Turn up, Don’t Complain, Never Quit.

Learn More

Change yourself.

Movement

The body is designed to move for 6 hours a day and sit still for 1 or 2. We begin with a program designed to fit your life that starts getting you back to what you were designed to do.

Strength

Strength training is crucial to
ensure you don’t suffer in unnecessary pain or discomfort. Strength also means resilience. A strong body is one that will serve you well forever.

Conditioning

The heart is the most important muscle and we train it as such. All programs include adequate cardiovascular fitness to ensure you stay as healthy as you look.

testimonial image
testimonial image

1-1 Training

What if you could feel, look, and perform better than you did in college — before jobs, kids, and all those work functions started taking their toll on your body and your waistline?

What if you could make more progress in the next few months than you have in the past decade - and all in less time than you likely are now? 

1-1 Training is without a doubt the fastest and surest way to achieve any physical goal you have…BECAUSE IT’S WRITTEN JUST FOR YOU. 

apply now

Proven Methods

We don’t need fancy machines or gadgets to entertain you. Using a combination of kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight training put together with a programming system that has been proven to work for over two decades our blue-collar system can help you too.

Testimonials

Start with the right tools.

Want to know how to stay or get fit over 40? Subscribe to receive your ebook that contains real knowledge of how to maintain lifelong health and fitness.

subscribe

Mountain Biking Fitness at 40+

One of the natural progressions for many as they get older is a change from road running to trail running. The constant change in surface as well as gait is far less harsh on the body than running on hard surfaces.

Cycling is no different. Many get into road cycling initially as their body can no longer tolerate running in the first place. Over time they develop a love for all things two wheels but as we get older still there is often a subtle shift towards trail riding/ mountain biking. Unlike road running this has little to do with the trauma of cycling on a hard surface, and far more to do with local traffic. More and more I hear from guys in my age group that they no longer want to ride on the road anymore because of concerns over traffic. And next thing you know they’ve ditched the lycra for baggies and are looking at mountain biking. In fact, one of Australia’s best ever cyclists – Ryan Bailey who was a double gold medallist in track cycling at the 2004 Games – has said he no longer rides on the road for safety.

Eventually, after a few rides and getting to know the sport, people start to wonder about entering an event and how they should best train for these things. Mountain biking can be roughly split into two categories – cross country (XC) and gravity events like enduro and downhill. While there may seem to be some similarities between road racing and cross country, the physiology required is quite different. And then from cross country to enduro it is different again.

When it comes to figuring out how to train the best place to start is with a simple self-analysis. Included below are the bare bones physiology of road racing, cross country, and enduro. You’ll see that what is required for each sport is different enough that success in one won’t imply success in another. It should also give you the best starting point for where your own training plan should focus to begin with. The statistics below are taken from male elite competitors in each event. If there are two or more numbers listed it’s because I also found non-elite numbers. If there are three figures listed it’s because there was also a “competitive” class listed. This is normal in road racing where you commonly have four or more grades of racing possible, with A or Category 1 being  the highest.

Road Racing:
VO2max – 74.8, 78.7, 85.6
Body mass (heigh and weight)  – 179cm/ 66.9kg, climbers – 175cm/ 62. 4kg.
Power – 332.8, 391.5, 438.5

Cross Country MTB:
VO2max – 70.0, 75.4
Body mass – 177cm/ 67kg
Power – 375.5, 395.4

Enduro:
Vo2max – 63.5, 65.8
Body mass – 69.6kg, 75.1kg
Power – 541w, 658w (between 5.5w/kg and 6.2w/ kg)

Why do these numbers matter?

Numbers matter because they can tell you what can realistically be expected from entering an event. For instance, if I planned to enter a 100km MTB XC event I could never expect to win. I am 15-20kg too heavy. That weight comes at a huge penalty whenever an uphill section needs to be completed as it would be like having to carry a spare bike slung on my back for the entire event. In organised events using short loops where you may have to repeat the same climb multiple times in a single event I could never hope to finish high up compared to someone who had the same fitness but carried less weight penalty. It always strikes me as odd that cyclists in general will spend thousands on carbon to make their bike lighter but spend nothing at the supermarket to buy foods that will help them maximise their functional weight on the bike. Between fancy new carbon wheels and a salad I know which I’ll choose every day of the week for performance gains. In fact, Tyler Hamilton – one of the best cyclists of the modern era, both for his race performances as well as his drug use – has said that given the choice between using EPO to increase his hematocrit 3% or losing three pounds that he would take the three pound weight loss every time.

Looking at peak power you may think that for XC racing that power isn’t so important. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. A road race is performed on smooth roads where tire grip is excellent. On a slippery dirt track that may be covered with slick roots or rocks grip is hard to find. The lower power numbers seen are taken from in race data using power meters, not on an erg. What you do see is that body mass is very similar to uphill/ climbing road race specialists and that makes complete sense given the nature of XC racing that features multiple short climbs in a single event. Looked at as an average over a season of World Cup races the average men’s XC race features 1942m of climbing in a two hour time frame. The infamous Alpe D’Huez climb in the Tour de France has fast times around the forty minute mark, and sees a gain of 1071m, for some reference. So in a two hour XC race the men will cover roughly two climbs up the infamous Alpe made up in multiple short climbs.

It’s these short climbs that tends to really set MTB apart, even when looking at enduro. An Enduro World Series event will typically take in ~55km and feature over 1600m of climbs. While that may sound like not a lot of climbing you have to take into account that more than half of the distance covered in an enduro event will be done going downhill. The Alpe D’Huez climb is 13.8km so that means that again roughly double the height of the Alpe will be done at each event getting your bike back to the top of each hill before your next run. This effort will be combination of both walking your bike uphill as well as pedalling. Because the climbs aren’t timed the body mass of competitors can be a bit higher, aiding their strength and strength endurance for these long punishing days.

How should I train?

The first step in any training plan is to focus on your health first. There’s not much point in throwing away your health chasing performance in your hobby. Usually when I work with clients we focus on fat loss first because I know it will have the greatest impact on their overall health as well as their performance for most outdoors events. The short version is that your doctor will love you and your endurance performance will go through the roof as you drop some weight. Looking at the numbers you’d also need to ask yourself if that is healthy and realistic for you to try to match elite cycling weights. I know that dropping down to 70kg would be unhealthy for me, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to maximise what I can and minimise non-functional mass. That means the first objective of my training plan should be weight management and getting rid of as much fat as possible.

The second part of the training equation is base fitness. Regardless of whether you want to do an XC epic that is 100km or enter your local gravity enduro you’re still going to be on the bike for hours. The best way to develop all day fitness on the bike is… to do longer sessions on the bike. Despite what the modern fitness world will tell you, you can’t gain all day fitness on short interval training. Save that for close to your event to develop event specific climbing ability to allow you to punch out short climbs. One of the most frequent comments I hear from people about their event performance is that they suffered from cramps. The usual suggestions then are to start using electrolytes. A better way to think about it though is that it’s not a chemical problem, but a physical one. Muscles cramp in longer events because you’re asking them to contract more times than they ever have before. The simplest and most obvious solution isn’t to spend money on supplements, but to become fitter.

The best way to develop all day fitness is with low to medium intensity rides lasting two hours or more. There is no reason these can’t have a technical component to them. One thing to consider with technical training is that at high heart rates the brain struggles with fine motor control. In other words, if your heart rate is sky high because you’re going as fast as you can on the descent you’re going to struggle to learn new skills. Calm it down a bit, ride at about 70% of your maximum speed, and work on those technical abilities. remember – if you can’t do it slow, then you won’t be able to do it fast either. Keep the climbs moderate and work on those technical skills on the descents. You’ll be amazed at what deliberate practice can do for you versus just going for a ride on the ragged edge on every descent.

The next part of the training base is climbing ability. As mentioned before, weight loss is a vital factor in climbing ability so step one of developing your climbing will take place in the kitchen. Step two is deliberately working on climbs as part of a normal trail ride. Climbs can be a useful way to maximise your return on training time. They can develop power, fitness, and obviously climbing ability. If you target the right climbs then you won’t need to do much other specific fitness work prior to an event. My favourite hill climb reps involve a hill that is 3-4mins that can be done completely seated. I’ll repeat the climb three times, with just a roll down recovery. On the third climb go and do a technical descent working on your skills and repeat. Keep in mind that enduros and XC races will often feature 1000m+ of climbs for the day so that is a good target for an individual ride.

In the following basic week format I’ve included performing strength training because smart masters’ athletes know they should keep it in their training year round. Strength training is like armour plating your body against injury.

Basic week:

Monday – upper body strength, core.
Tuesday – 2 sets of 3x3min climbs.
Wednesday – Full body strength, core.
Thursday – Easy technical ride working on bike handling skills.
Friday – 3-4 x longer 10-20min climbs.
Saturday – Long easy ride, technical descents, easy climbs.
Sunday – rest day. (Bike washing and food prep).

Conclusion:

While elite endurance athletes are often very different to the rest of us in terms of body shape and size we can still get clues as to what is the best way forward regardless of our passion. Right size your body to fit the demands of the sport so that you can get the most enjoyment from it then tailor training to fill in the gaps in physical performance. Don’t forget that a large part of MTB racing – whether enduro or XC – will come down to bike handling. There’s no point in working on your fitness solely on an erg on Zwift and building a big engine only to have zero bike handling skills. Where possible the most important element is to ride your bike as much as possible

Read More

Fitter at 40.

Let’s be honest about most training advice online. It’s awful.

It’s awful in general, but doubly so if you’re in the forty-plus crowd. And it’s awful for one very simple reason…

…it’s not designed for us.

The fitness industry as a whole is largely based on two things: Making young guys muscular and lean, or making females skinny and hot. Because of the market that all the training is aimed at no one gives a thought to how that training might work in forty or fifty years time. Because at forty-plus we have to ask ourselves some very serious questions about our training time, the rewards we get from it, how it’s impacting our life, and whether that impact is positive or negative.

Every week I speak on the phone with men and women in their forties and beyond all wanting to be in the best shape possible. While many have some experience with fitness they all feel lost and unable to make progress any further because of the burn out created by their training and/ or diet. You know, the program they’re following that was deigned for someone half their age. The reason those programs all fail comes down to one thing…

They’re not sustainable.

Let’s imagine that you decide to get in shape once and for all. You sign up to the gym and commit to going every day. Great job! The first few days are hard but a little uncomfortable for you as you push your muscles harder than they’ve been pushed in years. The only problem is that after a few years of inactivity your muscles aren’t used to doing so much work and within that first week you now have so much muscle soreness you can’t even walk without pain. So within a week, despite your best intentions, you’ve made your fitness journey unsustainable.

A far better start would have been to have a think about this game you’re playing. The fitness game isn’t a short term activity that runs for a few weeks. It’s for the rest of your life.

So if we were going to start a race that lasted from now until you died, how fast would you start running right now? You’d run, because it is a race after all, but you likely wouldn’t start running flat out because you know you need to pace yourself for many years to come. Make no mistake though that this is a race. It’s a race against muscle loss and fat gain. A race against ever increasing poor health. So while you may not need to run hard now, you do need to get moving. But that movement should come with the question, “can I still be doing this at age eighty?”

This question crystallizes our activity into what is and isn’t of vital importance. For instance, most fitness approaches – the ones aimed at younger trainees –  won’t have a care for long term consequences. Female fitness is rife with this. Just drop their calories low so they lose weight and look good in a bikini. Never mind about the problems you’ve just caused to the menstrual cycle or for long term bone density problems by dropping energy availability to dangerous levels. Looking good now is all that matters and to hell with any consequences for this short term diet. Youth comes with a feeling recklessness and invincibility. Mature age not so much, especially for those of us who may have had a few injuries and know how long and annoying the recovery process can be.

So the question about what you should be doing, and how hard you should be doing it, is easily answered when you use this long term view.

If we’re honest about what you’re going to need at eighty we can then work back from there and figure out our short term plan. You can still lift weights at eighty, but your plan will be limited to the most important exercises. My mother still deadlifts and squats. But she only deadlifts once per week, and never anywhere close to her maximum. She still squats, but she does kettlebell goblet squats and not barbell squats. For pushing and pulling we tend to use bodyweight exercises like push ups and rows using either gymnastic rings, or a TRX. The rest of the gym training plan is devoted to performing mobility work to make sure her body stays as supple as possible.

Why is suppleness important? Because the moment you can’t tie your own shoes anymore, or dress yourself, you have lost independence. And both of things require a degree of flexibility that you may not notice when you’re younger, but you certainly will as you get older. Flexibility and mobility are also the things that help you stave off some easily avoided injuries. For those who want to perform any running related activities, there are studies (like this one) that show that reduced ankle range increase other landing forces and make you more likely to suffer injuries. Simply spending time to ensure that you have full ankle range of motion (that’s 3-4″ FYI) will help to prevent most running related injuries then. And it’s the same for strength related activities too. To safely perform a deadlift you’ll need some spare range of motion beyond just being able to touch the bar. A good rule of thumb is to be able to perform a standing toe touch with straight legs to ensure you’ve got enough spare range to deal with the added load and stress of deadlifts.

So we know you need some strength training and we know you need some flexibility work to stave off injuries and retain independence, but what about cardio? Again, think about eighty-year old you and what kind of activities seem likely? Will you really be doing that HIIT class or do you think you’re more likely to be going for a walk? That walk may be “just a walk” to you now, but at eighty walking will likely be enough to get your heart working hard enough to maintain, or even gain fitness. If walking on flat is too easy then add a hill.

So the Fit After Forty plan involves some basic strength work, flexibility work, and some easy to moderate steady state cardio but what diet are you following? Are you going to be following the crash and burn starve yourself beach body diet, or are you going to be doing something sustainable? I was in a fitness group on Facebook this week and a guy on there was asking about his diet. His current diet was seeing him either be extremely constipated or the opposite. So basically either shitting his pants or unable to go at all. Hardly seems sustainable, right?

Let’s go back to our guiding question about what you’ll be doing at eighty… What kind of diet do you see yourself following at eighty? is it the extreme diet you’re on now that excludes whole food groups like ketogenic or vegan diets or is it something that is going to be able to fit into any social or travel situation? There is no problem in the short term for the extreme diets – they can be excellent to change health quickly – but eventually they become problematic for one reason. Sooner or later you’re going to come off that diet. Either by choice because you’ve achieved that short term goal or because you fell off it and found yourself face first in whatever food you’d been excluding. There’s also the social environment to consider when you’ve got a family and kids. Don’t be the guy who doesn’t eat your kids birthday cake because it isn’t paleo. That’s not making your life any better by excluding you from that activity (and humans have bonded over food for a million years). Instead, think back to being eighty and think about if you want to spend more quality time with your family and how you might accomplish that? For sure there are going to be a number of family social events in there that involve food. Wouldn’t it be better to have a diet that allowed you to eat at those meals freely while still allowing you to stay healthy, lean, and fit longer term?

When we look at all the various factors here from training to suppleness to food, it is pretty obvious which one should have your main focus…it’s the food! Sooner or later training is going to have to be diminished. There is no way you’ll be able to train with the same intensity at eighty as you do at thirty or even fifty. I see so many people focus on the wrong things and wonder why they don’t get anywhere and the answer is simple – they’re focused on the wrong things. In order, to stay healthy, lean, and fit after forty these are your priorities:

Diet
Suppleness
Cardio/ walking
Strength training

Don’t do it back to front and wonder why your health seems to be negligible and your results non-existent.

Read More

#1 Diet Tip to Stop Snacking

When it comes to diet everyone wants to make things more complicated, as if the reason they’ve failed is lack of complexity.

Let’s be honest, the reason people fail is lack of discipline.

And when it comes to lack of discipline the biggest downfall for most is snacking after dinner. People can happily go without for breakfast. They can even eat light for lunch. But once the sun starts to go down, and the focus from work starts to disappear they suddenly find themselves famished. At that point they become a victim to whatever is in their cupboards. Boredom and stress are the two biggest drivers of late night snacking.

Diets all work in only one way – they restrict the number of calories you eat over an extended period of time so you lose body fat. Vegan diets restrict calories by eliminating animal protein. Ketogenic diets by eliminating carbohydrate. Fasting eliminates time that you can eat during, and thereby restricts your total intake. But they all work by restricting calorie intake in some way.

Given that the most important thing to losing weight is total calorie intake, does it really matter if you eat all your calories in one meal, or in a few smaller meals during the day? The answer is not really. (Although I need to add that if you’re used to eating one massive meal a day your stomach will be stretched out and give you the appearance of never having a flat stomach, even if you are lean). I usually try to get most people to eat three to five meals a day.

Why the difference between meal how many meals?

Because a smaller female doesn’t have to get in as many calories as a bigger male. In larger guys if they try to eat only three times a day serving sizes become quite large, and it can be difficult to get in adequate protein. By spreading out the number of meals it makes each serve of protein smaller, and easier to digest. It also has the benefit of keeping the stomach smaller, as I mentioned, which will help give a more flattering look. A two hundred pound male will need about two hundred grams of protein a day – that’s the equivalent of almost two pounds (700g) of chicken daily. Trying to eat that in only two or three meals becomes difficult. It’s just far easier to split those meals into multiple smaller pieces. Making it easier makes staying compliant more likely over a long enough period of time for the diet to work.

Given the number of calories per meal isn’t the most important thing, here’s the best tip I can give you to fix that:

Make your meals during the day slightly smaller – it’s much easier to deal with hunger while busy at work. If you need two hundred grams of protein a day and eat three times during the day then eat around thirty to forty grams of protein with each meal. That will leave you around eighty grams for dinner, which will feel like a double serve compared to the rest of the day. Don’t eat your carbohydrate content during the day. You can eat green leafy vegetables and a single serve of fruit but otherwise save all those carbs for dinner.

Make your evening meal slightly bigger. As I said above, it can be as much as eighty grams of protein at this point. Add your carbs in – most guys will be eating one hundred to two hundred grams a day. After having eaten vegetables and a piece of fruit during the day you’ll likely have about one hundred grams spare. That’s the equivalent of five small potatoes. Keep your carb sources to root vegetables (potatoes rate highest for satiety out of all foods), or rice.

That way you’ll go to bed on a full stomach, and not feel like you need to snack after dinner. You’ll still eat the same number of calories for the day but this will be far more satisfying. In addition, the carbohydrate will help you get to sleep. This can be enhanced if you choose a protein source such as turkey, which has tryptophan in it, which also calms you and helps sleep.

I’ve used this strategy successfully, even with guys who are already really lean like Mark here. Believe it or not, even guys in this kind of shape still want the same snacks and treats that you do, we’ve just figured out strategies to keep them still trending in the right direction even when they break their diet through stress or boredom.

That’s the real power of coaching – finding a way for that individual to be successful. If you’re looking for the best way to get your diet and training on track then PM me for more information.

How do you stop snacking?
One simple diet tip helped Mark achieve this amazing physique.

Read More