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Workout Of The Day : Thursday

Nov 21, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog, Fitness, Goal Setting, Motivation, Motivation, Workouts  //  No Comments

 The 300

 Equipment Required : None

This workout will have you completing 300 reps to complete a full-body strength and cardio hit.

Complete the circuit 5 times through to hit the 300 mark.

 

* Side Lunge : Keep feet facing forwards as you step out sideways. Brace your abs, return back to standing. Alternate sides.

* Bicycle Crunch : Bring one knee towards your chest while the other leg extends. Aim your shoulder to the opposite knee.

* Tricep Pushup : Hands shoulder width on the ground. Elbows should brush against your ribs on the way through.(options-knees or toes)

* High Knee Run : Run on the spot. Knees to waist height. (option-stay grounded with your feet and march to lessen impact)

* Be sure to check with your doctor if you are unsure about any existing injuries or conditions before participating in physical activity.

If you enjoyed this workout, share it on Facebook or leave a comment below.

Workout Of The Day : Wednesday

Nov 20, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog, Fitness, Motivation, Motivation, Workouts  //  No Comments

Equipment Required : None (have a clock, watch or phone handy for timing)

Again, spend 5min warming up. Some general activity to get you moving.

Today’s exercises will be done in pairs.

Complete 3-4 rounds of set #1 then move on to 3-4 rounds of set #2, followed by 3-4 rounds of set #2.

Time : 45 secs for each exercise

1. Lunges / Arm Circles

2. Toe-reach Crunch / Alligator Pushups

3. Fire Hydrant / Superman

When you’ve completed the workout, spend another 5 mins stretching and cooling down.

 

* Arm Circles : Arms stay out wide. Continuous SMALL rotations with your hands.

* Alligator pushups : Knee comes in towards elbow then back out alternate sides. Pushup in between knees or at the same time for intensity.

* Fire Hydrants : Knees under hips, hands under shoulders. Knee moves out to one side then down. Movement is from the hip.

* Superman : Alternate arm and opposite leg raises

Workout Of The Day : Tuesday

Nov 19, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog, Fitness, Motivation, Motivation, Workouts  //  No Comments

Equipment Required : None (have a clock, watch or phone handy for timing)

Spend 5min warming up. Maybe a quick and light run through of yesterday’s workout.

Each exercise will be done for 30 seconds each.

Take minimal to no break after each of the Star Jumps and move straight into the plank.

Options :
Plank/Side Plank can be done either on toes or knees.
Star jumps can be alternating steps to each side, with or without arms
Mountain climbers can be an alternating step in and out without the jump
* Choose the option that best suits your fitness level and physical ability.

Time can be altered up or down to suit your level.

How many rounds can you do?

*Choose options that make it challenging and safe, not just easier. 

*Check with your doctor if you are new to exercise or if you have any concerns.

 

*Mountain climbers : From the pictured start position, jump your feet up and quickly draw your back knee towards your chest. Repeat this action in a running style motion transferring your weight to your hands.

If you like this workout, why not share it and challenge your friends…..

Let us know how you go.

Workout Of The Day : Monday

Nov 18, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Fitness, Motivation, Workouts  //  No Comments

 

Equipment Required: None

 

Warmup :

Perform this circuit twice doing only 4 reps for each exercise.

The Workout :

Perform as a circuit. No rest between exercises. Rest for 1-2mins at the end. Repeat the circuit 3-5 times.

Stretch once your done. Nice work!

 

20/10

* Be sure to check with a your doctor before starting any new strenous activity and stay safe.

Take On A Challenge

May 14, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog, Motivation, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Don’t Forget How To Play

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog, Fitness, Goal Setting, Motivation, Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Tough Mudder

Apr 9, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Blog  //  No Comments

Toughest Event On The Planet?

So what is Tough Mudder?

“Tough Mudder events are hardcore 20 km-long obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”

If you caught any of the media coverage leading up to this event, you would likely have figured that this was one hell of a crazy, lucky-to-come-out-alive elitist event, complete with Death Waiver to obtain entry to the field. A large number of people were put off attempting the event based on this sort of hype but, as it turned out, that didn’t stop the 20,000 or so entrants paying out up to $150 dollars from throwing themselves at it. You should definitely not enter this event if you don’t like getting your hands dirty or your hair messed up. In saying that, you don’t “need” to be superfit or strong to make it through the course but will need to be determined and prepared to work with those around you to stick it out over the 3-5 hours that you’ll be out there. Every obstacle does allow you the option of  skipping it or moving on if you are unable to complete it for any reason. Part of the spiel at the start “…if you can’t swim, don’t jump in the lake.”

From a spectator point of view, Tough Mudder is fantastic. They allow access to every part of the course as long as they don’t interfere with the event in any way and that they “must wear their wristbands at all times or else……….”. Compare this to a regular running event, you wave goodbye, pick a vantage spot on course, wave goodbye again and see them at the end.

**Click on any pictures on this page to enlarge**

Is it “The Toughest Event On The Planet”?

So, my run through from the inside out…..short version.

Thoroughly enjoyed the day with a good mix of running, strength, agility and MUDDY obstacles to work through. Over walls, mud and hay bales; through water, mud and ice; under barbed wire, mud and nets, and did I mention MUD? Lots of MUD! On a few occasions, wait times were a bit long for certain obstacles meaning you cooled down and had to ward off cramping legs. This just became part of the challenge though and would be reduced if you snagged an early start time.

Alright, now for the long version……..

Well before arriving, we got a feel for the scale of this event. The crawl of traffic making it’s way to the Grand Prix track on the island stretched for as far as you could see. Glad we had allowed plenty of time to get there. Once there, we organised check in, and food. I was running the event solo but was lucky to have my support crew of wife, Nikki and youngest three kids so had to make sure they were all sorted for the day as well. That done, had some time to kill before my start time. What better way of filling it in then getting an onsite haircut? Mohawk it is! Now I’m ready to start.

Once boxed into the starting pen, we were given a pep talk from the sidelines to build the adrenaline “…help your fellow mudders” and a repeat-after-me run through the Tough Mudder Creed. A blast of AC/DC and we were off to the sound of Eye of the Tiger. Yes, corny and cheesy but, against my better judgment, it worked… Pumped!

  • Hot Lap

The first challenge, a run down pit straight of the GP track then following the circuit for the next few turns. Roughly 1km of this to get us warmed up and onto the first obstacle.

  • Berlin Walls

These walls were the first wake up that this was not your standard road race. These walls were always in pairs and this set stood at 4m high. Each wall had a foot hold bolted a little way off the ground. The plan then, was to get a run up and launch upwards from there to grab the top of the wall then drag to the top and clamber over. Thankfully all went to plan and I headed on. A bit more running ahead to get us back where we started, but facing the other way, for a repeat performance of a pair of walls.

  • Devil’s Beard

Just on from the last walls, a large net lay across the “kitty litter”. Gravel that is great for stopping high-speed vehicles, not so great for crawling on. Slotting in with a nearby group and walking backwards, head down bum up, proved the best strategy.

  • Arctic Enema

Up next, two refrigerated trucks flanked the 2 metre high esky. Chest deep, thick, chunky ice. Faced with a jump in and wade across, hindered by crossbars forcing you to submerge yourself completely in ice, this one was certainly out of the comfort zone and took my breath away.

  • Electric Eel

This was our “Mystery Obstacle”. Thankfully, there was a bit of running before the next obstacle giving us a chance to warm a little from the ice before reaching the sprinkler soaked mat with overhanging electric wires. I’m not sure there was much of a spark going on at this point and didn’t cop any sort of jolt on the way through.

  • Walk The Plank

 

A signature obstacle for any Tough Mudder course, a 5metre high platform overlooking a 50m wide lake. These type of things always look easier from the sidelines than they do from the top. I must admit, looking down to the murky water gave me that butterflies-in-the stomach sensation. I decided on the don’t think just  jump approach. From in the water, the fully-clothed swim started to test me out as I approached the other side, and I’m sure, if it had been much further across, I may have been in the same trouble as many other people that required assistance from the lifeguards that really earned their money for the day.

  •  Kiss of Mud

Starting to move along on the circuit, you could be starting to wonder where all the mud is. Ohhhh….that mud! The mud began with a clamber up an incredibly slippery muddy slope that turned rocky by the top. Near impossible to get a foothold and the help from those nearby was a great help. At the top, the slope leveled but was now covered by low-lying barbed wire over a bed of sloppy mud. Only way through was belly down and crawling.  Helllooooo Mud!

  • Greased Lightning

“What goes up, must come down.” Who played on a Slip ‘n Slide as a kid? The quickest way downhill into the muddy lake at the bottom. Not as smooth as it looked. Underneath the mat was rough and rocky with no chance of slowing before the bottom. The guys in front of me weren’t paying attention and get cleaned up as I reached the bottom.

  • Cliffhanger

From the bottom of the hill, the course did a u-turn and faced uphill with a muddy slope to the top. The start of this climb was a slippery ledge that was impossible to manage on your own. This was the first of the hold ups along the way but really worked on the camaraderie side of the event with everyone helping each other out to make it through.

  • Berlin Walls #3

After the climb, the course dodged and weaved along the coastline providing awesome views of the ocean and leading us to another set of walls. These walls were not the fresh looking pine that we saw before. I discovered here that my legs were not responding quite as well as they had done earlier as a bounced off the wall back to the ground after a failed attempt to reach the top. A rethink, then second attempt, and I cleared the top, pausing at the top of the second wall to look back at the view.

  • Boa Constrictor

If you’re claustrophobic this one might throw you off a little. Crawling through these above ground pipes and finding pools of mud in between left the forearms a little bruised and scuffed.

  • King of The Mountain

Not those typical rectangular bales, but the huge round ones in a pyramid stack. Nikki and the kids were patiently waiting here as they had done at several spots so far through the day. Was good to have a quick chat and breather before going over the top.

  • Firewalker

A big deal was made about running through fire and extreme heat in the lead up. Smoke coming off the controlled burn tended by bored looking firefighters was the bigger concern. For an asthmatic though, still a bit of a problem. Handy to have the support crew with ventolin on standby. (Bit of a Tough Guy image breaker….but, gotta breath right?)

  • Hold Your Wood

Grab a fence post, carry it, walk it through a lake, over a hill and dump it back where you found it. Pretty much as easy as that sounds. The posts were not heavy and, once in the lake, the wood floated so a few of us were playing around with various ways of using the log as a flotation device and having a bit of a laugh.

  • Ball Shrinker

I know what they were getting at here with the name but, was more of the same water we had seen before. The rope bridge crossing, by this stage of the day, was a little saggy and out of shape so a hand-over-hand drag through the water was an easy trip to the other side. (Some people were still managing to make this look like hard work though.)

  • Trench Warfare

Claustrophobia, again, would shake your nerves here. Like the tunnels earlier but this time underground flat on the ground and dragging through. At the end………mud. A big sloshy pool of it.

 

  • Mud Mile

Award here for least imaginative obstacle and maybe least thought out. The biggest problem, with this 1.5km trench walk through waist deep water was that it required single file to get through. A lot of waiting and shuffling forward while avoiding cold and cramps but it did allow for some bonding time with others in the same situation. For example, I learnt from the guy in the remarkably clean pink tutu, that while in it’s rinsed and clean state it was very light. However, when it was muddy it become extremely heavy and cumbersome.

 

  • Twinkle Toes

A series of 10m long timber planks over the top of a muddy tank of water. I was keen to do well here, I’d put in some practice. Of course, different on the day with cold and fatigue also playing a increasing role. About 2/3 of the way across I’d been looking at my feet way too long instead of straight ahead as planned and went swimming instead. I did have plenty of company though and, with a few curse words, found the ladder and moved on.

  • Monkey Bars

Another Tough Mudder signature obstacle and another that I was keen to give a really good shot. I’d made a point of spending some time on monkey bars beforehand. The biggest problem was not that they were wet, muddy and slippery, but that they were not fixed and were able to rotate once you had hold of them. I don’t remember that from primary school. A third of the way over and I went swimming again. I did only see one person cross successfully to much applause. This one was tough. Way more training needed before returning.

  • Turds Nest

Colourful choice of name for a cargo net crossing over the Mud Mile walkers beneath. Nothing too tricky here although the woman that was calling for “Anyone that’s shaking this thing, can they please stop it!” might tell you otherwise. Whereas the guys in business suits were barrel rolling across.

 

A variety of mud filled runs from boggy to sloppy to shoe-stealing lay ahead. I got hit by some serious cramp at some point through here and was impressed by the concern showed by complete strangers before moving on as I was stretching out to find relief. The cramp served as a reminder of the carb-gel I had in my pocket. Wish I had thought of it earlier. Glad it was a chocolate one so I couldn’t see how much mud I had mixed with it as I squeezed it. Mmmmm…

 

  • Everest

Are you still reading? Awesome job, we’re nearly done. The skate ramp quarter pipe. The last of the holdups here. Must have been about 45mins of waiting for this one. I’ve heard a lot of talk of people skipping this one for that reason. At least, while shuffling towards the front, there was constant entertainment provided by the variety of techniques being used to get over the top of the ramp with the swelling crowd providing oohhhs and ahhhhs and suitable chanting and cheering. With my turn to go, an acknowledging nod between me and a guy at the top holding out a knotted shirt and I took a running leap towards the top. I found momentum was the key factor here. From starting my run up, through the two-handed grab of the shirt, to the pull over the top, until standing at the top, it was as close to one continuous move as I could manage.

 

 

 

  • Electroshock

The final obstacle. The much talked about electric shock run through to the end. Electric wires hanging over hay bale obstacles and a guy with a hose as you run in. I got hit a couple of times through here. A heavy thud that you’d rather not have, but nothing to knock you over, sideways or otherwise. I did here that they cranked it up for the Sunday runners though.

  • The End

After crossing the line, 4 hours after starting, an orange headband was shoved on your head, a t-shirt passed over and a VB, that went down like drinking water, thrust forward.

  • Toughest event on the planet?

Tough Mudder is by far the most fun I’ve had while being challenged in an event. The emphasis on camaraderie, team building and it’s “leave no man behind” attitude make it a future most-do on my calendar from here on.   I entered this event on my own but didn’t run it that way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view a complete photo gallery of my Tough Mudder experience, click here to check it out.

If you’ve enjoyed this story, use the pop up buttons below to share with friends.

 

Exercise For Gain.

Apr 9, 2012   //   by Reflexion   //   Fitness, Goal Setting, Motivation, Nutrition  //  No Comments

Evil Carbs……?

Apr 7, 2011   //   by Reflexion   //   Articles, Blog, Nutrition  //  No Comments

 

Many diets make sweeping suggestions about what is good food and what is bad food.

The much talked about “No carb” diets are one example of this. To say to the general community that “carbs are bad” is to greatly simplify the way our bodies work with the food we eat. It’s just not that black and white.

Our bodies require carbohydrates as a predominant fuel source for our daily activities and can  provide essential vitamins,minerals and nutritional value.

However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Two basic types of carbohydrates exist, simple and complex.

 

Complex carbs can be found in foods such as :

  • Wholegrain breads
  • Wholegrain cereals
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

These type of carbohydrates provide a slower release of energy to the body and keep you feeling full for longer.

Simple carbs can be found in :

  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Vegetables

….as unrefined simple carbohydrates that give a faster energy release while also providing vitamins, nutrients and fiber.

They can also be found in :

  • White bread
  • Biscuits
  • White rice
  • Pastries

….as refined sugars that provide a similar quick hit of energy without the same nutrient benefits. Often referred to as “empty carbs”.

GI ratings have a strong link here and there is much information available on this topic. A food with a high GI rating provides a fast energy release were a low GI rating indicates a slower release.

If you want further information on the GI rating a great site to visit is :

http://www.glycemicindex.com/

Individual energy needs will be greatly variable depending on several factors. A major one being a persons level of activity on any given day. From olympic athletes to gym addicts to an inactive office worker looking to lose weight and everyone in-between, there is a huge variable in each person’s requirements.

My advice is to steer away from categorising foods as good or bad and completely excluding the “Bad” list. Instead look to make better choices that suit you as an individual. Make better use of foods that have higher nutritional value and minimize the use of foods that don’t.

I have provided this overview as my opinion as a qualified Personal Trainer. Nutritional study is a part of this qualification and as such I have an understanding of the principles involved.

If you need detailed help with nutrition and food related advice, I recommend getting in touch with a qualified nutritionist who will be able to provide you with accurate and detailed guidance that will suit you personally.

You may also find a Food and Activity diary a handy tool to use. Feel free to visit the “Downloads” page on this site to download a free copy to use at home.

 

Spot Reduction : Hit Or Myth?

Mar 23, 2011   //   by Reflexion   //   Articles, Fitness  //  No Comments

The Quick Fix.

“How do I get rid of this area here?”

An often heard phrase by trainers and gym instructors from clients and gym members looking to lose their “Tuckshop Lady” arms (Thanks Kyle Sandilands for etching that phrase into our brains.), mid-section bulge or other problem area.

  • Sounds like a great idea!
  • What do I need to do?
  • When can we start?
  • Where do I sign up?

Not Going To Happen.

Ok. Here’s the deal. You can work on those areas and shape them up. But, contrary to any insomniacs friend, the late night infomercials, this cannot be achieved with any fancy shaking, rotating, buzzing, pushing or pulling device that somehow chews the fat from that one location on your body.

The only way to reduce the size of  a particular area, is to make an overall reduction in bodyfat with your genetics, hormones and  age deciding where the changes are going to take place first.

Common Exercise myths :

  • Crunches will reduce my waist
  • Leg raises will reduce my thighs
  • Tricep dips will shrink my arms

There is not a problem with using these exercises as part of a strength program, there is a problem if the reason for doing them is to spot reduce. You will strengthen and build underlying muscle, but the overlying bodyfat will remain.

So, What Do I Do?

Spot reduction aside, looking at the whole body, it pays to incorporate exercises that include just that. The whole body. Exercises like squats, lunges, pushups etc. utilize multiple muscle groups simultaneously, offering a more time effeicient and productive session. This will add fat-burning lean muscle mass to your body. Combine cardio sessions to your routine and keep a close eye on your food intake and you will be shaping, along with the rest of your body, those arms in no time.

If you have anything to add or would like to comment on this article, leave a message below or share this page on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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