Welcome to the site Extreme Fitness Brighton! We’ll be bringing you weekly updated fitness and personal training advice from from strength coach and top personal trainer Samuel Pont.
Here at extreme fitness we love to train and train hard from kettlebells, power lifting, running,martial arts, climbing- lets just say pretty much everything!
We’ll also be conducting interviews with fitness professionals within the industry on their latest techniques and methods as they break so you’ll be kept completely informed of all the latest fitness news.
If you want access to some exclusive free content from video master classes in kettlebell technique to some of the best nutritional advice send us an email using our contact form on the -contact us page.
Don’t forget to check out our shop- some of the best supplements at the best prices and some of the most essential training gear around-Shop
Barbell High pulls tend to be my choice when developing explosiveness in my athletes. Some coaches still stick to the standard Olympic lifts and although these can still be warranted in some cases 90% of the time a better training response can be gained with the high pull and the weighted jumping squat and other plyometric methods
1-High pulls require very little technical skill. The Olympic lifts and derivatives such as clean; snatch and jerk require many hours of practice to nail the technicalities of each lift correctly. High pulls condition the posterior chain in the same way without hours of coaching to perfect technique. Athletes (even pro ones) have limited time- they need to get rolling with a technique that has gains from the first session not months down the line when eventually the skill has improved to a level where suitable weight loads can be used. Coaches have to remember they aren’t training Olympic lifters but athletes that people short on time to devote to conditioning training.
2-More weight can be used- if we are looking for optimal power gain through the posterior chain we don’t want the athletes weights inhibited by lack of technique such as the above point or having to stabilize the weight into a snatch or catch in the clean. This isn’t to say sometimes this is appropriate but for the most ‘bang for the buck’ we want the maximal weight possible loading the hamstrings, glutes and spinal extensors to create powerful extension.
3-With the high pull there is less chance of injury to the athlete. In more technical lifts such as the snatch even the clean due to the technicalities of each lift there is more chance of injury to the athlete- something we are directly trying to avoid! If you’ve injured the athlete, or they have injured themselves then you’ve detracted from performance not added to it.
4- Continuing on the point above there is less stress on the wrists. Many individuals find the catch position in the clean very bad for their wrists and have to develop sufficient wrist and finger flexibility to do this lift safely.
5- a less mobile athlete can still perform the exercises. Not all athletes as you may think are highly mobile and flexible. I’ve seen many really good individuals with horrific mobility issues and the Olympic lifts are really not for them. Good flexibility through the ankle, hips, thoracic spine and shoulder girdle are essential if you are to conduct the Olympic lifts in good form. With the high pull only a standard level of mobility is needed.
This is why with the majority of the individuals I train when we are working on explosive power as our primary goal I favour the high pull over the true Olympic lifts. Depending on the athlete there will also be a combination of Weighted jumping squats, splits lunges and box jumps etc.- but the same if not better and safer training response can be gained in a much shorter period of time with these methods
So I finally got around to writing this post as promised (albeit some months later!) for those looking to pack on some serious size and strength on to their shoulder using a combination of kettlebell and dumbells. Shoulders maketh man- and there’s nothing more impressive than a fine set of shoulders. Years – and i’m talking years ago (80 or so) in physical culture it was all about the shoulders- a strong men were defined with how powerful strong and large their shoulders were, now days unfortunately it seems to be all about the pecs-I know i’d rather have flat pecs and boulder shoulders any day! Anyway Its a great killer of a session give it a go and let me know what you think- you’ll need a good selection of kettlebells and dumbbells so you may want to do this at your local well equipped gym unless you’re well stocked yourself! Anyway enjoy!
1-Light warm up on rower for 3 mins followed by mobility work around shoulder- arm circles, rotations etc for a further 3 mins
2-Arnold press with 2 kettlebells seated for following rep range over 5 sets 15,12,10,8 using increasingly heavier bells, 1.5 mins between sets
3-Standing Seesaw kettlebell press rep range per arm for sets 10,8,6,4 each set superset with upright kettlebell double rows rep range with each corresponding set- 10,8,6,6- 1.5 mins between each superset
4-Double Deadstart Kettlebell Clean and press rep range for each set 10,8,6,4 each set superset with dumbbell lateral raises 15,12,10,10 one minute between each superset
5-Dumbell Bent Over Rear Delt Raise 15,12,10,8 35 secs between sets
6- Dumbell Shrugs Rack Run/Drop Set 15 reps, 15 reps 15 reps decreasing weight non stop 1 minutes rest time repeat x 4
7- Giant set (no rest between exercises of) Standing Double Kettlebell shoulder press 10 reps, Double upright Kettlebell Row 10 reps, Dumbell Lateral Raises 10 reps, Dumbell Rear Delt Raise 10 reps, Standing double dumbell Front Raises 10 reps- 1 minutes rest repeat 3x. You’ll have to drop the weights for all these exercises significantly to get through it!
And that’s a wrap! Let me know by email if there’s any other areas you are interested in working on and the most popular i’ll write into workouts for you
Knee pain is one of the most prevalent causes of training discomfort with those who train and for good reason- the knees are one of the most active joint in the body and also one of the more complicated. The cause of knee pain can be varied but can be boiled down to a few major.
Poor Movement patterns- this can be poor technique from incorrect coaching or performing exercises such as the lunge when too fatigued to maintain correct posture.
Faulty motor patterns- sometimes the body will try to initiate certain movements with the wrong muscles- incorrect sequential firing- a good example of this is the adductors attempting to produce the motion of hip extension (such as rising from the squat) instead of the glutes and hamstrings. This can cause problems as the adductors can produce hip extension but also obviously as their name suggests produce hip adduction. This during motions such as the squat can cause the knees to bow inwards piling on the pressure through the wrong area of the knee and can produce patella tracking problems (how the patella- the kneecap glides during motion)
Lack of muscular control and support from the superior and inferior chain of muscles. A joint is only as strong as the muscles not only at that joint but the muscles above and below it- this is particularly true of the knee. If the hip muscles cannot effectively stabilize the hip during motion then this lack of control will relate as stress through into the knee. The same is true of the ankle and foot- an unstable muscular network here will relate that stress directly though into the joints above it.
Lack of Flexibility and mobility in the joints of the hip, ankle and foot. Conversely if the hip or ankle are not mobile enough to deal with changes in motion and direction then again this will cause undue stress through the knee joint
Lack of muscular support at the knee. The knee itself must have adequate stabilization at the joint from the major supporting muscle – the VMO the Vastus Medialis. Without a strong VMO the knee will be inherently unstable and patella tracking problems will again arise.
So these are the main issues that effect most people when experiencing knee pain so how can you fix them? Take a look at the video below where I go though some of my favorite fixes – I tend to do all the VMO work and Hip work about once a week working on control of motion.
Don’t forget to join me on twitter @samuelpont and also download my full range of training apps available for the app store and android market! Click Here!
If below video will not play go to youtube video by clicking here
The new app the “Cross Training Games!’ is out now!
A revolutionary way to use your idevice to compete on a world stage at your favorite fitness exercises!
Compete against friends , family, colleagues and on the world stage pushing your fitness, fat loss and strength through the roof! Ever wished you could compete in the olympics? Now here’s the next best thing!
First select your event- Swings, Push Ups or Squats and simply put the idevice into your pocket or sports strap, start the clock and off you go! Bust out as many kettlebell swings, pushups or squats as you can in the time- no time for quitting now – don’t forget this is competition – time to step up and win!
The idevice will log each rep through the unique calibration system within the app and then signal when your time is complete! Then the cross training games will award you your ranking- are you a ‘Push Up WIMP’? or are your in the elite of ‘Push Up Grandmaster?’ the Cross Training Games will award you your deserved ranking!
And that’s only half of it!! The Cross Training Games has full integration with the Apple Game Center so you can check the leaderboards to see exactly how you are performing against everyone else using the app on the international stage! Think your good? Think you can compete and take first place? Now’s the time to prove it!
Not only that the Cross Training Games will save each workout you do with the app in the view workouts section so you can automatically log each workout and see how you are performing to keep your fitness progressing.
Training with the Cross Training Games puts the fun back into training!
-Amazing rep logging ability for each specific exercise
-Complete integration with the Apple Game Center
- Blurs the line between exercise and gaming!
-Compete on an international stage!
-Put fun back into your workouts!
-Automatically log each workout, each rep each time to keep yourself progressing
-Receive your Ranking for each exercise each time!
-Complete Facebook and Twitter sharing
-Easy to use
-Burn Fat, get strong and Get Fit
Click on the icon below to go to the app store! If you can return to app store and leave stars and review after downloading that would be great!
1- Make sure you are concentrating on your diet not just your training- I know plenty of really fit people who are quite fat too! Training will help you lose weight and build a body to reveal under the fat when its gone but is only half the equation. Don’t think training isn’t essential though – if you diet without training you are likely to lose even amounts of muscle tissue and fat- leaving you the same body composition but only lighter and weaker-hard training will help you retain muscle while dieting.
2- Carb Cycle- Carb cycling may be thought of as strictly only for bodybuilders and the elite – but its not. It’s a great way to schedule your nutrition long term and get really good fat loss results- check out my post on carb cycling here
3- Sleep- Unless you are getting enough sleep not only will your training gains stagnate you’ll likely get fatter too. Less sleep means less growth hormone release and an increase in cortisol- both of which will lead to increased fat storage.
4- Make sure you are working with high intensity intervals rather than long stead state CV training. Even with circuit training I like my clients to perform intense 1-5 minute drills with a minutes rest between circuits. Intensity is the key not long laborious steady state CV training. Sprints are also ideal
5- Take fish oil- Fish oil is not only great for restoring the healthy fats in the body but also is good at reducing cortisol in the blood- this will help reduce fat storage especially in the belly region.
6- Don’t neglect standard weight training in the gym. Many people let standard weights fall to the side when trying to lose fat- don’t- normal free weight training is great at retaining muscle mass while dieting and really depleting glycogen within the muscle. Clients that are looking to lean up I tend to work in supersets for the whole session at the 8-12 rep range with around 50 seconds to 1 minute between sets. This not only has a massive calorific cost but increases lactic acid within the muscles which has been linked to increased growth hormone production and so lowers body fat
7- Take Vitamin D- Vitamin D has a host of health benefits from immune system support to reduction in certain types of cancer- but it also has been shown to reduce intramuscular fat
8- Drink plenty of water- Not really a fat one this one but more of a water retention issue- unless you are properly hydrated your body will always be in flux between hydrated and dehydrated causing extra water retention- keep water levels topped up throughout the day
9- Obviously avoid junk and processed foods. The more junk food and processed foods you put into your body the less muscle and more fat you will carry padawan!
10- Don’t go on the old maxim breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dine like a pauper! A large carb rich breakfast will just make you hungrier throughout the day as it sets your insulin levels crashing around 11am. Try a high protein low carb breakfast instead. I recommend a blended protein shake mixed with low carb berries and a couple of eggs boiled or poached.
And that’s it- stick to these and you’ll be lean – period!
You may of heard rotation is big in the world of sports training at the moment – and for good reason. Nearly all sporting motions incorporate elements of rotation in many planes of movement – and so it follows that rotation must be worked in to any functional sporting conditioning program. From baseball to rugby the athlete must rotate to produce any of the actions associated with power.
However many sports coaches are now getting carried away and concentrating 70% of their athletes strength and conditioning programmes on rotational based movements- so why is this a bad idea?
If we just take a step back and go back to the mid nineties instability training was becoming all the rage- from Swiss balls, to wobble boards to other more funky equipment. Many sports coaches at this time discarded tried and tested elements from their programmes such as Olympic and power lifting and replaced it with unstable Swiss ball dumbbell presses, overhead squats on wobble boards etc etc- and the result- their athletes all got weaker. Why? Because using a Swiss ball and surface instability are excellent supplements to a routine but can not subject the athlete to sufficient loads to stress both the muscular and cns (central nervous system) to bring about high level adaptation of strength and power. Standard Olympic and power lifts subject the individual to the maximum level of weight possible needed to bring about strength and power gains in both the posterior and anterior chain of motion. This isn’t to say instability training doesn’t have it’s place in a decent conditioning program – as it does. Instability training is great at conditioning and developing responsive motor pattern recruitment into the small muscles between the vertebra and core, so in fact instability training is included in all of my training protocols however it is not the main meat and veg of the meal!
The same is true with rotational training – yes it is an essential element off S&C routines and is a definite must when designing an efficient program however for athletes to gain true maximal strength and power they have to use both power and olympic lifts and plyometrics. Show me an athlete who does not incorporate these into his program and relies mainly on rotational training and I’ll show to a weak athlete and one who in today’s highly charged sporting environment more subject to injury.
Rotational training makes up 20% of what I do with my athletes- this is enough to condition the athlete in rotational patterns and work on thoracic mobility and strength. I also like to periodise the type of rotational training in a three week cycle working from pure body weight rotational training using the cross core180 and various reaching movement patterns to weighted rotational training , to plyometric and tornado ball style rotational training.
So take home- incorporate rotational aspect into your training but neglect the standard lifts at your peril.
Don’t forget to check out my review of the crosscore180 on YouTube – one of my favourite rotational tools !
Just wanted to share with you one of my top training tools- the crosscore 180 warmachine. As you know I like to keep things simple when it comes to training- dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, bodyweight training- and the CrossCore180 is progression of that bodyweight training.
Anyway check it out!
Just wanted to share with you all the new dedicated site I have specifically for my complete fitness apps. As you may know they range from ‘Kettlebell Fat Loss’ to ‘Fit to Run’ a great complete running sports conditioning routine to improve your time on the road. Below is a list of some of the fitness apps I have available and link to the dedicated site with link to all the apps for both Android and Apple.
Kettlebell Fat Loss Workout- A complete tuition in the finer points of kettlebell training plus 4 tough fat loss drills.
Kettlebell Strength- A complete masterclass in the use of two kettlebells at the same time! Great functional strength tuition with complete follow along strength building drills
Bodyweight Fat Loss Workout- Don’t have access to a kettlebell- then this app is for you. I show you how to harness the weight of your own body in 7 different exercises and show you three variations of each so what ever you level you can get your fat loss off to a great start. The complete the follow along fat loss drills- one heck of a workout and over 45 minutes of content!
Grappling Fitness- Do you grapple? I’ve trained many combat athletes- all of which can testify how much fitter and relentless they’ve become through my training methods- in this app i’ll show you some of my top training techniques to push your grappling fitness through the roof.
Fit To Run- In this fitness app i’ll show you some of the best techniques i’ve used to condition some of the top class runners i’ve trained. With emphasis on core conditioning through the shoulder girdle to the ankle you’ll soon find your runs getting easier and times improving.
These are just some of the great fitness apps available from Samuel Pont Training- all of them are available on apple and android for only 69p! To check them out check out my dedicated fitness app site by clicking here Fitness Apps
As you may know by now I like to verge on the side of skepticism when choosing new workout equipment and apparel- there’s a lot of rubbish out there and I only like to use the best of what there is.
My old trainers and Oly shoes have had there day, so I’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and purchase The Reebok Realflex training shoe.They have been billed as crossfit trainers and as some of you may know i’m not crossfit’s biggest fan, but because I don’t agree with their training methodology doesn’t mean that the show in principle will be wrong and this time I was pleasantly surprised.
As you can see in the video below the shoe looks good and feels pretty durable. The uppers feel solid and around the toe area where I find shoes split through Olympic lifts there is plenty of material.
However my major concern initially was the lack of stability within the shoe. After putting the shoe on the first thing that was apparent was the spongy nature of the nodules under the shoe. They felt springier than a conventional Nike air Max! Kind of like a sea under your feet! So how did this stack up when using the shoe for Olympic and kettlebell lifts? Actually surprisingly well. Although not firm like a conventional Oly shoe a more natural line can be felt when lifting in them- I think after some weeks these may stack up to be my favorite lifting shoes! For kettlebell lifts they felt excellent- pretty much akin to going barefoot which I like to do when training. During powerlifts like the squat and deadlift they didn’t feel as good as my flat converse TBH as felt I couldn’t drive heels through into the ground enough however this may improve with subsequent weeks. I’ve taken them out for a short 5k jog and i’ve got to say they performed really well. After years of being told I had fallen arches and needed specialist Brooks with inserts to correct this my feet ended up pretty weak- I’m big into foot strength now and these are fairly minimilist so I think will serve me well working on my supporting arch strength.
I recently reviewed the Sean Sherk training mask. Sean Sherk for those who don’t know is a leading MMA fighter in the UFC and is known for his superior conditioning. He attributes much of this conditioning to his new product ‘the elevation training mask’. Training at altitude is known to produce fantastic benefits improving oxygen transport within the blood stream so when the athlete returns to ground level the haemoglobin can carry more oxygen and so the athletes cardiovascular capacity and conditioning is greatly improved. So Sean Sherk invented the Altitude Training Mask as a cost effective way of trying to get the same effect from day to day training- every day. The mask basically is worn during training and restricts the amount of air breathed in, forcing the user to use powerful inhalations and exhalations to draw air through the mask. I was dubious as to some of the claims they make about the mask- as training at altitude reduces the density of oxygen within the air inhaled whilst the mask just reduces the volume of air not the oxygen balance. Wether or not this adds up to the same effect within the blood i’m unsure, anyway take a look at the video- its fairly amusing!