It was my interest in martial arts that prompted my interest in physical therapies. This was due to getting my own injuries sorted out and later as a teacher helping my students.
Closing the circle, it was working as a therapist that triggered my interest in physical training beyond martial arts and better approaches to dietary management. I’d always done some training to support my martial arts but as I got older I needed to look further afield.
One of the first parallel training areas I adopted was Dao Yin (Chinese Yoga). I learned Dao Yin via my study of Chinese Medicine in general and Tui Na therapy in particular, Tui Na is very similar to Thai Yoga Massage and involves a lot of passive stretching of the patient. It is usually carried out on the floor, because of this delivering Tui Na is quite demanding on the body of the therapist and Dao Yin is one of the ways traditional therapists learn to cope with the work.
The other area of physical training was running. I’d always run since being a child, but it was only in support of other activities such as football, rugby and then martial arts. I’d always run hard over relatively short distances, but as I got older I found that this was taking more put of me than I gained. I started to explore other approached and I discovered Low Heart Rate training, more specifically the Maffetone Method. Dr Phil Maffetone built his method on the work of New Zealand Olympic coach, Arthur Leslie Lydiard.
The method focuses on working the body in the Aerobic zone and carefully avoiding Anaerobic effort (getting out of breath and gasping). This method has been successfully used by some of the most successful Ultra Marathon runners and Iron Man Triathletes. See the YouTube video on this page featuring the legendary Mark Allen (Triathlete). I think it’s this association with extreme athletic evens that, oddly enough, has stopped this training method becoming more widely used. Hobby runners or running newbies are unlikely to search training methods of people that run for dozens and sometimes of hundreds of miles!
The final piece in my puzzle of good health is diet. As the old saying goes; ‘you can’t out run a bad diet’. I’d always found that I could gain weight easily, even when physically active and as I got older I experienced issues such as indigestion, stomach acid, low energy levels and a general sense of low motivation. after much research I pinned the issues down to my diet, which was, by commonly accepted standards, quite healthy.
After much research I moved into what is now commonly (if inaccurately) referred to as a ‘Paleo’ diet, basically this means minimising sugar, simple carbohydrates and eating more healthy sources of carbohydrates, fats and protein. following that I investigated achieving what I call ‘metabolic agility’. That’s to say retraining my body to consume its own fat, exactly how the human body has evolved to function over thousands of years.
If you’ve struggled to manage your weight or been confronted by type 2 diabetes, low energy, acid reflux or a myriad of other ailments that fall under the general heading of ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ then please go to my healthy eating page.
If you want to get fitter, regain some youthful energy and generally feel good about yourself drop me a line and let’s talk!
Mark Allen describes his ‘mind blowing’ discovery of MAF training.