Water is without doubt the most essential nutrient your body needs. Don’t get enough of it and it won’t take long for you to go into dehydration and things can go rapidly downhill from there. So for something THAT important to your survival, you’d think it would be easy to know if you’re drinking enough, right?
But your body only starts to send signals of thirst when you get to the point of actually needing water, it won’t tell you how to drink an optimum amount for health, fat loss and energy. It’s only trying to keep you from being dehydrated – which are two different ends of the spectrum.
So here’s some quick-fire answers on Hydration –
How much water do you need?
Everyone needs a different amount of water, the amount you need is influenced by your gender, size, activity levels and the current climate. A 6ft rugby player that trains 6x per week in a hot climate will need more water than you would think compared to a slimmer 5ft person in shape, training 3x per week.
The most common recommendation that you’ve probably heard is around 2litres of clear water per day and that’s not too far off. This is because it assumes most of us take in more fluid than just water, i.e. teas, coffees, fizzy drinks etc. More on this with a later question…
The total amount of water you actually need will usually be between 2.5-3.5 litres – here’s a good calculator to come back to to find out how much could be the perfect amount for you: http://www.csgnetwork.com/humanh2owater.html
Can you drink too much?
Yes, but this is rare. It’s can sometimes happen in endurance athletes, if they try and take on a lot of water before events, but over-do it.
Does water intake affect fat loss?
Absolutely! Water is the key element for a tonne of the reactions in your body. Burning body fat is no different, if you’re well hydrated it becomes much easier and faster for your body to transport, use and flush out toxins while metabolising body fat.
Water also helps keep you feeling slightly fuller, helps you feel less tired and perform better in the gym – All turning you into a fat burning machine!
Does it matter what you drink?
Yes. Clear water is without a doubt the best for your body to drink. Caffeine containing drinks act as a diuretic on your body, which is a signal for your body to work on removing fluids – it’s why you need to pee 20 minutes after your cup! Just be aware of this because even though you’ve drank a mug full of liquid, you won’t actually be holding onto that amount.
Other drinks like alcohol, carbonated drinks (even low calorie options) and squash, aren’t ideal for hydration either. Your liver has to work on removing the toxins from them (in the form of additives with the fizzy drinks and squash), a process that costs H20, before it can let that water into your bloodstream.
Stick with as much clear water as you can and you’ll feel epic!
How do I know if I’m drinking enough water?
Here’s a urine chart!
How much should I drink when I train?
Make sure you’re drinking a decent amount before during and after, especially if you know you get sweaty on sessions! Somewhere around 25% of your total water for the day around your workout.
How much does the temperature affect the amount I need to drink?
Quite a lot. As shown in the calculator above, changing the climate makes a big difference to the output of your water for the day. Not just in sweating while it’s hot. But we also lose a lot of water as condensation as we breathe too, which you may have heard before. So even if you the temperature doesn’t get you sweating, you’re still losing more water throughout the day the warmer it gets.
There you have it guys, hope that helps, and let’s all raise a glass to the clear stuff! 😉
Tough Mudder CHEAT SHEET 2017!
This is it everyone, we’re one week away from the biggest challenge some of you will have taken on EVER! And that means we’re one week away from the best feeling you will have ever experienced by taking on a challenge like this!
Tough Mudder 2017 is just around the corner, and here is the cheat sheet to make sure you are fully prepared for the day, let’s do this!
Times: Start Time – 11.15am
Meet time – Between 10.00-10.30am inside of the registration tent (keep an eye out for BTF T-shirts!)
Parking and registering can take up to 30-40 mins if there are queues. Then once we’re in it give us time for photo’s, trips to the loo and dropping off bags.
Clothing and footwear: To run in…You will be getting wet, so LIGHTWEIGHT clothing with wicking technology, that draws the water away from the skin, can keep you dryer, therefore warmer and lighter! These are your ‘base layers’, makes like under armour and sondico are great and fairly cheap for this.
From us and most people that we’ve gotten around the course, Gloves or Hats aren’t recommended for this, mud get’s into EVERYWHERE during a tough mudder, it’ll irritate and actually make your hands wetter, with not much benefit for grip.
Trainers; If you have already got a pair, Trail running shoes can give some pretty good grip through the mud, BUT they’re not essential and they still get packed with mud in the first mile, if you’ve got trainers with at least a bit of grip on the bottom and more importantly are comfortable to run in, you’ll be OK.
Socks that cover your ankles will help give you a tiny bit more support and they can protect your ankles from scrapes and knocks from obstacles as we go round.
BTF T-SHIRT 🙂
After the Race…Bring a complete change of clothes and a towel to change into straight after the race, this gets you warm and dry (not clean…) the quickest way possible. You’ll want a waterproof bag to keep your race clothes in too.
Nutrition/Hydration: ‘Carb up’ a little the day before, 2 portions of starchy carbs and plenty of fruit should load you up. On the morning of Tough Mudder, Porridge and bananas/berries along with some nuts will set you up well. If you’ve not used ‘energy gels’ or sports drinks before – Don’t worry about them, they could cause you more harm than they’re worth
You get to have whatever ‘Carbed-up’ meal you want after the run too, you’ll have earned it! 🙂
For Hydration, start 24 hours before the start time, aim to drink 2.5/3 litres. Sip up to 1 litre before the start of the race. There will be water stops around the course but they won’t save you if you’re already slightly into dehydration, I’ve been there feeling a tonne more sluggish because I hadn’t had enough to drink.
Training: A good general guideline would be around 48 hours of complete rest before the run, and make the last sessions you do fairly gentle to keep your legs fresh!
TEAMWORK: There are some obstacles that are meant to be taken on solo in Tough Mudder, but the Majority of them are very hard or impossible to do alone, you need to tackle them as a team to get everyone over/under/through whatever is thrown at you. Tough mudder is about how you get your whole team across the finish line, not how you get yourself across it, help everyone around you in any way you can. Even complete strangers will let you climb over them if it’s what needs to be done to get you around the course, that’s what makes the event what it is!
If you can’t Run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, keep moving forwards!
Let’s do this team,
Strength and Honour!
MASTERING Your Push Up
The push up is one of the fundamental movements of the human body, it involves a lot more technique and strength than we often think – And that might be what’s putting you off from doing more of them.
I’m here to break down the Do’s and Don’ts of the Push up, how you can make it fit the level you are at right now, make it safe and ultimately to become a MASTER of the push up.
First up, here’s what the perfect push up looks like, then we can check out the most common problems and try and look at what you need to do to turn it back into a great looking push up.
At the top and bottom part of your push up, you should have a straight line connecting your: Ankles, Knees, Hips and Shoulders, with your neck neutral. This isn’t just so that we look neat and symmetrical, when you’re in this position it shows that all of your muscles are engaging correctly. Think about standing up straight – All of your muscles are doing their part in balance to hold you upright, if you were to relax just your shoulders and abs, you would round over forwards and put stress on your back.
Your shoulders should also be directly over your wrists, for the most support. The further they move forwards or backwards, the less your main working muscles will be able to do.
The two main variations we use to help us get stronger and work towards our first full push ups are the ‘half’ push up from knees, or the High Plank. For both, it’s still massively important to hold ourselves in that same posture to build up strength evenly across your core, butt and arms.
The first and most common problem we see is during during the half push up, and it’s keeping your hips in the air while performing the movement. It looks like this:
The way you’ll notice if you’re doing this or not (it’s pretty hard to tell how your own push up looks) is if you don’t feel any work at all through your core. You never really shift your centre of gravity forwards, so it never tests your core strength. The best fix for this is to set up laying flat in the first place, THEN move into the push up position, if your body is flat to start with it will feel strange to then bend at your hips.
This is really similar for the full push up, hips can sometimes stay up in the air making the upside down ‘V’ shape, this again switches off your core, but also puts more pressure on your shoulders because you end up pushing forwards into them rather than down.
The opposite to this is if you let your low back drop too low, you can see that this puts a lot of pressure onto your lower back, and again is down to your core and also your glutes not switching on enough to hold you in position.
Fix this by ‘drawing your belly button up to the roof’ and squeezing your butt tight to lock your hips in position.
Elbow positioning is really important too for us to look after our shoulders. What can often happen is for elbows to shoot out to an almost straight line across your upper body, when you start out with push ups this might even feel better, but long term it’s not good for the health of your shoulders.
Think about trying to ‘drill’ your hands into the floor, this should pull your elbows closer to your side.
This CAN be set off by your hand positioning. If your hands point inwards, it’ll automatically force your elbows to shoot out too high.
Your hands should be facing straight ahead, rather than pointing inwards or outwards, this keeps your elbows neutral and gives you the most support from your hands.
Key Points to fix and perform the push up at it’s best:
- Set up right; Lay flat, put your hand just outside of your shoulders and raise up into the start position with your core and butt tight to lock your hips flat
- Work up the progressions; Hard work will always win, but make sure you don’t jump ahead to the next toughest push up too soon. If you start to lose your form after about 10 push ups and can’t fix it, don’t feel like you have to grind out bad repetitions. It’s better for you to drop it down and keep the hard work going in the right areas. Before long you’ll be able to do more and more of the tougher push up!
- Fix one thing at a time; You don’t have to fix all of this in one hit, pick one thing to try on your next push up, master it and then move onto the next.
There you have it! Become master of the push ups by making sure you’re ticking all of these off the checklist and you’ll get some of the best results going, able to impress everyone by busting out 10 solid push ups like it’s nothing!
Brand New Corrective and Dynamic Warm-Up
The results are in from our movement screens, thanks to everyone that took part and don’t worry if you couldn’t make it, we learnt enough from those screens to create an epic new warm up that will benefit EVERYONE. From here on out, we’re going to use one warm up that covers all of the ‘problem areas’ that come from certain overuse habits of our bodies.
It should help our posture, help with aches and pains, and help you get the most out of each session!
So, here are the movements that we’ll be doing and a quick overview of how and why we’re doing them – so you’ll have the ‘heads up’ before jumping into them this week.
First up, we’ve got a T-Spine rollout with our foam rollers. This was probably the biggest problem area that we saw across the board. Your Thoracic Spine includes the 12 vertebrae of your upper back, they connect to each of your ribs. The top three exercises in the warm up are going to help free up this area.
We’ll roll over the upper back, with hands over chest, we don’t want to roll too low onto our lower back and you’ll literally feel this one free up your back!
Next, part of the reason for the poor mobility in the upper back is tight muscles in the upper chest and shoulders. So this time we’re again going to lay back onto the roller, then move our arms from a ‘W’ shape to a ‘Y’, keeping forearms level with the floor. This mobilises your shoulders and stretches at the same time.
The last stretch to help free up your upper back is a foam roll of your Lats, a muscle that can again get tight pulling your shoulders down. Roll from just below your arm, down to the back of your bottom ribs. This is a killer!
Core stability and balance is next. We want to increase your ability to control your bodies movements from your core, very tricky and always a great area to work on. Standing on one foot, holding a band in the same hand, you’ll reach down to touch your toes.
This isn’t meant to be done quickly, the slower and more controlled the better. It’ll increase how you switch on your core muscles, ankle stabilisers and overall balance and body awareness!
Another move to help build our mobility and balance/stability is an overhead squat, but for this one we’re going to use the TRX to force our hands to stay in the air. Tricky move and a burner for your shoulders, but you’ll become pros at this in no time and notice the improvements that it’ll make to your bodyweight and goblet squats!
Hamstring flexibility was pretty good all round, we’ve already put a tonne of work into them with our current warm ups, but we need to keep up that work so they stay that way. The band bumps the hamstring stretch up a notch by pulling your hips back as you lean in and stretch.
Your glutes are your biggest and most powerful muscle group. But that means we need to keep it from getting tight and restricting the movement of our hips. We’ll also be trying to target your piriformis muscle, a small muscle that overlays the sciatic nerve running towards your lower body, keeping this muscle from getting tight or tonic will stop it from ‘pinching’ that nerve.
Continuing to help open your hips are foam rolls of your inner and outer thighs. These two can restrict your movement a lot and so rolling them out will help A LOT. Any squat based move you do after these will feel epic.
Word of warning: It hurts to roll these muscles out, but the more you do the better you’ll feel for it. Bonus Fact – rolling your muscles helps with circulation through that area, which helps with recovery and things like cellulite.
There you have it! Consider yourself clued up on our new warm-up!
We’re taking it to the next level with this warm up so we can get you all performing better on sessions, and when you perform better on sessions you’ll see the best fat-loss results 🙂
Hope this helped and we’ll see you on the turf to put it into action!