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Level-4 Personal Trainer, nutritionist and expedition leader Ben Turner gives the low-down on upping your fitness levels for adventure – and for life

Ben Turner

May 4, 2022

Ben Turner is a real-life man of the mountains. Since starting his outdoor career as a Physical Training Instructor in the Army, Ben’s been passionate about physical fitness and exploring the world’s extreme mountain environments.

As well as winning international military competitions, he has led mountaineering expeditions in remote and dangerous places including South Africa and the Himalayas. Ben has also completed a series of impressive endurance challenges including a 3373-kilometer solo bikepacking trip around Iceland and 16 marathons in 16 days in all 16 National Parks in the UK.

During his travels, he developed a keen interest in exploring the limits of what the human body can do. The most important lesson Ben learned is that exercise should be a celebration of what the body can do, and he set out to learn how to adapt the body to not only become adventure-ready and expedition fit but fit for life.

Now a Level 4 Personal Trainer and MNU Certified Evidence-Based Nutritionist, Ben is on a mission to change the way fitness and nutrition are taught. We dig into the juicy deets and how you can transform your own fitness, prepare for adventure and get fit for life, just by starting from where you are.

Be prepared to be inspired to up your game!


guest links


show notes

  • Quickfire questions
  • Meeting in Fort William
  • Growing up in Shropshire
  • Beginnings of mountain climbing
  • Most memorable climbing expedition
  • Iceland bikepacking challenge
  • Living in the moment
  • How to build body resilience?
  • What's Ben's training program like?
  • Cross fit full body exercise
  • Where are we starting from?
  • Planning your exercise
  • High level climbing
  • Advice on becoming a better climber
  • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
  • Stretching to win
  • Calorie deficit for losing weight
  • Tracking calories

FULL transcription

Hello and welcome to another episode of the call to adventure pod with me George be if you're listening to the audio version of this just a very quick reminder that if you're so inclined you can head out to over to Youtube and see the video version if you just search call to adventure podcast Ben Turner Ben is a personal trainer and mnu-certified evidence-based nutritionist he served in the british army for 7 years was deployed to Afghanistan won international military competitions and has led climbing a mountain x group expeditions around the world in a number of different. Countries from the himalaya to South Africa and Ben is now the head coach at indie fit Shropshire so we'll touch on a few of these during the episode but just a few adventure highlights that Ben's completed so two thousand and sixteen five times ultramarathons in one season with with a 25 K Rucksack 2017 glenco skyrace extreme series ultra um ultramarathon 2018 solo backpack bikepack three thousand three hundred and seventy three kilometers around Iceland in Twenty eight days nearly there two thousand and eighteen sixteen Marathons sixteen days and 16 national parks in the Uk and 2021 attempted the cape wrath trail fastest no time so without further ado ben welcome to the show. Well yeah, lots of it's it's the perfect stuff that we like to see for the call to adventure podcast. So yeah, we'll dig on into it but before we do, um.

Ben

Thank you very much for an introduction.

Ben

This.

calltoadventure

And always kick off with how we connected so ours is a we're chatting a little bit before the episode and it's very fortuitous and serendipitous. Um, So Steph our content manager she searches around for weird and wonderful podcast guests. Um, the world of the internet and she came across you and said that it looked very interesting. What you've been up to and then it turns out we both live Shopshire and do you actually live in trowsbury as well.

Ben

I am in frankwell just across the welsh bridge. So yes, indeed.

calltoadventure

Very nice I am just up the Hill in Raruk right now. So if I lean out my window I can probably see you.

Ben

Um, we should have done this by smoke signal.

calltoadventure

We should have Yeah yeah, that would that would have been ideal I'd just hold up the the questions and you can just write your response that would have been wonderful, but no, it will be nice to actually be able to connect afterwards and we'll have to go out and do some mountaineering and climbing stuff that we'll get into and yeah I have seen some of your. When I was having a little look before the podcast I was looking at some of your morning sessions that look really really Cool. So I'm going to have to get myself down to one of those and sounds good So We normally then do a little bit of quick Fire. So given that you're interc Climbmbing. Um.

Ben

Absolutely, you'd be more than welcome.

calltoadventure

Very quickly sport or traad. Oh really wise what? what? Why is that you just like the mental side of it.

Ben

Tread is rad tread. Always yes, our treadd is Tra Traad's what it's all about tred tred is the is the adventure demenro I like sport farming them. There's a time and a place. But. When you can clip everything onto your harness and you can get your ropes and you can go with them mate and then off you go and you can just work in perfect tandem swapping leads one after the other I just find it the smoothest and just most accomplishing if that's a word way of getting through the mountains. It just.. It gives you a real sense of adventure.

calltoadventure

And yeah, you can see why I don't know who is it the French that call it adventure climbing because it definitely does have that that side to it doesn't it Um, favorite bit of climbing gear If you're if you're into trad then you'll then I know that you're going to have at least.

Ben

Hundred seven

calltoadventure

Ah, favorite bit of gear or some gear that you're very very fond of.

Ben

I Mean everybody loves a big cam. It's you gotta have your big blue and finding ways of using it. But I think my favorite is I have a small blue offset which I have fallen on many times and it has never budged. And I don't use it anymore because I've I've kind of ground it up a little bit now since it's since I've taken quite a few falls on it and I think it's time for it to retire. But I tend to keep it on me for luck because. I've tried to really push my climbing grade or you know, go onto a bit of a gnarly route and that one has been used and I've come off on lead or whatever. That's always been the one that's held its place perfectly Now. You could say that's down to perfect placement of course, but that binic kit certainly has some luck to it.

calltoadventure

Ah, yeah, add such a different dimension I've mainly sport climbed done a little bit of trad that I'm starting to get into now and I can see how it has that is like that. Extra dimension isn't it. It's like the little bit more engrossing sport can feel very engrossing if you're a bit scared of falling off and it's quite run out and then you really feel like I need to concentrate here. There's no room for thinking about other things but then trad the very little bit that I've done.

Ben

Here with you.

calltoadventure

Takes out that kind of last 2% of margin that you would have had for thinking about other stuff to where you are just 100% engaged just thinking like I have to really be with this otherwise potential bad times we did see a guy hit the deck last week actually and that was very eye-opening 3 piece gear.

Ben

Um, yeah.

calltoadventure

Put in fell out hit the floor was slowed down on the way. Um, it was actually a um pothole Quarry have you ever climbed thereing as your yeah, do you know Pothole quarry.

Ben

Really Wow I do indeed? Yes, um mean it's been a while since I've climbed down I think I was I climbed right up there when I was a kid. But yeah Wow it's It's always eyeoping though when you see gear rip out and you have that sort of heart stopppping moment of that that.

calltoadventure

Yeah, yeah.

Ben

Ever such split second where you think it's gonna hold and then King it just comes out and it's yeah, it's a little heart stopping to watch let alone experience.

calltoadventure

So scary stuff I don't know if you've clocked this yet. But as we've taught as we're talking I seem to remember that we actually have met before. Do you does that ring a bell I seem to remember that. Um. Andt now that I've actually seen your face and started talking to you a little bit more the cogs have been turning and I think we met in Fort william ah I think we were we were at a dinner together I think you were there. Maybe maybe it's not you I'm gonna go for a stab in the dark I think you you were there with your girlfriend and.

Ben

Go for it.

calltoadventure

You were thinking about doing the Cape Rath Trail Run and I were were you in Ben were you around fort. Well did you used to live near Fort William so

Ben

Yeah I lived in in verloki. So hang on a minute where did we go. This was resistantly? Yeah, so if we were talking about who are we with.

calltoadventure

Ah, it was it was near Christmas time I think it was Friday I'm trying to think who I was there with I think you were a friend of the mutual friend I don't know if it was do you know I'm trying to think it. It was a guy called Callum from Snowdonia do you.

Ben

Um, and.

Ben

Oh my goodness me I can think I can see there I can see when we met because it would have been at the Garrison West of the pub wouldn't it I think.

calltoadventure

He the link and.

calltoadventure

So that um it yeah and it had like so lots of silvery and coppery things around the bar and then we sat on a table of 4 and there was you and your girlfriend and me and somebody else.

Ben

Um, yes.

Ben

Um, my goodness who else was it. Oh that is odd. What a strange and we've ended up living in the same town together.

10:03.54

calltoadventure

But I can't think who it was even weirder. Well it'll. Yeah, yeah, how how how did you? How did you end up here in shrews.

Ben

Oh man, that's that's really distracted to me that that's such a strange story I Love that That's amazing I'm really embarrassed that I don't reckon. You've got a little bit of a fuzzy camera on this one because I think I'm on your camera a thingy camera. But if we meet up after we're going to have to piece this jusaw together because I absolutely love that.

calltoadventure

I Yeah yeah I it's it's it's crazy isn't that I used to have very long hair so I had I had hair down to here when I met you? Um I but I was probably boring about you.

Ben

This world can be so small sometimes.

calltoadventure

Boring you about my cycle touring trip stories from? Yeah yeah, so we were doing the Ben Nevis intro to mountaineering course with my company call to adventure and we were going to go and do some media first.

Ben

You weren't doing a photo shoot were you.

Ben

Oh my God I remember it? Yes, who are we with who are we with who are we with ah that's going to butt halfway through this podcast I'm going to just shout out a name and it's all going to come flooding back but I remember that because I remember you saying that you were doing the photo shoot.

calltoadventure

It'll yeah.

Ben

And yeah I was with Laura and we went out for dinner and I can't remember who we were with. But oh wow what a small world. What a crazy small world.

calltoadventure

And the the the yeah the the link will come So how how did you end up here after after living up there.

Ben

Well I think when I left I left the army in 2018 and during the time when I left the army I was in there since I was about 17 So I'd known nothing else really? um.

calltoadventure

And.

Ben

And so I was a bit like a spaniel being let off the lead I let off the lead when I first left the army and I just I knew I needed to go to Scotland and I had this wonderful journey of living in the back of my car training to go and cycle around Iceland doing loads of climbing I worked with worked as a mountain guide and ice climbing structure and lots of bits and pieces there. And had this wonderful time and then when I met Laura we kind of started to settle down a little bit and then of course when Twenty Twenty hit and all of all of the covid lockdown started. Life's became a little bit more difficult. And it was going me wrong. It was a wonderful lockdown if I can say that now I think we were very fortunate in Fort william that it didn't really feel like anything had happened and it was sunny and it was amazing and you know I feel very fortunate about that. But we also both ended up nate being made redundant and our accommodation. Basically our accommodation ended. Um, because we were living with someone at the time and they were like kind of need my house back and you know it was. It's completely fine and and and it was it was it was pretty much run his course but we were still in lockdown and this was lockdown number one so we were frantically trying to search for a house anywhere and there's nowhere to rent around fort william that there is just nowhere. And we thought well shoesbury is quite nice and we did want to move further south you know to be closer to people and kind of get that little bit of connection and a bit of a social life going and we thought it'd be easier for jobs and things so we thought well shoesbury's quite nice. Laura liked it I never thought I'd ever moved back because I grew up here. Um, but. Here we are and then we kind of I found this one house and was like what do you think of this and Lo was okay, it was like well we can do a virtual tour of it and this person is just wandering around with their iphone doing a video and we thought which we get it. So I messaged the landowner and said you know look. Know it's a bit of a risk us coming down. We don't have jobs but you know I was in the army I did this I'm probably going to join the reserves X, y and Z I Bent the truth a little bit and then we got the house and literally the day that lockdown was called off we put all of our lives into the back of my car into the ma of Laura's car drove down moved into the house that day. And yeah, it was ah it was a crazy crazy journey and it's been great moving here. It's it's really nice living in town. But we're getting a bit more. We're getting that sort of itchy feat to get back to the mountains again, we're still looking at houses around loch ness and everywhere else now. So. I think there's going to be a time where we return back up the north.

calltoadventure

Yeah, so how did you? you mentioned that you kind of done some mountain guiding some some ice climbing. How did you actually get into all of that stuff.

Ben

Ah, that'll be the good old British Army that was so um, when I was a kid I was an army cadet before that I was a scout before that was in the beavers and the cubs and everything to the point where my mom and dad used to call me ramiss or Indiana Jones and then my brother linked it together to get the rather lame soundunding Ray Jones was my name I just run around in the hills because we I don't know if you know shops particularly well but we were were were on brownle. That's pretty much where we lived to brownle hill so we had woods a couple of miles behind the house. So I would always be there adventuring around. Trying to camp build shelters I got my essays survival guide. You know I went out where I went the dog went and we just did stuff I drank out of rivers I made myself horrendously ill I tried to catch things I failed and just had this conditioning from a kid that then lent on to me joining the army and as soon as I joined the army I got into adventure training. Because I got a bit of a taste for that in the cadets and I thought I need more of that and the adventure ball started rolling again and then I became quite good at it and got my mountain leader got my climbing instructor and various qualifications are transferable from the army to the to civilian life. And some aren't and then the army will'll have more qualifications for you to step through so it kind of you get more progression in your career as it were and I pretty much got to the top of those qualifications. Um, which meant that I could just run expeditions places and and do things which which meant that I just got into it and I absolutely loved it and then. Kind of steered away from climbing for a little bit until I got a 1 to 2 place 1 of 2 places with a british mountain guide just to do a a dope on a rope as it were really for this for this guide to pass his assessment. So. These are British Mountain Guides you know top of the game. They've taken 101520 years to get here leagues and leads and leagues ahead of me and it was just so great to see someone flowing through the mountains with 2 dopes on a rope behind them scrambling around North Wales and I thought this is really good and then we got a lot more time with Kev over the time. And did more climbing I can really get into this. Um, so it kind of transcended then from a bit of hobby climbing and mountaineering to actual climbing getting into trad really taking it further progressing through my qualifications I just loved it. I absolutely loved it and then when i. Left the army the the point of me leaving my career saw me leading expeditions across the world doing as much as I possibly could pack in and then when I joined when I went and became a civilian when I left the army it was a case of right? Well I've I've got some skills. We'll see what I can use so I partnered them with West Coast mountain guides started doing some work with them.

Ben

Um, did my own things really and just sort of made I kind of had a bit of an affinity then which I'm sure we'll we'll go on to in later on in this chat about just creating challenges and just going from doing them and quite liked the solo aspect of getting out in the hills and just. I guess not really relying on climbing partners I'm not the most social person in the world. So it was quite difficult to get climbing partners and stuff when I just wanted to go and do objective after objective after objective. So I just started doing solo climbs and solo scrammorles and just cracking on and you know doing what I could do and then finding that sweet middle ground of. You know scrambles that I can manage on my own without ropes or anything like that and then very easy climbs I can manage on my own that kind of I can stitch together into big ridges Big Hill days and the rest of it. So it's kind of all stemmed from a foundation from a kid and then. Emphasized through my time in the army and then spat me out at the other end with quite a good balance of things I think.

calltoadventure

Very cool I also grew up here so I feel like we must have been 2 kindred spirits running around ah trying to learn all our adventury things and I was I think as a lot of kids are just ramir's fanatic. Um I'm sure we've probably passed each other on a few of the hills round here around stretonel somewhere.

Ben

Um, oh my goodness Brady.

Ben

Ah, we must have done it.

calltoadventure

Um, so thinking about your your climbing. So you mentioned that afterwards you kind of got into these adventures some that I mentioned before the kind of solo stuff but are there any climbing expeditions that you look back which one do you look back most fondly on.

Ben

So. There was one way we went to the himalayas and I was in the army mountaineering association and we had our sixtieth anniversary as being an association and we did a celebratory expedition and I managed to get onto that expedition now. I was leading half the team. The team was split to two halves because it was quite a big team I was leading half the team had someone else leading the other half of the team and then we kind of all had our various roles and responsibilities would be it logistics or whatever and. We went with the objective of climbing pulfa high and truly which is one of the mountains in the daagirri range now it's seven thousand two hundred meters so it's quite a punchy hill. Um, you know you definitely you definitely have altitude and it was just. Because it was such a wrong expedition and it was a good 21 twenty two days out and about like of actual underfoot so we were in country for about 3 or about four weeks actually and because I was also reading a book at the time called white mountain which is. Legends and true stories of journeys through the himalaya while we were journeying through the himalaya they kind of made it into this crazy immersive experience. I was to bring it. You know going to altitude I'd never been to such high altitude before so I'd see what my body could do. We were around. Amazing culture of very very rural nepalb and trying to learn the language as well and talk to the sherpas and get to know everybody and everything else and I think in terms of just feeling a real sense of what I look for in an adventure. I remember back to those days on that expedition now there are days where you kind of the psychological aspect of big groups is amazing because you go through a process called form norm storm and perform so you form together as a group and then you you know. Everybody gets together because they're all new and it's all like oh hello everybody and you understand how how they're getting on now you find out what the norm is so you go from form to norm and you settle into a routine then you go through a storm which means that factions in the group start to gather and you kind of get this group over here in this group over here and there's some sort of conflict.

Ben

And then you get to the perform element where the conflict overcomes itself and then you end up performing really well as a team we went through that textbook a to zd from 1 page to the last page and at times it was a bit tedious but I would just take myself off and you're just gonna sit on the edge of the campsite and you've got. Unbelievably unfathomably vast mountains that just start from right in front of you and go vertically up and you just sat at the base of them and really finding a true sense of of peace and and an adventure in this place and you're there for long enough for it to really sink in. You know some of the adventures nowadays are you know seven days or a weekend or this something other but to be there for a truly long time is is a really memorable experience. So I guess yeah going to the himalayas was probably my most memorable mountain experience. But my overall most memorable adventure experience would be our trip around at my trip around Iceland which was to this day. The best experience my entire life. Um, how long have you got.

calltoadventure

Well I want to hear about Iceland now come on then but. So this is this is bike packing right.

Ben

So Iceland was I needed a challenge I wanted the challenge to celebrate leaving the army it was going to be my final year in the army because it it takes a year and for those who don't know you sign off on the dotted line and you do your 7 clicks to freedom as they call it and then it takes a year then for you to be processed to go through that. Notice period I guess you could call it until the day you can actually leave if you're savvy enough you can save leave from the previous year. Add it to the next leave year and you've got loads of time off being paid but you're not in the army so you use it for your resettlement. You know, adapting to a different way of life. You get loads of different leave allowances. So I ended up having about six months paid without having to be in work which was amazing. So I so I thought I've got to have a proper adventure I've got to do something I need to do something big and. All of my challenges as you list at the start of this kind of built up to a crescendo of doing something bigger and I thought I want you something kind of bike and I thought I really want to go to Iceland so I got an iceland map on Amazon and then the next day I I wonder if I wonder if we go around the country and then I googled it and then I found out that every person on their dog has been. Around the ring road and I thought oh that's a bit boring I don't really want to I don't really want to ride the ring road because it's a bit like riding the m 25 and now having been there. I'm so glad I didn't do that because it's a horrendous road. So I thought well let's create a different way and I'll go all the way along the outside of the country all the way into the central highlands. And then I don't want to mess a single site and let's see if we can stitch it together into 1 whole trail now at the time I thought we could turn this into the iceland national trail and I got in touch with the national tourist board and I thought let's create this trail. Let's see what we can do and I want to see if I can officialize it somehow so it was probably. But biggest challenge where I've tried to create something with legacy rather than just going off and doing something you know I wanted somebody to to find this route down with the gpsx put it on their watch or or their or their Gps device and then go off and do the ice and national trail whether they do section 1 whether they do section 1 to 30? Whatever it is. So created this trail and in my naivety at the time the logistics didn't really work the organization of the national trail didn't really work and I've actually since since having come back rejigged it renamed it got back in touch the ice and tourist board and now actually have a guidebook that I'm processing at the moment. Because I'm going back next year to go and do the same trail and I went to Iceland completely in my naivete with my bike bag that I borrowed from a bike shop with all the stuff far too much kit budget blown.

Ben

And then that budget was about to get obliterated with the price of things in in Iceland and I booked my campsite and I got to rekjavik and I thought well I'm I'm here now. So I went to Domino's pizza and then planned my route and I thought right? Well I guess I'll go I'll give myself a day to just chill. And and sort of make sure I've got maps and gaps and this that other and then the next day I'll go and then I think I can get round all three and a half thousand kilometers or so in ah in a month and and let's make it a challenge. Let's see if I can do an average of between one hundred and two hundred kilometers per day every single day. Twenty one days twenty eight days sorry and let's see how far we can do and as we went through the whole thing I managed to get the the job done in about twenty one days it was a real eye opener in terms of a challenge of such vastness. The biggest thing I'd ever done. But also how to push myself on zero food because it was so expensive and I'm talking a bell pepper some equivalent of of pasteur and sauce that you would boil a carton of blue juice. And maybe half a watermelon would cost in the realm of that thirty five quid if you do that every day twice a day for twenty one days budget was blown my credit card took an absolute battering and as much as. It was expensive and the logistics was off and things really really struggled in certain elements. There's 1 bit that I will never forget for as long as I live and that was going around the west fords which if you can imagine the picture of Iceland it's kind of the the 3 fingers if you like that come out the northwest side of it and it's in and out fjord after frd after fjord and the road goes out. To the tip of the Ford all the way back in the other way and then back out. So as you're cycling into a Ford you can see the road. You've got to take on the other side of this fjord and I thought this is going to be the most boring part of this route because I'm going to be going in and it's going to be soul destroying because they're going to be able to see the road coming out the other side and know how far I've got to go. These fjords are huge and I thought this is gonna be self destroying and I started on this bit and as I'm going in and out of all these fjords. It was a beautiful hot day. A hot day. You know you're only 50 miles or so from the arctic circle but it was I was I was tanned. And I know my short sleeves I mean my shorts I had all my kit packed on my bike everything that I needed I was completely self-sufficient on this absolute monster of a bike and cycling along and I just turned into each fjord and every frd had its own characteristics had its own views. It had its own personality.

Ben

And you just get it a full sense of what it smelt like what it looked like you'd see mountains in the distance that you've never seen before you'd see a different site that you've never seen you'd see different bits of wildlife different bits of Flora and fauna. It'd be different tarmac it would have different textures. You'd see no people and then the water was completely still like it. Complete mirror and I was getting very tired at this point and I was just about approaching my campsite because I had kind of aimed to get to a hotel and I thought well I can keep going a little bit because I've still got a good few hours of daylight. So I'll keep going and then have a longer rest station the next night and I just counted on the side the road and I was. Really tired and you're on the drops and you're just plugging away your legs and your eyes are barely open and you're just breathing. You're just focusing on nothing but breathing and legs and then. As I'm sort of peddling away on this flat bit of road and this dime straight bit of road I heard this this huge sound next to me and I was like on earth is that and it was a it was the blowhole of a breeching whaleil I was like. That was really loud. So I'd sort of just turned around and on other sites I'd scrambled to get my phone because I had my phone on a little quadlock thing on the handle last I'm scrambling to get my phone take a picture in this instance I knew that it would be over in an instant. So I just looked at it and these humpback whales were just breaching out of the water and. Just remember I don't understand how I didn't come off the road but I'm just staring at this sight where my legs are still turning and it was the most magical experience because then they kept breaching and in my head they were swimming with me as I was cycling to try and egg me on a little bit to just keep going almost as if. Is gonna sound really airy fairy but this is where I was my mind's gone back there now it was as if Iceland was telling me to just keep pushing a little bit further almost like when you choose to do something big whether you think it's. It's it's like Kevin gorgeous and says when he was climbing the dawn wall with Tommy Holdon I'll never forget this quote we never knew whether we were in the pursuit of something grand or doing something completely insane or words that effect when you're in that environment when you're in that mindset. The world has a way of doing things to just keep you going if you know you're on the right track and I was absolutely hoped at this point I was I was only 1500? Well not even now I think I was only eleven hundred kilometers in at this point and these whales for a good five kilometers just stayed with me and if I had stopped.

Ben

Would have gone if I'd got my phone out they would have gone so all I could do is just have just own that one particular moment with no people, no cars, no sites. No planes, no nothing and just own that one moment with these group of 4 or 5 or how of many huntback whales that were just breeaching and you'd you'd hear the. Their blowhole and then you'd hear almost like an inhale which I've never heard before in my life after and they were so close that as you look towards the water they were twenty meters away thirty twenty meters the length of a swing pool away and you could almost see them under the water. This is probably hallucinations but you could probably. It felt like you could see them under the water because you could see like white bits flowing under the water and I thought it was there and like I said in my mind they were with me and just keeping me going and I just thought this is the most unbelievable moment of my entire life and I got to where I was going to be staying for my campsite they had gone at this point. And I pulled into the side of the road and I put my bike down I sat on the bike on the floor put my feet in the water which was absolutely baltic and I just sort of sat there and absorbed that moment and ever since then. Can't help but get emotional when I look back on all the little videos and things that I did when I went to Iceland because it was it was my first massive in my opinion like in my view massive adventure that I had entirely done on my own entirely organized on my own and it rewarded me with that. So. That's why I'm going back next year to finish this guidebook I think it'd be a really good guidebook I think it'd be a really good little series of of videos as well because I want to align my mission to getting people to do stuff like that because life is too short. Not to there. Yeah there's Iceland in. 8 minutes

calltoadventure

Well, you've certainly sold it I've not actually been to Iceland I've been lucky enough to go to quite a few places but you certainly sold it I am I'm really looking forward to going I know I'm going to have to charge the bank account now before I go I have heard that it's horribly expensive, but um, but it does look does look incredible and those i.

Ben

Um, absolutely um.

calltoadventure

Did live in Sweden for some time and the wilderness I think is kind of similar I think it's probably even a little bit more wild in Iceland but it's very different to what we have in the U K where

Ben

Um, yeah.

calltoadventure

I mean Scotland is is a little bit more wild but you know we think of late district and maybe Snowdonia but they're so small and still quite developed compared to some big outdoor places the the wilderness that they have there so that experience sounds completely incredible though and I can see why.

Ben

Um, then.

calltoadventure

You took that message and I think that there's something also about we have this desire to get the phone out to record it to share it with others to be able to look at it afterwards. But there's something about when you can't do that and you just have to be with the experience and very present that makes it more magical. It's almost like a gif.

Ben

Yeah.

Ben

Me.

calltoadventure

You can't do that Even though you you can't do the nice things of showing others and and actually seeing a physical copy like you say it's probably even more of a precious memory and experience because you couldn't but and all you had to do was experience it. So it's.

Ben

I Think it's I think it's good in the way that you can't record some things because you then have the joy of reliving that moment every time you tell someone and you can put your little stamp on it.

calltoadventure

Interesting how that happens.

Ben

Now I could have just held my phone up to the screen and said hey watch this There's some video of some humpback whales and you've been like thanks Ben that's really good but I hope that to you and to anyone who's who's listening to this I can portray that there are elements of adventures when we go out on a limb and do stuff. That will really repay us that that are far more than just an Instagram post or a phone background. You know there are there are so many things to experience and so many things that you want to have that you can never record you want to have that so that you can have that joy of reliving it I'll never forget that.

calltoadventure

So.

Ben

Because I'll tell every single person I ever meet about those humpback whales and every single time the hairs will grow up in my arms I'll feel all tingling I'll get a little lump in my throat because it was viscerally impactful if that's a term you know it was it was it was It was huge and.

calltoadventure

I think.

Ben

Just taking a picture of it just wouldn't have that would have been a fuzzy bit of of fin. It would have looked like the lockness monster and it wouldn't have had the same effect to it. So I think it's great that you can have these elements that you you you can't record because then you've got to tell the story. Yeah.

calltoadventure

Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely so let's switch gears and think about um training for these big expeditions. So your your background and your kind of Expertise now is in nutrition and training. So.

Ben

Business.

calltoadventure

1 thing that a lot of people ask me about and that I think a lot about too is as we get a little bit older kind of into the thirty s and um, you don't recover quite as quickly and you actually have to do a bit more self-care. Ah, people have often picked up a few injuries I played Rugbyef for a lot of years then did mixed martial arts. So I've certainly got my fair share of them but now and it's and it's held me back from doing some expedition stuff and I I went on ah a skiing trip in Sweden and I put 2 big heavy bags and we and it. Sweden's also pretty expensive. We'd gone up to fairly north to ora for this weekend away. Do some ski touring and I had my backpack on and my girlfriend's backpack on and I stepped off a really high platform and I just twisted my knee and I couldn't ski for the 4 our days and that kind of thing when you're in your early 20 s you probably just wouldn't get injured. But after you've done a fair bit sport and outdoor stuff then then you become a little bit more fragile unless you build this really resilient expedition body which is what I want to ask you about how how should we be thinking about building a body. That's ready for any adventure where somebody can just give you a ring and say I want to go and do whatever it is where whether it's you know something some mountaineering or ski touring or climbing or how how do you build this resilient adventure- ready body. What are the high level approach and principles.

Ben

I Love that you've asked me that question because that is exactly how I've tried to align my mission to help people now my background now my my focus now is nutrition fitness and mental resilience.

calltoadventure

You take.

Ben

Is as you said in the in the introduction. It's it's how can we build people to become more capable and more resilient for an adventure and when I say adventure I love people to try something new I love people to have a goal that they can aim for I will help. weight loss clients I have a lot of weight loss clients I have people who just want to start getting fitter I want people who just want to start doing something but I will always encourage those people to find a goal in what it is. They're trying to do and if I can facilitate that goal be it through. guided hill days be it through just trying to push people to do something a little bit more than their comfort zone would like them to do then this is the bread andbuter. This is what I believe people should be aiming for when they're looking for unquote, an adventure into their health into their nutrition into their fitness. And into what they see as possible. All of these challenges that I've done in the past have have simply just been some of them quite selfishly just to see what I can do I thought it would be a good idea so we'll go off and do it and as I'd gone through that and lived in those trenches as it were I'd understood specific adaptation to impose demand I e. Training specifically for what the goal is at hand I've understood how not to train how not to fuel very much how not to fuel very much how not to train I did every training program. You could possibly think of every diet you could possibly think of because I didn't know what I was doing and then when I got qualified and I start to really understand this. Now my impact on the on the on the industry on the world if you like my niche is getting people a venture ready and that is I don't want to say fit for life because it it gets me a little bit cringy but it is essentially what you've just said there being able to be fit. To be capable to be healthy to be fueled and to be ready in the head when the weekend comes you can get on a train you can go to foott William you can climb Bend Nevis and you come back again. It's when the weekend comes you can go on a one hundred mile bike ride. it's being able to adventure sorry it's being able to explore what you can do and having an adventure in that fitness and health now then what are the underlying principles now. It's my bread and butter to talk about this as a nutritionist the underlying principles of nutrition the underlying principles of nutrition are much like the foundations for a house every house. Strong house that you want to last will always be built from bricks from concrete and trenches if you don't put your foundations down. You can have 2 houses houseay and house b next to each other howsay has got trenches concrete footings metal things all sorts of stuff.

Ben

House b could look completely identical but it's just built on some flat ground after ah after a while houseay will still be standing while house b starts to have some cracks developing some subsistence and things are going to start crumbling. You can see where I'm going with this analogy if you don't build your fundamental understanding and your actions. On those foundations. It doesn't matter what your house looks like it doesn't matter what your kitchen looks like you need to build on those foundations in order to succeed now. It's my job to make those foundations. The sexy thing that people want to learn rather than. What everybody sees and hears on social media which is the next big thing the next fat the next quick thing the next you know, 60 seconds to this it's my job to get people to dig trenches and fill them with concrete when everybody else just wants to design a kitchen so when we look at how we can do this. We'll start with physical with the physical preparation. First. Strength is the foundation to everything whether you have only run um only run and that's it for your training whether you have only climbed you are building a base level of strength when we talk about strength we're talking about building a robust and capable frame of a body think of it this way. If you wanted to go offroding or a big overland adventure in a landrover I'm ah I'm a big land overhead with my past to love defenders if you wanted to go on a big overland adventure you would choose something with a sturdy metal chasis that's been reinforced with big metal things that you've bolted on I e. It's strong. You're going to put some big wheels on it. You're going to raise a suspension you're making it more capable for that adventure. You're not going to hop in your mini and put it through the same thing now in that sense what you're doing is you're building yourself your body from potentially the state of that mini. To the state of an overlanded adventureer vehicle so that you are capable of dealing with whatever the ground and whatever your venture throws at you and that starts with building a base level of strength and you can do that by going through compound movements you're going squats deadlifts shoulder Press Bench press doing things like that you are lifting heavy things up the ground. You are pressing things up above your head you are moving your body weight and you are moving strong. You are moving heavy weights the more you do that the more you're going to build strength a lot of people think that if they just do weight training then they will get huge and buff and put on modes of bulk. But if that was the case then anybody that looked at a gym would become super buff and we'd have a huge jimrow-centric population which we don't building strength and size and mass takes years and years and years of conditioning now the benefit that people have in terms of adhering to such a program.

Ben

You'll get something called newbi games which is a very bro-science kind of term but it's essentially if you've got somebody who's never stepped foot in a gym before or under a barbell before or lifted a weight before and you've got them to start doing that they're going to adapt pretty fast and that's good. You'll put on some functional muscle mass which is essentially your body preparing and. Reacting to the stimulus that you're putting it under as if that mini that aforementioned mini could all of a sudden put itself into bigger wheels or into a bigger chassis. It's simply adapting and the body can do that. Nutritionally we need to remember that 95% of us. Is a normal human being that 5% of us that's the adventurer that's the athlete. That's the runner. That's the climber that's the mountain era that's the that's the cyclist that's 5 % of us because the vast majority of people listening to this podcast. They've got a job They've got a dog. They've got kids. They've got partners. They've got friends. They've got social lives. They've got stuff. Going on in their life. You know we're not all professional adventurers as much as that be amazing to just be Ross Edgeley and get paid to be an absolute monster and go and swim around great Britain that be amazing, but the normal population of us. We're not that so we need to remember where can we make. Simplest change to our overall health and strength to make us better for that 5% of us and that's by addressing the 95 and that unfortunately folks is the unsexy eating fruits and vegetables getting adequate protein drinking enough water sleeping. Well. And managing stress if you can do all 5 of those things and you're like oh yeah, cheers Ben that's that's breakthrough. That's that's my clickbait title right there if you can do those 5 things you will improve your overall process of being that overland machine when it comes to the strength side of life. We all know if we need to get fit that we need to do something and if you say to anybody if you take 10 people on choose behind street now and say you need to get Fitter. So what are you going to do well if they haven't got offended already. They'll probably turn around and say well 10000 steps or I could put you some push-ups or yeah I need to join the gym or. I saw that indie fit does the best outdoor fitness session in shewsbury or you'll see things that they will just know what to do. But if you got to those send same 10 people and saying how are you? How do you lose weight? How do you fuel your adventure. Do you know what makes up the food that you eat and the impact that it has on the body. You'll get a lot of blank stairs and it's my job to help deconstruct and demystify that because it is a simple process to understand the unfortunate part of it is it gets vastly overcomplicated by social media. So when it comes to preparing our body.

Ben

And I will complete I will round this little rant off now when it comes to preparing our body for that overall adventure. The first most important thing you need to do is have a goal at the end of the line because that is how you specifically adapt to whatever it is that you want to do? It's exactly the same as going to the gym and thinking I need to get fit so you do some. Bice pills and you might use some squats then you might go for a swim then you might go and get in the treadmill then you do this out in the other you will adapt to that but a small amount to each individual level whereas if you thought I need to climb Snowden and I need to build my leg strength so I'm going to go to the gym and I'm going to do some squats. I'm going to look at bulgarian split squats I'm going to build my glute strengths I do some lunges I'll get on the stair master and do some steps I'm Goingnna do this that and the other that is specific to that goal. That means you're not wasting your time crucial because we don't have time. Everybody is track for time so you need to make that time work for you when it comes to nutrition. You will know people listening to this will know what foods are not necessarily good and bad but what will have more of a nutritional benefit to us than others. There is always and I'll be the first to say this. There's always a time and a place for a Mcdonald's breakfast. There's always a time and a place for an easter egg There's always a time in the place. For an almond crasson. The difference is it's not every day the difference is all the other time around that Macdonald's breakfast the almondrasscent on the whatever is you're eating plenty of fiber plenty of fruits and vegetables. You're upping your protein. You're focusing on protein. We don't need notice I haven't mentioned carbs and fats here. We don't need to worry about them. They will sort themselves out depending on how much you how you like to eat and as long as you're within some form of structure to make sure you're not under or overeating once you have done that the important thing here is to make sure you're sleeping well and managing stress. So I know that was a long answer but in terms of preparing yourself physically and in terms of your capacity to do more work. You need to make sure that you're first of all, not taking on too much to do. You have a goal to to to aim for you understand. Movements that are involved in that goal and therefore you can break them down into specific training plans. You need to fuel yourself. Well you want to feel virtuous when you're eating. But also you want to reward yourself by just enjoying life and the fruits of the food that we have in this western country. We do have. Almond krassants on tap. We do have Mcdonald's around the corner There's a time and place for them. But you want to make sure that on the whole you are monitoring those things and to top it off sleeping well and managing stress because if you don't if you if you if you forget those 2 you forget your sleep you forget your recovery.

Ben

If You forget your sleep you forget good eating habits If You forget the sleep you forget your drive to go to the gym at sixclock in the morning if you forget managing stress all the rest of it falls apart because stress is that thing that gets in the middle of stuff. It's the grenade in the in the kitchen that goes off and just empties the cupboards. It's It's the thing that makes a mess of all of your perfect processes and and progress so managing stress and managing sleep are crucial to then managing your fitness and what you put in your mouth.

calltoadventure

Yeah I think that's a really useful framework to think about the different areas that we should be managing in our in our training. So let's dig a little bit more specifically so we'll first do training and then ah and then a little bit on nutrition so training you mentioned so say we've got our goal.

Ben

With there of this.

calltoadventure

It's some we want to go and climb Mon Blanc and we're not going to talk about anything technical here. But we're going to say that we've got our objective now. Ah, how do you? So so we know it's going to be a lot of legs and a lot of kind of a base level of cardio that's going to be needed. Um. Or potentially a similar objective. But how would you then think about starting to break down the specific movements and how how would you think about putting them together in a program in terms of how many times should we be training a week how um how long should the training sessions be how much recovery? Do you think we need.

Ben

Perfect, good question and a good case study now I want to start this with a little story of my own this I can use to call back on to answer your question back in 2017 I climbed the height of the 3 peaks challenge. Up and down a twenty foot gym rope I gave myself 20 I gave myself ten weeks to fully train for it and the the ah the goal was to climb this rope 738 times until I'd reached. Ah, hundred and ten thousand feet I think it was top my head I can't admit, no, it wasn't 910011 and a half thousand feet one hundred and ten eleven a half thousand feet um the the goal for that was I need to train to climb a rope I was alright at training ah climbing a rope. There was a lot of technique involved. But. Outside of technique. You've got to build that base strength and this was a masterclass for myself as to how to break down that specific movement. You've got the initial pull you've got the bringing the knees up so you've essentially got a knee to elbow movement then you've got the the squat and the pull essentially which is a bit like doing a squat with your feet close together. To complete that movement and then you stitch it all together into a rope climb now then how I trained for that was breaking those down into 4 different movements that was the initial rope pulled that was the knees to the elbows that was the feet close together squat and that was the overall rope climb to a to to work in conditioning now there. As I trained for that over 10 weeks that was structured in a trading program which I'll come on in the latter part of the answer to your question but I want to look at what we did there and apply that to montblon so we need to understand what is the goal Mont Blac I'm going to be hiking up a hill. It's very leggy. Yes, gonna need to build Les. We're going to be crossing snow fields and glaciers. Okay, so there's slightly different terrain to be working on there as well. We've got cardiovascular fitness because we've got the added um, added factor of altitude. So we need to be working on that to understand. Well, how can I build my body to be able to adapt to that specific adventure. Now when it comes to training frequency. Most people will want to do one strength training session followed by a rest day and a strength training session followed by a rest day and you can fluctuate what part of your body that strength training session is targeting so that you're not just. Absolutely hammering lunges 3 times a week for ten weeks for example so as you're putting your program together. You're looking at Mont Blac and going well I need to build my leg strength. But if I just build legs. What's the top of my body doing if I have absolutely bulletproof legs.

Ben

The top of my body is going to turn into a limp piece of spaghetti. So I need to work on. Well what's the rest of the picture here and this is something called your posterior chain all of your muscles that drive forward forward. Motion. All the legs calves ankles joints, glutes hips core the shoulders to keep your pack on. Arms that you're going to be moving. Are you going to have an eyesax in your hand. Are you going to have poles in your hand. That's a particular type of movement. It's the same with a runner. A runner is not just legs. A runner is all posterior chain everything including the core and the majority of cases that I've had come in front of me and the people I've coached. Core has been the first place we've had to work on because a lot of people's core strength is relatively low and that's because you know we sit in a box at work. We sit in a box at home. We sit in a box in the car. We go to a box gym. You know what? I mean we we're always sat there. We're not overly using our core as much so we need to build that up. Essentially if you build the core you have a strong chasis for which the vehicle will then not collapse then we need to make sure the wheels are are good so we need to work on the legs you're looking at building that motor pattern of stepping relatively high if you go inside your back guard and you've probably got a high step. It's a bit like stepping up on that and then stepping back on it stepping back down and then back up on the opposite foot. That's your motor pattern you could get away with adapting that particular training session just around that because you're essentially building the specific movement of hiking up a hill. Now when I went through the rope climb you're breaking it down to several different movements and then you're drilling that once or twice per week when we're looking at something like Mont Blanc you want to build your core you want to build your legs and you want to build your upper body to ensure that your whole body can. Handle the torque if you like of the legs as you're going up the hill now then the other part of the rope climbing was training was once I've broken down all of those movements I then put them into practice by just doing rope climbing and that's an important thing to remember within your trading plan. Much like a runner would have a long run at the weekend you want to have a long hilly hike and it seems to be quite a favorite of say training for the uphill athlete and and the rest of the sort organiz organizations like that where they are hiking up a hill with a big ruck sack full of water bottles. You get to the top of the hill you empty the water bottles and you jog back down. And the reason that you're emptying them at the top is if you're jogging back down or walking back down with a lot of weight. You're just putting more load through your knees and through your joints which could lead to potential injuries in the future. We don't necessarily need to train the downhill part.

Ben

Of ah of of the journey to moblon and back in this particular case there are times for it but not necessarily here so here we can just find a hill go to the long lin with your rucksack fill it for a twenty litres of water hike it to the top of the hill with your poles if you're carrying poles going up Mont Blanc again making this as specific as possible. Put your boots on if you're going up Mont Blanc in your b two s put your b two s on if if you can make this whole journey as specific as possible for that 1 session at the weekend where you're putting everything all the chess pieces together then you're going to be setting yourself up success. That's probably 1 of the most important elements of your training artillery if you like is having that one specific session per week and that is where you put all of these practices into into practice through the week before that you're breaking it down to individual movements. So for example for Mont Blanc we might be doing squats. Lunges and deadlifts in 1 session where we're really drilling leg pressing capacity the squat how much how much weight can you lift off the ground on your shoulders building your legs your glutes and your core it's a compound movement that works multiple muscle systems. The lunge. Makes that squat more specific because we don't just squat everywhere like ah like a rabbit we lunge everywhere like a normal human being so a lunge puts a little bit more of add its added specificity into that specific movement coming onto a deadlift. You're building the lower back you're building the hamstring strength you're building your core strength because it's ah it's a lot of core to keep your body straight and tight under a load of a barbell if you build or that into a session. That's a good session then on the next session you're looking at specifically upper body you're looking at. At your bent over rows. You're building your shoulders up, you're building your capacity to be able to hold weight without hunching over you're building your core a lot your arm strength as well because you're going to be pulling the bag onto your shoulder. There's a lot of different aspects to train for the third session. You could be looking at then once you've got that core. And that upper body and that lower lower leg session. You could be bringing it all together in a full posterior chain training session where you're also drilling your cardiovascular system this is where you have more of like a crossfit session for example or something a little bit more high intensity where you are stressing the cardiovascular system more then on your fourth session. Pulling it all together. You're getting a pack on you go into a hill you will be drilling inadvertently second order effect your cardiovascular system because it's hard work taking a heavy pack to top of the hill and then jogging back down again, filling it up at the river and then doing it again. You will drill your cardiovascular system. But crucially, you're putting everything into perspective.

Ben

So I I Hope that's kind of answered your question in a roundabout kind of way.

calltoadventure

Yeah, yeah, definitely I think that's ah, a really good framework for the third session when you mentioned a crossfit like session. Um, that's kind of full posterior chain or full body. So for for people that aren't familiar with that what else if they haven't been to crossfit what might that. Look like it's kind of getting sweaty by doing full body exercises that aren't too heavy right for a kind of extended period of time. So.

Ben

Oh absolutely I mean look at your look at your average boot camp look what a boot camp does or a circuit session and the reason I have this third session in in this particular example is if your leg session has been very effective then you want to give your legs time to rest before. You then go on to the specific session at the end of the week on a Saturday if you've drilled your upper body well and your core well, you need to give that a chance to rest before the fourth session on the Saturday those are the 3 most important sessions. The fourth session is essentially your supplementary session now. Let's say we did legs on Monday we did upper body on wednesday. And we're going to go out on Saturday for our long session. So on Friday you could just do a session where you're looking at multiple different stations going for time per station and moving your body in multiple different ways. We're looking for different planes of motion. We're looking at. Can we do bear crawl. Can we push a sled can we do something that's still specific to our to our specific training plan and to our goal but it's just a bit more fun. It could be with friends. It's probably going to be sweaty. You want to get out of breath and you just want to feel like you've had a bit of a workout. The reason for that is then. When you go into your specific session on the Saturday you're probably a little bit pre-ratigud and that's why this session is optional because if you've had a heavy load on Monday and a heavy load on Wednesday you could still be hopeed by Friday in which case tickets are rest day. But if you're feeling like you've got a bit of energy. And this again would be programmed specifically later on because you want to have an element of training fatigued on that Saturday when you get to the Saturday and you were a little tired or a little stiff from doing pushups or whatever the day before then that's perfect because when you're halfway up mont blunc that's hard work. You know when you get to. When you're going through the different stations. Especially if you're if you're starting from sham rather than the yeah rather than the the top of the station then you've had a long day to get there. You're already tired and you're not near the top yet so you need to drill your body to be able to work. Under stress under fatigue and under load so that it then becomes more specific and resilient to fatigue now. Don't get me wrong, not every session on a Saturday not every keystone session needs to be pre-fatiqued. There are times where you're going to push yourself pretty hard on that Saturday session and therefore need to rest beforehand. But that's the beauty of having a very flexible and malleable training program again. This fits around your lifestyle fits around your kids fits around when you get up fits around everything else that happens but the point of that session is just having something optional to make you feel a bit fragged to make you feel like you've been worked and.

Ben

Yeah, we mentioned earlier that I do outdoor fitness sessions. It's a bit like just joining something in a group where you can have a laugh with people and enjoy it because a lot of your leg day and a lot of everything else might be done on your own and it makes a heck of a difference when you can go and push yourself. That's why crossfits so popular, go and push yourself in a community of people. Even if you're looking at doing mob block with 3 or 4 other people getting together and doing something like that downloading a workout from the internet and doing it together that's going to be a really good help to keep you going looking at fitness that's that's transcending just or sorry health rather that's transcending just fitness and food. You know you're making yourself feel better. You're preparing yourself foradventure and I mean especially if you're doing the training with the people that you're going to Mont Blanc with I mean that's that's amazing because you're then getting to the point where you've got that bit of banter as well and you're getting to the point where you're. Fatigued together working hard together egging each other on and just building that team cohesion together I hope that answers that question.

calltoadventure

Yeah, yeah, what about ah lists and hit is there anywhere in your training modality for low intensity steady state. So a lot of people I think will be thinking. You know we have. Load of people who go on all sorts of different trips with call to adventure and and some people don't but just let's say there's Joan. She's forty. She's thinking about doing the 3 peaks challenge. She's doing it with work. She doesn't really know how to do a squat or these compound lifts. And so she sees people at the gym and they're just doing. They're just on the the treadmill or on the on the cycling machine so is there a place. Still for some kind of low intensity steady state stuff in the gym for building that kind of zone too or do you think that they should really try to move away from that as quickly as possible and maybe get some tuition to try and help them learn those movement patterns because it's it. They're going to miss out on all of the strength side if they're just doing that fine.

Ben

That's great question and I think a lot of people will find themselves in in Joan's shoes now look if if Joan chooses to go to the gym and just get on the treadmill and do stuff or get on the cross-trainer or get on the bike or get on the stairmaster and just move. And doing that 80% low steady state intensity work jones putting herself in a great position for success because she's doing more than nothing which is great now I always are on the side of caution of kind of encouraging people to change their training mobile modality sorry get my word out. Training their changing their training modality per se because with change becomes a little bit of kickback with change comes a little bit of resistance now. It would be fantastic. If Joan found a pt and and you know, managed to build a little bit of strength and did some things. But Joan could also go on the treadmill get off the treadmill do a couple of air squats off the side of the treadmill and get back on it and build a decent amount of of training capacity just from doing the basics. Now I'm talking about compound lifts here and doing squatting and deadlifting from a position of I mean I I coach it and I help people to do it. It's not for everybody to just walk into the into the gym and sort of elbows and people out the way on the squat rack and then figure out what they're doing. You know it takes a lot of time to to figure out how to do it and and it. There is a huge benefit to having coaching to this because it speeds the process up. But that's also the beauty of having a training plan or a training strategy that is periodized and is adapted to where that person is starting from. Now. Let's say if we have Joan turn up and she's never trained before in her life doesn't really know what she's doing and she's gone to the gym and she thinks right I need to get my 3 peaks challenge you know, training up. In fact, I'm not going even to use Joan I'm going to use a real life example I use my mom. My mom's 57. She's asthmatic and she did a twenty six mile walk for alzheimer's last year further she's ever moved in her entire life. She's a bit of a trojan. She took up running and she can do five k I mean now she can do 5 k and under 30 minutes but then she could do 5 k about 40 minutes she's a little bit delicate in terms of lower back potential sort of past injuries and things there. But we' walking to a gym scratch ahead and move off again because doesn't like the environment gets a little bit intimidated by the the Jim Bros in the corner doesn't know what she's doing so just goes to aquifit instead now the fact that that my mom here is still doing something means that she's on the right track.

Ben

And it's the same with Jo here and our example now then with these 2 people. What we've done there is we need to understand the specificity behind the goal three weeks challenge is quite a lot of walking. You know you're looking at. An average of around twelve ish hours of hiking 12 to 13 hours of hiking because they go off a staple of around 11 hours of driving to complete it. 24 hours now that's a long time to be moving. So what we need to be doing. There is yeah absolutely throwing some low-intensity steady state work in there just to build arabic capacity. We don't need to go straight into strength training. We don't need to go straight to steady steady state training. But that's the beauty of how a coach works and how having a small understanding of the programming process works. You want to understand where are we starting from. If Joan had already been doing a little bit of running and doing a little bit of walking and doing a little bit of hiking then she's going to benefit most from starting off on strength but that's not to say that Joan couldn't do a strength take session on Monday go and do something low intensity on tuesday. Have a day off on Wednesday do a strength training on Wednesday do a low intensity on Friday and then another low intensity or you know, ah a specific session on Saturday as much as that might seem like quite a lot of training that's only 5 sessions in a week and bearing in mind that the low intensity ones will be easy I e going for a walk getting steps in. Doing an hour a treadmill at a slightly fast pace for a hike for example or putting your pack on and just going for a walk to get used to carrying weight all of these things have a place in that training program now it depends on where that person starts from for my mom. For example, she had a bit of a running history. So great. We can build strength. And then we could build that walking capacity and she was doing quite long and and sort of fast hikes to to build her up to that and also test sort of asthma and the rest of it. But let's say that Joan has never stepped foot into any form of fitness and she was coerced into it by the workplace to do this thing for charity and all of her. All of her colleagues were joining her and and just getting her to join and she just said yes and did it and now she's committed well jones going to be in a good place now to just move. It's like I said if we went to those 10 people on the high street and said you need to get fitter. What would you do people be like oh I'll take the stairs instead of the elevator or maybe I'll park further away in Tesco's instead of right by the door and you're building fitness by simply doing the easy things. The easiest things you can change now in Joan's case here if she's got no training history then yet get on the treadmill walk why because you're going to be walking when you do the the 3 peaks the Billy basics of specificity.

Ben

The less place. Best place you can start until she get to the point which' like well I can walk you know I'm getting a bit of a jog on I'm doing some bits and pieces I just I'm not sure if I'm doing the right thing. That's where she can ask the question I think I need help you know I'm now in that position of my mom. For example before she did the the hike of. I've done some aerobic stuff and I feel like I need to do a bit more and that advice could literally be okay, do the same aerobic stuff but do it up that hill over there and keep doing it and do that 3 or 4 times a week with a couple of easy sessions in I should like okay, cool and then Joan goes off and does that for 8 to twelve weeks brilliant um really good at going up that hill now. Fantastic Joan's doing amazingly well. Okay, brilliant if jo's motivated by that bring her into the gym take her to an outdoor gym take her to anywhere that she can start to move a few things and start to build that strength build that core strength she can even build core strength at home. Doing sit-ups crunches, leg raises planks all these different things that we can do from home if she's intimidated by the gym because then we can then start to build and perfect all of that base training that she's done so it is important to start from a base training session and to to start from a base of of aerobic strength. The 2 strength and aerobic capacity can be trained together from a starting point or they can be trained differently from a starting point but it entirely depends on the the individual it depends on their lifestyle. How much time have you got have you got time to train like an ironman triathlee do 13 hours a week have you got 0 time. Um, which case we need to make 3 hours a week incredibly specific so it's a case of looking at what that person has in front of their plate rather than trying to thumb them into position of a set training plant which doesn't work as effectively so trying take care.

calltoadventure

So we've got Joan taken care of she is ready to go and ready to hit the 3 peaks on I just want to switch gears to a completely different case and just do a really quick case study on let's say a climber Steve he's bit. He's king climbing.

Ben

Ready to go. Um.

calltoadventure

Um, been been climbing for a year keen climber now he wants to push his grades up into the sevens and is starting to think about some specific training for climbing. It's a little bit on the heavy side. So um, how would you kind of high levels start to think about climbing. Specifically.

Ben

Okay, cool. Well, you've just said that Steve's a little bit on the heavy side. So whether that is muscular weight. He's a thick set guy or whether that is body fat that could potentially be lost a lot of higher end climbers or those that can climb. Quite technical way about as much as a wet bag of sugar. So potentially the weight loss phase is something to be concentrated on if Steve is motivated to do that and that's part of his goal if it is brilliant. Get the weight loss done in out the way first you can do that through a variety of different processes. You know. The overarching overarching goal of of weight loss is it's a calorie Deficit. It's eating less consuming less energy than you are expending now then with the mathematics of that you will then lose weight the the tricky side of that is finding a way that suits the individual. Suits their lifestyle and suits their training down to Steve's training as he's in that weight loss process. There's no point Steve beasting himself like an absolute monster because the calories burnt during exercise are so minimal that we don't even need to bother counting them. And exercise energy expenditures five five percent of our overall daily energy expenditure so people need to switch off from exercising for weight loss when weight loss is done nutritionally and the exercise is the cherry on top as it were in terms of. Affecting that and getting you involved in the process of becoming a healthier version of you in Steve's case as he's losing that weight then he's going to benefit from building his climbing strength his specific climbing strength and that's where we're looking at fingerboards. That's where we're looking at dead hangs. That's where we're looking at specific. Pulling motions as we were looking at specific pushing of motions. So we're looking at balance coordination flexibility and all of these can be drilled at the same time that he's losing weight because that isn't necessarily going to generate too much of an appetite which is good that means it's not necessarily going to overreat and therefore the weight loss is going to be expedited. Once Steve has ticked the box and the weight loss now he's looking at really diving into okay well I can climb sixes pretty well I need to start climbing sevens and this is where Steve can start throwing into his training a breakdown of how to get to sevens. Now. Let's go on the same same way as it did for the rope climb same way as we did for montb bla. Let's say that Saturday is the day that Steve can go and go to the climbing wall and do sevens and at home Steve has got a fingerboard. He's got a pullup bar outside. He's got a few things that he can do well in that case, then we're going to be breaking down that training plan so that he's doing.

Ben

Specific movements. There's a lot of pull-ups pulling up movements. There's a variety of different pull-ups you can do you knew archer pullups were you putting more strain onto one arm than the other. So you're drilling that strength and coordination. All around this Steve's doing a lot more flexibility because flexibility is your friend when it comes to climbing quite harder. Great harder grades especially when it comes to those tiny moves or just spying out those small things to smear against push against to get a leg up to ° in order to push against something. So the flexibility is going to be a really key part of him in addition with climbing this is where those static hold strength exercises are going to be really really good as well because while you're fumbling around trying to find the next hold these 3 fingers are cromping onto something the size of a tiny diamond on the wall. And shaken away but your arm's already locked and that's an isometric hold so when it comes to coming up onto a pull-up and doing a hold. You're then holding that position. It's a specific move for that particular point a plank a side plank a twisting side plank. All of these are specific moves. Going to help generate tensile strength in Steve's body because Steve needs to be an acrobat a gym nest a strength athlete and an absolute cardio monster in order to become a great climber in order to do that. Steve needs to get very good at doing easier grade climbs one after the other so he's just building a little bit of capacity and building a little bit more specific skill It's that technical element. You know you're warming up on fours. You're going onto fives. You're coming on to 6 s you're trying some difficult sixes. You're going back to the easier 6 s and then you're topping off with a couple of trickier sevens. Maybe you're you know going on confidence sevens that you feel that you can get a couple of holds up and then coming off coming back to it trying it again trying to get the next hold going with somebody else that you can watch someone else. Do it get a beater on it so that you're getting that that skill set available. You're then going to start to see in that specific session. All the dividends that are being paid by doing static holds by doing strength tracking by doing pulling exercises by doing all of that flexibility palatees and yoga everything else that comes into that and he's going to feel the difference if he's 4 or five kilos lighter.

calltoadventure

Brilliant I think that's a really really useful framework for climbers to think about this kind of stuff and I was going to ask you about training flexibility. But you did mention palatees in yoga um some other things that I've come across that are interesting ah that we don't have time to go into today. But if people are listening and interested. Ah, Pnf proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation. It's pretty interesting stuff. Um, if you want to do some more static stuff. There's a really good book called stretch to win by the Frederick Sons um so that's an interesting resource. You mentioned before the calorie Deficit. So. Just be thoughtful with that and it's it's really important not to get too carried away and a lot of climbers do suffer with eating disorders. So just be very very thoughtful when you start to do get into calorie deficit land and I think you know much better than I do Ben but um, I've read that 3 to five hundred calories

Ben

The.

calltoadventure

Kind of enough in terms of a ah ah calorie deficit and you don't want to be doing much more than that and losing naught point 5 to 1% body fat per weekish I don't know if you have any thoughts on that you know much better I'm not qualified. This is just things that I've read on the internet bro. Um, but I just want to make sure that people aren't you know, eating 1 Apple and thinking that that's enough because they want to be in a calorie deficit.

Ben

You're absolutely right? You know there's calories become an ugly word with a lot of people so there's diet and essentially. Notwithstanding the word calorie calorie is just a unit of measurement like centimeters you learn centimeters in school before you learn kilometerss and miles. So when it comes to looking at a calorie deficit people can take it too far because they think if I just put myself into a huge calorie deficit then I'll just lose loads of weight. But then people aren't realizing that to an extent that does work and I'm going to really stress to an extent because I believe that if you're going to try a more extreme calorie deficit that needs to come from a background of some form of knowledge or coaching to ensure you do it right? You highlight the right things you you are doing it under regarded process. Rather than fumbling around in the dark for the vast majority of us you know a 10 to 15% calorie Deficit is pretty good dependent on the goal that you're looking for if you are an overweight individual then you're going to be able to handle a larger calorie deficit and see a lot more weight come off immediately if you are relatively slim. Then it's more likely that you want to have a smaller calorie deficit because you haven't got that much stored energy to lose now in addition to these calorie deficits people need to be monitoring how much energy they're expending you know a candle is only so long if you burn it at both ends if you go for a. Big calorie deficit. But you're also exercising like a monster. Something's going to meet in the middle and go wrong because you're going to be burning tons of calories because you'll force yourself to do loads of exercise. You know you're getting up and you doing in ten k every morning then you do in a circuit they do this not the other and you doing that day and day in day day out. But also you're in a thousand calorie Deficit. You're going to run out of energy. There's only so much you can drive a car on the red light going back and forth to Tesco is trying to get away with not filling up because fuel costs much more than a kidney at the moment until the car stops working or doesn't start in the first place. So. When it does come to that as an overarching rule. You don't even need to look at calories if if people have a bad relationship with calories and they do and that's fine tracking is not for everybody. It's a case of just addressing what you eat if I could give 1 piece of advice to anybody trying to look at taking control of their nutrition. Whether that's to put weight on and build muscle mass whether that's to lose weight and you know shed layers of body fat is to simply get a white piece of paper a plain piece of paper and write down every single thing you truthfully and I'm going to highlight the word truthfully eat.

Ben

Every single day for seven days including the weekend start on Monday start whatever start today whenever this podcast comes out and you go all the way through the week and objectively look at yourself and again, there's a lot of words I'm going to highlight here but objectivity and integrity. Ah, the 2 main words because if you lie about what you're eating if you just say oh I'm not going to eat that cream egg but I would usually but I've got to write it down so I'm not going to You're lying to yourself get an understanding of the baseline information understand yourself as a project before you start that project. You've got to sit there and scratch out and figure out what's going on. And writing down everything you eat for a week is that action of doing that because then as you've gone through that and you have objectively looked at yourself. You can reflect on that week and go huh I didn't realize a snack so much didn't realize I had three hob knobs a day at three pm interesting why do I snack at 3 pm and you're objectively becoming your own coach. This is what I do with clients I'm going to sit here and objectively look at you as a client but you can do it yourself now. Yeah, you don't have the accountability of as such by doing itself but think about what you're doing here. We're aiming for something called low-hanging fruit. The simple, easiest things that you can change. Right now because the process of that is easy to do if we look at turning the books out upside down and starting again from a fresh piece of paper. The likelihood is. You're not going to stick to the intervention. But if you look at your week and go but right? Okay, well I ate 3 hot knobs on Monday. I hit 3 hob knobs on Tuesday. Oh I finished the pack on Wednesday then I bought a pack of bourbons. You know I'm oversimplifying this process but we all snack. We all do things if we are gaining weight there are easy things that we can change here when you look at that and going right? Well instead of having three hob knobs every day I'll just have 1 because you know a cup of tea don't get in a hop don't a hop knobb in a cup of tea that's quite a satisfying experience. So I don't want to take that away from myself. You've got to be compassionate with yourself. You look at that and go right? I tell you what I'll have one hop knob and then at lunch I'll have some extra fruit or some extra salad. You know we're adding food in rather than taking food away I look at breakfast do I need to eat breakfast am I hungry if I'm not hungry. Don't eat breakfast breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. That's a myth you if you're not hungry. Don't eat if you are hungry. Okay, what can I do to improve breakfast. 1 thing I can do to be better than yesterday. Well I had porridges I'll tell you I'll put some blueberries on my porridge there you go I've got a bit of fruit in there. The fact that you're adding things in your inadvertently stop snacking later on in the day because you'll be fuller for longer. So. There's a lot of things that we can do and all of that can start for just writing down everything you eat.

Ben

Every single day. Everything you eat as you eat them? don't recall it at the end of the day and be like oh I think I ate this and I think I ate this because'll they'll be incorrecions as you eat it what air for lunch right? I've got lettuce in here I've got some chicken I've got some caesar salad dress in what's that tescos. Okay, cool and you're writing it down. Get to Sunday Sunday night review analyze be objective, be compassionate and be truthful to yourself and then you can find the easiest things that you can change tomorrow.

calltoadventure

All great tips. Yeah I think writing it down on a piece of papers is a great way to do it. I am a fan of my fitness pal if people like apps. Um I think it's ah it's a good way to do it because it reminds sends you reminders and it. It's got a ridiculous amount of food on there. It's got like even co-ops own pink pacific salmon and like you can find it down to that. That's genuinely one that I found today and I was like there's no way this is going to be on there but there but it is so and it's got all the nutritional information just helps if you want to start tracking that stuff and thinking about. How many calories calories am I really eating am I getting in enough fat well proteins what we learned Today. It's all about the protein. Um, so I think we'll we'll have to leave it there I would love to keep picking your brain about all this stuff. Forever. But maybe we'll do another more in-depth episode and maybe we could do a few special episodes on. Specific types of trainers and really go deep for Joan and Steve but Ben, it's been awesome to chat I think it's really cool. The adventures that you've got up to very inspiring message to get out there and then I think even to give a bit of. That kind of baseline advice on training which a lot of people really struggle with and they want to get out there but they they feel like training or nutrition can get in the way and I think we've really managed to hit all parts of that trio. So thanks, very much for coming on if people want to find out a little bit more.

Ben

I Will thank you very much for having me on. First of all, it's been an absolute play I Love talking about this people might be able to tell that I can talk for a while and that's why I do lots of lots of stage talks is just because I can wrap it on about it forever.

calltoadventure

About you and indie fit. Where's the best place for them to go.

Ben

But for those who want to learn a little bit more or just reach out. Um I am not somebody who will ever charge for an email. So please if you have a question just email it to me. You're not going to get forward to a robot you're going to get forward to me on the phone at a time where I can give you a good response to a question you may have. So in order to try and find me have a look at Ben Turner coach on Instagram or indie fit coaching on Facebook indie fit which is spelled I n d e dash fit dot com is my website and yeah I think I guess. Instagram is probably where I'm most active Facebook I'm trying to do more um and then on my website you can join my mailing list that's ah, that's a good place for me to be rabbiting on. But again if you just need anything if if people have a question here and they just need to get a specific answer and they don't want to sift through Instagram posts or they don't want to do anything else. Either send me a dm straight away on Instagram or just email me. It's Ben Dot Turner at indie dash fit indedashfitdotcom and I'll answer your question you know I'm not going to charge with questions. It's just a case of. If you have a question that needs answering I want to be the one that gives you that answer I want to be the one that gives that's here to help you so come and reach out to me come and have a chat I am a friendly and approachable person or friendly neighborhood Nutritionist. So I'm always happy to help.

calltoadventure

Ah, awesome. Well, that's that's very kind of you well done. That's that that's a great community service and I will see you at 1 of your classes soon and we'll have to go and yep turn throw some tires over and run up some Hills so Ben thanks again for coming on and listeners. Thanks for tuning in so until next time.

Ben

Um, let's do it.

calltoadventure

Thanks! Very much bye-bye.

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