7 Ways To Get Stronger Bones

By the time we reach 50, both men and women are losing bone mass, thanks to a slowdown in the body’s bone-rebuilding process. Diet and lack of exercise can also play a role. Women can lose up to 5 percent of their bone mass in the first six years following menopause, thanks to a loss of estrogen. That means women can lose more than 20 percent of bone density in less than a decade with complications ranging from osteoporosis to fractures and falls.

Soak up some sun  

Vitamin D is a critical bone-building nutrient. It improves absorption of calcium from the gut, helps increase bone density and enhances muscle function, reducing the risk of falls and fractures. 15 minutes in the sun. That’s all you need to make enough vitamin D for your body, while avoiding the risk of skin cancer.

Jump for joy

Not a fan of running or jogging? Try something from your childhood — jumping up and down. Why? Bones respond to stress by becoming denser and stronger. NB. Jumping may not be recommended for women with osteoporosis whose bones are already weak.

Eat your veggies

Your mother was right — you should eat your vegetables. Especially dark, leafy greens, such as kale, spinach and bok choy, which are good sources of calcium, as well as bone-building nutrients such as potassium, magnesium and vitamin K.

Have a little alcohol

People who drink moderately — no more than one drink a day for women, two for men — have higher bone density than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers, recent studies have found. Beer may be particularly helpful because it contains dietary silicon, a nutrient vital for bone strength — but stick to one or two drinks. More than that can weaken bone-building cells.

Eat prunes

Don't laugh. Several studies have shown that regularly eating dried plums (aka prunes) is good for your bones, because prunes are rich in nutrients needed for bone health, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and boron. Start with two to three prunes daily, and gradually work your way up to five or six per day to allow your gut to adjust to this fiber-dense fruit.

    Go easy on bread and grains

A diet high in grains and bread may be bad for your bones.  To get the most bang for your bone-building buck, don’t go overboard on grains; focus instead on adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, which can counteract acidity from the sulphur compounds in grains..

Get more sleep

Adult’s age 50-plus that sleep less than six hours a night may have a higher risk of osteoporosis. More research is needed to understand the relationship between sleep and bone health, but insufficient shut eye could impact our bones’ ability to repair themselves as we sleep.

5 Hacks with Bi-Carb

The household staple bicarbonate of soda has so many benefits.

1.       Treat Skin

Eliminate fungal infections by making a bi-carb body scrub.  Fill 3/4 of a jar with bi-carb soda, then saturate it with triple distilled vodka to make the scrub.  Handy if by chance, you have any unwanted vodka in the house!  (You’ll have to persist with applications for some time after the infections seem to have gone, to be sure they are completely gone).


2.       Whiten Teeth

The mild abrasive is great for removing surface stains.  (It’s what’s now in most of your fancy whitening toothpastes today, so expensively marketed.)  Dip a wet toothbrush into bi-carb and brush for 2 minutes a few times a week.  Nb. Overuse can damage enamel, so go easy and see your dentist for deeper stains.


3.       Relieve Insect Bites

Bi-carb reacts to the venom of an insect bite and neutralises it by drawing out the toxins and fluids.  Mix 1 tbs with enough water to create a paste.  Apply it to the bite, leave to dry, then wipe off.


4.       Use It As A Deodorant

Blend it with a few other pantry items to absorb body odour (and kill the bacteria’s that make the odours).  Mix ½ cup each of bi-carb and arrowroot powder with 6 tbs of coconut oil and a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil.  Rub a pea-sized amount on your underarms until it’s invisible.

Tip:  Add peppermint oil to this mix and you have your own toothpaste too (see Hack #2).


5.       Detox Your Body

Bi-carb helps to draw out toxins (as in Hack #3).  Soaking in a bath in equal parts bi-carb and Epsom salts.  Both are amazing for detoxification...and a relaxation time thrown in.


SAFETY TIP – Only use aluminium free bicarbonate of soda and only in small amounts, being mindful of any skin irritations or other reactions.  If symptoms persist, always seek medical advice.

Laura Grace, CFC Personal Trainer.

Improve Your Gut Health

We choose to make our bodies stronger, leaner and fitter by coming to the gym .......

So why not assist the unseen working engine, the gut, to be as effective as possible too?

Ever tried Food Sequencing and Food Combining?

 They can be really efficient ways to improve your Gut Health

 Even if you just manage to apply either some of the time, you are decreasing stress on your body systems.

Food Sequencing

To try sequencing, the basic rules are:

Eat the quickest digesting, most watery food first and chew foods close to liquid consistency before swallowing.

Eat with 100% attention on the taste of the food (TV Dinners out....instead, concentrate on every mouthful).

Basically you begin with fruits/vegetables and progress to carbohydrates, seeds/nuts, dairy and animal proteins last.

Eating fewer different foods at each meal is believed to optimize digestion by simplifying it.


Here’s a short list of digestion times of foods:

Water – leaves immediately when stomach is empty and goes into intestines.
Juices – 15-20 minutes     

Fruits – 20-40 minutes     

Raw vegetables (salads, leafy greens, etc.) – 30-40 minutes  

Cooked vegetables – 40-50 minutes            

Starchy vegetables (squashes, yams, potatoes) 60 minutes
Grains – 90 minutes          

Legumes, Beans – 90 minutes       

Seeds – 2 hoursNuts – 2-1/2-3 hours
Dairy – anywhere from 90 minutes to 5 hours
Animal protein:  

Whole egg – 45 minutes 

Fish – 30 – 60 minutes 

Chicken – 1-1/2 -2 hours 

Turkey – 2-2-1/4 hours 

Beef, lamb – 3-4 hours 

Pork – 4-1/2 – 5 hours 


Food Combining

1. Eat raw fruit alone

2. Avoid mixing starchy carbs with animal protein

3. Water-rich vegetables go with everything

4. Healthy fats go with everything

5. Avoid combining high sugar foods with other foods. Note: Food combining principles can be more slack if your meal consists of a juice or smoothie, since the ingredients are blended.

There are different schools of thought and different ways you can vary your meals if you find you’re having digestive problems. Many of these protocols have been around for years, but today the first course of action many times is to prescribe an antacid or other medication.

Personally, I always exhaust natural methods and real food as supplements first before resorting to pharmaceutical drugs. Be mindful – pay close attention to the foods you use to fuel your body and how they affect you. You are the expert on you! And the ultimate responsibility for your health lies with you as well.

So off you go and research for yourself how to best feed your gut and produce the best good bacteria’s to promote a healthy you .......

For any help on this topic, please contact Laura at

The Pain-Relieving, Inflammation-Reducing power of Arnica Oil

Have a bump? A bruise? Arnica oil is my No. 1 remedy for so many of our common bodily woes.

Applied to the skin in the form of an oil, cream, ointment, liniment or salve, arnica has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s. Arnica oil contains helenalin, a potent anti-inflammatory, making it a must-have for any natural first aid kit.

There are several species of arnica, but the most famous and commercially available is Arnica montana, also known as mountain tobacco, leopard’s bane and wolf’s bane. Through steam distillation or CO2 extraction, the flower heads are used to produce pure arnica essential oil, which is combined with a mild carrier oil to produce the ready-to-use arnica oil widely available today.

5 Impressive Health Benefits of Arnica Oil

1.            Heals Bruises

One excellent natural remedy for bruises is arnica oil.  Simply apply the arnica oil to the bruise twice daily (as long as the bruised skin area is unbroken). Nb. Use as soon as you have been hurt, minimal bruising will then occur.

2.         Treats Osteoarthritis

Arnica has been shown in studies to be effective against osteoarthritis, making it an effective natural arthritis treatment.

3.         Improves Carpal Tunnel

Arnica oil is an excellent natural remedy for carpal tunnel, inflammation of a very small opening just below the base of the wrist. Arnica oil helps with the pain associated with carpal tunnel and ideally can help sufferers to avoid surgery.

4.         Relieves Sprains, Muscle Pain & Other Inflammation

Arnica oil is a potent remedy for various inflammatory and exercise-related injuries. The positive effects of topically applying arnica have proven to be effective in reducing pain, indicators of inflammation and muscle damage, which in turn can improve athletic performance.

5.         Encourages Hair Growth

Male or female, if you are thinning on top you might want to try arnica oil as a natural hair treatment. In fact, arnica oil is one of the best secret treatments for reversing hair loss.

A regular scalp massage with arnica oil can provide invigorating nourishment to the scalp, which stimulates hair follicles to support the growth of new and healthy hair.


Where to Find It & How to Use

Arnica oil can typically be found at any health store as well as many online retailers. When purchasing arnica oil, look for one that has a low number of natural ingredients. Ideally, the oil contains arnica extract and a high-quality base oil (or oils) such as certified organic olive oil, almond oil and/or grapeseed oil.  Avoid arnica oil that has “fragrance” listed as an ingredient since the fragrance source is unknown and can often be a skin irritant. Arnica is not meant to be used undiluted on the skin. By purchasing arnica oil, you have an arnica product that has already been diluted properly to make it safe for external use.

Before using arnica oil, make sure to shake the bottle well. You can apply arnica oil to an area of concern two to four times per day using cotton gauze or by massaging the oil directly into the skin until it is well-absorbed. As with any external product, discontinue use if a negative reaction occurs after application of arnica oil.


Laura Grace May 2017            

Strengthening your core – no to sit ups!!

Training for core strength and stability is an integral part of your strength training program. The term “core strength” is a term frequently thrown around in the health and fitness industry, yet many people do not know the true meaning and importance of it. The “core” is made up of range of muscle including the abdominals, back/spinal, pelvic floor, glutes and hip muscles. Simply put, it is generally anything that isn’t your arms or legs. Strengthening the core has become a pivotal part of preventing injury to the spine and/or extremities and playing a part in performing functional movements correctly. 

‘Core stability’ is defined as “the ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis during movement, to allow for optimum force production and transfer in athletic activities”. In essence, it is the ability to support your spine and keep your body stable and balanced and provide you with the strength to perform safe and effective manual tasks of every day life.

Whilst a large portion of people will frequently do sit ups in order to strengthen their core, research has shown that sit ups are not only not a functional way to increase core strength, but can also increase an individual’s chance of injury. Sit ups place extra pressure on the back by pushing your curved spine against the floor and tend to work the hip flexors equally, if not more, than the abdominals which tug on the lumbar spine causing lower back pain. These problems are only increased when people cannot perform the exercise correctly.

Additionally, majority of activities of daily living as well as sport activities require muscles to work together, not in isolation. When you perform a sit up, you are strengthening a select few muscles, thus the movement is not functional or applicable to movements performed in every day life. Research suggests using functional, dynamic movements to strengthen the core that replicate and are specific to activities of daily living or sport, and will contribute to injury prevention.

Some exercises you may like to incorporate into your training program to strengthening your core are:

1.    Clams

2.    Dead bugs

3.    Bird Dogs

4.    Paloff Press

5.    Woodchop

If you have any questions about core strength and stability or exercises to strengthen your core, speak to a member of the CFC team.

Happy Training! J


Primal Movements - Bending/Hip Hinging

Primal movements are basic and natural human movements we learn as babies that help our bodies gain strength, flexibility, motor skills and through correct movement, repair and prevent injury. 

There are 7 Primal Movement Patterns:

  1. Bend
  2. Squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Twist
  7. Gait

And each movement forms the fundamentals of almost every compound exercise you will see at the gym. The term primal relates to the early development of humans where we'd hunt and gather for food and shelter. There were no gyms, the resistance for these primal movements came in the form of our surroundings (instead of dumbbells, we used rocks to push, pull, squat, etc.) where we'd develop strength and flexibility through these movement patterns.

Nowadays, we spend most of our time sitting in front of a computer in a sedentary state, which can really inhibit our movement by developing weaknesses (posterior) and tightness (anterior). Going back to the basics can be the best thing for your work out regime as well as general health and well being in the long run! By re-training these movements we acquired as babies, you can prevent your body from injuries, leading to a more efficient and pain free life down the track. Correct movement also correlates to better performances in strength, speed, power, agility and flexibility.

This blog will be focusing on the Bending movement pattern, which has immense real world transfer and the associated exercises are highly functional in carrying out daily activities. The bend or hip hinge pattern relates to how we bend our torso by hinging our hips, e.g. picking a baby off the ground. This movement is possibly the most common cause of injury when performed incorrectly, e.g. picking up a heavy object with straight legs and a rounded back. 

The key to bending and lifting an object up safely is by distributing majority of the weight through our hips, glutes and legs whilst keeping your spine neutral (avoid rounding the back). Teaching yourself to efficiently hinge at the hips whilst bending can prevent serious back injury, reduce lower back pain and strengthen your glute and hamstring complex. As stated before, most people who work at a desk will have a weak posterior chain (shoulder stabilisers, back, glutes, hamstrings) and a tight anterior chain (neck, shoulders, chest, hips). By getting strong through the hip hinge, you will have a stable posterior, allowing for a mobile anterior and more efficient movement.

Exercises that utilise the bend/hip hinge movement include the:

  • Glute Bridge
  • Deadlift
  • Hip Thrust

If you'd like to know more about hip hinge exercises or movement patterns in general, feel free to ask the team at CFC!

Ben McGregor

New Year Goals

Ok, so the New Year has officially kicked in – Have You ?

Yes, cliché, but true - it is a great time to set some goals and not just for your gym time (but mostly we hope you want to make your Gym a priority…)

No lectures here – just make sure your goals are achievable, starting with small, measurable tasks.


“….I will make it to the gym at least once this week…….” 

(More than one visit is exceeding your expectations!)


“….I am going to create one new healthy meal every week….”

                                                                (Delete your ‘Uber Eats” app now !)

“….Each quarter this year, I will enter (and actually turn up to) an organised sporting event to keep me accountable to my fitness goals…”

(Think :-  ‘Couch to 5K’, Mini Triathlon, Join a local team sports club, Relay for Life…..)


For a little more inspiration, here are a few notable quotes from some very clever people…..


“One reason that people resist change is that they focus on what they have to give up, rather than what they have to gain.” –Rick Godwin


“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel.” –Kevin Trudeau


“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” –Nelson Mandela


“We are what we repeatedly do.” –Aristotle



Long Runs or Intervals?

For the last few years everyone has been joining the band wagon of interval training, but why? At first it seems like the concept of getting a break during my workout is a dream come true, but you’ll quickly realise that interval training when done properly is far more taxing, both mentally and physically.

High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) is one on many buzz words that is thrown around the fitness industry. Put simply it’s the concept of repeated efforts with some sort of rest in-between. Whether that rest involves some form of exercise at a lower intensity (active recovery) or remaining still (passive recovery) depends on numerous factors. The length of that rest also depends on what you’re aiming to get out of the sessions.

A simple measure of intensity that we use is a work to rest ratio (W:R). Put simply 1 minute of running followed by 1 minute of walking = 1:1 W:R.
For the average healthy adult we should be aiming for 3:1 or 2:1. So 45sec effort:15 sec rest, or 40:20, any less and you’re just not going to work hard enough. 5 minutes at that sort of intensity followed by a 2 minute break , repeated 3 times will be a pretty taxing workout.
Why is it better?
This method relies on you increasing the intensity to a point where you’re challenged to complete each effort. If you can do this you’ll increase your heart rate and ventilation (breathing rate) far beyond the intensity that you would have reached going for a normal jog. The idea with the short rests is that you have a brief chance to recover, but in that amount of time your heart rate and ventilation aren’t going to decrease much at all. Meaning that at the end of the workout,  your average HR will be far higher than what it would have been going for a steady run, because of the many spikes that occurred throughout the work out. 

What should I do?
1. 40 seconds effort/ 20 seconds rest on a rower x5, 2 mins break and repeat X3 – total time 19 mins

2. 3 min run/ 1 min walk x 5 – 20 mins

3. 45 sec bike sprint/ 15 sec easy pedalon a bikex5, 2 mins break repeat X3 -  19 mins

Sam Batterton

Importance of 1 Repetition Maximum (RM)

Performing a 1RM isn't simple but once done correctly, a precise program can be written up for you. Correct form, motivation and reliable spotters are all necessities while performing a 1RM for exercisers like squats, bench press, military press and dead lifts.

Mind set - To perform a 1RM you must first believe you can lift it, if you're mentally defeated then the likelihood of a successful lift will drastically decrease. Your peers can also motivate you, whether it's through positive talk or physically motivating/switching you on. Music of your choice can also get you pumped up for the up coming lift. 

Form - Go through the cues of the lift in your mind then execute it. For example in a deadlift; maintain a neutral back, push off the ground, drive through the quads and finish with the glutes. Each individual may have a different process to set up for their lift, whether it's short and precise or detailed. If you even feel that your form is breaking down, let the spotter/s know and they will help you rack the weight. This is where ego lifting can become a problem, as some lifters just want to lift the weight at all cost. This can lead to major injuries and a long stint out of the gym.   

Now you have your 1RM, what now?

Now a program will be created, whether you or your personal trainer writes it up. This enables you to have a precise and individualised program. 


Squat 1RM - 120kg

Recommended reps per set is 3-6 at 70-80% 1RM

Therefore 3 sets of 6 at 75% 1RM or 90kg

With this methodology you should be working hard enough to acquired optimal adaptations and progressively get stronger. Week by week the repetitions and sets may differ to enable a sufficient stimulus to occur. Variations of the exercisers like a deficit deadlift can also improve the floor speed (where the bar leaves the ground) of your deadlift. 

You may be thinking, do I need to do a 1RM for every exercise?

The answer is no, as it wouldn't be practical for some exercisers like the bicep curl. 1RM's are generally performed for compound exercisers like a clean and jerk, squat ect.

Using a percentage of your 1RM with a specific set and rep range in your program generally increases your overall strength, power and most importantly health. If you have an inquirers please feel free to ask me or any CFC staff member.

Singkik Li 

Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) - Foam Rolling

Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) - Soft tissue therapy for your muscles which focus on nerves and connective tissue. SMR via a foam roller or a spikey ball are two great ways to remove muscle imbalances, increase range of motion and improve neuromuscular efficiency.


Knee pain can be due to having tight Illiotibial bands (ITB), this is located on the lateral sides of your quadriceps. The ITB can become tight due to overuse from exercises such as squats, running, cycling and hiking. Combined with a weak vastis medialis (VMO) this can lead to patella tracking which results in pain through your knee. By utilising SMR, this pain can be reduced by releasing tension in the ITB. Simply holding yourself in a side plank where the foam roller lies on your hip, roll down towards your knee and back up to the hip. If it's too painful use your other leg to bear some of your weight (as seen below). 10 repetitions each side before a workout is recommended. A more thorough roll out is recommend post workout as this can relax the muscles and release tension throughout our muscles.    

Other muscle groups that require SMR are the quadriceps, calves, hamstrings, glutes,  lower (lumbar) and upper (thoracic) back. A spikey ball can isolate a specific area which is particularly sore, Spikey balls can massage some areas more effectively than a foam roller; for example the shoulder, the sciatic nerve or a knot in your back (located in your glute). Breaking knots results in an increase of range of motion and enables you to perform activities of daily living with more ease. Spending an extra 5 minutes post exercise on a foam roller and a spikey ball can decrease the likelihood of injuries. 

Feel free to ask me and the staff members of CFC any questions about SMR.


By Sing-kik Li

The Importance of Mobility and Flexibility

Stretching and strengthening – these two practices will help you decrease pain and generally help your day to day well being. Let me tell you why.
Stretching if done correctly allows the body to remove imbalances that are usually caused by overuse or poor movement patterns/ habits, allowing us to return to out anatomically correct posture.

Let’s take sitting at a desk example:

·         Sitting causes tight hip flexors (muscles on the front of your pelvis) and weak and stretched glutes. This is because you might sit for 6 hours in a day and your body adjusts and gets used to this position.

·         This means our glutes don’t work as they should when needed during the rest of our day to day activities such as absorbing impact when walking down stairs, this impact is then absorbed by the lower back and this often causes pain and injury.

·         My advice – Stretch the hip flexors using a foam roller and a simple lunge position hip flexor stretch every day for 5 minutes on each side.
And complete 4 sets of 15 glute bridges also every day.

·         This will begin to strengthen your glutes and take the pressure off the back. From there regular and progressive resistance training is necessary. Come and have a chat to us about setting a program up if you have a sore back.


As we get older our joints and muscles sadly get stiffer and less mobile and in turn this causes long term pain, we can counteract this by completing daily stretching and regular strengthening exercises. This need to be individualised and prescribed by a qualified professional.


By Sam Batterton

Spice up your life with Tumeric

Health Benefits of Turmeric

 The healing properties of turmeric are well documented and we could benefit from adding a little into our own diets.

Its benefits equal many (and often surpasses) pharmaceutical medications – without the side effects.

When examining the research, turmeric benefits go beyond that of many drugs, for example;

·         Anti-inflammatory drugs

·         Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)

·         Pain killers

·         Diabetes drugs (Metformin)

·         Arthritis medications

·         Inflammatory bowel disease drugs

·         Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)

·         Steroids


To hone your appetite a little more, head over to this article for starters …

With the last few weeks of Winter and those office colds and chest bugs doing the circuits again, try some Tumeric in your diet quick smart – along with other popular plants, herbs and spices, such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, citrus.  See off the final Winter Blues and get ready for Spring with a full compliment of healing foods.


15 ways to add Tumeric to your life:

-Brew Tumeric Tea

-Stir up a curry powder

-Blend it into a smoothie or juice it

-Season roasted vegetables

-Brush your teeth with it

-Add colour to your boring dishes

-Drink golden milk

-Make homemade mustard

-Fortify your soup

-Mix up a cold remedy

-Sauté a healthy side dish

-Sprinkle on an avocado

-Make natural food colouring

-Top your salad with it

-Spread it on your skin

If you would like more info check out


Eat Well and Live Strong


Squats are one of the most common lower body exercises in the world. it's a compound movement which predominately utilities your quadriceps and glutes. You may not know it but we all squatted several times in our lives especially as a toddler/child. Some people are discouraged to squat as they may think it's a dangerous exercise. Then there are some people who don't like to perform lower body exercises because people perceive them to be weak and discourage them. These are just excuses as strength will come over time, practice and good form.  

It's essential to maintain good form during squats, once form is improved the likelihood of injury minimises while the benefits will pile on:

  • Increased Strength - A significant increase of strength will occur if you squat with good form and incorporate progressive overload. Strength will not only occur in your quads and glutes but also in your calves and core. 
  • Stability and Mobility - As the squat is performed with a neutral spine this will strengthen your core and evidently strengthen your posture. As we get older the probability of falls increases but by squatting we strengthen our lower body and core hence decreasing the chance of falls
  • Injury Prevention - From the two points above we know that squatting will decrease the chance of injury. Squats increase the strength in our quads especially the VMO aka vastus medialis. By increasing the strength of this muscle it can decrease the likelihood of patella tracking and knee pain. 
  • Improves the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL's) - The ability to lifts things becomes easier as you have more power through your legs. Coupled with good form you will be able to move items around the house easily. With increased mobility and stability these tasks can be performed without you being completely exhausted.

Hopefully this will not only encourage more people to squat but to squat with good form. The benefits are clear but if you have any questions about this blog or you want to inquire about how to improve your form feel free to talk to the staff members of CFC or message me Singkik at                   

Getting through those endurance runs and rides with homemade energy bar portables…..

Energy bars don’t have to be shop-bought, make your own for the same energy-giving effect. The beauty of making your own of course is that you can choose your favourite ingredients, plus they’ll be free of preservatives and save you money too.

Oats, cereal, fruit, nuts and chocolate drops are good ingredients, and real butter, honey, agave, maple syrup or coconut oil will help to bind the ingredients together. 

Here’s a simple favourite of mine;

Energy Nuggets


·         50g soft dried apricots

·         100g soft dried date

·         50g dried cherry

·         2tsp coconut oil

·         1tbsp sesame seed


Whizz apricots with dates and cherries in a food processor until very finely chopped. Tip into a bowl and use your hands to work in coconut oil. Shape the mix into walnut-sized balls, then roll in sesame seeds. Store in an airtight container until you need a quick energy fix.

Ready for that marathon 15, 20, 25km training session or it’s a bright sunny winters morning round the bay ride time, just  pop a few into a zip lock bag and carry in your bike or run pouch.  Keeping your energy levels up along with adequate hydration (think pure water or coconut water for best results) will get you the better training results and recovery you are looking for.

And if you do end up making some of your own energy bars, be sure to make extra for the CFC Crew to sample!



Body tied all up in knots?
When a person has a muscular complaint that could be described as a "knot in the muscle"; they are most likely referring to Trigger Points (known as TPs or mTrP)

Muscle pain matters:
It’s an important problem. Aches and pains are an extremely common medical complaint, and trigger points seem to be a factor in many of them. They are a key factor in headaches (probably including migraine and cluster headaches as well, neck pain and low back pain, and (much) more. What makes trigger points clinically important — and fascinating — is their triple threat. They can: Cause pain problems, complicate pain problems, and mimic other pain problems.

Trigger points can cause pain directly. Trigger points are a “natural” part of muscle tissue. Just as almost everyone gets some pimples, sooner or later almost everyone gets muscle knots — and you have pain with no other explanation.
Trigger points complicate injuries. Trigger points show up in most painful situations like party crashers. Almost no matter what happens to you, you can count on trigger points to make it worse. In many cases they actually begin to overshadow the original problem.

Are TPs common?

Myofascial trigger points are among the most common, yet poorly recognised and inadequately managed, causes of musculoskeletal pain seen in medical practice. Unfortunately, many general practitioners and orthopaedic surgeons do not know about TPs, and as TPs do not show on XRays or scans, the patient may be told there is nothing wrong with them or that there is nothing that can be done to help fix their pain.

What common conditions are thought to be due to referred pain from TPs?

TPs are known to cause or contribute to headaches, neck and jaw pain, low back pain, the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow, and many kinds of joint pain mistakenly ascribed to arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis, or ligament injury.

How does massage work?

In three ways:

A: Massage breaks into the self-sustaining vicious circle that has kept the muscle contracted. 

B: It increases the circulation, which has been restricted in the immediate area by the contracted fibres, thus enabling oxygen and nutrients to flow to the spot. 

C: It directly stretches the trigger point's knotted muscle fibres.

These three manipulations applied to a trigger point help to break it any waste products caused by the "blockage" of the tigger point, and let healthy, oxygenated blood back in to restore and repair the system.

If you have experienced long standing muscular pain, make an appointment for a musculoskeletal assessment with Tyson Lund today.

The Humble Cucumber - So much more than a salad staple!

Did you know cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day .........

Just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium and Zinc.

Feeling tired in the afternoon, hours before home-time and the bad munchie choices fog your mind?  With its B Vitamins and Carbohydrates it can provide a healthy pick-me-up that lasts for hours.  

No more Red Bull for You!

Cucumbers on their own offer hydration with their water content, but add a few slices to water and it pleasantly adds aroma and subtle taste, which makes drinking your daily water much easier.

There are so many more uses for cucumbers that you wouldn't think of - cleaning your shoes, de-fogging the bathroom mirror, freshening your breath (instead of sugary mints/gum) .......

...... but my favourite is in decreasing/avoiding the painful hangover or bad headache.  Eat a few slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumber contains enough sugars, B Vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost on that big night out.

Tip:  Also drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you consume and you are hydrating before any dehydrating can occur...  more on the essentials of water for the human body next time.

So what are you waiting for - go get yourself some cucumbers today.

Laura G


The Deadlift

Arguably the best exercise when it comes to strengthening the lower body and trunk (core). Although commonly perceived as a complex and dangerous exercise, it is essentially lifting up a dead weight and putting it back down again. When you think about it, deadlifts are a fundamental movement that we often perform on a daily basis, whether it is picking up a child or pulling out weeds in the garden, you are performing a variation of a deadlift.

So then, why isn't everyone deadlifting at the gym?

Well, the most common reason why people are deterred from adding deadlifts to their programs is due to the stigma associated with (incorrectly performed) deadlifts. If you ask 10 people if they deadlift, it is almost guaranteed that about half will say something along the lines of, "Nah, I don't want to hurt my back." or "No way, it's too dangerous!". The truth is that, yes, it can hurt your back and it can be dangerous, but ONLY if you perform it incorrectly! With every exercise, if you use improper form, you will greatly increase the risk of injury!

Now that that's out of the way, here are the benefits associated with deadlifts when performed properly:

  • Increased Strength - You will gain significant strength throughout the entire body. As the deadlift is a holistic movement by nature, it will engage in more muscles than most exercises. Therefore, you will gain increases in lower body, core, upper body and grip strength. 
  • Core Stability - As the deadlift requires you to perform the movement with a neutral spine, the muscles responsible for core strength and correct posture will be engaged during the movement. Thus strengthening these muscles and improving your core strength and stability, balance and ability to transfer weight. 
  • Injury Prevention - As mentioned above, you will gain a stronger and more stable core, reducing the amount of compensation required by other muscles which can often result in tightness. You will also be stronger in certain joint movements such as bending your knees and hips, greatly reducing the likelihood of injury when performing these actions.
  • Real Life Application - The proper form associated with deadlifting is transferable to almost any real life situation that involves picking something up. You will feel stronger when gardening or picking up a baby, and soon deadlifting will become a habit where you will properly place your feet should. Day to day activities or tasks once seen as cumbersome and painful will become far easier and pain free. 
  • Reduction in Back Soreness - Yes, you will experience less pain in your back through deadlifting. Through proper technique, your back will take on less load due to the amount of core strength and stability you gain from deadlifting, as well as the efficient activation of supporting trunk muscles such as the glutes. 

So if you had any doubts about whether or not it's worth adding the deadlift to your repertoire, hopefully they have all been eradicated and you are now ready to begin enjoying the many benefits of the deadlift. If you're still not convinced or just need to be shown the proper technique please reach out to one of our CFC staff or message me, Ben at



Weight loss - Resistance training v cardio

There are many myths regarding both resistance or weight training and cardio in all of its forms, I will attempt to dismantle a few of these for you today.

1. Resistance training is dangerous: exercises such as the dead lift and squat are regularly seen to be dangerous, and if done incorrectly this can be true. If though they are done correctly (which is something everyone can achieve) they are two of the most effective resistance exercises going around. Hire a personal trainer to teach you correct technique, and you’ll find yourself losing weight, getting stronger and decreasing your chance of injury in no time.    

2. Females: Resistance training will give you big muscles and make you bulky – Resistance training can give you big muscles but a few sessions a week is nowhere near enough to have that sort of an impact. Bodybuilders who have this physique train everyday and follow very regimented eating plans.

Testosterone is the primary hormone for muscle growth and as females generally have very little testosterone and for this reason they tend not to grow muscle like males do.

3. I want to lose weight... better get on the treadmill – The most effective way to lose weight is through a combination of high intensity interval training and structured whole body resistance training. Your metabolism drives the amount of energy you expend at all times, if you exercise your metabolism increases. The more energy you burn, the more weight you burn.

Steady state cardio (treadmill) – increases your metabolism a moderate amount during your workout.
High intensity interval training – increases your metabolism a large amount for the duration of the session even though you spend some of your session resting. This is because when you are working you’re working much harder than on the treadmill.

4. I’ve done lots of exercise, now I can eat what I like.

The old saying you can’t exercise away a bad diet still holds very true. Exercise plays only a small role in weight loss, your basal metabolic rate – how much energy that is required to keep you functioning at rest – is a major factor and this is genetically determined, along with easily the most important factor of them all is what you eat! Weight loss in roughly 70% diet and 30% exercise, the most important thing is to eat a balanced diet of real low calorie food.

5. Very low carbohydrate diets for weight loss

For your body to metabolise (burn) fat you must have some carbs in your body. They are a required part of the process and without them you’re body will revert to using muscle glycogen as fuel and leaving the fat alone. This is the last thing we want and often results in becoming ‘skinny fat’, which I’m sure is the last thing anyone wants. In saying that carbohydrate that is not oxidised via our metabolism during exercise will be stored as excess weight, so a balance must be maintained.   


While it can be east to read about what is the best ‘exercise’, realistically the best form of exercise is the one you enjoy! Whether that’s running, lifting weights, bike riding, curling or white water rafting, do what you enjoy and you’re far more likely to maintain it for longer. If you'd like to have a chat about this, get in with me, regards, Sam,


Have you hit a plateau?

No longer improving in strength, fitness or performance?

If you answered yes, you may be experiencing a plateau in your workouts. That is that you have been lifting the same weights, seeing no improvements in your strength or weight loss/weight gain goals and this can be very discouraging. 

There are one of two ways to deal with a plateau. 

  1. Keep doing the same thing and expect different results, which is also Albert Einstein's definition of insanity.
  2. OR you can change your program design and push through this training lull!

Main reasons why we hit the wall with our training is because of a lack of training stimulus. The body is incredible in it's ability to adapt and exercise is no exception. With your workouts you should always be looking to introduce something new to increase the difficulty of the exercise.  

  • Increasing the weight/ resistance of the exercise every week or so will provide the body with enough stimulus for it to adapt and improve.
  • Manipulating the rep range,number of sets and rest duration will affect the adaptations your body will receive. Lowering the repetitions and increasing the resistance and rest will allow you to lift stronger. Alternatively, increasing the repetitions and decreasing or maintaining the resistance and rest will help your muscular endurance.
  • Altering the tempo of the exercise; a slower eccentric phase (lowering) exposes the muscles to more tension, making for a greater stimulus and a more difficult exercise.
  • Changing the exercise itself can surprise the muscles which have become accustomed to a certain movement (think barbell bench press into dumbbell bench press), allowing for further increases in strength/fitness/performance via a new stimulus.

The take home message is that we should always look to mix up our routine after 4 weeks or so, through manipulating weight, resistance rep ranges, sets, rest, tempo and exercises themselves. 

If you've hit a plateau and are looking to shake things up or you just need some more information, just contact the CFC team or talk to us next time you're in!



Let it all sweat out . . . .

Sweating is good for us.

It is the way our body regulates it's temperature.   Equally important, it is one of the ways we eliminate toxins from our body. 

Today's modern society bombards us with choices of deodorants and antiperspirants (the ones that clog your pores and stop you sweating) both of which are not necessarily good for us long term, based on the extended ingredients lists you will find of chemical names you can't even pronounce, let alone know what they are or do.

So, why not try a natural, completely chemical free version?

A DIY option of your own.

---------------------All you need are 3 simple ingredients;-------------------

Coconut oil

Bicarbonate of soda

Essential oil     

TIPchoose one with anti-bacterial / anti fungal properties, tea tree, lemongrass, orange ....

Mix equal parts coconut oil and bicarb together to form a paste, then add a few drops of essential oil.  Smell, add a few more drops if you wish.


That's all you have to do.  Place the mixture in a suitable storage container and just scoop a pea size amount out with your finger and rub into your pits to use.

There are many variations on-line, this is the simplest I have found and I can definitely confirm, - It really, really works (or tell me I smell !). 

It may take a week or two for your body to de-tox from the shop bought stuff and you may experience some odour. This is only temporary, as is for some, a lot more sweating at first.  The sweating will reduce to a minimum in time.        And sweat is good, remember.

TIP: If you are overly sensitive, the bicarb may irritate - simply add more coconut oil than bicarb to assist.  

Live strong and prosper, with healthy alternatives in life.  


Laura G x