Admittedly for many bootcampers Heartbreak Hill is not a
particularly happy place, a brutally steep and getting steeper all
the way section of hill we use for early morning interval
training. However, it has introduced many people to the huge
benefits of intervals and few can deny the satisfaction of
completing more reps and feeling the benefit as the week goes on
and their perceptions of what they can achieve are altered.
Bootcampers 'enjoying' Heartbreak
But unfortunately not any more
Unfortunately Moneyscalp wood, in which Heartbreak Hill is
located has been closed indefinitely due to a serious tree disease
which has resulted in the clear felling of huge swathes of the
forest. This is a huge blow to the local ecosystem and is
causing serious concern over the health of nearby Tollymore
Forest. It is also a big blow to us and all the other users,
most notably the mountain bikers who have lost a great venue and a
national standard downhill track. We can only ask you to
respect the wishes of Forestry NI and not attempt to gain access to
the woods for any extra interval sessions!
As for Heartbreak Hill, it will be back in a new venue in time
for the March bootcamp, those early morning interval sessions are
far too good to be scrapped!!
Our head instructor Ian had an eventful weekend in the Scottish
Highlands successfully passing the final stage of his MBLA
tutorship assessment. This makes him the only person in the
country qualified to deliver the MBLA Mountain Bike leadership
courses, the qualifications essential for any aspiring bike
It wasn't all plain sailing, scoping out the route the day
before Ian encountered blizzards, high winds and temperatures way
below freezing in a tortuous few hours which served as a timely
reminder of how harsh conditions can be in the mountains, even when
you're low down with some shelter.
He thawed out in time to run the course the next day under the
close observation of the assessors and was delighted to pass and
also manage to make it back for the final ferry of the night with
five minutes to spare.
Big congrats to Ian, give him a shout if you want to do anything
biking related, you can contact him through our firstname.lastname@example.org
Read in the paper yesterday that scientists have 'discovered'
that cancer cells feed off glucose in other cells so therefore high
sugar diets rapidly increase the spreading and growth of cancerous
tumours. This knowledge isn't new or particularly shocking,
just another reason to avoid refined white sugars (as if diabetes,
heart disease etc etc aren't reason enough). The shocking
thing is that the instant response from the scientists (drug
industry led) is to try to develop a drug to block the glucose to
stop the cancerous cells from gaining access to the fuel source
rather than spending the cash on prescribing a low sugar diet and
better lifestyle for sufferers.
It's been brilliant seeing the success of The Food Hospital on
channel 4 challenging conventional wisdom and proving that diet can
be infinitely MORE effective than drugs in the treatment of a
hugely diverse range of ailments, illnesses and diseases.
People on that show are simply being given solid nutritional advice
and are being astounded by the results which years of visiting the
doctor and being reliant upon drugs have failed to produce.
I'm a realistic person, if I get diagnosed with a serious
disease then I'm going to try anything available to attempt to get
better, however, if doctors aren't even advising people that
diseases are often lifestyle created and can be treated by
lifestyle change then what hope have people got? It seems
that on many occasions the drugs really don't work and even if they
do they have a high price to pay in terms of side effects and
addictions. I really hope that ground breaking programmes
like the Food Hospital open the eyes of more people to the obvious
benefits of eating well, not just for weight control, not just to
have better skin, look younger, have more energy and sleep better,
but also to prevent and treat the man made diseases which are
becoming the main killers in modern Western society.
Stay healthy folks...
I got quite angry yesterday listening to RTE 2fm and people
ringing in shouting the virtues of an all protein diet (it was
sounding like a very watered down Atkins). They were saying
how the diet had helped them lose weight and keep it off etc etc,
all very familiar. The basics of it were, week one, only eat
proteins, week two half proteins and half veg, then from then on
one day per week of all protein in an otherwise balanced diet.
It wasn't these people who angered me, and I've no doubt that
they were genuine and they have successfully lost weight. The
thing that got me down was the fact that yet again a national radio
station was happy to perpetuate diet ignorance without bringing in
nutrition experts to counter any arguments.
There are many, many different diets out there which could lose
you weight, some may work in the short term, if you're extremely
disciplined with the right mindset some may even work long
term. However, none will make you healthy like a proper
balanced diet, no tricks, no point counting, no 'protein days',
'carbs days' etc. They were even saying that the diet allows
you to have fizzy 'diet' drinks! Give me strength.
Lets be clear here and re-iterate the advice given by NI
Bootcamp, all other good bootcamps and any Nutritionist in the
world worth listening to. This isn't ground breaking news,
it's just fact...
1) Weight loss and reaching your natural weight is merely one
facet of a healthy lifestyle and should never be an end result in
itself. Your body dictates what your target weight is, not
the scales, not clothes retailers and not the press.
2) Eat fresh and make food from scratch. Processed
foods are your enemy. Look at nutrition info on even the
foods that are claiming to be 'low fat' (normally means high in
sugar), 'low sugar/diet' (normally means low compared to
competitors/full sugar options but still very excessive or
full of sweeteners which have numerous serious health detriments),
'low salt' (when it should be no salt) etc etc and you'll quickly
realise how much crap is in virtually all processed foods.
Fresh fruit, vegetables and raw ingredients allow you total control
and knowledge over what you eat.
3) Refined white sugar is killing the world. It has no
nutritional value whatsoever. There is no place in your diet
for fizzy drinks of any kind. Fight the addiction, it's
actually easy. The less sugar you eat, the more sensitive
your taste buds will become and you'll notice that a lot of things
you eat now for the sugar rush are actually disgustingly over
sweet. Fruit can give you all the sugar fix you need and
sensitive taste buds will help you find the joys of subtle flavours
in foods you currently find far too bland. There is nothing
positive about diabetes and heart disease.
4) You don't have to deny yourself anything. There are no
foods you 'can't have'. The fact is, a small change in
mindset (which isn't hard to do) will leave you not wanting most of
the foods which are killing you. The thought of having to eat
most fast foods really turns me cold these days because I realise
that, a) they are extremely detrimental to my health, b) they make
me feel immediately rotten, c) they are dead calories with no
nutritional value and therefore I'll be hungry again very soon
5) Junk food is an addiction, junk food companies are very
astute marketers, the government is very slow to regulate the junk
food industry, YOU are the one who suffers. Many many
diseases and mental illnesses didn't exist two generations
ago. Our modern diet has created them. You can take
control, you can feel better all the time, you can sleep better, be
less stressed and less anxious, you can live longer and happier,
you can lose weight naturally without the pain and false hope of
dieting. You just have to want to change, not want to talk
about changing or think you want to change.
So there it is, rant over. I'm passionate in my hatred of
a diet industry which wants to sell you false solutions which will
damage your health long term. I'm really passionate in my
hatred of junk food companies who now claim to have 'healthy'
alternatives because there is money in selling them. Eat
fresh and find a love in exercise and your body and brain will
thank you for the rest of your life. NI Bootcamp can
show you how you can make this change, all you need is to love
yourself enough to want to stop poisoning your body and the rest
So I'd be the first to complain about the clocks changing.
I love being outdoors and love getting in some daylight but losing
an hour at the end of the day does still mean gaining one at the
start. Inspired by a good weather forecast I got up at 6:30
and headed out for an amazing 3 hour bike ride before breakfast
getting to see a spectacular sunrise over the Mournes and the
I spent the rest of the day delighted in the knowledge that I'd
not only got my exercise fix for the day but I'd also seen plenty
of sunlight and some beautiful sights before most people had even
got out of bed on a Sunday morning.
You don't have to head out for three hours to feel the
benefits. Just twenty minutes of brisk walking, running or
intervals in the morning is enough to wake your body up and get you
burning energy before you even eat breakfast. It will have a
huge impact on your weight and fitness levels and leave you feeling
energised and alert for the whole day. It really doesn't take
much effort at all to get up half an hour earlier every day so buy
yourself a head torch and get going, you'll be delighted you