Lift Like A Girl

Some video of women working on their Olympic lifts.  I love it when they just make it.  You can see the elation on their faces.


Fitocracy: A Quick Review


When I workout I generally want to do three things afterwards.

1.  Talk about my workout with someone (especially if I reached a goal).
2.  Record my progress in my workout journal.
3.  See or measure the progress I'm making toward my fitness goals.
Fitocracy enables me to do these things all at the one place.  So, what is Fitocracy?
Fitocracy is a free website with accompanying Iphone app (Android coming soon) that is similar to Facebook except everyone has the common interest of health and fitness.  No silly memes, no prattling on about nonsensical rubbish.  Just health and fitness.
With Fitocracy I can record the workouts I've done, annotate each workout, and access graphs of my achievements with each exercise I have recorded progress with.
Fitocracy rewards my workouts with points for each exercise and the reps I do.  These points help me level up almost like my workouts are part of a game.  I can also earn trophies and awards for particular fitness related quests or community effort.  Just like other social media websites you can comment, discuss and reward fellow members.  The Fitocracy community really is  friendly and supportative.
I can join groups of like minded fitness enthusiasts with a particular focus whether it be Kettlebells, weight loss, local members or those that love icecream.  You can make your own group too.
Best of all Fitocracy is free.  You can donate and get access to more features if you want but I haven't found it necessary at all yet.  I've been using fitocracy for a couple of months now and I love it.  Every day I log into Fitocracy to log my work outs and see the gains I'm making and recieve praise for my efforts.  It has really helped my motivation to train.  A couple of times I've been just shy of a 'level up' and I banged out a few more pushups or sets to reach the next target.  Crazy I know but any motivation to me is good for my fitness and health goals.
I highly recommend trying Fitocracy for a couple of weeks.  It's free so why not?

Never Give Up

Once again Ross Training has posted another fantastic motivational video.  These videos are great for realigning my attitude to exercising.  When I wake up in the morning and don't feel like training I remember the people from videos like these.  They remind me that there are very few excuses, if any to give up on or avoid training.  Enjoy.


Sugar, You Tasty Devil

An integral part of my weight loss has been minimising the sugar in my daily diet. Now it appears that sugar is being blamed for far more than just weight gain.  The following videos explain.









The following is Dr Lustig's full theories on sugar and the video is over an hour long.  I still recommend watching it if you have an interest in the negative effects of sugar on your body and our community.  The video on Youtube has so far received well over 2 million hits.





Articles About Sugar


Diet Doctor - Toxic Sugar

Suspension Training

Suspension training is an exercise system where you hang from a cable/rope/strap and do various bodyweight exercises. It isn't too different from a pull up or a dip except you need to stabilise your body a lot more to keep your body stable. Suspension systems help you utilise your own bodyweight as resistance. Perfect if you don't have any weights. The most common commercial system is called TRX. The TRX website can be found here - Their advertisment video is below.



This video shows a personal trainer working through some basics with the TRX suspension system.



Now, the TRX suspension Training system retails for 300 dollars and, while it may come with some excellent literature to support your training, not all of us can afford that amount of money and may be happy with a more basic system. The videos below show you how to make your own suspension training system with basic materials.

Read more: Suspension Training

Why Use A Workout Journal?

I have worked out, off and on, for years now and never really gone anywhere with it.  I have also fallen aimlessly in and out of diets.  I also haven't, until lately, set myself goals.  As a result I haven't really achieved anything.  Sure I've got some muscle memory for particular exercises and I have some knowledge about fitness basics.  But a sense of achievement?  No.  Something to crow about or feel proud of?  No.

Now, I think I know why.  Obviously I needed to set myself clear and attainable fitness goals.  I should have an objective in mind.  Keep in mind that I say that with the certainty of someone who hasn't achieved anything just yet.  But I feel I am on the right track.  My goals right now are pretty clear - see here.

But goals aren't necessarily enough.  What happens if I get injured or if the path to the challenge is a particularly long one.  Aiming for a long term goal means there are going to be ups and downs in not only training intensity but health.  There are going to be hurdles before I get anywhere near achieving what I want to achieve.

If I am serious about achieving my goal, whether it be strength, fitness, diet or challenge related I need to do some micromanaging.  Some risk management if you want to call it that.  What if I were making a critical mistake without realising it, time and time again?  I mean, if you could avoid sickness or injury you would wouldn't you.

It all boils down to time really.  Do you want to take 5 years to achieve your goal or one year.  Do you prefer a steady incline toward your objective or a energy sapping mixture of rapid descents and steep Alp like ascents?

I'll take the former thanks.

So how can I do this?  Well it appears a simple training journal can help me on the way.  The benefits of a training journal are clear.  Firstly a journal can provide clear records of -

  • Exercises used
  • Physical achievements
  • Your mood, diet and energy levels

You can analyse this information to your benefit.  Perhaps a particular exercise is repeatedly leading you toward injury or a particular food toward illness.  The benefit is that when you look back over your workout history certain trends will make themselves obvious.  You will see what conditions lead to your personal bests and conversely what lead you to take that week off from training.

I've started recording my daily workouts in a spreadsheet but any means will do.  Some people use paper, others email themselves a daily record.  Some use a blogs and others a database.  Whatever it takes will do.

Of course the next step of journal keeping is making it a habit and this is something I don't have experience with yet.  Check out these articles for some ideas regarding workout journals.

  1. T-Nation 
  2. CrossfitWorks 
  3. Zen Habits 
  4. Coach Stevo 
  5. Strong Lifts

Women & Power Lifting

What Is Your Excuse?

Power Beyond Measure


Find Your Strong

Celebrate Your Milestones


Today was a milestone for me.  After a month and a half of hard work I was able to do my first pull up.


'What's the big deal?', I can hear some of you say.  Well, I'm 110kg, so lifting that sort of weight is a big deal - for me anyway.  Besides, most of the people I know that can do pull ups are lean and light.


This milestone was quite difficult for me to achieve.  When I first attempted a pull up I couldn't even hold my weight from a hanging position without some discomfort.  It took a week before I could do one proper negative rep from the top pull up position.


Today I was finally able to raise my face up and over the bar.


To get this far I planned a series of back exercises that I thought would help me to achieve my goal.  Dumbbell rows, reverse pushups and negative pull up reps were my plan of attack.  I didn't do these exercise everyday but instead chose to give myself recovery time from each 'back' exercise session.  Six weeks and roughly 12 back workouts later, I have finally done it.


Completing your first pull up is a major mental milestone.  If you can do one pull up then you can practice the actual pull up exercise rather than pale imitations of the exercise itself.  And you can do it over and over again.  As soon as finished my pull up today ... and stopped jumping around ecstatically ...  I resolved to do another pull up.  And another one. 15 times I did a single repetition pull up.  That's 1500% better than my last workout!.  It's only a matter of time now before I can do two pullups in a row.  And then three.


The first milestone however was to be able to do just one pull up.  One is all it takes and the rest just falls into place.  My goal of ten pull ups in a row isn't so far away now.


But right now I need to pause.  It's not allways just about the end goal.  I know now that I am stronger than I was 6 weeks ago and I want to celebrate that.  I think we need to reward ourselves for the baby steps we take, or at least the milestones, along the way to a goal.


If you don't reward yourself it can be hard to continually find the motivation to train on.  Celebrating tells the mind, 'Well done!'  It wipes the slate clean and mentally consolidates your efforts so far.


How do I normally celebrate?  Well, I reward myself.  Typically with food.  I know it isn't the best thing to do, especially when on a diet but, because I've been so strict with my food lately, I'm treating myself to some flavoured yoghurt.  No, its not a bucket of KFC like the bad old days but it's more sugar than I usually allow myself.


Regardless of how you do it, you should celebrate your milestones.

Enough Excuses

It's Just Sport