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Thursday, 4 June 2009

Storm Force Fitness Blog Has Moved House!

Thanks for dropping by - we've actually moved the Storm Force Fitness blog to its new home at World's Toughest Workouts.

Hop on over there and jump on the subsrciber list to get on the Inner Circle for free programs.

See you there,
Jon

Saturday, 9 May 2009

The boredom of fat loss

Is anyone else bored of ‘build muscle, burn fat’ training?

Having spent the week training on the beaches of Thailand whilst on a fitness masterminding event, it struck me once again that the ‘build muscle, burn fat’ training programs which have infected the internet are well off-track.

I don’t want to mention specific programs but if you’ve done any searching for fat loss programs on the internet you’ll know what I mean!

The thing is there is nothing wrong with wanting to build muscle and burn fat but as far as I’m concerned it’s a very negative way to approach fitness.

Essentially all you’re doing is making good all the cock-ups you’ve made over the last few years! Good on you for taking the steps to do it, but there’s more to life than just repairing weaknesses.

Many athletes and coaches will tell you that you’re only as good as your weakest link. This may be true in some cases but if you only ever work on repairing weaknesses you’re never going to actually improve your physical abilities or become better able to take on new challenges.

Imagine yourself in 30 years telling your grandchildren all your life stories. Would you rather tell them about the time you were fat and lost 10lbs in 4 weeks or the times you climbed mountains, took on multi-terrain challenges, completed Marine style assault courses, trained in the forest with logs and trees and bears….



Okay maybe not bears.

If you’re carrying more flab than a polar bear than yes, you need to solve that problem but the key to real, long-term, mind-blowing results is to NOT focus on fat loss.

I heard of a guy who lost an astounding amount of body fat by doing just that. I think he lost about 10 stone by believing he was an athlete and living like an athlete. He got up at 5am to train before work, as an athlete might. He also trained after work. He ate like an athlete.

The guy lifted heavy weights like an athlete and performed intense intervals like an athlete.

He did NOT weigh himself everyday.

He then decided he would give Muay Thai a go once he got to a weight that would allow him to take the punishing training.



He did NOT weigh himself everyday or train for fat loss.

He trained to be a Muay Thai fighter and soon looked AND PERFORMED like one.

The key difference in finding something that you actually enjoy enough to continue indefinitely is between training that motivates you and training that inspires you.

The first is what you get with a 6 week fat loss program.

Motivation soon dwindles because fat loss in itself is not a rewarding enough goal for all but a very small minority who are obsesses with their bodies. Even then you have to question how fulfilling their life is.

You then search for other fat loss products for some reason even though the last lot bored you! This is why most people have every famous fat loss e-book on their hard drive but they’re still fat.

To find training that inspires you indefinitely, you need to find challenges with real meaning and excitement!

You may have heard of pleasure versus pain.

When you buy a fat loss product, the clever marketer has preyed on your pain and told you how crap life is because you’re fat. This motivates you.

6 weeks later you either haven’t lost weight and get demoralised, or you reach a point when you don’t need to lose fat and you lose interest in training.

Then you get fat again and the cycle continues.

For permanent results and creation of a body that looks AND performs like an athlete you need to train as if you truly believe you are an athlete, a competitor in a sports event, or even a soldier whose life could depend on their fitness.



Move yourself towards the pleasure end of the spectrum by training for experiences that will make awesome stories when you’re older!

There are infinite possibilities out there you just need to stop being blinkered by the meaningless fat loss bullshit that I really believe is ruining what the fitness industry should be about.

That’s my rant over, now I want to hear your side of the argument!

This may all seem kind of weird coming from the creator of the Fat Loss Action Blueprint but this needs to be said.

I’ll be honest with you.

The FLAB works damn well and gets great fat loss results but the only reason I wrote it in the first place was because I felt some need to jump on the internet fat loss bandwagon.

Hey, we all make misinformed choices - some are just more willing to admit them than others and do something about it!

My attitude has now completely changed with regard to fat loss and I hope this get you thinking!

Let me know your thoughts….

How has fat loss training worked for you in the long and short terms?

Have you found other ways to inspire you which have helped you maintain a long-term focus and inspired you to achieve more with your life than losing a few pounds?

Please leave your comments below!

Jon Le Tocq

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

More Holiday Workouts From Thailand

If there's one thing that gets the vein in my head popping, it's people who think they can't workout without a gym.

What a load of crap.

I am sitting right now in my towel after a short but tough 20 minute workout in the pool at our villa.

Fortunately I am not one of the poor sods who think aqua aerobics will help them lose weight.

Instead my session went like this (in a lightning storm!)

video

Set the clock at 20 minutes.
Perform 10 lengths of the 10 metre pool as fast as possible.
20 push ups on the side of the pool.
10 lengths
20 burpees
10 lengths
10 one arm push ups each side
10 lengths
10 jump squats, 10 burpees
10 lengths
10 one arm push ups each side 10 lengths


The lesson of the day....I'm rubbish at swimming.

Ah well, definitely burnt off the chicken satay and fried veggies.

More holiday updates soon!
Jon

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Marine workout on the beach

I'm in Thailand for 10 days.

For most people this means boozy night at the beach bar, lie-ins and too much rice.

Well, after a low carb lobster meal last night, the organiser of this 'fitness mastermind' event in Phuket, Dax Moy, revealed a nasty surprise.

At 6.30 am this morning we were all up and before we could dive into the usual lucious fresh fruit breakfast, we hit the beach.

What followed was neither nice nor pretty but highly effective!

Dax used to serve in the marines so had something special up his sleeve for us.

Today dawned the Magic Hundred beach workout, which went as follows.

(Before starting, mark out a 100m strip of soft, sandy beach)

100m sprint
100m swim back
100m push ups (push ups for distance so you have to push up and forward every rep)
100m walking lunge back
100m jump squat
100m seal crawl back
100m roll
100m swim
100m sprint in water back


Descriptions:

For the seal crawl, lie on the sand and drag yourself 100m using your legs as little as possible. Imagine you have no use of your legs and you'll get it!

For the roll, perform forward rolls for the distance.

We had intended to add a 100m rock throw but couldn't find any suitable rocks or logs!

The swims were an absolute killer because it was virtually impossible to get any momentum due to constantly breaking 4-5ft waves!

So if you ever tell me you couldn't train on holiday because you couldn't get to a gym, you will get some stick!

This was fun in a sick kind of way and as you can see there was absolutely no equipment needed, yet ruined us!

Full body exercises, power endurance, strength, core strength in the waves, upper body, lower body, mental toughness, grind, but most importantly out in the wonders of nature.

Think outside the box guys, there's so much out there to inspire your fitness goals.

I'll have the video soon!

Jon

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Beach workouts in Thailand!

Thailand rocks!

I'm well into my fitness masterminding event just outside of Phuket and we just got back from being caught in a true Storm Force rain shower!



There's something awesome about swimming in the dark, in warm bath water being pelted by warm rain with giant flashes lighting up the sky!

What more do you want after a day of producing killer fitness product ideas and sunbathing!

However, I thought I best let you know that there hasn't been any slacking on the training as we've managed to get in a beach sprint session.

8 rounds

100m sprint on soft sand followed by a light jog or swim back to the start


Perfect interval session!

The sand provides great resistance and the soft nature of the sand whilst being friendly on the knees also forces you to develop pull from your hip flexor muscles as less force can be generated b pushing on the sand by your back foot!

Try it on your holidays this year!

Tomorrow I'm going for a double whammy of 10k beach run for Tough Guy preparation with a quick bodyweight-swim circuit like this.

Working with a partner I'll be doing the following for 20 minutes:

One person completes 10 lengths of the 10m pool at our 5 star villa.

The other person must do burpee-push ups until the swimmer is finished.

Switch and repeat for 20 minutes!




(That's the view out of our 'office')

Short, sharp and very effective.

If I can't find a partner willing to take on the challenge I'll do 10 lengths to 30 burpees continuously.

There is no reason to shy out of workouts when you're on holiday guys so stop looking for reasons not to do it!

I could easily make excuses about time (despite what you may think I'm working hard and didn't finish masterminding until 3am, last night!), the heat, the need to relax etc.

The fact is my Tough Guy race in July isn't going to change date or allow me to make excuses - it will try to bring me down no matter what!

Look for the things you CAN do when your daily routine and equipment changes!

Nature provides the best gyms I ever find and they're different every time!

Keep an eye out for more crazy workouts this week!

Jon

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Butt kicking of the year

Some people are asking just how tough Intense Conditioning really is going to be and wondering if they really work hard enough when they train.

Well, here's the workout I did this morning - the video is from when I did it last year.

It will answer both questions.

This very workout is in Week 9 of the Intense Conditioning program with a couple of slight tweaks.

Quite simply it will kick you in places you've never been kicked.

Guys, this is what I mean by a true metabolic weight session - the intensity when done properly is mind-numbing!

If you want abs, a lean athletic body, unstoppable conditioning, bigger muscles or anything else you need to be willing to give it everything.

This doesn't mean selling your soul to fitness or living at the gym!

However, you need to be able to zone out of your troubles for those 45 minutes when you give 100% to whatever session is in your program - and love it!!!

You also need to be following your nutrition plan all week.

By all means reward yourself ONCE per week but remember what REWARD means.

You don't earn - you don't get! Be strict with yourself.

Anyway here's the session - go on I dare you to try it.... (VIDEO BELOW)

4 Rounds of....

20 swings
20 snatches (10 each side)
20 swings
20 jerks (10 each side)
20 swings
20 snatches (10 each side)
20 swings
40 single arm rows (10 each side)
20 swings
50 push ups

Monday, 27 April 2009

Intense Conditioning workouts - more sneak previews

Sometimes I get bored of talking and hearing about fat loss!

I know that sounds stupid but fat loss really is pretty simple if you just decide you want to do it!

Admit it, we're all getting a little tired of hearing about transformation contests, 'awesome abs' and magic fat loss programs!

What's not so simple, but a lot more exciting, is designing and following programs which lead to increases in strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning all at once!

So I set to work....

In just a few weeks I'll finally get to unleash Intense Conditioning.

The 12 week program takes you through a 4 week 'pain tolerance' phase whilst practicing certain strength techniques and exercises you probably haven't used or have neglected for too long!

(Oh and you'll no doubt see your body fat drop too!)

It's time to get serious about training! If you like drilling yourself into the ground - you'll love this!!!

In Week 5 we move into combined strength and conditioning training to optimise all areas of your fitness without having to focus solely on one.

If you want to be a powerlifter or pack on muscle for the sake of it, this isn't for you.

If you want to be lean and athletic it most definitely is!

You need to be ready to commit to your training though - this doesn't work with half-arsed attitudes and 'train when I have time' mentalities.

Stay tuned folks - you'll want to get hold of this........





Check out some of the previews!

Friday, 24 April 2009

Doctors are screwed

Well they're not but they should be.

As as I am concerned we shouldn't need doctors.

We also shouldn't need people like me.

Why?

Because disease and illness is caused by environmental factors.

Environmental factors are caused by man.

When I went to Borneo last year, our guide told us about how all the medicines 'you Westerners' spend billions on can be found for free in Borneo, in the wild.

We were shown how termites could be used to clamp, seal and repair flesh wounds - it astouneded me.

In the good old days, nature healed all.

Here's a great video from the legendary Paul Chek on why you should never need a doctor again.

He can come across as a little eccentric at times but the point is he knows his stuff and you need to listen up!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Counting calories

I just had an email from Petra in the US who got awesome results following the Fat Loss Action Blueprint.

We were talking about calories and how many calories were in a particular recipe in 'Cooking For The Fitness Lifestyle'.

I used to think calorie counting was the key to fat loss.

However, whilst it is useful as a guide especially for those who have no idea what to eat or how much for fat loss, consider the following....

Recipes

When you look at a recipe and it says it contains 350 calories how can you accurately replicate that when all eggs are different sizes?

I include calorie amounts in the cookbook as a guide but clearly it's not going to be 100% as your eggs may be bigger than mine!

Burning calories

If you have found out you should eat 300 calories 5/6 times per day to burn body fat, what happens if you walk up an extra 10 flights of stairs a few times that day because you're at a conference and the lift is broken?

What if it's 10 degrees colder and you are shivering more - should you adjust for summer and winter?



What if you have some labouring to do at home because you're doing up your porch?

What if your wife helps you with the labouring on Saturday but has to take the kids to a party the next day?

What if you play a better football team this week than last week so you have to run around more and work harder?



What if you have a physical job like a fireman? Some days you'll be sat down a lot because fortunately no-one needs you help. Other days you could be in action for 5-6 hours in a row. What do you do then? Are you going to whip out your scales and have an extra half an egg whilst you heroically hoist Mrs Jones out of her top floor window to make up for it?

What if Mrs Jones has packed on some pounds at Christmas, tripped over the fairy lights and sparked that fire. She weighs more than she did in November so it's going to require greater exertion to get her out - are you going to have to carbo load when you get back to the station?

I think you get the point!


It is physically impossible to accurately calculate how many calories you need each and every day so I really suggest you don't bother once you have gained insight into how big a meal size should be using estimates from reliable sources.

This is a perfect example of how many people spend so much time trying to create the perfect nutrition or training plan when they would be better off just getting the kettlebells out and beasting themselves.

The calories then take care of themselves!

This is the basis of the forthcoming Intense Conditioning program - worry about what matters!

Train hard.

Use high, low, no carb days in a cycle to trick your body into dropping body fat.

Eat clean, natural food.

You can't fail to get results.

Intense Conditioning is coming!

Intense Conditioning will soon be released! I and a few of my trainer friends around the world have been following it for the last few weeks as well as a couple of my clients.

The program brings together everything you need to know to rapidly increase your strength, power and conditioning without needing any specialist equipment!



Too many people these days get fixated with 'kettlebells are better than dumbbells', 'bodyweight is for beginners', 'I need to be a member of gym to get results'.

Stop the bickering, stop the excuses and get on with it - you'll see awesome results!!

The truth is...

...you don't need to be doing the same exercises week in and week out
...you can increase strength without big, rusty squat racks
...you don't need to spend more time in your gym than the staff
...intense is fun!!!

I watched a program about gastric banding the other day and got really wound up at how pathetic and foolish these people are.



If you want me to feel sorry for you because you have rammed yourself full of crap foods when you knew what damage it was doing, then think again!

Too many of us make the effort to turn down the filth you have been drip feeding into your arteries and whilst you were marvelling at the stars of Eastenders we were out throwing kettlebells around and trying to figure out just what it would take to get the damn things over our head just a few more times!

I love new challenges and I love not knowing what the next workout will bring! It keeps me motivated, mentally stable and most importantly lean and athletic!

Then I realised, why worry about people like that?

There are always going to be lazy, fat people around so I need to get used to it!

I am delighted to help those who are willing to take responsibility and stop using words like 'too hard', 'like it too much', 'have to entertain a lot so can't' and 'haven't got time'.

That's what the Fat Loss Action Blueprint is for.

Instead I should be focussing on those who really love fitness for what it is, who don't have a cardiac arrest at the thought of breaking a sweat and who understand that a love of fitness and the euphoric feelings it gives you everyday!

So I will soon be unleashing Intense Conditioning, with all the workouts you need to shed body fat, increase strength and improve staying power and mental toughness!

And that's just for starters!

As you can see it's not for girls though....

video

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Jon talks strength and conditioning with Alwyn Cosgrove

Following on from my interview with Craig Ballantyne, I hooked up with world-renowned coach Alwyn Cosgrove.

If you've never heard of this guy, I strongly suggest you google him and see what you find!

I've yet to find someone who gets such strong points across INSTANTLY!

Let's see what he had to say about periodising your training, nutrition, carbs and which people influenced him throughout life....

********************

JLT: Hi Alwyn thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat strength, conditioning and fat loss with me. I know your straight up attitude is something a lot of people have warmed to and admire, myself included!

AC: No problem, Jon

JLT: Now, I love spending time with people who just want fast results without all the unnecessary trimmings. However, sometimes there is a need to go beyond just ‘working out hard’ all the time.

What are your thoughts on periodisation, in particular linear versus
undulating versus the conjugate model when it comes to getting an
athlete or Joe Public in top shape? Does it depend on the individual and their sport or is there one best way in your opinion?

AC: Well, it depends on a lot of variables. For the general population with general goals, usually fat loss, an alternating linear approach seems to work best. In other words Weeks 1-4 we would work with sets of 12 reps, Weeks 5-8, 8 reps, Weeks 9-12: 10 reps, Weeks 13-16: 6 reps.

For general strength, the science has shown undulating periodization to be superior, but the same researchers showed it to be less effective for muscular endurance.

The conjugate system works well for athletes who need to peak multiple times
or have long seasons, but in our experience the rate of progress is somewhat
slower and requires more recovery.

As with most things – there’s never one right answer.


JLT: Awesome thanks for that! Take note readers again we have another expert confirming that you shouldn’t be searching for that perfect program. The perfect program for your next door neighbour may not be for you.

AC: Precisely.

JLT: Moving on do you think periodisation or cycling practices should be applied to nutrition as well or do you believe you have a set of rules which must be applied all year round for top results?

AC: You may have heard me say before that methods are many, principles are few, methods may change, principles never do.


We use the same principles year round and look for 80-90% compliance to the
principles. We may add extra “rules” for weight class athletes or when
someone is peaking but it’s always the same philosophy.

(These principles can be found here)

JLT: My thoughts exactly – everyone’s always looking for ‘new’ when it’s adhering to the proven stuff that gets the job done. What are your views on carbohydrates? Do you agree with only eating carbs after training, before and after training?

AC: For fat loss it’s a very effective strategy, for hypertophy then it’s
overly restrictive as we need to be getting sufficient calories in to stimulate muscle growth.


JLT: Right so would you ever cycle carb intake with individuals such as low-medium-high days?

AC: We have used it but we don’t emphasize carb cycling too much to be
honest.

I can see the effectiveness of it, but in our experience it hasn't been that much more effective in the average client over time - and for most of them it creates too much hassle and stress. Using a 90% compliance to a set of principles allows flexibility and more "life".


JLT: So again we’re saying that compliance with a good program is better than half-hearted efforts at perfectly designed nutrition and training strategies especially in the general public looking for all-round results and fat loss.

Back to training…what are your views on deloading from training and why? For instance do you recommend every 4th week as a light week, every 6th week as
complete rest etc or do you believe simply taking enough rest during
each week is enough?*

AC: We start a new program every four weeks and we use week one as a deload
week – when we teach the new exercises.

The new stimulus is usually enough to create forward progress, so we reduce the volume and intensity that week.

It’s always worked better with our clients than deloading in later weeks.

So week one: introduction week, week two: base week, week three: overload
week, week four: shock week - then week five we start over with a new
routine but it's intro week so volume is reduced.

I like a half week off after 8 weeks of uninterrupted training.

Basically on a 3 days per week split such as Monday, Wednesday, Friday - you'd just miss one workout and then a full week off after 16 weeks.

Again on a MWF SPLIT, you'd miss Wed and Fri and get back to the gym the next monday - so it's seven days not nine days as some people do it.


JLT: Interesting – that would work well and I could see how using a kind of teaching week would be very effective especially for beginners. I like to use ‘practice days’ along the way for certain individuals and programs which give recovery time but enable you to accelerate gains on exercises you need to work at.

AC: Yes that would work too but we still need some extended recovery breaks.

JLT: Definitely, as we said earlier it’s all about the individuals especially as some beginners just don’t train hard enough to warrant long rest breaks!

Right Alwyn, once you’ve had a tough training sessions, what are your top post-training recovery methods in terms of dynamic versus static stretching, ice baths, cold showers, power naps etc. How do you make sure the individual is in top condition for the next session?

AC: Static stretching, foam rolling and post workout nutrition are going to
be 90% of the picture
.

That will address the quality of the muscle tissue (the density) and the length and tension, while feeding the system.

A recovery strategy has to be built around the training strategy – it’s hard
to answer this question without a specific training regimen in mind.

JLT: Fair enough we don’t want to be putting any more generic advice out into the fitness world! Let’s move on to your career and progression.

What are the biggest mistakes you made in your early days with clients
in terms of your approaches to nutrition, training and the mental
aspects of getting results?

AC: I don’t think I made any mistakes per se.

I always worked as hard as I could and did the best I knew how. We have just learned more.

For example we all thought that high carb low fat diets were the best, aerobics was
best for fat loss, crunches were good for abdominal work etc.

We weren’t making mistakes – we just learned more!

I think of what we do similar to medicine. If you were a doctor who prescribed a drug to patients in the 80’s and subsequent studies in 2009 found a better, safer, more effective drug – then you’d change.

It doesn’t mean you made a mistake before – we just know more now. you're only making a mistake if you don't stay current.


JLT: Yeah I’m glad you said that because it makes me sad when people get so attached to a particular method that they refuse to consider an alternative no matter how long it has failed to produce results!

AC: Exactly, at the end of the day you need to keep reassessing and testing to keep improving. That rule applies to the average gym member trying to lose fat as well as us as coaches.

JLT: For sure, now your famous for your ah-ha moments amongst other things! What are your five biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments which really shaped the direction of your training philosophies?

AC: Well my Top 5 ah-ha moments can be found on T-Nation – go check them out as there’s too much to go through again here!

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/cosgroves_five_ahha_moments

Aside from that article, the realization that I had more people in my facility on any given program than most research studies had enrolled really forced me to analyze and look at the data we were collecting. That really refined our programming over time as we were getting so much data on a regular basis!


JLT: So we should always take ‘science’ with a pinch of salt and test for ourselves?

AC: Yes, I’m not saying scientific research isn’t necessary - that would be stupid - but never just accept things as gospel!

JLT: Okay good advice! Next question…who has had the most profound effect on your career or life in general so far and why?

AC: When I was in high school in Livingston I was in Higher mathematics class. I
have no idea how I got there as I was clearly the dumbest kid in the class!

Sat next to me in the class was a guy, Keith Wilson who spent his spare time (at 14 years old) working for a company converting the program code for an arcade computer game to a home version. He used to hand in his homework on a floppy disk.

Me? I was drawing sharks on the back of my notebook.

So while studying quadratic equations, (something that has been oh-so-useful in my life...) it was clear that I didn't understand it. I asked the teacher to go over it again.

He sighed an exasperated sigh - but he went over it again.

I still didn't get it.

So I asked again. The teacher sighed loudly and said "Okay - the rest of you take a five minute break while I go over this again for Alwyn's benefit....." and then mumbled "for whatever good that will do"

Obviously I felt pretty small at that point. And of course the whole class heard him and laughed.

And I still didn't get it.

And I never asked a question to this teacher again.

And I failed the exam for the class.

This teacher was a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the latter. Why? Just because he could. That's the kind of person he was.

Another person in my life was my Taekwon-do instructor - Derek Campbell. My Dad was made unemployed and we could no longer afford lessons. I went to my instructor and told him that we just couldn't afford lessons anymore and I'd be back when my Dad got a job.

He told me to show up early for the next class and become his assistant - teaching beginners. He would pay me with free lessons.

I went on to become a fourth degree black belt, and seven time UK national champion as a result.

This teacher was also a man who had a chance to make a kid feel better and help him, or put him down and make him feel worthless. He chose the former.

Why? Just because he could. That's the kind of person he was. He changed the
course of my life.

One person changed a kids life and made it worse. One person changed a kid's life and made it better. I remember both of them.

We have all had, and remember these people in our lives - the only question to ask is ...

What kind of person are you?

JLT: Hmmm something worth thinking about. I always think an attitude of gratitude will eventually get you where you want to be!

AC: Yeah for sure.

JLT: Okay let’s time warp. If you were a newbie to the strength and fitness game now, what three things would you prioritise to accelerate the success of both yourself as a trainer and your clients’ results?

AC:

1) Be the best.

The difference between where you are now, and where you want to be can
usually be closed by education. Who do you need to meet? Who do you need to
intern with? What books do you need to read? What DVD’s do you need to
watch? What seminars do you need to attend? Make a list and start checking
them off.


JLT: Education all the way! I think that applies to general fitness fanatics as well.

I love the phrase ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’

People need to stop hunting for cookie cutter programs and actually learn a little along the way so they can be more adaptable.

Next?

AC:

2) Understand the mindset of the client. This is something I got from Dr Kara Mohr.

Put yourself in the clients’ shoes. Try to understand what it’s like for them in their lives to make fitness a priority. That doesn’t mean you need to coddle clients or accept excuses and rationalizations, but think about what it means for a 300 lb women who is joining your gym and this is the first exercise she’s ever done.

Signing up is a huge accomplishment – these things need to be acknowledged, supported and celebrated. Having that sense of caring and understanding can take you far.

If you’re a trainer - are you in the best shape of your life?

How many trainers reading this are in the greatest shape of their lives
right now?

How many are extremely happy with their own fitness?

How many trainers hire and use another trainer?

We know how valuable and useful a trainer can be to someone? Yet most trainers don't use one. Why? You don’t need one? Does a doctor need another doctor? Does a hairdresser cut their own hair?

Why do you think you don't need one? Think of all those reasons and understand that the prospective client thinks that too. They don't know what you know - and they still feel that "they'll hire you once they lose ten pounds".

Most trainers don't understand the mindset of the client or prospect.


JLT: Wow I like that! Fat trainers annoy me. What else?

AC:

3) Continue to “sharpen the saw” by investing in yourself on an ongoing basis
The only thing worse than not attending a seminar in the last three months is not attending a seminar and thinking that it doesn’t matter.

When you decide to stop learning (and it IS a decision) you will stop growing and you will stop earning.


JLT: Okay food for thought and I better go find a seminar to go to….

Let’s finish off with what are the three things or people you wish would vanish off the face of the fitness industry forever?

AC: Seriously? The fitness industry?

I don’t care.

I focus on doing a great job with my clients and that’s really all you can focus on.

There isn’t anything in the fitness industry that bugs me too much. I guess the
in-fighting that seems to go on bothers me a little but to be blunt, I’m too
busy to even think about that kind of stuff.

I’d like it if we could get rid of cancer, but getting rid of step aerobic instructors doesn’t really concern me.


JLT: Wise words. I think even if you’re not a trainer and you’re taking in this interview, you need to think about that. Focus on what gets you results and forget about trying to take down other people. If you’re getting good results tell people how, if you’re not, you’ve got other priorities right now!

AC: Exactly. Learn how to get results then share the knowledge!

JLT: Right let’s wrap it up there. Alwyn thanks for your time - there’s a lot to think about there for trainers and fitness fans alike. Can you tell us where can people find out more about your methods and philosophies?

AC: No problem. They can check out http://www.alwyncosgrove.com


Note - To find out more about periodization and what it means, check out Alwyn’s article

Monday, 20 April 2009

Top notch fat loss combination

I had an email from Brad Pilon of EatStopEat the other day saying how fad diets were still outselling his program ten, twenty, a hundred fold.



I agree with him.....it's sad and ridiculous.

I personally follow intermittent fasting for many reasons, not just keeping my body fat under 10%.

There's the reduced food bills, increased growth hormone, mental control....

I also know many trainer friends of mine who also do it.

On top of this I have some guinea pigs trialling a new strength and conditioning program.

James this week reported being 11lbs down after 8 weeks combining the training with intermittent fasting (and the photos show it) (it's not even supposed to be a fat loss program but hey)

What's this got to do with you?

Well next week I am off for a fitness masterminding event in Thailand where I intend to fast at least once simply because I know Dax Moy and the gang will no doubt be sliding a Tiger Beer my way on various other days, between bungee jumps and hammock time!

Don't wanna be putting on body fat with my fancy new beach shorts on.....



This is the beauty of intermittent fasting! You can let go A BIT on certain days, knowing you'll make up the calorie deficit on others to still lose body fat.

No calorie counting, no protein v fat v carbs, no 'points'.

What you gonna do for me then Jon?

What I am going to do is giving you an opportunity to get hold of the two most powerful things I have used with my clients to accelerate fat loss and stave off the boredom associated with healthy food!

If you head on over to EatStopEat to grab a copy of Brad's program using this link (my affiliate link) and email me the receipt, I'll send you a copy of the 'Cooking For The Fitness Lifestyle' e-cookery book for free.

=========> EatStopEat plus 150 recipe e-cookbook combination please



Simple as that.

(If you don't want me to make any affiliate commission and don't want the cookery book just go to the normal EatStopEat link and get the e-book - that's how much I think you should start intermittent fasting if you're struggling to find a nutrition plan that fits your busy schedule)

The catch?

You have to do this by Friday 24th April 7pm GMT (London time baby!).

Why so soon?

1) Because I want to be safe in the knowledge that when I am resisting all the temptations of a 5* villa in Phuket, you'll be doing it with me.

Check out where I'm staying

2) I don't want to have to deal with too many emails whilst I'm whooping Charlotte Ord in some sprints on the white sands outside our team villa... (Don't tell her if you know her....)

3) The truth is people put so much weight on this fasting thing when it's actually easier than everyone thinks. As soon as they do it, it's almost an anti-climax because it is so easy to get through the day.

A week later you're 2-3 lbs down with no crazy, long-term starvation tactics - happy days!

I just want you to get on this as soon as possible instead of thinking about it, analysing whether it's for you and, as usual, finding excuses.

Remember, if you keep doing the same things and following the same methods and they haven't shown results yet, they never will!

So go get EatStopEat now, email your receipt to jon@stormforcefitness.com and you'll soon have an awesome combo of intermittent fasting and 150 Storm Force Fitness approved meals.

Good times people - use them wisely!
Jon

Friday, 17 April 2009

Le Tocq's Fitness Credo

***Please print this and keep it with you - read it every day***

If you’ve ever read Kekich’s Credo, you’ll know it’s a set of life principles which should be on anyone’s daily reading list if they want to reach their potential in life.

These principles are generic in nature, created from the life experiences of Dave Kekich.

As I read through them I looked at each one and realised that they could be directly applied to any attempts at improving your physical fitness whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder or Joe Average looking to shed some fat.

If you can live your life by these principles, your results will amaze both yourself and those around you.

Keep them in the forefront of your mind by reading them regularly and trust in them when it seems even willpower can’t get you through.


This is Le Tocq’s Fitness Credo (adapted from Kekich’s Credo)

1. People will do almost anything to stay in their comfort zones. If you want to see physical change you must force your body well beyond the limits you perceive. Strive to discipline all areas which effect your results – training, nutrition and recovery. This will involve applying yourself in the face of fierce opposition from both your social environment and yourself. To develop discipline 1) set clear experience based goals with challenging deadlines – in other words, visualise the event you will be able to experience once that goal is achieved, 2) find what’s really important to you by breaking goals down further and further until you have clear emotional reasons to achieve them – get to the root cause no matter how much thought and effort it takes. You may find that goals isn’t actually as important as you first thought and 3) steadily but surely replace all bad habits with positive thought and action.

2. Time is your most valuable resource. Don’t waste time messing with minor details. The best results are usually achieved by those who understand that intensity of training trumps length of workout every time. Choose full body exercises, choose intervals, choose heavy. Forget isolation exercises for burning fat, and forget drinking ice cold water, walking an extra flight of stairs and chewing gum to burn more calories. Life has far more to offer than the inside of a gym so get outside. The most important choices we make in life are how we use our time.

3. Think carefully before telling yourself that you will achieve a certain goal. Often we think we want to lose weight, run a certain distance or look a certain way because of outside influences. Promises to ourselves are the easiest ones to break but the most damaging as well. Choose your goals carefully and find the emotional reason for them. Once you have qualified yourself for that goal see it as a contract which cannot and will not be broken.

4. Real regrets come only from knowing you could have given more. The scoreboard, race times and scales will show only a number – your result. All you can do is give 100%. The lower this percentage drops, the more your results will deteriorate. If you have given 100% don’t berate yourself – it wasn’t meant to be.

5. Always be thankful for the results you have achieved and the physical abilities you have to at give it your all. Some people will never have these gifts.

6. Always re-invest your results. Do not sit back and admire yourself too much but invest your new found strength, power or lean, athletic body into a new activity which provides yet another fresh challenge.

7. You’ll be successful and see great results when you like what you are becoming but also when you have a passion for the journey. Love what you do because one day the results will fade but the memories of the journey will live on.

8. Learn from those who have gone before you with success. If someone has got what you want, ask them how they got it. They may not be willing to help you, but you’ll be no worse off.

9. Train for the best results but prepare for the worst. Pay attention to recovery and preventative measures like foam rolling, stretching and sleep. Repair is much harder than cure and the worst feeling is one of ‘I wish I had….’ when an injury happens which you saw coming a few weeks ago.

10. In competition, never show weakness. Work on these weaknesses in training but when you step on the field of play leave doubt behind – there is nothing more you can do now. Assume the opposition is better than you but also know you can beat anyone – this will make you raise your game every time.

11. Never start chasing a goal without a solid, well-researched written plan. You may let someone else do the research for you but ensure they have the credentials to do so and the evidence to prove they did it.

12. Success comes quickly to those who can engage a high level of concentration for a sustained period of time. Quick fix diets, 5 minute workouts and anything else which does not require a degree of commitment, sacrifice and dedication will reap little reward.

13. If you put in the effort the upside of training will take care of itself – results will flow. However, protect against the downside where things can turn nasty. Work on mobility, stretch, sleep, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and do anything else required to prevent you slipping up. If it’s not working, stop doing it. If it is working, let it loose!

14. The primary purpose of fitness is to feel great about yourself. Looking great helps this. Keep reading and learning so that you can increase the value of each training session.

15. Reward yourself only for results. Treat yourself only when it is deserved. Whatever you reward you get more of. Reward a ‘bad week’ and you will get more bad weeks.

16. Training competence requires knowledge. If you would not feel confident teaching another, then you do not believe enough in your training and need to go and learn more for yourself.

17. Your body does not like effective training – accept that. Intense training is the only way to force results but your body does not like the stress and will let you know. It will get defensive, forcing you to paddle upstream if you want to see results.

18. If it works, do more of it, but only until it no longer works. This will happen with every single program you ever use without exception.

19. Leverage your fitness lifestyle. Use it for more than one purpose. Get outdoors, have a great session, enjoy it, save money on gym fees and get better results all in one go. It is possible if you take the time to learn how.

20. Rationalizations for why you stopped one rep short or slowed down 20m from the end are nearly always convenient evasions of the truth. The truth is you mistakenly listened to the sensors telling you to stop, you got lazy today or you lacked mental strength.

21. Always have seemingly impossible goals which you make a life or death situation! Visualise them intensely by creating clear, focussed pictures or scenes in your mind about what life would be like if you achieved them. This will force you to use your time effectively and direct every action towards these goals. You will find new ways to achieve them because you have to.

22. The value of every fitness program diminishes past a certain point – usually sooner than you think. Measure everything so you can spot the warning signs and move on. Don’t flog a dead horse.

23. Everything you experience or think is the result of the momentum and ideas created by those who have gone before you. Surround yourself with the right people whose shoulders are worth standing on, then appreciate how far you can see when you’re up there.

24. Enthusiasm often trumps knowledge. 100% commitment to a mediocre program will often reap more results than half-hearted efforts with the most complicated, detailed super-program. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and draw others into your training circle, pushing you all further.

25. Buying cookie-cutter programs will only get you so far. Your training and life in general will be much more fulfilling if you take time to learn why certain methods work. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish…..

26. Religiously nourish your body with proper nutrition, exercise, recreation, sleep and relaxation techniques. Do not underestimate any of these factors nor lose focus on any of them for any length of time.

27. The choice to exert effort in everything you do or become lazy but hide it well, is what determines how far you can go in life. You must make this choice every minute or every day. You will see that those who excel in training are usually those who excel in everything life has to offer. Not reaching your true potential is a waste of life and training time.

28. An active body is essential but so is an active mind. Stimulate it from all angles or you will regress.

29. Learn to communicate with yourself and those around you. Explain why you must go to the gym when they want to go the pub but learn to do it in such as way as to encourage them into your circle rather than just push yourself away from theirs. Listen to their rationalisations then talk them round based on what you know is fact from your experience of intense exercise and healthy eating.

30. Identify and replace all external authorities. You must be in control of every aspect of your life. Learn how to train anywhere, free from the constraints of commercial gyms which control how you can train. Prepare your own food rather than relying on what the local sandwich bar can provide. Be the ruler of your own timetable and take control of everything. Don’t expect others to set meaningful goals for you even if you pay them to do so.

31. Consciously make every effort to be 100% honest with yourself at all times. The higher the likely cost or reward, the more this strength will be tested.

32. Never compromise when you know you are right and have the evidence to prove it. Similarly, do not assume knowledge until you have done your research. If you know your training method works do not be talked around. If you cannot prove it will work for the person asking you questions, do not pretend.

33. If the long-term future of a program or goal is no longer viable, suitable or rewarding, walk away. Every minute you delay is a minute longer it will take to reach the next goal you set which really is right for you. Qualify yourself for every goal in the first instance then keep reassessing. You won’t want the same things forever.

34. Invest in a personal trainer, online program or fitness tool only when you have thoroughly researched it. Do not fall for deadline deals or limited offers. If your instinct rather than your quick fix radar says yes, buy it immediately. When you o make sure you read it as soon as possible and implement it without excuses about time, kids, birthdays, Christmas or any other rationalisation for the fear of hard work.

35. Stress will kill you. Learn the difference between eustress and distress. Sore muscles and lactic acid build up will benefit you eventually, injuries will not. Remove all sources of physical and mental stress and never play through a serious or potentially serious injury. Your goals will seem trivial when you cannot walk for a few months or your back hurts every time you sneeze.

36. Money isn’t as important as you think. Invest it in your health and wellbeing before any material goods. The greatest reward is longevity, and the greatest cost is not having it.

37. Mental and physical fitness are the most important elements in life. Optimising these will lead to improvements in all other areas – business, social and family. It will teach you hard work, honesty, goal setting and planning, enjoying the journey, respect, discipline, control and how to remove yourself from the trivial and place yourself in ‘the zone’ for the time you are training. This can be your escape.

38. If it doesn’t require hard work and toil it’s probably not worth much.

39. Develop a philosophy around your health and fitness lifestyle which guides every action. Don’t be reactive – this nearly always leads to negative action. Have principles and stick by them. This applies to alcohol, cigarettes, processed sugars, late night clubbing and cream cakes. This way you will never have reason not to love yourself or feel guilty.

40. That goal is not impossible. The bigger the goal the bigger the reward but the time and energy required doesn’t increase at nearly the same rate.

41. Do not try. Do or don’t.

42. Lead by example. If you want to convince people that they need to live a fitness lifestyle, show them, don’t tell them.

43. Take full responsibility for actions and mistakes. Similarly, remember to take credit for successes.

44. If you always take the path of least resistance you will walk the journey of least reward. Choose a heavier weight, put your trainers on when it’s raining and miss that fourth Christmas party.

45. Vividly visualise victory at all times whether it is over your inner demons that try to drag you back or if it is over an adversary on the sports field. Let your animal instincts rule in competition.

46. First impressions last. If you walk on to the gym floor or sports field with doubts in your mind, they will linger until you go home. Always put your best foot forward and teach yourself how you want to act. Teach people how you want them to talk to you and treat you. If you need encouragement to achieve your goals, teach them what to say and do.

47. The right thing is usually the hardest option. Self-esteem is more important than short-term losses in popularity so do the right thing and go to the gym.

48. If you let yourself get away with laziness or lack of control with your nutrition once, you’ll do it again and again and again. Set rules and live by them.

49. Respect other peoples’ goals. They may not train like you or have the same goals but don’t disrespect them. By all means explain why you prefer your methods, but if they still disagree, let them be.

50. Your own results are the ultimate form of proof.

51. Build relationships with people who help you to improve mentally and physically. Surround yourself with what you want to become. Associate with people who share your values and leave behind the naysayers. They’ll come knocking one day. Never close your door.

52. If you have no control over something, leave it be. Don’t take it personally.

53. Spend time learning about health and fitness but don’t forget to actually implement what you learn. Unapplied knowledge is useless.

54. Choose your training partner and training environment very carefully. It could be the difference between a special achievement and a wasted part of your life.

55. Enjoy your training. Treat is as an adventure. There is so much variety available that it is criminal to just focus on thing. Care about results but also love the process. Lighten up and you will live longer. Even if you don’t you’ll have enjoyed much more of it!

56. Identifying exactly what you want from training hard is a difficult process. Once you know, get your head down and charge.

57. Sheer will power, integrity and competence are the most potent force in fitness and sport.

58. Who you are, what you achieve in and out of training and sport, and where you currently stand in life is solely down to you. The reaction to any of these is what matters, not the situation itself. Every minute is another chance to change direction.

59. Desire must be a fire that burns constantly. Accept that permanent dissatisfaction is part of being a high-achiever, but learnt to manage it.

60. Your mind, body and spirit must work as one so pay attention to relaxation techniques which bring everything back into alignment. Do this on a daily basis. Do not place too much focus on just weightlifting, just cardio or just yoga. They all have their place and must be part of a holistic approach. You must take time to see how they all link up.

61. Deceive others and you will suffer yourself. Don’t lie about what you can lift, the times you can run or how good you are. It will slap you in the face eventually – the truth is always exposed.

62. If you constantly hunt for security in how you feel you will fail. Set goals well beyond ‘losing some weight to feel better’ because being secure in yourself is the lowest form of happiness and the easiest one to slip out of. Aim to shock yourself and your peers.

63. Ensure every step you take in your fitness lifestyle benefits everyone around you but accept that at times you will have to work harder than others to bring change about. Your family and friends will often be unaware of the good it will do them – keep the faith.

64. Review the philosophy behind your training and nutrition beliefs at least once a year. New research, new goals, and new experiences can all change the way you think. You don’t have to hold the same views all your life – it’s okay to develop a new perspective.

65. Don’t envy others’ results. Learn lessons from them then apply your new knowledge with vigour and excitement. Thank them for the lesson.

66. Spend nearly all of your time on what you love doing rather than seeing the brief time you get to do it at weekends as a bonus. Delegate what you don’t like and free up time for the sports and activities you love. You may earn less money but who cares it doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t give you more time to do what you love, there is no point to what you are doing.

67. The euphoric feelings of an intense workout develop self-esteem and will set you up for the rest of the day. Do the most important things early in the day before the day takes over.

68. If you ever get bored of your training or nutrition you have your eyes shut. If nothing excites you, create something. Every new sport or game was started by someone, somewhere – they were bored too.

69. There is no such thing as a great training program until it is taken from the page into the training area. E-books are useless until printed out and used.

70. For maximum training results identify what is needed to make your life exciting. Knowing what every exercise will do for your performance is the essence of inspiring your training time.

71. Seek and master the complicated aspects of fitness. The truth is that fat loss and most other fitness problems have been made unnecessarily complicated in the pursuit for greater profits. Once you find a simple solution for your greatest fitness concerns and confusions you will see all resistance you created in the past disappear.

72. Always leave your options open. Don’t tie yourself down to a particular gym, training regime or nutrition system. Options give you power and power enables you to see the truth without being blinded by marketing ploys and quick fixes disguised as solutions.

73. Preparation wins the day every time.

74. Cultivate a degree of patience. Drive is necessary for success, but so is taking time to see where best to create your next foot print.

75. Persistence wins the race in the end. No wall is too strong to be knocked down and no door will remain locked forever. Keep knocking.

76. Thinking about things for too long, trying to do things without solid action and considering every detail of every option will get you nowhere. Paralysis by analysis is a ball and chain. If you’re 80% sure a training program will work, try it. If it works really well, tell everybody else.

77. Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for everything and do all you can to help everybody gain, not just yourself. There is more than enough to go around. Givers will gain. This goes for helping beginners get into exercise and nutrition when they may at first frustrate you. Remember you once wore those shoes.

78. Risks are necessary but don’t be a fool. Go for one rep max testing occasionally but way up the reward of achieving that final lift. An extra 5kg is not worth a long-term injury.

79. Don’t trample on people to achieve your goals. Succeed in sport and competition with honour.

80. Write down everything that happens in training and nutrition. Problems are impossible to correct if you have nothing to ponder over.

81. Just get started. Don’t deliberate too long. Take the first steps, then adjust along the way. It is much easier to say sorry for messing up or having to make changes, than to forgive yourself for not trying. Join whatever club you need to join, phone whoever you need to speak to. Do what it takes to start on your fitness goals immediately.

82. Ask question after question after question. Just because someone says it’s right doesn’t mean it is. Some of the top experts in every field disagree on certain things.

83. Enjoy your training and enjoy the results. If you can’t enjoy either of these, question why you are doing it. Every crisis is a chance to prove your strengths. If you need to make changes fast to achieve your goals, see it as a challenge to thrive on. You will grow.

84. You will get older. Enjoy youth, movement and activity whilst you can.

85. When it’s a matter of produce or starve, people never starve. Apply this principle to your training. Give the results such great importance that you have to find the solution.

86. Fill your every thought with positive expectation and demand the best on all fronts. Attitude and desire are worth far more than knowledge in many cases. You can learn skills any time.

87. Help others achieve their own goals and add value to their own health and fitness plans. You will see fast improvements in your own.

88. Lasting happiness comes only by creating values on which you build you principles. These principles will guide your life. Give more than you take and you will be happy. You will see many, many different ways to lose weight, shed body fat and build muscle. Look closer and you will see that the methods which work are built on a small number of matching principles. Concern yourself more with the foundations than the pretty d├ęcor. This is what will save you when times are tough.

89. Problems never go away. Sort out injuries and sort out dodgy equipment which is stopping you from giving 100%. If you’re scared of something commit to doing it regularly until the fear subsides.

90. Laugh at yourself whenever you can. Take training seriously but don’t let it control you.

91. When someone shouts too much about how great their programs or methods are, realise that they feel a need to do this due to a lack of quality in other areas. You will hear about the best from others.

92. Snowball your results. Build on success and never, ever regress to where you started.

93. The best investment in health and fitness is the one that gives you the knowledge to understand why you are doing certain things. Only then can you hope to get through the tough times when it hurts and certain things don’t quite make sense. Having faith in the principles based on the research you have gathered will see you through.

94. For every exercise you do, every weight you put down too early, every extra bite you would take, ask yourself how you would feel if the world had seen you do it. If it would embarrass you, make a promise there and then never to do it again.

95. Whatever you tell yourself you are and whatever you think about all day, you will become. Remember that moments of weakness when the fridge door is open can undo hours and hours of hard work.

96. Be sceptical of your own beliefs. Don’t just read books which confirm what you think you already know. At the same time, don’t jump from one bandwagon to the next.

97. Anxiety about your physical and mental state is usually down to feeling out of control. Take steps to learn what you need to learn to be in complete control of your results.

98. Always be alert. Watch others who are getting great results. Never assume anything is fact until you have proof in front of your eyes. Don’t let emotions rule reason in making a big decision. Don’t buy a fitness product based on the emotions the marketer stirs up in the two minutes you are reading the sales letter. Take time to check if it matches your principles and gut instincts. Observe – Study further – Test on yourself – Test on others. If all the results match up, accept it as fact and add it to your principles.

99. It takes a wise person to learn from his mistakes. If a program or diet didn’t work the last time, ask yourself why. If you really did follow it to the letter, disregard it from your methodology. It may work for someone else but it doesn’t for you. Learn from the mistakes and successes of others. This will save you a lot of time and money.

100. The purpose of a fitness lifestyle is to prolong life as long as possible but also to enjoy playing the game at the same time!

Thank you to Dave Kekich for providing the foundations of this Fitness Credo. I hope it helps guide as many people in their fitness journeys as the original.


Please forward this to everyone you think it will help!
Jon

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Jon versus Craig Ballantyne

This week I managed to grab Turbulence Training's Craig Ballantyne on the phone to pick his brains on fat loss and why he uses certain methods.

(Note to self - interview people in the same time zone as you next time...)

I often get asked what's better out of my own Storm Force Fitness methods (such as the Fat Loss Action Blueprint) and Turbulence Training so I thought I'd get hold of Craig and see if we could figure it out.

Now rather than give the answer that lines my pockets, I say the same things every time I get asked that question and this still rings true even after speaking to Craig.

1) They both work very well, very fast because they're based on.....

.... clean nutrition which is easy to follow
.... weight training and interval methods over 'cardio'
.... intensity over duration
.... enjoying fitness and a love for training adn the feelings that follow
.... supportive communities

2) They are both created and continually improved by guys who love fat loss and fitness and have created profits from a love of what they do and not the other way around.

3) They are both great for fast fat loss if you complete the programs from start to finish and don't wander off half way through or pick out the bits you like.

4) They are both useless if you buy them and leave them on your hard drive for 'when you've got time'. Funnily enough that time never arrives.

Craig and I have very similar views on a lot of things to do with training and nutrition for body fat but it's always good to hear WHY two experts share the same views.

If they do, then maybe, just maybe it's because we know DAMN WELL that these methods work every time as opposed to the magazine writers who largely guess or create piecemeal articles from lots of different sources.

Here's 40 minutes of me questioning Craig on everything from supersets and intermittent fasting to why he doesn't listen to the peanut butter haters.

(And don't worry I specifically told him we weren't going down the no cardio route!)

We got so much covered I had to make 4 videos!









Check out the Fat Loss Action Blueprint and Turbulence Training for fast working fat loss

Monday, 13 April 2009

Are you a chubby Easter Bunny?

Yes I had a Cadbury's Creme Egg AND 3 beers - what you gonna do?!

Like Christmas, Easter time usually brings banter about whether or not I am going to touch certain food and drink.

Like Christmas I let myself have a treat, control it, enjoy it, don't feel in the slightest bit guilty, then make sure I burn it off with a beasting!

It is also untrue that I got my family boiled eggs for Easter!

This Easter's beasting came in the form of a 10k cross country race. As you know I'm not a big fan of long cardio for fat loss, but I am having to do such events in preparation for Tough Guy!

Yet again though this weekend proved a few points about fat loss and conditioning.

1) I completed the course in around 43.30 - not an awesome time by any stretch but considering it was mainly grass, had some nasty hills and I only run once per week to protect my joints (and muscle mass) I was fairly happy - this keeps me on target for a circa 40 min road 10k by summer, but I know I can get more out of my legs.

The day you are satisfied with your training and your performances is the day you embark on a slippery slope - remember that!

2) I, my girlfriend and my clients who also took part beat many of the club runners who do nothing but run.

We do a combination of metabolic weight training and intense interval conditioning with one 'aerobic' run per week (if that) to put some miles in the legs and get used to the distance.

This is the video for my personal training studio showing some of the guys and girls who ran today. It'll give you some ideas as to the kinds of training you should be focussing on to lose fat whether you are a beginner or more advanced trainee.



This is how the FLAB was created - by testing and developing programs which work for real people who don't have hours and hours for training and who can't bear the thought of cardio work!



Get the FLAB before the holidays roll around ======> Click here

This goes to show that strength work does more for improving endurance running and pain tolerance than pavement pounding.

I spoke to a few people who ran good times but 'couldn't break the XXXX barrier'. All they do is run and run and run to improve it - this WILL NOT work!

We've all been chopping minutes off our run times in the past 6 weeks with no signs of slowing down by focussing more on strength work than just TRYING to run faster.

A metabolic weights workout might look something like this:

5 rounds as fast as possible of...

20 kettlebell swings
10 jump squats
10 jumping pull ups
5 renegade push up-row
250m row on Concept 2

Try this and it will smoke you taking less than 30 minutes.

3) If you are worried what one creme egg or one chocolate bar over the Easter weekend will do to your waist line, the rest of your year is seriously uncontrolled and lacks focus!

You can't undo 51 good weeks with two bad 3 day spells at Easter and Christmas.

It's when you let your poor control of your taste buds take over on a weekly basis that you're in trouble!

4) I am approaching the end of my temper with so-called international experts who send emails out saying you can get an awesome workout done in 5 minutes.

Don't be so stupid - if you believe this you are having your intelligence insulted.

Short workouts are VERY effective when done properly but '5 minute workouts to burn fat' - give me break!

That will get you another small hole on your credit card but not a lot else.

If you truly want change, you need to be prepared to FIND 20-45 mins x 4-5 per week.

Less can certainly be more but don't let the marketing hype get to the 'quick fix node' in your brain!

Jon

If you did over-indulge over Easter and have decided now is the time to rip off a stone of body fat in 6 weeks ready for your holiday, grab your copy of the Fat Loss Action Blueprint here =======> Click here for the FLAB

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Get stronger without weights or getting bulky?

'I want to get stronger'.

Oddly enough I seem to hear this more from girls than blokes.

Well I've been using an old technique which gets far too little use - the girls and the guys using this are getting much stronger, much faster and with no added bulk.



These are the latest guinea pigs following my Intense Conditioning 12 week program. The aim is to sky rocket stamina, endurance, strength and power all at the same time - and it's working.

This is what James said (bear in mind he has been dropping body fat at the same time)

"I started with my pair of 16kgs but after the first set of Jerks I switched to the 20kgs. I still knocked them out.

In the past, I would have done 3 dips then moved on to the next exercise. This morning I knocked out all the sets and reps like I was fresh"


Being strong doesn't mean you need to be bulky.

Many blokes are so obsessed with just getting bigger so they LOOK stronger, that they forget that, when it actually comes down to it and they are being challenged on a sports field or in an arm wrestle with their 9 year old sister, size often counts for nothing.



Don't get me wrong if you want to be superstrong (like powerlifter strong), then you're going to have to get bigger.

However, there is a oft forgetten way to increase strength and power which doesn't require any of the following:

- A gym which is deliberately kept rusty to keep girls out
- A squat rack covered in chalk
- Steroids
- Vein popping weights and chains

This is great news for those of us who just want to be functionally strong.

I'm like you - I want to be lean, strong and fast without looking like (or training like) a bulky bodybuilder.

By this I mean I want to...

...jump higher
...jump longer
...jump higher for longer
...run faster
...run fast for longer (yes improving your 10k requires increases in strength and power endurance not just another Sunday pavement plod)
...be able to perform lots of pull ups and be capable of lifting heavy weights

What is this secret?

Well as usual it's not so much a secret but more of a forgotten art.

This art form is the use of isometric contractions.

Isometrics come in various shapes and forms but essentially they are defined as 'creating tension without any change in the length of the muscle'.


Not all tension is good!

Isometrics are a great addition for those who want to increase strength without adding muscle by having to do heavy weight training such as 5 x 5 reps of deadlifts or squats, or for those who don't have access to the equipment they need.

This training essentially involves creating near maximum tension in a muscle without moving the joints in question.

This can be done either by simply tensing them on the spot or trying to move an immovable object.

Examples:

Trying to push over a brick wall

Trying to perform the action of a dumbbell shoulder press against the resistance of a partner who is stronger than you

Why do them?

Isometric contractions enable you to focus on creating maximum tension in the muscles you need to be stronger, such as the quads, hamstrings and glutes for those looking to jump higher.

This will improve the firing patterns from your brain to your muscle enabling you to recruit more of the muscle fibres.

The result is a stronger you!

How do you do them?

All will be revealed soon but my favourite method focusses on being able to generate explosive power.

It goes something like this...

For the chest

Use this to improve push up and bench press strength and punching power if you do marital arts, boxing etc.

Push with 80% of your maximum effort against a wall with both hands for 3-5 seconds.

Your elbows should be at about the angle they are at the bottom of the push up (the hard bit where you struggle the most!)

Make sure you have a strong split leg stance so you don't fall back.

Rest 10 seconds.

Repeat the wall push.

Straight away perform 8 explosive push ups off the floor. If you are just learning to do push ups you would just do normal push ups as fast as possible.


Wear proper attire when doing brick wall isometrics please!

For the legs

Use this to increase your vertical jump.

Isometrics are a bit harder to do with the legs without certain equipment but a great way is to sit in a wall squat (back against wall with knees at ninety) holding two weights.

Sit for 60 seconds creating as as much tension as you can in your legs and bum.

Immediately perform 8 jump squats getting as high as you can.

Perform 4-5 rounds of each exercise.

If you do this once or twice per week in addition to your usual training you will soon find yourself getting a lot stronger in all the exercises you find hard!

Remember all athletic performance requires stress and now you can't use the excuse of a lack of equipment!

Jon

Monday, 6 April 2009

The doctor speaks on fat loss pills

Today I'm handing over my blog to a doctor I know here in Britain - we often have interesting dicussions about the state of British health!

Here's what she had to say in response to a rant I had about the recommendations MOST doctors give out being relatively useless in solving Britain's obesity crisis.

Now before I get set upon, there ARE some doctors who, because they actually train themselves and really do eat healthily, give out recommendations beyonhd the usual 'moderate exercise 3 times per week and 5 a day' rubbish!

Unfortunately these people are sadly in a very small minority.

My own doctor is overweight. (The guy below is not my doctor by the way!)



It's a disgrace and hard to see a way past it, especially when you see the problems doctors face.....

**************************************************

"Most of my overweight patients are over 40, don't possess a pair of trainers
and think that healthy eating means having salad with their third takeaway
of the week.

They take little responsibility for their own predicament, always having an excuse ready, and, if they want a solution to their weight problem (and believe me, many don't), want someone else to fix the problem for them.

The only medications available to facilitate weight loss are useless without
significant lifestyle changes
, and are never something I suggest to people.

However, the pressure to prescribe can be great from those who have read articles in the latest women's magazine.

To date I have not had anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight with them, mainly because they fail to make big enough changes to their diet and exercise regime, divulging all responsibility to the medication and me.

Take a recent patient who in 6 months has lost only 10kg (9% of their original weight) despite taking sibutramine (an appetite suppressant), in comparison with my 9.5kg (14%) in under 3 months.

The perpetual excuses of parties, friends visiting and lack of motivation abound.

The new fad for gastric banding is also taking over.

I have a patient with a BMI over 50 (yes, over 50) who says she can't eat less as she has to entertain with work and it would be embarrassing to not partake in the food and drink as she does. But she would like a gastric band as that would give her an excuse to say no.
Therein lies her problem.

No responsibility and passing the buck to someone or something else.

Equally many of those I see have zero knowledge of what a healthy diet and exercise plan looks like.

People who contact you for either exercise and/or diet advice are already, by definition, aware that how they live needs changing and are taking proactive steps to make changes.

Most of the people who come in contact with me have no real insight into their predicament.

Advice has to be tailored to their educational level and level of understanding of the problem. Initial suggestions to 'exercise more and eat 5 a day' are often major progress in their lifestyle.

For someone who regards walking up 1 flight of stairs at work a couple of times a day as exercise, getting them to take a walk at lunchtime is a big step.

So, enough of my ranting. I am converted, I know what needs to be done, but persuading the unwilling masses is a task not even I can achieve."

********************************************************

See the problems the Western world faces?

I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the media and the government.

We are all programmed by what we see and hear all day so for those who have been brought up on crap magazines and quick fix media hype, can we really blame them.

To a certain extent I believe it is there responsibility to find out what they need to do but I guess it could be argued that they think they are taking that action by reading those magazines.

Is there anything we can do other than have the government impose much stricter rules on what can be advertised?

What can we expect when our own leader has more 'Chins' than a Chinese phone book?



No amount of shouting and raving from people like me can overcome the mulit-billion dollar marketing campaigns of the big firms.

Surely it should have gone through lengthy testing before being allowed to be advertised?

How do we implement this?

It's a sad state of affairs guys and we all need to start sitting up, taking notes and doing something about it.

Our doctor claims it is a big step for people to start walking each day but is it when there is concrete evidence that interval training, weight training and 95% clean diets are the only way to force life-changing fat burning processes in the human body?

How can we say it is a success if someone loses 1.5 stones but still has a very high risk of cardiac complications, diabetes and various other diseases. They will more than likely die early.

I also see problems with 'tailoring' advice to individual needs if I'm honest. It's like the failed attempts at downgrading cannabis to prevent drug use.

We pander to people rather than telling them straight "You're obese adn unless you do exactly what I tell you, you will die."

We all know gastric banding won't work in the long-term as it just gives people an excuse to start again with their crappy lifestyles.

Like the global warming issue, something big needs to happen and fast or do we face irreversable damage to the human race?

What are your thoughts?

Jon