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Triathlon, swimming

Endurance athletes' energy requirements are far higher than the average due to the large output as well as their raised metabolisms from the training. Unless the intensity of the event is low enough for fat to be used as the primary fuel, endurance athletes need to make up the bulk of their energy intake from carbohydrates. Athletes also need to ensure that they consume enough protein, fats & oils as well as vitamins, minerals & other micro-nutrients to support recovery from training. In order to maximise performance it is important that the athlete gets to the start line in peak physical condition & with maximum energy stores i.e. maximum levels of muscle glycogen. It has been known since the Swedish studies in the 1960s that supra-normal levels of glycogen in the muscles enhances performance in events that last longer than 60 minutes. ...continue reading "Endurance Fuel"

Pratiquante de CrossFit, faisant l'exercice de frappe sur pneu

"Lifting weights & being strong doesn't win fights. Having great timing & being very intelligent wins fights." - Floyd Mayweather Jr

Mayweather is simply the latest of the greats to apparently dismiss weight / strength training. Bruce Lee, Mohamed Ali, Rocky Marciano & many others have said similar things & even refused to do weight training. Many claim that it will slow you down or reduce your endurance. Yet it's obvious that to be a fighter you do need strength along with the speed, endurance & timing (& intelligence) & of course they all did strength training even if it was 'just callisthenics & heavy bag work'. So why the apparent contradiction? There are 2 answers to that. The first & the reason I chose the Mayweather quote is, fighting is a very technical sport where posture, leverage & timing through good technique generates maximum power. Particularly in MMA where the athlete needs to be well rounded & possess the skills of multiple disciplines, by far the majority of a fighter's training time should be dedicated to skills acquisition. Conditioning, vital as it is, must always play a supporting role. The second, which we will look at in more detail later, is there is a big difference between 'body building' (which is / was for most synonymous with weight training) & functional sport specific strength / power training.

...continue reading "Fighting Fit"

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on track

Very few people would start a journey without knowing where they are going, how to get there, measure progress & tell when they arrive. True, we've had some awesome holidays by picking a direction & seeing where we end up, but even there, we knew what we were looking for (a place to enjoy) & a direction. A bit like learning a skill / art for its own sake rather than to achieve a particular goal. An approach to life & learning which I do enjoy, you end up doing things in places you never imagined, but I digress... Most people start a fitness / nutrition programme with specific goals in mind. The questions are: How do you gauge progress in order to make adjustments along the way? & How do you know you've arrived?

Continuing with the travel analogy, before you can plan  a route to your destination you need to know your starting point (the initial assessment). Once you know where you are & where you'd like to go, you can plan your route (the programme). You will need gauges in your vehicle & signs along the way to tell you where you are & how you are doing (regular follow up assessments). In addition you will need your travelog (training / food diary), so that you know how you got from A to P & at each stage along the way. ...continue reading "Keeping Track to Stay on Track"

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Learning to crawl can help people with dyslexia & other learning difficulties, stuttering, ADHD, PSD, coordination issues, clumsiness (& more) & at the same time promote healing, reduce stress, increase energy, increase focus &  prevent (& even reverse) brain ageing. How could all of this possibly be true? Is it because movement is...

...the Real Reason for Brains?

So there you have it, we have brains so that we can move. All brain function is ultimately tied to movement. Looking at infant development we can see how closely brain development & movement development are. ...continue reading "Emphasising Movement"