Foods & Supplements to Help Fight the Coronavirus COVID-19

*Disclaimer – these foods & supplements are not evidence-based, in that – with the possible exception of vitamin C, they haven’t been shown to treat COVID-19.
However, I think it’s misleading in a sense to say there’s no evidence for any supplements to help prevent or treat COVID-19.

In instances like these, where there is very limited amounts of research to call upon (nobody’s going to fund millions to test the potency of cheap vitamin supplements); you should use a different type of reasoning – I think it’s called Bayesian reasoning but a could be wrong – take what you know and see if in all liklihood it could be applied in this situation.

Also look at the risk to reward ratio – what’s the risk of taking a food or supplement Vs what’s the reward. So taking vitamin C at high doses, might at worst, make you feel sick but if it likely helps boost your immune system then brilliant – good trade off. However the Miracle Mineral supplement that is said to contain a bleaching agent – it sounds like that’s not worth the risk!

My Personal “Anti-COVID-19 Stack”

  • Vitamin C – 2,000mg
  • Vitamin D – 2,000 ius
  • Zinc – 20mg
  • Magnesium Glycinate – 1g
  • Spirulina – 10g 3 x a day
  • Mushroom ‘complex’ – 5g a day
  • Cordyceps mushroom
  • NAC – 600mg
  • astragalus extract – 2ml

Also using:

2 drops of iodine whenever Ive been in contact with someone esle (orally)

Spraying hands with collodiol silver after washing hands as a back-up

Vitamin C and the Coronavirus

Andrew W Saul (Phd) – it’s this guy who has recommended 3000mg of vitamin C – read more about him here

Anti- Viral Mushrooms

Learn more about anti-viral mushrooms here.

Please note – this post isn’t finished yet – but I wanted to publish it because I keep getting asked about supplements, herbs and COVID-19

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Quitters Never Win by Michael Bisping – Review

Having listened to Michael Bisping on the Joe Rogan Experience a year or so ago – he made me feel a lot better about my annoying sport and MMA related injuries.

The guy not only has one eye, he has a weird neck/shoulder injury that seizes up all the time on him and a knackered knee, amongst others.

I thought listening to his audiobook, might help me toughen up a little bit – like David Goggin’s book did (see my review of “Can’t Hurt Me” here). To be honest, it didn’t inspire me to go training like the David Goggin’s book did, but it was immensely entertaining.

I started listening to the book one evening, when the rest of the family was upstairs asleep – bad idea because I was too scared to get any shuteye after the story about some guy in a ‘black KKK’ hood trying to set his house on fire. Possibly a slight spoiler, sorry.

The book goes on to describe how Bisping started his MMA career – or martial arts training at least, with a guy called Paul Davis. Who I think is this guy:

He trained a form of Jiu Jitsu, which was basically MMA without the vast mixture of evolved techniques and styles that we see today. It involved stand up striking, takedowns and submission wrestling – very similar to BJJ by the looks of it.

Like myself, Michael had a bit of a nightmare start to his working life. He had no direction and ended up working jobs with little prospects such as in a slaughterhouse and in an upholstery shop. I could empathise with how shit this can be, with a first class degree and a Master’s degree in nutrition, I was stuck working in a gym for minimum wage for years; which was made worse by my family constantly bollocking me for not getting a decent job “show me the job online and I’ll apply for it, ya cunt” was my last resort rebuttal in the end.

Anyway, back to Micheal – he decided to apply to the army to be a boxer; that didn’t work out for him though – I won’t say why – so as a last resort, feeling a bit hopeless, he emails his old Jiu Jitsu coach.

He ends up training MMA in Nottingham, and ends up winning a couple of British Light Heavy Weight titles.

The book then talks about the aditions for The Ultimate Fighter and then his time on the show.

The book is then basically a step by step outline of his MMA fights, his family growing up and his injuries. The nastiest one being the eye injury.

it’s interesting to listen to him talk about what actually happened in the fights, I didn’t realise (or remember) for example that Elvis Sinosic had his arm ‘popping’ in an arm-lock just prior to Bisping winning.

Then there’s the time he won the belt, of course…

It’s very entertaining and interesting to hear about how everything came together, eventually for Michael in terms of his MMA career. I’ve also heard of a few guys that he talks about in the book, his coach Kazeka Muniz for example, did a bit of coaching with my team in sunny Wrexham just before Wolfslair opened.

It’s also cool to hear about how fighting affected his family life and a bit terrifying to hear about how bad (and painful) his eye was.

Review Score


Very entertaining book for any MMA fan

Michael Bisping Career infographic
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Plyometrics MMA Workout

Power is one of the most important physical attributes a fighter can possess. It can be the difference between a knockout victory or a loss – how many times have you seen a fighter behind on the judges scorecards only to see them win the contest with a knockout blow?

A powerful fighter is one to be respected!

There’s a lot of misconception in mixed martial arts and other combat sports that power training slows you down, makes you bulky and is generally not effective for fighters, but in this article we’re going to discuss how we can use Plyometric training in MMA to build explosive power, without sacrificing other abilities.

The main issue around power training is that most MMA coaches aren’t fitness experts – they’re MMA experts and as such they lead their athletes down the wrong path when it comes to strength and conditioning. This is more of a problem at an amateur level (professional athletes will hire dedicated strength and conditioning coaches), so in this post we’re going to look at what how we can improve power in mixed martial artists.

What is Power?

The first thing to understand is what power actually is. If you know what you’re training for, you can begin to programme more effectively for the sport – both to build on strengths and to improve any weaknesses that you may have. The purpose of training is improvement after all.

A lot of people confuse power with strength, but they’re actually quite different things. In lay man’s terms, power is generating force at speed (combining strength and speed).

 Strength is simply the ability to move a load. Here’s a couple of real-life examples, so they make more sense…

An example of a power movement is a high jump – the athlete has to move a load (their body weight) off the ground quickly in order to clear a bar. This has to be done quickly, otherwise the jump wouldn’t be successful.

An example of a strength movement would be a heavy deadlift – the athlete doesn’t necessarily have to do this quickly – if the load is heavy enough he wouldn’t physically be capable of doing it quickly, but he has to use a lot of strength to lift the weight.

Now we know the difference between power and strength, we can begin to discuss how we train for one over the other. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to focus on plyometric exercises and show how they can be used specifically for mixed martial arts.

Plyometrics for MMA

One of the most effective ways of building power is using ‘plyometrics’. These are power-based exercises that combine the following phases…

  • Eccentric phase or landing phase. This is where the muscles being used ‘elongate’, building up a store of energy.
  • Amortization phase, or transition phase, is the time between the concentric and eccentric phases. In effective plyometric movements this phase needs to be as short as possible in order to maximise force output.
  • Concentric phase, or take-off phase, uses the stored energy to increase the force of the movement. This is where the muscle shortens rapidly, exerting most force.

Plyometrics are incredibly versatile and are used by coaches across a huge range of sports, especially ones that require forceful output. The cost-benefit is huge because technically, plyometrics don’t require much in the way of technique learning (compared to Olympic weightlifting) and also they don’t require huge amounts of weight, so the injury risk is significantly reduced.

Finally, thanks to the lower loads there isn’t the same amount of demand on the central nervous system as there is with heavy weight training. This means you can recover from your training more quickly than if you were doing a lot of very heavy lifting in your strength training.

Plyometric Exercises for MMA

There are four main movement patterns where plyometrics can benefit a mixed martial artist. These are…

  • Push – to escape from a grapple and to move opponent around.
  • Pull – to wrestle an opponent into position.
  • Squat – benefits overall leg strength for kicking, movement and escape.
  • Rotation – benefits upper body striking power.

Focussing your plyometric power training on these four movements originally will bring the most benefit in the short term, allowing you to build a powerful foundation for other plyometric exercises when you need to. They’ll also have an immediate transfer into your MMA game and provide the muscles with a stimulus from which to build.

Below is a good example of a plyometric exercise for each one. I’d suggest you combine them all in the same workout, performing 8-10 reps of each across 3-5 sets. Allow a sufficiently long rest period between sets (60-120 seconds).

Plyometric Push Up:

Floor Taps to Jumping Pull Ups

Dumbbell Jump Squats

Medball Rotations

If you do this alongside your standard strength and conditioning training, you’ll develop a more rounded fitness and increase your power rapidly.

Performing Plyometrics Safely

The training effect of introducing plyometrics into your strength and conditioning is dramatic and needs to be treated with respect.

You’re performing movements that your body may not be accustomed to, expecting rapid, explosive muscular contractions repeatedly. This also has an effect on the tendons – they absorb the load placed on the muscles and therefore need time to adapt to the new demands. With this in mind, only perform the plyometric exercises twice per week for the first three months, then increase the frequency and loads gradually from there.

A safe way of increasing the loads on the exercises is by wearing a weighted vest – this is a simple and comfortable way of increasing the weight used during the exercises, plus it is easily adjustable. You can increase or decrease the weight easily based on the exercise you are about to do.

Author Bio

Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the Best Muay Thai blog. He has trained for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.

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Once a Week Workout Programs .Pdf

If you are a busy parent and also busy at work most of the day, it can be difficult to get to the gym 3 or 4 times a week like back in the day.

It’s important to remember that the benefit of one workout per week is massive, compared to doing nothing – so don’t give up. Even if you just have to maintain strength, fitness and/or MMA technique for a couple of years – the lack of progression can be frustrating but the alternative is to get overweight, unhealthy and probably a bit unhappy too.

In fact, just a few minutes of high intensity exercise can make a massive difference to your fitness levels.

once a week workout

Below are some ideas for a once a week workout at the gym and at home.

Gym Once a Week Workout

Warm up with a Tabata Interval of bodyweight squats*
Also do at least 1 warm up set with a lightweight before each exercise

Exercise 1 – Deadlifts x 4 sets of 4-6 reps

Exercise 2 – Push Press or Military Press x 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Exercise 3 – Chin Ups x 2 sets of Max reps

Exercise 4 – Plyometric Press ups x 3 sets of 6 reps

Exercise 5 – Hanging leg raises x 2 sets of max reps with perfect form

Finish your workout with another Tabata Interval:

Kettlebell or Dumbbell Tabata
General FitnessNumber of 20 sec RoundsRound Rest
Alternating Lunges110 secs in between each round
Goblet Squats110 secs in between each round
Hammer Curls110 secs in between each round
In & Out Squats110 secs in between each round
Overhead Tricep Extensions110 secs in between each round
Renegade Rows110 secs in between each round
Shoulder Press110 secs in between each round
Squat & Press110 secs in between each round

Gym Once a Week Workout 2

Use 10 minutes of steady state cardio and/or a Tabata of Bodyweight squats to warm up

Exercise 1 – Back Squats x 4 sets of 6 – 10 reps

Exercise 2 – Barbell Bench Press x 3 sets – 6 – 10 reps

Exercise 3 – Bent Over Barbell Row x 3 sets of 8 reps

Exercise 4 – Dips  x 3 sets of 6-10 reps

*Tabata Interval sessions consist of intense workouts for 20 seconds, then resting for 10 seconds. This cycle is repeated seven more times per workout.

More info on Tabata Intervals can be found here.

Once a Week Workout at Home

A Tabata Interval is a great option if you are at home and have no equipment

Bodyweight Tabata20 sec RoundsRound Rest
Bodyweight Squats110 secs in between each round
Froggers110 secs in between each round
High Knees110 secs in between each round
Knee Tuck & Plank Jack110 secs in between each round
Mountain Climbers110 secs in between each round
Tuck Jumps110 secs in between each round
Squat Jump Turns110 secs in between each round
Speed Skaters110 secs in between each round

For a more advanced Tabata Home Workout, you can add another 4 minute interval including the following exercises:

  • Plyometrics ‘clap’ press ups – push off and clap mid air on each rep
  • Hindu Press Ups – Start in a downward dog position, touch your nose to the floor and press back up
  • Single leg/Pistol Squats
  • Chin Ups & Kettlebell exercises if you have the equipment

To maintain mobility, The World’s Greatest Stretch is arguably the most time efficient stretch to do.

Doing the World’s Greatest Stretch in the Kid’s room

Exercise Descriptions

Stand with your feet about hip’s distance apart. Bend at the knees into the squat position. Keep your weight in your heels. Jump lightly so that your feet are a couple inches apart. Squat down again, and continue jumping in and out for wide and narrow squats.

Resistance Bands Workouts

Resistance bands or tubes are a great option if you only have time to workout at home.

They require very little space to use and to store, and the variety of exercises that can be done with them is pretty vast.

Its also a bit safer to train in the house with bands, compared to, for example a kettlebell which could also break something or accidentally KO a child.

Resistance Band Workout

Warm up with a Tabata interval of bodyweight squats.

  • Millitary Press 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Bicep Curls – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Squats – 3 sets of 15 reps

For a more advanced workout add:

  • Tuck Jumps 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Jumping Lunges 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Clap Press Ups 2 sets of 6 reps

PDF. Workout Programs

Below are a number of pdf workout programs that you could use to adapt and create a once per week workout routine. Focus on using all the muscle groups, with ‘compound’ multi joint movements. For example, use chin ups for biceps, instead of curls.

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Easy Takedowns for BJJ (No Gi)

Takedown System for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

The Most Common Positions you’ll find yourself in regarding wrestling in BJJ are:

  1. Wrestling Clinch
  2. Wrist Control
  3. Over/Under Position (or a variation)
  4. Single Leg

The easiest way to get a takedown, in my opinion, is often an ankle pick or from a headlock or variation.

If you are new to wrestling, getting to know the snap-down into a headlock is a good starting point:

Takedown From Wrestling Clinch

Wrestling Clinch – Switch – Takedown

wrestling clinch

You have to watch the start of this GIF closely to see what’s going on.

The bald guy starts with a standard wrestling clinch with his right hand (orthodox stance/left foot forwards), but immediately switches it so that his his left arm grips the head as he steps forwards slightly with his back leg.

This gives him distance to attack the leg (unsuccessfully) – then the head

The video is trimmed at that point, but the bald guy sprawls with an anoconda grip

Takedown From Wrist Control

Snapdown into Headlock

From Opponent’s Wrist Control


Takedown from Over/Under Position

  1. Snapdown to Headlock

2. Single Leg

Simple Takedown Defence to Common Wrestling Takedowns

Single Leg Defence

Double Leg Defence

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How to Beat a Taller Boxer

Tips on how to box a taller opponent. For MMA specific guide to fighting a taller opponent, please see our other article.

1. Slip the Taller Boxer’s Jab!

The classic and probably the best way to box a taller guy is to move forwards and slip the jab.

Drill this in practice – slip the jab and counter – it’s not enough just to slip the jab!

The easiest way to slip a jab, is to move your head to the outside. If your opponent stands in orthodox stance (left foot forward), then slip your head to the right of the jab.

If you slip your head down and forwards, you should be able to counter with your own jab.

If you are still out of range, you can step forwards with your back leg and jab again. Once you are in range, then unleash uppercuts, hooks, overhands and body shots

2. Jab to the Body

A jab to the body can be an effective technique against a taller guy – aim for the heart!

Be very careful when executing this technique however, you must bend your legs and lower your level and throw the jab straight.

If you throw the jab downwards, you will expose your chin. So bend your legs first!

3. Don’t Stalk – You Back Up & Wait

The classic way to fight against a taller guy is to walk forwards. But this isn’t always the best tactic.

You can frustrate and confuse a taller boxer, by making him come to you.

It then becomes a game of feints and counters. Make sure you have an effective jab-counter ready!

Use Feints & stutter steps if he/she is being cautious. You can even throw a feeler-jab yourself to make him open up with his own counter – then counter his counter!

4. The Walk Around Tactic

Circle on the outside, use feints and occasionally move into range with 1 punch, occasionally 2.

5. The Step Through & Blitz

The Step Through, is called The Dart in MMA. You can pretty much double your reach by stepping forwards as you punch.

Right lead – to left lead

You can take this a step further by walking forwards as you punch. In MMA this is often called the Vitor Blitz.

Be very cautious however. Over get a tiny fraction out of range with your standard jab before attempting a “Dart”. It’s very easy to counter if done too far out.

6. Switching Stance

Arguably under utilised in boxing – avoid a taller boxer from ‘timing’ and reading your movement by switching up your stance. Learning to fight in both orthodox and southpaw stance can be a huge advantage.

7. Bob & Weave

Move forwards, with constant head movement by bobbing and weaving.

I like to bob and weave until the taller boxer throws a punch, then counter with a 2 or 3 punch combination.

8. Use the layback & Shoulder Roll

In it’s simplest form, the layback involves, literally, leaning back out of range to avoid a jab.

Ideally, you’ll then ‘recoil’ back into range to throw a counter:

9. Give a False Range

By leaning forwards and turning your shoulder towards your opponent, you can create a ‘false range’. You can easily back out of range when your opponent jabs and then counter with your own punches.

10. Keep Your Head Off Centre-Line

Randy (Red shorts) Moves his head to the side when punching

Keep your head to the side when moving into your punching range. If you jump forwards with your head up and in the middle – you’ll run into a jab.

Randy Couture (6ft 1), used side to side head movement, looping punches and laybacks to beat Tim Sylvia (6ft 8).

Jab shorter person
Jab off centreline – jab and slip at the same time & lean forwards slightly

11. Mix it all up – including your rhythm

Start with 1 tactic, for example moving forwards and slipping the jab – if it works, keep using that approach!

If you still find you are getting picked-off, try a different style e.g. the walk around technique.

The walk around technique is also a good way to take a bit of a rest, in between attacks!

Specific Punches to Use Against a Taller Boxer

The Overhand Right (or left)

“look at his toes and throw a bowling ball”

The overhand is set up nicely with a jab to the body. If you can hit the body, you’re in range for an overhand.

Power comes from dropping your bodyweight first, then immediately after – the hand follows in an arcing motion.

Overhand Right
Roy Nelson V Kongo

The Russian Hook

The Russian Hook is different to a conventional hook, in that the thumb is turned down and the arm is almost straight. The fact that the arm is almost straight, gives it more range.

Russian Hook

The Jumping Left Hook

What Not to Do Against a Taller Boxer

Do not over-extend yourself to try and get in range, you will get picked apart! Against any counter puncher, it’s a bad idea to over-reach.

Bonus Tip – Hand Trapping Against a Taller Boxer

Watch Daniel Cromier Vs Stipe 2

If the taller boxer refuses to engage, try trapping his lead hand and then beating him to the punch.

Watch short fighters on youtube!

Fedor, Mike Tyson, Daniel Cormier etc

It’s also a great idea to film your own sparring, of possible, watch it back in brtween rounds

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Anxiety is Fuel*

“We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic.”

Cullen Hightower

Don’t fight anxiety – use it. Equally, don’t fight resentment – use it as fuel.

Exercise is my way of coping with anxiety. I feel pretty terrible unless I do at least 30 minutes a day. Stretching, cardio, weights – it doesn’t really matter but you need to vent it – so do it positively.

If you don’t vent your feeling of stress & anxiety in a positive way, it is likely you will:

  • Project your stress onto someone else
  • Suffer from ‘internalising’ it – with IBS, stiff muscles, autoimmune issues

Both are shite. By the way, magnesium (including epsom salts for baths) is amazing for muscle stiffness and pain.

Anxiety Does Have Benefits

  • Motivation
  • Energy
  • Alertness

Chronic anxiety can make you feel very tired at certain points – your hypervigalance to danger can leave you exhausted at the end of the day. However, if you can think about something specific that makes you anxious, or someone that you don’t like very much – this can give you the energy to get up and do something – ideally exercise.

The best way to deal with anxiety, for me anyway, is to embrace and use it. I’ve literally shouted “oh f*ck off” to anxious thoughts in the past, but like a schoolyard bully; reacting like this just makes it more relentless. If you think of the ‘benefits’ and embrace it – thereby, not really reacting to it – it often fades.

*I imagine this is only useful advice for those with mild to moderate anxiety. So take it with a pinch of salt.

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Forget Mental Health Awareness – Just Stop Being a Cunt


  • Be patient with everyone – depression causes memory problems as do SSRIs
  • Don’t be aggressive – unless you’re willing to fight
  • Accept that everyone is a product of their genes & their environment
  • Don’t project when you feel down or stressed
  • The people around you make you anxious. If I know everyone has my back – I’m not anxious – if I work with a group of people who bitch and moan – I know if I make a mistake, I’m going to get bitched and moaned about
  • Don’t aggressively force your opinions on people

As much as I love a good meme or ‘Most people won’t share this’ post on social media; I’m not sure how helpful the whole mental health awareness thing is.

It definitely has some positives, but the real message should be around showing compassion and tolerance to everyone – not just people with a clinical diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety.

This goes for those who have mental health problems too – try and be nice. In my experience some people with depression are right horrible bastards (a bit like Ricky Gervais at the beginning of After Life).

I’m currently taking an SSRI anti-depressant called Sertraline. I came off my previous anti-depressant, because, although it was pretty effective at levelling my mood and stopping any suicidal thoughts etc. it proper fucked my memory.

A poor memory is a symptom of anxiety alone, and also some SSRI medication too. Put those two bad boys together and your memory is likely to be proper fucked.

If You Can’t Have Empathy – Have Compassion

Empathy requires some similar experience. If you’ve never had issues with mental health or your memory then it’s hard to put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

However, you don’t necessarily need empathy – just have some compassion.

Remember, people are just a product of their environment and genetics; nobody chooses to be stupid, dopey, or weird. I sure as fuck didn’t and wouldn’t be that way if I can help it!

What I really don’t like – is the look of bemusement some people give me when I can’t remember something. Taking the piss is fine, but I just want to chin people when they give me ‘the look of disdain’.

It’s a bit of a vicious circle of –

having a bad memory – and then hating yourself for forgetting stuff – compounded by other people losing it or mocking your for being forgetful.

Just try and be tolerant with people who are different, or specifically in my case, a bit eccentric + have memory problems. And definitely don’t get angry, especially in an environment like an office.

“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on—it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance—unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

How to Not be a C*nt

  • Feedback in private & praise in public. Don’t be one of those passive aggressive office-wankers who likes to feedback mistakes in front of everyone
  • Don’t slag people off unless they’ve done something horrendous
  • Accept people as they are
  • Don’t make fun of people in front of an audience or people you don’t know very well – that’s when banter goes too far IMO
  • Have patience with people – especially those who have issues with their memories as this can be a symptom of anxiety and/or SSRIs

By the way – I think it’s fine to tell a depressed person to stop complaining. Depression is as contagious as man flu; if someone is constantly complaining and blaming other people for all their problems – please – tell them to shut up. Unfortunately this often leads to the victim-triad; by being told not to be a victim, people often feel like you’re being unfair; making them even more of a victim. So good luck with that issue.

Stuff that Helps if You Do Have Mental Health Problems

Laugh At Yourself

If you do have mental health problems – I’ve found ‘thoughts of the self’ are often the big issue. Remember not to take life so seriously.

We’re all going to die and nobody will remember us – so fuck it

Thinking of and looking out for other people is actually the best way to stop thinking about yourself. Also, remember that 99.9% people aren’t thinking about you (they’re probably thinking about themselves), so don’t stress about it!

Brainwash Yourself with Positive Music, Videos & People

I listen to a video playlist in the morning, that includes the likes of Jocko Willink, David Goggins and positive affirmations. It’s hard to feel negative after I’ve listened to it. Also – avoid the news! Turn that shite off.

The Youtube Playlist that I listen to is here.

The Logical Way to Think – Isn’t Always the Best Way to Think

Be cynical but don’t suck the joy out of everything with it. Sometimes, it’s best to choose another chain of thought.

For example, it might be helpful to take ownership/accountability of all your problems, even if nothing was really your fault. Fuck playing the victim – that shit never helps.

For example, let’s say you pay a tradesman up front and he doesn’t show up – is that your fault or the tradesman’s?

I don’t think that example explains the concept very well, so if you have 10 mins, watch the video below:

Another, probably better example – if you watch Lord of the Rings thinking “this is made up stupid shite”, then you might be right, but it’s still not a ‘good’ way to think – especially if you’re effecting people around you, who may be enjoying it.

I guess religion and faith is another example – it might not be logical, but if it gives you or other people strength and courage, then let them get on with it.

Remember too, you tend to get back what you ‘put out’ into the world. You can also develop a habit of positive (and negative thinking). Make an effort to be positive everyday and it does get easier!



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Guide to UK Trees

Nothing to do with MMA – sorry – however, I thought this would be very useful for educating the kids whilst going on one of our very common walks in the woods and countryside. It’s also interesting for me to find out and have a future reference.

Most Common UK Trees

European Ash

Branch & Leaves of a European Ash Tree Image Source

Aspen – Populus Tremula

The leaves are easily damaged by sunlight.

The top leaves move a lot, so the lower leaves get their fair share of sunlight

The trees can be interconnected underground – the same tree is effectively produces several trees all connected together.

Birch leaves are much more triangular in shape, Aspen are rounded
Image Source

Silver Birch – Betula Pendula

Birch can live to about 80 years old.

The bark sheds layers, like skin

Leaves are small and triangular with a toothed edge.

Prefer light, dry and acidic soils.

Silver Birch Leaf – Image Source

Sessile Oak – Quercus Petraea

Unlike the English Oak, the sessile oak does not have stalks on its acorns.

These trees can be identified by their lobed shaped leaves and their acorns.

The greyish bark of this oak, used to be used in leather tanning industries.

Sweet Chestnut – Castanea Sativa

Sweet chestnut are completely different to horse chestnut, so don’t get them confused.

The easiest way to identify a sweet chestnut is by it’s big, bold, spear-shaped leaves.

The leaves have a serrated edge, like Rambo’s knife

sweet cheestnut leaf

It also produces chestnuts!

Horse Chestnut

The tree with conkers!

Scot’s Pine

Scotland’s National Tree

Image Source

Rowan Tree

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Bending Horseshoes by Hand & Horseshoe Bending Technique

A great demonstration of strength of the hands, grip and the ability to brace against your leg – bending horseshoes is a great party trick (if you party in a barn) and also a good goal to aim for if you are a strongman or someone who is looking to increase grip strength.

Know Your Horseshoes Before You Attempt to Bend it

A horseshoe is only as strong as it’s weakest point – a bit like a chain.

Some horseshoes have ‘fullers’. Fullers are the grooves that allow for the insertion of nails. Some horseshoes have deeper & wider fullers than others – from a strongman perspective, this can weaken the horseshoe significantly – making it easier to bend.

Horseshoe Bending strength

Technical Tips for Horseshoe Bending

Lockout Strength

The Strength comes from the triceps at the end of their range-of-motion.
Known as “lockout strength”, the more extended and near full extension your arms are, the stronger force you will generate against the horseshoe.

Padding or Not to Pad?

Padding the horseshoe may help with limiting damage and pressure on your hands but it will also dissipate some of the pressure on the horseshoe – certainly it will spread the pressure that would otherwise be isolated to a specific section of the horseshoe.

An abrasive material such as a (very) thick and wide bandaid/sticking plaster, or even a thick tissue, appears to be the best way to bend horseshoes without cutting your hands.

Twist and Shout

Referred to some as “the crushdown” – the rotational force of bodyweight, bracing from the shoulders and pushing from the triceps and arms is a universal movement in pretty much everyone on youtube seen bending a horseshoe.

A Word of Caution about HorseShoe Bending

This movement will put a lot of stress on your shoulders, elbows and wrists. The movement is partially (kind of) isometric – i.e. static, in that the horshoe moves very little or doesn’t move at all.

When a movement is isometric, the forces will ‘push back’ more on the body, causing more stress on the joints and ligaments.

Arms Almost Locked Out. Bracing by the Hip

You can see below, how by bracing and pushing down with his bodyweight and lowering his head, the abdominals come into play quite significantly:

Bending a horse shoe
Using the Abdominals, bodyweight and Tricep Lockout Strength to bend the bar

Image Reference DennisRogers.Net

Not everyone appears to incorporate the abs when bending however. This guy has more of a lateral movement:

Training to Bend Horseshoes

Firstly, if you want to bend horseshoes – you will need a horseshoe!

You will need a horse shoe to practice on, to build the specific type of strength required to bend it. Unless you use something very similar to bend, like a bar or rod etc and build up to a horseshoe

The SAID principle dictates it – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands.

Purchase one of the weaker horseshoes – with a fuller groove in it.

Here’s a website that sells horseshoes – ones that a great for starting off and achieving your first horseshoe bend!

St. Croix Ultra Lite are good for beginners. But still very difficult!

St Croix Polo are amongst the ‘second easiest’ level of horseshoe to bed.

Following on, go for a St. Croix Forge Lite Rim 10.

Training Grip Strength to Bend Horseshoes

A great way to build grip strength is to, well, grip things.

Chin ups are a good start for beginners, even just hanging from a bar as long as possible is a very effective way to build your general hand strength.

Bottom up kettlebell presses are also great for building grip strength – as you have to balance the weight as well as push it upwards.

golfers elbow

Training with a sledgehammer, or even a broom can be effective too. Doing curls and extensions with the bar:

A word of caution about grip training – you should work you wrist extensors (muscle for gripping) as well as your wrist extensors – otherwise you are likely to get some nasty over-use and imbalance injuries such as golfer’s elbow.

Holding 1 or 2 weights plates for as long as possible is another great way to train grip.

Training Lockout Strength

Probably the best way to build lockout strength for horseshoe bending, is heavy dips on parallel bars.

Heavy bench press, using bench press blocks and/or bands or chains that make the resistance greater at the top of the movement, are also great tools & exercises for building lockout strength.

Training Abdominals

Abs are used in some way, pretty much regardless of your horseshoe bending technique. Hanging leg raises and weighted crunches will help develop specific core strength.

Using cables can make the exercise more specific to horseshoe bending. Kneel down and hold the cables overhead, as you crunch downward.

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