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THE UK’S FASTEST GROWING FITNESS MAGAZINE

FREE! TAKE ME HOME!

ISSUE 6 OCTOBER 2012 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

Latest gadgets

ONLINE n MOBILE n TABLET

THE SEX OLYMPICS Win gold in the bedroom and get fit at the same time!

THE GREAT OUTDOORS BMF, Spartan Race and Parkrun Three ways to get a winning body outside this autumn

SO MACROS

ESSENTIAL DIETARY ADVICE

THE 5-A-SIDE

WORKOUT

Medieval fitness workout 12-week transformation

OUR COVER NEEDS YOU! Want to be our

front-page star? DETAILS INSIDE

Brand new app available now on your iPad, iPhone, Android device, Mac, PC or Kindle Fire!

GET FIT AND DEMOLISH YOUR OPPONENTS IN THE CAGE!

THREE LIONS ON OUR SHIRT

WE GO BEHIND-THE-SCENES AT THE NEW HOME OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL

p16


October-12

Contents

What’s in store for this month 06 Top gear 07

Stay ahead with the latest gym gadgets and styles The big debate Get involved as we discuss the hot topics on Twitter and online

Set off the right way

page 9

10 Life in reverse 12 14 16

START RIGHT

Beat the ageing process with our expert advice Style council On-trend threads for your autumn wardrobe Kit bag basics What supplements should you be using and when? Read on... Open for business We go behind-the-scenes at St. George’s Park, the new home of English football

Getting you through your day page 21

Make the most of what’s left

page 31

36

26

16

38 Five alive 42

46

WORK RIGHT

Make sure you’re winning with these workplace workouts Know your macros The inside track on macronutrients Transformation – Part 2 Our man overhauls his diet. Here’s how he got on...

Editor’s letter

42

Time to change! Improve your life with our expert advice Give injuries the elbow! How the use of 3D will keep you off the treatment table The bedroom Olympics Sex moves to win gold with the other half AND get in shape!

Diversions

48

22 Stretch and burn 24

LIV RIGHTE

32 Upgrade your health 34

12

50

The ultimate small-sided football workout - dominate the cage! The great outdoors AlphaFit takes on British Military Fitness, Spartan Race and parkrun Get medieval Out with the new and in with the old: top tricks from the knights of the realm! Tools of the trade Never be stuck on the move again with these great gadgets Off the record The world according to our selection of sports tweeters

36

32 62

48

38

I

’ve often wondered what our readers think of the team here at AlphaFit HQ. Of course, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’re all ripped and uber fit. After all, we work for a men’s fitness magazine, right? Well, as some of us have been finding out, this isn’t quite the case. For the last 12 weeks one member of the AF office has been put through his paces by a personal

trainer while completely altering his eating habits. He even attempted, and finished, a Spartan Race. We’re delighted to reveal he’s still in one piece (you can see how he fared on pages 26-28). Meanwhile, perhaps forced into action by his efforts, the rest of us have been taking to the great outdoors to sample some of the best ways to stay in shape. We’ve been given a good going over

by military personnel, visited the new home of English football and even attempted Mo Farah-esque times at parkrun. Soon, we’re also taking on the PowerWall. We hope you’ll be inspired by our efforts and remember, if you’re trying something new, be sure to let us know how you get on. Nick Judd, Editor nick@alphafitmagazine.co.uk

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 3


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Opening

IS TAX TAXING?

The 2012 budget has long gone, but no doubt thousands of gymgoers and athletes around the country are still reeling from the 20 per cent VAT added to sports nutrition products. The supplement industry is growing all the time (you can read more on essential supplements on pages 16-17), but the move in May this year is likely to hit manufacturers and users hard, particularly given the continuing economic problems. So, whether you use a single supplement or multiples pre, during and post activity, you’re likely to have noticed the sting in your wallet. Sports supplements aren’t just used by those who workout regularly or go the gym, they’re used across all sports. As a result, earlier this year the UK Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance penned a letter to Chancellor George Osborne backed with 19,000 signatures calling for a re-think. So, have you been affected? Let us know on Twitter by using our Twitter name (@AlphaFitTweet) and the hashtag #AlphaDebate in your message.

6 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

THE

DEBATE We take a look at some of the big issues and invite readers to get involved with us on Twitter!

WHO NOSE BEST?

Those who follow @AlphaFitTweet on Twitter will have seen our recent link to a news story revealing Insufflalex HLE, the world’s first snortable pre-workout supplement. Insufflalex HLE combines CNS stimulants with an advanced intranasal delivery buffer that allows users to absorb the supplement through their nose. Apparently, the effect is more instantaneous than other products, lasts for 10-15 minutes and has been described by users as a targeted surge of motivation and energy. So, what do you reckon? Have you used this supplement or would you consider trying it, perhaps even swapping your usual oral supplement for the nasal equivalent? Again, let us know on Twitter using hashtag #AlphaDebate.

#AlphaDebate

#AlphaDebate

JOIN

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Have you noticed a price rise while attending sports events? Those who attended the Olympic and Paralympic Games will have experienced contrasting prices depending on what event they went to. For example, while a front row seat at the 100m final might have required remortgaging your house, some Paralympic tickets allowed users to watch a number of sports over the duration of a day for less than £25. At the end of the 2011/12 football season, many fans were bemoaning having to pay increased prices ahead of the new campaign. So what are people paying now? According to a study done by The Guardian, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea all froze some adult season ticket prices for 2012/13 while others, including Manchester City, Norwich City, Reading and West Ham United increased some of theirs. Other standard matchday tickets were also on the rise. So how have you been affected? Paying the same or more? Let us know on Twitter using hashtag #AlphaDebate.


WARM UPs Stop! Watch! Who says men can’t multitask? With the new Garmin Fenix GPS watch you can navigate, use the ABC (Altimeter, Barometer & Compass) to take on the great outdoors and measure distance, speed and calories. Developed with the help of professional mountain guides to be an all-in-one hands-free navigation tool for outdoor enthusiasts, it’s light (just 82g) and doesn’t need an antenna. With the Garmin-compatible wireless data-sharing app you can also connect to your smartphone, or upload other users’ tracks and routes. Of course, the watch can also be used for good old-fashioned time-keeping too! The Garmin Fenix GPS watch is available online at www.cotswoldoutdoor.com and in Cotswold Outdoor stores nationwide.

No Sweatz! If you want to turn heads the next time you hit the gym, check out the latest fashionable sportswear range from Sweatz. Sweatz are launching a new collection of gear for those who want to look unique. What’s more, they’ve incorporated some of the world’s most advanced technological features into their latest range, which the company is calling “the most explosive sportswear the world has ever seen!” From vented compression gear made from Sweatz PWR Core Flex fabric, to items featuring the world’s first chest, crotch, between leg, backside and rearvented cooling panels, check out the range at sweatz.com. And, while you’re there, make the most of their 20% discount, exclusive to AlphaFit readers! Simply use the following code when ordering: alpha20 and thank us, and Sweatz later!

Get the bug ‘Fitbug Air’ is a low-energy Bluetooth device that offers seamless, wireless connectivity to Bluetooth Smart Ready smartphones and desktops. It uses a highly-accurate threeaxis accelerometer to record every step taken, calorie burned, distance covered and more, and uses that information to create personalised, daily activity and healthy eating targets. The service adapts dynamically based on a user’s activity and nutritional progress, so that members can gradually build realistic changes into their lives. Fitbug also encourages users to hit ‘aerobic step’ targets, which are activities that last more than ten minutes. The goal is to help users improve the quality of their daily steps, in addition to accruing more steps each day. It syncs users’ activity achievements from anywhere at anytime, giving them the ability to track their progress and receive feedback and motivational support. For monthly or yearly access, visit www.fitbug. com. There are also options for those consumers who don’t have a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled device, including the original industry leading USB devices.

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 7


START RIGHT

GROOMING FASHION NUTRITION

Set off the right way

From the humdrum of people and leaking earphones on the way to and from work, to turning the TV on as soon as you get home via office hubbub, life is increasingly noisy. Which is why former BBC and Times journalist Graham Turner has released a new book explaining the virtues of peace and quiet. “For men in the cut and thrust of business life, silence is a mine of endless treasures for those who are ready to give time to tap its riches,” Turner explains. “It can give you a sense of direction, a calmness of judgement, and an inner piece in a world which is often rackety and testing. It is not time wasted.” The Power of Silence, out later this month, explores the benefits of meditation, psychotherapy and the importance of silence to our overall health and wellbeing. Give it a try. In the meantime, keep the noise down will you!

8 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


“Like many professional sportsmen, I rely on Wellman® tablets every day, to help maintain the health and vitality that I need. Wellman® High Performance drink provides me with great tasting, revitalising refreshment too.”

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Grooming

BEAT THE AGEING PROCESS WORRIED ABOUT WRINKLES, THINNING HAIR OR PEOPLE SPOTTING YOUR LOVE HANDLES? DON’T WORRY, DAVID LEE HAS A FEW SNEAKY ANTIAGEING TRICKS TO MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER, FITTER AND LEANER...

1. Get scrubbing The easiest way to improve the look of skin, exfoliating helps speed up the skin’s natural renewal cycle, removing dead cells and revealing the plump, youthful-looking ones beneath. To ensure you’re always fresh-faced use a product like DoveMen+Care Face Scrub, £4.29 from Boots, twice a week.

3. Cheat your way to better skin Just want to slap on a cream and instantly look better? Then your best option is Lab Series BB Tinted Moisturiser SPF35, £34, from Boots. Not only does it guard against the sun’s ageing rays, it also contains light-reflecting technology to make skin appear smoother, even and more youthful, as well as ingredients to tone and tighten it. Hell, it’s practically a facelift in a tube. 10 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

2. Hold the sugar Next to sun, skin’s biggest enemy is sugar. That’s because sugar molecules trigger glycation in the body – a process that causes protein fibres to become stiff, weak and malformed. That’s especially bad news for skin because two of its key components, collagen and elastin, are proteins. The only man to eat doughnuts and never age is Homer Simpson so you know what needs to be done.

4. Hide fat with matt Nothing ages you like love handles, moobs or a beer belly, so if you’ve fallen off the wagon exercise-wise, make sure you avoid wearing pale colours and shiny fabrics and opt instead for dark, matt ones – they absorb light and will make the body appear firmer and slimmer.


START RIGHT

5. Look after your teeth

6. Cut back on the booze

We’ve all heard the expression: ‘long in the tooth’. It’s based on the fact gums often recede with age exposing more tooth, so looking after your gums – by flossing daily – is one simple way to stay youthful. But looking after your teeth is crucial too, because they provide structure to the face and prevent the bone shrinkage that leads to sagging skin.

Like a tipple? Fine, but don’t overdo it. Alcohol has a nasty habit of dilating the blood vessels in the skin, putting unnecessary pressure on the collagen and elastin around them. Overdo it and, well, two words: Keith Richards.

7. Dye like a man

8. Keep up with your cardio

Few things are as ageing on men as grey hairs, but don’t wait until you look like Phillip Schofield to deal with them. As soon as they become noticeable use Just For Men AutoStop Hair Dye, £8.69 from Boots, which shuts itself off once the right colour is achieved so you get more natural results. If you’ve only got the odd grey hair try mixing a small amount and applying with a fine comb rather than dying your whole head.

Numerous studies have shown the importance of oxygen to skin health. Unfortunately for our looks, our skin’s supply of this essential skin-saver gradually drops after our mid-twenties. To make sure your arteries are able to provide it with the O2 it needs, make sure they’re in tip-top condition by reducing your saturated fat intake and make sure cardio is part of your workout.

9. Stay hydrated

10. Have more sex

As we get older skin tends to lose elasticity (hence the sagging and wrinkles) and the fastest way to make this worse is by becoming dehydrated. Skin tissues, protein and collagen all function best when you’re adequately hydrated, so drink plenty of water, but eat lots of fresh fruit and veg too – the water they contain is absorbed at a more even rate so won’t just be peed out.

We saved the best tip ‘til last of course. According to a study by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, people who have a good sex life look up to seven years younger. This is partly because sex is the perfect antidote to stress and helps you get your beauty sleep. But don’t worry if you aren’t getting much – the research showed that working out has a similar effect (although it isn’t as much fun, obviously).

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Fashion

THE TREND FORECAST AF’s fashionista Ali Schofield provides new season wardrobe updates for Autumn and Winter 2012

BIG KNITS The best trends are always the easiest. Jumpers had been knocking about long before men constructed catwalks to strut them down, but this year they’re bang on trend and the chunkier the better. Big knits look good with anything; under a heritage-style jacket, over a shirt, with smart trousers. If you’re brave enough, this duck cardigan checks just about every trend this season. You could even say it kills two birds with one stone…

HERITAGE

Burray pattern crew knit, £50, fatface.com

Reiss Flecky crew neck jumper, £89, reiss.com

Barbour Reed zip thru sweater, £199.95, barbourmymail.co.uk

The country pursuitsinspired heritage trend continues for Autumn/ Winter. This one has been around an almost intolerably long time, but we’ve found some great updates to steer you clear of the overdone quilted jacket and chinos look. Instead, try small touches of quilting with these trainers, or add a contemporary pop of colour with this classic coat by Barbour

Snowden gilet, £58, fatface.com

Barbour Wessex waxed jacket, £299.95, barbourmymail.co.uk 12 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

Model wears: brown waistcoat £159; jacket £329; trousers £169, all Oliverspencer. co.uk

Deakins Maxim chambray trainers, £40, nicholasdeakins.com

Model wears: J Jeans by Jasper Conran jumper £60; shirt £40; trousers £35; shoes £80, all debenhams.com


START RIGHT

Flat cap, £12, next.co.uk

ACCESSORIES Just as you’d have bought a new pencil case and graffitied all your text books a few years back, the onset of autumn is a good opportunity to update your accessories. Driving gloves are a more sophisticated option than woollies, as are a good heritage-inspired flat cap and snood. Likewise, keep wallets minimal with a cool card holder while choosing office accessories from a quality brand like Radley will make you stand out at work.

Prices correct at time of going to press Oversized snood, £18, topman.com

Chatsworth zip top briefcase, £229, radley.co.uk

Leather card holder, £39, reiss.com Belvedere portfolio bag, £109, radley.co.uk Leather gloves, £19.50, marksandspencer.com

ANIMAL MOTIFS From teeth-baring carnivores at Givenchy and Markus Lupfer, to mildly irritating marine animals at Paul Smith, the catwalks were awash with animal motifs for AW12. The most iconic come from the designers, but if you don’t want to pay designer prices there’s plenty doing the rounds on the high street; this Burton bear top, well er, bears a striking resemblance to one from Vivienne Westwood.

Satchel, £35, next.co.uk

Paul Smith jellyfish T-shirt, £155, paulsmith.co.uk To-orist applique zebra T-shirt, £110, harveynichols.com

White bear print T-shirt, £18, burton.co.uk Givenchy shark T-shirt, £175, harveynichols.com Markus Lupfer wolf fine knit sweater, £275, harveynichols.com www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 13


Supplements

IN THE BAG! Fitness expert Nicola Joyce reveals the all-important kit bag basics 14 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


I

f you’re training in the gym you should be taking sports supplements. Sound nutrition is obviously key, but whether your main aim is losing body fat, gaining muscle or training for a particular sport, you could be doing more and seeing better results with the right approach to supplementation. Nicola Joyce took a sneaky peak inside the kit bags of the hottest bodies around to find out what’s popular, and why you should be using it too.

Safety first

Supplements are safer than ever. Although some of the older generation might still confuse sport supplementation with steroids, the fact is, supplements are healthy, safe and nothing to do with the ‘assisted’ side of sport! Plenty of sport supplement companies test their products, ingredients and production facilities in a consistent and transparent manner. Check out informed-sport.com to find out just how hard the sport supplement industry is working to keep its image clean and its products even cleaner.

The appliance of science

If you’re working hard in the gym or out on the field, you already know that you’re asking a lot of your body. Even with the perfect diet it’s hard to give your muscles what they need (and, let’s face it, who eats a perfect diet?)

START RIGHT Extra protein, branched-chain amino acids, essential fats, vitamins and minerals can all be lacking, but they’re precisely what you need to be taking in if you want to meet your physique and sports performance goals. Rather than guessing, mixing and creating your own blends, let the experts and science boffins do it for you. Sport supplementation products have been researched, combined and created with specific sporting goals in mind.

Runners ’n’ riders

Protein powders are a useful addition to a sound diet if you find it hard to eat directly after your training session. There are plenty of types: whey, casein, hemp, brown rice, pea, egg and blends to name a few. Choose by price point, flavour, mixability and trial and error (some people find certain types of protein powder cause bloating). To make life easier, go for one which has BCAAs, glutamine and/ or creatine already added. BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) and EAAs (essential amino acids) are often referred to as the building blocks of muscle, and some of them can’t be made by the body, so you need to get them from food or supplements. They’ll help you recover between hard sessions. Taken as a powder (mixed in your drink) or as capsules, it’s best to take these intra (during) workout and post-workout. Look for flavoured versions – the plain powder can taste bitter – but try to avoid artificial chemical sweeteners. Creatine is one of the most researched supplements in sport and is said to help with gaining muscle strength and size. It occurs naturally in our bodies, but we benefit from supplementing with it, as it helps muscles contract with greater intensity. Found in powder form, or as capsules, it’s flavourless and easy to add to drinks. Choose creatine monohydrate for the best quality. Contrary to popular gym-floor belief, there’s no need to load or cycle creatine. Just follow the guidelines on the packet.

Proof in the pudding

John Bagnall, 38, is a cyclist who has been riding all his life. He competes in the sprint, keirin and pursuit and has competed in road events across the UK. And while he admits he has only used supplements in the last seven

years, he says they’re useful, essential when working in the gym – building muscle - and completely safe to use. “As a cyclist, I work in the gym a lot. Unlike a lot of road cyclists who are probably out on the road for five or six hours at a time, I tend to spend two to three days in the gym per week, which means I need more protein. I didn’t use supplements until only very recently. Until then I had simply tried to fit the necessary protein into my diet, which can be difficult. Anyone who does that must have a big bank account! I think you need something like 2 grams of protein for every kg of body weight, which is a lot to get simply via food. I try to aim for about 60/70grams a day through shakes and then get the rest through my diet. It’s a good balance and I find the Bodytronics products I use tasty and very helpful.”

John’s desert island products EXPRESS WHEY ANABOLIC

“I don’t overdo it on the shakes. I probably have a scoop of Express Whey Anabolic in my porridge in the morning ahead of when I’m going to the gym and trying to build. It has D Aspartic acid which helps move testosterone around the body. I prefer strawberry or chocolate, although chocolate can get quite heavy on your muesli!”

RECOVEREX

“When I come out of the gym I usually go for a recovery ride to get some of the heaviness out of the legs. RecoverEX is a bit lighter and there’s no creatine in it. It’s fruit-based protein, so a lot lighter than a milkshake consistency. It’s more about protein replacement while we do a light spinning session. You don’t need to fill yourself with creatine.”

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Behind the Scenes Access

The Home of St. George’s Park is the new home of English football where the FA hopes to create excellence from grassroots to elite level sport. AlphaFit was given a unique opportunity to go behind-the-scenes, so join Nick Judd as his mind is blown via some tight pants and baltic water...

16 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


I

t’s midday on a wet autumnal morning in Burton-upon-Trent and AlphaFit finds itself wearing some jewel-crushing neoprene shorts in a Human Performance Lab. Standard. We’re preparing to run the rule over an AlterG antigravity treadmill, a piece of equipment – used by a range of athletes, including Mo Farah – that allows you to walk, run and train using a variable percentage of your body weight. After stepping into what looks like something NASA would use, air fills a pocket around us like a hovercraft. The air is contained in a pressurised airtight enclosure that creates a powerful lifting force that allows for ultra-low impact movement. It feels liberating, like we’re walking on the moon. The idea is that athletes in rehabilitation can train without high impact on muscles and joints. Apparently, Farah used it to rack up the miles ahead of the Olympics without putting too much strain on his body and only the top sports clubs own them. The AlterG forms one part of an incredible collection of facilities based in the countryside in Staffordshire on the outskirts of Burton-uponTrent. AlphaFit has been invited to sample the first-class equipment at the new home of English football, St. George’s Park thanks to Perform, the official healthcare provider at the 330-acre, £100m venue. We’re one of only a handful of people to enjoy the integrated facilities and we even made it before Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions stars. One thing’s for sure, the likes of Steven Gerrard and co won’t have been disappointed. St. George’s Park is based in a picturesque setting and aims to not only provide a base – club feel and

START RIGHT home mentality – for all of England’s 24 national football teams, it also offers professional, accredited training and a place to enhance skills and share ideas for developing the next generation of sports stars, coaches, referees, medics and administrators. It’s an exercise, medicine, human performance and rehabilitation centre focused around education and innovation, a place of excellence for on and off the pitch. It’s been a long time coming, but it seems to have been worth the wait. Head of physiotherapy Gary Lewin admits such a venue was discussed almost 30 years ago but to no avail. Ten years ago the idea was mooted again and The Football Association (The FA) moved quickly to snap up a piece of land that had previously been used to brew beer. Now the only thing being concocted in these parts is sporting perfection. “You won’t find better in the world,” enthuses Lewin, who worked at Arsenal for 22 years and now works

with the England team. “We’re all like kids at Christmas,” he continues while discussing the endless opportunities SGP offers. It’s not just aimed at professionals either, organisations such as the RFU and clubs like Celtic and Barcelona have already utilised – and been impressed by – the facilities, but it’s also open to the wider community. For example, one punter has used the altitude chamber in preparation for a trekking holiday in Peru. Inclusive, exhaustive and innovative, that’s the plan. “The wider vision of The FA is to achieve growth throughout the wider game from grassroots to elite level,” explains Ruth Paulin, Perform Business Director. “Yet while it’s the home of English football we’re making it accessible to all sports and all individuals. It’s a creative, coaching and clinical centre of excellence for all. We’re targeting all sports. We’ve had a lot of interest so far from various sources, everything from extreme sports and triathletes to local

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 17


Behind the Scenes Access communities and corporations. Our resources are vast. “We have seven physio concentration rooms and a huge strength and conditioning rehab gym, among other things, so we’re bigger than any other centre I’ve seen. We have no capacity constraints and we want the place to be buzzing no matter who uses it.” AlphaFit is sold, particularly after we are given some pleasantly surprising results from Dr Charlotte Cowie, Perform’s Clinical Director, via the Body Composition Analyser as our tour continues. Alongside the AlterG and some Wattbikes (more on those later), the Analyser is designed to provide detailed data that can be analysed in an effort to improve rehabilitation and sporting performance. By standing on what looks like the kind of scales you find in many gyms, unique foot and hand sensors calculate a range of things including visceral fat, muscle mass, muscle mass balance and more with the use of bioimpedence (basically it measures the amount of water in your body). At this stage we slightly regretted our unhealthy breakfast en route, but the findings were positive and spectacular. For example, my weight (73.2kg), fat (18.4%), fat mass (13.5g), muscle mass (56.7kg), BMI (23.8) and metabolic age (30 – I’m 33) were all within the desired target range (some only just), while my muscle mass, fat and body fat distribution were even. From here, I can work on any potential improvements. My right leg boasts more muscle than my left leg, for example. It’s this kind of information that Perform hopes will be able to give athletes the extra edge in competition.

18 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

On to the Wattbikes, which use air and magnetic braking systems to replicate any desired training session from low-intensity recovery to maximal intensity sprints. They look like normal exercise bikes, yet they can calculate 39 parameters, including how much pressure each foot is applying on each pedal. For example, I found I exerted more pressure with my right foot than my left, meaning I would need to develop my left leg and my technique to improve my speed. Such findings for competitive cyclists could be the difference between gold and silver. Next up the gym, where we were given a high-intensity session by Technogym trainer Grant Powles, utilising some innovative equipment. At first glance, it looks like any you’d find in gyms across the country. Yet after closer inspection we found it was Technogym Kinesis equipment, which incorporates 360-degree pulley systems that allow for movement across all planes. Each station is designed to work each major muscle group and provides progression. However, because of the pulley system, they can also be used to help rehabilitate (one pulley system allows for assisted pull-ups or press-ups, for example) and can be tailored for specific sports. We did one exercise that used an ankle strap, and the use of pulleys made for resistance when striking a football, perfect for those recuperating from an ankle injury or looking to develop a certain part of the body as part of a tailored football workout. It’s not about the weight you lift, it’s about specific form relating to the activity you’re training for,

and in a fun environment. This Kinesis equipment was used by Team GB’s Olympic and Paralympic teams and is used to train our soldiers in Afghanistan. We were given a punishing circuit by Powles, who spent most of his summer training GB’s finest. Given his enthusiasm, it’s no surprise our Olympians excelled. Our routine involved side chops, squats to pull-ups, water-ball assisted squats, stair squats and more. It was fun, but brutal. Training like champions wasn’t meant to be easy, of course, but it’s easy to see how the equipment can be tailored to give users a greater range of training options. The theme of rehabilitation – and prehab – continued in an area designed specifically to utilise space, balance and co-ordination. It overlooks the indoor football pitch with the aim of providing a clear goal for those in rehabilitation. If you can see your team-mates training, you’ll be more motivated to succeed. Here, the space-age machinery continues. A Biodex machine is an advanced version of Wii Fit and calculates a range of balance aspects, including ways to improve. There’s a Batak Board, which you may have seen on a recent Jonathan Ross show. It uses numbered lights that light randomly and act as targets. Users must hit as many as possible in 60 seconds in an effort to improve reaction and hand-eye coordination. It enables sportspeople to train under sports-like conditions. Think goalkeepers and F1 drivers. It’s fun and competitive. The world record is 155 in a minute, while Jenson Button registered 120 hits


START RIGHT

Perform is the official healthcare provider for St. George’s Park, the FA’s new training base for the 24 England teams. Part of Spire Healthcare (a leading network of 38 private hospitals across the UK), Perform@St. George’s Park is home to world-class clinicians and state-of-the-art equipment. It provides elite sports medicine and human performance services designed for elite athletes, but accessible to anyone, including corporate groups, individuals, schools and sports teams. For more information visit www.spireperform.com

wearing his suit on Ross’ show. We hit 33 in 30 seconds. Perform’s experts continued to bombard us. Arke training was next, a range of functional training solutions to support performance and rehab, and improve flexibility and strength. Tools include stability discs, medicine balls, twin clubs and water balls, and put together in a variety of circuits they provide a progressive system to develop dynamism, stability, proprioception, agility, balance, power and control. There were other kinesis stations, and the largest range of medicallycertified strength products – St. George’s Park is the first to boast such equipment – so much in fact, it was mind-blowing. Everything is aimed at digitised progression, innovation and education using support from the best minds and equipment in the business. And all that before we reached the Hydrotherapy Suite, which takes state-of-the-art innovation to another level. A Variopool controls water depths and buoyancy levels to create an advanced training environment, while a hot/cold pool aids muscle repair and recovery. We dipped into waters that can only be described as baltic. We were told the reduction of our capillaries would aid our recovery. The highlight was the Hydroworx Treadmill, an underwater treadmill that stimulates land-based walking, running or sports-specific exercises without the risk of joint pressure of bodyweight. We were lowered into the water and invited to jog at 5mph. That in itself was incredible,

but underwater videos then analysed our form. So, as we ran in the pool, we could watch how our gait, how our feet landed and how our knees worked, on giant TV screens. Then, resistance jets were added. It was like walking against a strong wind continuously! This not only helps you train but also massages aching muscles and prevents lactic acid build up. Incredible stuff. Of course, we couldn’t come here without kicking a football and luckily we were able to have a kick about on the Sir Alf Ramsey pitch after we were put through our paces by two FA coaches. The pitches are immaculate, of course, one even boasting exactly the same length grass as Wembley. Not surprisingly, Roy Hodgson and the raft of England’s coaches have been suitably impressed. “That’s the key. All of the England teams have been used to working out of hotels and turning up at different gyms in the past,” says Steve Kemp, Elite Football Physiotherapist. “For the first time they have their own facility where they can train, workout and do physio in one place. It’s about building a club atmosphere and a club ethos while being able to store team data in one place, which has never been done before.” A home from home, is certainly sweet. Exhausting perhaps, but compelling and inspiring in equal measure. Get along to St. George’s Park if you can. It will transform your approach to training. They’ll certainly be happy to see you...

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 19


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WORK WORKOUTS DINNER

WORK RIGHT Getting yo u through your day

WHAT GOES UP AND DOWN, SIDE TO SIDE AND IS EXTREMELY STIMULATING? Slap your wrist if you were thinking dirty things, for we’re talking crosswords and puzzles, of course! Yep, instead of dozing on your commute and wasting your precious lunch hour looking at the internet, you can activate your brain and educate yourself instead by finishing a crossword, suduku or similar puzzle. Such challenges stimulate your brain and not only boost your work performance, they’ll increase your vocabulary or maths too. They’re enjoyable, boast a low-stress threshold (except when you’re denied by 3 across), keep you mentally fit and can help reduce the risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s and other debilitating illnesses. The best thing? They’re portable and free, so there’s no excuse. Don’t just take our word for it, though, research published in BMC Medicine earlier this year notes cognitive training can boost memory, improve reasoning, memory, problem-solving, map reading and exercise.

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 21


WorkIssues

Work-related stretch Don’t waste your lunch hour at the ‘back-cracker.’ Fix your aches and pains with Ray Klerck’s covert stretches you can do at your desk

S

tretching at work means you don’t have to do them in the gym and it can also make you better at your job. A study in the journal, Medical Hypotheses found that stretching exercises eased stress and helped people relax. So next time you feel sore, or even angry, use these surreptitious stretches from Dr Kristian Berg, author of Prescriptive Stretching (Human Kinetics). They can be done in your work place and will relieve both muscle pain and the agony of the grind.

22 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


WORK RIGHT Lower back pain

A Nielsen study discovered that more than half of all blokes suffer with back pain. Fortunately, you can put yourself into the ache-free half using these stretches:

1. Piriformis stretch

Put your right foot up on your desk so that your right knee is positioned straight in front of your hip. Bend the knee to 90 degrees and keep your other leg straight. Stretch for 30 seconds by leaning forward slightly. Switch legs and repeat.

2. Hamstring stretch

Stand side on to your desk. Rest your entire leg on your desk so that it runs parallel with the edge. Keep the knee straight. Extend your other foot behind you and lean forward towards the leg on the desk until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other leg.

Upper back

Hunching over a keyboard puts your spine in an unnatural position. Here’s how to straighten up your backbone into a pain-free position:

1. Doorway chest stretch

Stand in a doorway and place your forearms vertically against the edges at chest height. Stand in a staggered stance and lean forwards to go deeper into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds.

2. Middle back stretch

Stand with your right knee resting on a chair and your left foot on the floor. Your left leg should be slightly bent. Cross your right arm over your legs and grab the left side of the chair. Place your hand about 10cm in front of your left knee, positioning your knuckles to the left. Rest your left hand on your left thigh, just above the knee. Without letting go of the chair, attempt to stand up very slowly by straightening out your right hip joint. Do this for 10-30 seconds then swap sides and repeat.

Neck pain

When computer screen burn turns into a pain in the neck, try these ache relieving moves:

1. Front neck stretch

Sit on your chair and place three fingers of your right hand on your right clavicle. Rest your left hand on top of those fingers to apply pressure. Move your head slightly backwards and to the left until you feel a slight burn on the right side of your neck. Hold for ten seconds and repeat three times on each side.

2. Back neck stretch

Sit on your chair and interlock your fingers behind your

head at the base of your skull. Use your hands to slowly push your head forward for ten seconds then release. Repeat three times.

Wrist ache

Complaining of wrist pain doesn’t just welcome tired wise cracks – it can also affect how much you lift in the gym. Here’s how to get pimp wristed:

1. Forearm flexor stretch

Place the palm of your right hand flat on your desk and stand over it. Rotate your hand so your fingers face towards you and your right thumb points to the right. Place your left hand over the fingers of your right hand and straighten your arm completely. Stretch for ten seconds by carefully pulling your right arm towards you until you feel a slight sting in your forearm. Repeat three times on both hands.

2. Forearm extensor stretch

Stand in front of your work station and place the top of your right hand on your desk so your fingers face you. Make a fist and push down with your left hand to make the fist tight. Straighten your right elbow, hold for ten seconds. Repeat three times for each hand.

Shoulder pain

Everything you lift has your shoulders working in support. So if your coffee cup suddenly feels like a dumbbell here’s the fix:

1. Infraspinatus stretch

Sit on your chair and hold your right arm straight out in front of you, then bring your forearm towards your chest to create a 90 degree angle in your elbow. Grab your right elbow with your left hand so that your left forearm rests on top of your right forearm. Relax your right arm, holding the position with your left arm and lower your shoulder. Stretch the muscle for ten seconds, switch sides and repeat three times.

2. Upper trapezius stretch

Sit on your chair then reach behind you with your right hand and grab the edge of the chair. Lean your upper body to the left, keeping your head upright. You will feel a light pull in your right shoulder. Do this for ten seconds then lean your head to the left side and rotate it slightly to the right. Put your left hand against your head and stretch the muscle for ten seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Case Studies YOGA EASES STRESS http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2012/03/120306131644.htm NIELSEN STUDY ABOUT BACKACHE http://au.nielsen.com/news/Self-Med.shtml

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 23


WorkIssues

SO

MACRO

What are macronutrients and why do you need them? Personal trainer David Stache provides the inside track

M

any people get affected macro when dieting Protein from the diet hung up on of late. To cut or not to cut is eliminating certain usually the question and this macronutrients. Yet the reality increases protein synthesis depends on the individual. is that all macronutrients have within the body and also No one size fits all, and the a place in your diet. The key recent fad of carb cutting is is to find which ratio suits you similar to the vilifying of all improves recovery from and your body type and will fats in the 1980s and 1990s. training. It’s also worth therefore assist your training Like protein, the amount to achieve your goals. of carbohydrates you need noting that when dieting, All foods are made up of will depend on your training the macronutrients protein, and overall goals. Endurance protein is thermogenic, carbohydrates and fat. All athletes will need more meaning it causes greater carbs to be readily available, play important and yet very different roles within the whereas bodybuilders will fat loss. body, and the importance of be able to get by on smaller them in relation to training amounts, sacrificing carbs for depends on different variables ranging from hormonal protein in order to increase muscle mass, something the support to energy production. For example, a long endurance athlete doesn’t need. distance runner will have a very different macronutrient Just 1g of fat provides nine calories. It has been given requirement compared to a bodybuilder. Both will train a bad rap over the years, mainly because it’s been very equally as hard, but the requirements in terms of their misunderstood. All fats have been lumped together, but macronutrient profile is very different. the opinion that ‘fat is bad’ has been dispelled as the Protein is made up of amino acids, the building benefits of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) has been proven blocks of muscle and which contain four calories by many researchers. From a health point of view, per gram. Protein from the diet increases protein fat protects the body’s vital organs as well as synthesis within the body and also improves working to transport fat-soluble vitamins A, recovery from training. It’s also worth noting D, E and K. The main role in the diet is at a that when dieting, protein is thermogenic, cellular level and for energy, again it is protein meaning it causes greater fat loss. Increased sparing, but it’s also key for all the hormonal muscle mass, improved performance and responses created through your training. EFA’s recovery are the key benefits of protein from also need to be consumed, as they cannot be the diet. To take advantage of these benefits synthesised in the body, so it’s good to include a constant daily intake of protein needs to be a variety of fat sources in your diet. maintained. The recommended daily intake It is vital to remember that the for the average non-trainer won’t suffice for macronutrient requirements for serious someone undertaking strenuous exercise. trainers is very different from the average Different sports and training will determine Joe. Average is very much overweight protein requirements, but a good starting these days, so when constructing your point would be 1g per pound of body weight. diet don’t automatically look to omit any one Like protein, carbohydrates supply four macronutrient, but instead look at how the calories per gram. They’re made up of whole diet stands up against your training – carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, and when make sure fuel and recovery are promoted training their role is to increase muscle glycogen within your diet. There will be instances for energy and also spare dietary and where your requirements for one muscle protein from being used as energy. macronutrient may be lower, but consider Carbohydrates allow protein to do its job performance and training intensity and how optimally and help create a physique to be these will be affected when dropping one. proud of. Carbohydrates are the single most

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SM0911-RD-ZHPAD-[091012].pdf

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Changed Man

transfo AlphaFit’s Daniel Bond was given a brutal exercise regime to follow over 12 weeks, but personal trainer David Stache explains diet is equally as important. That means no more kebabs for Mr Bond!

P

ut simply, diet is the most important part of any transformation. You simply cannot out train poor eating habits, so the hard work has to be done in the kitchen as well as the gym if you’re going to improve your body. It’s important to realise however, that there is no real formula that everyone can copy – those who purport to have a ‘secret’ or a particular method will no doubt have a vested interest and be looking to gain in some way from pushing their ideals. No one single method beats all others. Instead, different ideas should be considered tools. What is important to know is when to utilise each tool to get the most out of it without affecting gym performance. This was certainly the case with Daniel.

WEEK 1

26 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

WEEK 3

It’s hard to completely overhaul someone’s eating habits if they’ve been used to them for so long, or for them to sustain new habits for a substantial amount of time. This is why so many ‘fad’ diets are useless for longevity; they are simply far too detached from what most people are capable of. Getting in shape over 12 weeks should merely be the start of adopting a healthy lifestyle and will ensure you don’t need to put yourself through a punishing regime all year round. The transformation diet Daniel went through different stages are overleaf...

THE PROGRESS... WEEK 7


WORK RIGHT

ormation Part 2

WEEK

12

SUPPLEMENTS

In recent years there’s been an over reliance on supplements to make up for a poor diet. This is the wrong approach. Using supplements to make up for a poor diet is like building a house with bricks and no concrete; it might look fine but any form of stress and it won’t stand up to the job. Here’s what Daniel used and why:

ZINC 30MG PER DAY Used to support a robust hormonal system as well playing a major role in tissue repair

CREATINE MONOHYDRATE 5g per day is all that’s needed

VITAMIN D 10,000iu per day. We don’t get enough sun and vitamin D has been proven to suppress enzymes that store body fat

OMEGA 3 FISH OILS 5g of epa/dha each day for brain function, cell support and promoting fat loss and increase in muscle mass

PROTEIN POWDER Used for convenience to increase protein in the diet and to support recovery

MULTIVITAMIN Simply to cover all the bases

MAGNESIUM Everyone who trains with weights should use magnesium. It is key for electrolyte balance and energy production

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 27


Changed Man

Stage 1

HEALTHY FOOD AND FUELLING TRAINING AND RECOVERY

This meant dropping all poor food choices and making sure Daniel became used to eating the right foods at the right time. This is usually the most important diet stage. It sets the whole regime, not just from a nutrient point of view but also a mind set, and if this stage can be accommodated easily enough, then when things get tough and output is increased or calories dropped, the right mental attitude will already be ingrained. It takes 21 days to break dietary habits, so it’s important to keep this in mind when setting out on your journey. BREAKFAST MONDAY (Weights day)

LUNCH

EVENING MEAL

SNACKS

50g porridge with Prawn salad Shepherds pie with mixed berries + nuts with 1tbsp mayo parsnip, sweet potato or and protein shake (prawn cocktail) cauliflower mash instead of potato, mixed green veg

Mixed nuts (not salted) + celery sticks with hummus, protein shake post workout, 2-3 oatcakes pre workout

TIME AND A PLACE

It is important to utilise carb timings to keep workouts intense, but also to have periods of low carbs for a lower calorie intake aimed at increasing fat loss. This is a tactic I use with professional athletes who have to make weight and yet still perform at high intensity. It is well documented that fuelling workouts is optimal for peak performance and every training session has to count, so timing carbs enables this.

Stage 2

BREAKFAST

LUNCH

EVENING MEAL

SNACKS

DAY 1 (Weights day)

Bacon & asparagus omelette (3 eggs), 1 slice of rye bread

Chicken breast, steamed veg and avocado salad

Red meat, with garlic crushed boiled new potato’s and vegetables

Olives and mixed nuts, protein shake post workout, 2-3 oatcakes pre workout

DAY 2 (Weights day)

50g porridge with mixed berries + nuts and protein shake

Tinned salmon, tomatoes, red onion, avocado, and lettuce salad with olive oil

Citrus roast chicken with sweet potato fries (see link to recipe)

Mixed nuts (not salted) + celery sticks with hummus, protein shake post workout, 2-3 oatcakes pre workout

Grilled salmon, artichoke and green vegetables

Mixed veg and guacamole

DAY 3

3 eggs scrambled with Lean mince 1 piece of mackerel stuffed peppers and 1 slice of rye bread (add any vegetables you like to eggs)

PRE-SHOOT PREPARATION

Stage 3

In the ten days leading up to the photo shoot you see before you, the diet involved zero carbs to deplete glycogen and enhance fat burning.

BREAKFAST

4 eggs with spinach and 2 rashers of bacon (fat trimmed)

SNACK 1

50g whey protein OR 50g beef jerky with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 1tsp of coconut oil

LUNCH OPTIONS

• (250g) chicken caesar salad (full fat dressing) with 40g almonds

28 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

• 250g cod with pesto and asparagus • 150g lean mince with mixed green veg and lettuce

SNACK 2

Same as snack 1

EVENING MEAL OPTIONS

• 200g steak (fillet) • 300g chicken • 200g venison steak or burgers • 200g bison steak • 250g lean mince burgers WITH mixed green veg to fill – green beans, broccoli, mange tout etc

SNACK 3

3 eggs scrambled with 30g almonds or brazil nuts

Throughout the 11 weeks, our focus was always on eating quality foods. There is simply no place for processed products when you’re looking to make serious changes to your physique – nutritionally they offer very little. The focus should always be on lean meats, green vegetables and clean foods (which means nothing processed). Stick to these dietary guidelines and you won’t go far wrong. You’ll be eating healthier, which for most is a big enough change to see significant differences in a short space of time, vital when dieting for a short-term time frame transformation.


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HEALTH FRIENDS LOVE LIFE

LIVE RIGHT Make the m ost of wha t’s

IT’S GOOD TO WALK Type in ‘Michael McIntyre’ and ‘walking’ into Google and you’ll find a hilarious sketch about the best way to use arms and legs in tandem to conserve effort. Yet, if you’re actually looking to expend energy in a bid to stay fit and healthy, then walking is often underrated. We all spend hours researching, compiling and undertaking workout routines, but walking is free and allows you to enjoy the great outdoors at your own pace. If you can muster a heady 3mph on a regular basis you’ll start seeing a heap of physical benefits, including lowering the risk of heart problems, cutting cholesterol and obesity, while improving flexibility of the spine and defending against prostate cancer. And, if you believe a report from Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology from two years ago, walking can even help fend off cognitive and mental problems, too. Increase the distance, pace and add inclines or small weights and the benefits are even greater. Of course, simply replacing short car journeys or swapping the lift at work for stairs can help, but if you really want to raise your game you can download The AA’s Best Walks in Britain app from iTunes. It contains over 1,500 researched walks all mapped out and summarised by distance, estimated time, difficulty and typical landscape. You can follow instructions or even download an Ordinance Survey map to direct you when offline, very handy when walking in the countryside!

30 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

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Health

UPGRADE YOUR HEALTH Just like your gadgets, research into health is always being improved. Ray Klerck reveals how to drastically improve the things you thought you already knew...

32 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


E R H

IMPROVE YOUR CUPPA

It’s hard to escape the green tea publicity machine. Numerous studies have praised its unparalleled prowess for beating everything from cancer to belly fat. Supplement companies have even taken to making weapons grade capsules of concentrated green tea. But if drinking your tea as a tablet doesn’t quite hit the mark there are still ways to improve the power of this leaf. UPGRADE Rather than finding your tea pill tough to swallow you can simply add a slice of lemon. Research in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that adding vitamin C to your brew protects the tea’s antioxidants and makes it more powerful. You won’t even taste the difference and can suck on the lemon afterwards to freshen your breath.

PLAY IT AGAIN, SALMON

Behind tuna, salmon is Britain’s most popular fish. Not a huge surprise if you consider that per 100g it has a whopping 2018mg of omega-3, compared to tuna’s paltry 234mg. Exercisers in particular have wised up to the benefits of omega-3. Research by the University of Georgia found that omega-3 properties can reduce postexercise muscle pain by as much as 25 per cent. But if you thought you were crafty for having a salmon dinner after a heavy squats session, you can go one better. UPGRADE Make your salmon steak more potent by seasoning it with a few slices of fresh ginger. According to research by the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, when ginger is combined with protein, the protein is digested faster. It mainlines this muscle fuel to the places you need it most. This is exactly what you want to happen if you’re tucking into this fish after a heavy leg workout and a flight of stairs is in your future.

SUPERHERO ANTIOXIDANTS

Super foods. You’ve heard the phrase so often you’d be forgiven for thinking a handful of blueberries gives you the power to wear your undies on the outside in the style of a superhero. They’re lavishly reported to fight disease and help you live to a ripe old age, but what the mad men fail to tell you is that antioxidants have a dirty little secret that could be making you chunkier than a jar of peanut butter. UPGRADE If you’re trying to lose weight timing is crucial when it comes to your antioxidant intake. When antioxidant rich foods are eaten on an empty stomach they can increase your appetite beyond normal levels, according to research in the journal, Nature. So a punnet of strawberries as a snack might actually make you eat more at dinner.

LIVE RIGHT

SUPPLEMENT SMARTER

Protein shakes used to be bought from speciality stores. Now you’ll find them lining the shelves of every supermarket. Research in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism noted when athletes drank a shake made from milk-based proteins and carbs after exercise, their aches from training were less severe. Not only do they help you recover when taken before and after exercise, but this practise also helps you add more muscle. However, if more is never enough you can try something new. UPGRADE Not all milk comes from cows and goats milk is actually better suited to your digestive system. Research at the University of Granada found that goats milk proteins improve your absorption of iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. So if you’re looking for a health kick with your protein shake then give goats milk a crack.

MAKE YOUR DIET PLAN WORK HARDER

No diet has enjoyed more publicity than Atkins. It’s a simple approach that’s famous for a reason: it works. What’s more, it’s backed up by science. Research in the journal, Nutrition & Metabolism found that low-carb diets are extremely effective at losing weight especially around the midsection. But there is a tweak you can make to this diet to make it more effective. UPGRADE The odd encounter with your favourite cheat foods is a valuable tool in your nutritional arsenal. Research at the University of Illinois found that in the long term, a high protein, low-carb diet was the best at keeping blokes lean. What’s more, the researchers found that the participants with the highest success didn’t devotedly stick to the diet plans with every meal – they cheated every so often and still lost weight. So satisfy your KFC hankerings at least once a week and you’ll soon be six-packed to boot.

Studies GREEN TEA VITAMIN C http://pubs.acs.org/doi/ abs/10.1021/jf971022g GINGER AIDS DIGESTION http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC3016669/ GINGER STOPS POST WORKOUT PAIN http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2010/05/100519131130. htm SALMON POPULARITY http://www.independent.co.uk/ life-style/food-and-drink/news/ britains-unadventurous-fish-eaterstold-to-take-the-plunge-and-trygurnard-2178073.html

DOMS AND EXERCISE http://www.ingentaconnect. com/content/adis/ smd/2003/00000033/00000002/ art00005 DOMS AND WHEY http://www.ingentaconnect. com/content/nrc/ apnm/2010/00000035/00000003/ art00005 ANTIOXIDANTS AND APPETITE http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2008/07/080730140720. htm LOW-CARB DIETS WORK http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2004/11/041115003038. htm CHEAT MEALS ARE GOOD http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2009/03/090304114256. htm

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 33


Injury Prevention

Stay

injury-free, in Stay off the treatment table with the help of fitness expert Kristoph Thompson

S

eventy-five per cent of sports involve running and 50 per cent of runners will get injured at some point according to research from the British Journal of Sports Medicine. What’s the significance of all this? It basically means the odds are stacked against you – statistically, you are an injury waiting to happen. The most common kind of injuries occur gradually, over time – the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back. Thankfully, you can prevent these injuries and stack the odds in your favour. This is where run3D comes in. It is the most advanced form of gait – or running style – analysis available...

How it works

The system was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford and uses specialised infrared cameras and reflective markers to create a 3D computer model of your running style. “The cameras are used to precisely measure the positions of reflective markers attached to your legs as you run,” explains head biomechanist and founder, Dr Jessica Leitch.

34 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

“The 12 cameras record the positions of each marker 200 times a second, that’s a total of 12,000 images in just one minute of running. With a digital camera you will only record 50 frames a second.”

Why it works

As the most advanced and accurate means of assessment currently available, it is able to detect the smallest variations from the ideal running style. It is these small deviations that cause pain and ultimately injury. Anyone can identify the faults with a Charlie Chaplin-esque running style, but to detect a few degrees of outward rotation or the fact your right foot spends slightly longer in contact with the floor than your left, you need the latest technology. Adding to the accuracy is the fact each element of your running style is compared to a massive database of uninjured runners. “This comparison removes the potential for human error and the subjective nature of other forms of analysis, such as the type you may get in a sports shop when buying a pair of shoes,” explains Dr Leitch.


LIVE RIGHT

Injury-prevention strategies WARM-UP Launching straight into your main activity can be appealing, especially when you’re pushed for time, but skipping your warm-up is never a good idea. “Start with a thorough warm-up including sport specific movements such as jumping, landing and changes of direction”, explains Dr Dylan Morrissey, Senior Clinical Lecturer and Consultant Physiotherapist at Queen Mary University of London (www.qmul.ac.uk). “Pay attention to how you move and ensure proper alignment,” he adds.

RESTORE BALANCE

What it involves

Firstly, a physiotherapist attaches a series of small reflective markers to your lower body. You then run on a treadmill at a comfortable speed for one minute, while the cameras record the movements of each of the markers. Your gait is then compared to the database and within ten minutes you receive an injury rating based on your biomechanics, strength, alignment and flexibility. Crucially, you also receive a report that can be translated into a series of practical tips and exercises to address the imbalances.

Prevention, not cure

Typically, you might get injured and then head to the physio for treatment, however determining the exact cause can be difficult and time consuming. Run3D seeks to address the potential cause of an injury before it strikes – you only need one session. A run3D assessment takes 90 minutes and costs £280. This is roughly the same price as a GPS running watch, two pairs of the top-of-the-range running shoes or five sessions with a physiotherapist.

Injuries can often be caused by a strength or flexibility imbalance between the left and right sides of the body. Including exercises in your workout where your arms or legs move independently will help you to detect and address these imbalances. “A significant difference between each side, a sudden change in strength or endurance, or an asymmetry in your movement can all indicate an imbalance,” says Dr Morrissey.

STABILITY Everybody has a network of small stabiliser muscles that help to protect joints from injury. Building the endurance of these muscles can prevent an injury from occurring. “Work on your core control and make sure the joints of the lower body are aligned at all times,” recommends Dr Morrissey.

RECOVER FULLY If you seem to spend more time in the treatment room than the gym it can be tempting to rush back to training. Returning to action too soon significantly increases the chance of re-injury or even a new injury. “The single biggest risk factor in an injury is previously suffering the same injury,” explains Dr Morrissey. “If you’ve not been following a rehab programme then you should gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise, gradually phasing in high impact and high speed activities.”

For more information visit www.noc.nhs.uk/run3D www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 35


Relationships

The

SEX OLYMPICS Win gold in the bedroom (and burn calories while you’re doing it). Laura Hills explains how...

36 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


LIVE RIGHT The Press Up This is a great move for working the chest, triceps and abs. Start by lying on the bed in the missionary position, supporting your weight with your hands. Begin with a typical rocking motion, but after a few seconds change up so that you are doing press ups over your partner. The gentle movement will allow you to touch parts of her that you wouldn’t normally reach, allowing more pleasure for her and a greater sex workout for you. “This move is visually pleasing for your partner because she really gets to look at your body, and what’s more it’ll hit her G-spot every time, all the while tightening and building your muscles,” says Rachel Evans, Fitness Celebrity and Founder of www.makeoveressex.com. Calories burned: 97cals per 15 minutes

The Weight Lifter If it’s an upper body workout you’re after this is the move for you. Get your partner to wrap her legs around your waist as you sit on the edge of the bed. Then put your arms around her waist, allowing her to relax her body so that you’re supporting all of her weight. Then slowly begin to move her body up and down at whatever pace suits you both. This position is great for working your arms and pectorals, as well as allowing you to take control of the penetration and her enjoyment. Not only will it work you up into a sweat, but you taking control will drive her wild. “This move will really work your forearms, biceps and shoulders,” says Evans. “It requires an element of strength and because you’re taking control, the dominance will cause her no end of pleasure.” Calories burned: 54cals per 15 minutes

The Foreplay Squat Okay, so it doesn’t have the sexiest name, but when it comes to getting a sex workout this is about as good as it gets, especially when combined with one of the other moves. Ask your partner to lie on the bed with her head hanging over the side. Straddle her face and insert your penis into her mouth, squatting down so that your hands touch the bed. The beauty here is that you do all the work, controlling how deeply you go into her mouth while working your lower abs too. It makes her life easier and you can control the level of pleasure you feel. “This is the perfect move when your partner is feeling a bit tired and lazy, as it requires you to do all the work. This one will really work your core strength, but take it slow, there’s no room for error here,” explains Evans. Calories burned: 108cals per 15 minutes

The Running Man If it’s stamina and flexibility you want to put to the test, then this one’s for you. 0Get your partner to lie with her back on a chair, or if that’s uncomfortable, the side of a bed and ask her to raise her legs in the air so that her body is making an L shape. Get on your hands and knees in front of her and use your arms to elevate you until you’re in a comfortable enough position to enter her. Just think of the position runners take when they are about to begin a race and you should get the idea. “Try to think of this move as a marathon rather than a sprint and you’ll both be guaranteed endless pleasure,” says Evans. “The move requires flexibility and strength, so try it after a gym session when your fitness levels are at their highest, and get your partner to raise her hips for a more orgasmic experience.” Calories burned: 117cals per 15 minutes

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 37


GEAR,TOYS & GREAT IDEAS

Diversions

Kit, caboodle, inspiration and brain food for the active man

Small games,

BIG GAINS Want to burn fat, reduce your risk of cancer and improve your football skills all in one go? Ben Welch tells us how…

On average you’ll burn 600 calories playing competitive football for one hour and as well as that, while exercising you’re reducing your risk of cancer, heart problems and obesity

IMAGE: Power Leagues 38 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk


W

hat a summer of sport it’s been. Andy Murray’s tears at Wimbledon, Spain’s victorious tika-taka specialists, Team GB’s record-breaking exploits at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and Europe’s comeback in Medinah. Heartbreak, triumph and glory all rolled into four unforgettable months. The performances of the athletes at these major championships has inspired a generation to seize their moment. Everyone, except you. You’ve feasted on this buffet of sport from the comfort of the sofa, only exerting yourself to raid the fridge for another beer. But you’d barely popped the cap off your latest cold one when Swansea’s new summer signing, Michu, was rattling home the first Premier League goal of the season. Yes, that’s right football is back and you’re not ready. Hypnotised by Jessica Ennis’ washboard stomach strutting to Olympic gold, you’ve forgotten to turn up for pre-season training. How are you going to fast-track your way to match-winning condition and blast away your summer spare tyre? By spending a fortune on a whip-cracking personal trainer? By sweating out hour after hour in the gym? Put in extra time on the training field? Nope, all you need is a casual kick about with your mates. West Bromwich Albion’s first team strength and conditioning coach, Mark Jarvis, says a mid-week game of five-a-side gives you a whole-body interval-training workout, whilst sharpening your skills at the same time. “If you haven’t got much time to get to the gym and train, you’re better off playing five-a-side football with your mates during the week,” advises Jarvis. “It replicates the demands of the full-sided game, but at a greater intensity, with less rest periods in between exertions.” Tottenham’s midfield dynamo Scott Parker believes five-a-side is an essential component of any player’s training programme, whether you play for Tottenham Hotspur or Rag Arse Rovers. “Five-a-side is an integral part of every footballer’s development, from Saturday morning kick abouts with your mates, to professional training with Spurs and England. “It’s one of the hardest forms of training we have, but it’s also where we have the most laughs. It’s a great way to get fit.” And it’s just as good for you as squeezing into your Lycra running gear and pounding the pavements in your grubby running shoes. On average you’ll burn 600 calories playing competitive football for one hour, and while exercising you’re reducing your risk of cancer, heart problems and obesity, according to research from the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. One of the 50 studies by 50 researchers in seven countries, asked 47 men with high blood pressure to play football or to run for an hour twice a week for

three months. Those playing the game saw their blood pressure fall by an average of twice as much as those in the running group. Both groups lost similar amounts of weight, but cholesterol levels fell among the footballers, an effect not seen in the running group. Other studies found that football increased bone density twice as much as running. Aside from the health benefits, five-a-side is also going to help transform the technical side of your game, says Jarvis. “Five-a-side is a tremendously important tool for developing high-intensity game fitness, as well as touch and passing,” he told AlphaFit. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of the smallsided game, too. The Frenchman says the challenges of five-a-side will upgrade your skills to advanced. “Five-a-side confronts the player with constant decision-making. When you receive the ball, you are faced with dozens of options,” explains Wenger. “Your brain acts like a computer: it realises it has been faced with this situation before and tries to come up with the right answer – the right pass or right shot. “In five-a-side, you are faced with many of these situations, and that is why you improve so much when you play.” Wenger also believes five-a-side is key to honing a number of skills on the pitch: “You must have speed, skill, an eye for goal, the ability to pass, vision and above all, the intelligence to put all these aspects into practice” To help you reach the top of your game Jarvis analysed the physical demands of five-a-side and devised a simple programme to help you outstrip the opposition and incinerate your flabby midriff. “Space is limited in five-a-side and so the length of the average run is much shorter,” explains the fitness expert. “This means that agility and change of direction become much more important. “Change of direction means lots of accelerations and, more importantly, lots of decelerations. This means the muscles need to be trained to brake powerfully and so the emphasis is on controlling force rather than producing it.” Not only does the body have to cope with explosive movements, but it must also deal with the energysapping endurance demands. “The high tempo and lack of rest means that players need repeat sprint ability,” says Jarvis. “This means not only being sharp and explosive, but having the ability to continually produce powerful bursts time after time with minimal recovery time.” Exhausted already? Get a hold of yourself man. The hard work starts here. If you want to become King of the Cage, then Jarvis has just the workout...

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 39


TRAINING

Diversions

Sets: 2-3 Reps: 5-8

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Sets: 3-4 (on Reps: 8-12 each leg)

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Sets: 3 Reps: 12 d) (twice roun

40 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

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BUILD UP A HEALT

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JAMES TINDALES VERY OWN FITNESS PAGE • Diet plans • Supplements • Fat burners • Clothing range @jamesgsfitness @ marketing@jamesgsfitness.com #getyourpumponwithjamesgsfitness

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TRAINING

Diversions

GREAT OUTDOORS

THE

42 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

Autumn might be upon us, but that doesn’t mean you should be hibernating in gyms until spring. Here, AlphaFit’s team of intrepid writers, plus @In_thepark’s Vicki Judd give us three good reasons why you should workout outside...

BMF Anyone attending British Military Fitness (BMF) for the first time is likely to feel a certain degree of trepidation. The name itself is intimidating to some, while the prospect of being put through your paces by shouting men in camouflage – scenes from film Full Metal Jacket spring to mind – isn’t necessarily appealing. However, after an intense, challenging but enjoyable workout, you’ll soon find out why BMF is so popular across the country, and growing all the time. BMF sessions are run by ex or current military trainers and attendees are split into colourcoded groups depending on levels of fitness. “BMF has been running for well over ten years,” explains Dan Linley, Park Manager for our group at Prospect Park, Reading. “It was originally started in Hyde Park by a retired Major. It had two or three members and has grown ever since. It caters for all levels of fitness ranging from blue (novice), through to green (elite) via red. Some of the green athletes are serious athletes, ultra-runners for example. They love being pushed to their limit.” If it sounds intense, it is, but the professionalism of the sessions is extremely appealing. “First and foremost, the personal trainers are ex-military PTI’s or still serving. They’re in uniform, which straight away sends out a message that it’s professional, authentic and delivers the right package,” explains Linley. Our ‘package’ started with a warm-up involving press-ups, lots of them. Anyone failing to

fulfil certain tasks saw the group punished with further reps, which created something of a group siege mentality. Nobody wanted to let the other members down, which is a huge motivation. Similarly, at the same time, everyone is competing against each other. After a combination of army crawls and short sprints we got to grips with a series of circuits which utilised everything you might find in a park, so trees, paths, hills and goalposts. The most gruelling involved a series of exercises (12 reps for the reds, ten for the greens) including pressups, burpees and sit-ups followed by hill sprints. The reds were required to run up and down a steep hill, the greens had to do a further lap. It was relentless, punishing but extremely fulfilling. Knowing you’re pushing yourself to the limit provides an intrinsic motivation, there’s no time to faff around on your iPod or chat to others here as you would in the gym. It’s fun, too. “That’s the main aim,” continues Linley. “If you don’t enjoy it you won’t come back. It has to be varied, so highintensity followed by static stuff. Thankfully our numbers have always been big.” He’s not wrong; our group featured a number of regular visitors. And as we made our way round Prospect Park we were surrounded by similar outdoor exercise groups, but none of BMF’s size. Why not join them? The results are unquestionable... our quads the day after are testament to that. Visit britmilfit.com for more information.


SPARTAN RACE Who wouldn’t relish a challenge with the tagline: ‘You’ll Know At The Finish Line’? We’re AlphaFit, so why couldn’t we be a Spartan? We arrived at the race nervous and excited. It was set in beautiful fields around Ripon, Yorkshire although there are races nationwide. On arrival you are surrounded by a wide variety of people, some sporting bare chests, others taking on their own personal challenge. As we waited at the startline we saw a few people coming back on quad bikes looking broken in mind and body. Yikes! The head spartan starts the race and demands a chant of ‘ouuuga’, although there was no sign of John Fashanu or Kris Akabusi. The first kilometre comprises a trial run through a forest at a quick pace and is followed by a military crawl through a low net – a nice knee-cutter – then sandbag carrying and a 10ft climbing net. This was just the warm-up. Then came the first major obstacle – lugging a car tyre up and down a very steep hill followed quickly by carrying a heavy sandbag on your back. This was the first time I saw anyone really struggle. I caught one man about to be sick on the way up and gave him a bit of encouragement. I didn’t see him again. More hills, rope climbs and ladder climbs followed. And then it got really tough... As I exited the woods we were confronted by one of the toughest

challenges on the course – mentally at least; an army crawl through a very narrow and claustrophobic tunnel made of hay. Leave the tunnel early and you’re penalised with 30 burpees. At this stage fatigue was creeping in as we climbed an 8ft wall, crawled – and then swam – under barbed wire in a swamp. One thing I hate is cold water, but with the barbed wire over your head there is no option but to keep low and grit your teeth! Spear chucking, mud crawling and jumping over fire followed before an ice pit. However, bizarrely by this stage there was a distinctive big smile across my face. Although it was definitely very mentally challenging, it was uplifting at the same time. But the end was in sight. Through the woods for the last time and onto the rope climb home. I saw people slipping back down and knew I couldn’t join them. With my wife and little boy watching on, I couldn’t go from Spartan to weasel! With the help of my knees I climbed up and somehow managed to hook my leg over and descend to the end, where I was greeted by two gladiators with padded weapons, who gave me one last beating before the finish line! I had returned a muddy, tired but very happy Spartan! It was brutal, but ultimately enjoyable.

Head to spartanrace.com for more.

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 43


TRAINING

Diversions ParkRun

Visit parkrun.org.uk/ to join in.

44 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

There’s no denying it, Mo Farah has made middle distance running cool again. But, what if you get out of breath running for the bus or you’re not built for clocking up the miles? The answer, is parkrun. The concept is simple. They organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs all around the country. There are currently 145 venues, so chances are there’ll be one a stone’s throw from your house (we’ve pictured the Burnley parkrun). Registration is easy, too. You simply visit www.parkrun.org.uk beforehand, fill in a registration form and print off a unique bar code, more on that later. That’s the easy bit, it gets harder when you have to drag yourself out of bed at 9am on a Saturday morning to take part. When AlphaFit turned up for our first parkrun we couldn’t believe the diversity, there were people of all different shapes, abilities and ages. Some even run with their dogs and buggies. That’s the great thing about parkrun – it’s completely inclusive. From first timers that cross the line in over 50 minutes, to the serious athletes who complete the 5km in a little over 13 minutes, this event really is open to everyone. A few minutes before 9am one of the volunteers starts making some announcements. “A big welcome to the first timers…Congratulations to Joe Bloggs, who is running his 100th parkrun… Just follow the person in front… and have fun.” The horn signals the start and, just like most races, there’s a quick dash to get ahead. The Reading parkrun is a picturesque circular course, well marshalled, with kilometre markers, and on this particular day it attracted 289 runners. The flat course starts parallel to the River Thames and takes runners around a nature reserve before heading back to the start. Within a few minutes I’d been overtaken by a small child, a man in his mid-80s and a runner in fancy dress. Fortunately, I also managed to overtake a fair few runners and by the time we crossed the finish line – cheered on by those already finished – needless to say we were shattered. You’re given a plastic coated barcode when you finish, and this is subsequently scanned, along with a copy of your own unique barcode, by another volunteer. The barcode is parkrun’s equivalent of chip timing. Before you’ve returned to your car you receive a text message confirming your time (ours was 27min 01sec) and position 152nd. By the time I got home and checked my emails I was delighted to find I was fourth in my age group. If you love running, or you find long distance running tiresome, parkrun is a great way to improve your time. It’s annoyingly addictive too, a great way to dip your toes in the water without committing to a running club.


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TRAINING

Diversions

Get

Medieval

In the olden days, knights of the realm didn’t have gyms or personal trainers. Here, Colin Hubbuck explains why it’s time to learn from our predecessors

I

It’s definitely not exactly what was going through Marsellus Wallace’s mind when he uttered his immortal line in Pulp Fiction, but getting medieval will pay serious dividends in the gym. Core strength and explosiveness are just a few traits of knight training that resound in today’s training arena. “The main tool we know of from the Roman period through the Medieval period was the pell,” says historical weapons expert Mike Loades, “which is a solid post used like a boxer’s punchbag. They would attack the post with a wooden sword heavier than the real weapon. There is a manuscript that talks about a weapon of ‘double weight’, like in baseball when a batsman warms up by putting a weight on his bat and taking swings. “It’s an aerobic exercise, it’s training the footwork, bursts of explosive energy. And they’re getting their systems used to the percussive effect of hard object meeting hard object.” The ability to repeatedly deliver a blow with an implement that weighed between 1.5 and 2.5kg to an opponent dressed in armour during a battle that could drag on for over three hours, like the Battle of Barnet in 1471, required a serious level of fitness. “The comprehensiveness of their training and their overall fitness would put them on a par with a special forces soldier,” says Jonathan Waller, founder member of the European Historical Combat Guild. “Knights would do general acrobatic type fitness, there are illustrations surviving of people doing handstands, wrestling, high jumping, long jumping…” Loades adds, “We see images of them training with gunstones – until the late 15th century, cannonballs were made of stone – throwing them, building explosive energy.” A knight’s own armour would encumber them to the tune of up to 25kg and battles were more like riots. This was nose-to-nose warfare as brutal and bloody as it gets. The sword was the prestige weapon but grew in popularity towards the end of the Middle Ages, when the skills to mass produce them became more commonplace. “Swords were expensive and you had to have a

46 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

swordsmith to make it, whereas a blacksmith could make an axe or a war hammer,” says Waller. “The sword is versatile – convenient to carry, it looks cooler, you can use it to cut and thrust, grapple and hook and strike with the hilt.” Dexterity was vital for a swordsman but so was dealing with the inevitable blows. “The ability to take hits is crucially important,” says Loades, author of Swords And Swordsmen. “You get hit a lot and you’re going to get hit by arrows that deliver an almighty punch. You need good abs. If you’re hit in the stomach with a sledge hammer, in order to minimise damage to your internal organs, a good muscle wall will help. “You can extrapolate that across the body. Your external muscles become like another layer of padding that is protecting against the haemorrhaging of internal organs and the cracking of bones.” Trainees would start around the age of seven, but by the time a knight had proved his worth in battle and received land from his lord, the training could take a back seat. “We think of a knight as some kind of super soldier,” says Waller, “and some were, but when you became a knight you took on a lot of other responsibilities and those would also make demands on your time.” “You had just as much opportunity to be fat and idle as you do today,” agrees Loades. “But as professional soldiers, to practice their profession, they had to stay supremely fit. Knights had to go to the gym.” “If you look at modern pentathlon it would be similar to that overall kind of fitness, perhaps similar to a triathlete,” says Waller. “Obviously their physicality needed to allow them to fight mounted or on foot in armour, carrying weapons, wrestle or grapple and mount and dismount their horses quickly.” To replicate the broiling fury of medieval battle, sword-wielding limbs of thousands of men packed tightly around you on all sides is tricky. But we’ve created the workout below to get you into full-on Sir Lancelot shape. Just lay off the mead and stay away from the maidens, eh. For more information on the European Historical Combat Guild, go to www.ehcg.net


Medieval Workout Lunge circuit Grab a medicine ball, weight plate or

weighted bag and perform six reps of each of the following… Overhead front – raise the object above your head and step forward about a pace and a half, lowering the back knee to almost touch the floor then return to starting position. Ensure your knee doesn’t go past your toes and think of lowering and raising the hip in a straight line. Diagonal – bring the object to your chest, then step out at about 10 o’clock (if you’re facing 12), pressing the weight out over your knee. Return, then go out to 2 o’clock. Lateral – stand with your feet together, weight raised above your head, then step sideways so that the stationary leg is straight. Ensure both sets of toes are facing forwards. Return to starting point, then step with the other leg. Backward – step backwards, while pressing the weight out in front of you. Return to the starting position, then repeat with the opposite leg.

Cable chop Hook up the rope attachment at the top of a

cable machine and sit on a Swiss ball with your feet flat on the floor. Grab the rope and turn your shoulders towards the machine. In one smooth movement, pull the rope to and past your chest while simultaneously turning your shoulders away from the machine and extending the hands past the opposite hip until your arms are straight. Perform six reps on each side, then go straight into… Cable lift – put the rope handle down at the bottom of the machine and kneel down with your shoulders facing the machine. Pull it towards your chin as if performing an upright row but carry on past until you’re pressing it

overhead above the opposite shoulder, turning your shoulders away from the machine. Return to starting position and repeat, then swap to the other side.

Medicine ball overhead slam Squat down and take hold of a medicine ball

or sandbag, straighten your hips and legs until you’re standing tall, then explosively slam the ball or bag into the floor. Repeat for ten reps, before supersetting with the next two exercises: Push-up with clap – start in the up press-up position, lower chest to the floor then explode upwards in one movement, lifting the hands off the floor. Clap if it helps. Absorb your landing with slightly bent elbows, lower again and explode back up. Do six reps. Rack row – set up a Smith machine (or you can do this on a TRX as a progression) on a low level. Lay underneath and grip the bar. Pull yourself up, aiming to touch your chest to the bar, like a reverse bench press. Concentrate on squeezing the shoulder blades together in the middle of your back. Lower and repeat for six reps.

PlanK Rest forearms on the floor and raise your body

up in a straight line with your toes touching the floor. Pull your tummy in as if you’re trying to make your belly button touch your spine. But make sure you breathe. Hold your body straight for 30 seconds. Repeat. Side plank – lay on your side with your weight on one elbow and the side of the foot nearest the floor. Push your hip up off the floor and keep the body straight for 30 secs, pulling the tummy in as per the plank. Repeat.

www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 61


GADGETS

Diversions

TRAVEL EDITION Hundred push-up app

The humble push-up remains one of the best exercise moves in terms of simplicity and ease, without compromising on effectiveness, particularly when it comes to building your chest, triceps, shoulders and torso as well as defining your abs. Most of us can only dream of being able to do 100 of the blighters in one go, yet that’s exactly what this app claims to allow us to do. All you need is a smartphone, six weeks (just 30 minutes a week apparently) and strong willpower. Whether you can do 10, 20 or 50 in a row, this progressive system will soon enable you to become a centurion using simple progression. At worst, you’ll become stronger. At best, you’ll be impressing your gym buddies with your Duracell-bunny abilities! £1.49 from hundredpushups.com

PF resistance band

Eagle Creek Hybrid Hauler The Hybrid Hauler is a lightweight convertible pack that’s ideal when mud and water enter your travel itinerary. Made from 100% recycled materials and weighing as little as 1.2kg, the large pack holds up to 64 litres and features a water-resistant “bathtub” compartment at the base, so it can sit in a puddle without letting in water. Loaded with practical design details, it converts from a duffel bag into a comfortable backpack complete with tuck-away, ergonomically contoured shoulder straps and adjustable load stabiliser straps. It also features an oversized front zippered compartment for easy access to your belongings, an outside pocket with an organiser panel, lockable zips and a separate section for your muddy shoes. It’s available in a choice of tasteful colours including black, Cypress green and red clay/graphite. Available in a range of sizes, prices start from £124.95. Go to www.eaglecreekluggage. co.uk for more information. 48 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

If you’re away on business or even on holiday, there’s no reason why you can’t maintain your shape, regardless of whether there’s a gym or not at your disposal. Of course, you can’t pack your weights – not unless you fancy a hefty bill at check-in – which is where this handy travelling companion comes into its own. Simply wrap the tube around any immovable object, like a bar, table leg or even your own foot and you can tone up by performing a range of exercises. For example, put one foot over the tube and you can perform a simple bicep curl. Put both feet over the tube and you increase the resistance. You can do hamstring curls, lat raises, lat pull-downs and tricep curls, while there are three lengths of tube depending on your level of training ability. Prices alter at various outlets.


Hot gym

Historically, building your own gymnasium at home would normally involve a garage. Think Kevin Spacey in American Beauty, although perhaps without the recreational drink and drugs. Well, now you can use a compact and portable freestanding gym anywhere you like. Devised by skilled mechanical engineer Ian Johnson over ten years, the Hot Gym is lightweight – weighing just 13kg – and durable. It is height adjustable, meaning you can do pull-ups, dips, lat pull-ups and leg raises. And when you’re done, you simply fold it away so it resembles a snooker cue case. For once, size isn’t everything! £179.99 from hotgym.co.uk

HIIT app

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is perfect for those short on time, but with big intentions. Those with eagle eyes may recall we featured HIIT last month, but if you still need convincing then this app could see you convert. Perfect for cycling, running, sprinting, weightlifting, circuits and tabata training..., this app is the perfect partner to allow you to burn fat in a short and intense workout. Featuring a stopwatch, the app allows you to play music in the background, it has buzz volume control and you can remove ads with HIIT ad free! Available from play.google. com/store/apps

Perfect push-up bars

Most of us spend hours trying to shift our handles, but these handy rotating devices – not dissimilar to the kind of device used by baddies to scale buildings – will help you build killer upper body muscles. You’ve probably seen similar devices advertised on the late-night shopping channels. You’ll also probably have noticed the users often have arms the size of tree trunks. There’s a good reason why, for the handles have a non-slip base and a ball bearing system that allows you to perform natural push-ups without putting unnecessary pressure on your joints. With a soft grip they’re more comfortable than using kettle bells, which of course, aren’t easy to use on the move, and you’ll have bigger shoulders, arms and chest/back muscles in no time. £19.99 from www.sportsdirect.com www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk 49


Closing

QUOTE THEM ON THAT! “Delighted as a fan we got the win. Personal level #fuming #f*ckinjoke #embarrassing.” Ireland winger James McClean endears himself to Giovanni Trapattoni with a tweet he later deleted after his side’s 2-1 win against Kazakhstan.

football initiations are a global phenomenon.

“Just got off the plane at midnight in Dubai and it’s hotter than Carmen Electra winking and sucking a lollipop.” Graeme Swann gets sweaty under the collar on his way to Sri Lanka for the T20 World Cup.

@AlphaFitTweet

“For #QPR I dived in a game at Bristol Rovers once & our centre-half Ron Hunt said “get up you prat” lol….” Rodney Marsh explains the ancient art of diving. “Just had to sing a song in front of all the lads and staff at dinner! I was sh*tting myself. Any pre-game nerves have now dissipated.” Joey Barton tells the world that embarrassing

“I’ve been watching video from previous Ryder Cups. Man, I’m on a different planet. Love the passion. Best week ever. I so can’t wait. Pumped.” Ian Poulter gets a little excited about Europe’s battle with the USA in Medina. “So many parades recently, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be on a bus with a roof!” Olympic legend Chris Hoy goes all big time on us.

Latest News Interact Share Join the Debate Recommendations Post your photos Feedback Editor Nick Judd (nick@alphafitmagazine.co.uk) Sub editor Helen Morgan Contributors Richard Edwards, Laura Hills, Colin Hubbuck, Nicola Joyce, Vicki Judd, David Lee, Ray Klerck, Ali Schofield, David Stache, Kristoph Thompson, Ben Welch Design Adrian Mirfakhrai

50 www.alphafitmagazine.co.uk

“Rest in peace Sid Watkins….Motorsport wouldn’t be what it is today without u. Thank you for all you’ve done, we as drivers are so grateful.” Jenson Button pays tribute to the man who transformed the safety of Formula One. “Thinking of climbing into bed and sleeping for a day.” Oscar Pistorius reveals what London 2012 has taken out of him. “Heading to first ever fashion show in Milan with @ElizabethHurley for @roberto_cavalli !!! Exciting as nets at Lord’s !!! Hahahah.” Times have changed for Shane Warne.

Boxing special! “I retired from playing cricket because of a very dodgy knee and very poor footwork… Should be fine dancing?????? #SCD.” Former England captain Michael Vaughan limbers up for Strictly.

Don’t forget to keep up with AlphaFit yourself on Twitter @AlphaFitTweet

(adrian@alphafitmagazine.co.uk) Sales director Susan Hedges (sue@alphafitmagazine.co.uk) 0113 245 1168 Advertising executive Tess Murison (advertising@ alphafitmagazine.co.uk) 0113 245 1168 Publisher Target Eye Publishing Ltd

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Director Daniel Bond Director Faris Fisher Contact address AlphaFit, 9 East Parade, LEEDS, LS1 2AJ Tel: 0113 245 1168 Send all editorial enquiries to nick@alphafitmagazine.co.uk. AlphaFit is published in the UK by Target Eye Publishing Ltd. Copyright ©2012. All rights

The stars of the ring reveal their top training tips Yoga, why all men should get involved! The Great Outdoors, part two. We hit the water this winter reserved. While every endeavour has been made to maintain accuracy in the magazine, AlphaFit can take no responsibility for errors. All opinions expressed are the opinions of the writer expressing them, where stated.


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AlphaFit Magazine Issue 6  

The UK's first free multiplatform men's fitness and lifestyle title. AlphaFit is inspiring to outgoing men who want to keep fit, look good a...

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