Monday, 25 May 2009

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of the Week

Coming straight back from the training runs for the ACLT Marrow-thon at Hyde Park, Cj Swaby (who led this weeks session) got straight into the mix and set the tempo for the session working on explosive strength, and stretching the anaerobic threshold. After a warm up consisting of joint mobility, dynamic body weight exercises and hand to hand Kettlebell swings, we got down to the following;


Double Kettlebell Jerk (moderately heavy)

10 reps x 8 sets 30 seconds rest between sets

A2. Circuit

Single arm Kettlebell Snatch (moderately heavy)

Burpees - We went for standard burpees or single arm burpees

Sand Bag shoulder Slam (or modify to sand bag flips)

Rower Level 10 (men) Level 6 (women)

1 Minute per exercise x two rounds = 1 set

Total of 3 sets with 1 minute rest between.

A3. Tabatta Sprints

20 seconds on with 10 seconds rest x 8 rounds

Cool down and stretch out

That was us done. Ready to enjoy the gorgeous weather and the bank holiday weekend.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

The Worlds Strongest Boy

I believe strength, among others, is a quality to admire. I believe a healthy athletic physique is something to be proud of. In our societies quest for the perfect physique how far is too far? Or have we been mentally conditioned to limit our own physical potential of what is possible. It's a thin line to tread, especially if we are using someone else as our testing ground. Check out the clip below of the worlds strongest boy, it is both amazing and disturbing at the same time.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of the Week

So with Cj absent, the game was on for Coach Sabina Skala to dispense a fierce gut wrenching session. Below was her devious plan.

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of the Week

Circuit x 4 Rounds

1 minute per exercise. 2 minute rest between rounds.

Exercise Menu

1)Rowing Machine
2)Box Jumps
3)Push ups
4)Step ups - with two kettlebells in rack position
5)Kettlebell Renegade Rows
6)Double Handed Kettlebell Swing
7)Double Kettlebell Jerk

Tasty right? If you try this out let us know how you get on (but don't blame me, blame Sabina).

Monday, 18 May 2009

Svetlana Writtle Training Day

Previously we posted a clip from London Kettlebell Coach Svetlana Writtle, going through a great kettlebell routine, designed to develop cardiovascular fitness. This time Svetlana is back, delivering a strength based kettlebell workout.

I'd like to thank Sveltana for taking the time out of her busy schedule to put down a Kettlebell routine on film for us. So over to Svetlana, the Russian Kettlebell Tsarina.

To contact Svetlana about Kettlebell training Read more....

Thursday, 14 May 2009

U.K.B.F.F Body Building Championships, London 2009

It had all boiled down to this. The sweat, the pain, the hunger, the tonnes of iron pounded over the months, the bland grilled chicken, the vitamin C supplements, the restless nights. One day. One moment. One chance.

Over the past nine months or so I had watched Clara transform herself into a finely tuned, chiseled, athletic machine. The Ms Physique at U.K.B.F.F Body Building Championships was a challenging goal she had set herself. At the age of forty one it was the first time she had been on stage in a competition (she's the one in the picture on the far right in the purple outfit). She had successfully managed juggle full time work at a Cancer Charity, being a mother, and putting the grueling hours under the iron.

The Ms Physique competitors had to perform standard poses - front view, side view, rear view. Then in the evening session adorned in their glamorous outfits, the women had a face off on stage in a final pose down. The competition was fierce, and to my disbelief Clara, representing Yorky's Gym in Battersea, London, didn't make it through to the next stage of the U.K.B.F.F Nationals. The judges felt the wrath of the crowds obvious disappointment. Check out the pictures below, leave a comment tell us what you think. Clara remained optimistic, and vowed to be back next year.

"I felt and excitable nervousness, it was a buzz and just an overwhelming sense of acievement"
- Clara Mosha

While traditional Body Building training can often be seen as rigid, and caught up in old school dogma, as a physique athlete Clara varied her training where appropriate, and even made it down to an Industrial Strength Session. I'll be asking Clara if she would be willing to share her some of her workout routines online, and give an insight to the nutritional methods used to get her into phenomenal shape.

It was the first time I had been to a Body Building Competition, and it opened my eyes. While I can honestly say that its not for me, I have a new found respect and admiration for the dedication that these athletes have. Awesome.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of the Week

This weeks session was led by Cj, and the emphasis was on developing power and strength endurance. Inspired by the Gironda method, which is similar to Charles Parliquin's German volume training. Vince Gironda system was designed to create Mr Olympia's and Mr Universe's (he coached many during his reign as a coach from the 1970's until his death). Parliquin's adoption of German volume training and his success in creating top Olympic athletes, shows the potential sporting application of this method. To find out more about the legendary Vince Gironda check out this article on T-nation.

So here's what we got up to in the session.

Full Throttle Conditioning: Workout of the Week

Gironda 10 x 10 system

10 reps of a moderately heavy weight x 10 sets. 30 seconds rest between sets

Exercise A1: Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch (10 reps per arm) x 10 sets

Rest 3 - 5 minutes

Gironda 8 x 8 System (due to time constraint)

8 Reps of moderately heavy weight x 8 sets. 30 seconds rest between sets.

Exercise A2: Double Kettlebell Front Squat

This took about 30 exhausting minutes. Sabina opted to finish us off (literally) with a modified Tabatta protocol.

20 seconds work / 10 seconds rest per exercise

Exercise Menu

1)Tuck Jumps
2)Kettlebell Renegade Rows
3)Press Ups
4)Double Kettlebell Push Press
5)V sit ups

x 3 rounds.

After a prolonged recovery consisting of lying flat on our backs and gasping for breath, we dusted ourselves off and staggered into the rest of the weekend.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Is Your BMI Way Too High?

I got an email this week by a distressed male who had just discovered he had a BMI of 29. "what does this mean? am I obese?" . I understood his concern. I have a BMI of 25. Technically, I am overweight. I'm sure there are a lot of people who receive information and stats, but only part of the picture. So I thought I'd put things into perspective.

What is BMI?

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. BMI is one method used to assess you weight relative to your height. Its based on the idea that there is an ideal weight in relation to height and any deviation from that can highlight potential health problems.

How to calculate your BMI

Weight (in Kilograms) / Height Squared (Height in cm x Height in cm)

So I'll use myself as an example;

86kg (on a good day) / 1.85cm x 1.85cm (3.4cm)
= 86 / 3.4 = a BMI of 25.2

This would place me at the low end of the "Overweight" category. The major problem with BMI is that it does not differentiate lean muscle mass from fat mass, or even fat distribution.

BMI should be taken into account with your body fat percentage, as well as your hip to waist ratio. This will give you a more accurate picture of your body composition. Fat distribution is equally important. A problem area for men is abdominal obesity. This has strong links to Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer and high cholesterol. So taking BMI in conjunction with your waist to hip ratio would be beneficial, so even if you had a BMI of below 25 but your waist to hip ratio (waist measurement / hip measurement) was close to 1 or above, then you would definitely want to look readdress your nutrition, physical activity, and your lifestyle.

Taking your body fat percentage is probably the easiest and most effective method of identifying your body composition. Make sure you take about 3 readings from correctly calibrated machines in one sitting, as there is a standard estimate of error of a few percent. A high body fat percentage will instantly tell you whether your health is at risk, but equally a very low reading of body fat percentage can be unhealthy.

There is an essential level of body fat required for your body to function and create the appropriate hormones. Essential body fat for female reproduction is generally 8 - 12% (ACSM Physical Fitness Assesment Manual: Lipcott Williams & Wilkins: 2005). Women with a body fat percentage lower that this may experience disruptions ovulating. There are issues for men as well, below are some links that will help to clarify body composition.

They key thing is to look at the whole picture. You know you better than anyone else. Are you physically active and getting exercise in? Do you drink too much or only the odd tasty beverage? Hows your nutrition? Taking your body composition is only a tool for you to let you know where you are in terms of health, and your lifestyle. The important thing is what are you going to do about it? and therein lies the question!

To find out more about BMI and BMI Charts Click here
To find out more about Body Fat Percentage and Charts click here
For more on Body composition click here

I found these useful pages on wikipedia, but remember, always check the source!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Full Throttle Fitness: Workout of the Week

With the Bank holiday quickly becoming a fleeting memory, I thought we'd revisit the Full Throttle Conditioning Fitness class that took place on Saturday at Balance Physiotherapy.

This weeks session was devised by expert trainer Sabina Skala. Here's what we got up to with our deck of cards...

Exercise Selection

Kettlebell Single arm snatch - Spades
Thrusters with Double Kettlebell’s (squat into push press) - Clubs
Box Jumps (on to bench) - Diamonds
Push Ups - Hearts
The number on the suit determined the reps.

Jokers were 25 Burpee - to push - up into tuck jump.

Tasty right? With a mere 6 minutes left in the session I thought we would finish off with a 4 minute density piece. Each exercise lasts 1 minute. No rest between exercises. One Circuit only.

Rower 250 meters (Women Level 5 / Men Level 7)
Medicine Ball Slams (4kg)
Agility shuttle runs
Punch Bag - Speed work (straight shot combination only - Continuously with no rest)

Needless to say we were metabolloxed! Lets see what lays in store next week.....

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Art of Power

Today is the 3rd May 2009. The day after Manny Pacquiao effortlessly dismantled Ricky the Hitman Hatton within two rounds. Something no other fighter, including Floyd Mayweather Jnr had been able to achieve. Pacquiao was the lighter fighter in the bout, but his power and accuracy was mind blowing.

Manny Pacquiao, under the wing of legendary boxing coach Freddie Roach displayed phenomenal power, and not just in the physical sense. Allow me to elaborate, from a simplified view;


This does not take into account the the level of awareness, or the ability of the person to exact their will. We function as an integrated unit, physical capacity alone will not enable us to successfully apply physical power. Mental capacity, or rather mental power has several components. Two major components include

1) Awareness, or Mindfullness.

"Mindfullness is the capacity to recognise things as they are."
- Thich Nhat Hanh - Zen Master

Awareness or insight enables you to see clearly, and acts as a knife that cuts through the forest to clear a path.

2) Ability To Respond; Response-Ability (responsiblity)

The ability to respond to the given situation, is the application of true power. To be flexible enough to adapt to exact your purpose, rather than rigid and set conditioned patterns only.

Freddie Roach in the post fight interview made some telling statements.

“This was no surprise, “Hatton pumps his hands before he throws a punch. He’s a sucker for the right hook. That’s what we worked on throughout our entire camp.
Ricky fights the same way over and over."

“I’ve watched so many tapes of Ricky in the last two months. I know him as well as my own fighter.”

(you can read the full thing at the Next Big Sports Event website).

"So it is said that if you know others and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know others but know yourself, you win one and lose one. If you do not know others and do not know yourself you will be imperiled in every single battle." - Sun Tzu: Art of War