When a fire starts to burn (workout)

After walking around Queenstown all day Ludo and I decided to do a workout. He’s studying sports science and I’m into health so we’ve had plenty to talk about movement, the body and different kinds of training.

We started playing When a Fire Starts to Burn by Disclosure as pump up music.

Then we got into it. 

All these require are your body and about 20-minutes. 

1. 30 burpees no rest

Burpees get the whole body moving. To the ground, push up, up to your feet, jump reaching hands in the air and then back down to the ground. Do 30 straight as quick as you can with minimal rest. Your fire will be starting to burn after these.

2. 100 Push ups, 50 dips

We did 20 push ups on the ground then 10 tricep dips on the picnic table then 30-seconds rest. And repeated it 5-times to get the totals. 

This will have your upper body ignited. Mix the sets of push ups by doing one set slow and the next fast. 

By set 3 I got to 11 push ups before I had to stop. Rest when you need but keep the rest time between sets short. We’re trying to keep the fire alive here.

3. 10 hill sprints

Find a steep hill. Then run 40 metres up it and walk back down to where you started. As soon as you hit where you started, sprint back to the 40 metre mark. 

If you don’t have a hill, stairs or flat ground works as well as long as you’re sprinting. 

By number 7 your fire will be burning.

Movements don’t have to be completed. Get your heart rate up. Keep it there for a while.

After the workout, we went for a 20-minute walk for warm down.

Dinner was chicken, spice, potatoes, onions, mushrooms and broccoli all mixed together in a pan. 

Bonus points if you listen to the song to get started. The film clip is worth a watch.  

Staying Fit While Travelling | Whole Body Hostel Workout

The healthiest cultures in the world don't have gym memberships.

Instead, they embrace movement.

They get up and down often. Some eat their meals on the ground and therefore are constantly getting up and down. And others tend the gardens where they grow their own food.

They walk around. Transport is available but then so are their feet. And they use them often.

Instead of slowing down their movement patterns as they get older, they keep them going.

You'll often find them in groups hosting a yoga session or Tai Chi practice.

All forms of life move. If you don't move you die.

I wasn't close to dying but I knew I'd feel better if I got moving.

I'd just come off the back of a few days worth of travel with a lack of proper sleep or nutrition. And my system was feeling sluggish.

I didn't have access to a gym but that wasn't a problem. I had a body and I had gravity (I still have those).

Workouts don't need to be long and taxing all the time. There are times to lay it all on the line but for the most part, getting a sweat on and your heart rate up for a few minutes is enough.

The title of this article says how to stay fit whilst travelling but you can do this one anytime. Find some floor space and you’re set.

You could complete this in under 25-minutes if you wanted. I did it in closer to 30 with some filming in between.

Part 1 — Upper and Lower Body

  1. 20 pushups

  2. 20 squats

  3. 45-seconds rest

  4. Repeat 5 times

Don't take any rest in between the pushups and squats. For a level up, you could shorten the rest time to 30-seconds.

Part 2 — Upper and Lower Body

  1. 20 lunges (10 each leg)

  2. 20 knees to hands -- stick your hands out 90-degrees from your elbows and raise one leg at a time to meet your hand with your knee

  3. 10 tricep dips -- I used the edge of a car for these

  4. 45-seconds rest

  5. Repeat 5 times

Do the lunges, knees to hands and tricep dips back to back with no rest in between. This helps to keep the heart rate high.

Part 3 — Core

  1. 30-seconds hollow hold (back to the floor)

  2. 30-seconds reverse hollow hold (stomach to the floor)

  3. 10 side plank twists (5 each side)

  4. 20-seconds rest

  5. Repeat for a total of 6-minutes

No rest in between each of the different movements. 20-seconds rest after completing a round of each. Continue until 6-minutes is over.

The sweat started dripping after the 3rd or 4th set of Part 1 for me. It'll be hard until it happens.

Once your body starts to sweat, it'll start to help you move. That's what you're aiming for. 15-20-minutes of sweat and hard work for a whole day of feeling good.

PS Don't forget to stay hydrated when travelling (and like, all the rest of the time). Jet lag is made worse by a lack of hydration. Combat it fast by flooding your body with water and endorphins. This workout offers half the deal.

One of the most misunderstood things about gaining muscle

Gaining muscle is easy.

Here’s how.

You go to the gym. You pick up weights. Weights which are fairly difficult to pick up in your current state. You repeat the picking up and putting down for 30–45 minutes. Then you leave. When you get home you eat a good meal and get some good rest. Then repeat.


Doing this process consistently will result in substantial gains. Especially in the beginning.

But. Muscle grows much faster than connective tissue grows.

‘Yeah, so what, I’ve got sick gains bruh?’

You’re right. You do. But how can you move?

Can you do a bodyweight squat (ass to grass) without falling over? Keep those heels on the ground.

How far can you raise your shoulders above your head? Now rotate them. When does it start to pinch?

These are two basic movement patterns which can be used to test how good your mobility is.

I used these two movements as examples because they use the two major joint systems in the body — the shoulder and the hip.

Our joints are built to last 120-years.

However, why do some the people who seem to go to the gym most often, have sore shoulders and tight hips?

It’s because the way most current muscle building protocols you find involve repeated 90-degree, up and down in a straight line, movements.

You may have gained some good muscle from performing movements such as the bench press, the shoulder press, the squat, the deadlift. And they’re all great, however they don’t account for one thing.

Our two major joint systems are ball joints.And surrounding these ball joints is plenty of connective tissue which isn’t as quick to board the gain train as your muscles.

‘Alright, I tried to squat to the ground but I fell over, how can I fix it?’

You can fix it by remembering everything in the body is connected. And just because you’ve built some good muscle, doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of other parts of your body.

Poor squat form can come from tight calves.

Poor shoulder mobility can come from tight biceps and lats.

A sore knee can be from your tendon taking the weight because your quads don’t activate well enough when squatting heavier weights.

If your trainer has given you a muscle building protocol or you’re following one you’ve found online and it doens’t incorporate some kind of mobility work, add it in yourself.

Ronnie Coleman built some of the most impressive muscles the world has ever seen, but now he’s paying for it. Was it worth it? To him, of course it was. I bet he would do it all over again.

Coleman at his peak and in hospital preparing for surgery. 

Coleman at his peak and in hospital preparing for surgery. 

Build an epic chest. Get those guns pumping for summer. But don’t forget to bend before you break.Practice some movements outside of the 90-degree plane of motion and get those ball joints and connective tissues doing what they were meant to do.

A few of my favourites:

  • Yoga — great for all different kinds of movement patterns, also shows you where you’re weak.
  • Animal movements — lizard crawl, gorilla crawl, bear crawl, all of these involve using parts together which aren’t usually used together.
  • Deep squat hold — lookup ‘Asian farmer’ on Google, this is your goal, hold this position for a few minutes every session. Hold onto a pole if you can’t.
  • Hanging — grab a bar and just hang there for a period of time. This will help build those muscles which stabilise the shoulder.
  • Rotations — you can do this whilst hanging but it’s a little more advanced, ease into it. Start by hanging on a bar, then move your head backwards whilst bringing your feet to come through your arms, your knees should come close to your head. Then bring your feet as close as possible back to the floor.

More mobility means less injuries means better training means better muscles.

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-mis...

3 Core Exercises For Whole Body Stability

My best friend Donal asked me to write him a core workout. I've taken far too long to do it.

We both have the goal of being able to hold a handstand. And to be more stable overall.

When I first started working out I totally ignored core exercises. I just lifted as heavy as I could. After a string of injuries, I've spent the past 18-months getting back to basics.

The core is involved in everything we do. It's worth investing time into having a strong core. Plus, a benefit of a strong core, is with a low enough body fat percentage, you'll have some epic abs.

So this series of exercises is for me as much as it is for my friend and anyone else who wants to strengthen their core.

Exercise 1 - Plank

You can plank anywhere. And you probably have before but there's a variation I've found from gymnasticbodies.com which will rock your world.

The first thing you'll notice is the rounded back and extended arms. This is a god mode plank.

Instead of sagging your chest and shoulders, you want to round them like a mountain. Imagine you've got a pole propping the middle of your chest up.

The same goes for the glutes and hips. Instead of letting the lower back arch, you'll want to tuck your hips in by bringing them towards your hands. Do this whilst sucking your belly button into your spine. The video below demonstrates it beautifully.

This position is known as a posterior pelvic tilt (PPT).

How long should you hold this for?

If you can't hold it at all (it's harder than you think), start with 3 sets of as long as possible. If you're a little more advanced, start with 3-sets of 30-seconds.


Rounds: 3

Time: As long as possible

Rest: 1-minute between rounds

If you're holding for longer than 30-seconds, increase the number of rounds and lower the rest time.


Rounds: 3+

Time: 30-seconds+

Rest: >1-minute between rounds

Exercise 2 - Hollow Body Hold

Much of the strength required to perform a handstand comes from the ability to hold. The hollow body hold helps with just that.

Start by laying flat on the floor. There will be a gap between your lower back and the floor, this is natural. Pull your belly button in towards your spine and flatten your back against the floor. You should feel your core activated.

Now extend your arms straight out above your head and point your toes. Slowly elevate your pointed arms and toes off the ground whilst keeping your back flat against the floor. Once your limbs reach 30-degrees, hold them there.


Rounds: 3

Time: As long as possible

Rest: 1-minute between rounds


Rounds: 3+

Time: 30-seconds+

Rest: >1-minute between rounds

Increase the hold time by 15-seconds per week. Once you're surpassing multiple sets of 1-minute holds, you can add a small dumbbell to your hands or ankle weights to your feet for extra gains.

Bonus - Arch Body Hold

You could think of this as the reverse hollow hold.

Perform the same steps as above except this time you're on your stomach. The hollow hold helps with the muscles on the front of your body, this position will balance out the muscles you can't see (glutes, hamstrings, lower back).


Rounds: 3

Time: As long as possible

Rest: 1-minute between rounds


Rounds: 3+

Time: 30-seconds+

Rest: >1-minute between rounds

Exercise 3 - Twisting Side Plank

The core is a complex weave of muscles all working together to keep us upright and protect the spine. It's easy to forget about those that aren't always so visible and that's what this last exercise aims to take care of.

Start by laying in a side plank position. Put the hand of your top arm on your head with your elbow facing to the sky. Now carefully bring the top elbow down to 90-degrees, stop when you're parallel to the floor. Your whole upper and middle body should rotate. Spread your feet a little for stability if you need but keep your bottom arm still as you would in a normal side plank.


Rounds: 3

Reps: 5 per arm

Rest: No rest between switching arms and 45-seconds rest between rounds.


Rounds: 3+

Reps: 10+

Rest: >1-minute between rounds

If you can do more than 10 reps per arm, slow the temp down. Hold at the bottom for a 3 count and return to the top position. Then take away the rest time in between rounds. So you would end up switching arms for 10 reps until you've done 3 rounds per side with no rest.


Avoid training your abs until complete failure. Rather train them with intensity, every day. For example, 5-minutes of concentrated training per day rather than one broken 30-minute session per week.

Think of farmer strength when it comes to core. Farmers don't perform heavy deadlifts or squats, yet they're strong as hell. Why? Because they're constantly walking around with heavy things, wrestling animals and performing other strenuous activities with their bodies.

5-minutes per day ends the week with an accumulated 35-minutes of total training. It's the small gains over time which make all the difference. Plus, not being able to move the next day after a workout from hell will hinder your next one. I'm all for training intense but not when it takes away from your next session.

Doing these for a couple of months should result in some quality strength gains in your core. Now go practice some inverted holds against a wall and you'll be handstanding like a pro in no time.