The Press Up, loved (and hated) by many. This exercise has been used for years as both a great strength & muscular development tool but also the go-to punishment method for many coaches.
"You dropped the ball..give me 20!"
There's no debate among the effectiveness of the press up. When it comes to Junior Athletic Development it's a must.
OR IS IT??!!
The Press Up is without doubt a king of exercises with far to many benefits to list here. However, I've seen many press up's performed with horrendous form and technique with little attention paid to the finer points.
The benefits are completely lost, shoulder and elbow injury sky-rocket and folks get stuck in single digit press up's for literally years.
Spending time upfront on mechanics & focused technique often means that you may go backwards with press up strength and number, INITIALLY. Only to pass your previous bests with ease.
Of course there are times when it's fine to smash out high rep press up's without considering form, circuits, comps, just before putting on that tiny t-shirt before going on a first date (mainly males).
This is fine, just ensure you practice both methods. Low rep strength work with large focus on technique, posture, tempo, control and activation, alongside high rep for muscle building, endurance boosting, sweat inducing, vomit brewing....yum!!!
The Single Leg Deadlift
The Single Leg Kettlebell Deadlift isn't an exercise you'll see in many gyms. However, it's a great exercise for developing balance and symmetry between the right & left limbs.
It’s 6:30pm on a Wednesday evening, I’m sat on my hotel room bed, tired after a long day at work, feeling low, bored and sluggish. I had a session planned tonight that would surely produce killer shape, though the thought of it makes me want to curl up and nap, maybe until morning.
I understand this workout will reenergize me, build strength & fitness, drop body fat, get me closer to those goals and align me with the person I’d like to be.
However, that point is only reached after 60 minutes of sweat, pain, panting and dry retching. This isn’t the reality, simply the image my brain creates when feeling like a slob on the sofa at 7:00pm in the evening. Second guessing your workout, goals and wondering if training is even worth it.
I then remembered…the 3-minute workout rule.
The Holiday Recharge Challenge
A holiday, vacation or break is a fantastic chance to recharge your batteries physically, mentally and emotionally. Whilst lying on a sun lounger all day soaking up the rays, drinking exotic drinks (mostly beer), reading books and taking the occasional dip is great for most of us, many people still want some structure, a little activity, the feeling we’re not going to return home a fat, unfit mess.
Many of us also want to seize the (holi)day. Holiday time is special time and really is of the essence, we need to make the absolute most of it, for ourselves and the people we’re sharing it with. Having your mind drift back home, to work & responsibilities is sure to frustrate yourself but will really grind on your loved ones.
The Holiday Recharge Routine is a set of tasks, ideally performed first thing in the morning, aimed at priming the body and mind for vacation mode. The Routine can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, given your motivation level and time. Your aim is to complete at least 3 of the tasks each day, which ones you choose is your preference.
Any good challenge will have a scoring system to monitor progress and set benchmarks. This challenge is no different. Here they are, pick which one resonates with you:
100% = The Schools Star Pupil
90-100% = A* Star Student
80-90% = A’s and B’s mostly
70-80% = Average
60-70% = Stay behind after school
<60% = You’re being held back a year
The percentage represents success rate. This differs from person to person. E.g one person may measure compliant breakfast whilst another may measure no alcohol daily.
The Nutritional Challenge
The Nutritional Challenge i.e. Diet
If you’ve read the Coffee Shop and Bus Stop Nutrition article you’ll understand that diets fall into the Bus Stop category i.e. we use them for a limited time when we expect a specific result. If you haven’t already, go back and read that article, by clicking here.
We call diets ‘Challenges’, as diets are generally quite challenging. By calling it a challenge you add an element of competition with yourself and your coach, me.
This article will help you decide which diet/challenge is right for you and how long you’d like the challenge to last.
The Pillars Of Fat Loss
It’s easy to become bogged down on calorie counting, fad diets, detox’s, knowledge surfing (reading to many articles) and jumping from diet to diet. Knowing where to start or where to go next can be tricky.
The Pillars of Fat Loss represent the key habits and practices that will help the vast majority of people drop weight and shed body fat.
The Pillars are:
It’s very simple to begin. Read through the list and highlight your ‘Bright Spots’. These are habits and practices you’re currently performing and feel confident with. For a quick win you could look to improve these current habits by 5-10%.
For example, you currently take a fish oil supplement daily. Perhaps examine the quality and upgrade, or check the quantity is correct. Don’t worry if that sounds confusing we’ll talk it through during our calls.
A Coffee Shop is a great place to relax, chill and spend large quantities of time enjoying your own and others company. There’s generally no deadlines or expectations.
The Bus Stop is visited when you’re aiming to get somewhere specific. You expect the bus to depart and arrive at a set time and location. Therefore you plan accordingly. We aim to spend the minimal amount of time at Bus Stops, they’re simply the means to an end.
We use this concept to explain nutrition strategies and training challenges.
Coffee Shop Nutrition
Habit based, sustainable, long term nutrition strategies should be the aim for 9-12 months of the year. These might include 5 portions of fruit & veg per day, 2 liters of fluid, consume sugar and alcohol in moderation, eating vegetables only for 2 meals per week.
Coffee Shop Nutrition is built over long periods of time, through trial and error, without deadlines or high expectations, though most will achieve their goals simply with this approach. This is the approach which most should begin with.
A Time To Plan
“By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail”
- Benjamin Franklin
“Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening the axe”
- Abraham Lincoln
In the fitness, health and performance industry we generally move through the following process. Select a goal we’d like to achieve, we’ll call this Point B. Research how to best travel to Point B (YouTube, Google, Instagram etc). Pick our favourite methods. Plan the next 1-2 weeks. Get acting and chasing that goal.
What many of us fail to remember is that:
Every person will have busy times & quiet times, stressful times & relaxing times, feeling motivated times & sluggish times.