Yoga Philosophy – Dharnaa, Dhayana and Samadhi


All three words or phrases described here, are taken from/recorded within The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Dharnaa

Dharnaa, is a sankskript word meaning “focus” or “concentration”. It has different translations and different yogis tend to teach the concept slightly differently.

Some say it relates to the focus on what you want to attain, and what you want to be. Dharnaa practice, involves concentrating on the specific subject or matter you want to focus on and become. For example, a guru might give a student a specific mantra to use, that has a specific meaning.

You can also practice Dharnaa by focusing on a single object, like a candle’s flame. You can also focus on the breath, or eyebrow centre.

Dharnaa; the ability to focus, is thought to be a fundamental skill, so you can go on to attain higher levels of focus and personal development along the yogic path (well, most paths). It’s hard to meditate for example, if you are unable to focus. Dharnaa should be the first goal, or practice before any other form of meditation.

Dhyāna 

Dhyāna means contemplation, or sometimes it is used to describe the practice of meditation. It is regarded as an important element of the “self-knowledge process”.

Vivekananda explains Dhyana in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras:

“When the mind has been trained to remain fixed on a certain internal or external location, there comes to it the power of flowing in an unbroken current, as it were, towards that point. This state is called Dhyana”

Dhyana is also said to be the seventh limb of Astanga Yoga. It is a continuation, or next level up from Dharnaa.

Samadhi

Samadhi, is ultimately the goal of meditation and yoga. Although, “desire is a trap”, so you can’t really yearn or aim for this goal as it will paradoxically impede your development.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali describes “samprajñata samadhi” / Samadhi with higher knowledge and “asamprajñata samadhi” / “beyond higher knowledge”. There’s a great article on YogaInternational.com here.

Jnaneshvara Bharati describes asamprajñata samadhi below:

“The other kind of samadhi is asamprajñata samadhi, and has no object in which attention is absorbed, where only latent impressions [samskaras] remain; attainment of this state is preceded by the constant practice of allowing all of the gross and subtle fluctuations of mind [vrittis] to recede back back into the field from which they arose.”

Quote taken from ocoy.org

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Wim Hof for Crohn’s disease (What’s the research says) [2022]


The Wim Hof Method has been around for quite a few years now, but has gone pretty mainstream in 2022, with Fear The Freeze – basically a TV series all about Wim Hof and his method – airing on the BBC.

The method is said to be set on 3 pillars:

  • Breathing
  • Cold Exposure
  • Commitment
wim hof
Wim Hof Breathing – Breath in as powerfully as you can 30 times & then hold your breath. Repeat 3 times. Then jump in a cold shower

There is a list of the specific scientific studies on Wim and his method on the official website here.

Cold exposure and ice baths certainly seems to have an impact on the immune system.

A quick search on PubMed for example, results in several studies linking cold exposure to reduced inflammation and to changes in immune function

In direct relation to Crohn’s, in Scott Carney’s book about the Wim Hof Method, he writes about a man with Crohn’s, who started with hundreds of lesions in his intestines and mouth, and his pooping blood – after using the wim hof Method, he goes back to the doctors for a check up and finds all the lesions are gone. He used cold exposure every day.

Wim Hof Method & The Autonomic Nervous System

Other research, shows that Wim, is able to “influence” his autonomic nervous system – something that scientists didn’t think was possible.

With the autonomic nervous system, confirmed as a pivotal variable/issue in Chron’s, it seems feasible that the Wim Hof Method could have some impact on the condition:

“We conclude that autonomic nerve dysfunction is a feature of Crohn’s disease which may be relevant with regard to the frequent disturbance in bowel function in patients with this disorder.”

Quote Source

Wim Hof Method & Inflammation

Another issue, or symptom related to Crohn’s disease is inflammation. There are numerous studies that conclude, the Wim Hof Method, can help to lower inflammation:

https://www.pnas.org/content/111/20/7379
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225749&fbclid=IwAR3RhRiUsb-q7s3SmRdtWWafWjxY9B19rYk_WcD4S3yhcq0ZhHFwDNI0F4c

With Crohn’s causing inflammation of the digestive tract, which quite often has a knock on effect – causing systemic inflammation, anything that can lower it, without significant adverse side effects, is probably worth looking into.

Inflammation is also linked to depression and heart disease. Which might explain why cold exposure and Wim Hof is supposed to help so many ailments and conditions.

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MMA Punching Bag Workout for Beginners [2022]


If you want to get fit for MMA – then you must “do” MMA*

Whilst sparring is necessary for fighters to get accumstomed with the intensity of a fight and the rush of adrenaline, hitting a punch bag is one of the best ways to build MMA specific cardiovascular fitness.

There are a few ways in which you can approach MMA punch bag workouts

  • Do the same combinations for 10 reps
  • Listen to audio that shouts out combinations
  • “Shadow Box” the bag, using various techniques and combinations
freestanding punch bag

MMA Punching Bag Workout 1

This workout involves do the same combination 10 times – without any rest in between.

After you’ve completed 10 reps, then rest for a minute before moving onto the next combination

You can do the first 3 or 4 combinations nice and light and then hit harder as you work up to the 10th rep.

  • Jab, Cross, Hook – Sprawl – Front Kick
In the video I’m using pads, but it’s also a great MMA combination on a heavy bag

  • Jab, Cross, Hook, roundhouse x 10

  • Jab, Cross, Hook – Sprawl – Double Leg Shoot x 10

  • Cross, hook, right low kick x 10

Other combinations that work great on the bag include:

  • Cross, Hook, Cross – Sprawl – roundhouse
  • Jab – roundhouse – cross, hook, cross
  • Jab, cross, hook, cross – front kick – clinch and knees

Example MMA bag workout

CombinationReps
Jab, cross, hook, cross10
Jab, cross, hook, sprawl, double leg10
Jab, cross, hook, sprawl, front kick10
Jab, cross, hook, cross, front kick15

MMA Punchbag Workout 2 – Listening to MMA Combinations Called Out

Get the Bas Rutten MMA Workouts on Youtube – and follow along on the punch bag

When he shouts “one” – it means jab, “Two” means cross, “Three” means hook.

For a full explanation of the Bas Rutten combinations – see my article here.

Or watch the video below:

MMA Punch Bag Workout 3 “Shadow Boxing” on the Punch Bag

Once you’re accustomed to the combinations, you can freestyle your workouts. Just get an app or a timer for 3 or 4 minute rounds with a rest interval.

*SAID Principle – Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands

mma infographic

How To Punch in Boxing

For technical information on how to punch, check out our guides below:

How to Jab in Boxing

How to throw a Cross in Boxing

How to throw a Hook in boxing

If you are wondering how to throw a kick in Muay Thai or MMA – see our guide below:

How to throw a roundhouse kick in MMA

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Shoulder Exercises for Boxers


Heavy Bag work should be the main way that you build up your shoulders as a boxer.

Here are my tips

  • Avoid heavy seated presses
  • Use bands and medicine balls
  • Train movements not muscles

Isometric punch -30 sec hold, and 1 sec pulses

Resistance Band Thrusters

Core Band Press

I personally like to do shoulder bridges and shoulder bridge presses, as I feel it stretches my core and hip flexors effectively, whilst building my triceps and deltoids.

Conor Mcgregor Uppercut
Conor Should try Beta Alanine & Baking Soda for increased endurance
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Functional Shoulder Workout [2022]


Shoulders are in my opinion, one of the hardest muscles to grow – in terms of bodybuilding aesthetics anyway.

They are also easily over-trained. Apparently, the shoulders/deltoids have a very high concentration of androgenic receptors, so respond well to certain supplements – but that’s another story I guess.

Here’s a sample workout, for those looking to train shoulders, without negatively affecting sports performance.

Always warm up – shoulders are a delicate area/joint, so be sure to use strict form and warm up

Exercise at your own risk – for informational purposes only.

Overhead presses and handstands are a bad idea if you have high blood pressure

ExerciseSetsReps
Military Press38-12
Kettlebell Push Press28-12
Medicine Ball overhead toss36
Kettlebell overhead carry240m
Resistance Band Thrusters210-15
Machine Shoulder Press*26-12
Lateral Raises*212-15

*These exercises won’t help you with sports performance, and have limited functional benefits, but if you’re like me and want to have functional strength, and nice looking delts, then add these at the end to isolate them a little bit more. I often just do a single set of each. I’ve included the machine press, rather than a free weights, as your stabiliser and fixator muscles will probably be fried by the time you get round to this exercise.

  • If you have the equipment, you can also look to add in sandbag or barrel overhead carries and presses.

Shoulder Mobility Exercises

Mobility is essential if you want to avoid injury, poor posture and a negative impact on your sports performance – especially boxing which requires relaxed and mobile shoulders.

If you are training for sport, or just want to improve your training-longevity, you need to take really good care of your shoulders.

Have a daily routine of shoulder mobility exercises and rotator cuff exercises. Be careful not to overstretch and keep technique and form perfect (or as perfect as possible) to avoid injuries.

ExerciseSetsReps
Forward arm circles210
Backward arm circles210
Pass-throughs with band212
Wall overhead reach120
Dead hang*11 minute

*Basically, a dead hang involves squeezing your shoulder blades together, as you hang from a bar

You should also look to include rotator cuff exercises, to strengthen the muscles surround the shoulder joints

Best calisthenics shoulder exercises

Depending on what your training goals are, you may wish to include some calisthenics shoulder exercises

-Pike Press Ups

-Hand Stands

-Hand Stand Press Ups

-Bridge Push Ups

exerciseSetsreps
Band presses212
hand stand press*2max
Bridge press2Max
sand bag push press212
yoga crow pose*230 secs

*do static hand stands if presses are too hard and hols downward dog for 1 min if crow pose is too hard.

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5 Best Exercises to Increase Punching Power [2022]


If you want to punch like Mike Tyson or Rumble Johnson, then you’ll need amazing technique and fast twitch muscle fibres.

Fast twitch fibres are extremely powerful and contract at lightning fast speed. A training program to develop power using plyometrics and Olympic lifts, in an ideal world, would be used to build a foundation of speed and power.

If you want results fast however, these are my tips and favourite exercises…

General Principles:

  • – Train movements, not muscles
  • – Improve upper body mobility
  • – Develop core strength
  • – Go easy on heavy bench press*
  • – Develop fast twitch muscles with plyometrics

*there’s some evidence that heavy pressing exercises can hinder should mobility, which is bad for boxing.

Band Pulls

Band Pulls, help you to initiate and drive with the rotation of the hip on the opposite side of the punch.

Weighted Punches

Use a weight of around 1kg. Heavy dumbbells intefere with punching mechanics and relaxation before impact.

I usually do 2 rounds of “jab, cross, hook, cross”, x 10, in each stance per day. The first round I emphasise the movement of the opposite hip, and the second round, I emphasise punching through the target – i.e. staying relaxed and driving at the end of the punch.

  • Emphasise The opposite Hip

Like band Pulls, you will to emphasise the rotation of the hip on the opposite side of the punching hand

  • Punch from the Elbow

this time, throw jab, cross, hook, cross 10 times, but emphasises staying relaxed, then driving through from the elbow

Plyometric lateral press ups

BOSU Plyometric Press ups
BOSU Plyometric Press ups

You can use a medicine ball or a BOSU for these lateral plyometric push ups

Band Punches 👊

Bands are great for boxing. They provide progressive resistance, meaning the resistance gets greater as you extend the band. This force pattern is perfect for power exercises.

I like to do hooks and crosses with the bands

Medicine ball passes

Lateral passes to a partner, or into a wall. Great for rotational core power

Medicine ball Slams

Bring the ball above your head with both hands, and slam it into the floor. Make sure the floor is suitable. You can buy specific slam balls for this exercise.

Medicine ball Throw and press Up

plyometric MMA exercise
A Bouncier Medicine Ball Works Better

Medicine Ball Shot Puts

Mobility Exercises

Remember to build a foundation of core strength, good posture and upper body mobility.

The World’s Greatest Stretch is great for all round mobility

worlds greatest

There’s some good shoulder mobility drills and exercises on this video too:

Conor Mcgregor Uppercut
Conor Should try Beta Alanine & Baking Soda for increased endurance

Remember:

Train movements not muscles

Doing triceps extensions and barbell bench press is likely to hinder not help your boxing.

Plyometrics and Olympic lifts like clean are great for developing fast twitch fibres and power.

Technique and mobility are also paramount

I highly recommend Ramsey Dewey’s YouTube channel for general boxing and martial arts advice – https://www.youtube.com/c/RamseyDewey

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6 Weeks Boxing Training .pdf [2022]


6 weeks isn’t enough time to get to an elite level but let’s say you’ve signed up for a charity white collar boxing match and need to get as good as possible in 6 weeks, then you’ll need a plan and a program, or programme if you’re British.

You can download the .pdf near the bottom of this post.

Recommended Equipment

  • 3-5kg medicine ball
  • Light resistance Band
  • Medium level resistance Band
  • 1kg dumbbells
  • Punch bag
  • Sipping rope

Ideally you’d have access to cardio machines like a rower and air bike

SAID Principle

If you want to get fit for boxing, you should be boxing or replicating boxing techniques to build your fitness. Running and rowing is great for building a base of fitness but if you run a lot, you’ll get fit for running, not boxing.

This program assumes you’re sparring and doing pad work at least twice a week too. You can still use the 6 week progprogramget fit before going to a boxing class, but if you’re fighting you need to spar, even if its just with jabs to start with.

Tabata Intervals

If you want to get fit, quickly for boxing, I highly recommend using Tabata Intervals. You’ll need an app or a timer. Tabata intervals involve 20 seconds of high intensity work, with a rest of 10 seconds. This is repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You can use squats, sprints on a bike, burpees or bag work (plus lots more exercises!)

Bas Rutten Boxing Workouts

These workouts are great for getting fit and practising combinations. Press play on the video below:

You’ll want to quickly watch this video too – it explain what the numbers mean in the video:

1 means jab

2 means jab,cross

3 means jab,cross, hook

4 means jab, cross, hook, uppercut

Warm up with 5-10 minutes steady state cardio and dynamic stretching before each workout

Day 1

  • Squats Tabata interval
  • Bas Rutten 3 x 3 mins rounds Shadow boxing with 1kg weights*
  • Heavy Bag Tabata Interval
  • Incline or Hill Sprints – 10 second sprint with 20 secs rest x 5

Bag Combinations

Jab, cross, hook, cross x 10

Double Jab, cross x 10

Cross, hook, cross x 10

Parry, bosy jab x 10

Day 2

Circuit – 1 minute per station

Squats

Burpees

Press ups

Band bicep curls

straight punches with 1kg dumbbells

Jumping Lunges

Medicine Ball slams

rest for 5 minutes and repeat the circuit once

Day 3

  • Heavy Bag Tabata interval
  • Bas Rutten 3 x 3 min rounds
  • Skipping 5 x 1 min rounds
  • Vertical jumps x 10 x 2 sets

Day 4

Steady state Cardio

Go for a 1 hour run or hike

or

Complete 1 hour on a c

Technical practice:

Drill/practice jab counters – e.g. slipping you’re head to the outside and countering with a body jab
You can learn more about jabs and jab counters in my article here.

Drill footwork – practice pivoting and bobbing and weaving.

Day 5

  • Tabata Interval squats
  • 3 x 3 min shadow boxing with 1kg dumbbells
  • Press ups 3 sets of 10 reps*
  • Medicine balls slams 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Resistance band punches 3 sets of 10 reps per arm (use crosses and/or hooks)
  • Resistance band pull-punches**
  • Resistance band Thrusters 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Tabata Interval crunches
  • Dorsal raises 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Russian Twists 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Jumping Lunges 2 sets of 10 reps

Day 6

30 minutes of low impact steady state cardio – e.g. cycling, cross trainer, rowing machine.

Technical Practice – practice head movement and foot work.

Shadow boxing – 4 x 3 minute rounds of Bas Rutten workout

Day 7

Rest or steady state cardio

Research and practice these key techniques for boxing

Jab with head off centre line

The Sambo Casting Punch

Slip and counter the jab:

Parry and counter :

jab parry
1 way to counter a jab is to parry it downwards & counter

If you have only 6 weeks to train, I would keep things simple and repeat the above program/programme weekly.

If you have more time to train, please check out my blog post about Boxing Strength & Conditioning here.



Download the program as a pdf by clicking here






6 Week Boxing Training Program – Presented in Tables

Warm up for at least 10 minutes before the workout and perform at least 2 lighter sets before attempting a working set. 

Warm up should be functional and boxing specific and include foam rolling, skipping, footwork, shadow boxing. Start off with steady state exercises such as light jogging and build up to skipping and burpees at the end of the warm up. 

Warm down & finish each workout with a boxing specific exercise such as pads, shadow boxing etc 

Standard Boxing Strength Programme 

Day 1 

Exercise Sets Reps 
Bodyweight squats Tabata 4 mins total 
Shadow Boxing 3 rounds 3 mins each 
Heavy Bag Tabata 4 mins total 
Band Punches (cross) 12 
Band Punches (hooks) 12 
Multidirectional lunges  
Sprints 70m / 10 seconds x 5 
Stability Ball Plank 60 secs 

Day 2 – Circuit – 1 min per exercise 

Exercise Sets Reps 
Squats 1 min 
Burpees 1 min 
Press ups 1 min 
Band curls 1 min 
Punches with 1kg 1 min 
Jumping Lunges 1 min 
Medicine Ball Slams 1 min 
Rest for 2-5 mins and repeat   

Day 3 

Exercise Sets Reps 
Heavy Bag Tabata 4 mins total 
Shadow Box 3 rounds 
Skipping 1 minute 
Vertical Jumps 10 
Sprints 20 secs 
Depth Jumps 

Day 4 

Steady state cardio e.g. row for 30 mins or jog for an hour 

Technical practice – Drill and practice jab counters 

Technical Practice – Drill footwork 

Technical Practice – Research and attempt the “Russian Hook” 

Day 5 

Exercise Sets Reps 
Squats Tabata 4 mins total 
Shadow Box 3 rounds 
Press ups 10 
Resi Band Punches 10 
Band Pill Punches 15 
Band Thrusters 10 
Russian Twists 12 
Jumping Lunges 10 

Day 6 

30 minutes of low impact steady state cardio – e.g. cycling, cross trainer, rowing machine. 

Technical Practice – practice head movement and foot work. 

Shadow boxing – 4 x 3 minute rounds of Bas Rutten workout 

Day 7  

Rest or steady state cardio 

Research and practice these key techniques for boxing  

Jab with head off centre line 

The Sambo Casting Punch 

Slip and counter the jab 




Download the program as a pdf by clicking here

Looking for a punch bag? Please check out the website below for METIS Punchbags

freestanding Punch bag

Looking for a freestanding punch bag, hanging punch bag or a bag with a swinging arm?

Take a look at the METIS Range of professional quality punch bags here

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Land Mine Attachments – Buyers Guide [2022]


Land mines – the ones you find in the gym – are a highly versatile bit of equipment. Once they’ve had a barbell attached to them anyway. You can do all types of exercises with them including kneeling bicep curls, all types of core work and functional exercises for MMA & Boxing. You can also attach a light resistance band to them for progressive strength – which is great for punching related exercises.

In this guide, we will take a look at some of the best landmine attachments.

Rogue Landmine Attachment (Base)

https://www.rogueeurope.eu/post-landmine-eu
https://www.roguefitness.com/post-landmine

This Rogue landmine attachment, provides a base to secure the barbell to the floor.

It arrives completely assembled and is made from heavy duty steel.

You need two 45lb bumper plates if you don’t have a Rogue Rack.

You can swivel the barbell side to side as well as up and down.

If your home gym doesn’t have much room, you can use a 60 inch barbell, rather than a 70 inch one, as long as it has the circumference / thickness of an Olympic barbell.

Rogue Monster Landmine 2.0

https://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-monster-landmine-2-0

https://www.rogueeurope.eu/rogue-monster-landmine-2-0-eu

You can’t really go wrong with Rogue.

This landmine attachment requires a power cage or rack with 1 inch holes.

It attaches using a hand screw, which can be easily removed and reattached if you want to place it somewhere else.

The thing also looks amazing, with a black zinc covering in some places, nice knurling and two bronze bushings.

The only downside, is that it is relatively pricey.

Viking Press Landmine Attachment (Handle)

https://www.blackwidowtg.com/Viking_Press_Landmine_Attachment_p/landmine-viking-press.htm

Built to be used at the ‘handle-end’ of the barbell. This landmine attachment, is touted as an excellent choice for those looking to perform RDL (Romanian Deadlifts) and Overhead Presses.

Yes4All Amazon Landmine Attachment (Base)

Made from metal with no plastic parts or cheap, flimsy elements, you just need to secure the barbell in the sleeve and the screw in comes with to set everything up.

Like most landmine bases/sleeves, you’ll want to secure it in place with 2 x 45lbs weight plates (or 20kg plates if you live in Europe).

The attachment fits 1 and 2 inch Olympic bars, allows full 360 degrees swivel and is simple to setup.

The reviews on Amazon uk are really good too – at the time of writing an average of 5 stars from over 400 reviews. At the time of writing it costs £44.

On Amazon US it has over 2,000 reviews with an average of 5 stars.

Titan Landmine Attachment (Base)

https://www.titan.fitness/strength/strength-accessories/landmines/hammer-sleeve-landmine-attachment/HMRSLV.html

This landmine attachment attaches to a rack/power cage.

It’s a relatively affordable landmine base attachment, costing around $40

Great for up and down vertical movements like squats and pressing exercises

The negative thing about this landmine attachment, is that you can’t swivel or do any lateral movements.

***It looks like this landmine attachment has been updated recently, but it’s not clear if you can now use it to swivel and rotate

Landmine Attachment Hacks

Hacks used at your own risk!

Tennis Ball Landmine Attachment

Simply cut a slice in one side of the ball and insert the end of the barbell. You can now jam the tennis ball end of the barbell into the corner of the room or corner of a rack:

Bag and a Kitchen Roll Holder Landmine Hack

these hacks for the base won’t work well for some exercises, especially with heavier weights. We really recommend you invest in a custom made ba.

Another tip or hack – at your own risk – you can use some cables machine handles and attachments on the barbell when using a landmine base.

For example, to do T-bar rows, some people use a V-Handle for a cables machine.

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Sprint Training Program .pdf [2022]


There’s a link to the sprint training .pdf near the bottom of the post

Sprint training isn’t just as easy as running 100m a few times. It can get really technical.

The type of training you should do, will depend on the equipment you have available.

Here’s some ideas to get you started

Disclaimer – Train at your own risk. Always warm up before performing speed and sprint related training.

To steal a phrase from Knees Over Toes Guy – “Strengthen and Lengthen” your muscles. Invest in a foam roller and stretch and massage the muscles your are looking to strengthen on your rest days and after your training session. Dynamic stretching is a good idea before your train, but get warm with some steady state cardio first.

Sprint Training for Field Sports – Football / Rugby / Soccer

Speed in terms of football etc is often more about changing direction quickly, than having an amazing top speed.

Look at Messi, Maradona etc – I doubt they’d be great at 100m sprint, but over short distances and moving and changing direction quickly, they’re obviously not too shabby (well, in their prime).

Tibilias Anterior & Deceleration for Agility

If you want to be fast for a field sport like soccer, you need to be able to decelerate quickly – basically you need to be able to stop and slow down quickly in one direction, to shoot off like a bullet or a Usian Bolt in the opposite direction.

The Tibilias Anterior is an often forgotten and neglected muscle placed at the front of the shin.

You can strengthen it directly with a resistance band, or by placing a bag or ankle weight on your foot and “dorsi flexing” your foot – so your toes point upwards.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/exercise-program-to-correct-foot-drop-2696048

You can also use a “monkey foot” to attach a dumbbell to your foot, or you can use a resistance band to strap the weight to your foot.

I like to place the bottom of my left foot, on top of my right foot, and provide resistance that way.

I’ll sometimes put my foot in the handle of a 6k plastic kettlebell and curl that. Although it’s not particularly safe to do so – so proceed with caution/at own risk

You can also use a resistance band, tied to an anchor point and to or around your waist so that you are pulled forward and your hamstrings, glutes and tibilias anterior have to work extra hard eccentrically to slow you down.

Hamstrings

The primary muscle (or muscle group) used in deceleration is the hamstrings.

A great way to strengthen the hamstrings is to do curls with a stability ball.

With caution, you can also work up to doing a Nordic Curl

Explosive Calf Muscles

It’s easy to injure your calf muscles (and hamstrings) so go easy, warm up – especially if you are doing any fast and explosive calf raises.

Single leg calf raises don’t require any equipment and are great for developing strong calf muscles.

Plyometric hops are also excellent for developing powerful calf muscles for acceleration.

Calf muscles can get very tight, so remember to foam roll and stretch them out every day if possible.

Powerful Hip Extension

A key ‘part’ or element of sprinting is hip extension. Basically, any exercise that takes you from a squatting position, to stand up straight, will develop hip-extension-strength. Done at speed, you should develop a powerful hip extension too.

Standing exercises include resistance band thrusters, resistance band squats, free weight squats and Olympic Lifts such as cleans and high pulls.

Plyometrics are also excellent for developing explosive hips.

Repeated vertical jumps for example, are great for developing powerful hips.

Bounding is another great exercise.

Approach plyometrics and Olympic lifts with care and with a structured training program – it’s easy to get injured if your technique is poor and you’re not warmed up properly. You can also overtrain easily, as plyometrics and Olympic lifts put a high demand and strain on the body.

You can also develop hip strength with lying exercises such as hip thrusts and weighted hip/glute extensions from a kneeling position.

Powerful Hip Flexion

Hip flexion is just as important as hip extension for sprinting, but often neglected or not given as much emphasis.

Hanging leg raises and stability ball knee tucks and pikes are also excellent.

You can also use a cable or resistance band with an ankle attachment.

OverSpeed Training

Arguably the quickest way to increase footspeed is overspeed training.

Running downhill (at your own risk!) is the easiest way to perform overspeed training. You are forced to run quicker thanks to gravity, this in turn forces you to move your feet quicker!

You can also use bungee devices and resistance bands for overspeed training – just don’t run into whatever the bands are anchored to!

Most overspeed research uses hills that are not very steep – around a 3% decline

Cadence and Fast Feet Drills

You don’t need fancy equipment to complete fast feet and foot speed drills. You can use a couple of cones, or just some rolled up socks as markers.

Plyometrics

Plyometrics work by developing a rapid and forceful stretch in the muscles. Plyometric exercises teach the muscles/condition the muscles to produce fast and powerful movement and contractions.

Put in sciencey terms – plyometrics engage the myotatic reflex, when muscles are stretched under force. In turn the myotatic reflex stimulates special nerve cells called “stretch sensory receptors”. This helps the muscles produce powerful contractions in a short amount of time.

A favourite drill of mine at home, is bounding up the stairs, fast feet down the stairs.

You can also do plyo jumps up the stairs. At your own risk like.

Olympic Lifts

Olympic lifts are still regarded by many as the key component for developing a foundation of power to build on. Basically, the more powerful/better you are at Olympic lifts, the more potential you have to develop speed. This isn’t always true however, although some of the best (and biggest) natural athletes I know all use Olympic Lifts – but there are many world class sprinters who don’t Olympic lift at all (but do use lots of plyometrics).

If you do add Olympic lifts, be aware that technique is crucial and Olympic lifts produce peak power at loads of 70-80%

Warm Up Properly

Warm muscles are crap for endurance, but great for power training:

“After warming the legs in a 44‡ C water bath there was an increase of ∼11% in maximal peak force and power “

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00424812

If you find you performance detoireating because you get too hot, cooling the palms, soles of the feet or face is most effective – these areas of the body are called the “Glabrous Skin” and contain an array of blood vessels that allow heat to be lost rapidly. So to keep warm, cover these areas up, to cool down, apply ice or hold something cool!

100m Sprinter Training Program

Warm up – 5 minutes steady state cardio + dynamic stretches

  • 3 sets of 3x20m Sprints

1 minute rest between sprints.

5 minutes rest between sets. – keep warm between sets with extra layers of clothes and walk about etc.

  • 3 sets of 3x30m Sprints

1 minute rest between sprints.

5 minutes rest between sets. – keep warm between sets with extra layers of clothes and walk about etc.

  • 2 sets of 8 vertical jumps with knee tuck
  • 4 sets of bounds for 30m

60 seconds rest between bounds

  • Resistance band thrusters 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Jumping lunes 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Band resisted hip flexors – 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg
    Do these as fast as possible in terms of the upward motion
    Attach a band to an anchor point and your ankle and “throw knees” and simulate the sprint arm action too

Day 3

Warmup

  • 3 x 100m sprints

2 minutes rest between sprints.

  • Diagonal/multi directional lunges x 2 sets of10 reps
  • Down hill or resistance Band assisted sprint x 5 sets of 30m
  • Fast arms drill – 1kg dumbbells x 3 sets for 20 seconds (sprinting arm action holding 1kg weights of wrist weights)
  • Resisted backward runs x 3 x 30m

Day 5

Warm up

  • Resisted backward runs x 3 x 30m
  • Nordic hamstring curl or ball hamstring curl x 2 x 10 reps
  • Bounds x 30m x 3
  • Tibialis strengthening – Tib raises 3 sets of 12 on each foot/leg
  • Weight jumps 2 sets of 8 reps
  • Barbell Hip Thrusts – 2 sets of 8 reps

100m Sprinter Training Program

ExerciseSetsReps
Day 1
Warm up – 5 minutes steady state cardio + dynamic stretches
20m Sprints (3 sets of 3x20m Sprints)33
1 minute rest between sprints.
5 minutes rest between sets. – keep warm between sets with extra layers of clothes and walk about etc.
30m Sprints (3 sets of 3x30m Sprints)33
3 sets of 3x30m Sprints
1 minute rest between sprints.
5 minutes rest between sets. – keep warm between sets with extra layers of clothes and walk about etc.
Vertical jumps with knee tuck28
Bounds for 30m330m distance
60 seconds rest between bounds
Resistance band thrusters28
Jumping lunges210
Band resisted hip flexors310
Do these as fast as possible in terms of the upward motion
Attach band to an anchor point and your ankle and “throw knees” & simulate the sprint arm action
ExerciseSetsReps
Day 3
Warm up – 5 minutes steady state cardio + dynamic stretches
3 x 100m sprints3100m distance
2 minutes rest between sprints.
Diagonal/multi directional lunges210
Down hill or resistance Band assisted sprint530m distance
Fast arms drill – 1kg dumbbells320 secs
sprinting arm action holding 1kg weights of wrist weights
Resisted backward runs330m
ExerciseSetsReps
Day 5
Warm up5 minutes steady state cardio + dynamic stretches
Resisted backward runs330m (distance)
Nordic hamstring curl or ball hamstring curl210
Bounds330m (distance)
Tibialis strengthening – Tib raises312
Weighted jumps28
Barbell Hip Thrusts28

Football and Rugby sprint Training program

Warm up with 5 mins steady state cardio and dynamic stretches

Day 1

  • Box cone sprinting drill x 5 x 4 sets
  • Multi directional lunges – 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Explosive single leg calf raises- 2 sets each leg x 10 reps
  • Plyo hops for calves – 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Bounds

*Box cone sprint drill – lay out a box 15m sides

start on the cone in the bottom right. Sprint to cone ahead, turn left and sprint to top left cone, sprint backwards to bottom left cone, turn right and sprint to bottom right cone that your started at.

Rest 2 mins and repeat.

Day 3

Warm up

Cone sprint drill*

4x40m Weighted Straight Leg Bounds

1.5 minutes rest between bounds.

Fast feet drills with ladder or small looped resistance band

Fast arms drill – use 1kg dumbbells to mimic the sprinting arm action – 3 sets of 30 seconds

Resistance band sprints – attach the band to a pole or secure anchor so you can barely move when you sprint forwards – so you are sprinting on the spot – 4 sets of 10 seconds.

Plyometric hops – 3 sets of 10 reps

*Set up cones or poles 10m apart. Jog from the first cone, to the second, then sprint to the third cone, then job, then sprint etc. On the way back, run backwards from the first cone to the second, then sprint to the third cone, then turn and run backwards etc.

Day 5

Warm up

Olympic Barbell high pulls or weighted jumps (avoid if you have bad knees or back etc)

Stability ball hamstring curls or Nordic Curls – 3 sets of 10 reps (or max reps with Nordic Curls)

Backward Prowler/Sledge Pulls – 3 sets of 20m

Lunges with resistance bands pulling you forwards* – 2 sets of 10 reps on each leg

Lateral Lunges – 2 sets of 10 reps in total (Lunge left, then lunge right = 2 reps)

Standing calf raises – 2 sets of 10 reps

Tib Raises – 3 sets of 10 reps

Cool down, foam roll and stretch after each session.

*Anchor the resistance band a few metres in front of yourself. The band will pull you forwards and force you to decelerate effectively. Be careful not to collide with the anchor point.

If you are training at home a lot – see my blog post about sprint training at home using simple exercises


You can download the 100m Sprint Training Program pdf by clicking here



Please leave a comment if you want to soccer/football one as a pdf – I’ve not made the time yet (sorry)

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NO Xplode Pre Workout Review [2022]


hi so I bought the NO Xplode pre workout from amazon.

It’s pretty good, it contains adaptogens like ginseng and rhodiola rosea, choline for focus and beta alanine to buffer lactic acid.

I would say, it’s not like any old school pre workouts with ephedrine or dmaa – but you can still buy ephedra sineca online in the UK and add it in if you want- at your own risk obviously.

The pre workout contains choline – which, in the form of alpha GPC, has been shown to increase power output – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4650143/

It also contains 3.2g of beta alanine, to buffer lactic acid and 200mg of caffeine.

The “adaptogens” rhodiola rosea and ginseng are also in there.

citrulline is another ingredient – this dilates blood vessels

it definitely helps with energy in the gym its woth a go but don’t expect any miracles.

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