Monday, 17 December 2012

Video Recording Your Workouts: Benefits

Why would you record your workout with a video camera? What purpose apart from wasting time and ogling at yourself afterwards does it serve?

Well there are many reasons to record yourself. Safety, motivation, form analysis and performance analysis.

Firstly, My background in exercise is that after a car crash a couple of years ago I injured my back. A herniated disk in my spine meant that putting load on top of me compressed my spinal disks more, resulting in agonizing pain when stretching my legs and back due to the nerve that comes of the the disks being crushed.  What this meant was that for a while I was not able to bend over and put on a sock, I was not even able to extend my leg to put down the clutch of my car without agonizing pain. I was partially bed ridden, and ended up on a diet of asprin and ibuprofen to get me through a day. I was advised and prescribed a dose of stretching and flexibility which only served to increase my pain and restrict my movement even more so afterwards. I ended up just giving up on trying to stretch the nerves and felt that i would happily be inflexible/stiff but in no pain, than able to touch my toes but in agony.  So straight off the bat, I fully admit I have poor posture, even poorer flexibility and a massive amount of inhibition when it comes to loading anything onto my spine.

Recording your workout means that you get a better understanding of your position, speed and form. If it was not for recording I would never have found out that I have a massive imbalance in my back and shoulders that results in me skipping with a very odd form.

Also it has totally sorted out my running form
Which was like this:

and is now like this

Safety is largely dictated by your form while performing an exercise,  However sometimes you are so concentrated on doing and counting the reps,  or focusing on minor elements of the exercise such as keeping head elevated during a squat that you forget to focus on the larger elements of the exercise such as depth, foot placement, hip and knee angles etc.  By having my workouts recorded I am able to focus on the movement and the form while ignoring the need to count the reps, or even the sets if i am that focused.

For me the biggest thing about video recording my workouts is the PEFA) Post Exercise Form Analysis
So with a camera on me I know I can analyze my form after the workout and make conscious adjustments to my future workouts, Whether that be to keep my ass down lower, my hips to drive through sooner, my head to look straighter etc, all things which are maybe best to start off the workout with rather than trying to change/adjust mid workout especially if you are in your flow.

A lot of strength is gained not through hypertrophy of your muscles but through the neural adaptions that occur from heavy strength training.

Never thought benchpress required much form control, then from the videos i found out i lift my head when i am lifting heavy weights. no idea that I did this nor that it was an issue.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Chasing Optimum....Doing the Best?

A regular thing to hear is "what is the optimum workout for .........(fill in blank with: muscle building, weight loss, fat stripping, fitness enhancing, strength gaining).

And by all means you will find hundreds of scientists and 'Bros' who have researched this question and will give you 100 different answers.

Some of them may be absolutly correct, some may be a little mis guided, some may just not be for you and your body type. But the question is why are you wanting Optimum?

Stupid question right? Why wouldn't you want optimum. Optimum means you are not wasting any time, that what you are doing will be giving you great results as fast as physically possible. It will be the quickest way to being the fittest, fastest, strongest, leanest, healthiest super human you could ever become.

But there is a problem.

There is no such thing as optimum.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Different types of Fasting

Fasting is awesome,

There are a couple of different fasting routines on line that people follow

Intermittent fasting (usually fasting every day for something like 16-20hours)
ADF (alternate day fasting) eat one day, don't the next, simple)
5-2 Fasting (eat for 5 days, fast for 2)
and all variances in between of course,  Find what time scheduled suits you best and works for you.
I can also fast for 48hours and currently trying a 3 day fast.

Currently for me I fast every day, and break my fast at around 2-3pm. This means I have usually had a 18-20hour fast and a 6-4 hour eating window.
And I also do TravelFasting where when i have to go for a long trip, whether it be a drive, train or flight, ill just not eat. which is great cos then I save a lot of money and am not tempted by really crap food.

However those are really just regarding the Duration.

I suggest there are also intensity levels of fasting, and activity during the fast

1) Hardcore Fasting -  This is where you fast but you still kill it in the gym, high intensity cardio and/or heavy weights. This is tough and also certain exercises are harder than others, ie doing heavy deadlifts for reps when slightly fasted is a dizzy time!

2) Lazy Fasting - This is just where you don't eat, You will do lazy fasting when traveling or when your being a slob and just watching tv or playing computer games.
Lazy fasting is very similar to Devastation Diet, where if you have been dumped by your partner you are so depressed you just cant eat.... not a healthy or happy way to live. Could also be an indication of Anorexia so this generally sucks if you are not doing it intentionally.

Then the Intensity of the fast, and its stricktness.

Those who do Ramadan know what a strict fast is!, not only are you not allowed to eat/consume anything, you cant even have water! Now that is crazy! I spoke to one of my friends and he even told me that he cant use eye drops or ear drops  or anything for a cough etc....

When taking the fast beyond 24hours you should consider the type/strictness of fast you do during that time.

1) Strict fasting.  This is really the avoidance of all things food and calorie-tastic, however coffee, tea, Stevia, sweeteners, Pepsi max, I say are all ok

2) Sensible fasting, This is really the better option especially if you are doing Hardcore fasting. In sensible fasting I recommend some form of calorie intake (aim for under 500cal) my tip would be, an apple, banana, 2-3 eggs and amino and Chia seeds. probably most of that taken later on in the day closer to night time.

So for me I can more accurately say the kind of fasting I do is
18h Intermittent Hardcore fasting, interspersed with Hardcore Extended (sub 3 day), sensible fasting

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Potential: Reaching your Max

Its a funny word Potential, especially if you say it too many times. If English is not your first language let me explain what 'potential' is.

Friday, 7 September 2012

How I Dropped 5kg / 12lbs in 2 days

Last weekend i was away in ireland for 4 days, I ate like a champion, Fry-ups in the morning, fish and chips with disgusting amounts of salt and sauses, chocolate... oh lots of chocolate, biscuits, big curry, bigger chinese, and I didn't scrimp on the booze, beer every night.  I larded it up for the whole time I was there.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Locking your elbows during benchpress

I lock my car, I lock my house, I even lock my elbows!

Man I get a lot of shit on my videos when people see me doing the bench press!
Mostly it is due to the fact that I lock my elbows during the exercise.
I always have, that's how I complete a rep.
Start with arms locked, bring bar down to chest, push back up till arms are straight. repeat.

Seemingly not.

Friday, 24 August 2012

DOMS: From Squats

DOMS = Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness
This is technically wrong as it should be spelt
WTFAMLSSOFS = Why The Feck Are My legs still so fecking sore!

Hormone Timeline 

I think I have figured it out.

The human body responds to Physiological stress.  And when it is able to, it always responds in a positive way!

In this article I am going to go over what I think is going on inside me with regards to hormones and how they interact with one another to be as anabolic and 'muscle preservingly' catabolic as possible.  I'll start by firstly disclosing that this may all be wrong, however it does kinda fit with my experience and results.
Iv gone from 102.4kg Obese 28%body fat, to 81kg 14.5%BF  and yet I am still eating shitloads

A-Z Weight Loss Tips

Here is my A-Z of fatloss tips