Posts Tagged ‘fitness’


Past couple of times I’ve been at the gym there’s been a few things that have seriously fucked me off. Firstly, before going any further, let me make sure to iterate that the following doesn’t apply to all gym goers, but to a small minority who can just make the whole experience really, really shit.

1). Laughing at people: I’ve seen this happen to a few guys, mainly those who are overweight. Don’t laugh at someone who is working out. Do you seriously think that the overweight person is likely to come back and continue with their fitness regimen if there’s some snot nosed punk laughing behind their back? No! Similar to those kids who have just started hitting the gym. Do you think they’ll come back if there’s some meat head there laughing at them if they can’t curl more than 5kg?

At least they have taken the effort to go to the gym and improve their overall well being and physique. Just because you’ve developed delts and biceps as big as your head doesn’t give you the right to laugh at someone who is trying to better themselves. Remember how hard you had to work to get your body? Other people are working just as hard to get theirs, so when you come to the gym, leave your clown attitude at home.

2). Leering at girls: similar to the above. Do you think all girls at the gym go there so you can check out their asses? If you want to look at girls asses in yoga pants google it or go on Instagram, place is full of shit like that. Let the girls workout the same as the guys. They don’t care if you’ve got the biggest guns in the gym so don’t try and flex your muscles or show off like a peacock.

3). Attitude: walking around the gym looking like you’ve shit your pants or like you’ve eaten a wasp doesn’t make people think you’re hard or that you’re an UFC all-star. There’s no need to carry that attitude or look at people through the mirror with that kinda look. Just let people work out and worry about your workout. No one there is looking to take you on.

Additionally to that point, if you see someone doing a move you’ve never seen before, don’t just stand there and look at the person like they’re from mars or something. If you’re really that interested in it, ask them about it, I’m sure they won’t mind telling you about it.

4). Taking slefies: OK I admit, I’ve done this a few times and I hate myself for doing it, but taking slefies at the gym is not cool. What’s less cool is if you whip off your shirt to pose in front of the mirror and take pictures. Or even worse, strip off and have your friend take pics for you. Wait till you’re home and then take the pics.

Similarly, don’t use the mirrors to check your hair. You’re not Justin Bieber or a spunk trumpet from one direction who has to have the perfect haircut or otherwise their day is ruined. Just fucking workout and get a sweat going. You’re not in a fashion show.

5). Keep your clothes on: yeah, yeah I can see that you’re benching 150kg, but do keep a shirt on you shit-head.

Speaking of clothes; it’s a gym. Wear comfortable workout clothes, whether its compression or lose stuff. What ever is your thing, but just as above, it’s not a fucking fashion show. You working out in the latest designer gear doesn’t make least bit difference to your performance, if anything you’ve been an idiot for buying some expensive brand shit that will get sweaty and smelly. Quick!

That’s my rant over. As I said, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are some right old gym idiots who can ruin the experience for someone else. I genuinely love working out and going to the gym, but sometimes people’s behaviour in these places just puzzles me. It’s almost like going back to school where if you don’t have x,y or z, you Don’t really belong.

So in essence, when you’re at the gym, whether its by yourself or with friends, just work out and let other people do the same without any laughing behind backs, attitude or other shit.


The 2012-2013 season has now wrapped up. It has been a season like no other where as a player I put in more mileage to games than during any other season before. As a team we visited all of the rinks in the league and then had our ‘home’ at either Swindon, Basingstoke, Solihull or Oxford. What a weird ride.

 

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All gear and sweats washed for the summer

As a team we achieved some great things against the adversity we faced, going 11-straight without a loss is a great streak that is rarely seen in any level of sport. Unfortunately it was not quite enough as Oxford City Stars claimed the league title. My personal feeling has a hint of disappointment in it as the league only has one trophy and when that trophy isn’t in yours or your teammates’ hands, well, it’s a bit disappointing. But our fourth place finish is certainly a great achievement given what we have had to go through.

 

On a personal level, I’m extremely mixed up whether or not to be happy or not. As a player, in terms of my position, I feel that I have taken great strides and – despite some mistakes along the way – I can now play in my position better than ever before. However, I wanted to beat my points tally from last season, but I fell painfully, PAINFULLY, short. I don’t know what it is as I know I am capable of more, but for some reason I didn’t get the bounces and didn’t get going. Why this frustrates me is because, well, as I said, I can play better than that and I know I can contribute offensively.

 

So what’s in store for me now?  I eluded to doing something a bit different this off season. While I am taking a week off to recover (I got a bad case of man-flu from the last game), I am going to be starting to work out with the help of Brandan Schieppati from Raise Above Fitness. Some of you might know Brandan from his career in music with bands like 18 Visions and more notably Bleeding Through, but he’s also a personal trainer who cut his teeth drilling hockey players.

 

My previous off-season workouts were adequate, but I wanted something to push me a bit further and harder, both in terms of in the gym. One of the biggest aides that Brandan has already done is a tailored diet plan, which is something I’ve struggled with in the past.

 

I will be blogging about the progress of the project and keep you all up to date with the crazy workouts that I’ll be doing, I can tell you that the programmes are more intense than anything I’ve done before, which is something I feel will help me find that extra level in my game.

 

You can check out Brandan’s website for training tips and contact info at: http://www.brandanschieppati.com/

 

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Device: Nike+ FuelBand

Price: £129

Retailer: Apple stores and amazon.co.uk

 

ImageThis high-end fitness gadget has been a topic of many-a-debate. Is it actually a useful training aid, or just an expensive time vampire? That’s the question we have been trying to find an answer for.

The Nike+ FuelBand has a feel of a really high end gadget from the way that it is packaged and how the actual product is designed. It oozes panache and is likely to appeal to the techy crowd rather than the hard-core body builder (more about that later).

What’s in the box:

In the box, you’ll get your Nike+ FuelBand, a USB connector cable, an extension piece to Imageensure best fit and a tool to insert/take out the existing  piece. What is also supposed to come in the box is a USB dock, which would make the FuelBand stand up nicely when it’s hooked up to your laptop, but alas, there was not one included in our box.

You get an instruction booklet to get you started, though it isn’t really rocket science to get the bracelet up and running.

 

Getting started:

First off, you need to download the app to your Mac or PC from Nike (address is in the booklet), connect your FuelBand via the USB cable after you’ve installed everything and customise the device for yourself and create your Nike+ account. This shouldn’t take you forever to do.

You then need to let the FuelBand fully charge, which takes up-to an hour via the USB lead. There is also an app available for your smartphone if you want to track your progress on the phone as well, but it isn’t a necessity to get going.

I actually found that the phone app took longer to set up than the one on the computer and at times felt a bit frustrating.

 

After all this you are ready to go and start hitting your goals, which you can set for yourself, or go with the pre-determined goals that suit your activities. Ther

So does it actually work?

Well, apart from looking shnazzy, the Nike FuelBand gives you an idea of the steps and calories burned. The reason I say “an idea”, is because I don’t think the readings are entirely accurate, but do give you a good idea. The device measures your body’s move through an intricate set of features built into the band.

 

However, what we discovered is that it is easy to “cheat” the FuelBand. We discovered that if you wave your arm around whilst standing stationary, the FuelBand actually measures the swings of your arm as your steps and “burned” calories. Though having said that, I don’t think anyone would just sit there and wave their arm to reach their daily goal that is in the thousands of Nike Fuel.

 

The other way where the Nike FuelBand has a shortfall is in the gym. It doesn’t measure all of the activities you do i.e. squats or leg press. Additionally, it is harder to accumulate the fuel points, when you are doing exercises that involve free weights. Additionally, the FuelBand has a hard time picking up movement from push ups or sit ups, mainly down to the fact that your arms (wrists) are mainly static.

 

When it comes to cardio vascular exercise, the Nike+ FuelBand comes to its own.

 

ImageWhat compliments your daily fitness goals are pretty cool videos when you hit achievements, which make the FuelBand a fun experience to use. 

 

On the ice

ImageHaving used the FuelBand in trainings and games, it does pick up the moves and does give you a good idea of how many calories you burn during a game. As with running or plyometric exercises, the FuelBand picks up the motions and tracks your progress.

 

It is relatively un-intrusive in the glove and doesn’t interfere with stick handling or add anything that would hinder your performance. However, be sure that you don’t spend your shift staring at your wrist tracking how far you are off your goal.

 

The FuelBand has added an extra edge in terms of performance. As the FuelBand gives you more fuel points the faster you move, so both on and off the ice, it has improved the way in which I push myself, be it on the ice or when my feet are pounding the road.

 

What the FuelBand has helped out with, is definitely in the motivation. The daily goals do become a bit of an obsession and make you do more, which is great. Though there are some shortcomings, the FuelBand does add a new level to your fitness regimen and makes challenging yourself more fun and a bit of a game at the same time.

  

Conclusion:

The Nike+ FuelBand is a decent fitness aid, however it does have some shortcomings. It is in its element when you are doing cardiovascular exercise, like running, cross trainers or hockey, but if your main form of exercise is body building or weight training, it might seem like a waste of money.

Once you get accustomed to wearing it, you are more obsessed about hitting your goals, which means that you are looking at doing more exercise to reach your targets, which I’ve noticed as being a great help.

The graphics and charts that the FuelBand provides either on the phone or the computer, do give you a good idea of when you are most active and helps you to identify times of the day when you could be doing a little bit more.

If you are a goal oriented person and wants an additional challenge to your fitness regimen, I’d recommend the Nike+ FuelBand. However, if your fitness routines revolve around free weights, I’d say that your money would be spent better elsewhere.

 

 

Pros

  • Well designed and fashionable gadget
  • Good set of features
  • Complimented well with online and mobile features
  • Great motivator tool
  • Water resistant
  • Great for cardio vascular exercise
  • Great for goal oriented people
  • Helps identify times of day when you can do more
  • Pushes you to do more

 

Cons

  • Device can be cheated
  • Does not work too well on weight and power training exercises
  • Doesn’t pick up moves from push-ups
  • Box came with no stand for dock.
  • Calorie and step counts might not be that accurate

ImageFor great hockey equipment at great prices, please click on the image above

 


Hockey player A: “When does your season start?”

Hockey player B: “Mine starts on 15th of September.”

 

That is a conversation that you could hear between hockey players across the globe for the next couple of weeks.

 

Players usually answer it by giving the date of our first game, but the truth is, the season started much, much earlier.

 

Sure the first game is the first time the fans might see the team in proper competition and in a game that actually matters, but for a player the season doesn’t start there (or it shouldn’t start there).

 

“When does your season start?”

 

The more appropriate question would be “When did your season start?” Well mine started in late March after physio’s had confirmed I was fit enough to train after my car accident in January (sustained a small tear in my rotator cuff, suffered from whiplash and concussion). I remember having started my off-season workouts the week before our official season ending party.

 

Since then it has been constant work, trying to figure out ways to make myself a faster, stronger and better player and executing those plans to the best of my ability. This might sound corny, but the start to the hockey season has been fun. For the first time in four years I have been able to train hard and stay healthy throughout. I have not had to heal too many injuries carried on from the end of the season (apart from the car accident) and I did not pick up any new ones during the training. Also a good sign was that neurologists gave me a clean bill of health.

 

It may sound cliché, but in many ways, getting to game play and playing is the easy part of the sport. It is everything else that is demanding. I’m not saying that the games are a breeze, because they’re not, but in many ways the work that has been done makes them easier. Playing and being on the ice is the fun part of hockey, but to be able to play at a competitive level and ensure you can outskate the opponent, you need to put in the work that is not as fun. As a coach once told me “hockey is similar to an (office) career. You want to get ahead in your career and you work hard to achieve those objectives. Hockey is no different.”

 

The off season has asked a lot, but it has given a lot back. I feel fitter, healthier and mentally stronger. There’s just something in running on a cold April morning in the rain that gives you a certain amount of grit. Or the fact that despite being on the verge of throwing up and deciding that another 100m sprint with a speed chute is “not a big deal”.

 

Now on the ice, it’s been a bit different. It’s been getting used to proper drills again from summer league shinny. It’s been about finding your feet and sorting out how all the work you did translates to the ice and to your skating. One thing I have noticed is that no matter how much you do off the ice in terms of strength and other conditioning exercises, there’s nothing quite like skating. The motion is different, and the muscles are used in a different way.

But at least there’s time till the first game to work all that out and get game-ready.

For a fan it’s a bit different. There’s the anticipation of news of player signings, what the team is going to look like, discussions around the water cooler about who will win the championship this year, who are the teams and players to look out for and sorting out the social life around the hockey schedule (Though the last applies to players as well).

 

When did your season start?


A few days ago, in case you missed it on the Bristol Pitbulls’ Facebook page, my return to was confirmed. I’m really happy to be back in Bristol and it should be an amazing season of hockey to come. The team is looking really good on the ice already. 

After the initial anxieties of where to play, I’m now looking forward to actually getting going and get to playing games. It took me a while to find my legs (and hands for that matter) when I got back on the ice and the first training session felt like I needed a GPS (Sat Nav) on the ice to know where I was going. 

I’ve also finished my off-season/pre season workouts at the gym, but as you all know, hockey just doesn’t stop there. I’ve rested for this week and starting next week I’m going to start hitting the gym again. I will actually look into doing a post of the Off-season in numbers, might be fun to read and fun for me to quantify the number of time I invested into this season. Though to be honest, it doesn’t matter really. I love putting in the work for hockey and getting a good sweat going as I know that it will help me immensely on the ice. 

 

I’m still in the running for the Sherwood hockey sponsorship as well in the competition so if you wouldn’t mind voting for me at: https://www.facebook.com/NekotiSherwoodAmbassadorProgramme/app_406909062688689. 


I realise that I haven’t actually updated the blog for a while due to training and everything else taking precedent. I thought that instead of me rabbiting on about what workouts I’ve done and what I’ve been doing in the gym, I’d do a look back to last year and see what lessons I have learned.

 

I think one of the biggest changes and improvements I’ve made is carrying on from the work I did with my physio Matt Radcliffe last summer. For those that don’t know me that well, I have a ridiculous dip in my back which caused some hip problems as my spine was pressing down on a few nerves. Anyways, the work we did on rehabbing the hip also involved fixing my posture, which now helps me with the work outs and skating. My lifts at the gym are more effective and I am actually working the appropriate muscle groups with the exercises I do, instead of lifting like a duck due to my back. Skating wise the hip problem has eased itself so much in the last 12 months that I have regained my full stride again and I am happy that (for most of last season already) I was able to play pain free from the hip.

 

The other major improvement has been my stamina, which has been improved by doing more cardio. If you remember, this time last year I was recovering from the twisted ankle I sustained when I ran into a pot hole on the road. So between now and the start of the 2011-2012 season I could not do any cardio or leg work until about a week before the season started. I’ve also done a lot of speed, agility and quickness work (SAQ) this year to diversify the type of exercise in hopes of improving my foot speed. I don’t know if it has worked in terms of pure speed, but my legs actually feel ‘lighter’ when skating.

 

It’s definitely been a better off season than last year and one with less injury trouble than before. Only the niggling little bits from the car accident bother me on occasion (shoulder and neck), but otherwise I feel fine. I’m due to undergo, yet another, neurological exam to make sure that everything is working all right in the old noggin given the relative short time span between the two concussions (March 2011 and January 2012).

 

In case you haven’t seen my Facebook and twitter pleas, I have been nominated for a Sher-Wood ambassador programme and I’m in desperate need of some votes. So I was hoping that you could click on the link below (perfectly legit) ‘like’ the page and vote for me. At the time of writing this, I am currently 8th. Your support would be greatly appreciated and thank you to those who have already done it.

Whilst you are there, could you give my teammate Adi Smith a vote as well as to a promising young hockey player, Lucas Marsh a vote too. Those guys exemplify this blogs’ ethos of live, eat and breathe hockey.

https://www.facebook.com/NekotiSherwoodAmbassadorProgramme/app_406909062688689


2 months have flown past and June is almost here. The world championships have been and gone and Stanley Cup is closing in on the final series, if the Rangers and Devils could decide which is the better team, but looks like that will be a 7 game series too.

 

End of April/May has been somewhat of a downer month in terms of off-season training and preparation. I don’t feel I had as good of a month as I did previously and where my weight and everything shifted for the better, I still don’t feel that I got everything out of myself and the program I was on. I didn’t get to go out to eat the miles off the road as frequently and I felt static. Then of course I had that damned virus wreaking havoc, which made me feel really lethargic and I probably missed a good few weeks of proper intensive training.

 

The good thing that came out of it is that I had my first skate since our last game of the season and my legs felt better than they have done in a while, which is good news when thinking ahead to the start of the season. Just need to keep at it and keep pushing on the plyometrics front to make sure that I increase my foot-speed and agility.

 

The one thing that I think I still struggle with is the diet. I don’t mean that I follow an un-healthy life style, though there are times when I do indulge myself, but that is a rare occasion. What I mean is that where I watch what I eat and everything, I feel that I am not eating the right things at the right time. It’s a tricky balancing act between getting your proteins and carbs and everything to make sure you optimise your body for peak performance. As a science it is quite interesting, but on the execution front it can get frustrating. The one thing that I am desperate to get rid of is the excess sugar, but yeah. I’ll let you know how that battle goes.

 

Also, if you wouldn’t mind doing me a huge favour. If you have Facebook, could you add www.facebook.com/nekoti.hockey as a friend and once your request has been accepted go click ‘Like’ on this following link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=914271413462&set=p.914271413462&type=1&theater

 

Much appreciated.