QOD #7

Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge

Winston S. Churchill

Common Fitness Mistakes 

Not having a training schedule

‘Planning to train 3 days’ is not a schedule. a schedule should be a specific period of time at a specific place to do a specific form of exercise on allocated days that you commit to repeating 52 weeks a year. Their is going to be flex and adaption in the schedule when other priorities come up.



Not having a plan for the session

Turning up for session hoping for a good workout is as good as not turning up at all. As part of your preparation you should have committed to at least one major fitness goal. these goals should then have been broken down into smaller medium term goals, and every session you turn up to should have a specific training objective to help you be one step closer to the medium goal or specifically prepare you for the bigger goal.

For a bit more detail on the subject of exercise planning/programming here is a great summary of exercise periodization. this shows the level of detail needed to create a full performance training program. Although not necessary for all general fitness programs, having long term structure/plan to achieve your goals is paramount to success.

Not recording their progress

To measure it, is to know. If you can not measure it, you can not improve it

Lord Kelvin

Having no objectives/targets

A goal with out a plan is just a dream

Dave Ramsey

There are other methods to success other than setting goals. However if your like me (Type A personality) Goals are imperative. A great way of making sure goals are successful is to create them using the SMART methodology.

  • Specific- It must detailed and specific so that it is clear what you want to achieve
  • Measurable- Must be able to track it
  • Agreed/Accountable- this is to add pressure and visibility of the goal
  • Realistic- Ambitious but realistic
  • Timed- You need a deadline for the pressure and to know how you’ve progressed

Blog on how not to suck at goal setting

Not Having Fun

Exercise and fitness should never be  chore, this is simply because even with all the will power in the world if you’re not enjoying it you won’t be compliant or consistent to the plan. If it starts to loose its fun either mix up the session, start training with a new group/team, have a break from that particular activity or go back to the drawing board and find an activity you will enjoy.

More on exercise adherence

What other mistakes in getting fit do you come across?

Bodyweight Only Crossfit WOD’s

Bodyweight Crossfit WODs/Workouts you can do with little to no equipment. Don’t be deceived they may look simple but these can the most brutal.

  • Angie
    • 100 Pull­ups
    • 100 Push­ups
    • 100 Sit­ups
    • 100 Squats
  • Barbara
    • 20 Pull­ups
    • 30 Push­ups
    • 40 Sit­ups
    • 50 Squats
    • (Either 5 rounds for time, or 5 rounds with rest between each round)
  • Chelsea
    • Each min on the minute for 30 minutes
    • 5 Pull­ups
    • 10 Push­ups
    • 15 Squats
  • Cindy
    • As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes
    • 5 Pull­ups
    • 10 Push­ups
    • 15 Squats
  • Mary
    • As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes
    • 5 Handstand push­ups
    • 10 1­legged squats
    • 15 Pull­ups
  • Nicole
    • As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes
    • Run 400m Max rep pullups
    • Note number of pullups each round.
  • Murph Run 
    • 1 mile
    • 100 pullups
    • 200 pushups
    • 300 squats Run 1 mile

My Month with No Caffeine

Today is day 31 of my month with no caffeine, I feel great.

Day 1 however was a completely different story and its taken most of the month to get to where I am.

Why No Caffeine?

I love coffee! Not any coffee, I love whole beans from south america, freshly roasted within the past 7 days, ground directly into my espresso machine served at just the right temperature in just the right cup. (info on making the perfect espresso can be found here) I would like to say I don’t need coffee, I drink it for enjoyment rather than being addicted.

However about 6 weeks ago I was struggling. New (ish) job with lots of pressure, a 6 month old baby who sleeps intermittently throughout the night and no time to unwind just a go,go,go mentality. I found my coffee fix had snuck up from 2 quality coffees per day to 4 or 5 of any caffeinated beverage I could find to keep me awake.

Not only was I using it as a crux to stay awake and alert, I felt like I was more exhausted than I appeared on the outside and I new caffeine was masking my true level of tiredness. If you’ve heard the term, ‘coffee is borrowed energy from tomorrow’ then I was about a month in arrears.

Caffeine Holiday

I tend to like doing experiments on myself (especially with my diet) so it seemed like a good idea at the time to go cold turkey and wake up one Saturday and abstain from my usual double espresso. I was fine in the morning and quite enjoyed the change to a fresh peppermint tea.

Fast forward to 2pm and a metamorphosis occurred. When I approached the time of my normal 3rd coffee I hit a wall. My brain turned to fog, physically I became lethargic and I suddenly had the communication skills and inner drive of a drunk zombie. Acknowledging this was a temporary symptom I forced   myself through the next couple of hours until I hit bed time. Thats when the most excruciating headache hit me and the only way i could stop it was to lay motionless in a dark room with earplugs to avoid any noise. That night consisted of waking up in pain or in cold sweats, much like a severe case of man flu! but instead this was self inflicted. That night i vowed to myself I would never get hooked to the black stuff again (or if i did i would never go cold turkey again)

I’d like to say I woke up the next day fine, however the above symptoms carried on for the next 3 to 4 days and the only let up I had was it gradually decreased in intensity. (info on caffeine addiction here)

The following few days consisted of me feeling a lot fresher and sharper during the day and gradually I thought less about coffee and more about my thirst and drinking water.

I did find my bedtime went from a respectable 10pm to an embarrassing 7.30pm in the first week and I took a few days after that to build up to staying awake until 10pm like normal. But once I was there i was relieved and since then I have been falling a sleep quicker and sleeping more deeply and undisturbed (apart from the obvious baby wake ups).

Benefits I had from no caffeine

  • Continuous sleep (10-5)
  • Sleep deeper
  • Wake up fresher
  • Constant energy all day
  • No craving of coffee
  • Better hydration as I now drink more water/peppermint tea
  • Mood is more stable
  • Thoughts are clearer
  • My actual level of tiredness is not masked so I know when I need to sleep
  • Body feels like it is functioning better
  • Breath is better
  • Stress levels reduced (cortisol reduced)
  • Digestion improved (less bloating)
  • I am happier
  • I feel like theres less toxins in my body
  • Cost saving

I am undecided if I have quit the black stuff for good, but I am definitely going to take a lot of consideration before I get back in the habit and volume I was in before.

If you drink a lot of coffee or energy drinks, maybe give your body a break and try a week or two with the caffeine. (be warned pick your week wisely)

A great article on the effects of coffee by health ambition

More on what caffeine does to the brain can be found here

What have you experienced giving up coffee?

My Morning Routine

I like to see what morning routines people have and particularly like this feature on Tim Ferriss Podcast and Blog. Mine seems pretty rushed but I achieve a lot in a short space of time.

  • Pre 5am- Deepest sleep known to man
  • 5.15 am- Alarm goes off ( I generally lie in for 5mins)
  • 5.20 – Let my dog out for a pee and make a green tea or an espresso coffee
  • 5.30- Normally tidy the kitchen while the dog eats his breakfast
  • 5.45- Drive to the gym wile consuming 1litre water
  • 6.00- Work out or Cross Fit session
  • 7.15- Arrive home for breakfast with my son and wife which consists of
    • a banana,almond butter with oats or
    • a banana, date, nut and oat milk smoothie.
    • I include flax seeds and greens if handy.
    • Sometimes Eggs and Greens
  • 7.30- Walk/Jog 3-5Km with the dog
  • 8.00- Get ready for work as fast as possible
  • 8.30- Drive to work with a podcast for company
  • 9.00- Arrive at work

Find other peoples morning routines at this great website here

What do you do every morning?

How to Find Time to Exercise

You wake up at 5.30 am in the morning when its still dark out side and rush around trying to complete 100 tasks in 2 hours (breakfast,shower,walk the dog, get the kids ready) before you jump in the car/train to battle the daily commute, spend all day in meetings or behind your desk. Then at 5.30 you queue to get home and walk in the door to be greeted by screaming kids/wife/dog who have a list of demands for their Dad which ultimately fill the remaining hours of being awake. When it’s finally quiet in the house you if you have any energy left you realise its bed time! 6/7 hours of shut eye and then repeat, no wonder its called the daily grind.

If your anything like me there is no obvious place for some quiet time let alone time to exercise. I believe some personal time/exercise should be a priority. Not only is it imperative for personal well being, it will also make you more effective in managing the challenges of the day, either through increased energy, endurance and or the ability to manage stress.  Below is my method for allocating time to exercise, what ever the day throws at you.

  • Split the day into units of 24
  • Lets assume you have 8 hours sleep that leaves 16 units to allocate
  • Allocate time for compulsory daily activities like showering,eating,kids meals,commuting, working, social obligations be as efficient and ruthless with the time as possible.
  • Don’t include time wasters such as TV,lounging about

You should then be left with a rough schedule of your days. here I have split into weekends and weekdays.screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-20-45-42

Then make a list of all the possible ways you could exercise and all the locations of these, be imaginative include everything even if its not your preference, and decide if it could be done in any of your free slots.

My example is below


This way when ever you approach a free slot in the day you have a whole list of possible options to work out. No Excuses!