Saturday, 14 September 2013


Moving over to
New fitness posts/articles will be available there!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Will training with more clothes on help me lose weight?

First of all, losing weight is NOT the same as losing fat.

Wearing more clothes (clingfilm or a bin liner etc) during training (usually cardiovascular) will make you sweat more, but will not help you lose fat.  You will sweat more, therefore decreasing the amount of water in your body (weight drops temporarily), but when you rehydrate after training your weight will rise again.  Think about a sauna, people don't miraculously lost fat and get fit just by sitting in a sauna.

I would not recommend this approach for weight loss, unless you're specifically looking to drop weight for a short period of time for example a weigh in before a boxing bout.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Notes from weight training eBooks (BFFM and Holy Grail)

I've been reading two eBooks about resistance/weight training and diet: burn the fat, feed the muscle; and the Holy Grail.  I made some notes, because I'm geeky like that, and thought I'd share them with you:
  • Repetition guidelines:
    • Strength/Power 1 – 5 reps
    • Hypertrophy (size) & some strength 6 - 12 reps
    • Local endurance/ little size 12-20 reps
    • Abs & Calves 10-25 reps
  • More sets and exercises are not necessarily better. Better training means more intensity, good exercise form and continuous progression
  • Eat both protein and carbs in the post workout meal. Carbs eaten after workouts will replenish glycogen, restore blood sugar, and cause a beneficial insulin spike, which will suppress the catabolic hormone cortisol, and drive amino acids into the muscle cells.
  • Do cardio and weights separated into 2 sessions, if possible. 
  • To maintain good flexibility, you should stretch three or four times per week. To increase flexibility to the maximum level possible, you need to stretch on a daily basis.
  • Goal Setting:
    • Focus on one goal, not conflicting goals. 1) fat loss 2) Muscle gain 3) gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time (the Holy Grail!)
    • Set long term and short term goals
    • Goals must be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound
  • Body fat % classifications:
    • Lean = 10 – 14%
    • Ripped = 3 – 6%

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Coaching and Competitions

I’ve been coaching the GTI Squad which has been a great experience, although I did underestimate the amount of work required sorting out the logistics for competitions.

Keen GTI sparrers travel up to three hours on a Sunday morning to train, which is greatly appreciated.  However, this is now becoming a barrier for some people, which is a shame and I’m not sure what the solution is…. I could rotate the squad sessions in different venues, but then if I go north, it makes it difficult for the people in the south and vice versa.  If anyone has any suggestions, it would be much appreciated!

We have our first “away” non-GTI squad tournament coming up, in Scotland.  I’m hoping this will be a good chance for people to bond and improve the team dynamics.  Things are looking good, although a long drive, it’ll be a nice little road trip and we can also enjoy the sites of Glasgow.

The following week is the PUMA World Championships, which I’m hoping a formal GTI Squad will be debuting.  I’ve made the next squad session compulsory for those who want to be considered to be in the team, we’ll see how that goes…

Two other points before I sign off: I’ve bought the squad a bunch of skipping ropes, which is turning out to be a great little investment – it provides an effective and “fun” warm up.  I do 3 minutes skipping, 3 minutes jogging and repeat this two times (will probably need to cut it down to two minutes and do three rounds – people were hanging last time)!  Final point, I used a round timer in the last squad session – big LED screen and loud beeps indicate rest period, round times and 10 seconds to go etc, and its programmable which means I can join in too :-)

Worthwhile kit investment

Update and Isometric training

It’s been a while, so I’m going to spoil you with a three post wammy!  I competed at the GTI English Open championships the Sunday before last where I lost second round in points sparring and narrowly won the continuous sparring category.  This (and the upcoming comps) has motivated to get my ass back to training.

I’m still working in London, so am trying to cram in as much training during the weekend as I can.  There is hope though – I may have two leads for good clubs in central London; one kickboxing club and one ITF club.  If anyone knows of any decent clubs in central London I’d be happy to hear them!

Before this surge in training I was hitting the gym, mixing it up with some isometric training; static resistance training.  For example one of the most common isomteric exercises is the plank.  

An isometric exercise : the plank
I used the same isometric principles during my weight sessions e.g. dumbbell chest press, pausing for the count of 20 at the bottom of the exercise and at the top.  Likewise for bicep curls, shoulder press, lateral raises and tricep kickbacks etc.

From this experience I found it somewhat frustrating, as you don’t work up a sweat and it’s a different kind of burn, which meant that I felt like I was barely working.  I used to think, if I’m not sweating and if it doesn’t hurt then I’m not working hard enough – with isometric training this is definitely not the case.

I’ve now moved onto plyometric/ballistic training for that explosive power which is much needed in sparring.  See next post for an update on my plyometric/ballistic training experience.