This blog title may come as a surprise to you since you may not know me as someone who partakes in low-intensity, steady-state activities. I also did not mention this to many people leading up to the race, and even some of my closer friends were surprised to learn that I’ve signed up for an Ironman competition, albeit only half Ironman, and also a relay. If you have always wanted to do one but have

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So a study has been recently published and has concluded that one of the best indicators for cardiovascular health for adult men is by doing a max set of push-ups. This is a pretty big deal as this is the first study that shows push-up capacity being associated to chances of getting cardiovascular disease. This push-up test has been shown to be an even better indicator than the traditional running on a treadmill test which

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We are not all that different - you and I. Pushing yourself to go to the gym and exercise is a miserable experience and I don’t even mean the activity of exercising! Just trying to convince yourself to go is an experience so unpleasant, it’s enough to derail any focused and disciplined individual - yes, even me. I am also not always at my peak performance. I almost always drop in strength and gain fat

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So you’ve been working out pretty consistently now for at least 6 weeks and you’ve seen some progress in your strength, fitness and maybe your body composition has even improved slightly - nice. But recently, you’ve shown little to no progress and so your motivation begins to wane. Your workout routine which you were so keen on before is getting bland and even boring. Time to change the workout routine and inject some new stimuli to

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Less than a week remains as Olive Branchers make final preparations before this Saturday morning’s Spartan Race! Some of us may be feeling super excited, especially those who have done long distance sports or obstacle courses before, but others with much less experience in these settings may be feeling a bit nervous - anxious even! For a lot of us who are trying a new event for the first time, it can feel daunting and

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There’s been a lot of emphasis on new exercise routines and functional training in the fitness industry - and there will always be some new shiny object that comes along.  The objective of this blog is to make a case for why the basics are, in my opinion, still supreme. The primary goal for any exercise program is to improve one’s health.  Although, there may be other positive side effects of exercise, such as enjoyment,

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I’ve blogged a lot about mental toughness (you can read about them here, here, here, here, here, and here), but I’m going to start the new year with a Member Spotlight blog on a Olive Branch member, a mentor and a friend, Cary Cheung.  A story on real mental toughness put into practice. Although Cary doesn’t regularly attend ACT class here in the Shanghai Olive Branch studio, he does train ACT regularly at his home

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If you’ve come to one of our classes before, then you would have probably heard me say “PUSH TO FAILURE”.  This is ingrained in our training philosophy because of one main ideology - stimulus equals adaptation. If you’re trying to make your body stronger (ie. adapt), then you need to apply a stimulus (ie. training) that is strong enough so that the body can hear it and then make the necessary improvements to build up.

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Last blog we talked about how willpower is a construct of the mind.  If you believe it is capped, then you have just capped yourself.  On the other hand, if you don’t believe there is a willpower limit, then you will continue to do things that are good for you and for your future.  This trains your dorsal striatum to side more with your prefrontal cortex of your brain - the logical side. This blog

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  Continuing from last week’s blog on why it’s so hard to go to the gym, we explore the topic of willpower. As mentioned last week, the ego depletion theory has been challenged numerous times to the point now where I no longer believe it to be true.  I must admit, that at one point I did believe in it.  It made sense and had some studies done by psychologists that support the theory. But

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