Make the Most of your Life

On Tuesday 12/02/19 I was reminded how precious life is. I was training at Battleground Fitness when a fellow member collapsed and later died of a Heart Attack in front of me. Grizzly had just finished using the Ski-erg and was laughing and joking with his Wife and Daughter while I was using one of the Assault bikes. As soon as Grizzly collapsed the three of us immediately came to his aid and the owner of Battleground Fitness, Pierre Spammer was on the phone to the Ambulance. With in three minutes the Ambulance arrived and immediately started working on him. Despite their best efforts the Paramedics were not able to save Grizzly’s life. I have always had respect for all people who work in the Emergency Services, on Tuesday this was not only reinforced, but was improved greatly. The Paramedics were completely professional and did all they could.

Pierre was exceptional with how he dealt with the situation. He took control while the Ambulance was on its way, he did everything he could to keep people calm and made sure everybody was ok. Out of respect for Grizzly, Pierre made the decision to close the gym for the rest of the day. The gym re-opened on Wednesday 13/02/19. I was a little hesitant to go, however once I finished work, I went to the Yoga class that Battleground run on a Wednesday night. I also went to Battleground Fitness to train this morning.

To Grizzly, I may not have known you very well, however I can tell from all the tributes I have seen that you were a great man, who will be greatly missed.
I am proud to continue to be a member of Battleground Fitness. I have been training there for two years and continue to be impressed with the work Pierre and the entire team have done to make the gym feel like a real community.
People say you only live once. This is false. You live everyday if you chose to make the most of your life.


Keep going

We are nearly at the end of January, not long now till the new year’s resolutionists begin to give up on their new keep fit plan. Some of these people stop because they have lost the small amount of weight they gained over Christmas. Some give up because they want instant results and don’t want to put the work in. Most of these people will be back at it again in January 2020. If these people stuck to their new year’s resolution it will become easier to maintain as the resolution becomes part of their daily routine. Whatever the reason is for starting an exercise plan keep at it and you will find that becomes something you look forward to.

2019 Fitness Goals


1. 150kg Deadlift, 2 rep max
2. 120kg Squat, 2 rep max
3. 95kg Bench Press, 2 rep max
4. 85kg Clean and Jerk, 2 rep max
5. 60kg Snatch, 2 rep max
6. 90kg lean body weight
7. Complete 30 minutes on the Assault Bike without stopping
8. Become strong enough to entre a Power Lifting meet in 2020

My current 2 rep max’s for each exercise are:
1. 130kg Deadlift
2. 110kg Squat
3. 87.5kg Bench Press
4. 75kg Clean and Jerk
5. 50kg Snatch

How am I going to achieve this by September 2019?
Increase 2 rep max by up to 5kg each month. I do not have 3 weddings and 2 Stag weekends to go to this year, which means I can focus more on strength training then on conditioning. The gym scales say I currently weigh 87kg. This means with correct training and nutrition I should be able to gain the 3kg needed to reach 90kg of lean body weight. 2 rep max test’s will be at the end of each month. Currently I can complete 10 minutes continuous effort on an Assault Bike. This might not sound like much however my cardiovascular training is based around interval training. To achieve 30 minutes continuous effort I will increase duration by 1 minute a week.


Work to Live


I recently watched an interview with Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, the stars of the new Laurel and Hardy movie. I was struck by a quote from Steve Coogan in which he said that Stan Laurel lived to work and Oliver Hardy worked to live. This was in relation to the fact that after Oliver Hardy died Stan Laurel carried on writing shows for the two of them for a further five years.
This caused me to reflect on my life. Although I would not describe myself as a workaholic, I do seem to work more hours and work harder then I need to. Part of this is to pay off my credit card and car loan. Part of it is the fact that I am lucky enough to have a job that I love, even though it is not the best paid. The fact is that most people need to work in order to be able to do the activities that make them happy. There are activities that people can do for free, such as going for walks around the area that they live. People who have dogs must walk them every day. People who live in York can walk the city walls and visit the National Railway Museum for free. Public parks are also free to use, although some may charge for parking.
The point I am trying to make is that yes most of us need to work, however it should not dominate our lives.


new year

It is the last day of 2018. Tomorrow is the beginning of 2019. What will the new year bring? The first thing 2019 will bring is 365 chances to make the current day better then the previous day. Every day is an opportunity to improve your life. This could be through a promotion at work, which will improve your financial situation. It could be through making new friends, taking up a new hobby or by removing yourself from a bad situation. However you achieve this, do everything you can to improve your situation and the situation of others around you. Every time I switch on the television, the car radio or even lo onto a social media site I am bombarded by negativity, people are offended for the sake of it and other people seem to want to destroy people’s hopes and dreams.
I intend to build on all the positive changes in my life which have occurred in 2018 in order to make 2019 even better. In previous posts I set out what my goals for 2019 will be. I still need to work out how I will achieve some of them. I will achieve them though. I have 365 chances in order to achieve them.

Palm Oil

palm oil

There has been a lot of publicity and campaigning involving Palm Oil recently, especially in relation to the mass deforestation and destruction of Orangutan habitats in Indonesia. An advert produced by Iceland was also banned as it was considered to be Political. What exactly is Palm Oil and why is it bad?
Palm Oil is a vegetable oil made from the red pulp of oil palms, primarily the African oil palm Elaeis Guineensis. Its red colour comes from its high concentration of Beta-Carotene, the same chemical responsible for the colour of carrots.
The use of palm oil in food products has attracted the concern of environmental activist groups; the high oil yield of the trees has encouraged wider cultivation, leading to the clearing of forests in parts of Indonesia to make space for oil-palm production. This has resulted in significant losses of the natural habitat of the three- surviving species of orangutan. The Sumatran orangutan has been listed as critically endangered. In 2004, an industry group called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil was formed to work with the palm oil industry to address these concerns. In 1992 the Government of Malaysia pledged to limit the expansion of palm oil plantations by retaining a minimum of half the nation’s land as forest cover. In March 2017, a documentary made by Deutsche Welle revealed that palm oil is used to make milk substitutes to feed calves in dairy farms in the German alps. These milk substitutes contain 30 percent milk powder and the remainder of raw protein made from skimmed milk powder, whey powder, and vegetable fats, mostly coconut oil and palm oil.
40% of Indonesia’s and 30% of Malaysia’s palm oil exports to Europe are used to fuel cars.

People who support the production of Palm Oil point to the amount of jobs it has created, the fact that the Palm Oil trees grow quickly and do not need as many pesticides as other plant oils. Environmental groups who are against the wide spread use of Palm Oil argue that Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world’s deforestation between 1990 and 2008. Forests are burned to clear areas where people can grow oil palms – even if it’s illegal.
Burning forests like this destroys the places where plants and wildlife life thrive, reducing biodiversity. Orangutans, rhinos, elephants and tigers can be affected due to loss of habitat.
A report for the Bank of England, which was considering using palm oil in the production of the new £20 note, explained: “Forest fires, started to clear land for oil palm, release high levels of carbon dioxide and black carbon (soot) into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.”

Palm Oil does have health benefits. It has been used to prevent vitamin A deficiency, (a result of its high Beta-Carotene content), cancer, brain disease, aging; and treating malaria, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cyanide poisoning. Palm oil is used for weight loss and increasing the body’s metabolism. The main issue as always is the fact that as a species, Humans think that we can do what ever we want and the natural world has to adapt to us.

First World Problems

kyoteYesterday our over-reliance on modern technology demonstrated a major floor. The O2 network was rendered virtually useless when a software error lead to widespread network failure. This error not only affected O2 users in the UK, but Chinese and Japanese companies who use the same system. This meant that all of the smartphone features people rely on such as access to social media and Google Maps could only be used if their phones picked up a Wifi signal. In a previous blog I discussed how advancements in technology such as smart phones and satellite navigation is slowly making people lose basic skills such as using road signs or reading a map to find places. The issues O2 had yesterday has proven my point.
Modern technology does have its place and when used sparingly can be incredibly useful. The problems occur when people use it all the time.