Friday, 29 July 2011

The Crossfit Legacy: Saturday Seminars

By Coach Cj Swaby

Say what you want about Crossfit, it is certainly a force to be reckoned with within the Health & Fitness World. Its easy to slander something you do not fully understand, just because it is different to what you know, or you have only half the information available.

Enter Crossfit Bold, and In2 Crossfit Clapham. Tom Bold (Crossfit Bold) and Jack Heneghan (In2 Crossfit Clapham) headed up our latest edition of our FREE Saturday Seminars. The Saturday seminars were set up by CJS Fitness to bring topics of interest to the forefront so that both the general public, fitness coaches and the like can get a better understanding and direct experience.

This seminar was no different. After the first seminar, which covered the principles of crossfit, what it is, and what it isn't (plus Tom and Jack's individual delivery in the own Boxes) participants headed over to IN2 Crossfit Clapham for a technical session on the push jerk, and a WOD (Workout of The Week).

It was an informative day, and whether you agree or disagree with Crossfit, both Tom and Jack got their point across, leaving little doubt that Crossfit is here to stay.

The CJS Fitness Saturday Seminars are taking a break for the Summer and will return in October with some more thought provoking lectures and seminars.


Crossfit Bold will be holding an open day this Saturday 30th July with FREE technical sessions, W.O.D's and a sizzling BBQ to top off a day of action. Contact Tom Bold HERE to secure your spot.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Full Throttle Fitness WOW #18

By Coach Sabina Skala

Last Saturday was quite intense. Full Throttle in the morning and afternoon seminar (subject - CrossFit legacy) in Balance, followed by another training session in In2CrossFit Clapham premises (big thanks to Tom Bold of CrossFit Bold and Jack Heneghan of In2CrossFit Clapham for setting up the record straight on what CrossFit stands for).

Some of the guys did come to Full Throttle early afternoon - pushed it as hard as they could and then braved it to In2CrossFit Clapham in a couple of hours time for the workout of the day. Brave...

Here is what we did :

Warm up, then

4 rounds of 5 mins work (the exercises were in a set sequence - see below).

Rest 2 mins inbetween rounds

5x burpee to push up

5x Man Maker

10 x double KB swing or 6x Heavy bag slam

5 x deck squat

Then 4 mins rest


1 minute per station : 15 second change over.

X 2 circuits
Exercise Menu (All partner work)
1) Single Arm KB snatch or Jerk (1 min per arm)
2) Medicine Ball squat - pass
3) Bear Crawls up/ Down stairs

Job done!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Wild Physique Unleashed : My Journey Into Strength PT 6 (Continued)

"I just have a fire inside that is not ready to be put out yet, so many things still left to do."
- Andy Bolton

By Coach Cj Swaby

Last the last entry I spoke about how getting expert advice can raise your game tremendously and shave some serious time off your learning curve. Last week I had the pleasure off interviewing Mike Mahler of Aggressive Strength, this week the man that helped me, and I had the opportunity to Coach along side, is the legendary Andy Bolton. If you don't know who this man is, either get to know (because you're in for a treat).

CS: Hi Andy, Thanks for agreeing to do this interview,

AB: No problem.

CS: Andy, for those who don’t know, who are you? And what have you achieved in your sport?

AB: I am Andy Bolton, a powerlifter from Leeds, England, aged 41, married with a 5 year old daughter. In powerlifting I have won the WPC World Title 7 times, WPO Champion 2007. I am the first man to deadlift 1000lbs and I have pulled over 900lbs in competition over 40 times, squatted 1214lbs and I think I am the only powerlifter who heltd the all time squat , deadlift and total record at the same time.

CS: How did you get into Powerlifting?

AB: I started in bodyb8uilding and after competing once I decided to switch over after being told by a small group of local powerlifters that I had some talent for strength! [laughs]

CS: In what way is training for Powerlifting different to Strong man training? And what is the carry over between the different sports as you see it?

AB: Ok, in both you have to be very strong in the basic lifts, the only thing in strongtman is you need more stamina and have to be able to move around a lot more, but powerlifting is also very technical now with the equipment we use. The carry over from powerlifting is a very strong back, legs and grip which will serve you well in strong man.

CS: Recovery is important when it comes to strength training, and a common mistake is to train too often, or with too much volume. What do you do to help you recover between sessions? And what is your typical training week, when preparing for competition?

AB: Its Monday – Bench, Wednesday Squats and Deadlifts, Thursday is assistance work i.e cable leg press, hamstrings etc, Saturday is grip work. As for recovery I like to sleep, and also get regular deep tissue massages and stretch after workouts.

CS: Andy, so the question I have to ask, seeing as you are a Man Mountain, what is your nutrition like, and do you follow any particular “diet”?

My diet has always been pretty good no matter what people think, sure I eat some junk, but for the most its a good diet, but as of the past 2 months I have changed things and now eat every 2 hours, small meals and I keep it as clean as possible.

CS: Which supplements do you use, and why?

AB: Supplement I have always used CNP professional, even before my sponsorship I used them, for me they are the best out there and great to work with thanks to Kerry Kayes.

CS: What inspired you to get into Strong Man and Powerlifting?

AB: I always wanted to be strong as most kids, and I got strong very fast so that went onto powerlifting and then in 1994 I got a call from David Webster from WSM [Worlds Strongest Man] asking me to go to Scotland and try Strongman, I was shocked and said, “Yes! Yes!!” [laughs] So off I went to give it a try, but I never really enjoyed it and missed the powerlifting.

CS: Could you see yourself doing any other sport, if it wasn’t this?

AB: No not really, powerlifting is everything to me, and it has given me so much.

CS: Who would you say are the top 5 people that have influenced your training?

AB: A hard one, there are so many, in no order I would say
Brain Batcholdor, Brian Reynolds, Roni Gordon, Dave Carter, Sangeet Dhillon, Dave Beattie

CS: You have had an extensive career, and achieved some great things so far, how do you keep yourself motivated?

AB: I don’t, I just have a fire inside that is not ready to be put out yet, so many things still left to do.

CS: Something Obviously separates you from the competition on a mental and physical level, what would you say that was?

AB: My heart. I will do whatever it takes and sometimes this is not good, when I did the 1000lbs pull for the first time, I shut myself off from all my family and all I would think about was the lift and doing that 1000lbs. After it I was so so tired, it took me months to recover, now I can manage things a little better. Also I have no fear of getting hurt, say squatting 1200lb plus, it does not scare me. Way I see it, if it breaks we can fix it.

What would you say are Andy Bolton’s 7 top tips to achievement?

AB: Again in no order, do not overtrain, listen to your body, don’t listen to too many people, write everything down, set yourself small goals, have long term goals, work harder than you have ever worked, but smartly. Always allow yourself to dream.

CS: Who is your Coach at the moment? And how did you guys hook up?

AB: Well I don’ t have a Coach, I have a good team around me, they pick me up on anything I might do wrong from time to time, but no Coach as such.

CS: Andy, I had the opportunity to Coach with you on our workshop , Training Day 2.0 earlier in the year, and your enthusiasm for teaching oozed out of you. Participants were breaking Personal Bests all over the shop. Which do you enjoy more, competing or Coaching?

AB: [Laughs] Lifting is number one, but coaching is a close second. I really do enjoy teaching and get lots from it.

For someone starting out into Powerlifting, How would you suggest they structure their training? And what common mistakes should they avoid?

AB: Easy, stick to a 3 day plan; Monday, Wednesday, Friday and avoid overtraining. Heavy singles in training, these are only testing strength, not building it. Stick to 5’s 3’s and train more speed and explosive power.

CS: Andy, what is your training philosophy, and what legacy would you like to leave behind for the Powerlifting World?

AB: From me it’s all based around speed and explosive power, this way avoids serious injury and is fun to do. As for legacy, well I just want to be remembered as a great powerlifter, someone who set the standards for others to follow, and to be known as a good man.

CS: Mr Bolton, Its been a pleasure, and thank you for doing the interview. I understand you also run internships that are open to almost anyone, tell me a bit about that?

Yes , they are full days with me, up to 5 people at a time, so a small group. I go through all the technical stuff in the morning on all the lifts, then we go away for lunch and do some question and answer, then in the afternoon we go back to the gym and we co a full assistance workout as I would do, can be hard or easy as they want [laughs] it’s a very enjoyable can. You can find out about the next available one on my website

CS: Thanks Andy.

AB: Thanks Cj, it’s been a pleasure.

Training with Andy Bolton definitely raised my game and helped me to rip the 240kg deadlift with plenty left in the tank. For those who have seen the video would have noticed the speed at which I ripped it of the floor. Andy’s coaching points where integral to that.

If you get the opportunity to train with this man do so, Andy Bolton is to Powerlifting what Roger Bannister is to athletics. For information on upcoming seminars, internship , special offer and free training info via his newsletter check out

To find out more about Training Day 2.0 read a report by the Crossfit Reading Crew HERE . Then watch the video below.

Training Day 2.0

In the next blog entry I will be showing you how I integrated what I had learned from both Mike Mahler and Andy Bolton, and synthesised that into my training, with actual examples. Plus, If I can find it, i will dig out the video and upload my 240Kg deadlift. This was the last time I was to test my deadlift before I managed to sustain an injury at Body Power 2011, in which I managed to fracture the small bones in both my hands, putting a end to my dreams of entering the Strength Power meet, and temporarily putting my goal of 300kg on hold.

Yours In Strength

Coach Cj Swaby

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Full Throttle Fitness WOW# 17

By Coach Cj Swaby

This weeks session was pretty straight forward, but extremely demanding. What was even more demanding was the 100 rep challenge at the end of the session which we ran as a competition to win two weeks free training. Every one gave it their all, but Colin Nwadike cam up trumps with a wining time of 5mins and some odd seconds. Here's how it went down.

Full Throttle Fitness WOW#17

W/up: Joint Mobility Training

Main Session

Minute Blocks

1min work : 15 seconds change over.
x 2 Circuits = 1 Block

Rest: 90 seconds between Blocks

Complete 3 Blocks

Exercise Menu

1)Bear Crawls
2)Marine Kit Bag High Pull (40kg approx)
3)Double Hand Kettlebell Swing

Doesn't read like much does it? but the brutality is in its simplicity. Once we got that out of the the way we went into....

The Finisher

The 100 Rep Challenge

40 Press Ups
40 Squats
20 Stair Sprints

How we set the standards

On the press ups, we placed a boxing pad on the floor and press ups only counted if your chest touched the pad. The squats were done over the Marine Kit bag, so your butt had to touch it (whisper of a touch) for your squat to count. With the stairs sprints you had to touch the wall at either end of the stairs. This was was all to ensure there was a consistent standard for each exercise. Try this one at your own gym when you can. Let us know what time you got!

Full Throttle Fitness,

Sat 12:15pm - 1:15pm Balance Physiotherapy, 113 Gauden Road, Clapham, London, SW4 6LE

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Crossfit Legacy

By Coach Cj Swaby

What is Crossfit?
What Is the science behind it?
Is Crossfit a cult?
Where does Crossfit succeed where commercial gyms fail you?
Want to try Crossfit out for FREE?

These questions and more will be answered at the CJS Fitness Saturday Seminar on July 23rd, "The Crossfit Legacy". In the first hour Head Coach Tom Bold (Crossfit Bold), and Jack Hennegan (In2 Crossfit Clapham) will take you on a tour de France, expelling myths and confirming others, but setting the record straight, leaving no stone unturned. In the second section you will have the opportunity to train and experience a Workout Of The Day (WOD) at the newly launched In2 Crossfit Clapham, with Head Coach Jack Heneghan.

The event is FREE but spaces are strictly limited. You don't want to miss out on this great opportunity, so book now. Click the link below for further details and online booking.


Friday, 8 July 2011

Wild Physique Unleashed : My Journey Into Strength PT 6

By Coach Cj Swaby

STEP 6: Get Expert Coaching

So this weeks blog entry is getting expert coaching. In 2011 Along my journey into strength I had the opportunity to coach along side two respected strength coaches. One of them was world record holder Andy Bolton, the other was Mike Mahler. While from completely different back grounds, getting expert advice from a good quality coach is invaluable to your success. From Mike I learned to refocus my energy on stacking the small wins which made a huge impact on my training such as hormone optimisation via sleep and supplementation. Also, training with Mike on the workshop reinforced that to be globally strong you MUST work on your weak areas. I don't just mean, acknowledge that you should, pay them lip service and crack on with what you were doing anyway. I mean to strategically focus and train the things you suck at (coincidently these are the areas with greatest potential for growth).

This week, rather than talk about Mike, I thought it best Mike speak for himself. Ahead of the launch of his new book "What Self Help Guru's SHOULD be telling you" He was gracious enough to grant me an interview, so that you can get an insight to this man and his training methods.

Wild Physique Unleashed : Mike Mahler Interview

CS: Hi Mike, thanks for taking time out to do this interview

MM: My pleasure and thanks for doing the interview.

CS: For those who don’t know you, give a brief overview on who you are, and what you’re about?

MM: I am a fitness information provider based in Las Vegas, NV. I run a fitness information website at I give away tons of free articles, audio information, as well as training and information video clips. I also run an online magazine that goes out to over 20,000 people every month. I am also a kettlebell instructor and I have been teaching kettlebell workshops since 2002. My business is called Mahler's Aggressive Strength and in addition to delivering high quality fitness information I try to show people the benefits of strength training in all facets of life. In other words rather than just being strong and mentally tough in the gym, use those skills to improve other areas of your life.

Another huge interest of mine is hormone optimization. Having an optimal hormonal profile plays such a critical role in quality life and is something that is often over looked. Through proper diet, training, restoration, lifestyle, and nutrition supplements one can improve their hormonal profile dramatically. This will equal a better mood and more zeal for life. In addition better progress with training and physique composition goals as well.

CS: Mike, you’re well known for Kettlebell training, but I know you like to mix it up with dumbells and barbells too. What does your typical training session look like, and how do you mix up the kettlebell training with Barbell and Dumbbell training?

MM: I like to modify training often to keep things interesting. Sometimes I go through periods in which I focus primarily on kettlebell training, sprinting, sledgehammer work etc. Other times I like to combine barbell training, dumbbell training, and some bodyweight training with kettlebell training. Here is what a sample workout week looks for me right now


Double Kb Swing Outside the Knees 5x6 (79lb bells to face level) ( I do this first to fire up the nervous system) Trapbar Deadlift Thick Bar Military Press Barbell Bent Over Row
(For all three a few warm up set and then one all out set in the 85-95% of one rep max range. This is based on Jim Wendler's 5-3-1 program) Circuit Three rounds of Plate Pushes 1x30 Hanging Leg raise 1x10 Glute Ham Raise 1x6


Barbell Squat Bench Press Weighted Pull-up (For all three a few warm up set and then one all out set in the 85-95% of one rep max range) Seated Dumbbell Military Press (few warm-up sets and all out set at 3-5 rep max) Russian Barbell Twist 3x6 each side (torso exercise) One-arm KB Snatch 10x10 each side (55lb bell as fast as possible: sprint style)


Barbell Deadlift Military Press off the pins (no clean to start the first rep) (For all three a few warm up set and then one all out set in the 85-95% of one rep max range) One-arm Barbell Bent over row 1x5x95, 1x5x115, 1x3x135 each side Incline Dumbbell Press, a few warm ups and then 100lbs in each hand for as many reps as possible. Cable rotations 3x10 each side (torso exercise)

One-arm KB Snatch 10x10 each side (55lb bell as fast as possible: sprint style) On Tuesday andThursday I do weight vest walks for 2 miles with 80-100lbs on. I also like to take exercise breaks during the day. For example, knock off pull-ups every hour or so during the day.

I do joint mobility drills every morning and some Indian club work to start the day. When the weather is better I like to do strength-cardio circuits in my backyard gym. One example is 5 rounds of Double KB Snatch 1x10-15 (62lb bells) Battling Rope Overhand Wave 1x30 seconds Sledgehammer Tire Strikes 1x15 each side (20lb hammer) Hanging Leg raise 1x10 Double KB Clean and Press 1x10 (62lb bells)

CS: Where do you get inspiration from for new training ideas?

MM: All over the place. Fortunately I am friends with a lot of great trainers and get excellent ideas all of the time from great coaches such as Jason Dolby, Peter Rouse, Mark Philippi, Dale Hartt, Steve Cotter, Ken Blackburn, Dylan Thomas, Charles Poliquin, and you and Sabina. I like to read a lot of training books and articles and right now I am enjoying some work by Brooks Kubik, Dan John, and Louie Simmons.

CS: Who is your Coach, and how did you go about finding them?

MM: I am not working with anyone right now but last year I worked with Mark Philippi for several months. Mark is a former strongman competitor and outstanding strength coach based in Vegas. His website is I knew about him from seeing him on the Strongest Man contest many times. In 2007, I was looking for a venue to host a big workshop and I came across Mark's gym. I went on to do several workshops there. Each time I spoke with Mark, I was very impressed and knew I wanted to train with him at some point. In 2010 I decided to train with him for several months to learn more about his style for a DVD project. It was a great experience. I produced a DVD with Mark "Mastering The Power exercises" which is available at my site at

Hormone Optimization is a big topic that is steadily growing in prominence, as you see it, what is the importance of hormone optimization in strength training? And what are a few practical things we could do to achieve this?

With regards to strength training hormones such as insulin, growth hormone, and testosterone are critical to workout recovery, physique composition goals, and getting stronger. A man with low levels of testosterone will have a very hard time building muscle and and strength as testosterone plays a tremendous role. If one lacks growth hormone, he or she will have a hard time recovering adequately. Hanging on too muscle and losing fat will also be difficult with poor growth hormone levels. Finally, if one has a condition called insulin resistance, fat loss will be extremely difficult. These are just a few examples. Other hormones such as DHT, Leptin, adrenaline, DHEA, cortisol, estrogen, progesterone, and pregnenelone are all important as well. A few simple things that people can do to optimize hormones are: 1. Improve quality and length of sleep. No less than seven hours and many will find eight to nine is necessary for optimal functioning. Especially if one is training and working hard or has a lot of stress. We release a lot of growth hormone and testosterone while we sleep so every night of poor sleep is another opportunity missed for a natural hormone boost. If one cannot sleep 8 hours at one shot, try seven hours and then get an hour nap in later in the day. 2. Eat the highest quality food you can afford. Make sure all food is organic and focus on getting high quality protein, low glycemic carbohydrates, and healthy fat at each meal. Take a page from Ori Hofmekler author of the "Warrior Diet", and Byron Richards author of "Mastering Leptin" and take longer stretches between each meal such as 5-8 hours to improve leptin, insulin, and adrenaline sensitivity 3. Reduce stress by meditating, avoiding negative relationships, and going after a career that makes you excited about life. I cannot emphasize the importance of high quality relationships and fulfilling work for creating an optimal hormone profile.

CS: How did you get involved with hormone optimisation?

MM: I got really sick in 2002 and almost died from pneumonia. I lost 30bs of muscle and was also under a lot of financial stress. At one point I only had $7.00 left in my bank account. I was also in a stressful relationship which made matters worse. I felt terrible and while I was only 29 at the time I had no sex drive and had a hard time keeping a positive mood. I wanted to get healthier and feel better. I started doing a lot of research and came across information on the connection between hormones and feeling great. It became an obsession to learn more and it is something that to this day I still enjoy researching heavily and learning more about. You can never learn enough about the topic of hormone optimization. After a few years I learned how to dial my hormones naturally and have never felt better. I have a lot of energy each day and great zeal for life. It is a great feeling and one you want to hold on to when you achieve it.

I know you are often on the road, teaching workshops, lecturing and the like, how do you fit in training, and what kind of strength training would you typically do?

MM: I generally do not train when I am on the road. Usually I am only gone for a few days and I like to come into each workshop as fresh as possible. I do joint mobility work daily and if I stay at a hotel with a pool I like to go swimming to loosen up. Beyond that, teaching the actual workshops is very physically laborious so I get a great workout in at each course.

CS: You’ve made quite a big impact on the fitness industry so far, what legacy would you like to leave behind you?

Thanks a lot and I would like to leave the legacy of provoking thought. It is not important that everyone agrees with me but it is important that I provoke thought and get people thinking about how to improve their lives and the lives of other beings. I would also like people to apply what they learn with productive strength training to other areas of life that they want to improve. Don't just be tough in your workouts, be tough in your life, and use the discipline to thrive in other area. Finally I would like to see people associate strength with compassion. When we are compassionate to others we show great strength and quality of character.

Who would be your top 5 Coaches or people in strength training that you would say to keep an eye open for ?

MM: There are so many but some of the best strength coaches include Mark Philippi, Peter Rouse Charles Poliquin, Louie Simmons, and Brooks Kubik. A great deal of knowledge can be learned from these five masters of the trade. Another great guy that people should check out is Carl Lanore. Carl is the host of the outstanding internet radio show: "Super Human Radio" The show is a wealth of information and people can check it out at

CS: Mike, great information as always, and look forward to seeing you in the UK running seminars later in 2011. Thank you.

Thanks a lot and keep up the great work as well.

Mike Mahler's new book "What Self Help Guru's Should Be Telling You" is out in July, I'll certainly be grabbing a copy, you can check it out HERE

Mike Mahler is also running workshops in the UK in October with the crew at Fitter London. A great opporunity to train and learn from a world renowned strength coach. details are HERE

Mike Mahler Breaking It Down

Agree or disagree with Mike, he is thought provoking.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

How Wholefoods Supermarket Got It So Wrong

By Coach Cj Swaby

So it's a monday afternoon and I'm in Wholefoods in Clapham junction with Coach Sabina Skala having lunch. Their selling point is that their lunches are great value and made by "real Chefs". Well either their Chef's need an education or some bright spark in their marketing department does, because this time they've got it so terribly terribly wrong.

"Rasta Pork Loin" WTF?!!!

In an attempt to appear culturally diverse (some cynics may even say to cash in on a certain Dragon's Den winners success) Wholefoods have come up with, what can only be described as complete and utter b*ll*cks.

What's wrong with "Rasta Pork Loin" you say? Well, for anyone that knows ANYTHING about Rastafarian's belief systems will know that Rasta's are not too keen on pork. Really, they're not. "Rasta Pork Loin" is akin to "Halal Gammon Joint" or "Kosher Pork Pies". To create a dish as culturally insensitive as this, while claiming to have values of "Education" and "Integrity in All Business dealings", well, just doesn't sit too well.

Filled with anger (hating myself for liking the dish as it was actually quite tasty, and their brazen ignorance)I left a comment on the wholefoods notice board, lets hope they take note and rectify their ways before rightly aggravated crowds congregate outside their shaky walls with chants of "Bu'n down bablyon!"

In the meantime I'll leave you with this Gangsta Wholefoods music video courtesy of Jay from Thames Cross Fit. Thanks Jay - keeping it real!

p.s Thanks to Colin Nwadike for the Halal Gammon Joint inspiration!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Wild Physique Unleashed : My Journey Into Strength PT 5

"The quality of your recovery is proportional to the quality of your surrender."
- Anon

By Coach Cj Swaby

A common mistake we make when engaging in a training program, is that we often spend time finding out the latest and most effective training methods. We will dedicate hours on end, reading article after article, rummaging all over the internet for this invaluable information. I say this is a mistake, because we are often too focused on the Imposed Demands, and do not spend as much time looking into creating the correct environment to achieve the Specific Adaptations (S.A.I.D principle), I know this is certainly something I have been guilty of in the past. Your training adaptations will be greatly enhanced by implementing recovery and regeneration strategies (of which nutrition is a key part). In this week’s entry I will look at two other key areas of my R&R strategies that helped to yield fantastic results.

STEP 5: Recovery & Regeneration

Soft Tissue Management

Training is trauma. Repetitive training is repetitive trauma. Muscle fibres, fascia, tendons and ligaments are being pulled this way and that, broken down and remodelled on a continued basis. Your tissues can withstand great loads but there is a critical limit to this capacity, this can vary between individuals. Overuse injuries, such as sprains, strains, stress factors and even injury due to biomechanical malalignment can be caused by passing the critical limit threshold. My first line of attack in helping to restore tissue function and recovery was trigger point therapy, and massage, combined with static and dynamic stretching on a daily basis.

Louisa Grovesnor and Trevor Spellor at Balance Performance Physiotherapy, were my team captains when it came to Sports Massage and soft tissue release squad. I would endeavour to get a massage every 10 days, this combined with the trigger point therapy kit helped to reduce DOMS massively and kept me moving freely, with minimal aches, pains or restricted movement.

Trigger Point Therapy (TPT)

TPT is a tidy and ingenious bit of kit. A trigger point is an area within a muscle fibre which can cause referred pain patterns, restrict movement and cause muscle weakness. Therefore the effects trigger points can have on strength training are quite obvious. While the causes of Trigger Points are hotly debated, its generally accepted that acute trauma, and repetitive microtrauma are partially responsible. The TGP system is designed to release various trigger points throughout the body to restore function and improve athletic performance. The TPT system has two main cycles as outlined below.

Pre- GEN

The Pre-Gen cycle is best done on a daily basis before activity for a 7 – 10 minutes, this is to enhance movement, and performance. The principles of the Pre-Gen Cycle are



Is undertaken post workout and is used to restore tissue function, range of movement, and encourage circulation. TPT advise that it be done either daily, or at least once per week for 30 – 60 minutes. The principles of the Re-GEN cycle are


You can find out more about TPT on their website HERE.

HOW Did I Use The TPT Kit?

I used mainly the ball and the quad roller as these fitted snugly into my gym bag. When I was down at Balance Physiotherapy I utilised the whole TPT kit or the GRID. This I did more or less daily, or at least 4 times a week, and more post workout then pre workout. Having started, I noticed the days when I trained heavy and didn’t use it, as my movement quality was that of a inactive 90 year old! Aches were common place. When I did use it, and got regular massages in I had less soreness, and moved with the grace of Carlos Acosta in Spartacus(ok, not quite, but you get the idea).


I was becoming more familiar with the importance of sleep to strength training. In early 2011 Mike Mahler was over in Edinburgh for some workshops which I attended. Mike is BIG on sleep in relation to hormone optimisation, and there were regular discussions on Straight To The Bar about sleep cycles and how to maximise optimisation. I was intrigued. Here is the abridged version of the theory in a nutshell.

In the book, The Promise Of Sleep, Author Dr Dements of Stanford University, states that growth hormone "stimulates protein synthesis, helps break down the fats that supply energy for tissue repair, and stimulates cell division to replace old or malfunctioning cells." Also while you are in deep sleep (Phase 4) Growth Hormone (GH) is increased due to the release of the cunningly called Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH). Inadequate sleep, and poor quality sleep disrupt your body’s production of GH and importantly Testosterone which will negatively affect your quest for strength and muscle mass. Sleep is the key part of your body’s restorative process ,and must be respected.

Dr Dements also talks about the concept of “Sleep Debt” if you have inadequate sleep, your body’s system will keep a “ledger” and the debt must be paid back eventually, otherwise your mood, mental function and your physical capacity will be inevitably impaired.

HOW Did This Effect My Training

Well, I tried to ensure that I got 8 hours sleep. I kept track of this, alongside my training log, and nutrition modifications. If I had stuck to a program and wasn’t get the lifts that I had calculated that I should be, I would then go back, and look at one of the following variables

• Training Program
• Nutrition
• Sleep

If my training program was on point, as was my nutrition, yet for some reason I had gained less than 8 hours sleep per night for that week, and I wasn’t hitting the numbers, I would make a conscious effort to ensure I would get the sleep the following week. If my sleep and training was on point, I would look at my nutrition, and so on. I found that when I did get 8 hours sleep, I was more energetic during the day and could take advantage of my natural rhythm, If I didn’t, I noticed I was irritable and sluggish during the day. The results were plain as day, when I got it the triad right, I was hitting my lifting targets with relative ease.

HOW Can This Help You?

is critical for muscle function, recovery and strength gains. I would advise getting a massage in at least once a month. Invest in a TPT kit or a GRID, foam roller or the like. This was you can administer it yourself and get daily benefit and safe yourself some pennies in the process (by not visiting your massage therapist week in, week out).


If you are serious about getting results in your strength training, and even just having a better quality of health, get your sleep in. There are some things you can do to get some quality sleep in (so that you don’t wake up 8 hours later still feeling tired)

Set The Scene: Get curtains that black out the room from all light. Eliminate any noise that will prevent you from dropping off. Make sure room temperature is ideal.
Cut Out Caffeine After 4-5pm: The half life of caffeine in the blood stream can apparently be from 5 – 7 hours. This can disrupt your sleep patterns , especially if you are sensitive to it.

Get Into The Habit: If possible get into a routine of when you go to bed and wake up, this will enable your body to adjust to the rhythm and your are more prone to drop off to sleep more easily.

If you want to find out more about Trigger Point Therapy check out the website HERE
Mike Mahler has some great stuff on Hormone Optimisation on his WEBSITE

The Promise Of Sleep by Dr to William C. Dement (Delcorte Press: 1999) is worth checking out

In my next blog post I will be looking at HOW by getting expert help I managed to cut my learning curve drastically, plus we have a special exclusive interview.

Yours In Strength

Cj Swaby