Recognizing the Best

Today I'm going to Share one of the First Articles I Wrote which was Published in Various Fitness Magazines, Football Magazines and has been well Circulated Since. We all need Strong Support from the Best around to get to our Goals, but how do we Find or Recognize those People around us? Here is a List of Points fully Updated for you to Learn how to Recognize those High Effective Coaches when you find them.This Directed at Individuals Coaching Clients, but I've Written a Version for Teams. You may be wanting to know how to Find an Effective Coach or be a Coach looking for New Ideas. This can also apply to Personal Trainers, Team Coaches, etc.

1.Being Proactive 

Being a Coach in any area of Performance Improvement be it Fitness, Business, Life Coaching is not about Maximizing the allotted Time with a Client. It's about Proactively Understanding, and Impacting the your Clients Life then Leading them to their Goals. That's how you get lasting Change. Look at your Coach ask the following Types of Questions:

Is my Coach aiming to Understand my Whole Situation from the Personal to Performance Related?
Is my Coach constantly looking to find new Ways that I can be Better in All Areas?
Is the Coach taking Time to look in on you, and Check in?
Is he/she texting my Session in the Morning so I can look forward to it?

Sometimes the Simplest things make the Difference. For example I've had a Clients where a simple "Good Morning, You've Got this" type text has made all the Impact through just Knowing someone Believes in them. I take the time to really know the Deep Personal Issues that have faced my Clients in the past, and I hear you say it "that's not my Business" WRONG. It's aspects like this that are Entirely the Effective Coaches Business because you can't Impact someone without Impacting them "between the ears". To Change Minds you have to know People. That is just one aspect where your Coach should Proactive.  These are just a few examples of your Coach can be Proactive. Do you only hear from your Coach while he's training you? If it's a yes then you may need to find a new Coach.

2.Beginning With an End in Mind


Any one in any Field responsible for the Improvement of Individuals should have definite Goal or Destination for where they want that Client to be. A better Word is "Vision". A Coach and Client should work together define a Vision or Picture of what the Goal is, and what Completing that Goal looks like. This Should also include Writing a Mission Statement. Missions Statements, and Visions are more Powerful than Goals. A Coach should be discussing with you aspects such as:

What are your Beliefs and Values?
What kind of Character to do want to Project or Promote?
Are your Performance, Physique or Health Related?

Visions and Mission Statements are used because you need to have Powerful Compelling Motivation. This then gives you  Start point to work back from. Effecting Coaching begins with an end to work towards. If you Coach does not participate in Goal Setting with you then he is not doing his job pure and simple.

3.Put the Controllable Factors First

Once you have the Vision, and the Mission Statement you then need to focus on Directing Effort. Your Effort should always be Directed, and Focused on the Controllable aspects of a Situation.
This one is  something simple, and again it's Something every Coach should consider in Planing. Follow this Simple Exercise:

1-Looking at your End Point list all of the Controllable Factors from ALL aspects of your Life you can Control to Impact Positively Towards your Vision.
2-Group this into High Impact/Low Impact Areas
3-Your High Impact Areas are the ones you will focus 80% of your Effort because these are the Areas that are Responsible for Highest Proportion of Change towards your Vision. In other words a Change the High Impact Areas will have the biggest Impact.

It's Known as the 80/20 Rule, and if you don't follow it you're wasting your Effort. Highly Effective Coaches wont have you waste your Effort. The last thing you need is a Coach wasting your Effort.

4.Look for Win/Win

How do you define Winning? Well an Effective Coach will go for the Big Wins where possible in as many areas as possible. Developing the Individual vs Winning? What is your Win/Win? These are the are the areas which will Impact both the Development of the Individual, and their Results. One of Best Examples of this is a Focus on not just Training or Working, but the Focus on Creating an Active Life. How is this Win/Win? It Develops both the Mental and Physical Sides of Performance. It's a different Mental Frame than just looking at Workouts. These are the areas you want to look at if you want to be an Effective Coach, and it links in with previous areas discussed above.

I Divide this into Three areas:

1-Character:How can a Work be more than just a Workout? What Positive Traits can I Develop through Workouts? 

2-Relationships: How can you show the Client how what they do Relates to Life? How can you Improve the Clients relationships to Food..Health..People..Challenge? Team Mates?

3-Agreements: Very you have the buy in from the Client? If not start again.

Does your Coach do this? If not take a look. Detail and Planing in defining your Wins is one of the Hallmarks of the Highly Effective Coach. If all you is Workout then you have the Wrong Coach.

5.Understand First then Be Understood 

This Point has been mentioned in other Points above but it's worth focus on its own. A Coach should Know their Clients before they can have an Impact. A Coaches ability to help  Clients is limited by the Knowledge they have of them. Has your Coach taken time in everything from Fitness Tests to Understanding your Emotional Needs? Does your Coach Understand your Working Situation? etc, etc. Its a very simple aspect of Managing People that if a Coach wants a Client to accept the Message then they have to deliver this in a Way that States what you Will take from Training, does your Coach explain how what they do is for your Benefit? Does your Coach aim to Understand your Drives? Your Ambitions? Your Demands? Your Personal Situation?

6.Developing Synergy

 Unless you're on a Sport Specific Program then your Coach should be focusing on the right Mixture or Combination of all aspects of Development. Your Coach should never just Focus one type of Fitness or just on the Physical. Your Coach should have the Aim of Developing you as Whole Individual. If not it is One Dimensional Coaching. This is the difference between being a 10 in one area, but losing out on your Goals because by being a 7 in more areas you would have Won more. Try to dig into what a Coach offers, and you may find the best Consider more Areas. If all your Coach thinks you need is a Workout but Ignores what Triggers the Behaviors that Negatively Impact you then your Coach needs to Consider all Factors. Get a Program that Builds all Areas that will Influence you reaching your Vision. Highly Effective Coaching comes down too the Synergy of the Elements and Variables as Whole. Plan the Plan, and then Work the Plan. Look for a Coach that Improve you as a Balanced Athlete. Mind, Body and Character.

7.Sharpening the Elements

Once you've put the above together then what you need is Constant, and Ongoing Improvement. This should be in all areas of your Plan. This should be a constant Process of Observing the Plan in Action, and Adapting. The Goal should never Change, but what should is the Plan if it needs to. Look for areas such as:

Does your Coach constantly Improve his methods?
Does your Coach Drive you to Improving in each Area even a Small Fraction at a Time?
Does your Coach set aside Reflective Time for themselves to Consider their own Methods or Conduct?

If your Coach does not want to Constantly Improve of he thinks he the Best way then look again. He's either Arrogant or he gives the Same Plan to Everyone. No one Knows it all, and no Coach has the only Way.

You can add more, but this Should get you thinking. Are you with the right Coach to meet your Vision and Mission in Life?

 A Different Perspective

If you're a Regular Reader of my Blog you'll know I like to make you all Question, and look into whatever went before to Challenge to see Information in new ways. While the concept I'm going to talk about is not new, but I will to make you think about how you apply to your own needs. As always this about High Performance, and you will Burn Fat while Building Strong Functionally Strong Body. 

I'm sure you've  all heard about the Afterburn Effect? Or to be correct its right Scientific Name Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, Right? To put this in a very simple way this is when your Body continues to Burn Calories at a Higher Rate than normal following Intense Exercise through an Increase in Oxygen use after Exercise. However to make full effect of this we need to Consider the Body accross all levels not just manipulating Cardio to produce EPOC which is easy to do, and it does not fully Condition the Body.

What I'm going to show you are "Three Keys" on how to Use the most Effective Ways to Produce the Highest Afterburn while remaining Functional, Injury Free and able to Perform. During this Article you're going to use one of go to Methods on this Site Military Circuit Training to Maximize Intensity and Functionality for Performance.

The 3 Keys

 If you want to Maximise Afterburn while still being Functional, and Avoiding Injury you need to the following each Session:

1:Reach Maximum Heart Rate during you Session. You can have Periods of Rest but you must have Periods at Maximum Heart Rate.
2: Use as much Muscle as Possible through Different Movements.
3:Work your Core Every Session.

It is manipulating these 3 Key areas that will give you a Strong, Funcational and Robust Body.

 The Tools for Maximum Afterburn

The Methods I'm about to show you are the Three most Effective for Increasing AfterBurn Effect. On their own they will not be new to you unless you're a Beginner with no knowledge at all. However I will make a Brief outline of the Tools before I go into more Details. I'll then provide One Example of these, and move on to the Circuits I want you to use for Maximum Afterburn Effect.

1)Interval Training:This is Simply Alternating Periods of Work and Rest to affect the Intensity of Training over a Period of the Workout. These can used to develop almost ANY aspect of Conditioning.

2)Super Sets:There are lots of different Types of Super Set, but for Simplicity the basic Definition is using One Set of Two Exercises without Rest before resting for the next Super Set. For Example Barbell Back Squat, and Set of Press Ups immediately following. You would then Rest, and Repeat the designated number of Sets.

3)Split Sessions:  These are Workouts where you would Split the Cardio, and add another Element in the middle. A basic Example would be as below:

Part 1- 15 Minutes Cardio Best Effort
Part 2-Weights/Circuit/Body Weight/Abs/Etc
Part 3- 15 Minutes Cardio Best Effort

I'm going to Provide One Example of these for all of these that are my Favorites, and the I'll expand on that:

1)Interval Training:The 400m Killer
 This is called the "Killer" for Very Good reasons, and if you're doing it right you'll find out why too.
-Mark out a 400m Course/Shuttles
-Run your first Best Effort 400m Run
-Walk Rest for 200m if a Beginner,30-60 Seconds Intermediate  or Using HR Monitor if you're more Advanced
-Repeat this until you've Completed 5 Runs.
-Each Run after the first Best Effort Run should aim to be as close to that Best Time as Possible
That's all you need, and  if you've Run it Hard Enough you'll feel it.

2)Super Set:Barbell/Body Weight or Full Body/Body Weight
The Philosophy with Why I select these is simple-use as much Muscle as you can is the Shortest Space of Time to create the Biggest Impact:

Barbell + Body Weight
-Squat+Pull Up/Chins/Dips
-Deadlift+Press Ups of any Type
-Bench Press+Squats/Lunges of any Type
 You can see the Pattern is to avoid working Super Setting Upper and Lower Body if you can. Of course Abs can also be mixed into this.

Full Body + Body Weight
Burpee + Any Body Weight
Kettlebell Swing + Any Body Weight
Clean and Press+Press Up/Chins/Pull Ups/Dips
Thrusters +Pull Up/Chins/Dips/Press Ups

Doing any one of these Combinations will increase your Heart Rate, Impact the most Muscle, and increase the Afterburn Effect.

3)Split Sessions

This very Simple you do the following for Example:

Part 1:15 Minutes Run Best Effort
Part 2:Squat 15 Reps + Press Up 15 Reps
Repeat x 3 with 1-2 Minutes Rest Depending on Fitness Level
Part 3:15 Minutes Run Best Effort

The 45 Minute Workout:Putting the Tools Together

In order to make the most of these Tools you will put these together in a Short Session lasting no longer than 45 Minutes. Each of these Sessions will contain the 3 Keys as Outlined above, and give you the Ability to Maximise Afterburn Effect to Burn Fat, Build Muscle, and be Functionally Strong. Your Session would look like the Following:

Part 1-10 Minutes Cardio Best Effort Maintain One Pace
Part 2-Superset of Choice as above repeated 3 Times
Part 3- Abs Circuit:choose 3 Abs Exercises of Choice Perform 20 Reps of each followed by 2 minutes of Step Ups. Repeat this 3 times.
Part 4-10 Cardio Interval with Sprints  Finisher

This is one Example of What that would look like:

Part 1-10 Run Best Effort
Part 2-Superset of Barbell Squat 15+Press Up 15
Repeat 3 times with 1-2 Minutes Rest
Part 3- Abs Circuit:
20 Crunches
20 Reverse Crunches
20 Bicycle Crunches
2 Minutes Step Ups
Perform x 3
Part 4-10 Minutes  Cardio with 30 Second Sprint Every 3 Minutes as a Finisher

So now I've given you the Template, now how many Ideas can you come up with? Play with the Exercises, Reps, Variables that's the Beauty of the Template.  You will know you've done this right because you'll be feeling Sick at the End of each Session..

For more Information or for a Personal Program Contact Me Via the Site.

Thank You For Reading.


Kipchoge:The Marathon Man

On the 6th May 2017 at the Nike Breaking2 Race in Monza Italy, Eluid Kipchoge set the record for the Worlds Fastest Marathon. Kipchoge ran the Marathon in a Record 2 hours 25 Seconds. He like many Others is the result of years of Application of Kenyan Running Training Principles  initiated by experts such as the Great Renato Canova, Patrick Sang and Others. A typical day for Kipchoge begins with Warm Up Run around a 400m Track at never more than 8 Minutes Per Mile Pace. He and Other Athletes will then perform general Running related Stretches followed by Specific Stretching Movements prescribed by the Coach. They will then move on to specific Run related Stride work. The Running Group will then break into a Session such as the 2k-1k Drill. The Athletes will Run a "Repeat" of a 2K Run followed by 100m Walking Rest followed by another "Repeat" of 1k Run and another 100m Rest. This is repeated for 5 "Sets". Every Athlete will be given a Target Pace which they are expected to hit. Most of the Athletes can Run faster, but these Athletes don't break Records by wasting Energy when they don't have too. Once the Athletes finish the Run there is a Cool Down Mile at 10 Minute Mile Pace.

The Average Weekly Program of a Kenyan Runner

Depending on where you are in the Training Cycle, and the Athletes Needs, then a typical week of Kenyan Running Training would follow a pattern of:

Monday-Total Rest/Regeneration Run
Tuesday-Track Session
Wednesday-Regeneration Run, 
Thursday-Tempo Run, Long or Semi Long Run
 Saturday-Fartlek Training
Sunday-Total Rest

Sometimes in the Morning depending on the Athlete they will do Double Sessions one 06:30 followed by Rest, and the next Session at 10:00. This can come in the form of a Regeneration Run before the Fartlek Session. A key Principle of Kenyan Running Training is keeping a Journal of Runs. Each Athlete has detailed Journals of every Run/Session they have ever done. 

The aim of this Post is to look into exactly what we learn from Kenyan Running Training for our own Running. Want to reach new Standards in your own Records? Read on to find out just what Kenyan Running Training can do for you. I will not be going too deep into the Science or Points such as Genetics. The aim is to present Tips, Techniques and Performance Methods you can use right now in Training for better Results. So take your Running Journal, and get ready for Notes.

1.Running Journal

Every aspect of a Kenyan Runner Program is based of his or her Specific Race Pace Goals, Energy Thresholds and Previous Performances among other factors.This is why a Journal Personal to you is Essential,and if you're not keeping one you should be. Kenyan Running Training does not Involve Heart Rate Monitors, GPS or Technology to aid their Runs. One of the benefits of Journals is the development of "Body Feel". For Kenyan Runners the aim to feel a consistent Energy level through out the Race by being able to listen to their Body, and understanding their Energy Fluctuations. For your own Performance you should be recording aspects like:When you feel most fresh in Run? When do you feel Energy Levels start to drop? Can your Legs handle Higher Pace, and over what distance can you maintain it, What is my Anaerobic Threshold? You should then know for your own Race preparation. Once you become proficient in this it will be your Watch that will be your main Weapon. You will use this to Regulate your Kilometers, and plan your Pacing. Your aim here should be to know how you need to Pace yourself, Load your Training, know the effect of Training Progressions etc. Other Conditions can also be Noted such as your Mental State, Weather, Time of Day etc. Record all of the Effects these have on you. You Should also Record all of your Preparation for a Race or Session, Rest, Number of Hours Sleeping. The more Information you can gather the better.

2.Hill Running

In order to Condition Leg Strength and Anaerobic Energy Systems Kenyan Running Training Schedules will always include one Session of Hill Running Per Week. Each Hill Sprint Session is of a One Hour duration, and they will be made of a varying distances depending on the stage of the Loading Cycle. Sessions Would starts by Building Up to 400m Sprints from 100m Sprints with "Reps" from 10-20. You want to do your Running in Blocks of 100m, 200m and 400m.

3.Regeneration Runs

Blood Lactate Levels remain Elevated up to 3 Days following a Competitive Run. This is where "Regeneration Runs" or "Flushing Runs" are applied. Before you can do this you need to know your Anaerobic Threshold(AnT) or Running Speed at Lactate Threshold. The Simple way to do this is to perform a simple test you can use on a Treadmill or Track. Perform this Test on a Day where you are Fresh as you will be doing a "Best Effort Run". Perform a warm up, and if using a Treadmill set the Incline to 1%. During your Warm Up you will gradually raise the Pace of the Run to one which you can keep up for around 30 Minutes. Once you hit that Pace you will maintain it for the full 30 Minutes. To obtain your RSLT you divide the Distance you covered in m by the Duration of the Run. So if you covered 8000m this would be 8000m/1,800Secs=4.5m Per Second. Then divide this by 400 meters which is 400/4.5=89 Secs to Cover 400m. Divide the number of m in Mile which is  1,609.34/400=4 now time this by the 400m Time  equaling 4x1m 29 Secs =5  Minute 16 Second Mile Time. So your AnT is 5:16/mi.For your Regeneration Runs you would be working at -60%-70% of this figure, Calculated the Canova way this would be just over 6 Minutes 42 seconds at 6:42/mi. In keeping with the above Example this would mean instead of taking 30 minutes to cover 4.9mi to you would take 32 Minutes to Cover this Distance. You should also be stretching the distance at the slower pace up to 3 days after your Fast Run use a Long Slow Distance flushing which you can do at 60% this would work out at a Slower 7:13/mi. Although there these Times should be Calculated from your Specific Percentage there are many Elite Kenyan Runners who swear by the Rule of not breaking 8:00/Mi Pace on Regeneration Runs. Some 10:00/mi Pace Runs are not Uncommon. You don't have to use the Distance Covered that's an Example, but this should be Race Specific for you.

4.Long Running

One of the favored Methods used by Kenyan Runners is Long Run based entirely on target RP. This is normally at a Pace close to but not at RP.There are Two Types of Run which are used these are Long and Semi-Long Runs.Long Runs are Performed once every Two weeks at a Distance of 35km-45km, while the Semi-Long Runs are Performed in between 25km-30km.Now using the Information above lets say our Runner wants to run a RP of Sub-2 Hours. This means the Runner would have to hit 4:34/mile. On a Long Distance Day they would have to do a 40km Distance at a Pace of 4 Minutes 41 Seconds Per Mile. In Canova Method a Marathon Runner would do a 40K at 4:41/mile. You want to be including Runs at a Challenging Pace over Distance. This has been against some advise presented by other Sources, when it comes to Kenyan Running Training these are Essential.

5.Lapping or Kenyan Intervals

Although not true Intervals they are really "Repeats" theses are probably the most famous of the known methods, and have become known as Kenyan Intervals. They are known among the Kenyan Runners as "Lapping" Runs because they all take place on 400m Run Track. The are Shorter than Race  Distance Runs designed to improve your Speed Endurance i.e How fast can you Run and how long for? As a result these Repeats tend to be Longer than normal Sprint Distances with Short Rest Periods  One of the most consistently high Performing Runners of all time Catherine Ndereba or "Catherine the Great" is known for her use of  what Kenyan Runners call "400s". She will perform a Session of 20-30 "Repeats" of 400s at a Pace of 71-72 Seconds per Run. Her Rest will be as little as 30 Seconds, and the simple Philosophy behind this is that there no Rest Periods in a Distance Run. These methods were the Core of her Training for the Bronze Medal she won in 2000 Olympic Games. These Sessions are simple, and can be done anywhere almost anytime of Year. Another staple Repeat Session used in Kenyan Running Training by some of the Fastest Runners is "1 to 1's" this is A session of 25 Repeats of 1 Minute Hard Running followed by 1 Minute Walking Rest. This a hard Session, but if you add this type of Training the Results are Guaranteed. Over longer Distances these Repeats take place over 1600m, 2000m and 3000m between 12km-20km Long.

6.Fartlek Training 

Another Core Method of Kenyan Running Training are Weekly Fartlek Sessions. These are normally no more than 50 Minutes at most. Fartlek means "Speed Play", and as the name suggests you will be manipulating your Speed. The Slow Run Periods are not strict Walking Rest Periods as in the Repeat Training Desribed above they are Slow Run Periods which a Slower Pace Per Mile is Maintained. The most Common one of these workouts being  Similar to the above this Session uses the  "1 to 1's" Ratio of Timing. You will Perform 10 Minutes of a Warm Up Run and go into 30 Continuous Minutes of 1 Minute Slow Runs with 1 Minute Fast Runs. If you don't see your last Meal again at least once while using this Workout you're not going at the right Intensity during your Hard Runs. Once you become more Experienced at this, and your Body is Conditioned for it then you can Progress the Slow/Fast Ratio. Start to Increase the work Load 1:2, 1:3,2:4 and so on all for the same 30 Minute Period of your Session.

7.Tempo Runs 

Theses Runs like Long Runs are based Primarily on Goal RP or Previous RP.Once per week as a key part of Kenyan Running Training you will perform a Tempo Run at Race Pace. These are all about extending your Capability at Race Pace as Opposed to the Long Runs described above. This will take the form of Distance Session performed at RP over a Standard Track where you can Time your Run. Most Tracks in Kenya are 16km-18km long for this Purpose. 

If you want to Block off your Time a Popular way to do it in Kenya is to use a Warm Up Run of 20 Minutes followed by a Hard 40 Minute Run. Again this will challenge your ability to keep a Meal Down if you're hitting your Pace. A lot of the Elite Runners will Run Tempo Runs from 45-75 Minutes. When building the Run times for Tempo Runs Less Well Conditioned or Novice athletes begin with 20 minutes at RP then move from there. In Kenya it is a Core Philosophy of Kenyan Running Training that these Sessions are Group Based and Runners will drop off at their Assigned Times which leaves the Elite Runners at the Head of the Pack to Run the Remaining Session. Running Coach Canova Credits these Runs as being the key to Kenyan Success. Advising that Race Type Specific Time Per Mile Training at RP should be a Core Method. Many Kenyan Coaches believe these Runs are the Single most Important Runs of your Program. 

Another way to perform  these Runs which Kenyans use is to Run a Pace Faster than your RP for a Specific Number of km. This would be at a Pace 30-40 Seconds Faster than Race Pace. This would Gradually Increase from 2000m at the Faster Pace to 10.000m at the Faster Pace. It is quite likely that there have been times faster then Kipchoge's Marathon time Recorded by non-athletes in Kenya or Other African Nations. Once you've completed this Run it should Feel like you've just Run a Race.

8.Diet and Rest 

No Training Program would be complete without Diet and Rest. As with every other Training Program these are essential for Kenyan Running Training. The First Component Kenyan Runner will most closely Manage are the Sleep Patterns. Many are in bed by 21:00 and get 10 Hours Sleep. They will then Include Naps of a Minimum of Two Hours. The aim being to Build up hours of non-active and active rest. They may walk around camp or take Slow Walk. The Rule is at least one Day of Total Rest Per Week where there is as little Loading as Possible. This Same Philosophy on the Seriousness also applies to the mind. During these Rest Days of doing no activity Kenyan Runners will spend Time as  Rule ensuring the Brain has Periods where it does not think about Running. This is Key for Full Regeneration along with the Combined Regeneration Runs. When it comes to Kenyan Running Training Rest really does mean "Total Rest".

Diet has been featured as a Uniured que Factor of Kenyan Running Training being based on the Consumption of the Starchy Carbohydrates for example Ugali as the Core Energy Source. It has been put forward by some Sports Specialists that the World Running Community lags behind Kenya in fueling its Athletes. Most Elite Athletes will fall into the 5 Meal Per Day Pattern which is seen often with an Athletes Diet.However when on Camp there will be Food available at any time the Runners feel Hungry.Runners would always eat within 1 Hour of Training.

 As General Rule Nutrient intake Per Kilogram of Body Weight would be measured at 10.4g Carbohydrates,1.3g of Protein. Carbohydrates would be 75% of the Diet, Protein would be 12% of the Diet while Fat would be 13%. This is obviously well into the extreme for Normal Individuals, but due to levels of Training Kenyan Runners are able to process High Loads of Carbohydrates effectively. 

The Core Foods of the Kenyan Diet were Four Main Sources Ugali, White Sugar, Rice and Milk. These were supplemented with Bread, Potatoes,Beans, Cabbage,Eggs and a little Meat. The Majority of  Fat and Protein in the Diet comes from Full Fat Milk. Athletes would add very small amounts of Beef. Just like the Majority of successful Nutritional Plans this one is based around a few repeated Staples and Dishes. Breakfast would be Tea, Full Fat Milk, White Sugar and Bread. Lunch would Ugali with Eggs or the One Portion of Beef. The Evening Meal would be another Helping of Ugali with one of the Other Foods Supplemented such as Beans. Where their Diet is different is the Large Consumption of Tea taken as above. The Kenyans would drink more of this than Water.Snacks would also be taken between meals maybe of Fruit or a Portion of Vegetables.

So what  does this mean for your Diet? Depending on your activity level there is no reason why you can't do similar. Ugali is not readily available in a many places, but for those than can get it they should use it. If not you can follow similar Guidelines. Workout your your Macro Nutrient demand from the above. Then follow your own daily amounts. However if you're not as active but still Running then you can follow Elements of the diet. Try Eating less Meat and taking Protein from Milk, Beans and Eggs. Add Tea with its Antioxidants to your diet, and you can even Enjoy it the Kenyan Way Post Race.

For more information on Kenyan Running Training or have a Specific Distance Running Plan Designed for you then you can Contact Me Via this Site.
During this post I will be outlining Tips for Instructing or Conditioning Combatives. I have used these with any fighter involved with Reality Based Combat. I have also adapted them to MMA needs where they are applicable. They are outlined here in no particular order however they are some of the most useful tools I have applied for instilling the Techniques, Skills and Attitudes for Combat Effectiveness. These are by no means all the methods I use,and some may seem obvious like suggesting Impact Training, but there are still many who don't use even these methods to their fullest potential. These are just simple areas of Focus you can employ to begin improving your Combative Application.

1.Room of Pain

 Also known as the "Leadership Room" or "The House of Pain" this is a concept I adapted from the US Marines. For this i do exactly as they do, no need to change a formula that works right? This is perfect for your Combatives Training and Conditioning. Full Contact Techniques and grappling movements are used during these training sessions and each session will also contain "Conditioning Stations". This video illustrates the concept perfectly Leadership Room.

2.The Shark Tank

This is a drill for Conditioning and Technique. The aim is to train for a Duration longer than any real fight may last in order to Condition Mentality for keeping the fight going. This has also been called the "Gauntlet" by some instructors. This involves multiple stations set up in a Circuit fashion with a different item of equipment on each station. There are many ways you can run this drill for example having a set time at each station or by having a set number of repetitions of each Technique/Combination for each Combatant you have participating. This adds an interesting twist as the Combat situations within each can become Competitive. It also adds to Conditioning challenge to switch between Upper and Lower Body Techniques.An example of this Combatives Drill is outlined below is set up below:

Station 1: Strait Palm
Station 2:Knee Strikes
Station 3:Hooks
Station 4:Roundhouse Kicks
Station 5:Escaping the Clinch 

3.Shuttle Drills For Range Transition

If you want to dominate a Combative situation you need to effectively transfer between Ranges in order to close an Opponent. The aim of employing these types of Drills is for each Combatant to run the Shuttle and launch a Combination to close down the Range. One of the best principles you can employ in any fight is to close the distance to most effective and lethal weapons quickly with maximum aggression. Range Transition Drills aim to teach this concept until it becomes a a mentality. One of the favorite principles I apply is to close the distance and employ Knees, Elbows and Head as quickly as possible. This is done for the Psychological impact as up close aggression has its own impact on the Defender and for Maximum Damage. 

4. FMA Flow Drills

I employ these for simple repetition of Technical Movements. Repetition is needed because there needs to be ingrained sets of Movements and Techniques that transition over to Combat situations without thought of the user. They also need to be adaptable to most Common fight situations.I have found Entry Drills such as this one to be very useful as many fighters across many disciplines cross train in Boxing.  These Drills are also used for Practicing Knife Techniques. Combatives Skill needs repetition just as much as any other one, don't neglect repetition of the Basic Movements. As a fan of FMA I would encourage you to find ways to adapt these for your own needs as they can also be trained Solo to maintain some form Technical Skill before Transitioning back to Partner Training.

5.Impact Training

An old instructor of mine used to say in order to hit right you have to hit something because if you don't train by hitting something you wont follow through the Technique. Impact is what he believed was one of the cores of Realistic Training and I always give my Students as much training as possible where they can see as much as possible the real effectiveness of the Techniques they've been learning. One of the Greatest trainers of all time Cus D'amato would have his fighters train on progressively heavier bags to increase Punching Power. This is the case with any form of Combatives Training. Try to use as many different tools for improving your impact Speed and Power as you can. Some bags for example are filled with wool and are particularly Energy sapping to hit. Others like Water bags can also have the same effect. This may be an obvious method of training to talk about, but there are many "masters" who could do with a lot more of this in their programs.

6.Clinch Training

Any person familiar with the Basic components of Combative Principles will be familiar with those of Fighting Distance. We discussed training for closing Ranges in an earlier point, but this time I want to touch on the Specifics of Clinching and what that can do for you. The first reason is Control and Comfort. Intense and Repeated training at this Range of fighting requires several key components to be performed under pressure in order to be successful. Arm Control, Balance, and Body Positioning are all major components that Clinch Training will force you to master.One way I have clients train this when fatigued becuase quite simply your fight may come when you're exhausted Physically. The only way to prepare to Fight when in this state is to Fight with Fatigue to force yourself to have the ability, and experience to be able to Survive at Close Quarters. Another Major element is control of the Fight to prevent or control its decent to Ground level. We should all by now know we don't to a dangerous situation on the Ground. With this in mind one the most important training Focuses should be Entry/Exit and Sweep Training. Improve your Sweeps and Unbalancing work and this will allow you to employ the L Principle, which means your opponents will on the ground with you over him for a Finishing Strike. This gives you the protection of still being Vertical and Mobile while controlling the opponent on the Ground.

7.Open Palm Conflict Management or Other Conflict Resolution

There is a Concept known by British Military(as well as many others) known as "Open Palms" this is  allows for Verbal Control of a Confrontation while positioning for a First Strike. The best conflict is one you don't to Fight, and you always want a way to attempting to ensure a Situation resolves Peacefully. However you still want to be in Control. An element of Conflict Management or Resolution training will round you out as Operator or Person. This is an Element which is forgotten about by many Instructors who focus most of their time on Fighting. Follow the old adage "the best operation is one where no one knows you were there", and I said the same is true for Confrontations the best fight is the one that doesn't  happen. Open Palms is outlined below:

Position:Place yourself in a location where you are aware of and have access to exit routes easily. You can't be hit if you're not there. Never block yourself in. The same for the other Person this applies to not making them feel boxed in.

Attitude:Display a Positive, Helpful, Polite but Assertive Attitude. Projecting Confidence in your language and showing you are giving the chance to move the Conflict forward non violently is a great help. Avoid Aggressive Phrases, and Trigger words. Let them know you don't want the situation to end Violently.Keep the focus on the Solution to Problem.

Look and Listen:This is an Important aspect of Control. Maintain Eye contact but don't Stare, and demonstrate all signs of listening Actively. Head Nodding Etc.This is also where you observe for signs of Conflict Escalation.

Make and Maintain Space:Keep a close observation of your Space in relation to the Other Individual. Do not invade their Space and do not let them invade yours. In order to keep space use the following Questions:

-Can you see their feet?
-Do you feel Comfortable with the distance?
-Will they have to move to hit you?

Doing this will ensure you keep a firm control of Space. Should an Attacker continue to invade your Space you employ other Techniques.

Stance: Stand to the side Palms open one hand in front one hand slightly lowered. This will be a Guard should you be Attacked, and B by turning you give the Person you face the chance to exit. In the event of a need to Strike your Palms are your first weapon. Open Palm Strikes from this position are your main tool here.To your Opponent this has look like you are almost backing away, but this is the position from which to launch  your First Strike.

Open palms is all about "I'm going to allow to Speak, and Resolve the Situation. I'm prepared to hit you, but not yet, and when I do it will be the only resolution". There is always two ways to do ways to do something the first is easy where no one gets hurt, but the second is still easy(for you) but someone gets hurt. Open Palms is their chance to decide.

The list here is not huge, and you may disagree. However I hope it sparks you to think your own training, and what methods work for you or your clients.


It's been a while since I've added new material, but a lot has been happening. I'll soon be in full swing again with new material.

As I continue to expand my work into new areas I've been working and more in an office environment. I have to say the more I look the more I see just how bad the problems of inactivity are not just for adults, but also for children spending too many hours sitting in schools with activity level decreased to a minimum. So this is nothing new and much has been written about it before, and I may not be adding anything new. My aim in writing this is to supplement the readers of my Minutes in Motion Office Workouts (which will be resuming) with ever more reason to continue their assault on the risks of inactivity. I even have to sit to write this as sitting every where we now reaching a time where many adults and children are so in active they are walking time bombs. Don't add yourself to the list of health statistics. Read this post and gain some awareness into just what's happening to your body when sitting is your fitness program. The tune yourself to my Office Workouts in the minutes in motion posts.

What's Shaping you?

A lot of professionals neglect the Office Workout, and such they miss a chance to work with many clients int he environment that can shape them most. The average worker in the average Office based job spends more time in work than they do with Friends, Family and Loved ones. Now that's a lot of sitting down right? and remember that's over an average shift of 9 hours per day for a lot of people.As professionals designing programming for Clients and Athletes we all know your body adapts the most to activity it is repeatedly pressured by.   Your Program is Endurance based you build Endurance. Your Program is Strength training you get stronger I could on but you get me right? Your body will adapt and shape to what ever you  do most often, and that goes for that chair you spend 9 hours a day sitting on in your office. Sitting as agreed by many movement specialists is an unnatural Human resting position. We are not build for and we never been built for sitting. We were built by Squatting, and that is our natural states of rest. So lets have a closer look at just how your Chair is Shaping you:

>Firstly your position and posture forces you into an unnatural half Flexed position that creates a lot of compression in ways the body is unsuited to deal with.
>Your Spine is compressed to a level where the forces exerted on it are between 30-40% greater than when standing.
>.Your Fascia or Connective Tissue begin to tighten and stiffen due to prolonged holding of the same position over hours of the day.
>This creates shortening and tightening of your Hip Flexor muscles.
>Your Glute muscles are exposed to prolonged Stretching due to the 90 degree angles of your Knees.
> This creates muscle imbalances which increase your injury risk leading you to become weaker over time.
>Do this repeatedly over career and these small changes become the platform for the big changes you experience later down the line. Gluteal Amnesia which is a condition where the  Glute muscles do not activate properly is just on of many muscle related health affects that occur due to prolonged sitting. Those Office Workouts are looking like a good idea right? Well if you answered no then read on.

Invisible Killers-The Hazards of Sitting You Don't See

Ok so we've had a brief look into what Sitting for prolonged periods of time do your Muscles. Many Health specialists have linked prolonged sitting to what are known as "Cluster Conditions". These are conditions that are directly linked to and impacted by each other that occur together due to the related conditions that allow them to develop. One study researched the Sitting time of Adults and concluded that A) Adults with 2 hours Sitting time increased their risk of Death from many Conditions by up to 50% and B) Increased risk of Cardiovascular associated diseases by up to 125%. That's just the beginning. Not only are those risks significant, but they are also separate from the causes most commonly associated with these conditions such as as Smoking and poor Diet. And that's just for starters:

Mental Stress

One study conducted in Australia linked prolonged sitting to increased levels of Mental Distress. The risk of such mental conditions increased in some participants by up to 90%. This an impact on everything from your perception of relationships, your self esteem, depression and any other number of Mental Conditions. What creates these risks is unknown and still be studied. However what many health experts believe occurs is a viscous circle of poor health leading to poor Mental Functioning that then reinforces further the negative affect of the health conditions.

Increased Cancer Risk

Increasing your Cancer risk. Studies int he UK and Germany have linked too much sitting to an increase in various Cancers, and if you couple that with obesity that results in many participants of certain Sedentary professions you have a breading ground for Cancer. Studies highlighted significantly increased risk with many Cancer types including but not limited too 30% increased risk of Colon Cancer, 60-70% increase of Uterine Cancer and a 54% increased risk of Lung Cancer.

Increased Diabetes Risk

Your risk of Diabetes increases and if you already have the condition you're at risk of worsening this. Those who sit in frequent long shifts from 9-12 hours per day significantly increase the spiking of blood sugars above levels of those who break sitting periods up with bursts of activity. Researchers have shown the best strategy is for frequent bursts of activity that burn off excess Carbs and lead to better Blood Glucose management. You can find many Office Workouts that take minutes in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.

Decreased Blood Health

Decreasing Blood health. Ever heard of DVT on long distance flights? This can also develop from prolonged sitting as researchers have shown in the areas of Blood health that sitting leads to increased clotting frequency of the Blood, Selling of Smaller Blood Vessels in the legs and Blood Pooling. If you sit for prolonged periods of time you significantly risk the quality o your circulation. When your sitting your blood flows slower, leading to increased risk of Blood Pooling and an increase in Fatty Acid Deposits.

Chronic Back Pain

As I already stated sitting for long periods increases the compression force on the Spine and can lead to chronic Back pain. Back pain is one of the most reported and treated health problems for both Athletes and none Athletes. Significant amounts of money are lost by companies from time off when employees experience back pain, but a lot of this is created by companies who inadequately equip employees for sitting. The standard office Swivel Chair is inadequately designed to lend support the Back.

So what can you do about it?   

Researchers in the British Journal of Medicine concluded that every hour spent sitting after the age of 25 years off your life if you don't manage around reduce your life expectancy by 22 minutes, but compare that to smoking a Cigarette which reduces life expectancy by 11 minutes per Cigarette. Other than giving up the Office lifestyle and your job there is unfortunately no way to completely offset the amount of sitting you're probably required to do. However there are ways you can repair begin to minimise the damage in the long term. You'll never remove the pressures of it but you can become more resilient to it. Here are some steps I recommend you begin to take:

>Use Office Workouts spread through the day to increase metabolism and help manage Blood Glucose levels. You can find these in the Minutes in Motion Section of this site.
> Decrease your sitting time. One way to do this is to add walking breaks into your daily routine. If you try to spend a few minutes stood up every our then you increase the time on your feet during the day. Also any structured work breaks you do have spend them walking away from your desk get out of the work environment.
>Introduce a low Carb diet. As I'm sure you'll know your diet is where the most impact can be had. If you begin to actively control your Blood Glucose with your diet.
>Introduce Yoga into your lifestyle. If you want to strengthen your body against muscular imbalances and weakness that occur from sitting then I suggest you add Yoga into your workout program. You will also alleviate the negative thoughts which come from sitting as this can be a useful form of meditation also.
>Walk after or while eating. This will improve your digestion and increase your insulin sensitivity positively. As walking following following a meal has shown to have a positive impact  on Blood Glucose management.
>Use a Pedometer set yourself a step goal and aim to keep it by walking as much possible.

For more on this you can contact me via the contact section of this website. 31% more people are now using online Personal Training services to obtain programs and gain advise than when compared to levels in 2010.

This simple workout is designed for Hybrid Conditioning. You're going to work on both Endurance and Strength.

Press Ups x 8
30 seconds Jog on the Spot
Body weight Squats x 8
30 Seconds Jog on Spot
Alternating Lunges x 20
30 Seconds Jog on the Spot
Glute Ham Raises 20
30 seconds Jog on the Spot

Repeat this 3 ties with 30 seconds rest in between. For the Tempo of the movements perform all movements with maximum "time under tension". Use a slow Tempo for  all moves were possible.
In Sport,Life,Business or Careers there are many talented individuals the world over who for some reason fail to achieve  their full potential. There are man with natural Talent, Intelligence or some of other seemingly great Gift that allows them to have the edge over most other people in the same field. The same goes for just the basic events we all go through in daily life such as overcoming Relationship issues, Fear issues, Confidence issues or Health issues.I could go on, but I'm sure you get the point right? One of those key areas that holds us back is own Mind and the "Blocks" we put in our own path. More often than not many more people have "Defeated themselves" before they've really had a chance to start. The purpose of this post is to discuss what we can all do to overcome these blocks and to give you some tools to help get your started.

Recognising that you have a Mental Block

Mental Blocks are any kind of Thoughts or Emotions that impede your ability to improve, solve problems, make decisions or take action in a manner leading to success. It's very important in all areas of life(not just Sport) that we remove our Mental Blocks if we want to achieve potential and get what we want. Mental Blocks can lead to us feeling helpless and powerless without control over our actions. If you've ever reached a stage where you have any repetitive thoughts such as "no matter what I do I just can't seem to get through this".."No matter what I do I just can't seem get this right".."No matter how hard I try I just can't improve". These are the tell tale of the Mental Block. Lets be clear this has nothing to do with cliches like "you obviously don't want this or you would never have failed"...or "it obviously wasn't the right time/place/person etc or we would never feel this way". Mental Blocks can be overcome. The fact is some of sabotage ourselves at the crucial moment before what we've always wanted comes into being,and so we miss out on success.

Freewill..or not?

Now you may be wondering why I bring this up in the conversation about Mental Blocks, but this point is key to understanding what I want you to take from this article. You may well have seen those situations in sports for example when a Golfer nears to his final put then just can't sink it, when the Footballer steps up to take the kick then produces a miss at the most important the kick of the season or that time in your life when you came so near yet tumbled at the last minute. These are the situations where you talk to yourself in the following ways "I was just so close"..."If could just have done this or that at this time". These are the situations where your blocks either Psychological or Emotional somehow allow you to work yourself out of that crucial winning moment. Freewill plays its part, but with all the best in the world Mental Blocks still play their part too.

There was once a famous Soccer player who had a Mental Block when taking Penalty Kicks. He had a habit of missing in big games at the worst times. When asked by a Sport Psychologist what went on within his own head at the time  his response was the following  "I took action by wanting to step up I willing to take responsibility for this, but at the last minute I froze..the Goalkeeper looked huge and the net looked so small I couldn't see a way to get the ball into the net". As you can clearly see from that example with the Soccer player he was experiencing a Mental Block stemming his distorted view of the "hugeness"of the Goalkeeper. Freewill is defined as "the power to act without constraint of necessity or fate, the ability to act at ones own discretion". This is a valuable aspect to have not jut in Sport but in all areas of life. The ability to make our own decisions without being held back. Now in a Sporting context your Mental Block will influence your own ability to act and determine the end result just like the Soccer player.

I want you take three key concepts from this before I explain the tools you will need to give you a helping start :

1-We can only exert our influence or control those areas which fall inside of the boundaries of our Mental or Emotional Block. Once we have a Mental Block we can no longer control what is outside of it, it has determined our decision for us.
2-When we repeat Mental Blocks and repetitive statements that go with them they become behaviour "Models" for our body and our nervous system to act upon creating the habit of repeated negative behaviour which then takes root as false beliefs.In order to break through we need to acknowledge that we are experiencing false beliefs.  
3-As a result of number 1 the first step to take is a debugging of our Mind and Mental process. Our own mind has mechanism's for success if we keep it healthy it will do a lot of the work for us.
4-Once we have debugged our Mental processes we can then work our Strengths. This where actually begin to improve our own ability and become resistant to further Mental Blocks. 

I'm going to give you a few tools to help you overcome the Mental Blocks that occur most frequently.

Performance Tool 1-Mental Debugging

The first step to peak performance is to debug our Mind and remove any mental or emotional behaviours that may be hijacking our behaviour process leading to Mental Blocks.When we think of a negative situation and we have negative mental  responses, negative emotional and negative physical responses this our body and mind telling us how we previously felt in the situations. This is acting as a block giving us a signal to avoid those situations. This is not always a bad thing when it protects us repeating past mistakes, but it is a bad thing when it stops making positive progress. The key factor is to acknowledge that we don't want these reactions all the time. When you face a situation and ask yourself if you want these reactions then answer "No", you are then clearly being hijacked by your negative responses. When we are hijacked we tend to blow up situations and distort the facts, and so situations become distorted by our fears or negative visualisations. You need to remove those and rewire your brain so the logical part takes over. This will bring you back into control and present to you a more constructive accurate perception.

Step 1-10 Minute Mental Dump
Give yourself the freedom here to let the negativity out for 10 minutes only. Grab a piece of Paper and write down every negative mental thought and physical reaction you're having to this situation. Let your Mind run free and dump all of this onto the paper. Once the ten minutes are up take the paper and rip it into to pieces then trash it. Make a choice to no longer allow those thoughts into your head. after the ten minutes.

Step 2-Refocus with Logic
Take another piece of paper and write down the facts ONLY the clear facts of the situation. Write down the positive points, write down the areas where you have concrete control to make a positive difference in overcoming your situation. This will calm your Mind and allow the logical parts of your brain to address your fears by providing a clear logical solution. This is key for breaking negative belief Cycle.

Step 3-Use Breath Control to change your Physiological State.
Changing the Mind is only half the battle. We need to change the Physiological responses and one of the best ways to do that is with a technique called "Tactical Breathing" this a method used by serving Special Forces officers that has served me well. 

Breath in through the Nose for 4 second count
Hold breath for 4 second count
Breath out of the Mouth for 4 second count
Hold breath for 4 second count

Like this...

Breath in 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4
Breath out 2 3 4
Hold 2 3 4

Perform up to 10 cycles of this and this will control your Heart rate and your Physiology in times of high Stress, Anxiety and Fear.

Performance Tool 2

The fastest parts of your Brain work on Auto-pilot so you need to give it positive Habit to fall back on. You need to add positive habits for your brain. This is where we strengthen the Mind and build on the other tools. Here is a simple process you can use to begin to retrain your Auto-pilot:

Step 1-Acknowledge the conditions you want to change

Step 2-Define the Positive Opposite eg Fear into Confidence.

Step 3-Visualise yourself performing with the new behaviour in the situations you want to change. The write a detailed description of your new set of behaviours. In our example write a very detailed description of how you will act confidently.

Step 4-Repeatedly bring this to the front of your Mind and use affirmations to reaffirm your new habits using the following technique. Use a Stopwatch and repeat affirmations in the "I am-I see myself-I feel myself"  format of affirmation. Back to our example"I am confident".."I can see images of myself acting confidently".."I feel confident now and can really feel myself become more confident as time goes on" Simply keep the format and replace the word confident with your behaviour or quality.

Performance Tool  3-Worst Case Scenario Practise

How do you know you're ready to take the step and the blocks are coming away? The best way is always to do a stress test against worst case situations.  One of the techniques I picked up from a NASA operative when I found myself on a course was "Worst Case Scenario Practise". Take a note pad and pen. Visualise the worst case scenario which we usually associate with Mental Blocks, Fears and Failure. Note down your reactions be they Mental, Physical or Emotional. Also note your attitude towards dealing with situation. Is your attitude positive? Can you look at a situation calmly with good physiology(calm, relaxed) and solve it?Most Importantly do you remain in control and cope with the situation? If the answer is yes then you're ready to face your situation and  training is successful. If the answers to these questions No or they are negative then repeat your mental training with the tools given until you pass the test.

I've given you three simple tools you can use to debug your thinking, keep the logical Mind in control, control your Physiology, build new habits and behaviors. I also provided you with a tool for testing your response to worst case scenario.