Monthly Archives: April 2015

Reduce Post-Workout Muscle Soreness (DOMS) With This One Simple Trick

No one likes getting super sore from training. It’s painful, reduces athletic performance, and keeps you from training as often as you’d like. Research shows there’s a simple but highly effective way to reduce post-workout muscle soreness (DOMS) and accelerate recovery.
One of the lesser-known benefits of caffeine is that it appears to be one of the most effective methods for curing sick muscles. For example, a 2013 study had trained men take 5 mg/kg of bodyweight of caffeine and then do a muscle-damaging workout to induce DOMS.
Results showed that compared to a placebo, participants who took caffeine were much less sore on day 2 and 3 after training. Soreness was completely gone by the end of the third day in the caffeine group, suggesting it accelerated the recovery process.
Of interest, the caffeine group had a lower rating of perceived exertion and did more reps on the final set of the workout, indicating they worked harder than the placebo group, but still experienced less muscle soreness.
Why Caffeine Works: Scientists suggest that caffeine reduces soreness because it blocks central nervous receptors related to pain.
Use It: A 5 mg/kg/bodyweight appears ideal for reducing DOMS and enhancing training performance. This is equivalent to about 2.5 cups of coffee. There is some evidence that performance benefits from caffeine are greater when capsules are taken compared to drinking the equivalent dose as coffee. Most likely, it’s an individual preference.
Want more easy tricks for reducing DOMS?
Read this article for eight more evidence-based tips.
Hurley, C., et al. The Effect of Caffeine Ingestion on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013. 27(11):3101-9.

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Challenge the way that you think! Our new London seminar.

Every once in a while you meet someone who challenges the way that you think.

You may not agree with everything that this person tells you, and that’s no bad thing. After all how boring would life be if there was no such thing as debate?

Provoking thoughts and creative discussion is far more enlightening for all parties concerned than rote agreement, as I personally experience whenever I the pleasure of debating training principles with Dr Hassan Zaid.

I first encountered Hassan when I stumbled across an article that he had written questioning the commonly held view that most people suffer from “tight hamstrings”. He spoke my language and articulated my own thoughts in an erudite manner that told of education in the classroom and experience on the gym floor. I had to find out more and when I found out that he was a London based chiropractor with some world class powerlifting totals I sought him out to see if he could fix my broken body.

He helped me enough in the tiny amount of time that I had free when visiting London for me to bring him into UP to head up our new UP Therapy operation out of the Mayfair gym!

The qualities that helps set him apart from a “high street chiropractor” (and I mean this not in a pejorative manner at all) are not simply his thirst for knowledge and passion, but his years of weight training, specifically powerlifting, experience. For a therapist to resonate with any of us in the personal training / bodybuilding / gym game we need to find a specialist who appreciates the unique stresses that we put our bodies through, and just as critically one who understands that therabands and stretching just don’t cut it.

Not stretching is in fact one of the things that Hassan will be teaching at his upcoming London seminar. You may not wholly buy the theory, and I certainly value the benefits of stretching myself, but his ideas also have massive merit and enable us to have a better overall grasp of what the best exercise modalities are for both ourselves and our personal training clients.

I’ll add a quick word on what powerlifters learn and their advantage over bodybuilders. Almost always a powerlifter knows far less about diet than a bodybuilder. Yes there are exceptions in both camps, don’t flame me here as I am making generalisations over the internet. On the flip side, most intelligent and cerebral powerlifters I have met have spent a hell of a lot longer than their bodybuilding counterparts on breaking down movements and analyzing the ways to get stronger and more efficient in the gym.

What is great about Hassan’s approach is that he has coupled chiropractic with powerlifting, learning his gym craft at the legendary Genesis Gym of Dave Bulldog Beattie, to come up with his own unique philosophy and approach.

He has done wonders for my movement and pain, as I type these words is away working with the German athletics sprint team, and is fixing both clients and trainers left right and centre at UP Mayfair. So I thought it was time to help teach a wider audience some of his magic!

To that end we have a seminar (“How to rapidly improve your gym performance”) coming up on Sunday May 31st at our London Mayfair gym. You can find all the details at the link below and for the next two weeks there is an early bird price of just £250 which is a bargain compared to what some other courses go for these days. We are not charging a lot because we think the widest possible audience needs to be challenged with some “Hassanisms”!



You will learn the following:

Is Stretching a Waste of Time? Muscle activation and applied reciprocal inhibition.

Box squatting – great tool or dangerous risk?

Bracing techniques – learn the correct way to perform the most important bracing technique to optimise maximal strength for both upper and lower body lifts.

Grip and muscle activation – learn how to selectively activate and de-activate different muscles of the upper body through the simple manipulation of your grip.

Principles of neurology and fascial bands – grasp the fundamental principles of the functionality of the nervous system.

Foot and ankle mechanics (the windlass effect) and Olympic lifting shoes.


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