Mens fitness magazine uk february 2013


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Mens fitness magazine uk february 2013

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  4. 4. HELLY HANSEN CATWALK Aurelien Ducroz World Champion Freeride Skier Lofoten, Norway Scandinavian Design is the cornerstone in all Helly Hansen gear. The optimal combination of purposeful design, protection and style. This is why professional athletes, patrollers and discerning enthusiasts choose Helly Hansen. CONFIDENT WHEN IT MATTERS
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  6. 6. Contents p42 THE GREATEST Phelpsongolf, his bestracesand whatcomes next WIN! Onthecover Blast your gut One kettlebell is all you need to carve yourself a six-pack Gym membership p161 FREE! Earphones p148 p143 Instant attraction p24 179 ways to improve Six-packs are built in the kitchen. These 27 foods are your tools p21 Supersize your bench p109 Abs snacks p117 Torch fat, look amazing, kick date night up a notch – it couldn’t be simpler Use verbal cues to improve instantly p149 Middle management Still doing sit-ups? Update your routine with these essentials p137 Hard core Every good six-pack needs support. Carve your whole midsection into flawless shape with these four simple moves Our Trainer section is chock-full of advice and tips to get you in supreme shape Strength, not stress Calm down, beef up p42 One man, 22 medals Record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps talks exclusively to MF about his plans for the future p24 COVER SUBSCRIBE TO MEN’S FITNESS Model Richard Pearce@WAthletic Photography Glen Burrows Grooming Danielle Ogilvie using Kiehl’s products And get 5 issues of the print or digital edition plus BioSynergy Thermogen fat-burners free 6/FEBRUARY 2013/ For more details see p74 or go to
  7. 7. Issue151 February2013 15 Fit List Swing your way to awesome cardio + The world’s best abs move + Fat-burning aphrodisiacs + Must-have smartphones + The perfect punch + Rory McIlroy on learning from defeat 35 Experts Build your biceps like Charles Poliquin + Training tips from Jessica Ennis’s coach + Tim Ferriss on how to master anything 42 Features Michael Phelps talks golf and golds + 31 days to ultimate fitness + Why everything you ‘know’ about fitness is wrong + Are you in the gym elite? 77 Out There MF jumps off a cliff + Gearing up with the best road running shoes for any budget + Downhill mountain biking - the ultimate adrenaline sport 95 Eat Fit Metabolism boosters to help you get lean + The only cooking oils your kitchen needs + Slow-carb lamb + Perfect eggs - any style + 27 six-pack snacks 117 Trainer Fast-track your fat loss p143 Footwear for pressing success + Four core-carving moves + Two dumbbells, one workout + Keeping your fitness resolutions on track + Snowboarding stretches Editor’s letter Going downhill fast p87 Quick muscle soup p23 Ones for the road p83 Food of love p21 There are two big reasons why your New Year fitness plans might falter. The first is making the effort but following bad advice. You might, for example, think that if your goal is to sculpt a six-pack, you need to eat less fat and do more crunches. If that’s your view, you’re misguided, and we explain why – and what you should be doing – in ‘Everything You Know About Fitness Is Wrong’ (p68). The other big pitfall is suddenly adopting a training regime that would make an Olympian shudder and a diet that would make a supermodel’s stomach rumble. The smart thing to do is to make small changes gradually, like the ones suggested in ‘31 Days To Your Fittest Year Ever’ (p52). Your first task is to drink more water. If that seems like an insurmountable challenge, you may want to try a different magazine. Jon Lipsey, Editor 2013/7
  8. 8. TheMFers Issue151 The staff of Men’s Fitness are always in the thick of the action Subscribe to MF and get five issues of the magazine for £5 plus free BioSynergy fat-burning supplements JOE, deputy editor What I’ve been up to Getting in front of the camera to demonstrate all the exercises I did to get in shape for the cover of the September issue of Men’s Fitness. This wasn’t just to satisfy my own vanity – the shots will appear in our brand new MagBook, 12 Week Body Plan. It contains the complete training programme, nutrition and supplement plan I followed – for more details, see below. JOEL, features editor What I’ve been up to Visiting Brazil for a holiday, although I still managed to get some training in thanks to the excellent outdoor gym on Rio’s Arpoador beach. It’s all concrete weights, pull-up bars, and benches with wooden uprights, and the sea’s much better than a shower. I also took the opportunity to do some Brazilian jiu jitsu at the city’s renowned Checkmat academy, and got my arse kicked. JAMES, feature writer What I’ve been up to Pelting down a French glacier in the Mountain of Hell downhill mountain bike race. I was nervous on arrival because it’s been years since I’ve been on a mountain bike but a day’s practice, a few bracing crashes and a broken bike later, I dredged up something that could pass for decent cycling form. Discovering the balls to hit 2m-high drop-offs proved somewhat harder. Read the full story on p87. BEN, staff writer What I’ve been up to Attending a jeet kune do class at Elements Martial Arts in Brighton ( JKD was devised by martial arts legend Bruce Lee as a hybrid of traditional martial arts and direct, practical movements that would be effective in real-life combat. The combination of aerobic/anaerobic exercise with ballistic movements makes it a great workout too. Two great new MF books Call 0844 844 0081 or go to links/subscribe For overseas subscriptions information call +44 (0) 1795 592916 Already a subscriber? Renew your subscription or change your details at MEN’S FITNESS Dennis Publishing Ltd, 30 Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JD Editor Deputy Editor Art Director Managing Editor Features Editor Designer Staff Writer Features Assistant Staff email Thanks this issue EDITORIAL Jon Lipsey 020 7907 6515 Joe Warner 020 7907 6521 Donovan Walker 020 7907 6522 Chris Miller 020 7907 6520 Joel Snape 020 7907 6816 Rob Lavery 020 7907 6518 Ben Ince 020 7907 6528 Sam Rider 020 7907 6523 Marc Southey (art), Jo Williams (subbing) DIGITAL Head of Content Nick Hutchings SEO Manager Kimberly Shepherd Content Manager Max Anderton MANAGEMENT Group Publisher Russell Blackman 020 7907 6488 Group Managing Director Ian Westwood Group Advertising Manager Advertising Manager Account Manager Classified Sales Executive Creative Solutions Project Manager Northern Representative ADVERTISING Claudia Nicoletti-Dowd 020 7907 6702 Rick Asiyani 020 7907 6713 Stephen Cooke 020 7907 6558 Kathryn McCabe 020 7907 6557 Avril Donnelly 020 7907 6618 Steph Binns 01423 569553 Fax 01423 709319 Managing Director Julian Lloyd-Evans MARKETING Marketing Manager Juliette Cooper 020 7907 6424 Partnerships Manager Sophie George 020 7907 6853 PRODUCTION Senior Production Daniel Stark 020 7907 6053 Executive SUBSCRIPTIONS/NEWSTRADE David Barker 020 7907 6489 James Mangan 020 7396 8042 Holly Mills 020 7907 6158 Anj Dosaj-Halai 020 7907 6132, Licensing Manager Carlotta Serantoni 020 7907 6550, Newstrade Director Newstrade Manager Direct Marketing Manager Syndication Sales Manager Chief Operating Officer/ Chief Financial Officer Group Finance Director Chief Executive Officer Chairman SENIOR MANAGEMENT Brett Reynolds Ian Leggett James Tye Felix Dennis Men’s Fitness is available for syndication and international licensing. Plea contact Nicole Adams on Please or +44 (0) 20 7907 6134 for details. Did you know? You can reserve a copy of Men’s Fitness free at a newsagent in the UK. Ask your newsagent for details. any Out 20th Dec Out 22nd Dec Origin Origination and retouching by Mullis Morgan. Printed by BGP. Distributed by Seymour Distribution, 2 East Poultry Avenue, London EC1A 9PT. Tel 020 7429 4000. Men’s Fitness, copyright 2012 by Dennis Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Men’s Fitness is a trademark and may not be used or reprod reproduced in the UK or Republic of Ireland without the permission of Dennis Publishing Ltd. Men’s Fitness is published in the UK and Republic of Ireland by Dennis Publishing Ltd and is sold subject to the follow terms: namely that it shall not without the written consent of the Publishers first given be lent, resold, following hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of Trade at more than the recommended selling price shown on the cover and that it shall not be lent, resold or hired out in a mutilated condition or in any unauthorised cover by way of Tra or affixed to or as part of any publication or advertising, literary or pictorial matter whatsoever. Trade FOLLOW US 8/FEBRUARY 2013/ The paper used for this magazine is produced from sustainable fibre, manufactured by mills with a valid chain of custody. Words John doe Photography Jane doe Keen to get your hands on every bit of training info you can? Try these new Men’s Fitness MagBooks. Workout Manual is full of the best routines and expert advice from the pages of MF to help you get fitter, stronger and better at sport, while 12 Week Body Plan demonstrates how Joe Warner built a cover model body in three months – and shows you how to do the same. Buy them from February2013
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  11. 11. LIVE THE LIFE OF A PRO CYCLIST AND DISCOVER A BRAND NEW TYPE OF CYCLING HOLIDAY ACCOmmODATION RECOVERY Exclusive 5* luxury villas in locations great for riding Latest post-ride recovery technology NormaTec Recovery System SuPPORT NuTRITION Vehicle supported rides carrying food, drink, spare wheels & clothing | Race experienced guides | Bike mechanic Fresh cooked meals | Created by a leading sports nutritionist | Prepared daily by our chef TRAINING TERRAIN Challenging routes | Stunning scenery Power Meter rental to boost your training ESCAPE TO THE WARm WEATHER FOR A PRO CYCLING EXPERIENCE AT A NEON VELO WINTER TRAINING AND RECOVERY CAmP NEON-VELO.COm/mF01
  12. 12. THE BIG PICTURE Liveby the board When the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series came to the UK for the first time, MF was there. Our man Warren Pole may not have emulated Ukrainian diver Anatoliy Shabotenko (pictured) with a twisting, dizzying, death-defying 27-metre leap into the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire, but he wasn’t going to miss out on the adrenalinepumping action. Turn to p77 to find out how Warren’s attempts at cliff diving went. 12/FEBRUARY 2013/
  13. 13. Words John doe Photography Jane doe Photography Red Bull
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  15. 15. YOUR COUNTDOWN TO A FITTER LIFE Hit the streets with our top running tips and shoes p16 To get the perfect abs you need to roll with it p18 Inspiration for those wanting to lose weight p21 How talking can help you improve your lifts p24 We round up the very latest smartphones p30 Swingmore togetfitter Short, high-rep kettlebell sessions will inflate your lung capacity Do a high-rep kettlebell workout and you will improve your cardio fitness as well as boosting your strength endurance, according to new US research. When subjects did as many swings as possible in 12 minutes, clocking up an average of 265 reps with a 16kg weight, the training effect led researchers to conclude that the exercise ‘can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase VO2 max’, the body’s ability to use oxygen. They also said that ‘kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes’. Words Jon Lipsey Illustration Peter Crowther@Debut Art For a 12-minute kettlebell workout, turn to p143 2013/15
  16. 16. Runitoff Get off the treadmill and forget pounding the pavement. These running techniques are much more fun – and will burn loads of fat Trail running High-intensity interval training ‘Cross-country running is a great alternative to city running,’ says Geracimo. ‘The constant body adjustments required to navigate uneven terrain provide a tough physical workout that burns more fat than running on even ground and avoids the damaging jarring effect of road running.’ ‘HIIT combines repetitions of highintensity exercise with lower-intensity intervals,’ says trainer Pete Geracimo of KX Gym ( 'This improves your athletic capacity and your body’s fatburning ability. High intensity means near maximum effort, while low should be around 50%.’ HIIT session 20-30sec sprint 1min easy jog Repeat for 15-20 minutes Find your feet style of Whatever Track sessions Discover your inner Usain Bolt or Mo Farah. ‘Find your local 400m track and join in group track sessions,’ says Geracimo. ‘Training with others is a great way to keep you motivated and competing against others will spur you on to improve. You’ll still be burning lots of calories long after you take off your spikes.’ Track session 400m hard 400m easy Repeat four times TRADITIONAL TRAIL PERFORMANCE MINIMALIST BAREFOOT Salomon Speedcross 3 Saucony Xodus 3.0 GTX New Balance Performance M890V2 Adidas AdiPure Gazelle Vibram FiveFingers Sprint Beginner Any Experienced Intermediate Experienced KEY FEATURE Cushioning for heelstrikers, protecting the achilles, calf and knees. The shoe digs into the ground to provide traction. Cushioning and durability is stripped away to reduce weight. The midsole mimics the natural stability of bare feet. No extra support. Many runners find they help reduce injury and improve efficiency. TOP TIP If you’re a beginner, have your running gait analysed to ensure you get the right support. If the surface is soft enough that you can dig your sole into it, use a trail shoe such as this. It will help improve your running times – try it if you’re aiming for a sub2hr 45min marathon. Teaches you to run on your forefoot as a bridge between traditional shoes and barefoot. Don’t just switch over – integrate them slowly into your training. DETAILS £95 £110 £68 £85 £89 Words Sam Rider Photography Danny Bird, Hugh Threlfall running you choose, pick the right shoe with tips from Jamie Smith, manager of the Sweatshop store in Reading ( EXPERIENCE LEVEL 16/FEBRUARY 2013/
  17. 17. ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ ∙ Chronograph Wor ld Time Alar m Back-light 10 Bar Water R esistance From the Nairobi Collec tion PV4005X1
  18. 18. Ready toroll Add barbell rollouts to your regime for rock-hard abs BARBELL ROLLOUT Sets 4 Reps 6-8 MUSCLE TIP A Be aware of your abs 5Get on your knees with your arms extended and your hands holding a barbell with a shoulder-width grip. Slowly roll the barbell away from your body, keeping your core braced throughout. B 5Once you have extended until your torso is parallel to the ground, contract your abs to pull the bar back towards your body to the start position. If you focus on how your core muscles move during abs exercises, they will grow back bigger and stronger. Research has shown that being aware of your muscles as they work improves the mind-muscle connection, allowing you to work them harder for greater results. ABS Words Joe Warner Photography Tom Miles Model David Peters@MOT MYTH I f you thought barbells were only good for big strength lifts such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses, it’s time to think again. The barbell rollout is one of the hardest – and consequently most effective – abs moves for building a rock-solid six-pack. The key to making this move as effective as it can be is to keep tension on your entire core during every rep, forcing these muscles to work overtime to stabilise your torso. This means you won’t be doing high-rep sets because the focus should be on slow, high-quality reps to reap the maximum results. To keep tension on the muscles, don’t go fully upright at the end of each rep ‘Doing lots of sit-ups is the best way to build a rock-hard six-pack’ T his myth has been around as long as men have coveted an impressively defined core. However, sit-ups don’t directly target the abs muscles, making them ineffective at crafting a six-pack. Instead they work small, stabilising muscles within the hip joint. Great for hip strength, rubbish for abs. Instead of wasting hours on sit-ups, focus on barbell rollouts, crunches and leg raises. For more abs exercises go to 18/FEBRUARY 2013/
  19. 19. DRY SKIN? Available at selected Boots Shop online at Shop online at Subject to availability Subject to availability
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  21. 21. Turn her on Want inspiration to lose weight? Look no further Every woman wants her man to look fit and healthy but, according to a survey, almost one in five goes further and admits that seeing their other half trying to lose weight is a turn-on. You’d think that was inspiration enough to ditch your gut, yet only 6% of men admit to dieting to get more action. The foods below will help – and also serve as aphrodisiacs, so treat yourself and your partner to get fit and invigorate your sex life. Hot chillies Capsaicin, found in fiery peppers, increases blood circulation and stimulates nerve endings while firing up your body’s fat-burning ability. Salmon Oily fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which have been found to boost the pleasure hormone dopamine. Seeds Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc and vitamin E, which raise levels of the sex hormone testosterone, as well as omega 3 fats. In fine style Make sure your hair has the right stuff Choose the best styling product for your barnet with these expert tips from Michael Douglas, style director of Head & Shoulders and Shockwaves. Wax Mousse Putty/clay Cream Appearance Silky but sticky feel. Harder and stiffer than gel. Similar to gel, but lighter. Thick and firmer than gel and wax. Silky and light. Key feature Provides strong hold with added volume. Gives hair the ‘just got out of bed’ look. Adds volume to hair. Gives hair a matte finish. Provides moisture for a continuous wet look. Best for… …creating big quiffs and extreme styles. …all hair types and lengths. …thin or limp hair. …giving lots of texture to short hair styles. …dry hair. Technique tip Blow-dry it in your hair for a natural hold without a sticky look. Use a hard wax for short hair and a soft wax for longer styles. Apply to damp hair and blow-dry. Only use in long hair if it’s soft to the touch. It doesn’t tend to dry out, so use sparingly. 2013/21 Words Sam Rider Photography Shutterstock Sources LighterLife, One Poll, WHFoods Gel
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  23. 23. Superbowl Get loads of goodness in one dish with this quick soup Words Ben Ince Photography Food styling Karol Gladki minute meal Few dishes do as good a job of keeping you warm in winter as soup. This comforting broccoli and stilton soup is packed with nutrient-rich vegetables, takes minutes to prepare and is guaranteed to give you a boost when the going gets cold. INGREDIENTS 1tbsp olive oil / ½ onion, diced / 1 garlic clove, crushed / 250g broccoli, cut into florets / Handful of spinach / 150ml vegetable stock / 1tbsp stilton, crumbled / 1tbsp toasted almonds / Salt and pepper to season TO MAKE ● Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat. ● Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened. ● Add the broccoli, spinach and stock, and bring to the boil. ● Remove the mixture from the pan and blend until smooth. ● Serve with the crumbled stilton and toasted almonds on top. BROCCOLI is high in chromium, which the body needs to build muscle, reduce body fat and produce energy. GARLIC can help to lower cholesterol and protect blood vessels from oxidative stress. For more healthy meals that are ready in minutes go to 2013/23
  24. 24. Talk itup Stats show that high levels of stress prevent your body from building muscle and losing fat. Here’s how to reduce it. Use verbal encouragement to bench press more weight Getting verbal encouragement while you’re bench pressing can increase muscle activation in the pec major – the key muscle in the move – by 22%, a study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research shows. When subjects were told to focus on the chest muscles during a lift weighing BEAT STRESS GET STRONGER 50% of their one-repetition maximum, this prompted them to switch on. This is useful because there’s a correlation between muscle activity and how much weight you can shift. Make the instruction about the muscle – shouting ‘it’s all you’ or ‘one more rep, big man’ while your partner is on the bench will just annoy your fellow gym-goers. 72% of people who exercised on a work day reported more successful time management in a study at the University of Bristol. 6 minutes of reading is enough to reduce stress by two-thirds, according to a University of Sussex study that measured resting heart rate and muscle tension. 85 Words Jon Lipsey, Mark Bailey Photography Tom Miles beats per minute is the desirable tempo of music to reduce stress levels at work. Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ is a suitable choice. BENCH MORE RIGHT NOW Three ways to improve your bench press instantly, from MF ’s muscle expert Charles Poliquin 1 Ensure you have a shoulder-width grip on the bar. Too wide and you’ll place too much strain on your shoulders, too narrow and you’ll be working the triceps more than the chest. 2 Pretend you are trying to pull the bar apart (rip it in the middle) as you press. This has been shown to increase the activity of your triceps so you can lift more weight. 3 When the weight feels heavy, drive the back of your head into the bench. This activates an innate reflex that will allow you to lift as much as 5% more weight. 30 minutes of moderateintensity exercise helps maintain low anxiety levels, says a study published in Medicine And Science In Sports And Exercise. For more bench press tips from Charles Poliquin go to 24/FEBRUARY 2013/
  25. 25. Giving Yu! a healthy boost! Just Fruit Chews Yu! Bars (av. 40% fruit) Jam-packed with fruits and cereal in a tasty yogurt-coating Strawberry, Cherry, Wild Berry, Apricot and Blueberry 100% fruit, one of your 5-a-day; low in calories, fat free & no added sugar Strawberry, Blueberry, Mango, Cherry, Blackcurrant and Raspberry Where can Yu! find them? Find the perfect healthy snack for Yu! in the healthy snacks and home baking aisles (with the dried fruit) at Tesco & Sainsbury’s stores nationwide now. The Bars can also be found in Waitrose. For more information, head to (for a chance to WIN an action-packed holiday worth £1,500) or call us on 01344 707363
  26. 26. Setthepace This new boot is ideal for speedy strikers Puma EvoSpeed £150 Being able to change direction at speed is a crucial skill for any forward, regardless of whether they’re playing Sunday league or Premier League football. That’s why Puma has equipped the EvoSpeed with a Pebax outsole and a mid-foot stability insert, both of which help to provide optimal flexibility, allowing you to alter your course without losing your balance. Its lightweight design helps to ensure you can play at top speed – it’s worn by the likes of fleetfooted Manchester City star Sergio Agüero – while its anatomically shaped K-Leather upper offers maximum sensitivity for precise penalty box finishing. Words Ben Ince, Sam Rider Photography Danny Bird Nick Levett is National Development Manager of Football at the FA’s St George’s Park A heel counter protects the sensitive area around the achilles The internal Everfit cage allows great ease of movement Give me five The speed and constant adjustments required by five-a-side football make it a great way to keep fit. It also works as a challenging highintensity interval session, according to research published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research. Use these tips from FA coach Nick Levett to hone your game while you boost your fitness Movement Use dummy runs to shake off your marker. Fake to go one way then quickly change direction to find space. That extra metre of space can be vital. First touch Passing Shooting Communication Before you receive the Disguise your pass to When you shoot, use Tell your team-mates ball, get your head up fool the opposition. the inside of your foot if they have space to to recognise where the Change the angle of for accuracy. If you turn or an opponent is space is. Then when your foot at the last have a chance but the near (‘man on’). This you get the ball you second or try to look angle is tight, look for a helps them make a can exploit that space away from the player better-positioned quick decision, giving to start an attack. you’re passing to. team-mate. your team the edge. For more of the best football boots around go to 26/FEBRUARY 2013/
  27. 27. Your trail starts here Your Best ride starts at a speCialized ConCept store. Whatever you need, our highly trained staff have the knowledge and experience to match you to the bike you want, in the size you need. That’s why we’re Specialized. speCializedConCeptstore.Co.uK speCializedConCeptstoreuK OUR STORES: Birmingham Bristol Chester harrogate london Covent garden london ruislip london Kingston WorldMags.netneWBurY plYmouth staFFord
  28. 28. Powder power Why it pays to have sodium bicarbonate in your corner GET THE JAB DONE Master this fundamental punch in three simple steps st If you want to sting like a bee when you throw a punch, try taking a pre-fight dose of sodium bicarbonate – also known as baking soda. When study subjects were monitored over four three-minute rounds, the group who had taken sodium bicarbonate experienced ‘a significant increase in punches landed’ compared with fighters in a control group, according to the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research. The theory is that it helped to control blood acidity levels and delay fatigue. To make your shots even more effective, follow our expert tips. STANCE ‘Your feet need to be wider than your hips, with your lead foot – the opposite to your strongest hand – in front,’ says striking coach Kenny Moyston. ‘Keep your hands high and elbows tucked in for a guard.’ TWIST ‘Step forward with your lead foot and rotate your whole body, from your feet, up through your hips and shoulders to generate power.’ Words Jon Lipsey, Ben Ince Photography Tom Miles Kenny Moyston ( is head striking coach at ZT Fight Skool in Brighton SNAP ‘Use the power to snap your lead hand out straight at your target, keeping your other hand up. Return to your guard position, tucking your elbows back in to your ribs.’ BAG TO BASICS Improve your striking skills with our user’s guide to punchbags Heavy bag Ideal for… practising most strikes – it’s substantial enough to absorb power shots. Coach’s tip ‘Try to work the bag for three minutes without losing form,’ says Moyston. ‘Pace yourself – if you throw 20-punch flurries you’ll burn out in 30 seconds.’ Speed bag Ideal for… building hand speed and muscle endurance. Coach’s tip ‘Start slowly and build up your speed. If you try to hit it too hard from the outset, it’ll be impossible to generate a good rhythm.’ Angle bag Ideal for… throwing strikes at upward angles such as uppercuts and upward knees. Coach’s tip ‘Don’t stand still – you’ll get more out of your sessions if you move around the bag and work on your footwork while throwing strikes.’ Floor to ceiling ball Ideal for… working on your speed, timing and head movement. Coach’s tip ‘Make sure you only hit this ball with light shots. If you throw a strike with real power it will just bounce back and hit you in the face.’ For more boxing tips and workouts go to 28/FEBRUARY 2013/
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  30. 30. Ringleaders Get the lowdown on the latest smartphones from Paul Briden of Apple iPhone 5 Words Sam Rider, Saajan Raja Photography Hugh Threlfall Platform iOS 6 Even with its enlarged 102mm retina touchscreen and robust aluminium unibody, the iPhone 5 is lighter and thinner than previous models while offering the same crystalclear visuals. There’s a processor upgrade and the camera has been tweaked to allow for HD video calls. Why buy it Its familiar software makes it easy to use, and it’s faster than ever with enhanced apps functionality thanks to a redesigned App Store. £529 Motorola RAZR i Platform Android 4.0 Although a mere 8.3mm thick, the RAZR i is hard-wearing due to its aluminium and Kevlar body. It’s also treated with a splash-resistant coating inside and out so a spot of moisture won't kill it. An Intel 2GHz processor helps it run at an impressive speed. Why buy it It’s longlasting in every sense – both physically durable and, with a massive 2000mAh battery, able to stay charged for ages. £345 AFTER EFFECT Here’s how to make the perfect post-workout shake The benefits of a rigorous workout can be undone if you don’t take on the right nutrition after training. Consuming the optimal blend of nutrients straight away is the most beneficial way to ensure muscle synthesis, according to research published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition. Here’s what you need. 30/FEBRUARY 2013/ Nokia Lumia 920 Platform Windows Phone 8 The display is huge and extremely sharp, giving the iPhone a run for its money. Films and games look particularly good, even in direct sunlight. It also has 4G data capability and the 8.7-megapixel PureView camera uses advanced stabilisation techniques. Why buy it It delivers the best-quality pictures and video of any current smartphone. £20 with EE contract Samsung Galaxy S III HTC 8X Platform Android 4.1 Jelly Bean The picture quality is top-notch thanks to the large 122mm display and, alongside the 1.4GHz quad core processor, this makes it a great device for gaming and films. The Jelly Bean OS is Android’s best yet and provides a remarkably smooth interface. Why buy it It’s now easily the equal of Apple for both ease of use and apps, with 700,000 in the Google Play store. Free with Vodafone contract Platform Windows Phone 8 A 110mm Super LCD2 display provides excellent visual clarity, while its attractive rubberised matte-finish body is also available in red, yellow or blue. The 8X also has Dr Dre Beats Audio sound enhancement for improved audio. Why buy it It does the important things well – messaging and social network integration – and is the lightest Windows 8 phone at just 130g. £400 Milk or water Milk contains muscle-building protein, calcium to strengthen your bones and iodine to help regulate your metabolism. The other option you can use is water, which will rehydrate you after a punishing workout. Dextrose 40g This contains fast-release carbs that cause an insulin spike, driving nutrients to your muscle cells to speed up recovery. Creatine 3-5g Naturally produced by the body from amino acids, creatine helps to supply energy to your muscles, helping you train harder. Exercise depletes your stores, so you should replenish them as soon as possible. Whey protein 30-45g This is the most quickly digested form of protein and has a 100% bioavailability, meaning nothing is wasted – it’s all used to rebuild your muscles.
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  32. 32. Iron man Golfer Rory McIlroy turned early disappointment into world dominance and he’s not going to loosen his grip on greatness I’m an athlete, not just a golfer. The way golf has evolved means you need to be an athlete now more than ever. The gym is a big part of my training regime, as well as getting my diet right. Words Thomas Unsworth Photography Getty I worked hard to build muscle and now it’s important to make sure I keep it. I lift weights a lot and have also started doing a lot of single-leg work to help balance both sides of my body. I do enjoy running and will use the treadmill a bit, but I’m careful not to do too much running. I wasn’t ready to win the US Masters in 2011 [McIlroy led by four shots going into the final round but hit a round of 80 to finish joint 15th]. I wasn’t ready to win any major. The experience showed me there were parts of my game I needed to analyse and that I also needed to improve mentally. I went away and did that. Winning my first major was a result of the mental changes I made. I went into [the Masters] wanting to win but not really believing I could. But I went into the US Open a couple of months later knowing I could do it. I felt ready to win and I didn’t want to just turn up and compete [he won by eight shots]. Everyone has bad days at the office and you need to get your head around that, no matter what you do. But you can’t dwell on it. You need to move on, learning from your defeats and disappointment. That’s a big part of being a top athlete. Relaxing when away from sport is the key to dealing with the stress of the big tournaments. My parents and Caroline [Wozniacki, professional tennis player and McIlroy’s girlfriend] help me switch off. You need to unwind when play has finished. Having the right people around you makes the world of difference. Nothing feels as incredible as winning as part of a team. Winning a major was amazing, but the 2012 Ryder Cup victory is my career highlight to date. It’s always special to win the Ryder Cup but the way in which we did it [after a dramatic final-day comeback] made it extra special. Winning is addictive and I want to keep on playing and winning. I now enter every tournament expecting to win it. In reality that is never going to happen so I’m not going to put pressure on myself by setting a target. I’ve won two majors [his second was the 2012 US PGA] and I’m only just getting started, so I hope there’s a lot more to come, but I’m not going to say I can match Tiger [Woods, 14-time major winner] or Jack [Nicklaus, 18-time major winner]. You never know – in reality I might even be able to surpass them. I want to compete in Rio in 2016. I’d love to go to the next Olympics and I don’t think there was anybody who wasn’t inspired by the events in London. I hope making golf an Olympic sport encourages more people to take it up. ‘Everyone has bad days at the office but you can’t dwell on it. You need to move on, learning from your disappointment’ 32/FEBRUARY 2013/ TEE TIME Follow McIlroy’s tips for a huge tee shot 1 Train your torso Bulking up my upper body has helped me so much. It isn’t that I’m hitting the ball any further but it takes less effort and my swing is much smoother. The more strength I have, the less effort I need to put in and the more control I have. 2 …and your legs You need to work on your lowerbody strength too because you need to be able to support your torso. Balance is everything in golf and strong legs will support your torso when going for power. 3 Practice makes perfect There’s no better way to perfect your swing than to take yourself down to the driving range and hit balls for hours. You need to take care of your shoulder if you’re doing this often, and make sure you get massage work when needed.
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  35. 35. The best advice from the biggest names in fitness ‘People thought Jess was too small to succeed. But we made sure she focused on herself and didn’t get distracted, and that helped her improve’ Tim Ferriss s GUEST EXPERT p38 ERT OLYMPICS EXPERT p40 ERT WHY YOU SHOULD HOULD LISTEN TO HIM M He is the world’s rld’s leading authority ority on strength and conditioning and has trained Olympians in 12 sports. WHY YOU SHOULD U LISTEN TO HIM He’s a bestselling stselling author who’s o’s perfected the art of learning anything, fro languages to from uages sports, in a short space of time. e. WHY YOU SHOULD HOULD LISTEN TO HIM He coached Jessica essica Enn Ennis to Olympic c heptathlon gold in hep old Lon London and was as nam coach of the named year yea 2012 by Spo Coach UK. Sports Toni Minichiello ello Words John doe Photography Jane doe MUSCLE EXPERT p36 PERT Photography Getty Charles s Poliquin in 2013/35
  36. 36. Muscle Buildbigbiceps Bored of doing the same old biceps exercises over and over again? Here are five must-do moves to get sleeve-busting arms from Charles Poliquin P There are dozens of biceps exercises. The trouble is, unless you’re involved in this business full-time, you tend to adopt a few exercises and do them over and over again to the exclusion of all others. This is simply a list of five of my favourites. Obviously, many of them will be familiar to you. However, you may want to read the descriptions anyway because you might discover a new way to do that particular movement or you might find that you’ve been doing it incorrectly. L One-arm dumbbell preacher curl Most biceps exercises require some assistance and stabilisation work by other muscle groups, but the preacher bench was designed to isolate the biceps. Most gyms have standing and sitting preacher benches. I prefer the seated version because it minimises cheating. Sit on the bench with one arm fully extended. Use your free hand to lock your triceps in position. As you curl the weight, keep your neck aligned by looking straight ahead. You want to keep tension on the muscle throughout each rep, so don’t curl the weight up until your forearm touches your biceps, but make sure you do lower the weight all the way back to the start. ‘Most biceps exercises require some assistance and stabilisation work by other muscle groups, but the preacher bench was designed to isolate the biceps’ L Incline dumbbell curl This is a simple, common exercise and the most effective for isolating the long head of the biceps, but I see it done incorrectly time and again. Recline on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms fully stretched out. Curl the dumbbells up together while keeping your elbows still, at least through the first 90˚. Keep your palms facing up at all times so your elbow flexors are well stretched. Here’s a tip: if your head comes off the bench no matter how hard you try to keep it down, roll up a towel and place it between your neck and the bench. You’ll find it increases your strength. I recommend the incline dumbbell curl as a staple of your arm workouts, especially if you want to do specialised work for the long head of the biceps. Just make sure you change the angle of the bench every six workouts so your muscles don’t adapt. L Dumbbell concentration curl The concentration curl can be performed in a standing or a sitting position but I prefer the latter. When you’re standing, your nervous system has other responsibilities such as maintaining balance, but if you sit down it has its full attention on the movement. Sit on a bench, lean over and grab your dumbbell. Sit back and rest your triceps against your inner thigh. Keep a slight arch in your back while leaning over the dumbbell. Make sure to curl the dumbbell slowly and deliberately until full range is completed – the dumbbell should be near your pectoral muscle. It’s crucial that you lower the dumbbell until your arm is fully extended. L Close-grip chin-up If your arms haven’t grown for a while, you might want to consider doing this move more often. It’s a surefire mass builder. Grasp the chin-up bar with a close grip. The palms of your hands should be facing you about 8-12cm apart. Pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Do this very slowly – it should take about 15 seconds or so. Then, slowly lower yourself to the start position. You won’t get many reps in the bag, but that doesn’t matter because you want to expose your muscles to the maximum amount of tension. And don’t shortchange yourself by not coming all the way down. Range of motion is critical. L Seated Zottman curl This is one of the best upper-arm builders. It feels uncomfortable at first, so it may take a few workouts to get used to this movement. Grasp two dumbbells and sit on a flat bench. Fully extend your arms downward and keep your palms facing forward. Begin curling the weight, but keep your palms extended away from your body – the tendency is to curl the wrist upwards, but I’m asking you to extend the hand backwards. Once you reach the top, rotate your hands so your palms are now facing downwards and straighten the wrists so, in effect, you’re ready to do the eccentric portion of a reverse dumbbell curl. Slowly lower the dumbbells, keeping your elbows glued to your sides throughout the entire exercise. Get advice, find a course and buy supplements at For more muscle-building advice from Charles Poliquin go to 36/FEBRUARY 2013/
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  38. 38. Life Skills Begreatatanything Being good at something needn’t require a lifetime of practice. You just need to upgrade your approach to learning, says bestselling author Tim Ferriss P Tim Ferriss is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The 4-Hour Work Week and The 4-Hour Body. His new book, The 4-Hour Chef, focuses on meta-learning, a concept that allows you to cut down the learning time required to develop world-class skills in many fields, including cookery, sports and languages, by over 50%. Ferriss bases this on a system he calls by the acronym DiSSS, and he explains how to use it here. UNIT 1 UNIT 2 UNIT 3 Arm motion Rotation Kicking L Deconstruction The first stage involves taking a large, intimidating skill and deconstructing it by breaking it down into its minimal learnable units. I wanted to learn how to swim at the age of 35, so I started by breaking it down into units such as arm motion, leg motion, rotation and kicking. To help me deconstruct it, I sought out triathletes locally in San Francisco who weren’t built physically for swimming and examined how they trained, as it helps to listen to people with very different training ideas. L Selection With the skill deconstructed, you need to select which 20% of the units you need to focus on for 80% or more of the outcome you want. The decision will be based on the research you carried out during the deconstruction process. For instance, if you want to learn a language such as Spanish in the space of 12 weeks, you need to first identify the words that are used with the highest frequency – you only need to learn about 1,200 words to be considered functionally fluent – and start learning them using flash cards. Alternatively, you could start by learning a ‘The first stage involves taking a large, intimidating skill and breaking it down into its minimal learnable units. That’s how I learned to swim at the age of 35’ handful of verbs and use them to unlock the rest rather than conjugating them. L Sequencing Having established which units you need to learn, the next step is to work out the order Done with DiSSS? Hit the CaFE Ferriss’s secondary acronym offers up more principles of efficient learning 1 COMPRESSION If you can compress the most important 20% of the units into an easily graspable form, you’re less likely to get overwhelmed when you hit a learning plateau. I created a poster containing 1,945 Japanese characters and made it my ritual to learn at least 20 a day. You can apply this to almost anything. 2 FREQUENCY Determine how frequently you should practise your chosen skill - your brain doesn’t have unlimited quantities of neurotransmitters. Consider whether you should you cram, what teething troubles you can predict and what the minimum effective dose is for volume. 38/FEBRUARY 2013/ 3 ENCODING This involves making difficult material easy to grasp by anchoring it to something simpler, such as using mnemonics and acronyms. More sophisticated methods of encoding, such as converting numbers into images, allow you to remember almost anything. in which you need to learn them. A good example of the importance of sequencing is learning how to swing a golf club. When most golfers ask experts or coaches for advice, the problems usually lie in their sequencing rather than their form – they’re performing the right moves but doing so in the wrong order. This applies to just about anything. L Stakes With your learning programme in place, you need to set up stakes to create real consequences to help to guarantee that you follow it – essentially creating a carrot and a stick. One year I made a New Year’s resolution that I would be able to deadlift 225kg – and made it public, which meant I had lots of people to hold me accountable for it! That definitely helped me achieve it. The 4-Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss is published by Amazon Publishing and priced £21.99. For more visit
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  40. 40. Olympics Trainlikeachampion Toni Minichiello explains the training philosophy he used when coaching Jessica Ennis to Olympic gold – and how it can help anyone P I’ve coached Jessica Ennis since she was 11. Along the way to the Olympics she’s finished third at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, won and lost the world championships, come back from several injury setbacks and slowly convinced the world of her remarkable talent. Yet success in London was far from guaranteed. We knew some aspects of her ability were not up to the required standard but we followed a plan to ensure they’d get better. And the key lessons we learned on the journey can be applied to anyone’s training. L Focus on yourself Don’t compare yourself with others. Before Jess started winning medals people thought she was too small to succeed – she’s 165cm. Every time she has stood on a podium the women next to her have been tall and robust. But Jess has always had a terrific work ethic, and we made sure she focused on herself and didn’t get distracted by anybody else. That’s helped her learn and improve. Test yourself regularly. If you’re improving, that’s all that matters. You’ll gain confidence from that. L Intervals make you fit Once a week I’ll do Fartlek training with my athletes – this means working at intervals of fast, slow and medium intensity. It’s a great way to burn calories and get you seriously fit. They do circuits of exercises but a good drill is to run using lampposts as markers. Jog for three, then sprint for three and so on. Those bursts will help you get fitter quicker. Minichiello trained Jessica Ennis to defy the doubters and win gold L Keep your body guessing Week to week your sessions should change. If they don’t you’ll stagnate. Your body responds to confusion, it likes that each session is different. Look for ways to keep developing but also make sure your different sessions complement each other. If you’re doing endurance work in the park but strength and power work in the gym, you’ll become sore and risk injury. L Watch your carbs One big nutrition misconception is that sports drinks are needed for carbohydrate replacement. People will guzzle down two sports drinks after a session but they won’t have burned that amount of energy during exercise. Take on most of your carbs at breakfast and some at lunch but not too many at night or your Photography Getty Take it on the chin Less than a year before the Olympics Ennis was defeated at the world championships. Here’s how Minichiello helped her bounce back 1 ‘You’re never going to be the finished product. The people around you will help you improve continually’ ACCEPT Don’t worry about being upset. It’s part of the healing process and it’s natural to have an emotional response to a stressful situation. Go through it. 40/FEBRUARY 2013/ body will store loads that it’s not going to use. That’s how sumo wrestlers gain so much weight. Unless sumo wrestling is your sport, avoid this practice. L You never stop learning You’re never going to be the finished product. A large chunk of talent is natural ability but it’s important to use the people around you to help you improve continually. Two books I’d recommend anyone to read are Sports Training Principles by Frank Dick and Periodisation by Tudor Bompa and Gregory Haff. They will help you make your training vastly more effective. The UK Coaching Awards and the Gillette 2012 ‘Great Starts’ campaign reward coaches and offer support to inspire the next generation. 2 LEARN See it as an opportunity to reflect. Identify what should have happened, what did happen and what made the difference. Analyse your success as much as you analyse your defeats. 3 MOVE ON Defeat is only temporary but giving up is permanent. Dwell on it, learn from it, but then move on. That’s what makes you a stronger person.
  41. 41. WORLD CLASS TRAINING SINCE 1984 WE OFFER A VAST SELECTION OF FITNESS COURSES INCLUDING: Personal Trainer | Gym Instructor | Exercise to Music | STOTT PILATES ® | Yoga | Plus over 30 CPD courses YMCAfit is the UK’s most established training provider of fitness qualifications. Whether it’s personal training or aerobics, yoga or Pilates, a career in fitness is diverse and rewarding. Completing one of our qualifications will allow you to gain employment in some of the top gyms in the UK and across the world, or to launch and run a business of your own. In fact, there’s never been a better time to make your move in the fitness industry. start your journey here Not for profit. Registered charity no. 1001043. Registered in England and Wales no. 2551972
  42. 42. ‘Coming into the Olympics I knew what I was capable of and was looking forward to finishing how I wanted to, on my own terms’ 42/FEBRUARY 2013/
  43. 43. MICHAEL PHELPS ONE MAN 22 MEDALS Years of dedicated training brought him a record-breaking Olympic haul – but now it’s all over. Michael Phelps talks exclusively to MF about what’s next for him Words Nick Hutchings, Joel Snape Photography Glen Burrows 2013/43
  44. 44. F or most sportsmen, the question of what to do when it’s all over is one of the toughest they’ll ever face. Settle into the cosy circuit of endorsements and motivational speaking? Marry a former soap star? Maybe reverse the retirement and take one last run at glory? It’s a difficult decision, made even more so by the fact that they’ll never get to do the thing they’re best at – certainly the thing they’ve spent the most time on, and maybe the thing they love the most – at a competitive level again. For Michael Phelps, who has spent more than 20 hours a week in the pool ever since he was in his teens, who’s been to four Olympic Games and netted more medals than anyone in history – 22 overall, 18 of them gold – it’s equally tough, but for different reasons. After retiring at the peak of his powers and the pinnacle of his sport, the world at his feet, the question isn’t what to do now – it’s what to do first. New regime ‘We always joked about me getting superhuge and jacked,’ says Phelps, relaxing between shots in the private swimming pool where he has agreed to do a rare photoshoot with MF. ‘At the moment I’m doing some squats and weighted pull-ups, but I’m going to try to do some more bench pressing. ‘I’ve done more in the last few weeks than I’ve ever done after an Olympics. After 2004 I took a month or two off, after 2008 I worked out five times in six P90X], to see what that hype’s about. My trainer Keenan Robinson’s done that.’ Shaping up If it seems odd to hear one of the most successful athletes in history talk about wanting to stay in shape, even talking about trying an infomercial-based fitness DVD, it really shouldn’t. Thanks to taking up swimming at seven, making the Olympic squad at 15 and breaking his first world record eight months later (in the 200m butterfly, three months shy of his 16th birthday), Phelps has never had to worry about putting on a bit of extra weight. Take his infamous 12,000 calorie-a-day diet, which supposedly involved fried-egg-and-mayonnaise sandwiches for breakfast. Surely even an Olympian needs to watch what he eats? ‘When I was swimming, no. Now that I’m retired, yes. I was burning so much that it didn’t matter what you ate, how much you ate.’ He trained, he says, for roughly five hours a day in the pool, usually totalling 24 hours over a week, with another three hours in the weights room and three doing core or bodyweight exercises. ‘It might get old staring at the black line but it’s part of life,’ he says. ‘It’s something that we all love and that’s why we do it.’ Of course, that doesn’t mean Phelps and his US team-mates didn’t try to liven things up occasionally. And the abolition of the streamlined swimsuits that saw dozens of world records fall in Beijing led to one interesting addition to the hours in the water. ‘I did a lot of boxing,’ says Phelps. ‘Leading ‘I always enjoy new things when I start doing them, then I get sick of them. I used to love lifting, then I hated it. Now I’m just, “Ehh”’ months. After London I worked out five times in two weeks. There’s a spot that I want to hit and stay at.’ And pushing up his bench numbers isn’t the only addition to his workout regime. ‘I’m running a lot more. Being outside is really something I enjoy, just putting on headphones and choosing where you want to go and running at your own pace. Since London it’s been varying between two and eight miles, anywhere from 12 minutes to an hour.’ The obvious question: does he have any ambitions about racing? He’d be a monster in a sprint-distance triathlon. ‘Ha! No,’ he says. ‘I want to try some of the other Insanitytype workouts [a DVD workout released by the makers of ‘muscle-confusion’ workout 44/FEBRUARY 2013/ up to the last Olympics we did so much training that we did different routines just to keep things interesting. And since the sport changed into what it is now, where we’re not allowed the suits, you have to have a stronger core. Boxing helps you put everything together and work that core.’ Punched out Does he still do it? Not so much. ‘I always enjoy new things when I start doing them, and then I get sick of them,’ he says. ‘So I used to love lifting and then I hated lifting and now I’m just, “Ehh”. I don’t mind it but it’s not my top choice. ‘I used to love boxing but then I was over it by the end. So I started pushing a weighted sled down a beach, this makeshift
  45. 45. MICHAEL PHELPS Phelps has trained in the pool for five hours a day since his early teens 2013/45
  46. 46. MICHAEL PHELPS shopping-cart-turned-sled thing. I was doing a lot of training in a sort of oldschool, Rocky-esque gym. Nothing flashy, but we went in and got the job done.’ Rival schools Another man trying to get the job done was Phelps’s team-mate and rival Ryan Lochte, who came to London looking to add to his two golds from Beijing. The US media seemed keen to stoke up the rivalry between the two men and, in some ways, the fratboyish Lochte – who has his own signature sneaker line, a workout DVD called HardCORE and post-retirement ambitions to be a fashion designer – is Phelps’s opposite, but the two are apparently good friends. So did Phelps find the rivalry motivating? You get the sense that he’s tired of being asked the question. ‘It’s always great to have somebody to race, somebody to compete with,’ he says. ‘But at the end of the day, I’m preparing for the goals that I want to achieve and I can only control myself. So I can only try to achieve those goals and if I manage them, I’m happy. I’m satisfied.’ Another thing he’s looking forward to is acting as a mentor for the younger members of the US team. ‘We’ve seen a lot of people grow up on the national swim team. They’re coming in to replace some of the guys that are retiring. We’re gonna lose a lot of great people over the next couple of years and we’ve got some great people coming through who can continue our national success. I’ve been on the team for 12 years and we always seem to come out on top. It’s been great to see the rookies grow up.’ One thing he’s adamant about, however, is that he won’t be taking on any kind of coaching role. In fact, he laughs at the question. ‘I could not coach. I don’t have the patience,’ he says. ‘I can help people along the way, but I could not see myself doing what Bob [Bowman, who has coached Phelps since he was a teen] does. I could not see myself coping with some of the frustrations I’ve put Bob through.’ Charity case There are other projects too, of course. After Beijing, Phelps used his $1 million (£627,000) bonus cheque from Speedo – awarded for beating Mark Spitz’s single-Olympics gold medal tally – to set up the Michael Phelps Foundation, Phelps aged 14 at the 2000 US National Championships At the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps won four gold medals ‘I could not coach. I don’t have the patience. I could not see myself coping with the frustrations I’ve put my coach through’ ‘It might get old staring at the black line, but it’s part of life,’ says Phelps 46/FEBRUARY 2013/
  48. 48. MICHAEL PHELPS Phelps has continued to work out since the London Olympics Golden boy The highs and even-highers of the most successful Olympic run in history 2000 Qualifies for the US Olympic swimming team at the age of 15, becoming the youngest athlete to do so in 68 years. He doesn’t win a medal in Sydney but finishes fifth in the 200m butterfly. 2001 Becomes the youngest man to set a swimming world record – in the 200m butterfly at the World Aquatics Championships – taking the title from Ian Thorpe. Breaks his own 200m butterfly record just months later to take his first world championship in Fukuoka, Japan. 2004 Wins six gold medals and a pair of bronzes in Athens, the second-most successful single performance at the Olympics since Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals in 1972. 2005 Drops his speciality events – the 400m medley and 200m butterfly – to experiment with entering the 400m and 100m freestyle at the world championships. Inevitably, takes gold in both. 2008 Wins eight gold medals in Beijing, setting seven world records in the process – the greatest Olympic performance of all time. Edges out Serbian Milorad Čavić by 0.01sec in the final of the 100m butterfly. 2009 ‘Golf is the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done. It’s going to be an exciting career but I don’t see myself being professional, just competitive’ an organisation dedicated to promoting swimming and healthier lifestyles among teens. Then there’s his involvement in the Caps For A Cause charity and his swim schools, plus the foundation’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Michael Phelps Golf Classic – something that meshes particularly neatly with another of Phelps’s serious interests. ‘Now I’m retired and done, I’ve started picking up golf,’ he says. ‘And I think I’m more comfortable standing on a starting block in Speedos in front of millions of people than I am standing on the first tee at a pro-am golf event. It’s so different. On the block I’m in my own zone. At that point you just get up and do what you have to do, it’s such a 48/FEBRUARY 2013/ part of your nature.’ However, the breaker of 39 world swimming records has already transferred his record-setting ways to the green on one occasion, at the Dunhill Links Championship at Kingsbarns in Scotland. ‘I holed a 53-yard putt – supposedly it was the longest televised putt in history,’ he says, before immediately downplaying any notions that he’s going to be competing in the Ryder Cup any time soon. ‘Golf is the most frustrating thing I’ve ever done. It’s going to be an exciting career, but I don’t see myself being professional, I just see being competitive. ‘Right now I’ve just been travelling around. I’m filming a golf reality show with Hank Haney, Tiger Woods’s old coach. Golf is a sport Takes silver in the 200m freestyle at the world championships, losing to Germany’s Paul Biedermann. Phelps’s coach Bob Bowman complains about Biedermann’s polyurethane swimsuit giving him an unfair advantage, but Phelps is unruffled. 2011 Takes silver in the 200m freestyle at the world championships, losing to his US team-mate Ryan Lochte, leading to rumours that Phelps might try to qualify for shorter races in 2012. 2012 Qualifies for his favourite eight events in London. Comes fourth in the 400m medley – the first time he’s failed to win a medal in an Olympic final since 2000 – but rallies to scoop four golds and a brace of silvers. Wins his 18th career gold to cement his place as the most successful Olympian ever. 2013 Golf, charity work and the Michael Phelps Foundation beckon. Life is golden.
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  50. 50. MICHAEL PHELPS On his way to gold in the 200m butterfly at the 2011 World Championships I’ve been interested in for a long time, but I’ve been too busy to get involved.’ On a break Finally, there’s the stuff Phelps simply couldn’t do before, for fear of jeopardising his sponsorship deals, medals and place in history. Lochte has infamously fractured an ankle riding his scooter, gone through knee surgery after a breakdancing incident and hurt his shoulder falling out of a tree. Phelps has been more careful – until now. ‘There are a lot of things on my bucket list now,’ he says. ‘Skiing and snowboarding are at the top of the list. Waterskiing is something I’d definitely like to do. There’s a lot of stuff I want to do now that I’m not potentially going to ruin a career.’ Retirement is obviously an exciting time for the man who’s arguably the most successful athlete ever. Anything is possible and, for the first time, everything is allowed. For the moment, everything’s also incredibly busy – but you get the sense that’s just fine. ‘I’ve just come from St Andrews,’ says Phelps. ‘Tomorrow I fly back to the States. I’m there for three days, then I’m heading to China for a pro-am golf tournament, then to Brazil. I’m seeing new places and spending more time with my foundation. It’s a lot of travelling, a lot of suitcases, but not too many pools.’ He pauses. ‘That’s a good thing.’ ‘There’s a lot of stuff I want to do now that I’m not potentially going to ruin a career. Skiing and snowboarding are top of the list’ Photography Getty Phelps on… It's not all work and no play… Phelps kicking off the 2011 pool season Phelps and his 4x200m freestyle relay teammates, including Lochte (second from right) Since retiring, Phelps has played on the pro-am golf circuit HIS LAID BACK APPROACH HIS MOST MEMORABLE MEDAL HIS MENTAL PREPARATION HIS FAVOURITE TRAINING TUNES ‘I’ve been motivated for everything. I’ve had goals every step of the way. So coming into the London Olympics I was been more relaxed than I ever was. I knew what I was capable of and I was looking forward to finishing how I wanted to, on my own terms. I can say that I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted, and that’s fine. I never have to worry about what if I did this or that.’ ‘I have to mention the 400m medley from 2004, my first Olympic medal. But the 200m freestyle from Beijing was one of my best ever races and it’s hard to not put the 100m butterfly in there, or the 400m relay. There are a lot of memorable races, but the 400m in Athens and that 200m free in ’08 are probably my favourites.’ ‘Before a big race there’s not much you can do. All the work and everything that you do is in the preparation. So really I’d spent years leading up to London. Once you get to that point you can’t change how you’ve prepared, you can’t change your strokes, everything you’ve done is going to come out during the meet. So at that point you just try to have as much fun as possible.’ ‘I look at music like the soundtrack of my life. There’s a song for everything I’ve done in my career. There are songs that remind me of my mother, remind me of my sister. It’s mostly hip-hop. The beats let me focus on my own zone. I’m more of a Biggie Smalls than a Tupac guy. I have Ready To Die, Biggie’s album, on at least two or three times a week.’ To watch footage of MF’s shoot with Michael Phelps go to 50/FEBRUARY 2013/
  51. 51. CAN YOU CONQUER THE UK’S TALLEST MOUNTAINS? JULY 12–14 2013 Challenge yourself and take on three of the UK’s tallest mountains in just one day – and help Breast Cancer Campaign to find a cure. Join our team for the Three Peaks Challenge and take on one of the toughest trials the UK has to offer. The training and fundraising should not be taken lightly, but the sense of achievement will make it worthwhile! Are you up to it? For more information, call on 020 7749 4114 or email Registered Charity No: 299758
  52. 52. Day 1 Words John doe Photography Jane doe Drink mor water e 52/FEBRUARY 2013/
  53. 53. XXXXXXXXX BY FEB FIT 31 DAYS TO YOUR FITTEST YEAR EVER Make one change a day – and see your body transform in a month Words Joel Snape Photography Danny Bird Fitness isn’t an all-out war, it’s a series of small skirmishes. By taking tiny steps and changing your life one day at a time you’ll be more likely to stick with the changes you make – and they’ll mount up to improve your life. This plan runs for one calendar month, with some tasks designed for the working week and some that are easier to tackle at the weekend. Stick to it and within weeks you’ll be fitter than ever. Day 1 SAT Drink more water Good news – the best nutritional supplement is already pumped conveniently into your house. Studies have shown that low hydration levels affect everything from physical performance to mood – and the remedy couldn’t be simpler. ‘Aiming for half a pint of water per hour will see that you’re well hydrated throughout the day,’ says trainer Stephen Hoyles. ‘Just stop at least an hour before bed so your sleep isn’t disrupted.’ Day 2 SUN Push, pull, lunge Want to get lean while adding muscle? Strength and conditioning expert Chad Waterbury’s ultra-simple ‘push, pull, lunge’ programme is the solution: do pull-ups, lunges and press-ups every day for the next 30 days. If you can already do ten pull-ups, start with ten reps of each exercise. If you can’t, start with one. Add one rep every day for the rest of the month. ‘The first week should feel like nothing,’ says Waterbury. ‘But small additions each day make a big difference over the long haul.’ Do it first thing in the morning so it won’t interfere with your other workouts – apart from providing an easy boost to your fat loss, muscle and endurance. Day 3 Fix your breakfast Day 4 It’s easiest to eat cereal on workday mornings, right? Wrong. ‘Eating cereal for breakfast will give you low blood sugar by mid-morning and make you hungrier in the long run,’ says Dr John Briffa, author of Escape The Diet Trap. ‘You don’t need to eat a lot to fuel the body throughout the morning but you should have something low-carb that’s nutritionally sustainable, such as plain full-fat yoghurt with berries and nuts, scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs with smoked salmon or ham that you don’t even have to cook.’ Rethink your commute According to a 2011 study on Swedish office workers, commuting by car or public transport – as opposed to on foot or by bike – has links to depression, exhaustion and stress. If switching isn’t an option, get off a stop earlier so you get a walk or take the stairs when you get to the office. 2013/53
  54. 54. XXXXXXXXX Day 5 Upgrade your lunch ‘If you’re suffering from mid-afternoon tiredness, reduce your carb intake at lunch,’ says Hoyles. ‘Opt for high-protein, low-carb meals such as chicken salad to stabilise your blood sugar and prevent afternoon energy dips.’ Use olive oil as a dressing for a boost in healthy fat. Day 6 Streamline your inbox Every ‘ping’ from your email produces a tiny spike in your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which promotes fat storage. Cut back with Gmail’s ‘filter’ option: create a NonEssential folder and filter Amazon shipment updates, newsletters and the like directly into it. And switch off the notification noise. Day 7 Hit the bar Unless you’ve decided to quit booze (it wouldn’t hurt), switch your Friday night pints for a ‘paleo margarita’, invented by The Paleo Solution author Robb Wolf – agave tequila with soda water and plenty of lime. The tequila doesn’t give much of a blood sugar hit and the lime blunts it even further. The bubbles just make it taste nice. Day 8 SAT Get outside Words John doe Photography Jane doe Go for a walk. A study in the Journal Of Environmental Science linked outdoor workouts with increased energy as well as lower levels of tension, confusion, anger and depression. A brisk walk will also boost your fat loss without elevating harmful cortisol levels. Day 10 Use the officechair stretch If you’ve got a desk job, your glutes and hip flexors are dormant for most of the day. Wake them up with this stretch from mobility coach Kelly Starrett ( ‘Sit resting your right foot on your left thigh. Keeping your back straight, bend forward at the hip. For more support, hook your crossed knee on a desk or table.’ specialist Chris Kemp. ‘Experiment to see if it works for you.’ The spray version is the easiest to use – try it before bed. Day 11 Day 13 The easiest, most effective change to your eating habits is to keep your drinks simple. ‘The sugar or fructose in soft drinks – and even orange juice – is unnecessary and leads to weight gain,’ says personal trainer Max Manlay. ‘Stick to coffee, especially in the morning – caffeine is a mild fat-burning agent.’ As a bonus, studies say it will also help you work harder in the gym. ‘Replace grains with greens to improve your body composition and load up on crucial nutrients,’ says Hoyles. ‘If you don’t like greens, blend them into a smoothie to avoid the taste but enjoy the benefits. Spinach in a shake sounds awful but you’ll barely notice it.’ Ditch the cola Day 12 Try magnesium ‘Magnesium has been linked to fighting depression, regulating blood pressure and improving sleep quality,’ says strength coach and biosignature Eat your greens Day 14 Enhance your sleep It’s Friday again and time to do something about your recovery. To get the best night’s sleep you can, make your bedroom as dark as possible: blinking lights, such as alarm clocks and standby LEDs, will affect your body’s melatonin levels and decrease your quality of sleep. Day 9 SUN Soundtrack your gym sessions Several studies suggest that music in the 120-140 beats per minute range will help you work harder during your workout. Create a playlist on your MP3 player and use the free Nike+ app to assign your favoured tune to the easily accessed ‘power song’ slot. 54/FEBRUARY 2013/
  55. 55. FIT BY FEB Day 15 SAT Automate your shop Use an automated service such as Amazon’s Subscribe & Save to keep a steady flow of your non-perishable recipe choices, and the Grocery IQ app to organise your meat and veg needs. With a firm plan, you’re less likely to stray down the cake aisle. Day 15 Automate your shop Day 16 SUN Batch cook Do a big cook at the weekend and you won’t need to rely on your local eateries during the week, ensuring you eat healthy meals. ‘Instead of going to the gym on Sunday, use the hour to chop and bag veg, boil eggs or otherwise prepare meals,’ says strength coach Dan John. ‘It will pay bigger dividends.’ Need inspiration? Try this muscle-building recipe. Muscle chilli 500g lean beef mince / 1 red onion, roughly chopped / 3 cloves garlic / 1 can chopped tomatoes / 1 medium carrot, grated / 1 medium courgette, grated / 1 tube tomato purée / ½-1 organic beef stock cube / 1tsp honey / Dried chilli flakes to taste / Chilli powder, hot paprika, sweet paprika, cinnamon powder (all to taste) / 1tbsp olive oil b Heat the oil and sauté the onion with the chilli flakes until the onions start to caramelise. b Add the garlic and spices, and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the mince. b Fry the mince until thoroughly cooked ghly then add the rest of the ingredients. b Stir thoroughly, reduce the duce heat and leave to simmer in a covered pan for at least 40 minutes, or longer utes, if you have time.
  56. 56. FIT BY FEB Day 17 Train your handshake ‘Whatever you do in the gym, your hands are the last link in the chain,’ says Kemp. ‘Use thick-handled weights in your workout to make sure they aren’t holding you back.’ Or get a pair of super-strength hand-grippers (see and use them at your desk. Day 18 Tea off Switch one of your daily cups of builder’s tea for the green variety. It has mild thermogenic effects, which means it’s a fat-burner, and antioxidant properties to reduce cell damage. Add a slice of lemon for a hit of vitamin C. Day 19 Catch some Z ‘Low zinc levels exacerbate the effects of stress and ageing on the body,’ says Kemp. ‘Poor immunity, inability to focus and a poor memory are signs of a deficiency.’ An easy way to get some is to cook with garlic, which is also high in vitamins B and C. Day 20 Rethink the sofa Commercial break? Instead of lying motionless on the couch, use it as a stretching aid. ‘Face away from the sofa and put one knee on the seat with your instep against the back and your other foot on the floor,’ says Starrett. ‘Squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward to feel the stretch in your quads and hip flexors.’ Day 22 SAT Have sex It’s the weekend, so spend some time with your significant other – and get in the mood for romance by mentioning that regular sex has been linked to improved heart health, stress levels and sleep. It also burns up to 144 calories in half an hour – just right for working off a glass of red wine. Day 17 Train your handshake Day 23 SUN Fix your shoulders The band pull-apart is a versatile move that can give you extra upper-back definition, make your shoulders stronger and prevent damage from bench presses or press-ups. It will also improve your posture. Hold a band with your hands shoulderwidth apart, then stretch it across your chest. Get in 100 reps while you’re watching TV. Day 24 D-day ‘Vitamin D improves immunity, organ function, mental health and joint mobility, and helps metabolise fats,’ says Hoyles. In winter, you don’t get enough from the sun, so supplement with at least 1,000IU a day. Day 21 Go barefoot Words John doe Photography Jane doe ‘The human foot has more than 100 muscles and tendons,’ says NFL performance coach Joe DeFranco. ‘Wearing cushioned shoes is like wearing a cast all day – the muscles and tendons become weaker over time, which increases your chances of ankle, knee, hip and back injury.’ Fix it by training barefoot or by wearing minimal shoes such as Vibram FiveFingers. 56/FEBRUARY 2013/
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  58. 58. FIT BY FEB Day 25 Try fish oil ‘Fish oil has been shown to increase fat metabolism, improve mood, prevent cravings for unhealthy foods and improve your joint health,’ says Hoyles. Eat more salmon or keep a fish oil supplement in the fridge. Day 31 Take your reward Day 26 Superpower your shake Still drinking just protein and water? You can do better. Upgrade it with a handful of berries (blueberries are best), some chia seeds (for the omega 3 fatty acids) and a splash of almond or coconut milk (if you’re trying to put on muscle). A meal in a glass. Day 27 Start a journal It’s only for three days and don’t worry, you don’t have to tell it your feelings. Use a food-tracking app such as MyNetDiary to track everything you eat over a three-day period. The chances are you’re going over or under your calorie/protein/fat/carb requirements and don’t even realise it. Day 28 Do a protein audit ‘You should be getting a minimum of 1.5g protein per kilo of lean body mass per day,’ says Manlay. So if you weigh 80kg and have 10% body fat, aim for 108g a day. If you’re not getting that, make today the day to fix it. It’s the easiest way to fuel your muscle needs. Day 29 SAT Eat more fat Words John doe Photography Jane doe Here’s your new rule of thumb for fats: unsaturated fat (found in avocado, coconut, olive oil and fish) is good, saturated fat (in red meat and butter) is OK in moderation and trans fat (in processed food) should be avoided at all costs. Use today to familiarise yourself with them. Day 30 SUN Test yourself Turn to our feature ‘Join The Gym Elite’ on p60 and choose three tests. Note your scores and commit to improving them. ‘Having measurable goals is the easiest way to make progress – they will keep you more than motivated looking in the mirror ever will,’ says strength coach Zach Even-Esh (’ 58/FEBRUARY 2013/ Day 31 Take your reward Have you changed your habits over the rest of the month? Did you do your full complement of pull-ups, lunges and press-ups yesterday? Take the day off – and don’t worry about it. ‘Don’t think of it as a cheat day,’ says founder Steve Kamb. ‘That implies you’re doing something wrong. Instead, apply the 80/20 rule – eating great 80% of the time and having whatever you’re in the mood for the other 20% allows you to look great, feel great and enjoy your life.’ Tomorrow, start again. For some great pull-up variations go to
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  60. 60. JOIN THE GYM ELITE Want to make 2013 your fittest year ever? Take MF’s seven tests to find out how fit you are and what you need to do to improve Words Joel Snape Photography Pete Webb o you think you’re fit? Or maybe you don’t. Either way, the best way to improve your performance in the gym is to take a close look at your strengths and weaknesses so you see what needs to be addressed and plan accordingly. That’s where this fitness checkup comes in. We’ve put together a battery of tests that will allow you to analyse every aspect of your fitness, helping you to identify those areas that need improvement so you can get fitter than ever before. S 60/FEBRUARY 2013/ HOW IT WORKS You can do any of these tests whenever you’d like. If you’re going to do the lot, though, we’d suggest splitting them over two or three days so you aren’t worn out. Once you’ve established where you are on the Beginner-to-Elite spectrum, our experts have given the advice you need to get to the next level. And remember, if you’re looking for well-rounded fitness, it’s better to be Advanced at everything than Elite on the bench and a Beginner everywhere else.
  61. 61. TEST YOUR FITNESS BENCH PRESS The test One-rep max The form No bounce-it-off-your-chest bravado here, just one quality rep with as much weight as you can manage. It’s essential to get a spotter, but after he helps you unrack the bar he can’t touch it again until your arms are locked out at the top. Not comfortable with going as heavy as possible? Go for your three- or five-rep max and use the calculator at to predict your max. Why it’s important The bench lets you shift more weight than any other upper-body move, so it will help you prepare for athletic events as well as building an impressive chest. And everyone’s going to ask what you bench anyway, so you might as well have an answer. The standards Beginner Less than bodyweight ‘If you aren’t benching your bodyweight, you can increase quickly,’ says personal trainer Adam Gethin. ‘Do three sets of five reps with a weight that you can handle comfortably and push it up by 2.5kg a week. The lower you start, the longer you can go without hitting a plateau.’ Intermediate 1-1.25x bodyweight ‘You should be able to get to 1.25 of your bodyweight with the plan above. If you can’t, lock your technique in. Try to make sure your forearms are vertical when you push, tuck your elbows in and experiment with grip width to see what allows you to handle the most weight.’ Advanced 1.25-1.5x bodyweight ‘Here’s where you need to start adding assistance moves. Two of the best are the closegrip incline press [hands around 30cm apart] and the dumbbell row, which will strengthen your back and give you a more stable platform to press from, as well as keeping your shoulders healthy.’ Elite Over 1.5x bodyweight ‘This is pretty impressive. To hit the magic 1.5, make your warm-up flawless by doing two sets of ten reps with just the bar to groove the move, and doing low reps for your other warm-up sets. You could also try some clap press-ups to get your fast-twitch fibres firing.’ 2013/61
  62. 62. ROW The test 500m as fast as you can The form A strong pull and recovery will knock seconds off your time, but it’s also crucial to set the ‘damper’ on your rower properly. Notching it up to ten is like hitting your lowest gear on a bike, while setting it to one won’t provide enough resistance to let you move fast. Seven or eight works best for most moderately trained men. Why it’s important Rowers refer to 500m chunks of effort as ‘pieces’ and they’re a good indication of how things will go over the more gruelling 2km Olympic distance. It’s a cardio challenge that brings in your upper body as well as testing your heart. The standards Beginner 2min+ ‘First aim to complete 500m without stopping,’ says strength coach Chet Morjaria. ‘Once you can do that, increase the distance you can row without stopping. Work up to 2,000m, keeping a 500m “split” time that isn’t too far above what you’re aiming for.’ Intermediate 1min 45sec-2min ‘To take your rowing to the next level, look at your technique. A rowing stroke is similar to a clean or deadlift and should be a powerful movement. In the drive phase, your legs initiate the power and your arms remain straight. Then your hip flexors and torso muscles maintain this power through the leg and hip drive. Your arms finish the stroke with an accelerating pull toward your torso that completes the transition of power from lower body through torso to upper body.’ Advanced 1min 30sec-1min 45sec ‘Rowing 500m over and over isn’t necessarily the best way to improve your time. Work shorter intervals to increase your capacity. An all-out 250m followed by a couple of minutes’ light rowing, repeated four to six times, is a good place to start.’ Elite Under 1min 30sec ‘Determined to shave an extra second from your time? Think in terms of power per stroke rather than rate. Slow it down: juice the drive part of the stroke for power, and slow your recovery. Once you’ve mastered this, increase your stroke rate and improve your time.’ PLANK The test A static hold for as long as possible The form A proper plank is simple: toes, elbows and forearms on the floor, hands clasped together, body in a straight line. Once your hips sag, the test is over. Why it’s important The plank is the best all-around test of your core strength and it won’t ruin your back like sit-ups. Once you can manage two minutes, adding a weight vest or plate will let you build abs of iron. 62/FEBRUARY 2013/ The standards Beginner 0-30sec ‘If you’re struggling to hold the plank at all, you should try some progressions,’ says Morjaria. ‘Hold each stage for 30sec. Once you can do that, progress to the next stage. Stage one is starting on your knees with arms fully extended. Hold that position, keeping your core tight. Stage two is progressing to straightening your legs out but keep your arms fully extended, still maintaining a solid core. Stage three is dropping down on your elbows into a full plank.’ Intermediate 30sec-1min 15sec ‘To work your way up to 1min 15sec in one go, build up to a total of 90sec of plank in as few sets as possible. Aim to bring this number down until you can complete 1min 15sec in one set.
  63. 63. TEST YOUR FITNESS RUN The test 1 mile (1.6km) as fast as possible The form It’s up to you. Free trackers, such as the Runkeeper app, will time you over a mile on the road, but alternatively you can hit the treadmill. If you pick the latter, set the incline to 1% to mimic more closely what your road-running brethren are going through. Why it’s important The mile has been the gold standard of middle-distance running since before Roger Bannister laced up his shoes. It’s fast enough to test your pace and far enough to scorch your lungs. The standards Beginner Over 9min ‘Run farther to improve your endurance and get your body used to the mechanics of running,’ says strength coach and ex-army PT Andy McKenzie. ‘Try two to three sessions per week with an increase of 800m each week over a period of four weeks.’ Intermediate 7-9min ‘Working anaerobically helps to improve the aerobic system. Breaking the distance into 100m, 200m and 400m segments and then focusing on speed will bring your times down.’ Advanced 1min 15sec-2min 30sec ‘Once you’re doing a couple of minutes at once, try barbell rollouts to further strengthen your core. Start with your knees on the ground and place your hands on a barbell in front of you. Slowly roll the barbell away from you, keeping your core tight. Roll out until your torso and arms are full extended. Hold for a second then squeeze the abs and reverse the process, bringing the barbell back to your knees.’ Elite Over 2min 30sec ‘Squat, press and deadlift! Performing these core-intensive compound lifts on a regular basis with heavy weights will tax and strengthen your core. You can also try plank variations to add additional instability and rotational demands on your body. From a standard plank position lift one leg up and hold, lift one arm up and hold or lift one leg and one arm up at once.’ Advanced 5-7min ‘Get stronger in the gym. Increasing leg strength and power will improve stride length. Do cleans, singleleg squats and barbell hip drives to keep it specific to running. These will also protect you against injury.’ Elite Under 5min ‘Hill running with your hands on your head will help improve leg strength and, more importantly, hip flexors. Concentrate on a powerful knee drive and press your elbows to the rear. It’s great for core muscles as well.’ 2013/63
  64. 64. TEST YOUR FITNESS PULL-UP The test As many as possible The form There are many ways to do pull-ups, but for this test you’ll be tackling them Russian special forcesstyle: palms facing away, straight arms at the bottom, chin over the bar at the top and absolutely no legswinging. Simply do as many as you can without dropping off the bar. Why it’s important As well as building your grip, back, shoulders and core, pull-ups are a great test of how strong you are relative to your bodyweight, and pushing your numbers up means keeping your body fat down. Nobody who can manage 20 will have a gut – guaranteed. The standards Beginner 0-3 Can’t do a single pull-up? Don’t give up and turn to the lat pulldown just yet. ‘Focus on negative reps,’ says Gethin. ‘Do two to four sets of two or three reps, jumping to the top position with your chin over the bar, then lowering yourself as slowly as possible.’ Intermediate 4-8 Improve your numbers by ‘greasing the groove’, a favourite move of Russian strength coach Pavel Tsatsouline. Put a pullup bar somewhere easy to reach and do lots of easy sets throughout your day or evening. Advanced 9-15 As you break the dozen, try strength and conditioning expert Chad Waterbury’s high-frequency pull-up plan: one set of max reps in the morning, another in the evening, a day off, then repeat. Elite Over 16 ‘It’s time to start adding weight,’ says Gethin. ‘Try six reps with 30% of your bodyweight hanging around your waist. Once you can do this, keep increasing the number of reps on this until you reach 12. By now, your bodyweight effort should be pushing 20.’ 64/FEBRUARY 2013/
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  66. 66. TEST YOUR FITNESS SQUAT The test As many as possible with your own bodyweight on a barbell The form Stand up straight at the top and make sure your thighs are parallel to the ground at the bottom of the move. It’s fine to take a few deep breaths in the ‘up’ position. Why it’s important Every man should be able to squat his own bodyweight: it will make you better at sport, life and getting off the toilet unassisted in old age. It will also release growth hormone and testosterone, helping the rest of your body to grow. The standards Beginner 0-9 ‘Just getting stronger will have the greatest impact,’ says McKenzie. ‘Measure your one-rep max [in the same way you did for the bench] and then work on a routine of three to five sets of three to five reps above 80% of your test results.’ Add 2.5-5kg a week. Intermediate 10-18 ‘Work on the mobility of your ankles, hips and upper back. You want to move with the body, not against it. Set aside ten minutes of each session to work on weak areas.’ Advanced 19-29 ‘Introduce 3-5sec isometric holds at various points of the lift as you perform each repetition. The increased time under tension and added benefits of isometric strength will provide a different and much-needed stimulus.’ Elite Over 30 ‘Do breathing squats. Go for a weight you should only be able to manage for ten reps and aim for 20, taking three deep breaths between each rep for the first five reps, four breaths from reps six to 12 and five breaths from 13-20 reps. Do this with a partner – or a bar-catcher.’ PRESS-UP The test As many as possible in two minutes The form You’ll be doing these in the style of an army physical fitness test: straight body, arms locked at the top, chest touching the floor at the bottom. You can rest, as long as no part of your body except your hands and feet touches the floor. Why it’s important Hitting a half-century of press-ups will put size on your arms, blitz your core and allow you to stay in shape anywhere you go. The standards Beginner 0-14 ‘If you’re under 14 reps, don’t be alarmed,’ says McKenzie. ‘Improve your score by doing half the amount of reps you managed in the test, resting for 90sec and repeating for three to five sets. Do that two or three times per week and you’ll bust into the intermediate range in under a month.’ 66/FEBRUARY 2013/ Intermediate 15-34 ‘Get more reps done by altering the effects of gravity on the body with the use of suspension straps. As you start to fatigue, simply increase the angle of your body to the floor and keep going.’ Advanced 35-55 ‘Split your routine into a strengthbased session using a weighted vest or plate, working on three to five sets of five to eight reps. The second session should focus on increasing reps using ladders: start with one press-up, then two, then three, all the way to ten.’ Elite Over 55 ‘Get explosive on the first two to four reps of every set by performing clap press-ups. Tense your core as you push hard off the floor to maintain integrity in your spine.’
  67. 67. COMPETITION Win! Anentertainment systemandJackReachergoodies T o celebrate the release of the movie Jack Reacher (cert 12A), Men’s Fitness has teamed up with Paramount Pictures UK to give you the chance of winning a fantastic entertainment system and limitededition Jack Reacher goodies. From New York Times bestselling author Lee Child comes this tense, thrilling story of one of the most compelling heroes ever to step from novel to screen – ex-military investigator Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise). When the suspect in a gruesome sniper attack demands his presence, Reacher takes the case and believes the man is guilty – but when the bodies keep stacking up, Reacher realises he may have scratched the surface on a conspiracy that will not only take down the city leaders, but may also end up costing him his own life. As well as Cruise, Jack Reacher stars Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, Werner Herzog, David Oyelowo and Robert Duvall. One lucky winner will receive an entertainment system worth £1,500, comprising a 32in flat-screen TV, a Blu-ray player, a speaker system and Jack Reacher merchandise. Jack Reacher is in cinemas everywhere from 26th December, cert 12A. For more visit How to enter For your chance to win simply answer this question: Who plays the title role in Jack Reacher? A Tom Hardy B Tom Cruise C Daniel Craig To enter and for terms and conditions, go to Prize details Here is what one lucky winner will receive… 3 32in flat-screen TV 3 Blu-ray player 3 Speaker system Worth £1,500 © 2012 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved 3 Jack Reacher merchandise
  68. 68. Everything you know about fitness is wrong Looking to get in shape for the first time? Make sure you aren’t starting out with the wrong ideas. MF dissects the most common fitness mistakes Words Joel Snape Illustrations Peter Crowther@Debut Art, Patrick George@Debut Art
  69. 69. FITNESS MYTHS ‘Your weight is what you should worry about’ When it comes to your body, the bathroom scales aren’t as important as the mirror THE MYTH It’s natural to look for proof of progress when you start a new fitness regime, but leaping on the scales every morning is the wrong way to approach it. For starters, the body mass index (BMI) system – used by the NHS – becomes a poor indicator of health once you start putting on muscle. It makes no distinction between fat and muscle, so a 170cm-tall man who weighs 77kg will be diagnosed as overweight whether he has 8% or 18% body fat. A better indication is the mirror – it doesn’t lie. EXPERT VIEW Mike Smalley, personal trainer ‘Building as much lean tissue as possible should always be the aim, because it also creates the perfect environment for your body to lose weight effectively and keep it off. To do so, reduce your carbs and cardio, increase your intake of protein and healthy fats – especially at breakfast – and eat plenty of green veg. Finally, lift weights. A well-structured weights programme, including plenty of big lower-body work, will help to build muscle and create the leaner look you’re after.’ 2013/69