Monday, 21 December 2009

4 Minute Mile G-Trainer Challenge (Part 1)

On May 6th 1954, Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Roger Bannister made history. Witnessed by a capacity crowd of 3,000 spectators Roger Bannister did the impossible. On what was considered very low mileage training by today's standards, Sir Roger Bannister ripped apart the world record for the mile. He roared home in a breath taking time of 3 minutes 59 seconds. The bar had been set to new heights in the World of Athletics.

The question was, could I, Cj, knock out a 4 minute mile on the G-Trainer Mile Club Challenge, at Balance Physiotherapy? Moreover could I do it on 19 days worth of training? Some would question my sanity, and in retrospect, its a valid question. Since October, my training had consisted of metabolic training (if you've been following my Metabolloxed posts you'll know what I'm talking about).

Workouts have been characterised by compound lifts at 65%+ 1RM max with 15 - 30 seconds rest, or combined with body weight exercises. Short Kettlebell sessions were also stirred into the mix. The bottom line? Intense work load with little rest periods, limited to 45 minutes workout time. The odd recovery run (2 - 3) times a week was thrown in.

On 1st December I received an invite by Jonathan Lewis at Balance Physiotherapy inviting me to the G-trainer challenge. It ignited an idea, which then caught fire. 4 minute mile at 85% bodyweight? Ok,lets do this! I began training in earnest.

Last week I had my V02 Max test done at Pro V02 in Fulham (will post more soon). I did not reach my V02 Max, but my Peak V02 placed me up in the top 90th percentile. Good news, it was official, I was in great shape. I decided to continue to work on short intense intervals as Sir Roger Bannister had done for his Challenge.

On Saturday 19th December 1pm, I trotted down to Balance Physiotherapy for my 4 minute mile attempt. Watch below to see what happened.

The Elusive 4 Minute Mile Attempt

I didn't find this attempt cardio-vascularly challenging as you will see from the video clip. It felt more neurological. Being able to turn over my legs at that speed, sustaining that cadence for that length of time was not easy. I could feel the impulses dampening, at times it felt as if I was tripping over my feet.

One thing is for certain, 4 minute miles is a serious pace, I have a new found respect for Roger Bannister who did it at 100% of his body weight. It highlighted to me that up to a certain point, running is more about skill then fitness. Economy and efficiency of movement. But more about this in part 2 of this post, as I, Cj, turn Chi / pose runner.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Metabolloxed - Full Throttle Fitness

This week Allan Fallro and Lil-Marit Overik from MaxPuls Fitness Studio, Norway, joined us for a short, sharp and intense session. I first met Allan and Lil-Marit on the IKFF Kettlebell course in 2008. Lil-Marit powered ahead on the women's strength endurance challenge set by Steve Cotter, while Allan, Jonathan Lewis and I, went head to head on the men's challenge (a sore spot to this day ; )

Taking a break from their Fitness studio, Boxing club and security work, Allan and Lil-Marit were over in chilly old London, taking in the sights. But even on Holiday - there is always time to train!

The Session Blueprint

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement (lead by Jonathan Lewis)

Main Session Part 1

Body Weight Circuit

A) 7 stations x 45 seconds each

Rest 30 seconds

B) 7 stations x 45 seconds each

The seven exercises were changed the second time around the circuit. Everyone threw an idea into the pot for the stations.

Rest 1 minute

Main Session Part 2

Timed Kettlebell Complex (select moderately heavy weight)

2:30 x 3 sets (30 seconds rest between)

The Complex

Hand to hand swings x 6
Overhead Squat

= 1 Rep

Complete 3 reps. Alternate continuously for the timed piece.
Complete as many sets as you can in the allotted time.

Job done we washed up and went across the road to cafe secondum in clapham, to take on board some quality nourishment.

Thanks to Coach Skala, Tim Joseph, Bradley Skeete and Mitch for rocking up and joining in on a great training session and locking it down!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Metabolloxed - The Sequel

Here we go again! Its been a long while since I've had some fun with the tire and sledge hammer. With today being Thursday (Thors-day) I thought it only right that I honour the Norse God with my own hammer time action.

With the sports science theory firmly parked on the bench (never been a big fan of theory - I prefer fact). I got on with the 270 rep protocol that I used last week. Here's how it went down.

Warm up: Joint Mobility

Main Session

Section A (The "warm up")

Single Arm Kettlebell Jerk (24kg) x 10 minutes (5 minutes per arm)

1 minute rest

Single Kettlebell Snatch (24kg) x 6 mins (3 miutes per arm)

2 minutes rest then.....

Section B

Sledge hammer slams onto truck tire (12kg) x 10
Burpee off the tire onto floor and land on tire x 10
Pull ups x 10

Cycle x 3 = 1 Set (no rest between each cycle)

Complete 3 sets

Rest 1 minute between sets

Total: 270 reps

Tasty? Well, put it this way, my grip was smoked and I felt like I could use my lats as wings by the end of this session!!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Are You Taking Care Of Your Star Player?

How you doing? No. Really. How YOU doing? Complete health should not just be about how fast you can run, how much you can lift, how far you can reach. Its also about personal and mental well being.

Too many people worry about pleasing others first, or subordinate their needs to make others happy. Look, when people are in a good mood they like you, when they are in a bad mood they don't. Be a little bit nicer to yourself, after all you can't give what you don't have. Do what works best for you. This may sound selfish and yes it is - self interest. However that doesn't necessarily mean that its at the expense of others. Hence the importance of having the right team if you are going to be the star player.

Not every one is going to make it to the FA Cup final or the play-offs. That's just life. But you can put yourself in with a good chance to achieve success. Having the right people on your team that know how to play their position is a wonderful wonderful thing. There is no point in having a soccer team consisting of only strikers. Mark my words, you will come unstuck. Surround yourself with the right positive people that love what they do (and this is key) but to do this they have to know what makes them happy, what makes them tick (self interest). As Star player and MVP its imperative to consciously put yourself in the right environment to help you grow. Take note: roses do not grow in concrete. The right conditions, the right environment. You see where I'm going with this right?

Everyone should be the star player of their own team. So ask yourself, how are you doing? Then ask "Hows the team doing?". If needs be, give the team a pep talk, see if everyone is playing the right position for them, if not, make changes. Hell, transfer some players if you need to! Its for their own good and yours (who knows, they maybe on the wrong team, thinking they're stuck in a career long contract). Besides there are finite spaces on any one team, and you may draft another valuable player in return.

I'll leave you with this thought from Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, if you haven't read it, I'd strongly suggest you take it in.

"Are they also special and gifted and divine? No more than you are, no more than I am. The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it."

Play on player.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Metabolloxed? Sure Enough!

Ribs healed? Check. Strength cycle complete? Check. Shoulder rehabilitated? Check. Time to bring on the extreme conditioning.

I was at South Bank Gym in Vauxhall, and decided to spice up some metabolic training. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Luckily my endurance outlasted my enthusiasm. If you spotted a sweating, weeping, tattooed mass in the corner of South Bank gym last week - that was me, Cj, regretting my decision.

Here's what I got up to

Warm Up

Joint Mobility + Dynamic movement

Main Session

A) sub 7 minute mile repeats x 3 (1 minute rest in between)

Then straight into


1) Burpee onto 50 inch plyometric box (and jump back down into burpee) x 10
2) Bear Crawl x 10 reps (set a distance of about 10 - 15 feet)
3) Pull ups x 10 reps

This equals one round.

3 rounds = 1 set.

Complete 3 sets

Rest 90 seconds - 1minute between sets.

No rest between rounds

Cool down and stretch.

This workout was interspersed with praying, and frequent bursts of profanity. But in a weird sort of way, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge.

Try it. You might like it!

If you're up for some Industrial Strength style metabolic training, why not come down and join us for the Christmas special at Balance physiotherapy in December.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

The Art Of Movement

To flow seamlessly from one movement to another with complete bodily control would be included in my definition of athleticism. The ability to express your body without being restricted in your range of movement is something to aspire to, and something that Scott Sonnon achieves so well. Sometimes your body is all the gym equipment that you need. Welcome to the art of movement.

Monday, 26 October 2009

270 Rep Challenge - Metabolloxed!

It's been some time since I've had a spiritual experience during a workout, but this time I called out a few deities, and had to search deep within to pull through it.

Who's idea was it? well, it was mine. It seemed like a good idea, until the end of the first set when James Bower and I realised the daunting task that lay before us. Apologies to the patients at Balance Physiotherapy (who could hear our cries of agony through the treatment room doors).

Designed to blitz the legs here's what we got up to

Barbell Hack Squat
(70 - 80% 1RM) x 10 reps
Double Kettlebell Front Squat x 10 reps
Box jumps x 10 reps

= 1 Round (30 reps total)

3 Rounds = 1 set (90 reps total)

Complete 3 sets (270 reps total)

No rest between rounds. Rest 3 minutes between sets.

We'll be archiving this one (only to reappear in the far far future) Try this out and let us know how you get on (go on, we dare you).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Kettlebell Breakfast Class

Wednesday morning Kettlebell class was a potent mix of exercises for time, plus sets. Rest assured by the end of the 45 minute Kettlebell class we were FULLY awake! The menu was as follows


Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement
Hand to hand Kettlbell swings x 1 minute, finely garnished with single arm cleans x 1 minute per arm.

Main Course

Gently divide the group into A and B. While group B simmers with the Kettlebell in the rack position, group A completes the following:

Single arm press, followed by a Jerk x 5 reps per arm
Allow group A to then gently simmer while group B performs the exercise.
Alternate for 3 sets straight.

Upon recovery, select the appropriate Kettlebell and perform 10 front squats. Once completed each member holds the Kettlebell in the rack position, while the first member of the group runs two lengths of the room. Upon return, they gingerly hold the Kettlbell in the rack position, then the second member of the group runs two lengths. The process is repeated until everyone has run two lengths. Then straight back into 10 squats. Complete 3 sets in this manner until thighs and gluteals are well done.


Lightly dust your palm with chalk and select your kettlebell. Perform the following

Kettlebell snatch 1:30 per arm x 2 rounds (6 minutes total)

Rest x 1 minute

Bring back to the boil and complete another set. Giving you a total of 12 minutes of Kettlebell snatches. lavishly cover in sweat to your taste.

And there you have it folks!! 45 minute Kettlebell blast. Try it out. Let us know what you think.

Kettlebell Breakfast Club takes place at Balance Physiotherapy London.

When? Wednesday Mornings 7:15am - 8am
Level: Beginners to Advanced
Ladies and Gents both welcome.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Rock Your Body Workout

After a recent post for the guys, I promised one for the ladies. Here it is, Zuzana of Rock your Body Tv demonstrating a challenging weight training workout for women. She has a great site with lots of training tips and ideas. The weight training workout below will have you lean and toned over time (but probably walking like John Wayne the day after). In short, its effective. Let us know what you think.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Women Should Strength Train

This one is for the ladies. I like this video because its simple. It's not trying to pitch a product or their own system of training, but she's talking from direct experience. The person in the video is not one of those picture perfect magazine cover models, but a regular woman, who had an injury and realised the benefits of strength training for herself. Check it out.

Road To Recovery

The last week has seen steady progress. Healing process is more or less done. Its now about improving fitness levels and correcting and protective bodily patterns that I have adopted. Finally back on the kettlebells this week. This was a humbling experience. I could just about manage a fraction of my previous work capacity. Patience. Patience.

Here's what I've been up to

Session one

Warm up: Joint Mobility and Dynamic Movement

Deadlifts 5 reps x 5 sets (75% 1RM)

Bench Press from bridge position on floor with 10 second isometric hold at the bottom range. 5 reps x 5 sets (65% 1RM)

Weighted Pull ups (24kg kettlebell) 5 reps x 5 sets

Tyre & Sledge Hammer 10 reps x 8 sets

Cool Down and Stretch

Session Two: Boxing (alternating South Paw and Orthodox stance each round)

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Skipping 3 minutes x 2 rounds (my rope broke!!)

Punch Bag - Technique and Endurance (All Shots)

3 minutes x 4 rounds: 1 minute rest

Punch Bag - Power (Hooks & Uppercuts)

1 minute x 4 rounds:40 seconds rest

Punch Bag - Speed taps (straight shots only)

30 seconds x 4 rounds:30 seconds rest

Cool Down: Body flow drills - 10 minutes

Session Three

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement

1a) Hand to hand swings 2 minutes x 1 round (24kg)

1b) Kettlebell Snatch (24kg): 1 minute x 2 rounds per arm (4 mins total.) Rest 1 minute then repeat

2a)Single Arm Jerk (24kg) 1:30 x 2 rounds per arm (6 minutes per arm). Rest 1 minute then repeat

2b)Windmill (24kg) 5 reps x 3 sets

3a) Tabata sprints with weighted vest (10kg) 20:10 x 8 rounds.

Cool down and stretch.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Trojan Kettlebell Competition, October 4th London

If you're into the balls of steel and want to rub shoulders with like minded Kettlebell enthusiasts (read: Lunatics) then there is one place you definitely want to be this weekend.

Bj Rule and Tommy Matthews are hosting this Open Kettlebell Competition at the Peacocks Boxing Gym in London. Its an open competition which means they don't care if you're AKC, IKFF, RKC or LMNOP qualified you can come down and swing the steel. Even if you'd prefer to watch this time in preparation for the next competition you are sincerely welcome. Either way it promises to be a cracking event. For more information you can go directly to the Trojan Lifting Club's website.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Inject Some Testosterone Into Your Gym

This one is for the lads (fellas, the boys etc). I'm not a big fan of commercial gyms. While they have the potential to provide an invaluable service, they're often a bit too busy taking your money and giving you a piss poor service in return (not to mention duly pimping the fitness instructors and personal trainers). Any sort of training outside of the "YMCA" or "Premiere Training" personal trainer hand book is often shunned. You will be rewarded with a fierce disapproving scowl from the gym manager should you undertake anything remotely out of the ordinary, or that potentrially contravenes section 1A, subclause 2C, Act 49 of the health and safety manual.

To hell with it I say! Firstly, lets respect the space you train in (and other gym goers) but lets get creative while we inject some testosterone in the place. Short on ideas? Kevin Larrabee over at T-nation has got some good suggestions. Check it out here.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Road To Recovery: Mind Games

The journey so far has been smooth sailing. I've been fortunate enough to have some of the brightest minds in Physiotherapy to tap into. Combined with my own knowldege, my body has thrived and made considerable progress. My strength and base level conditioning has improved, and I'll be working withPat Leahy from Pro Vo2 in Fulham to put together a plan to get me fighting fit.

What I have noticed is the apprehension. The internal dialogue. This week I introduced impact work into my training. This meant break falls, sprawls, parkour type leaps into tumbles and so on. While working with one of my Rugby guys I requested that he take me out a few times with "controlled" tackles. Ribs held out. So far, so good. What struck me was the apprehension that was present before I got tackled, before I did the break falls, before I tumbled. This apprehension wasn't there before. I noticed my body getting tense each time. When this happens the classic line from Point Break pops into my mind.

"Fear causes hesitation. Hesitation casues your worst fears to come true."

This is my cue to relax, and to let go. Focus on the task ahead, and be present to the moment. Thanks Patrick, you're a legend. Sometimes having cues to bring our attention back to the reality of the situation can help us focus to act effectively. It can be a simple word, or a sentence from a favourite film, book or song. Whatever works. Personallly I have an arsenal of them. These help me with various situations when my negative internal dialogue decides to rear its ugly head. Why not try it for yourself? Initially create three or four to add to your tool box. The best ones are easy to remember, grab your attention and empower you to act.

Try it out. Let us know how you get on.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Old Habits Die Hard

I'll probably upset some people with the next post - but such is life. Age is never an excuse not to train. Granted, there may be some modifications to your training that you will need to make. But you are NEVER TOO OLD. Make the necessary changes, and work around it. Hat off to the gentlemen in the video below - massive respect. More power to you sir. Ok, enough said. Watch on.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Road To Recovery

Getting there. Slowly but surely. The past weeks training has been characterised by continuing mass building protocol, with some more explosive dynamic work thrown into the mix. All the while being sure to work on by rotational strength and range of movement and shoulder stability.

Working my way backwards, here's what I've been up to.

Tuesday's Session

Warm up: Joint Mobility and dynamic movement

1a) Hack Squat 10 reps x 10 sets (90% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
1b) Cable Row 8 reps x 8 sets (85% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets

2a) Weighted trunk rotation 10 reps x 3 sets per side (40% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
2b) Weighted trunk rotation 3 reps x 1 set per side (95% 1RM)

3a) Swiss ball core complex:
Jake knife into Pike into oblique knee tuck 3 reps x 3 sets
3b) Hand stand holds 30 seconds x 3 sets (rest 20 seconds)
3c) Handstand walk outs 3 reps x 2 sets (rest 20 seconds)

Cool down and Stretch

Sunday's Session

Warm up: Joint mobility and dynamic bodyweight movement

1a) Incline Press 8 reps x 8 sets (80% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
1b) Barbell Rock up box squats 10 reps x 5 sets (80% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets

2b) Lat pulldown 10 reps x 10 sets (85% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
2c) Weighted trunk rotation 12 reps x 3 sets (30% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets

3a) Parkour depth Jumps Complex 10 reps x 3 sets ( 1 minute rest between sets)
3b) Swiss ball complex:
Jack knife into Pike into Oblique knee tuck 3 reps x 3 sets (30 seconds rest between sets)

Cool Down & Stretch

Friday's Session

Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Bodyweight movement

1a) Deadlift 10 reps x 8 sets (75% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
1b) Bench press 8 reps x 8 sets (80% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets

2a) Dumbell Pull Overs 12 reps x 12 sets (90% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets
2b) Weighted Gironda dips 6 reps x 4 sets (70% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between sets

3a) Weighted trunk rotation 12 reps x 12 sets (30% 1RM) 30 seconds rest between
3b) Cable rotator cuff exercises 10 reps x 3 sets per arm

Cool down and stretch

Going to progress into some impact work this week. Break falls, throws, sprawls and the like. Even going to get back on the Kettlebells this week ahead of Steve Cotters London Class special next monday.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Is The Fat Loss Industry A Jagged Little Pill?

In a desperate attempt for quick fix solutions some people will do almost anything to get rid of their fat. There are loads of scrupulous people out there who are willing to take advantage of that fact. When something as emotionally loaded as self image is the issue, its easy to lose sight of reality and go for the option that seems too good to be true. Often it is.

Muata, Mr Low Body Fat fell victim to one such company. Not because he bought into their miraculous "thirty day weight loss pill", but because they used before and after images of him, even though he had NEVER used their product or heard of their company until someone alerted him to it. Subsequently, Radiant ( a clinic in Seattle)removed his images and alleged "testimonial" and several other from this site. Read the rest of this outrageous story here.

Weight loss is a positive thing when done to better your health (and I use the word health in the all encompassing sense). Let's be real, medical conditions and medication side effects not withstanding, for the most people it took a while to put the weight on. Its going to take a while to lose it, and that's a good thing, your body will thank you for it in the long run.

However, if you still want that quick fix solution I have a handful of magic beans I'd like to sell which aid in rapid fatloss. Did I mention they were organic?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Road To Recovery

Over the last few sessions, I have been getting more dynamic with my rotational work. I've also added loaded compression by starting to clean kettlebells to see if the ribs can handle impact. Playing with the 16kg and the 32kg (for low reps) at home. So far so good. Below is what I've been up to for the last two sessions at the gym.

Saturday Workout

Warm up: Joint Mobility and dynamic body weight movement.

Skipping 3 minutes x 3 rounds

1a) Deadlift: 10 reps x 10 sets (80% 1RM)
1b) Incline Press ups 25 reps x 4 sets

2a) Kettlebell Windmill 16kg x 5 sets

2b) Pull ups 10 reps x 5 sets

3a) Swiss ball roll outs into jack knife 8 reps x 3

Cool down and stretch out


Warm up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Warm Up

1a) T-Row 8 reps x 8 Sets (80% 1RM)
1b) Plyomteric Push ups 10 reps x 4 sets

2a) Pull ups 10 reps x 4 sets
2b) Gironda Dips 12 reps x 4 sets

3a) Kettlebell Windmill 3 reps x 3 sets
3b) Hammer & Tyre 10 reps x 3 sets

Cool Down and Stretch

Friday, 11 September 2009

Steroids. Bigger, Stronger, Faster?

Top fitness model Christian Boeving was fired by some of his sponsors after appearing in the documentary Bigger, Stronger, Faster, which documented the wide spread use of steroids in pro-sport and the fitness industry.

In this interview with Gregory Mantell, Christian gives a candid view point about steroids. While CJS Fitness or any of its representatives do not endorse the use of steroids (our lawyer made us add that bit in), we respect his honesty and give credit where credit is due. It makes for compelling viewing.

Road to Recovery: At the South Bank

At the South Bank club again. Its quiet during the day, and i can be in and out like a flash. I wasn't feeling particularly adventurous, so kept a similar format to earlier in the week. Today's offering

Warm Up:

Joint Mobility
Skipping 3 mins x 3 rounds (20 seconds rest between).

Main Session

1a) Hack Squat 12 reps x 12 sets (80% 1RM with 30 seconds rest in between)
1b) Bench Press 6 reps x 6 sets (85% 1RM with 40 seconds rest in between)

2a)Seated Row 12 reps x 8 sets (75% 1RM with 40 seconds rest in between)
2b)Gironda Dips 10 reps x 3(body weight)

3a) Weighted Torso Twists 10 reps x 3 sets each side
3b) Cable Rotator cuff exercises 12 reps x 3 sets each

Cool down and stretch

Job done.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Road to Recovery: Unleashing The Wild Physique

Yesterday, I had decided to keep it old school. Gironda protocol was calling me. In the 1960's Vince Gironda's unique training system and ideas were quite controversial. His methods got unquestionable results. In 1965 he became a house hold name when Larry Scott won the IFBB Mr Olympia. Gironda's gym churned out several champions over the years attracting such names as Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I was in the Vauxhall area so decided to hit South Bank gym. While still a commercial gym in all respects they have a decent weights room, and lurking in the corner I spotted a lonesome Trap bar. I hadn't seen on of these for a while, so I grabbed it and got to work.

Here was my routine

Warm up:

Joint Mobility
Skipping 3 min x 3 rounds (20 seconds rest in between).

1a)Trap bar 10 reps x 10 sets (80% Max: 30 seconds rest in between)

1b) Bench Press 10 reps x 10 reps (80% Max: 45 seconds rest in between)

2a) Jack knife into Pike 5 reps x 5 sets
2b) Torso Twists with plate 12 resp x 4 sets

3a) Rotator cuff cable exercise 12 reps x 3 sets

Cool Down and Stretch

Here is a rare clip of Vince as the 1980's lycra generation was about to get into full swing.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Sabina @ Gym Jones - Day 1

My first day of training with Rob was quite an experience. It started nicely, 10mins warm up on a rower (easy) then 2x 5 min 30/30 interval (1 min rest after first 5mins), 30 sec hard 30 sec easy on a rower. Rob gave me a target of 130m for each hard 30 sec, which wasnt difficult at all, so being me I became overconfident and very cocky whooohooo,!. And then... it came... the machine from hell... named AIRDYNE!!! Me and airdyne have had a love and hate relationship since first time I tried it, which was in December last year in the mighty gym jones of course. I love it because I am absolutely pathetic using it, so it is a huge challenge and even looking at it makes me nervous . By the way I hate it for exactly the same reasons. Airdyne looks very innocent and actually I was surprised at first seing it in a place which I always associated with hard working, no nonsense, old school trainers and athletes. However I quickly gained respect for this piece of equipment, I actually had to lie down gasping for air after Josh put me on it first time. So today when Rob started adjusting the airdyne seat my confidence dropped and hit the floor. I did exactly the same interval work on the airdyne, '2x5 mins 30sec hard 30 sec less hard. It was supposed to look like that, but in reality it was 30 sec pathetic 30 sec more pathetic. By the end there wasnt even a chance for me to continue my more pathetic 30secs, as it became impossible to move my legs, arms and my lungs suddenly shrunk. Airdyne is a machine invented in hell, that I am sure of and Rob MacDonald is Airdyne's hell mate. Summarising today: Airdyne 1 Sabina 0. I have been beaten up...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Road To Recovery: K.I.S.S

I had Prince pumping out the tunes on my Sony MP3, which inspired me so keep this workout simple, plus I had to be at a BBQ so was short on time. I kept the exercises compound, plus spent time strengthening my shoulder complex and working on range of movement. I took this approach for my trunk as well.

I had also done a grade 2 tear on my acromio-clavicular joint as well as dislodging and fracturing my ribs so I will have to be sensible about allocating time to getting them fighting fit. Jonathan at Balance Physiotherapy recently posted a cool piece about acromiclavicular rehab check it out here.

Here's what I did.

1a) Joint Mobility
1b) Skipping 3 minutes x 3 rounds (20 seconds rest betwee)

2b) Hack Squat 12 reps x 12 sets (75% max) 30 second rest between sets
2b) Bench Press 6 reps x 6 sets (70% max) 45 second rest between set

3a) Shoulder flexion, internal and external rotation complex (cable machine)
10 reps x 3 sets

3b) Neck tie into trunk rotation (cable machine - 45% max)12 reps x 3 sets

Cool Down and Stretch

That was me done. At the moment I'm alternating days between resistance sessions and running (2 - 3 miles max) with at least a day off in the week. I'm doing supplementary work on the same day I run (swiss ball pike / hand stand holds etc).

Physiotherapist Frances Lynn is doing a great job getting me back to form. With her input I'm modifying my training sessions appropriately. Playing it by ear and seeing how I go. So far, so pleased.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

The Myth of Will Power and Fat loss

In 2003 Muata weighed in at over 310 lbs (140kg+ to the rest of us). Today, in 2009 he is resting comfortably at around 177 lbs (80.5kg approximately). In my book, Muata is an inspiration, and confidently bridges the gap between academic research and real life applications.

Muata Then

Muata Recently

In a recent post on his blog Muata lays it down simple and plain. No B.S. It's a great read for people who are in a similar situation, or fitness professionals with clients in the same boat (as we all need constant education from a different point of view).

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Muata....

Alright Big Dawgs, let’s continue our little conversation shall we …

A week doesn’t go by that I don’t either read an email or have someone tell me in person:

"Man, I wish that I had the willpower you have to lose so much weight and keep it off!"

It’s really the weirdest thing to experience because I feel as if people are putting me on pedestal because they think I must possess some sort of He-Man willpower. Well, I hate to disappoint you guys, but I don’t.

I still deal with having to be mindful of the amount of food I’m eating and how calorie dense my selections are on a daily basis. But, my approach to getting and staying lean has evolved over the years I’ve been on my journey.

When I started my journey, my cravings were out of control. There were so many foods that were placed on the “Do Not Admit” list for my kitchen. My thinking was simple. I knew that if the so-called forbidden foods were in the house, I would eat them. So, I...Read More

Friday, 4 September 2009

Pilates+Boxing = Piloxing

This is not a joke. Yet strangely amusing at the same time.

New craze sweeping L.A and making it's way to Gym Box London.

Our thoughts on this? Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Kettlebells Land at Lambeth Festival Of Sport

A major 'Festival of Sport' that will kick off Lambeth's countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games is being held on Saturday 5 September. Kennington Park will play host to Lambeth's first annual borough-wide sport and cultural festival - Activate 2009.

CJS Fitness and Jonathan Lewis of Industrial Strength London & Balance Physiotherapy will be getting in the mix, putting on a gripping experience. Kettlebelll taster workshops, speed and agility sessions, will feature massively. We will also be showing you how to get the most out of bodyweight exercises and demonstrating some cool stuff to hopefully inspire your own exercise workouts. To make it even more appealing, our sessions are completely free. That's right. Free.

The Festival of Sport features a wide range of things for you to try out from Climbing, Parkour, Basket Ball to Judo and Soccer. There is something for everyone. And yes, there are tents and marquees - so no need to worry about the weather!

To find out more click here

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Home Fitness Workout : Road to recovery

About two weeks ago i managed to dislodge by 5th and 6th Rib from my costal cartilage, plus fracture them as well (my love of combat sports knows no boundaries). I've been written off for six weeks. They guys over at Balance Physiotherapy have been taking good care of me and I'll be back on the mat wrestling, in no time.

What has changed is my training. I've had to come to terms with my physical limitations and listen to my body a lot more. I haven't let this stop me. I'm learning to work around it. I'll be posting more about my road to recovery in the coming weeks.

Thought I'd share my workout with you. Taking it back to basics with this one.

Extreme Home Fitness Workout

Work to rest ratio in seconds 45:15

Complete 2 circuits = 1 round.

Rest 1 minute between rounds.

Complete 2 rounds

1) Double Handed Kettlebell Swings (moderately heavy)
2) Burpees
3) Stair Sprints (the neighbours loved this one)
4) Press ups

And talking of combat sports below is a great post by the legendary Steve Maxwell.
An example of clear simple instruction, and effective technique. I take my hat of to you steve (if I was wearing one).

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Bulgarian Bag The Homemade Way

Last month we posted a piece about Bulgarian bags. No question they are a great piece of kit for developing renegade strength. A stumbling block for some is the price. We stock them, but appreciate they are not cheap. However, what we stock is high quality.

What if you want the benefits of training with the Bulgarian bag, but price is holding you back? Well, if you don't mind lesser quality, or putting in some serious elbow grease, then definitely go the homemade way.

Matt Witchlinski over on youtube, posted a great video on how to make a Bulgarian bag, all for a fraction of the price. Great work Matt.

DIY Bulgarian Bag

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Get Hench...... Or Die Trying!

Hench - Adj . large muscular stature. Awesome physique. A colloquialism currently used in England, originating in the mid 1990's.

Or to put it in layman's terms, its slang. Out and about in London town traveling between clients today, I saw a young man chasing a bus wearing a T-shirt saying, "Get Hench.....or Die Trying." I chuckled to myself, amused at the take on Gangsta Rapper, 50 Cent's slogan, "Get Rich or Die Trying."

When I returned to the office I googled it. Turns out its a bit of a movement. Started by controversial character Olu Johson, who featured on the BBC Three Program, Blood Sweat and Takeaways, Get Hench or Die Trying has been kicking up a storm. It seems they are in close quarters with G.W.A (Gym With Attitude), a kind of underground backlash against the current commercial fitness industry. Its definitely not for everybody, and they make no apologies for it.

Whether you digg them or are disgusted by them, its an interesting concept which will apparently capture the psyche of a disgruntled wave of people. Get Hench or Die Trying? There are probably a few incidents where people have almost died trying to get hench - but that's another blog entry.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Goal 2 Goal Football: Too Fast Too Furious

Goal to Goal is an emerging form of soccer sweeping through every borough of London at break neck speed. Players pit themselves against each other. Seven seconds, two touches. Most goals scored in a six minute thirty second game wins. Fast paced action designed to improve your first contact with the ball,control, speed and power.

Sunday 9th August sees London's largest tournament of this kind, taking place. CJS Fitness will be down there showing support and giving demonstrations on how to improve your power and speed for football (or soccer if you prefer). Come down and watch the action taking place on the pitch or even test your skills if you dare! For full details visit

Goal 2 Goal Football : Too Fast Too Furious

Thursday, 6 August 2009

CJS Fitness: Full Throttle Fitness Workout of the Week

CJS Fitness Full Throttle Fitness Workout Of The Week

We decided to run an impromptu session outdoor as we had such beautiful weather for it. Full Throttle Fitness is taking a sabbatical over the summer, and will return improved and far more fierce! Taking place in the surreal back drop of Clapham Common, South West London (think British Military fitness, and random drunks scurrying across the green), we dragged some kit from Balance Physiotherapy and cracked on with a session that left most of the participants cursing Cj up to the end of the week.

In The Tool Bag

Tornado Ball
Gym Boss

Here's what we got up to

Warm Up: Joint mobility and dynamic movement (10 minutes)

Circuit A

1) Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
2) Burpees into tuck jump and rotate to land on opposite line of cones
3) Tornado ball
5) Traveling press ups between two markers

45 seconds per station 15 seconds to change/ rest
x 2 rounds = 1 set

Rest x 1 minute

Complete 2 sets

Circuit B

Modified Tabatta Protocol 20 seconds work/ 10 Seconds rest
Complete 4 rounds per exercise.
8 rounds = 1 block.

Complete 3 blocks

Rest 1 minute between block.

Split into group A and group B.

Group A does had sprints between cones (approx 15 meters)

Group B does hand to hand swing (rest in the rack posotion)

switch around after 4 rounds.

Circuit C

Mark out cones about 15 meters apart.

1 minute exercise x 1 round

Work in pairs

1) sprint between cones and drop to floor and get up to sprint back. Partner then does the same.

2)Bear Crawl length and back the partner goes.

3) Wheel barrow the length and change when you reach the cones.

4) Frog hops with hands behind head to the gone and back to start. Then partner goes.

Cool down stretch out. Job done!

Seeing as it was James Bowers birthday, we thought we would celebrate with some high performance post work out nutrition at Fantasia in Clapham Old Town. Full English Breakfast anyone?..ahem.

Full Throttle Fitness will return in the winter.

Happy Birthday James!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Full Throttle Fitness Workout Of The Week

Coach Skala was at the helm this week, and when I tell you the piece was brutal that is no exaggeration. However, revenge was oh so sweet. To top off the session someone thought it would be a great idea to use Coach Skala as a piece of gym equipment! Cj willingly obliged. Skala Windmill anyone? Here's what we got up to....

Full Throttle Fitness - Workout Of The Week

Warm Up: Joint Mobility & Dynamic Movement (10 minutes)

Timed Circuit A

1 minute per exercise x 2 rounds = 1 set (complete 2 sets with 1 minute rest)

Double Kettlebell Bent over Row
Bear Crawl with Marine Kit Bag (or 40kg sandbag) strapped to you
Farmers Walk with double 15kg Discs
Burpees with a roll, tuck jump and press up (I know, I know)
Double Kettlebell Swing

Timed Circuit B

1 minute per exercise x 2 rounds

Lateral Bench Hops
Gorilla Walk
Sprawl with Medicine Ball

"Combat Core! Ala Diesel Crew
10 reps x 3 sets

1)Feet raised on step box
2)Arms extended straight top of press up position on mini trampoline.
3)Drop into a break fall then bounce back to top of press up position.

Then we cornered Coach Skala and gave her a dose of her own medicine!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Cj Meets Bj at the Trojans Kettlebell Lifting Club

A few weeks ago I popped down to the Trojans Kettlebell Lifting Club in London. There are few clubs in London dedicated to Kettlebell lifting sport so I jumped at the opportunity to flip some steel with some of London's finest Kettlebell lifters and like minded people.

Bj and Tommy of Optimal Life Fitness run the club, which meets every Thursday evening in the heart of London. Check out the clip below to find out more about the club, or how you can get involved.

Tojan Kettlebell Lifting Club, London

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Fighters Only? What's The Issue?

Issue 53 to be exact! The latest issue of Fighters Only magazine includes a double page spread by Cj Swaby. The article focuses on developing explosive supreme strength for fighters using kettlebells. Have a read and let us know what you think. Stay posted as we will be uploading the exercises from that article in the coming week. Can't say we're not good to you.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Full Throttle Fitness Work Out Of The Week

After a short break, this week we were back at the helm with a stomper of a session. Cj led this weeks Kettlebell based workout, mixing it up with body weight exercises to the tune of tabata protocols and density training. The session was topped off with a demonic bodyweight partner piece devised by Coach Sabina Skala. Here's what we got up to.

Full Throttle Fitness Workout Of The Week

Warm up: Joint Mobility And Dynamic Movement (10 minutes)

Main Workout

4 minute Density piece x 2 sets (30 seconds rest between)

1) Single Kettlebell Swing/ Clean/ Squat/ press x 1 minute per arm (no rest)
2) Kettlebell Hand to Hand Swing x 1 minute
3) Kettlebell Squat x 1 minute

Moving Swiftly into....

Sprints (Tabata Protocol) 20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x 8 rounds


4 minute Density Circuit : 1 minute per exercise x 2 (1 Minute rest between)

1) Burpees
2) Mountain Climbers
3) Medicine Ball Slams
4) Alternate leg hops onto bench

The Finisher

Bodyweight partner exercise.

Choose an A and a B

A grabs B's legs who then wheelbarrow's to length of room and back.
Then both A and B Bear crawl length of room and Back.
They swap over so now B grabs A's legs who then wheelbarrows the length of the room and back. Then both A and B bear crawl the length and back.

Clear as mud right? well this constitutes one set.
Complete 5 sets with NO DESIGNATED REST!! (that's why we call it a finisher!).

Cool down and stretch out.

Game over. Job done.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of The Week

Class was canceled this week, but we saved the Workout of the week from the previous Full Throttle Fitness session to whet your appetite. This main session was devised by Sabina Skala, focusing on dynamic and isometric strength endurance. It was a brutal piece, which utilised bodyweight exercises and other tools. Cj topped it up with a Kettlebell finisher for good measure. Here's what we got up to......

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of The Week

Dynamic body weight warm up and joint mobility x 10 minutes.

Main Workout Session

Team Squat Ladder

You all line up in a row, one person does a rep, then holds the squat in the bottom position. The next person squats and then holds the bottom position as well, and so on until everyone has completed a squat. You continue this in a ladder fashion until you get to ten repetitions.

Team Push up Ladder

Same as the squat ladder - but with push ups! work your way from one up to six repetitions.

Modified Tabata Circuit

(20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest per exercise)x 4 rounds

Rower (level 7)
Kettlebell Renegade Row
Kettlebell Push Press
(10 seconds 'rest' is in the over head position with arms fully extended)
Push ups on Kettlebells
Burpee with push up and tuck jump

Kettlebell Workout

10 reps of each exercise. You work as a group, so once you have finished your reps, if other members of your team are still going you complete swings (double or single arm) until they have finished!

Double Handed Swings x 10
Kettlebell Cleans x 10 per arm
Kettlebell Front Squat x 10 per arm
Kettlbell Snatch (or push press) x 10 per arm
Kettlebell Windmill x 5 per arm

Complete as many circuits as possible in 10 minutes (working as a team).

Cool down and stretch - job done!!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Kettlebell Essentials Seminar July 26th

Kettlebell Essentials Seminar July 26th

Our final Kettlebell seminar for the summer is soon approaching, this means there are limited spaces left. The Kettlebell Essentials seminar has proven to be quite successful. We've improved and revamped the final Kettlebell Essentials seminar so that you will see even greater improvements in your kettlebell technique.

This kettlebell seminar utilises our accelerated learning technique so that you will leave the kettlebell seminar with a high level of ability to perform the kettlebell exercises, plus a solid understanding of trouble shooting, and self correcting your technique. Not only this, you will learn how to structure your kettlebell workouts effectively so that you can achieve greater fitness and an athletic, toned physique.

Below is a clip of some of the stuff we cover

To read more about the Kettlebell Seminar objectives, what we cover and what you will learn click here

Click Here To Register

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Train Smarter In The Sizzling Summer Heat

This week in the UK we hit 35 degrees, which, apparently, was a lot hotter than the Bahamas. To be fair, if I had a choice between 35 degrees on the streets of London in rush hour and 25 degrees on a beach in the Bahamas, I know which one I would choose.

Either way, skipping training would not be an option. However training in such temperatures, especially if we are not acclaimatised to it, has real dangers. Dr Marybeth Crane, based in America, who is also a runner and cyclist ( and has some handy tips on avoiding dehydration, getting the most from your training and steering clear of potentially life threatening situations in the heat.

"Train Smarter in the Summer Heat! I declared myself heat tolerant in a recent Twitter. I did a 3 hour bike ride in 99 plus heat at 5pm in the Texas heat and could still spit when I was done! That's a success in my book! It definitely took 2 full weeks of suffering in the heat and a good hydration plan to finally feel like my
body had made the transition to feeling relatively comfortable in the soaring Texas summer heat.

Dehydration, heat stroke and hyponatremia are your biggest worries while training in the summertime. Whether you are in Texas or Rhode Island, when the temperature soars over 90 degrees, heat illness can seriously hamper your endurance training. Most of us have an "A" race on the calendar in the fall and require a lot of base training in
the summer. No way around those long runs and even longer bike rides in the heat. The average triathlete can sweat up to one liter of fluid an hour while training and sweat contains about 3 grams of salt per liter. How can we conquer the heat? Preparation and constant hydration! Diligence is the key! Always stay one step ahead of the hydration curve. Remember that heat illness really can kill you and hyponatremia has taken out more than one healthy marathon runner and triathlete!

Here are some simple tips that will help you train safely
in the heat:

1. Hydrate all day long. Drink water throughout the entire
day. Most people actually start their training runs already
dehydrated. Especially when the temperature reaches triple
digits, it is important to always have that water bottle
near by.

2. Prepare for your longer training runs and rides. This
means dropping water bottles along the route before you
start or making the route circle around many times so you
can stop and pick up more water at your starting point.

3. Drink a mixture of sports drink and water. Definitely
mix it up. I always have a bottle of each on my bike.

4. Consider salt tablets if you are running or biking more
than 2 hours. Unless you can carry salty pretzels on your
run, salt tablets are a must if you are sweating heavily.

5. Never be afraid to get off your bike and run through a
stranger's sprinklers! You may look like an idiot, but
cooling off and wetting your clothing can only help you
stay cool! Putting ice down your shirt can also be helpful!

6. Listen to your body. Especially in the beginning of your
heat training, listen to the symptoms of heat illness. If
you are nauseous, cramping, can't spit, have dry mouth,
notice your hands and wrists are getting puffy and you are
starting to feel goofy; STOP! Go home to run or ride
another day.

7. Avoid anti-inflammatories if you can. Ibuprofen and
Tylenol actually can affect your kidney function. This can
increase you chances of suffering from hyponatremia.

8. Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. A bad sunburn will
thwart your normal heat-regulation system. Heavy duty 70
plus water-proof sunblock is your friend!

9. Weigh yourself before and after your training. Replace
your weight loss with more fluids.

10. Carry money. You never know when you may get lost and
need to stop at a store for more sports drink or water.

11. Train with a friend. They may notice your symptoms of
heat-illness way before you do. Denial is never a good

Heat-illness is real! Be smart while training this summer! Follow these tips, heat acclimatize over a period of several weeks and be diligent about your hydration plan
while training in the heat. Let's get to those fall races stronger and without any heat-related training drama! See you on the run!"

About Dr Marybeth Crane

Dr Marybeth Crane is a board certified podiatric foot and ankle surgeon specializing in sports medicine. Your feet should last a lifetime! For more foot health tips, a copy of her new book "If Your Running Feet Could Talk" and doctor-approved foot care products, visit or read her blog at Your body will thank you!

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Tactical Strength Training With Bulgarian Bag

It seems that traditional methods of training are making a comeback, or perhaps they never went out of fashion, just became the cornerstone methods for a select few. With the eternal quest for optimal human performance, gaining the competitive edge can sometimes be found in our past, enter the Bulgarian Bag.

Primarily used by wrestlers and grappling athletes, the Bulgarian Bag is also great for people wanting to develop functional strength and lean muscle mass. The distinctive "yoke" shape means these bags can be used for a variety of effective movements such as squats, lunges, hill/stair running, full body and half-moon swings, bridging, side-to-side "core" and abdominal work, good-mornings, "ground work," overhead pressing, hammer curls, the potential is endless. Comments on the video below are welcome.

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of The Week

Inspired by his recent trip to Trojans Kettlebell Lifting Club run by Bj and Tommy from Optimal Life Fitness (more in a post coming soon) Cj lead this weeks session, focusing on agility and strength endurance.

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of The Week

Warm Up: Joint Mobility
(actively working each joint through a full range of movement 15 - 20 reps each)

Dynamic Bodyweight Movement

Cossack x 1 minute
Walking Lunges x 2 Lengths
Reverse Walking Lunges x 2 Lengths
Low Walking Lungs x 2 Lengths

Agility Ladder Drills

Hot Stepping (double step) x 2 Lengths
Lateral Hot Stepping (Single Step) x 2 lengths
Bear Crawls (Hot Hands) x 2 Lengths
Bear Crawls/ Revers Bear Crawls (hot hands) x 2 Lengths

Kettlebell Section

Freaky 50

(select two Kettlebells of moderate weight)

1) Single Arm Overhead Squat x 10 reps (per arm)
2) Renegade Row into Press Ups x 10 reps
3) Tactical Lunge x 10 reps per side (single Kettlebell)
4) Burpeese x 10 reps

Complete 5 circuits with no designated rest period.

Cool down and stretch out.

Now this may seem like a short piece, but I can assure you that the total of 200 reps will seem like an eternity!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Way Too Thin? Way Too Rich?

Denise Ryan, MBA, is a Certified Speaking Professional,a designation of excellence held by less than 10% of all professional speakers. The eternal quest for a youthful body (synonymous with thin) and financial wealth is something that seems to occupy the psyche of the majority of the western world. No, really, think about it, if you're not trying to earn a living or create wealth to escape the rat race, you're at the gym getting fit, reading magazines about how to get fit, at the pub or bar feeling guilty for partying too much (and not getting fit), reading glossy magazines that tell you that the only way to attract the opposite sex is to have the body of a Greek God a a wallet the size of Everest (plus a successful portfolio to match). Is it me, or is this just a little bit insane?. The following article by Denise Ryan is, in my view, on point.

"You CAN be Too Rich or Too Thin
I know that to many people this seems like heresy - these
are two goals that influence a great deal of human
behavior. But we've all seen someone who has clearly lost
too much weight. Often they think they still need to lose
more. And while it would seem that one could not be too
rich, there is a point at which increasing one's wealth no
longer increases one's happiness.

Here's the human dilemma - once we start to lose weight or
earn money, we gauge our success by every pound or every
dollar. At some point we start to equate our personal
value with dollars and pounds. If we gain weight, we're
fat losers, if we lose weight we're hot and successful.
Same thing with money. I don't know about you, but as my
business falls off with the recession, I feel like a

Here's how this has worked in my life - over the past
couple of years I've lost about 20 pounds. I was never fat
(although I certainly was starting to get there!) and to be
honest, most people haven't noticed. I'm pretty tall, so
it's not as noticeable on me as it would be on someone
shorter, and I've lost it gradually. I actually never
thought I weigh this little again - hell, I weigh less now
than I did in college.

Am I happy about this? Yes, but I still think I could lose
another pound or two. See how crazy we are? We lose
weight and we always think we could stand to just lose a
little more. We make more money and we think we could just
make a little more.... We poor humans are never satisfied.

This is not all bad - it keeps us in the game, keeps us
striving. But it also keeps us beating ourselves up. I
will not be happy with myself if I gain back 5 pounds even
though I'm still significantly lighter than I was and still
would weigh less than my original goal! I am unhappy that
I'm not going to make more money this year than last year
even though the world is in a terrible recession. So what
to do?

1.) Check in with what really brings you joy. I love
fitting into my new hot jeans, I won't lie. But I also
adore food - ice cream in the summer, chocolate all the
time, mouth is watering just thinking about it!
So if I really want something, I'm going to eat it. I'm
going to try not to beat myself up if I gain back a pound
or two. Hell, if no one noticed I lost 20 pounds are they
going to notice I gained three? I don't think so. If
you've lost touch with what brings you joy, think back
about the times in your life when you were the happiest.
What can you do to recreate that happiness?

2.) What REALLY means success to you? If I die skinny,
does that mean I had a great life? How about if I die
rich? I just want to be happy. I think if most of my life
was spent filled with joy, than I had a great life. What
does a great life mean to you? What brings you deep
happiness? Spending time with people you love? Having
adventures? Laughing?

3.) What is enough? I have a home I love (that's paid
for), a nice car, a healthy bank balance. Why do I even
need more and more money? Sure I could buy a bigger house,
a newer car - but what I have is enough for me. Remind
yourself when you really already have enough.

4.) Is it about you? Or about society? Let's face it,
there's a fashion and beauty industry pushing you to feel
inadequate. If we all decide we are perfectly fine just as
we are, they are gone. Same with providers of many other
types of goods and services. I'm not judging - I love nice
things. But each of use needs to know where our desires
end and societal pressure begins. The hardest voice to
hear in this world is your own.

5.) Are you holding yourself to a ridiculous standard?
Think of someone (choose a regular person rather than a
celebrity) who you think has a great life. What is it
about their life you think is great? I seldom find myself
thinking, "Oh I admire so-and-so - she's so skinny!" I
find myself thinking, "Missy has such a great life - she is
surrounded by friends and family who love her." I don't
think, "I wish I could trade places with Fred - he has such
a huge home!" I think, "I'm so happy I don't have to clean
that place! Or hire an army to do it for me." Why hold
ourselves to a standard that really doesn't matter?

Yes, how much you weigh is important if it is making you
miserable. But when you find your mood set by what the
scale says, you need to regroup. Skinny does not equal
happy. The same goes for money. If you can't take care of
your needs (not your every desire and whim, your NEEDS),
money is very important. But after a certain point, more
money does not mean more happiness.

You can be too rich or too thin, but you can never be too
happy. I wish much happiness for you."

Denise Ryan MBA also has here own blog Motivation By Chocolate (intrigued right?)

Also, check out her website where you can see more articles and sign up for a free newsletter.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Fitness Wisom? : F**K It!

"A wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal. Being wise implies broad knowledge, learning and experience and the ability to apply such faculties to practical ends."

Now this isn't my definition, but I found it on a website about West African Wisdom and thought it was pretty cool, so I stole it.

The bit that stuck out for me was "the ability to apply such faculties to practical ends". I'm a social creature by nature and my role as a Coach means that ultimately the conversation eventually steers towards fitness. A conversation that I often encounter is "I must get back to the gym" or the one about "I'm just not seeing results" or "I'm still paying but I will go back eventually".

To these people (not the perennial gym rats) I would say, take a long hard look, apply your broad knowledge, learning, experience and say F**K it! Gyms are not the only answer. Do sport, do something physical that you enjoy. Save some money, put it into something that will get you the results and that you love doing. Get out there, just get active. Commercial Gyms are in a stagnant industry that boomed and have yet adapted to the changing modern physical culture. They are possibly on their way out. Now I'm not talking about small or local gyms. Gyms have their place and are useful when they serve their members. I'm talking about the glitzy gyms the pop up ten fold in a space of as many feet like they are fast food restaurants.

Their is a real cost to your health if you are not physically active, and a financial one (as your medical bills will pile up from conditions related to poor health). But there is also a financial cost to working out. On Straight to the Bar, Kat wrote an interesting piece about this,

"I'm posting this to generate some respect for the issue most people have today of fitting fitness into their budgets, and to give some idea of what my investment has been as an example.

It's free to sweat. Ideally, people pay you to work. So this is an exception to the natural structure of life. Don't let anyone bully you into thinking otherwise, or that this is money you must spend. Don't watch people who have achieved some degree of glamor in your eyes in their fitness lives and feel that you should be doing what they're doing, because the activity may not be available to you. That realization gives you freedom, freedom from guilt, failure, and freedom to control the direction of your fitness life. You can stumble into your fitness pursuit, as most people do, arrive at your niche organically and then cater to it economically, or, if you're at a decision-making juncture, you can lay out the costs of various pursuits and assess their availability to you. Whether you're a realist, cynic or dreamer, your personality will drive you to a path from there. Do something. Just don't feel like you should be doing something else....
"read more

So what ignited this rant? working in the Health and Fitness industry for the past nine years plus, its something that has taken root and I have finally managed to articulate inspired by a wonderfully simple, but powerful book. Check out pages 101 - 105 You'll understand what I mean.

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of The Week

This week Coach Skala took the lead, after a dynamic warm up by Cj. Partner and body weight exercises were the flavour of the session, with a the unveiling of the Full Throttle Fitness Human Husky exercise!

Here's what we got up to

Full Throttle Fitness Workout of The Week

Warm Up

Joint Mobility

Travelling Lunges (forwards / Backwards) x 2 Lengths each
Agility runs: Hot Stepping and Lateral Shuffle x 2 Lengths each

Main Session

one person lies on the floor - the other sprints x2 Lengths then lies on the floor and the person who was lying on the floor starts sprinting.
x 5 Sets each (clear as mud right? ; )

Partner carry: x 5 lengths each
Bear crawl x 1 length and frog hops - all the way back. x 5 sets each


Push: 5 stations x 1 minutes each exercise. x 1 round

Push ups of (feet elevated on bench)

Medicine ball slams

Walking push up (medicine ball)

Barbell Push press (light)

2-3 mins rest

Human Husky (see picture above) 2 lenghts x 2 sets

2 -3 mins rest


Pull: 5 stations x 1 minutes each exercise. x 1 round

Sandbag pull (with a rope)

Body rows (on parallel bars)


Kettlebell Renegade rows

Barbell Bent Over Rows

Job done! Cool down and stretch out.

Friday, 19 June 2009

IKFF Kettlebell Course Milan 2009

After arriving at Linate Airport, Milan at 8pm (rather than the anticipated 8am), I made my way to the city centre to meet with the European arm of the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation Team, headed by the man himself, Steve Cotter. I was immediately humbled by the hospitality of our Italian hosts, who made both myself and Jonathan Lewis welcome.

This set the tone for the weekend of hard work and equally hard play. With participants from Greece, France, Italy, Portugal, England and the United States, this was truly an international course of the highest caliber. Steve Cotter was phenomenal as ever. I have participated on several IKFF Kettlebell Courses and each time it has been different. Steve's knowledge is constantly evolving, to the benefit of his students, including myself. The Assistant Coaches from across the continent brought their own distinct flavour to the IKFF CKT and the energy of the group carried us all through some grueling tests of strength endurance.

I met some amazing people on this certified kettlebell course, and forged some friendships that will endure for a long time to come. The IKFF family is forever expanding exponentially, and we can only be better off for it.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Beach Babe Bikini Workout? Kettlebells Anyone?

Today I met up with Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditiong Coach Charlotte Ord to spend some time under the Kettlebells with her and Jonathan Lewis. I first met Char at the IKFF CKT Level 1 in Scotland, she impressed everyone with her pressing skills as she took the female pressing competition by the horns. Char has Just finished her first book, Beach Babe Bikini workout, which is fiercely becoming an online hit.

Ever in the pursuit of excellence, never one to shy away from a challenge, or put herself outside of her comfort zone, Char is entering the UK Open Kettlebell Championships this year. Jonathan Lewis and I met up with Char at Balance physiotherapy.

We examined each others Kettlebell technique for the Jerk and the snatch. Noticing the trajectory of the Kettlebell as our arm "corkscrewed" on the descent in the snatch, and loading on the rise phase of the snatch for the correct hand transition. For the Jerk we focused on establishing an effective rack position which would not compromise the ballistic drive in the initial dip phase.

Analyzed out, we decided to knocked out some timed pieces of Jerk and Snatch. Suitably pleased with ourselves we dusted off the chalk and parted ways. Her fluid technique and raw determination will make Charlotte Ord one to watch at the UK Open Kettlebell Championships. Find out more about Charlotte Ord at her website or check out her new book Beach Babe Bikini Workout.

Click Here!

Monday, 8 June 2009

UK Open Kettlebell Championships 2009: Registration Open

Registration for the UK Open Kettlebell Championships 2009 is now live. Taking place at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on the 18th July 2009, this has the potential to be the largest Kettlebell competition in the UK. Men, women and teams from through out the UK and beyond will engage in a grueling test of strength endurance to raise money for two outstanding charities, The Paul D'Auria Cancer Support Centre, and Motor Neurone Disease Association South London.

Alongside the competition this event will feature special guest appearances and performance athletes including Parkour and Free running specialists Urban Free Flow. Steve Cotter and Ken Blackburn of the IKFF will be in attendance. If you want to register to compete at the event or fancy coming down to soak up the electric atmosphere, then you can book online at

In the mean time to keep you entertained enjoy the juggling skills of Ivan Denisov. Take it away Ivan...

Friday, 5 June 2009

UK Open Kettlebell Championships Now LIVE!

Registration for the UK Open Kettlebell Championships 2009 is now officially open. This promises to be the largest Kettlebell competition in the UK. This not for profit event supports two worth while charities that make a difference on a grass roots level. There will also be displays and special guests to keep you enthralled. Confirmed athletic movement dynamos include Parkour perfectionists Urban Free Flow.

You can find out how to register for the competition, or even buy tickets to this groundbreaking event online at Be a part of history in the making.

Kettlebell Competition At The Arnold

Urban Free Flow

Monday, 1 June 2009

The Art Of Movement

Rannoch of Kettlebells Scotland posted this up on facebook, thought we'd share it. A truly phenomenal example of what the human body is capable of. Absolutely breath taking. Enter Damien Walters...

Blog Archive