How To Cheat Death! Well, Almost…

We all want the miracle cure. The pill, the potions, the surgery – anything that might make us look and feel younger.

Well – we thought we’d let you into a science backed secret that’s pretty important you know about. We’re nice like that 🙂

If you remember, last week I wrote about science based ways to train that improve short term Human Growth Hormone production. It’s an incredibly important hormone for longevity of life.

Why? Because HGH leads to increased strength, lean muscle mass, decreased body fat, improved bone density and a faster, more efficient metabolism, as well as having other regenerative benefits. Oh and it also improves mood, energy, sleep and skin tone.

As we age however, it reduces dramatically. Meaning the benefits we get from it begin to diminish.

But we can cheat it.

So how…?

Well, exercise in general will give a short term boost in HGH and the great news is – specific ways of training can amplify the effect for best results.

To recap that is short bursts of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) of no longer than 20 minutes. Followed by resistance training (weight bearing exercise) straight after if possible.

What’s exciting is two more studies not only reinforce the health benefits of varied training that we’ve mentioned above, but actually link exercise to life longevity in a HUGE study.

The first study looked at 4400 adults aged 50 or older who had their strength and muscle mass assessed between 1999 and 2002. The study checked in 2011 who was still living (I know a bit grim sorry!)

Incredibly those assessed with low muscle strength were over twice as likely to have died…

Interestingly muscle mass didn’t have an effect, it was purely the strength result. So functional strength decreases your mortality risk, as well as having plenty of other all around health benefits.

The second study looked at data from 80,000 adults in England and Scotland who’d completed surveys about physical activity during the 1990s.

The headline from this study is that those who’d done any kind of strength training were 23 percent less likely to have died during the study period, and 31% less likely to have died of cancer.

However, before you ditch your cardio and start lifting the weights, you might want to know this fact: those who did strength training and aerobic exercise had a 29% reduction in mortality. That’s almost a third…

In summary, mixing up strength training with aerobic activity not only gives you all kind of hormonal and health benefits, but can significantly reduce your mortality risk.

You’ll live longer, and because you’re training this way, you’ll have a better quality of life too.

This is exactly how we train, how we set up our programmes, how we train our clients. We’re looking for varied, challenging training that’s fun, and not only meets aesthetic goals, but delivers health goals over the long term. Now the data suggests it can also prolong your life.

Love to hear your thoughts and questions, so feel free to give us a shout.

38nacademy.com

References
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Mar;50(3):458-467

American Journal of Epidemiology. Volume 187, Issue 5, May 2018, Pages 1102–1112

Will A Blow Out Ruin My Progress?

This one is a really popular topic – especially over the summer in Ibiza! A little bit of sun, a dash of uplifting music, some drinks, and that one small beer turns into a mighty session… have you undone all your good work?

Although the next morning it will probably feel like it – not at all – and this is where people go wrong. A big day or night out is not going to help your health progress – no doubt on that (although if you have a good time and end up with a smile on your face – hey!) BUT falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you’ve lost the wagon train and you should lay down and wait for the vultures.

We see this all the time – people work hard for their body goals – watching their diet, moderating their drinking, training hard, then boom! That big blow out and they give up. Don’t!

First up, we’ve been prone to the odd big night out. BUT…what we learnt about ourselves early on is that the all or nothing approach does us no favours.

If you restrict yourself over too long a period of time – strict eating, early nights, herbal teas instead of Gs & Ts, sure, you start to feel physically great, BUT…

Emotionally you’re probably bored, overthinking and stressing about every little thing.

So…

Moderate.

We’ve learned having the odd drink when we want, going out when we feel like it – all helps with overall balance and our goals aren’t as impacted as when we’re trying to be at the extreme end of something. Think of it like an elastic band, we want to be flexible in the middle, not pulled tight at one end, or else, when the band pings…

So….live a balanced life, acknowledge your goals, stay on track, understand your need to have fun (within reason) and you’ll be far less inclined to “go hard or go home”.

But what if you did slip?

Here are some practical ways forward…..

You wake up feeling like death warmed up – all those negative voices in your head will start telling you “See, told you so…” Thank them, acknowledge them, and pick yourself up and move on.

If you’ve had the mother of all days/nights/48 hours, don’t try to do anything. Respect your body and your mind. Rehydrate with lots of water, eat nourishing food, rest.

If you’ve only gone moderately hard, and you feel you can, then moving can really help a) shake off a hangover b) help swing your mood back up as the endorphins from exercising kick in.

Only go at a pace and intensity that feels okay to you, and is safe for whatever you’ve done the night before. Aim for either a short burst of activity to get you sweating a little bit, or go for a long steady walk in the fresh air. Both work, sometimes short and sharp is better, like ripping a plaster off.

Remember that your insulin and blood sugars will be all over the shop from over-indulgence, but rather than going for the fatty, starchy food your hunger hormones will be screaming for, smash in lean protein like fish, chicken (easy to digest) and lots of veggies.

Be realistic, it’s not the end of the world. Rest, realign and once you’re recuperated, carry on as before and you’ll be back on track before you know it.

Are You Investing In You?

I’ve just completed our Q1 accounts and what leapt out at me was the amount (relatively) that Claire and I have spent on coaches, courses and learning.

We have a stable business, a strong sales pipeline for our retreats, corporate clients and consulting clients. We know what we’re doing. So why are we spending on coaches and learning?

The answer is, because we have a growth mindset. It would be easy to sit back and stay where we are, and have an easy, uncluttered life, but that’s not what we want or believe in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to rest every now and again, but when you stop learning, stop growing, you don’t stay still, you actually go backwards.

This year we’ve worked with business coaches, money coaches, sales coaches, NLP coaches and more. Why? We know this stuff…

Well, we do, but other people can often articulate it better (with a fresh perspective) and we want to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. When we see an area we can improve on we jump at the chance to work on it.

That way we can be the best we can be, and we can be even better at helping others. Our lives are a journey, and your learning doesn’t stop when you leave school or university, it carries on throughout your life.

Now, you might passively sit by and let life teach you lessons (and it will!) but why not take control and learn what’s going to benefit you, and the people around you, the most?

Could we have coasted on without these coaches? Yes, for sure. But they all added value to our lives and what we can offer others.

So this short blog is not meant to tell you how great we think we are, but rather how we acknowledge that we need support and learning to grow and become greater, to reach higher, to serve better.

The purpose of this piece is to ask you, where can you level up? What part of your life would you like to steer in a more positive direction?

It’s never too late. In the words of Ghandi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

if you’d like to talk to us about how we could help you move forward, then drop us a line.

We’d love to speak to you 🙂

Much love

James

Top 10 Fitness Trends To Look Out For In 2016

Bio Science

Medical tests that would previously require a Dr.’s visit are now becoming accessible to us at home, and where bio-science intersects with technology, we’re starting to see consumer facing dashboards that put wellness into our own hands. New blood test programmes like LiveSmart and wellnessfx keep us informed of our health on an ongoing basis, allow us to alter health outcomes, and to understand our genetic makeup and the factors that influence our training and nutrition results. DNA testing is already here, so we can understand the unique genetic markers we carry and how they shape our results, but these new at home blood tests allow us to monitor multiple aspects of our health simultaneously. Plug into the dashboard, build a health plan around it and we have the ability to make changes that really can impact short term goals and long term health. Expect to see more growth in this area in 2016.

Wearable Tech

There’s the new Apple watch, there are Fitbits, Withings, Jawbones, Nike Bands and more, and more and more of our clients using them to monitor and track their progress. The devices and the technology are getting better all the time. It’s likely that as the market grows there will be some sort of consolidation, perhaps it’s the tech that can best match up with the bio science innovations that will win the day?

Personalisation

One size fits all training programmes and nutrition plans are out, personalisation is in, which means an increase in the number of people using Personal Trainers to help formulate bespoke plans, monitor and track progress and discover new, bespoke training methodologies. Utilising a combination of tests and tech as above allows us to take much of the guesswork out, giving users access to the kind of data previously only available to professional athletes, which in turn means that training and nutrition can be even more specifically tailored to give outstanding results.

Online Coaching

This won’t be for everyone, but for clients who already have a good idea of what they’re doing in the gym, the next logical step is a virtual trainer who can not only motivate them, but look at the wealth of data for a client, formulate their training and nutrition programmes, monitor them, and most importantly motivate them. The online coach isn’t just a PT, it’s a health coach, analysing and feeding information to the client, and tweaking their training to deliver the best results. Expect to see growth in this area through 2016.

Outdoor Workouts

It might be mighty cold outdoors, but there’s nothing quite like the buzz of an outdoor session, in natural light, in natural surroundings. Why train indoors breathing recycled air when you could be getting primal in the fresh air? As more and more kit suitable for outdoor training (see Functional Training below) we predict more people are going to start to appreciate the kick of getting sweaty in the great outdoors.

Functional Training

We’ve already had Cross Fit, which introduced a lot of people to a new way of training: people are realising that fitness really is a multi-disciplined event, and to be truly fit and get the body composition results, mixing it up is a smart way to go. Forget grunting out reps on machines, 2016 is going to be about hammers, tyres, ropes, gymnastic rings, kettle bells and functional movement twinned with high intensity work to build an athlete’s body, and achieve an athlete’s fitness.

Fast Workouts

In the modern world we’re all under time pressure, and after lack of motivation, lack of time is the primary reason clients give for not engaging with their training and getting results. Thankfully, if you’re prepared to put in the hard work in terms of intensity, then you can still get the results you crave in short, sharp, focused workouts. This includes things like cardiovascular work such as sprinting twinned with full body circuits, or body part focused strength training in a single session. These work-outs can work wonders and in a short amount of time. 30 minutes is do-able for general fitness and fat -burning, but 2016 will bring with it body part focused protocols of 30 – 40 minutes combining strength, hypertrophy and endurance orientated exercises twinned with hyper-effective fat burners and CV conditioners like HIIT.

Combat Sports Training

Be it MMA, boxing, or other martial arts, we’re predicting a surge in fight style training in 2016. Why? Because it’s so effective – like the ultimate in full body HIIT training. And because it requires an intense concentration, it works not only muscles but co-ordination, reactions and balance. Training for fighting is full body conditioning, which allows you to build strength without sacrificing mobility, and training in rounds with a rest in between gives you the interval effect. After all, when was the last time you saw a professional boxer or MMA fighter with a podgy belly? A strong core is key, and blasting out skipping, running, bag work, grappling, pad work and even sparring is going to get you in tip top shape in no time.

Yoga

Long considered a perennial favourite, we expect that yoga will see a bit of a resurgence in 2016. Excellent for breathing, getting into your headspace, and improving mobility, yoga should be part of everyone’s training regime at least once a week. Perhaps more than any other exercise form, it’s vitally important to find a style and teacher that works for you. There are hundreds of classes out there, keep going until you find that one that resonates with you and reap the benefits of a regular practice.

Fitness Holidays

When we came to Ibiza 5 years ago, it was just us and one other fitness holiday company here, last season at least another three joined the party and we already know of several others on the way. It’s a trend that’s being mirrored around Europe – with people looking to get more out of their holiday time. Investing in yourself for an experience with a team of experts and making changes in your healthy living and training is gaining traction. It’s an opportunity to try new exercises and activities, have fun, and go home fitter, stronger, leaner and with a smile on your face. In 2016 we will be supplementing our Ibiza fitness holidays with UK fitness breaks and some pretty special farther flung destinations. Watch this space…

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