Last week I was feeling a little burned out on training, so I headed off for a recharging surf weekend with a couple of mates.
I'm not a great surfer, although it's not for lack of trying – I paddle around like a madman, try to get on every wave I can and stay out until I can barely move my limbs. Unfortunately, I rarely catch anything and when I do I normally don't get up fast enough so I end up riding white water rather than the face of the wave.But I really noticed a difference last weekend. All the weighted dips and explosive press-ups Dave Fletcher has had me doing meant I could pop up faster on my board when I caught a wave so I got more face time than I would during a normal session – I'd say almost twice as much.
It's bizarre to see such tangible benefits of training. I've never had it happen before I started working out with Dave. It must mean he's good, but also means that I was doing pretty much everything wrong when training myself. That's ten years of junk training, damn it.
This week we filmed the above legs workout. The squats and static lunge jumps are killer – I saw stars during one set and almost couldn't finish them – but I did enjoy the front squats. They feel really pure when you get the form right, as if all your ligaments, tendons and muscles are working together in harmony to make you stronger and more powerful. I also like the weighted chin-ups we did in this workout - it's like you're performing the move with two massive steel testicles between your legs. In my book, that's a good way to feel when you need to be strong.
We measured my body fat and weight at the end if the end of the session and I'm now at 8.5% and weigh 84kg. If I can keep the eating on track – I let myself down by recklessly glugging a bottle of wine red and eating two pieces of shortbread earlier this week – I should be able to get to where I need to be.
Here, again, is all the eating and training plans you'll need to do what I'm attempting. Staying away from sugar-encrusted treats is a given but, as I said, I messed it up so it's worth repeating (several times, in fact):
LEAVE THE SHORTBREAD ALONE. AND THE ECCLES CAKES.
Weeks five to eight – Intensity training
Do 3 reps of the first move and 6 reps of the second
Three minutes between sets
DAY 1 - LEGS AND SHOULDERS
Barbell stiff leg deadlift, bodyweight hamstring curl
Barbell shoulder press, dumbbell explosive turn and press
Barbell good morning, gym ball hamstring curl
Dumbbell seated shoulder press, dumbbell seated lateral raise
DAY 2 - INTERVALS
10x10sec hill sprint (10sec rest between sets)
5x30sec run (60sec rest between sets)
3x60sec run (90sec rest between sets)
DAY 3 - CHEST AND ABS
Barbell bench press, bodyweight explosive press-up
Hanging straight leg raise, thick band drag
Weighted dip, dumbbell incline chest press
Bodyweight abs rollout, dumbbell sit-up press
DAY 4 - REST
DAY 5 - KICKBOXING
2x3min round (90sec rest between sets)
3x2 minute round (60sec rest between sets)
4x1 minute round (30sec rest between sets)
5x30sec round (15sec rest between sets)
6x15sec round (10sec rest between sets)
*If you can't do this for whatever reason, do the below treadmill or rowing intervals
Treadmill - adjust the incline to 5˚
3min run, 1min walk
2min run, 1min walk
1min run, 1min walk
Rest for 3 minutes and then repeat
10x50m sprint, aiming to complete each in under 10sec, with a 20sec rest between sprints.
DAY 6 - LEGS AND BACK
Barbell Back squat, dumbbell static lunge jump
Weighted close-grip chin-up, dumbbell single-arm row
Barbell front squat, plate-loaded leg press
Barbell row, overhand chin-up (jumping)
DAY 7 - REST
You can find Sharmain Davis's nutrition advice at the bottom of the first blog. Here's Dave Fletcher's:
1. 175-200g of meat/fish per main meal. Stick to chicken, turkey, salmon and any fish with white flesh.
2. Snack on coconut chunks, unsalted nuts, dark fruits and oat cakes with almond butter.
3. On training days, consume 50g of whey protein (ideally with glutamine and no carbs) five minutes after a workout.
4. On training days, consume up to 50g of carbohydrates with your post-workout meal. Stick to sweet potato, brown rice, rye bread and quinoa.
5. Eat steamed green veg and lemon juice with each meal.
For more on Sharmain Davis, go to maxitone.com/asktheexperts
For more on Dave Fletcher, go to theodysseyway.co.uk
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Nick Hutchings worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Nick worked as digital editor from 2008 to 2011, head of content until 2014, and finally editor-in-chief until 2015.