Friday, September 25, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: RETURN TO THE CANYON

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: RETURN TO THE CANYON: Yes he's at it again! After much deliberation and searching for new challenges I decided that nothing can match the Grand Canyon so...


Yes he's at it again! After much deliberation and searching for new challenges I decided that nothing can match the Grand Canyon so I'm going back next month for a slightly different challenge.
   Last time I went from Rim to Rim, this time I'm doing Rim to River to Rim from the South side. Basically its a few miles shorter and I will set off and return from different points along the South rim. The main challenge is that the descent is much more severe, rocky and very steep and there are no water taps till the river. Falling, injury and dehydration are the potential problems (plus snakes etc).  There are several warning signs telling you not to do it including the one of 23 year old Margaret Bradley, a sub 3 hour Boston Marathoner, super fit and strong, who tragically died of dehydration on the climb back out. The Canyon can be an unforgiving place, even to the healthy and well prepared, the dangers are real but you just have to know what you can and cannot do... and I believe I can do this... in fact I'm going to do it.
Below is a chart of the elevation gain and descent which is 5000 feet down and 5000 feet back up again and starting at over 7000 feet but on different trails. The total distance is about 30k so not quite as far as the rim to rim but apparently no less demanding.
     So why go back and do it again albeit a different route? Well, anyone who has visited the Canyon will tell you that it is truly mind blowing and for me and many others quite spiritual. I have not trained as much as last year but feel with all the training I do anyway I believe it will be enough to see me through. Apparently the main concerns are lack of water, the heat and the steep gradient. No doubt when I am stood on the rim next month I'll be saying 'Whose idea was this?'.
I start down the South Kaibab Trail and head for the river below which I will cross and then cross back again further downstream, then I follow the river before turning into the Bright Angel Trail and the big climb out. The rim to rim took over 8 hours I believe this should take, all being well, about 5 hours plus. It all depends on heat, the terrain, my fitness, etc etc.
 I have mostly trained using the Crossfit Endurance (CFE) model which means instead of long punishing trail runs you use shorter intense workouts. This reduction in volume means less wear and tear injuries. I have been doing many different sprint protocols as well as tempo/threshold training, hill workouts and of course strength and conditioning with weights.  I also do a HIIT session at least once a week and one or two 10k runs at a higher pace. The only way that I deviate from the CFE model is that I have done a few longer trail runs. I feel that this is necessary to assist further with all the musculoskeletal, cardio and cellular adaptations and on a mental level for preparing and testing, nutrition, hydration, footwear, pace etc
    The CFE argument is that these 'long' runs are unnecessary because they only increase fatigue but I only do them now and again (whereas it used to be all the time).
But how does CFE prepare you to run 'long' if you don't practice running 'long' ? In a nutshell in works like this;-
Studies have repeatedly shown that 'High-Intensity Interval Training is an efficient way to increase your skeletal muscle oxidative capacity whilst inducing specific metabolic adaptations that are comparable to traditional endurance training'. In other words, with HIIT, you can get the same results as with high-volume training but in less time.
At its core, the CFE program is about two words you do not hear much about in traditional programs: 'Health and Sustainability'.
Cross Fit Endurance also works on developing running skill, balance and flexibility with a specific focus on nutrition and mobility,why? because ultimately a CFE athlete is not just someone who runs and races well; he or she is someone who is first and foremost healthy and strong and because of this runs more efficiently and injury-free.
 The evidence is clear, not only for myself, but for many of my clients who have run considerable distances and with faster times having never done any long slow distance training and because they are strong, their recovery from these events is super fast.
  So back to the Canyon. When I arrive I will no doubt feel the same emotion of wonder that I felt nearly 40 years ago on my first visit, it really does blow you away ... and then I will get the second emotion, fear. Its a daunting but fabulous place, what can I say?
I hope when I am alone and deep in the canyon I will feel the same sense of peace and calm that I felt one year ago.  Many things can go wrong but as someone once said:-
                                        'Adventure without risk is Disneyland'.



Sunday, August 30, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE GREAT CARB QUESTION

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE GREAT CARB QUESTION: There seems to be a misconception flying around that fit, healthy, lean people in great shape don't eat carbs apparently because they a...


There seems to be a misconception flying around that fit, healthy, lean people in great shape don't eat carbs apparently because they are the cause of all evil and slaves to the fat Gods. Many people seem to believe that I don't eat carbs ever, this is very bizarre.
The points in this blog should be obvious but sometimes one has to make things clear for everyone to get it. Like with most things it's not that complicated it just appears to be.
For the record I eat carbs with every meal but they aren't bread, rice, potatoes or pasta. Do I ever eat any of those? ... of course I do.
Its all down to when you eat them, how often, what portion size and importantly, what type. You need about 150 grams of carbs per day for healthy body and brain function. The main problem with Carbs is that they have lots of calories because of the type of carbs that most people eat, such as crisps, pastries, pasta, coke, chips, cakes, sauces, packaged processed foods etc ... you all know what I mean.

 Optimum Body Composition is achieved by 90% of what you eat and drink ... Not exercise.

Here are some basics you can follow if you really want to cut fat and stay healthy :-

 (10 grams of carbs, 35 grams of protein,16 grams of fat)
  1)Eat 3 protein based meals a day ... all of them with salad or vegetables (including breakfast), lots of them. Its the vegetables that provide the carbs. This is very important.
 2) Eat a portion of healthy fats eg Nuts, Seeds, Greek yogurt, 1/2 avocado, etc.
 3) Every 2-3 days add a portion of  healthy low glycaemic carbs to one meal eg Brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, whole grains.
 4) Drink a minimum of 2.5 litres of water a day.
 5) Once a week have a naughty desert ... that's once!
 6) Eat this way 90% of the time you will be surprised at the results and will not feel hungry.
 7) Do a minimum of 20 minutes of intense exercise 3 x per week .... (that's only one hour out of 168).

1) In my experience most people's portions are far too large (and I don't mean just in North America and the UK), cut them down by at least a third. You'll be surprised how well your body will function ... and you won't starve, trust me.
2) Avoid sugary carbohydrates especially fizzy drinks, sweets and biscuits. They are loaded with bad carbs ...that does not mean to say you can't ever have any, it just means make these choices now and again.
3) Alcohol is the most insidious source of sugar on the planet. I don't say cut drinking altogether,  just be aware of the huge amount of sugar in wine, beer and spirits... and I don't care which vineyard it comes from or how expensive it is, it's still a grape!
4) You don't need all this over processed food so just make a decision and change to a healthier lifestyle, select healthy nutritious foods, exercise more and then stick to it. You will be shocked at the benefits.

 PS  I know that most of the comments I get will be how small my lunch is. I weigh 86 kilos (190 pounds). I exercise with great intensity at least 4 times a week and I run ultra marathons and yet this is all the food my body needs, so don't go grabbing that cream cake after your Zumba class, I'm afraid you didn't even burn a 1/4 of the calories in the cake.... sorry :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE POWER OF CONSISTENCY

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE POWER OF CONSISTENCY: If there is one missing link that I find in people trying to achieve their goal of fitness, health and clean nutrition then the lack of con...

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE POWER OF CONSISTENCY

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: THE POWER OF CONSISTENCY: If there is one missing link that I find in people trying to achieve their goal of fitness, health and clean nutrition then the lack of con...


If there is one missing link that I find in people trying to achieve their goal of fitness, health and clean nutrition then the lack of consistency is it ... and I know why ... because they think

that consistency is boring!
But lets break this down ..
Is eating pizza boring?
Is eating chips or cakes or pasta everyday boring?
Is drinking alcohol everyday boring?
Is smoking 30 cigarettes everyday boring?
Taking your kids to school, brushing your teeth, commuting to work, having a Starbucks, reading a newspaper, checking your emails, commuting to work, washing the dishes? ... okay you get the point.
Some things you do everyday are boring, some necessary but boring and some are a habit that you can't kick and some are fun. In other words its just life, so when I hear people say exercise is boring I always think, as opposed to what ?
All you are doing is applying a convenient label to something you don't want to do. But why?
Everyday I read more and more about the health problems caused by bad diet and lack of exercise, the statistics are scary and yet the majority just close their eyes (and ears) and ignore it ... or try to.

The problem that I see repeated over and over again comes in 5 phases.

Phase 1.
A client signs up for a gym membership, or PT sessions or Boot camp, full of enthusiasm to get fit and healthy. They clear out the cupboards of crap and go to the store to buy the right foods. This is it, a decision has been made and  a new healthy body beckons. They make sweeping statements that they are going to get fit and lose weight.

Phase 2.
 A few weeks later, the body has slimmed down a bit and they feel healthier and happy with their progress ... and decide that this is their new life from now on.

Phase 3
 About 4-6 weeks later, boredom, fatigue or a feeling of not improving anymore starts to creep in. But more importantly a feeling of missing out on a fun life with friends, drinking, partying, going out, etc. The person slips into old ways, misses a few sessions and slowly puts the weight back on believing that they will start again next week with renewed vigour ... but they don't. They make excuses, the list is endless but basically they stop eating clean and exercising consistently.

Phase 4
Depression, anger, a lack of self worth or comments from 'friends' and family that all health junkies are not normal and weird, assuring you that living 'normally' is the right way to go. ie Unhealthy.

Phase 5
You feel fed up, low, disgusted with yourself or just plain fat and then finally you decide to get yourself together and sign up once more to a healthy lifestyle program ... and the cycle goes on. What a waste of time and money and effort.

You may have done this or you may never have even begun to sort yourself out ... or you maybe you are already super fit and healthy. If you are in the last group then how did you achieve this? What was the difference between you and the ones who failed ... yes, failed?
The answer is always the same: the fit and healthy live a fit and healthy lifestyle consistently. They do not drop in and out or choose fad diets or crazy fitness schemes, they have simple clear guidelines that they practice on a daily basis. This may seem boring to some but it doesn't need to feel that way if your healthy regime is a habit.
If exercising 4 times a week or eating clean 90% of the time keeps them looking and feeling great then that's what they do. Sure they may have a blowout now and again but they will spend the next week pulling back to before the blowout by eating well and exercising consistently thereby re-setting their healthy equilibrium.
And you don't have to go nuts, I know many fit people who train maybe 3 to 4 times a week for about 30 minutes only! ... and they are in great shape. But they train with an intensity that might surprise you and they do it every week, no breaks, no ifs or buts or lame excuses its wired into their DNA that this is what they 'must' do to maintain their health.
They make consistently good food choices every day and its usually very simple and uncomplicated.... and again some would say boring.
 Some people find being consistent difficult or too strict, anal even but again its just a label that they apply to what they don't want to do. I find people who smoke, drink or eat badly on a consistent basis very boring. I mean is that all they can do to enjoy life? Surely there are better choices than that. Life is full of variety and challenges we just have to be consistent in our efforts to find them.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: FACE UP TO THE FAT FACTS.

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: FACE UP TO THE FAT FACTS.:      My last blog on drinking seemed to generate a lot of interest .... probably not the contents of my blog but just because it was about ...

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


     My last blog on drinking seemed to generate a lot of interest .... probably not the contents of my blog but just because it was about alcohol, a very popular subject. As some of you know I don't drink, in my University days I did, but rarely to excess because I couldn't see the point. As I got older I drank less and less as I didn't need it to have a good time or to boost my confidence or to forget life ... or for whatever else the reasons people have.
    Sometimes I'll have the odd small glass of beer but basically it does nothing for me. I don't need it. Do I have other weaknesses, of course, everybody does. ( e.g. Chocolate but only the 75% Cocoa kind but that's healthy anyway. )
Okay, my greatest health/fitness/nutrition weakness is a chocolate croissant. Most of my readers know that I nullify the effect of this with a 5 minute Glut-4 routine exactly 10 minutes before I have one. It works every time, why more people don't do it I don't know. Glut-4 workouts are so effective when done before eating any 'bad' food and yet the only people who seem to do it are a few of my clients, Tim Ferris and me ..... bizarre!
Simply put an experiment showed that about 280 seconds of intense exercise can increase Glut-4 in the muscles by 83% whereas 6 hours of lower intensity exercise (eg jogging) increased it by 91%. So 280 seconds of exercise had almost the same effect as 6 hours when it comes to increasing GLUT-4 levels. So which would you choose?
   The more Glut-4 gates that are open then the more sugar (glycogen) is sent to your muscles ... as opposed to fat storage. You can even get the effect with 60-90 seconds but I do 5 minutes because I get other benefits ... plus I'm a bit obsessive.
  Does it work with alcohol I hear you cry? Good question. Well the answer is yes.
If you are going to be indulging heavily one night then do a Glut-4 routine before you go out. To get the full effects then repeat this 90 minutes after.  BUT if you are going to continue eating and drinking badly all night then it won't work, obviously. It works for a specific meal or a few drinks over an hour or so and that's it.
  Does it work every time you do it? Yes.
The best exercises are squats, press ups, lunges, dips, burpees, squat jumps, sprints, etc. Do them quickly and with great intensity for the time period and that's it .... go and have your croissant.
 Please don't get confused with burning calories, this is not what's going on. Essentially the exercise sends a message to your brain that you need the energy, the Glut-4's are opened and direct that glycogen to the muscles. I like to think of it as a kind of trick because your muscles don't actually need it and normally this would have gone to fat storage but the brain doesn't know this.
 As an experiment about 4 years ago we went to Italy for a short holiday. We had pasta and lots of naughty things that I never eat and I did this routine before every meal, in doorways, bathrooms, side streets, etc. Sue said I looked like a right nutter but by the time I returned home my body fat % and weight were exactly the same as when I left ... Sue's unfortunately wasn't. (cos she didn't do it :) ).
    The next question is can you be bothered ? Well if you can't be bothered to do something for your health and well being that only takes 60 seconds, I give up.
     A recent study showed that only one minute of exercise a day,  (20 seconds of  cycling, rest, then repeat 5 times i.e. One minute), increased fat loss against a control group in obese people by 13%. This was done 5 times a week, so 5 minutes of exercise a week had this effect against those who did nothing at all.
 The World Health Organisation has just published figures which show that within 10 years 74% of UK men and nearly 70% of UK women will be
overweight... and obesity will hit 36%. The rest of Europe including Russia is on course to be
even worse ... and lets even talk about the US as that's of the charts!
       If you are overweight or worse and are reading this then DO SOMETHING and stop blaming everybody else or everything else. The head of the NHS in the UK said that a radical shake up in anti- obesity levels needs to be introduced. I read all the time about more funding needed for the NHS and yet the guy in charge says the way to close the £30 billion funding gap is to stop being nice to people 'cajoling', as he put it and instead get them to sort themselves out. I have a client, who has worked very hard and lost 25% of his body weight and an even greater % of actual body fat, in an effort to cure his neuropathy (diabetes). It takes consistent effort and mental discipline but instead the majority seem to be sliding into all sorts of problems, Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer, Alzheimer and many others all as a result of what you eat and a simple lack of exercise.
    We are living in an environment of over consumption and bad food choices ... and there is a price to pay. If the people who are in the thick of providing health care and are at the coalface of witnessing the problems on a day to day basis then why don't we listen and take action ?
  Most of the changes can be quite small and in the overweight can make big differences, simple things, like cutting carbs, reducing alcohol consumption, taking a brisk walk. They don't have to be big statements like dramatic diets that never work or joining a gym or a Boot camp that you never go to.  Its all about doing things that are effective and that you will be consistent at for the rest of your life. Its a bit like lifting a dumbbell. You can lift a dumbbell 50 times quickly but lifting the right weight, slowly and in the correct manner and doing it consistently will have a much greater effect on your physiology.
   If you cut out carbohydrates and then go out on a bender or have too much to drink or eat on a Friday night then that's a waste of time because you'll never stick to your diet ... Never. Its basic psychology folks you don't have to be Jean Paul Sartre to figure it out. Real change comes in small but significant steps that you will do everyday for the rest of your life. Build on these changes as your health and weight improve.
    I will no doubt get some emails saying I am being too hard or preachy or I don't understand or its easy for you (that old chestnut), so let me be diplomatic for a change ... nah,... I don't do diplomatic ... basically I'm right and that's it. For Christ's sake sort yourself out people.
  And for those who have, or are doing something about their health issues, give your self a high five, do a Glut-4 routine and treat yourself to a chocolate croissant!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: LAST ORDERS ... DRINK UP PLEASE!

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: LAST ORDERS ... DRINK UP PLEASE!: Despite how much exercise people do or how well they say they eat, I find one weakness that tops them all and I use the word weakness delib...