Paddle Boarding at Milton Country Park

Category: Exercise tips and advice,Sport activities in Cambridge | Published : June 13, 2017

This was by far the most fun I have ever had on a paddle board

This weekend we had a gym social paddle boarding followed by a BBQ in Milton country.

I have been paddle boarding for around 2 years now, but this was so much fun. We had some races, the more ambitious of us learn headstands and towards the end of the session we had loads of fun trying to push each other in.

paddle board headstand

The session was run by experienced coaches who taught the beginners the basics quickly first starting on your knees, then progressing to standing only once they felt ready.

Gill Paddle boarding

After this me and Jo Shipped asked if we could learn a headstand and the coaches quickly showed us how. Its actually quit easy as you hold the board with both hands and slowly first pull your knees up then slowly straighten your legs. A full handstand was to tough though because of the ankle leash.

Jo Me and Nick had a race across the lake which is about 200m. Jo is good at everything and got off to a great start while Nick quickly fell in on the start line, I eventually  managed to catch up with Jo but decided to try and push her in and fell in myself.

Milton country park is a fantastic location

Its just 600m from my gym (crossfit stags and does), the lake we used is really nice, its so peacefully and actually quite warm. After the lake we had our own private BBQ space for the afternoon, were we had a camp fire and could play frisky and drink a few well earned beers.

Milton is just north of Cambridge across the A14.

Digital Camera

How to get involved

Milton Country Park is an accredited school with the British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) and offers plenty of opportunities for you to experience SUP, whether you’re a complete beginner, have tried it before and want to progress, or you’re an experienced paddle boarder looking for some time on the water.

Experienced and paddle boarders who have completed the “ready to ride” course can just hire a board or join Cambridge SUP club from 6-8pm on Thursdays.

Beginners You can complete the “ready to ride” course at milton country park for just £50. Every other Saturday from 10-12:30.

Or you can do a quick start session for £15 every other Saturday 10-11:15am

SUP Fitness every Saturday 8:30am-9:30am which sounds fantastic fun.

Fior more information or to sign up check out their website:

More information on Paddle boarding at Milton country park 

Why paddle board?

I highly recommend giving paddle boarding a go, its great fun and a really good exercise. Firstly its fantastic for balance, secondly its very good for developing core strength as you need to engage your whole core to stand and use a paddle to propel your self.

Finally its a very peaceful activity, so great for the mind. The location in Milton is really special and you could spend the whole day exploring the lake and watching the wildlife.

Digital Camera

Landmark Forum – Im free, Nothing matters

Category: Book reviews,Exercise tips and advice,Live your best life | Published : December 8, 2016

Your free to Nothing matters.

Now some people have genuine life or death problems but if your on Facebook or taking time to read this I really doubt right now your having a life or death problem.
I certainly don’t, I have a fantastic life. However I am not truly free and able to appreciate a lot in my life. I spend the majority of my time thinking, lost in thought, in the future ill be content but not yet. Thinking:

  • Worrying about the past ” Did I do that right?” “is everyone in my life happy?” “do people like me?”
  • Excited about the Future “When I earn this Ill be able to buy this… and live here…”
    Telling myself Stories “John didn’t reply so that means this…” “That driver cut me up, so he’s…”

Now I have been doing mindfulness each morning for 2 years, and I get a lot from it. Clarity each morning. I feel fresh and have a clean slate to start each day. But that drifts away relatively quickly and try as I might I haven’t been able to sustain that clarity through out the day in my busy life.

But I do have that clarity now, I have the tools I need to be free of all this thinking and its so simple.

The land mark Forum

Last week I went to London and did a 3 day course called the Landmark forum,
The landmark Forum is a weekend course which teaches you how to get the best out of your life.

Its a breakthrough course meaning at the end of the course you will have had a breakthrough, not learnt new information to file away with other skills learned.

Each day is long, 9am-10pm! But it doesn’t feel this long. you do get uncomfortable and do clock watch from time to time. But this is important.
You are encouraged not to take notes, this is because the course is simple and boils down a few key principles which you will get, but only through experiencing the course and spending the 45 hours breaking down the old habits of your life:

  • Creating Stories, your interpretation of whats happening but is not real yet you spend all your life thinking these and talking about these to others?
  • Letting you life be run by your Fear of what you look like to others, while they do exactly the same thing worrying about you.
  • Living by the past, and living each moment for the future which never happens.
  • Running rackets, These are bad habits we have formed which we run automatically on people and situations. We run them all day on everything from our loved ones to traffic lights.

So what did I get? whats the secret to living a good life?
NOTHING MATTERS.
ALL WE HAVE IS RIGHT NOW.
The past and Future don’t exist, they are only in our mind.
The past does not exist its gone and we must let it go. Everyone is placed by the past, but if you just let it go your free from it.
The future does not exist, you must not live thinking about how you will be happy there.

You can do this:

Bad things have happened and thats a fact, but they are in the past. Don’t drag them with you your whole life.
If you spot rackets and stop running them.
If you spot stories and stop engaging in them.
Stop trying to give everything meaning, this is your big problem. Nothing means anything, stop trying to give every situation, person, conversation, incident a reason things happen drop it.

Also stop trying to figure out life! Its simple Nothing matters! enjoy each moment.

But the best way to do all this is to do the landmark forum, its just 3 days! and you get to drop the past and live now.

Now for those of you who worry about the nothing matters?
Well it doesn’t, one day you will be dead & none of this will have mattered.
But you can make things matter to you and this can be good. Once you realise nothing matters, your free to enjoy each moment and for me helping others, not harming anyone or anything is a big part of this.
Think about it you spend all your time thinking about things that don’t matter in your life you have no energy left for those people and things that do. Stop watching TV when nothings on, Drop Facebook, Stop analysing everything, stop constantly worrying about the future. This will free up a lot of energy which you’ll find you now direct outwards to things that do matter in the present.
When you let nothing matter, you drop all the things you think matter and can focus on things that do matter like every task your currently doing, all other people, conversations, animals, the world.

If you like this and would like to find out more, please feel free to chat to me & the only way to truly get this is to do the landmark forum. I sat with 200 other people some of which had been through incredibly bad situations but they got it and you can to.

Thanks for reading.
Duncan

Back Pain Prevention – cambridge

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

Back Pain Prevention – cambridge

Back pain

Is caused by a number of reasons, it is however exaggerated by tight muscles & poor flexibility.
Main cause of back pain:
If you are sitting in a fixed position for a long period of time. Your body will adapt to this position by tightening your muscles.
The problem of this however is your back will then be stiff and painful when you are in other positions.

Prevention:
Unfortunately we can’t expect our body’s to be flexible, upright and able to move freely if we spend the majority of our time sat or laying down.
The solution is to be more active and stretch daily. A daily stretching plan after some activity like a walk or jog will massively reduce back pain. Yoga is also perfect for this.
Please take it slowly and build up gradually, also consult your doctor or physio if you have a injury.

Back stretching plan

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

Back stretching plan

Back pain is exaggerated by tight muscles & poor flexibility. so a simple daily stretching plan will help to reduce the pain and also strengthen your back.

Stretching is best done when your muscles are warm, so a short walk will warm up your muscles.

Stretch 1 – Hamstrings
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f40HPUX9OxI
Stretch 2 – Twisting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2zsmiJ9Lpk
Stretch 4 – Lower back

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVHdzMmDfds

Hold each stretch for between 30-60 seconds. It is important when stretching to concentrate on relaxing and lengthening your muscles. It doesn’t have to hurt they just need to get longer

Locomotion & hand balancing with Verity

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

Locomotion & hand balancing with Verity

Duncan and Nick learning some gymnastic skills

We have a new gymnastics coach at the gym so on Friday me (Duncan), Nick & Dom joined in her training learning some locomotion drills and hand balancing.

The locomotion skills are designed to get your mobile and also build strength and flexibility in your whole body. It began with a simple bear walk which quickly progressed into a impossible bear walk.

Next we moved onto hand balancing, this is Verity’s passion and she is a great coach. The aim is to be dead straight, with your head, shoulders, hips knees and toes all in a straight line. This requires good mobility (Not one of my strengths) and also a very strong core.

My weakest point is my lower back so this is a fantastic exercise for me to work on and master.

Check out the video we made below for some of the work we did together. If your keen to learn more, Verity will be teaching these skills every tuesday evening at 7pm at Crossfit stags & does.

Contact details

Website: youtu.be/EniN30M2qMU?list=UUGgcdrsTFg4_LY4_sl1KrGA

Do you Really NEED Weightlifting Shoes?

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

Do you Really NEED Weightlifting Shoes?

The fitness lifestyle isn’t a cheap one. Supplements, quality protein sources in foods, gym memberships and gym clothing doesn’t come cheap and nor do shoes designed for weightlifting… but are weightlifting shoes really that important?
You don’t have to be a competitor to take weightlifting serious. It’s hands down, one of the most effective ways to build strength, power, and solid muscle mass. To step into a gym ready to lift weights you really don’t need much. All you need is yourself, an optional weightlifting belt, a bottle of water and… a good pair of lifting shoes?
The purpose of this article is to bring to your attention how important weightlifting shoes are and how to go about choosing the best ones. Think they are not worth the extra investment? Shoes alone have been known to instantly add 30 lbs onto an exercise like the squat.

So, what’s wrong with the regular sneakers?

Tennis or running shoes are built to be comfy and allow you to be agile. They’re meant to absorb your bodyweight when you run, and support your feet when you’re making lateral movements.
That softness in the sneakers is what will really kill your lifting technique and efficiency. It’s like trying to lift really heavy weight with your feet on a pillow…..there’s just not enough stability.
When you’re lifting heavy, the goal is to create as much force as possible by transferring it from your feet directly into the floor. If your feet are on soft and squishy surface that’s meant to absorb force, you’re going to lose a bunch of power and furthermore, you’ll be unstable. A great example of this is using leg drive when performing a bench press. You push into the floor from your feet this then transfer’s power that you can use to push the barbell up. Wearing tennis or running shoes means you are missing out on a lot of potential power.

Ankle Flexibility

Most people don’t have an impressive range of motion in their ankles. It’s just how life goes. We walk around all day, and your ankles only have to produce force in a very limited range of motion.
On top of that, ankles usually aren’t at the top of the priority list when it comes to stretching and mobility exercises. Most of us just work with the flexibility that just comes naturally to us.
In most Olympic lifts, we’re required to plantar flex (toe pointed down) explosively, and then squat down real low which requires a ton of dorsiflexion (toe pointed up). If you don’t have a ton of range of motion in your ankles, that’s where the shoes may come in handy.

What one do I choose?!

Weightlifting shoes are characterized by a completely solid sole that is slightly raised in the heel. It’s completely solid so that when you push off of the floor, none of the force is lost, and your feet are completely secure.
Most power lifters use shoes that give them slightly over an inch in the heel. Any shoe with 1 and a quarter inches is pretty standard. You can get higher or lower heels depending upon your leg length.
The platform allows you to sit deeper into a squat while keeping your back and neck straight. Having a raised heel means that you don’t need as much flexibility in your ankle to sit your hips way back. It also promotes driving through your heels on the squat which forces your glutes to do the bulk of the work. And that’s exactly what you want.

Converse Craze

A lot of people also use Converse Chuck Taylor shoes to lift. It’s a completely flat sole which simulates going barefoot.
These shoes have an extremely hard sole, but they’re not completely solid. They’re perfect for deadlifts, because you really don’t need to sit back too far on that lift.
If you have pretty flexible ankles, and haven’t had any previous injuries, you might want to try out this route and see how you like it.
You can always add a slight lift to your heels in these shoes by adding small 2.5 or 5 pound plates under your heels. They’re also $100 cheaper than a lot of official weightlifting shoes. So if you’re ballin’ on a budget, this is the way to go.
If you’re looking to reach your potential, make sure you have a pair of lifting shoes that’s right for you. It might make the difference for a new PR. Some of the most popular branded choices are the Nike Romaleos 2 and the Adidas Adipowers, try giving them a search and see what best fits in with your price range and goals.

January 5km Park run

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

January 5km Park run

January Challenge 5km Park run (By Duncan Boltt)

Now this is a nice simple challenge to start my year off, I am aiming to do lots of little challenges this year so this was a great first step.
I’ve always meant to do a park run as they are FREE, weekly and we have one just 600m away from my gym in Milton country park every .

Firstly it was incredibly easy to register and join in:
1) Enter your email address on their website, THATS IT! You’re now registered for any park run in the country.
2)Now just print out the barcode on the email they send you and your ready.

I organised a group of clients, and mates to join in so there was a nice group of us.
I turned up at 8:40 20 minutes early on a very fresh (cold) January morning to get instructions from the volunteers who were organising it. After initially getting very confused at its simplicity. I found a really helpful lady who explained all I need to do is run the collect a chip as I crossed the finish line.
So again nice and simple.
So I met up with Clara (her first park run) & Lynne Who is a seasoned park runner. We then took our places at the start line (standing at your predicted pace) at 9am. Then 3-2-1 off we went.

There was quite a bit of ice about so we warned as we ran by the volunteers and support about upcoming patches. I had my spikes on so I was fine though.
The run was really good natured & whilst there was good runners there it didn’t feel a do or die race, so it had a really friendly atmosphere whilst still being a competitive timed race.

At the end of the race, I collected my chip and then later handed my chip in with my barcode and bam, all done. They emailed me my time and finishing position over the weekend.

I really enjoyed it and it was so easy I will definitely do it again. I highly recommend it for anyone who either enjoyed running or would like to get more involved, its so easy to get involved and because the email you all your times you can keep track of how your doing.

Here is the website, give it a go:

Contact details

Website: www.parkrun.org.uk

Nick Apps – Cambridge Fitness Interview

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

1. What sports / other hobbies do you enjoy?
Rugby has been part of my life from a young age and I still enjoy playing today. I also enjoy Crossfit, pushing my limits with every workout really is satisfying.

2. What is your most favourite type of training to teach?
I really like teaching people strength and conditioning training. It attracts those who are looking to work hard and dedicate themselves to the process.

3. What is your most favourite type of training to do yourself?
I enjoy strength and conditioning training.

4. Do you have any fitness idols?
My fitness idols are coaches I look up to and learn from. Paul Chek is a big influence, along with Dan John, Vern Gambetta and Louie Simmons.

5. How long have you been training for?
I’ve been training regularly since I was 16. Over the years but goals have changed with the many different methods of training I’ve used.

6. What’s your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement would be cycling from Cambridge to Paris is 2013. I’ve also enjoyed achievements as a Crossfit competitor.
Being fit has brought me a lot of good memories and has given me experiences most people miss out on. I’ve also enjoyed achievements as a Crossfit competitor.

7. What motivates you to train / workout?

I don’t need motivation to train, I enjoy it.

Add more:

Being fit has brought me a lot of good memories and has given me experiences most people miss out on. Such as running 7km down an old Roman road in the Dales through bad weather and hilly terrain. I believe being fit and active can give you the ability to see a different side of life and thats what I’d like to give to my clients.

Jack Webb – Interview Cambridge Fitness

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

1. What got you “into” personal training?

I believe finding health and happiness shouldn’t be a mystery or a chore – a degree of physicality can be a vital counter balance to 21st Century stress. I received a pretty non-existent physical education as a kid, so I’ve always been driven to explore this world of health, wellbeing and performance, as well as offer my support to anyone and everyone that it could benefit.

2. What sports / other hobbies do you enjoy?

I’ve always been a bigger fan of human performance more than any one sport. But I’ve grown to love mixed martial arts and grappling sports from Judo to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. They offer the ultimate stress testing ground for any trainer and I’ve been lucky enough to help work with some aspiring fighters. I’ve a passion for science and history, Crossfit, high climbing, deep diving and working within educational environments and initiatives.

3. What is your most favourite type of training to teach?

I love working with the basics, even stripping back capable athletes to look at how we move, how we breathe and how we can tie it all together to produce some amazing results. My goal is always to build the best foundation possible. I place a big focus on motor control and body awareness, really how we express ourselves, and the challenges we then face under exertion and stress!

I take a holistic approach to training but I’ll only ever draw on the best science I can, and cater to the individual! I’ve been lucky enough to work with teens, men and women, mixed martial artists to pre-habbers and re-habbers. Even if you have just one goal in mind, whether weight loss, a marathon or taking on a new sport – I hope to give you the tools and confidence to tackle anything you choose to.

4. What is your most favourite type of training to do yourself?

I love exploring new movements and disciplines, really exposing myself to all the fear and feeling that come with them in an effort to make myself a better physical teacher. Currently I’m playing with allot of strength training to sure up old injuries, and having great fun with traditional weightlifting. Whatever I’m doing I’ll be testing something on myself, whether playing with training dynamics or exploring new crossovers.

5. Do you have any fitness idols?

I’m not sure if I hold all too many idols but I’ve great respect for the new wave of physiotherapists, trainers and scientists fighting to bring back a focus on wellbeing and real world application in all that we do. Disseminating these ideas and giving us the tools to live full lives without having to rely on an industry dictating to us!

How long have you been training for?

I’ve been training since my teens, at times awesomely infectively! Where I did cycle and compete at a reasonably high level, my training knowledge and philosophy has grown and changed dramatically since then. Self-preservation and maintenance being a welcome addition!

6. What qualifications have you done?

I’ve completed a Premier Diploma in Personal training, and continue study in the Sports Sciences at a degree level.

I actually studied History in tandem with my diploma.

7. What’s your proudest achievement?

Probably starting on this road, I was comfortable and capable of working in a quite different field but I chose to challenge myself and steer at a healthier and happier course that would hopefully, genuinely benefit me and those around me.

8. What motivates you to train / workout?

I’m constantly motivated to improve myself, and put myself in a better position to reach out and support those closest to me as well as educate and empower anyone I can benefit.

What’s more mind body connections are very real, who doesn’t want to be firing on all cylinders! Consciously or not.

9. Tell me anything else you think may be helpful

I try and give every client something to take away – as well as offering a service that extends beyond just face time. Whether your focus lies in a happier, healthier or more athletic you – I’ll work with your concerns, restrictions and passions to deliver real results and longevity.

Testimonials:

Sue Lees, 27 – Cambridge

“I’ve always considered myself pretty fit – I play allot of sport at a high level and have often represented Cambridge in my time studying here. Where I first met Jack as part of a larger team, he has shown a focus and attention to the practical side of my training and technique that I feel has contributed to an entirely injury free season and a whole new outlook on how I should be taking my fitness forward”

Kris Grier, 31 – Portsmouth

“I’ve always hated gyms – something I was quite able to share and laugh about with Jack, he’s helped give me a grounding and a mindset to take on challenges that quite literally scared in me the past. I now actively Crossfit and love it, I manage most of my own training and I’m currently waiting to enter my second Tough Mudder, they call it the toughest event on the planet? We’ll see about that!”

Serena McGuinness

“Jack helped me get in shape for my wedding after having a baby. He took into consideration my back condition & lack of strength. I cannot recommend the personal affordable service highly enough. I was advised on nutrition and all types of fitness; I looked great for my wedding and feel healthier and stronger. Jack is able to design his work-outs around ability and has equipment and experience to take things as far as you desire. Contact him, you will not regret it!”

Do you really NEED weightlifting shoes?

Category: Exercise tips and advice | Published : October 24, 2016

Do you really NEED weightlifting shoes?

The fitness lifestyle isn’t a cheap one. Supplements, quality protein sources in foods, gym memberships and gym clothing doesn’t come cheap and nor do shoes designed for weightlifting… but are weightlifting shoes really that important?
You don’t have to be a competitor to take weightlifting serious. It’s hands down, one of the most effective ways to build strength, power, and solid muscle mass. To step into a gym ready to lift weights you really don’t need much. All you need is yourself, an optional weightlifting belt, a bottle of water and… a good pair of lifting shoes?
The purpose of this article is to bring to your attention how important weightlifting shoes are and how to go about choosing the best ones. Think they are not worth the extra investment? Shoes alone have been known to instantly add 30 lbs onto an exercise like the squat.

So, what’s wrong with the regular sneakers?

Tennis or running shoes are built to be comfy and allow you to be agile. They’re meant to absorb your bodyweight when you run, and support your feet when you’re making lateral movements.
That softness in the sneakers is what will really kill your lifting technique and efficiency. It’s like trying to lift really heavy weight with your feet on a pillow…..there’s just not enough stability.
When you’re lifting heavy, the goal is to create as much force as possible by transferring it from your feet directly into the floor. If your feet are on soft and squishy surface that’s meant to absorb force, you’re going to lose a bunch of power and furthermore, you’ll be unstable. A great example of this is using leg drive when performing a bench press. You push into the floor from your feet this then transfer’s power that you can use to push the barbell up. Wearing tennis or running shoes means you are missing out on a lot of potential power.

Ankle Flexibility

Most people don’t have an impressive range of motion in their ankles. It’s just how life goes. We walk around all day, and your ankles only have to produce force in a very limited range of motion.
On top of that, ankles usually aren’t at the top of the priority list when it comes to stretching and mobility exercises. Most of us just work with the flexibility that just comes naturally to us.
In most Olympic lifts, we’re required to plantar flex (toe pointed down) explosively, and then squat down real low which requires a ton of dorsiflexion (toe pointed up). If you don’t have a ton of range of motion in your ankles, that’s where the shoes may come in handy.

What one do I choose?!

Weightlifting shoes are characterized by a completely solid sole that is slightly raised in the heel. It’s completely solid so that when you push off of the floor, none of the force is lost, and your feet are completely secure.
Most power lifters use shoes that give them slightly over an inch in the heel. Any shoe with 1 and a quarter inches is pretty standard. You can get higher or lower heels depending upon your leg length.
The platform allows you to sit deeper into a squat while keeping your back and neck straight. Having a raised heel means that you don’t need as much flexibility in your ankle to sit your hips way back. It also promotes driving through your heels on the squat which forces your glutes to do the bulk of the work. And that’s exactly what you want.

Converse Craze

A lot of people also use Converse Chuck Taylor shoes to lift. It’s a completely flat sole which simulates going barefoot.
These shoes have an extremely hard sole, but they’re not completely solid. They’re perfect for deadlifts, because you really don’t need to sit back too far on that lift.
If you have pretty flexible ankles, and haven’t had any previous injuries, you might want to try out this route and see how you like it.
You can always add a slight lift to your heels in these shoes by adding small 2.5 or 5 pound plates under your heels. They’re also $100 cheaper than a lot of official weightlifting shoes. So if you’re ballin’ on a budget, this is the way to go.
If you’re looking to reach your potential, make sure you have a pair of lifting shoes that’s right for you. It might make the difference for a new PR. Some of the most popular branded choices are the Nike Romaleos 2 and the Adidas Adipowers, try giving them a search and see what best fits in with your price range and goals.