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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Why Michael Phelps is a disgrace

You know my thoughts on fast food.

You know my thoughts on sporting heroes.

Hate one, love the other.

But I feel really let down today.

For two weeks in the summer I marvelled at Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps as they showed the world that the impossible is in fact sometimes easily done.

However, today I have lost all respect for Michael Phelps afterfinding out that he has chosen to endorse McDonald's and Kellogg'scereals.

Phelps, you're a disgrace and you've sold your soul to the devil.

Whilst he may be able to get away with eating 12,000 calories perday swimming for 6 hours to go with it, this is just going tocompound problems for the next generation of kids.

Kids copy heroes. McDonald's and Kellog's know this.

So now kids are being led to believe that to be the best in theworld you must eat cereals full of sugar and additives, and as forMcDonald's food?

Well we all know that story.

Even 'healthy' Cornflakes contain as much salt as a pint of sea water.

Unfortunately common sense and acting in the interests of future generations has yet again taken a massive kick in the knackers.

We need to fight this. You need to fight this. I don't have children - you do.

You need to pass on good habits or you're as bad as the rest ofthem.

Stop leaving it to someone else and blaming it on cr*ppy schooldinners, a lack of time or the fact that 'they'll burn it off'.

They might burn it off now but then they'll hit 17, be lazy and like bad food and discover beer.

Soon your child is fat, unhealthy and no longer burning it off because they don't do any exercise and no longer enjoy running round like headless chickens and being active because they've grown up with their arm attached to a Nintendo Wii which has given them reptitive strain injuries.

This needs to stop now.

Apparently by 2050, 9/10 adults will be obese.

Why?

Because YOU let it happen when they were children.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Free hotel room workout

I often get asked by clients and friends "What should I do when I'm away on business / holiday"

Often if it's a holiday I will tell people that if they have been training hard enough the rest of the year then they deserve a rest!

However, if you regularly go away on business and are staying in hotels, what can you do to get a fast, effective session in without much equipment?

Today I've posted a 'Hotel Room Points Challenge' workout at Storm Force Fitness.

THIS IS AVAILABLE TO NON-MEMBERS AS WELL SO PLEASE SEND THE LINK TO ANYONE YOU THINK WE CAN HELP!

http://www.stormforcefitness.com/article.php?pid=253

I am desperate to get people out of the 'I need a gym to exercise' mindset so have this one on me!

Yes I know it's becoming something of an obsession but I've seen the devestating effects bad information can have on a person when it comes to exercise.

Don't forget you don't have to be in a hotel! You can do it at home as well!

Enjoy!

Please send this link to all your friends if you think they could benefit - the more people we help the better!

Jon

Monday, 22 September 2008

Was I good enough?



Standing on top of the world at 13,000 ft watching the sunrise?

Spending a week with like-minded people who understand the life-changing effects of attempting things when you don't know you can complete them?

Being at one with nature in it's purest form?

I really don't know where to start with my tales of Borneo - it was the most amazing week of my life and no matter how I tell the stories and the photos you see, you still won't understand the emotions involved.

I figure the best thing to do is tell it in bits and what I learnt from each day.

I want to start with the cycling because I'm still buzzing from what happened at the end.

10km from the end of a gruelling day of endless hills in 35 degree heat, Yami (the Malaysian cycle guide and 3rd best mountain biker in the country - see photo above) issued me a challenge.
Could I beat him to the hotel we were resting at that night?

Me? Having done just 5 cycle rides in preparation. Against one of Malaysia's best?

This after climbing Malaysia's largest mountain 2 days before.

With 45 miles of undulating terrain in the baking heat under my belt for the day, it seemed a stupid idea.

So I accepted.

The sunglasses went on, and I necked what water I had left.

There wasn't going to room for error or pitstops.

A quick gear shift and a nervous look back at Yami's rippling leg muscles and it was time to put the kettlebell training to the test.

I knew Yami had the endurance capacity of a Duracel rabbit on speed so I was going to have to find something else in my locker.

The only way to get close to Yami would be to take the pain levels through the roof and see if he could take it.

And off we went.

Flying along the open roads with just the noise of the local wildlife to distract us.

Small Malaysian children waved and cheered at us as we sped through their villages.

7km left.

Yami wasn't even breathing hard yet. I was!

Past rice fields and random cows in the middle of the road, the hot sun beating down.

I realised that although I was trailing sweat as it poured off my chest, I had never felt so alive.

Yami shouts that there's 5km to go.

My legs are burning (as well as my suburnt shoulders).

Yami cleverly stayed behind me in my slipstream so I couldn't see if he was hurting as much as me!

Yami shouts that we're burning along at around 30mph now. Not bad considering we're on mountain bikes with tyres like a monster truck.

The sweat started stinging my eyes and the leg burn was cutting in. My chest was heaving so hard I thought my lungs were going to blow.

"Yon, Yon 3km left - you're doing well"

This was it. Play time.

I let rip.

2 minutes later I lifted my thumping head expecting to see Yami laughing at my attempts.

Nothing.

I looked behind and saw his red shirt 100m back.

He'd been dropped with 2km left.

I nearly burst into tears (again - I'll tell you about the mountain soon).

When you go beyond what you think possible and justify the hardwork which has gone before, it's hard to control emotions.

I wish I could have bottled that moment up and kept it. Writing about it gives me goose pimples.

All the pain and the suffering in training had paid off in a challenge I didn't know I would face until 30 minutes earlier.

I always promote 'random fitness' when training people. The ability to call on your body to be faster, go for longer, be stronger or whatever else the random situations in life call upon.

This is why I don't admire bodybuilders or those who train purely for long-distance running. They usually fail miserable in anything other than their specialist subject.

Having done little cycling training I was able to beat a top cyclist albeit over a relatively short distance.

Clearly I don't claim that if you want to be a top cyclist you don't need to ride a bike, but on that day, mentally and physically, everything came together for me and I have never felt so much at peace with myself or with nature.

The effects of out training methods were spelt out loud and clear.

This is how life should be lived.

Where physically you are ready for anything and mentally you are at one with yourself and the natural environment.

Unless you were on that bike with me, flying through rural Borneo with the bursts of warm tropical air racing over your body, you'll never quite grasp the adrenaline surge experienced in the making of this story.

But it's my story and it will live with me forever.

You have the power to create your own life-changing stories you just have to want to do it enough.

Next up....climbing Mount Kinabalu.

Remember if you want to start developing the type of fitness which makes you ready for anything (as well as roasting body fat) sign up at http://www.stormforcefitness.com/ . You could be writing your own story soon.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The biggest mistake you're making

As you should know by now, I am currently in the middle of Malaysia probably mountain biking so hard I have a sore bum.

I also promised you wouldn't hear from me for ten days.

Then I realised I was making the mistake that many of you are making.

The mistake millions make every year.

The reason people go round in circles and never get results withtheir fitness.

The reason?

I didn't plan ahead.

I assumed once I had left for Borneo, that was it.

I couldn't continue to help you until I got back.

Then I thought more and PLANNED BETTER.

I set up this email the night I left.

It is simple reasons that stop you getting results.

And to be honest this applies to everything in life not just fitness.

But fitness is my specialty and I see people continually failing to get anywhere because they don't have a plan.

They think they can turn up to the gym and just 'do a workout' and the fat will disappear.

Sorry it won't.

Set goals then 'reverse engineer' the goal.

In other words, plan backwards step by step from where you want to be (e.g 1 stone lighter) then work it back to where you are now.

These steps should be challenging but manageable.

I cover this goal setting process in more detail at http://www.stormforcefitness.com/article.php?pid=139 using my proven process.

All goals must be...

Specific
Timed
Operation-based
Relvant
Measurable.

Plan properly and you will be amazed at what you achieve!

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Having problems breathing when running?

I've noticed on a brief return to running (to prepare for the Mens Health Survival of the Fittest Race) that I have a habit of panic breathing when the going gets tough towards the end.

So I set about finding a way to regulate it.

The technique described here will work well for anyone who finds themselves wasting energy and generally becoming uncomfortable with the whole breathing thing when under intense physical pressure.

It has been used to help train fighters and marital artists in particular who need to remain calm in the face of danger and panic.

It really is quite horrible and requires a lot of self-discipline and will power but works a treat!

The method and the exercises are open to adaptation depending on your sport's requirements / skill levels / fitness etc but the principles remain.

The idea is that in you control how much rest you get between sets of a particular, full body, exercise. Full body exercises are required to rapdily shoot your pulse and breathing rate upwards. You perform 10 reps of a given exercise then rest for 10 breaths. How long the rest lasts depends on your ability to slow your breathing and remain calm!

You then repeat but with only 9 reps and 9 breaths. The process continues until you perform 1 breath and 1 rep!

Below is a sample session I have personally used. Obviously the weights used should be adjusted according to the individual. A good guide for weight selection is 40-60% of your 1 repetition max for the exercise in question - you should be able to move the weights quickly.


Push jerk with 2x24kg kettlebells 10 reps, 10 slow breaths, 9 reps, 9 slow breaths etc down to 1

As above using 60 kg barbell front squat

As above using 2x28kg kettlebells swing


Pre-requisites for this type of 'panic training'

- High level of competence in the exercises to be performed
- Will power and pain tolerance
- A partner may be useful to prevent sneaky extra breaths!

Don't expect an easy ride on this one and make sure you're fresh before trying it!

Monday, 1 September 2008

The 1000 rep challenge!

Phew it's over.

I finally completed my 1000 rep kettlebell challenge for charity.

The aim was to do 1000 reps in under 45 minutes.

The pain went something like this...

20 swings, 20 snatches, 20 swings, 20 jerks, 20 swings, 20 snatches, 20 swings, 40 split rows, 20 swings, 50 push ups

Four times.

Brutal but glad I did it and we raised some more money for my charity.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and took part in the Kettlebell Olympics afterwards - everyone was awesome and there were some cracking performances - but you can do better next year.... ;-)

Jon