September is Muscle Beach Championship time!

I came 5th in the Muscle Beach Championships Physique Class in the sunshine of Venice, Los Angeles one year ago.
 
It’s the most recent video on my channel – Click here for video.
 
Fifth may not sound great, but everyone else in my category was at least 15 years younger than me, with over-35 being the requirement to enter this group. I was massively pleased to get a trophy position, these being awarded down to 5th.
 
But that’s all history now. I’ll be back next year and I’ll have my eyes on that 4th place trophy – or better!

Dumbbell Bicep Curls – New Video and Form Tips

Who loves training biceps? Yes, me too. And in the yard outside Gold’s in front of that wall in the evening is the best place and time to do it. Anywhere on the planet.

Worst thing about Gold’s? I have to go home to the UK at the end of each trip. Best thing? I’m back in two months!

Click here for video

Hope you notice the form – key tips:

(1) Lower Slower – make sure the weight lowers slower than coming up,

(2) Don’t sway backwards and forwards – keep the torso as locked as possible,

(3) Eyes front, not down, to help posture in the shoulder, and

(4) Try to keep the upper arm fixed, ideally only the elbow moves. My flexibility is a bit ropey on that last one, but I’m working on it!

Many thanks to Dan Wynes as my contest prep coach on the trip, doubling as camera guy for this one.

Great pec fly machine!

Chest flyes are always good, and particularly so here at Golds Venice where this little beauty of a machine lives.

Form tips for this :

(1) keep the angle at the elbows constant,

(2) lower slower – keep the weight under control and don’t let the weights touch the stack during the set,

(3) keep the upper body still, hold the upper middle back against the seat back.

Watch the video by clicking here.

Power Breakfast Time

I’m often asked about a good way of starting a day’s eating. What can I eat that is very nutritious, filling, easy to make and tasty?

The answer for me is my Power Breakfast! Read all about it in my article in the July issue of Gym Owner Monthly Magazine – read the article here or the full magazine is available as a free download by clicking here.

 

Own Your Fears

My favourite health care company is AXA PPP healthcare – and the team there have been involving me in their ‘Own Your Fears’ campaign. My story is being used to inspire others in my age group think about reasons they should move towards a fitter lifestyle – rather than being reluctant to do that.
 
Here’s the full article on their site: http://bit.ly/ChrisAXAPPP 
 
I’m pleased to be invited to be part of this important campaign and do what I can – as always – to help everyone in the better half of their first century conquer their fears, adding years to their life, and life to their years.

Hanging Raises Options

One group of ab exercises that have proved a challenge for me since I started doing them at age 55 are hanging raises.

I’m looking to improve my form on these, I really don’t do them anywhere near often enough and I’ve set myself a target to do them top notch by the time I’m 70!

Here you see a set of knee raises, straight(-ish) leg raises, twisting knee raises and finishing with a couple of wipers.  It’s the latest video on my YouTube Channel – click here.

 

Chris tests joint and bone health supplement from Neo G

One area that concerns a lot of people over the age of 50 is the health of bones and joints. As we get older, these areas are liable to deteriorate in strength and function, and a combination of exercise and correct nutrition is considered desirable to ensure these areas remain as healthy as they can be as the years go by. Many people don’t get sufficient nutrients in their diet, and for them a daily supplement to focus on joint and bone health is ideal. Indeed, even if you think your nutrition is spot on, still take a nutritional supplement just to make sure.
 
I’ve recently been sent a supply of a product that addresses these areas, and the manufacturers have contracted me to sample, use it for a period, and to give my comments. The company is Neo G, based near Harrogate, and they are well known suppliers of products in the health and well-being sector, with a further particular emphasis on sports and performance. Probably they are best known for medical-grade orthopaedic supports to apply to various parts of the body, and it is good to see them expand more into nutritional supplementation – particularly in this area of joint and bone health for the over 50’s.
 
The product is called Daily Defence and is available in both general and specific over 50’s formulations. The over 50 variant has the same ingredients as the general one, but with the one change of double the amount of calcium per dose.
There are five active ingredients, many of which will be familiar to those already taking supplementation for bone and joint health.
 
• Calcium – There is 240mg in each 20ml dose of the over 50’s product, and 120mg in the general formulation – that’s 30% and 15% of your Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) respectively. Well known for promoting health in teeth and bones, this is a particularly important supplement for helping to prevent bone wasting conditions such as brittle bones and osteoporosis – hence the double measure in the over 50’s product, I assume. I’ve been cutting down my dairy products of late, so this extra boost of calcium is very welcome.
 
• Copper – The 0.26mg in each dose is 26% of the Nutrient Reference Value for this trace element. It is known for helping to maintain the connective tissues in the body, such as tendons and ligaments, as well assisting in the absorption of iron. A lesser known benefit is that copper reduces histamine levels, which can help alleviate allergies.
 
• Glucosamine Sulphate – This is a compound that occurs naturally in the body, with its main effect being the growth of cartilage by serving as a building block in its production. It is thought that a reduced level of Glucosamine Sulphate is a major causative factor in osteoarthritis, and to add to this, natural production of it by the body decreases notably with age. Hence it is good to add as a supplement, and the 1gram included in each dose of Daily Defence is in line with general understanding on supplement volumes.
 
• Chondroitin Sulphate – This is another naturally occurring substance, found throughout the cartilage, collagen and connective tissues. It has the specific function of attracting water into these tissues, thus preserving them and aiding their flexibility. Similar to Glucosamine Sulphate, production by the body declines with age, and again it is believed that a deficiency can lead to osteoarthritis.
 
• Vitamin D – A key function of this vitamin is to assist and promote the absorption by the body of calcium and phosphorus. It is known as the Sunshine vitamin as the suns UV rays help create it in the body – but a more reliable source is supplementation. The amount of 200 iu of Vitamin D provided in each serving is spot on for the NRV.
 
As you pour it into the cap, the initial thought is that it is much more viscous than expected – it is thick, and pours slowly. There are many ingredients, and it makes sense to shake the bottle thoroughly to ensure you get the correct amount of each in your poured measure.
 
The taste actually reflects the colour; I would say that the colour is somewhere between coffee and butterscotch, and the taste goes along with that. I know some people say the taste is like lemon – but I’m sticking with the butterscotch/ coffee flavour I detected. It is sweet but not annoyingly so, and the aftertaste is pleasant. This contrasts with some other products in the same field which have a distinct ‘medicine’ taste and I was looking for something to wash my mouth out after – not so with this Neo G product. In fact, one problem may be that you like the taste so much it may be tough to restrict yourself to the single daily dose!
 
Because it is so thick, it is important to try to ensure you don’t leave any in the cap – the 20ml dose means the full 20. And you need to wash out the cap before using it again tomorrow.
 
If you, like me, are over 50 and concerned about keeping your joints healthy, then taking a non-drug product that supplements your diet in this area is probably wise. And of the various products available, this ’50 Plus Joint Health’ liquid from Neo G ticks all the boxes for me.
 
Check out the Neo G site – click here – for more. And If you too want to give it a go, it’s available in the UK now at Boots.

Fitness inspiration and adherence – PODCAST with Matt Lovett and Chris

Fit Happens Podcast 2

Top trainer Matt Lovett of aps Fitness joins me on my MarlowFM radio show to discuss fitness inspiration and how to help people adhere to a specific fitness strategy or plan.

We hear so many stories of those with good intentions but not staying the course – hear how Matt helps address this with his clients.

Many thanks to MarlowFM for permission to use this show as a podcast.

Top biceps exercise

Here’s one of my favourite exercises, I just filmed it while away at Golds Gym in Venice Beach.

See the full video by clicking here.

You’ll see the mirror in the video. Having that positioned with the incline angle is perfect to check form and range of movement.

If you have a wide cable machine at your gym, you probably don’t have the angled mirror, but still give it a go – you’ll love it, I’m sure!

 

Trying different exercises from a new supplier

Many thanks to the guys at Primal Strength who invited me to try out some of their equipment at BodyPower.

View the full video by clicking here.

This is a new supplier to me, none of the gyms I regularly use have their kit.

So, although the movements were familiar, there were slight changes in angle or feel in most of the products. Nothing at all weird, just slightly different to my usual options. They provide good equipment, absolutely nothing I didn’t like, I recommend the kit based on my experiences, and wish them much success.

Thanks again to the team there for inviting me.