If you are a young wipper-snapper, with no injuries or biomechnical issues, then I would say, with a coach, use deadlifts, squats and heavy bench press and millitary press as a base for your bodybuilding.
This will build a great foundation of strength and muscle mass.
However, if like me, you have a range of injuries, especially to the hips and lower back – which were possibly caused by bad squat and deadlift form in the first place – then you will probably want to leave these exercises out, or keep them light with perfect form.
Anyway, with that explanation out of the way for those who die by squats and deaders, here’s a program that I put together for my friend…
Use a foam roller before and after each session
I’ve personally found that dumbbells place less strain on my shoulders and elbows than barbells, but this might not be the case for everyone
Warm up with some cardio, plus 2 warm up sets
Reps – if the rep has a range e.g. 8-12, then with perfect form/technique, look to reach muscular failure in between 8 to 12 reps. To Begin with, you can look to just reach failure on the final set
10-20 mins cardio
Start of slow, aim to get a sweat going
Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbell Push Press
Look for explosiveness – also good with bands
Dumbbell Squat & Press
Look for explosiveness – also good with bands
10-20 mins cardio
Lat Pull Down*
D’bell 1 Arm Row
Keep core strong
D’bel Bicep Curls**
10 reps each arm
Hanging Leg Raises
Do knee-ups first
10-20 mins cardio
After 6 weeks change the order of the exercises and throw a couple of new ones in there too.
For a full periodised program from beginner to expert, download my pdf here
Daniel Cormier is a former Olympic wrestler & World Champion.
A relatively short light heavyweight and heavyweight fighter, he is billed at 5ft 11 but stated in an interview that he is 5ft 10.
Entry into Grappling Range
Cormier likes to bend at the waist and take his head to his right hand side before attempting to control his opponent’s lead leg.
Once he controls the lead leg of his opponent he likes to attempt a ‘run the pipe takedown, which is immediately follwed up with a high crotch takedown.
Off the cage wall, Cormier will sometimes finish the run-the-pipe takedown, with an inside leg trip.
Cormier also like to use the same entry – moving his head off centre-line, to grab a wrestling clinch (or “single neck tie”) with his left hand.
After establishing the clinch, he then proceeds onto exchange in the wrestlers ‘dirty boxing’ made famous by Randy Couture in his first fight against Vitor Belfort.
He is also a master at trapping and clinching opponents against the cage and striking the body with knees and punches.
Daniel Cormier 360 Block & Mummy-Guard
To enter from standard-striking range into a clinch & dirty-boxing, DC likes to use a straight arm to block to bicep of an opponent’s right cross or overhand, he then slides the same hand into a clinch to use uppercuts and short right hooks.
He uses the ‘mummy-guard’ – i.e. extending his hands forward with open palms – to occupy the space and line of trajectory that a straight punch would usually travel down. He then traps and grabs the hands of his opponent, before countering (see gif below).
Daniel Cormier Weaknesses
His height and his tendency to duck to the side make him susceptible to headkicks and ones to the head. Both are high percentage KO blows, especially when a fighter ducks into them.
Like a lot of shorter fighters, his techniques can be based on explosive strength and power, which in later rounds can take a toll on his endurance.
Powerful looping punches and battling for single leg control and takedowns, expend a lot of energy. Taller fighters can use leverage and length to keep opponent’s at bay and cause damage with jabs straight rights and straight kicking techniques, which take less energy to execute.
Cormier doesn’t have the range of finishing techniques like some other elite fighters such as Jon Jones. Jones has finished fights with standing submissions, knockouts, elbows, ground and pound and pioneering techniques. Cormier typically finishes fights with punches
Daniel Cormier Boxing
Cormier likes to box with uppercuts and short right hooks in the clinch. His boxing is excellent, World-class for MMA.
He dropped an in-prime Big Foot Silva with a huge overhand right, he mullered a World Class Daniel Cormier in Strikeforce with his boxing too, even throwing in a headkick.
Against taller opponents, he often refuses to stand in front of them – moving sideways and jumping in with single punches or 1-2 combinations. This is a tactic used by other top boxers against taller opponents, for example David Haye
DC also likes to trap hands and his straight blocks and extended arms to defend against oncoming offences. As mentioned above, he likes to use the ‘mummy-guard’ to occupy the line of attack that straight punches would normally occupy, before trapping and countering of the guard:
Embrace Buddhism around close friends & family i.e. laugh at yourself, turn the other cheek, be generous, don’t be defensive etc
Be nice to animals
Take zero shit from people you don’t know well or like very much. Set boundaries politely where possible e.g. say “please don’t mock my vegan diet” rather than “mock my diet again and I’ll chin ya”
Modify the techniques used when setting boundaries, according to the situation. Asking politely might not work well for example, if you work on a building site. In which case it’s sometimes better to give them banter
If you’re never going to see someone again, you can also be pretty Buddhist – really doesn’t matter what they think of you
I was a bit of a dick as a kid. I was relatively aggressive considering my lower-middle-class routes, especially in primary-school, I remember chinning lots of people for virtually no reason. I can vividly remember lamping someone in the infant-school’s TV-room just because the lad had been annoying me.
After a few kickings and tellings-off, I vastly changed my ways. I remember reading the book – “How to Stop Worrying & Start Living” written by Dale Carnegie in the 50s. It’s actually an excellent book, despite the title. The author interviewed lots of successful businessmen and war-veterans and asked them how they coped with stress. One line about – if something makes you angry; it has gotten the better with you – has always stuck with me.
That book and a couple of Buddhism videos and a meditation book I bought in the early 2000’s, took me down the route of ‘turning the other cheek’ and ‘rising above’. But fuck me, that really doesn’t work. I can’t really blame some of the incidences on Buddhism, probably more like me being too weak and having very little self-worth.
To give you an idea of what I’ve endured (again, I see this as my own fault) – One example – I have asthma; my ex-girlfriend told me the whole Tyler Durdan plot twist at the end of Fight Club – at the very start of the movie, because I wouldn’t go to the shop for her to buy her cigarettes. Another example off the top of my head – being constantly introduced by a colleague as “the thick one” back when I worked in a hotel (by the way, I have a first class degree and a Master’s but I was majorly depressed back then and my generally cognition was completely fucked – apparently this has something to do with inflammation that’s closely tied to depression – see this study for more info).
Maybe it’s my own self-serving-bias or some kind of confirmation-bias, I don’t know but I’ve found that if people laugh at yourself and turn the other cheek constantly people see it as a green light to be complete dicks. I also think that if you don’t engage in vicious gossip, you’re more likely to be gossiped about – because there’s no fear of any retaliation on your part.
Anyway, I try to never play the victim (I do sometimes, but I try not to!) – so I’ve been scratching my head for ages to come up with some kind of solution. I don’t want to be a dick and engage in bitching and be defensive all the time. Stoic Philosophy is definitely a good approach in many ways. Stoic acceptance is helpful, having low expectations of others but high expectations for yourself and generally embracing reality and copying with challenges.
My current approach however is going to be this – “Modified Buddhism”. I’ve come to classify people into two categories – “Lotus Flowers” and “Cacti”.
Lotus Flowers open up, they work in harmony with the environment and animals/insects
Cacti – well they work in harmony too, but they are closed off and I think of them as being more defensive and protective of themselves.
People that I trust and think have emotional intelligence and compassion, I’ll literally make a list of – these are the lotus flowers. These guys can take the piss out of me all they want, they can slap my shoulder, wrestle me – whatever they want bar hitting me and I’ll laugh and turn the other cheek etc.
People that I don’t trust to regulate their own egos and to not be dickheads – I’ll keep these off the ‘good list’. I’m taking zero-shit from these guys, literally zero. I’ll do my best to be polite e.g. say “please don’t make fun of me in front of others”, rather than “fuck you or I’ll kill ya” or anything similar.
It’s the way I think I have to be at the moment. After a few unpleasant incidences, I feel like I’m backed into a corner with my self-worth at 0 out of 10. I’ve had anxiety-induced stomach problems and muscle-tension for over a decade, but I’ve started having semi-regular panic attacks to boot recently* and I’ve had to change my anti-depressant medication which hasn’t exactly been fun. I can’t fold or roll over, so I’ve got to try something different – at the risk of being a dick myself.
*beta blockers have helped in the last couple of weeks.
I think I’ve tried almost everything for mental health – exercise indoors, exercise outdoors, ice baths, infrared saunas, yoga, meditation, CBT, therapy, anti-depressants, herbal supplements, ketogenic diet, journaling, gratitude diary. The problem is, the more ‘weird’ shit you do to try and help yourself, the more people give you shit for it. I’ve also tried never to mention mental health with people, I’ve wanted to work out a way of dealing with people, without having to play that card.
I’d be very keen to hear people’s thoughts on this:
Does Buddhism work in modern society – specifically office environments
What’s the best approach?
I don’t want to be a defensive dickhead but I think I’d rather been a dickhead than a doormat.
Final thought – If mental health is as important as physical health – why can’t you punch people that humiliate you?
The Polyvagal Theory came about as a result of the work & research carried out by Dr Stephen Porges. It relates to the different levels of activation of the vagus nerve and the physical & mental states that occur as a result.
Poly means “many”, Vagal means/relates to the “Vagus Nerve”.
The theory helps to explain why so many people have issues with digestion and also muscle tension resulting in back pain, neck pain, headaches etc.
The theory also explains how we find safety and how we respond to danger.
The Vagus Nerve is part of our “parasympathetic nervous system” – the section of the nervous system that relaxes us. As opposed to the “sympathetic nervous system” which prepares the body & mind for action.
This really helped explain to me what was going on – I’ve never really had negative thoughts as such, but in the past have had terrible issues with digestion and muscle tension & pain. I was really confused when I was told that there was effectively nothing wrong with me and prescribed anti-depressants…
3 Circuits of the Polyvagal System
The polyvagal system can be divided into 3 circuits or 3 states.
Freeze, Shut down, heart rate lowers, lowered blood pressure, influences the gut & digestion – part of the ‘dorsal vagas system’.
If you are in this “freeze” state for prolonged periods of time, you may get gut issues such as IBS and allergies.
It can also cause shortness of breath and heart rate variability issues which in turn often leads to panic attacks.
Social Engagement & Connection
Low tone dorsal vagus nerve stimulation. This is the ‘nice’ state to be in – “rest & digest”. This helps support the immune system, digestion and is a state of relaxation. You need to engage with people who make you feel ‘safe’ in an environment that you feel comfortable in.
Social engagement activates the Ventral Vagus Branch of the Parasympathetic Nervous System. It connects directly to the heart and lowers the heart rate. This is stimulated by connection with other people and supports the immune system, digestion and general recovery of the body. Loneliness and isolation are bad for your health in general because they result in less stimulation of the Ventral Vagus Branch
Mobilisation (Fight, Flight) –
Fight, flight, but also ‘healthy’ energy to get stuff done and to get out of bed in the morning. This system increases your heart rate, increases oxygen circulation and awareness.
Trauma & The Polyvagal Theory
Trauma can cause us to be stuck in the “Mobilisation” mode or, more commonly the “Immobilisation” or “Freeze” state. This ‘high tone dorsal’ impacts digestion and muscle tension causing pain and issues such as IBS and reflux.
Unresolved trauma can cause us to stay in the Freeze state for years, instead of minutes! I was surprised to read that trauma can occur when you are a baby; before you even have what we would call a ‘memory’. I guess the primal nervous system remembers more than our conscious mind does.
The exercises below can help the body to deal with this trauma. But also take a look at all the research on psychedelics & MDMA for mental health. These seem to bypass the ego and help deal directly with trauma. The experience has to be ‘guided’ however, as people need to deal with and process the trauma which can be very frightening.
Peripheral Vision exercise – also known as “The Basic Exercise”
Sit down, with a straight back & look forwards
Place your hands behind your head with your elbows out towards the sides
Slowly rotate your head side to side, looking left and then right
Look forwards again
Face forwards but avert your gaze/line of vision to the right – don’t strain
See if you can pick out your right elbow in your peripheral vision
Keep gazing to the right, without straining and pick out your elbow in your periphery.
Do this for up to 1 minute- you should feel a sense of relaxation, a sigh, or a gulp
Repeat on the left hand side
When you have finished, slowly rotate your head to the left and right sides again
Breathe in through the nose for 4 seconds
Hold your breathe for 6 seconds
Breathe out – with some force – for 8 seconds
Repeat 10 times
Listen to Contemporary Music by Female Singers
Not sure why exactly, but listening to contemparay music can help put you in the ‘rest & digest’ state. Perhaps it’s a mum-thing.
Nutrition & Polyvagal System
If you have GI issues, dietary changes, in my experience, can make a huge difference.
Consult your Doctor before making changes to your diet
Dairy protein – casein and dairy carbohydrate – lactose – are relatively hard to digest. If you have IBS try cutting down or even cutting out dairy for a few days. If you also have sinus problems, this can be a game changer and helps a lot with ‘brain fog’.
Only a small percentage of the population are allergic to gluten but many people have problems digesting it. This is possibly a combination of people being stressed and in “freeze” state, but also different growing techniques which make crops more robust but harder to digest. Try cutting down for a few days and see if you have any improvement.
A healthy diet, typically consists of lots of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately the carbohydrates can be relatively hard to digest. Foods containing FODMAPs include onions, garlic and apples. FODMAPs are the carbohydrates that the foods contain, including lactose and frutose. They can pull water into the large intestine and cause gas and bloating. Low FODMAP diets are not supposed to be long term.
Magnesium & Glycine
If you have problems with muscle tension, I’ve personally found Magnesium Glycinate and glycine to help a great deal, especially with sleep. The form of magnesium really makes a difference, magnesium oxide does nothing to help.
Finally if you have acid reflux issues, consider cutting out citrus fruits and tomatoes. Activated charcoal & fibre supplements can help with reflux. More info in my previous blog post here.
Curcumin & Turmeric
There’s a strong link between mental health issues and inflammation. There’s also a strong link between gut health issues and inflammation. Turmeric (take with black pepper) can health with both inflammation and gut issues. I use Longvida Curcumin along with around 5g of turmeric per day. Curcumin is the most potent ‘active ingredient’ in turmeric, but it is expensive. Make sure your turmeric is tested for heavy metal/lead content. More info on inflammation & mental health here on the psychiatric times
I think the theory, and the part about social engagement, might help explain why COVID-19 lockdown has been so hard for many.
If you have mental health problems, get help, eat well, try and avoid drinking too much and addictive drugs as this is a downhill spiral to say the least and do your best not to project your feelings on people. The new treatments on the horizon, do look extremely promising, so if conventional treatment doesn’t help, don’t give up hope!
Some effective supplements for GERD include – psyillium husk, activated charcoal, baking soda, digestive enzymes (without any HCL) and specific strains of cannabis. Foods that help include ginger, tempeh and miso soup. Fermented foods such as kefir may also provide some benefit.
It’s worth noting that baking soda can increase the amount of acid your stomach produces if used several times per day, for prolonged periods of time. It is a great pre-workout however and there is some research to suggest that it has benefits in regards to kidney function (reference) and possibly (POSSIBLY) have some level of anti-cancer properties as shown by its ability to enhance the effect of chemotherapy (reference 1, reference 2). Baking soda can also give you an upset stomach if you take too much – start by sipping a small amount in a glass of water (make sure the baking soda is food grade).
Ultimately what works for you, will depend on what is causing the GERD. If it’s not enough stomach acid – then betaine HCL and apple cider vinegar may help.
Acid reflux is a bit of a nightmare.
It is not only very painful and uncomfortable but it can also cause:
Anxiety and shortness of breath
Headaches and nosebleeds
My GERD was causing me to wake up with nose bleeds recently, when I started taking lots of vitamin C due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’d never linked GERD with my sinus ‘issues’ previously, but after a bit of research I found out GERD, can in fact cause problems with the sinuses. It is not uncommon for the acid from GERD to enter the nose and sinuses at night, whilst a person is lying down on their back. This causes the inflammation and nose bleeds that some people suffer from.
Diet and GERD
Under the guidance of a professional, consider the following dietary changes:
No Citrus fruits
Nothing after 8pm to eat
No acidic or carbonated sodas or fruit juices etc.
Lots of fibre – chia seeds soaked for 1 hour+ are great
Not eating citrus or tomatoes has had a huge positive impact on my GERD, as has adding more fibre to my diet. I have overnight oats with chia seeds and a fibre drink 3 times per day. Incredibly boring but worth it.
Supplements and GERD (use at own risk – some people may have side effects)
Activated charcoal – 5g before bed or when reflux is bad
Digestive Enzymes – without HCL – no betaine HCL for example. Try 1/4 of a tab first
Psyllium husk – take 2 or 3 times a day with water
Probiotics – fermented foods are better but are often quite acidic
CBD – specific strains of cannabis can help a lot with GERD, others may aggravate it. Smoking and vaping can sometimes make inflammation in the throat worse however, so proceed with caution. Lavender (hybrid) is good for getting rid of the general feeling of nausea.
Honestly, eating for reflux and GERD is more of a lifestyle than a diet. It is very difficult – but it’s worth it.
If you have IBS as well as acid reflux, my big recommendation is to cut out dairy for 3 days and so if you feel any better. This is especially true if you have any sinus problems! This was a life changer for me.
Cutting out gluten also helped me a lot. I’m not gluten intolerant but too much definitely has a negative impact on my gut health.
The FODMAP diet is also worth looking at. FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols”. These are carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.
FODMAPs are generally found in fruits and vegetables. So unfortunately that ‘healthy diet’ you’ve been following, may well be causing you problems. My way around this is to have oats 2 times per day with flaxseed powder and pumpkin seeds, for a healthy, relatively easy to digest source of calories, 2 meals and spirulina powder with MSM, 3 times a day.
GERD & Mental Health
GERD can be caused by mental health problems. Basically, if your mind feels threatened or hypervigilant, then digestion takes a much lower priority and can get partially ‘switched off’ – meaning anything remotely difficult to digest (like lactose in milk) will cause GI discomfort, IBS symptoms and reflux.
For more information about GERD and other digestive issues (also muscle tension and headaches) – and their link with mental health, please read about the polyvagal theory here on counseling.org.
Always Find the Positive
Although reflux and stomach problems are not nice, they do very much help me to control my diet and my body weight. I’m also very knowledgeable and have experience of most diets now! There’s nothing like physical pain and/or discomfort to motivate a person to learn and to try things out.
Apologies for the picture – but I always get inquiries about nutrition & training after posting a photo with favourable light.
A combination of yoga, stretching and trigger point therapy is best for bad backs and next. Avoid sitting for long periods if possible. The Paleo squat is a good alternative to sitting. The World’s Greatest Stretch is an excellent whole body stretch that can be done each morning and evening for a good foundation of flexibility and mobility.
I’m not able to do my current yoga routine – well I probably could but don’t want to leave little JC in front of the TV for too long.
This is the routine that I’m currently doing to stop my neck and back from hurting too much. Its possibly the worst Youtube video ever but fairly entertaining thanks to Jc.
Paleo Squat x 30 secs
Paleo Squat Narrow stance x 30 secs
This is the same as the picture above but feet & knees are touching/together & still pointing forwards
Training your chest at home is pretty easy to do. Beginners can do press ups from their knees, 2 or 3 sets of maximum repetitions, intermediate level would involve 3 sets of normal press ups. To make thing even harder you can do press ups with your feet elevated on a sofa or couch.
To do an advanced home chest workout with no equipment, Hindu Press Ups are fantastic, as well as plyometric chest exercises such as ‘clap press ups’. For triceps, downward dog presses are fantastic.
I made a quick video about training at home without any equipment. Sometimes you just have to find 5 minutes to maintain some level of strength & fitness!
A quick disclaimer – some of these chest exercises do place a lot of strain on the elbows and shoulders, and back hyperextension can aggrevate or even cause disc problems, so exercise at your own risk. Having said that however, this workout is pretty good for strength & flexibility. I would highly recommend raising your body temperature with a good warm up before starting.
Chest Workout Warm Up
Ideally get a bit of a sweat on. I’d normally go for a walk carrying my son/baby but didn’t get chance today, so I did some bodyweight squats and shoulder exercises to warm up.
Press Ups from Knees x 1 set
Press Ups – Normal Form – keep elbows tucked in x 2 sets of 10-20 reps
Hindu Press Ups x 2 sets of 8-12 reps
Downward Facing Dog Tricep Press x 2 sets of max reps
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, people have come to realise just how fragile the fabric of modern society is. When youre no longer able to Buy With One Click on Amazon, people start panic buying and we come to realise how dependent on technology we have become.
We have become dependent for a reason. The only way to feed 7 billion people is with mass agriculture, GMO and basically, mass produced low quality food. In an age when both parentd normally work full time and look after the family too, the easier it is to get food, the better. We only have so much energy and mental bandwidth. If we worry about a pandemic and the end of civilisation via a solar flare, we probably won’t be thinking about or first world problems at work – which are actually important – as work is how we provide.
There is another harder, more rewarding, less superficial yet potentially more lonely way! Living off grid somewhere.
The thing is though – you’ll be free! With many people depresses and miserable living the moder way, it may well be worth the effort.
Living Off Grid – a Checklist
Start off with some kind of a sketched out plan. For example:
Budget – how much money do you need to buy the land, property etc?
Find out about the laws regarding what you can and can’t do in your area
Consider how you might need to make money
Will you need to learn any new skills?
Okay – ready, next step – make a list of all the stuff you need…
Shelter – House, cabin, Caravan or Camper
A good place to start, is to think about what type of ‘shelter’ you and your family would be happy to live in.
If you’re an ex special forces guy, or survival expert, without a family then your off grid needs and wants might be very different to that off a middle class family who currently enjoy the comforts of suburbia.
The most common form of accommodation because it’s the most comfortable and suitable for families. Although I have known a family live in a bus.
A popular choice as talented and skillful builders can do most of it themselves, there is also a few loopholes in some countries in regards to planning permission (you would need to check up on rules for specific state or country).
A lot of people ask:
Can you live in a caravan?
In the UK the simple answer is no, not legally. It has to be a second residence that you only live in 10 months a year max. More info here
I do know someone who lives most of the year in a farmer’s field but he says it gets too cold in December. Unless you are Wim Hof, heating and warmth is likely to be an issue.
once you have decided what type of abode to live in, narrow down the possible location(s) and what type of land you will need to buy.
Think about the local weather, land availability, proximity to more urban areas and friends & family, taxes, building code requirements, etc.
Location is an important factor when estimating the cost of moving off grid – somewhere in south England is likely to cost a lot more than somewhere in a random par of Scotland or North Wales. If you are going to work whilst you live off-grid, how far are you willing to travel each day? AirBNB might be a good way to make money if you have land for camping or an out-house of some sort.
If you have family, consider your country’s location in relation to schools, hospitals, shopping and kid’s entertainment. If you are married, you should consider your spouse’s family as well as yours – probably!
In the US – you can use http://www.city-data.com/ to look at climate information. This is essential for deciding on what crops to grow, animals to keep and how to power your home/cabin/caravan.
Water – you need it for drinking, for washing and you may also be able to use it for energy. Hydroelectric.
Depending on where you are planning to live when moving out of the network, you may have to deal with water delivery, either drilling, pumping, or transporting a body of water. Look at the cost, labor, and practicality of each.
If you have water on the property, e.g. a stream or river running through it, you may have to look into the ‘water rights’.
If you do have access to running water – how will you purify it?
Will you use a sediment filter and/or a UV filter. Rock mineralisation is also popular, using volcanic ash high in negative ions and also chalk and limestone to up the alkalinity.
Grow, catch and collect. Well, you could presumably just make a monthly trip tp the supermarket but that pretty much defeats the objective of living off grid – you want to be self sufficient.
You need to eat everyday – or most days. However, while setting up your off grid lifestyle you might be able to forage some bits of food, or hunt – but you’ll need a go-to backup of dried food etc.
Remember, it takes time to grow food. If successful (and it’s possible you may not be!) the fastest crops will grow in a few weeks – depending on the season and weather – so be sure to have some basics as backup like oats, rice, and peanut butter.
Consider the ‘staples’ that you will need – e.g. potatoes, corn, beans.
Think about whether or not you’ll have livestock – chickens, goats, sheep etc.
Will you use a greenhouse? If so – budget this in and research what and how to grow tomatoes and other plants. A raised bed polytunnel is also a good greenhouse alternative
How will you keep the crop eating pests away too? Pesticides, garlic pellets, a slug electric fence? (electric fence instructable tutorial here).
Aquaponics is also an amazing way to grow plants and keep fish.
In the above aquaponics system (which would set you back a fair few thousand) – An electric pump moves nutrient-rich water from the fish tank at the bottom – through a custom made filter to remove any specific particles the plants above cannot utilise. The water has many remaining nutrients, which can then be used by the plants and is cleansed before returning to the fish tank below. A cyclical system keeping the fish and the plants alive.
Off Grid energy – how much will you need and how will you generate it?
If you generate enough, you could even make money by selling it back to the grid* (UK info here)
*I don’t think you can be completely off grid to sell it back to the grid though – how would they get it from you? Please comment below if I’m wrong.
*you can – you just need to be able to switch off and on grid.
So pointed at 1 it’s mains pointed at 2 it’s off grid … on 0 it’s off
Solar power tends to be the go-to energy source but may also depend on the local climate
Wind turbines are also popular, be sure to check out city-data.com for wind profiles of the area.
When it comes to choosing turbine – you’ll need a decent-sized one if it is going to be your primary source of energy. A 400-watt wind turbine, will produce enough power to accommodate a few devices and it uses more than a four-foot diameter rotor; A 900-Watt turbine uses a seven-foot turbine; A 10,000-watt (10KW) turbine, should be enough to generate the power necessary for most or all of a home, uses a 23-foot turbine and is mounted on a tower often cutting over 100 feet.
Hydroelectric is also a popular choice for an offgrid power system.
You can buy a microhydro system like a turgo or build it from scratch yourself.
Hybrid systems and primary / backup systems are a good idea, in case the primary source breaks somehow
Methane Biodigester Energy
This basically uses rotting food to produce methane gas, which powers your home. Although the best fuel for the biodigester is cow manure. It may be possible to get this cheap if your off grid location is near a farm (quite a few of the UK off grid locations are near farms in my limited experience).
if yo are working from home, then you will need to sort the internet out.
a mobile phone, with a booster or a satellite internet system are popular choices.
Sewage and Sanitation
You shouldn’t shit on your own doorstep for a variety of reasons. With this in mind you will probably want to invest in some kind of sanitation system for poos, wees, waste food, water and rubbish from packaging etc.
Septic tanks Septic tanks are the most common form of sewage treatment and consist of an underground tank generally built of GRP or Polyethylene. The most popular septic tank is the “Onion Shape”, but there are now also “Shallow Dig” versions that are used where it is difficult to dig up deep excavations such as rocky ground. The septic tank works by entering the tank waste, the solids sink to the bottom and the naturally occurring bacteria begin to break down the solids in sludge and drain the liquid on top into drainage field. The tank must be emptied / desludged annually by a recognized contractor. Septic tanks are not allowed to discharge into a watercourse.
A sewage treatment plant system A sewage treatment plant, or packaging treatment plant, is a miniaturized treatment plant. IT products that are fully treated, that can be discharged directly into a watercourse, such as a river or stream, or to be ground through a drainage field, depending on EA regulations.
A complete sewage treatment plant system is by far the easiest way to get approval from the Environmental Agency to process your own off-grid waste. Some systems are pre-approved for discharge to a watercourse at certain volumes.
The entire system takes up a small amount of above-ground space and is low maintenance. Different systems can have different requirements. Some require annual and frequent deceptive services where others are much more hands-off.
There are now systems that can run without an electric input, making the system as green as possible.