Category Archives: Author

Basketball Coaching: Out Now

Basketball is one of the most spectacular, dynamic and popular team sports on the planet, requiring a high level of fitness and skill. And success in basketball comes from a player’s ability to consistently execute the fundamental skills of the game and also from the coach’s ability to coach and incorporate these skills into their training programmes.

Baske9781472901880tball Coaching by Alexandru Radu is therefore a vital resource for current and aspiring coaches, covering the essential skills needed to successfully coach and develop players.

The book starts from the basics, providing guidance on skills and techniques training, tactical training and physical and psychological preparation for each individual position. It also covers elite level coaching skills, such as performance analysis and talent identification, which can be used at all levels of the game.

Illustrated throughout with diagrams to explain all drills and amazing photographs of basketball in action, it’s  the ideal tool for coaches wanting to develop a better understanding of this dynamic sport and how to coach it effectively.

To get your hands on a copy, click here.

The Other Giant Leap for Mankind

How Jonathan Edwards set a world record that’s still standing 20 years later

Ben Oakley
The Open University

In the late evening Scandinavian sun at the 1995 World Athletics Championship, Jonathan Edwards, a British triple jumper, was the tenth to jump out of of 12 finalists. He took a minute to collect himself, then sped down the runway to jump 18.16m, breaking his own world record by 18 centimetres.

Edwards wandered around in a contented daze, waiting for the distance to be displayed when he heard the crowd roar as they saw the scoreboard before he did. The jump was valid. Then, 25 minutes later Edwards went again; he looked incredibly relaxed before he sprinted for his second celebratory jump, whose rhythm and smoothness produced a further distance of 18.29m. The stadium exploded in a tumult of shared joy of witnessing something very special.

And very special it was – that record has stood for 20 years now. In a world where athletes constantly shave millimetres, seconds and nano-seconds off previous bests, that jump in 1995 is assuming the status of a mythical feat. The closest anyone else has got is 20cm away – Kenny Harrison (USA) at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. More recently, Cuban Pedro Pablo Pichardo’s steady annual improvements have seen him come within 21cm.

How did Edwards do it? He described it as a magic combination of timing and speed, power and touch. And studying his 2001 authorised biography, A Time to Jump, and his subsequent public comments can give us more insight.

Early years

A key ingredient in Edwards’s success was a genetic blueprint that meant he had raw speed on the track (according to his biography, his best 100m time is 10.48 sec). Speed as you approach take-off in triple and long jump is one of the key pre-requisites of success, since it translates into horizontal distance when jumping. But genetic potential is the relatively easy part; the rest is a blend of multiple factors.

Growing up in Ilfracoumbe, a modest town in Devon, South West England, helped. Where you grow up influences the likelihood of sporting success with small towns enabling a more supportive developmental climate. It’s often better to be a big fish in a small pond. West Buckland private school also allowed Edwards to thrive in a diverse range of sports including rugby, basketball, tennis, athletics, cricket and gym.

Participating in a rich mix of different sports in childhood is the optimal preparation for future success in most sports. Learning to move in varied ways is the best foundation, rather than specialising in one sport from an early age which might be called “extreme nurture”. Edwards eventually concentrated on jumping at the age of 21.

At school, his diminutive stature earned the nickname of “Titch” and a birthdate in May magnified his late physical development in comparison with others in his school year. A concerned PE teacher was frightened to select him for inter-school rugby fearing for his safety. Children born in May, June, July and August, the youngest in their school year, are less likely to get selected for squads in adolescence, but are more likely to achieve senior professional status: a reversal of the relative age effect. The additional challenge experienced by these initially disadvantaged younger athletes is thought to build resilience – a key component for success.

18 metre man.
John Giles/PA

Faith and training

To succeed, champions need to learn their craft. After graduating in Physics from Durham University, the 1988 Olympics was his first major event at the start of his elite development. Fortunately his body responded well to training and he mostly stayed injury-free, both of which are starting to be recognised as having genetic components.

An international athlete’s craft involves refining diet, responding to coaching analysis, conditioning in the gym and making wise travel arrangements. While in the arena, optimising the warm-up, saving energy for competition and coping with pressure all need to be incrementally developed through experience.

After six years of full-time training, aged 27, following disappointment at both the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games, Edwards made the World Championships podium (bronze) having leapt 17.44 metres. Jumping a whole metre further seemed impossible at that time.

Athletes need to be fascinated with this process of improving. The paradox is that they need to be able to make sense of this seemingly selfish pursuit; a need to be content with the purpose of their lives. At times Edwards battled with realising his talent and fulfilling his strong Christian obligations which until 1993 meant he would not compete on Sundays. His evangelical faith helped make sense of optimising his jumping talent: it was in service to God. Many years later, in retirement and after losing his faith, he said that looking back “faith gave me more perspective on success or failure, it was my sport psychology in a way”.

A further ingredient of success is rest and recovery. Edwards was forced to recuperate after contracting Epsterin Barr virus in 1994; it meant he was revived as he eased his way back into training. It also gave him time to think deeply about his jumping technique including a new two-arm swing skywards.

The big jump

The final ingredient in the mix is supreme confidence. Edwards’s 1995 season started well. A national record in his first contest, he was on his way. Then in June he achieved the longest leap of all time, 18.43m in Lille. Unfortunately the jump was only a hair’s breath, 0.4m/sec, over the legal wind threshold. But he had re-defined the parameters of the sport.

He first broke the world record properly weeks later in Salamanca with 17.98m. Then came Gothenberg and his place in history. Watching the footage of his second, record-breaking jump, you can see that on the runway he is relishing the moment having just broken the world record again minutes previously. He knows he might do it again and is supremely confident and relaxed.

Later, he admitted that if he could combine the physicality of Gothenberg with the technical perfection of Lille he believed 18.60m was possible. He never achieved such a distance, but five years later he won gold in the 2000 Olympics, aged 34.

Jonathan Edwards’ path from a cherubic vicarage schoolboy to the 20th anniversary of his enduring triple jump world record reveals rich insights about the complex jigsaw of podium success.

Often discussions of elite athletics all too easily fall into a facile nature-nurture debate. Probing athlete’s biographies alongside research can reveal fascinating and varied routes to the top. And there are few higher (or further) athletic achievements than that great leap in 1995.

Ben Oakley is Head of Childhood, Youth and Sport at The Open University.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Strength and Conditioning for Football

The new season kicked off last Saturday, but it’s strength and conditioning (S&C) in pre-season preparation and training that will keep the majority of players injury-free as they return to play. But the work doesn’t stop there. S&C is now an integral part of any professional footballer’s training schedule throughout the season. It helps make them more robust, more efficient and more explosive.

Strength and Conditioning for Football by Mark Jarvis is the ground-breaking text on S&C and its application in the professional game. Mark is Director of Performance Solutions at the English Institute of Sport and is an Elite S&C Coach, and has used his experiences of working with first team squads in the English and Scottish Premier Leagues to write the book.

This comprehensive manual covers all aspects that contribute to successful practice so that training and playing time lost to injury is reduced. Click here to browse inside.

‘An excellent book … from someone who obviously gets it in reference to real life S&C at an elite level in soccer’ – Simon Bitcon, Head of S&C at Manchester City FC

The bible for football S&C.

This book is a unique resource for existing and aspiring football S&C coaches as well as sports science graduates and any footballer serious about their sport. This pioneering text will help shape and define the role of the S&C coach within football to help players at all levels of the game. And to get your hands on it, all you have to do is click here.

Nell McAndrew’s Guide to Running

Welcome to my guide to running. Whether you want to learn how to get started or – like me – you’re always looking for tips on how to get faster, I hope my book helps you achieve your goals.

Running is my passion, it’s more than just a hobby. As a busy mum of two, it’s my stress relief and my favourite way to unwind. I’ve always loved the feeling exercise gives me. It makes me feel alive, energised and more confident. It also means I enjoy my food more and I don’t feel guilty about having treats like chocolate!

London Marathon 2012
London Marathon 2012

Exercise has become a way of life for me and I couldn’t live without it. Growing up in Leeds, Yorkshire, I was always sporty. At school I was on the netball team and tried karate for a while. I loved being active and trying new things but I was never particularly good at, or interested in, running at this time. Like many people, i think not being great at running whilst at school made me reluctant to try it when I was older. So instead throughout my twenties when I was working as a model, I kept fit at the gym and did workouts like those seen on my Peak Energy fitness DVDs. I would run on the treadmill or go for the odd run around the park, but it wasn’t until I signed up for the London Marathon in 2004 that I started to take running more seriously – and I haven’t looked back. It turns out I was much better at it than I thought! I was 30 then and ran my personal best (PB) time of 2 hours 54 minutes when I was 38. I achieved all my other PBs that year too (18 minutes 43 seconds for 5k, 29 minutes and 21 seconds for 5 miles, 36 minutes and 54 seconds for 10k and 1 hour and 21 minutes for the half marathon). So it just goes to show, it’s never too late to start or to improve. I’m now in my forties and I still believe I can run faster. I love the challenge of pushing myself to see what I can do.

Anyone who already has the running bug will know how fun and addictive it can be but it’s not always easy to get started, or to stay motivated. So I hope by sharing my passion for the sport, and what I’ve learnt along the way, can give you some support, encouragement and inspiration.

Running is fun and addictive!

Running is fun and addictive!

Since June 2012, I have enjoyed writing a monthly column for Women’s Running magazine outlining how I combine motherhood and training. I’ve always wanted to write a book and I’m delighted to finally put ‘pen to paper’ after joining forces with journalist Lucy Waterlow, a fellow running devotee. Lucy has interviewed me a number of times over the years and we bonded over our love of running and racing. This illustrates something else I love about the sport – no matter what your background or ability, you can always make friends through running. I love hearing about other people’s running experiences which is why I’ve included stories from Lucy and a number of runners in the book, alongside my own experiences and tips. I have been privileged to meet some of the best athletes, coaches, personal trainers and physiotherapists through keeping fit over the years and I have included some of their expertise here too. 

So what else can you expect from my guide to running? Well, in the first chapter, you’ll find advice on how you can get started and a 5k training plan for beginners. You don’t have to jump in the deep end and run a marathon straight away. There are plenty of 5k and 10k races on offer around the country every weekend so why not target one of those to get you going. The second chapter is all about how to add variety to your training to keep you interested, and how to get fitter and faster. There’s information on the variety of races you can do, and how to prepare for your perfect race and run a PB.

p.9 chap 1

I hope this book will encourage even more people to run regularly.

Dealing with an injury can sometimes be part of running so I’ve included a chapter with advice on how to avoid injury and how to deal with it should something happen. I love my food and aim to eat healthily as I’m aware how important nutrition is to running well. So information on the best foods to complement your training, along with an insight into my daily diet, is provided in the Food For Fuel chapter.  Then there’s a whole section Just For Women, covering topics such as dealing with your time of the month, how to keep running while pregnant (should you want to) and how to ease back into exercise safely after having a baby. Men are of course still welcome to read this section – it might help you understand what we’re going through!

Finally, if it’s the marathon you’re targeting, then chapter six is for you. There’s information on taking on the challenge of 26.2 miles, with race day tips and how I managed to achieve my aim of running a sub-three hour time. There’s also a number of inspirational stories from a variety of runners who explain what tackling the long distance meant for them. At the end of the book, you’ll find a pace chart and various training schedules for beginners to more experienced runners.
The running community is growing rapidly and I hope this book will encourage even more people to become part of it by running regularly. No matter what your age, background, gender or ability, running can be enjoyed by all.

Nell McAndrew

Top Tips for Keeping your Fitness New Years Resolutions in Check

Keep your New Years Resolutions in check with some top tips from Gavin Morey, author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for women.


Food basics
Leave the bread and pasta off of your shopping list. You would have heard this before but they are not that good for you and make your body retain water have which will in turn, make you feel and look bloated! Try leaving these out of your diet for one week and see how much weight / cm’s you have lost and how great you feel.



Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping
The key time to avoid shopping is when you’re hungry. Hungry shoppers put more in their trolleys especially naughty foods and sugary foods. Better to shop after a meal. This works to your advantage as you pick up slightly less and you will keep to your plan. Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Sleep is as important as eating and drinking, which is why we spend one third of our lives doing so. It is absolutely vital for maintaining normal levels of cognitive skills like speech and memory.

Eating out
Enjoy the odd meal out as it can help with weight loss. Reward yourself for reaching a goal and enjoy the company, this will reduce the feeling of deprivation. By trusting yourself to choose the right meal and turning down the bread basket reinforces your sense of self control.

When it comes to drinking alcohol the best advice is to drink ones that are most natural with low sugar, no artificial ingredients. Choose spirits over beer, red wine over white or rose wine, ale over beer.


Drink water
Water makes up two thirds of the weight of a human body of which your muscle consists of approximately 75% water. Water is as you know the most important nutrient for the body but how much is enough? It’s recommended between 1.5 to 3 litres a day depending on your size, shape and the amount of exercise you do daily.



Bad day, bad week? Don’t panic!
If you are having a bad day or even an entire week try not to panic! Limit the days as much as possible and DONT GIVE UP! If you can turn it around to eating the right foods you can actually lose more weight than actually put on in the first place.

Training – Keeping things fresh
Like with our food, we need to keep things interesting with our training. Whether you buy a new app, buy new clothing or change your fitness sessions all will encourage you to keep exercising and having fun.


New to fitness
When you begin to work out for the first time or incorporating a new exercise routine it’s expected that your body will feel discomfort. This discomfort could be aching, stiffness or muscle soreness (also known as DOMS) that occurs as your body is being put under a new demand. So as you progressively increase the demand overtime your body will adapt and build it’s self up to become stronger physically (muscles) and physiologically (heart and lungs).

The importance of stretching
Stretching is just as important as exercise as it will lengthen your muscle, reduce the feeling of DOMS, promote circulation, increase performance and strength and aid in body awareness.

97814081963669781408196397Gavin Morey is the author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Women.

Bloomsbury Institute Event – Anita Bean talks sports nutrition

Ever wondered what Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray or Bradley Wiggins eat?

What does Wiggo eat ... aside from medals?

What does Wiggo eat … aside from medals?!

Anita Bean, bestselling author of Food for Fitness, reveals the dietary secrets of successful sportspeople and explains how you can use the same strategies to take your training to the next level. Anita exposes the truth behind popular sports supplements and debunks popular nutritional myths.

Whether you’re a competitive athlete or you just enjoy working out for fitness, find out the best way to feed your body and hear Anita’s top tips on sports nutrition. This is your chance to come and enjoy a healthy making_smoothiesmoothie (or a sneaky glass of wine) with Anita Bean and ask our bestselling sports nutrition expert your questions.

So get your tickets fast!


Anita Bean NEW

Nutrition guru – Anita Bean

Anita Bean BSc R Nutr is the author of Food For Fitness and The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition. She is a registered nutritionist (Sports & Exercise) whose practical style has made her one of the UK’s most respected nutrition writers. Over the years, she has worked with numerous athletes, from club to Olympic level, contributed to numerous health and fitness publications and, as a former British bodybuilding champion, is a strong advocate of an active lifestyle.


Ticket details
Date: Thursday 16th October
Time: Drinks at 6pm and talk from 6.30pm until 7.45pm
Place: Bloomsbury Publishing, 50 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP
Cost: £10 / £6 for students, including wine (or smoothies)
Tickets are available to buy online at or on the door.

Blimey, they're all at it! But what d they eat the rest of the time??

Blimey, they’re all at it! But what do they eat the rest of the time??

Q&A with Gavin Morey author of the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programmes

Gavin Morey is the author of two new fitness books – the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Women and the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme for Men. He is a highly experienced fitness consultant and muscle therapist to celebrities and major health and well-being companies.

We put a couple of questions to him…

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have to admit it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties when I had the notion of becoming an author. It was floating around my head for a number of years until I plucked up the courage and decided to put pen to paper and draft out the concept of the books.
My original idea was to write a book that was twelve weeks long because this is the perfect amount of time to see your body change, adapt and develop into what you want. But I didn’t want to just write the book as that has already been done, especially by professionals who may have forgotten what it is like as a novice. That was when I thought I would practise what I preach and put on the weight to show my clients and others exactly what it takes to transform your body.

2. What made you decide to create the Twelve Week Fitness and Nutrition Programme?

I chose to write the twelve week fitness and nutrition programme for two reasons. Firstly from the comments my clients would pass to me regards ‘it’s easy for you to look that way’ or ‘it’s hard for me as I have to train and eat around work and I just don’t have time’. After listening to that for a while I decided I would show them exactly what it takes to change your body. I wanted them and others to see it wasn’t easy, time isn’t a limiting factor for weight loss and it isn’t all down to genes.

Secondly I found it really hard looking through health and fitness books / magazines showing amazing results “IN JUST TWO WEEKS” with the most extreme before and after photos. These books / magazines promise you the earth which the training is mainly plyometric style training (not a great long term plan for your body due to a higher risk of injury) and by following a bodybuilding diet (again not realistic plan as even bodybuilder don’t maintain this type of diet for long).

Due to those two reasons I really wanted to clearly show the progress like no other, hiding behind no gimmicks, trick photography / airbrushing or fake results. I chose to document all of my training sessions to the point of the weight I lifted to the recipes and meals I ate everyday. I choose to take WEEKLY photos and health tests along with monthly postural analysis and fitness test so the reader can see the weekly progress I went through and what they should expect for themselves.

I put on lots of weight (a little over two stone of fat), stopped all kinds of training for 5 to 6 months and got extremely spotty and body conscious. To my detriment my glucose levels at one stage were very close to having onset type two diabetes! I was now ready to start the twelve week programme for men and start the book.

However for Alison, she never wanted me to write a book with her in it but liked the idea of a ladies version. I managed to talk Ali into doing the twelve week plan on the condition it would not be book unless she was really happy with the end results! We documented all tests, photos and diary inserts in the off chance at by the end of the twelve weeks Ali would be happy (I knew Ali would be!). Luckily for every lady out there (and myself) Alison was so happy and the ladies book was born.

3. What would you say are the four main benefits of the programme?

The four main benefits are the basis of the books!
1 – Real Results:
Alison and I have actually done the programmes ourselves first to show the great results that are achievable. We wanted the reader to be engrossed into our lives and encouraged by what we have done and what they can do. We included all aspects of the way we lived (personal diaries/stress & energy levels/sleeping patterns), trained (times we worked out, length of sessions, weights/reps/sets we actually done) and ate (the snacks we used, meals & recipes we followed, shopping lists we stuck by), along with all of our health results and measurements and weekly photos. By seeing how and what we have accomplished sets a precedence for the reader to be encouraged, motivated and empowered to get up and have a go for themselves.

2 – Weight loss but more importantly health benefits:
We wanted the weight loss to be controlled, sustainable and achievable. Exercise is important but the diet in my eyes plays an even more important roll (up to 70% of the way we look and feel). It was the nutrition and recipes that took us the most amount of the time to get right. The recipes we chose had to contain a large variety of ingredients, be very healthy and above all tremendously tasty. We set about creating the recipes to help the body from the inside out, by lowering / balancing glucose and cholesterol levels but with the upside of weight lose.

3 – Transforming your body within twelve weeks but changing your lifestyle forever:
Your body can make a dramatic transformation in such short period of time but it takes the full twelve weeks to make an impact on our habits and routines. The nutrition is the hardest part to change, as you have more than likely fallen into your own routine and lifestyle. To break this you will need hard work, be dedicated and to see results to push you through to the goal you set yourself. When you get to the end and you have achieved what you wanted, you will forever have set yourself new routine and lifestyle. It has been 4 years since we finished the twelve week programme and yes we are both still as fit and healthy as ever, even after Alison has had our little baby boy Morgen. We unconsciously make the right choices of the foods we eat, and we still try to stick to three fish meals, two white meat, one red meat and a vegetarian meal a week for our dinners.

4 – Easy to follow fitness sessions and recipes
The ease and functionality of the book is by far a head and shoulders above the rest. All of the training and recipes have been broken down into step by step guides that will take you through each individual fitness session and recipe day by day, week by week for the full twelve weeks. The nutrition programme has been developed for a family of four and allows you to see the weeks overview first, before it leads you onto the weekly detailed shopping list that you can take out to the supermarket to help you save time, energy and stress.

The programme includes all breakfast, lunch and dinner meals for the entire twelve weeks which has over 100 recipes. The recipes themselves are very easy to follow with simple step by step directions on the ingredients needed, how to prepare and cook each meal, even to the point of reminding the reader how to prepare for the next days meal. The training has been designed for the men to gain muscle, tone up, get fit whilst losing weight whilst the women’s is about toning up, getting fit and losing weight with the added bonus of shredding some cellulite. You will be able to follow the personal sessions of the authors next to your own which has blank sections to jot down your own results. If you then wanted you can compare yours next to the authors to see how well you are getting on!

4. How did you come up with the recipes for the book?

The biggest inspiration for me, like most, is my mother. She encouraged my brothers and I from an early age to start cooking and above all enjoy all the tastes and texture food can bring. We were brought up on homely food but as the years went by and we were older and able to help in the kitchen my mums culinary skills changed some what and she started to follow various diets. My mum would take a very boring and mundane recipe and change it to a delicious meal exploding in taste. This was the foot stones to where I started and I have taken the recipes she has used throughout the years and made the recipes slightly.

5. Do you have any favourite exercises from the 80 in the book?

To be honest if you asked me I have a couple of favourite exercises in the gym. The first would be pull ups as they are so good at hitting all aspects of your back and can define your shape. The second is the Morey Squeeze (upper) as I find this is one of the best exercises to isolate and hit the upper pectoral like no other exercise out there. Finally I like squats as it they one of the hardest exercises but it’s a foundational exercise that can improve your posture, develop your muscle mass when lifting heavy and increase muscular endurance to help with cardio vascular exercises. Alison would say the exercises she liked the most were dumbbell shoulder press as it really helped tone her shoulder and triceps, reverse shrugs as this exercise helped realign her posture and bring back her shoulders and boxing as it was a great way to vent frustration, get fit and have fun doing it!!

6. Are the weekly shopping lists for the recipes affordable?

The weekly shopping lists back in 2012 we’re worked out at a costing of £45 per head for all the meals and snacks for the entire week, this did however include ingredients that would last longer than a week or two such as extra virgin olive oil and soy sauce. 

7. Can the workouts be carried out at home?

The training sessions I carried out we’re actually at home within my own gym in the garage, so yes all the training can be carried out at home. If you wanted to get the same results or better you would need to use roughly the same type of equipment as we used or better.

8. Is there any basic equipment that readers need to follow the programme?

It’s quite hard to say would you get the same results as Ali and I without the correct equipment and the answer would be you probably would have completely different results. The basic equipment was pretty basic for Ali and I to get the results we wanted. For example if you decided to do all body weights instead of using actual free weights then you would certainly get lean and toned but you would not gain the same amount of muscular size and mass. If you were unable to run like Alison and I, you would need to find an alternative that pushes you just as hard (again this would depend on your fitness levels as a fast walk will be hard for one person but easy for another). So yes it is important to get the right equipment for the best results but no it’s not the end of the world as any form of exercise you do with the correct diet will help you lose weight and above all get fitter and healthier.

Read a few sample pages from Gavin’s new books…

12 Week Fitness for Men 12 Week Fitness for Women

How to Eat for Maximum Performance

Guest post by Anita Bean

Whether you are a competitive athlete looking for those ‘marginal gains’ or you simply enjoy working out for fitness, a great nutrition plan will help maximise your performance. It can help you train harder and longer, and speed your recovery between sessions. Here are a few tips to keep you well fuelled:

1. Fuel upStirfry

Of all the foods you could have before a workout, prioritize ones rich in carbohydrates, especially if you will be training for longer than one hour. Include some protein (chicken, fish, cheese, egg, beans) as well as a small amount of fat (olive oil, cheese, avocado) in the meal. Both help lower the overall glycaemic index (a measur
e of how rapidly the blood sugar levels rise) of the meal, provide sustained energy and improve performance. A meat and veg stew with potatoes; a pasta, tuna (or bean) and veg bake; or a chicken & veg stir-fry with rice would be ideal.

2. Eat 2 – 3 hours before exercising

The optimal time for your pre-exercise meal is 2 – 4 hours before training. If you work-out at 7pm, plan to eatbananas between 3 and 5pm. No time to eat a meal? A granola bar; a slice of toast with peanut butter; a handful of nuts and dried fruit; or a banana 30 minutes before you train should give you enough of an energy boost.

3. Begin well-hydrated

It’s important to begin each workout properly hydrated if you want to put in a good performance. Aim to drink 5-7 ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight about 4 hours before exercise – equivalent to 350 – 490 ml for a 70kg person.

4. Avoid dehydration

waterIf you’re exercising for less than an hour, there’s no need to consume anything other than water during your workout. For most conditions 400 – 800 ml per hour will prevent dehydration as well as over-hydration. Listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty.

5. Fuel on the go

If you’re working-out for longer than an hour, consuming carbohydrate either in the form of a drink or as food provides your muscles with a ready supply of blood glucose for immediate energy. This spares glycogen stores and helps you to train longer. Aim for 30–60 g of carbohydrate per hour – equivalent to 400 – 800 ml cordial (diluted 1 to 6), or an isotonic sports drink; 2 bananas or 50g dried fruit. If you’re exercising hard for longer than 2 – 3 hours, a dual energy source drink (glucose and fructose) may help increase your stamina.

6. Replace fluids

Weigh yourself before and after your session to get an idea of your fluid losses. The International Olympic Committee recommend drinking 600 – 750 ml of fluid for each 0.5 kg weight lost.

7. Refuel

fruit and yoghurtIf you plan to exercise again within 24 hours, begin refuelling within two hours of your workout. Your recovery snack should contain carbohydrate to replenish depleted fuel (glycogen) stores, as well as 20 – 25g protein to repair and rebuild the muscles. Milk (all types), flavoured milk and low fat milk shakes are ideal, or make your own recovery shake from milk, fruit and yoghurt. If you don’t plan to exercise the next day, simply ensure you get enough protein and carbs over the next 24 hours.


Food for Fitness 4th Ed


Food for Fitness 4th ed by Anita Bean

The new edition of this book is the ultimate resource for anyone who is serious about sport or fitness. It has been updated to include the very latest nutrition research for exercise and performance. Food For Fitness dispels popular myths and gives you the tools you need to reach your maximum performance, as well as 65 easy, delicious recipes, and sport-specific menu plans.



David Moyes Is The Right Man, But Only If…

David_Moyes_MUFC_2013When the news broke that Sir Alex Ferguson was stepping down as manager of Manchester United and the name of his successor was revealed the following day, I was one of those who claimed that David Moyes was the logical and right choice. I expressed this belief on Danish television only minutes after Moyes had been officially “chosen”, but as it happens, I did in fact already indicate in the book Standing on the Shoulders of Giants that Moyes was the best bet, at least in terms of British candidates for the most impossible job in the world. But (and there is a “but” which has become only more visible in hindsight) I forgot to mention that Moyes being “the right choice” came with a precondition. The name of that precondition was René Meulensteen.

When it became clear in the course of July that Moyes had indeed made a clean cut and released Ferguson’s entire staff, I thus immediately felt the dark clouds assembling above Old Trafford. Ferguson is from Scotland, and so is Moyes. No problem in that. On the contrary, if one knows the history of Manchester United one also knows that the two most successful managers – Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby – are both Scots, and, apart from that, they both occupied the Old Trafford hot seat through more than twenty-five years. These facts, the Scottish connection and continuity, are some of the reasons why Moyes was the right and logical choice. In short, Manchester United have a deep love for both Scots and continuity, and this is why they not only chose Moyes, but also chose to give him a six-year contract. So far so good.

But in the wake of the fabulous Treble-winning season of 1999, a season where the Red Devils had shown what one could rightly label an uncompromising, but at times also naive all-out-attack mentality, Ferguson realised that the United engine was in urgent need of a continental component who could provide the team with tactical finesse and new training methods, since United were being punished in Europe for a similar tactic in the following season. In other words, Ferguson went looking for a new assistant manager to replace Steve McLaren, who after the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in 1999 went his own way. Ferguson found the cosmopolitan Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, and later he hired the Dutchman Meulensteen. With their schooling in the Portuguese and Dutch football philosophy respectively, Queiroz and Meulensteen brought elements of technical flair, tactical flexibility and strategic intelligence into the United team. Neither must we forget that Queiroz, apart from his technical, tactical and strategic inputs, also kept his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo happy, just as Meulensteen kept his fellow countryman Robin van Persie happy in the latter’s first season at Old Trafford. The importance in relation to man management of having a staff with a multinational composition is not to be underestimated in this era of globalized squads.

When Moyes led Meulensteen go, what did he then do? In contrast to the master, who had realised the need for a continental ingredient in Manchester United’s English and Celtic core, the apprentice brought with him Britishness, Britishness and Britishness. Worst case scenario for a United fan is indeed that Moyes quite simply brought Everton from Goodison Park to Old Trafford. The signs of this have been clear in several matches. But perhaps they were most unambiguous, and symbolically so, in the match against the very Everton team Moyes only abandoned a few months ago. With Roberto Martinez at the helm Everton not only dominated in large periods of the game against Manchester United at Old Trafford, they also secured their victory in what came close to being Fergie Time – that specific period of the match when United historically have excelled in pushing their opponents further and further up the Stretford End and scoring late winners.

Maybe I am too harsh on Moyes. Maybe I underestimate his own tactical intelligence. But I do fear another post-Busby era. Is that too pessimistic? Is it an untimely premonition (untimely because as a United fan one is committed to give Moyes a chance and committed to thinking long term)? Perhaps too pessimistic and untimely, yes, but Meulensteen’s exit was a bad decision. If it was a catastrophically bad decision, only time will tell.

And I guess we could leave it here, hanging in the air in good postmodern fashion. But there is a merciless point that we cannot neglect, namely that seven years are longer today than they were in 1986. And that is not all. It is also much more fatal for a club today to fall out of top 4 than it was then, not just because of financial reasons, but especially because it influences a club’s ability to attract players from the top-top shelf negatively. The consequence is a vicious circle which is almost impossible to break. Just look at Liverpool.

Buy nowSøren Frank is the author of a brand new book about Manchester United entitled Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants. The book was recently reviewed by World Soccer Talk.

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