Author Archives: Kiara Johnson

Why do we puff and pant during exercise?

forrest gump runningDo you ever drive past and look at people running along and think “How do they make it look so easy? How come their not puffing and panting? How can they run for 2 hours and I can only run for 2 minutes? ” The key is oxygen!

When we are exercising our muscles require oxygen (delivered via the blood flow) to work. Therefore it’s our body’s ability to uptake and deliver oxygen to the muscles so we can continue exercising. A fitter person can extract oxygen from the blood much more efficiently than an unfit person. By undertaking an endurance training program your muscles develop a greater ability to uptake and deliver more oxygen therefore you can work for longer durations and at higher intensities.

There are two reasons which effect oxygen transport in the body and therefore affect your endurance performance. One reason for this limitation to endurance performance is the steps involved in the oxygen delivery from the air to the muscles and the other is the steps involved in the extraction and utilization of oxygen by the exercising muscles.

So the reason why those people you see running around the parks barely look like they are raising a sweat (and their breathing rate) is simply because they can use oxygen better! The key to improving oxygen uptake and delivery to your exercising muscles is endurance training and lots of it.

Get tough and stronger than ever with some Strong Man Training

Strong Man TrainingStrong Man Training


Strong man training involves exercises that target all muscle groups. It often involves carrying, pushing or pulling heavy awkward objects. The obvious benefit by using all major muscle groups is burning more calories but there are also the psychological benefits; participants advocate an increase in mental toughness and confidence.

Strong man training complements specific sports and labouring disciplines, involves high core stability and grip strength demands and is a fun/novelty factor.

The training can be practiced by everyone but can be challenging for novice athletes and is difficult to progressively overload.

Here are some practical strong man training exercises that you can easily perform:

The Tyre Flip:

Strong Man Tyre FlipStart of with a small tyre to practice technique then try and get your hands on a heavier tyre by contacting a tyre company to push around the backyard. There isn’t a single muscle group that is not worked in this exercise so those calories will be burning like there is no tomorrow! This exercise must be done explosively so use a tyre that is not too heavy. Get hands under the tyre and keep your back straight. Use lower body, lower back to traps not biceps as prime movers.

Farmers Walk:

Strong Man Farmers WalkThis is a great exercise to improve muscular endurance, anaerobic capacity, and grip, upper back and oblique strength. Try and find an awkward object around the house or a heavy pair of dumbbells to use.

Rope Pulling:

Strong Man Rope PullingTie a weight or something else heavy to a rope which is about 10 m long. Stand in a squat position with one end of the rope (weighted end up the other end) and pull the weight towards you.

View images at original source:,

Get explosive with Plyometric Training on Super Dooper Tuesday!

Jump Squat PlyometricsThis is the first in our Super Dooper Tuesday series from our sports science Guru, Kiara Johnson. We hope you enjoy it. Stay tuned for coming weeks and if you have any questions about this topic leave a comment below.

Also if you have a topic you would like Kiara to research let us know!

Have you attempted a few fun runs before and would now like to improve your performance? Well I have the perfect solution for you… Plyometrics!

Research has shown that undertaking plyometric training at least once per week can significantly improve 5 and 10 km running performance.

Plyometrics refers to exercise that enables a muscle to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time. The muscle is loaded with an eccentric (lengthening) action, followed immediately by a concentric (shortening) action. Think about a rubber band, you will create more force if you stretch it (lengthening action), followed by flicking it (not at anyone of course!).

All plyometric exercises involve 3 phases. The first phase is the pre-stretch where elastic energy is generated and stored. The second phase is the time between the end of the pre-stretch and the start of the shortening muscle action. The shorter this phase is, the more powerful the subsequent contraction will be. The third and final phase is the actual muscle contraction i.e. the powerful throw or jump.

There are a range of exercises involved from basic to more advanced exercises. An example of a basic plyometric exercise is skipping; a medium difficulty exercise is squat jumps and an example of a more advanced exercise is depth jumps. Be very cautious when implementing these types of exercises as there is a risk of injury if not done properly.

So ask your trainer to add some plyometric training to your program!

To view some great basic images of plyometric training at their original source follow this link: