SAQ drills and training styles

I spent last week with Nick Grantham and Duncan French, 2 of the UK’s top S&C coaches on a 3 day internship.

Not only did it open my eyes to coaching and programme design, but to how ineffective some people workout, and how, with just 10mins you can get a full body, furnace blasting session in!!

For the first time, I was introduced to proper, SAQ drills. Man this stuff is intense!

It works on not only co-ordination (needs to be improved), balance (as per #1), and speed work (and some!)

Short strides, minimal ground contact, low centre of gravity, it’s all common sense, but when put into a routine, you can see the effectiveness of structured drills, in just rounds of 20-30secs.

You’re muscles get a great workout, as does your cardiovascular system, and the DOM’s that are associated with 2-3 10mins rounds are a newbie!

Change your standard routine.

Workout intensely, but with controlled speed and watch the difference! I’m certainly going to be including this stuff in my sessions!


Core strength for tennis and sport


Well Wimbledon is well underway and our only chance, Mr Charisma, Andy Murray is through the the semi-finals!

Tennis players, but men and women have really improved their athletic figures over the years with functional, resistance training added.  There is no steady state running for them, they mimic a tennis match with short, sharp bursts of running, plyometric exercises, and plenty of core workouts which help generate power and force with each stroke, due to the rotational work involved around the waist for each shot.

Just think how many shots they must play during one match, and each with explosive power. That is a lot of endurance and power core training.

Most athletes will perform short sharp bursts of exercise, and those that do, have the best bodies. So ditch the endless 90minute gym sessions, or the 3-5 60+min runs a week and adopt and intense workout style and you will experience better results and quicker.


Here are some core exercises by Mr Charisma himself!

Failure and Tears!


Well this weekend, teams either got promoted to the next division via the playoffs, or got relegated from their current division. There were a lot of tears from fans as their team got relegated at the final whistle – but what could they do? Nothing. Yes, they gave vocal support throughout the season, but it was down to the players and the playing staff that got the team relegated. They got paid to do their job, and they didn’t do it.

Ensure that you do everything you CAN towards your health and fitness goals – these are things that you’re in control of, and can affect the outcome, so take responsibility and ensure you get promoted and not relegated!

Also, I watched some of the rugby 7’s on tv. I’ve really taken to rugby over the last few years, asI’ve got dis-illiusioned with football and the over-payed players, and minimal games that provide entertainment. Rugby on the other hand, is fast paced, all action, and full of athletic players. Gone are the days where rugby players were skinny, fast players in the backs, and short overweight guys in the pack. They are all lean, muscular powerful athletes who run, tackle, and put their bodies on the line for 80mins.

The 7’s is 7  a-side, using the full pitch for 7mins each way. In the final England played New Zealand and were 19-0 down at half time. Second half they turned it around to 19-19 in the last few seconds, and one with a sudden death try in extra time. The game was all about pace, stretching the opponents, and not stopping!

With the British and Irish Lions touring South Africa next week, there’s plenty of action to watch – tune in and see some real athletes playing for their pride, and their nations pride!

Some things can be made harder!!

I laughed so hard I cried at this!!

Aim:  Spin around for 30 seconds with your arms out and looking at the sky. Stop spinning and then try to take a penalty!

The 3 i’s is not the answer!

Heard a great interview with Sportscoach Mike Boyle the other day, talking about soft tissue injuries, and how “specialists” rely on the 3 i’s to alleviate the problem, without actually getting to the root cause of the problem.


If you visit a doctor or “specialist” the first thing they will tell you to do, is to take anti-inflammatories for the first 5 days or so – the 1st ” i ” ! The only time this is likely to resolve the problem, and long term is if the injury was as a result of an external resistance, such as an impact, or sprain or strain.


If you find this didn’t work (most cases of a kinetic dysfunction, which will continue to push and pull the body out of alignment) you’ll pop back to see Mr Specialist and he’ll probably prescribe ” i ” number 2 – the injection or cortisone injection. Cortisone can be quite damaging to the bodies tissues, and is regarded as a “stay away” form of treatment by many professionals. It acts by pooling around the inflammation and treating the inflammation – again, this is treating the symptom but not the initial cause of the injury.

If you then find after a few weeks/months the pain is still there (which will be the case if not immediately apparent) you go back for the 3rd “ i ” – incision. (I won’t post a picture of this!!) “Let’s open up the area and take a look” – in other words, I’ve got no idea what’s happening, let’s go and poke around and see! Again, if they do perform surgery, it’s only in an attempt to resolve the immediate issue – it’s won’t correct the initial cause!!

I had exactly this issue about 5 years ago. Started getting a continual pain in my left shoulder, which became worse with overhead movements. Luckily I had private medical cover, so got to see “the” shoulder specialist in Surrey. After injections and MRI scans, he gave me a cortisone injection, this failed, so I had a second about 4 weeks later. He said that if that one didn’t work, they’d perform “investigative surgery” – thankfully the cortisone resolved the pain! I performed rotator cuff exercises, which has now strengthened the shoulder, but I’ve also worked on my tight Quadratus Lamborum (lower back muscle!) which was the initial cause of the shoulder issue as I’d taken up gold around that time, and this tightness was limiting my range of rotation, which in turn affected my shoulder movement.

Not once did “Mr Specialist” attempt to find the cause of the injury, nor was he concerned about what I should do post-injection to ensure it didn’t happen again. If I knew then what I do now (how many times has that been said?!” I may well have had a debate with him over treatment and prevention methods, but I just accepted what he said.

If you have a muscle imbalance, this will invariably cause a dysfunction within your kinetic chain and cause pain at some point, often referred. Seek out a qualified therapist or Kinetic Chain Specialist and find the root cause of your injury – this will not only ensure the real problem is resolved, but you should becoming stronger and pain-free for more than a few months!

Next time your commitment wavers…







Watched a great docu-film this weekend, called “Murderball”. Murderball is similar to Rugby/Amercian football, for paraplegics. These guys have lost limbs, or lost the use of limbs through illness, accidents, and injuries, but have found a sport, trained seriously, and competed in their Olympics within the sport.

It is a great docu-film showing the commitment and dedication by a group of people who won’t let their “disabilities” hold them back, and show that through hard work you can achieve great things.

It makes a mockery of some peoples attempts to achieve results, often small, and how people’s will power can disappear at the first sign of a challenge.

Watch this docu-film, see how everyday people who have been struck by a life-changing moment, do not give up on life, and how through hard work, dedication and focus can achieve great things.

It should make you thankful for being fully-abled, and should make you re-address your goals and targets.

Be thankful, and do something worthwhile.

Post Workout Nutrition – What’s yours?

Sometimes these posts just write themselves!
I was at the gym this afternoon, primarily working on strengthening my glutes, after attending a Kinetic Chain Assessment course in London with Dax Moy last week. A post on postural issues and correction will be at a later date!
However, there was a girl at the gym running through the usual “lost sheep” routine of moving from one exercise to the next with really no intensity, and no workout plan. The only thing going for her was that she was in pretty good shape. This was by no means down to a good workout routine however!
She then spotted a gym instructor and asked him about putting on some lean muscle and protein shakes.
I could just overhear him suggesting big, compound exercises (good so far!) and going to the high street to buy some protein powder, but to “buy one of the big brands” because they have done more research and their products are proven!
Hang on! Protein powder is just skimmed and extracted from milk!! There is no secret formula or proving to be done by anyone!!?
Anyway, she went back to her workout and eventually left.
I left shortly after and as I went through reception, I saw the same girl, standing at the vending machine!
In this machine you could buy chocolate bars or crisps! She bent down and pulled out a bag of crisps!

Now, post nutrition is probably the second most important meal of the day, after breakfast.
Your body, if you’ve worked out correctly, will be looking for nutrients to refuel, repair and re-grow your muscles. It wants quality foods, and fasting acting ones.
It doesn’t want artificial, packaged fats and useless calories.
Look to drink chocolate milk or soya (or another flavour!) as you’ll get some fast acting carbs and protein, the perfect mix, or a protein shake with half a banana.

You should then be aiming to eat a meal with a balanced amount of carbs, protein and good fats within the next 2 hours to continue the refuel and repair process.

Don’t waste your efforts in the gym, or even during the week by neglecting post workout nutrition!