Monday, 30 June 2008

Explosive Training Reduces Risk of Injury

While controversy surrounds appropriate training methods suitable for the general public, and those suitable for athletes, a recent release from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) stated that, "Explosive exercises, particularly speed strength exercises, are often used in the training of strength-power athletes but may be useful in training non-athletic populations as well."

In their paper, Michael S. Conley, Ph.D., and Michael H. Stone, Ph.D. who are both strength and condition coaches go on to say, "It is apparent in performing daily activities, and especially during many athletic activities, that a wide range of maximum strength, RFD [rate of force development], power and speed may be necessary for various movements. Additionally, gradations in these parameters can be required for the successful completion of various tasks."

They found that rather than inducing injuries, explosive training actually decreased the risk of injury when compared with participation in common sports, "Injuries from strength training, including explosive exercises, are rare, with rates of occurrence and severity far lower than those in many sports such as soccer, football, basketball or gymnastics."

While injury rates as a result of using explosive exercises are extremely low, Their position was pretty clear, "adequate safety measures and quality instruction should always be enforced." Undoubtedly, exercise selection, periodisation, and quality technique all help to maximise training adaptations and minimize injury. The full document can be read here.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Kettlebell Jerk: Handy clip this..

This is another clip in the CJS Fitness Kettlebell series. It covers the basics of the single arm kettlebell jerk. Its not designed to teach you the exercise, but acts more as a reference tool if you have already had some instruction on how to do it.


Sunday, 22 June 2008

Optimum Nutrition for Life: When Hungry Eat Your Rice...

'When hungry eat your rice, when tired sleep. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean'.
- Lao Tzu

If a fitness fanatic or a pregnant mother came to me, and I gave them both a programme I had designed for a combat athlete, (who's programme was exactly identical to the ultra marathon runner I had been training) you'd probably wonder where exactly had I received my qualifications, and if my mental faculties were in tact. However, this blanket approach is often adopted when it comes to nutrition. A 'one size fits all' model is spread throughout various magazines and institutions, without taking into account the uniqueness of you.

What I'm talking about here, is not simply eating to function (just to get buy), but nutrition that will have you at peak performance, and maintain optimal health (not merely just an absence of disease).

Liberty Gray over at the IKFF, has written a thought provoking piece on what she calls, 'Synergistic Nutrition'. If optimizing your current eating habits is the missing link in your current lifestyle this article is well worth a look.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Low Testosterone Levels Increase Mortality Risk in Men

A recent population-based cohort study demonstrated a link between low levels of testosterone and increased risk for mortality from all causes in adult men of all ages. The following is an extract from an article by Bryan DeBusk, PhD entitled, 'Low Testosterone Levels Increase Mortality Risk in Men', it was taken from the Medscape website

"When we compared survival times of men with low testosterone levels to men with higher testosterone levels, we found that men with low testosterone had significantly lower survival," Mr. Haring told Medscape Diabetes & Endocrinology. "From our analysis, we concluded that men with testosterone levels lower than 8.7 nmol/L had a 2-fold increased risk of death."

..In a more specific analysis of causes of mortality, the researchers found that men with low testosterone levels were at increased risk for death from cancer and cardiovascular disease but not respiratory disease. The men in the low testosterone group tended to be older and had higher prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome, and Mr. Haring acknowledged the challenge in determining whether low testosterone was a cause or effect of the cardiovascular risk factors.

ENDO 2008: The Endocrine Society 90th Annual Meeting: Abstract OR35-1. Presented June 17, 2008.

While not directly related to resistance and weight training, the above extract makes an interesting read. Apart from all the functional benefits of resistance and weight training, guys, if you ever needed another reason to add it to your current training routine this is probably it. The positive effects of resistance training on the levels of testosterone has been widely documented, so if you wish to prolong your life, get active, get lifting.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Kettlebell Chek Mate

I was sent this article by Trevor, a kettlebell enthusiast. It's about HOW and WHY kettlebells are so effective. I'm sure the content of the article is not new news to many of you (or the strongmen and athletes from the past 300 plus years), but if Paul Chek says it then..... Read the full article 'Kettlebells Ring True' and let us know what you think.

Women Defying Gravity...

I'm a firm believer in NOT reinventing the wheel. If someone has said or done it better give credit where credit is due, and with that in mind I refer you to Glenn Cumiskey's ( blog in the post below. These women are awesome athletes, and know how to utilise their body mechanics to gain optimum power and leverage - Awesome!

Defying Gravity

By Glenn Cumiskey

Have a look at U.S. national and world class women weightlifters performing snatches, cleans, split cleans, muscle snatches... The early part of the video shows them warming up light and then getting progressively heavier. Just look at the fantastic position they can hold a loaded low squat in. In the deadlift position, whether pulling straight or from a rock back position, you'll see clearly the position of the scapulae over the load and the as-straight-as-possible trajectory of the bar as they explosively lift, with the bar almost hugging the body. The weights these women are putting overhead are phenomenal. Interestingly, none of them have the physique of a bodybuilder with oversized non-functional bulk... a great sign of well developed connective tissue, appropriate muscle development and excellent bone and joint strength.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

They Boys Are Back! July 2008 Kettlebell Workshop, London

After a sell out workshop, CJS Fitness has again teamed up with Steve and Ken from London Kettlebells to deliver another awesome workshop with all new bonus material.

The core part of the worshop will focus on the essential Kettlebell lifts and techniques to get you well on the road to immortality - ok, ok, not quite!, but what you will learn will revolutionise your current training and get you fitter, stronger, lean and more powerful!

We'll be going through all the fundamental lifts and techniques as usual, plus I will be presenting all new material geared towards boxers and other combat athletes. I will be looking at programme design and linking kettlebell exercises, and non kettlebell exercises (e.g Bodyweight/ Medicine Ball/ Skipping Ropes etc) into an effective training session/routine. This section is geared towards conditioning 2-3 minute round fighters, highlighting the important difference between training for 2 - 3 minute rounds and general fitness.

Places are going fast (apparently over 50% full already), for further information and booking check out