Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: AGEING AND EXERCISE .... CONFUSED ? ..... YOU WILL...

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: AGEING AND EXERCISE .... CONFUSED ? ..... YOU WILL...:  In the Seventies there was a famous spoof TV programme called 'Soap'. The catchphrase was always said after the plot update at the...


 In the Seventies there was a famous spoof TV programme called 'Soap'. The catchphrase was always said after the plot update at the start of the programme with - 'Confused? ...you will be.'  Let me explain. As you know I've been a little quiet on the blogging front since I decided to step back from personal training commitments or as my son calls it 'deloading'. I have been trying to concentrate a bit more on my own training these last few months, trying different techniques as well as reading and researching the latest ideas.
  Strangely enough, despite all my research, I find myself going back to basics and consequently have discovered some interesting facts..... well they are to me. I was convinced that I had done much less, in terms of training than last year when I ran the Grand Canyon for the second time, so convinced that I was beating myself up about how lazy I had been! I do not go in for Fitbits and all the running apps and calorie fat burn counters etc.... they are not very accurate when it comes to calories and heart rates so I prefer to manually record everything I do, from reps to types of strength workout, to running miles, elevations, sprint sessions, HIIT sessions, tempo running, weight, food logs, fat %, sleep patterns etc. etc.
    It may sound OCD but it takes seconds to do and if you do it daily then its no big deal. Anyway I decided to add up everything over the past few years to compare and was surprised to find out that I had completed 10% more strength workouts, 8% more sprint sessions and incredibly 12% more running miles than I had done at this time last year before I ran the Grand Canyon! But, my weight is up by 1 kilo and fat % is up by1% and my speed is slower. Go figure. To be honest I don't feel like I'm at peak fitness but maybe I'm not that far off. So what is going on? The answer is simple, I am afraid its all to do with age and its something we must all be aware of. Exercise and healthy nutrition will actually decrease the aging process for the whole body, heart, lungs, muscles, bones, organs, your brain, blood, literally everything except one thing ... and that is your VO2 max. Most people when they age get fat and become unfit purely because they don't do anything. People say I can't exercise because I'm overweight or old....NO.... you are old and fat because you don't exercise! And by the way your VO2max will start dropping automatically after age 25 so whoever you are, take note.
Anyway, back to me....
Your VO2 max (The maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise) is critical in enabling you to run faster but it is one of the few things that will decrease rapidly with age no matter what you do.... or so we used to think.
 Most research used to suggest that inactive people lose about 10% of aerobic capacity per decade. It also suggested that individuals who train regularly will lose about 5% of VO2max per decade. However, such people generally reduce the quantity and quality of their training, which means that a proportion of this 5% loss is due to the inability to perfectly maintain top-level training programmes. Dr Michael Pollock pointed out that one of the most difficult problems faced by veteran athletes is simply the near impossibility of sustaining very high-quality training over many years, especially when the body is beginning to show signs of 'wear and tear'. It is not that veterans like me can no longer plan and carry out very rugged training sessions it's just that the physiological recovery processes may slow with age, thus increasing the risk of injury and therefore lowering fitness-maximising workouts.  So how do we stay lean, fit, healthy and quick, as we age?
1. Maintain training. To preserve VO2max, it is important for you to maintain the quantity and quality of your training as you get older. If possible you need to increase the average intensity of your training sessions as studies have shown that this may maintain VO2max completely and even improve performances. So its back to the track and interval training such as 60 secs on/60 secs off or the killer Sprint 8 protocol!
2. More muscle less fat. To preserve VO2max, maintain or increase your muscularity and avoid getting fat. Weight gain is a hugely limiting factor in VO2 max performance. This is why strength training is so important as it is the best way to optimise your muscularity when combined with a sensible diet. It is this combination that will keep you lean.
3. Vary your training. To hold on to VO2max,you have to alternate your usual workouts with other kinds of sessions. For example, endurance runners might consider non-impact proprioceptive training to improve balance and running economy such as cycling.
4. Work on lactate threshold. To maintain high-level performance you have to work on other factors besides VO2max. For example, lactate threshold has been found to be much more responsive to training in older athletes than VO2max, probably because it is more dependent on muscle function than on the cardiovascular system per se. So yep you guessed it... you need to do more of those dreaded Tempo runs.... I can see some of my ex-clients squirming in their seats! If not tempo then try more fartlek sessions. Its one thing to maintain speed but to do that over distance you have to work on your lactate threshold as well.
The bottom line? You can't keep the ageing process at bay forever, but if you train smart and stay away from injury, you should be able to hold your VO2max decline to less than 0.5% per year as you get older.
Unfortunately you always have to do more just to stay in the same place.... and that's the takeaway from my stats. Although I've done more training its not enough... and that 1% fat gain has already had an effect on my speed so it's time to step up again by cutting fat and doing more intervals and tempo training.... sounds like fun :)
 Click on link to see video



Sunday, May 8, 2016

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: A LEAP IN THE DARK

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: A LEAP IN THE DARK: A few weeks ago I decided to pull back from some of my commitments in personal training. This was in order to re-evaluate the structure of ...


A few weeks ago I decided to pull back from some of my commitments in personal training. This was in order to re-evaluate the structure of my involvement in the health and fitness arena.
It is not easy to find the right time to do anything important in life as one tends to procrastinate and worry over the big decisions however I did not feel that way, I just felt compelled to do it and mindful that I had to change things. I tend to be a full on committed person and I believe if you are going to do something then you do it 100%. I was fortunate to be extremely busy with loyal and dedicated clients, many of whom became good friends but when you commit to everyone you end up doing too much and I realised that it was time to re-assess my priorities. Who knows I may return to one on one training as its what I love and is part of who I am but for now I have chosen to step back. I think we all need to do this from time to time.

I hope over the coming weeks and months some new exciting ideas will materialise because now I have created space for them to do so. It is a bit of a leap in the dark as I do not know what the future holds. Fear keeps us rooted to the safe choices in life and until you are prepared to let go then dreams cannot be fulfilled. I now intend to continue along a slightly different path. Coaching is only one aspect of what I do and though important and rewarding there are other ways to help people achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle which ultimately is the goal at the end of the day. My blogs are read in over 50 countries and by over 100,000 people so there are many other avenues to explore.  Enriching the mind and nourishing the soul are all parts of the health spectrum. Many people find themselves at a crossroads in life or they might feel something isn't working in quite the way it should. I have found that to seek a relaxed place and still your mind is the best way to acquire a solution.
         I believe passionately in healing ourselves as we are all an experiment of one. It is important to learn how our own bodies tick. I have experienced training clients from 18 year old super fit athletes to Mums in their 40's who are overweight, to male and female middle aged marathon runners, to 74 year olds who have difficulty getting in and out of a car! What I have learnt is that we are all different but in many ways all the same. Some basic principles can always be applied, such as healthy clean nutrition, regular physical exercise, no smoking, reduced alcohol consumption, correct diet supplementation, good quality sleep. In fact in many ways just following these principles alone will increase the health and vitality of everyone. Sadly most people, even the athletes, do not stick to these basic criteria and so their health and/or performance suffers.
      When we drill down into the specifics of an individual then we can start to make the necessary adjustments that apply to them alone and this is when we discover how that individual ticks and for them to learn to understand how to heal themselves from within.
Eastern medicines and philosophy's have long centred on this approach and though this does not mean that western medical practices don't have their place it just means that you have to start thinking a little more deeply about it.
For anyone living in France you will know that if you go into the local pharmacy or doctors and say you have a cold then you will end up walking out with 3 large bags of medicine! It astonishes me that intelligent, normally well adjusted people can't see the ridiculousness of this situation.
I hear it all the time... my illness is special.... I need special treatment, I have this unusual injury, I've inherited fat genes, etc etc..... Lets put this right, yes you are special but your illness isn't. It is just a result of your body operating within and reacting to, the environment it lives in. Are there special cases? Yes of course there are, sometimes life can throw up terribly unfortunate and sad anomalies but that doesn't mean you can't help your body in better ways than you do now. The soul and the body always knows how to heal itself, the challenge is to silence the mind and the constant chatter both internally and externally that seeks to disrupt it.
         I will return to this theme in later blogs but for the moment it is important to remember that we must all look to making positive, healthy and effective changes in our lives in order to grow. This could mean a change in diet, where we live, exercise, our jobs, our relationships, even our fixed views of the world. We must always ask positive questions of ourselves in order to have a life of fulfilment.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: RAPID FAT LOSS

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: RAPID FAT LOSS: A contentious subject as most people want to know how to do it and most health professionals will advise against it. Why? Well we know wh...


A contentious subject as most people want to know how to do it and most health professionals will advise against it. Why?

Well we know why people want to do it; because its quick and they want to cut fat, obviously... and the reason why the professionals advise against it is because, a) it's not healthy. b) it's unsustainable. c) it can be dangerous unless supervised properly. d) it takes a lot of discipline ....... and e) people have the tendency to go back to their old eating habits afterwards and therefore put all the fat back on again and besides a well balanced nutrition plan with an effective exercise program will achieve the same results albeit over a longer period. So one could argue what's the point?

 To most people there is no point but there are exceptions and so for those who want to do it, for whatever reason, is it possible? Well of course it is.

To any health professionals reading this please don't inundate me with comments like, 'you shouldn't advise this'.... 'its dangerous'... etc. I know, okay I get it..... and for the record here is my disclaimer and warning;-     

           Please seek medical advice from your doctor before contemplating anything suggested or recommended in this post.

Hopefully that's clear..... so if you don't wish to know anymore then turn away now.

How rapid can fat loss be achieved, the minimum time I have witnessed is about 10-12 days but usually its longer and with more cheat or re-feed breaks.
Why would anyone want to do it? Well there can be many reasons such as you are too fat or obese and you have to do something to give you a kick start. Normally though its done because you have a special event like a wedding or holiday or TV appearance ... or even a movie! Maybe you are a fitness model competitor or you have a sports event you have to prepare for, athletes may have a whole myriad of reasons.

There are literally hundreds of articles, books and studies on how it works but I have decided to simplify it without the technical jargon. What follows is a super quick breakdown of what to do, now don't try this at home kids because without the right supervision you could have issues and I am afraid its very easy to cheat and sort of half do it. If you do that you could be ill or quite simply fail.
   A point about exercise during this diet. I would recommend no high intensity exercise, such as sprinting and no endurance training either. Exercise will make very little difference to your metabolism during the diet and in the main won't help but for those wanting to retain muscle then weight sessions are allowed. This diet burns mostly fat but there can be some muscle loss, so lifting weights will help to prevent this.
By following a very low carbohydrate diet, or ketogenic diet, you can train your body to burn fat. Endurance athletes also train their bodies to burn fat but in a slightly different way and they also train over many months to become fat adapted.
Please note this isn't a fast or a cleanse though some similar changes do take place in the body. This is a way to shred fat fast, plain and simple. This will only mess with your hormones if you don't do it properly and do not take the right supplements.....and I'm not trying to sell you any supplements either....

Okay so in a nutshell here are the main points of how to achieve rapid fat loss :-

1 Protein intake based on your body fat %, lean body mass and exercise level.
2 Unlimited vegetables (apart from certain starchy veg such as carrots, potatoes etc)
3 Fish oil.
4 Multivitamins and mineral supplements such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.
5 Cheat meals and diet breaks depending on your body fat % and the length of the diet.
6 Length of diet to be set by activity level and body fat %.

And that's it.... and it works. You have probably noticed that I have not given the full details of how this works such as amount of protein, carbohydrate, fish oils, minerals and vitamins. I have done this deliberately because this blog is meant to enlighten you to what is possible and is not a full and detailed explanation of how to do it. I don't want anyone doing it unless they have a trainer or health professional monitoring their progress .... or are prepared to do the necessary background research themselves.

The essential nutrients will come from the fish oils, vegetables, protein and supplements, this will keep your body in a 'healthy state' whilst you strip fat. Some people get a bit cranky too but not everyone.
A final note when coming out of the diet, it is important to monitor your increased carbs, exercise level etc; otherwise you'll blow all the hard work.

Now this diet ain't trendy with some fancy name like 'Warrior diet' or 'South Beach diet' ... or even 'The Artic Eskimo freeze fat walrus diet' !!

It isn't sexy, its not interesting or exciting, it just works. If you wish to know more then contact me at info@philjeremypersonaltraining.com or otherwise find someone else to help you who knows what they are talking about.
All I would say is that you can shed fat fast doing this. Obviously the more fat you have, the faster you can lose it; the leaner you are, the slower you must lose it in order to preserve lean tissue. I have some clients who have lost up to 7 kilos in two weeks, so its pretty effective but please take professional advice before considering this as you don't want to start messing with your endocrine system ... and above all stay fit and healthy because that should always be your main goal.


Sunday, January 3, 2016

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: A NEW YEAR OF BIG FAT DECISIONS

Phil Jeremy Personal Training: A NEW YEAR OF BIG FAT DECISIONS: It's a New Year and the new Diet/detox/gym/fasting/ fitness/high fat/low fat/carb recycling/paleo/vegan/soup/protein/vitamin BFZX suppl...


It's a New Year and the new Diet/detox/gym/fasting/ fitness/high fat/low fat/carb recycling/paleo/vegan/soup/protein/vitamin BFZX supplement/bean salad/dry January/celebrity exercise rage begins....there's even a Bear Grylls cookbook! ....Whatever, you takes your pick it's all good fun and probably some would work if you did one and stuck to it .... but you won't, you know it and I know it.
Let us assume its February 14th and 6 weeks have gone by, will you still be eating that lettuce soup combo thingy that Gwyneth suggested? Probably not. People will tell you how great you look but you know you don't and besides you weigh the same and probably feel worse. Some will have succeeded a bit and a tiny fraction will keep going and an even smaller fraction will actually have made the shift in lifestyle and will benefit for the rest of their lives but will you be one of them?
Slowly the alcohol creeps back in and the odd pastry or slice of pizza or cookie, etc etc... Disappointment reigns and you are back where you started or worse... oh well maybe next year.
What a waste of time, money and energy.
        So what do the ones who succeed do (because they will nearly all do the same thing), but what is it? What makes the difference between the tiny percentage who change and the masses who don't?
A prospective client told me over Christmas that she was going to come and see me to lose weight and get fit. I know she wants to and certainly needs to but I told not to bother because she'll be wasting her time and money. This of course caused some consternation until I explained why. I told her very nicely that she wasn't serious even though she said she was.
Now we all know that most trainers /gyms etc will sign up anyone in January and just take their money but I won't because its a con ... and the client signs up for this con because they are putting their faith in someone or something else and it never works.
  So who do I take on, well that's simple, I take on the ones who I know will succeed. As Yoda said 'Do or don't do there is no try'. How do I know who will succeed? .. easy....
                                            It's the ones who have decided to.
And that my friends is it. Its not about goals, affirmations, mantras, doing it for someone else, feeling ill, ashamed, fat, tired, ugly or even low self esteem, its about mental commitment. Your life changes when you decide to change it, decisions have great power and I can tell almost immediately if someone has made a decision or not. Once they have made it then my job is easy because all I have to do is give them the right tools and plan to make it happen.
              Any sensible fit and healthy person will tell you that it's a lifestyle choice that you have to make if you want to make real and tangible changes. In other words you have to eat clean balanced meals most of the time, drink a lot less alcohol and exercise in an effective way to burn fat and increase muscle mass. Any decent trainer or nutritionist who already lives this way will train their clients this way, it's not rocket science but it does involve commitment and only those who have decided to live a healthy lifestyle will succeed..... otherwise next January you will be starting the new 8.6 Himalayan detox yak soup diet and off we go again.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Phil Jeremy Personal Training: GRAND CANYON 2 - RIM TO RIVER TO RIM:  Ooh Aah point in daylight. I awoke at 4:30 am feeling a little nervous but prepared. They say the second time you jump out of a...


Ooh Aah point in daylight.
I awoke at 4:30 am feeling a little nervous but prepared. They say the second time you jump out of an aeroplane is harder than the first because the first time you don't know what to expect but the second time you do. This is how I felt. Sue dropped me at the South Kaibab trail head and in the darkness I made my way to the trail.
It was pitch black save for my small head torch. It was not as cold as last year as I stood there alone collecting my thoughts. I knew from my research that this trail was more severe and difficult than the North rim but a shorter distance. I thought of a phrase that US ultra athletes use in extreme circumstances ... they talk about 'getting it done'. It was time for me 'to get this done'.
My view
   And of I went into the Abyss. The first kilometre was steep but fairly smooth but after I reached Ooh Aah point (called so because you stand and look out over the canyon and go ooh aah .... they should have called it Shiiit! cos that's what I thought).
The trail now became very uneven, rutted and steep, I had to really concentrate in the darkness, the one good thing was that I could not see the 6000 feet drop off right next to me but I could feel it.
I noticed a few hikers who had started earlier than me, it was weird but magical seeing their head torches moving down the trail in the darkness below. It was all 'Howdy' and 'Have a great day' as I passed them by. My concentration hardly wavered as it was so easy to fall. The trail had huge hollows in the ground which made it simple to twist or break something ... which would not be very clever stuck way out here.

The route down
After about 30 minutes dawn broke and I felt a little more comfortable as I could now see where I was going. The colours were beautiful and I would like to have stopped awhile and taken it all in but I had a long way to go so I kept moving.
Suddenly out of nowhere a guy appeared from behind a tree and scared me half to death. 'Gooday mate how's it going?'  An Aussie of course and a hell of a nice guy who was hiking the same route I was running. He took my picture and after a brief exchange we said our farewells but within 10 seconds I tripped and fell to the ground hard. 'Jesus mate are you okay?' ... I checked, I had a few cuts and bruises but otherwise I was just a bit shaken. 'You better stop talking and concentrate mate'... sound advice I thought.

I now tried to pick up the pace as I had been far too slow in the darkness. After an hour the steep descent started to affect my quads but due to all the strength and conditioning I do it wasn't a problem. The river now loomed into view below me; it is just stunning. There is a point (see picture) called 'Tip off' and you can see why.

Tip off
I eventually made it to the bridge feeling good but annoyed that it had taken me 20 minutes longer than I had anticipated. This was due to the darkness but luckily it would prove to be a double edged sword as later I would benefit.
I now traced the river all the way along to the base of the climb out and made good pace for the first time all day. I now felt calm and relaxed and let myself enjoy the experience. I felt grateful that I had completed the descent as I had been worried about it for some time. It was as hard as I had expected but perhaps a little longer.
I now felt very determined to make up for lost time on the 5,000 feet ascent up the Bright Angel trail. I picked up the pace and climbed the Devils corkscrew really well. Half way up I came across 6 female hikers just as I was taking out my super cool Black Diamond trekking poles. I snapped one shut and one of the girls shouted to me -  'Oh my god what an awesome pole you've got'. I didn't know where to look ...so I smiled and decided not to give a response (though I had many).
Just as last year many people shouted encouragement and asked where I'd started from and what time. When I told them, the comments ranged from 'Totally awesome' ...to ' looking good'... to 'you got this'.
The creek to Indian Gardens
I had decided before I began that no matter how tired I felt I would run the small creek up to Indian Gardens really well. Its one of my favourite spots, beautiful and calm and for awhile you can't see the canyon and it just feels like you are running along a small stream somewhere. Its magical, I can see why the Indians used to live here.
When I reached Indian Gardens I refilled my water pack for the first time that day. I had eaten and drunk very little but felt fine. The sun was up but I was still in shade due to the height of the Canyon and this was the benefit of starting in the dark. It was harder at first but easier later as I was not running in hot sun. I now began the final ascent up Bright Angel Trail and although I was tired I felt really strong and capable. The fact that I had done this before helped enormously because I could pace myself much better and I was not fazed by the climb. I now passed many hikers who were struggling with their heavy packs and not for the first time today I was grateful for my fitness and strength which enabled me to move swiftly.
Coconino Sandstone wall
The final great wall of Coconino sandstone slowly came into view and I knew that once over that I was home and dry. Its a daunting piece of rock as you climb up but you just press on and keep moving. Half way up an Irish woman stopped me and said - 'Are you Phil and  have you got a wife waiting for you at the top?' ...'Yes' I said a little surprised. 'Well she told me you'd be the only one running up and to get your arse into gear as she's waiting'.
Getting it done
We both laughed and off I went .. except I was now under pressure!
The time passed quickly, whereas as last time it had dragged and thanks partly to the shade and partly due to my fitness I climbed from the river to the top in just over 3 hours which was 30 minutes faster than last year.
 And so after 5 hours and 15 minutes I finally made it to the top. Sue asked, 'How do you feel?' My response (as I am 61 this year) was that 'I might be getting a little old for this kind of thing' ... however after about 10 minutes I was already thinking of my next adventure.