Peanut Butter Porridge with Peruvian Cacao This is not your average 'porridge for breakfast' but a antioxidant rich meal to serve the demanding needs of an athlete as well as those dedicated to healthier living, to which I add that no athlete will...

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Pomegranate Raspberry Overnight Oats The simple yet profound truth is that no athlete will reach their potential if they fail the manage a nutritious diet. It truly is that simple and for all the promising athletes that fell short of their...

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Raspberry Banana Overnight Oats No athlete can achieve their promise if they fail to manage a proper diet. Simple, yet profound and any suggestion otherwise is nonsense for without the proper dietary support the utmost potential...

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Blueberry Overnight Oats No athlete can achieve their promise if they fail to manage a proper diet. This simple fact is equally a trying realisation for many as for decades proper dietary habits have rarely been emphasised...

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Recipe: Porridge, Eggs and Courgette Food is fuel to serve the demands of athletic development. Whether one is at the height of sport or a young athlete with dreams of the next level without the proper fuel no athlete can reach their...

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Be ambitious, bold and audacious

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For those who enjoy the life of a sportsmen, the toxic venom of a bite from wildlife is an on going threat in many adventures within the ‘great outdoors’. There must always be a careful balance stricken of enjoying the beauty of the wilds with a firm understanding that one wrong step may find yourself in jaws of wildlife and the resulting bite could end your days without an antidote.

 

However there is another type of ‘venom’ but one that needs no cure and is to be embraced. This ‘venom’ is the personal resolve to rid ourselves of the constant softening of an era, believe in the power within and attack goals with a relentless spirit.

 

The spirit of success is a venomous one where each day the call signals for ‘the hunt’ to begin and while others rest on their heels concerned of failure, you push forward on the attack to search out success. Eliminate the rear view mirror of life, push forward and fear nothing.

 

The early spring rain came down in a sideways unwelcoming pace that effectively signalled the end to training for the majority but for the victors there is still work to be done and uncomfortable weather was merely the spurs reminding that adversity is the breeding ground of champions. The grounds were a water-logged mess, the rain and temperature chilling to the bone and thus, ‘perfect’ in the oddest sense of environments.

 

This is the hallmark of championships. Not of perfect training environments with the requisite heated towel racks and quaint music but of rough and ready challenges that demand the most. For those who embrace those demands, they have captured that with challenge comes opportunity and so go forward craving the storms of adversity.

 

Our world was once the home of those who attacked life and were proactive in their day building a better, just society but sadly for many years a doughy softening has occurred. This softening needs to be culled with a new frontier, where tough as leather hides and ambitious men and women attack life. To this I reminded of a speech many have heard through my career but it is worth repeating.

 

Some will look at the door of opportunity and will tap on it oh-so nicely. Good natured souls that they are but don’t ask that of me. I’ll kick the damn thing down and not leave anything in its wake. I am the fire you fear and the storm you dread.

 

Be ambitious, be bold and audacious.

 

There is no antidote to this venom and once you capture its message, you are ready to climb the victors podium in every challenge life provides.

 

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2015
All rights reserved

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Hill Climbs for Cycling Power

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One of the most important aspects of training a cyclist must consider is developing the needed strength and fitness levels to manage hill climbs. Said hills need not be the grade of the recent Vuelta a España but all riders must be able to navigate over challenging conditions and be accustomed to technical needs and safety when fatigued. The latter matter is of extreme importance because training must always translate to the broad scope of the sport and the complexities of the descent after a steep climb cannot be underestimated.

 

I should first point out that my approach to hill climbs is to first assume the rider can safely manage the descent. Though I know the typical approach is to discuss only the physical requirements of mounting a charge up a hill, failing to monitor technical growth of managing the descent can place a rider in a potentially dangerous situation.

 

While I believe there is a need to vary technical style and cadence rate, for this purpose longer seated hill climbs (other approaches to be discussed in a later article) with a stroke rate of eighty to ninety per minute is the most efficient and provides the optimal training situation.

 

Using the most straight forward approach, whilst always maintaining appropriate stroke rate on the saddle and without the need for gear change, calculate hill climbs via the required time from base to summit, followed by descent to starting position. The general time performed will then allow for ease of calculation including wattage, monitoring of total strokes and with technical proficiency of descent, more challenging gradients are introduced.

 

From this calculation intervals are created using a pyramid approach where you successively start sets higher on the hill with each repeats. In this manner (see below) the second set of hill climbs starts ninety seconds after the original start position. The rider descends as quickly as possible, in a manner suitable for their technical expertise, circles at a slow pace for upwards of two minutes before beginning their next repeat.

 

As an example and from an intermediate development plan of a relatively fit cyclist, using a hill that is longer in length but without extreme rise. The best type of hill condition for this training approach has three plus phases of undulation where it alternates from moderate pitch to a quick level before returning to a steeper climb. Only when an individual demonstrates complete control in the descent are steeper climbs engaged, thus ensuring the riders safety.

 

Set

Repeats

Rate

Time

(seconds)

Total Stroke

Total Time (minutes)

1

1

80

180

240

3

2

2

80

120

320

4

3

3

80

60

240

3

4

2

80

120

320

4

5

1

80

180

240

3

Total

9

1,200

17

 

This will serve multiple purposes of assisting power, work threshold and speed endurance but giving significant time of recovery on decent and allows the individual to adjust to skill requirements in a fatigued state.  Quite naturally the quality of the descent will vary with each rider due to complexity of the hill, pitch, switchbacks and technical ability but the key coaching point to consider is to maintain complete control of the course and not show signs of poor concentration. This basic template will vary considerably once the rider has established the ability to manage technical abilities within a fatigued condition and should only be considered as a starting base.

 

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2015
All rights reserved

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Simplicity and Spices

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Whether your goals relate to aesthetics, bodybuilding or sports performance it is often the ‘little things’ that make a big difference. Just as much of the discussion in the iron game will say target lifting a heavier weight few will sufficiently understand it is how you execute the movement, i.e. proper technique that will create the desired response. ‘Simple’ adjustments such as peak contraction or lifting your small finger off a dumbbell when performing curls will improve bicep growth measurably, hence ‘little changes’ that produce big results.

 

Much is the same with diet as many that even with the best of intentions ignore some very obvious solutions that are time tested in society. For centuries spices have been the cornerstone of folk medicine and appreciated for the healing qualities but all too often are not used to their full capabilities in our modern world. This equally applies to the aesthetics, bodybuilding and sports performance sector as spices, when working in conjunction with a nutritious diet and supplement regime, can be a fundamental link to goal achievement.

 
 

Quite naturally with it now summer the concern of losing excess body-weight is never highest, whether you are stepping on the stage in bodybuilding, preparing for competition in the sporting arena or just wanting to look your fittest on the beach. The following additions to your daily diet plan will make a significant difference as you take those ‘daily steps’ towards your goals.

 

Each of these six items will assist your metabolism and in many situations assist other crucial health matters. Furthermore cinnamon is extremely helpful in regulating blood-sugar levels, with ginger equally known to aid inflammation of joints and a perfect combination for “iron-game” pursuits. Though this is far from a full list of herbs, with many others that you can grow in your backyard or community garden and help you attain your goals.

 

• Green Tea
• Garlic
• Cinnamon
• Ginger
• Parsley
• Cayenne Pepper

 

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2015
All rights reserved

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The greatest nemesis of fear is belief, conviction and intent

Category : Uncategorized

 

Somewhere along the path of young athlete to experienced coach of many seasons, you realise the greatest foe stands before you in the mirror. Fear is the deadliest foe we must face and fear is the beast that must be tamed if you are to reach your potential.

 

Fear does not hide in dark shadows and go bump in night but within self doubt. Each of us has tasted it, some fought through it but most have fell victim to fear in some shape or form. Whether it is shown in lowered results in school, sporting interests or your career, the acceptance of failure is the by product of fear winning. The blood of failure comes from the knife of fear.

 

Ridding yourself of fear is the first steps of success as you finally capture the notion, I can, I will. By believing in yourself, you rip the jugular out from fear and make the decision to learn how to accomplish your goals and then comply with the plan to fulfill your objective.

 

Fear’s greatest nemesis is belief, conviction and intent.

Believe in yourself.

Remain undaunted and push forward with intent.

 

I understand this road deeply as my challenges in youth were many. I escaped the clutches of death to get out of the bed I wasn’t supposed to, tackled education when others tried to convince me to relinquish my goals and later developed a system of sports development that is widely used all because of the belief of the power within.

 

Have faith, you have the talent and ability to accomplish greatness and simply must weather the storms of adversity. You will hear it said or displayed in countless ways but attack all that you do with all that you have and believe.

 

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2015
All rights reserved

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Variation to Avoid Adaptation

Category : Uncategorized

 

Considering the old adage of ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, many exercise enthusiasts fail to comprehend the need to regularly adjust their training to avoid adaptation. Adaptation is a natural occurrence but unfortunately many confuse technical proficiency with achieving their goal due to proper training.

 

This is seen in a number of different areas and certainly easiest to notice in sport. The rapid shift towards ‘strength and conditioning’ departments in the last twenty years has seen coaches train athletes to score better in testing day accomplishments as opposed to their sport of choice. This is no fault of the young athlete who is merely following direction but as shown by countless studies ‘winning’ the top testing day accomplishments is typically reserved for those who are not first-team regulars. Along with a training regime that does not answer the need of the sport the reason also lay in the fact that many athletes have such an isolated approach they are specialising in a certain movement as opposed to generalised development.

 

Countless examples exist, whether it is ‘GPP’ programs that effectively condition an individual to be efficient at a specific movement yet not the desired effort. Simply, many fail to grasp long-term potentiation and not truly serving their desired goal.

 

The answer of avoiding adaptation in many ways lay in simplicity; be versatile with the exercise choices, mediums, tempo and volume.

 

Using the ‘king’ of resistance exercises, Squats, the list of options is endless with the following used very frequently within mine and my athletes:

 

  • Squats (wide stance / classic stance, pause and concentric)
  • Hi-Box Step-Ups
  • Bulgarian Squats
  • Front Squats
  • Jefferson Squats
  • Overhead Squats
  • Squat-Pull (which mimics the Belt-Squat)
  • Zercher Squat
  • Cossack Squats (with some extremely advanced options)
  • Lunges (various)

 

This is only a partial list and does not more obscure options, plyometric movements or unique apparatus that shift stimuli (i.e. weight releases, bands, chains) as well as the very challenging and often complex program within DMC™.

 

By doing such, goal achievement is more likely as varied training choices will help avoid adaptation.

 

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2015
All rights reserved

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