Power Clean Tutorial – Olympic Lifting & Crossfit Exercise

Beginner’s Guide to the Power Clean

Maximize your full-body strength and power with a strength-training movement that’s highly functional. The power clean is an advanced Olympic powerlifting workout that utilizes the movement of many muscles and coordination skills. You should ensure the proper coaching and skill level due to the level of difficulty, but you’ll certainly gain numerous benefits from this exercise.

power clean technique

The workout was designed by Mike Burgener, a Level 5 USA Weightlifting coach, and designed to create full-body power. Mastering the power clean begins with a thorough understanding of the technique. Going into the workout blindly may lead to injuries, so be sure to take note of these 5 steps:

1. Prepare to Lift

The first step of the power clean is the first pull and lifting the bar right above your knees. 

  1. Start by standing with your feet at a hip distance apart, and place the barbell at your feet so that your shins touch the bar.
  2. With your arms straight and knees slightly bent, get into squat position and get an overhand grip of the bar. 
  3. Lift your chest and maintain eye contact with what’s in front of you, and then lengthen your spine so that your hips are slightly below shoulder level.
  4. Engage your core, raise your chest, slowly drive your hips forward and knees back, and lift the bar slightly above your knees.

2. Mid-thigh Hang Position

This step sets you up for the ideal exertion for an upward lift of the bar. 

  1. While lifting the bar as you stand up, continue lifting until the bar reaches your thighs.
  2. Keep your back in a straight position and shoulders over the bar and hips. 
  3. Your weight should be at your heels and your core should be engaged. This is when you prepare to push against the ground and extend your hips for the second pull.

3. Second Pull

The second pull is the accelerated pull into a jump and shrug motion.

  1. From the mid-thigh hang position, thrust your hips and make sure that your knees are straight. Then extend your ankles to almost jump off of the floor while pulling the bar closer to your chest.
  2. The bar should feel as though it’s gaining momentum, and then you elevate your shoulder and flex your elbows while pulling them forward.
  3. You should now be performing the power shrug movement that sets you up for a secure catch.

4. Catch

This phase of the power clean is a deliberate and quick hold of the bar.

  1. As the bar rises to its maximum height at your shoulders, pull your body underneath the bar very quickly. Your focus should still be ahead of you while your torso is upright in a half-squat position.
  2. While performing this motion move your elbows forward underneath the bar. Your grip on the bar should be loose as your wrists point upward. 
  3. Catch the bar and let it rest on the front of your shoulders, and slowly stand straight. 

5. Release

The final step involves lowering the bar from the standing position.

  1. With the weight on your shoulders, lower it to the floor in a controlled and slow motion.
  2. Your knees should slowly bend and your back should be parallel to the floor as you release the bar.

* Athletes with rubber plates that protect the floor will typically drop the bar at the standing position.

Mastering The Power Clean Workout

Now that you have a better understanding of each power clean movement, you can master the workout. Make sure that you warm up your hips, wrists, and ankles before starting the power clean. It’s highly recommended that you practice each step separately, and then you should be able to work on the full-body movement smoothly. 

To avoid risking an injury, learn the basic movements with a personal trainer until you’re fully comfortable to perform the power clean on your own. Doing the workout in front of a mirror is a great way to check the alignment of your body and ensure your movements are done safely. It’s also best to limit this workout to only once per week.

Give the power clean a try and take advantage of the full-body benefits the workout can give you. You can certainly increase your strength, as well as enhance power and force production. 

Image from – https://thumbs.gfycat.com/CreamyPessimisticCaterpillar-size_restricted.gif

Author Bio:

Jacob Edwards-Bytom is the Director of E-commerce at Made4Fighters and Bytomic, two of the UK’s leading martial arts equipment suppliers. The company designs and sells clothing and training gear for martial artists including punching bags, gloves, and shin guards.

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MMA – 6 Week Training Program (.pdf included)

  • 6 week mma training program pdf – scroll to the bottom to download the pdf version of the program

The hardest part about getting started – is well, getting started.

I guess it’s a good idea to procrastinate a little bit about starting MMA, it can be quite hardgoing, especially if you go to a gym that just throws you in the deep end.

You can get a good base of fitness and technique by doing some training at home first. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t get ‘fight-ready’ or any good at MMA without a training partner, but you can get fit and learn some basic techniques, which will make you feel less of a duck out of proverbial water when it comes to your first class.

Build a base of fitness

At all levels, fights are won and lost according to a fighter’s fitness levels. You can’t be decent at MMA without a decent level of fitness.

Sumo squats are included to help with hip mobility.

According to the SAID principle – Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands, you should do MMA exercises, to get fit for MMA…

Beginner MMA Circuit

Warm up – foam roller, hip mobility drills

Press ups

Sumo Squats

Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross (With 1kg weights if you have them)

Sit Throughs

Chest to Chest Sweep


Single Leg Glute Bridges


Russian Deadlift (single leg)

Front Kicks

Side Kicks


MMA Home Circuit 
Exercise Time/Reps Notes 
Press Ups 20 reps  
Sumo Squats 20 reps  
Boxing, Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross Complete the combination 10 times Use 1kg hand-weights if available 
Sit Throughs 10 reps each side Wrestling technique 
Chest to Chest Sweep 10 reps each side Jiu Jitsu Guard technique 
Triangles 10 reps each side Jiu Jitsu Guard technique  
Single Leg Glute Bridges 10 reps on each side Helps build explosive hip-escapes in Jiu Jitsu 
Sprawls 5 each side Stand with left leg forwards and compete 5 reps, then do the same with right leg forwards 
Single Leg Deadlift 5 each side Use a kettlebell if available 
Front Kicks 10 each leg  
Side Kicks 10 each leg  
Lunges 10 each leg  

I made a bit of a video here to explain the techniques in the circuit:

Here’s a video I made earlier:

In the video above, exercises in order are:

  1. Sit Throughs
  2. Chest to Chest Sweeps
  3. Triangles
  4. Stand Up Technique

Please note that – although these techniques may look a bit rubbish when they’re done solo like this, they are quite effective.

For example, here is a sit-through done whilst rolling/sparring:

sit through bjj

and if you go to 25 seconds into this video, you should see me execute a lovely – chest to chest sweep:

Basic MMA Techniques

Drill these techniques, watch videos on them, practice them if you get chance.

It will give you a head-start if you become familiar with the following techniques:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Mount & Mount Escape

Side Control & Side Control Escape

Guard Basics

Submissions –

Guillotine choke from guard

Guillotine choke from standing (and escapes)

Arm triangle and escapes


Double Leg

Single Leg


Double Underhooks

Single Leg counter



Bas Rutten Workouts


Thai Clinch

Training With Some Basic Equipment

If you have the funds and the space at home, I would invest in:

  • Punch Bag
  • Chin Up Bar

Download the pdf here:

If you were looking for a more specific strength & Conditioning program for MMA or boxing, please check out my other blog posts:

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Livespo Colon Review for IBS (2020)

Livespo colon is a pretty strong probiotic. I’ve tried giving up dairy, giving up gluten, the FODMAP diet, the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting.

All of the above helped, but I still have some issues. So, I gave Livespo a go…

Livespo Colon Ingredients

Each bottle contains more than 3 billion (>3×10^9) spores of Bacillus clausii, Bacillus subtilis, Stirile distilled water qs 5ml.

Livespo Colon Side Effects

I felt very sick and bloated for the first few days of taking Livespo Colon. I was also pretty constipated.

Does Livespo Colon Work?

Yes! My IBS has dramatically improved. I go once or twice a day now, rather then 4 or 5 times.

My acid reflux is slightly better. Definitely worth a go if you suffer with IBS or reflux

It’s interesting that it works so well. It’s basically 2 strains of probiotics, and that’s it. If you look at the reviews across Amazon etc however, Livespo seems to treat almost everything GI complaint.

You can Buy Livespo Colon here

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Bodybuilding Routine for Over 40s (.pdf included)

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

Day 1

10-20 mins cardioStart of slow,
aim to get a sweat going
Dumbbell Bench Press38-12
Leg Press312-15
Dumbbell Push Press28Look for explosiveness
– also good with bands
Dumbbell Squat & Press28Look for explosiveness
– also good with bands

Day 3

10-20 mins cardio
Lat Pull Down*38-12
D’bell 1 Arm Row212-15Keep core strong
D’bel Bicep Curls**22010 reps each arm
Hanging Leg Raises2maxDo knee-ups first

Day 5

10-20 mins cardio
Shoulder press28-12
Machine/barbell row28-12
Tricep Extensions310-15
Bicep Curls310-15
Dorsal Raises 210-15

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

download a beginner to advanced bodybuilding routine pdf here – https://seoandmma.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/hypertrophytrainingprogram-3.pdf

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Bas Rutten Boxing Combinations – Explained!

The Bas Rutten Boxing Workouts are a great way to do some functional fitness, especially during lockdown when the gyms are shut.

Bas shouts out the combinations and you punch away, according to what combinations he shouts out. Pretty simple really and a decent home workout.

I’ve been doing 2 rounds per day during lockdown – plus yoga and kettlebells.

But wait? What are the combinations, and what are all these numbers he is shouting out?

Assuming you are standing in orthodox stance – with your left leg in front and right leg back

Jab or “1”

– a straight punch with your left hand

“2” – Jab, Cross Combination

Left straight punch, then a right straight punch

“3” or Jab, Cross, Hook Combination

Straight left punch, straight right punch, left hook

“4” or Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut

This can be done also as Jab, Cross, Hook, Cross

But to mix it up, I like to use an uppercut as the final punch

jab, cross, hook, uppercut

I hope that helps to explain it all anyway.

1 – jab

2 – jab, cross

3 – jab, cross, hook

4 – jab, cross, hook, cross


jab, cross, hook, uppercut

Throwing a hook is tricky to begin with, please see this video for an explanation:

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Daniel Cormier Fighter Analysis

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.

Daniel Cormier Slamon Josh Barnett

Off the cage wall, Cormier will sometimes finish the run-the-pipe takedown, with an inside leg trip.

Wrestling Clinch

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 knees 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 Barnet 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

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:

Daniel Cormier Vs stipe 2
Trapping Hands – 1-2 – then out of range (just)
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Modified Buddhism – Buddhism for Modern Society

Modified Buddhism in a nutshell

  • 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.

meditation buddhism

Modified Buddhism

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.

Ted was defo a Lotus

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?

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Mental Health & The Polyvagal Theory

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.

More info on the MAPS website here.

Polyvagal Theory Exercises

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
  • Look forwards
  • 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

Breathing Exercises

  • 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

    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’.

  • Gluten

    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.

  • Acidic Foods

    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!

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Supplements for GERD Acid Reflux

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
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty eating

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
  • No tomatoes
  • 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.

“What’s your secret to staying in shape?” “Anxiety & GERD”

Apologies for the picture – but I always get inquiries about nutrition & training after posting a photo with favourable light.

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Yoga For Men – Back & Neck Pain – 10 Mins a Day (.pdf)

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
  • Paleo Squat Narrow stance x 30 secs

This is the same as the picture above but feet & knees are touching/together & still pointing forwards

  • Worlds greatest stretch x 20
worlds greatest stretch
World’s Greatest Stretch. Right Foot in front, Left Knee on the floor. Left Hand Down, Right hand reaches back
  • Glute Stretch x 2 x 30 secs
Glute Stretch
  • Side angle pose x 4 (2 each side) x 30 secs
Side Angle Pose
  • Triangle Pose x 2 x 30 secs
Triangle Pose
  • Supine Twist x 2 x 30 secs
Supine Twist

This is the same routine in a table:

Yoga Workout 
Exercise Sets Hold Time 
Paleo Squat Hold 30 secs 
Narrow Stance Paleo Squat 1 min 
Worlds Greatest Stretch 10 each side 
Glute Stretch 2 – 1 each side 1 minute hold 
Side Angle Pose 2 – 1 each side 30 seconds 
Triangle Pose 2 – 1 each side 30 seconds 
Supine Twist 2 – 1 each side 1 min 

Download as a pdf

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