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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

twitter

Simplicity – 1998

Category : Uncategorized

Simplicity is a peculiar road to wander down in the fast paced digitally connected world of today. Akin to the quiet old rural route that meanders slowly through every village, with its little riverbed diner’s, the kinds of town where you still find roadside Charles Schultz inspired lemonade stands in the summer, the simple road is rarely ventured today. Our culture seems to have forgotten that along that old route lays hidden treasures, not one of glistening baubles and trinkets but treasures that provide you a deeper knowledge and appreciation of how and where you are precisely going.

That ‘simple road’ seems to have been abandoned for so many generations now and much of the priceless knowledge has been lost to the present and future generations. Of the many paradox’s of the all too often spineless health and fitness industry is one that as it sits high in the ivory tower looking smugly down on the general public for its lack of ‘training motivation and knowledge’, its ideas of ‘fitness’ are perverse and confined to the warm and cozy pristine gym walls. Few in the health and fitness game, in particular the myriad of self-appointed published ‘guru’s’ actually incorporate healthy physical activities outside the training room in their life. In a very broad sense physical training is somewhat simplified once you realise a basic premise is that it is to add value to your life and not create poorly aimed obsessions.

Shifting beyond physical training without the slightest doubt the most important area of concern is diet. For the most part though, successful protocols should be extremely easy to comply with and one could hypothesise with the destruction of the modern family unit and values, healthy dietary habits were abandoned along with it. Simplicity is the answer to this area that is all too often over complicated.

The reason why the mainstream industry banters around complex dietary notions with slick marketing phrasing in the press with such finite minutia is equally as simple: money, everyone seems more focused upon selling something, including their soul, rather than actually trying to assist with one of the greatest issues of modern living. The enormous diet industry jumps at the crumpled bank note faster than anyone on the pole ever did and the unknowing public is its prey.

First one very basic caveat that needs to be mentioned regarding diet is that each and every one of us is slightly different and because of a multitude of reasons, each of us will react to protocols slightly different. Due of this, the one thing scientific researchers hate to hear needs to be adopted; experiment with what works for you and try not to be too biased or draw conclusions based upon marketing terms and photographs of teen models suggesting ‘expertise’.

Secondly, and possibly maybe ‘1b), if your goal is to look like a model in magazine please quickly analyse why you wish to look like:

  • a surgically enhanced mannequin
  • a starved model trying to satisfy the needs of a public which has distorted classic ideas of beauty and furthermore
  • understand how you have been become a pawn in this horrible game.

Part three and do please understand; those so focused upon selling dietary ideas are often focused upon selling their diet book. I am not selling a diet book or consultation and I hope to give you knowledge that should have been passed down through the ages. Ethics are worth more than money.

The evolution of the fitness game with all its foul pus and images brought amongst many other things, body image problems in society that tortures each one of us. Take a step back from modern marketing that is in many concerns nothing more than a propaganda machine that is more than Edward Bernays could have ever hoped for and realise you do not need a business portal to tell you that you are ‘desirable’.

There are many facts and fallacies within the diet world, a Herculean tango between discipline, self-esteem and of course obsessions, intense loneliness and guilt.

Restrictive diets such as low fat or low carbohydrates will be remembered like ‘day glo’ of the 80’s; best to be forgotten and never to be visited, hopefully, again. Excluding very specific disease issues, in the mainstream public there is no need for ‘dietary control’ it is merely the selection process of within natural choices, preparation and most importantly, embrace the art of dining.

Contrary to popular belief, successful weight management is not a draconian punishment but enjoying the path of cuisine. One does not limit a diet per se but provides the opportunity to eat from the food basket nature provides us. Eat, enjoy and embrace what we have available to us from the most powerful drug in the planet; food.

As I note such I realise most people today have confused ‘food’ with styrofoam boxed gruel from the fast food junk dealers on the corner, pun intended, that is not fit for animal consumption. Therefore the failure of diets doesn’t start from an all too understandable motivational weakness but the basic need to satisfy hunger and fuelling a healthy active life.

Successful health and diet management thus begins with re-thinking how we dine and what we consume, which shall in turn forever change our food source.

  • Start each day with this centuries old tonic. A simple blend of a few tablespoons of non pasteurised honey from local sources where possible, one to two lemons squeezed in a glass of hot water every morning. Glycogen replacement the easy way.
  • Eat healthy balanced meals with meat, vegetable and fruit sources with proportions of each roughly the size of your palm and make use of natural marinades that include olive oil as an example. Don’t debate the endless idea of the perfect ratios, simply have balance from the spectrum of natural whole foods and the decision is simple. The best snack food is straight from the earth. Add fruit with every meal as well as real snack food that’ll sustain life such as nuts and olives. Remember to take your time in your meal and relax unless you care to win the race ‘to the end’.
  • Bring a significant amount of ice cold water (i.e. two litres) with fresh lemon slices in it to the gym / your office and any other environment. One very common fault in our society now is not drinking enough water.
  • Learn to eat to push away from the table and don’t indulge in uncontrolled gluttony and sloth-like tendencies our culture seems to embrace with pride. There is no pride in second, third or massive heaping portions and showing off table manners fit for a barnyard animal. Leaving a bit on the plate is a ‘good thing’ and you’ll find that performance in every aspect of life improves when you’re not ‘full’.
  • Slow down to enjoy your meal with family or friends as a moment of fellowship. This is not a ‘flowery’ statement but based in fact as it will have an enormous impact on reducing stress and production of the hormone cortisol. But returning to the original statement, life is meant to be lived and it’s not a race to the end.
  • Vegetables are lifeblood for living hence insist upon ten to fifteen a day as a minimum and where possible choose from organic sources or better yet, a backyard garden.
  • Recall the notion of perimeter ‘gathering’. Enter your food store and primarily stay on the perimeter where fresh products are typically available.
  • Never consume man made items and yes that means no boxed items, soft drinks and the scourge of the twentieth century, fast food. Not once, not ever.
  • Possibly one of the most important food groups that I need to stress is cruciferous vegetables. They are lifeblood to enhancing protein efficiency and amongst other ‘little’ things are known to radically reduce the incidence of many types of cancer and other health issues.
  • Emphasise the quality of the meat, fish and produce sources. While more expensive that cheaper alternatives, where possible make use of ethical and hormone pesticide free ranchers and farms. Long term health has no price and when the price is your life, the price is too high. That may sound a bit ‘old’ from a middle aged man considering his own mortality but it is the truth. Live healthy. –
  • The ‘Drive Through’ (and no I shall not write ‘Drive Thru’) is a threatening menace to our culture and the biggest smack dealer we need to be concerned of in our work. It is the source of  weight problems and the many illnesses that surround it not to mention be apart of complete destroying the notion of fellowship over a nice family meal. The ‘Drive Through’ is a foul menace to our society pure and simple, so next time you see a happy smiling clown pimping and rolling into to the life of your children, realise with it comes a lifelong devotion to garbage food habits, restricts levels of concentration in school and ultimately debilitating illnesses that may kill them before their time is do.
  • Cook at home. It’s incredible but simple food preparation is both relaxing, enjoyable, allows you to plan out healthier choices with your family and adds value to your life. It doesn’t have to be spectacular and I think I’m a prime example of this but take the time, learn to the best of your abilities. As you will see noted a number of times, life is not a race to the end.
  • Consider your shopping from many ethical stances. While few have the luxury today but when possible make use of such vestiges of the past such as local farmer markets, true butcher shops with finely marbled meats. Support the core and insist on quality and ethically farmed items.
  • Control stress in any manner you can. Give yourself personal time, the mobile truly does not need to be on each second of each day: turn it off to enjoy life. Enjoy your meal with family, take time, enjoy a few courses and try something really radical ,talk. Proper dining, no television, not phone calls and just those that matter the most.

Written by John Davies
©John Davies Consulting Services, 2016
All rights reserved

Share

Be ambitious, bold and audacious

Category : Uncategorized

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

Share

Hill Climbs for Cycling Power

Category : Uncategorized

 

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

Share

Simplicity and Spices

Category : Uncategorized

 

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

Share

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

Share