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MY CRANE ANALOGY - AND WHY STRUCTURALISM WORKS
As the first of many blog posts to come I decided that I would tell my story of the building site crane. It's an overly simplified analogy comparing an immensely strong machine that we see active on construction sites all over the developing world to our muscular-skeletal system of the human body. I bring this story into conversation early on with new clients when helping them into understanding the process of building real applicable strength and stability into their bodies, and why a precise, controlled and patient work(out) ethic necessary in order to achieve this.Mechanics is everywhere. It is so common to the point that the majority of us don't even pay attention to mechanics at work. The obvious examples that spring to mind might be the cars we drive, or appliances in our houses such as washing machines or heating units. But how often do we appreciate the reason why our buildings don't fall down or how the brackets holding our TV to the wall are so strong. When was the last time you considered how electricity cables don't pull down pylons or how bridges span distant expanses without collapsing? This is before we even look into the natural environment (where incidentally many man made structures have been designed based on support systems inspired by nature).
How to beat 'SADS' and have the most productive winter ever
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a lot more common than people think. In fact, in the UK alone it’s been reported that 29% of the population have symptoms of SAD with women being four times more likely than men to experience symptoms. Even in Tel Aviv, with its relatively warm winters, the seasonal changes can still have an effect. So what is SAD? How can you tell if you might be affected by SAD? And what’s the best way to beat SAD? Here are some of the most effective ways you can tackle SAD and have the best winter yet. What is Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)? SAD is a reoccurring major depression that follows a seasonal pattern. It generally affects people in the late fall to winter with symptoms dissipating in the spring and summer. While the cause of SAD isn’t completely known, there is strong evidence suggesting it has to do with the limited or change in availability of sunlight during fall and winter months which can then change or alter a person’s internal biological clock as well as alter hormones.
The surprising health benefits of exposure to extreme temperatures
It may be that you like to indulge in the post workout steam room cycled with a jump into a cold swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve been injured and your therapist has suggested ice baths or heat pads. You may have even been training for an event and wondered about how training at extreme temperatures may improve your athletic performance when it comes to race day. Beyond this, whether you live in a hot or cold climate (or indeed somewhere that experiences both), we all remember the times when our Mother’s would tell us to put on another sweater if you’re cold, “or there’s nothing wrong with suffering a bit – It’s good for you!”. There may actually be a point to all this. Here’s what science has to say about the human body and it’s tolerance and reactions to different temperature environments. What air temperature is safe or (dangerous) for humans?The human body maintains a constant temperature of 37C, and this can fluctuate throughout the day within the range of +/- 1C. Internal and external factors contribute to any fluctuations, for example physical activity, emotional state, presence of an illness or of course the environmental temperature. Under normal conditions our bodies maintain our internal temperature by the use of subconscious response mechanisms, the most obvious of which are sweating and shivering. As for the external temperature range that humans can tolerate – we don’t have a straight answer. You may have seen on the weather forecast that they often refer to expected ‘real feel’ conditions. This is because the temperature that we feel (and can tolerate) also depends on additional parameters such as humidity and wind. Our ideal temperature while naked, is around 28C with a relative humidity of 40-50%. It has been reported that in extremely dry conditions (0% relative humidity), and with an adequate supply of cold water, that we can tolerate air temperatures of up to 120C for short periods (exact times are unknown, but we’re talking in the 10’s of minutes and not hours). In comparison, with a relative humidity of 80-100% (which can be common in tropical climes), we would struggle to tolerate long exposure of temperatures above 55C. The same applies to exposure to cold conditions. Below 28C we would likely feel the need to wear light clothes. Much below 20C slightly thicker clothing would be required and below 12C we’re already in the range that without winter attire we would be at risk of hyperthermia. In addition to the effects of humidity, (which apply to both hot and cold temperatures), we also need to take into account further complications such as frost bite. Our range of tolerance to cold is much smaller than that with exposure to heat. Again, exact data is hard to find, but there have been instances of temperatures of -20C being tolerated whilst physically active, but for most, the lower limit of exposure to cold whilst naked would be around 13C.
6 WAYS THAT YOU SHOULD LIVE LIKE A CAVEMAN IN 2019
Our urban lifestyles and technical environment may seem so distant from the caveman era of our ancestors, but what if they had it right? Whilst tribes may not have had the education systems that we have today, nature and evolution played its part in building life saving habits and instinctually healthy behaviour. Here’s our top tips for living cave-style within our modern world.
Why YOU need to train in your BARE FEET
Minimalist and barefoot training is one of the few things the fitness industry has done right, though in practice it is something that many get wrong - read about out all you need to know here ....
TOP 10 TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTER YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
Keeping healthy and in shape doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be about killing yourself mentally or physically. Here is some genuine sound advice right from the heart of Isractive - our top ten for living a healthy life and moving well... 1. Don’t get stuck!Allocate 10 minutes each day to run through a basic routine of full body mobility movements/stretches. Ensure that through the years you don’t lose your range of motion in each joints and you’ll enjoy joint health and longevity of movement. Related: This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit 2. Walk!Who said exercise has to be intense all the time? Spend as much time on your feet each day as you do sitting. Walk around the office, walk your commute, and even a bit of housework is enough to balance out your sedentary time. 3. Want a smoking hot body?No problem, but let it be as a healthy bi-product of an efficient and strong body. Fix all the deficiencies in your movements habits, eat raw and green, and you’ll be performing at your best for pushing your limits in training. The lean machine look will pop out sooner than you’re expecting!
MORE ARTICLES FROM THIS CATEGORY . . .
And finally, I wanted to introduce Dan…. Dan came to me after previous successes with weight loss in a past life followed by a significant relapse. Adding in fears of a repeat injury along with concerns not to lose focus along the way, this time was the time for Dan to do it right.
With an open mind, a phone on silent, a lot of sweat, exertion and effort along with a regular appointments with a recommended nutritionist Dan has stuck to every element of his training plan and started seeing results immediately. Of course there were challenges with will power along with way, but focussing on how far he has come already always helped keep him on track for the next success and milestone.
In the picture Dan has lost 30kg (over 5-6 months), has improved posture, regained and embedded movement solid movement foundations, avoided injury, and has taken control with his diet to a level that can only be commended and admired. Since time of photographing, Dan has dropped another 5kg and continues to power towards his ideal weight.
So with the above tips in mind, (and some clear evidence that it works!), get out to the gym or call your coach, and make your training from now on the most effective and rewarding it can be.
Keep up the great work Dan!
The girl thats looking for the latest fitness fashion gimmick or magic exercise to get her into shape.
WRONG! - There are many fitness toys out there. TRX, Sandbags, Weights, Kettlebells, Machines, Surfset, Suples, Water SUP, (dare I say CROSSFIT) etc etc. The truth is with all the above and many more it is possible to achieve some or all of your goals. The right approach however is to use a combination of many techniques and accessories in order to build the right mental and physical foundations for effective workouts and movement abilities. When starting (or fixing) a training plan you should be focusing on improving your movement abilities (be it mobility, integrated strength and natural patterns) with any equipment and or even just your body weight. With this approach you’ll be sure to see improvement of your all round fitness as a bi-product of being able to move well and endure exertion.
The guy that doesn’t listen!
Can you believe it?! Yes its not a rare occurrence either. As a coach I work hard with each client to find the training method that works best for them. Of course this includes the best choice of exercises but even more importantly finding the right language and phrases to use in order for a client to execute the movement adjustments effectively. However it happens often that I’m following the eyes of my clients whilst giving them guidance and they are ploughing through a movement whilst focussing on something else (and as such not making any corrections or improvements!) If you’re that person that is easily distracted then make your best efforts to face away from stimulating views, avoid training in noisy places, and switch your phone onto silent! This is just as important when you are with your trainer as when you are working out on your own. Set up an environment conducive to focussed and effective work.
The Girl or Guy that thinks they know about nutrition but still isn’t losing weight.
Possibly the most important of all of the points in this piece. Our food is both our medicine and our nemesis and if you don’t get it right you can be hindering yourself or even regressing. As a trainer that focusses on human movement efficiency I don’t have much interest in promoting the aesthetics fitness culture. Having visible abs, a peachy back side or shirt busting biceps isn’t necessarily a sign of health or ability and with old school training methods you can risk injury or movement deficiency. Having said that a great looking athletic/lean physique can be a bi-product of an all-round healthy and able human being, so the connected elements should never be ignored. Therefore if you’ve got some weight to shift and it is not happening, take a referral to an experienced nutritionist - and follow his instructions to the letter. You may already think you’re eating less, or eating healthily, but usually a few simple mistakes or misunderstandings can prevent you from seeing any physical changes despite your best efforts.
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4 WEEKS to 10KM RUNNING TRAINING PROGRAM
HOW DAN GOT IT RIGHT! -
What makes you a successful training client?
This is a mockup. Publish to view how it will appear live.
Be warned - this post is going to be a little blunt, but you should know that its coming from the heart. After many years coaching a whole host of clients each with their own plethora of goals and requirements I have experienced the same pattern occur with them all, categorising trainees into those that succeed, and those that don’t. So I wanted to share with you a few examples along with some guidelines that will help you put your head and approach to training in the best possible place for significant results at a sensible rate.
The guy that calls you before an initial consultation and has already decided that within 6 weeks he’s going to have the body/abilities that he desires.
WRONG! - You need to approach your training with an open mind. The purpose of an initial consultation is for your coach to assess your current abilities, and more importantly to assess your weaknesses and deficiencies in order to plan a program that will create the best version of you. It is important to remember that whilst it may be possible to rush to your goal, you may be setting yourself up for injury through instability or bad movement practices. Whilst “mini-goals” can be seen quickly along the way, be prepared for the long hall of consistent practice over the course of a few months (or even years) in order to embed the best habits and develop strength and efficient movement patterns for life.