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Tom Daley - Olympic Training

    
TRAIN LIKE AN OLYMPIAN !

The secrets of Tom's training regime - plus
everything you need to know about your training- choosing a gym, ultimate nutrition, what to wear in the gym and the pool, principles of aerobic and resistance training, exercise schedules, a gallery of physique photos - and much more !



the promotion of wellness
INTRODUCTION

A great body can be yours - young or old - girl or boy.
Fitness and wellness is everybody's right - and can be yours if you simply follow some simple advice




3 Exercise regularly and correctly





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PREPARATION

Before embarking on any course of fitness training it is essential to have a thorough medical check - particularly if you have any ongoing medical problems.
Blood pressure must be checked, along with blood sugar levels.
Before starting any exercise regime it is also nessercary to ensure that a suitable diet and 'life-style' is being followed.
Any issues with recreational drug use must be dealt with, along with the adoption of a health diet and a good, regular sleep pattern.

For information regarding drug use, diet and sleep see the post relating to 'Food and Nutrition'.

Once a regular pattern of healthy eating and good sleeping has been established it will then be time to consider finding a suitable venue for training.
To produce the lithe, lean, well-muscled and toned body that you desire you must undertake both aerobic and resistance training.


Aerobic Exercise - the Key to Wellness

Aerobic exercise is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process.
Aerobic literally means "living in air", and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.
Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time.
Aerobic exercise and fitness can be contrasted with anaerobic exercise, of which strength training and short-distance running are the most salient examples.
The two types of exercise differ by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle.
In most conditions, anaerobic exercise occurs simultaneously with aerobic exercises because the less efficient anaerobic metabolism must supplement the aerobic system due to energy demands that exceed the aerobic system's capacity.
What is generally called aerobic exercise might be better termed "solely aerobic", because it is designed to be low-intensity enough not to generate lactate via pyruvate fermentation, so that all carbohydrate is aerobically turned into energy.
Among the recognized benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are:

Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs
Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate, known as aerobic conditioning
Strengthening muscles throughout the body
Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure
Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression
Reducing the risk for diabetes.
Burns body fat, while building leaner muscle.

DO NOT be tempted to start jogging or running mini-marathons.
Human beings are not designed for prolonged periods of running, which inevitably result in damage to various joints, - usually hip, knee and ankle, - and spinal problems.
The best possible form of aerobic exercise is swimming, which is very sparing on the joints, and if you are unable to swim, then this would be a good time to learn.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance (i.e. resistance to being pushed, squeezed, stretched or bent).
Exercises are isotonic if a body part is moving against the force.
Exercises are isometric if a body part is holding still against the force.
Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles.
Properly performed, resistance training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.
The goal of resistance training is to gradually and progressively overload the musculature system so it gets stronger.
Research shows that regular resistance training will strengthen and tone muscles and increase bone mass. Full range of motion is important in resistance training because muscle overload occurs only at the specific joint angles where the muscle is worked.

Your Aims

Perfection is not absolute - at least in terms of fitness.
You can undoubtedly achieve your perfect physique, but it will be unique to you, and related to your genetic endowment, age and current state of health - and in this you must be realistic.
However, increased health and fitness, plus a concomitant dramatic improvement in appearance can be achieved by anyone, regardless of age or disability if the basic advice regarding diet, nutrition and exercise is followed with care and dedication.

Muscle

Muscle (from Latin musculus, diminutive of mus "mouse") is a contractile tissue of animals and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells.
Muscle cells contain contractile filaments that move past each other and change the size of the cell.
They are classified as skeletal, cardiac, or smooth muscles.
Their function is to produce force and cause motion.
Muscles can cause either locomotion of the organism itself or movement of internal organs.
Cardiac and smooth muscle contraction occurs without conscious thought and is necessary for survival. Examples are the contraction of the heart and peristalsis which pushes food through the digestive system. Voluntary contraction of the skeletal muscles is used to move the body and can be finely controlled. Examples are movements of the eye, or gross movements like the quadriceps muscle of the thigh.

There are two broad types of voluntary muscle fibers: slow twitch and fast twitch.

Slow twitch fibers contract for long periods of time but with little force while fast twitch fibers contract quickly and powerfully but fatigue very rapidly.
Muscles are predominantly powered by the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates, but anaerobic chemical reactions are also used, particularly by fast twitch fibers.

These chemical reactions produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules which are used to power the movement of the myosin heads.
In training we are mainly interested in skeletal muscle.
Skeletal muscle or "voluntary muscle" is anchored by tendons (or by aponeuroses at a few places) to bone and is used to effect skeletal movement such as locomotion and in maintaining posture.
Though this postural control is generally maintained as an unconscious reflex, the muscles responsible react to conscious control like non-postural muscles.
An average adult male is made up of 42% of skeletal muscle, and an average adult female is made up of 36% (as a percentage of body mass).

Skeletal muscle is further divided into several subtypes:

Type I, slow oxidative, slow twitch, or "red" muscle is dense with capillaries and is rich in mitochondria and myoglobin, giving the muscle tissue its characteristic red color. It can carry more oxygen and sustain aerobic activity.

Type I muscle fiber are sometimes broken down into Type I and Type Ic categories, as a result of recent research.[4]

Type II, fast twitch muscle, has three major kinds that are, in order of increasing contractile speed:

Type IIa, which, like slow muscle, is aerobic, rich in mitochondria and capillaries and appears red.

Type IIx (also known as type IId), which is less dense in mitochondria and myoglobin.
This is the fastest muscle type in humans. It can contract more quickly and with a greater amount of force than oxidative muscle, but can sustain only short, anaerobic bursts of activity before muscle contraction becomes painful (often incorrectly attributed to a build-up of lactic acid).

Type IIb, which is anaerobic, glycolytic, "white" muscle that is even less dense in mitochondria and myoglobin.

MAIN SKELETAL MUSCLES OF THE BODY

The gross anatomy of a muscle is the most important indicator of its role in the body.
The action a muscle generates is determined by the origin and insertion locations.
The cross-sectional area of a muscle (rather than volume or length) determines the amount of force it can generate by defining the number of sarcomeres which can operate in parallel.
The amount of force applied to the external environment is determined by lever mechanics, specifically the ratio of in-lever to out-lever. For example, moving the insertion point of the biceps more distally on the radius (farther from the joint of rotation) would increase the force generated during flexion (and, as a result, the maximum weight lifted in this movement), but decrease the maximum speed of flexion.
Moving the insertion point proximally (closer to the joint of rotation) would result in decreased force but increased velocity.
This can be most easily seen by comparing the limb of a mole to a horse - in the former, the insertion point is positioned to maximize force (for digging), while in the latter, the insertion point is positioned to maximize speed (for running).
One particularly important aspect of gross anatomy of muscles is pennation or lack thereof.
In most muscles, all the fibers are oriented in the same direction, running in a line from the origin to the insertion.
In pennate muscles, the individual fibers are oriented at an angle relative to the line of action, attaching to the origin and insertion tendons at each end.
Because the contracting fibers are pulling at an angle to the overall action of the muscle, the change in length is smaller, but this same orientation allows for more fibers (thus more force) in a muscle of a given size. Pennate muscles are usually found where their length change is less important than maximum force, such as the rectus femoris.
There are approximately 639 skeletal muscles in the human body, however, the exact number is difficult to define because different sources group muscles differently and some muscles, such as palmaris longus, are variably present in humans.

Muscular Activity and Energy Consumption.

All muscle cells produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules which are used to power the movement of the myosin heads.
Muscles conserve energy in the form of creatine phosphate which is generated from ATP and can regenerate ATP when needed with creatine kinase.
Muscles also keep a storage form of glucose in the form of glycogen.
Glycogen can be rapidly converted to glucose when energy is required for sustained, powerful contractions. Within the voluntary skeletal muscles, the glucose molecule can be metabolized anaerobically in a process called glycolysis which produces two ATP and two lactic acid molecules in the process (note that in aerobic conditions, lactate is not formed; instead pyruvate is formed and transmitted through the citric acid cycle). Muscle cells also contain globules of fat, which are used for energy during aerobic exercise.
The aerobic energy systems take longer to produce the ATP and reach peak efficiency, and requires many more biochemical steps, but produces significantly more ATP than anaerobic glycolysis.
Cardiac muscle on the other hand, can readily consume any of the three macronutrients (protein, glucose and fat) aerobically without a 'warm up' period and always extracts the maximum ATP yield from any molecule involved.
The heart, liver and red blood cells will also consume lactic acid produced and excreted by skeletal muscles during exercise.


EXERCISE AND WEIGHT LOSS

Gymnasia, health clubs and swimming pools are full of fat or flabby people desperately trying to lose weight.
Unfortunately Gym Organisations such as GLL Better actually encourage the deception that exercise makes you slim, (there is obviously a great financial incentive for them in propagating this blatant deception).

The Fallacy of Losing Weight By Aerobic Exercising

In a review of several hundred weight loss studies, Dr. Wayne Miller and colleagues at The George Washington University Medical Center set out to determine if adding aerobic exercise to a low-calorie diet accelerates weight loss.
What they found was that diet and aerobic exercise provides only a very marginal benefit (in terms of weight loss) when compared to diet alone.
A 2011 review that looked at 14 studies on aerobic exercise and weight loss also shows less than stellar results, concluding that the value of aerobic exercise as an “independent weight loss intervention for overweight and obese populations is limited.”
As part of the HERITAGE Family Study, one of the largest well-controlled training studies of its kind, researchers followed a large group of 557 men and women as they embarked on a 20-week exercise program.
Each subject was required to exercise three times per week for an average of 42 minutes. Researchers even went to the trouble of having each bout of exercise monitored by an exercise technician and a computer.
Following a grand total of 60 exercise sessions over a period of almost six months, the average amount of fat lost was slightly less than two pounds, prompting scientists to admit that aerobic exercise “is not a major factor” in weight loss.

What About Your Metabolic Rate?

One popular claim is that aerobic exercise leads to an increase in your metabolic rate, however, researchers conducting the HERITAGE Family Study found that almost six months of aerobic exercise had no effect on resting metabolic rate.
Some studies do show that elite athletes have a higher metabolic rate than weight-matched controls, however, scientists have been unable to establish whether this is due to a higher calorie intake, a superior level of fitness or if it exists simply as an after effect of their last training session.
Furthermore, when an increase in physical activity results in a calorie deficit (which it’ll need to if you want to lose weight) there is research to show that the metabolic rate does not rise at all.
Another popular misconception is the idea that aerobic exercise increases caloric expenditure for several hours after a bout of exercise, thus making a further contribution to fat loss. Unfortunately this is not always the case.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is the name given to the increase in calorie expenditure following a workout, is more likely to occur after high-intensity exercise.
As an example, an Appalachian State University research team found a large increase in EPOC after subjects cycled for 45 minutes at 85% maximum heart rate.
Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (such as walking or jogging) has very little effect.

Why Does Aerobic Exercise Not Reduce Weight ?

The most fundamental aspect of any fat loss program is to create a calorie deficit — to burn more calories than you eat, unfortunately, you just don’t burn that many calories with a typical aerobic exercise program.
One pound of fat contains the equivalent of roughly 3,500 calories so, assuming your calorie intake remained static and your weight was stable, you’d need to burn an extra 500 calories per day to drop just one pound of fat over the course of a week.
To lose fat at a decent rate (around two pounds per week) you’d need to burn 1000 extra calories per day, and the type of workout that burns 1000 calories, in terms of both time and effort, is not a realistic goal for most people.
For aerobic exercise to be effective, you need to do a lot of it.
And that brings us to another problem.
Most modern exercise machines have digital readouts telling you how many calories you’ve burned. Unfortunately, these digital readouts can’t be trusted.
The most reliable way to assess energy expenditure during exercise is to measure oxygen consumption.
Each liter of oxygen that you consume generates approximately five calories of energy.
For example, if you exercise for 30 minutes and consume 30 liters of oxygen, you’ll have burned 150 calories, but without directly measuring oxygen consumption, it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate of how many calories you’ve really burned.
Another factor that affects the reliability of calorie counters is the difference between net and gross calorie expenditure.
Gross energy expenditure refers to the number of calories you burn during exercise plus your metabolic rate.
Net energy expenditure refers to just the number of calories you burn during exercise.
Because calorie counters on some exercise machines display gross energy expenditure, the figures they give are misleading.
In one study, the gross number of calories burned during each workout was estimated to be 255 calories, but the net figure (remember, the net figure represents the “real” number of extra calories you’ve burned) was just 187 calories.
In other words, if you rely on the numbers given by the calorie counters, it might appear that you’ve burned more calories than you really have.

The Bottom Line

Although it comes as a surprise to many, the majority of research shows that aerobic exercise in the so-called “fat burning zone” is not a very effective way to lose fat.
That’s not to say that cardio is a waste of time, because it isn’t, but in most cases, 30 to 40 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio three or four times a week by itself isn’t going to deliver the results you want.
The main purpose of cardio-vascular (aerobic) exercise is, as the name implies, and improvement in the function of the heart, lungs and circulatory system.
If you really want to lose weight you must reduce the quantity of calories you consume in the form of sugars and fats - see the section on Nutrition and Supplements.
In addition you can increase your betabolic rate by performing moderate to heavy resistance exercise.


Exercise

Which is what you will be doing.

Exercise is often recommended as a means of improving motor skills, fitness, muscle and bone strength, and joint function. Exercise has several effects upon muscles, connective tissue, bone, and the nerves that stimulate the muscles. One such effect is muscle hypertrophy, an increase in size.
Various exercises require a predominance of certain muscle fiber utilization over another.
Aerobic exercise involves long, low levels of exertion in which the muscles are used at well below their maximal contraction strength for long periods of time (the most classic example being the marathon). Aerobic events, which rely primarily on the aerobic (with oxygen) system, use a higher percentage of Type I (or slow-twitch) muscle fibers, consume a mixture of fat, protein and carbohydrates for energy, consume large amounts of oxygen and produce little lactic acid.
Anaerobic exercise involves short bursts of higher intensity contractions at a much greater percentage of their maximum contraction strength
Examples of anaerobic exercise include sprinting and weight lifting.
The anaerobic energy delivery system uses predominantly Type II or fast-twitch muscle fibers, relies mainly on ATP or glucose for fuel, consumes relatively little oxygen, protein and fat, produces large amounts of lactic acid and can not be sustained for as long a period as aerobic exercise.
The presence of lactic acid has an inhibitory effect on ATP generation within the muscle; though not producing fatigue, it can inhibit or even stop performance if the intracellular concentration becomes too high. However, long-term training causes neovascularization within the muscle, increasing the ability to move waste products out of the muscles and maintain contraction.
Once moved out of muscles with high concentrations within the sarcomere, lactic acid can be used by other muscles or body tissues as a source of energy, or transported to the liver where it is converted back to pyruvate.
In addition to increasing the level of lactic acid, strenuous exercise causes the loss of potassium ions in muscle and causing an increase in potassium ion concentrations close to the muscle fibres, in the interstitium. Acidification by lactic acid may allow recovery of force so that acidosis may protect against fatigue rather than being a cause of fatigue.
Humans are genetically predisposed with a larger percentage of one type of muscle group over another.
An individual born with a greater percentage of Type I muscle fibers would theoretically be more suited to endurance events, such as triathlons, distance running, and long cycling events, whereas a human born with a greater percentage of Type II muscle fibers would be more likely to excel at anaerobic events such as a 200 meter dash, or weightlifting.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is pain or discomfort that may be felt one to three days after exercising and subsides generally within two to three days later.
Once thought to be caused by lactic acid buildup, a more recent theory is that it is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers caused by eccentric contraction, or unaccustomed training levels.

Density of Muscle Tissue

The density of mammalian skeletal muscle tissue is about 1.06 kg/liter.
This can be contrasted with the density of adipose tissue (fat), which is 0.9196 kg/liter.
This makes muscle tissue approximately 15% denser than fat tissue.

Genetics

The level of fitness that you can achieve, and the general appearance of your physique after training and following a healthy nutritional regime will depend very much on your genetic make-up.
Most important will be your overall proportions - what is often referred to a bone structure.
Heavy boned individuals will find it easier to develop muscle, but may also find it easier to lay down fat.
Light boned individuals may have problems, especially initially with building muscle, but will find it much easier to maintain a healthy weight and develop 'definition'.

Definition is when the individual muscle groups become clearly defined, and this occurs because their is little adipose fat to 'blur' the separation between the various layers of muscle.
Body-builders seek definition, which they call being 'ripped', however they achieve this by severely cutting back the amount of liquid that they consume, and this results in them becoming severely dehydrated.
Dehydration is very unhealthy, and should be avoided at all cost.
Good levels of 'definition', however, can be achieved by a judicious balance between resistance and aerobic training, and by the intelligent use of supplements such as L-Carnitine, L -Argenine and Tribulus Terrestris.
Definition is an essential element of the perfect physique, and is referred to as 'toning'. 'Toned' muscles are by definition 'defined' !

Regardless of whether one is heavy or light boned, the most important aspect of the skeletal system is its overall proportions.
The most compelling definition of the perfection of proportions is the image known a 'Vitruvian Man'.

The Vitruvian Man was created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.
It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The image depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and simultaneously inscribed in a circle and square. This image is usually  reffered to as 'the Canon of Proportions'.
The image is based on the correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry described by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius in Book III of his treatise 'De Architectura'.
Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion among the Classical orders of architecture.
The proprtions are as follows:

a palm is four fingers
a foot is four palms
a cubit is six palms
four cubits make a man
a pace is four cubits
a man is 24 palms
the length of the outspread arms is equal to the height of a man
from the hairline to the bottom of the chin is one-tenth of the height of a man
from below the chin to the top of the head is one-eighth of the height of a man
from above the chest to the top of the head is one-sixth of the height of a man
from above the chest to the hairline is one-seventh of the height of a man
the maximum width of the shoulders is a quarter of the height of a man
from the breasts to the top of the head is a quarter of the height of a man
the distance from the elbow to the tip of the hand is a quarter of the height of a man
the distance from the elbow to the armpit is one-eighth of the height of a man
the length of the hand is one-tenth of the height of a man
the root of the penis is at half the height of a man
the foot is one-seventh of the height of a man
from below the foot to below the knee is a quarter of the height of a man
from below the knee to the root of the penis is a quarter of the height of a man
the distances from the below the chin to the nose and the eyebrows and the hairline are equal to the ears and to one-third of the face

Why not get yourself photographed in the appropriate pose (two photos will be required) and check yourself out.
If you confirm to these proportions, and follow the correct training regime, you will, of course, find it much easier to achieve the 'body beautiful'. If you do not conform to these proportions don't worry too much - judicious training methods can make up for any little imperfections.




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EXERCISE

To produce the lithe, lean, well-muscled and toned body that you desire you must undertake both aerobic and resistance training.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is physical exercise of relatively low intensity that depends primarily on the aerobic energy-generating process.
Aerobic literally means "living in air", and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism.
Generally, light-to-moderate intensity activities that are sufficiently supported by aerobic metabolism can be performed for extended periods of time.
Aerobic exercise and fitness can be contrasted with anaerobic exercise, of which strength training and short-distance running are the most salient examples.
The two types of exercise differ by the duration and intensity of muscular contractions involved, as well as by how energy is generated within the muscle.
In most conditions, anaerobic exercise occurs simultaneously with aerobic exercises because the less efficient anaerobic metabolism must supplement the aerobic system due to energy demands that exceed the aerobic system's capacity.
What is generally called aerobic exercise might be better termed "solely aerobic", because it is designed to be low-intensity enough not to generate lactate via pyruvate fermentation, so that all carbohydrate is aerobically turned into energy.
Among the recognized benefits of doing regular aerobic exercise are:

Strengthening the muscles involved in respiration, to facilitate the flow of air in and out of the lungs
Strengthening and enlarging the heart muscle, to improve its pumping efficiency and reduce the resting heart rate, known as aerobic conditioning
Strengthening muscles throughout the body
Improving circulation efficiency and reducing blood pressure
Increasing the total number of red blood cells in the body, facilitating transport of oxygen
Improved mental health, including reducing stress and lowering the incidence of depression
Reducing the risk for diabetes.
Burns body fat, while building leaner muscle.

The best possible form of aerobic exercise is swimming, which is very sparing on the joints, and if you are unable to swim, then this would be a good time to learn.


In order to combine aerobic with resistance exercise it's a good idea to choose a leisure centre (GLL/Better in London are NOT recommended) which has a good pool.


Choosing a Good Swimming Pool

A swimming pool can be a dangerous place.
When choosing a good swimming pool various factors should be considered,
Is the pool and the surrounding areas, showers, toilets and changing areas clean ?
Is the pool-side free of obstructions ?
Is the pool well designed and well lit ?
Are the non-swimming areas properly supervised ?



SAFETY

Eltham Swimming Pool, (see right).
It is situated in the Eltham Centre (see right above) which also houses a Library, council offices etc.
It is an attractive building externally, but the pool and gym are very poorly designed to an obviously limited budget.
The pool, a typical example of a GLL Better Pool, is shown on the right above - note the blue rope thrown carelessly on the floor where children and older people may not see it, and trip.
The Eltham staff also have a nasty habit of leaving the large steel bolts, that secure the lane dividers to the pool wall, on the pool-side.
Standing on one of these steel bolts could lead to a fatal fall, particularly for an older person.
They also leave the same bolts attached under water to the pool-wall, where they could inflict horrendous injuries.


A good pool will ensure that all areas open to the public, other than the actual poolside, will be covered in rubber matting so that people using the pool will not accidentally slip over. - GLL Better do not do this.

CLEANLINESS

Many GLL Better Pools are definitely not clean - (in fact the changing areas usually stink !) , with poorly designed flooring which lacks proper drainage and therefore collects pools of standing, stagnant water..
If you wouldn't accept the standard of cleanliness you see at the pool, changing areas, toilets and showers in your own bathroom - the do not use the pool.

Are the non-swimming areas (changing areas, toilets and showers) properly supervised - or is it possible for undesirable elements to loiter and harass bona-fide swimmers - particularly older people.
Toilets must be clean, wash basins should have reliable hot water, showers should be powerful and hot.
There should be no areas of standing water in the non-swimming areas.

GLL Better pools in London, such as Woolwich, Greenwich and particularly Eltham to not meet these minimum standards. - (showers that just dribble barely warm water, sink taps that do not work, or if they work, run cold, empty soap dispensers, broken hairdriers etc,etc)


GLL BETTER POOLS ARE
NOT RECOMENDED



A Good Swimming Pool

Having found a good swimming pool, one should consider one's current state of health.
Anyone with a history of cardio-vascular disease should be very careful about swimming.
If you haven't swum for some time, take it very easy to begin with.
Any style is satisfactory, although the Butterfly (Fly) or Dolphin Crawl are not recommended except for the experienced.
Speed is not essential. The object of the exercise is to raise the rate of respiration, and the heart rate, for an extended period - but begin very slowly for short periods, taking regular rests.
When you can swim for 30 minutes without too much trouble consider using 'swimming gloves' (available from http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/mcasmith2002).

Swimmers wear gloves during training to increase water resistance, with the webbed fingers spreading wide to create more drag.
The added resistance provides more work for the upper body, giving the shoulders, arms, chest and back an intense workout and toning muscles well beyond normal swimming.
Even the legs are forced to kick harder to propel the body, toning the thighs, hamstrings and calves.
Training with swim gloves builds strength and, in turn, improves a person's swimming stroke, creating smoother movement and enhanced technique for better in-pool performance.

Aside from strengthening muscles, swimming gloves force the entire body to work harder to fight through the added water resistance, intensifying an already effective aerobic workout.
Sustained training with swim gloves will result in increased endurance, since the body's cardiovascular system adapts to the stress placed on it due to the fierce resistance.
Once it is possible to swim comfortably with swimming gloves, the next step is to use wrist weights (available from http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/mcasmith2002).

These can, at a later date, be combined with swimming gloves to increase the workload while swimming.
One of the main advantages of using these aids is that they can dramatically reduce the time spent in the pool - after all you have better things to do that swim up and down your local leisure centre pool for hours on end.
This high intensity aerobic pool work out will do wonders for your cardio-vascular efficiency, and will ensure good 'definition' and excellent shape for the muscles that you will be building in the gym.

What to Wear in the Pool

What you wear when you exercise is extremely important.
It is part of your mental preparation for your workout.
You can feel good by looking good and feeling good will undoubtedly improve your overall performance while you train.


What to wear in the pool - for the ladies - DO NOT wear a bikini.
Bikinis are for sunbathing - not exercising.
Real athletes (and you will be a real athlete) wear professional gear.
For ladies the premier label is, of course, Speedo, who produce well designed professional swimsuits
For that really professional look there is a 'body skin' which is a cover-all ladies swimsuit which manages to be devastatingly attractive, while also being practical and extremely efficient in the pool.
This style of ladies swimwear is also highly suitable for ladies who have to consider religious sensibilities when undertaking pool-based exercise.

What to wear in the pool for guys - DO NOT Wear floppy so-called 'board shorts' (you are not surfing), which are probably more suitable for gardening 
'Jammers' are acceptable (A jammer is a style of swimsuit used mainly in competition to obtain speed advantages.
They are made of nylon and lycra/spandex material and have a form fitting design to reduce water resistance.
They provide moderate coverage from the mid-waist to the area above the knee, somewhat resembling cycling shorts or compression shorts worn by many athletes.

It is wise to wear a swimmer's 'jock-strap' or thong (see right) underneath Jammers.
Thongs or 'jock-straps' are recommended as they make allowance for the centre rear seam which are used in good quality Jammers.
They provide greater leg coverage than swim briefs and square leg suits, although they also have slightly more water resistance.) (available from http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/directsnowequipment)

More professional swimwear for men and boys are 'leg-skins'.
A Leg-skin is a type of competitive swimwear worn by male swimmers.
Most leg-skins (available from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/zetessports) are made of technologically advanced lycra-based fabrics designed to hug the body tightly and provide increased speed and decreased drag resistance in the water.
The leg-skin covers from the swimmer's mid-waist to his ankle and resembles leggings.

The disadvantages of leg-skins is that they are difficult to put on, and are also very, very expensive.

Leg-skins also benefit from the wearing of a swimmers 'jock-strap' or thong underneath (see right above)(available from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/2011dress).

For the daring (a good physique is essential, so perhaps these can be invested in when your training begins to show results), the most comfortable and efficient swimwear are 'Japan-cut' bikini briefs as produced by Toot (available from http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/youcaiyun2010/), Speedo (see Tom Daley) and Arena (available from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/briefstory).
These are lightweight, absorb very little water (and so dry easily), and give good support (no 'jock-strap' or thong is needed as additional support)



A new Range of men's racing and competition swimwear by Seobean, (Speedo style but better designs), has been introduced from China in a range of attractive colors.
(see below)



highly reccomended
best prices from

SWIM GOGGLES

Swim goggles are absolutely essential for long periods in the pool, especially if you swim front crawl.
DO NOT use Speedo as they are expensive considering they often leak and 'mist up'.
The best, and most comfortable swim goggles are made by the Chinese company Yingfa.
Their best, and most expensive goggles have mirror lens coatings which make them look very stylish (available from http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/shuke708).


Of course swimming up and down the pool can get a little boring.
Technology, however, can come to your aid.
To alleviate your boredom Speedo have designed their revolutionary underwater MP3 player, which will keep you happily entertained with your favourite music for nine hours - not that we suggest that you spend that long in the pool.
(available from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Underwater-Electronics-Shop)



RESISTANCE TRAINING

Resistance training is a form of strength training in which each effort is performed against a specific opposing force generated by resistance (i.e. resistance to being pushed, squeezed, stretched or bent).
Exercises are isotonic if a body part is moving against the force.
Exercises are isometric if a body part is holding still against the force.
Resistance exercise is used to develop the strength and size of skeletal muscles.
Properly performed, resistance training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being.
The goal of resistance training is to gradually and progressively overload the musculature system so it gets stronger.
Research shows that regular resistance training will strengthen and tone muscles and increase bone mass. Full range of motion is important in resistance training because muscle overload occurs only at the specific joint angles where the muscle is worked.


Choosing a Good Gym

You can only train as well as your gym facilities and equipment will allow.
This Blog is produced in London, and will therefore make particular reference to gym facilities to be found in London.

Unfortunately, London has, in recent years, been dominated by the company GLL (the initials originally stood for Greenwich Leisure Limited but the charitable leisure and fitness group has expanded its influence well beyond the confines of the Royal Borough of Greenwich - and now includes Barnet, Bexley Heath, Camden, Crystal Palace, Ealing, Greenwich,Hackney, Hammersmith and Harrow, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea, Fulham, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forrest, Westminster,Epsom and Yewell, Reigate and Banstead,).
GLL, undoubtedly because of its bad reputation, has now changed it's name to 'Better' (better than what or who, one may ask), with the slogan 'the feel good place' (the appalling design of their newly designed web page is a good indicator of their general 'lack-lustre' performance).

The group uses inferior exercise equipment, in poorly maintained premises, with under-qualified and badly motivated staff, and under-trained, incompetent managers, and your are advised to avoid these establishments if the wish to successfully achieve your aim to develop a perfect physique.
There are, fortunately, many other Local Authority related, and private gym facilities in the London area that provide excellent facilities and high quality equipment, and employ well-qualified and enthusiastic staff.


WHAT YOU PROBABLY WILL NOT FIND
in a GLL/Better gym

Many GL/Better Gyms (such as Eltham in London) do not have Barbells (see right). (no - we are not joking !)
Possibly it is a 'health and safety issue' - (which jostles with 'political correctness' as obsessions with GLL/Better.)

(Woolich Waterfront does have barbells in a poorly ventilated, smelly gym in the windowless basement - called the 'Steel Gym' - a euphemism for a basement full of old, dirty, outmoded equipment).


Smith Machines, essential for safe, heavy resistance training are rarely seen (see top left).

Many GLL.Better gyms (including Eltham) do not have Assisted Pull-up Machine (see left) - which are absolutely essential for efficient upper body development.

Some GLL/Gyms do not even have proper exercise benches, (just little plastic benches - like kiddy's toys) - a good gym will have deluxe, multi-position benches (see right).

Another item rarely seen in GLL/Better gyms is the Seated Calf Machine.
The Calves are notoriously difficult muscles to develop, and this machine is one of the few ways to develop these muscles.


Another item of equipment that is rarely found in GLL Better gyms is the Preacher Curl Bench.
This is a relatively simple item of equipment that is essential for adequate bicep developmemnt.
The equipment does, however, require a barbell or an EZ curling bar, and if the gym has no barbells then there will be little point in having a Preacher Curl Bench.






GLL BETTER GYMS
NOT RECOMMENDED






The Good Gym

In a good gym you should find pleasant, well-qualified and helpful staff, - and not just on the day they show you round - ask other gym members who have used the gym for a long period about the level of staff competence.
More important is the gym equipment - you can only train as well as the equipment will allow - so it must be of the highest standard and best design.
If you are in a good gym (NOT a GLL/Better Gym) you will see some of the equipment shown here.

This is top of the range equipment which will enable you to achieve maximum results.



You should also see a wide variety of 'free weights'.
'Free weight' are basically barbells and dumbbells, as opposed to plate-stacked machines (illustrated above).
'Free weights', however, require some considerable skill if they are to be used safely and correctly, and there is a far greater possibility of injury, (particularly to the spinal vertebrae) when used by novices.


A weight machine is an exercise machine used for weight training that uses gravity as the primary source of resistance and a combination of simple machines to convey that resistance to the person using the machine. Each of the simple machines (pulley, lever, wheel, incline) changes the mechanical advantage of the overall machine relative to the weight.

Exercise Machines

Stack Machines


A stack machine—also called a stack or rack—has a set of massive rectangular plates that are pierced by a vertical bar which has holes drilled in it to accept a pin.
Each of the plates has a channel on its underside that aligns with one of the holes.
When the pin is inserted through the channel into the hole, all of the plates above the pin rest upon it, and are lifted when the bar rises.
The plates below do not rise. This allows the same machine to provide several levels of resistance over the same range of motion with an adjustment that requires very little force to accomplish in itself.
The means of lifting the bar varies.
Some machines have a roller at the top of the bar that sits on a lever.
When the lever is raised the bar can go up and the roller moves along the lever, allowing the bar to stay vertical.
On some machines the bar is attached to a hinge on the lever, which causes swaying in the bar and the plates as the lever goes up and down.
On other machines the bar is attached to a cable or belt, which runs through pulleys or over a wheel.
The other end of the cable will either be a handle or strap that the user holds or wraps around some body part, or will be attached to a lever, adding further simple machines to the mechanical chain.
Usually, each plate is marked with a number.
On some machines these numbers give the actual weight of the plate and those above it.
On some, the number gives the force at the user's actuation point with the machine.
And on some machines the number is simply an index counting the number of plates being lifted.
The early Nautilus machines were a combination of lever and cable machines. They also had optional, fixed elements such as a chinning bar.

Plate-loaded Machines

Plate-loaded machines (such as the Smith machine) use standard barbell plates instead of captive stacks of plates.
They combine a bar-end on which to hang the plates with a number of simple machines to convey the force to the user.
The plate-loaded machines will often have a very high mechanical advantage, due to the need to make room for large plates over a large range of motion following a path that causes them to converge at one end or the other. Also, the motion will generally not be vertical, and the net resistance is equal to the cosine of the angle at which it is moving relative to vertical.
For example, consider an incline press machine that is a single-lever machine that has the plates halfway up the lever from the handles to the fulcrum, and begins moving the plates at a 45-degree angle from vertical.
The lever will provide a leverage advantage of 2:1, and the incline will have an advantage of 1:√2/2, for a net mechanical advantage of (4/√2):1 ≈ 2.8:1. Thus 50 kg (~491 N) of plates will apply to the user only an equaling weight of 18 kg or a force of ~174 N at the beginning of the motion.
On the other end of the spectrum may be a bent-over-row machine that is designed with the user's grip between the plates and the fulcrum.
This amplifies the force needed by the user relative to the weight of the plates.

Cable Machine

A cable machine is an item of equipment used in weight training or functional training.
It consists of a rectangular, vertically-oriented steel frame about 3 metres wide and 2 metres high, with a weight stack at each end.
The cables that connect the handles to the weight stacks run through adjustable pulleys that can be fixed at any height. This allows a variety of exercises to be performed on the apparatus.
One end of the cable is attached to a perforated steel bar that runs down the centre of the weight stack.
To select the desired amount of resistance, move the metal pin into the labelled hole in the weight stack.
The other end of the cable forms a loop, which allows the user to attach the appropriate handle for the exercise.
Most cable machines have a minimum of 20 pounds (~9 kilograms) of resistance in order to counter-balance the weight of the typical attachment.

Leg Press Machine

The leg press is a weight training exercise in which the individual pushes a weight or resistance away from them using their legs. The term leg press also refers to the apparatus used to perform this exercise.
The leg press can be used to evaluate an athlete's overall lower body strength (from knee joint to hip and partially ankle extensors as well).
Using the diagonal sled-type leg press machine.
There are two main types of leg press:
The diagonal or vertical 'sled' type leg press.
Weight disks (plates) are attached directly to the sled, which is mounted on rails.
The user sits below the sled and pushes it upward with their feet.
These machines normally include adjustable safety brackets that prevent the user from being trapped under the weight.
The 'cable' type leg press, or 'seated leg press'.
The user sits upright and pushes forward with their feet onto a plate that is attached to the weight stack by means of a long steel cable.

The Smith Machine

The Smith machine is a piece of equipment used in weight training - and is highly recommended as it allows heavy weights to be used in complete safety.
It consists of a barbell that is fixed within steel rails, allowing only vertical movement.
New variations allow a small amount of forward and backward movement.
A Smith machine often includes a weight rack in the base to help stabilise it.
Some Smith machines have the barbell counterbalanced.
The machine can be used for a wide variety of exercises.
When selecting a gym you should ensure that a Smith machine is included in the equipment provided - if not, choose another gym - (this item of equipment is NOT usually found in GLL/Better gyms which indicates their apparent lack of concern for the safety of their customers).




Benefits of the Smith Machine

Behind each vertical post (runner) is a series of slots on which the barbell can be hooked.
This means that unlike an ordinary barbell, the Smith machine need not be re-racked after a set of repetitions: it can be secured at any point.
This makes it safer for those who weight train without a spotter, as one only needs to twist his/her wrist in order to lock the barbell in place in the event that the weight becomes too great.
Most models also incorporate blocks, pegs, or other devices which can be adjusted to automatically stop the barbell at a predetermined minimum height. This further increases the safety factor.
Because it cannot fall forwards, backwards or sideways, a Smith machine is considered safer to use than an ordinary barbell.
Since the weight does not need to be stabilized, this can allow unstable lifters to lift more weight.

Conclusion

There are numerous other machines, which are shown in the sections on Upper and Lower Body Exercises.
While some traditional body-builders wrongly belittle the use of weight-training machines, they are to be highly recommended, mainly because they 'spare' the joints and are generally very safe to use.
They also build muscle very quickly and effectively because they are specifically designed to exert maximum resistance over a full range of movement.




How to Begin

Any good Gym will give you a induction session with a gym instructor, (this should be free of charge).

Basically you will simply be shown how to set up the machines, and how to use them - and perhaps, if you are lucky, how to perform some basic 'free weights' exercises.








What to Wear in the Gym


What you wear when you exercise is extremely important.
It is part of your mental preparation for your workout.
You can feel good by looking good and feeling good will undoubtedly improve your overall performance while you train.




DO NOT wear your gardening shorts, or 'short shorts' - it's just not cool !

Track suit bottoms (not fleecy) are good, or alternatively three-quarter length shorts (very fashionable).

For the top, a matching vest - preferably without sleeves - in other words a 'gym vest'. (see left and top right)

Gym work, especially using 'free weights' is very hard on the hands.
It is advisable, therefore, to wear fingerless, leather padded gloves to protect the hands, and also ensure a good grip.
Gloves especially designed for weigh-training are essential (available from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Kash-Fitness-Gear).


In addition wrist supports will prevent any possible strain to the tendons of the wrists.
The best wrist supports are made of leather, with two or three leather buckled straps in order to ensure a good, comfortable fit.

Although much cheaper, Neoprene or fabric supports are NOT recommended.


And, of course, you will need a good pair of trainers - Nike are recomended.


Body Feedback

To gain the most benefit from your training you need to be in tune with the signals that your body sends you.
Most sports injuries result from people not 'listening' to their body.
Your body 'knows' what's best for it- and you must learn to 'listen' to what it tells you.
There is a very unwise saying amongst body-builders and exercise enthusiasts - 'No gain without pain.'
More correctly this saying should be 'No injury without pain'.
Pain is the body's way of telling you that something is wrong - that the body is being damaged.
Now it is true that heavy exercise will often cause a burning sensation in the muscles, and that after exercise there will often be aching the following day or days - but this is not the same as pain, and any pain should be taken as a warning to stop exercising a particular muscle or muscle group.


Resistance Training and Muscle Building

A range of stimuli can increase the volume of muscle cells.
These changes occur as an adaptive response that serves to increase the ability to generate force or resist fatigue in anaerobic conditions
8 – 12 repetitions (known as a set), repeated two or three times (two or three sets), against a sub-maximal load facilitates sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
REMEMBER: More is NOT better.
The first measurable effect is an increase in the neural drive stimulating muscle contraction.
Within just a few days, an untrained individual can achieve measurable strength gains resulting from "learning" to use the muscle.
As the muscle continues to receive increased demands, the synthetic machinery is up-regulated.
Although all the steps are not yet clear, this up-regulation appears to begin with the ubiquitous second messenger system (including phospholipases, protein kinase C, tyrosine kinase, and others).
These, in turn, activate the family of immediate-early genes, including c-fos, c-jun and myc.
These genes appear to dictate the contractile protein gene response.
Progressive overload is considered the most important principle behind hypertrophy, so increasing the weight, repetitions (reps), and sets will all have a positive impact on growth.
Some experts create complicated plans that manipulate weight, reps, and sets, increasing one while decreasing the others to keep the schedule varied and less repetitive (more about this later).
If more than 15 repetitions per set is possible, the weight is too light to stimulate maximal growth.

Several biological factors, such as age and nutrition, can affect muscle hypertrophy.
During puberty in males, hypertrophy occurs at an increased rate.
Natural hypertrophy normally stops at full growth, in the late teens.
Muscular hypertrophy can be increased through strength training and other short duration, high intensity anaerobic exercises.
Lower intensity, longer duration aerobic exercise generally does not result in very effective tissue hypertrophy; instead, endurance athletes enhance storage of fats and carbohydrates within the muscles, as well as neo-vascularization* .and definition.

(*neo-vascularization is the formation of functional microvascular networks with red blood cell perfusion. Neovascularization differs from angiogenesis in that angiogenesis is mainly characterized by the protrusion and outgrowth of capillary buds and sprouts from pre-existing blood vessels)




THIS IS IMPORTANT: An adequate supply of amino acids is essential to produce muscle hypertrophy








________________________________________

Train Like an Olympian
TOM DALEY'S WEIGHT TRAINING WORKOUT


Well - this is the official account of Tom Daley's training regime, however, looking at Daley's physique, it is obvious that the heavy, compound exercises are not the whole story.
For example, there is no mention of abdominal exercises ( offset by the dead-lifts -  not recommended because of the danger of spinal injury) and  the pec flyes and bench press, which are evident in the well-formed pecs (press-ups are not sufficient for this fineness of muscle shape and definition).
For the 'normal' individual (who is not intent on Olympic Gold) squats and dead-lifts are not recommended - there are equally effective exercises which can be performed with almost no possibility of injury.





Resistance training in the gym for two hours. 
Compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, press-ups, and pull-ups.


Perform 4 sets of 5 reps for each exercise to build raw strength.
Gradually increase the weight for each set, building up to a final set of 125kg for squats.


Do loaded press-ups with someone piling weights on your back up to 85kg, and weighted pull-ups with a 20kg plate.


Training tip Squats don't just build muscle. A 2012 study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found following 8 weeks of dedicated squat training, nineteen professional rugby players all recorded considerably faster sprint performances over 5m (7.5% faster), 10m (7.5% faster), and 20m (6% faster).

___________________________________________________

What to Do in the Gym


When you have found a good gym develop a routine which will enable you to obtain the best results and waste as little time as possible.
DON'T join the group that hang around the Smith Machine or cables etc., preventing others from training by endlessly chatting and gossiping.
These guys are skinny (never train enough), fat (can't control their eating and alcohol), or very muscular, but not defined (again can't control their eating and alcohol - but are naturally muscular).
You will see these guys, (and very occasionally girls) month after month, and they will never show any real signs of improvement - they use the gym as a social event rather than as a way the get healthy, muscular and trim. So - steer clear of them.

Should you train alone - or with a partner ?


Well, if you are really serious about getting that perfect physique then it is probably better to train alone.

No two bodies are the same, and so your needs will NEVER be exactly the same as those of your partner.

Training with a partner will always involve you in making compromises.

The exercises that you need your partner might not need - the weights that your partner uses will not be identical to the weight that you need to use.
And also you will begin to chat, and in the end you will become like the guys we mentioned earlier.

Your body is SPECIAL, and needs a SPECIAL workout - tailored exactly to your need so, GO IT ALONE and be a real success !

IMPORTANT


Before you start your training session or swim you should always WARM UP and STRETCH !


for an even BETTER BODY than
Tom Daley
go to
ZAC's
   
and Zac and Stewie will show you what to do !

OLYMPIC PHYSIQUES


click below for teen muscle

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