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Exercise

06

Sep'17

Fitness and fatness: can you be fat and fit, …or even slim and unfit?

Sometimes in order to save time and avoid mental strain we have a tendency to oversimplify.  However, like many situations, over simplification to save time comes at the expense of accuracy and relevant nuance. The concept of being “fat, but fit” or “The Obesity Paradox” meets this criterion.   Generally, being overweight or obese is bad for you.  Obese individuals have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes than lean people.  Likewise, being unfit is considered an independent risk factor for developing the same conditions. At first glance, our initial impression of those who are overweight …

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14

Nov'16

How to prepare for a Military Fitness Test

Six years ago at the age of 18 I applied to join the Royal Navy. I passed the initial exams and interviews but what I was most concerned about was the navy’s basic fitness test. The test consisted of a 1.5m run (to be completed in 13 min 10 sec or less), 20 push-ups and 20 sits-up and a swim test that included a 50 meter swim and treading water for 2 minutes while wearing a set of baggy overalls. I felt that the swim test was not an issue as I was a strong swimmer at that point. However …

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28

May'16

Physically Fit for Life Part 2: Resistance Training

In the last post, I covered the benefits of performing regular moderate intensity activity, specifically walking. As discussed in that post, walking is a form of exercise that helps to improve the first 7 factors on our list highlighting some of the most important benefits that can be attained through exercise.   In this post I am going to address another type of exercise, one that can stimulate positive adaptations in the remaining 9 factors for being Physically Fit for Life, namely: Muscle tissue mass Strength, across your entire muscular system Bone mass density and the strength and integrity of your joints, …

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11

Apr'16

Physically Fit for Life

In the last article posted to this blog, I discussed the current widespread attraction to extremes in the realms of physical fitness and appearance and the potential damage that this can do. If you haven’t read that article you can check it out: Attraction to the Extremes of Physical Fitness. I want to spend this post developing an idea alluded to in the previous post, that of a more sane approach: the goal of being physically fit for life. Lets start out working backwards by defining the results we require of exercise, results that will match our aim of being …

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24

Jan'16

Attraction to the Extremes of Physical Fitness and Appearance and How it May be Harming You

  Before we delve in to the main topic of this article I am itching to tell you, as an aside, how to be a world-class athlete, let me get that off my chest then I guarantee we’ll get back to the bigger picture.   How to be a World Beating Athlete Perhaps You’d Like To: Run 100m faster than Usain Bolt or Florence Griffith-Joyner? Run a marathon in less time than Dennis Kimetto or Paula Radcliffe? Out-punch Mike Tyson or Ann Wolfe? Develop superior conditioning to Conor McGregor or Holly Holm? Build an Olympian body to outclass Arnold Schwarzenegger …

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21

Dec'15

Performance Pins for Drop Sets

What are Performance Pins?   What are drop sets? A drop set refers to the technique where an exercise is performed with a given load as per usual. However instead of finishing the exercise when the targeted musculature has reached MMF in the initial set, the weight is reduced by approximately 10-25% as quickly as possible and the trainee continues to perform the exercise with this reduced load. The person exercising will usually be able to achieve an additional 1-4 repetitions with the lighter load.   Are drop sets useful? When would you use them? There are three circumstances that …

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11

Jun'15

Metabolism, in the mind’s eye

In my experience, most high-intensity training (HIT) practitioners don’t focus on metabolism. It’s hard to blame them. Discussion of force, velocity, muscle tension, and momentary muscle failure have real-world applications that clients can knowingly experience. Metabolism is practically invisible and lacks easily accessible realtime metrics that we can share with our clients. However, we would be remise if we didn’t share the truly amazing adaptations that occur within seconds of finishing a HIT session. The energy systems Before we jump into the adaptations that occur from HIT, a basic understanding of metabolism is necessary. Most people are familiar with the …

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06

May'15

Equilibrium

Having recently immersed myself in the methods of high intensity training, a very common trend which has made itself apparent over the last short while is the mammoth disconnect which exists between what the public generally believes about exercise, and what is actually testable, verifiable, and true. Unsurprisingly, this disconnect extends beyond what the public generally considers to be a ‘normal’ exercise routine, and actually flirts with what many consider to be the outer edges of fitness. If we think about exercise in terms of concentric circles, what most people will generally place in the middle – as being the …

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13

Mar'15

Pre-Exhaustion Technique and REX Conference 2015

In the exercise world, there is often fierce debate over protocol, application and technique. At its most productive this debate can spur on experimentation, enabling us to refine the application of exercise protocol. Sometimes we need to question elements of the protocol that have been ingrained in HIT since its inception or since the time of its initial popularity in the 70s and 80s: the original Nautilus era. In this post I want to discuss a research paper that does just that, one that I have been meaning to write about for a while. Researchers James Fisher, Luke Carlson, James …

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26

Feb'15

Hypertrophy Training: One Set vs Four Sets

A question of efficacy Which has the potential to stimulate the better hypertrophic response: one set of an exercise or multiple sets? This is a classic question that has been stimulating both debate and research in the field of exercise science since at least the 1960’s. For any activity in which we endeavor to succeed it is good to have a firm grasp of what works, what doesn’t work, and what works most effectively. Since man and woman first lifted heavy objects and realized that they could improve not only their strength but also their muscular size the question arose: …

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