Thursday, 29 December 2011

Organic stretching protocol

Hi all,

I sent this blog out in December and it didnt reach half the people it normally does. So im going through some of the oldies and giving them some new life.
Todays blog is all about a system that i incorporate with my clients which i call 'organic stretching' and something which i have found is helping everyone that incorporates it.

If you think this is 'gay' then you probably are tight and need to stretch more

I believe it was Paul Chek who first began this method (I used to have a kick ass book called "Eat, move and be healthy" but one of my clients in Bahrain never give it back to me!) which encourages people to "stretch what is tight and pass on what is not". For more quality reading on stretching, type in 'Paul Chek stretching" into google and this guy literally wrote the book on the subject.

Great book... Somewhere gathering dust in the southern tip of Bahrain!

So here is what i have adopted. We want every muscle to 'feel the same' therefore you have to listen to what your body is telling you and adapt the time and pressure accordingly. For example, this is a normal stretching prescription:

- 30s stretcth on each quad
- 30s stretch on each hamstring

Before i carry on, what if you play a one-sided sport/activity like golf? One side will definately be tighter than the other, so a standard stretching program becomes useless in terms of re-balancing.

To quote Eric Cressey recently:

"The best training programs are assymetrical"

And that is 100% correct in my opinion. The same goes for stretching. Just this morning my client LP said they felt really tight on their left glute so we hit that stretch for 30s then moved onto the right and they felt nothing. We immediately went back to the left and stretched for a further 30s. And thats basically it. Stretch what feels tight and move past what doesn't, thats the beauty of balance.

Achieving balance often leads to pain free movement and improved performance

My personal stretching always involves twice as much strecthing on my left side (particularly hip, glute and hamstring) as i have spent all my life rotating in sports on that 'power' side (golf, soccer, cricket). 

Final thoughts

Take 20-30 minutes to fully stretch and note what 'feels' tighter, either write down or keep a mental note of this and allow that to form the basis of your new "re-balancing" stretching program. If any of you still think stretching is pretty gay or 'just for women' - then you need to wake up and realise that "tight is weak" and tight is the first step towards inbalances and injury.

Gonna be busy for the next few months writing, training and bringing out more blogs than ever, so speak soon :)

Friday, 9 December 2011

The Health game

Hey all,

Another quick (and hopefully useful) blog on how to keep track of results/diet. Like the last blog on Music to help workouts this idea is just something a little different which could be used to get you to your personal goals.

We are going to play a game, well you're going to play... i'll be the host.

Alan Partridge, arguably the worlds greatest host

We are going to play "The Health Game" (cue cheesy tune) where the goal of the game is to get to 100 points.

The rules

- You earn points (maximum 3 per day) for doing things that put you closer to your goal (fat loss, muscle building, wellness, etc)

- You lose points for doing stuff that take you further from your goals (eating shit food, not exercising, drinking alcohol, etc)

- The points earned/taken away are reflective of the crime (and you must be honest with the crime)

Here are a few of my guidelines:


- Completed training session = 1 point
- Every meal that fits your training goal = 1/2 point
- Bed before 1030pm = 1 point
- Drink 3L water = 1 point
- Massage = 1 point
- Day out being active = 1 point
- post workout nutrition = 1/2 point

Being stroked while earning points? Win, Win.

REMEMBER 3 points scored per day maximum.


- Fast food = -3 points (nulify any scoring that day)
- Alcohol x 1 = -1 point
- Alcohol x more than 1 = -3 points (nulify any scoring that day)
- Eating after 7pm = -1 point
- Bed after 12 midnight = -1 point
- Sugary drinks = -2 points
- coffee after training = -1 point

More than 2 of these and you have 0 points for that day

*you can create your own scoring list based on whats important to you. Just be sure to not over-reward yourself for doing average things and always punish your scoring for doing the worst things (fast food, alcohol bingeing, sugary drinks).

Everyone starts on 0... Play this game for a day, see how you score. Play this game for a week, see how you score. If you cant get off square 1 with your scoring then you probably have some very bad, DAILY habits that are stopping you getting anywhere near your training goals.

Example Yesterday for me looked this:


- training session (fasted) = 1 point
- post workout nutrition = 1/2 point
- Sushi/sashimi lunch with banana = 1/2 point
- water intake good = 1 point

(at this point im looking at a maximum 3 point day... woop effing woop!)


- Chicken Katsu curry with udon noodles in fast food establishment (nulify point scoring for day) 
- Frappacino with Almond snickers

Dont ask me why but i just fancied it, and although it did no long term damage, my new total for the next day was ZERO (0) Nothing.

This is how most people live their whole lives. Play the game, see how many points you can score today, the next week, the rest of the year. My personal goal is to score 20 points over the next 7 days and 30 points before xmas day.

This is just a bit of fun, let me know if it works for you. Imagine getting to 100 and take a look at yourself in the mirror - im 100% sure there would be changes!

See ya :)

Friday, 2 December 2011

Exercise to music

Hey all,

Just a quickie this time around. Do you have steady state cardio work in your plan? Im not here to judge and say you shouldn't (truth is i have personally benefited from doing some LSD over the past month).

Long Steady Duration... what were you thinking? Tut Tut

While doing my rowing challenge i found it great to listen to music. Heavy metal was perfect for tough, short distances. Dance music was my steady work over 10 minutes. As my playlist had the same shuffle i was getting bored. So i decided to SHUFFLE my entire itunes.

Wow, what a great move that was. This allows you to perform different intensities based on the tempo or feeling of each tune. For example:

1-4 minutes (Phil Collins) - easy pace 2:15/500 getting into a rhythym.
5-8 minutes (Tenacious D) - Boom! im up to 85% and picked me speed up to 1:50/500
9-13 minutes (David guetta) - kept Rpm high (32 per minute) but light to match fast paced song
14-18 minutes (Coldplay) - slow pace with intervals of speed (chorus)

My Ipod was dictating my speed and mood with music! It felt good. Fartlek is not a new concept but i really loved this and it ate the time away really quickly... Great if you dont like steady cardio much!

Try it out. Just make sure you have varying music. Too much Metallica will kill you, Too much david Gray will leave you in 1st gear, Too much Michael Buble and i'd probably kick you off the rower for listening to Michael Buble!

Not a good pose, Not good rowing music

Try it out and see what you think, personally i loved it.

Nice and quick as promised :)