summer

Precision Movement's inspiring summer book recommendations

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As many of you will remember I set myself some pretty hefty goals this year.  One of them was to read a book a month. I haven't quite stuck to this time frame but I have read 6 books this year so far! :) 

 

I try to think of many random ways I help make life a little easier for you all. So at this critical time of year when you are packing for your vacation and you realise you haven't got a book to read on the beach I have put together a list of my top four reads from this year so far. Now you can't say I don't look out for you all... ;p Without further ado my four hand picked book recommendations for summer 2015...

 

Winning Without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard

Probably the best business book I've ever read. Martin interviewed many of the top entrepreneurs on the planet asking them how they find and maintain what he calls the new dual optimum (a fancy phrase for the more globally recognised "work/life balance"). Hugely inspiring, with some great instant take-aways and broken into manageable chunks so you can read a chapter then take a dip in the pool, read a chapter then go for lunch. I'd recommend it if you need to recharge your business brain. 

 

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin 

Amy has a brilliant personal story to tell about her hardships and how she overcame them by NOT doing what mentally strong people DON'T do. If you're feeling a bit beaten up right now then this is a good booster for the spirit and the soul.  

 

When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Wientraub 

For a lighter story that reads more like a novel try Weintraub's life story of becoming a self-made man in Hollywood. With anecdotes about Sinatra, Elvis and a host of celebrities and musicians it's an engaging and fantastical story of a man who has lived what seems like a charmed life but he's worked his absolute socks off for.  I love his chutzpah - every good business person needs that! 

 

 The Road to Character by David Brooks

This is my most recent read.  I actually went to see David being interviewed in May which was a real treat.  This book is all about cultivating the eulogy virtues. We're pretty good at the CV virtues but perhaps not so focussed on the virtues that develop our character - such as bravery, kindness and selflessness. David takes 9 inspiring people from history who have made a difference to the world with their strength of character. He explores their lives and how they developed their eulogy virtues.  It's a beautiful and humbling read - good for an ego check! 

 

For those of you who are jetting off for the summer I wish you happy travels. Be safe. Make memories. Enjoy every moment. I'll still be posting so keep reading and read a book or two - it's really good for relieving stress! 

 

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 :)