Bang for your Buck

3 03 2013

Do you eat every 3 hrs? Do you only eat 3 square meals a day? Are you a grazer? Protein with every meal? High carb? No carb? Skip breakfast? Which one is right? The question is better phrased “which one is right FOR YOU?”.

There is really no correct answer to any of those questions, every body tolerates things completely differently and what works for one may not work for another. The trick is learning to actually listen to your body, are you eating because you are hungry or bored? If you are hungry, then eat. Choose a nutritious food that is going to nourish your body rather than a sugar-filled quick fix.

Your Food COW is to do a self-experiment. Notice how your body responds to different foods. Are you hungry half an hour later? Does it make you feel foggy or tired? Do you feel bloated & sluggish? Are you actually hungry or are you just eating because “it’s lunch time”?.

This weeks Fit COW is another ‘chipper’… And the exercises are definitely ‘bang for your buck’; Snappy bodyweight movements to increase your speed and power outputs, so make sure each rep has maximum force, strict technique, and really concentrates on the concentric phase of each movement.

Simply, the workout is:

50/40/30/20/10 of Box Jumps and Push-ups… And guess what…? You can’t move on until you have finished the designated rep range!  So, 50 box jumps followed by 50 push ups, 40 box jumps then 40 push ups etc etc. Videos and scaling option are up on Our You Tube Channel. No box? No problem. Park bench, ledge or step will work just fine.

Ensure you open the hips fully at the top of the box jump, hit the floor with your chest and lock out the elbows at the top of the push-ups…

Enjoy! TC & SC

This is how you should look by the end 😉



2 03 2013

Food COW- How insulin sensitive are you? What the hell does that even mean? And, most importantly, why should you care?

WHAT- Insulin sensitivity is determined by how well/or poorly your body responds to the release of insulin. Insulin is the hormone our pancreas releases after we consume carbohydrates to help our body process these and ensure our blood sugar does not remain elevated (ie diabetes). Here’s an example of what happens if you are insulin sensitive – eat a sweet potato, blood sugar rises, body sends insulin out to stabilize this blood sugar rise by binding to your cells and allowing that glucose (blood sugar) that is in the blood stream into the cells to be stored for energy… Winning!

If you are insulin resistant, your cells are not as affected by insulin as they should be. Your body does not regulate its blood sugar efficiently. The pancreas releases more and more insulin until you have lots of insulin floating around in your body as well as all that glucose (blood sugar) that is not being taken into the cells for energy. Instead, this excessive insulin now triggers your body to release Cortisol (stress hormone- linked to fat gain) and the glucose is then converted into fat. Here’s the example for an insulin resistant or low insulin sensitivity case – eat a sweet potato, blood sugar rises (glucose), cells say “beat it insulin, you have been made redundant”, body says “blood glucose is still too high”, pancreas releases more insulin, cells still won’t let the insulin do its job. The body now calls in the big guns and releases cortisol. Cortisol storms in, sends insulin home and tells glucose to go straight to yours ar$e/hips/thighs….. Wherever it decides you need the fat. Sub-optimal situation.

WHY should you care? Well, it’s a no brainer really. Increase your insulin sensitivity = decrease your body fat. You can alter how insulin sensitive you are by eating the right fats, eating adequate protein and decreasing your carbohydrate intake. The trainers at Function Well are a great resource for learning more about this or you also read more HERE.

The Fit COW is:

A HIIT circuit. The benefits of this style of training are time efficiency, post work out metabolic response and overall longer term fat burning effect because of it… As opposed to long slow distance cardio or the like…

You will perform the below exercises one after another for a period of 60 secs with 30 secs rest between each exercise. You need a timer, don’t guess, the more tired you get, the worse your concept of time will become….. You’ll end up with 10 sec periods of work and 1 min rest. Not optimal. Go to our You Tube Page for the demo videos of these exercises and some scaling options.

5 Rounds of:

Burpees (chose a level you can maintain for the entire minute)
Tri dips
Box jumps (scale to step up)
Sit ups
Pull ups (scale to inverted row)

So you do 60 secs of burpees, have 30 secs rest, do 60 secs tri dips, 30 secs rest, 60 secs box jumps, etc, etc.

Go burpee and be merry.



Love is in the air…..

15 02 2013

This weeks FOOD COW revolves around soy. You have probably heard me bang on about soy before but I am going to again try to encourage you to seek an alternative to the soy products you are are using. Why? So many reasons, there’s a lot more information in this LINK HERE, but I will discuss a few.

Contrary to popular belief, soy is not the healthy option it was once thought to be. We now know that soy contains phytoestrogens, these mimic the estrogen’s in our body, can disrupt endocrine function, stuff with your body’s normal hormone levels, cause fertility issues AND, for men, give you man-boobs, among other things. You want man boobs? I didn’t think so. Put down the soy latte.

The majority of soybeans are genetically modified and all unfermented soybeans are very high in “anti-nutrients” such as saponins that actually inhibit the absorption of essential minerals like calcium & magnesium. Drinking as little as 2 glasses of soy milk/ day is enough to alter a female’s menstrual cycle. Not cool people, not cool.

So, here’s the challenge, if you consume unfermented soy products (soy milk, tofu, that weird fake meat stuff from the supermarket), try something else. Milk alternatives like almond milk are a great option, though you could try oat or rice milk. Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section or on our Facebook page.

This week’s FIT COW is a ‘Valentine’s Week Special’… For this session, you will need an outdoor space (flat or hilly), your loved one (or friend if you are a single), and a towel. The focus of this session is resisted plyometrics using the towel and your partner’s weight. Becuase some of these movements are eccentric type exercises, you may pull up a little sore; however, know that this session is going to stimulate some serious, long lasting, metabolic response!

The session is structured as follows:

*You are to complete 5 sets of each exercise.
*There are no rest breaks between sets. You will be ‘actively spotting’ your partner with each exercise. At the completion of each set, you are to immediately swap with no rest.
*You may take 2mins rest between exercises.
*Each exercise should be performed with high intensity, explosiveness, control, and strict form/technique.

Exercise 1:

*50m Chariots – Twist your towel into a sausage and with your partner in front of you (facing away from you), throw it around their waist. Set your knees and apply resistance to your partner as your partner attempts to run as fast as possible for 50m. Your partner should be running with typical sprinting form (high knees, driving stride, high pumping arm swing from cheek to hip). While your partner drags you along, keep your knees soft with a wide stance to allow their legs room to stride out. At completion of the 50m, immediately change swap and repeat till you have completed 5 sets each. See pic below.

Exercise 2:

*Tug-o-War – Twist the towel into a sausage again, grab an end each and take a low profile with your knees bent, wide stance, arms at full extension, and leaning slightly back with good posture to take each others weight. On ‘go’, start pulling! The aim is to pull each other around with 100% effort for 1min. Remember to keep flexion in your lumbar and stay low, using your legs to drive your pull. Complete 5 x 1min sets (1min rest between sets). See pic below.

Exercise 3:

*Eccentric Push Ups – Have your partner assume a push up position and stand over them, cradling them with a towel (around their chest). Once set, apply downward force (just above the scapula) using an open palm. The force should be just enough to ensure your partner can’t resist against it and have to lower slowly to the ground. Your partner should fight against your push so they slowly lower to a 3sec count. Once their chest hits the floor/ground, assist them by reefing up on the towel (your partner shouldn’t have to work during this concentric phase) in an upright row type movement. Complete 5 sets each (8 reps each set). See pic below.

Stretch at completion of each exercise and post session.

Happy Valentines!





Pay It Forward

2 02 2013

We are amidst an obesity epidemic. People are fatter & sicker than ever before. The majority of the population are so confused about health & fitness. They think drinking ‘shakes’ and diet soft drink is making the healthy choice. Your Food COW is to share one healthy recipe you have with someone else. ‘Pay it forward’ if you will. Trav & I share this Fit & Food fun with you guys, so spread the love & share something you have learnt with someone else. Let’s start creating a healthier, fitter nation. One person at a time.

Your Fit COW is going to be super fun. It’s a circuit with a finisher that looks really easy…. You will need a timer of some description. You can do all the exercises bodyweight or add weights if you like. All videos are on our You Tube Channel

Circuit- all exercises are 50 secs work, 10 secs rest, start again on the minute with the next exercise. You will do the exercises in this order moving from an upper body to lower body exercise, one after the other.

1. Push Up’s (elevate your feet on a bench to make this harder)
2. Jump squats
3. Pull up’s
4. Walking lunges
5. False starts
6. V-up sit up (regular sit up’s are fine as a lower option)

Complete 3 rounds of the circuit. The finisher, if you have any gas left in the tank, is a burpee ladder. Set your timer to count up. Time stops at 10mins. Each minute, on the minute you start your burpees. 1st minute is 5 burpees. You can rest until it hits the next minute when you will do 6 burpees. Rest until the next minute when you complete 7, etc, etc. Continue to count up until the clock hits 10 mins. See how many you can get through in a minute. If you want to scale up (trust me, you don’t) you can do a box jump burpee. If you want to scale down, drop the push up out of the burpee.


Tabata What?

25 01 2013

Do you eat every 3 hrs? Do you only eat 3 square meals a day? Are you a grazer? Protein with every meal? High carb? No carb? Skip breakfast? Which one is right? The question is better phrased “which one is right FOR YOU?”.

There is really no correct answer to any of those questions, every body tolerates things completely differently and what works for one may not work for another. The trick is learning to actually listen to your body, are you eating because you are hungry or bored? If you are hungry, then eat. Choose nutritious food that is going to nourish your body, eat enough that you are not starving again in 2 hrs time. Ditch the sugar, eat loads of fresh veggies, eat healthy fats & ensure you get enough protein.

There is no proof that it is better to eat small amounts constantly, just as there is no over-riding benefit to only have 3 square meals per day. Provided you are eating enough of the right nutrients when you do eat to fuel your body, then you should choose an eating regime that makes YOU feel good. More on this HERE.

Your Food COW is to pay attention to when & what you are eating this week and think about WHY? Are you hungry, bored, tired, hypoglycemic, full? If you are starving at 10am after eating oats for breakfast, try something different tomorrow. Maybe some eggs, spinach, avocado and smoked salmon or fresh ham off the bone. OR, try adding a scoop of protein powder to your oats as well. See how your body responds, write it down, work out what works for you. Body experiment! Yippee! Go.

Your Fit COW is a ‘Tabata’ session…

WTF is Tabata, I hear you ask?!?! Tabata was founded in Japan by Izumi Tabata. He conducted tests on two groups of athletes; comparing moderate high intensity training with high intensity interval training.

The results were as follows:

*Athletes training in high intensity interval training improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system.
*Athletes who did the moderate high intensity training only improved their aerobic system and had little to no increase in their anaerobic system.

Basically, the Tabata training method is as follows:

*4 minutes long (whole Tabata Session – it’s not long, so flog p*ss out of yourself)
*20 seconds of INTENSE training
*10 seconds of rest
*Total of 8 sessions or rounds

So, now you know that Tabata is an actual training regime, and not a spelling mistake, we want you to take any of the exercises we have previously posted, and use them in a Tabata interval!


T & S


Feeling Chipper?

18 01 2013

Last week we Cut the Crap & Added Fat. How did that go for everyone? Did you get obese from eating good healthy things that were not “fat-free”? Didn’t think so. This week’s FOOD COW is to try & swap some of your grain-containing staples like bread, rice, pasta, cous cous, wraps, rice crackers, corn thins, taco shells etc with something that actually provides your body with more nutritional benefits- VEGETABLES. There are LOADS of great alternatives over at My Food Religion but let me help you out with a few.

– Lettuce cups instead of taco shells
– Cauliflower “rice” instead of actual rice/cous cous
– Zucchini noodles instead of pasta

Share your genius ideas with us and the rest of the Fit-Fam here or on our Facebook page.

This week’s FIT COW is a stinger! But, guess what?! You get to halve the pain with a buddy… Or, someone you hate?! This week, you are going to do a session referred to as a ‘chipper’. ‘Chipper’ meaning it is a session you need to chip away at. The session is metabolic, and plyometric (bodyweight exercises) in nature and so you can perform this outside the confines of a gym (and it is probably best you do as there may be puke involved if you push it hard enough, and puking in the gym isn’t cool)!

All of the exercises should be familiar to you by now (if not, jump on our YouTube Channel HERE and check them out). The way it works is as follows:

– Whilst you work, your buddy rests. There should never be a stage where both of you are resting until it is complete, including your transitions between exercises.
– You can’t move to the next exercise before you have completed the previous. You must complete the exercises in the sequence they are set out. They are programmed that way to ensure you are rotating through primary working muscle groups, with a touch of overload.
– It is up to you how you break up the exercises, however, as a gentle hint; it is best to do short sharp efforts with quick rotations.
– Be strict with your form and ensure each rep, shuttle or run is deliberate and tidy… Don’t get messy as you get tired… Focus on maintenance of good technique.
– Have some integrity and pull up your buddy (or yourself) if their form slips or they start performing partial reps and cheating on movements.
– You must hit each set/rep/exercise with 100% effort. Treat it like a race and use this as a benchmark session to revisit at a later date for comparison and confirmation you are progressing.

The session is as follows:

– 12 x 200m Sprints (that’s 6 each).
– 100 x Push Ups (chest to floor and locking out at the top, 50 each).
– 12 x 20m Duck Waddle Shuttles (drop into a squat and with your bum almost on the ground, waddle out to a 20m marker then sprint back to the start position where your buddy takes over and repeats. You MUST keep your ar$e below your knees throughout the entire 20m).
– 100 x Sit Ups.
– 100 Burpees.
– 6 x 200m Sprints.

Advanced trainers will complete this <25mins, intermediates should come in around 25 – 35mins and beginners, anything over that. If you do come in over 35mins, don't sweat it. Remember, you have to start somewhere and just make sure you improve on the next session (or just blame your training buddy for letting down the team)! ;P



Cut The Crap & Add Some Fat

8 01 2013

Scared of the “F” word? FAT I mean. I’m certainly not a fan of it when it’s attached to my ar$e but otherwise, I love it. There I said it, I love fat. I used to be like some of you, a fat-phobe, I was all about the leanest cuts of meat, fat free milk and egg whites only….GASP! I know, what about my beloved yolks? I would be very mindful of how much oil I cooked with, how many nuts I ate, and I will admit it, I would always choose fat free natural yoghurt….. Now I eat coconut oil straight out of the jar & I am leaner, stronger & healthier than I ever have been. Don’t judge, you will do it one day too.

Well Fit Team, the research shows that fats are actually good for us, our body loves fats and turns them into energy VERY effectively! It is our bodies preferred & most reliable source of energy, much more effectively utilised than carbohydrates. Now lets be clear about the right fats – I am not referring to highly processed vegetable oils that are loaded with too much omega 6’s or ‘some’ polyunsaturated fats that cause us health problems (peanut oil, corn oil, soybean oil & grapeseed oil are examples), but the fats in grassfed beef & lamb, free range chicken, wild caught fish, nuts, whole eggs, full fat dairy, avocados, coconuts & all their byproducts. Here is a great explanation of FATS for you by Mark Sisson. Our bodies NEED fat soluble vitamins to absorb protein, if we cut out the fat, we cannot absorb the protein as effectively or many of the other beneficial nutrients in our food that rely on fat for absorption.

Your Food COW this week is to “cut the crap & add some FAT”. Make the shift to a better choice of oil, full fat dairy, stop trimming all that useful fat off your meats, eat the whole egg, smash some avocados in your gob. If you are hungry, eat a spoonful or two of natural nut butter (peanuts are NOT nuts) instead of reaching for something sugary or carb loaded. It will keep you full for much longer! Here is another AWESOME POST on why a high fat diet is actually not only safe, but much healthier than the high carb ones the heart foundation would have you follow.

Your Fit COW is stairs, stairs & more stairs.

You need to find a length of stairs that is no shorter than approx 20m, with a decent stair height (approx 20cm per stair), OR, you can also apply these exercises to a steep hill…

As many repeats for time in 20mins –

Fowards Lunges Up

Bunny Hop Up

Reverse Lunge Up

Bear Crawl Backwards Up