Performance coach and personal trainer to professional athletes
Training time 8am
Training goal Increase fitness for Octathlon competition
Pre-workout “At 6.30am, I’ll have a mug of green tea. It’s great for clearing your digestive system and is full of health-boosting antioxidants and catechins. Immediately after this, I’ll have some orange juice with two pieces of toasted rye bread, 5 scrambled eggs (3 yolks), raw spinach, watercress, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and sea salt. Then at 7.20am, 40 minutes before my workout, I’ll have a skinny latte with cinnamon. Cinnamon has been proven to slow gastic emptying, which helps control blood sugar levels and avoid insulin spikes.”
Bonus A new study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found inorganic nitrate – which spinach is bursting with – increases the efficiency of the mitochondria that powers your cells, leading to more efficient muscular performance. It lowers blood pressure, too.
Post-workout “I consume a protein shake with 5g glutamine – which minimises muscle breakdown – while stretching for the last 10 minutes of my 60-minute session. It’s vital that your blood sugar does not drop too low post-workout, otherwise your body may burn muscle for fuel instead of building it, and a protein shake is easy to get down the hatchet. While changing, I’ll eat two bananas to top my blood sugar right up and help restore muscle glycogen (already preparing for the next session). Then, an hour and a half after my workout, I’ll eat two tuna and sweetcorn sandwiches using oatmeal bread, with a handful of almonds and a handful of brazil nuts. Tuna protein has a high biological value (the body will digest and use almost all of it ) and it’s also full of the good fats crucial for muscle growth.
Bonus A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association eating a daily portion of almonds cuts your bad cholestorol by 30%; while a study in the British Journal of Nutrition found regular almond-eaters reduce their likelihood of gaining weight by 31%. Chew them and you’ll optimise nutrient absorption.
James King writes MH’s fortnightly Be your own personal trainer blog, and has contributed many workouts, including how to bulk up your arms and build bonus muscle, how to optimise your abs training, and how to burn more fat in less time with high intensity interval training.