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Success Without the Scales

January 28, 2016

A common theme especially with females, is judging their success by what the scales read. The scales are not the best form of measurement for success especially when trying to develop a lean body. Muscle weighs more than fat so if you are training and developing muscle but losing fat sometimes you may actually gain weight. You should be judging success on the amount of non-functional weight you are carrying.

Body Fat Ranges:

For Men Optimum is around 8-12%

For Females 16-20%

Rather than judging yourself by the number on the scale get your body fat percentage done or use one of these 3 tips that can better judge your health and success.

1) Stand in the mirror and Take a Picture: Then re-test in 3-4 weeks and notice the difference. Sometimes the scales may not have changed but you physique has. You are not carrying lose skin where you were before, you have an extra ab or your quads are more defined. This can be a sign of progression that the scales cannot always see.

2) You have gone down a jean/dress size: Your waist is getting smaller which means you are losing body fat around the hips and stomach area. Another sign of success.

3) How you feel: You feel healthier than ever. Eating the right foods make you feel great physically and mentally and you are happy.

Nutrient Dense Foods: Stay full for longer!

December 5, 2015

A common mistake when trying to lose weight is letting yourself go hungry, starving the body and eating empty calories. This will get you snacking when you should not and cheating on your healthy eating programme.

Nutrient dense foods full of healthy components will help you feel fuller for longer, slows down digestion and are natural hunger suppressants.

vegetables

 

I have worked with a lot of people through time who want to lose weight, improve their overall health but say “No” to certain foods because of the taste. Avocado’s one of the greatest foods on the planet are not something most people like including myself when I first started eating them. Now I love them. The same with vegetables if you would have told me when I was a teenager how much I would love and appreciate vegetables when I am older I would have told you where to go. Everything we apply to our nutrition procedure is there for a reason. Every nutrient and food is there to benefit your body. You do not want the hunger feeling and these foods are great for keeping you fuller for longer.

Foods: The List of 10

Avocados

avocado

 

 

 

 

Apples

 

 

 

Chia Seeds

chia

 

 

 

 

Eggs

eggs

 

Nuts

Water

Leafy Greens

Book-Green-Leafy-Veggetables

Beans

Salmon

Coconut

coconut

5 Themes and Habits of Healthy Eaters

November 4, 2015

Healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle becomes a way to live. You have to make it a priority to eat and live a healthy lifestyle and then the results will follow. You will gain the body you want, the results you want and the lifestyle you want. Healthy mind= healthy body and vice versa.

Invest in your food: I have heard plenty of times “it’s expensive to eat healthy”. It is more expensive to eat healthy I agree but the extra money is worth the investment. It is like buying anything that will implement your health it is always worth the extra money. It is a lot cheaper than the health problems you could occur at a later date and better investment than a new dress to go out in on the weekend.

vegetables

image source

Don’t Buy into quick fix new diets: Herbal life, and other quick fix diet fads are constantly coming out because people always want the easy option. These are not healthy investments and only gain short term results. Do not be a sheep and follow the crowed, if these diets or pills actually worked nobody would be fat and all professional athletes would be following them.

Health and Performance is 80% Nutrition: You cannot look and perform great without the correct fuel. Health starts in the kitchen and no matter how much you train if your diet is rubbish you will never reach your peak. Nutrition is vital to your performance and health.

Get you Nutrients: Don’t starve yourself to lose weight and restrict your calories. This will put your body into stress mode and it is not healthy. You need adequate food to fuel the body, perform at its best and perform the necessary metabolic functions.

Sitting Down – a recipe for disaster

September 28, 2015

Good posture is ears over the shoulders, shoulders over the hips, and hips over the knee’s and ankles

Nearly all the injuries we come across in our rehab clinic are from lack of trunk stability.
Why do we need trunk stability?
1. To eliminate CNS(Central Nervous System) damage, for example a herniated disc or facet joint can have long lasting implications.
2.Mechanical compromise, tight hamstrings when you run? A disorganised spine.
3.Loss of force output, if your spine is in a bad position creating a stable knee,ankle,hip or shoulder is impossible.
Brace your spine neutralise your pelvis at all times, whether sitting,standing or running.

Think about how much time you spend daily sitting down, whether at work, watching tv, driving or doing other things. Correct posture and spine alignment is vital. According to one study the average person spends 15 hours sitting down a day. The British Journal of Sports Medicine found that pro-longed bouts of sitting are linked with obesity, abnormal metabolism, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer and increased risk of early mortality. And the study also showed these risks do not change whether you exercise or not.

Another study done in Denmark showed that people who walked over 6,000 steps per day when they reduced these to 2,000 steps for just two weeks they had a higher insulin levels and gained an average of 7% more body fat eating the same foods as they normally did.

Why?
When sitting metabolism decreases because your body is not working which also increases your blood sugar levels. Rather than burning 3 calories per minute and above by standing or walking you only burn one calorie when sitting down.

How to change it?
Be aware of your posture. Always look for a neutral spine. Do not let your shoulders be forward rotated in a hunched over position. Neck straight and not looking down. Allston Stubbs, an orthopedic surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, in Winston-Salem, N.C., who treats patients with back or joint pain. “We see the spine and overall skeletal structure being critical to a patient’s functionality and their satisfaction with their life and health care.” It has also shown to affect your mood. Someone with good posture has been proven to have a happier more positive mood than someone with bad posture. Changing your posture is not an easy fix and your mind needs to be constantly aware of it.

 

Spinal alignment

 

 

Stand up at your desk or use a Swiss ball. This will not allow you to slump, will help you burn more calories and keep your muscles activated. Swiss balls will help you maintain good posture and balance and will also help activate your core.

Take Breaks
Take breaks to move around work, some mobility exercises, stretch and walk. Just 5-10 minutes every hour or 20-30 minutes on your lunch break.

Add Mobility and Flexibility into your training and lifestyle
Stretch at night or in the morning, constantly make the joints mobile. We have a class every Sunday 10:00-11;00am where we stretch and go over mobility exercises. Even attending one of these every month you can take the class into your daily routine. It is no surprise to me that the people who attend this class have greater movement ranges and technique. It helps you become aware of correct posture and movement patterns. Some people wake-up, sit and have breakfast, sit in the car to work and then go train or sit all day in work. As soon as you wake up you can duck walk to the bathroom, squat as you brush your teeth.

 

Good Posture
Good Posture

 

 

Bad Posture
Bad Posture sitting


Conclusion
Sitting is bad for you. Dont even sit between sets in the gym. It affects your power out-put and some of you have to sit at work anyway. Always be aware of correct posture and body alignment. Add flexibility and mobility into your routine. I have never heard anyone tell me about a great experience they had when they were sitting down. Life is for living, exploring and doing!

Inspire

Tips to prepare you for a better work-out

August 4, 2015

Prepare to Succeed

Fuelling your body at all times is vital. If you are coming straight to the gym from work it is important you have the right energy stores for a productive workout. Here are 5 simple tips that can help improve the quality of a workout you get.

“by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin

Keep Food in Your Vehicle;

Keep some nuts, seeds and dried fruit in your vehicle that you can keep topping up your energy stores with. Stay away from that hunger feeling and have them available and easy to access on your way to the gym.

Cook extra for the next day: When preparing your tea cook enough for tomorrow that you can take to work with you. This will help reduce the amount of times you cook and also stop you going for the easy option in work or before the gym.

Prepare your gym bag the night before: Do not be in a rush in the morning. The morning can help set you up for a successful day. Enjoy it, do not rush it. Wake up, prepare for work in ample time and have a healthy breakfast to start you off the right way. Preparing your gym bag the night before will free up more time in the morning for you giving you less chance of forgetting something.

Extra Training Clothes: My car boot is full of equipment and old spare training clothes just in case of an emergency and I need extra clothing equipment. I can not count the amount of times people have turned up forgetting their shorts or a t-shirt for training.

Prepare your mind on the journey: Rushing to the gym and straight into a workout is not best practice. Use your time on the journey down to help concentrate and focus on the session ahead. Plan your goals that you wish to get from today’s training and prepare your mind mentally for what is ahead. This means from the moment you start you are ready and focussed to improve.

WOrkout tips

James Cox’s Blog

July 20, 2015

Had a great weekend competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have only competed once since my last MMA fight which was exactly a year ago to the date of the bjj comp. In that year I have broken my hand twice so it was great to get back into competing. It’s a totally different experience to that of training and rolling in the gym. I think it’s very hard to mimic and recreate that experience.

1: There is an audience which creates pressure.

2: Most bjj comps are knock out rounds, therefore an added element of pressure.

3: You’re usually competing against someone you have never met before.

4: You want to win! (If you don’t, maybe you’re in the wrong sport)

 

james cos wrexham

 

All these create an unfamiliar atmosphere and a lot of people tend to crack under that pressure as its something they’re not used too. I find it funny how different people react to it too. I try and ease it off a bit by always keeping everything around me good and light hearted, listening to music or podcasts and still having a laugh with my training partners. I always try and keep it relaxed until the last minute otherwise I start to overthink things. Different people react differently so that wont work for everyone.

I remember thinking of all of this whilst competing yesterday. It’s funny how the mind wonders! My first opponent pulled guard whilst having grips on my sleeve and my collar and I instantly tried to pass. I must have been trying this for about a minute and when I did get the pass and end up in side, I struggled to hold it and kept having to pass to each different side until eventually taking his back and getting a body triangle on and taking a second to catch my breath. This was where I eventually gathered myself and had a second to think and literally thought, “wow! That was a lot harder and much more energy zapping than in the gym” and then boom, we’re instantly at it again and I’m trying to keep position again. No time to rest.

IPC wrexham gym

 

This is why I think it’s very important for any competitor to compete as often as possible. You can not recreate these situations in the gym. For me, my main focus is Mixed Martial Arts, but to be confident in there, I should try and be comfortable in all aspects of my game. I’ve still not competed in any type of stand up striking competitions yet other than MMA but this is something I eventually hope I do.

Wrexham mma

Why Chuck a Kettle-bell around?

July 6, 2015

The funny shaped weight with a handle. One of the most effective training tools out there. Looks like a cannonball with a handle on. Kettle-bells originated in Russia and have many great benefits. They can be used for anything from full functional body exercises to a simple isolated bicep curl. In my opinion kettle-bells are so beneficial because they can improve so many aspects of your strength and conditioning gaining a functional full body workout.

Full body conditioning and controlled movement patterns
The kettle-bell is a fantastic tool to use for functional movement patterns and co-ordination. The constant change in gravity from the weight allows you to train to be in total control of your body. The fundamental movement patterns you can use with a kettle-bell will help you from everyday activities to complicated sporting techniques. You learn to use your body as a whole using many muscle groups and joints.

Functional full-body benefits
Kettle-bells are a tool that can be used to improve everything. The exercises that can be performed with a kettle-bell can attack and strengthen every muscle. Unlike a weighted machine that isolates certain muscles kettle-bells make you use many different muscle groups. You have to engage your core in nearly every movement helping to develop lower back strength, the abdominals, and all other major muscle groups. Exercises with the kettle-bell will help improve your posture, making every day movements easier and develop functional strength as you train the body to function as a whole. The use of the full body movements also helps your co-ordination.

Power and Muscular Endurance
Kettle-bells allow you to perform movements quickly. They increase your power output by helping you perform these movements at speed over a long period of time. Also studies have shown kettle-bell training to be great for improving muscular endurance. You have to remain strong when you have expanded a lot of energy and be able to maintain your strength at a level of fatigue if working in high rep volumes.

Improves functional body mass
They can be used for losing weight as studies have shown them to burn 20 calories per minute. They also help you build muscle, increase power output and sports performance. High intensity and rep range with the kettle-bell can help you increase strength without getting big which is something women and sport athletes desire to achieve.

Improves Aerobic and Anaerobic System
They are fantastic for high intensity interval training as they can really help your heart rate hit its maximum. The high intensity helps attack calories from fat stores and improves your resting metabolic rate. Studies have also been shown that using kettle-bells improve your cardio vascular fitness training muscles involved in the breathing process. Kettle-bells are a tool that targets the aerobic and anaerobic system simultaneously.

Improves Mobility and helps prevent Injury
Because kettle-bells can be used in a wide range of movements they help strengthen the tendons and ligaments which improve the joints making you less susceptible to injury. The big three are involved in kettle-bell training. These are mobility, stability and strength, Rather than just strengthening the muscles without the joints it does both. So it is great for balance. You don’t want to have strong muscles but weak joints and poor flexibility just as you do not want to have weak muscles but great flexibility. Balance is key and kettle-bells can help with this. The techniques help teach correct posture of the spine enforcing correct movement patterns teaching you correct ways for the body to function in other aspects of life and training. As they work your full range of movement they help develop strength in these areas around the muscles, joints and ligaments as well as improving your flexibility and mobility. Kettle-bells are low impact containing ballistic movements which does not force pressure through your joints.

Beginner to Advanced Techniques
I have a lot of fun using the kettle-bell with all ranges of abilities. The level of techniques can range from beginner movements to really complex and advanced techniques. They are not a high tech piece of equipment but they have high quality results. The many simple techniques that are used are effective and easy for people to pick up. You can master four basic techniques that will benefit you such as swings, cleans, press and snatch. These are functional and strong lifts.

It’s Fun
The range of kettle-bell exercises you can do always keeps it fun. There are so many techniques, lifts, ranges of times and intensities you work to which always keep’s it fun and adaptable to your schedule. Literally if you have 15 minutes to work out a kettle-bell is all you need for a full body, fun and intense workout.

Overview
The proof is there to how beneficial and effective Kettle-bells are. They are great for any level and can improve so many aspects of training. Everyone should try an involve Kettle-bells into their training programme. Make sure you are capable of performing the techniques especially if working at a high intensity where you need correct technique under fatigue.

Inspire!!!!

Goal Setting

June 10, 2015

 

“Life is a constant process; if you become rigid you will stand still.”

“Establish your plans first and then prepare your equipment”

A famous quote from the Art of War.

 

It Is important in any field whether it is training, work or life related to set goals. How can we measure our work if we do not set goals? Once we have our goal we can work out our strategy to achieve them.

A- Aim- This is the most important step. The aim of your goal.

S- Strategy This includes phases and principles

T-Tactics The how you are going to do it

Example:

The Aim: Lose 5kg in body fat

Strategy: Clean up diet, exercise more.

Tactics: Nutrition and exercise diary to record food and training. Increase intensity in training. Visualise yourself at the weight you want to be at. Eat the right foods at the right times.

That would be a basic AST programme. The aim should always be simple. Therefore it can easily become measurable. You would not work on somebody’s 10k running times and have 100 aims. The aim is simple. Improve 10k running time. If you do not have a clear aim you have no definition of success. If you don’t have strategy how are you going to obtain success? Strategies’ must be repeated and written down.

Ed Locke, Americas most prolific goal-setting researcher defies a goal as “what an individual is trying to accomplish; it is the object or aim of an action” Goals help improve our motivation, give our mind and body focus and a strength of purpose. Focus on process and performance goals rather than outcome. If we get the process and performance right the outcome will follow.

How to pick your Goal? What you are aiming for?

Pick short term and long term goals. Set positive focused goals that are specific and measurable.

S- Smart- This is a specific goal. What do I want to achieve and when do I want to do it by. A general goal may be improve fitness. A specific goal would be improve my 10k running time by 45 seconds.

M- Measurable- This would be whether your 10k running time has increased after the four weeks. Yes or No? Something you can measure

A-Attainable- Believe your goals are attainable as long as you follow the correct process to achieve them. Establish your goal and the process that is needed to achieve it and work out whether it is worth the process for you. Aim for the stars but don’t do that if that requires 7 days a week dedication and you are only willing to put in three.

R- Relevant- Is this goal relevant to your ambition and will this goal help you get closer towards achieving it. Don’t have a long term goal of losing 10kg in weight and a short term goal which is eat as much pizza as possible in a month. Or a goal of improving your BJJ and another goal which is train Muay Thai 5 times a week and BJJ once a month. Make sure your goals relate to your ambition.

T- Time- Make a plan set a deadline and go all out to achieving your goal by this specific time. Deadlines make people take action. Just like when you use to leave your homework until the last night. Make the time realistic and flexible but commit to the process, achieve the performance criteria and you will be successful.

Use your goals to help motivate you and make you better. Similar to a training log setting goals can help you improve and measure the work you put in. I have every session recorded that I have ever done. I am constantly setting, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. It helps give me that extra motivation to whip that goals ass and achieve it. Set your goals, develop a strategy and the tactics that will help get you there. Focus on the process and your performance.

All successful athletes, businessmen set goals. They help give you a vision, motivation and a process. This blog can not only help you in your training but you can use this process to help you in life.

Inspire

 

The Performance Mindset

May 26, 2015

Athletes and competitors see a loss as the end of the world. They see it to be a big dent on their ego and self worth. The thing is you never really truly lose. Even when you lose you win because you always learn from the loss. I have lost in my career and have always made massive improvements after them. I invest in losing in training and help to use it for improvement. I am not afraid to lose because I have seen the positive impacts it can have on you. Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t mean I don’t care when I win or lose. I am a winner and try to win all the time but I will turn every setback into a positive. Winners can turn loses into future victories, not crumble underneath them. Competition is a fast track to help you develop.

Loss does not mean you are worthless, they do not define you. Losses help you grow if a person has the right mental approach. Do not tear yourself apart because of a loss use it to grow on your journey. Dwelling on loses can tear you apart and hamper future performances. Worrying and dwelling on losses is wasted time and energy. Losing can help you draw on your strengths to have the courage to persist through the obstacles and examine who you are. It allows you to reflect and re-direct yourself in a positive direction.

In bad times relax, focus on correction and encourage yourself. A positive mental attitude will put you in the right direction to improving. Every negative thought get into a habit of changing it into a positive one. Negative emotions and thoughts are fuel for your own destruction. Positive thoughts and emotions inspire us. They give us positive energy, meaning and joy. They bring the best out of us and allow us to be free. These thoughts and feelings come from within and are controlled by us.


Losing in Competition:

The past is out of your control so don’t dwell on it. Becoming angry or upset about a loss can take you away from where your best performance lies. If you are competing and go 1-0 down you can’t get upset and angry about it, you need to focus on the moment with a clear mind. Otherwise you will be 3-0 down because you are still thinking and angry about what went wrong to make you go 1-0 down. Always have a clear mind and live in the current second.

Growing:

Life is a constant process of growth, transition and adaptation. Find the positive in every performance or set back in life. View setbacks as a challenge and an opportunity to grow. Be motivated by setbacks as they can be life changing. The brightest days are usually after the darkest ones.

Positive Direction:

Competition should not be fearful. It should be exciting an opportunity to embrace excitement, test your skills and focus. It’s a challenge to lead you to your goals. Don’t be afraid of tests, view them in a positive light. Free your body and mind from fear and this is when you can truly play. Embrace competition and look forward to it. As long as you are pursuing your goals in fields you are passionate about you are winning. Choose to move in a positive direction, make a commitment towards it. Whether it is a competition, a weight target or a PB in a certain lift. Make a positive commitment towards it.

Appreciate each experience; embrace the things that are important to you. Control everything within your control with positive focus. As long as you are doing activities that make you happy you can never really lose. De-tours are a part of a journey; how we react to them is what makes us. Every great journey has setbacks and comebacks. Competition should not make you scared it should make you excited. Once we are free we can truly perform at our best.

Once you step in competition you already have a positive. You are taking part in an activity you enjoy. Focus on performance and the result will follow. Try your best to win, and learn from the outcome whether it’s a victory or a loss. Winning or losing does not define you. How you react and carry yourself defines who you are.

Inspire

 

mma wrexham inspire picture

Correct Sleeping Temperature

May 7, 2015

 
Adjust your temperature to get the most out of your sleep and help you recover for the next day. Sleep is important aspect of life. Constantly when I am dealing with athletes I ask them to record their sleep times. Some are surprised by this. Sleep is vital in reaching your peak.
 
 

Sleep improves brain function:
Muscle growth and recovery
Weight Loss
Reduces stress
Memory function
Helps our body replenish from stress and activities
 

“Getting enough sleep is crucial for athletic performance”

Says David Geier, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist in Charleston, SC. Studies show that good sleep can improve speed, accuracy, and reaction time in athletes.
 
 
If we train harder, and workout more we need more energy and more food for that day. Sleep is the same. If we are training and putting more demands on our body we therefore need more sleep.
 
 

“Sleep is the best meditation”

Dalai Lama
 
 

Sleep is vital in making our mind and body reach its peak.
 
It contributes to weight gain and weight loss and optimal mind and body performance. Something I have always had conversations about with the people I work with is sleeping temperatures. A lot of people are misled on this concept. This blog will look into Sleeping temperatures a little more to help give you that better more effective night’s sleep. It has also shown to help you fall asleep quicker than warmer temperatures.
When temperatures are too hot or too cold when we are trying to sleep our bodies struggle to control our internal thermostat.
 
 
This can keep you awake longer and restless for a long amount of time. Once we are in a restless stage our minds can start to wonder and this situation is bad for a good night’s sleep. If your body does not reach a comfortable sleeping temperature this factor will affect the amount of deep sleep you get which is important for tissue repair, memory consolidation also stress and fatigue levels. Our body needs rest and sleep is a vital part of its rest.
 
Scientific studies have shown that controlling the thermostat can make a difference in your health and the quality of your night’s sleep.
 
A cool temperature is the ideal for sleeping. Dr. Chris Winter suggests that between 60-67 degrees are perfect sleeping conditions. Anything above this or below this can affect the quality of sleep you obtain. There are many health benefits to this and changing your sleeping temperatures can help. Studies on Pub Med published in Diabetes have shown that lowering temperatures before you sleep will lower the risk of certain metabolic diseases.
 
This study conducted an experiment over four months with two groups of people. One group slept at 75 Fahrenheit the other at 66. They compared the blood sugar/insulin levels of all test subjects. The cooler groups insulin levels improved and the metabolic effects showed that they burned more calories and were at a less risk of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Think you are caveman/women. You need to sleep in a cave which is cool, quiet and dark.
 
 

Sleep is a big part of your health and performance.

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