Archive for the ‘General Exercise’ Category

Coach Henry Bolstered by Return of Douglas

Neil Henry. Image: commons.wikimedia.org

2014 NRL whipping boys the Gold Coast Titans have been boosted with the return of Luke Douglas. Douglas had his 215 consecutive match streak ended last year when he was swept up in the ASADA investigation into illegal use of peptides by former Cronulla players.

By admitting their involvement Luke Douglas, Albert Kelly and 17 other past and present Cronulla players received a one-year ban (backdated from August).

The ‘slap-on-the-wrist punishment was roundly condemned by all professional sports people as it effectively meant players played during their ban.

Red faced NRL executive, coaches and players just want the whole affair to die quietly.

Since the Titans didn’t make the finals Douglas and Kelly effectively sat out one month of their twelve month suspension.

But new Titan’s coach Neil Henry is just glad to have him back. After the execution of his predecessor, John Cartwright, Henry is under enormous pressure to deliver results. He is hoping those results come from the new tier of experienced players, like Douglas and Kelly, after the departure of club old timers Luke Bailey, Mark Minichiello and Ashley Harrison.

But one has to wonder what sort of example they set – confessed drug cheats who escaped punishments.

Coach Henry has taken the unusual step of moving one of the fastest men in the NRL, winger Anthony Don, into the centres. He has also begun pre-season training earlier in the year, at a new venue (an all-boys high school), with his own limited experience of the club, its culture and people. In the end he has to gel a rag-tag group of beaten individuals, with little experience of playing together, into a team. And then send them into one of the fiercest competitive environments in Australian professional sports.

Good luck to him.

Jockey in Critical Condition After Fall in Training

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Jockey Liz Rice has been put into an induced coma after falling during trackwork at Caulfield on Monday morning.

The young English rider was galloping her horse, Aquanita, to the stables after a morning session and swim when the horse apparently became spooked and threw her.

Paramedics were already at the track treating another woman in a separate incident (a kick to the shin by another horse). They rushed to aid Rice, were able to stabilise her, and took her to The Alfred Hospital.

Stuart Webb, trainer of Aquanita, was nervous for his rider, but hopeful. “Nobody actually saw what happened,” he told reporters. “She was on the horse and then hit the ground. She was unconscious when we arrived.”

Rice hasn’t yet regained consciousness. She was taken to hospital and diagnosed with broken ribs and head injuries.

“She is in a stable but critical condition and in an induced coma,” said Webb. “Doctors will give her all the appropriate tests.”

“She is a good rider and was fully qualified to ride the sort of horse she was on. We don’t know what happened.

“She has been with us for three or four months.

“We have informed her sister (next of kin contact). I’m informed little more will be known for the next couple of days.”

Peter Oliver, Aquanita chief executive, said his team wished Rice a speedy recover. He said everyone was saddened by the mishap.

“It’s very upsetting for everyone – our thoughts are with her and her family at this time.”

Mr Oliver has put an investigation in progress to understand what caused the accident.

Star Studded Firebirds Start Pre-Season

Gretel Tippett. Image: www.pieandbovril.com

The Queensland Firebirds have hit the gym in pre-season training designed to have them go one better in this year’s ANZ netball championship.

After their heartbreaking grand final loss the team has changed its strategy. They now boast a defensive wall arguably the envy of the league. Diamonds defender Bec Bulley and Toowooba’s Laura Clemesh are new recruits adding spine and sting to an already impressive side.

But scoring power didn’t go begging either. Rising superstar Beryl Friday and ex-basketballer Gretel Tippett join a star studded offensive line up.

Centre Verity Simmons talked about the Firebirds’ preparations.

“Our team is quite easy going and very easy to get along with.

“There is an amazing team culture up here that comes with being a Queensland team, with our fans, and with the whole of Queensland.”

The Firebirds came achingly close to winning back-to-back championships in 2013 (2 points) and 2014 (five points). Simmons believes the team were let down by not executing the simple things as they should

“It’s the basic things … we need to tighten the screws because as the Vixens showed us last season, it’s the one-percentages that count.”

Firebirds and Diamonds captain Laura Geitz has come out of knee surgery and re-joined the squad in training.

“Geitzy is on the mend … she is looking fit and healthy,” said Simmons.

The ANZ Netball season kicks off in March 1 with the firebirds facing the Melbourne Fever at the Brisbane convention and Exhibition Centre.

It will be a cracker!

Personal Trainer to the Stars, Tim Grover, Gives Advice On Losing Weight

Tim Grover is a personal trainer at the pointy end of sport. He’s not there to make people look good, but to get results. Grover began his career as trainer to Michael Jordan, in 1989. Since then he’s moved up. He has trained other NBA superstars like Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olauwon, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade.

So when he speaks about exercise and nutrition people listen.

In a recent piece for Sport Illustrated Grover recently identified the most common errors made by athletes wishing to shed the kilos.

In the article he reminisced that he’d lost count of the athletes who had told him they began each day with orange juice, a fruit smoothie, granola and yoghurt. And then complained they couldn’t shift the fat.

“Good news: If you’re consuming that much sugar every morning, be grateful you’re only 30 pounds overweight. It could be a lot worse, and probably will be, because there are more sugars in that smoothie than the average person should consume in an entire day.

“What’s he burning for energy all day? The sugar. What stays on his body, safe and secure? The fat …

“We’ve been so conditioned to focus on calories and fat that we overlook the greatest nutritional poison: sugar. And it’s hiding in plain view, in countless foods and beverages that are “good for you”.

Grover said he adjusts athletes’ diets by first giving them a list of banned foods. The list will be revealed in his forthcoming book, but he hinted at them in the article.

“Here are your options,” Grover continued, “here’s what you’re giving up: No sugar, no dary, no fruit, no breads, no alcohol. No junk. Three weeks. Proven results.”

“The first thing everyone says when they see what’s in and what’s out” No fruit? Fruit is healthy! Agreed, orange juice and pineapple are loaded with vitamin c. Very healthy.

“Tomatoes and carrots are also packed with essential nutrients. Also very healthy. But they’re also extremely high in sugars, and if you’re trying to drop weight, you have to drop the sugar.”

Grover also savaged the “fat-free” and “all natural” products available in the supermarket.

“I like when they slap the ‘Fat Free!” label on lollipops and other candy that are pure sugar. Fat free? So is a bag of nails, doesn’t mean you should eat it.

“Or the ‘all natural’ nutrition bars that use honey as a sweetener. Yep, honey is ‘all natural’. So are the empty calories it pours into your body.”

Losing weight for athletes isn’t just about looking good on the TV. “It’s not just about losing weight. You know what happens to your performance when you’re consuming high levels of sugar? Your insulin spikes.

“Insulin causes inflammation. Any time you increase inflammation, you have a decrease of power output. Now you’re less explosive and less healthy.”

Are Post Event Ice Baths a Thing of the Past?

Girl in an Ice bath image: commons.wikimedia.org

A recent study from Victoria University PhD candidate James Broatch has suggested ice baths may be no better at post sporting recovery as normal warm baths.

Both, it seems, improve circulation, which in turn aids recovery. But neither seems any more effective than the other.

In a study conducted by Broatch 30 young men were divided into three groups – an ice bath group, a warm bath group, and a placebo group who received a fake treatment with their warm bath.

The fake treatment was an off-the-shelf skin cleanser. It was added to the bath while the group were told it was a newly developed “recovery oil”. They were led to believe it was as effective for post-sporting recovery as an ice bath.

Ice bath Image: runnersfeed.com

Ice bath Image: runnersfeed.com

The ice bath and warm bath placebo group returned identical leg strength recovery when tested 48 hours after their initial cycling session.

“By deceiving them into thinking they were receiving a beneficial treatment, subjective ratings of psychological wellbeing rose, and they performed better,” said Broatch.

Much sportspeople dread dipping into the freezing water. This study will do much to alleviate their anxiety.

Tug-Of-War Making a Resurgence

Image: www.flickr.com

You might think tug-of-war is a past time suited to country fairs and youth programs, but you’d be wrong.

Tug-of-war, once an Olympic sport, is seeing a resurgence in popularity around the nation.

With eight team members on each end of the rope you might think this is the ultimate test in brute strength, but again you’d be wrong.

Graham Egan, coach of the Brisbane Bulldogs admitted there was a lot of gamesmanship in each contest: Signs of failing strength, a slight slack in the rope, the height of the rope and timing all play crucial parts in determining the outcome. And the coach is part of the team.

“The coach is watching not only his team, but also the opposition as well; he is trying to see if the other team is getting tired, to put in a good heave,” said Egan to Weekend Warrior Chris McMahon.

“When that happens, he is concentrating on making sure the team isn’t lifting the rope up, the rope needs to stay at a low height and keep body weight on the rope.

“Once you start raising the rope it will stop and you will start going the other way.

“If we think they are getting tired what we will do is give in the knees a little bit and the might take a couple of inches.

Image: www.flickr.com

Image: www.flickr.com

“They will start moving their feet and then we will answer with a big heave and hopefully take a meter or so.

“You just need to take little increments all the time.”

In the health conscious and socially fragmented society of today tug-of-war offers a great deal: Exercise, camaraderie, and the development of skills both as an individual and within a team.

Chris Kimbrough Shatters World Beer Mile Record

Mother of six, runner, and super-hero Chris Kimbrough has smashed the existing world beer mile record. Once thought unbeatable Chris slaughtered Seanna Robinson’s 1997 record of ^:42.0 by an astonishing 13 seconds.

The event challenges athletes to drink four beers and run a mile – all of it against the clock.

And don’t think this is a wimpy, lmid strength event either. The Official Beer Mile rules require the beer contain at least 5.0 per cent alcohol by volume.

Chris Kimbrough Image: rogueracingteam.wordpress.com

Chris Kimbrough Image: rogueracingteam.wordpress.com

44 year-old Chris Kimbrough, of Austin Texas, made her Rouge Racing Team proud by slamming down all four of her local brews – Alternation Ale – at room temperature and clocking a world record time of 628.6.

Athletes must drink a beer at the start line and one beer roughly every 400m enroute to completing the 1609 meter course.

And while it might seem a pleasant distraction to drink a beer after running each 400 meter lap, drinking while puffing is not for the faint-hearted. Runners can be disqualified for spilling too much beer and not finishing their beer.

In fact, it has now got to the point where some runners will train specifically for this event!

“The run part wasn’t that hard for me,” Kimbrough said. “The last two (beers) were harder to get down because I felt like there was this air here, so it wasn’t going down. Having all those beers in (my) stomach didn’t really bother me as much as I thought it would. I think learning how to get the burp out more before you get to that next beer would probably help.”

The World Beer Mile Championships take place in Austin on December 3.

I hope you’re ready.

Alysia Montano Runs in U.S. Track Championship at 34 Weeks Pregnant

It’s almost like running a one person relay.

Alysia Montano at U.S. Track championships. Photo www.news.com.au

Alysia Montano at U.S. Track championships. Photo www.news.com.au

Five-time national champion Alysia Montano has compete in the U.S. 800 meter track championship while 34 weeks pregnant. Montano wanted to keep running through her pregnancy and found that her pace had slowed so little she qualified for the U.S. championships. She consulted her physicians her not only gave her the green light to compete, but actually encouraged her to do so.. The latest research into maternity exercise leaves no doubt as to the benefits of exercise throughout a woman’s pregnancy. Montao was overjoyed!

The 28 year former University of California track champion ran the race with the goal of not being lapped. She needn’t have worried. Though not as competitive as he has been Montano ran the 800 meters in the very respectable time of 2 minutes 32.13 seconds. Granted this was 25 seconds slower than her 1:57.34 in Monaco, but still faster than most people ever run in their lives (this writer included). Montano started the race with in a relaxed pace, she dropped off the leading pack but ran fluidly for the entire distance. She maintained a constant, comfortable effort throughout.

Spectators were duly appreciative, rising to their feet and applauding as Montano crossed the finish line. In an interview after the race Montano glowed, feeling rightly pleased with her run.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iAWbYLWOjK8

Entrants Being Decided for Crossfit 2014 Games

Athletes are getting to the pointy end of the season with the Crossfit Games to be held on 25th of July. Thousands of men and women have been whittled down to 50 males and 50 female competitors. The Open three-day event will decide who among them is the fittest on earth.

The Crossfit Games identify the true fitness of its competitors by incorporating a wide range of exercises all based on functional movements. The Crossfit mantra is to ‘move large loads, over long distances, quickly.’

Crossfit Games - Photo: diabloccrossfit.com

Crossfit Games – Photo: diabloccrossfit.com

To this end, competitions are almost exclusively interval events; that is – different exercises tax different body parts in different ways. So, for instance, athletes may be required to perform a certain number of overhead squats (holding a weighted barbell at full extension above their heads while squatting) before moving onto a series of rope climbs. The main muscles used for the first exercise are the assistor muscles used for the second. This allows a constant aerobic demand to be put on the cardiovascular system while making a maximum demand of the anaerobic system of different muscles in turn.

For anyone who has never been to a Crossfit event I have this recommendation – GO! Or at least watch a stream of the event from the Crossfit website.

Even if you do not exercise yourself, these events are the most absorbing sporting spectacles today. And this is because the events are designed to push each and every athlete to their absolute edge.

Rather than competing against each other each athlete is, in effect, competing against themselves. So spectators are treated to the human element of sport – the determination required to persist, the desire to go beyond anything they thought they could do. Because no matter how well trained an athlete is there will be some point at which they break. Crossfit is designed to get its participants to that point.

World Records Tumble at 2014 Raw Challenge

More than 40,000 spectators watched as the Australian Championships & Pacific Invitational ushered in a slew of new powerlifting world records.

Photo www.theblaze.com

Photo www.theblaze.com

American Ray Williams overcame a trembling start and a first round missed attempt to add an incredible 10 kilograms to the old 400 kilogram world squat record. Many believed the previous record, set by Blaine Sumner two years ago, would never be broken. By adding another 10 kilograms Williams did not just break the record – he showed he is in a lifting class of his own.

Williams followed his world record squat with an impressive 240 kilogram bench press and a massive 320 kilogram deadlift for a new Total World Record of 970 kilograms.

Narau born Jeza Uepa was closest to Williams’ with a respectable total lift of 930 kilograms. Lifting prior to Williams he attempted what would have been a short-lived record squat of 401 kilograms – but was unsuccessful.

Australian Florian Loock set an national bench press record of 220.5 kg in the 105 kg weight class. Stephen Pritchard, down from the 120 kg Super Heavyweight class, squatted 315 kg and totaled 835 kg. While junior, Cameron McKenzie set a World Junior Record Deadlift of 340 kg on his way to accumulating an event total 813 kgs.

Elizabeth Craven entered into world contention with a total lift of 350.5 kg in the women’s 52 kg class.

The women’s divisions treated lifting fans to some enthralling battles: Chleo Van Wyk strung together some nail biting lifts to amass a total of 458 kg. Jessica Gilbert finished her lifts in the 84 kg division with a very noteworthy 456.5 kg. While the diminutive Kelli Clarke impressed everyone with lifts totaling 408.5 kg in the 66 kg class.