The Friday Finisher

Welcome to your quick-fire, end of week update with a few bite-sized bullet points covering what we’re learning about and loving in three areas: fitness, nutrition and mindset. One bullet from each trainer, a little nugget of health and fitness gold.

FITNESS: Lib has a mid-winter game for you…

Using the alphabet exercise list below, perform all the reps to spell out your full name (including middle names!), then holler on your socials or in the private Agogian FB page with the hashtag #agogagame

A = 20 Squats
B = 50 High Knees
C = 15 Compound Crunches
D = 20 Walking Lunges
E = 10 Push-ups
F = 10 Sit-ups
G = 20-count Plank Hold
H = 15 Squat Jumps
I = 20 Hip Raises
J = 100 Shadow Box Punches
K = 20 Crunches
L = 10 Chest-to-Floor Burpees
M = 20 Reverse Lunges
N = 20 Lateral Lunges
O = 50 Butt Kicks
P = 30 Starjumps
Q =100 Skips (or fake skips)
R = 20 Superman Rows
S = 20 Front Kicks
T = 20 Lateral Shuttle Runs
U = 20 Bodyweight Plank Row
V = 20 Drop Squats
W = 20 Lunge Walks
X = 20 Lateral Skaters
Y = 10 High Plank with Opposite Arm/Leg Raise
Z = 10 Up/Back Sprints (10m distance)

NUTRITION: Vee’s a greenie

That’s right, Vee has fallen back in love with green tea. So what’s all the fuss about? Green tea is prepared in such a way as to preclude the oxidation of compounds called polyphenols (unlike partially oxidised oolong and fully oxidised black teas). These polyphenols, including a group of chemicals called ‘catechins’, are believed to be responsible for the health benefits that have traditionally been attributed to green tea. Here are some of the potential benefits:

  1. Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that caused by its caffeine content. Studies suggest that green tea may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both.
  2. Green tea’s polyphenols have antioxidant and substantial free radical scavenging activity which may protect cells from certain DNA damage. Tea polyphenols have also been shown to inhibit cancer cell proliferation, as well as inhibit tutor angiogenesis and invasiveness.
  3. Green tea catechins have been associated with reduced diabetes and cardiovascular risk, and proved to be cardioprotective in risk populations such as women with polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  4. New research indicates that green tea can potentially enhance neural plasticity and functional recovery after strokes and other neuronal injuries and cognitive dysfunctions.
  5. Because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea may also help suppress autoimmune arthritis, prevent osteoarthritis and help facilitate the recovery and repair of injured tendons.

The bioavailability of the main catechin in green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate… thought you’d wanna know) increases when co-ingested with a mixture of vitamin C (so throw some lemon in your cuppa) and grape seed extract.

MINDSET: Nic has found his breath

Most people generally accept that deep, relaxed breathing is incompatible with a stressed out mind. Why? Because your body adjusts its physiology to your breathing… in the words of Harvard M.D. and integrative health guru Andrew Weil, “Breathing is the bridge between mind and body, the connection between consciousness and unconsciousness.”

Nic has been practising Dr Weil’s 4-7-8 breathing exercise at least twice a day. It’s utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere! Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it 🙂 Here’s the basic cycle:

  1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of 4.
  3. Hold your breath for a count of 7.
  4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of 8.
  5. That’s 1 cycle. Now inhale again and repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 cycles.

With some practice, this breathing pattern can leave you with a feeling of deep internal relaxation as it slows your heat rate and helps engage your parasympathetic nervous system (the opposite of ‘fight or flight’ mode).

Thanks for reading Agogians! Have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you in the studio.

Nic Mendoza-Jones

Nic is AGOGA’s functional strength specialist. He’s known for his obsessive research (comes from being an ex lawyer) and self-experimentation with innovative and alternative training methods including kettlebells, Indian clubs and ‘gada’ steel maces.

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