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more training tips, more nutrition advice, more workouts... more results
Vol.20 No.2 Feb/Mar 2010 ÂŁ3.99
get the fitness model look
Double your fitness in half the time
Training + Nutrition Plans
VoluME twENty NuMbEr two
Pilates + Yoga class reviews HalfMarathon Training Plan
Build a great body workout Triathlon Training Plan + Tests
Burn more Fat Great budget training gear
Get Sport Strong www.ultra-FiTmagazine.co.uk ISSN 0957-0624 0 2
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editorial Look good, feel good
ven the most serious fitness and sports trainers would be unlikely to say that they don’t like the way they look and feel as a result of all the training and hard work they put in. However, fitness models deliberately set out to look good, and train for that goal and specifically for competitions. The look they achieve is very much an ultra-FIT one, lean, athletic and toned. This issue we take an in-depth look into what it takes to become a fitness model. Our three-part feature is written in the main by Audrey Kaipio, our cover model, a fitness expert and top fitness model. The first part sets the scene and then explodes into a great workout that’ll get you in fantastic model shape – see page 70. We then talk to two models at the top of their game, pro-fitness model from the USA, Obi Obadike and the UK’s (via Greece) Eleni Plakitsi – page 102. The feature then moves on to discuss diet and nutrition – a crucial element of in particular the pre-competition phase of a fitness model’s preparation. And finally if you think you’ve got what it takes to become a fitness model you can enter our ultra-FIT cover model search. There’s a host of great prizes on offer for the winners – see page 108. Elsewhere, as usual this issue is packed full of workouts and nutritional advice that will get you in great shape, whether you want to model it or not! Our Marathon Hero plan is closing in on that 26.2 mile race and we take you up to the half marathon distance – see page 58. Meanwhile those who get their fitness kicks through three sports can follow our ultra-FIT Tri
Can’t find ultra-FIT at the newsagent? Call Comag on 01895 433800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Challenge triathlon training programme – see page 90. The ‘Tri Challenge’ is our very own triathlon that takes place in Windsor on the 23rd May. We’ve two other workouts as well – so you’ll not have any excuses for not knowing what training to do. Our Build a Great
Our Build a Great Body plan moves onto a new programme... Body plan moves onto a new programme. It’s designed to get you into great shape by the time the sun shines (hopefully!) in the springtime – see page 52. And on page 62 our Fitness Express, Pull-Up workout sets a great challenge for any of you wanting to master this ‘real’ and very tough exercise. Speaking of challenges, we’re posting twice weekly workouts on our website (www.ultra-FITmagazine.co.uk). These ‘WOW’s’ (aka workouts of the week) will keep you motivated to train and get your body in great shape. Check out the site for lots of other information and videos – ultra-FIT really is your 24/7 personal trainer.
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Founder Charles Mays Publishing editor John Shepherd Features Editor Nik Cook Art Director Scott Thompson Women’s Fitness Editor Caroline Sandry Editorial Contributors Andy Barber Trevor Silvester Nancy Clark Mike Antoniades Midgie Thompson Pete Cohen James Dunne Anita Bean Dr Jason Karp PhD Emma-Kate Lidbury Neil Rhodes Susan Cass Caroline Pearce Patrick Dale Audrey Kaipio Chris Norris Advertising Sales Troy Donne t 01736 350204 e TDonneUFIT@aol.co.uk e firstname.lastname@example.org
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Published by ultra-FIT Publications Ltd ultra-FIT is published 9 times a year. All rights reserved. Printed by Wyndeham Heron Ltd Design + Repro by Rorschach 01736 333863 Email: email@example.com Distribution by COMAG ISSN 0957-0616
FEB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
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contents Volume 20 Number 2 Feb/Mar 2010
Special two cover issue
Audrey Kaipio www.audreykaipio.com photographed by Grant Pritchard www.grantpritchard.co.uk Obi Obadike www.obiobadike.com and Natalia Muntean www.nataliamuntean.com photographed by GW Burns
Food & Drink
P34 FIT KITCHEN
Ice Maiden â€“ Shelly Rudman
Fuel your workouts
P36 NUTRITION Injury Beating Food
Mind & Body P20 MIND
P26 MOTIVATION Think Yourself Fitter
Double your fitness in half the time
ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
P16 THE ultra-FIT INTERVIEW P40 FIT4SPORT
Weight Training for sport
P46 ARE SUPPlEMENTS SUPERFlUOUS?
Fitness expert Jenny Pacey answers
Knee extension with towel
P70 FITNESS MODEl FEATURE PART 1
Audrey Kaipio introduces the sport and designs a model workout
P98 FITNESS, FOOD GO!
Caroline Pearce shows you how to always be health and fitness prepared
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P102 Fitness Model Feature Part 2
Top models Eleni Plakitsi and Obi Obadike interviewed
P106 Fitness Model Feature Part 3 How to eat for model shape
P108 ultra-Fit Model search
Your chance to become a super model
Get Outside P94 Get out there
To infinity and beyond - Ultra-Running
Regulars P7 Body & sole P44 sPorts injury clinic Shoulder injury
P50 understandinG Fitness Exercise Principles
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P66 PEAK FITNESS Downhill Running
P78 GEAR TEST
P58 mARATHON HERO TRAINING PROGRAmmE
Training for a half-marathon
Great Budget Kit
P82 ClASS REvIEw
P62 FITNESS EXPRESS
John Shepherd does TenPilates Caroline Sandry does Dynamic Yoga
Pulling Power – Pull Up workout
P86 SHOE TEST
P90 TRIATHlON TRAINING
Training plan for the ultra-FIT Tri Challenge. Plus, Tri Training Camps and Testing
P110 CARdIO COACH The Ski-erg
P115 THE FINAl REP Who’s the fittest?
Women’s Fitness P22 KETTlEbEllS ARE FOR wOmEN
Workouts P52 6-wEEK wORKOuT Build a Great Body Plan Part 2
ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
Others P14 REAdER GIlly GOldSmId
follow her ultra-FIT Tri progress
P15 ENTER THE ultra-FIT TRI-CHAllENGE 2010
Our half and three quarter Olympic distance Tri
P113 Subscribe to ultra-FIT P114 Next Issue page
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HeAlTH FITneSS neW ReSeARCH
KIT evenTS PeOPle SPORT
The Atlantic 5000 rowing challenge By Patrick Dale Can you imagine rowing for two hours straight and only getting two hours rest before having to do it again over and over for 45 days? That’s the challenge facing the crew of the Sara G ocean rowing boat. The six-strong international crew are attempting to row the Atlantic Ocean by the west to east passage, from Agadir in Morocco to Bridgetown in Barbados – a distance of 5,000km. Matt Craughwell, Mike Jones, Peter Williams, Mylene Paquette, Pedro Cunha and James Kenworthy will keep the boat moving 24/7 by rowing in three man shifts. The 37-foot Sara G, departed from Morocco on the 12th of January 2010 and is a specially designed ocean rowing boat provisioned to be fully self-contained and unsupported for 50 days. It’s even fitted with its own water desalination machine to produce drinking water for the crew. The boat also contains a complete inventory of modern safety, communication and navigation equipment to ensure the safety of the crew – all this is powered by solar and wind generators. To fuel their bodies during the 5000km row, the crew will consume upwards of 6,000 calories a day from army ration packs. It’s actually estimated that the crew really needs 10-12,000 calories a day, so they expect significant weight-loss by the end of the 45-day ordeal. All the crew spent many months preparing for the challenge and in Mike Jones case, trying to gain 20lbs of bodyweight to ensure he has sufficient energy reserves to power his rowing and avoid losing too much vital muscle mass throughout the ordeal – no mean feat in itself while putting in many hours of hard training. On his blog, crew member Mike stated that technical failure and health issues were probably the biggest concerns as they were going to be entirely self-sufficient in a potentially hostile and unpredictable environment and something as minor as a tooth ache could cause major problems. Asked about the potential success of the challenge, Skipper Mark Craughwell said, “We have a very strong crew - each brings a unique skill set. I am confident that we will succeed”. If you’d like to follow the progress of the Sara G and her crew you will find information at the following sites: www.atlantic5000.com www.facebook.com/atlantic5000 www.twitter.com/atlantic5000
Physicool cools Dragon’s Fire A re-usable bandage which cools sprained joints and speeds recovery time looks set to be a big success – Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden was quick to see its potential and offered a £100,000 investment. Kay Russell, owner and inventor of Physicool first developed the product for the racehorses she was training, but pretty soon the jockey’s were using it on themselves! The bandage comes with a cooling liquid which compresses and cools inflamed tissue, speeding up recovery. It can be used for sprains, bruises and injury, as well as to help ease the pain of arthritis. For more info go to www.physicool.co.uk Price: £9.99. Soon to be available from Boots
FeB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
boDy + sole
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BoDy + soLe
‘Relaxation in a bar’ is a tall order but the WILDBAR promises just that...
news A fit reason to watch TV Fitness TV and Body in Balance TV join forces Good news for home fitness fans – the UK’s two leading health and fitness channels have joined forces. Fitness TV and Body in Balance have merged operations to provide viewers with an increased range of aerobic, dance, yoga and Pilates workouts. Both channels come as part of the basic Sky package and play out in the lifestyle section on Channels 282 for Fitness TV and 275 for Body in Balance. On Fitness TV, you’ll be able to join classes with celebrity instructors such as Pierre Pozutto and Elise Lindsay, as well as try out everything from Banghra Dancing to Street Dance, through to Aerobic Body Sculpting and there’s even a funky High Heels workout. With Body in Balance, you’ll be able to join world-renowned yoga experts, such as Maya Fiennes (pictured), our very own Caroline Sandry and Katy Appleton, to provide you with a cross section of expertise from a variety of leading disciplines including yoga, pilates, dance and nutrition. Both channels have great websites to help you create your own schedule that’s right for you, as well as diet and nutritional advice, helpful tips and features – see www.fitness.tv and www.bodyinbalance.tv Body in Balance and Fitness TV will continue to develop their programming in tune with demand and provide content which is both engaging and motivational. Stay tuned as the channels could be filming our ultra-FIT model search – see page 108 8
ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
With so many health and snack bars on the market is takes a lot for a new product to make an impact, but that's exactly what WILDBAR has done. What really sets the new WILDBAR apart from the crowd is that it contains an unusual blue-green algae called Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA). Whilst algae might not sound like the most appetising treat, AFA is super-rich in phenylethylamine (30mg PEA per bar), as is another of WILDBAR’s other ingredients raw cacao. Phenylethylamine is a neuro-amine, we produce it naturally in the nervous system when we are calm, happy and focused. It also happens to be called the, ‘love molecule’ and has been proven to dramatically improve mood, concentration, mental energy and libido! Basically, it helps us live life to the max - energised when we are awake and relaxed when it’s time to wind-down and relax. Available in Mayan Spice and Mountain Mint flavours, the bars also combine Cacao and AFA with Macadamia Nuts, Agave Nectar, Hemp and Poppy Seeds, Mesquite (a sweet nutty tasting flour) and Himalayan Crystal Salt. Available from: www.simplyvital.com
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body + Sole
place to train
Fit Food In Spring 2010, Natural Sports Nutrition Ltd. will emerge into the fitness nutrition industry with an exciting range of Performance Meals, filling a gap for convenient nutritious healthy meals designed specifically for sports and fitness. They are not just another ready meal, nor a high tech food supplement. Photo: Jason Ellis
NSU products contain only natural ingredients Tri-topia Triathlon Training Holidays France Tri-topia will open its doors for its second season, this newly created triathlon training facility in France’s Brenne National Park, is rapidly becoming the triathlete’s venue of choice. As well as the comfortable accommodation, Tri-topia is fully catered and offers the athlete the chance to train and recover in style. Facilities include an endless pool, sauna and gym and all enclosed in a private setting. The area offers warm open water swimming in numerous rivers and lakes, running routes are sign posted and scenic and the virtually traffic free roads are excellent for cycling. Tri-topia caters for all levels of triathlete from total beginners upwards, and their non-training partners as well. Why not use Tri-topia’s facilities as a great location to base your training or join them on one of their specialist fully coached courses ranging through beginners/improvers/intermediateadvanced and Ironman weeks? And new to 2010 are swim clinics and girls-only weeks. Getting there is easy with various flights from UK airports, ferry and train links. To discover your Tri-topia, go to: www.tri-topia.com What a great way to train for the ultra-FIT Tri – see page 14 10
ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
Rather NSU products contain only natural ingredients, over 40g of protein in each meal, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and abundant vitamins & minerals. Performance Meals are designed exclusively to fuel the high nutritional demands your body needs following an active lifestyle. Convenience food can now mean good food too. Receive exclusive discounts by registering at performancemeals.com and be the first to be notified when Performance Meals launch. Read all about the body of Natural Sports Nutrition model Obi Obadike on page 102
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James Cracknell and Johnny G at the Krank Cycle launch
body + sole
KRANKcycle Review By Susan Cass
It’s arm biking – but not as we know it… KRANKcycle is the new baby of Johnny G – the larger than life personality and brainchild behind Spinning® the concept that has taken cardiovascular training by storm since its 1987 launch. Having watched literally millions of people take to high intensity group indoor cycling, ‘G’s’ now switched the emphasis from the lower to the upper body. This arm kranking concept was born in 2002, when he was attending a cycling event for physically challenged athletes. He found inspiration after trying out one of the athletes’ homemade hand cycles. Fast-forward a few years, many prototypes and developments later and a firm partnership with Matrix Fitness Systems is formed to bring KRANKcycle to health clubs - for group exercise and individual use. Unlike other hand cycles, the KRANKcycle’s arms function independently for a greater variety of movement - you’ll be amazed at the co-ordination you need to power the krank arm. As you turn your arms, you’re encouraged to work through a full range of movement. This is done to avoid hitting what is described as a ‘dead spot’. This feels a bit like a chain slipping off of a real bike wheel. You have to push and physically guide the krank arm in a full circular motion to avoid the dead spot as momentum kicks in. You’ll really feel the muscle recruitment required. All the stabilising muscles of the upper back and arm switch on to power, as well as control, the movement. When you’ve found the right intensity level and get into the rhythmic motion of pushing out that full circle to avoid those dead spots, you can do single, double or split movements. With the independent action, you really find your body awareness and coordination need to be spot on. Versatility The KRANKcycle’s seat lifts off easily enabling you to use a stability ball or to stand – which will really enable you to power through the cranking action. With a simple adjustment you can also move into what’s known as ‘Retrograde’. This means you can power the krank arms backwards – this is a real burner on those posterior (rear) upper back muscles and great for posture correction. The KRANKcycle is not just another arm bike. It’s an incredibly well thought out machine that will be a welcome addition to gymscape. Go to: www.krankcycle.com
FEB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
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body + sole
product review Not any old rope John Shepherd puts the Marpo Vector rope pull cross trainer to the test Pulling a rope to get fit just became a viable workout option with the Marpo Vector cross trainer – one of a range of 3 similar machines from the US based company. I went a long to the Peacock Gym in Stratford (London) to literally get to grips with the baby in the series. Nevertheless after a 100 rope pull ‘sprint’ (which took 2 and a half minutes) on the machine the ‘little one’ certainly had bite! Rope pull machines are big in the States, but have never really caught on in the UK – we’ve been short-sighted to realise the strength and CV benefits that these machines offer. I say ‘CV’ as you might think that pulling a rope is not going to create much of an elevated heart rate. However, take it from me after the 100m pull, against 4 of the machine’s 7 resistance settings I was blowing. Pulling rope enables you to engage your core and even your legs in the pulling, hand over hand action. This is particularly the case with the larger Marpo machines that enable you to pull from different standing positions and also at various angles to target different muscles in the arms and torso. Ok, you probably wouldn’t go for a 20min rope pull as you might go for a 20min row, but you’d certainly gain great upper body fitness if you incorporated rope pulling by way of the Vector cross trainer into your circuit workouts or even strength training (the top resistance setting requires considerable effort and if you pull harder the resistance stiffens on all levels). And even the baby model is surprisingly versatile and with a little thought you’ll find yourself performing variations on the basic pull. You can use a reverse grip and a reverse pull and by leaning back and holding your torso in position you can develop greater ‘holding’ ab strength. You can also perform the exercise from a kneeling as opposed to a seated one. If I had to say one negative thing about the Vector it’s the fact that the poor little thing is a tad ugly …… ahh. But it gives a pretty good workout – my forearms and biceps were pumped for a few hours after trying it out. Marpo Kinetics Rope Climbers are exclusively distributed in the UK and Ireland by HaB Direct. Prices start from £2185.00. For further information please call 01926 816100 or visit www.habdirect.co.uk.
My forearms and biceps were pumped for a few hours after trying it out...
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Merrell WildMan Saturday 23rd January 2010 The toughest event in the series - The Merrell WildMan kicked off the year in style for Human Race. Taking place at a brand new venue in Hankley Common, (nr Guildford), the event saw a record number of runners and duathletes keen to test their winter fitness. There were three different race distances (6km, 10km and 16km) for the trail run, plus a mountain bike duathlon which could be tackled as an individual or team relay. The army training ground proved to be a seriously tough venue, with a rough and rugged fitness-testing route. The previous week’s snowfall had made way for extremely challenging and muddy underfoot conditions, oh and there was waist deep water in places! The Trail Runs The 6km run was won by Dan Lewington in 38:51. Alison Osmond won the women’s race in 41:27. In the 10km David Bottjer came in first in 38:32. He commented, ‘That was exhilarating, but incredibly
‘It’s the first time I’ve done a Human Race event and it won’t be the last’ hard! I haven’t really run properly for a while so it was a big surprise to win. It’s the first time I’ve done a Human Race event and it won’t be the last’. First lady was GP and top age grouper, Joanna Swallow of Bath Amphibians Tri Club in 43:20. The 16km was won by Robert Tansey in 1:07.32 with Claire Weldon taking the win for the ladies in 1:18.24. The Duathlon The WildMan Duathlon was the main event - over 160 athletes competed. The 12km hilly run was followed by one of the toughest mountain bike events on the calendar – 20km of sand, mud, hills and water. This resulted in competitors having to push their bikes through the most challenging sections. Colin Dixon, one of the UK’s most experienced off-road duathletes, won in 2:18.07 with Jim McConnel hot on his heels in 2:20.27. Paul Davies, in his first race back from injury, came third in 2:23.16. First lady was Gillian Banks in 2:54.21 with Charlotte Maurissen second. Top mountain biker Genevieve Whitson took third. ‘That was the sandiest course I have ever been on in my life’ commented McConnel, adding, “I think it’s the most demanding of the whole Merrell series to be honest.”
fortHcoming event Mine’s a half (marathon) Human Race’s Lucozade Sport Race Your Pace Half Marathon takes place on the 28th March at the stunning Olympic rowing venue of Dorney Lake, nr Windsor. Double Olympian Liz Yelling will pace the race. This event will offer runners the opportunity to understand and experience one of the key factors in running a successful race – pace judgement. This new training concept covers a half marathon course (13.1 miles), to help runners find their pace and change the way they think about their next challenge. There will also be post race seminars led by a team of running experts, including Yelling. Additionally Lucozade Sport’s Performance Zone will be open throughout the day to all competitors, allowing access to their outstanding team of sports scientists, products and race day tools The event will cater for runners of all abilities and speeds. There will be two separate start groups enabling athletes to race those of a similar level. For the ‘Performers’ group there will be pacers for 5/5.5/6/6.5/7/7.5 minutes per mile and for the ‘Improvers’ group 7.5/8/8.5/9 minutes per mile pacers. Entry for the Lucozade Sport Race Your Pace Half Marathon costs £25 or £30 including the seminar: ‘Improve Your Performance’ (subject to availability) Go to: www.humanrace.co.uk
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boDy + Sole
Photo: John Russell
ultra-FIT TRI CHALLENGE
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ultra-FIT Tri Challenge
We’ll be following ultra-FIT reader Gilly Goldsmid as she prepares for the ultra-FIT Tri Challenge this May
illy is 51 and works in microfinance, which involves the raising of capital to lend to the working poor in the third world to enable them to set up small businesses. Gilly trains most mornings before work, so she’s fit but she’s never done a Tri before. “The ultra-FIT will be my first triathlon, but I do try to set myself regular challenges. I did ‘The Three Peaks’ challenge last July and cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats a few years ago. I also run regular 10ks.” So why did she enter the ultra-FIT Tri? “I decided to tackle a triathlon because I like the cross-training aspect of the three disciplines and having had arthroscopy on my knee after a skiing accident, I don’t do long-distance running. I like to vary my training and play tennis, practise yoga, go trekking, as well as going to the gym.” Like many novice triathletes, Gilly singles swimming out as her weakest sport. Surprisingly she admitted, “I’ve not yet to use the wonderful swimming pool at my gym (The Third Space, in London) despite having been a member for over 6 years!” Gareth Cole, a personal trainer at The Third Space, who specifically trains the triathletes, will be giving her lessons in the pool in technique and setting her training programme. And as Gilly admits,”… he’ll also need to encourage me to overcome my fear of swimming in open water with crowds of people.” Commenting about her training further Gilly explained, “Gareth has given me an introductory programme for cycling which includes sprint work and time trials to increase my VO2max as well as weights to strengthen my lower limbs and stabilise my pelvic spine and condition my core. See right for her initial complete Tri training plan. Follow Gilly’s lead and enter the ultraFIT Tri Challenge yourself by going to the Human Race website: www.humanrace.co.uk
ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
Typical week’s Training
Mon: 3-5 km tempo run (outside) Tue: Technical Swim Weds: Bike Interval (Turbo trainer) Thurs: as Tuesday Fri: Gilly’s choice Sat: Off (Yoga / Static stretch) Sun: Bike 10– 12km (outside) Terminology vVO2max adds velocity (the ‘v’) as a measure to V02max (the maximum amount of oxygen your body can produce). Basically a vVO2max speed corresponds to a pace that will optimally sustain a designated distance, whether this be running, swimming or cycling. A marathon for example is completed at 80% of vV02max. Improving vV02 max will get you to the finish line quicker ✱✱ Lactate threshold refers to the point the body’s energy systems switch significantly from producing energy aerobically, to anaerobically ✱
Sample Training Programme for Gilly designed for the ultra-FIT Tri Challenge Triathlon Prep phase
Objective: May 23rd Sprint Triathlon ✱ Increase vV02 max* and Lactate threshold** ✱ Improve technical aspects of Swim/Bike/Run ✱ Strengthen/develop endurance of lower limbs ✱ Pelvic spine stabilisation Bike: vVo2 max Distance test = 3300 km = 9.1metres a second All rides to have a 10 min warm up @ 80% Heart Rate Max (HRM) preceded by dynamic stretches Sample workout 1) ✱ 30/30: Cover 250m in 30sec then 125m in 30sec Repeat until unable to maintain the speed required. ✱ 60/60: Cover 500m in 1min then 250m in 1 min Repeat until unable to maintain the speed required ✱ 3/3: Cover 1700m in 3min with 3min recovery Repeat until unable to cover the distance in time stated Swim - Technical Drills Warm up: 5–10min ✱ Single arm drills x 4 lengths (keep one arm straight out in front of you) ✱ Catch up x 4 lengths (hands touch before you pull)
✱ Full stroke x 4 lengths (flow and stretch whilst pulling earlier than in catch-up) Repeat x 5 Run: vVo2 max distance test = 1250 km = 3.74 metres a second Warm up 5-8min @ 9 km/h and dynamic stretch ✱ 30/30: Cover 100m in 30sec then 50m in 30 sec Repeat until unable to maintain the speed required ✱ 60/60: Cover 200m in 1min then 100m in 1 min Repeat until unable to maintain the speed required ✱ 3/3: Cover 700m in 3min with 3min to cover 350m Repeat until unable to cover the distances in times stated Resistance Training ✱ Bulgarian Split Squat: 3 x 15 reps with 20kg ✱ Romanian Dead-Lift – 2 X 8 reps with 30 kg ✱ Calf raises 3 x 3 reps (slow) ✱ Anterior tibialis raise: 3 x 8 reps with 16kg dumbbell (stand on a step with your toes over the edge and either singularly or doubly raise your feet i.e. point your toes to the ceiling) ✱ Glute/Hamstring holds: 30sec x 3 ✱ Plank: 3 x 30sec *Increase load (where applicable), not reps. Take a minimum of 90sec rest between sets.
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THE ultra-FIT INTERVIEW
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ultra-FIT FEB/MARCH 2010
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rudman Britain’s Ice Queen Shelley Rudman apparently came from nowhere to win an Olympic silver medal and has subsequently gone on to become a European Champion and World Cup event winner. She’s now now firmly installed as a favourite for Olympic gold. And yet she is not a household name in Britain.
By Guy Holland
e that as it may Shelley-Marie Rudman is certainly better known today than she was four years ago when, over the course of a series of nail-biting runs, she picked up a superb silver medal at the Turin Winter Olympics. It is a shame for Shelley that, although very popular, the Winter Olympics do not resonate in Britain in the same way as its’ Summer cousin. And not only that but Shelley excels in the bob skeleton event, which is an unknown quantity to most Brits. However, she is certainly responsible for bringing it to the attention of a wider public and introducing us to a thrilling winter pursuit. The sport involves a white-knuckle ride down super-fast ice runs head first on a high-tech 'tray' like sled. And it isn't simply a case of lying down and hoping - the sliders have to drive the sled with immense precision at high speeds (exceeding 80mph at times!). And fractions of seconds can be lost and gained in the blink of an eye with only the slightest adjustment. Because her home country has little heritage in the sport Shelley's journey into it inevitably depended on a series of quirky circumstances and unforeseen opportunities. A keen athlete who had studied sports science at Bath University, she had been a promising track athlete specialising in the 400m hurdles. She was also a useful gymnast
and judo player. But injury curtailed her plans to pursue track to a higher level. It was this setback and a chance introduction to bob skeleton that altered the path of her sporting life. Her basic sprint speed, honed over several years on the track, lent itself to the allimportant start and she picked up the technical basics of driving very quickly. In fact
A chance introduction to bob skeleton altered the path of her sporting life her very first run registered an impressive time! “Very early on I knew I had found something I felt I could excel at. I'd love to have a been a 400m hurdler, but would I have been world class or just pretty good at national level? I really don't know and injury and fate means I'll never know. But bob skeleton felt like something that I could take to the highest level and really compete at”, recalls Shelley.
FEB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
THE ultra-FIT INTERVIEW
THE ultra-FIT INTERVIEW
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Her belief and ambitions were quickly backed up by achievement. She secured British Skeleton Championship wins in 2004 and 2005, won the Europa Cup in 2004 and became World Student Champion in 2005. But it was her exploits in Turin during the winter Olympics of 2006 that created the buzz and brought her to the attention of the British sporting public for the first time. The girl from Pewsey in Wiltshire was competing in a thrilling winter sport few of us knew anything about and she was taking on and beating the very best in the world. National news images of ecstatic celebrations in her local village pub - where regulars had helped her raise money for her sled - live long in the memory. However, her Olympic adventure was certainly no flash in the pan or sporting anomaly. It established her as a top name in the sport and her achievements since have continued to earn her the support and admiration of a growing national and international fan base. Although she might not have forced the football off the back pages between winter Olympiads, she has traveled the world and continued to put in winning performances and break track records. In 2009 she became European Champion and picked up a brilliant silver in the 2008/9 World Cup. A feat she has just replicated for the 2009/10 series. The season operates in much the same way as the Formula 1 Championship, with the athletes traveling from venue to venue and race to race over the course of eight rounds. They have to put in one top performance after another to challenge for the title. It is a grueling schedule throughout the winter months of training, traveling and competing. Being in the best possible condition and as well prepared as possible to compete is key to sustaining optimum performance over a number of weeks. Practice runs on the track (which like motor racing circuits vary in length and shape) are followed by competition runs for honours on the day and an accumulation of points for overall title standings. Leading into Christmas 2009 and after five rounds 29-year-old Shelley was very much in the running for the overall title. However with three rounds to go she suffered debilitating illness, injury and a horrifying 60mph crash at Konigssee - her worst ever. The fact she still fought her way to an overall second place says much for her fortitude, resilience, conditioning and talent. All of which are attributes that see her regarded as a serious Olympic Gold medal contender. An achievement that will see her take a well deserved place amongst the ranks of great British Olympians. To the uninitiated a track descent on a bob skeleton might look like a lot of lying down and placing faith in luck and gravity. However nothing could be further from the truth! Of course the start is critical and valuable time is gained and lost before the slider is even on the sled. “Because of this not too surprisingly
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a lot of sliders have a track sprint background”, explained Shelley. “It is only the beginning of discipline but it's the area where you can establish the basis of a very quick run or you can mess it up almost before you start”. Shelley's own hurdling background gave her good basic speed from the outset but she works very hard in training to ensure that she has the explosive power off the line and pushing technique required to compete at the very highest level. “Being able to sprint in a conventional sense is one thing, but doing so
She works very hard in training to ensure that she has the explosive power off the line and pushing technique... whilst bending down, pushing a sled and preparing to launch yourself onto it with absolute precision is very different indeed!” Sprinting work and push training are key elements of Shelley's preparation. Strength and conditioning work in the gym with Olympic weights including squats and lunges as well as core strengthening plays a major part, as do short explosive sprint sessions on the track. These are generally sustained bursts over 50m. Another reason why strength and conditioning work is key to Shelley is that her diminutive stature does not necessarily work in her favour. “At the end of a run we all have to weigh 92kg with our sled and kit. I am only 54kg and however hard I try to add weight I just can't seem to do so! This means I have to use a full weight sled which is 35kg, whilst a lot of the other girls are using a 29kg sled which can obviously be easier to shift and around a track”.
The ability to manoeuvre the sled even fractionally at great speeds is critical to a successful run. “As much as the start is vital and the foundation of a great or a disastrous run, it counts for little if the subsequent driving is poor. An average start can be somewhat rescued through great driving, but a brilliant start can be dismantled by ordinary driving. You have to be amongst the top 10 starters and then put in a great drive to put yourself into contention. If I were being self-critical I would say that I'm a better driver than starter but I am always trying to improve both elements. And sometimes she nails it - like at St Moritz in January when she touched 86mph and set the fastest speed of the day for the women and men! Away from the ice Shelley's life has changed significantly since Turin. She and her fiancé Kristan Bromley - who is also a bob skeleton champion – introduced baby Ella to the world. She and Kristan have made Ella a central part of their training and traveling routine and it has been working very well and not hampered their increasingly impressive results. “Ella travels with us and seems to have become accustomed to everything so well, she just takes it all in her stride these days. And we do get fantastic support to from our respective parents which is invaluable”. And Shelley who competed in TV's Superstars only months after giving birth - pointed out there has actually been a positive impact on her training since Ella's arrival. “Training for me used to be five days a week and pretty intense. There was that feeling that if I was training I was doing myself some good. Since falling pregnant and subsequently having Ella things had to change and my time is more restricted. So these days my training tends to be three or four days a week and has actually been far more effective. When it comes to quality training and getting levels of frequency and intensity right, it is often about knowing when to stop rather than when to start. Quality is always better than quantity and training smarter will always beat training longer”. As I wrote this article Shelley and Kristan were in their Calgary holding camp prior to departing for Vancouver. Whatever happens at the Olympics, Shelley has shown she is at the top of the tree in her sport. Her dedication, talent and application point the way to continued success and perhaps a golden future. And if that does happen Shelley will deserve the wider recognition that will inevitably follow. UF For further information visit www.shelleyrudman.com . Her news section is constantly updated and she writes a regular blog. There is also a Facebook supporters group for her too. Shelley has received invaluable sponsorship and support by King Of Shaves. www.shave.com
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Itâ€™s very exciting when you set your sights on something you want to do or achieve! Yet, many of us find that after the initial flush of enthusiasm our energy and enthusiasm can run out. What helps you stay on track and helps you achieve your goals is being clear on your motivation. There are many facets to what motivates each of us. In this article midgie Thompson explores these and shows you how you can maintain and even increase your motivation. 20
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What is motivation?
To help you explore your motivation, ask yourself a few questions: ✱ What will it mean to me to achieve the goal? What is its significance? What will happen when I get it? How will it look? How will it feel? What will I see or hear? ✱ How will achieving this goal affect other aspects of my life? ✱ In what way is the outcome worth the time, effort and energy? ✱ What are the benefits, to all areas of my life, once I achieve my goal? Reminding yourself of your answers will boost your motivation when you need it the most. Now, to help you understand your answers in more depth, let’s explore motivational drivers.
motivational drivers Motivational drivers are like magnets – either pushing you away from something (an ‘awayfrom driver’) or pulling you towards something (a ‘towards driver’). Understanding what your drivers are can make a difference to keeping your motivation high and achieving your goal. You can call upon the magnetic pull of a towards motivational driver to help you keep going, when the going gets tough. A person who is driven by this type of motivation is normally attracted by success and is committed to doing what it takes to achieve their goals. They rarely settle for less than success and are often striving to achieve many things. A person who is driven by an away-from type of motivation is normally driven by discomfort, stress or pain. They take action to achieve a goal when a situation becomes uncomfortable. Once this discomfort has diminished, their efforts diminish as well. They might even return to their old behaviours and patterns.
Losing weight motivation Let’s take an example of an individual who wishes to lose weight. A towards-type of person would focus on all the benefits they will reap when they achieve their desired weight. They will do whatever it takes to get there in the end. However, an away-from type would focus on losing a number of pounds. Once the target weight was achieved, or even as they approach their target weight, they may return to their old habits and routines.
Both types of motivational drivers can achieve the same result. However, the towards-type drivers are stronger in that they continue to draw individuals forward towards their goals, rather than push them away. So, what are your motivating drivers? Are they acting like magnets drawing you towards something positive, or are they acting like a repellent pushing you away from a situation you do not want? Even if you have away-from motivational tendencies, you can still achieve what you want to. In addition to all the reasons that are driving you onwards, away from that uncomfortable place, you can also tap into the power of some towards drivers. Take some time to explore the benefits you will get when you achieve your goal. Explore how else your life may be positively impacted once you succeed.
maintain strong motivation Once you are clear on your motivational drivers, you may still experience highs and lows with your motivation. Life is full of ups and downs. We will all be distracted from where we want to go from time to time and our motivation will ebb and flow as we pursue our goals. Here are some tips to help keep your motivation high.
When you achieve the smaller milestone goals, take some time to give yourself a pat on the back and do something special to reward yourself
Key Points ✱ Understand your motivation – why you want to achieve a particular goal and the benefits you will get once you achieve it. ✱ Identify your motivational magnets – understand the towardstype drivers that will help draw you forwards towards your goal. ✱ Have a few tricks up your sleeves - find a supporter, who will hold you accountable and to keep you on track and celebrate your achievements with you.
milestone goals, take some time to give yourself a pat on the back and do something special to reward yourself. Get the big picture: Maintain your perspective of how your goal fits in with other things in your life. How does achieving your goal impact and influence other areas of your life? Perhaps something has come up and you have other priorities. This will help to put things into a clearer perspective and will impact on your level of motivation.
Find a supporter: Ask a friend to hold you accountable for your actions – they should remind you of all the reasons why you are doing what you are doing. Report back to them on your progress weekly and ask them to challenge you if you get off track.
To combat the potential decline in our motivation that many of us will experience in pursuit of our goals, it is important to remind ourselves of all the reasons why we are pursuing a particular goal. Understanding all the benefits we will gain when we achieve a particular goal can help keep the momentum going. Focus on the towards drivers, acting like magnets, that pull us towards our goal. Reminding ourselves of what these towardsdrivers are can provide a powerful pull to keep us going. Overall keep life in perspective. Yes, there are strategies to maintain peak motivation, but we should also take a look at the big picture and consider what else is going on in our life. There may be very valid reasons why your motivation has slipped from a particular goal. Focus on the positives and benefits you will gain when you achieve what you want to achieve and keep on going! With peak motivation, you can achieve anything you set your mind to! UF
Reward yourself: Acknowledge that you have done well, and reward yourself along the way. Perhaps when you achieve the smaller
NEXT ISSUE: Get Psyched for Performance - how to get into ‘The Zone’ in sport, work and life.
About the author Midgie Thompson of Bright Futures Coaching is a Mental Performance and Lifestyle Coach. She works with passionate and energetic individuals to help them develop the mental skills and strategies to be the best they can be while maintaining a healthy balance in their sporting, professional and personal lives. She is also a recreational marathoner.
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Motivation is the fuel that drives us on to pursue and achieve a particular goal. It is the reasons why we do things. It is the force that inspires, excites and creates the spark that makes us do what we do. Motivation provides the focus and direction and is what keeps us striving towards desired outcomes. Knowing what your motivation is before you set out to achieve your goal will make a difference to your preparation, efforts and self-discipline. And this all makes a difference to the results you achieve … whether you succeed or not.
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Kettlebells need women By Susan Cass
Kettlebells – those cannon balls with handles on them - are a great way to tone, shape and build muscle, yet women often pass them by. Now is the time to stop and start training with them. where did Kettlebell training start? Kettlebells are round cast iron balls with handles that vary in size and weight. They originated in Russia and date back as far as the 1700’s. Even today the Russian Military still use them as well as their Olympic athletes. Kettlebells can look pretty scary, so are often thought of as being for men, but they’re not – they’re not stamped ‘men only’. This old school method of training exploded on the fitness scene about four years a go – don’t miss out on what they offer.
How is Kettlebells training different to free weight training? Unlike a barbell or a dumbbell the main weight of a kettlbell is offset by the handle, this means that the weight constantly pulls against your hand/hands holding it. This not only requires strength and coordination from the main muscles used in holding the kettlebells handle, but all the stabilising or supporting muscles in your upper body and with some exercises, the lower body as well. When using dumbbells and barbells, the center of gravity is centered within the user's hand/hands. However, with a kettlebell,
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the center of gravity is 10 to 18cm below your hand. This means that the weight comes ‘alive’ in your grip – you’ve got to guide it and control it and absorb it as well as perform the exercise with it.
Get in the swing Kettlebell training is often based around
They originated in Russia and date back as far as the 1700’s swinging movements, which means you are working to control the momentum of the exercise across numerous body part muscles. This in turn means more calorie burning and a great cardiovascular workout. Above all kettlebell training is great fun. There are a numerous kettlebell exercises and as you gain confidence and knowledge
you can get more creative, so that no two workouts are ever the same. Kettlebell training is perfect for training on your own or in a group and is a virtually do anywhere form of exercise.
Kettlebell training what’s in it for you? The more muscles an exercise works the more energy you require and the more calories you burn. It’s not uncommon for a kettlebell workout to only last for 15-30 minutes and yet you’ll get all the benefits of a standard resistance training workout three times the length. By swinging, pressing, snatching and pulling the kettlebells you can create a workout that not only burns a huge amount of calories, but also carves out a physique like no other. Burning up to 500 calories in one short session is perfect for those of you who are short on time, but want maximum results. And the calorie furnace will continue burning for hours long after your session is over, due to its metabolic demands.
How do I use them? The clean, snatch, swing, jerk, Turkish Get-up are all kettlebell moves and no, it’s not a new language! These are just a few of the exercises designed to engage hundreds of your muscles and stimulate your mind in a unique way. As mentioned most of the exercises are based on momentum and swinging the kettlebell in various directions, but you can also use them for dynamic stretching and posture enhancing moves. You can progress from the more basic swing,
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to hand to hand passing or even juggling for the development of hand-speed and eye-to-hand coordination. Kettlebell training is often referred to as ‘anti-mirror muscle training’, which basically means that it targets the posterior muscles (upper and lower back and bum) those that you can’t see in the mirror.
Will I ‘bulk up’ from training with Kettlebells? Training with medium to heavy weights is vitally important for women and especially for those looking to burn fat. Firstly, weight training increases muscle tone, which in turn increases your metabolic rate, as muscle requires more energy to exist. If you are worried about bulging biceps or monster thighs then have no fear, as in order to build large muscle mass we require the anabolic hormone testosterone. This is present in large quantities in men, but on a much, much reduced basis in women. In addition we have up to 60 times less of this
Kettlebells permit very dynamic movements and your body will need time to get used to these hormone and so find it very difficult to gain large muscle mass. Kettlebell training can be really fun and a varied form of training that will promote weight loss and perhaps more importantly make you a fit, strong, confident and efficient calorie burning woman.
How much weight should I be lifting? Most women will start with a 6kg or 8kg kettlebell (men usually start with a 12kg or 16kg). Ideally, you’ll need guidance and supervision the first few times you train with kettlebells. You should be able to source small group classes and qualified instructors (contact your gym). Even if you are strong and train with weights regularly, you should start at the beginners’ level. Kettlebells permit very dynamic movements and your body will need time to get used to these.
Get to grips with kettlebells Virgin Active are running classes on a daily basis, go to: www.virginactive.com or if you want a specialist kettlebell instructor to take you through your paces, www.gbpersonaltraining.com can recommend a trainer for you and provide you with the Kettlebells, as can www.belldynamics.co.uk, www.angiedowds.com/kettlebells, www.optimallifefitness.com
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Photos by Neil Francombe www.Diablonf.zenfolio.com
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By Trevor Sylvester
What your mind can imagine, your body can achieve
When working with athletes, the starting point is often to get them to think about the power that the mind has over their body. The next time you’re on a running machine wearing a heart monitor, set a pace where your pulse is elevated but
I find that many athletes are shy about mentioning that they use a ‘mind coach’... stable. Now think of someone you really don’t like, or who inspires a strong reaction in you for about 30 seconds, and then look at the monitor. Your heart rate will probably have raised about six beats per minute, depending on how strong your feelings were. Allow your heart rate to return to its previous level and now think of the most relaxing place you’ve ever been and take the same amount of time to recall things about that place. Now when you look at the monitor, you’ll find that your pulse has fallen. Your thoughts affect your physical state. How useful could that be before an important moment in your sport? There are many techniques that can teach you how to change and maintain your mental and physical state very quickly - they just take a bit of practice.
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deas about sporting performance and fitness have come a long way since I first began helping athletes maximise their mental performance over a decade ago. Nowadays numerous sportsmen and sportswomen use mental strategies and the services of a sports psychologist to help them get the winning edge. But this is something of a quiet revolution. I find that many athletes are shy about mentioning that they use a ‘mind coach’, but as each successful athlete steps out of that particular closet, so it encourages others to think about what thought can do for them. In this article I’m going to provide an overview of the four main areas that I focus on to tune an athlete’s mind to the same peak as their body – adopt these and you too could be maximising your performance.
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Think yourself strong A group of volunteers were divided into two groups. One group exercised their little finger the other mentally rehearsed exercising their little finger. The exercise group increased their finger strength by 53%, which is good, but expected. However, what amazed the scientists was that the imagery group increased their strength by 35%. There are several hundred scientific papers which support the idea that mental practice produces measurable gains in the skill levels of athletes. Applying your imagination in the right way can improve just about any area of your game. With the right technique you can think yourself stronger, faster and better.
Healing Imagery The term ‘healing imagery’ is often used to describe an approach that uses mental techniques to speed up healing from injury. I have an expectation that one of my athletes will recover from most injuries 25-50% quicker than their prognosis, simply by listening to a download that I make for them, specifically tailored to their needs. Even the free download I have on my website can bring about these levels of healing. Go to: www.questinstitute.co.uk/ products/downloads/)
Willpower and won’tpower are the same thing
I think that all behaviour has a purpose and that purpose is geared towards bringing us positives, or keeping us from a negative. And the deciding factor in determining what is positive or negative for each of us are the experiences we have when we’re younger. Or more precisely, how we interpreted them and the influence this had on our subconscious. If ‘Jo’, ‘Kim’ and ‘Sam’ lost the school egg and spoon race when they were eight, they would not all see their loss in the same way. Jo might use it to motivate herself to excel ever after, Kim to never attempt a competition again, whilst Sam might have forgotten it the moment it passed. As interpretations build and connect together, we develop beliefs and attitudes towards things that guide our unconscious responses. It is very often the reason why you feel you want to compete in a sport, but somehow manage to sabotage your preparation, or go to pieces on the day. Your unconscious is using your past experiences to anticipate the likeliest consequence of your action.
Extrinsic and Intrinsic motivation Our motivation to do things tends to be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation targets fame and money, for example. Intrinsic motivation tends to focus on enjoyment, personal wellbeing and development. Often I think that what seems to be an extrinsic motivation is actually a means to fulfil an intrinsic need, like selfesteem, so both need to be taken into consideration. They are guided largely by our
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values – the things that get us out of bed in the morning to do something and our values emerge from our beliefs. There is a lot that can be done to modify belief systems that hold you as an athlete or fitness trainer back or limit you. If you have a belief like, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘Others are better than me’, or ‘I let people down’, then you could see how your unconscious would guide you away from anything that could prove this belief. On the other hand, once you believe ‘I am good enough’, or ‘I am a winner’, what would keep you from training hard, or digging in when the going gets tough? Mental strength comes from an inner belief. No
Get out of your own way
You can’t be around sport psychology long without hearing the term ‘in the zone’ - the state where everything comes together. The zone is something you know when you see and experience it – ‘a smooth absence of struggle’. The single biggest block to peak performance is you - the you that tries to direct the body, the you that worries about what you’re doing. The role of the conscious is to organise and direct all the aspects of your training, to give your unconscious maximum exposure to the experiences that will train its expertise. On
I think that all behaviour has a purpose and that purpose is geared towards bringing us positives, or keeping us from a negative longer do you need to think it’s something you have or haven’t got. You can create it. If you harness the power of your belief systems they will take you wherever you want to go. If you leave them to run how they’ve evolved, then you can only go where they think is best, which is often opposite to what you want.
If you don’t know what you want, how can you know how to get there?
This area of mind coaching is probably the one that all coaches provide. It tends to use goal setting as its focus, but can be so much more. Goals are vital. They provide a direction, a means to assess whether you have everything you need to reach your target and a focus to motivate you, so any athletic endeavour you’re serious about should contain short, medium and long term goals that are regularly revisited and updated. Generally, goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific), but if you read my article in December’s issue you’ll see that often I’ll encourage my clients to set goals that are ‘unrealistic’ in order to force a change in intensity or focus. But beyond goal setting, our ability to see ahead of ourselves is a powerful resource that can be utilised in other ways. Anxiety – including performance anxiety – is an emotion about something that hasn’t happened yet. Key to success, and central to mind coaching, is developing a mindset where you think things how you want them to happen– “I’m going to score”, not “I don’t want to miss”. You create images of yourself in the future that guide you towards your outcome. The greats in any sport do not contemplate failure, all they see is them self at the top. So develop ‘strength of image’.
the day of the competition the conscious no longer has a role, your body is ready and your unconscious knows what to do, so you need to train yourself to get out of its way. In the early days it’s not easy, but when accomplished it will transform your performance. With exposure to the right techniques and exercises, you will be able to access the zone state each and every time you need it. Taken individually, each one of the four aspects of mind coaching can provide a significant boost to your performance. However, when combined they create a synergistic whole that creates a ‘total’ sport package. During 2010, I will be exploring these themes and showing you how to make this year the year that you make your mind matter. UF
About the author Trevor Silvester is the founder of the Quest Institute which specialises in cognitive hypnotherapy and NLP and is one of the largest and most successful hypnotherapy training institutions in the UK. His work with clients includes helping sportsmen and sportswomen improve their performance using mind body techniques. A published author and popular speaker, Trevor also runs a private practice in Harley Street, London. To order Trevor’s books and audio downloads, or to find out more about Quest training, visit www.questinstitute.co.uk
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long workouts v
Can you double your fitness by halving your workout time?
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anaerobic system provides high-powered energy for up to 90 seconds. You use it to sprint 100m or complete a set of weights. Aerobic energy however, needs a plentiful and constant supply of oxygen and preferentially, stored carbohydrate to create the chemical reactions needed to provide its energy. The type needed to walk or run for long distances. If you’re training for a marathon, for example, then you’ll need to be put the hours in, by doing long aerobic runs however, if you’re looking at a weight/fat lost, muscle gain, then short blast workouts will work for you. Many people believe that slower aerobic workouts burn more fat. However, this is not so, fat is burned at all exercise intensities except those at the peak of cardiac output – where carbohydrate is almost exclusively used. What is so, however, is the fact that proportionally more calories are burnt from fat at lower exercise intensities particularly
Creating a calorie deficit, wherever the calories come from, will lead to weight loss
Use RPE work out at the optimum intensity RPE is short for Rate of Perceived Exertion. Use this scale to measure the intensity level of your training. RPE can be measured from 1-10 – see below:
1 to 10 Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale 0
Sort of Hard
and potentially burn more calories long after you’ve showered and gone home – due to post exercise calorie burning of which more later. Short blast workouts can also develop stronger and better-toned muscles – and as muscle is highly metabolically active tissue this equates to more calorie burning. A short blast workout can involve interval training, where you combine faster paced efforts with recovery periods. Or you could complete body weight exercises in a circuit with short recoveries. At the end of this article you’ll find 5 examples of short blast workouts guaranteed to obliterate calories and get you in great shape. Now, you may be the type of person who thinks they need to do the long slow stuff, but that is more than likely to be a consequence of habit. You may be ‘schooled’ on aerobics and the idea that ‘long is best’ – think Jane Fonda, The Green Goddess or even Mr Motivator. You may consequentially believe that in order to burn fat effectively you have to train aerobically for more than 20 minutes at a time to achieve a significant burn. However, this is not actually the case. I’ll explain how our body fuels itself during exercise to indicate why and why higher intensity training can be a great calorie burner. Short blast anaerobic training places little reliance on oxygen to sustain it. Instead it relies on stored body chemicals and a chemical reaction that occurs in the muscles to fuel it. The
those around the 60-70% of maximum heart rate. This gave birth to the notion of the ‘fat burning zone’ – which should perhaps better been termed the ‘low intensity training’ zone – the zone that those new to exercise should start with. What really matters in terms of calorie burning is the total number of calories burnt. So a higher intensity workout will burn more calories - and although the ratio will favour carbohydrate as fuel, because of the intensity more total calories, including fat will be burned. Creating a calorie deficit, wherever the calories come from, will lead to weight loss. And short blast workouts are great at obliterating calories in a short space of time.
ast your mind back to when you were writing an essay at school, your teacher may have instructed you to consider ‘quality over quantity.’ Well the same applies in many ways to working out. The key to any training programme isn’t necessarily the length of time you spend doing your workout, but reflects more on the intensity of your workout and whether it’s actually effective and achieves its purpose. You’ll also perhaps be surprised to discover that you could burn more calories though short blast workouts, than longer slower ones. Long endurance CV sessions are great at improving heart and lung capacity and for building a base of fitness. However, a well planned and thought through short intense workout can be just as effective, as challenging and perhaps more enjoyable. It can even do more to positively change your body composition
Really, Really Hard
Short blast workouts These workouts create a great post workout calorie burn. This is because all the systems that were heightened by them take more time to wind down. This could result in 100’s more calories being burned in the 24-48 hours following your workout.
Planning short blast workouts ✱ Use interval training methods with minimal rest periods between intervals ✱ Work to a rate of self-perceived exertion of 7-9 out of 10 (see RPE table) ✱ Use ‘active’ recovery i.e. walk, jog or perform other lower intensity CV exercise between your intervals, this will increase the calorie burn ✱ Use compound exercises when resistance training – those that involve lots of muscle groups rather than individual ones, for example, squats and lunges ✱ Plan – you don’t have the luxury of thinking time when doing short blast workouts so you need to know your routine before you start ✱ Move on when you’re not ready – don’t get into a comfort zone. For example use a weight that only allows you to do 8 to 10 reps with good form. If you hit 12 reps in a set, it means you either need to raise the weight in the next set or change the exercise for that particular muscle group to challenge yourself to see results. ✱ Be prepared for physical discomfort, but distribute this so that you can complete the workout – if you are fit, then you can ‘empty the tank’ on the last set or interval
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Short Blast Workouts These workouts require little or no equipment and you can do most anywhere. They’re perfect when you can’t make it to the gym or to your class. No excuses now… Recoveries are provided between exercises for the first 4 circuits – take longer if you need to, with repetition you’ll be able to reduce the recovery you need and/or perform more circuits. Although you should be working at an RPE of 7-8 throughout
Give yourself 1-2 minutes between circuits.
The fifth workout uses CV kit although you could always run outdoors.
1: The Total Body Blast Circuit
✱ ‘Y’ bodyweight squats (squat with your arms held straight overhead) x 12 ✱ Plank x 10, 20sec. hold ✱ Push-ups x 12 @ moderate pace over full range ✱ Chair Triceps dips x 15 ✱ Superman x 12 repetitions, 5sec. hold ✱ Step-ups x 1min ✱ Crunches x 15 Do: circuit x 3 Recovery: 30 sec. between exercises
2: The Upper Body Blast Circuit ✱ Push-ups x 15 ✱ Chair Triceps dips x 15 ✱ Shadow boxing x 60sec. ✱ Narrow Triceps Push-up x 10 ✱ Side plank 30sec. hold each side Do: circuit x 3 Recovery: 30sec. between exercises
3: The Lower Body Blast
✱ Walking lunges - with arms held straight above head x 60sec. ✱ Wall squat sit (bend knees and squat against the wall) x 30sec. ✱ 20 metre shuttle runs x 10 ✱ Single leg calf raises on edge of step/stairs x 15 repetitions each leg ✱ Tuck jumps x 15 ✱ Sumo squats (turn your feet out to the side and squat) x 20 ✱ Kneeling glute kickback x 20 each leg ✱ Plank with alternate leg raise x 30sec. Do: circuit x 4 Recovery: 10sec. between exercises
Go to: www.ultra-FITmagazine.co.uk or our Facebook group to see how to warm-up specifically for these and other workouts We’ll also be posting two Workouts of the Week (WoW’s) each week on our website to keep you fit and motivated to get into the best shape you can.
4: The Skier’s Preparation Blast ✱ Double leg box jumps x 20 ✱ Side Lunge ✱ Narrow to wide squat jumps x 20 ✱ Single leg squat x 15 reps each leg ✱ Bunny jumps x 5 ✱ Plank 30 sec. holds Do: 4 times Recovery: 20sec. between exercises
5: Interval Cardio Kit Blast
✱ Select any piece of CV kit – work to a 3min on to 1 min off ratio ✱ Perform your intervals at a rate of perceived exertion of 6-7 and recover at 2-3. Do: 3-6 intervals depending on your fitness
Always warm up and cool down before completing the short blast workouts.
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About the author Susan Cass runs a London based Personal Training and Fitness Consultancy company www.wellness-advisor.com email email@example.com
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workout Want a quick and healthy food fix, thatâ€™ll boost your training and fat burning then cook up these quick and easy recipes. Banana Bread This is an all-time favorite. The key to its success is using well-ripened bananas that are covered with brown speckles. Great as a pre-exercise snack 3 large well-ripened bananas 1 teaspoon salt 1 egg or 2 egg whites 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons oil
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1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/3 cup milk 1 1/2 cups flour, preferably half whole-wheat, half white 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar 1. Preheat the oven to 350Â°F/gas mark 4 2. Mash bananas with a fork. Add egg, oil, milk, sugar. Beat well. 3. Gently mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Stir just until moistened. 4. Pour into a 4 x 8 inch/10 x 20cm loaf pan that has been lightly oiled, treated with cooking spray, or lined with wax paper. Bake 45min, or until a cocktail stick inserted near the middle comes out clean. 5. Cool for 5min before removing from the pan. Gives: 12 slices total calories: 1,600. 135 calories per slice; 24 g Carb; 3 g Protein; 3 g Fat
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Sugar and Spice Trail Mix A snack that’s sweet, but not too sweet. Great as a pre-workout boost 3 cups oat squares cereal 3 cups mini-pretzels, salted or salt-free, as desired 2 tablespoons tub margarine, melted 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1 cup dried fruit bits or raisins 1. Preheat oven to 325°F/gas mark 3. 2. In a large re-sealable plastic bag or plastic container with a cover, combine the oat squares and pretzels. 3. In a small microwavable bowl, melt the margarine; add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well; pour over the cereal. 4. Seal the bag or container and shake gently until the mixture is well coated. Transfer to a baking sheet. 5. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20min, stirring once or twice. 6. Cool; add the dried fruit. Divide into 10 food bags. Gives: 10 servings Total calories: 2,000 200 calories per serving; 40 g Carb; 5 g Protein; 2 g Fat Recipe courtesy of the Amer. Heart Assoc. (www.deliciousdecisions.com)
Gourmet Lasagna This lasagna has a wonderful flavour and is a great variation from standard lasagnas. The winning ingredients – sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. Great for Carb loading 15 lasagna noodles 8 to 9 sun-dried tomatoes 1/2 cup pine nuts 1 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled, finely chopped 1 teaspoon oil, preferably olive 1 pound ricotta cheese, part-skimmed or nonfat 4 to 8 ounces/225g shredded low-fat Mozzarella cheese 1 to 2 dashes nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon oregano 1 10-ounce/280g package frozen
spinach, thawed and drained 1 28-ounce/790g jar spaghetti sauce Optional: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1. Cook the lasagna according to the package directions. 2. Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and set aside for 5min if oil-packed, 10-15min if dried. Drain, cool, and chop finely. Set aside. 3. Toast the pine nuts in the oven at 350°F/gas mark 4 for 5min or on the stovetop in a skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3min. 4. In a separate skillet, saute the garlic in oil for 2min. Do not brown. Set the pan aside.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, nut-meg, oregano, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic. 6. In a 9 x 13/ 22 x 33cm pan, pour enough tomato sauce to coat the bottom. Cover with lasagna noodles; add a layer of ricotta mixture, then spaghetti sauce. Repeat, making 3 layers of ricotta, and ending with noodles and tomato sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan as desired. Cover; bake at 350°F/gas mark 4 for 30-40min. Gives: 8 servings Total calories: 3,600 450 calories per serving; 53 g Carb; 21 g Protein; 17 g Fat
About the author
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) counsels both casual and competitive athletes in her private practice at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-383-6100). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook, and food guides for new runners, marathoners, or cyclists are available via www.nancyclarkrd.com See also: www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com
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By Anita Bean BSc r.nutr
It’s rare to find an athlete or fitness trainer who has never suffered an injury. And when the dreaded ‘I’ word happens you’ll want to do everything possible to speed up your recovery and in this respect nutrition is crucial. Eat (a little) less To avoid piling on the pounds when you’re not exercising, you’ll need to compensate for your reduced calorie output by eating less. For many hard-training athletes, this is easier said than done as it may take a while for your appetite to re-adjust. If you’re used to consuming, say 3000 or 4000 calories worth of food, it’s not easy to cut back to a mere 2000 or 3000 a day when injury strikes. Your body may need considerably fewer calories but your stomach capacity and your brain are set to expect more! Only those with iron willpower will be able to make a quick cut back. Try trimming your calorie intake in a step-wise manner, shunning sugary snacks for fruit, and sports drinks for water (see ‘how can I avoid weight gain?’). But don’t severely restrict your food intake when injured. Your body needs
adequate nutrition to heal your injury – eliminating healthy food hinders the process.
Maintain your protein intake Make sure you don’t cut back on protein - you
need protein for recovery. It provides amino acids, which are required for the formation and repair of body tissues. There are no official protein recommendations for recovery but it would be wise to maintain an intake for endurance training, of between 1.2 and 1.4g for each kg of body weight, that’s about 84 – 98g for a 70kg person. Although you’re not exercising as much, your body needs a little extra protein for healing.
Get enough calcium If you have a stress fracture or a broken bone, your body needs this important mineral. Aim to eat at least three calcium-rich foods a day.
How to avoid weight gain? To prevent weight gain when injured, try the following: ✱ Listen to your body and try to gauge how much food your body really needs. ✱ Learn to eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed ✱ Keep temptation out of the way - don’t bring high calorie snacks in to your house ✱ Eat off a smaller plate – it makes the amount you put on it look larger and means you will automatically eat at least 25 per cent less. ✱ Eat bigger portions of foods that fill you ‘up’, not ‘out’ (vegetables, salads, fruit) and smaller portions of calorie-dense foods (sugary cereals, white bread and pasta, cakes) ✱ Starting a meal with a bowl of soup, a salad, some fresh fruit or some fresh vegetables helps take the edge off your hunger pangs. ✱ Eating your food slowly will curb your desire to eat more then you need.
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However, extra calcium (whether from food or supplements) will not speed the process. Experts recommend a daily intake of 700 mg, equivalent to a glass (170ml) of milk, one pot (150g) of yoghurt, a generous slice of cheese (25g) and a handful of almonds (40g). Taking a supplement may not be the best option, though. In a 2007 study at Washington University School of Medicine, researchers found that women who got their calcium from food had healthier bones and higher bone densities than women whose calcium came mainly from supplemental tablets.
Menu for recovery Breakfast A carton of plain yoghurt; wholegrain toast with 2 teaspoons Manuka honey Benefits: Yoghurt supplies one third of your daily calcium for healing soft tissues and bones. Manuka honey contains high concentrations of antioxidants which help strengthen your immune system. The wholegrain bread provides a healthy dose of zinc and iron.
Foods containing 200 mg calcium Milk .................................................... 1 glass (170 ml) Cheddar cheese ............. 1 slice (25g) Yoghurt ........................................ 1 carton (130g) Broccoli ....................................... 10 sprigs (500g) oranges ....................................... 3 oranges Tinned sardines .............. 11⁄2 (36g) Almonds ..................................... 50 nuts (83g) Dried figs ................................... 4 figs (80g)
Don’t forget zinc and iron Both of these minerals are crucial for healing yet are often lacking in fitness trainers and athletes’ diets. Low intakes may slow recovery. Men need 8.7mg of iron daily, women 14.8mg. Good sources include red meat, dried apricots, sardines, lentils, beans, whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables (see: ‘The iron content of various foods’). Don’t take supplements unless you have been diagnosed as iron-deficient and advised by your doctor The daily requirement for zinc is 9.5 mg for men and 7mg for women. Like iron, it’s also found in red meat, as well as eggs, seeds, nuts, whole grains, milk and dairy products.
Get plenty of vitamins A and C Your body uses vitamin A to make new tissues that are vital to healing, and also to make strong bones. Best food sources include liver, cheese, oily fish, eggs and milk. You can also get this vitamin from beta-carotene, the bright pigment in vegetables (such as carrots, red peppers and leafy greens) and fruit (tomatoes, mangoes). Try to have at least two portions of vitamin A-rich and beta-carotene-rich foods each day during your recovery. Your body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein that makes up connective tissues and blood vessels. When you’re injured, you need extra vitamin C to make more collagen. The average daily requirement is 40 mg but you can easily meet this by including one to two portions of berries, red peppers, leafy greens, and citrus fruit in your diet.
Eat for healthy joints Once you’ve injured a joint, you’re at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis, a degenerative and painful joint condition. A nutrient rich diet – plenty of fruit, vegetables
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Snack A handful of Brazil nuts or almonds Benefits: All nuts are rich in protein and healing-minerals such as iron and zinc, as well as vitamin E to help reduce inflammation.
The iron contents of various foods Food
Iron content (milligrams /portion)
140g steak ............................................ 2.9 5 ready-to-eat dried apricots (100g) .................. 3.4 100g canned sardines ...................................................... 2.3 3 tbsp (120g) cooked red lentils ............................ 2.9 200g Baked beans ...................... 2.8 2 eggs .......................................................... 1.6 2 slices wholemeal bread ...... 1.3 100g broccoli ...................................... 1.0 100g spinach ...................................... 1.7 and whole grains and moderate amounts of fish, lean meat, pulses and dairy products – will help keep your joints healthy. Add a weekly portion of oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring, which is stocked with omega 3 fatty acids, is great for reducing joint stiffness, reducing inflammation in the muscles and joints and speeding recovery from injuries. Other good sources include flaxseed oil, walnuts, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds and pumpkinseed oil, rapeseed oil, and omega-3 enriched eggs. If you already suffer from pain and stiffness in your knees, elbows or shoulders, you may wish to supplement your diet with glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine, a building block of cartilage, helps repair damaged joints, reduce pain and build synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints. Chondroitin is also a component of cartilage and connective tissue and helps stimulate cartilage repair and prevent further breakdown. UF
Tomato, basil and garlic salad with feta cheese and wholegrain bread, plus a generous serving of fruit salad Benefits: Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. It contains a sulphur compound called allicin which supports the white cells that help fight off infection. The vitamin C in tomatoes helps promote healing. Wholegrain bread is rich in zinc and iron.
Snack Mango and ginger smoothie (whiz together ½ mango, a handful of ice, a 2cm piece fresh ginger and a carton of plain yoghurt) Benefits: Ginger contains oils with potent antiseptic properties, to combat colds and chest infections. The betacarotene and vitamin C in the mango will boost recovery.
Dinner Baked salmon with wholegrain rice, broccoli and spinach. Benefits: Salmon is packed with omega-3 oils, which help keep joints supple, reduce joint pain and fight inflammation. Wholegrain rice adds iron and zinc while the green veg are packed with healing vitamins A and C.
About the author Anita Bean leading sports nutritionist has published numerous books, including the Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition and Food for Fitness, both are available from the ultra-FIT bookshop.
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More workouts, more fitness facts... more ways to look better, feel better and perform better Our new site is fully interactive, informative and an exciting reference for all things fitness. Post comments, watch videos, follow more training plans, do our Workout of the Week, enter competitions and events. It's all there and more on www.ultra-FITmagazine.co.uk
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By John Shepherd
Weight training is crucial for sports performance. If you’re a rugby player, footballer or martial artist you’ll want to get the maximum returns from it – returns that will enhance your sports performance. But what types of exercises should you be doing, what weight training systems should be using and what weight should you be lifting and why is your central nervous system so important? FEB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
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weight training for sport
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ou can develop different types of strength in the weights rooms. These strength types are largely determined by the weight you lift and the reps you use. There are three basic strength types – ‘maximum strength’, ‘power strength’ and ‘strength endurance’ and all have relevance for sports conditioning and performance. The strength types are listed below together with sports for which they are particularly applicable. As you’ll see there are numerous cross-overs between sports and their needs for the strength types – some will require two or even all three, for example.
Maximum strength Maximum strength is also referred to as ‘gross strength’. It refers to the maximum amount of weight that an athlete (in the widest sense of the term) can lift normally once on any given lift i.e. their one repetition maximum (1RM). Typical sports applicability: rugby, athletics’ throwing and jumping, sprinting, football Typical sessions: Simple Sets: 4 x 4 @ 85% 1RM pyramid: 6 x 80%, 2 x 3 x 90%, 2 x 2 @ 95% 1RM
power strength Ok, all forms of weigh training develop power, but this term is used in the context of this article to describe weight training that deliberately sets out to improve the speed of contraction of a muscle/muscle group by utilising fast movements and medium to heavy weights (60-80% 1RM). We’re talking about loads that would result in a slow down of performance after 6-8 reps Typical sports applicability: football, rugby, hockey, athletics’ throwing and jumping, racket sports, swimming, martial arts Typical sessions: Simple Sets: 4 x 8 @ 70% 1RM
Strength endurance Strength endurance training in the weights room is designed to develop the capacity of an athlete’s muscles to perform multiple reps. These workouts develop ‘fatigue resistance’. They use high reps and moderately light weights (around 30-60% 1RM) and multiple sets (4 plus), with minimal recovery. Typical sessions: Simple Sets: 6 x 30 @ 30% 1RM Simple Sets: 10 x 1min @ 40% 1RM Typical sports applicability: endurance running, martial arts, racket sports, swimming (can also be used by virtually all sports to build general condition at the beginning of the training year)
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Why is the CNS important for sports performance? Research indicates that playing a sport for a long time influences the way the CNS ‘controls’ the way your muscles function for your sport. Here’s a specific example from Finland – although focusing on jumping, rather than weight training, it will show you why the CNS is a crucial consideration if you want to be the best at your sport as you possibly can be: High and long jumpers, swimmers, footballers and poor and good vertical jumpers participated in the study. The idea of the research was to find out how the athletes’ CNS influenced the way they activated their muscles. A vertical jump test was used. Not surprisingly the track and field jumpers performed the most powerful vertical jumps and the swimmers the poorest. Focusing on the CNS it was discovered that it influenced the way the athletes recruited their muscles. The swimmers were unable to create the stretch/reflex* action in their leg muscles as powerfully as the jumpers – this muscular response is crucial for good jumping. The footballers’ jumping, although better than the swimmers, displayed a more contrived, more staccato (bit by bit), muscular firing rhythm. This was unlike the jumpers whose muscles fired dynamically, rapidly and sequentially to produce the greatest jumping power. The researchers attributed these differences to the specifics of the individuals’ sports and crucially years of relevant training and its effects on the CNS. Specifically they stated, “The results suggest that prolonged training in a specific sport will cause the central nervous system to programme muscle coordination according to the demands of that sport.” Adding, “That (the) learned skill-reflex ….. of the CNS seems to interfere hierarchically in the performance programme of another task.” In slightly plainer English the white-coated boffins were saying that if you maximise the CNS system contribution to your sports performance then you will become a better sports performer. The CNS becomes ‘used’ to firing the muscles and crucially reacting to the forces involved in very specific ways and this is crucial for your training inside and outside of the weights room. * The stretch/reflex occurs in muscles when a concentric (shortening) muscular contraction immediately follows an eccentric (lengthening) muscular contraction, such as when jumping, hopping and sprinting, for example. Research reference: Electromyogr Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Apr-May;43(3):141-56
Maximising your sports power through weight training Fast Twitch muscle fibre Elite sportsmen and sportswomen generate incredible amounts of power in a fraction of a second. Usain Bolt’s feet will only be in contact with the track for 0.089 of a second when he’s flat out and that’s at an incredible 27mph! So his muscles have to fire incredibly quickly and utilise all their fast twitch, speed and power, producing muscle fibres to propel him down the track. Fast twitch muscle fibre is vitally important to sportsmen and sportswomen involved in sports such as, rugby, netball, the martial arts, gymnastics and of course sprinting - and it can even be argued endurance performance, although it is beyond the scope of this article to go into detail about this. Fast twitch muscle fibres are bundled together with the nerves that switch them on in motor units. These motor units are recruited (activated) according to the ‘size principle’. Basically this means that they are only used, as they need to be. Think about this scenario: you’re in the weights room and you know that the weight you are going to lift is ‘light’ (around
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The Central Nervous System Sports conditioning experts are increasingly pointing to the CNS as a key influence on sports performance. The CNS is a complicated part of our bodies and there is considerable debate as to how much of it functions unconsciously and consciously. The CNS is taxed (as well as your muscular energy systems and muscles) when we workout - the more intense the workout the greater the demand on it. We only have limited amounts of CNS energy. Think back to yourself again: you’re in the weights room and you’re in the zone, your fast twitch motor units are all fired up and you have just lifted a near p.b squat. What do you feel after the elation of completing the lift? You’ll inevitably feel tired and you will probably not feel like lifting heavy again. This is natural and is the consequence of your CNS telling you, ‘Hey, we’ve just used a lot of my energy up there to get that weight up and now I need a break’. You need to listen to your CNS when weight training (and indeed when training in general) so as to not unduly fatigue it and potentially compromise sports (and fitness) performance. Let’s go back to Usain. To run fast you have to run fast and to this must be added, lift fast and strong. All of us who have trained heavy in the weights room know that there are different ways to get the weight ‘up’. We can ‘strong arm’ it and take what seems an eternity to push out the rep or reps, or we can be so in the zone that we explode the bar up in a flash. It’s the latter way that will have the greatest relevance to improving sports performance. Why? 1) you’ll be in the zone and nearly all, if not all your fast twitch motor units will have been utilised to power up the lift and 2) because of this you’ll have generated more power. Power is the product of ‘speed x resistance’. Performing a lift more quickly against the same resistance produces more power than a slower rep at the same weight. And it’s these considerations that are key to ensuring that your weight training is going to have the greatest cross-over into your sports performance. Usain’s foot explodes from the
Sports conditioning experts are increasingly pointing to the CNS as a key influence on sports performance track surface, because all his fast twitch muscle fibres are generating that power. A weight training regime that develops the ability to utilise all your fast twitch motor units will have an enhanced ability to transfer directly into improving sports performance. As noted the CNS is incredibly complex. If a sportsman or sportswoman trains it submaximally they can potentially create a submaximal transference into their sports performance. A slow lift will not train the CNS to supply lightening quick energy that will overcome great resistances. With the right regular training the CNS can be trained to do this. Basically it will develop the potential to move the athlete’s body more quickly, dynamically and strongly. Fatigue must not be allowed to compromise this both inside and outside of the weights room and across the training programme. If speed of lifting slows, in particular when maximum strength and power weight training, then the set should be stopped and more rest provided, or the session or that particular exercise even stopped. There’s nothing wrong with dividing a set of 6 reps into ‘twos or threes’. In doing so, the ‘6 reps’ will be completed at much faster speeds with a higher CNS input with a resultant greater potential transferability into improved sports performance (particularly in terms of fast twitch motor unit recruitment).
The wrong weight training for sport approach Rugby players, often boast about what they can bench press, clean or squat. And athletes
many male athletes in particular often go down – building muscle to look good and not to improve sports performance. Big biceps and chest muscles may look great on the beach or for fitness modelling (see page 72) however, unless this muscle is functionally useful for the particular sport being played then there is little real benefit to be derived from pumping it up. Big biceps are of little real use to the footballer, cricketer, track and field jumper and even the sprinter (although to look at some of these ‘man-mountains’ you might not think so). The biceps are hardly active in sprinting – sufficient strength is only needed in these muscles to hold the forearms in the required position when sprinting. Ok, bigger muscles can exert more force than smaller ones, due to their larger crosssectional area. However, athletes with the biggest muscles may not be the best at their sports, nor – and this is crucial as noted - may they possess the best power to weight ratios. As a case in point a body builder will not be as strong nor as dynamic as an Olympic lifter despite the former’s inflated muscles. As indicated it is very important to factor in the CNS’s role in your weight (and other) training to maximise its contribution to enhance sports and fitness performance. This is key and if muscles increase in size in consequence so be it. Don’t start with the ‘I want to get bigger’ premise if you are an athlete looking to maximise your sports performance using weight training, instead carefully consider the body you need for your sport, select the right weight training systems and strength types and train accordingly, paying attention to the role of the CNS. UF
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being athletes will often compare themselves against their peers and decide that because ‘such and such’ can lift ‘such’ an amount that they must train to be able to do the same. However, this approach is potentially flawed as 1) the pursuit of greater weight training strength will only be of use if it actually improves sports’ performance 2) direct comparisons between the strength capabilities of athletes from different sports are only relevant if comparative ‘norms’ are based on scientific research that justifies the need to ‘have’ those strength levels and 3) if the athlete’s ‘power to weight ratio’ is not unduly effected i.e. if an athlete gains weight through muscle gain, but does not improve their power to weight ratio (i.e. they were able to lift more kg’s above their body weight at their previous lighter weight) then they will invariably be no better an athlete. In short strength for the ‘sake of strength’ is a potential blind alley. We also need to add a further blind alley that
40% of your 1RM). So, you know that you can easily lift and rep it, so that’s what you do with little effort. In terms of completing a set of reps at this weight, you won’t actually be using that much of your fast twitch muscle. However, stack the bar so that it’s near to your 1RM, let’s say 90% of it, and lifting the weight will become an entirely different proposition. You’ll start thinking about the lift – you may even get a little nervous and begin to psyche yourself up. You’re doing the right things if this happens, as to get all your fast twitch muscle motor units to help lift the weight, they need to be stimulated by large amounts of neural (mental) energy. It’s this flow of energy that lights the fuse to produce explosive muscle contractions. This is why you shouldn’t (or in reality can’t) go through the motions when maximum strength and power weight training (nor for example, sprinting, or trying to throw a medicine ball as far as you can).
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By James Dunne
houlder injuries are very common in contact sports, but can also result from overuse, particularly in racket sports. Very often the rotator cuff muscles which support the shoulder-joint are injured. However, as important as rotator cuff rehabilitation is in treating the injured shoulder, the functional ability of the scapula (shoulder blade) and its attaching muscles must not be neglected nor should the functioning of the rest of the body. There are four rotator cuff muscles and they run between the scapula and the head of the humerus (upper arm), they are responsible for stabilising the joint between the humerus and the scapula (gleno-humeral joint or GHJ) when we move our arms. However, correct functioning of the shoulder complex consists of more than just active GHJ stability. These are other elements are: ✱ Scapula Mobility ✱ Scapula Stability ✱ Thoracic Extension For our shoulders to function correctly, the scapula must be able to move unrestricted through its full range of movement, passing around the posterior-lateral thoracic wall, known as the Scapulo-Thoracic Joint (STJ). However, no actual bony articulation exists between the scapular and thoracic wall. This means that as the arm moves from the shoulder in any direction, a significant amount of the movement needs to come from the STJ. This relationship between shoulder blade motion and upper arm motion is known as Scapula-Humeral Rhythm. As this name suggests, the scapula and humerus need to move in harmony to get our shoulders moving optimally. The important purposes of scapula-humeral rhythm are: 1) to maintain the length-tension ratios in the rotator cuff muscles as the shoulder moves through range – maintaining their stabilising properties at the GHJ. And 2) to reduce relative motion local to the GHJ. If shoulder motion occurred purely from the GHJ with a fixed scapula, the head of the
humerus would impinge on the surrounding bony structures leading to injury to for example, the rotator cuff tendons. The scapula functions as a stable, yet mobile base, for the upper arm to articulate on. The GHJ dictates that it must, through its muscular attachments, posses the mobility to work through sufficient range at the STJ, while at the same time controlling motion to ensure a stable base for all arm activity. All the muscles of the scapula therefore need to work in synergy. For the STJ to be able to function properly through its full range of movement, there must be sufficient thoracic (upper) spine motion in all directions, especially into extension (movement away from the body). It should also be noted that adequate motion at the sterno-clavicular joint (SCJ) and acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) must also be present to optimise the function of the shoulder complex.
common Dysfunctions ✱ restricted/Altered scapular Motion As previously discussed, for the shoulder complex to move through its normal ranges of motion much of the movement has to come from the scapular. If scapular movement around the thoracic wall is altered – either through soft tissue restriction, inhibition of the scapular stabilising muscles or lack of thoracic spine extension, an increased amount of the shoulder’s range of movement will have to come from the GHJ. Restricted shoulder movement will in all likelihood result in shoulder impingement. ✱ Winging/Tipping of the scapular Winging is a common dysfunction where the entire medial border of the scapular (the edge of the scapular closest to the spine) visibly lifts off the thoracic wall. This winging is caused by the inability of the scapular stabilising muscles to fulfil their role of controlling scapular motion. Tipping is similar in that there is a prominent lifting off the thoracic wall, but this time it is present in a slightly different location - the
inferior-medial border. This indicates both weakness in the lower scapular stabilisers and potentially tightness in the anterior (front) structures, such as the pectoralis minor (chest muscle). Tipping will also lead to a restricted shoulder movement and therefore an increase in the likelihood of developing shoulder movement issues around the GHJ.
rehabilitation The function of the shoulder girdle dictates that the rehabilitation of a shoulder injury needs to focus on the balance between mobility and stability. Failure to do so could result in compromised recovery. Consequentially it is important to see the body as a kinetic chain i.e. with each body part (the links), working harmoniously to create optimum movement (the chain). So although an athlete with an injured shoulder may need to specifically strengthen that structure, the function of the whole kinetic chain must be re-trained. It is important to ensure that the scapular is functioning correctly as previously discussed, but as rehab progresses, it is also important to retrain the loading of the hips during functional movements, so that the upper body and lower body works together. It’s often the breakdown of the kinetic chain and the subsequent habitual changes in biomechanics that results in shoulder injury. Therefore, these biomechanical habits need to be corrected during rehabilitation to reduce the risk of re-injury. Remember, although strengthening is vital, if the kinetic chain is moving incorrectly – the same outcome i.e. re-injury is likely. UF
About the author James Dunne is a specialist in sports rehab and a high performance sports conditioner at Sport Dimensions in Chiswick, London. Web: www.sportdimensions.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 020 8563 0007
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Fitness expert, international athlete, Olympic bobsleigher, Gladiator ‘Enigma’, sports model and presenter, personal trainer and ultra-FIT regular Jenny Pacey answers the question. What Are supplements? Nutritional supplements are ‘engineered’ to make up for a deficiency and enhance the metabolic functioning of the body – they range from multi-vitamins and minerals, to protein powders and creatine. Often they are
purchased for weight loss, and muscle gain, however, supplements can also boost the immune system and assist recovery from injury. Additionally pregnant women can benefit from a vitamin and minerals supplement to support their increased nutritional needs. And certain supplements are recommended for specific conditions, for example, calcium for osteoporosis and iron supplements for those who are anemic.
making the right choices Millions of pounds are spent on the research and development of supplements and the choice is vast. So how do you know which supplements work and which manufacturer to trust? 1. use high quality supplements: All pills and tablets are not created to an equal standard. High quality supplements are made with better Ingredients, which equates to better vitamin dissolution and absorption. 2. Choose a supplement form which suits you: Health supplements are commonly produced in solid form. However, there are other choices available, such as liquid vitamins and minerals, spray vitamins, sublingual (under the tongue) vitamins, gel supplements - just find what suits you and tastes the best.
3. Consider the research and scientific backing Look at the research behind the product. Scientific excerpts are published in reputable peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine (www.content.nejm.org). If you’ve got the time search through the archives on entrezpubmed (the website contains thousands of peer approved journal citations www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed). 4. should you check with your doctor before using a supplement? It’s a good idea too, particularly for certain population groups, such as older people. Dietary supplements may not be risk-free under certain circumstances. If you are pregnant, nursing a baby, or have a chronic medical condition - such as, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before purchasing or taking any supplement. Also seek medical advice if you plan to use a dietary supplement in place of drugs or in conjunction with any drug. 5. Ask yourself if it sounds too good to be true? Do the product’s claims appear unrealistic or over exaggerated? Are simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study to sell a product? Sound health advice is generally based on a body of research, not a single study (see 3 above). Keep in mind science does not usually advance by dramatic breakthroughs, but by many small steps, slowly building towards a consensus. 6. Don’t be drawn in by the ‘quick fix’ Use your common sense and be prepared to train hard alongside supplementing to achieve results and gains.
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Table 1 Selected Phytochemicals, their sources and benefits Phytochemical
Rosehips, citrus fruits, berries, grapes, teas, red wine
Antioxidant (reduces cellular damage), can act as an antibiotic and benefit bleeding gums and soft tissue injuries for example
Soya, tofu, citrus fruits, wheat, celery
Can reduce chances of developing breast and prostrate cancer
USN Sports Nutrition USN are leaders in sports nutrition and weight loss. I trust the product quality which draws on leading scientific research. Here’s what I use USN protein bars: As soon as I finish training I begin to refuel with a protein bar. It’s crucial to start the recovery process after training as soon as possible to re-build muscle protein that has been broken down by heavy resistance training. USN Amino Pro: These are really important when training hard and lifting heavy weights as they provide the ‘building blocks’ of muscle protein. Five of these caplets should be taken with water approximately 45 minutes before a workout. A second serving may be taken before bedtime for athletes training at high intensity for over 10 hours per week. USN Triple Omega: I highly recommend fish oils. They are great for oiling my body from the inside out and help to regulate my hormone balance and appetite. Triple Omega provides the essential fatty acids 3, 6 & 9. These are vital for rebuilding and producing new cells and they keep the skin and other tissues youthful. EFAs cannot be produced by the body so they need to be supplied via diet and supplementation. Take 1 to 2 capsules 3 times a day with meals. USN MultiPlex: With all the training I do, I have to make sure I get enough vitamins and minerals. This daily dose helps my body perform at its fullest potential and supports my wellbeing. Vitamins and minerals are crucial for all cellular reactions in the body. B vitamins for example help release energy from food. USN CLA: Conjugated Linoleic Acid helps keep my body fat low and lean muscle high. It’s crucial for me before a photo shoot, or when dropping body fat before a competition. Several studies have demonstrated that CLA can positively affect body mass and has a beneficial effect on lean muscle mass. USN Joint Plex: I plan to be active for the rest of my life and understand the importance of supporting and protecting my joints; so when I’m 70 I can still be running around. Joint Plex ingredients include glucosamine sulphate, chondroitin sulphate and cetyl myristoleate. USN’s Joint Plex has been formulated to add support to active joints and therefore prevent the rapid onset of other joint related problems. The ingredients in Joint Plex also provide relief from inflammation resulting from joint injuries. USN Creatine x4: I use creatine when I want to add muscle mass and gain strength. Creatine is a natural substance found in meat and fish, for example, it can boost anaerobic performance, by putting more quick releasing phosphates into your muscles. They become more fade resistance – the result more reps and sets. USN Web: www.USN.co.uk e-mail: email@example.com To learn more about Jenny Pacey and for further ‘Fit’ advice please visit www.paceandgo.co.uk
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To Supplement? Don’t get drawn in by all the hype, ‘such and such’ a supplement is not going to turn you into Fitness models Eleni Plakitsi or Obi Obidake (see pages 104) genetics, training and determination are of more importance. Additionally, and as importantly, you can’t depend on ‘pills’ alone to provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Supplements don’t contain certain natural ingredients, such as phytochemicals, the non-nutrient compounds found in plant-derived foods (see table 1 left). A rich, varied and healthy diet should form the foundation for your everyday nutrition, however supplements can give you that little bit extra. Pay attention to what you eat, train hard and select the right supplements and you’ll maximise your fitness and/or sports performance.
Do I use Supplements? Yes, these are my reasons: ✱ To create optimum training gains ✱ To maximise recovery ✱ To fuel my body to do its best ✱ To develop my desired physique ✱ To support my wellbeing An athlete or serious fitness trainer should combine supplements with ✱ A well-balanced, nutritionally sound diet ✱ Specific supplementation support, in order to reduce your personal deficiencies or assist your personal goals. ✱ The right training ✱ Adequate rest Those who are just starting out on a training programme or not training intensely would probably not benefit from supplements as long as they are following a healthy diet. It’s easy to forget that certain supplements pack in large quantities of calories, so if you supplement, eat the same and don’t burn a substantial number of additional calories through your workouts, you could actually gain weight.
ultra-FIT Reader Competition WIN ‘The Jenny Stack’ For your chance to win the USN supplements Jenny uses answer this simple question: What is the name of Jenny’s Gladiator character? A Mysterious B Enigma C Stranger Send your answers by e-mail headed USN Competition to: subs@ultra-FITmagazine.com The USN Jenny stack contains: Protein Bars – box of 12, Amino Pro, Triple Omega (40’s), CLA (40’s), Joint Plex (120’s), Creatine x 4 (30’s), ZMA (90’s)
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By Patrick Dale
If you want more fitness, then you need to constantly and progressively challenge your body. If you’ve been doing the same exercise routine, same exercises, same weights, or running at the same speed over the same distances for more than a few weeks, chances are your fitness will reach a plateau. To constantly achieve greater fitness you need to adhere to the fundamental principles of exercise... 50
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specificity For every training goal there is an appropriate type of training. If you want greater strength then you need to lift progressively heavier weights. And if you want to run faster, you need to run faster! The Famous Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx was once asked what the best training for cyclists was and he replied, “Ride a bike!” which sums up specificity nicely. Getting fitter involves successful adaptation to a stress and these adaptations are very specific. You are fit for what you train for. This is often described as the ‘S.A.I.D’ principle, which stands for ‘Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands’.
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Overload Doing more or harder than usual exercise is how we improve our fitness - this is technically referred to as ‘overload’. By manipulating the training variables can we force adaptation and as a result improve our fitness.
Resistance training variables: ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱
Intensity (weight) Volume (number of sets/reps/exercises) Frequency (number of workouts per week) Duration (length of workout) Recovery period between sets (shorter rests equal harder workout) Exercise complexity (e.g. progressing from machine to free weights) Order of exercises Different training systems (drop-sets, super-sets, pyramid training, matrix training)
CV training variables ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱ ✱
Frequency Intensity (speed/% of heart rate maximum) Duration/Distance Training surface (sand, trail, track, road) Training type (e.g. running, swimming, cycling) Recovery period between intervals Training system (Fartlek, intervals, long slow distance work, cross training)
Systematic changes in your programme will place different demands on your body and result in further/greater adaptations compared to sticking with the same old, same old.
Progression and Periodisation By logically manipulating the training variables a gradual increase in fitness will result - this is the principle of progression. Long-term progression requires careful planning which in sporting terminology is called ‘Periodisation’. For example, a runner who currently does 20 miles a week may decide to run 30 miles a week. This is a huge increase in workload and, whilst providing overload, may actually result in overtraining or injury i.e. actually achieve the opposite. It would be far better for the runner to increase his or her distance by 1 mile a week over 10 weeks. This gradual planned increase will be sustainable and should not result in any injury problems but it will create measurable improvements in fitness. The principles of progression and periodisation can be applied to all training – not just running.
So, how often should I change my workout? Some people may continue making progress for 8-10 weeks whilst others plateau after four. The rule of, ‘If it isn’t broken then don’t fix it’, applies. If you are still making fitness improvements then there is no need to change your programme, but if it has been a while since you noticed any progress, then it’s time to shake things up. If in doubt, progress your training every 6 weeks. However, it is important to not become a ‘programme butterfly’ and change your workouts so often that you never give your body a chance to adapt - this is self-defeating. We have to allow sufficient time to master a new workout before moving on. Changing a workout, which is still delivering results makes as little sense as sticking with one for too long! By periodically altering your training, applying the overload, adaption and progression/periodisation exercise principles, you are far more likely to achieve your fitness goals. If it’s been a while since you felt challenged by your exercise routine or you feel your fitness gains have stagnated, then it’s definitely time to embrace change and do something new. UF
About the author Patrick Dale with James Conaghan runs Solar Fitness Qualifications, To find out how you could become a personal trainer whilst studying in Cyprus contact SFQ on +800 8000 2020 (UK and NI) or email firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.solar-fitness.com To read more from Pat go to: http://nofrills-fitness.blog.com
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ultra-FIT’s issue by issue BUILD a gREaT BoDy PLan
Block2 Photography: www.grantpritchard.co.uk
Follow our 3 part 18-week programme and not only will you develop supreme fitness, but you’ll also look great in time for early summer. The Plan The Build a Great body plan plan features 4-6 workouts a week, of which 2-3 of these sessions involve gym based resistance work and the other 2-3 cardiovascular work. This second 6-week block of training builds on the CV and strength foundations laid in the first (see Dec issue) now we up the CV intensity and add a functional strength twist. Last issue we discussed the importance of planning distinct, complimentary and progressive training blocks. Each block builds on the fitness developed in the previous one, lifting your fitness to higher and higher levels. Planning and following such a programme will avoid training plateaus, boredom and declining motivation.
Functional Strength Functional strength has been a real buzzword in the fitness industry for the last five to ten years. It is usually applied to training involving increasingly strange and complex movements, often involving Swiss Balls, straps and even bits of string. However, all functional really means is, ‘applicable to the life you live and the sports you play’. As bipedal animals, most of the movements we make involve transitioning from one foot to the other, using our arms independently of one another or lifting our own body weight. So, if we mimic these demands in training, we can increase both our robustness and performance.
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The Training Programme Block 2 Cardio
In the previous block the emphasis was on building a base of endurance by progressively longer slow distance work, in block 2 it’s now time to turn up the intensity. We’re doing this to give your body a bit of a shock and to increase your anaerobic threshold - the level at which your body begins to generate more of its energy anaerobically (without oxygen), than aerobically (with oxygen). The metabolic byproducts of exercise, such as lactic acid will also increase. Lactic acid is formed at higher exercise intensities from lactate, which is a chemical present in the body at all times and is involved in energy production.
Tempo efforts are a key workout in block 2. During these you’ll be working to develop the upper end of your endurance fitness. Tempo can best be described as ‘sustainable discomfort’ and equates to approximately 75-85% of heart rate max (if using a heart rate monitor) or an intensity at which you’d be able to converse, but only in short clipped sentences. Begin your tempo workouts by warming up gently for 10 minutes and then raise the intensity of your effort. At the start of this training block, aim for 10 minutes of tempo paced effort and then cool down with 10 minutes of easy work. As each week passes try to increase the length of your tempo effort by 2-5 minutes. For additional sessions, keep working on your long steady aerobic fitness. By now you should be capable of running/rowing/cycling easily for 30 minutes plus.
Cardio Summary/week goals of Block: develop higher end CV fitness key Session: 1 x 30-60min tempo session (work period 10-40min at 75-85% HRMax) additional Sessions: 1-2 x 20-40min and 1 x 60-120min low intensity (60-70% HRMax) efforts
Weights Exercises Exercise
Single Leg Squat
Whilst other leg is working
Whilst other arm is working
Single Leg Dead-Lift
Whilst other leg is working
Walking Lunge with Twist
High Cable Wood Chop*
Swiss Ball Plank
20 steps 60sec Whilst other side is working 60sec
* You’ll see that the rep numbers increase for these two exercises across the sets so drop the weight by 5-10kgs between each set.
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Across the first block your strength gains will probably have increased rapidly, however, perhaps these are now slowing – so now we move onto new lifts. Start with relatively light weights but you’ll soon start making rapid progress again. As with all resistance work, strict form is essential and it’s imperative that as soon as you’re able to perform the designated reps and sets at a given weight, that you increase it.
Aim to complete the workout 2-3 times a week allowing 48 hours between each. Warm-up with 10min of gentle cardiovascular work - rowing is ideal as it uses most muscle groups.
resistance Summary/week Goals: to build functional strength key Sessions: 2 x resistance sessions Additional Session: 1 x additional resistance workout or 1 x Yoga/Pilates class
Targets: legs (and core as you maintain your balance) An excellent move for developing running specific strength and getting those lazy glutes working ✱ Go as deep as you can manage ✱ Keep your trunk upright and use your arms for balance as necessary ✱ Focus on using your glutes ✱ As you progress deepen the movement by standing on a step or bench and/or hold dumbbells by you sides
Boxer Press Targets: chest and shoulders
An exercise that works your chest like no other ✱ Lie with your spine on one edge of the bench and use your other hand to help stabilise you. ✱ Go as deep as you can, bringing the dumbbell down below the level of your chest and rotating it so that it’s parallel to your torso. ✱ Press the weight up explosively and rotate the dumbbell through ninety degrees
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The ‘Big Six’ lifts you worked on during the first block weeks will have given you an excellent base of strength and really kick started your metabolism. These lifts were the: ✱ Barbell squat ✱ Press up/Bench Press ✱ Bent Over Row ✱ Dead-Lift ✱ Lunge ✱ Overhead - Press
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Single-leg Dead-Lift Targets: thighs (particularly hamstrings) and lower back
Another great single-leg exercise. Maintain a slight bend in your standing leg ✱ Keep your head up and maintain the natural curves of your spine ✱ Lower the dumbbell to just in front of the standing foot by bending from the hip
Targets: upper, mid back and shoulders Being able to lift your own bodyweight is about as functional as it gets ✱ Go for a shoulder-width overhand grip ✱ Keep the movement smooth and controlled, don’t bounce or swing ✱ If you struggle to manage 5 on the first set, use an assisted dip/chin machine or have a training partner assist you or perform negative (lowering) reps
Walking Lunge with Twist Targets: core, shoulders, legs
More single-leg action and the twist will develop lateral strength, stability and balance ✱ Step slightly outside of your centre line to provide a more stable platform for the twist ✱ Twist to the same side as your front leg ✱ Make sure the twist is slow and controlled ✱ Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball to increase the intensity and/or twist against the direction of your front leg
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High Cable Wood Chop A great move for the shoulders, trunk rotators and lower back ✱ Don’t use a too heavy weight, you want to complete fast and explosive movements ✱ Make the ‘chop’ down and across your body ✱ Set yourself for each rep and don’t rush each
Swiss Ball Plank Targets: core
A plank is a great exercise on the floor but even better on a Swiss Ball ✱ Make sure you hold a straight line, no arching or sagging ✱ Keep your head up and your shoulders as relaxed as possible. ✱ If it’s too easy lift one foot from the ball out to the side
Next issue: the final six week block that’ll see you leaping into spring in great shape with some dynamic moves. Model: Francesca Giacomini – www.francescapilates.com FEB/MARCH 2010 ultra-FIT
Targets: shoulders, chest, back