All posts by Rob Edmond

It’s Cold, You’re Tired, U Can’t Be Arsed..

 

After all it’s winter, not always the most inspiring time to train..

Your tired, it’s raining, you have a bad finger, your favourite program is on, your trainers are wet, the moon is full, you haven’t got a bobble, you have broken your pelvis (maybe a valid reason), whatever the reason you just don’t feel like training.

The solution is to improvise with a bobble etc etc and go anyway BUT ONLY to do a 10 min warm up.  Now you can handle that surely.  Just get a grip, look the full moon square on in the face, record your program and get going.  At the time don’t think too much, as my magic trick won’t work and you will just sit down to a sugary dinner.

Do your warm up and if you still feel like crap go home or do a light extended warm up for as long as you can last.  9 times out of 10 though you will start to feel more motivated or up for it (the technical term). Maybe stirring up and flushing out some of the chemicals which are making you feel gloomy will allow you to go on to have a great session. It is amazing what a bit of movement can do for your mental state.

The important thing is you continue to get some in, it is about consistency with training, you need to be persistent with being consistent and not duck out of sessions willy nilly.  By doing just a warm up / short session, then you are keeping in with the habit and re-enforcing it.

If you are still consistently missing sessions then you can look at other options, maybe get yourself in with a group for the peer pressure effect or get a local PT to drag you out of bed or simply reassess when and how you train.  Maybe a better time for you to train  is first thing before work, rather than being so mentally knackered after a hard day that you can’t find the motivation.

‘Rob’, I hear you cry.. ‘But I really really can’t be arsed!’ 

Well maybe you need to address how you train,  make the pill easier to swallow, break down your sessions into smaller chunks.  If you feel over faced with a 1 hr session, then look at 30 min, 20 min or even 10 min.  Now come on, you can do 10 min (you can nearly hold your breath for that long).  Just put more effort in and do these shorter sessions more frequently, once your endorphines start kicking in you will naturally feel like doing more.

Another option is set yourself a challenge which you HAVE to train for, sign up for something which requires you to be in better shape than you’re currently in, make it known to your friends (if you have any), pay out some money (if you have any), do it for charity, whatever pressure you can attach to make you feel bad for not carrying it through when the time comes.  Don’t make it next week and too easy, it needs to be far enough away and hard enough that you have to train for some considerable time for it.

If you still can’t be arsed, then (with me getting close to running out of options for you now) do something you enjoy which happens to get you in shape whilst doing it.  You loved netball at school, then join a team, you loved being chased at school – rob a bank.  Errm, you loved china dolls, eating contests and morris dancing – then you’re a freak, but there is still hope.  You get the idea, just something which involves proper movement. What ever you do, just throw yourself into it, maximise the movement.  If you play golf, then carry your bag (I know your game will go down the tubes but least you will live longer to play more), if you fish only go for fish heavier than yourself or maybe a more practical choice, fish secluded places, which you can only get to with a long walk.  If you love china dolls see how many you can pick up and hug at once and repeat it a lot.

If you still can’t be arsed then for £x per minute you can call me for a scheduled quick motivational chat to give you a verbal kick up the backside.  This wasn’t meant to be a pitch but just came to me at the end, it’s not a bad idea and it’s on the table if you need it – just click here   I’ll even put on a foreign accent and keep you on hold for ages, if you want the BT experience.

 

Too Many Cooking Shows On TV

 

 

Are there too many cooking shows on TV?

In the UK this week (wc 9th Dec) from Monday to Sunday on the main 5 channels – BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – there is a total of 37.5 hours of time dedicated to specific cooking/food based shows, that equates to over 8% out of all the available 455 TV hours between 9am and 12 Midnight this week.  However a significant amount of these 37.5 hours are prime time slots which makes the impact more significant. The 37.5 hrs also  do not take into account any time spent covering cooking & food within non cookery based chat shows which is  also significant.

Do you know what time this week has been dedicated to TV Shows on training, encouraging exercise, inspiring people to exercise, showing them how to exercise for a better lifestyle?

ZERO!

 Nil, 0, Non, Zilch,Nothing !

Oh well you may say that’s because we don’t need it, you may think we in the UK are a pretty fit nation,  walk down an average high street and you expect to see people everywhere buzzing with energy, great complexions, fit as fiddles, glowing like Ready brek ambassadors  (don’t eat that by the way it’s crap).  Well if you still think that, you’re just a plain and simple moron!

On the high street, you are now more likely to see a young girl, shuffling over the cobbles, looking like she has had a bad day working in the Orange section of a local dye (DIE) factory, having just eaten the top shelf at Sayers and is (with hands of an Orangutan) trying to pull what seems to be a pair of curtains up her backside to cover up a thong which you could tie up a Shire Horse with.

It is a shame, it is an outcry – her life is just beginning and she is not looking good for the long haul but she is no expert  she goes with the flow, she watches the TV – this is her first time on this planet and she needs help, even if she doesn’t know it yet.

Yes this snapshot is just one week of TV and a week near to Christmas I hear you cry but look, there always seems some reason for the mass poliferation of cooking shows to be aired and some of the most watched prime time shows  like The Great British Bake Off & Master Chef are not on this week  (apart from the odd non prime time repeat), imagine the weekly figure for when these are on in their full glory.

I like food, I like eating it, most people do but I am bored sick of looking at what to watch and seeing a deluge of cookery based programs.  This sunami of seasoned cookery TV time is mental.  Do you think advertising works?  Do you think sublimianal messages work? Do you think there is a huge industry which expolits it?  Do you think the immensily powerful food corporations have a say on what is put on TV?  Do you think they pay for a high percentage of all advertising?

I think most people unless they have been in the wilderness for the last 100 years know the answer (if you have then the answer is YEY HOW YA, YES).

What do you think is the effect of a large section of the general public being constantly exposed to this, on subjects like how to make the best cake, pie, chocolate pudding etc etc ?

When you watch a food show you get hungry it is a primeval instinct, it makes you think more about food, regardless of when you last had a meal you feel like you have not eaten for a week.. salivating over the screen watching your favourite delight come to life like some rabid dog. Hey one day TV’s will be able to produce scent and then your room will fill with the smell of freshly baked bread when a relevant advert / show comes on and then we are all truly knackered (as no one likes the smell of sweat).  I say all, because even  for the fitter / healthier ones which resist, they will be forced to pay into / deal / contribute, to the ever escalating obesity epedemic (it is not a problem, it is an epidemic by the way).  Wonder if the advertisers / food corps will pay into the NHS slush fund to compensate proportionately.

Listen, I am not being a kill joy, I know we all need to know how to make the perfect meringue! Just balance it out a little, Come Dine With Me is fantastic entertainment and much of the stuff they make puts you off food which is great, but where is the output, the energy expenditure, the inspiration to do something physical coming from?  People are becoming highly desensitied to excessive food  intake and this is a big problem.

We don’t need to be encourgaed to eat more, people are pretty good at that, it is a natural survival instinct, just that the average data inputter doesn’t require the calories of an Arctic Explorer to do a days work in the UK.

Now is it a chicken and egg scenario ?  Do people watch these shows because:

A. They really do love them?

B. They are just better than the alternative shows on offer?

C. They were forced (a long time ago), by a lack of alternative, to watch these shows and/or their favourite celeb involved with cooking and they now think they do or do love them?

D. Various combinations of the above?

How would the real TV watching masses tell the commissioners that they want to see more training / healthy living advice shows if there are NO exciting ones to switch over to in PRIME TIME – they are prevented from voting with their feet.  Are they so into their bad habits that they do like the shows and don’t really want to move away from them without a significant pull?  Do people know what is good for them?  How do you know what you are missing out on when you can’t imagine how good a show is, which actually doesn’t exist yet.    It is a complex question as there are many variables but my simple view is this, commissioners need to take the lead, they need to lead with interesting, entertaining and engaging  EXERCISE INSPIRING formats which will start to balance this out even just a little, it can be a lot more exciting, it can have celebs, it can be very funny, it can be highly entertaining, it can be everything you want it to be, but rather than watching an oven and a steaming plate of brown gue come to life, you can watch something a bit more inspirational and something which will help save your life.

There is a moral and very important societal obligation to change this situation for the better, the powers that be,  those that have the influence to make a difference need to make the first step. That is, if we don’t want to be increasingly surrounded with cake eating, pie wrapping, soup gargaling masses, being inspired to make the perfect filling or the smoothest cheese sauce all the way to an early grave.

When was the last time a perfect Cake mix made you want to go out and achieve more, feel alive, take control of your health, look better, feel better, do better?

If you can make this perfect Cake mix, I promise you, you will look and feel great, you will radiate energy and be a better person all round, just watch, learn, eat and repeat and when you have mastered that we will move (on a forklift) onto mastering all that is PIE 😉

Or will the huge food providing, media influencing advertisers/corporations continue to have their way until forced government intervention takes over, which by the way will be too late for any adults reading this and probably too late for your children reading this too (life expectancy has reached a peak and is now dropping in the UK, your children are no longer expected to live as long as you will).   Obesity is one of the main reasons for this trend or to put it another way, TOO MUCH CAKE and not enough EXERCISE! It is an outrage that with modern medicine and technology this is now happening.

Commissioners – the viewers aren’t going to suddenly all switch to Police Camera Action and expect you to pick up on ‘the desire to be more active vibe’ you need to take the lead.

The cheap option is just to swap some of the cookery shows to constant reruns of early Rocky films, to encourage even the most bulbus couch potato off his/her ass, away from the The Great British Master kitchen and into the vauge relms of doing some exercise, even if it is punching the air or a neighbour.   I know the advertisers won’t go for it.. so at least make an exciting fitness / exercise inspiring show or two instead.

 

P.S Mass spectator sports such as Football don’t count.  A very very low percentage of TV spectators are actively playing, training or even inspired to start changing their lifestyle for the better as a result of watching it.

Rocky has a far better effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Edmond Talks Cake, Cake And More Cake

Cake Is Great!  It’s a really good way to get a high amount of concentrated calories in you per gram and it has a good shelf life because its packed with sugar and/or other preservatives so stores well in your pocket.   I used to eat a lot of fruitcake in the mountains to keep me going, but I was generally burning 1000 calories per hour and had to carry all the food I needed on me, so weight to calorie ratio was important.   So if you’re  into your endurance then it is worth considering as a replacement to synthetic gels etc which can have a lot of sweeteners and other nasties in there.   A good home made fruit & nut cake (no icing) with all natural ingredients is a mega survival / endurance food.   It has a great mix of carbs, protein and fat which are absorbed at different rates to give you long lasting energy.    As with any high sugar substances, don’t start eating/drinking them until your well into your activity and starting to feel a dip in energy, as the high sugar content will be overkill in the initial stages and produce the adverse effect.

HOWEVER.. the next time you are offered cake, before accepting it have a good look around..  if you are not half way up a mountain, running an ironman, deep in the Alaskan wilderness struggling to survive (on the squirrel you caught 2 days ago) then..

YOU REALLY DONT NEED IT!

Most people who will be offered a cake tomorrow are not up to their waste in snow or breathing that hard their lungs are trying to pop out.. they are surrounded by desks, paper, computers.  You don’t need cake to type you know!  There are far better food sources for you for that activity.

Ok, so I am lucky I would  much prefer some meat rather than a cake and I appreciate so many of you cake eaters love the taste.   So what do you do, it is hard to resist the Cake Merry Go Round or what ever you call it.    But I can help you,  this has been well researched and proven to work, choose out of these few options, some of them may be more feasible and realistic according to your circumstances.

When next offered or tempted to buy cake, try one or more of the following:

Trap your little finger in the nearest door.   The pain will take your mind off the cake and you will be distracted for long enough for the craving to subside.  Plus the negative association of pain with cake, will after a few goes put you right off them.  Note: If you are already missing both little fingers then you have to move up to your nearest digit and if you are missing all your digits, then you deserve a break so just have the cake.

Rub the cake in your face or the face of the person who is offering it you.   This will cause you multiple problems depending on where you are and who offered it you (Similar reasoning to trapping your little finger in the nearest door).

Buy it / accept it and then throw it into the nearest bin.  Do it really quickly before you think too much, it will be a complete waste but do this often enough and you will stop buying it and/or they will stop offering it you.  No cake lover likes to see wasted cake!

Wean yourself off sugar. Get rid of your sugary foods, start cutting down on your sugar intake.  When you have cut it right down you will crave it less and less, your taste buds will start to appreciate the slightest sweetness, to the extent that high sugar items will taste sickly.  This takes effort but is far less painful.  In the beginning take the cake, eat a small bit and throw the majority in the bin.  You are in this for the long haul and have probably been eating crap for decades so no need to rush the process into one day.  But you have to be consistent and persistent, you should be able to do it in a month.

Take less and less sugar in your drinks,  STOP having low sugar branded drinks which have sweeteners in instead (they are worse for you in many ways and can actually make you crave cake you know!).  Just go pure, eat/drink substances with simple ingredients which are naturally low in sugar and not as sweet.  Eat starters not deserts.  Go savoury where ever you can.

Give yourself a month and if you haven’t achieved anything significant, then when the cake girl next comes calling, get your little finger to the nearest door hinge fast!

 

Rob Edmond

 
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What Can The Game of Thrones Tell Us About Training

 

One of the best dramas to come out on TV 

 

But what the hell has this got to do with training..

This show is loosely based on a broad period of our History, of Medieval Europe (Wars of The Roses), of Mongul Hordes (Dothraki), sagas of the Viking Age (Iron Born) etc.  It shows a real mix of basing the lifestyles of it’s characters on actual periods of history.  As you can tell I am no historian but I do have an interest in our past, where we came from, what life was like back then, how people trained for battle, how hard physically it must have been to work the land/travel.  I bet to the millions and millions of viewers which have been avidly watching this show, this is some of the biggest interest they have ever taken in studying what it may have been like to live 500-1000 years ago.  It’s like one of those great lessons at school when the teacher hasn’t been able to prepare anything, so he puts on a Film for you to watch instead, with some light resemblance to learning the curriculum whilst he nips out (for a coffee).

People have been glued to their laptops, Ipads and flatscreen TVs watching every new episode of this show, imagining (whilst eating popcorn) they could wield a great sword like ‘ICE‘, when most can’t even muster the strength to lift a flat screen onto a wall bracket from B&Q.  Oh how the world has changed, the Knights would roll around laughing at the average man today, they’d cut the TV in half and hook him on the bracket instead (probably only Lannister Knights would be mean enough to waste a good TV though).

If you take Medieval Europe that was, this only ended around  500 years ago or approximately 20 generations.  Have a think about that for a second, 20 generations or even 25 generations does not seem that long ago, my point is this, look how these people were living, now I don’t mean with Dragons hanging around but as a general idea. They obviously have very few modern comforts, security was a problem, rule of law was not exactly fair or consistent, travel required lots of effort, so did obtaining food, healthcare was bit worse than the NHS etc. This is not long ago and look how we have changed,  far few sword fights down the local water hole, you rarely go days without food, a month or a winter.  Security is far better, transport is still dangerous (especially in Spain) but not quite like walking 300 miles to a fort to get some supplies with the chance of a wolf attack.  Life is a whole lot easier physically nowadays, if you could tell a medieval knight what amenities we have now, he would think we would have it made.  In his time the general population spent most of their days just making sure they had enough food and water, a roof over their heads and some security to protect all of it.

Times have changed but our bodies haven’t and this is my point.  In a few short years the western populations through technology have transformed the way we do things.  Apart from the few rich nobles you wouldn’t see many fat people back then, there wasn’t enough food and it took a lot of effort to earn or collect what you got.  Someone with a low metabolism today who puts on weight easily and struggles to keep it off, back then would be in a far better position (and probably live longer) to have some reserves to call on when in a famine, they wouldn’t be as big by todays standards but they just wouldn’t be as terribly skinny as their unfortunate high metabolism friends.  We are programed to like food a lot and when it is around eat it, store up energy reserves for when it is not.  This used to happen a lot not so long ago but far less so now.

Then when you think modern humans have been around for 200,000 years (ish) and a lot of our inbuilt physical and mental traits still relate to that period and well beyond, then we are in trouble.  How can we change 100,ooo’s of years of traits and subconsiousness to match the last 100 years or so of computer based lives with easy transport and easy food.    Unless something radical happens like the government putting a lot more tax on food or say a food group (like sugar) then people will have to keep voluntarily restraining themselves and ensure they get rid of excess energy.  We thrive on getting rid of energy, it was what our bodies were designed for, we were not designed to work computers and drive in cars.

When I watch these programs I think about how these people worked and trained, how knights may have trained.  What attributes of fitness you would need.  How hard it must have been to fight for hours by sword. I think about what training I would do to make the perfect knight (well I am a bit passionate about training/mental).  You would want to make sure your training stood up as your life would depend upon it.   A knight would not have to generally spend his days finding food, they would have good access to it, so they could concentrate on preparing for fighting.  That’s another blog but keeping vaguely to the point, our populations need to exercise a lot more, schools need better funded and more P.E, corporations need to be encouraged to encourage exercise, it’s hard when you don’t have to, so it’s good when you have to.  It’s harder to see the cause and effect when you don’t exercise much and then over time you pick up a disease because of the lack of it, it’s easier if you see your friend can’t hold a sword for longer than 10 minutes and gets chopped up in the next battle, the incentive to train is blatantly there.   If I gave everyone the choice, go and work the land by hand from dawn til dusk or live like a knight, but you better be fit otherwise you’re going to die in the next battle, I think we would see a lot of knights (as it looks a better lifestyle as peasants get taken into battle anyway and killed)  but we would see lot of people getting healthy fast.

What’s the answer, it’s not easy one… but for starters when everyone next watches the Game of Thrones, they do 20 pressups everytime someone dies, 30 burpes when they see a dragon, 50 squats when the Dwarf gets beaten up and run on the spot for as long as it takes Sam Tarley to get his words out, at least a few millions westerners will be getting healthier and more like their recent ancestors.

50 X Squats For A Dragon or The Dog Gets It.

 

I may see if they want to do a Game of Thrones Fitness DVD..