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A Talent or A Pay Off?

Now, before I divulge into what may seem a massive ego trip, the past two years I have been able to go against the grain of traditional marathon/ half marathon training and have managed to get some respectable times. The 1st year was when I completed the 2015 stafford half marathon in 1 hour 31 mins, with my maximum end distance ran being 8 miles and then this year I managed 1 hour 30 minutes, with the maximum distance being ran is 6 miles...Go Figure!?! So, not only having completed it in that 90 minute window I was able to knock a minute off last years time...now, if i said i didn't prepare that would be a lie, true I did not prepare traditionally but we do forget that I am an individual who is not new to this game (not an expert) and have a degree of training maturity. Therefore, I have done running long enough (at least since the age of 14) that I have an adequate level of fitness to draw upon. I knew leading up to the event I had last years half marathon, and two marathons under my belt, one of which was the stoke marathon (king of hill training). Also, making a concious effort to not use elevators and instead the stairs (as silly as it sounds) will help maintain that base level fitness, anything that raises the heart rate and leaves you a little breathless will help in maintaining this. That is two factors that can strongly contribute to the abnormal result, 1. training maturity and 2. trying to keep as active as possible whilst at work. 

This leaves the final factor of the 6 miles max running I completed/ managed to fit in. And it is a simple matter of variation in the running completed between continuous and interval training. More often than none the focus of the continuous runs were around the 3 mile mark focusing on a set tempo, looking at the 6 minute per mile pace mark. Regards any interval training, thanks to a client I used 1 mile sprints and half a mile active rest, one the best recommendations I have had and no doubt saved me come race day. Therefore, a lot of my preparation, despite being minmalistic was based around sustaining the fast tempo and working anaerobically for prolonged periods. 

 

 

Ima Gonna get a real job...INIT!

 so as im sure some of you are aware I have gone for a little bit of a career change. I am currently in the process of becoming a Sports Lecturer, and boy has this been one of the tougher challenges of my life. Not because, of the academics or having to write at a masters level, or even having had a 3 year break from study. The big wake up call has been because of organisation. Now I honestly thought that I was organised, i would turn up to the gym with training plans ready to be given/ delivered and that was great. Teaching you need to a level of organisation which I like to refer to as "super organised". Super organised is best described as the never ending juggling act, that if you let one ball drop you have to get that other ball going without the other two dropping...a near enough impossible task. With this experience i can really begin to appreciate not just teachers as a whole but those with very limited time to train because of jobs such as these. Therefore, here are some tips for those who are desperate for results in the gym but have that juggling act.

 

The Art of Organisation

  1. Get a Diary - more common sense than anything else but make notes of where you have to be for what time. This will provide you with the structure of the day and you can begin to see patterns emerge in your weeks of where you have a free 30 minutes or hour.
  2. To Do list- The dreaded to do list. Prioritise this list with most important to least important. This will aid in managing stress also as you are not leaving the important deadlines to last minute. The more stress you the less likely you are to progress in the gym. Also, less sleep = more stress hormone > piss poor performance.
  3. Procrastination- You have the structure of the day/ week and now you have them all prioritised. Dont mess around now just get the work done. Set yourself some time away from everything to get the work set done. As soon as the work is done the sooner you can go to the gym for that all important 30 minutes or hour. 
  4. Don't Flap - This is the best advice I can give and does link to the 3. The more you flap about the amount of work you do and less time you actually spend chipping away at it the less likely you are to get it done! Don't start flapping like a headless chicken thinking "OMG, how am i going to do it all, OMG I cant do it". Next thing you know you have spent 3 hours and you are no further forward. Just keep your head screwed on, and continue being productive.

Four simple tips for you to consider, and to help maintaining an organised lifestyle, which will enable you to keep the gym in your life. 

 

For more training and diet advice please email me at dave@bensonpersonltrainer.co.uk

5 Steps for Effective Recovery

All those reading these 5 steps to effective recovery should all know the importantce of recovery. Recovery is the element that allows our bodies to adapt, get stronger and more efficient for the specific tasks we are carrying out. Today, as some of you may know, I have just ran my best marathon time of 3 hours 45 minutes, and now I need to ensure that I recover so I can carry on with every day life and so im ready to enter another phase of training injury free. 

 

Before, I begin to list the 5 steps for effective recovery I will state that you MUST engage and complete adequate training. If you assume you are going to enter an event that you have done no preparation for unscaved, then you will have a rude awakening. What I mean is if you do prepare you are going to minimalise the amount of damage. So before you embark on entering events such as marathon, do make sure training is undertaken as this will significantly reduce the side effects and make the 5 steps all that more effective. Here are the 5 steps;

 

  1. MOVEMENT - Movement will aid in the recovery for any activity. Movement will enable a supply of blood flow to the damaged areas. With this increase in blood flow and supply of blood tissue repair can take place. 
  2. FLUIDS - Rehydrating after a sporting event or an intense training session is crucial. This is because, of the strain it can put on the body. Weigh yourself before and after your workout to find out how much water you have lost. For every 0.5kg of body weight lost replace it with 500ml of water. This will help get rid of any unneccessary toxins in the body and also prevent muscle cramps, dizziness and fatigue. Also, drinking 50% more fluid than you lost in sweat will enhance your recovery from dehydration. Human Kinetics suggests that if you are significantly dehdrated and need to recover within a 12 hour window then you need to be more aggressive with you rehydration program. If this is the case Human Kinetics suggests sprinkling a little extra salt on your post workout meal to replace sodium losses through sweat. 
  3. FUEL REPLENISHMENT - Fuel replenishment should occur immediately after your workout or training session. The macronutrients that should be taken into consideration and carbohydartes (fuel) and protein (repair). The ratios of these two are 2:1 carbohydrates to protein. Both aid each other in the recovery process, however, carbohydrates play a massive role in recovery. Carbohydrates not only help replinish the depleted the muscle glycogen (chemical form of carbohydrates) but also stimulate protein sysnthesis. Protein synthesis is simply the synthesis of new muscle proteins. This process occurs to the production of insulin, an anabolic hormone which supports the repair and creation of soft tissue (muscle). This is produced through the high glycemic index carbohydrates entering the blood stream and entering quickly (must be of a high glycemic index). 
  4. HOT BATH - This is a great opportunity to loosen up and wind down after a tough event or training session. The Hot bath will not only loosen you up and relax you but will aid in recovery due to the increase flush of nutrients around the body due to the hot water. It is this step that will set you up for the final step and complete your perfect recovery.
  5. SLEEP -  Sleep is my favourite part and probably the most important part of recovering effectively. You have just put your body through hell and now it needs time to relax and rest. Sleep is your answer once you followed those first 4 steps. Without adequate sleep there is a hormone called cortisol (stress hormone) present and with this present it makes any sort of glycogen replenishment or recovery impossible, simply because your body wants and needs that energy. Sleep is now needed to allow energy to be restored. The simple hard fact is NO SLEEP, NO BETTER. Sleeping is the last piece of the puzzle bringing those first 4 steps together, if you are serious about training make sure you are getting those crucial 8 hours in bed. 

 

 

Coconut Oil the Tropical Inferno

Leading on from  eat fat to loose fat article we have taken the liberty to recommend a great source of SATURATED (please bare with me whilst I explain) fat which help reduce that stubborn belly fat. The source I am talking about is coconut oil particularly extra virgin coconut oil. 

First of all lets begin with what fat is. Fat is in an energy source, similar to that of protein and carbohydrates. However, fat is metabolised differenty breaking down into fatty acids. There are 3 different chains of fatty acids short, medium, long and fatty acids. All three have their own differences of where they are produced and broken down. However, the chain of fatty acid we want to pay attention to is the medium chain fatty acid. The medium chain fatty acid is not present in the body and must be consumed (coconut oil), once absorbed these medium chain fatty acids are sent to the liver. Once sent to the liver these medium chain fatty acids are used to generate energy, it is this generation of energy that causes your metabolism to speed up. 

In turn please dont go away from reading this that coconut oil will speed up your metabolism and you begin only eatting cocnut oil it doesn't work like that! All you need is 30 grams a day to go with your cooking. Not only will your food smell great, you will boost your metabolism, and it will also boost immune function! 

 

 

Eat Fat to Loose Fat

Loosing weight is a tough and often demoralising game we all play at some point in our lives. In many cases when we do try and loose weight we end up putting more on!

It is important you understand that nutrition is the key. If you are not eatting correctly i.e. consuming too many sugary or saturated fat products you are likely to put weight/ fat on. In the same instance though, if you start to drastically cut calories, yes you will have an intial loss in weight! but then it will come to a stand still. At this point your body will begin to shut down, and go into survival mode. In survival mode fat WILL be stored, so you will go from skinny with no muscle to skubby (skinny chubby). Then you are in the predicament of having to get out of this survival mode which does mean having to consume more than 1000-1500 calories you have been on, and you WILL put all of the weight AND more back on! However, calories is a matter I will discuss in another blog post. 

The matter I want to address is when people start a weight/fat loss plan and they think they need to cut out fat. Granted if you have done your reading and research you will know that fat contains 9 calories per gram and you are on a weight/ fat loss kick the automatic response is EAT NO FAT GAIN NO FAT. However, this is WRONG, a moderate amount of healthy fatty acids which will help keep your hormonal production where it needs to be. Therefore, assisting in weight/fat loss by nulling cravings thanks to the production of leptin. Furthermore, with the consumption of unsaturated fats will reduce inflamation and help maintain a healthy immune system preventing such diseases like cardiovascular disease.

So, if you are looking to loose weight/fat do not cut out fat all together. Be mindful of what fat you do consume. Be sure to consume more unsaturated fats rather than saturated fats. Try to add nuts, seeds, extra virgin olive oil and so on into your diet.  

 

Picture 1.Coconut/Oil/Milk a great source of essential fats.

Turn of the Century

Today marks the start of the new blog...

 

Please comment on what subject areas you would like to be covered...

 

ENJOY!

 

 

LEGACY

                     

LEGACY - something that comes from the past or a person of the past.

2015 is going great so far! everything I have set my self to do. I think this is un heard off with my track record. Question is what has bought this miraculous change on?

 

Those of you who know me well im very family orientated and cant wait for the day I can start my own family. One thing that I always remember is when my grandma told me about my dad and when he use to compete in judo tornaments. Apart from my grandma telling the stories fantastically (magical with words) I just remember thinking my dad is basically a super hero! And still till this day when i see my grandma I always ask about what dad was like when he was younger. This provokes the thought of what would be the stories that myself and Sarah can tell our children. So when i enter these events or carry out a set goal I do start to think what am I going to be remembered best for? what legacy do i leave behind? I know what i dont want to be remembered for, quitting, not living to my full potential, all talk no walk.

 

This thought of what my legacy is, has possibly only developed as I have been in a position where the future has been explored. As far as sporting performance and any goals I have set myself, the idea of what legacy I do leave behind has been a massive motivator for me to really go the extra mile. So before you set goals, or if you have set goals, just take sometime to think, what do you believe you will be remmebered for? what legacy will you leave behind? 

 

 

The Beginning!

The Journey

So yesterday was no joke, the amount of times I actually contemplated not doing yesterday or just waiting till the next competition.

But despite all of that contemplation, all the negative shit going through my head, I knew I needed to go through with tomorrow. So I did I drove for 3+ hours to the competition thinking to myself WHAT AM I DOING, but I knew within myself I NEEDED TO DO THIS, so i drove for 3+ hours. 

The car journey there was fine, I was chatting to my loving girlfriend Sarah, who out of her own kindness escorted me to venue. But as soon as I entered that arena, I think Sarah will agree, nerves hit me like a ton of bricks, I just shut up.

Weighing In - too light or too heavy

The daunting fact of the matter is that I was here and it was here that I would FINALLY be back to competing. I went into weigh in and register (weighing in at 68.5kg, October 2014 I weighed 77kg) into the U73kgs, and the gentlemen behind the counter pulled a face at my weight going "im going to have to put you up a weight class".

His facial expression probably representing my own anxietys as I knew unfortunate situation I was in. However, despite a 3+ hour drive, despite weighing light in that particular class I did have a great time, I was back competing in judo and I think what made it more special is the fact I had Sarah there to watch in on me competing and I honestly can say (seriously) I would not have completed the day with out her. 

If we move away from being soppy for a second, and to the actual result. Im a mixture of happy and unhappy. Im happy by the fact, I have competed and I have taken the most important steps to getting back into competition. I now have my bench mark and Ican start to make goals and formulate a plan of action ready for september.

Consistency is key 

However, I hate loosing more than I like winning, I was GUTTED to have lost and more to the fact to loose in front of Sarah. I lost both of my fights, and it was crushing, its this feeling which is motivating me to train harder, and more consistently. Moving on from this weekend I am now just striving, im striving and working non-stop for what I want. It's clear I have the support and resources I need to do this, all I need to do is put the work in and stay mentally strong. WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!

 

A Snippet of me fighting at the Weekend. Just click the link to have a look U73kgs N.H.C Senior Open.

I was ready to pick the easy option

The great transformation of 2015 refers to not just the physical adaptations and the fact I look more aesthetically pleasing, lost weight, but also the mental transformation.

See when you get back into a sport like judo, people will say well you need to possess these qualities and need to be able to do this. Next thing you know you have a list the size of yourself and you are on your way out the door because you just don’t have the time and you are looking for the easy option.

I was ready to pick the easy option !

It would have been easy for me to say you know what its been 4 years since I have done judo, I’m past my prime, lets stick with the body building because I can work that around my clients and its much easier for me to do from a time constraint perspective.

"I will just take this time out now to say body building is not an easy sport by any stretch of the imagination. The degree of organisation that actually goes into trying to bulk or cut is for nominal. My experiences of bodybuilding are what I believe have helped with my come back to judo."

But I couldn't ignore that something was pulling me back to it, the more I watched on youtube, and spoke to my dad and others about my potential the more attracted to come back I was and I was adamant to have one last stab at establishing a decent competitive career. Come early October 2014 I applied the fuck it principle and I was back training. Obviously, this after a few diminishing attempts early on in 2014 and raging to everyone OMG OMG I’m back at judo. The difference now instead of gobbing about it all the time I apply a much more conservative approach about it and tell those who ask.

Time to Challange Myself

As we resume training some old habits and training regimes have to broken down and got rid of (this has been a challenge in it self). Instead of having to do a 3 day/ 4 day/ 5 day split of different muscle groups I needed to be incorporating more cardiovascular training, muscular endurance training and power work. However, habits die hard but I needed to get a grip and realise if I’m actually going to give my judo the best chance I had to change my approach and mindset to training.

A look inside my own Training Schedule

This a rough outline of what an average training week is at the moment. Obviously a few sessions here and there have been missed. Also, on the Tuesday evening there will be another judo session added in. However, the commitment to the change has had to be there in order to get back into competitive shape and most importantly back into my weight class (urgh!)

 

2015 so far!

 

   

 

As   we near to the middle of the year, it comes aparrent 1. ive been quiet 2. a lot has changed 3. big things are still yet to happen. So starting 2015 i had set myself the goal of getting back into my judo and i have done, for the past 6 months i have been training judo on and off and im not far off my first competition in 4 years!!! training for judo has brought on its own changes. Im so very close to weighing my old fighting weight (dubious about if i will be fighting in that weight come the weigh in), and my abs are popping through everywhere! So from doing bodybuilding and weighhing up to 13 stone and being able to squat, what would seem to be the earth to some people, to now currently weighing 68/69kg (10 stone 10/11lbs) im now back to looking like what i did when i begun at LS Fitness (LS Health Club).

The interesting idea behind all of this, is that i have done a complete circle in the past 3 years. As im sure some of you are aware my time at LS health club is quickly coming to end as i embark on a new journey to university (dont panic you can still purchase plans and get hold of me) which is a change i did not see coming. Interestingly enough i feel these past 6 months i feel i have grown and matured with a decision to go into lecturing and even with my return to judo. I guess what im trying to say is that 2015 has been a year of realisation and im not 19 years old any more where i can train judo specifically 8 times a week and whatever other training on top. as i have gotten older, desirables have changed and I need to find a balance of training, business (work) and relationship which I believe to have found within these 6 months. 

As I have written this i understand it has been a bit wishy washy and all over the place. However, through these next weeks of blogging and keeping you posted on what training and diet i have done for my judo and yes how i have lost all the weight. But also about not just striving to get fit, be body beautiful but kind of looking at just striking balances, which i feel is something i can appreciate more now these past 6 months.