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Archive for September, 2013

Video: Outdoor Workout

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Hi All,

Here is an amazing outdoor workout by the Underground Wellness team.

TOM

Review: Eletewater

Friday, September 27th, 2013

 

Eletewater logo

It is very common that we talk of the importance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in our diet, but one of the most under rated and misunderstood macronutrients is water.  A while a go I read an amazing book called ‘Your Bodies Many Cries for Water’ by  Dr Batmanhelidj.  SInce this I have had a great deal of respoect for what an important part of our diet water is.

A few months ago I started to hear about a hydration product called Eletewater, initially I started to see the product pop up in people comment boxes on-line and then heard Brandon Chaplin mention it on his podcast.  It was very surprising how everyone I saw mention the product was positive about its effect.  So I decided to contact David over at Eletewater and get hold of some to try.

Very quickly a package arrived at my house that contained a range of the different sizes of the Eletewater product.  One of the great things about this product is the thought that has gone into the package design, making it accessible and easy to carry around.  One of the things that I have found with other electrolyte complexes is that they are not often in a container that can easily be kept on the person.  

Eletewater comes in an easy to fit in the pocked 25 ml bottle, that makes an astonishing 10 litres of electrolyte charged water.  There is then a range of other sized bottles for the gym bag or home.  I think that the packaging is an often underrated part of any product and getting the packing so that it is not only good looking, but also functional greatly improves the usability of the product.

As usual I decided to play the guinea pig on this one and test it on myself.  To make the test fair I used the product across a range of situations to see how it worked and if I felt it made any impact on my hydration levels.   Over the course of the last two weeks I have been using Eletewater within my drinking water throughout the day, and especially around exercise.  I found that through general use I found myself feeling much more hydrated, even though I was doing a greta deal of traveling!  It even helped with what was expected to be a killer hangover.

It is when the product is used playing sport or in the gym when it comes into its own, this product is really a wonder hydrator which ultimately results in better performance.  I would strongly recommend that you give it a go at a few quid for a pocket bottle it is worth a try and I can promise you will be a convert to the power of Eletewater!

 

 

Eletewater pocketbottle

Review: Multipower Fit Protein Lite

Friday, September 20th, 2013

2-Fit_Protein_Vanille_Lite

I recently got sent some of the brand new Multipower Fit Protein Lite pre made shakes, in my favourite flavour…Strawberry! Thanks guys at Multipower! I tried slipping them into my post workout nutrition routine, and asI have never really used pre-mixed shakes before… it was a first for me.

I used them over a few days… as did the wife and we both really enjoyed them. The Lite versions kept my calorie intake down with a good 80% less carbohydrate compared to the regular Multipower product, but with a good 40g of protein. The shake is Gluten-free, Aspartame-free and Lactose free.

The good levels of protein in each shake mean they packed in that much needed post workout protein, which aided recovery and promoted the growth of lean tissue. The product itself comes pre-mixed, which does make it much easier and tends to give a smoother shake. It also has the added benefit of no shakers to wash, which on those low time days can be a massive benefit of the pre-mixed stuff!

This is another great product from Multipower and I think it would make a great addition to anyones nutritional intake!

How important is water to performance?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

The following is an article written by David Thomas,the guy behind the awesome Eletewater!  He kindly let us publish this article that was original published in Functional Sports Nutrition Magazine.  

The importance of water and electrolyte balance to athletic performance

(Article sent for publication in Functional Sports Nutrition – Jan 2013)

 water-conservation1

Water and electrolytes.  What is their significance?  To put it simply the human body is comprised of a life force expressed as electrical energy through the activity of electrolytes via the medium of water.  Consequently, these two materials are essential to life and are fundamental to the optimum performance of athletes. 

Water, as most FSN readers will be aware, is an essential nutrient required for life. Water makes up a large proportion of our body weight (60% on average), distributed between the intracellular (inside cells) and extracellular (water in the blood and in between cells) compartments. Water is the major component of body fluids, such as blood, synovial fluid, saliva and urine, which perform vital functions in the body1. Suffice to say the individual requirement for each athlete is dependant on a large number of variables.  In order to provide some baseline consideration Kleiner2 suggests to stay well hydrated the average sedentary adult man should consume at least 2,900mL of fluid per day and an average adult woman at least 2,200mL. These fluids should preferably be in the form of decaffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages, soups and foods with solid foods contributing approximately 1,000mL to the total and an additional 250mL coming from the water of oxidation.

From a purely chemical perspective, electrolytes may be considered as substances that become ions in solution and acquire the capacity to conduct electricity. Electrolytes are present throughout the body and their correct balance is essential for the normal function of our all our cells and organs.

Before dealing in more depth with these 2 fundamental materials of life I’d like to consider some basic concepts related to attaining full potential.  We can consider ourselves to be part of the pinnacle of the evolutionary development on earth – a process that has taken 4.5 billion years to attain.  The ability of the human body to adapt, compensate and adjust to the environment is truly remarkable; and we do this generally without symptoms, which is something the vast majority of people take for granted – only becoming aware of a particular part of our body when it’s sore or mal-functioning.

When an athlete aspires to break personal records the requirement is to push boundaries to the limit in order to enable the body to achieve ever greater performance levels.  How this is achieved is best understood by referring to the general adaptation syndrome model of Selve3 (fig 1) where the goal to improve is pushing the limits of Speed, Stamina, Strength, Suppleness and Psychology– before exhaustion becomes obvious.

 

Fig 1

Fig1.

Adapting Sheve’s model to each training phase there will be an acute phase of alarm reaction (AR) when the general resistance to the particular stressor being considered initially falls below normal.  Then, as adaptation is acquired in the stage of resistance (SR), the capacity to resist rises considerably above normal.  Eventually, however, the stage of exhaustion (SE) is reached and resistance drops below normal.  The aim of each component of a training programme should be to incrementally increase the duration of the stage of resistance in order that this is reflected in performance outcome.

Directly related to this general concept is the need to customise and optimise an individual’s adaptive capacity4.

 Fig 2

Fig.2

In this concept – refer to fig 2 – the baseline represents the ‘perfect’ human being. The dotted line represents what we individually were ‘given’ at birth through our genetic heritage – which, of course, will vary from individual to individual.  As the body is so proficient at adapting, compensating and adjusting to the environment, each individual may well have a series of biomechanical, biochemical and psychological issues that do not surface as symptomatic problems, however, their very presence may be regarded as reducing their potential adaptive capacity to the less vital and able residual adaptive capacity.  Putting this into context, the lack of symptoms does not mean all is well.  With specific reference to athletes then, in order to achieve their full potential, there is a need to ensure that their bio-chemical and bio-mechanical integrity and their psychological well being is as close to the ideal as possible and the attainment of an optimum hydration and electrolyte status will be critical to all 3 factors.

Given that it’s taken 4.5 billion years to get to this evolutionary stage there should be no need to concern ourselves about the athletes bodies’ intrinsic ability to meet realistic training challenges.  From a biochemical perspective, where concern does need to be directed is towards the quantity and quality of the materials used by the body to enable it to achieve the desired result – and this relates directly to choices made concerning food and drink and general lifestyle.  The main categories of essential nutrients include water, minerals, trace elements and ultra-trace elements (often in the form of electrolytes), carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, phyto-nutrients, EFA’s, pro-biotics, and fibre.   Water and electrolytes have been mentioned first in that sequence because I regard them as the foundation of the bio-chemical pyramid; without the correct balance here all the rest will not have the desired effect at best and at worse could become non-functional nutrients.

So let’s consider the quality of water.  This is a dilemma as there’s no simple answer and the options are many.  In the ideal world we would all have access to unpolluted, clear, pure, energised water accessed directly from mountain streams, springs and / or rainwater.  However, the majority of us do have direct access, in the UK, to an amazing pubic water supply that guarantees potable water devoid of potentially harmful water borne organisms that could cause disease.  The trade off being that the water necessarily contains chlorine and other components that could be considered as adding to the general toxic environmental load our bodies have to cope with that would potentially detract from optimising our adaptive capacity.  So what are the alternatives?

The most obvious is bottled spring waters – but these are often expensive, they also have to undergo a processing procedure and the assortment of naturally contained electrolytes will vary – and can be negligible.  Reverse Osmosis and basic filtering processes cleans mains water of contaminants but also strips it of all its natural electrolytes and generally leaves it with an acid pH.  So one solution would be to re-mineralise with a naturally derived, ionic, liquid mineral and trace element concentrate such as elete water or CMD, thereby helping to ensure that the majority of the water that makes up 60% of the human body is as nutrient positive as possible.

As most readers will be aware the primary physiological role of electrolytes is as modulators of energy production/storage/use (i.e. metabolism) and as regulators of total body fluid level, with the following being considered to be the most important cations:-

  • sodium which principally regulates fluid balance and is found outside the cell
  • potassium which regulates metabolism and is found inside the cell
  • magnesium which regulates the levels of other electrolytes and muscle relaxation
  • calcium which regulates muscle contraction and heart rhythm

The dominant anions are chloride, bicarbonate, sulphate and phosphate.

When undergoing a severe training programme or competition there is a huge draw on body stores of vital electrolytes to make sure the stage of resistance can be sustained as long as possible.  This will result, initially, in thirst and the need to replenish the water and electrolytes used in creating the energy necessary – with the metabolic waste products being expelled through perspiration, breathing, urination and defecation.  One way of ensuring an ongoing, adequate supply of electrolytes is to provide them in water as they do not have to go through any further digestive process and can also assist in the absorption of water. Indeed when a study5 was conducted on 16 Californian wildland fire suppression fire fighters, 8 of whom were given water alone in their CamelBak and 8 were given water plus a naturally derived, well balanced combination of sea water brines (elete water), it was found that after a 15 hour shift both teams were equally hydrated but those that drank water alone had to drink 74% more water than those with elete plus water.

This begs the question “What is the correct physiological balance of electrolytes?” the answer is that balance that is appropriate for the individual concerned i.e. despite considerable physiological commonality we are all bio chemically unique – some athletes will require more of a specific electrolyte than others.

The recognition that there are definitive physiological and psychological roles for trace and ultra trace elements in their electrolyte form, at the cellular level6 (fig. 3), has led many sports nutritionists to recommend to athletes that they pay strict attention to their diets and have as broad a spectrum of fresh, fruit, vegetables and naturally grown grains and reared meats and fish as possible.

 

Fig 3

 

Fig 3.  An internal schematic representation of a modern cell showing the distribution of some of the essential electrolytes present within the various compartments and the cytoplasm.  Each compartment may have the same or different electrolytes as the cytoplasm – but at different concentrations, because they are independently energised and controlled.

One difficulty (again considering optimum nutrition from a purely bio chemical standpoint) is that the micro-nutrient content of foods has diminished historically7,8 – there has been a 62% reduction in copper content in 72 different foods between 1940 and 2002 and, therefore, the presence of potentially vital micronutrients cannot be guaranteed.  In addition not only should there be concern about the presence of sufficient micronutrients in our foods but there has been a significant change in the ratios of major electrolytes9. In 1900 the average estimated dietary intake of sodium was 200mg, potassium 6,000mg and magnesium 400mg.  By 2000 this had altered to 5,000mg for sodium (25 x’s higher), 2,000mg of potassium and 250 mg of magnesium: as a consequence the average Na:K ratio became 75 x’s higher and the average Na:Mg ratio has become 50 x’s higher. Could this information influence the interpretation of sweat analysis results?

 

When dealing with nutritional guidance – what is to be considered as the correct diet for the athlete concerned?  The stone–age diet?  The metabolic diet?  The Hay diet?   The Atkins diet?   or one of the numerous other dietary regimes?  The obvious answer is the one most appropriate to the individual.  How this can be elucidated would be the result of a combination of intuitive guidance by the athlete together with the scrutiny of the nutritionist and / or appropriate diagnostic tests to determine presence of GI dysbiosis and food intolerances.  That these parameters can have a positive effect on performance in top level athletes is best illustrated by the relatively recent improvement in the tennis world rankings of Murray and Djokovic – both of whom have successfully experimented with dietary and food exclusion regimes.

It is also important to understand the actual physical amounts of minerals and trace elements currently considered to be required to promote good health, for example the RDA for magnesium is 375 mg.  Magnesium is known to be vital for over 300 enzyme reactions and adjudged by the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) to be directly contributing to energy metabolism, normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle function, maintenance of bones and teeth and optimum cellular health; 375mg represents about ¾’s of a teaspoon.

The RDA for zinc is 10mg, which represents 1/50th of a teaspoon. Zinc is known to be required in over 200 enzyme reactions and EFSA recognises it contributes to normal fertility, the use of fatty acids, the maintenance of normal hair, nails, skin and vision, aids in protecting cells from oxidative stress and contributes to normal cognitive function and immunity.  Not bad for 1/50th of a teaspoon.  What about the ultra trace elements such as selenium, chromium, molybdenum, boron, vanadium etc?  The RDA’s vary but are about 100mcg which represents  – a minuscule 1/5,000th of a teaspoon – yet these micronutrients contribute significantly to normal body functioning and without regular amounts being present in the diet a ‘normal’ person could develop deficiency symptoms; which begs the question regarding athletes who are continually pushing their physiological boundaries – how much do they need?

Sharon Gayter, an unsung hero of British Ultra Distance running, could be a case in point.  Last year she broke a world record by running a 222km non-stop race at high altitude (average of 14,800 feet) in Nepal by completing it in 37 hours 34 minutes and is so doing reducing the (men’s) course record by over 11 hours. Throughout the race she ate little but drank regularly from a 500ml bottle of water containing 2.5mL of a liquid electrolyte and 5gms of a neutral carbohydrate powder.  She consumed 120mL of the electrolyte during the race (which, among other electrolytes, included a total of 5,400 mg(!) of magnesium) and finished well hydrated – a remarkable achievement and way off the ‘normal’ scale.

The significance of correct hydration and electrolyte balance to performance, then, cannot be under estimated and these materials may be considered as the very foundation upon which all else depends.  However, as always, the devil is in the detail: there being many variables to consider with, probably, the quality of the water and the balance and quality of electrolyte replacement being the most significant.

After 30 years as a practitioner I see a very interesting and potentially far reaching process taking place. Coaches, trainers, nutritionists, therapists, researchers and psychologists are collectively recognising the distinctive attributes of each athlete and are gaining from practical experience and through journals such as FSN considerable knowledge of how best to optimise the performance of their athletes.  Part of this is the education of the athlete concerned regarding taking personal responsibility for lifestyle choices. Part is (ideally) the involvement of a multi-dispensary team of advisors / therapists who can create an individualised programme incorporating sound training methods, modern diagnostics, technical innovations and a good dose of common sense.

I feel that this approach, driven as it currently is by performance, will provide insights that could ultimately lead to the development of a different paradigm of general health care and the creation of a genuine Health Service.  One in which, from birth, the emphasis will be to maximise the individuals adaptive capacity so that that person may express their full potential: rather than, as is currently the circumstance, waiting for the body’s ability to adapt, compensate and adjust to be surpassed before realising something is wrong and then attempting to rectify it.  Needless to say I believe that the attainment of correct hydration status and optimum electrolyte balance will be the 2 fundamental factors in the development of such a model.

References

1.  Benelam B & Wyness L (2010). Hydration and Health: a review. British Nutrition Foundation Bulletin. 35:3-25

2. Kleiner S M (1999). Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient J. Am. Dietetic Ass. 99 No2:200- 206

3. Selve H. (1956). The Stress of Life. New York: McGraw-Hill

4. Davies S (1991). Scientific and Ethical Foundations of Medicine. Part 1 – Evolution, Adaptation and Health. Journal of Nutritional Medicine. 2:227-247

5. Cuddy J S et al (2008), Effects of an Electrolyte Additive on Hydration and Drinking Behavior during Wildfire Suppression. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. 19: 172-180

6. Williams R J P (2005). Essentials of Medical Geology. Elsevier Academic Press

7. Thomas D E (2003). A study of the mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991. Nutrition and Health. 17:21-55

8.   Thomas D E (2007).  A study of the mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 2002 – A review of the 6th Edition of McCance and Widdowson. Nutrition and Health. 19:21-55

9. Seelig M S & Rosanoff A (2003). The Magnesium Factor Magnesium. Avery, Penguin Group, New York, NY.

 

David Thomas DC, MRNT, MSc DIC won the junior AAA’s 100yds in 1967 and was a member of the 1st GB Junior Athletics Team – a back injury curtailed his sprinting aspirations.  David graduated as a Geologist and worked for 8 years in precious and base metal exploration and mining; he was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society. David retrained as a Chiropractor and became a founding Member of the Register of Nutritional Therapists. This background has provided him with an unusual insight to the origin, therapeutic uses and toxic potential of minerals and trace elements.  In 1998 he became the importer and distributor of Mineral Resources International Inc. food supplements in the UK and the EU. 

 

Video: Animal Workout

Monday, September 16th, 2013

Hi All,

Here is a quick video based on Animal movements.


 

TOM

Review: ProMixx Protein Shaker

Friday, September 13th, 2013

ProMixx Protein Shaker

 

After hearing a few great reviews from guys around the gym, I decided to get hold of a ProMixx Protein Shaker. For any of you that have not heard of a ProMixx it is called a Vortex Mixer and to put it simply it creates a hurricane within your shaker. You might be thinking what is the purpose of that then? Well it is all about getting a super well mixed and most of all smooth protein shake (or any kind of shake for that matter). One of the biggest claims that the shaker has is that it maintains the integrity of the protein, by creating a vortex there is a much more gentle mixing process as opposed to using a conventional blender. This gentler process aims to maintain the integrity of the protein.

I have been using my ProMixx for a number of weeks now and must say I have found it awesome. I have used it on average a couple of times a day over that time and this is what I observed.

So lets start by looking at it based on some of the key features of the ProMixx Shaker. First off and to me the second most important feature of a protein shaker right behind being a good mixer, is the fact that it does not leak! I had the ProMixx in and out of my gym bag, car and threw it all over the place and it still held all the contents firm, so no messy gym bags to clean up for me! It is going against the fashion for these very small shaker pots and holds 650ml of liquid, allowing you to get a good sized shake into it.

Now onto the unique thing about this protein shaker, it has a little motor that you attach to the bottom of the shaker that makes a blade within the shaker rotate at 110,000 rpm to create the vortex. The motor runs off two AAA batteries and is small and light, meaning it is not a clunky and awkward addition to a shaker. I found that by putting the water into the shaker first then once the motor has been switched on gently pouring my chosen protein powder into the shaker I got the best results. I found the shake was unbelievably smooth, and easy to make. Best bit of all the whole unit comes apart to make cleaning super easy and avoiding that stale protein shake smell.

All in all I found the ProMixx to be an amazing addition to my shaker collection, it fulfils all the promises it makes on the box and delivers a smooth shake! What else could you want from a shaker?

TOM

 

What is creatine?

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Hi All

This time we are going to be looking at creatine, this is one of the most widely used supplements in gyms and has a wealth of research behind it.

Creatine is a protein that is produced within the body, but can also be eaten in meat and fish or taken as a supplement.  As a supplement it is found as a single product or as part of a pre/post workout product.

Creatine is used as a backup fuel source for our bodies, and allows us to have a source of phosphate to keep up with energy demands.  Its use is ideal in training where you are taking par in short periods of all out effort with minimal recovery periods.

Its use is also associated with minimization of post exercise muscle breakdown.  For the above reasons it has become a very popular supplement with gym goers, especially those involved in high intensity exercise, especially resistance based.  There is limited evidence of creatine’s effectiveness in endurance sports.

Many people targeting hypertrophy (muscular size) also use creatine as it draws water into the muscle giving the appearance of a larger amount of muscle tissue.

An average person takes in 1g of creatine a day from the food they eat and produces another 1g within the body.  This makes enough to keep our creatine stores around 40% full.   The best way to top these stores up is via supplementation of around 3g per day (any more that 5g will be excreted).  The ideal time to take creatine is post workout, as it draws water into your digestive system taking it prior to exercise can impede performance.

A key point is to ensure that you fully dissolve all the creatine in a liquid before drinking, there should be no visible signs of the power when drinking.

TOM

Review: Multipower Re-Charge

Friday, September 6th, 2013

ReChargeDrink

As many of you know the guys at Multipower are often sending me products to review and comment on. Recently they sent me a tub of their Re-Charge product. So as usual I have tried it on myself first and then got some of my clients to give it a try and give me some feedback.

Re-charge is designed to be used post-workout as a recovery drink. This is designed to be used instead of a shake (with a shake being a more like a milkshake) this is more of a juice type consistency. Making it a good alternative for those who do not like the shake type products.

The product is easy to mix in a shaker and each 45g serving creates a 500ml post workout drink that has a nice smooth consistency, without those sandy bits!

It contains a good 4:1 mix of Carbohydrate to protein, giving you the optimal chance to make some good gains and best of all recover fast! It also contains a good serving of L-Glutamine to really boost our recovery.

These drinks are not always my thing and it would take a lot to tempt me away from my shake based products but a number of my clients who are used to using the energy based drinks found this product much more palatable compared to shakes. So Re-charge is definitely a product I would have in my nutrition armoury!

Fitness and the Martial Arts

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

This week I have the great honour to publish a guest post by a good friend of mine Lun Lok, Lun has been involved in a number of different martial arts and is embarking on a journey into fitness.  Lun is a guy who really knows his stuff and has written a short post on the importance of fitness in the martial arts.  I hope you enjoy the article and feel free to comment and share!  Also do have a look at Lun’s amazing Martial Arts Blog.

Martial Arts: Fitness is not just about kicking and punching by Katagulong Guro Lun Lok, BSc(Hons)

There are indeed many ways of getting fit, and fitness aims are not limited to or defined by gaining muscle, kicking higher or running faster. Training in martial arts, as is widely known and accepted, gives you programme of fitness not just lasting on one of those special tailor-made 6 week crash courses, but actually for life. Through my own research, I have found that martial arts can not only give you a healthy social life, but also get you mentally fit.

I have asked many great martial artists what it is that keeps them going in their chosen styles. I have had responses like:

“….given me a life worth living and a way of life much more than just simply a hobby or interest”.

“…I have gained so much from martial arts on a physical and mental perspective.”

“A place that I can return to anytime I want. A place to meditate, remember, laugh, reflect, learn from, apply all of the lessons to life. Martial Arts has given me a never-ending journey, a ride that I will always be on….”

“It also gives a sense of belonging, a part of a family as no matter the style or discipline we are all drawn together”.

“Martial Arts caused me to awaken to life. With this came a much-needed sense of personal power, coordination (getting in touch with my body), confidence (discovering who I really am), and a passion and direction to help others experience the same.”

You know what? It’s true. I will never stop doing something related to the arts. I am currently studying Tai Chi (Sun Style and Chen Style), not because I am older but because I still love the arts. Never say never,though.  I might well venture back into an MMA class one day. The physical fitness benefits gained in such a class are tremendous. But the main goal, whatever art you do, is daily practice. It’s a strange thing really. You know when you visit a gym and see those people chatting, standing around the machines or hogging the weights…you can’t do that in a martial arts class.  Doing that in the gym gets you nowhere, but just try that in a martial arts gym, and your fingers will get burned.

From the statements given, what can you deduce from the first one? Let’s discuss: “A life worth living”. Simply, martial arts saved this guy from self-destruction. Enough said. What do you think about the second statement? This person is rich! Not financially, but look at what he says.  He has benefited immensely, both physically and mentally.  The final 3 statements are self-explanatory. Read into the last one and you can tell that this person has gained in a mental sense too.

Martial arts training will introduce you to a wealth of different exercises that you may not see in other sporting endeavours. There will obviously be some cross-over, and when I was asked to write this short essay, I was thinking about the exercises involved. I thought about things like hindu squats to really give your quadriceps a burn and your lungs pumping hard, (try 50 or more) crocodile press ups with your hands in the position like a crocodile has his legs, star jumps, bunny hops and other light warm-up exercises. But really there would be little point in writing about such exercises. The benefits from these movements are well-documented in any exercise magazine or website. It’s the number of exercises and the knowledge gained that helps you as you must focus and concentrate on the task, and get fitter at the same time. Go back to the guy who made the statement about a life worth living. It’s the positive vibes gained from martial arts exercise that helped him. With martial arts, he was able to reframe his life. That’s important, very very important. If you want the how-it-all-works-biochemical-and-physiological-science about it all, please be directed to Google, and type exercise science, myosin, ATP, Krebs Cycle, muscle spindles and proprioceptors. You could write volumes on all of that and then new research comes along to give you more or correct you at the same time. I will give you one set of exercises to follow though. The upshot of all martial arts training from a physical fitness point of view is that you can gain through daily practice a way to:

  1. Gain flexibility
  2. Gain co-ordination
  3. Gain stamina and endurance – aerobic fitness
  4. Gain focus – be mentally prepared
  5. Get stronger
  6. Gain respect and confidence
  7. Gain methods of defending yourself
  8. Gain energy and power
  9. Improve your health overall
  10. GAIN A LIFESTYLE.

There are obviously more, but once you start, you embellish your own canvas.

Here is the “TON”.  You could actually rename it “PAIN” instead. You won’t forget it in a hurry, and you won’t need any of those fitness DVDs from those late night TV infomercials or pay £99.99, plus postage for anything…

3 sets, 10 reps each of

  1. burpees
  2. shoulder-width push-ups
  3. frog sit-ups
  4. squat springs
  5. narrow-grip push-ups
  6. crunches
  7. tuck jumps
  8. wide-grip push-ups
  9. hand over knee sit-ups
  10. squat thrusts

To wrap up then, I think the mental attributes that you develop in martial arts or on par, if not higher than the physical benefits. Unfortunately as we age, the body slows down with reduced hormone production, but the brain keeps going a little longer. However, as an all-round endeavour to improve your life on various levels, martial arts is, in my humble opinion, number 1. Don’t forget there are internal martial arts as well as external, where you build up your qi, but that is a subject on an even higher level. Whatever the case, all structured exercise is king, and martial arts gives you that and much more.

Thanks for reading this short article.

Video: FUNKtional fitness

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Hi guys,

Here is a great video form Underground Wellness on FUNKtional fitness.

TOM