs, glutes and core to create a firm foundation to push from and push the bag up over your head. • Lower the bag back to the starting position under control. • Exhale on the way up and inhale on the way down.


• With the bag on the floor in front of you, get into a press up position with your hands on top of the bag. This will create a greater range of motion. • Keeping your elbows tucked in, lower your chest to the bag. • Pause briefly before pushing back up to the starting position. • Inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up.

Double Lunge, left and right

• Grab the bag by the main handles. • Hinge at your hips and lean forward to an approximate 45 degree position. • Pull the bag up towards your ribs. • Lower and repeat. • Exhale on the way up, inhale on the way down.

Press ups • Place the bag on top of your shoulders. • Take a large step forward and move into the lunge position. • Push back up and immediately move back into the rear lunge position. • Push back up again to repeat. That’s one repetition. • If balance is an issue, then centre yourself before moving from the 2 lunge positions.

58 | PTM | Autumn 2012

High pulls • • • •

Grab the bag by the main handles or, alternatively, the straps. Pull the bag up as high as you can over your head Lower back down and repeat. Inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up.

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60 | PTM | Autumn 2012

Put the COMPLEXity into your

Strength & Power Training

By Richard Scrivener Most sporting activities are either force or time dependent, for example applying force through the water in a downward stroke to propel the body forwards when swimming or striking an opponent in martial arts before the offensive move is evaded. In

emplify this training approach would be the performance of back squats followed by the execution of box jumps as shown here: Strength lift: barbell back squat

Power/plyometric lift: box jumps

a sport specific sense, power is often defined by the simplified equation: POWER =

Force x Distance …………………………….. Time

Even a marathon is time dependent with the winner ultimately completing the 26.2 miles quicker than his or her fellow competitors; therefore it would appear that participants in a large range of sports should undertake some form of power training. So is there a case for combining your strength and power work in the gym? After all, force is one of the components that allows for a high power output. Many personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches will design training programmes in a progressive manner following principles of periodisation. Whilst there are many ways to ‘skin a cat’, it is commonly accepted that power and speed training follow on from a period of strength development such that movement velocities more closely match those performed in the athletic setting, as suggested by Kirby and colleagues (2010). This has been termed ‘linear periodisation’ which is somewhat akin to earning your stripes as you work up the training intensity ranks. During the past 10-years especially, a great deal of attention has been directed towards a form of combined strength and power training known as ‘Complex Training’. This form of training aims to utilise and capitalise upon a physiological mechanism named ‘post-activation potentiation’ (PAP) where the function of the muscle and nervous system of the lifter are enhanced. Simply put, lifting a heavy load enhances the performance of a power related exercise performed shortly after, both of which should be similar with respect to their joint kinematics (Docherty, 2004). A commonly used exercise ‘complex pair’ to ex-

The all important question often asked is: how do we best induce PAP using Complex Training? Unfortunately at this point in time, it would appear researchers are still working hard to elucidate specific guidelines as mixed and sometimes conflicting results have been observed. However, based upon a recent discussion of some of the training research it could be suggested that 4 x sets of 3-4 x repetitions using 80% 1RM with a 4-6 min intra-complex pair rest would provide for optimal complex training programme design (May, 2010). Of further consideration, is the ‘participant’s ‘training status’. It is advisable to have a reasonable strength training background behind you first; the ability to be able to squat 1.5 x bodyweight is often recommended. Good body awareness, limb control and balance is of course crucial for landing throughout many plyometric based exercises and it may therefore be necessary to ’back fill’ and complete several weeks of foundation work so that you can safely make the most of your strength and power training. A balanced training approach is always important so that physical development is well-rounded; moreover an appreciation that most sports require gross movements in multiple planes, at varying velocities and with differing movement patterns helps inform exercise selection. The suggestions provided offer some novel ways in which exAutumn 2012 | PTM | 61

ercises can be selected to form complex pairs and thus enhance the athlete’s enjoyment, challenge and training stimulus with respect to combined strength and power training. Complex Pairs Option 1

Complex Pairs Option 2

Movement pattern / Strength Exercise

Power / Plyometric Exercise

Movement pattern / strength Exercise

Power / plyometric Exercise

Bend dominant

BB deadlift 2x4/80%1RM/5min

Suspended angled jumpers 2x5/bodyweight/3min

Bend dominant

Heavy prowler drives 2x10s/80%1RM/5min

MB dive bombs 2x5/20% 1RM /3min

Push dominant

SA DB chest press 2x4/80%1RM/5min

Speed ladder travelling plyo’ press-up 1xladder/ bodyweight/3min

Push dominant

BB push press 2x4/80%1RM/5min

Skipping doubleunders 2x10s/ bodyweight/3min

1-leg dominant

DB farmers walk 2x3-3/80%1RM/5min

Alt lunge jumps 2x5-5/ bodyweight/3min

1-leg dominant

BB split-squat 2x3-3/80%1RM/5min

Lateral box jumps 2x5-5/ bodyweight/3min

Pull dominant

Wtd chins 2x4/80%1RM/5min

Muscle-up 2x5/bodyweight/3min

Pull dominant

BB BOR 2x4/80%1RM/5min

Double power-club swipe 2x8/60% 1RM /3min

Squat dominant

OH squat 2x4/80%1RM/5min

MB burpee jump 2x5/20% 1RM/3min

Squat dominant

KB front squat 2x4/80%1RM/5min


Tyre rope pull + rotate 2x3-3/80%1RM/5min

Battle rope rotational hip toss 2x8-8/20% 1RM/3min

Multi-directional 2-foot hurdle jumps for height 2x5/bodyweight/3min


Iso cable russian twist 2x1010s/80%1RM/5min

Tornado ball rotational slams 2x6-6/20% 1RM/3min

Approximate training session duration: strength (63 min) + power/plyo (39 min) = 102 min N.b This session could be split across 2 training days to accommodate more realistic durations available BB= barbell, SA= single arm, DB= dumbbell, Wtd= weighted, MB= medicine ball

References (1) Kirby, T, Erickson, T, McBride, J. Model for progression of strength, power, and speed training. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 32(5):86-90. 2010. (2) Docherty, D, Robbins D, Hodgson, M. Complex training revisited: a review of its current status as a viable training approach. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 26(6):52-57. (2004). (3) May, C, Cipriani, P, Lorenz, K. Power development through complex training for the division I collegiate athlete. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 32(4):30-43. (2010).

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Approximate training session duration: strength (61.4 min) + power/plyo (37.8 min) = 99.2 min N.b This session could be split across 2 training days to accommodate more realistic durations available BB= barbell, KB= Kettlebell, Iso= isometric/static, Wtd= weighted, MB= medicine ball, BOR= bent over row

Autumn 2012 | PTM | 63


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