Guinness World Record Attempt on 7th June 2014 – Most Amount of Burpees in 12 Hours

Number two on My Exercise Bucket List was to set a Guinness World Record – so here goes.

What am I going to do?  Set a Guinness World Record for the most amount of Burpees in 12 hours.  5000 is the record that I have to beat, but I am aiming for a few more than that!

For those of you wondering what a burpee is, please have a look at this video that was put together by my boss in support of the World Record attempt.  It’s quite funny and shows most of the crew doing a burpee, along with some cool soundbites.

Alternatively, you could look at one of my previous posts about Burpees.

When?  On 7th June 2014, starting at 08:30 and finishing 12 hours later at 20:30  (pretty crazy huh?).

Where?  

On the Airey Neave Recreation Ground in Watchfield, Oxfordshire.  (Postcode SN6 8TZ will take you to the area).  To add to the excitement, the Watchfield Village Fete will be happening at this location too, starting at midday.

Why?  Why not?  It’s on my Bucket List and could raise a bit of money for a charity close to my heart and the local community.  If you are interested in giving a donation, please visit my Just Giving page.

Updates.

My daughter will be responsible for keeping you up to date on my progress throughout the day via Twitter.  You can follow my progress and send me encouragement by following me on Twitter (there is a link at the bottom left of this page).

Want to support me?  

There are a number of options:

1.  Give a donation to charity by visiting my Just Giving page.  I am raising money for a great charity called Young Epilepsy, which creates better futures for young people, supports their families and promotes awareness.  To make it even easier, if you live in the UK, you can also donate by text by sending:  EXER80 £(the amount you wish to donate) to 70070

2.  Follow me on Twitter (link bottom left of this page) and tweet your support throughout the day.

3.  Turn up in Watchfield, anytime between 08:30 and 20:30 and give your support.  Postcode is SN6 8TZ.  There is a village fete going on between 12:00 and 17:00, so that may be a reason to visit too.

A SMART Goal

SMART goals
SMART goals

So on Monday I set myself a SMART goal. It goes like this: Between Monday and Saturday this week (6 days) do 8000 repetitions of my favourite exercise – the burpee.

Broken down, it looks like this:

SPECIFIC – 8000 repetitions of burpees, starting on Monday and finishing by Saturday (6 day period).  I don’t think that I can be more specific.

MEASURABLE – Yes, I can count.

ACHIEVABLE – I certainly hope so, given that my Guinness World Record attempt is less than 6 weeks away.

RELEVANT – Yes, given that I am training for a Guinness World Record, to set the most amount of burpees in 12 hours.

TIME BOUND – To be done between Monday and Saturday (6 days).

Well, I am pleased to report that I achieved my SMART Goal by doing 1344 burpees every day for the 6 day period, giving a total of 8064 burpees this week.

Was it easy?  Easier than I expected.

So what did I learn?

The need to be flexible in planning.  I planned to do my exercise post work every day.  However, Saturday evening plans developed and it became apparent that I wouldn’t be able to do the Saturday session as planned.  The solution, get up at 04.30hrs and do my exercise before work.  Now that is dedication to a SMART GOAL!

My 3 Pillars of Health

I like to keep things simple.  And I reckon that there are 3 pillars to health.  Take note of these 3 things, practice them as much as possible and you will be on the road to a healthy and happy life.

PILLAR NUMBER ONE:  NUTRITION

Nutrition - the first pillar of health
Nutrition – the first pillar of health

OK, if you have read the About Me section on this site, you will have seen that I am known as the Calorie Cowboy.  I really am not that bad, but I do try and eat a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet most of the time.  I try to eat well 80% of the time.  I  firmly believe that if you eat garbage, you are probably going to perform like garbage, that is unless your name is Usain Bolt, and I am sure that he doesn’t eat fast food (no pun intended) all the time.  It’s all about moderation and common sense.  I have some friends who eat healthier than me, but spend their lives preparing food, and go crazy if they can’t get hold of their uber healthy food, for whatever reason.  I can eat a hamburger, I’m not going to love it, but neither am I going to go into meltdown.  Laird Hamilton, the super cool extreme sportsman and big wave surfer and definitely fitandforty (plus a few years) makes a good analogy on his stance on feeding (and fueling) the body.  He likes being more like a truck than a high performance car, because if a little diesel or water gets in, it’ll cough or sputter a bit, but it will keep going to get through it and keeping running.

PILLAR NUMBER TWO:  EXERCISE

Exercise - just do something

 

Exercise is crucial.  Just get up and do some exercise.  I’m serious, just this simple act of getting up and being more active will potentially add years to your life.  You never know, if you are lucky, you may even enjoy it.

PILLAR NUMBER THREE:  REST AND RECOVERY

The 3rd Pillar of Health
The 3rd Pillar of Health

Rest and recovery is an integral part of training and being healthy.  Without this pillar, the whole structure collapses.  You need more sleep than you think to make you stronger and healthy.  Go on, go to bed early, bag a bit more kip than you normally do.  And you may even enjoy it too!  But seriously, studies are increasingly showing that sleep is super important and that missing it out on it can have real effects on your overall health, as well as your happiness and productivity.  A recent Harvard study said that chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

And on that note, I will end this post and go and get some sleep!

Cows – providers of milk (a great recovery drink)

Cow drawing by Lucy

Cows… providers of milk, which I love. I did warn you that there would be some random stuff in my blog, and this is right up there at the top.

First off, milk is good for you. It is a great recovery drink, full of protein and has been a favourite of mine all my life. Protein shakes at the end of exercise are all very well and I recommended them in my article on Nutrition – What To Eat On A Century (100 Mile) Bike Ride, but what is simpler than opening the fridge and pouring out a glass of the white stuff.

So I was out on my tandem with my wonderful wife (first time for her, as it is normally a Dad and Daughter activity), and we stopped off for a cup of tea at a local farm shop.  There were some cows in the field.  And then I came across the following on the wall:

“What is a Cow?

A cow is a completely automatic milk manufacturing machine.  It is encased in untanned leather and mounted on 4 vertical,  moveable supports, one at each corner.  The front end contains the cutting and grinding mechanisms, as well as the headlights, air inlet and front exhausts, a bumper and foghorn.

At the rear end is the dispensing apparatus and an automatic fly swatter.  The central portion houses a hydro-chemical plant.  This consists of four fermentation and storage tanks connected in series by an intricate network of flexible plumbing.  This section also contains the heating plant, complete with automatic temperature controls, pumping station and main ventilation system.  The waste disposal apparatus is located at the rear of this central portion.

In brief: the external visible features are two lookers, four standers, four diddle-danders and a swishy-wishy.  There is a similar machine known as a bull, which should not be confused with a cow.”

Well, it made me smile, hope it did the same for you.

I told you that it would be a random post!

p.s.  Hope you like the cow picture, drawn by my daughter.

Top 10 Tips To Complete A Century – 100 Miles On A Bike

With Spring on the horizon, and the hope of some good weather, many cyclists set their sights on a Century ride to assess levels of fitness prior to the summer months. Whatever your goals and aims, the Century Ride also gives you a bit of cycling confidence and kudos.

So here are my Top 10 Tips to successfully complete a 100 mile bike ride:

1. Prepare well, which should include being suitably rested, hydrated and topped up nutritionally.

2. Do any bike preparation beforehand, including making sure that your bike is working properly, fits you correctly and is comfortable for a day in the saddle. Also make sure you know how to fix a puncture (if you don’t know already).

3. Select a good route. Route planning on something like Garmin Connnect is easy and fun.
4. Take note of weather forecast. Use this to your advantage, and grab a tail wind for the last part when you will be more tired.

5. Ride with a buddy, if available.

6. Eat and drink regularly. I have an alert set every 15 minutes to remind me to drink. Every other one (so every half an hour) I also eat something. 50 grams of carbs per hour seems to work for me. See my article, Nutrition – What To Eat On A Century Bike Ride.

7. Start off easy, it is going to be a long(ish) day and don’t spoil it by going off too fast. If you start off too fast, you will pay for it later.

8. Wear proper cycling clothing and apply some Chamois creme, I use and swear by Assos Chamois Creme.

9. Bring some money, a map and a phone ICE (In Case of Emergency).

10. Relax and enjoy it.

If you are nervous about riding a Century, and live in the south of England, give me a shout and I will help you conquer it.

The Best TED Talk In The World, Ever!

nurtured-by-a-leopard-seal

Last night I watched my all time favourite TED Talk, or as Jeremy Clarkson would say “The Best TED Talk in the world, ever”.

If you have never watched a TED Talk before, do yourself a favour and use this one as an introduction, it really is wonderful. The best TED Talk ever.

Paul Nicklen is so passionate about the subject and some of the photos that he shares with you during his talk are awesome. And from now on, I totally look at leopard seals in a different light!

Go on do it, follow this link, you won’t regret it. And let me know what you thought.

NEAT – Interesting Science

Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is a bit of Interesting Science.  Here’s something that I did not know too much about until recently.  Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise.  It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, gardening and fidgeting.  Even trivial physical activities increase metabolic rate substantially and it is the cumulative impact of a multitude of exothermic actions that culminate in an individual’s daily NEAT.  NEAT varies substantially between people by up to a staggering 2000 kcal per day.

There is lots of really interesting science on this subject, but the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) is get off your butt, backside, whatever you want to call it, and get moving, as it appears that sitting is killing us.  If you look at it, obesity was rare a century ago and it is not possible for the human genotype to have changed over that time.  Therefore, the obesity epidemic may reflect the emergence of a chair-enticing environment in which we now live.

In summary, get up and move around as often as you can and increase your daily NEAT.

Top Ten Exercise and Fitness Tips

It doesn’t matter what exercise you are doing, use my following Top 10 Tips to get stronger, faster, leaner and ultimately see improvements in your performance.
1.  Be consistent.  Set a training plan that you can handle and stick to it.  A friend once told me that you cannot make judgement on a training plan until you have completed it.  I recently used the Time Crunched Cyclist Training Plan to prepare for 4 x back to back century rides from London to Edinburgh.  I stuck with it, was consistent in my training, and as a result did pretty well (2nd overall).
2.  Take recovery days seriously.  The body needs time to recovery and get stronger.  Chrissie Wellington, a four time World Ironman Championships, knows a thing or two about training, says “If it’s your rest day, remember your sofa is making you faster, stronger and more resilient.”
3.  Increase your weekly totals gradually.  10% per month seems to be the most quoted number.  Even if you feel really good, still take it gradually.  You are walking a tight rope between improvement and overtraining.
4.  Eat well.  Good nutrition is one of my three pillars of health.  Rubbish in = Rubbish out.  Why waste time training if you are not going to put the right fuel in the tank?
5.  Do Intervals.  Train hard, race easy.  Intervals are a very efficient way of getting fitter.
6.  Strengthen your whole body.  A strong core will always serve you well, whatever sport you do.  Do Burpees as a whole body strengthening exercise.  Why not have a look at my earlier post, Burpees – The Best Exercise In The World And Why I Love Them.
7.  Wear the right equipment.  If you run, make sure you wear the right shoes.  The more you run, the more support your feet need.  The right equipment makes a real difference in whatever sport you take part in.
8.  Perfect your form.  Become more efficient at whatever sport you do, by doing it more.  It is a free marginal gain that you can get on your competition.
9.  Listen to your body, but don’t let the mind trick you.  You know the score, it is raining, you are tired, and that last hill rep just seems a step too far.  Your mind is telling you to go home and get a shower and a cup of coffee.  Ignore it, do that last rep, get stronger and in the process become Bad Ass because you are working out in the rain.  My post on “Pain is good for you” links in nicely to this.  One of my favourite quotes is from Emil Zatopek – the only man to win the Olympic 5,000m, 10,000m and Marathon in the same Games (send me an email if you know which Games that was).  He said in his biography: “When I am feeling bad, I know that the others must be feeling worse, so I know that that is the best time to attack”.  He, in my opinion, had the perfect mental approach to exercise.
10.  Embrace technology.  If you can afford it, buy the best and the latest technology.  My top two fitness gadgets are my Garmin 810 bike computer and my Garmin 620 running watch.  They are both awesome.  If you want to read about them go to dcrainmaker.com – he does excellent reviews of all types of fitness gear.  That said, although they provide me with plenty of data and motivation, don’t become too reliant on them.  It is good to exercise without technology sometimes and there is a lot to be said for basing everything on how you feel.

Use my top 10 tips to get fitter, stronger and improve even more.  Go get it!

 

What is the correct number of bikes to own?

You can never have too many
You can never have too many

So what is the correct number of bikes to own?  If you have read my About Me page, you will know that I believe that it is impossible to own too many bikes.  I also stated that there is one caveat to this rule, which I am going to talk about soon.

So by now you will have probably ascertained that I love bikes.  I own about 7.  I use the phrase “about 7” to keep it intentionally vague, just in case my partner should ever read this post!  And anyway, one bike for each day of the week is not too extreme in my view!

 

According to Rule 12 of the Velominati, and I agree, the correct number of bikes to own is n + 1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned.  And like I said before, there is a caveat, or a possibility to rewrite the equation as follows: s – 1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breathing Exercise To Give You A Boost

How about this from a caffeine addict…….when you are feeling sluggish and in need of a caffeine boost, STOP, and do the following instead:

Whilst sitting comfortably, close off your left nostril with you left thumb.  Inhale and exhale through your right nostril for 3 to 5 minutes.  Sounds strange, huh? Research has shown that right nostril breathing can elevate blood pressure, which gives us a natural invigoration boost, similar to that of a shot of caffeine!

On the flip side, doing left nostril breathing lowers blood pressure and can produce a calming effect.

Go on, try it, you might even like it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fitness in your forties