Supplements to Counteract Sleep Deprivation

If you have young children, during the cold & flu season, then life can be a tad tougher than normal.

Sleep deprivation can do terrible things to your body & mind.

There are a few supplements that can help, however – use them at your own risk though.



I first heard about Uridine on the nootropics subreddit. It is said to increase alertness, focus and energy levels.  It plays a big role in the function of the central nervous system.

It has also been shown to reduce some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation.


You can buy uridine from


There are several studies showing that glycine supplementation can increase the quality of sleep. So the little sleep you do have, will have a more beneficial effect if you supplement with 3g or so of glycine.

Glycine is an amino acid that is found in connective tissue and skin. It has a range of benefits, it can help with ‘leaky gut’ by repairing the stomach lining and may also help conditions such as arthritis.

It is a potent anti-inflammatory and can help detox the body from heavy metals.


Below are some screenshots from the studies regarding glycine and quality of sleep:

glycine study



glycine sleep study

Link to Study


glycine sleep

Link to Study




*please note that phenibut may be illegal in the UK now. Nobody really knows if it falls under the psychoactive substances ban.

Phenibut is a supplement that was first used by Russian astronauts to improve focus and reduce anxiety.  It is highly effective & potent, but can also be addictive. So use once or twice a week maximum.

It can help you fall asleep quicker and improves sleep quality. The improvement of sleep quality is thought to occur due to an increased secretion of the hormone GABA.

Try 250mg to begin with. I would not advise taking more than 1g of phenibut in a given week due to its addictive properties



There are a few other supplements that may help with increasing the quality of your sleep, including theacrine.


Go To Sleep Earlier!

Sounds obvious, but another way of tackling sleep deprivation – is to go to bed earlier!

If you’re child goes to sleep at 8pm and tends to get up at 4am, it might be a good shout to get to sleep early-doors yourself.

It’s not easy to fall asleep at 8pm for most people though.¬† Here’s some methods & supplements that may help though:


Tart Cherry Juice

A natural source of melatonin, tart cherry juice or tart cherry supplements – can help you nod off earlier in the evenings.


Dark Therapy

Avoid blue light like the plague during the evenings.  Blue light comes from computers and mobile phones.

If possible, make the lounge and/or bedroom darker too. Your body won’t produce melatonin if you have a bright lamp or light on in every room.

Red lights can help you fall off to sleep. I have a small one which I plug in during the evenings. Red light can also reduce anxiety and even help fight migraines in some people.

Another trick, is to use a SAD Lamp as soon as you get up in the morning for 15 mins or so first thing in the morning. The lamp will help adjust your circadian rhythm so that you become tired earlier in the evenings.


Natural Relaxants

Natural muscle relaxants are also effective for those looking for an early night. Chamomile, valerian, magnesium and lemon balm are all natural and effective.  Kava kava is also great if you live in a US state where it is legal.

There is tonnes of research behind the effectiveness of magnesium – opt for a ‘glycinated’ form at night time. Magnesium is good for everything from stress to high blood pressure. A large percentage of the US population (50-80%) is said to be deficient in this chemical-element too.

Kava Kava tops’s list of effective supplements for anxiety.

kava anxiety
Traditional Kava –

There’s a few other supplements that help you nod off, such as 5 HTP, but I don’t want to promote taking too many things in one go…






The Ketogenic Diet & Sleep

The Ketogenic Diet may also have some benefits in regards to coping with less sleep. I personally found this to be the greatest benefit during my 18 months adhering to the diet.

Initially, the diet can cause issues in terms of getting to sleep in the first place. Until you fully adapt to the diet, you will produce less serotonin, a hormone related to sleep. I managed to overcome this will a small amount of 5 HTP supplementation.


Keto sleep

More info here

I’ll be going on the targeted ketogenic diet before my next child is born in July.




Still tired?  See our Alternatives to Caffeine blog post.

Chronically stressed & tired? Take a look at our adaptogens blog post

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Alternatives to Caffeine – Energy & Alertness


  • For more short term stimulant-like effect – supplement with ALCAR, Olive Leaf Extract or PQQ
  • For alleviating some of the effects of stress & sleep deprivation – supplement an adaptogen like rhodiola rosea & take 3g of glycine before bed
  • Treat the source of the fatigue if possible
  • Coffee is full of antioxidants but too much caffeine can cause hypertension & other health issues

Coffee & caffeine are the go-to-fuel for millions of people every day.

When I work in an office, it’s typical for people have 2 or 3 coffees everyday and when I worked on a building site, everyone under the age of 25 had at least 2 energy drinks per day.

Caffeine is my morning staple too, but it’s something I’m looking to cut down on.

Caffeine tolerance builds quickly when you reach for the coffee jar on a daily basis. Even worse, after months of coffee or caffeine consumption, people need a few hundred m.g. just to get going – it’s (mildly) physically addictive.

Mix things up a little with some of these alternatives:

Always consult a doctor or healthcare professional before adding supplements or new foods to your diet

Adaptogens for Energy & Alertness

Adaptogens are herbs that help to alleviate elevated symptoms related to physical & mental stress. Not only can they provide more energy, they’re also ‘good’ for you – something that most high caffeine drinks, are not.

Rhodiola Rosea

A herb that has been used for centuries to treat fatigue, rhodiola has many studies behind that confirm its effectiveness. Great for sleep deprived parents too!

In one study, rhodiola was shown to improve the mental performance of physicians on night duty. The physicians also reported feeling generally less fatigued.

Around 200mg per day is normally the standard dosage.

Gingko Biloba

Noted primarily for its ability to improve quality of life for those suffering from degenerative brain disorders, anecdotal evidence suggests that ginkgo may improve cognitive functioning and energy levels in normal healthy individuals too.

A typical dosage is around 150mg per day.


This Indian herb is held in high regard for its ability to help the body cope with & adapt to stress.¬†There are literally hundreds of studies backing the health benefits behind Ashwagandha, it’s even been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.

There are also numerous studies showing that ashwagandha can enhance physical performance, normally by reducing markers of fatigue.


Nootropics are also known as smart drugs. There are natural nootropics such as Lion’s Mane Mushroom, and synthetics ones such as Noopept.


Touted as an anti-aging, cognitive enhancing and fat burning supplement, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) also tends to make your fart, a lot.

Be sure to be ALCAR and not standard L-Carnitine, as only the Acetyl version crosses the blood brain barrier. One thing to be aware of, ALCAR dramatically increases sperm motility, enhancing male fertility.

A typical dosage of ALCAR is 500-2000mg per day.

It has a potent affect on alertness & cognitive functioning. Many people also use it to alleviate the symptoms of chronic fatigue & depression.


Found naturally in breastmilk and soya beans, pyrroloquinoline quinone has been shown to reduce pain, and fatigue. A growth-factor & antioxidant, it is anxiety promoting for some, it is best to start off with very small dosages and build up slowly to assess tolerance.

It’s ability to increase alertness relate to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

This is a personal favourite of mine, I usually take around 10mg per day. You can buy from

Alpha GPC

Composed of glycerophosphate and choline, Alpha GPC is used to offset some of the symptoms of age-related cognitive decline.

Many report that it increases energy levels and alertness:

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Used for centuries in Chinese medicine, this edible mushroom boasts of range of medicinal properties, with a proven ability to enhance immunity and cognitive functioning.

By decreasing inflammation and increasing the production of BDNF (Brain Derived Nerve Factor), this amazing fungi may actually build new neurones in the brain; whilst improving sleep quality and increasing bone density.

It enhances energy levels but in a more subtle way than a typical stimulant – by promoting wellbeing and sleep quality, it tends to enhance alertness.

lions mane mushroom infographic

Other Caffeine Alternatives

Olive Leaf Extract

A potent anti-oxidant derived from the leaves of olive plants, it may even reduce DNA damage. Another natural energy-boosting supplement, it’s generally regarded as ‘good for you’ and can even been used to treat candida.

A typical dosage is 500mg-1000mg per day.


Kratom is an extremely controversial substance that is typically grown in Thailand and Bali. It is legal in several US states and is often used to help suffferes of PTSD, chronic pain and has been used by thousands to come off opioids.

In small doses, ‘white blends’ of kratom can also be used to enhance energy levels. You want to do some research before touching kratom, so have a read below if you are interested:

Matcha Green Tea

Okay, so matcha green tea does contain some caffeine, but it also contains an amino acid called L-Theanine. L-Theanine helps will focus and concentration, without providing a jittery, stimulant-type effect; in fact, it is quite calming.

The tea is also packed full of antioxidants, including the potent – EGCg


Cordyceps Mushrooms

Another amazing medicinal mushroom. This one is really weird in that it attacks insects and their larvae.

Despite turning some animals into zombies , for normal sized humans, the mushrooms have a range of health benefits.

Some studies have shown that they can increase endurance whilst a range of animal studies show that the mushrooms have health benefits that can extend lifespan significantly.

cordyceps mushroom study

From personal experience – the one time that I was actually able to kick my afternoon-coffee habit was by replacing it with cordyceps mushrooms.




On a final note, if you are using caffeine to offset the effects of sleep deprivation; glycine might be worth considering.

Glycine has been shown to reduce the effects of sleep deprivation:

The effects of glycine on subjective daytime performance in partially sleep-restricted healthy volunteers

We evaluated the effects of glycine on daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and performances in sleep-restricted healthy subjects. Sleep was restricted to 25% less than the usual sleep time for three consecutive nights. Before bedtime, 3 g of glycine or placebo were ingested, sleepiness, and fatigue were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) and a questionnaire, and performance were estimated by personal computer (PC) performance test program on the following day. In subjects given glycine, the VAS data showed a significant reduction in fatigue and a tendency toward reduced sleepiness. These observations were also found via the questionnaire, indicating that glycine improves daytime sleepiness and fatigue induced by acute sleep restriction.


Treat the Source of the Problem

If you feel tired all the time, it’s likely some kind of physical issue such as:

  • Gut inflammation
  • General inflammation
  • Stress/muscle tension/vigilance
  • Lack of movement/exercise
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Shallow breathing or living/working in an environment with high levels of Co2
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Eating too much or too little
  • Gut inflammation is a major source of fatigue, stress and depression. Avoiding inflammatory foods such as sugar, omega 6 fats and anything processed is the best way of tackling this.

Fasting, examining food sensitivities & adding anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric and tart cherry juice may also help.

A permeability issue with the gut lining can also cause problems. Glycine and glutamine can potentially help with this, as can avoidance of pain killers such as ibuprofen which can damage the gut lining.

  • Lack of sunlight can have a huge impact on energy levels. Consider supplementing with vitamin D (ideally with k2) if you work indoors, and/or get a SAD lamp.

CBD Oil Infographic

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How to Do More Pull Ups (Instant Increase!)

My new pre-workout:


  1. Have a boiling hot bath – not literally boiling but very hot
  2. Do some press ups in the bath if possible (at your own risk)
  3. Get out of the bath
  4. Dry yourself & chuck some clothes on
  5. Do 2 rounds of wim hof breathing
  6. Do your chin ups!

I’ve found that I can do lots more reps using the combination of Wim Hof Breathing and a Hot Bath.

DO NOT DO THE BREATHING TECHNIQUES in the bath. People have died from passing out in water whilst doing this.  Very bad idea!

Make sure that you don’t feel dizzy or lightheaded before getting in the bath or doing the chins.



The Wim Hof Breathing technique involves the following:

Wim Hof Breathing Technique

1 Round of Breathing =
30 Deep breaths in, with 30 ‚Äėsmall‚Äô breaths out.

Breathe in using the stomach muscles and then the chest muscles, taking in as much air as possible, then breath out ‚Äėnormally‚Äô to reset your stomach to breathe in again.

After the 30 breaths, hold the final breath in for as long as possible. Holding the breath for as long as possible will cause a release of adrenaline which will literally make you stronger.

Finally, when you can’t hold your breath any longer, breathe out, then one last time, take a big deep breath in and hold for 15 seconds.

Do this then afterwards, get in the bath and make sure your muscles are hot and you start to sweat somewhat.


This works for me, but I can’t find much evidence to say that hot water immersion actually improves strength or power.

There are some studies showing that muscle temperature may improve power output, but the majority of modern studies seem to show no effect.


Influence of muscle temperature on maximal muscle strength and power output in human skeletal muscles



wim hof

Wim Hof Breathing – Breathe in as powerfully as you can 30 times & then hold your breath. Repeat 3 times. Then jump in a cold shower

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Supplements for Depression (That Work)

A few thoughts on depression before I start on the supplements…

Depression is often a symptom of a physical illness or issue.

Gut problems, chronic inflammation (often starting in the gut), allergies, brain injuries, thyroid issues – these are all problems that can cause depression.

Whenever possible, address the physical cause, rather than the symptoms of depression.

Many of these supplements are also effective for MMA recovery and for enhancing physical performance. For more specific information on supplements for combat sports such as MMA, see my boxer’s diet article here.

Acetyl L Carnitine

One of my favourites, Acetyl L Carnitine, often referred to as ALCAR, is a potent supplement that enhances cognitive function, increases male fertility and in many can reduce or eliminate symptoms of depression.

Start with a low dosage (500mg) and assess your tolerance, it can cause gut problems.

Works within 15 minutes. Also great for energy and awareness.

Make sure to get the Acetyl version, as this can pass the Blood Brain Barrier whereas normal L-Carnitine can not.

Side Effects: Bad farts

Fish Oil

Omega 3 is crucial for cognitive health and wellbeing in the short, medium and long-term. There is a modest amount of research suggesting that fish oil might help people who are suffering from depression.

Phospholipid forms of Omega 3 have been recently touted as a potential treatment/way to ward off degenerative brain diseases.

look for a high-quality omega 3 supplement, with a relatively high EPA content.

Fish oil is also a strong anti-inflammatory. Inflammation is often a pre-cursor of mental health issues.


Magnesium is fantastic for muscular-relaxation, it has also been shown as a potent supplement to treat both anxiety and depression.

Chelated forms of magnesium, for example, magnesium glycinate are generally thought to be superior and more bioavailable than other forms of magnesium.

St. John’s Wort

This stuff made me feel terrible.

I felt like a had a million thoughts at once and couldn’t focus on anything.

It works with serotonin in some respect. Perhaps it works better if your depression is caused by low levels of serotonin in the first place.

For more information visit


A precursor to Tryptophan, 5 HTP is great for sleep, depression and anxiety.

Don’t take with SSRIs.

There is some evidence that 5 HTP taken long term can cause issues with your heart.

I’ll occasionally take a tiny bit of 5 HTP (I’ll break off a bit of a tablet) when I can’t sleep. It KOs me and gives me mental dreams. Upsets my stomach though if I have more than half a tablet.


Side Effects: GI problems.

Vitamin D

Lack of sunlight can cause depression. In countries such as Norway, it’s a big (and well recognised) issue.

Supplementing with Vitamin D3 (ideally with vitamin k2) is a good idea for most people who work indoors.

SAD Lamps can also be an effective way to increase energy levels and ward off depression during the winter and all year round if you work indoors.

Heat Stress, Exercise and Diet

Obviously these aren’t supplements so I won’t go into too much detail…however, saunas (and ice baths) have gained a lot of attention in recent years thanks to the mental and physical health benefits that they can provide.

Exercise is crucial for the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system, for self esteem and the overall functioning of your body and mind.

Diet is a crucial factor in terms of mental health. Inflammation and gut issues are often linked to and can even cause depression.

Eating a diet that is free from inflammatory foods such as sugar, and high in anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric can make a huge difference.


Any exercise, food or supplement that reduces inflammation and/or improves gut health will improve or help with depression – in the majority of cases.

Supplements that are effective for reducing inflammation include:

Meriva curcumin

Tart Cherry Juice


The ketogenic diet is also very effective but may not suit everyone and makes you feel terrible for the first 2 weeks or so (unless you use exogenous ketones). The targeted ketogenic diet may also be worth looking into.

Food intolerances and ‘leaky gut’ can also lead to inflammation.

If you have IBS or any other gut issues, it might be worth looking into, reducing or cutting out dairy and possibly wheat. Giving up dairy was life-changing for me.



Please Speak to a Doctor or Healthcare Professional before taking any supplements



There’s a growing body of research, that suggests that psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms), in the right setting, can be highly effective as a treatment for depression.


High-dose psilocybin produced large decreases in clinician- and self-rated measures of depressed mood and anxiety, along with increases in quality of life, life meaning, and optimism, and decreases in death anxiety. At 6-month follow-up, these changes were sustained, with about 80% of participants continuing to show clinically significant decreases in depressed mood and anxiety. Participants attributed improvements in attitudes about life/self, mood, relationships, and spirituality to the high-dose experience, with >80% endorsing moderately or greater increased well-being/life satisfaction.

study here 


Magic Mushroom Infographic


NS1 189 for Depression

I recently took an experimental anti-depressant called NSI 189. A bit silly really but probably worth the risk if your depression is bad enough.

It also works partly by creating new brain cells in the hypothalamus – something I probably needed after having concussion 5 times in my life so far.

Near the end of my ‘course’ I also microdosed san-pedro powder – I felt absolutely amazing. I’ve run out of powder now but I do feel like I’ve had a moderate increase in my overall mood. I’m normally operating at around 6 or 7 out of 10 in terms of my mood, rather than a 4 or 5 prior to NSI 189.

I’ve written more about NSI 189 here.



I took this with gota kola and had great results for about a month. It was hemp derived CBD with no THC. I found that the effect wore off unfortunately though.

I still use it for improving quality of sleep and reducing inflammation.

Incidentally, if you don’t sleep well – phenibut, 5 HTP, glycine and CBD can all help. 5 HTP makes me fall asleep, phenibut, glycine and CBD all improve quality of sleep.

Note that THC decreases sleep quality and that phenibut should only be taken once or twice a week as it’s addictive.

CBD Oil Infographic

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Grappling Fundamentals For MMA

Grappling Fundamentals for MMA

An If-This-Then-That style approach to grappling.

I never want to be stuck in a position thinking “I’ve absolutely no idea what I’m doing” (which happens a lot)

It’s always best to learn basic positions and escapes before elaborate submissions, in my opinion.



Keep elbows tucked and hands ‘inside’ when establishing position to avoid kimuras & triangles.

Keep one knee up to avoid closed guard (Combat Base)

Keep Chin Tucked when on knees (look to the side/backwards) & keep an arm in the way

When flipped or bridged – use momentum & bridge & roll opponent in the same direction

This momentum-stealing also works if someone flips your legs over to pass guard or pushes them to the side or with a wrestler’s pancake

You generally want to frame on one arm and stop the underhook on the other

Framing in Scrambles

Don’t always go for a wizzer, sometimes you need to frame with forearm against opponent’s head to make space

Grip Fighting



High knee – avoid grape vines & break top guys posture with bump & a high knee

Hip Hop escape into bridge —> Bridge into an additional second Bridge in the same direction —> Hip Escape on the opposite hip

  • something to try – if you bridge and guy is kind of dangling to your side but still has mount, try and bridge again but go all the way over and give your back – then forward roll immediately or pop up into a tripod/down dog position.

Last Ditch Mount Escape:

Bottom Side Control

Establish a forearm under his chin if possible —> Bridge into him and pull guard or move to knees

Use momentum to try the ‘wheelbarrow’ escape:

If bridge doesn’t work, push his head down towards your feet and scoot your body upwards

Push on his armpit and use a straight arm to push and get up to knees (Tuck chin to avoid guillotine)

If that doesn’t work, try and bring your feet round to the side and push/bridge into him again:

Bottom Modified Scarf Hold

Escapes are similar to side control.

Bump & bridge into him —> underhook (for no gi)

Also try the weird judo escape of gripping hand that is trapped

Also framing and bridging – but set up with a powerful bridge into him for space to shrimp

You need a different escape for when he is High on you, and one for one he’s low



High on your Chest:

establish your frame:


scarf hold escape.gif

Stay Flat on your back and try a head triangle


Bridge & get an underhook also tends to work in no-gi

Low on your hips:




Frame with your elbow on his face, not your wrist


Bottom Scarf Hold

Grab around his bottom rib

Scoot feet and hips around as if you’re trying to bum your opponent

Bridge straight up and backwards

Then bridge and roll opponent over

Bottom Knee on Belly


Bottom Butterfly Guard (on bum)

Posture – Get head underneath his and frame across throat

Drive in and then head snap into anaconda

Bottom Guard

Posture in guard:

Establish head & arm control

Lift hips up and drive feet down

Sweep from Guard:

Chest 2 chest sweep/Hip Bump

Stand up Technique from Guard with headsnap/snap down




Opponent may well grab your foot or gi pants when trying to stand up –

either pull arm off and kick leg back into guard, turn away and roll, or kimura grip his arm or even attempt a weird scissor sweep by dropping on hip of the leg that is caught

Bottom Half Guard

Avoid an underhook and a ‘head-squish’ by keeping your arms in.

Try and block the cross face by posting on his bicep:




Bottom – Back Mounted

Tuck chin and look to the side

Drive upwards & bridge and scoot upwards

Try and get 2 on 1 control and loop over your head


Body Triangle Counter





Bottom – Sprawl/failed double leg

Headlock or Double Underhooks

*Always Keep chin Tucked onto your Chest*

Reach around technique to counter headlock or double unders


*Don’t get pancaked/flipped with an underhook.

Drop to left shoulder and hip if opponent is lifting you up with an underhook on your left armpit*

If you do get flipped over – go with the momentum and flip again.


Drive to capture a leg or Sit through/Knee slide if you can’t get to the legs


Knee slide:


Here he moves his right knee up to get a better grip/base

Gif Source

If your far grip is on the inside of the legs, rotate towards that hand/grip. Keep pulling with other grip.

If you

  • get stuck underneath
  • Opponent is circling at pace to take your back


or Drive in and push yourself back &up to standing if all else fails


Top Mount

Establish grapevines, underhook head, base out with other arm

Gain a high mount after 10 secs or so of grape vines

look for head & arm choke or Americana


Top Side Control

Cross face an opponent with elbow/forearm or ideally, shoulder.

Move into modified scarf hold

Trap arm in between legs



Top Scarf Hold



Top Knee on Belly

Top in Guard

Stack opponent – this confuses most BJJ Players

Try this minging guard pass:


Dean Lister Pass

Standing Guard Pass

Open Guard Pass:

Top inside someone’s Butterfly Guard

look for a snap down

Counter elevation – cross legs!

Submission Defence

Kimura Defence

Push on his hip with free hand

Straight trapped arm and bring it close to your body

kimura defence.gif

Posture up (like a deadlift)

Counter with a Police-man style shoulder lock:



Guillotine Defence

Guillotine in Guard

Stack defence

Standing Guillotine

Reach over

Standing sit through

Front Naked Choke Defence

High Percentage Submissions


Front Naked Choke



Head & Arm Chokes

Submissions from Scarf Hold

Stand Up Grappling

Easy Takedown 1

Grip Fighting


Single Leg Defence

single leg counter




Takedowns from Wrist Control




Counter Wrist Control



From Over/Under go to Uchi Mata



Double Unders Counter



Options when Wrestling:

  • Go for greco over/under pummel and take an Uchi Mata into headlock takedown
  • Bate for wrist control – break the grip – use a 2 on 1 to snap down into a headlock
  • Wrist Control – Arm drag
  • Wrestling clinch – into grip switch takedown – headlock (or single leg)
  • Wrestling Clinchsnapdown – headlock – ankle pick
  • Attack 1 leg, when opponent steps back, ankle pick the other

Another good takedown,

Dummy an attack to the front leg, when he steps back, snap him down jnto a headlock

Solo Wrestling Drills:

  • Lateral Drop
  • Uchi Mata
  • Osota Gari – remember to get an angle and wrist/gi control
  • Arm Drag
  • Grip Switch
  • Grip breaks/counters



Workout 1

Alpine Ski Machine – 1000m

Band Squat & Press x 20

Band High Pulls x 10

Bike Tabata

Band Curls x max


Workout 2

Rowing Machine x 1000m

Band Push Press x 10

Alpine Ski x 1000m

Band Shoulder press x max

Lateral raises x max

Bridge Press x max



Morning Stretches:

  • World’s Greatest Stretch
  • Piriformis Stretch 1
  • Piriformis Stretch 2
  • QL Stretch

Day Time Stretches

  • Hip Flexor
  • Neck
  • Chest

Evening Stretches

  • Sufi Grinds
  • Kettlebell Halos
  • Lying – Hip Flexor Stretch

Notes on Striking

  • Use the layback & cross to counter a jab:

Thiago Silva Using a Lay Back in ACB

  • Jab & Russian right hook


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5 Reasons Why Wrexham is a Good Place to Live (or Work)

Completely off topic, more of a personal blog post…


Wrexham is Beautiful – Really!

A lot of people complain about Wrexham, but we’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

If you don’t like living in this beautiful part of the country, it’s because you’re not making the most of it.


Yes, the ‘functional’ town centre has a few problems, but there are dozens of stunning local villages which make up the county of Wrexham.

There are opportunities in terms of jobs for everyone from computer programmers to tradesmen and everyone in between. The house prices are also pretty reasonable too.

Here’s a summary of why I’m grateful for living in Wrexham:

  1. Beautiful Countryside


We don’t appreciate how beautiful North Wales is.


Copyright John Harrison – Bwlchgwyn ‚Äď Nant y Ffrith

But go live in the city for a couple of years and you’ll soon appreciate all the trees, fields and greenery that we take for granted in Wrexham and the rest of North Wales.

There’s amazing scenery to be found in all the surrounding villages and towns of Wrexham, as well as Flintshire & Denbighshire.

In no particular order, off the top of my head, the Wrexham area boasts the following beautiful sites & walks:

  • Marford Quarry
  • Hope Mountain
  • Castell Dinas Bran
  • Horseshoe Pass
  • Bala Lake
  • Moss Valley
  • Bwlchgwyn
  • Rhos, Johnstown, Pen Y Cae

The vast majority of villages within the county of Wrexham have their own scenic walks and routes, although a lot of them are not well known.

Steeped in history, if you have an appreciation of architecture then each village has its own iconic buildings. Check out Wynn Hall in Pen Y Cae for example.

I’d never been to the top of Hope Mountain for example, until 2 years ago:


walk in Wrexham

Wrexham – a great place for dogs

Note – I realise Hope, strictly speaking is in Flintshire, but it is literally 5-10 mins from Wrexham Town Centre.


The town is surrounded by beautiful villages including Overton & Erbistock.


There’s even a Roman fort and Farmstead on the Wrexham/Flintshire border, in Hope.



There’s also a number of world-class mountain biking tracks in the area, including Llandegla:


Wrexham also boasts its very own World Heritage Site, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

what is a world heritage site

Built in 1805, the 18-arch aqueduct is a marvel of architecture and people literally come from across the World to visit.


The beautiful countryside also provides some amazing settings for (affordable) places to eat too:


Cross Foxes Erbistock. Image from TripAdvisor


So, to summarise, the villages within the county of Wrexham are steeped in history and rural beauty…

A few more random pictures from our walks around Wrexham:






If you’re willing to drive a few miles outside of Wrexham, there’s more beautiful scenery to be found in Llangollen and areas of Denbighshire such as the Horseshoe Pass:


The Horseshoe Pass is a Scenic Spot – 10 mins from Wrexham

2. History!

There’s a lot of history behind this industries town.


Minera Lead Mines

Brymbo Heritage Centre

Each local village is also steeped in history. Just look around, some of the buildings are hundreds of years old. Below is a picture of the Pant Yr Ochain:



For more Historic facts and pictures relating to Wrexham, see the aptly named website

3. National Parks on our Doorstep


Whilst Manchester, Liverpool & Chester reside to the east of Wrexham, to the West is a range of beautiful mountains, beaches and National Parks.

Named in the Top 5 Regions in the World to visit by Lonely Planet in 2017, North Wales offers the traditional & historic sites of castles, mountains and lakes, combined with modern attractions including Surf Snowdonia and Zip World.

Snowdonia is the most obvious place that we’re blessed to have close by (because it’s amazing) but there are many more places to explore…

Things to do in North Wales

5 Things to Do in North Wales

North Wales also has a number of the world’s Dark Sky Reserves.


If you don’t like beautiful country scenery, Chester is just a few miles down the road. You can go shopping or just take a stroll in one of the most beautiful walled cities in the country. Plus there’s loads of Roman stuff to look at.


4. Wrexham Industrial Estate – Jobs & Opportunites


A couple of practical things to consider about Wrexham…

Wrexham is home to one of the biggest industrial estates in Europe. Home to dozens of companies, both large & small, the estate provides jobs to thousands of Wrexham residents.

Despite its reputation as a sleepy town, Wrexham is also home to a number of modern, high tech, online businesses including the likes of Demon Tweeks, Net World Sports and Moneypenny:


Chester Business Park is also located within 5 miles of Wrexham & Airbus is a huge employer, based 10 minutes from Wrexham in Broughton, Chester.

Basically, there are lots of jobs to be had if you live in Wrexham.



5. Affordable House Prices


Considering the strength of the local economy, house prices in Wrexham are reasonable. The average house price in Wrexham in 2018 was £157,000, whilst the UK average was just over £226,000 (source).

Take another beautiful part of the UK РDorset. The average house price there is £347,000! (source).

A lot of people travel for hours to London, just to earn a living and afford the price of a house in that county.

This is often overlooked but definitely something to be grateful for. If you live down south, especially in an area as rural as the outskirts of Wrexham, you’ve got little chance of living locally and being able to afford a decent gaff.




A picture of my back garden in Hope (albeit just in Flintshire, it’s 10 mins from Wrexham town centre):

garden in Wrexham

Back-Garden of a 97k House in Hope, Flintshire/Wrexham


My uni-mate’s back garden in London:

london back garden

Back Yard in a 300k London House



Here they are side-by-side, just to emphasise how much of a difference a bit of a garden (with actual grass) makes:

Anyway, if you don’t like Wrexham, there are 2 airports within an hour’s drive, Chester is only a couple of miles from Wrexham, and Liverpool & Manchester are both under an hour’s drive away.

There’s beautiful scenery, countryside and beaches to the West of Wrexham and historic yet high-tech cities to the East (Manchester is the tech-hub of the North).


One more thing –

Wrexham has no gun crime and very little knife crime, compared to the big cities. You can’t really put too much value on that if you have kids!


A few more pics from near or within Wrexham:

Moel Famau

Sunrise – Moel Famau


A Beach in Anglesey (can’t remember which one)


Hope Mountain

2 handsome men at Park in the Past

One more thing that you won’t get in many larger cities is the ‘strong’ local communities.

I can’t vouch for other places in the Wrexham area, but the community in Hope is pretty cohesive & amazing.


Switching on the Christmas Lights in Hope


It’s all about how your frame it. It’s very easy to pick out the negative points about Wrexham, but with a little effort it’s even easier to see how amazing the county actually is!


Stop watching TOWIE, get off your arse and go explore!

A lot of the places pictured are from areas that border Wrexham, such as Hope.

Please comment below if you have a favourite place within Wrexham

Share this post & spread the love!




It goes without saying that Wrexham has a great MMA gym – IPC Wrexham



Image Credits

Nant y Frith Image Source

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Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen has had some bad press recently, and rightly so!

Ibuprofen is linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, it damages the stomach lining which can cause a range of problems from allergies to stomach ulcers and it’s also well known to be detrimental to kidney function & health.

There are a range of, effective, alternatives to ibuprofen, some are listed below:

Supplements for Short Term Inflammation


Turmeric is pretty amazing stuff. It has a range of health benefits related to the gut but it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory.

Taken with black pepper, the bioavailability of curcumin (one of turmeric’s ‘active-components’) is increased greatly, increasing the anti-inflammatory effects.

Curcumin itself, has been isolated and studied extensively. Studies suggest that it’s effective for the treatment inflammation, depression, anxiety, cognitive decline and there’s some research to suggest it may help to prevent some forms of cancer.

Meriva Curcumin is a form of curcumin attached to a lipid. This form of curcumin has been shown to be absorbed at a much higher rate in the gut (study here).

Take 3g per day of turmeric with black pepper for inflammation.

Take 1g of curcumin per day for inflammation and/or depression.

Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice is also a potent anti-inflammatory. It’s quite nice too. It’s been shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis and it’s also been shown to enhance recovery – study here.

It can also prevent gout and kidney stones. It can even improve the quality of sleep.


CBD oil is a pretty potent anti-inflammatory, it tends to be very expensive though and the quality varies massively. If it comes from the black market it’s highly unlikely to be organic, or have a favourable THC/CBD ratio.

CBD Oil Infographic

Lifestyle Changes for Chronic Inflammation

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, that is eating between set hours of the day, has been shown to reduce inflammation.

This is probably related to reducing blood sugar spikes and the tendency to be in an energy deficit when only eating in between certain hours.

Intermittent fasting 12-8: This involves eating between the hours of 12pm and 8pm only, every day.

Intermittent fasting 5-2: This involves eating normally for 5 days per week and then eating about 10% of your normally calorie intake on the other 2 days.

The ketogenic diet also has potent anti-inflammatory benefits. This is mainly due to the production of ketone bodies.


People laugh, a lot, when I mention grounding. Look at this study (even just the pictures!) before judging.

Grounding involves going barefoot on the grass or earth. You can also use a grounding mat to sleep on.


Using a sauna several times per week is also associated with lower levels of inflammation.

“…¬†C-reactive protein is a leading blood marker of systemic inflammation…there was a significant inverse association between the frequency of sauna bathing and the level of C-reactive protein.”


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Bonanza Peanut Butter



Bonanza is a new UK company producing top class peanut butter products.

Their range includes a high protein peanut butter and a tasty product which is a mix of peanut butter with almond butter – it basically tastes like almond butter but is a lot cheaper (as almonds are ridiculously expensive, it’s cheaper to mix with peanuts).

With no palm oil and no plastic used in the packaging, it’s an ethical product too.

Peanut butter is great when you’re training hard and trying to hit your required daily calories and protein.

It’s also packed full of micronutrients including magnesium and potassium, vitamins e and vitamin b6.


Peanut butter is very good for you Рif you avoid the brands with sugar, e-numbers and added vegetable oils! 




Peanut butter is also pretty versatile, You can for example, make high protein cookies from them:


  • 200g peanut butter
  • 50g of Stevia or Sugar
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • Pinch of salt


  • Beat the egg and then mix all the ingredients together.
  • Shape into cookies
  • Place in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 10 minutes

high protein cookies




Interestingly, peanuts are also high in resveratrol. The phytochemical often associated with red grapes & red wine, it can help to prevent cancer & reduce oxidative stress – which is often high in elite athletes.

See a study-abstract about resveratrol in peanuts here.

Final interesting peanut butter fact…it’s saving millions of lives in Africa.


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Best Carl Jung Quotes

Carl Jung was an early advocate of analytical psychology and like Freud is well known for his work relating to theories of personality & the human subconscious.

Whilst Freud’s work, was still rooted in 19th century theories regarding suppressed desires, Jung generally believed that a deeper analysis was required of the subconscious mind (particularly dreams) in order to garner a full understanding of how personality & behaviour was manifested.

It was this analytical approach, that brought revolutionary innovation into so many scientific fields, particularly contemporary physics and psychology.

For Jung, the ultimate goal of each individual is to reach a state of self-awareness and then self-realisation, hopefully moving on to a pursuit of self-improvement.


jung psychology quote

jung quote 2

What you criticise in others, represents your own insecurities.



carl jung quote

This quote reminds me of the Stoic outlook of controlling your emotions independent of external events. If you lose a fight, you can choose to react positively, learn and move on, or you can dwell on it and/or make shit excuses that won’t help.

Similar to CBT in that it’s not what happens to you, it’s your thoughts about the event that frame your emotions and response.


carl jung quote 1

Again, this quote reminded me of Stoic philosophy.

The Greek Gods were, according to some, not tangible Gods as such, but forms of energy. In worshipping the goddess of Misery, Anxiety, Grief, and Depression – Oizys, the ancient Greeks were essentially examining their own emotions, and making sense of them.

Pushing away, or ignoring these emotions, would mean that we could not learn from them. Perhaps the concept of worshipping a goddess, would allow someone to look at themselves with the filter of their own ego.

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Joe Rogan & Dr Rhonda Patrick – Summary



Some notes I made whilst listening to this podcast:

Broccoli Sprouts & Sulforaphane

Sulforaphone helps heal the gut lining, helps support the immune system and can even help fight cancer:

SFN (Sulforaphone) is one of the most frequently studied plant-derived isothiocyanate organosulfur compounds. It has been reported to exhibit a wide range of biological effects including antioxidant (Fahey and Talalay, 1999[]), antimicrobial (Johansson et al., 2008[]), anticancer (Amjad et al., 2015[]), anti-inflammatory (Greaney et al., 2016[]), anti-aging (Sikdar et al., 2016[]), neuroprotective (Tarozzi et al., 2013[]), and antidiabetic (Lee et al., 2012[]).


You can supplement Sulforaphane or get it by growing brocoli sprout seeds. It’s also found in kale.
I’m sure in one of her earlier podcasts, Dr Rhonda said that you can just eat the seeds but the data was clear in terms of how much of ‘the benefits’ you get compared to growing the broccoli sprouts.

Freezing your broccoli sprouts increases the amount of sulforaphane that is bioavailable.


The Carnivore Diet

Is probably helping people feel better because it is reducing hunger and the overall intake of calories.

People on the carnivore diet need to make sure they get enough folate, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Calorie restriction has been showed to be of great benefit for those with auto-immune conditions.

She has concerns over the carnivore diet, the effect it has on gut flora and its relationship with colon cancer.


Dr Rhonda Patrick & Fish Oil

Fish oil can help retain dopamine in the brain (in the prefrontal cortex).

It can also be therapeutic after a traumatic brain injury (TBI) (study here).

The phospholipid form of fish oil is the best for clearing amyloid plaque from the brain. These plaques are what cause Alzheimer’s disease.

Good sleep is also crucial for those at risk of¬†Alzheimer’s.


Dr Rhonda Patrick & Ketones

Dr Rhonda says that she finds exogenous ketones reduce levels of anxiety.

She does find that her energy crashes a few hours after taking them however. This is because she is on a carbohydrate (‘normal’) diet, and ketones reduce your blood sugar. So once they’re out of your system, you have no ketones and low blood sugar.


The Benefits of Saunas

A single session in a sauna can help ease the symptoms of depression.

In the first study of 16 individuals with major depression, a single hyperthermia treatment reduced their depression scores almost by 50% five days later.

…To address this question, we conducted a second, larger study in which we randomly treated half the participants with active hyperthermia and the other half with a ‚Äúsham‚ÄĚ treatment that mimicked every aspect of the hyperthermia treatment except the high heat. As we describe in a recently published¬†article, the results echoed¬†those found in the first study ‚Äď a single session of hyperthermia produced a rapid and powerful antidepressant effect. And remarkably,¬†none¬†of this effect was seen in depressed patients who received the sham treatment. Moreover, the benefits of a single hyperthermia treatment persisted for six weeks, something that we weren‚Äôt expecting.



Saunas increase levels of beta-endorphins in the body, which makes you feel good, or even euphoric.

Saunas also reduce pain and increase anabolic hormones such as HGH and IGF-1

They can also reduce the risk of degenerative brain conditions (study here)

personal notecold showers and cryotherapy are also good for mental health. It would appear that the Stoic approach voluntary suffering has some merit.

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