Thursday, 29 July 2010

Training on holiday

First up i would like to say a big thank you to Daniel Owen who did some filming with me last week, i thought we had about 15 usable videos for the YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/nathanbahrain11)  but it turned out to be 27! (...and that was in one hour of filming) Great effort mate.

video
Dan nailing a Brazilian... push up.


The time has almost arrived for me to return home. Im really excited about going home to see my friends, family, my niece Frida (who i have only seen a few times) and also travelling to different parts of Wales and UK, also Spain and France in between. I have decided not to step into a gym for the whole time but have made a promise to myself to train 15-20 minutes each morning/day for atleast 5 days of a week. This blog will show what sessions i will be doing and how to stay (relatively) in shape whilst on holiday.

Note: Every time i greet my mum when going home she looks at me and says the usual "Oh look at how much weight you've lost!" and then proceeds to bulk me up with enough calories to energize my next spell away. I will be spending most of my time at my mums house, where the servings for each meal are a legendary 3 courses. It is going to be a struggle to stay lean... but the most pleasant struggle possible.


Weekend breakfasts at Camp Williams are legendary


Training on holiday

Although im injured again, I feel that i am in pretty decent shape right now. I feel fit, strong and as joint healthy as ever so i don't want to go backwards with my current fitness whilst home and in 'holiday' mode. Therefore, i have created a basic daily training plan to off-set some 'indulgence' and keep on track with my fitness without being a sad-ass that trains while they are meant to be relaxing.

'Holiday' mode for me usually includes champagne, women and a white dinner suit!

The rules of holiday training

1. Set your goals

First thing to remember is that you are on holiday and the aim of your training sessions should be to stay in touch with your current fitness levels or not go backward whilst away form your usual routine. 

2. Time

The key to a good holiday training programme that can be maintained is to create 'short, daily and intense' sessions where there is a definite start and end time. My personal choice would be 20 minutes earlier in the day/shortly after waking up.

The GymBoss Interval timer could be the best purchase you make this year?

Note: When I catch the b*stard who stole my first GymBoss timer from the Gulf Hotel gym in Manama, I plan to be aggressive. Look out thieves.

3. Density training

Ok, i have my set training time and now i need to fit whatever i can in that time-frame. This is called 'density training' and it is extremely effective. The rest times will be either short or non-existent and the goal of each session will be constant movement throughout the 20 minutes.

3. Exercise choice

If you're ahead of the fitness game you will have bought a TRX, but for this article (as with my own holiday) i will not include it into the sessions. I will be using my Valslides but again i will not include this into the article as many of you don't know what the hell they are anyway!

Mysterious plastic gym aid... The Valslide


So what are we left with? Only the most versatile, sophisticated, expensive, greatest single piece of equipment known to man... (drumroll) You. Man. Woman. Yourself.

4. Equipment used

We need to travel light so i will only pack 1 x Skipping rope, 1 x Gymboss interval timer, 1 x Gym shoes.

5. Agreeing with your partner/travel companion

Ok, so im lucky and don't have a nag... (sorry!) girlfriend to 'compromise' with so i can do what i like. But for those of you unlucky... (sorry!) lucky souls who are in love then pre-agree with your significant other about your training plans or it could cause some tension. Try to involve each other or you could even throw in a line like:

"Wow, that girl by the pool has a smoking body, I bet SHE trains with her fitness-crazed boyfriend, Why don't you look like that?"

(Seriously, dont use that line. I can't guarantee your safety)

What was my point? Oh yeah, agree what you plan to do or it will cause an argument.


"One more set on my guns and then i will come shoe shopping with you, BEEE-ATCH!

Im really tempted at this point to include a real life example about the above subject with an ex girlfriend of mine regarding my gym use. I will sensibly leave it out. Isn't strange though how people are not happy if you are training and they are not? Especially couples. Comments welcome below.

6. NEPA

Whilst on holiday, it is assumed that you are more likely to 'explore', by that i mean you should want to walk around a bit more than usual to see the new places you visit. If you spend a holiday mostly lying down and eating then it is inevitable that you will pile the weight on. NEPA (Non-Exercise Physical Activity) = any moving around/activity outside of the gym, will be higher on holiday and just adding a few hours a day of walking/hiking/exploring etc. will help in keep you in shape.


Doing physical activities that are fun can keep the holiday 'love chub' at bay


7. Remembering you are on a break

Make a schedule and try to keep to it, but don't get too upset if you miss a day here and there. If you have a headache/hangover when you wake up - take a day off, eat some good food, drink plenty of water and come back stronger the next day. This is ultimately your time away from your usual gym program and active lifestyle, so relax and do what you need to do to keep in touch with you fitness. Don't get too carzy.


My holiday training program

Purpose: To maintain as much fitness, current bodyfat level, general conditioning as possible whilst enjoying foods and drink i don't usually consume in my normal life.

Aim: I aim to complete 5 x 20 minute sessions/week using only my own bodyweight, as early as possible in the day.

NEPA: I aim to be as active as possible through walking and other fun physical activities throughout my entire vacation time.

Note: I have recently injured my shoulder so will be staying away from all push up variations and focus more on core, glute and lower body drills. Throw some push ups into your own plan for a more balanced session.


The training sessions

Session A

- 300-500 skips

- 2 minute Mobility warm up
 (Dislocations w/reverse lunge, Windmills, Toy soldiers, Walking spiderman)

- Density circuit (covering upper, lower, core and conditioning BW exercises)

1. Travelling hands                               5 reps (up and back)
2. 1 leg glute raise                                5 reps each leg
3. Garhammer ab raise                        10 reps
4. Bowler squats                                   5 reps each leg
5. Burpees                                            10 reps                   

Alternatively, you can time each exercise using a Gymboss interval timer, 20 second intervals per exercise should be perfect.

Repeat for 8-10 minutes

5 x 50m sprints @ 80% effort with 20 seconds rest between each


Session B

- 300-500 skips

- 2 minute Mobility Warm up
 (Dislocations w/reverse lunge, Windmills, Toy soldiers, Walking spiderman)

- Density circuit (covering upper, lower, core and conditioning BW exercises)

1. Bear crawls                                            Approx 20 seconds
2. Side jumps with toe touch                      5 reps each leg
3. Straight arm plank with knee drives     5 reps each knee
4. Crab crawl                                              Approx 20 seconds
5. Jumping Jacks                                       25 reps

Repeat for 8-10 minutes

Body Matrix (24 Squats, 24 Lunges, 24 Jump lunges, 24 Jump squats)


Session C

- 300-500 skips

- 2 minute Mobility Warm up
 (Dislocations w/reverse lunge, Windmills, Toy soldiers, Walking spiderman)

- Density circuit (covering upper, lower, core and conditioning BW exercises)

1. Side to side hand walks                     Approx 20 seconds
2. Airborne Squat                                   5 reps each leg
3. Cycle crunch                                      5 reps each knee
4. Mountain climbers                            10 reps each leg
5. Modifed BJJ get ups                         5 reps each side

Repeat for 8-10 minutes

2 minute finisher - Stair/Uphilling running (hotel stairs or outside if available)

                                                    -------------------------------------

Job done. I typed up my sessions on an A4 page and laminated it to create an easy-to-follow session card that I can take in my bag along with my other training stuff.

My holiday training equipment


Not sure what some of the exercises are?

Well, you need to visit my YouTube channel to find out! www.youtube.com/user/nathanbahrain11  If its still not on there... improvise and wait 1 whole month until im back posting blogs/videos. I don't plan on writing while i'm away but i may do if i see something interesting or im not out getting my NEPA levels up! Expect me back around September time, anything between will be a bonus. As always share with facebook friends and comment below if you feel the need.

Stay strong and Healthy, Have a great summer.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

"I hate fat kids....

Im glad i roped you in with a controversial blog title, the full title being:

"I hate fat kids' parents" and that will be the main topic of the blog today.

I apologise in advance for this blog as it is going to be somewhat of a rant. I will try to put in some good take-away knowledge but i will mostly be getting things off my chest. Mainly to do with kids, technology, foods, activities, spoilt kids, fat/lazy parents, etc.

Before starting, I read this article called "Evolution Revolution" By Martin Rooney (fitness god) and i thought it was fantastic. It really puts into perspective where the Human race is going (its not a good place). Read the article today instead of watching the same abysmal shows that are on TV right now and learn something about the human body.


Martin Rooney even has time for his 'creepiest, over-excited' looking fans

Today i was waiting in line at a petrol station and in front of me was a young man around 20 years old with a shopping basket. ALARM BELL: Food shopping at a petrol station. Now, i must admit i am a bit of a 'shopping basket pervert'* and i couldn't help but notice the train wreck of this guys life. He had:

- Washing powder (ok)
- 3 x small tubs of chocolate nesquick powder... Why?
- 1 large box of Corn Flakes
- 1 large carton of Full-fat milk
- 1 small white loaf of bread
- 1 Nutella chocolate spread

WOW! where's the party at? I bet he is brimming with energy, confidence and a real ladies man! His shopping basket tells me that he is slowly dying from the inside... and just to round things off he asked for a carton (thats 200 not 20) cigarettes! What an extra nutritional treat? It made me wonder, In 20 years time will this type of person be the same kind i see walk into gyms everyday (aged 40 with 20 years of bad habits) and expect instant results after destroying themselves for a decade or so?

*Shopping Basket Pervert (known as SBP in the industry) - someone who casually peeks into other people's shopping baskets to see what they buy and then ridicule them under the breath whilst re-joicing that they are in fact a healthier human being than the owner of the basket.

Anyhow... I was annoyed by this guys lack of knowledge/respect for himself and this inspired me to write the blog today.


I hate fat kids' parents

Well, its true. If you kids are overweight and regularly eat crap foods and they dont move around much, then there is a strong chance i hate you. No, wait... there is every chance i hate you. I think there should be laws against over- feeding children as it can easily be labelled under child cruelty.

"Kids dont buy junk... parents do!"


Parents buy the food

"He won't eat this, She can't have that". Bullsh*t. Parents are in charge of what their kids eat, its about education from a young age. If the parents don't know or don't give a hoot about what they feed themselves then the kids are going to get/act the same. Every day i spend as a SBP in the supermarkets i see trolleys of families that are 'disguistingly' filled with junk food. Crisps, bread, chocolates, fizzy drinks, biscuits, cakes, etc. and they wonder why the same children won't eat vegetables?

A: Because they are already drug addicts!

Addicted to the sugar and crap foods that they are allowed to consume day after day at home, schools and at the malls. Don't get me started on the malls in Bahrain, thats a whole different blog by itself. As soon as these parents realise that supermarket food is placed strategically to entice people to the products they will learn to stick to the outer walls of the store and buy mostly fresh goods. Try this out:

1) Don't eat for the whole morning or until your pretty hungry.

2) Now, go around the supermarket and see how your body reacts when you pass chocolate bars, crisps and sweets.

3) Also, notice where each food and coloured wrappers are placed. The bad foods are all brightly coloured and at eye level so not to be missed and there is a good chance you will salivate at the very sight of anything sugary.

Even just walk around hungry, you will be amazed just how much 'subliminal' advertising of food is around that you don't notice. The malls are full of them! The trick is you see the advertising and then you realise that you are hungry.


This picture just makes me sad :(


Bottom line is kids are targeted by fast food manufacturers with bright colours and toys and the parents fall in the trap. Its all about educating your children to see fast foods as a treat or a one-off event.

True story: My old house was probably the nearest location to a new McDonalds restaraunt when it first came to my home town. My mother used to cook homemade food every night and we probably had a Mcdonalds every 2 months as a family weekend treat when my mother worked late and didn't feel like cooking. I only eat Mcdonalds now when im very drunk or hungover but prefer other options.

Im not saying im perfect... rather that my mother was not lazy and used to cook good food every night for 3 hungry dudes regardless of what time she finished work, well done mam!

Beverly Williams, Kitchen warrior!

"The I-phone killed the child sporting star"

Like the 80s song "video killed the radio star" only much worse. New technology and gadgets like the I-pad are making kids fat, its a fact.



New from Apple... The I-Dont-Need-To-Move-Around-Much-Anymore


I dont want to repeat the old line 'Back in my day... blah blah blah' but even in my day (20 or so years ago) we were kicking a ball around, climbing things, trying to kiss girls (still trying now)... interacting with other kids, fighting, falling over, getting back up, learning how to be street-wise. I often now find people go through an assessment and they have had no minor/major injuries, WOW, what happened? I got hit by a car* and fell out of tree by the time i was 9.

*To clarify the car accident. It was a result of a mis-placed pass of the football by my brother on to a main road,which i chased enthusiastically and got completely mowed over in front of my house, great days.

Here in Bahrain, trees are for shade and cars are the only way you get can get from A to B. Sad but true.

Shocking true story: Just last week I was leaving work and was stopped by a colleague as i was going down the stairs to our car park. I noticed a family at the foot of the stairs. After i had finished my conversation 2 minutes later i continued down the stairs to find 2 x 30+ ladies and their 2 x 10 year old children still there. They asked "excuse me, do you know where the lift is?". I was amazed that they had waited there and not actually walked up the stairs (which takes about 10 seconds max), i answered by saying "im not really sure but there are stairs right behind me", they walked off with a look of dissapointment. The world we live in! pretty sad, eh?

Here in the Middle East, exercise/activity for kids involves 'shopping' in the malls, which basically means the cinema and some crappy fast food with the BD20 (about 30 quid) pocket change they are thrown every visit. Or they can get their entertainment fix on their I-phones. Arrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


"What did you think of that last Barney DVD? I thought it was crap"


Im not going to ramble on about this, kids are growing up too fast... and once again i look at the parents. Stop buying I-phones for your 6 year old - they dont need one! Instead, get them a year's membership at an activity club/martial arts school where they will learn to be disciplined, confident, strong and, wait for it... actually interact with other kids. Thats what it's all about. Not pasty-skinned teenagers sending pictures of bodyparts to themselves and using weird I-language like 'lol' 'OMG' 'lmao' i dont even know what the last one means but its horrible. Kids are so lazy now they cant be arsed to spell properly... OMG!

In a sentence... I believe technology is killing the child sport star.

Ok, im good now.

Share and post comments as usual, Thanks.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Eduardo Vs Davide

Over the past week i was updating my "RCC Client Rowing Challenge" table. Those who know me, know i love the concept 2 rower as a great general fitness tool and way to test your combined stamina and strength.

There are 3 distances (500m, 1000m and 2000m)

With 3 weight categories (LW under 75kg, MW 75-85kg & HW 85kg+)

I sometimes use this list to get 'something extra' from certain people and this week i noticed the perfect opportunity to stir up some bad feeling/competitiveness between 2 of my clients...

The story of Eduardo and Davide

I have used different alias' not to expose the identity of these two gym titans; oddly, they both asked to have their 'spanish dancing' stage names over anything else. Weird?

"The Beast" - Try it, you might just hate it.


I noticed that Eduardo and Davide (good friends, similar height, weight category) had identical times on the 500m row so i sent the following email:

"Good morning gents,

I have just updated the rowing rankings and thought you may be interested? Please pay particular attention to 500m ranks 5 & 6. As Davide posted the time most recently he rightly takes the higher rank. I leave on the 5th august so will expect you to want to put up a better time. I hope this email provides some friendly banter for your get-together tonight!"

What followed was a brilliant exchange of emails (all done on company time i might add) and it went something like this:

D: Not bad for a fat ginger bloke who hasn't spent the last three years in a constant state of 'training for marathons.'

NW: Great point Dave… Eduardo, that’s got to sting the ego a bit? The fact that Davide has matched you without even stepping up the gears! The next few weeks should be interesting

E: Fair play to the big lad for putting in a decent time for the ‘gayboy’ category……….… can’t see his name on the 2,000m or ‘man’s category’ yet though………………

It went on...

E: Until Saturday afternoon then big fella………….. I’ll post a time in my session and then you do one in your session. To keep it fair, we’ll do a 2 minute warm up on the cross trainer, then straight into it.

D: Nah why wait? Why not tonight on your new (rowing) machine after dinner and some wine (Nathan - obviously I won't be having anything more than some quinoi and slightly chilled water), no warm up just straight in??

It went on... but you get the picture?

In one carefully placed email, I had started a gym war.

On to Saturday afternoon...


In the heat of battle, E & D still helped each other warm up


Eduardo storms in first, secretly wanting to take his initial assessment time in December '09 (1.37.4) down under the mythical 1.30mins mark. He blasts out 1.28.3 - awesome effort.

Davide comes in the very next hour, they pair clash and need to be seperated... tempers are high as Eduardo claims "You've got a job on... I wouldn't row another 500m now for 10,000 quid".

Davide hits the rower hard... and hangs on for an impressive 1.31.8 - taking 6 seconds off the week before (if any of you know your rowing, thats a massive 500m improvement for 1 week)


After a great row time, Davide felt refreshed back at the office


The moral of the story

...is that competition in the gym is good. It can bring the best out in some people. I knew that sending that email to my 2 clients who are good friends (and generally 'that kind of client' who get inspired by targets/goals/competition) would spark a battle that would take them to the next level in one of the hardest gym tests.

E: 1.37.4 - 1.28.3 = reduction of  9.1 seconds
D: 1.37.4 - 1.31.8 = reduction of 5.6 seconds


Our gym records in 2010 (focus has been mainly on 500m):

Lightweight 500 - 1.30.9
Lightweight 1000 - 3.31.5
Lightweight 2000 - 7.22.3

Heavyweight 500 - 1.28.3
Heavyweight 1000 - 3.29.5
Heavyweight 2000 - 7.36.5

Female 500 - 1.53.4
Female 1000 - 4.16.0


Have you got a Concept 2 challenege at your gym?

What are your best times?

Im interested to see what the standards are, but i think my clients are doing just fine.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

(My) 10 greatest movie moments

Hi everyone,

Im going off-topic this time and sharing with you my 10 greatest cinema moments. These will not be everyone's greatest but hopefully some of you will remember and reminisce some classic/funny moments that either make you roll with laughter, cry with sadness or make the hair stand on the back of your neck!

So here goes... as they are in different categories (sad, funny, inspiring, etc.) they are in no particular order.

1) Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana's Conversation about cologne in "Anchorman".

As i have mentioned in previous blogs, Anchorman is one of my all time favourite funny movies but i realise now that it is not for everyone. However, the conversation between Burgundy and Fantana over which scent he will wear to win over the new office love interest (Veronica Corningstone) is pure genius. Im laughing just remembering the lines.

BF: Time to musk up.

RB: Wow. It never ceases to amaze me.What cologne you gonna go with? London Gentleman, or...wait. No, no, no. Hold on. Blackbeard's Delight.

BF: No, she gets a special cologne. It's called Sex Panther by Odeon. It's illegal in nine countries. Yep, it's made with bits of real panther. So you know it's good.

RB: It's quite pungent.

BF: Oh yeah.

RB: It's a formidable scent. It stings the nostrils. In a good way.

BF: Yep.

RB: Brian, I'll be honest with you, that smells like pure gasoline.

BF: They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time it works everytime.


Brian Fantana, the stylish one of the group.


Over the past 10 years I've looked everywhere for "Sex Panther" but with no success. Im pretty sure the idea for my tattoo (on my stomach) of a panther came from this?


2. Arnold Schwarzenneger (Dutch) and Carl Weathers (Dillon) opening handshake in "Predator".

"Dillon... You son of a bitch!"


What an opening line! What a film! What a moment. As a kid growing up my 2 favourite bad-asses on the movie screens were Arnie and Carl Weathers (who played Apollo Creed in the Rocky films). Here they are colliding in the very first scene of one of the best sci-fi films ever made (quote me on that!) locking horns in a friendly manner. Obviously, Arnie wins the arm wrestle and creates an all time testosterone-filled movie moment that will stay with me for life.


3. The childcatcher scene in "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

After deciding to create a character so frightening to children, they may as well have called this film "Sh*tty, Sh*tty sh*t my pants! I have had several nightmares involving the Child Catcher and i think i remember crying my eyes out and running from the tv when it was on (and that was last christmas!). Well done to whoever made this film because you have scarred me for life.

"Ice creams, Lollipops... and there all free today" urgh.


4. "Never-ending story" horse in the swamp scene.

Just to stay on the topic of childhood trauma, this magical film serves up one of the all time worst animal death scenes.

Artax the horse takes a rest in the swamp of despair.


The story tells that the horse is overcome by sadness and simply loses the will to carry on... God, no wonder i was always depressed after watching this!

Warning!!! im about to ruin your day.

Whats even worse is, when researching the above i found out that during filming the platform in which the horse was on failed and Artax did actually die during filming! So instead of me thinking i was watching a horse die, i now find out that i was actually watching a horse die! Ok, now im depressed.


5. Bryn Cartright scolds Fatty Lewis after falling off the roof in "Twin Town".

I Feel after the last bombshell i must try to bring it around with some comedy. For those of you who have seen (and understood) "Twin Town" (a story of 2 swansea car thieves), you will know that the whole film is litterd with one-liners and comedy moments. My favourite, however, is when Fatty Lewis falls of the roof and he is immediately scolded by rugby club owner Bryn Cartright, saying...

"You f*cking twat!"


Hahahahahaha... Brilliant.

6. The name is Bond... James Bond

This immortal line deserves a mention. There have been several good 'bonds', the odd crap one and the odd welsh one but my favourite has got to be Sir Roger Moore. Roger spent more time chasing the ladies than the bad guys and brought a new sense of style/fashion to the bond character. Although his bed-hopping did suggest that his version of safe sex was carrying walther PPK (gun for the ladies/non-bond enthusiaists) rather than wearing a condom, he is no doubt a legend.


Roger Moore, smoother than a velvet owl.


7. Patrick Bateman's opening scene in "American Psycho"

I left the cinema numb after watching American Psycho, I enjoyed it that much. I had a new hero in Christian Bale, a welsh actor who had in 90 minutes inspired my to get in better shape. His character, Patrick Bateman is instantly likeable and a visual role model of where every guy would want to be at some point in their lives. Again, there are so many one-liners and moments in this film but the opening scene where he goes through his daily routine sets the tone for a great film.

PB entertaining 2 prostitutes with Phil Collins' susudio as a soundtrack, memorable.


8. Rocky 3 training montage

 
When i started looking at the script of Rocky 3 things to write it was clear to me that this is probably my favourite film of all time. So many one-liners:

"There is no tomorrow"

"See that look? Thats the eye of the tiger, baby"

"I don't sweat you"

"You ever fought a tyrranasaurus, kid? They can cause a variety of damage!"

They really started to use music, mainly the title track "Eye of the tiger" in this film and when Rocky returns to train with Apollo Creed for his re-match with Clubber Lang (Mr. T) the music starts, training begins and from then on its 3 minutes of cinema gold.

I often reenact this scene with clients after tough sessions, even though its pretty gay


*I need to mention here that the Russian winter training scene in Rocky 4 is also excellent, but R3 gets the nod.


9. Any given Sunday, Al Pacino's "Inches" speech.

If this speech doesn't make the hairs on your neck stand up... nothing will.


"I don't know what to say really. Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today.

Either we heal as a team or we are going to crumble.

Inch by inch, play by play... till we're finished.

We are in hell right now, gentlemen

Believe me... and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light. We can climb out of hell.

One inch, at a time.

Now I can't do it for you. I'm too old... I look around and I see these young faces

and I think... I mean, I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make.

I uh....I pissed away all my money, believe it or not.

I chased off anyone who has ever loved me. And lately, I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That's, that's part of life.

But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches.

So is football.

Because in either game, life or football... the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it.

The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game, every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team, we tear ourselves, and cut everyone around us to pieces for that inch.

We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.

Cause we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the fucking difference between WINNING and LOSING.

Between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this... in any fight it is the guy who is willing to die who is going to win that inch.

And I know if I am going to have any life anymore it is because I am still willing to fight and die for that inch...

Because that is what LIVING is... The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can't make you do it. You gotta look at the guy next to you. Look into his eyes. Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you. You are going to see a guy who will sacrifice himself for this team because he knows when it comes down to it, you're gonna do the same thing for him.

That's a team, gentlemen and either we heal now, as a team, or we will die as individuals.

That's football guys.

That's all it is.

Now, whattaya gonna do?"


10. Walter Sobchak loses it in "The Big Lebowski"

For my final choice i really wanted to put a Jim Carrey moment in, but i like so many of his films equally I decided to put this under-rated, hilarious movie instead. John Goodman plays the part of Walter Sobhack, a pyschotic ex-vietnam veteran who has real anger management issues. My favourite scene is where he loses his temper during a ten-pin bowling match and pulls out his hand gun and threatens to kill his opponent.

"This is not 'Nam... This is bowling, there are rules"


You need to see the movie to appreciate the brilliant part Goodman plays, every line he says is funny and the bowling scene is probably the best of a bunch.

Ok, well i hope you enjoyed my 10 great moments of film? Do you have any great moments i have missed?

As always post comments below and start an argument, what the hell!

Thursday, 15 July 2010

World Cup 2010, Mailbag & Office workers:The rules

Hello all,

Today's blog has 3 seperate headings. The first 2 headings are things I want to mention this week (World cup and mailbag) the last is the actual subject of todays' blog (Office workers: The rules)

World Cup 2010
I read somewhere on a Facebook status that said the world cup had been 'memorable'. Hmmmm? Yeah its been memorable for the wrong reasons. These are:

1) Adidas ruined the whole tournament with a sh*t ball! Why change a good ball anyway? It reminded my of the plastic "fly-aways" i had as a kid, they annoyed me then (even though i had immaculate skill/touch at a young age) and really annoyed me this world cup as i watched the ball bounce over players into touch. Well done Adidas...crap.

2) The vuvuzela.... argggggghhhhh! what an annoying drone. The whole atmosphere from a football crowd is the chanting/singing/celebration of noise from the fans... well, the South Africans suceeded in drowning out all that with a drone that is possibly the least pleasing sound ever created by man.

If this woman was sat next to me... i would have punched her in the face.


3) The diving. Im honestly embarrased now when i watch football, its a complete joke to watch the likes of Portugal, Brazil, Holland and others dive around pretending to be injured in the hope the referee will send someone off (which they usually do). Unbelievably, this world cup has made me hate someone more than Portuguese playmaker and full time cheat...Deco.

....And thats Arjen Robben. For me he is the new face of modern day football cheats.

Dutch 2012 olympic diving favourite, Arjen Robben


Absolutely disgraceful tactics, im not even going to say he is a great player, he is an out-an-out cheat and deserves no more credit than that.
4) The french dressing room revolution? Overpaid A-holes! Nothing better to say on that.

Memorable? more like very dissapointing


Mailbag
A bit of a joke inclusion today really, but it was to good not to share. You see occasionally i get the odd email from disgruntled folk airing views about the gym and its not ready, blah, blah, blah... so this a modified version of my latest email.

...Dear Mr Williams,

When will your gym be ready?... I really wanted to join your gym but it was taking too long, blah, blah, blah... Now i go to a gym with brand new machines and... (Drumroll) "they have Satellite TV in each of the 30+ treadmills so will be happy there"

Now i just love when someone complains about TV channels in the gyms. Its music to my ears, a chance for me to unleash hell and climb on my fitness pedestal and make someone feel terrible!

"Dear Complainer, It seems that by concentrating your efforts on satellite TV programs instead of actually doing some exercise, you will possibly never get the results you are after. We will never have tv monitors in out treadmills because my clients and future gym members will be educated to train effectively and not dilly-dally around gyms watching (Arabic subtitled) Jean claude Van damme re-runs, then complain to staff that they are still fat and cant get results. Best, Nathan".


Wanna Look like me? Stop watching the f*cking tv and DO WORK!
Onto today's main Blog subject...

Office Workers: The rules
The majority of the people I have trained over the past 5 years have been office workers, desk jockeys, biscuit bandits, meeting moles... (I made the last 2 up, but you get the picture?) These fascinating creatures walk into the gym 'stressed' with facts, figures, deadlines, dislike of their boss, etc... and it's my job to create a program that suits their needs.

So here is my guide for office workers/PTs training office workers who are looking to get in shape:

1) Earning your Carbs
Im willing to make this bold statement:

"If you spend the first 8/9 hours of the day sitting on your butt (and want to lose fat/get into shape) then you should limit your (starchy) carbohydrates intake in that period"

So shoot me down! Every person i get through here says "I eat Toast, Honey, Cereal, Yoghurt, Oatmeal for breakfast" Yeah great, but why take on all that energy then go and sit down for the day? Change your breakfast to a vegetable omelette with green tea and apple and drink plenty of water until lunchtime, then have a large salad... 2 meals with very little carbs = no insulin spike = no fat stored at work.

Better still, get up and train before work (really, gyms open at 6am!) and you can eat more liberally at breakfast, if you worked hard enough.

Earn you carbs. Sitting down for 8 hours updating your facebook status pretending to work does not qualify as working.


Breakfast is served... (In the words of Ari Gold) BOOM!

2) Sitting down
One of the rules i have with my clients is "If you sat down all day, then you aint sitting down for this hour". As an office worker, the exercises you choose must mostly be standing, energetic and corrective to office postures (see next point) to counter act your non-eventful working day.

My best tip would be to use supersets, tri-sets and giant sets (2, 3 and 4 exercises back-to-back) with a set rest time taken walking or on feet to keep the heart rate elevated. If you are training your office guys with machine based weights 3 sets x 12 reps with 90+ seconds rest - they will get nowhere in terms of results.

3) Hips and T-spine

 
The de-evolution of man.

I love this picture as it shows exactly what is going on with society today. Take a look at the guy on the right, im guessing at some point in the working day most of the office workers look like this. The result? Tight hips and forward posture. Solution... work extensively on Thoracic spine and hip mobility in each session, adding focused corrective sets or incorporate specific exercises into the warm up. Which leads to the next point.

4) Extra warm up time
Dont be afraid to extend your warm up time to 15-20 minutes for those who really need it. The days of 3 minute treadmill walk and shoulder shrug warm up are dead (well they are in our gym anyway). Some of my clients start off their RCC fitness careers with me doing 45-50 minute session of mostly 'warm up' exercises. Find the level you/your client is at and take it slow, dont be quick to move into resistance or challenging activities before fully warming the body up.

Office workers by their very nature/habits will need a thorough warm up targeting the Hips and T-spine. Cant think of anything to fill in the time? Review your PT course notes, you definately learned it at some point.

The RCC warm up looks like this:

- 2-5 minutes steady state heart-rate raiser (X trainer, Bike or Skipping...depending on client)
- 3-5 minutes Foam/PVC roller work
- 5-15 minutes Mobility work
- 5 minutes Corrective circuit/Activation work

Sometimes i look up at the clock after an effective, focused warm up with some of my rehab clients and 30+ minutes has gone. It doesn't matter, im confident that this strategy is the one that will take them to their goals... not the annihilation that some trainers assume is the answer.

 
5) High heel wearers
Beware! All office women/women in general spend a lot of time in high heels, which is great looking but can make the ankle weak and calves tight. Always check the condition of female office workers' lower body mobility before getting into any explosive jumping or heavy leg work.
Great to look at... but not so great on the ankle joint

By the way thanks to my brother Gavin for modelling the last picture, he has been really working hard on those legs for beach season, well done bro, the work has really paid off :)

6) Extra actitivies
I usually hear the occasional moan which goes something like:

"But i cant seem to lose weight, i try everything... blah, blah, blah"

Stop yourself right there and ask this question "How much work are you actually doing?" According to studies documented by http://www.precisionnutrition.com/ the magic number of hours for people who were in shape was 5. So if you go to the gym 3 x week and do nothing else, and eat a moderately healthy diet... the chances are you wont get anywhere. Up your activity levels to a MINIMUM of 5 hours a week, base each feeding around protein, vegetables and good fats (some carbs after training) and start to see the difference.

When my clients complain they are not get in shape, I simply ask if they hit their 5 hours a week? Most say they don't get to the 5 hours... so then i dont feel guilty about them not meeting their goals.

Just recently I have started a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class which has added 4 hours of cardio to my week taking my activity to around 8 hours per week... (with no change in diet) the result has been an immediate drop in body fat and increase amount of aches and bruises.

 
They lured me in with this advert... and all i got was a good kicking!

Thats all for today, as usual if you liked this then please spread the word and 'share' on the Facebook button below or tell friends by actually speaking to them using the lost art of speech. Do you remember when people actually spoke to other people? I dont.

Please post a comment/question on today's blog and i will get back to you asap, thanks.

Friday, 9 July 2010

20 things i have learned along the way...

A big hello to everyone who reads this...

A welcome to the new reader...

And "Hello, Mam" why haven't you read the blog yet! to Mother (Beverly) Williams. In reality, I may have to travel home to the UK to personally show my parents (IT challenged folk) how to check emails, internet, text messaging, etc. To be fair to my Dad he has caught on with the email phenomenon and regularly updates me when his golf handicap comes down.


Dad loves updating from home


Thanks to the guys/gals that have taken the time to commen on previous posts, please keep the comments, arguments, questions coming, it makes for great discussion and debate... i really dont mind abuse or disagreement!

Ok, today's blog is a regular blog post from other fitness writers and they are always great reads. My inspiration to write my own "What i learned..." blog has come from reading other simliar vlogs by Eric Cressey, Jason Feruggia, Vince Delmote to name a few.

For those with a heavy interest in Training, Jason Ferrugia's "53 ways to build muscle and be f*cking awesome" is brilliant.



Ok, here goes... Its been a good life so far, these are my cliff notes:

1. "Abs are made in the kitchen not the gym"

True, true, true... i could go on. When somebody tells me they eat perfectly, im immediately skeptical. Almost everytime i hear that senteence, 10 seconds later the same person is saying they eat cereal, toast and juice for breakfast. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

2. 'Associations' are deadly when trying to get in shape

We all have associations and most of them are saboutaging our physiques. For example, Tea & Biscuits, Cinema & Popcorn, Weekends & Alcohol. Identify your worst association and avoid it. Stop drinking tea, dont eat at the cinema, do something physical on the weekends so you wont drink. It will all help.

Is this the reason why you went to the cinema?


3. Watch less TV and get smarter

Spend 1 hour less per day watching tv and read a book instead. All books are good for vocabulary but obviously there are better choices than others. I would suggest you read something that will develop you or your career The Success Principles, The Paleo Diet and not books that will drain your life force Posh Becks "My story" or anything by Jordan. What a tragic waste of time and paper.

4. Travelling and visiting new places as often as you can

I still get a rush from visiting new countries, im very lucky to be in a location where i can pick off so many different locations. I plan to go to Spain and France this summer and also looking to visit Lebanon, Oman and India in the next 12 months.

I heard a story about a couple who went to the same hotel, same resort every year, on the same date for 25 years in a row! each to his own but i find that rather saaaaaad.


5. Rocky Rules

There are so many life lessons to be learned in the Rocky film series i dont know where to start. If you dont get emotional and fired up when watching these films i believe you have something missing within, a fire, a competitive spirit? Bravo to Sly Stallone for the idea, who declined the offer to sell the film to take a chnace to direct and act in 'Rocky' himself. That chance turned into an oscar and a film star was born.

Apollo Creed was actually the greatest boxer of all time, not Muhammed Ali.

6. "Every man should name an animal once in his life"

A line from Rocky Balboa. I have had very powerful bond with the animals we had growing up. Rocky, a german shephard who was my brother, no question... you ask my real brother and he would say the same, German shephard are the most amazing creatures. You will never find a better burgler alarm anywhere in the world.

Next we had cats and i named the ginger one "Tino" after faustino Asprilla, the newcastle player. We had other cats but Tino was a special character who made me laugh by being so massive (Yes i fed him some creatine when he was a kitten but he enjoyed it... i think). My point is that these animals are a massive part of my upbringing and i think very child should be taught to look after an animal as it teaches important lessons about love, life and death.
                                                 
                                               Gentle giant Tino relaxing with a book after training

7.  Never stereotype

After travelling around the world, working with all different nationalities, i have concluded that there is good and bad in every nation, mostly good. Dont let one person change your view of a whole country. Yes some nationalties have certain traits/styles but then you will meet some who completely changes your mind. im proud of being Welsh but i know there are idiots out there who happen to be Welsh.

8. Everyone has a story

Every cleaner, Waitress, Toilet attendant (yes in Bahrain they need FT toilet attendants), employee, colleague, team-mate, etc has their own story. get to know some of the people around you and you will find out amazing things. I recently found out that nearly all the waiting staff at our work canteen have studied at colleges in great cities like Shanghia and Delhi, they were professional entertainers/singers... there was me assuming they were just waiting tables!


9. Relationships are hard

Ok here goes, this could be where i lose my credibility. Relationships often end in failure, its true. If both people are strong and have an opinion they clash. If one is dominant, they often abuse that position.

Its pretty impossible to find a pair of people that get on with each other perfectly because "Men are from Mars" which means we are selfish SOB's and "Women are from Venus" which means they care about everything, often things men find ridicolous... like greeting cards. I mean, seriously, who gives?

The ideal partner for a guy would be a girl who:
- loved the PS3
- didnt want to get married
- watched sport
- didnt care where he was at any time
- could sink about 10 pints (without looking like she could sink 10 pints!)

Perfect GF material?


The ideal partner for a girl would be a guy who:
- loved walking around shoe shops every saturday afternoon
- enjoys strolls along the beach
- can dance
- will make productive comments about whether bag/shoe colour match
- not pester them for sex every morning beofre work

Basically Ricky Martin.


10. You are the exact average of the 5 people you hang around with the most

Try it. If you hang around with miserable, negative, A-holes... guess what? you're probably one too. Waaah!


11. The best investments are those which are spent on yourself

Not sure where i read this but it true. 2 examples recently from my life are:

1) My trip to the US cost around $1,000,000 out of my own pocket (ok, not that much but it wasn't cheap) and i have only ever thought baout what i have gained from it. i by far a better trainer and have taken so many ideas and techniques from that trip that it will actually turn out to be cheap.

2) Somebody told me they wouldn't get a TRX because they were 'expensive'?? Really, i paid for mine in about 4 PT sessions and it will last me years to come. Buy new tools which enhance your own training and skills as a trainer.


12. Respect, Inspect and protect

One of my own... RESPECT your body, INSPECT your food and PROTECT your health. Actually look at what your eating, if it looks like crap then it probably is.


13. Ron Burgundy is the classiest newsreader of all time

For the past few years something has troubled me more than any health, fitness, life issue... How can people not find Anchorman funny? I often find myself chuckling at lines from the film and then send them to my friends and they chuckle... its infectious laughter, perfect comedy.


When busy, Ron sculpts his guns at the office. Genius.

But... there are folk who just don't get it! arrrrgh, what? i don't get that. Please let me know what you dont find funny about will ferrel's Ron Burgundy character.


14. "Be inspired or you're gonna get tired"

An absolute gem from Todd Durkin (http://www.fitnessquest10.com/) when he was asked about maintaining great energy all day.


15. Stop programme hopping, stick with a plan.

I think it was Eric Cressey (name dropping again!) that said "Assess clients thoroughly, write a program based on the findings and then coach the hell out of that program" pretty solid advice. I would add... use that program for 4-6 weeks making small changes where you see fit and re-assess to test the effectiveness of the program. Use the re-assessment findings to create new targets and goals.

In my experience, any of my clients who did 2/3 6 week programs based on assessments - got the results they wanted.


16. Set definite goals

The biggest complaint from my clients was that they wished they had taken pictures, wished they had taken measurements. "If you dont know where you are going, how are you going to get there?"

Create a goal - Lose 10lbs
Create a deadline - 35 days

Reduce the goal into smaller segments - every 7 days i should be down 2lbs to stay on track.

This is only an example, i try to educate my clients that weight loss is only part of the story and they need to take in muscle gain. Fat loss (%) would be a better way to go.


17. Change your 'wants' into 'promises'

Change your internal language and create more powerful emotion with your goals/targets. Change:

"I really want to own my own gym one day and hope i can one day get there" (Hopeful)

"I promise that one day i will own my own gym/facility and realise my lifetime ambition (Powerful)


18. Sleep is more important than you think

I wont try an re-hash all the information currently out there, but there are so many reasons why getting a good nights sleep is great for your health. Read this brilliant article by Martin Rooney:

http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/you-snooze-you-win-wake-up-to-the-significance-of-sleep/


19. Foam roll before every training session

If you are not using a foam roller, go out an find one for $20. Its like having your own personal therapist on-hand to work your legs, glutes, back, lats, etc. It will turn out to be the best buy you ever make.


20. Get back to basics

"Run, jump, climb and crawl" (taken from Jason ferrugia's article above). Gym folk are quick to pick up weights and bang away, these same people cannot perform basic human movements like crawling, lunging, squatting, push ups, pull ups. Master the use of your body before really getting heavy with resistence. i wish somebody would have told me that at 14 years old, my shoulder would be a lot happier.

Thats goodbye from me Ron Burgundy, go f*ck yourself san Diego!

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