Thursday, 29 September 2011
It seems with summer around the corner, the smell of flowering Jacaranda trees and the sudden bikini boom in stores, people are in a frantic rush to get healthy and in shape. For some reason winter doesn't call for good well-being and spending the cold days in doors eating Mcdonalds cheeseburgers is perfectly fine.
So let your bodies go, because when spring comes we can find a 'quick fix' or purchase some detox pills over the counter and A for Away. I choose Life.
Detoxing was invented by a bunch of uneducated doctors who couldn't be bothered to explain the true meaning of health and longevity, to anyone who was willing to listen. Detoxing is based on 'junk science' rather than a true understanding of how the body works, and is painfully giving people a false sense of security.
Detox advocates say that the body is under constant violation from toxins and needs to be flushed - here have a prescription for our 'super pill' and follow this diet of a glass of sunflower oil and and an olive pip every 2 hours. Great success. The science behind this is flawed, honestly. I am no doctor but taking biology in high school taught me that the body already has these systems in place. You may know these organs well - the kidney, the liver the gastrointestinal tract?
The liver, this magic little organ, changes the chemical structure of foreign components so they can be filtered out the blood. That's what its there for. If you however choose to contaminate your body with processed foods, fuel injected meats and Mcdonalds chicken nuggets well then you haven't chosen LIFE to start with, you've chosen MEDIOCRE.
Wellness clinics and spa's all over the world are inviting people to spend thousands of Rands to starve themselves in exotic locations. Please. Pay more attention to your body and you wouldn't have to. If you want your body to perform optimally and you want to look amazing for the summer - choose life!
For those who disagree with me entirely and choose average, you may find this diet helpful:
DIET GUARANTEED TO RESULT IN WEIGHT LOSS OF 20 KG WITHIN ONE WEEK
- Breakfast: A cup of weak tea
- Lunch: Prune pip, suck for ten seconds
- Supper: One leg of mossie (baked in the oven), 3ml prune juice – gargle with this
- Breakfast: Baked crumbs from one slice of burnt toast
- Lunch: One Doughnut hole without sugar
- Supper: Read a recipe for roast turkey – That’s all! You may only read it!
- Breakfast: One dove egg boiled
- Lunch: Six Papaya seeds (peeled)
- Supper: Praying Mantis knees and mosquito knuckles marinated in vinegar
- Breakfast: Ten tomato pips
- Lunch: Fresh orange peel (one)
- Supper: Three potato eyes, cut into blocks
- Breakfast: Two crayfish feelers – suck only
- Lunch: One gold fish – lightly fried
- Supper: Soup made stock from a jelly fish bone
- Breakfast: Four chopped banana pips
- Lunch: One cooked butterfly liver
- Supper: One Roasted leg of small insect (half a portion)
- Breakfast: Preserved tongue of sugar bird
- Lunch: Prime rib of one tadpole
- Supper: Roasted leg of grasshopper
Start to arrange funeral
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
I recently spent ten days in my home town, and as this town is built around a platinum mine, numerous panel beaters and a factory that churns out "big tuffs guys" I thought I would take the time off to scope out what the fitness scene is like, and what the local boys and girls do to make things happen physically.
Turns out even when you live 800km from the beach, the beach is still the biggest motivator for the weekend warrior. Most importantly, that you have a set of abs that will ricochet the sun light and blind a blond passer buyer. Abs. It's amazing how people perceive a good rack of abdominals. You can have the legs of a praying mantis yet if that 'six pack' is starring on Broadway all else can fail.
Personally, I'm a bum and backs girl - you can tell a lot about a persons abilities by the appearance of their back. A good back that enhances the V-taper is a sheer sign of actual physical strength, good posture, and great mobility. There is also the insignificant reason for checking out ones back - team steroid - the clusters of acne that develop across the back region are like sign boards for identifying the weak.
Believe me this 'mate' may appear to be big and strong but they are actually just a pair of wet panties.
Many warriors have confirmed the abdominals as a must have. When I question their training techniques and methods for developing their backs and posterior chain, I'm confronted with "You cant see it, so whats the point", yes, that's right, out of sight, out of mind.
Training the back muscles are overlooked today, but the back plays such an important role in life. Not only for the obvious reasons of improved sports performance, strength, power, core stability and athleticism but because the back muscles play such a vital role in all compound lifts. You are never going to reach your lifting potential with a weak back, you are not going to bust out high repetition pull ups, deadlifts or cleans without a strong posterior chain. Your posterior chain is your power zone.
Developing your back, makes you more physically powerful, it will maintain equilibrium and stability for life, not just for your workouts. The back and core are your bodies center of strength. Strong posterior chains improve balance, physical performance and help avoid any unwanted back injuries.
Train your back, its the area that gives you that edge, that GO. Your back muscles facilitate all your pulling movements, and I promise you, that will include your 'chic pulling' too.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
So I got a few minutes with the Temple himself on his thoughts, his training and his methodologies. Sean draws from an extensive background of sport, conditioning and strength training where kettlebells feature dominantly.
What I love about Sean's approach to training styles is that he continues to research and implement his studies. He never assumes to know it all and is always willing and open to new things and to be taught. I personally think his humility is his greatest attribute.
In life when that point comes when you think you know everything or that their is only one way, then you fail as a trainer.
Here's what the Temple had to say:
To the grey man in the street, your profession is based on fitness, conditioning & strength development using kettlebells as a tool for achieving results. If you could describe the true essence of Flux, what would you say to emphasize the reality behind the sport and what Flux promotes?
Flux is a philosophy borne out of years of my own experience and learning, mixed with the research and coaching, I have received from all corners of the globe. USA, Russia, Australia and obviously South Africa. Flux is about what makes the weekend warrior to international athlete get the most out of what they need for their training goals. Russian kettlebells, and thus Flux, training is a complete mind and body philosophy - you will never work as hard or be more gratified with the results you get as a person and your goal setting. We work hard here and there are no excuses for that. What we do know is that Flux works.
You have inspired me to be a better teacher and a better student, what is the greatest advice you could give to an aspiring superhero?
Well as you well know, you wouldn't have made the achievements you have without a burning passion and desire to improve who you are. That's the great thing about Russian kettlebell training, if you embrace it, is the immense changes you will see in yourself. Belief and will to learn. This sport has so many intricacies and techniques that you never stop learning. So keep learning and just enjoy the ride or should it be the swing?
On a daily basis you work with people from beginners to athletes to weekend warriors, what inspires you the most working with such a diverse group of people?
I love people, but more to the point, I love passionate people who really want to make a difference. Positive people attract a positive energy and Flux has that in leaps and bounds. The fact that I can help make people achieve what they want as well as achieve a positive vibe, that's what makes me love working with all manners of people.
If you had the opportunity to broadcast one message in 5 words to our nation, a nation that is passionate about sport, what would it be?
STOP THE EXCUSES, JUST DO!
As we know each other on a personal basis, I know that you are a strong believer in functional training methods. How do you feel about today's forms of training against what they used to be, and how have you integrated old school methods into your teachings?
I really think that there are, too many to count, gyms that use the term functional training too loosely. I believe that what we were doing with which body part a thousand years ago is what we should be using today. If you do body building then obviously do that training. If however you do everything else, there is NO excuse for creating a powerful posterior chain, back and quads. We also tend to neglect our mobility and flexibility. We forget that the most powerful part of our body is the mind. Work that regularly and the rest follows. Today there are too many excuses being made. I love this clip so much!!!
You are a soon to be 'Dad', I'm sure the anticipation and excitement is overwhelming. What is the greatest advice you can give to parents regarding fitness and strength development in their children?
I am so excited to bring such a gift into the world. My advice is start early! You be the example. Have fun doing it, build that lasting and genuine relationship with your child. At the end of the day our bodies have not changed in thousands of years, which means the body wasn't designed for TV or gaming! That's an added perk! So get outdoors, have fun and laugh while doing it! Give your child the best chance they deserve.
Thanks for your time Sean - keep inspiring the uninspired!!
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Jenni Button, Jimmy Choo, Foi Gras and Dom Perignon were the order of the day. London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Dusseldorf, from skyscrapers to Ferrari drivers tents to the final Led Zeppelin shin dig with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Ozzy Osborne, Kate Moss and the Prince of Arabia. Some like to think that the Hotel game is a glamorous one.
I walked away from this a few years ago after a hellish 10 years of brutal onslaught. It is not alluring or sophisticated to say the least. It thieves your every last breath, and cheats your soul. This game pirated my passion and left me empty. Smiles were reserved for guests only.
However I look back at it with fond memories. The industry built an inner strength of cohesion and backbone in me that cannot be compared to anything I've ever experienced.
Growing up in a hotel, in a predominantly male orientated mob, amplified my passion for sport, from football to formula 1, my greatest passions. I chose after years of searching to enter an industry that awakens your every sense, through excitement, progress and physical development. The world of sport, fitness, bio mechanics and kinesiology.
Starting a new game in your late twenties is never easy. Do not pass begin, do not collect R200. When you are a female, weighing in at 50kg with a frame of a pixie, you are not taken very seriously by aspiring sportsmen, weight lifters and athletic competitors. However I continue to persevere.
I owe my passion for old school methodologies to Dave Ozorio who took me under his wing 2 years ago, after a long struggle to find a good teacher in the world of fitness and strength.
Dave pushed my boundaries, and salted my taste for true bulletproof practice. He educated me on the early techniques that outweigh modern machinery tenfold. Dave inspired my love for the kettlebell and the sport that goes with it.
With the passion for the kettlebell came the introduction of the Temple. Since meeting Sean Temple of Flux Motion and being exposed to his training styles, his teachings and his enthusiasm for the ancient sport of girevoy. I have develop a burning desire for ultimate conditioning. Sean awoke an inner temptress in me. My physical and mental progression has evolved from school girl to aspiring professor overnight.
Sean has encouraged, supported and motivated me every step of the way. His personal approach and inspiring strength has engineered a machine in me. Physically, in my 6 months with Sean I have developed a power I never thought I would achieve and it is only just the beginning.
As for his teachings, I aspire to demonstrate his level of discipline and encouragement to my students one day.
Only two years into the world of conditioning and strength, I am only just starting to crawl, I look forward to many years of learning, growing and teaching those who aspire to find their inner perfections. To passing on the true methodologies of fitness and functionality.
Come ride with me.
Wednesday, 07 September 2011
As an adrenalin junkie I spent most of my twenties diving headfirst out of high flying objects, throwing myself off bridges and plummeting down the side of skyscrapers. The majority of my 'leisure' time was spent being upside down.
Jim Morrison, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and most recently Amy Winehouse, should have considered spending more of their lives inverted, and a little less 'bottoms up'. Being upside down is nothing but good for you. At 27 years old and looking at the current global status of people with more than a few screws loose, I am alive.
Which brings me to the topic at hand, why does no one teach the handstand push up? This is the most natural shoulder exercise, and benefits the mind and body enormously. Your blood supply is reversed which means your veins and arteries are working against gravity, forcing them to become stronger. A rush of fresh blood to the head, that's absolute tonic for the mind and brain.
Handstand push ups develop incredibly powerful shoulders, why are we wasting time on the shoulder press at the local sweat shop? There is no excuse not to do this exercise, it requires no equipment, heavy machinery or any space at all, you can perform this exercise inside your closet if you must.
It works your upper body pressing muscles, developing strength Conan would be jealous of. When in this pose your body instinctively positions itself in a position healthiest to the shoulders, and raising your feet above your body transfers body weight through your hands in a concentrated way. A handstand push up is the equivalent of shoulder pressing your body weight, many athletes cant even accomplish that. It can take you years and many deep heat rubs to get to this level of strength with a barbell, but handstand push ups can get you there in a few months.
Not only do they develop absurdly strong muscular shoulders but they teach total body control, and kinesthetic awareness in all your other training movements. Strength, stamina, power, agility and health all in one exercise.
Today's gyms are placing orders for bosu balls, balance boards and other trivial pieces of balloon, because of the supposed benefits of balance, stability and core conditioning they administer. I remember reading about the Roman gladiators, preparing for battle, strengthening their cores with a bosu ball. Handstand push ups offer you all that, plus total body coordination and muscle control.
Being upside down also causes the balance organ in your ear (vestibular system) to adapt to the motions and become increasingly more efficient for your everyday life. This form of upper body training heightens and strengthens every single muscle in your upper body all at the same time and improves your upper body resistance exercises.
Strength is not something that you find under a Christmas tree in a box, or on a shelf in your local Glomail store. Strength is a skill - practice it often if you want to improve it.
Monday, 05 September 2011
I feel like I have just seen a trailer to the new rendition of 'Terminator' or 'Blood Sport', except, I featured in it and the leading actor didn't have a stunt double, and actually has real life melon sized joints, an iron body casing and the knowledge of an encyclopedia of kinesiology.
This is - Steve Cotter, being in the presence of a kettlebell great is overwhelming to say the least. You cant not be in awe of his existence, or not watch his every move with sheer exuberance. Steve Cotter is the director of the IKFF (International kettlebell and fitness federation) he is not your typical 'trainer' he teaches integrity, he pushes boundaries and he researches human physical performance. A teacher yet also a student. An elite coach who presents new knowledge and integrates it into his coaching.
My colleagues and I made the great trek up north for a weekend with the kettlebell guru himself. Prior to signing up for the certification we spent many a long hour training in preparation for two days of blood, sweat and tears. We put in countless hours, intense effort and buckets of carbs and protein to ensure we were ready for what awaited us.
You never really know what to expect, all you know, is the fear that slowly grows inside of you. Sean Temple of Flux put us through the motions, as he does. He drilled us, he perfected our techniques, he turned our weaknesses into strengths and mentally placed us in Steve's presence weeks before he had even arrived.
When the time came to finally start the CKT we where greeted with "The following 2 days will consist of fitness tests, technique specializations, coaching proficiency, performance, procedures and..... you are going to die, I am going to kill you" I have never seen a room of colour turn so white so quickly. We put Table Mountains infamous table cloth to shame.
Steve took classic kettlebell moves and broke them down individually, refining them and perfecting them in each one of us. Built up our confidence, perfected our techniques and coached us on the science of movement and its energy systems. Kettlebells are not just tools for strength and conditioning but an art that requires precision, accuracy, definition and purity.
We concentrated on each movement independently, we studied it, we understood it and we trained like it was the last thing we would do on earth. Each movement was accompanied by set after set, of intense drills, promoting strength, agility, endurance, flexibility and stability. We sweat, we ached, we shed skin but we learnt and we excelled.
You cannot help absorbing Steve's every last word, mimicking his every move. He is a highly inspirational and versatile coach. The passion he exposes is contagious. Each and every one of us walked away from this weekend with a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. We trained hard and were individually molded into aspiring athletes by his teachings.
The weekend was exhilarating, we discovered new strengths and new weaknesses. We have formed new goals and aspirations and we stood together strong, we drove each other. The motivation amongst our team alone sets off fires miles away. Our hard work, dedication and devotion of the 'Temple' earned us Steve Cotter's closing statement:
"This is the strongest CKT team I have worked with"
Well done to everyone at Flux and Kettlebells SA, each of you inspire me more everyday