The Boot Camp results are in…

So, as promised, after 8 weeks of Sports Science Boot Camp, I present my results below:

  BEFORE AFTER
Weight 120.6kg 112.6kg
BMI 39.38 37.21
Finger prick cholestrol N/A 4.19 mmol/L
Resting Blood Pressue 125/90 120/68
Waist Circumference 120.5cm 114.5cm
Hip Circumference 117.5cm 112.5cm
Waist/Hip Ratio 1.03 1.02
Crunches 51/ min 30/ min
Push-ups 36/min 43/min
12 min motion test 1680m 2030m

Over the past 8 weeks, my major results are obviously an awesome weight loss on the dreaded scale of 8kgs and a pretty decent result on the waist and hip circumferences. I’m not a big fan of the scale at the best of times, but when it shows that I’m down 8kgs it’s my best friend.

I don’t know it that crunches result is correct but hey, I’m not going to worry too much about that…

I’ve been following the Dukan Diet and in combination with the exercise, I don’t think I’ve had a better 8 weeks of eating / exercise results so I look forward to breaking that magical 100 barrier by the end of the year….#WeCanOnlyTry.

I must thank Kathy McQuaide-Little Jessica Milne, Greg Hyson and Jacqueline Kotze from Sports Science Institute of South Africa for having me on this fantastic course. I can honestly recommend it to anyone who is looking to get fit ahead of summer.

Go check out SSISA.com for all their fantastic programmes.

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Here are some pics from these past 8 weeks….

 

Summer is coming, time for you to get fit!

Boot-Camp

With the 8 week Boot Camp at Sports Science Institute about to come to an end, there’s no better time to keep the momentum going as we head into summer and join up for the next session starting on October 14.

We are getting our final results tonight so I look forward to seeing how I have hopefully improved and will post a separate blog post about it, but in the meantime, check out this link below to find all the information you need to sign up. Trust me, it will change your life for the better.

BOOT CAMP INFORMATION SHEET

Using Your Resources…

You know, sometimes people don’t give trained fitness professionals the credit they deserve, they think that training people on an hourly basis is easy, they think that standing next to someone who is running on one of the gym’s expensive treadmills is easy, but they couldn’t be further from the truth.

These are trained individuals in Sports Science and just making tiny changes in angle of your arms can make the difference between a waste of time exercise and doing the exercise properly.

However, in some situations, these trainers don’t have the expensive gym equipment to use and use mother nature as their gym. The Sports Science Boot Camp is one of those situations. While the Sports Science Institute have some amazing indoor facilities, it’s great that they offer these outdoor programs for those who want to train outdoors and the trainers Greg and Jacqui do a fantastic job creating outdoor circuits and various exercises using just a few props and a school field.

Whilst some of you might think that’s quite a bare gym, we went one step further the other day when the Cape Town weather wreaked havoc with the prospects of training outdoors. We headed back to Sports Science from our outdoor venue, but instead of being tempted to use the nice shiny equipment inside the gym, our trainer Jacqui used everything from some foam thing which looks pretty innocuous until you try to balance on one leg on it, to the stairs in the building to create an entire cardio workout (one which I felt when I tried to do silly things like ‘wake up the next morning’).

Whilst trying to move the next day, it got me thinking, this is the difference between a professional and someone like you and I – they know how to use the resources around them a lot better than we do.

When I see the stairs in a building, I think what will get me to the 5th floor faster, those or the lift. When they see stairs in a building, they see an entire interval cardio workout which works every muscle in the body.

When I see an empty stretch of 10m, I think nothing of it, they think of 7 different leg exercises you can do in those 10 metres.

It’s great to have trainers like Greg and Jacqui around with us every step of the way because there’s nothing more uncomfortable than random chit-chat in a lift…

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What kind of an exerciser are you?

There are three kind of people in this world:

1. Those who exercise before work in the mornings

2. Those who exercise after work in the evenings

3. Those who exercise during their lunch hour

Number three doesn’t really count in my eyes because the chances of one working out during their lunch hour depends solely on their office’s proximity to the closest gym, so I’d like to focus on numbers 1 and 2.

I’ve done my training both in the mornings before work and in the evenings after work and I am still at odds to which one I prefer. Just for the record, I’m not offering solutions here, I’m just telling you what works for me and in-turn, I am interested to hear what works for you…

Currently, the Sports Science Institute of South Africa offer morning and evening Boot Camp classes and I have been fortunate enough to try both sessions. The main difference for me seems to be that my body prefers training in the morning, before I’ve had a chance to tire myself out at work. I get up in the mornings, my gym gear has all been laid out the night before, I don’t have anything to eat and I head off to Boot Camp half asleep. However, 10 minutes in and I find myself flinging my leg up in the air like a gymnast (not the thinnest gymnast you’ll ever find). But it’s amazing how quickly one’s body does wake-up and adapt to what you are doing.

By the time 07h15 comes, I’ve done my workout for the day and ready to smash the work day.

The other night I tried one of the evening classes and I just didn’t have my same energy levels. For some strange reason I found myself jumping over the bench and having a little chuckle to myself, knowing that that poor bench was taking a proper pounding by me. The exercises were great and boy did I feel it in the morning, but my energy levels throughout the class were not up to my regular standard.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just that after 32 years of my life, I have finally become a morning person….funny that…

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Don’t let injuries get you down…

Over the last couple of weeks, I have endured a bit of a hamstring injury on both my legs, ironically not caused by any exercise I had been doing, but from an event I was running. Yes, it was helluva frustrating getting an injury just a couple of weeks back into my training, but I dealt with it, rested when I needed to, got treatment and thankfully made it back after only missing a few sessions of Boot Camp at Sports Science.

When I came back to Boot Camp classes on Friday morning, it was great to see everyone again and it was awesome to see the comeradie that had been formed between myself and most of the other people at Boot Camp. This is the difference between training by yourself and training in a group. Each to their own, but I am all for training in a group. I’m there if someone needs support to push them that extra kilometre, but I also thrive on knowing that others around me have my back should I need some encouragement.

Injuries happen, don’t ignore them, treat them correctly and get back into your exercise as soon as you are recovered – and if you’re lucky enough, there’ll be those who missed your presence at training…

Motivation

Winter, Mike Tyson, both pack a mean punch…

Well, it’s been a while since I have blogged. I haven’t received any fan mail asking me why so I’m assuming that hasn’t been too traumatic for all of you out there and have been able to survive without my pearls of wisdom…

Anyways, I am the first to admit, this Winter has smashed me very hard in terms of exercise. Since Two Oceans I have done the odd run, done a few gym sessions, but hardly anything to write to Athletics South Africa about. It’s been bloody freezing and the thought of exercising after work instead of going home for a hot bowl of soup didn’t cross my mind too many times.

What did however cross my mind was the fact that I have felt lethargic the whole of Winter, knowing that I needed to get off my ass, but not necessarily having the motivation to do so.

Thankfully, and just in the nick of time, The Sports Science Institute of South Africa launched their latest Boot Camp class and I knew I just had to sign up if I wanted to have any chance of not looking like the Oros man come Summer.

We had our weigh in (unbelievably painful experience), we did all the fitness tests and we’ve had the first session at Westerford High School. The way I was dressed, you would have thought that I was off to an expedition in the Antarctic, but I got through it and woke my body up with a jilt, like being klapped in the bek by Mike Tyson.

It’s going to be 8 weeks of fighting fitness, lots of swearing, but also meeting new faces who, like me, are braving the cold to reach their individual goals – something which I can only applaud.

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Two Oceans 2013 has been smashed!

With the Easter weekend, comes the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town and for those who read my blog will know that this has been a major goal for me this year, not only to finish my second Two Oceans half marathon, but to finish it in a better time than last year.

My training has been excellent for this race, I’ve done some great strength and speed work at Boot Camp, but what I did underestimate was doing those extra couple of long runs which I needed in my legs come race day.

For various reasons, the longest I had run in a few months was the Constantia Village 15km race a couple of weeks before Two Oceans. I missed a couple of the long training runs which my group run on a Saturday and I really paid for that on Saturday.

I was cruising along in the race, Edinburgh and Southern Cross Drive had nothing on me, until I hit the 17km mark and that’s when my right leg started feeling like someone had klapped me with a baton.

This is when the psychological part of running kicks in. There was every chance that I would be forced to pull out at this point but I grit my teeth and stuck it out (the support on the sidelines from all the well-wishers made it so much easier). The stretch towards the finish at UCT is a bit of a blur because I was fighting hard, but when I crossed the finish line, I was absolutely ecstatic and had smashed my personal best time as well as took 8 minutes off my 2012 Two Oceans, finishing in 2 hours 50 minutes. That pesky cut-off gun-wielder was nowhere in sight this year.

To end off a couple of ‘Thank yous’.

Firstly, to the Slug & Lettuce in Newlands, thank you for the VIP treatment you gave my running group before the start, you have no idea how much that helped.

Then, thank you to my sponsors Puma, who kit me out in the best running gear, to USN for all my supplements and a huge thank you to the people at Sports Science Institute. The Boot Camp training played a huge role in me reaching my goal and bettering my times.

Finally, I want to say thank you to my wife who has to put up with all my training and was there at the finish line to greet me and bring me warm clothes – having that support means everything to me.

This is my ecstatic look

Boot Camp results are in…

So, the 8 weeks of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa’s Boot Camp has come to an end and I’m proud to say that I have shown massive improvement since we started.

After 8 weeks of lunges, push-ups, short sprints, getting acquainted with wet grass at 6 in the morning, venturing up Rhodes Memorial and Newlands Forest as the sun rose on a beautiful day in Cape Town, I can honestly say that it has been 8 weeks of the most amazing training I have ever done.

As they say, the proof is in the pudding (no pudding for me until after Two Oceans half marathon this weekend though), so without further ado here’s the before and after results:

  4 February 2013 25 March 2013
Height 1.74m 1.74m
Weight 118.05kg 118.05kg
Body Mass Index (BMI) 38.99kg 38.99kg
Finger-prick Cholesterol 5.12mmol/L 4.37mmol/L
Resting blood pressure 130/82mmHG 120/82mmHG
Waist circumference 119cm 116.5cm
Hip circumference 117cm 114cm
Waist / Hip ratio 1.02 1.02
Crunches (1 minute) 26 32
Push-ups 40 48
12 minute motion test 1610m (1.61km) 2170m (2.17km)

Granted, my weight didn’t go down during the 8 weeks but I struggle to lose weight and don’t necessarily look too much into what a scale says because I don’t believe it tells the full story, but what I am very happy about is that my cholesterol and blood pressure have gone down, I’ve lost 2.5cm in my waist, I’ve lost 3cm in my hips, I’ve upped my crunches by an extra 6 in one minute and I’ve managed to do an extra 8 push-ups in one minute, which I’m extremely chuffed about.

Finally, I’m so thrilled about my improvement in my 12 minute motion test as I’ve managed to cover an extra 560m, which is extremely significant in terms of my running. Even better was the fact that I won the award for the biggest improvement in my 12 minute motion test out of the whole group. That certificate is right up there with my WP colours and 1 single academic award in my lifetime.

So, all in all, I can’t thank the Boot Camp instructors Greg and Edwin enough for pushing me hard during each session, I thoroughly enjoyed every session, although I still hate burpees and crawling…

Thanks must also go to the program coordinator Kim at Sports Science.

If you’re interested in joining the next Boot Camp at Sports Science, click HERE to find out all the details or email Kim on fit@ssisa.com and she will guide you through everything.

It’s Two Oceans time for me this Saturday so I’m hoping to report back on a good race and bettering my time from last year of 2 hr 58 minutes. To everyone who is running, either the trail, half or full this weekend, best of luck. To everyone else, have a good Pesach and Easter!

Sit up and Sign up!

So, we enter week 7 of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa’s Boot Camp and it’s been a fantastic ride so far.

When I signed up for this, I knew it wouldn’t be easy to wake up so early in the morning, but I can honestly say it has been fantastic and has made such a big difference to my goal of healthy and active living.

If you’ve had a slow start to the year, don’t stress, because in just a matter of a few weeks you can give your body a kick up its arse.

While my 8-week session is coming to an end at the end of next week, I’m already putting it in my diary to sign up for the next one which starts in April.

Here’s the details you need to know – sign up, you will not regret it.

Classes take place in Newlands, Durbanville and Pinelands in Cape Town.

They start from April 8-10 so email fit@ssisa.com to find out all the details.

Here’s the LINK to the programme on the Sports Science Institute of SA’s website.

See what some of the previous participants have said:

“I love that we are outside with grass beneath our feet, the mountain in front of us for distraction and the cool breeze on our faces! It makes it all the more worthwhile.”

“I really enjoyed being pushed to do exercises I would never had done voluntarily in the gym, The camaraderie of the evening group was fantastic, the sports fields were convenient and easy to get to and it was great to have other venues from time to time.  The trainers were excellent and really booted us all into better fitness!”

“I am dreading Bootcamp coming to an end! Every aspect is well thought out and planned and I look forward to every session we have.”

Times, they are improving…

Wow, I can’t believe that we are into the sixth week of the eight-week Boot Camp.

It’s been an absolutely fantastic ride so far and I can only say good things about it.

I’ll give you a reason why. Last year, I ran a race which is in Cape Town, called the VOB Constantia Village 15km Run. Many people who do Two Oceans use this run as part of their preparation for the big race and I do the same.

Last year, I ran this race in 1 hour 57 minutes and when I entered the race this year, again, I was using it as part of my training for Two Oceans which is at the end of March. I came in in 1 hour 48 minutes, a whole 9 minutes better than last year. 9 minutes, in running terms is absolutely massive and I was thrilled to have bettered my time by so much.

The Boot Camp training for me has not only improved my strength, but improved my technique, my stamina and most importantly, my core, which is so key to running well.

It’s a busy few weeks ahead and my training is geared towards continuing to build my strength and stamina so by the time Two Oceans comes around, I can try and better my time of last year of 2 hrs 58 minutes.

In my next blog post, I’ll tell you how you can sign up for the next Boot Camp, which starts in April.

Until then, you can enjoy some pictures of me and my calf muscles going through one of the sessions, in one of the more picturesque settings you will ever train in.