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Train and gain at any age
MARK WAHLBERG STILL GOING HARD AT 47 p.60
FOR BIG REWARDS
TIME TO HIT THE SACK SLEEP FOR PERFORMANCE
HOW TO BE HAPPY Mensfitnessmagazine.com.au
NOVEMBER 2018 $8.50
12 SMART HACKS
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nov. 85 Good carb, bad carb.
Training at any age.
Breakthroughs 20 Fitness Turns out e-bikes aren’t just for lazy people.
22 Sex Dating is a lot more exxy than it used to be.
24 Mind Your girlfriend’s cat may make you a millionaire.
26 Weight loss Belly fat: linked with cognitive impairment.
28 Nutrition Why you get the “drunchies”.
30 Health Stupid things Aussies do while driving.
Game Changers 33 Start smart Make time for breakfast now and get more out of your workout later.
34 Cycle to work Switch from four wheels to two.
Looking to reduce stress? Go for a run.
The benefits of downward dog pose.
Goals to raise your level of contentment.
Grow a mo and get moving this Movember.
56 Gut health
Can you digest starch? Your DNA can tell you.
Fix your gut health to look and feel better.
44 Spring racing
What to wear and how to avoid getting arrested.
Try these motorbikes on for size.
A numbers game.
47 Run the world Expert advice on how to ace a foreign race.
58 GET UP TO SPEED. Features 60 Pain and gain Mark Wahlberg is making up for his past mistakes by becoming Hollywood’s most dedicated professional.
78 Train through the decades Keep your body in peak shape from your 20s through to your 50s and beyond.
67 Sleep for recovery
85 Carb control
Sleep. It’s free, it takes little effort and you feel like doing it every day. So why do we get it so wrong?
There are bad carbs and good carbs. But sometimes bad carbs can be good.
How much do you really know about your favourite tipple? Pour yourself a wee dram and read on.
Science-approved ways to auto-correct your mindset for exercise success.
91 That’s the spirit!
Happiness is within your reach.
The suspense will kill you.
We’re with you in spirit.
The Body Book 97 You’re a star Don’t underestimate this PE classic.
98 Home gym If you’ve always wanted a home gym but lack space, try the FitBench.
103 Power tools Get to grips with the classic big lifts to build power and strength.
113 High rep reward Do this superset workout just once a week to get lean, sculpted abs.
117 Master of suspension Increase muscle fibre activation to add size.
120 Protein treats Sweet treats that won’t defeat your body goals? Yep, we got ’em.
124 Under the radar
103 MASTER THE THREE BIG LIFTS.
Consider these lesser-known supplements to get an edge in your quest for a better body.
ON THE COVER
Mark Whalberg PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN WAT TS
Regulars 12 Cheat sheet 14 Training diary 16 Hot shot 126 Scoreboard 129 Subscriptions
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The smart man’s cheat sheet
Editor Todd Cole email@example.com Associate Editor Alison Turner Sub Editor Cameron Murray
The latest advice, wisdom and healthy-lifestyle hacks from Men’s Fitness to give you that extra edge.
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A life without carbs is... well, what’s the point?
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Carbs for life
Get more sleep
■ In moderation. A huge observational study published in The Lancet Public Health has found a low-carb diet is associated with increased mortality, with people who eat low-carb diets dying an average of four years earlier than people who eat a moderate amount of carbs. Those who ate a diet high in carbs died an average of one year earlier than their moderate carb-munching counterparts. If you do want to restrict carbs but don’t want to die young, eat more plant-based proteins and fats.
■ Lousy sleep can kill your social life – literally. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, US, have found that sleep-deprived people feel lonelier and less inclined to engage with others. Worse still, that alienating vibe makes sleepdeprived people more socially unattractive to others. And even well-rested people feel lonely after just a brief encounter with a sleepdeprived person, the study found. Time to hit the hay and get back in the game.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“WISE MEN SPEAK BECAUSE THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY; FOOLS BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO SAY SOMETHING.” - Plato
■ It’s good for your bones. A Mexican scientist (no shock there) has identified substances from the tequila plant that enhance absorption of calcium and magnesium, essential minerals for bone health. Dr Mercedes López found that these substances can promote the formation of new bone, even in osteoporosis. The results provide the possibility of developing an alternative in the treatment of osteoporosis, and give us an excuse to do shots at the bar this Friday after work.
A biopic on the legendary rock band Queen that focuses on the life of majestic lead singer Freddie Mercury and the lead-up to the band’s aweinspiring performance at Live Aid in 1985. Expect a cracking soundtrack.
WEIDER PUBLICATIONS, LLC A SUBSIDIARY OF AMERICAN MEDIA, INC. Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer David Pecker Executive Vice President/Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Hyson Executive Vice President, Consumer Marketing David W. Leckey Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer Chris Polimeni President/CEO, Distribution Services Inc John D. Swider Executive Vice President/Chief Digital Officer Joseph M. Bilman Executive Vice President, Digital Media Operations/CIO David Thompson General Manager, AMI International & Syndication Laurence A. Bornstein Director, International Licensing Branding Marianna Gapanovich Director, Rights & Permissions Fiona Maynard Syndication Manager Maribel Dato Production Assistant Paul Miller
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The exercise instructions and advice in this magazine are designed for people who are in good health and physically ﬁt. They are not intended to substitute for medical counselling. The creators, producers, participants and distributors of Men’s Fitness disclaim any liability for loss or injury in connection with the exercises shown orinstruction and advice expressed herein.
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GO YOUR OWN WAY
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December 1 Bruny Island Ultra Marathon Where: Bruny Island, Tas What: covers 64km from Dennes Point to the Lighthouse at Cape Bruny. If you’re not up to the whole distance, you can split it up into a relay with mates. More info: brunyislandultra.com.au
January 13 Cadbury Marathon Where: Claremont, Tas What: a full marathon, half-marathon, 10km, 5km and a 1km event for kids under 12. It starts and finishes at the Cadbury Factory, so you can pig out after. More info: cadbury marathon.com.au
November 10 Freedom MTB Marathon Where: Byron Bay Hinterland, NSW What: a fun and challenging event open to anyone with a mountain bike. But you had better do some training! More info: summerofcycling.com
December 15 Misty Mountain MTB Marathon Where: Mount Warning, NSW What: your chance to ride inside a volcano! This is a marathon event on an enduro-style format with a 20km loop track. Lots of short climbs and descents. More info: summerofcycling.com
January 19 Bupa Challenge Tour Where: Glenelg to Strathalbyn, SA What: part of the Santos Tour Down Under, open to non-elite cyclists. Tackle the same route as the pro riders on a 158.7km, 102km, 60km or 34.5km course. More info: tourdownunder.com.au
November 4 Huskisson Triathlon Festival Where: Huskisson, NSW What: Elite Energy brings Standard distance racing again to the idyllic coastal location of Huskisson, Jervis Bay. An event not to be missed. More info: eliteenergy.com.au
December 9 2XU Triathlon Series: Sandringham Where: Sandringham, Vic What: the series provides first-timers, age-groupers and elites with high-quality, safe events and an exciting and fun atmosphere. More info: 2xutriathlonseries.com.au
January 19 Nowra Triathlon Festival Where: Nowra, NSW What: set on the banks of the Shoalhaven, the course is fast and flat, with a scenic bike leg along the rich river flat country and a return run over Nowra’s famous bridge. More info: eliteenergy.com.au
November 18 Whitehaven Beach Ocean Swim Where: Whitsunday Islands, Qld What: set in one of Australia’s most beautiful locations, the Whitehaven Beach ocean swim provides the most idyllic ocean swim on the planet. More info: oceanfit.com.au
December 2 Bondi to Bronte Ocean Swim Where: Bondi Beach, NSW What: one of Sydney’s and Australia’s most iconic ocean swims. Starting at Bondi Beach, swimmers finish their journey at Bronte SLSC, the world’s first Surf Life Saving club. More info: bonditobronte.com.au
January 5 The Rip Swim Where: Point Nepean to Point Lonsdale, Vic What: a bold swim across the entrance to Port Phillip Bay. The distance is 3.2km, but the swim can feel more like a 4-5km due to water movements and weather conditions. Train accordingly. More info: ripswim.com.au
November 3-4 Augusta Adventure Fest Where: Augusta, WA What: the weekend includes new standlone races of four off-road disciplines, the Adventure Warrior and the Augusta Adventure Race with new-leg order for individuals and teams. More info: rapidascent.com.au
December 2 East Gippsland Adventure Challenge Where: East Gippsland, Vic What: this O-Duathlon is an exciting combination of navigation-based running and mountain biking on dedicated single tracks through amazing native bushland. More info: eastgipps landchallenge.com.au
January 25-28 Alpine Quest Where: Falls Creek, Vic What: the course consists of kayaking, mountain biking and trekking legs with some additional challenges. Teams of four will navigate their way through wilderness using only a map and compass. More info: alpinequest.com.au
November 3-6 4 Peaks Bright Alpine Climb Where: Bright, Vic What: the four-day series is challenging but rewarding, with some stunning scenery. Many Olympians use the event for conditioning, but all levels are welcome. More info: 4peaks.com.au
Got an event in your state that MF readers can train for in 2019? Email details to email@example.com with a couple of good action photos. 14
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Take a dive The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series showcases the bold, brave beauty of some of the world's best divers, who voluntarily launch themselves off platforms up to 27 metres high while managing to look effortlessly graceful throughout the entire process. Here, Andy Jones of the USA soars from a 27-metre platform during the first competition day of the fourth stop on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Sisikon, Switzerland, on August 4, 2018. The view's not too shabby, either.
Photographer: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool
FOR MEN WHO GO TO THE GYM FOR
ABOUT A WEEK
AND WANT BLADES THAT LAST LONGER THAN THAT.
Hard-hitting news from the cutting edge of modern researc
Breakthroughs Friends without money FLASHING BLING ABOUT WON’T WIN YOU ANY NEW BUDDIES.
Looking to make new friends? Stop trying so hard. New research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science has found that status symbols repel people from making friends with you. “Often we think that status symbols – whether a luxury car like a BMW, a brand name purse like Prada or an expensive watch like Rolex – will make us look more socially attractive to others,” says Stephen Garcia from the University of Michigan, US. “However, our research suggests these status signals actually make us look less socially attractive, not more.” Scientists conducted a series of studies where participants either presented themselves as possible friends or they were the people evaluating who they’d want to be friends with. In all studies, people presenting themselves chose higher status items. Yet when people were asked who they’d want to be friends with, they preferred people with lower or neutral status symbols. Scientists even threw in a control T-shirt – they asked people which of two plain T-shirts participants would wear to a picnic in their efforts to make new friends. One T-shirt had “Walmart” written on it, while the other said “Saks Fifth Avenue”. While the shirts were not luxury items, 76 percent of the participants who presented themselves chose to wear the Saks shirt, but 64 percent of chose the person wearing the Walmart shirt. At least now you know what to wear to that barbecue next week.
SNEO PV TE M B E ER 2 20 0 11 8 7
Scientists have discovered a molecular “switch” that drives our response to exercise.
Switch and grow Some people respond well to aerobic exercise and strength training. Some respond only to one. Scientists at Joslin Diabetes Center, US, have found a molecular “switch” that may help to explain this. They’ve found that a protein called JNK helps to drive response to exercise. If JNK is activated during exercise, it stimulates muscle growth. If it’s not activated, muscles improve their adaptation for endurance. Tests show JNK was activated in the muscles of people lifting leg weights, but it was not activated in muscle when volunteers performed cycling. But a significant minority of test subjects did show some JNK activation in leg muscles during cycling exercise. That activation may prevent endurance adaptations, and may explain why some don’t respond as well to endurance exercise.
Hot wheels ■ E-bikes: not just for lazy people. Researchers at the University of Basel, Switzerland, have found the role of the e-bike in promoting health and fitness is comparable to that of a normal bike. The study followed e-bike and regular bike participants in the Swiss Bike to Work campaign, which invites commuters to switch
BE A LEG MAN to bikes or e-bikes every year for a month. Researchers concluded that training with an e-bike has comparable health benefits to regular cycling. Further, the researchers found that even after a relatively short period of four weeks, improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness were achieved.
Leg day is doing more than giving you rippling quads – research from the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, has found that using the legs, particularly in weight-bearing exercise, sends signals to the brain that are vital for the production of healthy nerve cells. They found that when mice were restricted from using their rear legs, levels of neural stem cells – which make new nerve cells – decreased by 70 percent. They also found that nerve cells in the brain didn’t fully mature when exercise was severely reduced.
Hobart man Charlie Gard smashed the Guinness World Record for the most chest-toground burpees this July, cranking out an agonising 851 burpees in one hour.
Labour pains ■ Desk jockeys often struggle to find time in their day to fit in exercise, but for men who work in physical jobs, they’re basically exercising all day, so they must be super healthy, right? Maybe not, says research in the BritishJournalof SportsMedicine, which found that men in physically demanding jobs were at an 18 percent increased risk of an early death. Researchers hypothesise that the longer duration, lowerintensity nature of physical labour done over an eight-hour work day – compared with a high-intensity 30-minute run done in leisure time, for instance – may have a less beneficial effect on the body. Physical
activity done at work also offers fewer opportunities for proper recovery time compared to exercise done during leisure time. And maintaining physically demanding work over a period of many years can put a strain on the body – including on the cardiovascular system, according to researchers. Gym? No, my name’s Frank.
start your 120-night trial at
A numbers game How many sexual partners have you had? Or more accurately, how many do you say you’ve had? According to a study published in The Journal of Sex Research, men tend to report more extreme numbers than women and are more likely to estimate rather than count their lifetime total. There were also differences in attitudes, with women generally being more conservative in their sexual attitudes than men. They were less likely than men to view one-night stands as “not wrong at all” (9% vs. 18%) and were more likely to view a married person having sex with someone other than his or her partner as “always wrong” (65% vs. 57%).
FROM THE WOMB
■ It seems dating is not just anxiety-inducing. It’s also costly, both in money and in time. New research from eharmony recently revealed that Aussie singles are spending, on average, nearly a grand ($982) and 174 hours on dating every year. The survey found that Aussies are more devoted to finding their life partner than ever, with over a quarter of singles (27.6%) going
on at least a date per week. Singles are spending approximately 46 minutes getting ready to meet their date, and then a further 88 minutes on the date itself. They’re also spending an average of $49 getting ready for a date, and a further $55 on the date. We didn’t know a haircut and a chicken parma down the pub could cost so much.
Researchers have found a new explanation of how young brains may be shaped for sexual behaviour later in life. Immune cells appear to play a key role in determining whether an animal’s sexual behaviour will be more typical of a male or female, says research from Ohio State Uni, US. If human development mirrors what was seen, it’s possible that minor influences – an allergic reaction or even taking an antihistamine during pregnancy – could steer sexual behaviour development in offspring.
I just wanted to cuddle...
Average sex partners reported by women*
14 Average sex partners reported by men*
■ Researchers from the Queensland Uni of Technology have found that men can suffer from post-coital dysphoria (PCD), which results in feelings of sadness or irritability after sex. While the condition had been recognised in women, no studies had previously identified it in men. The study broke down the results of an international
anonymous online survey of 1208 men. Forty-one percent of the participants reported experiencing PCD in their lifetime; 20 percent in the previous four weeks. Up to four percent suffered from PCD on a regular basis. Researchers say the results indicate that the male experience of sex could be far more complex than previously thought.
[*Source: National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, UK]
Love & money
Imaginary girlfriends don’t count.
I pooped in your gym bag.
■ Photo editing used to be the domain of women’s mags, but now anyone with a mobile and a Snapchat app can upload and edit a pic of themselves. It’s no wonder, then, that edited selfies are now all over social media. Researchers say that as these images become seen as the “norm”, people’s perceptions of beauty are changing, which takes a toll on self-
esteem and can even trigger body dysmorphic disorder. Filtered selfies can make people lose touch with reality, creating the belief that we’re supposed to look perfect all the time. A phenomenon known as “Snapchat dysmorphia” has even appeared, where patients are seeking out surgery to help them appear like the filtered versions of themselves.
Snap out of it.
55 percent of plastic surgeons report seeing patients who want to improve their appearance in selfies.
A study from San Francisco State University, US, has found that students who did a test while sitting up straight with shoulders back and relaxed found it easier to perform than students who slumped over. Study authors say slumping over is a defensive posture that can trigger old negative memories in the body and brain. The authors say athletes, musicians and public speakers can all benefit from better posture prior to and during their performance: it’s about using an empowered position to optimise your focus.
Your girlfriend’s cat might make you a millionaire. Research from the University of Colorado Boulder, US, has found that infection from the globally prevalent parasite Toxoplasma gondii (which reproduces in cats) could possibly increase a person’s likelihood of pursuing entrepreneurial and business-related activities. In a study of 1495 undergraduate students, researchers found that T. gondiipositive individuals were 1.4 times more likely to major in business and 1.7 times more likely to pursue a management and entrepreneurship role. In another survey of 197 adult professionals, infected individuals were 1.8 times more likely to have started their own business. The new study highlights the hidden, underexplored role that transmissible microbes could play in affecting human decision-making and cultural behaviours on large scales.
Move your mood
■ A US study of 1.2 million people has found that people who exercise report having 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health a month compared to people who don’t exercise. The study found that team sports, cycling and going to the gym are associated with the biggest reductions. More exercise was not always better – exercising for 45 minutes three to five times a week was
associated with the biggest benefits. Small reductions were seen in people who exercised more than 90 minutes a day, but more than three hours a day was associated with worse mental health than not exercising at all, but the authors note that people doing extreme amounts of exercise might have obsessive characteristics which could place them at greater risk of poor mental health.
MAKE THE SWITCH to Australiaâ€™s favourite protein supplements
16:8 diet works Daily fasting is an effective tool to reduce weight and lower blood pressure, according to a new study from the University of Illinois at Chicago, US. Researchers worked with 23 obese volunteers who had an average age of 45 and average BMI of 35. Between the hours of 10am and 6pm, the dieters could eat any type and quantity of food they desired, but for the remaining 16 hours they could only drink water or calorie-free beverages. The study followed the participants for 12 weeks. When compared to a matched historical control group from a previous weightloss trial on a different type of fasting, the researchers found that those who followed the time-restricted eating diet consumed fewer calories, lost weight (about three percent of their body weight, on average) and had improvements in blood pressure.
You’ll feel beta ■ Those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes could turn their prospects around by losing weight, according to a new study. Previous research has shown that people with type 2 diabetes can achieve remission by losing weight within six years of diagnosis. Now a new study published in Cell Metabolismhas discovered why. This response to weight
OBESE AND HEALTHY? loss is associated with early, sustained improvement in the functioning of pancreatic beta cells – the cells in the pancreas that store and release insulin. This finding challenges the previous belief that beta cell function is irreversibly lost in patients with type 2 diabetes, carrying potentially important implications for initial clinical approaches.
Turn the scales back on diabetes.
With less time to eat, you’re bound to eat less.
Obesity alone does not increase risk of death. So say researchers at York University’s Faculty of Health in Canada, who found that obese patients who have no other metabolic risk factors do not have an increased rate of mortality. The study showed that unlike high blood lipid levels, hypertension or diabetes alone, which are related with a high mortality risk, this isn’t the case for obesity alone. So a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors.
Belly fat linked with cognitive impairment ■ A new study using data from the Trinity Ulster Department of Agriculture ageing cohort study of over 5000 elderly adults in Ireland has found that a measure of belly fat (waist:hip ratio) is associated with reduced cognitive function in older adults. These findings have significant implications, as the global prevalence of dementia is predicted to increase to 81.1 million by 2040. Previous studies have found that people who are overweight do not perform as well on tests of memory and visuospatial ability compared to those at a normal weight.
Have you seen my trousers?
“Our study adds to emerging evidence that obesity and where we deposit our excess weight could influence our brain health,” says clinical associate professor in medical gerontology at Trinity, Conal Cunningham, senior author of the study.
Bugs for breakfast
Crickets can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and may also reduce Captio h r inflammation.
Got the drunchies? ■ We’ve all had them – the drunk munchies, or the “drunchies”. It’s the insatiable craving to eat fatty, salty, greasy foods when you’ve been drinking, and it’s what has led many a man to hit that dodgy kebab stand at 3am after a night on the turps. But why this craving for junk? Researchers at the University at Buffalo, US, found that after
Let food be your medicine drinking alcohol, the amount of blood glucose in the body can rise and fall, which stimulates the brain to feel hungry. Added to this is the fact that alcohol lowers inhibititory control and increases the brain’s sensitivity to external food cues – like the smell of deep fried Mars Bars – making it harder for you to resist cravings.
Resistance is futile.
We already know that insects are a great source of protein, but there’s more to love about our creepy crawly friends. Research from the Uni of Wisconsin–Madison, US, found eating crickets can help support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and may also reduce inflammation. Crickets contain fibres that are different from the dietary fibre found in foods like fruits and veg. Fibre serves as a microbial food source and can promote the growth of good bacteria. The study followed a group who ate a breakfast of 25g powdered cricket meal made into muffins and shakes for two weeks. Results showed an increase in an enzyme associated with gut health and a decrease in an inflammatory protein in the blood which has been linked to health problems like depression and cancer. There was also an increase in the abundance of beneficial gut bacteria.
MEN’S FITNESS NOVEMBER 2018
Beat bad breath with ginger ■ German researchers have discovered the pungent principle of ginger, 6-gingerol, makes the level of the enzyme sulfhydryl oxidase 1 in saliva increase 16-fold within a few seconds. This enzyme breaks down sulphurous compounds in our mouths, thereby reducing bad breath. The mechanism discovered could contribute to the future development of new oral hygiene products.
Lighten your load with lime ■ If the only time you slice a lime is to slide it into a bottle of Corona, you’re missing out on an easy way to shed weight. Squeezing lime juice over a meal lowers its glycaemic index, according to the University of Sydney. This means your food is digested more slowly to prevent a big blood sugar spike that not only increases fat storage but will also result in a sudden crash, prompting you to make a beeline for the biscuit tin.
Get back to your best with garlic ■ No one is going to add garlic to their post-workout shake. But adding some cloves to your evening meal after a tough workout could go a long way to help you recover from exercise-induced swelling and inflammation. That’s because garlic contains four types of sulphuric compounds that are potent antiinflammatory agents, which reduce the physical damage caused by stress,
The making of a healthier, more active Royce. “I tried many diets unsuccessfully then I heard about a friend who had lost a lot of weight with Lite n’ Easy. So I placed my first order and five months later I had lost 20 kilos! “I feel fantastic, not only with the weight loss but also because having Lite n’ Easy delivered each week has completely changed my life. “My wife and I run our own business, so it takes the stress out of what to cook every night after work. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change that’s given us back so much more time and energy. “I was very surprised with the quality of food. For the first time in years my wife and I are both eating good healthy food in the right quantities and we are looking and feeling so much better for it.” Before
“Lite n’ Easy has made me a happier, healthier person.”
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have eaten takeaway while driving
have driven wearing thongs
have driven with their knees
have sent a text while driving
have had a micro-sleep behind the wheel
Get energy on demand
LAGGING ON THE JOB
The 2018 Safe Driving Report from finder. com.au has revealed how many Aussies are doing stupid things while driving. The worst culprits are Gen Ys, with almost four in five admitting to reckless behaviours. They’re also most likely to fiddle with phones, with 41 percent using a phone while they drive. What are you guilty of?
Put down that schooner
Beattiredness with these easyscience-backed tips: 1 ) Drink more water Dehydration can induce fatigue and reduce focus and concentration because it lowers blood volume, meaning your heart and lungs must work harder to pump blood to your brain and other organs. At the first sign of tiredness, neck a glass of water. It’s recommended men drink at least two litres of water a day. 2 ) Sort out your sleep The most likely cause of long-term tiredness is not getting enough high-quality sleep. Two-thirds of us have some form of sleep problem, according to the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists, which suggests taking a 20-minute 30
hot bath before bed and going to bed and rising at the same times each day. 3 ) Pump up the volume The most common time for energy levels to plummet is 2.16pm, according to UK research, so that’s the time to stick in the earbuds. Playing your favourite music loud is one of the most effective weapons to combat both stress and fatigue, according to the Online Journal of Sport Psychology.
Regular jetlag is no walk in the park, but at least you get an overseas trip out of it. Not so “social jetlag”, which one in three Aussies are suffering from, according to a new survey from the Sleep Health Foundation. Social jetlag – when a person’s natural body clock and daily routine don’t align – is robbing many adult Australians of refreshing, quality sleep at night. The survey found that socially jetlagged people were more likely to sleep too late, wake up feeling tired, be late for work and also go to work when they’re sick.
Richard SImmons before he found aerobics.
■ If you want to live to a ripe old age, start cutting back on the beer now, because exceeding the recommended weekly intake of 14 units of alcohol can raise your risk of serious illness and even lead to an earlier death. Regularly drinking more than this (which is about 8.5 schooners of regular strength beer or five 175ml glasses of 13%
wine) was linked to increased risk of stroke and heart disease in a study of more than 600,000 people across 19 countries, published in The Lancet. It also showed that having 10 drinks a week shortened life expectancy by one to two years, while more than 18 drinks led to a reduction of between four and five years.
CarbChoice® has been designed to help you get the most ]ifd pfli Ôke\jj Xe[ dietary program.
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CarbChoice® is powered by Fitgenes, providing DNA testing in Australia since 2009.
EVERY THING YOU NEED TO MAKE LIFE WORK FOR YOU
GameChangers Breakfast ofchampions MAKE TIME FOR BREAKFAST NOW AND YOU’LL GET MORE OUT OF YOUR WORKOUT LATER.
Eating breakfast before exercise may “prime” the body to burn carbs during exercise and more rapidly digest food after, researchers from the Uni of Bath, UK, have found. Scientists were studying the effect of eating breakfast versus fasting overnight before an hour’s cycling. In a control test, breakfast was followed by three hours’ rest. Volunteers ate a breakfast of porridge made with milk two hours before exercise. Post-exercise or rest, the researchers tested the blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen levels of the 12 healthy male volunteers who took part. They discovered that eating breakfast increased the rate at which the body burned carbs during exercise, as well as increasing the rate the body digested and metabolised food eaten after exercise, too. “Compared to skipping breakfast, eating breakfast before exercise increases the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolise carbohydrate that we eat after exercise,” says Dr Javier Gonzalez, who co-led the study. The study also found that this carb-burning wasn’t just coming from the breakfast that was just eaten, but also carbs stored in muscles as glycogen.
● Game Changers
Cycle away stress DItch the maddening traffic – switch from four wheels to two on your daily commute.
Do you want to reduce stress levels and improve mental focus? Then swap four wheels for two when getting to work. Commuting under your own steam instead of driving won’t just keep you fitter, it can also improve concentration and reduce stress levels, according to an analysis of 18,000 British commuters published in the journal PreventiveMedicine. Just 1.4 percent of Aussies currently cycle to work while 69 percent drive, according to the 2016 Census, and research has also found that “the longer people spend commuting in cars, the worse their psychological wellbeing”. Time to invest in some Lycra.
SEVEN KILOS The weight you could lose over two years by ditching the car in favour of a bike if your daily commute lasts longer than 30 minutes, according to research from the University of East Anglia, UK.
MF TOP PICK
Rule the road
The basics of safe commuting in city traffic.
TOP TIP # ONE
TOP TIP # TWO
TOP TIP # THREE
“In slow-moving traffic, join the vehicle flow and ride further from the edge of the road,” says Chris Sidwells, author of The Complete Bike Book. “This will stop drivers from squeezing you to the side of the road, and you’ll avoid pedestrians.”
“When you’re cornering to the left, move out into the lane slightly so following vehicles don’t force you to the side of the road, making the turn sharper and more dangerous,” says Sidwells.
“When a van or truck has no rear windows, it has a blind spot to the rear,” says Sidwells. “Keep your distance and take special care. If you can’t see the wing mirrors, the driver can’t see you.”
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● Game Changers
Got todash Looking to reduce stress, clear your head and solve life’s big problems? Go for a run.
A brand-spanking-new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has found that physical activity - like running – can reduce your risk of developing depression, no matter your age or where you live.
Any regular runner will almost certainly have noticed that the benefits of the sport extend beyond physical fitness. The runner’s high is a well-established phenomenon, and many runners have found that regular sessions improve their mental state alongside the improvements to their heart and lung health. But to go beyond the anecdotal, we spoke with neuroscientist Ben Martynoga, who has been working with running brand Saucony, about how running benefits the brain. We defy anyone to read the following without getting the urge to pound some pavements ASAP.
Improve your mood
Clear your head
Benefits similar to meditation
■ “There’s pretty good evidence now that it can help dissipate stress,” reveals Martynoga. “The research mainly comes out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and researchers there have focused on a chemical called kynurenine which has been associated with psychological stress. Stress causes it to build up in the brain, where it has a negative effect on brain function. It’s been linked to depression and other aspects of poor mental health. “Running and aerobic exercise in general have been shown to activate an enzyme in your muscles which causes this kynurenine to break down. It destroys kynurenine, and it gradually clears it from your body and your brain, thereby clearing that cause of physical stress from your body. It’s quite a neat mechanism which shows the very real links between brain and body.”
■ “Many people who run or exercise will intuitively know this,” says Martynoga. “They feel better during or after a run. We know quite a lot about how the pain of a run can get dulled and why we find it rewarding. In particular, the evidence points to the production in the brain of two different types of molecule: endocannabinoids – cannabis mimics some of the effects of endocannabinoids – and endorphins, which have a structure and a function that is a bit like opiates. It’s very clear that both these chemicals can activate reward pathways in the brain, make you feel good and kill the pain of a long, hard run. That’s not to say it’s always a wild, euphoric, drug-like high. It can often be much subtler, but it’s still very real.”
■ “This is the idea that running can be a really powerful way to help you focus, shut out distractions and get control of your attention again,” says Martynoga. “It’s what Saucony latched on to with the idea behind its White Noise collection of trainers – dealing with the background noise of everyday life. The evidence is stacking up to say that running is a powerful way to do exactly that. It’s not totally clear exactly how it achieves this effect, but good experiments have been done comparing groups of people running and not running. These involve setting them tasks that require them to control their attention, and in both old and young alike it seems to have a very clear effect – namely that you can tune into what you have to do and block out distractions.”
■ “You can view running as a sort of meditation on the move,” says Martynoga. “Meditation and mindfulness, as I understand it, are all about being immersed in the present moment and being focused on the sensations of the body. Running is a great way to get into exactly that state of mind. You will almost certainly be thinking about your breath. You’ll be aware of the sensations in your limbs and throughout your body. And you’re much more likely to be in the moment, thinking about your next step or the corner you’re about to turn. It does make a lot of sense to think of it as a moving meditation and it will presumably carry some of the same benefits, in terms of clarity and peace of mind, claimed of meditation. Often people find running more accessible and you get all the extra benefits for your heart, lungs and muscles that go with it.”
■ “Lots of people report having good ideas come to them when they least expect it, and that can certainly be while they’re out for a run,” Martynoga says. “That ties in with what scientists say about how creative processes work, in particular the idea that a lot of problem-solving is done by unconscious brain processes that go on in the background. There is the idea that the unconscious brain is better at making the unexpected associations and links that we think of as creativity. “Research suggests that the best way to get into that creative state of mind is for your brain to be engaged with something, but not overtaxed. I think running fits that description. Your brain is engaged with what you’re doing and where you’re going, but you’re not overdoing it. You’re in the moment and not thinking about lots of different things.”
“Running can be a really powerful way to help you focus, shut out distractions and get control of your attention.”
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The all-new Powerfly is stacked with rider-first design features like a ridiculously smart battery interface that takes the hassle out of removal, installation, and charging. Itâ€™s fast and easy, so you can focus on exploring more. Meet the new standard for e-MTB user-experience, on and off the trail. Explore Powerfly at trekbikes.com
● Game Changers
It’s not about fulfilling your wildest
dreams – there are goals you can aim for to raise your level of contentment.
of us feel optimistic about the future
Australia ranks 10th on the World Happiness Scale
1 in 8
S O U R C E S : M E D I B A N K B E T T E R H E A LT H D ATA ; G L O B A L H A P P I N E S S R E P O R T; A U S T R A L I A N B U R E A U O F S TAT I S T I C S .
Aussie men will experience depression
● Game Changers
You can’t be happy all the time – and that’s not pessimism, but science. “Unhappy brain chemicals helped our ancestors survive by alerting them to danger,” says Dr Loretta Graziano Breuning, author of Meet Your Happy Chemicals. “Once something causes you pain, your brain keeps trying to avoid it to protect you.” Plus, of course, you need a contrast between good times and bad times – otherwise, how would you really be able to quantify what a good time was? But that’s not to say you can’t be happier. If you’re anything like the rest of Western society, the chances are that your brain chemicals have been knocked unpleasantly out of line by modern living. Your brain “learns” to chase things that feel good – which is fine, unless they’re terrible for you. Get your chemicals functioning properly, though, and you’ll be able to forge good habits while kicking unpleasant or harmful ones to the kerb. Here’s how it’s done.
■ Often mistakenly called the “pleasure chemical”, dopamine actually regulates everything from movement to attention span – as well as promoting surges of happiness when you ingest cupcakes (or cocaine). It kicks in when you score points in video games and when you move towards goals. Handle with care. DO…
D O N ’ T…
Work towards your goals with positive expectations “You can’t get promoted every day, but working towards that goal – or even learning to play a musical instrument – will promote dopamine release,” says Breuning.
Keep refreshing Twitter “Social media promotes ‘seeking’ behaviour and dopamine can keep you addicted to seeking information in an endless loop,” says behavioural psychologist Dr Susan Weinschenk. Install an app such as Chrome’s Nanny to help you keep your retweeting to an acceptable level.
Set a routine Under or over-sleeping can disrupt your body’s supply of neurotransmitters, according to a 2002 study in Neuropsychopharmacology. Aim for a regular seven or eight hours at the same time every day.
Be too result-oriented “They’re never guaranteed,” says entrepreneur James Clear. “Instead, focus on your working processes – they’re within your control.”
■ The mood booster. To oversimplify a bit, serotonin flows when you feel important. Your primitive brain equates that feeling with survival. DO…
Train your brain to feel confident in your own importance Easier said than done, but “power posing” is a good start – instead of sitting hunched, spread out or stand like Superman. Studies suggest it boosts confidence in everything from romantic situations to job interviews. Eat cherries “Drinking a glass of sour cherry juice, or eating about 20 red tart cherries, before retiring at night may help induce a deeper state of sleep and support healthy kidney function,” says Mark Konlee, the author of the Immune RestorationHandbook.
Have a scoop of cottage cheese with your cherries for glutamine and calcium lactate, which also encourage serotonin regeneration (and sleep). D O N ’ T…
Hit the sugar “I’ve heard people recommend a sweet treat to boost mood,” says nutritionist Mark Sissons. “Carbs are a quick fix but do nothing to stimulate long-term serotonin production.” Focus on others for your sense of importance “Imagine that people respect you instead of assuming the worst,” says Breuning. “It’s probably closer to the truth.”
“Imagine that people respect you instead of assuming the worst. It’s probably closer to the truth.” 40
■ This has been called the ‘hug hormone’, but it’s more complicated than that. High levels are associated with physical contact, trust and cooperation – but some researchers have suggested that it can also cause people to cling to any form of social contact.
Do something “moderately stressful” Physical activity and watching a horror movie both qualify. Studies suggest that when done
■ The pain blocker. Endorphins helped our ancestors cope with the anaerobic demands of running from sabre-tooth tigers – and they give you an exercise high. The catch? It only happens when you exceed your limits – so work hard. DO…
Focus on the trust you have with existing friends “You can build trust with anyone by making the steps small enough,” says Breuning. “Create expectations that both parties can meet, and repeat, again and again.”
with friend, this has a bonding effect. Go dancing In one study, it raised subjects’ oxytocin levels by 11 percent. Karaoke had a similar effect – but only when done with mates. D O N ’ T…
Throw yourself into relationships One going wrong isn’t worth the quick hit. And although bonding with pets can trigger oxytocin, there are better reasons to get a dog.
Keep your workouts short and intense “Try 30/30 rows,” says trainer Pieter Vodden. “Do 30 seconds’ rowing, then rest for 30 seconds, for eight minutes in total. Aim for 160m in each interval.” Train with friends A 2009 study found rowers who trained together experienced a greater hormone boost than those who trained alone.
Eat a curry Capsaicin – the compound that makes chilli peppers hot – binds to pain receptors in the mouth, triggering your endorphins. D O N ’ T…
Just push, push, push “Creating pain to enjoy endorphins is a bad strategy,” says Breuning. “Varying your routine can create endorphins without unnecessary stress.”
● Game Changers
Genetics If you can crack your genetic code, you can shield yourself from ill health.
“Ultimately, your outcome on the playing field of life is determined by your DNA.” like heart disease and Alzheimer’s,” Masters says. “Research now says these are inflammatory diseases, and what Fitgenes sees on your DNA profile is your inflammation vulnerabilities. If we can identify people early, we can provide them with guidelines to minimise the impact of that.”
Code calling You can’t change your genetic make-up, but by understanding your personal DNA profile, there are ways to prevent health problems – now and in the future.
Delving into DNA Fitgenes provides DNA-based health and wellbeing reports delivered by accredited practitioners who are
trained to deliver personalised and targeted programs that can help you meet your health goals. “There are two tests that they use,” says Haydn Masters, head of physical performance for the Wallabies, who has used Fitgenes products to get the most out of his athletes. “The first is Fitgenes, which looks at what your genetic vulnerabilities are. The other is CarbChoice, which determines how well you digest starches.”
There’s no one-sizefits-all approach when it comes to nutrition and weight loss, but it can be hard to know what approach best suits you. Who has the time to trial every single dietary approach out there? But there is a way to find out what will work best for you – and what won’t – and it’s all in your genes.
Fitgenes can identify whether you’re more predisposed to conditions such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The idea is that by giving you the headsup on this early and providing you with individualised diet, exercise and lifestyle plans that fit with your DNA profile, Fitgenes can help you reduce your chances of ill health. Prevention is always better than cure, right? “You can use food to decrease your likelihood of diseases
What about carbs? Where you come from can determine a lot more than just the colour of your skin or what team you go for in the World Cup. Your genetic background is also influenced by what your ancestors ate and the evolution of agriculture where they lived. “For some people, particularly Caucasians, they may not have had starches in their diet for a very long time, and so their body hasn’t adapted through evolution to give them the opportunity to digest starch,” Masters explains. “When you don’t digest starch very well, your immune systems sees it as a foreign body, and this causes inflammation.”
This can lead to bloating, sore joints and low concentration, as well as insulin resistance, weight gain and diabetes. CarbChoice tests your DNA to see how well you can tolerate starches. From your results, you can then be guided – via personalised nutrition advice – on what you should and shouldn’t be eating. “For people who want to lose a few kilos, this is a very simple way to determine whether one type of food – which is starches – should be avoided,” Masters says. “Or you might have an elite athlete who wants to make some higher level changes to improve their concentration and their mental health.” If it turns out you can’t digest starch, try withdrawing it from your diet and replacing with other foods – Masters says you’ll be astounded by the changes you’ll see. “If starches are negatively affecting your wellbeing, then that’s your health,” he says. “Ultimately, your outcome on the playing field of life is determined by your DNA.”
WHAT’S IN YO OUR DNA? To ffind a CarbChoice or Fitgenes F pra actitioner near you, hea ad to fitgenes.com. No--one nearby? No worries! Just email enq quiries@fitgenes. m and they’ll put com you u in touch with a pra actitioner via Skype or o over the phone.
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● Game Changers
Saddle up It’s Spring Carnival racing time. Will you be a frontrunner or an also-ran?
Ah, racing season. Sprucing up in your best glad rags and pretending you know what a Superfecta is while drunk girls in fascinators vomit behind the portaloos. It’s all class, right? Maybe not. But if you do get the chance to attend a racing carnival this season, there are ways to increase the odds of you having a great day out.
How can I guarantee I’ll win? BEST RACEHORSE NAMES ■ You can’t. Gambling is just that – a gamble. Yes, you might win, but you will also more than likely lose. Aussies are huge gamblers, and it costs us. Research by consultancy H2 44
Gambling Capital found that in 2016, Australians lost more money per person – an average of US$990 – than any other developed country. But the excitement of having a flutter can NOVEMBER 2018
be fun, and seeing your horse win can be a huge thrill. So if you do decide to place a bet or two, keep a level head. Don’t put your life savings on a horse just because it’s called Big Tits.
And learn from history: a horse being the favourite doesn’t mean it’s a sure thing – the starting favourite at the Melbourne Cup has won only 34 times out of 157 races.
Passing Wind (NZ) Why The Long Face (AUS) Red Hot Filly Pepper (US) Wear The Fox Hat (AUS) Maythehorsebewithu (NZ) Big Tits (France)
How can I avoid a hangover the next day? ■ Easy – don’t drink. But that’s like telling a kid at a Boogie Festival not to pick his nose and eat it. The beer will be flowing and you’re there to have fun, so you should indulge in a few drinks if you want to. Of course, just like gambling, drinking can have its upsides and its downsides. The upsides? Having a good laugh with your mates and a day to remember. The downsides? Being caught on camera riding a wheelie bin in your undies and finding the photo all over the net the next day. Oh, then there’s a hangover the size of Phar Lap’s heart*. So pace yourself. Eat a good brekky, drink
plenty of water and eat regular snacks throughout the day. Take some Hydrodol, too. It helps support your liver and maintain hydration, and may help reduce the hangover pain.
Seriously smart active wear ■ As you’re an active kind of bloke, you’ll want your suit to move with you. T.M Lewin’s Infinity Active suit features ripstop construction to prevent your suit tearing when you jump the fence into the member’s enclosure, natural stretch so you can move freely as you sprint away from security, a waterrepellent finish to deflect any champas spray and impressive crease recovery – so when you show up for work the next day, no-one will be able to able to tell you slept in your suit.
What should I wear? ■ You want to stand out, but you don’t want to stand out for the wrong reasons, so don’t just rock up in the suit you wore to your Year 12 formal back in 1996. You want an up-to-date, well-fitted suit that flatters your build. T.M Lewin makes suits and shirts for all builds, from a looser, more classic fit through to a skinny, super-fitted modern style. To find out more about the T.M Lewin range, head to tmlewin.com.au
Complete the look ■ It’s all about the details. For instance, each day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival has an official flower, so make sure you find out what bloom to pop in your buttonhole. Also, don’t be scared to experiment with colour – it’s not just girls who can wear pink. Check out these T.M Lewin accessories at left.
M F S TAT S
MELBOURNE CUP AT A GALLOP
In 2017, an estimated 45,000 bottles of champagne were consumed, and around 305,000 beers.
Last year, there were 17 arrests, and 33 people were evicted by security.
Barriers 5 and 11 have seen the most wins, and fourand five-year-old horses have won the most.
This year’s winner will pocket $4 million in prize money, plus trophies worth $250,000.
The fastest-ever Cup time was run by 1990 winner Kingston Rule, with a time of 3:16.3. NOVEMBER 2018
*1930 Cup winner Phar Lap’s heart weighed 6.2kg. The average horse heart weighs 3.2kg. MEN’S FITNESS
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● Game Changers
Run the world Joe Warner seeks expert advice on how to ace a foreign race.
Travel MAMMA MIA! Following the spectacular South Sardinia coast, the Chia Laguna half-marathon winds its way through rolling green hills and past turquoise waters and white sand dunes. The only trouble is avoiding all the pasta and red wine...
If you’ve ever been for a run outdoors, you’ll need no convincing that it’s great for both your mental and physical health. And while training runs are all well and good, nothing can beat the buzz of taking part in an organised race, especially in a distance you’ve never done before because you’ll be guaranteed a personal best. To add that extra dash of excitement to the whole experience, you might even want to consider entering a race on foreign shores. You can combine your active adventure with a (probably much-needed) holiday and get to see a little more of the world while you’re at it. I’ve recently run two half-marathons overseas: the Chia Laguna half in Sardinia, Italy, and the Semi de Paris in France. I loved both – the scenery in Sardinia (pictured) was spectacular because the entire route was along the coast, and the atmosphere in Paris was absolutely amazing – but I could have run better had I prepared better. There’s more to do and to remember when you race way from home. So I asked Shaun Dixon, an elite international runner and coach, for his tried and tested tips for when he races abroad. Flip the page for the good oil.
● Game Changers
“Travel a couple of days before the race to allow yourself to acclimatise to the race destination and time zone.”
Get in the zone
Move your muscle
“Many European races require you to present a valid medical certificate from a doctor stating you are fit to race before they will give you your race number. Fail to get one and they won’t let you run, so book an appointment to get one, or if you have one check it’s still valid and that they accept older certificates.”
“If possible, travel a couple of days before the race to allow yourself to acclimatise to the race destination and time zone. If not, and there is a significant time-zone difference to deal with, adjust your daily routine while still at home for a few days in advance. Practise waking up, eating and going to bed at those times you will around race day.”
“Have a short ‘shakeout’ run as soon as you can after you arrive at your destination. It only needs to be a nice, easy 20-minute run followed by some light stretching to undo all that stiffness that can build up from travelling, especially if you’ve been sat in the same position for hours on end.”
“Do your homework on the location, specifically the best routes to and from the race expo and the start and finish lines. Be clear on the starting instructions, including bag drop, and make sure you leave plenty of time to get to the start line. And study the route so you’re not shocked by the huge hill, or the second half of the race that’s into a headwind. Check the weather forecasts and pack your kit accordingly.”
MF TOP PICKS
RACE AROUND THE WORLD Challenge yourself and get a few extra stamps in your passport with these events.
ULTRA TRAIL DU MONT BLANC
The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, a 161km mountain run around the highest parts of the Alps that takes in stretches in France and Italy before finishing in Switzerland, is arguably the ultimate international race for serious runners. utmbmontblanc.com/en
SEMI DE PARIS
An annual half marathon held every March in Paris will lead you through the streets of this famous capital. The event attracts around 40,000 participants each year, as well as plenty of spectators and even musical events along the route. semideparis.com/en
“If you’re tempted to see the sights before the race, don’t be too ambitious, because you want your legs to be as fresh as possible for the event and for your energy levels to be high, not spent. If you’re tight for time, take a bus tour and see the sights with the weight off your feet.”
“Research restaurants close to your accommodation and book a table for your meals before and after the race. [Olympic and world championship medal-winning triathletes] the Brownlee brothers have a tried and tested formula for their pre-race dinner – pizza! Why? It’s full of carbs, it’s a safe bet and you can find an Italian restaurant anywhere in the world. Choose something familiar and easy to get hold of to fill up your energy stores.”
The oldest US marathon, now also famous for the terrorist attack in 2013, remains one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events. Always held on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday of April, the event attracts about 30,000 registered participants. baa.org
THE GREAT WALL MARATHON
The Great Wall Marathon is widely considered one of the world’s most challenging marathons. Despite the arduous course on the iconic Great Wall of China, runners will be rewarded by its breathtaking surroundings and views. great-wall-marathon.com
● Game Changers
Down, boy Runners, weightlifters and just about everyone else will benefit from doing the downard dog yoga pose.
This first method teaches the “standard” distance between the hands and feet.
This method will stretch your calves more and take some pressure out of your shoulders.
Once you know the shape and feeling of the last two poses, try this variation.
HOW TO DO IT
HOW TO DO IT
Start in a top push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart (if you have tight shoulders, go wider) and feet hip-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels. Engage your core so your body doesn’t dip in the middle. Without moving your hands or feet, lift your pelvis as high as possible. Press your heels back and raise your legs without taking your feet off the floor. Push through your arms, spread your fingers and press your palms down. Engage your quadriceps so your kneecaps rise.
Start in the top push-up position as in method 1. Lift your pelvis as high as you can and notice how the tension in your abdomen releases spontaneously. This time, step your feet forwards towards the hands, approximately 15cm. Your feet should be parallel with your toes pointing straight forwards. As in method 1, engage your quads and press your thighs back and upwards while simultaneously pressing your heels down. Keep your thumbs and index fingers grounded as you turn the upper arms out to broaden across your shoulder girdle.
HOW TO DO IT
Place your hands on a table, ideally about the same height as your hips, or press your hands against a wall at hip height. Bend at your waist and stand with feet directly under hips, so your arms and spine form one long line perpendicular to the floor. Press your thighs back and push forward through your arms. Now that you have less weight in the shoulders, see if you can create even more length in your waist. “Downward facing dog is excellent for all sports as the posture recruits a large amount of neuromuscular effort,” says Duncan Peak, CEO of Power Living (powerliving.com.au). “It’ s also excellent for rebalancing the body. Any sports dominated by one side would benefit from this posture.”
Downward-facing dog strengthens the legs and arms while stretching the calves, hamstrings, shoulders, hands and wrists.
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● Game Changers
Grooming Breaking news: moustaches make you kind of a big deal.
own life rather than appear “weak” by asking for help. But this is outdated macho bullshit. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, reach out. Talk to someone you trust – a mate, a family member, your GP. Nothing is ever worth ending your life for. And if a mate reaches out to you? Listen to him, let him know you’re there for him and check in with him if you’re worried.
Make your move
Winbya whisker Grow a mo and get moving this Movember to help us blokes live longer, healthier, happier lives.
What’s that tickling feeling under your nose? Ah, it must be Movember. Sure, a big, bushy mo might make you look like a porn star from the seventies, but it’s also a symbol of something far more important (and less hairy) – men’s health and wellbeing. Every year since 2003, the Movember Foundation has been encouraging men to grow a moustache to raise muchneeded funds that go towards tackling some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental illness and suicide. Grow a mo, save a bro.
The facts Across the world, men die an average six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, while testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men aged 20-34. But if caught early,
survival rates can be extremely good. Take-home message? Young fellas – check your nuts, and if anything doesn’t feel right, see your GP. If you’re 50 or over, ask your doc for a PSA test (used to determine the level of Prostate Specific Antigen concentration in your blood – it’s the primary method of
testing for prostate cancer). And if you notice any changes in your urinary or sexual function, let them know, pronto. Stop avoiding your GP – a recent survey by Gillette found that 75 percent of men will put of going to see a doctor – and start paying attention to
FLASH THAT TASH
your body. It’s the only one you’ll be getting.
Reach out For men aged 15-44, suicide is the leading cause of death – every day an average of six Aussie men take their own life. Research suggests some men choose to take their
This Movember, you can also put one foot in front of the other to raise funds for men’s health. Get moving by running or walking 60 kilometres over the month. That’s 60 kilometres for the 60 men we lose each hour, every hour. You don’t need to do it all at once – just set your goal and chip away at it. Go for a run outside, start walking to work or hit the treadmill at the gym. Ask family and friends to chuck in a donation, or even join you for a quick trot around the block. To get involved in any activities this Movember, head to au.movember.com To speak to someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or call the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.
Inside the wonderful world of the moustache.
WO R L D ’ S LO N G E ST M O
IT ’S A CL ASSIC
FAC E FACT S
Ram Singh Chauhan of India cracked the mo world record with a moustache that measured 4.29 metres.
For some, the mo becomes a lifelong look. Burt Reynolds’ and Tom Selleck’s moustaches even have their own Facebook pages.
Unless you’re Justin Bieber, you should be able to grow a decent mo. Facial hair grows 0.635cm a month, faster in summer.
● Game Changers
Hair to the throne Keep that face fuzz in tip-top condition with these products. 1 2
1) Philips Series 7000 wet shaver ■ This high-tech piece of grooming kit protects against the key signs of skin irritation. SkinGlide rings with a special anti-friction coating enable the shaver to glide effortlessly across your face. Its blades cut close and protect skin, even with three-day stubble. The SmartClick precision trimmer is the perfect tool for shaping your tash or beard. philips.com.au
2) Milkman Grooming Co Moustache Rescue Kit ■ Take the hard work out of maintaining a mo. This kit includes a brush to lift and separate hairs, giving the appearance of a thicker, fuller mo; wax to hold your tash in place and keep it out of your mouth; a mini comb to carry with you when you’re on the go; safety scissors; Clear Shave Gel; and a double-edge safety razor. Brilliant. milkmanaustralia.com
3) Handsome Shave Gel
4) Proraso Beard Kit Wood & Spice
■ Forget the crusty shaving soap sticks your dear old grandpappy used to use before the war, this slick stuff is the future. Containing organic aloe, witch hazel and bitter orange, it’s a soothing natural gel that softens stubble for a superbly close shave, leaving your face feeling smooth and fresh and looking, you guessed it, pretty damn handsome. ha.ndso.me
■ So you’ve upgraded from a tash to a full-on beard, eh? Good onya! Now you need to keep that thing looking its best so you’re more Chuck Norris and less Costa from Gardening Australia . This great kit includes Proraso’s signature Beard Balm, Beard Shampoo and Beard Oil. The fragrance is a mix of cedar and Mediterranean citrus. prorasoaustralia.com.au
You have to admit that a Victoria’s Secret model is far more likely to snog you if a set of nice pearly whites is shining out from behind your mo.
5) Marvis Whitening Mint toothpaste ■ OK, so this one hasn’t got anything to do with hair, but you have to admit that a Victoria’s Secret model is far more likely to snog you if a set of nice pearly whites is shining out from behind your mo. Made in Italy, Marvis features the sharp taste of cool mint for lasting freshness and contains xylitol and fluoride to keep your chompers in good nick. marvisaustralia.com.au
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I I .
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● Game Changers
Eggs Eggs are usually easier to digest than other protein sources, so they’re great for people with inflammatory gut issues. And if you want to cut down on red meat but keep your protein up, eggs are a top source.
Two scientists from Melbourne recently discovered that leafy greens are essential for feeding good gut bacteria and limiting the ability of bad bacteria to colonise the gut.
Turkey As well as choline, turkey is also a good source of tryptophan, which may help to create a less inflammatory gut environment, according to research published last year in Science.
Gowith yourgut Fix your gut health to look and feel better.
Choline ■ Your body uses it to build the protective mucous membrane that lines your intestinal tract, providing your body with its first line of defence. Get it from prawns, eggs and poultry: if you go out on an all-nighter with the boys, eroding your gastrointestinal defences with a booze binge, a turkey frittata the next morning will start to redress the damage.
What’s your gut feeling? According to mounting evidence, that’s one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when it comes to health. Your gut, after all, is responsible for letting in nutrients and water while keeping out toxins – as long as it’s working properly. Let it start to leak and it’ll allow substances into your bloodstream that shouldn’t be there, causing a host of problems. A healthy gut depends on good bacteria, a solid lining and a working immune system. Keep topped up on these nutrients to maintain all three.
■ According to a 2015 study published in the journal Lipid Research, omega-3 fats work with probiotics to foster “friendly” bacteria in your gut. The researchers used (and recommend) fish oils: supplement with a pill a day, taken with food. Flax and chia seeds, walnuts, olives and coconut are also good sources, though less research on them exists.
■ There’s some evidence that lack of iron depletes gut bacteria. A rodent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests extra iron helps, but absorbing it can be a problem. To be on the safe side, stick to sources of haem iron like red meat and eggs, rather than nonhaem supplements that mimic the plant variety.
■ Technically, they’re a sub-category of flavonoid, but they’re worthy of separate consideration since they reduce the amount of Clostridium histolyticum, a pathogenic bacteria, in the gut. Green or white tea is your best source: aim for two or three cups a day.
■ It’s used in almost every barrier between your body and the filthy outside world, as well as your gastrointestinal tract, your skin and lungs relying on it. Sweet potato, pak choi and capsicum are all excellent sources: for a top-up hash, cube the potatoes and parboil them for five minutes, then chop up the other veg and pan-fry the lot.
■ Technically not a nutrient, but it adds bulk to what’s already going through your intestines, reducing your exposure to potentially dangerous compounds, and helps to regulate pH balance, promoting a better environment for beneficial bacteria. Get more by building your diet around vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds.
■ Along with carotenoids, these phytonutrients (found in plants) have high antiinflammatory gut-based benefits, and can reduce your risk of gastric cancer, according to a 2012 study. Cabbage and onions are good sources: cook them in a stew to keep the nutrients.
■ The active ingredient in turmeric protects your intestinal walls against the negative effects of a Western diet, helping prevent the proliferation of “bad” bacteria, suggests research published in 2014 by Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, US. Use turmeric in curries, or toss a teaspoonful into rice or scrambled eggs.
● Game Changers
Born to ride No matter what the missus says, you know you want a motorbike of your very own. But which one to choose? Here are a few stand-outs.
While you might want to rush out and buy the first shiny one you see, remember that you need to make sure the bike is M suited to your needs, and also to your height and weight. The best way to do this is to visit some dealers and try a few on for size. For one thing, you’ll need to make sure you can sit on it with both feet flat on the ground, otherwise you’re going to topple over at your first set of lights and that kid from The Simpsons will appear out of nowhere and go, “HA-ha”. You’ll also want to be able to reach all the controls comfortably. If it feels awkward, it’s not the right bike for you.
What sets the Tuono Factory apart is its unique engine and level of sophistication and technology.
DUCATI MONSTER 659 ■ Ducati is excited to announce the arrival of the Monster 659, produced exclusively for Australia and NZ. Start your motorcycling journey with confidence, style and fun on the new Monster 659. Contemporary and iconic, the 659 also features smooth
progressive power of a 659cc fuel injected L-Twin engine. The safety of the latest generation Bosch ABS, as well as LED tail and headlight DRL for high visibility. For additional confidence, the low 785mm seat makes the 659 ideally suited to learner, female or smaller riders. ducati.com.au
MEN’S FITNESS NOVEMBER 2018
MV AGUSTA SPECIAL BRUTALE PIRELLI EDITION ■ Based on the Brutale 800 RR, the 140 hp sport naked receives two special livery options to enhance the lines of the Brutale 800 RR while also displaying the exclusive partnership with Pirelli. Other components that receive
a new custom paint scheme include the headlight unit bracket, the rear subframe and airbox output grilles further defining the craftsmanship of the new Brutale. Production numbers are limited and come with a 3year factory warranty and a 3-year customer care program. mvagusta.com.au
TRIUMPH SPEED TRIPLE RS ■ Comes with a significantly upgraded 1050cc Triple engine with 105 new parts, 10PS more peak power, more peak torque, a new freer flowing exhaust with new race-style twin upswept silencers, a new improved gearbox, graded slip assist clutch and arrow titanium
APRILIA TUONO V4 1100 FACTORY ■ The Tuono V4 1100 Factory represents an exceptional thrill machine. The heir to a dynasty of naked sport bikes and dedicated to an extremely demanding public, this bike is equipped with components which are largely derived from the Aprilia RSV4 RF superbike. The Tuono factory is equally at home on regular track days as it is tackling the twisties on a favourite country ride. What sets the Tuono Factory apart is its unique 175HP V4 engine and the sheer level of sophistication and technology applied to a road bike. aprilia.com.au
sports silencers with carbon fibre heat shield and end cap. Lighter than the previous generation, despite the addition of new technology like a full-colour 5-inch TFT instrument display, the Speed Triple RS also features new contemporary highgloss cast alloy wheels. triumphmotorcycles. com.au
T h e r e ’s n o d e ny i n g t h a t M a r k Wa h l b e r g ’s p a s t is chequered, but the actor is making up for
h i s m i s t a ke s by b e c o m i n g H o l l y wo o d ’s m o s t
dedicated professional – be that in terms of
f i l m , fa m i l y o r f i t n e s s . By I a n Fa u l c o n b r i d g e
MF COVER GUY
Top: In the ring in 2010’s The Fighter; above left: as a CIA operative in new movie Mile 22; above right: with wife Rhea Durham.
ong-time fans of the varied career of Mark Wahlberg may remember the 1993 video Form…Focus…Fitness, the Marky Mark Workout. In it, the barely-out-of-histeens Wahlberg – complete with floppy hairdo, baggy pants and prerequisite following of similarly clad ruffians – dishes the details behind his famous physique: “The important thing to remember is you’re starting where you’re at,” he says earnestly. “But there’s no stopping you after that.” 1993 was also the year that Marky Mark and his Funky Bunch departed from the scene (which we should all be grateful for), and from there Wahlberg was less regularly known to use rhyming couplets to achieve his point. These days, he’s almost unrecognisable from the foppish youth of Form…Focus…Fitness, who spends a large portion of his time
on-screen flexing and complimenting his bevy of “fly honey” assistants. But the dedication that has seen Wahlberg take on movie roles that require bulking up (Lone Survivor, The Fighter), cutting weight (The Gambler) and even going toe-to-toe with Dwayne Johnson himself in the superhuman stakes (Pain & Gain) remains undeniable. “I always wake up with the feeling that it’s never enough,” says the 47-year-old. “I feel like I have to keep moving forward and keep working as hard as I can or I’m going to lose it all. It’s crazy, I know, but I can’t seem to get away from that kind of compulsion. “I believe in working as hard as possible. Work is what keeps me focused and it’s just part of my nature to keep moving forward. I’m trying to do the right thing. I don’t want to let my guard down and feel too comfortable. If you become complacent, you start feeling entitled.”
Wahlberg’s journey to becoming one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood has been a long one. As a kid, he became involved in a gang in Boston, US, which eventually culminated in him serving prison time for assault. Next, he moved into the music industry with the Funky Bunch, hot on the heels of his brother Donnie, who was fronting New Kids on The Block at that time. His move into the film industry came courtesy of appearances alongside household names like Leonardo DiCaprio (The Basketball Diaries, 1995) and George Clooney (Three Kings, 1999), and by the time the Noughties rolled around, Wahlberg was featuring in comedies, dramas and full-on action extravaganzas. In 2010, Wahlberg starred alongside Christian Bale in Academy Awardnominated sports biopic The Fighter, based on the real-life story of 2000 WBU light welterweight champion boxer “Irish” Micky Ward. Given the integral part that he had personally played in the nearly half-a-decade-long battle to get the film released – even stepping up financially as a producer – The Fighter was the perfect platform for Wahlberg to showcase his penchant for perfectionism. “You have to become a boxer and a fighter,” he explains. “Living it, dreaming it, sleeping it, you know – we had to go there… it was intense. My wife at one point was like, ‘Listen, the movie, I hate to tell you this, because I don’t want to let you down, but the movie might not happen and you might be doing all of this for nothing, so maybe you might just want to slow it down a little bit.’ But I couldn’t… I made a promise to Micky and his family that I would get this movie made and I was never going to take no for an answer.” What ensued was, by Wahlberg’s own admission, “the hardest thing I’ve ever put myself through”. To get physically fit and go to the gym for half an hour and look good with your shirt off is very different from being believable as a boxer who could win the title, he says. “It’s just a whole other animal – and I figured that out pretty quickly, that I was maybe in over my head. Thankfully, the movie kept falling apart and I was allowed to train for four-anda-half years to really accomplish my goal. I constructed a boxing ring in my house so that I could also work on my movement as well as sparring sessions to develop the kind of rhythm and technique that you would see from a professional boxer. “Towards the end, we were running up to eight miles [12.8km] a day uphill and in
“I wake up feeling that it’s never enough... I have to keep working as hard as I can or I’m going to lose it all.” the morning before breakfast. Then we’d do 30 rounds in the ring and 10 rounds with each of the guys playing the other fighters and then another 15 rounds of jumping rope, hitting the mitt. Then we’d have lunch and we’d run full-court basketball for two hours, then we’d go back in the gym and do a lot of abdominal and core work. Then we’d have dinner, then we’d watch a fight film. It took over my life. I was obsessed.”
Hard and fast Now nearing his fifties, the former wild child has put old controversies aside in favour of faith and fatherhood, with four children from his nine-year marriage to model Rhea Durham. Still, some of the innate streak that has landed him on the other side of the law remains. “That’s why I go to church and pray every day,” he admits. “I have to watch my temper and not allow myself to get angry or react to things impulsively. I grew up in a world where you could never show weakness or ever back down because you wouldn’t be able to survive if you showed fear. If I’m in a situation where I see someone getting treated badly or someone says something to me or my friends that I don’t like, I have to control that instinct that wants me to respond in an aggressive way. Those are the worries I have that are still in the back of mind somewhere.” And this kind of personal redemption is far more than a 9-5 occupation. Training for The Fighter may well have necessitated Wahlberg and his crew hill-running before breakfast, but even today early starts certainly aren’t something that Wahlberg is prone to baulk at. The sheer level of everyday commitment aside, he’s always willing and able to shift through the gears when it comes to his career. “Usually I’m up at four in the morning,” he reveals. “I work out in my gym, I have breakfast and then I’ll go to the golf course at 6am and play an hour or so with my friends. We basically run from one tee to the next so it’s good exercise; we hit a drive and then just sprint to the ball and then the caddies come with the carts. We grab a club, hit again and then sprint again. “But if I’m halfway through a movie, I’m doing whatever the role calls for. I’m waking up at 3am and having egg whites and Ezekiel bread [made from sprouted NOVEMBER 2018
MARK WAHLBERG’S WORKOUT: PAIN & GAIN Pain & Gain , Michael Bay’s full-throttle black comedy, follows a trio of Miami bodybuilders (Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and The Hurt Locker ’s Anthony Mackie) who get caught up in a kidnapping and extortion scheme that goes gruesomely wrong. Based on the real-life crimes of the Sun Gym Gang, the film required Wahlberg – who pays ringleader Daniel Lugo – to pack on more than 15kg of muscle in just eight weeks. To gain – and maintain – muscle mass quickly, Wahlberg focused on high-rep, high-volume workouts. Try this brutal set of complexes.
“I was on a liquid diet for a month and it was horrible. I’ve never been so miserable in my life.”
drop all that weight and since gaining it back is that I’m never going to do another film where I have to go through the process of putting it on or taking it off to any great extent. I was on a liquid diet for a month and it was horrible. I’ve never been so miserable in my life.”
Work, rest, repeat grains] with almond butter five minutes later. At 3:15, I’m reading my prayer book and saying my prayers. At 3:30, I’m in the gym for an hour, doing jump rope and all types of high-impact functional movement exercises: kettle bells, dumbbells, step-up planks, battle rope, rip cord trainer. Then I’m having a shake, going to the basketball court and playing two-on-two for an hour. Then it’s roasted chicken, tuna salad and a big sweet potato – all before 6am.” This pedal-to-the-metal lifestyle has its drawbacks, of course. “I’ve had some herniated discs,” he says. “Labrum tears in my shoulders, a couple of broken bones in my hands” – and that’s not even mentioning the times he’s had to cut weight, a gruelling process that has been much maligned by a handful of Hollywood’s biggest action stars, from Chris Hemsworth to Tom Hardy. “The worst thing that ever happened was when I worked on Transformers and I had lost all the bulk I had put on for Pain & Gain since the guy I play is an inventor and there was no need to train for the part,” he says. “But after we had finished shooting Transformers, [director] Michael Bay needed to do some re-shoots. By that time, I had lost nearly 60 pounds [27kg] to do The Gambler. Michael was shocked when he saw me. I’d starved myself for four months to lose all that weight. He asked me if I’d become a crack addict or something! “One thing I’ve learnt from having to 64
Wahlberg’s latest role sees him in familiar territory as a special ops agent in the Peter Berg-directed Mile 22. It’s the fourth time he and Berg have collaborated – after Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriot’s Day – and Wahlberg says this new character “pushes the envelope a bit and upsets your usual expectations: it’s a really smart script and I think it’s going to surprise people.” With his reserves of apparently unwavering willpower, Wahlberg can certainly come across as someone unlikely to let his guard down – even if his early years were marked by almost constant partying. But he’s quick to point out there’s a less-than-serious side to him. “If I’m not training, I’ll eat anything: doughnuts… Kentucky Fried Chicken 20-piece hot wings, corned beef hash and eggs,” he says. “But when I’m filming, I’m on a strict diet. On Lone Survivor, our caterer made these wonderful chocolatechip cookies. It was my one treat of the day – after getting beat up on the mountain, I’d eat a couple of cookies and then take a nap. “As soon as The Fighter was over, I started slacking. I start training with a lot more food and sometimes a bottle of red wine. I kind of liked that compared to eight hours a day lifting weights and sparring. But my wife gave me this, ‘Hey, I’m a former Victoria’s Secret model, so if you want to hang onto me, you better stay in shape.’ So, I went back to the gym.”
Start with some foam-rolling and five minutes of skipping rope – Wahlberg is an expert at doubleunders, where the rope spins twice for each jump.
Do 10 reps of each move back-to-back, rest for 90 seconds, then start your next set. Do three sets in total.
COMPLEX 1 Do eight reps of each move backto-back, rest for 90 seconds, then start your next set. Do four sets in total.
A Deadlift B Clean pull C Hang snatch D Reverse lunge E Push press
A Bulgarian split squat B Bench press C Deadlift D Inverted row
FARMER’S WALK Do two 100m walks, with two minutes’ rest in between. Then collapse – you’ve earned the rest.
Above: Wahlberg as bodybuilder Daniel Lugo in Pain & Gain, with Tony Shalhoub as Victor Kershaw.
You could say it’s not so much a case of burning the candle at both ends, as it is Wahlberg blow-torching it from all angles. “Every once in a while, I like to relax, but I’m still as focused and determined as I was when I first started out and think, you know, it’s all going to end as soon as it started and I’m fully aware of that,” he says. “There’s no way I’m going out, eating dinner, drinking wine. I literally go home and go to bed. If I finish work at 8pm, I try to be in bed by 9pm. You gotta put the work in. Then you gotta get the rest and recovery.” ■
Jaimie Trueblood 2013 Paramount Pictures
Above left: Wahlberg in a 1992 Calvin Klein ad; above right: as inventor Cade Yeager in Transformers: Age of Extinction, 2014.
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You can look at nutrition, pills, massage and the type of compression gear you wear, but when it comes to recovery for better performance, sleep is the best tool you have. Itâ€™s free, it takes little effort and you feel like doing it every day. So why do we get it so wrong?
SLEEP: THE ULTIMATE
By Dom Cadden
A lot goes on when you hit the sack of a night and drift off to dreamland... Sleep and the athlete You have a day off when your muscles are sore, but your brain never rests until you sleep. This is when the brain gets to catch up on its role in the recovery and rebuilding of the body by regulating important hormones such as growth hormone, which is released to the body especially during deep (slow wave or Stage 4) sleep. Sleep is when the brain does most of its production of the energyproducing chemical adenosine triphosphate, which is needed for protein synthesis and powering muscle contractions. It’s also the time when you update your athletic skills and technique to your brain, because it’s the time when you consolidate what you’ve learnt. It’s also when your brain reinforces emotional memories. So that means that if your hill-sprint session hurt like hell for 25 minutes, but then you had five minutes of feel-good sensations, your brain might reinforce those positive feelings during sleep. This tricks you into developing good training habits.
Quantity vs. quality Sleep researchers tend to agree that adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep each day. If you’re in heavy training, you might benefit from more. In his book Running with the Kenyans, Adharanand Finn said the Kenyans sleep up to 14 hours per day
while training. In the US, Cheri Mah at Stanford University conducted several studies of swimmers and basketball players, finding that extra sleep had a significant positive impact on both their speed and their performance. Research has only very recently honed in on what a cluster bomb prolonged lack of sleep can be for your health. A landmark study at the University of Chicago, US, showed that just six consecutive days of only four hours of sleep raised blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, halved the usual number of antibodies to a flu vaccine and brought on signs of insulin resistance, the precursor of type 2 diabetes and metabolic slowdown (eg, getting fatter on fewer calories). But all these changes were reversed when the lost snooze was caught up. If you’re slammed for sleep (new baby, anyone?), then is there a point where a lack of shut-eye sets you up for injury? “Six hours is kind of a cut-off,” says Dr Ian Dunican from Sleep4Performance, who has worked with the AIS. “Cognitive performance decline can lead to slips, trips and falls, mistiming and miscalculations that can lead to injury. Plus, if you’re not getting enough non-REM sleep for recovery overnight, then you’re just going to be breaking your body down over time.” Not all time in bed is the same. Sleep scientists talk about “sleep efficiency” – the percentage of time in bed actually spent asleep – so time you spend in bed reading or checking Facebook,
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lying there waiting for sleep to come and all the times you wake up in the night are deducted. “Normal” sleep efficiency is about 85 percent, while 90 percent or more is the ideal. “The problem is that self-reported quality sleep is basically crap,” Dr Dunican says candidly. In his work, he has found that athletes’ estimations of their sleep times are often out by as much as 90 minutes. The gold standard for sleep measurements is a sleep study, or polysomnography, which is when someone is completely wired up in the laboratory for the night. Dr Dunican’s worldfirst research shows that after this, the next best measures come from validated wrist-worn devices that use a tri-axial accelerometer to measure movement, such as a Readiband. These can occasionally overestimate your sleep time because it’s hard to differentiate lying quietly in bed from lying in bed asleep, but they still have an accuracy rate of 92 percent compared to polysomnography. After this come non-validated wrist-activity monitors that measure heart rate and heart rate variability, such as Fitbit and Garmins – but forget those sleep-tracking phone apps. “Sleep cycle apps are crap,” Dr Dunican warns.
disorder. Dr Dunican says people often think sleep disorders are only for people who are older, fat, smokers or heavy drinkers, but his research has shown that athletes are just as likely – and sometimes more likely – to have one of 80 different sleep disorders compared to the general population. There are many disorders that even a partner in the same room wouldn’t be aware of, including disorders where the brain doesn’t send a signal to breathe, and a REM disorder where you feel that you can’t move. “We find that nearly one in three athletes have some kind of sleep disorder that needs to be managed,” Dr Dunican says.
What’s your time?
If you always feel like poo on a stick at early morning training sessions, then maybe it’s just not your time of day. “The biggest issue I’ve seen with athletes and coaches is a lack of understanding about chronotype,” Dr Dunican says. “Chronotype basically means: are you more suited to getting up early in the morning and going to bed early, or are you better suited to going to bed late and getting up late?” If you want to get the most out of your training and have better motivation to turn up for training, then embrace your Disordered sleep own personal chronotype. It might mean shifting things around so that you can train late in the afternoon or evening instead If you lie awake a lot before or after you first fall asleep or you of early in the morning before work, or extending your lunch just feel like you have rubbish sleep, you might have a sleep hour a couple times a week so you can fit in a training session. The quality and consistency of your training will benefit. However, if you’re busy training for If you want to get the most out an event that will be at a time of day you don’t usually train, then you will need of your training and have better to make an adjustment. motivation to turn up for training, “Professional boxers and MMA fighters do this well,” Dr Dunican says. then embrace your chronotype. “They’ll do their sparring in the evening around the time that they have their scheduled bout, even if that’s at 11pm, so they get used to operating at that time.” This brings up another problem. Exercise definitely improves the quality of sleep, but it can also disrupt sleep if it’s done too close to bed time – but this depends on the activity you’re doing. The higher the level of mental stimulation and contact required, the harder it will be to unwind afterwards enough to sleep. So while a slow, steady-state run or swim on your own allows you to tune out and sleep soon afterwards, at the other extreme you have guys playing a Super Rugby match that only finishes at 10pm. “There is no point trying to sleep for at least four hours after a night game,” Dr Dunican says. “People shouldn’t stress about the time they fall asleep after a game or competition. They should be more worried about creating the opportunity to catch up on sleep and recover the next day and even the following day.”
Too hyped for sleep
This is one thing sleep researchers agree on
Overstimulation is the enemy of sleep, and Dr Dunican says the usual suspects are caffeine and other stimulants such as pre-workout mixes. “If you have a cup of coffee, it’s going to take about an hour to peak, then about four hours to leave your system,” he explains. Alcohol is another sleep-sabotaging culprit. Yes, it’s a depressant, so it can help you fall asleep, but then it all goes downhill after that because it leads to fragmented sleep. “About two hours after falling asleep, you’ll start waking up due to the alcohol metabolising in your system and trying to be eliminated,” Dr Dunican says. “You’ll start waking up to urinate and your brain could experience arousals – you might not be aware of them, but we would see these in a laboratory with electrodes placed on your head.” Several other external influences mess with the brain when it tries to wind down for sleep. Here’s what happens: you have two hormones that have an inverse relationship when it comes to sleep. Cortisol – the “stress” hormone – helps keep you stimulated during the day, then starts easing up in the evening. That’s when melatonin – the sleep-regulating hormone – levels begin to rise in the body to prepare you for sleep. Combative-type behaviour or reactions in the evening wreck this balance – cortisol levels shoot up, which holds back melatonin secretion. So if you’ve been sparring, getting into some agro on a night out, hit Rambo mode on social media or played violent video games, don’t expect to sleep well in the next few hours. Got a big fight brewing with your partner? Dr Dunican suggests you try holding off on that hot mess until at least mid-morning the next day. (Break-up brunch, anyone?) “Have a good night’s sleep, some caffeine, then from 9am to
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– the importance of a pre-sleep routine to signal to the brain that it’s time to go into sleep mode. midday you’re in that zone of good cognitive performance and you’re not going to make any rash decisions,” he says.
Sleep remedies Synthetic forms of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) and melatonin are often pushed as the magic bullet for sleep, but both have flaws. GABA is a chemical made in the brain to block impulses between nerve cells, but in February this year, the University of California School of Public Health, US, reported that “there’s no credible evidence that taking GABA orally increases its levels in the brain”. “People take over-the-counter melatonin for sleep, but studies show that melatonin doesn’t really help,” Dr Dunican says. “It’s more of a placebo effect – its greatest effect is in regard to jet lag.” Melatonin is restricted as a prescription drug in Australia. You can find so-called melatonin and GABA products on shelves in shops, but they are limited to a miniscule 6X homeopathic strength melatonin, which is unlikely to have any effect at all. “Two supplements I do recommend to athletes are magnesium and zinc,” Dr Dunican says. “The studies are a little bit variable, but some show that they can increase the quantity of deep sleep or slow-wave sleep, which is when growth hormone is released. “One of the challenges as men get older is that we tend to have less deep sleep, so anything we can do to increase that, the better it will be for keeping up testosterone levels.” Dr Dunican says that – especially when training in the heat – magnesium and zinc can help relieve periodic limb movement disorder or “restless legs” while you’re trying to sleep. “I recommend powdered magnesium because it absorbs better in the gut and gets into the system quicker,” he says. Try Bioglan Active Magnesium Powder (bioglan.com.au). It’s been formulated to provide a high-strength dose of elemental magnesium plus amino acids, zinc and B vitamins to replenish magnesium levels and support optimal muscle function. The urge to move the legs can also be connected to low iron levels, and Dr Dunican says that if your iron is on the low side, a liquid iron supplement may help make you a little calmer before sleep and relax your legs. In Australia, “natural” over-the-counter sleep formulas often contain herbal ingredients such as passion flower, chamomile and valerian. While these have a long history of traditional use for anxiety and sleep, they have very little scientific evidence to support them. Some studies have indicated small benefit from herbal teas, but researchers suggested that the ritual of chilling with a warm tea – almost regardless of its ingredients – was relaxing and reinforced a pre-sleep routine. This is one thing sleep researchers agree on – the importance of a pre-sleep routine to signal to the brain that it’s time to go into sleep mode. Reducing physical and mental stimulation in the hours before bed is crucial, and pre-bed stretching can help relieve tension and stiffness in muscles to bring on better sleep sooner. Light is another important factor when it comes to decent shut-eye. Dim the lights a couple hours before bed. Even if you read before sleeping, use a lamp that makes a gentle haze, not a search-and-rescue spotlight. Make a habit of reading something relaxing on paper or listening to a podcast for up to 20 minutes. You work on good habits and routine for training and diet – now it’s time to pay that same respect to your sleep. ■
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F*#K THE GYM (AND OTHER MOTIVATIONAL MISHAPS)
AUTOO T S Y A W D E - A P P R OV E
DSET IN M R U O Y T ORREC
E SUC IS C R E X E D E P R OV
M I S TA K E #
1 Your better half is your motivational muse ● Couples who had very similar fitness and physique objectives, with comparable plans to achieve them, were more motivated to exercise than couples who sported vastly different goals, says a paper from the University of Texas at Austin, US. That means if you both want to get fit, but she wants to lose weight and you want to gain muscle, you could be motivationally “catfished” towards failure. Equally, if you want to lose weight via diet alone and she insists on more exercise, that could throw you off track. Either team up with someone with similar views or someone who respects your approach to enjoy the true benefits of real support.
M I S TA K E # 2
You think it’s easier to control your weakness than to eliminate it ● Gradually decrease your vice and you’ll hardly notice its absence, right? Well, not exactly. Take the case of alcohol, something 17 percent of Australians over-consume daily. It’s actually far more difficult to achieve controlled drinking than it is to give up the grog entirely, found a study from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. Regardless of your vice, if you continue to drip-feed it to yourself, you’re more likely to assume you’ve got your weakness under control. And that can lead to a blow-out that pulls your motivation off course. Rather stamp out that vice wholesale – it’s less risky.
Ban the brew Cutting back mightsoundmore appealing than cutting out, but when it comes to booze, the latter is easier.
M I S TA K E # 3
M I S TA K E # 4
M I S TA K E # 5
M I S TA K E # 6
Not paying attention to your mindset
You rely on tech for a spark
You’re not structuring your training
Failing to refocus after 6 months of success
● It’s tempting to rest on the feel-good laurels of crushing several workouts in a row, but the positive upticks wear off faster than you might assume. A study at the University of Adelaide found it took just three days of inactivity to worsen the symptoms of people suffering depression. You don’t have to have clinical depression to be impacted – even if you’re feeling a little “off”, it’s likely you’ve not varied your training to get that mental boost. Change things up to find the exercise stoke to carry you through the natural motivational ebbs.
● While it might be a hoot to compete with your crew and keep tabs on your vital stats when you first get a fitness tracker, don’t imagine this novelty is enduring. A study in JAMA found wearable trackers are not reliable tools for creating weight-loss outcomes in the long term. In fact, those who didn’t wear them lost nearly twice the weight. You’re not a cyborg – data on a screen can’t recharge your keenness for real-world activity for very long.
● Exercise is a different beast to training. The latter is a systematic tactic called periodisation that forges long-term exercise performance success. Without month-on-month successes, your motivation can languish in the doldrums, especially when you consider that a study in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found periodisation tactics make people burn 12 percent more fat long term. Switch up your training every two months to keep your body and mind both guessing and reinvigorated enough to stay the course.
● Stick to your exercise goal for half the year and you’re strutting with the swagger of a guy who thinks he’s got the winning formula. During those first months, your path is driven by hopes, ambitions and the positive elements of hitting your target, says research from the University of Winnipeg, Canada. Sadly, that mindset won’t keep pushing you beyond the six-month mark. Thereafter, your best source of motivation is to focus on what to avoid. Take-home message? Devise a few avoidance strategies for when temptation strikes and you’ll more likely keep your momentum long term.
M I S TA K E # 7
Pre-empting a self-control glitch ● You’re conditioned to believe everyone has a moment of weakness where self-control goes on power-saving mode, but it isn’t true, according to research in PLoS ONE. Yep, everyone gets bored of repetition, but your motivation is actually consistent throughout the entire day. “Our results are consistent with theories showing that people lose motivation within a specific task, but at odds with theories that argue self-control is a general resource that can be exhausted,” says Dan Randles, the study co-author. Don’t succumb to the myth that there are times in your day when you’re weak willed.
M I S TA K E # 8
M I S TA K E # 9
M I S TA K E # 1 0
M I S TA K E # 1 1
Your training partner is your BFF
Sticking to that tried and tested playlist
You penalise yourself for the slightest slip-up
You attack your goal as a one-man wolf pack
● It’s shrewd to lean on your bro to stay fit, but don’t let the bonds of friendship handcuff you to failure. Finding a new exercise partner significantly increases the amount of exercise people get stuck into, says a study from the University of Aberdeen, UK. This was even more pronounced when the partner was emotionally supportive. This lends credence to the saying: keep doing what you’ve always done and you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got. Mix it up – a new gym buddy will bring more than just a solid spot to the party.
True grit Think you were eventually going to cave and so devour that pizza anyway? Think again (and steer clearofUberEats.)
● New vibes are an easy motivational win. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found music sporting beats in the 120-140BPM sweet spot made cyclists put in more effort. Other research from Brunel University, UK, says some songs help you channel the memories of when you first heard them, boosting your motivational effects. Try busting out the soundtracks to your favourite sports flicks and you’ll be better geared to embrace your inner Rocky.
● If you’ve crafted a mental ledger where you need to do something you hate if you make a mistake, it’s very much a self-defeating exercise, explains a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. It’s not that the crime and punishment system doesn’t work, but it doesn’t always suppress those undesired behaviours. Just shrug off the gaffe and try to do better next time – you’re not wearing a badge.
● While you might relish clocking some “me-time”, it’s shrewder to embrace team spirit. A review of 18 studies in the International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care found people who walked in a group were more likely to stick to regular exercise after six months than those who walked alone. The researchers found the group exercise increased life satisfaction and improved social connectedness. Denying your inherently social nature is like trying to brush your teeth with Tim Tams – pointless.
M I S TA K E #
12 ● The mind coach gurus love to tell you negativity is your enemy, but the ’90s called and wants its advice back. See, a little worry can be quite healthy, suggests a study in Social and Personality Psychology Compass. Worry can prompt you to change your ways and take preventative health actions against habits that may not fit with your long-term goals. If something’s got you up at night, use it as inspiration to change things the following day.
KEEP YOUR BODY IN PEAK SHAPE FROM YOUR TWENTIES THROUGH TO YOUR FIFTIES AND BEYOND.
Start building a strong foundation now to guarantee a stronger future.
You can still go hard at the gym, but bouncing back might take a little longer.
Your risk of injury increases, but keep up your training – just be more careful.
Time to focus more on strength training and recovery.
p83 NOVEMBER 2018
In your 20s You’re young and fighting fit. Good for you. Not only are you looking and feeling great now, you’re also building a firm foundation to keep your body in great shape as you get older. Yep, there’s no stopping old Father Time – he’ll keep plodding along no matter how much Botox you squirt into your forehead. But if you’re consistent with your training and nutrition now and in the future, you’ll be staying one step ahead of him for some time yet. See, we don’t stop training because we get old – we get old because we stop training.
You’re in your physical prime: make the most of it now and reap the benefits later.
■ The recommended protein intake for men 19-30 years is 64g per day (0.84g/ kg), which is the same for men 31-70 years (64g/day – 0.84g/kg). “For men doing resistance training or those looking to put on muscle, protein needs are higher,” says nutritionist Caitlin Reid. For those in an early stage of resistance training, 1.5-1.7g of protein per kilo of body weight is recommended, while those who’ve been training for a while require 1.0-1.2g of protein per kilo of body weight.” “Excessive protein is not needed to gain weight, with research indicating the timing of protein may be just as important as total protein intake over the day,” Reid says. Aim for 20-30g of protein immediately after training, as well as at meals and snacks (5-6 times per day).
Run for it
■ You’ve got testosterone roaring through your veins like a randy bull, so you can hoist lots of heavy stuf to build big muscle. “Any time is a good time to start weight training, but your 20s is the time when you’ll find it easiest to achieve a muscle goal,” says sports scientist Dr Tony Boutagy. “It’s a good way to set a foundation for a strong body. A lot of muscle experts think that the muscle is a bit like a bank, and if you lay down as much as you can in your 20s, then when you’re older, when it’s more difficult to build muscle, you’re going to 80
HOW MUCH PROTEIN?
have a much better head start than someone who decides to take up weights in their 50s.” As a rule, you have more fasttwitch muscle fibres when you’re young. These fibres are used in powerful bursts of movement. “The diference between two people and their fibre make-up is widely diferent,” explains Dr Boutagy. “But essentially everyone is a mixture of around 50/50 fast twitch/slow twitch.” When you age, it’s believed the fast twitch are the fibres that are preferentially lost first.
■ Right now you can run for hours, and doing lots of cardio when you’re young is a great idea. “For someone in their 20s, that’s the time to do aerobic training,” says Dr Boutagy. “Your joint spaces are at the most protective you’re going to have in your whole life.” You’ll also be ensuring a healthy heart for later life. “Cardiovascular disease is years, if not decades, in the making, so the more robust your heart is from exercises in your 20s, the more you can focus on other things as you get older.” Much like the muscle bank, if
you start building cardiovascular fitness and maintain good nutrition and lifestyle habits, your heart will stay healthier for longer. Then there’s your metabolism. Yep, it’s burning like a wellfuelled furnace at the moment and if you stay active from now, you won’t really see much change in your metabolism as you age. “If you look at someone in their 50s who’s in good muscle shape, they can have a similar metabolism to a man in their 20s,” Dr Boutagy says. That’s one big motivator to keep on moving.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
In your 30s If you’ve been consistently active through your 20s, you’ll be grateful by the time you hit 30. While your metabolism might possibly start to slow down a little (sorry), if you keep up your training you can still continue to see gains. The only change you may notice? You might not be able to bounce back as quickly from a hard session – at the gym or the pub. That means you need to start paying a bit more attention to your rest and recovery needs. And because life tends to get a little more complicated now – career, kids – you’ll need to be more efficient with your training.
YOUNG GUNS If you’ve kept your training up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t still see big gains.
Rest and recovery ■ “Recuperation would be the only diference you’d see between your 20s and 30s,” Dr Boutagy says. “Muscular response to training is extremely similar. These days we’re seeing people compete in the Tour de France up to their late 30s and early 40s, and the most hotly contested position in the Ironman is the 30s and 40s. This was something that was not seen decades ago, but we’re seeing it now. With new training methods and recovery methods being discovered, we’re seeing things we never used to see.”
■ “Daily energy requirements will vary depending on your age, height, body weight and activity levels, but between 19 to 30 years of age, energy requirements are at their highest of adulthood,” says Reid. According to the Australian and New Zealand Nutrient Reference Values, a 76kg male of this age group has a daily energy requirement of 2571 calories for sedentary activity up to 3286 calories. “According to the Nutrient Reference Values, calorie requirements do start to reduce slightly from the age of 30,” says Reid. “Based on the average over-30 male of 76kg, the energy requirements are 2523 calories for sedentary activity up to 3238, so it’s only a modest decrease.” That’s about half a middie’s worth, if you were wondering.
Get organised In your 30s, you have to allow for more recovery and be more intelligent with your training – less quantity, more quality. “More emphasis on shorter, more quality sessions,” Dr Boutagy says. “It’s often when people hit their 30s that they realise they need to take up ‘restoration training’.” Think massage, yoga, stretching, foam rolling, compression gear. “You also start to realise there is a thing called sleep,” Dr Boutagy says. “In your 20s, you could operate on nothing, but now you do need your eight hours a night.”
■ Efficiency of training also becomes paramount in your 30s. Now you’re probably progressing in your career and might have a young family. “When you were in your 20s, you had the time to run or ride for hours with your mates,” Dr Boutagy says. “That becomes a thing of the past when you have to train around work and family commitments. It necessitates that you have to become more efficient.” This is where high intensity interval training (HIIT) can come
in handy. Not only will it help you get in a good workout in a short period of time, more intense workouts will also keep your cardiovascular fitness in check. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology, your VO2 max (your body’s ability to use oxygen) declines by 10 percent per decade after the age of 30. But men who continue to compete and train hard can reduce this drop by about half, meaning you’ll still be able to exercise harder for longer periods. And increase your life expectancy.
P L AY I T S A F E
In your 40s This is the time when you’re going to start seeing changes. “Your ability to adapt and lay down muscle only slowly reduces from the mid 20s to the mid50s, so you’re not going to see much change in your ability to build strength and muscle,” Dr Boutagy says. “The diference you will start to see is in connective tissue – you’re seeing more strains, more pulls, more tendon problems.” So unless you want to spend most of your 40s reading old issues of this magazine in a physio’s waiting room, put the ego aside and start taking a little more care of your body.
Because of the changes to your connective tissue, focusing on recovery is more important than ever.
No spring chicken ■ It’s not that you can’t lift as heavy as you did in your 20s, it’s that you have to be more careful about it. “You see a lot of people in their 20s training, then in their 30s they reduce training to focus on family and work, but when they hit 40 and realise they have a gut, they take up training again,” Dr Boutagy says. If you want a good business idea, be a physio for people over 40 – blokes who’ve pulled their hamstring or groin at touch footy because they think they’re still 20. You don’t have to give up training, you just have to be more careful: 82
WHAT ABOUT NUTRIENTS?
■ It’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy diet that combines a wide variety of whole foods. To help bolster testosterone levels, there are things you can do. “Zinc is important for testosterone, so make sure you’re getting enough through dietary sources like meat, fish, milk, cheese and beans,” Reid says. You should make sure you’re getting enough fibre for your gut health and you might also want to look at an age-appropriate supplement. Vitalife Active Nutrition high protein drink delivers a unique collagen and whey protein formulation that’s rich in naturally occurring nutrients and boosted with vitamins and minerals specifically chosen to support the nutritional requirements of active men 40-plus. vitalife.com.au
Endure and conquer “Research recommends weight training with a particular emphasis on eccentric contractions and developing strength and power,” Dr Boutagy says. “Also ensure you’ve got muscular balance between limbs.” Smarter training, combined with nutrition for connective tissue, will keep injuries to a minimum. “Gelatin-rich foods promote connective tissue health,” Dr Boutagy says. The easiest way to do it is to drink bone broth, but you can use gelatin powder from the cooking aisle, too.
■ All your anabolic hormones – including testosterone and growth hormone – peak in your 20s and start to slowly dwindle after that. “But there are enormous individual diferences among men, from any number of factors from poor lifestyle or sleep to nutrition and genetics,” says Dr Boutagy. “As a general rule, you have less testosterone and growth hormone in your 40s than you did in your 20s, but the actual relevance of this to fitness is probably more likely to do with connective tissue than it is to muscle.”
Because of the changes to your connective tissue, focusing on recovery is more important than ever. But it’s not all bad news. Though fast-twitch fibres start to decline past 40, your slow-twitch fibres – the ones associated with endurance – are less afected. So, while the performance of weightlifters drops like an overloaded barbell after the age of 40, endurance athletes see their performance fade more slowly, according to a recent study published in Experimental Aging Research.
STILL GOT IT
In your 50s and beyond The big change in your 50s is the reorganisation of your training week, Dr Boutagy says. “You need to emphasise weight training and downplay everything else. The vast majority of your training hours should be spent lifting weights. Not to the exclusion of cardiovascular and flexibility training, but weight training should predominate.” Strong muscles help you age well – you’ll reduce your risk of falls, and weight training has also been shown to help keep blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol in check. It can also slow the rate of age-related bone loss.
CLAUS & EFFECT Santa credits his longevity to regular weights sessions at North Pole Fitness First.
Weight for it ■ “If pushed for a number, I’d say a 3:1 ratio of weight training to cardio would be ideal,” Dr Boutagy says.” While you’ll need to focus more on recovery, the good thing about weight training is that the recovery time is a bit of a non-issue. “This is because you can work around muscle groups,” says Dr Boutagy. “After a hard run, you might need a few days of, but with weight training you can train legs one day, upper body the next.” When you’re in your 50s, you’re still more than capable of laying down muscle, but according to Dr
WHAT YOU NEED
■ Energy requirements can decrease from the age of 50, due to loss in muscle mass. Protein needs are the same at 51-70 years as for younger men, but increase to 81g/day (1.07g/kg) from the age of 70. Men 50-plus should also ensure they’re getting enough vitamin B6 for immunity and memory, plus you may need more vitamin D. “From age 50, there’s a reduced capacity for the skin to produce vitamin D,” says Reid. Your calcium requirements also increase (from 1000mg/day to 1300mg/day). “While little is known about calcium metabolism in the elderly, it is known that the absorption of calcium decreases with age,” Reid says. “The increase for the RDI at this age is precautionary, to help maintain bone health.”
Live long and prosper Boutagy, muscle doesn’t really know age: “It’s a use or disuse thing,” he says. “You could take the muscle of a 50-year-old who trains and the muscle of a 20-year-old hipster and you’d think the 50-year-old’s muscle belonged to the 20-year-old.” But there is one important thing to know – just like with type 2 diabetes where you become insulin resistant, ageing muscle becomes anabolically resistant – the amount of training and protein you need to turn on muscle building can increase.
■ If you’ve kept in shape, you can keep going into your 60s and beyond. More important: by maintaining muscle, you’re less likely to sufer from falls, which account for a huge number of injuries in older people. You’ll also have maintained a higher bone mineral density than your non-exercising mates. It takes years to lay down bone, and all your hard work at the gym over the past 30-odd years will have done you proud. So, if you’ve looked after yourself so far, the only changes you’ll need
to make are being more careful with recovery and avoiding injury. “Muscle mass is the chief driver of how well you age,” Dr Boutagy says. “As much as you need aerobic fitness, you don’t need to do a lot of cardio now. If you do lots of muscle and heart work in your 20s, then slowly decrease cardio while increasing weight training, then you have the best chance of ageing well, because all the predictors of older age – whether they’re cardiovascular or metabolic – are improved by having healthy muscle.” ■
T HE RE AR E B AD CAR B S AN D T H E R E ARE G OOD CARBS. BU T TH ERE ARE TI M ES W H EN BA D CA RBS CA N B E GOOD. CONFUSED? S O W E R E W E , S O W E W ROT E T H I S A RT I C L E .
Low-carb no different In February 2009, results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine from a two-year study done by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, US. They took 811 overweight adults and assigned them diets which reduced their calorie intake by around 750 calories per day, but used various combinations of protein, fat and carbohydrate to do it. Regardless of whether they were on a low-carb, low-fat or low-protein diet, most participants had dramatic weight loss after six months, losing an average of 5.8 kilograms. Eighty percent of them lost at least 3.6 kilograms after two years, and 15 percent of the participants lost at least 10 percent of their body weight. More influential than the combination of macronutrients in their diet was whether the participants attended nutrition education classes and group discussions offered by the researchers; those who did had stronger weight-loss results.
We’ve long heard mixed messages about carbs. This started with the sudden influx of low-carb and no-carb diets about 10 years ago, when carbohydrates became dietary enemy number one. Let’s go ahead and wipe that idea out of your memory. When it comes to building muscle and gaining strength, carbs – or more specifically the right kind of carbs at the right time – can be your friend. “Carbs are your body’s main fuel source, particularly during prolonged continuous or highintensity exercise,” says Sydneybased dietitian and exercise physiologist Caitlin Reid (healthandthecity.com.au). “They also play an important role in the structure and function of all cells, tissues and organs. If you’re not eating enough carbohydrates to meet your energy needs, physical and mental fatigue can result. You’ll experience a reduced ability to train hard, have impaired competition performance and a reduction in immune system function.” But just how much carbohydrate do you need? According to Reid, for blokes involved in low-intensity/ skill-based activities, 3-5g carbs per kilogram of body weight is recommended, while for those involved in a moderate exercise program (an hour or more per day), 5-7g carbs per kilo of body weight is recommended.
4 Number of calories in each gram of carbs compared to fat (9 cals per gram) and alcohol (7 cals per gram).
“However, it’s important to note that carbohydrate requirements need to be adjusted daily to meet energy requirements,” Reid points out. “So, on a sedentary day, carb intake should be lower than on a day with a high training load.” WHAT’S THE GO WITH GI?
Just like fats, not all carbohydrates are the same. You may have heard a bunch of confusing and sometimes conflicting terms like complex carbs, simple carbs, low-glycaemic (GI) carbs, high GI carbs, slow-digesting carbs or fast-digesting carbs. Sometimes some of those terms mean the same thing and sometimes they don’t. OK, that’s confusing, right? So, for the sake of simplicity, let’s stick to one set of terminology, which is high-GI versus low-GI. High-GI carbs are those that are higher on the glycaemic index, meaning that they’re digested more quickly and consequently raise blood sugar levels higher and faster. “Blood glucose levels refer to the sugar that’s transported through our blood stream to supply energy to all the cells in our bodies,” Reid explains. “This sugar is made from the foods that we eat, with carbohydrates having the biggest impact on our blood sugar levels. Our bodies maintain our blood sugar levels within a very tight range.” Glycaemic index, or GI, refers to how your body responds to the carbohydrates found in food. It shows us how slowly or quickly a food is digested and increases our blood sugar levels. “Eating foods that have a high glycaemic index are quickly digested and absorbed by the body, producing a quick spike in blood sugar levels,” Reid says. “This spike is quickly followed by a dip. These
types of foods cause peaks and crashes in energy levels and before long have us reaching for the wrong types of foods to boost our sugar levels again.” Blood sugar spikes also cause your body to release more insulin in an attempt to bring levels back down. Over time, this can cause a variety of health problems, including obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. High-GI carbohydrates include foods with a high sugar content like soft drinks, cakes, biscuits, lollies and fruit juices. Those are the obvious ones, though. What are some of the not so obvious? That would include white bread, white rice, potatoes and most breakfast cereals. No matter how healthy the box claims it to be. “Research suggests that eating a diet rich in foods with a high GI is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic diseases like
GET A LOAD OF THIS It’s not just about glycaemic index. Glycaemic load matters, too. “There are two things that affect how your body responds to the carbohydrates in food – the amount of carbohydrates consumed and the type of carbohydrates eaten,” dietitian Caitlin Reid explains. “While we need to take into consideration the GI of a food, we also need to consider the portion size. Glycaemic load (GL) takes into consideration the quality and quantity of carbohydrates. Vegetables like pumpkin and parsnips don’t contain a lot of carbs (unlike potato and cereal products), so despite their high GI value, their glycaemic load is medium and they contain loads of beneficial micronutrients. So while GI is one thing we should consider when we’re making dietary choices, it isn’t the only thing. It’s still important to think about selecting whole foods in the diet and limiting the amount of processed foods.” Instant oats GI: 66 GL: 18
Watermelon GI: 72 GL: <4
Wholemeal bread GI: 56-59 GL: 9-9.5
Pumpkin GI: 75 GL: 3
Booze and carbs The liver does not metabolise alcohol into sugar. In fact, most people will experience a dip in their blood sugar levels when they drink alcohol. Alcohol is eventually broken down by the liver into acetate, and finally into carbon dioxide and water – not sugar. When you’re feeling like a beer, consider a Guinness – it has fewer carbs, calories and grams of alcohol than many of the more popular lagers on the market. Plus it’s fuller-bodied, which means it’ll take you longer to drink and leave you feeling more satisfied.
INSULIN: FOE OR FRIEND?
5-7 Grams of carbs per kilo of body mass the Australian Institute of Sport recommends you eat daily if you exercise for an hour a day.
obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes,” Reid says. Low-GI carbs digest more slowly, and in turn slowly release glucose into the bloodstream – which means you’re not getting those big blood sugar spikes. Low-GI foods include rolled oats, bran, most vegetables, beans, whole wheat, brown rice, sweet potatoes and even most fruits. “Foods with a low GI are the preferred food sources as they provide a feeling of fullness and therefore may assist with weight control,” Reid says. “They can also help to maintain your energy levels throughout the day. “Low-GI foods may also be helpful with weight control because they promote satiety [basically, they fill you up], minimise insulin secretion after the meal and maintain insulin sensitivity.” So, why is fruit low GI but fruit juice high GI? The answer is fibre. You’ve heard that fibre is good for you, but many people just think about this in terms of their digestive or heart health. The reality is that fibre plays a very important role in managing your blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down the whole digestive process, which in turn results in a lower insulin response. Fruit is high in fibre, but fruit juice has had all the natural fibre from the fruit stripped out.
High-GI carbs spike insulin and low-GI carbs help regulate it. What’s good about insulin and what’s bad? Well, let’s look at what carbs are in the most simplistic way – they are energy. Now, what is fat? Fat is just stored energy. Without getting too complicated, high spikes in insulin can cause your body to store that energy as fat. So to avoid storing fat, you want to avoid spiking insulin levels, which means you want to stay away from high-GI carbs, right? Well, almost. There is one exception to this rule that plays a big part in building muscle – and that revolves around the post-workout nutrient window. During this window, your body is ready to replenish your depleted energy stores – in other words, it’s the perfect time to replenish glycogen stores, also known as CARBS. During this time, you want fast-digesting, or highglycaemic carbs, that your body can rapidly digest to replenish those energy stores. If you’re an endurance athlete (think triathlons, marathons, looking for a parking space at the shops on Saturday), high-GI foods before a race or a heavy training session can help you, too. “When it comes to sports nutrition, it’s important to focus on immediate requirements and what a whole food or snack can provide, like protein, vitamins and minerals, instead of looking at only one component of any food,” Reid points out. “However, GI considerations can assist athletes. Research shows that consuming a low-GI pre-exercise meal assists with maintaining blood glucose levels during exercise, while eating high-GI foods immediately after exercise can be used to promote a faster recovery of muscle glycogen
LOW AND BEHOLD Some foods that you wouldn’t expect are surprisingly low GI. When it comes to GI, there are a few factors that affect a food,” says dietitian Caitlin Reid. “Factors like texture, ripeness, macronutrient content (such as fat, protein, soluble fibre, fructose and lactose), cooking, processing and size all affect the GI of a food.” Soba noodles GI: 46
Chocolate (dark) GI: 23
Ryvita biscuits GI: 63
Sourdough bread GI: 53
stores. Eating high-GI foods during endurance events (90 minutes or more in duration) is also beneficial in providing instant energy.” There’s a secondary benefit as well. Remember insulin and how high-glycaemic carbs cause spikes in your insulin? Well, in a post-workout window, this can be a great thing. Insulin also has the ability to be very anabolic, because of its ability to shuttle muscle-building nutrients (aka your post-workout shake). This is why post-workout, you actually want those fast-acting carbs – yes, even sugar! Just don’t get carried away. This is the exception to the rule. The rest of your meals you want to make sure are based on low-GI, whole, nutritious foods. ■
BENEFITS OF GOOD CARBS High in fibre
Boosts your mood
High in nutrients
Low glycaemic index
● Good carbs help you feel full for longer, provide sustained energy, lower cholesterol levels and help remove toxins from the body. What’s not to like?
● Carbs promote the production of feel-good serotonin. A study in Archives of Internal Medicine found that people on low-carb diets were more likely to experience depression.
● The right carbs provide you with the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and phytonutrients your body needs to be healthy.
● Low-GI carbs stabilise blood sugar levels and insulin production and stop sudden crashes in blood sugar that make you reach for fatty, sweet foods for an energy hit.
● A study in the Journal of Nutrition found people who ate three serves of whole grains a day had 2.4 percent less body fat and 3.6 percent less belly fat than those who ate less than a quarter of a serve.
MF QUALIT Y
THAT’S THE SPIRIT H O W M U C H D O Y O U R E A L LY K N O W A B O U T Y O U R F A V O U R I T E T I P P L E ?
NO OV CETM OB E ER 2 0 1 8 7
KEEP YOUR GIN UP
licensing fees, but as everyone basically ignored them, they tried prohibition (which, as the US knows, only makes booze more popular). A new, slightly less punishing Gin Act was introduced in 1751 and this – combined with increased grain prices and stagnating wages – brought about the end of the gin craze. But what a time was had, eh?
It originated as a medicine, helped nervous soldiers face battle and once almost brought a country to its knees, and right now gin is the drink du jour.
These days you can find gin flavoured with anything from citrus or shiraz to gulguk – edible green ants from the Top End. But in its traditional form, gin is basically alcohol flavoured with juniper berries. The word gin comes from the Dutch for juniper – genever. When it eventually arrived in England (more on this later), the name was shortened to gin.
Where it all began The Dutch starting mixing juniper berries with alcohol hundreds of years ago. Back in the 13th Century, juniper was mixed with malt wine. Initially, it was sold for medicinal purposes, but as the centuries past it became hugely popular for more, er, enjoyable purposes. The term “Dutch courage” is believed to come from the fact that Dutch soldiers would drink genever
before battle to steady their nerves. English soldiers fighting on Dutch soil in the 1600s caught on to this tops idea and brought their new discovery home with them.
Madness ensues Fast-forward to the late 17th Century and William III, King of England, decided to hike up taxes on French booze to piss of the Frogs. He also introduced tax breaks for local spirits producers, and soon the streets were flooded with gin joints and cheap gin, often flavoured with things like turpentine, which was easier for backyard distillers to get their hands on than juniper berries. People everywhere were of their chops, birth rates dropped due to gin-induced sterility and people started going insane or dying from drinking dodgy hooch. The government tried to stem the tide in 1736 with new tax laws and
GIN CONSUMED IN 2017 Despite the fact that gin is the national drink of the Netherlands, it’s the Spaniards who guzzle the most. Netherlands
0.63 Litres per person
0.73 Litres per person
Litres per person
Source: Statista Consumer Market Outlook 92
WHEN LIFE HANDS YOU LEMONS, MAKE A GIN AND TONIC.
Gin down under Here at home, while our streets might not be filled with boozecrazed lunatics (except maybe on Grand Final Day), we are having a bit of a gin renaissance. There are now more than 100 Aussie gin brands available, although the majority of gin consumed here still comes from overseas. Overall, gin consumption in Australia has more than doubled in recent years, which shows what excellent taste we have. Pass the tonic, please.
AT MF WE LIKE TO DRINK... BAREKSTEN ■ Nordic, natural and organic ingredients form the basis for this gin’s unique flavours. Norwegian herbs, potatoes and berries fight an intense, neverending battle in extreme environments, and only the strongest and most stubborn survive. These ingredients form the basis for the raw flavours of Bareksten’s botanical spirits, and give us an excuse to embrace our inner Viking (minus the raping and pillaging).
TO ABSINTHE FRIENDS
DID YOU KNOW... THE GREEN HOUR EFFECT
With its reputation as a psychedelic hallucinogen, many people give absinthe a wide berth. We take a trip with the Green Fairy to ﬁnd out more.
Absinthe reached its heady heights of popularity during the late 19th and early 20th Century, when arty and bohemian types indulged in the drink in search of inspiration. Mostly they just got really pissed, though.
The story Through continued use, absinthe drinkers would develop something referred to as “absinthism” – people would sufer from hallucinations and tremors and would eventually go completely nuts. At first, a chemical compound called thujone – found in the wormwood used to make absinthe – was blamed for absinthism. However, seeing as thujone is only found in minute quantities in the drink, it appears that
good old-fashioned alcohol was to blame for the condition. Considering the fact absinthe contains anywhere from 45 to 74% – and even up to 90% – alcohol by volume, we’re not surprised. Absinthe was extremely popular among 19th Century artists and writers – they believed that the drink opened up their mind and brought about a greater state of enlightenment and awareness. The Green Fairy, as it was known (also known as the Green Muse or the Green Goddess), featured in famous artworks, and some even claim that the drink was behind famed looney Vincent Van Gogh hacking of his own ear. As you do. The drink was eventually banned across Europe and the US before the First World War, but this has been repealed across much of the world,
■ Absinthe was used as an anti-malarial by French soldiers during the Algerian conflicts of the mid-19th Century. They came home and brought their “tonic” with them, introducing it to the rest of French society. By the 1860s the drink was so popular, five o’clock became known as “the green hour”, when people would get together in bars to drink absinthe. It was traditionally drunk in a glass with a perforated spoon placed over the top. A single cube of sugar would then be placed on the spoon and iced water would be dripped over the sugar into the glass, to soften the strong flavour of the drink.
Absinthe has been measured at up to 90% alcohol by volume.
and absinthe is now readily available in Australia. Stick with the quality stuf, though – cheap absinthe tastes worse than death.
The truth Absinthe’s reputation as being a psychedelic/ hallucinogen is historical. While large amounts of thujone may cause vertigo and seizures, it’s only present in absinthe in very small concentrations and is unlikely to have any efect on people. However, the high level of alcohol in absinthe and people’s expectations that it’s going to get them well plastered are more likely to afect how they feel after drinking it.
THE HOLY TRINITY There are hundreds of different varieties of absinthe, but all of them contain the following: Anise
gives liquorice taste and fragranc nce
balances wormwood bitterness, tones down sharp anise edges
bitter-tasting, contains thujone
SCOTCH YOUR PLANS Mark Twain once said, “The true pioneer of civilisation is not the newspaper, not religion, not the railroad but whiskey.” Smart dude. A wee dram?
So, is it “whiskey” or is it “whisky”? This isn’t just a question for grammar Nazis (hi Mum). How it’s spelled depends on where it comes from. “Whiskey” is the Irish spelling, and usually refers to Irish and American styles, while “whisky” is the Scotch spelling, and is used for those made pretty much everywhere else. But let’s not leave the confusion there. Whiskey (or whisky) is also an overarching term for other spirits like scotch and bourbon. Then there’s distilling – Scotch and American whiskies are usually distilled twice, while Irish whiskey is usually distilled three times. But this isn’t always the case. Some can be distilled 2.5 times. There’s even quadruple-distilled whisky, which is so
strong you’d only need about a thimble full of the stuf before you found yourself with a lampshade on your head.
Water of life Scotch whisky was invented by – yep, no surprises here – a bunch of Scots way back in 1494. It was derived from something called uisge beatha, which in Gaelic means “water of life”. Distilleries quickly sprouted all over the thistly countryside, but it wasn’t until the 1800s when the column still was introduced that whisky became a mass phenomenon – and Groundskeeper Willie’s preferred form of toothpaste. Along the way, the spirits-loving Irish developed their own indigenous variety, as did thirsty Americans, who added bourbon and rye to the drinks cabinet.
IN DEMAND Whisky sales are booming, here and overseas. Here’s a snapshot of the worldwide market. USA
Million cases sold in 2017 Scotland
Bottles shipped OS per second
120 Million bottles sold in 2017
Sources: scotch-whisky.org.uk; AgriLand; Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.
Glenfiddich is Gaelic for “valley of the deer”. The first Glenfiddich distillery was built in 1886.
Whether it’s a smoky scotch, a cornderived bourbon or a sweeter rye, whisky is a timehonoured treat for lovers of spirits. But thankfully it’s not as rare as it once was. Hipsters, nonhipsters and a new breed of discerning young drinkers are ditching their canned bourbon and Cokes for the authentic experience of the real thing. The flavours of whisk(e)y are best revealed when there’s water present. You can add water to your whisky, or you can add ice and let it melt. If you drink it neat, having water on the side and on your palate will also help release the flavours as you sip.
AT MF WE LIKE TO DRINK... GLENFIDDICH IPA EXPERIMENT ■ In the first experiment of its kind, Malt Master Brian Kinsman joined forces with entrepreneurial brewer Seb Jones to create a new craft IPA and pioneer the way for a new kind of single malt Scotch whisky. Brewed in bespoke craft IPA barrels, this has unique zesty citrus notes of ripe green apple, pear and spring blossom. All of this is complemented by the subtle tang of fresh hops followed by a long-lasting sweetness.
IN THE CLEAR
AT MF WE LIKE TO DRINK...
Vodka: you can drink it straight, mix it with dry vermouth or use it for a quick spot of window cleaning. No wonder the Russians love it so much.
Both Poland and Russia claim the credit for creating vodka. And while the name vodka probably comes from the Russian word for water – voda, some evidence indicates that a form of the spirit was first created in Poland in the 8th Century. Still, the drink is probably most closely associated with the land of tsars. A report in 2014 found that 25 percent of Russian men die before the age of 55, mostly due to too much vodka, and Euromonitor reports that the average monthly vodka consumption per person in Russia is estimated to be 17.28 shots.
soldiers sober. Despite the fact that this slashed the country’s revenue by a third and people were either rioting in the streets in protest, guzzling furniture polish or turning to hard drugs, the ban lasted 11 years. Sixty years later, in a classic example of politicians who refuse to learn from history, Mikhail Gorbachev introduced new “dry” laws to reduce the production and consumption of vodka. Unsurprisingly, all this did was slash state revenue and drive people to drinking moonshine, which doesn’t do a body any good, no matter how much furniture polish you throw in the mix.
Dry days indeed
Aside from making a mean martini, vodka has some surprisingly practical uses. Apparently it’s a handy antidote for antifreeze, so if you have a curious toddler who likes to rummage
Like any liquor worth its salt, vodka has plenty of juicy tales to tell. During WWI, Tsar Nicholas II decided to ban vodka in Russia in an attempt to keep his
VODKA MAY NOT BE THE ANSWER, BUT IT’S WORTH A SHOT.
around in the garage or maybe indulge in a little spontaneous car maintenance, keep a bottle of voddie on hand for any arising emergencies. Vodka is also great for deodorising smelly shoes, can kill weeds yet extend the life of cut flowers and doubles as an allpurpose household cleaner – which is really making us rethink this whole housework thing.
Totally chill So should you store your vodka in the freezer? Well, yes, you can, as it won’t freeze, and will guarantee a nice chilled drink, but it doesn’t need to be stored there – it’s not ice cream. A goodquality vodka can be enjoyed at room temperature, or you can just bung in a couple of ice cubes – saves you scrabbling around among bags of frozen peas when thirsty guests pop by unexpectedly. ■
NA ZDOROVIE! There are no absolutes in life, only vodka. Here’s some figures on this enduringly popular spirit. Calories per shot
litres consumed per person in 2017
■ Not just for the groovy-shaped bottle, either. This is filtered twice, so it’s perfectly balanced and super smooth - so smooth you can enjoy it straight or on the rocks. But its delicate flavour also makes it ideal for cocktails – go for the classic martini or try it with berries, citrus or watermelon. But it’s not just us who love this stuff - U’luvka is the most awarded vodka in the world, with more than 72 international awards to date.
13.7 shots per person per month
Sources: calorieking.com.au; Rosstat; worldatlas.com
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You’re a star DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE BENEFITS OF THIS PE CLASSIC.
SKELETON KEY Load-bearing exercises like star jumps make your bones stronger.
It’s easy to be snooty about star jumps, but it takes a brave person to rock up in a busy gym where everyone else is busting out biceps curls and knock out a flawless set. But you should go ahead and do just that and screw the haters, because the star jump is a great exercise, even if you just use it to get your heart pumping before a workout. The star jump is a fullbody exercise, targeting your arms, legs, core and shoulders – plus, as mentioned above, it’s also a cardiovascular exercise. As a result, there’s basically no workout in existence that wouldn’t benefit from the inclusion of star jumps in your warm-up. And if you’re a fan of HIIT sessions, it makes for a great addition to your circuit because you can hardly fail to raise your heart rate with a fullthroated round. If the last time you did star jumps was at school, here’s the drill: stand with your arms by your sides and your feet hip-width apart. Jump off the ground and spread your legs so your feet land wider than shoulder-width apart, simultaneously taking your hands above your head. Maybe you clap your hands, maybe you don’t. Dealer’s choice. As soon as you land, go into another jump, bringing your arms and legs back to the starting position before you land. Stay on your toes throughout.
Body Book Smart kit
A home gym made easy! IF YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED YOUR OWN HOME GYM BUT LACK THE SPACE, TRY THE NEW FITBENCH FLEX ALL-IN-ONE KIT BOX.
1 ) Supersets ■ Do these five pairs of moves using the bench, dumbbells, kettlebells and med ball to build lean size and strength in all your major muscle groups.
Most men who love training will at some point daydream about having their own personal workout space. It usually occurs at the gym when the queue for the bench press is three deep and you can’t get to a squat rack because it’s being used for biceps curls. But the luxury of having a well-equipped workout space in your home is well out of reach of most of us because of two big reasons: space and cost. But both of those problems disappear when you consider the new FitBench Flex. “The beauty of the FitBench is that it contains all the kit you need to improve strength, build muscle and burn fat,” says fitness consultant Tom Eastham. FitBench comes with dumbbells, kettlebells, a medicine ball, resistance bands and even battle ropes – all the equipment you’ll need for fast, effective home workouts. We asked Eastham to put together three different goal-based workouts using the FitBench Flex to show how versatile this one-kit wonder can be. This month: supersets.
FITBENCH WORKOUT PART 1
HOW ■ After a five-minute warm-up, start the session with the first superset. This means you do one set of 12 reps of move 1A, rest 30 seconds, then do one set of 12 reps of move 1B. Rest 30 seconds, then repeat this for a total of three supersets. Then move on to the second superset and repeat until you’ve done all the sets of the fifth and final superset.
WHY ■ “This is a very effective time-saving workout that hits all your major muscle groups in the right rep ranges to stimulate the building of new muscle mass,” says Eastham. “The short rest periods work your heart and lungs to get your heart rate high so you burn more calories. It’s a fantastic workout that builds muscle and burns fat.”
SUPERSET 1 1A PAUSED GOBLET SQUAT
1B DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
Rest 30 sec
Rest 30 sec
Stand tall in front of the bench holding a dumbbell in both hands like a goblet. Squat down until your thighs go past parallel to the floor. Hold this position for two seconds. Push through your heels to stand up.
Lie on the bench with your feet on the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand with straight arms. Lower the weights to the sides of your chest, then press them back up to return to the start position.
2A PAUSED DUMBBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT
2B DUMBBELL SEATED OVERHEAD PRESS
Rest 30 sec
Rest 30 sec
Sit on the bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing at shoulder height. Press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight, then lower back to the start.
Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your legs straight, hinge forwards from your hips. Pause for two seconds at the bottom, then reverse back to the start.
Body Book Smart kit
FITBENCH WORKOUT PART 1
SUPERSET 3 3A KETTLEBELL STEP-UP
3B DUMBBELL RENEGADE ROW
Rest 30 sec
Rest 30 sec
Stand in front of the bench with a kettlebell in the racked position. Step up with your left leg to stand with both feet on the bench, then step back down. Do six reps, then switch arms and leading leg.
Get into the pushup position with your hands gripping dumbbells. Brace your abs, row one hand up to your side, then lower it and repeat with your other arm. That’s one rep.
4B RUSSIAN TWIST
Rest 30 sec
Rest 30 sec
Sit on the bench with your abs braced. Crunch up to raise your torso as you also bring in your knees towards your chest. Pause, then reverse the move. Maintain tension on your abs throughout the set.
Sit on the bench holding a medicine ball in both hands. Raise your torso and feet, then use your abs to rotate your torso to the left, then back to the right, then back to the middle. That’s one rep.
5A BENCH JUMP Sets 3
5B KETTLEBELL SWING
Rest 30 sec
Stand with the bench in front of you. Lower into a quarter squat, then jump up explosively to land on the bench. Step back down. Make it harder by jumping over the bench, then turning around and jumping back to the start.
Rest 30 sec
Stand tall, holding a kettlebell in both hands. Swing the bell back between your legs, then push your hips forwards to swing it up to head height. Swing it back down and repeat.
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Body Book Big lifts
Power tools Get to grips with the classic big lifts to build power and strength for a fit and functional body. Squat, deadlift, bench press. They’re the three moves that should form the foundation of any serious training programme designed to pack on muscular size and strength in the shortest possible timeframe. But with these essential big lifts, it can be easy to sell yourself short by not executing them properly, and it’s common to learn bad habits when you first start lifting that will seriously limit your strength and power gains. We’ve put together the complete guide to these three staple lifts, as well as the key auxiliary moves that will allow you to progress faster, so you can get back to basics and start building a bigger and stronger body.
Body Book Big lifts The move: squat It’s the king of leg lifts with good reason. Perfecting your squat technique will add size, strength and power to your quads, hamstrings and glutes. ● Once the bar is on your back, pick a point on the wall in front of you and focus on it. Keep looking at that point as you lower and then drive back up. This will help you avoid dropping your chin towards your chest. ● To lift as much weight as possible and reduce your risk of injury, keep your chest up throughout the move. One thing that will help you keep your chest in the right place is taking a deep breath before you lift and holding the air in your lungs as you lower. Once you begin to rise from the bottom position, you can exhale. ● Plant your feet roughly shoulderwidth apart with your toes turned out slightly at a “ten to two” position. Bend at the knees and hips to lower your backside and keep your knees in line with your toes. You can spread your knees slightly at the base of the lift to open your hips and sit lower, then squeeze them back in to initiate the upwards movement.
FRONT SQUAT Target: quads, hamstrings, glutes HOW
Take the bar out of the rack, supporting it across the front of your shoulders. You can cross your hands over your chest if you find it helps. Squat down, keeping your chest up, then drive up through your heels to stand. WHY
The front squat focuses the effort on your quads (front thighs) and because the weight is in front of you, it encourages you to keep your chest upright.
KETTLEBELL GOBLET SQUAT Target: quads, hamstrings, glutes HOW
Hold a kettlebell in both hands and squat down with your back straight and chest up. Descend until your elbows touch the insides of your knees, then put your weight on your heels as you stand back up. WHY
This is a relatively easy way of working on your squat depth. If you use a light weight, you don’t have to worry too much about spine position and you can focus on getting as low as possible.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT Target: quads, hamstrings, glutes HOW
Start with your back foot on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend at the knee to lower towards the floor, keeping your torso upright, then press back up to the start. Do the same number of reps with each leg. WHY
This variation of the squat will target your quads – a key muscle group involved in heavy squats. It also works your legs independently so that you become equally strong and stable on both sides.
Body Book Big lifts The move: deadlift It’s the ultimate test of strength, but only if you perform it with perfect form. ● Keep your head in a neutral position by looking forwards with your eyes fixed to a spot on the ground, 2-3m ahead of your feet. Keep your chin up so your head stays in the best position for lifting. ● Aim to maintain a strong spine from the beginning of the lift to the end. Do this by keeping your chest up to prevent your torso hunching forwards over the bar. ● Your shoulders should remain slightly in front of your hands until the bar passes mid-thigh level, at which point you want to retract your shoulder blades for a strong and stable torso. ● You have two grip choices: a double overhand grip or a reverse grip, where one hand grips the bar overhand and the other underhand. The reverse grip will allow you to lift heavier. Always squeeze the bar as hard as you can, especially on heavier sets, before the bar leaves the floor. ● The deadlift should be a fast and powerful lift using your legs and glute strength. Drive upwards as explosively as possible.
ROMANIAN DEADLIFT Target: hamstrings, glutes HOW
Stand tall with your feet shoulderwidth apart, holding the bar with an overhand grip. With a slight bend in your knees, bend forwards from the hips and lower the bar until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. WHY
This variation shifts the emphasis to your hamstrings, making it an ideal accessory exercise to the standard deadlift.
SNATCH-GRIP DEADLIFT Target: quads, hamstrings, glutes HOW
Hold a barbell with your hands roughly double shoulder-width apart. Push through your heels and keep your chest up as you drive forwards with your hips to lift the bar. WHY
Because your grip’s wider in this move, you’ll need to move the bar through a larger range of motion, increasing the growth hormone hit. It’ll also prepare you for Olympic-style weightlifting.
KETTLEBELL SWING Target: total body HOW
Swing the kettlebell between your legs with both hands, and then pop your hips forwards to drive it up to head height, keeping your arms relaxed. Let the kettlebell swing back into the next rep. WHY
This move engages all the muscles of your posterior chain, but also teaches you the explosiveness you need to do everything from throwing a punch to jumping on to a box.
Body Book Big lifts The move: bench press It’s the one move every bloke thinks they know how to do, but follow these tips to get more out of every rep. ● The back of your head should be in contact with the bench from the moment you lie down to the moment you rack the weight. Raising your head will affect your body position and prevent you from staying as stable as possible. ● Lowering the bar to nipple level allows you to lift the heaviest weight because it keeps your shoulder and elbow joints in their strongest and most stable position. Keep your chest up and “proud” throughout the entire rep. Inhaling deeply as you lower the bar and exhaling forcefully as you press it back up will help keep your torso stable. ● Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart to maintain the best position to press the weight up. If your grip is too wide, you risk placing too much pressure on your shoulder joints, and going too narrow puts a strain on your elbows. Grip the bar as hard as possible – when you press it up, imagine you’re trying to bring your hands together, but don’t actually move them.
INCLINE BENCH PRESS Target: upper chest, shoulders, triceps HOW
Lie on an incline bench, gripping a barbell with an overhand grip. Plant your feet on the floor. Lower the bar towards your chest, then press it back up to the start. WHY
Pressing on an incline angle shifts the emphasis towards the upper portion of your pecs, but you won’t be able to lift as heavy as in the flat bench version.
DUMBBELL BENCH Target: chest, shoulders, triceps HOW
Lie flat on the bench with your feet planted on the floor, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights directly up until your arms are straight so that they meet over your chest. Slowly lower back to the start. WHY
The main function of the pecs in pressing moves is bringing the arms towards the centre of your body. In a barbell bench press, your hands canâ€™t move inwards, but they can with dumbbells for greater pec activation.
TRX PUSH-UP Target: chest, shoulders, triceps, abs HOW
Start with your feet on the floor, holding the TRX handles. Brace your core and glutes to keep your body in a straight line. Bend your elbows to lower your chest, then push back up to the start. WHY
According to the Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research , doing push-ups on a suspension trainer increases muscle activation in the chest, shoulder and abs muscles.
Body Book Big lifts
Putting the big lifts into practice Get the size, strength or fat loss results you want by using the three big lifts in a smart training plan. Do I need different moves depending on my main training goal?
How do I build strength and muscle size?
■ The exercises that should make up each training session don’t really change whether you’re training for more strength, increased muscle mass (hypertrophy) or fat loss. In all three scenarios, the three big lifts, as well as a few key other ones including the overhead press and bent-over row, should feature. What does change, however, is how long you rest between sets, and consequently the weight you have on the bar.
■ To build strength, you need to lift heavy – upwards of 80 percent of your one-rep max. Lifting this heavy means you can only do a few reps and you’ll need to rest longer between sets to allow your muscles and central nervous system to recover. This can be three to five minutes. When lifting for more muscle mass, you will lift lighter – 60-80 percent of your one-rep max – but do more reps, and keep rest periods under three minutes to maximise the damage to your muscles fibres, because this is what causes your muscles to grow bigger.
What about the big lifts and fat loss?
How do I perform the big lifts?
What’s a better big lift approach for fat loss?
How do I incorporate auxiliary moves?
■ To reduce body fat, you want to keep your rest periods between sets and different exercises as short as possible – under one minute – to elevate your heart rate and build up an oxygen debt that your body must repay post-workout. This increases your metabolism in the hours after lifting to burn more calories. With such short rest periods, you will have to reduce the weight on the bar so you can lift safely, especially towards the end of your session when you start to get tired.
■ When training for strength, your best bet is to do straight sets. Doing one move at a time allows you to really focus on maximising your output. For hypertrophy, you can do straight sets, or pair two moves together – such as the bench press and bent-over row – in a superset.
■ A great option is a barbell complex, in which you do a variety of bar moves back to back in a circuit. It’ll work all your major muscle groups, as well as your heart and lungs to burn maximum calories in a short period of time. See opposite for a sample workout.
■ For strength gains, you can use the assistance moves as part of your warm-up, or after the main lift to work on your weaknesses. For hypertrophy, you can focus on specific body-part lifts to cause maximum muscle damage. For instance, for a bigger chest, you can do the bench press, then the incline dumbbell press in a superset with incline dumbbell flyes. Focus on key body parts each session and really hit them hard. For fat loss, a wellexecuted circuitstyle session will be enough to get your body burning fat.
Sample complex workout 4 sets of 10 reps, rest 2 min after 5 1. Deadlift 2. Front squat 3. Overhead press 4. Bent-over row 5. Romanian deadlift
E E R F R O TRY US F
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Body Book Abs
High rep reward DO THIS SIXMOVE SUPERSET WORKOUT JUST ONCE A WEEK TO GET A LEAN, HARD AND SCULPTED SET OF ABS.
Doing hundreds of sit-ups per day isn’t going to get you a tight set of abs, and anyone who thinks so is wasting their precious training time. You’ll get phenomenally strong hip flexors, but not sculpted abs. However, hitting your core with some high-rep sets is a fantastic way to shock these stubborn muscles into greater definition – and that’s what this six-move abs-focused workout will do. In the first superset, the moves work your upper abs, then your side abs. The second superset hits your lower abs, then side abs, and the final superset primarily targets your side abs. Do this workout once a week for a month and you’ll see your abs become stronger and more sculpted.
How to do the workout ■ This session is made up of six moves, split into three supersets – which means you do two exercises back to back with little or no rest between them. That means you complete all the reps of move 1A, then the same for 1B, only resting after all the reps of the second move. You’ll do three supersets of moves 1A and 1B, then repeat this approach with moves 2A and 2B and with 3A and 3B. To sculpt hard abs faster, engage your entire core region before you begin the first rep of each set. Starting with these target muscles fully activated means you’ll maintain better form during the set and work your abs harder.
Body Book Abs UPPER ABS 1A) DUMBBELL CRUNCH REACH Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest10 sec FORM
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and a dumbbell held above your chest with arms straight. Crunch upwards, raising the weight as high as you can. Pause at the top of the movement, squeeze your abs, then lower back to the start.
SIDE ABS 1B) DUMBBELL RUSSIAN TWIST
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 2 min FORM
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet slightly raised, holding a dumbbell in front of you secured in both hands. Keeping feet off the floor, twist to one side, pause, and then twist to the other. That’s one rep.
LOWER ABS 2A) STRAIGHT LEG RAISE
SIDE ABS 2B) STRAIGHT-LEG SIDE TWIST
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 0 sec
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 2 min
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. Engage your abs and keeping your legs straight, raise your feet as high as you can, then slowly lower them again. Make it harder by not letting your feet touch the floor between reps.
From the top position of the previous move, keep your legs together and slowly lower your feet down to one side, then back up and over to the other. That’s one rep. Keep each rep smooth and controlled.
SIDE ABS 3A) STANDING DUMBBELL RUSSIAN TWIST
SIDE ABS 3B) 3B DUMBBELL SIDE BEND
Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 0 sec
Sets 3 Reps 15 each side Rest 2 min
Stand tall with your arms out in front of you holding a dumbbell. Keeping your hips forwards, rotate your hands to one side and then back across to the other. Keep the reps smooth and your arms parallel to the floor.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and bend your torso down towards your weighted hand, then straighten back up and lean slightly away to the other side. Keep your movement side-to-side only; don’t lean forwards or backwards.
Body Book Rings
Master of suspension NEW RESEARCH SHOWS THAT SUSPENSION TRAINING INCREASES MUSCLE FIBRE ACTIVATION FOR BODY-WEIGHT MOVES SO YOU ADD SIZE AND STRENGTH.
Suspension training has traditionally been seen as good for developing stability, but now there’s solid evidence that it should be taken seriously as a musclebuilding tool. In a study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, a group of experienced gym-goers who all had at least four months of experience of working with unstable training systems performed push-ups using four different suspension training devices and also their own body weight. Researchers found that, on average, all four suspension training devices scored higher than the floor version of the exercise for muscle activation. The difference was most pronounced in the rectus abdominis – the sheet of muscle that makes up your six-pack – suggesting that suspension training is an effective way of developing your midsection during exercises that aren’t traditionally seen as direct abs work. That’s particularly useful if you’re short on time and want to make your training more efficient. The suspension training devices also beat the floor version for chest and triceps activation, so if building T-shirtfilling arms is your aim, introducing some unstable training into your routine could be the route to the results you’re looking for. Read on for four suspension moves that will add size fast.
Body Book Rings 1 INCLINE PUSH-UP WHY
“Push-ups work your chest, triceps and front shoulders, but the instability of holding rings forces your core muscles and your shoulders’ stabilising muscles to be fully engaged to keep your body stable,” says fitness expert Andrew Tracey. This means you’ll be able to lift heavier weights. HOW
Grip a ring in each hand with palms facing and toes on the floor so your body is straight from head to heels. Keeping your whole body tight and your elbows close to your sides, lower your chest. Push back up powerfully to return to the start. PROGRESSION
Placing your feet on a box or bench will make your major and stabilising muscles work harder.
2 TRICEPS DIP WHY
“The instability of the rings forces you to focus on form, and slow, good-quality reps are the best way to work more triceps muscle fibres so they grow back bigger and stronger,” says Tracey. “It also engages your abs, lower back and glutes for the whole set to keep your torso upright and prevent your legs from swinging.” HOW
Hold the rings with a palmsfacing grip, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Jump up into the start position and tense your core and glutes. Keeping your chest up, bend your arms to lower your body as far as your shoulders allow, then press back up. PROGRESSION
Add extra weight or lean forwards for each rep to work your chest, too.
3 ABS ROLL-OUT WHY
“If you want a six-pack, crunches won’t cut it,” says Tracey. Abs roll-outs are tough and work your deeplying core muscles; using the rings recruits more muscle fibres to keep you balanced. HOW
Hold a ring in each hand with an overhand grip. Lean forwards with arms straight to place tension on your abs. Then take your hands forwards to get your chest as low as possible. Once you’re as far forwards as possible, use your abs to pull your torso back upright to return to the start. PROGRESSION
The better you get, the further you can go. And once you’re completely straight, you can add a pause in the middle of each rep.
4 FLYE WHY
“The flye is one of the few moves that gets close to isolating your chest,” says Tracey. “Performing them on rings forces these muscles to work far harder than using dumbbells or a cable machine, not only to lower and raise your body, but also to stabilise your shoulder joint and torso through every rep.” HOW
Start in the ring push-up position but with hands together and a slight bend in your elbows. Take your hands out to the sides as far as you can, maintaining the bend in your elbows, then squeeze your chest to lift your torso back up and bring your hands back together. PROGRESSION
Place your feet on a box or bench so they’re the same height as your hands.
Eat pancakes to get stacked Sweet treats that won’t defeat your body goals? Yep, we got ’em. Now you can have your (pan)cake and eat it too.
No, we haven’t lost our minds. It is possible to tuck into a pile of pancakes or a wedge of cheesecake and build a better body. You just need to make them the Men’s Fitness way. They’re easy to make, and they’ll satisfy your sweet tooth while building lean muscle and shrinking your belly. No lie – they’re flipping great.
Banana Rich in potassium, vitamin B6 and manganese, bananas are also rich in a fibre called pectin, which can help to moderate your blood sugar levels after meals, and can also aid in digestion.
Body Book Nutrition
Greek yoghurt This will add the rick creaminess you want without the added fat and sugar that comes with whipped cream or ice cream. Plus it contains more protein and is packed with gut-loving probiotics.
Banana split protein pancakes MAKES: 1- 2 SERVINGS
For the pancakes 30g banana-flavoured whey protein 70g oats 1 egg 1tsp baking powder 200ml milk Coconut oil (or your preferred oil) For the topping 1 chopped banana 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt Sugar-free chocolate, melted to drizzle Handful of nuts TO MAKE
1) Add all the pancake ingredients to a blender and blend for 45 seconds. 2) Heat your preferred oil in a non-stick frying pan on a moderate heat. 3) Add the batter to the pan in small amounts and cook for a minute or so on each side.
Oats Oats contain a type of soluble fibre called betaglucan, which can help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. They also contain antioxidants, including avenanthramides, which have antiinflammatory effects.
4) Continue this process with all the batter, then add your toppings and enjoy. N U T R I T I O N (PER SERVING))
584 calories 48.4g protein 75.3g carbs 10.8g fat
Body Book Nutrition Berry and honey protein smoothie MAKES: 1-2
Manuka honey This sweet stuff has antibacterial, antiviral, antiinflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It can help kill bacteria in your mouth, soothe a sore throat, improve gut discomfort... oh, and make your smoothie delicious.
30g whey protein isolate 30g (2 heaped tsp) of raw manuka honey 25g frozen blackberries 25g frozen cherries 25g frozen blueberries 200ml water DIRECTIONS
1) Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. N U T R I T I O N (PER SERVING)
159 calories 27.5g protein 10.9g carbs 0.6g fat
Whey protein isolate After you work out, your muscles require amino acids to aid with muscle repair and you need to refill the glycogen you’ve lost through exercising. A fastacting whey protein makes this smoothie ideal post-workout.
Berries The berries in this recipe are all high in antioxidants, which are thought to help to fight the harmful effects caused by exercise-induced free radicals. They’re also high in fibre and can help to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Chocolate & nut butter protein cheesecake MAKES: 12 SLICES
180g (about 15) sugarless chocolate or plain digestive biscuits 50g nut butter 100g chocolate protein mousse
Have your cake Quite simply, you get to eat cheesecake while shrinking your waistline. Even better, eating a slice of this version won’t leave you feeling sick (or guilty) .
500g low-fat cream cheese 500g low-fat Greek yoghurt 100g sugarless dark chocolate to top TO MAKE
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. 2) Place the biscuits in a blender and blend until finely crushed. 3) Melt the nut butter in a microwave for a few seconds. Add to the biscuits and stir until fully coated. 4) Pour the mixture into a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and press the mixture down as tightly as you can. 5) In a separate bowl, mix the protein mousse, yoghurt and cream cheese. Beat it to ensure there are no lumps of powder. Tip the mixture on top of the biscuit base and level out. 5) Bake for 25-30 minutes. 6) Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature. Chill in the fridge for a minimum of four hours, then remove from the tin. 7) Spread melted dark chocolate over the top. N U T R I T I O N (PER SLICE)
260 calories 16.5g protein 16g carbs 13g fat
Body Book Supps
Under the radar Consider these lesser-known supplements to get an edge in your quest for a better body.
The fat shredder
W H AT
W H Y If burning fat during a workout is your priority, first you need to mobilise it. L-carnitine is an amino acid responsible for transporting fatty acids into the mitochondria, which are the cells’ energy powerhouses.
Take a single dose of 500-3000mg before your workout to make sure you transport the maximum amount of available fat for fuel during exercise. It’s especially useful to take if you’re training while fasting or on a low-carb diet, when fat oxidation is maximised. HOW
The wonder fluid
W H Y It’s important to include omega-3 fats in your diet for health reasons, and taking a supplement can help you to maintain a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 – most of us consume far too much of the latter. More specifically, studies have shown that fish oil supplementation results in lower body-fat levels and less inflammation. It has also been linked with increased serotonin levels, more focus in training and less stress. H O W Take a spoonful with your meals. Most authorities recommend 1-4g a day, depending on how much oily fish you already include in your diet.
Leucine W H AT
W H AT
If you’re serious about getting into shape, then chances are you regularly splash some cash on a tub of whey protein. But there are many other products flying under the radar that can improve the quality of your sessions or help you recover faster, so you move towards your performance or physique goals in less time. Here are some of the best secret supps you may want to add to your sports nutrition stack.
The muscle booster
W H AT
The man mineral
W H Y Leucine is the most anabolic amino acid and can independently stimulate insulin secretion and muscle protein synthesis, enhancing the muscle-building process. At 11 percent, whey protein has a very high leucine content, which is one reason it’s so efective as a post-workout elixir.
W H Y Zinc is vital for your health and immune system. The main reason you should take a supplement is because our bodies aren’t able to store it, so you need to top up regularly. It’s also been shown to help fertility, libido, energy, cardio health and prostate health.
H O W Taking a 5g dose of leucine after training and between meals can increase the anabolic – or muscle-building – efect of the foods you eat, especially when you’re consuming protein sources that are low in leucine and which therefore might not stimulate maximum muscle protein synthesis on their own.
H O W The RDA intake for zinc is 11mg for adult males, and you should take no more than 40mg per day. Don’t take it with cofee or foods containing phytates – such as wholegrains and pulses – because they can block its absorption. For the best benefits, take it with protein, which promotes absorption.
Glutamine W H AT
The gut calmer
W H Y This amino acid should already be present in your body, but if you have problems with your digestion or are training hard, a supplement can be helpful to strengthen the lining of your gut and help protein synthesis.
There are several ways to take this, depending on your goals. Take 10g in water on an empty stomach before breakfast to aid gut function, or 10g after your workout to help replenish your glutamine stores. If you’re on a low-carb diet, take 30g after your workout to enhance glycogen replenishment. HOW
HCL W H AT
The digestion helper
W H Y Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is the acid responsible for digesting and breaking down animal protein in your stomach. Taking a supplement will ensure you’re actually getting the benefit of all the protein you’re eating. If you aren’t digesting and breaking down nutrients properly in your gut, then all other supplements and healthy foods could be wasted because you simply won’t be able to absorb them efectively. HOW
Take with each meal.
TAKING A SUPPLEMENT WILL ENSURE YOU’RE ACTUALLY GETTING THE BENEFIT OF ALL THE PROTEIN YOU’RE EATING.
EBOARD High Performance Guide
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EBOARD High Performance Guide
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2743.2km/h Average speed of a bullet.
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72.4km/h World’s fastest punch – Keith Liddell, US.
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THE NEED FOR SPEED Slow and steady wins the race, unless you’re a cheetah.
World’s fastest train – SCMaglev, Japan.
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30km/sec Speed of Earth rotating around the Sun.
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