Nightline Radio Show

Its time for change on my monthly radio chat with the legendary Canadian Professor / Ridiculous shirt wearing James Piecowye. The best thing about spending an hour a month on air with this guy is that it gives us a chance to address some major health and fitness issues in the UAE and answer a number of SMS’s from the intrigued listeners.
James Piecowye
Things however are about to change….. “What changes?” I asked James! To which he promptly replied: “Nightline is going back to its old roots, but with a new sensibility. Instead of just talking at listneres about fitness, we want to engage them on the phone and through the SMS and make them part of the conversation. But it is more than just talking to the guest we want the listeners to re-engage and that is why in hour two we have reintroduced the call-in on issues that matter to the UAE! Real conversation on real issues with real people in Dubai.”
And James topped off his review of the “New Nightline” with a professor classic “Nightline has had a wax job and is ready to rock!”
The first new look show is live on air this coming Monday 2nd April from 8pm (Click here)where I will be talking all things fitness. So if you have any questions or topics you would like addressing get in touch either by mail on  TWITTER, FACEBOOK or leave your question in the comment section of this post.
Podcasts of all previous shows are available on this blog!

CrossFit Games Open – Workout 5

It was deja-vu all round when the 5th workout of the open was announced as it was identical to the last workout of the 2011 open. A nice little ladder of Thrusters and “Chest to Bar” Pull Ups! Starting with 3 reps on each and increasing in sets of 3……3,6,9,12,15,18,12,24 and so on with a time cap of 7 minutes.
My immediate reaction was to check my results of the open last year…..108 reps and then my only other attempt at this workout…..112 reps. Not impressed I set a new goal of 130 plus. Thinking that with a score over 130 I would have a chance of topping the Asian leader board for this workout!
Next stop is Korea on 4th / 5th / 6th May 2012 for the regional qualifications. It is here where only first place is good enough to gain a place in the finals of the race for “Fittest Man on the Planet”!!!!
Stay tuned…….

Create genuine buy-in!

We all know that developing a healthy lifestyle, getting “fit” and staying that way can be very testing at times. For every plus point that you find there seems to be another 5 negative points out there.
What I want to do in this post is share with you the importance of “Creating genuine buy in” from your family and or friends into your health and fitness plan.

There are going to be times where the easy option…..
is to stay home with the kids or go out to dinner and drinks with friends, there are going to be times when your option of going to the gym seems so much less appealing than a social event that you could be at and there are going to be times when you just feel like everyone around you is always doing something different and you just don’t quite fit in anymore……
Well as the post title states what I want to offer here is the notion of “Creating genuine buy in” from those around you and I want to look at this on three levels…….

Firstly in the home. Are your family on the same page as you? Do they realise the huge positive impacts on your life and theirs of increased attention to health and fitness? Do they need some education on the issue? How easy do you think it would be if your husband or wife was on a similar eating plan as you and you didn’t always feel like the odd one out when it came to dinner time? If you can create buy in at home then you are half way there and you are also doing the other family members a favor by making good health and fitness the norm in your household.
Secondly at the workplace. Do your colleagues order fast food for lunch every day? Are there always cakes and biscuits on offer in the office? Do any of your colleagues go to the gym. If you are striving for a healthier and fitter lifestyle then find people in your office that are on the same page as you and team up, feed off each others desires and see if you can spread your thirst around the office.
Finally with your friends. The people that you socialise with will have a huge influence on the habits that you follow! Are they health conscious? Do they see sport as part of life or just something they watch on the TV with a takeaway on their lap? As the saying goes we are able to choose our friends so why not look for companions that share similar interests as you and opt for a healthy and active life.
Surrounding yourself with people that are on the same page as you when it comes to your health and fitness goals is so incredibly important. They have to buy into what you are doing if you are going to receive the support that you need to reach the goals that you have. Having a strong support network to drive you to your health and fitness goals is a huge bonus and will help you in times of need as well as when you are flying high.

CrossFit Games Open – Workout 4

And so the fun continues…..and the big numbers come out. In laymen terms throw a 9kg ball at a spot 10ft high on a wall 150 times! Yep 150 “Wall Balls”! And when you are done there skip 90 times but not regular skips, no that’s too easy, you jump up once, the rope goes round twice….voila “Double Under”. When you have managed to get through these exercises then break into what seems to be either the most loved or most hated exercise of CrossFit depending on who you are….The Muscle Up. And depending on how much of your 12 minutes you have used up try and get 30 out and then start back on the wall balls!!
Well as you will have seen from my clip I managed to complete 14 of the muscle ups. I was happy to finish the wall balls in 5:32 which was quicker than I expected. Overall happy with the way things are going and looking forward to the final workout of the open next week. Then its time to focus on the regional comp in Korea which decides who will go to the CrossFit Games in LA in July…..!

Rest and Recovery!

(The below article was published in March edition of Men’s Fitness)

So you have got your new flashy gear, you have teed up your gym membership, you may have even seeked out some consul on nutrition and have a nice plan in place for that too, you have spoken to all your mates in the fitness industry or who have ever been in the industry, you have done your own research by trawling the net for hours on end to see what will deliver the body that you long for and you are set, ready for action.

During your planning stages you also considered your busy work schedule and of course your even busier social agenda and yep by the looks of your calender this all seems to piece together very nicely, and within the required timelines you are going to look more than just good, you are going to feel amazing too.

Stop, wait a minute isn’t there something missing? Check, re-check and check again. No every thing seems to be in place there doesn’t it? Well maybe not. Something is missing isn’t it…..what is it? REST and RECOVERY! But why so important, what does it mean for us, what does it do and how should we address it?
The dry stuff first…..not enough sleep can lead to changes in hormone levels such as an increase in the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, decreased activity of human growth hormone which aids us in tissue repair, a decrease in glycogen synthesis as well as decreased aerobic endurance!! In simple terms if we do not let the body recover then many internal processes that we need to occur to help us reach out external goals will not be able to take place optimally. These internal physical factors are also coupled with our emotional state that we enter into when we are deprived of rest, our mental attitude, where our head is at and our will to work harder or not at all.
Those things in isolation should be sufficient to stop and make you think about rest and recovery. Of course the list of negative effects backed up from various studies goes on and on if you want to get really scientific about things and there are no end of studies available to confirm this.
Lets take proactive steps here as prevention is often the best form of medicine, not getting ourselves into the situation should be our first port of call shouldn’t it? I want to share 5 simple points with you on rest and recovery that I can assure you will help in many ways:
  1. Hydrate: Lets not complicate this one. Drink water and plenty of it! Before, during, and after exercise you need to ensure you have plenty of water in your system. Sugary drinks do not count as tools for hydration sorry!
  2. Eat: Would you put diesel in a petrol car and expect a result? Nor would I, so make sure you get the right food in, this will also help in your performance as well as in your recovery
  3. Stretch: Before and after a workout for sure, but also if you have another time in the day too. Its a simple way to help your muscles recover faster.
  4. Sleep: When it comes to rest and recovery there is nothing quite like sleep. Training when you are tired benefits no one. Plan your sleep, track it and review! It may sound strange but the amount of solutions I have found in peoples sleep patterns is mind blowing.
  5. Don’t over train: Yes I know you are keen and want to get fit really quickly but too many sessions is going to send you backwards so be smart with your planning.
 So when you are planning your life and your training, fire the words rest and recovery right up to the top of your priority list, with it you will achieve so much more and get so much more out of your training program and your life. Without it you may struggle to get out of the blocks, go into a physical and emotional meltdown and never achieve what you set out to!!

Need Inspiration to keep going?

Sometimes training is tough, sometimes its really tough and there are times when you sit there and wander if its all worth it? Why am I doing this? Do I really want it? Isn’t life about something else?

This video emulates what InnerFight is based on, the attitude to keep going no matter what and to make your decision as to if its all worth it at the end of the session not in the middle. I can guarantee you that the two choices will be somewhat different.
There are going to be times when you are hurting and when your mind tells you to stop and this is where you really have to dig deep. As is so obvious from this clip, it sometimes doesn’t matter what state you are in when you cross the finish line, its the crossing it that counts.
If you are ever in a state of wandering “Why” I would encourage you to remember this clip, finish your session and think about this when you are done!

CrossFit Games Open – Workout 3

Now things are getting interesting! We are 3 weeks into the CrossFit Games Open for 2012 and have seen 3 very different workouts, what this has allowed is for specialists to shine on given weeks. However what we are now seeing is the activity of athletes with consistency across a number of different disciplines, these are the rounded athletes and the athletes that will go further in this competition that scrutinizes the specialist.

Workout 12.3 was 18 minutes of work. As many rounds and reps as possible in 18 minutes of 15 box jumps onto a 24 inch box, 12 push press at 52kgs and 9 toes to bar. The world leader board has take a little bit of a shake up and the Asian leader board has seen its fair share of movement this week!
2 workouts left…..lets see whats in store for next week! Workout is released at 0500 Dubai time Thursday 15th March.