All posts by bearjohal

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SuperHuman Strength: Update

 

After 3 months, here are my figures for the end of December (see original post HERE)

1. Bench Press – 175 (15 pound increase)

2. Military Press – 120 (20 pound increase)

3. Squat – 250 (30 pound increase)

4. Deadlift – 260 (30 pound increase)

 

 

Supplements taken for the first 3 months of the program have been whey protein, BCAAs, L-Glutamine, and a pharmaceutical grade Creatine Monohydrate, prepared by my brother, a registered pharmacist.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body’s liver and helps to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy for muscle contractions. Also found in foods such as meat and fish or in supplement form, creatine is known to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise. It is used by top tier athletes and is now being tested as a treatment for heart ailments and neuromuscular disorders.

The most important things of the strength challenge (aside from the creatine of course):

1. FORM

Invest in at least one private lesson with a personal trainer and go over the form for all the lifts and some good warm-up exercises to reduce risk of injury and increase performance.

 

2. DE-LOADING

The last week of every month is called “de-loading” and it is astonishingly hard to go to the gym and do 5 reps at a weight that doesn’t even a break a sweat. Trust me, it will pay dividends.

 

3. CONSISTENCY

Strength gains are a long road and it’s important to stay focused on form and mental toughness. Don’t go too fast or you’ll injure yourself; but don’t go too slow or you won’t make progress. Find that steady increase which works for you.

 

Life & Fitness: One Man’s Quest For Strength

I think one of my favourite parts about fitness is the linear transparency it has.

There are countless things in life where people say “what you put in is what you get out,” but in reality, it’s usually not true, as there are numerous variables that must be accounted for.

Fitness, on the other hand, allows things to be planned and regimented to the most minute details and does well to remove a substantial amount of those variables. It’s one of the few things in life where you can set your goal, plan your course of action, and then achieve it. Achieving one’s goal is a phenomenal feeling and results in the desire and motivation to succeed in other facets of life. Success breeds success, which is why fitness is so important in one’s daily life.

For the better part of the past decade, my main goals in fitness have revolved around “gaining” (a.k.a. putting on weight, preferably in the form of lean muscle mass). Very aesthetic focused, less-focused on strength and performance. A debilitating knee injury a few years ago caused my priorities to shift more onto performance and less on aesthetics. Since then I’ve slowly phased out the bodybuilding regimens for more athlete-catered, full-body workouts.

This brings me to my current goal: Strength.

 

“Use your BODY every way you can, it is the greatest instrument you will EVER own.”

-Baz Luhrman (Sunscreen)

 

The human body is a remarkable thing. Why not push it and see what it can really do?

 

 

 

The Quest for SuperHuman Strength Gains

The regimen is inspired by Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 as seen HERE

The 5-3-1 is rather simple, focusing on FOUR movements. I have provided my training maximums for the “Big 4″ when I started the program in October:

 

1. Bench Press – 160lbs

2. Military Press – 100lbs

3. Squat – 220lbs

4. Deadlift – 230lbs

 

The program requires 4 workouts a week, with each day based around the ONE compound movement, then followed up with other exercises of your choice, usually to compliment it. For example, on Squat day I will perform the squats as per the 5-3-1 regimen, and then finish the day with a superset of 1-legged squats, box jumps, and single leg dead lifts (all leg movements). That way I can be fully rested for chest day, if I wanted to do it the day after. The goal is to lift as much as possible, so the key is to not get carried away. Focus on the big lifts, the others are just extra.

What separates this program from all the others I’ve done in the past is its longevity. In order to see drastic strength increases, you need to put in the time. 5-3-1 is designed to be a year-long program, with steady strength increases over the course of 12 months. This may seem “less drastic,” however, a 10-pound increase each month for a year results in a 120-pound strength gain–very drastic indeed. I’m used to doing 1-month programs; the discipline for a year will be, bar none, the hardest part of this strength challenge for me.

 

Bikini Body Blitz

After over a year of macho, testosterone-charged posts and challenges, I am happy to announce New Age Hero’s first ever female blog post, courtesy of friend, med school student and fitness enthusiast, Andrea Wasilewski.

 

Bikini Body Blitz

 

Andrea

This blog is all about the New Age Hero- and what’s more new age than a heroine? I’m honoured to be the first female contributor to New Age Hero and hope to show all the girls out there that muscles aren’t just for the boys!

After years of working out I’ve come to realize that personal fitness is one area in which you can’t cheat to get ahead.  If you eat a cookie- the scale knows. If you skip a few workouts, well like Shakira said- your hips don’t lie.  Achieving results takes time, diligence and unfortunately a lot of saying NO. But fitness is one area that when you put in the effort the results are beautiful.

 

With that said ladies, bikini season is right around the corner! So it’s time to dust off those Nikes, put down the cupcakes and pick up some weights. In preparation for my trip to Ibiza (hello nude beaches!) I’ve decided to start a 30 day fitness challenge to a rock hard bikini bod.

Before I get into the specifics, let me just say that taking on a fitness challenge is sure to fail if you don’t have a well outlined plan with specific and, most importantly, realistic goals.  Girls, I know stepping on a scale can be traumatizing so here’s some good news. Throw out the scales! The numbers on a scale don’t mean much here- we’re looking for specific measurements of progress: circumferential measurements. Measure your arm, waist, hip and thigh circumference once a week- on the same day and time each week! This is by far the best way to track your progress.

 

Starting Point:

Weight: 64 kg, Height: 177 cm

BMI: 20.4 kg/m2

Biceps: 26 cm

Waist: 67 cm

Hips: 88 cm

Thighs: 52 cm

 

Workout Plan

Weight training is a MUST if you want to build muscle, increase you BMR and burn fat. The fact is that most girls are scared of weights because they think they’ll end up looking like Arnold. This is FALSE. Weight training will give you definition and toning; and because of our low testosterone levels, looking like Sylvester Stallone is virtually impossible.

 

I will be doing high intensity weight training workouts 3 times per week with 3 days of cardio in between and 1 day of rest.  My workouts are mostly Cross Fit based using a combination of kettle bells, dumbbells, weighted bags and TRX. Follow the link to videos of some of my favorite exercises:

CrossFit Exercises

To increase the effort in your workouts follow each set with a 1.5 min fast walk on an incline (incline of 5 on a treadmill at least). This walk is your break- so use this time to drink some water and prepare for the next set.

Running, swimming or any activities that get your heart rate up are acceptable for the cardio days. I prefer to run on a treadmill for 45 min to an hour and aim to cover at least 7 km each run.

 

DIET

Putting in the hours at the gym is essential but it’s your diet that will make or break you.  I’ve had a lot of success with the Lean Gains diet in the past and I think it is the perfect counterpart to this fitness challenge. Lean Gains is all about maximizing your body’s ability to burn its own fat, You do this by altering the release of metabolic hormones, by breaking up your day into 2 zones: the fasting and feeding zones. You can check out the diet here:

Lean Gains

 

Fasting zone (16 hours)

This part is easy. Just don’t eat for 16 hours! It might take some getting used to, but I suggest including the time spent sleeping in the fasting zone. When you fast your body releases less insulin and this causes an increase in growth hormone. More growth hormone= more fat burned. You can NOT eat during this time but make sure to drink plenty of water! Coffee and tea (no milk or sugar) are also allowed.

 

Feeding zone (8 hours)

You are allotted 8 hours in the day for eating. You can eat anytime within those 8 hours and are generally encouraged to eat a pretty large amount of food. Below I’ll give an example of a typical diet I consume. It’s very important to maintain the feeding and fasting zones to maximize your body’s metabolism! Choosing the times you want to use for your zones completely depends on your lifestyle, so pick something that works for you!

Unfortunately, alcohol is not a feature of this plan.  Unless you’re living the dream and day drinking, alcohol and partying will probably land in your fasting zone anyways. Nobody said this was going to be easy…

 

Sample diet:

Fasting zone: 6 pm – 10 am

Feeding zone: 10 am- 6 pm

 

Non-training day (1740 kcal)

  1. 150 g turkey breast + 50g brown rice + 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
  3. 4 whole eggs + 2 egg whites + 2 rice cakes
  4. 1 protein shake

 

Training day (2150 kcal)

  1. 150 g turkey breast + 50 g brown rice + 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 300 mL plain yogurt + 100g cottage cheese + 100 g granola with dried fruit
  3. 6 whole eggs + 3 rice cakes
  4. 2 protein shakes

 

Vegetables are unlimited and can be eaten in any amounts during the feeding zone. Also make sure to stay hydrated! I aim to drink 3 L of water a day.

Well there you have it! Wish me luck and check in regularly as I’ll be posting progress updates.

See you at the beach!

DTP: Eat Clean, Train Dirty

Check out my original post explaining the DTP program first!

After 4 intense weeks I finally finished the DTP program. It was very different from my previous routine but I loved it! I gained muscle and lost fat resulting in

 I started the program at 178lbs and ended at 184lbs. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to calculate my body fat % at the beginning of the program, however, a few days after I finished (post 2 nights of drinking and binge eating!) I ended with 12.5% body fat. I did stick to every workout, and my diet was generally healthy. That being said, there were one or two nights out with alcohol and a couple cheat meals. I was impressed with my results and I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who has either hit a plateau or just wants a fresh change.

 

What I liked about the program:

  • The workouts were short but very intense
  • I could see improvements after each week (increasing weights for exercises)
  • Very simple to follow, and minimal equipment was required
  • Foam rolling significantly improved my legs, specifically calf definition which has always been a problem for me
  • Leg day was my favourite day, just because I have never pushed myself that hard even when I was doing squats
What I didn’t like about the program
There wasn’t anything truly negative about the program. Certain aspects of the program take time to adjust to; you have to be accommodating if you want to follow the program strictly.
For example:
  • The cardio sessions significantly increased my appetite, I woke up and ate 1 or 2 times in the middle of the night almost every night. This got a little annoying…
  • I don’t like going to the gym just for 20 minutes of cardio and not lifting weights, I felt like I could do so much more since I was already there but I didn’t
  • Chest and back on the same day, I did see results in the end, but I am stubborn and will return to splitting them
Soreness:
The day after each workout the specific muscle groups were very sore, the exercises really isolated each muscle group which was fantastic. My legs were constantly sore for the 4 weeks because of the cardio on rest days. No joke, it was a struggle to get out of bed a few times.
The mental aspect:
The absolute requirement for this program is a hard work ethic. This might sound cheesy but it’s true. To really gain muscle the last sets and reps count the most. DTP forces you to go to failure every set, at a specific amount of reps. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to drop a weight so badly because my muscles were sore. However, with a specific rep target, I forced myself to that number every time. I know a few years ago if I were to do this, I would have probably called it quits way before hitting that target, which would mean less gains. To be honest, your not working hard enough unless your making some weird faces or letting out a grunt when reaching failure. Why do you think you hear tennis players grunting after each swing; it’s because they are working their asses off.
More specifics for the nerd

Before DTP, I was lifting heavy, with long rest times. DTP is a mix of lifting heavy, with high reps and short rest times. The whole idea behind DTP is to put your body into shock, making it adjust and grow in response to the shock. Let me explain:

Essentially, muscles contain two types of fibers, slow-twitch (Type 1) and fast-twitch (Type 2a + 2b)

Slow-twitch fibers help to sustain your muscles over a long activity period, these provide fatigue resistance. ex. marathon runners.

Fast-twitch fibers generate a high amount of force in a short period of time. ex. sprinters

If like me, you constantly do a high weight and low number of reps with a long break, the primary fibers strained are the fast-twitch fibers. This leaves the slow-twitched fibers unstressed. So why train the slow-twitch fibers? Well, training more muscle fibers means greater overall gains in strength and muscle mass. That is the goal of this program. By increasing the amount of reps, and decreasing the rest time, you start to strain your slow-twitched fibers. This will allow them to grow along side your fast-twitch fibers.

 

Conclusion

Overall I would give this a program a 9/10 rating, just because nothing is perfect. I will definitely be doing this again, but for now it’s time to get cutting, Ibiza in 3 weeks!

Happy hulking!

 

 

 

 

Dramatic Transformation Principle

Ok boys and girls, this is my first post so I hope you like it. After months of going back and forth, sharing progress reports, photos, and ridiculous conversations, Bear has convinced me to make a blog post. Time to put aside the med school text books and hit the world of blogging.

This is only about half of them.

Anyway, over the past couple of years I have never followed a strict routine at the gym. I added in exercises here and there, made some adjustments and did what I thought worked best for my body. My diet has been relatively healthy and stable even with the limited time I have in school. Until recently, this satisfied me, but after time everyone hits a plateau, I have reached mine. So I figured it was time to try something I read about during the summer, the Dramatic Transformation Principle. In short, this 4 week program is a combination of high reps and high weights. There are 4 days of weight lifting each week, with a cardio day separating each of those days. You have to leave your ego at the door, no more maxing your bench press, sorry dudes.

  • Day 1: Legs, Upper Abs
  • Day 2: Cardio
  • Day 3: Chest, Back
  • Day 4: Cardio
  • Day 5: Arms, Lower Abs
  • Day 6: Cardio
  • Day 7: Shoulders, Upper Traps

 

I wont describe that many more details of the actual program because the link I provided has everything you need to know about it.

As of right now, I weigh approximately 178lbs, max bench press (with the bar): 245lbs, incline bench (dumbbell total): 220lbs, squat: 265lbs. Deadlift: Not sure sure since I have never gone for a max.

Currently, I just finished day 2/28. Day 1 was a total of 360 reps of leg press, 220 reps of calf press, and decline crunches

It’s pretty tough to pick a good weight to start with because of the amount of reps you are doing, and the superset with calf press, but you get the hang of it quickly. The point is to end each set to failure with 45sec to 1.5 min breaks. The work out takes about 45 minutes to complete.

  • Leg Press 10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 reps
Today was day 2/28. It was weird going to the gym and not lifting a weight but I want to follow this program as closely as possible. The program suggests different forms to complete the cardio and I chose the treadmill.
3 minutes jogging, then 1 minute of running for a total of 20 minutes.
I started my 3 minute jog at 10km/h, and my 1 minute sprint at 14 km/h. I worked myself up to a 14km/h jog and 18km/h run for the last 2 cycles. I always put the treadmill on an incline of 1 just to make it a little more realistic to running on flat ground.
As of now, my legs are still sore, but I can’t wait for tomorrow, chest and back day!

 

In terms of diet, I am trying to eat as healthy as possible. Of course there are going to be some slip ups for those nights out, or going to restaurants; but for the most part it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
For this 4 week program I will be on whey protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s and using 1MR for my pre-workout.
Supplements

Well, it’s time to finish cooking up this week’s meals and then get back to the books. Stay tuned, results of the DTP challenge will be posted in 4 weeks time! Happy Hulking!

The Truth About Eggs

Mass March is less than a week away and I plan on eating half a dozen eggs a day, yes yolks included. Am I putting myself on the fast-track for high cholesterol? Is a heart attack imminent? I’ve decided to shed light on the ever-controversial issue of egg yolks and cholesterol.

4 yolk omelette

Since my days of undergrad (2007), I have eaten, almost without fail, 3 hard-boiled eggs a day, yolks included. That adds up to a total of 6,570 egg yolks and a whopping 1,314,000mg of dietary cholesterol in 6 years. Upon departing to Europe for my masters program, I took the liberty of getting a thorough check-up including full blood work, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and yes, the ‘cough’ test. Everything checked out nicely, in fact the doctor complimented me on my overall health (apparently milk thistle and greens multi+ does well to combat the after-effects of alcohol, but more on that in a separate post).

So, what gives?

We’ll start with a brief background of eggs.

Since the dawn of mankind, eggs have been a powerhouse of nutrition. They have long been characterized as one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, along with quality protein they also provide an array of vitamins and lutein, choline, and iodine–to name a few of their nutrients, all found in the yolk.

From the Journal of the American College of Nutrition

Table 2.

RDA of Major Nutrients from Two Large Eggs

Nutrient

% Daily Value

Nutrient

% Daily Value

Food Energy

6%

Protein

20%

Riboflavin

30%

Folate

12%

Vitamin B12

16%

Vitamin K

62%

Vitamin D

12%

Iron

8%

Vitamin A

12%

Phosphorous

16%

Vitamin E

6%

Selenium

34%

Vitamin B6

8%

Zinc

8%

 

Suddenly, their image took a nosedive as studies in the 1970s revealed high levels of cholesterol in eggs, spurring trends like egg whites and egg substitutes. More recent studies in this decade, however, have shown to bring clarity to the situation. From  my research, their was one recurring theme disproving the unhealthy reputation of eggs and high cholesterol:

 

Dietary cholesterol DOES NOT have a significant impact on blood cholesterol levels or heart health.*

 

*trans fats, some saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, are proven culprits

 

So, what exactly is significant? The impact of dietary cholesterol in eggs on plasma lipid levels (including blood cholesterol) is so minimal that, especially for healthy individuals, I would go as far to call it negligent.

From a 2000 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition:

“Research has not established a significant independent relationship between dietary cholesterol and LDL or total serum cholesterol levels, incidence of heart disease or heart disease deaths. Furthermore, data fail to show a relationship between egg consumption and either serum cholesterol levels or heart disease incidence. Recent research using an endpoint of heart disease and stroke rather than serum cholesterol levels calls into question the need to limit a high cholesterol food like eggs. In their analysis of data from prospective epidemiological studies, Hu et al. [5] found that consumption of up to one egg a day was not related to heart disease or stroke risk.”

A more recent study in 2006 in the Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care by Maria Fernandez brings further clarity to the situation. The study was conducted on a ‘healthy population,’ measuring the effects of dietary cholesterol and found 30% to be affected (hyperresponders) and 70% to be unaffected (hyporesponders). For the hyperresponder, dietary cholesterol increased the concentration of both LDL and HDL cholesterol, therefore nullifying any harmful effects*. The hyporesponders experienced little to no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations, even when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol.

A word from Deep Dan (BSc in Human Biology):

Another key point in the Fernandez article:  “Egg intake has been shown to promote the formation of large LDL, in addition to shifting individuals from the LDL pattern B to pattern A, which is less atherogenic.” In other words, Pattern B is small LDL which can easily pass through the endolethium and cause much more problems. Pattern A means LDL particles aren’t passing through easily and therefore posing almost no problems to an individuals cholesterol.

 

* HDL (High density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the good guy and acts to get rid of the bad guy, LDL (Low density lipoprotein)  cholesterol  by binding to it and returning it from the bloodstream to the liver.  Therefore, high HDL and low LDL is ideal. In the case of hyperresponders, both levels are increased, but LDL is prevented from inflicting harm because it is equally matched with HDL.  


The study concludes:

 “For these reasons, dietary recommendations aimed at restricting egg consumption should not be generalized to include all individuals. We need to acknowledge that diverse healthy populations experience no risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet.”

 

And now to a bit of an extreme case…

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine depicts an 88 year old man who has consumed a staggering 25 eggs a day for at least 15 years–soft boiled, yolks and all. The kicker? The patients plasma lipid levels* were COMPLETELY normal.

In no way am I endorsing a 25 egg-a-day diet, but it definitely provides an emphatic counter-perspective to the old 3 eggs a week guideline of the 80s.

*total cholesterol, 5.18 mmol per liter (200 mg per deciliter); LDL, 3.68 mmol per liter (142 mg per deciliter); and HDL, 1.17 mmol per liter (45 mg per deciliter). The ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol was 3.15

_____________________________________________________

Well yolks, there you have it. The tastiest and most nutrient dense part of the egg isn’t going to kill you after all.

If you’re leading a healthy, active lifestyle, like almost all readers are, then quit buying those egg white substitutes and get cracking with the real thing. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle-building, or just plain healthy eating, best to put yolks back on the menu.

Eggs!

 

 
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Olympic Training Update

I’m halfway through my “Training Like an Olympian” challenge, with one more week to go. I have to admit, it’s gruelling and, at times, even painful–but it’s strangely addicting. It’s a different kind of hard work, but one which is very satisfying and productive. It’s been tough to balance everything, especially meals, which must be consumed in large quantities and frequently. I am loving the meals I’ve been making though, healthy and hearty to keep me fuelled through the day’s various workouts.

Breakfast consisting of hardboiled eggs, lentils, spinach, hashbrowns, bacon, and an english muffin with fried egg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner consisting of spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken breast, spinach, and chocolate milk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be honest, I’ve had to take a couple maintenance days, including a nice relaxing weekend on the lake. I came out a little Gung Ho at the start, fired up by the Olympic fever and the great montages that come with it. I had to pump the brakes after my body was screaming mercy and injury seemed imminent. Listening to your body is key, especially when you’re not used to working out for 4+ hours a day. If I’m feeling good I’ll do a gym and track workout, otherwise I’ll only do one.

Trying to keep up on the squat rack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sprints on the track, working on that explosive start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stride needs some work, timed trials to be done this week

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After speaking with actual high calibre athletes and trainers, there is one thing which can and must be done the most: Foam Rolling. It hurts like hell, but is absolutely crucial to keep muscles limber and to speed-up recovery. They perform what is called Myofascial Release, which lengthens the connective tissue between muscles, bones, and nerves/blood vessels. The result is increased flexibility, range of motion, and circulation/blood flow. Sounds pretty good? It is, but not without a considerable amount of pain. Good pain, that is.

I roll for about 30 minutes a day, while watching Olympics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus: Who is the hottest woman on the track?

Another great draw of the Olympics is the phenomenal bodies that grace the games. I’m torn between two of the most gorgeous women to step foot on the track: Lolo Jones and Jessica Ennis. Lolo has always been my number 1, but there’s just something so appealing about a chick who breaks records, wins gold, and, like Ennis, looks great in the process.

[poll id=”2″]

Lolo Jones

 

Jessica Ennis

Challenge: Training Like an Olympian

Canada flag-bearer Simon Whitfield

 

Let’s be honest, we’re all fired up about the London 2012 Olympics. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Olympics; it truly is the most monumental event for the whole world to behold. I see it as a corner stone of human civilization, as it brings all of the planet’s countries together to compete in various acts of human sport and competition. It is a symbol of peace, patriotism but also human spirit and potential.

In wake of these Olympics and to pay my respect for all the incredible athletes, I am going to attempt to train and live like an Olympic athlete for the duration of the games (until Sunday August, 2012).

Here is an example of British sprinter Christian Malcolm’s daily regiment (taken from MensHealth.com)

8am Wake up

8.15am Supplements. A glass of greens and a protein shake, along with a few Brazil nuts

8.30am Breakfast. A bowl of porridge plus bacon, spinach, onions and tomatoes cooked together. Peppermint tea.

Training tip A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found a small dose of inorganic nitrate, abundant in spinach, improves the efficiency of the mitochondria in your cells, which means your muscles require less oxygen and can work harder for longer.

10.30am-12pm Morning training. 45 minutes of warm-up drills. Over 60 metres do high-knee runs, A skipsB skips and ankle work. This is to ensure the mechanics of your movement is perfect. Then it’s on to the main session…

1. Sprints

Sprint 30 metres as fast as you can. Rest for two minutes.
Sprint for 40 metres as fast as you can. Rest for two minutes
Sprint for 50 metres as fast as you can. That’s one set. Rest for three minutes then do four more.

Training tip Life might be a marathon not a sprint, but to boost your longevity, favour 26 metres over 26 miles. New research from Denmark found it’s intensity rather than duration of exercise that adds the biggest chunk of time to your lifespan: intense cyclists add 5.3 years more than gentle pedallers.

2. Overhead shot throws

Grab a medicine ball (or a 7kg shot-put, if you have one handy) and do five overhead throws backwards. Then five forwards. Then five backwards with a hop. Then five forwards with a hop.

12.05pm Post-workout super shake, containing protein, nuts, spinach, flaxseed, blueberries, blackberries, banana, almond butter and a dash of coconut oil.

Training tip A recent study published in the journal Diabetes found adding coconut oil to your diet helps to protect against insulin resistance and thus lowers your risk of gaining weight and developing diabetes.

1pm Lunch. Chicken with rice, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, peppers and beans.

2pm-4pm Gym session. Cleans, single leg cleans, bench presses, single leg squats – lots of compound moves, working on explosive power, rather than building muscle mass: 12 sets of 2-3 reps. Taking on amino acids mixed with a scoop of liquid carbs and electrolytes throughout.

Training tip “Taking branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) during training you increase the release of anabolic (regenerative) hormones and reduce the amount of catabolic (degenerative) hormones,” says personal trainer Phil Learney.

4.05pm Down another super shake.

4.30pm Massage or a hot bath with Epsom salts.

5pm Afternoon snack. Handful of Brazil nuts and walnuts.

Training tip Researchers at the American Chemical Society recently discovered walnuts contain almost double the amount of antioxidants of any other nut.

7.30pm Dinner. Steak with rice and salad.

Training tip Choose brown rice over white to fortify your ticker. It contains components which combat the endocrine protein Angiotensin II, responsible for encouraging the hardening of arteries and high blood pressure, according to recent research from the Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Physiology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, USA.

9pm Before bed protein shake. Whey protein with almonds and Brazil nuts.

10-11pm Bedtime. Nine or 10 hours kip is the minimum required for proper recovery.

 

 As much as I’d like to tell myself I could do that, there’s no possible way I can safely jump into such a routine. These are world-class athletes who have spent a lifetime working themselves to such an elite level. I want to push myself, but avoid injury, so I have customized my own daily regiment as follows:

 

6am: Wake-up

6:15am: Supplement Shake (Greens, Protein Powder, Hemp Seeds)

6:30-7:30am: Bike to Track Oval for Sprinting Training

Lolo Jones = Further Motivation

10 minute cycle
15 minute warm-up
30 minute sprints (30, 40, 50m)
15 minute cool-down cycle

Ice Shower

8:00am: Breakfast (4 eggs, spinach, lentils, green tea)

9:00am-5:00pm I will be at work, however will supplement several meals throughout the day

11:00am: Super Shake (Protein, almond butter, flaxseed, spinach, banana, blueberries, coconut oil)

2:00pm: Lunch (Chicken pasta salad with peppers, onions, and beans)

4:00pm: Super Shake, round 2

5:00pm: Pre-Workout Drink (Rivalus Complex 5)

6:00pm-8:00pm: Gym Session

Cleans
Squats
Box Jumps
Benchpress
Plyo-Pushups
Pull-Ups
Single-leg Deadlifts

8:30pm: Protein Shake, Ice Bath

9:00pm: Dinner (Steak, quinoa, salad, milk)

10:00pm: Foam Rolling, Recovery, Reading

11:00pm: Bed (full 7 hours rest, but with a little luck, I’ll sneak in a power nap at work)

 

The Olympic Games a true test of human spirit, I will attempt to spend 2 weeks like these incredible Olympians spend decades of their lives. Of course, I will still give myself a little bit of “Usain Bolt” leeway on the weekends (see: Partying to Keep your Mind at Ease).

 

2 weeks of Olympic calibre training, can I hack it?

Summer Foods

Bruce Lee never had a problem with the ladies.
We’ve talked a lot about training and lifestyle over the past few months, so it’s only fitting we do a piece on eating, to keep things balanced. With summer upon us, everyone’s looking for that quick fix diet to get a flat stomach. Let’s be honest, unless you want be like Steve Jobs and do some crazy one week fast; extreme fat loss diets are a little impractical and often dangerous. Instead, what I’ve often practiced, is the addition of certain food items to your normal eating regiment. Once you introduce these items, you’ll have to remove others, so make sure they are the least healthy ones (processed foods, fried foods, and desserts should be the first to get the summer ax).

 

I’ve been on the quest to search for FIVE foods which will benefit the summer lifestyle through promoting fat loss, increasing energy, and keeping you healthy and awesome. I had some trouble finding what I was looking for on the net, so I consulted with my friend Marcus Sidhu, who specializes in rapid-fat loss and is much more well versed in the field of nutrition.

 

Here’s Marcus with the FIVE foods you should be eating this summer:

 

1. Fish Oil – Omega-3’s are an amazing fat burning tool, they turn on lipolytic genes and turn off lipogenic genes. Lipolytic genes are fat burning genes and lipogenic genes are fat storing genes! With fish oil quality definitely matters, don’t get the cheap stuff!

 

2. Meat – Especially for breakfast. Meat at your first meal will boost important neurotransmitters like dopamine and acetylcholine. These two guys give you ‘drive’ and energy for the entire day!

 

3. Nuts – Preferably raw and unsalted. Nuts are a great source of smart fats that will keep you feeling full and also boost important neurotransmitters. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans to name a few, however don’t go crazy because too many can limit fat loss!

 

4. Green Veggies – Green vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals. They also help to alkalize the body (opposite of toxic) and keep you feeling full! An acidic body will not let go of body fat, get your veggies in!

 

5. Coffee – I know this isn’t a food but it can really help your fat loss efforts. Grind it fresh right before you drink it and make sure it’s organic because it’s the #2 most sprayed crop in the world (next to strawberries). Its best to drink it black but if you must add something make it stevia (natural sweetener) or cream.

[Bear – If you’re like me, and don’t drink coffee, then green tea will also do the trick in boosting your metabolism]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Marcus at www.marcussidhu.com or on twitter @MarcusSidhu