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    The “non-negotiables” of fitness are my list of the things you should always be doing in your fitness regime.

    Remember there are 7 movement patterns and 3 planes of movement PLUS the various components that actually comprise the definition of fitness –

    • strength
    • cardiovascular endurance/stamina
    • joint mobility
    • power
    • balance and agility
    • speed

    For you to tick the right boxes and by doing so upgrade your general fitness, here are my tips –

    Stop stretching and start doing mobility drills.

    There is no evidence stretching before training has any benefit and post-training stretching can actually blunt the gains you have just worked so hard to get! What on earth am I going on about? Our muscles are highly elastic and the work they do is dynamic. The relationship between the brain, nervous system and muscles is highly symbiotic and when training for strength, power, speed balance and agility, high quality training results in this relationship is continually improving over time. Stretching as I said really plays no part in a high quality training program.

    Stop doing power movements at the end or in the middle of sessions.

    We MUST use all available energy for power development PLUS do it when our nervous system is most ready to work maximally. Fatiguing your body in any way prior to doing power work will result in low quality output and this results in low quality outcomes.
    
    You can add doing cardio before strength work to this hack - a waste of time. You actually think "burning" fat is better than developing muscle, think about that for a moment! 
    
    Power work first, then strength work, finally cardio!

    Change your “cardio” routine to HIIT

    I still see so many people walking or slow jogging on treadmills or on a bike and watching something on their phone while (it seems aimlessly) pedalling. Change does not occur without effort. Effort = getting breathless and sweaty. It doesn't and shouldn't necessarily be fast-paced and continuous, even 30 secs of all out effort on the treadmill, rower or air bike with 30 secs rest for 5 rounds (so 4.5 minutes total) will elicit the hormonal response your body needs to adapt!

    Strength work should be heavy, have a rep range of 4-6 and be with tempo, form (technique) and control. Cardio work as HIIT above should be all out and won’t last long as a consequence.

    If you can "lift" a weight 10-15 times in a set and do another set a minute later, you're not doing strength work, you're essentially doing conditioning training. You may get a "pump" (go Arnie!) and some hypertrophy gains but you won't get stronger and you won't lean up much either. Why? Because you are not manipulating your hormones in a positive way. Guys and girls that spend endless hours in the gym day after day and never get stronger or leaner end up doing what way too many others do, they juice - hit the roids. Their reality is they must use chemicals because internally their natural balances are askew and synthetics are their only way out. 
    On this subject I see so many Insta and social media "coaches" that honestly have no clue about the physiology that should be first base on providing first class advice and instruction to clients. It is such a serious issue in the fitness industry I actually don't believe there is enough physiotherapists being trained to deal with all the broken clients that will become of plague proportions in the not to distant future! Add to that the number of backyard PT's that end up in gyms doing the most bizarre and frankly dangerous exercises with clients - it is truly scary.  

    If you are in need to engaging a professional with many years of experience (and a Masters degree in exercise science), please feel free to email me darrenblakeley@gmail.com

    #Building Better Humans

    HIIT Strong FREE Trial

    FREE Physio Assessment (15mins)

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      Fitness hacks that work!

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