#teamspnh 2015 APL Nationals Recap

This wekeend gone  #teamspnh made the Journey to the sunny gold coast to compete in Australian Powerlifting League 2015 Nationals event.

This was the first APL nationals in Australia,  the international body (IPL) promotes single ply, multi ply raw and raw classic powerlifitng.

We were very happy with the venue and the professionalism of the APL referees and officials, being a relatively new federation and running a national event like this is very time consuming. All in all it was a good event and some good lifting took place.


Athletes John & Andreas with Coach Christian


Athletes Andreas and John have been training very hard since NSW states and were eager to put up a good performance on the platform as well as beat any gym personal bests.

John had his work cut out for him



Athlete John had his work cut out for him being hospitalised a few weeks earlier due to glandular, sadly this left John with not very much training or recovery time. John also had another obstacle to tackle, he wanted to compete in the 110kg weight class category however was weighing in around the 118kg mark 4 days out from competition.

With careful diet and fluid manipulation John weighed in at 109.95kg

Andreas weighed in at 70kg on the dot. Andreas has plenty of room to grow into the 75kg weight category.


Andreas with a PB squat of 175kg @ 70kg BW

Andreas opened at his Previous PB squat from NSW state titles and easily smoked a 15kg pb on the squat.



John squat
John with a pb squat of 282.5kg @ 110kg bodyweight

Next up was John he squatted a very deep 282.5kg squat a gym and competition PB for john.


We then moved onto bench press…


Andreas 100kg bench @ 70kg BW

Andreas managed to hit a PB of 100kg on the bench press once again this is a gym and competition best for him. Sadly squatting took alot out of John and with his sickness did not post his best efforts in the bench and deadlift.

Andreas 190kg Deadlift @ 70kg BW

Big PB deadlift for Andreas… 2XX’s are on the cards for next states.

And they’re spent…


APL 2015 Nationals Results



#teamSPNH do Jupiter's buffet!
#teamSPNH do Jupiter’s buffet!


What powerlifting trip could be complete without a buffet?


Congratulations guys. Next year holds big things.



NSW APL States Done and Dusted…



Team Update




#TeamSPNH, Competed at the NSW APL (http://www.powerlifting-ipl.com affiliate)

Personal bests were had all round for the guys.

Johns first single ply equipped comp and Andreas’s first powerlifting competition saw some nerves busted and some goals set for Nationals later on this year. This was my first competition post surgery and it felt good to be back into the groove.

I set an in comp Personal best and equal gym PB bench press of 220kg and also deadlifted 250kg @117.3kg

Andreas went 9/9 with a best Squat of 160kg bench of 90kg and deadlift of 170kg @ 69.1kg. You may remember Andreas previous pbs from instagram were 137.5kg squat, 77.5kg benchpress and a 155kg Deadlift.

John competed with a goal of setting some single ply numbers to work off for our prep for nationals. His lifts were 250kg squat, 200kg bench press and 250kg raw deadlift at 115.9kg John will compete in the 110kg class at nationals 3 lift singleply.

The Road to Nationals begins…






Back To Basics, 3 Reasons you’re not going anywhere

So you’re new in the gym and not progressing, what have you been doing wrong? You have lots of fancy cable exercises, supersets and weird single leg movements that you can’t seem to get the hang of? What is missing?

Looking around at the people in gyms I am now convinced people are making up their own exercises or at least copying someone else who made up their own exercise. It seems to be the blind leading the blind, Chinese whispers in effect regarding exercise selection and execution in gyms everywhere. People need to realise a few things, one being that what someone does now in regards to training is not what they have always done or was it probably the most optimal way to achieve what they wanted.

“Time and time again in  gyms I see people wasting their time, trying to build “upper pecs” & “leg sweeps”. It hard to build those things when you have no chest or legs to begin with. At the other end of the scale we have people who are afraid of basic exercises due to unrealistic fears of injury.”

There are a few movements that almost any able bodied person should be able to implement into their training protocols,  however some trainers seem to be moving away from the most basic of training that should be the core basics of every program. Be it bikini, powerlifitng, general strength/fitness or even bodybuilding, these are the basic barbell powerlifts.

If you are physically able and your training program does not include some form of proper barbell training you need to be asking the question why? Bullshit baffles brains, however it does not give the best results, some trainers choose to constantly change exercises around and add fancy obscure movements in an attempt to keep clients from feeling like they can do it alone, however that is not optimal for client progression.





These are the most basic movements and should be taught to every beginner looking to set foot into a gym and better themselves. Granted there are extremes in the population that may limit these exercises from being incorporated however that is not the context here.


Whether you train with with dumbells, kettle bells or a shake weight at some stage even the most novice of gym members will probably be required to bend down and pick something up of the floor. Picking something up off the ground is one of the most basic movements you can do, so you best learn how to do it right without injury! If you are not deadlifting in the gym then there is a problem and you are being done a disservice. Even starting with the bar or a light kettle bell and gradually increasing weight is a start. Picking something up. What could be more functional then that?

Deadlifts are a basic compound exercise that work the hips,legs, back and core as well as a bunch of stabilising muscles.

“Picking something up off the ground, it’s one of the most basic movements you can do.”

285kg Deadlift GPC NSW State Titles 2013



Granted once again you are able bodied as well as picking things up off the ground you should also be practising squatting. Squatting is basically the magical exercise of standing up and down, sometimes with weight.

We sit and stand multiple times every day we might as well learn how to do it efficiently. Squats are another compound exercise that like deadlifts almost do everything. Hips, legs and core all cop a beating from a proper squat workout.

Barbell squatting holds many benefits over cable exercises and smith machine pseudo-squats. The ability to stabilise your hips and core during a dynamic movement translates to a lot of functional activities. As we age, the ability to properly stand up and down also becomes extremely important to help prevent injuries and falls. Squatting properly and safely can effectively be done by all gym goers granted they are shown and taught proper lifting technique.

“Squatting is basically the magical exercise of standing up and down, sometimes with weight..”


275kg Squat GPC NSW States 2013




If you are chasing upper body strength and have been avoiding dumbells and barbells for cable and plate loaded machines then you have once again been missing out.

Overhead pressing such as a military press or bench press as pictured below are the pressing compound lifts of the upper body. They work multiple muscle groups and have the ability to build great upper body strength. Some alternates and proper technique may be required for people who are prone to shoulder injuries due to individual shoulder morphology  however pressing should be worked into every upper body routine.


170kg Bench Press GPA Worlds Sydney, Australia 2014



Incorporating the powerlifts into a properly designed training program has a multitude of benefits from increased power output for sport performance to greater muscular hypertrophy when looking to change your physique. Make no mistake these exercises although form a sport are not exclusive to powerlifitng itself.

Avoiding the powerlifts in the gym is rookie mistake number 1 and quite possibly going to result in suboptimal progression through your training cycle, especially when inadequate replacement exercises have been selected in their place for the search of ‘functional strength’. Nothing is more functional then being strong every where. Get back to the bar and improve your training for the new year.


Diet affects males’ and females’ gut microbes differently

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications. These results suggest that therapies designed to improve human health and treat diseases through nutrition might need to be tailored for each sex.

The researchers studied the gut microbes in two species of fish and in mice, and also conducted an in-depth analysis of data that other researchers collected on humans. They found that in fish and humans diet affected the microbiota of males and females differently. In some cases, different species of microbes would dominate, while in others, the diversity of bacteria would be higher in one sex than the other.

These results suggest that any therapies designed to improve human health through diet should take into account whether the patient is male or female.

Only in recent years has science begun to completely appreciate the importance of the human microbiome, which consists of all the bacteria that live in and on people’s bodies. There are hundreds or even thousands of species of microbes in the human digestive system alone, each varying in abundance.

Genetics and diet can affect the variety and number of these microbes in the human gut, which can in turn have a profound influence on human health. Obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease have all been linked to low diversity of bacteria in the human gut.

One concept for treating such diseases is to manipulate the microbes within a person’s gut through diet. The idea is gaining in popularity because dietary changes would make for a relatively cheap and simple treatment.

Much has to be learned about which species, or combination of microbial species, is best for human health. In order to accomplish this, research has to illuminate how these microbes react to various combinations of diet, genetics and environment. Unfortunately, to date most such studies only examine one factor at a time and do not take into account how these variables interact.

“Our study asks not just how diet influences the microbiome, but it splits the hosts into males and females and asks, do males show the same diet effects as females?” said Daniel Bolnick, professor in The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences and lead author of the study.

While Bolnick’s results identify that there is a significant difference in the gut microbiota for males and females, the dietary data used in the analysis are organized in complex clusters of disparate factors and do not easily translate into specific diet tips, such as eating more vegetables or less meat.

“To guide people’s behavior, we need to know what microbes are desirable for people,” said Bolnick. “Diet and sex do interact to influence the microbes, but we don’t yet know what a desirable target for microbes is. Now we can go in with eyes open when we work on therapies for gut microbe problems, as many involve dietary changes. We can walk into those studies looking for something we weren’t aware of before. All along we treated diet as if it works the same for men and women. Now we’ll be approaching studies of therapies in a different way.”

Why men and women would react differently to changes in diet is unclear, but there are a couple of possibilities. The hormones associated with each sex could potentially influence gut microbes, favoring one strain over another. Also, the sexes often differ in how their immune systems function, which could affect which microbes live and die in the microbiome.

One notable exception in Bolnick’s results was in the mice. Although there was a tiny difference between male and female mice, for the most part the microbiota of each sex reacted to diet in the same manner. Because most dietary studies are conducted on mice, this result could have a huge effect on such research, and it raises questions about how well studies of gut microbes in lab mice can be generalized to other species, particularly humans.

“This means that most of the research that’s being done on lab mice — we need to treat that with kid gloves,” said Bolnick.


This Story Was Printed By Sciencedaily; University of Texas at Austin. (2014, July 29). Diet affects males’ and females’ gut microbes differently. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140729115407.htm

Daniel I. Bolnick, Lisa K. Snowberg, Philipp E. Hirsch, Christian L. Lauber, Elin Org, Brian Parks, Aldons J. Lusis, Rob Knight, J. Gregory Caporaso, Richard Svanbäck. Individual diet has sex-dependent effects on vertebrate gut microbiotaNature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5500

Consistency, Compliance and self Accountability.

We spend a lot of time looking for optimal ways to achieve results. Training principles, macronutrient breakdown of diets, dietary supplementation. 

However we often forget the most important aspect in regards to results. 

Consistency, Compliance and self Accountability.

The most well thought out plan of attack if not adhered to will not yield results results. 

The number 1 reason for failure of dietary intervention is lack of compliance. Anything you can do to help compliance will result in a better outcome for yourself.

Think of it like an equation, in a sense your body is currently the sum of all of your lifestyle and dietary choices combines, what you do day to day everyday has taken you to this point now. If you want it to change then you will need to change what goes into the equation and that starts with the little things.

At the core of it, If you are overweight day to day then you eat too many calories and would generally do too little exercise by default. Now the reasons for this are many however at the root of the problem is this energy equation. For one reason or another your default pattern if left unchecked is to consume more calories then needed. If you want to change from this then you need to make conscious effort to dictate what you consume and how much work you do.

If you are underweight and struggle to gain then you simple take in too little calories, your default is to under eat or do too much.

You can not overeat and not gain weight it defies physics, you are not the exception to the rule.

There are optimal methods of diet and training however if you don’t make them part of your lifestyle then the equation that is you will not change. A plan is just a piece of paper until you put it into action.

Be consistent, keep accountable and keep working…

Lower meal frequency for type 2 Diabetics.

Type 2 diabetic? Try having less larger  less frequent meals with a fasting period. 

A study from April 2014 found eating only breakfast and lunch reduced body weight, liver fat content, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide and glucagon, and increased insulin sensitivity, more than the same calorie restriction split into six meals, the randomised cross-over study of 54 adults with type 2 diabetes found.

The study concluded; “A hypoenergetic diet (a restriction of 2,092 kJ/
day) consumed as breakfast and lunch reduced body weight,
HFC, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide and glucagon, and
increased calculated insulin sensitivity (OGIS), more than the
same hypoenergetic diet (a similar restriction of 2,092 kJ/day)
divided into six, more frequent, meals.”



Correlation, Causation and Context in the Health Industry

Many people confuse correlation (things happening together or in sequence) for causation (that one thing actually causes the other to happen). Sometimes correlation is coincidental, or it may be attributable to a common cause.

Recently on facebook I shared a link to a website that has been making the rounds lately on social media.  The website, pokes fun at the idea of people using Correlation in an attempt to prove a direct causative factor in events. As you can see from the website statistically the age of miss america correlates with murders by steam, gas vapours and hot objects. Most readers are likely to see that correlation has nothing to do with a causative factors in this instance, however what if the reader has little to no background understanding of a topic and both statistics are related? 8A-2013-09-16-NinaDavuluri-MissAmerica2014


Spurious correlations are all to popular among the health & fitness industry. They are often pushed forward to the general population in an attempt for someone to give credit or relevance to either an idea or to push an existing agenda. This is popular in all fields of the industry and is not simply limited to fringe groups.

Would anyone consider the following based simply on correlation?

1WZ6h Accepting a correlation as a direct causative factor can have devastating consequences. Lets look into the above example of causative factors of autism, one of the more recent and controversial that everyone should be aware of Is autism and vaccinations in children. For years people have concluded and protested based on a debunked and flawed study (that has since been retracted due falsified data) that the correlation of vaccination with the MMR vaccine in children equals a direct causative factor in the development of Autism spectrum disorders.


mmr The truth is proponents of the Anti vaccine campaign made the illogical assumption that if two things are occurring they must be related or one is causing the other to happen. By now you should be informed enough to know that this is not the case and not how you prove causation. If not continue reading, a 2014 Metanalysis concluded the following.

“Findings of this meta-analysis suggest that vaccinations are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder. Furthermore, the components of the vaccines (thimerosal or mercury) or multiple vaccines (MMR) are not associated with the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder.”

And If that wasn’t the final nail in the coffin for anti-vacc proponents, Researchers at the University of California  have opened the doors with clear and direct evidence that  Autism begins during pregnancy before vaccinations are ever even able to be given to children.


How often do you hear of programs be it nutritional or exercise based being the sole cause of results for individuals? While it can be easy for some of us to see through promises and claims not everyone has the ability to apply critical thinking (aka bullshit detection). Fueling this is a new wave of pseudoscience that has swept the industry adding even more confusion. You see it daily on social media; new pills, exercise programs, clean eating, paleo, fruitloopatarians and other fad diets all making claims that XYZ is the cause of all problems and needs to be avoided because X correlated with Y. The problem with pseudoscience is that it walks like science, sounds like science but it aint science. Sadly people like to be sold promises and they relish in the idea of complex physiological processes being simple as either black or white, everyone wants the smoking gun! It simply doesn’t exist.

References & Resources;

Aldrich, J (1995) Correlations Genuine and Spurious in Pearson and Yule; Statistical Science  <http://www.economics.soton.ac.uk/staff/aldrich/spurious.pdf> BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7452 (Published 6 January 2011)


Rich Stoner, Maggie L. Chow, Maureen P. Boyle, Susan M. Sunkin, Peter R. Mouton, Subhojit Roy, Anthony Wynshaw-Boris, Sophia A. Colamarino, Ed S. Lein, Eric Courchesne. Patches of Disorganization in the Neocortex of Children with Autism. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 370 (13): 1209 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1307491

University of California, San Diego Health Sciences. “Autism begins in pregnancy, according to study: Cortical layers disrupted during brain development in autism.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140326181909.htm>

Protein Pancakes! Decent ones!

We have all gone looking for them and all failed in the process, the illusive high protein pancake. Breakfast can be tricky for athletes or even the general population. After years of being force fed low protein, low fat, and high carb desserts for breakfast it can be a little hard to get used to a decent whack of protein as soon as you wake up. Many people opt for shakes however they get old real fast and do not really satisfy, plus real food is always better then a liquid substitute…

 To the rescue comes protein pancakes!

Continue reading Protein Pancakes! Decent ones!

A scientific look at Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a symptom based diagnosis of a functional disorder of the gut that affects the digestive system specifically the colon. Common complaints of IBS include, bloating and abdominal distension, pain on defecation, urgency, and a sudden onset need for evacuation after meals as well as feelings of incomplete evacuation (MAYO Clinic 2011).

Continue reading A scientific look at Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Nutrition / Stength & Conditioning / Bodyrecomposition