Paradigm Shift

It felt as if this bit of the world shifted on Friday morning.

As I woke up to the result that the United Kingdom was no longer united and that 52% of the country had voted to leave the European Union. Scotland, Northern Ireland, London, Manchester and Liverpool voting to remain. Wales, unbelievably, have voted to leave despite having benefited more than almost anywhere else in the UK from European investment and grants.

The fallout continues, with hours of the result, David Cameron resigned, and in the days since, pressure has been increasing upon Jeremy Corbyn to step down as Labour leader. As I write this a number of Shadow Cabinet members have resigned.

I watch with interest to see what happens next.


10,000 Success!

Having spent two months recovering from injury, it took a while to get going again. After a slow start I managed to build up my reps and increase the KB weight from 16Kg through 20Kg to finish with a 24Kg kettlebell.

I used the prospect of a forthcoming ski trip as an incentive and as I write this after two days of hard skiing in can say that I’m really feeling the benefi,  in both output and recovery.

The 10,000 swing challenge has been a great foundation for this year’s Bear Routine which I’ll start in preparation for this year’s Manchester 10k in May. I always go through some anxiety prior to the Bear Routine. Stan Pike is a giant of a man for firstly coming up with this extremely challenging routine and secondly doing it. It’s become something of a rite of passage every year for me to do it and prove that I still can.


Dealing with Failure!

Sciatica is a pain!  Literally.

Having started the 10,000 swing challenge feeling strong I managed to get to 6,000 swings when I strained my lower back whilst losing concentration doing hang jump shrugs at the gym!

This caused inflammation which led to sciatica for a few weeks which I’m still recovering and recuperating from. I’m just getting past the light training stage now and ready to go again.

I’ll keep you posted!


10,000 Swing Challenge

Life’s been busy getting in the way of blogging here. I haven’t been dipping my training routine though. I’ve done two all round phases since I last blogged and have felt good. The only blip was a five week layoff in March/ April resulting from a bad gastro bug. Otherwise I’ve been lucky enough to remain injury free.

This year is the first year in about four years that I haven’t slotted in Stan Pikes ‘Bear Routine’ by now. Frankly, I haven’t had the mental strength to get myself motivated for it and have spent weeks puting it off. Instead, I’m going to try and complete a 10,000 swing challenge. That’s 10,000 swings in thirty days with a 24Kg kettlebell. This may sound like a lot, it is. averaging three to five hundred swings a day every other day or so.

I’ll keep the results posted as I progress.


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Life Training Uncategorized

Getting Back on it!

The Past Few Months….

As is painfullly obvious when I look back at the irregularity of my posts to this blog over recent months I haven’t been focusing on either my writing or my training.

This Summer hasn’t been great on either the training front and I’ve let both lapse considerably. It’s difficult to know what to pin the cause of this down to but on reflection I think that it’s down to a combination of a number of small things rather anything particularly major. General fatigue, undoubtedly mild depression all mounting to a general lethargic malaise.

Managing this has been tricky, and I’ve been careful to take the time to relax and just work through it periodically, I haven’t felt particularly unhappy or low, just very tired.

I’ve managed to get a few training sessions in as and when I’ve been feeling OK and gradually I’ve felt better as this has progressed.


Moving Forward…..

It’s only this in the past couple of weeks that I’ve started to look at getting back into a more structured training and eating programme, I need to drop about 8-10 Kg and up my training regime to increase my muscle mass and general cardio fitness to boot.

As such I’m starting to look at setting some goals which I’ll post about soon. Around 10.0 on the beep test is one that I’ll be aiming for, as well as making some improvements on my bench and squat weights.

Kettlebells will play a major part in this regime and as I start to plan the programme I’ll be incorporating a significant amount of time to my Cardio and endurance with these. I’ll keep a track of my progress with regular beep tests on the Cardio front and a record of my gains in respect of my general training and weight management.

I’m not sure as to my eating plan at the moment, a variation of The Warrior Diet has worked for me in the past so I may have a look at that again.

I’ll keep you posted more regularly from here on in.

All The Best



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Now, I’m not light. Currently hovering around the 100-105Kg mark generally, so bodyweight exercises for me are a fairly big deal if you’ll pardon the pun.

What I’ve found over the years though is that a good balance of explosive and plyometric exercises contained within my regular training regime help me significantly in maintaining a good level of mobility, suppleness and flexibility as well as mixing things up to stop me getting bored.

Currently I’m on holiday in Islay in the West of Scotland with some stunning beaches within easy reach. As such it would be a shame not to make use of some of these great locations to train.Ardnave beach

My beach routines generally revolve around a sequence of bodyweight exercises supplemented with picking up heavy stones or logs if there are any available. Here’s an example:

Mountain Climbers         50 Reps

Lunges                                 50 Reps (25/25)

Squat type exercise          50 Reps

Sprints                                 10s bursts with recovery.

Burpees                               50 reps

Depending on how I’m feeling I’ll see if I can do some lifts with odd shaped stones or logs, otherwise I might finish with a Tabata session occasionally .

Back home next week so back to the benches and KB’s.




The Strength Builders

At long last, having shaken off a bout of depression and a viral infection which combined to lay me low for the best part of three months I’m now back trainiing regularly and starting the preparation phase for a crack at The Bear Routine which I anticipate I’ll be ready for around the end of August.

The Strength Build sessions are almost a respite on this routine, by that I mean that I don’t get the same feeling of dread in the day pproaching these sessions that I get with the Work Capacity Builders.

As it stands at the moment I’m mid way through my preparation phase before hitting the heavy duty routines. This is essential as I’ve found the loading to be such a shock to my system when I’ve done this before I’ve had to take several false starts to recover. I won’t make that mistake again! I also need to spend some time focusing my mind on the demands of the routine, it’s not to be taken lightly and without a strong focused approach I know that I’ll end up struggling to continue and complete the routine.

As far as preparation goes my routines at the moment consist of a number os sets of Kettlebell related exercises, swings, cleans and snatches are obligatory but I mix them up with either Windmills or Turkish Get Ups, all of which are highly effective.

The other essential bit of home equipment that I use is my ‘sandbag’ An old kit bag filled with about 60Kg of sand. This is used for lifts and carries to increase the workload and to increase my grip strength as well as killer front squat routines. the possibilities with a bag like this are only limited by your imagination and it costs very little to construct.

A couple of weeks more training should be enough, I’m away from home next week so I’ll be mainly using bodyweight exercises and beach sprints, watch out!!


Bear Routine

Just getting over an injury followed by a viral infection then I’m steeling myself for another hit at The Bear Routine.
I’ve been in contact with both Stan Pike and Rob Beauchamp who have been kind enough to allow me to describe elements of the Bear Routine in some more detail than last time.
I’ll only be describing these elements in sufficient detail to illustrate the challenges and benefits. If you want to attempt this challenging and demanding but hugely effective routine you’ll have to purchase your copy of The Bear Routine from
Hopefully I’ll be able to make a start on this in the next few weeks or so.