Monthly Archives: May 2013

The best return on investment is time spent on YOUR health

Heath time

The old saying, “You get out what you put in” is a great little motto to remember when striving to achieve anything you value in life.

If you are serious about learning another language, you can not practice 5 minutes a day and expect to be fluent in three months. Same goes with your health and fitness. Spend five minutes a day, and not much will change.

The great thing about investing time in your health and fitness is the return. Invest 45 minutes a day, three days a week and reduce your chances of getting heart disease or cancer by over 40%, sleep better, have more energy, reduce stress, lose body fat, reduce your resting heart rate and live longer..

Invest 45 minutes a day, five days a week and 30-45 minutes in the evening to prepare a healthy dinner and some well balanced meals for the following day and all of the above PLUS the body you have always wanted is available to you.

I do not know of any other investment of ones time that gives a return that has so many benefits.

Here are a few steps towards achieving your health goals.

Step one. Decide WHY?

You need to ponder the reasons why investing time and effort in your health and fitness is important to you? What do you want to get out of it? Is it to lose weight so that you can live longer and have much better quality time with your children and family? Is it to become fit enough to travel the world and see it’s many beautiful sights? Maybe you want to get in shape to compete in a sport or fight in the Octagon? Is it to get off blood pressure medication or manage diabetes so that you live longer and have a much better quality of life? Or do you just want a body that is smoking hot to attract the opposite sex? What ever it is, it has to be important to you and most importantly, have meaning and purpose.

Step two. Know clearly what your goal is.

Then visualize yourself in vivid colorful images of how you would like to look and how life will be different once you have acheived this goal. I usually do this last thing at night before I sleep and first thing in the morning. Your subconscious mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is not. If you can go there in the mind, you can go there in the body.

Step three. Make YOUR health a priority.

Understand that without it, you are nothing. With bad health, you are restricted and burdened. Not only does bad health and chronic disease effect you, but it also  effects your family and loved ones that care for you.

Your health must become number one priority in your life. Yes it may take some of your time, but I guarantee the time you spend, will bring ease and grace to every other area of your life. Life is to be enjoyed!

Step four. Plan it.

Get advice on what you need to eat and how much exercise you need to do to achieve your goal and then follow it. The old 80/20 rule applies here. Be good and stick to the plan 80% of the time and give yourself 20% leeway.

Step five. START!

It really doesn’t take that long to cook healthy and delicious foods that help you move one step closer to your health and fitness goals.

If you would like help with your nutrition, contact our resident Nutrition Expert, Matt Straight.

Now based in Sydney, Matt has been in the Health and Fitness Industry for the past 14 years as a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist and Health Club Manager in New Zealand, Philippines, India and Australia.

Either visit or call 0061430191006         Matt Straight

MMA Training and Sandbag Equipment


If you’re looking for a challenging and exciting physical activity, you should definitely consider what is recognized as the fastest growing sport: mixed martial arts training (MMA training).  But it’s not an easy sport to learn, and it’s arguably dangerous; this is why certain precautions have to be observed, such as wearing MMA gloves all the time. You will have to endure the grueling physical training, usually involving several MMA equipment for sand bag training and circuit training.

Sand bag training

Sand bag training is a staple start for mixed martial artists, as it develops strength, power, and muscle endurance Compared to weight lifting, sand bags are inexpensive and relatively safer to use. What makes sand bags a fitting MMA equipment is its material: because the sand moves inside the bag, they are harder to wrestle with and control. You will also have to grapple with and control the sandbag—which makes it more fitting for MMA, where grip strength is essential when fighting against one’s opponent. Just make sure you have MMA gloves on.

Sand bag training exercises

Another advantage of sand bag training, which makes it perfect for mixed martial arts training, is the several exercises you can try out. One is the sandbag shouldering, where you will have to lift the sandbag over your shoulder and throw it over like what you would do to an opponent. Sandbag loading, another exercise, involves picking up the sandbag from the floor and lifting it above the waist level. Bear-hug walking is an exercise that requires holding the sandbag close to the chest and walking with it as far as you can.

Circuit training

A great complement or follow-up to sand bag training is circuit training. Because MMA bouts can get quite extreme, the MMA training that goes with it comprises exercises that are very taxing and will develop muscular strength as well as endurance. They also allow very little rest between each set. All throughout, the fighter must be in proper MMA equipment, including MMA gloves.

Circuit training exercises

Ground and pound is a type of attack in mixed martial arts training that involves throwing one’s opponent to the ground and dealing a series of punches to the upper body.  To simulate this, the fighter can use a punch bag, and deal the same number of punches and strikes within the time allotted.

Duck walks are next in line. These involve squatting and walking across the plane. This activity may sound comical, but it will develop leg strength, which is important for dealing leg sweeps and kicks.

Wheel barrow is the third activity. This requires a partner. First, assume a push-up position, with the partner standing in between the feet. The partner will then grab your legs and move forward in the opposite direction. You will then have to keep up with his pace using your arms.

The fourth exercise, burpees, are essentially pushups, except that you will start by standing with your feet together, and bending down immediately, right before placing your legs backwards to assume a push-up position. After a single push-up, move your legs back up and stand straight.

Last are V sits. Sit on your back, with your legs and arms extended. Raise your arms and legs up as your body forms a letter V position. Balance your body, and let your abs contract. This completes a standard MMA training.


The Basics of Strength Training Equipment


The first thing you need to know about gym and fitness when starting a strength training program is to familiarize yourself with the gym equipment. These exercise equipment that will help build your muscle mass, burn calories and tone your muscles. But the different types of strength training equipment can easily get confusing—so here’s a quick roundup of the different types of exercise equipment that will help you build your muscle mass.

1. Free Weights

Every activity related to free weights focuses on two areas: first, the primary movers, which are the muscles essentially involved in performing the exercise; and the stabilizer muscles, which stabilize the weight of the lifter. Some examples of fitness equipment are barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, wrist or ankle weights, and some adjustable pulley systems.

One of the more common types of free weights are dumbbells. Depending on the type of activity, dumbbells can develop pretty much any muscle in the body, including small stabilizer muscles. The range of weight for barbells is from 2.5lbs to 100lbs, although there are adjustable ones that can accommodate as many as 10 different types of conventional dumbbells. A variation of this exercise equipment is the kettlebell, which look like dumbbells except that the weights in both sides are ball-shaped. Kettleballs have been quite popular in gym and fitness, primarily because of the different forms of exercise that can be done with it.

Another type, barbells, comes in varying lengths—from 3 to 7 feet. Barbells differ from dumbbells in that weight plates are placed on both sides of the former to vary the weight. Another difference is that barbells can be either straight or curved, allowing for varied grip angles.  This fitness equipment is a free weight because of the wide range of motion that make it great for resistance training, added to the large amount of weight that it can accommodate.

2. Resistance Bands

Another thing you have to learn in gym and fitness is the difference between free weights and resistance bands, both popular gym equipment in strength and rehab training. Unlike free weights, resistance power bands do no rely on gravity. This means that you can do resistance exercises even in a horizontal plane. Despite this different, resistance bands are a popular type of strength training equipment, and can be found in home gyms.

Resistance bands are basically rubber bands with handles on both ends. You can then use these manipulate these handles in different ways to perform strength training exercises. With its versatility and handiness, resistance bands can pretty much be carried anywhere.

3. Weight Machines

Commonly found in gyms, weight machines are usually for novice lifters, as they are straightforward and have detailed instructions. Unlike free weights and resistance bands that can be used to focus on different muscles, weight machines focus on a specific muscle area depending on the machine. Another difference is that they only work on primary mover muscles, leaving the secondary muscles undeveloped during the exercise. Many of the fitness equipment you might’ve come across in the gym are for strength training. Before using them, make sure you’re on a training program, unless you want to start you resistance-building in a random, roundabout way.

4. Body Weight

Did you know that your body is a strength training equipment in itself. There are a number of resistance exercises that you can use without the assistance of any gym equipment, such as push-ups, sit-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups. As long as you follow the steps for each resistance exercise carefully, you will be able to achieve your strength training goals. However there are a number of great products that add a new dimension to body weight training such as ab wheels and weighted vests.

5 Best Kettlebell Workouts


One of the recent innovations in the fitness category, Kettlebell exercises can make a great addition to your workout—but only if you know how to properly use them. Research shows that 20-minute kettlebell workouts will burn as much as 300 calories and can even increase to as much as an additional 50%.

Kettlebell workouts are also an excellent exercise regimen if you don’t have time to go to the gym. As long as you know crossfit kettlebell exercises, you can still achieve a toned body at the comfort of your home—making its convenience the main advantage in the fitness category.

Exercise #1: The Snatch
Start by placing the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Assume a position where your hips are pushed back, knees bent, and your butt almost touches the ground. Then swing the kettlebell from between your legs to the back of your forearm. Pull the kettlebell up to your chest, with your arms folded. Be sure to control the weight of the kettlebell all throughout so as not to hurt yourself.

Exercise #2: Clean and Press
With the kettlebell placed on the floor, spread your feet wider than your hip and slightly bent your knees. Grab the kettlebell using one hand and raise it to the level of your chest. Let it rest on your forearm, before you prop it above your head. This is one of the kettlebell exercises that focus on several areas: the quadriceps, shoulders, ankles, back, and hip.

Exercise #3: One Arm Swing
With your knees and hip slightly bent, hold the kettlebell with one hand between your legs. Swing the kettlebell upwards toward your chest as you stand up straight. At this point, let your other hand catch it mid-air as you assume the first position.

Exercise #4: Windmill
Crossfit kettlebell exercises usually focus on more than one area, and the windmill is one of them. First, place the kettlebell on the floor. With your legs spread wider than your hip and one hand over your head, push your hip back to pick up the kettlebell and raise it slightly as you look at your other hand above your head. Lower and raise the kettleball while keeping your back flat.

Exercise #5: Turkish Get Up
This is one of the crossfit kettlebell exercises that hold the rare distinction of focusing on many muscles. First, lie on your back, while you let the kettlebell rest on your forearm with one hand above your head. Bring your left leg toward your body, as you pivot to the right. Move your body forward using your left foot and your free hand, until you perform and lunge, and then stand on your feet. All the while, the kettleball must be above your head. After this, go back to your initial position by letting your free hand place you back to the ground.

Now that there are a number of kettlebell exercises for you to try, it’s becoming clear that they’re more than a fad in the fitness category. Kettlebell workouts are here to stay, and the sooner you get into it, the faster you can reach your goals.

3 Tips To Create An Excellent Exercise Plan


How effective is your exercise plan? If you’re not getting the results you want, perhaps it’s time to review your body weight exercises, and consider what works for you and what doesn’t. You might also want to consider integrating some of these workout tips that have been tried and tested.

Tip #1: Train regularly.

Try not to stray away from certain established frequencies. For one, train only 3 to 4 days a week as a bare minimum. Any less will not get you to your goal. This is one of the basic workout tips where most people miserably fail; consistency is key.

Tip #2: Stick to a work set.

Here’s one of the most effective muscle building techniques of all time: only do as many as 16 to 20 total work sets in a session. Your training plan must focus on improving each week by adding more reps or weights compared to the previous week. However, going beyond 20 total work sets can endanger your body’s progress. If, for instance, you work out endlessly for two hours every session, your body will have an increasingly difficult time recovering.

Tip #3: Regulate your barbell lifts weekly.

When it comes to muscle building techniques only do 2 to 4 lifts of a big barbell every week. Focus on increasing the strength and the size of the barbell progressively as you do your weight lifting over time.

Tip #4: Finetune your training program.

An effective exercise plan is split into half: the upper body and the lower body, instead of breaking down your workout into certain areas day after day; the latter type of exercise plan is recommended only for professional bodybuilders. By focusing on either the upper body or the lower body, you can concentrate on muscle groups twice every week or rotate the group of exercises (from upper body on one day, to lower body the next day, and the upper body on the third day).

Weight lifting and bodyweight exercises should be included in your program as well, as long as they’re not too easy that they don’t build muscle mass. As always, you should remember one of the most basic workout tips: increase the reps or the weights as you go along applies.

Tip #5: Avoid injury

This is what overenthusiastic people forget: to take active measures to avoid weight lifting accidents and to maximize their muscle building techniques. Your exercise plan must contain rest periods, recovery methods, and warm up exercises. Don’t put body weight exercises that are too intense and that your body can’t handle just yet. Body weight exercises can only be effective if you remember to rest and take good care of your body.