Our body is an amazing organism – a whole host of mechanical and chemical processes going on all the time, in order to keep the systems in balance.  That balance is tightly regulated, with very little tolerance allowed in either direction.

For example, our internal temperature can only vary by a couple of degrees either way, likewise the acidity or alkalinity of the blood.

If you don’t drink much water, your body reabsorbs it back into the system to maintain blood volume and cell function.

Contrary to popular belief, if we eat too much salt, rather than explode our kidneys and give us a heart attack, we just excrete it via urine.  The feedback loops that regulate sodium levels are one of the most efficient systems we have.

It seems that whatever you do to yourself, your body responds by doing the opposite.  And this is where people can go wrong with exercise and nutrition.

Long bouts of cardio burns a large percentage of fat for energy, BUT it drives hunger, particularly for carbs.  And eating carbs (glucose) causes the body to store fat, ie.  THE OPPOSITE.

Shorter, higher intensity circuits, weight lifting and sprint intervals are fuelled more by glucose, but the body responds by burning elevated levels of fat post exercise.  Dedicated strength training breaks down muscle, and the body does what?  THE OPPOSITE. – it builds muscle.

We do the opposite, because it works.

Starting next week, we kick off our annual Spring Challenge.  We've changed it up every year, but it's always been teams, and there's always been a heavy emphasis on dialling nutrition in tighter before summer.  We get it, that's what most people want to do this time of year, heck, that's what WE want to do this time of year.  BUT, this time we're going to do some opposites.  This time around, it's partners instead of teams, as we know some of you have gotten a little lost in the crowd before.  Find someone that gets you, and that you in turn feel that you can support, and just encourage each other to be awesome.   Also, the focus this year is on the enjoyment of training and good food, improving our relationship with both, and letting the improvements be a natural, unforced part of the process.

This week we've got some benchmarks to complete as we kick off the next training cycle.  Don't feel like you have to make all of them, just hit the days you can, and when we re-test, just match up the same days, to see how you're doing.   Lots of strict gymnastics work, and kipping skill practice.  Finishers will contain mobility recommendations.  Basic gist below, full deets on the day (gotta have some surprises right...?)

Darren Ellis