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Interview with two-time Muay Thai world champion Greg Wootton
We cover numerous topics including:
– Motivation for training
– Narcissism and social media in the fitness industry
– Developing mental toughness in and out the ring
– Old school vs New school methods of training
– Brain injury risks during fighting
– Fantasy matchups, and much, much more
Check out Greg on Instagram @greg_wootton & www.gregwootton.co.uk
Hope you guys will enjoy this lockdown podcast, all about training during the lockdown with some Q&A at the end.
In this episode we will cover things such as:
– How to get the most out of training at home
– What you need to train at home effectively
– What type of cardio to do while under lockdown
– How not to get fat
– How to keep punching power up with no access to heavy bags
And quite a bit more..
Hope you enjoy!
So it’s official… we’re on lockdown.
No going out, minimal socialising, and all gyms closed. Reminds me of those school holidays where I used to sit on my Playstation playing Grand Theft Auto until 5 in the morning, but I digress..
All those times we promised ourselves we’d go to the gym, or that we’d hire that PT next month, all gone.
Now we have no choice.
Yet, this might just be a blessing in disguise for some people.
This could be the ideal time to start or rekindle the training habit, one of the most important habits you will develop in your entire life.
All you busy guys who say you don’t have time to train – well now you have time to train.
You won’t have to deal with the annoyances of a packed, noisy commercial gym.
You can do everything right there in the comfort of your own home, at the time you choose.
So while having to train at home might be seen as a step down from your usual training, I think there are actually 3 benefits of home workouts over gym.
I hold pads for people who like to do boxing as part of their workout, and while I really enjoy it, it has completely busted up my shoulders and elbows. I find it difficult to press dumbbells with my right hand due to the pain.
I also have a lower back issue going back a long time, and sometimes have to avoid heavy hinge work on days where the pain is bad.
The beauty of working out at home is that you’re forced to use lower loads and equipment like bands, which still provide great tension, but feel much better on your joints.
In the workout video below I use a kettlebell to press, and because I only have a 16 kg available, I was forced to really slow the tempo down and focus on technique. Not only did this feel amazingly difficult, but because I was using a lighter weight, I didn’t get the associated elbow and shoulder issues I would have got with a heavier weight.
I got a fantastic workout in without the aches and pains, felt challenged, and left with a pump.
When I say commercial gym, I am referring to the plethora of cheap gyms now available on every street corner. This doesn’t apply if you go to an independent or boutique gym where there is a cap on numbers, and usually a much better gym culture.
For the most part, commercial gyms are an absolute cesspool.
They are crowded, noisy, dirty, and some of the people there make you want to stick pins in your eyes.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I chose to skip a work-out because I dreaded the work-out experience.
I used to put headphones on and not be able to hear a thing due to the dreadful music from the Zumba class.
Weights were strewn everywhere.
Attention-seeking ‘Instagram girls’ taking selfies for their latest stream-of-consciousness nonsense ‘influencer’ post.
Fake tough guys with invisible-lat syndrome walking around like they own the place.
That one delusional guy who needs 10 pieces of equipment to do the SAME circuit every single week (and surprise, surprise, still looks the same after a year).
Give me a break.
In this aspect, training at home easily beats a commercial gym. Thank you Corona!
By training in a gym environment, we tend to stick to the same exercises time after time. While this is necessary for progress (you need to have a number of core movements you aim to progress with for life), it’s also important to get some variety in your training.
Variety will keep things fun, but is also important if you are looking for muscle growth.
Changing the exercise, changing the grip, changing the implement (band, dumbbells etc) will help to stimulate muscle growth.
The different angles and joint positions created by new exercises can help to stimulate the different heads of a muscle (for example, the quads have 4 different heads).
So with that said, here is a workout I did at home, just yesterday.
Do everything with perfect, German-like execution and focus.
You can make a set of 5 press-ups feel like the most gruelling exercise ever when done in this way.
Once you add band tension to properly executed reps, you will get an amazing pump.
And that’s it..
This coronavirus situation will pass.
One of the things we can (and must) do is look after our own health in the meantime. We want to come out of the other side ready to go, stronger than before. This could be the perfect opportunity for those who have neglected themselves to finally take charge of their bodies again.
F*ck the Netflix. F*ck the PS4. You will have plenty of time for that, but make sure you look after your priority first (YOU).
Let’s make this period the best yet 🤲.
Men like to rush.
They want everything fast.
Fast money, fast cars, fast women, and fast results.
But as a beginner in the gym, fast is the last thing you want to focus on.
In this age of OfficeBod, too many guys hit the gym on their first day with an ego the size of Donald Trump’s and start trying to hoist weight they have no business hoisting.
The reps are sloppy, jerky, and ultimately ineffective.
Ego is the enemy of progress in pretty much any worthwhile pursuit. Walk into any martial arts gym with an ego on the first day and you will be humbled very quickly.
While the humbling might not be as obvious when it comes to lifting weights, if you have made zero progress and look exactly the same 6 months down the road, that should be humbling in itself.
Here is my best advice to guys starting out in the gym:
Lighten the weight, slow down your reps, and master the technique.
For example, on a dumbbell bench press, I’ll have someone count down 3 seconds on the negative part of the lift (the way down).
This promotes control and will really get you to feel the chest muscles working as it goes through the stretch.
I know some of you reading this have gone to the gym for years and still can’t see any muscle definition at all. I promise you, doing your reps like this will be a game changer, especially as a beginner.
I’ve seen my best results in terms of muscle shape and size, by really slowing things down and feeling what’s going on. Plus this approach will save your joints too.
There’s a time and a place for fast and heavy, but it’s generally not as a beginner.
I don’t get the appeal of jogging and I never have.
I find it boring, it hurts my knees, and is just a slog all round. I would definitely give up training if that was my main method of staying in shape.
A lot of people do like jogging though.
In fact, a lot of my clients initially lost weight by jogging every day. That was how they kickstarted the whole slimming down process.
However, I can guarantee that most of those clients never quite got the results they were looking for from jogging. Yes, it got them off the couch. Yes, they lost weight. Yes, their waist size got smaller.
But they weren’t very strong. They weren’t very toned. They still had fatty bellies and love handles.
At best, the running changed them from a high fat, low muscle version of themselves, to a low(er) fat, low muscle version of themselves.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again – the key to a successful weight loss plan is to preserve as much muscle as possible.
Muscle helps to give definition, ‘hardness’ and shape to the body.
That’s when the shirts start to fill out better and you start getting compliments from other people.
Muscle also helps to keep your resting metabolism higher and will make it harder to regain fat over the long-term.
While I’m not against the occasional short jog once a week if someone enjoys that, anything more tends to produce poor results.
Here are 3 reasons why jogging is bad for fat loss.
Using running as your primary method of fat loss goes against what I’ve written above – protecting and building your muscle reserves.
Excessive jogging may build a small amount of muscle in the legs, but can often lead to the breakdown of muscle elsewhere, especially in the chest, arms and midsection.
You might just end up having noodle arms with a soft belly =/.
As someone who works all day and is trying to get ahead in your career, maintain a social life with family and friends, and have time to cook/eat healthy, the less time you have to spend actually working out, the better.
Jogging is not an efficient use of your time when it comes to weight loss. To get weight loss results, you need to do a lot of it – but again, what type of weight loss is it giving us?
Usually a lot of fat AND muscle loss.
If we’re losing muscle, then that is a poor return on all our effort.
The high impact, repetitive nature of running can cause annoying, niggling injuries that will keep you out of training.
Constant pounding of foot to floor can cause shin splints, ankle issues, knee issues, hip issues, and lower back injuries.
This is compounded by the fact that most people probably don’t have optimal running technique.
So what can you do to mitigate the above factors?
I always recommend alternating your type of cardio to avoid over-use injuries.
Use the assault bike, the ski-erg, the cross trainer, bodyweight circuits, and jog only occasionally. Mix things up.
I’m also of the opinion it’s better to take a brisk walk or do a short sprinting session rather than simply jog. The jogging is the in-between where most of the problems occur.
The brisk walk will still provide the benefits of calorie burning and a slightly elevated heart rate without tearing up your joints, while the sprints will do wonders to preserve your muscle, boost your metabolism and really work your heart.
And as always, the foundation of your training regime should be at least 3 days of weight training.
This will give you the best pay-off in the long run – it’ll be easier to lose the fat and keep it off, plus you’ll actually look better in the process.
To enquire about training in the Hammermsith area – click here –> Coaching
Long time no speak. Today I’d like to talk about how to use intermittent fasting (IF) for fat loss.
Intermittent fasting is all the rage nowadays, and is one of my go-to methods for losing fat amongst busy, overweight people.
When you’re busy and have other priorities, you need simplicity. You need flexibility. You need something easy to follow.
Intermittent fasting provides that.
It’s an extremely effective way to shed fat and improve your health.
I’ve seen people go from fat to slim without having to count calories, weigh food, or follow restrictive, soul-crushing diets for months and months.
In combination with a properly constructed weight-training programme, you can expect to get leaner and more ‘toned’.
Here are the key points for effective intermittent fasting:
There are other nuances, but that’s it in a nutshell – watch the video below for my full breakdown:
Long time no speak guys, so let me get straight to the point.. can you burn fat in 20 minutes or less?
Yes, yes, you can.
It’s all about efficiency. Spending time on running on the treadmill for hours is boring and potentially damaging to your body – hips, knees, shin splints, saggy muscles due to muscle loss.
Complexes are an extremely efficient way to train, will give you a metabolic hit, and will give you that hard, toned look you want, like a fighter’s body.
I made a whole video about it, check out how to burn fat in 20 minutes or less.
Please message me if any questions
1 Lyric Square, Hammersmith,
I like to play around with different exercises to keep training interesting and prevent the body adapting to what I’m doing.
Doing the same exercise week-in week-out is important, but there also comes a time where your body will no longer react to the exercise the way it once did.
As they say, “there’s no time like the first time”.
That’s where you have to switch it up.
I love all types of single leg lunge movements, but here’s one that you will probably never have seen – the Zercher lunge.
My client Federico is performing this one at during our training in Acton.
As you can see, ‘Zercher’ refers to the position of the barbell – in the crook of the elbows.
Zerchers can be used for squats and even good mornings.
The holding of the bar in this position has three main benefits:
1) Scorches the abs. This one develops a rock solid core you’ll be proud to let your wife touch!
2) Forces you to work your upper back and stay in extension (i.e. better posture during the exercise).
3) Fantastic recruitment of the glutes and quads. Even with a low weight, I felt this one the next day.
Give it a try and let me know how it went.
Within a year of losing weight, 80% of people put it back on. That is a crazy statistic.
All that hard work for nothing.
Yet most people go about losing weight completely the wrong way – treadmill, 10k runs, and hour upon hour of constant cardio with a punishing, restrictive diet.
This is a huge mistake for many reasons, but the one I’m going to focus on today is the fact that there is no strength training (aka lifting weights)
All the clients I’ve had who lost weight and kept it off started with a structured weight training programme which they have stuck to TO THIS DAY! (0:50 for the reference)
Let me say it here – lifting weights is VITAL to to losing fat and, most importantly, keeping it off!
You will not look great on the beach or in a t-shirt without some form of lifting, because like they say, ”a skinny guy with abs don’t count’!
There are a whole number of ways pumping iron helps to guard against fat loss, but improving your metabolism and increasing sensitivity to insulin are two of the major ones.
In short, lifting fine-tunes your body to become a walking fat burning machine.
When you see two people who’ve lost weight, you can usually tell the difference between those who merely do cardio and those who lift AND do cardio.
The latter usually look much healthier and stronger, and yes, don’t have to work as hard to maintain the fat loss.
They’re less liekly to have to adhere to punishing diets, meal replacement powders or pointless detoxes.
Lifting turns on specific genes and that change that person’s physiology – they are a different organism now.
So now that we’ve established that, let’s talk about lifting weights.
Some people love lifting. These guys are gym junkies, always in the gym, can’t wait for the next session.
These people usually see progress quickly (chicken and egg situation – did their love for lifting cause the quick progress, or did the quick progress make them love the gym?)
On the flip side, some people HATE lifting weights and find it extremely boring. These people tend to be cardio addicts, and love anything that makes them sweat and their muscles burn.
These people tend to not have an idea what they’re doing in the gym and usually see little to no progress.
Then you have the people in the middle who neither love nor hate weight training, and can fluctuate either way depending on their mood.
People in this camp usually prefer the thrill of playing and competing in dynamic sports over the somewhat static nature of the gym.
I’m firmly in the last camp. I am not in love with lifting for sure, but I know the very the very powerful benefits it has on mood, physique, and athleticism.
Without lifting, I’d shrink into Flat Stanley and have the physique of Paula Radcliffe. It also makes me much better at any sport I play.
So what do you do if weights are boring?
You definitely don’t want to axe them completely.
Here are some tips for you that I use with myself and my clients.
You absolutely need consistency when it comes to lifting, but at the same time, variety is important in keeping your muscles reacting to training and your enthusiasm high.
You can do this in a subtle way i.e. keeping your main lifts the same (deadlift, bench press, military press etc) and changing the supporting exercises, i.e. instead of split squats, do Zercher lunges (see below).
Or you could go even more extreme, changing the routine and split completely (again while keeping some consistency in terms of main lifts).
For example, if you usually do a body part split 5x a week, change to a full-body split 3x a week.
This is where I come in, so contact here if you want a bespoke online programme or if you are looking for a personal trainer in Acton.
Cut the amount of time you’re spending lifting to the bare minimum (2-3 times a week).
Try another sport completely for a while – i.e. sprinting, jiu jitsu, football, boxing (all stuff I do).
If my clients get bored, I cut their lifting time in half and do more bodyweight, boxing or cardio type work with them.
This will give you time to develop some new skills while still maintaining the benefits of lifting weight.
Again – you don’t want to drop weights completely. Strength is quite easy to maintain, so 2-3 times a week will usually stop you losing too much strength and muscle.
You’ll be surprised how adding in some new athletic exercises can rejuvenate your workout.
Including some medicine ball throws, sprints, farmers carries, and light plyometric exercises into your routine can get you out of the ‘3 sets of 10’ rut.
Plus it’ll make you a better athlete and challenge your brain.
Having someone with you can make the world of difference.
The right person can help you enjoy something that can be a downright slog otherwise (just make sure you’re not working out with an annoying wanker!).
Someone to help load equipment, change plates, and spot you will make your lifting session shorter and safer too.
Plus it’s another opportunity to socialise (something that will lift your mood in and of itself).
Sometimes, just training somewhere different is enough to make you want to lift again.
If you’re working out in a different gym with cool equipment, decent people, and great music, you may just want to try out some new weights or machines that day.
This is a game changer.
Hope that helps!
Until next time
I can say with 94% certainty that pretty much every guy who has ever stepped in a gym has felt inferior at some point (probably apart from The Rock & Charles Martin).
At one time or another, I and every other guy have thought they were:
You might strongly identify with one, some or all of the above. Sometimes the culture of the gym you go to can influence which one hits you the most.
I have a client who is scared to be seen with me and asks not to go to certain areas of the gym or at certain times because his ‘mates’ will judge him.
While feelings of inadequacy can be normal, they are even worse in the age of social media.
Social media (especially Instagram) has and will continue to destroy the minds of generations to come. It is without a doubt a huge contributing factor to the body image anxiety experienced by many men today.
If I felt I could sustain a business without it, I’d be off it in a flash.
‘Fitness influencers’ and muscle models are set up as idols, paragons of perfection, that we, the proletariat are supposed to aspire to.
These idols are false Gods.
Their power is sustained by photoshop and anabolic steroids (you would never know it though).
Here’s an open secret.. 90% of your favourite male fitness personalities are on steroids.
Hell, I’d say 80% of the biggest and most in-shape guys at your gym are using steroids (again, you would never know).
No matter how many protein shakes and programmes you buy from them, you will never look like them.
Just accept it.
While their feeds are chock-full of posts mentioning their protein supplement, pre-workout, and beast-mode workouts, they will never mention the steroid cycle they used to actually get their results.
These unrealistic (and often unattainable) ideals can cause men to go down the dark route of steroids and it’s numerous, well documented side-effects… including infertility, man boobs and small balls!
(It’s ironic that in the quest to become a superman, you can literally lose your balls.)
I myself have considered going down the steroid route, but always get dissuaded by the long list of dangerous and dramatic side effects.. (I prefer not to have man-boobs if I’m honest).
One way to address this anxiety is to go on a social media ‘detox’.
Unfollow the muscle models.
Unfollow the ‘beast-mode, what’s your excuse?!’ bodybuilding pages.
Get rid of the unrealistic expectations.
Realise that your body will probably never look like a Hollywood actor’s.
They get paid millions of pounds to train and look good. You work in an office in Hammersmith.
Get in the gym. Learn how to train, eat properly and do things the right way.
Keep doing it until you start to see results.
Getting in the gym and actually training might not stop you from having insecurities, but they’ll fade into a background buzz rather than a major anxiety issue.
Using the insecurity as fuel is a healthy way to get rid of it. Instead of mentally masturbating over Simeon Panda’s page, address the weakness.
If you’re not strong enough, lift heavy weights so you can get stronger.
If you’re fat, start intermittent fasting and lifting weights until you’re not fat anymore.
I’ve had numerous clients go from overweight to lean and completely turn around their confidence in every area of life.
(Check my instagram for before-and-afters.. yeah, I know, ironic I use Instagram).
If you feel like the above resonates with you, you’re not alone!
Feel free to message me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me on my instagram account (jumpliftsprint).