Posts Tagged ‘devon’

Plymouth Daylight Hours

Plymouth Daylight Hours

 Sleep is your friend.

And it’s a friend I’m willing to bet you don’t see enough of.

Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival is one of the most influential books in my nutritional and lifestyle philosophy.  The gist is that we are designed to live in sync with nature and her seasonal shifts. 

Seasonal Sync

Think about it.  In nature the season would dictate what food was available (see the Seasonal Food Calendar blog entry).  The season would also dictate how much daylight there was, how much sleep we got and hence our activity levels. 

Summer would mean lots of light for finding a mate (so that the child would be born in spring and hence miss the winter hardship) and lots of carbs for putting on fat ready for winter.  Winter would spell a lack of carbs and less daylight.  Less daylight and colder temperatures would mean less carbs, more sleep and leaning out ready for spring/summer again.

Where We’re Going Wrong

What happens today is that Carbs are available all year round in devasatingly refined forms, light bulbs mean that WE control daylight and our sleep patterns completely out of kilter with the season.

This is not good. 

As far as our bodies are concerned it’s permanent summer!!  Long days of light mean we crave Carbs – is it any wonder?! Our bodies are trying to fatten us up for winter!

If you look at the chart above, the blue line is the changing number of hours of daylight throughout the year.

There’s a pretty dramatic shift from 8 hours mid-Winter to 16+ hours mid-Summer.

The Solution (More Than Just Sky+)

The upshot of this is that from mid-September to mid-April, you should be getting ATLEAST 9-10 hours sleep per night and eating a low-carb diet.  As summer rolls around, stay up late and increase carbs.

9-10 hours sounds like a lot, but in reality it’s going to be at 10pm and getting up at 7am – not that unreasonable. 

If you’re worried about missing stuff on TV, get SKY+.  If you’re just channel surfing, then go to bed – or read a book (late night reading will make you sleepy, trust me)

Oh yeah, and that should be in a PITCH BLACK room with any blinking, flashing clocks or lights covered.  This will ensure your body releases the right hormones to optimise recovery and health.

Sooner or later, we’ll discuss a little more how to optimise sleep itself, but for now, go black out your windows and get some shut-eye.

🙂 ChrisCFW


In no particular order…

  1. The body is designed to work as a single unit. If your program consists of barbell curls, side raises, crunches and a few reps on a leg-press machine, then you are not giving the body what it needs to provoke progress. We center our program around whole body exercises and movements that use multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
  2. We have standards. How can you expect to win the game of life if you don’t know how to score? For each exercise we do, we know how much a person in your situation should be capable of doing. This means that we can highlight areas for improvement quickly and effectively and set achievement goals that are both realistic and attainable.
  3. We “coach”. Your typical gym is set up so that you can do your workout with minimal supervision and they don’t have to worry about you. This is why you get taught simple isolation movements and are told that weight machines are a good idea (they aren’t). What we do is assume that you have a brain and that you actually want to develop your body. We then teach you movements that require coordination and make you use your whole body, we guide you step-by-step and make sure you have everything set-up as it should be. This takes time, attention and skill on our part – these are the things you pay us for and the results are incomparable to the typical gym model.
  4. We take a holistic approach. If you’re fat, you need to address nutrition. If you’re fat, you need to exercise and change your lifestyle habits. If you want to gain muscle you need to address nutrition, you need to focus on exercise and you need to make lifestyle changes. If you want to get fitter you need to focus on nutrition and exercise and see where your lifestyle may be holding you back. You get the picture – everything is inter-related. This is why we look at everything. It just makes sense.
  5. We focus not on body-image goals, but on athletic achievement. If you come to us we will work you as if you were an athlete. Obviously, we will scale the workouts to your ability level and keep intensity levels within your grasp, but the workout format and exercises will be the same for you as for an Olympic athlete. This is how we get results. When you do this your whole outlook changes as you become fitter. You become more confident AND your body-image improves as your ability to move your body as nature intended increases.
  6. It’s addictive. You will find yourself doing things you never thought possible and that the majority of people will find incredible. For some reason this brings people back for more 🙂
  7. We are striving to build a community out of our clients – a place where people are excited to come and where they can workout with friends and enjoy the progress they are making. We intend to have regular fitness get-togethers (i.e. events, competitions and charity fund-raisers) and also socials. We are also looking into ways we can post results and performances online for those who wish to share and compare their progress.
  8. We can take anyone at any level and make them fitter. Our program is scaleable and as such is suitable for anyone. Even our most challenging exercises have well developed progressions for people to work their way through. Mastery is about time, not about talent.
  9. We guarantee our results. If you aren’t fitter in one month, you’ll get another month free. This means you can have utmost faith in our program and know that your money is being well spent.
  10. We care. We do this because we want to make your life better. It’s not about money and it’s not about what you can do for us. Our sole aim is to get you to achieve your health and fitness goals.

If any of this strikes a chord with you, please feel free to contact me at and it would be an honour to book you in for a free intro session.

It’s been a busy week here in (occasionally sunny, but recently a bit chilly) Totnes.

For those of you not familiar with Totnes, it is a pretty cool town located in South Devon not too far from Torbay’s lovely beaches and the cities of Plymouth and Exeter.

If you’ve seen our site over the last two weeks or so, you’ll have seen that we’ve been outfitting our 750 sqft unit with gym equipment. The aim being to bring world-class fitness coaching to this fantastic part of the world.

For too long now we’ve sat back and watched as our friends have started ineffective fitness programs and have been shockingly badly informed by the media on what they should be eating.

We’ve taken matters into our own hands and have decided to spread to the local community the amazing fitness programming that CrossFit offers and combine this with some good old fashioned holistic lifestyle and nutritional advice.

Because this stuff is so important we do this stuff one-to-one and to small groups so that we can keep it personal and keep the quality high.

Today we unveiled the gym to a select group of potential clients – some of our closest friends and family! As expected, it went down a storm and the best thing was the way the kid “played” with everything. From medicine balls to the rowing machine to the Kettlebells, the kids loved it all. And trust us if the kids thought it was awesome, that’s a pretty big stamp of approval.

Kids in the Gym

So, if your current fitness and nutritional programs are getting you down, give us a call and we’ll get you back on track with some personal training and workouts that make you smile and make you feel like you’ve achieved something.