fitness

Precision movement philosophy phrases to live by

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After last weeks blog about checking in with your goals for the last quarter of the year, I thought I'd follow that with some motivational inspiration. Sometimes we get so bogged down with the day to day stuff we forget the big picture reasons for living and enjoying life. So here are the Precision Movement phrases to live by... Everybody say Om! 

 

1. You are what you absorb 

Sadly just eating the right foods is now not enough if you are not absorbing their goodness! How do you know if you are absorbing the nutrition you eat? Well you should feel good for eating highly nutritious food but most of us don't know what good feels like if we have only what we feel like now to compare it to. So my recommendation would be to get your gut tested and see how functional it is. See our partners page for contact information on Karen Maidment and Hannah Richards who can help with this. 

 

2. Movement is the foundation of life 

From the movement of blood and transport of nutrients and removal of toxins to getting around town movement is absolutely essential for life. It's also really important to move well, efficiently and effectively to minimise injury and discomfort. I believe movement is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping.  Stagnation leads to injury, depression and indifference.  So move more and move well - if you need some help with this you know where I am. 

 

3. Your body is a thoroughbred 

We can take our body for granted. We don't think about what it does every day to enable us to live, to see, to hear, to communicate, to move, to breathe, to digest food. Our body is a gift, it is our house and we should take care of it like it's a thoroughbred race horse or a top of the line sports car. You wouldn't put sludge in a sports car so don't put rubbish in your body. You want to nurture your body, feed and water it well, give it sunlight and fresh air, move it regularly and give it a bit of challenge every day to make sure it can withstand the toughness of life. 

 

4. Study your user manual 

Too many people assume they know how to move well. Here's what happens - we are born, we teach ourselves to move (amazing!), we continue to learn good movement and sports in childhood and hopefully our teen years. Then we go to university and we either continue (super amazing!) or we stop moving. Then we go to work and it's basically all over. I'm generalising here but you get the idea. When we enter the work place we teach our bodies to adapt to the sitting work environment which can give us all kinds of issues. The greatest gift you can give yourself is re-learning good movement either through a sport like martial arts or dance or working with a movement specialist to support you and get you back to your sports. 

 

5. If you don't use it you lose it

I am a personal testament to this! If I don't exercise regularly I start to lose my strength, my stability my tone and my shape. Many of the people I work with begin to lose their postural endurance and flexibility.  You've got to make an ongoing commitment to yourself to maintain your body. You'll live a longer happier life if your body is agile, functional and well taken care of. It really comes down to loving yourself enough to take care of yourself. 

 

6. Get in your discomfort zone

Comfort doesn't lead to growth or change. I purposefully placed myself in some very uncomfortable situations this summer to remind myself what it's like for my clients to change movement patterns and posture - it can be frustrating and uncomfortable both physically, mentally and emotionally. So I do know what it's like to start something completely new - I highly recommend it regularly. The joy comes when you master something that you've been struggling with - that's growth, that's change, that's a life worth living and an example worth setting to your children, friends and family around you. 

 

7. Movement is a constant teacher 

I'm finding more and more as I work with clients watching them learn and connect with their bodies that movement serves as a fantastic teacher. No matter how long you have been training you can always learn some new movement or reconnect with how movement feels in your body. To me, mastering movement is not about just exercising it is about really understanding how your body works and serves you. I highly advocate using movement and sports for challenge and personal growth. I am still humbled by movement - it's always been my greatest teacher. 

 

8. Mind over matter 

Firstly the brain is the control centre of movement. We don't move unless the brain is motivated towards something. Many things are involved in the motivation of movement. One of the important factors is how you feel about/towards that intention. If you dislike what you are doing your brain gives a different output in contrast to if you do like what you are doing. So, when moving, even if the movement or exercise is something you don't particularly like, train your mind to find the benefit in it and feed that information through the brain and attach it to the exercise. The brain/mind/body will avoid things it doesn't like - so override the dislike factor - reframe it. The saying mind over matter is never more true than it is here! 

 

9. Be present 

When anyone comes to work with me in the studio yes there are reps and sets and alignment and gains and goals etc. But what I really think they gain is the experience of being present in their body. It might sound a little kooky but going to the studio or the gym and just going through the motions, the reps, the sets, thinking about work or what you'll do afterwards is really not as beneficial as being present with your body for your workout. Movement is an enriching educational experience. It's an outlet, a form of expression, a release of energy or a way of conjuring up energy. But all this good stuff only happens when we are present in our movement. It's like anything really - when you are present you are alive and the experience is banked. When you are somewhere else you're just wasting what you're doing in the present. 

 

So there you have it - 9 magical philosophical paragraphs to live by.   Now go forth and conquer... :D 

Your last quarter goals for 2015!

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I'm a bit nervous about writing this blog. When you write about accountability you really need to be accountable yourself right? I can't believe it's almost the end of 2015. As I get older I begin to get quite panicky about how quickly life passes particularly when it comes to business development and growth. The point of all this is to expose my goals for 2015 to you all again and find out what I have done already and what still needs to be done, in the hopes it will spark some inspiration in you all about what you still have left to do for 2015. 

 

My 2015 goals - recap 

 

Reading

I've read 8 books this year so I'm on track with that! Check out my top 4 summer reading recommendations here. 

 

Meditation 

My Meditation practice is going ok. I do an average of 3 meditations a week which is better than any other year I've tried. Now I know when I need a meditative time out to rest my brain and quiet the noise. I'd love to do meditation every day so I'll definitely make a bigger effort for the last part of the year.  I've been accepted on to a 10 Vipassana silent meditation retreat in October where I'll be meditating all day so I'll make up for lost time then! 

 

Gratitude journal 

The Gratitude journal is something I do every day. I've only missed a few days this year. It's probably the best goal I've ever set myself. It's easy to complain about what we don't have but really we are so lucky. Expressing gratitude for what we have puts us in a wonderfully productive mindset too! 

 

Time outs 

I did go away early in the year to Prague which I really enjoyed. I also took a staycation in late July to enjoy London and then took a trip to Sicily in mid-August. And as mentioned above I'm doing the silent retreat in October for 10 days. I'm giving myself bonus points for time out I've taken already this year. I find it really hard to do! 

 

Selfless service  

I had planned to produce a free eBook this year which is not yet completed but other freebies are coming in the last quarter of the year which I'll reveal in the next couple of blogs.  I am also working on an outreach project which I'll be talking more about in 2016.... Watch this space! 

 

Education

My sports massage course is booked and I've added A-level biology which I need for planned study later on. I also added in a Japanese language course over the summer. Konnichiwa! Ogenki desuka? 😉

 

Fitness 

The Vietnam trip will not happen for me this year. I've been so busy with work that I've not been able to recruit a sufficient number of people to come with me. Maybe next year... 

I bought my bike in January and I've been cycling with my Dad 4 times this year. Not quite every month but better than nothing at all! 

So as you can see, I'm as human as you. Some goals I've done well with, others not so much. I am really happy about the reading, meditation and gratitude journal. But I can tell you, if I hadn't set any of these goals I probably wouldn't have achieved much this year! 

Anyway, my point of sharing this is for you to check in with your own goals for 2015. What do you still have left to do this year? It's ok if your goals have changed and it's also ok if you haven't achieved some things you wanted to. Don't give yourself a hard time. Evaluate objectively - perhaps it was unrealistic for this year, look at the deep rooted motivation for your goals. What can you still do in 2015?  

 

My closing message is - just do it. You cannot live 2015 over again. So if there are still goals to achieve this last quarter then do it.  That's what helps you grow and makes your life interesting and enjoyable. 

An hour with KT how can I help you further?

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My work as a rehabilitation specialist is an important but relatively small part of health and wellness. I always try to give as much verbal advice as I can along with reading material and tonnes of motivational and moral support! But sometimes we need a little extra... Freebies anyone? ;) 

I'm offering an hour of my time throughout the months of September and October (to the first 15 people who sign up) to sit down and ask me anything about your health and wellness that you feel will support your work with me in the studio - (coffee and treats included obvs). If you are not currently a client of Precision Movement you can still book in with me - we don't discriminate here! 

All you need to do is:

1. Think of up to three topics you would like help with or would like to change. It could be a nutritional question, how to optimise your sleep, how to fit your home programme in to your life more optimally, to a new goal such as climbing Everest! 

2. Email me direct to book yourself in and list the topics you would like to chat about with me so I can prepare accordingly. 

3. Meet me at The Atrium restaurant at Grosvenor House Apartments and we'll discuss the topics and formulate a plan about how to integrate changes into your life for a healthier happier you. 

How does that sound? 

 

Contact KT direct at KT@precisionmovement and with the subject line "an hour with KT". Valid through September 1st - October 31st 2015. Appointments subject to KT's availability although we'll try to accommodate as much as possible. Appointments are non-transferable and cannot be rescheduled once booked. 

Breakfast Hacks part 1

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The buzz word for 2014/2015 is hack - which basically means shortcut. If you are an entrepreneur like me you need to be efficient with all the other stuff that takes you away from working or having fun in life! Introducing KT's 4 top breakfast hacks to make at home upon a request from a client. 

 

1 min smoothie 

Prep time: less than a minute  

Smoothies are great but I always find they take a bit of prep time so when your priority is to get out of the house in the morning.  You can prep most of your smoothie the night before by adding fruits and veggies that do not need to be cut in the blender and then adding the cut fruits in the morning just before you blend. Cutting fruit and leaving it means it will oxidise and lose its nutrients. 

Use a blender that you can put a drinking lid on so you can blend and go. I recommend The Nutribullet.

 

KT's Go-To Get-Out (#GOGO) 1 min smoothie

Put in blender the night before or put in a sealed snack bag and put in the fridge overnight.

Handful of Spinach

Handful of blueberries 

Handful of raspberries  

Tablespoon of coconut oil 

2 tablespoons of Raw cacao powder 

2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin 

In the morning chop up a banana and add a nut milk like hazelnut or almond or coconut water.  Blend all ingredients for up to 30 seconds place your drinking top on and you're good to leave the house with a nutrient packed breakfast to start the day! 

 

1 minute yoghurt brekkie

Prep time:  1 minute 

To really save time, buy a one portion yoghurt rather than a big tub. I like full fat Greek yoghurt.  Pack up a portion of berries, nuts and seeds of your choice and store them in a seal packed bags for use as needed.  Add in chopped banana.  Add 2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin for an added protein boost. If you need a sweetener use raw natural honey or agave nectar. Stir up and enjoy. 

 

Eggy muffins 

Prep time: 10 seconds grab & go 

For those who love a good protein filled breakfast try making egg sausage and cheese muffins.  You can make a batch to last you through the working week for a grab and go solution for energy that lasts to lunch time.  If you prefer a lighter option go for veggies instead of meat.  Let them cool fully then pack them in a tupperware box, tin foil, or in a sealed snack bag and store in the fridge.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/scrambled-egg-muffins-2/

 

Quick pancakes 

Prep time: 4-5 mins 

If you have 5 minutes to prepare a breakfast with a difference make up pancake batter beforehand and store it in a squeezy bottle.  Heat the pan, and squeeze out your pancakes which take about a minute each to cook.  Serve with berries and banana or full fat yoghurt.  This is great solution for a house full of kids that need to be fed and out the door to school on time!

 

My healthy pancake recipe 

1/2 cup bobs red mill pancake flour 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup raw cacao powder 

1 egg beaten 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

almond milk to preferred batter consistency 

I also add 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed Q10 mix 

I serve it with plain yoghurt, chopped banana, strawberries and a drizzle of agave nectar.

 

Breakfast hacks 2 features next week which is a selections of the best grab and go breakfasts around town and a few of my favourite places for longer sit down breakfast meetings too! 

Happy breaking your fast! :p  

Is this the best hotel gym space in London?

 

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As many of your know Precision Movement has been making extensive additions and changes to our little Mayfair studio space courtesy of Grosvenor House Apartments.  And though she be little she is (mighty) fierce and versatile.  Here are the new changes to the space and how they optimise your workout.

 

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The rig 

This March we had a custom designed BeaverFit rig installed into the ceiling.  This has been the most anticipated change in the studio since we moved in.  The rig will be used for pullup/chin up and brachiation training. Also check out the fat GRIPZ for extra intensity without extra load.  It has proved super popular so far! 

 

 

 

Suspension Training 

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The rig also enables us to use TRx, Crosscore180 and Olympic Rings for suspension and aerial training.  Bring on the strength!  The rig is 3.5m long meaning we can have someone working on the Kinesis, someone working on the TRx and someone in the weight area quite comfortably.

 

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The floorspace 

The matted floorspace has been increased by a third meaning more workable space for people to use and more people using the space at the same time.  It also means the floorspace becomes more versatile - we can bring out a barre for a ballet workout or clear the space for kickboxing or a yoga based work-in.  We have had some guests using the space to practice their karate katas and MMA moves.  We have left the space open for just this purpose because no single person's workout is the same and we want to cater to that as much as possible.

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We now have adjustable weights up to 41kg each alongside the original rack of 1-10kg.  We have a few olympic bars and weight plates for more traditional strength training as well as weighted medicine balls and powerbags.  The original Kinesis cable machine is still installed as well.

 The bring out put back system 

We have lots of different equipment that can be used in the space - kettlebells, powerbags, battling ropes, agility equipment, olympic bars, medicine balls.  We bring out what we need into the space for your specific workout and then put it back to open the space up again.  It sounds really obvious but many gyms, particularly hotel and residence gyms are the same space as our little studio but packed full of machines which limits the type of exercise you can do in the space. Training has moved on past machines... there are some uses for machine work but at Precision Movement we are more steered towards challenging your body in different ways. Which is why we think our space is becoming one of the best hotel gyms in London. 

The space is being used more than it ever has been and it's being used in many ways, for all kinds of movement, workouts and sports conditioning.  If you haven't been down to visit yet, then please do. We'd love to have you! 

Precision Movement's summer smoothies!

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What you refuel your body with after a workout is as important as the workout itself which is why I designed the Precision Movement post-workout smoothies for Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living which are freshly prepared and served at The Atrium Restaurant on floor 2.  If you've not had one after your workout yet have a nosey at the selection and make sure you order one next time... you are what you eat and absorb so refuel that body right!

 And if you're not already working with us at the studio but still fancy a smoothie then pop in and visit us and we'll prepare one for you. 

My favourite is 'Continue the Calm... I always need a reminder! ;)  

 

 

 

Do you want to know what KT is really like?

Let's face it, I'm hard to sum up in a tidy little phrase - though many have tried!  So I asked my lovely clients, the recipients of my knowledge and expertise to describe their experiences of working with me. My fabulous web/video/media guys at SquareGlu sprinkled magic dust over it to produce this little movie... 

 

Thanks to to my lovely clients for taking part - I did tell you I'd get you your five minutes of fame! And thanks to SquareGlu for making such a professional end product.  

 

Popcorn at the ready.... ;) 

 

Optimising nutrition for PrecisionMovement2 workouts

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PrecisionMovement2 workouts are the fitness part of what we do here in the studio.  Even though client may initially come to us with an injury, once they are better they often want to get fit again or set themselves a goal or train for an event.

To support your fitness workouts it's really important to get the right nutrition.  We advise the following:

1.  Count nutrients not calories.  Every time you sit down to eat it's a chance to nourish your body.  Choose the most nutrient dense foods containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, reparative proteins and fats.  If you find eating lots of fruits and vegetables a challenge then take a fresh vegetable juice every morning.  It's the best vitamin hit you can get!

2. Avoid processed foods, sugar and caffeine.

3.  Balance out alcohol with proteins and fats in your meal  It will minimise the risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes.

4.  My top ten food recommendations are salmon, spinach, kale, pomegranates, blueberries, avocados, apples, ginger, lemons and carrots.

5.  For water intake multiply your body weight in KG by 0.033 for the optimal intake in litres.  Opt for Evian, Vittel, Fuji or Hildon Spring (which we have at Grosvenor House Apartments) as they are natural spring waters and have the highest natural mineral content.

In addition to optimising your nutrition sleep is essential for the healing and recovery of exercise. It helps the body metabolise more efficiently, you can mange stress better, and it improves mental and emotional health too.  For more information on optimising your sleep read my top ten tips for the best nights sleep every night.

The most efficient fat loss workouts

Let the count down begin!  From today you have 6 weeks until the summer holidays begin.  That's 42 days to feel your healthiest and fittest for this summer whether you are trekking a mountain trail, taking your workouts to the beach or learning a new water sport.

In my last blog entry I wrote about the controversial "Are you beach body ready?" campaign that backfired with Londoners.  If you do want to optimise your body composition by gaining some muscle and dropping excess fat then you'll need workouts that do exactly that.  At Precision Movement we encourage you to combine your aesthetic goals with a sport or an event in mind.  We find that you achieve your aesthetic goals with the training you do for your goal or event anyway - so why not kill two birds with one stone!  From a psychological perspective we also think it's healthier to gear your training towards a sports goal over just how you look on the beach.

High intensity exercise is best for burning fat and leaning out.  I did this training for 3 months last year which you can read about here.  I recommend 4 x 45-60 minutes of intense training per week and, if you can squeeze in 1-2 restorative yoga and/or meditation sessions.  Make sure you have a good stable core, good joint integrity, good postural alignment and good movement patterning and vary your exercise as much has possible.Find a workout buddy for extra motivation and some healthy competition.  For best results seek out a personal trainer or a sports specific conditioning specialist.

 

Here are my top 5 most efficient fat loss workouts that will get you in optimal summer sports fitness shape:

1.  HIIT

2.  Modified strongman training

3.  Spin 

4.  Boxing/kickboxing or any high intensity martial arts 

5.  Sprint/tabata training

To support your training read my blog on optimising nutritional support for your workouts HERE.

 

Above all, remember your body is your house, it's where you live.  So take care of it, keep it clean and love it.  Bodies, like houses, come in all shapes and sizes - its about what you can do with your body that really matters.

Are you beach body ready? The ad campaign that backfired!

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I'm sure by now most of you have seen the Protein World adverts sporting a yellow bikini clad woman and the controversial "are you beach body ready?" slogan.  And you've also probably seen London's rather entertaining response to the adverts (see above) which I find hilarious! 

I find it encouraging that the people of London have responded to this rather shallow reason to take care of yourself. It makes me think that collectively Londoners are thinking about their bodies and their training in terms of a lifestyle choice rather than as a means to looking good on a beach for 2 weeks a year. And that makes me really happy! 

It also made me think about the reasons why we choose to exercise.  I was predictably going to write an article on getting your body ready for the summer but when I saw the backlash to the Protein world adverts I remembered that everyone I work with has one of the following if not all of the below motivations and yet still seem to look mighty fine on the beach every year!  So in protest of "beach body ready" here are 6 healthier and happier motivations to exercise regularly...

1. Goal-driven training is top priority here at Precision Movement. I absolutely love it when clients tell me they have an event or an adventure they want to take part in. Goal-driven training does two important things, firstly it gives direction and purpose to your training in the gym and secondly it takes the focus away from aesthetics and because of your goal-driven training you tend to achieve them anyway. 

2. The feel good factor of exercise is undeniable. There is not one client who leaves the studio who doesn't feel much better after training than when they walked in.  I'd love to take credit for this but sadly it's a chemical by-product of exercise and movement. On a daily basis you can chemically make yourself feel better through movement and exercise - why wouldn't you want to feel better? Exercising to feel better just makes sense. 

3. I prefer the motivations of a "strong body fit for life" over looking good on the beach. Anyone who is strong and eats well is going to look good on the beach.  In addition having a strong and able body works wonders on confidence, how you carry yourself and how others relate to you. In contrast people can also sense when you are obsessive about how you look which promotes insecurity and makes others doubt your abilities and whether you are trustworthy. 

4. Another great motivation for exercising regularly is for longevity. We are living longer and we need a body that can support a longer life. Exercise helps maintain good posture, reduce the risk of degenerative changes, decreases the decline of bone density with age, and maintain healthy functioning muscle and connective tissue. 

5. Regular exercise and movement also helps your brain work better. You get a release of BDNF which nourishes brain cells and encourages new neural connections effectively making you smarter. Regular exercise   This is by far my favourite motivation for exercising regularly. 

6. Exercise is a great way to get rid if excess stress that might otherwise create unwanted conflict. We all have stress from work, family, commuting and life in general. Exercise is a safe, healthy and effective way to let to of all the tension that builds up. 

So when you see one of the protein world adverts that has not already been vandalised have a think about what motivates you to exercise regularly and if the mood takes you, correct the ad as you see fit - jokes! :p Due to protests the adverts have now been removed. I just love Londoners :) 

The work-in is the new workout

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It's 6 weeks into 2015 and typically many of us are still going crazy in the gym, spin studio, HIIT studio or whatever new thing you've nominated to change your body in 12 weeks that you pray lasts the other 9 months of the year.  Around about this time, you are probably starting to think this beginning of the year body transformation is a big commitment, perhaps a bit too big for your social life and more importantly your energy levels and your happiness.  This weeks blog post champions the work-in - the chilled out exercise choice that makes you feel good without draining your energy and spirit which often leads to giving up and/or burnout.

 

The stress state

The body is always trying to maintain equilibrium, balance or the science term - homeostasis.  In the autonomic nervous system you have the sympathetic and parasympathetic states.  In a  sympathetic state the body sends out breakdown hormones - a typical example of this is when you do high intensity exercise.  Don't worry this is good because by breaking down your muscles you encourage them to rebuild and adapt to the stress you put them under. You also induce a sympathetic state when you are stressed - mental or emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, chemical.  If you put your body in a sympathetic state too much from work, life and exercise you'll pull yourself out of balance and this leads to burnout - mentally and physically.

 

The chillout state

In a parasympathetic state the body sends out repair hormones to mend damage you've incurred throughout the day as well as helping you digest food and helping you sleep.  This state is as important to your health as the sympathetic high energy state.  It is possible to spend too much time in a parasympathetic state which makes you feel lethargic and apathetic and an energetic uplifting workout can help lift you up out of this.  Generally though, we spend more time in a sympathetic state because of the busy demanding lives we lead.  What is most important here is balance. - both the sympathetic and parasympathetic states are important and through movement we can induce both.

 

The work-in solution

There are exercise choices that induce a parasympathetic state.  It's really important to balance out your high intensity fat burning, fitness increasing workouts with the reparative recovery work-ins.  I know at the beginning of the year you might be keen to get yourself in the best shape of your life and I am all for that - really I am.  However, I don't see getting fit as a January to March thing.  I see getting fit and maintaining fitness, health and wellness as a life thing.  Life is an endurance race not a sprint.  Balancing out your workouts and work-ins may mean your goal may take a bit longer but it will be a happier experience getting there, you'll be able to maintain it for longer (I am hoping for life) and your chances of burning out will be much reduced.

 

How to structure your workouts and work-ins

At Precision Movement we recommend our clients participate in 2-3 high intensity (between 70-90% of your max effort) 40-60 minute workouts a week.  Good workouts I endorse are strength training, functional circuit training, modified strongman, spinning, cycling or running.

Then we recommend balancing that out with 1-2 work-ins such as hatha or kundalini yoga, a gentle swim, a walk in the country, tai chi or a good old movement meditation session.

When our clients go through through more stressful times we switch them to 2-3 work-ins and 1-2 workouts.  For very stressful times opt for the work-ins only.  Work-in movement helps to relieve stress if it is done in a gentle and reparative way without adding to your stress. 

How to get a fitter body with less exercise

We live in a culture of more is better but when it comes to exercise more is not always better.  In some cases it's just down right worse.  There is a growing culture in the fitness industry of late that more intensity, more volume of workouts per week and more of the same thing is the only way to get serious about your fitness.  I wholeheartedly disagree and I have seen this result in serious injury, total burnout and illness as well as mental and emotional fatigue and irritability.  I consider over exercising a form of self sabotage or self-harm and I can speak from personal experience on this.  I have grossly over-exercised at times in my life and it's never led to anything good.  So, this week I talk about how much is too much and how to find a balance that works for you and your life.  Remember you are only ever competing against yourself!

 

Too much intensity

In the past few years there has been an uprising of high intensity group workouts which really push the limits of intensity to the threshold.  But the most shocking story I recently heard was of a gym in NYC that does the toughest workout ever burning a minimum of 1000 calories in a hour.  Apparently you get a badge of recognition if you can get through the warmup without stopping.  Are you kidding me?  A warmup is not a place to compete - EVER!  That is just dangerous.  The point of a warmup is to prepare your body for the intensity of your workout.  If your warmup is the workout you are putting yourself at greater risk of injury because your body is not warm yet!

 

Monitoring intensity

An easy way to measure the intensity of your workout is to wear a heart rate monitor.  Set your age and weight and it will calculate training zones for you.  A high intensity workout oscillates between 70-90% of your maximum between 1-3 minutes.  You can work longer than 3 minutes depending on what you are training for and your current fitness level.  For strength training heart rate monitors are not so effective because time under tension is often shorter than a minute and you get a delayed heart rate increase.  And FYI a warmup should work from 50-70% over a period of 7-10 minutes.

 

Too much volume

This is the biggest problem I have with too much - too much volume.  Volume is the number of training sessions or the total amount of hours spent exercising per week.  Everyone thinks the more I exercise the quicker I'll achieve my goal.  Not true.  Over exercising induces a prolonged sympathetic stress state which leads to mental, emotional and physical burnout.  It can also lead to injury. 

 

Monitoring volume

I talk more about volume in next weeks blog (The work-in is the new workout)  but here are the basics; for general health, wellness and fitness choose 2-3 high intensity (between 70-90% of your max effort) 40-60 minute workouts a week. Balance that out with 1-2 calmer work-ins like yoga or tai chi.  When you go through more stressful times you can switch this to 2-3 work-ins and 1-2 workouts.  For very stressful times I would opt for the work-ins only.  Movement helps to relieve stress if it is done in a gentle and reparative way.

 

Too much of the same thing

Another problem of too much - is doing too much of the same thing.  This can lead to injury because of continuous repetitive motion particularly from running and cycling.  It also becomes very boring and can lead to mental burnout and then stopping exercise altogether.  As humans we have amazing movement potential and I believe we should utilise and practice the diversity of human movement as much as possible.

 

Changing it up

I always encourage my clients to a variety of different exercise and sports.  Try new things until you find something you like.  Team sports are always fun to be a part of and I also really value solo workouts like running or cycling when you can be with yourself.  Hit the gym, go to a class, in London there are so many options!  As long as you are doing good movement - vary it as much as you can.

 

Train smart not stupid

So in conclusion your body and your mind will thank you if you train smart not stupid.  Harder is not always better.  If you are training for a specific sport or event that does require very high intensity training then seek out a professional to guide you.  Just as you are specialist at what you do and people seek out your skills to help them, so are sports and fitness professionals specialists at helping you train. 

 

Lastly, as I said in the third paragraph, as long as you are doing good movement.  If you are not sure what good movement is and have never sought out help with learning what good movement is then I would highly advocate that you do.  We seek out specialist advice for everything else - movement masters are there to help you learn better movement.  Once you know the basics then you can apply it to any sport, class or workout.  We can definitely help you with that at Precision Movement! - contact us to discuss your specific situation.

How to woo your other half this Valentine's Day

At Precision Movement we're all about feeling the love for fitness, workouts, sports and activities.  In the spirit of Valentines Day we thought we share our top 5 fitness related Valentines date nights so you can fall in love with your significant other

 

The light in my soul honours the light in your soul

Acro Yoga is an intimate partner themed yoga class whereby you assume yoga positions often with one of you precariously balanced on the other and then try to find your inner peace and ohm together.  Definitely a good one for soul bonding.

 

The pair that run together stay together

How about choosing your favourite less trodden park or place of rural natural beauty and taking a run together?  You can enjoy the thrill of the exercise-induced endorphin rush, the fresh raw beauty of nature.  Maybe even have a few races to spice things up?  If you are not runners cycling is just as romantic!  Precision Movement loves Hampstead Heath for a romantic run and Richmond Park for a cute cycle.  For added romance bring a picnic.

 

Romantically Stayin' alive

Dancing is the most romantic form of exercise there is.  If you are wanting to learn a romantic dance like the waltz or the quickstep try Karen Hardy Dance Studios.  If you are more of a fiery couple with a few shapes to show off then go for something hot like salsa or merengue.  If you are the shy type get a dance themed video game Just Dance 4 and have just as much fun laughing at each other as shaking your thang.

 

Gym bunnies

For those of you who hit the gym like your partner then why not do a gym session together?  You can mutually appreciate each other's rippling muscles, do a few partner assisted pushups for the 'V day workout selfie', hit the showers then head out for a protein feast for dinner!

 

Something totally different

If you are in early stage dating or need to spice up a long term relationship then why not try an activity that is totally different?  I love active dates and in the past I've have been invited rock climbing, snowboarding on an indoor slope, parkour, paddle boarding, iceskating, rollerblading and even a group outdoor workout which is not different for me but I still loved it!  Moving always helps the romance blossom and learning something together will help you learn more about your date.

 

Our Special offer - invite your significant other for a complimentary workout with us and if they sign up for a package we'll give you 15% off your next purchase. 

Happy Valentines Day from Precision Movement. 

Spread the love through movement

My top 5 World Ski Championship skiing exercises

Two days ago the 2015 World Skiing Championships in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colarado commenced!  I have to confess I am more of a boarder myself but I do love a good skiing competition.  Vail Beaver Creek will not disappoint.  With gradients between 46% (24.8 degrees) - 68% (32.3 degrees) and top speeds of up to 130km/hr this is not a sport for the faint hearted.  Top athletes in recent years include Elizabeth Gorgl who won the downhill and super G and Ted Ligety who won the giant slalom in 2011, and with other big names like Aksel Lund Svindal who has won medals in 4 consecutive championships and up and coming talent like Lindsay Vonn and Tina Maze it is set to be a competition not to miss!  You can watch coverage from the UK on British Eurosport.          

 

If you are not yet excited about the champs then watch this video below.  I dare you not to get excited!  Also, check out the extreme body positions these athletes reach which leads me on to my treat for this week.

 

These are my top 5 skiing preparation exercises if you are hitting the slopes this year.

TRx single leg squat

Bosu squat with medicine ball on chest

SB jacknife

Kneeling woodchop down

SB hamstring curl

Check out my video below on the how to's and how oftens and definitely let me know how you get on both in the gym and on the slopes.  Happy skiing and enjoy the World Champs!

 


How to detox your whole life

It's that time of year when the word detoxification is in every conversation you have.  And I had the great privilege of being asked by Men's Esquire to advise on detoxification which you can read below.

If you are going to start afresh with anything it makes sense to start at the beginning of the new year.  Let me know your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter!  

Jump off a mountain with me in Vietnam this year

Yes it's true, but the time 2015 is out I will have jumped off a mountain - hopefully still alive to tell the tale!  Fitness Adventure Travel have asked me top lead a trip to Vietnam this year combining the breathtaking natural beauty of the country with the excitement of adventure fitness.

 

What are we doing?

The trip combines paragliding, trekking, cycling, kayaking and rock climbing and I'm sure you'll get a few KT workouts thrown in for good measure!  If  you have never done these sports before that's ok, because we'll have local guides and experts teaching us.

 

Why are we doing it?

Hmmm let's rephrase - why wouldn't you do this?  For me this is the perfect vacation (and let's not talk about how you think I'm not normal!).  Not only do you get to explore the rural beauty, culture and local gastronomy of this fascinating country, you also get to experience truly exciting adventure sports and stay active and healthy throughout the trip.  You'll get an aerial view from paragliding, you'll see much more from cycling through Vietnam than walking and you'll travel on the waters by kayaking too.

 

When is my rest?

I know some of you will be wondering about when your rest and recovery will come.  Isn't that what vacation is for?  Well, there will be plenty of rest from the activities we'll do and I stand firmly by my thinking that a change is as good as a rest.  I'm not someone who can sit on a beach for two weeks doing nothing.  For me a rest from my London life is doing something different, exciting and focussing my mind completely on a new activity.  It gives my brain a real from normal life and for me this is a perfect rest.  I'm sure of you try it you'll find the same result!

Also, I get an influx of people through my clinic doors complaining of aches and pains because they haven't moved for two weeks on their beach vacation.  It's better to put some movement in your vacations and this is the ultimate opportunity.

 

Spice up your life!

And lastly, it gives you something exciting and different to train for and something to look forward to.  You'll need to make sure you have a strong foundation of full body core stability, endurance and strength to enjoy these sports with minimal risk of injury.

 

When are we going?

Fitness Adventure Travel have the following dates available:

24th April - 3rd May 

15th - 25th May 

21st - 31st Aug 

26th Sept -6th Oct 

Don't worry if those dates are not suited to you.  Fitness Adventure Travel have said that for me and my lovely tribe they are happy to move dates and add dates so you don't miss out.  How cool is that?   Personally I'm favouring an October trip... 

Fitness Adventure Travel also design bespoke trips to far flung places in the world for a truly unique and memorable adventure experience.  Contact them with your wild and crazy ideas and watch them become a reality.  Remember you only get one life - make the most of every second!

 

Who's going?

You're going!  Well I hope you'll come with me - I'll be leading the trip so you'll be in safe hands.  It's open to anyone who would like to go - you, your friends, family etc and you can find out more information on how to book by visiting the F.A.T. website.

My personal goals for 2015

In true KT style I thought I'd share my goals with you for 2015 because I know once I commit them to the world you will all hold me accountable. I truly believe life is about self-mastery - about learning and experiencing as much as possible in the short time we have.  It's also about trying to maintain balance which is my life long lesson!  So I make goals for all areas of my life and I would encourage you to do this as well.  Read on to find out what I'll be achieving in 2015...

Lifestyle 

This year I have a few lifestyle goals.  I am notoriously known for overworking so I will earnestly address this in 2015 - notice how I put this top of my list - see I am learning slowly but surely!  Firstly, I've started a daily gratitude journal along with all my clients at Precision Movement who got a gratitude journal as a New Years gift from me so I will fill this out every morning and evening.  Secondly, I am firmly focussed on meditating every day whether it's a 10 minute headspace or a 90 minute kundalini class.  Thirdly, I will take regular breaks from work either on vacation or just resting.  And number four is to try to read one book a month either for work, business or for pleasure.  I love reading and I haven't been doing enough of it.  Recommendations are warmly welcomed - please send to KT@precisionmovement.co.uk.

 

Business

2015 will be a transformative year for Precision Movement.  I don't want to reveal anything as much of it depends on the decisions of others.  Having said that, of my big goals is to have a sidekick - someone that will make Precision Movement greater than just me and my lovely irreplaceable PA Rosie!  Please send resumes to KT@precisionmovement.co.uk - only those who aspire to greatness need apply!

Another important goal for me in the business this year is to be able to give something for free.  I am working on an ebook that will be downloadable free from my website.  It's all part of my new manifesto 'selfless service' - more on that below.

 

Education

This year, amoung many short courses I will be starting a sports massage course in September.  It's a year long and will prepare me for my 2016 goal of starting a Masters degree in Physiotherapy.  From September onwards I'll be required to do 100 hours of practice massage as part of gaining my qualification - treats for clients of Precision Movement!

 

Fitness

2015 sees the start of an exciting addition to KT's life!  I have been asked by Fitness Adventure Travel to lead a trip to Vietnam where I'll be cycling, paddle boating and paragliding over 10 days.  More about this in a future blog post.  So my first big fitness goal this year is to get over my fear of jumping off a mountain so I can lead the trip with confidence.  Like I say to my clients - 'if I can't do it you sure as hell won't do it will you!"  The second one is to buy a bike and go cycling with my Dad in the country at least once a month. 

 

Nutrition

This year I'll be working with a functional diagnostic nutritionist.  It's true I am a healthy person and I know a fair amount about what to eat.  And every few years I like to check in with a specialist for a clean up and to refocus myself.  I'll be blogging about my experience later in the year and if you would like a recommendation check out our Partners page here.

 

KT's Quotes for the year:

1.  You can't gain back time - so make the most of every single moment you have!

2.  "If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.  Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation" Lao Zsu.

3.  Selfless service - serve from a place of love without expecting anything back.  It will come back in many ways

4.  Great things never come from comfort zones

So there you have it - what KT will do in 2015.  It will be interesting to look back in 12 months time and see what happened.  I am excited though.  I hope it spurs you to make your own goals for 2015 and I am sure you'll all have inordinate amounts of fun holding me accountable to what I have said I will do. BRING IT with bells on ;D

 

Make sure you read next weeks blog post where I share some exciting press coverage!  Yes that's right, KT and Precision Movement are getting out there.  Next step world domination ;

The top 6 Precision Movement articles of 2014

Precision Movement's top 5 articles on 2014
Precision Movement's top 5 articles on 2014

In my last post of 2014 I'd like to share with the most popular posts of 2014.  Wishing you all a wonderful seasonal break whether you are staying home with family or travelling to a warmer destination for some winter sun - be safe, take care of your body, rest and rejuvenate and I'll see you back here in 2015 for more amazing information and top tips to keep you healthy, happy and on top of your fitness game!  For now here are the top 5 articles of 2014 (plus a photo based one for those of you who prefer images!).

In top place was the article I wrote on how Corrective Exercise differs from Regular Exercise.  This doesn't surprise me as it's the question I get asked the most!

How Corrective Exercise Differs from Regular Exercise

A close second was the case study on Mr G - I have to say the before and after photos are awesome!

The case of the Wonky Man who Became Straight

The top interview article was with Hannah Richards, nutritionist at MoveThreeSixty.  Hannah sees most of my clients for any an all nutritional needs.

Healing the Inside of You

Many of you enjoyed Precision Movement's new look photo article - I mean who doesn't love a make over?  For those of you who missed it or just want a visual story then this ones for you!

Precision Movement's makeover - we've got YOUR workout!

The most popular article I wrote for BOE magazine was my top ten tips for the best nights sleep.  Personally I am very passionate about sleep and it's imperative for good healing and recovery from injury.

10 Top Tips for the Best Night's Sleep

And lastly, my favourite article to write this year was about how Movement is the Foundation of Career Success and it is one of the most read articles on BOE Magazine!  Which is truly is!

Movement is the Foundation of your Career Success

Happy re-reading and have a wonderful Christmas season - warmest wishes KT at Precision Movement.  If you are already thinking that your 2015 goal is to get fitter, manage that injury or back pain, get that ballet body you've always wanted or kick the hell out of something to the best shape of your life then contact me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and lets have a chat about your fitness plan for 2015.

How to fit in your fitness in December

Precision Movement talk about fitness during the Christmas season
Precision Movement talk about fitness during the Christmas season

It's the last month of the year and notoriously the busiest for most of us!  Holiday season can really get in the way of your normal exercise and health routine.  Psychologically we know the year is coming to an end and we tend to relax things knowing we can start again in January.  If you have worked hard all year to achieve a certain level of health and fitness why go and blow it all in 4 weeks only to be back where you started 12 months ago?  I know what these challenges feel like so I've put together a realistic plan for you so that you can enjoy the festive season without compromising your health and fitness too much!

Parties

Parties are a staple of the festive season!  Parties mean late nights, more alcohol than you are used to, indulgent foods which lead to later mornings, less energy and a gradual fall off the workout wagon. If you are obliged to attend all parties make sure you plan ahead.  Read on to find out how...

Managing your time

There is so much to do during the festive season - parties, shopping, present wrapping and we always feel the need to catch up with friends and family we haven't seen all year.  It is really important to have a plan of what workouts you are going to do and when to maintain your fitness during this busy time.  As time is the precious commodity, aim to reduce your workouts and maintain the intensity.  For instance if you are doing 4 workouts a week make them time efficient 30-45mins total and work really hard for that time.  The best type of high intensity workouts are strength training or functional circuit training, plyometrics based workouts, sprint/interval based workouts. You can create your own or attend a class if you need the support, motivation and company of others.  At Precision Movement we can also prepare and teach you a workout that you can do anywhere with little to no equipment at all. 

When to Workout

Try to get your workout done the morning of the party or at lunch time.  Metabolically this is better for your body.  Time wise it will be out of the way and you won't face the dilemma of doing your evening workout and attending the party late or just skipping the workout for the lure of a good time! Doing your workout earlier in the day you will feel the effects later in the evening prompting you to leave a party perhaps earlier that you would.  Be mindful of how much energy you expend in your workouts during the holiday season.  If your party season is particularly heavy then I would suggest maintaining the movement but decreasing the stress on your body.  Opt for parasympathetic work-ins like hatha or kundalini yoga, qi gong or tai chi.  All these workouts will help restore your energy - sort of like a movement hangover cure.  Word of warning - attend a later class if you are still feeling the affects of what you drank the night before! 

Managing Food & Drink

Make sure you eat when you drink alcohol even if only snacks and hors d'oeuvres are on offer.  Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage.

Weekend Recovery

Remember you can always catch up on sleep and workouts at the weekend.  If you have a very heavy season of parties I would recommend doing yoga or meditative based movement like chi gong or tai chi to restore your energy levels.  In the colder months, wrap up warm and take a walk or a leisurely bike ride.  Fresh air really helps to make you feel human again too! 

Time Management

Parties are usually late events.  If you have the option to arrange a lunchtime/afternoon affair I would definitely opt for this.  Firstly, you get an afternoon out of the office ;P and secondly you can leave at a reasonable time and get a good nights sleep.  If you are the guest of an evening party aim for a reasonable departure time.  If you really miss out on sleep you can make it up at the weekend but if its a school night, I would advise leaving at a reasonable time so you can function the next day! 

Social v Business

Be really aware of burning the wick at both ends in terms of social and business parties. I often find I dial down my social commitments during the business party season.  It helps to balance things out a bit.  Often I'll cook brunch or lunch for a group of people which means I can still catch up with friends socially, cook a healthy meal and not lose any more sleep.  If you are lacking the energy to cook then head out to a pub for a Sunday roast! 

The Big Blowout Recovery Plan

Now I would be lying if I said I didn't go crazy at least once during the festive party season.  It's all about the recovery from the big blow out night.  Firstly, if you've drunk a bit too much alcohol then you must rehydrate - with water! - no hair of the dog here.  Secondly, eat a good breakfast/brunch/afternoon version of this when you wake up!  I would advise a good hearty English breakfast of eggs, beans, bacon, tomato and sausages.  Protein and fat help to rebalance your blood sugar from all the alcohol.  Thirdly, take a leisurely walk or a bike ride in the afternoon to get some fresh air and gentle movement.  And lastly, get a good nights sleep to help sleep the last dregs of the hangover! 

If you are going to struggle with the festive season and feel a few fitness appointments would keep you on track then contact me KT, at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and we'll keep you on the straight and narrow!  For more information on our workouts of which there are many to choose from please visit our website.

The red flags of skiing injuries

Downhill Skiing
Downhill Skiing

We are fast approaching snow sports season!  January through to April is my busiest sports injury time.  I see more injuries during this period from snow sports than any other time of the year.  Let's face it there is a risk to engaging in any sport - snow sports perhaps a bit more than others.  However, if you adhere to some basic advice you can minimise the risk of injury.  In this article I share that advice with you....

Not conditioned for snow sports

If you are going on a skiing vacation this winter now is the time to start getting your body ready.  I would recommend a gym programme that trains the biomotor abilities of skiing and snowboarding, which are balance, power, strength, and agility.  Specifically you need to have a strong stable pelvis and spine to widthstand the forces of skiing and snowboarding movements.   Rotational and lateral stability are very important too.  And you need stability and balance training so your brain and body can figure out quickly how to change direction and deal with the unstable surface of snow underneath you. This sounds like a lot I know.  The art of training efficiently for snow sports is something we can help you with at Precision Movement.  If you would like to learn more then get in contact with us for a chat. 

Attempting level that is beyond your current ability

Whether you are a daring beginner with a penchant for danger or a seasoned veteran of snow sports, it is always prudent to work within your abilities.  I have seen many injuries throughout my career caused by over-zealous dare-devil stunts!  I cannot stress enough how important it is to be sensible and the reason why is highly linked to my next point…

Someone running into you

Now this is probably the most common reason people get injured in snow sports and it is not something you have much control over unless you are the one crashing into someone else.  The best advice I can give here is, stick to runs that are within your ability, always have your wits about you, don’t rush, always wear a helmet even if it cramps your slope style and lastly, give crazies a wide berth!  Also, I’m going to add watch out for young children who are speed demons – they have no fear and also believe they are small enough to fit through the tiniest gaps between people. 

Lack of sleep and alcohol consumption

I personally think skiing and snowboarding is one if the best holidays because you get to be active as well as taking lengthy lunches atop a mountain and then partying with your friends into the wee hours of the morning.  It has everything that makes a holiday good!  With the good times also comes lack of sleep and more often than not a larger than normal consumption of alcohol.  Firstly, lack of sleep will impair your cognitive and neuromuscular abilities on the slopes the next day.  Basically, when you are tired all your communication channels become smudgy and lackadaisical which can increase your risk of injury.  Be aware of how many hours you sleep and if you’ve had a particularly late night then take it easy on the slopes the next day.  Alcohol makes you more tired and impairs your sleep.  I’m not saying don’t drink – just be mindful of what you consume with a thought to your activity the next day.

Ignoring weather conditions

I have had personal experience with this.  On my first snowboarding trip I decided to bravely venture out by myself on my last day and prove that I could snowboard unaided and find my way around the slopes like a pro.  Unfortunately, I picked the worst day – a complete whiteout.  I didn’t even know what a whiteout was until I was in it!  Obviously I thought I was going to die - first from motion sickness, then from losing my way and getting stranded.  Amazingly I survived without a scratch!  Accidents are much more likely to happen during adverse weather conditions because visibility is so poor.  Really consider whether it is worth going out when the weather is bad.  Sometimes staying in your chalet for the day in your long johns and ugg slippers sipping hot chocolate is a better option! 

I know some of these points seem a little obvious but it never hurts to be reminded, especially in the spirit of minimizing the risk of injury.  It’s always easier to say “in hindsight…”.  Let’s make this an injury free ski season – well as much as possible!  Happy skiing and boarding have some Raclette for me!