Ever done a set of heavy squats or deadlifts only to have your SI joint flare up? Do you find yourself rolling your legs side to side trying to alleviate the pain? How about waking up after a terrible night’s sleep due to an on-going irritation in your lower back? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Some people train for health, mental as well as physical, others for aesthetics and others for performance. For some of us it’s an occupational necessity. I confess to training for all of these reasons. But the single most dominant factor which motivates my training is simple – increasing my chances of not getting dead.
Recovery is all about making sure that after high intensity training or competition, you can get up the next day and perform at the same level. Whether you are working in the film industry or not here are some tips from Tom Lowes to help you optimise recovery and maintain physical and mental performance.
The saying ‘out of sight, out of mind’ best describes how modern society came to cause one of the largest man-made environmental disasters’ humans have ever seen1.
Magnesium is one of the most common nutrient insufficiencies, especially in those taking part in regular exercise. In this article we are going to look at the role of magnesium in exercise performance and recovery.
“Everyone wants to be a beast, until it comes to doing what beast’s do” – Eric Thomas. You may have heard this quote before on a motivational montage that you listen to before training. I used to. I did it so for years and always said to myself that I’ll train as hard as humanly possible no matter what the situation. Lack of sleep, still train hard. Missed a meal, still push myself to the limit. Emotional stress, distract myself and push it to the back of my mind. This is what beast’s do isn’t it?
In case you have been living under a rock over the past 1-2 years, you might have seen a lot of press and coverage around the subject of plastic. When the likes of Sir David Attenborough dedicate so much time to creating a movement away from the use of plastic you know it’s got to be pretty important.
In part one of this series we explored what our brain is capable of. This entailed looking into brain anatomy, exceptional cases of intelligence and the mathematical possibilities behind the scope of our potential brain power. This article will continue to investigate the notion of heightened brain activity and outline ways in which you can boost your own focus, mood and productivity levels.
In this article we discuss the far-reaching effects of phytonutrients, the compounds found natural in foods that can have a powerful impact on your health. We look at different phytonutrients, their benefits and how the colour of your food can help guide you, when trying to increase certain phytonutrients in your diet.
Although it could be argued that the deadlift is the ultimate back builder, I would definitely have to say the pull up is on a par for developing strength, hypertrophy and shoulder health. Show me a guy who can do multiple sets of 10 plus reps on pull ups and you’ll also show me a guy with a wide, thick, muscular back. Barbells without a shadow of doubt build mass, but nothing screams athleticism quite as much as being a master of controlling your own body weight.
If the deadlift is the King of lifts, the overhead press would definitely be Queen. This movement is incredibly challenging, marrying it to the deadlift when it comes to the first two disciplines in any strongman competition. When it comes to deciphering which man/woman possesses the most brute force and power, nothing will give a better indication than how much you can pick up off the floor and how much you can press above your head.
Quite simply, Breath equals Life. From the moment you take your first inhalation to the moment you take your very last exhalation, to breathe is to live. We can go without food for forty days and without water for three days, yet we can die after just a few minutes of not breathing. So does it not make sense to learn to use this gift of breathing more effectively?
If you want to add size and strength, you need to be in an environment where you can safely add load. No exercise can place quite as many pounds through the upper body as the bench press. This has made it the “go-to” exercise for trainees all around the world when it comes to building the chest, shoulders, arms and back.
There’s no other way to pack on strength and size than through mastering the compound lifts. By honing your skills when it comes to lifting and being patient and consistent with your recovery and nutrition, you’ll have a potent combination for physical development.
Yoga is now more popular than ever, but with classes often lacking that 1 to 1 attention how do we make sure we are doing it right? That’s where our man The Downward Doug comes in. Whether you’re a total newbie or a dedicated practitioner who’s looking to deepen your practice this guide will help. Breaking down the poses and explaining the attention behind them you’ll feel confident whipping out these poses whether at home or in your favourite class. There’s never been a better time to #getdownwithdoug
The bullet proof body would not be complete without talking about one of the most overlooked aspects of raw strength; grip training. Having a vice like grip not only increases your capacity for strength, it’s a vital part of being injury free as well. This article will follow suit as the rest of the series.
If I had a penny for every time someone asked me this question, I’d have about 5p, but still, it’s almost an immediate reply whenever anyone asks if I lift weights. The bench press is like the male right of passage in the gym. If you can bench a lot, it’s like it cements your alpha status. Everyone wants a big bench and big chest. Now what if I told you your bench press doesn’t actually have as much to do with your chest and triceps as you think.
In part 1 of the bullet proof body I spoke about the importance of the feet and ankle mobility. The reason why I started here is that this is the first area I would look at for anyone suffering from lower back pain. Make sure you read part 1 before this article, as it will massively help you understand some key principles behind injury proofing your body. This article will follow the same suit as the last. First, I’ll be discussing a little bit about biomechanics and common reasons for lower back pain, then I’ll be giving my top 3 tips for correcting issues and building pain free foundations.
Many people assume that it’s the people who train the hardest that achieve insurmountable amounts of size and strength. This isn’t actually the case. Training hard is important but the person who can train injury free will always make more linear progression. Looking after and “pre-habing” your body is an essential part of training. Although corrective work doesn’t seem that glamorous, it potentiates size and strength, making it a key aspect of effective training.
With the meteoric rise in popularity of mixed martial arts and the already huge following of boxing around the world, most average gym Joe’s will have noted what extraordinary physiques these modern day gladiators have. These real, but seemingly unobtainable chiselled bodies, look like they could be straight off the set of 300.
Chronic inflammation plays a significant role in almost all disease conditions in some way or another. Anything from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, eczema, arthritis, psoriasis and more are all influenced by inflammation. In this article we take a look at how to control inflammation with foods and botanicals.
Crossfit, bodybuilding, olympic weightlifting, strongman, powerlifting, HIIT training, conditioning, calisthenics, MMA, boxing, yoga, hot yoga, naked yoga… (all read in a brash american car retailer voice blurting out deals during a closing down sale). We are inundated with a smorgasbord of training modes, all being sold to us with the elixir of getting us jacked or shredded.
In this article we are going to look at how nutrition can help optimize recovery from a bone fracture. We have used similar tactics outlined in this article to help stunt performers recover well from injury when the unexpected happens.
Protein is always a contentious subject with varying opinion on how much and what forms of protein we can or should be eating. In this article we are going to look at why protein is important and giving you some guidance on how much protein might be right for you.
Following on from the previous article Protein: Understanding the Importance and establishing your protein goal. In this article we are going to look at some of the common myths that surround protein, in particular the common physiological arguments for meat vs plant-based protein.
In previous articles on protein we looked at understanding the importance of protein and establishing a protein goal, then covered some of the common myths & questions associated with protein. All of that is great, but what does this mean on a practical level? What protein should you be eating?
Strength training is an art form. It’s a beautiful combination of problem solving, mathematical equations, brute power and patience. Getting stronger is not simply a case of lift more each week and try harder, you must follow certain principles that allow for long term adaptations.
“Strength is the mother of all qualities”. This is a quote that I heard early on in my career which resonated with me quite a lot. From a young age, strength has always fascinated me. Whether it was watching Superman pick up cars or colossal men move atlas stones on World’s Strongest Man, I knew that the pursuit of a strong, powerful physique was something I wanted to dedicate my life to.
What are our brains actually capable of? It’s an interesting question isn’t it. Hollywood has often highlighted the super powers of enhanced brain function, tantalising us with fantasies of unlimited potential. It makes for a great movie plot but looking a bit closer, is total optimisation actually possible? And if so, how?
Kettlebell training is accessible and practical for everybody. Whether you are an elite athlete looking for an edge or looking to discover fitness for the first time. Kettlebells seem like a new phenomenon featured in fitness magazines, TV shows and gym facilities, but they are not that new, in fact they have been around for over 300 years.
Here is a method I used to use a lot with clients back in the day when I used to work as a PT. I originally learnt this method from strength coach Charles Poliquin.
Here is a quick and very effective method that can be utilised when looking for a short and intense workout that I got from Tom Hibbert owner of Winning Health Solutions in Southampton who in turn learnt from Andre Benoit an ex Olympian and now world renowned strength and conditioning coach.
So – you don’t need me to tell you how it important it is that you breathe, I‘m sure you get that. But how does the way we breathe effect our physiology, and can certain breathing techniques have a positive impact on key areas of your health like sleep, digestion, hormone balance and so forth.