Monday, 1 November 2010

Off Ice Training for Early Teenage Hockey Players

By Harry S Grove

My sessions with the junior teams (I am head strength and conditioning coach for an under 14's (ages 12-13) and under 16's (ages 14-15)) are broken down into different areas, covering different aspects of improving the players on ice ability. I have a one hour session with each team, every week. I will split these sessions up and will also split the players into groups for some of the exercises.

I always start of with a gentle heart rate raiser, with about 3-5 minutes of cardiovascular work like jogging. I will then go into specific warm up drills. I would start off with dynamic stretches like leg swings from side to side and front to back, helping increase hip mobility as well as hip flexor mobility drills. I would then move onto glute activation drills such as quadruped hip and knee extension, hip extension (keep knee bent) and hip abduction. I also add in side planks and supine planks for torso activation. This whole warm up will last 10 minutes.

I then move onto movement technique work. This will cover toe bounds with high knees, wall sprint drills and sprint drills, deceleration work, hops, jumps, lateral shuffles etc. This will then lead into the movement drills. Here we would up the tempo and do drills like lateral shuffles into sprints and agility drills like the 4 cone drill and various t-test drills. This section will last a maximum of 15 minutes.

I then go into more strength based exercises. Each session we choose 3-4 exercises like lunge variations, squats etc and will go over each exercise in the strength technique section. This is to help reinforce previous sessions. I break this down by getting them to do it individually first so I can correct technique. I will then split them into 2 groups and do the same while having them listen to teaching cues. After the technique work is done, I will move onto the strength drills and get them to perform in a circuit going from upper to lower body e.g. reverse lunge, press up, squat etc. This part of the session will last 20 minutes.

The last part of the main session will go through energy system training. Depending on the depth of the team, most on ice shifts last about 45 seconds with rest periods anywhere from 45 seconds to 90 seconds. The body mainly depends on the anaerobic glycolysis system. The body doesn't require oxygen, but it does produce lactic acid. This energy system last for around 1 minute, which is why we want to train this system off ice.

In the off ice sessions, we target the drill to be between 30 and 60 seconds. We might do 300 yard shuttle runs, body weight drills to sprints and various shuttle drills. I will split the players into 2-3 groups and go through the drills 1 group at a time, while the other rest and recover. This part of the session will last for 10 minutes.

I will spend the last 5-10 minutes (usually overrun), cooling down and going through stretches, especially for the hip and ankle region.

I also personal train some of the players on a one to one basis and I will incorporate soft tissue work during their warm up using foam rollers and various balls e.g. tennis.

Harry Grove BSc CSCS DipPT is a strength and conditioning coach and has help train athletes and individuals from a variety of backgrounds and ages for more than a decade. He is the co-founder of PT On-Demand Ltd! - an online training and exercise resource.

Article Source:

Fitness Training For Rock Climbers

By Harry S Grove

Climbing, like any other sport, needs to have supplementary work performed outside of actual climbing time. I have come across not just climbers, but people from multiple sports where they think that just doing the activity will be enough. It is not until I have worked with them that they have found their sport easier and they can perform to higher level. Climbing is exactly the same.

Climbers need to have a high amount of muscular endurance, with the body being able to deal with the build up of lactic acid that the muscles will produce. There also needs to be a high amount of power as well a tremendous amount of strength, especially in the latissimus dorsi (back), forearms and hands. Having a high amount of stamina is a must as you can be climbing for hours at a time and is especially important as altitudes increase.

When I have worked with climbers, we have concentrated working on the back muscles, shoulders, forearm and hand muscles and the core muscles. I use a variety of exercises to help the above muscles and body functions. They include, but not limited to deadlifts, squat variations, pull up variations, rows, press variations and clean variations.

The deadlift is one of the best exercises you can, regardless of whether you climb or not. It works around 200 muscles in the body, not to mention the back, arms, legs, glutes and gripping muscles. I do this exercise two different ways. I get my climbers to do a heavy deadlift day, working up to 90-95% 1 rep max (RM) for 1-3 reps. I then get them doing dynamic work 3 days later, working on pulling quickly from the ground. I would get them working at about 55-60% 1 RM and doing 8 sets of 1 rep with about 30-45 seconds rest between sets. I would supplement this lift with exercises such as high pulls, cleans from the floor and hang cleans.

I will occasionally supplement heavy deadlifts with heavy front squats. Like deadlifts, squats are extremely tough on the body and work around the 200 muscle mark too. Front squats, especially with an Olympic grip, put a lot of strain on the mid-section and back muscles as the weight forces the body to keep back muscles tight, allowing the chest to stay up.

I do a lot of pull ups with my climbers. We do wide grip, neutral, palms back, towel pull ups, fat grip pull ups all with a full range of motion. I get my climbers to go from a dead hang on every rep. Again, I do very high weight pull ups for few reps, adding weight around the climbers waist (I had one guy pulling an extra 40kg for 5 reps) to no weight at all. On these days, I get them to pull as quickly as they can. For those powerful enough, jump pull ups and muscle ups will be prescribed. I do these for sets of 3-5 reps, really focusing on powering up.

Obviously there is a lot of forearm and grip work done. I vary the exercises from simple static holds to wrist flexion and extension. Some static holds I like to use are plate pinches (placing two 10kg plates together and pinching them together on the smooth sides), dumbbell holds and barbell holds. I might also make it a more conditioning exercise by doing farmers walks and make it even harder by adding my fat gripz to the bar. Hammer curls and reverse curls are also thrown in occasionally for forearm and biceps strength.

In my personal training sessions with my climbers, I get them to do press variations such as single and double arm dumbbell presses, push presses, Arnold presses and bench presses and press ups. This is to help strengthen the shoulder girdle muscles and shoulder muscles. I will also use dips to help with shoulder strength and triceps strength. I do these exercises for higher and lower reps and use a variety of weights.

For the climber, core muscles are very important. A favorite of mine is the Roman Chair Twist, where the climber lies back and then twists from side to side. This will engage the rectus abdominis, tranverse abdominis and internal and external obliques. Other core exercises are variations of the plank hold, ab wheel or barbell role outs, hand walk outs from the toes to nearly flat and back up, hanging knee raises and weighted Janda sit ups. I do these with a slightly higher rep range.

For conditioning, I will do short intense circuits as slightly longer interval training sessions. The circuits could be anything from a tabata circuit (20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest, repeat until 4 minutes is done) to one exercise done for 10 reps with a minutes rest and performed again (McPhee burpees are good for this). I will also do high intensity interval training (HIIT) working with high intervals from 30-60 seconds with rest periods of 1-2 minutes. I will get my climbers doing this for around 10 minutes to 20 minutes tops.

Stretching is must as it will help you become more flexible, but keep you flexible. I use a range of stretching techniques, including PNF stretching. Flexibility is extremely important in the lower body and I work on improving the range of motion in and around the hip joints.

Rock climbing should be treated like any other sport or physical activity, it requires a large amount of physical effort, strength and endurance. You can't beat rock climbing to become better at climbing, but training properly for it will help progress you quicker than if you did just that.

Harry Grove BSc CSCS DipPT has helped personal train athletes and individuals from a variety of backgrounds for more than a decade. He is the co-founder of PT On-Demand Ltd! - an online training and exercise resource.

Article Source:

Nutritional Needs for Rock Climbing

By Harry S Grove

Rock climbing is a sport/recreation, which can last hours at a time. It requires extreme levels of muscular endurance, power, strength and good levels of stamina. A good strength and conditioning program can help improve these aspects, but the body needs the correct fuel to help the body perform these activities.

I am going to concentrate more on the pre-climbing, during climbing and post climbing nutrition. These make up a very important part of how the body will perform during the climbing period. I will also cover water and electrolyte consumption.

Pre-Climbing Nutrition

The purpose of this meal is provide fluid and energy to the climber during the activity. Pre nutrition will start around 3 hours before climbing. The pre-climbing meal should consist of a mix very low glycemic carbohydrates, such as oats, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruits. A good source of protein is also added to this meal, such as lean meats and fish. This will supply the body with the fuel to get through the session. Water is also very important and studies indicate 0.5 liter 2 hours before the activity.

As rock climbing is an aerobic endurance event, you can maximize carbohydrate stores by eating something with about 30 minutes before the session. I recommend my climbers take in fruit and a source of protein that is light on the stomach, such as a whey protein shake. I also recommend my climber drink another 0.5 liter of water.

During Climbing Nutrition

During rock climbing, the main thing to consume is adequate fluid. The purpose of this is to keep the body hydrated and at peak performance. If the session lasts up to an hour, I would recommend water would be sufficient. Evidence suggests that there is no physiological benefit to consuming a drink with carbohydrates in during this time. Around 0.25 liter should be consumed every 15 minutes. Take in large amounts of water as this causes gastric emptying allowing the water to get into the system more rapidly.

If the session goes on longer than 1 hour, then I would suggest taking in a carbohydrate and electrolyte drink to help replenish these stores. A simple and effective drink, which is cheap is adding salt to orange juice. I recommend drinking this alongside water, drinking 0.125 liter of water and 0.125 liter carb/electrolyte drink every 15 minutes. As climbing is focuses on muscular strength, power and endurance, I also recommend having branched chain amino acids during climbing sessions and recommend adding these to your carb/electrolyte drink.

Post Climbing Nutrition

As soon as the session has finished, I recommend taking a mix of carbohydrates and proteins. A mix of whey protein and glucose (Hi glycemic) will help replenish the depleted carbohydrate stores, while at the same time, the insulin release caused by the intake of high glycemic carbohydrates will buffer the protein into the bodies muscle stores. I would try to get this in within the first 30 minutes of finishing the session. Water is also needed to help re-hydrate the body. A good indicator is to consume 0.5 liter for every pound of body weight lost.

1-2 hours after completing a climb, a substantial meal can be consumed, which can consist of carbohydrates, protein and fat. A good meal for this, which I consume myself and suggest to my climbers is sweet potato with tuna mayonnaise and salad. I would also drink another 0.5 liter of water with this meal too.

A good nutritional program is a fundamental part to make climbing a better experience and overall more fun as you will be able to find climbs get easier as your performance increases. Keep hydrated and get adequate nutrients into the body.

Harry Grove BSc CSCS DipPT has helped train athletes and individuals from a variety of backgrounds for more and a decade. He is the co-founder of PT On-Demand Ltd! an online training and exercise resource.

Article Source:

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Should we be eating like our great ancestors

I have written before that if you want to become healthier, lose body fat and get stronger we should follow a more natural diet. By this I mean, eating what could be hunted e.g. fish and animals or picked from the ground nuts, seeds, vegetables etc.

The Paleolithic ear went from 2.5 million to 20,000 years BC. The Paleo Diet is meant to work with our genetics to help us become fitter, stronger and healthier. The Paleo Diet is primarily made up of protein based foods, so anything that can be killed would make good eating. In modern times, the best place would be from grass fed animals and wild fish, rather than the factory farmed animals and fish.

The other part of the diet is made up from a mix of fats (saturated and mono and poly unsaturated fats). Today these sources would come from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and the different oils and also fish oil. There are carbs in the diet too. These would come from vegetables, fruits and then yams and sweet pototaoes (orange or purple).

The Palio Diet can be followed by anyone, but it does need some discipline. As you can see, foods such as bread, pasta and rices are off the menu and considering that the majority of people's diets are made up of these foods, it may be hard. It isn't a coincidence that people I know that eat a very natural close to the ground diet are leaner and healthier than their processed carb eating counterparts.

Clients that I have trained who have taken to eating like this, have seen incredible results too. I have had clients who have lost 3-4% body fat in a about 5 weeks. They have lost a lot more fat off the mid-section and feel healthier too, less sluggish during the day and sleep better.

The Paleo diet is not just good for getting rid of body fat it has also shown remarkable promise for metabolic derangement, neurological degeneration (including Parkinson's, Huntington's, and Alzheimer's diseases) and autoimmune disorders. There is clinical data on the reversal of osteoporosis and the related problem of sarcopenia (muscle wasting).

Robb Wolf who states
"The underpinning of all these diseases is inflammation resulting from a diet and lifestyle at odds with our Paleolithic genetics. The Paleolithic approach is like shotgun art: you blast all angles of the inflammation spectrum. From hyperinsulinemia to managing n-6/n-3 fatty acid, to decreasing intestinal permeability due to grains and legumes.

This allows the complex cellular signaling pathways to come back into a healthy and optimized state. This is good, whether you're trying to build muscle or avoid cancer."

I have been eating like this for more than a year now. I do have oats for breakfast, but all my other carbs come from fruits, vegetables and sweet potatoes. I consume about 9-13 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I also drink plenty of water, about 4-5 liters a day. Don't get me wrong, I do slide off the band wagon and have my cheat days, but thats where it ends. I am only human :)

If you really want to become leaner, lose weight, healthier then I would recommend trying this way of eating out. Eat what mother nature has been providing us for the last 2.5 million+ years and I can pretty much guarantee you will feel and look better. It may be a chore, but it depends how much you want to achieve your figure/physique goals.

For more information on Robb Wolf and his new book The Paleo Solution you can click here

Thursday, 20 May 2010

What is YOUR goal

I find it hard to believe that most people who set off on an exercise routine don't really know where they want to go with it. At the start of the 2010 I sat down and wrote out my training related goals for the year. I then broke this down into 3, 6, 9 and 12 month goals.

My major goal is to be competing next year at the BDFPA British Championships in the 90kg category. I am taking this year off to get ready for it and to increase my strength. I know what I need to do to qualify for the championships, but I don't want to JUST qualify, I want to go there and make an impact.

The goals below were set at the start of the year. I have set out certain weights I want to be lifting at certain points throughout the year. I set goals for March. I failed to reach two of them so I had to reassess and I changed my goals slightly. This is what they look like:

End of March 2010:
Bench: 140kg - I failed and made 135kg
Squat: 180kg - I passed and made 185kg
Deadlift: 240kg - I failed and made 232.5kg

End of June 2010:
Bench: 145kg - New goal of 140kg
Squat: 190kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 250kg - New goal of 240kg

End of September 2010:
Bench: 150kg - New goal of 145kg
Squat: 195kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 260kg - New goal of 250kg

End of 2010
Bench: 155kg - New goal of 150kg
Squat: 200kg - Stayed the same
Deadlift: 270kg - New goal of 260kg

As you can see, I failed to make certain lifts. I didn't sulk or give up because I failed, I keep going and strive to get stronger. When I test at the end of June, I will reassess my goals again then.

My point is this, set goals for yourself, long term ones and then break that down into short term ones. If you fail to reach the goal, you can reassess as I have and see what you can do to keep moving you forward and reach your next short term goals. It maybe that you surpass your goals, well done, reassess and maybe make your next goal a more challenging.

You must have goals, it gives you something to focus on, something to keep you driving forward, if you don't, then you will lose focus and most probably give up. This doesn't have to relate to just your training and exercising goals either, we should have goals set out in our life too.

'Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.'


Monday, 10 May 2010


As a trainer and being in the gym pretty much all the time I see one thing that lacks from a lot of peoples training programs. I see people lying around on the stretch mats, not doing a lot, wasting time chatting to a friend while they hop along on the x-trainer for an hour. So many people just don't seem to push themselves in the gym or during any exercise really.

I have had clients say to me, that if I wasn't with them, they would have stopped as they wouldn't push themselves that hard. So why is it that people don't push themselves to their full potential? Well thats for another blog. I am here to talk about intensity.

One of the services I do for people is to write training program for them. This is just one tool to achieving the goals you require. Have a good training program in place and you're on the right path. It is just that though, a tool in the box. If it is not used properly, it won't reap the rewards that it designed to do.

I wrote a leg program for a guy to do, it had 3 exercises in it. I gave it to him and he looked at me and said 'is that it'. I said go away and have a go at it. He duly went away and did the program and came back to me saying there was not enough exercises in it and that it was too easy. I said to him to book in a session with me and we'll go through it 'my way'.

The program involved Back Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats and Romanian Deadlifts. It involved squats in the rep ranges of 3-4 reps, split squats in the range of 6-8 and romanians in the range of 10-12. We did the session, well my client did, I looked on at him with a wry smile on my face as he grimaced and sweated through the weights session. I said he could do more exercises if he wanted, with him following that up saying 'its alright, I think I will give them a miss'.

My point is this, you can have the best program in the world, but if you are not willing to push yourself and up the intensity, it is complete bullshit. I know I talk between sets to training partners, but when it comes to lifting the weight or sprinting the hill, I will put 110% effort into it.

Cut the crap and get on and do it, if you're lying around, chatting to mates in the stretch area or have enough breath to muster more than a few words or any words at all on the x-trainer then you are wasting your time and in some instances, my time. Get in the gym, kick the shit out of your program and yourself and get out so you can start the repair process to a better you.


Saturday, 8 May 2010

Training logs

Quick note - Harry and I will be posting training logs up on this blog for people to have a look at and see what our training looks like.

The Importance of Nutritional Supplementation

Following on from the article I wrote a few weeks back on 'The role of anti-oxidents and minerals in the body' I have written this article on nutritional supplementation. There is always going to be an argument for the case of whether or not to take a nutritional supplement. Here is my case on this issue.

The intake of nutritional supplements has risen in order to:

Maintain health

Prevent certain disease

Improve health overall

What we mean by nutritional supplementation is not products like protein powders and creatine, but a product that provides all of the micronutrients to the human cell at optimal or advanced levels that have been shown to provide a health benefit. Dr Ray Strand calls this ‘Cellular Nutrition’ (8).

Oxidative Stress

Oxygen is necessary for life, it is also very dangerous to our bodies (7, 8). While the body utilizes oxygen within it’s cells to create energy, the body also produces a by-product referred to as free radicals (7, 8). Free radicals are charged oxygen molecules, which are missing at least one electron. These free radicals try and obtain an electron from the surrounding area. Antioxidents can neutralize the free radical by giving it the electron it needs (7). If the free radical does not get neutralized with an antioxident, it can create more free radicals that can cause damage to cell walls, proteins, fats and even the DNA nucleus of the cell (2, 6, 7, 9, 11). For example, the same process that causes a banana to go from green to brown and rust appearing on metal, causes us to rust too.

Medical literature has shown that over 80 degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer Dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis and many others, are the result of oxidative stress that results over a period of time (7, 8).

Nutritional Supplementation

A major review of 38 years of evidence was conducted by Harvard researchers, Dr Robert Fletcher and Dr Kathleen Fairfield. They found that while diet was sufficient enough to prevent the vitamin deficiency diseases, such as scurvy, rickets and berry berry, it is not enough to support the need for optimal health (4, 5). The results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Why go with nutritional supplementation? Surely we can get everything we need from the food we eat. Although many antioxidents can be obtained from our food, the major sources of vitamins and minerals come from fruits and vegetables, the increase of toxic chemicals in our society e.g. pollution, chemicals in the water supply, our over medicated society and stressful lifestyles all cause excessive free radicals (8). With poor food choices so readily available now, this too can cause excessive free radicals.

People are also finding it hard to find to consume the government recommended intake of 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with males consuming an average of 2 portions and females an average of 2.5 portions a day (8).

Studies have shown though, that the quality of our food is deteriorating. Through gas ripening, excessive chemical fertilization, prolonged storage and picking fruit and vegetable too soon, nutrient and mineral levels have severely depleted over the last 60 years (3, 7, 10). Even people who are fortunate enough to grow their own fruit and vegetables and those who eat organic, still, cannot guarantee they are receiving all the essential nutrients they need to help stave off these chronic degenerative diseases (7). In light of this information, we should really be consuming between 9 to 13 portions of fruit and vegetables a day (1).


We should not neglect the importance of well balanced diets, high in fruit and vegetables, eating as close to the earth as possible. In today’s fast-food world, people find it hard to avoid high calorie, low nutrient quality, over processed foods and get the essential levels of antioxidents and minerals into their diets.

Action dictates that we take necessary steps to optimize our nutritional needs and to do so, we need to increase the nutritive value of our diets with high quality, pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements that replenish the body with the same vitamins, minerals antioxidents that should be provided by our food (7, 9).

Dr Ray Strand, states:

“After spending over two years reviewing the medical literature, I concluded that the only way you have a chance of preventing oxidative stress is by taking high quality, complete and balanced nutritional supplements” (9)

Both Josh and I eat a well balanced diet, consuming 9 to 13 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and yet we still supplement with high quality, pharmaceutical grade antioxidents and minerals.

USANA Health Sciences is our company of choice when it comes to choosing nutritional supplements. USANA Health Sciences’ products have been given the 5 Star Gold Standard rating in the Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, have been given the Gold Standard by the Human Fitness Laboratory in Newmarket, England, met the highest standards at and have successfully met all listing criteria in NSF/ANSI 173 Dietary Supplements Standard.

Click here to find out more about USANA Health Sciences.


1. ANH Consultancy. (2006) Can Supplements Help You Live Longer? (online) Available at: 27th February 2009).

2. Balch, P.A., and Balch, J.F. Prescription for Nutritional Healing. 3rd ed, New York, NY: Avery. 2000

3. Colgan, M. We Have Fouled our Land. The New Nutrition: Medicine for the Millennium. Vancouver, BC: Apple. 1995

4. Fairfield, K.M., and Fletcher, R.H. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 287(23): 3116-3126. 2002

5. Fairfield, K.M., and Fletcher, R.H. Vitamins for chronic disease prevention in adults: scientific review. JAMA. 287(23): 3127-3129. 2002

6. Fox, B.A., and Cameron, A.G., Food Science, Nutrition and Health. 5th ed. London, UK: Arnold. 1995

7. MacWilliam, L. Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. 4th ed. Northern Dimensions. 2007

8. National Statistics - Social Trends - 2001 Edition - United Kingdom fruit and vegetable consumption at home. National Statistics Consumer Trends - Q1.2001

9. Strand, R.D. A New Concept in Nutritional Medicine, Healthy for Life Newsletter. 4(2), 2007.

10. Thomas, D. A study on the mineral depletion of foods available to us as a nation over the period 1940 to 1991 Sussex, UK: Trace Minerals UK Ltd, 1999

11. Whitney, E.N., and Rolfes, S.R. Understanding Nutrition. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. 1999

Going live

Josh came to me with the idea of video based personal training workouts for on demand purposes in early 2009. I liked what he had to say and asked if I wanted to be involved. I would like to think I am very open to new ideas and opportunities and I think this was one of the reasons why Josh asked me. I didn't hesitate much and I came on board.

We went about trying to decide what to call the company and soon came up with the idea of PT On Demand, which just seemed to stick. We are now a registered company called PT On-Demand Ltd.

We had plans that we needed to produce the workout videos, the website, set up as a company, set up a bank account, look for an accountant etc all things that were completely alien to the both of us. Also we had to find the funds to put this altogether. We have both funded it from our own pockets, which to me, shows we have belief in our product.

We went about having the website designed by a professional website design company. We really liked their work and could see they could do the same with us. We have been thoroughly pleased with the design of the site. People have said it is fresh, attractive, easy to read and know exactly what we are selling.

The next thing we needed to do was to build the site. We anticipated that this would be an easier job than it actually was and showed mine and Josh's ignorance to the world of website developing. We came across many problems with developing the site, which made it frustrating as we thought that we would be up and running in September/October 2009, reality took hold and we launched the website in May 2010, a year after we started design and development. We are very pleased though with the site as it is very easy to navigate. A testament to the design and the development of the site.

As the site was being developed, we started to produce the 6 workout videos for our first series. We used friends to film and edit the material. We used a local school gym and it sports facilities as our location. The filming took 3 days to do.

I undertook most of the directing, a first for me, while Josh was the exercise bitch. As the personal trainer on the videos, I had it easy telling Josh what to do while wearing my aviator sun glasses. Josh got his own back by consuming a Macky D's for lunch and then falling into a sugar coma for the rest of the afternoon. I wasn't happy haha.

Once the filming was done, we moved onto the editing process. I used a friend again who is excellent at what he does. I am so pleased with the final editing. It didn't come without spending time on it though, 120 hours or something along those lines. This was great though, as it was really good to see the videos taking shape. We also edited 12 shorter teaser videos, which are going up on TiVo in the USA and which you can find on our youtube account,

I am overall very pleased with how things have turned out, we have a live website, selling a legitimate product, which works. I wish it had been up and running earlier, although I can say it has been a massive learning experience for both Josh and myself. It is like one chapter finishing and a new one starting as we are now on the map, we just have to show people how to find us.

Marketing and advertising is, like starting a company, completely new to myself and Josh and I look forward to learning more and see our business grow. I will update you when things are moving onwards and upwards.


Sunday, 4 April 2010

Enter the second 12 weeks

I have come to the end of my week off from training and am very eager to get back into it on Monday 5th April. I have been wanting to train for the last week, but the rest will have done my body good. I go into the next 12 week training cycle with big goals to achieve and a new drive to achieve them. Come the week ending the 27th June, 2010, I want to hit a 140kg Bench Press, 190kg Squat and a 240kg Deadlift for a more important overall 570kg total at 90kg body weight.

Having had the time off, I have thought over what I was going to do over the next 12 weeks. I needed something that would help me with my training the best. I am an unequipped (belt only) power lifter. I needed something therefore that would work best for me. I had previously done a Westside Barbell split in the first quarter of this year, which worked well, but had its flaws. This being that Westside Barbell compete in powerlifting suits and knee wraps. The training is then geared to meet the goals of the suits and that type of lifting. They are also long sessions, which took up too much time.

As an unequipped (raw) lifter, I needed something that targeted the raw lifter in training. My friend who is a powerlifter and looking to compete next year is using a split by Jim Wendler. He is a former powerlifter and competed in non-raw competitions. Jim Wendler came up with the idea of this program, because, "I was burned out from competitive powerlifting. I was tired of bench shirts, box squats, bands and being fat." He wanted something that was simple and allowed him to be in and out of the gym within 45 minutes, but at the same time got him strong.

This is something that I want as I am very busy myself. The program is called 5/3/1 and is based around the four major lifts of the Standing Barbell Press, Deadlift, Bench Press and Squat. I can't wait to do it and hopefully it will be as effective as the reviews from the hundreds of other people who have done it before. Time will tell, 12 weeks to be exact, and hopefully I will have a new set of PRs.


The Role of Antioxidents and Minerals in the Body

Antioxidents: Our internal fire guard

Antioxidents are like the fire screen we put up to stop sparks flying out and burning the carpet. Antioxidents help protect the human cell (the carpet) from the firestorm of free radicals (burning sparks) that are ignited from the metabolic processes of the cell (the fire) (1). As long as we have sufficient numbers of antioxidents, the damage to the cell is minimized. If, however, the protection is not there, then the cumulative damage of these burning sparks can seriously damage the carpet.

Such stress to human cells by free radicals is now believed to be the major force behind the onset of chronic degenerative disease e.g. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis (1, 4).

Antioxidents neutralise these free radicals, stopping them dead in their tracks before they can cause damage to the human cell. During this process, antioxidents are chemically altered. Some antioxidents are regenerated by other antioxidents (1), which is why you should supplement with a complete range, rather than just one or two antioxidents. Other antioxdents are changed completely or excreted from the body (1). Our bodies produce some antioxidents, while other must come from diet.

Working together to protect the human cell

Although minerals are not antioxidents, they do form a vital part of different antioxident systems in the body, these include copper, zinc, selenium and manganese (2). To see which antioxident is the most important to the body, misses the point. A lot of people supplement with just vitamin C, but antioxidents work best when they together (2). Antioxidents require the presence of other antioxidents to help protect the cell, the best they can from free radicals. They work in synergy, which “implies that the effect of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” (1).

Different antioxidents work in different parts of the human cell. For example, vitamin E is the major antioxident of the cell membrane, protecting the cell membrane from free radical damage (1, 3). Vitamin C works best in the plasma of the cell and works well with glutathione in the fluid portion of the cell (1, 3). Alpha-lipoic acid, along with many other antioxidents, grape seed and pine bark extracts, help regenerate vitamin C, which then regenerates vitamin E (1, 3).

As you can see, antioxidents and minerals work best together to fight the ongoing attack on the human cell by free radicals. They work in synergy, regenerating one another and so give our cells the best chance to stave of degeneration and the onset of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer dementia, Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, stroke.

Keep an eye out for my next article on nutritional supplementation and why I believe it is important as part of a healthy lifestyle.


1. MacWilliam, L. Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. 4th ed. Northern Dimensions. 2007

2. Passwater, R.A. The Basics of Antioxidents. All About Antioxidents.New York, NY: Avery Publishing. 1998

3. Strand, R.D. A New Concept in Nutritional Medicine, Healthy for Life Newsletter. 4(2), 2007

4. Strand, R. D. Bionutrition: Winning The War From Within. Rapid City, SD: Comprehensive Wellness Publishing. 1998

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Powering through in 2010 with my powerlifting

I have just come to the end of my first training cycle of 2010. It has been a good start to the year. I have been following a Westside Barbell split, which I had good gains with a few years ago when I started powerlifting. On reflection, it has been good to come back to it and has definitely helped in two of my lifts (Squat and Bench) and not so good in the other (Dead Lift).

I am very pleased with my lifts, as only in November I was lifting significantly less, although I have put on weight and a fair amount of body fat since then. I am now weighing about 90-91kg, instead of the lean 81kg back in November at the Worlds. My lifts have definitely benefitted from this weight increase and now it is time to get my muscles a lot stronger and not just rely on the increase in body weight.

I am now taking a week off and looking to go into a new training cycle for the second quarter of 2010. Having gone to watch the British Championships this weekend, I can see I have a lot of work to do to catch up to the other 90kg lifters in that category, Andy Bonner and Henry Tosh both lifting 660kg + totals. It is great to have these goals though and I totally believe I can be among them, maybe not next year or the year after, but in a few years.

I have not decided on what program or split I am going to do yet and will keep you updated on the program choice. I am a believer in modeling oneself on people who have been successful, this doesn't just apply to my powerlifting, I apply this to my life in general. So, I am looking into programs such as Jim Wendler's 5 3 1 program, Ed Coans routines, maybe a different Westside Barbell Split, I am not sure yet. As I said though, I will keep you posted.


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The role of fluid in and around exercise sessions

Water makes up around 45% - 70% of our total body weight (2). Organs, all tissue and all bodily fluid contain water contain water as a essential constituent. Very little water is stored in the bones, teeth and hair (3).

Under normal conditions, such as a temperate climate, fluid balance is regulated by thirst sensations and by regulation of loss by the kidneys. Loss of water through urination, sweat, respiration and feces determines the amount of water required by the body. The total water intake for young men and women (ages 19 - 30) is 3.7L and 2.7L/day, respectively (6).

The risk of dehydration can be a real factor during exercise, which, unless sweat losses are replaced, the temperature of the body will go up, which can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. We can track sweat loss through changes in our weight. A total body weight loss of 1% can have and elevate our core temperature. A 3% - 5% loss of fluid in body weight can affect our cardiovascular system and impair our ability to dissipate heat. A 7% loss of fluid in body weight can result in collapse (2).

We can monitor our fluid loss during exercise by weighing ourselves before and after exercise. Remove sweaty clothes for accuracy. Every .45 kg or 1 lb, lost during exercise is the equivalent of 1 pint (2). This must be replaced before the next workout. Other indicators of dehydration can be dark yellow, strong smelling urine, a decreased frequency of urination, a rapid resting heart rate and muscle soreness last many days (1).

Fluid Replacement

Replacing fluid occurs at three general times. We want to start exercising in a hydrated state to we consume fluid before we start and to avoid dehydration, continue during exercise and replace fluid loss after the exercise session has finished.

Before Exercise

You want to consume 1 pint (500 ml) of fluid 2 hours before the exercise session starts. This allows us to be hydrated and allows for urination before the exercise session starts (2). The fluid can come in any form, water, juice, milk etc and can be consumed with a meal.

During Exercise

When consuming fluid during exercise, the aim is to get fluid into circulation to match the speed that the body is getting rid of fluid through sweat. This can be achieved by taking in fluids that are fast absorbing e.g. water. The drink also wants to be palatable. Fluid should be consumed before feeling thirsty. If the stomach can take it, it is better to take in large amounts of water, rather than sip, as large volumes empty from the stomach quicker than small volumes (2).

A variety of fluids can be consumed during exercise (4). Cool water is the ideal, although if water is unpalatable, then adding flavoring to it can be done, which means you can drink more (2). Aside from fluid intake, there has been no evidence to support that there is a physiological benefit of drinking a carbohydrate drink during exercise, if the exercise is less than 1 hour long.

Water should be consumed frequently, with around 200 ml - 250 ml consumed every 15 minutes of exercise (2).

After Exercise

The goal after the training session is to get the body ready for the next workout. As mentioned above, weighing yourself before and after can allow you to monitor fluid loss and indicate how much fluid to take in after the exercise session has finished.

If large amounts of fluid has been lost through sweating, sodium chloride (salt) levels may be low and so drinking fluid or eating food containing sodium chloride, minimizes urine output and speeds up recovery of water and electrolyte balance (5).

Most fluid intake occurs when consuming food, with water coming from both food and beverages. Drink plenty of water during the day aiming for 3 - 4 L a day and adding an extra 1 L - 1.5 L to account for fluid loss on days that you are exercising.


  1. Armstrong, L.W., Maresh, C.M., Castellani, J.W., Bergeron, M.F., Kenefick, R.W., LaGasse, K.E., and Riebe, D. Urinary indices of hydration status. International Journal of Sports Nutrition 4:265-279. 1994.
  2. Beachle, T.R., and Earle, R.W. Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2008
  3. Fox, B.A., and Cameron, A.G., Food Science, Nutrition and Health. 5th ed. London, UK: Arnold. 1995
  4. Horswill, C.A. Effective Fluid Replacement. International Journal of Sports Nutrition 8:175-195. 1998.
  5. Maughan, R.J., Leiper, J.B., and Shirreffs, S.M. Restoration of Fluid Balance after Exercise-Induced Dehydration. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 73:317-325. 1996
  6. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes Set. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. 1997 - 2004

Friday, 19 February 2010

Bring on the MSc in Strength and Conditioning

I found out today that I got onto the MSc Strength and Conditioning up at St Mary's University, London. It is a conditional offer on the result of me becoming a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). I have just booked onto the exam and will be taking that in June this year.

I think a few drinks are on the cards

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Why I lift

I was reading an article on and Dave Tate, founder of asked the question, why?

Why do I lift?

I set foot into the gym and it is like entering another world. A world where nothing else matters. Time and time again it has got me through the rough times, times when I have been able to leave the problems behind and relax my mind, even though my body is screaming and aching in pain.

I do it for me and me only. I don't do it to impress anyone. The only person I want to impress is me. At the moment I am not that impressed. When I smash my PR's in March i'll be impressed for a while, before I become unimpressed with them and push on and aim for the next goal.

The main reason why though is I love pushing myself physically and love the mental game of standing under a heavy loaded bar and squatting it below parallel. I like to think it takes balls to go those extra few inches lower and drop my hips below my knees.

Check out the original article here:

A quote to leave you with

'The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But 200 pounds is always 200 pounds.'
Henry Rollins

Let me know why you lift in the comment section below

Flexibility and Range of Motion

Flexibility in the body can be determined by range of motion (ROM), which occurs at the joint. This can be affected by a number of issues, including connective tissue structure, activity, age and gender. The range of motion is specific to each of the body’s joints anatomy.

Range of motion can be measured through flexibility, which has two components: static and dynamic. Static flexibility is the amount of movement a joint and its surrounding muscles have during a passive movement e.g. a calf stretch (1,2). You can perform static stretches using a partner, an external force or a machine as they don’t need any voluntary muscle action from the individual.

Dynamic flexibility requires voluntary muscle action and is the available range of motion during active movements e.g. leg swings. The range of motion of a joint is generally greater in dynamic movements than with static positions (3).

Factors Affecting Flexibility

There are certain factors that will affect flexibility. There are anatomical factors, such as joint structure, age and gender, which cannot be altered significantly through training. Then there are activities, related to exercise, such as activity level, resistance exercises, stretching exercises, which can improve flexibility.

Joint Structure

The structure of the joint determines range of movement (4). There are different joints in the body e.g. ball and socket (shoulder) and hinge (knee). The type of joint, the joints’ articulating surfaces and soft tissues (muscles, tendons and ligaments) surrounding the joint, all affect range of motion.

Age and Gender

Young people tend to be more flexible than older people (8) and females more flexible than males (5). The difference in flexibility in young men and women could be down to the structural and anatomical differences and the type of activity that is performed and to what extent. Fibrosis is the thickening and scarring of connective tissue and is a process that happens when people get older. This could be down to lack of physical activity, injury and the tendency to use less of the available range of motion during movement.

Connective Tissue

Tendons, ligaments, fascial sheaths, joint capsules and skin may limit range of motion (2). Elasticity is the when the muscle can return to its original length after a passive stretch. Plasticity is when the muscle can gain new and greater length after passive stretches (7). Elasticity and plasticity of the connective tissue are other factors, which can affect/determine flexibility (7). Performing stretching exercises can take advantage of the plastic potential of the connective tissues.

Resistance Training with Limited Range of Motion

Resistance training may increase flexibility if it done correctly and with proper technique (6). Using heavy resistance and a limited range of motion may decrease range of motion at that particular joint (2). So that range of motion does not get lost, exercises should be done with a full range of motion of all joints involved, maintaining correct technique (9).

Muscle Bulk

Large amounts of muscle may affect range of motion by decreasing joint movement. Someone with large biceps (front of upper arm) and shoulders, may experience difficulty when stretching the triceps (back of upper arm) (2).

Activity Level

Active people tend to be more flexible than inactive people (5). This can be true if a person performs activities such as resistance training using a full range of motion, functional activities and flexibility exercises, both static and dynamic. Activity alone will not improve flexibility; static and dynamic exercises must be implemented if flexibility at a joint is to be maintained or improved.


  1. Beachle, T.R., and Earle, R.W. Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2008
  2. Church, J.B., Wiggins, M.S., Woode, F.M., and Crist, R. Effect of Warm-Up and Flexibility Treatments on Vertcal Jump Performance, J Strength and Cond Res, 15(3): 332-336. 2001
  3. Cornelius, W.J., and Hinson, M.M. The Relationship Between Isometric Contractions of Hip Extensors and Subsequent Flexibility in Males, Sports Med Phys Fitness, 20: 75-80. 1980
  4. DeVries, H.A., Housh, T.J., and Weir, L.L. Physiology of Exercise for Physical Education, Athletes and Exercise Science, 5th ed. Dubuque, IA: Brown. 1995
  5. Getchell, B. Physical Fitness: A Way of Life. In: Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2008
  6. Leighton, J.R. A Study of the Effect of Progressive Weight Training on Flexibility. J Assoc Phys Ment Rehabil 18: 101. 1964
  7. Marshell, J.L., Johanson, N., Wickiewicz, T.L., Tishler, H.M., Koslin, B.L., Zeno, S., and Myers, A. A Function of the Person and the Joint, Med Sci Sports Exerc, 12: 189-194. 1980
  8. Wilmore, J.H., Parr, R.B., Girandola, R.N., Ward, P., Vodak, P.A., Barstow, T.J., Pipes, T.V., Romero, G.T., and Leslie, P. Physiological alterations consequent to circuit weight training. In: Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2008
  9. Winters, M.V., Blake, C.G., Trost, J.S., Marcell-Brinker, T.B., Lowe, L.M., Garber, M.B., and Wainner, R.S. Passive Versus Active Stretching of the Hip Flexor Muscles in Subjects with Limited Hip Extension: A Random Clinical Trial. Physical Therapy, 84(9): 800-807. 2004

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Excess bodyfat? Try this, it might make you feel better too

As a nutritional advisor, I have read, heard and tried many different ways to help me lose body fat. I am a former competitive natural bodybuilder. This required me to become very lean, getting my body fat down in the region of 3%.

There is a lot of information available on the theory of fat loss. There is some very good information and some very out dated and bad information. It has taken me a while to write this article, as I wanted to really research this area and give you the best information from the best trainers, coaches, nutritionists and doctors in the industry.

As you can see, I am talking about fat loss, not weight loss. Weight has always been the norm to see results when exercising and dieting. I would rather you do circumference measurements and look at clothes size, as these are better indicators of fat loss.

This way of eating is not just a way of losing bodyfat, it is a way to becoming healthier at the same time. It can help reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular health problems, cancers and diabetes, along with many other degenerative diseases. This is not a quick fix diet; it requires a change in mentality that you are going to eat like this for life. I want you to lose excess body fat and keep it off and in the process become healthier.

The healthy for life eating programme

Eat five to six times a day

The nutrition plan is based on eating 5-6 times a day. Nutritionists have implemented this for a while now. Mike Roussell has this as one of his 6 Pillars of Nutrition. By eating 5-6 smaller meals a day, you will fuel the body with only what it requires over the next few hours, supplying your body with a constant supply of high quality nutrients. By having multiple meals throughout the day, you are able to control insulin and blood sugar levels, which is really important for fat loss and overall health. By doing this, you are able to keep your body sensitive to insulin, which can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Cut down on sugary foods

When trying to lose bodyfat, you really want to try and cut out sugary and processed foods. Processed foods, such as cereals, crisps, biscuits etc tend to be high in sugars, unhealthy fats and also have large amounts of salt in them.

By cutting these foods out, not only will they help in the process of fat loss, you will also become healthier. Foods like these push up your blood sugar levels and can make you become insulin resistant over time, which can then develop into type 2 diabetes. By cutting these types of foods out, you will have to eat more fruit and vegetables.

Eat more fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables should make up the cornerstone of our diet. Fruits and vegetables are packed with higher amounts of nutrients, such as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (1). Fruits and vegetables are greater in volume, which have a fulfilling effect, yet they are relatively low in calories. We have stretch receptors in our stomach, which sends signals to the brain and tells us we are full up. Match this to other foods, such as a pizza; you would have to eat a massive amount of fruit and vegetables in one sitting to match the same calorie intake as that of the pizza, and yet it is quite easy to eat a large pizza to ones self. So you can actually eat a higher volume of food and still lose body fat.

Fruit and vegetables are also lower on the glycemic index and they have less impact on your blood sugar levels compared to foods such as starches, grains, potatoes and rice’s. How much should we aim for? Aim for 9-13 portions a day. Too much? Make smoothies and soups, these are great ways to get your fruit and vegetable quota for the day.

Drink plenty of water

Water can really help in the process of losing body fat. Water helps transport toxins out of the bodies cells and supply the body with fresh nutrients, minerals etc (1). Drinking water can have a fulfilling effect on the body. When people feel hungry, they can mistake it for being thirsty. Drinking water can alleviate this.

People tend to reach though for a sugary drink, high in calories when they are thirsty. This is such an easy, but bad way of consuming calories and can have a massive effect on increasing total fat mass. Really try and prevent drinking calories. If you have beverages such as tea and coffee, refrain from adding in sugar, milk and cream. This can boost total calories and negate the benefits these drinks can have.

Fill up on protein based foods

The next most important food to be eating is lean protein throughout the day. You can get this from foods like chicken, lean beef and fish. Try and replace carbohydrates with protein-based foods.

By increasing your protein intake, you will lower your insulin response, which in turn helps you keep body fat off (2). Protein is harder to breakdown in the body than both carbohydrates and fats (2). This means that our body has to work harder, which requires more energy, and we get this energy from stored body fat (4).

Leave starchy carbohydrates to the morning

Really try and keep starchy carbohydrates, such as oats and rice to breakfast or earlier in the day. In the morning the body’s liver and muscle sugar levels are lower and the body is better at handling starchy carbohydrates as it has improved insulin sensitivity earlier in the day. As the day goes on, reduce the amount of starchy foods and eat more protein based foods, fruits, vegetables and food that have healthy fats in them.

Fat can be healthy and beneficial too

Like carbohydrates, there are also different types of fats, unhealthy, such as trans fatty acids, which can be found in processed foods and healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds and fish. Healthy fats are a great benefit to the body (1). Try and steer clear of fats that are solid at room temperature e.g. butter and lard. Margarine is not a good alternative to these either as it is full of trans fatty acids to help it stay solid at room temperature.

Omega 3, which can be found in oily fish, linseeds and walnuts, has been clinically proven to help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and also improves brain function. A Monounsaturated fat, such as olive oil has been shown to help the body breakdown stored body fat. Fat is a very important aspect of a healthy lifestyle and helping reduce body fat.


The information above is no magic pill that will help lose body fat in an instance. By following the guidelines above not only will you lose body fat, you will also feel healthier and have a lot more energy. This is no special diet, this is just healthy eating and the benefits you can get from following an eating pattern of 5-6 meals a day full of fruits, vegetables, lean cuts of meat, fish and avoiding starchy carbohydrates later in the day will leave you looking better and feeling better.


1. Beachle, T.R., and Earle, R.W. Essentials of Strength and Conditioning, 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 2008

2. High Protein Intake Enhances Protein Synthesis During Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 90: 5175-5181. 2005

3. MacWilliam, L. Nutrisearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements. 4th ed. Northern Dimensions. 2007

4. Moderate Protein Diet Helps Sustain Weight Loss: Journal of Nutrition. 139: 514-521. 2009

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Don't slouch, sit up straight

This blog is intended for educational purpose only. The reader should be cautioned that there is a risk of participating in any form of physical activity. Those participating in exercise programs should check with their physician before applying the following activities. The participant must understand that any exercise can be dangerous if performed incorrectly and should seek out a fitness professional, like myself. I assume no liability for injury, this is purely and educational blog.

At the end of last year I wrote the blog 'How is your posture holding up?' Moving onto this second part, I will be covering the implications of what poor posture can have on your health and what exercises can be done to help improve different problems.

Now, I am not going to be able to cover all the corrective exercises for the many different postural problems as this would require me writing an entire book or dvd about it. I will be covering exercises, which will help with some of the most common problems I come across. The problems I am going to look at are:

- Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis
- Abducted Scapular
- Anterior Pelvic Tilt
- Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Implications of poor posture can have an effect on your health. Most pain, such as knee, ankle, hip, shoulder, neck will come from poor posture. Pain is a symptom that something is wrong and that although you might be experiencing pain in say, the knee, the cause of the pain could be due to problems elsewhere in the body (4).

For example, an anterior tilt to the hip increases tension on the hamstring. This can make a person/athlete more vulnerable to a hamstring strain (2). The anterior position of the hip will also mean that it is placed in hip flexion, adduction and internal rotation, which can increase the possibility of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and anterior knee pain (3).

An anterior pelvic tilt can also cause an excessive lordotic curve to the lumber spine. This can cause compressive issues on the intervertebral discs in the lumber region. The disc is in a more prone position to bulge posteriorly putting compressive stress on the vertebral facets (5). The nerve roots that exit from the vertebrae can be compressed and this can lead to pain (5).

Looking at the most common postural problems then, here are some exercises for those who suffer from the following defects.

Excessive Thoracic Curve
I see this problem a lot, both from fellow weightlifters and from everyday people. This is where the back raises up, which will cause the chest to become vertically aligned if viewing from the side. The upper back may be visible from the front. The head will move forward, causing a forward head posture, the shoulders tend to round and the arms internally rotate.

This posture is a result of certain muscles being too long and others being too short as a result of daily activities, an imbalanced training program and the body being in one position for too long e.g. sitting at a desk. This is very common with desk bound people and weight trainers who know nothing else but to train the chest, front shoulders and biceps.

Exercises to help maintain good thoracic posture and correct excessive thoracic kyphosis (1):
- Foam rolling the thoracic spine
- Bent over thoracic spine rotation
- Quadruped extension rotation
- Point extension rotation
- Yoga push-ups

Abducted Scapular
This is when the scapular wing out away from the spine. The scapular should rest against the rib cage. If the scapula moves forward, this may indicate that the anterior shoulder girdle has shortened and the scapular musculature has lengthened (1).

Exercises that will help adduct the scapular back into their proper position (1):
- Forearm wall slides
- Split-stance broomstick pectoral mobility
- Supine no money drill with band
- Scapular wall slides
- Reach role and lift
- Prone trap raise (Y)

Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The anterior pelvic tilt is where the hip structure tilts forward at the front, causing the backside to stick out. This also causes an excessive lordotic curve in the lumber spine. This can also cause lower limb problems like valgus knee. An optimal pelvic position will have a slight anterior tilt to that of about 10 degrees (1, 5).

Exercises that help bring the hip structure back into optimal positions are (1):
- Pulsed hip flexor mobilisations
- Wall hip flexor mobilisations
- Overhead lunge walk
- Reverse lunge with posterolateral reach
- Gluteal bridge raise
- One leg gluteal bridge raise

Posterior Pelvic Tilt
This is the opposite of the anterior pelvic tilt, where the pelvis drops backward. This causes the lower back to flatten out and cause flat back syndrome. The hamstring muscles become very short and tight and the hip flexors tend to lengthen out and become weak.

As with the other problems, this is completely fixable. One client came to me with with flat back syndrome and could only manage 30 degrees in the supine straight leg raise. Within 6 weeks, the client could raise it 90 degrees.

Exercises that can help pull the pelvis forward, anteriorly again (1):
- Supine straight leg raise
- Kneeling role backs
- Lying psoas march
- Yoga press-up

For more information on postural correction or you would like help with postural correction and you live in the Guildford, Surrey area, you can contact me at or phone me on 07826 846 201
  1. Cressey, E. Hartman, B. Robertson, M. Assess and Correct. 2009
  2. Hennessy, L. Flexibility and posture assessment in relation to hamstring injury. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 27(4): 243-246. 1993.
  3. Loudon, J.K. The Relationship Between Static Posture and ACL Injury in Female Athletes. Journal of Orthopedic and Sport Physical Therapy. 24(2): 91-97. 1996
  4. Scannell, J.P, McGill, S.M. Lumber Posture - Should it, and can it, be modified? A study of passive tissue stiffness and lumber position during activities of daily living. Physical Therapy. 83(10): 907-917. 2003.
  5. Zatsiorsky, V.M, Kraemer, W.J Science and Practice of Strength Training. Human Kinetics, Champaign, Il. 2006.