Category Archives: Fitness

Meet Michael Hutchinson and Discover the Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists

Discover the Obsession, Science and Luck Behind the World’s Fastest Cyclists

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Michael Hutchinson is obsessed with speed. He will be here at the Bloomsbury Institute on 6th May to tell us about his new book, Faster, and explain why cyclists do what they do, what the riders, their coaches and the boffins get up to behind the scenes, and why the idea of going faster is such an appealing, universal instinct for all of us.

Fantastic. An intelligent and personal insight in to the world of elite cycling’ Sir Dave Brailsford

Book your tickets today!

Listen to Julia Buckley talk to KFKA’s Devon Lentz about her new book The Fat Burn Revolution

Click on the book cover below to listen to Julia Buckley talk to KFKA’s Devon Lentz about her new book The Fat Burn Revolution.

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New In: Exercise Anatomy Books

Been to the gym for a workout or for a session with a personal trainer and wondered what muscles you’ve actually worked out? Heard the name and then wondered where exactly those muscles are? Want to know how to improve your workouts to target those muscles?

Well, your prayers have been answered. The ‘Anatomy of …‘ series is a great range of books providing anatomical illustrations of various exercises tailored to give you the best workout depending on your needs. Each book contains:

  • annotations identifying the active and stabilising muscles
  • concise how-to instructions for each exercise
  • identification of the specific muscles that benefit the most from each exercise
  • a glossary of anatomical terms.

Bloomsbury Sport are pleased to announce the publication of three new titles in the series:

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Others titles in the series:
Anatomy of Exercise
Anatomy of Cycling
Anatomy of Running
Anatomy of Core Stability
Anatomy of Stretching
Encyclopedia of Exercise Anatomy (coming soon)

Competition: The Fat Burn Revolution Giveaway

Competition

To celebrate the launch of The Fat Burn Revolution Bloomsbury Sport and Health and Fitness Magazine are giving away the ultimate fitness prize.

Win a signed copy of the book along with fitness clothing from Moving Comfort www.movingcomfort.com and fitness equipment from York Fitness www.yorkfitness.com.

9781408191569

Everything you need to start this fantastic twelve week programme! Enter here: http://bit.ly/1dZcIE9

 39340  3933839339 39337

Your prize:
Bloomsbuy Sport: Signed copy of The Fat Burn Revolution
Moving Comfort – Rebound Racer Sports Bra (£24.50), Urban Gym Capri (£40) and Metro Tee (£30).
York Fitness: Gym Ball (£22), 20Kg cast Set (£55) and Deluxe Mat (£26.99)

Competition ends 31st January 2014.

The Fat Burn Revolution

Meet author Julia Buckley as she talks about her new book The Fat Burn Revolution

The Fat Burn Revolution publishes on the 2nd January 2014.

Man vs. Beast: a Spartan’s tale of obstacle racing

Saturday morning was very cold and very wet – the perfect morning to stay indoors and whack the heating up, right? Wrong. I was at Pippingford Park in East Sussex battling the elements and ready to support the hordes of runners taking on the Spartan Beast – an epic 25km obstacle race.

As the climactic event on the Spartan Race calendar, this was going to be tough and it seemed as though Mother Nature herself was intent on making it even tougher for the runners. With a muddy and rain-soaked course greeting runners in the very first elite heat at 10 a.m., the non-stop rain made the trails boggy and the mud pits … boggier!

Having completed one of the shorter events, the 5km Spartan Sprint back in September, I couldn’t wait to see what the organisers had in store for the 15+ miles of challenging terrain. Oh, and did I mention that, if you fail ANY of the 25+ obstacles, there is a 30 burpee punishment?!

This race was hardest yet, but don’t just take my word for it, we have a first-hand account from a Spartan survivor, Darrell Skipper, who crossed the finish line after a gruelling four and a half hours.

Here’s what Darrell had to say about the race:

The Spartan Beast was by far the toughest physical and mental challenge of my life. I’d signed up for the 2013 Spartan Race Season Pass this year and had already completed four of the shorter Spartan Sprints (between 5–8km) and one Spartan Super (12km) over the summer, but this was on a different level.

The Spartan Skippers in red setting off at the start line. (Left to right) Darrell, David and Nathan

The Spartan Skippers in red setting off at the start line (left to right) Darrell, David and Nathan

I ran in the 10 a.m. ‘elite’ heat (I didn’t feel too elite by the end!) and we set off just in time for the first of many torrential downpours of the day. It wasn’t long into the race before we realised that this was going to be a lot different to those nice warm race days of the summer … It was raining pretty much the whole time and this resulted in people getting stuck in the mud and the freezing bogs being at chest height at times.

Despite the cold and the rain, spirits were still high

Despite the cold and the rain, spirits were still high in the water crossing

The obstacles ranged from fire jumps, 8ft wall climbs, rope climbs and barbed wire crawls to carrying heavy sandbags up and down steep and slippery slopes. Some very ambitious person also decided to put a 25ft rope climb at the end of the race, which apparently only about 10 per cent of finishers managed; the other 90 per cent accepting the 30 burpee punishment instead, which, for me, seemed to take a lifetime to finish!

 

The fire jump

The fire jump was a great source of warmth for the spectators!

The obstacles were actually a sweet relief, a brief respite from the horrors of the trails and the hills, oh god the hills! A lot of people struggled with the naturally formed mudslides, but luckily I had learned from previous races that the quickest way down is on your backside. As soon as the other runners see you doing this they all follow your lead – it was definitely the quickest way downhill.

The mudslides

Tackling those mudslides

I completed the race with my brother and father, who have been my Spartan training buddies for a few years now. We first signed up as motivation to lose weight and we ended up losing over 250lbs between us! After that, it just became an addiction. We love the whole ethos of the Spartan Race, the spirit and camaraderie between fellow Spartans is amazing. Lots of helping hands and lots of crazy, delirious laughter from the sheer insanity of it all.

I’d highly recommend obstacle racing for people who are looking to get in shape or to kick-start their fitness regime. Nothing motivates you better than cold, dead-eyed fear! Despite the aches, pains and countless hours of training, I’m definitely doing the whole season again next year – who’s with me?

If you are interested in joining the Spartans next year, or would like to find out more information about their races, you can subscribe here. Who knows, maybe I will see you at the start line next year…

Happy training!
Sarah

A huge thank you to Darrell for his guest post and to Epic Action Imagery for allowing us to use their brilliant photos.

Sports Nutrition Advice from Bestselling Author Anita Bean

Guest Post by Anita Bean, Author of The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition.

Recovery Nutrition

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Proper nutritional recovery is vital to performance. Failure to replenish fluids and fuel after training can quickly result in sore muscles, fatigue and under-performance at your next training session. Here’s how to promote full recovery after a hard session:

Priority 1: Replace fluids

Your muscles cannot fully recover until your cells are properly hydrated. So make drinking your priority – start drinking while stretching, before you’ve showered. The exact amount you need to drink depends on how dehydrated you are after your workout. The ‘pee test’ will give you an idea how dehydrated you are, otherwise weigh yourself before and after training.  For each 0.5 kg (1 lb approx) of body weight lost, drink 600 – 750 ml of fluid (e.g. water, diluted juice or squash, milk – but not all in one go.

Drink little and often – I suggest 100 – 150 ml every 10 or 15 minutes over the next hour or so until your urine is very pale yellow.

Priority 2: Refuel  

You need to replace the fuel (carbs) that you’ve used otherwise you will feel sore, achey and tired during your next session.

Take advantage of the 30-minute window: This is when your muscles restock energy levels faster than normal.  The sooner you supply your muscles with carbs and protein after training, the quicker they will repair and rebuild. So have your recovery drink/ snack ready in your kit bag or in the car to eat on your journey home.

Eat carbs with protein: To help the body repair and rebuild, you need carbs with protein in a ratio of 3: 1. Ideally you should consume approx 20g protein. You can achieve this either in the form of drink (milk) or food (see below). You don’t need commercial recovery drinks

Opt for a milk drink: Milk, flavoured milk and milk shakes are near-perfect recovery drinks. Research shows that all types of milk after training speed up fuel recovery, encourage muscle gain and even reduce muscle soreness after training. They also help rehydrate the body more effectively than sports drinks, according to recent studies. Opt for whole, semi or skimmed milk; ready-to-drink milk shakes or make your own yoghurt smoothie from fruit, yoghurt and milk OR milk shake powder and milk.

Here are some ideas for post-workout snacks supplying 20g protein:

  • 500ml of milk or milkshake plus a banana
  • 250ml milk or milkshake plus 2 pots of fruit yoghurt
  • 500ml milk or milkshake plus an oat-based bar or flapjack
  • 200ml milk or milkshake plus 1 pot yoghurt plus 1 slice of toast and honey
  • Homemade milk shake: Blend 1 cup milk, 1 banana, 1 pot yogurt, 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1 scoop chocolate milkshake powder and 6 to 8 ice cubes
  • Fruit yoghurt smoothie: whizz together 2 pots of yoghurt, 1 banana or a handful or berries and 150ml fruit juice in a blender
  • 50g nuts (e.g. almonds or cashews) plus 2 pots of yoghurt

Anita Bean is also the author of the following titles:

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Unboxing Boxing

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This is a guest post written by Sarah Johansson

British boxing has become less exciting for fight fans in recent years, with the retirement of both Ricky Hatton and Joe Calzaghe and the decline of Amir Khan. However, the Olympics brought with it an upsurge of interest for the sport, and 2012 marked the first inclusion of women’s boxing in the games. Does this mean that boxing is on the up?

I’ll admit I’ve never been a fan: it’s always been too violent for me. Maybe I’m a big old wuss, but I like sports where people are nice to each other. Not only have I not liked it, I’ve dismissed it with a passion, usually citing words like ‘barbaric’, ‘primitive’ or just ‘stupid’. So imagine my horror when I was forced to sit through a Prizefighter tournament recently. I say forced, but when you’re sharing a small flat with an obsessed boxing fan, it’s pretty difficult not to absorb the sweaty aggression emitted from the screen.

Yet I was fascinated, which leads me to preconception no. 1 about boxing: it’s all about the aggression. Sure, professional boxing is scored based on the most effective punches, style, aggression and knockdowns. Amateur boxing, however, is judged by landing the most clean punches on the target area (a glorified game of tag, if you will). This, ironically, didn’t mean much to me until I had a go at Fight Night on Xbox.

Several hours and two blood blisters later, I came to the realisation that: (a) boxing requires some serious skill and technique, and (b) I was definitely capable of letting out a whole lot of aggression myself. So I’ve started to view amateur boxing in a different light: rather than focusing on the violence, I’ve come to admire the amount of dedication and discipline required, which reaches a level that few other sports could hope to equal. Lack of funding usually means having to work normal day jobs too, trying to fit in exercise and fights whenever there is time.

That was the case for Nicola Adams who worked as a builder and Corrie extra before taking home the first female Olympic gold medal in the flyweight class last year. Before 2009, funding wasn’t readily available for female boxers, and now, after the five-medal success in London, funding and opportunities are growing exponentially and universities are endorsing the sport to a much greater extent.

This is set to provide a whole new environment for a sport that is becoming more and more popular. Some of Britain’s ‘flagship’ athletes are now amateur boxers, which lights a torch for a bright future in Britain’s professional boxing game. This transition is already in motion now with Olympian Anthony Ogogo recently turning pro.

While I admit my previous dismissal of the sport probably involved very loaded words for someone who professes they couldn’t care less for it, I guess that’s what boxing does to people; it stirs and fascinates, repulses and excites. And even though I’m struggling with some conflicting emotions about boxing, you can’t deny the obvious fitness benefits. A boxer at their peak easily ranks among the fittest athletes in the world.

Boxing exercise is guaranteed to take you to the next level in your exercise regime, regardless of whether you train or compete in a different discipline. And if you want to get fit, focused and fighting, put on the gloves and try a boxing-fitness class. They provide non-contact cardiovascular workouts with boxing-style exercise, which perfectly suits those of us who want to get toned and gain physical and mental strength – but who might want to keep the violence at a safe distance.

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boxing fitness

Spring Highlights

Just a quick sneak preview of some of our Spring highlights…

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… Inspired? You should be! We’ll keep you posted on all our upcoming titles throughout the year. Happy 2013!

 from Team Sport at Bloomsbury

The 50 Most Inspirational Endurance Challenges from Across the Globe

Around the world, endurance athletes are pushing themselves further and harder than ever before. While some of these athletes choose to race in the heart of the world’s biggest cities, many journey to parts of the globe where human beings are the exception rather than the norm, places like Antarctica, Death Valley or the middle of a storm-swept Southern Ocean.

For a certain breed of competitor, there is an unbreakable drive to see exactly how much the body and mind can endure. Why do they do it? Well, that is down to the individual. But more and more people are attempting to tackle challenges that can be considered extraordinary – and at times downright dangerous.

This brand new book, publishing today, profiles 50 of the world’s toughest ultra-marathons, triathlons, bike rides and many other challenges that push human beings to their limits.

The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges is a celebration of these extraordinary events and the athletes who take part in them. With detailed profiles of the races, first-hand accounts from competitors and stunning photography, it is the definitive guide to the hottest, coldest, highest, longest and most remote endurance events on earth.

Browse a few pages from Richard Hoad and Paul Moore’s new book The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges.

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