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Yesterday I asked a few questions around training, training modalities and recovery, and wanted to lead into a little blurb on where people make some mistakes and end up suffering adverse symptoms from over-training, or just never reach their goals…

Step 1. Work out what it is you want to achieve… That being said, it needs to be realistic. Yes, it’s possible to become a ‘hybrid’ athlete and excel in many modalities (such as explosive type movements such as olympic lifting, while being able to punch our a decent half marathon time as well); however, if you were realistic about it, you would probably need to decide on which it is you want to train for and look to be at the pointy end of either, not both. Everyone should consider:

a. Am I genetically (taking training/conditioning influence out of the equation) more of a fast-twitch beast (bigger bellied muscle anatomy, able to move weight fast, explosive and able to sprint, but sh*thouse when it come to distance running/activities)? or

b. Am I a slow-twitch gazelle that is great at the longer stuff, but not so great when it comes to shifting loads fast?

I will cover muscle anatomy in my next post (and how you can influence your make-up, to a degree)…

Step 2. Ensure you are getting the required recovery… And, what is going to ensure that is a 1000 and 1 invariables! The main ones to focus on that will ensure biggest bang for your buck are:

a. Sleep – Not enough and you will ensure your cortisol levels are raised, which in turn inhibits testosterone production, which in turn lowers your protein synthesis… Get where I’m going?!

b. Stress – Mental and physical have the same effect, and the physical includes exercise/activity… It’s a stressor. Both, if done in excess – to what level you tolerate is an individual thing – will lead to the aforementioned symptoms, but chuck in inflammation and oxidative stress as well!

c. Lack of calories – Calorie deficiency will screw you over! You need to let go of the notion that restricting calories will help you shift body fat! You may lose weight initially, yet most will be a loss of muscle mass, and you will be signalling to your body that you are in ‘starvation mode’; so anabolic processes then become catabolic, ie. your body eats itself. You need to dial in how much you need to consume to sustain the activities you undertake. Sometimes over training can simply mean you are under eating!

d. Training infrequency – Get into a pattern with your training. Yes, factor adequate rest, but over-resting can be just as detrimental to your recovery as under-resting. You need to ensure your body is adapting, on a cellular level, neurally, muscularly… If you rest too much, you never get the benefit of developing resilience to training stressors on those systems and so you never improve. The term is progressive overload…

Step 3. Get help with it all… For those of you Brisbane-based, get in to see who I consider to be the best coaches in town (speaking without bias), Phil and Lil’ Cosgrove at CrossFit Mitchelton

There are MANY more, but they are the main ones. More tomorrow! Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday as much as Astro and Shan, below:


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Rest Day…

Maxxy wants you to ponder a few questions on your rest day and we can come back to them tomorrow:

1. “How do your rate your recovery”?

2. “What are you training for”?

3. “Are you being productive or counter-productive with your training modalities and volumes of each”?

To be continued…

Maxxy as a Pup (1)

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CrossFit Mitchelton… It’s like a muscle car that at first glance you are impressed, but then when you look closer you are completely blown away at the craftsmanship of it all, and you can see the blood, sweat and (I won’t say tears as none of the coaches seem to have tear ducts)… that have gone into its continual evolution. #againfaster


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Becoming a more efficient ‘fat burner’

Carrying on from last night, if you are new to the primal/paleo scene or are curious about how to move from a grain/sugar heavy diet, or a typical body building diet where you only consume lean proteins and leafy greens; then this is how you should probably start:

Increase your ‘good’ fat intake – Consume more of the pastured animals (grass fed and finished), pastured eggs, Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), omega 3’s, and Coconut products, and start to cut out the sugars you eat that aren’t naturally occurring. What this does is allows your mitochondria (these little suckers take the nutrients from what you consume and convert it to energy) to get used to doing what they are supposed to do, and convert fats (fatty acids) to readily available energy (ATP), rather than sugars. Your body actually prefers to, and is more efficient at, converting fats into ATP. Sugars (glucose), when converted, produces a sh*t load of free radicals as a by product. These free radicals are responsible for arteriosclerosis, premature ageing (through oxidative stress), inflammation… The list goes on. When you burn fatty acids, the by-product is ketones, and your mitochondria (if functioning properly) will clean these up so your free radical count is significantly reduced!

Take your carb intake to about 50-100gms per day – Depending on your activity levels…

Avoid lean proteins – Start to eat your crackling! Eating the fats from your animal sources will ensure that your protein intake doesn’t get converted to glucose and start to screw your attempts to regulate insulin!

And… Just Eat Real Food!

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The ‘F’ word… It’s not a dirty word people…The research shows that FATS are greatly beneficial for us; our bodies love fats and we convert them into energy VERY effectively! It is our bodys’ preferred & most reliable source of energy, much more effectively utilised than carbohydrates. Now, let’s be clear about the right fats to throw down your throat – I am not referring to highly processed vegetable oils that are loaded with Omega 6′s or ‘some’ polyunsaturated fats that cause us health problems (peanut oil, corn oil, soybean oil & grapeseed oil are examples). You should be getting your fat intake from grassfed beef & lamb, free range chicken, wild caught fish, nuts, whole eggs, full fat dairy, avocados, coconuts & all their byproducts. Here is a great explanation of FATS for you by one of my favourite sources, Mark Sisson. And, our bodies NEED fat soluble vitamins to absorb protein. If we cut out fats, we can’t absorb protein as effectively or many of the other beneficial nutrients in our food that rely on fat for absorption. More on this tomorrow… Enjoy someone who enjoys their fats, Zack Williams, of Mammoth Kitchen.

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Rest Day…

One of the coolest and most moving things we saw while in New York, was a chain link fence in West Village (cnr of 7th Ave & 11th St), covered in ceramic tiles that had been created by a variety of different groups from school kids, to reputed artists… The memorial was named ‘Tiles For America’. It was a tribute to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy… When it was originally made in ’09, over 1000 tiles were hung and then stolen or vandalised in the following weeks. It was then re-established through the good will of local community groups and international artists who produced more tiles for the current memorial you see below. The model in the pic is my little sis’, Jeffery.

Jeff NYC